Local News

Clinton YMCA To Be Closed For Maintenance

The Clinton YMCA will be having their annual shutdown this week.

The Y will be taking care of general upkeep during that seven-day period. Executive Director Rennie Cluver says the maintenance and painting taking place will be easier to accomplish with the facility closed to the public.


Cluver says maintenance will begin on Tuesday, September 2nd. The Y will re-open on Monday September 8th. The office will still be open from 8-3 for anyone needing to come in and register for fall activities.

SIU Weekly Medical Update







Weekly Weather Update

We saw above average temperatures in the last week with widespread rain. The coming week will see warm, humid and wet patterns. State Climatologist Jim Angel has more.


AG Issues Warning On Phone Scams

The Illinois Attorney General's Office issued a new warning this week about a phone scam that's trying to con people out of money. Rich Cravens with the Crawford County Sheriff's Office says callers pose as government officials and say you either have unpaid taxes or you've won some sort of sweepstakes.

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Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office has had a number of complaints in recent weeks of scammers claiming to be with the IRS. They'll tell people they're under investigation or owe money to the IRS. In some cases, the scammers are able to spoof caller ID devices to make it look like the call is coming from a legitimate government agency. Officials say if you get any calls like this, just hang up and never give out any of your personal information.

Durbin Urges Changes To Social Security System

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he and his colleagues need to get a plan in place to make sure the Social Security system stays intact.

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Durbin says the program can handle its responsibilities with no problems for the next 20-years, but it won't be able to handle the load much longer than that.

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Recent reports indicate that the Social Security program is worse off than budget analysts anticipated and is facing a potential shortfall thanks to lower future payroll-tax revenue and low interest rates. Some suggest privatizing the program but Durbin is not on board with that plan. He says that'll fail to fund the current obligations and could cause more harm than good to those who depend on the system.

Two Arrested For Making Meth At Church

A couple of southern Illinois women are behind bars for allegedly cooking meth inside a church.  Police say a member of the Waveland Church in Hillsboro reported the meth lab on Tuesday.  Judith Hemken and Tiffany Burton were taken into custody on charges of drug manufacturing and could face up to 40-years in prison if they're found guilty. 

Illinois Halts Roadwork To Speed Labor Day Traffic

The Illinois Department of Transportation says it will suspend non-emergency roadwork over the Labor Day weekend to help reduce congestion and speed traffic.

Thousands of motorists are expected to hit the roads in Illinois during the three-day holiday.

The state agency is also giving advance notice of lane closures that will remain in place.

The halt in construction will start at 3 p.m. Friday through the end of Monday.

Officials are urging drivers to slow down, obey speed limits and drive carefully through work zone. Construction zone speed limits remain in effect even when work crews are not present.

Fracking Industry Officials Donating To Rauner

Oil producers, drilling companies and geologists frustrated with the slow process of implementing rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling are putting their money behind Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur).

According to reports, the Winnetka businessman received nearly $240,000 from oil company officials looking to get the process up and running during a stop last month in southern Illinois.

The news comes as the state Department of Natural Resources is expected to submit proposed fracking rules to the Illinois Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday.

The 12-member panel has 45 days to sign off on the suggested rules, change them or prohibit their filing.

The department faces a November 15 deadline for the rules to be established.

Illinois DNR Set To Release Fracking Rules Today

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is expected to release proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling to a legislative panel.

Department officials say that rules to implement the state's year-old hydraulic fracturing law will be submitted to the Illinois Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday.

The agency has come under increasing criticism from "fracking" supporters who had hoped that drilling could begin this summer. But a draft of the proposed rules released last year proved controversial, and was heavily criticized by environmentalists. The Department of Natural Resources has spent recent months sorting through more than 30,000 comments.

The panel has 45 days to approve the suggested rules, reject or change them. The department faces a November 15 deadline for the rules to be established.

Illinois DNR Says $1 Licenses For Illinois Seniors Not Ready

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says a system offering hunting and fishing licenses at a reduced price is not yet ready.

Reports indicate the department will refund people who have already purchased the cheaper licenses. Spokesman Chris Young says the system should be completed by the beginning of October.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill in August allowing Illinois residents ages 75 and over to buy the recreational licenses at a reduced cost of $1, and some stamps at no cost. Full-priced fishing licenses cost $15, or $7.75 for those 65 and older. Hunting licenses are $12.50, or $6.50 for those 65 and over.

Rep. Jack Franks, who sponsored the bill, says he is disappointed the department wasn't better prepared.

Young says a refund form should be available on the department's website sometime this week.

University of Illinois Plans To Boost Cell Reception At Football Stadium

 width=University of Illinois officials plan to make it easier for sports fans to use cellphones at Memorial Stadium.

According to reports, the university hopes to boost cell reception through added capacity this season, and then add a more permanent digital antenna system next year. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics also wants to eventually provide Internet access to Illini fans at the stadium.

The goal is to allow people to post on social media, stream video and order food on their electronic devices in a way that doesn't consume data plans or overload networks.

The plans follow upgrades made by many collegiate and professional teams throughout the country, including the universities of Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, Texas Cristian and Stanford.

Record Attendance Highlights First Few Months of New Lincoln Heritage Museum

One local museum had already passed it's average yearly attendance due to an updated location and presentation.

Back in April, the Lincoln Heritage Museum re-opened it's doors and presented a new multimedia presentation in a much larger location. According to Museum Director Ron Kelle, the Lincoln College museum exceeded it's usual annual attendance after three months, attracting visitors from all over the country.

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The support of other museums in Illinois and the country has been evident from the beginning of the endeavor for Keller. He explains staff from the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield have been very welcoming and supportive of the new Lincoln Heritage Museum.

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Keller is impressed by how many people are moved by their experience at the museum. He explains part of the presentation features Lincoln's death which usually has an impact on the visitors who walk through the presentation on Lincoln's life.

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Keller notes Central Illinois is becoming a major tourism destination for visitors due to sites like the Lincoln Heritage Museum. He feels the local economy can also benefit from destinations like these.

The new location can be found at 1115 Nicholson Road, or on the north side of the Lincoln College Campus.

Regular hours are Monday-Friday 9am-4pm and Saturdays 1pm-4pm. For more information on the museum, visit www.lincolnheritagemuseum.org.

Blue Ridge Nearly Breaks Even In 2014

Many school districts around the area are reporting good news when it comes to their Fiscal Year 14 budgets.

It's been no secret, districts have struggled to make ends meet with the state continuously decreasing the funding for education, however, as Blue Ridge schools put a bow on FY14, they are pleased to say they nearly finished at a break even point. According to Susan Wilson, Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, this is good news because they projected quite a deficit for the year.

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The difference between this year and previous years for school leaders is the state making the full payments from the pro-rated payments, however, Wilson doesn't think this is a sign things are beginning to turn around from a state level. She criticizes the pro-ration of funding on top of cuts to programs from several years ago.

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The district received four payments last year, when it was told to them by state officials to only expect three payments. Wilson notes, the same is holding true for next year, as they have been informed to expect only three of the four payments. She speculates a lot of that has to do with the outcome of the permanency of the income tax hike that is set to expire. Lawmakers are expected to make a decision on that after the November election.

Stewart Returns This Weekend

 width=>>Stewart Set To Return To Racing At Atlanta

After missing the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, Tony Stewart is expected to return to competition this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stewart-Haas Racing made the announcement of Stewart's return on Thursday. A press conference involving Stewart and SHR executive vice president Brett Frood has been scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

Stewart, a three-time champion in NASCAR's premier series, skipped Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol while he was in seclusion following his involvement in a fatal accident on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. He struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race.

>>NASCAR Goes To Atlanta

(Hampton, GA) -- There's just two more races before the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Drivers head to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend before heading to Richmond Saturday, September 6th. A total of 12 spots have been clinched with drivers winning races, leaving four left.

College Football Notes

>>#19 Ole Miss Rolls Boise State

(Atlanta, GA) -- Ole Miss exploded for 28 points in the fourth quarter to drop Boise State 35-13 from the Georgia Dome to begin the college football season. Bo Wallace threw for 386 yards to go with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Cody Core caught four balls for 111 yards and two scores for the 19th-ranked Rebels. Grant Hedrick threw for 262 yards, one TD and four picks as the Broncos began the Bryan Harsin era. Head coach Chris Petersen left to become the head guy at Washington.

 width=>>#20 Texas A&M Rolls #9 South Carolina

(Columbia, SC) -- Kenny Hill tossed for 511 yards and three touchdowns to carry number-20 Texas A&M to a 52-28 win over ninth-ranked South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium. Hill was making his first start and completed 44 passes, 14 to Malcome Kennedy, who ended with 137 yards. Trey Williams rushed for 78 yards and a TD while Tra [[ Trey ]] Carson finished with three scores on the ground. Dylan Thompson threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns to go with an interception for the Gamecocks. Nick Jones hauled in five balls for 113 yards and two TDs in the season-opening loss.

>>College Football Season Underway

(Undated) -- Major college football is back. Tonight, eighth-ranked Michigan State opens at home against Jacksonville State. A full slate of action is on tap tomorrow, including top-ranked and defending champion Florida State facing Oklahoma State at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Sixth-ranked Ohio State goes up against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The Buckeyes are without star quarterback Braxton Miller, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Fifth-ranked and last season's BCS runner-up Auburn hosts Arkansas and 12th-ranked Georgia entertains number-16 Clemson in a battle of ranked teams.

>>Notre Dame Holding Out Fifth Player

(Notre Dame, IN) -- Notre Dame is holding out its fifth player as the university continues its academic misconduct investigation. ESPN reports senior safety Eilar Hardy will not participate in practice or games. Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore were previously suspended. The Fighting Irish begin the season Saturday at home against Rice.

Local NFL Teams Wrap Up Preseason

 width=>>Green Bay Whips Kansas City

Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien both threw two touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers routed the Kansas City Chiefs, 34-14, in the preseason finale. With Aaron Rodgers and the rest of Green Bay's starters resting, Flynn started the game under center and had 102 yards passing, while Tolzien spelled him and completed 12-of-18 passes for 139 yards. Four different receivers had touchdown catches. Tyler Bray had 116 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Chiefs, who also went with mostly reserves in the final tune-up before the regular season kicks off. Joe McKnight had 50 yards and a score on the ground in defeat.

 width=>>Dolphins Edge Rams

The Miami Dolphins scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat the St. Louis Rams 14-13 on Thursday night. Miami was down 13-0 entering the fourth but got a 5-yard touchdown run from Daniel Thomas on fourth down and took the lead on Seth Lobato's 22-yard TD pass to Matt Hazel with 6:15 remaining. The Dolphins concluded the preseason with a 3-1 record and will host AFC East rival New England to begin the regular season.

Austin Davis and Garrett Gilbert split the snaps at quarterback for St. Louis with Shaun Hill sitting out. Hill became the Rams' starter following the season-ending injury to Sam Bradford. The former No. 1 overall draft pick retore the ACL in his left knee last Saturday. Davis played the first two quarters and threw for 162 yards, including a touchdown pass to Austin Pettis. The second half belonged to Gilbert, who passed for only 50 yards.

 width=>>Browns Crush Bears

Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer played just one series against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night and took Cleveland on a 13-play, 85-yard drive that ended with a Ben Tate touchdown run. Hoyer completed 6-of-8 passes for 69 yards on the drive as the Browns rolled to a 33-13 victory in the preseason finale for both teams.

Rookie Johnny Manziel connected on 6-of-17 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. The Texas A&M product also carried the ball four times for 55 yards. Isaiah Crowell carried the ball 13 times for 102 yards and a score for the Browns, who start the regular season at Pittsburgh on Sept. 7. Willie Snead caught three passes for 75 yards. David Fales completed 13-of-24 passes for 146 yards, one touchdown and an interception for the Bears, who open the season at home against the Bills on Sept. 7. Santonio Holmes caught a 32-yard TD pass from Fales.

>>Sam Confident About NFL Future

(Miami, FL) -- Rookie defensive end Michael Sam believes in his NFL future. He said after last night's preseason finale against the Dolphins that he's "very confident he's going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL." Final roster cuts are due tomorrow. Sam led the Rams with six tackles in a 14-13 loss to Miami. He's attempting to become the first openly gay player to make an NFL roster after coming out publicly earlier this year.

 width=>>Peyton Manning Fined For Taunting

(Denver, CO) -- Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is being hit with a fine by the NFL for taunting. ESPN reports the league is docking the 13-time Pro Bowler more than 82-hundred-dollars for getting in the face of Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger following a 29-yard touchdown pass on Saturday. It was the first time in Manning's 16-year playing career that he has been flagged for taunting. Previous to the touchdown strike, Swearinger delivered a blow to the helmet of Broncos receiver Wes Welker that resulted in a concussion. Manning told reporters after the game he didn't feel the penalty hurt the team, and more recently that the fine was "money well spent."

>>Adrian Peterson: I'd Play For Cowboys

(Arlington, TX) -- Minnesota Vikings running Adrian Peterson says he would like to play for his hometown Dallas Cowboys before the end of his career. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that Peterson in a phone conversation expressed his interest in playing for the Cowboys when his tenure with the Vikings comes to an end. The show profiles Jones as he owns and operates the most valuable franchise in American sports. The 29-year-old Peterson is in the fourth year of a seven-year, 100-million-dollar contract.

Cubs, Sox Lose

 width=>>Reds Roll To Rubber Match Win Over Cubs

(Cincinnati, OH) -- Zack Cozart went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored as the Reds rolled to a 7-2 win over the Cubs at Great American Ball Park. Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips drove in two runs each for Cincinnati, which led 6-0 in the fourth and 7-0 in the sixth. Dylan Axelrod struck out eight while allowing just two hits in five shutout innings for the win as the Reds took two-of-three in the series. Jake Arrieta also fanned eight but allowed six runs in just four frames to fall to 7-and-5. Jorge Soler [[ HOR-hay so-LARE ]] singled in a run and Arismendy Alcantara had a sac-fly in the ninth for Chicago.

 width=>>Indians Clip White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- Carlos Carrasco fanned seven batters in six-and-two-thirds innings of one-run ball to lead the Indians to a 3-2 win over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Carrasco improved to 6-and-4 with the win and Cody Allen finished it off for his 18th save. Jose Ramirez tallied a pair of hits and an RBI while Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis [[ KIP-niss ]] plated a run for Cleveland, which has won four of five. Adam Dunn and Jose Abreu each drove in a run as Chicago lost its eighth game in nine chances. John Danks took a tough loss after surrendering two runs in six innings of work.

MLB National League
San Francisco Giants 4, Colorado Rockies 1
Atlanta Braves 6, New York Mets 1

MLB American League
Detroit Tigers 3, New York Yankees 2
Baltimore Orioles 5, Tampa Bay Rays 4
Minnesota Twins 11, Kansas City Royals 5 (10 inn)
Houston Astros 4, Texas Rangers 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Oakland Athletics 3 (10 inn)

 width=>>Cardinals Host Cubs Tonight

(St. Louis, MO) -- After an off-day Thursday, the Cardinals are back home tonight to host the Cubs in the first of a four-game series. Shelby Miller opposes Chicago's Kyle Hendricks on the hill. The teams will play a day-night doubleheader tomorrow and a single game on Sunday afternoon.

>>Cards Remain On Brewers' Heels

(St. Louis, MO) -- With both the Cardinals and Brewers off yesterday, St. Louis remains a game-and-a-half behind Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals and Brewers still play each other seven times this season. At 71-and-61, the Cards currently hold one of the two NL wild card spots.

llinois State Fall Baseball Practices Underway

 width=First year Illinois State head baseball coach Bo Durkac and the Redbird baseball team opened fall baseball practices on Monday as they prepare for the 2015 season. The team will practice in small groups before coming together for team practices Sept. 8.

Durkac welcomed back 17 returning players from the 2014 team that posted a 33-22 overall record and advanced to the title game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Durkac also welcomes in 17 players new to the program, as well as an all-new coaching staff.

Mike Stalowy returns as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after a successful playing career at Illinois State and a recent stint as an assistant at Valparaiso, while Michael Kellar joins the staff as pitching coach from Siena. Ryan Copeland and Clint Stroud will serve as student assistants.

Durkac stressed that what his team does in the fall directly impacts its performance in the spring.

Minnesota Downs Eastern Illinois

 width=As heard on WHOW and dewittdailynews.com, Mitch Leidner ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass to Donovahn Jones, leading Minnesota to a season-opening 42-20 victory over Eastern Illinois on Thursday night.

Leidner finished 9 for 17 with 144 yards, David Cobb carried 14 times for 71 yards and the defense delivered a punishing performance to overwhelm the Panthers, a perennial FCS power facing the Gophers for the first time.

Jalen Whitlow, a transfer from Kentucky, went 14 for 23 passing for 110 yards and rushed 19 times for 77 yards. He had an interception, though, and took two sacks on a mistake-marred night for the Panthers.

Eric Murray blocked a punt near the goal line for the Gophers that Logan Hutton grabbed for a three-touchdown lead.

Illini Open with Youngstown State Saturday

 width=Illinois players and coaches keep repeating the same mantra ahead of Saturday's opener with Youngstown State: Start fast.

New quarterback Wes Lunt says they get that message from the video of a drag strip playing outside the locker room every time they walk in or out.

A lot of how Illinois starts may be up to Lunt, the transfer from Oklahoma State who will start his first game for the Illini.

Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit says Lunt is bound to make mistakes but doesn't make many twice.

A fast start will be important for an Illinois team that went 4-8 last season and is under pressure to improve.

Youngstown State, coming off an 8-4 season, is likely to rely on returning running back Martin Ruiz. He ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2013.

High School Football Season Opens Tonight

The central Illinois high school football season kicks off today, and several area teams are in new conferences along with new additions to their schedules for 2014.

 width=The Clinton Maroons open their season tonight at home against non-conference opponent, Flanagan-Cornell. Off an 1-8 campaign in 2013, head coach John Hayden hopes to continue to build at Clinton High School. Entering their first season in the Central Illinois Conference, the Maroons will welcome the additions of Flanagan-Cornell and Fithian Oakwood to their nine-game slate and say goodbye to former Okaw Valley Black opponents Monticello and Tolono Unity.

The Maroons opener against Flanagan-Cornell gets underway at 7 pm. Hear all the action live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other games across the area tonight...

Central State Eight

Chatham Glenwood at Decatur MacArthur
Decatur Eisenhower at Rochester
Springfield Lanphier at Jacksonville
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Springfield
Springfield (Southeast) at Lincoln

Heart of Illinois

Fisher at Ridgeview
LeRoy at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Lexington at Heyworth
Fieldcrest at Tri-Valley
Tremont at El Paso-Gridley

Non-Conference games for tonight...

Argenta-Oreana at Oblong
Arthur-Lovington at Villa Grove
Belleville East at Normal Community
Belleville West at Normal West
Bloomington Central Catholic at Washington
Bloomington at LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy (Sat.)
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Oakland Tri-County
Champaign Centennial at Morton
Champaign St. Thomas More at Olympia
Decatur Lutheran at Toledo Cumberland
Fithian Oakwood at Carrollton (Sat.)
 width=Marion at Champaign Central
Maroa-Forsyth at Meridian
Milford at Central A & M (Sat.)
Monticello at Nokomis
Mt. Zion at Mahomet-Seymour
Pawnee at Shelbyville
Paxton-Buckley-Loda at St. Joseph-Ogden
Peoria vs. Rock Island Alleman at Augustana College
Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Richwoods
Peoria Heights at Cambridge Ridgewood
Rock Island at Peoria Manual
Sterling at Metamora
Streator at East Peoria
Sullivan-Okaw Valley at Hoopeston
Tolono Unity at Decatur St. Teresa
Urbana at Normal U-High
Warrensburg-Latham at Georgetown
Westville at Tuscola

Maroons Lose Home Opener To Falcons

As heard on The Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW, Flanagan-Cornell defeated the Clinton Maroons 13-12 in non-conference football Friday night.

For the Maroons (0-1), Tanner White went 3-10, throwing 118 yards with a touchdown. He also carried the ball 11 times for 37 yards and a touchdown. Alex Wheat carried the ball 11 times for 52 yards. Alec Coley carried the ball 12 times for 32 yards. Eli Logue had three catches for 118 yards.

For Flanagan-Cornell (1-0), Coty Johnson went 4-13, throwing for 62 yards and two interceptions. Austin Dutko carried the ball 29 times for 177 yards.

The next Maroons broadcast will be next Friday night as the Maroons go to Fithian-Oakwood to play the Comets on WHOW.

2014 Fighting Illini Football Outlook

 width=The 2014 Fighting Illini campaign kicks off this Saturday as Illinois hosts FCS opponent, and 24th ranked Youngstown State.

The game provides a distinct connection for Illinois Coach Tim Beckman, as he was once a pupil of great Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, who now serves as the President of Youngstown State. But on the field, the Penguins could prove to be a real threat to the Illini starting the season on a positive note.

The 2014 Illini will look vastly different from 2013, headlined by transfer sophomore QB Wes Lunt.

Lunt, a native of Rochester, Ill, is a strong armed and incredibly accurate thrower. While the weapons he will target will be relatively new faces from a year ago, the Illini passing game will continue to be a strength of this team going forward.

New faces in the receiving corps are highlighted by senior Martize Barr, who is the leading returning receiver, first year JuCo transfer Gerinomo (G-Mo) Allison, freshman Mike Dudek and Malik Turner. Given the Illini's lack of returning talent in the receiving game, many may question the Illini coaches raving about their two freshman, but reporters and scouts have also taken notice of the first year players and their ability to compete at a high level already.

 width=Lunt (right at Oklahoma State) is the type of quarterback that is going to make a lot of the guys around him better, and Allison, Dudek, and Turner are all very underrated talents who should quickly make a name for themselves. Other names in the receiving game to keep an eye on include Tryin Stone-Davis, a JuCo sophomore who hasn't seen the football field in over a year, but once he gets his feet wet and gets back into football shape, he could ultimately develop into a top receiver in the Big Ten.

Also keep an eye on tight ends Jon Davis (6-3, 240 Sr) and Matt LaCosse (6-6, 245 Sr). Both are big targets for Lunt in the passing game and Offensive Coordinator Bill Cubit has raved about the progress they've made between last year and now.

The running back situation for Illinois is rather thin. Illinois returns dynamic playmaker Josh Ferguson, who finished in the top 10 in the Big Ten in receiving yards. Also back is the bigger, more physical back, Donovonn Young. While I'm sure Coach Beckman would like to have a little more depth in that area, the two should provide Illinois with a nice combination of backs to rotate in and out.

Going into the year, Ferguson figures to be the primary back, however, getting stronger was something the Illinois staff wanted Ferguson to focus on. As a sophomore, Ferguson was unable to complete several games, primarily in the Big Ten portion of the 2013 schedule. Having a healthy Young could prove to open up more opportunities for Illinois to utilize the highly skilled Ferguson even further in the passing game.

The Illini offense on paper leaves a lot to be desired, but Illinois committing to Wes Lunt was probably the best thing the program did in the past several years.

Illinois boasted a middle of the pack offense last year behind senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhasasee, but the talent of Wes Lunt and the higher skilled receivers should allow Illinois' offense to continue to take steps forward.

 width=Also keep an eye on what the Illini staff does with highly skilled quarterback Aaron Bailey. While injuries weren't on his side, it was almost inevitable Illinois was going to commit to Lunt, but don't count out Bailey making an impact in another way. Coach Beckman maintains Bailey will be the team’s second string signal caller (along with senior Reilly O'Toole), Bailey is an elite athlete in the Illinois system who may find himself in another role as he gets healthy and the season goes on.

As a true freshman at Oklahoma State, Lunt ultimately lost his starting job because of injuries, and hasn't seen live college football action in almost two years. It's too early to say Lunt is injury prone and I’m not saying he will get hurt, however, the Illinois offensive line was one of the many areas of weakness last year, and if they can't keep Lunt upright in 2014, Bailey may see his time at quarterback increase. It’s just a minor situation to keep an eye on.

Coaches say their biggest concern on the right side, where right tackle is the last position up in the air at this point. Pat Flavin seems to be the favorite right now.

With little name recognition and so many new faces, it’s safe to say the Illinois offense is not turning heads or drawing headlines, but it’s my belief the Illinois offense has the potential to be one of the Big Ten’s best offenses. How successful this Illini offense is relies heavily on Lunt, but it also relies a lot on the development and adjustment of this inexperienced receiving group to Big Ten play.

The offensive line worries me, but I think it will be an improvement from last year, given each of the guys up front is a returning player.

 width=When you talk about playmakers for Illinois, no one stands out more than V’Angelo Bentley (right). The defensive back turned himself into one of the Big Ten’s top returners, and coming back as a junior, not only will his playmaking skills be relied heavily on, his role on the defense will be leaned upon as well.

If Bentley can be the dynamic returner he was last year, solid starting field position on almost every drive is going to go a long ways for this offense. Nothing sparks a team like a solid special teams play, and Bentley can be the guy to provide that for Illinois.

There isn’t a question about it, the Illinois defense last year was absolutely horrific. From getting zero pressure on almost every quarterback they faced, to being unable to stop the run, and unable to stop the pass, top to bottom, Illinois’ defense was just not good.

But that is good news for the Illini. Why? Because there’s only one way to go from the very bottom of the Big Ten and almost the country, and that’s up.

 width=One thing Coach Beckman and Defensive Coordinator Tim Banks (right) have been preaching since spring ball is depth. Depth. Depth. Depth. Football is a game of numbers. If you can run out three or four guys at a given position, you in some ways have the upper hand. Now talent definitely comes into play when talking about depth, and that is the biggest key for Illinois.

The Illini coaches say the depth they have on defense is as good as it’s been in the Tim Beckman era. From depth on the front seven to some decent depth in the secondary. Illinois will not be able to claim they don’t have the bodies.

And when talking about who they are going to roll onto the field to defend, the list is unimpressive. Highlighted by linebacker Mason Monheim and defensive back Earnest Thomas, Illinois will try to make huge strides as they look to make a return to respectability in the Big Ten.

 width=Monheim (left) has been regarded as an undersized for a middle linebacker, however, you’re hard pressed find someone who works harder than him. With his size being a major question with him entering his junior season, the young man has made huge strides. A second-team freshman All-American in 2012, Monheim has transformed his body to a more typical linebacker build, and has actually shifted from the middle linebacker spot to an outside backer position, a move the Illinois defensive coaches will showcase T.J. Neal. Neal is a redshirt sophomore Banks raves about the strides he’s made and the improvements to his body. It’s the belief Neal is poised to succeed Jonathan Brown in a big way.

A couple other names in the linebacking corp, are Carroll Phillips and DeJazz Woods. Phillips is a JuCo transfer who was originally committed to play at Cincinnati but reneged on that commitment when Banks departed his position as Bearcats defensive coordinator for Illinois. Now the two reunite, and make no mistake about it, Phillips is a pure football player. Coming from the football factory of Miami Central High School in Miami, FL, Miami Central has produced many football players to go pro including Willis McGahee, Antonio Brown and Najeh Davenport. Most recently they’ve produced division I athletes Joe Yarby, a freshman running back at Miami (FL), Dalvin Cook, a freshman running back at Florida State and Davonta Freeman, a running back who was a big part of the Florida State national title run last year.

 width=Woods has been noted by Coach Beckman as maybe the defensive player to make the biggest strides in his three year tenure at Illinois. Woods has physically matured and as well as athletically. I don’t know what to expect from him but I think a nice season could be in store for the senior.

Other than Wes Lunt, there’s few guys I am willing to commit to as having an immediate impact for the Illini this year, but the lone other guy I’d put in that category is Carroll Phillips. I think he is poised for a big year and will be a big key to Illinois rebuilding their defense.

Up front, the Illini actually look a lot better. A monster of a young man, Jihad Ward comes to a defense in need of athleticism. At 6-6 and 295 pounds, Ward has been working on the interior and at defensive end, and when he committed to Illinois, it was even discussed, maybe he’d go to the O-line. So the kid has atheticism and should be another to make an immediate impact for Coach Banks and this defensive line.

What Banks has been preaching since spring ball and now as we get set to start this 2014 campaign, Illinois without a doubt has depth up front now. Freshman Paul James, Duwuane Smoot, Teko Powell, Austin Teitsma, Joe Fotu (who will also double as a fullback on offense) and Kenny Nelson will all rotate up front. Now if you don’t know any of those names, there’s nothing wrong with that. The names to watch are Smoot, Powell and James, however, the key for all of them is to get to the quarterback. I mentioned it earlier, and the thing about the Illini defense that stood out to me last year was the lack of pressure they got to the backfield. In my opinion, I think Illinois has to see a better push up front, and I don’t think it could get much worse than what they were last year, so improvement has to be imminent right? How much improvement is the big question for the Illini.

 width=The big and nagging question for me is the Illinois secondary. Of all the improvements Illinois made in the spring and summer workouts, I still am not feeling good about the secondary. Bentley and Eaton Spence are very good looking cornerbacks, even Darius Mosely could be OK, but there is not a lot of depth, and Illinois will have their hands full trying to cover Big Ten receivers this year. Earnest Thomas will likely lead the secondary, as he is the leading returning tackler. The first stringers look very strong for Illinois, but if injuries bespell the Illini, this secondary could be in bigger trouble than it already is.

However, on the brightside, each of these corners and safeties have at least a year of experience after being thrown into the fire last year. Improvement from this group not only likely, but it is imperative. If improvement is realized, the Illini offense is going to have an immense amount of pressure on them, just like last year.

Where the Illini secondary should find some relief is from the guys up front. Football games are won in the trenches, and if Illinois can get pressure on the quarterbacks, these corners and safeties aren’t going to have to cover four or five receivers for five or better seconds of a play. It’s kind of the Rex Ryan philosophy of defense. If you can get pressure by only bringing four or five guys, it makes your secondary so much better, no matter the talent level back there. I think the same holds true for Illinois.

We’ve (I’ve) established Illinois should improve this year, but how much are we in for?

 width=I’ve optimistically thought Illinois could win eight games, which might even get them into the top-25 in the Big Ten. There’s two games I look at the Illinois schedule at the end of the year that ultimately show us how good this team really is. The Illini host Iowa on November 15 and then Penn State on November 22. The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions are both going to be exceptional this year, and despite playing Penn State within a touchdown last year in Happy Valley, Penn State is sure to improve under first year head coach James Franklin.

The beauty of these two games for Illinois is they get them at home. If Illinois could pull off a couple nice, maybe [improbable] wins, say on the road at Washington or on the road at Nebraska, at Wisconsin or at Ohio State, they’d really have the fan base excited, and a sellout for two huge games that could vault the Illini into a respectable bowl game.

If Illinois can pull off one of two over Iowa or Penn State, I say this is a successful 2014 campaign. I’m saying six wins minimum for the Illini, and optimistically eight. I think Wes Lunt plus improvement on defense is enough to get Illinois a couple more Big Ten wins which puts them into a bowl game.

Teamsters Vow To Fight IDOT Layoffs

Lawyers representing 55 Illinois Department of Transportation workers laid off last week say the employees should be able to continue working for the agency in their staff assistant positions.

According to reports, the employees are members of the Teamsters union. Their positions were criticized by a state inspector general's report and are at the crux of a federal lawsuit alleging illegal hiring at the agency.

IDOT officials said the dismissals were designed to boost accountability. But the inspector general's report released on Friday found anti-patronage rules were ignored in hiring. The federal lawsuit seeks an investigation into IDOT and an independent monitor to oversee employment practices.

Attorney Carl Draper says the employees shouldn't be punished for being hired for work that needed to be done.

Vallas Says Rauner Plan Would Cost Schools $4-Billion

Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate says Republican Bruce Rauner's plan to roll back the temporary state income tax increase would "decimate" education in Illinois.

Paul Vallas is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and former head of public schools in Chicago and other big cities.

He says if Rauner rolled back the income-tax increase, public schools would see a $4 billion-a-year loss in state revenue. That's because the income tax increase brings in $8 billion a year and education makes up half of the discretionary part of the budget.

Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the numbers Vallas uses "are just made up."

He says even though Quinn raised the tax 67 percent in 2011, he cut school spending by $500 million. He says Rauner will "fully fund our schools."

More Than 1000 Businesses Hit By Hackers

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the people and businesses in Illinois need to be on guard when it comes to identity theft.  She says more than a thousand businesses have been hit by hackers in the past year.  Madigan says businesses should create strong network passwords and update their antivirus software regularly so it can detect malicious software.  People should be sure to set up transaction alerts on their accounts and review their credit report, bank statements, and credit card statements regularly. 

Durbin Says Earmarks Have Made Positive Impact

Illinois' senior U.S. Senator is making no apologies for supporting earmarks.

Dick Durbin is a Springfield Democrat and the Senate Majority Whip. He's facing GOP state Sen. Jim Oberweis in a re-election bid. Durbin told attendees at a forum in Bloomington Wednesday coordinated by the Illinois Farm Bureau that he feels earmarks - funds Congress appropriates for specific purposes - have helped agriculture in Illinois. Durbin is facing GOP state Sen. Jim Oberweis in his bid for re-election. Oberweis opposes earmarks.

Durbin highlighted federal funding of a crop sciences building at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He says the center has served as a "centerpiece" of efforts for agriculture at the university.

Along with Durbin, Oberweis, GOP governor candidate Bruce Rauner and Gov. Pat Quinn are attending the forum.

Oberweis Says Government Overreaching In Regulations

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate says there are too many government regulations on the nation's food supply.

Jim Oberweis is a Republican state Senator and dairy magnate. He is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in November.

Oberweis told attendees at an agricultural forum coordinated by the Illinois Farm Bureau Wednesday that he asks farmers who provide milk to his dairy to sign a pledge not to use growth hormones and to treat animals humanely.

But he says the government can be overreaching in some regulations, including regulating the price of milk. He believes Republican control of Congress would help balance Democratic president Barack Obama.

Oberweis discussed issues before the group for an hour. Durbin, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and GOP governor candidate Bruce Rauner are scheduled to follow.

Oberweis Calls Durbin A Thug

State Senator Jim Oberweis says voters will do themselves a favor if they vote for him in November and put U.S. Senator Dick Durbin out of office.

[audio:rddObThug11.mp3] [/audio]

Oberweis says U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is failing the people of Illinois.

[audio:rddObFail11.mp3] [/audio]

Oberweis is trying to unseat Durbin, who's been in Congress for more than 30 years. He admits that Durbin is a better politician than he is but he says that's part of the problem. Oberweis says career politicians like Durbin are only looking out for their own best interests and have lost sight of what the people really need.

Rauner Says Department of Agriculture 'Full of Cronyism'

The GOP candidate for Illinois governor says if elected he'd work to overhaul the state Department of Agriculture.

Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) is a Winnetka businessman. He told attendees at a forum in Bloomington Wednesday coordinated by the Illinois Farm Bureau that the agriculture department is "full of cronyism" and has 'folks running things that generally don't have much expertise.'

Rauner has previously criticized agriculture department director Bob Flider - a former Democratic state lawmaker - for not being a farmer. He says he wants "farmers and farm experts running the Department of Agriculture." Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has defended Flider's work as well as the agency.

Along with Rauner, Quinn, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis are participating in the forum.

Quinn Says State Needs To Invest In Agriculture

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he plans to invest more in the state Department of Agriculture.

The Chicago Democrat is making a tough, nationally watched election bid against Republican Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) of Winnetka.

Quinn at a forum in Bloomington Wednesday coordinated by the Illinois Farm Bureau blasted Rauner's pledge to roll back the state's income tax which is set to expire at the end of the year.

He says the state must ensure the department has proper resource to perform important regulatory functions.

Quinn has advocated for keeping the tax increase in place at its current 5 percent for individuals and 6.75 percent for corporations.

Along with Quinn, Rauner, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis are participating in the forum.

Man Pleads Guilty In Death of Illinois Officer

A South Carolina man has pleaded guilty in a vehicle crash that killed an on-duty Pontiac officer and his police dog last year.

Reports indicate Jason Collins of West Columbia, South Carolina, entered the plea Tuesday to charges of reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving in the October 2013 crash near Pontiac.

Twenty-nine-year-old officer Casey Kohlmeier and his dog, Draco, were killed when Collin's vehicle crashed into Kohlmeier's SUV that was parked on an interstate median.

Collins faces 14 years on the aggravated DUI charges when he is sentenced in October.

His lawyer says the plea wasn't the result of any agreement with the state. He says Collins is "very remorseful."

A civil lawsuit filed by the officer's parents is still pending.

Springfield Student Arrested With Gun At School

A Springfield high school student has been detained after he brought a loaded handgun to school.

Reports indicate Superintendent Jennifer Gill says the 16-year-old Lanphier High School student showed the gun to a few other students Tuesday afternoon. She said the students immediately alerted administrators, security and police.

Police arrested the student and brought him to the Sangamon County Juvenile Detention Center.

A spokeswoman said the school planned to increase security.

Illinois Hospital Opens $1-Million Garden

Children's Hospital of Illinois is opening a $1 million rooftop garden for families of patients in pediatric critical care.

According to reports, the ribbon cutting is today (Thursday) for the garden. It's expected to officially open next week after years of planning. The Peoria hospital is based at OSF St. Francis Medical Center.

The garden features trees, flowering shrubs and hundreds of perennial flowers. Wooden walkways lead to sitting areas and a fountain. Three metal canopies each weigh about 5,000 pounds.

Lynn and Jerry Flaherty donated $500,000 for the garden that's named after them. Jerry Flaherty's former employer, Caterpillar Inc., matched their gift.

The couple says they wanted to create a peaceful place for families because of their experience having three premature babies more than 50 years ago.

Apple and Pork Festival Provides CH Moore Homestead, Local Groups Enjoyable Fundraising Opportunities

 width=The biggest event of the year for Clinton is less than a month away and preparations have already begun.

The C.H. Moore Homestead will once again be home base for the year Apple & Pork Festival for 2014. Larry Buss, Resident Manager of the Homestead, explains this 46th Apple & Pork Festival will include the Clinton High School band, who will open the festival and will kick off a weekend full of musical performances.

[audio:82814applepork1.mp3] [/audio]

The Apple & Pork is the main fundraiser for local non-profit groups for the whole year. Buss stresses the festival is the main source of funding for the Homestead. The restoration and upkeep of the house would not be possible without the festival. Most fundraisers tend to be a hassle for most organizations, however, Buss feels the Apple & Pork is a source of pleasure for all involved.

[audio:82814applepork2.mp3] [/audio]

The majority of their funding for the Museum comes from the vendors on the homestead grounds. Buss explains they receive twenty-percent from the vendors' proceeds, which allows the Homestead to nearly achieve their yearly budget within one weekend.

[audio:82814applepork3.mp3] [/audio]

Buss also notes many favorite food items will be returning this year, including their famous ham & beans and apple cider floats.

The Apple & Pork Festival will be held on Saturday September 27th and Sunday the 28th this year.

Kindergarten Enrollment Unexpectedly Up In Clinton Schools

 width=With students all settled in at the new Clinton Elementary School and students across the district getting back into the routine of the new school year, Clinton district leaders say they saw something surprising as the year began.

According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of the Clinton School District, the kindergarten numbers for this school year surprised them at how high they were. He explains when registration concluded, the enrollment numbers in kindergarten surpassed what they were estimating for this year.

[audio:82814clintonkinder1.mp3] [/audio]

Going into each school year, Dr. Holmes indicates the district has an idea of what to expect with their kindergarten enrollment. He explains they have a good relationship with all the area pre-kindergarten groups and are consistently keeping tabs with them. He feels this is just a coincidence they are more than pleased accommodate.

[audio:82814clintonkinder2.mp3] [/audio]

While the district feels like they do a good job of monitoring those pre-K students coming into the district, Dr. Holmes points to the Kindergarten registration they hold in the spring as a reason all parents get their students signed up.

To accommodate the small bump in enrollment, Dr. Holmes indicates they have hired an additional pair of teacher's aids.

College Football Notes

>>Bama Won't Have DePriest In Opener

(Tuscaloosa, AL) -- Alabama's defense will be shorthanded in their season opener Saturday against West Virginia at the Georgia Dome. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban told the media on Wednesday starting inside linebacker Trey DePriest won't play because of an undisclosed NCAA infraction. DePriest is a senior, who has started 26 games over the last two seasons. He is expected to play in Week Two when 'Bama hosts Florida Atlantic.

>>Penn State Ban Could Be Removed Next Season

(State College, PA) -- The Sporting News cited two sources with NCAA ties and is reporting that Penn State could see their 2015 season become bowl eligible. The University will have to continue to "reach and go beyond" the benchmarks set by the NCAA after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The NCAA has already returned lost scholarships to the school. George Mitchell was assigned to check up and report on the progress of the school and will release his second annual report on the state of the athletic programs next week.

>>Virginia Tech Extends Beamer

(Blacksburg, VA) -- Virginia Tech extended the contract of head football coach Frank Beamer for two years through 2018. The winningest active coach in FBS with 266 victories, Beamer has 21 straight bowl appearances, four ACC titles and six BCS games on his resume. He also has a trip to the national championship game. The Hokies open their 2014 season Saturday at home against William and Mary.

 width=>>North Carolina Football Suspends Four Players

(Chapel Hill, NC) -- The University of North Carolina football program is suspending four players for its season opener. The Tar Heels' Des Lawrence, Donnie Miles, M.J. Stewart and Brian Walker won't suit up for what is being called a violation of team rules. Yahoo! Sports reported the school was investigating allegations of hazing. Redshirt freshman walk-on receiver Jackson Boyer was left with a concussion following "an alleged physical altercation with multiple teammates" in a Chapel Hill hotel during training camp.

>>USC Football Player Admits Faking Story About Saving Nephew

(Los Angeles, CA) -- USC cornerback Josh Shaw now finds himself off the field for telling a whale of a tale about saving his nephew. School officials say Shaw admitted to the athletics department Wednesday that he lied about how he suffered ankle injuries last weekend. Shaw initially told his coaches he had jumped from a second-story building to save his nephew who was struggling in a pool. Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian at first called Shaw's actions "heroic," but says now Shaw "let us all down."

The senior cornerback has been suspended indefinitely from the team for fabricating the story. USC officials say he has retained legal counsel. Sarkisian says he hopes Shaw learns from his mistakes.

NCAA Top-25 Football ("USA Today" Rankings)
6:00 p.m. - #9 South Carolina Gamecocks host #20 Texas A&M Aggies
10:30 p.m. - #18 Arizona State Sun Devils host Weber State Wildcats
8:00 p.m. - #19 Ole Miss Rebels host Boise State Broncos

Clippers Extend Doc Rivers

 width=The Los Angeles Clippers are locking up head coach Doc Rivers with a long-term contract extension.  The 52-year-old has been signed to a deal that keeps him in the fold through the 2018-19 season.  New team owner Steve Ballmer says he's excited to work with Doc for a long time as they build a championship culture.  Rivers took over as head coach in June of 2013 after an eight-year stint with the Boston Celtics.  The Clippers went 57-and-25 last season, earning the third seed in the Western Conference in Rivers' first year at the helm.  L.A. lost to Oklahoma City in six games in the conference semifinals. 

Deutsche Bank Championship Preview

 width=The PGA Tour heads to Massachusetts this week for the Deutsche Bank Championship. This is the second week of the FedExCup Playoffs. Last week, Hunter Mahan captured The Barclays and jumped from 62nd on the FedExCup points list to first. He leads world No. 1 Rory McIlroy by 466 points. He also moved back into the top-20 of the world rankings at No. 19. Taking advantage of
the Labor Day holiday, this tournament starts on Friday and finishes Monday.

The top 100 players on the FedExCup points list qualified for this tournament. Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey and Sergio Garcia qualified but are not playing this week. The top 70 players on the points list qualify for the BMW Championship next week.

Bears, Packers, Rams Conclude Preseason Slates

 width=>>Bears Battle Browns

(Cleveland, OH) -- The Bears battle the Browns tonight as the preseason comes to an end. Chicago is 2-and-1 with wins over Philadelphia and Jacksonville and a loss to Seattle. Cleveland is 0-and-3.

>>Rams Wrap Up Preseason At Miami Tonight

(Miami, FL) -- The Rams close out the preseason tonight with a road game against Miami Dolphins. Head coach Jeff Fisher is expected to rest most of the starters to avoid more key injuries. Shaun Hill is now the starting QB after Sam Bradford was lost for the season to a torn ACL on Saturday.

 width=>>Packers Wrap Up Preseason Vs Chiefs

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Green Bay Packers play their final preseason game tonight when they take on the Chiefs at Lambeau Field. The Packers have won their last two exhibition games after dropping their opener. Aaron Rodgers and many other veteran starters are expected to sit out.

 width=>>Fisher Upset With ESPN Report On Sam

(St. Louis, MO) -- Rams head coach Jeff Fisher is upset over an ESPN report that included the showering habits of rookie defensive end Michael Sam, who is gay. Fisher tells the "Post-Dispatch" he feels the report was unethical and unprofessional. ESPN has since issued an apology.

>>Chiefs' Bus Hits Vehicle In Wisconsin

(Grand Chute, WI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs are dealing with a minor issue prior to Thursday's preseason finale. FOX 6 in Wisconsin says a team bus hit a vehicle in an intersection as the Chiefs were going from the airport to the team hotel. The vehicle was carrying two adults and three children. A child was taken to the hospital after getting cut on the head. No players were injuried. The Chiefs play the Green Bay Packers to close the preseason.

 width=>>Cardinals Add Veteran Defensive Lineman Kelly

(Tempe, AZ) -- The Cardinals are working on trying to replace defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. Arizona signed defensive lineman Tommy Kelly on Wednesday, just two days after the 10-year pro was released by the Patriots. Kelly has made 122 NFL starts with the Pats and Raiders compiling 441 tackles and 36-and-a-half sacks. Dockett was lost for the season due to an ACL tear he suffered in practice last week. Ryan McBean was released to make room for Kelly on the Cards roster.

>>Cam Newton: "No Doubt" He's Playing In Week One

(Charlotte, NC) -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says there is "no doubt" he will play in the season opener on September 7th. Newton says he'll be ready to go against Tampa Bay in Week One despite suffering a hairline fracture to his one of his ribs in the team's third preseason game. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera shares the same confidence, adding the offensive playbook will remain to fit Newton's style.

>>NFL Upholds Josh Gordon's One-Year Suspension

(New York, NY) -- The NFL is upholding its one-year suspension of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. His appeal has been denied, and Gordon will miss a full calender year. He will be eligible for reinstatement August 27, 2015. He was suspended for a repeat violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Gordon was appealing a positive test for marijuana, claiming he was exposed to second-hand smoke. Because the ruling took as long as it did, Gordon will miss 2015's training camp and most of the preseason. The 23-year-old issued a statement through the Players' Association apologizing to his team and fans, but says the NFL should have used better discretion and judgment in his case.

Sox Win; Cubs Lose Despite Monster Debut From Cuban OF

 width=>>White Sox Sink Indians

(Chicago, IL) -- Jose Abreu singled in the winning run during the bottom of the seventh as the White Sox sank the Indians 3-2 from U.S. Cellular Field. Abreu also knocked in a run in the third while Adam Dunn doubled in Abreu later. Hector Noesi [[ no-EH-see ]] gave up two runs in seven innings for the win. Zach Putnam picked up his fourth save for Chicago, which snapped a seven-game skid. Corey Kluber [[ KLOO-ber ]] gave up all the runs in six-and-a-third innings for the loss. Lonnie Chisenhall went deep for Cleveland, which had won three in-a-row.

>>Cubs Fall To Reds 

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Jorge Soler had a monster debut, but the Cubs lost 7-5 to the Reds in Cincinnati.  Soler homered in his first at-bat and finished 2-for-4 with two RBI for Chicago, which saw a four-game win streak end.  Jacob Turner took the loss after giving up six runs in under four frames.  The series ends today. 

>>Pirates Take Rubber Match From Cards

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Ike Davis belted a two-run homer and Jeff Locke pitched one-run ball into the eighth inning as the Pirates beat the Cardinals 3-1 at PNC Park. Davis delivered his 10th home run of the season in the second inning and Andrew McCutchen added a sac-fly in the third for Pittsburgh, which won the final two games of the three-game set. Locke allowed just a solo homer to Matt Holliday among six hits over seven-and-a-third innings to improve to 6-and-3. Mark Melancon [[ meh-LAN-son ]] posted his 24th save. Adam Wainwright gave up three runs in six frames to fall to 15-and-9 with the loss for St. Louis.

Clinton Police Report for 8-28








Quinn Signs Pregnancy Discrimination Measure

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a measure into law aimed at curbing workplace discrimination against pregnant women.

The plan extends workplace protections to pregnant women, including requiring employers to consider accommodations if asked. That includes limits on manual labor and break space for breast feeding.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson is a sponsor. She says it's the same situation as an employee who may have an injury affecting their work and may ask for modified duties, like being able to sit down.

The Democrat said Tuesday at an event marking the signing that it's an acknowledgement of issues pregnant women face, but also affects every family in the state.

Quinn signed the measure Monday. It also outlines penalties for employers.

The law takes effect in January.

Quinn Liaison To IDOT Resigns

One of Gov. Pat Quinn's deputy chiefs of staff - whose responsibilities included the troubled Illinois Department of Transportation - is leaving the job.

Sean O'Shea of Chicago had duties that included oversight of IDOT for the governor. Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman confirmed that O'Shea's last day in the $130,000 job is Friday.

Klinzman says the 37-year-old O'Shea is taking a private-sector job and his departure has nothing to do with an investigative report released Friday about improper hiring at IDOT.

The Office of the Executive Inspector General found IDOT skirted rules designed to keep politics out of hiring and improperly added 255 people to the state payroll in the past 10 years.

O'Shea was not accused of wrongdoing.

Gov. Quinn Vetoes Bill Increasing Speeding

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed legislation aimed at increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour on interstate highways around Illinois.

The legislation was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis. It follows the passage of a 2013 law increasing the speed limit to 70 miles on interstates which the Quinn administration interpreted to only apply to rural areas. Oberweis' bill would have empowered the state Tollway Authority and the Department of Transportation to impose higher limits in urban areas.

Quinn Tuesday cited studies showing increased speeds lengthen stopping distance, and produce more violent collisions.

The governor's action follows the veto of another bill also that would have let large trucks go faster on interstate highways in the Chicago area.

State Officials Urge Participation In Great Shakeout

People don't often think about earthquakes rattling in Illinois, but IEMA's Patti Thompson says we get them more often than people know.

[audio:rddShakeout21.mp3] [/audio]

Thompson says it'll help people be prepared if they experience an earthquake.

[audio:rddShakeout11.mp3] [/audio]

People all across the state and the U.S. will participate in the Great Shakeout on October 16th. More than half-a-million-people in Illinois participated in the event last year including schools, business, families, and governmental bodies. State officials are hoping to exceed that number this year. Registration is available online at ShakeOut.org/CentralUS.

Quinn Signs Law Allowing Study of Industrial Hemp

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law allowing universities and the Illinois Department of Agriculture to study industrial hemp.

The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday creating a pilot program.

Industrial hemp is in the same species as marijuana but has a negligible amount of marijuana's active ingredient. Hemp can be used in the production of plastics, fuel, textiles and food.

The Illinois law says an institution of higher education or the state's Agriculture Department can study the growth, cultivation and marketing of hemp. Those wanting to participate have to notify the state and local law enforcement and provide reports to the state.

Several other states have similar programs.

Illinois' law takes effect in January.

The state approved a plan legalizing medical marijuana last year.

Former Springfield Teacher Convicted of Sex Abuse

A former Springfield teacher has been convicted of sexually abusing a young boy more than a decade ago.

According to reports 59-year-old Steven Battles was sentenced to seven years in prison in Sangamon Circuit Court Monday.

Battles pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for fondling a boy between 1999 and 2002. Prosecutors say the abuse began when the boy was 10.

Officials say Battles had a history of questionable behavior during his 17-year career with District 186. He was accused of letting students sit on his lap, giving back rubs and telephoning male students. He was fired in 2009.

Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser says Battles is being held in county jail until his processing by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Simon Touts Bloomington Internet Program

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is welcoming Illinois students - who could graduate from college in 2025 - back to school and is highlighting a program providing Internet access to low-income students.

Simon was at Bloomington Junior High School Tuesday to see the school's one-to-one laptop program. School District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly showed off the program which provides take-home computers to students and teams up with a local Internet service to give low-income students online access through the district.

Simon, a Democrat, is the state's point person on education reform. The year 2025 is the deadline set by education leaders to have 60 percent of working-age adults holding a college degree or certificate.

Economists say a highly educated workforce will be needed to attract and retain jobs in the future.

Local Lawmaker Calls Unemployment Rates Good News, Bad News Situation

While the July unemployment rate for the Decatur area dropped 3.5 percent from a year ago, a local lawmaker says it’s a good news/bad news situation.

Forsyth State Representative Bill Mitchell says while the good news is the rate went down from 13% to 9.5%, the bad news is that in that 1 year period the county lost 300 jobs. He feels Illinois has a one size fits all economic development plan.

[audio:82714mitchellunemployment1.mp3] [/audio]

Unemployment across the area is down, however the representative believes there are less jobs across the state, which means "things are not good". He feels the state needs to address this problem.

[audio:82714mitchellunemployment2.mp3] [/audio]

And though the area saw the largest drop among the 11 other metropolitan areas in Illinois, the jobless rate ties with Danville for the highest in the state.

Macon County's unemployment increased also to 9.5% in July, however, it has been below the double-digit threshold for the past few months after a long stretch of one of the state's highest unemployed areas.

Head of DeWitt County Democrat Committee Challenges Board Member on Residency

One DeWitt County Board member was once questioned about his residency at Thursday's DeWitt County Board meeting.

Terry Redman, Chairman of the DeWitt County Democrats, confronted Board Member George Wismiller regarding his current residence. He questioned Wismiller regarding conflicting statements about the vacancy of his house in DeWitt County. The Board Member said he would not repeat what he had already stated at a previous Board Meeting.

[audio:82614redman1.mp3] [/audio]

Redman tried to get Wismiller to explain his residency once again but the Board Member still wouldn't discuss his position on the matter.

[audio:82614redman2.mp3] [/audio]

Wismiller's statement of the matter of his residency being under litigation came under question, next, by Redman. Wismiller informed him out of respect for the court system he wouldn't discuss the issue. Redman asked when he would do "the right thing" and resign his seat.

[audio:82614redman3.mp3] [/audio]

Redman also referred to Wismiller as a hypocrite due to his time keeping during the public address portion of the meetings while referring to it as the muzzle act. It was Wissmiller who last year said he did not think there should be a time limit on those speaking before the board.

[audio:82614redman4.mp3] [/audio]

Thursday night's board meeting saw many hot button issues discussed. Stay tuned for Regional Radio News for coverage regarding a resolution for the medical cannabis facility and a motion to have a special budget meeting with Administrative Assistant Dee Dee Rentmeister.

DeWitt County Drug Court Success Because of Late-Judge's Belief In Every Person

 width=Judge Garry Bryan passed away late last week, and many local leaders are remember Judge Bryan as a great judge, but also as a great man.

Judge Bryan was instrumental in getting the DeWitt County Drug Court started. According to Sheriff Jered Shofner, this program was successful because it was Judge Bryan's sincere belief each and every individual had value.

[audio:82714judgecourt1.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff remembers the true good will Judge Bryan had towards the community. Sheriff Shofner explains Judge Bryan made his decisions based on what was best for the community, and less on what would make people happy.

[audio:82714judgecourt2.mp3] [/audio]

While the Judge is remembered for his dedication and service to the community, Sheriff Shofner says his family was important to him, and it was evident when you encourtered him. The Sheriff also feels the conviction Judge Bryan had that it was his purpose in his time on earth that he was to make a difference in the community was obviously evident.

[audio:82714judgecourt1.mp3] [/audio]

The visitation for Judge Bryan will be held Friday, August 29, 2014 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL. The funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at Clinton Presbyterian Church with Rev. Benjamin Keller and Rev. Jerry Butt officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to DeWitt County Human Resource Center Drug Court.

College Football Notes

>>Johnson To Start Auburn Opener

(Auburn, AL) -- Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is following through on his promise to punish quarterback Nick Marshall. Jeremy Johnson will start the Tigers opener on Saturday against Arkansas, but made clear Marshall will still play. He wouldn't reveal what the plan was for Marshall, who helped Auburn reached the BCS National Championship Game last season.  width=The Tigers were defeated by Florida State. Marshall received a marijuana citation in the offseason. Johnson is a sophomore and had 422 yards passing with six touchdowns in 2013 with limited action.

>>Story Of USC Football Player's Injury May Be Fabricated

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The story involving a USC football player injuring himself while saving the life of his young nephew is being called into question. Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian initially called Josh Shaw's actions "heroic," but the university has now received calls claiming Shaw has fabricated the story, but Sarkisian is backing his player at the moment. Shaw initially said he injured both ankles when he jumped from a second-story balcony to save his seven-year-old nephew from a swimming pool last weekend. Sarkisian says Shaw remains adamant about what occurred, and says an investigation into the alleged incident is ongoing.

NASCAR Releases 2015 Sprint Cup Series Schedule

The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway returning to its traditional Labor Day weekend date is one of many changes NASCAR has made to its 2015 schedule for the Sprint Cup Series.

NASCAR officially released next year's schedule for its premier series on Tuesday. Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and the spring races at Phoenix International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway have date changes as well. The 400-mile event at Daytona in July has been moved from Saturday night to Sunday night.

 width=The 500-mile race at Darlington had been held on Labor Day weekend from 1950-2003. Since 2004, Darlington was placed on various dates, mostly on Mother's Day weekend.

For the 14th consecutive year, the series schedule will include 36 points races, beginning with the Feb. 22 Daytona 500 and ending on Nov. 22 in Homestead, Florida. The preseason, non-points event at Daytona is scheduled for Feb. 14, and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is slated for May 16.

After the Daytona 500, the series will travel to Atlanta (March 1) and then head west for the next three races -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 8), Phoenix (March 15) and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (March 22). Phoenix had the second race of the season from 2011-14.

As announced last weekend, Bristol's spring race has been changed from March to April. Bristol is scheduled for April 19. Texas Motor Speedway's spring event returns to Saturday night.

Kentucky has been moved from the last weekend in June to the second weekend in July. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host its first race of the season one week after Kentucky.

The final off-weekend for the series had been on the third weekend in July. That has now moved to the last weekend in August. After the night race at Bristol on Aug. 22, the next event will be at Darlington on Sept. 9.

The Chase-cutoff event at Richmond International Raceway will take place on Sept. 12, and the 10-race championship Chase will begin at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 20.

From the season-opening weekend at Daytona through the month of June, FOX and FOX Sports 1 will televise all Sprint Cup races. Starting in July at Daytona and concluding in November at Homestead, NBC and NBC Sports Network will broadcast the second half of the season.

Rose Struggles But U.S. Downs Slovenia

 width=>>Rose Struggles But U.S. Downs Slovenia

(Gran Canaria, Spain) -- Bulls guard Derrick Rose had three points and one rebound in 20 minutes of action yesterday as the U.S. defeated Slovenia 101-71 in Spain. It was the final tune-up for Team USA prior to the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The U.S. opens play this Saturday against Finland.

>>Bucks Trade For Dudley

(Undated) -- The Milwaukee Bucks acquired forward Jared Dudley and a protected 2017 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. Carlos Delfino, center Miroslav Raduljica and a 2015 second round pick was shipped to Los Angeles. The Clippers acquired Dudley in the Eric Bledsoe deal last summer, but he struggled during his one season with the team. Dudley put up 6.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 74 games.

Bears, Rams, Packers Notes; NFL Notes

>>Bears Still With Questions On Defense

The Chicago Bears now know Jimmy Clausen is their backup quarterback, and they'd like to know their defense can handle mobile quarterbacks.

 width=Clausen's better experience at a younger age and his play in preseason have earned him the backup spot behind Jay Cutler. He last played in 2010, but had a great deal more experience than his competition, Jordan Palmer.

Now coach Marc Trestman hopes to see his defense contain Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer when they play at Cleveland on Thursday after struggling to hold Jacksonville's and Seattle's quarterbacks in the pocket the past two preseason games.

>>Bears Cut Down To 75 Players

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears have reached the NFL's mandatory limit of 75 players. The team waived cornerback Isaiah Frey and offensive lineman James Brown yesterday. Frey was a 2012 sixth round pick out of Nevada. Brown signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent that same year.

>>QB Palmer Signs With Bills

(Orchard Park, NY) -- Former Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer is signing on with the Buffalo Bills, Chicago's Week One opponent. Jay Cutler says the move is not ideal, as he expects Palmer to help Buffalo with information about Chicago's offense. Palmer was cut by Chicago on Sunday.

 width=>>Sam Survives Rams' Roster Cuts

(St. Louis, MO) -- Michael Sam's NFL dream is still alive. He has survived the Rams' roster cuts as the team got down to Tuesday's 75-man limit. Sam is trying to become the first openly gay player in the NFL after being drafted out of Missouri in May. The final 53-man roster is due on Saturday.

>>Bradford On IR Among Rams' Moves

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams continue to trim players as Saturday's final 53-man roster limit approaches. To get down to Tuesday's 75-man limit, they placed quarterback Sam Bradford and center Demetrius Rhaney on injured reserve. They also released safety Matt Daniels and defensive end Sammy Brown.

 width=>>Packers Add Raji To Injured Reserve

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Green Bay Packers are down to the league mandated 75-man limit after placing six players on injured reserve. The largest loss is defensive lineman B.J. Raji [[ RAH-jee ]], who was lost for the season last week after suffering a torn bicep. Raji started all 16 games in 2013 and has missed just two starts in the past four years. The Pack also placed receiver Jared Abbrederis, offensive lineman Don Barclay, running back Rajion Neal, linebacker Joe Thomas and guard Andrew Tiller on IR.

>>Cowboys Expect Decision On Josh Brent This Week

(Irving, TX) -- The Dallas Cowboys are expecting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to decide on Josh Brent's future this week. Jerry Jones wouldn't tell "The Dallas Morning News" what kind of decision he expects Goodell to make. Goodell and Brent met earlier this month on whether the defensive lineman could rejoin the league after serving prison time for a deadly drunk driving crash. The 2012 crash killed teammate Jerry Brown Jr.

>>Patriots Trade Mankins To Bucs For Wright

(Tampa, FL) -- The New England Patriots are parting with a six-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman to add tight end depth. The Pats are sending guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and an undisclosed draft pick. The 32-year-old Mankins has started all 130 games he has played since New England selected him in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Wright transitioned to tight end from wide receiver in his rookie year, catching 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns.

>>Raiders Put CB Hayden On PUP List

(Alameda, CA) -- Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden is on the reserve/physically unable to perform list with a foot injury. He will miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. A first-round draft pick in 2013, injuries limited Hayden to eight games last season.

 width=>>Incognito Reinstated By NFL

(New York, NY) -- Offensive lineman Richie Incognito is being reinstated by the NFL. Multiple reports say the former Miami Dolphin has been cleared to play following last season's suspension for his role in a bullying scandal involving teammate Jonathan Martin. The 31-year-old Incognito visited with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday and several other teams are reportedly interested in his services.

>>Broncos' Prater Suspended Four Games Without Pay

(New York, NY) -- The NFL is suspending Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater [[ PRAY-ter ]] four games without pay for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse. The "Denver Post" reported over the weekend that the offense is alcohol-related. Prater has been in the NFL's alcohol program since being charged with a DUI in August 2011. He will be eligible to return following the Broncos' October 5th game against the Arizona Cardinals. The 30-year-old Prater connected on 25-of-26 field goal attempts last season. Undrafted rookie Mitch Ewald from Indiana is Prater's backup.

>>Browns' Gordon Court Case Received Continuation

(Raleigh, NC) -- Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon's court case will be later then expected. According to ABC 11 in Raleigh the date has been pushed from August 26th to November 18th. Gordon was charged with a DWI for blowing a .09 in July. He is scheduled to be suspended for the entire upcoming season, but appealed the decision based around testing positive for marijuana.

>>Report: Seahawks, Carroll Both Fined For No-Contact Violations

(New York, NY) -- The NFL is coming down on the Super Bowl champs for rules violations. ESPN reports the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll have both been fined for violating the league's offseason no-contact rules. The Seahawks were fined more than 200-thousand-dollars, while Carroll was fined at least 100-thousand. The Seahawks will also lose two minicamp practices next year. The team was also fined back in 2012 under Carroll for similar violations.

>>Poll Says Players Would Agree To HGH Testing For Guaranteed Contracts

(Undated) -- A majority of NFL players say they would agree to testing for human growth hormone if their contracts were guaranteed. An ESPN.com survey of more than 100 players asked what concessions they would be willing to make in exchange for guaranteed contracts, and 63-percent of respondents said they would submit to HGH testing. Testing for human growth hormone was included in the last collective bargaining agreement, but hasn't been implemented because the union doesn't want commissioner Roger Goodell to have the final say in appeals. The league argues Goodell's authority over appeals is included in the CBA.

Cubs Win; St. Louis, Chicago Teams Name AFL Participants

 width=>>Cubs Blank Reds

(Cincinnati, OH) -- Travis Wood was lights out for six frames as Chicago blanked the Reds 3-0 at the Great American Ballpark. Wood earned the win striking out five and Hector Rondon [[ ron-DOAN ]] grabbed his 22nd save. Anthony Rizzo hit a solo shot before leaving in the eighth inning with a back problem. Arismendy Alcantara [[ air-is-MEN-dee al-CAHN-ter-uh ]] launched a two-run bomb for Chicago, which has won four straight. Johnny Cueto [[ KWATE-oh ]] took the loss after six-and-a-third-innings of three-run ball for the Reds. Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart [[ COE-zart ]] and Skip Schumaker [[ SHOO-mock-er ]] each singled in the loss. Cincinnati has lost eight of its last ten.

>>Indians Top White Sox In Extras

(Chicago, IL) -- Zach Walters hit a two-run homer in the tenth inning to give the Indians the lead and eventual 8-6 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Mike Aviles [[ uh-VEE-less ]] and Jason Kipnis drove in a run each in the win and Carlos Santana recorded an RBI double. Bryan Shaw grabbed the win in relief as the Indians won their third straight. Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run bomb and drove in three in the loss while Avisail [[ ah-VEE-sah-eel ]] Garcia plated two runs. Jake Petricka [[ puh-TRITCH-kuh ]] took the loss after failing to record an out for Chicago, which has lost seven consecutive games.

>>Pirates Use Three-Run Eighth To Beat Cards

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pinch-hitter Ike Davis belted a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Pirates beat the Cardinals 5-2 in the middle of a three-game set at PNC Park. The Bucs suffered a pair of blows, however, as outfielder Andrew McCutchen and first baseman Pedro Alvarez both exited with injuries. Tony Watson got the win and improved to 9-and-1 despite giving up the lead in the seventh. Mark Melancon [[ muh-LAN-sin ]] notched his 23rd save. Josh Harrison also went deep for the Bucs, who snapped a two-game skid. Jon Jay and Randal Grichuk plated a run each to tie the game in the seventh for St. Louis, which has dropped three of five. Seth Maness suffered the loss.

MLB National League
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Washington Nationals 3
New York Mets 3, Atlanta Braves 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 9, Arizona Diamondbacks 5
San Diego Padres 4, Milwaukee Brewers 1
San Francisco Giants 3, Colorado Rockies 0

MLB American League
Baltimore Orioles 4, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Boston Red Sox 11, Toronto Blue Jays 7 (11 inn)
Detroit Tigers 5, New York Yankees 2
Kansas City Royals 2, Minnesota Twins 1
Houston Astros 4, Oakland Athletics 2
Seattle Mariners 5, Texas Rangers 0

MLB Interleague
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8, Miami Marlins 2

>>Pirates' McCutchen, Alvarez Exit With Injuries

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left the team's win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday with a rib injury. McCutchen spent time on the disabled list earlier this month with a fractured rib. He's hitting .307 with 20 homers and 70 RBI in 115 games this season. The Bucs also lost first baseman Pedro Alvarez to a left foot injury. He's batting .232 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 121 contests. The Pirates currently sit one game behind the San Francisco Giants for the second NL Wild Card spot.

>>Cards Sending Seven To Arizona Fall League

(Peoria, AZ) -- The Cardinals are sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League. St. Louis will be represented on the Peoria Javelinas by pitcher Mitch Harris, Tyrell Jenkins, Chris Perry and Samuel Tuivailala, catcher Cody Stanley, infielder Jacob Wilson and outfielder Charlie Tilson in October.

 width=>>Cubs, White Sox To Have 13 Represented In Arizona Fall League

(Undated) -- The Cubs and White Sox are sending a combined 13 prospects to the Arizona Fall League. The Cubs will be represented by pitchers Zach Cates, Gerardo Concepcion, C.J. Edwards and Ivan Pineyro, infielders Addison Russell and Dan Vogelbach and outfielder Jacob Hannemann. The White Sox will send pitchers Francellis Montas, Jefferson Olacio and Scott Snodgress, catcher Kevan Smith and infielders Rangel Ravelo and Tim Anderson. The AFL gets underway in October.

Lunt, New Corps of Wideouts Area of Hope for 2014 Illini; Big Ten Notes

 width=>>Lunt, New Corps of Wideouts Area of Hope for 2014 Illini

Illinois coach Tim Beckman surprised no one by naming Wes Lunt his starting quarterback. But what Lunt will have to work with remains to be seen.

The receiving corps is mostly new faces. They include junior college transfer Geronimo Allison and freshman Malik Turner. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit says they've improved but he won't know how good they are until they play a game.

The offensive line includes four players with experience. Cubit says he feels good about those four but doesn't know yet about right tackle Pat Flavin.

The running backs are experienced. Both starter Josh Ferguson and backup Donvonn Young played extensively last fall. And Lunt considers them a real strength.

Illini coach Tim Beckman believes Lunt will have better tools to work with than Illinois had in 2013.

 width=>>Big Ten Represented In Four of Eight Neutral Site Games

Four of the eight neutral-site games the first week of the college football season involve Big Ten teams.

Rutgers plays its first game as a Big Ten member against Washington State in Seattle on Thursday.

On Saturday, Ohio State plays Navy in Baltimore, Wisconsin faces LSU in Houston and Penn State and UCF meet in Dublin, Ireland.

The games will produce varying amounts of money for the participants. Wisconsin earns the most, at $2 million. Each of the teams hope the exposure helps in recruiting.

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said playing LSU will allow him to find out right away how his young team stacks up against a high-caliber opponent.

Rash of Crimes Being Investigated in North Clinton

The Clinton Police Department is investigating at least eight separate cases of burglaries to unlocked and unattended vehicles which occurred during the overnight hours in the 500-700 blocks of North Jackson and North Quincy Streets in the north central portion of town.

Numerous items have been stolen from victims vehicles' including electronics, power tools, jewelry and other miscellaneous items of value.

Residents are reminded to park in well-lit areas when possible, remove valuables and detachable electronics from vehicles and always lock doors when unattended.

Information about these crimes or any other crimes or suspicious activity are encouraged to call the Clinton Police Department at 217-935-9441 or Clinton Area Crime Stoppers at 217-935-3333.

Callers are reminded they can remain anonymous. Crime Stoppers wants your information, not your name.

New Jersey Governor Stumps For Illinois GOP Rauner

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is questioning the motivation behind Illinois' new same-day voter registration and the state's certified ballot as he campaigns for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW-nur).

Christie is Republican Governors Association chairman. He stopped at Rauner's Chicago campaign headquarters Monday and was to attend fundraisers.

Christie scrutinized the timing of Illinois' same-day voter registration law and the State Board of Elections' decision to allow a gubernatorial candidate from the Libertarian Party, but not the Green Party, on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Election officials say the Green Party didn't have enough valid signatures. Christie claims that decision and voter law are attempts to boost votes for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Rauner wasn't at the event because he's taking his son to college. His campaign wouldn't say where.

New Law Protects Bears, Cougars And Wolves

A new law will help protect wolves, cougars and bears in Illinois. The three species will be added to state's list of protected species. All three animals are rare in Illinois and Chris Young with the Department of Natural Resources says the new law will help prepare the agency for when they do show up.

[audio:rdd082614Animals1.mp3] [/audio]

The guidelines will help balance public safety with managing their populations if they do grow.

Central Illinois Mayor Resigns After Charges

The mayor of Kincaid in central Illinois has resigned after he was charged for allegedly violating an order of protection and possessing drugs.

Reports indicate the Kincaid Village Board unanimously voted Monday to accept the resignation of Douglas A. Thomas. It will pay him about $1,200 for leaving before his term ends.

Thomas faces one count of official misconduct in relation to using village employees for personal gain, as well as two counts of drug possession and violating an order of protection.

Many residents called for him to step down after he was arrested.

The board voted to appoint a longtime resident as interim mayor until an April 7 election. It also accepted the resignation of Kincaid's only police officer and will advertise to fill the position.

Bloomington Woman Pleads Guilty To Fatal DUI Crash

A Bloomington woman has pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges in a crash that killed a 22-year-old man.

According to reports, 37-year-old Jamie Webb admitted that she was driving under the influence in the March 29 crash.

Michael Collins died several days later; three other people were injured. Webb also pleaded plea to DUI related to injuries sustained by someone who was riding in the same car as Collins.

Authorities say Webb had been at a bar before running a red light.

The newspaper says the plea agreement does not include a sentence that will be determined at an Oct. 23 hearing before McLean County Associate Judge Casey Costigan.

ADM Opens New Chicago Headquarters

Archer Daniels Midland Company says it new downtown Chicago headquarters is open.

The agribusiness company said Monday that opened the new office with about 70 employees. Spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said about 50 of those people moved from the company's former headquarters in Decatur in central Illinois. The rest are new employees.

ADM decided in December to set up a new international headquarters in Chicago even after it failed to obtain millions of dollars in state tax breaks it sought to remain in the state.

The company is keeping a North American headquarters and about 4,400 jobs in Decatur. ADM has about 31,000 employees around the world.

ADM processes corn, soybeans and other crops to make everything from animal feed and food additives to ethanol.

Weekly Crop Report



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Local Cooling Centers Remaining Open

With the summer's longest stretch of extreme continuing early this week, local safety officials are reminding the public cooling centers in DeWitt County will remain open again Tuesday.

According to Teresa Barnett, Director of the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency, the DeWitt County Friendship Center and the Warner Public Library are serving as cooling centers today. Hours for Friendship Center are 8am to 3pm. The Warner Public Library hours are 9am to 9pm.
Barnett says temperatures should cool off starting Wednesday and through the rest of week.

Clinton Haunted House Set To Return This October

The Terror on Washington Street is in the midst of preparations for its' return this Halloween.

The Clinton Haunted House will be returning after a year's hiatus in October. Marian Brisard, Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, explains last year's Haunted House was closed due to not having a sprinkler system but they have installed a new system and are now are waiting on the water connection to be completed through the city of Clinton.

[audio:82614hauntedhouse1.mp3] [/audio]

The new system quickly was installed relatively quickly, however, a large workload remains for the Chamber volunteers. Brisard explains the ceiling tiles all had to be taken out of the building and pitched because regulations call for the ceiling to be out in the open.

[audio:82614hauntedhouse2.mp3] [/audio]

The return of the Haunted House all depended on money factors this year. Brisard explains they decided against building a new building due to expenses. The Chamber held several fundraisers over the past year in order to recoup the funds and Brisard is grateful for the local businesses that stepped up to support the Terror on Washington Street.

[audio:82614hauntedhouse3.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard notes once the water is put in, the decorating will take place and be ready to go.

Terror on Washington Street will return to Clinton October 10th and run through the entire month. The Haunted House's proceeds will help to pay for much of the work done in the past several months, as it is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.

DJWH Board Approves Remodels

Monday night's Dr. John Warner Hospital Board meeting saw the board take action to approve two necessary remodels for the hospital.

Director of Support Services for the city owned hospital, Terrance Hubbard asked the board to approve the replacement of an air service unit and for a new set of emergency room doors.

[audio:82614hospitalupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

The board also approved spending on a new set of doors for the emergency room entrance. Hubbard says the new doors will be more efficient than the current doors and that the current doors will not function for much longer before they are rendered useless.

[audio:82614hospitalupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

Both projects fall well within the given budget and are critical repairs for the hopital to operate at maximum efficiency and comply with federal guidelines.

Monday's meeting also saw the reappointment of board officers. All board members retained their current positions.

It's Crunch Time For Making The Chase

With just two races to go before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins, several drivers are really feeling the pressure to win a race in order to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Right now, each of the 12 drivers who have won a race this year have clinched a spot in the 16-member Chase, assuming they all attempt to qualify for each of the final two events of the regular season.

The Sprint Cup Series will be running at Atlanta next Sunday night and then heading to Richmond for the Chase-cutoff race on Sept. 6.

Joey Logano won last Saturday night's race at Bristol and joined Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson as those drivers with a series-high three victories in 2014.

Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick have two wins each, while A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have one victory apiece.

Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle have yet to win a race this season, but they presently hold the four provisional spots in the Chase.

Kenseth finished third at Bristol and remained fifth in the point standings. He is the still the highest-ranked driver in points that doesn't have a victory. At least two drivers without a win during the regular season will qualify for the Chase.

 width=Kenseth led the series with seven wins in 2013. He is presently 83 points ahead of 17th-place Kyle Larson on the NASCAR Chase grid. If Kenseth does not win at Atlanta, he could still clinch his spot in the playoffs before Richmond.

Ryan Newman is 14th on the current Chase grid (42 points ahead of Larson), and Clint Bowyer ranks 15th (+31 points).

Greg Biffle remained in the 16th and final provisional spot following his 10th-place run at Bristol. Biffle has recorded top-10 finishes in his last four races. He is 26 points in front of Larson.

Larson, a rookie season this season, was 15th on the grid following Watkins Glen earlier this month but dropped to 19th after finishing 43rd at Michigan. His 12th-place run at Bristol moved him up to 17th.

Kasey Kahne, the only driver at Hendrick Motorsports that has yet to clinch a position in the Chase, sits 18th on the grid, 33 points behind Biffle. Kahne is now reaching the point where the only way for him to make it into the playoffs would be a win. He has won at Atlanta and Richmond in the past.

Rookie Austin Dillon is 19th on the grid (40 points behind Biffle), and Paul Menard 20th (-45).

Those drivers who would have to win at either Atlanta or Richmond in order to qualify for the Chase include: Jamie McMurray, Marcos Ambrose, Brian Vickers, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier and David Gilliland. All of them are currently in the top-30 in points.

Mahan back in top 20 in World Rankings

 width=Hunter Mahan rallied for his first win since the 2012 season on Sunday, and that helped him return to the top 20 in the world rankings.

Mahan rallied with a 6-under 65 to win by two strokes. The victory, his sixth on the PGA Tour, moved Mahan from 42nd to 19th in the world.

The top-six players in the world rankings were unchanged from last week with Rory McIlroy again being followed by Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia Justin Rose and Jim Furyk.

Jason Day, who shared second behind Mahan, moved up two notches to seventh. Day's move bumped Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson down one spot apiece to eighth and ninth.

Phil Mickelson was 10th again this week and was followed by Rickie Fowler, who improved a pair from 13th last week. Fowler's move pushed Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth down to 12th and 13th.

Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama were 14th to 18th again this week. Mahan jumped 23 spots to 19th and pushed Jimmy Walker and Charl Schwartzel back to 20th and 21st.

>>Woods Parting Ways With Swing Coach Foley

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Tiger Woods is seeking a new swing coach. The 14-time major champion announced on his website that he is parting ways with Sean Foley. The two had worked together since 2010. Woods won eight majors with Butch Harmon as his swing coach and six with Hank Haney. The former world number-one posted just five top-ten finishes in majors with Foley as his coach.

USC CB Injured Rescuing Nephew; The U Names Starting QB

 width=>>USC Cornerback Injures Both Ankles Saving Nephew

(Los Angeles, CA) -- USC will be without cornerback Josh Shaw after he injured both of his ankles while saving his seven-year-old nephew from drowning. Shaw jumped from a second-floor balcony window at a family party Saturday night after he saw his nephew in distress in a nearby swimming pool. After sustaining the injuries, Shaw was able to crawl into the pool and bring his nephew to safety. The senior corner is out indefinitely with two high ankle sprains. Shaw was named team captain this past weekend. The 15th-ranked Trojans open their season this Saturday at home against Fresno State.

>>Hurricanes Name Kaaya Starting QB

(Coral Gables, FL) -- True freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya [[ KY-uh ]] will be under center for the Miami Hurricanes in Week One. Head coach Al Golden made the announcement Sunday. Kaaya will start over transfer Jake Heaps. Heaps was coming over from Kansas last season after two years at BYU. The Hurricanes begin the regular season September 1st against the Cardinals in Louisville.

Bears, NFL Notes

 width=>>Bears Cut Steltz, Must Be Down To 75 Today

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears are making more moves in an effort to trim the roster. Yesterday, the team terminated the contract of vested veteran safety Craig Steltz. Chicago has until today at 3:00 p.m. to cut the roster down to 75 players. Another round of cuts will be made Saturday to trim to 53 players.

>>Clausen Officially Named Backup QB

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears have officially named Jimmy Clausen as the backup quarterback to Jay Cutler. Jordan Palmer was cut on Sunday, leaving Clausen, Cutler and rookie David Fales on the roster. Head coach Marc Trestman met with the media yesterday to explain his decision.

>>Report: Cowboys' Bryant To Table Contract Negotiations

(Arlington, TX) -- Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is set to table contract negotiations. ESPNDallas.com reports Bryant plans to end negotiations with the 'Boys if a new deal isn't reached before the start of the regular season September 7th. Bryant said Monday that he doesn't want to talk about it anymore and he "can't be distracted." The two sides have been in discussions about a lucrative, long-term extension for months. The 25-year-old is due to make 1.78-million-dollars this season in the final year of his rookie contract. Bryant recorded 93 catches for 1,233 yards and 13 touchdowns last season and has 25 TD grabs over the last two years.

>>Fox Says Welker In Good Spirits After Latest Concussion

(Englewood, CO) -- Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is recovering from another concussion. Head coach John Fox says the 33-year-old pass catcher was in good spirits Monday after a hard hit by Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger on Saturday. It's the third time since last November that Welker has had to go through the NFL's concussion protocol. Welker needs to be symptom free by next Monday to be eligible to play in the team's regular-season opener Sunday, September 7th against the Indianapolis Colts.

>>Redskins' Meriweather Suspended For Illegal Hit

(Ashburn, VA) -- Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather is going to miss the first two games of the season for a helmet-to-helmet hit. The NFL has suspended Meriweather for his personal foul hit on Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith on Saturday night. The league has fined Meriweather five times for illegal hits to defenseless players, and he was suspended one game for a pair of hits against the Chicago Bears last October. He can still appeal the ruling in an attempt to have it overturned or reduced. Washington opens its season on the road against the Houston Texans September 7th and hosts Jacksonville in Week Two.

>>Seahawks Cut Terrell Thomas

(Renton, WA) -- Cornerback Terrell Thomas is among the latest round of cuts by the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas is joined by offensive lineman Wade Smith in having his contract terminated. Thomas racked up 67 tackles and an interception in 16 games last season. Smith joined the team on August 4th, following a four-year stint in Houston. Seattle also released tackle Corey Brandon, running back Demitrius Bronson, safety Mike Dobson, defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, wide receiver Kevin Smith and corner Thomas Wolfe.

>>Jets Suspend Dimitri Patterson Indefinitely

(Florham Park, NJ) -- New York Jets defensive back Dimitri Patterson is going to miss more time for his disappearing act over the weekend. The team is suspending Patterson indefinitely as it gathers more information on why he was gone from the team for nearly 48 hours, including Friday's preseason game against the Giants. Head coach Rex Ryan says the corner is frustrated by calf and leg injuries. ESPN reports Patterson called the suspension, and the idea that he went AWOL "comical." General manager John Idzik hinted the suspension won't be for an extended period of time. Patterson nabbed four interceptions in the Jets secondary last season.

>>Vikings Name Matt Cassel Starting Quarterback

(Minneapolis, MN) -- The Minnesota Vikings are going with the veteran over the rookie at quarterback. Head coach Mike Zimmer has named Matt Cassel the starting QB over first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater. Cassel has thrown for 367 yards, two touchdowns and one interception this preseason, while Bridgewater has amassed 266 yards through the air for four scores and no picks. Former first-round draft pick Christian Ponder is expected to be third on the depth chart behind Cassel and Bridgewater. Minnesota opens the 2014 season on the road against the St. Louis Rams on September 7th.

Cubs Calling Up Soler; Cards' Wacha, Molina Return Imminent?

 width=>>Cubs Open Series With Reds

(Cincinnati, OH) -- The Cubs start a three-game series with the Reds tonight in Cincinnati. Chicago sends Travis Wood to the mound. He's 7-and-11 with a 4.91 ERA. The Reds counter with Johnny Cueto [[ KWAY-toh ]], who is 15-and-7 with a 2.20 ERA. First pitch at Great American Ball Park is at 6:10.

>>White Sox Host Indians Tonight

(Chicago, IL) -- The White Sox try to end a six-game slide tonight in the first of a three-game series with the Indians. Jose Quintana [[ KEEN-tah-nuh ]] takes the ball for Chicago. He's 6-and-10 with a 3.25 ERA. Cleveland counters with T.J. House, who is 2-and-3 with a 3.80 ERA. First pitch is at 7:10.

>>Cubs Recall Soler, To Join Team In Cincinnati

(Cincinnati, OH) -- The Cubs are reportedly calling up outfielder Jorge Soler from Triple-A Iowa. The 22-year-old Cuban is ranked as Chicago's fifth-best prospect according to MLB.com and has soared through the system this year. Soler is reportedly set to join the team in Cincinnati toay.

 width=>>Cardinals Recall Lyons, Option Garcia

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- The Cardinals are shuffling their roster a bit. They recalled pitcher Tyler Lyons from Triple-A Memphis before Monday's game against the Pirates and optioned infielder Greg Garcia to Double-A Springfield. Lyons was 0-and-3 with a 5.46 ERA in seven games earlier this year.

>>Molina, Wacha To Rehab At Double-A Springfield

(Springfield, MO) -- Injured Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Michael Wacha [[ WAH-kuh ]] are taking the next step toward their big league return. Molina will work out today at Double-A Springfield as he works his way back from thumb surgery. He could be back with the Cardinals as soon as this weekend's series against the Cubs. Wacha is slated to throw live batting practice to minor leaguers tomorrow as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

>>Twins' Plouffe, Santana Co-AL Players Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Minnesota Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe and center fielder Danny Santana are the Co-American League Players of the Week. Plouffe hit .367 with two homers, five doubles and 10 RBI. Santana had a .378 average last week with one home run, six RBI and seven runs scored.

>>Rockies' Arenado NL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is the National League Player of the Week. Arenado posted a major league-leading 1.045 slugging percentage and led the Senior Circuit with a .545 batting average, going 12-for-22 with three home runs, three doubles and a triple.

>>Giants Skipping Lincecum Turn In Rotation

(San Francisco, CA) -- A Giants' fan favorite is receiving a demotion. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy has decided to pull Tim Lincecum out of the starting rotation. He will have his start on Thursday against the Rockies skipped and is headed to the bullpen. Lincecum has 9.49 ERA in six starts since being used as the closer in an extra inning game on July 22nd. Yusmeiro Petit is scheduled to get the start on Thursday unless he's needed as an extra arm out of the pen before then. There is no scheduled time for Lincecum to return to the starting rotation.

Cards Top Pirates

 width=>>Cards Clip Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Matt Holliday's go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning held up as the Cardinals clipped the Pirates 3-2 in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park. Jon Jay drove in the other run and then scored in the three-run seventh for the Redbirds, who have won six of their last eight. John Lackey fired seven innings of one-run ball as he improved to 2-and-1 with St. Louis and 13-and-8 overall. Trevor Rosenthal closed it out for his 39th save. Pedro Alvarez hit a solo homer in the second and Andrew McCutchen added a solo blast in the ninth for the Bucs, who have dropped two in-a-row since a three-game winning streak. Jared Hughes suffered the loss.

MLB National League
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Washington Nationals 2
Milwaukee Brewers 10, San Diego Padres 1
Colorado Rockies 3, San Francisco Giants 2

MLB American League
Baltimore Orioles 9, Tampa Bay Rays 1
Boston Red Sox 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3 (10 inn)
New York Yankees 8, Kansas City Royals 1
Oakland Athletics 8, Houston Astros 2
Texas Rangers 2, Seattle Mariners 0

MLB Interleague
Miami Marlins 7, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1

Key To Illini Season Shoring Up Big Ten Worst Defense

 width=Illinois coaches and players are talking frequently about the need to start fast as they get ready for the season opener Saturday against Youngstown State.

A season ago the Illini regularly found themselves trailing early. A big reason was the team's struggles to stop the run.

Illinois had the Big Ten's worst run defense in 2013 when the team went 4-8. It gave up 238.6 yards a game. That's 5.6 yards a play, the kind of yardage that makes it tough for a defense to get off the field.

Beckman said Tuesday that inexperience and lack of depth were serious defensive problems. He believes those problems have been solved.

Junior linebacker Mason Monheim believes Youngstown will run a lot on Saturday and give Illinois's run defense its first test.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-26

August 25, 2014

Jail Population: 44
Summons Served: 3
Warrant Arrests: 1

Cody Steck, 19, Beason was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Steck unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.



DeWitt County State's Attorney Remembers Judge Bryan as Good Judge and Human Being

 width=The DeWitt County State's Attorney fondly remembers Judge Garry Bryan as a "good judge" and "good human being".

State's Attorney Karle Koritz says Bryan treated everyone with respect, in and out of the courtroom. He adds Judge Bryan always took the best interests of victims and criminals to heart while at the bench. Koritz notes even when Bryan punished, there was always some form of encouragement.

[audio:82614bryan1.mp3] [/audio]

Koritz explains there was an understanding between all attorneys that Judge Bryan was going to make competent and fair rulings. He says he never second guessed any decision made by Bryan due to his wealth of knowledge and fairness.

[audio:82614bryan2.mp3] [/audio]

The State's Attorney says he was always impressed by Judge Bryan's positivity. Koritz notes when he's confronted with a particular issue, he asks himself, "what would Judge Bryan do?". When Bryan found himself stricken with cancer, he was the one usually reassuring others due to his positive outlook.

[audio:82614bryan3.mp3] [/audio]

Koritz adds there has been much discouragement surrounding DeWitt County government recently. Yet, Judge Bryan's courtroom proved that local government can run the way it should.

[audio:82614bryan4.mp3] [/audio]

Judge Bryan's absence will leave a large hole it the County Building according to Koritz. He noted Bryan was also the most accessible judge he's ever worked with.

Sunday's Scoreboard

MLB National League
Cincinnati Reds 5, Atlanta Braves 3
Washington Nationals 14, San Francisco Giants 6
Philadelphia Phillies 7, St. Louis Cardinals 1
Milwaukee Brewers 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
New York Mets 11, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
San Diego Padres 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
Colorado Rockies 7, Miami Marlins 4

MLB American League
Cleveland Indians 3, Houston Astros 1
New York Yankees 7, Chicago White Sox 4 (10 inn)
Tampa Bay Rays 2, Toronto Blue Jays 1 (10 inn)
Seattle Mariners 8, Boston Red Sox 6
Detroit Tigers 13, Minnesota Twins 4
Texas Rangers 3, Kansas City Royals 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 9, Oakland Athletics 4

MLB Interleague
Chicago Cubs 2, Baltimore Orioles 1

NFL Preseason
San Francisco 49ers 21, San Diego Chargers 7
Cincinnati Bengals 19, Arizona Cardinals 13

WNBA Playoffs
Atlanta Dream 92, Chicago Sky 83
(Best-of-three Eastern semifinal tied, 1-1)

Phoenix Mercury 93, Los Angeles Sparks 68
(Mercury win best-of-three Western semifinal, 2-0)

The Barclays (at Paramus, NJ)

1. Hunter Mahan (-14)
T2. Stuart Appleby (-12)
T2. Cameron Tringale (-12)
T2. Jason Day (-12)

Athlete asks judge to reject NCAA head-injury deal

Jake Petricka [[ puh-TRITCH-kuh ]] gave up a three-run homer to Brian McCann in the tenth as the White Sox fell 7-4 to the Yankees yesterday in New York. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer while Avisail Garcia and Alexei Ramirez added solo shots. The Sox have lost six straight.

>>Athlete asks judge to reject NCAA head-injury deal

A former San Diego State football player wants a judge to reject the proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA, saying it'll deny billions in damages to athletes who suffered head injuries.

The request came in a federal court filing in Chicago on behalf of Anthony Nichols. The former offensive lineman is one of thousands of athletes who would be affected by the deal.

Under the settlement proposed in July, the NCAA would set aside $70 million to diagnose current and former athletes for brain trauma.

Friday's filing criticizes provisions barring the class as a whole from seeking a single sum in damages.

It says most individuals couldn't afford to sue the NCAA and that athletes "get nothing but are forced to give up everything" in the settlement.

McCann's Drops White Sox With Homer

Jake Petricka [[ puh-TRITCH-kuh ]] gave up a three-run homer to Brian McCann in the tenth as the White Sox fell 7-4 to the Yankees yesterday in New York. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer while Avisail Garcia and Alexei Ramirez added solo shots. The Sox have lost six straight.

Cubs Edge Orioles, Complete Weekend Sweep

Tsuyoshi Wada [[ soo-YO-shee WAH-duh ]] took a no-hitter into the seventh to lead the Cubs in a 2-1 win over Baltimore at Wrigley Field.  Hector Rondon notched his 21st save while Arismendy Alcantara [[ air-is-MEN-dee al-CAHN-ter-uh ]] hit a solo homer.  Anthony Rizzo had an RBI double. 

Bears Gear Up For Final Preseason Game

With three preseason games in the rear-view mirror, the Bears are almost ready for games that count.  Chicago will face the Browns on the road this Thursday to close the preseason slate.  Final roster cuts will be made Saturday afternoon, when teams must be at 53 players. 

Bears Release Wilson, Eight Others

Former Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson was among nine cuts for the Bears yesterday.  The team also parted ways with running back Michael Ford, wide receivers Greg Herd and Kofi Hughes and linemen Joe Long and Dylan Gandy.  The Bears must cut six more players by tomorrow. 

Cards Rolled By Phillies

The Cardinals were held to one run and six hits as they fell to the Phillies 7-1 yesterday at Citizens Bank Park.  Oscar Taveras plated the lone run in the defeat and Jhonny Peralta added two hits.  Justin Masterson lasted just three innings and gave up five runs for the loss.  Lance Lynn toes the rubber tonight against the Pirates.  

Rams Roll Browns

The Rams rolled Cleveland 33-14 on Saturday behind two touchdown passes by Austin Davis.  Davis went 14-for-22 for 198 yards in the win and Trey Watts found the endzone on the ground.  Chris Givens led all receivers with 94 yards on two catches with a TD and Alec Ogletree grabbed an interception.  The Rams have one more tune-up on Thursday against Miami before the season begins.  

Several DeWitt County Citizens Voice Concerns with Board Chair Thursday Night

 width=A series of concerned citizens addressed the DeWitt County Board regarding recent actions by the Board Chair.

A standing-room only courtroom saw several members of various organizations address Board Chair Sherrie Brown regarding the vacant seat in District B. Terry Ferguson, Candidate for DeWitt County Board in November, questioned Brown's rejection of Christy Pruser's appointment to the seat. There was disagreement between the two regarding wording Brown had said regarding contacting Pruser ,at a previous meeting. Ferguson also expressed the wishes of District B to have Pruser on the Board.

[audio:82514bseat1.mp3] [/audio]

Steve Perring, Precinct Committeeman of Nixon Township, also expressed his concerns regarding the recent actions of Brown. He noted the Board's antics which have drawn crowds to the meetings over the last two years. Perring also voiced confidence in Pruser for the vacant seat in District B.

[audio:82514bseat2.mp3] [/audio]

Dewitt County Republican Chairman Dustin Peterson also relayed the wishes of District B citizens. He referred to Brown's refusal to take committee recommendations as disrespectful. Peterson also noted District B could under-represented even more due to questions regarding the residence of Board Member George Wismiller.

[audio:82514bseat3.mp3] [/audio]

Thursday night's meeting saw a group from Better Government for DeWitt County protesting outside the County Building due to Brown's recent decisions.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for even more coverage of Thursday's meeting.

Rauner Says He'll Continue to Push for Term Limits

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) says not having a term limits measure on November's ballot is a temporary setback.

He told reporters Sunday he'll "campaign very aggressively" on term limits in both his bid to unseat Gov. Pat Quinn and on behalf of state lawmakers who commit to term limits. A new ad released Sunday focuses on term limits.

Rauner led a petition drive for the ballot measure calling for term limits, among other things. Courts deemed it unconstitutional. On Friday the Illinois Supreme Court rejected a request to consider the measure and the State Board of Elections certified a ballot without the question.

Rauner says even longtime Republicans officeholders he's publicly praised - recently U.S. Rep. John Shimkus and state Sen. Chapin Rose - "should term limit themselves."

Springfield Site Celebrates New Butterfly Garden

A new butterfly garden at a historic site in Springfield will be the setting for a talk by a biologist and gardening expert.

Susan Dees-Hargrove will share her experience gardening for moths and butterflies on Sunday afternoon at the Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site.

She's a biologist with the Illinois Department of Transportation and specializes in endangered species and wildlife habitats.

The Dana-Thomas House in Springfield was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902. The site has a new butterfly garden installed by volunteers at the White Cottage, next door to the house. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteers will talk to visitors about the plants.

Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

Over 550 Participants in Galesburg Teachers' Strike

More than 550 employees have participated in the teachers strike in Galesburg as the union and board of education are unable to reach a contract agreement.

The strike has gone on nearly two full weeks. School was scheduled to start earlier this month.

Superintendent Bart Arthur says the Galesburg Education Association and the district have to negotiate the days to be made up after a contract is agreed upon.

State officials say the district has to have 176 school days or it could be in danger of losing some of its state funding.

School district officials say teachers rejected an offer that equaled a 5.04 percent increase over three years. Union officials say the contract doesn't include fair working conditions, including just cause for dismissal.

Ameren Illinois Rolls Out System Upgrade

Ameren Illinois is embarking on a 10-year $400 million overhaul of its natural gas distribution in central and southern Illinois.

The upgrade begins this summer with the replacement of 14,400 feet of steel gas line and 300 residential service lines in the central Illinois community of Chatham.

When the project is done, up to 350 miles of steel pipe will be replaced with polyethylene pipe. The project includes upgrades to 70 stations that regulate gas from interstate pipelines and adding over 450,000 so-called "smart meters."

Ameren Illinois president and CEO Richard Mark says some of the pipe is 50 years old.

The company expects to add up to 80 full-time jobs for the project.

The system upgrade began with a 2013 state law.

Chief Justice Talks to Incoming Law Students

The Illinois Supreme Court's chief judge is among the justices touring the state's nine law schools to talk about and administer a pledge of professionalism.

Chief Justice Rita Garman spoke to incoming class of about 160 students at the University of Illinois law students last week.

Her advice to them was as follows: Be prepared for class, guard your reputation and practice civility. She also urged students to treat others kindly.

Garman is among several justices from the Illinois Supreme and Appellate courts touring law schools.

Clinton Police Chief Encourages Safety When Traveling to School

The local Police Department wants to make sure that children and parents alike remember personal safety now that school is back in session.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers explains this time of year is perfect for parents to sit down and discuss safety issues with their children. He adds the new Clinton Elementary School will add a new layer to local safety for school kids this year. Travel to and from school are critical times to understand about safety according to the Chief. He notes any deviation from a usual schedule needs to be communicated to either the parent or child.

[audio:82514safety1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Lowers says it's imperative that kids know where the safe streets to cross will be. Bus traffic should be greater this year as well in that area. Reduced speed limits and limited cell phone usage will also be enforced with school in session. The Chief also discourages anyone from passing a stop arm on a school bus.

[audio:82514safety2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Lowers explains they major key to safety is always being attentive to your surroundings.

Clinton Community Attends Dedication Of New School

Although it was a hot day, the Clinton community came out to see the highly anticipated dedication of the new elementary school. Many in attendance were the staff, students and parents. They were started off with the pledge of allegiance led by Mary Diener, the associate principal. They were followed by the National Anthem and opening remarks by Rod Wertz, the school board president, Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent, and many more. After this, everyone was invited to take a look around the school.

Mary Diener was able to tell us about some of the highlights of the new school.


She went on to tell of how excited the kids are to be starting at a school that felt welcoming. She also told of how some of the children were concerned about not having a playground, which Mary explained would be coming in soon, but they were waiting for the weather to be nice enough to put it in.

Former Board President Buck Carter was also there and said even though he is proud of the new elementary school, they aren't finished yet.


Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes was also around welcoming everyone who came in. He explained that from the start, he wanted to make a school that was welcoming for students and he thinks he accomplished that, along with giving both kids and adults alike the "WOW" factor.

There will be an open house on the 26th from 5-6 PM

SIU Weekly Medical Update







Illinois Still a Leader in ACT Scores





Local Unemployment Rates Stay Fairly Steady

Unemployment in many local counties saw small increases in July. Local unemployment figures were released Thursday afternoon.

DeWitt County saw unemployment stay steady at 6.7% in July, the same as June.

Piatt County grew slightly, going from 6.3% to 6.5%.

Macon County's unemployment increased also to 9.5% in July from 9.3% in June

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

Unemployment in McLean County grew in July, going from 6.3% to 6.5%.

In Champaign County, employment also increased,up to 7.3%.

Unemployment in Sangamon County went from 6.2% in June to 6.5 in July%..

The highest unemployment rate was at 11.5% in Hardin County.

Brown County once again had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 3.6%.

The state's unemployment actually dropped, going from 7.0% to 7.1%. The national unemployment rate sits at 6.5%.

Lincoln Art and Balloon Fest's Saturday and Sunday Full of Diversity

 width=This weekend will present one of Lincoln's most popular annual events with a full weekend of fun.

The Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival will feature plenty of activities for visitors. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains the festivities will include a balloon fly-in at the Logan County airport to start Saturday with a little competition going on among the balloonists.

[audio:82214lincolnfest1.mp3] [/audio]

Saturday morning will also see many events taking place in the downtown area. The Lincoln Public Library will hold a used book sale from 9-5. According to Mayor Snyder, the Art and Craft fairs will resume in Scully Park and Latham Park.

[audio:82214lincolnfest2.mp3] [/audio]

Sunday is a much quieter day as many of the festivities shift exclusively to downtown Lincoln. The Lincoln Park District holds a 5K and the Mayor says Sunday, there is a car show on the square.

[audio:82214lincolnfest3.mp3] [/audio]

The Balloon Fest will conclude Sunday night. For more information, you can go to lincolnillinois.com.

IDOT Cuts Positions Following Questions On Hiring

The Illinois Department of Transportation is eliminating 58 positions that are at the center of a lawsuit alleging questionable hiring practices.

Acting Secretary Erica Borggren said Thursday the move is designed to boost "accountability and restore public trust."

In addition to eliminating "staff assistant" positions, IDOT is creating a board to evaluate hiring, and is continuing a freeze on hiring for positions that can be filled based on political connections.

This year an anti-patronage attorney filed a federal lawsuit seeking an investigation and independent monitor to oversee employment practices at IDOT.

That followed a 2013 Better Government Association report saying Quinn and predecessor, ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, hired as many as 200 "staff assistants" without adhering to rules prohibiting political considerations and without properly offering the jobs to the general public.

Economy Slowing Down In Rural Parts of 10 States

A new monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of 10 states in the Plains and the West.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says falling crop prices have farmers spending less, and crop prices are expected to continue declining this fall.

The overall economic index for the region fell into negative territory to 48.3 in August from July's 51.8.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in the months ahead.

Goss said bankers are not very optimistic about the next few months. The survey's confidence index dropped to 39.9 in August, from 42.9.

Bankers from rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Scovill Zoo Hosting Annual Zoo-rific Event

 width=The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is hosting one of their biggest yearly events this weekend.

The "Zoo-rific Evening" is the annual gala event the zoo hosts that allows their guests the opportunity to mingle with zoo staff, enjoy food and beverages from several different vendors across the area and take part in special encounters with their animals. According to Assistant Director of the Decatur Zoo, Ken Frye, a group of special performers from ISU will be on hand this year as well.

[audio:82214zoorific1.mp3] [/audio]

Past gala events have raised money for exhibits that will be on display. Frye says their most recent galas helped raise money for their penguin exhibit and the zoo is hoping to soon be able to unveil plans for a possible river otter exhibit.

[audio:82214zoorific2.mp3] [/audio]

The penguin exhibit the zoo unveiled for the first time last fall has been a huge hit for the Scovill Zoo. Frye says they have seen a jump in their attendance numbers, and while he attributes a lot of it to the mild summer, he feels the penguins are a big reason for that as well.

Warner Library Hosting DeWitt County's Second Chance For Pets Saturday

 width=Two local groups are teaming up to help find local animals a permanent home.

The Warner Public Library and Second Chance for Pets of DeWitt County are gearing up for a special event this Saturday only. According to librarian Bobbi Perryman, Second Chance will have some of their pets that are seeking to be adopted at the library for their guests and patrons to see.

[audio:82214secondchance1.mp3] [/audio]

This is a cause that hits close to home for many of the staff at the library. Children's librarian Paula Lopatick explains she has had four dogs that have been adopted through Second Chance for Pets and notes many other staffers at the library have adopted animals in the past.

[audio:82214secondchance2.mp3] [/audio]

Second Chance representatives will be at the library this Saturday, August 23, from 11 am to 3 pm with many animals that are seeking permanent homes.

For further details on the animals up for adoption through Second Chance for Pets, visit their website at www.secondchanceforpets.com.

McIlroy Struggles, Van Pelt On Top Of Barclays Leaderboard

 width=Back-to-back major champion Rory McIlroy struggled in the opening round of The Barclays, carding a three-over par 74 at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.  Bo Van Pelt is atop of the leaderboard after firing a six-under 65 on Thursday.  The trio of Hunter Mahan, Cameron Tringale and Charles Howell the Third are all one stroke behind Van Pelt at five-under.  Phil Mickelson shot an even par 71, while 14-time major winner Tiger Woods is absent as he recovers from a back injury.  McIlroy, who is first in FedEx points, is a virtual lock to advance to the 30-player Tour Championship in three weeks, despite shooting his worst round since the Scottish Open in July.  

Sprint Cup Series Bound For Bristol

 width=309 height=163 />The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series goes under the lights on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Irwin Tools Night Race.  Carl Edwards was victorious in March's race at Bristol.  Jeff Gordon currently leads the standings by three points over teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. </p>						</div>

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Rose To Return For Team USA; Love To Cleveland Official Saturday

 width=>>USA Vs. Puerto Rico Tonight, Rose To Play

(New York, NY) -- USA Basketball will play another FIBA World Cup tuneup game tonight against Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden. Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose is expected to play after a non-contact workout on Thursday. Working his way back from surgery on both knees, Rose had seven points in 24 minutes in last Saturday's exhibition win over Brazil but did not play Wednesday against the Dominican Republic. Team USA will head to Spain next week and open World Cup play on Saturday, August 30th against Finland.

>>Love Deal To Be Completed On Saturday

(Undated) -- It's starting to sound like the Kevin Love deal will become official on Saturday. Multiple outlets are reporting Kevin Love will head to the Cavaliers in a complicated three-team deal. The Cavs land Love to pair with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Minnesota will get number-one overall pick Andrew Wiggins and last year's number-one overall pick Anthony Bennett. In addition, the Timberwolves are going to acquire forward Thaddeus Young from the 76ers. Philadelphia gets the Heat's 2015 first-round pick via Cleveland along with Luc Mbah a Moute [[ m-bah ah MOO-tay ]] and Alexey Shved. The deal has been held up because Andrew Wiggins couldn't be traded for 30 days after his contract was signed.

Bears, Rams, Pack Back To Preseason Action

 width=>>Bears At Seattle

(Seattle, WA) -- The Bears turn to their road portion of the preseason tonight. Chicago is at the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks on NFL Network. The Bears are 2-and-0 so far with wins over Philly and Jacksonville. Seattle is 1-and-1 in exhibition play.

 width=>>Packers Host Raiders Tonight

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Packers host the Oakland Raiders tonight in their preseason home opener at Lambeau Field. Green Bay is 1-and-1 so far in exhibition play following last Saturday's 21-7 win in St. Louis. Oakland is also 1-and-1. After tonight, the Chiefs come to town next Thursday in the preseason finale. The Packers begin the regular season on September 4th at Seattle.

 width=>>Rams Battle Browns Tomorrow

(Cleveland, OH) -- The Rams will try again for their first preseason win tomorrow night in Cleveland against the Browns. St. Louis is 0-and-2 thus far, with losses to the Saints and Packers. Week Three of the preseason is typically where the starters play into the third quarter. Saturday's kickoff is at 7 p.m.

>>Numbers Out On Non-Binding Bills Bids

(Undated) -- The numbers are out on the non-binding bids for the Buffalo Bills. CBSSports.com says Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula placed the highest bid of 890-million-dollars, well below the estimated value of the NFL team. "Forbes" released its NFL team values earlier in the week and had the Bills worth 935-million. The group headlined by Jon Bon Jovi placed an 820-million-dollar bid. Donald Trump's bid was 809-million. Binding bids will be coming in over the next few weeks with the NFL to vote on a potential sale in October.

Cubs Split Thursday Games; Sox Deal Beckham

 width=>>Cubs Top Giants In Resumption

(Chicago, IL) -- The Cubs held off the Giants 2-1 on Thursday in the resumption of Tuesday's game that was initially called a Chicago win. San Francisco protested the result and won. The game picked back up in the fifth inning with the Cubs up 2-0. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the first inning to power the Cubs. Starter Tsuyoshi Wada [[ soo-yo-shee wah-duh ]] threw five innings of shutout ball for the win. Hector Rondon [[ ron-DOAN ]] added his 19th save. Joe Panik knocked in the only run for San Francisco. Starter Ryan Vogelsong took the loss.

>>Giants Drop Cubs

(Chicago, IL) -- Madison Bumgarner fanned 12 in seven innings to guide the Giants to a 5-3 win over the Cubs in the rubber match of their three-game series from Wrigley Field. Bumgarner improved to 14-and-9 with the win and Santiago Casilla closed it out for his 11th save. Buster Posey went a perfect 4-for-4 with a solo shot and Pablo Sandoval totaled a trio of hits and two RBI for San Francisco, which has won four of five. Travis Wood got tagged for four runs in six innings to fall to 7-and-11 for Chicago. Justin Ruggiano and Welington Castillo both went deep as the Cubs, who beat the Giants 2-1 earlier in the day to complete Tuesday's postponed game.

MLB National League
Washington Nationals 1, Arizona Diamondbacks 0
Atlanta Braves 8, Cincinnati Reds 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 2, San Diego Padres 1

MLB American League
New York Yankees 3, Houston Astros 0
Minnesota Twins 4, Cleveland Indians 1
Tampa Bay Rays 1, Detroit Tigers 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2, Boston Red Sox 0

 width=>>Sox Deal Former 1st Round Pick, Beckham, To Angels

The Los Angeles Angels have acquired second baseman Gordon Beckham in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Beckham has struggled offensively this year, but he gives the AL West-leading Angels another sure-handed infielder with six seasons of major league experience. He turns 28 on Sept. 16.

The White Sox, who selected Beckham with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft, will receive a player to be named or cash in Thursday's trade.

Beckham made his major league debut in 2009 and hit .270 with 14 homers and 63 RBIs in 103 games with the White Sox. But he is batting .221 this year with seven homers and 36 RBIs in 101 games. He also has a .981 fielding percentage.

The White Sox will make a corresponding roster move before Friday night's game at the New York Yankees.

>>Cubs Clash With Baltimore

(Chicago, IL) -- The Cubs welcome the Orioles to Wrigley today for the first of three games. Chicago is going with former Baltimore hurler Jake Arrieta while the O's send Kevin Gausman to the hill. The Cubs are 54-and-72.

>>Cardinals At Phillies Tonight

(Philadelphia, PA) -- After a day off on Thursday, the Cardinals are back in action tonight in Philadelphia. They play the Phillies in the first of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Shelby Miller is slated to start for St. Louis, while Philadelphia counters with 5-and-11 Kyle Kendrick.

>>Cubs Make Moves

(Undated) -- The Cubs made a few moves yesterday. Chicago placed starter Edwin Jackson on the disabled list with a right lat strain and placed shortstop Starlin Castro on the bereavement list. The Cubs recalled Logan Watkins and Zac Rosscup from Triple-A Iowa.

Illini Begin To Shift Focus To Opener Against Youngstown State

 width=The Fighting Illini delved deeper into preparations for the Aug. 30 season-opener against Youngstown State on Thursday, with a two-and-a-half hour practice inside Memorial Stadium.

Thursday was the first official campus move-in day for new students, and it was apparent as both foot and automobile traffic were heavier, even on the south end of campus. After practice ended and Illinois cleared the field, facilities workers sprung into action to begin setting up the field for Friday's New Student Convocation, which serves as the official welcome for new students and is followed by a welcome picnic.

Big Ten Basketball Schedule Released

The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule Thursday, completing the 2014-15 Fighting Illini men's basketball schedule. The Illini will host a total of 17 home games at State Farm Center.

The Illini will play a total of 13 games during the regular season against 10 teams that participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Illinois has a daunting start to conference play, opening with four out of its first five Big Ten games on the road for the first time since the 1965-66 season.

 width=The Illini begin conference play at Michigan on Dec. 30 before heading to Ohio State on Jan. 3. The UI's lone home contest during its initial five-game stretch is against Maryland on Jan. 7 in the Terrapins' inaugural Big Ten season. Up next are consecutive road trips to Nebraska on Jan. 11 and Northwestern on Jan. 14.

Illinois then enjoys a stretch of four out of five games at home, starting with back-to-back games at State Farm Center against Indiana on Jan. 18 and Purdue on Jan. 21. Following a trip to Minnesota on Jan. 24, the Illini return to campus for a two-game home stand versus Penn State on Jan. 31 followed by Rutgers on Feb. 3 in the Scarlet Knights' first-ever visit to Champaign.

Illinois travels to Michigan State on Feb. 7 before hosting Michigan on Feb. 12. After a road game at Wisconsin on Feb. 15, the Illini face Michigan State for the second time in two weeks, hosting the Spartans on Feb. 22.

The closing stretch begins with a trip to Iowa on Feb. 25 followed by back-to-back home games versus Northwestern on Feb. 28 and Nebraska on March 4 during Senior Night at State Farm Center. Illinois concludes conference play at Purdue on March 7.

The Big Ten Tournament will be held March 11-15 at the United Center in Chicago.

Clinton Family Working With Extreme Balloonist In Lincoln This Weekend

 width=An Iowa man who who has been flying his balloon across the country at various events and for leisure will be in Lincoln this weekend as a part of the annaul Art and Balloon Festival.

(Photo Right: Cloyd's custom balloon, Image Courtesy of Tim Cloyd)

Tim Cloyd hails from Runnells, Iowa and has made his way to central Illinois for the annual event in Lincoln that hosts several thousand. Cloyd owns a hot air balloon he uses for both leisure and for his charity "Extreme Flight To Find A Cure". Cloyd explains he helps raise money for cancer research and different organizations that deal with cancer patients.

[audio:82314extremeballoon1.mp3] [/audio]

Last year at a festival in Centralia, Cloyd and his wife encountered a local family, the Hovland's (Huv-lands). According to Cloyd, they have become a very supportive partner of him and his family and a big part of his balloon crew at some of the events they go to.

[audio:82314extremeballoon2.mp3] [/audio]

You can learn more about Cloyd's charity, "Extreme Flight To Find A Cure", by visiting www.tecvision.org.

Cloyd's balloon will launch Friday night and take part in the Friday evening glow at the Lincoln Airport as a part of the annual Art and Balloon Festival that runs all weekend.

Gas Leak Shuts Down Portion of Clinton

A minor gas leak near downtown Clinton Thursday afternoon shut down portions of an area just east of the square.

At around 10:15 AM Thursday morning, Clinton Fire Department was called to the corner of Main and George Street where a high hoe dug into a gas line, exposing a gas line. At the discovery of the leak, Clinton Police blocked off a one block of Main Street from George to Alexander Streets.

Residents were not evacuated, though authorities frequently checked in to make sure no other signs of natural gas were present.

Crews were on scene for approximately four hours. Authorities attribute the nice weather and Thursday's breeze as contributors to the situation not being serious.

Gibbs Declines District B Seat Appointment


Thursday night's anticipated DeWitt County Board Meeting saw an unexpected
happening regarding the vacant District B seat. 

Chairwoman Sherrie Brown brought forth the appointment of former County Board candidate Jeff Gibbs to the full Board.  She explained she has always preferred to meet with a potential Board Member. Brown continued saying Christy Pruser, the widow of the late Tom Pruser, failed to respond to her request for a meeting.  

[audio:82214Gibbs1.mp3] [/audio] 
Gibbs received a fairly negative reaction from the public sector as he approached the board. However Gibbs' response to the Chairwoman's appointment shocked everyone in attendance including the Chairwoman herself. He received cheers from the crowd after saying he would "do the right thing" and ask Brown to appoint Pruser.

[audio:82214Gibbs2.mp3] [/audio]
When asked why he declined the appointment of Chairwoman Brown Gibbs replied that he had a great deal of respect for the late Tom Pruser whose seat he would have filled and felt it was the right thing to do for the citizens of the county. He added he would still speak out regarding the Clinton Lake Marina which he feels passionately about.

[audio:82214Gibbs3.mp3] [/audio]
After Gibbs declined his appointment, Brown attempted to skip the appointment of Pruser on the agenda. Board Member Danny Ballenger challenged Brown by saying he didn't respect her skipping a motion he put on the agenda. State's Attorney Karle Koritz said Ballenger couldn't make a motion to appoint Pruser, but he could motion for a vote to formally request the appointment.  Brown still declined the recommendation.

[audio:82214Gibbs4.mp3] [/audio]

The motion to request Brown to make the appointment passed 6-4 with Brown and Ron Savage abstaining. Several in the crowd along with Board Member Sue May-Witted questioned Brown'sattempts to contact Pruser. The Board Chair said she contacted her one time and asked Pruser to give her a call back.
[audio:82214Gibbs5.mp3] [/audio]

For now ,the vacant board seat remains open for yet another two weeks. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more information on the vacancy when the Dewitt County Board meets again on September 11th.

No Confidence Vote Against DeWitt County Board Chair Fails

 width=An anticipated agenda item regarding the DeWitt County Board Chair failed at Thursday night's meeting.
Board Member Camille Redman placed a motion on Thursday Night's agenda for a vote of no confidence in Board Chair Sherrie Brown. Brown attempted to skip over the agenda item before Redman stood and took control of the room. The majority of the crowd assembled made their approval of the motion known to the Board.
[audio:82214noconfidence1.mp3] [/audio]
Redman explained DeWitt County has suffered under the "tyranny" of Brown for nearly two years. She, then, listed several controversial issues that have occurred under Brown's tenure. Among them were the elimination of the committee system and not heeding advice of State's Attorney Karle Koritz.

[audio:82214noconfidence2.mp3] [/audio]
Redman continued by mentioning Brown's last minute changes to last year's budget and the request for 5% cuts to county employee's budgets. She concluded saying Brown has caused embarrassment and financial burdens to DeWitt County. The vote for no confidence failed 5-5 with Brown and Vice-Chair Pete Daugherty abstaining. Board Member Keith Koons was absent Thursday evening.

[audio:82214noconfidence3.mp3] [/audio]
Thursday night saw a packed courtroom of over 100 people due to several controversial agenda items. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more coverage.

Rauner Urges Immediate Appeal To Supreme Court

Republican gubernatorial bidder Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) is directing his legal team to appeal an Illinois appeals court ruling that a term limits question cannot appear on the November ballot.

Rauner, a Winnetka businessman, made the decision shortly after the Chicago-based 1st District Court of Appeals issued its decision Wednesday.

The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, which Rauner chairs, gathered about 600,000 signatures for an initiative to limit Illinois legislators to eight years in office, among other changes. But attorneys with ties to top Democrats sued to keep the measure off the ballot.

A Cook County judge sided with opponents of Rauner's effort, calling it unconstitutional. The term limits group appealed.

Rauner says the Supreme Court should move quickly. The state board of elections will certify the ballot Friday.

Rauner Running Out Of Time For Term Limits Measure

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is making a last minute push to get a term limits measure on the November ballot, but he's running out of time.  Rauner called on the Illinois Supreme Court to move quickly on a court challenge so the referendum question can be included on the ballot, which is to be certified Friday.  An Illinois appellate court panel today agreed with a lower court that the term limits and legislature restructuring measure is unconstitutional.  Rauner is now hoping the state supreme court reverses the lower courts' decisions. 

Governor Candidates Set On Three Traditional Debates

Illinois' gubernatorial candidates will appear together at three traditional debates before November.

They are Oct. 9 in Peoria, hosted by PBS and the League of Women Voters; Oct. 14, hosted by the Chicago Urban League; and another in Chicago later in October, hosted by the League of Women Voters and WLS-TV.

Republican Bruce Rauner's (ROW'-nurz) campaign released a list Wednesday of eight debates and forums ahead of Nov. 4. That list includes a joint live-streamed Sept. 9 Chicago Tribune endorsement session and an Aug. 28 Metropolitan Planning Council event where organizers say the two candidates won't appear jointly.

Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign criticized Rauner for "hiding," saying Wednesday that Quinn confirmed for 11 events.

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says Rauner's list is diverse and more than the U.S. president does.

Bradley Expects Enrollment Drop, Budget Cuts

Bradley University President Joanne Glasser says freshman enrollment is expected to be down this fall and the private university is looking at budget cuts.

According to reports, Glasser said Wednesday during her state of the university address that Bradley expects about 940 incoming freshman to start school this fall. That would be a drop of 140, or almost 4 percent.

Glasser said the school is planning to balance its budget by making about $7.8 million in cuts. Advisory groups are reviewing university programs looking for potential cuts and employees probably will not get raises this year.

Glasser said Bradley also plans to increase its marketing efforts by focusing on success stories from students.

University of Illinois President to Get Pay Raise

An employee of the firm helping the University of Illinois search for a new president says the school should expect to pay a salary in line with its status as a top university.

Data that Laurie Wilder of Parker Executive Search presented Wednesday to members of the university's search committee made clear that will likely mean paying more than current President Bob Easter earns.

University spokesman Jan Dennis said Wilder told committee members the average compensation for Big Ten presidents is $780,000 a year and the average for presidents at top public universities the firm surveyed is $969,000. Easter is paid $552,375.

University trustees hope to have a new president hired in November.

Easter has said he plans to retire in January.

On First Day of School, Clinton Schools Leader Proud of New Elementary Building

 width=Elementary students in the Clinton School district spent their first school day at their state of the art facility on Wednesday as classes convened for the 2014-15 school year.

The facility has been was moved into in early July and teachers began preparing their classrooms in the weeks since. According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, the first day of school this year brings him a lot of pride.

[audio:82114firstdayschool1.mp3] [/audio]

With anything new, the building does get moved into and used with some things that need adjusting. Dr. Holmes says while nothing is major, there are some minor things that need taken care of. He points to the geothermal units needing minor adjustments.

[audio:82114firstdayschool2.mp3] [/audio]

Parents and students may have noticed there is not a playground set up at the new elementary school. The district has a playground purchased and ready to assemble, however because of the wet summer we're experience in central Illinois, Dr. Holmes indicates his custodial staff has not had the opportunity to get it set up.

[audio:82114firstdayschool3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes feels the district is fortunate the two problems are to this point the only issues they have dealt with. He says they are things they anticipated happening but feels things are getting better each day.

Stewart Sitting Out Bristol, Burton Filling In

Tony Stewart will not compete in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced on Wednesday.

It's the third straight Sprint Cup race that Stewart has skipped since he struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.

 width=Jeff Burton will substitute for Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for the second straight week. Last Sunday, Burton started 27th and finished 37th at Michigan International Speedway. He experienced a mechanical issue and had to spend more than 20 laps in the garage for repairs.

Burton, who is running a partial schedule in the series this season before he serves as an analyst for NBC Sports' coverage of NASCAR next year, has 40 Cup starts at Bristol, which includes a victory in the March 2008 race there.

Regan Smith drove Stewart's car to a 37th-place finish in the Aug. 10 Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International.

SHR noted that Stewart's plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined. After Bristol, the series moves on to Atlanta Motor Speedway (Aug. 31) before the 26-race regular season concludes at Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 6). The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins on Sept. 14 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Stewart is currently 25th in the point standings and has yet to win a race in the series this season.

There are presently no criminal charges pending against Stewart; however, the investigation regarding Ward's death is ongoing. The investigation could take several more weeks.

Rams Rank As Least Valuable Team In NFL, Cowboys Top List

 width=>>Rams Rank As Least Valuable Team In NFL

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams are the least valuable team in football. In its annual ranking of NFL teams, "Forbes" put St. Louis at the absolute bottom of the list, worth a mere 930-million dollars. That may seem like a lot, but the average NFL team is worth nearly one-and-a-half-billion, up nearly a quarter of a percent since last year. The Dallas Cowboys topped the list for the eighth straight year. They're worth 3.2-billion-dollars.

>>Cowboys Remain NFL's Most Valuable Franchise

(Undated) -- The Dallas Cowboys remain the NFL's most valuable franchise. The Cowboys again top the latest list released by Forbes at 3.2-billion-dollars, a 39-percent spike from just last year. The New England Patriots rank second at 2.6-billion and the Washington Redskins third at 2.4-billion. Only seven teams are below the one-billion-dollar threshold, with the St. Louis Rams last with a value of 930-million. The average value of an NFL franchise is now 1.43-billion.

Team USA Beats Dominican Republic, Rose Sits Out

 width=>>Team USA Defeats Dominican Republic

(New York, NY) -- Team USA dominated the Dominican Republic, 105-62, at Madison Square Garden in an exhibition match as they prepare for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay paced the Americans with 13 points apiece. Derrick Rose did not play, and he was replaced in the starting lineup by Kyrie Irving, who tallied 12 points with five assists and four rebounds. Rose is expected to play in Friday's exhibition game against Puerto Rico. The official tournament begins with pool play on August 30th in Spain.

>>Bulls' Rose Late Scratch For USA

(New York, NY) -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose was a late scratch for Team USA before their exhibition game against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night. He was held out for precautionary reasons due to general knee soreness. He also didn't practice on Monday or Tuesday. ESPN reports he didn't play in order to make room for others still fighting for final spots on the World Cup roster. Rose is expected to play on Friday when the U.S. faces Puerto Rico in another exhibition contest. The U.S. won 105-62 at Madison Square Garden.

>>Nike Has Chance To Match UA Offer To KD

(Undated) -- Nike will have a chance to match the monster offer from Under Armour to Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. ESPN reports the new deal from Under Armour is in the 265 to 285-million-dollar range. There are other incentives included in the deal as well. Durant can still go back with Nike even if they don't match, but can't legally pick Under Armour if they do. Durant is also due over 41-million-dollars the next two years from OKC.

Cards Sweep Reds; Sox Swept; Giants Win Appeal, Game to Finish This Afternoon

 width=>>Cards Sweep Reds

(St. Louis, MO) -- Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run double to back seven shutout innings from Lance Lynn, as the Cardinals completed a three-game sweep of the Reds with a 7-3 win at Busch Stadium. Lynn improved to 14-and-8 while Trevor Rosenthal closed it out for his 37th save. Jon Jay went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs for the Redbirds, who have won four in-a-row and seven of their last eight. Kris Negron knocked in one of three ninth inning runs for Cincinnati, which has dropped five straight and 10 of 12. Johnny Cueto yielded five runs in five-plus frames as he fell to 15-and-7 with his first loss since July 2nd.

 width=>>Giants Thump Cubs

(Chicago, IL) -- Travis Ishikawa [[ EE-shee-KOW-uh ]] paced the Giants' offense with three RBI en route to an 8-3 win over the Cubs at Wrigley. Hunter Pence tagged a solo shot in the win with Andrew Susac adding a two-run dinger. Jake Peavy improved to 2-and-3 with two-run ball over seven innings. The Giants have won three straight. Edwin Jackson lasted just two-and-two-thirds innings and gave up seven runs in the loss. Luis Valbuena [[ loo-EECE val-BWAY-nuh ]] collected three hits and went deep in the loss. Chris Valaika [[ vuh-LAY-kuh ]] launched a two-run shot in defeat. The Cubs have lost four of their last six.

>>Orioles Sneak By White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- The Orioles completed a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 4-3 win at U.S. Cellular Field behind three home runs. Steve Pearce, Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz all left the yard. Jones finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Cruz drove in two. Wei-Yin Chen picked up his 13th win, striking out seven and allowing three runs over seven-and-one-third innings. Baltimore has won four in-a-row. Avisail Garcia [[ ah-VEE-sah-eel ]] compiled all three RBI for Chicago, including a two-run homer. Hector Noesi took the loss after allowing four runs in seven innings. The White Sox have lost four of five.

MLB National League
Pittsburgh Pirates 3, Atlanta Braves 2
Washington Nationals 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
San Diego Padres 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

MLB American League
Houston Astros 5, New York Yankees 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 8, Boston Red Sox 3
Detroit Tigers 6, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Cleveland Indians 5, Minnesota Twins 0

MLB Interleague
Texas Rangers 5, Miami Marlins 4
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Seattle Mariners 3
Toronto Blue Jays 9, Milwaukee Brewers 5
New York Mets 8, Oakland Athletics 5
Colorado Rockies 5, Kansas City Royals 2

>>Giants Win Protest, Game To Resume This Afternoon

The San Francisco Giants have won their protest filed with Major League Baseball, and will now get to resume a rain-shortened game the Chicago Cubs thought they had won.

MLB says this is the first successful protest since 1986.

MLB executive Joe Torre ruled Wednesday on a game at Wrigley Field played the previous night. That game was called after 4 1-2 innings and the Cubs were declared the winner by a 2-0 score.

The game had been delayed more than 4 1-2 hours because of rain after the grounds crew couldn't put the tarp down quickly.

MLB ruled that tarp had not been properly put away after its previous use and therefore there was a "malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club."

Because of that, it is now a suspended game that will resume at 4:05 p.m. CDT Thursday. The playoff-contending Giants and Chicago play their regularly scheduled game three hours later.

Lunt Tabbed Illini Starting QB

 width=Illinois coach Tim Beckman has named Wes Lunt as starting quarterback, making official what Illini fans have long expected.

Beckman said offensive coordinator Bill Cubit gave Lunt the news Wednesday before practice.

Beckman has insisted Lunt was competing with Reilly O'Toole and Aaron Bailey for the starting spot, but few doubted the strong-armed Lunt would be the starter.

Lunt transferred to Illinois from Oklahoma State but is from Rochester, just outside Springfield. He said Wednesday that getting the starting nod is "a dream come true."

Lunt started as a freshman at Oklahoma State in the 2012 season before losing the job to injury. He sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules.

Illinois opens its season at home against Youngstown State on Aug. 30.

Over Two Dozen Farmer City Vehicles Burglarized Thursday Morning

 width=The Farmer City Police Department and the DeWitt County Sheriff's office are investigating a rash of crimes that occured in the early morning hours Thursday.

According to DeWitt County Sheriff, Jered Shofner, over 25 vehicles were burglarized in Farmer City between midnight and 7 am Thursday morning. Several GPS units among many electronic devices were stolen along with many vehicles being vandalized. The acts of vandalism included keying of paint and slashing of tires

[audio:82214farmercitycrime1.mp3] [/audio]

Tips and information about this crime can be submitted to Clinton Area CrimeStoppers at 217-935-3333. You can also submit tips via the Sheriff's website, dewittsheriff.com. A cash reward of up to $1000 may be available for information leading to an arrest.

Callers are reminded they will remain anynmous. CrimeStoppers wants your information, not your name.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-21

August 18, 2014

Jail Population: 44
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 0

August 19, 2014

Jail Population: 46
Summons Served: 7
Warrant Arrests: 0

August 20, 2014

Jail Population: 46
Summons Served: 7
Warrant Arrests: 1

Travis Voorhees, 19, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Possession Drug Paraphernalia. Voorhees posted the necessary bond and was released.





Army Corps of Engineers Says Waterway Infrastructure Improvements Needed

An Army Corps of Engineers official says infrastructure improvements are needed in the Mississippi River watershed to allow inland waterways to better handle increased agriculture, oil and natural gas production and the effects of climate change.

Brig. Gen. Peter A. DeLuca, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley Division, spoke Tuesday at a public meeting on the Motor Vessel Mississippi in Memphis. The meeting was part of a low-water inspection trip that included a stop in Caruthersville, Missouri, on Monday.

DeLuca says more farming and manufacturing in the Mississippi Valley, plus a national rise in natural gas and oil production, are creating a higher demand for freight and materials shipping along the nation's inland waterways.

The Mississippi Watershed covers 41 percent of the country, including 31 states and 250 tributaries.

Reports Show Rauner Had Caman Investments

A report in Chicago shows Republican Bruce Rauner's (ROW'-nurz) former private equity firm set up investment funds in the Cayman Islands - including ones in which he has a personal financial interest.

The disclosure stirred up a new round of calls from Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign for his Republican rival to fully disclose his financial holdings.

Rauner was in charge of the Chicago-based firm GTCR when it set up a dozen funds from 2009 to 2011 in the Caribbean nation known as a tax haven. The Sun-Times reports that three of those are funds in which Rauner has a personal interest, which reported earlier this month.

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the investments are legal "flow-through" funds and a "common" device in investment strategy.

Starved Rock Trails Begin To Open To Public

Officials at Starved Rock State Park are beginning to re-open footpaths that have been closed due to severe storm damage.

Reports indicate public access was granted last week on trails from the Starved Rock Visitor Center and Starved Rock Lodge to Wildcat Canyon.

Sgt. Hank Frazier of the Illinois Conservation Police says park officials are starting to write fewer tickets to hikers who go on closed trails since much of the park has opened up.

Crews are continuing to remove broken trees, limbs and branches from other areas within Starved Rock. A park ranger says work at the Riverside Picnic Area and Boat Launch should be completed next week.

Most of the steep terrain in the middle of the park remains closed.

Governor Signs New Regulations To Prevent Concussions

Governor Pat Quinn signed new legislation that's designed to reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. The governor says schools need to take the dangers of concussions seriously.

[audio:rddQuinnConcussion1.mp3] [/audio]

It requires the IHSA to develop an online training course for high school coaches and athletic directors. Coaches and athletic directors will need to renew their certification every two years. Meanwhile, athletes will be required to watch a concussion awareness video each year.

Exelon Formally Files To Acquire Pepco Holdings

Exelon Corp. has formally applied to acquire Pepco Holdings.

Exelon filed the application Tuesday with the Maryland Public Service Commission. The deal will combine Exelon Corp.'s electric and gas utilities BGE, ComEd and PECO with Pepco's Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and its namesake utility.

The combined utility businesses will serve approximately 10 million customers.

The proposed deal was announced April 30.

Growing Numbers In Eastern Illinois Need Food Aid

An eastern Illinois food bank says about one in every five residents of the region relies on food pantries and other forms of food aid. Food bank officials say the number of people using those services has increased since 2010.

According to reports, the news comes from a report released this week by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana and the organization Feeding America.

The report indicates the number of people relying on food aid to eat has increased over the past four years from about 105,000 people to 116,800.

Foodbank CEO Jim Hires says the number of households his group helps that rely on a single income has increased from just under half to 54 percent over that period.

Illinois Schools See Modest Gains In ACT Scores

The Illinois State Board of Education says Illinois' high school graduating class of 2014 earned a composite score of 20.7 on the ACT.

The score on the four-subject test is slightly higher than the class of 2013's score of 20.6. The national average is 21.

Board officials say Illinois had the second-highest composite score among the 12 states that tested 100 percent of graduates, next to Utah.

This school year was the last year the ACT served as a mandatory test given to high school juniors in Illinois. The state will administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in 2014-15, which are tied to the Common Core Standards.

Slightly more than 158,000 students were tested in the Class of 2014, compared to 160,066 in 2013.

Bloomington Man Convicted of Arson in House Fire

A McLean County jury has convicted a Bloomington man of aggravated arson after acquitting him of attempted murder.

Reports indicate the jury's decision Monday came after 23 hours of deliberating over 25-year-old Joshua Hoeniges' case. He will face six to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in October.

Hoeniges was charged in connection to a March fire at his family's home. The attempted murder charge accused him of deliberately setting fire to the house while his parents and two siblings were inside.

Hoeniges' lawyer argued during the trial that it was an accidental fire ignited after a night of drinking by several family members, including Hoeniges.

Lincoln Art And Balloon Fest Opens With Full Friday

 width=Perhaps the biggest event of the year takes place in Lincoln this weekend.

The annual Art and Balloon Festival gets underway Friday afternoon and organizers believe there is fun to be had by all, all weekend. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder says Friday, things get kicked off with a parade that will run through downtown and out to the Logan County airport. Then at the conclusion of the parade, things get going in downtown Lincoln and out at the airport.

[audio:82014balloonfriday1.mp3] [/audio]

32 balloons will highlight this year's collection of the annual draw for hundreds. Mayor Snyder explains at 6 pm each night, the balloons will ascend from the airport and this captivates people from the airport or bystanders at Lincoln Christian University to Interstate 55 that wraps around Lincoln's north and east side.

[audio:82014balloonfriday2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=An event introduced to the Balloon Fest four years ago that has really taken off is the Kansas City Barbecue Society's sanctioned barbecue cookoff. The Mayor (left) indicates the cooks for that competition will be getting set up for the Saturday judging and some will take part in a special competition for that evening.

[audio:82014balloonfriday3.mp3] [/audio]

This year's art and balloon festival kicks off Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday. Regional Radio News will have further coverage of the 2014 festival in the coming days as organizers prepare for what is likely to be a final year of all the events clustered into one weekend.

For further information on events, visit lincolnillinois.com.

Clinton Fire Department Receives Federal Grant For Equipment Upgrades

 width=The Clinton Fire Department was recently awarded a federal grant to upgrade some of their aging equipment.

Clinton Fire received over $140-thousand to upgrade their self-contained breathing apparatuses, or SCBA. According to Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton, Clinton's current SCBAs are nearly 15-years old.

[audio:82014scba1.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Chief, the SCBAs are the primary purpose of the grant, but the Fire Department will also receive funds for secondary equipment. Chief Milton adds there will be a training element to keep his crews up to date with the equipment.

[audio:82014scba2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton indicates SCBAs should be replaced at least every 15 years, so the department is on schedule in updating their equipment.

The grant, from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program was announced earlier this month by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.

Clinton Board of Education Welcomes Newest Member


Tuesday night the Clinton Board of Education swore in their newest member, Russell Long.

Long is a long time Clinton resident who has kids in the school system currently. Earlier this month, the Board held a special meeting to interview nine candidates who submitted interest in filling the seat left vacant by the passing of Tom Pruser. Long says he is looking forward to joining the BOE and working with Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes and the other Board members.

[audio:82014longwelcome1.mp3] [/audio]

Long feels he can bring a lot to the Board of Education. He points to his experience and work with technology in his current line of work as a strength he can bring to the Board.

[audio:82014longwelcome2.mp3] [/audio]

Because Pruser was the Board of Education Vice-President, John Blythe was named to the post Tuesday night as well.

In other news from the Tuesday meeting...

>>The Board was introduced to the new staff members for each building.

>>Lynn Westhoff provided a recap of the 2014 Fiscal Year.

>>And an update was provided on the summer maintenance work across the district, as most projects will be completed in time for the start of school today (Wednesday).


Carl Edwards To Drive For Joe Gibbs Racing

 width=Carl Edwards is making the switch to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015.  The 11-year Sprint Cup pilot will drive the number-19 Toyota and join a JGR team of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and former series champion and Roush teammate Matt Kenseth.  Edwards is eighth in Sprint Cup points this season and has won races at Bristol and Sonoma.  It was confirmed in July that Edwards would not return to Roush when it announced its 2015 lineup of Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne. 

The Barclays Preview

 width=The PGA Tour travels to Paramus, New Jersey, this week for the first week of the FedExCup Playoffs at The Barclays. The top 125 players in the FedExCup standings are eligible to play this week. Rory McIlroy is first on the FedExCup points list with 2,582; Jimmy Walker is second with 2,493; Bubba Watson is third with 2,172; and Matt Kuchar is fourth with 1,921.

McIlroy, Walker and Watson will be paired together for the first two rounds of the tournament. McIlroy is playing for the first time since winning his second straight major and fourth of his career at the PGA Championship two weeks ago. McIlroy is going for his fourth consecutive win. He has won the British Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship in his
last three starts.

The number of players will be cut to the top 100 on the points list following this week for next week's Deutsche Bank Championship, 70 for the BMW Championship and 30 for The Tour Championship. The FedExCup champion will receive $10 million, the largest single bonus payout in sports. Three players who qualified for this tournament are not playing this week. They are Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner and Steve Stricker.

Team USA Plays Exhibition Against Dominican Republic Tonight

 width=Team USA plays a FIBA World Cup tuneup tonight against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden.  Both Derrick Rose and DeMarcus Cousins are expected to play for the U.S.  Rose sat out practice the last two days to rest, while Cousins injured his right knee during a scrimmage last week.  The U.S. will play another exhibition Friday at MSG against Puerto Rico.  The World Cup begins a week from Saturday in Spain. 

College Football Notes

 width=>>Under Armour Unveils New Notre Dame Uniforms

(Undated) -- The Under Armour era is underway when it comes to Notre Dame football. The apparel company has unveiled new uniforms after reaching a 10-year, 90-million-dollar deal with the Fighting Irish earlier this year, the largest in college sports. The special uniforms for the September 13th Shamrock Series game against Purdue will feature the interlocking ND on the helmet for the first time in program history.

 width=>>Ohio State Quarterback Miller To Miss Season

(Columbus, OH) -- The worst fears of Ohio State football are a reality. Head coach Urban Meyer confirms starting quarterback Braxton Miller will miss the entire 2014 season. The two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year reinjured his surgically-repaired right shoulder while throwing a routine pass in practice on Monday. Redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett is expected to take Miller's starting spot for the Buckeyes. Miller was recovering from shoulder surgery in February from an injury he suffered during the Orange Bowl. Ohio State opens the season August 30th against Navy in Baltimore.

New Book Chronicles Eastern Illinois Football

Names such as Tony Romo, Sean Payton, Mike Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo are familiar to football fans.

How about Burl Ives?

Yes, the American actor, writer and folk music singer was part of Eastern Illinois football as well.

 width=Ives' story is part of author Dan Verdun's new book "EIU Football," which chronicles the history of the program. The book will be released next week.

Verdun, who graduated from EIU in 1988, tells the history of the Panthers, whose program includes two Walter Payton Award winners (Romo and Garoppolo) and the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship. His book also includes insight on topics such as rivalries, recruiting, the marching band and the Pink Panthers dance team.

The book's forward is written by former head coach Bob Spoo.

"EIU has become a top-notch college program while doing things the right way, and this book does an unbelievable job of capturing that journey," said Garoppolo, who led the Panthers to a No. 2 national FCS ranking during the 2013 season.

"EIU Football" will be released by Northern Illinois Press.

>>MAC Commissioner Says ESPN Deal Brings Stability

Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher says the league's new 13-year media rights agreement with ESPN provides long-term stability to the conference at uncertain time for college athletics.

The MAC and ESPN officially announced the new deal, which runs through the 2026-27 season, on Tuesday. The contract reworks the final three years of the current eight-year deal that MAC has with the network, and adds 10 years.

The deal ensures a continuation of the weeknight football games in November that have become the conference's niche - and gave birth to the Twitter hashtag #MACtion.

The agreement gives ESPN exclusive rights to all MAC sporting events, and guarantees coverage of all football games on one of the ESPN television networks or its online network, ESPN3. There is also a sublicensing agreement in the deal that will allow ESPN to sell rights to MAC sporting events to other networks.

Financial terms were not revealed, though Steinbrecher said the deal puts the MAC in a competitive position with its peer FBS conferences - the American Athletic Conference, Mountain West, Sun Belt and Conference USA.

The American Athletic Conference has the most lucrative media rights deal of those leagues, a seven-year agreement worth about $130 million.

Bears, NFL Notes

>>Cutler Says WR Holmes Could Be Good Fit

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler thinks wide receiver Santonio Holmes can be a possible solution for the team's problems at the third wide receiver spot.

 width=Cutler has worked closely with Holmes since his signing Saturday as a possible third receiver to replace the injured Marquess Wilson. Although Holmes had a reputation for not getting along with teammates while with the Jets, Cutler thinks Holmes can be a fit in Chicago because of the team's leadership.

Coach Marc Trestman said veteran Josh Morgan will get the first chance at playing the position Friday when the Bears are at Seattle in the third preseason game.

>>Ditka Calls Redskins Dispute "Stupid"

(Undated) -- Count former Bears head coach Mike Ditka as one who thinks the dispute around the Washington Redskins nickname is foolish. In an interview with RedskinsHistorian.com, Ditka says all the "stink" is "so stupid it's appalling." He adds that he hopes Dan Snyder never changes the name.

 width=>>Report: NFL Asked Katy Perry, Rihanna To Pay For SB Halftime Show

(Undated) -- The NFL is reportedly trying to capitalize on the most sought-after gig in music -- the Super Bowl halftime show. "The Wall Street Journal" says the league has set its sights on Katy Perry, Rihanna or Coldplay as possible headliners for next year's game -- and has reached out to each artist to see if they'd be willing to pay to perform. Sources say the NFL approached the artists' representatives asking if they would split the profits of a post-Super Bowl tour in exchange for the coveted headliner title. In recent years, fans snapped up tour tickets for artists like Beyonce and Bruno Mars in the days following their halftime performances. NFL reps reportedly also gave their top 2015 halftime picks the option of choosing another type of financial contribution to the league.

It doesn't look like the NFL managed to land a deal, however. Sources say the suggestion was met with "a chilly reception" by Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay's people.

>>Ex-Giants Running Back Eyes Olympics

(Undated) -- After having to give up his NFL dream, former New York Giants running back David Wilson is now chasing his Olympic dream. The 23-year-old was forced to retire from football due to a neck injury, and has decided to begin a career as a track athlete. He will start training as a triple jumper and attempt to make the 2016 Olympic team. Wilson competed in the event in high school and at Virginia Tech, and says he will train with his former track coach on campus at Virginia Tech.

Cubs, Cards Win

 width=>>Cubs Get Controversial Win Over Giants

(Chicago, IL) -- After over four-and-a-half hours of a rain delay, the Cubs came away with a controversial 2-0 win over the Giants from Wrigley Field. Rain lasted for just around 15 minutes, but the grounds crew had problems getting the tarp on the field, creating messy conditions. Rather than suspend the game, rules dictate that it is a final instead. Tsuyoshi Wada [[ soo-YO-shee WAH-duh ]] improved to 3-and-1 by tossing all five innings and scattering six hits for Chicago. Anthony Rizzo poked a two-run homer as the Cubs won their third straight. Ryan Vogelsong was saddled with the loss for San Francisco after allowing two runs in four frames. He fell to 7-and-9 as the Giants lost their seventh in ten games.

>>Orioles Upend White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- Delmon Young singled in a run and scored on Chris Davis' two-run double in the sixth as the Orioles dropped the White Sox 5-1 from U.S. Cellular Field. Nick Hundley hit a solo homer and Adam Jones knocked in a run as Baltimore won its third straight and fifth in seven games to move a season-high 20 games over the .500 mark. Chris Tillman fanned nine over eight innings of one-run ball improving to 10-and-5. Jose Abreu [[ uh-BRAY-oo ]] hit his 32nd homer to account for Chicago's lone run. He's now tied with O's slugger Nelson Cruz for the American League lead in roundtrippers. Jose Quintana [[ keen-TAH-nuh ]] gave up four runs across six innings and fell to 6-and-10. The Sox have lost their fourth in six games.

 width=>>Cardinals Walk Off On Reds

(St. Louis, MO) -- Jon Jay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win over the Reds at Busch Stadium. Jhonny Peralta [[ JAH-nee pur-ALL-tuh ]] hit a solo shot in the win. It was Peralta's 17th of the year. Pat Neshek [[ NEE-sheck ]] improved to 6-and-0 out of the pen as St. Louis won its third straight. Todd Frazier cranked a two-run dinger in the loss and Ryan Ludwick [[ LUD-wick ]] plated two runs. J.J. Hoover fell to 1-and-10 in relief for the Reds, who have lost seven of their last eight.

MLB National League
Atlanta Braves 11, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Washington Nationals 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 8, San Diego Padres 6

MLB American League
Houston Astros 7, New York Yankees 4
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Boston Red Sox 3
Detroit Tigers 8, Tampa Bay Rays 6 (11 inn)
Cleveland Indians 7, Minnesota Twins 5

MLB Interleague
Seattle Mariners 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Miami Marlins 4, Texas Rangers 3 (10 inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Kansas City Royals 7, Colorado Rockies 4
Oakland Athletics 6, New York Mets 2

>>Verlander Might Start Saturday

(St. Petersburg, FL) -- Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander might avoid the disabled list after all. Verlander threw for 10 minutes on Tuesday off flat ground and told reporters he felt much better. He has been dealing with a sore throwing shoulder and missed the first start of his career this past weekend. Verlander will throw a bullpen session on Thursday and if it goes according to plan, he will start against the Twins on Saturday. Verlander is 10-and-11 with a 4.76 ERA this season.

>>Scoring Change Alters Jeter Hits History

(New York, NY) -- The history book is being altered slightly for Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. The hit against Cleveland on August 8th that tied him with Honus Wagner for sixth all-time has been changed to an error. Jeter now officially tied Wagner the next day with an infield single against the Tribe. He moved into sole possession of sixth place with a double against Baltimore on August 11th. Jeter still has the historic ball in his possession as the others were saved too for that very possibility.

DeWitt County Sheriff Blasts Board Chair for Recent Budget Antics

 width=DeWitt County Board Chair Sherrie Brown is under more fire today from a local law enforcement official over an under the table move to cut the budgets of departments across the county.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains it is budget time across the County, and in an effort to be fiscally responsible, his department cut their budget by $41-thousand dollars. However, Board Chair Brown is calling on each department to cut their budgets by 5%. The Sheriff says this would decrease their budget by an additional $100-thousand.

[audio:82114sherifffrustrated1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Sheriff Shofner, he would have to make some decisions that would ultimately devastate the County. He explains his decision would come down to having officers patrolling the County or removing staffing in the jail.

[audio:82114sherifffrustrated2.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff does not seemed surprised by the actions of the Board Chair. He says last year the way Brown handled the passage of the budget was politically motivated. The budget saw approximately a million dollars worth of changes at the last minute.

[audio:82114sherifffrustrated3.mp3] [/audio]

There is a motion on the agenda for the Thursday board meeting to have a special meeting where the Board would work with Dee Dee Rentmeister on how budgeting works at the County level and how it effects the departments across the County. The Sheriff calls that motion "a great idea".

[audio:82114sherifffrustrated4.mp3] [/audio]

Also on the agenda for Thursday night is a vote of no confidence in County Chair Brown. The Sheriff encourages a vote of no confidence in the Chairwoman. He believes the Chairwomam gets a $5-thousand salary for "not doing her job at this point".

[audio:82114sherifffrustrated5.mp3] [/audio]

He calls the not only the cuts, but the way it was proposed "reckless" and feels it is likely a violation of the open meetings act in the way it was passed.

The Sheriff acts as the 9-1-1 Board chair and he explains the proposed reductions in budget would cause the layoffs of several CENCOM employees, which would mean fewer operators on hand overall. He says that would mean longer delays in emergency responders getting to the scene of an emergency.

He feels the big losers of all the cuts are the residents of DeWitt County.

State Fair Attendance Down 9%, Officials Say Because of Rain

Attendance at this year's Illinois State Fair is down about 9 percent from last year during a week of frequent rain.

According to reports, fair manager Amy Bliefnick tells says it drew roughly 773,000 visitors through Saturday. That's down from 854,000 at the same point last year. Sunday admissions numbers weren't yet available Sunday evening, which was the last fair day.

Bliefnick says she's "thrilled" with the number because it rained on eight of the 11 days this year. Seven events were canceled and others were postponed because the fair's 1-mile dirt track was too wet.

Total estimated admission revenues were down 5 percent. Illinois State Police say the rainy weather helped keep the fair relatively calm this year.

Bliefnick says "beautiful weather" attracted 961,000 people overall in 2013.

22 States To Honor Illinois Concealed Carry Permit

Officials say more states are recognizing Illinois' concealed carry permit.

Reports indicate 22 states honor Illinois' permit. They include surrounding states, most of the Midwest and parts of the West and South.

Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson says the state's 16-hour course is likely a factor. It's among the longest. However, Illinois doesn't have a reciprocity agreement with any states, meaning Illinois doesn't recognize other state permits.

Gun owners who want to carry in other parts of the country can get nonresident concealed-carry permits for Utah and Florida. Those require four hours of training and are recognized in more than 30 states.

Illinois was the last state to allow concealed carry. The bill approved in 2013 was due to a court order.

Governor Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Governor Pat Quinn is taking part in one of this summer's viral sensations.

[audio:rdd081814QuinnALS1.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor says we need to find a cure for ALS.

[audio:rdd081814QuinnALS2.mp3] [/audio]

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raises money and awareness for ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Quinn says ALS effects 56-hundred Americans each year. So far, there is no cure for the disease. In addition to taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, Quinn also made a donation to the ALS Association. The governor challenged three members of the Chicago White Sox to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. He wants to see first baseman Paul Konerko, pitcher Chris Sale and infielder Gordon Beckham take the challenge.

Fees, New Challenges Greet Students Going Back To School

It is back to school for most students in Illinois this week, and parents and students are being greeted by new costs and challenges. This is the first year where all Illinois students will be tested on the new Common Core learning standards. McLean County Regional Superintendent of School Mark Jontry says almost all of his schools are ready, but says statewide only about half of Illinois' schools will be able to take the test as planned this spring.

[audio:rddJontry11.mp3] [/audio]

Jontry says the average back to school fee is about $300-dollars. He says parents who think that's too much should talk to state lawmakers.

[audio:rddJontry21.mp3] [/audio]

Jontry also says he's gotten calls from parents upset about new fees to register students. Jontry says the average fee is about $300-dollars, but says parents need to be angry with state lawmakers who continue to send just 89-cents on the dollar to local schools.

Governor Signs Laws To Protect Seniors

Two new laws are designed to protect senior citizens and other vulnerable adults in Illinois. The laws improve the procedures for reporting for people in nursing homes and other community settings. Senator Heather Steans sponsored one of the bills, which expands the Long Term Ombudsman Program.

[audio:rdd081814Steans1.mp3] [/audio]

The expansion will make sure older adults and people with disabilities living in a community setting have the same rights as those living in nursing homes. Another law creates a pilot program that will let certified nursing assistants administer medication under the supervision of a registered nurse.

NICB's List Of Most Stolen Vehicles

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is out with its annual report identifying the 10 most stolen vehicles in America.  The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement.  Thefts can range as high as almost 54-thousand for the Honda Accord to as low as eight-thousand for the Nissan Altima.  Other cars on the list include the Honda Civic; Chevy, Dodge, and Ford full-sized pickups; the Toyota Camry and Corolla; and the Jeep and Grand Cherokees.

Illinois Man Gets Nine Years In Fatal Drunken Crash

A Douglas County judge has sentenced a man to nine years in prison for killing another man while driving drunk.

According to reports, 29-year-old Edgar Maza was sentenced Monday for aggravated DUI in the October death of 47-year-old motorcyclist Harold Adamson of Atwood. Maza pleaded guilty in July.

An Illinois State Police accident reconstruction specialist says Maza was driving at 107 mph before the crash. His blood-alcohol content was 0.132 when measured at a hospital. Illinoi's legal limit is 0.08.

Maza's attorney says the speed was the "main culprit" in the accident, rather than alcohol.

Maza was ordered to make restitution to Adamson's family of about $11,000. He was given credit for 311 days already served in the Douglas County Jail.

Authorities ID Woman Found In Shed

Authorities say remains found inside a shed in Rochester last month are those of 43-year-old Tracy Trimby of Decatur.

According to reports, Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards says the woman's remains were identified by a forensic dentist.

The remains were found when someone was cleaning out the shed on July 19.

Police say Trimby's name was not on any lists of missing people. Authorities believe her death was a homicide because items in the shed were stacked on her.

Edwards says the body was there for a long time, but she's said she's not sure how long, nor is she sure how she died. Information about Trimby's background was not available.

Rochester is just east of Springfield.

University of Illinois Tests Dog Arthritis Fixes

The University of Illinois is looking for dozens of arthritic dogs to help test a dietary supplement for their aching joints.

According to reports, the university's College of Veterinary Medicine is studying whether the supplement used by human patients can also improve dogs' quality of life. It's looking to test the supplement on 60 pups of mixed sizes, ages and breeds.

The supplement's name isn't being disclosed because of a confidentiality agreement with the sponsoring company.

University rehabilitation practitioner Kim Knap says more than half the dogs in her department suffer from arthritis. She says therapies include water treadmill workouts, weight management and pain medication.

Council Hears Proposal For Marijuana Facility

 width=Monday night, the Clinton City Coucil heard a proposal on a proposal for application of construction of a medical marijuana growing facility.

The state of Illinois will open up bidding for a very limited amount of marijuana dispensaries on September 8. Salveo CEO Alex Thiersch (TEER-sch, seated right) approached the Clinton City Council to work with them in their appeal process to hopefully obtain a license to grow medical marijuana just outside the city limits.

[audio:81914marijuana1.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois laws are very strict on where and how medicinal marijuana can be grown. Thiersh assures the council that unlike a dispensary facility, Salveo will not be selling the marijuana to the public.

[audio:81914marijuana2.mp3] [/audio]

The security at the facility would rival that of most banks in the area. Thiersch says among other things, the facility will have armed guards and 24\7 video surveillance that can be monitored by any Illinois law enforcement agency.

[audio:81914marijuana3.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton looks to gain substaintially from the cultivation center as Salveo plans to create a minimum of 30 jobs and will invest in as many local products as they are able.

[audio:81914marijuana4.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Carolyn Peters encouraging the public and her fellow councilmen to educate themselves on the differences between a facility such as a cultivation center and a recreational marijuana dispensary.

[audio:81914marijuana5.mp3] [/audio]

The council's initial reaction to the proposal appeared very positive with Tom Edmunds saying the proposal was very well put together

In other businsess from the Monday City Council meeting...

>>The council also approved several contracts for the Fire and Police departments and the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

>>Also approved was a purchase of a laptop computer and three AR-15 rifles for the police department.

>>Monday's meeting also saw an outpouring of approval and praise for the town's recent Easton Corbin concert on the Mr. Lincoln Square and encouragement to hold similar events in the future.

New School Year, New Bus Routes for Clinton Elementary Students

 width=With school set to start this week, elementary students in Clinton will have to get used to new bus stop locations.

The new elementary school has created new bus routes and new pick up and drop off points for children and parents. According to Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes, the district will provide students, depending on their proximity to the new elementary school, a mode of transportation to school. He emphasizes, the buses will not be stopping door to door, instead there are pick up points designated across the community.

[audio:81914schooltrans1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Dr. Holmes, students within a mile and a half proximity of the new elementary school will no longer be bussed to school. He explains though, because of certain safety hazards such as railroad crossings and busy highways, the district will be busing some students to school.

[audio:81914schooltrans2.mp3] [/audio]

The routes for the junior high school and high school have not changed, nor have the rural route stops. Dr. Holmes says they have designated spots in the community for kids to be picked up and dropped off at.

[audio:81914schooltrans3.mp3] [/audio]

The district distributed a letter to parents with an address that will experience a change in transportation late last week.

The letter that was issued along with the new map can be viewed here.

NCAA Football Notes

>>Report: Ohio State's Miller Re-Injures Shoulder

(Columbus, OH) -- Ohio State's football season might have taken a huge blow. "The Dispatch" is reporting starting quarterback Braxton Miller re-injured his right shoulder in practice on Monday and could miss the entire season. The Buckeyes have not confirmed the injury. Redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett would most likely take Miller's place with the first team.  width=Miller was recovering from shoulder surgery in February because of an injury suffered during the Orange Bowl. He had been brought along slowly by head coach Urban Meyer in camp. Ohio State opens the season on August 30th against Navy in Baltimore.

>>Sooners Suspend RB Mixon For Season

(Norman, OK) -- The Oklahoma Sooners are suspending running back Joe Mixon for the entire season. The highly-touted freshman was charged Friday with misdemeanor assault after being accused of punching a woman in the face at a cafe last month. Mixon could face up to a year in jail if convicted. The Oakley, California product was one of the top-ten running back recruits in the nation.

>>Hawaii Football In Jeopardy

(Honolulu, HI) -- The University of Hawaii could be in danger of having to say goodbye to its football team. In a conversation with the school's board of regents, athletic director Ben Jay said there's a real possibility of the football program having to fold. The athletic department currently faces a 2.1-million-dollar budget deficit and has operated in the negative for 11 of the past 13 seasons. Jay also stated that the only solution to saving the rest of the athletic teams may be cutting the football program all together. The Warriors hold a 4-and-20 record under current head coach Norm Chow and have failed to sell more than 18-thousand season tickets since the 1970's.

Drivers Rallying Around Stewart

While Tony Stewart continues to grieve in an undisclosed location following the death of Kevin Ward Jr., many of his fellow competitors in NASCAR remain supportive of Stewart and are defending his role in the tragic accident.

 width=Stewart, a three-time champion in NASCAR's premier series, struck and killed Ward during a sprint car race on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park. Stewart has missed the previous two Sprint Cup Series races. Regan Smith substituted for him this past week at Watkins Glen International, and Jeff Burton filled in over the weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

As of now, there's no timetable on Stewart's return to racing. Representatives from Stewart-Haas Racing said last Friday that "it will be up to Tony when he's ready to get back in the car." Stewart drives the No. 14 Chevrolet in Sprint Cup and is a co-owner of SHR. The series heads to Bristol Motor
Speedway later this week.

There are presently no criminal charges pending against Stewart; however, the investigation regarding Ward's death is ongoing. The investigation could take several more weeks.

Villegas Jumps 142 Spots In World Rankings

 width=Camilo Villegas earned his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour, and first since 2010 on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, and that vaulted him 142 spots in the world rankings.

Villegas, who fired a final-round, 7-under 63 to finish one shot ahead of the field at 17-under 263, moved from No. 254 in the world to No. 112 with the win.

The top-eight players in the world rankings remained the same, with the Open champion and PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy staying put at No. 1. Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Masters champion Bubba Watson also remained the same and are two through eight.

Jason Day and Phil Mickelson traded places with Day jumping one spot to No. 9, dropping Mickelson back to No. 10. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth held steady at 11 and 12, as did Rickie Fowler at No. 13.

The remainder of the top 20 in the world also stayed the same with U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker and Charl Schwartzel remaining 14 through 20.

Blackhawks Sign Leighton

 width=241 height=209 />The Blackhawks are bringing in veteran goaltender Michael Leighton on a one-year deal.  The 33-year-old spent last season in the KHL with Donbass Donetsk.  He was drafted by the 'Hawks in 1999 and played in 42 games for the team.  His last NHL action was with the Flyers.</p>						</div>

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Rose Sits For Recovery Day

 width=253 height=199 />Bulls guard Derrick Rose sat out of workouts with Team USA yesterday for a recovery day.  Rose remains with the team as it preps for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.  They take on the Dominican Republic tomorrow at Madison Square Garden.  The U.S. plays Puerto Rico on Friday. </p>						</div>

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Rams, Bears, NFL Notes

 width=>>Rams Give Free Tickets To Three Local High Schools

(Ferguson, MO) -- The Rams are reaching out to some of the high school players affected by the events going on in Ferguson. St. Louis will give away free tickets to football players from McCleuer High, McCluer North and McCluer South for its preseason game against Green Bay this weekend. This comes amid the protests and rioting that have followed the recent shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by the local police.

 width=>>Bears Gear Up For Seahawks

(Lake Forest, IL) -- Wide receiver Santonio Holmes practiced with the Bears yesterday at Halas Hall for the first time since signing with the team. The Bears are preparing for Friday's third preseason game against the Seahawks in Seattle. Chicago opens the regular season September 7th hosting Buffalo.

>>Hail Mary Lefts Redskins Over Browns

A Hail Mary at the end of the game was successful for the Cleveland Browns, but their 2-point try failed as the Washington Redskins held on for a 24-23 preseason win on Monday.

With just seconds to play, Connor Shaw rolled out to the left and tossed the ball down the field and into the end zone from 45 yards out. The ball was then tipped into the hands of Emmanuel Ogbuehi to make it a one-point game.

The Browns went for two points and the win, but Shaw was pressured on the roll out to the right and his pass into the end zone sailed high.

Robert Griffin III struggled in the start, going 6-for-8 for 112 yards with an interception and a lost fumble. Kirk Cousins led the Redskins on a pair of scoring drives during his time under center, going 12-for-21 with 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Cleveland rookie Johnny Manziel also struggled in his second game, although he didn't start. He did lead the team to a fourth quarter drive that saw him toss his first touchdown pass of the preseason.

Washington is 2-0 on the preseason while Cleveland fell to 0-2.

 width=>>Manziel And Hoyer Struggle For Browns

(Landover, MD) -- The Browns quarterbacks took center stage in their 24-23 loss to the Redskins in preseason action from FedEx Field. Brian Hoyer got the start and rotated with Johnny Manziel in the first half. Hoyer was 2-for-6 for 16 yards and was sacked once. Manziel played deep into the second half, going 7-for-16 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Manziel was put on the ground three times. Neither quarterback was especially impressive.

>>Manziel Delivers Middle Finger During Preseason Game

(Landover, MD) -- Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel [[ MAN-zell ]] is getting all kinds of attention, but it's not all for his play on the field. "Johnny Football" was caught on camera during Monday night's preseason game against the Redskins issuing the middle finger to the Washington sideline. Manziel's "bird" was shared in screen shots throughout social media following the incident. Manziel is battling with Brian Hoyer for the starting job this preseason.

>>Report: Manziel-Cowboys Report Not True

(Irving, TX) -- A report is denying a claim in a book that Stephen Jones blocked the Cowboys from drafting Johnny Manziel [[ man-ZELL ]]. A source tells "The Dallas Morning News" the Cowboys Executive Vice President didn't overrule Jerry Jones on the draft pick. The book "Manziel Mania" by Jim Dent says Jerry Jones had Manziel's name on a card, when Stephen Jones "snatched the Manziel card straight out of his dad's hand." Dallas ended up picking offensive lineman Zack Martin from Notre Dame. Manziel went to Cleveland instead.

>>"Gronk" Practices In Full

(Foxborough, MA) -- The Patriots offense got its top weapon back. New England tight end Rob Gronkowski participated in practice Monday for the first time since training camp has begun. "Gronk" has been recovering from a torn ACL suffered on January 9th. He is hoping to be able to play in the Pats regular season opener on September 7th at the Dolphins. The tight end had 39 catches for 592 yards and four touchdowns in seven games last season.

>>Cardinals' Dockett Out For Season

(Glendale, AZ) -- The Arizona Cardinals will be missing a big part of their defensive line this season. The team has announced that defensive lineman Darnell Dockett suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in Monday's practice and will undergo season-ending surgery. The injury happened while working in 11-on-11 drills. The front seven of Arizona's defense has taken hits through injury, suspension and free agency. In addition to Dockett, middle linebacker Daryl Washington will miss the season due to suspension and Karlos Dansby signed with the Browns. In ten seasons, Dockett had made the Pro Bowl three times and missed only two regular-season games.

>>Report: Mathieu To Come Off PUP

(Glendale, AZ) -- The Arizona Cardinals secondary is getting one of its playmakers back. ESPN reports defensive back Tyrann Mathieu will come off the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday. Mathieu is recovering from a torn ACL and LCL that occurred in December. A tweet from Adam Schefter also stated there is "now some optimism he will play in Arizona's opener." The "Honeybadger" had 68 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and nine passes deflected in 13 games during his rookie season. The Cardinals drafted him in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

>>Chiefs' Charles Injures Foot Carrying Box

(Kansas City, MO) -- Kansas City Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles is recovering from a foot injury that happened while moving out of his training camp dorm last week in St. Joseph, Missouri. Head coach Andy Reid says Charles was carrying a box from the dorms down a grassy slope when he rolled his foot, but X-rays and an MRI came back clean. Charles did not travel with the team for Sunday's preseason game at Carolina. KC plays Minnesota this Saturday.

>>Lions' Calvin Johnson To Play This Week

(Allen Park, MI) -- Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson will see his first preseason action this week. First-year Lions head coach Jim Caldwell tells reporters Johnson will make his preseason debut Friday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. "Megatron" led the team in most receiving categories again last season, hauling in 84 catches for nearly 15-hundred yards and 12 touchdowns.

>>Falcons Move Matthews To Left Tackle

(Flowery Branch, GA) -- Atlanta Falcons first-round pick Jake Mathews is making the move across the team's offensive line sooner than expected. The "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" reports, with the season-ending patellar tendon tear for left tackle Sam Baker, Matthews will now have the chore of protecting quarterback Matt Ryan's blindside. The Falcons drafted Matthews with the sixth overall pick out of Texas A&M to be the team's left tackle of the future.

>>Saints' Graham To Stop Dunking

(Metairie, LA) -- New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham may have dunked on his last goalpost. After drawing two penalty flags Friday night and the frustration from his head coach Sean Payton, Graham says he doesn't want to hurt his team during the regular season. The Pro Bowler has been celebrating touchdowns with a slam dunk the past four seasons, but this offseason the NFL made a rule prohibiting such a move. Payton chased down Graham after the second goalpost dunk last Friday, which led to a brief shouting match between the two.

Cubs, Cards Win, Sox Lose; Baseball Notes

 width=>>Rizzo, Baez Homers Boost Cubs By Mets

(Flushing, NY) -- Anthony Rizzo hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning and Javier Baez added a two-run shot in the ninth as the Cubs beat the Mets 4-1 at Citi Field. Luis Valbuena tied the game at one for Chicago with an RBI single in the sixth. Kyle Kendricks pitched seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball to improve to 5-and-1. Hector Rondon notched his 18th save as the Cubs earned a split of the four-game series. Buddy Carlyle took the loss in relief of starter Carlos Torres, who pitched five innings of three-hit, shutout ball. Lucas Duda hit a solo homer in the fourth to stake New York to an early 1-0 lead.

 width=>>Cards Clip Reds In 10 Innings

(St. Louis, MO) -- Jhonny Peralta hit a walk-off RBI-single in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Cardinals past the Reds 6-5 in the opener of a three-game set at Busch Stadium. Peralta had three hits and two RBI, while Matt Holliday drove in a run and scored twice for the Redbirds, who have won five of their last six. Matt Adams added three hits, an RBI and scored in the victory. Nick Greenwood picked up the win after Trevor Rosenthal blew his fifth save. Jay Bruce doubled in the tying run in the ninth and had a three-run homer in the fifth for the Reds, who have dropped three straight six of seven. Logan Ondrusek suffered the loss.

>>Orioles Club White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- Nick Markakis [[ mar-KAY-kiss ]] hit a two-run homer after robbing one at the wall as the Orioles downed the White Sox 8-2 at U.S. Cellular Field. J.J. Hardy and Nelson Cruz hit solo shots while Jonathan Schoop [[ scope ]] ripped a three-run double. Bud Norris improved to 11-and-7 with seven innings of two-run ball as Baltimore won its fourth in six games. Chris Sale fell to 10-and-3 after allowing three runs in six innings and striking out eight for Chicago. Avisail Garcia singled in two for the Sox, who have lost three of five.

MLB National League
Atlanta Braves 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Washington Nationals 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (11 inn)

MLB American League
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Boston Red Sox 2
Kansas City Royals 6, Minnesota Twins 4

MLB Interleague
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Seattle Mariners 1

 width=>>Wacha Looks Sharp In Bullpen Session

(St. Louis, MO) -- Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha looked strong in his second throwing session since being placed on the disabled list on June 18th. Manager Mike Matheny said while he was only throwing at about 75-percent speed, it looked he was throwing it with little effort or discomfort. There is no set timetable for Wacha's return, but Matheny stated the club wants him to face live competition first.

>>Pirates' McCutchen To Return Tonight

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday. McCutchen took live swings on Monday and said the plan is to return Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves. He's been out since August 3rd with a fractured rib. The 27-year-old is hitting .311 with 17 homers and 67 RBI in 109 games this season.

>>Big Names On Rangers Clear Waivers

(Arlington, TX) -- The Texas Rangers had a few big names clear waivers on Monday. According to ESPN, ace Yu Darvish, third baseman Adrian Beltre, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and shortstop Elvis Andrus all made it through unclaimed. Texas now has the ability to trade each player. The Rangers have struggled to a 48-and-76 record this season. The MLB waiver-trade deadline is August 31st.

>>Pirates Minor Leaguer Clemens Suspended For HGH

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pittsburgh Pirates minor league pitcher Michael Clemens is being suspended 68 games without pay for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. Clemens tested positive for HGH. He was playing for Rookie-level Bristol after being selected in the 17th round of June's First-Year Player Draft.

>>Rockies' Dickerson NL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Colorado Rockies left fielder Corey Dickerson is the National League Player of the Week. He went 11-for-28 for a .393 average with three home runs, four doubles, 11 RBI and six runs scored. It's the first career weekly honor for Dickerson. .

>>Astros' Carter AL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Houston Astros designated hitter Chris Carter is the American League Player of the Week. He hit .321 in seven games last week with four home runs, nine RBI and five runs scored. Carter led the majors in homers and the AL in RBI and total bases to earn his first career weekly honor.

>>MLB Commissioner Selig Visits Oakland

(Oakland, CA) -- Outgoing baseball commissioner Bud Selig's [[ SEE-lig's ]] farewell tour includes a stop in Oakland this week. Selig will be at Tuesday night's A's game as they host the New York Mets at O.co Coliseum. The A's and the city of Oakland have recently agreed to a 10-year lease extension which includes an opt-out clause, as the team wants to build a new stadium either in Oakland or elsewhere. The 80-year-old Selig is finishing a 22-year run as commissioner, and will step aside in January, handing over the reigns to Rob Manfred.

Illinois Monday Training Camp Features Team Taking ALS Ice Water Challenge

 width=Illinois returned to practice Monday with a double session after spending Sunday participating in leadership activities, working out in shells and shorts in the morning then holding an evening walk-through with heavy emphasis on special situations and special teams.

For many onlookers, the special situations portion was particularly interesting. The Illini walked through situations like taking a safety at the end of a game to protect a lead or a hook-and-lateral play. Definitely some interesting things that you occasionally see pop up during games.

With the final practice in Rantoul complete, the Illini will break camp Tuesday morning and hold a closed scrimmage at Memorial Stadium at 11:15 a.m. With the return to campus, all practices will be closed to the public for the remainder of the season.

Before the day's first practice, head coach Tim Beckman showed the team a video about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and discussed the effects of the disease, because after practice the team gathered in front of a set of bleachers and local kids from the Little Wings Day Care doused them with buckets of cold water. This was in response to Beckman and a number of being challenged by friends and colleagues in the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge is a viral campaign on social media that has raised $15.6 million from July 29-Aug. 18 for the ALS Association, which provides care services to assist people with ALS and their families, as well as leading the way in global research to fight ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. To complete the challenge, Beckman also donated to the ALS Association.

Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com

Two Appointments For Vacant DeWitt County Board Seat Appear On Thursday Agenda

 width=It should be yet another eventful DeWitt County Board meeting Thursday night.

Since early July, the Board has had a vacant seat due to the sudden passing of Tom Pruser. The DeWitt County Republican Committee has been calling for Board Chair Sherrie Brown (right) to appoint his widow, Christie Pruser to the vacant post.

Various Board members have made motions in recent meetings to have Pruser appointed to the position, however, Brown has maintained a stance that only the Board Chair can make appointments.

Once again, a motion appears on the agenda for Pruser to be appointed to the District B seat, but also on the agenda is a motion to appoint Jeff Gibbs to fill the post. An item that is sure to garner much attention and debate.

Gibbs ran in the March primary as a Republican candidate to appear on the November ballot for District B, however his bid fell short, as the trio of candidates that were victories in March were the late-Pruser, former Board member Terry Ferguson and incumbent Keith Koons.

Gibbs would fill the seat until it's term expires in November.

Gibbs has been outspoken about the happenings at the Clinton Lake Marina dating back to last year, and was even involved in a heated exchange with Board member David Newberg in April of last year.

Last Thursday, Board Chair Brown refused to allow precinct committeemen in District B the opportunity to speak, and this week more precinct committeemen appear on the agenda. They include Terry Ferguson, Steve Perring and Ty Osterbur.

DeWitt County Republican Committee Chair Dustin Peterson is also on on the ballot to speak this week. Peterson was not pleased with the Board Chair's decision to deny the committeemen the opportunity to be heard.

Illinois State Fair Strives To Be Most Eco-Friendly In US

Illinois State Fair officials say they're ramping up recycling at this year's event as part of an effort to have the most eco-friendly fair in the country.

Reports indicate, the fair last year recycled more than 25,000 pounds of aluminum, cardboard and plastic. This year it added paper to the recycling effort.

Fair manager Amy Bliefnick says the efforts began about four years ago with the goal of become the nation's most sustainable fair.

The fair partners with Illinois Correctional Industries, and inmates work in the program.

This year, the program placed 200 trash and recycling containers around the fairground, more than doubling last year's number. The corrections program sells the materials.

Officials say manure from the fairgrounds also is used to fertilize gardens.

Illinois Colleges To Be Smoke-Free Indoors and Outdoors

Illinois' public colleges are going smoke-free - indoors and out - starting next summer.

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's signed a law that bans indoor and outdoor smoking at all state-supported colleges and universities.

The bill makes exceptions for smoking inside privately owned vehicles traveling through campus and some activities under the federal American Indian Religious Freedom Act. A companion bill signed by Quinn also allows smoking on campus inside parked, non-state-owned vehicles.

Quinn says the measure will protect students' health and help nonsmokers avoid unwanted smoke. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan and state Rep. Ann Williams of Chicago, both Democrats.

The ban takes effect July 1, 2015.

Several Illinois colleges already have adopted smoke-free policies.

Illinois Law Limiting Medical Marijuana Locations

State restrictions are largely limiting potential sites for growing and selling medical marijuana in Illinois' capital city. And it's likely the rules could have a similar impact in other communities.

Reports indicate Springfield officials are considering zoning for medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries.

Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program prohibits dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center or child care facility. Cultivation centers must be 2,500 feet away.

Dispensaries and cultivation centers also are banned from residential areas.

In Springfield, maps prepared by planning officials show small pockets of centrally located areas could accommodate a dispensary. But much of the city will be off-limits.

Still, a local lobbyist says at least one group of investors is eyeing a site for a Springfield dispensary.

Illinois Increases Penalties For Drug Crimes

Illinois has increased the penalties for some drug offenses.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed three drug-related pieces of legislation Saturday. They take effect Jan. 1.

Manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of any school property will now be a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. It was previously considered a Class 1 felony.

Another new law adds synthetic drugs known as 25-I, 25-C and 25-B to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to distribute. Quinn's office says the hallucinogenic drugs have been available online and linked to serious and fatal reactions.

Quinn also signed a bill that makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to buy or possess products containing the herbal stimulant Kratom.

GOP Newcomers Call Lack of Experience Asset

A suburban accountant and retired downstate Marine say their lack of political experience is actually an asset in the races to unseat two Democrats who are among Illinois' longest serving statewide officeholders.

The Republicans hope to tap into an anti-incumbent mood as they challenge Secretary of State Jesse White and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Accountant Michael Webster hopes to convince voters that not being a "career politician" is good for a business-minded secretary of state office.

Paul Schimpf is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate challenging Madigan and says he's not beholden to special interests.

The candidates detailed their views to The Associated Press in candidate questionnaires and interviews. The emerging themes in the down-ballot races echo Illinois' competitive governor's race, where Republican Bruce Rauner is challenging Gov. Pat Quinn.

Anonymous Donor Gives $25-Thousand For Illinois Park

An anonymous donor has given $25,000 for playground equipment at a central Illinois park.

According to reports, the donor originally pledged to match any funds raised during an annual festival in Berlin, a village about 12 miles west of Springfield.

The Burgoo festival - named after a kind of stew - raised about $5,000 for the park equipment.

Royal Reno is a village board member and helps organize the festival. Reno says the anonymous donor "decided to be more generous and donate $25,000."

Reno says there's now enough money to buy a play set and have it shipped to the village. But Reno says it may take another $15,000 to $20,000 to install it.

Decatur Reconsiders Radios After Lightning Strike

The Decatur City Council will consider rescinding its approval of a $1.4 million contract for radio communications after officials say a backup system failed when lightning knocked it out.

Accoruding to reports, the council will meet on today.

Officials had voted to purchase a Motorola Solutions Inc. system called StarCom21. It's been used by city police and the Macon County Sheriff's Department since 2009.

But lightning knocked out StarCom21 on Aug. 5 and a backup system failed. So law enforcement agencies had to revert to the former analog radio system for 21 hours.

Officials say the system failed again for 35 minutes on Aug. 9.

A Motorola Solutions spokesman contacted Sunday by The Associated Press did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Social Security Fraud Becoming Increasingly Common

You local Social Security office is encouraging beneficiaries to be on the lookout for various fraud schemes.

Fraud across the nation is becoming more and more frequent than many may realize. Kevin Rice, with Social Security, explains the crimes are often discovered through anonymous tips made to Social Secuirty.

[audio:81314fraud1.mp3] [/audio]

Anonymous callers can provide as much information as they want but the more information a caller can provide increases the chances fraud can be discovered and dealt with. At the very least, Rice explains basic information such as names and dates of birth are of the most importance when trying to expose someone's scheme.

[audio:81314fraud2.mp3] [/audio]

For more information or to provide pertinent information you can contact the local Social Secuirty office at 1-877-279-9504.

For general Social Security information, you can go www.socialsecurity.gov.

Lincoln High School Superintendent Sees Flaws With New Evaluation System

 width=One local school district is close to making changes to teacher evaluations.

Schools across Illinois will soon be following requirements made by Senate Bill 7 which includes using student progress as part of their evaluation process. Superintendent of Lincoln Community High School, Robert Bagby says administrators have been creating a template to accomplish that.

[audio:81314lchseval1.mp3] [/audio]

The district is looking ahead and creating their own template because the State of Illinois has not provided a model as of yet. Bagby believes set curriculums take away from creativity in the classroom and allowing teachers freedom to be successful.

[audio:81314lchseval2.mp3] [/audio]

While Bagby believes accountability is important in schools, he feels many variables are not taken into account in most evaluations. He fears many talented, young teachers won't stay in the field due to excessive evaluations and paperwork.

[audio:81314lchseval3.mp3] [/audio]

The burdens of teaching are being felt across the state. Bagby says he sees quite frequently good, young teachers leaving the field because the demands are so high.

The new evaluations will be introduced in the fall of 2015.

Former County Board Member Calls Board Chair 'Dictator'

Thursday night, a handful of DeWitt County residents put themselves on the agenda to speak before the DeWitt County Board, only to be told by Board Chair Sherrie Brown only one individual could speak on behalf of the District B precinct committeemen.

Former County Board member Levi Sturgeon was allowed to speak before the Board, and among the many thoughts he conveyed to the Board, he accused the Board leader of disrespecting Tom Pruser's service to the County by not appointing the Republican Committee recommendation for his replacement.

[audio:81814sturgeonbrown1.mp3] [/audio]

Sturgeon shifted his focus from the vacant County Board seat to the animal shelter's lack of progress. Over the weekend we heard the thoughts of Dr. Harold Weinberg, and like Dr. Weinberg, Sturgeon says the animal shelter is disgusting. Sturgeon wants to see Brown allowing the voted committee to continue work for the animal shelter.

[audio:81814sturgeonbrown2.mp3] [/audio]

While most of Sturgeon's remarks towards Brown were of undertone displeasure, he did pay the Board Chair an offhanded compliment. He feels Brown's leadership has united the County's Democratic and Republican parties.

[audio:81814sturgeonbrown3.mp3] [/audio]

Sturgeon points out the Rock Island County Board recently took a symbolic "no confidence" vote and are going to vote to remove their County Board Chair this week.

Sturgeon suggests a vote like that locally may not accomplish anything, however, he feels it may make the people of the County feel better.

Notre Dame Investigating "Academic Dishonesty," No Players Dismissed

 width=Notre Dame is withholding four starting football players from practice and games while university officials investigate suspected "academic dishonesty."  The school is describing the situation as a potential "honor code violation."  Previous reports had the four players dismissed, but Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick says they remain enrolled, but cannot participate in football activities.  Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, defensive back KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore are suspected of cheating on papers.  Punishment could range from players failing assignments to dismissal from school.  Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson missed all of last season after allegedly cheating on an exam but returned this year to reclaim his starting role.  The Fighting Irish are ranked 17th in the preseason Coaches' Poll.  Notre Dame opens the season August 30th against Rice.

Gordon Earns Victory At Michigan

 width= Jeff Gordon held off the field for a victory in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.  It's Gordon's third victory of the Sprint Cup season, the 91st of his career and his first win at Michigan since 2001.  Kevin Harvick finished second to Gordon, followed by Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Tony Stewart sat out his second straight race following the death of Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint car tragedy when Ward was struck by Stewart's car.

Villegas claims title at Wyndham Championship

 width=Camilo Villegas fired a 7-under 63 on Sunday to come from behind and claim the title at the Wyndham Championship, which is the final event on the PGA Tour's regular-season schedule.

Villegas earned his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour at 17-under-par 263.

Bill Haas carded a 6-under 64 to move into a share of second place with Freddie Jacobson (66) at 16-under 264.

Heath Slocum (67) bogeyed his final two holes at Sedgefield Country Club to end alone in fourth at minus-15. That late collapse dropped him to 129th on the FedExCup standings and means he will not be eligible for the playoffs.

Third-round leader Nick Watney posted a bogey and a double-bogey over his final five holes en route to an even-par 70, dropping him into a tie for fifth with Brandt Snedeker (67) and Webb Simpson (67) at 14-under.

Rose Returns To United Center For Team USA; NBA Notes

 width=>>Rose Hears Cheers As USA Plays In Chicago Against Brazil

Derrick Rose heard the cheers and showed some of his old explosiveness, fellow Chicago product Anthony Davis scored 20 points, and the U.S. beat Brazil 95-78 in a tuneup for the World Cup of Basketball on Saturday night.

With fans roaring for Rose all night, the Chicago Bulls point guard flashed some of his MVP moves. He also seemed happy to defer to his teammates in his first appearance at the United Center since his latest season-ending knee injury, finishing with seven points.

Davis, who like Rose grew up on Chicago's South Side, dominated down the stretch, and the U.S. pulled away after Brazil kept it close for three quarters.

With a five-point lead going into the fourth, the U.S. went on a 14-2 run to break open a 68-63 game.

>>Marion To Join James, Cavaliers

(Cleveland, OH) -- Free-agent forward Shawn Marion is apparently set to join LeBron James. ESPN reports that Marion will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, despite the fact that the team can only offer him a minimum deal. The report says Marion was intrigued by playing with James, and that ultimately led to his decision. The 36-year-old Marion had been courted earlier this week by the Indiana Pacers, who lost star Paul George to a compound leg fracture earlier this month. Marion averaged 10.4 points and 6.5 rebounds last season with the Dallas Mavericks.

Local NFL Notes

 width=>>Bears Lose TE Miller To IR

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears will be without tight end Zach Miller this season. He suffered a season-ending foot injury on Thursday against the Jaguars and was placed on injured reserve on Friday. The team filled the roster spot vacated by Miller by signing receiver Kofi Hughes.

>>Bears Agree With Former Jets WR Holmes

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears are bringing in former Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes. The 30-year-old has signed a one-year deal with Chicago. He made 23 catches for 456 yards and a touchdown in 11 games last year with New York after playing in just four games in the 2012 season.

 width=>>Ram's Pead Likely Done For Season

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams will be without running back Isaiah Pead for the upcoming season. Pead suffered a torn ACL to his left knee following a kickoff return in the first quarter of Saturday's preseason contest against the Packers. The 24-year-old was involved in a non-contact situation when the injury occurred and head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters that it appears he is lost for the season.

 width=>>Packers Back To Work Following Win

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Packers are back to work this week following Saturday's preseason win in St. Louis. Aaron Rodgers finished 11-of-13 for 128 yards and a touchdown to Randall Cobb as the Packers beat the Rams 21-7. The Packers will practice today and tomorrow before taking Wednesday off. They will practice Thursday before hosting the Oakland Raiders on Friday in their preseason home opener.

All Locals Win

 width=>>Cubs Edge Mets On Castro's Homer

(Flushing, NY) -- Starlin Castro blasted a solo homer in the top of the ninth to lift the Cubs in a 2-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field. Luis Valbuena added an RBI single earlier in the game as Chicago stopped a three-game slide. Jake Arrieta [[ air-ee-ET-uh ]] struck out nine over seven shutout innings while Pedro Strop [[ strope ]] got the win and Hector Rondon [[ ron-DOAN ]] notched his 17th save. Rafael Montero allowed a run over seven-and-a-third innings while Jenrry Mejia [[ HEN-ree may-HEE-uh ]] took the loss for New York. Curtis Granderson tied the game in the eighth with an RBI single but the Mets lost their fourth in six games.

>>Cardinals Drop Padres

(St. Louis, MO) -- Matt Carpenter went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three RBI to lead the Cardinals to a 7-6 win over the Padres at Busch Stadium. Jon Jay drove in a pair of runs and Peter Bourjos [[ BORE-juss ]] had a one-run single to help St. Louis to its fourth win in five games. Adam Wainwright struck out five in seven innings to improve to 15-and-7 and Seth Maness closed it out for the save. Odrisamer Despaigne [[ oh-DREE-suh-mare des-PAHN-yay ]] got rocked for five runs in four frames of work to fall to 3-and-4 for San Diego. Abraham Almonte batted in two runs and Alexi Amarista [[ ah-muh-REE-stuh ]] plated a run for the Padres, who have lost three of four since winning five in-a-row.

 width=>>White Sox Handle Blue Jays

(Chicago, IL) -- Conor Gillaspie's grand slam sparked the White Sox to a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field. Jordan Danks added a two-run homer and drove in three as Chicago won its third in five games. Scott Carroll improved to 5-and-7 despite allowing five runs in five-and-two-thirds innings while Jake Petricka earned his ninth save. Drew Hutchison fell to 8-and-11 for Toronto after allowing seven runs in seven innings. Jose Reyes was 3-for-5 with two runs while Edwin Encarnacion [[ en-car-NAH-see-own ]] hit a two-run homer as the Blue Jays lost their fifth in six games.

MLB National League
Miami Marlins 10, Arizona Diamondbacks 3
San Francisco Giants 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Colorado Rockies 10, Cincinnati Reds 9 (Gm 1)
Colorado Rockies 10, Cincinnati Reds 5 (Gm 2)
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Washington Nationals 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 5 (11 inn)

MLB American League
Baltimore Orioles 4, Cleveland Indians 1
Seattle Mariners 8, Detroit Tigers 1
Houston Astros 8, Boston Red Sox 1
New York Yankees 4, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Kansas City Royals 12, Minnesota Twins 6
Texas Rangers 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2

MLB Interleague
Atlanta Braves 4, Oakland Athletics 3

ISU Football Team Shows High Scoring Power In Scrimmage

 width=It took a while for the Illinois State offense to find its rhythm Saturday in the team’s annual fall scrimmage at Hancock Stadium, but once it did the points started to add up on the newly-installed scoreboards thanks to big-play ability and efficiency in the red zone.

With three weeks still left to prepare, the offense has time to continue to refine what could-be a high-scoring attack. The action Saturday started with the passing game, as quarterbacks Blake Winkler and Tre Roberson each threw touchdown passes during the scrimmage.

Winkler finished 10-of-17 with 121 yards and a touchdown, with a long of 40 yards to Anthony Warrum and the score a result of a 13-yard completion to Scott Kuehn. Roberson showed his versatility, with 96 yards and touchdown through the air and 61 yards on the ground, including an impressive scramble of 48 yards. He also found Warrum for a long completion of 33 yards and connected with James O’Shaughnessy from 18-yards out for a touchdown during the red zone session.

Information Courtesy of GoRedbirds.com

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

August 14, 2014

Jail Population: 42
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 3

August 15, 2014

Jail Population: 44
Summons Served: 1
Warrant Arrests: 0

August 16, 2014

Jail Population: 45
Summons Served: 6
Warrant Arrests: 0

August 17, 2014

Jail Population: 45
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 0

Dennis Eveland III, 22, Blue Mound was arrested on 2 DeWitt County Warrants charging him with Theft and Armed Robbery. Eveland unable to post the necessary bond and was released.

Sarah Smith, 21, Leroy was issued a Citation for Fail to Report Accident to Police Authority. Smith posted the necessary bond and was released.

Kuldeep Singh, 52, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Singh was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Zachary Stephenson, 26, Clinton was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery/ Bodily Harm. Stephenson unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Martin Driscoll, 33, Weldon was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Driscoll was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Brent Brown, 25, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Brown was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.
Natasha Braman, 27, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Braman was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Linda Ladew, 55, Waynesville was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Ladew was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Chance Lane, 24, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Lane posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.

Shelbi Tanner, 27, DeWitt was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in 55 MPH Zone. Tanner was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Nicole Neal, 27, Normal was issued a Citation for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Neal posted her IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.

Brian Burleson, 29, Bloomington was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Burleson posted the necessary bond and was released.




Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITATION 08/16/14





DJWH Goes Live With Donated Message Center

 width=Monday, leaders from the Dr. John Warner Hospital gathered on the lawn off of Van Buren to officially go live with their new electronic message board.

The message board was made possible through funds raised from the Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation, the non-profit fundraising arm of the city-owned hospital. President of the Foundation Dixie Walden thanks all those who donated to their recent mailing drive. She feels the message center will better aid in exposing the services of the DJWH.

[audio:81914messagecenter1.mp3] [/audio]

Director of Support Services for the hospital Terrence Hubbard thanked Walden and the Hospital Foundation for the donation and for their continued support to the city owned hospital and it's facilities.

[audio:81914messagecenter2.mp3] [/audio]

The message center's construction was actually completed a few weeks ago, however, because of training staff on how to use the message board, the signage did not go live until Monday.

Several Hospital Foundation Board members attended the unveiling along with new CEO Bob Wolleben.

'Fort Knox' Security For Illinois Marijuana Trade

Medical marijuana in Illinois will be encased in vaults, monitored by security guards and protected by fingerprint-recognition biometrics.

Silent alarms, 24-hour video surveillance and bulletproof glass will safeguard the retail centers where patients with special IDs will be escorted to their cars after buying pot.

That's the picture painted by business owners who are competing for a limited number of marijuana cultivation and dispensary permits under the state's new law. A detailed security plan will give an edge in the scoring, so many of the applicants say they're exceeding the Illinois law's already-strict requirements.

Terry Gainer is the security adviser for Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, one of the ventures applying for permits. Gainer says the security for the marijuana businesses will be "much like Fort Knox."








Clinton Chrysler/Jeep Dealership To Hold Charity Drive For Clinton School

A Clinton car dealership is stepping up this month to host a special test drive that will benefit the local school district.

Wilson Chrysler-Jeep will be holding their annual "Drive for the Kids" August 26 from 3 pm to 7 pm at the new Clinton Elementary School. For every test drive of one of the vehicles Wilson's brings to the new building, the dealership will donate $10.

The 2014 Chrysler Town and Country minivans are going to be the showcased vehicle being tested for the event.

Steve Wilson, owner of Wilson Chrysler-Jeep, says they enjoy working with the community to support the kids. He adds the event is always a lot of fun and they enjoy working together to help the kids of the community.

As an added bonus, the national Chrysler corporation will donate an additional $5-thousand for the school with the highest number of test drives in each of their five geographic regions.

For the participants, those who take a test drive, they will be entered into a sweepstakes for $45-thousand towards the purchase of a new Chrysler group vehicle.

Resident Calls State of DeWitt County Animal Shelter Criminal, Embarrassing

Dr. Harold Weinberg has been a regular speaker before the DeWitt County Board in recent months advocating for several issues. Thursday night the outspoken resident made his feelings known towards the state of the current animal shelter. He says he is embarrassed to live in a County where the facility in it's condition exists.


Dr. Weinberg also says he continues to submit reports to the board from an architect who has motives for garnering business from the County for a new building. He feels the former Black's heating and air conditioning building is quote-"in the best interest of the County".


The pursuit of a new animal shelter facility has been going on for many years now, and Dr. Weinberg feels if the Board continues to be pessimistic when looking at potential facilities, they will do nothing.


Since the purchase of the former Black's building, ideas have been thrown around to renovate the current animal control facility on the south east corner of the city. It's also been discussed to add on to the current facility.

Previous Board's had agreed to build a new building, however, once the new Board took over in November of 2012, reneged on an agreement and started discussions over.

Callis Supports Protecting Mahomet Aquifer, Applauds Recent EPA Announcement on Clinton Landfill

Former Chief Judge and Congressional challenger Ann Callis released the following statement in strong support of protecting the Mahomet Aquifer in the wake of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement yesterday that it will not proceed on a determination regarding Clinton Landfill’s application to accept potentially hazardous waste:

“I strongly support keeping Central Illinois’ only water source clean and safe for generations to come, and I am pleased that the EPA’s ruling moves us closer to ensuring the Mahomet Aquifer remains free from contamination. If I am honored to be elected, I will do everything within my power to protect this water source in our district, unlike my opponent, who continues to just pay lip service.”

Rauner Will Release Tax Returns, Not Schedules

Bruce Rauner has been criticized for trying to hide some of his wealth in the Cayman Islands.  He says that's not the case but Democrats are firing back, saying the only way he can prove it is by releasing his tax returns with the full schedules.  Rauner says he'll release his returns, not the schedules, in October. 

Candidates Trying For Farm Cred

For candidates in the Midwest, almost nothing tops a photo opportunity with a barnyard animal or a colorful anecdote about life on the farm.

Take Mary Burke, a former business executive running as a Democrat for governor in Wisconsin, who recently paused to check out the cows at a county fair. Or Illinois venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who talks about his dairy farmer grandfather as a role model in his Republican bid for governor. And then there is Iowa U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who gained national attention with an ad touting her hog castration skills.

Most voters in these states don't work on farms. Most candidates don't either. But many of those seeking office seem to be stretching farther than ever for a barnyard background to establish common-man authenticity.

Rauner Appeals To Farmers

Bruce Rauner is trying to appeal to farmers.

[audio:rddCropRotate1.mp3] [/audio]

He says he can't stand how career politicians are running Illinois into the ground. He says if he's elected governor, he'll lower taxes, restore free enterprise, invest more in school districts across the state, and help get rid of the culture of corruption that has overtaken the state.

CHS Welcomes New Assistant Principal

 width=Clinton Schools are set to resume next week, high school students will be introduced to a new face within the administration.

Bob Svencner comes to the Clinton school district from Olympia High School where he served as Activities Director. According to Svencner, he feels Clinton High School is a good fit because he wanted to work closer with kids.

[audio:81514svencner1.mp3] [/audio]

Principal of Clinton High School, Jerry Wayne feels Svencner is going to fit right in. It is Wayne's goal to create a sense of family and community within the high school, and he feels, together they are going to work together very well to achieve that.

[audio:81514svencner2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Wayne, he was wanting to find an assistant principal who had some differing ideas. He explains he also wanted someone with some experience. Going into his first full year as an administrator, he feels someone with experience will be able to balance him having experience in the district for over 20 years.

[audio:81514svencner3.mp3] [/audio]

Wayne and Svencner both feel they will work together and differing ideas should never become an issue. They both say they want what is best for the students in their building.

Wayne took over as Principal of the high school mid-year last school year. He previously spent over 20 years as a math instructor.

Still No Appointment By Chairwoman Brown For Vacant County Seat

 width=At Thursday night's Dewitt County Board meeting, Chairwoman Sherrie Brown once again failed to appoint a new representative to the District B board seat left by the untimely death of former board member Tom Pruser.

Many residents of District B and others sympathetic to their lack of representation on the board were in attendance to address the board. Brown cited an ordinance in place that allows only one person from an organization to speak before the board. This did not sit well with other members of the board nor with the audience who filled the County Court room Thursday.

[audio:81514board7.mp3] [/audio]

Among those who were allowed to address the board was Levi Sturgeon, a former resident of Clinton and a former Dewitt County Board Vice-Chairman. Sturgeon urged Brown to heed the requests of the residents of District B and interrogated her as to why she refused to acknowledge the wishes of those residents to appoint Pruser's widow, Christy Pruser, to the seat.

[audio:81514board1.mp3] [/audio]

Brown also denied several fellow Republican committeemen from District B the right to speak even though they were on the agenda to address the board. Board member David Newberg spoke in defense of the committeemen. He used his power as a board member to circumvent Brown's decision and read a written statement prepared by one of the committeemen.

[audio:81514board3.mp3] [/audio]

Board member Terry Hoffman was quick to come to the Chairwoman's defense by calling for the court deputy to bring order in the court for comments being made by members of the audience expressing their disgust with Brown aloud. He did so on two separate occassions and Dewitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner was even quicker in his response to Hoffman's second request. And State's Attorney Karle Koritz even chimed it at one point.

[audio:81514board4.mp3] [/audio]

Republican Committee President Dustin Peterson expressed his frustration on his fellow committeemen not being allowed to speak by Chairwoman Brown. He feels it's wrong for the Chairwoman to reject the taxpayers and elected leaders the chance to be herad.

[audio:81514board5.mp3] [/audio]

Thursday nights meeting also saw many appointments to special drainage committees throughout the county. Peterson says there were 12 appointments made during the meeting and questioned the the Board Chair why should wouln't make it 13 appointments for the night.

[audio:81514board6.mp3] [/audio]

Tom Pruser past away in late June, however, his seat has remained vacant since that time.

Villegas Leads By 1 at Wyndham Championship

 width=amilo Villegas opened up with a 7-under 63 on Thursday and he holds a 1-shot lead heading into the second round of the Wyndham Championship, the final event on the PGA Tour's regular season

Villegas, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, last won at the Honda Classic in 2010. Villegas is currently No. 105 in the FedExCup playoff standings, with the top 125 moving on to the postseason.

Webb Simpson, who won this event back in 2011 and always seems to play well in Greensboro, is tied for second place at 6-under 64 at Sedgefield Country Club. Thursday's round was the 10th time the 2012 U.S. Open champion has shot a 66 or better at this event.

Joining Simpson at 6-under 64 at Sedgefield Country Club was William McGirt, who has never won on the PGA Tour. McGirt is No. 91 in the FedExCup standings.

Scott Langley, Martin Laird, Paul Casey, Heath Slocum and Andrew Loupe are all tied for fourth at 5-under 65. A total of 10 players finished the first round at 4-under 66 and are three shots back.

Tony Stewart To Sit Out Michigan

 width=Tony Stewart has made the decision not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Stewart, who struck and killed a fellow competitor walking on the dirt track during a caution in a sprint car race on Saturday night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park last week, has not made a decision on upcoming Sprint Cup races. He did not race in last week's event at Watkins Glen following the incident.

Jeff Burton will drive the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Hass Racing in place of Stewart.

Bears, Football Notes

>>Bears Beat Jaguars

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bears found pay dirt with under a minute left to rally past the Jaguars 20-19 from Soldier Field. Senorise Perry scored on a five-yard run to end a seven-play, 86-yard drive with 50 seconds left in the game. Jay Cutler tossed for 75 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Marshall.  width=Jimmy Clausen relieved Cutler and was 11-of-15 for 94 yards and an interception as Chicago improved to 2-and-0 in the preseason. Blake Bortles was 11-for-17 for 160 yards while Chad Henne was 12-for-17 for 130 yards and a TD. Jacksonville dipped to 1-and-1 despite putting up 13 points in the first quarter.

>>Bears CB Fuller Leaves With Injury

Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller left the Bears' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night because of an ankle injury.

A first-round pick from Virginia Tech, he was injured on the opening position. Drafted 14th overall, Fuller has been playing with the first team in nickel situations.

He started 42 of 50 games at Virginia Tech and had 129 solo tackles along with six interceptions, 21 pass break ups and four forced fumbles in his career. He had 24 tackles, broke up 10 passes and picked off two in nine games last season.

>>Rams Host Packers

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams welcome in the Packers from Green Bay tomorrow on NFL Network. St. Louis is 0-and-1 so far after a 26-24 setback to the Saints in the first preseason game. The Packers are also 0-and-1 following a four-point loss to the Titans.

 width=>>Report: Browns' Gordon Decision Not Until Next Week

(Berea, OH) -- The NFL still hasn't handed down a decision regarding the punishment of Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. ESPN reported on Thursday there may not be any news until the end of next week. Gordon appealed a suspension that could see him miss the entire 2014-2015 season due to violating the league's substance-abuse policy for a third time. Gordon led the NFL in receiving with 1,646 yards last season, and he added nine touchdowns in 14 games.

>>NFL Preseason Already Produces Three-Dozen Concussions

(Undated) -- Nearly three-dozen NFL players have sustained concussions less than a month into pro football's preseason. Thirty-five is the number of players diagnosed with or reported to have concussions according to a Twitter feed that tracks league-wide medical reports. Actually, the number is probably much higher. Players competing to make teams aren't likely to tell anyone about their symptoms, and the league doesn't require teams to make weekly concussion reports during the preseason. There were at least 16 concussions before any of the teams played their first preseason games.

>>Report: Manziel Was Late To Team Meeting

(Berea, OH) -- Johnny Manziel [[ man-ZEL ]] was a little bit tardy. ESPN reported on Thursday "Johnny Football" showed up a few minutes late for a team meeting on Monday. The story stated that did not factor into head coach Mike Pettine's [[ PET-in ]] decision to go with Brian Hoyer as the starter for Cleveland's game at the Redskins on "Monday Night Football." It will be Cleveland's second preseason game, and snaps with the first team are expected to be evenly distributed between Hoyer and Manziel.

>>NFL Considering Toughening Domestic Violence Penalties

(Washington, DC) -- The NFL may be looking to crack down harder on players involved in cases of domestic violence. The "Washington Post" reports the league is considering suspensions of four-to-six games without pay for first-time offenders and possibly a season-long suspension for a second offense. The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have been widely criticized for levying just a two-game suspension to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was arrested in February for allegedly striking his now wife at an Atlantic City casino.

>>Vince Young To Work For University Of Texas

(Austin, TX) -- Vince Young is going back to school. The University of Texas has hired the former Longhorns star quarterback to work for its Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Young will help raise money to assist first-time and low-income college students. He led Texas to a BCS national championship in 2005 and went on to play six seasons in the NFL before retiring in June.

Cards Win; Cubs Lose

 width=>>Cards Hold Off Padres

(St. Louis, MO) -- John Jay's two-run double in the eighth gave the Cardinals the lead and they hold on for a 4-3 win over the Padres in the first of a four-game series at Busch Stadium. Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer, his 16th of the year, for St. Louis, which has won two in-a-row. Reliever Seth Maness grabbed his fourth win, and Trevor Rosenthal worked through a rough ninth inning to get his 36th save. Three different San Diego players had an RBI in the defeat. They were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Reliever Alex Torres was tagged with his first loss.

>>Brewers' Fiers Whiffs 14 Cubs In Victory

(Chicago, IL) -- Mike Fiers [[ FYE-ers ]] whiffed a career-best 14 through six shutout innings as the Brewers cruised past the Cubs 6-2 at Wrigley Field. Fiers surrendered just three hits to improve to 2-and-1 on the season. Mark Reynolds and Khris Davis both homered as Milwaukee earned a split of the four-game series. Chicago starter Edwin Jackson gave up five runs in four-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 6-and-13. Anthony Rizzo collected two hits and Chris Valaika [[ vuh-LAY-kuh ]] drove in a pair of runs with a pinch-hit single in the seventh to account for the Cubs' scoring.

Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Atlanta Braves 4
Washington Nationals 4, New York Mets 1
Miami Marlins 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (10 inn)
Colorado Rockies 7, Cincinnati Reds 3

Kansas City Royals 7, Oakland Athletics 3
Boston Red Sox 9, Houston Astros 4
Tampa Bay Rays 6, Texas Rangers 3

Detroit Tigers 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 2

>>Cubs Clash With Mets

(Flushing, NY) -- The Cubs clash with the Mets at Citi Field tonight in the first of a four-game series that runs through Monday. Chicago sends Travis Wood to the hill against Zack Wheeler of New York. Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada will also take the mound in the set.

 width=>>White Sox Face Blue Jays

(Chicago, IL) -- The White Sox start a three-game series with the Blue Jays tonight at U.S. Cellular Field. Chicago goes with Hector Noesi in Game One while the Jays counter with Marcus Stroman. John Danks throws in the second game with ace Chris Sale going in the finale on Sunday.

>>Molina Catches In Bullpen

(St. Louis, MO) -- Catcher Yadier Molina is making his way back to the Cardinals. He caught a bullpen session in St. Louis last night. Molina tore a ligament in his thumb on a slide on July 9th. A timetable for his return is not known.

>>Pirates Acquire John Axford

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates are adding reliever John Axford to their bullpen. FOX Sports reports the Pirates picked up Axford through a straight waiver claim from the Cleveland Indians. Which means the club will be on the hook for the approximately 1.1-million-dollars left on Axford's contract this year. Axford is 2-and-3 this season with 10 saves and a 3.92 ERA.

GOP Gathers To Make Push For Governor's Mansion

Illinois Republicans are gathering in Springfield to make a push to reclaim political power in Illinois, including the governor's mansion.

Party officials and candidates from the top to the bottom of the ticket plan to attend a Thursday breakfast hosted by the Illinois Republican State Central Committee and the County Chairmen's Association.

The event is followed by Republicans' annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) is making a bid against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in a nationally watched race. Rauner says it's time to "shake up Springfield."

Party officials are also hoping to pick up a number of seats in the state legislature.

Democrats held their own breakfast and party at the fair Wednesday. They portrayed Republicans as "out of touch" with average Illinoisans.

Inmates Donate To At-Risk Youth In Peoria

A new Peoria nonprofit for at-risk youth has received a donation of backpacks and school supplies from inmates at a nearby federal prison.

Reports indicate Betty and Forrest Holcomb, Jr. started the Save a Child Program this summer in memory of their adult son who committed suicide with an illegally-obtained gun in July 2013. The program offers activities for youth ages 8-15 who are at risk of exposure to gangs and gun violence.

Ten inmates at the federal prison in Pekin pooled their commissary funds for the donation to 23 young people.

Rev. Belay Reddick says he and the other inmates hope to help improve lives.

Forrest Holcomb says about 60 children participated in the program this summer. About 25 regularly attended weekly events.

East Peoria Boy Finds Body Near Plaza

East Peoria police say a 12-year-old boy who was searching for a missing relative has instead discovered the decomposing body of an unidentified person.

According to reports, Preston Jefford of Washburn found the remains Wednesday in a patch of trees near a shopping plaza. The Tazewell County Coroner's Office hadn't identified the body or its gender Wednesday afternoon.

An autopsy on the body is scheduled for Thursday. Illinois State Police and local authorities are investigating.

Jefford and his mother were part of a search party for their cousin who is schizophrenic and was missing for several days. The county sheriff's office says the cousin was found Wednesday night.

$3.3 Million Grant To Benefit Three Illinois Groups, Youth

Sen. Dick Durbin has announced that Illinois organizations supporting at-risk youth will benefit from a $3.3 million U.S. Department of Labor grant.

The department's YouthBuild program will provide money to several groups that help the state's at-risk youth strengthen academic and occupational skills through training programs.

Durbin says the funding will be split equally between the Emerson Park Development Corporation in East St. Louis, the United Methodist Children's Home in Mount Vernon and YouthBuild McLean County in Normal.

The federal YouthBuild program helps young people receive their diplomas or GEDs and prepares them for post-secondary education and employment. The program awards community-based grants to ensure resources are provided to youth that need them the most, including kids who dropped out of high school or are aging out of foster care.

Illinois EPA To Collect Household Toxic Waste

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will collect household hazardous waste collection in six communities this fall.

The agency said Wednesday that residents can bring leftover chemicals and other toxic wastes to sites in DuPage, Henry, Logan, Marion, Ogle and Piatt counties during the one-day events in September and October.

Accepted material includes oil-based paints, chemical cleaners, pharmaceutical products, antifreeze, weed killer, batteries. mercury-infused products and scores of other toxins.

Officials say many residents have materials in basements, garages and sheds that they should not put out for regular trash collection.

Explosives, fire extinguishers, agricultural and medical waste and auto batteries are not accepted at the events.

The EPA also supports long-term collection facilities in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Winnebago counties.

Updated Illinois Crop Production Released Good News For Local Farmers

The recently updated USDA Illinois August Crop Production report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service shows high numbers for local farmers in both corn and soybeans this year.

Illinois will set yield records for both corn and soybeans this year. The corn yield will be 188 bushels an acre, the forecast concludes, surpassing the record of 180 bushels an acre in 2004. The soybean yield is projected to be 54 bushels an acre. If realized, it will eclipse the record of 51.5 bushels an acre set in 2010.

Other crops that are on the rise since last year are Oats, Alfalfa Hay, and Summer Potatoes. The oats yield is projected to be 80.0 bushels an acre. The alfalfa hay yield will be projected to be 3.70 bushels an acre. The potato yield this summer is projected to be 380 bushels an acre.

The yield for Winter Wheat remains unchanged, while the yield for both Sorghum and Hay that is not Alfalfa Hay will decline.

US EPA Weighing In On PCB Storage In Clinton Landfill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided against giving a chemical waste permit to a central Illinois landfill that would allow it to store PCB.

In a statement released Wednesday, the EPA said it based its decision on the Illinois EPA's decision last month to bar PCBs from being dumped in the Clinton Landfill near Clinton. The decision came after the state agency learned local approval of the landfill in 2002 didn't include PCBs.

The Clinton landfill sits atop the Mahomet Aquifer, which supplies water to portions of more than a dozen counties.

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are chemical compounds once used in industrial and commercial products such as paints and fluorescent lights. They were outlawed in 1979 because they cause cancer and damage to reproductive and nervous systems.

Governor Issues Statement Regarding EPA's Denial of PCB Waste At Clinton Landfill

Governor Pat Quinn issued a statement Wednesday regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision not to issue a chemical waste permit to accept PCB waste at the Clinton Landfill.

The Governor says quote- "The U.S. EPA did the right thing today for nearly 800,000 central Illinois residents by affirming that hazardous wastes have no place near our precious drinking water. Along with the residents of central Illinois, our state, local and federal government all now agree – we must protect the Mahomet Aquifer from the dangers of PCBs."

“The Illinois EPA’s permit modification allowed the federal government to put a stop to any potential PCB disposal at the Clinton Landfill. This measure will protect our health and our environment for years to come.”

Grand Champion Junior Steer Sells For Record $100k

For the first time in its long history, an animal in the Sale of Champions at the State Fair sold for a six figure sum when AT&T, Monsanto and DeKalb Asgrow combined to bid $100,000 for 12-year-old Shaelye Varner’s grand champion crossbred steer. The price easily surpassed the former record of $62,000, which was set only a year ago, and was one of four records broken during the sale.

In all, the Sale of Champions, the auction of the Illinois State Fair’s prize-winning junior livestock, raised an astounding $260,095 for not only the junior producers who raised the champion animals, but also the 4-H and FFA programs, which each receive 10 percent of the proceeds.

Shaelye, a resident of Morris, has been showing since she was five-years-old. She plans to save her winnings and use them to further her career aspirations.

Other notable mentions were Mitch Holmes of Mahomet, who won the Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Wether. He sold to Terry Duffy and CME Group for $5,000, but then resold to Frank Hoffreiter, Becks Seed, Channel Seed, Hunter Nutrition, and Sky Ride for the same price.

Also getting 2nd place in the 31st Annual Illinois Championship Auctioneer Contest was Abbey Schmid of Clinton

Knowing Crime Trends Can Prevent Being Victim

This summer has seen a spike in burglaries in Clinton and DeWitt County, and local authorites hope residents will do a few simple things to keep themselves from falling victim to this type of crime.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says most home burglaries occur during the daytime hours, more specifically between noon and five. He says it is an ideal time because most people are at work.

[audio:81414burglarsafe1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=To prevent your home from being victimized and intruded into, the Sheriff has several basic things to do. He explains the first and foremost is lock your home any time no one is around. He says burglars are very mobile and with advancements in technology, their targets are no longer hard to find.

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Two prevailing factors can expose home owners or residents to being victims of theft. According to the Sheriff, they are finding burglars have a very specific knowledge about their targets and possessions. He also advises caution when using social media when leaving your home vacant for an extended period of time.

[audio:81414burglarsafe3.mp3] [/audio]

In the last decade, the Sheriff indicates they have seen a major shift in the focus of stolen items in residential burglaries. Sheriff Shofner says now they are seeing thieves after prescription drugs and firearms. He says those items are very valuable on an open market.

[audio:81414burglarsafe4.mp3] [/audio]

Not only are trends changing locally for DeWitt County officials, but when they change in other parts of the area, it's only a matter of time before that trend happens in Clinton. Sheriff Shofner indicates because of that, it is vital they have a good relationship with surrounding communities and their law enforcement agencies.

[audio:81414burglarsafe5.mp3] [/audio]

To keep tabs on what is happening in other parts of the area, the Sheriff will join forces with the Clinton Police Department to host surrounding law enforcement agencies on an everyother-month basis to exchange information. He says it's not uncommon to see crimes be solved because of the information exchanged at the meetings.

McIlroy, Woods To Appear Together On Fallon

 width=Golf rivals Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will be on television together next week.  The PGA stars are slated to be on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" next Monday.  McIlroy is the current world number-one and is coming off his fourth career major title at the PGA Championship this past weekend.  Woods is a 14-time major champion, but has been plagued by back issues all season and has played just eight tournaments this year. 

College Football Notes

>>Notre Dame Names Golson Starting Quarterback

(South Bend, IN) -- Everett Golson has made his way all the way back to starting under center for the Fighting Irish. ESPN.com reports Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has named Golson the starting quarterback for the second time in three seasons. The redshirt junior was suspended from school last fall for the entire 2013 season for "poor academic judgment."  width=Golson helped the Irish to the BCS national title game during the 2012 season, starting 11 games and throwing for over 24-hundred yards and 12 touchdowns. He added nearly 300 yards rushing and six more scores. Notre Dame opens the season August 30th at home against Rice.

>>ASU Lineman Sarafin Comes Out As Gay

(Tempe, AZ) -- Arizona State senior offensive lineman Chip Sarafin is coming out as gay. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound backup revealed his sexuality to the Phoenix-based magazine "Compete." Sarafin came out to his Sun Devil teammates last spring saying, "It was really personal for me and it benefited my peace of mind greatly." He is believed to be the first openly gay major college player to publicly come out while still playing.

>>Michael Sam Congratulates Gay ASU Lineman For His Courage

(Undated) -- Michael Sam is offering words of encouragement to Arizona State University football player Chip Sarafin. Sam, who became the first openly gay football player to be drafted by the NFL this year, reached out to Sarafin via Twitter after the six-foot-six offensive lineman came out as gay in the Phoenix-based magazine "Compete." Sarafin is believed to be the first openly gay college player to publicly come out while still playing. Sam came out to his teammates last year while still playing collegiately for Missouri but did not publicly reveal his sexuality until after the season ended.

In his tweet Wednesday, the St. Louis Rams defensive end congratulated Sarafin for "having the courage to be yourself." He also wished him and his teammates much success this season.

Bears, NFL Notes

>>Jared Allen Hopes To Be In Uniform Against Jaguars

Jared Allen can see it all coming together for the Chicago Bears and their defense.

 width=Now, all he needs to do is get on the field.

The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end anticipates suiting up for the first time with the Bears when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday.

Chicago's prized free agent acquisition, Allen sat out last week's preseason opener against Philadelphia after missing practices because his wife gave birth to a girl.

Assuming he plays this week, it will provide the first glimpse at how a rebuilt defense that the Bears are counting on to make a playoff run functions with its new star.

>>Bears Battle Jaguars

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bears are back to work tonight at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chicago is coming off a 34-28 win over the Eagles in its first preseason game. Jimmy Clausen will take over the offense following the exit of starting quarterback Jay Cutler.

>>Seahawks Lynch Cleared By Police

(Undated) -- Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been cleared in the assault and property damage accusation made against him on Monday. The Bellevue, Washington police department announced Wednesday that Lynch was cleared of any involvement in the incident. Seahawks officials spoke to Lynch and had proof that the 28-year-old was in his hotel room at the time of the incident. The Bellevue PD stated Monday that Lynch was under investigation for the claim made by an unnamed female in which the Seahawks responded on Tuesday, calling the accusation "bogus." The former Golden Bear is entering his third year of a 30-million-dollar deal for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Team USA Begins Training Camp In Chicago

 width=Team USA is set to begin another round of training camp in Chicago today as the team prepares for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.  Sixteen NBA finalists will eventually be trimmed down to a final 12-man roster.  The U.S. will play an exhibition against Brazil Saturday at the United Center, followed by two more next week at New York's Madison Square Garden against the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.  The FIBA World Cup begins August 30th in Spain. 

Baseball Notes

>>O's Put Machado On DL

(Baltimore, MD) -- Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his right knee. The move is retroactive to Tuesday. Machado was injured when his knee buckled during an at-bat in Monday's game against the Yankees. He collapsed at the plate and clutched his knee after hitting a grounder to shortstop and needed help getting off the field. Machado tore a ligament in his left knee late last season and didn't make his debut this year until May 1st.

 width=>>Harvey Still Wants To Pitch For Mets This Season

(Port St. Lucie, FL) -- Mets ace Matt Harvey isn't backing off his hope to pitch this season. Harvey threw a 27-pitch session off a mound in the bullpen at Port St. Lucie, Florida. On Tuesday, Sandy Alderson discusses how he was for him to pitch in the majors this season. In an interview with ESPN radio in New York Harvey said, "I threw a bullpen today and I didn't miss a spot. I felt like I was easily throwing into the low to mid 90s, with pretty much no effort. I know there's a process, but as a competitor I want to get out there as soon as possible." Harvey is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

>>Yankees' Tanaka Throws

(Baltimore, MD) -- The Yankees got one starter back on Wednesday and took a step toward the return of another. Ace Masahiro Tanaka threw 10 pitches off flat ground before New York lost to the Orioles at Camden Yards. Tanaka said "I think I have a chance if everything progresses the way I want it to and we want it to," when discussing if he could pitch again this season. He has not pitched since July 8th and is recovering from a partial tear to his ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. This type of injury can lead to Tommy John surgery, but Tanaka had a platelet-rich plasma injection to try to avoid the procedure.

>>Twins Top Prospect Injured

(Undated) -- The rough year for highly regarded Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton continued on Wednesday. Buxton collided with a teammate in right-center field as he made his debut for the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats. Buxton had to be carted away from the field in an ambulance. Milb.com stated he was down on the field for 10 minutes. Yahoo Sports is reporting Buxton has concussion-like symptoms.

>>Werth Reckless Driving Case Pushed Back

(Washington, DC) -- A reckless driving case against Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth is being pushed back to November 12th. A hearing had been scheduled for last week after Werth was pulled over in Fairfax County, Virginia on July 6th for allegedly driving 105 miles-per-hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone. The Nationals issued a statement saying they have been in communication with Werth about the situation and he is cooperating with authorities. The 35-year-old is batting .279 with 12 home runs this season for the National League East leaders.

Baseball's Elite Prospects Connected Through Father of Cubs Player

 width=Every time top Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant hits a home run, proud papa Mike Bryant beams back home in Las Vegas.

When Texas Rangers top prospect Joey Gallo goes yard with his powerful swing, Bryant gets a charge out of that, too.

Bryant doubled down, all right. He taught his son and Gallo how to hit when they were kids, passing along the lessons he learned from Ted Williams during the two spring trainings he was a Boston Red Sox farmhand in the early 1980s.

Now Bryant and Gallo are staging a home run derby as they make the climb to the major leagues.

Bryant hit his 39th homer Tuesday night, tops in the minors. It was the 17th with Triple-A Iowa.

Gallo (below) has hit 38, inlcuding 17 with Double-A Frisco.


Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Pounded Late

 width=>>Cubs Beat Brewers

(Chicago, IL) -- Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo each went deep to power the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Starlin Castro was 3-for-4 with an RBI while Chris Coghlan went 3-for-4 with a run scored for Chicago, which has won three of four. Tsuyoshi Wada [[ soo-yo-shee wah-duh ]] gave up two runs in six-and-two-thirds innings for the win. Hector Rondon [[ ron-DOAN ]] picked up his 16th save. Kyle Lohse [[ Lowsh ]] allowed four runs in three innings for the loss. He left with an ankle injury. Martin Maldonado and Rickie Weeks each hit a homer for Milwaukee, which has lost three of four.

 width=>>Cardinals Drop Marlins

(Miami, FL) -- Justin Masterson tossed seven innings of three-hit ball to power the Cardinals to a 5-2 win over the Marlins from Miami. Masterson improved to 2-and-1 for St. Louis, which avoided the three-game sweep. Matt Adams knocked in two runs while Matt Carpenter scored twice and went 3-for-5. Jeff Baker hit a two-run homer for Miami, which had won four of five. Nathan Eovaldi [[ eh-VAHL-dee ]] gave up four runs in six innings for the loss.

>>Seven Run Seventh Pushes Giants Past White Sox

(San Francisco, CA) -- Jake Peavy earned his first Giants victory and the offense exploded for a seven run seventh inning as San Francisco handled the Chicago White Sox 7-1 from AT&T Park. Peavy moved to 1-and-3 by giving up just one run on four hits in seven innings. Angel Pagan drove in a pair of runs, while Buster Posey went 2-for-4 at the dish with a run and an RBI as the Giants avoided a six-game losing streak. White Sox starter Jose Quintana fell to 6-and-9 after giving up four runs in six and two-thirds innings. Adam Dunn connected for his 19th home run to open up the scoring in the fourth inning.

San Diego Padres 5, Colorado Rockies 3
Atlanta Braves 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Washington Nationals 3, New York Mets 2

Minnesota Twins 3, Houston Astros 1
Baltimore Orioles 5, New York Yankees 3
Tampa Bay Rays 10, Texas Rangers 1
Kansas City Royals 3, Oakland Athletics 0
Seattle Mariners 2, Toronto Blue Jays 0

Boston Red Sox 5, Cincinnati Reds 4
Cleveland Indians 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 2 (G1)
Arizona Diamondbacks 1, Cleveland Indians 0 (G2, 12 inn)
Detroit Tigers 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3

Illini Football Notes

>>Lunt Standing Out At Illini Camp

 width=The Fighting Illini held their second two-a-day practice of Camp Rantoul on Wednesday, beginning with a fast-paced morning session that lasted just shy of two hours.

While the offense's highlights - including a few pretty passes from Wes Lunt to Mike Dudek and strong runs from Josh Ferguson, Donovonn Young and Devin Church - caught many eyes, the defense also counted a few attention-grabbing plays, including an Earnest Thomas III interception where he wrestled a deep ball out of Dudek's hands and a pick-six by T.J. Neal Jr.

After practice, a number of kids from the nearby Little Wings Day Care stopped by and slapped hands with Illini players as they exited the field. Head coach Tim Beckman and a number of players chatted with them and thanked them for coming to practice.

(Information courtesy of FightingIllini.com)

 width=>>Illini Hope New QB Will Lead Take Them To Next Level

Wins have been scarce the past few seasons at Illinois. Tight end Jon Davis believes this team could change that.

Davis says this Illini team should aim for six or seven wins and get there. That would be a big improvement on last season's 4-8 record.

Illinois will be leaning heavily on transfer quarterback Wes Lunt when it kicks off Aug. 30 against Youngstown State. Lunt started at Oklahoma State his freshman year before losing the job to injury.

Coach Tim Beckman says he's also counting on improvement on defense through experience. Last season's defense was young and lacked depth and gave up 35 points a game. Beckman begins the season under pressure after winning just six games his first two seasons.

ISU Wednesday Football Practice Focuses On Defense

 width=The theme to the Illinois State football team's practice Wednesday was all about situations, with the first focus on no-huddle offense and the second on goal line work during the team's workout.

The scenery was different as well for the Redbirds, who spent the majority of practice up on the grass practice field adjacent to the stadium. The team went through its normal schedule, before moving back to the turf at the stadium for 7-on-7 work. Instead of alternating reps as usual, the offensive units split took turns going no-huddle while driving the field.

Information courtesy of GoRedbirds.com.

Illinois State Education Reports From 2013 Overdue

Illinois State Board of Education officials say problems collecting information have forced a delay in the release of last year's state education reports.

Reports indicate the 2013 reports were required to be completed last October. But the state board says they've had trouble collecting school district teacher and administrator salary details.

State education officials say the data weren't released piecemeal because that would have created skewed statewide information.

The annual report cards track each district's student performance history, class sizes, spending on students and attendance.

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia is an Aurora Democrat who serves as chairwoman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. She says citizens "should know exactly where every dime and penny is being spent."

Illinois Treasurer Race Heats Up Over Accusations

The normally lackluster race for Illinois state treasurer is becoming increasingly contentious.

Republican candidate Tom Cross is scheduled to appear at a series of stops around central Illinois Tuesday. He'll talk about what he says were financial mismanagement and patronage by his opponent, state Sen. Michael Frerichs, in the Democrat's previous role as Champaign County auditor.

Cross says an early retirement program proposed by Frerichs cost taxpayers millions. He also says Frerichs improperly pushed the county to hire two local Democrats.

Frerichs says his decisions didn't lead the program to lose money. And he says he never employed the Democrats in his post.

Recently, the Cross campaign also circulated allegations that Frerichs didn't pay $1,800 in back taxes and interest. Frerichs disputed the county's determination that he owed the money.

Illinois Democrats Make Play For Unity, Victory

Illinois Democrats are gathering to promote party unity as they kick off the final months of the 2014 campaign.

Party officials and candidates from the top to the bottom of the ticket plan to attend a Wednesday breakfast hosted by the Illinois Democratic County Chairman's Association at Springfield's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates is the breakfast's keynote speaker. The event is held several hours prior to the party's annual day at the Illinois State Fair.

For the second year in a row, Gov. Pat Quinn canceled the afternoon rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Quinn was booed by union members at the fair in 2012 after he canceled their raises.

Quinn says the afternoon lineup of musical acts replacing political speeches will be more fun.

Democrat Day Won't Be So Political

It's Governor's Day at the state fair, but there won't be much of a political flare on the fairgrounds.

[audio:rddDemDay11.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn has canceled all political speeches on the Director's Lawn for the second year in a row. He says the Black Ensemble Theatre will be taking the stage instead of Democratic leaders and candidates. Quinn says the whole idea is to make the event more fun and family friendly. He denies the notion that he's staying off the stage to make sure unions don't have a chance to boo him, like they did a couple of years ago.

Rauners Buy Grand Champion Steer At State Fair

The Republican candidate for Illinois governor placed a winning bid on a champion steer at the Illinois State Fair.

Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) is a Winnetka businessman. His campaign says he and wife Diana, as well as the Friends of Pike County 4-H bought the Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer at the Governor's Sale of Champions at the fairgrounds Tuesday. His spokesman says Rauner is vacationing in Montana, so the bid on the steer was made by others on his behalf.

The auction was hosted by Rauner's Nov. 4 election rival, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

The purebred Hereford steer was raised by 11-year-old exhibitor Braden Musgrave. It sold for $56,300. Rauner's campaign says the steer will be donated to the University of Illinois' College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Piatt County Sheriff Says Illinois Pilot Dies In Helicopter Crash

Central Illinois authorities say a helicopter pilot has died after hitting power lines and crashing in a soybean field.

The Piatt County Sheriff's Office says 47-year-old Paul Reynolds of Mansfield was pronounced dead Tuesday. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. No other injuries were reported.

The sheriff says emergency responders found Reynolds' helicopter upside-down in the field near Mansfield. A resident in the area saw the helicopter go down and called for help.

Reports indicate, Reynolds had run a crop-dusting business since 2009. He trained to fly helicopters in the Army and flew in Operation Desert Storm.

FAA records show he was rated to fly both single-engine aircraft and helicopters.

Summer Improvements To Give Parts of Heyworth District New Look

One local school district has been busy preparing their facilities for the new school year.

The state of Illinois offers school districts a matching grant that gives them the opportunity to make improvements and upgrades to their facilities. According to Dr. Ty Wolf, Superintendent of Heyworth Schools, new LED lights have been place both indoors and outdoors throughout the district, which will provide them a source of energy savings very quickly.

[audio:8114heysummer1.mp3] [/audio]

The district is also looking to create a more relaxed feel in their Jr. and Sr. high school library. Dr. Wolf indicates they have remodeled in order to incorporate an internet cafe feel for students. He hopes students will learn to work together in a relaxing environment.

[audio:8114heysummer2.mp3] [/audio]

The library already had an extra horseshoe-like space and Dr. Wolf notes they're putting the new cafe into the area the old reference books were kept. Dr. Wolf explains reference books are quickly being replaced because of the advancements in classroom technology.

[audio:8114heysummer3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolf feels Heyworth has been fortunate to receive the matching grants from the State of Illinois the past several years.

He adds the entire objective of summer maintenance is to provide students with the best possible educational experience.

Allerton Park Introduces New Art

 width=Monticello's Allerton Park has unveiled new artwork for their visitors.

Allerton Park has partnered with the Champaign Public Art League to bring its first new piece of artwork in over seventy years. Matt Smith, with Allerton Park, says the sculpture will be at the park for two years and hopes it will blend into the various art themes throughout the park.

[audio:8614parkart1.mp3] [/audio]

There are numerous pieces of art already scattered throughout Allerton Park but Smith explains the art is not limited to just physical pieces. Various gardens and walls have been created they like to consider works of art.

[audio:8614parkart2.mp3] [/audio]

Smith encourages visitors to take a walking tour of the various works of art around the park. He says you may be surprised by all of the unexpected sights you'll see.

For more information on Allerton Park, you can go to allerton.il.edu or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

WHOW's Jared White Wins Ag Award

 width=Jared White, the local farm broadcaster for Miller Media Group agriculture radio stations Newstalk WTIM THE BIG 870 AM and 96.3 FM in Taylorville, and WHOW THE BIG 1520 AM and 92.3 FM in Clinton, was recognized for his service to Illinois agriculture by Farm Credit Illinois, during ceremonies on the lawn of Illinois Agriculture Director Bob Flider Tuesday at the Illinois State Fair.

White received an award for his promotion of agriculture in his local interviews featured each morning and noon hour, on the 2 ag radio stations, as well as streamed and archived at illinoisfarmradio.com.

Mike Loyd, marketing director for Farm Credit Illinois, presented the award to White, who has been the local farm broadcaster for the 2 stations since May 2011.

White is also station manager of WHOW-WEZC Radio in Clinton, and a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.

Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller, received the same award from Farm Credit Illinois in 2011, for his nearly 30 years of coverage of agriculture events from the Illinois State Fair.

Stewart Investigation To Continue For At Least Two More Weeks

 width=The investigation into last Saturday's accident in which NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park is expected to continue for at least two more weeks, possibly more.

Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero said on Tuesday the investigation into the death of Ward is ongoing and expects it to proceed for at least another couple of weeks. Povero noted that investigators continue to seek witnesses, gather evidence and reconstruct the crash.

The incident between Stewart and Ward occurred when both drivers made contact while battling for position, with Ward spinning out and hitting the wall.

A video showed Ward climbing out of his car and then walking down the dirt track during the caution. He was pointing his finger in the direction of Stewart and apparently yelling at him to express his displeasure.

Stewart's car and the vehicle of another competitor traveling in tandem approached Ward. The first car swerved to avoid hitting him, but the right rear of Stewart's vehicle struck Ward and dragged him briefly across the track.

Povero did not provide any details of the investigation during his briefing on Tuesday.

Packers, NFL Notes

 width=>>Packers Trade Worthy To Patriots

(Undated) -- The Patriots are taking a shot on a buy-low candidate. New England acquired defensive end Jerel Worthy from the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday. The deal is still pending the former Michigan State product passing a physical. Worthy has not practiced thus far in training camp because of a lower-back injury. According to ESPN, the Packers will get a future New England draft pick only if Worthy makes the Pats. He was taken by the Packers with the 51st overall pick in the second round of the 2012 draft.

>>Manning Doesn't Like Fights At Broncos Camp

(Englewood, CO) -- Things got chippy at Denver Broncos camp on Tuesday. There were multiple altercations featuring the offense and defense. Leader and quarterback Peyton Manning wasn't a fan of the extra curricular activity.

[audio:DENManning0812a1.mp3] [/audio]

Head Coach John Fox had to stop practice to address the team because of the multiple incidents. The main culprits were reserve players and not starters.

 width=>>Romo To Play For Cowboys On Saturday

(Oxnard, CA) -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will see his first preseason action Saturday when they face the Ravens at home. Romo didn't play in Dallas' 27-7 loss to the Chargers in the opening week of preseason action. He underwent back surgery almost eight months ago that didn't allow him to play in the finale of last season.

>>Brawl Erupts At Cowboys And Raiders Joint Practice

(Oxnard, CA) -- A joint practice between the Cowboys and Raiders in Oxnard, California got ugly on Tuesday. A brawl erupted after Dallas cornerback laid a good hit on Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera. A large crowd of players from both teams mauled together right by the fans near the sideline. Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb got into an altercation with a fan as the confrontation was broken up. The Oakland fan, who has yet to be unidentified, hit Webb twice with his hand and then a third time with a helmet. Webb answered back by taking a swipe at the fan with his right hand. The teams practice together again Wednesday.

>>Johnny Football Scores Record Ratings

(Undated) -- The phenomenon of "Johnny Football" continues to captivate sports fans. Johnny Manziel's NFL debut against the Detroit Lions produced record television ratings for the NFL Network. The August 9th Cleveland-Detroit game was the most-watched preseason game in the Network's history. Nearly three-million viewers tuned in to watch Manziel complete seven passes for 63 yards and rush for 27 yards. The previous most-watched preseason game was in 2007 when the Saints played the Steelers.

>>Manziel, Hoyer To Split Starter Reps

(Berea, OH) -- Ready or not, Johnny Manziel [[ MAN-zell ]] will see more playing time in the Cleveland Browns' second preseason game. Browns head coach Mike Pettine [[ PET-in ]] tells the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" that signal-callers Manziel and Brian Hoyer will split reps with the first-team offense in Monday's game against the Washington Redskins. Pettine has yet to name a starter, but says the two will get close to equal reps. The Browns are expected to name a starting QB for the regular season by the third preseason game.

Paul George Changes Number, Becomes PG-13

 width=Paul George jerseys will have a different look to them this season and beyond.  The Pacers' All-Star forward applied for and was granted the right to switch from the number 24 to number 13.  The idea of this change was first mentioned in an article from ESPN's Bill Simmons, who wrote "Can you think of anyone being helped by a nickname more than Paul George suddenly becoming PG-13?"  When asked about the idea in January, George said he liked the ring the "PG-13" nickname had to it.  George will miss the upcoming season with a broken leg suffered while training with Team USA in the upcoming FIBA World Cup. 

Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Lose

 width=>>Beckham Sends White Sox Past Giants

(San Francisco, CA) -- Gordon Beckham singed in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning to lift the White Sox to a 3-2 win over the Giants at AT&T Park. Adam Dunn hammered a two-run homer in the opening inning for Chicago, which has won two of three since a four-game skid. Chris Sale struck out 12 in eight shutout innings for the no-decision and Zach Putnam picked up the win. Brandon Crawford plated the tying run in the ninth after Pablo Sandoval scored on a double play earlier in the inning. Santiago Casilla took the loss as San Fran dropped its fifth straight.

>>Cubs Blank Brewers

(Chicago, IL) -- Kyle Hendricks struck out five in seven-and-a-third shutout-innings to lead the Cubs to a 3-0 win over the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Hendricks improved to 4-and-1 and Hector Rondon closed it out for his 15th save. Anthony Rizzo blasted a solo homer while Justin Ruggiano and Arismendy Alcantara [[ air-is-MEN-dee al-CAHN-ter-uh ]] each singled in a run. Wily Peralta gave up all three runs in six-and-a-third innings of work to fall to 14-and-7 for Milwaukee, which had won four of five entering the game. Mark Reynolds tallied a pair of hits in the Brewers' six-hit effort.

 width=>>Cosart, Marlins Blank Cards

(Miami, FL) -- Jarred Cosart fired seven shutout innings as the Marlins blanked the Cardinals 3-0 in Miami. Cosart allowed just three hits and a walk as he improved to 1-and-1 with the Fish and 10-and-8 on the year. Mike Dunn recorded the final out in the ninth for his first save. Donovan Solano smacked a two-run homer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled in the other run for the Marlins, who have won the first two of this three-game series and four of five overall. Mark Ellis had two of the four hits for St. Louis, which has lost four of its last five. Adam Wainwright surrendered three runs in seven frames to fall to 14-and-7 with the loss.

>>Ausmus: No Structural Damage For Tigers' Verlander

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is expected to miss one start after being diagnosed with shoulder inflammation. Manager Brad Ausmus says an MRI showed no structural damage and there are no plans to place the former AL Cy Young winner on the disabled list. Verlander left Monday's start against Pittsburgh after giving up five runs in the first inning. Rookie Robbie Ray is expected to take his spot for Sunday's game against Seattle.

>>Astros Shutting Down Springer For Two Weeks

(Houston, TX) -- The Houston Astros are shutting down rookie outfielder George Springer for the next two weeks. He re-aggravated a quad injury which landed him on the 15-day disabled list on July 23rd. The 24-year-old Springer is batting .231 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI this season.

>>O's Machado Has Sprained Knee Ligament

(Baltimore, MD) -- Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has a sprained ligament in his right knee. An MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury, which he suffered during an at-bat in Monday's win over the Yankees. It's unclear how long he will be out. The 22-year-old is hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 32 RBI in 82 games this season.

ISU Football Goes Through First Two-A-Day

 width=After a long day of media interviews and practice on Monday, the Illinois State football returned to the Hancock Stadium turf early Tuesday morning for the first of two practices on the day. After the morning practice in shoulder pads and helmets, the team returned to the stadium at for a fully-padded workout under the lights.

During both workouts, the Redbirds were greeted with clear skies and cool temperatures, something most of the veteran players were not used to at this time of camp. Head coach Brock Spack was impressed with his team's resolve after the long day.

Information Courtesy of GoRedbirds.com

UPDATED: Fugitive Sought In Aggravated Battery, Armed Robbery Case Arrested


The fugitive the Clinton Police Department was seeking the public's help in capturing has turned himself in.

Regional Radio News has learned Dennis L. Eveland III has turned himself in. According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, at approximately 2:10 pm Wednesday afternoon, Eveland turned himself in to the DeWitt County Jail and is in their custody.

The Clinton PD issued a statement Wednesday morning seeking information in locating Eveland. Eveland is wanted in Dewitt County on multiple arrest warrants on charges of armed robbery, and aggravated battery.

Authories believed Eveland to possibly be armed and considered him dangerous.

With the capture of Eveland, authorities remind residents their information on any other fugitives or other crimes can be submitted through Clinton Area Crime Stoppers by calling 217-935-3333.

The CrimeStoppers phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.

CrimeStoppers does not want your name, just your information.

Navy SEAL Trying Out For Northwestern Football Team

A 32-year-old father of three who is an active Navy SEAL is trying to earn a spot on Northwestern University's football team.

Tom Hruby is a junior and wants to walk on as a defensive end. According to reports, Hruby says he's not doing anything "outstanding or amazing." Instead he sees it as "just more of a challenging route." Northwestern lists him as 6-3, 230 pounds. He has a dorm room at the school and visits his family on the weekends.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald calls Hruby "absolutely relentless, like you would suspect from a SEAL."

Hruby works as a SEAL instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station. He saved up his leave so he could participate in the Wildcats' three-week training camp this month.

Quinn Calls On Rauner To Confirm Debates

Gov. Pat Quinn has called on Republican challenger Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) to "come out of the gopher hole" and commit to debates ahead of the general election.

Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat has confirmed his appearance at eight debates and forums ahead of the Nov. 4 election along with a ninth potential venue. Rauner's campaign says the businessman plans to appear at a number of debates and will announce those dates "soon."

Quinn told reporters Monday that debates are voters' best chance to see candidates side by side on the issues.

Rauner participated in fewer debates than his GOP opponents ahead of the four-way March primary, something that prompted criticism from those challenging him.

Quinn is seeking a second full term. This is Rauner's first run for public office.

Illinois Suspends Medical License Over Prescribing

Illinois regulators have suspended the license of a Chicago psychiatrist who allegedly prescribed a risky drug to thousands of Medicare and Medicaid patients for illegal drug company payments.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation took the action Friday against 71-year-old Dr. Michael J. Reinstein, suspending his license for three years. Reinstein would have to reapply to have his license reinstated.

Reinstein's prescribing was scrutinized during a time he cared for patients in approximately 30 different nursing homes in Chicago and the area.

He became the largest prescriber in the United States of the antipsychotic drug clozapine. The drug is considered a last resort for elderly patients because it's associated with an increased risk of death.

Reinstein didn't immediately return a phone message to his office seeking comment.

Papers of Lincoln Adds Two New Documents

A documentary project about Abraham Lincoln has scanned two previously unknown papers from the former president for its collection.

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is a project dedicated to identifying and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime. It's administered through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and co-sponsored by the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois Springfield and the Abraham Lincoln Association.

The first letter is from Lincoln to his former secretary of war, Simon Cameron, in 1863.

The second is an endorsement Lincoln wrote on an 1862 letter from a New York firearms dealer trying to locate rifles for Illinois soldiers.

The documents are from the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection at the University of Alabama Libraries.

Illinois Concealed Carry Process Getting Easier

There are signs that the initial rush of applications for permits to carry concealed weapons in Illinois is slowing down and the process is getting a bit easier to navigate.

Reports indicate observers say technology issues and other problems that applicants experienced when the process started in January have been largely remedied.

Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says some people are getting their permits within 35 days of when they submitted their applications to police.

State Rep. Brandon Phelps supported the bill that made Illinois the last state in the nation to allow concealed weapons. He says that between February and July nearly 69,000 permits have been issued.

Springfield Plans Rainwater Recycling Program

Springfield officials are moving forward with a project to recycle rainwater runoff.

Reports indicate bidding is set to begin Thursday for the water reuse and bioswale project. A bioswale is a shallow ditch that uses special soil to filter pollutants out of water.

Springfield's public works director says officials hope to finish the project by the end of the year. They say it will help keep toxins out of the city's sewer system and will limit sewer backups from rainwater entering the system. The city will used recycled runoff to water plants downtown and to clean sewer lines.

A $600,000 Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant is expected to cover most of the project costs.

The state Environmental Protection Agency will review acceptable bids.

Illinois Man Charged In Argument Over Remote

Illinois police say a man has been charged with beating his 68-year-old father following an argument over a remote control.

Reports indicate 40-year-old Troy Humphrey of Champaign was charged Monday with felony aggravated battery to a senior citizen.

Police say Humphrey's father shot him in the shoulder to end the argument. They say the father visiting from Flint, Michigan, was defending himself and hasn't been arrested or charged.

Police responded Saturday after they say Humphrey pushed his father out the door of a home and down the driveway.

Humphrey's injury isn't life-threatening and he appeared in court Monday. His bond was set at $3,000 and he was ordered not to contact his father.

Police Say Gun Used In Suicide Also Used In Murders

Police in the northern Illinois city of Dwight say a gun recovered from the scene of a suicide was used in the murder of two women.

The .40 caliber Glock handgun used in the June 26 suicide was reported stolen during a residential burglary in Morris, Illinois.

Dwight Police Chief Tim Henson said Monday the Glock was used to shoot to death Donna Denker and her daughter, 30-year-old Kelli Denker. The boyfriend of Kelli Denker was also shot in the June 14 incident, but survived. Henson didn't release more information about the case.

Sixty-year-old Donna Denker was a retired mental health technician and 30-year-old Kelli Denker was a manager at the Dwight Dairy Queen.

Dwight is about 75 miles southwest of Chicago in Livingston County.

Public Defender In McLean County Resigns

The public defender in McLean County in central Illinois has resigned.

According to reports, Kim Campbell's resignation was announced to her staff Friday by Judge Elizabeth Robb.

The judge also announced a temporary replacement. Peoria lawyer Jeff Flanagan will step into the top post in the public defender's office. He's the former Peoria County public defender.

Campbell released a brief statement to the newspaper saying it was time for her "to move on to new challenges." She said she would take time to focus on her family and "pursue new opportunities." She said it had been an honor to serve.

She had been public defender in McLean County since replacing Amy Davis when she retired in 2010.

University of Illinois Proposes Off-Campus Cameras

City council members in Champaign are considering a proposal from the University of Illinois to expand its network of surveillance cameras off campus and onto city streets.

According to reports, University Police Chief Jeff Christensen says adding more cameras where students congregate would help his department and city law enforcement.

If approved, it would be the first time the university has put security cameras on property it doesn't own.

Christensen says footage from the university's camera network helped solve 15 investigations during the 2012-2013 school year and provided evidence in another six cases.

The university wants to phase in off-campus cameras starting with a control box at Sixth and John streets that could later connect cameras along Green Street, a high-traffic corridor.

Popular Lincoln Event To Expand In 2015

 width=The popular Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival will see some exciting changes in 2015.

The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce announced in July an expansion for next year's Balloon Fest. Andi Hake, Executive Director of the Chamber, says the festival has grown in recent years and needs to expand to multiple weekends. The Chamber, along with the Lincoln Tourism Bureau, felt the change could also have positive economic impact on the community.

[audio:812142015fest1.mp3] [/audio]

The balloon portion at the fairgrounds will remain the same for 2015. Downtown events such as the barbecue competition and flea markets will take place on another weekend. Hake notes the Art Fair will expand into a third weekend next year, and the Antique Craft Fair will join forces with the local Railsplitter Festival next fall.

[audio:812142015fest2.mp3] [/audio]

An estimated 20,000 or better attended the Balloon Fest overall in 2013. She explains several visitors have requested the split in order to fully experience all events. The Chamber and Tourism Bureau have committed to market the new events in order to raise public awareness of the changes.

[audio:812142015fest3.mp3] [/audio]

Hake says another positive aspect of the changes in 2015 will be the utilization of volunteers. She feels the volunteers are spread very thin over Balloon fest weekend and now can commit to more than one event.

For more information on this year's Balloon Fest, you can go to lincolnillinois.com. This year's Art and Balloon Fest is August 22-24.

Blue Ridge Welcome New FFA Advisor

With the new school year on the horizon, teachers and district faculty members are already headed to their respective buildings to prepare for th 2014-15 school year.

The Blue Ridge School District will welcome a new leader for their very successful Future Farmers of America Chapter, or FFA. The district welcomes Kirsten Blackford as their new FFA teacher. Blackford explains she was an intern at the Champaign County Fair for a few years. She officially came on staff at Blue Ridge Schools at the beginning of the month.

[audio:81214blueridgeffa1.mp3] [/audio]

The district announced the hiring of Blackford as their newest FFA Advisor in April and Blackford is looking forward to carrying what she has learned in her time in Champaign County into the classroom and helping high school students.

[audio:81214blueridgeffa2.mp3] [/audio]

Blue Ridge High School's FFA chapter has a long history of producing quality leaders who go on to bigger and better things after their time in the Blue Ridge District. Blackford is looking forward to continuing to mold the young people of the district and notes her impression of the kids in the program is one of high regard.

[audio:81214blueridgeffa3.mp3] [/audio]

Blackford will ask her officers to set goals for themselves and the chapter, and as she continues to meet and communicate with them, she will set goals for herself.

Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson says Blackford will be a wonderful addition to the Blue Ridge High School staff.

Criminal Charges Not Expected To Be Filed Against Tony Stewart

 width=Officials say charges are unlikely to be filed against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart following Saturday's deadly accident at a New York state dirt track.  Still, Texas-based injury litigation specialist Mazin Sbaiti [[ MA-zin suh-BAY-ti ]] says Stewart could be looking at manslaughter charges, if they can prove he sped up and angled his car toward the victim. The accident took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.  The 20-year-old had gotten out of his car following a spinout, and was waving his arms and gesturing at Stewart when he was hit.  The Ontario County Sheriff's Office says at this point there isn't enough evidence of any criminal intent on Stewart's part. 

McIlroy Strengthens Grip Atop World Rankings

 width=Rory McIlroy won his second major championship in a row, and his third consecutive event overall, and he strengthened his hold atop the world golf rankings.

McIlroy led by 0.17 average points last week, but is now 1.99 average points clear of No. 2 Adam Scott.

They remained 1-2 in the rankings and were followed by Henrik Stenson, who inched up one to third and that pushed Sergio Garcia down to fourth. Justin Rose was fifth again this week.

Jim Furyk jumped two to No. 6 and with that Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson both dipped one to seven and eight. PGA Championship runner-up Phil Mickelson jumped four places to ninth.

Jason Day, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth all fell one and are 10th through 12th. Rickie Fowler shared third at Valhalla and moved up five places to No. 13. Martin Kaymer fell a pair to 14, while Zach Johnson and Graeme McDowell were down one apiece to 15 and 16.

Dustin Johnson held steady at No. 17 and Hideki Matsuyama dipped two to 18. Jimmy Walker and Charl Schwartzel exchanged places with Walker moving up to 19 and Schwartzel sliding to 20th.

Police Investigating Seahawks' Lynch In Assault Complaint

 width=Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is being investigated by police over an allegation of assault and property damage at an apartment complex. Bellevue, Washington Police say Lynch was named by an unidentified woman in regards to an incident that occurred early Sunday morning. The complaint does not involve domestic violence or sexual assault. Lynch has been named to the Pro Bowl each of the last three years, helping the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl title last season.

He was suspended three games in 2009 while with Buffalo for having a concealed weapon in the trunk of his car. Lynch also had his driver's license revoked in 2008 following a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo. He was also cited for reckless driving in Oakland, California in 2012.

Baseball Notes

 width=>>Pirates Place McCutchen On DL

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is headed to the disabled list after all. The reigning NL MVP has been placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to August 4th, with a fractured rib. The Pirates had been trying to avoid placing McCutchen on the DL, attempting to give him time to heal, but things didn't improve enough for him to return. McCutchen was drilled in the back by a fastball on August 2nd by Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Randall Delgado in retaliation for the Bucs hitting first baseman Paul Goldschmidt the night before. Goldschmidt is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a broken hand.

>>Royals Acquire Josh Willingham From Twins

(Kansas City, MO) -- The Kansas City Royals are adding some pop to their lineup. The Royals have acquired outfielder Josh Willingham from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league right-hander Jason Adam. Willingham is batting just .210 with 12 homers and is two seasons removed from bopping 35 home runs for the Twins in 2012.

 width=>>Pineda To Start For Yankees Tomorrow

(Baltimore, MD) -- Michael Pineda [[ pin-AYE-duh ]] is ready to return to the New York Yankees' rotation. He is slated to start Wednesday's series finale in Baltimore after missing nearly four months with a shoulder injury. Pineda was originally scheduled for another rehab start, with Esmil Rogers penciled in as the Yanks' probable starter Wednesday against the Orioles. Pineda last pitched for the Yanks on April 23rd in Boston when he was ejected for having pine tar smeared on the side of his neck. He then suffered a lat strain below his pitching shoulder while throwing to stay sharp during a 10-game suspension.

>>Reds' Cueto NL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto [[ KWAY-toh ]] is the National League Player of the Week. The right-hander went 2-and-0 against the Indians and Marlins while allowing four earned runs and striking out 15 in 17 combined innings. It's Cueto's first career weekly award.

>>Royals' Butler AL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Kansas City Royals first baseman Billy Butler is the American League Player of the Week. Butler hit .435 over six games last week with two home runs, five doubles, seven RBI and a .458 on-base percentage as Kansas City went a perfect 6-and-0.

Cubs, Cards Lose; Sox In San Francisco

 width=>>Brewers Drop Cubs

(Chicago, IL) -- Yovani Gallardo struck out six in seven innings of one-run ball to help guide the Brewers to a 3-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Gallardo improved to 7-and-6 with the win and Francisco Rodriguez closed it out for his league-leading 36th save. Mark Reynolds belted his 20th home run of the season. Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett each chipped in an RBI for Milwaukee, which has won four of five. Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 and Chris Coghlan [[ COG-len ]] doubled in a run for Chicago. Jake Arrieta [[ air-ee-ET-uh ]] fell to 6-and-4 with the loss for the Cubs, who have lost three of their last four.

 width=>>Marlins Clip Cardinals

(Miami, FL) -- Giancarlo Stanton blasted a pair of home runs and totaled three RBI to lead the Marlins to a 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Marlins Park. Stanton is now tied with two others for the Major League lead with 31 homers. Christian Yelich went 3-for-4 with one RBI and Adeiny Hechavarria [[ uh-DAY-nee etch-uh-vuh-REE-uh ]] plated a run for Miami, which has won three of four. Tom Koehler [[ KOE-ler ]] improved to 8-and-9 with the win and Steve Cishek [[ SEE-sheck ]] notched his 30th save. Shelby Miller got tagged for five runs in five innings to fall to 8-and-9 for St. Louis, which has lost four of its last six. Jon Jay belted a two-run shot and Matt Holliday went 4-for-4 and drove in a run in the loss.

MLB National League
New York Mets 5, Philadelphia Phillies 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Atlanta Braves 2
San Diego Padres 4, Colorado Rockies 3

MLB American League
Baltimore Orioles 11, New York Yankees 3
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Texas Rangers 0
Minnesota Twins 4, Houston Astros 2
Kansas City Royals 3, Oakland Athletics 2
Seattle Mariners 11, Toronto Blue Jays 1

MLB Interleague
Pittsburgh Pirates 11, Detroit Tigers 6

>>White Sox Begin Series In San Francisco Tonight

(San Francisco, CA) -- The White Sox begin a brief two-game series with the Giants tonight in San Francisco. Chris Sale gets the ball for Chicago. He is 10-and-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 18 starts. San Francisco will send out right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who is 7-and-8 with a 3.77 ERA.

Illini Volleyball Ranked 11th In Preseason Poll

ess than three weeks before the 2014 season-opener, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has ranked Illinois No. 11 in its Division I preseason poll.

Coming off of an 18-15 2013 finish that included its fifth appearance in the NCAA Regional (round of 16) in the past six seasons, Illinois is one of seven Big Ten teams selected in the preseason top 25 poll. Defending NCAA and Big Ten champion Penn State took the No. 1 spot while Wisconsin (No. 6), Nebraska (No. 7), and Purdue (No. 8) all made appearances in the top 10.  width=Minnesota was right behind the Illini at No. 12 while Michigan State was slated at No. 16. Michigan also received votes.

Nine of the Fighting Illini's 24 regular season opponents are ranked in the top 25 including non-conference opponents Stanford, North Carolina and Creighton. An additional three non-Big Ten opponents received votes including Colorado, UCLA and Long Beach State. Illinois will have a chance to defend its ranking early as four of the Fighting Illini's first five opponents were in the top 25 or received votes. Head coach Kevin Hambly's unit will open the season by hosting the Illini Classic that includes No. 20 North Carolina and Long Beach State followed by a visit to California to take on UCLA and No. 3 Stanford.

Penn State took the No. 1 spot followed by Texas, Stanford, Washington and USC rounded out the top five respectively. Wisconsin, Nebraska, Purdue, BYU and Florida filled spots six through 10.

The Illini will host the Alumni Match on Saturday, August 23rd in Huff Hall at 7:00 p.m. before opening the season with the Illini Classic on August 29th and 30th.

Illinois Shifts Football Camp To Rantoul

 width=After a full day of interviews, photos and signing autographs for fans on Sunday, the Fighting Illini moved to Camp Rantoul for wall-to-wall football during week two of training camp. The Illini hit the practice fields off U.S. Route 45 at 9 a.m. Monday morning for the first of two sessions. Illinois worked extensively on special teams fundamentals for the first portion of practice, then moved into individual drills, 7-on-7 and team sections on a cool, overcast morning.

After an afternoon filled with film study and meetings, the team strapped on full pads for a scrimmage Monday evening.

The scrimmage began with situational work, starting with red-zone action then working through "coming out" situations, with the offense beginning drives in the shadow of its own goal line. The No. 1 offense faced the No. 2 defense, and the No. 1 defense went against the No. 2 offense. As expected, the No. 1 units controlled the action through most of those situational drills.

The Fighting Illini have a single practice Tuesday beginning at 4:15 p.m. All practices at Camp Rantoul are free and open to the public.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-12

August 12, 2014

Jail Population: 40
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 0

Investigation into the scene of an accident that occurred on 8/11/14 at 11:23 A.M revealed that Patsy Canada, 57, Maroa was traveling eastbound on Illinois State Route 54 when she struck Morgan Buggar, 18, Kenney traveling southbound onto Kenney Road. Canada Reported that she was traveling approximately 54 MPH and Buggar pulled out in front of her. Buggar stated she was unsure of what happened. Seatbelts were worn by all involved. Buggars vehicle was towed from the scene due to damage by Zeigler’s Towing to Zeigler’s Towing. Canadas vehicle was towed by Baum’s Towing to Baum’s. Buggar and passenger were transported by DeWitt County EMS to St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, Illinois. Canada and passenger were transported by Logan County EMS to Dr. John Warner Hospital in Clinton, Illinois. Buggar was issued a Citation for Failure to Yield-Stop or Yield Intersection. Canada was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle.





Treasurer Candidate Late On Property Taxes

A candidate for Illinois treasurer is being asked to explain why he didn't pay more than $1,800 in back taxes and interest to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Crain's Chicago Business reports Champaign Democratic state Sen. Michael Frerichs owes the Champaign County Treasurer $1,814 in back taxes and interest for his legislative office. The Champaign treasurer's office says the bills date back to 2008.

Frerichs and Senate President John Cullerton say that office legally shouldn't have been billed because the office is used for public purposes. But the Department of Revenue has so far ruled the money is owed.

Frerichs is bidding for treasurer against Republican Tom Cross of Oswego. Cross says the flap raises issues about Frerich's ability to be an "honest and careful" steward of funds.

Sen. Durbin: U.S. Military Can't Change Iraq

Senator Dick Durbin is throwing his support behind the President's decisions to bomb militants in Iraq, but says the problems in the region require more than military force.

[audio:DickDurbinIraq11.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Durbin says critics who question why the U.S. intervening in Syria don't understand the situation.

[audio:DickDurbinIraq21.mp3] [/audio]

He adds the military won't be able to change things without the help of the people of the Middle East.

[audio:DickDurbinIraq31.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Durbin believes people who want to send troops into Iraq should look to history.

[audio:DickDurbinIraq41.mp3] [/audio]

Thursday night, American fighter jets destroyed artillery shelling Kurdish forces. President Obama also announced military planes had conducted airdrops of water and food to religious minorites surrounded by ISIS forces. U.S. combat troops were withdrawn from Iraq almost three years ago.

Quinn To Release Emails In Hiring Scandal

Governor Quinn is under the microscope for patronage hiring at the Department of Transportation.  His administration apparently skirted around hiring rules so they could put dozens of people in positions based on clout instead of skill.  He was asked to release emails about the brewing scandal months ago, but they're still under wraps.  Quinn says he's reclassifying the jobs and will release the emails once that's done. 

Quinn Still Slamming Rauner On Cayman Investments

Governor Quinn and his GOP opponent have been going tit-for-tat over what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to investing in the Cayman Islands. Bruce Rauner has invested some of his cash in the Caymans, which Quinn says is a haven for rich people who want to avoid paying taxes. On the other hand, he says it's OK for the state pension systems to invest overseas.

[audio:rddTaxDodge11.mp3] [/audio]

Rauner has repeatedly denied claims that his Cayman investments lowered his tax rates. But Quinn says the only way for him to prove that is by releasing his full tax returns, along with the schedules.

Quinn: Illinois Doesn't Need Rauner-Style Business

GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to run the state like a business, but Governor Quinn says the people of Illinois should be concerned about that. He says Rauner has dodged accountability over and over again when it comes to how he runs his own companies.

[audio:rddNoBiz11.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn is referring to a couple deaths that occurred at nursing homes owned by Rauner. There are also reports a former CEO of a company tied to Rauner has been indicted for stealing millions in a trading scheme. Rauner has defended himself on both positions. He says his company had ended its relationships with the facilities in the nursing home cases before the deaths occurred. His campaign team says Rauner had no hand in hiring the accused CEO and called his alleged behavior was unacceptable.

Peoria Officials To Relocate Woman After Retaliation

The Peoria County State's Attorney's Office is finding new housing for a 22-year-old woman who says six women attacked her for helping the office with a case.

According to reports, police say the woman was attacked Sunday over her involvement in a case, but they aren't saying which one. She tells police a woman she knew arrived at her apartment early Sunday with five other women.

A police report says they forced their way into the residence and began kicking and punching the woman and choking her friend.

Police say they're seeking two known suspects among the attackers on charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault and home invasion.

No arrests had been made Sunday night.

Car Crashes Into Bedroom of Urbana Home

An Urbana man has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he crashed his car through the wall of a home.

Champaign County sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Vercler says the crash occurred about 4:30 a.m. Saturday in east Urbana.

The driver ran off the road at a curve, running over a stop sign and striking the corner of a home. The front of the car punched through the wall of a bedroom.

According to reports, the home's owner was in another room at the time and was not harmed.

The driver, Andrew Shannon, was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital and later transferred to Champaign County Jail. He was scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday.

Bridges Key Piece To Toting Big Soybean Harvest

Small bridges across the soybean-growing Midwest can't handle fully loaded farm trucks.

The Soy Transportation Coalition and other soybean-industry trade groups are focusing on those obscure bridges as part of a multimillion-dollar campaign to try to improve the transportation infrastructure farmers use.

That push has greater meaning this year with soybean prices dropping and farmers looking at less money from crops.

Farmers west of the grain elevator in Stockland, Illinois, can either haul less-than-full loads across a small concrete bridge or drive farther to go around the bridge. Elevator owner Sonny Metzinger says either way it costs them more money.

The soybean groups say sometimes working on such bridges is a tough sell to government agencies with limited funding.

Cool Summer Setting Expectations For Record Harvest

The nation's corn and soybean farmers are on track to produce record crops this year as a mild summer has provided optimum growing conditions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has predicted a record soybean crop of 3.8 billion bushels.

The USDA said last month the corn crop will be just under last year's record of 13.9 billion bushels, but many market analysts and farmers expect that to be revised upward Tuesday in a much anticipated report.

Technology is also aiding the large harvests with high-yield seeds and planting systems that use GPS.

The harvest forecast has driven corn and soybean prices significantly lower, but it isn't expected to make much of a short-time difference in consumer food prices.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois Readying For School Based Program

The local Big Brothers Big Sisters is in need of mentors for their school-based programs this fall.

Prior to the beginning of the school year is the most appropriate time to enroll as a mentor. Eric Batsie, Community Partnership Manager with Big Brother Big Sisters of Champaign County, explains the process takes 6-7 weeks to get approved. He says child safety is their number one priority, which is why the screening process takes so long.

[audio:8714mentor1.mp3] [/audio]

Several factors are considered when matching a big brother or little brother with a mentor. According to Batsie, mentors and kids are matched through similar interests, age preferences among mentors, and availability.

[audio:8714mentor2.mp3] [/audio]

Another question asked of mentors are things they may not comfortable with. Batsie explains Big Brothers, Big Sisters want mentors to be able to comfortably deal with challenges a young person may be experiencing, whether at home or at school.

[audio:8714mentor3.mp3] [/audio]

Big Brothers Big Sisters is always looking for mentors to step up, Batsie mentions Big Brother Big Sisters is in special need of mentors for young boys.

Anyone is interested in being a mentor can call their Clinton office at 935-1234.

Talks of Selling Clinton Lake Marina Suspended Indefinitely

The Clinton Lake Marina provided a large portion of conversation at Thursday Night's DeWitt County Board.

Board Member Danny Ballenger began by updating the board on the ADA compliance issues with the Marina. Ballenger, along with Administrative Assistant, Dee Dee Rentmeister, informed the Board that a good portion of the projects have been completed which will allow them to be ready for an inspection by the Attorney General's Office in September.

[audio:81114marinasale1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=The Board also discussed proceeding with the sale of the Marina. Board Member Keith Koons does not believe much has been done with the property since he's been on the Board. He adds the county shouldn't be involved in a private business.

[audio:81114marinasale2.mp3] [/audio]

Vice-Chair Pete Daugherty and Board Member David Newberg felt it wasn't right to go in this direction at this time due to several factors. They point to the 80 acres that lie on the south side of the Marina. Newberg believes it would be better to pursue development there rather than focusing on selling the Marina.

[audio:81114marinasale3.mp3] [/audio]

Board Member Doug Tucker moved to table the motion indefinitely. Daugherty says they have never gotten a good price for the entire Marina. Daugheerty adds attempts to sell the Marina in the past have failed.

[audio:81114marinasale3.mp3] [/audio]

The motion to table indefinitely passed 6-5 with Brown, Koons, Terry Hoffman, George Wismiller and Ron Savage voting no.

Clinton Landfill To Appeal Ban On PCBs, Gas Waste

The owners of the Clinton landfill are planning to appeal a ban on the disposal of certain types of waste at the site, saying the facility poses no health or safety threat.

Municipal officials around central Illinois have fought plans to bury PCBs at the Clinton Landfill over concerns that a major drinking water aquifer beneath the facility could be contaminated.

Following Gov. Pat Quinn's intervention, state environmental officials last month blocked the plan and also forced the facility to stop accepting waste from manufactured gas plants. Both types of waste contain carcinogenic chemicals. Landfill officials say the facility can safely hold the chemicals.

Calls to Chris Coulter, Vice President and COO of Peoria Disposal Company, went unreturned to Regional Radio News Friday.

McIlroy Escapes With Dramatic PGA Title

 width=Rory McIlroy briefly was three strokes out of the lead on Sunday, but he made an eagle and two birdies on the back nine and rallied to win his second PGA Championship title.

McIlroy finished at 16-under-par 268. This was his fourth major championship, and third consecutive victory. He started the run with a win at the Open Championship and followed that with a victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Phil Mickelson, the 2005 PGA Champion, fired a 5-under 66 and ended alone in second at minus-15.

Henrik Stenson also posted a 66, while Rickie Fowler closed with a 68. Stenson and Fowler shared third at 14-under 270. Mickelson, Fowler and Stenson had owned the lead most of the day, but couldn't keep pace with McIlroy down the stretch.

Play was finished in darkness as a 1-hour, 50-minute rain delay earlier in the day pushed things back. It was so dark on the final hole that Fowler and Mickelson let McIlroy and Bernd Wiesberger hit their tee shots as they were walking down the fairway.

After Mickelson and Fowler reached the green, the final twosome again hit up in an effort to finish before complete darkness set in. Both were two back at that point and needed eagle to possibly force a playoff, but Fowler made par and Mickelson a birdie to end one back.

Allmendinger Wins At The Glen

 width=AJ Allmendinger outlasted the field despite a near hour-and-a-half red flag delay in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 from Watkins Glen.  It's his first-ever Sprint Cup Series victory.  The 32-year-old led 30 of the 90 laps.  Marcos Ambrose finished second while Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.  There was a one-hour and 21-minute delay due to a wreck on Lap 57 involving Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell.  Tony Stewart's replacement, Regan Smith, ended 37th.  Stewart pulled out of the race after a fatal accident on Saturday that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Junior.

Bears, Johnny Football Notes

>>Quarterbacks Lead Bears In Preseason Opener

Jay Cutler, Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen threw touchdown passes and the Chicago Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles 34-28 on Friday night in their preseason opener.

The Bears rattled Nick Foles in the early going, intercepting two passes, even though they were missing Jared Allen. The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end and prized free-agent acquisition missed practices this week with his wife giving birth to a girl.

 width=Tight end Martellus Bennett remained suspended by the team for his role in an altercation with cornerback Kyle Fuller at practice Monday. The Bears also were missing right guard Kyle Long (ankle) and right tackle Jordan Mills (foot), but even with several starters out, they had no trouble moving the ball.

>>Bears Reinstate Tight End Bennett

(Bourbonnais, IL) -- Tight end Martellus Bennett is back with the Chicago Bears. His suspension was lifted by the team after five days. He was fined and out of action due to an altercation with cornerback Kyle Fuller. Bennett missed two practice sessions and Friday's preseason opener. Bennett is coming off a career year in his first season with Chicago. He posted career-highs with 65 catches and 759 yards and tied a career-best with five touchdowns.

>>Bears Waive OL Graham Pocic

The Chicago Bears waived offensive lineman Graham Pocic and signed center-guard Rob Turner on Sunday.

The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Turner started 24 games and played in 63 over seven seasons with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. He started in six games for Tennessee last season.

Pocic, a Lemont, Illinois native, was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent last season out of Illinois. The Bears had signed him at the end of July.

>>Manziel Debuts With Browns

(Detroit, MI) -- Quarterback Johnny Manziel [[ man-zel ]] made his NFL debut with the Cleveland Browns during Saturday's preseason game at the Detroit Lions. He entered the game in the second quarter after Brian Hoyer started at QB. The former Heisman Trophy winner went three and out on his first possession. Manziel finished 7-for-11 for 63 yards. He added 27 rushing yards on six carries.

>>Report: Browns Move Manziel To #1 QB

(Undated) -- There is now even more controversy surrounding Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel [[ man- ZEL ]]. ESPN reported on Sunday Manziel jumped ahead of Brian Hoyer, who started the first preseason game on Saturday. Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine [[ PET-in ]] told the "Akron Beacon-Journal" that is "untrue." Hoyer went 6-for-14 with 92 yards. Manziel was 7-of-11 for 63 yards and led the team with 27 rushing yards.

Cards, Cubs Avoid Sweeps; Sox Lose

 width=>>Cardinals Top Orioles

(Baltimore, MD) -- Peter Bourjos hit a three-run homer to help the Cardinals pull out an 8-3 win over the Orioles in Baltimore. Kolten Wong ended 4-for-5 with two runs while Jon Jay was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs for St. Louis, which snapped a two-game skid. Lance Lynn allowed three runs in five-and-two-thirds innings for the win. Kevin Gausman gave up three runs in five innings for the loss. Nick Markakis had four hits and two runs to go with an RBI as Baltimore saw a three-game win streak end.

 width=>>Cubs Walk Off Rays In 12

(Chicago, IL) -- Anthony Rizzo hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Rays at Wrigley Field. Javier Baez and Chris Coghlan [[ COG-len ]] each plated a run as well for Chicago, which avoided being swept with the victory. Travis Wood threw six innings of one-run ball and Carlos Villanueva picked up the win. Desmond Jennings went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and Curt Casali scored off an error as Tampa Bay saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. Cesar Ramos took the loss after Alex Cobb struck out six in six innings.

>>Mariners Double Up White Sox

(Seattle, WA) -- Austin Jackson went 3-for-4 and plated all four of the team's runs to lead the Mariners to a 4-2 win over the White Sox at Safeco Field. Chris Taylor and Chris Denorfia each tallied a pair of hits for Seattle, which took three of four from Chicago and has won five of its last six. Dominic Leone picked up the win and Fernando Rodney closed it out for his 33rd save. John Danks gave up four runs in six-and-a-third innings to fall to 9-and-8 for the White Sox, who have lost seven on nine. Tyler Flowers cracked a solo shot and Conor Gillaspie singled in a run in the loss.

MLB National League
Cincinnati Reds 7, Miami Marlins 2
Philadelphia Phillies 7, New York Mets 6
San Diego Padres 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Milwaukee Brewers 1
Colorado Rockies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (10 inn)
Atlanta Braves 3, Washington Nationals 1

MLB American League
Cleveland Indians 4, New York Yankees 1
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Detroit Tigers 5 (19 inn)
Texas Rangers 6, Houston Astros 2
Boston Red Sox 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 1
Minnesota Twins 6, Oakland Athletics 1

MLB Interleague
Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 4
Chicago Cubs 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2 (12 inn)

Beckman Wants Illinois To Make Bowl Game

 width=Illinois' veteran players and coach are beginning the season outlining hopes for reaching a bowl game this season.

Michael Heitz is a senior offensive lineman. He reminisced during Illinois' media day Sunday about the team's 20-14 win against UCLA in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

But Heitz is one on the few left on the roster to have such a memory.

Of 13 Big Ten schools eligible for bowl games in 2012 and 2013, Illinois is one of two teams that haven't played in postseason games.

Coach Tim Beckman says the experience will "reward the players for the heart they've given us."

Clinton Police Weekend Report








Hundreds Gather To See National Recording Artist Perform in Clinton

A Sunday performance of national country recording artist, Easton Corbin drew several hundred people on the downtown Clinton Square Sunday afternoon. 

The concert was thanks to a record turnout for a vehicle test drive at Douglas Dodge in Clinton that benefited the FFA. FFA members and their friends and family, along with Douglas Dodge employees and their families were able to have exclusive access to the stage, that saw it's first major performance of the summer on the new Mr. Lincoln Stage.

Hundreds gathered on the streets and near businesses nearby for the performance. 

Clinton City Administrator, Tim Followell, issued the following statement Monday following the concert:

"Dear Clinton FFA & Douglas Dodge,

Yesterday was such a great day with Easton Corbin in town. What was suppose to be a private event at the high school ended up being a community celebration.
Through the generosity of both of you and the Easton Corbin group we were all able to be part of something very few communities will ever be able to lay claim to.
Again, on behalf of our community THANK YOU which is why I love our small town."






Syracuse Named No. 1 Party School; University of Illinois Makes List

Syracuse University knows how to party.

The Orange are at the top of the annual list of the nation's top party schools released Monday by The Princeton Review.

Last year's winner, the University of Iowa, is second. Rounding out the top 5 are: the University of California-Santa Barbara, West Virginia University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Repeating at the top of "stone-cold sober schools" was Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Syracuse says in a statement that it doesn't "aspire to be a party school." It says it has a an internationally recognized reputation for academic excellence.

About 130,000 students on 379 campuses were surveyed for the book, which contains 62 top-20 lists ranking factors like financial aid awards, athletic facilities and food.

The publication is not affiliated with Princeton University.

Illinois Doctor's License Suspended After Charges

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has suspended the license of an Illinois doctor charged with illegally distributing controlled substances.

Reports indicate the license for Dr. Naeem Kohli of Effingham was suspended last week.

Kohli was charged in March in federal court with health care fraud and illegally dispensing controlled substances such as methadone, oxycodone and hydromorphone. He was licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe those drugs but is accused of illegally dispensing them to patients.

Kohli has pleaded not guilty and is free on $100,000 bond. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 12 in federal court in Benton.

Kohli's attorney, Richard Sindel, says he plans to fight the charges in court.

Illinois Historic Sites Forced To Reduce Hours

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to cut hours at 13 of its historic sites starting after Labor Day.

The agency said Monday that a 19 percent cut in its budget for the sites forced it to cut back at sites such as the Old State Capitol in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. Most will reduce the days they are open from five to four.

The agency's budget was cut for the current fiscal year to $4.6 million.

Director Amy Martin said that even with the cuts the agency's budget isn't balanced. She hopes the reductions will hold spending in check until lawmakers can consider restoring some agency funding this fall.

Martin said some lawmakers have indicated that's possible.

Minorities Asked Donate Organs

State officials are calling on more Black, Hispanic, and Asian people to step up and become organ donors. Secretary of State Jesse White explains why the need is so high.


White says 56-percent of the people who are waiting for organs come from minority ethnic groups.


White says people can receive an organ from anyone but their recovery process goes smoother if it comes from someone with the same ethnic background. Five-and-a-half million people in Illinois have signed up as organ donors but there are still about five-thousand people on the waiting list. White says one person can provide life or improve the quality of life for up to 25-people if they donate their organs. People can sign up at LifeGoesOn.com.

New App Let's People Finger Through State Finances

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is launching a new app that let's state vendors get a heads up on when their next check will be cut.


Baar Topinka says you can get all of the latest payment details and other information in the "fund status" section of the app.


The "Illinois Pays" app for iPhones and Android devices provides easier access to state payments and fund information. You don't have to be a state vendor to access the app, though. Anyone who wants to keep an eye on what's happening with the state's finances can download it at IllinoisComptroller.com.

Heat Turning Up In Final Months Before Election

The election is just three months away and that means political candidates will start turning up the heat. This year's governor's race is expected to be the most expensive in Illinois history and according to Political Scientist Kent Redfield, voters won't be able to run from either of the campaigns.


Things have been somewhat toned down so far, but Redfield says negative ads will start flooding the airwaves soon.


Redfield adds some voters won't just see negative ads on TV, they'll also get flooded with mail and phone calls.


We'll likely start seeing Governor Quinn turn the heat up on Bruce Rauner and paint him as someone who's unelectable. He may raise more issues about Rauner's wealth and whether he can or can't relate to everyday people. Rauner on the other hand will likely try to convince voters that Quinn is just like his predecessors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, who both ended up in prison. Rauner may keep Quinn's failed anti-violence program in the forefront because the feds are investigating it for possible wrong-doing.

National Transportation and Safety Board Determines Plane Flew Too Slowly Before Crashed

Federal aviation investigators have determined a 2012 fatal small plane crash two years ago in central Illinois was likely caused by the plane's inability to maintain proper airspeed and an improper setting on aircraft flaps.

According to reports, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded those factors caused the plane to stall, go into a spin and crash on Aug. 11, 2012 in Taylorville. Twelve skydivers were able to exit the plane safely but 30-year-old pilot Brandon Sparrow of Augusta was killed.

Nobody on the ground was injured and local authorities have credited Sparrow with saving lives because he steered the twin-engine plane away from houses before the plane crashed.

Trial of Man In Officer's Death To Stay In Pontiac

The trial of a man charged in the death of a Pontiac police officer will not be moved to another county.

According to reports, Livingston County Judge Robert Travers on Wednesday rejected defense arguments that an unbiased jury cannot be seated.

Jason Collins of South Carolina is charged with reckless homicide and drunken driving in the death of officer Casy Kohlmeier (KOHL-mire) in October 2013. Authorities say his pickup truck struck Kohlmeier's squad car as it was parked in an interstate median.

Defense attorneys claim that survey of 150 people in Pontiac proves the potential jury pool is tainted by extensive publicity.

The judge says the survey is too small, but the trial could be moved if there is difficulty seating an impartial panel during jury selection.

SIU Weekly Medical Update







Governor Signs New Payroll Card Law





Governor Pleased To See Walgreens Headquarters Stay On US Soil





Traditional State Fair Butter Cow Is Unveiled





County Clerk's Office To Be Closed On Election Day

The DeWitt County Board approved a motion to close the County Clerk's Office on Election Day.

DeWitt County Clerk Dana Smith requested the Board to close her office on November 4th. She explained this will be a unique election year due to a couple factors. Individuals will have the option to register to vote on election day which will allow them to vote on the same day. Voters will also be likely to receive more than one sheet of paper this year. Smith, along with other area County Clerks, believe closing their offices is the best option to focus on what needs to be accomplished.


The Board voted unanimously 11-0 to close the office on Election Day.

New 24 Hour Fitness Center Opens in Clinton

  width=Today saw the opening of the a new 24/7 fitness center in Clinton.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new Your Time Fitness 24/7 center Friday. This new business has been a life-long dream for owner Jeff Lane and wife, Denise. He says they've planned for this day for several years now. Lane is a Clinton native who decided the town needed a center where individuals can exercise on their own time.  
[audio:8914fitness1.mp3] [/audio]
Lane explains new members need to come in during business hours from 9-5 to sign up. After becoming a member, they will have 24 hours access to the building with complete surveillance while they work out.  

[audio:8914fitness2.mp3] [/audio]


Your Time has various exercise equipment in order to get someone back into shape. They also have items to help in a person's rehabilitation. Lane notes they assist a member in providing the tools they want for their exercise experience.
[audio:8914fitness3.mp3] [/audio]
Your Time Fitness is located at 47 Cedar Square in Clinton For more information, you can call 217-493-0101 or find them on Facebook. 



UPDATED: Clinton IGA Employee Arrested For Threatening Customer

Clinton authorities have indicated to Regional Radio News that a Clinton IGA employee has been arrested for unlawful use of a weapon over a dispute with a customer.

Thursday morning a verbal altercation broke out between a Clinton IGA employee and a customer over the grocery store's product.

Clinton Police arrested Jonathan Bratcher ,38, of Clinton for unlawful use of a weapon after an altercation in IGA. Bracther was transported to the DeWitt County Jail and released to corrections.

Suspects Apprehended in Texas Township Burglary

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office has apprehended a suspect in connection to a Wednesday residential burglary.

According to DeWitt County Sheriff Shofner, there was an altercation in Texas Township Tuesday between a pair of burglars and the home's residents. The Sheriff indicates the burglars managed to escape the premises. Amanda Tebrugge (tu-per-jay) has been apprehended and authorities are seeking her boyfriend, Brandon Tulak (tu-lack), for further questioning.

[audio:8914texasburglary1.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff says a post to Facebook was a major help in solving the crime and apprehending the suspects. Sheriff Shofner explains a fellow law enforcement officer who works in a department outside Clinton and DeWitt County, recognized the vehicle description and was able to aid in apprehending the suspect.

[audio:8914texasburglary2.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff says this particular burglary spree has been stopped, as the second suspect is being actively sought.

He notes most burglaries happen during the daytime hours and encourages the locking of all doors, garages, and vehicles.

Easton Corbin to Perform for Clinton FFA on Downtown Clinton Square

Thanks to the Dodge-Ram Corporation, a group of local agriculture students will be treated to a special concert this weekend by a major country music star.

Easton Corbin will perform this weekend on the downtown Clinton Square thanks to the turnout during a test drive event at Douglas Dodge in Clinton. According to Emily Peterson, Reporter for the Clinton FFA Chapter, explains the contest allows the chapter a concert on the Clinton Square. She says the staging area will be blocked off for students of the FFA Chapter, but the public can come out and watch from the other portions of the downtown square.

[audio:8914eastoncorbin1.mp3] [/audio]

Owner of Douglas Dodge in Clinton, Tony Douglas,says the dealership will occasionally do a drive to benefit the Clinton FFA Chapter. He explains this time around, there just happened to be a little incentive for more folks to come out and give a Dodge vehicle a test-drive.

[audio:8914eastoncorbin2.mp3] [/audio]

The concert gets underway at 4:30. Only FFA members, Douglas Dodge employees and their family and friends will have access to the stage area on the square, however, the public is invited to join around the rest of the square for the concert.

Vacant County Board Seat Subject of More Heated Discussion

 width=200 height=150 />The DeWitt County Board Chair didn't appoint a new member to the vacant seat for District B for the second meeting in a row. <br /> <br />The issue of the vacant seat was brought up again at Thursday night's DeWitt County Board meeting. Board Member Danny Ballenger wanted County Board Chair Sherrie Brown to appoint Christy Pruser to the District B seat. Pruser is the widow of late Board Member Tom Pruser. Brown explains the motion had already been voted on at the last meeting. <br /> <br />[audio:8814countyseat1.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />The issue was tabled until the end of the meeting when Board Member Doug Tucker addressed Brown regarding Pruser's appointment. He says various constituents have come to him requesting the appointment as soon as possible. He adds the county doesn't need a dictator but a leader as a County Board Chair moving forward. <br /> <br />[audio:8814countyseat2.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />Brown claims she never refused to swear Pruser in and the decision was under advisement. Several Board Members argued Brown has said she would meet with Pruser to which Brown disagreed. <br /> <br />[audio:8814countyseat3.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />Ballenger asked Brown the difference between the District B seat and other appointments brought to the Board Thursday evening. Several residents of District B requested they get full representation. Board Member Camille Redman told Brown it's a courtesy to the citizens of the district to make the appointment. <br /> <br />[audio:8814countyseat4.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />Thursday night's meeting also saw the Board approve the purchase of a public address audio system after nearly a year on the agenda. <br /> <br />The Board also tabled several issues pertaining to the Animal Shelter and Clinton Lake Marina. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for further coverage.</p>						</div>

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College Sports News

 width=>>NCAA Board Giving Big Five Conferences Autonomy

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The NCAA is giving the five power conferences approval to make some of their own rules. The Division One Board of Directors has voted to allow the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC the ability to provide more benefits to student-athletes regarding scholarships and the full cost of attending school. Those conferences would also be able to make some of their own decisions regarding recruiting rules, with three student-athletes from each conference taking part in the decision process. The proposal can be nullified if at least 75 schools outside of those conferences are against it.

>>Gary Williams To Be Inducted Into Naismith Hall Of Fame Today

(Springfield, MA) -- Former Maryland men's basketball head coach Gary Williams makes his way into the Naismith Hall of Fame today. Williams will be inducted along with nine others including Alonzo Mourning, Nolan Richardson, Mitch Richmond and David Stern. He spent 22 seasons at Maryland, where he guided the Terrapins to 14 NCAA tournament berths in his final 18 seasons, reached the Sweet 16 seven times, made the Final Four twice and won the school's first NCAA basketball championship in 2002.

Westwood, Chappell, Palmer Share PGA Lead

 width=There is a three-way tie atop the leaderboard after the first round of the PGA Championship.  Lee Westwood, Kevin Chappell and Ryan Palmer each shot a six-under 65 on Thursday.  They lead a pack of five other golfers by one shot, including world number-one Rory McIlroy.  Phil Mickelson opened with a two-under 69 to sit in a tie for 20th.  Tiger Woods struggled to a three-over 74.  He declared himself pain-free and ready to go after a practice round on Wednesday.  Woods withdrew from last Sunday's final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with back spasms, putting his status in doubt.

NBA Notes

 width=>>Sources: Cleveland Has Agreement To Acquire Kevin Love

(Cleveland, OH) -- Minnestota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love is reportedly set to join superstar LeBron James in Cleveland. Yahoo Sports reports Minnesota will trade Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Love will reportedly sign a five-year, 120-million-dollar contract extension with the Cavs. The trade cannot be finalized until August 23rd due to league rules. It's expected the blockbuster trade will vault the Cavaliers to front-runner status to win an NBA championship. Wiggins was the number=one pick in this year's NBA Draft.

>>Durant Withdraws From FIBA World Cup, Under Armor Deal Coming?

(Undated) -- The U.S. men's basketball team will not have NBA superstar Kevin Durant at this month's FIBA World Cup in Spain. The Oklahoma City forward has withdrawn his name from roster consideration after being with the team in training camp last week in Las Vegas. Durant cited time and energy as the reason behind the decision, saying he needs to recharge mentally and physically for the upcoming NBA season.

Meanwhile, the "New York Daily News" reports Durant is close to signing a long-term endorsement deal with Under Armor that would pay him as much as 30-million-dollars annually. Durant's seven-year, 60-million-dollar deal with Nike is set to expire. Under Armor is headquartered in Durant's home state of Maryland.

NFL Preseason Notes

 width=>>Preseason Opener Could Give Clues About Bears 'D'

The long-anticipated debut of Jared Allen with the Chicago Bears might be pushed back a week.

The grand unveiling of the rebuilt defense figures to come at a later date, too.

Chicago hosts the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday in a preseason opener that still could provide a glimpse even if it's lacking some star power.

Allen missed practices this week with his wife giving birth to the couple's second daughter, throwing his status for this game into doubt.

If he does play, it will probably only be a cameo since starters generally make early exits.

Tight end Martellus Bennett might also miss this one after being suspended indefinitely following an altercation with cornerback Kyle Fuller in practice on Monday.

>>Rams Battle Saints

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams begin the preseason tonight on NFL Network. St. Louis meets the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome. Kick is slated for 7 p.m.

 width=>>Packers Prep For Preseason Opener

(De Pere, WI) -- The Packers will hold a workout today ahead of their preseason opener on Saturday at the Tennessee Titans. Green Bay will play four exhibition games in all before opening the regular season on September 4th at Seattle.

>>NFL Preseason Wrap Up

(Undated) -- The NFL preseason went into full swing on Thursday night with six games. The slate was highlighted by a rematch of last year's Super Bowl that saw the Broncos pick up a 21-16 win against the Seahawks in Seattle. The Ravens dumped the 49ers 23-3, the Redskins beat up on the Pats 23-6, the Chiefs snuck past the Bengals 41-39, the Cowboys fell to the Chargers 27-7 and the Jets grabbed a 13-10 victory against the Colts.

On the schedule for Friday are another six games. The Falcons host the Dolphins, the Bills head to Carolina to face the Panthers, the Jaguars welcome the Buccaneers to Jacksonville, the Raiders are at the Vikings, the Bears take on the Eagles in the Windy City and the Rams play the Saints at the Edward Jones Dome.

>>Niners Ready For Smith Suspension

(Undated) -- The San Francisco 49ers are getting ready for the league to hand down it's suspension to linebacker Aldon Smith. CSN Bay Area reports the Niners are preparing for a six to eight game ban from commissioner Roger Goodell. Smith has had multiple off-the-field issues this past offseason. He's pleaded no contest to weapons charges and DUI charges. Smith was also under investigation for a false bomb threat at LAX.

Pair of Baez Blasts Leads Cubs; Cubbies Claim Hamels From Philadelphia

 width=>>Rookie Baez Powers Cubs Past Rockies

(Denver, CO) -- Recently called up Javier Baez homered twice and drove in four runs as the Cubs cruised past the Rockies 6-2 in the rubber game of a three-game set from Coors Field. Baez, who went 3-for-4, and shortstop Starlin Castro hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning to extend the Cubs lead. Kyle Hendricks improved to 3-and-1 after throwing eight innings of two-run ball. Chicago has won five of its last seven Yohan Flande fell to 0-and-4 after giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings. Justin Morneau [[ MORE-no ]] had two hits including an RBI double and a run scored in the loss. The Rockies have lost six of seven.

 width=>>M's Rout White Sox

(Seattle, WA) -- Endy Chavez, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager all smacked two-run homers in the Mariners' 13-3 rout of the White Sox at Safeco Field. Dustin Ackley added a solo shot and knocked in four for the M's, who have won three straight. Roenis Elias tossed five-and-two-thirds innings of two-run ball to even his record at 9-and-9. Scott Carroll was rocked for seven runs in five-plus frames to fall to 4-and-7 with the loss. Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has dropped three in-a-row and five of its last six overall.

MLB National League
Washington Nationals 5, New York Mets 3 (13 inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 3, San Francisco Giants 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 7, Miami Marlins 2

MLB American League
New York Yankees 1, Detroit Tigers 0
Baltimore Orioles 2, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Oakland Athletics 3, Minnesota Twins 0

MLB Interleague
Cincinnati Reds 4, Cleveland Indians 0
Philadelphia Phillies 6, Houston Astros 5
Kansas City Royals 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0

>>Cubs Claim Hamels

(Undated) -- The unidentified team to claim Phillies starter Cole Hamels has come to light. 97.5 the Fanatic of Philadelphia says the Cubs are the team to have claimed the left-hander off waivers. The Phillies have 48 hours to strike a deal with Chicago, pull his trade waivers or let him walk for nothing.

Illinois Collected $1.4-Billion In Child Support

An Illinois agency says it has collected more than $1.4 billion in child support for the first time in state history.

In a news release, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services also announced the fiscal year that ended in June was the tenth straight year that more than $1 billion was collected.

The IDHFS says most of the child support is collected through income withholding. But it employs other methods, such as "freezing and seizing" bank accounts. It also notifies professional and occupational licensing agencies to suspend or revoke licenses of a parent until child support is paid. It evens asks the Department of Natural Resources to deny hunting and fishing licenses to non-compliant parents.

American Idol Auditions At State Fair

American Idol auditions are being held at the Illinois State Fair this weekend.  Anyone between the ages of 15 and 28 can take a shot at making it big.  The celebrity judges won't be there though.  Officials say the show producers will screen talent and determine if they're eligible to move on to the next round of auditions, which will be held in another city.  Auditions are tomorrow and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. outside the carnival entrance. 

Harrisburg Mayor Loses Battle With Brain Cancer

The city of Harrisburg is mourning the death of its mayor.  Mayor Ron Crank lost a battle to brain cancer this morning.  He was 65.  Crank has been running the city for about a year.  He was a city councilman before becoming mayor and also served as a Harrisburg police officer and Saline County Sheriff's deputy.  Funeral arrangements have not been solidified yet. 

Family Of Dead SIU Student Files Lawsuit

More details are being released about the death of a 19-year-old SIU Carbondale student.  An attorney for Pravin Varughese's family says they have proof that he was beaten before he died.  They say an independent autopsy determined he suffered from blunt force trauma and he had defensive wounds on his arms.  That contradicts the official coroner's report, which ruled Varughese had frozen to death on a cold February night.  He was found in a wooded area five days after he vanished from an off-campus party.  Witnesses said he'd gotten into a vehicle with someone he didn't know very well.  The family has filed a lawsuit against the man who was driving that vehicle.  And, they're claiming the city of Carbondale and the chief of police were negligent in the way they handled the case.

New University of Illinois Union Will Have To Wait On Raises

Some members of a new union for faculty members who aren't on tenure tracks at the University of Illinois will have to wait to get raises that had already been offered.

The university this week told the new Campus Faculty Association that salary increases planned for the upcoming academic year can't be given to some "specialized faculty" because the union doesn't have a labor deal.

The new union was certified by the state on July 8.

It isn't clear how many of the union's 473 members will be affected.

According to The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1vcdwCS ), the provost's office also says it is appealing the state's decision to certify the union.

Faculty members who formed the union said they were seeking better pay and multi-year contracts.

Consumer Spending Bounced Back Fast In Illinois

Just a year after they had seen the worst of the Great Recession, Illinois consumers were spending more than they were before the economic downturn.

New federal data show that the average Illinois resident's consumer spending has also grown faster than the average American consumer since that 2009 low.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday show spending by the average Illinois consumer increased 11.3 percent between 2009 and 2012. That's ahead of the country's 10.7 percent growth.

People in Illinois spent, on average, $36,292 each on consumer goods in 2012. The average for all Americans was $35,498.

The largest expenses were for health care and housing and utilities. Each of those two cost more than $6,000 per person in Illinois.

New Vaccine Requirements For Illinois Students

Health officials are reminding Illinois parents about required vaccinations and eye exams for school children.

Illinois requires students enrolling in school to be up-to-date on immunizations. Students enrolling in kindergarten for the first time in an Illinois school must have an eye exam by a licensed optometrist or a medical doctor.

Illinois has made a few changes in vaccination requirements. Students must show proof of having received two doses each - instead of one - of rubella and mumps vaccines. Children entering kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade for the first time must show that they've had two doses of the varicella - or chicken pox - vaccine.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says the new requirements follow two separate outbreaks of mumps in the state.

Russian Ag Import Ban Won't Hurt Illinois Farmers

Russia is banning all American agricultural products from coming in to their country, so how will that impact Illinois?

[audio:rddRussiaBan11.mp3] [/audio]

Ag Spokesman Jeff Squibb says Illinois sold 33-million-dollars-worth of products to Russia last year, but that's less than one-percent of the state's total exports. According to the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois sends out some corn and soybeans to Russia but the exports are typically low because they don't accept certain GMO varieties of U.S. corn.

Two Peoria Teens Tied Up During Home Invasion

Police in Peoria say two teenagers were overwhelmed by a group of robbers who stormed inside a house after the door was answered. The robbers tied up the teens and ransacked the house.

Reports indicate the home invasion and robbery happened early Thursday morning in central Peoria. Police say the foster father had just left when the teens heard a knock on the door. Police say the group of men - at least one of them holding a gun - made off with a firearm.

The boys were able to free themselves and call police from a neighbor's home. As of Thursday afternoon, police had not made any arrests or publicly identified any suspects.

Clinton Board of Education Names Russell Long To Fill Vacant Seat

The Clinton Board of Education held a special meeting Wednesday night to interview candidates to fill the seat of the late Tom Pruser.

The Board of Education interviewed nine candidates and selected Russell Long as the replacement. According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools, the Board felt Long brings good oversight when it comes to management.

[audio:8814longboard1.mp3] [/audio]

In interviewing the nine candidates Wednesday, Dr. Holmes indicates he and the Board were looking for someone who is committed to meeting the needs of the students, both academically but also with facilities and extracurricular activities.

[audio:8814longboard2.mp3] [/audio]

While Dr. Holmes admits the circumstances for coming together Wednesday were certainly difficult, he commends the Board for their ability to put those feelings aside and focus on doing what was best for the district.

[audio:8814longboard3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes was very impressed with the nine candidates who came forward to fill the vacant seat on the Board. He feels all nine demonstrated their willingness to serve the school board and the community. He adds, any one of the nine would have been suitable for the board.

Dr. Holmes hopes more people will come forward in the April elections next year, because there will be open spots on the Board. He wants to see quality candidates bring their names forward to serve.

FBI Director Says Corruption, Crime Illinois Focus

FBI Director James Comey said in a visit to Springfield that stopping violent crime and public corruption are priorities in the region.

Comey visited Springfield on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement officers from across Illinois. Reports indicate it was one of a series of visits Comey is making nationwide.

In Springfield Comey met with about 80 police chiefs, sheriffs, state police leaders, federal officers and others.

Last month Comey named Sean Cox as the new special agent in charge of the Springfield division.

Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow visited with the director and said it was a positive meeting.

Quinn's Office Refusing To Detail Hiring Changes

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration is refusing to release details about steps it says it took to fix questionable hiring practices at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The Democrat's office said last spring it had reclassified some jobs to protect them from political considerations in hiring. Now Quinn's personnel agency won't turn over documents explaining that process and says no decisions have been made.

The Department of Central Management Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press for records on the reclassification of 61 "staff assistant" jobs. A federal lawsuit claims IDOT skirted anti-clout rules.

An CMS lawyer says the review did not consider anti-patronage rules, contradicting what Quinn's office said in April. A spokeswoman says the review continues and documents will be released when it's complete.

High School Football Kicking Off Sooner

The high school football season is starting a bit earlier this year. Normally, the first official day of practice is on a Wednesday but IHSA spokesman Matt Troha says it's being bumped up a couple of days.

[audio:rddEarlyStart11.mp3] [/audio]

Troha says teams will get a few extra days on the field this year.

[audio:rddEarlyStart1.mp3] [/audio]

Teams will be allowed to hit the field next Monday, August 11th. The first games are played August 29th and state championship weekend is November 28th and 29th in Champaign.

Tips To Stay Healthy At Fairs

State officials are offering a few health tips for people who are headed out to state or county fairs. Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says people should remember to drink plenty of water and stay away from too many sugary drinks.

[audio:rddHealth11.mp3] [/audio]

Arnold adds be sure to wash up before indulging in your favorite foods.

[audio:rddHealth21.mp3] [/audio]

She also recommends people wear sunscreen and clothes that'll keep them cool. Remember, bugs will be out so don't be afraid to spray on a bit of insect repellent with DEET to keep them at bay.

Gold Medalist Selected As State Fair Parade Grand Marshal

A U.S. gold medalist will be the front man at the Twilight Parade in Springfield tomorrow.  Kevin McKee is a member of the U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team but he can add Grand Marshal to his list of accomplishments.  He was born with a spinal deformity but that's never stopped his athletic aspirations.  The Quad Cities native played tennis in high school and wheelchair basketball in college.  McKee has skated on Team USA's National Sled Hockey Team since 2010, and helped lead the squad to first place in Sochi, Russia last year.  He'll be in the first car at the parade, which starts at 6:00 tomorrow evening. 

University of Illinois Suspends Sierra Leone Programs Over Ebola

The University of Illinois has suspended study-abroad programs in Sierra Leone and plans extra screening for students arriving from West Africa in response to the outbreak of Ebola.

Martin McFarlane is associate director of International Student and Scholar Services at the Urbana-Champaign campus. According to reports, he says only a handful of the 3,500 new international students expected on campus this fall are from the area affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Robert Palinkas of the campus' McKinley Health Center said health care workers screen all new international students. But West African students will go through an additional interview and educational process.

The university has programs for students in Sierra Leone that will be suspended this fall. No students were studying in West Africa this summer.

Decatur College Noted For Emergency Preparedness

Illinois officials say Richland Community College in Decatur has become the first such institution in the state to receive the "Ready to Respond Campus" designation.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says Richland received the award Wednesday. It is second only to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign among all colleges to be designated as ready to respond to emergencies.

Richland was among nine campuses that participated in a 2013 pilot of the Ready to Respond Campus program. The initiative is designed to enhance campus safety, emergency preparedness and response efforts.

All colleges and universities may now participate in the voluntary program.

Richland President Gayle Saunders says it's impossible to insulate the campus. So it's important to be prepared to get through an emergency as safely as possible.

Organizers Ready For Biggest Event In Lincoln

 width=One of Lincoln's biggest yearly events is right around the corner.

The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce's Art and Balloon Festival brings in thousands of visitors each year for the event that includes a balloon glow on Friday and Saturday night, a balloon launch Saturday and Sunday morning and a sanctioned barbecue cook off on the square, with other barbecue vendors serving Saturday and Sunday. Andi Hake, Executive Director of the Lincoln Chamber says the annual art show is a big hit with a wine and craft brew sampling going on as well.

[audio:8714balloonfest1.mp3] [/audio]

This will be the fourth year for the Kansas City Barbecue Society's (KCBS) sanctioned barbecue cookoff on the square. Hake says the event has taken off and has become one of the favorites of the annual festival. Because of KCBS regulations, the competitors cannot serve those in attendance, so the chamber arranges for four barbecue vendors to come in for the weekend.

[audio:8714balloonfest2.mp3] [/audio]

Giant kites have become one of the most popular attractions of the weekend. According to Hake, they do performances and the kites are so big they can be seen from the highway.

[audio:8714balloonfest3.mp3] [/audio]

The biggest draw, of course, and the name for the weekend, the hot air balloons can be seen each day of the festival. Hake says the balloons launch Saturday and Sunday mornings, and they do a glow at dusk Friday and Saturday nights.

For a full list of the weekend's activities and a schedule of events, you can visit http://lincolnillinois.com/events/art-and-balloon-festival/.

This year's Art and Balloon Festival is August 22-24.

Early Season College Basketball Schedules Released

>>Basketball Brackets Released

(Undated) -- The NCAA released brackets for early-season tournaments with several local schools
taking the court. Duke will open up against Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic in
November with North Carolina battling Butler in the opening games of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament
on November 26th. The Tar Heels could take on UCLA or Oklahoma pending the result of their game.

>>College Basketball Brackets Released

(Undated) -- The NCAA released brackets for early-season tournaments and the Missouri Tigers will
see some tough competition. Mizzou will take on Arizona in the Championship Round of the EA Sports
Maui Invitational on November 24th. The Tigers will battle Purdue or Kansas State pending the result
from their game the following day. Missouri will play three games in the tourney.

 width=>>College Basketball Brackets Released

(Undated) -- The NCAA released brackets for early-season tournaments with Washington taking the
court in two tourneys. Washington will take on San Jose State on November 27th in the Wooden
Legacy. The Huskies will play Western Michigan or Long Beach State pending the result. In December,
Washington will head to Las Vegas for the MGM Grand Showcase and play the Oklahoma Sooners.

>>College Basketball Brackets Released

(Undated) -- The NCAA released brackets for early-season tournaments with several local schools
taking the court. California will take on Syracuse on November 20th at the 2K Classic and San Jose
State will battle Washington in the Wooden Legacy on November 27th. The Golden Bears will take on
Texas or Iowa pending the results of their contests with the Spartans in action against Long Beach State
or Western Michigan.

>>College Basketball Brackets Revealed

(Undated) -- The NCAA released brackets for early-season tournaments with several local schools
taking the court. BYU will play November 24th against San Diego State in the Championship Round of
the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Cougars will take on Pitt or Chaminade based on the result the
following day. The Utes are in action against UNLV on December 20th in the MGM Grand Showcase.

Hockey Notes

 width=>>Kings, Sharks To Play Outdoors At Levi's Stadium

(Santa Clara, CA) -- The Los Angeles Kings will play the San Jose Sharks outdoors at the new Levi's
Stadium next season. The teams will meet at the new home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers on
February 21, 2015 as part of the NHL Stadium Series. The Kings rallied from a three-games-to-none
deficit to beat the Sharks in the first round of the playoffs last season en route to their second Stanley
Cup championship in three seasons.

>>Rafalski Among Inductees Into U.S. Hockey HOF

Former NHL defenseman Brian Rafalski is among this year's inductees into the U.S. Hockey Hall of

The two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time Stanley Cup champion is joined by Karyn Bye
Dietz, Jeff Sauer and Lou Vairo.

The induction ceremony will be held in Minnesota on Dec. 4.

Rafalski played 11 seasons in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings, registering
79 goals and 436 assists in 833 career games. His 515 points are the 10th-most among American

The Michigan native helped the United States win silver at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics.

Final Major Of PGA Season Begins Today

 width=The final major of the golf season begins today with first-round play at the PGA
Championship. This year's event takes place at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Former
world number-one Tiger Woods will tee it up after declaring himself pain-free during a practice round
on Wednesday. Woods withdrew from the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday
with back spasms. The four-time PGA Championship winner is slated to tee off at 8:35 a.m. Eastern
with Phil Mickelson and Paddy Harrington in his group. World number-one Rory McIlroy is coming off
a win last week in Akron, Ohio and also won the British Open last month for his third major title. Jason Dufner is the defending champion.

Five Races Left to Decide Chase Field

The race to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship is really heating up now.

Five positions in the Chase are up for grabs with five races remaining before the 16-driver field is set.
The Sprint Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen for its second and final road-course event of the season.
After Watkins Glen, the series moves on to Michigan, Bristol and Atlanta before the 26-race regular
season concludes on Sept. 6 at Richmond.

 width=Following this past Sunday's race at Pocono, seven drivers have clinched a spot in the playoffs for
NASCAR's premier series. They are: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon,
Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick, assuming they all attempt to qualify for each of the last
five races in the regular season.

All seven drivers have multiple victories this season. By virtue of his three wins and current second-
place in the point standings, Earnhardt holds the top spot on NASCAR's "Chase Grid." He won the
Daytona 500 and scored a season-sweep at Pocono.

Gordon currently holds the lead in the point standings, but his two wins (Kansas and Indianapolis) have
him ranked fifth on the Chase grid.

Having one victory each in 2014, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch have all but
assured themselves a position in the Chase.

Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, rookie Kyle Larson and Greg Biffle have not won a race
this season, but they presently hold the five provisional spots in the Chase.

Sitting fourth, Kenseth is the highest-ranked driver in the point standings that doesn't have a victory.
He led the series with seven wins last year. Kenseth finished 38th at Pocono after being involved in the
13-car accident late in the race.

Newman, in his first season with Richard Childress Racing, finished eighth at Pocono and moved from
seventh to fifth in points (26 behind Kenseth).

Bowyer's fourth-place run last weekend marked his first top-five finish since June 1 at Dover. He
moved up one spot in points to ninth.

Bears, NFL Notes

 width=>>Bears Practice For Final Time Before Preseason Starts

(Bourbonnais, IL) -- The Bears completed their final practice Wednesday before the start of the
preseason schedule. Chicago was without right tackle Jordan Mills and right guard Kyle Long. Mills
was out with a sore foot, and Long missed the session due to a treatment on his right ankle. The Bears
take on the Eagles Friday.

>>Browns To Start Brian Hoyer In Preseason Opener

(Berea, OH) -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel [[ man-ZELL ]] will start his first NFL
game on the bench. Browns head coach Mike Pettine [[ PET-in ]] says Brian Hoyer will start Saturday's
preseason opener against the Detroit Lions.

Manziel may still get some reps with the first-team offense, and Pettine left open the possibility of
"Johnny Football" starting at some point in the preseason. Last week, the first-year head coach said he
wants to name a regular-season starter by the third preseason game.

>>Bon Jovi Group Getting Second Chance To Bid On Bills

(Undated) -- Jon Bon Jovi is getting a second chance to become the owner of the Buffalo Bills. But the
rocker and his Canadian partners need to do two things -- convince the seller of their sincerity to keep
the team in Upstate New York, and offer more money. Canada's QMI Agency says Morgan Stanley,
which is handling the sale for the Ralph Wilson trust, rejected the Bon Jovi group's initial bid, which
was reportedly no more than 900-million-dollars. By comparison, sources say Buffalo Sabres owner
Terry Pegula offered 1.3-billion for the Bills, and Donald Trump is said to have put in a one-billion-
dollar bid.

While Jon Bon Jovi had an open letter published in the "Buffalo News" over the weekend emphasizing
his group's commitment to the city, Morgan Stanley and the Wilson trust are apparently not convinced.
Relocation plans would be a deal-breaker. The Bills are locked into a veritable iron-clad stadium lease
through 2022. The team became an available NFL franchise earlier this year, following the death of
founder and owner Ralph Wilson in March.

All Locals Lose; Cubs Claim Former Top Prospect Turner Off Waivers

>>Rosales Powers Rangers Past White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- Adam Rosales homered twice and Nick Tepesch [[ TEP-ish ]] outdueled Chris Sale as the
Rangers beat the White Sox 3-1 at U.S. Cellular Field. Rosales hit a two-run blast in the second and a
solo shot in the seventh to account for all three Texas runs. The Rangers have won consecutive games
for the first time since late June. Tepesch pitched five-and-two-thirds scoreless innings to improve to
4-and-7. Neftali Feliz [[ nef-TAH-lee feh-LEEZ ]] got the final two outs for his fourth save. Sale gave up
two runs in six frames to fall to 10-and-2. Alexei Ramirez went 3-for-4 and Dayan Viciedo [[ die-on
vee-cee-AYE-do ]] homered for Chicago in defeat.

 width=>>Rockies Crush Cubs

(Denver, CO) -- Carlos Gonzalez and Michael McHenry both hit two-run homers as the Rockies
crushed the Cubs 13-4 in the middle of a three-game set at Coors Field. McHenry finished with three
hits, three RBI and scored twice, while "CarGo" also had three hits, two RBI and three runs scored.
Corey Dickerson went 4-for-4, drove in three and scored a trio of runs for the Rockies, who snapped a
five-game losing streak. Jordan Lyles allowed four runs in six innings to up his record to 6-and-1.
Arismendy Alcantara clubbed a two-run homer for Chicago, which had won four of its previous five.
Jake Arrieta was rocked for nine runs in five-plus frames as he fell to 6-and-3 with the loss.

>>Red Sox Edge Cards In Ninth

(St. Louis, MO) -- Xander Bogaerts plated the go-ahead run on a sac-fly in the top of the ninth inning
as the Red Sox edged the Cardinals 2-1 in the middle of a three-game set at Busch Stadium. Bogaerts
doubled in the other run in the fourth for Boston, which snapped a three-game skid and won for just
the third time in 14 contests. Joe Kelly tossed seven innings of one-run, three-hit ball but did not factor
in the decision against his former team. Junichi Tazawa [[ joo-NEE-chee tuh-ZAH-wuh ]] picked up the
win and Koji Uehara earned his 23rd save. Matt Adams singled in the lone run in the first for the
Redbirds, who had won their previous three. Trevor Rosenthal fell to 1-and-6 with the loss.

>>Cubs Activate Fujikawa

(Denver, CO) -- The Cubs activated reliever Kyuji Fujikawa [[ KYOO-jee foo-jee-KOW-uh ]] from the 60
-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game against the Rockies. Fujikawa has been sidelined after
undergoing Tommy John surgery in June of 2013. In a corresponding move, the Cubs designated
outfielder Nate Schierholtz for assignment. Schierholtz was batting .192 with six home runs and 33

 width=>>Cubs Claim Turner

(Denver, CO) -- The Cubs are adding right-hander Jacob Turner. CSN Chicago reports the Cubs have
claimed Turner off waivers from the Marlins. He was 4-and-7 with a 5.97 ERA in 20 games for Miami.

>>Mets Pitcher deGrom Named Top NL Rookie

New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom was named Monday as the National League Rookie of the
Month for July.

DeGrom lost his first start of the month, then won the next four and posted a 1.39 ERA -- best among
major-league rookies -- with 38 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.

His ERA was third-lowest among NL pitchers and fifth-lowest in the majors.

GOP's Rauner In Montana For Vacation, Fundraiser

Republican Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) has traveled to his family's ranch in Montana to vacation and raise money for his Illinois governor campaign.

The fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday at Rauner's 6,000-square-foot home near Yellowstone National Park. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000 per person.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign criticized Rauner for taking the trip. They say the multimillionaire venture capitalist is trying to avoid questions about investments he put in the Cayman Islands, a territory considered a tax haven.

Rauner discussed the issue Sunday. He told reporters the business practice didn't impact his personal tax rate and that he disclosed the necessary information to the U.S. government.

Campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the Rauner family typically vacations in Montana in August.

Rauner left Illinois Monday and returns Thursday.

Duckworth To Keynote Governor's Day Brunch

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is making her way to Springfield.  She's the keynote speaker at the Governor's Day Brunch at the Crown Plaza Hotel next Wednesday.  Duckworth is an Army vet who lost both of her legs and partial use of her right arm when her helicopter went down in Iraq back in 2004.  She entered political life after she recovered and served in several roles before being elected to Congress in 2012.  Duckworth will address members of the state's Democratic Party before they head over to the state fair.  That's where Governor Quinn and a full line-up of Democratic leaders and candidates will be speaking.  Republicans will highlight their candidates on Thursday, the 14th.  

New App Let's People Finger Through State Finances

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is launching a new app that let's state vendors get a heads up on when their next check will be cut.

[audio:rddILPays11.mp3] [/audio]

Baar Topinka says you can get all of the latest payment details and other information in the "fund status" section of the app.

[audio:rddILPays1.mp3] [/audio]

The "Illinois Pays" app for iPhones and Android devices provides easier access to state payments and fund information. You don't have to be a state vendor to access the app, though. Anyone who wants to keep an eye on what's happening with the state's finances can download it at IllinoisComptroller.com.

Heat Turning Up In Final Months Before Election

The election is just three months away and that means political candidates will start turning up the heat. This year's governor's race is expected to be the most expensive in Illinois history and according to Political Scientist Kent Redfield, voters won't be able to run from either of the campaigns.

[audio:rddGoBad21.mp3] [/audio]

Things have been somewhat toned down so far, but Redfield says negative ads will start flooding the airwaves soon.

[audio:rddGoBad11.mp3] [/audio]

Redfield adds some voters won't just see negative ads on TV, they'll also get flooded with mail and phone calls.

[audio:rddGoBad31.mp3] [/audio]

We'll likely start seeing Governor Quinn turn the heat up on Bruce Rauner and paint him as someone who's unelectable. He may raise more issues about Rauner's wealth and whether he can or can't relate to everyday people. Rauner on the other hand will likely try to convince voters that Quinn is just like his predecessors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, who both ended up in prison. Rauner may keep Quinn's failed anti-violence program in the forefront because the feds are investigating it for possible wrong-doing.

Jury Convicts Chicago Man In Deadly Peoria Fire

Jurors in Peoria have convicted a Chicago man of killing four people when he set an apartment fire in 2010.

It took the Peoria County jury about 90 minutes to convict 37-year-old Aunterrio Barney on Monday of first-degree murder and arson. The fire killed sisters 24-year-old Youlandice Simmons, 22-year-old Brianna Simmons and 19-year-old Darresse Roddy. Youlandice Simmon's 2-year-old son died the next day.

Prosecutors say Barney was upset with Youlandice Simmons for not returning his calls. They say he poured gasoline on the only stairwell to her apartment.

Barney is to be sentenced Sept. 4. Reports indicate he faces a mandatory term of life in prison.

Barney's defense attorney, Hugh Toner, blamed another man for the fire.

Urbana Sets Rules For Marijuana Growth, Sales

City Council members in Urbana set up rules governing where and how marijuana could be grown and sold in the city.

According to reports, the council voted Monday to require that growers to be at least 2,500 feet from any school, daycare or residence. Sellers would have to be 1,000 feet from schools or daycares but allowed in commercial areas.

There's no guarantee the city will have either business under the new state law allowing marijuana sales and growth for medicinal use. The state will license two sellers and one grower in the nine-county East Central Illinois region. That includes Champaign County.

But city leaders believe setting rules early could turn Urbana into a likely location for what they see as an emerging health care industry.

Illinois Man Pleads Not Guilty To Rest Stop Killing

A Rockford man charged in the deaths of two people has pleaded not guilty to murdering one of them at a northern Illinois highway rest stop.

According to reports, Terence P. Doddy pleaded not guilty Monday in Dixon to 12 counts of first-degree murder and other charges in the July 1 strangling of Tonya Bargman on Monticello. She was killed as she left a bathroom at the Willow Creek rest stop on Interstate 39 near Paw Paw.

Doddy previously pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the June 30 killing of co-worker and former friend Todd Hansmeier of Rockford.

Doddy, who is 36, was arrested July 4 after a police chase near Beloit, Wisconsin. He is being held in Winnebago County Jail without bond.

Thumb Prints Required For Gun Purchases In Peoria

People who buy guns in Peoria are required to get an extra set of thumb prints taken, but Rich Pearson with the Illinois State Rifle Association says that's unnecessary.

[audio:rddThumb11.mp3] [/audio]

Pearson adds the city is too inconsistent when it comes to enforcing the ordinance so it needs to be taken off the books.

[audio:rddThumb21.mp3] [/audio]

The thumb prints are turned over to the Peoria police department, but Pearson says they aren't used in criminal cases. He says there's no need to keep the thumb prints on file if they're not being used for anything. City leaders admit the ordinance is outdated and say they're willing to reexamine it and remove it if that's what's best. Pearson says they're willing to take other measures to have it removed if city leaders don't act. He wouldn't say exactly what those other measures would be, but he didn't rule out the possibility of a lawsuit.

Buffett Grant Funds Three Macon Sheriff's Positions

Macon County Sheriff Thomas Schneider says he can't thank Howard G. Buffett enough.

Buffet lives in Decatur, has a farm in adjacent Christian County, and manages one of the world's larger foundations. The Buffet Foundation has given generously to the sheriff's department - providing in recent years a K-9 vehicle, motorcycle, and a law enforcement training facility.

The foundation is at it again. Reports indicate the county board approved receiving three, four-year grants of over $1 million each from the group.

They will fund a drug interdiction agent, a drunk-driving enforcement officer, and an elder victims' crime investigation, along with equipment for each.

Buffett has said the grants are just a way to give back to and improve the community.

Illinois Man Pleads Not Guilty To Rest Stop Killing

A Rockford man charged in the deaths of two people has pleaded not guilty to murdering one of them at a northern Illinois highway rest stop.

According to reports, Terence P. Doddy pleaded not guilty Monday in Dixon to 12 counts of first-degree murder and other charges in the July 1 strangling of Tonya Bargman on Monticello. She was killed as she left a bathroom at the Willow Creek rest stop on Interstate 39 near Paw Paw.

Doddy previously pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the June 30 killing of co-worker and former friend Todd Hansmeier of Rockford.

Doddy, who is 36, was arrested July 4 after a police chase near Beloit, Wisconsin. He is being held in Winnebago County Jail without bond.

Illinois State University Prepping For Large Incoming Freshman Class

Illinois State University is expecting a large incoming freshman class this year.

Move-in day at the Normal school is next week. According to reports, the school's freshman class should be between 3,500 and 3,600 students this fall. Troy Johnson is ISU's vice president of enrollment management. He says that's up from just less than 3,000 last year. Official numbers won't be available until the tenth day of classes.

Johnson says ISU's "freshman class is going to be the largest in over 20 years." He says total enrollment will be between 20,000 and 21,000 students.

ISU housing officials say they have room for all the students.

ADM Second Quarter Profits More Than Double, Tops Estimates

ADM's profit more than doubled during the second quarter as grain exports rebounded and demand for ethanol was strong.

The Decatur company posted net income of $533 million, or 81 cents per share, from $223 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Zacks Investment Research says earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 77 cents per share, which was 2 cents better than Wall Street was expecting.

Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz says the company is preparing for large harvests because crops in North America and Europe "are developing nicely."

The agribusiness giant said revenue declined 4.6 percent to $21.49 billion from $22.54 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and that was short of the $23.16 billion that analysts were looking for.

Local Senator On Governor Ordering EPA To Modify Clinton Landfill Permit: It's About Damn Time

Last week the Illinois EPA was ordered by Governor Pat Quinn to modify the Clinton Landfill Permit for Peoria Disposal Company. According to Sen. Chapin Rose, this fight has been going on at least five years and the Governor has not always been on the side of the people on this issue.

[audio:8614roselandfill1.mp3] [/audio]

Because the Governor has not always taken the peoples side on this issue, Sen. Rose says he can't call it "a strong stand". Before issuing his order to modify the permit, the Governor's office claimed they needed more information from the DeWitt County Board, however Sen. Rose contends he has had the documents all along.

[audio:8614roselandfill2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Last week, the Illinois EPA was also ordered to include in the modified permit, the landfill's acceptance of manufactured gas plant chemicals, or MGPs. According to Sen. Rose, that is another positive step, but the landfill has been accepting MGPs for some time, and now something needs to be done about those already in the landfill.

[audio:8614roselandfill3.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Rose feels this situation makes the Governor look like "a white knight" and he feels it should not because he defended the EPA for issuing the permit, and just now decided to come down on the right side of the issue. He feels this is all a political ploy because of how many people it effects locally.

[audio:8614roselandfill4.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Rose believes if the whole issue is to be put to bed, they need to have a concrete answer on what the future of MGP waste will be. He says he continues to seek out answers and to this point has not gotten anywhere. Sen. Rose adds by modifying the permit instead of revoking it is allowing other unknown chemicals to come in.

Sen. Rose calls the actions by Gov. Quinn "a partial victory".

Mayor Feels DJWH Board Members Meets Her Qualifications; Appreciates Concerns Of Local Citizen

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters received some pointed comments and questions from a long-time resident.

Levi Sturgeon, who has served on the DeWitt County Board but because of an address change did not return to the County Board, spoke before the Council Monday night. Mayor Peters appreciates the concerns and questions brought forth, and says she has nothing to hide in the way she appoints the members of the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board.

[audio:8614mayorsturgeon1.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters explains when she was looking for hospital board members last year, she was up front with what she was looking for in her candidates. She was looking for candidates who had a strong financial background, some experience in business administration, or experience in the medical field.

[audio:8614mayorsturgeon2.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor feels not every board member is going to bring all the experience and knowledge she is asking for but she feels together, they have enough knowledge to run the city-owned hospital. She feels the Board needs people that can address the needs of the day within the hospital.

[audio:8614mayorsturgeon3.mp3] [/audio]

It was Sturgeon's contention the Mayor's reasoning for not allowing him the opportunity to serve on the Board was not valid. The Mayor told him he could not serve because he lived in Bloomington, which was outside the hospital's service area. The Mayor maintains her stance that he lives outside the hospital's service area.

[audio:8614mayorsturgeon4.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor believes if you were to talk to the board members individually, you would find out they want to serve the community and do what is best for the hospital. She says they are trying to move the hospital along by making good decisions and through providing sound leadership.

Basketball Notes

 width=>>Poll: All Forgiven For "King James"

(Cleveland, OH) -- LeBron James' approval rating is through the roof. A new poll reveals more than 60-percent of Ohioans have forgiven "King James" for taking his talents to South Beach back in 2010. The survey conducted by Quinnipiac University also shows that the Cavaliers made the right decision in re-signing James. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player played four seasons with the Miami Heat and won two championships before recently returning to Cleveland.

>>USA Basketball Cuts Wall, Beal, Millsap

(Undated) -- USA Basketball is trimming its roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup. Washington Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal and Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap have been cut. That leaves the U.S. roster at 16. It must eventually be cut down to 12 players. The FIBA World Cup begins August 30th in Spain.

ESPN reports no players are leaning toward pulling out of playing for Team USA despite the horrific injury suffered by Indiana Pacers guard Paul George last week. George fractured his tibia and fibula in an intrasquad scrimmage on Friday and will likely miss the entire 2014-15 NBA season.

College Football Notes

>>Michigan State Hoping To Keep Up With Ohio State In Big Ten East

 width=Michigan State has played in two of the three Big Ten title games, is the defending Rose Bowl champion and on the best run in program history with 42 wins in four years.

Yet the Spartans cling to an underdog mentality. It's the product of being overshadowed historically by Michigan and Ohio State. Coach Mark Dantonio never wants his team to stop playing with that edge.

The Spartans likely will have to beat the Buckeyes to win the East Division. They also have a major September test with a road game against Oregon.

Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin are the top contenders in the West.

>>South Carolina Football Avoids Violation

(Columbia, SC) -- No NCAA violations for South Carolina football is icing on the cake. ESPN reports the NCAA decided one of the 22 self-reported potential infractions by the Gamecocks, which involved cookie cakes given to recruits visiting campus, will not be processed as a violation. USC thought it might be in violation of a bylaw that includes the use of "decorative items" and special additions to any location that recruit is visiting. Prospects have been known to tweet out pics of various cookie cakes and sweets from their different visits.

Bears, Packers Notes

 width=>>Bears Suspend, Fine Bennett

Tight end Martellus Bennett has been suspended indefinitely by the Bears after an altercation in practice the day before.

General manager Phil Emery says the team "made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time," though he wouldn't specify the amount of the fine.

On Monday, Bennett was taken to the ground Monday with a grab to the shoulder by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller. The play occurred during a full-pad scrimmage when players are not supposed to be taken to the ground. Bennett responded by getting up, grabbing the first-round draft pick and slamming him to the ground.

Emery wouldn't go into specifics about why the decision was made, saying only, "He was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team."

Neither Emery nor coach Marc Trestman would characterize it as making an example of Bennett, who has been involved in several practice scrapes this training camp, and a few last year, as well.

 width=>>Packers' Barclay Suffers Serious Knee Injury

(Green Bay, WI) -- Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Don Barclay suffered a potentially serious knee injury during practice on Tuesday. The "Green Bay Press-Gazette" reports Barclay tore his right ACL. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed he hurt his knee but the team has yet to reveal an official diagnosis. Barclay has made 18 starts since joining the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

>>Snyder Defends Redskins Name Again

(Undated) -- Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is defending the team's nickname once again. Snyder tells ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he doesn't have to bow to pressure to change the nickname because it isn't disparaging to Native Americans. He instead believes the term is of honor and respect. Snyder adds that the team was named to honor its first coach, William Henry "Lone Star" Dietz. He also points out that former president of the National Congress of American Indians and chairman of the Blackfeet Nation Walter "Blackie" Wetzel had a hand in designing the team's logo.

Several politicians have called on Snyder to change the name, including Senator Harry Reid and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. President Barack Obama has previously stated that if he was the owner of the team, he'd think about making a change. Tuesday, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said it's "probably time" for the Redskins to change the nickname. The team plays its home games at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

Cardinals, Baseball Notes

 width=>>Wacha Begins Throwing Program

(St. Louis, MO) -- Injured Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha [[ WAH-kuh ]] began a throwing program yesterday with hopes of returning next month. The decision to put him in a program came after Wacha's fourth MRI in seven weeks showed improvement in his right shoulder. Wacha has been on the disabled list since June 23rd and is 5-and-5 with a 2.79 ERA for St. Louis this season.

>>McCutchen Has Fractured Rib, No DL For Now

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates are holding off on placing injured center fielder Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list. General Manager Neal Huntington says the reigning National League MVP has a fractured left rib. McCutchen left Sunday's game wincing in pain after delivering a game-tying sac-fly in the eighth inning of a 3-2 loss at Arizona. McCutchen has hit in the back with a pitch in the ninth inning on Saturday, an apparent retaliation for Diamondbacks' slugger Paul Goldschmidt suffering a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch on Friday. McCutchen did have three at-bats without incident prior to leaving Sunday's game after his fourth trip to the plate. There is no timetable for McCutchen's return. Goldschmidt is expected to miss the rest of the season.

>>Report: Manfred, Brosnan, Werner MLB Commissioner Finalists

(Undated) -- Major League Baseball is narrowing its list of candidates to be the next commissioner to three. "USA Today Sports" reports the finalists are MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. A vote is expected to take place August 14th. Approval is needed from 23 of 30 owners to elect the replacement for Bud Selig [[ SEE-lig ]], who is retiring in January after 22 season.

Baez Leads Cubs In Debut; Cards Win, Sox Lose

>>Baez Homers In Debut, Cubs Win

 width=Javier Baez homered in the 12th inning in his major league debut and the Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 6-5 on Tuesday night.

Wellington Castillo also homered for the Cubs, who have won four of five.

Baez, a prized prospect called up before the game, struck out in three of his first five at-bats before hitting Boone Logan's first pitch of the 12th an estimated 414 feet into the Rockies' bullpen.

Hector Rondon (3-3) blew his fourth save but got the win and Carlos Villanueva picked up his second save.

Both teams scored a run in the 11th to extend the game.

Nolan Arenado homered and Logan (2-2) took the loss for the Rockies, who have dropped five straight.

 width=>>Cardinals Clip Red Sox

(St. Louis, MO) -- Jon Jay singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Red Sox at Busch Stadium. Matt Adams and Kolten Wong each recorded a hit and batted in a run in the victory. Pat Neshek [[ NEE-sheck ]] picked up the win in relief and Trevor Rosenthal notched his league-leading 35th save as St. Louis won its third straight. Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-4 for Boston and Christian Vazquez and Will Middlebrooks both plated a run. Junichi Tazawa [[ joo-NEE-chee tuh-ZAH-wuh ]] fell to 1-and-3 for the Red Sox, who have lost 11 of their last 13 since winning four in-a-row fresh off the All-Star break.

>>Rangers Throttle White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- J.P Arencibia went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and four RBI to power the Rangers in a 16-0 thrashing of the White Sox from U.S. Cellular Field. Robinson Chirinos was 3-for-5 with a pair of solo homers while Shin-Soo Choo added a dinger of his own. Adrian Beltre also blasted a two-run shot for Texas, which stopped a four-game slide. Colby Lewis went the distance for the Rangers, allowing six hits and a walk, while striking out seven to improve to 8-and-8. Conor Gillaspie had two hits for Chicago, while John Danks was rocked for nine runs in four-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 9-and-7. Adam Dunn was 0-for-4 at the plate and allowed a run in his first-career pitching appearance. The Sox have lost three of four.

MLB National League
New York Mets 6, Washington Nationals 1
Miami Marlins 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Milwaukee Brewers 4, San Francisco Giants 3

MLB American League
Detroit Tigers 4, New York Yankees 3 (12 inn)
Baltimore Orioles 9, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Oakland Athletics 3, Tampa Bay Rays 0

MLB Interleague
Cincinnati Reds 9, Cleveland Indians 2
Philadelphia Phillies 2, Houston Astros 1 (15 inn)
Minnesota Twins 3, San Diego Padres 1
Kansas City Royals 12, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
Seattle Mariners 4, Atlanta Braves 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-6

August 5, 2014

Jail Population: 35
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 1

Gabriel Dusch, 30, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Battery/ FTA. Dusch posted the necessary bond and was released.






Code Red System Keeps Public Informed In Local Situations Big and Small

After a Monday incident that forced the evacuation of Clinton residents, local safety officials are hoping more of the public will register for a mass notification system that will instantly inform the public of any emergency situations within the city or county.

 width=Code Red is a mass notification system that assists in times of emergency, much like the natural gas leak Monday. CENCOM Director Tony Harris explains the system helps to get information out to large groups of people in the event of emergencies or weather events.

[audio:8514codered1.mp3] [/audio]

The Code Red system can be a very precise informational tool for the public. Harris explains the information you provide will only alert you when an emergency that affects resident's.

[audio:8514codered2.mp3] [/audio]

To get on the calling list for the Code Red system, you can apply online through several websites.

You can self- register on the city's website at www.clintonillinois.com. The Dewitt County website, www.dewitcountyill.com, or you can visit the DeWitt County Sheriff's website at www.dewittsheriff.com.

Find the "Code Red" icon at the respective home pages. From there, you can provide your home and cell phone numbers as well as e-mail addresses.

Harris stresses, all information submitted remains 100% confidential.

Illinois Doctor's License Suspended After Charges

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has suspended the license of an Illinois doctor charged with illegally distributing controlled substances.

Reports indicate the license for Dr. Naeem Kohli of Effingham was suspended last week.

Kohli was charged in March in federal court with health care fraud and illegally dispensing controlled substances such as methadone, oxycodone and hydromorphone. He was licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe those drugs but is accused of illegally dispensing them to patients.

Kohli has pleaded not guilty and is free on $100,000 bond. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 12 in federal court in Benton.

Kohli's attorney, Richard Sindel, says he plans to fight the charges in court.

Minorities Asked Donate Organs

State officials are calling on more Black, Hispanic, and Asian people to step up and become organ donors. Secretary of State Jesse White explains why the need is so high.

[audio:rddDonate11.mp3] [/audio]

White says 56-percent of the people who are waiting for organs come from minority ethnic groups.

[audio:rddDonate21.mp3] [/audio]

White says people can receive an organ from anyone but their recovery process goes smoother if it comes from someone with the same ethnic background. Five-and-a-half million people in Illinois have signed up as organ donors but there are still about five-thousand people on the waiting list. White says one person can provide life or improve the quality of life for up to 25-people if they donate their organs. People can sign up at LifeGoesOn.com.

Illinois Historic Sites Forced To Reduce Hours

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to cut hours at 13 of its historic sites starting after Labor Day.

The agency said Monday that a 19 percent cut in its budget for the sites forced it to cut back at sites such as the Old State Capitol in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. Most will reduce the days they are open from five to four.

The agency's budget was cut for the current fiscal year to $4.6 million.

Director Amy Martin said that even with the cuts the agency's budget isn't balanced. She hopes the reductions will hold spending in check until lawmakers can consider restoring some agency funding this fall.

Martin said some lawmakers have indicated that's possible.

Dillard Officialy Resigns From Senate

State Sen. Kirk Dillard has officially resigned from the Illinois Legislature to become chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Illinois Senate Republicans said in a Monday news release that Dillard stepped down from his 24th District seat. The Hinsdale Republican was named to the RTA position in June after more than 20 years in the Illinois Legislature.

Dillard made two unsuccessful Republican primary bids for governor.

The RTA provides financial oversight for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Dillard submitted his resignation in a July 31 letter to the secretary of the Illinois Senate. The resignation was effective 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

National Transportation and Safety Board Determines Plane Flew Too Slowly Before Crashed

Federal aviation investigators have determined a 2012 fatal small plane crash two years ago in central Illinois was likely caused by the plane's inability to maintain proper airspeed and an improper setting on aircraft flaps.

According to reports, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded those factors caused the plane to stall, go into a spin and crash on Aug. 11, 2012 in Taylorville. Twelve skydivers were able to exit the plane safely but 30-year-old pilot Brandon Sparrow of Augusta was killed.

Nobody on the ground was injured and local authorities have credited Sparrow with saving lives because he steered the twin-engine plane away from houses before the plane crashed.

Syracuse Named No. Party School; University of Illinois Makes List

Syracuse University knows how to party.

The Orange are at the top of the annual list of the nation's top party schools released Monday by The Princeton Review.

Last year's winner, the University of Iowa, is second. Rounding out the top 5 are: the University of California-Santa Barbara, West Virginia University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Repeating at the top of "stone-cold sober schools" was Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Syracuse says in a statement that it doesn't "aspire to be a party school." It says it has a an internationally recognized reputation for academic excellence.

About 130,000 students on 379 campuses were surveyed for the book, which contains 62 top-20 lists ranking factors like financial aid awards, athletic facilities and food.

The publication is not affiliated with Princeton University.

200-Thousand Jobs Open In Illinois

More than 200-thousand help wanted ads were posted in Illinois last month and state officials say that's a good sign that the economy is faring well. Greg Rivara, with the Department of Employment Security, explains which industries have the most openings.

[audio:rddHelpAds1.mp3] [/audio]

Rivara adds one particular industry is showing a strong comeback.

[audio:rddHelpAds11.mp3] [/audio]

There are more than 460-thousand people still looking for work in Illinois. They can check IllinoisJobLink.com for leads.

Brady Offers Advice To Bruce Rauner

The race for governor is heating up and the man who lost to Governor Quinn back in 2010 has a few words of advice for Bruce Rauner. State Senator Bill Brady says Rauner needs to stay focused on and shine the light on the Democrats' failed policies.

[audio:rddBradyRauner11.mp3] [/audio]

Brady says Rauner should be able to pull off a win if he builds on the momentum that Republicans built four years ago.

[audio:rddBradyRauner21.mp3] [/audio]

Brady says Rauner has a good shot at taking Quinn's job in November. Recent polls show the race is fairly close, but Rauner has a slight, four-percent lead.

Soldiers Arrival Being Delayed

A group of soldiers were slated to come home from a seven-month deployment tonight, but that's being pushed back.  Officials with the Illinois National Guard say the 18-men and women will now arrive in Peoria between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.  The group has been working security missions and other law enforcement related details in southwest Asia, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  Part of their job was to make improvements to the air base, boost security infrastructure, and advance the air base's physical and electronic force protection capabilities. 

Former County Board Member, Clinton Resident Questions Mayor Regarding Board Appointees, Management Practices

A former DeWitt County Board member who was a long-time Clinton resident addressed the Clinton City Council Monday night.

Levi Sturgeon referenced during the summer of 2013, when a seat on the hospital board became vacant, he had expressed interest in coming onto the Board. He claims the Mayor, Carolyn Peters would not allow him to serve because he did not reside in the hospital's service area.

[audio:8514sturgeoncouncil1.mp3] [/audio]

After revealing the part of the content of emails between the two, Sturgeon challenged the Mayor's idea of where the hospital's service area is. Sturgeon feels the Mayor's definition of "service area" was not an adequate reason to deny him the opportunity to serve on the board because he in fact still utilizes the services the city-owned hospital offers.

[audio:8514sturgeoncouncil2.mp3] [/audio]

Sturgeon's comments moved away from the focus of criteria for appointing board members, and towards the way the hospital is being run. He feels the Mayor is causing morale issues.

[audio:8514sturgeoncouncil3.mp3] [/audio]

Sturgeon also questioned some two of the board members qualifications to serve on the hospital board. He contends the board president, Cindy Saylors works for an independent doctor who is in direct competition with the hospital, and another practices medicine in Macon County for a competing company.

[audio:8514sturgeoncouncil4.mp3] [/audio]

Sturgeon compares the employees of the hospital to the employees of the County building. He believes they need someone to listen to them. He hopes when a position on the board opens up, she finds someone who shares the passion and compassion of the employees and the people of the County.

He implored the Mayor to reconsider actions and listen to fellow Council members and the public.

DJWH Board Names New Interim CEO

Monday night the Dr. John Warner Hospital named a new interim CEO.

Current interim CEO John Winenger will step down effective August 11. The hospital board named Robert Wolleben to the interim position. Wolleben will start August 11.

In doing so, the Board also approved a 'finders fee' for $2-thousand for Winenger.

Winenger is currently on vacation and was not available Monday night.

Hospital Board President, Cindy Saylors declined comment on the new interim CEO Monday.

The hospital interviewed two candidates for over three hours.

Duke Basketball Lands Top Recruit

 width=Duke basketball has landed one of the top players in the recruiting class of 2015.  Chase Jeter, who plays at Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman, has announced he'll suit up for coach Mike Krzyzewski [[ shih-SHEV-skee ]] in 2015-16.  Jeter was an all-state selection averaging more than 14 points and 10 rebounds as a junior.  Several recruiting outlets rank Jeter in the top 10 of his class.  UNLV was also in contention for the big man. 

Woods Cancels Press Conference, Remains Undecided On PGA

 width=205 height=246 />Tiger Woods still isn't sure if he'll tee it up at the PGA Championship from Valhalla later this week.  Woods has postponed a press conference scheduled for Tuesday morning and agent Mark Steinberg says a decision may not come until Wednesday.  Woods withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday with a lower back issue.  He missed several months earlier this year after back surgery.  U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson says Woods' latest injury doesn't bode well for him earning a spot on the team. </p>						</div>

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Bears, NFL Notes

 width=>>Bears Wilson Breaks Collarbone, Out Indefinitely

Chicago Bears second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson is out indefinitely after breaking his collarbone in practice on Monday.

Wilson was injured while diving for a pass in a scrimmage. Coach Marc Trestman said it's too soon to know how long the seventh-round draft pick from Washington State will be out.

Wilson is vying for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and appeared to be leading, according to Trestman.

Eric Weems, Josh Morgan, Armanti Edwards, Michael Spurlock, Chris Williams, Dale Moss and Josh Bellamy are the other wide receivers trying to secure a roster spot.

>>Bennett, Fuller Scuffle During Bears Practice

(Bourbonnais, IL) -- Bears coach Marc Trestman cut Monday's practice short after a heated altercation between veteran tight end Martellus Bennett and rookie first-round pick Kyle Fuller. The scuffle took place during a red-zone drill. Multiple teammates attempted to intervene to calm things down.

>>Giants RB Wilson Not Expected To Play Again

(East Rutherford, NJ) -- The NFL career of New York Giants running back David Wilson is likely over. The Giants have placed him on injured reserve with a neck injury and announced that doctors have advised the 23-year-old to stop playing football. Wilson had spinal fusion surgery in January after injuring his neck in Week Five last season. He was cleared for full contact on July 21st but was injured again in practice.

In a team news release, Wilson says "I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me. I lived my dream and now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too." The Virginia Tech product rushed for 504 yards and five touchdowns in 21 games over two seasons, including six starts.

>>Bengals Lock Up Dalton With Six-Year Deal

(Cincinnati, OH) -- The Cincinnati Bengals are locking up quarterback Andy Dalton with a six-year contract extension through 2020. NFL.com reports the deal is worth 96-million-dollars with playoff escalators that could boost the total value to 115-million. Dalton says it's great to have his future secure.

The TCU product has been the team's starter since being selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Dalton has led Cincinnati to a 30-and-18 record and three straight playoff appearances, but the Bengals have lost in the wild card round each time.

>>Broncos' Ball Has Appendix Removed

(Denver, CO) -- Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball is on the mend after having an emergency appendectomy on Monday. The "Denver Post" reports Ball is expected to be ready for the Broncos' regular-season opener on September 7th against the Indianapolis Colts. Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson split the first-team offense in practice. Ball is doubtful for all four the Broncos' preseason games. He rushed for 559 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie campaign last season.

>>Manziel Takes First-Team Reps With Browns' Offense

(Berea, OH) -- Quarterback Johnny Manziel [[ man-ZELL ]] is taking reps with the Cleveland Browns first-team offense. Cleveland.com reports Manziel replaced Brian Hoyer for Monday's entire practice working with the Browns starters. First-year head coach Mike Pettine [[ PET-in ]] says it "is all part of the plan," and the two signal-callers are expected to jockey back-and-fourth with the first-team on a day-to-day basis. Hoyer is expected to start Saturday night's preseason opener in Detroit, but nothing has been made official. In the opening team period, "Johnny Football" completed a 40-yard pass to wideout Travis Benjamin, and then was intercepted in the second period by safety Jim Leonard.

Sox Abreu Making History; Cubs Recall Acclaimed SS Prospect

 width=>>Abreu Makes History, Earns More AL Honors

(Chicago, IL) -- White Sox rookie slugger Jose Abreu is making history after his latest round of honors. Abreu has been named both the player and rookie of the month in the American League for July. It marks the first time someone has won both awards in the same month twice in one season.

>>Cubs To Call Up Acclaimed Prospect Baez

Touted prospect Javier Baez will join the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in Colorado and could make his major league debut in the three-game series against the Rockies.

The 21-year-old Baez got off to a slow start this year in the minors, but has been playing well of late. The middle infielder, who is known for his tremendous bat speed, hit .300 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in his last 32 games for Triple-A Iowa.

 width=Baez will have his contract purchased from the minors before the series opener against Colorado. There was no word Monday on a corresponding roster move.

Baez is part of a loaded minor league system for Chicago that Cubs fans are hoping will lead the team back to respectability after a string of down years. The Cubs are 47-63 this season and in last in the NL Central.

 width=>>Cards Host Red Sox

(St. Louis, MO) -- Lance Lynn will toe the rubber tonight as the Cardinals welcome the Red Sox to Busch Stadium. Lynn is 11-and-8 with a 2.98 earned run average on the season and is coming off back-to-back losses. Shelby Miller will face former Red Bird Joe Kelly in game two tomorrow with Adam Wainwright taking the rock in the finale on Thursday. It will be the first time Allen Craig and Kelly return to St. Louis since last Thursday's trade deadline deals.

>>Dodgers' Kemp NL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is the National League Player of the Week. Kemp went 9-for-22 for a .409 batting average with five home runs and nine RBI. Kemp also stole a base and scored six times while leading the NL with a 1.091 slugging percentage.

>>Yankees' Gardner AL Player Of Week

(New York, NY) -- New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner is the American League Player of the Week. Gardner went 11-for-23 for a .478 batting average with five home runs, three doubles and eight runs scored. He also walked five times and drove in seven runs.

>>Padres Focused On Yankees' Eppler For GM Job

(San Diego, CA) -- The San Diego Padres could be trimming their list of potential general managers. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler has emerged as a favorite for the job. Eppler joined the Yanks in 2004 and was director of pro scouting from 2005-2011 prior to his promotion to his current position. He is also a San Diego native. Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller, Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen, and MLB's senior VP for baseball operations Kim Ng [[ ANG ]] are also in the running for the job. The Padres are looking to replace Josh Byrnes, who was fired earlier this season. A decision is expected this week.

>>Pirates' McCutchen Headed To DL

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is headed to the 15-day disabled list. The "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" reports he could miss three weeks to a month with what appears to be a serious oblique injury. The 27-year-old slugger left Sunday's loss in Arizona after hitting a sac-fly in the eighth inning. The team originally called it "left side discomfort." McCutchen is hitting .311 with 17 homers and 67 RBI this season.

>>Giants' Cain To Have Season-Ending Surgery

(Flushing, NY) -- San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain has thrown his last pitch of the 2014 season. Manager Bruce Bochy [[ BOE-chee ]] said Cain will undergo surgery on his right elbow to have bone chips and spurs removed. Giants orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki will perform the surgery and the pitcher is looking at a three-month timetable for recovery. Cain also met with Dr. James Andrews and Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek and got the same diagnosis from both. The 29-year-old has hit the 200-inning mark every year from 2007-to-2012 and will end his 2014 campaign with a 2-and-7 record. The former first round pick holds a career worst 4.18 earned run average in 90-and-a-third innings this season.

Sox Win

 width=>>White Sox Top Rangers In Seven

(Chicago, IL) -- The White Sox topped the Rangers 5-3 in a rain-shortened, seven-inning contest at U.S. Cellular Field. Tyler Flowers was 3-for-3 with three RBI and a double shy of a cycle while Jose Abreu drove in two. Hector Noesi [[ no-AY-see ]] threw a complete-game and allowed one run to improve to 6-and-8 as Chicago snapped a two-game slide. Nick Martinez allowed five runs and walked three in five-plus innings of work for the loss. Rougned Odor [[ ROOG-ned oh-DORE ]] tagged a two-run dinger in the loss and Adrian Beltre added the other RBI. The Rangers have lost four straight.

MLB National League
San Francisco Giants 4, New York Mets 3

MLB American League
New York Yankees 2, Detroit Tigers 1
Oakland Athletics 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2 (10 inn)

MLB Interleague
Cleveland Indians 7, Cincinnati Reds 1
Baltimore Orioles 7, Washington Nationals 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 0

Illini Hope To Be On Road Towards Improvement

 width=Illinois opened preseason training camp hoping to begin the road to something better than last season's four wins.

The Illini (4-8, 1-7 Big Ten) had a solid offense last season. It scored 29.7 points a game under first-year offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. That was after scoring 16.7 points a game in 2012.

Cubit is back, but he lost senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (SHEEL'-hows). Strong-armed transfer Wes Lunt is the likely replacement. But head coach Tim Beckman hasn't yet named a starter.

What Illinois needs most is defensive improvement. Illinois gave up 35.4 points a game in 2013.

Most of last year's defense is back. Beckman said Monday he hopes the experience lets the defense make the kind of leap the offense made last season.

Clinton Police Report for 8-5











DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

August 1, 2014

Jail Population: 31
Summons Served: 2
Warrant Arrests: 1

August 2, 2014

Jail Population: 31
Summons Served: 7
Warrant Arrests: 0

August 3, 2014

Jail Population: 37
Summons Served: 3
Warrant Arrests: 0

August 4, 2014

Jail Population: 35
Summons Served: 2
Warrant Arrests: 1

Rudra Murali, 33, Lafayette, IN was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Murali was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Jacob Spangler, 23, Oquawka was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Spangelr posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.

Richard Benson, 58, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Driving on Suspended License/ Failure to Apprar. Benson posted the necessary bond and was released.

Katie Neville, 39, Clinton was arrested and charged with Driving on Revoked License. Neville was issued Citations for Limitations on Backing and Driving on Revoked License. Neville posted the necessary bond and was released.

Anthony Schauwecker, 25, Pekin was arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence. Schauwecker was issued Citations for Number of Driving Lamps Required or Permitted and 3 Counts Driving Under Influence Alcohol and Driving While License Revoked. Schauwecker was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Ricardo Santiago, 28, Rantoul was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Driving/ Never Issued License/ FTA. Santiago posted the necessary bond and was released.







Gas Leak Monday Forces Evacuation of Portions of Clinton

A gas leak near downtown Clinton Monday afternoon sparked local emergency crews to evacuate portions of Clinton.

According to Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton, road construction near the downtown area of Clinton hit a gas line shortly before noon, resulting in several area agencies being called to the scene. It was determined residents near the area of the leak should have been evacuated until crews could stabilize the area.

[audio:8614gasleak1.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois Power made the decision to evacuate the residents near the location of the gas leak, and Chief Milton indicates this incident was not as serious as others they have encountered in the past. He credits the quick work of all agencies involved in resolving the issue and keeping the public safe.

[audio:8614gasleak2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton stresses how important it is the public enroll in the emergency notification for the city and county, Code Red. He says that is the best way for them to get notifications to the public.

[audio:8614gasleak3.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief emphasizes this is an example of the importance of residents calling JULIE when they are doing any work on the ground of their personal property. He says you never know what kind of lines may be running underground.

Quinn Signs Law Expanding Ban On Cyberbullying

Gov. Pat Quinn has extended the state's ban on student cyberbullying to include actions outside of school.

Quinn signed the legislation on Friday. It prohibits bullying of students via electronic technology even when they're not in school, and applies to devices that aren't owned or used by a school.

The new law expands on a previous legislation banning cyberbullying in schools. It also requires schools to investigate any act of bullying that disrupts school operations or education processes.

It was sponsored by state Rep. Laura Fine and state Sen. Ira Silverstein, and takes effect Jan. 1.

Fine says students should "not be able to get away with intimidating fellow classmates outside of school."

Illinois' Animal Welfare Law Toughened

Legislation proposed by three suburban Chicago third graders to better protect pets is now Illinois law.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure Saturday increasing fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Supporters say it targets unethical operators of puppy mills.

It was sponsored by Arlington Heights Republican Rep. David Harris and Sen. Pamela Although, a McHenry Republican. It doubles or more than doubles the fines for one or more instances of animal mistreatment.

But the idea came to Harris from Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O'Dell. They are third grade students at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. The children read a book about students who rescued a dog from a puppy mill. They researched the issue further and contacted Harris.

Quinn Invests Three-Million Into Sports Facility

Governor Quinn is pumping more than three-million-dollars into expanding a sports facility in Loves Park, which is just outside of Rockford.

[audio:rddRockPark1.mp3] [/audio]

The cash will be used to expand the Indoor Sports Center at the Sportscore Two complex. The 115-thousand-square-foot building and parking lot will be connected to the existing Indoor Sports Center and will include three multi-purpose synthetic turf fields for soccer, softball, baseball, football, lacrosse and other turf related programs.

Teachers Planning To Strike

Teachers in Galesburg are planning to hit the picket lines.  They voted overwhelmingly to file an intent-to-strike notice with the state of Illinois.  Union reps say they'll hold off for a few more weeks.  Teachers are at odds with the district over salaries, firings, and the retirement language that's being presented in negotiations. Additional mediation sessions are scheduled on August 11th and 12th which could be both District 205's and the union's last chance to avoid a strike before the start of school.

Rauner Promises To Give Bank A-Million-Bucks

Bruce Rauner is raising eyebrows with a promise to give a south side bank in Chicago more than a-million-dollars out of his own pocket. He told members of the National Black Wall Street that he'd transfer the cash within 30-days. The idea is to help build up small businesses in predominantly Black communities. But Rauner is in a heated race for governor which instantly sparks questions about whether the move is aimed more at buying votes than it is on building business.

Governor Quinn's campaign team was shocked after learning about the promise, but Quinn is under similar type of scrutiny for pumping more than 50-million-dollars into Black communities just before the 2010 election. State and federal investigators are actually taking a closer look at Quinn's move, to see if there were any ill-motives in play when the money was distributed.

Report Shows Rauner Funneled Money Into Caribbean

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) says money channeled through the Cayman Islands and connected to his business dealings had no impact on his personal tax rate.

Rauner spoke to reporters Sunday, the day a published report detailed how three of his five holdings in the Caribbean were tied to GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm he helped found.

Reports compared investments Rauner listed on a state economic disclosure form with the online corporate registry maintained by the Cayman Islands government.

Rauner hasn't been accused of wrongdoing, but political experts have said it's a matter of optics. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign has accused Rauner of "stashing" money abroad to avoid paying taxes.

Rauner calls it "political spin" and says voters like his message.

Illinois Comptroller Rivals Differ On Merger Idea

The two candidates running for the job of state comptroller differ on a big issue hovering over the office. That's whether to eliminate the post by merging it with the treasurer's office.

Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka says combining offices saves money. But Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says there are other ways to cut costs.

Both detailed their views in Associated Press candidate questionnaires ahead of the November election.

The matchup between the GOP veteran and the daughter of late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon promises to be one of Illinois' most watched races.

The comptroller pays the state's bills, while the treasurer invests state money.

Topinka estimates a merger will save $12 million a year, but Simon says the offices should communicate better and reduce redundancies.

State Police Say Ground Search Planned In Dwight Shootings

Authorities are planning a ground search connected to shootings in central Illinois that left a Dwight mother and daughter dead.

According to reports, about 100 law enforcement and fire personnel are expected to search a 26-acre site near Sheridan on Sunday.

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says the purpose is to locate evidence that may help in investigations of the homicides and recent Grundy County burglaries.

The search is expected to last about five hours.

Sixty-year-old Donna Denker and 30-year-old Kelli Denker were killed June 14. Police haven't made any arrests, though authorities say they've recovered a gun used in the shootings.

Applications Open For Illinois 'Hometown Awards'

State officials say the deadline to submit applications for the "Governor's Hometown Awards" competition is approaching.

The contest is in its 32nd year. It recognizes volunteers who improve communities.

The application deadline is Aug. 18. Community groups, local governments, youth groups or agencies can apply.

The award is given based on population and will be given out based on six categories. Those include are services and mentorship and beautification and sustainability.

Award winners will be recognized at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.

Trial of Man In Officer's Death To Stay In Pontiac

The trial of a man charged in the death of a Pontiac police officer will not be moved to another county.

According to reports, Livingston County Judge Robert Travers on Wednesday rejected defense arguments that an unbiased jury cannot be seated.

Jason Collins of South Carolina is charged with reckless homicide and drunken driving in the death of officer Casy Kohlmeier (KOHL-mire) in October 2013. Authorities say his pickup truck struck Kohlmeier's squad car as it was parked in an interstate median.

Defense attorneys claim that survey of 150 people in Pontiac proves the potential jury pool is tainted by extensive publicity.

The judge says the survey is too small, but the trial could be moved if there is difficulty seating an impartial panel during jury selection.

Irish Marching Band Seeking Peoria Host Families

An Irish marching band's planned visit to Peoria next year is prompting a call for 70 host families.

The band is from Clonmel, Ireland, one of Peoria's sister cities. More than 100 band members, ranging in age from 12 to 22, and their adult chaperones will be visiting in July 2015.

About 20 host families already have signed up to house the young musicians and color guard.

Betty Rohman is president of the Peoria-based Friends of Clonmel sister-city group. According to reports, she says a 2009 trip by the Clonmel band was the start of many lasting friendships.

The band's performances during the visit are likely to include an Independence Day parade and a field demonstration.

Man-Made Wetlands Turn Wastewater Into Tap Water

A unique man-made wetlands system in Texas is adding 65,000 gallons of water to area drinking supplies, but in Illinois man-made wetlands are addressing water quality rather than quantity.

Bloomington has struggled with nitrates levels in its public drinking supply. So it turned to farmers, whose fertilizer-laden fields helped create the problem.

Rick Twait is superintendent of water purification. He and others decided to focus on the 72,000 acres of watersheds feeding Bloomington's existing reservoirs.

Working with The Nature Conservancy, the University of Illinois and others, wetlands of various sizes were placed in farming fields. In one instance a farmer received federal money to transform part of his land into a wetland.

The goal was to reduce nitrates by 50 percent. Researchers say the numbers are encouraging a decade later.

Man Accused of Bid To Kill Roommate Over Cookies

A central Illinois man is accused of trying to kill his female roommate for allegedly eating cookies he perhaps coveted.

Reports indicate 23-year-old Allen Hall of Decatur is charged in Macon County with attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery.

Police allege that Hall turned angry Wednesday when he learned his 49-year-old roommate ate three Chips Ahoy cookies for breakfast and threatened to kill her.

After the roommate at first believed that Hall was joking, the woman told police Hall tried to strangle her in a bathtub. The woman's husband and the landlord ultimately separated the two.

Online court records don't show whether Hall has an attorney.

Hall remained jailed Saturday in lieu of $75,000 bond.

Firefighter Puts Out Neighbors Bloomington Blaze

If only everyone's neighbor could be a firefighter.

When a fire broke out on the deck of a southwest-side Bloomington home Thursday afternoon, the neighbor who spotted it called the fire department - and then dialed fire Capt. Dave Burke.

Reports idicate Burke lives across the street and was off duty at the time. He extinguished the blaze with a garden hose.

Fellow Capt. Jeff Emmert describes the damage as moderate. Firefighters left the scene after about 30 minutes.

Emmert says an investigation determined that the cause was spontaneous combustion of deck-staining materials.

Illinois Economic Index Shows Growth

A University of Illinois index shows the state's economy continues to grow as it bounces back from the harsh winter.

The university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs said Friday that its U of I Flash Index rose slightly in July to 106.2. Any reading above 100 indicates growth. The index has been at or close to 106 for four months.

Economist Fred Giertz compiles the index using corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income data. He said the question now is whether the momentum will continue through the year.

Illinois' economy has shown signs of strength over the past few months. Unemployment fell to 7.1 percent in July. That's still a full percentage point above the national average but the lowest point for Illinois' unemployment rate since 2008.

Rauner Jabs At Quinn's Agriculture Director

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) is criticizing Gov. Pat Quinn's agriculture director.

According to reports, Rauner did not mention Bob Flider by name in outlining his agriculture plans. But he said the agency's director must "have first-hand farming experience."

Flider was named director of agriculture after he lost a 2010 re-election race for the Illinois House. He then voted for Quinn's 67 percent income-tax increase after earlier opposing it.

Flider argued in his November 2012 Senate confirmation hearings that he isn't a farmer but represented a farm-rich district and the Decatur headquarters of processing giant Archer Daniels Midland Co.

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the ag post might be the only one in Rauner's cabinet with a vocational requirement.

State Halts Disposal of Gas Waste At Clinton Landfill

State environmental officials have halted disposal of manufactured gas plant waste at a central Illinois landfill where they're also banning PCBs.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency informed the owners of the Clinton Landfill of the action in a letter Thursday.

The agency earlier this week said it was modifying a permit to prohibit disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls because local landfill approval in 2002 didn't include the chemical.

The landfill is located above the Mahomet aquifer, which provides water to 750,000 people in about a dozen counties. Many towns worried PCBs could contaminate the aquifer.

But they also worried about manufactured gas plant waste, a byproduct of producing gas from coal.

Normal Mayor Chris Koos praised Gov. Pat Quinn for moving quickly on their additional concerns.

Clinton YMCA Strong Kids' Campaign Continues As They Approach Their Goal

 width=The Clinton YMCA has benefited greatly from the 2014 Strong Kids Campaign.

The Y is well ahead of their goal for their 2014 campaign of $100-thousand. According to Executive Director Rennie Cluver, they have received great community support throughout the year and donations are still coming in and being accepted that will help support kids who are unable to afford various Y activities.

[audio:73114strongkids1.mp3] [/audio]

To date, the Y is at 95% of their $100,000 goal. Cluver says Strong Kids will, technically, never wrap up as they will accept contributions throughout the year. However, the seeking of donations by volunteers will wind down as fall approaches.

[audio:73114strongkids2.mp3] [/audio]

Being out in the community is one of the greatest ways Strong Kids can gain support. Cluver believes every local business and organization wants to be a part of the betterment of Clinton and DeWitt County and one of his usual monthly stops involves the Clinton Rotary. He speaks before them and many other community groups in hopes of gathering more support for the mission of the Y.

[audio:73114strongkids3.mp3] [/audio]

Individuals can still support the Strong Kids campaign in the coming weeks. To make a contribution or for further information, you can call the Y at 217-935-8307 or visit www.clintoncommymca.org.

Despite Cool Summer, Red Cross Stresses Importance of Heat Safety Preparedness

 width=Despite not having experienced the intense heat of Illinois summers, the local Red Cross is encouraging individuals to be prepared to beat the heat.

Despite recent cooler temperatures, it's important to protect yourself in warmer weather conditions. Carl Baker, Executive Director of the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, says drinking plenty of fluids is one of the most important ways to keeping cool. He also advises taking breaks and stretching when engaging in intense physical activities.

[audio:73014heat1.mp3] [/audio]

It's important to keep your pets, kids and seniors cool during the summer months also. Baker explains it's important to keep your animals hydrated all day long. In addition, he also stresses it can be incredibly dangerous leaving kids or pets in an unattended vehicle.

[audio:73014heat2.mp3] [/audio]

Baker adds eating light during the intense summer heat is a good practice to keep from overheating.

Baker also stresses the importance of checking on elderly neighbors on a regular basis over the summer. In DeWitt County, senior citizens can take advantage of a program through the DeWitt County Friendship Center that allows seniors access to fans. For further information on this program, contact the Friendship Center at 217-935-9411.

Richland Childhood Education Center Prepares Kids For Full Time Learning Environment

The campus of Richland Community College is making sure small children will be ready to succeed in school through a program that is seeing their facility being updated this summer.

The Children's Education Center is a twenty-year program at Richland Community College dedicated to early childhood development. The Center's Director, Kim Brummet, explains they serve children ages 2-12 over the summer and 2-5 during the school year. She explains the Center is a flexible option for families with varying budgets and schedules.

[audio:71014childcenter1.mp3] [/audio]

The Center's foundation is social skills. According to Brummet, reading and literacy are also focused on during those early years. Anything small children could be interested in, including numbers and colors, will be taught.

[audio:71014childcenter2.mp3] [/audio]

One of the advantages to the Education Center is the flexible times. Brummet notes families can set their child as either part or full time. The number of days kids attend can also be set by the parents.

[audio:71014childcenter3.mp3] [/audio]

Brummet says parents do not have to be students at Richland in order to enroll their children.

For more information on the Richland Children's Eduation Center, you can contact Kim Brummet at 875-7200 ext. 316 or at kbrummet@richland.edu.

College Football Notes

 width=>>Nebraska To Sport All Red Uniforms In Homecoming Game Vs Illini

Nebraska and Adidas have announced that the Cornhuskers will wear all-red uniforms for their game against Illinois on Sept. 27.

The "Red Rising" uniforms unveiled Friday feature black metallic stripes on the jersey and pants, black and silver metallic numbers and a large "N'' on the chest.

The uniform uses what's called "Techfit Shockweb" technology, which makes it fit tighter and, according to Adidas, makes players more difficult to tackle.

Last year the Huskers wore all-black uniforms for their home game against UCLA.

>>Auburn's Marshall Won't Start Opener

(Auburn, AL) -- Quarterback Nick Marshall will not start Auburn's opener against Arkansas. Head coach Gus Malzahn says Marshall is the team's starting QB, and he will still play against the Razorbacks on August 30th at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Marshall was recently cited for marijuana possession. He was named the All-SEC First Team quarterback by the media. Marshall threw for nearly two-thousand yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for over one-thousand yards and 12 TDs last season.

NHL Notes

 width=>>Canadiens Bring Back Subban

(Montreal, Quebec) -- The Montreal Canadiens are bringing back defenseman P.K. Subban [[ SOO-ban ]]. The team announced the eight-year contract on Saturday, and NHL.com reports it's for 72-million-dollars. Subban took home the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2013 as the league's top defenseman. Subban played in all 82 games last season posting 10 goals and 43 assists.

>>Bolts Sign Goalie Bishop To Extension

(Tampa, FL) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning are keeping goalie Ben Bishop around. The team announced the two-year extension Saturday with ESPN reporting it's worth 5.95-million-dollars per season. Bishop was traded to the Bolts from Ottawa in April 2013. Bishop recorded 37 wins with five shutouts last season. He is 55-31-and-11 in 108 games with St. Louis, the Senators and Lightning.

>>Ducks Extend Maroon

(Anaheim, CA) -- The Anaheim Ducks are keeping forward Patrick Maroon around. The two sides agreed to a three-year extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 26-year-old posted 11 goals and 18 assists in 62 games for the Ducks last season, his third with the team. Anaheim drafted him in the sixth round in 2007.

McIlroy Shows Form, Wins WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

 width=Rory McIlroy has another victory under his belt after firing a four-under-par round of 66 to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on Sunday.  McIlroy held on to beat Spain's Sergio Garcia, just as he did a few weeks ago at The Open Championship to capture his third major.  McIlroy finished at 15-under-par, two shots better than Garcia.  The victory gives McIlroy the number-one spot in the World Golf Rankings heading into next week's PGA Championship at Valhalla.  Marc Leishman finished in third place, one shot behind Garcia.  Phil Mickelson fired a season-best round of 62 on Sunday but finished tied for 15th.  Tiger Woods withdrew from the tournament after the ninth hole on Sunday with a lower-back injury. 

Race Recaps

 width=>>Earnhardt Jr. Sweeps Pocono Races, Gets Third Win

(Long Pond, PA) -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is celebrating another win at Pocono Raceway after Sunday's GoBowling.com 400. Earnhardt Jr. swept the pair of races at the "Tricky Triangle" and captured his third victory of the season. He's the first driver to sweep both Pocono races since Denny Hamlin in 2006 and is also the fifth straight Hendrick Motorsports driver to win there. Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle.

 width=>>Dixon Wins At Mid-Ohio

(Lexington, OH) -- Scott Dixon qualified last but came away with a win in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio yesterday. The win gives Chip Ganassi Racing its first victory of the season. Dixon is the tenth different driver representing seven teams to win. The IndyCar Series is in Wisconsin August 17th.

Favre Headed To Packers Hall of Fame; NFL Hall of Fame Weekend

 width=>>Favre Headed To Packers Hall Of Fame

(Green Bay, WI) -- Brett Favre [[ Farv ]] is heading to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. The Packers Hall of Fame Inc. have issued a media advisory relating to a joint announcement regarding Favre on Monday afternoon. Favre announced on his website he will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame and his number-four will be retired. Favre spent 16 of his 20 NFL seasons in Green Bay, winning a Super Bowl in 1997. He retired in 2008 but later that year decided he still wanted to play. The Packers had already turned to Aaron Rodgers and ended up trading Favre to the Jets. After one season in New York, he played two years with the Minnesota Vikings before retiring for good after the 2010 season. Favre holds many NFL records including most career touchdown passes, passing yards and pass completions.

 width=>>Seven Enshrined In Canton

(Canton, OH) -- There are seven new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, defensive ends Michael Strahan [[ STRAY-han ]] and Claude Humphrey, tackle Walter Jones, wide receiver Andre Reed, and cornerback Aeneas Williams were enshrined in Canton on Saturday. The New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 17-13 in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Sunday.

>>Giants Beat Bills In Hall Of Fame Game

(Canton, OH) -- Rookie Andre Williams ran for 48 yards and a touchdown as the Giants beat the Bills 17-13 in the Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Eli Manning went 6-for-7 for 43 yards in three series for the G-Men, who went 7-and-9 last season after an 0-and-6 start. Ryan Nassib threw for 139 yards including a 73-yard TD pass to Corey Washington for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. Second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel was just 2-of-7 for 19 yards, while Robert Woods had four catches for 49 yards and a score for the Bills, who are coming off their third straight 6-and-10 season. Rookie wide receiver Sammie Watkins, selected fourth overall out of Clemson, did not have a reception on three targets.

Bulls Support Rose Playing For Team USA Despite George Injury

 width=>>Bulls Throw Support Behind Rose, USA Basketball

(Las Vegas, NV) -- The Bulls are supporting Derrick Rose playing for Team USA, even in the wake of a devastating injury suffered by Pacers star Paul George. General manager Gar Forman says the organization backs Rose, who is recovering from multiple knee injuries. George broke his leg Friday.

>>Silver Releases Statement On International Play

(Undated) -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver made his first public comments about international play since Paul George went down in Team USA's scrimmage last week. Silver told ESPN he doesn't think this will cause a re-alignment on how the league currently handles players playing in international competitions. He did mention this will open up the possibility for discussion. George is expected to miss the entire season for the Pacers after suffering a gruesome leg injury.

Sox Pitching Coach Returns; McCarver Joins St. Louis Walk of Fame

 width=>>White Sox Pitching Coach Returns After Bout With Vertigo

Pitching coach Don Cooper is back with the Chicago White Sox after missing 11 games because of vertigo.

Cooper rejoined the team Friday as the White Sox opened a six-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins. He says he's still not 100 percent but is "feeling better than I did, that's for sure."

He says the symptoms are "manageable now."

Cooper missed time twice last season because of diverticulitis, and given a choice, he says he would "go for the diverticulitis over the vertigo."

Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen filled in for Cooper while he was out.

 width=>>McCarver To Join St. Louis Walk Of Fame

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Walk of Fame will unveil a sidewalk star to honor former Cardinals catcher and current broadcaster Tim McCarver today. McCarver is currently in his first year of calling St. Louis games after spending 17 years as a baseball analyst for FOX. The two-time All Star spent 12 of his 21 seasons with the Cardinals and was apart of their 1964 and '67 World Series teams.

Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Pounded Late

 width=>>Jackson Pitches Cubs Past Dodgers

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Edwin Jackson tossed six innings of two-run ball to lead the Cubs in a 7-3 win over the Dodgers from Chavez Ravine. Jackson improved to 6-and-11 while Chris Coghlan hit a two-run homer and Luis Valbuena added a solo shot. Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI double for Chicago, which has won three of four. Josh Beckett gave up three runs in four-plus innings and fell to 6-and-6 for Los Angeles. Matt Kemp stayed hot with a solo homer, his fifth roundtripper in six games. The Dodgers had won seven of eight.

 width=>>Cardinals Top Brewers

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Cardinals used a three-run seventh inning to pick up a 3-2 win over the Brewers at Busch Stadium. Matt Holliday belted a solo shot for the team's first score. Two batters later, A.J. Pierzynski [[ peer-ZIN-skee ]] and Oscar Taveras singled-in back-to-back runs to give them the lead. John Lackey picked up the win in his St. Louis debut by throwing seven innings of two-run ball. Trevor Rosenthal closed it out for his league-leading 34th save as the Cards won their fourth game of their last five. Aramis Ramirez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Mark Reynolds went deep for Milwaukee, which has lost five of seven. Jeremy Jeffress took the loss after Matt Garza threw six shutout innings.

>>Twins Cruise Past White Sox

(Chicago, IL) -- The Twins used a nine-run eighth inning to pull away for a 16-3 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Danny Santana finished 5-for-6 with four RBI for Minnesota, which has won two straight since a three-game slide. Chris Parmelee, Oswaldo Arcia and Eric Fryer hit back-to-back-to-back solo homers in the ninth. Arcia had three hits and three RBI while Fryer added three hits and drove in two. Kyle Gibson allowed three runs over seven innings to improve to 10-and-8. Jose Quintana allowed an unearned run over five frames while Javy Guerra took the loss. Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has lost three of five.

MLB National League
Cincinnati Reds 7, Miami Marlins 3
San Francisco Giants 9, New York Mets 0
Washington Nationals 4, Philadelphia Phillies 0
San Diego Padres 4, Atlanta Braves 3 (10 inn)
Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (10th inn)

MLB American League
Cleveland Indians 4, Texas Rangers 3 (12th inn)
Baltimore Orioles 1, Seattle Mariners 0
LA Angels of Anaheim 7, Tampa Bay Rays 5
Houston Astros 6, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Kansas City Royals 4, Oakland Athletics 2
New York Yankees 8, Boston Red Sox 7

MLB Interleague
Detroit Tigers 4, Colorado Rockies 0

2014 Commodity Election Results

The Illinois Department of Agriculture last week announced winners of the July 8 state commodity board elections.

The elections filled positions on three boards: the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the Illinois Soybean Association Program Operating Board and the Illinois Sheep and Wool Marketing Board.

The Illinois Corn Marketing Board Director elected for Woodford, McLean, Dewitt, Macon, Piatt, and Moultrie Counties is Jim Reed of Monticello. Elected Director to represent Scott, Morgan, Sangamon, Greene, Jersey, Calhoun, and Macoupin County is Bill Long of Franklin.

The Illinois Soybean Program Director for Knox, Peoria, Marshall, Putnam, and Tazewell Counties will be Stan Born of Dunlap. The Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion will be Michel Marron of Fithian. Representing Mason, Logan, Cass, Menard, Morgan, and Sangamon Counties will be Carrie Winkelman of Tallula. And representing Pike, Scott, Calhoun, Greene, Macoupin, and Jersey Counties will be Roberta Dolbeare of Nebo.

Illinois Director of Agriculture, Bob Flider congratulates the all those elected to the various boards and thanks them for their service.

Checkoff dollars come from assessments levied at the first point of sale. State law sets the assessment for corn at 5/8 of 1 cent per bushel. For soybeans, the rate is 1/2 of 1 percent of market value and for sheep and wool, it is 2 1/2 cents per pound.

Pilot Makes Emergency Landing On Illinois Roadway

Authorities say a Springfield pilot flying home from a Wisconsin air show made an emergency landing on a highway in Logan County.

Illinois State Police say pilot Roger L. Thompson landed his 1985 homebuilt Pitts S-2A airplane on Old Route 121 on Sunday about 2 miles south of Hartsburg. Police say Thompson's plane had an unknown mechanical problem. There were no injuries.

Thompson was on his way to Springfield from the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Oshkosh.

According to reports, Thompson says he considers it "a successful off-airport landing." Illinois State Police responded and the airplane was towed from the roadway.

Illinois State Police say the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation were notified and will investigate.

Hartsburg is about 40 miles north of Springfield.

Clinton Community Education Foundation Awards Annual Scholarship

The Clinton Community Education Foundation, or CCEF, recently awared their 2014 Vincent Beggs Memorial Scholarship Recipients.

Lydia Lux will attend Richland Community College in Decatur and will study mathematics. She is the daughter of Linda and Gregory Lux of Clinton.

Elizabeth Bridges, daughter of Steve and Nancy Bridges of Wapella, will attend Illinois Wesleyan University and plans to study English and writing.

Kassandra Henson, daughter of Karyn Henson of Clinton, and of Richard and Sharon Henson of Clinton, will attend Illinois Wesleyan University and plans to study theater arts and English.

Denise Mathews will attend Missouri University of Science and Technology and plans to major in geological engineering. She is the daughter of April and Monte Mathews of Clinton.

Taylor Donelson will attend Northern Illinois University and plans to study physical therapy. Donelson is the daughter of Phil and Tanya Donelson.

Caleb Luck, son of Kelly Walsh of Clinton, and Van Luck of Farmer City, will attend University of Missouri and plans to study mechanical engineering.

The award recipients were selected from a larger pool of applications based on their leadership, character and activities, as well as on a scholarship project. Final selection followed in-person interviews with representatives of the CCEF.

The Beggs Memorial Scholarship currently is given in the amount of $1,250 annually. Recipients are eligible to receive the funds for up to four years, provided they qualify as a full-time student and maintain a 2.0 grade point average at their college, university or trade school. The CCEF has now committed to fund a total of approximately $110,000 in Beggs scholarships.

The Vincent Beggs Memorial Scholarship is designed to honor the former DeWitt County resident’s personal vision. The scholarship was set up by the CCEF using funds donated by the late John Vincent Beggs, and first made available in 2011. Mr. Beggs was raised on a family farm, studied Business Administration at Illinois Wesleyan University, and served in the U.S. Air Force. He later worked for State Farm and, upon his retirement in 1980, was supervising millions in investments for the company.

Rep. Rodney Davis to Host Senior Resources Event in Decatur

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis will be hosting a senior resources event Tuesday in Decatur. Starting at 9:30am there will be speeches or presentations from Rep. Davis, the Social Security Administration, CMS/ Medicare, and AARP. A resources fair will begin immediately following the presentations.

The event gets underway 9:30a and goes 11:30a on Tuesday, August 5, at the Decatur-Macon County Senior Center, 1430 N. 22nd St., in Decatur.

American Idol Will Be Holding Auditions At The Illinois State Fair This Year





The Illinois State Fair Begins Next Thursday In Springfield





Record Setting Logan County Fair To Feature Popular Singer Saturday

The Logan County Fair has shown record attendance for its 2014 edition.

The fair has been up and running since Sunday night, and while the fair always draws well, this year has drawn exceptionally well. According to Fair Secretary Mike Maske (maas-key), the mild weather has been mostly responsible for the success.


This year's fair has been full of several unique events including mini-monster truck racing. Maske explains one of the major events will take place Saturday night. Up and coming county music star, Thomas Rhett, will be performing. Local band, Brushville will be the opening act that evening.


Tickets for the concert can be found online at www.logancountyfairil.com or through the Fair office at 217-732-3311. They can also be purchased at the fair.

The Fair continues through Sunday night.

Rauner To Release Tax Info. In October

Democrats have been calling on Bruce Rauner to release his tax information from last year, but they'll have to wait at least a few more months.  The GOP candidate for governor got an extension on filing his taxes and they won't be ready until October 15th, just three weeks before the election.  Rauner says he'll make the numbers public at that time.  He made 53-million-dollars in 2012. 

Slots Available For Motorcycle Rider Training

State officials say there are still spots available in upcoming motorcycle training classes.  Basic Riding Courses are available in 14-locations in central Illinois including Decatur, Joliet, Pontiac, Springfield, Danville, and East Moline.  Any Illinois resident 16 years old or older can take the class as long as they have a valid automobile or motorcycle driver's license or permit.  The course includes about 20 hours of instruction, including hands-on riding lessons.  Anyone interested can call 800-252-3348 for more information. 

Fair Manager Didn't Know She Violated Ethics Code

State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick [[ Bleef-nick ]] was recently hit with a code of ethics violation after accepting free beer tickets from a fair vendor. She says she didn't realize she was breaking the law.

[audio:rddViolate11.mp3] [/audio]

Bliefnick handed the tickets out to senior officers at the Department of Ag, members of her staff, and people who were volunteering at the fair. She was ordered to pay a one-thousand-dollar-fine and she served a two-day suspension, without pay.

Illinois Grouop To Display Vintage Farm Equipment

Vintage farm equipment including tractors, corn shredders and potato diggers will be on display Saturday and Sunday in northern Illinois.

The Living History Antique Equipment Association is staging the 25-acre exhibition of old-fashioned farm implements in the village Franklin Grove this weekend.

According to reports, association President Dave Shaw explains the show has doubled in size during the past two decades. About 150 farmers are involved in the group.

Organizers say nearly 400 pieces of machinery will be on view. Some have been restored and are in good condition. Many will be demonstrated during the show.

There's no admission fee, but the association accepts donations.

Sony Subsidary Leaving University of Illinois Campus

A subsidiary of Sony Corporation that focuses on biotechnology is closing its operations on the University of Illinois campus and moving to California.

According to reports, Sony spokeswoman Lisa Gephardt says Sony Biotechnology will shut down its office in the university's Research Park in September and open a new headquarters in San Jose, California.

Gephardt said employees were told Wednesday.

She said 12 of the 22 employees will have the chance to stay with the company. Ten jobs will be eliminated.

The company at one point employed about 90 people.

Sony Biotechnology manufactures technology used to count and sort cells and in protein engineering.

The company was founded in 1995 as Cytometry Services Inc. and moved to the campus in 2000. Sony bought the company in 2010.

Trial Set For Illinois Man Charged In Toddler Death

A central Illinois man charged with murder in the death of a toddler will have one trial rather the two his defense attorney sought.

According to reports, a judge decided Wednesday that 25-year-old Nicholas Compton will be tried Jan. 5 on 13 charges in the March 2013 death of 3-year-old Robert "Robbie" Cramer.

Compton says the boy died accidentally.

Murder and aggravated domestic battery counts were filed in April 2013 and aggravated battery counts filed in August 2013.

Compton's attorney said the two sets of charges aren't directly linked and should be separated.

The boy died of peritonitis due to blunt force trauma to his abdomen.

His mother, Danielle Fischer, was Compton's girlfriend and is charged with murder. Court officials say she has not entered a plea.

Rauner Says He'll Be 'Champion' For Illinois Farmers

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) says a coalition of supporters from Illinois' agricultural community is backing his bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Rauner stopped Thursday at a farm in Lincoln. The Winnetka businessman says he will be "a champion" for Illinois agriculture. He says he'll reduce regulatory burdens on farmers and travel the world on his own dime to promote Illinois products.

Len Corzine is a farmer and a co-chairman of Rauner's agriculture coalition. He says: "Family farms like ours need new leadership in Springfield."

But Quinn spokeswoman Izabela Miltko says farmers "know a pig in a poke when they see one."

She says under Quinn, Illinois has been a national leader in soybean and corn production and agriculture exports.

Remains In Illinois Shed Are Woman From Decatur

Police say human remains found inside a shed in Rochester are those of a 43-year-old woman from Decatur.

According to reports, Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Eric Hall says the woman found in the shed on July 19 was identified through dental records and other evidence. Rochester is just east of Springfield.

Hall would not release the woman's identity but said her family has been notified.

He said she was not on any lists of missing people. Authorities believe her death was a homicide because items in the shed were stacked on her.

Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards says the body was there for a long time. But she isn't sure how long or how she died.

The woman was found by someone cleaning out the shed.

DeWitt County Organizers Ready For New 4-H Year, Which Starts Next Month

 width=Even though many 4-H participants are headed to the Illinois State Fair next week, the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension Office is already looking ahead to the 2014-15 4-H year.

August 31st ends this year's 4-H activities but organizers say they are readying for the new year, which will begin September 1st. According to Sherry Fulton with the University of Illinois extension, a child has to be five years old to be in 4-H Cloverbuds by September 1st. 4-H Community Clubs require kids to be 8 by the same date.

[audio:731144h1.mp3] [/audio]

4-H can be something kids invest a lot of time into, or it can be a casual investment. Fulton explains there are over 200 projects available which means there's almost guaranteed to be something of interest for their participants to do for a 4-H project.

[audio:731144h2.mp3] [/audio]

Kids can join 4-H anytime of year, but Fulton says September 1st is the best time. For anyone interested in joining 4-H or wanting to obtain more information, contact the Extension Office at 935-5764.

Farmer City Buzzing With Business Activity

Farmer City has seen a jolt in business movement this summer.

In May it was announced a new pharmacy would call Farmer City's downtown home and recently the downtown area has been the focus of other businesses. According to Ruth Stauffer, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council, a small business owner recently moved from a smaller storefront to a location on Main Street.

[audio:8114farmercitybizz1.mp3] [/audio]

Both owners of the new downtown businesses in Farmer City see the potential in the area. According to Stauffer, the owner of the new pharmacy is renovating their space and the owner of Bee's Garden House will be renovating parts of her building. Stauffer says it's exciting to see these visions the two have for the Farmer City downtown.

[audio:8114farmercitybizz2.mp3] [/audio]

Stauffer says the DCDC continues their goal to develop the 20 acres off of the Route 54 and Highway 74 intersection. She says while that development is still a ways off, they are encouraged with the continued positive reports on the state of the economy.

PGA Tour Notes

 width=>>Leishman Leads Bridgestone; Tiger 4 Back

Marc Leishman fired a 6-under 64 on Thursday and grabbed a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Leishman, the 2012 Travelers Championship winner, missed the cut at the Greenbrier, but has two top-10 finishes in his last three starts.

Ryan Moore posted a 5-under 65 and was joined in second place by a pair of former major champions Justin Rose and Charl Schwartzel.

Rickie Fowler headlines a group of four players at minus-3. He stands alongside Francesco Molinari, Graham DeLaet and Patrick Reed.

Defending champion Tiger Woods scrambled to a 2-under 68 at Firestone Country Club. He is tied for ninth place with Sergio Garcia, Jamie Donaldson, Brandt Snedeker and Keegan Bradley.

>>Johnson Taking Leave Of Absence From PGA

(Akron, OH) -- Golfer Dustin Johnson is taking a leave of absence from the PGA Tour. The eight-time Tour winner released a statement saying the leave is effective immediately and he will use the time to seek professional help for personal challenges he has faced. Johnson says he expects to return to the Tour and become a more consistent champion. The 30-year-old's status for the PGA Championship, FedExCup playoffs and Ryder Cup are now all in doubt.

NASCAR Heads For Pocono

 width=309 height=163 />The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is headed to Pocono Raceway this weekend.  Drivers will tackle the Tricky Triangle in Sunday's GoBowling.com 400.  Jeff Gordon is the current points leader.  He holds a 24-point edge over teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. </p>						</div>

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NFL Notes

>>Pro Football Hall Of Fame Enshrinement Saturday

(Canton, OH) -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame is set to induct its Class of 2014 this weekend. Linebacker Derrick Brooks, punter Ray Guy, defensive ends Michael Strahan [[ STRAY-han ]] and Claude Humphrey, tackle Walter Jones, wide receiver Andre Reed, and cornerback Aeneas Williams will all be enshrined in Canton tomorrow. The weekend will be culminated by the annual Hall of Fame Game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

 width=>>Giants Battle Bills In Hall Of Fame Game

(Canton, OH) -- The NFL preseason kicks off this weekend with the annual Hall of Fame Game. This year's contest pits the New York Giants against the Buffalo Bills Sunday night at Fawcett Field in Canton, Ohio. It culminates Hall of Fame weekend, with the 2014 Class inducted on Saturday. The Giants will be looking to bounce back from a 7-and-9 season last year that was derailed by an 0-and-6 start. The Bills finished last in the AFC East last year at 6-and-10. The preseason begins in earnest with six games on Thursday, including the a Super Bowl rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.

>>Niners, Harbaugh End Contract Discussions

(Undated) -- The San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh are putting an end to contract talks until after the season. CSN Bay Area says team CEO Jed York and Harbaugh spoke Wednesday and decided to hold off on talks until after 2014. Harbaugh is going into his fourth season with the Niners after coming over from Stanford. He signed a five-year, 25-million-dollar deal and is 36-11-and-1 so far during his time at the helm.

>>Seahawks' Lynch Ends Holdout

(Renton, WA) -- "Beast Mode" is ready to play football. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch reported to training camp Thursday. Lynch had been seeking more money and according to Pro Football Talk, the team has bumped his salary for this season from five-million-dollars to 6.5-million. The 'Hawks moved 500-thousand-dollars from his 2015 salary to this year and added another one-million-dollars by guaranteeing two incentive bonuses. The team also agreed not to fine Lynch for time he's missed during the holdout. The 28-year-old rushed for more than 12-hundred yards and 12 touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions last season.

Bulls, NBA Notes

 width=>>Derrick Rose Acknowledges Tension Between Him and Bulls

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose acknowledged tension between members of his inner circle and team management.

Rose tells the Chicago Sun-Times he knows "it's been there." He says things seemed fine when he "was around," but he would then hear they weren't.

There has been speculation in recent years of tension between the organization and Rose's camp. The newspaper cites organization sources as saying the strain was over members of his inner circle taking shots at the organization and Rose not playing a bigger role in recruiting Carmelo Anthony.

In a statement, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf denied any discord, saying he can't remember when the organization has been more "cohesive."

Rose praised the roster and said it's time to "move in a positive direction."

 width=>>Waka Flocka, Shaq Sued For Mocking Man With Disability

(Detroit, MI) -- Waka Flocka Flame, Shaquille O'Neal and Utah Jazz player Trey Burke will have to face the music after making fun of a Michigan man with a rare disability. According to the "Detroit Free Press," the three are accused of taking to social media earlier this year to mock a selfie posted by Jahmel Binion, who suffers from a rare condition called ectodermal dysplasia. The disorder has affected his appearance, including the formation of his teeth and hair. In his lawsuit against them, Binion calls their mockery "extreme and outrageous conduct" that resulted in emotional distress and defamation. Binion is suing them for more than 25-thousand-dollars in damages.

After learning about his disorder, all three apologized to Jahmel. Nevertheless, Jahmel claims their insults reached more than eight-million people across the globe.

Red Sox, A's Headline Trade Deadline Moves

 width=>>A's Land Lester From Red Sox For Cespedes

(Oakland, CA) -- Billy Beane and the Oakland A's got the July 31 trade deadline day going with a major splash. The Oakland A's bolstered their already strong starting rotation for the stretch run. They acquired pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes [[ yo-ENN-ees SESS-peh-dess ]]. Boston also gets Oakland's 2015 competitive balance draft pick. Lester is 10-and-7 with a 2.52 ERA this season, but will be a free agent after this season. Gomes is batting .234 with six home runs and 32 RBI. Cespedes has a .256 average with 17 home runs and 67 RBI.

>>Tigers Pick Up Price In Three-Team Trade

(Detroit, MI) -- The Detroit Tigers are adding a big-time starter for the stretch run. They have acquired left-hander David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade involving the Seattle Mariners. The Tigers sent center fielder Austin Jackson to the M's and starter Drew Smyly [[ SMY-lee ]] to the Rays. Tampa Bay also gets minor league infielders Nick Franklin from Seattle and Willy Adames [[ ah-DAH-mess ]] from Detroit. Price now joins fellow former Cy Young winners Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer [[ SURE-zer ]] in a stacked Tigers rotation. Price is 11-and-8 with a 3.11 ERA this season.

>>Marlins Acquire Cosart From Astros

(Miami, FL) -- The Miami Marlins are adding pitcher Jarred Cosart to their starting rotation. The Fish have acquired the 24-year-old in a six-player deal with the Houston Astros. The Marlins also got infielder Enrique Hernandez and outfielder Austin Wates in exchange for outfielder Jake Marisnick, pitcher Francis Martes, infielder Colin Moran and a 2015 competitive balance draft pick. Cosart is 9-and-7 with a 4.41 ERA in 20 starts this season.

 width=>>Yankees Acquire Prado From Snakes

(Bronx, NY) -- The New York Yankees have acquired infielder Martin Prado [[ mar-TEEN PRAH-doh ]] from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league first baseman Peter O'Brien. The Snakes also get a player to be named later or cash in the deal. The 30-year-old Prado is mostly a second baseman, but will likely play the outfield for New York. He's batting .270 with five home runs and 42 RBI this season. O'Brien has a combined 33 home runs and 70 RBI this season while splitting time between Single-A and Double-A.

>>Yankees Acquire Drew From Red Sox

(Bronx, NY) -- Stephen Drew is on the move, but is staying in the American League East. The New York Yankees have acquired the veteran infielder from the Boston Red Sox. Drew is a natural shortstop, but is expected to play multiple infield positions with New York. He's batting just .176 with four home runs since signing with Boston in late May. Drew missed the first two months after rejecting a one-year qualifying offer from the Red Sox after last season.

>>Mariners Get Denorfia From Padres

(Cleveland, OH) -- The Seattle Mariners are adding some outfield depth with the addition of Chris Denorfia [[ deh-NOR-fee-uh ]]. The M's acquired the 34-year-old veteran from the San Diego Padres for a pair of minor leaguers. Denorfia is batting .242 with one home run, 16 RBI and eight stolen bases this season. The Pads get pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen and outfielder Abraham Almonte in return. Denorfia will be a free agent after this season.

>>Brewers Acquire Parra From D'backs

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Milwaukee Brewers are adding a two-time Gold Glover to their outfield. The Brew Crew have acquired outfielder Gerardo [[ her-ARE-doe ]] Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-hander Anthony Banda. The 27-year-old Parra is hitting .259 with six homers and 30 RBI this season. He was also the 2013 National League Defensive Player of the Year. "Baseball America" ranks Haniger as the Brewers' third-best prospect.

Cards, Cubs Make Deadline Moves; All Locals Win

 width=>>Cardinals Deal For John Lackey

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are further bolstering their starting rotation for the stretch run. The Cards have acquired right-hander John Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Joe Kelly and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig. Lackey is 11-and-7 with a 3.60 ERA this season. The 26-year-old Kelly is 2-and-2 with a 4.37 ERA in seven starts this year. Craig is batting .237 with seven homers and 44 RBI. St. Louis acquired right-handed starter Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

 width=>>Braves Get Russell, Bonifacio From Cubs

(Atlanta, GA) -- The Atlanta Braves are adding pitcher James Russell and utilityman Emilio Bonifacio [[ bon-ih-FAH-see-oh ]]. They have acquired the duo from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for catching prospect Victor Caratini. The left-handed Russell is 0-and-2 with a 3.51 ERA this season. Bonifacio is batting .279 with two home runs and 18 RBI. Caratini was an All-Star this season in the Single-A South Atlantic League, batting .279 with five homers and 42 RBI.

>>Arrieta Helps Cubs Cruise Past Rockies

(Chicago, IL) -- Jake Arrieta struck out seven in seven innings as the Cubs beat the Rockies 3-1 at Wrigley Field. Arrieta improved to 6-and-2 after allowing just one run on three hits. Hector Rondon [[ ron-DOAN ]] notched his 14th save. Starlin Castro, Justin Ruggiano and Luis Valbuena all drove in runs. The Cubs are at the Dodgers tonight.

>>Cardinals Rebound, Avoid Sweep By Padres

(San Diego, CA) -- Shelby Miller and three relievers combined on a three-hitter as the Cardinals beat the Padres 6-2 to avoid a three-game sweep from Petco Park. Miller improved to 8-and-8 after throwing six innings of two-run ball. Oscar Taveras hit a two-run homer, and Matt Holiday drove in pair of runs in the victory. St. Louis roughed up rookie Odrisamer Despaigne for six runs on nine hits in five-and-two-thirds innings. Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable both connected for long balls in the loss.

 width=>>White Sox Down Tigers For Series Victory

(Detroit, MI) -- Moises Sierra had four hits and Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton added three each to lift the White Sox to a 7-4 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park. Abreu extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Ronald Belisario improved to 4-and-7 in relief of John Danks. Jake Petricka earned his sixth save as the Sox took the rubber match of the three-game series. Drew Smyly [[ SMY-lee ]], who was traded during the game, was knocked around for 11 hits and four runs in five innings of work. Reliever Joakim [[ WAH-keem ]] Soria took the loss. Torii Hunter and J.D. Martinez each went 2-for-3 with a home run for Detroit.

>>Lackey Won't Cost Cardinals Much In 2015

(St. Louis, MO) -- Due to a clause in his contract, the St. Louis Cardinals are getting newly-acquired starting pitcher John Lackey for relatively cheap. When Lackey signed his five-year deal with the Red Sox in December of 2009, there was a clause for a club option for the league-minimum salary in 2015 if he underwent elbow surgery between 2010-and-2014. The clause was triggered when Lackey underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011. St. Louis can now pick up the club option on Lackey for 500-thousand-dollars this offseason for next year. The Cardinals acquired Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell and cash for righty Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig.

ISU Punt Returner Named To 'Punt Returner Watch List' For FCS Programs

 width=Illinois State sophomore Anthony Warrum was named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Punt Returner Award Watch List, as announced by the CFPA on Thursday. The initial watch list includes 34 returning performers, vying for the top punt returner award in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Warrum played in all 11 games for the Redbirds in 2013 as a true freshman and served as the team's primary punt returner. The Fishers, Ind., native averaged 8.8 yards per return on 18 attempts and returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown just before halftime against Abilene Christian. Warrum became the first Redbird to return a punt for a touchdown since Tom Nelson achieved the feat in 2008.

He also added to the team's depth in the receiving corps, as he caught 12 passes for 342 yards, scored three touchdown and averaged a team-high 27 yards per catch. Warrum posted eight plays of over 20 yards or more on the year, including three over 50 yards (two receptions, one return), and hauled in a career-high 145 yards, including a season-long 62-yard touchdown reception, in a win over Indiana State.

Illinois Announces Football Training Camp Schedule

As the calendar flips to August, the college football season is just on the horizon.

 width=The Fighting Illini football program announced Thursday the team's 2014 training camp schedule. The Illini will open their 2014 preseason training camp at Memorial Stadium on Aug. 4 before heading north to Camp Rantoul, located on the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Ill., for a week starting Aug. 11. It marks the 15th year Illinois will hold part of its training camp in Rantoul, which is about 20 miles northeast of Champaign-Urbana (MAP).

Players will report to campus on Aug. 3 and will hold seven practices in Champaign from Aug. 4-9. For the first four days of practice (Aug. 4-7), the team will be split into two groups, with one practicing in the afternoon and the other in the evening. This format allows the coaching staff to give more repetitions and individual instruction to each player with so many newcomers going through Illinois practices for the first time.

The Fighting Illini will host Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium from 4-5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10, before loading up and heading to Camp Rantoul for 10 practices between Aug. 11 and Aug. 18. All practices held at Camp Rantoul will be open to the public. The Illini will scrimmage on Aug. 16 at Memorial Stadium, but that will be closed to the public.

The team will return to Champaign for a closed scrimmage on Aug. 16 and then again on Aug. 19 for the rest of training camp, where all practices will be closed to the public.

Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com

Local Zoo Refurbishes Main Attraction

 width=One local zoo has made the effort to spruce up one of its most popular attractions.

Dectaur's Scovill Zoo had it's carousel refurbished this week. The zoo closed the ride down to allow a company from Ohio clean and touch it up. Ken Frye, with Scovill Zoo, says the efforts have made the carousel look brand new.

[audio:8114carousel1.mp3] [/audio]

Frye says the carousel's working parts have been around since the 1920s, but the zoo added the animals. It's been part of Scovill Zoo for the past eleven years. He adds it used to be traveling carousel during it's heyday.

[audio:8114carousel2.mp3] [/audio]

One of the more interesting features of the carousel is the animals. According to Frye they represent species from around the world and his staff calls it the "endangered species" carousel.

[audio:8114carousel3.mp3] [/audio]

Frye says the carousel had taken its toll over the years due to weather elements and other natural causes. He's glad the ride has finally acquired a full clean-up. The carousel is expected to be back up and running Sunday.


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