Local News

Firewood Supplies Running Low in Rockford Area

Businesses that sell firewood say they're selling out fast.

Reports say local producers hare already run out of wood.

Local nursery owner Terry Marshall says some residents have been doubling their firewood orders compared to last year in anticipation of another cold winter.

Firewood must be "seasoned" or dried for a year or longer after it's cut, and suppliers often cut the wood a year or two ahead of time to ensure a steady supply.

Tyler Stevenson of Timber Tree Inc. says he normally has a mountain of firewood from year to year, but sold everything he had last year.

He says he might not be able to sell any next year so that he can replenish his supply.

Parking Garages Hacked For Credit Card Data

A Chicago-based parking facility provider says payment systems at 10 parking garages in Chicago and three in Evanston were hacked to capture credit card information.

SP Plus issued a statement Friday. The company says it has fixed the problem and it regrets the inconvenience to its customers. The company says it has taken steps so banks issuing the credit cards can monitor for unauthorized charges. Customers who see suspicious charges should contact the banks issuing their credit cards.

Parking garages in Chicago include those at the John Hancock, the Aon Center, Aqua and Presidential Towers.

Facilities in Evanston are Church, Maple and Sherman garages.

SP Plus says a garage in Cleveland, two in Philadelphia and one in Seattle also were affected.

Illinois Woman Injured By Turkey Fryer

Authorities say a southern Illinois woman has been injured in a turkey-fryer accident.

According to reports, the 72-year-old woman from Glen Carbon was taken to a local hospital with burns on her hip and waist. Glen Carbon is about 20 miles east of St. Louis.

Fire Chief Ralph Well said the woman and her husband were heating the oil in the electric fryer when it turned over in their home. Wells said the fryer was intended to be used indoors.

Neither woman's name nor her condition was immediately available.

Protesters Demonstrate Outside Chicago Walmart

Black Friday shoppers got a raucous greeting at a Chicago Walmart store by about 100 sign-waving, chanting protesters.

The protesters say they want the retail giant to add more full-time positions and pay employees $15 an hour.

Protesters targeted Walmart stores nationwide as the holiday shopping season kicked off.

Some workers also delivered a letter with their demands to the store manager. They say the manager wanted to read it before commenting.

Fifty-three-year-old Linda Haluska says she's worked at an Illinois Walmart for nine years. She says some co-workers fear retaliation if they ask for higher wages or even accommodations for a pregnancy.

Employee Faye Brim disagrees with the protesters. The 62-year-old from Chicago says she's bought a home and raised two kids on what Walmart has paid her.

Plan Would Use Medical Marijuana To Fund Education

A well-known Chicago civil rights attorney wants to get into the medical marijuana business and, if successful, is pledging to donate half of the earnings to support education.

Jon Loevy and several partners have put in an application seeking a permit to open the facility in Edgewood, a small town in Effingham County.

He tells reporters that half of the earnings would go toward educational initiatives around the state, including helping fund new charter schools in underserved communities.

Loevy says the law permitting a medical marijuana industry in Illinois has "created a real opportunity for profits." But, he says, a lot of those seeking to cash in are hedge funds and private equity firms who - in his words - are "just trying to get rich."

Holidays Are Bad For Your Heart

The hectic holiday season is bad for your heart. Doctor Samir Kapadia [[ kah-pod-ee-ah ]] with the Cleveland Clinic says stress can take its toll on people this time of year.

[audio:Samir1Kapadia1128141.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Kapadia adds you have to make a conscious effort to be healthy.

[audio:Samir2Kapadia1128141.mp3] [/audio]

Between the stress, cold weather and binge eating, your risk for a heart attack jumps during the holidays. Doctor Kapadia says to not only eat healthier, but also stay active to help your heart health.

Online Shopping Tips For Holidays

The parcel services of the country will be getting into high gear as the online shopping season begins Monday with Cyber Monday.

As you take to the comforts of your own home to knock out some of that holiday shopping, local authorities are encouraging taking some safeguards against opening yourself up to identity theft and other personal crimes. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers encourages responsible shopping.

[audio:12114cybersafe1.mp3] [/audio]

Using proper spyware can mean the difference between keeping your credit card information safe and having it compromised. According to Chief Lowers, having up to date spyware and anti-virus software is almost a must when shopping online.

[audio:12114cybersafe2.mp3] [/audio]

When shopping online, there are a couple signs that can indicate you are shopping on a secure website and network. Chief Lowers explains when on a secure website, the URL should begin with "https://", as the "S" indicates a secure site. He also notes there me be a lock icon on the browser status bar.

[audio:12114cybersafe3.mp3] [/audio]

When shopping online, Chief Lowers encourages shoppers to keep meticulous bank records. If your bank offers online banking and ways to monitor transactions online, to utilize that service. He notes, with many banks now, the online service is free. He feels it is a great resource to make sure there are no unauthorized purchases being made and charged to your bank account or credit cards.

Maroons Edge Out Raiders

Last night, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Iroquois West Raiders in a close game in the Gibson City Tournament on Friday 63-60.

For the Maroons (1-2), Peyton McCubbin had 10 points. Bowe Carter had 18 points with 7 rebounds. Jacob Overton put up 19 points with 7 rebounds as well. Jason Love also put up 7 points.

For the Raiders (1-2), Nick Dowell put up 19 points. Corey Schunke also had 13 points. Payton Stiers had 11 points. Austin Conrad had 10 points.

Tune into the 92.3 FM WHOW as the Clinton Maroons will be playing Maroa-Forsyth.

Illinois Hunters Kill 52,000 Deer in Weekend

Illinois hunters have killed nearly 52,000 deer during the first weekend of the state's firearm hunting season.

The state Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday the preliminary total is 51,830 deer for the Nov. 21-23 weekend. That's down from nearly 56,000 during the first weekend of the 2013 firearm season. Jackson County had the largest harvest last weekend with about 1,500 deer.

The second segment of the 2014 season is Dec. 4-7.

The DNR is reminding hunters that an additional 20 counties have been closed to the antlerless-only seasons from Jan. 1-4 and Jan. 16-18. The muzzleloader season is Dec. 12-14 and archery deer season continues through Jan. 18, 2015.

Video Gambling's Spread Raising Cash, Eyebrows

Video gambling terminals have been showing up in unusual places since they were legalized in Illinois.

Among them are Laundromats, floral shops and gas stations. They're also the main attraction in new chains of storefront cafes and bistros aimed at attracting female customers.

The proliferation of video gambling has raised some second thoughts among original sponsors and city officials. Cities like Peoria are looking at how they can limit their growth.

State Rep. Lou Lang was one of the sponsors of the state's video-gambling bill in 2009. He says the state never intended to turn florists and Laundromats into gambling businesses and such growth needs a second look.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson says that town enacted food-service and space requirements to ensure such businesses are more than "mini-casinos."

Illinois Route 66 Gets Electric Charging Stations

Illinois' portion of the historic Route 66 is getting a high-tech upgrade with the installation of a network of electric vehicle charging stations.

The project will allow drivers of electric cars to zoom along the 300-mile stretch from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

The $1 million project is being supported by automakers with technical help from the University of California at Davis. Work begins this month and should be finished by summer.

Charging stations will be built in eight cities, from Plainfield to Edwardsville. Each stop will have at least one fast-charging station, which can charge up a car within 15 to 20 minutes.

Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement Saturday that the project reflects "Illinois' place as the innovation capital of the Midwest."

Unemployment Grows Slightly in Several Illinois Counties

Unemployment rose slightly in many Illinois counties throughout October.

DeWitt County saw unemployment slightly increase from 6.0% in September to 6.2 in October.

Piatt County grew slightly, going from 5.3% to 5.4%.

Macon County's unemployment also increased going from 7.9% in September to 8.2% in October.

Logan County saw unemployment go from 6.5% to 6.2%.

Unemployment in McLean County grew in October, going from 5.6% to 5.9%.

In Champaign County, employment also increased to 6.4%.

Unemployment in Sangamon County stayed grew from 5.8% to 6.1%

The highest unemployment rate was at 8.9% in Hardin County.

Brown County once again had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 3.2%.

The state's unemployment stayed steady at 6.2% in October. The national unemployment rate sits at 5.5%.

City of Lincoln Hosting First Ever Small Business Saturday Event

Shopping local is the name of the game for one community as we hit this Small Business Saturday.

The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce will be holding a first ever event in conjunction with Small Business Saturday in Downtown Lincoln. Organizers have arranged a scavenger hunt for downtown shoppers. Nicole Cox, Assistant Director of the Chamber, says the event is set up to promote local businesses and encourage citizens to support them over the holidays.

[audio:112614lincolnsaturday1.mp3] [/audio]

Executive Director of the Lincoln Chamber, Andi Hake explains the rich history of downtown Lincoln is another interesting aspect for Saturday's shoppers.

[audio:112614lincolnsaturday2.mp3] [/audio]

Most tasks in the scavenger hunt will involve engagement through social media, which Cox believes can be extremely helpful to local businesses.

[audio:112614lincolnsaturday3.mp3] [/audio]

The Small Business Saturday event in Liconln kicks-off Saturday at 8:30 am with a small breakfast available at no charge and the scavenger hunt goes from 9am-2pm.

American Express started this event three years ago and because of their support, American Express Prepaid shopping cards will be given away throughout the morning and afternoon as well.

Local Chamber Officials Encouraging Shopping Local This Holiday Season

Local leaders are hoping holiday shoppers will stay in their respective communities as they purchase gifts for this Christmas season.

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging holiday shoppers to support their local community businesses on starting with Small Business Saturday. Executive Director Marian Brisard explains these businesses operate in DeWitt County have much to offer for great gift ideas.

[audio:112714clintonsmallbus1.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard adds the Chamber works to promote local business all year round, not just during the holidays, even if they are not Chamber members.

[audio:112714clintonsmallbus2.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard says there will be many great bargains available for Saturday for shoppers.

For more information about any Clinton business, you can call the Chamber at 217-935-3364.

City of Lincoln Hosting First Ever Small Business Saturday Event

 width=Shopping local is the name of the game for one community as we hit this Small Business Saturday.

The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce will be holding a first ever event in conjunction with Small Business Saturday in Downtown Lincoln. Organizers have arranged a scavenger hunt for downtown shoppers. Nicole Cox, Assistant Director of the Chamber, says the event is set up to promote local businesses and encourage citizens to support them over the holidays.

[audio:112614lincolnsaturday1.mp3] [/audio]

Executive Director of the Lincoln Chamber, Andi Hake explains the rich history of downtown Lincoln is another interesting aspect for Saturday's shoppers.

[audio:112614lincolnsaturday2.mp3] [/audio]

Most tasks in the scavenger hunt will involve engagement through social media, which Cox believes can be extremely helpful to local businesses.

[audio:112614lincolnsaturday3.mp3] [/audio]

The Small Business Saturday event in Liconln kicks-off Saturday at 8:30 am with a small breakfast available at no charge and the scavenger hunt goes from 9am-2pm.

American Express started this event three years ago and because of their support, American Express Prepaid shopping cards will be given away throughout the morning and afternoon as well.

Local Chamber Officials Encouraging Shopping Local This Holiday Season

Local leaders are hoping holiday shoppers will stay in their respective communities as they purchase gifts for this Christmas season.

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging holiday shoppers to support their local community businesses on starting with Small Business Saturday. Executive Director Marian Brisard explains these businesses operate in DeWitt County have much to offer for great gift ideas.

[audio:112714clintonsmallbus1.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard adds the Chamber works to promote local business all year round, not just during the holidays, even if they are not Chamber members.

[audio:112714clintonsmallbus2.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard says there will be many great bargains available for Saturday for shoppers.

For more information about any Clinton business, you can call the Chamber at 217-935-3364.

2014 On Track To Be Warmest Year On Record

This year is shaping up to be the hottest on record.  U.S. and British scientists say the period from January to October 2014 is already among the warmest since record-keeping began in the 19-century.  Researchers call it a sure sign that global warming is being fueled by increasing greenhouse gas emissions.  The final figures for 2014 won't be in until early next year.  However, scientists say the data puts the Earth on track to eclipse 2010 as the warmest year ever recorded. 

OPEC Won't Cut Production, Oil Hits 4-Year Low

Prices are lower at the pump than they've been in years and may continue to drop.  OPEC decided not to cut oil production at its meeting Thursday in Austria.  Earlier indications that would be the case had already driven oil prices to their lowest levels in four years in trading on European and Asian markets.  American stock markets are closed for Thanksgiving.  Oil is down about 30 percent a barrel from where it was in June when OPEC last met.  

CDC: Smoking Rate At 50-Year Low

Fewer people are lighting up today than in the past 50 years.  A survey conducted by the CDC indicates about 43-million people smoke cigarettes.  That's fewer than 18 percent of Americans, the lowest portion of the population reported since the survey started in 1965.  The total number of cigarette smokers is down about seven percent since 2005.  Of those who do smoke, only about three-quarters said they smoke every day. 

Rubber Trade Group Stressing Tire Safety For Upcoming Holidays

It may not be the first thing you think of before setting off on that Holiday season trip, but tire experts say you need to check your tire pressure and depth. Dan Zielinski of the Rubber Manufacturers Association says a study they did of more than three-thousand vehicles found some tire maintenance issues.

[audio:HolidaytiresafetyA11.mp3] [/audio]

Zielinski explains how to check tire tread depth using a coin.

[audio:HolidaytiresafetyA21.mp3] [/audio]

Zielinski says a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Study found worn tires to be a major crash factor.

[audio:HolidaytiresafetyA31.mp3] [/audio]

Zielinski says a traffic stop for another reason can get you into trouble with your tires.

[audio:HolidaytiresafetyA41.mp3] [/audio]

He says a federal safety report showed a bald or badly worn tire is three times more likely to figure into a crash than a tire with more tread depth on it. He says before taking that holiday trip, check tire tread depth using a penny.

Holidays Are Bad For Your Heart

The hectic holiday season is bad for your heart. Doctor Samir Kapadia [[ kah-pod-ee-ah ]] with the Cleveland Clinic says stress can take its toll on people this time of year.

[audio:Samir1Kapadia1128141.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Kapadia adds you have to make a conscious effort to be healthy.

[audio:Samir2Kapadia1128141.mp3] [/audio]

Between the stress, cold weather and binge eating, your risk for a heart attack jumps during the holidays. Doctor Kapadia says to not only eat healthier, but also stay active to help your heart health.

Red Cross Seeking Record $1.7 Billion For 2015

The International Committee of the Red Cross is asking for the most it ever has from its donors, a record one-point-seven billion dollars for 2015. Red Cross officials say the reason is the soaring need for aid in countries that remain mired in conflict like Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. Those conflicts are becoming more volatile and creating a situation where millions are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance.

War-ravaged Syria will get the biggest piece of the Red Cross budget in 2015, about ten percent. Other countries needing tens of millions in aid dollars next year are South Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Aid requirements also will be great in west Africa where a few countries continue to be ravaged by a deadly Ebola outbreak.

Walmart Praises Workers In Statement

Walmart says Thanksgiving was their second highest online sales day ever, and they are thanking their workers. Walmart released early Black Friday results in a statement Friday morning. In the statement, Walmart senior vice president of merchandising Laura Phillips said-20 million customers went to Walmart.com, and 22-million shoppers went to the stores. She gave credit to the workers for the high customer turnout, saying, "our associates served them with pride," and "our cashiers had nearly every register open."

Frustrated Walmart workers are expected to demonstrate outside hundreds of stores nationwide Friday to call for better wages and schedules. There could be big Walmart protests in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Chicago and Dallas.

Most Americans Won't Shop On Black Friday Or Cyber Monday

Move over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there's a new sheriff in town.

[audio:Jeanine1Skowronski1121141.mp3] [/audio]

Jeanine Skowronski with Bankrate.com says millennials make Black Friday more about the event than they do the deals.

[audio:Jeanine2Skowronski1121141.mp3] [/audio]

Skowronski recommends looking up products online before heading into the store to make the purchase.

[audio:Jeanine3Skowronski1121141.mp3] [/audio]

She feels a reason for the drop-off in crowds is because stores began pre-Black Friday sales as early as the beginning of November. The one demographic who's most likely to do their shopping on the Friday or Monday after Thanksgiving is millennials. The average Black Friday shopper is expected to spend about 400-dollars.

Rauner Asking Agencies To Make Cuts

State agencies are gearing up for a round cuts.  Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner is asking the agencies to slash 20-percent from their budgets.  He's hoping to get a better understanding of what things will look like once the income-tax rate rolls back, in January.  The state will lose billions-of-dollars in revenues when that happens.  Rauner's team says he's asking for the cuts so he can prepare a responsible budget when he takes over as governor.  

Bloomington Man May Seek New Sentence in Slaying

A Bloomington man serving life in prison in the 2008 slayings of two brothers will be allowed to seek a lesser sentence.

Reports indicate the 4th District Appellate Court sent 37-year-old Michael Brown's case back to McLean County Court, where he'll have a chance to argue that he was given incorrect legal information by his lawyer.

Brown was convicted in 2009 for killing David and Calvin Walls and injuring their brother after a dispute at an apartment building. He was acquitted of shooting a fourth man.

Brown claims he acted in self-defense.

He claims he lacked competent counsel because his attorney told him he faced 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted, but not that life in prison was a potential sentence for killing two people.

CH Moore Homestead Begins Candlelight Tours Today

 width=One of DeWitt County's most popular holiday events begins today.

Image right: Courtesy of CH Moore Homestead

The annual Candlelight Tours at the CH Moore Homestead kicks off the holiday season this weekend. Joey Woolridge, Assistant Manager of the DeWitt County Museum, notes opening weekend will also receive a visit from Santa which could provide a great photo opportunity for families.

[audio:112614candlelighttours1.mp3] [/audio]

Woolridge notes the illuminated house brings a different feel to the house during the holidays. The numerous visitors also help to make the tours a unique experience.

[audio:112614candlelighttours2.mp3] [/audio]

Museum Manager Larry Buss explains the trees and lights begin to go up the first Monday in November. To add to the atmosphere, the Homestead also creates an incredibly complicated light system.

[audio:112614candlelighttours3.mp3] [/audio]

The theme for this year's tours is "A Starry Night".

The Candlelight Tours will begin on Friday November 28th and will continue each Friday through December 26th. For more information on the tours, you can go to www.chmoorehomestead.org or call 935-6066.

Clinton Chamber's Christmas Parade Saturday

DeWitt County's holiday season will kick-off with the annual Clinton Christmas Parade this Saturday.

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce has already received many entries for this year's parade and Executive Director Marian Brisard explains there mare many exciting entries this year including Frosty the Snowman and the Midland Militia.

[audio:112514xmasparade1.mp3] [/audio]

This year's Christmas Parade Grand Marshal is Ginny Carter. According to Brisard, Carter is a local citizen who has dedicated much of her time to community youth and has a big heart for young people and is happy that she'll be acknowledge this year.

[audio:112514xmasparade2.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton Christmas Parade will take place this Saturday, November 29th at 2pm.

Diamondbacks Land Prized Cuban Free Agent

The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly come to terms with Cuban power-hitting outfielder Yasmany Tomas on a six-year, $68.5 million contract.

MLB.com reported the agreement Wednesday and noted Tomas has an opt-out in the deal after four years.

There was no confirmation from the Diamondbacks on the contract for the 24- year-old Tomas, who was on Cuba's World Baseball Classic team in 2013. He hit .375 with a pair of homers and five RBI in the tournament.

Tomas, a corner outfielder, played for Havana Industriales in the Serie Nacional in Cuba for five seasons. He would become the latest Cuban player to sign a big contract to play in the majors, as Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, 2013 American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu and Aroldis Chapman have all become household names.

Additionally, Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo signed a $72.5 million contract with the Boston Red Sox this past August.

The addition of Tomas could inject power into a Diamondbacks team that finished with the worst record in the majors at 64-98 in 2014.

Survey Finds Soccer Growing In Popularity In The U.S.

Video games may be turning Americans into soccer fans.  A new survey conducted by EPSN Sports Poll finds that 50 percent of video game players have become more interested in following professional soccer after playing FIFA games.  About 34 percent say they consider themselves fans after having played virtually.  The research also finds that the U.S. is now the best-selling country for FIFA video games.  The most popular club to play on the game is the Seattle Sounders.  Los Angeles Galaxy is the second favorite, followed by New York Red Bulls, Chicago Fire and D.C. United.

Blues, Blackhawks Back In Action Today

 width=>>Blues Host Oilers

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues welcome in the Oilers to the Scottrade Center tonight. St. Louis is 14-6-and-2 after losing to Ottawa on Tuesday. Edmonton lost 1-0 in OT last night against Nashville.

 width=>>Blackhawks At Ducks

(Anaheim, CA) -- The Blackhawks are at the Ducks today. The puck drops at the Honda Center at 3 p.m. Chicago comes in at 13-8-and-1 following a win over the Avalanche on Wednesday. The Ducks are 14-4-and-5.

Nashville Predators 1, Edmonton Oilers 0 (OT)

Bulls At Boston

 width=200 height=202 />The Bulls are on the road facing the Boston Celtics today.  Tipoff from the TD Garden is at noon.  Chicago is 9-and-6 after losing to Denver on Tuesday.  Boston is 4-and-8. </p>						</div>

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Bears Lose; Packers, Rams In Action Sunday

 width=>>Calvin Johnson, Lions Roll Bears

(Detroit, MI) -- Matthew Stafford threw for 390 yards and two touchdowns as the Lions rolled the Bears 34-17 from Ford Field. Calvin Johnson posted 11 receptions for 146 yards and the two TDs for Detroit, which snapped a two-game slide to get to 8-and-4. Joique [[ Joyk ]] Bell rushed for 91 yards and two scores in the win. Jay Cutler tossed two touchdowns and two interceptions for Chicago, which had won two straight. The Bears are 5-and-7. Martellus Bennett had eight catches for 109 yards while Alshon Jeffery grabbed two scores in defeat.

>>Eagles Soar Past Cowboys In Dallas

(Arlington, TX) -- LeSean McCoy rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown as the Philadelphia Eagles crushed the Dallas Cowboys 33-10 on the road at AT&T Stadium. Mark Sanchez went 20-of-29 through the air for 217 yards and a touchdown, while Jeremy Maclin eclipsed the one-thousand-yard mark receiving on the season with 108 yards on the day. Philadelphia is now 6-and-0 while playing on Thanksgiving. DeMarco Murray rushed for 73 yards, a touchdown, and caught six balls for 40 yards in the setback. Tony Romo struggled in the loss, throwing for 199 yards and two interceptions with no touchdowns. Dallas had won two-straight.

>>Seahawks Silent 49ers

(Santa Clara, CA) -- Richard Sherman picked off Colin Kaepernick twice to help the Seahawks shut down the 49ers, 19-3, on Thanksgiving at Levi's Stadium. Including last year's NFC Championship Game Seattle has beaten San Francisco four of the last five times they've played. The two teams meet again at CenturyLink Field in Week 15 on December 14th. Russell Wilson threw for 236 yards and a touchdown, while Marshawn Lynch added 104 yards on the ground. Seattle is 8-and-4 and has won five of six. In addition to the two interceptions, Kaepernick was sacked four times and held 121 yards throwing. The 49ers only ran for 64 yards on their way to 7-and-5.

 width=>>Patriots, Packers Hook Up At Lambeau

(Green Bay, WI) -- A marquee matchup takes place at Lambeau Field Sunday as the New England Patriots play the Green Bay Packers. It's a battle of first-place teams. The Patriots have won seven in-a-row and lead the AFC with a 9-and-2 record. Both of New England's losses have come on the road at Miami and at Kansas City. This begins a stretch of three road games in four weeks for the Pats. Green Bay has won three in-a-row and leads the NFC North at 8-and-3, a half-game behind the 8-and-4 Lions who won on Thanksgiving Day. The Packers are a perfect 5-and-0 at home and 3-and-3 on the road.

>>Raiders Rumble With Rams In St. Louis

(St. Louis, MO) -- Coming off their first win of the season, the Oakland Raiders hit the road to take on the St. Louis Rams Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. The Silver and Black beat the Chiefs 24-20 last Thursday in Oakland. It snapped an 0-and-10 start to the season and a 16-game losing streak dating back to last season. The Rams are coming off a 27-24 loss at San Diego. Quarterback Shaun Hill was picked off at the goal line in the final minute as St. Louis slipped to 4-and-7 on the season. The Rams have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games. The Raiders won the last meeting in 2010.

>>Redskins, McCoy Try Luck Against Colts

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The Washington Redskins are on the road for the second straight week as they clash with the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The 'Skins lost 17-13 at San Francisco last weekend and have dropped three straight overall. Washington is just 3-and-8 and has benched quarterback Robert Griffin the Third this week in favor of Colt McCoy. Indianapolis beat Jacksonville 23-3 last Sunday and is playing its third straight home game. At 7-and-4, QB Andrew Luck is driving the Colts to a second straight division title. They have a two-game lead on Houston in the AFC South.

Trio of ISU Football Members Earn Conference Honors

The Missouri Valley Football Conference announced its top honors for the 2014 season Wednesday, and regular-season co-champions Illinois State took home three of the five honors. ISU head coach Brock Spack was named MVFC Coach of the Year, running back Marshaun Coprich was named MVFC Offensive Player of the Year, and quarterback Tre Roberson earned MVFC Newcomer of the Year honors following a vote by the league's head coaches, sports information directors, radio play-by-play announcers and beat writers.

 width=Spack becomes just the second Redbird mentor to earn Coach of the Year honors, joining Todd Berry who won the award in back-to-back seasons in 1998 and 1999. Coprich is the fourth Redbird player to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors, joining Toby Davis (1992), Laurént Robinson (2005) and Matt Brown (2012), and Roberson is the first ISU player to earn Newcomer of the Year honors.

Coprich led the MVFC in rushing yards (1,683), touchdowns (21) and yards per game (153.0) in his third season with the Redbirds. The Victorville, California, native rushed for over 100 yards in every game of the season, setting a school and league mark for consecutive 100-plus yard games, and set an ISU single-season record with 21 rushing touchdowns.

Roberson started all 11 games at quarterback and led the Redbirds to a 10-1 record, in his first season after transferring from Indiana. The Indianapolis, Indiana, native led the MVFC in total offense (261.1 ypg) and with a pass efficiency rating of 150.8. He accounted for 29 total touchdowns (21 pass, 8 pass) and finished the season with 2,198 passing yards and 21 touchdowns through the air. A three-time MVFC Newcomer of the Week selection, Roberson also rushed for 674 yards and eight scores on the ground to lead the way for a dangerous ISU offensive attack that led the conference in total offense (451.5 ypg), rushing offense (241.4 ypg) and scoring offense (38.7 ppg).

Illini, Northwestern Fighting For Bowl Bid Saturday

 width=Bowl eligibility is at stake during Saturday afternoon's matchup between in-state rivals, as the Northwestern Wildcats host the Illinois Fighting Illini in the regular-season finale for both Big Ten Conference teams at Ryan Field.

The winner also takes home the Land of Lincoln Trophy, which replaced the 62- year-old Tomahawk Trophy in 2009. Illinois leads the all-time series, 54-48-5, although the teams have split the last four meetings.

Northwestern has recovered from a four-game slide by winning two straight. After going on the road and beating 15th-ranked Notre Dame two weeks ago, the Wildcats kept the momentum going with a 38-14 win at Purdue last Saturday.

Illinois notched a 16-14 win over Penn State on David Reisner's 36-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining. It was a much needed victory for a Fighting Illini squad that entered that game on the losing end of five of their previous six contests. But they are 0-4 on the road; a notable trend as they attempt to end a two-year bowl drought.

>>TCU Dominates Texas

Trevone Boykin threw two touchdown passes and ran for another and No. 6 TCU made a statement with a 48-10 road win over Texas on Thursday.

Boykin completed 20-of-34 for 233 yards and carried the ball 12 times for 50 in TCU's sixth straight win. Aaron Green ran for 73 yards and a touchdown and Josh Doctson made seven receptions for 115 and a score.

TCU (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) will need a win next week in its regular-season finale against Iowa State and help in order to sneak into the Top 4 of college football's inaugural playoff.

Tyrone Swoopes passed for 200 yards and a touchdown but was picked off a career-worst four times, as Texas (6-6, 5-4) saw its three-game win streak come to an end.

Illinois Pounds Indiana State

 width=Rayvonte Rice scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Illinois past Indiana State 88-62 on Thursday in the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational.

Malcolm Hill scored 17 points with eight rebounds, while going 11 of 12 at the free-throw line for the Illini (5-0). Nnanna Egwu, Aaron Cosby and Kendrick Nunn each had 10 points for Illinois, which is 3-0 in the Invitational.

The Illini, who never trailed, hit 8 of 9 of their first shots and jumped to a 30-8 advantage.

Grant Prusator led Indiana State (3-2) off the bench with 17 points. Before Thursday, he only played two games this season with one field goal. Brenton Scott added 10 points for the Sycamores, who are 2-1 in the tourney.

Indiana State got no closer than 19 points the rest of the first half and trailed 40-21 at intermission. By halftime, Illinois' field-goal percentage fell to 38 percent, but the Illini still made 6 of 13 from 3-point range. Indiana State finished the half at 25 percent from the field.

The Illinois lead grew to as many as 30 with 13:04 left in the game. The Sycamores cut it to 17 twice with just under 5 minutes left, but came no closer.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Wisconsin Badgers 68, Georgetown Hoyas 65 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#6 North Carolina Tar Heels 78, #23 UCLA Bruins 56 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#11 Kansas Jayhawks 76, Rhode Island Rams 60 (Orlando Classic)
#16 Florida Gators 56, UAB Blazers 47 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#20 Michigan State Spartans 77, Rider Broncs 45 (Orlando Classic)

Maroa-Forsyth, Rochester Among Area Schools At State Finals

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans, Rochester Rockets, Williamsville Bullets and Sacred Heart Griffin Cyclones headline a group of central Illinois football programs going for a state championship this weekend in Champaign.

The site shifts back to Memorial Stadium after a year in DeKalb at Northern Illinois.

In his 15th season, coach by Josh Jostes and the 10-3 Trojans will look for their third state title under his tutelage.

 width=Jack Hockaday leads a high powered offense for Maroa-Forsyth that accumulated over 5300 total yards of offense this season. Hockaday accounted for 52 of the Trojans 72 offensive touchdowns and accounted for 68% of the Trojan offensive output (3681 total yards).

The lack of size up front for Maroa-Forsyth is nuetralized by a quick strike but powerful run game that racked up just short of 3400 yards.

On top of that, the Trojans don't turn the football over. In 738 offensive plays run, the offense turned the ball over just 22 times.

Maroa-Forsyth will take on Eastland Pearl City, who's a perfect 13-0 on the season.

Up front, the Wolves are big. The offensive line averages out at 6-feet and 224 pounds and the defensive line averages at 5-foot-11 and 245 pounds. Their linebackers average 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds.

The Wolves are enjoying their longest stretch of success, having never made it past the second round of the playoffs before this season, however, under 8th year head coach Randy Asche, the Wolves have had consecutive double-digit win seasons (10 and 13 respectively).

Until week two of the playoffs, Eastland Pearl City had not played a game within two touchdowns and have scored over 40 points in three of their four playoff games.

Eastland Pearl City and Maroa-Forsyth meet at 1 pm today from Memorial Stadium.

Other state championship games Friday include...

Class 3A: Wilmington (13-0) vs. Williamsville (13-0) 4:00 pm

Class 4A: Chicago Phillips (12-1) vs. Rochester (11-2) 7:00 pm

Saturday state championship games include...

Class 5A: Lombard Montini (10-3) vs. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (13-0) 10:00 am


Golden State Warriors 111, Orlando Magic 96
Brooklyn Nets 99, Philadelphia 76ers 91
Portland Trail Blazers 105, Charlotte Hornets 97
Cleveland Cavaliers 113, Washington Wizards 87
Los Angeles Clippers 104, Detroit Pistons 98
Dallas Mavericks 109, New York Knicks 102 (OT)
Toronto Raptors 126, Atlanta Hawks 115
Milwaukee Bucks 103, Minnesota Timberwolves 86
Houston Rockets 102, Sacramento Kings 89
Oklahoma City Thunder 97, Utah Jazz 82
San Antonio Spurs 106, Indiana Pacers 100
Phoenix Suns 120, Denver Nuggets 112
Memphis Grizzlies 99, Los Angeles Lakers 93

Winnipeg Jets 2, Buffalo Sabres 1
New York Islanders 3, Washington Capitals 2 (OT)
Detroit Red Wings 5, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, New York Rangers 3
Florida Panthers 1, Carolina Hurricanes 0
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Los Angeles Kings 4, Minnesota Wild 0
Chicago Blackhawks 3, Colorado Avalanche 2
Calgary Flames 2, San Jose Sharks 0

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Duke Blue Devils 93, Furman Paladins 54
#3 Wisconsin Badgers 72, UAB Blazers 43 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#4 Arizona Wildcats 61, #15 San Diego State Aztecs 59 (Maui Invitational)
#5 Louisville Cardinals 45, Cleveland State Vikings 33 (Global Sports Hoop Showcase)
Butler Bulldogs 74, #6 North Carolina Tar Heels 66 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#8 Gonzaga Bulldogs 88, Georgia Bulldogs 76 (NIT Season Tip-Off)
Georgetown Hoyas 66, #16 Florida Gators 65 (OT) (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#17 Ohio State Buckeyes 91, Campbell Camels 64 (Buckeye Classic)
Oklahoma Sooners 75, #23 UCLA Bruins 65 (Battle 4 Atlantis)
#24 West Virginia Mountaineers 103, VMI Keydets 72 (at Charleston, WV)


Mizzou Cruises; Illinois In Action Tonight

Namon Wright dropped in 21 points as Missouri cruised past Chaminade 74-60 in the seventh place game of the Maui Invitational.  The Tigers evened their record at 3-and-3.  Mizzou hosts Southeast Missouri State next Tuesday.  Meanwhile, Illinois takes on Indiana State in Las Vegas this evening.

Bickell Puts Blackhawks Past Avs

Bryan Bickell found the back of the net late in the third period to put the Chicago Blackhawks past the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 at the Pepsi Center.  Jonathan Toews [[ taves ]] and Andrew Shaw also scored for Chicago, while Patrick Kane racked up three assists.  Corey Crawford made 27 saves for the Hawks, who have won four-of-five.  Ryan O'Reilly and Maxime Talbot scored for Colorado.  Calvin Pickard made a career-high 42 saves for the Avs, who had won two straight games. 

Bears, Lions Renew Turkey Day Rivalry

The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions renew their Thanksgiving Day rivalry at Ford Field.  It's their first Turkey Day meeting since 1999 when the Lions beat the Bears, 21-17.  Chicago is 8-and-7 all-time against Detroit on Thanksgiving.  The Bears have won back-to-back 21-13 home games over the Vikings and Buccaneers to improve to 5-and-6.  The Lions are coming off back-to-back road losses to the Cardinals and Patriots that has them a game behind the Packers in the NFC North at 7-and-4.  Detroit is 4-and-1 at home this season and 2-and-0 in the division.

Iowa rolled past Northern Illinois 70-49

Aaron White and Anthony Clemmons each scored 14 points to lead Iowa to a 70-49 win over Northern Illinois on Wednesday night.

Adam Woodbury had 12 points and six rebounds for the Hawkeyes (4-2). Gabriel Olaseni added 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks in 20 minutes.

Aaric Armstead scored 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting to lead Northern Illinois (2-1). Jordan Threloff added nine points and 11 rebounds.

Iowa scored 22 points off 17 turnovers, blocked 12 shots - one shy of tying the school record - and held the Huskies to only 27.9 percent shooting.

The Hawkeyes used a 16-0 run during a six-minute stretch early in the first half to pull away from Northern Illinois. The Huskies never got closer than 10 points in the second half.

Social Security Mailings Return for Limited Time Periods

Mailings for Social Security beneficiaries will soon return on a limited basis.

Mailings from Social Security halted a few years ago due to budget issues and became available online. Jack Myers, with Social Security, says those statements will be mailed out once every five years. These mailings will affect beneficiaries from ages 25-60. Myers notes the statements provides summaries of someone's various benefits.

[audio:112514ssmailings1.mp3] [/audio]

Myers explains the statements will be sent to beneficiaries every year after the age of sixty. He encourages those who want to save money and paper to continue to use their online services.

[audio:112514ssmailings2.mp3] [/audio]

Myers notes the mailings will be received every five years unless someone is already are receiving social security benefits.

He encourages anyone wanting more information from Social Security to visit them online at www.socialsecuity.gov.

Authorities Implore Awareness During Black Friday Shopping

Shoppers will be hitting the local stores tonight as Black Friday shopping continues to get earlier and earlier each year.

As you head out to find those bargains, local authorities are encouraging heightened awareness during the chaos that is sure to ensue in many areas. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers encourages you to take to the shopping centers in pairs and during the daytime hours as possible.

[audio:112714shopsafe1.mp3] [/audio]

As it relates to parking lots of major shopping centers, the Chief encourages shoppers to know where they've parked in these big parking areas and to also keep the amount of bags you carry to your vehicle to a minimum. He says if you need to take a break and make a trip to your vehicle to reduce the amount of stuff you are carrying, to do so.

[audio:112714shopsafe2.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief says many shopping centers have security on hand, and may even have more security on hand during the holiday season. He feels if you are noticing someone following you or would like an escort to your vehicle if it is after dark, to notify security and they will escort you wherever you are headed.

Area Leaders Express Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Yesterday on Regional Radio News, we outlined what leaders in DeWitt County are thankful for and today, leaders outside DeWitt County are chiming in.

Superintendent of the Lincoln High School, Robert Bagby feels he has the best Superintendent's job in the country. He explains the strength of the academics, balanced budgets and the facilities of the district are all areas he is thankful for.

[audio:112714bagbythanks.mp3] [/audio]

For Dr. Ty Wolfe, the support of the community has him very grateful this Thanksgiving. He explains Heyworth is close knit community that works well together.

[audio:112714wolfethanks1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, what those in the community do to make a difference are what he is thankful. He points to local efforts during this holiday season as evidence of those.

[audio:112714snyderthanks1.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor is also thankful for those that take time to beautify the community and take pride in the appearance of the city and their neighborhoods and homes.

Peoria Officials Approve $3M For Sports Complex

The Peoria City Council has voted to approve a $3 million loan for the development of a new youth sports complex.

The council decided to help developer Mark Petersen move forward with the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex. It will include ball diamonds, an indoor sports dome and a hotel.

The city will charge 4 percent interest on the loan that's due at the end of next year. Petersen asked for the loan because he wasn't able to secure adequate private fundraising in time.

The city will assume ownership of the 50-acre, $3 million site if Petersen defaults.

Mayor Jim Ardis said Tuesday he has faith in Petersen, a local businessman. But some council members were unhappy that Petersen didn't attend the meeting.

Lincoln Museum in Springfield Opens New Exhibit

A new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln library in Springfield lets visitors see the Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment in one room.

The exhibit "Undying Words: Lincoln 1858-1865" opened last weekend and runs through February 2016. The exhibit includes the bloodstained gloves Lincoln was carrying when he was assassinated and the bed where he died. Visitors can also see the ink well Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address and a note he sent to Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Lincoln museum officials say the exhibit also looks at the people Lincoln's words affected most, soldiers and slaves. It includes shoes and shackles that slaves wore.

The exhibit is filled with artifacts compiled by the Springfield museum and the Chicago History Museum.

Illinois Secretary of State Offices Closed for Holiday

The Illinois Secretary of State's offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Chicago Democrat Jesse White's office says all driver services facilities normally open Monday through Friday will reopen for business Monday.

The facilities that are normally open Tuesday through Saturday will reopen on Saturday.

People with questions about locations and their hours can visit the Secretary of State's website to locate the nearest facility and find its hours of operation. Residents can also change their address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license plate stickers online.

Illinois Suspends Ebola Hotline As Interest Fades

Illinois health officials have suspended a telephone hotline about the Ebola virus because the number of calls to it has fallen sharply.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Tuesday that anyone with questions about Ebola can contact their local health department or the state health department's communicable disease staff.

The hotline started in mid-October as public interest grew following the death in Dallas of the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. It was staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and received hundreds of calls during its first week.

There have been no Ebola cases in Illinois. A small number of travelers from Ebola-affected countries have been monitored for symptoms in Illinois, but none is sick.

Credit Houses Take No Major Action on Illinois

Two major credit houses aren't overly worried about a county judge striking down the Illinois pension law last week, but they're not happy with the state's financial condition.

Moody's Investors Service issued a "credit negative" rating after the court ruling last week. It's a warning while the agency decides on a credit downgrade.

Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Belz says the law violates the state Constitution by reducing pension benefits. It also reduces employee contributions.

Fitch Ratings says it hadn't factored savings from the pension fix into credit projections. But the ratings agency says it's more concerned about the prospect that a four-year, temporary income tax expires in January. That would blow a $2 billion hole in the state budget.

Health Officials Offer Turkey Preparation Safety Tips

Families planning to eat turkey for their Thanksgiving feasts on Thursday should take a moment to think about food safety.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says it's important to give a frozen turkey enough time to thaw thoroughly before cooking.

A turkey that's still partially frozen won't get up to the 165-degree temperature needed to kill bacteria that cause disease.

Thawing a turkey in the refrigerator takes about 24 hours for every four to five pounds. Thawing a turkey in cold water takes about 30 minutes per pound.

That means a 20- to 24-pound turkey can take five or six days to thaw in the refrigerator. Even in cold water, it takes 10-12 hours.

Ferguson Protests Extend To Peoria

Communities around Illinois have reacted to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the Ferguson shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.

In Chicago hundreds of protesters marched Monday night. The group briefly closed parts of Lake Shore Drive. Police say there were no arrests and no reports of damage to property.

The march started after it was announced that Officer Darren Wilson would not face charges in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In Peoria about two dozen protesters had a peaceful vigil outside the U.S. attorney's office. Some held signs that said "Justice for Michael Brown, We are all Ferguson."

A vigil is planned Tuesday at a Springfield church. The pastor says he hopes it fosters respect between law enforcement and the community.

Social Security Warning of Holiday Scams

With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, protecting your identity and coveted information is as important as ever.

Social Security and it's beneificiaries continuously battle identity theft and scams, and Jack Myers, with Social Security, explains are scams and fraud schemes are constantly changing. The elderly are especially targeted during these situations.

[audio:112414scams1.mp3] [/audio]

Social Security encourages all to be aware of potential scam artists. Myers adds they usually make contact through mailings first. Suspicions of fraud should be reported to Social Security as soon as possible to better the chances of making things right.

[audio:112414scams2.mp3] [/audio]

The Social Security Fraud hotline is 1-800-269-0271. Myers also encourages anyone wanting information from Social Security to visit www.socialsecuirty.gov.

Local Lawmaker Says Change Already Apparent As Gov.-Elect Prepares

 width=Almost a month removed from his election to the highest post in Illinois, Governor Elect Bruce Rauner spent part of his time in Springfield last week, and one local lawmaker feels it's a nice change.

Governor Elect Rauner spent the day talking with lawmakers on both sides of the isle last week as lawmakers congregated for a short session. According to Sen. Chapin Rose, having Rauner on campus gave a feel of change coming to Springfield.

[audio:112514roseonrauner1.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Rose feels the current state of Illinois can draw very similar comparisons to when Gov. Jim Edgar took over as Governor in 1990. He explains both he and now Bruce Rauner have to deal with a Democrat majority, however, he feels like Edgar, Rauner can also bring Illinois out of it's financial hole.

[audio:112514roseonrauner2.mp3] [/audio]

Rauner has assembled a transition team as he prepares to take over the Governor's office. According to Sen. Rose, the people on his transition team carry a lot of clout in their respective areas of expertise.

[audio:112514roseonrauner3.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Rose says there are many local leaders who are a part of the Rauner transition team. He says a leader from Decatur Memorial Hospital and the Chancellor of the University of Illinois is on the transition team as well.

Local Leaders Have Much To Be Thankful For

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and several local leaders are taking time to express their gratitude this holiday season.

 width=For almost every person, Thanksgiving means something different, and for Dr. Jeff Holmes (right), Superintendent of Clinton Schools, the faculty and staff he has that strive to give each and every student of the school district a quality education are among the many things he is thankful for. He also credits the Board of Education striving to make good decisions for the students and faculty of the district.

[audio:112614localthanks2.mp3] [/audio]

For Susan Wilson, Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, the support of the community is her first area of thanks. She also feels the faculty and staff of the district go above and beyond to provide education for the students of the district, and Wilson is grateful for them.

[audio:112614localthanks3.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters (Right) is thankful for good health that allows her to serve. She explains in her time as Mayor, she has come to be thankful for the many employees of the city that are vital to it's function.

[audio:112614localthanks1.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor says while Clinton is not where her roots originate, she feels it has become home as this is where her late-husband was from and where she raised her family. She feels being in public service is a way for her to give back and hopes to do so until her health cannot support her.

Red Sox Introduce Two Prized FA Signings

 width=>>Red Sox Introduce Sandoval

(Boston, MA) -- The Boston Red Sox are showing off one of their prized free agent signings. The Sox finalized a five-year contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval on Tuesday and introduced him at a press conference. Multiple outlets reported Monday the deal is worth 95-million-dollars and includes a 17-million-dollar team option for 2020. The Sox also landed shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who agreed to a four-year, 88-million-dollar pact that the team has yet to announce. "Kung Fu Panda" batted .279 with 16 homers and 73 RBI in 157 games for the World Series champion Giants last season. Sandoval spent his first seven seasons in San Francisco, hitting .294 with 106 home runs and 462 RBI.

>>Red Sox Introduce Ramirez

(Boston, MA) -- The Boston Red Sox are showing off their second prized free agent signing. The Sox have inked free agent Hanley Ramirez to a reported four-year, 88-million-dollar contract that includes a vesting option for a fifth year worth 22-million. "Han-Ram" hit .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBI last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ramirez will move from his natural position at shortstop to the outfield for Boston. The Sox also introduced new third baseman Pablo Sandoval earlier on Tuesday. Sandoval inked a five-year, 95-million-dollar pact that includes a 17-million-dollar team option for 2020.

NFL Notes

 width=>>Redskins To Bench RG3

(Ashburn, VA) -- Robert Griffin the Third is no longer the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins. The "Washington Post" reports coach Jay Gruden will start Colt McCoy when the team visits the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Griffin has been ineffective for the slumping Redskins in five games this season, throwing for 869 yards with just two touchdowns and three interceptions. The 24-year-old was benched last season in favor of Kirk Cousins after 13 games. "RG3" is 4-and-14 as a starter since injuring his knee during the playoffs in January 2013. McCoy has completed 36-of-42 passes for 427 yards, a touchdown, rushed for another, and led the Redskins to two of the team's three victories this season.

>>Polamalu, Taylor To Return Sunday

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting a big boost to their secondary. Head coach Mike Tomlin says he expects both safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor to return to action Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Polamalu sat the last two games with a sprained knee. Taylor has missed eight games with a broken arm. The 7-and-4 Steelers host the 4-and-7 Saints on Sunday.

College Football Notes

>>College Football Playoff Top-25 Poll

(Undated) -- There is no change at the top of the latest College Football Playoff Rankings. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State remain ranked the nation's top four teams. TCU is still at five, followed by Ohio State, Baylor, UCLA, Georgia and Michigan State jumps back into the top ten after a three-week absence. Ole Miss plummets 11 spots from eighth all the way down to 19th after its 30-0 loss to Arkansas over the weekend.  width=The highest riser this week is Minnesota from 25th-to-18th following its win over Nebraska. Both Boise State and unbeaten Marshall make their top-25 debuts. The semifinal matchups will be announced on Sunday, December 7th. The semifinals will be played on January 1st at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The National Championship Game will take place January 12th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

>>UCLA Quarterback Hundley To Enter Draft

(Los Angeles, CA) -- UCLA redshirt junior quarterback Brett Hundley appears headed for the 2015 NFL Draft. Hundley told CBS Sports Radio's "Jim Rome Show" there is a "really high" chance he will forgo his remaining season of eligibility in Westwood. The 21-year-old already has his college degree, and feels he has accomplished everything he has wanted to in college. Hundley projects as a first-round draft pick. He has led the ninth-ranked Bruins to a 9-and-2 record, which is good for first-place in the Pac-12 South. Hundley has competed over 72-percent of his passes for close to 29-hundred-yards, 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions, while rushing for 566 yards and eight more scores.

Bradley Wins; NCAA College Basketball Notes

 width=>>Bradley Dominates Texas A&M Corpus-Christi

Ka'Darryl Bell scored 12 points and Jermaine Morgan had 10 to lead Bradley to a 52-38 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic on Tuesday night.

Bradley (2-2), which held a slim 22-15 lead at the half, scored six unanswered points to open the second period and was up 47-31 with 5:39 left in the game. The Islanders' Bryce Douvier hit a 3-point jumper to close to 47-38 with 3:29 remaining, but A&M-Corpus Christi could not get another bucket after that.

Neither team had a hot hand as Bradley made just 15 of 42 attempts (35.7 while limiting the Islanders to 13 of 44 (29.5%). The Braves made 19 of 28 free throws with the Islanders hitting 10 of 15 attempts from the line.

John Jordan led A&M-Corpus Christi (2-2) with 14 points.

Bradley will play TCU and the Islanders face Mississippi Valley on Friday.

 width=>>Villanova Tops Michigan In Heavyweight Tilt

JayVaughn Pinkston put Villanova ahead and then kept it in front.

Pinkston hit a go-ahead basket with 16 seconds left and then blocked Zak Irvin at the other end as the No. 12 Wildcats defeated 19th-ranked Michigan 60-55 on Tuesday night in the Legends Classic championship game.

Pinkston, who was called for an offensive foul with 31 seconds remaining after powering into Derrick Walton on the right block a possession prior, barreled into a flopping Caris LeVert. Pinkston then went up and nailed the short jumper to give the Wildcats a 56-55 edge.

Michigan had seven seconds on the clock after Walton was stripped and Spike Albrecht fed a cutting Irvin down the paint. Pinkston met him at the rim and emphatically swatted his shot away.

Ryan Arcidiacono sunk a pair of foul shots with four ticks to play and Max Bielfeldt tossed the ensuing inbounds away. Arcidiacono then hit two more free throws to seal the outcome.

 width=>>Arizona Survives Kansas State

Kansas State gave the No. 2 team in the country all it could handle, but Arizona nevertheless pulled out a hard-fought 72-68 victory in the semifinal round of the Maui Invitational.

Kansas State had three chances to tie or take the lead down the stretch, and the underdogs came away empty each time.

Arizona (5-0) received 18 points from Kaleb Tarczewski, 15 from Gabe York and shot 63.2 percent from the field in the second half to advanced to Wednesday's championship game against San Diego State.

Marcus Foster paced Kansas State (3-2) with 23 points behind six 3-pointers.

>>VCU Gets By Oregon

VCU created a lot more havoc Tuesday night than it did on Monday.

Especially on Oregon's leading scorer Joseph Young.

Melvin Johnson had 19 points and No. 14 VCU pulled away from Oregon in the second half for a 77-63 win in the third-place game of the Legends Classic.

The Rams forced just nine Villanova turnovers in its 77-53 loss in the semifinals Monday, but got 20 from the Ducks.

Young, who came in averaging 24.5 points per game, was held to nine points on 2-of-13 shooting.

Briante Weber posted 11 points, 10 assists and four steals for the Rams (4-1). Jordan Burgess tallied 12 points and seven rebounds in the triumph.

Dillon Brooks netted 15 points to lead Oregon (3-2).

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 92, Texas-Arlington Mavericks 44
#7 Virginia Cavaliers 79, Tennessee State Tigers 36
#9 Texas Longhorns 78, St. Francis (PA) Red Flash 46
Maryland Terrapins 72, #13 Iowa State Cyclones 63 (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
#15 San Diego State Aztecs 74, Pitt Panthers 57 (Maui Invitational)
#20 Miami Hurricanes 77, Charlotte 49ers 74 (Gildan Charleston Classic)

Senators Rally Past Blues

 width=Bobby Ryan scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Senators a 3-2 comeback win over the Blues. Ottawa forced extra time when Alex Chiasson scored with 41 seconds left in the third period. Erik Condra also scored in the third period for the Sens, who had lost their previous two. Robin Lehner made 27 saves in the victory. Ian Cole and Alexander Steen had the goals for St. Louis. Brian Elliott stopped all 16 shots he faced before leaving with a lower body injury. Jake Allen stopped 15 shots, but allowed both goals and the game-winner in the shootout.

Winnipeg Jets 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Nashville Predators 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (SO)
Dallas Stars 3, Edmonton Oilers 2
Colorado Avalanche 4, Arizona Coyotes 3 (OT)
Vancouver Canucks 2, New Jersey Devils 0

>>Blackhawks Face Avalanche

(Denver, CO) -- The Blackhawks continue their six-game road trip against the Avalanche in Colorado tonight. Chicago dropped to 2-and-1 on the trek with a 4-1 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver on Sunday. Tonight's game is at 8:00.

Nuggets Knock Off Bulls

 width=Ty Lawson led a balanced attack with 20 points and 12 assists as the Nuggets beat the Bulls 114-109 in Denver. Arron Afflalo added 19 points for the surging Nuggets, who have ripped off five straight wins. Danilo Gallinari dropped in 15 points off the bench in the victory. Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 32 points for Chicago, which dropped to 2-and-3 on its seven-game road trip. Derrick Rose had two points and three assists before leaving with tightness in his left hamstring.

Atlanta Hawks 106, Washington Wizards 102
Golden State Warriors 114, Miami Heat 97
Milwaukee Bucks 98, Detroit Pistons 86
Sacramento Kings 99, New Orleans Pelicans 89

>>Westbrook Back At Practice, Durant Close

(Oklahoma City, OK) -- The injury-plagued Oklahoma City Thunder are on the mend. The "Oklahoman" reports stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant could return to the team for their game against the New York Knicks on Friday. The dynamic duo practiced on Monday for the first time since both went down to injury. Durant, the reigning MVP, is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. Westbrook has been on the shelf with a broken hand. Oklahoma City boasted the second-best record in the NBA last season, owns the second lowest winning percentage in the league this season at 3-and-12.

>>Nuggets' Foye Out Three Weeks With Quad Injury

(Denver, CO) -- Denver Nuggets guard Randy Foye is expected to miss three weeks with a small tear in his right quad. Foye originally hurt his knee earlier this month but played through it. He tweaked it on Sunday against the Lakers and an MRI on Monday confirmed the tear. The injury will not require surgery. Foye is averaging 8.4 points and two assists in 11 games this season. Meanwhile, center JaVale McGee is going to miss some time with pain in his surgically repaired tibia. X-rays came back negative and head coach Brian Shaw said he may miss a couple of games. McGee has posted 5.6 points and three rebounds per game in 13 contests.

Illinois Baseball Team Splits With Astros Development Team, Visits Orphanage

The Fighting Illini baseball team had a full day of education, baseball and service on Tuesday in the Dominican Republic.

In game one, Junior Kevin Duchene struck out five over five strong innings, as Illinois defeated the Astros DIL, 6-1, in a seven-inning game. The Illini only managed five hits but capitalized on three errors. Seniors Reid Roper and Casey Fletcher each tallied two runs, while senior David Kerian and sophomore Ryne Roper each crossed home.

 width=Then in game two, Sophomore Cody Sedlock racked up seven strikeouts in just three innings, but the Illini committed four errors and fell for the first time on the trip by a score of 5-2 in eight innings against the Houston Astros DIL. Sedlock was charged with three unearned runs in the first inning, while the Illini only were able to score in each of the first two innings.

United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Wally Brewster met with the Illini prior to a pair of split-squad games against the Houston Astros Dominican Instructional League (DIL). In the afternoon, the entire team visited the Escuela Hogar Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanage and had an incredible experience playing with the kids.

The Illini enjoyed a full afternoon of activities at the orphanage, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, kickball and baseball games with the kids. Many players called it an eye-opening and humbling experience after interacting with all of the youth. Glove donations from the Champaign community also were given to the facility.

Illinois is 4-1 after playing five games over the past three days in the Dominican Republic. The Illini will have a day off from baseball on Wednesday.

Information courtesy of fightingillini.com.

ISU QB Receives National Recognition

 width=After previously collecting Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer and Offensive Player of the Week honors, Illinois State junior quarterback Tre Roberson was named as the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Performer of the Week and National Quarterback of the Week on Tuesday.

The CFPA weekly honor is the first for Roberson this season, however he was among 30 players named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy Watch List in October, along with teammate Marshaun Coprich.

Roberson was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Week for the third time this season and also earned MVFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, after he accounted for over 400 yards of total offense and four touchdowns in leading No. 7 Illinois State to a 44-29 victory over Southern Illinois and a share of the MVFC title.

Roberson and the Redbirds earned a first-round bye in the FCS playoffs, before they host the winner of the first-round contest between fellow Missouri Valley Conference member Northern Iowa and Stephen F. Austin at Hancock Stadium on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m.

Information courtesy of goredbirds.com

Madigan Warns Of Immigration Scam

Con artists are swooping in in the aftermath of President Obama's announcement on his immigration policy. Natalie Bauer, with the Illinois Attorney General's office, says the scammers are posing as lawyers and offering to help people with their documentation, but they're charging big bucks.

[audio:rddIMM11.mp3] [/audio]

Bauer says people should be on the lookout for scammers. She says anyone looking to get help with their documentation can find legitimate services through the federal website at USCIS.gov or by visiting the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights webpage at ICIRR.org.

1927 Pipe Organ Being Returned To Pekin Church

A 1927 pipe organ is being reinstalled at a Pekin church after it was removed over the summer for renovation work.

The instrument belonging to St. John's Lutheran Church was the 2,806th organ built at the former Hinners Organ Co. in Pekin. The plant opened in the 1870s and closed in the late 1930s.

According to reports, the organ was sent to Buzard Organ Co. in August for repairs and restoration. Its chambers were coated with 87 years of coal dust from the coal burning furnace that heated the church.

Buzard foreman David Brown says the organ means a lot to Pekin residents because it's likely the last Hinners Pipe Organ still being played in the city and some of the parishioners worked at the plant.

Police Say Men Steal $23-thousand in Clothes in Peoria

Police say four men have stolen at least $23,000 worth of designer jeans and leather jackets from a Peoria store in a span of two minutes.

Reports indicate police say security footage showed the four men wearing hoodies and gloves breaking a window and entering Starz Beauty and Fashion early Monday.

Police say the men stuffed about two dozen leather jackets worth $1,000 each into plastic bags. They say the burglars broke a glass case with a brick and took six pairs of designer jeans worth about $500 each.

Police say the footage shows the men exiting the store through the same window they had broken just two minutes earlier.

No arrests have been made.

Champaign Native Named Rhodes Scholar

A Cornell University senior from Champaign has been named a Rhodes Scholar.

Rachel Harmon graduated from from University of Illinois Laboratory High School. It was announced Sunday that the 21-year-old was one of 32 students to receive the prestigious scholarship. She is the lone Illinois recipient this year.

According to reports, Harmon feels accomplished to have been named a finalist. She is the daughter of a truck driver and postal worker and will graduate in May from the Ithaca, New York-school with a degree in industrial and labor relations.

Illinois Hunters Donate Deer To Needy Families

Some Illinois hunters are helping needy families by donating at least part of their deer harvest

It's done through Sportsmen Against Hunger. The program is sponsored by the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Mike Frost of Mike's Market in Louisville has been processing deer for more than 25 years.

According to reports, he says about 20 percent of the hunters who come to him for processing donate at least some of their deer to the program.

The ground deer meat is distributed to food pantries, like one at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Altamont.

Pantry supervisors Jim and Linda Wente say they recently picked up 1,300 pounds of ground venison through the program. More than 50 families who visited Saturday got up to five packages of venison.

Illinois Universities Warned of 'Dire Cuts'

The head of the Illinois Board of Higher Education has issued a budget warning to the presidents of the state's public universities after meeting with Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner's budget transition team.

According to reports, emails that Executive Director James Applegate sent to school presidents say schools should be prepared for possible funding cuts of up to 30 percent over the next 18 months. He described it as "bad budget news."

A spokesman for Rauner, Mike Schrimpf, told The Associated Press that the Republican's transition team was not ordering budget cuts but seeking information on how a rollback of the state's temporary income tax would affect state agencies.

University administrators said the request to prepare for bad news wasn't a surprise.

Vacant Elementary Schools To Be Demolished; Public Invited To Take Bricks as Momentos

 width=As soon as next weekend, the process could be underway to bring down the two vacant former Clinton elementary buildings.

The former Washington and Webster Elementary schools in Clinton were vacated for the new Clinton Elementary School. According to Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes, before the buildings can come down, asbestos must be removed from the two buildings.

[audio:112514schoolsdemolish1.mp3] [/audio]

The asbestos removal will take approximately two weeks and Dr. Holmes explains once that process is complete, contractors will begin preparations to bring down the buildings. He says that process could take up to a couple months.

[audio:112514schoolsdemolish2.mp3] [/audio]

Many community members have inquired about taking bricks as mementos from the two buildings. Dr. Holmes explains the contractors have agreed to take a pile of bricks from the demolition process and leave them outside the fenced in areas for the public to take.

[audio:112514schoolsdemolish3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes indicates the demolition and excavation process could be fun to watch. He say the excavator the contractors will use actually gets driven over the piles of ruble that will build up as the demolition takes place.

Once the demolition is complete and the debris has all been removed from the two sites, Dr. Holmes anticipates the district declaring the two properties as surplus properties and selling them.

Baseball Notes

>>Mariners, Seager Agree To Seven-Year Deal

(Seattle, WA) -- The Seattle Mariners are locking up third baseman Kyle Seager. ESPN reports the two sides have agreed to a seven-year, 100-million-dollar deal that includes an option for an eighth season. Seager hit .268 with 25 home runs and drove in 96 runs for the M's last season. He has connected for at least 20 homers in the last three seasons.

 width=>>MLB 2015 Hall Ballot Includes Big Unit, Pedro, Smoltz

The 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot includes 17 new additions, including Cy Young
Award winning pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.

Also new to the ballot for 2015 are sluggers Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.

Rounding out the 17 first-time candidates are infielders Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone and Tony Clark, outfielders Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd and Brian Giles, and pitchers Troy Percival, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado and Jason Schmidt.

The 17 candidates returning to the BBWAA ballot (with their 2014 election percentages) are: Craig Biggio (74.8%), Mike Piazza (62.2%), Jeff Bagwell (54.3%), Tim Raines (46.1%), Roger Clemens (35.4%), Barry Bonds (34.7%), Lee Smith (29.9%), Curt Schilling (29.2%), Edgar Martinez (25.2%), Alan Trammell (20.8%), Mike Mussina (20.3%), Jeff Kent (15.2%), Fred McGriff (11.7%), Mark McGwire (11.0%), Larry Walker (10.2%), Don Mattingly (8.2%) and Sammy Sosa (7.2%).

Mattingly is eligible for the ballot for the 15th and final time. If he is not elected in January, he will become eligible for consideration by the Expansion Era Committee beginning in the fall of 2016.

Candidates need 75 percent of the vote to earn induction into the Hall of Fame. Results will be announced on Jan. 6, 2015.

Ravens Beat Saints; Jets Lose in Relocated Game

>>Forsett, Ravens Run Over Saints

(New Orleans, LA) -- Justin Forsett ran for a career-best 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens handled the New Orleans Saints 34-27 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Joe Flacco went 18-of-24 passing for 243 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens, who improved to 7-and-4 in a tight AFC North. Steve Smith grabbed four passes for 89 yards and a score, while Torrey Smith racked up 98 yards receiving on five catches. Drew Brees threw for 420 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in the loss.  width=Brees' lone pick was returned by Will Hill 44 yards for a touchdown. Jimmy Graham caught two touchdowns for New Orleans, which remains tied for first in the NFC South despite falling to 4-and-7.

>>Bills Cruise Past Jets In Detroit

(Detroit, MI) -- Kyle Orton threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns as the Bills cruised past the Jets 38-3 in Detroit. The game was moved to the Motor City after heavy snow hit Buffalo last week. Robert Woods made nine grabs for 118 yards and a touchdown for the Bills, who improved to 6-and-5. Manny Lawson recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown in the victory. Michael Vick threw for 76 yards and an interception before being replaced in the second half by Geno Smith, who passed for 89 yards. The Jets dropped to 2-and-9 with the lopsided loss.

>>Browns' Manziel Involved In Fight

(Cleveland, OH) -- Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is making headlines for the wrong reasons once again. "Johnny Football" was involved in a large fight at an apartment complex early Saturday morning, according to "CleveScene.com" A Browns fan sparked the fight when he approached Manziel for a hug. The victim was then "sucker-punched" by one of Manziel's crew leading to a brawl involving around 20 men and two security guards. Police were called but nobody was arrested, and the Browns say they are gathering information.

Blues Open Brief Homestand Tonight Against Senators

 width=The Blues begin a brief two-game homestand tonight against the Ottawa Senators at Scottrade Center. Edmonton will come to town on Friday. The Blues have won two in-a-row after Sunday's 4-2 victory in Winnipeg. They are now 14-6-and-1 on the season. The Sens sit at 9-7-and-4 after last night's 4-3 loss in Detroit.

Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Boston Bruins 2 (OT)
New York Islanders 1, Philadelphia Flyers 0 (SO)
Detroit Red Wings 4, Ottawa Senators 3
Minnesota Wild 4, Florida Panthers 1

Bulls Edge Jazz

 width=Pau Gasol sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left to give the Bulls a 97-95 win over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Gasol totaled 23 points and nine rebounds, while Derrick Rose put up 18 points and five assists in his first game back since November 13th. Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 25 to help Chicago avoid a third straight loss. Derrick Favors paced Utah with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Enes Kanter had 19 points. Trey Burke tallied 18 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, who have dropped three in-a-row and six of eight.

Los Angeles Clippers 113, Charlotte Hornets 92
Portland Trail Blazers 114, Philadelphia 76ers 104
Cleveland Cavaliers 106, Orlando Magic 74
Toronto Raptors 104, Phoenix Suns 100
Houston Rockets 91, New York Knicks 86
Indiana Pacers 111, Dallas Mavericks 100
Chicago Bulls 97, Utah Jazz 95

Illini Football Notes

>>Big Questions Face Illini As Prepare For Northwestern

Big questions are ahead for Illinois but coach Tim Beckman says he doesn't yet know the answers.

Beckman said Monday he'll decide later this week whether Wes Lunt or Reilly O'Toole starts at quarterback Saturday at Northwestern. O'Toole engineered a surprise win over Penn State last weekend after relieving Lunt.

 width=And Beckman says he doesn't know whether he needs to win Saturday to keep his job. He said no one's said anything about that.

What Beckman said he has heard is congratulations from athletic director Mike Thomas on the field after the Penn State win.

O'Toole proved effective in that win for Illinois (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten).

He says his regular appearances his freshman year backing up Nathan Scheelhaase taught him how to be a good player off the bench.

>>Illini Kicker Co-Special Teams Player of the Week

The Big Ten has named Illinois kicker David Reisner its co-Special Teams Player of the Week after his game-winning kick against Penn State.

The conference said Monday that Resiner shares this week's honor with Maryland kicker Brad Craddock.

Reisner's field goal with eight seconds left lifted Illinois (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten) to a 16-14 win over Penn State.

The sophomore kicker made three of his four field goal attempts Saturday. He missed from 50 yards.

Before Saturday Illinois had made just two field goals this season. Reisner had one of them.

Reisner is from Barlett, Illinois. He transferred to Illinois from Navy.

Illini Baseball Tops Yankees Instructional Team

The University of Illinois baseball team won a pair of split-squad games against the New York Yankees Dominican Instructional League (DIL) teams on Monday. The games were played simultaneously at the Yankees' Academy Complex, with the Orange and Blue collecting a 9-6 win in game one and 4-1 victory in game two. UI is 3-0 to begin its weeklong trip to the Dominican Republic.

 width=In game 1, the Illini broke a 4-4 tie with two runs in the seventh inning and tacked on three runs in the ninth to capture a 9-6 victory. Junior Nick Blackburn earned the win in relief of starter Tyler Jay, who struck out four in four innings and allowed two runs. Senior Reid Roper recorded the final four outs for the save after entering the contest with the bases loaded in the eighth and escaping the jam.

In game 2, sophomore Pat McInerney homered for the second day in a row and junior Ryan Castellanos tossed five scoreless innings in Illinois' 4-1 win against the Yankees DIL. McInerney smoked a two-run shot in the third and the Orange and Blue tacked on a run in the fourth and another in the eighth. Junior Andrew Mamlic earned the save with two scoreless stanzas.

Illinois will play a split-squad game against the Houston Astros Dominican Instructional League team today and visit an orphanage in the afternoon.

Information courtesy of fightingillini.com

Illini Win; ISU Falls In Paradise Jam Title Game

 width=>>Big Second Half Leads Illini Past Brown

Aaron Cosby scored 18 points, with 13 in the first five minutes of the second half, as Illinois topped Brown 89-68 on Monday night.

After facing a halftime deficit, Illinois (4-0) came back with its defense as the Illini went on a 9-0 run to take a 46-37 lead early in the second half. During the run, the Illini picked up three steals.

Brown (1-4) took a 35-31 lead into halftime by shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Illinois' offense, which entered the game averaging 100.3 points per game, was limited to 30.6 percent from the floor in the first half.

Rayvonte Rice added 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. Five Illinois players reached double figures.

Steven Spieth led Brown with 21 points and seven rebounds. He was an efficient 7-of-10 from the field but had four turnovers.

 width=>>Seton Hall Downs ISU

Sterling Gibbs scored 40 points to lead Seton Hall to an 84-80 win over Illinois State to claim the Paradise Jam Tournament title.

Seton Hall (4-0) used a 17-point run midway through the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers by Gibbs, to turn a 4-point lead into a 41-27 advantage at the half.

Illinois State trimmed the lead to seven with 12:04 left after a 12-5 run, but Seton Hall called timeout and Gibbs nailed a pair of treys out of the break to push the lead back into double-digits. The Cardinals (2-2) got it to 5 with 44 seconds left, but Gibbs made four straight free throws to ice it.

Isaiah Whitehead had 18 points and six assists for the Pirates, who hit 12 of 18 (67 percent) from beyond the arc.

Bobby Hunter paced Illinois State with 23 points, including 4 of 7 on 3-pointers.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#4 Arizona Wildcats 72, Missouri Tigers 53 (Maui Invitational at Maui, HI)
#5 Louisville Cardinals 87, Savannah State Tigers 26
#11 Villanova Wildcats 77, #15 VCU Rams 53 (Legends Classic at Brooklyn, NY)
#5 Kansas Jayhawks 87, Rider Broncs 60
#14 Iowa State Cyclones 84, Alamaba Crimson Tide 74 (CBE Hall of Fame Classic at Kansas City, MO)
#16 San Diego State Aztecs 92, BYU Cougars 87 (2OT) (Maui Invitational at Maui, HI)
#18 Michigan Wolverines 70, Oregon Ducks 63 (Legends Classic at Brooklyn, NY)
#19 Michigan State Spartans 79, Santa Clara Broncos 52

 width=>>ISU Forward Named MVC Newcomer of the Week

After scoring double figures in each of his first three games as a Redbird, Illinois State junior forward DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell is the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday.

An Orlando, Florida, native and a transfer from Eastern Oklahoma State College, Akoon-Purcell averaged a team best 16.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals to lead Illinois State to a 2-0 record while making his first two career-starts last week in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam held in St. Thomas.

Akoon-Purcell now leads Illinois State in points and rebounds with 15.7 and 7.7 respectively averaged through ISU's first three games.

>>Kentucky Maintains Top Spot In Hoops Poll

(Undated) -- The Kentucky Wildcats remain atop the latest "USA Today" top-25 men's college basketball poll. The 5-and-0 Wildcats received 29 of the 32 first place votes. Duke and Wisconsin both moved up one spot to second and third, respectively. Arizona slipped two positions to number-four despite a 3-and-0 record. Louisville is fifth, followed by North Carolina, Virginia, Gonzaga, Texas and Wichita State. Kansas dropped from fifth to 12th after losing to Kentucky. Miami, UCLA, West Virginia and Providence are new to the rankings.

Maroons Fall to Olympia

 width=The Olympia Spartans used a huge third quarter to carry them past the Clinton Maroons in the season opener for both teams Monday night from the GCMS Holiday Tournament in Gibson City.

The Spartans outscored the Maroons 14-8 en route to a 64-46 victory.

For the Maroons (0-1), Jacob Overton had 17 points, Peyton McCubbin had 15 points, Bowe Carter had 9 points.

Olympia had four players score in double-figures led by Ashton Beachy and Thomas Hallstein with 15 points apiece. Justin Slager chipped in with 14 and Collin Loeffler added 11.

The Maroons are back in action tonight at 8 pm as they take on tournament host GCMS.

One other game in the Central Illinois Conference Monday night saw Meridian edge Raymond Lincolnwood 61-59.

Other boys basketball from across the area...

Lincoln 65, Danville 31

Lady Sages Crush Lady Maroons

 width=The Monticello Lady Sages scored 47 first half points Monday night in Monticello as they routed the Clinton Lady Maroons 68-36.

The Lady Sages drained 8 3-point baskets, five from Layne Buzan, who led all scorers with 29 points.

The Lady Maroons were led by Jessica Scott with 18 points and was the only Clinton scorer in double-figures Monday.

Buzan was also the only double-figures scorer for the Lady Sages.

With the loss, the Lady Maroons fall to 3-2 overall.

Other girls basketball scores across the area from Monday...

Sangamon Valley 52, Warrensburg-Latham 30
Meridian 59, Argenta-Oreana 33
Sullivan 59, Arcola 30
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 57, Shelbyville 44
Maroa-Forsyth 50, Heyworth 47

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-25

November 24, 2014

Jail Population: 53
Summons Served: 2
Warrant Arrests: 0

Shay Burke, 38, Wapella was issued a citation for an Expired Driver’s License. Burke was given a Promise to Comply and was released.




Man Charged In Wife's Death To Undergo Mental

A judge in Wisconsin has ordered a mental exam for an Illinois man accused of killing his estranged wife with a hatchet-type weapon.

Thirty-eight-year-old Cristian Loga-Negru, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and other crimes in the death of his 36-year-old wife.

Police say the woman was severely beaten Wednesday night after trying to hide at a friend's home in Mount Pleasant in southern Wisconsin. The women was later found bleeding in the parking lot of a Super 8 motel and taken by helicopter to a Milwaukee hospital where she died.

Officers arrested Loga-Negru at the motel.

According to reports, a mental competency exam was ordered Friday for Loga-Negru.

New Study Shows Impact of Military In Illinois

A new study shows the military and defense industry supports $13.3 billion in economic activity in Illinois.

The statewide economic impact study was released Thursday by the Lt. Governor Sheila Simon's Office and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It also shows the industry has helped create 150,000 jobs and supports about 2 percent of the state's gross domestic product.

Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad Cities and the Naval Station Great Lakes have the largest impact. The study shows the three bases support 85,000 jobs and contribute $9.1 million to the Illinois economy.

Simon says the new figures should help prove the importance of Illinois military bases, in case Congress decides to realign or close bases in the next two years.

Judge Denies Bid To Halt State's Fracking Rules

A southwestern Illinois judge has denied a bid by landowners group to put Illinois' new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling on hold.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder rejected the request for a preliminary injunction on Friday. That was three days after she heard arguments about the rules meant to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

Attorneys for the landowners had insisted that the state's rules were procedurally flawed. Attorneys for the state countered that the public had sufficient input.

Fracking generally uses a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to crack rock formations deep underground and release trapped oil and gas. Opponents fear it can cause air and water pollution and health problems. Industry officials contend the method is safe and will create needed jobs in southern Illinois.

Rochester's Bertrand Named Top Illinois Schools Chief

The top school administrator of a central Illinois district has been named the state's superintendent of the year.

Thomas Bertrand of Rochester Community Unit District 3A in Sangamon County received the award Sunday from the Illinois Association of School Administrators during a Chicago conference.

Bertrand has been an educator for 28 years. That includes time as a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent before becoming Rochester's superintendent in 2002.

Bertrand says in a statement he considers the recognition humbling.

In his letter of nomination, Rochester's school board president, Randy Hawkins, wrote that Bertrand "has successfully transformed what could be termed a 'small-town' school into a shining example of success in all facets of public education."

Springfield Firefighter Arrested For Wielding Gun

The Menard County Sheriff's office says a Springfield Fire Department captain has been arrested for carrying a shotgun into a rural Athens home and threatening residents.

According to reports, 52-year-old Timothy McEvoy was arrested at his Springfield home early Wednesday.

Sheriff Chuck Jones told the paper McEvoy owns property in Athens and was involved in a dispute with neighbors over accusations of trespassing.

A spokesman at the Menard County Sheriff's office confirmed Saturday that McEvoy is facing charges, but declined to detail what those charges were.

McEvoy was released from the Menard County Jail after posting bond. He's scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Meals on Wheels Expanding In Decatur

Catholic Charities' Meals on Wheels is expanding its delivery service in the Decatur area next month.

According to reports, the program will start delivering hot meals five days a week to all clients living outside Decatur beginning Dec. 1.

The change replaces the twice per week delivery of hot meals, supplemented by three frozen ones to homebound residents in Macon County's rural area.

Volunteer coordinator Rolland Johnson says the program is able to increase the meal service because of generous donations.

She says the added benefit of the change is the ability to increase the number of safety checks on residents.

Travel Numbers Up, Gas Prices Down This Thanksgiving

More than 46-million people will be traveling over the long Thanksgiving weekend, the most since before the Great Recession.

[audio:rddTGJHall11.mp3] [/audio]

Julie Hall from Triple-A says nearly 90-percent of those travelers will be journeying by car, while three-and-a-half-million will be flying for the holiday. She adds gas prices over Thanksgiving average two-dollars-84-cents a gallon nationally.

[audio:rddTGJHall21.mp3] [/audio]

Hall says air fares, rental cars, and hotel rates are all higher this year.

[audio:rddTGJHall31.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Triple-A survey, air fares are up just one-percent from a year ago, but prices for hotels and rental cars are almost ten-percent higher. Hall says people can expect to find savings at the pump, as gas is about 44-cents cheaper per gallon compared to last year.

Annual Report Card Issued For Cerro Gordo Schools

It is the time of the year where school districts get an overview from the state on their students performances, and one local school district saw improvements in many categories.

Cerro Gordo Schools have seen typical results in the last school year and Superintendent Brett Robinson says there will always be highs and lows on each report. He feels many areas of the district perform above-average.

[audio:111914cerrogordo1.mp3] [/audio]

There are several aspects to Cerro Gordo Schools that gives them many advantages. According to Robinson, the district is able to offer many programs larger schools do, however, they are small enough for students to receive more individualized attention from their faculty.

[audio:111914cerrogordo2.mp3] [/audio]

Robinson sees the report card as a catalysts that allows Cerro Gordo to focus on areas of improvement.

After Public Forums, Mock of Potential Multi-Use Path Next

Earlier this month, the City of Clinton hosted a community forum to hear from the public on a future multi-purpose path in Clinton.

Just short of 50 people attended and participated in the two sessions and according to Tim Followell, City Administrator for the City of Clinton, they were very pleased with the turn out, as were their architects, the Farnsworth Group.

[audio:112414pathwaymeet1.mp3] [/audio]

From an administrators perspective, Followell tried to stay out of the conversation. He feels community members had great ideas and the ideas were diverse.

[audio:112414pathwaymeet2.mp3] [/audio]

Now that the first of the community forums have been completed, Followell indicates the architects are taking back all the notes they took, the maps the community came up with and the comments they heard from those in attendance to come up with an original concept of a multi-purpose pathway. That could be presented as early as the first part of next year.

[audio:112414pathwaymeet3.mp3] [/audio]

Followell says it is vital the public be involved in the process because they will be the ones to use the path and to fund it.

[audio:112414pathwaymeet4.mp3] [/audio]

Followell was pleased with the meeting and looks forward to seeing what the architects come up with after the turn of the calendar year.

Sox Sign LaRoche; Baseball Notes

 width=>>White Sox To Ink LaRoche

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago White Sox are bringing in first baseman Adam LaRoche [[ la-ROHSH ]]. "USA Today" reports the two sides have agreed on a two-year, 25-million-dollar contract. The 35-year-old hit .259 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI in 140 games last season for the Washington Nationals. LaRoche spent four seasons playing in the nation's capital. The White Sox had first baseman Paul Konerko retire after 16 seasons with the team.

>>Red Sox, Hanley Close To Deal

(Undated) -- The Boston Red Sox are looking to get a familiar face back in the organization. FOX Sports reports the Red Sox and shortstop Hanley Ramirez are close to a five-year, 90-million-dollar contract that could be signed by Monday. Ramirez hit .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBI last season for the Dodgers. He came up with the Sox and was traded to the Marlins after the 2005 season for Josh Beckett among others.

>>Pirates Deal Davis To Athletics

(Undated) -- The Athletics continue to make moves during the offseason. Oakland acquired first baseman Ike Davis and an international bonus slot at 86 from the Pirates in exchange for their 27th international bonus slot. The bonus slots are specific dollar amounts given to teams when signing players from overseas since the MLB has been unable to add an international draft. Davis hit just .233 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI for the Pirates last season. Meantime, Oakland designated outfielder Andrew Brown for assignment to make room on the roster.

Bulls Continue Road Trip In Utah

 width=The Bulls continue their seven-game road trip against the Jazz tonight in Utah. Chicago dropped to 1-and-2 on the trek with a 105-87 loss to the Blazers on Friday. The Bulls also slipped to 8-and-5 on the season with the setback. Tip-off tonight is at 8:00.

Memphis Grizzlies 107, Los Angeles Clippers 91
Portland Trail Blazers 94, Boston Celtics 88
Miami Heat 94, Charlotte Hornets 93
Golden State Warriors 91, Oklahoma City Thunder 86
Denver Nuggets 101, Los Angeles Lakers 94 (OT)

Blues Win; Blackhawks Lose

 width=>>Blues Double Up Jets

(Winnipeg, Manitoba) -- Ryan Reaves and Paul Stastny each netted a goal in the third period to lift the Blues to a 4-2 victory over the Jets at the MTS Centre. Jaden Schwartz scored for the eighth time this season and David Backes found the back of the net as well. Jake Allen stopped 28-of-30 shots for St. Louis, which has won five of its last seven. Bryan Little tallied his sixth goal of the year and Jim Slater also lit the lamp as Winnipeg fell for the fourth time in its last five games. Ondrej Pavelec [[ AHN-dray PAV-eh-leck ]] had 25 saves in defeat.

 width=>>Canucks Skate Past Blackhawks

(Vancouver, British Columbia) -- Jannik [[ YAN-ick ]] Hansen recorded his first career hat trick as the Canucks skated to a 4-1 win over the Blackhawks in Vancouver. Radim Vrbata [[ ruh-DEEM ver-BOT-uh ]] also lit the lamp in the third for the Canucks, who have won four of six. Ryan Miller made 24 saves in the victory. Kris Versteeg scored the lone goal for Chicago, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Corey Crawford allowed three goals on 29 shots in the setback.

New York Rangers 5, Montreal Canadiens 0
Anaheim Ducks 2, Arizona Coyotes 1

Bears, Packers Win

 width=>>Bears Rally By Bucs

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bears scored 21 points in the third quarter to rally for a 21-13 win over the Buccaneers in Chicago. Matt Forte followed up two turnovers with a pair of touchdown runs in the third for the Bears, who have won two straight to improve to 5-and-6. Jay Cutler threw for 130 yards and a touchdown in the win. Josh McCown was 25-of-48 for 341 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Bucs, who dropped to 2-and-9. Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy each went over 110 receiving yars, while Mike Evans had a touchdown grab in the loss.

 width=>>Packers Hold Off Vikings

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Eddie Lacy rumbled for 125 yards and a touchdown as the Packers held off the Vikings 24-21 in Minnesota. Aaron Rodgers threw for 209 yards and two scores for the Packers, who moved to 8-and-3 with their third straight win. Lacy and Richard Rodgers had touchdown grabs in the victory. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Vikings, who slipped to 4-and-7. Charles Johnson and Greg Jennings had touchdown grabs in the loss.

 width=>>Chargers Clip Rams

(San Diego, CA) -- Ryan Matthews rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on only 12 carries as the Chargers clipped the Rams 27-24 in San Diego. Philip Rivers threw for 291 yards with a touchdown and an interception to help San Diego improve to 7-and-4. Keenan Allen had six grabs for 104 yards and a score in the victory. Shaun Hill passed for 198 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Rams, who dipped to 4-and-7. Janoris Jenkins returned an interception 99 yards for a score in a losing effort.

Cleveland Browns 26, Atlanta Falcons 24
Philadelphia Eagles 43, Tennessee Titans 24
New England Patriots 34, Detroit Lions 9
Indianapolis Colts 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 3
Cincinnati Bengals 22, Houston Texans 13
Seattle Seahawks 19, Arizona Cardinals 3
Denver Broncos 39, Miami Dolphins 36
San Francisco 49ers 17, Washington Redskins 13
Dallas Cowboys 31, New York Giants 28

>>Ravens, Saints Meet On "Monday Night Football"

(New Orleans, LA) -- The Baltimore Ravens are in the Big Easy for "Monday Night Football" as they square off with the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome. The Ravens are rested coming off their bye week. Baltimore halted a two-game slide with a 21-7 home win over Tennessee in Week 10. The Ravens are 6-and-4 overall, a half-game out of the final playoff spot in the AFC. This is the third straight home game for the Saints, who have lost the first two to the 49ers and Bengals to slip to 4-and-6 overall. New Orleans can still take over first place in the NFC South with a win at Atlanta lost on Sunday. Four of the Saints' losses are by three points or less.

>>Jets, Bills Battle In Detroit

(Detroit, MI) -- AFC East rivals meet in Detroit as the Bills battle the New York Jets at Ford Field. The game was moved due to the heavy snow storm that hit Buffalo last week. The Bills have lost back-to-back games to the Chiefs and Dolphins to slip to 5-and-5. The Jets are rested coming off their bye week. Gang Green upset the Steelers 20-13 at home in Week 10 to stop an eight-game losing streak. New York is 2-and-8 overall. The Jets were bludgeoned by the Bills 43-23 at home in Week Eight.

Illini Baseball Team in Dominican Republic

 width=On a sunny Sunday at the Dominican Republic Air Force Base, Illinois won the opening game of its foreign tour, defeating the Dominican Air Force, 10-4. Sophomore Pat McInerney crushed a three-run homer to start a six-run rally with two outs in the fourth inning that solidified the victory. Senior starter Drasen Johnson earned the win with one run over five solid innings, while four other pitchers each tossed an inning to close out the contest.

Three Illini, Walton, Goldstein and Ryne Roper, registered two hits apiece, as the Illini turned in an impressive offensive output with 11 hits and capitalized on three errors by the Dominican Air Force.

Illinois will play a split-squad game against the New York Yankees Dominican Instructional League team on Monday.

Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com

Redbirds Earn Fifth Seed in FCS Football Playoffs

 width=The Illinois State football players and coaches had a lot to cheer about Sunday inside the Hancock Stadium Club, as the team was selected as a No. 5 national seed, given a first-round bye and a second-round home game on Dec. 6.

The Redbirds (10-1, 7-1 MVFC) will be making their fifth appearance in the FCS playoffs (1998, 1999, 2006, 2012) and hosting their first playoff game at Hancock Stadium since 1999. ISU will host the winner of the first-round contest between fellow Missouri Valley Conference member Northern Iowa and Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. The MVFC led all conferences with a league-record five selections, as North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Indiana State joined the Redbirds and the Panthers in the bracket.

Illinois Tops Penn State; ISU Downs Southern

 width=>>Illini Down Penn State on Late FG

Backup quarterback Reilly O'Toole led Illinois on a late drive that set up a game-winning David Reisner field goal, delivering a 16-14 win over Penn State on Saturday.

Reisner hit from 36 yards with eight seconds left on the clock. Minutes earlier he missed a 50-yarder that would have put Illinois on top.

O'Toole relieved an ineffective Wes Lunt late in the first half. O'Toole finished 18 of 25 for 157 yards and a touchdown for Illinois (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten).

Christian Hackenberg threw for an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin to put Penn State (6-5, 2-5) up early. But struggled the rest of the day. He finished 8-16 for 93 yards and the touchdown.

Mike Dudek had 11 catches for 115 yards for Illinois.

Penn State running back Akeel Lynch carried the ball 28 times for 137 yards and a 47-yard touchdown.

 width=>>Illinois State Tops Southern Illinois, Shares Missouri Valley Title

Tre Roberson passed for three touchdowns, Marshaun Coprich rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th time this season, scoring twice, and Illinois State defeated Southern Illinois 44-29 on Saturday to win 10 games for the first time in school history while earning a share of the Missouri Valley Conference championship.

The Redbirds (10-1, 7-1), whose only other title came in 1999, started quickly with Robertson hiting Cameron Meredith for a 30-yard touchdown and Lechein Neblett for a 70-yarder before the Redbirds adding a safety in the first quarter.

Roberson finished 14 of 23 for a career-high 319 yards. Meredith had a career high of 182 yards on eight catches, his third-straight 100-yard game, and Neblett had four catches for 125.

Coprich's two touchdowns gave him a school record 21 this season.

Southern Illinois (6-6, 3-5) got three touchdown passes from Mark Iannotti.

Illinois State had 602 total yards.

 width=>>UT-Martin Cruises Past Eastern Illinois

Dylan Favre threw for 110 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 46 more to help Tennessee-Martin to a 37-16 win over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

Eastern Illinois scored on the game's second play from scrimmage on Shepard Little's 70-yard run, and Nick Bruno's 21-yard field goal gave the Panthers a 9-7 lead.

UT-Martin scored the next 30 points.

Favre's 13-yard TD to Rod Wright and 44-yarder to Ben Axline gave UT-Martin a 24-9 halftime lead.

Abou Toure paced UT-Martin (6-6, 5-3 Ohio Valley Conference) with 158 yards on 28 carries. Jarod Neal had a 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Ladevin Fair had a 3-yard TD in the third quarter.

Andrew Manley was 26 of 50 for 290 yards and a score for Eastern Illinois (5-7, 5-3). Little finished with 137 yards on 13 carries and Adam Drake caught 11 balls for 146 yards and a 3-yard fourth quarter TD.

Bradley, Illinois State Win Sunday

 width=>>Illinois State Dominates Old Dominion

DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell and Bobby Hunter scored 12 points apiece as Illinois State's balanced attack toppled Old Dominion 64-45 on Sunday night, advancing the Red Birds to the championship game of the Paradise Jam tourney.

Illinois State (2-1) meets Seton Hall Monday night. Old Dominion (3-1) plays Gardner-Webb for third place.

The Red Birds flew from the gate on a 9-0 run, Old Dominion not getting on the board for 3:34.

Daishon Knight added eight points, eight rebounds and five assists for the victors, who out-boarded Old Dominion 35-26.

Trey Freeman led the Monarchs with 16 points and Richard Ross added 15. Old Dominion pieced together a 10-2 run and closed within 28-22 with 3-pointers by Freeman and Ambrose Mosley. But Knight, Hunter and Akoon-Purcell closed the half 6-2 and the Monarchs never got closer than 11.

 width=>>Bradley Tops North Carolina A&T

Omar Grier scored 10 points and had four assists to lead Bradley to a 58-50 victory over North Carolina A&T on Sunday evening.

The Braves (1-2) employed a balance attack offensively for much of the game with every player scoring at least one field goal. Warren Jones and Josh Cunningham each had nine points, Auston Barnes finished with eight, and Mike Shaw added seven. Barnes and Cunningham also grabbed six and five rebounds, respectively.

Khary Doby led all scorers with 12 points for North Carolina A&T (1-3). Steven Burrough finished with eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 2-of-2 at the line for the Aggies, who struggled shooting much of the night, hitting on just 38 percent of their field goal attempts.

Bradley led 33-21 at the half, building a lead that would reach 17 late in the second.

Maroons Boys Basketball Team Opens Season Tonight

 width=As the Lady Maroons closed out their opening basketball tournament this weekend, the Clinton boys basketball team will open theirs.

From the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Holiday tournament, the Maroons take on Olympia in their opener at 5 pm.

In his second year at the helm of the boys program, Clay Haurberg looks to improve on his team's 2-24 record last year.

Bringing back four of five starters should certainly be of benefit for the Maroons, who return 6-foot-5 big man Bowe Carter along with sophomore guard Jacob Overton, Coach Haurberg indicates he's looking for more defensive consistency from his kids.

He says quote-"For us to be successful, we’re going to have to play much better defensively. 14 of our 26 opponents scored 60 points or more, so we’re looking to improve that stat. One of the factors that contributed to that was the amount of turnovers we had which gave our opponents many more scoring chances. We’ll be working to keep our turnovers down."-end quote.

Haurberg also says he wants to see his team do a better job of rebounding, controlling the glass and get better shot selection on offense.

He also points to his junior class as a key to this year's team. He feels their minutes will need to be quality and says the group of four (Jason Love, Collin Underwood, Tanner White and Gunnar Klitzing) has looked good so far.

He says quote-"The rest of the kids are busting their tails too, and because of that, our practices have been much more intense and competitive. All of our kids are really beginning to focus in on what we need to do to become a better team."-end quote.

The Maroons open action tonight from GCMS at 5 pm. Hear all the action live on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Tri-Valley Edges Clinton In OT at Turkey Tussle Championship

 width=The Clinton Lady Maroons came up just short in their bid for a championship at the Clinton Turkey Tournament, as Tri-Valley downed the Lady Maroons 63-61 in overtime.

After an 18-8 advantage heading into the second quarter, the Lady Vikings would cut the deficit to 23-20 at the half, and the game was tied after three quarters.

Jessica Scott led the way for the Lady Maroons with 24 points. Faythe Newberry and Madi Filkin added 10 points.

The Lady Vikings were led by Maddie Merritt's 34 points and Lauren Wombles added 20 points. Only three other players would score for Tri-Valley with no more than four points.

The Lady Vikings sweep the Turkey Tussle Tournament, going 4-0. The Lady Maroons fall to 3-1 in the early season.

Jessica Scott and Payton Bieber were named to the All-Tournament team as were Merritt and Wombles from Tri-Valley.

Arson May Be Cause of Early Saturday Morning Fire in Clinton

An early morning fire on the northeast side of Clinton is being investigated as an arson case.

According to Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton, just before 1:30 AM Saturday morning, his crews were called to a home in the 700 block of North George Street to a home with an exterior fire that was making it's way into the home.

[audio:112514saturdayfire1.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief indicates a trash can on the outside of the house was the point of origin for the fire. Chief Milton says while the State Fire Marshall has left the case unclassified, they are treating it as arson.

[audio:112514saturdayfire2.mp3] [/audio]

Because the fire happened so early in the morning and the fire was mostly on the exterior of the home, local authorities and residents out noticed the fire and alerted the family to safety. Chief Milton says if it wasn't for those folks, things could ended much worse than they did.

[audio:112514saturdayfire3.mp3] [/audio]

Mutual aid was called in for the fire from Kenney, Maroa, and Wapella. Chief Milton indicates crews were on hand for approximately four hours.

Maroons Lose First Game to Olympia

As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW, the Clinton Maroons lost to Olympia Spartans in the first basketball game of the season on Monday 64-46.

For the Maroons (0-1), Jacob Overton had 17 points, Peyton McCubbin had 15 points, Bowe Carter had 9 points, both Jason Love and Reggie Centers had 2 points and Jesse Parrish had a point.

Tune into 92.3 FM WHOW next Friday as the Clinton Maroons will take on Maroa- Forsyth.

Eureka Woman Indicted in Washington Tornado Scam

A central Illinois woman has been indicted on theft charges for making unauthorized purchases on the credit card of a Washington tornado relief volunteer.

Reports indicate 58-year-old Marjorie Mesa of Eureka was issued the charge of a theft between $500 and $10,000 by a Tazewell County grand jury. She faces up to five years in prison if found guilty. She pleaded not guilty on Nov. 4.

According to court records, the victim contacted Washington police July 15 to report unauthorized charges totaling of more than $5,500 on her credit card.

The victim told police she came to Washington to do volunteer work to help tornado victims and met Mesa.

Mesa is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 11.

Pekin Man Sentenced For Dealing Deadly Heroin

A 24-year prison sentence has been handed a Pekin man for selling heroin federal prosecutors say killed at least three people.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tate Chambers says from 2008 until his arrest in 2012, Anthony Mansini, with five other people, funneled as much as 10,000 doses of heroin into the Pekin area.

Chambers says three of Mansini's customers died from heroin overdoses in the months before Mansini's arrest.

Chambers says Mansini only admitted to selling heroin to 21-year-old James Reader of Pekin, who died in August 2012.

Other overdose victims linked to Mansini were 20-year-old Chanel Berardi and 21-year-old Kyla Frost. Chambers says a total of six people died from heroin supplied through the conspiracy.

It's reported three of Mansini's co-defendants have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing in March.

New Exhibit at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Lincoln Collection Curator James Cornelius says the new exhibit "Undying Words" features an all star cast of Lincoln historical documents...

[audio:Undyingwords.mp3] [/audio]

The all-new exhibit debuts Saturday at noon. It's the result of a collaboration with the Chicago History Museum. In addition to the legendary documents, other eye-poppers can be seen like Abraham and Mary’s carriage, his death-bed, a 7-foot-tall ‘Rail Splitter’ portrait, and interactives. Archer Daniels Midland Company is a primary sponsor of the exhibit. .An exhibit of movie props and key wardrobe items from Steven Spielberg's Oscar winning film Lincoln also continues next door at Union Station in Downtown Springfield.

Attorney General Warns of new Scam


[audio:imm.mp3] /audio]


Governor Quinn Says No to new measure

The Freedom of Information Act allows people to get information from governmental entities but some lawmakers say that power can be abused. Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a measure that would allow governments to charge requesters of information through FOIA a certain amount of money, saying the measure reduces government transparency. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:INNRFD.mp3] [/audio]

Monsanto Teams Up With Farmer City Food Bank To Fight Hunger

This month, employees from the Farmer City Monsanto Production Site are joining them in their fight. The team collected food throughout November as part of the company’s third annual Rural Hunger Volunteer Month initiative.

Don Lerche is a volunteer for the food bank, he says a majority of their food comes from individual donations and from larger organizations like Monsanto.

Last year, nearly 1,000 Monsanto employees from 88 sites partnered with local nonprofit organizations and volunteered almost 4,000 hours as part of the Rural Hunger initiative. This year, they hope to raise awareness about the seriousness of the hunger problem in rural America, while supporting the organizations dedicated to this cause.

Linda Hadley, site occupational health nurse manager, says quote-"As a member of the local community and a contributor to the economic base of this community, the Farmer City Production Site employees feel it is important to reach out and support our local food pantry to serve those less fortunate. In DeWitt County, where our site is located, the overall food insecurity or meal gap is greater than 11%. We want to be a part of helping to close that gap, especially during the holidays. This is our way to show we care about ending hunger in our community.” - end quote.

In addition to Rural Hunger Volunteer Month, the company has helped collect more than 100,000 pounds of food over the past four years at industry trade shows, while also partnering with farmers to support more than 400 rural food pantries and food banks through the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

Salt Creek Research Center Food Bank serves an average of 80 families per month.

City Streets Department To End Leaf Cleanup Next Week

If you still have leaves to be cleaned up in your yard, this weekend may be the last opportunity if you want them picked up by the city.

Since October, the Streets Department has made the rounds across Clinton cleaning up leaf piles residents put out on the curbside. According to Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Nan Crang indicates, that will end before the Thanksgiving holiday.

[audio:112914leavesclean.mp3] [/audio]

According to Crang, the recent cold spell has caused many challenges for the street department. The cold temperatures have halted their efforts as the machine they use has been unable to handle the cold temperatures.

Residents can still take their leaves to the yard waste facility. Those hours run 3 to 5 pm Tuesday and Thursday, then 8 am to noon and 1 to 5 pm on Saturdays. City officials indicate the yard waste facility's hours are weather dependent.

Pediatricians Promoting More Sleep For Students

Members of the American Academy of Pediatrics have pushed Chicago officials to roll back public school start times to allow middle and high school students to get more sleep.

The efforts have been rebuffed. But medical experts on Thursday attended a City Council Health Committee hearing to outline options to deal with sleep deprivation among teenagers. They don't go as far as a later start of the school day.

Lurie Children's Hospital Sleep Medicine Center Director Dr. Stephen Sheldon says students can be helped by scheduling math, science and reading classes in the afternoon. He also said making classrooms brighter in the morning and opening nap rooms would help students perform better.

Health Committee Chairman George Cardenas says he agrees with Sheldon's assessments and his suggestions should be tried.

Pension Ruling Coming Today

A judge is one step closer to deciding whether lawmakers have the authority to change pension benefits for state workers and retirees. Unions filed suit against the latest pension law, claiming it violates the state's constitution, which says pension benefits can't be diminished or impaired. Spokesman Anders Lindall says that means exactly what is says.

[audio:RaunerHiringFreeze1.mp3] [/audio]

Lindall says teachers and other hard-working state employees have made their payments faithfully and shouldn't be short-changed just because the state hasn't kept its end of the deal. But attorneys for the state have a different take on what the pension clause says. They say it's not absolute and leaves room for lawmakers to make changes in extreme circumstances. The attorneys argue the state has an emergency because the pension systems have a shortfall of more than 100-billion dollars. The judge will issue his opinion this afternoon.

Jobless Rate Holds Steady

The state's unemployment rate is holding steady at six-point-six percent. Employment Security Spokesman Greg Rivara says the rate didn't change in the month of October, even though the state lost about two-thousand jobs.

[audio:rddUnemploy1.mp3] [/audio]

Rivara says there was some growth in the private sector, particularly in the education, health care, and manufacturing industries. He says there are 40-thousand more private-sector jobs now in Illinois compared to this time last year. The national unemployment rate is five-point-nine percent.

Local Lawmaker Calls Senate Bill 16 Rob Peter to Pay Paul Proposition

 width=A controversial plan to change how the state doles out tax dollars to school districts drew hundreds of supporters and opponents to the Capitol Tuesday and was the subject of a 5 hour House committee hearing.

At issue is Senate Bill 16, a proposal approved last spring by the Illinois Senate that would redistribute state aid to school districts based on their financial need. State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) called SB16 a ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ proposition.

[audio:111914MitchellSB16b.MP3] [/audio]

Although a vote on any overhaul of the school funding formula isn't on the immediate legislative horizon, opponents say they want to kill the idea before it takes root under the Statehouse dome.

County Board Approves Revisions To Holiday Schedule

Among the few agenda items approved at Thursday's DeWitt County Board meeting was a motion to approve a revised 2015 holiday schedule for county employees.

 width=Outgoing Vice-Chair Pete Daugherty sent out a schedule which would eliminate four holidays for over a dozen DeWitt County employees. The proposed schedule left out Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day, Spring Day (Good Friday), and Veterans Day. Board Members Danny Ballenger and David Newberg didn't believe it made sense for one side of the courthouse to close while another stay open on those four days.

[audio:112114holidays1.mp3] [/audio]

The amendment to the schedule failed 6-5 as Daugherty, Board Chair Sherrie Brown, Keith Koons, Terry Hoffman, George Wismiller and Ron Savage voted no but the same group voted in favor of Daugherty's proposed schedule. Once the original motion passed, County Clerk Dana Smith and Administrative Assistant Dee Dee Rentmeister gave the Board their opinions of the schedule. Rentmeister says the Board basically told 15 employees they don't deserve to have as many days off.

[audio:112114holidays2.mp3] [/audio]

Thursday's meeting lasted a little over an hour. The Board will re-configure at 5:30pm on December 1st with the swearing in of 5 new Board Members.

2015 County Budget Approved; Controversial Items Tabled

The DeWitt County Board's last lame duck session saw many controversial agenda items tabled while the 2015 Budget and Levy were approved.

5 items on the agenda failed to see a vote at Thursday Night's meeting, each being tabled by a vote of 6-5. The items tabled included:

-Adjusting the county levy from $1.5 million to $1.1 million.

-Adjusting the retirement fund for County employees, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, or IMRF, from $1.11-million to $900-thousand.

- Eliminating the liability insurance tort from $500,000.

- Eliminating the position of Assistant State's Attorney Lars Dunn

-Reducing the State's Attorney's budget salaries by $58,000

Each vote was tabled due to affirmative votes by Board Members Danny Ballenger, David Newberg, Camille Redman, Doug Tucker, Sue May-Whitted and Vice-Chair Pete Daugherty.

The 2015 Budget and Levy were also approved 6-5 with the same six voting in the affirmative.

Kahne Gets Three-Year Extension From Hendrick

 width=Kasey Kahne will continue to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through the 2018 Sprint Cup season, signing a three-year contract extension on Thursday.

Kahne's deal was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2015 campaign.

Kahne finished 15th in the 2014 Sprint Cup standings, his worst mark since placing 20th in 2010. He won one race and had three top-five results this year.

The 34-year-old Washington native's best season was 2012, when he finished fourth in his first full year with Hendrick.

Kahne has five Sprint Cup wins and 26 top-five finishes since 2012. He owns 17 Sprint Cup race victories since breaking into NASCAR's top division in 2004.

Texas Pulls Away From Iowa At MSG

Jonathan Holmes scored 17 of his 19 points in a lopsided second half as No. 10 Texas upended Iowa 71-57 in a 2K Classic semifinals at Madison Square Garden.

 width=Texas outscored the Hawkeyes 47-27 after halftime and will play the Syracuse- California winner on Friday night for the event's title.

Isaiah Taylor chipped in 15 points, Javan Felix added 11 and the Longhorns (3-0) held Iowa to 29.6 percent shooting.

Aaron White scored a game-high 23 points for the Hawkeyes (2-1), though 14 came at the foul line.

>>Indiana Tops SMU

Freshman James Blackmon Jr. scored 26 points on 5-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc to lead Indiana to a 74-68 win over No. 22 SMU at Assembly Hall.

Yogi Ferrell netted 13 points with seven assists, Troy Williams tallied 11 points off the bench and Nick Zeisloft added 10 points for the Hoosiers (3-0), who won their fifth straight home game over a ranked opponent.

Ben and Nic Moore scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, in the setback. The Mustangs (1-2) have now dropped their last two games after Monday's 72-56 loss at No. 13 Gonzaga.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#12 Villanova Wildcats 72, Bucknell Bison 65 (Legends Classic)
#15 Connecticut Huskies 65, Charleston Cougars 57 (Puerto Rico Tip-Off at San Juan, Puerto Rico)
#16 VCU Rams 106, Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks 66
#17 San Diego State Aztecs 51, CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners 27 (Maui Invitational)
#23 Michigan Wolverines 71, Detroit Titans 62 (Legends Classic)
California Golden Bears 73, #24 Syracuse Orange 59 (2K Classic at New York, NY)

K-State Tops West Virginia

 width=Tyler Lockett had a 43-yard punt return touchdown and caught 10 passes for 196 yards to help lead No. 12 Kansas State to a 26-20 win over West Virginia on Thursday night.

Jake Waters passed for 400 yards with a 7-yard touchdown throw to DeMarcus Robinson, and the Wildcats (8-2, 6-1 Big 12) held on down the stretch to bounce back from a 21-point loss to TCU two weeks ago before their bye.

Skyler Howard passed for 198 yards and two touchdowns for West Virginia after Clint Trickett left the game in the third quarter with a concussion, but the Mountaineers (6-5, 4-4) lost their third in a row.

Packers, Rams Hit Road; Bears Host Lovie Smith and Bucs

 width=>>Packers Rematch With Vikes In Minnesota

(Minneapolis, MN) -- The Green Bay Packers go up against the Minnesota Vikings for the second time this season when the teams meet Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers have put up more than 50 points in consecutive wins over the Bears and Eagles to improve to 7-and-3. Green Bay has won six of its last seven games and is tied with Detroit for the NFC North lead. It's the second straight divisional game for the Vikings, who lost 21-13 at Chicago last Sunday. This begins a stretch of three straight home games for Minnesota, which is 4-and-6. The Vikings were blown out 42-10 at Green Bay in Week Five.

 width=>>Bucs, Bears Square Off At Soldier Field

(Chicago, IL) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the Windy City this weekend to battle the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. It's the second straight road game and third in four weeks for the Bucs. Tampa Bay snapped a five-game losing streak with a 27-7 win at Washington in Week 11. Josh McCown threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns as the Buccaneers improved to 2-and-8. The Bears halted a three-game slide with a 21-13 win over the Vikings last weekend. It was the first home win in four tries this season for Chicago. The Bears had lost five of their previous six games overall and are 4-and-6 on the season.

 width=>>Rams, Chargers Square Off At Qualcomm

(San Diego, CA) -- The St. Louis Rams are in San Diego Sunday to take on the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Rams shut down Peyton Manning and the Broncos to the tune of a 22-7 home win last Sunday. Returning to a starting role, quarterback Shaun Hill completed 20-of-29 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown as St. Louis improved to 4-and-6. The Chargers seek their second straight win after getting past the previously winless Raiders 13-6 last weekend. Before that, San Diego had dropped three in-a-row following a five-game winning streak. The Bolts are 6-and-4, a game back of Denver in the AFC West.

>>Raiders End Year-Long Drought, Top Chiefs

(Oakland, CA) -- The Raiders have ended their 16-game losing streak by beating the division rival Chiefs 24-20 at O.co Coliseum. Derek Carr went 18-of-35 for 174 yards and the game-winning nine-yard touchdown to James Jones with under two minutes left. Latavius Murray rushed for 112 yards and two scores on just four carries before leaving with a concussion. Raiders safety Charles Woodson had eight tackles and a sack to become the first player in NFL history to record 50 career interceptions and 20 sacks. Alex Smith tossed for 233 yards and two TDs for Kansas City, which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Jamaal Charles totaled 122 yards and a receiving touchdown in defeat.

>>Bills, Jets Moved To Monday In Detroit

(Undated) -- Sunday's originally scheduled game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets is getting a scenery change. The game will be in Detroit on Monday. The contest was moved due to the massive snowstorm that hit the Western part of New York state. Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park is still under heavy snow. The Bills are 5-and-5 and looking to keep pace in the AFC East while the Jets are last in the division at 2-and-8. Kick from Ford Field will be at 7 p.m. Eastern. The Detroit Lions are on the road this weekend at the New England Patriots.

Blackhawks Win, Blues Lose

 width=>>Blackhawks Clip Flames In Calgary

(Calgary, Alberta) -- Patrick Kane scored the deciding goal midway through the third period as the Blackhawks clipped the Flames 4-3 in Calgary. Adam Clendening and Daniel Carcillo both scored in the first period, while Brent Seabrook lit the lamp in the second for Chicago, which has won four of five. Corey Crawford kicked aside 24 shots in the victory. Paul Byron, Dennis Wideman and Sean Monahan all scored for the Flames, who had won their previous three. Jonas [[ YO-ness ]] Hiller stopped 18 shots in defeat.

 width=>>Canadiens Cruise Past Blues

(Montreal, Quebec) -- Max Pacioretty [[ PATCH-or-ETT-ee ]] scored twice on his 26th birthday as the Canadiens cruised to a 4-1 win over the Blues at the Bell Centre. Dale Weise and Lars Eller also lit the lamp for the Habs, who have won seven of eight Carey Price made 31 saves in the victory. Vladimir Tarasenko [[ tare-uh-SANK-oh ]] scored the lone goal in the first period for St. Louis, which fell to 0-and-2 on its four-game road trip. Jake Allen allowed all four goals on 30 shots in the setback.

Minnesota Wild 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
Ottawa Senators 3, Nashville Predators 2
Detroit Red Wings 4, Winnipeg Jets 3
Dallas Stars 3, Arizona Coyotes 1
Washington Capitals 3, Colorado Avalanche 2
Anaheim Ducks 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (SO)
Los Angeles Kings 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2
Florida Panthers 3, San Jose Sharks 2 (SO)

Kings Route Bulls

 width=DeMarcus Cousins grabbed 14 rebounds and added 22 points to lead the Kings to a 103-88 win over the Bulls at Sleep Train Arena. Darren Collison went for 17 points and 12 assists in the victory while Rudy Gay chipped in 20 points. Omri Casspi [[ OME-ree CASS-pee ]] dropped 14 points off the bench as Sacramento improved to 7-and-5. Chicago slipped to 8-and-4 despite a 23-point effort from Jimmy Butler. Joakim [[ joe-keem ]] Noah recorded a double-double of 10 points and 11 boards.

Los Angeles Clippers 110, Miami Heat 93

Bradley To Participate in 2015 Charleston Tournament

 width=/shared/inc/client/22/articles/images/11131365555-bradleybraves.gifDefending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia, Oklahoma State and Mississippi will take part in next year's Charleston Classic.

Tournament organizers announced the eight-team field Thursday.

The rest of the tournament teams include Bradley, Long Beach State, George Mason, Towson and Seton Hall, which was runner-up to Northwestern in the 2011 event at TD Arena.

Virginia was a No. 1 seed in last year's NCAA tournament, advancing to the round of 16. Oklahoma State also reached the NCAAs last year.

The year's tournament features 2009 Charleston champion Miami, Penn State, Southern Cal and South Carolina.

Former Illini QB Leaving Radio Broadcasts

 width=For the past eight football seasons former Illinois quarterback Kurt Kittner has handled the color commentary on Illini radio broadcasts.

That will stop with the end of this season when Kittner steps down.

Kittner tells The News-Gazette in Champaign (http://bit.ly/1BQ6uH3 ) that the regular-season finale at Northwestern on Nov. 29 will be his last game.

The 34-year-old says he's enjoyed the work but needs to spend more time at home now that he and his wife, Leila, have a young son and daughter.

Kittner lives in suburban Glen Ellyn and works fulltime at the Chicago commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

He says the travel to and from games both in Champaign and away added up.

Kittner is Illinois' all-time leader in touchdown passes with 70.

Cubs Purchase Contract of Prospect Edwards

 width=The Chicago Cubs have selected pitcher C.J. Edwards' contract from Double-A Tennessee.

Edwards, 23, is 14-7 with a 1.86 ERA in 50 minor league outings (49 starts) over three seasons. The right-hander was acquired from Texas in the trade that sent Matt Garza to the Rangers in July 2013.

The move announced Thursday puts the Cubs. 40-man roster at 39.

Illini Host Penn State in Pressure Game For Coach

 width=Penn State coach James Franklin was relaxed enough as his team got ready to play Illinois this week to talk at length about movies with reporters.

At Illinois, coach Tim Beckman tensely pushed back against what he called bashing of his players.

The moods in the two programs were far different as they prepared to play each other Saturday in Champaign.

Penn State (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten) is a victory away from a winning season. And Franklin said the team learned through the scandal and NCAA sanctions of recent years how to handle pressure.

At Illinois (4-6, 1-5) the pressure is growing around Beckman. The Illini will look to quarterback Wes Lunt to have a better day than he did in last weekend's loss to Iowa.

Redbirds Host In-State Foe SIU

 width=There is a lot at stake, when No. 7 Illinois State (9-1, 6-1 MVFC) hosts in-state rival Southern Illinois (6-5, 3-4 MVFC) Saturday on Senior Day at Hancock Stadium. With a win, the Redbirds would secure at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference championship and the first 10-win regular season in school history. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Junior running back Marshaun Coprich continued his tear at South Dakota, as he rushed for a career-high 221 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-26 win over the Coyotes. For his efforts, Coprich was named the MVFC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, his second such honor of the season.

Southern Illinois rallied with 14 unanswered second-half points to defeat Illinois State, 24-17, at Saluki Stadium. The Redbirds struggled offensively, tallying just 268 total yards with three turnovers. Blake Winkler finished 9-for-21 for 110 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Local Football Teams Look To Punch Tickets To Champaign

 width=We're away from the state championships for football in Champaign, and several local teams are seeking to punch their tickets to Memorial Stadium following Thanksgiving.

In Class 2A, it's a matchup of a former-Okaw Valley school, Tuscola, now a member of the Central Illinois Conference, and Maroa-Forsyth.

The Trojans enter play at 9-3, after an impressive 44-6 win over Athens last Saturday. The Trojans have also beat Sangamon Valley and Tri-Valley to get to this Saturday's action.

For Tuscola, they've defeated Shelbyville, Lawrenceville, and Chester.

Action is set for Saturday at 2 pm in Tuscola.

In Class 3A:

Mt. Carmel (10-2) at Williamsville (12-0) Sat. 2:00 pm

Class 4A:

Rochester (10-2) at Herrin (H.S.) (11-1) Sat. 2:00 pm

Class 5A:

Peoria (11-1) at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (12-0) Sat. 1:00 pm

Class 6A:

Lemont (12-0) vs. Peoria Notre Dame (12-0) at Peoria Stadium Sat. 3:00 pm

McLean County Plane Moving To Bloomington Airport

A more than 80-year-old monoplane popular with children at the McLean County Museum of History will soon be getting a new home.

The historic, single-seat 1932 Tilbury Flash was disassembled this week and prepared for storage. The plane is being displaced because the portion of the museum it occupied is being transformed into a new Route 66-themed visitor center. It will eventually be moved for display at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington.

Aviation enthusiast Don O'Neall was tasked with readying the plane for the move. According to reports, he says although it's sad the plane is leaving the museum, it will still be seen by a lot of people at the new location.

The tiny but fast airplane is painted bright orange and blue. It once recorded speeds of 115 mph.

First UI Bomb-sniffing dog dies at age 12

A retired bomb-sniffing dog who worked with the University of Illinois police has died at the age of 12.

UI K-9 Officer Troy Chew says his longtime four-legged partner, Nala, was euthanized last week. She helped him patrol university athletic events and check out potentially explosive packages for 10 years. Nala retired in August due to a nerve condition that caused her to lose feeling in her hind legs and had since been living as a pet in the Chew home.

Chew tells The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1yTrNSl ) putting Nala to sleep was the hardest thing he's ever had to do.

Nala was the first bomb-sniffing dog employed by the department. She came to UI as a 2-year-old dog who was already trained and taking commands from Chew in Dutch.

Incoming UofI leader plans to meet Quinn, Rauner

Incoming University of Illinois system President Timothy L. Killeen says he hopes to soon meet with both Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner.

Killeen was introduced as the next president on Wednesday during stops at the three campuses in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.

During his stop in Champaign he said he's been "playing phone tag" with both Quinn and Rauner.

Rauner takes office in January.

The state's elected leaders play a key role in university funding. About 15 percent of the $4.5 billion university budget comes from state funds.

Killeen talked at every stop Wednesday about the role the university can play in developing the state's economy

Key Issues facing next UofI President

Officials announced Wednesday that Timothy L. Killeen will be the next president of the three-campus University of Illinois system. Here are some of the key issues he faces:

The No. 1 issue is money. The university has become less dependent on the state of Illinois over the past few decades, but state money still accounts for about $667 million of the current $4.5 billion annual operating budget, which is about 15 percent. And university officials say that if state lawmakers don't extend a temporary income tax increase that rolls back in January, the university could lose $70 million a year.

Related to the budget, tuition has been rising in part to help cover what the state doesn't provide. In-state tuition at the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus now costs more than $12,000 annually, and the total price tag for four years on campus is more than $100,000. As a result, the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll is dropping.

A decision is ahead on competing proposals to build an engineering-based medical program in Chicago or Urbana-Champaign.

Two recent hiring decisions at the Urbana-Champaign campus upset some faculty members. In August, the university rescinded a job offer to Native American studies professor Steven Salaita over Twitter messages some donors called anti-Semitic.

Months earlier, university officials made a similar decision on professor James Kilgore. He spent time in prison for his role in a 1975 bank robbery that killed a California woman, and the administration said he could no longer work as an instructor. The university later reversed course.

Incoming UofI President says he's Humbled

The incoming president of the University of Illinois system says he's dedicating his presidency to the students.

Timothy Killeen spokes Wednesday morning at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus. He also plans appearances at the campuses in Springfield and Champaign-Urbana. The three-campus system announced Wednesday that Killeen will replace President Bob Easter when Easter retires in June.

Killeen will become the university's 20th president. He is currently chancellor for research at the State University of New York. He previously was a faculty member and administrator at the University of Michigan and worked at the National Science Foundation.

At his introduction in Chicago, Killeen said he has "one gear and it's forward with optimism." He said he was honored and humbled to have been chosen for the job.

Some State Lawmakers Are Pushing A New Plan To Raise The Minimum Wage In Illinois


[audio:112014raisewage1.mp3] [/audio]


[audio:112014raisewage2.mp3] [/audio]


Robert Morris beats Bradley

Junior-college transfer Rodney Pryor came off the bench to pour in 26 points to lead Robert Morris past Bradley 68-61 on Wednesday night.

Pryor had three clutch baskets, including two 3-pointers, and a pair of free throws in the final 4 minutes as the Colonials (1-2) held on after letting most of an 11-point lead slip away. Lucky Jones added 17 points.

Robert Morris was up 54-43 after a Marcquise Reed jumper at 6:32 but the Braves (0-2) stormed back behind reserve Warren Jones, who had 24 points, to get within one.

After Jones missed a 3, Pryor hit one. Pryor finished 7 of 8 from the field, making 6 of 7 3-pointers and all six of his free throws. Pryor had 14 points in his first two games with the Colonials.

Robert Morris made 23 of 33 free throws to 14 of 27 for the Braves. width=

NBA Recap

>>Bulls At Kings

(Sacramento, CA) -- The Bulls make the second stop on their seven-game road trip against the Kings at Sleep Train Arena tonight. Chicago improved to 8-and-3 with an impressive win over the Clippers on Monday. The Kings are off to a 6-and-5 start.

>>Derrick Rose Questionable For Kings Game

(Sacramento, CA) -- The Derrick Rose injury watch continues as he returned to practice yesterday for the Bulls. Rose is dealing with a hamstring injury and has missed six of Chicago's 11 games with various ailments. He is questionable for tonight. Pau Gasol, who also missed the game versus the Clippers with a calf injury, is not sure if he'll play.

>>Hill Lifts Pacers Past Hornets

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Solomon Hill's tip in as time expired gave the Pacers an 88-86 win over the Hornets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Roy Hibbert had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Luis Scola chipped in 15 points. Indiana has won four of five to move to 5-and-7. Al Jefferson posted a game-high 28 points with eight boards in the defeat. Lance Stephenson put up 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his first game versus his former team since signing with Charlotte this summer. The Hornets have dropped three straight.

Boston Celtics 101, Philadelphia 76ers 90
Dallas Mavericks 105, Washington Wizards 102
Los Angeles Clippers 114, Orlando Magic 90
San Antonio Spurs 92, Cleveland Cavaliers 90
Milwaukee Bucks 122, Brooklyn Nets 118 (3 OT)
Phoenix Suns 88, Detroit Pistons 86
Toronto Raptors 96, Memphis Grizzlies 92
Minnesota Timberwolves 115, New York Knicks 99
Denver Nuggets 107,Oklahoma City Thunder 100
Los Angeles Lakers 98, Houston Rockets 92 width=

NHL Recap

Blackhawks At Flames

(Calgary, Alberta) -- The Blackhawks return to the ice for the first time since Sunday tonight to face the Flames on the road. Chicago improved to 10-7-and-1 smoking the Stars, 6-2. Calgary sits at 12-6-and-2.

>>Blues At Canadiens Tonight

(Montreal, Quebec) -- The Blues make the second stop on their four-game road trip tonight in Montreal. They opened the road swing with a 2-0 loss at Boston on Tuesday, ending a three-game winning streak. The Canadiens were shut out 4-0 by Pittsburgh on Tuesday, ending their six-game winning streak.

>>Blackhawks van Riemsdyk Out For A While

(Chicago, IL) -- Blackhawks rookie defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk's first season isn't going as planned. Van Riemsdyk will miss three-to-four month with a left patella fracture to his left leg. The injury occurred in Sunday's win against the Stars.

>>Rangers Sink Flyers

(New York, NY) -- Cam Talbot made 31 saves to guide the Rangers to a 2-0 win over the Flyers from Madison Square Garden. It's the first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. Kevin Klein and Rick Nash found the back of the net for New York, which snapped a three-game slide. Steve Mason allowed both goals on 34 shots for Philadelphia, which has lost three straight.

Vancouver Canucks 5, Edmonton Oilers 4 width=

Smith Back in Chicago

Smith's Present, Past meet

His present and past about to collide, Lovie Smith insisted he will simply be just another coach trying to win at Soldier Field.

That did not stop him from looking back on Wednesday.

Some reflection was inevitable with Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the Chicago Bears, his former team, this week.

He calls coaching in Chicago "a dream come true." He says he was "proud of everything we were able to do."

Only George Halas and Mike Ditka lasted longer in Chicago and produced more wins than Smith, who led the Bears to an 81-63 record from 2004 to 2012. His nine-year run included three playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl.

>>Surging Chiefs Face Reeling Raiders

(Oakland, CA) -- "Thursday Night Football" features the AFC West this week as the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs are coming off a 24-20 win over the Super Bowl champion Seahawks. KC has won five straight overall and seven of its last eight games. At 7-and-3, the Chiefs are tied with Denver for the division lead. Oakland remains the last winless team in the NFL this season at 0-and-10, but half of the Raiders' losses have been by a touchdown or less. Oakland has dropped 16 in-a-row dating back to last season. The Raiders' last win was November 17th last year at Houston. width=

NCAA Update

Creighton Clips #18 Oklahoma

(Omaha, NE) -- Creighton rallied from an 18-point deficit to upset 18th-ranked Oklahoma 65-63 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. Austin Chatman racked up 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Bluejays, who moved to 3-and-0 on the season. Toby Hegner and Isaiah Zierden added 11 points apiece in the victory. Buddy Hield netted 21 points and TaShawn Thomas tallied 14 for the Sooners, who fell to 1-and-1. Ryan Spangler donated 11 points and 11 boards in the setback.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Arizona Wildcats 71, UC Irvine Anteaters 54
#4 Wisconsin Badgers 84, Green Bay Phoenix 60
#11 Gonzaga Bulldogs 94, Saint Joseph's Hawks 42 (NIT Season Tip-Off) width=

Playoffs in NASCAR

NASCAR Playoffs a hit in first year

From the first lap at Chicagoland to the last lap at Homestead, the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship was filled with lots of drama and excitement, thanks to NASCAR's new playoff format.

NASCAR instituted a playoff format for its premier series in 2004, but prior to the start of this season, the sanctioning body made radical changes to its 10-race postseason by expanding the Chase field to 16 drivers/teams and adding a series of elimination rounds (Challenger, Contender, Eliminator and Championship). The Chase began on Sept. 14 at Chicagoland and concluded this past Sunday at Homestead.

Kevin Harvick, in his first season driving for Stewart-Haas Racing, claimed his first Sprint Cup championship. Harvick qualified for the Chase with two wins during the regular season (Phoenix in March and Darlington in April). In fact, he became the first repeat winner of the season.

All four title contenders ran among the top-10 during most of the race at Homestead, and at one point, the four were running among the top-five, but pit strategy late in the event would determine the outcome.

NASCAR also won big at Phoenix and Homestead. Both tracks were sold out and television ratings increased. Give credit to not only the tight battle for the championship but the post-race brawl between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski as well as their teams at Texas.
Gordon ended up missing the final four by only one point.

There were plenty of other dramatic moments involving Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, during the Chase. He was involved in a post-race altercation with Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Hamlin, and his antics on pit road there, intentionally hitting
Kenseth and Tony Stewart from behind, resulted in Keselowski being fined $50,000 and placed on probation for four races.

Even though the new Chase format created a lot more stress for drivers and teams than in years past, NASCAR has to be pleased with this format, as it increased the level of competition and generated more fan interest.

Under the old Chase format, Logano would have won the championship since he scored more points than any other title-eligible driver during the 10 races. He scored two wins (New Hampshire and Kansas) and seven top-10 finishes, but his 16th-place run at Homestead was
his worst during the playoffs. width=

City Owned Property Center of Debate

 width=A rundown piece of property in Clinton was the focal point of debate among the Clinton City Council Monday night.

The property at 310 North Madison Street was the center of a lenghty discussion Monday night and various Council members had several opinions on the future of the property. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters (right) indicates the property has been suggested a location for a new fire station however, the property has garnered some economic development interest, but to this point nothing has been determined.

[audio:111914madisontalk1.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor has a couple concerns regarding the use of the property. She says the city used TIF funds to purchase the property from a negligant owner, and is concerned if they sell it for city use, they would lose out on possible tax dollars a business or independent owner could provide. She also is concerned about funding to fix the property up for a suitable fire station.

[audio:111914madisontalk2.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner of Public Safety, Jerry Milton indicates he'd like to see the plans for a new fire house before any decision is made on the future of the property. He says funding can come from a number of sources, including grants.

[audio:111914madisontalk3.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Tom Edmunds says he understands both sides of the argument, however, he feels the property could be a multi-use facility. He notes the future fire station is not anything that will happen in the immediate future.

[audio:111914madisontalk4.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Nan Crang, who is also a realtor in Clinton, says she would like to see the property stay on the market for a potential buyer.

[audio:111914madisontalk5.mp3] [/audio]

The building is already not structurally sound and according to Tim Followell, City Administrator for the City, the design the fire department is proposing would significantly alter the property's current state.

[audio:111914madisontalk6.mp3] [/audio]

No decision was made on the future of the property, however, it will remain on the agenda at least until early December.

Cause of Electric Problems At Clinton Jr. High Determined

 width=Last Monday, and electric issue at Clinton Jr. High School canceled school across the district and Tuesday night it was revealed the likely cause of the outage.

According to Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes (right), a forensic electric engineer has determined one of two scenarios. Either a rodent managed it's way in to the Jr. High electric box and was able to chew down a wire causing the explosion, or some problems from the original construction of the box was faulty, and the electric company believes it is the second scenario.

[audio:111914jrhighelectric1.mp3] [/audio]

Now the insurance company is seeking the information of the electric company that constructed the site and Dr. Holmes indicates the faulty wire in question will be inspected. He notes it could be the original contractors responsibility to pay for the damages and repairs.

[audio:111914jrhighelectric2.mp3] [/audio]

That Sunday of the explosion, Dr. Holmes says it was a nasty explosion that took place. He explains there was a lot of smoke in their electric building that was cleared rather quickly. He says things were resolved quickly as electricity was completely shut down.

[audio:111914jrhighelectric3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes was pleased with the way everyone came together to get the situation resolved. He explains the school could have lost a great deal of food from the loss of power but thanks to Gordon Food Services, no food was lost during the outage.

[audio:111914jrhighelectric4.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says any type of settlement of payment could take some time. The wire that is in question will be heavily inspected and will likely be the centerpiece of evidence as things proceed forward, and Dr. Holmes did not rule out the idea of this going through the court system.

College Football Notes

 width=>>College Football Playoff Top-25 Poll

(Undated) -- Alabama is the new number-one team in the latest College Football Playoff Rankings. The Crimson Tide moves up four spots after defeating then-top-ranked Mississippi State 25-20 in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. The Bulldogs drop from first to fourth, while Oregon and Florida State remains second and third, respectively. Despite a victory, TCU falls out of the top four to fifth. Ohio State, Baylor, Ole Miss, UCLA and Georgia round out the top 10. Arizona State falls seven spots from sixth to 13th after losing to Oregon State. The semifinal matchups will be announced on Sunday, December 7th. The semifinals will be played on January 1st at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The National Championship Game will take place January 12th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

>>USC Reinstates Josh Shaw To Football Team

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Josh Shaw is back on the USC football team. The university has announced Shaw has been reinstated to the Trojans squad, nearly three months after he was suspended for fabricating a story about how he injured his ankles. Shaw initially said he leaped from a balcony to save his seven-year-old nephew from a swimming pool. It was later discovered Shaw had dropped from the balcony to try and escape police who were coming to check out a possible domestic dispute between Shaw and his girlfriend. It's unclear if Shaw will play in USC's annual rival game against UCLA this weekend.

 width=>>Michigan Dismisses Player Following Domestic Violence Arrest

(Ann Arbor, MI) -- Michigan defensive end Frank Clark is no longer a member of the football program following his arrest on domestic violence charges over the weekend. Head coach Brady Hoke dismissed Clark and suspended him for violation of team rules. MLive.com reports the senior defensive end punched his girlfriend in the face after an altercation at a hotel in Sandusky, Ohio. Clark leads the 5-and-5 Wolverines with 13-and-a-half tackles for loss. He has 42 tackles and four and-a-half sacks through 10 games. This is Clark's second arrest during his tenure at U-of-M.

Kentucky, Duke Come Out of Big Time Matchups in Indy

 width=>>Kentucky Rolls Kansas

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Number-one Kentucky is living up to the hype as it crushed number-five Kansas, 72-40, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as a part of the Champions Classic. The Wildcats' depth shined through as Dakari Johnson led them with 11 points and Andrew Harrison was the only other player in double figures with 10 points. No player took more than eight shots as Kentucky improved to 3-and-0. The Jayhawks shot slightly under 20-percent from the field and were held to 12 points in the second half. Wayne Selden Junior had a team-high nine points. Kansas fell to 1-and-1.

 width=>>Duke Drops Michigan State

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Quinn Cook led a balanced attack with 19 points and six assists as third-ranked Duke dropped 19th-ranked Michigan State 81-71 as part of the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. Jahlil Okafor added 17 points for the Blue Devils, who have opened the year with three straight wins. Tyus Jones also had 17 points in the victory. Branden Dawson had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans, who dropped to 1-and-1. Travis Trice collected 15 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the loss.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#8 Virginia Cavaliers 75, South Carolina State Bulldogs 55 (Legends Classic)
#11 Wichita State Shockers 71, Memphis Tigers 56 (at Sioux Falls, SD)
#16 VCU Rams 87, Toledo Rockets 78 (Legends Classic
#17 San Diego State Aztecs 53, Utah Utes 49 (Maui Invitational)
#20 Ohio State Buckeyes 74, Marquette Golden Eagles 63
#21 Nebraska Cornhuskers 82, Central Arkansas Bears 56

NBA Notes

 width=>>Bucks Hold Off Knicks

(Milwaukee, WI) -- The Bucks outscored the Knicks by 17 in the second quarter and held off a second half rally to pull out a 117-113 victory at the Bradley Center. All five Milwaukee starters were in double figures, but they were paced by Ersan Ilyasova's 20 points off the bench. Zaza Pachulia and Brandon Knight each chipped in 14 as the Bucks got above .500 at 6-and-5. New York trailed by as many as 26, but wasn't able to complete the comeback. Carmelo Anthony dropped in 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Iman Shumpert put up 21 points, eight boards, eight helpers and three steals in his return after missing one game with a hip injury. The Knicks are 3-and-9.

Los Angeles Lakers 114, Atlanta Hawks 109
Utah Jazz 98, Oklahoma City Thunder 81
New Orleans Pelicans 106, Sacramento Kings 100

>>Bryant Passes 32,000 Point Mark

(Atlanta, GA) -- Lakers guard Kobe Bryant added another mark on his resume in Tuesday's win over the Hawks. Bryant became the fourth player in NBA history to score 32,000 points in their career, joining Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The 36-year-old is leading the league in scoring at 27.3 points per game. He finished his teams' 114-109 win with 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Bryant trails Jordan by 291 points for third place on the all-time scoring list.

NFL Notes

 width=>>Bears, Mariani Agree To Two-Year Deal

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears agreed to a two-year deal with return man Marc Mariani on Tuesday. Mariani averaged 24.8 yards on 92 kickoff returns for Tennessee in 2010 and 2011. In a corresponding roster move, the Bears waived safety Ahmad Dixon.

>>Panthers Release WR Avant

(Charlotte, NC) -- The Carolina Panthers are moving on without wide receiver Jason Avant [[ ah-VONT ]]. He has been waived after just 11 games with the team. Avant signed a one-year deal with Carolina after he was released by Philadelphia in March following an eight-year stint with the Eagles. He had 21 catches for 201 yards and one touchdown this season with the Panthers. Avant's release comes after criticizing the team's conservative play-calling down the stretch of Sunday's loss to Atlanta. Carolina also placed right tackle Nate Chandler on injured reserve with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. The Panthers filled the roster spots by activating running back Mike Tolbert off injured reserve/designated to return and promoting wide receiver De'Andre Presley from the practice squad.

>>Steelers Release LeGarrette Blount

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- LeGarrette Blount is looking for work just hours after he reportedly walked off the field before the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers' "Monday Night Football" victory. The team has released Blount despite signing him to a two-year deal worth nearly four-million-dollars in the offseason. He had no carries in the game and only played a few snaps in Pittsburgh's 27-24 win over the Tennessee Titans. If another team claims him off waivers, it will cost them just over 317-thousand-dollars. The fifth-year back has rushed 65 times for 266 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games this season.

>>Browns Waive RB Tate

(Berea, OH) -- The Cleveland Browns are parting ways with running back Ben Tate. The Browns have waived the free-agent signee just eight games into his tenure with the team. Tate signed with Cleveland in March after three seasons with the Houston Texans. He started six games and rushed for just 333 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 3.1 yards per carry. Tate missed two games after a knee injury in the season opener against Pittsburgh.

Bruins Blank Blues; Blackhawks Make Roster Moves

 width=>>Bruins Blank Blues

(Boston, MA) -- Tuukka Rask stopped all 33 shots he faced as the Bruins blanked the Blues 2-0 in Boston. The shutout is Rask's first of the season and 24th of his career. Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug had the goals for Boston, which has won its last two games. Brian Elliott made only 15 saves for the Blues, who had their winning streak stopped at three.

New York Islanders 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 2
Detroit Red Wings 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Buffalo Sabres 4, San Jose Sharks 1
Nashville Predators 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Montreal Canadiens 0
Winnipeg Jets 3, New Jersey Devils 1
Carolina Hurricanes 6, Dallas Stars 4
Calgary Flames 4, Anaheim Ducks 3 (SO)
Washington Capitals 2, Arizona Coyotes 1 (OT)
Los Angeles Kings 5, Florida Panthers 2

 width=>>Blackhawks Recall Defender

The Blackhawks have recalled defenseman Adam Clendening and forward Joakim Nordstrom from Rockford.

The Blackhawks also returned defenseman Stephen Johns to their American Hockey League affiliate one day after he was promoted from the minor league team.

The 22-year-old Nordstrom played in Sunday's 6-2 victory over Dallas in his first NHL game of the season. He then was reassigned to Rockford on Monday.

Clendening was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2011 draft. He could make his NHL debut on the Blackhawks' upcoming six-game road trip.

Clendening, 22, had a goal and three assists in 16 games with Rockford this season.

Chicago announced the moves on Tuesday.

Sox Agree To Deal With Aging Veteran Pitcher; Cubs Meet With Lester

 width=>>Sox Agree To Deal With Aging Veteran Pitcher

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $15 million, three-year contract with left-handed reliever Zach Duke, boosting their bullpen.

The 31-year-old Duke is owed $4.5 million next season, $5 million in 2016 and $5.5 in 2017. The deal was announced Tuesday.

Duke flourished in his lone season with Milwaukee, going 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA in a career-high 74 appearances. He joins a bullpen that ranked 28th in the majors with a 4.38 ERA.

Duke is 55-77 with a 4.46 ERA over 10 seasons with Pittsburgh (2005-10), Arizona (2011), Washington (2012-13), Cincinnati (2013) and the Brewers (2014). He is 8-2 with a 3.28 ERA in 120 relief appearances.

He was Pittsburgh's opening day starter in 2007 and 2010 and made the NL All-Star team in 2009.

 width=>>Report: Cubs Meet With Lester

(Chicago, IL) -- The "Chicago Tribune" reports Cubs officials met with free-agent pitcher Jon Lester on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Lester was 16-and-11 with a 2.46 ERA with the A's and Red Sox last season.

>>Jon Lester To Meet With Braves

(Atlanta, GA) -- The Atlanta Braves continue to stoke the hot stove this offseason. ESPN reports the team has scheduled a meeting with top free-agent left-handed pitcher Jon Lester this week. Atlanta traded away right fielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden on Monday to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for starting pitcher Shelby Miller and a minor league pitching prospect. The Braves also dealt away starting second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Chicago Cubs. Lester is 116-and-67 with a 3.58 ERA in his nine-year career, most of which was with the Boston Red Sox. He finished the season with the Oakland A's after being dealt from Boston at the non-waiver trade deadline.

>>A's Agree To Three-Year Deal With Butler

(Oakland, CA) -- The Oakland Athletics have agreed to a deal with free-agent Billy Butler. The three-year contract is worth 30-million dollars and is pending a physical. The 28-year-old Butler hit .271 with nine homers and 66 RBI while with the American League champion Kansas City Royals this past season. Butler also batted .262 with eight RBI in 13 playoff games.

Lady Maroons Win Game 2 of Turkey Tussle

 width=The Clinton Lady Maroons used a strong third quarter effort to finish off PORTA, 51-37, in their second game of the Clinton Holiday Turkey Tussle.

A 16-4 run in the third propelled the Lady Maroons to a 41-24 lead heading to the fourth and the Lady Maroons would hold off PORTA late.

Jessica Scott led the way with 26 points. Peyton Bieber was the only other player to finish in double-figures for Clinton, she finished with 15.

The Lady Maroons also shot 17 of 30 at the free throw line for the night.

The Lady Maroons improve to 2-0 on the season and in the opening tournament of the season.

Clinton will play Friday at 7:15 pm against Olympia at Clinton High School.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-19

November 18, 2014

Jail Population: 48
Summons Served: 4
Warrant Arrests: 0

Michael Perkins, 45, was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Perkins was issued Citations for Improper Lane Usage and Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Perkins posted the necessary bond and was released.




DeWitt County Board Posts Agenda For Lame Duck Session For Thursday

 width=Thursday night's DeWitt County Board will be the last meeting for nearly half of the current County Board, and the meeting's agenda is loaded.

After proposing a budget with a deficit thanks to a void in revenue from the Clinton Landfill, the Board will consider reducing the County levy from $1.5-million to $1.1-million.

The retirement fund for County employees, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, or IMRF, will be voted on to be reduced from $1.11-million to $900-thousand.

Another agenda item is proposing to eliminate the liability insurance tort. It would be eliminated from $500-thousand.

After a failed attempt last year, the County Board will once again attempt to eliminate the position of Assistant State's Attorney Lars Dunn. In addition, the State's Attorney's budget could be reduced by $58-thousand.

Finally, a proposal will be voted on to eliminate several federally recognized holiday's. The proposed holiday schedule for 2015 leaves out Columbus Day, Martin Luther King Day, Spring Day (Good Friday), and Veterans Day.

Thursday's night's meeting is set for 7 pm at the DeWitt County Courthouse.

Local Active Duty Service Member Returns Home

 width=Elementary students lined up outside Douglass Elementary School shortly after lunch Wednesday afternoon to welcome home a local hero.

Picture Right: SPC Tyler Tippet returns home to family and friends waiting at his home

Specialist E-4 in the US Army Tyler Tippet returned home from a year long deployment to friends and family and a crowd of school children lining the streets outside Douglas School on Washington Street. SPC Tippet says getting a police escort to his home was "the greatest feeling in the world".

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As Tippet returned escorted by all the emergency services of the County, SPC Tippet says it made him realize everything he was fighting for and called everything he had gone through in the last year worth it.

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SPC Tippet was stationed at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for nine months. He called his assignment "was difficult" and "it was a very long nine months".

He says it is really good to know the community is looking out for the veterans and active service men and women of the community.







Governor Elect Creates Ideas Website

Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner is launching a website that will allow individuals to apply for jobs in his administration.

The website is www.MakeIllinoisGreat.com. Visitors also can submit ideas to improve the state.

Rauner will be sworn into office in January. The Winnetka Republican ousted Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the Nov. 4 election.

Rauner says making Illinois "the most compassionate and competitive" state in America is a challenge. He's named a transition team of advisers that includes former White House chief of staff Bill Daley.

Lt. Governor-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti is chairwoman of Rauner's transition committee. She says whether Democrat, Republican or independent, the incoming administration wants to hear from the public.

The website unveiled Tuesday also solicits donations.

Illinois Man Gets 12 Years for Exploiting Minors

A former central Illinois school bus driver has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting minors.

Reports indicate 44-year-old James Owens of Owaneco was ordered Monday to remain on supervised release for 20 years after his imprisonment.

The former Taylorville school bus driver pleaded guilty in federal court in February to enticing individuals under the age in 18 to engage in sexual activity between 2012 and 2013. He has been in custody since his arrest in May 2013.

The case was investigated by the FBI, Illinois State Police and Christian County authorities as part of a nationwide initiative to limit child sexual exploitation.

Illinois Man Accused of Killing Wife Skips Trial

A man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife has opted not to participate in his trial.

According to reports, the decision Monday means no one will be sitting at the defense table for 47-year-old Clarence Thomas, who is acting as his own attorney. The jury has only heard the state's version of the case alleging he stabbed Martha Thomas 38 times in January 2010 while a 5-year-old girl and the couple's 1-year-old son were present.

Thomas told the judge Monday he wasn't ready to go to trial, but prosecutors and the judge said he should have been preparing for the case in jail.

Prosecutors went through opening statements and six witnesses without Thomas present. They included a friend of Martha Thomas and the girl, who is now 10 years old.

Illinois Man Gets 60 Years in Child Sex Case

A previously convicted sexual predator has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for attempting to sexually assault a 5-year old boy in central Illinois.

Reports indicate 39-year-old John Miller of Magnolia was sentenced in Marshall County court after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. He was initially charged with assaulting the boy, but that charge was dismissed in the plea deal.

Miller could have faced life in prison if convicted of the heavier charge in a bench trial that was scheduled for Monday afternoon. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for assaulting a 4-year-old in Livingston County in 2002.

He will have to serve at least 51 years in prison under the agreement.

Quinn Will Use Private Funds For Official Portrait

Outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll rely on private funds to pay for his official portrait that'll hang at the state Capitol in Springfield.

Commissioning a portrait is among a governor's final acts. Some have used state funds.

Quinn spokesman Dave Blanchette said Tuesday that Quinn won't tap taxpayers.

David Bourland is the Executive Mansion's curator and has helped governors with portraits. According to reports, he says it can cost up to $25,000.

Once it's finished, Quinn's picture will hang on the walls of the Capitol's second floor alongside portraits of his predecessors.

However, it can take some time. Former Gov. George Ryan's portrait took nearly a year to complete after he left office.

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner replaces Quinn in January.

Peoria Man Found Guilty of Fatally Stabbing Wife

A Peoria County jury has found a man guilty of fatally stabbing his estranged wife after he opted not to participate in his trial.

According to reports, 47-year-old Clarence Thomas of Peoria was convicted Tuesday of stabbing Martha Thomas 38 times in January 2010.

Thomas had chosen to act as his own attorney but refused to participate in the first day of the trial Monday. He told the judge he wasn't ready for trial and that he thought his rights had been violated.

He faces decades behind bars when he is sentenced in December. The judge initially wanted to set sentencing in January but Tomas requested an earlier date so he could file his appeal faster.

Appellate judges had nullified a previous conviction in the case in 2013.

New University of Illinois President To Be Introduced

The University of Illinois next president will be introduced at a morning ceremony in Chicago.

In a statement, the university announced Tuesday it plans to name the new president Wednesday at its Chicago campus. Stops are planned later in the day at campuses in Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.

The university's 20th president will take over for current president Robert Easter in June. The 67-year-old Easter plans to retire. He has been in office since 2012.

The new president will oversee the university's three campuses, 78,000 students and about 23,500 employees.

The president will take over as the university wrestles with concerns about rising tuition and the threat of possible cuts in state support, among other issues.

ISU Solar Car Team Recovering After Loss Before Big Race

The Illinois State University solar car team has recovered after losing its vehicle in a July fire and having to withdraw from a competition.

The team's revived solar car, the Mercury VI, was unveiled Sunday. The 550-pound vehicle will be shipped Thursday to the United Arab Emirates, where half of the 20-member team will compete in the 1,200-meter Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge. Solar car teams from around the world, including three others from the U.S., will also participate in the competition.

The vice president of the ISU team says the strongest teams are able to fix inevitable problems as they develop.

Reports indicate transportation from Illinois to Abu Dhabi is being subsidized by the event organizers. The administration and sponsors are helping to pay for additional costs.

Syngenta Faces Dozens of Lawsuits Over GMO Seed

More farmers are filing lawsuits against agrochemicals giant Syngenta in a legal battle tied to the sale of a genetically modified corn seed.

Agrisure Viptera is genetically altered to kill corn-eating bugs and is approved by the United States. It was marketed to farmers in 2011.

But China, a major corn market that refuses to buy genetically modified crops it hasn't tested, had not agreed to import it. It began rejecting U.S. corn last year when Viptera was detected.

More than 50 lawsuits have been filed and hundreds more are being prepared. The lawsuits say losing China as a buyer has cost corn farmers more than $1 billion.

Syngenta says the lawsuits are without merit and upholds the right of farmers to use approved new technologies.

Weather Will Halt City Streets Department's Retun To Leaf Pick Up Tuesday

The leaf clean up season is in full swing, yet the city of Clinton's Street Department will not be picking up today.

Crews completed Zones 1, 2, 3, and part of Zone 4 yesterday. There will be no pickup today due to weather conditions. Pickup should resume tomorrow in Zone 4.  

 Please note November 26 will be the last day that crews will cycle the town. After that pickup will be done as needed and scheduling allows so if possible please have the leaves street side as soon as possible before that date.

Refer to the map below as well as the information provided from the Street Department below for how the zone's are broken up.


The Street's Department has agreed to provide Regional Radio News with their plans for each day as they go through the leaf clean up season.

Drivers Should Prepare For Slick Roads

Snow is starting to fall, temperatures are starting to drop and that could be a bad combination when it comes to driving. State Police Captain Scott Compton says drivers often make a few mistakes when the weather starts to change.

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Road crews will be out spreading salt when the conditions get really bad. IDOT's John Negangard says drivers should give them plenty of room to work.

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IDOT has already started pre-treating bridges and has access to more than one-million-tons of salt to help keep roads safe. But, they say drivers need to do their part in doing the same. They're urging drivers to be extremely cautious when the roads start to get slick. Drivers should slow down, leave early so they can get to their destination on time, and keep their gas tanks at least two-thirds full.

Warming Centers Opening



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State Treasurer Race

The race for Illinois treasurer could be decided by fewer than 400 votes and lead to the first recount request in three decades. The contest between Republican Tom Cross and Democrat Mike Frerichs has tightened as officials count mail-in and provisional ballots. An Associated Press analysis of election results since 1900 found no other race that close.

Weekly Crop Report



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Authorities Advise Caution As Winter Travel Season picks Up

Parts of central Illinois have already seen significant amounts of snow this November, and whether you've had to drive through it or not to this point, local authorities hope motorists will be cautious this winter.

Authorities say it seems it takes a few snow showers to get people back in to the mindset of driving through wintery weather. According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, the first snow of the year can sometimes be the worst, especially if it is just small increments of accumulation.

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As the travel for the holidays near, Chief Lowers has several tips for travelers in the weeks ahead. He says being patient and staying alert of the utmost importance. He also recommends giving yourself extra time as you travel during winter weather.

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Many families will be traveling long distances next week for Thanksgiving, and in anticipation of that travel, Chief Lowers recommends doing a quick service update on your vehicle. He says make sure all the fluids and service upkeep is up to date.

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The Chief also recommends telling close friends where you are going to keep an eye on your home. He says it is just like when going on vacation, leaving a vacant house can sometimes open yourself up to criminal activity. He recommends having someone check in on the home every so often.

During the winter season, Chief Lowers stresses carrying a charged cell phone while driving, however, he emphasizes it should only be used in the event of an emergency.

City Council To Move Forward With Increasing Tree Commission Funds

Two weeks, the Clinton City Council postponed a decision to increase the funding of a group dedicated to vegetation of the community.

The Clinton Tree Commission's budget has remained stagnant at $4-thousand for better than a decade, and discussion surrounding the commission recently has focused on changing that. Last week concerns were raised about not only how much to increase the budget, but for what purpose the funds would get used. Tree Commission Chair John Baker says if a $10-thousand budget is approved, it is highly unlikely the commission would spend it all in one year.

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Commissioner John Wise was the one to voice a majority of the concerns about the expansion of the budget at the most recent meeting despite being an advocate for an expanded budget for the Tree Commission. Monday night he says is on board with the budget increase if the Commission is clear all the money cannot purchase trees exclusively.

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The motion passed unanimously and now the Tree Commission will operate under a budget of $10-thousand through funds from the video gaming revenues.

Other business from the Monday meeting:

>>The City approved a redevelopment agreement with Steve Wilson of Wilson Chrysler Jeep for $25,700.

>>The Council discussed the future of property at 310 North Madison Street. We'll have more on this discussion in the coming days on Regional Radio News.

ISU Stays Steady In Top 10 of FCS Polls

The Illinois State football team picked up its ninth win of the season in impressive fashion with a 45-26 victory at South Dakota. With the win, the Redbirds (9-1, 6-1 MVFC) solidified their spot in the Top 10 of both national Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) polls announced Monday.

ISU remained at No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll and kept its No. 8 ranking in The Sports Network FCS Top 25.

A total of six Missouri Valley Football teams are ranked in the Top 25 this week, as the league heads into its final week of the regular season. North Dakota State (10-1, 6-1 MVFC) moved up to No. 3 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 and were ranked No. 4 in the FCS Coaches Poll this week, following their 45-10 road victory at Missouri State on Saturday. The Redbirds follow at No. 7/8 respectively, as the only other league team in the Top 10.

>>ISU Lineman Named Offensive Lineman of the Week

After helping Illinois State rush for nearly 300 yards on the ground and improve to 9-1 on the season in a win at South Dakota, senior offensive lineman Mike Liedtke was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week, Monday, by the league office.

The honor is the first of the season for Liedtke and the second for a Redbird offensive lineman this season, with right guard Rocco Ammons previously taking home the honor on Sept. 29.

Liedtke graded out at 96 percent and helped the Redbirds rush for 293 yards and a season-best four touchdowns on the ground in a 45-26 win over the Coyotes. He was credited with five knock downs in the contest and led the way for running back Marshaun Coprich, who extended his school-record streak of 100-plus yard rushing performances to 10 in a row with a career-best 221 yards and two scores against South Dakota. width=

Illinois Football Coach Says Bowl Game Still Goal

Illinois football coach Tim Beckman still believes his team can win the two games it needs to get to a bowl game.

But on Monday Beckman also acknowledged the pressure building on him and his staff after Saturday's loss to Iowa.

If the Illini (4-6, 1-5 Big Ten) lose Saturday to Penn State, they will be assured of their third straight losing season under Beckman.

Athletic director Mike Thomas says Beckman's teams need to show steady improvement - though he hasn't specified exactly how that is measured.

Beckman says he believes his teams have shown improvement on and off the field. He notes the four wins so far are one more than at this point last season. And he says his teams have improved academically and had few off-field problems. width=

Bulls Use Huge Third Quarter To Rout Clippers

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and Taj Gibson had 20 as the shorthanded Bulls crushed the Clippers 105-89 at STAPLES Center. Chicago outscored LA 31-14 in the third quarter. Mike Dunleavy added 19 points and Joakim Noah had 11 with 16 rebounds and six assists for the 8-and-3 Bulls, who were without starters Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol. Jamal Crawford dropped in a game-high 24 points off the bench for the Clippers, who fell to 5-and-4. Blake Griffin donated 19 points and 10 boards and DeAndre Jordan recorded 10 and 17 in defeat.

Dallas Mavericks 107, Charlotte Hornets 80
Denver Nuggets 106, Cleveland Cavaliers 97
Phoenix Suns 118, Boston Celtics 114
Miami Heat 95, Brooklyn Nets 83
Orlando Magic 107, Detroit Pistons 93
Memphis Grizzlies 119, Houston Rockets 93
San Antonio Spurs 100, Philadelphia 76ers 75
Portland Trail Blazers 102, New Orleans Pelicans 93 width=

Cardinals Acquire Jason Heyward For Shelby Miller

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves are making the first big deal of the Hot Stove season.  The Cardinals have acquired outfielder Jason Heyward and right-handed reliever Jordan Walden from the Braves in exchange for starting pitcher Shelby Miller and minor-league pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins.  Heyward hit .271 with 11 homers and 58 RBI last season for Atlanta.  Walden went 0-and-2 with a 2.88 ERA and had three saves in 58 games out of the Braves' bullpen last season.  The 23-year-old Miller is 26-and-18 with a 3.33 ERA in 69 career games, 63 of which were starts for the Cardinals. width=

Lehtera, Price, Forsberg Named NHL's Three Stars

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves are making the first big deal of the Hot Stove season. The Cardinals have acquired outfielder Jason Heyward and right-handed reliever Jordan Walden from the Braves in exchange for starting pitcher Shelby Miller and minor-league pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins. Heyward hit .271 with 11 homers and 58 RBI last season for Atlanta. Walden went 0-and-2 with a 2.88 ERA and had three saves in 58 games out of the Braves' bullpen last season. The 23-year-old Miller is 26-and-18 with a 3.33 ERA in 69 career games, 63 of which were starts for the Cardinals.

>>Lehtera, Price, Forsberg Named NHL's Three Stars

(New York, NY) -- St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg are the NHL's top players for last week. Lehtera earned the First Star after tying for the NHL lead with four goals and six points. Price was named Second Star after going 3-0-and-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and one shutout. Forsberg took Third Star honors with two goals and three assists over a three-game span.

>>Blues At Bruins Tonight

(Boston, MA) -- The Blues begin a four-game road trip tonight against the Bruins in Boston. St. Louis has won three straight and 10 of its last 11 games. Boston has won six of its last eight games. After tonight's game, the Blues will skate in Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg before returning home.

>>Blues' Lehtera NHL's First Star

(New York, NY) -- Blues center Jori Lehtera is the NHL's First Star for last week. He earned the nod after tying for the league lead in goals with four and points with six. Lehtera also had a plus-five rating in three games. Montreal goalie Carey Price and Nashville forward Filip Forsberg got the other stars.

>>Lightning Blast Rangers At MSG

(New York, NY) -- Ryan Callahan scored twice to lead the Lightning to a 5-1 rout of the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Steven Stamkos tallied his 12th goal of the year and also had two assists in Tampa's second straight win. Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn lit the lamp and Ben Bishop made 15 saves in the victory. Martin St. Louis [[ loo-EE ]] scored the lone goal for the Blueshirts, who have dropped three in-a-row and seven of their last nine overall. Henrik Lundqvist allowed all five goals on 30 shots in defeat. width=

NFL Update

(Nashville, TN) -- The Steelers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to rally for a 27-24 win over the Titans at LP Field. Le'Veon Bell rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown to help the Steelers improve to 7-and-4. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 207 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while Antonio Brown had nine grabs for 91 yards and a score in the victory. Zach Mettenberger was 15-of-24 for 263 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Titans, who fell to 2-and-8 with their fourth straight loss. Nate Washington had an 80-yard touchdown grab in defeat.

>>Caldwell: No Information About Nature Of DEA Investigation

(Allen Park, MI) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration inspections of several NFL teams included the Detroit Lions. Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell says he is aware that the matter is serious.

The "Washington Post" reports the agency is investigating claims in a class action lawsuit filed by former players alleging team medical staffs violated laws in dispensing medications. A DEA spokesman told the "Post" that questioning concerned federal regulations for storing, transporting, labeling, and dispensing of controlled substances. No one with the Lions was detained as part of the inquiry, which happened as the team prepared to leave Phoenix Sunday.

>>Decision On Vikings' Peterson Could Come Tuesday

(Undated) -- A decision on the appeal by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson could come as early as Tuesday. ESPN reports Peterson's appeals hearing via conference call lasted around 30 minutes on Monday and a decision on the matter may come Tuesday. Peterson is hoping to be reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list. He has been on the list and has not played since Week One of the season while the legal process played out in his child-abuse case.

The former NFL MVP pleaded no contest in his case and was given two years' probation, a four-thousand fine and 80 hours of community service after disciplining his four-year-old son with a tree branch earlier this year. The Players' Association filed an expedited, non-injury grievance last Monday to get Peterson put back on the Vikings' roster immediately. The 29-year-old could still face discipline from the league under the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.

>>Browns' Gordon Reinstated After Drug Suspension

(Berea, OH) -- Josh Gordon is back with the Cleveland Browns. The wide receiver has been reinstated from his 10-game drug suspension. NFL Media reports Gordon was on hand at the team facility Monday and has been cleared for normal activities without restriction. Last season's leading NFL pass catcher is expected to play this Sunday when the 6-and-4 Browns travel to Atlanta to face the 4-and-6 Falcons.

>>Cardinals' Fitzgerald Has MCL Sprain

(Tempe, AZ) -- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is dealing with a grade two MCL sprain. AZ Central Sports reports Fitzgerald expects to play in the Cardinals' upcoming NFC West showdown with the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. He suffered the sprain in the second quarter of Arizona's 14-6 win over the Detroit Lions. "Fitz" leads the Cardinals with 46 receptions for 658 yards this season. Arizona is an NFL-best 9-and-1, and holds a three-game division lead over Seattle.

>>Colts' Bradshaw May Have Broken Ankle

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The Indianapolis Colts fear running back Ahmad Bradshaw has a broken ankle. ESPN reports Bradshaw will undergo further tests to determine the severity of the break, and whether surgery is needed. He was hurt in the second half of the Colts' 42-20 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday night. Bradshaw has 425 rushing yards, along with 300 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns this season. width=

NCAA Update

(Gainesville, FL) -- Angel Rodriguez scored Miami's final 11 points in a 69-67 upset win over seventh-ranked Florida in Gainesville. Rodriguez ended with a game-high 24 points for Miami, which improved to 2-and-0. Eli Carter netted 21 points to pace the Gators, who had their 33-game home winning streak snapped. Michael Frazier the Second had 13 points but missed a jumper at the buzzer. The Gators are 1-and-1.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#8 Louisville Cardinals 88, Jacksonville State Gamecocks 39
#12 Villanova Wildcats 81, Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks 44
#13 Gonzaga Bulldogs 72, #22 Southern Methodist Mustangs 56
#14 Iowa State Cyclones 81, Georgia State Panthers 58
#22 Michigan Wolverines 77, Bucknell Bison 53
#25 Iowa Hawkeyes 87, North Dakota State Bison 56 width=

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-18

November 17, 2014

Jail Population: 52
Summons Served: 3
Warrant Arrests: 1

Investigation into an accident which occurred at 0846, on November 17, 2014, revealed that Jonathan Taylor, 41, Kenney was traveling west on Bungtown Road, east of Meridian Road when his passenger side tires crossed over into the north ditch. Taylor was pulled further into the north ditch while he continued to travel westbound. Taylor hit a concrete culvert which caused the truck to roll over once and land back on its tires. Taylor’s vehicle was towed from the scene due to extensive damage. No injuries were reported and no citations were issued.

Miguel Guerrero, 32, Cicero was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Delivery of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine). Guerrero posted the necessary bond and was released.




WHOW, State Bank of Lincoln Co-Sponsor Fall Commodity Outlook Meeting

WHOW THE BIG 1520 AM and 92-point-3 FM, along with the State Bank of Lincoln, sponsored a Commodity Outlook Meeting Tuesday night at the Richland Community College Clinton Education Center. Several experts reviewed the current status of commodity markets and where pricing was going over the next several months.


WHOW local farm broadcaster Jared White introduced Todd Gleason of WILL-AM 580 in Urbana, whose program "The Closing Market Report" is heard weekday afternoons at 2:06 on WHOW, and whose program called "Commodity Week" is heard Saturday mornings at 8:30.


Gleason was moderator of a panel that included Matt Bennett of Channel Seeds from Windsor; Pete Manhart, owner of Bates Commodities in Normal; and Jacquie Voeks of Stewart Peterson in Champaign. The 4 discussed both corn and soybean markets at length, and emphasized the importance of not making selling decisions on emotion.


Portions of Tuesday night's Commodity Outlook Meeting, will be heard in upcoming Morning and Noon Farm Shows on WHOW.


DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-14

November 13, 2014

Jail Population: 56
Summons Served: 8
Warrant Arrests: 0

Betsy Tinervin, 31, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Tinervin posted her IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.






Parts of Illinois To See Temps Drop

Weather officials say it's time to bundle up and take it slow on the roads.

Winter weather advisories are in effect through early Monday morning for parts of Illinois, including storm warnings in the far southern regions of the state. The National Weather Service says areas along the Ohio River in southern Illinois should be prepared for sleet and snow.

In other parts of Illinois, temperatures are expected to dip into the teens into Monday evening. That includes Chicago, Belleville and Springfield.

Commuter agencies and some cities they're gearing up for the cold.

The Chicago area's Metra commuter rail agency unveiled new snow-fighting equipment and communications strategies to deal with the weather. Chicago officials say the city has a bigger stockpile of salt and more snow plows than last year.

Lawmakers Refocus On State School Funding Formula

Illinois lawmakers are preparing to once again consider a proposed overhaul of a school funding formula that would direct more state money to poorer rural districts at the expense of wealthier suburban ones.

A Tuesday hearing will be the first time the issue is addressed since November's election. Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has said he opposes current legislation being considered by House Democrats after it was approved by the Senate last spring.

The legislation would overhaul Illinois' dated school funding formula. There's wide agreement the formula should be altered, but disagreement about how.

Central to the legislation's fate are two highly-charged issues: educational equity and the efficient use of tax dollars.

Opponents say the plan unfairly penalizes districts able to spend more money on students because of rich property tax bases.

Eureka Woman Convicted Of Looting After Tornado

A central Illinois woman has been convicted of felony looting after she collected items from the yard of a retired couple whose Washington home was destroyed by a tornado.

Ayron Casey of Eureka is facing up to three years in prison for looting after a tornado last November. Two retail theft convictions from the past decade will also be considered during her Jan. 8 sentencing date. Two other people have also been charged with looting after the tornado.

Casey said she wanted the homeowners to know she's sorry and believed the items she took were being thrown out.

According to reports, the Nov. 17 tornado destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes.

Rebuilding After Illinois Tornado Moving Quickly

Officials say most of the buildings that were damaged or destroyed one year ago when a deadly tornado tore through the central Illinois community of Washington will be rebuilt by the end of 2014.

Reports indicate not only do officials estimate that 75 percent of the 1,108 buildings will be rebuilt by the end of the year but that the number might climb as high as 90 percent by the end of 2015.

City Administrator Tim Gleason says the numbers are "amazing" because officials expected only about half the buildings would be rebuilt by the end of this year.

More than a half dozen people died as a result of the tornadoes that stuck Washington and other area communities in November 2013.

Autopsy Set For ISU Student Found in Dorm Room

An autopsy is scheduled later this morning for an Illinois State University student found dead in his dorm room.

In a news release, McLean County Chief Deputy Coroner Seth Reynolds says the male student from Bartonville was found unresponsive by campus police late Saturday afternoon. Family members had requested a check on his well-being.

The student was later pronounced dead. Authorities say there was no sign of foul play. The autopsy is set for Monday morning.

The student's identity has not yet been released.

ISU Student Found Dead In Dorm Room

Authorities say an Illinois State University student has been found dead in his dorm room.

In a news release, McLean County Chief Deputy Coroner Seth Reynolds says the male student from Bartonville was found unresponsive by campus police late Saturday afternoon. Family members had requested a check on his well-being.

The student was later pronounced dead. Authorities say there is no sign of foul play.

The student's identity has not yet been released.

NYU Dietician Says Proteins and Some Fats Are Important To Your Health

 width=Everyone knows proteins are essential to good health, but would you believe certain types of fats are as well?

According to NYU Dietician Christopher Speed, it is important to eat everything in moderation though some fats can be good for your health. The key to a healthy diet and long life is balancing out the plant based-diets with meat and dairy products.

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Protein can help to maintain weight as well as stop hunger pain during the morning hours. Speed stresses it is important to keep certain fats in your diet. Fats such as Omega 3, can be found in seafood and can be especially good for you.

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Speed mentions many important nutrients have been ignored in meat and dairy products due to inaccurate information presented in recent years.

Variance And Special Use Request Shot Down By County Board

A request for a special use permit from WC Media failed to gain support from the DeWitt Count Board Thursday night.

County Zoning Administrator Mike Bradford brought the request for variance and special use of signs and billboards in DeWitt County, however, the Board has the final say on approval of special use permits, and denied the request. Bradford explains the variances have already been considered by the Regional Planning Commission and rejected by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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There would be 220 feet from the particular residence which will be next to the billboard and it would be facing toward Route 51 instead of the residence. According to Bradford though, the variance was asked for due to the placement of power lines.

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Board Chair Sherrie Brown felt there were too many concerns to vote in favor of the variance and special use request. The requests failed due to lack of motion from any Board Member.

To hear the entire discussion, listen below:

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Clinton High School Co-Hosting Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament

 width=This week kicks off a nearly week stretch of girls basketball games at Clinton High School.

CHS used to play host to a very successful girls basketball tournament and according to Principal Jerry Wayne, many years ago, the tournament ceased because of a number of factors. But thanks to the efforts of Athletic Director Barry Gurvey, the tournament will now be co-hosted with Riverton.

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Games to be played in Clinton will share two sites. According to Wayne, Gurvey has arranged for games to be played at both Clinton High School and Clinton Jr. High School.

[audio:111714gbbtourney2.mp3] [/audio]

The tournament kicks off tonight and run through Saturday. The tournament is divided up into two pools of play and Wayne says the placement games will be determined from there.

Clinton will play Monday at approximately 7:15 at Clinton High School versus Maroa-Forsyth. Then Tuesday at 7:15 against PORTA and then finish off pool play Friday at 7:15 playing Olympia.

For a full list of games in the Turkey Tussle, click here.

Knicks End Struggles

 width=The Knicks put an end to their seven-game losing streak with a 109-93 win over the Nuggets at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith had 28 points apiece for the Knicks, who outscored Denver 31-8 in the second quarter. Anthony also grabbed nine rebounds in the win. Arron Afflalo had 18 points to pace the Nuggets, who have dropped seven-of-eight. Ty Lawson finished with 17 points and nine assists in the loss.

Milwaukee Bucks 91, Miami Heat 84
Houston Rockets 69, Oklahoma City Thunder 65
Golden State Warriors 136, Los Angeles Lakers 115

Blackhawks Cruise Past Stars

 width=The Blackhawks used a four-goal third period to sink the Stars, 6-2, in Chicago. Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg had a goal and two assists apiece for Chicago, which has won three of its last four games. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews [[ taves ]] and Brandon Saad also lit the lamp, while Corey Crawford made 22 saves in the victory. Curtis McKenzie and Shawn Horcoff had the goals for Dallas, which has dropped two straight. Kari Lehtonen allowed all six goals on 47 shots in the loss.

San Jose Sharks 2, Carolina Hurricanes 0
Minnesota Wild 4, Winnipeg Jets 3 (OT)
Montreal Canadiens 4, Detroit Red Wings 1
Florida Panthers 6, Anaheim Ducks 2
Arizona Coyotes 2, Edmonton Oilers 1

>>Hockey Hall Of Fame To Induct Six Tonight

(Toronto, Ontario) -- The Hockey Hall of Fame will induct its 2014 class tonight in Toronto. Centers Mike Modano and Peter Forsberg, defenseman Rob Blake and goaltender Dominik Hasek [[ HAH-sick ]] will be enshrined, as well as former referee Bill McCreary and late head coach Pat Burns. Modano led all U.S.-born players with 561 career goals, mostly with the Dallas Stars. Forsberg won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche and scored a shootout goal to help his native Sweden win Olympic gold in 1994. Blake won a Stanley Cup with Colorado as well as a gold medal in the Olympics and world championships. Hasek was a six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie and a two-time Hart Trophy recipient as the league's Most Valuable Player. He won two Stanley Cups, both with Detroit. McCreary was a referee from 1982 to 2011. He worked 15 Stanley Cup Finals and the 1998 Nagano Olympics. Burns won 501 games as head coach of the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins and Devils, winning a Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003. He passed away in 2010 at age 58.

Harvick Wins First Sprint Cup Series Title

 width=Kevin Harvick claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship by winning the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. Harvick passed Denny Hamlin for the lead with seven laps left and held off Ryan Newman for his fifth victory of the season and 28th of his Sprint Cup career.

With the win, Harvick bested Newman, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano for the series title. Hamlin finished fifth in the year-ending race, while Logano came in 16th. All of the final four drivers eligible for the title were in the top-10 for a majority of the race. Harvick is the 30th different driver to win a championship in the 66-year history of the series.

Cubs Acquire Braves Infielder

 width=The Chicago Cubs have acquired second baseman Tommy La Stella in a trade with the Atlanta Braves for reliever Arodys Vizcaino.

Chicago and Atlanta also swapped four international pool slots in Sunday's deal, with three going to the Braves and one to the Cubs.

The 25-year-old La Stella made his major league debut this year and hit .251 with one homer and 31 RBIs in 93 games. The lefty batter was selected by Atlanta in the eighth round of the 2011 draft.

The 24-year-old Vizcaino begins his second stint with the Braves. After being acquired from the Yankees in 2009, Vizcaino made his debut with Atlanta in 2011. In 2012, he had Tommy John surgery and was traded to the Cubs.

The hard-throwing Vizcaino appeared in five games with Chicago in September and allowed three runs in five innings.

>>Cubs, Cardinals To Open 2015 MLB Season From Wrigley

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Cubs will host the St. Louis Cardinals from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field to open the 2015 Major League Baseball season. The NL Central rivalry will take center stage on Sunday night, April 5th from the north side of Chicago. The historic stadium is undergoing 575-million-dollar renovation that will feature new outfield bleachers, a new scoreboard, and lights. The Wrigley renovation is happening in four phases, and is scheduled to be completed by 2018. The bulk of the MLB schedule will open the following day, Monday, April 6th.

Packers, Bears, Rams Win

 width=>>Packers Wreck Eagles

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Packers put up 50 points for the second straight week as they cruised to a 53-20 victory over the Eagles at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, while Eddie Lacy totaled 114 yards and a pair of scores. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams each had a touchdown grab and Randall Cobb caught 10 balls for 129 yards. Julius Peppers and Casey Hayward each scored on defense, and Micah Hyde took a punt 75 yards for a score for Green Bay, which has won six-of-seven. Mark Sanchez tossed for 346 yards, two scores and a pair of picks in the loss. Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews both found the end zone, and LeSean McCoy totaled 106 yards as Philly fell to 7-and-3.

 width=>>Bears Beat Vikings

(Chicago, IL) -- Jay Cutler overcame two interceptions to help the Bears beat the Vikings 21-13 at Soldier Field. Cuter ended with 330 yards and three touchdowns for Chicago, which moved to 4-and-6 and 1-and-3 at home. Brandon Marshall hauled in two of the three scored, while Alshon Jeffery had 11 catches for 135 yards and a score. Matt Forte rushed for 117 yards in the win. Teddy Bridgewater threw a touchdown and an interception for Minnesota, which slipped to 4-and-6 and 2-and-4 on the road. Rhett Ellison had the only TD catch in defeat.

 width=>>Rams Stun Broncos

(St. Louis, MO) -- Kenny Britt caught four passes for 128 yards and a touchdown as the Rams stunned the Broncos 22-7 in St. Louis. Shaun Hill got the start under center and passed for 220 yards and a score for the Rams, who improved to 4-and-6. Tre Mason ran for 113 yards in the shocking upset. Peyton Manning was 34-of-54 for 389 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for the heavily-favored Broncos, who slipped to 7-and-3. Demaryius Thomas made seven grabs for 103 yards, while Emmanuel Sanders had five catches for 102 yards and a score in the loss.

Houston Texans 23, Cleveland Browns 7
Kansas City Chiefs 24, Seattle Seahawks 20
Atlanta Falcons 19, Carolina Panthers 17
Cincinnati Bengals 27, New Orleans Saints 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Washington Redskins 7
San Francisco 49ers 16, New York Giants 10
San Diego Chargers 13, Oakland Raiders 6
Arizona Cardinals 14, Detroit Lions 6
New England Patriots 42, Indianapolis Colts 20

>>Steelers Take On Titans On "MNF"

(Nashville, TN) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road for the second straight week as they take on the Tennessee Titans on "Monday Night Football" at LP Field. The Steelers look to bounce back from a 20-13 road loss to the lowly Jets in Week 10. That snapped a three-game winning streak for Pittsburgh, which is 6-and-4 in the tightly-packed AFC North. The Titans lost 21-7 at Baltimore in Week 10. It was the first road start for rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who passed for 179 yards, a touchdown and one interception in defeat. It was the third straight setback for Tennessee, which is just 2-and-7 on the season.

South Dakota State Routes Western

 width=Austin Sumner threw for 366 yards with a career-high six touchdowns and South Dakota State rolled past Western Illinois 59-24 on Saturday.

Jason Schneider hauled in two touchdown receptions from Sumner, the second making it 35-17 at half.

Zach Zenner rushed for 132 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns, including a 67-yard breakaway on the Jackrabbits' first play from scrimmage. He also caught a 40-yard score from Sumner, his third touchdown of the first half.

Sumner and Jake Wieneke connected three times in the third quarter, helping South Dakota State (7-4, 4-3 Missouri Valley) push to a 56-24 lead. Wieneke had 10 receptions for 159 yards and Schneider had seven for 114. Wieneke's 14 touchdown receptions this season is a new school record.

Trenton Norvell threw for 214 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. J.C. Baker had 97 yards rushing with a score for the Leathernecks (4-7, 2-5).

Jacksonville State Tops Eastern Illinois In OVC Showdown

 width=Darius Jackson returned a fourth-quarter interception for a touchdown, and Jacksonville State remained undefeated in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 27-20 win over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

Jackson's touchdown made it 27-17 for the Gamecocks (9-1, 7-0) with 11:33 to play and the defense held EIU (5-6, 5-2) to a 20-yard field goal and two four-down possessions from there.

Eli Jenkins threw for 288 yards with a touchdown and 153 yards going to Josh Barge. Ruben Gonzalez added 113 yards receiving and DaMarcus James ran 26 times for 112 yards and a touchdown.

After Jacksonville State built a 20-7 halftime lead, the Panthers cut the deficit to 20-17 on Nick Bruno's 41-yard field goal and Taylor Duncan's 2-yard touchdown run.

Jalen Whitlow threw for 137 yards and ran for 78 and a touchdown, but threw two interceptions - both in the second half.

Illinois Falls To Iowa Saturday

 width=Mark Weisman ran for a season-high 134 yards as the Iowa Hawkeyes topped Illinois, 30-14, in a Big Ten Conference tussle at Memorial Stadium.

Jake Rudock threw for two touchdowns and ran for another for the Hawkeyes (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) in their final road game. All told, Iowa racked up a season-high 587 yards of total offense in the first head-to-head meeting between these two teams since 2008.

Despite having two weeks to prepare for this one, the Fighting Illini (4-6, 1-5) lost for the fifth time in their last six games. Wes Lunt was held to 102 yards and one touchdown on 14-of-25 passing in his first game back after missing the previous three with a broken fibula.

Illinois lost at home for the first time in five tries this season and now must win out to become bowl eligible. The Illini host Penn State next weekend and then will travel to Northwestern for their regular-season finale.

>>Wisconsin's Gordon Breaks Single Game Rushing Record

Melvin Gordon stiff-armed defenders, skipped past would-be tacklers, broke through wide-open holes and raced around sealed corners to rush for more yards than anyone in FBS history.

A record performance that culminated in a steady snowfall heated up the junior running back's chances to win college football's most prestigious individual honor.

Gordon bolstered his Heisman Trophy candidacy with a record 408 yards rushing and No. 22 Wisconsin ran away with a 59-24 win over No. 11 Nebraska in a key Big Ten West showdown on Saturday.

Gordon, already the nation's leading rusher entering play, ripped off seven runs of at least 26 yards and broke future NFL great LaDainian Tomlinson's FBS record for rushing yards in a game.

Tomlinson, who gained 406 yards for TCU against UTEP on Nov. 20, 1999, congratulated Gordon in a tweet.

Gordon also broke the old Wisconsin record of 339 yards set by all-time NCAA rushing leader Ron Dayne against Hawaii on Nov. 30, 1996.

He and the Badgers (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) both overcame ball security issues in the first half to score 56 straight points after trailing 17-3, picking up their fifth consecutive win.

Nebraska (8-2, 4-2) and senior running back Ameer Abdullah, whose own Heisman bid is probably over, had a three-game winning streak snapped despite having a bye week to get ready for Gordon and the Badgers.

Wisconsin took a one-game lead over Nebraska and Minnesota in the Big Ten West division with two regular-season games remaining against Iowa and Minnesota, which fell to Ohio State on Saturday.

NCAA Top-25 Football (College Football Playoff Rankings)
#5 Alabama Crimson Tide 25, #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs 20
#3 Florida State Seminoles 30, Miami Hurricanes 26
#4 TCU Horned Frogs 34, Kansas Jayhawks 30
Oregon State Beavers 35, #6 Arizona State Sun Devils 27
#8 Ohio State Buckeyes 31, #25 Minnesota Golden Gophers 24
#15 Georgia Bulldogs 34, #9 Auburn Tigers 7
#12 Michigan State Spartans 37, Maryland Terrapins 15
#14 Arizona Wildcats 27, Washington Huskies 26
Arkansas Razorbacks 17, #17 LSU Tigers 0
Northwestern Wildcats 43, #18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 40 (OT)
#22 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 28, #19 Clemson Tigers 6
Virginia Tech Hokies 17, #21 Duke Blue Devils 16
#23 Utah Utes 20, Stanford Cardinal 17 (2OT)
Missouri Tigers 34, #24 Texas A&M Aggies 27

>>UGA's Gurley Tears ACL

(Athens, GA) -- Georgia running back Todd Gurley is done for the rest of the season. Gurley suffered a torn ACL during the fourth quarter of Saturday's win over Auburn. It was his first game back since missing four games due to NCAA violations. The former Heisman hopeful rushed for 911 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Gurley can still come back for his senior season or enter his name in the NFL Draft.

>>Florida Fires Muschamp

(Gainesville, FL) -- Will Muschamp is stepping down as Florida's head football coach at the end of the season. The decision was made following Florida's 23-20 overtime home loss to South Carolina on Saturday. The Gators slipped to 5-and-4 on the season and 4-and-4 in the SEC. Muschamp is just 27-and-20 and 17-and-15 in conference play in four seasons at Florida. He said "I was given every opportunity to get it done here and I simply didn't win enough games -- that is the bottom line."

Illinois State Beats South Dakota

 width=Marshaun Coprich ran for two touchdowns, Tre Roberson threw for one and ran for two more Saturday, and Illinois State beat South Dakota 45-26.

Coprich gained 221 yards on 33 carries for his school-record 10th straight 100-plus yards rushing performance. He gained 157 yards in the first half, scoring on runs of 56 and 28 yards.

Roberson had TD runs of 12 and 9 yards and hit Cameron Meredith on a 32-yard scoring pass for a 28-12 halftime lead. He was 16 of 29 for 226 yards and gained 71 yards on 13 carries.

Josh Burch intercepted a pass by Kevin Earl and ran 46 yards for a Redbirds' score with 9 seconds to play.

Earl passed for two TDs and ran for another and Nick Aussieker added a 19-yard field goal for the Coyotes (2-9, 0-7 Missouri Valley).

Illinois State (9-1, 6-1) held the Coyotes to 20 yards rushing and outgained them 519-315.

Illini Cruise Past Coppin State

 width=>>Illini Hit Cruise Early, Race Past Coppin State

After a close contest against Georgia Southern in its season opener, Illinois blew out Coppin State 114-56 on Sunday.

The Illini (2-0) opened the game red-hot from the field, shooting 60 percent in the first half.

Ahmad Starks and Leron Black led the Illini in points with 18 each, while Malcolm Hill added 13 points and nine rebounds.

After Coppin State (0-2) hit a three to open the scoring, Illinois went on a 16-0 run and never looked back.

The Illini started 0-for-3 from the field but made 15 of their next 16 shots to put the game out of reach early in the first half.

The 114 points are the most that the Illini have scored under Groce in a non-exhibition game. The previous high was 94, set on Nov. 19, 2012 against USC.

 width=>>Utah State Tops Illinois State Sunday

David Collette scored 17 points and Darius Perkins added 14 as Utah State rallied in the second half for a 60-55 victory over Illinois State on Sunday.

The Aggies, who trailed by seven at halftime, took their first lead, 41-40, on a 3-pointer by JoJo McGlaston. That basket was part of a 10-0 run that gave the Aggies an eight-point advantage. The Redbirds responded with a 13-2 run to lead 53-50 with 3:25 left.

Three-pointers by McGlaston and Chris Smith gave USU a 56-53 lead. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored a basket for ISU's final points before the Aggies made four free throws in the final minute.

The Aggies (2-0) returned no starters from last year's team. The game was the opener for ISU, which has four of five starters back.

Daishon Knight led the Redbirds with 17 points. Akoon-Purcell, junior college transfer, had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 71, Buffalo Bulls 52
#2 Arizona Wildcats 86, CS Northridge Matadors 68
#3 Wisconsin Badgers 89, Chattanooga Mocs 45
#6 North Carolina Tar Heels 103, Robert Morris Colonials 59
#9 Virginia Cavaliers 67, Norfolk State Spartans 39
#10 Texas Longhorns 85, Alcorn State Braves 53
#19 Oklahoma Sooners 78, Southeast Louisiana Lions 53
#21 Nebraska Cornhuskers 80 Northern Kentucky Norse 61
#23 Syracuse Orange 65, Hampton Pirates
Holy Cross Crusaders 58, #25 Harvard Crimson 57

Clinton Police Weekend Report







DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

November 14, 2014

Jail Population: 53
Summons Served: 7
Warrant Arrests: 0

November 15, 2014

Jail Population: 55
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 0

November 16, 2014

Jail Population: 55
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 0

Zachary Watkins, 25, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Watkins was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Casey Carstens, 33, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Carstens was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Michael Perkins, 45, Weldon was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol, Possess Cannabis <2.5 Grams and Possess Drug Paraphernalia. Perkins posted the necessary bond and was released.






Cold Week Highlighted By Bitter Cold Tuesday Morning

 width=A bitter cold week is ahead for much of central Illinois and local authorities are advising area residents to take as much precaution as possible.

According to Teresa Barnett, Director of the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency, we are in for a short term Arctic blast of bitter cold air. She explains the temperatures are going to make it feel like January temperatures outside and is recommending people take several precautions to keep warm.

[audio:111814cold1.mp3] [/audio]

Temperatures this week are expected to be below the freezing mark until after mid-week and according to Barnett, Tuesday morning is going to be extremely cold. She indicates wind chills will be below zero for the first time this season.

[audio:111814cold2.mp3] [/audio]

For residents who might have trouble staying warm during these cold spells, Barnett encourages them to visit the Warner Public Library or the DeWitt County Friendship Center. Emergency heating centers generally only open up in the event of power outages.

Barnett indicates everything she has been told from her weather sources at the National Weather Service in Lincoln say it is too early to indicate what kind of a winter we are in store for.

To stay up to date with the latest in happenings for severe winter conditions, sign up for notifications through the Code Red Alert system at the dewittcountyill.com or at the City of Clinton website, clintonillinois.com.

Lady Maroons start season with a 1-0 record

The Clinton Lady Maroons opened their season with a win over the Lady Trojans by the score of 53-39 on Monday Night! The Lady Maroons were led by Jessica Scott with 22 points, Peyton Bieber with 20 points. Haley Ginger contributed 2 points before coming out of the game early in the second quarter with a right ankle sprain. No update so far on the injury.

The Lady Trojans were led in scoring by Brenna Finck with 23 points and Caroline Beckman came in with 9 points. The Lady Maroons face off Tuesday night against porta at the Clinton High School. Our next broadcast of the Lady Maroons will be on Monday December 1st as they face off against Unity at 7:30 pm. width=

Illinois Readies For Health Insurance Enrollment

Shopping for health insurance starts all over again Saturday as a second round of enrollment begins under President Barack Obama's health care law. Last time around in Illinois, more than 217,000 people signed up for coverage with more than three-quarters qualifying for financial assistance based on their incomes.

Illinois residents will again use the federal HealthCare.gov website to select and sign up for private health plans, with some enrolling for the first time. Others, who enrolled despite last year's rocky start, may want to switch to a better policy in their price range.

This year's prices are slightly higher for many plans. Officials are urging customers to compare all the plans available in their area to find the best deal possible and to make sure their doctors and drugs are covered. Returning customers must select a new plan by Dec. 15 to avoid being automatically re-enrolled in their current policy.

Marvin Forbish of suburban Chicago intends to switch insurers. The 63-year-old print shop owner and his 25-year-old son bought a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan last year. While Forbish has been happy with the $80 monthly premiums he pays to Blue Cross after a government subsidy, he has one complaint: "The only problem is reaching them on the phone."

Forbish recalled several long waits on hold to reach a live customer support person. "Blue Cross is a little bit overwhelmed," he said. "They're not prepared to take all the calls they're getting."

Indeed, as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois garnered more than 90 percent of the customers on the marketplace last season, about 200,000 people, new members swamped their phone lines. Complaints pummeled the company's Facebook page.

Blue Cross has added customer representatives, gave them more training, expanded call center hours and implemented a call-back feature, said spokesman Greg Thompson of Health Care Service Corporation, the operator of Blue Cross in Illinois.

Other companies, meanwhile, have sharpened their pencils to offer lower prices, rates designed to lure away some Blue Cross members. Urbana-based Health Alliance Medical Plans will have the lowest-priced silver plan in much of central Illinois, and Land of Lincoln Health will have the lowest-cost silver plan in Cook County and much of southern Illinois.

Many people still are confused about how to enroll, said Jose Munoz, the state's chief marketing officer for the Get Covered Illinois campaign. About 43 percent of uninsured Illinoisans surveyed said confusion about the process kept them from signing up, he said. The state's campaign will narrowly focus on three messages: free help available, the affordability of coverage and the quality of the health plans.

Illinoisans can get that free help at county health departments, community health centers and other locations. Insurance agents and brokers offer help without charge. Illinoisans can call (866) 311-1119 toll-free to make an appointment with a trained enrollment counselor. The GetCoveredIllinois.gov website offers information.

"Our goal is the same one we had along: to get everyone in the state covered," Munoz said.

The health law requires most people to have health insurance. The penalty for having no health insurance in 2015 is going up to $325 per adult or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater, up to a cap.

Metra Board Unanimously Approve Fare Increases

The board of the Metra commuter rail agency has approved fare increases averaging nearly 11 percent next year, the first of 10 years of planned fare boosts.

The fare increases will occur every year over the coming decade to eventually rise about 68 percent above current costs. Metra officials say the fare boosts will bankroll upgrades to Metra's fleet, pay for new mandated safety technology and cover the rises in operating costs.

Metra board members on Friday unanimously approved a 2015 budget that contains the biggest fare increase of 10.8 percent. The new fares will go into effect Feb. 1.

Board members also directed Metra Executive Director Don Orseno to look at spending cuts for 2015.

Earlier this week, Metra officials unveiled new snow-fighting equipment to deal with the cold.

State Bar Association Challenging Illinois DUI Law

The state bar association has submitted a bill to the state Legislature to change the DUI law in Illinois.

The bill cites a 2011 Lake Island incident in which a father was charged with homicide after his son died in a crash caused by a distracted driver. A blood test determined Scott Shirey had marijuana in his system, but his attorney says it was from smoking the substance one month prior to the fatal accident.

Reports say Illinois drivers with any amount of an illegal drug in their system can be charged with a DUI, even if they weren't under the influence or at fault when a serious accident occurred.

The Illinois State Bar Association says the DUI law shouldn't apply to drivers who weren't impaired during the time of an accident.

Illinois National Guard Team Heads To Afghanistan

Another Illinois National Guard team is deploying to Afghanistan to help NATO forces from Poland.

The five soldiers left after a Friday deployment ceremony at Camp Lincoln in Springfield.

Lt. Col. Jose Jaques of DeKalb is the team commander. He tells reporters the soldiers will help Polish forces with personnel and equipment.

The Polish troops are conducting training and removing military equipment from Afghanistan, where foreign combat troops are to withdraw by the end of the year.

Man Held After Police Chases, Injuries, Gunfire

Authorities have charged a suburban Chicago man who allegedly led police in northern Illinois on a series of chases in stolen cars and continued to flee despite being shot.

Lake County prosecutors on Friday charged 18-year-old Ronald Q. Maas of Ingleside with attempted murder, theft and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

The Lake County sheriff's office says the first chase began Thursday night when officers in Round Lake spotted a stolen Ford sedan.

It says that over the next 2 ½ hours, Mass got into several accidents, including two head-on collisions, and rammed a squad car. Several people were injured.

Authorities say a Round Lake Heights officer opened fire, striking him in the cheek, but Mass continued to flee.

Sheriff's deputies arrested him at a ranch.

Eureka Woman Convicted Of Looting After Tornado

A central Illinois woman has been convicted of felony looting after she collected items from the yard of a retired couple whose Washington home was destroyed by a tornado.

Ayron Casey of Eureka is facing up to three years in prison for looting after a tornado last November. Two retail theft convictions from the past decade will also be considered during her Jan. 8 sentencing date. Two other people have also been charged with looting after the tornado.

Casey said she wanted the homeowners to know she's sorry and believed the items she took were being thrown out.

Reports say the Nov. 17 tornado destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes.

IDOT Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer this Time of Year



[audio:111514deercar1.mp3] [/audio].



[audio:111514deercar2.mp3] [/audio]


Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Continues

Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D is well underway and local seniors are encouraged to visit their local senior centers to get registered or make any changes for this coming year.

The Open Enrollment period allows seniors to compare different prescription drug plans. Rebecca Wheat, PATH Outreach Coordinator at the DeWitt County Friendship Center, encourages beneficiaries can set up an appointment to review their plans.

[audio:101314medicare1.mp3] [/audio]

There are many ways Wheat can be of service to seniors during this enrollment period. She explains PATH can assist in merging all medications to one pharmacy, all they need to bring is a Medicare card and a list of medications.

[audio:101314medicare2.mp3] [/audio]

Wheat is also able to provide home visits in DeWitt County and also makes frequent stops at the senior center in Farmer City. To set up an appointment or get more any questions answered, contact the Friendship Center at 217-935-9411.

City Streets Department Returning To Leaf Pick Up Monday

The leaf clean up season is in full swing and the city of Clinton's Street Department returns this morning for pick-up.

Crews will start in Zone 1 Monday.

Please note, November 26 will be the last day that crews will cycle the town. After that pickup will be done as needed and scheduling allows so if possible please have the leaves street side as soon as possible and before that date.

Refer to the map on the below as well as the information provided from the Street Department below for how the zone's are broken up.


The Street's Department has agreed to provide Regional Radio News with their plans for each day as they go through the leaf clean up season.

Rauner Meets With Cullerton, Madigan

Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner is trying to build a bridge with the two top Democrats in the legislature.  He had a meeting with Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan in Chicago this morning.  They discussed the state budget, which will be the biggest issue that Rauner faces as he steps into the governor's role in January.  That's when the income tax rate will roll-back from five percent to three-point-75-percent, leaving the state with a four-billion-dollar shortfall.  An aide says the meeting was cordial and professional.

Police Say 13-Year Old Boy On Bike Killed

Peoria County authorities say a 13-year-old boy on a bicycle has been struck and killed by a pickup truck.

Reports indicate, the Peoria Heights Police Department said Dillon Fisher died in the accident Thursday evening. Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says Fisher was crossing an intersection when he was hit by the truck. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Police haven't issued any citations or released information about the truck driver.

They blocked a portion of War Memorial Drive and were rerouting traffic as they investigated.

Pleasant Plains Teachers Picket Amid Negotiations

Teachers in a central Illinois school district are picketing in an effort to gain parents' support as contract negotiations stall.

According to reports, teachers in Pleasant Plains held signs Wednesday that read "Let's work together for kids" and "Make it better." The teachers have been working under an expired contract for nearly three months and negotiations over a new contract began in April. The district had 1,300 students and 88 teachers last year.

The school board president says bargaining teams haven't agreed on monetary and administrative terms. He says a $7 million construction project has strained district finances.

Teachers union leaders declined to comment on specific bargaining points but said the process has been more difficult than usual. They say members haven't held an informational demonstration since 2001.

Illinois Teen Mother Could Face Adult Sentence

A 17-year-old central Illinois girl who authorities say left her newborn son in a dumpster could face an adult sentence if convicted of attempted murder.

According to reports, a motion granted Thursday in Morgan County court says the Jacksonville girl would receive juvenile and adult sentences if she is convicted. Assistant state's attorney Chad Turner says an adult sentence would be enforced if she didn't meet the requirements of a juvenile sentence.

The maximum sentence for minors convicted of the charge is incarceration until they turn 21. Adult convictions carry a prison sentence of six to 30 years.

Turner says the girl has a right to jury trial under the motion.

The baby was found in August in a trash bin behind a Jacksonville business and is now in foster care.

Ex-Radical Group Member May Get University of Illinois Job Back

University of Illinois officials say 1970s-era radical James Kilgore can again be hired to teach at the school.

Kilgore was told earlier this year he would no longer be employed as an instructor. Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy said then he didn't believe Kilgore should work at the school.

But the university's board of trustees said Thursday it debated Kilgore's case. They took no action because trustees aren't usually involved in hiring part-time employees.

According to reports, Urbana-Champaign campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise said that means departments would be able to hire Kilgore.

Kilgore served time in prison for his role in a 1975 bank robbery in California during which a housewife died.

He worked as a part-time instructor at the university after his 2009 prison release.

University of Illinois Says End of Tax Increase Would Cut State Money

A University of Illinois administrator told the board of trustees that the school could lose about $70 million in state funding if the state income-tax increase passed in 2011 isn't extended.

Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr told trustees at their meeting Thursday in Chicago that the end of the tax increase could cut state funding for the university by about 10.6 percent.

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner campaigned on a pledge to phase out the tax increase. He defeated Gov. Pat Quinn earlier this month.

Reports indicate, Quinn was at Tuesday's meeting. Outside, he says without the increase the state's budget would be in "dire straits."

The university this year is getting about $667 million in state funding. That's about 15 percent of its $4.5 billion operating budget.

University of Illinois Board Chair To Step Down In January

University of Illinois Chairman Christopher Kennedy says he plans to leave the school's board of trustees when his term ends in January.

Kennedy said at Thursday's trustees' meeting in Chicago that he's sure Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will appoint a new trustee to replace Kennedy when he takes office in January.

Kennedy is a Democrat and was appointed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in 2009. Rauner is a Republican.

University spokesman Tom Hardy said Kennedy had written Rauner to tell him he knew his time on the board is ending.

Hardy said Kennedy also strongly recommended to Rauner that trustee Ed McMillan remain on the board.

McMillan's term ends next year, too. The Republican businessman was appointed by Quinn.

University of Illinois President Gets Raise, Bonus in Final Year

University of Illinois trustees have voted to give President Robert Easter a raise and a $180,000 bonus as he works his last year before retirement.

The bonus and 3.5 percent pay raise were approved by trustees on Thursday at their regular quarterly meeting in Chicago. The university says the bonus was based on performance targets set by trustees in education, research and other areas.

The raise will increase Easter's base pay from $462,375 a year to $478,558. His compensation is ninth among the 14 Big Ten school presidents and less than the $651,000 predecessor Michael Hogan was paid. The average Big Ten pay is $780,000 a year.

Easter plans to retire in June after taking over in March 2012.

The university is expected to name a replacement this month.

Champaign Day Care Operator Charged With Battery

Police have arrested a longtime Champaign day care operator who they say seriously injured a 6-month-old boy.

Reports indicate, 54-year-old Debbie May was charged Wednesday with aggravated battery to a child and ordered her held on $150,000 bond.

Police say the boy has been hospitalized with a brain injury and a broken wrist for more than a week.

Prosecutors say May called the boy's mother on Nov. 5 and said he was acting unusually. They say he was limp and moaning when his parents took him to a hospital. Doctors say the injuries required adult force and weren't accidental.

Prosecutors say May denies that the boy fell or was dropped.

May faces six to 30 years in prison if convicted. It wasn't immediately clear if she has a lawyer.

Three Normal Police Officers Sue Claiming Arrest Quota

Three patrol officers are suing the Normal Police Department, saying the central Illinois town improperly disciplined them for failing to meet arrest quotas.

According to reports, the officers filed the lawsuit in McLean County Circuit Court. They say they were disciplined for not meeting a minimum number of arrests per month for traffic, criminal and ordinance violations.

Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner and Normal City Manager Mark Peterson declined comment Wednesday. They said they haven't seen the lawsuit. Earlier this year the police chief said the department has performance standards but it doesn't have quotas.

The officers are asking for an injunction to end the town's policy on arrest minimums.

NYU Nutrionist Encourages Smart, Healthy Dieting

 width=One lifestyle topic that is full of many misconceptions for the public is dieting.

Christopher Speed is a well studies and respected Dietician from New York University. He explains going cold turkey and completely cutting certain foods out of your daily meals can be harmful to your health. Nutrients such as calcium and certain fatty vitamins should be a part of daily diets and mixed with plenty of plant-based vitamins.

[audio:111414dieting1.mp3] [/audio]

The diets that work are the ones that people can stick to. Speed believes eating too much of any type of food can be hazardous to one's health so maintaining healthy eating habits will help one to maintain their weight and health for the long run.

[audio:111414dieting2.mp3] [/audio]

Speed emphasizes the importance of not cutting dairy, meats and proteins out out of your diet. He adds certain fats, when eaten in the proper context, are important to your health.

Monticello Teacher Nominated For Teacher of the Year

 width=A Monticello teacher was recently a nominee for the Teacher of the Year award in Illinois.

According to Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Jennifer Smith, a middle school science teacher attended a banquet last month in Bloomington as a part of an awards ceremony. And while Smith did not take home the award, Dr. Zimmerman says he and the district ought to be very proud she was nominated.

[audio:111414montteacher1.mp3] [/audio]

Academics at Monticello are annually very strong. According to Dr. Zimmerman, the fact one of their faculty can be recognized emphasizes the importance of academics in the district.

[audio:111414montteacher2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman feels he has one of the best school leader positions in the state of Illinois. He credits the work of his Board of Education, administrators and teachers for all working together for the betterment of the students and the schools.

Kershaw, Trout Named MVP of Respective Leagues

 width=>>Dodgers' Kershaw Named NL MVP

(New York, NY) -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the National League Most Valuable Player. He received all 18-of-30 first-place votes to beat out Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and 2013 winner Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kershaw won his second straight NL Cy Young Award on Wednesday and is the first to win both the Cy Young and MVP in the National League in the same season since Bob Gibson in 1968.

>>Angels' Trout Named AL MVP

(New York, NY) -- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout is the American League Most Valuable Player. He received all 30 first-place votes to beat out Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez and Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley. Trout finished second each of the last two years, but broke through this season after hitting .287 with 36 home runs and an AL-best 111 RBI, helping the Angels to an AL West title and baseball's best record.

>>Abreu Fourth In AL MVP Vote

(Undated) -- American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu finished fourth in the MVP vote. Mike Trout won the award and was followed by Victor Martinez and Michael Brantley. The White Sox first baseman picked up the Rookie of the Year earlier this week. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was 10th on the National League side.

Blues Win In Oshie's Return

 width=>>Blues Beat Predators

(St. Louis, MO) -- Paul Stastny [[ STAZ-nee ]] scored in the third period to lift the Blues to a 4-3 win over the Predators from the Scottrade Center. T.J. Oshie and Carl Gunnarsson scored their first goals of the season for St. Louis, which has won two straight since losing to Nashville. Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 10th goal of the year while Jake Allen made 22 saves. Shea Weber and Roman Josi [[ YO-see ]] scored in the second to tie the game at three. Pekka Rinne [[ PECK-uh REE-nay ]] made 23 saves in the loss for Nashville, which had won three straight.

Colorado Avalanche 4, New York Rangers 3 (SO)
Winnipeg Jets 3, Carolina Hurricanes 1
Montreal Canadiens 5, Boston Bruins 1
San Jose Sharks 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1
Minnesota Wild 6, Buffalo Sabres 3
Calgary Flames 5, Arizona Coyotes 3
Ottawa Senators 4, Edmonton Oilers 3 (OT)
Dallas Stars 2, Los Angeles Kings 0

>>Blues Activate Oshie

(St. Louis, MO) -- Forward T.J. Oshie is back with the Blues. He was activated off injured reserve before last night's game against Nashville. Oshie had been out since suffering a concussion on October 28th against the Dallas Stars. The 27-year-old was cleared to play after yesterday's morning skate.

 width=>>Blackhawks Face Red Wings

(Detroit, MI) -- The Blackhawks battle the Red Wings in Detroit tonight. Faceoff at Joe Louis Arena is at 6:30 p.m. Chicago comes in at 9-6-and-1 while the Red Wings are 7-3-and-5.

Bulls Take Road Game Over Toronto

 width=>>Bulls Clip Raptors

(Toronto, Ontario) -- Pau Gasol scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Bulls to a 100-93 win over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Derrick Rose had 20 points and four assists before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. Jimmy Butler scored 21 and hauled in nine boards while Mike Dunleavy chipped in 14 points for Chicago, which has won six of seven. Kyle Lowry paced Toronto with 20 points, eight dimes and eight rebounds in defeat. James Johnson added 16 points off the bench and Amir Johnson had 14 for the Raptors, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Memphis Grizzlies 111, Sacramento Kings 110
Dallas Mavericks 123, Philadelphia 76ers 70
Golden State Warriors 107, Brooklyn Nets 99

NFL Locals Back In Action


>>Streaking Vikings Face Reeling Bears

(Chicago, IL) -- NFC North rivals meet for the first time this season as the Minnesota Vikings head to Soldier Field Sunday to face the Chicago Bears. The Vikings are rested coming off their bye week and are seeking their third straight win after beating the Buccaneers and Redskins in their last two games. Minnesota is 4-and-5 overall. The Bears are back home after playing four of their last five games on the road. Chicago was hammered 55-14 at Green Bay last Sunday. The Bears have surrendered 106 points in their last two games. Chicago has lost three straight and five of its last six to fall to 3-and-6 overall.

 width=>>Broncos, Rams Rumble In St. Louis

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Denver Broncos roll into the Gateway City Sunday to battle the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. It's the third straight road game for Denver, which lost at New England in Week Nine before bouncing back to beat Oakland this past Sunday. The Broncos lead the AFC West at 7-and-2, one game ahead of second-place KC. The Rams are back home after three straight road games. St. Louis lost at Kansas City, won at San Francisco and then lost at Arizona last weekend. The Rams are 3-and-6 overall. Quarterback Shaun Hill will start after Austin Davis started the last eight games.

 width=>>Eagles, Packers Square Off At Lambeau

(Green Bay, WI) -- A pair of playoff contenders take the field at historic Lambeau Field this Sunday, as the Green Packers host the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams are coming off blowout wins. The Packers crushed the Bears 55-14 last Sunday night, while the Eagles dismantled the Panthers 45-21 on "Monday Night Football." Green Bay is 6-and-3 overall and a perfect 4-and-0 at home this season. The Packers are 32-and-3 all-time with quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center. Philadelphia is 7-and-2 on the season and holds a half-game division lead over Dallas. Mark Sanchez will make his second start for the Eagles. He threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns in his first start in nearly two years last week in place of injured quarterback Nick Foles.

>>Marshall Reacts To Twitter Fan

(Undated) -- Bears receiver Brandon Marshall is reacting to a Detroit fan on Twitter. Marshall was irked when the fan made fun of his mother, so the wideout offered the fan five-thousand-dollars to fight in a ring. The offer went up to 25-thousand.

>>Dolphins Sink Bills

(Miami, FL) -- The Dolphins scored 19 unanswered points to sink the Bills 22-9 from Miami on "Thursday Night Football." Ryan Tannehill found Brandon Gibson late in the third quarter to put the 'Fins up 10-9, and a safety made it 12-9 heading into the final quarter. Tannehill ended with 240 yards passing and two touchdowns for Miami, which improved to 6-and-4. Lamar Miller rushed for 86 yards on 15 carries in the win. Kyle Orton was 22-of-39 for 193 yards as the Bills slipped to 5-and-5. Mario Williams posted three-and-a-half sacks on defense for the Bills.

Illinois Hosts Georgia Southern

 width=225 height=225 />The Fighting Illini host Georgia Southern tonight to begin the regular season.  Tip from the State Farm Center is at 8 p.m.  Illinois won an exhibition game earlier this month to get ready for the regular season. </p>						</div>

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Illinois Baseball Adds Nine on National Signing Day

 width=University of Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb announced the signing of nine student-athletes to letters of intent for the signing class of 2015 on Thursday. The Illini received NLIs from five players from Illinois, two from Wisconsin, one from Michigan and one from Texas.

Five position players - C/OF David Craan (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young HS), OF Caleb Kyle (Frisco, Texas/Prestonwood Christian Academy), IF/OF Jalin McMillan (Chicago, Ill./Simeon Career Academy), IF Brenden Spillane (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling HS) and OF Doran Turchin (Oak Creek, Wis./Oak Creek HS) - will join the Illini for the 2015-16 academic year.

Four pitchers - RHP Cole Bellair (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township HS), RHP/OF Brendan Meissner (De Pere, Wis./West De Pere HS), RHP/DH Luke Shilling (Clarkston, Mich./Notre Dame Preparatory) and LHP/OF Jack Yalowitz (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) - also will become part of the Orange and Blue next season.

Information Courtesy of FightingIllini.com.

Eastern Illinois At Third Ranked Jacksonville State

Two-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Illinois hasn't gone away despite losing all four games of a difficult non-conference schedule. With two more OVC wins, the Panthers will return to the FCS playoffs, this time under first-year coach Kim Dameron.


Jacksonville State also has a rookie coach in John Grass and only needs to beat EIU to clinch both the OVC title and the conference's automatic playoff bid.

Both teams feature explosive offenses with a multitude of weapons in the skillspositions. Each of EIU's conference wins is by 25 points, and the loss came in overtime at Eastern Kentucky. Jacksonville State has won its last three games by a combined 125-9 - while not allowing a touchdown - and has won eight straight outings since an opening loss at Michigan State.

Dual-threat quarterback Jalen Whitlow has helped take EIU to a higher level since he won the No. 1 job during the season, including 163 straight throws without an interception. He leads the team with 714 rushing yards and has 26 total touchdowns (15 passing, 11 rushing). He's also coming off his best passing performance - 27-for-37 for 312 yards and three touchdowns against Murray State - and has a go-to wide receiver, Adam Drake, who leads the FCS in receiving yards (1,153). Shepard Little and Taylor Duncan are veteran runningbacks to share the workload and keep defenses honest against Whitlow, a transfer from Kentucky.

ISU Hits The Road

 width=A 35-21 victory at home over Youngstown State and a loss by North Dakota State at Northern Iowa has Illinois State (8-1, 5-1 MVFC) tied atop the conference standings with the Bison. The Redbirds will look to maintain that position with a win Saturday, when they square off with the South Dakota Coyotes (2-8, 0-6 MVFC) at the DakotaDome at 1 p.m.

In front of a then-Hancock Stadium record-crowd of 11,868, Illinois State defeated South Dakota by a score of 28-14. Freshman quarterback Blake Winkler completed 9-of-20 pass-attempts for 181 yards, tossing a career-high three touchdowns in the game. Marshaun Coprich recorded his fourth-straight 100-yard rushing performance, fi nishing with 108 yards on a career-high 34 attempts, while scoring a touchdown. The Redbird defense came up big for the secondconsecutive week, forcing three South Dakota turnovers and limiting USD to just 14 points.

Illinois Hosts Iowa

For the first time since 2008, the Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini as the two meet up for a Big Ten Conference clash at Memorial Stadium.


Iowa is already bowl eligible for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons. However, the Hawkeyes got trampled at Minnesota last weekend, 51-14. This will be their final road game as they will close out the regular season at home against Wisconsin and Nebraska over the next two weeks.

Illinois should be well rested after getting a bye last weekend, although the team has dropped four of its last five games. In their most recent contest, the Fighting Illini were blown out in a 55-14 decision at Ohio State to fall to 0-4 on the road this season. But they are 4-0 at home and can qualify for a bowl by winning two of their final three games.

The Illinois offense will get a boost this week with the return of starting quarterback Wes Lunt, who missed the last three games with a broken fibula. At the time of his injury, Lunt ranked in the top-20 in the nation in completions per game (25.4, 10th), passing yards per game (313.8, 14th), passing touchdowns (13, 17th), passing yards (1,569, 18th), completion percentage (.665, 20th) and passing efficiency (154.8, 20th), and he was tied for fourth in the FBS with 14 passing plays of 30 yards or more.

Football Quarter-Finals This Weekend

We're down to the Elite 8 of the IHSA football playoffs, and with fewer and fewer teams left, just a few area teams are still standing.

In Class 2A

 width=#5 Athens (8-3) vs. #6 Maroa-Forsyth (8-3) at Athens Sat. 1:30 pm
#5 Tuscola (9-2) at #3 Chester (10-1) Sat. 2:30 pm

In Class 3A

#3 St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden) (10-1) at #1 Wilmington (11-0) Sat. 15, 5:00 pm
#6 Auburn (9-2) at #1 Williamsville (11-0) Sat. 1:30 pm

In Class 4A

#8 Bloomington (Central Catholic) (7-4) at #3 Rochester (9-2) Sat. 4:00 pm

In Class 5A

#8 Morris (7-4) at #3 Peoria (H.S.) (10-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#1 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (11-0) at #3 Taylorville (10-1) Sat. 3:00 pm

#1 Peoria Notre Dame (11-0) vs. #6 East St. Louis (7-4) at Peoria Richwoods Sat. 1:00 pm

Local Resident Wins Grill

A Clinton establishment recently awarded one of their patrons with a gas grill as a part of a giveaway.

Marilyn Lynch was the winner of a contest through Ted's Garage recently. The contest was a month long and Lynch tells Regional Radio News, she was stunned she won.

[audio:111514lynchgrill1.mp3] [/audio]

Patrons could put their names in for a drawing as many times as they wanted, and Lynch says she only put her name in once.

[audio:111514lynchgrill2.mp3] [/audio]

Lynch plans to include her family in on the use of the grill

[audio:111514lynchgrill3.mp3] [/audio]

The contest ran at Ted's Garage from September 1 though October 31.

City Streets Department Returning To Leaf Pick Up Thursday

The leaf clean up season is in full swing and the city of Clinton's Street Department returns this morning for pick-up..

Refer to the map on the right as well as the information provided from the Street Department below for how the zone's are broken up.

Yesterday crews finished Zone 3, completed Zone 4, and started Zone 5. Today pickup will resume where they left off in Zone 5.



The Street's Department has agreed to provide Regional Radio News with their plans for each day as they go through the leaf clean up season.

Comcast Funds Technology for Boys & Girls Clubs

Comcast and NBC Universal are forming a new partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to sponsor a technology initiative designed to teach young people about digital literacy, exploring the web and building digital media content.

The new My.Future technology initiative will be announced Thursday. Comcast says the partnership is valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support over five years. But the company won't release specific figures on the sponsorship.

In Washington, Comcast is announcing a $100,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington to fund a renovated technology center for students.

Comcast also renovated four Boys and Girls Clubs in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco to add new technology centers with tablets, digital cameras, music tools and video-editing software.

Illinois to Hold Auction of Unclaimed Property

The Illinois treasurer's office is organizing an online auction of unclaimed property that will include jewelry, gold and uncirculated Civil War-era bank notes.

Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced the auction Wednesday. He says there are 492 pieces of unclaimed property in the auction. The auction items come from safe deposit boxes. The owners haven't come forward to claim the items in more than five years.

The auction starts at 10 a.m. on Monday and will begin closing at 10 a.m. on Nov. 21. People can view the items ahead of time at the treasurer's website at www.treasurer.il.gov. Click on the auction preview button.

Anyone who wants to participate in the auction must register as a bidder. Sale prices must reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value.

Danville Teen Makes Food Baskets for 100 Families

A Danville-area teenager is preparing Thanksgiving baskets for 100 needy families - and helping fill a void in her own life.

Cassidy Bryant is a 15-year-old sophomore at Bismarck-Henning High School. Reports indicate that she accepted the challenge while attending a conference last summer with her youth group at Second Church of Christ in Danville.

Bryant is an honor student and athlete who baby-sits after school. A bake sale raised money for turkeys and pies. Her family, church and school helped collect trimmings.

Thanksgiving was a holiday Bryant spent with grandparents who both died in recent years. Her brother was killed in an auto crash last year.

Bryant says instead of being alone and feeling sorry, her project "puts the focus on other people.

Residents File Lawsuit Targeting Illinois Fracking Rules

A group of Illinois landowners has sued the Department of Natural Resources to stop the state's new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling from taking effect.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Madison County Circuit Court seeks a preliminary injunction, claiming the DNR violated several rulemaking procedures as it worked to implement a state law to regulate hydraulic fracturing. A hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Among the allegations is that the DNR's first rules notice didn't include scientific studies, denying the public a chance to address the specific information the agency relied upon to draft them.

A DNR spokesman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Fracking uses a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to release trapped oil and gas.

Opponents fear it will cause pollution and health problems, and could trigger earthquakes. Supporters say it's safe and will bring jobs to southern Illinois.

Governor Quinn Calls Governor-Elect For First Time

Gov. Pat Quinn has called Governor-elect Bruce Rauner for the first time since he lost last week's election to the Republican.

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf said the "cordial" phone conversation took place Wednesday. Quinn's office says it lasted a few minutes and the two discussed the Affordable Care Act.

Quinn sought a second full term, but lost by roughly five percentage points to Rauner in the Winnetka businessman's first bid for public office.

Still, Quinn didn't concede the race until the day after the election. He said that he wanted to wait until all the votes were counted, particularly with some voters waiting well after polls closed to cast ballots.

Both candidates appeared at the same place Tuesday for a Veterans Day event at Soldier Field. They didn't interact.

East Peoria Sign Dedicated to Fallen Soldier

A memorial street sign has been dedicated to a fallen East Peoria soldier.

According to reports, the dedication for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Smith took place at the city's Civic Plaza Tuesday afternoon.

The 43-year-old was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 by a roadside bomb. Smith was survived by a wife and three children.

Smith's family was present at the sign's unveiling, as were several veterans who served alongside him in Afghanistan.

City officials say the idea was quickly agreed upon after it was presented by Mayor Dave Mingus.

The sign will be hung at the intersection of Jay Street and East Washington Street. City officials say it will stand for three to five years.

Worker Injured At Pekin Wastewater Plant

Officials in Pekin say a worker was seriously injured when a heavy pipe fell on his leg at the Pekin Wastewater Treatment Plant.

According to reports, the accident happened Tuesday morning. Pekin Fire Chief Kurt Nelson says workers were removing a flange from a large pipe used to connect chlorination tanks. That's when the object fell 2 to 3 feet on the worker, pinning him to the ground inside a hole that was dug for the project.

Police say workers used heavy machinery to lift the piece from the victim's leg. Rescuers used a ladder to enter the hole and treat the victim before taking him to the hospital. The victim's name was not immediately released.

Marijuana Investors Offer $1-Million To Effingham Schools

Investors in a potential medical marijuana growing operation are trying to persuade a city council in south-central Illinois to reconsider a zoning request. They're offering up to $1 million to local schools over 10 years to show they're serious about helping the community.

The Effingham City Council last month rejected a zoning proposal for the cultivation center. According to reports, the investors want to get back before the council next week.

Chicago attorney Jon Loevy (LOH'-vee) is an investor. He says it makes sense for the company to give money to Effingham schools to train workers.

But City Commissioner Brian Milleville says the investors only "want to grease a palm." Commissioner Matt Hirtzel says, if he changes his vote, he'll be "nothing more than a Judas."

Illinois State Police Repairing Leaky Roof

Illinois State Police are fixing a leaky roof over an evidence room in a building near their downtown Springfield headquarters.

Reports indicate if the roof isn't fixed, evidence collected in criminal investigations may be damaged. The state police have signed off on a contract worth about $250,000 to fix the roof. Bidding documents state that it's "an emergency purchase."

Officials want the roof fixed before winter. The roof dates to 1987. It was patched in May but the patches didn't hold because of heavy rains.

State police spokeswoman Monique Bond says as a precaution, evidence was relocated to secure area of the building to make sure nothing was compromised.

Doctors Seek To Open Bloomington Birthing Center

Two local doctors have announced plans to establish the first downstate birthing center for low-risk pregnancies in Bloomington.

Dr. Dele Ogunleye, Dr. Joe Santiago and a third silent partner hope to open the Bloomington-Normal Birthing Center LLC in 2016. Reports indicate the doctors, who already have a transfer agreement with OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, are currently looking at the former site of a daycare. Santiago says the team will also be required to form an agreement with a hospital, but the center would also transfer patients to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.

A consultant for the center says the proposal still needs to go through the certificate of need process with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services review board. The doctors plan to submit their proposal by the end of the year.

Piatt County Superintendent Pleased With Recent Election Results

Last Tuesday, voters in Piatt County voted to approve a sales tax increase that would benefit area schools.

The one-cent sales tax has been popular for area counties to vote on in the last several election cycles as school districts battle decreased revenues from the state. According to Brett Robinson, Superintendent of Cerro-Gordo schools, he was pleased with the way the election turned out.

[audio:111314cerrogordotax1.mp3] [/audio]

Cerro Gordo schools already receive funds from the Macon County sales tax, and Robinson says a blue-print for their plans on the school are already in place. He explains most of their plans involve buildings and grounds improvements.

[audio:111314cerrogordotax2.mp3] [/audio]

Many districts who have received the tax have committed to tax relief for their land owners. According to Robinson, they also are going to make that commitment, in fact, that is currently part of what they are doing with the funds streaming from Macon County.

[audio:111314cerrogordotax3.mp3] [/audio]

Robinson believes tax relief shows the tax payers their importance to the district and signifies the district realizes they are funded primarily through their revenue and they are being conscientious with those funds.

DeWitt County Bar Association To Honor Late Judge Bryan

On behalf of the DeWitt County Bar Association, a special ceremony will be held Friday afternoon to honor a recently fallen local dignitary.

The DeWitt County Bar Association invites the public to attend a memorial docket at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 14 for the late Judge Garry W. Bryan. The memorial will be held in Courtroom A in the DeWitt County Courthouse.

If you have any questions, please contact Joe Taylor, Bar President at 217-935-2183.

DCRA To Host Biennial Dinner Theater This Weekend

A biennial event for a local non-profit group is this weekend and organizers are anxiously awaiting it's opening.

Every two years, the DeWitt County Restoration Assocation hosts a dinner theater event to help support their efforts locally. Becky Adams, Chairman of the DCRA, explains this year's play is once again written and directed by Clinton's own Melanie Cheatham, titled "Terminal Holiday".

[audio:111314dcraplay1.mp3] [/audio]

A big draw for this year's production will be the amount of young people involved in the play. Adams explains Cheatham and numerous others begin work early on this and the anticipation only builds as things get closer to opening weekend.

[audio:111314dcraplay2.mp3] [/audio]

The dinner and show will be held at the American Legion this weekend.

Doors will open at 5pm on Friday and Saturday with the meal served at 6:30. Sunday's performance will have the doors open at 12pm and the meal served at 1.

Tickets are available at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Graves' Stationers or at www.dewittcountyrestoration.org.

Sheriff's Office To Focus on Seat Belt Enforcement

Earlier this fall, it was announced by the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department they would be the recipient of a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation for increased patrols within the county.

Over the Halloween weekend, the department began their DUI and seat belt enforcement through the grant. According to Chief Deputy Mike Walker, they had to get things lined up very quickly, but they were able to bring in 2 DUI arrests, which he feels was a success.

[audio:111314sheriffDUI1.mp3] [/audio]

Starting next week, the Sheriff's office will soon be focused on seat belt enforcement. Walker indicates the grant go through different cycles of zero-tolerance enforcement, and their next focus is drivers and passengers wearing seat belts. He notes they do have to set up signs that indicate drivers are entering an area that is being enforced.

[audio:111314sheriffDUI2.mp3] [/audio]

The grant helps pay for Sheriff's Deputies' overtime pay. Walker indicates there's overtime pay in the extra patrols and also the paper work that comes with issuing so many citations. He adds any revenue generated from the added patrols will go back into the County.

After the weeks leading up to and through Thanksgiving weekend, the next scheduled patrols are DUI enforcement during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Illinois Adds Four To 2015 Recruiting Class

University of Illinois basketball coach John Groce has announced the team's latest recruiting class.

Groce says high school seniors Jalen Coleman-Lands of Indianapolis, Aaron Jordan of Plainfield, Illinois and D.J. Williams of Chicago Simeon have signed national letters of intent to join the Fighting Illini next year.

Lamar State-Port Arthur junior college sophomore Darius Paul is returning after leaving last year.

Groce said Wednesday he is thrilled having the recruits. He added he believes with Coleman-Lands and Jordan, the Illini has one of the better set of shooters in the country.

He says they are "lights out" from the perimeter, and Williams can "play practically anywhere on the floor."

Groce said he is looking forward to Paul's return. He said he's proud of Paul's 
 width=progress on and off the court.

NFL Notes

>>Rams Name Hill Starting Quarterback

 Shaun Hill is taking back the reigns as starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams. The "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" head coach Jeff Fisher has named Hill his starter over Austin Davis, just two days after he said he was not considering a change. Hill began the season as the starter, but was hurt midway through the season-opener against Minnesota and replaced by Davis, who has played every game since. The 3-and-6 Rams host the 7-and-2 Denver Broncos this Sunday. Davis has thrown for over two-thousand yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions in nine games this season.

>>Bills, Dolphins Face Key Test On "Thursday Night Football"

 A key AFC East matchup takes place on "Thursday Night Football" as the Buffalo Bills battle the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Both teams are 5-and-4 and tied for second place in the division, behind the 7-and-2 Patriots. The Bills are coming off a 17-13 loss to the Chiefs this past Sunday after winning three of their previous four games. Buffalo is 3-and-1 on the road and beat Miami 29-10 at home in Week Two. The Dolphins surrendered a last-minute touchdown in a 20-16 loss at Detroit on Sunday. That snapped Miami's three-game winning streak. The Fins have lost three straight to the Bills.

>>Cowboys' Bryant Addresses Contract Negotiations

 width= Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant says he is a "very loyal person, but just don't test my loyalty." Bryant spoke to the media about his latest contract offer on Wednesday. He said "at the end of the day, I want to win. But at the same time, I have a family and that's what is important." He added that he would be "highly disappointed" if they're unable to reach a contract extension with the Cowboys and he gets the franchise tag next season. Bryant is playing in the final year of his rookie contract. He has 56 catches for 793 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games this season.

NHL Notes

Toronto Maple Leafs 6, Boston Bruins 1

>>Blues Host Predators Tonight

 width= The Blues continue their five-game homestand tonight as the Predators invade Scottrade Center. The Blues beat the Sabres 6-1 on Tuesday after having their seven-game winning streak snapped Saturday by the Preds. Nashville has won three straight and four of its last five games.

College Update

>>College Football Playoff Top-25 Poll

 For the third-straight week there is change in college football's final four. The College Football Playoff selection committee released its third edition of the rankings this season. Auburn drops from third to ninth following its loss to Texas A&M. TCU slides into the top-four, while Oregon moves up from fourth-to-second, Florida State falls one spot to third and Mississippi State remains steady at number-one. Alabama, Arizona State, Baylor, Ohio State, Auburn and Ole Miss round out the top 10. After losses, Michigan State falls from seventh to 12th and Kansas State from eighth to 13th. UCLA jumps seven spots to 11th. The semifinal matchups will be announced on Sunday, December 7th. The semifinals will be played on January 1st at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The National Championship Game will take place January 12th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

>>FSU's Winston's Conduct Hearing Delayed

 Florida State is delaying the code of conduct hearing for quarterback Jameis Winston's sexual assault allegations. The "Orlando Sentinel" reports the hearing originally set for next Monday will be pushed back to December 1st. Winston is facing as many as four code of conduct policy violations. A former FSU student accused Winston of raping her in December 2012, but the Florida state attorney's office chose not to pursue criminal charges against him following an investigation last December.

>>Georgia Reinstates RB Gurley

 Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley is reinstated after a four-game suspension. He is on track to play in Saturday's game against Auburn. Gurley was suspended for accepting money in exchange for signing memorabilia. He was an early Heisman Trophy candidate, rushing for 773 yards and eight touchdowns before being suspended.

National Nutritionist Emphasizes Importance of Dairy Products

One national nutritionist is attempting to debunk myths regarding certain foods. 

Christopher Speed , Dietician from NYU, explains dairy is one of the major food groups that should not be removed for the everyday diet. He says many are removing dairy due to thoughts of its harm to general health. Yet, Speed notes dairy provides many important nutrients including calcium. He adds most calcium supplements are not suitable substitutes for dairy foods.

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Speed notes calcium shouldn't be taken out of context with other nutrients. He says calcium taken without the proper vitamins may not be led to the proper cells and bones which could increase the risk for heart disease.

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Speed stresses any food can be harmful to the body when not taken in moderation.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more of Speed's advice regarding red meats and proteins.

Children's Advocacy Center Begins Blue Kids Tree Campaign

The Children's Advocacy Center serving DeWitt, McLean and Livingston Counties will soon be distributing their "Blue Kids Trees".

The "Blue Kids Trees" is a holiday season drive they do where they distribute Christmas trees to area businesses for the purpose of collecting items they need through the course of a year. According to Executive Director, Judy Brucker, the trees may have requests for items such as gas cards or coats.

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Because the needs of the many children and families they serve, it may seem like donated items would get used quickly, however, Brucker explains they try to be careful and diligent with how they use the donations they receive from the public.

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Thanks to community donations last year, Brucker indicates they collected over $10-thousand worth of needed items.

For businesses leaders wanting to have a tree placed in their operation, it is not too late to do so. Brucker encourages anyone interested to contact her at 309-888-5656.

Lincoln Heritage Committee Presents 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

The Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County will be presenting a special community event tomorrow night.

The committee has been meeting for several years now. Their objective is to educate the community as much about Abraham Lincoln as possible. Several well-known local citizens help to make up the committee according to Treasurer Marian Brisard. She mentions their passion for Lincoln propels them to devote time to the organization.

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Brisard notes the committee held their first annual Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner last year. The event was a great success and featured Max and Donna Daniels as Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.

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This Thursday will feature another traditional thanksgiving meal provided by Ferguson Barbeque and Catering. The Daniels' will also return to present a one-act play called "An Evening With Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln". Brisard explains the play will take place in April of 1865 and feature the Lincoln's reflections of major life events.

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Doors will open at the Clinton United Methodist Church at 6pm with the meal served at 6:30. The cost is $15.00 per person.

Tickets can be purchased at the DeWitt County Museum, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln Heritage Committee members. For more information, you can call 217-935-3364


Toronto Raptors 104, Orlando Magic 100
Memphis Grizzlies 107, Los Angeles Lakers 102
Milwaukee Bucks 85, Oklahoma City Thunder 78
Dallas Mavericks 106, Sacramento Kings 98
Portland Trail Blazers 102, Charlotte Hornets 100
San Antonio Spurs 113, Golden State Warriors 100

New Jersey Devils 3, Minnesota Wild 1
New York Islanders 6, Colorado Avalanche 0
New York Rangers 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
Washington Capitals 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Montreal Canadiens 3, Winnipeg Jets 0
Florida Panthers 4, San Jose Sharks 1
St. Louis Blues 6, Buffalo Sabres 1
Nashville Predators 3, Edmonton Oilers 2
Chicago Blackhawks 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (SO)
Dallas Stars 4, Arizona Coyotes 3
Vancouver Canucks 4, Ottawa Senators 3 (OT)

Bulls Visit Raptors Tomorrow

The Bulls will be in Toronto to take on the Raptors tomorrow night.  Derrick Rose scored 24 points in his return to lead the Bulls to a 102-91 win over the Pistons their last time out on Monday.  Chicago improved to 6-and-2 on the season with its fifth win in six games.  Tomorrow's tilt tips off at 7:00. 

Blackhawks Edge Lightning In Shootout

Patrick Kane scored the lone goal in the second round of the shootout as the Blackhawks edged the Lightning 3-2 at the United Center.  Brad Richards and Marcus Kruger both scored in regulation for the 'Hawks, who have won three of four.  Corey Crawford made 25 saves plus stopped all three shootout attempts.  The 'Hawks will visit the Red Wings on Friday. 

Bears Cut WR Holmes

The Bears have parted ways with wide receiver Santonio Holmes.  The former Super Bowl MVP signed a one-year contract with the Bears in August.  Holmes managed just eight catches for 67 yards in nine games.  The nine-year veteran became expendable with fellow wideout Marquess Wilson ready to be activated from the injured reserve/designated to return list. 

Rams Prepare For Peyton, Broncos

The Rams return to the practice field today as they prepare for Sunday's home game against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.  The Rams are back home after three straight road games, in which they went 1-and-2.  The Rams are 3-and-6 overall.  Denver leads the AFC West at 7-and-2. 

Cardinals Sign Infielder Dean Anna

The Cardinals have signed free agent infielder Dean Anna.  He played in 12 games for the Yankees this past season, batting .133 with one home run and three RBI.  The Cards also signed infielder Scott Moore and pitchers Marcus Hatley and Miguel Socolovich to minor-league deals. 

Illinois Host Iowa Saturday

Illinois has a home football game this weekend against Iowa.  The Fighting Illini host the Hawkeyes Saturday at Memorial Stadium, with kickoff at 11 a.m.  Illinois is coming off a bye.  The Illini are 4-and-5 overall and 1-and-4 in the Big Ten.  Iowa comes in 6-and-3 and 3-and-2.

Donations Sought for Springfield War Memorial

A Springfield nonprofit is looking for donations to pay for the building of a war memorial honoring service members who received Purple Heart medals for their combat experiences.

Hayes-Krell Memorial Chapter 159 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is looking for an additional $10,000 to $12,000 for a Purple Heart Memorial to be installed at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Members plan to collect donations Nov. 15 at Springfield's Sixth Street Walmart.

Officials say the chapter has raised about $32,000 so far, with a number of donations from various military organizations.

Chapter Trustee Robert Cowles says any money collected beyond the cost of the memorial's construction will be donated to veterans' organizations.

Illinois Tornado Recovery Continues

The American Red Cross says recovery efforts are continuing in parts of Illinois hit by deadly tornadoes a year ago.

The not-for-profit relief group said Tuesday there are still nearly 500 active cases being addressed in the affected communities one year after the tornadoes. The Red Cross reports that some residents have ongoing mental health issues, homes in need of repair or soil contamination.

The storms on Nov. 17 of last year damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in central Illinois. Neighborhoods were flattened in towns such as Washington and Gifford. More than half a dozen people died as a result.

Officials say nearly 90 percent of the money donated to the Red Cross for the disaster has been spent or committed to be spent in coming recovery projects.

Bloomington Man Acquitted of Shooting At Officer

A Bloomington man has been acquitted of firing a gun at a police officer in March.

McLean County Circuit Judge Scott Drazewski found 18-year-old Baily Pontius not guilty after a bench trial Monday. The judge decreed there was no evidence that Pontius "attempted to discharge the weapon in the direction" of Bloomington police officer Scott Wold.

Pontius surrendered to police when they found him west of the city with a loaded handgun after his mother reported Pontius and the gun missing from their home.

Drazewski did convict Pontius of possession of a stolen gun, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a gun without a permit.

Pontius has a history of treatment for mental illness.

Data Visualization' Aim of Supercomputing Grant

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications has received a $1.5 million grant to bring computer modeling to the silver screen.

The National Science Foundation grant will help the computing center develop museum shows and science documentaries with data visualization.

University of Illinois professor Donna Cox is director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory. She says research teams will use data visualization to show how integral supercomputing and data are to daily life.

The grant will pay for "ultra-high resolution" digital shows premiering at large-screen theaters, then remade for museum and planetarium viewing. The money will also fund nine high-definition documentaries to be distributed via online video services.

The first production is "Solar Superstorms" about potentially disruptive radiation explosions on the sun.

Pair of Managers Fired At DJWH

Regional Radio News has learned that 2 management team members at the Doctor John Warner Hospital in Clinton, were fired last Friday.  Emergency Room Director Renee Kallevig and Director of Nursing Heidi Cook, were both terminated from their jobs.  We've also learned that Kathy Isaac has been appointed the interim Director of Nursing.  Interim CEO Robert Woleben could not be reached for comment.

Escaping The Wealth Gap Can Mean Fleeing Hometowns

Young people from struggling towns across the U.S. are finding a way to thrive - by moving.

With manufacturing's decline and a widening wealth gap, the key to the middle class for many now is higher education and a willingness to relocate for work.

Census data show that higher-educated the workers move most often and farthest. Those who stay or have less education can be caught in the downward pull of struggling areas.

No comprehensive data contrast the fates of those who stay and those who leave, but there are partial glimpses.

A survey of 2012 Michigan public university graduates, for example, found that 63 percent still lived in the state a year later. But those who moved were far more likely to have full-time jobs and earned significantly more.

Hunters Can Use State Police Shooting Ranges

Hunters can use the state police shooting ranges to sharpen up their skills and test out their shotguns before opening day. State Police Sergeant Matt Boerwinkle says the idea is to promote hunting safety and prevent accidents.

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Ranges in Joliet, Effingham, Macomb, Pawnee, and Pittsfield will be open this Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The program is only open to hunters and handguns will not allowed. Anyone interested in using the ranges should have a valid FOID card, have their own ammunition, and have their unloaded shotgun inside a case when they get to the range. They should also make a reservation before Saturday. Targets will be provided.

Restaurants Offer Freebies For Military Servicemen

 It's time to celebrate the men and women who serve the country.  Veterans Day is tomorrow and those who have worn the uniform can take advantage of freebies all across the state.  Applebee's, Chick-fil-A, Chili's, Bob Evans, Denny's, TGIFriday's, and Hooters are among the long list of restaurants offering free meals to veterans and active duty servicemen.  Some of the freebies are only good during lunch hours so anyone who'd like to take advantage of the deals should call the restaurant or check the website for specifics.

Rutherford Working To Reunite Veterans With Medals

Illinois treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd) is again trying to reunite veterans and their families with lost military medals, ribbons, dog tags and paperwork left in unclaimed safe-deposit boxes.

Rutherford says his office has 120 unclaimed military metals in the Capitol vault in Springfield.

He says some of the material may have been put in a safe-deposit box by people who eventually died or who have since moved.

Rutherford's has named the effort to connect the medals with their former owners "Operation Reunite."

A website for the effort can be found at treasurer.il.gov. The Operation Reunite section lists people last connected with the boxes.

Rutherford says he hopes someone will recognize the names, so the items can be returned.

Congressman Davis Says Wage Increase Must Include Comprehensive Tax Reform

With the prospect of increasing the minimum wage in Illinois while neighboring states keeping theirs lower, some worry that will put the Land of Lincoln at a disadvantage from other states. Even President Barack Obama said increasing the Federal Minimum Wage would be better at making things more fair from state-to-state. Congressman Rodney Davis says any increase in the federal minimum wage must be paired with comprehensive tax reform

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Davis says the Congressional Budget Office indicates hundreds of thousands of people could lose their jobs across the country if there was an increase in the minimum wage to ten-ten and hour. Voters in four different states voted in favor of a binding referendum to increase their minimum wage. Illinois voters voted in favor of a nonbinding referendum to increase the states' minimum wage.

Treasurer Race Down to Hundreds of Votes

The race for Treasurer still isn’t finished and it’s only getting closer, just hundreds of vote now separate the two candidates.

Votes are still being counted in Chicago as mail-in ballots are being tabulated in the razor thin race between Republican Tom Cross and Democrat Mike Frerichs. Cross still has the lead – a miniscule 677 votes - as election officials say that Democrat Mike Frerichs picked up 9,446 votes in Chicago while Cross added 2,043 from mail-in ballots.

Mail-in ballots from all over the state are being tabulated. Cross has seen gains from other areas but Frerichs has moved ever closer to Cross closing the gap with votes counted in Chicago and other large metro areas in the state.

Weekly Crop Report



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EHD Numbers Down In Deer

With deer hunting in full swing for 2014, hunters this year should notice a slight uptick in the number of deer available.

According to Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer John Williamson, the last two fall seasons have been very dry which has led to hundreds of deer across the state contracting a disease called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD. Williamson says it comes from a biting midge that can only hatch it's eggs if the banks of area waterways recede enough.

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Hunters across the state are concerned about the numbers after two years of battling EHD. Because of that some areas of the state have canceled certain deer hunting seasons. Williamson feels the recovery of the deer population is all part of a natural progression.

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Williamson has seen plenty of young deer as he hits the rural roads of the area. He feels that is a positive sign because the numbers of deer should begin to restore in the next few years.

LCHS Taking Extra Precautions For School Safety

 width=In a day and age where safety in schools has become a top priority, districts across the country have to take extra precautions to keep their students and staff safe.

Lincoln Community High School is preparing staff and students for the possibility of events similar to recent happenings in Connecticut and Washington involving school shootings. According to Superintendent Robert Bagby, drills can never be reinforced too much, which is why he stresses every safety precaution possible is taken during the school day.

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Different drills are done during various times of day at random and Bagby notes teachers have the biggest responsibility oto make sure every student is accounted for. Bagby says it's difficult to maintain safety in all locations, but he feels his staff does a good job.

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Bagby adds the LCHS School Board has recently spent money to update various safety units throughout the campus. New doors and cameras have been installed over the last couple years. He says it's not a stretch to say nearly a half-million dollars have been invested in school safety upgrades across the school.

DeWitt County Museum Preparing For Holiday Season

 width=The holiday season is just around the corner and leaders of a local landmark are beginning their preparations for the holidays.

Image right courtesy of CHMooreHomestead.org

The DeWitt County is actively preparing for one of the more popular times of the year at the CH Moore Homestead. Their Candlelight Tours begin the day after Thanksgiving and Joey Woolridge, Assistant Manager of the DeWitt County Museum, explains the tours are a great family event.

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Every room in the museum is decorated in a very unique way and according to Woolridge, there's something very special about touring the house in the evening. "A Starry Night" will be the theme for this year's holiday season and each room will follow the theme in some way.

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The Candlelight Tours will begin on Friday November 29th and will continue each Friday through December 26th. For more information on the tours, you can go to www.chmoorehomestead.org or call 935-6066.

Final Four Set For Homestead

Two months ago, 16 drivers had hopes of winning this year's Sprint Cup Series championship, but now, just four of them remain in the Chase, as they will battle for title in Sunday's season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 width=After the first round in the Chase, the Challenger Round, A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, the 2004 series champion, and Greg Biffle were eliminated from title contention.

Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most-popular driver, Jimmie Johnson, the six-time and defending Sprint Cup champion, and Kasey Kahne were knocked out of the playoffs following the Contender Round.

This past Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon, the four-time series titleholder, as well as former Cup champions Matt Kenseth (2003) and Brad Keselowski (2012) failed to advance in the elimination race of the Eliminator Round.

Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, the winner at Phoenix, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman are the final four. None of these drivers has won a championship in NASCAR's premier series in the past. Four teams -- Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske -- and all three car manufacturers -- Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota -- are represented.

Hamlin, Harvick, Logano and Newman had their points reset to 5,000 each for Homestead, and the highest finisher among the four there will win the title. 

Blues Host Sabres Tonight

 width=The Blues will try to get back on track tonight when they host the Sabres at Scottrade Center. The Blues had their seven-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to Nashville on Saturday. St. Louis is 9-4-and-1 overall with 19 points. Buffalo is last in the NHL with just eight points.

Boston Bruins 4, New Jersey Devils 2
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Calgary Flames 1

Chicago's Abreu Wins Rookie of the Year

 width=>>Mets' deGrom, White Sox's Abreu Win MLB Rookie Honors

(New York, NY) -- New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu [[ ah-BRAY-oo ]] are Major League Baseball's Rookies of the Year. The 26-year-old deGrom received 26-of-30 first-place votes to take National League honors, beating out Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton and St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong. deGrom went 9-and-6 with a 2.69 ERA in 22 starts this season. Abreu was a unanimous choice in the American League, receiving all 30-first-place votes. He easily outdistanced Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Matt Shoemaker and New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances [[ beh-TAN-sess ]]. Abreu hit .317 with 36 home runs and 107 RBI in 145 games this season. The Manager of the Year in both leagues will be announced on Tuesday.

>>Mets Sign Cuddyer To Two-Year Deal

(Flushing, NY) -- The New York Mets are adding Michael Cuddyer [[ kuh-DYE-er ]] to their outfield. They have signed the 35-year-old, two-time All-Star to a two-year contract. Cuddyer won a batting title in 2013 with a .331 average for the Colorado Rockies, but was limited to just 49 games last season due to injuries. He still hit .332 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI. Cuddyer spent the last three seasons with Colorado after playing his first 11 seasons with Minnesota.

>>Rays Add Larkin, Glanville To Managerial Pool

(St. Petersburg, FL) -- The Tampa Bay Rays are adding to the list of names up for their managerial position. The Rays announced Monday that Barry Larkin and Doug Glanville are also candidates to replace Joe Maddon as the team's skipper. An initial list of eight candidates was released last Thursday, but Rays President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman said it would likely grow through the search process. The Rays have since interviewed five of those contenders.

>>Cruz Turns Down O's' Qualifying Offer

(Baltimore, MD) -- Reigning MLB home run king Nelson Cruz will test free agency for the second straight offseason. MLB.com reports Cruz has rejected the Orioles' one-year, 15.3-million-dollar qualifying offer. If he signs elsewhere, the O's will receive draft pick compensation. The 34-year-old led the big leagues with 40 home runs and drove in 108 runs during his first season in Baltimore this year. He signed a one-year deal last offseason after eight seasons with Texas.

Rose Leads Bulls Past Pistons

 width=After sitting out four of the team's last five games, Derrick Rose totaled 24 points and seven assists to lead the Bulls to a 102-91 win over the Pistons at the United Center. Jimmy Butler chipped in 19 points and Pau Gasol recorded a double-double with 17 and 15 boards. Joakim Noah also finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds for Chicago, which has won five of its last six. Josh Smith paced Detroit with 19 points and 11 boards in the loss. Greg Monroe and D.J. Augustin each added 16 as the Pistons dropped their second straight game.

Indiana Pacers 97, Utah Jazz 86
Cleveland Cavaliers 118, New Orleans Pelicans 111
Atlanta Hawks 91, New York Knicks 85
San Antonio Spurs 89, Los Angeles Clippers 85

Trestman Says No Shake Up Planned

 width=Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman says he has no plans to shake up his staff, at least for now.

Trestman says there will not be any changes "at this time." He continues to back defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and dismisses the idea that quarterback Jay Cutler is losing the support of his teammates.

Trestman spoke Monday on the heels of another ugly loss, a 55-14 thumping at Green Bay that just added to the frustration around Chicago. The Bears (3-6) hit a new low coming out of a bye and lost for the fifth time in six games.

>>Eagles Pound Panthers

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Mark Sanchez threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles pounded the Panthers 45-21 in Philadelphia. Jordan Matthews had seven grabs for 138 yards and two scores for the Eagles, who led by as many as 38 points en route to improving to 7-and-2. Philadelphia's defense had nine sacks, forced five turnovers, and Darren Sproles returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown in the victory. Cam Newton threw for 306 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions for the Panthers, who fell to 3-6-and-1 with their third straight loss. Kelvin Benjamin hauled in a pair of touchdown receptions in garbage time.

Lunt Back For Illini

 width=Wes Lunt will be back under center when Illinois faces Iowa Saturday. Illinois' receivers will be glad to see him.

Receiver Mike Dudek said Monday the Illini (4-5, 1-4 Big Ten) can feel a "different vibe" with Lunt back at quarterback.

Lunt is averaging 313.8 yards a game passing and has 13 touchdowns. But he's missed the last three games after breaking a bone in his left leg against Purdue.

Without him Illinois used the run more and picked up a win against Minnesota. But the Illini lost at Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Lunt says he's not worried about playing after the injury.

But offensive coordinator Bill Cubit says Illinois will need to run the ball better than it has so Iowa (6-3, 3-2) can't focus solely on Lunt.

Epstein, Cubs Welcome Investigation Into Maddon Hiring

 width=Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein says the team is totally fine with Major League Baseball checking into whether there was anything improper about the way it hired new manager Joe Maddon.

"We welcome the MLB investigation," Epstein told reporters Monday night at the general managers' meetings.

"As we said last week, there was no tampering whatsoever. I'd rather they investigate so we can clear our names and move on from this quickly. We're giving our full cooperation," Epstein said.

The Cubs announced Oct. 31 that Rick Renteria had been fired after one season as manager and that Maddon was hired.

Maddon opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay soon after Rays executive Andrew Friedman left the club to take over the Los Angeles Dodgers in mid-October. Epstein recently said the Cubs checked with MLB to be sure Maddon was OK to talk with other clubs before negotiating with him.

ISU Football Returns to Top 10 In Polls

 width=The Illinois State football team picked up its fourth win over a Top-25 ranked opponent with a 35-21 win over Youngstown State last Saturday at Hancock Stadium. That victory catapulted the Redbirds (8-1, 5-1 MVFC) back into the Top 10 of both national Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) polls announced Monday.

The Redbirds advanced five spots to No. 7 in the FCS Coaches Poll and moved up four spots to No. 8 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25 following their win over the Penguins.

For the eighth-straight week, seven Missouri Valley Football teams are ranked in the Top 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll and six MVFC teams are among the Top 25 in the Sports Network rankings. North Dakota State (9-1, 5-1 MVFC) fell to fourth, after suffering just its third loss since the start of the 2011 season for three-time defending FCS National Champion.

The Redbirds are back on the road this Saturday, Nov. 15, as they travel to South Dakota (2-8, 0-6 MVFC). Kickoff at the Dakota Dome is set for 1 p.m.

ISU Wins Exhibition

 width=Newcomer DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored in bursts and finished with 16 points, as he propelled Illinois State to a 76-67 exhibition win against in-state foe Lewis at Redbird Arena Monday night.

Akoon-Purcell led four Redbirds in double figures, thanks to a 5-for-8 shooting effort from the field. Reggie Lynch added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, to go along with seven blocked shots. Paris Lee added 14 points and four assists for ISU and Daishon Knight chipped in 13 points and dished out five assists in the victory.

The Redbirds will open the regular season Sunday, Nov. 16, when they host Utah State in a BracketBusters return game from 2013. Tipoff at Redbird Arena is set for 4 p.m.

Information courtesy of GoRedbirds.com.

DJWH Board Seeks Management Firm To Run Hospital; New Interim CEO Named

The Dr. John Warner Hospital Board is seeking a management firm to operate the hospital.

Joanna Holtman, Chair of the Personnel Committee, tells Regional Radio News the committee has been charged to take the lead in this effort.

She indicates four Requests For Proposals, RFPs, have been sent out to Alliant Management Services, Community Hospital Corporation from Plano, TX, Health Tech Management Services from Tennessee, and Quorum from Brentwood, Tennessee.

Holtman indicates they are seeking information as it pertains to services, fees and other information.

Because of the upcoming holiday season, the Board has requested the information be sent back no later than January 15, 2015 with the board to review it and return correspondence by the end of February.

The hospital board has once before tried to bring on Alliant Management Services, but that attempt failed in late April as the Clinton City Council denied the request of the Hospital to amend their budget. The hospital is owned by the City of Clinton.

This news comes on the heels of Interim CEO Robert Wolleben resigning the post effective November 21. Rex McKinney from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, IN has been named the new interim CEO.

McKinney will be the hospital's third interim CEO in the last six months.

IDOC Explains Plans To Treat Mentally Ill Inmates

A report says Illinois' prison system is ready to create four treatment units and add 350 clinical staff to help improve conditions for mentally ill inmates.

The document was filed recently by the Illinois Department of Corrections as part of civil litigation working its way through federal court in Peoria.

Reports indicate plans to renovate facilities at the Dixon, Pontiac and Logan correctional centers. Those changes would offer beds for 900 inmates with serious mentally illness.

The department would also reopen a former Joliet youth home as a mental health campus. That could bring the total number of available beds to 1,235.

The filing comes after a hearing where inmates' lawyers ask for accounts of its progress in improving treatment for mentally ill inmates.

Police Say Illinois Sex Offender Molests Girl

Champaign County authorities have arrested a registered sex offender from Mahomet who they say molested a girl under the age of 13.

According to reports, a judge ordered the 33-year-old man held on $500,000 bond. Authorities are expected to formally charge him Monday with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Sheriff's Sgt. Tony Shaw says the girl told her mother about inappropriate contact she had with the man, who had a position of authority over her. He says sheriff's investigators and a forensic interviewer at the Child Advocacy center in Urbana interviewed her and determined her statements about what had happened were consistent.

The man pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2003 in Champaign County.

U of I Extension Staff Taking To Blogging World For Outreach of Information

A local entity is providing several resources for anyone looking to find ways to eat healthier.

Online blogging has exploded in recent years and the Univerisy of Illinois Extension is taking full advantage of that trend. Caitlin Huth, with the U of I Extension, contributes to three blogs with relevant information that is useful for those wanting to prepare healthier options for their families.

[audio:11514healthblog1.mp3] [/audio]

Other blogs also give tips on gardening and various agriculture topics and Huth feels they make great resources for anyone with a variety of interests when it comes to healthy living.

[audio:11514healthblog2.mp3] [/audio]

The various blogs usually stay current and will soon be providing relevant information pertaining to the holidays. The blogs can be found at web.extension.illinois.edu/dmp.

Lincoln Groups To Merge And Form New Group

A group of local organizations in Lincoln will soon be pooling their resources and merging as one.

The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Lincoln, and the Logan County Tourism Bureau are joining forces in an effort to better assist Logan County. Andi Hake is the current Executive Director of the Chamber, she explains the merger should be of great benefit to the community as well as local businesses by reducing redundancies between the organizations.

[audio:11614chambermerge1.mp3] [/audio]

While each group has their own mission, Hake explains the combined goals are now the same. The number one goal for the merger is to find a common brand and message for Logan County.

[audio:11614chambermerge2.mp3] [/audio]

Tthe Chamber will still not stop their devotion to local businesses, however, Development Services may be added through the City of Lincol which Hake notes means a major emphasis will be placed on tourism due to the economic growth it could bring.

[audio:11614chambermerge3.mp3] [/audio]

Hake explains the merge will allow there to be a "one-stop shop" for visitors to Logan County who need to gather information. She says the full merge will occur officially sometime this month or in December.

Sheriff Appreciates Community Support Despite No Opponent in Tuesday Election

 width=Despite not having an opponent in the Tuesday election, one local official says it is still a big night for him and his department.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner ran unopposed Tuesday night in the election that saw major change sweep DeWitt County. Despite running unopposed, the Sheriff tries to keep in mind each day he's a public servant.

[audio:11714sheriffwin1.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Sheriff, the past four years under his tenure have been very successful. He says there have been a couple violent crimes they have successfully solved and points to being able to effectively help people at all hours of the day.

[audio:11714sheriffwin2.mp3] [/audio]

To keep deputies more active in the smaller, more rural areas of the County, Sheriff Shofner indicates his office has partnered with the fire departments of the rural areas. The Sheriff explains this has allowed his deputies the opportunity for a place to go and be out and active while on patrol

[audio:11714sheriffwin3.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff feels he has fulfilled every promise he made four years ago and is committed to not rest and become stagnant, but to continue to innovate and be efficient and most importantly continue serving the people of DeWitt County.

He credits his staff for their hard work and appreciates their dedication to the community.

Saturday College Football Recap

 width=>>Alabama Survives LSU

Despite a late fourth-quarter turnover, Alabama is still alive in the national championship race.

Blake Sims threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to DeAndrew White in overtime to boost the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide to a 20-13 win over No. 14 LSU Saturday night.

T.J. Yeldon fumbled at the Alabama 6 with 1:13 left, and Colby Delahoussaye kicked a 39-yard field goal to give LSU the lead with 50 seconds remaining.

Sims, though, led Alabama down the field with some clutch plays and Adam Griffith's 27-yard field goal with three seconds left forced OT.

The Crimson Tide got the ball first in OT, and White caught Sims' looping pass on the right side of the end zone.

Anthony Jennings then threw four straight incompletions to end the game. The final attempt to the end zone was knocked away to finish the fourth overtime game since 2005 between the foes.

 width=>>Oregon Dominates Utah

Led by an Oregon convoy, Joe Walker raced into the end zone while Utah was celebrating an apparent touchdown at the other end.

It was a 14-point swing in the matter of seconds and the Utes never recovered.

Marcus Mariota threw three touchdown passes and ran in another as the fifth-ranked Ducks defeated No. 20 Utah 51-27 on Saturday night.

Utah was set to take a 14-0 lead after Kaelin Clay beat the Oregon secondary for what looked like a 79-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

There was just one problem. He celebrated too soon.

On a 3rd-and-5 at the Utah 21, Travis Wilson fired a strike to a streaking Clay over the middle near the Oregon 40. Clay beat Erick Dargan in a foot race en route to the end zone but dropped the ball in celebration at the 1 prior to crossing the goal line.

The ball lay in the end zone for a few seconds as the referee never signaled for a touchdown. After a brief scuffle in the end zone and another fumble, Walker picked up the loose ball and ran 100 yards the other way along the right sideline to tie the game at 7-7.

As the play was under review, Clay was in disbelief on the Utah bench and lowered his headband over his eyes as the referee confirmed the Oregon touchdown.

It was the beginning of a 24 straight points for the Ducks (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12), who clinched the Pac-12 North with the victory.

Mariota was 17-of-29 for 239 yards and carried the ball 18 times for 114 yards. Royce Freeman gained 99 yards rushing with a score on 15 totes and Dwayne Stanford caught a pair of TD passes in the triumph.

 width=>>Ohio State Outlasts Michigan State

J.T. Barrett threw three touchdown passes and added two scores on the ground, leading the 13th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to a 49-37 victory over No. 7 Michigan State in the first-ever November night game at Spartan Stadium.

Ohio State avenged its loss to Michigan State in last year's Big Ten Championship Game and now has the inside track at reaching this year's title game. The Buckeyes also remained in the mix for college football's four-team playoff.

Barrett completed 16-of-26 passes for 300 yards for the Buckeyes (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten), who set a Big Ten record with their 21st straight regular-season conference win. Barrett also carried the ball 14 times for 86 yards.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries for Ohio State, which has won seven in a row. Devin Smith caught six passes for 129 yards and a score.

Connor Cook connected on 25-of-45 passes for 358 yards and two touchdowns for the Spartans (7-2, 4-1), who had won 13 straight Big Ten games.

 width=>>TCU Dominates K-State

Trevone Boykin failed to stick the landing on a somersault into the end zone, but it was an otherwise flawless performance for the TCU quarterback on Saturday.

Boykin accounted for 342 yards and four touchdowns and No. 6 TCU made its national title case by routing No. 9 Kansas State, 41-20, in a Big 12 showdown.

What was billed as an elimination game for the inaugural college football playoff turned into a one-sided affair, with the Horned Frogs (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) gashing the Wildcats' vaunted defense for 553 yards.

Boykin did most of the damage with 219 yards and a TD on 23-of-34 passing while adding 123 yards and three scores on the ground, including an acrobatic run early in the third quarter that ended with him being flipped into the end zone.

Aaron Green ran for 171 yards and a touchdown for TCU, which forced a three-way tie atop the conference. The Horned Frogs will be heavy favorites against Kansas, Texas and Iowa State the rest of the way and will likely move up from No. 6 in the playoff rankings.

 width=>>Texas A&M Upsets Auburn

Kyle Allen threw four first-half touchdowns and Auburn lost a pair of fumbles in the final minutes, as Texas A&M produced a 41-38 victory over the No. 3 Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.

Allen ended up with 277 yards passing on 19-of-29 attempts for the Aggies (7-3, 3-3 SEC), as Josh Reynolds posted two TD receptions and Malcome Kennedy and Ricky Seals-Jones one apiece.

Kennedy led all receivers with 118 yards on just four grabs, while Reynolds totaled six catches for 88 yards.

Nick Marshall completed 15-of-21 passes for 219 yards, two scores, an interception and a costly fumble for the Tigers (7-2, 4-2), who nearly completed a comeback from a 35-17 halftime deficit. He also ran for 67 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Cameron Artis-Payne rumbled to 221 yards and two TDs on 30 carries, but coughed up the ball twice, the final time on a potential go-ahead scoring chance with 2 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

 width=>>Arizona State Crushes Notre Dame

Taylor Kelly accounted for four touchdowns to outduel a mistake-prone Everett Golson, and 11th-ranked Arizona State vaulted itself into the College Football Playoff conversation with a thrilling 55-31 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame.

The Sun Devils roared out to a 34-3 first-half lead by converting three Golson turnovers into touchdowns, then warded off a furious comeback attempt by the Fighting Irish before pulling away late for their fifth straight win.

Golson threw a career-high four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns by Damarious Randall and Lloyd Carrington, and lost a fumble to offset a 446-yard passing day and likely end Notre Dame's hopes for a selection in the end-of-the-year playoff.

The Irish (7-2) entered the matchup 10th in the latest playoff rankings, one spot behind Arizona State (8-1), which also got seven sacks from its swarming defense in addition to the five takeaways.

NCAA Top-25 Football (College Football Playoff Rankings)
#1 Mississippi State Bulldogs 45, Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks 16
#2 Florida State Seminoles 34, Virginia Cavaliers 20
#11 Ole Miss Rebels 48, Presbyterian Blue Hose 0
#12 Baylor Bears 48, #15 Oklahoma Sooners 14
#18 UCLA Bruins 44, Washington Huskies 30
#19 Arizona Wildcats 38, Colorado Buffaloes 20
#20 Georgia Bulldogs 63, Kentucky Wildcats 31
#22 Duke Blue Devils 27, Syracuse Orange 10
Texas Longhorns 33, #23 West Virginia Mountaineers 16
#24 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 56, NC State Wolfpack 23
#25 Wisconsin Badgers 34, Purdue Boilermakers 16

Harvick Wins At PIR

 width=Kevin Harvick put on a dominating performance to win Sunday's Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway and automatically clinch one of the four spots for next week's championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Harvick led 264 of 312 laps to win a Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix for the third consecutive time.  Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman will join Harvick as the four drivers battling for the Sprint Cup title next weekend at Homestead.  Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski were eliminated from the Chase. 

Baseball Notes

>>Top Rookies Kick Off MLB Postseason Awards Week

(Undated) -- Major League Baseball will begin handing out its major postseason awards today. The Rookie of the Year in both the National and American League will be announced. The finalists in the Senior Circuit are Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong and Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. The American League finalists are White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu [[ ah-BRAY-oo ]], Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker and Yankees pitcher Dellin Betances [[ beh-TAN-sess ]]. Managers of the Year will be presented on Tuesday, with the Cy Young Awards on Wednesday and MVP winners on Thursday.

 width=>>Mets' Wright Making Progress From Shoulder Injury

(Flushing, NY) -- New York Mets third baseman David Wright is making progress from a shoulder injury that cost him most of the final month of this past season. The 31-year-old was shut down in early September with left shoulder inflammation. Wright was later diagnosed with a rotator cuff contusion and the Mets said Friday an exam this week has shown "marked improvement." He hit just .269 with a career-low eight home runs and 63 RBI in 134 games this year.

>>Dodgers Add Gabe Kapler To Front Office

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Gabe Kapler is going from the broadcast studio to a major league front office. ESPN Los Angeles reports the Dodgers are adding the FOX Sports 1 analyst as the team's new farm director. Kapler has been with the network since it launched in August of 2013. He played 12 big league seasons for six different clubs, including the 2004 World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

>>Perez, Longoria Joining MLB All-Star Tour Of Japan

(New York, NY) -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Rays third baseman Evan Longoria are joining the final roster for Major League Baseball's tour of Japan. The MLB team will play a five-game series against a squad of Japanese League All-Stars, starting next week. Perez will be joined by three others from the pennant winning Royals - pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, shortstop Alcides Escobar and backup catcher Erik Kratz. Three players previously named to the squad won't participate, as Washington's Bryce Harper, Baltimore's Adam Jones and the Angels' Albert Pujols [[ POO-holes ]] all opted out of the series. Boston's John Farrell will manage the team, replacing Ron Washington. Washington was originally selected in August before resigning as manager of Texas in September.

The opening game will take place in Osaka on Wednesday before heading to Tokyo for three games next Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The final game of the series will be in Sapporo on November 18th. Two exhibition games will bookend the series on November 11th and November 20th.

Blackhawks Hammer Sharks

 width=The Blackhawks used a three-goal first period to power their way to a 5-2 win over the Sharks at the United Center.  Jonathan Toews [[ taves ]] scored his sixth goal of the year and assisted on another while Brent Seabrook lit the lamp as well for Chicago, which has won two of three.  Trevor van Riemsdyk [[ van-REEMS-dike ]], Bryan Bickell [[ BICK-ull ]] and Niklas Hjalmarsson [[ JAHL-mer-sun ]] also scored and Corey Crawford stopped 32-of-34 shots.  Joe Pavelski scored twice while Antti Niemi [[ AHN-tee nee-EM-ee ]] had 32 saves for the Sharks, who have lost three of their last five. 

Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Ottawa Senators 3 
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Detroit Red Wings 3 (SO) 
Edmonton Oilers 3, New York Rangers 1 
Vancouver Canucks 2, Anaheim Ducks 1 (SO)

Bulls Host Nuggets Tonight

 width=>>Bulls Host Pistons

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls will welcome the Pistons to the United Center tonight. Chicago is looking to bounce back from Saturday's 106-101 loss to the Celtics in Boston. The Bulls dropped to 5-and-2 on the year with the loss. Tip-off tonight is at 7:00.

>>Blazers Blast Nuggets

(Portland, OR) -- LaMarcus Aldridge posted 28 points and nine rebounds to power the Trail Blazers to a 116-110 win over the Nuggets in Portland. Wesley Matthews chipped in with 21 points and six boards for Portland, which improved to 4-and-3. Robin Lopez added 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the win. Kenneth Faried tallied 19 points and seven rebounds for Denver, which slipped to 1-and-5. Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo each scored 18 points.

Brooklyn Nets 104, Orlando Magic 96
Utah Jazz 97, Detroit Pistons 96
Toronto Raptors 120, Philadelphia 76ers 88
Oklahoma City Thunder 101, Sacramento Kings 93
Miami Heat 105, Dallas Mavericks 96
Phoenix Suns 107, Golden State Warriors 95
Los Angeles Lakers 107, Charlotte Hornets 92

Packers Throttle Bears; Rams Lose

 width=>>Rodgers Ties NFL Record As Packers Rout Bears

(Green Bay, WI) -- Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes in the first half to tie an NFL record as the Packers blasted the Bears 55-14 on "Sunday Night Football" at Lambeau Field. Oakland's Daryle Lamonica was the last quarterback to have six TD tosses in a half back in 1969. Rodgers finished 18-of-27 for 315 yards and sat out most of the second half. Jordy Nelson had six catches for 152 yards and two TD's for the Packers, who improved to 6-and-3 on the season and 4-and-0 at home. Eddie Lacy ran for 50 yards and made three grabs for 68 yards and a score. Casey Hayward added an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown in the lopsided victory. Jay Cutler was 22-of-37 for 272 yards with one TD, two interceptions and a fumble for Chicago, which fell to 3-and-7. Brandon Marshall posted eight catches for 112 yards and a score in defeat.

Detroit Lions 20, Miami Dolphins 16
Dallas Cowboys 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
San Francisco 49ers 27, New Orleans Saints 24 OT
Baltimore Ravens 21, Tennessee Titans 7
New York Jets 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 13
Atlanta Falcons 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Kansas City Chiefs 17, Buffalo Bills 13
Denver Broncos 41, Oakland Raiders 17
Seattle Seahawks 38, New York Giants 17

 width=>>Cardinals Roll Past Rams

(Glendale, AZ) -- The Cardinals scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to push past the Rams 31-14 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Carson Palmer tossed for 241 yards and an interception before leaving the game in the final quarter with a knee injury. Drew Stanton rifled a 48-yard touchdown to John Brown in his place. Andre Ellington punched in a three-yard score while Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie both scored on defense as Arizona moved to 8-and-1 with its fifth straight win. Austin Davis went 17-of-30 for 216 yards and a TD while also throwing a pair of picks. Tre Mason ran for 48 yards on 14 carries while Benjamin Cunningham found the end zone in defeat. St. Louis dropped to 3-and-6 with the loss.

>>Panthers Play Eagles On "MNF"

(Philadelphia, PA) -- The scuffling Carolina Panthers are on the road for a "Monday Night Football" test against the streaking Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Carolina is coming off a 28-10 home loss to New Orleans in the Thursday night game in Week Nine. It was the Panthers' third straight loss. Carolina is just 1-5-and-1 since starting the season 2-and-0. The Eagles tripped up the Texans 31-21 last weekend in Houston. Philadelphia leads the NFC East at 6-and-2. Quarterback Mark Sanchez makes the start for Philly after replacing the injured Nick Foles against Houston. Foles is out with a broken collarbone.

Illinois State, Western, EIU Win Saturday

 width=>>Illinois State Downs Youngstown State

Tre Roberson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Marshaun Coprich ran for two scores Saturday to give Illinois State a 35-21 comeback win over Youngstown State.

Roberson hit Cameron Meredith on a 29-yard pass for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter after Collin Keoshian blocked a 45-yard field-goal try by Joey Cejudo. Roberson iced the game with a 36-yard TD run after the Penguins (7-3, 4-2 Missouri Valley) turned the ball over on downs.

Coprich tied it at 21 in the third quarter with a 1-yard run for the Redbirds (8-1, 5-1).

Roberson was 16 of 24 for 178 yards and an interception, with a 6-yard TD pass to James O'Shaughnessy. Coprich gained 107 yards on 22 carries, with a 2-yard TD run.

Hunter Wells was 14 of 25 for 236 yards and two TD passes. His 39-yarder to Andrew Williams gave the Penguins a 21-14 halftime lead.

 width=>>Western Illinois Downs South Dakota

Trenton Norvell threw five touchdown passes and Western Illinois pulled away in the second half to beat South Dakota 44-29 on Saturday night.

Norvell threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Larry Harris and found Hi-C Scott for a 34-yard score to give the Leathernecks a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Coyotes responded, and the game was tied at 23 at halftime.

Two Western Illinois touchdowns - an 18-yard run by Devon Moore and Norvell's 12-yard pass to Joey Borsellino - put the Leathernecks up by 11 at the end of the third.

J.C. Baker ran for 118 on 21 carries to lead Western Illinois (4-6, 2-4 Missouri Valley Conference) on the ground.

Kevin Earl threw for 251 yards and two touchdown passes for the Coyotes (2-8, 0-6). His 21-yarder to Eric Shufford Jr. gave South Dakota a 4-point lead in the second quarter.

 width=>>Eastern Illinois Tops Murray State

Jalen Whitlow threw for three touchdowns and Taylor Duncan ran for two more as Eastern Illinois defeated Murray State 48-26 on Saturday.

The victory set up a showdown for the Panthers (5-5, 5-1) at Ohio Valley Conference leader Jacksonville State (6-0) next week.

After the Panthers took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, the Racers (3-7, 1-5) closed to within 28-20 on Pokey Harris' school-record 100-yard kickoff return and KD Humphries' 9-yard scoring pass to Nevar Griffin. But Duncan scored his second touchdown, Whitlow threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Adam Drake and then ran 1 yard for another touchdown to secure the victory.

Whitlow finished 27 of 37 with 312 yards. Duncan rushed for 171 yards on 30 carries as the Panthers rolled up a 654-483 advantage on offense.

Humphries was 29 of 38 for 306 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

>>Northern Iowa Tops North Dakota State

(Cedar Falls, IA) -- The winning streak for North Dakota State football is over. A 23-3 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday halted the streak at 33 games. It is the first road loss for the Bison since 2010 at Eastern Washington. The three-time defending FCS champions are now 9-and-1 on the season.

Treasurer Race Down to Hundreds of Votes

The race for Treasurer still isn’t finished and it’s only getting closer, just hundreds of vote now separate the two candidates.

Votes are still being counted in Chicago as mail-in ballots are being tabulated in the razor thin race between Republican Tom Cross and Democrat Mike Frerichs. Cross still has the lead – a miniscule 677 votes - as election officials say that Democrat Mike Frerichs picked up 9,446 votes in Chicago while Cross added 2,043 from mail-in ballots.

Mail-in ballots from all over the state are being tabulated. Cross has seen gains from other areas but Frerichs has moved ever closer to Cross closing the gap with votes counted in Chicago and other large metro areas in the state.

Judge Orders Suspect in Islamic State Case Held

A U.S. judge says a suburban Chicago man accused of seeking to join Islamic State militants in Syria will remain behind bars pending trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox said at the end of a detention hearing Monday that the government demonstrated 19-year-old Mohammed Hamzah Khan is both a potential threat to the community and a flight risk.

Prosecutors say agents arrested Khan on Oct. 4 at O'Hare International Airport as he tried to board a flight to Turkey, which borders Syria.

Prosecutors also revealed for the first time publicly Monday that Khan's younger brother and sister were detained at the airport with him. Prosecutors said they also planned on joining the Islamic State, but they were never charged.

Chicago Lucas Museum: 'Palace For Jabba the Hutt'?

The sketches of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' Chicago museum show a flowing white building topped with a hovering ring. The Beijing-based principal designer of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art says it's the most important project of his career to date.

Others are describing the design as "a palace for Jabba the Hutt" and "a pyramid from the future."

Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti made the Jabba the Hutt comparison to reporters

An online design site - Co.Design - is more generous, comparing the architectural concept to "an Egyptian pyramid reimagined for the year 2020."

The designer, Ma Yansong, released the first sketches Tuesday. The seven-story museum will be located between Soldier Field and McCormick Place. It's expected to cost about $400 million.

Pedestrian On Rural Road Struck By Combine, Killed

Authorities say a combine harvester struck and fatally injured a bow hunter who was walking on a
rural road in northwestern Illinois. The farm equipment struck the man in the head.

The Ogle County Sheriff's Department says 65-year-old David Olzeski, a real estate agent in the
Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, was struck from behind. Reports say that the man was dressed in
camouflage clothing. Officials say he was taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital where he was
pronounced dead.

Sheriff Michael Harn says no charges have been filed against the driver, whose name hasn't been

Dry Weather Fuels Big Gains in Illinois Harvest

After a slow start, Illinois farmers have caught up on their harvesting of corn and soybeans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than three-quarters of the state's corn crop now has been brought in from the fields. That's just 1 percentage point down from the average of 78 percent over the previous five years.

The USDA credits minimal precipitation with making the difference. That enabled growers to put their combines into high-gear. That wasn't the case weeks ago, when frequent rainfall left the fields too muddy to harvest.

The USDA says 83 percent of the state's soybean crops are now in the bin. That also is roughly even with the norm over the past half-decade.

Illinois Group Builds Home For Disabled Adults

A central Illinois organization is breaking ground on a group home for people with developmental disabilities to replace a building that was severely damaged by a 2013 tornado.

Reports say the Association for the Developmentally Disabled of Woodford County is constructing a 3,000-square-foot residence for up to eight adults in Eureka. The groundbreaking is set for Thursday afternoon.

The group's president and CEO Keith McArdle says it decided to construct a new building to fit its needs rather than renovate a single-family home after the tornado damaged the group's building in Washington.

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2015. It will be funded by the group's funds and private investments.

3 Arrested in Suspected Bradley U Confrontations

Police have arrested three juvenile males in connection with a series of physical confrontations at Bradley University last week.

Reports state that the Peoria and Bradley University police departments announced the arrests Friday. Their attempts to identify two other suspects continue.

Police say five juveniles wandered the Bradley campus Monday night from 9 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. They allegedly surrounded two female students and grabbed their buttocks, surrounded another woman and threw a canned beverage at the head of a man. They also allegedly threw a tree branch at another woman, tackled her and stole her cellphone.

Further information about the suspects was unavailable because of their age.

School Canceled Monday Across Clinton District

 width=Because of a significant power outage in the Clinton School district, school has been canceled for Monday, November 10. School alert notified parents earlier Sunday. 

Bloomington police seeking clues in shooting death

Bloomington police are looking for video surveillance and tips that could aid in their investigation into the recent shooting death of a local businesswoman.

Pamela Zimmerman, a 53-year-old accountant and financial planner, died from multiple gunshot wounds. Her body was found Tuesday morning in her Bloomington office. Police are asking for home or business surveillance video recorded in the area between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

Police said in a statement Thursday that they're currently examining evidence that could be related to the investigation. Police also searched the exterior grounds of Beer Nuts and surrounding properties for the third time Thursday. A police spokeswoman declined to comment on the searches.

Another police spokeswoman tells reporters that "everything possible is being done regarding the investigation."

Prices increase slightly on Illinois health plans

Many Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the new government-run marketplace will see modest increases in prices for 2015.

Average prices released Friday by Gov. Pat Quinn's administration show the lowest cost silver plans increasing in price by 2.6 percent. Prices vary in different parts of the state, depending on regional competition.

More than 400 plans will be offered for 2015, compared to 165 last year, and state officials are encouraging consumers to shop carefully.

The second open enrollment season under President Barack Obama's health care law starts Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15. That's when consumers who bought coverage last year can switch policies, and people without insurance can sign up. The Obama administration says consumers will be able to "window shop" for plans starting this weekend.

Driver's license facilities to close Veterans Day

Driver's license facilities in Illinois will be closed Tuesday for Veterans Day.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced Friday that all offices and facilities operated by his office will be closed to observe the holiday.

Illinois residents can go to the Secretary of State's website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com, to locate the nearest driver's services facility and find its hours of operation.

Drivers can use the website to change an address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license plate stickers.

Rauner Transition team has Democratic Flavor

Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner continues to cook up his transition team recipe. So far, one of the key ingredients is Democrats. Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who was preparing to face off against Pat Quinn before suddenly dropping out of the primary race, and longtime Congressman, former Governor candidate and former SIU President Glenn Poshard are in the mix. Former Governor Jim Edgar and Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman. have also been named to the transition team. Rauner takes office January 12th

Illinois Dept. of Ag Add 12 Counties To EAB Quarantine

Twelve counties have been added to Illinois’ emerald ash borer (EAB) quarantine, the state Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

The new additions to the boundaries include seven counties where the tree-killing beetle was identified for the first time this year and five that are considered to be at risk of infestation.

According to EAB program manager Scott Schirmer five counties, Christian, Franklin, Fulton, Jefferson and Mason, do not have a confirmed detection. He says each, is bordered by at least two counties that do and could benefit by implementing quarantine rules, which are intended to prevent the spread of the beetle through the movement of potentially-infested items like firewood.”

The seven, new EAB discoveries were made in Logan, Menard, Peoria, Perry, Sangamon, Tazewell and Williamson counties.

With their addition, as well as the addition of the five “at risk” counties, the quarantine now covers 61 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Clinton Elks Hosting Hoop Shoot

A local organization is teaming up with area youth in a free throw shooting contest later this month.

The Clinton Elks Lodge No. 785 will be participating in a nationwide event called "The Elks Hoop Shoot" November 22 at the Clinton YMCA. The event is in conjunction with the Elks National Foundation.

It is a free throw shooting contest for youth ages 8 to 13 and is free of charge. Contestants have the opportunity to compete for a spot in the national competition in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Kids ages 8-9 shoot from a distance of four feet from the regulation foul line and at least five shots per contestant will be allowed.

Standard free throw shooting rules apply, along with contestants are only allowed four dribbles per shot.

The event at the Clinton "Y" is November 22 from 11:30 am to 2 pm. To register contact the Clinton YMCA at  217-935-8307 or Terry Ferguson at 519-0016 or visit www.elks.org/hoopshoot.

The age group of contestants will be determined by their ag as of April 1, 2015.

Heyworth FFA Student Gets 2nd at Nationals In Bookkeeping

Emily Bloemer interviewed to win a national championship in her respected FFA record book area at National FFA Convention in Louisville KY this passed month and received 2nd place out of 610,000 FFA members from across the nation.

Along with finishing second, Bloemer was announced as the winner of a free Costa Rica trip seminar.

Bloemer does her FFA record book on Wildlife Management, where she conserves the wildlife habitat through eradication of invasive species, conducting of wildlife surveys, maintaining ground put into government conservation programs, and nourishing the wildlife through food plots.

Bloemer has worked on her FFA project for 5 years, but she began managing the wildlife on her family’s farm since she was in Kindergarten in 2001.

To get to this point was a 5 year journey for both her and her Agriculture Teacher, Jestun Nutter, as well as her parents, Paul and Sandy Bloemer. A lot of work goes into preparing for the national competition, including numerous obstacles to even get to the point of nationals.

Every Ag students completes a record book on a project of their choice, which is much like a 4-H project.  A panel of judges ask questions to the students about their records at the local level.  If the students wins locally they move to section where they competes against 14 other schools.  After winning at section, they move to districts where they compete against roughly 60 other schools. If they win districts they move to state where they compete against 320 other schools and then the applications advance to nationals. At nationals, the record book applications are reviewed by a panel of judges and ranked Gold, Silver and Bronze. From the Gold record book applications the judges choose the top 4 in the nation. The top 4 students are then required to compete against each other through interviews at the National FFA Convention.

Sages End Season in Second Round of Playoffs

As heard on 95.9 WEZC and streaming on dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages lost to the Wilmington Wildcats 40-0 Saturday in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

For the Sages, Brandon Wildman wnet 20-39 and had 198 yards with 3 interceptions. Noah Freemon had 4 catches for 67 yards. Tyrus Welter had 6 catches for 76 yards.

For the Wildcats, Nick Mcwilliams had 19 carries for 129 yards. Nick Hawkins had 20 carries for 98 yards.

Wildcats go on to fact St. Joseph-Ogden in the next round of the playoffs.

Monticello Sages finish the season at 7-4.

Lawmakers Set To Approve Fracking Rules

Illinois lawmakers are expected to approve final rules regulating high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois at a legislative hearing.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has the last word on whether the rules for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," can take effect. Rules are on the agenda for a committee hearing Thursday.

The committee has been grappling with how to ensure regulations are fair to industry while protecting the environment. Illinois passed legislation allowing fracking about a year and a half ago. At the time the state was hailed because the legislation seen as a model of compromise over the disputed practice.

But pro-industry groups have since complained about delays in approving the rules. A group of southern Illinois landowners is suing the state for failing to implement fracking.

1500 Finish Medical Pot Paperwork In Illinois

Thousands of Illinois residents have started their paperwork to use medical marijuana, but only 1,500 have so far submitted all the supporting documents.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Thursday about 8,000 people started the process online. The department has approved about 230 patient applications.

The state's new program requires patients to have a qualifying condition such as cancer. Patients must submit fingerprints for a criminal background check using a state-approved fingerprint vendor.

Most patients also must get their doctor's permission to use medical marijuana. Only military veterans getting Veterans Affairs care won't need a doctor's signature. That's because VA doctors, as federal employees, aren't permitted to recommend controlled substances.

More information is available at the program's website.

Western Illinois Archives Hosts Trove of Lane Evans Documents

Scholars or members of the public wanting to learn more about the life and congressional career of Lane Evans can dig into a trove of documents at Western Illinois University.

University librarian and archivist Jeff Hancks says the collection is a "goldmine of information" about Evans and his 24 years in Congress. He says it's especially informative of his work on behalf of military veterans.

The former Democratic congressman and Marine died Wednesday at a nursing home in East Moline after a long fight with Parkinson's disease.

The Lane Evans Collection on the Macomb campus includes information about legislation he sponsored, campaign materials and correspondence with constituents in western Illinois. There are also documents from the committees he sat on.

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Legislative Panel To Move On Fracking

There could actually be some movement on getting the fracking industry up in Illinois.  A legislative panel is expected to approve the regulatory rules today.  If that happens, businesses will be allowed to set up shop and pull oil and gas from large rocks that are buried deep underground. Those who support fracking are hoping it leads to a major oil boom. They say that could bring in a major cash flow for the state and put thousands of people to work.  Opponents fought the idea of fracking because they say there are too many health risks associated with it.

Legislative Panel To Move On Fracking

There could actually be some movement on getting the fracking industry up in Illinois.  A legislative panel is expected to approve the regulatory rules today.  If that happens, businesses will be allowed to set up shop and pull oil and gas from large rocks that are buried deep underground. Those who support fracking are hoping it leads to a major oil boom. They say that could bring in a major cash flow for the state and put thousands of people to work.  Opponents fought the idea of fracking because they say there are too many health risks associated with it.

Illinois Chamber Will Fight Wage Hike

Governor Quinn wants lawmakers to raise the minimum wage by the end of the year but he'll have a bit of competition when it comes to convincing lawmakers. Todd Maisch, with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says they'll be fighting against it.

[audio:rddNoHike11.mp3] [/audio]

Maisch says raising the minimum wage will force businesses to cut jobs. That's one reason why Republicans in Springfield have been reluctant to support the hike. They've given no indication that they'll give the plan a thumbs up now, even though Quinn wants it to be part of his lasting legacy as governor of Illinois.

Rauner Says He'll Meet With Cullerton, Madigan

Republican governor-elect Bruce Rauner says he's working on scheduling a meeting with two of Illinois' top Democrats, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

Rauner spoke to reporters Thursday. It was his first news conference since winning office over Gov. Pat Quinn.

In his victory speech on election night, Rauner said his first calls were to Madigan and Cullerton. Later, spokesmen for Madigan and Cullerton said the leaders didn't directly speak with the governor-elect that night.

Rauner clarified Thursday, saying he left a message for Madigan's chief of staff and spoke to a Cullerton aide about taking a bipartisan approach to state government.

Rauner says his staff is in communication with both leaders' aides.

Rauner will be the first Republican governor of Illinois in more than a decade.

Rauner Doesn't Want Lame Duck Tax Movement

There's talk that the legislature will push to lock in the five-percent income tax rate before Bruce Rauner takes office in January. Rauner says he hopes that's not the case.

[audio:KeepTax11.mp3] [/audio]

The tax rate is supposed to rollback to three-point-75-percent in January. If that happens, the state will lose billions-of-dollars in cash flow. Democrats have been pushing to keep the rate at five percent so the state can keep paying bills and funding things like schools and social service programs. Rauner says letting the rate rollback is the right thing to do, but he hasn't outlined any plans on how to supplement the financial loss.

Rauner Wants Wage hike To Include Business Reforms

Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner says he doesn't want to see the minimum wage raised in Illinois just yet. He says it has to be a part of a larger, pro-business reform package.

[audio:rddMinWage11.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn is hoping to get the rate raised to ten-bucks-an-hour by January 1st. Lawmakers could tackle the issue in a couple of weeks when they head to Springfield for veto session.

Rauner To Tour Illinois After Victory

Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) is planning a statewide tour by plane after ousting Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Rauner spokesman Lance Trover says stops on Friday will include Springfield and Marion.

Rauner is a venture capitalist from Winnetka who sought office for the first time. It was a tight contest between him and Quinn, who was seeking a second full term.

Rauner has named a transition team of dozens of advisers that includes two top Democrats, former White House chief of staff Bill Daley and former Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard. The team includes a mix of pastors, lawmakers and business leaders.

Police Say Two Teens Die In Central Illinois Crash

The Illinois State Police say two teenagers have died in a two-vehicle crash in Montgomery County.

According to reports, the teens died Wednesday afternoon in the collision near Raymond that seriously injured the car's teenager driver. Authorities haven't released their names.

Police say the teens veered off of Illinois 48 and then overcorrected into an oncoming minivan's path. The minivan struck the car on its passenger side.

Police say the car's front-seat passenger was pronounced dead at the scene and the back-seat passenger was pronounced dead at an area hospital. The driver was flown by helicopter to a hospital with serious injuries.

Police say the minivan driver was hospitalized with injuries that weren't life threatening.

The newspaper couldn't reach police or the Montgomery County coroner for additional comment.

Peoria Inmate Sentenced To 18 More Years

A Peoria man serving a 24-year prison sentence for second-degree murder has been sentenced to an additional 18 years for armed violence.

According to reports, 26-year-old Dieuseul Brown received the new punishment Wednesday in Peoria County court. He faced up to 30 years for the armed violence conviction.

He was found guilty of that crime as well as possession of a weapon by a felon and possession of less than 15 grams of cocaine after a brief bench trial last month.

The judge says he took Brown's criminal history into account for his sentence.

A jury found Brown guilty of fatally shooting Kelsey Coleman in April. Brown was charged with armed violence after police found the murder weapon, a handgun and cocaine when they arrested him after the shooting.

Police Say Urbana Man Threatens Meter Reader With Gun

Urbana Authorities have charged an Urbana man who they say threatened a meter reader while holding a handgun.

Reports indicate 55-year-old James Bantz was charged Wednesday with felony intimidation as well as misdemeanor counts of aggravated assault and unlawful use of weapons.

Urbana Sgt. Dan Morgan says the meter reader reported Bantz emerged from his house with the gun and was yelling at him to turn the power back on. The meter reader got into his truck and left before contacting police.

Morgan says police recovered three guns that Bantz legally owned.

He was ordered held on $75,000 bond. Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.

Mahomet Man Sentenced In Newspaper Carrier Attack

A Mahomet man has been sentenced to four years in prison for attacking a newspaper carrier.

According to reports, 20-year-old Colby Cohoon was sentenced after pleading guilty in September to aggravated battery.

Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark says the victim and his wife and child were in their vehicle and delivering newspapers early July 5 in Mahomet. Clark says the man dimmed his bright lights as another car approached, but Cohoon pulled over, got out of his car and started yelling at the man.

Clark says Cohoon used a glass bottle to break through the driver's window and hit him in the head. The man was treated for cuts at a hospital.

Clark had prior convictions including criminal damage to property and domestic battery. He was given credit for 119 days already served.

Visitors Center Chief Named In Bloomington-Normal

The McLean County Museum of History has named an administrator for its planned Bloomington-Normal Visitors center.

Barb Adkins is former Bloomington deputy city clerk. She has been hired for the part-time post.

Museum executive director Greg Koos says Adkins knows the community well and will be an excellent ambassador to visitors.

Adkins says she's excited to showcase the downtown area and a visitors' center exhibit highlighting the area's ties to Abraham Lincoln and historic U.S. 66.

Koos says officials are hoping to open the center next summer.

The center will have information on attractions, shopping and exhibits in Bloomington, Normal and McLean County.

New landscaping for the museum grounds will also be installed. It's part of a $3 million capital program that includes interactive exhibits, an endowment and other improvements.

Illinois Treasurer Race Still Too Close To Call

The race for state treasurer remains too close to call days after Illinois voters went to the polls.

Both Republican Tom Cross and Democrat Mike Frerichs remain hopeful that uncounted absentee and provisional votes break their way.

Cross led Frerichs by 21,000 votes out of 3.4 million cast when The Associated Press stopped tabulating the vote count on Wednesday evening.

Cross spokesman Kevin Artl contends that Frerichs is not getting enough votes still being tallied to make up the difference.

But Frerichs spokesman Dave Clarkin says there are still tens of thousands of votes to be counted from all over the state.

Suburban Cook County officials say at least 24,000 votes have yet to be counted. In Chicago, there are nearly 13,000 uncounted votes. That doesn't include incoming absentee ballots.

Idea Sessions Set For Clinton All-Purpose Path

Clinton residents are encouraged to come out next Thursday and be a part of a brainstorming session for a future all-purpose walk/bike path in Clinton.

According to City Administrator Tim Followell, the multi-purpose pathway is a recently born idea the city of Clinton is going to pursue. He explains the plans are in their infant stages, but he hopes it can be the beginning of something very special in Clinton.

[audio:11514clintonpath1.mp3] [/audio]

Next Thursday, there will be two sessions lasting about two hours. According Followell, they wanted to try and accomadate all people with varying schedules. He indicates the sessions start out general, and then go into small groups to help their architects come up with ideas.

[audio:11514clintonpath2.mp3] [/audio]

Followell compares the vision for this project to the Bloomington/Normal "Constitution Trail". He says while they had a better outline for theirs, an old rail line path, he hopes Clinton and DeWitt County can find something similar what they are trying for.

[audio:11514clintonpath3.mp3] [/audio]

Followell hopes the evening is fun and entertaining. He says it will lead to a lot interesting conversations as the public can give their input on hot spots that could potentially be tied together by this path.

The sessions are both next Thursday, November 13. The first begins at 1 pm in the afternoon and the second at 6 pm. Both will be held at the Copper and Brass Room on Madison Street.

DeWitt County Board Holds First Meeting Post-Election

The first post-election meeting for the DeWitt County Board was fairly quiet and basic.

Board Member Danny Ballenger updated the Board on a couple issues involving the Clinton Lake Marina. He explained the boat ramp where the new docks are being put together will be closed for nearly a week while construction is completed. He adds all of the boats have been cleared from the area as the project nears completion.

[audio:11714quietboard1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Thursday night's meeting, which lasted 30 minutes also featured:

-Sandy Schlosser, Supervisor of Assessments, inform the Board about updated EAV for the County and landfill.

-Michelle Monaghan appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Zoning Board of Appeals

Board members Keith Koons, Ron Savage and Doug Tucker were absent Thursday evening.

Graeme McDowell Extends Lead In China

 width=Graeme McDowell fired his second straight 5-under 67 on Friday and he extended his lead to three shots heading into the weekend at the WGC - HSBC Champions.

McDowell, who has won 10 times on the European Tour and twice on the PGA Tour, finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 134 and he is three shots ahead of Ian Poulter at Sheshan International Golf Club.

Poulter also carded a 67 Friday, vaulting him into second place at 7-under-par 137. Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson finished strong and he too shot a 67. Watson is tie for third at 6-under 138 with Hiroshi Iwata, who fired a 7-under 65, which is the best score of the week so far.

Rickie Fowler (70) headlines a group of four players tied for fifth at 5-under 139. He is joined there by Kevin Na (68), Jonas Blixt (68) and Tim Clark (70).

NCAA Football Notes

>>Clemson Downs Wake

Artavis Scott scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter and No. 19 Clemson held off Wake Forest, 34-20, on Thursday night at BB&T Field.

Wake Forest totaled just 119 yards but gave the Tigers a scare by taking advantage of good field position due to several Clemson mistakes.

The Tigers' offense proved too much, though, as Scott and Wayne Gallman scored unanswered touchdowns over the final 11 minutes to give Clemson (7-2, 6-1 ACC) a sixth straight win.

 width=Cole Stoudt got another start under center, even though Deshaun Watson was in uniform for the first time in over a month, and passed for 282 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Wake Forest's John Wolford completed just 11-of-29 passes for 88 yards but threw for two scores, both to tight end Cam Serigne.

The Demon Deacons (2-7, 0-5) remained winless in ACC play and have dropped 11 straight to ranked opponents.

>>Ohio State At Michigan State

(East Lansing, MI) -- The Big Ten's loan shot a spot in the college football playoffs will be largely played out in East Lansing tomorrow night. Number-eight Michigan State welcomes number-14 Ohio State to Spartan Stadium. Both teams are 7-and-1 overall and 4-and-0 in conference. Last season Michigan State beat Ohio State, 34-24, in the Big Ten Championship Game.

>>Utah Hosts Oregon

(Salt Lake City, UT) -- Number-17 Utah is in Pac-12 action tomorrow when fourth-ranked Oregon comes to Rice-Eccles Stadium. The 6-and-2 Utes are 3-and-2 in the conference and will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Arizona State. The Ducks sit at 8-and-1 and 5-and-1 after crushing Stanford.

>>UCLA At Washington

(Seattle, WA) -- Number-18 UCLA heads to Seattle to face Washington early tomorrow evening. With a 17-7 win over Arizona, the Bruins moved to 7-and-2 overall and 4-and-2 in the Pac-12. Washington is 6-and-3 and 2-and-3.

Baseball Issues Silver Slugger Awards; Baseball Notes

 width=>>Bumgarner, Posey Highlight Silver Slugger Winners

(Undated) -- Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants highlight the Silver Slugger Award winners. MVP finalists Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins also captured the award in the National League, while all three American League MVP nominees received Silver Sluggers as well. Mike Trout of the Angels, Cleveland's Michael Brantley and Detroit's Victor Martinez took home the honor. Chicago's Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez, Houston's Jose Altuve, Texas' Adrian Beltre, Toronto's Jose Bautista and Cleveland's Yan Gomes were the other AL winners. Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez, Pittsburgh's Neil Walker, Washington's Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond and Atlanta's Justin Upton were Silver Sluggers recipients in the NL.

>>Rays Release List Of Managerial Candidates

(St. Petersburg, FL) -- Bench coach Dave Martinez is among eight guys on the Tampa Bay Rays radar. The team released a list of managerial candidates on Thursday. The list also includes Charlie Montoyo, Manny Acta, Ron Wotus, Don Wakamatsu, Raul Ibanez, Craig Counsell and Kevin Cash. Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said he expects the list to grow as they continue through the process of hiring Joe Maddon's successor.

>>Reliever Putz Joins D-backs' Front Office

Veteran major-league reliever J.J. Putz has been hired as a front-office assistant by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks announced Thursday that Putz was named as a special assistant to president and CEO Derrick Hall.

The team did not immediately respond to an email to confirm that Putz, 37, had retired.

He didn't pitch in the majors after being designated for assignment on June 20 after posting a 6.59 ERA in 18 games for the Diamondbacks this season.

Putz appeared in 572 games for the Mariners, Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks, all out of the bullpen. He ranks 51st on the all-time MLB list with 189 saves, including a career-high 45 for Arizona in 2011.

He finished with a 3.08 ERA and made one All-Star team, in 2007 for Seattle, when he saved 40 games and finished 13th in voting for AL MVP.

In a statement, Putz said he was excited to give back to the game he loves and to be a part of the Diamondbacks organization, where he pitched for three-plus seasons.

Hall said Putz's "performance on the field and popularity off the field make him a tremendous addition to the front office."

Bulls Battle Sixers

 width=The Bulls face the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center tonight. Chicago is 4-and-1 after its win over Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Sixers are 0-and-5.

Houston Rockets 98, San Antonio Spurs 81
Portland Trail Blazers 108, Dallas Mavericks 87

Blues Win Again

 width=>>Blues Hold Off Devils For Seventh Straight Win

(St. Louis, MO) -- David Backes' third period goal held up as the Blues edged the Devils 4-3 to sweep the home-and-home series at Scottrade Center. Backes' tally gave St. Louis a 4-1 lead with 2:32 to go, but Marek Zidlicky and Michael Ryder scored a minute apart to pull New Jersey within one. Vladimir Tarasenko [[ tare-uh-SANK-oh ]], Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen also scored for the Blues, who have won seven straight including a 1-0 victory in New Jersey on Tuesday. Jake Allen stopped 24 shots in the victory. Ryder scored twice for the Devils, who had won two in-a-row before running into the Blues. Cory Schneider allowed three goals in 47-plus minutes of action, while Keith Kinkaid stopped three of four shots the rest of the way.

Boston Bruins 5, Edmonton Oilers 2
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Florida Panthers 1
Ottawa Senators 3, Minnesota Wild 0
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Calgary Flames 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Winnipeg Jets 3 (SO)
Nashville Predators 3, Dallas Stars 2
Colorado Avalanche 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (SO)
New York Islanders 2, Los Angeles Kings 1 (SO)
Vancouver Canucks 3, San Jose Sharks 2

>>Blues' Stastny Activated Off IR

(St. Louis, MO) -- Paul Stastny [[ STASS-nee ]] is back with the Blues. He was activated from injured reserve before last night's game against the Devils. Stastny had missed the previous eight games with a shoulder injury. He signed a four-year, 28-million-dollar free-agent contract in the offseason.

>>Blackhawks Take On Capitals

(Chicago, IL) -- The Blackhawks are back on the ice tonight against the Capitals at the United Center. Chicago comes in at 7-5-and-1 after a 5-0 win over the Canadiens on Tuesday. The Capitals are 4-5-and-3 following a loss to Calgary on Tuesday.

Groce Says Illinois Offense Should Be Better

 width=>>John Groce Believes Illini Improving Offensively

Illinois basketball coach John Groce (GROHS) says that as the season's start approaches, his team is showing some signs it will be better on offense.

Groce has said this team should score more than last season's low-scoring team. Illinois averaged just 64.2 points a game. In the Big Ten only Northwestern was worse.

Groce said Thursday the Illini showed some offensive promise in a closed-door scrimmage against Dayton last weekend. He said the shooting was the best his team has managed since his first season at Illinois.

But he said his team's defense was "just OK."

Defense has been Illinois' hallmark under Groce.

Illinois scrimmages Quincy on Friday and opens the season at home against Georgia Southern on Nov. 14.

>>Krzyzewski Expects Top Freshman To Be One-And-Done

(Durham, NC) -- Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski [[ shuh-SHEV-skee ]] believes top freshman forward Jahil Okafor [[ jah-HEEL OH-kuh-fore ]] will be one-and-done. "Coach K" told reporters "We won't have him long," and that Okafor already projects as one of the top picks in next summer's NBA Draft. CBS Sports picked the 6-foot-10, 265-pound big man as its preseason player of the year. Okafor notched 15 points in the Blue Devils' exhibition game on Tuesday.

Packers Host Bears; Rams In Arizona

 width=>>Bears, Packers Rematch At Lambeau

(Green Bay, WI) -- NFC North rivals meet for the second time this season as the Chicago Bears play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Both teams are coming off their bye week. Chicago has lost four of its last five games to fall to 3-and-5 overall. The Bears were beaten 38-17 at home by the Packers in Week Four. After this week, Chicago will play five of its next six games at home. Green Bay had its four-game winning streak halted with a 44-23 loss at New Orleans in Week Eight. The Packers are 5-and-3 overall, a game behind Detroit. This starts a stretch of four home games in five weeks for Green Bay.

 width=>>Rams Clash With Cardinals In NFC West Tilt

(Glendale, AZ) -- The St. Louis Rams head to the desert this Sunday to take on the first-place Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West tilt at University of Phoenix Stadium. It's the third straight road game for the Rams, who recovered a late fumble at the goal line to hold off the 49ers 13-10 last Sunday at San Francisco. St. Louis has won two of its last three games and is 3-and-5 overall. The Cardinals are riding a four-game winning streak after a 28-17 victory at Dallas in Week Nine. Arizona has the NFL's best record at 7-and-1, including 4-and-0 at home. Quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown 11 TD passes and just two picks.

>>Browns Blast Bengals In Cincinnati

(Cincinnati, OH) -- Three different players scored rushing touchdowns as the Browns blasted the Bengals 24-3 on "Thursday Night Football" at Paul Brown Stadium. Cleveland's defense forced four turnovers and held Cincinnati to just 165 total yards of offense. Brian Hoyer finished 15-of-23 for 198 yards for the Browns, who have won three straight and are now tied with Pittsburgh atop the AFC North at 6-and-3. Cleveland won its first road game within the division since 2008, snapping a 17-game losing streak. Terrance West ran for a team-high 94 yards and a TD, while Isaiah Crowell and Ben Tate also scored. Andy Dalton went 10-of-33 for just 86 yards and three interceptions for the Bengals, who fell to 5-3-and-1. Jeremy Hill ran for 55 yards and lost a fumble in defeat.

>>Bengals Donate To Help Still's Daughter

(Cincinnati, OH) -- The Cincinnati Bengals are donating over one-million-dollars to help fight cancer. The Bengals gave 1.3-million-dollars to Cincinnati's Children's Hospital and Medical Center in the name of Leah Still. Thursday night's game was the first time she was able to see her father play for the Bengals as she fights Stage 4 pediatric cancer. Devon Still recorded three tackles as the Bengals lost 24-3 to the Browns.

>>Toy Helicopter Brings Levity To Jets' Practice

(Florham Park, NJ) -- The New York Jets are bringing some levity to practice amidst an eight-game losing streak. One day after a plane flew over practice carrying a "Fire John Idzik" banner, head coach Rex Ryan arranged for a toy helicopter to fly around the team's indoor practice facility with a "Go Jets" banner attached. The Jets practiced indoors on Thursday due to rain. Ryan said the idea was his and was meant to send a message that "we're in this together." Idzik is in his second season as general manager. The Jets have dropped eight straight since beating the Raiders in Week One. They host Pittsburgh on Sunday.

ISU Hosts Youngstown State; Illinois Off

 width=>>ISU Returns Home After Season's First Loss

After suffering its first loss of the 2014 season, No. 12 Illinois State (7-1, 4-1 MVFC) will look to get back to its winning ways when it hosts No. 10 Youngstown State (7-2, 4-1) on Saturday at Hancock Stadium in a battle for sole possession of second place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference standings at 1 p.m.

The Penguins are tied with the Redbirds for second place in the MVFC standings, with a 4-1 record. The lone loss was a 30-24 defeat at the hands of Western Illinois and YSU has won three-straight games since that point.

Youngstown State scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to overcome a 10-point deficit and knock off South Dakota, 28-17, last Saturday at home. The comeback was fueled by a strong running attack, which saw tailback Martin Ruiz rush for a career-best 185 yards and a touchdown and Jody Webb run for 128 yards and two scores.

Last year, Youngstown State scored 31 second-quarter points en route to a 59-21 victory over Illinois State at Stambaugh Stadium.

 width=>>Fighting Illini On A Bye

(Champaign, IL) -- The Illinois Fighting Illini have no game tomorrow. Illinois has a bye this weekend. The Illini got hammered 55-14 at Ohio State last Saturday to slip to 4-and-5 overall and 1-and-4 in the Big Ten. Illinois will be back on the field next Saturday when 6-and-2 Iowa comes to Champaign.

Sages Host Top Seeded Wilmington Saturday

 width=As the IHSA playoffs continue, the Monticello Sages are coming off an upset victory from last Saturday at Elmwood-Brimfield, 45-43.

The Sages came from behind 28-7 late in the first half and trailed with under two minutes to play before junior quarterback Brandon Wildman hooked up with Ryne Bundy for a game-tying touchdown and then came up big on a two point coversion for the go-ahead score.

Now the Sages face another tough task in top seeded and undefeated (10-0) Wilmington. Saturday's game is set for 2pm Saturday afternooon.

Hear all the action 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other games across the area in Class 3A Saturday:

#3 St. Joseph-Ogden (9-1) at #2 Tolono Unity (9-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
#1 Williamsville (10-0) at #5 New Berlin (8-2) Sat. 1:00 pm
#2 Carlinville (9-1) at #6 Auburn (8-2) Sat. 1:30 pm

Class 1A playoff games Saturday afternoon include:

#8 LeRoy (8-2) at #1 Carrollton (10-0) Sat. 1:00 pm
#6 Camp Point Central) (9-1 at #3 Arcola (10-0) Sat. 2:00 pm

Class 2A playoff games Saturday

#7 Sangamon Valley (7-3) at #6 Maroa-Forsyth (7-3) Sat. 1:00 pm
#1 Lawrenceville (9-1) at #5 Tuscola (8-2) Sat. 3:30 pm

Class 4A playoff games Saturday

#4 Canton (8-2) at #8 Bloomington Central Catholic (6-4) Sat. 1:00 pm
#3 Rochester (8-2) at #2 Quincy Notre Dame (8-2) Sat. 2:00 pm

Class 5A playoff games

#4 Mahomet-Seymour (8-2) at #8 Morris (6-4) Sat. 3:00 pm
#3 Peoria (9-1) at #2 Metamora (9-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
#4 Marion (8-2) at #1 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (10-0) Sat., 2:00 pm
#3 Taylorville (9-1) at #2 Highland (9-1) Fri. 7:00 pm

Class 6A playoff games Saturday

#1 Peoria Notre Dame (10-0) at #5 Chatham Glenwood (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#2 Normal West (8-2) at #6 East St. Louis (6-4) Sat. 2:00 pm

Class 7A games Saturday

#5 Normal Community (8-2) at #13 Wheaton Warrenville South (6-4) Sat. 2:00 pm

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-7

November 6, 2014

Jail Population: 57
Summons Served: 3
Warrant Arrests: 0

Justin Burris, 31, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Burris was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Amy Graves, 37, LeRoy was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Graves was issued a promise to comply and was released.




City Streets Department Returning To Leaf Pick Up Today

The leaf clean up season is in full swing and the city of Clinton's Street Department returns this morning for pick-up..

Refer to the map on the right as well as the information provided from the Street Department below for how the zone's are broken up.

Crews finished Zone 3 yesterday, completed Zone 4, and started in Zone 5 where they will continue today. 



The Street's Department has agreed to provide Regional Radio News with their plans for each day as they go through the leaf clean up season.

Bulls Beat Bucks In Rose's Return

 width=Pau Gasol racked up 22 points and 14 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Bucks 95-86 at the Bradley Center. Derrick Rose posted 13 points and seven assists in his return to the lineup. He missed the last two games with two sprained ankles. Taj Gibson had 23 points and 10 boards and Jimmy Butler racked up 14 points, seven helpers, six boards and four steals in Chicago's third straight win. Giannis Antetokounmpo [[ YAH-niss ah-det-oh-KOOM-boe ]] totaled 13 points and eight boards off the bench to pace the Bucks, who are 2-and-3 to open the year. Brandon Knight notched 10 points, nine boards, seven assists and five steals but shot just 3-of-15 from the field.

Charlotte Hornets 96, Miami Heat 89
Orlando Magic 91, Philadelphia 76ers 89
Detroit Pistons 98, New York Knicks 95
Minnesota Timberwolves 98, Brooklyn Nets 91
Toronto Raptors 110, Boston Celtics 107
Washington Wizards 96, Indiana Pacers 94 (OT)
San Antonio Spurs 94, Atlanta Hawks 92
Utah Jazz 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 100
Memphis Grizzlies 102, Phoenix Suns 91
Sacramento Kings 131, Denver Nuggets 109
Golden State Warriors 121, Los Angeles Clippers 104

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-6

November 4, 2014

Jail Population: 55
Summons Served: 0
Warrant Arrests: 0

November 5, 2014

Jail Population: 55
Summons Served: 4
Warrant Arrests: 0

Martin Smith, 36, Peoria was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Smith was issued a promise to comply and was released.

William Jacobs, 31, Bloomington was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Jacobs posted the necessary bond and was released.

Victoria Collins, 27, Heyworth was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol and Possess Controlled Substance. Collins unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.



DeWitt County Man Faces Battery Charges For Altercation Following DeWitt County Board Meeting

A DeWitt County man faces a battery charge for an incident following a DeWitt County Board meeting.

Court records indicate 58-year old Bill Spencer faces a Count 1 Battery charge for events that followed the September 11 DeWitt County Board meeting.

Following the meeting, Spencer engaged Dustin Peterson in an unprovoked altercation. Peterson did not retaliate. Peterson is the head of the DeWitt County Republican Party.

Peterson did not press charges, but because the incident took place on public property, evidence went to a special prosecutor and it was determined charges should be filed.

Tom Brown has been brought on as the special prosecutor for the case.

Spencer has been issued a notice to appear for arraignment November 13 at 1:30 pm.

Quinn Keeping Low Profile After Election

Gov. Pat Quinn is keeping a low profile after refusing to concede his re-election bid to Republican Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur)

Rauner has a nearly 5 percentage point lead over Quinn with 99 percent of precincts reporting. The Winnetka venture capitalist declared victory on election night.

But Quinn says he wants to wait for every vote to be counted.

The Chicago Democrat had no public appearances Wednesday. Quinn aides say they're watching election results.

Quinn has waited to concede before.

In 1998, he took a month before conceding to Mary Lou Kearns in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. At that time governor and lieutenant governor candidates ran separately.

The Illinois State Board of Elections' canvass of the primary at that time showed Kearns defeated Quinn by less than 1,500 votes.

Rauner Aide Claims Governor-Elect Talked With Obama

An aide to Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner says the Republican has spoken with President Barack Obama.

Rauner defeated Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama campaigned for Quinn's re-election.

Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the president called Rauner late Wednesday.

Schrimpf says the president told Rauner he still has a home in Illinois and cares greatly about its future. He says Obama also wished Rauner nothing but the best.

Schrimpf says Rauner also spoke with Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

After saying late Tuesday he'd wait for all votes to be counted, Quinn conceded the race to Rauner on Wednesday.

Rezin: Rauner Gives Us A Seat At The Table

State Senator Sue Rezin says she was optimistic that Republican Bruce Rauner pull out a Vee in the governor's race. She says he's been incredibly successful in business and that will translate well when it comes to running the state.

[audio:rddRezin21.mp3] [/audio]

She says he's proven himself to be a very hard worker.

[audio:rddRezin11.mp3] [/audio]

Rezin says having a Republican governor gives them a seat at the table with one party control in the legislature. She adds that Rauner will be able to appoint agency heads that have a similar agenda that he has. On top of that, he can go through the budget with a fine toothed comb and veto things that he doesn't think should be there. Rezin says one of Rauner's first orders of business will be working out a plan to let the income tax rate rollback.

Republican Thanks Quinn For His Service

Republican Bruce Rauner is thanking Governor Quinn for his service to the people of Illinois.  Rauner unseated Quinn in yesterday's election, but Quinn had refused to throw in the towel until all the votes were counted.  It took less than 24 hours for Quinn to realize he couldn't pull out a victory, so he conceded the race.  He'll be in office until January.  Quinn says he'll push for a minimum wage hike before his time is up. 

Illinois Treasurer's Race Still Too Close To Call

The vote margin between the top candidates for Illinois treasurer is still razor thin and no one is conceding.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, there's less than 1 percentage point between former House Republican Leader Tom Cross and Democratic state Sen. Michael Frerichs.

Frerichs spokesman Dave Clarkin said Wednesday that he's waiting for every ballot to be counted. Frerichs spent Wednesday with his daughter in the Champaign area where he's from.

Cross spokesman Kevin Artl says there are more votes to count, but he believes the slight lead over Frerichs will be maintained. He says Cross spent Wednesday making calls and thanking supporters.

The treasurer post was the only open race on the ballot. Treasurer Dan Rutherford sought a gubernatorial run over re-election. He lost in the GOP primary.

Barickman: Rauner A Good Balance To Two Party System

State Senator Jason Barickman says Illinois voters are making it clear that they want a new direction in state government.

[audio:rddBarick11.mp3] [/audio]

Barickman says Rauner will need to clean up shop when he takes office, which means getting rid of some of the people who were put in place by Governors Quinn and Blagojevich [[ bla-GOY-uh-vich ]]. He says Rauner will represents a system of checks and balances that's been lacking in Illinois. The state has had a Democratic governor for the past 12 years but Rauner, who is a Republican, beat out Quinn by more than 160-thousand votes.

Quinn Concedes To Rauner

Governor Quinn is throwing in the towel. The numbers weren't falling in his favor on Election Night, but he refused to concede because all the votes hadn't been counted.

[audio:rddConcede11.mp3] [/audio]

Republican Bruce Rauner beat Quinn by about 160-thousand votes. Quinn will be in office for just a few more months. He says he'll push to raise the minimum wage before his time is up.

Teens Suspected In Bradley University Incidents

Bradley University in Peoria says a group of teenagers appears to be responsible for several confrontations with, and assaults on students.

According to reports, the university said at least five such incidents happened Monday night on and near campus. None of them resulted in serious injuries.

The university said the incidents involved a group of four to five teen boys. In one incident they surrounded a pair of female students while threatening and grabbing them. In another, they threw a girl to the ground and stole her cellphone.

Witnesses said the teens appeared to be between 13 and 16 years old.

Bloomington Accountant Shot to Death

The McLean County coroner says an accountant found dead in her office in Bloomington was shot to death.

Coroner Beth Kimmerling said Wednesday that 53-year-old Pamela S. Zimmerman died of multiple gunshot wounds.

According to Kimmerling, police found Zimmerman in her office on Tuesday after being prompted by a call from someone they described as a concerned friend.

Further details about the investigation were not immediately available.

Kimmerling said Zimmerman was a longtime businesswoman in Bloomington and involved in a number of local organizations. Zimmerman had three high school-age children.

World's Top Golfers Return To Action in Europe

 width=Graeme McDowell opened up with a first-round, 5-under 67 on Thursday and he holds a 2-shot lead at the WGC - HSBC Champions.

McDowell's last victory on the European Tour came at the Alstom Open de France earlier this year, while his latest PGA Tour win was at the 2013 RBC Heritage.

U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, Rickie Fowler, Brandt Snedeker, Chris Kirk, Tim Clark and Tommy Fleetwood are tied for second at 3-under 69 at Sheshan International Golf Club.

Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott, Hyung-sung Kim, Bill Haas, Jordan Spieth, JB Holmes, Henrik Stenson, Jaco Van Zyl and Dawie Van Der Walt are all deadlocked at 2-under 70.

Blues Return Home Tonight

 width=>>Blues Host Devils Tonight

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues and Devils play the back end of their home-and-home matchup tonight at Scottrade Center. The Blues blanked the Devils 1-0 Tuesday in New Jersey behind a goal from Vladimir Tarasenko and 26 saves from Jake Allen. It was their sixth straight win since a 2-3-and-1 start.

>>Blues Hope To Have Stastny Back Soon

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues hope to have center Paul Stastny [[ STASS-nee ]] back in the lineup soon. He's been sidelined since October 18th with an injured shoulder. He had his first contact session on Monday. Head coach Ken Hitchcock says Stastny is days away at this point, not weeks.

>>Rangers Sink Red Wings In OT

(New York, NY) -- Derick Brassard hit the game-winner early in overtime to lift the Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Red Wings at Madison Square Garden. Lee Stempniak scored midway through the third to give the Rangers a one-goal lead, but Tomas Tatar found the back of the net on a power play with 7.7-seconds left in the third to tie it at three-all. Rick Nash scored his 10th goal of the season for New York, which snapped a two-game skid. Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves in the win. Jakub Kindl [[ YA-cub KIN-dull ]] and Daniel Cleary scored 13 seconds apart in the second to tie the game at two for Detroit, which has lost three straight. Jonas Gustavsson had 26 saves in the loss.

Montreal Canadiens 2, Buffalo Sabres 1 (SO)
New York Islanders 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (OT)

Baseball Notes

>>Astros Acquire Congers From Angels

(Houston, TX) -- The Houston Astros are adding catching depth. The team has acquired backstop Hank Conger from the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels in exchange for catcher Carlos Perez and pitcher Nick Tropeano. Conger hit .221 with four home runs and 25 RBI in 80 games last season for the Halos.

>>Rangers Name Michael Young Assistant GM

(Arlington, TX) -- Michael Young is returning to the Texas Rangers organization. The team's all-time hits leader will serve as a special assistant to General Manager Jon Daniels. Young is expected to work in all areas of baseball operations, including scouting, player evaluation and player development. The 38-year-old leads the franchise is several offensive categories, including games played, runs scored, doubles, triples, total bases, at-bats and multi-hit games. He played 13 seasons with the Rangers before signing with Philadelphia in 2013.

>>Dodgers Add Zaidi, Byrnes To Front Office

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to overhaul their front office. MLB.com reports the team will name ex-Athletics assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi [[ FAHR-hahn ZAY-dee ]] their new GM this week. The 37-year-old had been with Oakland for 10 years and was promoted just before last season. The "LA Times" reports the Dodgers are also adding former D'backs and Padres GM Josh Byrnes to an unknown front office position. The two join Los Angeles' new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who joined the club last month after leaving the Tampa Bay Rays.

Briggs Says He Likely Won't Return To Beras Next Year; NFL Notes

 width=Lance Briggs figures his time with the Chicago Bears is coming to an end. He's not sure if his career is, too.

A week shy of 34 and with his contract set to expire, Briggs acknowledges his 12-year run with the Bears will likely end this season.

He says he understands "the reality of it" and is "proud of all the years I've had here."

The seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker is expected to return against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this week after missing the past three games with a rib injury. The Bears are 3-5 and trying to remain in playoff contention after dropping four of five before their bye.

>>Browns, Bengals Battle For AFC North Lead

(Cincinnati, OH) -- The battle for Ohio has key AFC North implications as the Cleveland Browns visit the Cincinnati Bengals on "Thursday Night Football" at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati leads the division at 5-2-and-1, with Pittsburgh at 6-and-3 and Cleveland at 5-and-3. The Browns have won four of their last five games, but are riding a 17-game road losing streak within the division. The Bengals have won two straight over Baltimore and Jacksonville since a three-game winless stretch. This is the third straight home game for Cincinnati, which is 13-0-and-1 in its last 14 regular-season games at home.

 width=>>Still's Daughter To Watch Him Play In Person Tonight

(Cincinnati, OH) -- Tonight's "Thursday Night Football" game between the Browns and Bengals in Cincinnati will have special meaning for one player. The cancer-stricken daughter of Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still will watch her father play an NFL game in person for the first time. Four-year-old Leah had a tumor removed from her abdomen this summer, but has been deemed well enough to travel. Still says knowing his daughter is watching him will give him added motivation.

Still was cut by the Bengals before the season but was later re-signed, partly to ensure he'd have healthcare benefits for his daughter. The Bengals began donating money from the sale of Still's jersey to pediatric cancer. The story went viral, with NFL head coaches Sean Payton and Chip Kelly making purchases and Still receiving a 10-thousand-dollar donation while on the Ellen Show. The Bengals will present a one-million-dollar check from the jersey sales to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center during tonight's game.

>>49ers Running Back Lattimore Retires

(Santa Clara, CA) -- San Francisco 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is hanging up his cleats. The 23-year-old is retiring from football without ever playing a down in the NFL because of the same knee injury that cut his college career short at South Carolina. The Niners drafted Lattimore in the fourth round despite a gruesome injury to his right knee in 2012. He thanked the organization for the opportunity, but says it's time to move on to the "next chapter if my life, and help others." Lattimore holds Gamecocks' records for rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. He says he will return to Columbia to finish his degree.

>>"Fire John Idzik" Banner Flies Over Jets' Facility

(Florham Park, NJ) -- Unhappy New York Jets fans are taking their complaints to the air. A plane carrying a banner that read "Fire John Idzik" flew over the team's practice facility for about 20 minutes on Wednesday. The plane circled around over and over before flying directly overhead on its final pass. Idzik is in his second season as the team's general manager. The Jets are just 1-and-8 this season. They host the 6-and-3 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

>>Bucs To Start McCown Sunday Against Falcons

(Tampa, FL) -- Josh McCown is replacing Mike Glennon under center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McCown will start Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. He began the season as the starting quarterback, but injured his thumb in a 56-14 loss at Atlanta in Week Three. Glennon took over and had started every game since, including the last two when McCown was recovered and ready to play. The Bucs have lost four straight and are just 1-and-7 on the season.

>>Cowboys' Romo Skips Wednesday Practice

(London, England) -- The status of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for Sunday's game against Jacksonville in London remains uncertain. He did not practice Wednesday because of the back injury that kept him out of Sunday's game against Arizona. Romo participated in a walk-through at the team hotel, but did not make the trip to the practice field. Brandon Weeden, who started in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, took all the first-team reps. Head coach Jason Garrett says he's hopeful Romo will be able to practice some time this week. Romo has skipped most Wednesday practices throughout the season.

>>Lions' Johnson Says He'll Play Sunday

(Allen Park, MI) -- Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson says he will return to the playing field this Sunday. Johnson told reporters he feels close to full strength, and is set to return when the Lions host the Miami Dolphins in Week 10. Detroit is on top of the NFC North at 6-and-2 and has won all three games with Johnson on the shelf with an ankle injury. "Megatron" has caught 22 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns in five games this season.

>>Texans Tab Mallett Starting QB

(Houston, TX) -- Ryan Mallett is the new starting signal-caller for the Houston Texans. Head coach Bill O'Brien has tabbed the fourth-year quarterback as the starter for their next game at Cleveland a week from Sunday. Mallet replaces Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has passed for over 19-hundred yards, with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Houston has gone 4-and-5 with Fitzpatrick under center, and is in second place in the AFC South. The Texans acquired Mallet before the start of the regular season from New England for an undisclosed 2015 draft pick. He has never started an NFL game.

DeWitt County State's Attorney Appointed Circuit Judge

DeWitt County's current State's Attorney will soon have a new role.

Karle Koritz has been selected to fill the current vacancy of Resident Circuit Judge of DeWitt County in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.   The position has been vacant since the passing of the Honorable Garry W. Bryan.

Koritz's appointment was announced this week by Chief Justice Rita B. Garman.  It takes effect on December 5th, 2014, and will terminate on December 5th of 2016.

Koritz was recommended to the appointment following an application and review process that included evaluation by a specially selected seven person screening committee.  Six persons had applied for the position.

Koritz calls the appointment a (quote) "tremendous and humbling honor." (end quote)  He also thanked Chief Justice Garman and the Illinois Supreme Court for the confidence they have placed in him with the appointment.  He notes it will be a privilege to follow Judge Bryan on the bench.

Koritz was elected to the position of DeWitt County State's Attorney in 2012.  He tells Regional Radio News that he will continue to fill that role.  His plans are to resign that position in December once the newly elected DeWitt County Board has been seated, but before his appointment takes effect on December 5th.  He says it will then be up to the DeWitt County Board to make an appointment to the position of State's Attorney.

Work Delayed On High Speed Rail Near Normal

Illinois transportation officials say work on the infrastructure for high-speed rail in central Illinois has been delayed until spring.

Paris Ervin, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Transportation, says the timetable has been pushed back because of inclement weather. The work was originally expected to begin this fall in Normal. Instead, crews will upgrade siding tracks, improve rail crossings and install four-quad and pedestrian gates next year.

Reports indicate a spokesman for the Union Pacific Railroad says the delay will also allow work to be done "during the off-school season."

Normal Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich says the new timetable will probably work better with the city's plan to construct an overhead walkway at Uptown Station. He says bids could be submitted this month and awarded at the beginning of 2015.

Tuesday Winners, Losers Speak

A sampling of quotes from candidates in races across Illinois in Tuesday's election.

"We are going in a new direction. The voters have spoken."

Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, who was elected Illinois governor.

"There's a lot of votes still to be counted. I don't believe in throwing in the towel if that many votes are being counted."

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who did not concede the governor's race late Tuesday.

"This is the end of a hard fought campaign across the state against some of the toughest political winds I've ever faced. People across Illinois and across America want more. They want a Congress that produces. They want a Congress that works with the president to solve problems."

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to supporters after winning re-election over Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis.

"This was not going to be an easy race and that's the way it turned out. We were watching right to the end. I'm just happy because I have four more years to get things done."

GOP Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who won re-election over Democratic challenger Sheila Simon.

"People were not feeling comfortable with the direction the federal government is headed."

Republican state Rep. Mike Bost, who defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart in Illinois' 12th Congressional District.

"It's very difficult to beat an U.S. incumbent senator. It's even more difficult to do it in a state that has the same predominant political philosophy as that incumbent ... I'll go back to the state Senate and continue our work here in Illinois."

Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis in concession speech to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

"They're completely frustrated with Washington because they don't believe Washington is working or listening."

Bob Dold on voters in Illinois' 10th Congressional District. Dold won the district over incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider.

Illinois Voters Support Contraceptive Coverage

Voters in Illinois support an advisory referendum about whether insurance plans in Illinois should include birth control as part of prescription coverage.

Illinois law has required contraceptive coverage since 2003. Supporters of the ballot question say if it gets overwhelming approval, the voters' endorsement will ensure that the provision remains law in the future.

They point at the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June that craft-store chain Hobby Lobby is not required to pay for birth control. Birth-control advocates say that decree guts the state's 2003 law.

But opponents of the measure crafted by Chicago Democratic Sen. Iris Martinez say it was simply a ploy to drive Democratic voters to the polls in a year when incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn faced a stiff challenge from GOP challenger Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur).

Illinois Voters Support Minimum Wage Increase

As the hotly contested Illinois races seem to be wrapped up across the state, there were several referenda on the Tuesday ballot voters got to weight in on.

The hot topic across Illinois over the past several months has been the minimum wage vote.

Democrats in Illinois have pushed raising the minimum wage to $10-per-hour and Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly supported the idea.

In almost a 2-to-1 vote, over two million voters supported the measure.

Political Analyst On Negative Governor's Race

It was a very expensive and nasty race between Governor Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner. They threw jabs for months, attacking each other in television and radio ads. Political Scientist Kent Redfield says Quinn didn't have a lot of positives to run on so he had to hit below the belt.

[audio:rddBadRace11.mp3] [/audio]

Redfield says Rauner did't laid out any details about how he plans to solve real issues, so it's easier to attack Quinn.

[audio:rddBadRace21.mp3] [/audio]

Redfield says the reality is neither Quinn nor Rauner are running on the absolute truth. Neither have been talking about what it will really take to get the state's finances in order. It could mean real, painful cuts for the people of Illinois. That includes keeping the higher tax rate in place, even though Democrats promised it would be temporary when they implemented it nearly four-years ago.

Illinois Treasurer Race Very Close

The race for Illinois treasurer is too close to call.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, there's less than 1 percentage point between former House Republican Leader Tom Cross and Democratic state Sen. Michael Frerichs.

The race to be the state's chief investment officer was marked with unusual intensity this year as it was the lone open statewide post on the November ballot. Current Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford sought a gubernatorial run over re-election. He lost in the four-way GOP governor primary.

During the campaign, Cross of Oswego enjoyed better statewide name recognition during the campaign after his two decades as a legislator in Springfield. Frerichs of Gifford has said he has more financial expertise after serving previously as Champaign County's auditor.

Oberweis Concedes To Durbin

State Senator Jim Oberweis says he's proud of the race he ran against U.S Senator Dick Durbin, even though he didn't come out on top.  The GOP candidate lost the race with about 36-percent of the vote.  He was hoping to unseat Durbin, who's been in Washington for more than 30 years.  Oberweis says Durbin has done little to improve the economy and education in Illinois since he was last elected, six years ago.  Oberweis took his fight to the black community in Chicago and managed to snag support from some big name pastors, who say Democrats have taken their votes for granted.  

Sen. Durbin Wins Fourth Term Over Oberweis

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has defeated Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis to win a fourth term.

The U.S. Senate's second-ranking Democrat had been expected to keep the seat he's held since 1997. During the campaign he pushed for a minimum wage increase and tax breaks for companies keeping jobs in the country. He said he helped bring billions in federal dollars to Illinois.

Durbin told The Associated Press there were "worrisome" signs Republicans would pick up seats needed to gain control of the Senate, but he'd continue working for Illinois.

During the campaign, Oberweis called Durbin a career politician. The Sugar Grove dairy entrepreneur touted his business background.

He told supporters it was difficult to beat an incumbent in Democrat-heavy Illinois and he'd continue working for Republicans in Illinois' Senate.

GOPs Davis Beats Callis To Keep 13th US House Seat

Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has defeated former judge Ann Callis to hold on to his seat representing Illinois' 13th Congressional District.

Davis is a first-term congressman from Taylorville. Callis is a Democrat from Edwardsville and former Madison County chief judge.

The race was seen early on as one of the most competitive in the nation, but there were signs as Election Day approached that Davis was pulling away.

He is a former projects director and campaign manager for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus. Callis worked to portray him as a Washington insider who's part of the dysfunction in Congress.

Davis has called for fewer government regulations and boosting domestic oil production.

The district stretches from Champaign to the St. Louis suburbs.

Close Races Across Illinois For General Assembly

Most races across the state of Illinois Tuesday were incredibly competitive and extremely tight, as most came down to the final precincts reporting.

In the House of Representatives:

District 96

93 of 93 precincts - 100 percent

x-Sue Scherer, Dem (i) 15,057 - 55 percent

Michael Bell, GOP 12,242 - 45 percent

District 102

129 of 129 precincts - 100 percent

x-Adam Brown, GOP (i) 26,980 - 74 percent

Matt Forcum, Dem 9,249 - 26 percent

For Illinois Senate:

District 48

107 of 107 precincts - 100 percent

x-Andy Manar, Dem (i) 15,930 - 52 percent

Linda Little, GOP 14,584 - 48 percent

Senator Chapin Rose (State Senate District 51), Representative Bill Mitchell (State House District 101), and Dan Brady (House District 105) ran unopposed.

Piatt County Sales Tax Referendum Passes; New High School Referendum Fails

A referendum on the Tuesday ballot in Piatt County on a proposed sales tax implementation has passed.

As polls closed Tuesday and ballot were tallied, the vote came out in favor of a "yes", but it was very close. The vote 3769 to 3255.

By just over 500 votes, Piatt County can now begin taxing an additional one-percent on certain items.

The Monticello School district also put a referendum on the ballot Tuesday about constructing a new high school. The measure failed by a vote of 2344 to 1977.

The measure proposed the question of acquiring land to construct a new high school at a cost of around $40-million.

The sales tax proposal was intended to help offset the cost of the proposed new high school.

Brittney Griner Fine After Random Knife Attack In China

WNBA star Brittney Griner is doing fine after she was cut on the elbow by a man with a knife while she was leaving practice in China.  ESPN-W reports the man chased Griner and two teammates onto their bus while swinging the knife around.  The knife cut through her jacket and grazed her elbow.  One of her teammates was also hit, but was not injured.  The WNBA Defensive Player of the Year is in her second season with the Beijing Great Wall of the Chinese professional league.  Griner won a WNBA title this past season with the Phoenix Mercury.  Griner did not require stitches.  The man left the scene after the incident, but he later returned covered in blood and was arrested. 

College Football Playoff Top-25 Poll

 width=After suffering its second consecutive loss, Ole Miss is no longer in line for college football's final four this season.  Oregon replaces the Rebels at number-four of the College Football Playoff selection committee's second edition of the top-25 poll.  Mississippi State, Florida State and Auburn remain steady in the top three spots.  Alabama is fifth, followed by TCU, Kansas State, Michigan State, Arizona State and Notre Dame.  Mississippi falls to 11th, while Georgia drops from 11th to 20th after its loss to Florida.  The semifinal matchups will be announced on Sunday, December 7th.  The semifinals will be played on January 1st at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl.  The National Championship Game will take place January 12th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  

NFL Notes

>>Minnesota RB Peters Reaches Plea Deal

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson reached a plea agreement in the child abuse case against him on Tuesday.

Peterson was facing felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after he was accused of using a wooden tree branch to hit his 4-year-old son as a disciplinary measure, resulting in visible injuries to the child.

 width=Instead, he pleaded no contest and reached an agreement to a lesser charge of one count of misdemeanor reckless assault and will avoid jail time. He is also expected to get probation, pay a $2,000 fine and serve 80 hours of community service.

Peterson is currently on the NFL exempt list while the court proceedings continued. It is unclear when or if the star running back will be reinstated.

>>Rice Appeal Hearing Begins Today

(New York, NY) -- The appeal for former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice begins today in New York. The two-day arbitration hearing will include testimony from both Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Rice is hoping to be reinstated and is challenging Goodell's use of power in first suspending him two games, then indefinitely for knocking his now wife unconscious in a casino elevator. Goodell claims what Rice described had happened was inconsistent with what the surveillance footage later showed, leading to the harsher penalty.

>>Giants CB Amukamara Out For Season

(East Rutherford, NJ) -- The season is over for New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara [[ uh-MOO-kuh-MARE-uh ]]. Head coach Tom Coughlin confirms he will miss the rest of the season with a torn biceps. Amukamara was hurt in Monday night's loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He had 45 tackles and three interceptions in eight games.

>>Steelers' Polamalu, Shazier Out Against Jets

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without a couple hard hitters for their Week 10 matchup against the New York Jets. Head coach Mike Tomlin says safety Troy Polamalu [[ pol-ah-MAH-loo ]] and rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier [[ shay-ZEER ]] will both miss Sunday's game. Each player exited last weekend's victory over the Ravens with injuries. Polamalu has a knee sprain, while Shazier is dealing with an ankle injury. Polamalu has 51 tackles and a forced fumble in nine games this season. Shazier has 26 tackles in five games.

Gold Glove Awards Announced in Baseball; Post Season Notes

 width=>>Yadi Molina Wins 7th Gold Glove

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was awarded a seventh straight Gold Glove on Tuesday when MLB announced the top fielders at each position.

Molina has been a virtual lock to take home the NL's top catching honor for the better part of a decade. Only Ivan Rodriguez (13) and Johnny Bench (10) have won more Gold Gloves as a backstop.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez collected his fourth Gold Glove and first since 2011, while slick-fielding Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons captured his second straight.

The Rockies had two honored in second baseman DJ LeMahieu and third baseman Nolan Arenado, who also won last season.

The Senior Circuit's top outfielders consisted of Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares and Braves right fielder Jason Heyward. Yelich and Lagares were first-time winners, while Heyward walked away with one in 2012.

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke rounded out the NL squad as he edged teammate Clayton Kershaw and reigning champ Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.

The Royals and Orioles each had three representatives on the AL side for the second straight year. Catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Eric Hosmer and left fielder Alex Gordon all won at their respective positions for the AL champs. Gordon seized the honor for a fourth straight season.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has taken one home three years running, while his teammates, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, won in center and right field, respectively. Jones landed his fourth Gold Glove while Markakis picked up hissecond.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was selected for the fourth time in seven years, while Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager and Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel were the only first-time winners on the AL side.

>>MLB Postseason Award Finalists Revealed

(New York, NY) -- The finalists are out for Major League Baseball's postseason awards. In the National League, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton are finalists for MVP. Kershaw, the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright and Reds' Johnny Cueto [[ KWAY-toh ]] are finalists for the Cy Young Award. Manager of the Year finalists are the Giants' Bruce Bochy [[ BO-chee ]], Pirates' Clint Hurdle and Nationals' Matt Williams. Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton and Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong are finalists for Rookie of the Year.

In the American League, Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez and Indians outfielder Michael Brantley are up for MVP honors. The Indians' Corey Kluber [[ KLOO-ber ]], Mariners' Felix Hernandez and Chris Sale of the White Sox are Cy Young finalists. Manager of the Year candidates are the Orioles' Buck Showalter, the Royals' Ned Yost and Mike Scioscia [[ SO-shuh ]] of the Angels. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu [[ ah-BRAY-oo ]], Yankees reliever Dellin Betances [[ beh-TAN-sess ]] and Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker are finalists for Rookie of the Year.

The winners will be announced next week, with the rookies revealed on Monday, managers on Tuesday, Cy Young on Wednesday and MVP on Thursday.

>>Former Cubs OF Soriano Retiring

Seven-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano says he is retiring from the major leagues after a season in which he was released by the New York Yankees on July.

"I've lost the love and passion to play the game," said Soriano in a radio interview Tuesday in his native Dominican Republic. "Right now, my family is the most important thing."

Soriano, 38, completed in 2014 the final year of his $136 million, eight-year contract he signed with the Chicago Cubs before the 2007 season.

He ends his career 50th in baseball history with 412 home runs.

"Although I consider myself in great shape, my mind is not focused on baseball," said Soriano.

Soriano was released by the Yankees after playing just 67 games. He was hitting .221 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.

 width=>>Free Agency Begins, Cards Have Five

(St. Louis, MO) -- Free agency is underway in Major League Baseball. Eligible players can now sign with any club. The Cardinals have five free agents in pitchers Justin Masterson, Jason Motte and Pat Neshek, catcher A.J. Pierzynski [[ peer-ZIN-skee ]] and second baseman Mark Ellis.

>>Pablo Sandoval Rejects Giants' Qualifying Offer

(San Francisco, CA) -- San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is set to hit the free-agent market. FOX Sports reports Sandoval has rejected the Giants' one-year, 15.3-million-dollar qualifying offer. San Francisco will receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. "Kung Fu Panda" hit .279 with 16 home runs in 157 games this season. The 28-year-old enjoyed another solid postseason at the plate, and helped the Giants to their third World Series championship in five seasons.

>>Angels Sign Cuban Infielder

(Anaheim, CA) -- The Los Angeles Angels are making a big splash in the international market. MLB.com reports the team has signed Cuban middle infielder Roberto Baldoquin to a record-setting eight-million-dollar signing bonus. The deal is pending a physical. Baldoquin's bonus would be the highest given to an international amateur player during the current international signing period. With the signing, LA is way past its more than 2.3-million-dollar bonus pool money allotment. They will be subject to 100-percent luxury tax on any dollars spent over the bonus allotment for the remainder of the signing period. Because the 20-year-old is under 23 and has not played in a professional league for at least five seasons, Baldoquin is subject to international signing guidelines.

>>Indians Extend Terry Francona

(Cleveland, OH) -- The Cleveland Indians are locking up manager Terry Francona. The two sides have agreed on a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season. Francona's new deal also contains club options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. In his two seasons as skipper of the Tribe, "Tito" has guided the team to a 177-and-147 record, and a Wild Card berth during his first season at the helm in 2013.

Blues, Blackhawks Pitch Shutouts

 width=>>Blues Blank Devils

(Newark, NJ) -- Jake Allen stopped all 26 shots he faced as the Blues blanked the Devils 1-0 in the opener of a home-and-home set at the Prudential Center. Vladimir Tarasenko scored on the power play 4:55 into the third period for the Blues, who have ripped off six straight wins. Tarasenko has seven goals in his last five games. Cory Schneider made 22 saves for the Devils, who had won their previous two.

 width=>>Blackhawks Blast Canadiens In Montreal

(Montreal, Quebec) -- Kris Versteeg scored twice and Corey Crawford posted his first shutout of the season as the Blackhawks blasted the Canadiens 5-0 at the Bell Centre. Crawford made 28 saves in his 11th career whitewash. Jonathan Toews [[ taves ]] tallied a goal and an assist, while Patrick Kane and Brad Richards also lit the lamp for Chicago, which snapped a two-game skid. Carey Price was tagged with all five goals on 32 shots for the Habs, who have dropped three straight.

Boston Bruins 2, Florida Panthers 1 (OT)
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Edmonton Oilers 1
Calgary Flames 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
Ottawa Senators 3, Detroit Red Wings 1
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Minnesota Wild 1
Winnipeg Jets 3, Nashville Predators 1
Los Angeles Kings 3, Dallas Stars 1
Vancouver Canucks 5, Colorado Avalanche 2
Arizona Coyotes 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2

Bulls Bounce Magic Without Noah, Rose

>>Bulls Bounce Magic

(Chicago, IL) -- Jimmy Butler had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the shorthanded Bulls to a 98-90 win over the Magic at the United Center. Pau Gasol [[ POW ga-SAUL ]] added 16 points and 13 boards for the Bulls.  width=Taj Gibson netted 16 points in the victory. Tobias Harris had 21 points and nine rebounds for Orlando, which has opened the year with four straight losses. Nikola Vucevic [[ KNEE-coal-uh VOOCH-uh-vitch ]] finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Milwaukee Bucks 87, Indiana Pacers 81
Houston Rockets 108, Miami Heat 91
Toronto Raptors 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 88
Washington Wizards 98, New York Knicks 83
New Orleans Pelicans 100, Charlotte Hornets 91
Portland Trail Blazers 101, Cleveland Cavaliers 82
Phoenix Suns 112, Los Angeles Lakers 106

>>Rose, Noah Miss Tuesday's Game

(Chicago, IL) -- Bulls star Derrick Rose did not play in last night's win over the Magic. Despite taking part in the team's shootaround earlier Tuesday, Rose missed the game with sprained ankles. Rose was injured in last Friday's loss to the Cavaliers. Meanwhile, Joakim Noah also missed the game with the flu.

Pair of Second Time County Board Members Say Animal Shelter Major Priority for New Board

A pair of former DeWitt County Board members will be returning to the Board in December.

After the Tuesday election, former County Board Chair Melonie Tilley and Terry Ferguson regained seats on the Board. According to Ferguson, a lot of work needs to be done once the new board takes over.

[audio:11614boardelect1.mp3] [/audio]

Both Tilley and Ferguson have targeted the animal shelter as a major focal point. According to Ferguson, he feels the situation of the County owning the former Black's Heating and Cooling building can be a good situation for a couple different entities.

[audio:11614boardelect2.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley says the animal shelter will be something the new board will get corrected and also has targeted the budget as a point of concern.

[audio:11614boardelect3.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley is appreciative of the support she received from the voters in her bid to get back on the County Board. She feels being affiliated with the Better Government for DeWitt County was a great thing.

[audio:11614boardelect4.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley was the top vote getter in District D Tuesday, receiving 797 votes. Incumbent Democrat Rita Sue Whitted will return to the Board and Democratic Challenger Cris Rogers will be a first time Board member. Whitted and Rogers separated by just a single vote.

Three new members will be on the County Board in District B. Republican Christina Pruser led the vote with 1,179 votes, she will replace her late husband Tom Pruser on the County Board. Ferguson received 1,075 votes. And Randy Perring, a Democrat won a seat on the County Board with 778 votes for 21% of the vote.

Superintendent Reacts to Monticello Referendum For New High School Being Shot Down

 width=A pair of referenda were on the Tuesday ballot in Piatt County.

A referendum in regards to an increase in the sales tax in Piatt County was approved by the voters for funds to go towards school facilities in the County. Monticello Schools also put a measure on the ballot asking the voters if they would approve the construction of a new high school. According to Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello schools, that measure failed and he says wasn't surprised because he wasn't sure what to expect from community voters.

[audio:11614monticellonew1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Dr. Zimmerman, because the sales tax passed but the building referendum failed, the Board of Education in Monticello will have to look at what they want their course of action to be. He would not completely dismiss the idea the new high school going back to a referendum with an adjusted course of action.

[audio:11614monticellonew2.mp3] [/audio]

The Superintendent says he is pleased with the way they conducted the process. He feels they made every effort to engage and get feedback from the community. He adds they were as transparent as they could possibly be and feels there was no reason any voter should not have been informed on the intentions and plans of the school district in the two referendums that were on the Tuesday ballot.

WHOW, State Bank of Lincoln Co-sponsoring Fall Commodity Outlook Meeting

 width=WHOW THE BIG 1520 AM/92.3 FM Radio in Clinton, along with the State Bank of Lincoln, will co-sponsor a Fall Commodity Outlook Meeting on Tuesday, November 18th, at 6:30pm, at the Richland Community College Clinton Education Center.

The Center is located next to the Sunset Inn and Suites on U. S. Highway 51 on the west side of Clinton.

Todd Gleason, host of the WILL Closing Market Report heard weekdays at 2:06pm on WHOW, will emcee the panel. Panelists will include Matt Bennett of Channel Seeds from Windsor; Pete Manhart, owner of Bates Commodities in Normal; and Jacquie Voeks of Stewart Peterson in Champaign.

There is no charge to attend this event, and seating is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. Farmers and agri-businesspeople are urged to attend this free meeting.

Weather May Stop City Streets Department's Retun To Leaf Pick Up Tuesday

The leaf clean up season is in full swing and the city of Clinton's Street Department, yet weather conditions may put a halt to the proceeding on Tuesday.

Refer to the map on the right as well as the information provided from the Street Department below for how the zone's are broken up.

Zone 2 was completed yesterday and part of Zone 3. Weather will determine pickup today and if the rain continues there will unfortunately be no pickup today. If conditions allow crews will return to where they left off in Zone 3.



The Street's Department has agreed to provide Regional Radio News with their plans for each day as they go through the leaf clean up season.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

October 31, 2014

Jail Population: 59
Summons Served: 1
Warrant Arrests: 0

November 1, 2014

Jail Population: 63
Summons Served: 9
Warrant Arrests: 0

November 2, 2014

Jail Population: 63
Summons Served: 1
Warrant Arrests: 0

John Kennedy, 32, Clinton was arrested and charged with Driving on Suspended License, Driving Under Influence of Alcohol, Possess Drug Paraphernalia and Possess Cannabis <25 grams. Kennedy was issued citations for improper lane usage, 2 counts Driving Under the Influence and Driving While License Suspended. Kennedy posted the necessary bond and was released.

Yolanda Bell, 42, Springfield was issued a citation and charged with Driving While License Suspended. Bell posted the necessary bond and was released.

Meghan Barnett, 23, Normal was issued a citation for speeding, 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. Barnett was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Gary Stanley, 61, Springfield was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Stanley was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Rebecca Damptz, 29 Decatur was issued a citation for speeding, 80 mph in a 65 mph zone. Damptz posted her IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.

Sarah Lackore, 22, Plainfield was issued a citation for speeding, 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. Lackore was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jessica Ray, 29, Bloomington was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured vehicle. Ray was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Daniel Craft, 59, Bloomington was issued a citation for speeding, 62 mph in a 45 mph zone. Craft was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jaykob Kiefer, 24, Gridley was issued a citation for speeding, 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. Kiefer was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Krystle Able, 27, Normal was issued a citation for speeding, 76 mph in a 55 mph zone, Able was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Kraig Krigbaum, 23, Morton was issued a citation for speeding, 69 mph in a 45 mph zone. Krigbaum was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Investigation into an accident which occurred at 0123, on November 1, 2014, revealed that Benjamin Daugherty, 29, Clinton was traveling west on South 5th St. then turned North onto South Locust St., in Wapella. Daugherty failed to negotiate a curve to the north and lost control. Daugherty struck a parked Ford Truck causing it to move north and strike a parked Chevrolet Equinox. Daugherty continued north driving through the property or 408 S. Locust St. Daugherty struck the mailbox at 408 S. Locust’s St. and then the front end of a parked Mitsubishi car pushing it approx. 15 ft north of the previous location. All vehicles sustained damage. Daugherty’s vehicle was towed from the scene. Daugherty was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol. Daugherty was issued citations for 2 counts Driving Under Influence, Failure to Reduce Speed/Accident and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Daugherty posted the necessary bond and was released. .


Illinois Officials Consider Pollution Plan

Illinois environmental authorities are preparing a strategic action plan to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in the state's rivers and lakes.

According to reports, the state Environmental Protection Agency plans to release the proposal to the public in November after months of talks between environmentalists, agriculture professionals and wastewater agencies. The agency's water bureau chief, Marcia Willhite, says officials will gather input from the public during a comment period on the plan.

The pollutants come from agricultural fertilizers as well as sources including wastewater treatment facilities and stormwater from cities.

Willhite says the plan includes increasing outreach and education among farmers about funding and other available resources.

She says the agency plans to have the proposal finalized by the end of the year following the comment period.

Hunter Killed By Combine In Ogle County

A Park Ridge man is dead after being hit by a combine while hunting in Ogle County. The County Sheriff's Department says David Olzeski [[ ohl-zes-skee ]] was wearing camouflage clothing while walking along a rural road Saturday night in Forreston. Olzeski was hit from behind by one of the combine's tines. He was pronounced dead after being transported to a Rockford hospital. Authorities say the driver of the combine has not been charged.

Gay Rights Advocates Push Against Rauner

Some gay rights advocates say Republican Bruce Rauner is a bad choice for governor. Bernard Cherkasov [[ Cher-Kah-siv ]], with Equality Illinois, says Rauner may say he doesn't have a social agenda when he's in public, but he's allegedly said otherwise behind closed doors.

[audio:rddEqaulity11.mp3] [/audio]

Cherkasov says there's too much riding on this election for people to stay home. Ruaner says he doesn't have a public agenda and he doesn't intend to make changes to the marriage equality law.

Edgar Confident Rauner Can Work With Democrats

There's been some question about whether Bruce Rauner will be able to work with the Democratic leadership in Springfield if he wins the election. Former Governor Jim Edgar says things may not be great to start but in the end, he has no doubt that things will be OK.

[audio:rddEdgar21.mp3] [/audio]

Edgar says things changed when Madigan realized he could trust him at his word. He says they managed to get quite a bit accomplished during his terms in office, between 1991 and 1999. The state was in the red when Edgar took office but he and the legislature managed to turn that into a surplus by the time Edgar left office.

Edgar Backing Rauner Despite Differences

Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar has gone on the record saying Bruce Rauner doesn't have enough experience to be governor Illinois, but he's out stumping for him in the final push before the elections. He says if you compare Rauner to Governor Quinn, there's no question about who's the best person for the job.

[audio:rddEdgar11.mp3] [/audio]

Edgar admits that he wanted former state senator Kirk Dillard to win over Rauner in the Republican primary earlier this year. But he says this is no longer primary season. Edgar says Rauner has been successful in his business ventures and that could play well when it comes to running state government. Edgar served Illinois from 1991 to 1999.

Schock Says Democrats Nervous About Losing Seats

Congressman Aaron Schock says Democrats in Illinois and across the nation are nervous about today's election.

[audio:rddSchock11.mp3] [/audio]

He says young people who usually vote Democratic are switching it up this year.

[audio:rddSchock21.mp3] [/audio]

Schock says African American and Latino voters are also leaning Republican this year, because they're starting to see that Democrats have been taking their votes for granted. Schock is out stumping for Bruce Rauner, who's the Republican up for Governor Quinn's job. Polls have had Rauner and Quinn in a dead tie for the last several weeks.

Early Voting Numbers Up

Early voting numbers are up considerably compared to this time four-years ago. Jim Tenuto, with the State Board of Elections, says Governor Quinn, Bruce Rauner, and other candidates really pushed the early vote this time around.

[audio:rddEarlyUp1.mp3] [/audio]

A preliminary count shows more than 479-thousand people have already cast a ballot, and that doesn't even include numbers out of suburban Cook County. Three-hundred-82-thousand people cast early ballots this time four years ago. Early voting numbers may be up, but there are actually fewer people registered to vote this time around.

'Hilltop Safety Cruiser' Added At Bradley University

A nighttime shuttle program at Bradley University has proved so popular officials have added a "Hilltop Safety Cruiser."

The safe-transportation program uses trained students to provide shuttle pickup and drop-off to students, faculty and staff in the campus area.

The second vehicle was partially funded by a grant from the PNC Foundation.

The program began in 2012 and provides rides Sunday through Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Bradley University Police Chief Brian Joschko says the shuttle carries an average of 77 passengers a day. He says two vans will be able to transport more students and reduce wait times.

The two-van program should be in full swing after Thanksgiving break. But Joschko says operating hours may be adjusted based on demand.

Registration Available Today



[audio:forgot.mp3] [/audio]


University of Illinois Index Shows Economic Growth

A University of Illinois economist says a monthly index of Illinois' economic growth continues to show slow but steady improvement.

Economist Fred Giertz (GURTZ) said Monday that the U of I Flash Index reading for the month of October was up slightly to 106.6. Any reading above 100 indicates economic expansion across the state.

Giertz said in a news release the slow recovery has been advancing in Illinois for more than two years.

Giertz also noted the improvement has started to show up in the state's unemployment rate. State officials said last month that unemployment was down to 6.6 percent in September and had dropped for seven consecutive months.

The index measures economic growth or contraction in Illinois based on corporate, income and sales tax receipts.

Lincoln Officials Hoping Downtown Work Can Continue As Weather Begins To Turn

As the fall turns to winter, the City of Lincoln is hoping many of its downtown revitalization projects can continue progress.

Downtown Lincoln's Pulaski Street block from McLean to Kickapoo Street has been the jumpstart to the city's new streetscape plan. According to Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, the sidewalks have been expanded into the street in order to better protect pedestrians.

[audio:103114downtown1.mp3] [/audio]

Another large downtown project is the renovation of Lincoln's movie theater. Mayor Snyder explains a groundbreaking should take place in the near future with a light amount of work done before winter weather hits. The rest of the work will be done once spring comes in 2015 and the Mayor hopes it will be a centerpiece for the community.

The city will be providing some TIF funds for the theater along with several private investors. Owner David Lanterman bought the theater from a national chain that had somewhat neglected the facility. Mayor Snyder says Lincoln is appreciative of the work that's already been done.

[audio:103114downtown2.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor also hopes the city will soon put out a bid package for the restoration of the historic Lincoln Depot. The rail cars need to be taken off in order to restore the site to its' historic footprint. Major construction work is planned for mid-2015.

[audio:103114downtown4.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Snyder also notes Downtown Lincoln's streetscape work will continue south toward the theater with plans to continue northward sometime in the future.

Confusion Puts Funds For City Trees on Hold

 width=Confusion between one of the city's entities and the City Council Monday night led to a lengthy discussion on how certain funds would be used.

Commissioner John Wise says expanding the Tree Commission's budget is a good thing but he has concerns. For better than 10 years the Commission has been operating on $4-thousand, and thanks to revenue from video gambling in the city would allow the budget to expand by $6-thousand.

[audio:11414treebudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Wise outlines concerns over $10-thousand going strictly to tree purchases. He says if trees are purchased and their costs surpass what is in their budget, they won't have the money to pay to have those trees planted and then maintained.

[audio:11414treebudget2.mp3] [/audio]

According to City Arborist, Steve Lobb, the Tree Commission does not feel the same way Wise does. He indicates the Commission and it's members believe the money would be able to go to strictly tree purchases, as the Commission will be battling several issues, most notably, the Ash Tree populations decline because of the Emerald Ash Borer.

[audio:11414treebudget3.mp3] [/audio]

Wise says he is absolutely in favor of a budget increase, but wants to see certain guidelines come with the budget increase.

The Mayor and Council members suggested Tree Commission Chair John Baker return to the City Council and outline their plans for the expanded budget.

In other news from the Monday night meeting:

>>The Council approved the purchase of two 2015 Ford Interceptor Utility Vehicles for the Police Department from Anderson Ford at a cost of just under $63,500.

>>The Council approved the sale of the Clinton Police Department's 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2003 Chevy Impala.

>>City also put on file the annual levy.

NASCAR's Chase Packing a Punch

The gloves are off for those drivers and teams that remain in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

That was quite obvious in Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway, where Jeff Gordon and rad Keselowski were involved in one of the most memorable brawls in NASCAR's history.

Texas was the second race in the Eliminator Round of the Chase. Eight drivers are currently in he playoff field, but after next Sunday's event at Phoenix International Raceway, the field will be trimmed to just four drivers who will battle for the Sprint Cup Series championship on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This year, NASCAR radically changed its format for the Chase, which included an expanded field of 16 drivers and a series of elimination rounds.

In the next chapter of NASCAR's "Boys, Have At It," mayhem broke out on pit road after the race had concluded at Texas. While Jimmie Johnson was heading to victory lane, his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Gordon, parked his car right next to Keselowski on pit road and then approached him to express his displeasure for an incident that occurred in the closing laps.

Gordon, who is attempting to win his fifth series title this year, held the lead for the restart in the first of two green-white-checkered finishes, but Keselowski bumped into him while battling for position following the restart. Gordon suffered a flat tire from the contact and then spun out in turn 3. He ended up finishing one lap down in 29th, while Keselowski placed third.

 width=At first, Gordon had heated words with Keselowski while crew members from both of their teams were engaged in a shoving match. Then second-place finisher Kevin Harvick approached Keselowski from behind and pushed him. That sparked the big brawl with plenty of punches being thrown.

Harvick also was irritated with Keselowski for his actions on the track.

Both Gordon and Keselowski suffered cuts and bruises to their faces and lips during the altercation.

NASCAR is reviewing the incident, and penalties could be forthcoming. NASCAR senior vice president of competition and racing development Robin Pemberton said the sanctioning body will look at the film of the fight and determine what, if any, actions will be taken.

This is the second time in this 10-race Chase that Keselowski has been in a physical altercation with another competitor.

Just 18 points separate the eight drivers who are still in the Chase. With none of them winning at either Martinsville or Texas, all four positions for the championship race at Homestead have yet to be determined.

Cubs Introduce Maddon; Cards Welcome New Bench Coach; Baseball Notes

 width=>>Cubs Introduce New Manager Maddon

(Chicago, IL) -- Joe Maddon is the new manager of the Chicago Cubs. He was formally introduced yesterday. Maddon agreed to a five-year deal. He opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay last month after nine seasons as skipper of the Rays. The 60-year-old replaces Rick Renteria [[ renn-teh-REE-uh ]], who was fired after just one season to make room for the two-time AL Manager of the Year.

 width=>>Cardinals Promote Bell To Bench Coach

(St. Louis, MO) -- David Bell is changing roles for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has agreed to a two-year contract to become manager Mike Matheny's bench coach. Bell spent this past season as assistant hitting coach. He replaces Mike Aldrete, who left last week to become bench coach for the Oakland A's.

>>O's Extend Qualifying Offer To Cruz

(Baltimore, MD) -- The Baltimore Orioles are extending a qualifying offer to slugger Nelson Cruz. The 34-year-old outfielder has until next Monday to accept the one-year, 15.3-million-dollar deal or become a free agent. Cruz turned down a similar qualifying offer with Texas, but settled for a one-year, eight-million-dollar deal with Baltimore after serving a 50-game suspension in 2013 for his connection to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. Cruz responded this season by leading the majors with 40 home runs as the Orioles captured the American League East title.

>>Yankees Extend Qualifying Offer To Robertson

(Bronx, NY) -- The New York Yankees are extending a qualifying offer to closer David Robertson. He has until next Monday to accept the one-year, 15.3-million-dollar offer or become a free agent. Taking over for the retired Mariano Rivera, Robertson had 39 saves and a 3.08 ERA in 63 outings this past season.

>>Braves Extend Qualifying Offer To Santana

(Atlanta, GA) -- The Atlanta Braves are extending a qualifying offer to starting pitcher Ervin Santana. The 31-year-old right-hander now has until next Monday to accept the one-year, 15.3-million-dollar offer or become a free agent. Santana went 14-and-10 with a 3.95 ERA in 31 starts this past season. He pitched his first eight big league seasons with the Angels before spending 2013 with Kansas City. Santana is 119-and-100 with a 4.17 ERA in 10 seasons overall.

>>Royals Exercise Option On Davis

(Kansas City, MO) -- A key member of the Kansas City Royals' bullpen will be back next season. The Royals have exercised the 2015 contract option on reliever Wade Davis. The 29-year-old right-hander will earn seven-million-dollars next year. Davis went 9-and-2 with a 1.00 ERA and three saves in 71 games this past season. He struck out 109 batters in just 72 innings. Davis then posted a 0.63 ERA in 12 postseason games as the Royals reached their first World Series since 1985. The 1.00 regular-season ERA led all major league relievers and his 109 strikeouts were the most by a reliever in team history.

>>Royals Extend Qualifying Offer To Shields

(Kansas City, MO) -- The Kansas City Royals are extending a qualifying offer to starting pitcher James Shields. The 32-year-old right-hander has until next Monday to accept the offer or become a free agent. If Shields accepts, he would receive a one-year deal worth 15.3-million-dollars. If he declines, the Royals would receive draft-pick compensation if he signs with another team. Shields went 14-and-9 with a 3.21 ERA in 34 starts this past season. He hurled 227 innings, his eighth straight season of at least 200 innings. For his career, Shields is 114-and-90 with a 3.72 ERA in nine seasons.

>>Cuddyer Receives Qualifying Offer From Rockies

The Colorado Rockies have extended a qualifying offer to outfielder Michael Cuddyer.

Cuddyer spent the first 11 seasons of his MLB career in Minnesota before playing in Colorado for the last three. He has enjoyed hitting in the friendly confines of Coors Field, batting .331 and .332 in consecutive years in 2013 and 2014, though injuries limited him to just 49 games this past season.

Over his 14-year MLB career, Cuddyer has 187 home runs and 753 RBI.

The 35-year-old has until 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Monday, Nov. 10 to accept the $15.3 million offer or become a free agent.

>>Twins To Introduce Molitor Today

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Hall of Famer Paul Molitor is the new manager of the Minnesota Twins. The two sides have agreed to a three-year contract through 2017. Molitor will be formally introduced today. He becomes just the third Twins manager since 1986, following Tom Kelly and the recently fired Ron Gardenhire. The 58-year-old Molitor is a St. Paul native and University of Minnesota product.

Deron Williams Leads Nets Past Thunder

 width=>>Nets Romp Thunder

(Brooklyn, NY) -- Deron Williams posted 17 points and nine assists as the Nets cruised to a 116-85 win against the Thunder in their home opener at the Barclays Center. Joe Johnson added 13 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Brook Lopez put up 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting in his season debut. Brooklyn is off to a 2-and-1 start. Oklahoma City got Reggie Jackson back from injury and he scored 23 points with five helpers and four boards. Perry Jones chipped in 16 points with four rebounds for the Thunder, who have lost three of four.

Houston Rockets 104, Philadelphia 76ers 93
Memphis Grizzlies 93, New Orleans Pelicans 81
Dallas Mavericks 118, Boston Celtics 113
Sacramento Kings 110, Denver Nuggets 105
Los Angeles Clippers 107, Utah Jazz 101

Giants Blown Out On Monday Night Football

 width=>>Colts Crush Giants On "Monday Night Football"

(East Rutherford, NJ) -- Andrew Luck threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns as the Colts crushed the Giants 40-24 on "Monday Night Football" at MetLife Stadium. Luck set a franchise-record with his seventh straight 300-yard game and is now 12-and-1 in his career following a loss. Coby Fleener had four catches for 77 yards and a TD, while T.Y. Hilton had three grabs for 71 yards and a score for Indianapolis, which leads the AFC South at 6-and-3. Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen also had TD catches in the victory. Eli Manning was 27-of-52 for 359 yards and two touchdowns, but lost one of two fumbles on the night. Odell Beckham Jr. had career-high's of eight catches for 156 yards, while Corey Washington and Larry Donnell both had touchdown receptions for the G-Men, who have lost three in-a-row to fall to 3-and-5 on the year.

>>Injured Romo Intends To Fly With Team To London

(Irving, TX) -- Injured Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo says he plans to fly to London with the team for this Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The teams meet Sunday at Wembley Stadium in the last of three International Series games for the NFL this season. Romo missed this past Sunday's game against Arizona with a back injury. He took a hard hit in last Monday's loss to Washington and was briefly replaced by backup Brandon Weeden. Romo missed practice all of last week and it was later reported that he has two small transverse process fractures in his back. His status for this Sunday is uncertain.

>>Kelly Confident In Sanchez If Foles Can't Play

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is confirming that quarterback Nick Foles has a broken collarbone. Kelly said Monday there is a crack in it, but wouldn't speculate beyond that. Kelly says he has confidence in backup Mark Sanchez going forward if need be. Foles hurt his non-throwing shoulder late in the first quarter of Sunday's game at Houston. Sanchez came on in relief and helped lead the Eagles to a 31-21 victory over the Texans. Kelly also said linebacker DeMeco Ryans has an Achilles injury. He was hurt in the fourth quarter after intercepting a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass. Ryans fumbled while falling to the turf with no one around him, then left the field on a cart. Both he and Foles had MRI exams on Monday.

Blues Beat Rangers

 width=>>Blues Beat Rangers In Shootout

(New York, NY) -- Vladimir Tarasenko [[ tare-uh-SANK-oh ]] scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Blues beat the Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Tarasenko also had a goal and an assist in regulation, while Patrik Berglund and Jay Bouwmeester [[ BOE-mee-stir ]] both scored third period goals for St. Louis, which won its fifth straight. Bouwmeester's game-tying tally came with 5:27 to go in the third. Brian Elliott stopped 36 shots plus two of three shootout attempts. Martin St. Louis netted a pair of third period goals for the Blueshirts, who are 1-0-and-2 in their last three games. Chris Kreider [[ CRY-der ]] also lit the lamp and Cam Talbot had 31 saves in defeat.

>>Blackhawks Battle Canadiens Tonight In Montreal

(Montreal, Quebec) -- The Blackhawks battle the Canadiens tonight in Montreal. The 'Hawks will then return home to start a three-game homestand on Friday against the Washington Capitals. Chicago is 6-5-and-1 on the season after Sunday's 1-0 home loss to Winnipeg. Montreal sits at 8-3-and-1.

Bulls Host Magic Tonight

 width=The Bulls are back in action tonight as they host the Orlando Magic at the United Center.  Chicago is 2-and-1 on the young season following a 106-105 victory in Minnesota on Saturday.  Orlando is 0-and-3.  After tonight's game, the Bulls will head out on a two-game road trip to Milwaukee and Philadelphia starting tomorrow. 

Loss Drops ISU In Latest Polls

 width=After suffering its first loss of the 2014 season to No. 22 Northern Iowa, Illinois State (7-1, 4-1 MVFC) dropped in the national Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) polls to No. 12 overall when both listings were released Monday.

The Redbirds dropped six spots to No. 12 in the FCS Coaches Poll and dropped five spots to No. 12 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25, but still remain as one of 12 teams in FCS football with one loss or less.

North Dakota State extended its FCS-record winning streak to 33 games and remained the unanimous No. 1 selection in this week's FCS Coaches Poll. The MVFC led all conferences once again with seven teams in the Top 25.

DeWitt County Board To Look Vastly Different After Tuesday Election Goes Final

The Tuesday election not only had major ramifications for the State of Illinois, but also locally for DeWitt County.

Districts B and D were up for re-election this time around and District B is going to look vastly different when it comes to their representatives.

Former County Board Member Melonie Tilley was the top vote getter in District D Tuesday, receiving 797 votes, good for 27% of the vote. Also receiving enough support to get in were incumbent Democrat Rita Sue Whitted and Democratic Challenger Cris Rogers, separated by just a single vote.

Rogers says he and Rita Sue Whitted should have been neck-and-neck in the race because they campaigned together.

[audio:11514rogers1.mp3] [/audio]

Incumbents Doug Tucker and Pete Daugherty, both Republicans, will not return to the County Board, receiving less than 15% of the vote each.

Three new members will be on the County Board in District B. Republican Christina Pruser led the vote with 1,179 votes, good for 32.03% of the vote. Pruser will replace her late husband Tom Pruser on the County Board. Terry Ferguson will also return to the County Board, receiving 1,075 votes, or 29.2%. And Randy Perring, a Democrat won a seat on the County Board with 778 votes for 21% of the vote.

Keith Koons short tenure on the County Board will come to an end.

District B will also have full representation once the new board is sworn in.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner was unopposed for his bid to return to the office of Sheriff.

Dana Smith ran unopposed for County Clerk.

Christy Long ran unopposed for County Treasurer.

90% of voters opposed chemical waste in the Clinton Landfill, in response to the proposition question on the ballot.

Just under half of registered voters in DeWitt County turned out for the Tuesday election.

Man Sentenced For Having Pipe Bomb, Robbing Bank

A 34-year-old man convicted of robbing a Springfield bank and plotting to blow up an ATM with a pipe bomb has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Reports indicate Bradford L. Moss was sentenced Friday to concurrent 20-year prison terms after a plea deal.

Authorities say Moss was unarmed when he entered a Marine Bank branch on Aug. 4, slipped the teller a note and made off with $2,000.

The 7-inch PVC pipe bomb was found on a sidewalk at the end of July across the street from an ATM. A bomb squad disabled it with a water cannon.

Moss was arrested in Las Vegas.

He told authorities he didn't make the bomb and obtained it from a source whose identity he didn't know.

Photos In Voting Booths Illegal

Already thinking about that perfect voting booth selfie on Election Day? You may want to think again.

Taking a cellphone shot of yourself that includes your marked-up ballot could be considered a felony.

According to reports, a provision of the Illinois election law forbids showing others your ballot. It dates back to decades before the smartphone era, but would apply to digital photographs.

Ken Menzel is deputy general counsel of the Illinois State Board of Elections. He explains that the prohibition is meant to thwart vote-buying schemes by making it harder to prove to someone after the fact that you did vote a certain way.

Technically, that makes it illegal to post ballot images on social media, though Menzel says he's never heard of a prosecution.

Washington Leader To Speak On Tornado Recovery

The one-year anniversary of deadly tornadoes that struck the central Illinois city of Washington is approaching and the city's administrator is set to provide a retrospective at Western Illinois University.

Washington City Administrator Tin Gleason is to speak at the Macomb campus on Thursday. WIU emergency management students have been working on Washington disaster recovery projects this year.

The tornadoes hit on Nov. 17 last year, devastating the city. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged and three people died.

Jack Rozdilsky is an assistant emergency management professor at WIU. He says city administrators and emergency managers can learn from what happened in Washington. Rozdilsky says at the one-year point "we can begin to consider lessons learned."

Pekin Man Gets 4-Years In Drugged Child Case

A Pekin man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he dropped drug-laced candy on the floor that a 2-year-old boy then ate.

According to reports, 24-year-old Matthew Tarantino was sentenced Thursday for possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Authorities say Tarantino dropped a candy laced with ecstasy in the home where the toddler lived in June 2013. They say he didn't pick up the candy and the boy ingested it.

The boy's mother brought him to the hospital when she noticed he was drooling, his eyes were rolling and he was lethargic. Tarantino was arrested that night.

The judge says Tarantino's failure to pick up the drug could have had deadly results.

Tarantino had previously been sentenced to seven years in prison for burglary charges.

Pekin Man Indicted For Drunken Driving In Lot

A Tazewell County grand jury has indicted a Pekin man accused of drunken driving through a parking lot while it was filled with adults and children.

Reports indicate 49-year-old Wade Stewart is charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless driving. He faces up to seven years in prison for the DUI charge.

Police say Stewart's blood alcohol content was 0.187 when tested in the Pekin parking lot. They say officers were called to the complex Oct. 11 by witnesses who said a car was stuck on a parking block after the driver nearly hit children.

Police say a juice bottle in the car contained alcohol. Stewart tells police he took pills and drank alcohol.

Stewart is jailed on $50,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

Champaign Veteran Gets 10 Years For 2012 Shooting

A Champaign military veteran who experts say suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder when he shot his wife has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

According to reports, 35-year-old Mikal Washington was sentenced after pleading guilty but mentally ill to a charge of aggravated battery with a firearm. He shot his now ex-wife in the side several times while she was driving him in their minivan in December 2012.

Prosecutors dismissed a count of attempted first-degree murder in the plea deal.

Three psychologists agree that Washington suffered from PTSD after his military service in Kuwait and Afghanistan. One psychologist says a workplace explosion that burned Washington after his return exacerbated his PTSD.

Washington could be released from prison in about 6 ½ years with credit for good behavior and time already served.

Data Shows Salaries Increasing At University of Illinois

A review of data from the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus shows salaries are edging back up.

According to reports, payroll at the campus increased by about 3 percent this year and more people are earning $150,000 or more. The newspaper reports the school released salary data to media in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Data show the biggest paychecks go to the Illini football and basketball coaches. Other top earners are deans and administrators. The campus has 32 employees who earn $300,000 or more, up from 22 in fall 2012.

Total campus payroll for the fiscal year ending in June 2015 is $631.2 million. School officials credit the 3 percent increase in that figure to a salary program announced in June.

University of Illinois Building $13.3-Million Feed Complex

The University of Illinois plans a new $13.3 million animal-feed technology complex with several millions dollars in state help.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday the state will provide a $3.5 million grant for the new complex on the university's South Farms. The rest of the money will come from private donors, agriculture groups in the state and Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland Company.

Students will use the new complex to make customized animal feeds for research and classwork in crop and animal sciences, nutrition and food science.

The new complex will replace the university's century-old feed mill.

$91-Million Dredging Project Begins On Lake Decatur

A $91 million dredging effort has begun on Lake Decatur.

City officials said Thursday that it's the biggest public works project the area has seen since the lake was created in the 1920s. Four basins will be dredged throughout the next six years to increase the lake's capacity by about 30 percent. The lake supplies water to large industrial customers and residents in Decatur and Mount Zion.

In April 2013, the Decatur City Council decided to more than double water rates over a three-year period to help fund the costs of the dredging project.

According to reports, sediment that has accumulated and reduced the lake's capacity over time will be removed. The lake is expected to gain 3.5 to 6 feet of depth in the dredged areas.

Post-Halloween Time Opportunity for Learning For Youngsters

 width=One local nutrition advocate wants parents to use the days after Halloween as lessons in healthy living.

Leftover candy should be inspected by parents in order to ensure nothing is expired or has questionable packaging. Caitlin Huth, with the University of Illinois Extension, explains childhood allergies is also cause for parents to inspect trick-or-treat bags.

[audio:11314halloweencandy1.mp3] [/audio]

Huth notes the next couple weeks are prime opportunities for parents to teach kids about patience and portion control. She says it's a good idea for kids to have a couple of pieces a night in order for their stash of candy to last longer.

[audio:11314halloweencandy2.mp3] [/audio]

The upcoming holiday season is time when Americans tend to overindulge on various foods. Huth encourages everyone to take control of their portions and pace themselves over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Monticello Voters Voting For Two Referendums Tuesday

 width=Voters in Piatt County tomorrow will be heading to the polls to decide whether to support a one-cent sales tax for county schools.

Monticello voters will be doing the same, and will also be voting on a referendum on whether to support the school district moving forward on building a new high school. According to Superintendent Dr. Vic Zimmerman, community forums and feedback have suggested this is something the community would be in favor of.

[audio:11314monticellovote1.mp3] [/audio]

As the district presented costs of a new school building, Dr. Zimmerman indicates the community suggested the idea of utilize the piece of legislation that allows districts tax money for facility upgrades.

[audio:11314monticellovote2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman stresses the referendum for a new school in Monticello is entirely separate from the referendum for the sales tax. He explains only voters in Monticello will see the question about the new school referendum and also stresses other districts in Piatt County will not be funding a potential new school in Monticello.

[audio:11314monticellovote3.mp3] [/audio]

Many residents may be concerned with the overall tax rate going up in Monticello and Piatt County, but Dr. Zimmerman points out, when you look at surrounding counties, specifically Champaign and Macon Counties, if the tax passes, the tax rate will still be lower than those two places.

[audio:11314monticellovote4.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman notes Monticello is expected to generate around $400-thousand in tax revenue. The rest of the districts in Piatt County would stand to gain just under $100-thousand each, depending on student enrollment.

Dr. Zimmerman says his ultimate goal is for voters of the County to be educated on the tax before they go to the polls tomorrow. He encourages anyone with questions and concerns to contact him.

Administrators of schools cannot solicit a yes or no vote.

State and Local Races All Heating Up For Tomorrow's Election

Voters heading to the polls tomorrow will have a number of key races to punch their votes for.

The most acclaimed of course is the Governor's race pitting incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn against Republican Challenger Bruce Rauner. There's also several other key races including state treasurer, comptroller, secretary of state and attorney general. The 13th congressional district has a key race between incumbent Republican Rodney Davis and Democratic challenger Ann Callis.

State Senator Chapin Rose and Representative Bill Mitchell are running unopposed for their respective districts, both are Republicans.

In DeWitt County, the highlight of the local election is the much anticipated race among the County seats. Districts B and D are all up for re-election.

In District B, incumbent Keith Koons faces a trio of challengers, including Christina Pruser, the widow of the late Tom Pruser who represented District B, Terry Ferguson and Randy Perring. Perring is the lone Democrat among the four.

Currently, Pruser's seat on the County Board remains unfilled.

District D of the County Board has five candidates, including incumbent Democrat Rita Sue Whitted (formerly Rita Sue May) and Republican incumbents Pete Daugherty and Doug Tucker.

Deomcrat Cris Rogers and Republican Melonie Tilley will challenge the three incumbents.

Also of local interest, there is a proposition question on the ballot that reads as follows: "Are you in favor of the permitting of a Chemical Waste Landfill in DeWitt County over the Mahomet Aquifer?"

DeWitt County Board Chair Sherrie Brown spoke about the question last Monday at a special candidates forum in Clinton.

Click here for a look at the sample ballot

Johnson Wins AAA Texas 500

 width=Jimmie Johnson won Sunday's AAA Texas 500 while championship contenders Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski, as well as their teams, were involved in a post-race fight on pit road.  The two clashed in the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway.  Johnson scored his record fourth Sprint Cup Series win at Texas, including his third straight in the fall race.  Kevin Harvick grabbed second from Keselowski on the final lap but crossed the finish line a half second behind Johnson.  Keselowski finished third, followed by Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray.  Gordon approached Keselowski on pit road following the race then a brawl between both drivers and their pit crews ensued.  Sunday's race at Texas was the second event in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.  The third is at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. 

Knicks Slip By Hornets

 width=>>Knicks Slip By Hornets

(New York, NY) -- The Knicks got above .500 for the first time in a long time with a 96-93 win over the Hornets at Madison Square Garden behind 28 points from Carmelo Anthony. At 2-and-1, New York hasn't been in this position since an opening night win against the Bucks last season. 'Melo scored his 20,000th point on a three pointer in the first quarter becoming the 40th player in NBA history to accomplish the feat. Amar'e Stoudemire added a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Iman Shumpert was the only other Knicks player in double figures with 15 points. Al Jefferson paced Charlotte in the loss with 21 points. Lance Stephenson filled up the stat sheet with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Hornets fell to 1-and-2.

Sacramento Kings 98, Los Angeles Clippers 92
Miami Heat 107, Toronto Raptors 102
Golden State Warriors 95, Portland Trail Blazers 90

Blackhawks Shutout; Blues Start East Coast Road Trip

 width=>>Jets Blank Blackhawks In Chicago

(Chicago, IL) -- Michael Hutchinson made 33 saves for his first career shutout as the Jets blanked the Blackhawks 1-0 at the United Center. Michael Frolik [[ froh-LEEK ]] scored the lone goal just 20 seconds into the game for Winnipeg, which has won four of five to improve to 6-5-and-1 on the season. Corey Crawford made 26 saves for the 'Hawks, who slipped to 6-5-and-1 with their second straight loss.

Buffalo Sabres 3, Detroit Red Wings 2 (SO)
Carolina Hurricanes 3, Los Angeles Kings 2
Calgary Flames 6, Montreal Canadiens 2
Arizona Coyotes 6, Washington Capitals 5
Anaheim Ducks 3, Colorado Avalanche 2
Nashville Predators 3, Vancouver Canucks 1

 width=>>Blues Begin Road Trip Tonight In New York

(New York, NY) -- The Blues begin a brief two-game road trip tonight in New York against the Rangers. St. Louis will then head to New Jersey to play the Devils tomorrow. The Blues have won four in-a-row following Saturday's 3-2 shootout victory over Colorado. They are now 6-3-and-1 on the season. The Rangers sit at 5-4-and-1.

Maddon In, Renteria Out in Chicago

>>Maddon In, Renteria Out In Chicago

Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein says Joe Maddon is as well suited as anyone to manage the challenges the young team faces.


The Cubs announced Friday they have hired the two-time American League manager of the year to replace Rick Renteria. The move pairs Maddon with a promising roster and a franchise with far more resources than he ever enjoyed with the small-market Rays.

Maddon suddenly became available two weeks ago when he opted out of his Tampa Bay contract. Epstein says it was a dilemma for the Cubs but they were "transparent" with Renteria, who led the team to a 73-89 record in his only season -- a seven-game improvement over 2013.

Maddon will be introduced at a news conference on Monday.

>>Brewers Trade Estrada To Blue Jays

(Undated) -- The Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers are the first teams to make a splash following the World Series. The Brewers are sending right-handed pitcher Marco Estrada across the border for first baseman Adam Lind. Lind played in just 96 games last season due to a broken foot, but finished with a .321 average with six home runs and 40 RBI. The 31-year-old is a career .273 hitter with 146 long balls after spending nine seasons in Toronto. Estrada is arbitration eligible and started the season in the rotation for the Crew. The righty went 7-and-6 with a 4.96 earned run average in 18 starts, but recorded a 2.89 ERA out of the pen in 21 appearances. Estrada also led the majors in home runs allowed with 29.

Rams Upset Niners; Bears, Packers Prepare For Sunday Night Matchup

 width=>>Rams Sink 49ers

(San Francisco, CA) -- Colin Kaepernick fumbled at the goal line with two seconds left as the Rams went on to beat the 49ers 13-10 from Levi's Stadium. The St. Louis defense caused two turnovers and sacked Kaepernick eight times. Austin Davis tossed for 105 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for St. Louis, which improved to 3-and-5. Kenny Britt had the touchdown reception. Kaepernick threw for 237 yards with a touchdown in defeat. Anquan Boldin had six catches for 93 yards and a score for San Francisco, which dipped to 4-and-4.

Cleveland Browns 22, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Arizona Cardinals 28, Dallas Cowboys 17
Philadelphia Eagles 31, Houston Texans 21
Kansas City Chiefs 24, New York Jets 10
Cincinnati Bengals 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 23
Miami Dolphins 37, San Diego Chargers 0
Minnesota Vikings 29, Washington Redskins 26
New England Patriots 43, Denver Broncos 21
Seattle Seahawks 30, Oakland Raiders 24
Pittsburgh Steelers 43, Baltimore Ravens 23

>>Colts Go Up Against Giants On "MNF"

(East Rutherford, NJ) -- A pair of teams looking to get back on track share the "Monday Night Football" spotlight as the Indianapolis Colts take on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants are coming off their bye week after consecutive losses to the NFC East rival Eagles and Cowboys. New York is 3-and-4 overall. Running back Rashad Jennings has been ruled out with a sprained knee. Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan will receive his Hall of Fame ring during a special halftime ceremony. The Colts still lead the AFC South at 5-and-3, a game ahead of the Texans.

 width=>>Packers Prep For Bears

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Packers will host the Bears on "Sunday Night Football" this weekend. Green Bay is coming off a bye week and sits at 5-and-3 with wins in four of its last five contests. Chicago is also coming off a bye week and enters at 3-and-5 with two straight losses. The Packers rolled 38-17 in the first meeting in Week Four.

Eastern Illinois Drops Tennessee Tech

 width=Jalen Whitlow threw four touchdown passes, three to Adam Drake, and ran for another score as Eastern Illinois rolled to a 41-10 win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday.

Whitlow completed 19 of 24 passes for 297 yards with Drake catching six for 153, including a 90-yard touchdown early in the third quarter for the Panthers (4-5, 4-1 Ohio Valley Conference). The school record is a 98-yarder from Tony Romo to Will Bumphus in 2000. Drake now has 23 career touchdowns, second in school history.

The Golden Eagles (3-6, 2-4) was limited to 239 yards, 89 through the air.

Eastern Illinois piled up 598 yards, including 301 on the ground, but had four turnovers. Nick Bruno, who had two short field goals, only had to punt once but raced 63 yards to set up his 23-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Northern Iowa Upsets Illinois State

 width=David Johnson ran for 129 yards and two scores, added a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and become Northern Iowa's career rushing leader to help the Panthers snap Illinois State's nine-game win streak with a 42-28 victory on Saturday.

Johnson, who has 4,051 yards rushing in his career at Northern Iowa (5-4, 3-2 Missouri Valley), moved past Corey Lewis, who ran for 4,003 yards from 2005-2008.

Illinois State's Marshaun Coprich, who finished with 166 yards rushing and three touchdowns, tied it at 21 with a 76-yard scoring run with 9 minutes remaining, but Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a score before adding an 18-yard touchdown run to make it 35-21 with 4:12 to play.

Tre Roberson's 21-yard touchdown pass to James O'Shaughnessy pulled Illinois State (7-1, 4-1) within a score about 2 minutes later.

Northern Iowa went three-and-out, but Tim Kilfoy returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown with 50 seconds left to seal it.

Ohio State Crushes Illinois

 width=Curtis Samuel ran for two touchdowns and J.T. Barrett hit Devin Smith on two scoring passes - all in the first half - and No. 13 Ohio State beat Illinois 55-14 on Saturday night, extending the Buckeyes' Big Ten win streak to a record-tying 20.

The Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0, No. 16 CFP) won their sixth in a row - five by lopsided scores. Now they head into the game of the year in the conference, at defending champion Michigan State next week.

Donovonn Young's 5-yard run late in the third quarter broke up the shutout for the Illini (4-5, 1-4). They have dropped four of their last five.

Monticello Stoms Back To Top Elmwood-Brimfield

As heard on 95.9 WEZC and dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages overcame a three-touchdown deficit Saturday afternoon to top Elmwood/Brimfield Trojans 45-43 in the first round of the Class 3A IHSA playoffs.

 width=For the Sages (7-3), Brandon Wildman finished 33-45 for 370 yards through the air with three touchdowns and 2 picks, including a three yard touchdown pass to Ryne Bundy with under a minute to play to tie the game at 43.

Bundy finished with 9 catches for an impressive 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Noah Freemon had seven catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, which was an improbable catch from Tyus Welter on a broken play intended to go to Wildman, instead Freemon snatched the tip pass in the back of the end zone for a crucial score right before halftime.

Clay Becker had 9 carries for 50 yards and also had 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Jacob Burton had seven catches for 70 yards.

Tune in next week on 95.9 WEZC or stream live on dewittdailynews.com next Saturday as the Sages will host the Wilmington Wildcats.

WEZC 95.9 FM To Continue Following Monticello Thru State Football Playoffs

 width=Clinton radio station WEZC 95.9 has announced that thru local sponsorships in the Monticello area, the station will continue will follow the Sages football team thru the Illinois High School Association football playoffs.

Their second round game is this Saturday afternoon at 2, when Monticello hosts Wilmington.

Monticello football playoff games will also be streamed at dewittdailynews.com.

COMMENTARY: Central Illinois Conference Struggles First Time Through IHSA Playoffs

It was about 18 months ago the demise of one of Illinois’ most prestigious athletic conferences began, and this weekend played out exactly why the breakup was so petty and irresponsible.

 width=The former 12-member Okaw Valley Conference of central Illinois was the premier league to be a part. State champions and annual powers of almost every sport were a part of it.

But when certain member schools became less competitive, mainly on the football field, grumbling and hard feelings began to build up among those members.

Starting last spring, discussions began among disgruntled administrators about seceding from the league. Once gathering enough support, it came to pass nine of the twelve conference members left, forming the new Central Illinois Conference, all for the sake of being more competitive in football.

Maroa-Forsyth, Monticello, and Tolono Unity were left to piece together a new look Okaw Valley Conference and came away with a seemingly daunting and intimidating new Okaw Valley Conference, welcoming St. Joseph-Ogden, Champaign St. Thomas More and Rantoul.

In the process, leaving the eight who vacated the league to begin their own league, with major egg in their face.

As if it wasn’t evident at the time, it certainly was this weekend.

Four schools from each conference played first round playoff games.

Four of the six members of the new Okaw made the playoffs, and interestingly enough, all advanced this weekend.

 width=Three of the four from the new Central Illinois Conference did not fare as well. Sullivan, Shelbyville and Decatur St. Teresa all lost in the first round by a combined 45 points. Tuscola was the only winner from the CIC this weekend, who beat fellow conference member, Shelbyville.

So in the end, was it worth it?

To those administrators that felt a conference switch would make them more competitive, was the switch worth it?

Yes in the first year, you were able to get your school a tenth game of the season, which I suppose was the goal, but did you really win?

Sullivan-Okaw Valley played two non-conference games against teams with a 3-15 record, and played three of their nine regular season games against teams with a winning record.

 width=Shelbyville played two non-conference games against teams with an even 9-9 record, and played just four of their nine games against teams with a winning record.

I reserve judgement on Decatur St. Teresa and Tuscola because of the fact they had success in the former Okaw Valley Conference and have also had success in the postseason.

But I still maintain for all, was the switch worth it?

From where I sit after the first week of the IHSA playoffs, it would appear the goal was achieved. Sullivan and Shelbyville made the postseason.

But look closer, schools such as Maroa-Forsyth, Monticello and Tolono Unity perennially make the postseason, however, the expectation is not just a postseason appearance, but to be playing into the second, third and Thanksgiving weekend of November.

If the Central Illinois Conference really wanted to do what was best for their student athletes as a whole, and not just the football teams, they would have remained in the old Okaw Valley Conference.

 width=Say what they want about the breakup, but since it began, it was clearly football driven, which completely contradicts their public statements about doing what is best for their student athletes.

And for forward thinking individuals like myself and many others, what took place among Central Illinois Conference members this weekend, was in no way a surprise.

How do they say it? Competition breeds success. It’s very apparent a football frail Central Illinois Conference was more detrimental than a football strong former and new Okaw Valley Conference.

In a world where perception is reality, the new Central Illinois Conference image appears to be a handful of sore losers who want mediocrity to become the standard for success. And for schools like Maroa-Forsyth, Monticello and Tolono Unity, and throw in St. Joseph-Ogden for good measure, a no excuses driven brand continues to get results and only strengthen their image.

The views expressed are strictly those of myself and not necessarily those of the ownership or management of WHOW and WEZC. I welcome your comments; my e-mail address is whownews-at-randyradio.com.

With this Regional Radio sports commentary, I'm Seth Laurence.

Boy, 3, Hit By Car While Trick-or-Treating

A 3-year-old boy has been struck and injured by a car while trick-or-treating in a northern Chicago suburb.

Police in Winnetka say the accident happened at 6 p.m. Friday when the boy ran into the street.

He was taken to Evanston Hospital, where he was listed in good condition.

The 24-year-old driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with authorities.

Woman Charged With Defrauding Illinois Couple

Woman charged with defrauding Illinois couple

A Tennessee woman has been charged with defrauding an Illinois couple by selling their stocks and property and keeping the proceeds for herself.

A federal grand jury in Memphis charged 42-year-old Martha Marie Bizzell of Crump with fraud. Grand jurors allege that Bizzell became the appointed guardian of a husband and wife in Peoria County, Illinois and was in charge of ensuring their physical and financial well-being.

BIzzell moved to Tennessee after the appointment. The indictment says Bizzell then took the couple's $1.5 million net worth and sold it in pieces for $1,082,342 between November 2011 and July 2012 and kept the funds for herself.

Bizzell has been charged with three counts of mail fraud and 14 counts of wire fraud.

Court records did not list an attorney on Friday.

Chicago Marathon Winner Tests Positive For Banned Substance

Rita Jeptoo, the Kenyan woman who won the Chicago Marathon this year, failed a doping test in September, the month before she ran in the Windy City. Jeptoo's agent says they learned this week that she tested positive for a banned substance prior to being awarded first prize in the World Marathon Majors, a series of six races. Jeptoo won her second consecutive Chicago race in October and has also won two consecutive Boston Marathons. A backup sample will now be tested to confirm or refute the initial positive finding.

Lake Michigan Waves Slam Chicago Lakeshore

Winds gusting up to 65 mph caused Lake Michigan waves to slam into the Chicago shoreline, sending water onto part of Lake Shore Drive. The waves slowed traffic and prompted the cancellation of a Halloween attraction.

Parts of the scenic highway were flooded Friday, leading to some lane closures. Traffic was backed up for miles.

The high waves prompted Navy Pier, one of Chicago's top tourist attractions, to close its eastern end. Navy Pier officials also canceled a haunted house that's located on a barge. Officials later announced the barge was taking on water and the attraction is closed permanently.

The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood advisory to remain in effect until 4 a.m. Saturday. The warning forecasts winds of up to 50 mph and 23-foot waves.

Judge Won't Close Hearing In Islamic State Case

A federal judge in Chicago has denied a prosecution request to partially close a detention hearing for a man accused of seeking to provide material support to Islamic State militants in Syria.

In a Friday ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox says the government didn't provide good enough reasons to forego the "the presumption of access and openness."

Authorities arrested Mohammed Hamzah Khan in early October at O'Hare International Airport. They say he was trying to board a plane on the first leg of a trip taking him to Syria.

Prosecutors wanted the hearing partially closed to protect the identity of two minors. But Cox says those concerns didn't trump the value of public access. He said open hearings engender confidence in the judicial process.

Strong Winds Could Cancel Wallenda's Chicago Stunt

Daredevil Nik Wallenda is preparing to walk a wire that's suspended 50-stories above the Chicago River, but the Windy City is living up to its name and that's posing a real problem.  Wallenda says strong winds could force him to postpone the event planned today.  Wallenda trains in winds up to 120-miles-an-hour, but he says he recognizes there's a different threshold for danger during the real deal.  For the Chicago walk, he says he'll call things off if winds are stronger than 50-miles-an-hour. 

Early Voting Ends Sunday For Illinois Election

Illinois voters are running out of time to cast an early ballot for the upcoming election.

Sunday is the final day of early voting before Tuesday's midterm election. Residents wanting to cast an early ballot are encouraged to search their local election authority's website to find an open early voting location.

The candidates for governor and other offices have been pushing early voting this year. They see it as a way to get their base supporters to cast ballots in the run up to Election Day. That allows them to focus on less-motivated voters who may need more convincing.

In addition to elected offices, voters will decide two constitutional amendments and three advisory referendums.

On Tuesday, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Pekin Man Indicted For Drunken Driving In Lot

A Tazewell County grand jury has indicted a Pekin man accused of drunken driving through a parking lot while it was filled with adults and children.

Reports state that 49-year-old Wade Stewart is charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless driving. He faces up to seven years in prison for the DUI charge.

Police say Stewart's blood alcohol content was 0.187 when tested in the Pekin parking lot. They say officers were called to the complex Oct. 11 by witnesses who said a car was stuck on a parking block after the driver nearly hit children.

Police say a juice bottle in the car contained alcohol. Stewart tells police he took pills and drank alcohol.

Stewart is jailed on $50,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

Doctor In Fraud Case Back In Jail Over Drug Charge

A Taylorville doctor who was allowed to remain free while awaiting sentencing for stealing Social Security disability payments is back in custody.

It's reported that that Vernon Klinefelter was jailed Friday after a recent arrest on unrelated charges of cocaine possession and driving under the influence.

Those charges stem from an Oct. 11 incident in which authorities say the 62-year-old Klinefelter was stumbling and appeared confused at a store in Pawnee. According to police, responding officers found cocaine in his car, which he had left running in the parking lot.

The federal judge in his fraud case revoked his recognizance bond, arguing the cocaine arrest shows he's a danger to the public.

Klinefelter's lawyer, Thomas Finks, objected and argued unsuccessfully for 24-hour home confinement.

NC Man, Illinois Child Killed In Forsyth Wreck

The Highway Patrol has released the names of a North Carolina man and a boy from Illinois who died in a multi-vehicle wreck in Forsyth County.

The patrol said Friday that 51-year-old Jesse Hickman of Mount Airy and 9-year-old Jeremy Crymes of Minooka, Illinois, where killed in the wreck that sent eight other people to the hospital.

Troopers say the wreck happened Thursday afternoon when a tractor trailer rig hit five vehicles on U.S. 52 near Rural Hall.

Both of those who were killed were in vehicles that were hit by the truck. The crash happened near a bridge construction zone as traffic was slowing and merging into one lane.

The patrol continues to investigate. No charges have been filed.

$91M Dredging Project Begins On Lake Decatur

A $91 million dredging effort has begun on Lake Decatur.

City officials said Thursday that it's the biggest public works project the area has seen since the lake was created in the 1920s. Four basins will be dredged throughout the next six years to increase the lake's capacity by about 30 percent. The lake supplies water to large industrial customers and residents in Decatur and Mount Zion.

In April 2013, the Decatur City Council decided to more than double water rates over a three-year period to help fund the costs of the dredging project.

Reports indicate sediment that has accumulated and reduced the lake's capacity over time will be removed. The lake is expected to gain 3.5 to 6 feet of depth in the dredged areas.

Creator of Operation Couldn't Afford Own Operation

The creator of the board game Operation can't afford an operation of his own.

But John Spinello, of Bloomingdale, Illinois, is finding out how much people love the 50-year-old game after friends raised beyond their expectations in an online campaign.

Spinello invented the buzzing game as a college student and sold the concept for $500 to a toy invention firm. The game was later licensed to Milton Bradley. But Spinello never got any royalties from the game or merchandise.

Now he can't afford the $25,000 for oral surgery.

Peggy Brown, a game-maker from Milwaukee, and another friend started raised more than $30,000 online since Oct. 22 and about $15,000 through signed games. Brown says she also hopes the campaign gets Spinello some recognition for his work.

U. of Illinois Building $13.3 Million Feed Complex

The University of Illinois plans a new $13.3 million animal-feed technology complex with several millions dollars in state help.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday the state will provide a $3.5 million grant for the new complex on the university's South Farms. The rest of the money will come from private donors, agriculture groups in the state and Chicago-based Archer Daniels Midland Company.

Students will use the new complex to make customized animal feeds for research and classwork in crop and animal sciences, nutrition and food science.

The new complex will replace the university's century-old feed mill.

Quinn, Rauner Talk Jobs, Early Voting Friday

The candidates for Illinois governor are spending the final days before the Nov. 4 election at events in the Chicago area portraying themselves as the best choice for job creation.

Republican Bruce Rauner and running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti toured a cardboard company in suburban Wheeling and encouraged workers to vote Tuesday. Sanguinetti used her Spanish-speaking abilities to encourage Latino voters at Crescent Cardboard to "vote so you'll be respected."

Rauner, a Winnetka businessman, has repeatedly called Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn a "failure" on jobs.

Quinn disputed those criticisms at an event with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The two welcomed newly hired workers to the school safe-passage program that was expanded with state funds. Quinn says it's been a "good week" and contended he knows how to create jobs in Illinois.

The Annual Report Card For Public Schools Shows Higher Graduation Rates Overall



[audio:overall.mp3] [/audio]


Daylight Saving Time Has Had Varied History

(Undated) -- Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, but many Americans probably have no idea why they might be arriving to work an hour early on Monday.

[audio:PrerauDST11.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. David Prerau is the author of "Seize the Daylight," a book that delves deep into the strange and at-times contentious history of the event. Daylight Saving Time has actually varied in both location and the length of time for years. In fact, the current length of DST that the U.S. and Canada observes was only established in 2007, when legislators extended it by nearly an entire month in an effort to help conserve energy.

[audio:PrerauDST21.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Prerau is the author of "Seize the Daylight," a book that delves deep into the strange and at-times contentious history of the event.

Illinois Unemployment Decreases in the Month of September

Many counties in Illinois saw a decrease in unemploymeny throughout the month of September.

DeWitt County saw unemployment decrease from 6.8% in August to 5.9% in September.

Piatt County dropped over a percentage point, going from 6.7% to 5.3%.

Macon County's unemployment significantly decreased going from 9.4% in August to 7.9% in September .

Logan County saw unemployment go from 7.3% to 6.2%.

Unemployment in McLean County lessened in September going from 6.5% to 5.6%.

In Champaign County, employment also decreased ,down to 6%.

Unemployment in Sangamon County went from 6.5 in August to 5.8% in September.

The highest unemployment rate was tied at 8.9% in Hardin and Franklin Counties.

Brown County once again had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.9%.

The state's unemployment dropped, going from 6.7% in August to 6.2%. The national unemployment rate sits at 5.7%.

Monticello Wins in a Nail-Biting First Round Playoff Game

As heard on 95.9 WEZC and streaming on dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages defeated the Elmwood/Brimfield Trojans 45-43 in the first round of the playoffs Saturday afternoon.

For the Sages (7-3), Brandon Wildman went 33-45 for 370 yards with 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Clay Becker had 9 carries for 50 yards and also had 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Noah Freemon had 7 catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. Ryne Bundy had 9 catches for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jacob Burton had 7 catches for 70 yards.

Tune in next week on 95.9 WEZC or stream live on dewittdailynews.com next Saturday as the Sages will host the Wilmington Wildcats.


Other Area Scores:

#7 Peru at #2 Tolono Unity  (Tolono Unity wins 34-18)
#6 Erie-Prophetstown at #3 St. Joseph-Ogden  (St. Joseph-Ogden wins 48-34)
#8 Hillsboro  at #1 Williamsville   (Williamsville wins 45-14)
#5 New Berlin at #4 Decatur St. Teresa  (New Berlin wins 42-28)
#7 Pleasant Plains at #2 Carlinville   (Carlinville wins 41-21)
#6 Auburn at #3 Sullivan-Okaw Valley  ( Auburn wins 36-14)

Class 1A playoff matchups include:

9 Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at #8 LeRoy    (LeRoy wins 54-34)
#15 Flanagan-Cornell at #2 Abingdon-Avon  (Abingdon-Avon wins 48-12)
#14 Astoria South Fulton at #3 Arcola    (Arcola wins 40-7)

Class 2A playoff matchups include:

#8 Dee-Mack at #1 Fieldcrest      (Fieldcrest wins 53-6)
#5 El Paso-Gridley at #4 Momence    (Momence wins 19-6)
#6 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at #3 Clifton Central  (Clifton Central wins 41-14)
#7 Sangamon Valley at #2 Villa Grove  (Sangamon Valley wins 13-6)
#6 Maroa-Forsyth at #3 Tri-Valley    (Maroa-Forsyth wins 48-21)

#8 Nokomis at #1 Lawrenceville  (Lawrenceville wins 32-0)
#5 Tuscola at #4 Shelbyville  (Tuscola wins 28-19

Class 4A playoff matchups include:

#8 Bloomington Central Catholic at #1 Greenville     (Bloomington Central Catholic wins 68-43)
#5 Effingham at #4 Canton      (Canton wins 45-38)
#7 Olympia at #2 Quincy Notre Dame    (Quincy Notre Dame wins 41-0)
#6 Mt. Zion at #3 Rochester  (Rochester wins 65-35)

Class 5A playoff matchups include:

#8 Morris vs. #1 Normal U-High at Normal @ ISU Hancock Stadium (Morris wins 21-14)
#5 Washington at #4 Mahomet-Seymour      (Mahomet-Seymor wins 27-7)
#7 Champaign Central at #2 Metamora      (Metamora wins 35-18)
#6 Decatur MacArthur at #3 Peoria  (Peoria wins 40-24)
#8 Jerseyville at #1 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin     (Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin wins 49-7)
#6 Troy at #3 Taylorville  (Taylorville wins 21-14)


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