Local News

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 29

Jail Population: 27

Paper Services: 0


Dustin Gravitt, 23, Decatur was arrested on a In-State Warrant. Gravitt posted the necessary bond and was released.

Jonathan Bateson, 26, Clinton was arrested and charged with Burglary and Theft. Bateson unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 28

Jail Population: 31

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 0

Lawrence Nowlan, 58, Portland was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Nowlan was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michale Watkins, 38, Farmer City was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Watkins was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Sarah Williamson, 28, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Williamson was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 32

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Seth Yeagle, 21, Farmer City was Arrested and Charged with Domestic Battery/ Physical Contact. Yeagle unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Adrian Wilding, 47, Bloomington was Arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Wilding was issued Citations for Driving Under Influence, Improper Lane Usage, Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Use of Electronic Communication Device while Driving. Wilding posted the necessary bond and was released.

Dawn Grisham, 45, DeWitt was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Revoked License. Grisham was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Driving while License Revoked.


Barbara Pastore, 58, Clinton was issued a Citation for Expired Tags. Pastore was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Daren Benson, 35, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Benson was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Thomas Felstead, 40, Shirley was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Flestead was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Max Sweeny, 26, Sullivan was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Sweeny was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Ethan Jordan, 23, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 82 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Jordan was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.





DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 27

Jail Population: 29

Paper Services: 4


Andrea Anello, 19, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Anello was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Trevor Unser, 42, Springfield was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Unser was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Cecchine, Wallingford, PA was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Cecchine was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Lorraine Mendrys, 39, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Mendrys was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Debbie Russell, 50, Clinton was issued Citations for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Russell was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.





DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 23

Jail Population: 35

Paper Services: 0


Amalio Diego-Juan, 26, Urbana was arrested and charged with Driving on Suspended License. Diego-Juan was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Driving While License Suspended. Diego-Juan posted the necessary bond and was released.

Amy Taylor, 25, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 71 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Taylor was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

William Gorton, 52, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Gorton was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Ervin Smith, 64, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Smith was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Diamond Wilcox, 20, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Wilcox was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Kristi Garner-Harjung, 46, Forsyth was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Garner-Harjung was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Bailey Rogers, 19, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Rogers was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Christine Zehr, 54, Mackinan was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Zehr was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Shannon Gleason, 26, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone. Gleason was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Leslie Neal, 57, Fort Pirece, FL was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone. Neal was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

John Janek, 59, Fort Bryon was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Janek was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Stephen Killion, 75, Clinton was issued a Citation for Expired Registration over 1 yr. Killion was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

William Janisch, 60, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Janisch was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Edward Miles, 47, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Miles was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For April 22

Jail Population: 32

Paper Services: 10

Warrants: 0

Jose Carballosa, 30, Clinton was arrested and charged with Possession Cannabis/ 10-30 grams. Carballosa unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.






Lincoln Hearse Replica Debuts

The central piece of this weekend's Lincoln Funeral reenactment has arrived in Springfield.

The 3600 pound replica of the hearse that carried President Lincoln's body through the streets of Springfield 150 years ago was revealed for hundreds at a private reception. Vietnam Vet and expert craftsman Eric Hollenbeck is an expert craftsman who launched the company Blue Ox Millworks and its school for veterans. He says the honor of restoring a key piece of Lincoln history is a big step toward adjusting to life back home.

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Like with Lincoln's funeral, the Hearse will travel through downtown over a two-day period.

Saturday will feature a processon to Washington and 6th Streets. Later there will be an opening ceremony, a candlelight vigil, and a performance by the Illinois Symphony Concert.

On Sunday there will be a procession to Oak Ridge Cemetery with re-enactment of eulogy, speeches and salutes.

Hy-Vee Recalls Pasta Salad

Hy-Vee Inc. says it is recalling Hy-Vee Summer Fresh Pasta because of a potential listeria contamination.

The West Des Moines-based grocer said Tuesday that the company has learned that frozen vegetables in the salad could be contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The company sold the salad from April 9 to April 27. Hy-Vee has pulled the salad from stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Hy-Vee says people who bought the pasta salad between those dates should dispose of it or return it for a refund.

The company says there are no known listeria infections linked to the recall.

Listeria generally only affects the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women. It can cause fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms and even death.

Fish and Wildlife Finalizes Mussel Habitat Designations

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week is publishing the final rule for critical habitat designations for two freshwater mussels in Kentucky, Tennessee and 10 other states.

The final version reduces designations from those proposed nearly three years ago. The agency says it includes a significant change to the proposal in Arkansas for the rabbitsfoot mussel, with the designation there reduced by 27 percent.

Fish and Wildlife Southeast Regional Director Cindy Dohner says Neosho mucket and rabbitsfoot mussel populations are declining due to lost or degraded river habitats.

The service is designating critical habitat in seven areas for the Neosho mucket, covering about 483 river miles in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. For the rabbitsfoot, the service is designating critical habitat in 31 areas covering about 1,437 miles in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Former Governor Walker Remembered For Wit And Spark

Former Illinois Gov. Dan Walker is being remembered as a passionate and intelligent man with a confrontational side.

His son, Dan Walker Jr., says his father died at his California home Wednesday morning. He says his father accomplished many things, including being a father to seven children.

Former Illinois Gaming Board chairman Aaron Jaffe was a House lawmaker when Walker took office in the 1970s. Jaffe says Walker was very intelligent and could have gone further in politics than his single term in office if he wasn't so confrontational.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn has often cited Walker as a mentor. In a statement, he noted Walker's military service.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says in a statement he's saddened to hear of the news and offers prayers to Walker's family.

Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker Dies

An early 70s icon in Illinois Politics has died.

Former Governor Dan Walker has passed away at the age of 92 at his California home. Walker biographer Taylor Pensoneau, who was part of the Statehouse press corps during Walker's days on the campaign trail and in office reflects on Walker's political roller coaster ride.

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The colorful populist created a legend on the campaign trail by walking nearly 1200 miles on the campaign trail in 1971. While some conspiracy theorists question that legend, Pensoneau, saw first hand the toll Walker's trek through Illinois had on him.

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Walker did leave his mark though, signing the bill creating the state lottery, making deep cuts in the state payroll, cracking down on welfare cheats and opening state jobs and contracts to minorities.

Daley exacted revenge in 1976 when his favored candidate, Secretary of State Michael Howlett, defeated Walker in the Democratic Primary. Howlett would go on to defeat at the hands of Jim Thompson.

Like other Illinois Governors, Walker found himself in prison, but in his case it was tied to his actions after he left office and in the private sector.

In 1987 he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining $1.4 million in bank loans. He served less than a year and a half.

Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement on the death of former Governor Dan Walker: “Diana and I are saddened to learn of the passing of former Governor Dan Walker. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

DeWitt County Economic Development Leader Praises Landfill Agreement

DeWitt County's leader for economic development is weighing in on the agreement between the Clinton Landfill and DeWitt County.

DeWitt County Development Council Executive Director, Ruth Stauffer, says the agreement between the two sides is a great thing. She recognizes the issue has gotten a lot of attention and feels the agreement is going to allow things to finally settle down.

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While it may not seem significant, Stauffer says having a landfill within a community is a big deal as it relates to economic development. She says it is a lower expense for businesses to anticipate. She also feels having the positive relationship between the community's governmental bodies and the landfill is going to be a positive for economic development.

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Stauffer says the relationship between her office and the landfill never suffered as a result of the lawsuits and everything else that encompassed the county, but she says they were not as available to talk with them as they were prior to the issue coming up. She hopes to resume discussions they had with the landfill representatives in the past.

Clinton Board of Education Welcomes New Members, President

 width=Last week, the Clinton Board of Education swore in five members, three new.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes (pictured right) says so far the group has worked very well together. He introduced them through an orientation process and looks forward to a few more months of working together before he retires.

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In early meetings, Dr. Holmes feels the three new board members are going to be good voices for the people of the district. He explains it can take up to two years to get introduced to become completely familiar with the workings of the Board of Education.

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The biggest focus of the time spent with the new BOE members has been on finances. Dr. Holmes anticipates it taking some time for them to truly grasp the financial aspects of the district.

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As a part of welcoming on three new board members, the Board also reorganized. According to Dr. Holmes, the board has voted John Blythe as it's new president and Rod Wertz, the former board president, will move over to Vice-President.

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Dr. Holmes is set to retire at the end of the school's fiscal year. Kurt Nettles of Lexington is set to become the districts next Superintendent.

McIlroy, Spieth Among Early Winners At Cadillac Match Play

 width=Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the top-two players in the world, picked up easy wins on Wednesday at the WGC- Cadillac Match Play Championship.

McIlroy carded just one birdie, but it was more than enough to beat Jason Dufner, 5 & 4, at TPC Harding Park. Spieth posted seven birdies in 16 holes as he took down Mikko Ilonen, 4 & 2.

Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and defending champion Jason Day were the highest ranked players to lose on day one. John Senden birdied the 18th hole to square his match with Stenson, then birdied the first extra hole to win 1-up in 19 holes.

Marc Leishman won two of the first three holes against Rose and led throughout. The Australian downed Rose, 3 & 2. Day and Charley Hoffman were tight through 11 holes with one win apiece to go with nine halves. Hoffman birdied three of four holes from the 12th en route to a 4 & 3 win.

The event changed formats this year, with 16 groups of four players playing a round-robin format the first three days, as opposed to the old setup of four groups of 16 in a single-elimination format. The winners of each group will advance to Saturday's round of 16.

Blackhawks Ready For Minnesota

 width=Heading into the 2014-15 season the two favorites to win the Western Conference title were the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

However, a year after beating Chicago in the conference finals and winning its second Stanley Cup in three seasons, the Kings failed to make the postseason altogether. That left the Blackhawks as the heavy favorite to win the West and potentially claim their third Cup in six seasons.

Chicago began its 2015 playoff run with a six-game victory over the Nashville Predators. It wasn't a dominating performance by any means and it could dissuade some people from picking the Blackhawks to win it all.

The Blackhawks didn't earn many style points in downing the Predators. In the end, the 2010 and '13 Cup champions were able to fight through bad starts and shaky goaltending to advance past the first round for a third straight year.

The bad news was Chicago allowed Nashville to score 21 times through six games. The good news: only 10 of those goals came after the first period. The Blackhawks and Predators were tied at 10-10 in scoring over the second and third periods, but the big difference was Chicago won both times the teams played beyond regulation.

Head coach Joel Quenneville will go with Corey Crawford over Scott Darling in net to start the second round. Crawford struggled mightily as the No. 1 option to begin the series with Nashville, but he later bailed out Darling in Game 6, stopping all 13 shots to pick up the round-clinching victory.

>>Tampa Taks Game 7 From Detroit, Moves On

Braydon Coburn broke a scoreless tie early in the third period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Wednesday night in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Ben Bishop made 31 saves for his first career playoff shutout and picked up an assist on Anton Stralman's empty-net goal as the Lightning advanced to face the Habs in the second round.

The series will begin Friday in Montreal.

With Bishop absent because of an injury, the Lightning were swept by the Canadiens in the first round of last year's playoffs.

Petr Mrazek stopped 15 shots for the Red Wings, who played without two of their top defensemen. Niklas Kronwall served a suspension for his illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay forward Nikita Kucherov in Game 6 and Marek Zidlicky missed the game because of upper-body injury reported to be concussion-like symptoms.

Bears GM Staying Away From NFL Draft Headquarters

 width=Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace will conduct his first draft at Halas Hall, far away from the festival atmosphere of the city where the draft is being held for the first time in 51 years.

Pace sees a need for the team to build through draft picks at virtually every position and will be looking for the best available athlete with the seventh overall pick.

The Bears could use a wide receiver to pair with Alshon Jeffery after dealing away Brandon Marshall, and also need more defensive help.

Bulls Look To Finish Off Bucks In Milwaukee Tonight

 width=The Chicago Bulls will once again try to close out the Milwaukee Bucks when their first-round series heads to the Bradley Center for Game 6.

The Bulls have had two opportunities to eliminate the pesky Bucks. In Game 4 in Milwaukee, Chicago's Derrick Rose fell asleep defensively and allowed Jerryd Bayless an easy layup as time expired.

Monday's Game 5 was in Chicago, but the Bucks prevailed, 94-88.

Michael Carter-Williams scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee staved off elimination yet again. Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year, battled through an ankle injury and shot 10-of-15 from the field while adding nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks.

The Bucks led the entire second half and made the United Center crowd a non- factor most of the night.

>>Gasol, Grizzlies Knock Out Blazers

Marc Gasol had 26 points and 14 rebounds and the Grizzlies defeated the Blazers 99-93 in Game 5 on Wednesday night.

C.J. McCollum scored 16 of his 33 points in the third quarter to keep Portland within striking distance heading into the fourth, with his pull-up jumper at the buzzer making it 68-66.

The Grizzlies, however, pulled away for good during the middle to late stages of the fourth with a 9-0 run.

Courtney Lee netted 20 points and Zach Randolph added 16 points and eight rebounds for Memphis, which won a first-round series for the third time in its last five seasons.

The Grizzlies snatched 15 offensive rebounds and held a 56-38 edge on the boards overall.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
Atlanta 107, Brooklyn 97 (Atlanta Leads Series 3-2)

Cubs Cleared of Tampering With Rays' Maddon

 width=Major League Baseball has ruled that the Chicago Cubs did not violate tampering rules when they pursued manager Joe Maddon last fall.

The commissioner's office released a statement Wednesday clearing the Cubs of wrongdoing about six months after Tampa Bay accused Chicago of tampering with their manager before Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays.

"The investigation produced no finding of a violation of Major League Rule 3(k) on tampering," MLB said in the statement.

The Rays, playing in New York on Wednesday, had not comment.

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.

Cubs executive Theo Epstein has said the Cubs checked with MLB to be sure Maddon was OK to talk with other clubs before negotiating with him.

>>Dbacks' Bradley Has Sinus Fracture

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley has been diagnosed with a right sinus fracture, but avoided a concussion after being struck in the head by a line drive during Tuesday's game against the Colorado Rockies.

Bradley will miss at least two weeks after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday, though the talented rookie displayed no neurological impairment after undergoing a battery of tests at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.

Bradley was hit near his right jaw by a line drive from Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez in the second inning of Tuesday's contest. The highly touted right- hander remained down on the mound for several minutes before eventually walking off under his own power. Bradley never lost consciousness during the incident.

Arizona's first-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and the organization's top pitching prospect, Bradley has gone 2-0 with an impressive 1.80 ERA through his first four major league starts.

Cardinals Win; Cubs, Sox Pounded

 width=>>Cardinals Use Big Inning To Get Past Philly

Peter Bourjos' RBI triple highlighted a four-run fifth inning that helped the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Matt Adams and Kolten Wong each had two hits with an RBI and a run scored for the Cardinals, who have won two straight over the Phillies after the series opener on Monday. They look to win their sixth series in seven sets thus far in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.

Carlos Martinez (3-0) got the win after going six innings and allowing two runs on six hits and three walks.

Ryan Howard hit his fourth home run of the season in a losing effort and Odubel Herrera also knocked in a run for the Phillies.

Aaron Harang (2-2) took the loss, yielding a season-high five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts over six innings of work.

>>Cole Leads Pirates Over Cubs

Gerrit Cole fanned eight in six innings and all nine Pittsburgh Pirates starters had at least one hit in their 8-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game set from Wrigley Field.

Cole (4-0) gave up just one unearned run on three hits to improve to 6-0 lifetime against the Cubs. He was also provided more than enough run support from Pittsburgh's bats.

Jung-ho Kang, filling in at third base to give starter Josh Harrison a day off, had three hits for the first time in his career. Kang, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte all drove in two runs, and Gregory Polanco scored twice in the lopsided win.

Kyle Hendricks (0-1) allowed a pair of runs on five hits over five innings of work, but Chicago's bullpen did not make out quite as well. Gonzalez Germen gave up four runs in the sixth inning, and Phil Coke surrendered two more in the ninth.

National League Scoreboard
Milwaukee 8, Cincinnati 3
Houston 7, San Diego 2
Miami 7, New York 3
Washington 13, Atlanta 4
Arizona 9, Colorado 1
Los Angeles 7, San Francisco 3

>>Baltimore Pounds Sox In Front of Empty Seats

Chris Davis struck the big blow in a six- run first inning with a three-run homer, and Baltimore went on to post an 8-2 victory over Chicago at an empty Camden Yards.

The first two games of this three-game series were postponed due to protests in the city.

The unusual situation came about due to protests in the city that turned violent in the wake of the tragic death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from a spinal injury while in police custody over a week ago.

Caleb Joseph added two hits and drove in two, while Manny Machado also homered among his three hits and scored three times. Everth Cabrera doubled twice and knocked in a run for the Orioles.

Ubaldo Jimenez (2-1) allowed two unearned runs on three hits while striking out six over seven solid innings.

Avisail Garcia finished with two hits and Geovany Soto drove in a run for the White Sox.

Jeff Samardzija (1-2) was tagged in defeat for eight runs -- seven earned -- on 10 hits over five full frames.

American League Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 3, New York 2 (13 innings)
Detroit 10, Minnesota 7
Cleveland 7, Kansas City 5
Boston 4, Toronto 1
Seattle 5, Texas 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 6, Oakland 3

Late Burst Leads Tuscola Past Clinton

 width=The Tuscola Warriors scored 12 runs in the final three innings and defeated Clinton Wednesday afternoon 12-2 from Clinton.

Josh Hickman had gone four solid innings before the wheels fell off in the fifth. He finished after 4 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on three hits, yielding six walks and had three strikeouts.

Chris Hunt in relief was lit up for seven runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out none.

Jacob Overton finished 2-for-3 with a double. Hickman also went 2-for-3 with and RBI.

Clinton drops to 6-12 and 4-6 in the Central Illinois Conference.

BREAKING NEWS: Multiple Arrests Made In Burglaries At Clinton High School


The Clinton Police Department’s investigation into multiple incidents of vandalism and burglary to the Clinton High School football field’s concession stand has yielded multiple arrests of area juveniles.

The investigations stem from reports of vandalism and burglary to the concession stand on April 2nd, April 24th and April 25th where suspects forced entry into the concession stand and stole large amounts of consumables.

On Monday April 27th, Clinton Police took custody of two juveniles, a third was taken into custody on Wednesday April 29th and a fourth on Thursday April 30th.

Two of the juveniles were released to their parents and two detained at a juvenile correctional facility.

All four are pending the filing of formal charges in juvenile court and more arrests are expected as the investigations continue.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers said, “I’d like to commend our officers and investigators on their diligent work to resolve these cases in a swift and timely manner. We want to send a message that vandalism and theft in our community will not be tolerated and we are dedicated to bringing those responsible to justice for their criminal actions.”

DCFS Director After Federal Funding

The head of Illinois' child welfare agency says he's headed to Washington D.C. to investigate more potential federal funding sources.

Department of Children and Family Services director George Sheldon told reporters Tuesday he thinks the agency hasn't taken advantage of resources other than state money. He has meetings with several federal agencies this week.

Gov. Bruce Rauner named Sheldon to the post this year. His leadership comes as DCFS faces potential budget cuts.

Sheldon says there's still time until cuts are final, so he's going to focus on improvements he can make in the meantime. He wants to update technology and reduce bureaucracy.

Sheldon is the former head of Florida's child welfare agency and a former Democratic lawmaker in that state. He spoke Tuesday before the City Club of Chicago.

Rauner, IDOT Kick Off Listening Tour

State transportation officials and Governor Bruce Rauner kicked off their infrastructure listening tour.

In a time where talk of budget cuts is dominating the conversation in Springfield, Rauner wants to pump more money into infrastructure and not just in the short term.

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Rauner is calling for a “significant” new public works construction program during this legislative session. That plan would be funded with a bond issue but he wants to launch an ongoing funding mechanism to keep the cycle of infrastructure improvements continuing after bond issue dollars run out.

Illinois State Fair Adds Grandstand Acts

The Illinois State Fair grandstand lineup has expanded.

On August 19th, two big acts from the seventies team as up as Meatloaf, and Styx will take the stage. Hairband era act Tesla is also on the bill.

Meanwhile, Rock/Pop group The Fray will headline a show the following night August 20th.

Tickets for both shows will go on sale through Ticketmaster Saturday at 10 am.

DCFS Director After Federal Funding

The head of Illinois' child welfare agency says he's headed to Washington D.C. to investigate more potential federal funding sources.

Department of Children and Family Services director George Sheldon told reporters Tuesday he thinks the agency hasn't taken advantage of resources other than state money. He has meetings with several federal agencies this week.

Gov. Bruce Rauner named Sheldon to the post this year. His leadership comes as DCFS faces potential budget cuts.

Sheldon says there's still time until cuts are final, so he's going to focus on improvements he can make in the meantime. He wants to update technology and reduce bureaucracy.

Sheldon is the former head of Florida's child welfare agency and a former Democratic lawmaker in that state. He spoke Tuesday before the City Club of Chicago.

Local Non-Profits Continue To Hold Out Hope For Future Money

 width=Despite reports of funding cuts to non-profit groups across the state in the next budget cycle, there is still nothing concrete for area agencies to plan for.

Judy Brucker is the Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center, she says they have received nothing on what the future of the funding they receive from the state may be. She explains that has made it tough on them as they prepare for the next fiscal year.

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Brucker explains she was recently part in a legislative day that was geared towards Illinois' Children's Advocacy Centers. She explains several high profile figures helped in presenting the information why funding for their efforts should remain.

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According to Brucker, around 20-percent of their budget is made up of private funds. She points to the Marriott in uptown Normal as one of their great partners in allowing them to host a lot of different events there.

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While Brucker remains positive about the vibes they are getting from Springfield about the future of their funding, she will be less apprehensive once the deal is made and signatures are make them final.

DeWitt County Habitat For Humanity Preparing Site For Latest Home

 width=The local Habitat for Humanity is in the midst of preparing their next home.

Their latest property at 815 East Webster in Clinton, is one of three lots the DeWitt County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity owns. Habitat Board Member Norman Emery says the property is being prepared for the Amber Webb family. The house should go up quickly once the foundation is completed and volunteers coordinated.

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Habitat for Humanity looks for three criteria when looking for families in need. Emery notes the process look for need, ability to pay and willingness to partner. The family is not just given the home and will need to put in equity hours in various Habitat projects, including investing time in building their home.

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According to Emery, Habitat acquires proprieties through a variety of ways. They've purchased some lots through back-tax auctions and some properties are sold to them at lower prices. He notes the Webster house has been with them for at least four years now.

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Anyone interested in volunteering for the DeWitt County Habitat for Humanity can find them on Facebook or contact them through e-mail at hfh.dewitt.county@gmail.com.

Clinton Nuclear Power Station Starts Annual Outage, Refueling

 width=Each year the Exelon Clinton Nuclear Power Station goes offline for several weeks to do routine maintenance.

That outage began Monday morning and according to Exelon Communications Director, Brett Nauman, they bring in close to 15-hundred additional workers to do routine maintenance on the plant. He notes, during this time, the plant is not producing any electricity.

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The point of the outage is to work on the equipment within the facility that would not be worked on otherwise. Nauman explains equipment issues are dealt with and upgrades are often made when the plant is offline.

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With nearly 15-hundred additional people working at the Clinton Power Station, Nauman indicates regular staff is working with the folks there for the outage. He explains they are working with them on safety aspects and helping in the way the plant operates to keep things running smoothly.

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In years past, the outage has taken place every 18 months, but Nauman indicates, they are now doing this every year. He explains they hope the outage every year will allow them to be more economical in the future.

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With the additional workers in the area, Nauman says it is a great economic boost to surrounding areas because these workers are staying hotels and eating at restaurants and shopping at different stores. He says it becomes a win/win for all involved.

Ragan To Drive No. 55 for MWR At Kansas

Michael Waltrip Racing announced on Tuesday that David Ragan will drive the No. 55 Toyota for the remainder of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, beginning with the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway.

 width=Brian Vickers was to drive the No. 55 car for MWR this year, but open heart surgery in December forced Vickers to miss the first two races of the season. He returned to racing for the March 8 event at Las Vegas, but two weeks later when the series competed in Fontana, California, he was sidelined by recurring blood clots in his lungs.

Vickers is currently taking blood-thinning medication, preventing him from being able to race. No timetable has been set for his return.

Team co-owner Michael Waltrip is scheduled to drive the No. 55 in this weekend's race at Talladega. Brett Moffitt drove it in six races this season. Moffitt finished a career-best eighth at Atlanta on March 1.

Ragan had been driving the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, but after the Feb. 22 season-opening Daytona 500, Ragan moved over to Joe Gibbs Racing to substitute for the injured Kyle Busch in the No. 18 Toyota. Busch suffered a fractured right leg and left foot during an accident in the Xfinity Series season-opener at Daytona.

Spurs Take 3-2 Series After Tuesday Win

 width=Tim Duncan had 21 points with 11 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs held on for a 111-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Kawhi Leonard finished with 18 points and nine rebounds -- none bigger than his rip in the closing seconds that secured the win.

Manu Ginobili scored 14 points, while Tony Parker and Patty Mills each added 13 points for the Spurs, who lead the series 3-2 and will look to advance in Game 6 on Thursday in San Antonio.

Blake Griffin scored 21 of his 30 points in the first half and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the Clippers. Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists and DeAndre Jordan registered 21 points and 14 rebounds.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
Houston 103, Dallas 94 (Houston wins Series 4-1)

>>Cavs' Love Likely Out Rest of Playoffs

Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin is not expecting Kevin Love to return this postseason.

The Cavs said Monday that Love would not be available for the Eastern Conference semifinals because of the dislocated left shoulder he suffered during Game 4 of the first round against Boston.

However, on Tuesday, Griffin sounded less optimistic about any kind of return for Love even if the Cavs make a deep playoff run.

Asked if a possibility existed that Love would be ready several weeks down the road for a potential NBA Finals appearance, Griffin still wouldn't commit.

"I think it would be a real surprise if he we were able to participate in the postseason," he added. "I've still got a sliver of hope very late, but highly unlikely."

Cleveland will play either Milwaukee or Chicago in the next round. The Bulls lead that series, 3-2, but the Bucks have won the last two games after dropping the first three.

Blackhawks Second Round Opener Set For Friday

 width=The NHL's conference semifinal round will open Thursday with a pair of games.

The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will start their Eastern Conference semifinal set on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, while the Western Conference matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames will also open later that night at the Honda Center.

On Friday, the Montreal Canadiens will host either the Detroit Red Wings or Tampa Bay Lightning to start the other Eastern Conference semifinal. The Red Wings and Lightning will meet in Tampa on Wednesday in Game 7 of that opening round series.

Minnesota and Chicago will open their Western Conference series on Friday at the United Center.

Cubs, Cards Win; Sox To Play In Empty Stadium

 width=>>Wood, Fowler Lead Cubs Past Pirates

Dexter Fowler went 3-for-4 with two RBI to power the Chicago Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second of a three-game set on Tuesday.

Starlin Castro finished with three hits, two runs scored and an RBI, while Junior Lake, Kris Bryant and Addison Russell also drove in a run apiece for the Cubs, who won their fourth straight game.

Starter Travis Wood (2-1) was solid in the win, surrendering just two runs on five hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings of work.

Starling Marte provided a two-run homer for the Pirates, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a five-game win streak.

Jeff Locke (2-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and three walks over 3 2/3 frames.

>>Cardinals Get Past Phillies

 width=Michael Wacha didn't have his best stuff on Tuesday night, but his offense gave him plenty of support.

Matt Adams went 3-for-4 and was one of four St. Louis players to record two RBI as the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 11-5, and even their four-game set at Busch Stadium.

Jon Jay, Yadier Molina and Wacha also had two RBI for the Cardinals, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Wacha (4-0), who allowed one run in each of his first three starts this season, gave up four runs on six hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win.

Severino Gonzalez (0-1), making his MLB debut, was roughed up for seven runs on 10 hits over 2 2/3 innings.
Chase Utley and Odubel Herrera had two RBI apiece for the Phillies, who had won two straight and three of their last four coming in.

National League Scoreboard
Miami 4, New York 3
Cincinnati 4, Milwaukee 2
Washington 13, Atlanta 12
Arizona 12, Colorado 5
San Francisco 2, Los Angeles 1
Houston 14, San Diego 3

 width=>>Sox, Orioles Game Postponed Again, Finale To Be Played At Empty Stadium

After games Monday and Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox were postponed as the city of Baltimore continues to deal with protests and violence, the Orioles announced changes to their upcoming schedule on Tuesday afternoon.

Baltimore's game Wednesday against Chicago will begin at 2:05 p.m. ET instead of the orginally scheduled 7:05 p.m. start time and will be closed to the public. Also, the two postponed games will be played as part of a straight doubleheader on May 28.

Additionally, the Orioles moved their three-game home series against the Rays for this upcoming weekend to Tropicana Field. Baltimore will serve as the home team.

Riots erupted in the city following the Monday funeral of Freddie Gray, who was arrested April 12 and later died after suffering a severe spinal injury.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency at the request of the city, activating the National Guard to help address the growing violence. The city of Baltimore has also enacted a 10 p.m. ET curfew.

American League Scoreboard
Kansas City 11, Cleveland 5
Toronto 11, Boston 8
New York 4, Tampa Bay 2
Seattle 2, Texas 1
Minnesota 3, Detroit 2

Butler Signs Illinois Basketball Assistant For Staff

 width=Butler coach Chris Holtmann has hired Ryan Pedon to his coaching staff.

The former Illinois assistant replaces Emerson Kampen, a former Bulldogs player who was promoted from grad assistant to a full-time job last season after Holtmann took over as interim coach for the ill Brandon Miller. Kampen will remain on staff as a basketball analyst.

Pedon and Holtmann got to know one another as assistants in the Mid-American Conference. John Groce hired Pedon as his special assistant two years ago. Before that, Pedon spent three seasons as an assistant at Toledo, five seasons at Miami (Ohio), three seasons at Kent State and was a grad assistant at Miami for two seasons.

Kampen played on both of Butler's Final Four teams.

Purdue Wins Slugfest With Illinois State

 width=The Illinois State baseball team was never able to recover from Purdue's six-run first inning as the host Boilermakers took a 9-6 win over the Redbirds Tuesday at Alexander Field.

Every run in Tuesday's game was scored with two outs, including all six of Purdue's first-inning runs.

Redbird starter Craig Larkin surrendered six runs (five earned) on seven hits on the first inning. Reliever Matt Lambert allowed three runs over 2.2 innings of work. Mitch Vogrin followed with 1.1 scoreless innings, with two strikeouts. Jack Czeszewski took over from there, pitching a scoreless sixth inning. Jake Sale pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, with a pair of strikeouts, before Koziol worked a scoreless eighth.

Ryan Koziol and Blake Molitor registered two hits apiece in the loss. Joe Kelch and Sean Beesley drove in two runs each and Hendren scored a pair of runs.

The Redbirds return to action Friday when they will play the first game of a four-game set against visiting SIU-Edwardsville. First pitch at Duffy Bass Field is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Illinois Holds Off Southern Illinois For 18th Straight Win

In its final midweek game of the year, No. 6 Illinois completed a perfect month and extended its school-record winning streak to 18 games with a 7-5 victory over Southern Illinois.

 width=On his birthday, starter Rob McDonnell improved to 6-1 with six strikeouts over six solid innings.

The Orange and Blue tallied their seven runs and 10 of their 11 hits in the first five innings as every Illini had either a hit or a run, led by Adam Walton, Ryan Nagle, Casey Fletcher and David Kerian with two hits each. Sophomore Matthew James led off the fourth with the only home run of the game.

The Illini finished 16-0 in April and notched an unblemished 9-0 mark in midweek tilts.

Former Monticello standout, Jacob Williams threw two innings in relief, allowing no runs and no hits, but dished out two walks and had one strikeout.

No. 6 Illinois will head to Columbus for a Top-25 showdown with No. 25 Ohio State this weekend (May 1-3). The Illini are in first place in the Big Ten at 13-1, while the Buckeyes are in third at 12-3.

HS BB: Monticello Blanks St. Thomas More

 width=Daniel Caldwell threw a complete game shutout Tuesday afternoon, holding St. Thomas More to two hits as the Sages blanked their Okaw Valley rival, 7-0.

Monticello pounded out 13 hits led by Ryne Bundy's three hits. Austin Hopper and Mitch Rhoades added two hits apiece.

Konnor and Ryne Bundy each drove in two runs apiece and Jacob Burton added an RBI as well.

Caldwell finished with nine strikeouts.

Monticello is 18-3 overall and 6-1 in the Okaw Valley.

Starting Thursday, Monticello will play three straight days of baseball. Thursday they host St. Thomas More, then travels to Tri-Valley Friday afternoon. And Saturday, they head to the Corn Crib in Bloomington for a showdown with Olympia.

Hear Saturday's game from the Corn Crib on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

HS SFTBL: Monticello Splits Double-Header With Maroa-Forsyth Tuesday

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com Tuesday, Denaed Santini was a one person wrecking collecting six RBIs and Kate Beckemeyer shut down the high powered Lady Sages offense, as Maroa-Forsyth took game one of a Tuesday double-header, 12-4.

 width=Santini finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and scored a run. Calla Wickenhauser finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Bailey Martin finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored in the Lady Trojans 11th win of the season.

Beckemeyer went all seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits and five strikeouts.

Makayla Reedy recorded a pair of hits in the loss.

In game two, Sophie Catlin's eight inning walk off homerun avenged the Lady Sages game one loss.

The Lady Trojans jumped out early again in game two, leading 8-0 after three innings, but the Lady Maroons rallied, capped by Catlin's walk-off home run.

Catlin finished with four RBIs.

Sam Valentine went 4-for-5. Megan Magsaman went 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the Lady Sages.

Megan Taylor started in circle for the Lady Sages in game two, and went eight innings for the win with five strikeouts allowing nine runs on 14 hits.

Santini drove in another four RBIs in game two for the Lady Trojans.

After the double-header split, Monticello is 19-3 overall.

Maroa-Forsyth is 11-5.

Illinois Treasurer Releases 100 Day Report



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Rauner Pushes Turnaround Agenda At Local Level

Governor Rauner is taking his turnaround agenda message to city halls and county buildings.

Last week Rauner told the Illinois Bankers Association that his efforts are gaining ground.

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The governor's plan would boost local control, especially when it comes to negotiating with labor unions. The legislation would let local governments decide which issues would be covered by collective bargaining.

Boating, Camping Seasons On Horizon

Safety on campgrounds and lakes is an essential aspect to having fun during camping and boating season.

Those who own campers should always be sure to check over their vehicles before taking them out for the season. DNR Conservation Officer John Williamson says gas leaks can be one of the biggest dangers in campers and stresses the importance of checking the electrical connections in your trailer.

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Those who spend time boating this spring and summer also have safety issues think about. Williamson notes having the proper equipment such as life jackets and batteries are crucial. He also warns against operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. Drunk boaters will be charged with an OUI which is the equivalent of a DUI.

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The DNR Officers will always be on the lookout for safety issues according to Williamson. He encourages everyone to have fun but be safe while doing it.

Outgoing Mayor Has Parting Words For Hospital Board

 width=The outgoing Mayor of Clinton left some final words for the Doctor John Warner Hospital Board at Monday Night's board meeting.

Mayor Carolyn Peters thanked the Board for the time they have given over the last couple of years to the hospital. She credited the several Interim CEOs that have been part of the hospital's reorganization over the last few months, but the Mayor's highest praise went toDJWH employees.

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The future of the DJWH and the City of Clinton will continue to be important to Mayor Peters. She hopes to continue to attend Board meetings and keep up on the progress being made.

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Board President Cindy Saylors echoed Mayor Peters words thanking the hospital employees for all their hard work. She says the last couple years have been tough but feels the DJWH rose above it all. Saylors is also looking ahead despite the unknown future of the current board.

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Next month, Roger Cyrulik becomes Clinton Mayor who will begin to make his decisions regarding the leadership for Doctor John Warner Hospital. There are several vacancies on the Board and some expired terms for the incoming Mayor to take care of.

Rose To No. 6 After New Orleans Victory

 width=Justin Rose won for the sixth straight year on the PGA Tour and his victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans helped him move to No. 6 in the world rankings.

Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open winner, improved three spots thanks to his seventh PGA Tour title.

Other than Rose's move, there was little movement in the top 20 of the rankings. Rory McIlroy remained the No. 1 player and he was trailed by Masters champion Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Heritage winner Jim Furyk.

Rose's move to No. 6 pushed Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott down one spot apiece. Sergio Garcia rounded out the top 10 again this week.

The second 10 was unchanged with No. 11 Jimmy Walker followed by J.B. Holmes, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson, Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka.

Former world No. 1 Lee Westwood won his third Indonesian Masters title on Sunday and he improved from 33rd to 27th in this week rankings. Ashun Wu claimed the China Open and he soared from No. 247 to No. 126.

Washington Takes Game 7 Over Islanders, To Face Rangers

 width=Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the go-ahead goal with 7:18 remaining in the third period as the Washington Capitals edged the New York Islanders 2-1 on Monday night in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Braden Holtby, rarely tested by the Islanders, let in the tying goal at the 3:13 mark of the third period. Thomas Hickey carried the puck across the Washington blueline and dished to Frans Nielsen, who cut to the middle and fired a wrister through Holtby's pads.

Three minutes later, Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak was caught out of position after an odd carom off the glass. Halak, though, recovered in time to make a save on Jay Beagle and keep it 1-1.

Kuznetsov broke the tie when he took the puck from the right boards and skated across the ice before firing a shot over a sprawled Halak.

Washington will next face the top-seeded New York Rangers, the fifth playoff meeting between the clubs in the last seven years.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 5, Detroit 2 (Tampa Wins Series 4-3)

Packers To Retire Favre Jersey on Thanksgiving

 width=The Green Bay Packers will give thanks to Brett Favre during their Thanksgiving night game.

The Packers announced Monday what had been long expected: Favre's dark green No. 4 jersey will be formally retired and unveiled on the north facade of Lambeau Field at halftime of their Nov. 26 game against the NFC North rival Chicago Bears.

The Packers and Bears have the NFL's longest-running series, dating to 1921. Favre played for the Packers against the Bears 32 times in his storied career, going 22-10.

The ceremony will come more than seven years after Favre's contentious breakup with the team he quarterbacked for 16 seasons.

Bucks Beat Bulls Again To Extend Series

The Bucks won't stop here.

 width=Michael Carter-Williams scored eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee staved off elimination yet again with a 94-88 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday.

Carter-Williams battled through an ankle injury and shot 10-of-15 from the field while adding nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who needed a buzzer-beating Jerryd Bayless layup to save their season in Game 4.

Khris Middleton finished with 21 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in with 11, and John Henson pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds in addition to key baskets and defense down the stretch.

The Bulls committed 13 turnovers -- 15 fewer than their mistake-filled attempt at a sweep on Saturday -- but they shot just 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) from the field in the fourth quarter and 34.4 percent overall.

Derrick Rose struggled in particular with just 13 points on 5-of-20 shooting, while Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler both contributed double-doubles for a combined 45 points and 20 boards.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
Brooklyn 120, Atlanta 115 (OT) (Series Tied at 2-2)
Portland 99, Memphis 92 (Memphis Leads Series 3-1)

White Sox, Orioles Game Postponed Due To Baltimore Riots; Cubs Win; Wainwright Out For Season

 width=The game between the Orioles and White Sox scheduled for Monday night at Camden Yards was postponed after protests over the death of a man injured in police custody turned violent.

The Orioles said the decision to postpone the game was made after consulting with the Baltimore police department.

The team said a makeup date will be announced as soon as possible.

Riots erupted in the city following the Monday funeral of Freddie Gray, who was arrested April 12 and later died after suffering a severe spinal injury.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency at the request of the city, activating the National Guard to help address the growing violence.

It wasn't the first time an Orioles game was affected by the citywide unrest.

Fans at Camden Yards were asked to stay inside the stadium at the conclusion of Saturday's game against Boston because of safety concerns before they were eventually given the OK to leave.

American League Scoreboard
Kansas City 6, Cleveland 2
Boston 6, Toronto 5
New York 4, Tampa Bay 1
Seattle 3, Texas 1
Detroit 5, Minnesota 4
Houston 9, San Diego 4

 width=>>Hammel Pitches Cubs Past Pirates

Jason Hammel pitched eight shutout innings and Kris Bryant hit a two-run single to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

Hammel (2-1) bounced back from a loss to Pittsburgh last week to give up just four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.

Bryant wasn't the only rookie to contribute. Jorge Soler and Addison Russell also chipped in to help the Cubs take the series opener for their third win in a row.

Bryant and Soler had two hits apiece and Russell added one. Soler and Russell both scored a run as Chicago ended Pittsburgh's five-game winning streak, which began with consecutive victories over the Cubs last week.

Vance Worley (2-2) had one of the four hits off Hammel but took the loss, giving up all four Cubs runs in six innings.

>>Hamels Dominates As Phils Get By Cardinals

Ben Revere hit a two-run double during a three-run seventh inning, Cole Hamels tossed seven solid innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals by a 4-1 margin on Monday.

Odubel Herrera went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Phillies. Hamels (1-2) gave up one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and four walks. The left-hander had been 0-4 with a 3.23 ERA since Sept. 23, 2014.

Matt Holliday drove in the lone run for the Cardinals, who have lost two in a row since a four-game winning streak. John Lackey (1-1) allowed three runs on nine hits over seven innings.

National League Scoreboard
New York 3, Miami 1
Cincinnati 9, Milwaukee 6
Atlanta 8, Washington 4
Colorado 5, Arizona 4
Los Angeles 8, San Francisco 3
Houston 9, San Diego 4

 width=>>Wainwright Out For Season

The St. Louis Cardinals confirmed Monday that ace right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright will miss the rest of the season with a torn left Achilles, an injury he suffered over the weekend while batting.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak held a news conference to announce the results of an MRI and that Wainwright would undergo surgery on Thursday. He is expected to be out of action for 9-12 months.

Wainwright was hurt in the fifth inning of Saturday's game against Milwaukee when he popped up and started to run toward first base.

In four starts this season, the 33-year-old perennial Cy Young contender had a record of 1-2 with a 1.44 ERA.

Illini's Fletcher Named Big Ten Player of the Week; Illini Up In Rankings

Senior Casey Fletcher was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, announced the conference office Monday. Fletcher hit a team-high .500 (8-of-16) with five walks during Illinois' perfect 4-0 week that extended its school record and longest active winning streak in the country to 17.

 width=Fletcher, who shared the honor with Iowa's Jimmy Frankos, brought home the game-winning RBI single in the 15th inning on Saturday at Penn State. He had three multi-hit games and posted a 1.000 fielding percentage in right field. The Oakwood, Illinois, native scored five runs and had three RBI on the week in which Illinois topped Eastern Illinois and swept Penn State.

Fletcher is the second Illini to earn the conference's weekly honor this season, joining junior Jason Goldstein (April 7). It is the second time he has collected the laurel, also doing so last season on May 6 when he was voted National and Big Ten Player of the Week.

Illinois is ranked No. 6 in the Perfect Game Top 25, marking the highest ranking in program history. It is the third straight week the Illini are ranked in the Top 10.

UI also is ranked No. 7 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and No. 8 by D1Baseball.com, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

Illinois is off to its best start in school history with a 36-6-1 record. The previous best UI mark after 43 games was 33-10 in 1989 under Augie Garrido.

The Illini sit in first place atop the Big Ten standings at 13-1.

No. 6 Illinois will play its final midweek game on Tuesday (April 28) at Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. The Illini are a perfect 15-0 in April.

Clinton Crushes St. Teresa

 width=The Clinton Maroons took advantage of six Decatur St. Teresa errors and put up 20 runs en-route to a 20-6 victory Monday afternoon from Decatur.

Eli Logue went the distance on the mound, pitching seven innings giving up four runs, two earned, on four hits with four walks and had 11 strikeouts.

Only half of the runs given up by St. Teresa pitchers were earned Monday.

Jacob Overton finished 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs. Josh Hickman, Mac Hickman, and Christian Hunt each had two hits apiece. Josh Hickman tallied four RBIs. Wiley and Mac Hickman each contributed two RBIs.

Clinton improves to 6-11 on the year and 4-5 in the Central Illinois Conference.

Lady Maroons Defeat Argenta-Oreana

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated Argent-Oreana at home this Tuesday with a score of 6 to 1. 

This makes the Maroons 15/3 overall standing in the season and A-O at 6 & 7 in their season. 

 width=The winning Pitcher for the Maroons was Alexis Estes who pitched for 5 innings giving up only 1 run on 2 hits with 7 strikeouts for the Game. 

The Pitcher for the Argenta-Oreana ladies, Lidia Hayes who pitched 6 innings giving up 6 runs on 8 hits with 1 strike out and hit 1 batter. 

Clinton was offensivesly led by Meghan Tool who was 2 for 3 with 2 home runs. A solo hit in the 1st and a 2 run Blast in the 5th! Also for Clinton, Aspin Taylor was 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs. 

Cinton plays at home tomorrow against Tuscola in a Conference game.  

Tune in next week on the Big 1520/92.3 FM WHOW as theLady Maroons play host to Rochester. 

Turkey Buzzards Return To Clinton

Late last fall, a unique bird made it's home in DeWitt County for a short time, and has returned this spring.

According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, the nuisance Turkey Buzzards have returned to the southern part of the community. He explains this was an issue last fall and now they are dealing with them again.

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Once again, the department is out hoping to move the birds along through means approved by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Chief Lowers says they use a certified noise maker that is similar to a bottle rocket to move them along.

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If residents encounter the birds near their property, the Chief asks residents to not take matters into their own hands to deal with the invasive birds, but to notify law enforcement. He says the buzzards are a federally protected species and any hostility towards them is a federal crime.

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Chief Lowers suspects the birds have returned on their way north. He says residents on the south side of the city may here noises that resemble bottle rockets or even small guns. He says don't be alarmed, as they will generally shoot the noise makers off around sunset.

County Board Chair Addresses Landfill Agreement

The Chair for the DeWitt County Board calls the recent settlement with the Clinton Landfill a huge victory.

County Board Chair David Newberg outlines the details of the agreement and points out both parties left something on the table. He says the two big points of emphasis are the host fees being restored and the Landfill withdrawing it's application to store toxic waste at it's facility.

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The financial implications this agreement, while significant, is not a fix-all. According to Newberg, the County was facing some drastic cuts, this can help alleviate some of that pressure.

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Newberg was pleased an agreement could be reached with one of the County's largest employers and looks forward to continuing to renew and restore their relationship.

Justin Rose Captures Zurich Classic

 width=Justin Rose capped a Sunday marathon with a birdie on the 72nd hole to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by one stroke.

Rose closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 22-under-par 266. This was his seventh win on the PGA Tour. He has at least one victory in six straight seasons on tour.

Cameron Tringale needed eagle at the last to force a playoff, but settled for a closing birdie, which left him one back. Tringale fired a 7-under 65 to end at minus-21.

Boo Weekley also closed with a 65 to grab third place at 20-under-par 268. Jim Herman (65) and Jason Day (69) shared fourth at minus-19 at the TPC Louisiana. David Hearn (68) and Daniel Berger (69) tied for sixth at 18-under 270.

There were weather delays all four days of this event. The longest delay on Saturday meant the last two groups had to play the final 36 holes on Sunday. There was a brief seven-minute fog delay early Sunday morning, but the event managed to finish on time. Day and Rose shared the lead when the third round was completed earlier Sunday.

Cavaliers Sweep Celtics

 width=LeBron James and the Cavaliers escaped a physical Game 4 with a sweep of the overmatched Celtics.

They did it mostly without Kevin Love after his left arm was jarred from its socket by Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk, who was accused by Cavaliers players of doing it on purpose.

Love suffered a dislocated shoulder, touching off a series of increasingly chippy plays that threatened to derail a game the Cavs led comfortably almost from the start.

James had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and No. 2-seeded Cleveland advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 101-93 win over Boston on Sunday.

The Cavs swept a playoff series for the first time since running the table against Detroit and Atlanta in 2009 with James leading the way.

They will face either Chicago or Milwaukee in the semifinals, but likely won't have to play again until next weekend. Love's availability is up in the air.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
LA Clippers 114, San Antonio 105 (Series Tied at 2-2)
Washington 125, Toronto 94 (Washington Wins Series 4-0)
Dallas 121, Houston 109 (Houston Leads Series 3-1)

Busch Dominates Richmond

When the 2015 Sprint Cup Series began a little more than two months ago, Kurt Busch's future in NASCAR was in serious jeopardy after he had been placed on indefinite suspension for domestic violence allegations.

 width=On Sunday, Busch punched his ticket into this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship when he won the Toyota Owners 400 in dominating fashion at Richmond International Raceway, a race that was delayed one day because of rain. The 36-year-old driver led 291 of 400 laps and beat his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate, Kevin Harvick, to the finish line by 0.75 seconds for his 26th career win in NASCAR's premier series but his first since March 2014 at Martinsville (35 races ago).

It was the most laps Busch has ever led in a Sprint Cup event. He became the seventh different driver to win in nine races this season.

Busch, the driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, entered this race 22nd in the point standings. He finished fifth at Phoenix, and then one week later, placed third in Fontana, California after starting on the pole there. Busch had finished either 14th or 15th in the next three races before his victory at Richmond.

Kevin Harvick, the defending series champion, has finished either first or second in 10 of the last 12 races.

Jimmie Johnson finished third after starting 36th, while Jamie McMurray took the fourth spot. Joey Logano was fifth. Logano started on the pole and led the first 94 laps before Busch took command.

Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, who won last weekend's race at Bristol, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top-10.

Wild Quiet Blues; Take Series

 width=Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots and the Minnesota Wild advanced with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup.

The Wild won a playoff series for just the fourth time in team history and will next face the Chicago Blackhawks in a rematch of one of last year's semifinal matchups, which Chicago won in six games.

Zach Parise scored twice, while Justin Fontaine and Nino Niederreiter also lit the lamp in the victory for Minnesota, which finished just two points behind Chicago in the Central Division.

T.J. Oshie had the only goal of the game for the Blues, who failed to make it out of the first round for a third straight postseason.

Jake Allen got the start in net, but was yanked in the second period after allowing two goals on 13 shots. Brian Elliott turned aside 6-of-7 shots in relief.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoreboard
Montreal 2, Ottawa 0

Seven Players Suspended From Royals, Sox Brawl

 width=Seven members of the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox have been fined and six have been suspended by Major League Baseball for their roles in a brawl this week.

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was suspended seven games, fellow starter Edinson Volquez suspended five games, and outfielder Lorenzo Cain and reliever Kelvin Herrera suspended two games apiece for taking part in the benches-clearing fight Thursday night.

White Sox pitchers Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija were suspended five games.

All six players were fined an undisclosed amount Saturday, along with White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers. The Royals-White Sox game on Saturday was rained out, meaning all suspensions will begin Sunday unless a player chooses to appeal.

Russell Leads Cubs; Sox Win; Cardinals Lose

 width=Addison Russell's three-run double led the Chicago Cubs in a 5-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a rain-shortened set.

Miguel Montero added a solo home run, two RBI and two runs scored for the Cubs, who took both games of the set that saw Saturday's contest postponed due to rain. Jake Arrieta (3-1) pitched six innings and allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.

Todd Frazier hit a solo home run and Billy Hamilton drove in the other run for the Reds, who have lost three straight. Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) allowed five runs -- one earned -- on five hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts over five innings.

>>Adam Lind Powers Brewers Past Cardinals

Adam Lind's two-run home run helped the Milwaukee Brewers to a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals and avoid a series sweep at the hands of their division rivals.

Lind's third homer of the year followed an RBI triple from Gerardo Parra, who had two extra-base hits. Milwaukee starter Mike Fiers struggled, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on nine hits and two walks in four-plus innings.

After Fiers' early exit, four Brewers relievers combined to only allow one Cardinals run over the final five innings. Michael Blazek (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, and Francisco Rodriguez recorded his third save.

Lance Lynn (1-2) was rocked after only allowing one earned run in each of his first three starts. He yielded six runs on 10 hits and a walk and struck out six in five innings.

Mark Reynolds hit his first home run as a Cardinal, and Jon Jay had three hits after coming off the bench for Jason Heyward, who left the game early with a groin injury. Jhonny Peralta had two hits and walked twice.

National League Scorebooard
Miami 6, Washington 2
Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 4
Pittsburgh 8, Arizona 0
San Diego 3, Los Angeles 1
NY Yankees 6, NY Mets 4

 width=>>Sox Win Suspsended Game; Top Royals In Regularly Scheduled Game

Avisail Garcia's RBI base hit in the bottom of the ninth sent the Chicago White Sox past Kansas City by a 3-2 count in the continuation of Friday's unfinished contest.

Heavy rain forced the second installment of this tension-filled series to be suspended after eight innings with the teams tied at 2-2.

Once the game resumed in the top of the ninth, David Robertson (2-0) stranded a runner on first in a scoreless frame.

Kelvin Herrera (0-1) retired the first two batters in the home half, but Melky Cabrera walked, moved up on a wild pitch, then, after Jose Abreu was intentionally walked, Garcia dumped a hit to left which easily scored Cabrera.

Quintana allowed both Kansas City runs while striking out five over seven solid innings. Danny Duffy surrendered one unearned run on six hits before being removed with one out in the sixth.

In the day's regularly scheduled game, Conor Gillaspie hit the go-ahead two-run single in a five-run sixth inning which propelled the Chicago White Sox over Kansas City by a 5-3 count on Sunday.

Adam LaRoche and Tyler Flowers also knocked in runs during the deciding frame for the White Sox, who swept the brief set on Sunday thanks to a 3-2 victory in the completion of Friday's suspended contest to win this rain-shortened three-game series.

John Danks (1-2) lasted six full frames and allowed three runs on five hits while striking out eight. David Robertson closed things out on a scoreless ninth for his third save.

Alex Gordon clubbed a two-run homer and Mike Moustakas drove in the other run for the Royals, who had won a brawl-marred, 3-2 decision in Thursday's 13- inning opener.

Edinson Volquez (2-2) allowed five runs -- one earned -- on five hits across 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.

American League Scoreboard
Detroit 8, Cleveland 6
Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 1
Baltimore 18, Boston 7
Texas 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 4 (11 innings)
Houston 7, Oakland 6
Minnesota 4, Seattle 2 (11 innings)

Defense Dominates Illinois State Spring Football Game

 width=Defense dominated in the Illinois State spring football game before Sean Slattery's late 31-yard field goal lifted the Red team to a 3-0 win over the White on Saturday.

Inclement weather affected both teams' offenses. The Red was comprised of the first-team offense and the second-team defense, while the White boasted the first-team defense and the second-team offense.

Normal West's interception set up Slattery's field goal with just over two minutes remaining.

DraShane Glass had three tackles and Daejgeon Love contributed a pair of stops and a sack for the Red. Jalen Battle had a game-high six tackles for the White.

Last season, Illinois State earned a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title, won a school-record 13 times and reached the FCS national championship game for the first time, losing to North Dakota State, 29-27.

The Redbirds will kick off their 2015 schedule on Sept. 5 with a visit to Iowa.

Missouri State Takes Series, Sunday Finale From Illinois State

 width=Missouri State rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 4-4 tie as the No. 15 Bears took a 7-4 win in the rubber match of a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series Sunday at Duffy Bass Field.

Illinois State's bullpen retired 11-straight batters, beginning in the sixth inning, but five-straight Bears reached base with two outs in the three-run ninth against Redbird reliever Ryan Koziol. The Redbirds then went down in order in the bottom of the ninth as the league-leading Bears left town with a series win.

Redbird starter Steve Heilenbach went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. Heilenbach struck out two.

Paul DeJong had two hits, including his 14th home run of the season. Ryan Kozoil added a home run as well.

The Redbirds are off Monday before returning to action Tuesday with a non-conference game at Purdue. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m. CT in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Illinois Sweeps Penn State, Win Streak at 17

No. 8 Illinois capped a perfect weekend in Happy Valley with a 6-3 victory, sweeping Penn State and setting a school record with 17 straight wins. The Illini increased the best start in school history to 36-6-1 and remained in first place in the Big Ten. UI swept PSU for the third year in a row and earned its fourth conference sweep in 2015.

The Illini jumped out to a 4-0 advantage with four runs on five hits in the second. With one out and seniors Casey Fletcher and David Kerian on the corners, senior Will Krug perfectly executed a suicide squeeze bunt for the first run.

 width=After a walk and pop out, junior Ryan Nagle poked a two-out, two-run single to center. Redshirt-senior Reid Roper followed with an RBI single the opposite way to left field.

Junior Jason Goldstein added an insurance run in the ninth with his sixth home run of the season.

Starter John Kravetz improved to 4-0 on the season with six solid innings on Sunday.

Reliever J.D. Nielsen was sharp in relief in the seventh, while sophomore Cody Sedlock struck out two during a scoreless eighth. Junior Nick Blackburn picked up his second save with a perfect ninth.

No. 8 Illinois will play its final midweek game on Tuesday (April 28) at Southern Illinois at 6 p.m.

Deadline For College Illinois Enrollment Nearing



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Property Tax Freeze Measure Passes House

Some Illinois communities smaller than 100,000 people will have a property tax freeze under a proposal that passed the House Thursday. Representative David McSweeney says his bill is a start to addressing Illinois’ “skyrocketing property taxes”. Illinois News Network has more:

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There was some opposition to the measure but ultimately House Bill 178 passed 75-37 and now heads to the Senate. Illinois has some of the highest property taxes in all of the country.

Concerns Raised About Pot DUI Standards

Despite passage of a measure to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, there are concerns about the bill’s changes to standards of driving under the influence. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:4251512704-POTDECRIM2.mp3] [/audio]

The bill also goes after the production of butane hash oil, a manufactured substance derived from processing THC with butane gas. Governor Bruce Rauner’s office, when asked about the bill, responded “no comment.” The measure now heads to the Senate.

Central Illinois Unemployment Continues To Improve

The area unemployment figures dropped in the month of March across the area. DeWitt County saw a drop in unemployment, which came in at 5.5%, down from 6% in February. Macon County unemployment decreased slightly going from 7.3 % to 7.0% in March. McLean County unemployment went from 4.9% in February to 4.6% in March. In Logan County, unemployment went from 5.9% to 5.6% in March. Champaign County also saw a dip from 5.2 to 4.8% Piatt County's March unemployment came in at 4.9%, down from 5.1% in February. There was also a slight decrease in Sangamon County which had 5.3% unemployment in March. The state's highest unemployment rate was in Johnson County, at 8.7%. The state's lowest unemployment rate was in Moultrie County, at 4.1%. Illinois' unemployment rate was at 6.3% for March. The national average unemployment was 5.6%.

Warner Library To Unveil Unique Book With Ties To Abraham Lincoln

 width=The Warner Public Library in Clinton is normally closed on Sundays, however, this Sunday they are making an exception and are opening their doors for a few hours.

According to Librarian Bobbi Perryman, the library has long possessed a book they had been told had the handwriting of Abraham Lincoln. Since much of the Lincoln narrative in central Illinois can often get worn out, they did not think much of it, but upon further investigation, they learned the book was indeed owned and written in by one of the most influential people in the Country's history.

[audio:4251512654-42515lincolnbook1.mp3] [/audio]

The book itself was in sad shape, and Perryman says thanks to private donors, they were able to restore the book, preserve the pages with Lincoln's handwriting, and now they are ready to display it to the public.

[audio:4251512657-42515lincolnbook2.mp3] [/audio]

This Sunday from 2-4 pm, the Library will host a special viewing of the book with special guest speakers.

The Library is located at 310 North Quincy Street in Clinton.

500 Pounds of Bratwursts Recalled in Springfield

Roughly 500 pounds of bratwurst is being recalled by a meat packing company in Springfield.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture's meat and poultry inspection division announced the recall of the North Clay Packing Co. product Thursday because the sausages contain milk, which is not declared on the product's label.

The product subject to the recall was sold as white five pound boxes labeled as "Illini Land Bratwurst." The bratwurst was produced between May 23, 2013, through Sept. 3, of the following year and sold in Coles County.

The Agriculture Department discovered the recall during an inspection by meat and poultry inspectors.

Officials say that no illnesses related to the product's consumption have been reported.

Governor Rauner Releases Detailed List of Budget Cuts

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office has begun to implement some of the cuts approved by lawmakers as part of a budget fix for this fiscal year.

The legislation that aims to close a $1.6 billion budget gap includes transfers from special funds as well as a 2.25 percent across-the-board cut to various state agencies and programs.

According to a document released by Rauner's budget office, the Department of Human Services will be cut by $1.1 million. Programs affected include a $419,000 cut to domestic violence shelters, a $103,000 reduction to homeless youth services and $11,000 from the University of Illinois' Sickle Cell Center.

Hunters and Anglers Donate Over $700-Thousand For Youth Programs

State officials say hunters and anglers in Illinois have raised more than $700,000 for youth outdoors programs since 2006.

The money comes through a donation when hunters and anglers are buying licenses.

The Illinois Conservation Foundation said in a news release Thursday that the money has stretched past $726,000. The goal is $1 million.

The foundation's executive director is Eric Schmidt. He credits hunters and anglers for supporting youth.

The group is a charitable partner of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. It serves more than 6,000 children a year at a conservation center outside Rockford.

Legislation To Prevent Grant Rights Before An Election Created



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Lincoln Home Visitors Boosted Ecomomy By Nearly $13-Million In 2014

The National Park Service reports that 218,000 visitors to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 2014 spent $12.7 million in surrounding communities. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey found the spending supported 208 jobs and contributed a total of $16 million. Abraham and Mary Lincoln bought the only home they owned in what is now downtown Springfield in 1844 and lived there until leaving for the White House in 1861. Home Superintendent Dale Phillips anticipates more visitors in 2015 because of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln's death. Springfield is staging various events in the coming weeks - including a reenactment of the arrival of Lincoln's funeral train - to commemorate the martyred president's burial.

Clinton CrimeStoppers Seeking Information On CHS Burglary

 width=The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a burglary and criminal damage to property that occurred at the Clinton High School.

On or around Thursday April 2, an unknown person or persons entered the concession stand located near the Clinton High School football field. Suspects gained entry to the building by throwing a concrete block through the window. Once inside, suspects stole a significant amount of food and beverages. Other similar property damage crimes were reported during this time period and are believed to be related.

Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1000.00 when a felony arrest is made as a result of information that you have provided.

Anyone with any information regarding this burglary or any other crimes or fugitives is asked to contact the Clinton Area Crime stoppers at 217-935-3333.

Remember, the CrimeStoppers phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.

CrimeStoppers wants your information, not your name.

Weekley, de Jong Share Lead At Zurich Classic

 width=Boo Weekley and Brendon de Jonge fired 8-under 64s on Thursday and share the lead with the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans suspended due to darkness.

Weekley, who is making his 225th PGA Tour start, is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, while de Jonge is searching for his first tour title.

Sean O'Hair was 6-under par through seven holes at the TPC Louisiana. He played the final 11 holes in 1-under for a 7-under 65. O'Hair shares third place with David Hearn.

Erik Compton, Brian Davis, Daniel Berger, Mark Hubbard and Greg Owen are one stroke further back at minus-6. World No. 6 Jason Day and No. 7 Dustin Johnson are among 12 players tied for 10th at 5-under 67. Day and Johnson are the two highest ranked players in the field this week.

There was a 78-minute delay due to heavy rain, which pushed play back. The first round will resume Friday at 9 a.m. ET, while the second round will start as scheduled at 8 a.m.

CBB Freshman Declare For NBA Draft

 width=>>Arizona Forward Johnson To Declare For NBA Draft

Arizona freshman Stanley Johnson announced Thursday that he will enter the NBA Draft after one season in college.

Johnson was Arizona's leading scorer, averaging 13.8 points over 38 games in one of the best seasons in program history.

The 6-foot-7 forward is widely projected to be a top-10 pick.

He joins Arizona junior Brandon Ashley and sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who also declared for the draft this month.

The Wildcats won the Pac-12 regular season title and were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament this past season, advancing to the Elite Eight for a second year in a row.

 width=>>Ohio State Freshman Phenom Russell Going Pro

Ohio State freshman D'Angelo Russell said Wednesday that he will declare for the NBA Draft.

Russell, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, led the Buckeyes in scoring and rebounding this past season.

"This was a hard decision because I knew I could come back and play with my teammates who I love, and to be coached by coach Thad Matta again would have been awesome, but at the same time I wanted to pursue my dream of playing in the NBA," Russell told ESPN.com.

"I know what I am capable of and the sky's the limit with effort. I know I have a lot to work on."

Russell averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 35 games and was named a first-team All-American by numerous outlets. He was an All-Big Ten selection and was named the conference's top freshman.

He is widely projected to be a top-five pick in the draft.

Predators Slam Blackhawks, Stay Alive In Western Conference Series

 width=Filip Forsberg posted a hat trick and Nashville used a three-goal barrage early in the final period to stave off elimination with a 5-2 victory over Chicago in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.

James Neal added a goal and an assist, Colin Wilson also lit the lamp and Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for the Predators, who scored three times in the first 3:14 of the third to stay alive.

Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg scored for the Blackhawks, who had taken Games 3 and 4 at home, including a triple-overtime victory in Game 4. Scott Darling allowed four goals on 28 shots in the loss.

Game 6 will take place in Chicago on Saturday afternoon.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 3, Detroit 2 (OT)
Washington 5, NY Islanders 1
Vancouver 2, Calgary 1

Sox, Royals Brawl; Wacha Outduels Scherzer; Cubs Lose

 width=>>Wacha Sharp In Win Over Nationals

Michael Wacha outdueled Max Scherzer by twirling seven outstanding innings, and Matt Adams singled in the deciding run in the St. Louis Cardinals' 4-1 win over the Washington Nationals.

Wacha (3-0) held Washington to a run on five hits and struck out six to win his third consecutive start and lead the Cardinals to a seventh victory in eight games.

Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward each finished 2-for-4 for St. Louis, with Heyward scoring the go-ahead run on Adams' two-out single off Scherzer that snapped a 1-1 deadlock in the sixth inning.

The hit helped deal Scherzer (1-2) a second loss in four outings despite the prized free-agent addition yielding just two runs over seven innings of work.

Denard Span drove in the Nationals' lone run with a single in the rubber game of this three-game series.

 width=>>Pirates Rally Past Cubs

Gregory Polanco went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, in the finale of a four-game set at PNC Park on a cold Thursday afternoon.

Josh Harrison added a pair of doubles and scored twice for the Pirates, who salvaged a split of this series despite temperatures in the low 40s. Sean Rodriguez added a homer for Pittsburgh, which has won two straight to conclude a 10-game homestand with five wins to get back to the .500 mark at 8-8.

Starlin Castro had two hits and scored a run for the Cubs, who blew a three- run lead to move to 2-2 on their current seven-game road trip.

Cubs phenom Kris Bryant started in center field for the first time since his call-up on Friday. He had started his first six games at third base. he finished the game 0-for-3 with an RBI to see his five-game hitting streak come to a halt.

National League Scoreboard
Miami 9, Philadelphia 1
New York 6, Atlanta 3
Milwaukee 4, Cincinnati 2
Colorado 2, San Diego 1
San Francisco 3, Los Angeles 2 (10 innings)

 width=>>Royals Take Down Sox In 13 Innings

Eric Hosmer's two-out double in the top of the 13th inning lifted the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox in a game marred by a benches-clearing brawl earlier on.

Long before Hosmer struck the biggest blow with a shot down the right-field line off Jake Petricka (0-1) that scored Jarrod Dyson from first, the teams literally came to blows at the conclusion of the seventh inning.

Tempers flared after Royals starter Yordano Ventura fielded a comebacker from Adam Eaton and shouted an expletive at the Chicago outfielder before tossing the ball to first base. Both teams immediately ran on to the field, with a few punches being thrown prior to order being eventually restored after several minutes.

Hosmer and Moustakas both ended 3-for-5 in the Royals' 15th win in their last 18 matchups with Chicago, while Kendrys Morales knocked in two runs with a first-inning single before Kansas City went scoreless over the next 11 frames.

The White Sox mustered only seven hits in the opener of this four-game set, with Abreu finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI double.

Neither team could do much with the bats following the ugly fracas, with the game providing few scoring opportunities until Moustakas singled with one out in the 13th and was erased on a fielder's choice from Dyson, who entered in the eighth as Cain's replacement.

Hosmer then drove a ball into the right-field corner and the speedy Dyson beat an off-line throw home for the first run since the fifth inning.

American League Scoreboard
New York 2, Detroit 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 2, Oakland 0
Toronto 7, Baltimore 6
Tampa Bay 2, Boston 1

>>Brawl Highlights Royals, Sox Game

Starting pitchers Yordano Ventura and Chris Sale were among five players ejected following a benches-clearing brawl at the conclusion of the seventh inning of Thursday's game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.

The incident was ignited when Ventura snared a comebacker from Chicago's Adam Eaton and yelled an expletive at the White Sox outfielder before tossing the ball to first base. Both teams immediately emptied their benches, with a few punches being thrown prior to order being eventually restored after several minutes.

Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Edinson Volquez and Chicago hurler Jeff Samardzija also were ejected for their parts in the melee.

Ventura had hit Jose Abreu with a pitch back in the fourth inning, with Sale plunking Mike Moustakas a frame later to trigger a warning to both teams.

Abreu doubled off Ventura in his next at-bat to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth.

Ventura has now been ejected in each of his last two starts. The fiery young right-hander was tossed after hitting Oakland's Brett Lawrie with a pitch in Saturday's game against the Athletics. Ventura was fined by Major League Baseball for the incident, with teammate Kelvim Herrera suspended five games for later throwing at Lawrie.

Herrera has since appealed the penalty and took over for Ventura in the eighth inning.

Rose Drops 34, Bulls Take Commanding 3-0 Lead

 width=Derrick Rose scored 34 points, Jimmy Butler added 24 and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-106 in double overtime on Thursday night to take a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Jimmy Butler got the second overtime off to a rousing start, intercepting a backcourt pass from Giannis Antetokounmpo and racing in for a layup. It set the tone for an 8-0 run that gave Chicago a 109-101 lead with 2:44 left to finally shake the pesky Bucks.

Rose atoned for a missed free throw with 4 seconds left in regulation that left the game tied. He scored six points in the second overtime, including a layup off an offensive rebound with 2:15 left for a 10-point lead.

Milwaukee went scoreless for more than 6 minutes between the first and second overtimes.

Game 4 is Saturday at Milwaukee.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
Cleveland 103, Boston 95
Golden State 123, New Orleans 119 (OT)

Illinois Officially Signs PF Transfer From Charlotte

 width=Illinois coach John Groce says Mike Thorne Jr. will transfer to Illinois from Charlotte for the 2015-2016 season.

According to a Thursday news release from the University of Illinois, Thorne has signed a tender of financial aid and will enroll as a graduate student.

The 6-11 center started 30 of 32 games last season. He was third-leading scorer for the Charlotte 49ers, averaging 10.1 points, while shooting 53.4 percent from the field. He also ranked fifth in Conference USA in rebounding with an average of 7.3 boards.

Groce says Thorne is an experienced productive player with "tremendous work ethic."

Thorne is scheduled to graduate next month from Charlotte with a bachelor's degree in sociology.

Monticello Handles Maroa-Forsyth Again

 width=After committing five errors Tuesday, Monticello took advantage of four more errors by Okaw Valley Conference rival Maroa-Forsyth Thursday en-route to an 11-5 victory from Monticello High School.

Ryne Bundy recorded three hits, Jacob Burton added a pair of hits as well to pace the Sages in their 11-hit attack Thursday and Austin Hopper went the distance allowing five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts as Monticello improves to 17-3 overall on the year, and 4-1 in conference action.

Hopper also had three RBIs offensively and Burton and Daniel Peterson contributed two apiece as Monticello swept the home-and-home series with the Trojans this week.

Monticello is off until next Tuesday, when they take on St. Thomas More in Champaign.

Tune in this afternoon on 95.9 FM WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com as the Lady Sages softball team hosts Decatur MacArthur for Friday afternoon action starting at 4:30 pm.

DeWitt County Board Approves Agreement With Landfill

A mutual agreement between the DeWitt County Board and the Clinton landfill was approved at Thursday night's Board meeting.
State's Attorney Daniel Markwell explained he informed the Board of negotiations with the Landfill back in January. Markwell and Landfill Attorney Brian McGinnis reached an agreement after three months of discussion. The agreement includes payment of over one million dollars in unpaid host fees to DeWitt County.

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The agreement also states the Landfill will withdraw their permit application for toxic waste. Markwell also stated any MGP source material will not enter the Landfill.
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McGinnis addressed the crowd saying Clinton Landfill never put hazardous waste in the landfill and hasn't been accused by any governmental body of doing so. He also stated he's taken offense at several untruths made by certain groups regarding the Landfill.
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The agreement between and Landfill and DeWitt County took some hard work according to McGinnis. He hopes both parties can put the past behind them and move forward. The Landfill also wants to repair its relationship with the County and City.
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The Board approved the motion for the agreement 9-2 with Sherrie Brown and Terry Hoffman voting no. Ron Savage was absent from Thursday's meeting.  
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more coverage of Thursday night's meeting including the resignation of Board Member Danny Ballenger.
To hear the entire Landfill Agreement discussion, listen below

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Clinton Police Chief Offers Motorcycle Safety Tips

The recent spring weather is a sign for motorists to keep an eye out for motorcycles on the road.

Motorcycle safety is a prevalent issue during months with warmer weather. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers notes eighty percent of motorcycle accidents result is serious injury or death. Most of those crashes occur at intersections and are usually the motorist's fault.

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The Chief stresses the importance of having the right motorcycle to fit your needs and skills. He also encourages everyone to go through at least one motorcycle safety course.

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Other useful tips for motorcycle owners include not participating in any reckless behavior while riding and wearing the proper clothing. Chief Lowers says it's a good idea to always wear a helmet. Leather gear also makes for good protection when riding.

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Defensive driving is crucial to motorcycle safety according to the Chief. It's important for everyone on the road to always be aware of their surroundings.

YMCA Begins Strong Kids Campaign

The Clinton Community YMCA are closing in on their most important yearly fundraiser.

The annual Strong Kids Campaign allows the Y to provide quality, mission-driven programs for the community. Executive Director Rennie Cluver notes many Y members are in great need of scholarship money and the $100,000 goal from last year will remain the same. He adds the goal is also to attain any total beyond that.

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The Y also hopes to see the need for scholarships decline in the next few years. Cluver says time and dedication across the community can contribute to that goal.

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Many Clinton businesses collaborate with the Y for various events, but Cluver feels they need to be better at measuring the impact of their partnerships. He would like to track how much better kids are doing academically and socially due to YMCA programs.

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Cluver plans to be part of community betterment through the YMCA as long as he's able.

For more information on the Strong Kids Campaign, you can visit www.clintoncommymca.org or call 217-935-8307.


Interleague Arizona 8, Texas 5 F

American League

Chicago White Sox 6, Cleveland 0 F

Toronto 4, Baltimore 2 F

N.Y. Yankees 13, Detroit 4 F

Tampa Bay 7, Boston 5 F

Minnesota 3, Kansas City 0 F

Oakland 9, L.A. Angels 2 F

Seattle 3, Houston 2 F

National League

Pittsburgh 4, Chicago Cubs 3 F

Miami 6, Philadelphia 1 F

St. Louis 7, Washington 5 F

N.Y. Mets 3, Atlanta 2 F

Cincinnati 2, Milwaukee 1 F

Colorado 5, San Diego 4 F

San Francisco 3, L.A .Dodgers 2 F

National Basketball Association Playoffs

Atlanta 96, Brooklyn 91 F

Memphis 97, Portland 82 F

San Antonio 111, L.A. Clippers 107 FOT

National Hockey League Playoffs

Ottawa 1, Montreal 0 F

N.Y. Rangers 2, Pittsburgh 1 F OT

Anaheim 5, Winnipeg 2 F

St. Louis 6, Minnesota 1 F

Bulls' Mirotic out for Game 3 at Milwaukee

Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic will miss Thursday's playoff game at Milwaukee because of an injured left knee. The Bulls ruled Mirotic out for Game 3 and listed veteran guard Kirk Hinrich (left knee) as questionable. Chicago leads the first-round series 2-0. Coach Tom Thibodeau says Mirotic was feeling better Wednesday. He rode the stationary bike during practice and did some light shooting afterward, although he was not moving much or jumping. Mirotic strained his quadriceps and bruised his knee in a scrum for a loose ball with Milwaukee's Zaza Pachulia late in Monday's victory, leading to a heated exchange and technical fouls for both players. Pachulia was also called for one about a minute earlier for elbowing Mirotic in the head. The second technical resulted in his ejection.

White Sox shut out Indians 6-0

Jeff Samardzija threw six shutout innings to outduel Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6-0 on Wednesday. First baseman Jose Abreu's first-inning solo home run gave Samardzija early run support. The two-out homer was his second in two days. Abreu finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Samardzija (1-1) faced the Indians for the first time in his career and allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three. It was Samardzija's first shutout since going eight innings on Sept. 17, 2014, for the Oakland A's in a 6-1 loss to the Texas Rangers. Abreu added a two-run double in the seventh to chase Kluber (0-2). Kluber gave up a career-high 13 hits and six earned runs. He struck out six, walked one and had two wild pitches.

Effort to Restore Social Service Cuts Moves Forward

The Illinois Senate votes to restore the 26 million dollars recently cut from the budget for programs to help autistic children, bury the indigent and provide cancer and HIV/Aids screenings. The 57-1 vote moves the legislation to the House. The cuts would be rescinded as Governor Rauner would gain the authority to access $26 million from more than 100 special state funds. State Senator Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, sponsored the legislation.

Proposal to Eliminate Historic Preservation Agency Advances

An Illinois House committee has advanced legislation to eliminate the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and shift care of historic sites to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Meanwhile, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum would be spun off into its own state agency. State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield believes a recent Op/Ed piece from Springfield's State Journal Register says it all, that the inability of organizations to work together has plagued events during this 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination and the museum...

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Butler believes IHPA knows history but may not be skilled at marketing it, especially at the museum...

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The House Executive Committee action also moves the DCEO a step closer to being converted to a public private partnership.

Landfill Gives Up Storing Toxic Waste Over Illinois Aquifer

A company that for years has planned to store toxic PCBs in a landfill sitting atop a central Illinois aquifer now says it's giving up the idea. Peoria-based Area Disposal had tried since 2007 to get state and federal permits to store PCBs at its Clinton Landfill.

But an attorney for the company says it's "closing that chapter." Last year, the state barred the dumping of PCBs in the Clinton Landfill, and a permit request was ignored by federal authorities. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are chemical compounds once used in products such as paints and fluorescent lights.

They were banned in 1979 after it was found they can cause cancer and damage to nervous and reproductive systems. The DeWitt County Board will consider Thursday a settlement with the company to restore roughly $1 million in payments made to the county by landfill owners. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more details after tonight's County Board Meeting.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For April 21

Jail Population: 32 Paper Services: 10 Warrants: 0 Jose Carballosa, 30, Clinton was arrested and charged with Possession Cannabis/ 10-30 grams. Carballosa unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Outgoing Mayor Feels Good About Her Service Time

The outgoing Mayor of the City of Clinton feels good about the way she served the residents of the County.

Mayor Carolyn Peters feels as though she was dedicated to making sure she was well informed and worked to inform others of what she was learning. She explains, when the hospital removed itself from the ambulance service, she did all she could to inform the public of what that meant.

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The Mayor is quick to point out, it was not all her work that got a lot of things done. She points to the downtown square's stage overhang where she worked with a community member to get that designed and up and running.

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Mayor Peters thanks the City Council and City staff for working with her to make decisions to better the Clinton community.

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Mayor Peters also thanks the Doctor John Warner Hospital Board and Staff for their dedication and patience during the hospital's reorganization.

Seabrook lifts Blackhawks to 3 OT win over Predators

Brent Seabrook scored on a booming slap shot 1 minute into the third overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.

Seabrook's long drive beat a screened Pekka Rinne on the 100th shot of the longest game in Nashville history. Rookie Scott Darling made 50 saves for Chicago.

The Blackhawks grabbed a 3-1 series lead and can close out the Predators with a win in Nashville on Thursday night.

Colin Wilson and James Neal scored for Nashville, which carried a 2-1 lead into the third period.

Carlos Carrasco strikes out 8, Indians beat White Sox 6-2

Carlos Carrasco struck out eight in five innings and Carlos Santana and David Murphy smacked solo home runs as the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 on Tuesday night.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak on a cold night at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field. Temperatures slipped into the lower 40s with wind chills in the 30s.

Carrasco (2-1) allowed one earned run on four hits while walking none as he improved to 1-1 against Chicago this season.

White Sox starter Hector Noesi (0-2) lasted 5 2-3 innings and departed with runners on first and third for left-hander Carlos Rodon, making his major league debut.

Rodon gave up a two-run single to pinch hitter Ryan Raburn in the sixth and allowed two more runs in the seventh.

Seven Cleveland pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts.

Cubs ride Castro to 9-8 comeback win over Pirates

Starlin Castro went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs, including a game-tying two-run single in the ninth, and the Chicago Cubs rallied for a 9-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

Wellington Castillo followed Castro's big hit with an RBI groundout off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon (0-1) as Chicago overcame a late three-run deficit to win for the third time in four games.

Edwin Jackson (1-0) picked up the victory in relief. Hector Rondon worked a perfect ninth for his third save.

Chicago rookie Addison Russell went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in his major league debut. The club called the highly touted 21-year-old infielder from Triple-A earlier in the day.

Pittsburgh's Jung Ho Kang went 2 for 4 with a bases-clearing double in the seventh for the first RBIs of his career.

Baby Crib Bumpers Create Debate

A bill over padding placed on the inside of a baby crib drew a long debate at state capitol on Wednesday. A bill introduced by Rep. Emily McCasey a Lockport Democrat would ban the production and sale of baby crib bumpers. She says its’ an effort to fight Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The bill drew a sharp attack from Rep. Rita Mayfield a Waukegan Democrat. She says no baby deaths can be directly attributed to the pads. McCasey’s bill passed and now the bill heads to the Senate where a similar bill died last year. Chicago has already banned the sale of bumper pads.

State Sen. Introduces Bill to Undo Cuts to Grants, Programs

An Illinois lawmaker has introduced legislation that would restore $26 million in social services and public health grants recently suspended by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Dan Kotowski. The Park Ridge Democrat cites "shared concern" by lawmakers for funding grants that pay for the funerals and burials of public-assistance recipients, smoking cessation, teen programs, autism, and HIV and AIDS programs.

Rauner suspended the grants as part of his push to reduce a $1.6 billion shortfall in the state budget.

Rauner's office didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on whether it supported the legislation. Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman said the House would review the proposal if it is passed by the Senate.

Social Secuirty Online Resources Provide Essential Information

The Social Security website provides many useful online resources for those who are retired or about to retire.

Their website features a wealth of information for anyone wanting information on Social Security topics. Jack Myers, with Social Security, says the site is geared toward assisting every type of person including non-English speakers. The search engines also allow any Social Security issue to be found quickly.

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Using different keywords will also help to narrow down a Social Security topic being searched for. Myers notes those who still want a hard copy of particular information can obtain forms at their local Social Security Office.

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The Social Security website can also help to alleviate retirement anxiety. According to Myers, creating a My Social Security account will allow a beneficiary to look up all of the personal information including earnings and statements.

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Social Security's website can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov. To start a My Social Security account, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

LCHS Begins Freshman Academy Program

A local high school is creating a program to ensure incoming freshman do not fall behind academically.

Lincoln Community High School will jump start a Freshman Academy this coming fall. The program will assist struggling eight graders with their reading and math skills. Double-credit can be received due to a block schedule of three class periods according to Superintendent Robert Bagby.

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LCHS is hoping the Freshman Academy will lower the dropout rate for the district. Bagby notes the rate has lowered from five percent to one percent over the last six years and will hopefully continue to decrease.

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Students will need to be recommended by teachers, administrators or parents to be enrolled into the program. LCHS is hoping the first year will be successful and open doors for larger enrollment.

Bill Would Give School Boards Choice on Charter Schools

Local school boards could make the decision to deny a charter school proposal, regardless of what decision is made by the state’s Charter School Commission.

That’s the ultimate goal of a measure that passed the House Monday. Opponents of the measure say House Bill 397 is a backdoor way to squash the public school option altogether.

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Welch’s measure was amended to allow for judicial review of a school board’s decision denying a charter.

The bill narrowly passed 60-41 and now heads to the Senate. Current Illinois regulation allows for only a certain number of charter schools that must be approved by the Charter School Commission.

The majority of the state’s charters are in the Chicagoland area.

Lobbying Interests Strong For Sunday Sales Ban

A state senator is urging consumers to reach out to their lawmakers to support a true free market when it comes to car sales on Sundays.

Republican Senator Jim Oberweis says at first he thought his proposal would be championed by the car dealers, but quickly found out that wasn’t the case and there were lobbying groups in support of the Sunday sales ban.

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Illinois is one of 15 states that regulate car sales on Sunday with a right-out ban from the practice. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission came out in support of lifting the ban saying the law limits choice for the consumer and unfairly stifles competition.

Car Sales On Sunday Measure Could Be On Move

A state senator hopes to move on his measure allowing car dealers to be open on Sundays, but he’s got some staunch resistance--car dealer associations.

Senator Jim Oberweis says Illinois’ 32-year-old law mandating car dealers be closed on Sunday could come up for committee consideration in the next couple of weeks and he’s encouraging consumers to reach out to their lawmakers to show support for lifting the ban.

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Illinois is one of 15 states that regulate car sales on Sunday with a right-out ban from the practice. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission came out in support of lifting the ban saying the law limits choice for the consumer and unfairly stifles competition.

US Rep. Kinsinger Ready To Give Deal With Iran Chance

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he doesn't trust Iran but he's willing to give a proposed nuclear deal some time.

He says time is of the essence in this deal, as 15 years only delays Iran from eventually acquiring a weapon something President Barack Obama has acknowledged.

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Kinzinger says the Middle East is slowly devolving into full sectarianism between Sunni and Shiite Muslims which he says could lead to a World War three in that region.

Bicycle, Motorcycle Safety Reminders

With the spring in full swing, bikers will be out in full force soon.

The Clinton Police Department has some friendly reminders for both bikers and motorists that will be encountering these folks in the coming weeks and months. According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, the most important thing for bicyclists is to wear a helmet.

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For the youngsters who are still growing, the Chief says it is important the kids have a bike that is fitted to their size. Chief Lowers says having a bike that is too big can sometimes be a safety issue.

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With more people out sure to be out walking and biking, Chief Lowers encourages motorists to put the phones down. He says the laws regarding cell phone use are in place for a reason.

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Many bikes that are often lost or stolen end up at the police department. Chief Lowers indicates they get dozens of bikes each spring and summer. He encourages anyone who may have had their bike lost or stolen to contact the department and inquire about it. They also have a registration program for community bicycles that is free to register for.

To inquire about a stolen bike or to register your bike with the police department, contact the department at 217-935-9441.

Furyk Fifth In World Rankings After Weekend Victory

 width=Jim Furyk broke a four-and-a-half-year winless drought on Sunday and that helped him move back to No. 5 in the world rankings.

Furyk, whose last win was at the 2010 Tour Championship, improved five spots thanks to his 17th PGA Tour title.

Ahead of him, the top-4 were unchanged with Rory McIlroy followed by Masters champion Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson.

With Furyk's 5-spot jump, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia all fell one spot and are Nos. 6-10.

Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes and Rickie Fowler held steady in the 11th through 13th positions. Matt Kuchar, who finished fifth at Harbour Town, improved three spots to No. 14 this week.

Kuchar's move pushed Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama and Martin Kaymer down one notch apiece. They are 15, 16 and 17 in the new rankings. Phil Mickelson held steady at No. 18 and was followed again by Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka.

Former Bears LB Buffone Dies; 49ers Great Dies

 width=>>Ex-Bears LB Buffone Dies

Longtime Chicago Bears linebacker Doug Buffone has died at the age of 70, the team confirmed.

Police said Buffone was found dead in his Chicago home on Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Buffone played all 14 of his NFL seasons for the Bears between 1966 and 1979, tied for the second-most in franchise history. He appeared in 186 games and made 24 interceptions, tops all-time among Bears linebackers.

Former Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher, who played 13 seasons for the team before retiring in 2013, tweeted: "Today is a sad day for Bears nation. We lost one of our greats. Doug Buffone will be missed."

>>49ers Great St. Clair Dies

Hall of Famer Bob St. Clair, a 6-foot-9 offensive tackle who played all 11 of his NFL seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, died Monday at the age of 84.

St. Clair played for the 49ers from 1953-63, appearing in 119 games, and was a member of the University of San Francisco's undefeated 1951 team.

St. Clair was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 after more than two decades of eligibility.

Wild Blank Blues, Take Series Lead

 width=David Backes completely leveled an oblivious Nino Niederreiter skating in the neutral zone for an apparent tone- setting check early on in Game 3.

Turns out, the pancake hit was a mere outlier in a lopsided 3-0 victory that gave the Minnesota Wild another series lead over the St. Louis Blues.

Devan Dubnyk was barely tested, making just 17 saves en route to the first shutout of the entire NHL playoffs thus far.

Zach Parise and Jason Pominville each tallied a goal and an assist, and Niederreiter capped the 180-degree turnaround with an empty net goal.

NHL Playoff Scoreboard
NY Rangers 2, Pittsburgh 1 Rangers lead best-of-seven series, 2-1
Anaheim 5, Winnipeg 4 (OT) Anaheim leads best-of-seven series, 3-0

Butler, Bulls Take 2-0 Lead Over Bucks

 width=Jimmy Butler is quickly proving he may be the go-to guy for Chicago in crunch time.

That's nice for the Bulls to know if Derrick Rose has a dismal first half like he did Monday night.

Butler scored 14 of his playoff career-high 31 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bulls to a 91-82 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

Rose scored all 15 of his points after halftime and added nine assists and seven rebounds. Pau Gasol had 11 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks, and Joakim Noah ripped down a game-high 19 rebounds for the Bulls, who have won eight of the last nine against their Central Division rival.

Khris Middleton, playing in his second career postseason game, led Milwaukee with 22 points. Michael Carter-Williams was the only other Buck in double figures with 12 points.

NBA Playoff Scoreboard
Golden State 97, New Orleans 87

Baseball Notes

 width=>>White Sox Calling Up Rodon

The Chicago White Sox have promoted top pitching prospect Carlos Rodon from Triple-A Charlotte.

Rodon will initially work out of Chicago's bullpen. The No. 3 overall pick in last year's amateur draft went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two starts with the Knights this season.

The White Sox also activated pitcher Jake Petricka from the 15-day disabled list prior to Monday's game against Cleveland. The reliever had been out with a right forearm strain.

The 26-year-old Petricka went 1-6 with a 2.96 ERA and 14 saves in 67 appearances last year. He led all major league rookies in saves and ranked third in IP (73.0) and appearances.

Pitcher Javy Guerra was placed on the DL with right shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to April 13.

In addition, pitcher Kyle Drabek was designated for assignment.

 width=>>Cardinals' Carpenter Player of the Week

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was named National League Player of the Week on Monday.

Carpenter batted .480 in six games last week with a home run, five RBI, seven doubles and a .480 on-base percentage.

His 22 total bases were an NL-best during the week.

>>Mets' d'Arnaud, Blevins Headed To DL

New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud and pitcher Jerry Blevins are headed to the 15-day disabled list after both players were injured Sunday.

The club announced Monday that the duo will be placed on the DL Tuesday before the Mets host the Atlanta Braves.

D'Arnaud suffered a fractured pinky finger on his right hand after being hit with a pitch in Sunday's 7-6 win over the Miami Marlins. Blevins was struck by a liner on Sunday and was diagnosed with a distal radius fracture in his left arm on Monday.

d'Arnaud was hitting .317 with two homers and 10 RBI before going down.

To replace the duo on the roster the Mets will recall relief pitcher Hansel Robles and catcher Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A Las Vegas. To make room on the 40-man roster for Robles, the Mets transferred pitcher Zack Wheeler to the 60- day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Sox, Cubs Rally Late For Wins

 width=>>White Sox Rally Past Indians

Melky Cabrera's RBI hit capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning that lifted the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 win over the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a three-game series Monday night.

The White Sox rally came only after they struggled to solve Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer, who had seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings while giving up four hits and two walks.

Chicago put a runner on base against Nick Hagadone in the eighth, but left him there.

In the ninth, Avisail Garcia stroked a one-out double off Indians closer Cody Allen (0-2) to spark the offense. After Conor Gillaspie walked, both runners moved up on a wild pitch and scored when Alexei Ramirez drove a second-pitch fastball to the base of the center field wall for a two-run double.

Ramirez went to third on a hit by Tyler Flowers and scored on Gordon Beckham's single through the left side of the infield to tie the score.

The Indians stuck with Allen and Cabrera made them pay, driving a 95 mph fastball on the seventh pitch of his at-bat close to the warning track in left-center field where no one could reach it.

The win kicked off a seven-game homestand for the White Sox, who came in having lost three of their previous four.

Chicago starter John Danks went six innings and gave up six hits, including solo homers to Ryan Raburn and Brett Hayes.

Raburn reached base three times for the Indians, who have lost seven of their last nine.

American League Scoreboard
Boston 7, Baltimore 1 (7 innings)
Detroit 2, New York 1
Oakland 6, LA Angels of Anaheim 3
Kansas City 7, Minnesota 1
Houston 7, Seattle 5

 width=>>Bryant Sparks Cubs Over Pirates

Kris Bryant went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in the Chicago Cubs' 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

Bryant's two-run double in the seventh broke a 1-1 tie for the Cubs, who improved to 7-5 on the young season. Jorge Soler went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.

Jake Arrieta (2-1) got the start for Chicago and gave up one run on four hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked none.

Starling Marte hit a solo homer in the ninth for the Pirates, who swept the Brewers in three games over the weekend. Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett allowed one run on eight hits over six innings. Arquimedes Caminero (0-1) took the loss after giving up three runs -- two earned -- on two hits in the seventh.

National League Scoreboard
Cincinnati 6, Milwaukee 1
San Diego 14, Colorado 3

Illinois Hosts Eastern Illinois As Top 10 Team

 width=Illinois defeated Eastern Illinois 14-10 in a slugfest earlier this year on April 7, now the Illini host Eastern Illinois as a top 10 team in the country and have the nation's longest win streak.

Junior Jason Goldstein led the way, going 3-for-5 with his first grand slam and a career-high six RBI. Senior David Kerian homered for an 18-game hitting streak, while sophomore Ryne Roper added his first bomb of the season.

Illinois is ranked No. 8 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, marking the highest ranking in program history. It is the first time an Illini team has cracked the Top 10.

UI also is ranked No. 9 by D1Baseball.com, Perfect Game and Baseball America, No. 10 by NCBWA and No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball, meaning Illinois is ranked in all six polls for the fifth straight week.

No. 8 Illinois is off to its best start in school history with a 32-6-1 record. The previous best UI mark after 39 games was 30-9 in 1989 under Augie Garrido.

The Illini have the longest active winning streak in the country with 13 wins in a row, which is tied for the fifth-longest streak in the NCAA this year.

Tonight's game is a 6 pm start time.

Hospital Board Budget Adjusted For New Board

The Dr. John Warner Hospital Budget has been a point of emphasis for members of the Clinton City Council for over a year now, and Monday night that discussion continued.

As a part of approving the city budget, the Dr. John John Warner Hospital budget must also be approved as the hospital is owned by the City of Clinton. Commissioner of Finances, Tom Edmunds believes decisions like hiring a CEO and using a management firm, which were included in the hospital budget, should be left to a new board that is likely to come in soon.

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Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters, speaking Tuesday morning, believes how the hospital board spends their money should not be left to the discretion of the City Council. She feels how the board spends their money is up to them and shouldn't need City Council approval.

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The changes were approved 4-1. The Mayor was the only "no" vote among the Council members.

Alert for the City of Clinton Water Department

Starting the week of April 20,2015, the City of Clinton Water Department will be flushing the water mains. The flushing will be done as time permits during the work week. There may be some discolorationin the water, so please allow some time for the discoloration to clear up.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, call the Water Department office at 935-3432.

Warrensburg-Latham Leader Says District Treading Lightly Financially

Illinois' unpredictable finances have taken a toll on many local school districts.

Many districts have been given last minute information when it comes receiving funds for various expenses. Warrensburg-Latham Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle says it can be frustrating when a district finds out it won't receive some expected funds at the end of the school year. She adds salaries make up a large portion of the expenses.

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Warrensburg-Latham will also receive less Categorical Payments at the end of the school year. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle notes these payments go toward programs such as special education and transportation and is usually dispersed in four payments. She says it's devastating that the district may only get two payments this year.

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Warrensburg-Latham has also has to dip into their reserves for the last couple of year. The Superintendent continues to be optimistic but says she's also a realist when it comes to funding.

DeWitt County Museum To Commemorate Death of CH Moore

Historical organizations around the state have been commemorating the death of one of the state's and country's most prominent figures, Abraham Lincoln, but this coming weekend, leaders of the DeWitt County Museum will have a presentation about the passing of one of DeWitt County's most prominent son's.

The DeWitt County Museum will be celebrating C.H. Moore's life and passing close to the anniversary of his death. Larry Buss, with the DeWitt County Museum, says the event will feature cover Victorian Era funeral customs, artifacts from the time of Moore's passing and much more.

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The event titled, "Mourning Moore", will feature tours of important rooms in the Museum that involve Moore's death as the house will be decorated for a Victorian funeral. Buss explains Moore's mausoleum will also be open to the public for the first time in many years.

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The "Mourning Moore" tour will take place at 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, April 25th. Tickets at $7.50 and space is limited. For further details, contact Joey Woolridge at the CH Moore Homestead at 935-6066 or visit www.chmoorehomestead.org.

Furyk Wins Playoff, Heritage

 width=Jim Furyk birdied both playoff holes on Sunday to defeat Kevin Kisner and win the Heritage.

Furyk fired an 8-under 63 in the final round to post 18-under-par 266. Kisner, who was in the final group, two groups behind Furyk, birdied the final hole of regulation to force the extra session. Kisner closed with a 7-under 64.

The duo returned to the 18th at Harbour Town Golf Links for the first extra hole. Both players found the fairway off the tee and Furyk dropped his approach just inside eight feet.

Kisner answered by knocking his second shot to 17 feet, then poured in his birdie effort to put the pressure on. Furyk answered as he drained his birdie chance to extend the extra session.

They headed to the par-3 17th, and both players found the green with their tee shots. Kisner's 22-footer for birdie failed to find the cup and he tapped in for par.

Furyk didn't miss. He converted his 12-foot birdie putt for his 17th PGA Tour title and first since the 2010 Tour Championship. Though he trailed entering the final round, Furyk had blown nine 54-hole leads since his last victory.

Troy Merritt, who led after the second and third rounds, posted a 2-under 69 and ended alone in third at 16-under-par 268. Brendon Todd carded a 4-under 67 to grab fourth place at minus-15.

Last year's winner, Matt Kuchar, was one shot back at 14-under-par 270 after a 3-under 68. Sean O'Hair, who lost in a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the Valspar Championship, shot 7-under 64 to end alone in sixth at minus-13.

Masters champion Spieth closed with a 1-under 70 and ended in a tie for 11th at 10-under-par 274.

The final round was played early to beat storms that were forecast for late afternoon. Part of the final round was played through rain, but there were no stoppages.

Matt Kenseth Wins Eventful Race At Bristol

Matt Kenseth's lengthy drought in the Sprint Cup Series ended on a rain-soaked day and night at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kenseth snapped his 51-race winless streak in the series after holding off Jimmie Johnson in a green-white-checkered finish in the Food City 500, a race that featured several rain delays and numerous cautions for accidents.

 width=This 500-lap race had been scheduled to start shortly after 1 p.m. local time, but it was delayed for almost an hour and a half due to rain. The event was then stopped three more times, including a four-hour delay, because of inclement weather and moisture on the track.

With the race running under the lights at this 0.533-mile, high-banked oval, Kenseth, the pole sitter, grabbed the lead for the fourth and final time on lap 478 when then leader Kurt Busch pitted during a caution. There were three cautions for multi-car wrecks during the last 40 laps here, including a five- car incident on the backstretch on lap 495 that set up the overtime finish. Carl Edwards and Busch, both in contention to win this race, were involved in that last crash.

After the yellow flag waved for the 11th and final time, light rain began falling on the track, forcing NASCAR to stop the race briefly for track drying. This event concluded after 511 laps were completed.

Jimmie Johnson ran in fourth for the last restart, but Johnson quickly charged past third-place runner Ryan Newman and then second-place Jeff Gordon, his teammate at Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson could not catch Kenseth in time, as he crossed the finish line 0.287 seconds behind.

Kenseth scored his 32nd career win in NASCAR's premier series but his first since September 2013 at New Hampshire, his maiden season driving the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Johnson bounced back from two separate crashes during the mid-stages of the race to finish second. Gordon placed third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Newman.

Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Justin Allgaier, Danica Patrick and Austin Dillon completed the top-10.

Tebow To Eagles; Manziel Apologizes Out of Rehab

>>Reports: Eagles To Sign Tebow

The Philadelphia Eagles have made some unexpected offseason moves.

Another one is apparently on the horizon.

According to FoxSports.com, the Eagles plan to sign quarterback Tim Tebow on Monday as they begin their offseason program. The former Heisman Trophy winner worked out for the team last month.

 width=Tebow, who has been working for ESPN and as an analyst for the SEC Network, played two seasons for the Denver Broncos from 2010-11 and last appeared in the NFL for the Jets in 2012.

He joined the New England Patriots in June 2013 but was cut two months later before the start of the regular season.

>>Johnny Manziel Leaves Rehab, Apologizes

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel issued a statement Friday, offering an apology and thanks to fans, teammates and the organization for support during his recent stay at a treatment facility.

Manziel spent more than two months at a rehab center, undergoing treatment for an undisclosed substance problem. He reportedly entered in late January before exiting last week.

The former Heisman Trophy winner issued a statement through the Browns on Friday.

"I would like to thank my family, friends, the Browns organization, my teammates and Browns fans everywhere for your patience, understanding, and support during my stay at Caron," said Manziel on Friday. "The doctors and staff have been amazing and what I've learned in the last couple of months has been tremendous. I owe private apologies to a lot of people that I disappointed, but a very public one to the Browns organization and the fans that I let down."

Manziel had a rough rookie season after being selected with the 22nd overall pick in last year's draft, drawing criticism for his poor play and for his behavior on and off the field.

"I take full responsibility for my actions and it's my intention to work very hard to regain everyone's trust and respect," Manziel continued. "I understand that will take time and will only happen through what I do and not what I say."

Rose, Butler Lead Bulls In Game One

 width=The Bulls will be a tough out if Derrick Rose plays like he did on Saturday.

Rose looked as healthy as he has all season and netted 23 points to lead third-seeded Chicago to a 103-91 win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Rose's career has been filled with injuries and lost seasons since his MVP campaign in 2010-11. He's missed nearly 50 games per season over his last three, including 31 this season, and hadn't appeared in a postseason game since tearing his ACL in 2012 against Philadelphia.

But the explosiveness and creativity that made Rose one of the league's best talents four years ago made a timely cameo, helping him finish 9-for-16 from the floor with seven assists.

Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 25 points and Pau Gasol posted 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who will host Milwaukee in Game 2 on Monday.

Khris Middleton scored 18 points to lead five Bucks in double figures.

NBA Playoffs Sunday Scores
Cleveland 113, Boston 100
Atlanta 99, Brooklyn 92
Memphis 100, Portland 86
LA Clippers 107, San Antonio 92

Blackhawks Blast Predators For 2-1 Series Lead

 width=Scott Darling made 35 saves to lead the Chicago Blackhawks in a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators in Game 3 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Darling made his first career playoff start in place of Corey Crawford, who had been pulled in the series opener after allowing three goals in the opening frame, then gave up six goals in Game 2 to prompt head coach Joel Quenneville to give his 26-year-old rookie the start. Darling got the win in Game 1 in relief of Crawford.

Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist, while Brent Seabrook, Andrew Desjardins and Brandon Saad all scored for the Blackhawks, who hold a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

Mattias Ekholm and Mike Ribeiro each posted a goal for the Predators, who had goaltender Pekka Rinne allow all four goals on 30 shots.

Game 4 of this series will take place Tuesday in Chicago.

NHL Playoffs Scoreboard
NY Islanders 2, Washington 1 (OT)
Montreal 2, Ottawa 1 (OT)
Calgary 4, Vancouver 2

Cardinals Win; Cubs, Sox Lose

>>Wainwright, Cardinals Sweep Reds

 width=Adam Wainwright gave up a pair of two-out singles in the eighth inning of a tie game to draw a visit from his manager.

Mike Matheny stuck with his ace, even after he walked the next batter.

They were rewarded with a win.

Wainwright pitched out of the bases-loaded jam and Kolten Wong hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 2-1 win on Sunday night for a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati starter Mike Leake was just as good as Wainwright, if not better, but gave up a leadoff double on a 90 mph sinker to Jon Jay in the eighth -- just the Cardinals' fourth hit of the game.

The Cardinals, who have won five in a row overall, moved to 5-1 against the Reds this season.

Boesch and Joey Votto had two hits apiece for the Reds, who have dropped four in a row and seven of their last eight since beating St. Louis in the opener of a three-game series on April 10.

Matt Carpenter hit his second homer of the season on Leake's 2-1 fastball leading off the bottom of the first inning.

 width=>>Cashner, Padres Put Away Cubs

Andrew Cashner only allowed a pair of unearned runs as the San Diego Padres earned a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Cashner (1-2) yielded just five hits and two walks in six innings with five strikeouts, and Chicago's two first-inning runs were unearned due to errors by Matt Kemp and Yangervis Solarte.

Will Middlebrooks and Solarte each hit two-run homers in support of the San Diego staff.

Chicago starter Jon Lester (0-2) continued to struggle early in the season. He needed 97 pitches (57 strikes) to get through 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Jorge Soler and Chris Coghlan had RBI hits for the Cubs, and Kris Bryant's double was the first extra-base hit of his career.

National League Scoreboard
New York 7, Miami 6
Washington 4, Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 5, Milwaukee 2
Arizona 5, San Francisco 1
Los Angeles 7, Colorado 0
Atlanta 5, Toronto 2

 width=>>Detroit Tops Chicago For Series Win

Yoenis Cespedes supplied the power for Detroit in the Tigers' 9-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Cespedes crushed the first grand slam of his career in the first inning and added a two-run homer in the third for a personal-best six RBI.

Victor Martinez went 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored for the Tigers, who took two of three from the White Sox in the series.

Detroit's Shane Greene (3-0) continued his incredible start to the season, tossing seven strong innings. He gave up his first earned run on five hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

The Tigers turned four double plays in the game.

Jose Quintana (1-1) allowed nine runs on 10 hits in four-plus innings for Chicago.

American League Scoreboard
New York 5, Tampa Bay 3
Baltimore 8, Boston 3
Minnesota 7, Cleveland 2
Houston 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 3
Kansas City 4, Oakland 2
Seattle 11, Texas 10

Southern Illinois Takes Down Redbirds Sunday For Series Win



he Illinois State baseball team was topped by host Southern Illinois in a game that featured a weather delay of two-and-a-half hours Sunday afternoon at Itchy Jones Stadium. The Redbirds rallied late, but Southern Illinois won by a 9-7 score to claim the rubber match in the three-game series.

Saturday's game was halted in the top of the fourth inning due to lightning. Southern Illinois held a 5-2 lead when the game was delayed, and was able to withstand the late Illinois State rally as the Redbirds brought the potential game-tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth inning.

ISU starter Jack Landwehr lasted just 1.2 innings after allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk. Jeffrey Barton turned in 1.1 innings of scoreless work, before giving way to Jake Sale, who allowed one run over the next two innings. Mitch Vogrin surrendered one run in the sixth inning, while Jack Czeszewski allowed two runs over two innings of work.

Mason Snyder and Brian Rodemoyer recorded two hits apiece in the loss. Ramirez collected Illinois State's only other hit.

Illinois State returns to Duffy Bass Field this week for five home games in six days. The Redbirds host Illinois Wesleyan on Tuesday and Webster on Wednesday, with both games beginning at 6 p.m. ISU will then host Missouri State in a three-game weekend series, beginning Friday.

Monticello graduate, Jacob Williams, threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing a hit with a pair of strikeouts.

Information courtesy of goredbirds.com.

Illini Finale Against Indiana Washed Out

 width=Sunday's Big Ten series finale between No. 11 Illinois (32-6-1) and Indiana (21-15) has been rained out and will not be made up. After a four-plus hour rain delay, the game was ultimately cancelled due to inclement weather in the Champaign area.

After defeating Indiana in the first two games, the Illini finished the weekend in first place in the Big Ten at 10-1 and boast the longest active winning streak in the nation with 13 consecutive victories.

No. 11 Illinois will be back in action at home on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Eastern Illinois.

Amid Questions About State Funding, Clinton FY16 Budget In Good Shape

Monday night's Clinton City Council meeting was the final time for at least four year that Jerry Milton and Mayor Carolyn Peters will serve. Their final votes cast were of great importance because the Fiscal Year 2016 budget was approved Monday.

Clinton City Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter says the biggest unknown heading into the next fiscal year is the cuts being proposed yet still undetermined by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Lichtenwalter says because those cuts are unknown at this point, they are not included in the fiscal year budget.

[audio:4201581903-42115cityfy161.mp3] [/audio]

Lichtenwalter explains not factoring in the cuts by Gov. Rauner, the current budget proposal indicates a higher cash balance at the end of the year. He adds it would end up better than the current fiscal year.

[audio:4201581907-42115cityfy162.mp3] [/audio]

The city's expenses are in good shape. Lichtenwalter notes, factoring in inflation, the city is keeping it's expenses down while inflation continues to rise.

[audio:4201581910-42115cityfy163.mp3] [/audio]

Revenues in the city have not fared as well as expenses. Lichtenwalter says the trends points to people buying less because despite new revenues, revenues are only increasing minimally.

[audio:4201581914-42115cityfy164.mp3] [/audio]

As a consequence of the lack of growth in city revenues, Lichtenwalter points out, their reserves are in adaquate shape but not nearly as good as they had hoped, especially, with cuts on the horizon to city funds from the state of Illinois.

[audio:4201581917-42115cityfy165.mp3] [/audio]

The self-insurance fund has some good news to it. Lichtenwalter says in years past that fund has dwindled, however, thanks to dedication major changes, there were gains made to the plan. He calls the fund "extremely healthy" through the first 11 months of the fiscal year.

[audio:4201581925-42115cityfy166.mp3] [/audio]

As a part of the state's current fiscal year budget, Lichtenwalter notes the motor fuel tax for this month's motor fuel tax was cut in half to balance the state's fiscal year budget. He notes it should just be a one time cut.

As a part of the approval process for the City's Fiscal Year '16 budget, the Dr. John Warner Hospital Budget was approved. Some last minute changes were made to that and we'll have the details Tuesday on Regional Radio News.

Price of School Going Up at SIU

It will cost more to go to school at Southern Illinois University for the next four years. Their Board of Trustees approved a 5 percent hike in tuition. That means in-state students will be paying $8,835. 73. The university says they must raise the price of hitting the books because of Bruce Rauner’s proposed funding cuts to state schools. 

Madigan Puts Next Budget Under Microscope

Governor Bruce Rauner's recent social service cuts announced after a deal was reached to close a budget gap is leading to more scrutiny of the next budget. House Speaker Michael Madigan has announced the creation of a special House budget oversight panel to closely examine recent budget decisions made by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Madigan says a central theme will be determining what the Governor continues to be non-essential spending. Madigan agrees spending cuts are needed to fix the state's debt issues but he also .says its the duty of lawmakers to protect Illinois' most vulnerable citizens, including children with autism, persons with developmental disabilities and lower-income women in need of breast cancer screenings. The budget review panel will hold its first meeting Tuesday morning.

Illinois Moves Closer to Recognition for Pumpkin Farmers

Thanksgiving around the country usually features a little Illinois flavor. That's because roughly 85 percent of all pumpkin consumed in the US is produced in Illinois with the Tazewell County town of Pekin serving as the unofficial capital of the pumpkin trade. The Illinois House has voted to make pumpkin the official state pie. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Amtrak Could See Possible Future Cuts

If proposed cuts go through from the state to Amtrak the rail line says they will have trim back on service. At a Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday representatives from the rail line told lawmakers that if Amtrak’s funding was reduced from $42 million to $26 million fewer trains will be running. Amtrak says they will work with the Illinois Department of Transportation to find the routes to be impacted. The proposed budget cuts are for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Passing of Lincoln



[audio:41815100208-lincolndeath.mp3] [/audio]


Lincoln Heritage Committee Remembers Lincoln in Weekend Play

This weekend will see a local historical committee present a play dedicated to Abraham Lincoln.
The Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County will present "Remembering Lincoln" tonight and tomorrow afternoon commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death. Larry Buss, with the committee, explains the original play by Helen Steitz features local community members in the cast. It was first performed six years ago and focuses on various memorials given after Lincoln's death.

[audio:4171524702-41815lincolnplay1.mp3] [/audio]
The play also features many historical anecdotes and figures throughout. Buss notes the show will also have humorous moments as well.
[audio:4171524658-41815lincolnplay2.mp3] [/audio]
"Remembering Lincoln" will be at Clinton Presbyterian Church tonight at 7 and tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. Admission is free but donations will be accepted.

General Assembly Passes Back Pay

State employees could see money they are contractually owed from as far back as 2011 with a bill that passed the House Wednesday.

The measure, House Bill 3763, proposes to pay the additional earnings for state employees that was agreed to four years ago, but not appropriated by previous general assemblies.

[audio:4171560450-BACKPAY.mp3] [/audio]

The measure, which would pay state employees from a variety of unions a combined back pay of $63.2 million, passed the House with 23 representatives voting against the bill. The state has already paid 45 percent of the back pay.

House Approves Pumpkin Pie As 'State Pie'

Pumpkin pie could be the new official state pie of Illinois.

The Illinois House approved legislation by a 108-3 vote after a jovial debate on the topic Thursday. It now heads to the Senate.

Republican state Rep. Keith Sommer of Morton is sponsoring the proposal. He told fellow lawmakers on the chamber floor that the bill is a tribute to how much pumpkin Illinois produces. Illinois produces about 85 percent of consumed pumpkin in the U.S.

Sommer says it's important to recognize "the good things of the state of Illinois" while leaders grapple with more serious business, including an expected $6 billion budget hole come July.

Survey Shows Economy Slowing In Rural Areas of 10 States

The economic outlook for rural areas of 10 states in the Plains and the West remained negative in April even though it improved slightly from the previous month.

Creighton University's Rural Mainstreet index grew to 46 in April from March's 43.6, but any score below 50 suggests a decline. The indexes range between 0 and 100.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the strong U.S. dollar continues to hurt exports of agriculture and energy products. And demand for farmland remains weak, so land prices are declining.

The farm equipment sales index sits at 15.6, up slightly from March's 15.2, but well below the neutral level of 50.

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

Miller Park Zoo Celebrating 'Earth Day'

A local zoo will be celebrating a day recognizing the importance of caring for the environment this weekend.

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington will be holding their annual "Party For the Planet" Earth Day event, stressing the importance of caring for the environment. Superintendent Jay Teztloff says they want to encourage young people to start caring for the planet at an early age.

[audio:4171560456-41615earthzoo1.mp3] [/audio]

'Party For the Planet' will also emphasize the importance of protecting animals and their habitats. Tetzloff notes small tasks such as turning of lights and water can make a big difference.

[audio:4171560458-41615earthzoo2.mp3] [/audio]

Recycling cell phones can also help to preserve the environment. According to Tetzloff, area in Africa have been greatly affected by the need for cell phone parts.

[audio:4171560501-41615earthzoo3.mp3] [/audio]

Party For the Planet will take place this Saturday April 18th at the Miller Park Zoo from 1 pm to 3 pm and is free with admission.

For more information, you can visit www.millerparkzoo.org or find them on Facebook.

Clinton Board of Education, Exelon At Odds Over Power Plant Value

The Clinton Nuclear Power Station and the Clinton Board of Education continue to be at odds over the value of the power station.

The value of the power station means a great deal to the Clinton Board of Education as they reap the benefits of the property taxes that come in from it. According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools, the latest negotiations have been as productive as several before.

[audio:4171560506-41715exelonvalue1.mp3] [/audio]

While the Exelon representatives claim the value of their plant is very low, the representatives for the school district and other taxing bodies hope to begin dialogue to reach a settlement, however, Dr. Holmes says they are not very willing to enter into negotiations.

[audio:4171560510-41715exelonvalue2.mp3] [/audio]

The taxing bodies will be entering into an appraisal process with the power plant. Dr. Holmes points out this has been done before and has found the value of the power plant is decreasing because of factors in the energy markets. It is the belief of the taxing bodies the decline in the value is not as drastic as Exelon officials say.

[audio:4171560516-41715exelonvalue3.mp3] [/audio]

When it comes to taking the issue of the property value to the Property Tax Appeal Board, Dr. Holmes says he is not comfortable with that process. He explains they are a very tax payer sensitive group, but have never dealt with a nuclear power plant assessment case.

He notes it remains the goal of the district and the taxing bodies to reach a settlement before it gets to that level.

Appeals Panel Reduces Points Loss, Fine To RCR

 width=The National Motorsports Appeal Panel upheld the penalties assessed by NASCAR to Richard Childress Racing No. 31 team for altered tires used on Ryan Newman's car in the March 22 race at Auto Club Speedway, but the panel lowered the points deduction and monetary penalty.

After hearing RCR's appeal for nearly seven hours on Thursday, the three- member panel decided to reduce the loss of points for both driver Newman and car owner Richard Childress from 75 to 50 and lessen crew chief Luke Lambert's fine from $125,000 to $75,000.

The six-race suspensions for Lambert, James Bender, the tire technician on the No. 31 team, and Philip Surgen, the team engineer, still stand. All three were placed on probation until Dec. 31 as well.

On March 31, NASCAR handed down the severe penalties to the 31 team following a tire audit conducted after the race at Auto Club Speedway. The sanctioning body had been taking tires from several teams, including Newman's, and having them thoroughly inspected at an independent agency this past month.

McDowell, Every Atop Leaderboard At Hilton Head

 width=Graeme McDowell and Matt Every posted matching 5-under 66s on Thursday and share the lead after the opening round of the Heritage.

McDowell, the 2013 champion, has made three cuts in his last six worldwide starts and his best finish was a share of 36th in Malaysia. Every's only top-25 finish this season came at Bay Hill, where he won his second straight Arnold Palmer Invitational title.

Sang-Moon Bae opened with a 4-under 67 at Harbour Town Golf Links and is alone in third place. Defending champion Matt Kuchar carded a 3-under 68. He was joined in fourth place by Kevin Kisner, Morgan Hoffmann, Scott Langley and Cameron Smith.

Johnson Wagner, who lost in a playoff at the Houston Open, shot 2-under 69. Among the 12 players he shares ninth place with were Pat Perez, Ian Poulter and former Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen.

Masters winner Jordan Spieth struggled throughout the day and posted a 3-over 75, which left him tied for 93rd place. Spieth carded a double-bogey, two bogeys and a birdie in his round.

NBA Notes

 width=>>NBA Players To Be Tested For HGH Next Year

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced Thursday that blood testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) will start during training camp next fall.

All players will be subject to three random, unannounced HGH tests annually - two during the season and once in the offseason.

If a player tests positive for HGH, he will be suspended 20 games for his first violation and 45 games for his second violation, and he will be dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for his third violation.

Owners and players had agreed during collective bargaining negotiations in 2011 to determine a process for how HGH testing could be implemented. The league hasn't previously done blood testing.

>>Brad Stevens, Doc Rivers Named Top NBA Coaches

Boston's Brad Stevens and the Los Angeles Clippers' Doc Rivers have been named the NBA's coaches of the month for April.

Stevens led the Celtics to the Eastern Conference's best record in April at 7-1. Boston closed the month with six consecutive victories -- five of them against playoff teams -- to claim the seventh seed in the East.

Rivers guided the Clippers to the league's only undefeated record in April at 7-0. The Clippers open postseason play as the third seed in the Western Conference.

>>Nebraska's Petteway To Go Pro

Nebraska guard Terran Petteway has decided to enter the NBA Draft.

Petteway, a fourth-year junior from Texas, is set to earn his degree in May. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2013-14 and a third-team choice this past season.

Petteway started every game for the Cornhuskers over the past two seasons and ranks 20th on the school's career scoring list with 1,143 points. He led Nebraska and ranked fourth in the Big Ten this past season with an average of 18.2 points per game.

Petteway averaged 18.1 points to lead the Big Ten in scoring during the 2013-14 season, guiding the Huskers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.

Blues Fall In Game One To Wild; Crawford Back In Net For Chicago

 width=Devan Dubnyk posted 19 saves and the Minnesota Wild grabbed a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Jason Zucker, Jason Pominville, Matt Dumba and Mikael Granlund each posted a goal for the Wild, who come into this series as the top wild card in the Western Conference thanks in large part to Dubnyk.

Acquired from the Arizona Coyotes for a draft pick on Jan. 14, Dubnyk made 38 consecutive starts for Minnesota beginning with a shutout of Buffalo on Jan. 15 and went 27-8-2 during that time with a 1.73 goals-against average.

Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen lit the lamp for the Blues, who won the Central Division and qualified for the playoffs for a fourth straight season. Jake Allen allowed two goals on 27 shots.

NHL Scoreboard
NY Rangers 2, Pittsburgh 1
Detroit 3, Tampa Bay 2
Anaheim 4, Winnipeg 2

 width=>>Crawford Back In Net Tonight For Chicago

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Corey Crawford will be back in net Friday for Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series against Nashville after the goaltender was pulled in Game 1.

Crawford allowed three first-period goals on 12 shots, but the Blackhawks got a stellar relief effort from Scott Darling and rallied for a 4-3 victory when Duncan Keith scored in the second overtime period.

Darling stopped all 42 shots he faced, including 17 during a wide open first overtime period.

Cubs Calling Up Bryant

 width=Prized prospect Kris Bryant looks to be on his way to the Chicago Cubs.

Multiple outlets reported Thursday night that Bryant will be called up before Friday's game against the San Diego Padres, clearing the way for his much-anticipated major league debut.

The Cubs would not comment, but Bryant wrote on Twitter that his "dream is coming true" and that he is "so excited for this journey."

Bryant and agent Scott Boras made it clear they were not happy that he opened the season in the minors. He had a dominant spring training, but by waiting to call him up, the Cubs gained an extra year of control before he can hit free agency.

Bryant hit .425 for the Cubs in spring training with nine homers and 15 RBIs in 40 at-bats.

Lackey Leads Cardinals Past Brewers

 width=John Lackey tossed seven scoreless innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 in the rubber match of a three-game series on Thursday.

Lackey (1-0) gave up five hits while striking out eight and walking one for the Cardinals, who have won four of five. Jordan Walden and Matt Belisle each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, Mark Reynolds and Matt Holliday had one RBI apiece for St. Louis, which pounded out 11 hits.

Mike Fiers (0-2) allowed two runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings for the Brewers, who fell to 2-7 on the young season. The right-hander struck out four and walked one.

The Cardinals continue a six-game homestand with three games against the Reds starting Friday.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 5, Philadelphia 2
New York 7, Miami 5
Arizona 7, San Francisco 6 (12 innings)

American League Scoreboard
Minnesota 8, Kansas City 5
Tampa Bay 4, Toronto 2

Illini's Colbert To Transfer

 width=Backup forward Austin Colbert says he plans to transfer from Illinois.

Colbert said in a news release Wednesday night that he enjoyed his two seasons on the Illinois basketball team. He didn't say where he plans to go.

Illinois coach John Groce said he and Colbert met and agreed Colbert should move to another school.

The 6-9 sophomore from Chesapeake, Virginia, played averaged 7.6 minutes a game in 25 games last season. He averaged 1.7 points and 2.2 rebounds a game.

Monticello Sweeps Rantoul

 width=The Monticello Sages moved backt to 10-games over .500 by sweeping the season series with Rantoul with a 7-1 Thursday win.

David Vanderkloot went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Konnor Bundy added a pair of hits and Nathan Mumm reached base three times via walk.

David Vanderkloot went three innings, Bundy added two innings of relief and Austin Hopper closed things out with a scoreless seventh inning.

The Sages have a Saturday double-header with Decatur MacArthur this weekend. Tuesday, they take on Maroa-Forsyth.

Hear the action from Forsyth on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is 4:30.

Appropriations Hearing Focuses on Grant Suspensions

The issue of $26 million in grant suspensions by the state’s Department of Human Services was the focus of a three hour appropriations hearing Tuesday.

State senators grilled Greg Bassi (bass-ee), acting secretary of the Department of Human Services, about the suspended grant dollars that were issued on Good Friday.

[audio:4161572116-APPROP1.mp3] [/audio]

Senator Matt Murphy said the bad budget passed by Democrats is to blame and decried the hearing as a waste of time.

Autism Grant Focus of Hearing

During an appropriations hearing Tuesday committee chair Senator Heather Steans says lawmakers didn’t change the appropriations levels, but the acting secretary of the Department of Human Services, Greg Bassi (bass-ee), says there wasn’t enough cash to pay the grants that were appropriated.

[audio:4161572113-APPROP.mp3] [/audio]

Republican lawmakers characterized the hearing aS political theater because the funding problems were created by democrats. Other grant funding that has been suspended includes addiction treatment programs, and immigration services, some of which could be eliminated moving forward into the next fiscal year.

Autism Grant Focus of Hearing

During an appropriations hearing Tuesday committee chair Senator Heather Steans says lawmakers didn’t change the appropriations levels, but the acting secretary of the Department of Human Services, Greg Bassi (bass-ee), says there wasn’t enough cash to pay the grants that were appropriated.

[audio:4161572113-APPROP.mp3] [/audio]

Republican lawmakers characterized the hearing aS political theater because the funding problems were created by democrats. Other grant funding that has been suspended includes addiction treatment programs, and immigration services, some of which could be eliminated moving forward into the next fiscal year.

Lincoln High School Principal Critical Of State Cuts

 width=75 height=154 />The financial state of Illinois is affecting many local area school districts and their budgets. <br /> <br />The Illinois Legislature passed a six-month budget last year and the current governor is responsible for fixing the other six months of the year. Lincoln Community High School Superintendent Robert Bagby says their district will now see cuts to state programs and General State Aid due to a government compromise. <br /> <br />[audio:4161572033-41615lchscuts1.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />All school districts will see hits to their budgets this year according to Bagby. He notes his issue with the cuts is that needier schools will receive full General State Aid while LCHS are penalized even with a balanced budget. <br /> <br />[audio:4161572037-41615lchscuts2.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />LCHS was recently informed the state can no longer reimburse breakfast and lunch for students who benefit from free meals. Bagby would like to be informed of these types of cuts at the beginning of the year so a full-year budget can be figured. <br /> <br />[audio:4161572048-41615lchscuts3.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />Meal reimbursement usually gives a few cents back to LCHS per meal. Bagby says it's not the worst possible issue to deal with and choose to look positively at the situation. <br /> <br />[audio:4161572052-41615lchscuts4.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />Bagby says he's also proud of the LCHS School Board for keeping a balanced budget for six years.</p>						</div>

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Police Department Encouraging Locking Vehicles and Homes

 width=With the spring upon us, more residents are likely to get out for walks and bike rides and enjoying the community parks.

With the increase in foot traffic on local roadways and sidewalks, not all of it will be of the positive variety. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says this is the time of year when they see a spike in the vandalism and burglaries to personal property.

[audio:4161572054-41615springlive1.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Chief, year after year, with the spring's arrival, their call volume increases. He says it is an up and down trend but encourages residents to be diligent in locking personal property, specifically homes and vehicles.

[audio:4161572102-41615springlive2.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief encourages removing all valuables from your vehicle or to have them hidden out of view. Chief Lowers says the biggest factor though, is to just lock your doors.

[audio:4161572105-41615springlive3.mp3] [/audio]

In the event your vehicle may have been burglarized but you suspect nothing was taken and no damage done, Chief Lowers encourages those types of calls to come in. He explains while it may be a case of no harm, no foul, he wants to know about that so they can track where the crimes may be taking place.

[audio:4161572109-41615springlive4.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Lowers indicates they do keep track of where crimes are taking place and do keep track of trends involving locations, times of day, and keep those from year to year.

He also encourages neighbors and residents to keep eyes open for suspicious activity and to call anything out of the ordinary in to the police. He says they'd rather receive a call that turns out to be a resident walking home or out for a run than someone who may be up to trouble that doesn't get caught.

Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the June 2013 killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

First-degree murder guarantees life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Twelve jurors, who deliberated for seven days, found Hernandez killed Lloyd on June 17, 2013. Lloyd, 27, was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Hernandez showed little emotion as the guilty verdict was read. The jury also found Hernandez guilty on ammunition and gun possession charges.

Hernandez's mother, Terri, and his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, embraced and cried at the announcement.

Prosecutors said Hernandez and two other men, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, drove with Lloyd to a North Attleboro, Massachusetts industrial park, where Lloyd was shot six times and left for dead. A jogger found Lloyd's body less than a mile from Hernandez's home.

However, the murder weapon was never found and prosecutors called 132 witnesses, including Patriots owner Robert Kraft, in an effort to prove Hernandez pulled the trigger on the handgun that killed Lloyd.

Hernandez's lawyer, James Sultan, acknowledged for the first time during closing arguments that Hernandez was there when Lloyd was killed. But the attorney said the actual crime must have been committed by either Wallace or Ortiz, saying his client was a "23-year-old kid" who witnessed a shocking crime and didn't know what to do.

The jurors said they were shocked by the defense admission that the former Patriots player was at the scene of the killing.

PGA Tour Shifts To South Carolina

 width=New Masters champion Jordan Spieth heads to Hilton Head this week to headline the field at the RBC Heritage.

Spieth becomes the first Masters winner to play the Heritage the following week since Zach Johnson in 2007. Spieth will be joined at Harbour Town by defending champion Matt Kuchar and reigning FedExCup winner Billy Horschel. Those three are among 10 of the top-30 players in the world competing this week.

Also teeing it up this week are World Golf Hall of Fame members Tom Watson and Ernie Els. Watson is making his 25th appearance at this tournament. Els, who has never won this title, finished second to Boo Weekley in 2007.

Duke's Jones To Enter NBA Draft

 width=Duke freshman Tyus Jones will enter the 2015 NBA Draft.

Jones joins fellow Duke freshmen Jahil Okafor and Justise Winslow in forgoing their final three seasons at Duke to attempt to cash in at the pro level.

Jones, the 2015 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, was an All-ACC third team honoree and averaged 11.8 points, 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game during his freshman season. He was also named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

Duke has produced a first round selection in the NBA Draft in each of the past four years. Krzyzewski has mentored 28 first round picks, including 18 lottery selections.

The 2015 NBA Draft will take place Thursday, June 25 in New York City.

Bulls Down Atlanta To Lock Up #3 Seed In East

 width=Aaron Brooks tallied a game-high 23 points off the bench as the Chicago Bulls slipped by the Atlanta Hawks 91-85 in the regular-season finale for both clubs at the United Center.

With the victory, the Bulls sealed up the third spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will open up the postseason at home against the Bucks on Saturday.

Jimmy Butler hit for 21 points, Paul Gasol had 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 54th double-double of the campaign, while Nikola Mirotic scored 11 points in a reserve role for the Bulls (50-32) in their fourth straight win.

Rose, who did not play in the second half, accounted for just two points on 1-of-3 shooting.

Atlanta (60-22), which had already sewn up the top spot in the conference, was led by Dennis Schroder's 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field in less than 17 minutes of action. Al Horford added 14 points, while DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague had 10 apiece.

NBA Scoreboard
Toronto 92, Charlotte 87
Brooklyn 101, Orlando 88
Cleveland 113, Washington 108 (OT)
Dallas 114, Portland 98
Houston 117, Utah 91
Boston 105, Milwaukee 100
Oklahoma City 138, Minnesota 113
New Orleans 108, San Antonio 103
Detroit 112, New York 90
Miami 105, Philadelphia 101
Memphis 95, Indiana 83
Sacramento 122, LA Lakers 99
Golden State 133, Denver 126

Blues Open Playoff Run Witrh Minnesota

Unlike last season, the St. Louis Blues enter the 2015 playoffs on a positive note and the franchise hopes that translates into success this time around.

 width=The Blues ended the 2013-14 campaign on a six-game losing streak that dropped them out of first place in the Central Division. Rather than a first-round meeting with, coincidentally, the Minnesota Wild enjoyed by the division- champion Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis drew the Chicago Blackhawks in the quarterfinals and was eliminated in six games.

This time around, the Blues won five of their final six contests of the season to edge the Nashville Predators for first place and will try to advance out of the first round for the first time in three years.

There is no question who is leading the offense as 23-year-old Vladimir Tarasenko paced the Blues with 37 goals and 73 points on the season. Fellow 2010 first-round pick Jaden Schwartz was right behind his fellow winger with 28 goals and 63 points.

That young duo compliments a veteran core of captain David Backes (26 goals, 32 assists), winger Alexander Steen (24G, 40A) and American forward T.J. Oshie (19G, 36A).

Oshie fell two shy of matching his career-high goal output from a season ago, while free agent acquisition Paul Stastny fell four shy of the 20-goal mark. St. Louis would get a big boost if either can step it up a notch in the postseason.

Blackhawks Storm Back To Take Game 1

 width=Duncan Keith's left-point blast sailed through a screen at the 7:49 mark of the second overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from three goals down to claim a 4-3 decision over Nashville in Game 1 of this back-and-forth Western Conference quarterfinal.

Inserted after starter Corey Crawford allowed three goals on 12 shots in the first period, Darling withstood a 42-shot barrage and failed to crack during his NHL playoff debut, making 17 saves in the first extra session and following up with six more stops until Keith ended the contest.

Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews each recorded a goal in the second period for the Blackhawks, with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane contributing two assists.

NHL Playoff Scoreboard
Montreal 4, Ottawa 3
NY Islanders 4, Washington 1
Calgary 2, Vancouver 1

Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Win Streak Snapped

 width=>>Wood Leads Cubs Past Reds

Travis Wood struck out seven in seven scoreless innings as the Chicago Cubs blanked the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 in the rubber match of a three-game set on Wednesday.

Wood (1-1) yielded just three hits and a pair of walks against his former team, giving the lefty 19 straight innings of scoreless ball over his last three starts against the Reds.

Chicago did all of its damage against Reds starter Jason Marquis (0-1), who was lifted after just four innings.

Anthony Rizzo started the scoring with a two-run homer to right before Marquis recorded an out in the bottom of the first.

Jonathan Herrera added to the lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the second, and Marquis hit Jorge Soler with a pitch with the bases loaded later in the frame to force in another run.

Miguel Montero's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning made it 5-0.

 width=>>Cardinals Down Brewers

Lance Lynn threw five solid innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Lynn (1-1) only had one 1-2-3 inning, but he was regularly able to work out of trouble. He allowed a run on six hits and struck out four, and the Cardinals used a parade of six relievers to finish the final four innings.

Matt Holliday drove in two runs, Yadier Molina had three hits, and Matt Carpenter added two.

Wily Peralta (0-1) allowed all four St. Louis runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings with one strikeout. Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun and Jean Segura all tallied two hits for Milwaukee.

The Brewers had the tying run reach the plate in the ninth against Trevor Rosenthal, but he induced a flyout from Adam Lind to end the game.

National League Scoreboard
Miami 6, Atlanta 2
Washington 10, Boston 5
New York 6, Philadelphia 1
Detroit 1, Pittsburgh 0
San Diego 3, Arizona 2
LA Dodgers 5, Seattle 2
Colorado 4, San Francisco 2

 width=>>Indians Down White Sox

Lonnie Chisenhall went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored in the Cleveland Indians' 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Carlos Santana and Michael Bourn had one RBI apiece for the Indians in the finale of this brief two-game series.

Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer (2-0) allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking four over six innings. In his season debut last Thursday, Bauer held the Houston Astros without a hit before leaving after 111 pitches in the sixth inning.

Alexei Ramirez and J.B. Shuck each drove in a run for the White Sox, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. John Danks (0-2) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on six hits over 4 2/3 innings.

American League Scoreboard
LA Angels of Anaheim 10, Texas 2
Baltimore 7, New York 5
Toronto 12, Tampa Bay 7
Houston 6, Oakland 1
Minnesota 3, Kansas City 1

Pew Study Shows Illinois Revenue Has Increased Since Recession

While some states saw as much as a 15 percent decline in revenue since the great recession, Illinois had the second to largest increase of 22.5 percent.

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Overall states collected more than 2.5 percent more tax revenue in the third quarter of 2014 than they did midway through the recession, according to the Pew study.

Clinton YMCA Unveils New Wesbsite

 width=The Clinton Community YMCA recently unveiled their new website.

The Y went live with the new site last month and Executive Director Rennie Cluver hopes it will be user friendly for visitors. He notes the site will feature their mission, community involvement and personals stories from members. The Y felt they needed their website to entice visitors and members alike to visit them online.

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The new website will also provide a destination for registration of various Y programs. Cluver says programs will high enrollment may not be available to register for online. There will be a special online registration section for those interested in what programs can be registered for online.

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The URL address for the website will remain the same according to Cluver. The Clinton Community YMCA can be found at www.clintoncommymca.org.

Former Educator Hosting Special Athletic Training Seminar

Long time Clinton High School Principal Ron Connor has organized and event similar to a seminar he hosted at Clinton High School two years ago.

With increased risk to athletes in today's sports, Connor took the initiative a few years ago to host a special session for athletic trainers, coaches and even parents to learn more about the risks of injuries in sports today. Now he's back at it, this time in Bloomington.

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Connor helped the Regional Office of Education host a similar seminar last summer and geared it towards concussions since it was close to football season and now hopes to continue the conversation as trainers from ISU and other places will be on hand to talk about the importance of proper training.

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Connor says the seminar is open to any coach, athletic trainer and even parent who wants to learn more about preventing sports injuries and proper ways for their young athletes to train.

Things kick off Wednesday evening at 5 pm at the McLean County Health Department and should last until about 8:30 pm. For more information and to register, contact the McLean County Health Department at 309-888-5450.

Re-Elected Streets Commissioner Hoping To Continue Multipurpose Pathway Plans

The City of Clinton is working to create a multipurpose pathway for the community.

The City is planning for the pathways to connect local places such as schools and parks. The pathways will provide local families the opportunities to ride bikes or walk safely around the community. Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Nan Crang says this project should create a healthier community in Clinton and will hopefully be able to connect the City to other communities.

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Clinton plans to eventually connect to communities such as Monticello and Lincoln but plan to focus on the Clinton community right now. Crang says the project will be done in small increments but hopes the community will begin to see a difference on it begins.

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Crang notes the pathways in Clinton are definite and now some small projects will need to take place in local parks such as exercise equipment and small playgrounds.

Steelers CB Taylor Retires

 width=Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has decided to retire after 12 seasons.

Taylor spent his entire NFL career with the Steelers and helped the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl victories. He was an unrestricted free agent, but didn't want to play for another team.

The Steelers selected Taylor in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He entered the league with Troy Polamalu, a first-round pick in the same draft, and will go out just a few days after the safety announced his retirement.

Taylor played in just five games last year, missing 11 games after suffering a dislocated elbow in September against Carolina.

In 174 games, including 140 starts, Taylor finished with 14 interceptions and 636 tackles.

Duke Star Winslow To Enter NBA Draft

 width=Duke freshman Justise Winslow is entering the NBA Draft, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Tuesday.

The news came five days after fellow Blue Devils freshman Jahlil Okafor said he would go pro.

Both players are projected to be taken early in the first round, perhaps in the top five. They are the sixth and seventh Duke freshmen to enter the draft after one season.

Winslow, a 6-foot-6 forward, averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and almost a block per game for Duke. He had 11 points in the national championship game against Wisconsin as both he and Okafor battled foul trouble in Duke's 68-63 win.

Pacers Beat Wizards Tuesday Night

C.J. Miles scored 25 points and George Hill flirted with a triple-double to help the Indiana Pacers get one game closer to a playoff berth with a 99-95 double-overtime win against the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.

 width=Hill finished with 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Indiana, which moved a full game ahead of Brooklyn for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. David West had 15 points and eight rebounds in the Pacers' sixth straight win.

Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat each scored 19 points, with Gortat pulling down 10 rebounds. John Wall scored 16 points and dished out 11 assists for Washington.

The win also eliminated the conference's reigning No. 1 seed, the Miami Heat.

The Pacers will clinch the eighth seed with a win at Memphis on Wednesday. If they lose to the Grizzlies, coupled with a win by Brooklyn against Orlando, the Nets will earn the final playoff berth because they own the tiebreaker for winning the season series.

Washington, which has already wrapped up the fifth seed in the East, played its starters despite having a spot locked up.

NBA Scoreboard
Boston 95, Toronto 93
LA Clippers 112, Phoenix 101

Blackhawks Open Playoffs With Nashville, Kane Set To Return

Many things often have to break right during a championship-winning season and the Chicago Blackhawks appear to have said luck early on.

 width=Though it got closer than the Blackhawks probably would have liked, the Chicago held off the Minnesota Wild for third place in the division despite a season-ending four-game losing streak. That allowed the Blackhawks to avoid slipping into a wild card spot and facing a division winner.

Chicago will make its seventh straight playoff appearance, a span that includes Cup titles in 2010 and 2013, and avoided a wild card berth despite not having winger Patrick Kane for the final 21 games due to a broken clavicle.

Kane still finished second in the club with 27 goals and 64 points, meaning he conceivably could have been in the running for the league's scoring title had he remained healthy. But winning another championship is the bigger goal and Chicago looks as though it will get Kane back for this series after he was cleared for contact earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Kane declared himself ready to go for the series opener.

That's great news for captain Jonathan Toews, who stepped up his offensive game in Kane's absence, as well as veterans Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp.

Hossa continues to contribute at the age of 36, with 22 goals and 61 points this season, but Sharp struggled with only six goals over his final 34 games while not scoring at all in the month of February.

Head coach Joel Quenneville says he is going to lean heavy on his top four defensemen. 

LaStella Injury Could Pave Way For Bryant Debut This Week

Could Kris Byrant make his Chicago Cubs' debut as early as Friday?

The Cubs placed infielder Tommy La Stella on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to right rib cage inflammation.

The move is retroactive to April 9.

 width=La Stella, who was acquired from Atlanta in the offseason, was 1-for-6 in two games with the Cubs this season.

Chicago manager Joe Maddon said "it's possible" the Cubs could add an infielder for Friday's game against San Diego. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein didn't discount the possibility another infielder could join the team by the time the homestand ends Sunday.

Asked about Bryant potentially making his debut this weekend, Epstein said he didn't "want to speculate."

"It depends on what's happening with the roster, what's happening with his development," Epstein said. "We don't know yet."

White Sox Top Indians; Cubs Lose

 width=Jose Abreu homered to help the Chicago White Sox take a 4-1 decision over the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a three-game set at Progressive Field.

Adam LaRoche, Avisail Garcia and Tyler Flowers each knocked in a run for the White Sox, who have won three in a row since an 0-4 start to the season.

Jose Quintana (1-0) recovered from a tough outing in his first start of the season at Kansas City, yielding one unearned run on three hits with six strikeouts over six innings. Quintana did not factor in the decision against the Royals after he allowed five runs on nine hits over five frames.

The White Sox scored two runs in the first inning and knocked Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (1-1) out of the game when a line drive off the bat of Melky Cabrera hit him in the face.

American League Scoreboard
Baltimore 4, New York 3
Tampa Bay 3, Toronto 2
Texas 8, LA Angels of Anaheim 2
Oakland 4, Houston 0
Boston 8, Washington 7
Detroit 2, Pittsburgh 0

 width=>>Reds Edge Cubs

Anthony DeSclafani pitched seven strong innings as the Cincinnati Reds edged the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, in the second of a three-game set.

DeSclafani (1-0) allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out five, while Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd each drove in a run for the Reds, who snapped a three-game slide.

Welington Castillo's two-run home run accounted for the offense for the Cubs, who had a three-game winning streak broken. Jake Arrieta (1-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

National League Scoreboard
New York 6, Philadelphia 5
Miami 8, Atlanta 2
Detroit 2, Pittsburgh 0
LA Dodgers 6, Seattle 5

Illinois Comes Back To Top ISU

No. 11 Illinois scored seven runs over the final three innings and came back twice to earn its 11th straight win with a 7-3 victory on Tuesday.

Ryne Roper led the Illini with three hits and an RBI. Reid Roper added a pair of hits and an RBI as well.

 width=Only two Illini regulars failed to record a hit Tuesday as the Illini pounded out 11 hits in the victory.

The loss spoiled a strong outing by Redbird starter Steve Heilenbach, who allowed just two runs over seven innings. Heilenbach scattered six hits and did not allow a walk. He struck out four.

Joe Kelch led the Redbird offense with three hits Tuesday. Jared Hendren had two hits and a walk.

Junior Nick Blackburn posted zeroes in both the eighth and ninth for his first career save.

The Redbirds are back on the road this weekend, with a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series at Southern Illinois beginning Friday.

No. 11 Illinois will host a three-game series against Indiana at Illinois Field this weekend.

Clinton Edges Warrensbug-Latham

 width=Josh Hickman pitched six solid innings and added two hits to propel the Clinton Maroons to a 4-3 victory over Central Illinois Conference foe Warrensburg-Latham Tuesday afternoon.

Hickman went six innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits, yielding three walks with five strikeouts.

Eli Logue closed it out with a scoreless 7th inning.

Jacob Overton went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Logue went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and triple.

Clinton did not commit an error Tuesday.

The Maroo

UPDATED: Catlin No-Hits Lady Maroons, As Lady Sages Dominate Clinton


As heard on WHOW, WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Sophie Catlin no hit the Clinton Lady Maroons Wednesday afternoon as the Monticello Lady Sages dominated Clinton from start to finish, 11-0 in non-conference softball action.

Catlin struck out four and walked one for the win. The offense spotted her with six runs in the first inning, and never looked back as Sammy Valentine finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Jenny Hinton blasted a three-run homerun that capped the six-run first. Megan Magsaman, Makayla Reidy, Megan Taylor and Catlin each added an RBI for the Lady Sages, who improve to 13-1 overall.

The Lady Maroons fall to 6-2.

Tune in next week on WHOW, WEZC and dewittdailynews.com for more Monticello and Clinton sports.

Monday, the Lady Maroons will host Sullivan. Hear the game live on 1520 AM/92.3 FM and at dewittdailynews.com at 4:30 pm.

Then Tuesday, the Monticello boys baseball team travels to Maroa-Forsyth for an Okaw Valley Conference game. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com.

Then Friday, the Lady Sages host Decatur MacArthur at 4:30 on 95.9 FM WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com.

Bigger Tornadoes In March Not Common



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Springfield Prepares To Mark 150th Anniversary of Lincoln Assassination

Tomorrow, Illinois will mark the 150th anniversary of the slaying of its favorite son, President Abraham Lincoln.

Chris Wills with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum says the noontime ceremony at the neighboring Union Square Park describes Wednesday's Day of Remembrance ceremony.

[audio:4141563029-Funeral.mp3] [/audio]

Humorist Tom Dreesen, who will be one of David Letterman's final high profile guests this spring, will be the keynote speaker. Musical will also play a central role with Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison.

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A member of World War II's legendary Tuskegee Airmen, longtime Chicago broadcaster, Lawton “Wilk” Wilkerson will also make an appearance.

There will also be a morning flag raising at dawn at Lincoln's Tom and lowering ceremony at 7:22 am to mark the time of his death.

Lincoln High School, Heartland Community College Enter New Partnership

 width=100 height=205 />One local high school and community college are partnering to provide students with early college credit. <br /> <br />Lincoln Community High School has joined forces with Heartland Community College to offer dual-credit courses for high school students. Superintendent Robert Bagby says these classes will be tuition free and should be a great resource parents and kids alike. LCHS has also had a long-standing partnership with Lincoln College as well. <br /> <br />[audio:4141563356-41415heartlandlchs1.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />Dual-credit courses differ somewhat from high school Advanced Placement courses. Bagby notes AP classes come down to passing or failing a test to receive college credit while dual-credit classes provides credit to those who receive a B or higher. <br /> <br />[audio:4141563358-41415heartlandlchs2.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />The new partnership with Heartland won't affect LCHS' relationship with Lincoln College according to Bagby. He adds students will still have to purchase textbooks from Heartland despite the free tuition. <br /> <br />[audio:4141563400-41415heartlandlchs3.mp3] [/audio]<br /> <br />According to Bagby the LCHS Guidance Department has been very proactive in providing the necessary information for those wanting to take dual-credit courses.</p>						</div>

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New School Board Member Hoping To Give Back

One of the newest members to the Clinton Board of Education will be seated next week and wants to be a voice for teachers and students.

Long time principal at Clinton High School, Ron Connor ran unopposed in last week's School Board election and will be seated on the Board next Tuesday. Connor says it means a great deal to represent the teachers and students he served for so many years.

[audio:4141563347-41315connorboard1.mp3] [/audio]

Being a former educator, Connor says he's well versed on the issues of testing. He says the tests are taking away from teachers doing their jobs and doing them well. He feels there's too much of it in the classrooms today.

[audio:4141563350-41315connorboard2.mp3] [/audio]

Connor says the power plant has to be one of the top issues facing the Board of Education. He feels their presence in the community is of the upmost importance.

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Since his retirement, Connor has been working as an advocate for education in Springfield, and he hopes to see Springfield begin to eliminate some of the unfunded mandates they burden schools with. He says so much more money and time would be available for education if that were to happen.

Masters Victory Moves Spieth To No. 2 In World

 width=On the strength of his first major championship title on Sunday at the Masters, Jordan Spieth climbed to No. 2 in the world rankings.

Spieth improved two spots to a career-best ranking. He has had four consecutive top-2 finishes on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy took fourth behind Spieth and remains the No. 1 player in the world. McIlroy's lead atop the rankings was trimmed from 3.40 average points to 2.39 average points.

Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson were down one spot each to three and four. Jason Day held steady at No. 5, while Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott traded places with Johnson up to sixth.

Justin Rose, who shared second with Phil Mickelson at Augusta, improved three places to eighth. Sergio Garcia was ninth again this week and Jim Furyk fell two notches to 10th.

Jimmy Walker and J.B. Holmes were both down one to 11 and 12, while Rickie Fowler stayed at No. 13 and Patrick Reed inched up one to 14th.

Hideki Matsuyama improved two to 15th and Martin Kaymer slipped a pair to 16. Matt Kuchar dipped a notch to No. 17, while Mickelson improved four to 18th.

Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka were both down one to 19 and 20. Last week's No. 20, Victor Dubuisson, tumbled two to 22nd.

Blackhawks Returning To Full Strength For Playoffs

 width=Center Brad Richards is ready to go.

Same for defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

And superstar forward Patrick Kane isn't far behind.

Not only does Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville expect his star right wing to play in Chicago's opening-round playoff series against the Predators, Kane might be ready for Wednesday night's opener in Nashville.

"Absolutely in the series," Quenneville said about Kane's return from a broken collarbone that has kept him out of the Blackhawks' final 21 games of the regular season.

"When? We'll have a better indication after tomorrow's practice."

 width=>>Final NHL Weekly Awards Handed Out

Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn, Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone have been selected as the NHL's top players for the week ending April 12.

Benn earned the First Star after a five-goal, 10-point week helped him capture the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's scoring leader. He registered at least three points in all three games last week, capping it with a three-goal, one-assist effort on Saturday against Nashville.

The 25-year-old British Columbia native picked up an assist with 8.5 seconds remaining on Saturday to finish with 87 points, surpassing New York Islanders center John Tavares for the scoring title.

Pavelec helped backstop Winnipeg to its first playoff berth since relocating from Atlanta, stopping all 83 shots he faced while posting a 2-0-1 record last week to claim the Second Star.

Stone also helped Ottawa to an unlikely playoff berth last week, notching four goals and an assist to pick up the Third Star. He scored a pair of goals on Saturday in a 3-1 playoff-clinching victory over Philadelphia to help the Senators finish a stunning 23-4-4 run to close the season.

Packers Bring Back FB Kuhn, S Richardson

 width=The Green Bay Packers re-signed fullback John Kuhn and safety Sean Richardson on Monday.

Kuhn earned first-team All-Pro honors and was named to his second career Pro Bowl last season.

He ran for 85 yards on 24 carries in 2014 and has played in 132 career games with 26 starts, recording 591 rushing yards and 13 scores on 189 carries and 76 receptions for 516 yards and eight touchdowns.

Green Bay exercised its right of first refusal on Richardson, a restricted free-agent, matching an offer sheet from the Oakland Raiders.

Bulls Clinch Home Court For First Round of Playoffs

 width=Nikola Mirotic scored 26 points, Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 113-86 victory Monday night over the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets fell into ninth place in the Eastern Conference and will need a win Wednesday and a loss by Indiana in at least one of its final two games to reach the postseason.

Jimmy Butler shot 7 for 10 and scored 17 points for the Bulls, who moved a half-game ahead of Toronto into sole possession of third place in the East. They dominated the Nets for the third time this season.

Derrick Rose had 13 points and seven assists but only played 23 minutes because the Bulls were already too far ahead by the time he would've gone back for the fourth quarter.

NBA Scoreboard
Houston 100, Charlotte 90
Cleveland 109, Detroit 97
Milwaukee 107, Philadelphia 97
New York 112, Atlanta 108
Miami 100, Orlando 93
New Orleans 100, Minnesota 88
Oklahoma City 101, Portland 90
Utah 109, Dallas 92
Sacramento 102, LA Lakers 92
Golden State 111, Memphis 107
LA Clippers 110, Denver 103

Soler Powers Cubs Past Cincy; Brewers Down Cardinals

 width=>>Soler's Two Homers Power Cubs Past Reds

Arismendy Alcantara picked an opportune time to end his cold spell to start the season.

Jorge Soler helped give him that chance.

Alcantara's walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to a 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three- game set.

Anthony Rizzo and Chris Coghlan sandwiched walks around a single by Soler, who tied the game in the eighth with his second two-run homer of the game, to load the bases in the 10th.

The Reds squandered a Joey Votto leadoff double in the top of the 10th. Todd Frazier rolled one back to Hector Rondon (1-0), who went to third to nab Votto. Brandon Phillips then lined out to left and Jay Bruce struck out after a Marlon Byrd single to end the top of the inning.

Jon Lester struggled again in his second start with Chicago. He surrendered six runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts over six innings.

 width=>>Brewers Down Cardinals

Carlos Gomez had two hits, including an RBI double, helping the Milwaukee Brewers beat Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.

Matt Garza (1-1) picked up the win despite giving up two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and five walks in 5 2/3 innings.

The Cardinals went just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position in their home opener, stranding 12 men on base.

Wainwright (1-1) pitched on seven days' rest after beating the Cubs last Sunday and yielded five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and a walk, striking out four.

Jhonny Peralta had two hits and two RBI for the Cardinals, who went 3-2 on their rain-shortened road trip to start the season.

National League Scoreboard

New York 2, Philadelphia 0
Colorado 2, San Francisco 0
Atlanta 3, Miami 2
Arizona 8, San Diego 4
Pittsburgh 5, Detroit 4
LA Dodgers 6, Seattle 5 (10 innings)

American League Scoreboard
Boston 9, Washington 4
Kansas City 12, Minnesota 3
New York 6, Baltimore 5
Tampa Bay 2, Toronto 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 6, Texas 3
Oakland 8, Houston 1

Illini Move To No. 11, Route Purdue For 10th Straight Win

No. 11 Illinois swept Purdue with a tight 2-1 win on Monday night, tying the longest active winning streak in the nation with 10 straight victories. Junior Tyler Jay (5-1) delivered four strikeouts in four shutout innings to seal UI's second straight sweep after junior Jason Goldstein scored the go-ahead run in the seventh.

 width=Redshirt-senior Reid Roper legged out a triple for the second straight game to lead off the fourth. Sophomore Pat McInerney plated him with an RBI groundout to the shortstop to even the contest.

Starter John Kravetz was solid with four strikeouts in five innings. Jay was dominant in relief, only allowing one base runner who was erased by a double play in the seventh. He punched out the first two in the ninth before ending UI's fifth one-run win with a fly out to center.

Jay lowered his ERA to 0.71, which moved him ahead of teammate Kevin Duchene (0.75 ERA) for second-lowest in the nation.

No. 11 Illinois is back in action on Tuesday at Illinois State at 4:30 p.m. at Duffy Bass Field.

Champaign Centennial Crushes Clinton

 width=Champaign Centennial used an 11-run second inning to race past the Clinton Maroons, 17-0, Monday afternoon in Champaign.

Travis Osgood allowed all 17 runs, 10 were earned, on 16 hits, walking one and striking out one.

The Maroons committed three errors and only managed three hits. Jacob Overton and Mac Hickman tallied two of the three hits.

Clinton is now 3-9 overall. The Maroons travel to Warrensburg-Latham today.

Monticello Uses Big Fourth Inning To Blow Away Rantoul

The Monticello Sages scored 11 runs in the fourth inning and raced passed Rantoul Tuesday afternoon at Monticello High School, 13-1.

 width=Leading just 2-0 heading into the fourth, the Sages scored seven runs with two outs and hit around, sending 16 hitters to the plate.

Daniel Caldwell went five innings, allowing a run on two hits, yielding two walks and striking out eight, all in the first three innings.

Nathan Mumm was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI. Ryne Bundy added a pair of hitsand an RBI. Daniel Peterson finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Austin Hopper crushed a two-run double also.

Jacob Burton, David Vanderkloot, Tyler Jones, and Konnor Bundy all contributed hits with an RBI.

Monticello improves to 12-3 on the year and 1-1 in the Okaw Valley Conference. The Sages will travel to Rantoul Thursday afternoon.

Clinton Police Weekend Report 4-13

CITATION 04/10/15






Limited State Resources Could Force Small Government Consolidations

With the prospects of less shared resources from the state, smaller units of government may have no choice but to either consolidate services with other units or dissolve. That’s according to a member of Governor Bruce Rauner’s commission on Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates. There was a third meeting of the commission Wednesday, a day after the Springfield-area village of Clearlake voted to not dissolve their government. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:4131565136-CLEARLAKE2.mp3] /audio]

Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of government--more than any other state.

Local BBBS Partners with Exelon for Local Community Event

The local Big Brother Big Sisters recently partnered with a local business for Earth Day.

Exelon has reached out to BBBS in order to participate in various yearly activities with kids on the organization's waiting list. Brie Weaver, with BBBS, explains this past weekend Saw Exelon employees joining the waiting list kids in a tree planing ceremony. The goal for the event was to create volunteers who will pair up with a child and mentor them.

[audio:4131565120-4315bbbsexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

Exelon Communications Manager Brett Nauman introduced the idea of the tree planting ceremony to BBBS. The organizations will also partner in various holiday and back to school activities throughout the year according to Weaver.

[audio:4131565123-4315bbbsexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

Big Brothers Big Sisters is always in need of volunteers to be a great influence in the life of a child. Anyone interested in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister can contact the DeWitt County office at 217-935-1234.

4-H Health Jam Encourages Health and Wellness for Local Students

Local school kids are learning about the importance of health and wellness thank to the local 4-H.

Last week marked the first day of "4-H Health Jam" in DeWitt and Piatt County. Local Monticello fifth graders will be learning about medical careers safety at Kirby Medical Center and will attend a fitness camp in May. Sherry Fulton, with the U of I Extension, says the kids are provided with a great experience and a wealth of knowledge to take home. 

[audio:4131565127-4815healthjam1.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County fourth graders will have a similar experience in a couple weeks thanks to the Clinton Community YMCA and Dr. John Warner Hospital. Fulton notes both organizations have always been great partners to the U of I Extension.

[audio:4131565130-4815healthjam2.mp3] [/audio]

Both sets of community students will be provided with a unique inside-look of their local hospitals. Fulton notes Clinton students will get to view different work stations around DJWH while Kirby Medical Center will present to Monticello students in their ambulance shed.

[audio:4131565132-4815healthjam3.mp3] [/audio]

Health Jam also provides the students with new forms of exercise they may never have tried before. According to Fulton, the YMCA will provide opportunities to swim along with various workouts like Zumba or Yoga.

[audio:4131565134-4815healthjam4.mp3] [/audio]

4-H Health Jam field trips in Piatt County were April 8th and 9th and their 4-H Memorial Camp is in May. DeWitt County's field trips are April 21st and 24th.

For more information, you can contact the U of I Extension at 935-5764.

Sunday's Scoreboard


InterleagueTampa Bay 8, Miami 5 F 

American League
Detroit 8, Cleveland 5 F
Toronto 10, Baltimore 7 F
Chicago White Sox 6, Minnesota 2 F
Houston 6, Texas 4 F
14 Innings Kansas City 9, L.A. Angels 2 F
Seattle 8, Oakland 7 F 10 Innings
N.Y. Yankees 14, Boston 4 F

National League
St. Louis 7, Cincinnati 5 F 11 Innings
N.Y. Mets 4, Atlanta 3 F
Washington 4, Philadelphia 3 F 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 10, Milwaukee 2 F
Chicago Cubs 6, Colorado 5 F
L.A.Dodgers 7, Arizona 4 F
San Diego 6, San Francisco 4 F

National Basketball Association
Milwaukee 96, Brooklyn 73 F
Boston 117, Cleveland 78 F
Detroit 116, Charlotte 77 F
Denver 122, Sacramento 111 F
Washington 108, Atlanta 99 F
Indiana 116, Oklahoma City 104 F
Houston 121, New Orleans 114 F
San Antonio 107, Phoenix 91 F
Dallas 120, L.A. Lakers 106 F
National Hockey League Playoffs No games today.

Major League Soccer
Orlando City FC 2, Portland 0 F
Los Angeles 1, Seattle FC 0 F

Spieth Wins Masters by 4

Jordan Spieth bogeyed the final hole on Sunday, but the only thing it cost him was a Masters record.

Spieth closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Masters by four strokes. The win was his first major championship title.

The 21-year-old Texan was the first to reach 19-under par at the Masters with a birdie at the 15th, but his bogey at the 18th left him at 18-under-par 270, which tied him with Tiger Woods for low 72-hole score in tournament history.

Three-time champion Phil Mickelson closed with a 3-under 69 to grab a share of second place at minus-14. Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, also bogeyed the last for a 2-under 70 and a share of second with Mickelson.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama both fired 6-under 66s to tie for the low round of the day. McIlroy, who was looking to complete the career grand slam, ended alone in fourth at 12-under-par 276.

Carpenter's 2-run Homer in 11th lifts Cards Over Reds 7-5

Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer off Kevin Gregg in the 11th inning, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals over Cincinnati 7-5 Sunday in a game that featured the major league debut of Cuban right-hander Raisel Iglesias for the Reds.

Carpenter's 392-foot drive to center on a full-count pitch from Gregg (0-1) followed Kolten Wong's single.

Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched two innings, working out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th by striking out Todd Frazier. St. Louis took two of three in the series and has won 13 consecutive three-game series against Cincinnati.

Iglesias allowed three runs and five hits in five innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Signed last July to a $27 million, seven-year contract, he became the first Reds player since Mike Leake in 2010 to reach the majors without playing a minor league game.

Fowler's Homer Off Hawkins Gives Cubs 6-5 Win Over Rockies

Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins with two outs in the ninth inning, helping the Chicago Cubs rally for a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on a blustery Sunday.

Hawkins (1-1) hung a slider to Fowler, who drove it into the right-field seats. It was the first homer of the season for the former Rockies player.

Neil Ramirez (1-0) earned the win by getting two outs in the eighth. Hector Rondon got his second save of the season as the Cubs won for the second time in the three-game series.

With Colorado leading 5-3, Boone Logan struck out Miguel Montero leading off the ninth, and Hawkins relieved. The 42-year-old walked Arismendy Alcantara, struck out pinch-hitter Mike Olt and allowed an RBI single by pinch-hitter Wellington Castillo.

With the shadows between the mound and home plate, Fowler fell behind 0-2 on a pair of fastballs, then homered.

Sale helps Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota Twins 6-2

Chris Sale pitched six solid innings in his return from a foot injury, and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on Sunday.

Adam LaRoche homered for the second straight day and had a run-scoring single as the White Sox earned their second straight win after dropping their first four games. Alexei Ramirez also drove in two runs, including an RBI single in Chicago's three-run eighth.

Sale, who broke a bone in his right foot in an accident at home in February, threw 72 of his 98 pitches for strikes in his first start of 2015. The lanky left-hander allowed one run and five hits, struck out eight and walked one.

Minnesota dropped to 1-5 under new manager Paul Molitor. Danny Santana had two hits, including an RBI double, and Phil Hughes lasted six innings after getting off to a slow start.

Local Auctioneer One of Featured Auctioneers at National Antique Tractor Auction


The owner of a local auto auction, was one of the featured auctioneers Saturday, during a major antique tractor auction in Davenport, Iowa.

Lance Schmid, owner of Clinton Auto Auction, was one of many auctioneers that worked the Mecum (MEHK-um) Antique Tractor Auction at the Mississippi Valley Fair Center. Over 300 antique tractors dating back to the 1920's, were put up for sale, and sold for 5-to-20-thousand dollars. The auction was also telecast live on RFD-TV.

Here's Lance selling a tractor during the auction. Auctioneers call this "crying" because they keep the auction going and the bidders interested.

[audio:4121524451-SchmidtaudioApr1115.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Schmidt is an auctioneer at many auctions around the Midwest in addition to being the main auctioneer at his Clinton Auto Auction business.

Big Sixth Inning, Solid Pitching Propels Monticello Past St. Teresa

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com Friday afternoon, three Monticello pitchers combined to hold Decatur St. Teresa to a single hit and Daniel Peterson capped a six-run sixth inning with a mammoth two-run blast as Monticello won 11-0 in Decatur.

Daniel Caldwell started for the Sages throwing three shutout, no-hit innings, striking out seven and walking two. Konnor Bundy threw two hitless innings with two walks and three strikeouts and Garrett Myers finished with a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts.

Myers allowed the lone St. T hit but it was negated on a double play.

Jacob Burton finished 2-for-four with a double, four RBIs and a pair of runs. David Vanderkloot added three RBIs with a double and a run scored.

Tyler Jones had a pair of hits and a run in the win as well.

Monticello moves to 11-1 overall. They take on Decatur MacArthur for a Saturday double-header at Monticello.

Tune in next week on WEZC for more Sages baseball and softball action. Tuesday on 95.9 FM WEZC, hear Monticello play host to Rantoul, with game time set for 4:30 pm. Then Wednesday tune in to WEZC and The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and streamed at dewittdailynews.com, we'll bring you Lady Sages softball action from Clinton High School as the Maroons host Monticello at 4:30

FBI to Monitor Investigation into Shooting of Teen


Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim says he is closely monitoring the investigation into the shooting death by a Zion police officer of a northeastern Illinois teenager.

In a statement Friday, Nerheim said he has asked the FBI to monitor and review the investigation into 17-year-old Justus Howell's death. He says the agency has agreed to do so.

Nerheim says the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force has been interviewing all witnesses and collecting all the relevant evidence related to Howell's death.

Police have said Howell was involved in a scuffle while trying to steal a handgun during a street sale just before the officer shot him last Saturday. The coroner's office says the Waukegan teen was shot twice in the back.

The Lake County NAACP has cited Zion authorities as saying they can't yet say what led the officer to shoot Howell.

Illinois Wildlife Park Moves Forward After Ordinance Change

Illinois wildlife park moves forward after ordinance change

the Moultrie County Board voted 8-1 Thursday to make the change. It allows banker James Aikman, who's behind the plan, to apply for a special-use permit to turn 45 acres south of Arthur into a walkable, drivable park where people could see animals such as bison, deer, llamas and camels.

Aikman has said larger predators would be added to the park a few years later.

Local landowners and the Animal Legal Defense Fund are among critics of the plan. Their concerns include safety, animal welfare, and the impact on surrounding farmland and the environment.

Report: Blagojevhich Has Breakdown, White Hair

A former Illinois governor serving time behind bars for corruption has suffered a “mental breakdown,” according to the online publication Radar.

[audio:41115100623-BLAGOREPORT.mp3] [/audio]

More Cuts Likely Coming To Education

This time of year, local school districts around Illinois are looking at next year’s budget. Many, if not most districts are looking at a lot of red ink.

Kevin Daugherty heads up the state Ag in the Classroom project, and also is president of the local school board in Leroy, Illinois. Daugherty says declining funding from the state has put school districts in a bind, and many of the cuts hit rural districts the hardest.

[audio:4101564057-EdFund1.mp3] [/audio]

But State Senator Jason Barickman, Republican from Central Illinois, says there are things the state can do now to relieve the financial burden on schools, then look to major funding reform next year.

[audio:4101564059-EdFund2.mp3] [/audio]

Meanwhile there are several proposals to change the state school funding formula and find more money for education, but that is hard to do with the huge budget crunch in Springfield. This year, dealing with the state’s budget woes will consume all the energy in the Statehouse.

Soil Water Conservation Districts Facing Cuts

More fallout from Governor Bruce Rauner's decision to suspend state funds for various programs.

$2.8 million of Soil and Water Conservation District funding is now on hold or about 37-percent of the total $7.5 million appropriation. That's a huge impact statewide and locally says Resource Conservationist Bill Joseph with the Mercer County Soil and Water Conservation District office.

[audio:4101564100-swcd.mp3] [/audio]

Joseph says since 2002, Soil and Water Conservation District offices throughout Illinois have watched their state funding shrink by 70 percent.

New Public Safety Commissioner Focused On Fire Dept.

The Commissioner-elect of Public Health and Safety for the Clinton City Council says manpower on the Clinton Fire Department will increase rapidly.

Speaking after being elected Tuesday night, Dan Ballenger says he plans to boost the numbers in the department, get better participation and feels people are ready for a change.

[audio:4101564348-41015ballenger1.mp3] [/audio]

Ballenger also sits on the DeWitt County Board, and says he has been in touch with then-State's Attorney Karle Koritz prior to the election, about the idea of being on the Council as a conflict of interest. To this point, Ballenger believes there does not appear to be a conflict notes he has some projects with the County Board he'd like to see through.

[audio:4101564349-41015ballenger2.mp3] [/audio]

Along with fixing the fire department, Ballenger looks forward to working with his peers on the Council. He feels they are all good fits for each position and says “it's going to be fun”.

When it comes to the Police Department, Ballenger complimented Chief Ben Lowers and says they have things under control, and they don't need to be micromanaged.

DJWH Reporting Strong Financial Figures

The Dr. John Warner Hospital in Clinton continues to report they are in strong financial standing.

Paul Skowron is the interim CEO of the city-owned hospital, he says they set themselves up for much better long term success. He says their patient volume is up, which as a lot to do with the financial improvements.

[audio:4101564353-hospitalization] [/audio]

Thanks to the improved financial standing the DJWH Board has been able to approve investments in new equipment for the doctors of the hospital. Skowron says this makes their equipment close to state of the art and allows them to compete with the larger facilities.

[audio:4101564355-41015hospitalmoney2.mp3] [/audio]

While many things go into the amount of traffic in and out of the hospital, Skowron says the staff is the big factor. He points to their dedication no matter the leadership situation and believes they are the main reason things are looking up from a financial standpoint.

[audio:4101564357-41015hospitalmoney3.mp3] [/audio]

Skowron says their surgical volume is up and it's almost exclusively because of the new equipment they've brought in.

College Basketball Notes

 width=>>Duke Center Okafor Going Pro

Duke star Jahlil Okafor, who helped lead the Blue Devils to the national championship on Monday night, announced Thursday that he will forgo his final three seasons of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NBA draft.

Okafor arrived in Durham as one of the most polished big men to ever leave the high school ranks and didn't disappoint in his lone season under coach Mike Krzyzewski. The 6-foot-11 center out of Chicago was a consensus first team All-America selection for the 35-4 Blue Devils after posting averages of 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on 66.4 percent shooting.

Okafor was also named the National Freshman of the Year, as well as ACC Player and Freshman of the Year.

Once seen as the consensus No. 1 pick, Okafor is expected to contend for a Top-3 selection in the draft on June 26. He will join recent Duke one-and- dones Kyrie Irving and Jabari Parker, who were selected No. 1 and 2 in 2011 and 2014, respectively.

 width=>>Seven From Kentucky Declare for NBA Draft

Seven members of the Kentucky men's basketball team have decided to enter the NBA Draft.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and Dakari Johnson announced their decisions Thursday in a press conference with coach John Calipari.

The Wildcats had a historic season, winning their first 38 games before losing to Wisconsin in the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Calipari said it might have been eight had junior Alex Poythress not suffered a torn ACL after eight games. Poythress had considered a jump to the NBA last year after his sophomore season.

>>UNC Forward Declares For NBA Draft

orth Carolina coach Roy Williams said Thursday the school supports junior J.P. Tokoto's decision to forgo his final season of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.

Tokoto, a 6-foot-6 forward, told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that he will not initially sign with an agent, meaning he can withdraw from the draft prior to the early entry deadline on April 26 and return to the Tar Heels.

Tokoto, a 2014 All-ACC defender, has averaged 6.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals in three seasons at North Carolina and was generally seen by observers as a player who would be a draft pick next year.

>>Former Duke Star, Buffalo Coach Hurley Named For Arizona State Job

Arizona State hired Duke legend Bobby Hurley as its new head men's basketball coach on Thursday.

Hurley, who led Duke to consecutive national championships as a point guard in the 1990s, spent the past two seasons coaching Buffalo.

He guided the Bulls to the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance this year in just his second season at the helm.

Hurley said in a statement issued by Arizona State that it was "difficult" to leave Buffalo, but that coaching the Sun Devils "is a tremendous opportunity."

He replaces Herb Sendek, who was fired March 24 after going 159-137 in nine seasons coaching the Sun Devils.

NFL Notes

 width=>>Panthers Sign CB Tillman

The Panthers signed free-agent cornerback Charles Tillman to a one-year contract.

Financial terms were not announced Thursday.

The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Tillman spent his previous 12 seasons in the league with the Chicago Bears, where he was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012. He has started 152 games during his career, but triceps injuries have limited him to 10 games the past two seasons.

Tillman, 34, previously played under Panthers coach Ron Rivera and assistant head coach/secondary Steve Wilks in Chicago.

Tillman leads active defensive backs with 41 forced fumbles and is fourth in interceptions (36) and second with interception returns for touchdowns (eight).

>>Steelers Safety Polamalu Calling It Career

Pittsburgh Steelers great Troy Polamalu has apparently decided to retire after 12 seasons as one of the premier safeties in the NFL.

The news was first reported by the Uniontown Herald-Standard late Thursday night.

Polamalu, 34, played his entire career with the Steelers after they selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2003 draft. He was selected to eight Pro Bowls and was a five-time All-Pro, the last coming in 2011.

The USC product helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls and finished with 32 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, 12 sacks and five defensive touchdowns.

>>Steelers RB Facing Suspension To Start 2015 Season

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is reportedly facing a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance- abuse policy.

NFL.com and ESPN both reported that Bell has been told of his penalty and has decided to appeal. The media outlets also said Bell will also be fined an additional game check.

Bell was arrested last August in a Pittsburgh suburb and was charged with possession of marijuana and driving under the influence. He was admitted into a program for first-time offenders in February as part of a plea agreement.

If he completes the program, the charges will be dropped.

Jordan Speith Dominates Day 1 of Masters

 width=Jordan Spieth carded his lowest round in a major by three strokes on Thursday and took a 3-shot lead at the 79th Masters.

Spieth fired an 8-under 64 to grab the first-round lead for the third time in his PGA Tour career. The 64 bested his previous low round in a major, a 67 in the third round last year at the Open Championship.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy notched three birdies and two bogeys in an opening- round 71. He dropped to plus-1 with a bogey at the 11th, but birdied 13 and 15 to get into red figures for the first time. He parred out to end there.

McIlroy and defending champion Bubba Watson were joined at minus-1 by among others 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and 65-year-old Tom Watson.

Tiger Woods completed just his third round of the year after he missed the cut in Phoenix and withdrew during the first round at Torrey Pines. The four-time Masters champion mixed three birdies and four bogeys in a round of 1-over 73.

With Win Over Blackhawks, Blues Clinch Central Division

 width=Jake Allen made 21 saves and the St. Louis Blues clinched the Central Division title with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

Thanks to the win and Nashville's loss to Minnesota, the Blues wrapped up the division title and are tied with Anaheim for first overall in the Western Conference with 107 points.

Dmitrij Jaskin and Paul Stastny both lit the lamp for the Blues, who have won four of their last five games.

Andrew Shaw scored late in the game for the Blackhawks, who have lost their last three. Corey Crawford allowed both goals on 25 shots in the loss.

NHL Scoreboard
Ottawa 3, NY Rangers 0
Carolina 3, Philadelphia 1
Montreal 4, Detroit 3 (OT)
Tampa Bay 4, New Jersey 3 (OT)
Florida 4, Boston 2
Minnesota 4, Nashville 2
Colorado 1, Winnipeg 0 (SO)
Calgary 3, Los Angeles 1
San Jose 3, Edmonton 1
Vancouver 5, Arizona 0

Cubs' Baez Sister Dies, Takes Leave of Absence

 width=The Chicago Cubs say second baseman Javier Baez will take a leave of absence from their Triple-A Iowa affiliate following the death of his sister.

The team says Noely Baez, who was born with spina bifida, died Wednesday night in Florida. She was 21.

Javier Baez is one of the Cubs' top prospects. He made his major league debut last season, batting .169 with nine homers and 95 strikeouts in 52 games. He was optioned to Iowa on March 30.

Royals Sweep Sox To Open Season

 width=Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer to back a solid outing by Edinson Volquez in his Kansas City debut, as the Royals completed a season-opening sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 4-1 win on Thursday.

Volquez (1-0) gave up a run on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts over eight innings. Greg Holland tossed a spotless ninth to earn his second save.

Lorenzo Cain and Kendrys Morales each knocked in a run for the Royals, who are off to their first 3-0 start since 2008.

Chicago's John Danks (0-1) surrendered four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings to suffer his first loss in 17 career starts against Kansas City.

The White Sox have started 0-3 for the first time in 11 years.

American League Scoreboard
Detroit 7, Minnesota 1
Cleveland 5, Houston 1
Texas 10, Oakland 1
Toronto 6, New York 3
Boston 6, Philadelphia 2

 width=>>Harvey Sharp In First Regular Season Start In Year and a Half

In his first regular-season start after Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey tossed six scoreless innings, allowed just four hits, struck out nine and walked one, as the New York Mets held on to defeat the Washington Nationals, 6-3, on Thursday afternoon.

Harvey last pitched in a game 593 days ago and his return was exactly what the doctor ordered for the revamped Mets, who won two of three in this season- opening series from the defending NL East champions.

He threw 91 pitches, striking out Washington slugger Bryce Harper three times, and outdueled Stephen Strasburg in a rare battle of aces in the third game of the season.

David Wright had two hits and two RBI, while veteran free agent addition outfielder Michael Cuddyer also had two hits and drove in a run. Travis d'Arnaud also came through. D'Arnaud went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Strasburg (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing six runs -- three earned -- on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who has also had Tommy John surgery, struck out five and walked three.

Ian Desmond had a rough series for Washington, committing his third error of the series in the third inning leading to a four-run frame for the Mets.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 10

Jail Population: 47

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Dennis Nicholls, 35, Clinton was arrested and charged with Contempt of Court. Nicholls posted the necessary bond and was released.




Big Sixth Inning, Solid Pitching Propels Monticello Past St. Teresa

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com Friday afternoon, three Monticello pitchers combined to hold Decatur St. Teresa to a single hit and Daniel Peterson capped a six-run sixth inning with a mammoth two-run blast as Monticello won 11-0 in Decatur.

 width=Daniel Caldwell started for the Sages throwing three shutout, no-hit innings, striking out seven and walking two. Konnor Bundy threw two hitless innings with two walks and three strikeouts and Garrett Myers finished with a scoreless sixth with two strikeouts.

Myers allowed the lone St. T hit but it was negated on a double play.

Jacob Burton finished 2-for-four with a double, four RBIs and a pair of runs. David Vanderkloot added three RBIs with a double and a run scored.

Tyler Jones had a pair of hits and a run in the win as well.

Monticello moves to 11-1 overall. They take on Decatur MacArthur for a Saturday double-header at Monticello.

Tune in next week on WEZC for more Sages baseball and softball action. Tuesday on 95.9 FM WEZC, hear Monticello play host to Rantoul, with game time set for 4:30 pm. Then Wednesday tune in to WEZC and The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and streamed at dewittdailynews.com, we'll bring you Lady Sages softball action from Clinton High School as the Maroons host Monticello at 4:30 pm.

Digital Asset's Bill Proposed In Illinois Senate

It’s generally clear what happens to your physical assets when you die but what about online assets including a Facebook or email account.

A bill in the Illinois Senate is looking to bring some balance to the law that for now can leave those accounts closed. Senate Bill 1376 wants to give a court appointed trustee access to online accounts to help settle estates. Senator Jason Barickman, a Bloomington Republican, is a co-sponsor of the bill and says that current law leaves many assets unsettled.

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Barickman says digital assets are bigger than just a Facebook account, saying access to email accounts for important documents is critical and what he wants to see is a smooth transition in settling estates.

[audio:4091561342-ACCOUNTS2.mp3] [/audio]

Barickman calls the bill a work in progress - hearing opposition from tech companies and others who worry about privacy and controlling data.

Tech companies and others are opposed to the current bill as they worry about privacy and controlling data.

Douglass County Recalls Meat

A Douglas County food company is recalling about 2,400 pounds of ham loaf because it could sicken people who are allergic to wheat.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says a routine inspection at Dutch Valley Meats in the village of Arthur found that the loaves were mislabeled because they didn't indicate they contain wheat, a known allergen.

The company is recalling two-pound, oven-ready loaves sold in aluminum pans wrapped with white butcher paper and labeled "HAM LOAF - OVEN READY." The package includes the establishment number "326" inside the Illinois mark of inspection.

Officials say the loaves were produced from April 1, 2013 through February 9, 2015 and sold at retail outlets in Douglas and Champaign counties.

The agriculture department says there have been no reports of illness.

Transparency Bill Makes It's Way Out of Committee

A bill that would require local units of government and school districts with budgets more than $1 million to post information online and inform taxpayers on how each unit allocates and spends funds passed out of the House Counties and Townships Committee late last month.

Last week was the committee deadline and movement on House Bill 2717 indicates the General Assembly could hear more about it as session continues.

Representatives Jeanne Ives and Peter Breen sponsored the bill, which would push transparency of budgets, revenue data, pension debt, contract bidding, lobbyist agreements, contact information for Freedom of Information Act officers and more.
The bill saw some opposition, with Representative Sam Yingling calling it a “burdensome mandate.”

New BOE Member Has Sites of Future Planning

One of the new faces to the Board of Education in Clinton has a lot of ideas and is optimistic about his peers joining him for the first time on the Board.

Mike Walker defeated incumbent Russell Long for the two-year seat on the Board of Education. Walker feels there is a good balance with the three new members that will join the Board later this month.

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Walker did not shy away from the issue of the finances for the school district. He says the power plant is a major focal point of funding, but also the million dollar deficit facing the district. He feels a plan needs to be developed to deal with the shortfalls.

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Walker says tough decisions are on the horizon and hopes putting a plan in place will make some of those decisions easier on the ones it will impact. He points to the finances, and says while raising taxes won't be a popular decision, he hopes to keep the public informed of what is happening and why it is happening.

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He says his number one priority to educate the students of the district and providing them and their teachers with the proper resources to do that.

NCAA Basketball Notes

 width=>>Arizona's Ashley, Hollis-Jefferson To Enter NBA Draft

Arizona junior Brandon Ashley, the team's second-leading scorer this past season, and sophomore forward Rondae Hollis- Jefferson will leave school early to enter the NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-9 forward, who averaged 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds to help the Wildcats earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, made the announcement on Wednesday.

Hollis-Jefferson led Arizona in rebounds (6.8) and blocks (0.8), while ranking third in scoring (11.2) and steals (1.2), as a sophomore in 2014-15.

During his two years at the school, Hollis-Jefferson led the team to a 67-9 record, two Elite Eight appearances, two regular-season Pac-12 championships and a Pac-12 Tournament title. The Chester, PA native averaged 10.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 blocks and 0.9 steals in 27.0 minutes per contest during his time at the school.

Ashley averaged 10.3 points over three seasons. He missed the last two months last year after suffering a foot injury but returned to play in 38 games this season.

>>UNLV Freshman To Declare For NBA Draft

UNLV freshman Rashad Vaughn, the team's leading scorer this past season, announced Wednesday that he will declare for the 2015 NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 23 games for UNLV before a knee injury in February forced him to miss the rest of the season.

The Masters Tees Off Today

 width=It is time once again for the first major championship of the season as the world's best head to Augusta National Golf Club for the always exhilarating Masters.

Bubba Watson returns to Augusta with his green jacket as the defending champion and the winner of two of the last three championships. With his second title in his sixth visit last year, Watson tied Jimmy Demaret and Arnold Palmer for the second-fewest appearances to win the Masters twice.

There is no shortage of storylines for this year's Masters, starting with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy searching for his first career green jacket, which would complete the career grand slam for the Ulsterman.

McIlroy is the defending British Open champion and PGA Championship winner, but the five-time major titlist is still missing a Masters triumph. His best finish at Augusta was a tie for eighth last year.

Perhaps the biggest storyline of them all is the return of four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods, who will be playing for the first time in two months after he took a leave from the PGA Tour to work on his game.

Woods is back after missing the Masters in 2014 due to back surgery. It was the first time he did not play the season's first major as a professional.

With the likes of McIlroy, Watson, Spieth and Woods, among many other big names in attendance, it is shaping up to be one enthralling week among the Georgia pines, magnolias and azaleas.

Caps Blank Pittsburgh

 width=Braden Holtby turned aside all 27 shots he faced and pulled into a tie alongside Montreal's Carey Price and Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury with an NHL-best ninth shutout of the season, and Washington topped Boston by a 3-0 count on Wednesday at Verizon Center.

Holtby finished the year blanking the Bruins three times, stopping 88-of-88 shots in that span.

Goals from John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Marcus Johansson paced the Caps, who have won five of their last six and reached the 100-point plateau for the first time since 2010-11.

Tuukka Rask made 30 saves for the Bruins, who failed to gain any ground on idle Ottawa and are now tied for the last wild-card spot in the East. Both clubs have 95 points and two games remaining.

NHL Scoreboard
Columbus 5, Toronto 0
Dallas 4, Anaheim 0

Cubs Blank Cards; Sox Lose Late

 width=>>Cubs Blank Cards

It took the Chicago Cubs 16 innings to score their first two runs of the 2015 season, but that was more than enough to record the initial win of the Joe Maddon era.

Starlin Castro's RBI single in the seventh inning snapped a scoreless deadlock and rewarded Jake Arrieta's outstanding performance on the mound in the Cubs' 2-0 triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Castro's clutch hit was just the second allowed by Cardinals starter Lance Lynn's six-plus innings, and broke Chicago's 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position to begin the season.

Wednesday's finale of this abbreviated two-game series, shortened by extreme cold and wind chills that postponed Tuesday's scheduled matchup, featured excellent work from both starting pitchers.

Arrieta (1-0) limited the Cardinals to three hits and three walks while striking out seven over seven scoreless innings, while Lynn (0-1) had permitted only two baserunners before running into trouble in the seventh.

Lynn racked up nine strikeouts in the hard-luck defeat, with his error rendering one of his two runs surrendered unearned.

National League Scoreboard
Atlanta 2, Miami 0
Washington 2, New York 1
Colorado 5, Milwaukee 4 (10 innings)
San Francisco 5, Arizona 2
Los Angeles 7, San Diego 4
Philadelphia 4, Boston 2
Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 4 (11 innings)

 width=>>Cain's Homerun Lifts Royals Past Sox

In six major league seasons, Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain has averaged one home run every 20 games.

That number changes dramatically when he plays the Chicago White Sox.

Cain homered for the fifth time in 44 games against the White Sox, a two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning that lifted the Royals to a 7-5 win on Wednesday night.

Cain's no-doubt-about-it shot off Zach Putnam (0-1) cleared the bullpen behind left field and put the reigning American League champions in position to sweep the season-opening three-game series.

Cain finished with three hits and two runs scored and Eric Hosmer hit a three- run homer off White Sox starter Jose Quintana in Wednesday's win.

Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer off Royals starter Danny Duffy, who went five-plus innings and was charged with five runs on eight hits. Avisail Garcia had three hits for Chicago.

Quintana, who is 0-6 in 13 career starts against the Royals, gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk in five innings. He hit two batters, including Cain in the first inning, after the White Sox plunked three in Monday's opener.

American League Scoreboard
Detroit 11, Minnesota 0
New York 4, Toronto 3
Tampa Bay 2, Baltimore 0
Cleveland 2, Houston 0
LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Seattle 3
Oakland 10, Texas 0

Rose Returns, But Bulls Fall To Magic

 width=Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls after missing 20 games with a knee injury, but watched from the bench as his teammates squandered a fourth-quarter lead to the Orlando Magic.

A minutes restriction meant Rose sat for the entire fourth quarter as the Magic came back for a 105-103 win over Chicago on Wednesday.

Rose scored nine points in 19 minutes and handed out two assists, but Chicago's third loss in four games dropped it into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with Toronto, who beat Charlotte Wednesday.

Jimmy Butler paced the Bulls with 19 points, and four others finished with a least 13, including Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson with 15.

The Magic won a third straight game thanks to Victor Oladipo's 23 points, including the go-ahead layup with less than two seconds left in the game. Nikola Vucevic added 22 points and Elfrid Payton contributed 17 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.

NBA Scoreboard
Toronto 92, Charlotte 74
Boston 113, Detroit 103
Washington 119, Philadelphia 90
Atlanta 114, Brooklyn 111
Indiana 102, New York 86
Memphis 110, New Orleans 74
Cleveland 104, Milwaukee 99
San Antonio 110, Houston 98
Denver 119, LA Lakers 101
Utah 103, Sacramento 91
Dallas 107, Phoenix 104
Portland 116, Minnesota 91

Illini Lose Top Receiver After Knee Injury In Practice

 width=Illinois receiving leader Mike Dudek will miss at least the beginning of the coming season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in practice Wednesday.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman says the freshman was injured in a non-contact drill.

The coach said Dudek's knee will be operated on soon but didn't specify when.

According to Beckman, doctors said Dudek might be able to return to the field in October.

Beckman says the biggest challenge will be keeping Dudek on pace and not let him "push it too hard and too fast."

In his first season at Illinois, Dudek broke school freshman records with 76 catches and 1,038 yards receiving. He also had six touchdown catches and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection.

Illinois Tops St. Louis To Continue Great Start

No. 12 Illinois (26-6-1) is off to its best start in school history and extended its season-long winning streak to seven games with a 7-2 victory over Saint Louis (21-11) on Wednesday. Starter Rob McDonnell picked up his fourth win and junior Ryan Nagle went 2-for-4 with three RBI, giving him a hit in a career-best 14 straight games.

 width=Junior Jason Goldstein smacked his seventh double in the past seven games to lead off the fourth.

Senior David Kerian saw his career-best 18-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-3 with a walk. He had notched a hit in every game since March 8 when he belted a game-winning home run at No. 10 Oklahoma State.

Ryne Roper and Will Krug added a pair of hits and a run apiece, Roper added an RBI.

McDonnell racked up seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings, walking no one and allowing five hits.

Illinois has won 14 of its last 16 games and boasts its first seven-game winning streak since the end of the 2014 season.

The 12th-ranked Illini will host a Saturday-Sunday-Monday series against Purdue this weekend with the final two games scheduled to be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

Planting Season Here

 width=This is the week corn planting should really get rolling in parts of Illinois, assuming cold temperatures continue to rise.

DTN Chief Meteorologist Bryce Anderson expects most of the progress to be north of Springfield.

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It’s a little early to make firm predictions on the upcoming growing season, but look at the trends and long term outlook this year good be another good one, weatherwise.

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After this week…Anderson looks for a pretty good planting season ahead.

City Agrees To Purchase More Property

The Clinton City Council Monday night agreed to purchase property on the southeast side of the city.

The property is near the yard waste facility on South Cain Street and according to Mayor Carolyn Peters, the property has a storage facility, the current animal shelter and a vacant lot. The cost of the property will be just over $151-thousand.

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According the Mayor, the City intends to build a new structure for the street department to house their equipment because their current facility is ready to fall apart.

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The Mayor adds, the County will retain possession of their storage facility for two years while they sort through what is there and prepare to move to the old Black's Heating building with the new animal shelter.

Additionally, the city acquired more property on Washington Street. The Mayor explains they have been working for almost two years to purchase the Ameren property on Washington Street.

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If the city is going to want to move any utilities on the property, it will have to come out of their pocket. According to the Mayor, that is a very common clause to have in a contract.

Masters Pairings Announced

Defending champion Bubba Watson will be paired with 2013 U.S. Open winner Justin Rose and U.S. Amateur champion Gunn Yang for the first two rounds of the Masters.

Watson will start his title defense at 9:24 a.m. ET on Thursday, and will open his second round at 12:42 p.m. Friday.

 width=Rory McIlroy, who is the reigning British Open champion and PGA Championship winner, looks to complete the career grand slam this week at Augusta. He is paired with three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Ryan Moore. They start the year's first major on Thursday at 10:41 a.m. ET and begin their second rounds at 1:48 p.m. Friday.

Four-time winner Tiger Woods returns to action in the late-Thursday, early- Friday part of the draw. Woods will play alongside Jimmy Walker and Jamie Donaldson. They start the first round on Thursday at 1:48 p.m. ET and open Friday's second round at 10:30 a.m.

Two groups ahead of Watson, there will be a Ryder Cup battle with Americans Patrick Reed and 2011 PGA winner Keegan Bradley paired with Englishman Ian Poulter. They play the first round at 9:02 a.m. ET Thursday and at 12:20 p.m. Friday.

Four-time Ryder Cup teammates Miguel Angel Jimenez and Lee Westwood are in the following group with Anirban Lahiri at 9:13 a.m. ET Thursday and 12:31 p.m. Friday.

The group following Watson includes 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson and Asia-Pacific Amateur champion Antonio Murdaca. Steve Stricker is with Morgan Hoffman and Matt Every in the next group. This will be Stricker's first official tournament since last year's PGA Championship.

Three players looking for their first major championship title -- Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler -- are the final group out on Thursday afternoon at 1:59 p.m. and return on Friday morning at 10:41 a.m.

Derrick Rose Could Return Tonight

 width=The Chicago Bulls say Derrick Rose is questionable for their game Wednesday at Orlando.

It's the first time the star point guard has been listed as anything but "out" since his latest knee surgery.

Rose had a minor operation Feb. 27 and was expected to miss four to six weeks. A torn meniscus in his right knee sidelined him most of last season. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the 2012 playoff opener.

The Bulls also visit Miami on Thursday, host Philadelphia on Saturday and visit Brooklyn on Monday before finishing the regular season at home against Atlanta on April 15.

>>San Antonio Crushes OKC

While the San Antonio Spurs keep on rolling, the Oklahoma City Thunder may be on their way to an early end to a trying season.

Kawhi Leonard poured in 26 points in just 24 minutes and the Spurs dominated from start-to-finish to deal the reeling Thunder a fourth straight loss, a 113-88 setback that dropped them out of possession of the Western Conference's final playoff seed.

The injury-riddled Thunder, on the other hand, fell a half-game back of New Orleans in the race for the No. 8 seed after the Pelicans defeated Golden State on Tuesday. Oklahoma City has now dropped six of its last seven.

Russell Westbrook finished with 17 points and six steals, but no other Thunder player scored more than 11 points.

Three of the Thunder's final four regular-season games are against sub-.500 teams, Sacramento, Indiana, Minnesota.

NBA Scoreboard
Atlanta 96, Phoenix 69
Miami 105, Charlotte 100
New Orleans 103, Golden State 100
Sacramento 116, Minnesota 111
LA Clippers 105, LA Lakers 100

Blues, Blackhawks Both Lose

 width=>>Blackhawks Loss Gives Wild Playoff Spot

Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves, and the Minnesota Wild clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker scored in the third period for the Wild, who were coming off a 2-0 home loss to Winnipeg on Monday night. It was Zucker's first game since he broke his collarbone in the first period of a 5-3 victory over Vancouver on Feb. 9.

It was quite a turnaround from Minnesota's last visit to Chicago in January, when it lost 4-1 in the fifth game of a six-game slide. That losing streak dropped the Wild to 18-19-5, but they traded for Dubnyk on Jan. 14 and the veteran goaltender helped them turn their season around.

Bryan Bickell scored his 14th goal and Corey Crawford had 28 stops for the Blackhawks (48-26-6), who have lost two in a row.

 width=>>Jets Blank Blues

Chris Thorburn netted the lone score of the contest in the second period and Winnipeg emerged with a 1-0 decision over St. Louis at Scottrade Center.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped all 30 shots he faced to post his fourth shutout of the year for the Jets, who are trying to solidify their hold on the final wild- card slot in the West.

Pavelec's clean sheet came on the heels of his 32-save whitewash on Monday in Minnesota.

Jake Allen stopped 30 pucks for the Blues, who are trying to hold onto the top spot in the Central Division.

NHL Scoreboard
NY Rangers 4, New Jersey 2
Philadelphia 5, NY Islanders 4
Ottawa 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)
Detroit 3, Carolina 2
Colorado 3, Nashville 2
Calgary 3, Arizona 2
Edmonton 4, Los Angeles 2

Cards/Cubs Game Postponed

 width=The St. Louis Cardinals' game at the Chicago Cubs has been postponed due to a forecast of rain and cold weather.

A makeup date for Tuesday's postponement was not announced.

Lance Lynn, winner of at least 15 games in each of the past three seasons, was scheduled to start for St. Louis, and Jake Arrieta for Chicago.

St. Louis won Sunday's opener 3-0 as Adam Wainwright pitched six innings in a game that saw the debut of a large videoboard in left at Wrigley Field and long waits for fans to use the restrooms.

A renovation project kept some of the bathrooms closed during Sunday's game, and problems forced the temporary closure of other bathrooms.

MLB Scoreboard
Atlanta 12, Miami 2
Colorado 5, Milwaukee 2
Arizona 7, San Francisco 6
San Diego 7, Los Angeles 3

Baltimore 6, Tampa Bay 5
Texas 3, Oakland 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 2, Seattle 0

St. Joe-Ogden Hands Monticello First Loss

 width=St. Joe-Ogden scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday increase their lead to 5-2 and down Monticello at St. Joe-Ogden High School, and hand the Sages their first loss of the year.

Konnor Bundy and Nathan Mumm collected RBIs in a two-run second inning that put Monticello on the board first, but the Spartans answered with three in the bottom of the inning and never looked back.

Austin Hopper went six innings allowing five runs on nine hits and seven strikeouts.

Monticello falls to 10-1 on the season and will be back in action Thursday, hosting St. Joe-Ogden in more Okaw Valley Conference action.

The Sages will be back in action Friday as they travel to Decatur St. Teresa High School for a 4:30 start time.

Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Maroons Crush St. T In Five Innings

 width=The Clinton Maroons put up 11 runs in the second and third innings yesterday and took advantage of three runs and 11 walks as they cruised past Decatur St. Teresa yesterday, 12-1 at Clinton High School.

Josh Hickman went four innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits, six walks and eight strikeouts.

Christian Hunt finished the game out with a scoreless inning, striking out two and walking one.

Hickman went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, Jacob Overton had a triple and three walks, Wiley Mitchell went 1-for-2 with 2 RBIs and Mac Hickman added an RBI.

The Maroons improved to 2-6 with a 1-2 mark in the Central Illinois Conference.

The Maroons are at Tuscola Thursday.

Illini Outslug Eastern Illinois, Move Up In Latest Polls

No. 12 Illinois (25-6-1) notched its best record after 32 games in school history after winning 14-10 at Eastern Illinois (1-24) on Tuesday. Big Ten Player of the Week Jason Goldstein picked up where he left off, going 3-for-5 with his first grand slam and a career-high six RBI. Senior David Kerian homered for an 18-game hitting streak, while sophomore Ryne Roper added his first bomb of the season.

 width=Following an 11-pitch battle at the plate, Goldstein launched a line drive over the wall in left for a 4-0 lead four batters into the game. An out later, Kerian connected on his Big Ten-leading eighth bomb to center for five runs in the first.

EIU took a 6-5 lead with two runs in the second and four in the third off starter Cody Sedlock before reliever J.D. Nielsen stopped the bleeding.

Illinois jumped back in front 10-6 with another five-run inning in the fourth and the Illini tacked on two more tallies in the sixth.

Kerian and Reid Roper each touched home three times, while Goldstein and Ryan Nagle, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, each had two runs.

The Orange and Blue equaled their season-long winning streak at six games and improved to 5-0 in midweek contests this year. Illinois' previous best record through 32 games was a 25-7 mark in 1989.

No. 12 Illinois will welcome Saint Louis to Champaign on Wednesday at 6 p.m. before hosting a Saturday-Sunday-Monday series against Purdue this weekend.

Pair of Illini Bring In Big Ten Weekly Awards

 width=Fighting Illini juniors Kevin Duchene and Jason Goldstein nabbed Big Ten weekly honors, announced the conference office Tuesday. Duchene was tabbed Big Ten Co-Pitcher of the Week, notching his second laurel this season, while Goldstein was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

Duchene pitched nine innings without an earned run in the 13-inning 3-1 win over Northwestern on Friday. The Joliet, Illinois, native fanned a season-high 10 Wildcats and delivered key strikeouts to send the game into extra innings. He lowered his Big Ten-leading ERA to 0.64 and ranks second with 47 strikeouts.

Goldstein led the Illini to a perfect week with a team-high .600 average, 1.067 slugging percentage, .667 on-base percentage, seven runs, seven RBI and five extra-base hits, including four doubles and a home run. He had four multi-hit games, posted a career-high four RBI in the finale and twice tied his career-high with three runs. The Illini catcher called the game behind the plate in every win.

Redbirds Down Northern Illinois

The Illinois State baseball team earned an 8-4 win over Northern Illinois in a non-conference contest at Duffy Bass Field Tuesday.

Freshman Jeffrey Barton earned his first collegiate win with five shutout innings of work, while leadoff hitter Daniel Dwyer paced the Redbirds' offensive attack with three hits.

 width=Illinois State (14-15) scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning then tacked on three more in the fifth.

Northern Illinois (13-18) cut that lead in half, however, with a four-run sixth inning. All four runs were scored against ISU reliever Will Headean.

Barton went five innings in his second collegiate start, allowing just three hits and one walk, while striking out four.

Ryan Koziol, Sean Beesley and Jean Ramirez tallied two hits apiece for the Redbirds. Beesley drove in three runs, while Hendren plated two. Dwyer and Beesley stole two bases each.

A moment of silence was observed before Tuesday's game to honor those who lost their lives in an early-morning plane crash east of Bloomington-Normal.

The Redbirds travel to Wichita State this weekend for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series, beginning Friday.

Two Illinois State Staffer Among Seven Killed In Bloomington Plane Crash

 width=Two members of Illinois State University's athletic department were among seven people killed when a small plane crashed near Bloomington, Illinois early Tuesday morning.

University President Larry Dietz confirmed that Aaron Leetch and Torrey Ward were among those killed as a Cessna 414, returning from the Final Four in Indianapolis, crashed just short of the Central Illinois Regional Airport after midnight.

Leetch was deputy director of athletics for external operations. He leaves behind his wife, Lindsay, and daughters Avery and Emmersen. Ward was associate head coach of the Redbirds men's basketball team. He is survived by his children Torrey and Tamia.

Baum Chevrolet Buick Hosting Annual Open House

 width=A local business is hosting an annual open house and welcomes the public to stop by for food and to meet with friends.

Baum Chevrolet Buick is hosting their annual open house Thursday afternoon starting at 4:30. According to Marketing Manager, Lindsay Campbell, they will have a catered meal and will have a couple of their new vehicles on display as well.

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According to Campbell, the open house will also allow those who haven't seen the renovations that have taken place at the dealership to stop in and check them out. She explains since the major overhaul, they have done some other renovations.

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The open house kicks off at 4:30 Thursday afternoon. Campbell invites their customers and the community to come and be a part of it. She says it is their way of giving back to those whom they serve and utilize the services of the dealership.

Emergency Management Officials Readying for Severe Weather

After a line of severe storms early Wednesday, more storms are predicted into Thursday, with some having the potential to be very severe.

According to DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency Director Teresa Barnett, warm and humid conditions midday Wednesday could give way to storms in the afternoon. She adds things are shaping up to be more eventful Thursday.

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When it comes to the watches and warning notifications, there are very distinct differences between the two. Barnett explains a watch means the conditions are right for severe weather to occur and the watch covers a large area. She adds a warning means there is severe weather imminent.

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Barnett stresses, when you hear the outdoor sirens, the public needs to take shelter. She discourages walking outside for any reason and advises heeding the advice of any weather information centers.

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Barnett encourages all to keep an ear towards their weather radios and their local radio stations for the latest in severe weather information.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 8

Jail Population: 47

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Dennis Nicholls, 35, Clinton was arrested and charged with Contempt of Court. Nicholls posted the necessary bond and was released.




DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Average Daily Jail Population:      47

Summons Served:                       3

Warrant Arrests:                         0

Melissa Adams, 43, Heyworth was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol.  Adams was issued citations for One Headlight, and 2 counts Driving Under Influence.  Adams posted the necessary bond and was released.

Randall Johnson, 53, Clinton was issued a citation and arrested for Driving Under Influence Alcohol.  Johnson posted the necessary bond and was released.

Judith Neville, 22, Danville was issued a citation for speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone).   Neville was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Tiffany Ferill, 26, Oreana was issued a citation for speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone).  Ferill was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jesse Mayes, 28, Decatur was issued a citation for Failure to Wear Seat Belt.  Mayes was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jill Morrow, 29, Deland was issued a citiation for Fail to Yield 1 Full Lane to an Emergency Vehicle.  Morrow was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Matthew Ooms, 33, Clinton was issued a citiation for speeding (80 mph in a 65 mph zone).  Ooms was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Cassandra Ellison, 29, Aurora was issued a citation for speeding (86 mph in a 55 mph zone).  Ellison was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Summer Berry, 19, Deland was issued a citation for speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone).  Berry was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Paul Saunders, 26, Champaign was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle.  Saunders was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Wesley Propst, 23, Farmer City was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle.  Propst was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Matthew Schaefer, 42, Decatur was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct.  Schaefer, unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Lucas Fenner, 35, Clinton was arrested and charged with Possess Drug Paraphernalia, Produce 5-20 Cannabis Plants and Endanger Life/Health Child.  Fenner posted the necessary bond and was released.

Ryan Crapo, 35, Clinton was arrested and charged with Produce 5-20 Cannabis Plants and Endanger Life/Health Child.  Crapo posted the neccesary bond and was released.

Leslie Trotter, 42, DeWitt was arrested on an in-state warrant. Trotter posted the necessary bond and was released.

John Lahey, 32, Clinton was arrested and charged with Battery/Cause Bodily Harm and Disorderly Conduct.  Lahey posted the necessary bond and was released.


Ag Education Cuts Opposed

The state of Illinois has a 1.8 million dollar line item that supports ag education in the state.

It’s not a lot of money, spread out over 800 school districts, but it does provide the seed money for things like ‘Ag In The Classroom’, support for Vocation Ag programs and FFA programs and the money is also used to encourage the training of more Ag Teachers.

Andrew Bowmen is with the Ag Leadership Council for Ag Education… It is an Ag industry based group that supports ag education in the state.

Gov Rauner has proposed eliminating the 1.8 million in state ag education funding, says Bowmen

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Bowmen says we can’t find enough Vocational Ag teachers because it is hard for school districts to compete with other opportunities, so the Ag Leadership Council is working to find ways to keep teachers in the classroom.

[audio:4071563242-AgEd4.mp3] [/audio]

With nearly one in four jobs in Illinois related to Agriculture, the 1.8 million the state puts into ag education programs is a minor expense, but eliminating the funding could hurt future job group. Bowman encourages those interested in maintaining ag education to contact the Governors office and their state representative and state senator.

Autism Programs Blindsided By Rauner Cuts

Good Friday had an extra somber tone for parents and advocates of Illinois' autistic children.

Governor Rauner made a $1 million dollar budget cut to autism programs around the state that took effect immediately. Erica McAteer says her five year old Shawn and others would suffer greatly if programs like TAP have to pull the plug...

[audio:4071563247-Tap1.MP3] [/audio]

Mother Wendy Rikas (Ree-kus) of Auburn, who has two autistic children, ages 3 and 4, in the program, became emotional at the prospect of the program shutting down...

[audio:4071563240-Tap2.MP3] [/audio]

Rauner also has proposed terminating all of TAP’s $4.3 million in state funding for next fiscal year. House Speaker Mike Madigan told lawmakers last month that the budget fix for this fiscal year would preserve funding for TAP and other programs for Illinoisans with mental illness and developmental diabilities. The budget deal included funds for TAP and Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says Rauner’s move seems to conflict with what Madigan called for in the budget deal and he says the Speaker wants to maintain funding for the autism service providers and other social-service groups. Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly maintains Rauner didn’t go back on his word. Autism Program Network and TAP officials say the caseload of their programs continues to soar.

Governor Rauner Contemplating Bringing Spy Agency, Football Stadium To Illinois

Be it a spy agency or a new pro football stadium, Illinois needs every strategic advantage possible to locate new developments to the Land of Lincoln.

That’s according to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

[audio:4071563245-SPYFOOTBALLRAUNER.mp3] [/audio]

Rauner says he’ll see what he can make happen.

DNR, McLean County Crimestoppers Seeking Information On Killed Eagle

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the McLean County Crimestoppers unit are seeking information on an eagle that was fatally wounded a few weeks ago in central Illinois.

The two departments are working together to solve the case of an eagle that was shot and found in a field in rural McLean County March 14. According to DNR Conservation Officer John Williamson, the eagle was fatally shot and subsequently taken into the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur where it later died.

[audio:4071563827-4715eaglesearch1.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson explains, initially, they were not sure what the issue with the eagle was. He adds it can sometimes be hard to determine an injury with an eagle, especially involving blood, because the feathers of the bird can absorb a lot of it.

[audio:4071563829-4715eaglesearch2.mp3] [/audio]

Eagles are no longer considered endangered or threatened list, however, Williamson explains eagles are a federally monitored species, which he notes, makes this case and dealing with eagles completely different from dealing with other crimes.

[audio:4071563831-4715eaglesearch3.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson notes laws surrounding eagles are very strict and explains the eagle that ended up dying had been injured before and had also recently laid eggs. According to Williamson, they have located the nest and feel the eggs are in good hands currently.

[audio:4071563838-4715eaglesearch4.mp3] [/audio]

In the search for leads in the investigation, Williamson explains they have had several other cases come about because of tips they are getting. He notes working in conjunction with Crimestoppers is a new experience for their department, and so it has created other eagle shootings they will also investigate.

[audio:4071563842-4715eaglesearch5.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson says it upsets him to come across cases like the one being investigated right now. He felt when he first started he'd only deal with these types of cases on an infrequent basis, however, he is shocked at how many of these cases he deals with each year.

To report any information on this case, you can contact the McLean County Crimestoppers at 309-828-1111. A reward of $1000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

For tips on this case or any hawks or eagles that may be shot or wounded, tips can be submitted to the Illinois Poachers Target line at 877-236-7529.

Clinton Community Education Foundation In Midst of Strategic Planning

The Clinton Community Educational Foundation (CCEF) is putting together strategic plans in order to move into the future.

The CCEF has been around for several years and it is gaining momentum through programs and fundraisers and according to Claudine Wargel, with CCEF, the Foundation wants to move onto the next level through strategic planning. She feels it's important for them to think long-term so they can provide better and more services to students and the school districts.

[audio:4071563820-4215ccef1.mp3] [/audio]

The CCEF plans to continue their current programs without major changes and Wargel notes some new fundraisers may enter the forefront through after their strategic planning process. She notes scholarships and classroom grants will continue to be in the organization's plans.

[audio:4071563822-4215ccef2.mp3] [/audio]

Strategic planning allows many organizations to think big and according to Wargel, the dedicated planning time allows board members and staff to discuss long-term goals and ways to accomplish them.

[audio:4071563824-4215ccef3.mp3] [/audio]

The CCEF's current plans include assisting students in taking advanced placement tests as well as partnering with Richland Community College by introducing more dual-credit courses.

RCR Appealing Penalties

 width=Richard Childress Racing will appeal the penalties assessed by NASCAR to Ryan Newman's No. 31 team for altered tires used in last month's Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

On Tuesday, NASCAR suspended crew chief Luke Lambert, tire technician James Bender and engineer Philip Surgen for the next six races and placed them on probation until Dec. 31. Lambert was also fined $125,000. Newman and team owner Richard Childress were each penalized with a loss of 75 points.

In NASCAR's 2015 Sprint Cup Series rule book, Newman's team violated section 20.16.A (wheels and tires) - any device, modification, or procedure to the tire or wheel, including the valve stem hardware, that is used to release pressure, beyond normal pressure adjustments, from the tire and/or inner shield, will not be permitted. The team also violated section 20.16.2.F (tires) - modifications to the tires, by treatment or any other means, will not be permitted.

The rule infractions resulted in a P5 level penalty on NASCAR's six-level penalty scale.

Holmes Continues Climb In World Rankings

 width=J.B. Holmes defeated Johnson Wagner and Jordan Spieth in a playoff to win the Houston Open on Sunday, a victory which saw Holmes jump eight spots to No. 12 in the world rankings.

Rory McIlroy, who will be looking to complete the career grand slam with a win at the Masters this week, remained the No. 1 player in the world. He was again followed by Henrik Stenson, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, Spieth, Jason Day, 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson at Nos. 2-7.

Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia swapped spots, with Furyk rising one to eight and Garcia down one to nine. Jimmy Walker and Justin Rose stayed put at 10 and 11, respectively.

With Holmes making his move from 20 to 12, a number of players dropped off in the rankings. Rickie Fowler and Martin Kaymer both fell one to 13 and 14, while Patrick Reed stayed put at 15.

Matt Kuchar dropped a pair to 16, while Hideki Matsuyama and Billy Horschel are now 17 and 18 after each falling one slot. Brooks Koepka remained at No. 19 and Victor Dubuisson descended two to No. 20.

Rangers Rally Late, Outlast Red Hot Columbus

 width=Derek Stepan tied the game late in regulation then won it with 49.6 seconds remaining in overtime, as the New York Rangers stopped the hottest team in the NHL with a 4-3 decision over Columbus at Madison Square Garden.

Martin St. Louis and Dan Girardi also tallied for the Rangers, who pulled into a tie for the second-most points recorded in a single season with 109.

Henrik Lundqvist came away with a 29-save victory.

Matt Calvert, Marko Dano and Brandon Dubinsky produced offense for the Blue Jackets, whose league-best and franchise-record win streak was halted at nine games.

Sergei Bobrovsky took the loss despite 38 saves, as his team hasn't lost in regulation since March 15 (9-0-1).

NHL Scoreboard
Buffalo 4, Carolina 3
Winnipeg 2, Minnesota 0
Vancouver 2, Los Angeles 1 (SO)
Dallas 5, San Jose 1

Nets Upset Blazers

 width=Brook Lopez had 32 points and nine rebounds as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 106-96 on Monday.

Deron Williams posted 24 points and 10 assists and Thaddeus Young added 20 points for the Nets, who have won seven of their last eight games.

Brooklyn is a game ahead of Boston for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

Damian Lillard netted 36 points and Meyers Leonard supplied 17 points and 15 rebounds for Portland, which had won six of its last seven contests coming in.

The Blazers are two games behind Memphis for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.

Duke Rallies Past Wisconsin For Fifth National Title

 width=Mike Krzyzewski celebrated with his players on the makeshift Lucas Oil Stadium court after a game that looked lost until it wasn't.

Duke's fifth national championship came largely on the backs of two freshmen, just not the ones everyone expected.

First-year guards Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen scored 29 of Duke's 37 points in the second half while Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow battled foul trouble, sparking the Blue Devils to a come-from-behind 68-63 win over Wisconsin on Monday night.

Okafor, projected to be one of the top picks in this year's NBA Draft, picked up his first foul 1:49 into the first half and had four with more than nine minutes remaining in the game.

With Okafor and Winslow on the bench during long stretches, Jones and Allen took over, helping Duke climb out of a nine-point hole.

Jones hit the 3-pointer that gave the Blue Devils the lead for good with 4:08 left but Okafor, who went more than 27 minutes without scoring, finally got back on the board with two big baskets.

Jones then hit another big shot, a 3 to make it an eight-point lead with 1:24 to play. He ended with a game-high 23 points, two more than senior Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky, and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Allen added 16 points for Duke (35-4), Winslow scored 11 and Okafor had 10.

Kaminsky led Wisconsin (36-4) with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Nigel Hayes scored 13. Sam Dekker missed nine of his 15 shots and scored 12 points and Bronson Koenig added 10 points, most of them early in the second half as the Badgers started taking control after the teams were tied 31-31 at the break.

Royals Raise AL Championship Banner, Crush White Sox

 width=On the day they celebrated their 2014 American League pennant, the Kansas City Royals went out and played like champions.

Yordano Ventura fired six-plus sharp innings, Alex Rios went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer, and the Royals followed up the raising of last season's AL Championship banner by routing the Chicago White Sox 10-1 on Opening Day.

Mike Moustakas also homered and scored twice, while Alex Gordon delivered a two-run single and Alcides Escobar ended 2-for-4 with three runs scored as the Royals began their title defense with a performance much like the ones they produced for most of October.

Jeff Samardzija (0-1), one of several high-profile offseason acquisitions that have raised expectations in Chicago, conversely had a disappointing White Sox debut. The former Cubs ace was charged with five runs, walked three and hit two batters over six-plus innings of work.

Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu had the White Sox' lone highlight, slamming a solo homer off Ventura in the seventh inning.

American League Scoreboard
Toronto 6, New York 1
Detroit 4, Minnesota 0
Baltimore 6, Tampa Bay 2
Seattle 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 1
Boston 8, Philadelphia 0
Houston 2, Cleveland 0
Oakland 8, Texas 0

 width=>>Dropped Fly Ball Allows Mets To Spoil Scherzer's Nats Debut

Lucas Duda hit a two-run single in the sixth inning and the New York Mets beat Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals by a 3-1 margin on Monday.

Scherzer's debut with the Nationals got off to a great start. The 2013 American League Cy Young award winner retired 17 in a row after walking Curtis Granderson to open the game.

But Granderson walked again with two outs in the sixth. David Wright then lifted a high pop to shallow right field. Shortstop Ian Desmond called off second baseman Dan Uggla, but the ball hit off Desmond's glove. Granderson advanced to third while Wright took second on the error. One batter later, Duda hit a two-run single to right-center field for a 2-1 Mets lead.

The Mets scored another run in the seventh. With one out, Juan Lagares reached on Desmond's throwing error and scored on a triple to center by catcher Travis d'Arnaud.

Scherzer (0-1), who signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nats in the offseason, was charged with three unearned runs on four hits over 7 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two.

Bartolo Colon (1-0) gave up one run on three hits over six innings for the Mets, who went 79-83 last year. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one.

At 41 years and 317 days old, Colon became the oldest Opening Day pitcher in Mets team history and the oldest to get the call for the league since Jamie Moyer (43 years, 136 days) and Randy Johnson (42 years, 205 days) back in 2006.

National League Scoreboard
Colorado 10, Milwaukee 0
Atlanta 2, Miami 1
Cincinnati 5, Pittsburgh 2
Los Angeles 6, San Diego 3

Argenta-Oreana Downs Clinton

 width=Parker Halton went six innings for Argenta-Oreana Monday afternoon and led the Bombers past the Maroons 5-1 in Clinton.

Halton gave up a run on two hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks pitching into the seventh inning, but Konnor Damery came on to close things out with a scoreless seventh.

Travis Osgood was 1-for-3 and Mac Hickman collected the only Maroons RBI on the afternoon.

Eli Logue went five innings giving up four runs on three hits, while walking six and striking out one.

Clinton is now 1-6 and 0-2 in the Central Illinois Conference.

The Maroons host Decatur St. Teresa today.

Monticello Girls Softball Crushes Mt. Zion

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Lady Sages blasted three home runs en route to a 15-5 win over Mt. Zion Monday afternoon.

Sophie Catlin went the distance in the circle and added a two-run home run to cap a five-run second inning. She also collected four RBIs and two home runs in a 2-for-5 effort.

 width=Sammy Valentine added a three run home run in a 4-for-5 afternoon where she collected five RBIs, scored twice and added a stolen base.

Megan Magsaman added a solo home run in the fifth inning and finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Jenny Hinton finished 3-for-4 with three runs.

For the Lady Braves, Alli Davis hit a solo home run in the third.

The Lady Sages improve to 9-0 on the season.

The boys baseball team outlasted Paxton-Buckley-Loda for a 10-6 win. Tune in Friday as we bring you Sages baseball on WEZC from Decatur St. Teresa.

Cyrulik Defeats Incumbent Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters

In a commanding margin, Roger Cyrulik defeated incumbent Mayor Carolyn Peters.

Receiving 830 votes, good for 71% of the vote, Roger Cyrulik will return to his role as Mayor of the City of Clinton. Mayor Carolyn Peters received 336 votes for 29% of the vote. There was only a 23% turnout for this year's election.

Cyrulik says he ran because he wanted to serve the people again and has some unfinished business he wants to see through.

[audio:4071590628-4815cyrulik.mp3] [/audio]

Incumbent Nan Crang defeated her challenger for Streets and Public Improvements, Mike Bray by a vote of 661-500. Crang received 57% of the vote.

Commissioner for Public Health and Safety will have a new head on the City Council. Challenger Dan Ballenger defeated incumbent Jerry Milton with 64% of the vote. He received 747 votes to Milton's 36%.

Incumbent Commissioner of Public Property, John Wise, ran unopposed and will return to his post.

Additionally, Tom Edmunds, Commissioner of Accounts and Finance, ran unopposed.

The Clinton School Board had three members on the ballot that will automatically be on. Incumbent John Blythe has been re-elected in an uncontested race and Rodney Rogers and Ron Connor will be new members to the Board who ran uncontested.

Connor is the former long time Principal of Clinton High School.

In a tight race for a two-year seat on the Board of Education, that is the seat left by the late Tom Pruser, Mike Walker defeated incumbent Russell Long with 962 votes to Long's 901. Walker won with 52% of the vote.

A four year term on the board was up for grabs among five candidates. Incumbent Nancy Stokowski received 867 votes edging out challenger Chris Hammer. Hammer received 835 votes. Stokowski received 13% of the vote to the 12.6% of the vote for Hammer.

Other candidates that were defeated included Evan Severson (554), Mitchi Tucker (764) and Traci Golden (680).

The tallies are all but final, as results are still awaiting the absentee voters, who have the next two weeks to get their votes in to the County Clerk. County Clerk, Dana Smith, reports there are only about ten absentee ballots out at this time.

In other results from contested races across DeWitt County:

DeWitt Village Trustees:

LEO MOLLET 10 29.41 %
TED NICHOLS 12 35.29 %

Kenney Village Trustee:

JOHN WRAGE 36 37.50 %
JOY HOLMES 32 33.33 %

Wapell Clerk (2-Year Term)

KIM YEARRY 127 67.20 %

Wapella Trustee (4-Year Term)

MARK A MILLER 58 10.98 %
JANE BURAGLIO 60 11.36 %
ROBIN MORROW 54 10.23 %
DOTTIE SUMMERS 119 22.54 %
NANCY FALK 121 22.92 %
JOHN GOERGEN 116 21.97 %

Wapella Trustee (2-Year Term)

DALE RUSSY KARR 136 71.58 %

Waynesville Village Trustee

DAVID TAYLOR 20 50.00 %
JASON DANNER 20 50.00 %

Weldon Village Trustee

JESSICA L. SHOTT 26 35.62 %
ZENDA A. ALTES 19 26.03 %

Farmers Markets Ready To Get Underway

With the warming weather a lot of folks are thinking of getting out to the garden, and all around Illinois Specialty Crop Producers are gearing up for the season.

Illinois specialty products, from Apples to Zucchini are available at grocery stores and at a multitude of farmers markets and community market. Diane Handley works with specialty growers at IFB and reminds us we can find all those great, locally grown products in an on line data base.

[audio:4061563859-DianeH1.mp3] [/audio]

Prairie Bounty is on the Specialty growers website www.specialtygrowers.org.

Governor Grants Clemency To Two

The Governor is moving to work on a back-log of nearly 3,000 clemency petitions. Bruce Rauner granted 2 and denied 57 today.

His office says that he is starting with requests dating back to 2008. Each person granted clemency has undergone a criminal background check.

These are the first petitions that Rauner has reviewed since taking office.

According to a press release there is now a process to review petitions on a regular basis.

Grants Suspended By Rauner

Gov. Bruce Rauner has suspended funding for nearly three dozen programs supported by state grants to shore up state finances. If left unattended, the state's shortfall would amount to a $1.6 billion deficit at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.

Report Shows State Workers Caught Borrowing State Property As Common Practice

Two state employees are appealing discipline they received for taking state-owned chairs with a state-owned truck for a private party.

They’re also pointing the finger at others who abused state resources, including borrowing power tools for private use and performing private vehicle maintenance with state resources on state-time. Illinois News Network has more.

[audio:4061564129-WORKERSCHAIRS.mp3] [/audio]

Recent reports from the Auditor General indicate more than half a million dollars of Department of Agriculture equipment has either been lost or stolen since 2005.

DOVE Working To Address Bullying In Schools

DeWitt County DOVE wants to equip local students in the fight against school and cyber bullying.

The non-profit group aimed at curbing violence and abuse in the community, wants to target every school age group from kindergarten through high school as well as educating parents. Megan Neaville, with DeWitt County Dove, says each grade will be engaged in a specific, age-appropriate discussion.

[audio:4061564353-4315dovebully1.mp3] [/audio]

The emergence of social media in the last decade has proven to be a challenge for parents regarding their children's online activities and Neaville says DOVE is working to partner with parents in keeping current with their kids online along with combating cyber bullying.

[audio:4061564355-4315dovebully2.mp3] [/audio]

Neaville feels bullying can be an issue in every community to a certain degree and its crucial to take action in these situations.

Anyone with concerns or wanting to participate in the program can contact DOVE at 935-6619.

City Council Candidates Address Economic Development

 width=Economic Development in Clinton has been under the microscope in recent months and candidates for the Clinton City Council addressed the issue at a recent "Meet the Candidates" forum at Clinton High School.

Former Mayor, and challenger for the Mayor's chair, Mike Cyrulik was critical of the way economic development has been handled recently. He points to the properties purchased by the city in recent years that are still vacant and feels they should have developers lined up before they go purchasing more property.

[audio:4061564400-4615econdev.mp3] [/audio]

Incumbent Mayor Carolyn Peters says the city is in the process of buying more properties and points to a conversation recently with a developer who encouraged having properties ready to develop. She says they are also seeking out franchises and knocking on doors to get the Clinton name out there.

[audio:4061564407-4615econdev3.mp3] [/audio]

Jerry Milton is a former business owner and the Commissioner of Public Health and Safety. He explains ecenomic development is a tough area to deal with but points out there are some good things going on in the community.

[audio:4061564404-4615econdev2.mp3] [/audio]

Challenger to Milton, Danny Ballenger, calls economic development the "backbone of the community". He wants to see a better focus on the downtown area and better promote the businesses already here.

[audio:4061564411-4615econdev4.mp3] [/audio]

Challenger Mike Bray says it took a group of people to get a lof the larger employers currently in the community to come here and he feels it is going to be a group effort to get more to come.

[audio:4061564413-4615econdev5.mp3] [/audio]

Incumbent Commissioner Nan Crang says Clinton should be a destination. She says no one has the answers but leaders need to be creative, talk to the right people and be patient.

[audio:4061564416-4615econdev6.mp3] [/audio]

The election is Tuesday.

You can hear the entirety of the "Meet the Candidates" forum from Clinton High School at dewittdailynews.com.

Bears Release Garza; Colts Sign Safety

 width=>>Bears Release C Garza

The Chicago Bears have parted ways with longtime center Roberto Garza, releasing the 14-year veteran on Thursday.

In a corresponding move, the team signed former Broncos center Will Montgomery, who played for new Bears coach John Fox in Denver last season. Montgomery received a one-year contract.

Garza started 176-of-206 games during his career, which began in 2001 with Atlanta before moving to Chicago in 2005. At one point during his career, Garza started 101 consecutive regular-season games from 2003-10.

 width=>>Colts Ink S Lowery

The Indianapolis Colts agreed to terms with free safety Dwight Lowery on Friday.

Lowery compiled 79 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 16 games (15 starts) for Atlanta last season.

Over seven NFL seasons, the 29-year-old has posted 259 tackles, four sacks, 12 interceptions and seven forced fumbles in 84 games with the Jets, Jaguars and Falcons.

Lowery will likely replace former starter LaRon Landry, who was released earlier in the offseason. Strong safety Mike Adams was re-signed by the Colts during free agency.

>>Florida State Prospect Busted For DUI

Former Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams, considered a potential first-round pick for the upcoming NFL Draft, was arrested Friday morning for driving under the influence, according to multiple reports.

NFL.com reported that Williams was arrested by FSU police at 3:08 a.m. on Friday and then booked into the Leon County jail. TMZ.com stated that Williams was later released on $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on May 14.

Williams is regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in this year's draft class and was named the Defensive MVP of Florida State's win over Auburn in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. The 6-foot, 196-pound prospect was also a semifinalist for the 2014 Thorpe Award honoring the best defensive back in college football and earned first team All-ACC honors during his junior season with the Seminoles.

The 21-year-old Williams also was involved in a previous off-field issue back in November, when he reportedly left the scene of an accident but was only issued traffic citations.

>>Bucs Trade S Goldson To Washington

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have traded safety Dashon Goldson to the Washington Redskins in exchange for an undisclosed 2016 draft pick.

Goldson spent two seasons with the Bucs after signing a five-year deal as a free agent in March 2013. He played his first six seasons with San Francisco and was a two-time Pro Bowl pick with the 49ers.

In 27 games for the Buccaneers, Goldson compiled 151 tackles with one interception.

The 30-year-old Washington product has 15 interceptions and 499 tackles in his eight-year NFL career.

>>Dolphins Sign Journeyman QB Freeman

Quarterback Josh Freeman is looking to make a comeback after being out of the NFL in 2014.

The Miami Dolphins signed the former first-round pick on Thursday.

Freeman became one of the league's most promising young quarterbacks after Tampa Bay selected him 17th overall in the 2009 draft. In 2010, he threw 25 touchdown passes and just six interceptions for a 95.9 passer rating.

The 27-year-old Freeman spent two more seasons as the Bucs' starter with a 74.6 and 81.6 passer rating, respectively. He played three games for Tampa Bay in 2013 before being benched in favor of Mike Glennon. The Kansas State product was then released in October of that year following reports of a strained relationship with then-head coach Greg Schiano.

Freeman signed with Minnesota but made just one start for the Vikings. He had a brief stay with the New York Giants last offseason.

In 61 NFL games, Freeman has thrown for 13,724 yards, 80 touchdowns and 67 interceptions.

He joins a Dolphins quarterback corps that includes starter Ryan Tannehill, veteran backup Matt Moore and McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Holmes Wins Playoff At Houston Open

 width=J.B. Holmes parred the second playoff hole on Sunday and watched 2008 winner Johnson Wagner miss a short putt for par, handing the 32-year-old Holmes the Houston Open title.

After third-round leader Jordan Spieth tripped to a bogey on the first playoff hole and was eliminated, Holmes and Wagner went back to the par-4 18th one more time. Holmes missed a 10-foot birdie putt for the win, but Wagner missed his second putt from about five feet for par, giving the victory to Holmes.

Holmes, who won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour, surged up the leaderboard with an 8-under 64 in the final round and finished the week at 16-under-par 272. Wagner made a huge birdie putt on the 72nd hole in regulation to join the playoff. He carded a 3-under 69, while Spieth shot a 2-under 70 Sunday on the Tournament Course at Golf Club of Houston.

Russell Henley (69) finished alone in fourth at 14-under 274, while Cameron Tringale (68), Brendon de Jonge (67), Charles Howell III (70) and Keegan Bradley (69) ended one shot further back at minus-13.

The Masters is next week as Bubba Watson returns as the defending champion and is looking to win for the third time at Augusta.

Wisconsin, Duke Meet In National Title Game

 width=Wisconsin won a heavyweight fight in a football stadium against a team chasing college basketball history.

Frank Kaminsky went nearly 17 minutes without scoring in the second half but still finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Wisconsin ended the game on a 15-4 run over the last 4 1/2 minutes to beat Kentucky 71-64 in a thriller.

The Badgers will play for an NCAA title on Monday night for the first time since winning their only championship in 1941.

 width=Meanwhile, Justise Winslow led Duke (34-4) with 19 points, fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor scored 18 and Quinn Cook had 17.

Tonight's championship will be a rematch of a game in Madison on Dec. 3, when Duke beat Wisconsin 80-70 and Krzyzewski called the Badgers "one of the two or three best teams in the country."

The Blue Devils made the Final Four for the first time since winning a fourth national title under Krzyzewski in 2010 and Krzyzewski coached in his 12th Final Four to tie UCLA legend John Wooden for the all-time lead.

LeBron's Triple-Double Leads Cavs Over Bulls; Paul George Returns For Indy

 width=J.R. Smith and Kyrie Irving kept hitting buzzer-beaters, LeBron James posted his first tripe-double of the season and the Cavaliers all but wrapped up the Central Division with a 99-94 victory over the Bulls on Sunday.

James filled the stat sheet with 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Cavs, winners of 18 straight at home, pulled four games ahead of the second- place Bulls with five to play.

Smith made half of Cleveland's 16 3-pointers and finished with 24 points, while Irving added 27 points, including a miraculous shot during a pivotal run in the third quarter.

Mike Dunleavy led Chicago with 24 points, while Aaron Brooks and Jimmy Butler added 17 and 16, respectively, in the team's second loss in three games.

 width=>>Paul George Returns For Pacers Who Pound Heat

The Pacers are desperately battling for a playoff spot and welcomed back their general for the stretch run.

Paul George scored 13 points in under 15 minutes in a successful return as Indiana pulled away for a 112-89 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday.

George was not expected back this season after breaking his right leg during a Team USA scrimmage in August. The All-Star forward sped up his recovery in time to rejoin a Pacers team that, along with the Heat, is sitting one game behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Luis Scola scored 23 points with 12 rebounds off the bench, Solomon Hill chipped in with 19 points and C.J. Miles added 17 by making five of Indiana's 14 3-pointers.

Wade's 27 points were not enough for the spiraling Heat to snap a three-game skid.

NBA Scoreboard
Houston 115, Oklahoma City 112

Blues Double Up Blackhawks, Take Control of Central Division

 width=Jake Allen stopped 38 shots and the St. Louis Blues edged the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Sunday to move into first place in the Central Division.

David Backes and Olli Jokinen each scored in the second period for the Blues, who have won three straight and leapfrogged Nashville in the division standings. They are one point ahead of the Predators and hold a three-point lead on the Blackhawks with three games remaining for each club.

St. Louis played its fourth straight game without Alexander Steen and third in a row without Vladimir Tarasenko. Both forwards are day-to-day because of lower-body injuries.

Corey Crawford made 31 saves for Chicago, which had its winning streak snapped at four games.

NHL Scoreboard
Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 1
Washington 2, Detroit 1
Montreal 4, Florida 1
Toronto 3, Ottawa 2 (SO)

Cards Blank Cubs In Season Opener; Baseball Notes

 width=Adam Wainwright outpitched Jon Lester to spoil the new-look Chicago Cubs' season opener.

It was quite a start for the St. Louis Cardinals' pursuit of another NL Central crown.

Wainwright tossed six shutout innings and the Cardinals blanked the Cubs 3-0 to kick off the 2015 MLB season on Sunday night.

The 33-year-old Wainwright (1-0) struck out six and scattered five hits for St. Louis, which has won the last two Central Division titles and lost to the San Francisco Giants in last year's National League Championship Series.

Matt Holliday posted a pair of RBI singles, while Trevor Rosenthal picked up the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Jon Lester (0-1) struggled in his Chicago debut, though, surrendering three runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts over just 4 1/3 frames.

>>Braves Move All-Star Closer Kimbrel To San Diego

Just hours before the Major League Baseball season was set to begin, the Atlanta Braves made headlines by sending All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres in a six-player swap.

Kimbrel has been as dominant as any relief pitcher in baseball since breaking through with Atlanta in 2010, posting a 1.43 ERA with 186 saves. He has led the National League in saves each of the past four seasons.

Veteran outfielder Melvin Upton is also on his way to San Diego, where he will be reunited with his younger brother Justin. The duo spent the past two seasons together in Atlanta, but Justin was sent to the Padres this winter.

The Padres gave up outfielders Cameron Maybin and Carlos Quentin as well as prospects Matt Wisler and Jordan Paroubeck.

Wisler, considered San Diego's top minor leaguer, is a 22-year-old right- handed pitcher who finished last season with a 4.42 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A.

>>Indians Extend Cy Young Winner Kluber

The Cleveland Indians and 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber officially agreed to terms on a five-year contract Sunday.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the deal includes club options for 2020 and 2021.

Kluber, who turns 29 on Friday, is coming off his finest season as a professional. He led the AL with 18 wins while posting a 2.44 earned run average and registering 269 strikeouts over 34 starts.

The right-hander has gone 31-19 with a 3.34 ERA in 75 games, all but five as a starter, for the Indians since 2011.

Illinois State Shut Out By Evansville

 width=The Illinois State baseball team was shut out for the first time this spring in the finale of a three-game series with Evansville Sunday at Duffy Bass Field. Evansville won by a 10-0 score in an eight-inning, run-ruled game, and won the series by taking two of three games.

Evansville (15-12, 5-4 MVC) scored in six of eight innings Sunday while left-handed freshman Brodie Harkness turned in a complete-game shutout in the win. Harkness scattered eight hits and walked just one batter in the victory.

Joe Kelch and Sean Beesley tallied two hits apiece for the Redbirds, accounting for half of the team's eight hits.

The Redbirds are back in action Tuesday at Duffy Bass Field as they welcome Northern Illinois for a nonconference game. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Illinois Crushes Northwestern, Coach Hartleb Wins 300th Win

University of Illinois baseball head coach Dan Hartleb picked up career win No. 300 in No. 15 Illinois' 17-2 rout of Northwestern on Sunday. The Fighting Illini pounded out a season-high 20 hits and 17 runs, sweeping the Wildcats for the second year in a row for their eighth consecutive win over NU.

 width=Junior Jason Goldstein went 3-for-4 with a career-high four RBI, including a three-run blast in the fifth. Shortstop Adam Walton was 3-for-4 and led off the sixth with a solo shot, giving UI three home runs in a game for the third time this year. Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten with 25 homers in 2015.

Senior David Kerian extended his career-long hitting streak to 17 games with a 2-for-4 afternoon. That marks the longest streak by an Illini since Walton hit in 18 consecutive contests last season.

Sophomore Matthew James equaled a career-high two hits and three RBI, while senior Casey Fletcher was the sixth Illini with multiple hits and tied a career-high three runs.

Senior John Kravetz improved to 3-0 with five strikeouts over six innings.

Relievers Rob McDonnell, Anthony Milazzo and Tyler Jay each worked a scoreless stanza to wrap up the game.

Illinois has won five straight and 12 of its last 14 for a 24-6-1 overall record, marking its best record through 31 games since 1989 (25-6). The Illini sit second in the Big Ten after beginning conference play 5-1 for the second year in a row.

The 15th-ranked Illini have a pair of midweek games coming up when they travel to Eastern Illinois on Tuesday (April 7) and return home against Saint Louis on Wednesday (April 8).

Public Safety Commissioner Candidates in Clinton Address Vandalism

Vandalism of public property has been an issue in recent years, leading to the deterioration of popular parks, such as Kiwanis Park in Clinton.
Candidates for the Clinton City Council's Department of Public Health and Safety gave their opinions on how combat vandalism in public parks at a "Meet the Candidates Forum at Clinton High School March 24.

Challenger Danny Ballenger urged the public to be on the lookout for vandals and report them to the local police. He compliments the police department says they are always there to assist residents.
[audio:4041594449-4515vandalism1.mp3] [/audio]

Incumbent Jerry Milton agreed with Ballenger that the public should notify the police when it comes to vandalism and too believes the Clinton Police Department does a great job of preventing vandalism, which he points out, has gone down in the last year. The Police Department was also complimented by Milton thanks to their work with unwanted trash in the community.
[audio:4041594455-4515vandalism2.mp3] [/audio]
The election is April 7.

Events Planned in April to Commemorate the Civil War and Death of Lincoln.



[audio:4041594425-lotsolincoln.mp3] [/audio]


Partnership Lets Researchers Better Process and Store Lincoln Documents.



[audio:4041594427-papers.mp3] [/audio]


Earthquake in Southeastern Missouri Shows Earthquakes Possible in Midwest.




[audio:4041594430-rumble.mp3] [/audio]


Streets Improvements Focus of Pair of Contending Commissioner Candidates

With exponentially declining revenues for street improvements, communities across the nation are doing more with less today than maybe ever before. Last month, the candidates contending for the Streets and Public Improvements Commissioner position on the Clinton City Council discussed just that.

Incumbent Commissioner Nan Crang would like to get the input of city staff before she makes decisions and points out funding is an issue because nearly every zone in Clinton needs some form of improvement.

[audio:4041594423-4415clintonstreets1.mp3] [/audio]

Candidate Mike Bray notes the issues many Clinton citizens have with public streets is the driveways and walkways are all unwalkable. He says taxpayers money needs to be used wisely and the city needs to create a timely plan to improve the streets over the course of a few years.

[audio:4041594418-4415clintonsteets2.mp3] [/audio]

Each candidate had a two minutes to address the issue.

The Clinton city election will be held this coming Tuesday April 7th.


Meet The Candidates Forum Part 1

[audio:3251515949-32415MeettheCandidatesForumSeg1.mp3] [/audio]

Part 2

[audio:3251515531-32415MeettheCandidatesForumSeg.mp3] [/audio]


W-L Schools Prepare For School Board Elections

Many surrounding communities will see local school board elections next week.

The Warrensburg-Latham school district has four seats open for election this year along with five candidates running. Superintendent Dr. Kristen-Kendrick Weikle explains three of the candidates are running uncontested while the only incumbent has someone running against them.

[audio:4031563515-4215wlelection1.mp3] [/audio]

The biggest challenge for Warrensburg-Latham's school board right now is district finances. Weikle notes information coming from the state is constantly changing. Consistency among Illinois' financial information would allow the district to perform at a higher level according to the superintendent.

[audio:4031563517-4215wlelection2.mp3] [/audio]

New school board members for Warrensburg-Latham will meet with Weikle once elected. She will go over the information each member will need to understand when they make decisions for the district. She says the new board member will learn such items as meeting schedules, finances and employee tenure.

[audio:4031563521-4215wlelection3.mp3] [/audio]

Local school board elections throughout the Regional Radio News area will take place this Tuesday, April 7th.

Local Business Owner Presented With Prestigious Award

A local insurance agency owner was recognized this past weekend with a high honor within the company.

Jay Peterson owns the Pekin Insurance Agency in Clinton, and Saturday night was presented with the Robert T. Tebben "Agency of the Year". Peterson explains the award goes to the top agency based on a number of factors.

[audio:4031563532-4315jayaward1.mp3] /audio]

To receive the award was a complete shock to him however, he explains the banquet is an annual event for the agency, which he normally attends alone. However, once he arrived, his family several members of his office staff were there, which tipped him off something was going on.

[audio:4031563534-4315jayaward2.mp3] [/audio]

Peterson credits his staff for their hard work and dedication to the company. He feels Pekin Insurance is a great company to work for and credits them for their long standing relationship with his business.

[audio:4031563536-4315jayaward3.mp3] [/audio]

Peterson and his staff are excited about the award.

They utilized the Wednesday Chamber of Commerce Business Expo as an opportunity to display the award to their customers and those who attended.

Clinton Mayoral Candidates Discuss DJWH Board Appointments

Currently, only five members sit on a seven panel board for the city-owned Dr. John Warner Hospital, and the mayoral candidates for the City of Clinton addressed the issue of appointing members to the Doctor John Warner Hospital Board last week at a "Meet the Candidates" forum held at Clinton High School.

Incumbent Mayor Carolyn Peters, who is charged with bringing the appointments forward, explains she seeks out candidates that would fit into several criteria based on business savvy, a financial background and those in the medical field.

[audio:4031563526-4315djwhmayor1.mp3] [/audio]

Mayoral challenger, and former Clinton Mayor, Roger Cyrulik noted he had similar issues with the DJWH Board when he was mayor. He has considered the possibility of having board members run for their seats instead of being appointed.

[audio:4031563530-4315djwhmayor2.mp3] [/audio]

Each candidate had two minutes to address the issue.

The Clinton Mayoral Election will take place this Tuesday April 7th.


Meet The Candidates Forum Part 1

[audio:3251515949-32415MeettheCandidatesForumSeg1.mp3] [/audio]

Part 2

[audio:3251515531-32415MeettheCandidatesForumSeg.mp3] [/audio]


Thursday's Scoreboard

Baseball Spring Training N.Y. Mets 0, St. Louis 0
F Detroit 3, N.Y. Yankees 2
F N.Y. Yankees 6, Pittsburgh 2
F Tampa Bay 10, Philadelphia 1
F Cleveland 4, Cincinnati 3
F San Diego 6, Milwaukee 5
F Arizona 10, Chicago White Sox 2
F Atlanta 6, Baltimore 5
F Boston 8, Minnesota 5
F L.A. Angels 3, L.A. Dodgers 2
F Oakland 8, San Francisco 2

F National Basketball Association
Cleveland 114, Miami 88
F Houston 108, Dallas 101
F Golden State 107, Phoenix 106

F National Hockey League
Columbus 4, N.Y.Islanders 3 (SO Columbus 2-0)
F 2OT Boston 3, Detroit 2
F Florida 6, Carolina 1
F Ottawa 2, Tampa Bay 1
F OT Washington 5, Montreal 4
F 2OT St. Louis 4, Calgary 1
F N.Y. Rangers 3, Minnesota 2
F Chicago 3, Vancouver 1
F Los Angeles 8, Edmonton 2
F Top 25 College Basketball Playoffs No games today.

Top 25 Women's College Basketball Playoffs No games today.

Major League Soccer No games today.

Blues handle Flames 4-1, clinch playoff spot

Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist and Jake Allen got light work in net for the St. Louis Blues, who ended a three-game home losing streak and clinched a playoff spot with a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Paul Stastny, Jori Lehtera and Patrik Berglund also scored for the Blues, who reached 100 points for the third time in four seasons without top forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. St. Louis is in second place in the Central Division with 101 points, two behind Nashville, with five games to go.

The Blues ended a 10-game first-period goal drought when Schwartz scored his 25th on a backhander at 1:16. They entered the night just 1-3-2 in their previous six games and needing a victory or a Los Angeles regulation loss to earn their fourth consecutive playoff berth.

Blackhawks clinch playoff spot with 3-1 victory over Canucks

Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger scored in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks clinched a playoff spot with a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

Kruger also had an assist on Teuvo Teravainen's first-period goal, and Corey Crawford made 34 saves in Chicago's third straight win. The Blackhawks (47-24-6) remained one point back of St. Louis for second in the Central Division.

Derek Dorsett scored for Vancouver (45-28-5), which was coming off consecutive wins at St. Louis and Nashville. Eddie Lack finished with 35 stops.

The teams were tied at 1 when Toews pushed home a rebound at 8:09. It was Toews' third goal in the last four games and No. 26 on the season.

Cubs Prospect Bryant 'Disappointed' to Start Year in Minors

Chicago Cubs power-hitting prospect Kris Bryant says he's disappointed that he's not going to start the season in the major leagues, adding he did his best to make the roster.

The Cubs sent the 23-year-old third baseman to their minor league camp this week. Bryant hit .425 in spring training and led all players with nine home runs.

"I think I did all I could," Bryant said Thursday. "I really tried as hard as I could."

"I think there's a lot to be excited about as a Cubs fan and as a Cubs player," he said. "I'm just disappointed I don't get to have an opportunity to do it at the beginning of the year, but I'll be cheering them on."

The Cubs said Bryant can improve his defense at Triple-A. Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, contends the Cubs want to delay his major league debut to keep him for an extra year before he becomes eligible for free agency.

Goldschmidt doubles twice, Diamondbacks beat White Sox 10-2

Paul Goldschmidt drove in two runs with a pair of doubles, Tuffy Gosewich had four hits and the Arizona Diamondbacks roughed up Jose Quintana, beating the Chicago White Sox 10-2 Thursday. Quintana was tagged for six runs and eight hits in two innings. Chris Owings hit a two-run double as Arizona scored five times in the second. Nick Ahmed had two hits and two RBIs for the Diamondbacks. Arizona starter Rubby De La Rosa gave up one run and four hits in six innings. Chicago's Tyler Flowers was ejected after being called out on a close play at first base in the seventh.
The White Sox broke camp in Arizona and will play at Triple-A affiliate Charlotte on Friday.

Harvey Completes Stellar Spring as Mets Tie Cardinals 0-0

All the tuneups are complete for Matt Harvey. Next up is the real thing.

Harvey capped a stellar spring training by striking out four in four innings Thursday as the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals played a 0-0 tie in their Grapefruit League finale.

Harvey allowed three hits and threw 41 of 56 pitches for strikes. He had a 1.19 ERA in six spring training starts, giving up three runs and 17 hits in 22 2-3 innings.

"Everything feels great, as it has all spring training," Harvey said. "I don't think there's much more to accomplish."

The NL starter in the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, Harvey hasn't pitched in a regular-season game since Aug. 24, 2013. The 26-year-old right-hander is recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery that Oct. 22.

He walked one and struck out 21 during the exhibition season.

Community College Appropriations Increased For Next Year

More than one-million students being served by Illinois community colleges will see plenty of homework, but one thing they aren’t expected to see is a decrease of state money for their schools. Illinois News Network has more.

[audio:4021561228-COMCOLLEGE.mp3] [/audio]

The proposed budget for ICCB is over four-hundred-million-four-hundred-ninety-thousand dollars, an increase of five-point-eight million dollars from the previous fiscal year.

DCFS Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month

Tales of child abuse and neglect dominate the headlines and make it all sound rare, but with the launch of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon said in Illinois it's all around you, whether it's reported or not, and all too often there isn't a happy ending.

[audio:4021561418-DCFS.mp3] [/audio]

DCFS launched a four city kickoff to Child Abuse Prevention Month with kickoff events at Chicago's Thompson Center, the State Capitol, Carterville and Edwardsville.

Illinois Corn Acreage Expected To Decline in 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects Illinois farmers to plant fewer acres of corn in 2015 as a nationwide price slump continues.

The USDA survey of prospective plantings in the new crop season forecasts a 2 percent drop in Illinois corn acreage. The projected 11.7 million acres would mark a 10-year low.

Farmers are expected to plant nearly 10 million acres of soybeans in the state, a slight increase from 2014. That's consistent with an estimated record-high for nationwide soybean production.

More farmers are favoring soybeans because they cost less to grow and prices farmers receive for soybeans haven't fallen as quickly as corn. Soybeans also can withstand broader weather variations.

Clinton BOE Talk School Testing

 width=School leaders across the area have been critical of the PARCC assessments their students have already begun.

Last week at a "Meet the Candidates" forum at Clinton High School, Clinton Board of Education Candidates weighed in on the assessments. Incumbent candidate Russell Long calls the testing "not a value added". He notes they are new tests in each district that have a lot of flaws.

[audio:4021561645-4215parcctalk1.mp3] [/audio]

Challenger Evan Severson believes teachers should have more control in the classroom and feels the government should step back.

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Incumbent candidate Nancy Stokowski says the current School Board feels there is too much testing. She says it stems from the new Common Core standards. She feels the testing needs to be worth while.

[audio:4021561645-4215parcctalk3.mp3] [/audio]

Former educator and Board of Education challenger Mitchi Tucker says the curriculum and tests need to be geared towards the students learning. She adds the government needs to get out of the business of education.

[audio:4021561645-4215parcctalk4.mp3] [/audio]

Challenger for a Board of Education seat, Mike Walker agrees with his fellow candidates that the government needs to get out of education. He adds the problem with the assessments also falls on the students because many are not taking it seriously.

[audio:4021561645-4215parcctalk5.mp3] [/audio]

Chris Hammer, who is the ROE 38 math common core, he has trained and taught on it and says it is a system that is set up to fail. He feels the best system is to go back to taking the PSAEs and ACTs because they are meaningful for students.

[audio:4021561645-4215parcctalk6.mp3] [/audio]

Most districts have begun the first installment of PARCC testing, and there is a second installment towards the end of the school year.

The election for the Clinton Board of Education is April 7.

You can hear the entirety of the "Meet the Candidates" forum from Clinton High School below:

[audio:3251515531-32415MeettheCandidatesForumSeg.mp3] [/audio]

[audio:3251515949-32415MeettheCandidatesForumSeg1.mp3] [/audio]

Crimestoppers Seeking Information in Residential Burglary

 width=The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a residential burglary.

On or around Wednesday March 11, an unknown person or persons entered a private residence located in the 1000 block of East Washington Street and stole hunting bows and firearms.

The firearms are described as a Winchester .22 rifle, a Winchester single shot sawed off shotgun and a Stevens single shot .32 rimfire caliber rifle. The bows are described as a Horton Cross bow, a Golden Eagle bow and a Browning bow. Also stolen in this incident were a Beeman air rifle, a range finder and three hunting knives.

Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1000.00 when a felony arrest is made as a result of information that you have provided. Anyone with any information regarding this burglary or the whereabouts of these stolen items or any other crimes or fugitives is asked to contact the Clinton Area Crime stoppers at 217-935-3333.

Crimestoppers phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.

Crimestoppers wants your information, not your name.

PGA Stars Get One Last Tuneup Before Masters

 width=The PGA Tour is back in Texas for the second straight week at the Shell Houston Open, which will serve as the final event before the Masters next week.

Matt Jones picked up his first and only victory on the PGA Tour at this event last year when he chipped in for birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Matt Kuchar.

There are many big names in the field this week as players look to tee it up one more time in preparation for the Masters.

Jones will be back in action as he looks to successfully defend his title. Last week's Valero Texas Open winner Jimmy Walker will be in the field along with runner-up Jordan Spieth.

Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Patrick Reed are also playing this week. World No. 2 Henrik Stenson withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to the flu.

The first major championship of the season, the Masters, is next week. Defending champion Bubba Watson is looking to collect his third green jacket in Augusta. The lefty went on to win by three shots last year.

College Basketball Notes

>>Maryland Start Trimble To Return

Guard Melo Trimble will return to Maryland for his sophomore season, coach Mark Turgeon announced Wednesday.

Trimble had a stellar freshman year as he averaged a team-best 16.2 points while also leading the team in assists (106) and steals (44).

Trimble helped the Terrapins win a school-record 26 games in the regular season and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010.

 width=>>Kansas Center To Enter NBA Draft

Kelly Oubre Jr. will leave Kansas after just one season and declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, the university announced Wednesday.

Oubre, a likely lottery pick, finished second among Jayhawk players with 41 steals and earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors while helping Kansas to an 11th straight conference regular-season title.

One of the nation's most sought-after recruits, Oubre had an uneven lone season at Kansas. The 6-foot-7 swingman played sparingly during much of the Jayhawks' non-conference schedule, but saw increased time later in the year and finished with averages of 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds over 36 games.

>>Xavier's Mack Gets Contract Extension

Xavier men's basketball coach Chris Mack had his contract extended by one year through the 2020-21 season, the school announced Wednesday.

Mack, who signed a two-year contract extension last May, led the Musketeers to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament this season. They lost to Arizona to finish with a 23-14 record.

The 45-year-old Mack has a record of 134-71 in six seasons at his alma mater and has guided the Musketeers to the NCAA Tournament five times. He is the only coach in school history to lead the team to three Sweet 16 appearances.

Baseball Notes

 width=>>Mets Extend Gold Glover Lagares

The New York Mets have reportedly signed outfielder Juan Lagares to a four-year contract extension.

Yahoo! Sports is reporting the deal, citing an unnamed major league source, adding the deal will be official after a Thursday physical. Also according to the report, the deal is worth $23 million, covers his remaining four years of arbitration eligibility and has a team option of $9.5 million for his first year of free agency in 2020.

Lagares, entering his third season in the league, hit .281 with four homers and 47 RBI last season, earning a Gold Glove for his efforts in center field.

Lagares, 26, is a career .262 hitter with eight homers and 81 RBI in 237 games with the Mets.

>>Red Sox Catcher To Have Tommy John Surgery

Christian Vazquez, who was expected to be the starting catcher for the Boston Red Sox this season, will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right throwing elbow, the team announced Wednesday.

 width=Vazquez's surgery will be performed Thursday in Pensacola, Florida, by Dr. James Andrews.

The 24-year-old was placed on the 60-day disabled list Monday with a sprained elbow and will likely miss the entire 2015 season.

He took over as the club's regular catcher last July and played 55 games in his first major league action, hitting .240 with nine doubles, a homer and 20 RBI.

He was at his best throwing out potential base stealers, nabbing 15-of-29.

Needing help at the position, Boston acquired catcher Sandy Leon in a trade with Washington on Monday. Leon will likely join Ryan Hanigan as the primary catchers to start the season for the Red Sox.

Hanigan is also a new addition. He was acquired in December from San Diego for third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

>>Nats Star To Start Season on DL, Werth Questionable

Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon will begin the upcoming 2015 season on the disabled list as he continues to recover from a sprained left knee.

Rendon, who finished fifth in voting for last year's National League Most Valuable Player Award, suffered the injury in a spring training game on March 9 and hasn't played since. The 2014 Silver Slugger winner received a third opinion on his knee Tuesday in Vail, Colorado which confirmed the previous diagnosis of an MCL sprain, according to MLB.com.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said Wednesday that a timetable has yet to be set for Rendon's return.

Yunel Escobar is expected to move from second base to third during Rendon's absence, with Danny Espinosa slated to fill in at second.

Williams also said Wednesday that Jayson Werth is unlikely to be ready for Monday's opener against the New York Mets as well. The veteran outfielder, who underwent shoulder surgery in January, has been limited to only minor league games this spring.

Rendon hit .287 with 21 homers, 83 RBI and 17 steals last season, his first full one in the majors. Werth batted .292 with 16 homers and 82 RBI over 147 games in 2014.

Philadelphia Blasts Pittsburgh

 width=Brayden Schenn registered a pair of goals and Steve Mason added 24 saves as Philadelphia continued its domination at CONSOL Energy Center with a 4-1 decision over Pittsburgh.

Vincent Lecavalier and Carlo Colaiacovo also lit the lamp for the Flyers, who have won five straight in the Steel City and improved to 11-1-1 all-time during the regular season at the arena which replaced the Igloo.

Sidney Crosby supplied the lone offense for the Penguins, who have lost seven of their last 10. Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all four goals on 31 shots in another home setback to their cross-state rivals.

NHL Scoreboard
Buffalo 4, Toronto 3
Anaheim 5, Edmonton 1
San Jose 5, Colorado 1

Newman's No. 31 Car Penalized For Tire Manipulation

 width=NASCAR handed down severe penalties to Ryan Newman's No. 31 team in the Sprint Cup Series on Tuesday for altered tires used in the March 22 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

Luke Lambert, the crew chief for the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, has been suspended for the next six races, fined $125,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

James Bender, the team's tire technician, and Philip Surgen, the team engineer, have also been suspended for the next six races and put on probation for the remainder of the year.

Newman has been penalized with a loss of 75 points in the driver championship standings, while Richard Childress was docked the same number of points in the owners' standings.

The rule infractions by Newman's team were discovered as a result of NASCAR's post-event tire audit conducted after the Fontana race. The sanctioning body had been taking tires from several teams, including Newman's, and having them thoroughly inspected at an independent agency following the events at Phoenix, Fontana and Martinsville this month.

Bears Ink LB Acho

 width=The Chicago Bears signed linebacker Sam Acho to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Acho, 26, spent the first four years of his career with the Arizona Cardinals, and last season compiled 31 tackles, one sack and one interception in 16 games.

A fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Texas, Acho has registered 124 tackles, 13 sacks and three interceptions in 51 career games (32 starts).

The Bears also signed cornerback Sherrick McManis to a one-year contract. McManis has appeared in 62 games with one start through five seasons with the Texans (2010-11) and Bears (2012-14).

>>Cowboys Restructure QB Romo's Deal

The Dallas Cowboys restructured quarterback Tony Romo's contract on Wednesday, freeing up roughly $13 million in cap space for this season.

The Cowboys did not have enough money last month to retain the services of 2014 NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray. Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles, who earlier traded LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills, swooped in and gave Murray a five-year, $42 million contract.

Romo indicated in a radio interview Tuesday he was going to restructure his contract and also said he was willing to take a pay cut so the team could re- sign Murray.

Romo was set to make a base salary of $17 million in 2015 and count an NFL- high $27.773 million against the salary cap. But the Cowboys lowered his base salary for 2015 down to about $1 million by converting the remaining $16 million owed to Romo into a signing bonus. Romo's cap hit will increase by about $3.2 million over the next four years.

Ironically, disgruntled Vikings running back Adrian Peterson -- rumored to be sought by Dallas and known to be unhappy with Minnesota -- is set to earn a base salary of $12.75 million this season.

Bulls, Pacers Lose

 width=>>Bucks Top Bulls

Michael Carter-Williams' 21 points and 10 rebounds helped the Milwaukee Bucks finally get the best of the Chicago Bulls via a 95-91 victory.

In a possible playoff preview, the Bucks out-executed the Bulls down the stretch to end a six-game series losing streak and record their first home win over Chicago since 2010. The Bulls had prevailed in nine straight trips to the Bradley Center.

Ersan Ilyasova backed up Carter-Williams' strong effort with 16 points. Khris Middleton added 14 and O.J. Mayo delivered 13 key points off the bench.

Chicago received 25 points from Jimmy Butler, but was hurt by 22 turnovers in having a three-game overall win streak halted.

Pau Gasol deposited 14 points and 11 rebounds in defeat.

 width=>>Turner's Triple-Double Leads Celtics Past Pacers

Evan Turner had 13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his third triple-double of the season and the Boston Celtics led for the final 43 1/2 minutes in a 100-87 win over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night.

Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk each scored 19 points and Jae Crowder added 13 for the Celtics, who snapped a three-game home losing streak.

They are a half-game behind Miami and Brooklyn for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

George Hill scored 21 points to lead the Pacers, who lost for the ninth time in their last 11 games to remain on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Rodney Stuckey added 16 points in the loss, C.J. Miles scored 12 and David West had 10.

NBA Scoreboard
Charlotte 102, Detroit 78
San Antonio 103, Orlando 91
Washington 106, Philadelphia 93
Brooklyn 100, New York 98
Houston 115, Sacramento 111
Toronto 113, Minnesota 99
Dallas 135, Oklahoma City 131
Utah 98, Denver 84
LA Clippers 126, Portland 122
New Orleans 113, LA Lakers 92

Illinois State Football Schedule Released

 width=Illinois State will follow up on the most successful football season in school history with a road-heavy early schedule this fall.

The Redbirds will open Sept. 5 at Iowa and play four of their first six games on the road. The only home games over that stretch will be Sept. 12 against Morgan State and the Oct. 3 Missouri Valley Football Conference opener against Northern Iowa.

Dates against other Illinois schools include Sept. 19 at Eastern Illinois, Oct. 24 at home against Western Illinois and Nov. 14 at Southern Illinois.

The Redbirds played for the Football Championship Subdivision title last fall. They lost to North Dakota State but finished the season 13-2.

Crimestoppers Seeking Information in Residential Burglary

 width=The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a residential burglary.

On or around Wednesday March 11, an unknown person or persons entered a private residence located in the 1000 block of East Washington Street and stole hunting bows and firearms.

The firearms are described as a Winchester .22 rifle, a Winchester single shot sawed off shotgun and a Stevens single shot .32 rimfire caliber rifle. The bows are described as a Horton Cross bow, a Golden Eagle bow and a Browning bow. Also stolen in this incident were a Beeman air rifle, a range finder and three hunting knives.

Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1000.00 when a felony arrest is made as a result of information that you have provided. Anyone with any information regarding this burglary or the whereabouts of these stolen items or any other crimes or fugitives is asked to contact the Clinton Area Crime stoppers at 217-935-3333.

Crimestoppers phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.

Crimestoppers wants your information, not your name.

CFD Responds To Additional Three Fire Calls Wednesday

The Clinton Fire Department's day got going early Wednesday, and only got crazier.

The fire at Wimbley's East End Grill was just the start of the day for the Clinton Fire Department, as they responded to a pair of calls later in the day. According to Fire Chief Shawn Milton, they responded to a field fire and an apartment fire.

[audio:4021511922-4315firecalls1.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief indicates at around 5:50 pm, his department responded to the structure fire at 9927 Madison Park Road. According to Chief Milton, a couple of bedrooms in a house were involved in flames, one was engulfed and the other was hot enough it was ready to ignite at any moment.

[audio:4021511923-4315firecalls2.mp3] [/audio]

Mutual aid was called for the structure fire. Maroa, Kenney and Wapella Fire Departments were on scene totaling 15 fire fighters. Chief Milton indicates they were on scene approximately three hours.

[audio:4021511927-4315firecalls3.mp3] [/audio]

The Fire Department also responded to an illegal burn call just before 11 am Wednesday morning in city limits. It was determined it was burning wood or a recreational fire, which the City recognizes as a legal burn.

The Department responded a few hours later, at 12:40 pm to a grass/brush fire on Route 54 East.

Raiders Best Clinton Maroons

As heard on the Big 1520AM 92.3FM WHOW

The Maroons fell to the Central A&M Raiders with a final score of  9-7

Maroons sit at a record of 0/4  for the season this far & 0/2 in the central illinois conference 

Central A&M is 3/1 this far in the season & 2/0 in the central Illinois Conference 

Winning pitcher Aaron Hutchins with 2 innings gave up 1 run, struck out 2 and walked 1 

Ray Wertz failed to record out gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks 

offensive leaders

jack ludwig A&M  1 for 2 with runs batted in 

Clinton was led at the plate by josh hickman with 1 for 4 with a 2 run home run 

The maroons will play in their round robbin this weekend at home 

The next broadcast will cover the lady maroons at home against riverton this wednesday

Former MLB Star To Be Inducted Into Peoria Hall of Fame

It's not quite the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but Jim Thome (TOH'-mayz) says his induction into a central Illinois equivalent is still highly meaningful for him and his family.

Reports indicate the Peoria-born, former Chicago White Sox star will be inducted into the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame on April 11. His father, grandfather, uncle and aunt were standout athletes and are already in the hall.

Thome's aunt, Carolyn Thome, had 561 base hits with the Caterpillar and Pekin Lettes from 1947 to 1962.

The 44-year-old Thome played baseball and basketball at Limestone High School and Illinois Central College. Playing with the Cleveland Indians, the White Sox and other major-league teams, he hit 612 home runs. The Journal Star reports that's seventh-most on major-league baseball's all-time list.

Gov. Proposed Cuts Based On Board Recommendations

The State Board of Higher Education has objections to several proposed eliminations in the upcoming fiscal year budget even though they were the ones that proposed the cuts.

During a Senate Appropriations hearing last week Dr. James Applegate, Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, decried the proposal of several grant programs being eliminated in the upcoming fiscal year budget.

Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:4011562541-HIGHERED2.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget reduces IBHE’s budget by more than five-million dollars, however the Governor keeps money for the Monetary Award Program the same. The IBHE says they want to see an increase of fifty-million dollars in the MAP fund for the next fiscal year.

Switching To 401K Could Increase Pension Liability

Switching public employees from their current defined benefit pension plan to a 401K type plan is seen by many as a solution to the state’s pension funding crisis.

But according to Ralph Matire (Mart-eerie), director of the BiPartison Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, switching to 401K plan would actually make the problem worse.

[audio:4011562646-RalphM1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Martire, several states have tried replacing pension plans with 401K plan and the results have not been good.

[audio:4011562648-RalphM2.mp3] [/audio]

Ralph Matire from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

Business Expo Provides Networking Opportunities for Area Businesses

The Wednesday Chamber of Commerce Business Expo not only gives businesses the opportunity to get in front of potential clients, but for businesses to network with each other.

While the DeWitt County Development Council is geared towards helping existing businesses and future business owners, their leader says the Business Expo is a great opportunity for them. Ruth Stauffer is the DeWitt County Development Council Executive Director and says the Wednesday event gives her an opportunity to network with DeWitt County businesses she may not otherwise have the opportunity to do.

[audio:4011562732-4115dcdcexpo1.mp3] [/audio]

For Stauffer, she says the Business Expo is primarily a retail market. She explains they ask them a variety of questions that involve anything from expansion to training to complimentary services that could come to the community. Stauffer wants the DCDC to be a resource for the many businesses in the community.

[audio:4011562735-4115dcdcexpo2.mp3] [/audio]

Today's Clinton Chamber of Commerce Business Expo goes from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Clinton High School gym.

Listen to live coverage from the event from 3 pm to 5 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and at dewittdailynews.com then from 5 pm to 7 pm on 95.9 FM WEZC.

City Parks Topic At Recent 'Meet The Candidates' Forum

Candidates for Streets and Public Improvements in Clinton recently discussed the future of city parks.

A lack of maintenance and in some cases vandalism in city parks have left many in poor shape heading into the April election and a couple candidates discussed what they'd like to see done. Challenger Mike Bray says a monetary investment would likely have to be made, though he doesn't know just how much is available to do so.

[audio:4011562737-4115parkstalk1.mp3] [/audio]

Incumbent Commissioner Nan Crang calls Clinton "a park town". She says there may not be an answer to what to do about the parks, but hopes the community will take an active role in seeking to improve the parks.

[audio:4011562741-4115parkstalk2.mp3] [/audio]

The Council recently passed a tax that would allow part of the revenue generated to go towards community parks.

The City Council is also currently investing in an evaluation in Kiwanis Park's ultimate play space.

College Basketball Notes

>>Former Texas Coach, Barnes, Lands At Tennessee

Rick Barnes wasn't out of a job for long.

Just two days after his official departure from Texas, Barnes was named the new men's basketball coach at Tennessee on Tuesday.

Barnes spent 17 seasons at Texas, leading the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament 16 times while posting a record of 402-180. This year's squad finished 20-14, falling to Butler in its NCAA Tournament opener.

It had appeared Barnes was set to remain in Austin immediately after the season, but things changed quickly and the school announced a mutual parting on Sunday, although Barnes said he wanted to stay.

Barnes is the winningest coach in Texas history.

In 28 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Barnes owns a record of 604-314.

 width=>>St. John's Officially Hires Legend Mullins

Hall of Famer Chris Mullin is returning to St. John's as the head men's basketball coach 30 years after leading the Red Storm to the Final Four.

The university announced Tuesday that it hired Mullin, one of the program's all-time greats, to replace Steve Lavin, who parted ways with the school on Friday after five years.

Mullin returns to the Red Storm after spending the last two seasons as an advisor with the Sacramento Kings. He also served as vice president of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors, his old NBA team, from 2004-09.

The 51-year-old Brooklyn native has never coached at any level but remains a legendary figure at St. John's, which he led to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances under Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca between 1982-85.

Mullin won three Big East Player of the Year awards as a St. John's forward and still holds the school's all-time scoring record with 2,440 points.

Mullin called it a "surreal experience" returning to St. John's as its coach.


>>NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format For Daytona, Talladega

Qualifying for NASCAR national touring series races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway will no longer feature a pack of cars running together.

NASCAR announced on Monday modifications to the qualifying format for Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races at restrictor-plate tracks (Daytona and Talladega). It will feature the return of single-car qualifying.

Starting with the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races at Talladega the first weekend in May, there will be two rounds of qualifying, with the top-12 posted lap speeds in the opening round advancing to the final segment.

 width=Each driver will be allowed only one timed lap per round, and NASCAR will release each car in a predetermined timed interval. NASCAR did note that it reserves the right to have more than one car engaging in qualifying runs at the same time.

The qualifying order for the first round will be determined by a random draw, and the order for the second round will be decided by slowest to fastest speeds from the opening segment.

>>Kyle Larson Released From Hospital After Extensive Testing

Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson has been released from the hospital after undergoing tests to determine why he had a fainting spell last Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

Chip Ganassi Racing said in a statement that, "after extensive testing and observation over the last few days, Kyle Larson was released from the hospital (Monday night) and finished up final tests (Tuesday). Larson, the 2004 rookie of the year in NASCAR's top series, drives the No. 42 Chevrolet for Ganassi.

The team also noted that Larson "is currently waiting for final doctor recommendations in order to clear him to return to all NASCAR related activities."

Larson missed Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville while being hospitalized at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. After he fainted during an autograph session at Martinsville, the 22-year-old Larson was transported to a nearby hospital -- awake and alert at the time -- and then later sent to Charlotte, where he underwent further testing and consulted with a neurologist.

Rangers Escape Winnipeg

 width=Chris Kreider scored the winner late in the third period and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 32 pucks as the New York Rangers clipped Winnipeg, 3-2, at MTS Centre.

Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard also lit the lamp for the Rangers, who had dropped three of four coming in. Lundqvist earned his first win since Feb. 2, the last game in which he appeared before his lengthy sabbatical due to a neck injury.

Jim Slater and Lee Stempniak produced offense for the Jets, who have lost three of four. Ondrej Pavelec made 21 saves in the setback.

NHL Scoreboard
Columbus 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
Washington 4, Carolina 2
Boston 3, Florida 2
Ottawa 2, Detroit 1 (SO)
Toronto 3, Tampa Bay 1
Vancouver 5, Nashville 4 (SO)

Nets Upset Pacers

 width=Brook Lopez had 24 points, Joe Johnson scored 21 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Indiana Pacers 111-106 on Tuesday for their first four-game winning streak of the season.

The Nets, 8-2 in their last 10 games, moved a half-game ahead of idle Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference while knocking Indiana 1 1/2 back.

Lopez, who scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half, added 11 rebounds and Alan Anderson had 20 points off the bench. Jarrett Jack scored 13 points and Deron Williams had 11 points and eight assists in the win.

George Hill scored 28 points to lead the Pacers, who fell to 2-8 in their last 10 and fell 1 1/2 games back of the final playoff spot in the East. David West added 14 points and the Indiana bench scored 48.

NBA Scoreboard
Detroit 105, Atlanta 95
San Antonio 95, Miami 81
Golden State 110, LA Clippers 106

Bears, Colts, Packers Make Moves

 width=>>Packers Resign Raji, Guion

The Green Bay Packers re-signed defensive tackles B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion to one-year contracts on Tuesday.

Raji's deal is reportedly worth $3.5 million, while Guion will earn $2.75 million.

Raji missed the entire 2014 season after suffering a biceps injury during preseason, but started 14 or more games in the previous five seasons (2009-13).

Drafted ninth overall by Green Bay in 2009, Raji has compiled 129 tackles and 10 1/2 sacks in 76 career games and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2011.

Guion is currently subject to discipline from the NFL after he was arrested for possession of marijuana and a firearm in February. He reached a plea agreement, which ended with him paying a $5,000 fine and having the charges dropped.

The 27-year-old recorded 32 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games last season, his first with the Packers.

Guion spent his prior six seasons with Minnesota and has totaled 122 tackles and 8 1/2 sacks in 84 career games.

 width=>>Bears Add Jacquizz Rodgers

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

The team announced the move Tuesday.

Rodgers has 1,116 yards rushing and 1,104 receiving in four seasons with Atlanta. He ran for 217 yards and had 173 receiving yards last season.

>>Colts Sign WR Brown

The Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday signed free-agent wide receiver Vincent Brown, who spent last season with the Oakland Raiders.

Brown, 26, had 12 receptions for 118 yards in seven games for the Raiders.

A third-round draft pick by San Diego in 2011, Brown appeared in 30 games for the Chargers over two seasons, catching 60 passes for 801 yards and three touchdowns after starring at nearby San Diego State.

Redbirds Take Slugfest Over In State Rival Eastern Illinois

Paul DeJong hit three home runs and Joe Kelch hit two more as the Illinois State baseball team rallied late for an 18-14 win over Eastern Illinois Tuesday at Coaches Stadium.

The Redbirds hit seven home runs in the contest, but needed six runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead for good. Illinois State tallied a season-high 22 hits in the win, while matching its season high with 18 runs.

 width=Redbird starter Jeffrey Barton allowed seven runs on 12 hits and two walks over 5.1 innings. Matt Lambert gave up two runs over the next inning of work and Jake Sale allowed four runs over the next 1.2 innings. Koziol finished out the game by pitching the bottom of the ninth.

DeJong tied a school record with his three home runs Tuesday, and notched career highs in hits (4) and RBIs (6). Kelch registered five hits in the game, which was both a career high and the most collected by a Redbird batter in 2015. Dwyer, Koziol and Brian Rodemoyer added three hits apiece in the win. Kelch and Koziol drove in four runs each, career-high totals for both players.

The seven home runs were the Redbirds' most in a game since 2012.

The Redbirds return to Duffy Bass Field on Friday for the first game of a three-game series against Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville. Friday's game begins at 4:30 p.m.

No. 15 Illinois Edges Mizzou In 'Braggin' Rights Game'

 width=No. 15 Illinois (21-6-1) picked up a 4-3 Braggin' Rights victory over Missouri (20-10) on Tuesday night at GCS Ballpark. Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, senior David Kerian hit a go-ahead two-run homer that proved to be the game winner. Starter Rob McDonnell nabbed his third win, and the bullpen paved the way for closer Tyler Jay to shut the door for his seventh save.

After Jason Goldstein doubled with two outs in the sixth, Kerian, who leads the Big Ten with a career-high seven home runs, poked the two-run shot over the short porch in right for a 4-3 edge. All four Illini runs came with two outs.

Jay stranded a runner at third to end the eighth with a strikeout looking and struck out the side swinging in the ninth for his 17th career save.

Three Illini players tallied a pair hits. Adam Walton, Ryan Nagle, and Goldstein tallied two hits, Nagle tallied an RBI nad Walton and Goldstein each scored.

Due to ongoing renovations at Rocky Miller Park, the Big Ten series between No. 15 Illinois and Northwestern scheduled for April 3-5 was moved to Champaign and will be played at Illinois Field.

Monticello Pounds Blue Ridge

The Monticello Sages jumped on Blue Ridge early never looked back in an 18-5 route Tuesday afternoon.

After a four-run first inning, Monticello blew the flood gates open with a nine run second, sending 13 batters to the plate, capped by a Jacob Burton three-run triple.

 width=Burton led Monticello with two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored.

Ryne Bundy went 2-for-3 with four runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Nathan Mumm also scored four runs witth an RBI in a 1-for-2 effort.

Konnor Bundy went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run, while Austin Hopper and Daniel Peterson finished 1-for-3 with an RBI apiece.

Monticello improves to 8-0 while Blue Ridge drops to 6-3.

Tune in next Monday as the Monticello Lady Sages softball team travels to Mt. Zion for a 4:30 pm contest. You can hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

The next boys baseball broadcast is next Friday, as Monticello travels to Decatur St. Teresa.

UPDATED: Early Morning Fire Shuts Down Clinton Restaurant

Fire Damaged Wimbley's East End Grill








Fire struck a Clinton business early Wednesday morning.

Wimbley's InteriorThe Clinton Fire Department responded to Wimbley's East End Grill on Route 54 in Clinton just after 4 o'clock Wednesday morning.  Fire Chief Shawn Milton indicates they were alerted to smoke and fire coming from the building by a passerby.  He says crews were able to quickly locate and extinguish the blaze, and no one was injured in the incident.

[audio:4011591425-wimbleyfire1.mp3] [/audio]

About 15 firefighters were on scene, with departments from Kenney, Wapella, and Maroa called in for mutual aid.  According to Chief Milton, the fire is not believed to be suspicious, however the State Fire Marshall's Office is being called in to investigate.

[audio:4011591427-wimbleyfire2.mp3] [/audio]

Wimbley's InteriorChief Milton credits the local firefighters for putting their training to good use, and limiting the amount of damage done to the establishment.

[audio:4011591424-wimbleyfire3.mp3] [/audio]

Wimbley's East End Grill suffered limited fire damage, however the interior of the restaurant sustained heavy smoke and heat damage.  The building was not a total loss, but it will be some time before the business is able to serve patrons.

Wimbley's announced via their Facebook page they will be closed until further notice and thanked their patrons for their support.

Wimbley's Interior

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for March 31

Jail Population: 44

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 1

Elizabeth Carballosa, 32, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Forgery. Carballosa unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.




Business Expo Draws Hundreds To CHS

 width=A picture perfect day set up another successful Business Expo hosted by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce.

Executive Director Marian Brisard says all their vendors were very pleased with the turnout and the interaction with the hundreds that gathered in the Clinton High School gym.

[audio:4011574241-4215exporecap11.mp3] [/audio]

The Chamber changed the layout of this year's event in an effort to create more space. Brisard feels that went over very well based on the feedback she received in her interactions with the vendors and those who attended.

[audio:4011574243-4215exporecap21.mp3] [/audio]

Opening up the space on one side of the gym allowed for better visibility for the demonstrations the Chamber brought in. Brisard says while those change from year to year, they remain a popular addition to the Expo.

[audio:4011574244-4215exporecap31.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard says her goal year after year is to continue to better the expo for the Chamber members that participate and for those that are non-members. She also hopes to provide the community with an excellent experience.

Bloomington Schools Sending Internet Connection Home With Students

It’s just 38 kids now, but sooner rather than later all needy kids in Bloomington schools could have high speed internet access at home thanks to the school district.

Bloomington schools superintendent Barry Reilly says high speed internet is as needed in the classroom as textbooks and notebooks.

[audio:4011562252-Reilly1.mp3] [/audio]

Reilly says high speed internet access is as needed in the classroom of 2015 as a pencil and notebook.

[audio:4011562252-Reilly2.mp3] [/audio]

Reilly’s problem is paying for the program. The district needs $27,000 for the connections next year (and $100,000 for all students in the years to come) but the school is short on funds.

Reilly hopes to find partners to pay for the at home connections, but says he hasn’t found any commitments yet.

Brady Won't Run For Congress

The race for Aaron Schock’s old seat in Congress is underway and another possible candidate says he won’t run.

State Representative Dan Brady, a republican from Bloomington, is not going to join Darin LaHood in the race for the vacancy in the 18th Congressional District.

By press release yesterday, Brady says the exploration about running taught him not to rule anything out in the future but for now he is focused on continuing his work at the State House.

Darrin LaHood Kicks Off Campaign For Congress

Senator Darrin LaHood has kicked off his race for the Congressional seat that has opened up with Aaron Schock's resignation.

LaHood says he hated to see Schock leave Congress but he also understands voters will demand stronger ethics and he believes his resume has that covered.

[audio:4011562402-Lahoodruns.mp3] [/audio]

If he wins, LaHood said he said he would seek seats on both the transportation and infrastructure committee and the agriculture committee.

Effeciency Task Force Proposed By Board of Higher Education

The Illinois Board of Higher Education proposes an efficiency task force to review how to better use available resources, but only after implementing the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

Illinois News Network has more.

[audio:4011562445-HIGHERED.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget for the IBHE includes a five-point-five-million dollar reduction in programs the Governor’s office says fall short in taxpayer return on investment. The Governor’s office says programs like Grow Your Own Teacher, medical grants for specific fields and other grants subsidizing specific academic centers are no longer affordable.


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