Local News

Local Unemployment Continues to Improve

The jobless rate across the area has improved in the last month as April statistics were released earlier this week.

DeWitt County registered a 4.6% unemployment rate, nearly a full percent drop from March.

The jobless rate in Piatt County dropped a full percent, to 3.9% in March.

A 4.5-percent unemployment rate in April was down from 5.6% in March for Logan County.

Unemployment in Macon County continues to improve. The jobless rate in Macon County for April was 5.9% down from 7% in March.

The jobless rate in Champaign County was 4.1%. Sangamon County had a 4.3% jobless rate.

The April unemployment rate statewide was 5.5% compared to the national average of 5.1%.

Sen. Rose Calls Budgeting 'Par For Course'

The spring legislative session is nearing its scheduled May 31st deadline. Thursday, the Senate passed several proposals for Illinois. 

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Senator Chapin Rose says despite a clear message from the voters in November that they want change, the super-majority, that is the Illinois Democrats in the General Assembly, continue to spend money they don't have.

Sen. Rose says the problem with spending more than they have coming in will be there will be broken promises at some point. The Senator specifically points to college funds they are promising to pay for that could end up not happening.

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Sen. Rose believes quote-"it's time for the adults to step up" and hopes the Governor will step in. He adds, without addressing job growth in Illinois, there cannot be revenue to make a budget.

He applauds the Democrats who have stood up and opposed the unbalanced budget.

State Rep. Pleased With Latest Law Enforcement Bill

It took two votes but the Illinois House today passed a major police reform package bill Thursday including rules for body cameras.

Senate Bill 1304 passed by a 102-7 vote. It includes provisions for body camera guidelines, independent investigators, special prosecutors and new training. State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) congratulated those who worked on the bill and was pleased with the compromise.

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Illinois would be the first state in the nation to pass a comprehensive package of recommendations put forth by President Barack Obama’s police task force.

The bill updates the eavesdropping law in Illinois to allow police to record without permission. The only time they would be able to turn the camera off is when talking to a victim or witness or during strategic and personal conversations.

Officers who neglect to record will be treated at a departmental level instead of being charged with a crime.

2nd Chance For Pets Hosting Weekend Event

You can help a lending hand to an organization aimed at finding homes for local animals while getting to know some of those animals.

This weekend in Wapella, 2nd Chance for Pets of DeWitt County in conjunction with Misflips in Wapella will be hosting a benefit featuring concerts and a D.J. According to Heather Wantland, with 2nd Chance for Pets, they are going to have several of their pets at the benefit to mingle and meet.

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At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to directly help 2nd Chance for Pets. Wantland says they are in search of supplies for their pets in foster care and those at the DeWitt County Animal Shelter. Items they are seeking include dog and cat food, canned or dry and toys, blankets, and bedding.

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The event is Saturday in Wapella from 4 pm to midnight. From 4 to 9 pm it is an all ages event, then from 9 pm to midnight it will be an adults only format.

To get further information on Second Chance for Pets, visit secondchanceforpets.com or check out their Facebook page.

Clinton Elementary 3rd Grade Teacher Receives 'Teacher of the Year' Award

A Clinton Elementary School teacher recently received 'Teacher of the Year' award for the 2014-15 school year.

According to Clinton Elementary Principal Mary Diener, Trisha Bostic was named Teacher of the Year for the annual district-wide award at their Annual Spring Tea. Diener says Bostic is a third grade teacher that shows a lot of enthusiasm and is very involved in the school.

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Assistant Principal Dawn Timmerman says there's never a dull moment in Bostic's clasroom.

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The 'Teacher of the Year' award at the annual Spring Tea is voted on by fellow teachers in the district. Diener says the organizers of the event do a great job of keeping the award recipient a secret but allowing their families to witness them receiving the award.

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Other nominees for Teacher of the Year honors were Tanya Donelson of Clinton Elementary School, Renee Henne of Clinton Junior High School, Phyllis Marquis of Clinton High School and Kisha Maurer of Clinton Junior High School.

Also honored at the annual Spring Tea were the Clinton Education Association Scholarship Recipients. They included Rebecca Anderson, Rachel Borland, Michaela Elliot, Christopher Jorgenson, Alexis Obenmeyer, Kaelen Smith, Megan Tool, Sarah Williams, Payton Bieber, Stephanie Broden, Reann Huffman, Noah McClurg, Megan Pister, Nolan Snyder, Jacey Wickenshauser, and Sarah Willoughby.

Teachers with 20 years of service were recognized. Tom Ballenger, Diana Holl, Theresa Smith, and Debbie Underwood were recognized. Sherry Chapman, Glenda Kaufman, Laura Puente and Teri Shaefer were recognized for 25 years of service and Julie Baldwin, Stevew Cors, and April Martens were recognized for 30 years of service in the district.

Rauner Cabinet Member Pay Under Question

A highly paid cabinet member for Governor Bruce Rauner is being paid from an agency facing millions in cuts to services that have little to do with her job.
Education Secretary Beth Purvis is making $250,000 a year but her salary is coming from the budget of the Department of Human Services. DHS was targeted for millions in cuts to programs that support autism and epilepsy support and burials for the indigent.

Those cuts were eventually restored for the rest of the fiscal year but the upcoming budget is seeking more cuts at DHS.

The salary switch was discovered by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Gaming Expansion Back On Table

A casino in Chicago and others scattered throughout the state is up for debate at the state house.

The new go at expanded gaming would allow the city of Chicago to own the casino to and funnel all the revenue over the first 7 years of operation to help make city pension fund payments.

The bill will start out in a Senate Committee and would also include casinos’ in Rockford, Danville and suburban Lake County.

Michael Jordan, Abe Lincoln Maintain Illinois' Pitchmen

Abe Lincoln's legacy doesn't stop at his roles as the Great Emancipator, the man who preserved the Union, or even his hostility toward logs. He continues to be an enduring pitchman.

While families of celebrities who have passed on are raking in the dough, Lincoln's likeness is largely available free of charge.. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Curator Dr. James Cornelius doesn't believe Honest Abe or his wife would mind.

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While he believes Lincoln would embrace most Madison Avenue types, there is one likely exception.

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Lincoln's likeness is being used to promote everything from Illinois tourism to anti depression medication "Abilify" to the newest product with Lincoln's likeness "Lincoln's Secret Sauce", a so-called multi-use condiment which has debuted in Lincoln's namesake town in Illinois.

Clinton Police Report for May 29







DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for May 29

Jail Population: 32

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Malori Fenton, 28, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Fenton was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.





Bowditch Leads After Day 1 At Byron Nelson Championship

 width=Steven Bowditch fired an 8-under 62 Thursday and grabbed a 2-shot lead after the opening round of the Byron Nelson Championship

Bowditch has one PGA Tour win, which came last year at the Texas Open.

Jimmy Walker, who won the Texas Open earlier this year, is alone in second place after a 6-under 64. Ryan Palmer and James Hahn share third place at minus-5.

Keegan Bradley carded a 4-under 66 at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas and was joined in fifth place by Tom Gillis and John Merrick. Dustin Johnson headlines a group of 13 players at minus-3.

Masters champion Jordan Spieth carded a 1-under 69 and is part of a large group tied for 33rd. Spieth started with a birdie at the first, but followed with eight straight pars.

American Athletic Conference To Hold First Ever Conference Championship Game

 width=The American Athletic Conference announced on Thursday the addition of a conference championship game in football.

The first American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played Saturday, Dec. 5 at noon (ET) and will be televised nationally on either ABC or ESPN.

The 2015 season will be the AAC's first in its new 12-team, two-division format, in which each team will play eight conference games. Each team will face the other five teams in its own division as well as three teams from the other division.

The AAC's East Division includes UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, USF and Temple. The West Division lineup is Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa.

The two divisional champions will meet in the championship game at the home site of one of the participants, not at a neutral site.

American Athletic Conference To Hold First Ever Conference Championship Game

 width=The American Athletic Conference announced on Thursday the addition of a conference championship game in football.

The first American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played Saturday, Dec. 5 at noon (ET) and will be televised nationally on either ABC or ESPN.

The 2015 season will be the AAC's first in its new 12-team, two-division format, in which each team will play eight conference games. Each team will face the other five teams in its own division as well as three teams from the other division.

The AAC's East Division includes UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, USF and Temple. The West Division lineup is Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa.

The two divisional champions will meet in the championship game at the home site of one of the participants, not at a neutral site.

NASCAR Shifts To Dover

Last Sunday at Charlotte, Carl Edwards became the ninth driver to virtually guarantee himself a spot in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship when he won the Coca-Cola 600 -- NASCAR's longest race of the season.

 width=Martin Truex Jr. is hoping he will be the next driver to join the Chase party this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series competes at Dover International Speedway. Dover is Truex's home track.

Truex, who hails from Mayetta, New Jersey, is having the best start of his 10- year career in the series, as he currently sits second in the point standings (41 points behind leader and defending series champion Kevin Harvick). He has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 12 races this year, including a second-place run in the March 8 race at Las Vegas.

In the past two races, Truex has led the most laps but has come up short of winning. Earlier this month at Kansas, Truex ran in front for a total of 95 laps, but he took fuel only during his last pit stop and faded after the final restart in the closing laps to finish ninth. Jimmie Johnson won there.

At Charlotte, Truex led 131 laps but wound up finishing fifth.

Sox Split Double-Header With Baltimore

>>Sale Leads Sox To Game 1 Victory of Double Header

Chris Sale was dominant over 7 2/3 innings in guiding the Chicago White Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of Thursday's traditional doubleheader.

Sale (4-2) gave up just four hits with a season-high 12 strikeouts and no walks. The stingy left-hander extended his franchise record of games with 10- plus strikeouts to 21.

Adam LaRoche went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two doubles, while Melky Cabrera and Tyler Flowers each drove in a run for the White Sox, who will attempt to sweep their first doubleheader against the Orioles since Aug. 21, 1999 in the nightcap.

 width=Chris Davis hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning for Baltimore. Tyler Wilson (1-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk prior to the game, was tagged with the loss but pitched well in his first career major league start, giving up two runs on five hits over six innings of work.

The doubleheader, being played after the games on April 27th and 28th were postponed due to safety concerns over the Freddie Gray protests, will continue with Chris Beck making his major league debut on the mound for Chicago against Baltimore's Mike Wright.

>>Wright, Orioles Take Game 2 of Twin Bill

Travis Snider, Steve Clevenger and David Lough all had two hits and an RBI to help the Baltimore Orioles split a doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox with a 6-3 victory.

The White Sox earned a 3-2 decision in the opener of this twinbill, which made up games postponed on April 27 and 28 due to last month's Baltimore riots, behind Chris Sale's 7 2/3 scoreless inning, 12-strikeout effort.

Ryan Flaherty also had two hits while scoring a run for Baltimore in the nightcap.

All three Chicago runs in Game 2 came on a pair of homers off Mike Wright (2-0) in the rookie's five-inning stint. Four Oriole relievers combined to hold the White Sox scoreless the rest of the way, with Zach Britton twirling a perfect ninth to nail down his 13th save.

Adam LaRoche had a two-run shot in a losing cause and Adam Eaton added a solo homer for Chicago.

Chris Beck (0-1) was able to give the White Sox six innings in his major league debut, but was reached for five runs -- four earned -- and 10 hits while walking four.

American League Scoreboard
Boston 5, Texas 1
Oakland 5, New York 4
LA Angels of Anaheim 12, Detroit 2
Cleveland 5, Seattle 3

National League Scoreboard
San Francisco 7, Atlanta 0
Pittsburgh 11, San Diego 5

Hawks, Ducks Ready For Game 7

 width=Someday the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks will relish the stories they'll be able to tell about playing in a postseason series as good as these Western Conference finals.

Not just now, though. They've still got to determine whether this tale has a happy ending or a brutal punchline.

Two weeks of extraordinarily high-level hockey conclude Saturday night at Honda Center when the Ducks and the Blackhawks play Game 7 for the Campbell Bowl and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. They've traded victories for six tense games across the past two weeks, playing six overtime periods and four one-goal games.

Both teams used Thursday for travel and mental preparation for the big finish after Chicago staved off elimination with a 5-2 victory in Game 6.

Bulls Fire Tom Thibodeau

The Chicago Bulls fired head coach Tom Thibodeau on Thursday.

Thibodeau spent the past five seasons as the team's head coach and led the Bulls to a record of 255-139. Chicago reached the playoffs in each of his five seasons and advanced as far the conference finals in the spring of 2011 at the conclusion of his first year.

However, the Bulls suffered a pair of first-round exits and two second-round losses over the next four seasons, and friction between the coach and front office apparently developed.

 width=Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in a statement Thursday quote-"Teams that consistently perform at the highest levels are able to come together and be unified across the organization -- staff, players, coaches, management and ownership. When everyone is on the same page, trust develops and teams can grow and succeed together, unfortunately, there has been a departure from this culture. To ensure that the Chicago Bulls can continue to grow and succeed, we have decided that a change in the head coaching position is required."

Thibodeau had been an assistant for 21 years in the NBA before the Bulls hired him in June 2010. Chicago, with league MVP Derrick Rose leading the way, earned the top seed in the 2011 playoffs and beat Indiana and Atlanta before losing to Miami in the conference finals. Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year in 2011.

The Bulls again earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs the following spring, but Rose suffered a catastrophic knee injury in the postseason opener and went on to lose to eighth-seeded Philadelphia in the first round.

Rose missed the entire 2012-13 season and a depleted Bulls team grinded through a first-round playoff series win over Brooklyn before they were eliminated in the second round by Miami. Another first-round exit in the spring of 2014 against Washington was followed by this past season that featured the tension between Thibodeau and management.

After the Bulls were eliminated by Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs earlier this month, Thibodeau stated in the postgame press conference that he expected to return as coach.

The Bulls, obviously, didn't feel the same way.

Illinois Hosts NCAA Regional; Bradley At Louisville

 width=Illinois will host an NCAA Regional for the first time in school history and make its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance.

The Big Ten regular season champions drew the No. 6 overall seed in the NCAA Baseball Championship and welcome Ohio, Notre Dame and Wright State to Illinois Field for the NCAA Regional this weekend.

The double-elimination competition will begin on Friday afternoon at noon CT when second-seeded Notre Dame faces third-seeded Wright State. The Illini will take on fourth-seeded Ohio on Friday evening at 7 p.m. CT.

The Illini are 22-2 at home in 2015, and its current 16-game home winning streak is the longest active home streak in the nation.

>>Bradley Baseball Ends Long NCAA Baseball Tournament Drought

It's been almost half a century since Bradley's baseball team played in the NCAA Tournament but the Braves' wait ends Friday.

Bradley (35-19) made the 64-team field and will play in the Louisville Regional. The Braves first face Michigan (37-23) on Friday in the double-elimination opening round.

Bradley hasn't made the post season since 1968.

Coach Elvis Dominguez told The Journal Star in Peoria (http://bit.ly/1J5436H ) that former players told him they got goose bumps when they found out the team was in the tournament.

Federal Judge Jim Shadid (shah-DEED') is one of those former players. He played in the 1970s and he still holds the school record with 30 stolen bases in a season.

Shadid stopped by practice Wednesday. He said he's proud of the team and what it's accomplished.

Demolition of Former Clinton Elementary Schools Finishing After Slow Spring

After a wet, cool and slow spring, the completion of the demolition projects at two former Clinton school district buildings appears to be in sight.

The demolition of the former Washington and Webster Elementary buildings began in December, and six months later, the final stages are finally beginning. According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, grass seed is planted and he hopes to have substantial growth over the next month.

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Dr. Holmes stresses the district will continue to maintain the two properties. He says it will be up to their maintenance crews to keep those mowed and groomed. He points out, the future of the properties is still undetermined.

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Last week, grass seed was finally able to be dropped at the sites. The district had hoped to see the property green and full of grass by the first of May, but a wet and cool spring delayed that time line.

Five FCS Teams Banned From Postseason

 width=Five FCS programs received postseason bans for the 2015 season under NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate penalties announced Wednesday

The bans, based on four-year APR data, were lobbied against Florida A&M and Savannah State from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Alabama State from the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Gardner-Webb from the Big South Conference and Tennessee State from the Ohio Valley Conference.

The teams also faced a reduction in practice time in-season.

APR scores, which the NCAA has calculated for the last 11 years, measure the classroom performance of a team over a four-year period. The new scores reflect the 2010-11 through 2013-14 school years.

A perfect score is 1,000. The penalized institutions fell below a score of 930.

PGA Tour Opens Byron Nelson Championship

 width=The PGA Tour finishes its quick Texas two-step at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship this week.

Last year, Brendon Todd closed with a 66 to grab his first PGA Tour title. Todd and Louis Oosthuizen shared the third-round lead, but Todd earned the title thanks to a bogey-free final round. Oosthuizen stumbled to a 4-over 74 in the final round to slide into a share of 11th place.

Former Masters champion Mike Weir was the story early on, but ended two back after a closing 67. That was Weir's first top-10 since 2010 and his best finish since ending second at the weather-shortened Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2009.

Todd returns to defend his title against a field that will be headlined by reigning Masters winner Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson and 2010 champ Jason Day. Spieth is coming off a tie for second place last week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Spieth made his first PGA Tour start at this event in 2010 at the age of 16. He opened with three straight rounds in the 60s before a closing 72 left him tied for 16th.

PGA Tour Opens Byron Nelson Championship

 width=The PGA Tour finishes its quick Texas two-step at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship this week.

Last year, Brendon Todd closed with a 66 to grab his first PGA Tour title. Todd and Louis Oosthuizen shared the third-round lead, but Todd earned the title thanks to a bogey-free final round. Oosthuizen stumbled to a 4-over 74 in the final round to slide into a share of 11th place.

Former Masters champion Mike Weir was the story early on, but ended two back after a closing 67. That was Weir's first top-10 since 2010 and his best finish since ending second at the weather-shortened Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2009.

Todd returns to defend his title against a field that will be headlined by reigning Masters winner Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson and 2010 champ Jason Day. Spieth is coming off a tie for second place last week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

Spieth made his first PGA Tour start at this event in 2010 at the age of 16. He opened with three straight rounds in the 60s before a closing 72 left him tied for 16th.

Warriors Punch Ticket To NBA Finals

Harrison Barnes was huge down the stretch, scoring 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, to help the Warriors to a 104-90 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

 width=The reigning MVP Stephen Curry, who suffered a head contusion in the Rockets' lone win in this series in Game 4 after a brutal fall, registered a game-high 26 points with eight rebounds and six assists.

Klay Thompson contributed 20 points in over 22 minutes of action despite dealing with foul trouble and an ear laceration throughout the game.

Golden State returns to the Finals for the first time since 1975 when it swept the Washington Bullets in four games to claim the franchise's third title.

The Warriors will host the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena in Game 1 on June 4.

Coming off a playoff career-high 45 points in Game 4, James Harden was one of those players who didn't finish quite as well as McHale had hoped. Harden had a forgettable performance in this one, finishing with 14 points on 2-of-11 shooting and committing an NBA playoff record 13 turnovers. The last field goal from Harden came with 5:49 remaining in the first half.

The Warriors scored 31 points off 20 Houston turnovers.

Dwight Howard led the Rockets with 18 points and 16 rebounds.

Former Bears' DT McDonald Arrested Again; NFL Notes

>>Bears' Forte Says He Won't Hold Out For Extension

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte says he will not hold out for a contract extension.

A two-time Pro Bowl pick, he says he will report to training camp on time despite the team's refusal to extend his deal. Forte is entering the final season of a four-year contract he signed in 2012.

He says the Bears told him they are "not talking about that type of stuff right now." He does not expect to revisit contract talks with general manager Ryan Pace anytime soon.

The 29-year-old Forte set an NFL record for receptions by a running back last season with 102. He joined LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players with 100 catches and 1,000 yards rushing in the same season.

>>Former Bears' DT McDonald Arrested Again

 width=Former 49ers and Bears defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested Wednesday for violating a restraining order that was issued as a result of his domestic violence and child endangerment arrest that occurred Monday.

According to a report from the Santa Clara Police Department, detectives "learned Ray McDonald violated a restraining order for being at a residence in Santa Clara." Detectives later found McDonald at a nearby Togo's Sandwiches and arrested the 30-year-old "without incident" and transported him to Santa Clara PD for processing.

On Memorial Day, Santa Clara police had arrested McDonald on suspicion of domestic violence and child endangerment in the attack of a woman holding a baby.

McDonald, who was signed by the Bears in late March, was subsequently released following his arrest on Monday.

>>Peterson Wants To Secure Future With Vikings

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made it clear Wednesday that Adrian Peterson's only options are playing in Minnesota or retiring.

 width="He's really got two choices: He can either play for us or he can not play," Zimmer told the assembled media at offseason workouts. "He's not going to play for anyone else and that's just the way it's going to be."

Peterson issued a statement Wednesday night aimed at clarifying his absence from this week's organized team activities.

"The reason I'm not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded," Peterson said in the statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson. "It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."

Throughout the offseason, Peterson was linked to trade rumors and speculation about his future with the Vikings. Team officials have said they want Peterson to remain with the team.

>>Colts Sign First Round Pick

The Indianapolis Colts signed first- round draft pick Phillip Dorsett on Wednesday.

Dorsett, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound wide receiver, was drafted No. 29 overall out of Miami.

He had 108 receptions for 1,860 yards and 15 touchdowns in three seasons for the Hurricanes, making 30 starts.

>>Texans To Be On Hard Knocks

The Houston Texans will be the featured NFL team this summer for HBO's "Hard Knocks" program, the series that details the club's training camp.

Earlier Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Texans were approached previously to take part in the series, but then-head coach Gary Kubiak declined.

The Texans were 9-7 in Bill O'Brien's first season as head coach in 2014, improving from 2-14 in 2013. Kubiak was fired with three games remaining in the 2013 campaign.

"This is an opportunity to provide a behind-the-scenes look at our team as we prepare for the 2015 season," said Texans general manager Rick Smith. "Fans will get a chance to see the great competition that takes place day-in and day-out on the practice field, as well as get to know all the unique personalities on our roster."

The Baltimore Ravens were the first team to appear on the series in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002. After a four-year hiatus, the series returned in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Blackhawks Force Game 7

 width=Andrew Shaw scored the final two goals of the contest, and the Chicago Blackhawks have forced a deciding Game 7 with a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at United Center.

Brandon Saad, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, while Duncan Keith netted three second-period assists and Andrew Desjardins drew helpers on Shaw's markers.

Corey Crawford came up with 30 saves and his team now faces a terminal contest in a Western Conference final for the second consecutive season. Last year, Chicago lost a Game 7 in overtime on home ice to eventual champions Los Angeles.

Patrick Maroon and Clayton Stoner tallied for the Ducks, who could have advanced to the franchise's third Stanley Cup Final with a victory. Anaheim will look to put last year's seven-game, second-round loss to the Kings in the rearview mirror in hosting Game 7 on Saturday.

Frederik Andersen stopped just 18 shots in defeat, his club's first in regulation during these playoffs.

Sox, Cardinals Win; Cubs Lose in Pitchers Duel; Cards' Adams Out 3-4 Months

 width=>>Big Hit By LaRoche Sends Sox Past Blue Jays

Adam LaRoche and Gordon Beckham each knocked in runs in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 decision over Toronto and avoid a three-game series sweep by the Blue Jays.

LaRoche followed Jose Abreu's leadoff triple off Roberto Osuna (1-1) with a single that plated the eventual winning run. Beckham later added an insurance tally with a two-out double that helped Chicago halt a four-game losing streak.

The two big hits enabled a shaky David Robertson (4-1) to record the win despite surrendering a game-tying solo homer to Josh Donaldson in the bottom of the ninth.

Robertson's blown save denied Jeff Samardzija a third straight victorious start after the Chicago righty held the Blue Jays to one unearned run while scattering eight hits over seven strong innings.

Abreu finished 3-for-5 with a two-run double that Toronto center fielder Ezequiel Carrera lost in the sun in the third inning. LaRoche, Beckham and J.B. Shuck each collected two hits and an RBI for the White Sox.

Donaldson had two RBI and Chris Colabello went 3-for-5 for a Toronto team that had amassed 24 runs over a three-game win streak it brought into Wednesday's finale.

Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada worked seven innings and allowed three runs on eight hits.

American League Scoreboard
Cleveland 12, Texas 3
New York 4, Kansas City 2
Minnesota 6, Boston 4
Seattle 3, Tampa Bay 0
Detroit 3, Oakland 2
Baltimore 5, Houston 4
San Diego 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 4

 width=>>Cardinals Rally Past Dbacks

The St. Louis Cardinals scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Wednesday.

Jason Heyward hit a homer down the right-field line to welcome Brad Ziegler (0-1) to the mound and even the score at three. Peter Bourjos then singled and moved to second when Kolten Wong grounded out. Matt Carpenter was intentionally walked before Matt Holliday walked to load the bases.

The Diamondbacks set up a five-man infield. Jhonny Peralta hit a grounder to the third baseman who got the forceout at home, but Jordan Pacheco's wild throw to first allowed the winning run to score.

Pacheco replaced Tuffy Gosewisch, who jammed his left knee while trying to beat out a grounder in the sixth.

The Cardinals swept this three-game series and have won four in a row overall.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits with five strikeouts and four walks over six innings. Seth Maness (1-0) recorded the final two outs in the ninth to pick up the win.

Josh Collmenter got the start for Arizona and allowed two runs on six hits over five innings.

 width=>>Scherzer Outduels Lester, Nats Beat Cubs

Max Scherzer outdueled Jon Lester, Bryce Harper smacked a solo homer and the Washington Nationals blanked the Chicago Cubs 3-0 in the rubber match of a three-game set.

Scherzer (6-3) and Lester (4-3), two of the most coveted free agents this past offseason, combined to strike out 23 batters.

Scherzer fanned 13, scattered five hits and walked just one over seven shutout innings, while Lester surrendered two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and two walks to go with 10 punchouts over seven frames.

The two aces signed with their new clubs for a combined 13 years and $365 million. Both had four wins in May coming in.

Harper's homer was the 13th in his last 19 games.

Danny Espinosa hit a solo shot and Ian Desmond posted three hits for the Nationals, who have won nine of their last 11 games.

Drew Storen blanked the Cubs in the ninth for his 16th save of the season.

Chicago has dropped four of its last six contests.

American League Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 5, Miami 2
Colorado 6, Cincinnati 4
New York 7, Philadelphia 0
San Francisco 3, Milwaukee 1
Atlanta 3, Los Angeles 2

 width=>>Cardinals' Adams To Miss 3-4 Months

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams is expected to miss the next 3-to-4 months while recovering from a severe right quadriceps strain that he suffered running the bases on Tuesday.

He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday.

According to MLB.com, the Cardinals and Adams are still deliberating whether the injury will require surgery.

Mark Reynolds played first base for the Cardinals in Wednesday night's game against the Diamondbacks and will be the primary starter there for the foreseeable future.

The 26-year-old Adams was hitting .243 with four home runs and 20 RBI over 43 games this season.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for May 27

Jail Population: 33

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Jeremy Wallace, 39, Decatur was issued Citations for Spilling Load/ Load Not Secure and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Wallace was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Dustin Rhoades, 33, Decatur was issued Citations for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Rhoades was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Robert Ward, 61, Mahomet was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ward was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Valerie Bennett, 46, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Bennett was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Michael Lowe, 37, Warrensburg was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Lowe was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Oathman Abdelqader, 43, Oak Forest was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Abdelqader was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




House Amends $277-Million To Education

The House passed an amendment to appropriate more than two hundred seventy seven million to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board for education operations.

[audio:5281534238-SCHOOLFUNDING.mp3] [/audio]

After questions about the partisan nature in which this bill was negotiated and passionate closing remarks by Representative Davis, the bill passed with 66 votes.

Sen. Rose Addresses Budget Bills

A package of budget bills offered by Senate Democrats Wednesday is not real, according to State Sen. Chapin Rose. Ray Watt has the story from Springfield.

[audio:5281534920-rosebudgetbills.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Mitchell Cautiously Optimistic About Legislation in Springfield

 width=While the Illinois General Assembly is focused on the state budget right now, not much attention has been paid to the renewable energy bill surrounding the Clinton Power Plant and three others in Illinois.

Wednesday, State Representative Bill Mitchell addressed the legislation and where it stands. The Representative says while it is currently not being addressed, he believes talks will go through the summer leading to something big.

[audio:5271532154-52815mitchellexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Mitchell points out the Clinton Power Station is guaranteed to remain open until June of 2016 and he remains optimistic they will get something done in the next year.

[audio:5271532156-52815mitchellexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

Earlier this month, around 60 Clinton and DeWitt County residents joined nearly 600 other Exelon employees from around the state in rallying at the Capitol to support the renewable energy standard legislation.

Lawmakers Approve Concussion Protocols



[audio:5261522152-concusspassed.mp3] [/audio]


Madigan Releases Budget To Governor

With a week to go before the state needs a budget in place, House Democrats are set to pass a $36.3 billion budget.

Speaker of the House Michael Madigan says they are ready to move forward and present the Governor a budget. Madigan says all the Governor wants to do is focus on non-budgetary issues, Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda, and not spending.

With that in mind, Madigan is moving forward and giving the Governor something to focus on.

[audio:5261522500-MADIGAN1.mp3] [/audio]

Before Madigan held a Memorial Day press conference Rauner’s camp released a statement blasting Madigan – saying "Speaker Madigan and the politicians he controls are walking away from the negotiating table and refusing to compromise on critical reforms needed to (turn around) Illinois.”

Madigan Releases Budget To Governor

With a week to go before the state needs a budget in place, House Democrats are set to pass a $36.3 billion budget.

Speaker of the House Michael Madigan says they are ready to move forward and present the Governor a budget. Madigan says all the Governor wants to do is focus on non-budgetary issues, Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda, and not spending.

With that in mind, Madigan is moving forward and giving the Governor something to focus on.

[audio:5261522500-MADIGAN1.mp3] [/audio]

Before Madigan held a Memorial Day press conference Rauner’s camp released a statement blasting Madigan – saying "Speaker Madigan and the politicians he controls are walking away from the negotiating table and refusing to compromise on critical reforms needed to (turn around) Illinois.”

Republicans Sound Off On Dem's Budget Plans

Democrats at the State House are prepared to go ahead and pass a budget with little to no input from Republicans.

House Speaker Mike Madigan says they are prepared to spend about $36.3 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. That has left Republicans upset with the process they thought was moving forward with plenty of work being done behind the scenes. Rep. Tim Butler a Republican from Springfield says that Democrats are setting up to give an unbalanced budget to the Governor.

[audio:5261522749-BUDGET1.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Butler says the process was moving forward with plenty of work being done behind the scenes.

[audio:5261522749-BUDGET2.mp3] [/audio]

Republicans started to introduce parts the much talked about Turn Around Illinois agenda from the Governor on Friday. They include civil lawsuit and workers compensation reform, the right for local governments to limit collective bargaining issues. The Senate will hold meetings on a number of the bills.

Local Senator Curious To See What Happens With Budget

As the deadline nears for the General Assembly to construct and pass a budget, one local senator says things seem to be pointing towards a budget being passed.

Senator Bill Brady says Democrats seem to have removed themselves from the negotiating process and appear to be poised to pass their own budget.

[audio:5261525352-52715bradybudget1.mp3] [/audio]

The Reform Agenda Governor Rauner has been pushing is essentially economic growth to create jobs. Sen. Brady says Illinois is the only state to not pass those types of reforms, which is setting them back.

[audio:5261525353-52715bradybudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Sunday is the deadline for the state to pass a budget. Governor Bruce Rauner must first sign it, or make amendments to it.

LeBron, Cavs Sweep Hawks

 width=LeBron James had 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and the Cavaliers routed the Atlanta Hawks 118-88 to finish off an Eastern Conference finals sweep on Tuesday night.

Cleveland advanced to its first NBA Finals since 2007, when it was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. The city hasn't celebrated a title since the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship in 1964.

The four-time NBA MVP James, coming off his 37-point, 18-rebound and 13- assists triple-double in an epic Game 3 performance, advanced to his fifth straight NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving returned following a two-game absence due to a lingering knee issue and posted 16 points and five assists in 22 minutes.

Rangers Light Up Lightning, Force Game 7

 width=Derick Brassard posted a hat trick and two assists and New York beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3 on Tuesday night in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

New York faced elimination for a fourth time this postseason, and for a fourth time it conquered the challenge to force a decisive Game 7 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

J.T. Miller and Rick Nash each had a goal and three assists, while James Sheppard and Keith Yandle also scored for the Rangers, who used a three-goal burst early in the third period to take control of the game.

Henrik Lundqvist improved to 15-3 all-time in elimination games as he stopped 36 shots for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

New York's nine wins when facing elimination the past two years tied an NHL record.

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and Ryan Callahan had the other goal for the Lightning, who are looking to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since winning it all in 2004.

Player of the Week Awards Named In Baseball

>>Braun, McCutchen Share NL Player of the Week Honor

Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun and Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen were named co-winners of the National League Player of the Week award on Tuesday.

 width=Braun led the majors with 11 RBI last week and tied for the NL lead with three home runs. He hit .381 with five walks and posted the league's second-highest slugging percentage (.952) and on-base percentage (.481).

McCutchen batted .450 with three homers and five RBI while leading the majors with a .542 on-base percentage. He paced the league with a 1.000 slugging percentage.

>>Red Sox Napoli Claims AL Player of the Week Honor

Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was named the American League Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Napoli batted .429 (9-for-21) with six runs scored, five home runs and 10 RBI over six games. Napoli paced all Major League hitters in home runs, slugging percentage (1.190) and total bases (25). Among AL batters, he finished first in RBI, tied for first in on-base percentage (.500), tied for second in runs scored and fifth in batting average.

Blues Give Hitchcock One Year Extension


The St. Louis Blues and head coach Ken Hitchcock have agreed to a one-year contract for the 2015-16 season.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hitchcock has been the Blues' head coach since Nov. 7, 2011 and has guided the club to four straight postseason appearances, but his status had been in question following a first-round playoff loss to Minnesota earlier this spring.

The Blues won the Central Division this season with a record of 51-24-7 and their 109 points tied Anaheim for the most in the Western Conference. However, the Blues were the second seed in the conference playoffs and were eliminated by the Wild in six games.

St. Louis has the NHL's best regular-season record over the last four years with a pair of division titles, but playoff success has eluded the team. After a loss in the second round of the playoffs in the spring of 2012, the Blues have been ousted in the first round each of the last three years.

Hitchcock has a record of 175-79-27 during his tenure in St. Louis and was honored as the NHL's top coach in his first season with the Blues in 2011-12.

Cubs Win On Walk Off, Cards Win; Sox Lose

 width=>>Rookie Russell Gives Cubs Walk Off Win

Addison Russell doubled home Jonathan Herrera in the bottom of the ninth as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday night.

After Chris Coghlan singled with one out off Matt Grace (2-1) in the ninth, Herrera reached on a fielder's choice and an error by shortstop Ian Desmond, then Russell ripped a 1-0 changeup into the left-center gap for the win.

Hector Rondon (3-0) earned the win for a scoreless ninth inning, helping the Cubs snap their two-game losing streak.

Dexter Fowler opened the scoring with a leadoff shot for the Cubs in the home first.

It remained that way until Bryce Harper tied the game with a solo blast off Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks in the seventh, and Denard Span put the Nationals up 2-1 with a homer off Pedro Strop in the eighth.

Kris Bryant, who homered in Monday's series opener, launched his seventh homer of the season in the home eighth off Aaron Barrett to tie the game at 2-2.

 width=>>Cardinals Down Diamondbacks

Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs and Randall Grichuk added a solo homer while knocking in a pair in St. Louis' 6-4 triumph over Arizona in the middle test of a three-game series.

Matt Holliday contributed two hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, with Yadier Molina also driving in a run.

Jaime Garcia (1-1) worked six innings for the win, allowing four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits with five strikeouts.

Seth Maness recorded the final out of the contest to earn his third save.

Yasmany Tomas doubled twice and knocked in three runs for the Diamondbacks. Nick Ahmed homered while A.J. Pollock had two hits and scored twice in defeat.

Archie Bradley (2-2) gave up six runs on five hits with three walks over his 3 2/3-frame outing.

National League Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 5, Miami 1
New York 5, Philadelphia 4 (10 innings)
Cincinnati 2, Colorado 1
San Francisco 6, Milwaukee 3
Los Angeles 8, Atlanta 0
San Diego 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 0

 width=>>Donaldson Home Run Gives Blue Jays Walk Off Win Over Sox

Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Toronto Blue Jays 10-9 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

The walk-off blast to right field against White Sox closer David Robertson (3-1) capped a 4-for-4 performance for Donaldson and ended a wild game that saw the Blue Jays blow four leads and overcome a pair of two-run deficits.

Donaldson added a solo homer and scored five runs, while Jose Bautista had three doubles and five RBI in his return to the Toronto lineup. Bautista sat out the previous two games after receiving a cortisone shot on Sunday to relieve pain in his right shoulder.

The White Sox had scored three runs in the eighth to grab a 9-7 lead.

Adam Eaton singled home the tying run and scored the go-ahead run on an overturned call at first base. The Blue Jays appeared to turn an inning-ending double play on Jose Abreu's chopper to second, but the White Sox challenged Jordan Baker's out call.

Because of his hustle, Abreu narrowly beat the throw to first. He eventually scored on a single by Alexei Ramirez.

Robertson, who recorded the final out in the eighth with a runner at third, didn't retire a batter in the ninth. Josh Thole singled and Jose Reyes doubled before Donaldson homered, extending the Blue Jays' winning streak to three games.

Steve Delabar (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win. Toronto starter R.A. Dickey gave up five runs on eight hits and walked two in five innings.

Abreu hit a three-run homer for the White Sox, who have dropped four straight and seven of their last eight overall. Chicago starter John Danks allowed six runs on seven hits over five innings.

American League Scoreboard
New York 5, Kansas City 1
Houston 4, Baltimore 1
Texas 4, Cleveland 3
Seattle 7, Tampa Bay 6 (10 innings)
Minnesota 2, Boston 1
Detroit 1, Oakland 0

Cowboys Sign Former Illini WR Jenkins

 width=The Dallas Cowboys have signed wide receiver A.J. Jenkins.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jenkins was waived by the Chiefs in February after playing two seasons with Kansas City. He was acquired by the Chiefs in a trade with San Francisco prior to the 2013 campaign.

The 49ers selected the Illinois product with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He appeared in three regular-season games and two playoff games as a rookie with the 49ers and played sparingly in two seasons with the Chiefs.

Jenkins caught 17 passes for 223 yards in 25 games for the Chiefs, including just nine receptions for 93 yards in nine games last season.

New Investigation Launched Into Illinois Player Allegations

 width=The University of Illinois has hired a Chicago law firm to launch a second investigation into accusations of mistreatment made by the parents of some former women's basketball players.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the second investigation announced Tuesday will be handled by Pugh, Jones & Johnson, and will focus on accusations that coach Matt Bollant and now-former assistant coach Mike Divilbiss verbally abused players and created racial tension on the team.

Those allegations were initially investigated by the school, which said no laws or university or NCAA policies were violated.

Accusations that coaches pressured one player to play with an injury are being investigated separately by another law firm that's also looking at the football program.

The university also announced a series of measures intended to ensure player well-being.

Clinton High School Boys Basketball Team Hosting Fundraiser Tonight

 width=The Clinton High School Boys Basketball team is holding a fundraiser in partnership with Pizza Hut restaurants owned by NPC International, who own the Clinton, Forsyth, and Decatur locations, along with some 1200 other locations throughout the US. We are seeking your support.

Vouchers are available through the high school athletic department, present those when you order from a participating Pizza Hut.

CHS Boys Basketball will receive 20% of the sales that have the voucher applied.

Electronic copies are available on your phone, or a printed copy.

It works for dine in, carry out, and delivery orders.

Clinton Police Report for May 27

CITATION 5/26/15




Two Come Forward In Vandalism At Kiwanis Park Case

 width=Vandalism at Kiwanis Park in Clinton over the Memorial Day weekend left many in the community outraged and Wednesday morning, that case resolved itself.

According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, two juveniles came forward Wednesday admitting their involvement in the broken equipment at the park. The Chief indicates the City of Clinton along with the Department's juvenile officer will decide how to go forward in prosecuting the two juveniles.

[audio:5271521240-52815parkvand1.mp3] [/audio]

Social media was a huge driver in the juveniles coming forward. According to the Chief says this was an example of the community coming together and taking pride in their park.

[audio:5271521242-52815parkvand2.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief believes his officers are very proactive when policing the city parks. He points out the unique location of Kiwanis Park in Clinton can sometimes make it a challenge to always have an eye on, but officers are required to check in on the parks once while they are on duty.

[audio:5271521248-52815parkvand32.mp3] [/audio]

The Chief points out while vandalism is often a cause of deterioration at the park, it is also very old. At almost 15 years old and made of exclusively wood, the park is in need of some upgrades, which the City of Clinton has begun to address.

[audio:5271521244-52815parkvand4.mp3] [/audio]

While it doesn't excuse the actions of the two, the Chief says he appreciates them taking responsibility for what they did. The Chief believes the two were aware of the outcry from the public regarding the damaged property. He says they explained their actions and took responsibility for what they did was and did the right thing in turning themselves in.

Lawmakers Making Positive Progress on Train Controls

After the recent Philadelphia Amtrak disaster, the nation is learning more about the potential for railroads to slow down speeding trains by remote control.

When it comes to positive train control, it appears Illinois is ahead of the curve. Mike Stead, manager of the Illinois Commerce Commission rail safety program, says there is serious progress toward positive train control for freight railroads and it will be a required component of high speed rail Amtrak trains between St. Louis and Chicago.

[audio:5271532208-RR2.mp3] [/audio]

Stead also notes that positive train control will mean engineers won't just depend on line of sight to detect cars and other hazards are on the tracks at rail crossings...

[audio:5271532210-rr3.mp3] [/audio]

Positive train control was installed on the Dwight-Pontiac section as part of initial 110 mph service. On the freight railroad front, it's already in place along the Burlington-Northern/Santa Fe Railway tracks between Beardstown and Centralia.

Major Revenue Gap In Latest Budget

What comes first? Spending bills or budget bills?

If you’re like most Democrats in the Illinois House the answer is pass spending bills without knowing where the revenue would come from. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:5271532203-BUDGETBILLS4.mp3] [/audio]

Monday Speaker Michael Madigan said he’s willing to sit down with the Governor to talk about revenue but the Governor and Republicans said they want some, if not all, of the Governor’s reform items passed before they consider more revenue. Nine budget bills passed the House with majority Democrats voting in favor. All Republicans were joined by four Democrats in voting “no” which calls into question the ability to override an expected veto. The legislature could go into overtime if there is not a budget in place by this Sunday at midnight.

Questions Loom On Constitutionality of Budget Bills

During debate of several budget bills in the Illinois House Tuesday, the issue of a balanced budget clause in the state constitution was raised but requests to add a balanced budget note were rejected.

[audio:5271532201-BUDGETBILLS3.mp3] [/audio]

The nine budget bills in the House passed Thursday with most Democrats voting in favor. All Republicans and four Democrats voted “no” for most of the budget bills which calls into question whether there’s enough votes to override an expected veto from Governor Bruce Rauner.

Rep. Davis Weighs In On Fast Track Trade

The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership is being decided in congress and 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis says he will vote yes. Some argue this is the biggest trade deal in years and it's been nicknamed, "Fast track trade." Davis says this deal has the potential to stop steel dumping in the United States.

[audio:5271532204-DAVISTPA1.mp3] [/audio]

Davis says this is one of the most transparent trade deals in his political career. Those against the bill argue it could hurt American jobs. Davis disagrees.

[audio:5271532206-DAVISTPA2.mp3] [/audio]

Activists have been protesting against the bill saying it will benefit big business and harm U-S Jobs.

Local Leaders To Discuss Mental Health Tonight In Clinton

The last few days on Regional Radio News, we've outlined an upcoming documentary on mental health.

Local journalist Edith Brady-Lunny co-produced the documentary, "Shortchanged: Unjailing the Mentally Ill", which outlines the challenges law enforcement faces as it relates to individuals who battle mental health issues and are incarcerated. Following the showing tonight, which is at 6 pm at the First Christian Church in Clinton, a panel of leaders on the front line of the issue will discuss the documentary and how it relates to what is happening in Clinton and DeWitt County.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner will be among those on the panel, and he hopes the panel can help raise awareness on the challenges they face and how they are working to keep the public safe.

[audio:5261572019-52615docpanel1.mp3] [/audio]

Lynn Scovill is the Executive Director of the DeWitt County Human Resource Center. She hopes the documentary, and the panel discussion, will lead to more cooperation in the community to get the proper treatment to those who struggle with mental health.

[audio:5261572022-52615docpanel2.mp3] [/audio]

The showing starts at 6:30 pm tonight at the First Christian Church in Clinton. The event is free and open to the public.

After Weekend Victory, Chris Kirk Moves Up In World Rankings

 width=Chris Kirk claimed his fourth PGA Tour win on Sunday at Colonial and that helped him improve to No. 17 in this week's world rankings.

Kirk improved six spots thanks to his come-from-behind victory.

Rory McIlroy missed the cut at Wentworth, but easily retained the No. 1 spot. Jordan Spieth did narrow the gap thanks to a tie for second place behind Kirk.

Henrik Stenson was third again and followed by Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose. Sergio Garcia and Jason Day exchanged places for the second straight week with Garcia up to seventh and Day down to eighth.

Rickie Fowler remained ninth and was again trailed by Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Reed.

U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer improved two spots to 16th after tying for 18th at Wentworth and was followed by Kirk.

Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson were both down two spots to 18th and 19th, respectively. Billy Horschel dipped one to 20th.

Harden, Rockets Stave Off Elimination

 width=Six players scored in double figures in a balanced attack for the Rockets, who tied a playoff record with an explosive 45-point first quarter.

James Harden finished with a playoff career-high 45 points to make up for a 3- of-16 shooting effort in Game 3's embarrassing 35-point loss. Dwight Howard totaled 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Josh Smith stepped up with 20 points.

The Warriors held their collective breath when Stephen Curry fell head over heels in a scary scene midway through the second quarter.

The league MVP somehow came away with just a head contusion and returned in the second half. He scored 23 points in 31 minutes and appears to be in good health for the remainder of the series, which shifts back west for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Klay Thompson led Golden State with 24 points, while Draymond Green chipped in with 21 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks before fouling out.

Bears McDonald Arrested, Then Cut

 width=Troubled defensive lineman Ray McDonald was released by the Chicago Bears Monday after being arrested on charges of domestic violence and child endangerment.

Santa Clara, Calif., police said Monday they were dispatched to McDonald's home at 3:48 a.m. local time, where they learned McDonald "physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby."

McDonald left the residence before police arrived. He was later located and arrested at a different home in San Jose, which, reports said, belongs to former 49ers teammate Justin Smith.

The Bears signed McDonald on March 24 to a one-year, $1.5 million contract that included no guaranteed money.

The 30-year-old McDonald was arrested in August of last year on domestic violence charges following an altercation with his fiancee at a party in McDonald's home. The 49ers publicly stood by McDonald, allowing him to continue to play while the investigation was ongoing, and the case was later dropped in November due to a lack of evidence.

Cardinals Walk Off; Cubs, Sox Lose

 width=>>Cardinals Survive Late Comeback By Dbacks

Jhonny Peralta cracked a home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.

After Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal (1-0) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the 10th, Peralta opened the home half with a solo blast to left off J.C. Ramirez.

Ramirez (1-1) got out of a first-and-second jam by striking out the side in the ninth but he could not keep the hosts off the board as the Cardinals won their second straight following a three-game skid.

Matt Adams got St. Louis on the board in the first with an RBI groundout and Jason Heyward ripped a single off shortstop Nick Ahmed's glove that brought home Adams for a 2-0 lead after four innings.

Carlos Martinez scattered five hits over seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts, but did not factor in the decision.

 width=>>Roark, Nationals Get By Cubs

Wilson Ramos hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth, Tanner Roark pitched five effective innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Monday.

Denard Span also homered for Washington, which has won eight of nine.

Making his first start of the season in place of the injured Doug Fister, Roark (1-2) allowed rookie Kris Bryant's sixth home run and struck out three. Four relievers combined for four innings of two-hit ball, with Drew Storen working the ninth for his NL-best 15th save in 16 attempts - closing out the five-hitter.

National League Scoreboard
New York 6, Philadelphia 3
Colorado 5, Cincinnati 4
San Francisco 8, Milwaukee 4
Pittsburgh 4, Miami 2
Los Angeles 6, Atlanta 3
LA Angels of Anaheim 4, San Diego 3

 width=>>Hutchison, Blue Jays Blank Sox

Drew Hutchison pitched a four-hitter, Justin Smoak and Josh Donaldson homered and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 5-0 on Monday night.

Hutchison (4-1) allowed four singles, walked none and struck out eight while throwing just 96 pitches in his second career shutout. The other came at Texas on May 16, 2014.

Smoak hit a two-run homer in the first and Donaldson had a solo drive in the second as the Blue Jays won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game streak from May 6-9.

The loss in the opener of a season-long, 11-game trip stopped a five-game road win streak for the White Sox. Chicago has lost six of seven overall.

American League Scoreboard
New York 14, Kansas City 1
Baltimore 4, Houston 3
Minnesota 7, Boston 2
Oakland 4, Detroit 0
Texas 10, Cleveland 8
Seattle 4, Tampa Bay 1

OT Goal Sends Ducks to 3-2 Series Lead

 width=Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Monday night in Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored two stunning goals in 72 seconds late in regulation to force overtime, but Beleskey barreled into the crease and scored on a rebound of Ryan Kesler's shot, flying through the air in celebration.

Kesler and Sami Vatanen had a goal and an assist apiece for the Ducks, who moved to the brink of their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals since 2007.

The Blackhawks had won four overtime games already in this postseason and had all the momentum heading to OT this time - until Beleskey swooped in.

Game 6 is Wednesday in Chicago.

Illini Get #6 Overall National Seed

The Illinois Fighting Illini baseball team earned the No. 6 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Baseball Championship, announced by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee Monday. Illinois, which nabbed a national seed for the first time, will welcome Ohio, Notre Dame and Wright State to Illinois Field for the NCAA Regional on May 29-June 1.

Illinois is the top seed among the four programs set to square off in Champaign. The double-elimination competition will begin on Friday afternoon at noon CT when second-seeded Notre Dame faces third-seeded Wright State. The Illini will take on fourth-seeded Ohio on Friday evening at 7 p.m. CT.

The regional winner qualifies for one of eight Super Regionals and takes one step closer to the College World Series in Omaha. Regional play begins on Friday, May 29 and runs through Monday, June 1 (if necessary). All games at the NCAA Champaign Regional will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For May 22-24

Jail Population: 33

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 1

Joshua Huff, 26, Farmer City was issued Citations for False Information- Required Reporting, Failure to Report Accident to Police Authority, Failure to Reduce Speed/ Accident, Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Improper Lane Usage. Huff was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Sheri McDormand, 45, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Driving While License Suspended and was arrested and charged with Driving While License Suspended. McDormand posted the necessary bond and was released.

Carl Sprague, 34, Rantoul was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery. Sprague unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Cody Bryant, 24, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant Charging him with Violate Order of Protection. Bryant unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Dustin Wyatt, 29, Clinton was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery/ Physical Contact. Wyatt posted the necessary bond and was released.

Jermaine Jones, 41, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Jones was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Madison Lebahn, 27, St.Louis, MO was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Lebahn was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Alicia Chiligiris, 29, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Chiligiris was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Beau Hanger, 30, Decatur was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hanger was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Annette Saddler, 45, South Beloit was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Saddler was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Madison Ritter, 20, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Ritter was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Tarun Krothapalli, 25, Forsyth was issued a Citation for Failure to Yield 1 Full Lane to Emergency Vehicle. Krothapalli was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Clayton Quinn, 23, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 65 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Quinn was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Matthew Custer, 32, Champaign was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Custer was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Amy Jump, 29, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Jump was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.





DeWitt County Board Receives Full Payment For Landfill Host Fees

Last Thursday night, the DeWitt County Board was presented with a check from the Clinton Landfill, for over a million dollars.

The check is a part of the settlement reached by the two sides last month. According to DeWitt County State's Attorney Dan Markwell, AREA Disposal paid in full, over one-million dollars as a part of the settlement. Additionally, Markwell says they have also received their first quarter's payment for this year.

[audio:5261520055-52715landfillpay1.mp3] [/audio]

County Board Chair David Newberg indicates they will have a court appearance this week to finalize their deal with the landfill, which will drop the lawsuit against the Landfill.

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Newberg says because of the payment, the County should end up with a balanced budget and with money available next year. The County originally passed a deficit budget before the agreement was made and money from the landfill was added.

Dr. John Warner Hospital CEO Addresses Financial Picture

 width=The Dr. John Warner Hospital financial outlook continues to show a positive trend.

The city-owned hospital's expenses versus revenue continues to be positive. According to CEO, Paul Skowron, in April that trend continued and for the year, the hospital has a positive variance of over one-million dollars.

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As the operations of the hospital is concerned, Skowron says their costs are in line with their volume, which was lower. He says things were a little slower in the first quarter.

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Monday night at the regular meeting of the hospital board, Skowron analyzed the payments of the hospital. He says 85% of their volume is outpatient care.

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Skowron says the reductions that have taken place in the past year at the hospitals are paying dividends in their operating expenses. He also feels it can be attributed to lower volume in the month of April.

Skowron adds outpatient volume is remaining flat however he is hoping to move the trends up by addressing their strategies.

Local Elementary Students Visit DeWitt County Museum For Ag Day

An annual event at the DeWitt County Museum draws dozens of elementary students.

Ag Day at the CH Moore Homestead features agriculture equipment that is of the historic variety. According to Larry Buss with the Museum, they try to educate the kids on what the agriculture looked like many years ago versus what things look like today.

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Fourth grade students Seth Varble and Trevor Scott say their favorite parts of the Ag Day was watching the blacksmith work. They say it's hard to believe nails used to be made by hand.

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Other students came away impressed with the evolution of the tractors and combines.

Ken Bjiellend is the manager of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau, he says thanks to antique equipment the Museum has on hand, the displays give the youngsters good perspective on how far ag has come over time.

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Bjielland adds, Ag Day allows kids the opportunity to get introduced to agriculture. He feels even though Clinton and DeWitt County is an agriculture community, many students are not exposed to the industry.

Altorfer Ag, Cross Brothers Implements and Central Illinois Ag in Clinton helped provide the bigger machinery for the day of information. Bjielland says the kids enjoy having the opportunity to see the equipment up close.

Bjielland thanks the many volunteers on the Farm Bureau Board and those with the Museum who made the day a success.

Upcoming Documentary Praised By Local Leaders

A documentary by a local citizen and journalist is being applauded by local advocates of mental health.

The documentary, "Shortchanged: Unjailing the Mentally Ill" outlines the challenges law enforcement faces as it relates to individuals who battle mental health issues and are incarcerated. According to Lynn Scovill, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Human Resource Center, the documentary is the story of law enforcement coming together with those who help treat mental illnesses to get those inmates proper help.

[audio:5251583816-52515mentaldoc1.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner will be a part of the showing of the documentary in Clinton Tuesday evening at Clinton's First Christian Church. He says it gives an interesting perspective of the challenges corrections officials face when they have inmates that struggle with mental health.

[audio:5251583819-52515mentaldoc2.mp3] [/audio]

Edith Brady-Lunny is the co-producer of the documentary. She is a journalist and court reporter from Clinton. She says this problem is not exclusive to DeWitt County or Central Illinois. Her film focuses on the McLean County Jail but she says this is a national problem that must be addressed, and hopes her film will open up more dialogue about fixing it.

[audio:5251583822-52515mentaldoc3.mp3] [/audio]

The showing starts at 6:30 pm tomorrow night at the First Christian Church in Clinton. The event is free and open to the public. Shofner and Scovill will be a part of a panel after the showing to discus the documentary and specifically the challenges faced in DeWitt County.

County Approves Animal Shelter Construction

 width=The DeWitt County Board continues to make headway in getting a new animal shelter in place.

Thursday night at the regular DeWitt County Board meeting, the board approved the bids to begin work on the former-Black's building, and transform it to a new animal shelter. According to County Board Chair, David Newberg, the construction company has been approved, which is a major step in the right direction.

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Newberg says the shelter could be ready for move in around the end of the summer, early fall. He explains work should start in the next couple of months and it will take another six to eight weeks for completion.

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There are two buildings on the property, and Newberg indicates the Clinton Ambulance Service has expressed interest in renting the second building. He says that is tremendous news because they would rent the building, and provide the County additional revenues.

[audio:5251583831-52515sheltermove3.mp3] [/audio]

The current animal shelter and adjacent properties have been sold to the City of Clinton in recent months. Newberg says it is a great deal for both the City and County. When the animal shelter is complete and the possible move of the ambulance service to the second building on the property, Newberg believes the County will have three top of the line facilities when the two are added with the Courthouse and jail facility downtown.

Edwards Wins Coca-Cola 500

Carl Edwards claimed his first Sprint Cup Series win of the season and with Joe Gibbs Racing after he conserved enough fuel in the late going of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- NASCAR's longest race of the season.

Edwards joined JGR at the start of this season to drive the team's new fourth car, the No. 19 Toyota. He snapped a 31-race winless streak in the series. After he and crew chief Darian Grubb elected not to pit during a late-race round of stops, Edwards took over the lead with 21 laps to go and then crossed the finish line 4.8 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Greg Biffle.

 width=Hamlin led the way late in the race but had to pit unexpectedly with 37 laps to go due to a loose wheel. He was also suffering from a migraine headache at the time and had to receive treatment at the track's infield medical care center after the finish.

Busch competed in his first Sprint Cup points-paying race this season after he suffered a fractured right leg and left foot during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity Series race at Daytona. He ran all 400 laps around this 1.5-mile track and scored his first 33 points this year.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, while Martin Truex Jr. came in fifth after leading the most laps with 131.

Ryan Newman placed sixth, followed by Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, and Kurt Busch completed the top-10. Busch led a total of 118 laps.

Jimmie Johnson, who won last year's Coca-Cola 600, finished 40th after he was involved in an accident on lap 274 and spent close to 30 laps in the garage for repairs. Johnson spun out while exiting turn 4 and then pounded the inside wall at the entrance of pit road. A SAFER barrier had recently been installed on the wall where Johnson hit. He also spun in the same area but did not hit anything on lap 90.

Chris Kirk Closes Out Victory At Colonial

 width=Chris Kirk closed with a 4-under 66 on Sunday and came from behind to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational by one stroke.

Kirk finished at 12-under-par 268 at Colonial. This was his third win in the last three seasons, and fourth win overall on the PGA Tour.

Masters champion Jordan Spieth birdied the last hole for a 5-under 65 and a share of second place at minus-11. He was joined there by Jason Bohn (63) and Brandt Snedeker (67).

Pat Perez fired a 6-under 64 to end at 10-under-par 270. He shared fifth place at 10-under-par 270 with Ian Poulter (70), George McNeill (67), Kevin Kisner (67) and Adam Hadwin (66).

Kevin Na, who had at least a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds, struggled to a 2-over 72. He fell into an 8-way tie for 10th at minus-9.

There was a three-hour weather delay before the round as rain soaked the course overnight and into the early morning. With the wet course, players were allowed with lift, clean and place their golf balls through the green, meaning they could do so not only in the fairways, but also in the rough.

NCAA To Reduce Shotclock In Men's Basketball

 width=The NCAA men's basketball rules committee has recommended a package of changes that would include the reduction of the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds.

The committee met earlier this month with an effort to improve the pace of play and improve scoring in the men's game.

In addition to the shot clock reduction, a few other changes include the expansion of the restricted arc under the basket from three feet to four feet, the elimination of a team timeout in the second half and the removal of the ability for a coach to call timeout when the ball is live.

The shot clock was last adjusted for the 1993-94 season when it was reduced from 45 seconds to 35 seconds.

Bishop, Lightning Blank Rangers For 3-2 Series Lead

 width=After allowing 10 goals over the previous two games, Ben Bishop bounced back with a stellar performance in net to back Tampa Bay's defensive revival during Sunday's all-important Game 5.

Bishop made 26 saves for his second career playoff shutout and Steven Stamkos continued to display his renewed scoring touch to guide the Lightning to a 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Stamkos tied a franchise postseason record by scoring in a fourth straight game and also assisted on Valtteri Filppula's goal for the Lightning, who took a 3-2 series lead by killing off all four penalties and blocking 24 shots.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 20 shots for the Rangers, who were unable to build upon their 5-1 thrashing of the Lightning on Friday.

The Lightning can book their first Stanley Cup final appearance since 2004 with a win in Game 6 at home on Tuesday.

LeBron Powers Cleveland To 2-0 Series Lead

 width=A hobbled LeBron James initially asked to check out of the game in overtime before quickly changing his mind and waving off his substitute.

He grimaced slightly after knocking down the go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute left and was on all fours near midcourt after Shelvin Mack's potentially game-tying 3 clanked off the rim at the buzzer.

The battered and bruised Cleveland Cavaliers are a win away from the NBA Finals. A victory on Tuesday could give them some needed rest before then.

James had his first triple-double this postseason with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists and the Cavaliers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 114-111 on Sunday night to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

James, who missed his first 10 shots from the field, ended 14-of-37 from the field. His shot to give Cleveland a 112-111 advantage with 36.4 seconds left was his only 3 of the game.

Jeff Teague, who posted 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds, drove down the lane and had a step on James at the other end, but James altered the shot and Teague's layup was well off the mark.

Cardinals Win; Cubs, Sox Lose

 width=>>Cardinals Hammer Royals

Michael Wacha sparkled again to become the first seven-game winner in the National League and the Cardinals beat the Royals 6-1 on Sunday to avoid being swept in a three-game series.

Wacha (7-0) struck out four and allowed one unearned run, five hits and two walks in seven innings, beating Kansas City for the first time in three tries.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals have won each of the right-hander's last 11 regular-season starts, including all seven this season.

Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game skid to finish 3-4 on their road trip.

The AL Central-leading Royals, who won Saturday's rain-shortened game in six innings, had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Yordano Ventura (3-4) took the loss, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks in seven innings.

 width=>>Goldschmidt Leads Dbacks Past Cubs

Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI to power the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Chicago Cubs 4-3 in the rubber game of a three-game series.

Goldschmidt's efforts backed a quality start from Jeremy Hellickson (2-3), who pitched into the seventh and scattered three runs on four hits.

Chris Coghlan hit a two-run homer for the Cubs, and Miguel Montero, who spent the first nine years of his career in Arizona, cranked a solo shot in the second inning.

Goldschmidt singled in a run in the first inning and hammered a Jason Hammel (3-2) offering to straightaway center in the third.

Hammel, after allowing three earned runs over his previous three starts, was charged with four runs on five hits over seven frames. He struck out nine and walked one.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 4, Philadelphia 1
Pittsburgh 9, New York 1
Atlanta 2, Milwaukee 1
Cleveland 5, Cincinnati 2
Miami 5, Baltimore 2
San Diego 11, Los Angeles 3
Colorado 11, San Francisco 2

 width=>>Sox Fall To Twins

Brian Dozier hit two home runs, and Kyle Gibson tossed eight strong innings in the Minnesota Twins' 8-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Gibson (4-3) allowed just one run on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts, which tied a career high. Dozier drove in four runs, and Eddie Rosario plated two in his two-hit game to help the Twins win the rubber game of this three-game set.

Jose Quintana (2-5) was hammered for seven runs -- six earned -- on seven hits in six-plus innings. Chicago's only run came on Jose Abreu's home run in the fourth.

Dozier set the tone for the rest of the game by hitting Quintana's second pitch of the game into the seats, and Gibson shut down the White Sox early despite allowing a couple of hits in the second inning.

American League Scoreboard
Toronto 8, Seattle 2
Houston 10, Detroit 8
Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 2
Boston 6, LA Angels of Anaheim 1
Texas 5, New York 2

ISU RB Coprich Reinstated To Team After Drug Charge

 width=Illinois State University reinstated All- American running back Marshaun Coprich Friday after he pled guilty to a drug charge and was placed on probation.

Under the plea agreement in McLean County Circuit Court, Coprich admitted to selling 9 grams of marijuana to an undercover officer on April 16 in Normal.

A first-time offender, he received two years of probation. If he completes it without incident, the drug charge will be removed from his record.

According to reports, Judge Robert Freitag told Coprich after the plea hearing was completed: "It's not very often you get a do-over in criminal court."

Illinois State coach Brock Spack later announced the university's indefinite suspension of Coprich on May 11 was lifted and reinstated the senior-to-be to the program.

As a junior last season, Coprich helped lead Illinois State to a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference championship and an FCS national runner-up finish.

Coprich was named the Valley's offensive player of the year, setting school records and leading the FCS with 2,274 rushing yards and 27 rushing touchdowns. He was a first-team All-American and finished fifth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award as the outstanding player in the FCS.

Illinois Named NCAA Regional Site

 width=For the first time in program history, the University of Illinois baseball team will host an NCAA Regional at Illinois Field. The Fighting Illini were selected by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee as one of 16 teams to hold the national championship tournament's opening round at their home venue.

Illinois Field will welcome in three additional NCAA Tournament teams for a four-team, double-elimination competition. The winner qualifies for one of eight Super Regionals and takes one step closer to the College World Series in Omaha. Regional play begins on Friday, May 29 and runs through Monday, June 1 (if necessary). All NCAA Regional action will be broadcast by the ESPN family of networks.

Local Teen Promoted To Eagle Scout

 width=Cameron Goergen, Boy Scout Troop 142 from Clinton, was recently awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. To achieve this rank, Scouts must complete a minimum of 21 Merit Badges in such fields as Cooking, First Aid, Emergency Preparedness, Hiking, Communication, etc. He must also complete a service project that benefits his community. Cameron’s service project involved the planning, overseeing and building of 2 dozen new benches to benefit the C.H. Moore Homestead Museum’s annual Apple and Pork Festival. The benches will be used by thousands of people who visit the Festival every year.
The fact that a boy is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting but also as he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service. The award is a performance-based achievement whose standards have been well-maintained over the years. Not every boy who joins a Boy Scout troop earns the Eagle Scout rank; only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts do so. This represents more than 2 million Boy Scouts who have earned the rank since 1912. Nevertheless, the goals of Scouting—citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness—remain important for all Scouts, whether or not they attain the Eagle Scout rank.

Cameron is currently serving his Troop as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster.

Washington Wild Things Defeat Bloomington Cornbelters

The Cornbelters lost 3 to 2 sunday afternoon to the Washington Wild Things.  The Cornbelters take the series winning 2 out of the 3 games.

Tune in Tuesday May 26, 2015 at 6:20 pm as the Cornbelters take on Schaumberg.  You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

IDES Memorial Day Traffic Update



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Storms Forecasted For Memorial Day, Next Week

The Memorial Day weekend will get off to a great start with a beautiful day forecasted for Saturday, but State Climotologist Jim Angel tells us, expect rain showers, and even thunderstorms on Sunday and through the rest of the week.

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IDES Director Says State Won't Realize Full Recovery For Another Year

Illinois’ unemployment rate held steady at 6 percent for the month of April, but the state’s Director of Employment Security says Illinois’ sluggish recovery means the Land of Lincoln won’t see a return to pre-recession peak employment levels for another year.

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Documentary On Mental Health To Show In Clinton Next Week

A Documentary outlining the incarcerated and the state of their mental health will be showing in Clinton next week.

The documentary, titled Shortchanged: Unjailing the Mentally Ill, was produced by Clinton resident and journalist, Edith Brady-Lunny. She explains the documentary is the byproduct of a string of articles she wrote about the McLean County Sheriff's office.

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Brady-Lunny, who is a court reporter, says she finds herself writing on inmates with mental illnesses, which is what drove her to put together the series of stories, then the documentary.

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May 26 at 6:30 pm, the documentary will be shown at Clinton's First Christian Church. The showing is free and representatives from the DeWitt County Sheriff's office and the DeWitt County Human Resource Center will join in a panel to discuss the issues brought up in the documentary following it's showing.

We'll have more on the event in Clinton this week on Regional Radio News.

Memorial Day Celebration Set In Clinton

Veterans and community members are invited out this weekend for a special event that is aimed to recognize those who have served our country from the Clinton and DeWitt County community.

For many, Memorial Day weekend is a time to gather together to kick off summer or celebrate graduation, but one local community activist is hoping residents will take a short break to come out and commemorate those who have served in Clinton. Leslie Andrews is coordinating this year's Memorial Day celebration and says there's something for everyone.

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As a part of the morning ceremony, a couple keynote speakers will be there with brief speeches. According to Andrews, Joe Alexander will speak on the history of Memorial Day and long time Clinton resident, teacher, and Marine veteran, Ron Connor will speak as well.

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Again the ceremony is May 25 at the Woodlawn Cemetery at 10 am. Veterans are invited as is the community.

Maroa-Forsyth Wins Regional

Kate Beckemeyer was brilliant in the circle Saturday and led the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans to a Regional title with a 6-1 win over the Monticello Lady Sages.

Beckemeyer went seven innings allowing a run on six hits, yielding two walks and striking out three.

The Lady Trojans got the game started with a bang. Beckemeyer started with a single, was bunted to second and Bailey Martin doubled Beckemeyer in, then two batters later, Danaed Santini doubled Martin. Santini came home on a passed ball during Ashlyn Hambrecht's first inning at-bat, ending the inning ahead 3-0.

 width=The Lady Trojans added more in the third as Bailey Martin singled to start the inning, moving two second on the first of four stolen bases for Maroa-Forsyth on the day. The next batter was Calla Wickenhauser who doubled Martin and Hambrecht, two batters later, singled Wickenhauser in for a 5-0 lead.

The Lady Trojans would add a run in the seventh for a 6-1 advantage.

Bailey Martin and Calla Wickenhauser each went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Denaed Santini 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Ashlyn Hambrecht added an RBI for the Lady Trojans who move to 16-7 on the year and will play at Tri-Valley Wednesday.

For the Lady Sages, Makayla Reedy finished 2-for-3. Sam Valentine, Sophie Catlin, Ashley Gulliford and Leslie Taylor each contributed a hit as a usually high powered offense was quieted by Beckemeyer Saturday.

Catlin took the loss in circle for the Lady Sages. She went seven innings allowing six runs on 12 hits, yielding just one walk and struck out six.

Monticello ends their season 25-8.

Sen. Dick Durbin Supports COOL

Senator Dick Durbin says labeling meat with the country it came from is a good idea, even if it's difficult to do in some cases.

Durbin says the difficulty in labeling was pointed out to him recently by the Canadian consul general.

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The House voted to eliminate the labels yesterday. Durbin says the labels provide information consumers would like to have. He points to a recent Consumer Reports study showing shrimp imported from various countries had a wide range of safety problems.

New 'Kids' On The Block Pushing Term Limits

State Representative Tim Butler joined fellow GOP first term lawmakers Wednesday in calling for term limits.

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An initiative to put a binding term limits referendum on the 2014 General Election ballot was denied by a three-judge Illinois Appellate Court last August, That left the clearest path to term limits in the hands of lawmakers.

Governor Rauner has been pushing term limits since the early days of his campaign and he plans to offer his own term limits plan soon.

Millionaires Tax Advances

A proposal to add a tax to incomes over a million dollars in Illinois is moving forward in the Illinois House.

Thursday, a House committee passed a bill that would amend the Illinois constitution to add a three percent surcharge to incomes of a million dollars or more. Democrat Representative Barbara Flynn Currie says the increase in revenue would be used to fund education.

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The proposal still has a long way to go. It needs to pass the House, Senate and the Governors’ desk. Then it needs to be approved by voters on the next state wide ballot.

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month across the country, and locally, local advocates have a lot going on to bring the issue into a more prominent light.

Lynn Scovill is the Executive Director of the DeWitt County Human Resource Center. She feels mental health and getting help for individuals with an illness could be addressed more in today's society. She says mental illness is not something abnormal in society today.

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Scovill points out, the majority of people that struggle with a mental illness lead normal lives, but she says the problems begin when someone has a severe mental illness. She feels sometimes in society, there is a disconnect with how to properly approach and communicate with that person.

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For Scovill, one of the major challenges in getting proper help to these patients is the funding. Non-profit groups like HRC and others rely on funds coming from the state and federal government. However, when money isn't coming in from the state of Illinois, it makes maintaining their services very difficult.

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Not receiving funding that is counted on for groups like HRC can have a great impact. Scovill says there are programs that are in place that have good intentions, but when the money doesn't follow those programs, it makes it hard for them to be effective.

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Next Tuesday in Clinton, a documentary created by Clinton native and journalist, Edith Brady-Lunny, will be shown. The documentary highlights the struggles of incarcerated inmates that deal with mental illnesses. HRC along with other local groups will be a part of a panel at the end of the showing that will discuss the film and solutions.

We'll have more on the showing next week on Regional Radio News.

Speith Among Leaders At Colonial

 width=Masters champion and world No. 2 Jordan Spieth fired a 6-under 64 in Thursday's first round and he shares the Crowne Plaza Invitational lead with Kevin Na, Boo Weekley and Ryo Ishikawa.

Spieth, playing in his home state of Texas, has already picked up two of his three PGA Tour victories this season, including the Masters. Weekley won here in 2013 for his third victory and has not won since. Na has one career win and Ishikawa has none.

Ian Poulter joined the leaders at minus-6 late in his round before falling back a shot. He is tied for fifth with George McNeill at 5-under 65.

Nine more players are one shot further back following 4-under 66s at Colonial Country Club.

Defending champion Adam Scott struggled to a 2-over 72 and is tied for 86th.

Curry, Warriors Escape Houston, Take 2-0 Lead

The Splash Brothers drowned James Harden just before the buzzer and the Warriors survived the Rockets, 99-98, to take Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors saw an eight-point lead trimmed to one following a Harden to Dwight Howard alley-oop with 33.0 seconds left. After Harrison Barnes missed a reverse layup at the other end, the Rockets raced the ball up the court rather than draw up a final play.

Harden was double-teamed by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson with time winding down and curiously passed to Howard on the perimeter. Howard hot-potatoed the ball right back, Curry poked the ball between Harden's legs, and the clock struck zero before anyone gained control.

 width=Curry scored 33 points to follow up his 34-point showing in the series opener, and Andrew Bogut stepped up with 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

The final sequence spoiled an otherwise sublime game from Harden, who finished with 38 points on 13-of-21 shooting and added 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Warriors take a 2-0 series lead to Houston on Saturday thanks to the final defensive stop and another clutch performance from the league MVP.

>>Curry LeBron Headline First Team All-NBA

NBA MVP Stephen Curry and four-time MVP LeBron James headline the 2014-15 All-NBA First Team.

Curry and James were the only unanimous First-Team selections, receiving all 129 votes for a total of 645 points in the balloting.

Both have their teams in the conference finals. Curry's Warriors are in the West title series for the first time since 1976 and James is back in the East finals for a fifth straight year, this time with the Cavaliers after his return to Cleveland following four years in Miami.

Curry was a Second-Team selection last year and is a First-Team choice for the first time. James is a First-Team member for the ninth time, tying Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson for the third-most all-time.

Joining the duo as First-Team members are Houston guard James Harden, New Orleans forward/center Anthony Davis and Memphis center Marc Gasol. Harden, a First-Team choice for the second year in a row, received 125 First-Team votes. Davis (119 First-Team votes) and Gasol (65 First-Team votes) earned First-Team status for the first time.

The Second Team features forwards LaMarcus Aldridge of Portland and DeMarcus Cousins of Sacramento, Chicago center Pau Gasol and guards Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Selections for the Third Team are forwards Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Blake Griffin of the Clippers, center DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers and guards Klay Thompson of Golden State and Kyrie Irving of Cleveland.

Ducks Edge 'Hawks, Take 2-1 Series Lead

 width=Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots and Simon Despres potted the deciding goal late in the second period, and the Anaheim Ducks claimed a 2-1 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of this Western Conference final.

Patrick Maroon netted the other goal and Ryan Getzlaf added assists on both scores for the Ducks, who assumed a 2-1 edge in this best-of-seven set.

Patrick Kane produced the sole offense for the Blackhawks, while Corey Crawford made 25 stops in the setback, the first suffered at home by his club in this postseason.

Game 4 is set for Saturday at United Center.

Cubs Blank Padres; Cards, Sox Lose

 width=>>Hendrick, Cubs Blank Padres

Kyle Hendricks tossed the first shutout of his career as the Chicago Cubs grabbed a 3-0 win over the San Diego Padres to close out a three-game series.

Hendricks (1-1) gave up just five hits and struck out seven in what was also the first complete game of his career. He needed 108 pitches to finish the game, 71 of which went for strikes.

Kris Bryant hit a two-run home run and Addison Russell added a solo shot for the Cubs, who have won their last two.

Odrisamer Despaigne (2-3) gave up two runs on six hits over six innings for the Padres, who have lost five of six. Will Middlebrooks had two hits.

>>deGrom, Mets Blank Cardinals

Jacob deGrom was nearly flawless on the mound, giving up just one hit and no walks in eight innings to lead the New York Mets to a 5-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

 width=DeGrom (5-4), last year's NL Rookie of the Year, struck out 11 and retired the final 23 batters he faced after giving up a one-out single to Matt Carpenter in the first inning.

Jeurys Familia allowed a two-out single to Kolten Wong in the ninth, but he struck out Carpenter to complete the two-hit shutout.

Lucas Duda hit two homers, drove in four and scored three runs for the Mets, who salvaged a split in the four-game series.

St. Louis' Jaime Garcia (0-1) made his season debut, giving up two runs on five hits and walking five in seven innings. It was left-hander's first start in the majors since undergoing thoracic outlet surgery last July.

National League Scoreboard
Arizona 7, Miami 6
Colorado 7, Philadelphia 3
San Francisco 4, Los Angeles 0
Atlanta 10, Milwaukee 1

 width=>>Indians Down Sox

Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles hit back-to- back homers in the first inning, and Danny Salazar posted a quality start in carrying the Indians to a 5-2 win over the White Sox in the finale of a four- game series.

Salazar (5-1) flirted with disaster plenty of times but held the White Sox scoreless over six frames. He struck out eight and scattered five hits and three walks to bounce back from his shortest stint of the year.

Aviles finished with four hits, Swisher had two and the Indians cruised to their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Chicago followed up a six-game winning streak by dropping the final three games of the series.

John Danks (2-4) took the loss after coughing up five runs on six hits and four walks. Danks settled down and pitched into the sixth, but the left-hander struggled mightily early on.

American League Scoreboard
Baltimore 5, Seattle 4
Detroit 6, Houston 5 (11 innings)
Toronto 8, LA Angels of Anaheim 4
Tampa Bay 3, Oakland 0
Texas 3, Boston 1

Illinois State Eliminated From Missouri Valley Tournament

The Illinois State baseball team's season came to an end as Southern Illinois scored a 7-1 win over the Redbirds in a Missouri Valley Conference Tournament elimination game Thursday at Eck Stadium.

 width=Illinois State grabbed an early lead, but Southern Illinois rallied for five runs in the fifth inning to take control of the game. Southern Illinois added two more runs in the sixth and the Redbirds were unable to threaten the Salukis' lead from there on.

Illinois State starter Will Headean allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks over six innings. Jack Landwehr, Jack Czeszewski and Jake Sale pitched one scoreless inning each to finish out the game.

Ryan Koziol and Sean Beesley recorded two hits apiece, accounting for two-thirds of the Redbirds' six hits.

The Redbirds finished the season with an overall mark of 27-27 in head coach Bo Durkac's first season at the helm.

Maryland Ends Illinois' 27-Game Win Streak At Big Ten Tournament

Brian Shaffer allowed one run in seven innings and Maryland ended Illinois' 27-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night.

 width=A throwing error allowed Anthony Papio to score the go-ahead run in the second inning, and Maryland (38-20) was able to hold on and snap the Fighting Illini's conference-record win streak.

Two of Illinois' three throwing errors came during Maryland's two-run second inning. Kevin Martir hit a leadoff single and advanced to third when Jose Cuas reached on an error by Illini starter Drasen Johnson (9-3). Papio singled to drive in Martir and tie it at 1. Nick Cieri then reached on a fielder's choice, but advanced to second on third baseman Ryne Roper's throwing error that let Papio score.

Shaffer (5-1) allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked one for Maryland, which will play the winner between Indiana and Iowa on Saturday.

Jason Goldstein had an RBI single in the first inning for Illinois (46-7-1), which will face fifth-seeded Michigan State on Friday.

Illinois will meet Michigan State tonight at 7:30 pm on the Big Ten Network.

Big Ten Tournament Scoreboard
No. 6 Indiana 5, No. 7 Ohio State 3
No. 5 Michigan State 9, No. 8 Nebraska 7
No. 3 Michigan 8, No. 2 Iowa 5

Monticello Baseball, Softball Teams Go For Regional Titles Saturday

 width=Coming off victories in Regional Semi-final play earlier this week, the Monticello boys baseball team and girls softball teams are search of their second straight regional titles Saturday morning.

The Sages routed Tuscola in boys baseball action Wednesday night, 10-0, to advance to take on the Region's top seed and Okaw Valley Conference rival, St. Joe-Ogden.

For the Lady Sages, they took care of Argenta-Oreana Tuesday afternoon, 8-1. The Lady Sages take on Maroa-Forsyth, who upset second-seeded Clinton Tuesday night, 4-1.

Game time for both games is 11 am. Hear action of the girls softball game on 95.9 FM WEZC, and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Commissioner Wants to Get Fire Chief Selection 'Right The First Time'

As the search continues for a permanent fire chief in Clinton, the Commissioner for Public Health and Safety has named an interim Chief.

Commissioner Danny Ballenger appointed long time fireman David Dallas to the position at the Monday night Council meeting. According to Ballenger, he wants to see the department go in a different direction.

[audio:5211532013-52215interimchief1.mp3] [/audio]

The search for the next fire chief in Clinton remains ongoing. According to Ballenger, he is open to hiring from within the department, but has also received applications from external candidates.

[audio:5211532015-52215interimchief2.mp3] [/audio]

Ballenger says he has several criteria he is looking for in the next fire chief. His biggest points of emphasis are communication and working well with the other firemen on the force.

[audio:5211532016-52215interimchief3.mp3] [/audio]

Ballenger says the numbers are starting to improve on the department. He points to a recent training held where the department was averaging around ten in attendance, and they most recently had 25.

Standardized Test Opt Out Measure Passes

A measure to allow parents or guardians to opt their children out of standardized tests at public schools got the green light from the Illinois House.

Current state law allows for the students to opt themselves from the tests but parents complained that was unfair for some developmentally disabled students. Illinois News Network has more.

[audio:5201532927-OPTOUT.mp3] [/audio]

The bill allows for parents or guardians to opt their children out of the test and requires schools to give the student another assignment while the test is being administered. Opponents of the measure fear if there aren’t enough children taking the tests there could be a loss of federal funding for education. The measure now heads to the Senate. Governor Bruce Rauner has expressed concerns about the PAARC (park) standardized test, saying he’s worried it’s political and not about generating results.

Fair Share Case Moving Forward Without Governor

A case over whether Illinois workers should be forced to pay so-called “fair share” dues can move forward, but without the Governor.

Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:5201532921-FAIRSHARE.mp3] [/audio]

DJWH Board Receives Another Addition

 width=Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Clinton Mayor Roger Cyrulik made another appointment to the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board.

Mayor Cyrulik appointed Julie North to the city-owned hospital board. According to the Mayor, she fills a seat that has been vacant for some time.

[audio:5201532856-52115newmember1.mp3] [/audio]

Earlier this month, in his first meeting as Mayor, Cyrulik made sweeping changes to the DJWH board, appointing four new members, three former members, to seats on the hospital board that were expired. According to Mayor Cyrulik, he's pleased with the way the Board has now reorganized itself.

[audio:5201532859-52115newmember2.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Cyrulik believes the city-owned hospital doesn't need a management firm to operate, which is what they have been pursuing for some time now. He believes the new board will start to provide some stability in the hospital.

[audio:5201532901-52115newmember3.mp3] [/audio]

There were two unexpired terms and two open seats on the Board, and Mayor Cyrulik notes he hopes to have another appointment brought forward in the next month.

The new hospital board President is Aaron Kammeyer and Randy Workman will serve as the vice-president on the board. Both have prior experience on the hospital board.

PGA Tour Shifts To Texas

 width=The PGA Tour returns to the Lone Star State for a quick Texas two step.

First up is the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Adam Scott earned a playoff win over Jason Dufner at Colonial last year days after the Australian took over the top spot in the world rankings.

Scott returns to defend his title against a field that includes Masters champion Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey. Poulter and Casey are skipping the European Tour's flagship event to play Colonial.

Spieth, a Dallas resident, is still searching for a victory in his home state. Walker beat Spieth by four in San Antonio earlier this year.

Cavs Down Hawks In Game 1

J.R. Smith set a franchise postseason record for 3-pointers and the Cavaliers opened the Eastern Conference finals with a road win over the Hawks.

Smith buried eight 3s and scored 28 points and LeBron James had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists as Cleveland beat Atlanta 97-89 in Game 1 on Wednesday night.

Jeff Teague scored 27 points to lead Atlanta, but the Hawks lost starting forward DeMarre Carroll to a left knee injury in the fourth quarter.

Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win and Kyrie Irving, who is battling tendinitis in his left knee, had 10 points and six assists in 27 minutes.

Al Horford had 16 points, Paul Millsap scored 13 and Kent Bazemore chipped in with 10 off the bench for the top-seeded Hawks.

Lightning Win Overtime Shootout With Rangers

Nikita Kucherov's marker at 3:33 of overtime sent the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-5 decision over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

 width=Kucherov carried the puck from the neutral zone up the right wing, then cut towards the middle below the circles and froze two enemy defenders with a wobbling shot that beat Henrik Lundqvist for the deciding score.

Ondrej Palat contributed two goals and one assist for the Lightning, who have taken a 2-1 edge in this best-of-seven series and can extend that in Game 4 on Friday. Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos each picked up a score and a helper for the winners.

Ben Bishop allowed a playoff-season high five goals but did just enough to earn the victory thanks to 23 stops.

Jesper Fast tallied twice, with Dan Boyle and Ryan McDonagh adding a goal and assist apiece for the Rangers, who also received offense from Derick Brassard in defeat.

Lundqvist tied a season high by allowing six goals on 40 shots.

Cards, Cubs Win; Sox Lose; Jamie Garcia To Return

 width=>>Cardinals Crush Mets

Matt Adams and Jason Heyward each homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-0 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

Kolten Wong had three hits with two RBI and two runs scored for St. Louis, while Matt Holliday also notched three hits to extend his on-base streak to 38 games.

Carlos Martinez (4-2) was solid in his outing for the Cardinals, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless frames and striking out five.

Mets starter Bartolo Colon (6-3) was not up to par and had a lengthy streak that gave him a franchise record end. The right-hander, attempting to become the majors first seven-game winner, was roughed up for nine runs -- eight earned -- on 11 hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings.

>>Wada Leads Cubs Past Padres

 width=Tsuyoshi Wada struck out nine batters in his season debut to guide the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

Wada threw 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes, tossing just 4 2/3 innings in his first major-league action of the season. He was charged with two runs on four hits and a walk.

Tyson Ross (2-4) was responsible for all three runs on four hits over seven innings to absorb the loss. Ross struck out eight and walked three.

Five relief pitchers were used by Chicago after Wada departed. Justin Grimm (1-0) picked up the win after tossing 1 1/3 innings and Hector Rondon finished the game, pitching around a leadoff single to record his ninth save.

National League Scoreboard
Arizona 6, Miami 1
Philadelphia 4, Colorado 2
Washington 3, NY Yankees 2
Minnesota 4, Pittsburgh 3 (13 innings)
Detroit 5, Milwaukee 2
Atlanta 2, Tampa Bay 1
Kansas City 7, Cincinnati 1
San Francisco 4, Los Angeles 0

 width=>>Indians Hold Off Sox

Michael Brantley's two-run double during the seventh inning helped the Cleveland Indians hold off the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in the third of a four-game set on Wednesday.

Jose Ramirez went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and an RBI, while Mike Aviles also drove in a run for the Indians, who have won two in a row.

Shaun Marcum (1-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game, surrendered just two runs on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings in his first major league start since July 6, 2013 with the New York Mets.

Adam Eaton and Conor Gillaspie each hit solo home runs and Alexei Ramirez supplied an RBI single for the White Sox, who have dropped their last two games on the heels of a six-game winning streak.

Carlos Rodon gave up one run on four hits and five walks over six innings.

American League Scoreboard
Houston 6, Oakland 1
Seattle 4, Baltimore 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 4, Toronto 3
Texas 2, Boston 1

>>Cards' Garcia To Return To Face Mets

Jaime Garcia takes the hill for the first time in almost a year on Thursday when the St. Louis Cardinals close out a four-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Garcia has dealt with numerous shoulder issues since 2012 and hasn't pitched in a big league game since June 20 of last season. He also had a setback in spring training from the thoracic outlet surgery that was performed to alleviate numbness and tingling in his pitching arm and hand

However, Garcia hasn't exactly instill confidence in a pair of minor league rehab assignments, as he pitched to a 7.27 ERA over 8 2/3 innings.

He becomes the third pitcher to fill in the rotation spot left open by the injury to ace Adam Wainwright.

Garcia has faced the Mets four times and is 2-0 against them with a sparkling 0.96 ERA.

New York counters with the NL's reigning Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom.

ISU Can't Overcome Wichita State At Missouri Valley Conference Tournament

 width=Wichita State's Sam Hilliard hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to propel the tournament hosts to a 4-3 win in an MVC Tournament opening-round game at Eck Stadium Wednesday night.

The Redbirds (27-26) grabbed an early lead when Mason Snyder provided a two-out single to left field in the first inning, plating Daniel Dwyer. Ryan Koziol provided the Redbirds' biggest hit of the game, a two-out, two-run single up the middle to score Dwyer and Jean Ramirez.

Trey Vickers singled and Daniel Kihle walked to chase Hendren and set up Hilliard's game-winning home run. Hilliard hit ISU reliever Jack Czeszewski's first offering over the right-field fence to give the Shockers their first lead of the game, and the Redbirds went down in order in the ninth.

Hendren allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk over 7.2 innings of work, striking out seven. Dwyer and Snyder led the Redbirds with two hits apiece.

Illinois State, the No. 5 seed in the tournament, will now play No. 8 Southern Illinois in an elimination game Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Illinois Opens Big Ten Tournament With Win Over Nebraska

 width=In the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament, the Fighting Illini battled back for a 3-2 victory over Nebraska, setting the Big Ten Conference record with 27 straight wins.

Junior starter Kevin Duchene and Nebraska's Chance Sinclair dueled, trading scoreless innings through five. In the top of the sixth, Nebraska broke the tie with two runs on four straight hits, but the Illini offense countered in the bottom half of the inning with three singles from sophomore Ryne Roper, junior Ryan Nagle and redshirt-senior Reid Roper to cut the Huskers' lead in half. Junior Jason Goldstein followed with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Nagle and tying the game 2-2.

Nagle led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, his third hit of the day and fourth time on base. After a Reid Roper walk and a sacrifice bunt from Goldstein, Nebraska intentionally walked Casey Fletcher to load the bases. Pat McInerney slapped the 0-1 pitch to right field, scoring Nagle for a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth.

Tyler Jay came on in the ninth and fired seven strikes and notched his 13th save on the season with a groundout, strikeout and pop out. The comeback win was the Orange and Blue's 23rd of the season and second straight against the Huskers.

No. 1 seed Illinois will play tonight at 9 p.m. against No. 4 seed Maryland live on the Big Ten Network.

Big Ten Tournament Scoreboard
No. 3 Michigan 4, No. 6 Indiana 1
No. 2 Iowa 3, No. 7 Ohio State 2
No. 4 Maryland 2, No. 5 Michigan State 1

>>Illini Hoping To Host Tournament Regional

Illinois expects to host its first NCAA baseball regional later this month, but won't know for sure until Sunday.

Event Coordinator Zach Acton says Illinois recently submitted its bid. Acton believes the Illini are all but assured of hosting a four-team regional based on their record.

The Illini are 46-6-1 and have won 27 straight.

Acton said the bid cost $50,000. The school will also have to pay for additional temporary seating at Illinois Field.

If the Illini host a regional, the games would be played May 29, 30 and 31 and, if needed, June 1.

Jones No Hits Tuscola As Monticello Advances At Regionals

Tyler Jones no-hit Tuscola across five innings and Monticello pounded Tuscola 10-0 in five in innings Wednesday night in Tuscola to advance to a Regional Final Saturday morning.

Despite a day of rain across Illinois, baseball was played in Tuscola Tuesday night, resulting in the start time of a game between Monticello and Tuscola being delayed by two hours.

 width=Monticello wasted no time getting on the board to start the game. With one out in the bottom of the first, Ryne Bundy went yard with an opposite field home run. With two outs, Jacob Burton drew a walk, Daniel Peterson took a pitch to right field for a base hit and Austin Hopper followed with a walk to load the bases.

Konnor Bundy then dropped a single into right field to score Burton and Peterson.

The Sages would go off for another six in the second. Five straight Sages would reach to start the second. Ryne Bundy, Burton and Hopper would record RBI singles and would also have runners picked off at home on base running mistakes before Konnor Bundy capped the inning with a two-run home run.

Monticello went down scoreless in the third and fourth innings, but in th fifth, they had a chance to end the ballgame with a 9-0 lead. Nathan Mumm started the inning with a single, Ryne Bundy would reach via an error and David Vanderkloot walked to load the bases.

On the first pitch of the at bat to Burton, the pitch short-hopped Tuscola catcher Nick Bates, jumped to the backstop, allowing Mumm to score from third and end the game for the Sages.

Monticello will meet the top seed of the Regional, St. Joseph-Ogden Saturday morning at 11 am.

Tuscola finishes their season at 28-8.

Class 2A Regional baseball action from Wednesday...

St. Joseph-Ogden 10
Tolono Unity 8

At Midwest Central

El Paso-Gridley 0
Tremont 5

At Paxton -Buckley-Loda

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 8
Bismarck-Henning 4

Class 1A Regional Baseball action Wednesday...

At Mt. Pulaski

LeRoy 5
Decatur Lutheran 3

Central Catholic End Maroons Season

The Clinton Maroons fell to Central Catholic by a score of 10 to 0 on Wednesday night. Christian Hunt takes the loss for Clinton. He pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up 3 runs, none of which were earned, walked 4 and allowed 4 hits.

Wyley Mitchell had the lone Clinton hit. 

Clinton season ends with 8 and 18. 

Central Catholic is now 20 and 10 in their season. 

Jacob Gillmore wins the game for C.C., allowing 1 hitter in 5 innings and striking out 11. He walked 3 and allowed 0 runs. 

Ryan McBeth was 2 for 3 with a 3 run triple.

Tune in 5/23 as Monticello takes on Tuscola. Yan can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Cole Ritter Named To County Board

 width=A vacant spot on the County Board was filled Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting.

Cole Ritter was nominated to fill the spot vacated by Dan Ballenger, who resigned the Board to take a seat at the Clinton City Council. Ritter hopes to continue to maintain the current state of the Board and feels things are going in a positive direction now.

[audio:5211590422-52215ritterboard1.mp3] [/audio]

Ritter will become the youngest County Board member to serve on the DeWitt County Board. He feels it something that is special because not many young people are pursuing local government.

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Ritter sought a seat on the County Board four years ago, and was unsuccessful in his bid on the Board, however, he says he learned a lot from the experience.

[audio:5211590429-52215ritterboard3.mp3] [/audio]

The appointment for Ritter to the County Board was made by the DeWitt County Republican Central Committee. President Dustin Peterson says Ritter has always been involved in the things they do and feels he is ready to be on the Board.

[audio:5211590433-52215ritterboard4.mp3] [/audio]

Ritter has not been assigned committees to serve on yet. Board Chair David Newberg indicates in the next 30 days, they will assign him to various committees, and there may be restructuring of committees with his addition to the board.

Clinton Schools Name Maintenance Director

 width=The Clinton School District has ended a search that was looked into a great deal in recent months.

According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools, the Board of Education has approved the hiring of Ryan Black for the position of Facility Manager. Dr. Holmes explains this was an important position to fill because they were seeking someone with a special skill set that could save the district money on their maintenance costs.

[audio:5201532910-52115schoolhire1.mp3] [/audio]

The district spent a lot of time seeking out a person for the job and according to Dr. Holmes, he felt they had excellent candidates apply for the position. He was encouraged that many applicants were Clinton-natives and he hopes to see some of those applicants be people they hire for other positions in the future.

[audio:5201532913-52115schoolhire2.mp3] [/audio]

While the district was able to fill a major position of need, Dr. Holmes says they now face a few challenges hiring a couple teachers for classes that are very popular. He explains they are in need of a high school Spanish teacher and a Jr. High family consumer science position.

[audio:5201532916-52115schoolhire3.mp3] [/audio]

If the district cannot find a Spanish teacher, Dr. Holmes indicates next year's freshman may not be able to take Spanish at all. He also credits their current family consumer science teacher, Emily Cleary, with building that program up in the junior high.

[audio:5201532918-52115schoolhire4.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says the staff in place otherwise is very strong. He credits his high school and Jr. High principals with finding good staff and working well with them.

New Group Hopes To Build On Illinois Farm, Food Industries

A Chicago nonprofit and the Illinois Farm Bureau hope to bring the state's agriculture and business industries together to turn the city and state into a global hub for farm and food-production.

The Chicago Community Trust and the Farm Bureau say in a statement that what they're calling The Food and Agriculture RoadMap for Illinois outlines plans they hope will create jobs, help protect the environment and employ new technologies.

Former University of Illinois President Robert Easter is part of the initiative. He said the plan could position Chicago and the state "as the epicenter of the global, national, regional, and local food and agriculture systems."

The plan calls for innovation, entrepreneurship, and research that the organizers believe will create economic growth and draw companies in food-production and related businesses.

Exelon Hosting Community Open House Thursday

 width=The Exelon Nuclear Power Station in Clinton is inviting the public out tomorrow afternoon for a special open house event.

From 3 to 6 pm, Exelon will open up their training center with literature on the power plant, their clean energy initiative and other information relating to nuclear power. According to Brett Nauman, Communication Director with Exelon, employees of the plant will be on hand to field questions from the public.

[audio:5201532904-52115plantopen1.mp3] [/audio]

Nauman says having events like the Thursday open house allows the plant and it's employees to remain connected to the community. He notes it gives surrounding residents the ability to informed of the operations at the plant as well.

[audio:5201532906-52115plantopen2.mp3] [/audio]

The event is open to the public. Nauman notes traffic should not go towards the plant, but a smaller building on the grounds.

Again the event runs from 3 pm to 6 pm at the power station off Route 54, east of Clinton.

Uber Still Operating, But Illegal In Bloomington, Normal

Uber drivers continue to operate in Bloomington-Normal even though doing so is illegal. Bloomington Assistant Chief Ken Bays says city leaders are working on an ordinance that would make the ridesharing service legal. Bays says until that ordinance is passed Uber drivers can be reported to police.

[audio:5191570250-Uber2.mp3] [/audio]

Bays says until the city council gives the thumbs up, drivers for the ride sharing service are operating illegally.

[audio:5191570251-Uber3.mp3] [/audio]

The ordinance could come to the city council by the end of the month.

State Senators Push Automatic Voter Registration

Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) are joining forces to file legislation that would automatically register eligible Illinois drivers to vote.

Manar says it's a matter of common sense.

[audio:5191565931-Manarregistration.mp3] [/audio]

The new plan allows people to opt out of the automatic registration.

Oregon enacted a similar law this spring, and similar proposals are being debated in California and New Jersey. 9.9 million Illinoisans are of voting age but only 7.5 million are registered.

Real Life Field of Dreams in Western Illinois

A real life "Field of Dreams" played out in Western Illinois over the weekend. And real life "Ghost Players" from Dyersville, Iowa and even three extras from the movie were in Reynolds to breath baseball back into the town's American Legion diamond.

Marv Maiers (myers)--one of the "Ghosts", had a good time participating in "Dreamers Day" on Saturday--which included a baseball clinic, comedy show and Dreamers Classic baseball game.

[audio:5191565928-fieldofdreams.MP3] [/audio]

The Reynolds American Legion baseball field sat vacant and in disrepair last summer, but an organized effort has brought youth baseball back to town this summer.

Rauner On Education

Governor Bruce Rauner is calling for a true accounting of the state’s public schools, something he says has some opposition from supporters of the status quo.

Rauner says he’s pleased ISAT is no more, though he’s worried about PAARC (park), another standardized test part of the Common Core curriculum. Rauner says there needs to be a true testing standard that will show whether schools are really helping students succeed.

Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:5191565937-RAUNERTESTS.mp3] [/audio]

During a discussion with the Large Unit District Association Superintendent in Springfield Friday the Governor talked about the state’s finances, saying Illinois will be in crisis mode for a while. Rauner says it’s not just about money, it’s about how to spend the money. Part of the Governor’s plan to transform the state’s education system is to get money out of bureaucracy and put it back into classrooms.

ISU Crosswalk Safety Updated

Even as Illinois State University students head home for the summer, ISU Police Chief Aaron Woodruff says crosswalk safety continues to be an issue.

[audio:5201564741-Woddruff1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Woodruff says the issue is not because of a lack of education.

[audio:5191565938-Woodruff2.mp3] [/audio]

Crosswalk incidents between students and vehicles caused many injuries and even death last semester.

Clinton City Council Hears Plans For New Multi-Purpose Pathway

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, the plans were presented to the City Council for what a future multi-purpose pathway might look like in Clinton.

Mayor Roger Cyrulik says these plans have been worked on over the past several months and Monday, representatives from the Farnsworth Group brought forward their designs. He notes the plans include ways to incorporate surrounding communities' paths into Clinton's.

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The Mayor indicates the pathway will incorporate both current streets and sidewalks, but the plan also calls to use vacated railroad tracks. Mayor Cyrulik believes the biggest challenge for a road bike path would be for the drivers of the vehicles.

[audio:5191565925-52015clintonpath2.mp3] [/audio]

The evolution and development of the pathway is going to take a good amount of time. According to Mayor Cyrulik, the Illinois Department of Transportation will likely heavily be involved and the City is likely going to have to pursue grants to fund the project.

[audio:5191565927-52015clintonpath3.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor says any grants the city applies for would be done with the assistance of the Farnsworth Group. He notes they have worked on these types of projects in the past and would have prior knowledge of ways to access grants that could help in paying for the project.

Mayor Cyrulik adds it will be great to connect the path with other communities. He notes it will also be important the pathway get residents to popular spots like Weldon Springs, or even, Clinton Lake.

In other news from the Monday City Council meeting:

>>Julie North was appointed to the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board.

>>David Dallas was named interim Fire Chief

Jimmy Johnson's Team Receives Warning From NASCAR

 width=Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 team avoided penalties but did receive a written warning from NASCAR on Tuesday for altering the side skirts on their car during last Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Prior to the start of the 2015 season, NASCAR made a rule modification that prohibited Sprint Cup Series teams from flaring the side skirts -- the sheet metal ahead of the rear tires on the car -- during pit stops in a race. It had the potential to improve air flow over the rear of the car, which would help increase speeds. The practice became widespread in Sprint Cup during the latter half of the 2014 season.

NASCAR will issue a warning to any team in their first offense of altering the side skirts and then assess penalties if there are repeat offenses.

Johnson, the six-time Sprint Cup champion, finished 15th out of the 20 drivers who participated in the all-star race, which is a non-points event.

Ex-Notre Dame QB Chooses Florida State

 width=Former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson says he's transferring to Florida State for his fifth and final year of eligibility.

Golson announced his decision to Fox Sports on Tuesday after visiting Florida State, Georgia and Florida last week.

The 22-year-old quarterback played two seasons at Notre Dame, 2012 and 2014, and passed for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns with 20 interceptions. He rushed 208 times for 581 yards and 14 scores.

Golson led the Irish to an undefeated 2012 regular season and a berth in the BCS National Championship game against Alabama as a redshirt freshman, but was suspended for the entire 2013 season over an academic issue.

NFL Adjusts Extra Point Rules

 width=The National Football League's dullest play underwent significant changes on Tuesday at the owners meetings.

The owners approved the competition committe's proposal to have the extra point snap moved back to the 15-yard line. The two-point conversion attempt will remain at the 2.

The line of scrimmage for the PAT was previously at the 2-yard line.

The vote was 30-2, with the Washington Redskins and the Oakland Raiders the only teams who voted no. The rule will be reviewed after one year.

Twenty six of the 32 NFL franchises didn't miss an extra point last season. Teams went 163-of-171 (95.3 percent) on field goals between 30-35 yards in 2015.

The league experimented with the extra point from the 15-yard line during last year's preseason.

Defenses, who weren't allowed to score points on extra points before, can now tally two points if they return a blocked kick, interception or fumble. This rule is already part of the college game.

Curry Carries Warriors Past Rockets In Game 1; 'Wolves Get No. 1 Pick

The Golden State Warriors, known more for their offensive prowess, locked in on the defensive end on two separate occasions Tuesday night en route to a Game 1 win in the Western Conference Finals.

Stephen Curry scored 34 points with six rebounds and five assists as the Warriors defeated the resilient Houston Rockets, 110-106, to take the early lead in the best-of-seven series.

Shaun Livingston deposited 16 of his playoff career-high 18 in the first half and Draymond Green posted 13 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Golden State, which is making its first appearance in the conference finals since 1976.

 width=Klay Thompson struggled to 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting -- including 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.

The build up coming into this game was Curry, the league MVP, going against James Harden, who finished second in the voting.

It lived up to the hype as Harden contributed 28 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to match Curry's strong performance.

Game 2 is Thursday at Oracle Arena.

>>T-Wolves Win No. 1 Pick In Upcoming NBA Draft

The Minnesota Timberwolves already have the last two No. 1 picks on their roster. Now they have the opportunity to add another one.

The 2015 NBA Draft lottery pretty much held to form on Tuesday night, with the Timberwolves winning the No. 1 pick.

It's the first time that the team with the worst record has won the draft lottery since the Orlando Magic in 2004. The Wolves, who went 16-66 during the regular season, had a 25 percent chance of obtaining the top selection.

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins with the No. 1 pick in last year's NBA Draft, but shipped him to Minnesota as part of the Kevin Love trade. Anthony Bennett, the top choice in 2013, was also included in the package.

The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks were the only two teams who didn't receive a pick according to the standings.

Los Angeles (21-61), which finished fourth in the NBA, will pick second, while the NBA's second-worst Knicks (17-65) got the fourth selection. New York had a 19.9 percent chance at getting the No. 1 pick.

The Lakers and Knicks are both picking in the top five for just the second time in the Common Draft era (1966), with the only time it occurring previously coming in 1979.

LA is in the lottery for the second straight season, but just the fourth time since it was instituted in 1994.

The Philadelphia 76ers (18-64) will pick third and the Orlando Magic (25-57) round out the top five.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for May 18

Jail Population: 37

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 2

William Rivera, 33, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Possess Drug Paraphernalia/ Failure to Appear. Rivera posted the necessary bond and was released.

Ryan Propst, 19, Broadlands was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Consumption of Liquor/ Minor/ Failure to Appear. Propst posted the necessary bond and was released.




Big Ten ADs See Year of Readiness Fueling Debate On Balance

 width=Big Ten athletic directors believe commissioner Jim Delany succeeded in one key area when he introduced the idea of a so-called year of readiness.

He helped fuel the conversation about the imbalance between athletics and academics.

Iowa AD Gary Barta says it has created a national dialogue about improving "the student-athlete experience."

Delany pitched the idea of a year of readiness in February. He followed that up last month with a 12-page letter titled, "Education First, Athletics Second: The Time for a National Discussion is Upon Us," outlining a plan to make football and men's basketball players sit out their freshman seasons without losing a year of eligibility.

The odds of it becoming a reality are slim.

Blackhawks Win In Triple-OT To Even Series With Ducks

 width=Marcus Kruger scored the winning goal with 3:48 left in the third overtime and the Chicago Blackhawks grabbed a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Chicago had a goal waived off in the second overtime after Andrew Shaw was ruled to have head-butted the puck into the net, but Kruger ended the game with his second of the playoffs.

Brent Seabrook had the puck at the right point and fired a shot that hit Kruger in front of the net with Kruger pushing in the puck to end the longest game in Chicago franchise history.

This best-of-seven series is now tied at 1-1 and the next two games will be in Chicago with Game 3 set for Thursday night.

Shaw and Marian Hossa had first period power-play goals for the Blackhawks, who got 60 saves from Corey Crawford in the marathon.
Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry scored goals, while Frederik Andersen made 53 saves for the Ducks, who had won all six home games in the playoffs before this loss.

Cards Pound Mets; Cubs Sloppy In Loss, Sox Lose Late

 width=>>Cardinals Crush Mets

Randal Grichuk went 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-2 win over the New York Mets.

Mark Reynolds homered among his three hits and Kolten Wong had two RBI for St. Louis, which bounced back from a 14-inning loss in the series opener on Monday night.

Michael Wacha (6-0) remained unbeaten after he scattered four hits and allowed two runs with five strikeouts over seven innings.

Daniel Murphy was the only Met to hurt Wacha, smacking a home run in the fourth to account for New York's offense.

Jon Niese (3-4) was roughed up for eight runs on 11 hits over five innings in the loss.

 width=>>Cubs Sloppy In Loss

James Shields struck out 11 batters and the San Diego Padres took advantage of three Chicago defensive mistakes in their 4-3 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

Shields gave up a pair of solo home runs among the six hits that he scattered over seven innings for the Padres, who snapped a three-game losing skid. Shields has given up at least one home run in eight of nine starts this season and leads the majors in homers allowed.

Chris Coghlan and Dexter Fowler went deep off Shields in the third inning to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead.

Jason Hammel tossed a gem for Chicago but was betrayed by his defense. He struck out eight in seven innings, yielding just three hits and two unearned runs.

National League Scoreboard
Arizona 4, Miami 2
Colorado 6, Philadelphia 5
San Francisco 2, Los Angeles 0
Minnesota 8, Pittsburgh 5
Tampa Bay 5, Atlanta 3
Milwaukee 8, Detroit 1
Washington 8, NY Yankees 6 (10 innings)
Kansas City 3, Cincinnati 0

 width=>>Bauer Sends Tribe Past Sox

Trevor Bauer tossed 7 1/3 strong innings and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 3-1 in the second of a four-game set.

Bauer (3-1) struck out seven and allowed a run on four hits and three walks for the Indians. Brandon Moss smacked a solo homer in the triumph.

Cody Allen tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings to notch his seventh save of the season.

Jose Quintana (2-4) surrendered two runs on eight hits and four walks over seven frames for Chicago, which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

The game was tied 1-1 before the Indians scored a run in the fifth and another in the eighth to go ahead.

Jason Kipnis dumped a two-out single to shallow center in the fifth and he came home on Jose Ramirez's double down the left-field line.

Moss cracked his solo shot into the seats in right to make it 3-1 in favor of the Indians.

American League Scoreboard
Baltimore 9, Seattle 4
LA Angels of Anaheim 3, Toronto 2
Boston 4, Texas 3
Houston 6, Oakland 4

Illini Add Former QB Scheelhaase To Football Staff

 width=Illinois has hired former Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (SHEEL'-hows) as the assistant director of football operations.

The school said Tuesday that Scheelhaase will take over the position vacated recently by fellow former quarterback Juice Williams, who took a job at Georgetown.

Coach Tim Beckman said Scheelhaase's strong relationships with coaches, players and alumni should be an asset to the program.

Scheelhaase said he looked forward to coming back to a campus he said is home. Scheelhaase was a starter for four seasons at Illinois between 2010 and 2013. He is the school's all-time leader in total offense with 10,634 combined yards.

Scheelhaase duties include coordinating on-campus recruiting and athlete housing.

Illini Rake In Big Ten Awards; Open Big Ten Tourney Today

>>Illini Head To Minneapolis As Big Ten's Top Seed

Illinois is the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the fourth time in program history and takes on Nebraska tonight from Target Field in Minneapolis.

 width=Kevin Duchene will get the nod for the Illini tonight as they put their 26-game win streak on the line. Duchene finished the regular season 10-1 with a 1.19 ERA.

Nebraska counters with Chance Sinclair, who finished with a 6-7 mark and 3.03 ERA.

Illinois took two from Nebraska last Thursday and Friday to clinch the outright Big Ten Championship at Illinois.

Tonight's ballgame is set for a 5 pm start time to air on the Big Ten Network.

>>Illini Sweep Big Ten Awards

The Big Ten champion Fighting Illini baseball team was rewarded for its record-setting season with a record number of Big Ten postseason awards, announced the conference office Tuesday.

David Kerian was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Tyler Jay was named Pitcher of the Year and Dan Hartleb collected Coach of the Year honors.

Meanwhile, 11 Illini were named to All-Big Ten teams with six first-team selections.

Catcher Jason Goldstein (.298, 35 R, 8 HR, 42 RBI), first baseman David Kerian (.383, 42 R, 13 HR, 45 RBI), shortstop Adam Walton (.314, 47 R, 3 HR, 29 RBI), and outfielder Casey Fletcher (.338, 44 R, 3 HR, 32 RBI), were First Team selections, while starting pitcher Kevin Duchene (10-1, 1.19 ERA, 80 K, 10 BB) and closer Tyler Jay (5-1, 0.67 ERA, 12 SV, 62 K, 6 BB) were unanimous first-team selections.

Starting pitcher Drasen Johnson (9-2, 2.34 ERA, 64 K, 15 BB) was named to the Second Team, second baseman Reid Roper (.310, 48 R, 9 HR, 46 RBI), outfielder Ryan Nagle (.326, 40 R, 3 HR, 31 RBI), designated hitter Pat McInerney (.318, 29 R, 5 HR, 32 RBI), and starting pitcher John Kravetz (4-0, 3.76 ERA, 40 K, 12 BB), were all picked to the Third Team.

ISU Baseball Players Take In Awards, Open Valley Conference Tournament

>>ISU Takes in Missouri Valley Conference Awards

Jacob Hendren has been named the Missouri Valley Conference's Newcomer of the Year, while he and three other Redbirds earned All-MVC honors, the league announced Tuesday.

Hendren was joined on the All-MVC First Team by Redbird teammates Paul DeJong and Mason Snyder, while Joe Kelch was an All-MVC Second Team selection. Hendren was also named to the MVC's All-Defensive Team.

Hendren is the first member of the Illinois State baseball team to win the Newcomer of the Year award. He posted a 10-2 record and a 2.84 ERA in his first season wearing a Redbird uniform, tying Illinois State's single-season wins record. He was tied for the Valley lead in both wins and innings pitched.

DeJong was named to the All-MVC First Team as a utility player, having started games at four different positions, and as the team's designated hitter, in 2015. DeJong slashed .333/.427/.605 and led both the Redbirds and the MVC in home runs, with 14.

 width=Snyder was named the Valley's First Team first baseman. The senior hit .302/.418/.471 in his final season at Illinois State, ranking among the top 10 in the league in doubles (14) and RBIs (41).

Kelch was named to the All-MVC Second Team as a second baseman.

>>Redbirds Open MVC Tournament Against Host Wichita State

The Illinois State baseball team will enter the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a No. 5 seed and will take on the tournament host, No. 4 Wichita State, when the league tournament begins Wednesday in Wichita, Kansas.

First pitch of Wednesday's game is set for 7:30 p.m.

Illinois State (27-25, 9-12 MVC) entered the final weekend of Valley play in fifth place with a chance to enter the MVC Tournament anywhere between a No. 3 and a No. 7 seed. The Redbirds finished right where they started, however, as Indiana State took two of three games over the weekend at Duffy Bass Field.

The Redbirds will look to junior left-hander Jacob Hendren to start Wednesday's game.

Illinois State won MVC Tournament titles in 1994 and 2010, and has played in the tournament's title game in each of the past two years, falling to Wichita State and Dallas Baptist, respectively, in 2013 and 2014.

All games at the MVC Tournament this week will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

Maroons Continue Regional Action; Monticello Takes On Tuscola

 width=Coming off a 13-3 win over Gibson City Melvin Sibley Monday, the Clinton Maroons are back in action this afternoon against Bloomington Central Catholic from the Olympia Regional.

The Maroons will take on the Regional's top seed today. Action gets underway at 4:30 pm and can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Meanwhile, in Tuscola, the Monticello Sages will get their postseason action underway tonight from Tuscola as they play Regional host Tuscola starting at 7 pm.

Today's action can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

'Tour DeWitt' To Return Thanks To Local Advocates

 width=A Clinton couple is hoping to restore a once prominent and popular event in DeWitt County.

Steve and Dana Lobb together are working to bring back the once very popular, "Tour DeWitt" bicycle ride. According to Steve Lobb (right), the tour dropped off a number of years ago, and now he and is wife are working to restore the event, scheduled for late August.

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According to Lobb, the ride in it's renewed first year will have four different rides that can be taken. He says there will two shorter courses that will high more local spots, then there are two more challenging rides that he thinks should be for those advanced riders.

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The ride this year will support a local group the Lobb's have become very supportive of. Lobb indicates for the past several years, he has been advocating and supporting the Child Protection Network that has a satellite office in Clinton, and this year's ride will benefit the organization.

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Lobb says this year's event would not be possible without the support of several local sponsorships. He indicates the Chamber of Commerce has been a big help in getting the word for the event, but also notes there are many other companies in the community that are stepping up to be a part of their efforts.

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Lobb indicates all the details about the event can be found via their Facebook Page titled, Tour DeWitt. There you can find a link to all the registration information. He notes, a registration prior to August 14 will get you a free Tour DeWitt t-shirt along with entry into a drawing for an i-Pad Mini. Participants can register the day of the event as well.

The event again is August 29, from 6 am to 10 am. Following the event will be a pasta lunch at Clinton United Methodist Church for $7.

Wiggins Leads All-Rookie Team

 width=Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins, the 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year, headlines this season's NBA All-Rookie First Team, the league announced Monday.

Last year's No. 1 overall draft pick was the lone unanimous choice totaling 130 first-team votes. A 6-foot-8 shooting guard, Wiggins averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and one steal while playing all 82 games for the Timberwolves.

The Toronto-born former Kansas star was drafted No. 1 by Cleveland last June and then traded to Minnesota as part of the three-team deal last August that sent star forward Kevin Love from the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers.

Chicago's Nikola Mirotic (128 First Team votes, 258 points), Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel (125 First Team votes, 252 points), Orlando's Elfrid Payton (121 First Team votes, 250 points) and the Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Clarkson (74 First Team votes, 200 points) rounded out the All-Rookie First Team.

Mirotic also appeared in all 82 games, averaging 10.2 points in 20.2 minutes.

McIlroy Tightens Grip On Top Spot In World

 width=Rory McIlroy won for the second time in three weeks on the PGA Tour and extended his lead atop this week's world rankings.

McIlroy pushed his advantage over world No. 2 Jordan Spieth from 3.73 average points to 4.46 average points.

Behind them, there was little change to the top-20. Henrik Stenson was No. 3 again and followed by Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose.

Jason Day and Sergio Garcia exchanged places with Day inching up to seventh. Rickie Fowler stayed put in ninth and was trailed by Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar.

Phil Mickelson pushed up a spot to 17th and that pushed Martin Kaymer down to 18th. Billy Horschel and Bill Haas were 19th and 20th again this week.

Webb Simpson and Patrick Rodgers shared second place behind McIlroy at Quail Hollow. Simpson improved 14 places to 36th, while Rodgers soared 196 spots to No. 137.

James Morrison won the Open de Espana and jumped from No. 296 to No. 158 thanks to his second European Tour title.

Johnson Leads Tampa Bay Past New York To Even Series

 width=Tyler Johnson had a hat trick to power the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Johnson scored a short-handed goal, a power-play goal and an even-strength goal for the first playoff hat trick in Lightning history. The diminutive forward, who went undrafted, leads the NHL with 11 goals and 16 points this postseason.

Alex Killorn had two goals and an assist and Nikita Kucherov collected three assists, helping Tampa Bay even the series. Ben Bishop turned aside 35 New York shots.

Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals for the Rangers, who had played 15 consecutive one-goal games in the playoffs. Henrik Lundqvist allowed all six Tampa Bay goals on 26 shots.

Game 3 will be played in Tampa on Wednesday night.

Sox Win, Cards Lose

>>Sanchez Sends Streaking Sox To Extra Innings Win

 width=Carlos Sanchez's walk-off single in the 10th inning lifted the Chicago White Sox to a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in a battle of aces.

Prior to the extra-inning dramatics, Chicago starter Chris Sale and reigning Cy Young winner Corey Kluber combined for 19 strikeouts over their 17 innings of work.

Sale struck out seven and allowed a run on four hits and two walks over eight innings. Kluber, fresh off his dominating 18-strikeout performance over the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday, fanned 12 more. He surrendered a run on five hits and a walk over nine frames.

Zach Duke (2-2) tossed a scoreless top of the 10th to notch the win for the White Sox, who have won six in a row.

Jose Ramirez had two hits and the lone RBI for Cleveland.

American League Scoreboard
Toronto 10, LA Angels of Anaheim 6
Oakland 2, Houston 1
Milwaukee 3, Detroit 2

 width=>>Mets Outlast Cardinals In 14 Innings

John Mayberry's RBI single in the 14th inning lifted the New York Mets to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a four-game set on Monday.

Eric Campbell and Lucas Duda each worked walks off Sam Tuivailala (0-1) to open the deciding frame. Campbell moved to third after Michael Cuddyer grounded into a force out and Daniel Murphy was walked to load the bases.

On the very next pitch, Mayberry hit a soft grounder to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who dove to stop the ball. Campbell rushed down the base path and slid into home, beating Peralta's throw for the game-winning run.

Lucas Duda drove in a run and Curtis Granderson doubled twice for the Mets, who had Matt Harvey's terrific outing almost spoiled after usually-reliable closer Jeurys Familia gave up the game-tying run in the ninth.

Harvey allowed just six hits and one walk and tied a season high with nine strikeouts over eight innings in the no-decision. Carlos Torres (2-2) earned the win after tossing two scoreless innings of relief.

Jason Heyward brought in the Cardinals' lone run and Yadier Molina finished with three hits and a walk. Starter John Lackey surrendered just one run on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts over seven frames.

National League Scoreboard
Arizona 3, Miami 2 (13 innings)
Philadelphia 4, Colorado 3
Milwaukee 3, Detroit 2

Illini Women's Hoops Coach Leaves Amid Player Concerns

 width=A week after the Illinois football staff faced accusations of mistreating a player, the school says it has also looked into concerns raised by parents of women's basketball players that preceded the departure of an assistant coach.

Spokeswoman Robin Kaler said Monday that assistant coach Mike Divilbiss and the university "had agreed to part ways."

Kaler says the university looked into allegations in April made by three unidentified players' parents and found no violations of laws, NCAA rules or university policies. Those allegations included concerns about one player's medical treatment.

Last week, former Illinois football player Simon Cvijanovic said coach Tim Beckman and his staff pressured him to play hurt and misled him about an injury.

The university hired an legal firm to investigate.

Illini's Kerian Collects Second Big Ten Player of the Week

 width=The Fighting Illini swept the final four weeks of Big Ten Player of the Week awards, as senior David Kerian picked up the honor for a second time, announced the conference office Monday. Kerian led the Illini to the 2015 Big Ten title by hitting .667 with three runs, a home run and three RBI in two wins over Nebraska.

He helped Illinois keep the nation's longest winning streak (26) alive with a 3-for-4 performance including his Big Ten-leading 13th homer in a 10-9 win over the Huskers on Friday. The Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, native also leads the Big Ten in average (.383), slugging percentage (.661) and on-base percentage (.467) for the season. He extended his hitting streak to 17 games, one shy of his career high from earlier this year.

Illinois is the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament after wrapping up its 30th Big Ten Championship.

Illinois will play No. 8 seed Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Maroons Down GCMS, Move On At Regionals

 width=The Clinton Maroons scored seven runs in the second inning then five more to close out a ten-run, 13-3 victory of Gibson City Melvin Sibley, GMCS, Monday at the Olympia Regional in Clinton.

Mac Hickman went the distance on the mound, allowing three runs, three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.

Wiley Mitchell led the way offensively with three hits and three RBIs. Josh Hickman added three hits, Dylan Walsh contributed two and Travis Fryman added a double as the Maroons pounded out twelve hits in the victory.

At 8-17, the Maroons move on to a Wednesday showdown at Olympia High School against Bloomington Central Catholic High School. Game time is set for 4:30 pm and can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Class 2A Regional Baseball action Monday:

At Athens

Athens 3
Maroa-Forsyth 9

At Buffalo Tri-City

Buffalo Tri-City 9
Decatur St. Teresa 1

At Macon Meridian

Meridian 10
Pana 18

At Tolono

Unity 7
Cerro Gordo 2

Class 1A Regional Baseball finals from Monday:

At Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 2
Arcola 3

At Mt. Pulaski

Mt. Pulaski 6
Decatur Lutheran 12

Clinton Save A Lot Announces New Store


One of Clinton's most popular businesses will be building a new storefront downtown.

Clinton Save A Lot, currently located off Center Street off the downtown Clinton Square, will be building a new store just across the street, east from their current location, bordered by Madison, Washington and Monroe Streets. Owner Dave Jackson says they plan to relocate later this year.

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Jackson indicates the move has become a necessity for their long term viability. He explains their sales have continued to increase in recent years. The plans have taken nearly four years to become final, and in a 100 year old building, they are in great need for a bigger facility.

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Going back to before 2012, Jackson realized he was going to need a new storefront to accomodate the company's growth. He says there were several hurdles that stood in their way if they wanted to move to the property they have now purchased.

[audio:51915110049-52015savealotmove3.mp3] [/audio]

Jackson hopes to start moving ground and getting construction going early this summer with a completion date of later this year. He notes he did want the store to be open last year at this time, but delays caused that initial plan to be put on hold.

Catlin, Sages Get By Cerro Gordo-Bement

Sophie Catlin led the Monticello Sages past the Cerro Gordo-Bement Lady Broncos,
8-1, Tuesday afternoon in semi-final regional softball action.

 width=Catlin went seven innings in circle, allowing a run on three hits, yielding three walks
and tallied 11 strikeouts. She also finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a two-run
home run in the first inning.

Layne Buzan finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.

Megan Magsaman added two RBIs in a 1-for-3 effort with a solo home run.

The Lady Sages are back in action Saturday morning in Forsyth in Regional Finals
action at 11 am. Hear all the action live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at

Trojans Top Maroons In 2A Softball Regional

 width=As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to Maroa-Forsyth 4 to 1 Tuesday night in Class 2A Regional Softball action at Forsyth.

Clinton took a 1 - 0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd when Megan Tool's RBI single scored Haley Ginger, however the lead was short lived.  The Trojans answered back by scoring two in the top of the 4th; highlighted by back-to-back triples from Bailey Martin and Cayla Wickenhauser.  M-F went on to add two more runs in the top of the 5th.  Martin paced the Trojans attack going 2 for 3 with a triple and 2 runs scored.

Kate Beckmeyer pitched an outstanding game for the Lady Trojans.  At one point she retired 11 Maroons is a row enroute to her 9th win of the season.  She finished with a line of 7 innings pitched, allowing only one run on 5 hits, striking out 8, and only walking 1.

Alexis Estes took the loss for Clinton, dropping her record to 20-4 for the season.  Estes pitched 7 innings, allowing 4 runs, only 2 of which were earned.  Estes struck out 6, but gave up 8 hits and walked 3.

Clinton's season ends with a record of 21-5, and they claimed the inagural Central Illinois Conference Championship with a 13-1 conference record.

Maroa-Forsyth, who are now 14-7 on the season, advance to take on top seeded Monticello Saturday morning at 11am at Forsyth Park.  You can hear that game on 95.9FM WEZC. 

Clinton Police Weekend Report







Sunday's Scoreboard

All Times Eastern Interleague

St. Louis 2, Detroit 1 F

American League
Baltimore 3, L.A. Angels 0 F
Kansas City 6, N.Y. Yankees 0 F
Tampa Bay 11, Minnesota 3 F
Houston 4, Toronto 2 F
Texas 5, Cleveland 1 F
Chicago White Sox 7, Oakland 3 F
Seattle 5, Boston 0 F

National League
Atlanta 6, Miami 0 F
N.Y. Mets 5, Milwaukee 1 F
San Francisco 9, Cincinnati 8 F
Philadelphia 6, Arizona 0 F
Pittsburgh 3, Chicago Cubs 0 F
L.A. Dodgers 1, Colorado 0 F
Washington 10, San Diego 5 F

National Basketball Association Playoffs
Houston 113, L.A. Clippers 100 F

National Hockey League Playoffs
Anaheim 4, Chicago 1 F

Major League Soccer
Orlando City FC 4, Los Angeles 0 F
Philadelphia 1, D.C. United 0 F

Andersen's Ducks knock off Blackhawks 4-1 in WCF opener

Hampus Lindholm, Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg each had a goal and an assist, and the Anaheim Ducks opened the Western Conference finals with a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Ducks. They opened their first conference finals in eight years with a strong all-around performance while improving to 9-1 in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Both teams' top offensive stars were shut down in the opener, but the Ducks' supporting cast contributed timely scoring, capped by Thompson's goal with 7:55 to play and Silfverberg's empty-net goal with 1:18 left.

Wong, Lynn star as Cardinals beat Tigers to avoid sweep

Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning and Lance Lynn got his fifth career RBI to back his dominant pitching as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 on Sunday night to avoid a three-game sweep.

Miguel Cabrera's RBI double in the first was the only damage against Lynn (3-3), who gave a weary bullpen a break before walking the last two batters he faced at the end of his 7 1-3 innings.

Seth Maness' only pitch got a double-play ball to end the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal finished for his 13th save.

Matt Carpenter added two hits and Peter Bourgos tripled and scored on Lynn's single in the third. The Cardinals improved to a major league-best 25-12 despite having two players thrown at the plate.

Alfredo Simon (4-2) gave up two runs in six innings for the Tigers, whose three-game winning streak ended.

Pirates stop 4-game slide with 3-0 win over Cubs

A.J. Burnett worked around five walks while pitching seven innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates stopped a four-game losing streak by cooling off the Chicago Cubs with a 3-0 victory on Sunday.

Burnett allowed three hits and struck out seven while handing Jake Arrieta his first loss in six career starts against Pittsburgh. Burnett (3-1) has allowed two runs or less in each of his eight starts this year after losing 18 games with Philadelphia last season.

Francisco Cervelli had a hand in Pittsburgh's first two runs after the catcher was shaken up in the fourth when he was hit in the groin by a foul tip. He had an RBI single in the fifth, and then singled and scored on Neil Walker's two-out double in the eighth.

The Cubs had won six in a row and seven of nine. Rookie third baseman Kris Bryant was pulled after four innings, and the team said he was ill.

Lincoln Festival Expands to Four Events in June

One of Lincoln's most popular annual events will take a new form beginning in June.

The Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival has been expanded to four separate weekends over the summer. The event has grown over the last few years and its organizers decided to expand it to protect all the different components. Andi Hake, Executive Director of the Logan County Alliance, says bad weather last year was a hit to each section of the festival.

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The first event of the festival will be Lincoln Pigs & Swigs the first weekend of June. The weekend will feature the barbeque contest along with craft fairs, flea markets and car show. Hake notes these events always have a great turnout.

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This year will also see a new craft beer event coincide with the other events. Hake notes the Logan County Farm Bureau will also be a part of the weekend's festivities as well.

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Lincoln Pigs and Swigs will take place June 5 through the 7th. Hake hopes the expanded event will allow guests and volunteers to be able to experience everything the festival has to offer.


Summer Lunches Begin for Community Kids Next Month

Several local organizations are joining forces to provide needed lunches for community kids this summer.

The U of I Extension of DeWitt County along with the DeWitt County Human Resource Center and DeWitt County Housing will be providing summer lunches once again this year. Sherry Fulton, with U of I Extension, says they will provide educational activities surrounding the lunch each day.

[audio:5181563621-51815summerlunch1.mp3] [/audio]

The last few years have seen forty to fifty kids attend the lunches each day. Fulton notes the HRC hires a cook who prepares menus weekly that the kids really enjoy. She adds there are also many great role models who plan the activities for each day.

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Kids need to be registered the first day of the lunches which will be June 8th. All kids under the age of 5 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information on summer lunches, you can contact the U of I Extension at 217-935-5764.

Clinton's May Days Continues Throughout the Weekend

One of the Clinton area's most popular events continues throughout the weekend.

May Days is one of the biggest family festivals for the local community held throughout the year. It also provides the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce with needed funds for its various events. Executive Director Marian Brisard hopes many will come out to support their community over the next couple days.

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May Days will continue through Sunday afternoon. For more information, you can find the Chamber on Facebook or visit www.clintonilchamber.com.

Animal Control Seizes Peoria Man's Alligator

Animal control officers have seized a pet alligator from a Peoria man's home.

An anonymous tip led officers to the home on Thursday afternoon. Once they arrived, 51-year-old resident Ralph Mohr voluntarily brought the alligator out to their truck. Mohr was wearing thick protective gloves and the young American alligator was covered in a blue flannel blanket. Its tail was thrashing and it had a band around its jaw.

Mohr slid the animal into the Peoria County Animal Protective Society truck as officers quickly latched the truck's gate closed.

Mohr told officers the animal was purchased legally in another state.

Police made no arrests. No one was injured.

Trade Unions, Political Process Criticized During Floor Debate

During what some characterize as political theater, the debate about right to work Thursday in the Illinois House highlighted some concerns about diversity in trade unions and the political process of the General Assembly. Illinois News Network has more:

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Rauner Says Feverishly Working For Solutions

Illinois’ political leaders are feverishly trying to find a workable solution to the state’s growing crises. That’s according to Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. However, some people are ready for working groups to come out into the open. Illinois News Network has more:

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House Speaker Michael Madigan issued a statement Thursday that he’s working to bring closed-door meetings into the open and has called for debate and a vote next week on civil justice reforms. Madigan previously held Committees of the Whole on workers’ comp and tort reforms and also called for a vote on a measure Democrats said was the equivalent of the Governor’s employee empowerment zones. That amendment failed in the House Thursday.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-14

Jail Population: 34

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Hang Tran, 47, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Tran was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Brooke Meckley, 23, Clinton was issued a Citation for Permitting Unauthorized Person to Drive. Meckley was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Thursday's Scoreboard

Eastern Interleague
St. Louis 2, Cleveland 1 F

American League
Detroit 13, Minnesota 1 F
Kansas City 6, Texas 3 F
Tampa Bay 6, N.Y. Yankees 1 F
Houston 6, Toronto 4 F
Boston 2, Seattle 1 F

National League
Philadelphia 4, Pittsburgh 2 F
Chicago Cubs 6, N.Y. Mets 5 F
Cincinnati 4, San Francisco 3 F
Colorado 5, L.A. Dodgers 4 F
San Diego 8, Washington 3 F

National Basketball Association Playoffs
Cleveland 94, Chicago 73 F
Houston 119, L.A. Clippers 107 F


Protecting home ice could decide NHL's conference finals

The Chicago Blackhawks have a sellout streak of 323 games and counting. The New York Rangers play in the world's most famous arena, and the Anaheim Ducks are undefeated at home in the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Lightning set a franchise record with an NHL-best 32 home wins.

Welcome to the NHL's final four, where one road win could go a long way.

The Rangers host the Lightning on Saturday in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals. The Ducks put their perfect postseason home record on the line Sunday in Game 1 against the Blackhawks, who also are 5-0 at home in the postseason.

The final four teams are a combined 19-5 at home in the postseason. The home team is 42-27 in this year's NHL playoffs overall.

James struggles, Cavaliers still advance past Bulls 94-73

LeBron James struggled to score 15 points, Kyrie Irving limped off the court and the Cleveland Cavaliers still beat the Chicago Bulls 94-73 on Thursday night to clinch their Eastern Conference semifinal series in six games.

Matthew Dellavedova scored 19 points and Tristan Thompson added 13 points and 17 rebounds to help the Cavaliers advance to the conference final for the first time since 2009 even though their superstar played like a mere mortal and their All-Star point guard hobbled to the locker room in the first half.

Despite all that, Cleveland is right where it expected to be after James decided to come home from Miami and return to his first team. The Cavaliers didn't expect to get there like this, though - with Kevin Love suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in the opening round and Irving trying to gut through problems with both legs.

Gasol in lineup for Bulls in Game 6 of semis

Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol is in the lineup for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

Gasol is back after missing two games because of a strained left hamstring. The Bulls hope he can help them avoid elimination with Cleveland up 3-2 in the series, even if he is limited.

"Pau doesn't move around out there like a gazelle," teammate Mike Dunleavy Jr. said. "Him at not 100 percent is OK with us. His size is still huge. He can still knock down shots. If he's a little slow getting up and down the court, we'll cover for him."

Gasol had 21 points and 10 rebounds in Chicago's series-opening win. The leg started to bother him in Game 2. He left Game 3 after playing about 22 minutes.

He averaged 18.5 points and 11.8 rebounds and at 34, he led the NBA with a career-high 54 double-doubles.

Cubs rally for 6-5 win, 4-game sweep of Mets

Dexter Fowler homered and scored the winning run in the seventh inning on a passed ball, and the Chicago Cubs rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the New York Mets 6-5 on Thursday, completing a four-game sweep.

Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Matt Szczur each had RBI hits as the Cubs recorded their first four-game sweep of New York since August 1992.

Anthony Recker had a pair of solo home runs to pace the Mets, but the backup catcher's failure to hold onto a slider from reliever Hansel Robles in the seventh allowed the go-ahead run to score.

With runners at the corners and two outs, Robles' pitch just off the plate deflected off Recker's glove and rolled toward the first base dugout as Fowler scored easily from third.

Pedro Strop (1-2) pitched 1 1-3 hitless innings for the win. Hector Rondon pitched the ninth for his eighth save.

Mets starter Jonathon Niese (3-3) allowed six runs (four earned) in 6 1-3 innings to take the loss.

Illini Capture Big Ten Title With Win Over Nebraska

With their 25th straight win on Thursday night, the No. 2 Fighting Illini baseball team clinched the 2015 Big Ten regular season championship. Illinois defeated Nebraska 6-3 at Illinois Field and notched the longest winning streak in the nation in 2015. The Illini earned their 30th Big Ten title in program history and first since 2011.

Illinois jumped out of the gate with three straight hits and a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Adam Walton ripped a double down the left field line and scored on junior Ryan Nagle's RBI single. Reid Roper put runners on the corners with a single and junior Jason Goldstein plated Nagle with a deep fly to center.

With one out and one on in the fourth, sophomore Pat McInerney drilled a two-run homer for his fifth bomb this season. The Orange and Blue led 4-0 after four innings.

The Illini tacked on two runs in the sixth for a 6-0 advantage.

Starter Kevin Duchene (10-1) pitched Illinois to victory with seven solid innings.

No. 2 Illinois will battle Nebraska on the Big Ten Network on Friday at 6 p.m.

Information courtesy of fightingillini.com.

Bobcat Bill Heads to Senate

You still might get your chance to hunt bobcats in Illinois. The bill to allow hunting of the animals is headed back the Senate floor for vote. A similar bill passed last year but was vetoed by then Governor Pat Quinn. The Senate agriculture committee voted today (Thursday) to advance the bill. It proposes a four month hunting season. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says they will issue 500 permits in the first season. Experts at DNR say the state’s population of bobcats is growing and hunting them will keep them in check.

Davis Says EPA is All Wet

Congressman Rodney Davis is celebrating the House passage of the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act. The bill requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw their current proposed rule to expand “waters of the United States” and develop a new proposal that takes into consideration more than one million public comments on the rule,. Davis says the EPA is moving too far, too fast without an open ear to those affected....

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Davis says there needs to be a change in business practices at EPA because he believes the agency is moving too fast on its plans without proper accountability....

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Davis says “If finalized, this rule would greatly expand the EPA’s authority giving federal officials the ability to regulate any water that flows or accumulates including water in farm ponds, meadows, and ditches.

House Votes Against Right to Work

Illinois House Democrats make their stance clear on Governor Rauner's push for Right to Work zones. They rejected Rauner's right-to-work proposal, even though the Governor had yet to file a bill. Republicans in the house mostly voted present. Southern Illinois State Rep. Brandon Phelps was vocal in his opposition prior to the vote in a Capitol press conference...

[audio:5151563947-Phelps.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Bruce Rauner has been pushing the idea of allowing local governments to permit workers to opt out of unions.

Clinton Police Chief Recognizes Fallen Officers

Today marks National Peace Officers Memorial Day for police departments around the U.S.

National Police Week has been held during the past week and has recognized law enforcement in local communities. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers notes every May 15th marks the day police remember officers who have died in the line of duty.

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There have been a few officers killed in the line of duty in Clinton and DeWitt County over the years. Chief Lowers pays tribute to those fallen officers.

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Despite the public scrutiny many police departments have gone through in the past few months natioanlly, Chief Lowers would like to pay thanks to every man and woman who risk their lives to protect their communities.

First Christian Church Holds 5K During May Days

One local church is bringing an event to this weekend's May Days Festival in Clinton.

The First Christian Church in Clinton will be holding their 5K To Raise 5K walk/run this Saturday. Marian Brisard, with the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, says it will begin at the church at 8am and registration information can be found through the church or the Chamber.

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This will be the second year the church has held their 5K during May Days. Brisard is grateful for any organization that will run their own event during the festival.

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May Days will run all weekend through Sunday afternoon. For more information, you can find the Clinton Chamber on Facebook or go to www.clintonilchamber.com.

Clinton Man Killed In Single-Car Accident

DeWitt County Coroner Randy J. Rice and the DeWitt County Sheriff’s Department are investigating a single car accident that occurred around 6:03 PM May 13, 2015 at 8452 Birkbeck Road, DeWitt County, Il.

Steven W. Dawson age 62, Clinton, Il. was pronounced dead 6:45 PM at the scene. Steven Dawson was traveling south on Birkbeck road and struck a tree.

Rauner For New Pension Reform

The recent Supreme Court ruling on pension reforms passed in 2013 were never supported by Governor Bruce Rauner.

He wasn’t surprised the reforms were struck down. Rauner says it not fair to reduce pensions for individuals have already retired. His plan is to alter benefits for future work even for those employees that are already on the job.

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Rauner says that plan is fair, affordable and he predicts constitutional.

Local Law Enforcement Focus of the Week

Across the country this week, the focus is on law enforcement officials who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

It's 'Law Enforcement Memorial Week' and from a local to state to national level, leaders are taking time honoring the men and women who have lost their lives serving and protecting our communities each day. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains there are ceremonies going on all over the country for this week.

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The Sheriff says there are two primary ways officers die in the line of duty. The first is gunfire, and the second is automobile accidents. Sheriff Shofner indicates, because the first is unlikey, they have begun focusing training in his office on the latter.

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In his time in DeWitt County, Sheriff Shofner has dealt with a couple police officers deaths while on duty. While officers can take all the precautions in the world, accidents still happen.

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Many of the vehicle deaths are related to traffic stops. The Sheriff implores motorists to slow down and get over if possible when a law enforcement officer has someone pulled over. He asks drivers realize that is a person with a family that is counting on them to be home after their shift is over.

May Days Kicks Off This Evening

May Days are here for the Clinton community and there are many events planned for the whole family.

The festival will see the usual carnival rides and vendors this year but there will also be some changes and new features. Marian Brisard, Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, says there will be a flag ceremony this evening to mark the opening of May Days.

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Despite a few changes this year, Brisard notes there will be something to enjoy every evening of May Days. Each night there will be live music on the downtown Clinton Square. And new this year, there will also be laser tag and various games sponsored by the Terror on Washington Street Haunted House.

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Brisard is thankful the stage on the square is back and operational this year as they are set to host local community bands. She adds last year's winter weather stalled the construction, which delayed the completion of the stage in time for May Days.

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May Days begins this evening and will continue through Sunday afternoon. Brisard is hoping for not only continued support from the Clinton community, but they have made it a point of emphasis to reach out to surrounding communities as well.

Local Insurance Agent Brings In Company Hardware

 width=Jay Peterson, owner of the Peterson Insurance Agency in Clinton, was the recipient of five company awards recently.

Peterson indicates they qualified for two awards apiece dealing with life and property and casualty insurance through Pekin Insurance. By getting those four awards, the Peterson Insurance Agency was then up for an "Agency of the Year", which they received.

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These awards are not the first time Peterson's group has received in the past. He indicates they have received several before, and even all four at the same time, but this is their first "Agency of the Year" award.

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Peterson believes their staff of eight is as strong as it's ever been in their office. He appreciates the community support that have and also attribute that to their success.

In March, Peterson and his staff were awarded the Robert T. Tebben "Agency of the Year" award at an annual banquet by the company.

Warriors Route Grizzlies

 width=Klay Thompson netted 21 points, Stephen Curry knocked down six of the Warriors' 14 3s and Golden State routed the Memphis Grizzlies 98-78 to take a 3-2 series lead in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal.

The NBA MVP Curry followed up his scintillating Game 4 showing with another dazzling display, scoring 18 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists.

Curry forced six steals, continually leading Golden State to easy transition baskets at the other end. The Warriors held a 29-6 margin in fastbreak points. Nineteen points came off 16 Memphis turnovers.

Andre Iguodala scored 16 points and Harrison Barnes supplied 14 in the triumph.

Marc Gasol provided 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Zach Randolph added 13 points and 10 boards for the fifth-seeded Grizzlies, who raced out to an early lead.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
Atlanta 82, Washington 81 (Atlanta Leads Series 3-2)

Kyle Busch Set To Return This Weekend

 width=After being sidelined for nearly three months due to injuries he suffered in an accident at Daytona International Speedway, Kyle Busch is scheduled to return to racing in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

On Tuesday, Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series, made the announcement of his return on Twitter, stating, "I'm back. #RowdyReturns."

Joe Gibbs Racing also announced that Busch has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity, beginning with Saturday's all-star race at Charlotte. He will participate in Friday's practice sessions for the event.

Busch sustained a fractured right leg and left foot when his car slammed head- on into an inside retaining wall during the closing laps of the Feb. 21 Xfinity Series race at Daytona. The wall did not have an energy-absorbing (SAFER) barrier installed on it. Busch underwent two surgeries to repair his broken bones. He has missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races this season.

Fowler Moves Up In World Rankings; PGA Shifts To Quail Hollow

>>Fowler Up To No. 9 In World

Coming off his second PGA Tour win, Rickie Fowler improved to ninth in this week's world rankings.

Fowler played the final six holes in 6-under par, then birdied the island green 17th twice in a playoff to earn the win. He moved up four spots from last week.

 width=The top-6 were unchanged with Rory McIlroy followed again by Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk and Justin Rose.

Sergio Garcia, who shared second place with Kevin Kisner behind Fowler, improved three places to No. 7. Jason Day dipped one to eighth and was followed by Fowler.

Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott both dropped a pair to 10 and 11, respectively. Jimmy Walker and J.B. Holmes were down a spot apiece to 12th and 13th.

Hideki Matsuyama remained No. 14 and was trailed again by Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson and Billy Horschel.

Bill Haas, who shared fourth place at the TPC Sawgrass, jumped five to No. 20. Last week's No. 20 Brooks Koepka dropped two to 22nd this week.

>>PGA Tour Shifts To Quail Hollow

After a thrilling finish at the TPC Sawgrass, the PGA Tour heads to Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship.

J.B. Holmes held off Jim Furyk and Jason Bohn to win the title last year. The victory for Holmes was his first since brain surgery to correct Chiara malformations.

Nine players ranked in the top-25 in the world will compete this week. That group is headlined by world No. 1 Rory McIroy, No. 3 Henrik Stenson and No. 5 Furyk.

Stepan OT Goal Sends Rangers To Game 7 Win, Conference Finals

 width=Derek Stepan helped the Rangers book their second consecutive trip to the Eastern Conference finals in dramatic fashion.

Stepan scored with 8:36 left in overtime to propel New York to a 2-1 Game 7 victory over the Washington Capitals in the semifinal round.

Following an offensive zone faceoff win by New York, Dan Girardi fired a shot from the blue line. Braden Holtby made the initial stop, but Stepan was perfectly positioned at the left side of the net, where he wristed home the rebound past the falling Washington netminder for the historic win.

New York became the first team in NHL history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit two seasons in a row.

Kevin Hayes scored and Lundqvist made 35 saves in a spectacular performance to win his sixth straight Game 7 for the Rangers, who will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Saturday's Game 1.

Alex Ovechkin, the confident Washington captain who guaranteed his team a victory prior to the game, provided his team's lone goal. Holtby stopped 37 shots in defeat.

Cubs, Sox Win; Cards Fall To Indians

 width=>>Bases Loaded Walk Sends Cubs Past Mets

Chris Coghlan looked at ball four in the dirt and the Chicago Cubs walked off with another win over the New York Mets, 2-1 Wednesday night.

Starters Jason Hammel and Matt Harvey dueled much of the night.

Hammel threw eight strong innings but couldn't pick up his first career win in five starts against the Mets. He struck out six in eight innings and allowed one run on five hits and a walk.

Harvey had nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings, yielding just three hits and two walks. He was coming off a loss to Philadelphia on Friday after winning his first five starts since having from Tommy John surgery.

>>Kluber, Indians Blank Cardinals

Corey Kluber turned in a historic performance to put his early-season struggles in the rearview.

Kluber (1-5) matched a franchise record with 18 strikeouts and allowed just one hit and no walks over eight innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Cleveland gave Kluber all the run support he needed in the first inning. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana drew walks off John Lackey (2-2) to start the inning, and both runners scored on singles from Brandon Moss and David Murphy.

Lackey gave up five hits and five walks in 5 1/3 innings.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 9, Arizona 6
Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2
Cincinnati 5, Atlanta 1
Miami 5, Los Angeles 4
Houston 4, San Francisco 3
LA Angels of Anaheim 2, Colorado 1 (11 innings)
San Diego 4, Seattle 2

 width=>>Quintana Leads White Sox Past Brewers

Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche homered in the first inning to back a solid outing from Jose Quintana and the Chicago White Sox defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2, in the rubber match of a three- game set.

Quintana (2-3) went seven-plus innings and allowed one run on four hits with a season-high 10 strikeouts.

Melky Cabrera and Emilio Bonifacio each drove in a run for the White Sox, who have won four of their last five.

Jimmy Nelson (1-4) was tagged with the loss after yielding four runs on eight hits over 2/3 innings.

American League Scoreboard
Boston 2, Oakland 0
Baltimore 6, Toronto 1
Minnesota 6, Detroit 2
Tampa Bay 3, New York 2
Texas 5, Kansas City 2

Illinois To Host Notre Dame In ACC/Big Ten Challenge

 width=Illinois plans to reopen the renovated State Farm Center on Dec. 2 against Notre Dame as part of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Illinois and Notre Dame haven't played a basketball game since the 2003 NCAA Tournament and that was the first time they'd met in 30 years. The Fighting Irish won that game, but the Illini hold the series edge, 27-13.

The State Farm Center work will keep Illinois out of the on-campus arena for its five November home games this fall.

Illinois and Notre Dame were regular opponents from their first meeting in 1922 through the 1970s. According to a news release from the Illinois basketball program, those games were often played at Chicago Stadium.

A Notre Dame men's basketball team hasn't been to Champaign since 1963.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for May 11-13

Jail Population: 34

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Hang Tran, 47, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Tran was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Brooke Meckley, 23, Clinton was issued a Citation for Permitting Unauthorized Person to Drive. Meckley was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.





Eastern Interleague
St. Louis 8, Cleveland 3 F
Chicago White Sox 4, Milwaukee 2 F
San Francisco 8, Houston 1 F
L.A. Angels 5, Colorado 2 F
Seattle 11, San Diego 4 F

American League
Toronto 10, Baltimore 2 F
Detroit 2, Minnesota 1 F 10 Innings
Tampa Bay 4, N.Y. Yankees 2 F
Kansas City 7, Texas 6 F 10 Innings
Oakland 9, Boston 2 F

National League
Pittsburgh 7, Philadelphia 2 F
Cincinnati 4, Atlanta 3 F
Chicago Cubs 6, N.Y. Mets 1 F
Arizona 14, Washington 6 F
L.A.Dodgers 11, Miami 1 F

National Basketball Association Playoffs
Cleveland 106, Chicago 101 F
Houston 124, L.A. Clippers 103 F

National Hockey League Playoffs
Tampa Bay 4, Montreal 1 F


Bears claim TE Pantale off waivers

The Chicago Bears have claimed tight end Chris Pantale off waivers from the New York Jets.

The Bears announced the move on Tuesday.

Pantale played in five games last season with the Jets, mostly on special teams. The 6-foot-5 Pantale played his college ball at Boston College, grabbing 98 balls for 986 yards and seven touchdowns

Sale strikes out 11, White Sox snap skid

Chris Sale struck out 11 in eight solid innings in his return from suspension to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

Chicago ended a seven-game road losing streak despite another modest offensive effort. It didn't matter with Sale (3-1) on the mound, as the lanky left-hander made every run count before David Robertson converted his sixth save to end it.

Milwaukee's Elian Herrera homered for the third straight day, but Brewers reliever Michael Blazek (3-1) faltered late.

Sale looked nothing like the pitcher who'd given up 13 runs over his previous two starts against Minnesota and Detroit in returning from a five-game suspension for his role in an April 23 brawl with Kansas City.

Arrieta, Bryant lead Cubs past Mets 6-1

Jake Arrieta pitched eight sparkling innings, Kris Bryant homered for the second straight day and the Chicago Cubs spoiled Noah Syndergaard anticipated debut with a 6-1 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

Arrieta (4-3) had a season-high 10 strikeouts and allowed one run and three hits. The right-hander had dropped each his last two starts.

Bryant had three hits, including his first major league triple. The rookie star hit a leadoff shot against Hansel Robles in the eighth, sending a towering shot to the back of the bleachers in left.

LeBron scores 38, Cavs down Bulls 106-101 in heated Game 5

LeBron James scored 38 points, Kyrie Irving added 25 and the Cleveland Cavaliers held on for a 106-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their testy Eastern Conference semifinal.

Showing no ill effects from a sprained left ankle, James, who added 12 rebounds, six assists and didn't have a turnover in 41 minutes, ensured the Cavs will again play at home this season.

They can wrap up the best-of-seven series with a win in Game 6 on Thursday night back at United Center in Chicago, where the teams exchanged buzzer-beating victories last weekend.

The drama wasn't quite as high in Game 5, but it was close and it was intense.

Jimmy Butler scored 29 and Mike Dunleavy 19 for Chicago. Derrick Rose scored 16, 12 in the first quarter, but shot just 2 of 15 in the final three quarters.

Champaign Man Pleads Guilty in Student's Drug-Related Death

A 21-year-old Champaign man has pleaded guilty to killing a University of Illinois student last year during a drug-related robbery.

Reginald Scott entered the plea Tuesday to a charge of first-degree murder in the January 2015 shooting death of Vicente Mundo of Chicago. Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Scott agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of no more than 60 years. He could have faced a life sentence if convicted at trial.

Scott admitted shooting the 20-year-old Mundo as Scott and another man robbed him of marijuana and cash. They had told Mundo they wanted to buy marijuana from him.

Daniel Gonzalez, 21, also faces a first-degree murder charge in Mundo's death. He has pleaded not guilty.

LCHS Leader Has Hopes for New State Superintendent

One local superintendent is reacting to the new Illinois State Superintendent.

Governor Bruce Rauner recently appointed Tony Smith as the new State Superintendent when former superintendent Chris Cook's contract expired. Lincoln Community High School Superintendent Robert Bagby says Rauner has the right to make whatever decisions he feels best and hopes that the state's current education issues are addressed.

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The role of State Superintendent has changed over the years according to Bagby. He notes the position has become of a figure-head over the year but they still should have their finger on the pulse of what's going on in state education.

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Bagby feels the new Superintendent need to communicate effectively with the Illinois Legislature especially when it comes to school funding.

DeWitt County Museum Features New Local Displays

The DeWitt County Museum has several interesting displays for guests this year featuring many local artifacts.

The Museum has put together a new World War I display which showcases items that had been scattered around the museum. Larry Buss, with the Museum, notes many of these items come from private collections of local citizens. Several donated items also comprise the new Illinois Central Railroad display.


Donors are not required to give their items to the Museum permanently. Buss says many of the artifacts are on loan temporarily and can be returned.

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The DeWitt County Museum is open 10-5 on Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 on Sundays. Adult admission is $3 with 12-18 year olds getting in for one dollar. Kids 11 and under get in for free.

UPDATED: Clinton Maroons Fall to Monticello Sages

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC, The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages used a 9-run first inning and Tyler Jones threw four shutout innings as Monticello blasted Clinton Wednesday afternoon, 13-0 in non-conference boys baseball action.

 width=Tyler Jones struck out eight yielding two runs and didn't allow a walk for the victory.

Ryne Bundy finished with four RBIs on a 2-for-3 afternoon. David Vanderkloot finished with a pair of RBIs and went 2-for-4. Daniel Peterson added a two-RBI double in the nine-run first.

For the Maroons, Dylan Walsh scored the only run on the afternoon. Walsh, Trenton Fryman and Josh Hickman provided the three Maroons hits.

Clinton drops to 7-17 while Monticello improves to 24-5.

The Sages will host St. Joe-Ogden this afternoon in a makeup of an earlier rainout. The showdown not only holds great importance int he Okaw Valley Conference, but could be a likely preview of a Regional showdown next week in Tuscola.

The Maroons start Regional play next week, in the Olympia Regional.

Hear all the action for the Clinton Maroos post-season action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Hear all the Monticello Sages postseason action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Get the full schedule for each sides regional broadcasts in the sports section at dewittdailynews.com.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 46

Warrants: 0

Michael Haws, 58, Clinton was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol. Haws posted the necessary bond and was released.

Senator Rose Hears Hospital's Medicaid Resolution

The Doctor John Warner Hospital Board sent a resolution to Springfield last week supporting no further Medicaid budget cuts.
Interim DJWH CEO Paul Skowron took the resolution to the Illinois Legislature asking local lawmakers to request that Governor Bruce Rauner not make anymore Medicaid Cuts. He says negotiations for the new fiscal year are in progress and many local hospitals feel they have have more than their share of cuts.
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State Senator Chapin Rose has been very supportive of the hospital's position according to Skowron. Another meeting with Senator Rose will take place in June to discuss the results of the resolution. He adds the state budget negotiations could go longer than planned also.
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The DJWH Board reconfigured Monday night after the appointments of several new members by Mayor Roger Cyrulik.

Monday's Scoreboard

Milwaukee 10, Chicago White Sox 7 F
American League Baltimore 5, Toronto 2 F
N.Y. Yankees 11, Tampa Bay 5 F
Texas 8, Kansas City 2 F
Boston 4, Oakland 4 -10 Innings

National League
Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 3 F
Atlanta 2, Cincinnati 1 F
Chicago Cubs 4, N.Y. Mets 3 F
Washington 11, Arizona 1 F
L.A. Dodgers 5, Miami 3 F

National Basketball Association Playoffs
Atlanta 106, Washington 101 F
Golden State 101, Memphis 84 F

Herrera's homer in eighth lifts Brewers over White Sox 10-7

Elian Herrera hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and Khris Davis followed with a solo shot, helping the Milwaukee Brewers hold off the Chicago White Sox 10-7 on Monday night.

Herrera, filling in at third for injured starter Aramis Ramirez, homered for the second straight night. His shot into the left-field stands off reliever Zach Duke (1-2) broke a 7-all tie.

Davis followed two batters later with his pinch-hit shot high and deep to left.

The Brewers bullpen squandered a 6-0 lead after Chicago scored five runs over the seventh and eighth innings. Adam Eaton's two-out RBI single off Jonathan Broxton (1-0) had tied the game at 7 in the top of the eighth.

Francisco Rodriguez allowed a leadoff single to Jose Abreu in the ninth before getting Avisail Garcia to bounce into a double play. Rodriguez wrapped up his seventh save by getting Conor Gillaspie to ground out.

Wrigley Field opens part of iconic bleachers to fans

Sections of Wrigley Field's iconic bleachers are filled with fans for the first time this season.

The outfield seating had been closed to the public while work continued on renovations for the cozy neighborhood ballpark. But the Chicago Cubs opened the bleachers in left and center field for Monday night's game against the New York Mets.

Among the first people to make it to their new seats was long-time Cubs fan Christopher Sorlie, who sprinted to his spot, yelling the whole way. Sorlie says "You just feel the energy in the crowd today - it's unbelievable."

Bryant homers as Cubs beat Mets 4-3

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered on consecutive pitches in the first, leading Jon Lester and the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

Lester (3-2) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, and three relievers from Chicago's struggling bullpen closed it out. Justin Grimm and Zac Rosscup each got three outs before Hector Rondon finished the six-hitter for his seventh save in eight chances.

Illinois State Back Coprich Faces Drug Charge, Suspension

Authorities say Illinois State University running back Marshaun Coprich is facing a drug charge and has been suspended from the team.

McLean County authorities say Coprich has been preliminarily charged with felony distribution of 10 to 30 grams of marijuana. Court records indicate he hasn't yet been arraigned or entered a plea.

Coprich is free on $2,025 bail.

Illinois State coach Brock Spack said in a news release that Coprich has been suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules, but didn't elaborate.

Coprich was a College Football Championship Subdivision All American last fall. He set school records with 2,274 yards rushing and 27 rushing touchdowns.

Illinois Leads Nation in Latino Student Participation on AP Exams



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Social Security Assists Seniors with Prescription Costs

May is Older Americans Month and Social Security is aiding seniors in prescription drug costs.

Medicare Part D, which is a prescription drug program, is signed up through private insurance companies regulated by Medicare. Jack Myers, with Social Security, says their role is to assist beneficiaries with finances such as deductibles and co-pays.

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Those with Medicare Part D may be able to get assistance from Social Security if your income is below a certain amount. Myers notes exclusions can be found on their website or by phone. Applications can also be filled out on behalf of a loved one.

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Myers encourages everyone to check out Social Security's website for any needs at www.socialsecurity.gov. You can also reach them by phone at 1-800-772-1213.

Clinton Police Chief Encourages May Days Safety

This weekend will see a popular annual event for the City of Clinton.

May Days begins Thursday evening and will once again be a destination for family fun. Safety is one of the main priorities of the weekend and Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the department will up their patrols. The downtown square will close on Friday afternoon through Sunday during May Days.

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The Clinton Police would like to remind attendees that dogs and bicycles are not allowed in carnival areas during May Days. Lowers notes crowd congestion may cause risk of an accident or an attendee being hurt.

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The downtown square will fully open once again on Sunday evening for public use.

May Days will begin this Thursday evening and conclude Sunday afternoon.

2014 Another Banner Year For Tourism In Illinois

2014 was another record breaking year for Illinois tourism.

State Tourism Director Cory Jobe says 107 million domestic travelers crossed over Illinois' border last year, and that's not a fad but part of a recent trend.

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Revenue from the state hotel-motel tax surged by 6.4 percent last year.

Unions and Business Groups Vary On Ruling Impact

A coalition of unions and a leading business group have different reactions, yet similar hopes moving forward, in the wake of pension reform legislation being struck down by the State’s high court.

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Big Brothers, Big Sisters Receiving Excellent Response In Schools

The local Big Brother Big Sisters, BBBS, chapter is working to bring their program into community schools, and so far, the response has been better than expected.

BBBS has mainly been community based, which is primarily away from the school setting, yet some adults have participated in a school based program. Brie Weaver, with DeWitt County BBBS, notes a new school program recently began with high school students acting as mentors. Farmer City and DeLand-Weldon have participated and Weaver is hoping Clinton schools will join next year.

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The high schoolers are screened like any adult in Big Brother or Big Sister. Weaver says interviews are conducted to make sure the students are good matches for their program and most importantly, the kids.

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The main responsibility of the mentors, also known as "bigs", is to spend quality time with their "littles". Weaver explains they can assist with homework but are encouraged to play or just talk with their "little" during their time together.

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Over the past year, BBBS has seen great results with the Farmer City program. Weaver believes both "bigs" and "littles" are affected in positive ways through their time together.

Clinton Police Making Effort To Be More Active In Schools

The Clinton Police Department has made a recent effort to keep a prominent presence in the local community, and now they are focused on the schools.

The department has become much more interactive in the past year and according to Chief Ben Lowers, they are becoming more visible in the schools.

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A new program in the physical education curriculum focuses on self-defense. Chief Lowers stresses the class teaches students how not to be a victim. Along with the new PE program, their D.A.R.E. program continues to be active, which recenly wrapped up this spring.

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According to the Chief, the D.A.R.E. graduation last month was followed by the D.A.R.E. Fair which gave students a chance to show off their D.A.R.E. projects for the school year.

Jimmie Johnson Takes Kansas

Jimmie Johnson scored his Sprint Cup Series-leading third win of the season after holding off Kevin Harvick in the closing laps of Saturday night's SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway.

 width=This 400-mile race was stopped for 2 hours and 16 minutes due to a heavy shower that moved over this 1.5-mile racetrack after 98 of 267 laps had been completed.

Johnson, the six-time Sprint Cup champion, elected not to pit during the last round of pit stops under caution and took over the lead with 10 laps to go. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon, also did not pit. Johnson started 19th and was not much of a factor for most of the race.

On lap 5, Johnson almost spun out after exiting turn 4 and dropped as far back as 30th in the field before he patiently made his way towards the front.

After the final restart with six laps left, Johnson pulled away from Earnhardt and Harvick, who had pitted. Johnson beat Harvick to the finish line by 0.487 seconds, while Earnhardt crossed the line in third.

Joey Logano finished fourth after starting on the pole and leading the first 29 laps. Matt Kenseth placed sixth, followed by Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch.

Martin Truex Jr. led a race-high 95 laps, but Truex took fuel only during his last pit stop and faded after the final restart to finish ninth.

Ryan Newman completed the top-10.

Fowler Wins Thriller At Players Championship

 width=Rickie Fowler's second birdie in a playoff at the island green 17th Sunday gave him the title at The Players Championship.

Fowler, who was recently voted by his peers as one of the most overrated players on tour, played the final six holes of regulation in 6-under par to close out a 5-under 67. That run got him in the clubhouse first at 12-under- par 276.

Sergio Garcia (68) and Kevin Kisner (69) birdied the 16th and 17th to join Fowler at minus-12.

The trio returned to the 16th tee on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for a three-hole aggregate playoff. All three missed the fairway at the par-5 and laid up with their second shots.

After reaching the green in three, they all 2-putted for par. The group shifted to the 17th, where all three players hit the green with their tee shots.

Garcia putted from a similar spot than he did in regulation, but missed left. Kisner drained his birdie chance from just inside 10 feet, then Fowler answered from just over six feet out.

At the 18th, all three players hit the fairway off the tee. Garcia dropped his approach just over 15 feet from the hole, while Kisner and Fowler came up short. They both 2-putted for par from the fairway.

Garcia needed to make his birdie try to stay in the extra session, but failed to do so. He made par for a total of 12 in the playoff. Fowler and Kisner posted a score of 11 for the three holes, and they returned to the 17th.

Kisner's tee shot stopped 12 feet past the hole. Fowler then stuffed his tee ball inside five feet. Kisner missed his birdie putt on the left.

Fowler drained his putt for birdie and his second PGA Tour title.

Kevin Na (71) tied for sixth at minus-9, while world No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed with a 70 of his own to end in a share of eighth at 8-under-par 280.

Rangers Hold Off Caps To Force Game 7

 width=Chris Kreider scored two goals, Henrik Lundqvist made 42 saves and the New York Rangers held on for a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Presidents' Trophy winners staved off elimination for the second time in three days to force a Game 7 on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

New York was 1:41 away from defeat in Game 5 on Friday before Kreider tied it. Ryan McDonagh then scored in overtime for a 2-1 victory.

On Sunday, the Rangers fended off the Capitals in hostile territory.

Rick Nash ended an eight-game goal drought, and Dan Boyle added a third-period goal that proved to be the game-winner after the Capitals nearly erased a 4-1 deficit.

Joel Ward had a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who suffered consecutive losses for the first time in these playoffs. They have been eliminated by the Rangers in each of their last two postseason appearances, both in seven games.

Stanley Cup Playoff Scoreboard
Anaheim 3, Calgary 2 (OT) (Anaheim Wins Series 4-1)

Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Lose

 width=Gordon Beckham's two-out RBI single in the ninth inning gave the Chicago White Sox a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the rubber match of a three-game set on Mother's Day.

Aroldis Chapman (1-1) retired the first two batters of the ninth, but Avisail Garcia kept the frame alive with a single and Alexei Ramirez followed with a base hit. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base, and Beckham dropped a single to right-center for the win.

Emilio Bonifacio drove in two runs while Ramirez also had an RBI for the White Sox, who have won four of their last six. John Danks went seven innings and allowed a run on six hits, while David Robertson (3-0) got the win despite blowing the lead in the ninth inning.

Zack Cozart went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Reds, who have dropped three of four. Michael Lorenzen allowed a run on seven hits while walking four in five innings.

American League Scoreboard
New York 6, Baltimore 2
Boston 6, Toronto 3
Cleveland 8, Minnesota 2
Texas 2, Tampa Bay 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 3, Houston 1
Seattle 4, Oakland 3
Kansas City 2, Detroit 1 (10 innings)

 width=>>Kang Powers Pirates Past Cardinals

Jung Ho Kang homered to open the scoring and his RBI single in the seventh closed it to help the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco each drove in a run for the Pirates, who took two of three in the series.

Jared Hughes (1-1) picked up the win in relief of Jeff Locke, who went 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits.

Kolten Wong homered in defeat and Jason Heyward knocked in a run for the Cardinals.

Mitch Harris (1-1) was dealt the loss for his role in the seventh inning.

>>Brewers Win In 11th Over Cubs

Martin Maldonado's walk-off single in the 11th inning provided the Milwaukee Brewers with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Sunday's rubber match.

Jason Motte (1-1) took the mound for the Cubs in the deciding frame and gave up a leadoff double to Ryan Braun. Adam Lind was intentionally walked and Braun moved up to third on Khris Davis' deep flyout to center.

Jean Segura was purposely walked to load the bases and Maldonado hit a fly ball to right to score Braun and give Milwaukee the win.

Maldonado and Elian Herrera hit back-to-back homers in the seventh and Michael Blazek (3-0) earned the win after striking out two in a perfect 11th inning for the Brewers, who won the final two games of the series.

Starter Matt Garza surrendered just one run on three hits with nine strikeouts over seven frames.

Miguel Montero homered and Anthony Rizzo supplied two hits and an RBI for the Cubs, who had starter Kyle Hendricks toss 5 1/3 scoreless frames, giving up just five hits with three strikeouts.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 5, Atlanta 4
New York 7, Philadelphia 4
Los Angeles 9, Colorado 5
Arizona 2, San Diego 1
San Francisco 3, Miami 2

LeBron Buzzer Beater Sinks Bulls

 width=LeBron James answered Derrick Rose's buzzer- beater with one of his own in Game 4.

James, after being whistled for a costly offensive foul on the previous possession, caught an inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds remaining and hit a tough fadeaway from the left corner with Jimmy Butler in his face.

The clutch shot gave the Cavaliers a thrilling 86-84 win and tied their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Bulls at two games apiece.

The whirlwind finish mirrored the roller-coaster swings throughout the pivotal showdown, with Cleveland falling behind by as many as 11 after missing 13 straight shots at one point in the third quarter.

J.R. Smith sparked the turnaround, scoring 11 of his 13 points during a 23-5 stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters. Timofey Mozgov finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

James took on an even bigger role with Kyrie Irving clearly limited with a foot injury. The former MVP played 43 minutes and totaled 25 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists while committing a game-high eight turnovers.

Rose, two days after banking in a 3-pointer to steal Game 3, poured in 31 points for the Bulls and pulled them even with a scintillating drive to the basket with 9.1 seconds remaining.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
LA Clippers 128, Houston 95 (LA Clippers Lead Series 3-1)

Illinois State Stops Bradley, Takes Series

 width=The Illinois State baseball team used a nine-run sixth inning to earn a 13-4 win in the rubber match of a three-game series at Bradley Sunday at Dozer Park.

Dennis Colon gave the Redbirds an early edge with a pair of RBI doubles, while ISU starter Steve Heilenbach settled down after the first inning with four scoreless frames. The Redbirds drew three bases-loaded walks in the nine-run sixth, and all three scored on Paul DeJong's three-run double.

Ryan Koziol led the Redbirds with three hits. DeJong, Mason Snyder, Joe Kelch and Colon added two hits apiece. Sean Beesley reached four times with a hit and three walks.

The Redbirds won the three-game series after splitting a doubleheader on Saturday.

The Redbirds return home to Duffy Bass Field for their final home games of the 2015 season, against Indiana State, with a three-game series beginning Thursday.

Illinois Clubs Rutgers, Sweeps Series; Win Streak At 24

 width=No. 3 Illinois overcame their largest deficit during the streak and captured their 24th consecutive victory in a 28-13 slugfest. Illinois equaled Texas A&M for the longest winning streak in the nation this season and earned its school-record sixth straight Big Ten sweep.

Redshirt-senior Reid Roper set a school record with six runs as part of a monster day in which he went 3-for-4 with three walks, a career-high six RBI and two home runs, including his first career grand slam that capped off an 11-run eighth inning.

Junior Jason Goldstein went 5-for-5 with three runs and four RBI thanks to a no-doubter grand slam that tied the game at 9-9, helping Illinois overcome a four-run hole. Fellow junior Ryan Nagle had a career-high four runs and homered during a 4-for-6 day with three RBI.

Sophomore Pat McInerney collected a career-best four RBI, while senior David Kerian hit his Big Ten-leading 12th home run while going 3-for-6 with three runs and three RBI. Every Illini starter had a base knock for a season-high 26 hits.

The Illini scored in every inning except the third and pushed across multiple runs in six stanzas.

No. 3 Illinois will close the regular season with a three-game series against Nebraska at Illinois Field from May 14-16. The Thursday and Friday games will begin at 6 p.m., while the Saturday game will start at 2 p.m. for a Big Ten Network broadcast.

Former Illinois Offensive Lineman Blasts Coach, Training Staff

 width=A former member of the Illinois football team who was injured last season has criticized coach Tim Beckman's handling of his injury.

Offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic wrote a series of Twitter posts Sunday accusing Beckman and some staff members of not offering proper treatment for a torn meniscus in his knee. The senior also said Beckman told him his knee injury was not a big problem.

In a statement, Beckman said Cvijanovic left the team and withdrew from the university last fall. Beckman said Cvijanovic has been given medical care since he returned to school in the spring.

Cvijanovic was a starting lineman. He missed the last four games of the season after injuring himself against Ohio State on Nov. 1.

State Representative Says Constitutional Amendment Would Be Bold

Pension reform is starting over at the Illinois statehouse. Today the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that changes to benefits for current and retired state employees was unconstitutional. The court said that the General Assembly may find itself in crisis, but it is a crisis which other public pension systems managed to avoid. In a statement the Governor says that it’s clear a constitutional amendment now needs to be part of any plan moving forward to reform the pension system. State Rep. Tim Butler a Republican from Springfield says that any talk of changing the state's constitution merits a close look.

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Lawmakers and the Governor will now certainly have to rethink proposed FY16 spending plans. The Gov’s new budget assumed $2.2 billion in pension savings from a plan that no has firm details.

Deadline to Sign Up for College Illinois Extended Through June 1st.






State Safety Officials Urge Drivers to Start Seeing Motorcycles



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Governor on Pensions

As reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a 2013 pension reform plan rolls in throughout the state. The Governor Bruce Rauner has issued a statement. Rauner has talked broadly about reforms to the pension system but has yet to make any of his plans truly public. Today through an emailed statement the Governor says that the court’s decision confirms earned benefits can’t be reduced. And he adds that what is clear that a Constitutional Amendment clarifying the pension rules would allow the state to move forward on pension reforms. 

Cancer Society Blasts Rauner Cuts

The American Cancer Society is preaching the message of breast and cervical cancer detection and prevention in time for Mother's Day. But this time, the talk isn't dominated by awareness or a colored ribbon for the cause. Cancer Society Director of Govt. Relations Heather Eagleton says Rauner's proposed 71% funding cut to the Illinois breast and cervical cancer program would mean a 50% reduction in the number of women served. The program provides women without healthcare coverage free mammograms, pap tests, breast exams and pelvic exams.... Recipients also would no longer be guaranteed medicaid coverage if cancer is discovered during those exams,;...

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The issue is personal for State Representative Mike Smiddy, a Hillsdale Democrat, His wife is a breast cancer survivor and he isn't mincing words about Rauner's proposed cut...

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Greg Harris, Chariman of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee, says the program address racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer detection and treatment.

Annual Post Office Food Drive Collects This Weekend

The local Post Office will be collecting non-perishable foods for local food banks this weekend.

This annual food drive is the largest held in the U.S. during the year. Butch Larson, with the Clinton Post Office, says this year marks the 23rd year for the food drive and will assist many local non-profit organizations. He also thanks the sponsors that provide donated food to the volunteers each year.

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Anyone wishing to donate this weekend can put canned goods out on their front porch and your mail carrier will pick them up. Food can also be dropped off at the post office today, Saturday or even Monday.

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Last year, the Clinton Post Office collected over five-thousand pounds of food. Larson notes that doesn't include other county post offices who participated.

Mitsibishi Reports Solid April

Mitsubishi Motors continued its sales momentum last month. The company reports April sales were up 25.6 percent compared to April 2014. Spokesman Dan Irvin says the Normal, Illinois built Outlander Sport led the way in sales once again.

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Irvin adds they continued to see strong numbers, after having its best ever sales month in March.

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Irvin says Mirage sales are up 65.4 percent year-to-date. He adds O'Brien Mitsubishi in Normal followed up its best ever sales month in March with another strong performance in April - the dealership led the nation in Outlander Sport sales.

Republicans Say Budget Amendments A Scam

A sham, a scam, a fraud, a joke--That’s how House republicans characterized $2.6 billion of budget bill amendments passed Thursday that restores social service programs being reduced or eliminated in the proposed 2016 fiscal year.

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House democrats used their super majority to pass nine amendments to House Bill 4141 restoring funding for things ranging from funding autism to indigent burials, but the bill remains on the calendar for possible passage in the future.

County Continues To Make Progress At Clinton Lake Marina; Animal Shelter Moving Along

 width=The end of the year is a major deadline for the County as it relates to major work happening at the Clinton Lake Marina.

By the end of the calendar year, the Clinton Lake Marina has to be brought up to compliance per the American Disability Act, or ADA. According to DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg, significant progress continues to be made.

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While the ADA issues are the most glaring, Newberg notes there are several other issues that will need to be attended to in the near future.

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Newberg notes the Marina will become even nicer than it was before, and says the Marina is still a highly sought after destination. He explains all their slips are rented out and they still have a waiting list for when they open. He calls it a good problem to have.

As for an update on the DeWitt County Animal Shelter progress. Newberg says in his final meeting before his resignation, Dan Ballenger brought plans forward for approval. Newberg hopes to have bids brought back for the May meetings to be discussed and possibly approved.

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Newberg credits Ballenger with much of the progress on the animal shelter. He says his efforts and presence on the County Board will be greatly missed, as he now takes a seat on the Clinton City Council.


Local Leaders Support Exelon

 width=The current climate of the energy market threatens the future of nuclear energy in Illinois, and to help promote legislation in the Illinois legislature, around 600 people turned out for a rally in Springfield Wednesday.

The stagnant market threatens four plants in Illinois, three in northern Illinois and one in Clinton, which would result in the loss of around 800 jobs and close to 2-billion dollars in economic losses. While those losses are the focus the majority, local non-profits are touting the benefits of the power plant to their operations.

Rennie Cluver is the Executive Director of the Clinton YMCA, he says Exelon has provided them with the money necessary to make improvements to their locker rooms at the 'Y'.

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The DeWitt County Friendship Center has been a group that has benefited from the generosity of Exelon. Sissy Leggett, the Center's Executive Director indicates their brand new kitch within the last five years was almost exclusively funded by Exelon.

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The Clinton Chamber of Commerce's biggest event of the year has benefitted from the contributions of Exelon. Marian Brisard, the Chamber's Executive Director indicates they have helped make repairs to their building and have had many staffers serve on their Board of Directors.

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Not just non-profit groups are rallying for the plant's existence, but also various entities. According to DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner, the loss of the power plant would greatly limit the services they could provide the County because of the tax dollars that go to the County with their presence.

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Danny Ballenger recently stepped down his post on the DeWitt County Board to take a seat with the Clinton City Council. He says it is one of the bigger funding sources for the County and also points to it's impact on the school district. He also says it has it's impact for the city's first responders.

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Clinton and DeWitt County were represented by about 60 people at the Wednesday rally.

Matsuyama Among Leaders At Sawgrass

 width=Hideki Matsuyama carded a 5-under 67 in Thursday's opening round to grab a share of the lead at The Players Championship.

Matsuyama, the reigning Memorial champion, was joined atop the leaderboard by David Hearn, Charley Hoffman and Kevin Na.

Last season's FedExCup champ Billy Hurley is among six players who are one stroke off the lead on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Hurley stands at minus-4 alongside Troy Merritt, Ben Martin, Brendon Todd, Charles Howell III and Derek Fathauer.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and defending champion Martin Kaymer are among 14 players tied for 11th at 3-under 69. Also in that group are Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker and Sergio Garcia.

McIlroy had two birdies, an eagle and a bogey in his round. Kaymer mixed five birdies and two bogeys in his 69.

Two-time winner Tiger Woods and 2007 champion Phil Mickelson both found water off the 18th tee. Both players closed with double-bogeys for rounds of 1-over 73, which left them tied for 77th.

NCAA Notes

 width=>>Florida Names New Men's Basketball Coach

Florida has hired Louisiana Tech's Michael White as its head men's basketball coach.

White has agreed in principle to a six-year deal at an average of $2 million per year. He replaces Billy Donovan, who left Florida last week to take over as the Oklahoma City Thunder's head coach.

White, the 2014-15 Conference USA Coach of the Year, comes to the Gators after leading Louisiana Tech to a 101-40 record over the past four seasons, including three straight conference championships.

Donovan spent 19 seasons at Florida, guiding the Gators to a record of 467-186 with back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. This year's squad finished 16-17, marking his first losing season since his second year with the Gators.

 width=>>Notre Dame QB Golson Transferring

Quarterback Everett Golson says he's transferring from Notre Dame to play his final season at another school.

Golson told FoxSports.com in a statement that he made the decision "after much thought, prayer and discussion with my family."

Golson will graduate from Notre Dame this semester and will not have to sit out a year to play at another school.

He played two seasons at Notre Dame, 2012 and 2014, and passed for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns with 20 interceptions. He rushed 208 times for 581 yards and 14 scores.

Golson, 22, led the Irish to an undefeated 2012 regular season and a berth in the BCS National Championship game against Alabama as a redshirt freshman, but was suspended for the entire 2013 season over an academic issue.

Jimmy Butler Named NBA's Most Improved Player

 width=Jimmy Butler made his first All-Star team and helped keep the Chicago Bulls afloat without injured star Derrick Rose.

For his efforts, he was voted the NBA's Most Improved Player.

Butler on Thursday became the first Bulls player to win the award, finishing on top in a landslide vote in which he garnered 92 first-place votes -- 80 more than the second-highest vote-getter, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

The 6-foot-7 shooting guard averaged career highs of 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 65 games for the Bulls, who are currently facing Cleveland in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Butler averaged the same number of minutes per game as he did last season -- 38.7 -- but saw significant spikes in most of his stats.

He received a total of 535 points from a nationwide media panel. Golden State's Draymond Green was second with 200 points and Gobert came in third with 189.

Cardinals Route Cubs; Sox Lose

 width=Jason Heyward finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI to fuel St. Louis' 5-1 victory over Chicago in the finale of a four-game series.

Peter Bourjos also drove in a run for the Cardinals, who took three of four in the series, have won nine of 10 overall and upped their major-league best record to 21-7.

John Lackey (2-1) struck out 10 while allowing only a run on five hits with a walk over 7 2/3 innings. He also contributed an RBI double.

Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler each collected two hits and Starlin Castro knocked in the lone run for the Cubs, who have dropped six of their last eight outings.

Jake Arrieta (3-3) was tagged for five runs -- four earned -- on nine hits over 5 1/3 frames, despite fanning seven.

National League Scoreboard
Los Angeles 14, Milwaukee 4
Pittsburgh 7, Cincinnati 2
Arizona 11, San Diego 0
Miami 7, San Francisco 2

 width=>>White Sox Fall To Detroit

Kyle Lobstein worked into the eighth inning and Victor Martinez added three hits with an RBI as Detroit claimed a 4-1 decision over Chicago in the finale of a three-game set.

Lobstein (3-2) gave up an unearned run on five hits through 7 2/3 innings, exiting after exactly 100 pitches and 64 for strikes. Joakim Soria recorded the final four outs to earn his 11th save.

Miguel Cabrera scored twice and drove in a run for the Tigers, who also received an RBI from Nick Castellanos to avoid a series sweep.

Avisail Garcia drove in the lone run for the White Sox, losers in six of their last eight. Jose Quintana (1-3) struck out eight but suffered the loss after allowing two runs on four hits over five full frames.

American League Scoreboard
Minnesota 6, Oakland 5
Kansas City 7, Cleveland 4
New York 4, Baltimore 3
Texas 5, Tampa Bay 4
Houston 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2

Blackhawks Sweep Wild

 width=Marian Hossa's empty-net shorthanded goal wound up being the game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks were able to survive a crazy finish and polish off a four-game sweep of the Minnesota Wild with a 4-3 win in this Western Conference semifinal series.

Patrick Kane notched a goal and an assist, while Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw also lit the lamp for the Blackhawks, who punched their ticket to the conference finals for a third straight postseason. Corey Crawford turned away 34 shots in the victory.

Chicago, which lost to eventual champion Los Angeles in seven games last spring, awaits the winner of the Anaheim/Calgary series.

Nino Niederreiter, Jason Pominville and Erik Haula scored and Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on 24 shots for the Wild, who were eliminated from the postseason for a third straight season by Chicago.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoreboard
Montreal 6, Tampa Bay 2 (Tampa Bay Leads Series 3-1)

Tyler Jay Named Top 30 Candidates For National Award

 width=When Illinois relief pitcher Tyler Jay played for the Team USA Collegiate National Team last summer, teammates from traditional power schools talked a lot about who would have the best 2015 season.

Illinois wasn't part of that conversation.

But with 21 straight wins the Illini (40-6-1, 16-1 Big Ten) are talked about a lot now.

Pitching is a big reason but Illinois' bets pitcher might be Jay in its bullpen.

The junior has become Illinois' stopper.

Jay was named to the final USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list, announced USA Baseball Thursday.

Illinois coach Dan Hartleb said having four other quality starters made it easier to put one of the country's top college pitchers in the bullpen.

Hartleb says Jay doesn't care when he pitches as long as he pitches.

Sullivan Downs Clinton

 width=Despite pitching a complete game without allowing a walk, Travis Osgood was outpitched Thursday afternoon in Sullivan as the Maroons fell 6-2 in Central Illinois Conference action.

Osgood finished the six innings allowing six runs, only four earned on eight hits and four strikeouts. Osgood did not allow a walk.

Eli Logue finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.

Clinton is now 7-15 on the year and 5-9 in the CIC. Sullivan moves to 22-4 and 11-2 in CIC play.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for May 7

Jail Population: 28

Paper Services: 8

Warrants: 0

Jeffrey Michuad, 60, Poplar Grove was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Michuad was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Danielle Hernandez, 34, Oglesby was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hernandez was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.




DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for May 1-3

Jail Population: 28

Paper Services: 10

Warrants: 0

John Book, 64, Joliet was issued a Citation for Failure to Yield to Right-of-Way to Emergency Vehicle. Book was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Hailee Clark, 20, Decatur was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Clark was issued a Notice to appear and was released.

Brenda Fore, 50, Argenta was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Fore was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Travis Carnes, 27, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 71 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Carnes was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Summer Lawson, 39, Warrensburg was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Lawson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

John Janek, 59, Port Byron was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Janek was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Edward Dowling, 64, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Dowling was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.


DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For April 30

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Headlee Burdett, 53, Dixon was issued a Citation for Failure to Reduce Speed/ Accident. Burdett was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




Illinois State Fair Picks Theme

"Growing Illinois" is the theme of the 2015 Illinois State Fair.

The fair runs August 13th through the 23rd.

State Fair Manager Patrick Buchen says the theme allows the event to get back what it has been lacking in recent years, a focus on agriculture.

Buchan noted agriculture is the number one industry in Illinois, adding he believes the fair needs to be a beacon for agriculture.

Agriculture is likely to be a long-term focus for the state fair. Buchen says that focus might "bring back some of the agriculture entities that have perhaps slid just a bit in previous years."

Buchen also says selling sponsorships will be a focus of fair officials, which will help its bottom line.

Work Continues At Demolished Clinton School Buildings

The former Webster and Washington Elementary schools in Clinton are now completely torn down, however, there is still more work to be done at the sites.

Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes says with the buildings razed, only half of the work is done. He explains now there is a whole new process to prepare the ground for green space.

[audio:5071560146-5615schooldown1.mp3] [/audio]

The open property is nearly ready to become green space and according to Dr. Holmes, each site is at different stages of it's progress. He adds despite the debris being gone from the sites, each one will continue to be fenced off until the grass comes in.

[audio:5071560150-5615schooldown2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes indicates when the weather has been good enough to be working, they have been putting in their work. He explains there was a completion deadline in the contract for May 1, otherwise, there would be substantial fines to each day the project wasn't complete. Dr. Holmes notes they are allowing the contractor some clemency on that deadline because of the factors of weather and their willingness to be working when the weather has been suitable for work.

Caps Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead Over Rangers

 width=Andre Burakovsky's two goals lifted the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 victory and a commanding 3-1 series lead over the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday.

Braden Holtby, who was coming off a 30-save shutout in Game 3 on Monday, provided another brilliant effort with 28 stops for the Capitals, who improved to 5-1 within the friendly confines of Verizon Center this postseason.

Derick Brassard supplied the lone goal for the Rangers, who had another solid endeavor from Henrik Lundqvist wasted.

The Swedish netminder, making his 100th consecutive playoff start with New York, came up with 28 saves, but was let down by his offense.

Washington will look to wrap up the series in Game 5 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 2, Montreal 1 (Tampa Bay Leads Series 3-0)

The Players Championship Opens Up At TPC Sawgrass

 width=The PGA Tour is back at TPC Sawgrass this week for the always electric Players Championship, featuring some of the most daunting finishing holes in the game of golf.

Last year, Martin Kaymer stared down those finishing holes and ended with three straight difficult pars to hang on and beat out Jim Furyk by one shot. Kaymer shot a 1-under 71 in the final round to finish the week at 13-under-par 275.

Kaymer, who went on to win the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 a little over a month later, held a 4-shot lead through 12 holes, but he made a mess of No. 15 and had to settle for double-bogey.

There will be plenty of firepower in this week's field, which is set to feature all of the top-50 players in the world and 56 of the top 60. Kaymer will be back to defend his title.

Coming off his win at last week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy will look to make it two straight victories.

Masters champion and world No. 2 Jordan Spieth hopes to have something to say about that following his early exit in last week's event. Spieth shared the third-round lead with Kaymer last year before struggling to a 2-over 74. He finished tied for fourth.

Two-time champion Tiger Woods, who picked up his fourth of five victories during the 2013 season at Sawgrass, will be making his first start since finishing tied for 17th at the Masters. Woods also won here in 2001.

RCR's Tire Penatly Appeal Upheld

Richard Childress Racing lost its final appeal of penalties assessed by NASCAR to Ryan Newman's No. 31 team for altered tires used on Newman's car in the March 22 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.


RCR presented its position to National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss on Wednesday. The hearing, held at NASCAR's Research and Development Center, 

lasted roughly nine hours. Moss, the former president of Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., noted in his decision that "Based on a preponderance of evidence, the Appellants (RCR's No. 31 team) violated the Rules," and "Based on a preponderance of evidence, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer upholds the penalty as amended by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel."

On March 31, NASCAR handed down the severe penalties to the 31 team following a tire audit conducted after the race in Fontana. The infractions resulted in a P5 level penalty on NASCAR's six-level penalty scale.

Luke Lambert, the crew chief for the No. 31, received a six-race suspension and was placed on probation until Dec. 31 as well as fined $125,000. James Bender, the team's tire technician, and Philip Surgen, the team engineer, were also suspended for six races and put on probation for the remainder of the year.

Newman had 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.

Bears Sign Top Two Picks; NFL Notes

The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with first-round draft pick wide receiver Kevin White on a four-year contract with a fifth-year option and second-round draft pick defensive lineman Eddie Goldman on a four-year contract Wednesday.

 width=White appeared in 24 games with 22 starts in two seasons (2013-14) at West Virginia, collecting 144 receptions for 1,954 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a senior, he ranked fifth in the FBS in receptions (109) and sixth in receiving yards (1,447) to go along with 10 touchdowns.

He was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award (given to the nation's best receiver) and a Maxwell Award Semifinalist (College Player of the Year).

Goldman appeared in 37 games (27 starts) during three seasons (2012-14) at Florida State, recording 62 tackles, six sacks, 12 tackles for losses, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

In 2014, he led the Seminoles with four sacks and added eight tackles for losses to go along with 35 defensive tackles, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery and pass break-up.

The Bears have now agreed to terms with five of their six 2015 draft picks.

>>Pats Release CB Dennard, Claimed By Arizona

Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was among three players placed on waivers by the New England Patriots Tuesday.

Dennard started 20 games and logged five interceptions in three seasons with New England, which selected the former Nebraska standout in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He was active for only six games in 2014 before landing on injured reserve prior to Week 17.

The Arizona Cardinals then claimed him off waivers.

Dennard will likely compete for playing time behind veterans Patrick Peterson and Jerraud Powers in Arizona.

The Patriots had just selected two defensive backs in this past weekend's draft, nabbing Stanford safety Jordan Richards in the second round and Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts in the seventh.

Linebacker Deontae Skinner and long snapper Tyler Ott also were released by New England. Skinner appeared in seven games as an undrafted rookie last season, recording 16 tackles and one sack.

>>Ed Reed To Retire A Raven

Nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed is retiring, and will do so as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Reed will announce his retirement Thursday afternoon at the Ravens' training complex.

Reed, who was drafted 24th overall by the Ravens out of the University of Miami in 2002, spent his first 11 seasons as a member of the Baltimore secondary before splitting the 2013 season between the Houston Texans and New York Jets.

The 36-year-old led the Ravens with five interceptions during his rookie campaign and finished with 64, ranking sixth all-time in NFL history. He had the most multi-interception games with 13 and is tied with Charlie Waters, Bill Simpson and Ronnie Lott for the most in postseason history with nine.

A five-time First Team All-Pro, Reed recorded five tackles and an interception in Baltimore's 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Rizzo Leads Cubs Past Cards; Sox Win

 width=Anthony Rizzo homered and drove in three runs to power the Chicago Cubs to a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the third of a four-game set on Wednesday.

Kris Bryant supplied two hits, an RBI and two runs scored, while Jorge Soler and Starlin Castro each drove in a run for the Cubs, who ended a four-game skid.

Starter Jon Lester (2-2) earned the win after allowing four runs -- one earned -- on seven hits with six strikeouts over seven innings.

Jhonny Peralta homered, Yadier Molina brought in two runs and starter Lance Lynn (1-3) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs and eight hits over six frames for the Cardinals, who had their eight-game winning streak snapped.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 7, Miami 5
Arizona 13, Colorado 7 (Game 1)
Arizona 5, Colorado 1 (Game 2)
San Diego 9, San Francisco 1
Cincinnati 3, Pittsburgh 0
Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 5
Milwaukee 6, Los Angeles 3
NY Mets 5, Baltimore 1

 width=>>White Sox Blast Detroit

Melky Cabrera hit a game-tying three-run homer and Avisail Garcia added the go-ahead RBI single in a four-run eighth as Chicago rallied past Detroit, 7-6, in the middle test of a three-game series.

Jose Abreu finished with two hits and scored two runs, Micah Johnson added three hits and crossed home twice and Conor Gillaspie posted a solo shot for the White Sox, who have taken the first two in the set after losing five straight.

Zach Putnam (1-1) allowed a run in the eighth inning but earned the win, while David Robertson endured some trouble in the ninth but recorded his fifth save.

Victor Martinez hit a two-run shot and drove in four for the Tigers, who have dropped four of their last six. Rajai Davis finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI while Miguel Cabrera also knocked in a run.

Joba Chamberlain (0-1) took the loss and a blown save, charged with four runs on six hits while recording two outs in the deciding frame.

American League Scoreboard
Toronto 5, New York 1
Tampa Bay 5, Boston 3
Minnesota 13, Oakland 0
Texas 11, Houston 3
Cleveland 10, Kansas City 3
LA Angels of Anaheim 4, Seattle 3

James Leads Cavs Past Bulls In Game 2

 width=LeBronJames poured in 33 points, 14 more than he had in Game 1, and Cleveland beat Chicago 106-91 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at 1-1.

Kyrie Irving chipped in 21 points in the win and James Jones and Iman Shumpert combined for 32 with nine 3-pointers between them.

Jimmy Butler scored 18 points to lead the third-seeded Bulls and Derrick Rose had 14 points and 10 assists.

The Cavs are without Kevin Love for the series because of a shoulder injury, but they will get J.R. Smith back from suspension for Game 3 in Chicago on Friday.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
Houston 115, LA Clippers 109 (Series Tied at 1-1)


All Times Eastern Interleague
N.Y. Mets 3, Baltimore 2 F

American League
N.Y. Yankees 6, Toronto 3 F
Boston 2, Tampa Bay 0 F
Kansas City 5, Cleveland 3 F
Chicago White Sox 5, Detroit 2 F
Oakland 2, Minnesota 1 F
Texas 7, Houston 1 F
L.A. Angels 5, Seattle 4 F

National League
Cincinnati 7, Pittsburgh 1 F
Miami 2, Washington 1 F
Atlanta 9, Philadelphia 0 F
L.A. Dodgers 8, Milwaukee 2 F
St. Louis 7, Chicago Cubs 4 F
San Francisco 6, San Diego 0 F
Arizona vs Colorado ppd, rain

National Basketball Association Playoffs
Atlanta 106, Washington 90 F
Memphis 97, Golden State 90 -4

National Hockey League Playoffs
Chicago 1, Minnesota 0 F
Calgary 4, Anaheim 3 F OT

Major League Soccer
San Jose 1, Houston 0 F

Bulls' Derrick Rose says shoulder feels good for Game 2

Chicago Bulls star guard Derrick Rose says he has no pain in his right shoulder and doesn't expect to have any problems going into Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rose sustained a "stinger" in his shoulder late in Chicago's 99-92 win over the Cavaliers in the series opener on Monday night. Rose says he's "not sore or anything, so that's a good sign." He scored 25 points with five rebounds and five assists, showing flashes of the player he was before being slowed by knee injuries the past few years.

Rose doesn't think the shoulder will affect him in Wednesday's game. He got hurt when he tried to squeeze through a screen and banged his shoulder into Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson.

The Bulls didn't practice on Tuesday and instead watched film and had a walkthrough at their downtown hotel.

Rose teamed with Pau Gasol on a pick-and-roll to exploit Cleveland's defense in the opener

Chicago announced the moves Tuesday.

Cubs place Denorfia on DL, recall Russell, Varvaro

The Chicago Cubs placed outfielder Chris Denorfia on the 15-day disabled list because of a hamstring injury and recalled James Russell and Anthony Varvaro from the minor leagues.

Russell was 2-0 with three saves at Triple-A Iowa and had not allowed an earned run in seven games. Varvaro was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in nine games before getting designated for assignment by Boston, and the Cubs claimed him off waivers on Sunday.

Denorfia aggravated a hamstring injury on the bases in Monday's 10-9 loss to the Cardinals. He is batting .429 in 21 at-bats.

Kane scores for Blackhawks in 1-0 win vs. Wild, for 3-0 lead

Patrick Kane scored in the first period for Chicago, and Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks made the superstar's goal stand up for a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

Chicago took a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series. Game 4 is in Minnesota again on Thursday.

Kane has six goals and five assists in nine playoff games, bouncing back just fine from the broken collarbone that kept him out of the last quarter of the regular season.

White Sox end 5-game slide with 5-2 victory over Tigers

Jeff Samardzija pitched seven effective innings, and the Chicago White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.

Back at home after a strange road trip, the White Sox chased Shane Greene (3-2) in the third inning of their first win in nine days. Two of their three games in Baltimore were postponed due to rioting near Camden Yards, and they were swept in a four-game series at Minnesota.

Samardzija (2-2) allowed a run in each of the first two innings, and then pitched four-hit ball for the rest of his outing. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one in his first game since he took the loss for a rocky five innings in front of an empty ballpark in an 8-2 loss to the Orioles last Wednesday.

Alex Avila homered for Detroit, and Ian Kinsler had an RBI single.

Cardinals rally past Cubs again, win 7-4

Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds doubled off the wall in center field to snap a tie in the sixth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied from three runs down to beat the Chicago Cubs 7-4 on Tuesday night, their eighth straight victory.

Matt Carpenter of St. Louis tied the game with a three-run homer off Kyle Hendricks in the fifth and finished with four RBIs. Kolten Wong added an RBI in the seventh on an infield single, his third hit of the game, and Trevor Rosenthal earned his ninth save in 10 chances.

Anthony Rizzo had three hits and a walk but grounded out with the bases loaded against Miguel Socolovich to end the eighth. Starlin Castro had two RBIs on a forceout in the fifth when the Cardinals couldn't quite turn a double play and rookie Kris Bryant scored from second. The Cubs have lost a season-long four straight.

Senator McCann Seeks Help for Steel

State Senator Sam McCann wants to see more heavy metal in Illinois. We're not talking about concerts. McCann is asking for help from Washington in boosting the struggling steel industry. The Illinois Senate has passed a resolution asking the President and the Congress to impose tariffs on steel produced in foreign countries....

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The resolution was motivated by the recent news the US Steel will lay off more than 2,000 workers in Granite City. Domestic steel makers are losing sales to China, Korea and other foreign countries as critics say they are "dumping" products into the U.S. market below fair market value.

Habitat for Humanity Looking to Create a Strong Board

The DeWitt County Habitat for Humanity Board is establishing new priorities for this year.

Recent board transition has created a need for changes for the local Habitat. Board member Norman Emery says events such as their 4th of July 5K will be taking a sabbatical this year in order to focus on Habitat projects and building a strong board.

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Habitat is looking for board members with varieties of strengths. Emery notes not all members need to be involved in construction. The board is also responsible for selecting families, public relations and coordinating volunteers.

[audio:5061563152-43015habitatboard2.mp3] [/audio]

Anyone interested in joining the Habitat for Humanity board or volunteering can find them on Facebook or contact the organization via e-mail at hfh.dewitt.county@gmail.com.

Maroa-Forsyth Optimistic About Final PARCC Results

Maroa-Forsyth schools are about to begin their last round of PARCC testing for the school year.

The first portion of testing was completed earlier this semester and everything went fairly smoothly according Superintendent Mike Williams. He notes students will have one last portion of the test this week which will not be as comprehensive.

[audio:5061563202-5615mfparcc1.mp3] [/audio]

PARCC testing began this school yearand assesses all third through eighth graders and high schoolers. High schoolers are assessed by the courses they are enrolled in. Williams adds the tests are based on Common Core and are computer based and the district is anxious to receive the results this year.

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The assessments compare each school district with those that surround them. Williams says Maroa-Forsyth usually compares favorably with the surrounding districts and hopes this year will prove no different.

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Williams feels most Maroa-Forsyth students have given the tests a quality effort and will bring positive results to the district.

Camp Osage Keeps Kids Invested Over Summer

The Clinton Community YMCA's Camp Osage is gearing up to develop the bodies and minds of our local kids this summer.

Camp Osage provides many opportunities for Kindergarten- current 7th graders to keep active during the summer months. Rob DeLeon, with the Clinton Y, explains the camp staff will fill a child's day with a wealth of activities that are both physical and mental. There will also be an emphasis on giving back to their local communities.

[audio:5061563155-5415camposage1.mp3] [/audio]

Leadership is another key theme to Camp Osage. DeLeon explains the kids will take a variety of field trips during the twelve weeks of camp with a group of excellent volunteers. Several local organizations also give of their time to the Y over the summer.

[audio:5061563157-5415camposage2.mp3] [/audio]

The daycamp also provides a great opportunity to invest in personal relationships and giving back. DeLeon says many of the Camp Osage staff are taking a portion of their paychecks in order to donate to the Y's Strong Kids Campaign.

[audio:5061563200-5415camposage3.mp3] [/audio]

Camp Osage will begin the first day after school ends for the year and will take place from 6:30am-6pm each day.

For more information on Camp Osage, you can call 217-935-8307 or visit www.clintoncommymca.org.

Hundreds Rally In Springfield For Exelon


[audio:5061544805-5715exelonrally1.mp3] [/audio]

That was the rally cry of hundreds of supporters that filled the Illinois State Capitol's rotunda Wednesday afternoon in an effort to send lawmakers a message that they care about the future of Exelon nuclear power stations across the state.

Locally, Clinton and DeWitt County was represented by 60 dignitaries, leaders and citizens. Nearly each of the 60 came away from the day at the Capitol pleased with the turnout and are optimistic on the future of nuclear power across the state.

According to Brett Nauman, Communications Director at Exelon, the rally was aimed at bring Illinois to a standard that would allow all energy types to compete on a level playing field. He says legislation in Springfield right now would allow that to happen.

[audio:5061544808-5715exelonrally2.mp3] [/audio]

Marian Brisard is the Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, she feels the rally was a big deal. She hopes the efforts of the hundreds that turned out will make a difference.

[audio:5061544811-5715exelonrally3.mp3] [/audio]

As a part of the rally, those in attendance were asked to seek out their representatives and senators to encourage them to support the low carbon legislation. Ruth Stuaffer, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council, was impressed by the turnout and amount of voices that care about this issues.

[audio:5061544815-5715exelonrally4.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Mayor Roger Cyrulik felt the rally was worth while and was very pleased with the showing by Clinton and DeWitt County.

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Rennie Cluver is the Executive Director of the Clinton YMCA, but has also served in a number of other capacities. He says while the effort is certainly a benefit for Clinton and DeWitt County, the initiative as a whole is something everyone should be able to get behind.

[audio:5061544826-5715exelonrally6.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Many lawmakers were unable to be directly reached because of committee meetings going on this week.

Keep it tuned to Regional Radio and dewittdailynews.com for further coverage of the Exelon Rally Wednesday afternoonl. Many more local leaders attended the rally and shared their thoughts about the day. We'll hear from them in the coming days.

April Warmer Than Normal

Illinois' climate was a bit warmer than usual last month.

In a news release, Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says that despite a few cold stretches, the average temperature was 54.1 degrees - 1.7 degrees above average in April.

Angel also says rainfall in northern and central Illinois ranged from 2-4 inches - or slightly below what those areas see in the average April. But the 4-7 inches in southern Illinois made April a slightly wetter than normal.

The wettest area of the state was at Fort Massac State Park along the Ohio River in the far southern end of the state. There, 7.80 inches of rain fell.

New Managers For State Fairs

The state of Illinois has two state fairs and now one manager.

Patrick Buchen will become the new State Fair Manager for the events in Springfield and DuQuion. Buchen is no stranger to the fair or event management. The Fulton County native has served as the Executive Director of the Indiana State Fair.

Buchen also grew up working 4H projects including showing sheep, hogs and cattle at the Illinois State Fair.

In a press release from the Department of Agriculture, the IDOA says he has a track record of boosting revenues while trimming unproductive expenditures.

Weekly Crop Report



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McIlroy Remains World Number One After Match Play Win

 width=Among the best in the world at last week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play, Rory McIlroy emerged victorious with a 4 & 2 win over Gary Woodland on Sunday, which allowed McIlroy to tighten his grip even more on the No. 1 ranking in the world.

McIlroy improved 1.41 average points and is now up to 12.62, which is 3.57 more than Masters champion and world No. 2 Jordan Spieth, who remained in that slot for another week.

The rest of the top-13 stayed put as well. Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes and Rickie Fowler are all Nos. 3-13 once again.

Hideki Matsuyama improved two slots from 16 to 14. While Patrick Reed remained the same at 15, Kuchar fell two spots due to Matsuyama's ascent and is now No. 16.

Martin Kaymer, Phil Mickelson, Billy Horschel and Brooks Koepka rounded out the top-20 from No. 17 for another week.

Due to his runner-up finish, Woodland moved up 20 spots and is now ranked No. 32 in the world.

Holtby, Caps Blank Rangers, Take Series Lead

 width=Braden Holtby was tremendous between the pipes, making 30 saves for his second career playoff shutout and backstopping the Washington Capitals to a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Jay Beagle scored the lone goal for the Capitals, who used a solid defensive effort to bounce back from Saturday's 3-2 Game 2 loss and take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

Holtby's other postseason shutout came against the Rangers on May 4, 2013 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. New York won that series in seven games.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21-of-22 shots for the Rangers in his 100th career postseason game.

The series will resume with Game 4 Wednesday at Verizon Center.

Cardinals Rally For Win Over Cubs

 width=Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam to help the St. Louis Cardinals pull themselves out of an early hole on the way to a 10-9 win over the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a four-game series Monday night.

Tony Cruz hit a go-ahead two-run double during a four-run seventh inning that completed the comeback. The Cardinals, who have won seven in a row, trailed 5-0 midway through the first but got an immediate boost on Reynolds' blast in the bottom of the inning.

St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez, who entered the game with a 3-0 record and a 1.73 ERA, gave up seven runs, nine hits and four walks in just 3 2/3 frames.

Seth Maness surrendered a solo homer to Addison Russell in the ninth inning but picked up his second save.

Anthony Rizzo also homered and Miguel Montero knocked in three runs for the Cubs, who have lost three in a row.

Chicago starter Travis Wood hit an RBI single before he even took the mound. He was charged with six runs in five-plus innings.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 6, Miami 4
Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 2
Milwaukee 4, Los Angeles 3
San Francisco 2, San Diego 0
Arizona at Colorado, postponed

American League Scoreboard
Toronto 3, New York 1
Tampa Bay 5, Boston 1
Minnesota 8, Oakland 7
Texas 2, Houston 1
Seattle 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2

Bulls Stun LeBron, Cavs, Take Game 1

 width=Derrick Rose had 25 points and five assists, Butler added 20 points and six helpers and the Bulls held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-92 on Monday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

After blowing a 16-point lead in the first half, Chicago used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to build another healthy cushion.

Cleveland charged back and trimmed the deficit to two in the fourth quarter with 5:21 left. Butler, though, split a pair of free throws and nailed a 3- pointer before Pau Gasol's jumper gave the Bulls a 94-86 lead with 3:26 to go.

The Cavs never got closer than four the rest of the way. Butler scored seven of Chicago's last 11 points.

Gasol netted 15 of his 21 points in the second half to go with 10 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy supplied 14 points and seven boards for third-seeded Chicago, which was 10-of-18 from beyond the arc.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Cleveland.

NBA Playoffs Scoreboard
LA Clippers 117, Houston 101

>>Curry Named NBA MVP

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been selected as the NBA's Most Valuable Player.

Curry became the second Warrior to win the award and first since the club moved to the west coast in 1962. Wilt Chamberlain was honored for the 1959-60 season when the franchise was based in Philadelphia.

The 27-year-old sharpshooter led the Warriors to a franchise-record 67 wins this season and the club's first division title since the 1975-76 campaign. He averaged 23.8 points, 7.7. assists and 4.3 rebounds in 80 games

Curry received 100 first-place votes from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters, as well as one NBA.com fan vote, for a total of 1,198 points to outdistance Houston's James Harden for the award.

Harden picked up 25 first-place votes and 936 points to finish second in the balloting, well ahead of Cleveland's LeBron James. The four-time MVP earned the other five first-place votes and 552 points.

Curry was the sixth-leading scorer in the NBA and led the league in 3-point field goals for a third consecutive season, hitting 286 from beyond the arc to break his own NBA record for a single season. He also ranked third in 3-point percentage, converting at 44.3 percent and led the league in free throw shooting at 91.4 percent.

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook was fourth in the voting, followed by Anthony Davis of New Orleans and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Texans, Former Illini Mercilus Agree To Extension

 width=The Houston Texans announced Monday that the team has signed outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus to a contract extension.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though NFL.com reported it to be a four-year pact worth $26 million with $10.5 million guaranteed.

The Texans had until midnight Tuesday to decide whether or not to exercise a $7.75 million fifth-year option on Mercilus' rookie contract, which would have expired at the end of the 2015 season had the option not been picked up.

Mercilus, Houston's first-round pick (26th overall) of the 2012 draft, has recorded 18 sacks while starting 33-of-47 games during his first three NFL seasons. The 24-year-old had five sacks along with two forced fumbles and 50 tackles in 13 games in 2014.

Former Illini TEs Sign NFL Contracts

 width=A pair of Illinois football tight ends will have a shot to make their NFL dreams become a reality this spring. Seniors Matt LaCosse (New York Giants) and Jon Davis (Dallas Cowboys) both signed free agent contracts following last weekend's NFL Draft.

The duo will look to join a long list of former Fighting Illini in the NFL. In 2013, a total of 19 former Illini were on NFL rosters. Dallas (May 26-28) and New York (May 27-29) both will hold their rookie minicamps in late may.

While Illinois did not have a player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, the program has a rich history in the draft with at least one UI player selected in 40 of the last 43 years. The program also had a habit of producing undrafted NFL contributors, like current veterans Steve Weatherford (9 seasons, currently with Giants), Pierre Thomas (8 seasons with Saints) and Jeff Cumberland (5 seasons with Jets).

Illini's Kerian Named Big Ten Player of the Week; Illini Into Top 5

For the second straight week, an Illini senior was named Big Ten Player of the Week, announced the conference office Monday. First baseman David Kerian earned his first career weekly honor by hitting .600 (9-for-15) and leading Illinois to a school-record 21-game winning streak with a perfect 4-0 week.

Kerian recorded multiple hits in every game and scored in all four contests, totaling six runs, five RBI and a homer. He hit a team-high .636 (7-for-11) with five runs and three RBI in the weekend sweep at No. 23 Ohio State following a 2-for-4 performance with two RBI and a run in a midweek win at Southern Illinois.

 width=In the series finale in Columbus, Kerian belted his Big Ten-leading 11th home run and later connected on a go-ahead two-run single as part of a 3-for-4 day with three RBI.

No. 3 Illinois will play its final six games of the regular season at Illinois Field, beginning with a series against Rutgers this weekend (May 8-10). The Illini close out the Big Ten campaign with a home series against Nebraska (May 14-16).

Illinois is ranked No. 3 in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll, marking the highest ranking in program history. It is the fourth straight week the Illini are ranked in the Top 10.

The U of I also is ranked No. 4 by Perfect Game, No. 6 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and on D1Baseball.com, and No. 7 by Baseball America.

Illinois boasts the No. 1 winning percentage (0.862) in NCAA Division I Baseball and has the fewest losses (6). The Illini are tied for second in the nation with 40 wins.

No. 3 Illinois will play its final six games of the regular season at Illinois Field, beginning with a series against Rutgers this weekend (May 8-10). The Illini close out the Big Ten campaign with a home series against Nebraska (May 14-16).

Defense Dooms Maroons Baseball Team

 width=The Sullivan Redskins took advantage of four Clinton errors and topped the Clinton Maroons 8-3 Monday afternoon.

Eli Logue went six innings, allowing seven run, just three earned, allowing three walks with four strikeouts.

Josh Hickman and Kyle Rich each finished with RBI doubles. Jacob Overton, Mac Hickman and Logue contributed a hit as well.

Clinton drops to 7-13 overall and 5-7 in the Central Illinois Conference. Sullivan improves to 21-3 overall and 10-1 in the Central Illinois Conference.

Monticello Tops St. Teresa

 width=As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Lady Sages used two big innings to ten-run Decatur St. Teresa, 11-1, Monday afternoon.

Megan Taylor started in the circle for the Lady Sages. She went five innings, allowing just a run on an Ashlee Knapik homerun. She struck out four and walked only one.

The Lady Sages scored five in the first, then finished the game with a 4-run fifth to close the game out.

Layne Buzan finished 3-for-4 with a solo home run and three RBIs. Sophie Catlin, Ashley Gulliford, and Jenny Hinton collected a pair of RBIs apiece, each finishing 1-for-3.

Megan Magsaman crossed the plate twice and Sam Valentine finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Monticello improves to 24-4 on the season.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 28

Paper Services: 10

Warrants: 0

John Book, 64, Joliet was issued a Citation for Failure to Yield to Right-of-Way to Emergency Vehicle. Book was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Hailee Clark, 20, Decatur was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Clark was issued a Notice to appear and was released.

Brenda Fore, 50, Argenta was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Fore was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Travis Carnes, 27, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 71 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Carnes was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Summer Lawson, 39, Warrensburg was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Lawson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

John Janek, 59, Port Byron was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Janek was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Edward Dowling, 64, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Dowling was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.


Auditor Finds Numerous Problems At IDOT

Overtime pay inconsistencies, lack of financial and inventory controls, and untimely local bridge inspections are all problems at the Illinois Department of Transportation.
That’s according to the state’s Auditor General.

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The report says IDOT agreed with the auditors findings and recommendations.

Central Illinois Man Out To Walk 700 Miles

Eight-four-year-old Dean Troutman is in the second week of a journey that started in his hometown of Princeville, near Peoria. He plans to walk for a 75-day period across the state.

Troutman explains he lost his wife of more than 50 years, Peggy, to Parkinson’s disease in 2010. This walk is a fundraiser for a park in the Princeville community to be constructed in memory of his late wife, Troutman Park.

[audio:5041563515-Troutman1.mp3] [/audio]

Troutman says he had a “lot of doubters” before he left, not thinking he’d be able to get 20 miles beyond Princeville. Troutman, who says he recently ran a 5K for a fundraiser for his park, has been active all his life.

[audio:5041563516-Troutman2.mp3] [/audio]

Troutman says mostly he’s been staying at firehouses while he travels. He hopes to go as far south as Benton, Illinois, loop around, and return to Princeville, walking about 10 to 20 miles per day.

To donate to the Troutman Park project, visit www.troutmanstrek.com.

Illinois Economic Index Hits High In April

An index of the state's economy maintained by the University of Illinois reached its second-highest point last month since the recession.

The university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs said Friday that its Flash Index hit 107.1 in April. The only higher reading since the recession started in 2007 was 107.2 in January 2014.

The monthly index uses corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income to gauge the state's economy. Any reading of more than 100 indicates growth while a figure below 100 shows contraction.

Economist Fred Giertz compiles the index. He said in a news release that many economic indicators are mixed right now, but added lower energy prices have helped the economy over the year's first few months.

Rauner Signs Obama Presidential Library Measure

President Barack Obama has announced Chicago to be the home of his presidential library, something Governor Bruce Rauner approves.

Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:5041563509-BILLSIGNED.mp3] [/audio]

President Obama’s library will be hosted by the University of Chicago, but the Chicago Tribune reports it’s unclear where the location will ultimately land.

Springfield Reenacts Lincoln's Funeral

Four years of 150th anniversary Civil War reenactments have come to a close with the recreation of the funeral for President Abraham Lincoln in Springfield.

More than a thousand re-enactors in Springfield reproduced a somber event that marked the end of the war, the funeral procession for President Abraham Lincoln. For many onlookers like Linda LoBue, seeing horses pass slowly through the Capital City's historic streets with a hearse pulling a mock casket, brought back memories of the JFK funeral procession.

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Retired Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams took part in the funeral reenactment ceremony at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

[audio:5041563514-specialmoment.mp3] [/audio]

Reenactors paid a price in their heavy material 1860s attire. Some were forced to drop out of the funeral procession from Downtown Springfield to Oak Ridge because of the heat.

State Working With Zoos To Prevent Bird Flu

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is working with businesses, zoos and bird owners to reduce the risk of bird flu.

In a news release, Agriculture Director Philip Nelson says the department is calling on everyone involved with birds to work together to help the poultry industry.

The deadly bird flu virus has spread rapidly in many states in the Midwest, where losses are expected to exceed 20 million turkeys and chickens.

Officials say no cases have been detected in Illinois to date.

The virus affects captive and wild birds and commercial and backyard poultry.

State Veterinarian Dr. Mark Ernst says it's important for zoos and poultry producers to take steps to prevent disease. That includes not exposing poultry to wild birds, especially waterfowl, and limiting who may enter poultry facilities.

Failed Referendum Leading To Drastic Decisions In Maroa-Forsyth

Thanks to a failed referendum to help improve school finances, leaders in the Maroa-Forsyth district are bracing for difficult times ahead.

Fifty-nine percent of Maroa-Forsyth voters opposed a referendum on their ballots to increase the tax rate which would have given the district the money it needed to deal with drastically decreasing funds from the state. Superintendnet Mike Williams notes the new school board will have to make financial adjustments for the next school year, which may include borrowing money and decreasing expenses.

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The referendum sought a forty cent increase for the education fund and according to Williams, there are several unknowns regarding Maroa-Forsyth's finances that may require them to attempt another referendum in the future.

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An independent financial committee recommended the tax increase, which was actually more than Williams' suggested incrase. The group was made up of concerned community members.

The Superintendent hopes to work with the new school board to minimize as many program and staffing cuts as possible if funds continue to dwindle in the district.

Local Non-Profit Advocating For Exelon

 width=The challenges Exelon's Clinton Nuclear Power Station faces and the uncertaintity of it's future have been well documented in recent months, and one local non-profit is voicing their support for the County's largest employer.

DeWitt County Habitat For Humanity has been the beneficiary of Exelon's contributions to the community in a number of ways. According to Norman Emery, a Board member for Habitat, the company has contributed both their finances, but also, man power.

[audio:5041563457-5415habitatexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

Emery points out the loss of Exelon to the community would go beyond the loss of jobs and tax dollars, he says it would be a loss of a great deal of support. He says non-profits rely on the charitable efforts from companies like Exelon.

[audio:5041563500-5415habitatexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

Emery has written a letter of support, which can be read below:


Dear DeWitt Daily News,

As an executive board member of Habitat for Humanity of Dewitt County, I want to express our organization’s support for legislation that ensures continued operation of all nuclear facilities in Illinois, especially the Clinton Power Plant.

There has been much discussion and emphasis of the direct economic impact of the closure of our local power plant on Clinton’s property taxes, school budgets and its economy. I want to highlight a closure’s indirect impact on giving to non-profits, specifically Habitat for Humanity of DeWitt County. While we enjoy the generosity of many local businesses, Exelon has been our affiliate’s single greatest benefactor over the last couple of years. In 2014 alone, Exelon donated $1000, its employees gave $3410 (Exelon has a matching program), and an employee fundraiser raised another $1064 Additionally, several employees have served on our board, to include our current president, Casey Brendler; many more have volunteered on our home building projects.

The closure of the Clinton Power Plant would have an indirect economic impact of reduced giving by all local businesses, not just Exelon. Clinton’s town celebrations, cultural events and valuable social services all rely on the generosity of sponsors and givers. Non-profits would be competing for the diminished resources of these economically impacted businesses. Hearts will always be big, but giving would almost certainly decrease.

Citizens can learn more and define their own positions by visiting www.nuclearpowersillinois.com.

I urge citizens of DeWitt County, especially in Clinton, to voice their support for the legislation of Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS) over the next month, and for elected officials to support the production of nuclear energy.

This supports Illinois, its citizens, our community, and preserves its benevolence.

Norman Emery
Executive Board
Habitat for Humanity of DeWitt County

McIlroy Takes Match Play Championship

 width=Rory McIlroy cruised to a 4 & 2 win over Gary Woodland in Sunday's final match at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship.

McIlroy won four in a row from the fourth to grab a commanding lead. Woodland took the 11th and 12th, but missed a 4-footer at 13 that would have gotten him within 1-down.

Woodland bogeyed the 14th to slide 3-down. Woodland conceded the match on 16 after missing a birdie chip.

The win at TPC Harding Park was McIlroy's 10th on the PGA Tour and 11th on the European Tour.

In the consolation match, England's Danny Willett beat Jim Furyk, 3 & 2. Willett picked up enough FedExCup points with the third-place finish to earn special temporary status on the PGA Tour.

Earnhardt Jr. Holds Off Gordon For Talladega Win

 width=Dale Earnhardt Jr. punched his ticket into this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with a victory in Sunday's Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Earnhardt, who led the most laps with 67, won a Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega for the sixth time, but it was his first victory here since October 2004. He is now tied with Jeff Gordon for second most wins at this 2.66-mile track. Earnhardt's late father, Dale Earnhardt, holds the record with 10 victories here.

Earnhardt Sr. was killed in an accident on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. His last career victory in NASCAR's premier series occurred at Talladega in the fall of 2000. He would have turned 64 years old this past Wednesday.

Earnhardt Jr., who is NASCAR's most popular driver, turned 40 years old last October. He won a record four Cup races in a row at Talladega from 2001-03 before scoring his fifth victory here the following year.

Jimmie Johnson could not make a pass on his Hendrick Motorsports teammate for the lead. He crossed the finish line 0.158 seconds behind Earnhardt. Paul Menard finished third, while Ryan Blaney, running a partial schedule for The Wood Brothers in Sprint Cup this season, took the fourth spot. Martin Truex Jr. placed fifth, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, the current points leader and defending Sprint Cup champion, Hamlin and Josh Wise.

Bulls Searching For Consistency As Cavs Await; NBA Notes

 width=The Chicago Bulls are about to face LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and even they aren't quite sure which team will show up.

That's because they were as inconsistent as anyone during the season.

The ups and downs continued in the first round against Milwaukee, so good luck trying to figure out which version of the Bulls will take to the court in Cleveland on Monday night.

Will it be the one that dropped Game 5 at home against the Bucks? Or the one that delivered one of the most lopsided playoff beatings ever in Game 6 at Milwaukee?

Mike Dunleavy Jr. acknowledges the Bulls have been "up and down" for a variety of reasons.

>>Warriors Blast Grizzlies In Game 1

Make it three months and counting since the Golden State Warriors have lost in front of their raucous fans.

Stephen Curry had 22 points, seven assists and four steals and the Warriors routed the Memphis Grizzlies 101-86 on Sunday in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

The Warriors went 39-2 at Oracle Arena during the regular season and have won the last 21 games in their building -- including three postseason games. They haven't lost at home since Jan. 27, when the Chicago Bulls beat them 113-111 in overtime.

Courtney Lee's 3-pointer 21 seconds into the game was the only time Golden State trailed.

The Warriors hadn't played since finishing off a sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans last Saturday.

Game 2 is Tuesday, again in Oakland.

There's still no timetable for Memphis guard Mike Conley's return from a facial fracture, but he traveled with the team and watched on from the bench. His left eye was still visibly swollen. He suffered the injury in Game 3 of the Portland series and missed the final two games of the set after undergoing surgery for the fractures.

>>Wizards Top Hawks In Game 1

Bradley Beal and John Wall overcame injury scares in the Washington Wizards' 104-98 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Beal (right ankle sprain) and Wall (left wrist sprain) battled to score 28 and 18 points, respectively, for Washington on Sunday. Wall also had 13 assists and three blocks.

Paul Pierce ended with 19 points for the Wizards, who had been off for a week since sweeping the Toronto Raptors in the first round. Marcin Gortat tallied 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Wizards became the first team in NBA history to win four straight Game 1s on the road.

DeMarre Carroll scored 21 of his 24 points in the first half for the top- seeded Hawks, who needed six games to eliminate the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round. Al Horford recorded 17 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.

Jeff Teague played through a right ankle sprain and finished with 11 points and seven assists.

Game 2 will be Tuesday night in Atlanta.

>>Curry To Be NBA's MVP

Stephen Curry will reportedly beat out James Harden for the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award.

The Golden State Warriors guard will be named the MVP as early as Monday and is likely to receive the trophy in a ceremony prior to Tuesday's Game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 27-year-old sixth-year point guard averaged 23.8 points and 7.7 assists per game this season. He shot 44.3 percent from beyond the arc and led the NBA in free throw shooting at 91.4 percent.

Bears, Rams Draft Notes

 width=>>Rams Move RB Stacy After Drafting Gurley

The St. Louis Rams traded running back Zac Stacy to the New York Jets on Saturday in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick.

Stacy had requested a trade after the Rams drafted Georgia running back Todd Gurley No. 10 overall on Thursday. Stacy tweeted "Yikes" after St. Louis made the selection before deleting it.

The 24-year-old rushed 76 times for 293 yards and a touchdown in 13 games last season, making five starts. As a rookie in 2013, the Vanderbilt product compiled 973 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns, including one receiving, in 14 games.

St. Louis used the acquired draft pick to select Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager 224th overall.

 width=>>Rams, Bears Complete Draft

The Bears took West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White in the first round and Oregon center Hroniss Grasu in the third round Friday, the first time since 2008 they've selected two offensive players in the first two rounds. The only defensive player they picked was nose tackle Eddie Goldman from Florida State in the second round.

With the 106th pick in the 4th round, the Bears opted to draft offensive standout Jeremy Landford out of Michigan State. The RB helped the Spartans to a Big Ten Title game an Rose Bowl appearance in 2013.

In the fifth round, the Bears grabbed Penn State Safety Adrian Amos with the 142 overall pick.

Chicago would finish their picks with a sixth round selection of Tayo Fabuluje, a tackle out of Texas Christian University.

Free agency brought the Bears several key defenders for their new 3-4 scheme, but there are holes still at end and linebacker, and they could also use a safety and a cornerback.

The Rams had five picks on day three of the NFL Draft. With one pick in round four, St. Louis selected Iowa tackle Andrew Donnal with the 119 overall pick.

In round six, with the 201st pick, the Rams opted for Bud Sasser, a receiver out of Missouri, then addressed the offensive line by taking Cody Wichmann out of Fresno State with the 215th selection.

In the final round, at pick 224, St. Louis grabbed Baylor LB Bryce Hager and Memphis DE Martin Ifedi with their final pick at 227.

Illinois State TE Selected In Fifth Round

 width=A dream became a reality Saturday afternoon for Illinois State tight end James O'Shaughnessy, who was selected in the fifth round (pick 173 overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2015 National Football League Draft.

With the selection of O'Shaughnessy, Illinois State has had a player taken in the NFL Draft for the past three seasons.

O'Shaughnessy was a three-year starter for the Redbirds at tight end and ended his career as one of the best pass-catchers in school history. The Naperville, Illinois, native currently ranks No. 2 in ISU history with a yards-per-catch average of 17.46 and is tied for seventh in school history with 14 career receiving touchdowns. In his four-year career, O'Shaughnessy caught 67 passes for 1,170 yards and is the first tight end in school history to be drafted.

Hawks Grab 2-0 Series Lead Over Minnesota

 width=Patrick Kane scored twice and Corey Crawford was solid in between the pipes as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Patrick Sharp tallied a goal and an assist, Jonathan Toews supplied a short- handed goal and Crawford made 30 saves for the Blackhawks, who won 4-3 in Friday's series opener.

Chicago improved to 8-0 all-time at home against the Wild in the playoffs and have won all five home games this postseason.

Matt Dumba lit the lamp and Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on 30 shots for the Wild, who lost consecutive games for the first time since acquiring Dubnyk from Arizona on Jan. 14.

The series will resume Thursday with Game 3 at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 6, Montreal 2 (Tampa Leads Series 2-0)
Anaheim 3, Calgary 0 (Anaheim Leads Series 2-0)

Cardinals Win; Cu

 width=>>Wong Sends Cardinals To Third Straight Extra-Innings Win

Kolten Wong capped a successful weekend for the St. Louis Cardinals with a home run to give them their sixth straight win.

Wong's solo homer in the bottom of the 14th lifted the Cardinals to a 3-2 win and a series sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Each win in the series came in extra innings.

Miguel Socolovich (1-0) got the win for tossing a scoreless top of the 14th inning.

Jung-Ho Kang tied the game in the ninth with his first career home run, a drive to center field off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, then Pedro Alvarez launched a 1-1 fastball into right field off Sam Tuivailala for his fifth homer of the season that gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead in the 12th.

>>Former Cub Ramirez Powers Brewers Past Cubs


Aramis Ramirez hit a solo home run and drove in a pair of runs in the eighth inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs in Sunday's series finale.

Gerardo Parra pinch hit to lead off the decisive eighth against Pedro Strop (0-1) and doubled to left-center. Carlos Gomez followed with a bunt single and Jean Segura got hit in the helmet with a pitch to load the bases. Segura walked to first base on his own power but was removed from the game.

After Parra was called out at the plate on Ryan Braun's double-play grounder and Adam Lind was walked intentionally, Ramirez delivered a two-out single to short left that broke a 3-3 tie.

Jonathan Broxton struck out two in the eighth inning and Francisco Rodriguez got some help from Ramirez at third base to nail down his fourth save. Two of the final three outs were line drives at Ramirez.

Jimmy Nelson went 6 2/3 innings for the Brewers, yielding three runs on seven hits while striking out six. Will Smith (1-0) finished the seventh inning by striking out Anthony Rizzo.

National League Scoreboard
Washington 1, New York 0
Philadelphia 6, Miami 2
Atlanta 5, Cincinnati 0
San Francisco 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
San Diego 8, Colorado 6
Los Angeles 1, Arizona 0 (13 innings)

 width=>>Plouffe, Twins Batter White Sox

Trevor Plouffe hit a grand slam and drove in five as the Minnesota Twins clobbered the Chicago White Sox, 13-3, to finish off a four-game sweep.

Kennys Vargas went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and two runs scored while Danny Santana drove in two runs for the Twins, who have won five of their last six.

Mike Pelfrey had command trouble and was pulled with one out in the fourth inning after hitting three batters in the frame, including two with the bases loaded. Ryan Pressly (1-0) got the win for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Avisail Garcia went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the White Sox, who have lost their last five. John Danks (1-3) was touched for seven runs -- three earned -- on eight hits while striking out three in just 2 1/3 innings.

American League Scoreboard
Cleveland 10, Toronto 7
Baltimore 4, Tampa Bay 2
Houston 7, Seattle 6
Detroit 6, Kansas City 4
Oakland 7, Texas 1
New York 8, Boston 5

Illinois State Takes 3 of 4 From Southern Illinois Edwardsville

 width=Steve Heilenbach turned in Illinois State's first nine-inning, complete-game pitching performance in nearly two years as the Redbirds scored a 7-1 win over SIUE in the final game of a four-game series Sunday at Duffy Bass Field.

Heilenbach limited SIUE to just one run on four hits and one walk over nine strong innings, while striking out three. He needed just 99 pitches to finish the game, which was the Redbirds' final non-conference game of the 2015 season.

Jared Hendren, Joe Kelch and Dennis Colon registered two hits apiece in Sunday's win. Daniel Dwyer reached base three times, with a single and a pair of walks.

Sunday's win sealed a 3-1 series win over SIUE as the Redbirds bounced back from a 4-1 loss Friday with a doubleheader sweep Saturday before Sunday's win.

The Redbirds are back in action next weekend with a three-game series at Missouri Valley Conference foe Bradley. The series opener is set for Friday at 6 p.m.

Illinois Runs Win Streak To 21

No. 6 Illinois extended the nation's longest active winning streak to 21 straight and earned its fifth consecutive Big Ten series sweep with a 6-2 comeback win at No. 23 Ohio State on Sunday. The Illini overcame an early 2-0 deficit for the second straight day and scored six unanswered runs to clinch their 40th win.

The Buckeyes grabbed their 2-0 advantage with an RBI single in the first and sacrifice fly in the second. Senior David Kerian, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI, started the Illini's 19th comeback win with a leadoff homer in the third.

 width=Kerian connected on a go-ahead two-run single in the fourth that plated junior Jason Goldstein and senior Casey Fletcher for a 3-2 lead.

The Orange and Blue's three-run sixth provided the cushion and wrapped up the scoring at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. Senior Will Krug brought home Fletcher on a squeeze play, while shortstop Adam Walton added a two-run single through the left side that drove in Kerian and Krug.

Starter John Kravetz, who had his seventh no decision of the season, allowed four hits and two runs in his four innings of work. He fanned a pair of Buckeyes, which moved him into 10th on the school's all-time list with 179 career strikeouts.

Redshirt-senior Rob McDonnell took over in the fifth and did not allow a run while fanning four over four frames. He improved to a career-best 7-1 after picking up his second win on the week. Third baseman Ryne Roper turned a key double play in the seventh that halted the OSU threat.

Closer Tyler Jay finished off the game for the second day in a row, breezing through a perfect ninth on eight pitches.

Illinois' school-record 21-game winning streak is the longest active streak in the NCAA and second-longest this season behind Texas A&M (24).

No. 6 Illinois will play its final six games of the regular season at Illinois Field, beginning with a series against Rutgers next weekend.

Local Leaders, Citizens Headed To Springfield To Help Save Exelon

Supporters of the Exelon Clinton Nuclear Power Station will be headed to Springfield Wednesday to show their support for the County's largest employer.

Local leaders and community members will be taking part in a rally at the Capitol Wednesday to show Illinois lawmakers the support the Power Plant has in DeWitt County. According to Ruth Stauffer, Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council, the issue reaches far beyond the limits of Clinton and DeWitt County.

[audio:5041510000-5515exelonrally1.mp3] [/audio]

The group heading to Springfield will not be the first time meetings have been held to find solutions to help the power plant remain in Clinton. According to Stauffer, her staff has been in regular communication with Exelon officials along with state representatives.

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The rally looks to give a push to a piece of legislation that would bring Exelon and nuclear energy on level with other energy sources. According to Brett Nauman, Communications Director at Exelon Clinton Nuclear Power Station, the legislation would make Illinois a leader in renewable energy standards.

[audio:5041510006-5515exelonrally3.mp3] [/audio]

Those interested in attending the rally can meet at the St. John's Church parking lot in Clinton. The bus will be provided by Clinton Schools and will depart the church at 10 am. A free lunch is provided and the rally begins at noon.

Plans indicate those attending will remain in Springfield until 2 pm with a return to Clinton expected at 3 pm.

Clinton Fire Chief Resigns

 width=Among the sweeping changes made Monday night at the first installment of the new Clinton City Council, the biggest surprise perhaps was the resignation of Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton.

The former Chief indicates new Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, Dan Ballenger, asked the Chief for his resignation. Milton says he obliged the Commissioner's request and has stepped down.

[audio:5041583242-5515chiefresign1.mp3] [/audio]

Milton feels he has been able to stabalize the numbers of the force. He adds their work in the emergency medical services have been positive as they have saved a number of lives. The former-Chief believes he is leaving the department in a good situation.

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The former-Chief calls his years as the fire chief a learning experience and plans to remain on the department as a fire fighter.

Commissioner Ballenger will seek out a replacement and will keep the City Council informed as to his progress.

Read more about the Monday night happenings at dewittdailynews.com.

New Mayor, Commissioner Sworn In; Changes Abound

The Clinton City Council welcomed a new Mayor and Commissioner of Public Health and Safety to the Council Monday night.

Roger Cyrulik has been sworn in as the City's next Mayor and Dan Ballenger is now the Commissioner of Public Health and Safety. One of the first items of action taken by the Mayor was to fill vacant Dr. John Warner Hospital Board positions and make replacements.

Former Board President Randy Workman, Aaron Kammeyer, Shelly Miles, and BA Nelson, have been reappointed to the hospital board. Miles will occupy the expired term of David Wilson and Nelson will replace hospital board member Evan Severson.

Mayor Cyrulik nominated Mike Bray for the hospital board, but his appointment was voted down 3-2. John Wise, Tom Edmunds, and Nan Crang voted against his appointment.


Mayor Cyrulik (right) wanted board members with past experience to be on the City-owned hospital board. Kammeyer, Workman and Nelson have all served on the board in the past.

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Before any changes were approved, Commissioner Nan Crang addressed the use of social media towards public officials. She asks those using social media to be respectful when presenting their opinions.

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The Mayor also feels it his role to only appoint Board members to the hospital board and to let them run the hospital as they see fit. He feels they have good nurses and doctors, and hopes continue to improve the care at the facility through the new board and the acting CEO.

Additionally, Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton stepped down today. Read more about that today at dewittdailynews.com.

Senate Passes Youth Concussion Legislation

A measure to ensure there are proper procedures to get kids back into the classroom after suffering a concussion passed the Senate Thursday. Illinois News Network has more:

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The amended measure, if passed in the House and signed by the Governor, would require a doctor to sign off before a student could return to sports or the classroom and provides for school-specific emergency action plans.

Aaron Schock Didn't Just Vanish from Congress

Aaron Schock has kept the lowest profile this side of Steve Bartman. The former Congressman's whereabouts are a mystery after his recent resignation. An attorney for a campaign donor suing the Peoria Republican has told a federal judge he can't track down Schock. So far process servers for a political donor suing to get his money back have been unable to serve the lawsuit. A Peoria address for Schock is said to be vacant. There's no comment from a Schock spokesman.

Sumatran Tiger Arrives at Central Illinois' Miller Park Zoo

A Sumatran tiger is the latest addition to central Illinois' Miller Park Zoo.

The city of Bloomington hired a driver to transport the 10-year-old tiger to the zoo from Landry's Downtown Aquarium in Denver.The tiger, named Heran, arrived on April 18 and is on loan from its owner, the Los Angeles Zoo. Sumatran tigers are the smallest of the tiger subspecies. They are considered a critically endangered breed.

Jay Tetzloff is zoo superintendent and city parks, recreation and cultural arts director.

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Tetzloff says while Heran is the only tiger at Miller Park Zoo, there are no plans to breed or acquire a new one.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for April 29

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Headlee Burdett, 53, Dixon was issued a Citation for Failure to Reduce Speed/ Accident. Burdett was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




Officials Disagree on Cost of Stand-Alone Lincoln Museum

Two officials fighting for control of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum differ on how much it costs to operate.

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard the potential impact Thursday of Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan to eliminate the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which controls the 10-year-old shrine to Springfield's famous son.

Library Director Eileen Mackevich (MAK'-ih-vik) testified the proposed $15 million budget for a stand-alone institution would suffice.

But Sunny Fischer objected. She's chairwoman of the preservation agency's board, which opposes the plan. She says Mackevich isn't counting up to $2 million the agency paid for the library and museum's lawyers, accountants and other services.

Mackevich - with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's support - began pushing to separate the museum last year.

Local Habitat for Humanity Works to Better Community Homes

The DeWitt County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is working with a national program to serve low-income home owners.

The program called A Brush with Kindness assists families who struggle to maintain their home exteriors. Habitat Board Member Norman Emery says a person's income must qualify in order to be considered. They will also have to be willing to pay and partner with the organization.

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The program allows the local Habitat to perform tasks in the community along with the usual home building. Emery notes there is a contagious pay it forward spirit to sprucing up someone's home.

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Habitat for Humanity will be working with American Legion in June to build a wheelchair ramp onto the home of a local veteran.

DeWitt County HRC Unsure of Upcoming State Funds

The State of Illinois' recent budget cuts could soon hurt several important programs and organizations.

The DeWitt County Human Resource Center has not been directly affected by Governor Bruce Rauner's budget cuts yet, but other local programs indirectly impact them. Executive Director Lynn Scoville says many of the cuts have been made to vulnerable programs dealing with issues such as Autism.

[audio:5011563829-5115hrccuts1.mp3] [/audio]

The HRC is currently concerned about the future of their prevention programs. Scoville is not sure how the Center would continue offering these programs without State funding and over 80% of HRC's operating budget comes from the state.

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Many of HRC's clients are unable to pay for services and need state funding according to Scoville. She adds they need to look for other ways to acquire revenue including fundraising and growing their businesses.

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Businesses such as the Encore Thrift Store provides HRC with their biggest revenue of the year. Scoville hopes amping up their services there will help them with their bottom line.


Thursday's Scoreboard

All Times Eastern American League
L.A. Angels 6, Oakland 5 F
Toronto 5, Cleveland 1 F
Minnesota 12, Chicago White Sox 2 F
Kansas City 8, Detroit 1 F
Houston 3, Seattle 2 F 10 Innings

National League St. Louis 9, Philadelphia 3 F
Cincinnati 5, Atlanta 1 F
Washington 8, N.Y. Mets 2 F

National Basketball Association Playoffs
Chicago 120, Milwaukee 66 F
L.A. Clippers 102, San Antonio 96 F

National Hockey League Playoffs
Washington 2, N.Y. Rangers 1 F
Anaheim 6, Calgary 1 F


Rams take running back Todd Gurley with 10th pick

The St. Louis Rams have taken Georgia running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick of the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Gurley is the first running back taken in the first round since 2012.

The Rams opted to get backfield help for new quarterback Nick Foles instead of addressing a thin offensive line. Gurley is coming off knee surgery last November after being suspended for four games earlier in the season for a violation of NCAA rules.

Tre Mason, a third-round pick last year, led the Rams with 765 yards rushing and averaged 4.3 yards per carry.

Wild look for playoff breakthrough against Blackhawks

The Minnesota Wild are in the second round for the second straight postseason, and standing in the way are the Chicago Blackhawks - their usual playoff roadblock.

The two played five games in 2013, a speed bump in Chicago's run to the Stanley Cup title. They played six games in 2014, a more difficult challenge for the Blackhawks but a series Minnesota eventually lost.

Game 1 this time is Friday night in Chicago.

With a deep group of forwards and goalie Devan Dubnyk on the best run of his career, the Wild are looking forward to measuring their progress against one of the league's traditional powers.

Bears agree to 2-year deal with Bronson

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a two-year contract with safety Malcolm Bronson.

The deal was announced Thursday. Bronson tried out with the Bears at this week's voluntary minicamp.

An undrafted free agent out of McNeese State, Bronson entered the NFL in 2013 and spent that season on Kansas City's practice squad. He was released before the 2014 regular season.

Bronson played in 40 games in college and had 230 tackles, 10 interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Bears could turn attention to defense in 2nd, 3rd rounds

The Chicago Bears might turn their attention toward the defense as the draft continues with the second and third rounds on Friday.

The Bears drafted dynamic West Virginia receiver Kevin White with the seventh overall pick Thursday night, hoping he can fill a void created by the Brandon Marshall trade.

But they still have some huge issues on defense.

The Bears own one pick each in the second and third rounds at Nos. 39 and 71 on Friday. Chicago also has a fourth-rounder, fifth-rounder and sixth-rounder on Saturday.

The Bears have a new general manager (Ryan Pace) and coach (John Fox) after going 5-11. They are switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4, hoping to revive a struggling defense.

Carpenter, Adams lead Cardinals over Phillies 9-3

Matt Adams had three hits, including a tiebreaking, two-run homer, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a short outing by Tim Cooney in his major league debut to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-3 Thursday for their third straight win.

Cooney, a 24-year-old left-hander brought up from Triple-A Memphis before the game, was given a 3-0 lead but lasted 2 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.

Carlos Villanueva (2-1) followed and retired all 10 batters he faced. The Cardinals bullpen retired 19 of 21 batters during 6 1-3 innings of one-hit relief.

With the score 3-3 in the third, Adams hit a two-run homer off David Buchanan (0-5), who became the first Philadelphia pitcher to lose his first five starts in a season since Kyle Abbott in 1992.

Faceoffs can provide a big lift in the NHL playoffs

Three of the top four teams in faceoff percentage in the first round of this year's playoffs won their series.

Washington coach Barry Trotz says faceoffs are overlooked, given how important it is to control the puck. The Capitals won an NHL-best 56 percent of their draws in the first round against the New York Islanders.

Besides the value of possession, which NHL teams appreciate more than ever in the league's golden age of statistical analysis, Capitals center Brooks Laich said there is a cumulative effect. He says owning the puck wears out opponents and keeps them from getting rolling on offense


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