Local News

Blagojevich Attorney Says He'll Ask Full Court For Rehearing

The defense attorney for Rod Blagojevich says he will ask a full appellate court in Chicago to rehear the imprisoned former governor's appeal after a panel of three judges recently tossed five of 18 corruption convictions.

The Illinois Democrat's appellate lawyer, Leonard Goodman, reports indicate he will file the request with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals before a Tuesday deadline.

The three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit threw out convictions linked to Blagojevich's attempt to land a post in President Barack Obama's Cabinet for appointing an Obama adviser to the president's old U.S. Senate seat.

It also ordered the trial judge to resentence the 58-year-old, factoring in the overturned counts. The unanimous ruling let 13 counts stand.

Requests for full-court hearings aren't granted automatically.

Flooding Delays Illinois' Redneck Fishing Tournament

Anglers hoping to eliminate a few invasive Asian carp at the 10th annual Redneck Fishing Tournament in central Illinois will have to wait until Labor Day Weekend.

The charity event in the village of Bath has been postponed because of high water and flooding along the Illinois River. It was originally scheduled to open Aug. 7.

The tournament's main rule bars fishing poles. Instead, participants use nets and their hands to grab the fish as they leap into the air.

Proceeds are donated to a group that helps homeless veterans.

The invasive carp have made their way up the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

Scientists say the fish could destabilize food chains and harm a $7 billion sport fishing industry if they reach the Great Lakes.

Illinois Sen. President Won't Run For Congress

Illinois state Sen. Tom Cullerton says he's decided not to run for Congress to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Cullerton is a first-term Democratic senator from Villa Park. According to reports, he says he wants to focus on running for re-election to the Illinois Senate. Duckworth is leaving the 8th Congressional District seat to run for U.S. Senate.

Cullerton says he doesn't regret considering a move up. He says "the opportunity for a congressional seat doesn't come along very often."

His departure leaves businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin as Democratic candidates in the race.

Rain Doesn't Yield Big Year For Illinois Crop Dusters

Crop duster pilots in central Illinois say low corn prices have cut into profits this year.

Murray Brian owns Brian Agricultural Aviation in Pekin. According to reports, he explains lower prices mean farmers are less willing to spend money this year.

A wet growing season like the one experienced this year by Illinois farmers would usually mean extra work and extra money for crop dusters.

The National Weather Service says rainfall totals across the state were well over average in June, a key growing month.

Brian says that since farmers are less willing to spend he's having just an average year.

Rauner Vetoes Legislation To Ban Strikes, Worker Lock Outs

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would have blocked public-employee strikes and management lockouts of those workers.

Rauner said in a release Wednesday he vetoed the bill in part because it was based on what he called the false premise that he has been unreasonable in negotiating with state workers and wants to lock them out.

The governor also complained about the measure's plan to resolve contract-negotiation impasses with binding arbitration.

The legislation was backed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and aimed at what the union and Democrats have called Rauner's anti-union rhetoric.

In contract negotiations, Rauner has demanded deep concessions from state employees represented by AFSCME.

The union and Rauner earlier Wednesday agreed to a two-month contract extension as they negotiate.

Schock, Prosecutors Find Resolution on Contempt Accusations

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock and his attorneys have reached a temporary resolution with federal prosecutors on civil contempt accusations he faced for failing to produce campaign and congressional records.

The Peoria Republican appeared in Springfield federal court Tuesday and Wednesday on the issue.

Both Schock's attorney, George Terwillinger, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass said both sides reached an agreement. The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois didn't immediately comment on details.

Schock is under federal investigation over his use of taxpayer and campaign money. A federal grand jury has been hearing testimony from former members of Schock's staff.

He resigned in March amid mounting scrutiny of his spending.

State's Health Co-Op Among Those Struggling

Illinois' only nonprofit health insurance co-op has struggled with low enrollment and financial losses.

A government audit released Thursday shows that only one of the nation's 23 co-ops made money last year.

The nonprofits were set up under the national health care overhaul as alternatives to mega-insurers.

In Illinois, Land of Lincoln Health had projected its net income to reach $28 million for 2014. Instead, the audit found, it had a net loss of $17.7 million.

Claims expenses topped income from premiums by $7.8 million.

And Land of Lincoln's 3,461 enrollees were less than 4 percent of the 94,249 it had expected to sign up.

Spokeswoman Janine Sheedy says the co-op has "adapted to the marketplace," now enrolled more than 50,000 members and is "on the pathway to profitability by 2016."

Champaign County Fair Rolls On In 2015

The 2015 edition of the Champaign County Fair has been going on all week and things wrap up this weekend.

According to Mike Kobel, the Champaign County Fair Board President says the week has been tremendous. From the exceptional weather to the popularity of their events, things have been busy on the fair grounds this week.

[audio:7311583229-73115champaignfair1.mp3] [/audio]

Hailey Diffin was the 2015 Champaign County Fair Queen. She indicates she's an 18-year old student at Parkland and hopes to study nursing. Diffin says, being a part of the fair pagaent is something that has always appealed to her.

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No County Fair is complete without discussing the 4-H participants and their projects. Students from across Champaign County converged on the fairgrounds this week to showcase projects they've poured a lot of time into. Grace Goldenstein explains what it takes to show her cattle at the fair.

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The fair wraps up tomorrow in Urbana.

Texas Christian Church To Unveil Renovation of 100 Year Old Facility

It was a couple years ago, leaders of Texas Christian Church in DeWitt County faced a very expensive ultimatum, rebuild or renovate.

According to Pastor Scott Marsh, it came to the leadership's attention their building had serious foundational issues, and he indicates they faced a decision that was very difficult to make.

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The leadership of the Church decided they wanted to preserve the over 100 year old building and make renovations to it. Pastor Marsh indicates much of the work involved their foundation.

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Pastor Marsh indicates, part of the work of the they have done was a complete renovation of the building. He explains the interior and exterior has a new look to it.

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The public is invited out to see all the new changes to the building. Pastor Marsh says they will have their first official service in the building and then from 2 pm to 6 pm Sunday, they will open it up to the public for an open house.

NBA Notes

 width=>>Knicks Sign Draft Picks Porzingis, Grant

The New York Knicks have signed first-round draft picks Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant.
The team announced the signings Thursday, along with the re-signing of forward Lou Amundson.

The 7-foot-3 Porzingis was the fourth overall selection in the recent draft and played professionally for
Cajasol Seville in Spain the past three seasons. At the NBA summer league in Las Vegas this month,
the 19-year-old averaged 10.5 points in four games.

Grant, a 6-4 guard, was the 19th overall pick after averaging 14.6 points and 5.8 assists in four
seasons with Notre Dame. In his senior season, he averaged 16.5 points and 5.8 assists in 38 games.
In five summer league games, Grant averaged 11.8 points and 4.8 assists in five games.

Amundson averaged 6.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in 41 games after signing with the Knicks in

Also Thursday, New York waived guard Ricky Ledo. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists
and 19.4 minutes in 12 games for the Knicks last season.

 width=>>NBA Considering Games in Africa

The NBA is in Africa for an exhibition, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expects more important
games to come.

"Stay tuned," Silver said Thursday as 20 NBA stars, including Chris Paul and Luol Deng, prepare to
play at a small arena in downtown Johannesburg - the first NBA game of any kind in Africa. "This is an
experiment of sorts."

Although he didn't give an exact time frame, Silver said a pre-season game and then a regular-season
game on the continent was the logical progression for the NBA, which is on a "fast track" to build a
brand in soccer-crazy Africa.

Having already explored possibilities in China and Europe, Africa's next for the NBA, which has
brought some big names - coaches as well as players - to Johannesburg for Saturday's exhibition
game at Ellis Park Arena.

There's Paul, an eight-time All Star, who will captain Team World. Deng, a two-time All Star, will lead a
Team Africa. Pau and Marc Gasol have also made the trip, as has San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg
Popovich and coach of the year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks. Also on the rosters are Al-
Farouq Aminu and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who both have parents from Nigeria.

This game's the next step in the league's links to Africa that began with the first-round draft of
Hakeem Olajuwon by the Houston Rockets in 1984, Silver said. Olajuwon, who is from Nigeria and is
part of this trip to South Africa as an NBA ambassador, went on to become a two-time NBA champion
and 12-time All Star.

The NBA's presence in Africa, and particularly southern Africa, is still comparatively small. On
Saturday, the stars will play at an old, 4,000-seat arena, tiny for NBA standards. But it's sold out and
it's a start, Silver told a small group of reporters at his hotel.

NFL Notes

>>No Word From Giants DE Pierre-Paul

The New York Giants have no firsthand knowledge about the extent of the hand injuries Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sustained in a July 4 fireworks accident in Florida.

A seemingly frustrated co-owner John Mara disclosed that most of the Giants' knowledge about JPP's condition has come from his agents and through text messages with the 26-year-old, who was tagged as a franchise player and due to make at least $14.8 million this season.

Mara said the team hasn't been allowed to examine Pierre-Paul, so it has no idea either when he will be able to play or when he will show up at training camp.

 width=Mara invited Pierre-Paul to come to Giants headquarters for treatment, reiterating that anyone telling him not to do that is giving him bad advice.

Mara said the Giants are aware of reports Pierre-Paul had a finger amputated in the accident and fractured a thumb, but the team has not been able to verify that. He added the team is planning to move ahead without him at this point.

>>Enthusiastic WR Bryant Arrives At Cowboys Camp

Dez Bryant took a couple of long pauses, first to search for a way to describe how he has matured and then to find the right word to describe skeptics who think he hasn't changed at all.

The Dallas Cowboys All-Pro receiver could relax on the first day of training camp Thursday, thanks to the five-year, $70 million contract that was the only reason he was there in the first place.

And as much as he wants to show he's not the same guy known early in his career for legal troubles and sideline antics, Bryant emphasized that money won't change him after he threatened to skip camp and maybe even regular-season games without the long-term financial security he felt he waited too long to get.

Even if he says he isn't.

Bryant credited Jay Z's Roc Nation talent agency with helping him refine his communication skills, although it was still hard for him to illustrate how they did it. Bryant's representatives also had to work to get a deal with the Cowboys until the final hours before a July 15 deadline that would have forced him to play under a one-year deal, or not at all.

Bryant occasionally showed frustration on Twitter about how long it was taking for a long-term deal. But the posts were measured compared to the volatile player who's been caught on camera screaming at players and coaches during games, or leaving the sideline before the clock ran out in a particularly painful loss.

Does he still have work to do? Sure. He dropped an expletive at the end of an answer about how he can't pay attention when issues arise and people "overreact" - that's the word he was trying to find during one of the pauses. He covered his sheepish smile with his hand, then pulled it away.

"I'm back," he said, still smiling.

Blockbuster Trades Among Moves Thursday

>>Blue Jays Add Prized Lefty Price

Toronto acquired All-Star left-hander David Price from the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, the second major move in less than a week by the Blue Jays as they chase their first postseason appearance since 1993.

After obtaining slugging shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from Colorado, the Blue Jays tried to shore up their rotation by adding Price, likely the top remaining starting pitcher on the market.

The Blue Jays sent left-handers Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt to the Tigers in the deal. Price can become a free agent after this season.

Later Thursday, Detroit dealt closer Joakim Soria to Pittsburgh for minor league infielder JaCoby Jones.

Speaking in the Detroit clubhouse before the Tigers faced the Orioles in Baltimore, Price was excited about joining a contender - even if he did refer to the Blue Jays as "they" instead of "we."

 width=Toronto has scored more runs than any other team in the major leagues but still had a .500 record heading into Thursday night's game against the Royals. The Blue Jays trailed Minnesota by two games for the AL's second wild card and were seven behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees.

>>Dodgers, Marlins, Braves Complete 3-team, 13-player deal

The first-place Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their pitching staff on the eve of the trade deadline, completing a 13-player deal with the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins that sent two starters and two relievers to the NL West leaders on Thursday.

Clinging to a half-game lead over San Francisco, the Dodgers acquired right-hander Mat Latos from the Marlins and left-hander Alex Wood from the Braves, two pitchers who can move right into the rotation behind aces Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Also, Los Angeles obtained relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan from Atlanta, adding needed depth to the bullpen.

The rebuilding Braves kept up their massive overhaul, also surrendering top infield prospect Jose Peraza to the Dodgers largely to land 30-year-old Cuban defector Hector Olivera, an infielder who has impressed in the minors since signing a $62.5 million, six-year deal with Los Angeles this year.

As for the Marlins, it was another familiar salary dump. Out of contention in the NL East, Miami rid itself of Latos and first baseman Michael Morse for three minor leaguers. Morse didn't last long with the Dodgers, who designated him for assignment shortly after the trade.
The deals worked like this:
-The Dodgers got Wood (7-6, 3.54 ERA), Johnson (2-3, 2.25, nine saves), Avilan (2-4, 3.58), Peraza (.294 with 26 stolen bases for Triple-A Gwinnett) and pitcher Bronson Arroyo from the Braves, along with Latos (4-7, 4.48), Morse (.214, four homers, 12 RBIs) and cash considerations from the Marlins. Arroyo is coming back from Tommy John surgery and hasn't pitched this season, his inclusion in the deal mainly a financial benefit to the Braves.

-Atlanta received Olivera, who is hitting a combined .348 with two homers and seven RBIs in 19 games at three different levels of the Dodgers' farm system this season, along with injured left-hander Paco Rodriguez and minor leaguer Zachary Bird, a right-handed pitcher. The Braves also got a draft pick from the Marlins.

-Miami acquired minor league right-handers Kevin Guzman, Jeff Brigham and Victor Araujo from the Dodgers, none of whom has pitched above Class A.

While the Dodgers spent lavishly to land Olivera, they decided the organization has enough depth at second base to make the deal.

>>Astros Land OF Gomez From Brewers

The Astros have added another bat to their lineup as they make a push for the postseason, acquiring two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Houston also received right-hander Mike Fiers in the deal and sent four prospects to the Brewers: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.

Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said a trade fell through Wednesday that would have sent Gomez to the New York Mets for infielder Wilmer Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Luhnow said he had been talking with Melvin for a few weeks and that they resumed talks on Thursday morning. He raved about Gomez.

When Gomez was called into the manager's office by the Brewers on Thursday, he thought they were going to explain to him what happened the day before.

To add to the crazy week Gomez has had professionally, he's also a new dad. Already the father to a 6-year-old boy and a 15-month-old boy, Gomez and his wife welcomed a third child 10 days ago.

Houston's move came a week after the Astros obtained top starter Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics. Seeking its first postseason appearance since 2005, Houston entered Thursday with a one-game lead in the AL West.

The 29-year-old Gomez is hitting .262 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers this season. He is making $8 million this season and $9 million in 2016, then can become a free agent.

Gomez, who won a Gold Glove in 2013, is a nine-year veteran coming off a career-best season last year, when he hit .284 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 73 RBIs and 34 steals. Gomez and Mike Trout are the only players with at least 100 steals and 50 home runs over the last four seasons.

Gomez played for the Mets and the Twins before joining the Brewers in 2010.

>>Giants Trade For Cincinnati RHP Leake

After whiffing on Cole Hamels, the San Francisco Giants got starter Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds for a pair of prospects on Thursday night.

The defending World Series champions acquired one of the hottest pitchers in the majors. The 27-year-old Leake has allowed only two earned runs in his last four starts, all victories.

He threw eight innings of four-hit ball in a 4-0 win in St. Louis on Tuesday, completing his sensational month of July. Overall, Leake is 9-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 21 starts this season.

The Giants trail the Dodgers by a half-game in the NL West and currently are in line for the second wild card behind Pittsburgh. The Reds completed the deal following a 15-5 victory over the Pirates on Thursday night.

San Francisco has won World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14. The Giants thought they needed one more starter to set them up for a down-the-stretch run at another title.

They were interested in Hamels, who waived his no-trade clause to consider the Giants. He ultimately went to Texas, and the Giants went after Leake, who was on their "small list" of pitchers they thought could help them, Evans said.

The move will affect Tim Hudson, who is 6-8 with a 4.80 ERA and hasn't gone seven innings in a game since June 3. Hudson won his first championship after 16 major league seasons last year and plans to retire at the end of 2015.

Cardinals Put Holiday On DL

 width=Matt Holliday is back on the disabled list.

The St. Louis Cardinals placed the All-Star outfielder on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of a recurrence of his right quadriceps injury.

General manager John Mozeliak said an MRI exam showed a grade 2 strain, and Mozeliak wasn't sure how long Holliday will be sidelined. He said tests indicated the injury was not as severe as the one in June.

The Cardinals were 41-21 with Holliday in the lineup and 23-16 without their No. 3 hitter.

Kolten Wong, a leadoff man with 11 homers, was shifted to third in the lineup in place of Holliday. Matt Carpenter batted first.

Holliday was hurt running to first base in the first inning on Wednesday. He missed 31 games from June 9 to July 16, and the Cardinals were 18-13 in his absence.

Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Win Streak Snapped

 width=>>Cubs Top Rockies

Chicago was struggling before Anthony Rizzo got the Cubs back on track with one mighty swing in Milwaukee.

Rizzo hit a three-run homer with two out in the eighth inning, and lifting the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the Brewers on Thursday night.

The Cubs won for the third time in four games since they were swept in a weekend series against lowly Philadelphia. Rizzo finished with three hits and Dexter Fowler went 2 for 4.

Jimmy Nelson pitched seven innings of two-hit ball for Milwaukee, but Chicago rallied in the eighth. Addison Russell and Fowler singled against Jeremy Jeffress before Will Smith (4-2) came in.

Smith retired his first two batters, but Rizzo connected for his 18th homer to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. It was only the second home run allowed by Smith this season.

Chicago added two runs in the ninth on Kris Bryant's sacrifice fly and Kyle Schwarber's RBI single.

Rafael Soriano (2-0) pitched a scoreless seventh, Pedro Strop retired the side in the eighth and Hector Rondon finished for his 14th save in 17 tries.

 width=>>Cardinals Win Slugfest With Rockies

Carpenter hit a pair of home runs and Greg Garcia's bases-loaded walk capped a three-run rally in the ninth inning as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 9-8.

Carpenter went 4 for 5 with four RBIs after moving back to the leadoff spot. It was his first career multihomer game and he has a career-high 12 home runs this season.

Carpenter is hitting .370 (34 for 92) with six homers and 17 RBIs in the leadoff position. He hit .225 (56 for 249) with six homers and 33 RBIs in the 2-hole.

Jhonny Peralta's two-run single off Rockies closer John Axford tied the game at 8-all and Garcia's walk scored Kolten Wong as the Cardinals recorded their seventh walk-off win of the season.

Axford (3-5) took his third loss in his last four outings.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez gave up five runs on 10 hits in five innings. Carlos Villanueva (4-3) earned the win.

The Cardinals snapped a two-game skid and improved to a major league-best 38-15 at home.

 width=>>Red Sox Pounce White Sox

Steven Wright and the slumping Red Sox looked like a long shot against Chris Sale and the surging White Sox on Thursday night.

Then Wright's knuckleball came alive, Sale had his worst start since April, and Chicago's seven-game winning streak came to a surprising end.

Wright pitched seven effective innings and David Ortiz went 3 for 3 with two RBIs, leading Boston to an 8-2 victory.

Xander Bogaerts also had three hits in Boston's third win in 15 games, and Rusney Castillo homered in the seventh. Brock Holt had a key two-run single.

Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer in the first for the White Sox, who head home for a weekend series against the Yankees after a 7-1 road trip moved them into contention for an AL wild card.

The first five batters reached in Boston's four-run sixth before Sale (9-6) was lifted. He allowed seven runs and 12 hits.

All signs pointed to the White Sox completing their first unbeaten road trip of eight or more games since 1951 and reaching .500 for the first time since early May.

But Sale struggled with his location, while Wright (4-4) struck out a career-high eight after a suspect start.

The White Sox, who had four-, five- and two-run first innings in the first three games of the series, added two more when Abreu sent a 1-1 pitch into the Red Sox bullpen for his 17th homer. It also extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
But unlike much of the past week, the Red Sox rallied in a game delayed 51 minutes at the start due to rain.

Ortiz, who entered hitting .162 against left-handers, pulled a 98 mph fastball to right for an RBI double in the first. Hanley Ramirez and Ortiz added two-out RBI singles in the fifth to put Boston ahead 3-2.

Holt chased Sale with his hit in the sixth.

The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak, but not without another bizarre injury involving slumping Pablo Sandoval.

The third baseman, who left Wednesday's game with dehydration, was lost to a bruised left forearm after he was plunked while striking out on Sale's inside fastball to end the fourth.

MLB Scoreboard
American League

Detroit 9
Baltimore 8

Kansas City 2
Toronto 5

NY Yankees 6
Texas 7

Seattle 5
Minnesota 9

LA Angels 0
Houston 3

Cleveland 3
Oakland 1

National League

San Diego 8
NY Mets 7

Washington 1
Miami 0

Atlanta 1
Philadelphia 4

Pittsburgh 5
Cincinnati 15

Beckman Fields Mistreatment Questions At Big Ten Media Day

Illinois coach Tim Beckman brushed off questions about alleged mistreatment of players in his first appearance with reporters since May.

"We focused right now on the 2015 football team," Beckman said Thursday at the Big Ten's football media days. "We've been focused since January on becoming a better football program."

 width=Beckman, entering his fourth Illinois season, has been under fire after offseason allegations by some former players of mistreatment, charges from others that they were forced to play hurt, and claims of physical confrontations with two players.

He also allegedly threatened others with loss of scholarship.

The Chicago Tribune talked to more than four dozen current and former Illinois players in a report published Wednesday. Many former players - recruited under former coach Ron Zook - were critical of Beckman while most current players told the Tribune they were supportive.

An investigation into charges against Beckman is being conducted by a Chicago-based law firm hired by the university. No timetable for completion has been announced.

Beckman, 4-20 in Big Ten play and 12-35 overall, said he appreciates support from the university and even coaching colleagues.

"The people that have reached out to me though this situation, I can't be more thankful," he said. "I think the human nature answer to that is it always feels good, there's no question about that. But, again, we know what we're doing in this program. We understand how this program can get better and better every year because it has. That's reality."

Beckman also avoided a question about the possibility of a contract extension.
"I'm focused on the first football game, that's what this team is focused on," he said.

Rep. Mitchell Responds To Stopping Lawmakers Pay Increases

The Illinois House on Tuesday passed legislation to stop their own pay hikes as Democrats faced increasing pressure during the budget stalemate.

The legislation filed Tuesday stopped lawmakers’ getting their automatic cost-of-living increase that would boost their salaries 2 percent — or nearly $1,400 in addition to their $68,000 base legislative salary. State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) said it is crazy to even think about legislators getting a pay raise during the current budget crisis.

[audio:7301582226-MitchellCola.MP3] [/audio]

Republicans have attempted to pass such legislation for the past several weeks by the Democrats who control the House would not allow the legislation out of committee.

It passed 101-2 and now must go to the state Senate.

Social Security Focused on Cracking Down on Fraud

Social Security fraud continues to be a problem and the government agency is seeking to crack down on it using the public's help.

Jack Myers with Social Security indicates fraud through Social Security is something that seems to always be prevalent, and with that in mind, they are taking measures to stop it.

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To fight fraud, Social Security has started a partnership with the Office of Anti-Fraud Programs administered through the Office of the Inspector General. Myers indicates they will lead investigations for fraud, both internally and externally.

[audio:7301582130-73015ssfraud2.mp3] [/audio]

Myers indicates, the public is also instrumental in helping fight fraud through Social Security. He explains there is a hotline for tips to be given to Social Security. The website is oig.ssa.gov/report or you can call 800-269-0271.

Tips can be made anonymously and Myers says as much information that can be provided is always more helpful.

Animal Control Facility, Marina Making Progress

Projects at the Clinton Lake Marina, with a deadline of the end of the year for completion, took a major step forward last week.

The Board received, and accepted bids for work at the Marina that is being brought up to code within the American Disabilities Act, or ADA. DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg indicates the accepted bids are significant because this will be the final phase of the work needing to be done as outline by the Illinois Attorney General's office.

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Despite record rainfall this summer, Newberg does not believe it has greatly hindered the progress of what is necessary to be done at the Marina. He feels the contractors have been dedicated to getting their work done in a timely manner.

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According to Newberg, the progress of the Marina, along with the relocation of the Animal Control Facility, and even the paramedic services of the County moving, is the fruits of a lot of labor of former County Board Member Dan Ballenger. He notes though, the overall process is the dedication of a lot of people.

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Newberg anticipates the Animal Control group to be able to move into their newly renovated facility sometime this fall, and PSI to take over their building shortly there after.

Bucks Sign F Copeland

 width=The Bucks have signed free-agent forward Chris Copeland, adding veteran depth to their young frontcourt.

General manager John Hammond did not announce terms of the deal Wednesday.

The 6-foot-8 Copeland played the last two seasons in Indiana, averaging 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds in 50 games in 2014-15.

Undrafted out of Colorado in 2006, Copeland played overseas and in the NBA's D-League before breaking into the NBA with New York in 2012-13. Bucks coach Jason Kidd also played on that Knicks team.

While with the Pacers, Copeland was stabbed in the elbow and abdomen outside a New York nightclub early in the morning of April 8.

He has apologized for being out so late on a game night. A Bucks spokesman said Copeland has recovered from his injuries.

Blackhawks To Get New Practice Facility

 width=The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks are getting a new practice facility.

The team says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce a deal Thursday to build a 125,000-square foot facility on the site occupied by Malcolm X College just south of the United Center on the city's West Side. It will include two rinks and also serve as a community ice center.

Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed within two years. Malcolm X is moving to a new campus next year.

The Blackhawks have practiced the past few years at Johnny's IceHouse West in Chicago.

>>Olympic Goalie Jim Craig To Sell Miracle on Ice Collection

The American flag that goalie Jim Craig wrapped around his shoulders after the U.S. Miracle on Ice victory at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics is on the auction block.

The flag is one of 19 items in "The Jim Craig `Miracle on Ice' Collection," which also includes Craig's Olympic gold medal, the jersey he wore against the vaunted Soviet Union and in the gold-medal win against Finland. Also included are the only mask Craig wore during the Winter Games, his skates and goalie equipment, and the goalie sticks from the games against the Soviets and Finland.

Asking price for the collection is $5.7 million. The items are on display through Sunday at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

Lelands.com announced the private sale on Wednesday.

One of the centerpieces of the collection is the flag Craig draped over his shoulders as he skated around the rink searching the stands for his father after the Finland game. The image is well-known in American sports history and the flag is valued at $1 million to $1.5 million. The price of the gold medal is pegged between $1.5 million and $2 million.

Craig joins former U.S. teammate Mike Eruzione, who auctioned several Olympic items just over two years ago, including the jersey he was wearing in the Soviet game. Eruzione, who scored the game-winning goal in that game, netted around $1.5 million and said he sold the Olympic items to benefit his three adult children and a grandson, along with the Winthrop Foundation, which finances charities in his hometown of Winthrop, Mass., just outside Boston.

Craig said he decided to sell the items "so my children and grandchildren will be financially secure in the future." Craig, who has made a living as a motivational speaker, has a 26-year-old son and 24-year-old daughter.

"Over the years, I've loaned my Olympic memorabilia to museums and other venues so it could be accessible to fans to enjoy," Craig said. "It is my hope that whoever purchases this will do the same."

Proceeds from the sale also will benefit several charities that Craig supports.

Hamels To Rangers; Mets/Brewers Deal Nixed

>>Hamels Headed To Rangers

After years of trade speculation, Cole Hamels' time in Philadelphia is ending.
Two people familiar with the deal say the Phillies have agreed to trade the ace left-hander to the Texas Rangers for a package of prospects.

Hamels has a limited no-trade clause but does not have to approve a deal to the Rangers.

Hamels would become the first pitcher in major league history traded during a season immediately after throwing a no-hitter - he no-hit the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

The 2008 World Series MVP was an integral part of the greatest run in franchise history when the Phillies won five straight NL East titles, two pennants and one World Series from 2007-11.

The rebuilding Phillies, a big league-worst 38-64, traded All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon to Washington on Tuesday. Both players made it clear they wanted to play for contenders.

Texas is seven games behind AL West-leading Houston and four games behind Minnesota for the AL's second wild-card spot.

Hamels was 114-90 with a 3.30 ERA in 10 seasons in Philadelphia. He went 7-4 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 postseason starts and also earned MVP honors in the `08 NLCS.

Hamels has three years remaining in a $144 million, six-year contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2019. He's owed $22.5 million per year through 2018 with a club option for 2019 at $20 million or a $6 million buyout. His option becomes guaranteed at $24 million if he throws 400 innings or more in 2017-18, including at least 200 in 2018, and isn't on the disabled list at end of 2018 with left shoulder or elbow injury.

 width=>>Mets Apparent Deal For Carlos Gomez Falls Through

Wilmer Flores wiped away tears as he warmed up at shortstop for the eighth inning, thinking he was being traded from the organization he joined as a teenager.

Manager Terry Collins left the rookie out there. He was trying to win a game and had no idea why Flores was crying.

It turned out Flores became emotional over a rumor: General manager Sandy Alderson said there was no trade after the New York Mets lost 7-3 to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night despite three homers from a suddenly hot Lucas Duda.

Word spread throughout Citi Field in the middle innings about a deal that would've brought Carlos Gomez to the Mets from Milwaukee. Flores was one of the players included in the tweets and internet chatter about the trade.

When Flores came to bat in the seventh fans gave him a standing ovation that in the context of the game was unusual - the Mets were trailing 7-2 and there was no one on base.

When he came out to shortstop for the top of the eighth, Flores began to cry as he warmed up. His eyes were watery and red after the game, too, even though Alderson had apologized to Flores.

Generally when a player is traded mid-game, he is pulled. Collins sent Flores back out to his position because he was not informed of any swap.

"Somebody came to me and said, `Wilmer's crying.' I said, `Why?' `Well he got traded.' `To who? For what?' I didn't know," Collins said, incredulous. "I said, `I don't know what's going on, we've got a game to play.'"

Alderson blamed modern technology.

White Sox Thump Red Sox Again; Cubs Win; Cards Shut Out Again

 width=>>Chi Sox Thump Red Sox Again

Adam Eaton opened the game with a home run, Jose Quintana pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and the White Sox beat the Boston Red Sox 9-2 on Wednesday night for their season-high seventh straight win.

Rumored to be potential sellers at Friday's upcoming non-waiver trade deadline, the White Sox find themselves in their best stretch this season.
It's their longest winning streak since 2012.

Eaton and Melky Cabrera both had three hits, including RBI singles. Alexei Ramirez hit a solo homer for the White Sox, who built a 6-0 lead and chased Boston starter Rick Porcello in the third inning.

Mike Napoli homered and drove in two runs for the Red Sox, who have lost 12 of 14.

Quintana (6-9) allowed two runs and six hits, striking out three and walking one. He gave up Napoli's homer into the Green Monster seats in the seventh.

Porcello (5-11) was tagged for six runs and seven hits in two-plus innings, the second time in five starts he's lasted just two innings. He gave up seven runs in a loss at Toronto on July 1.

 width=>>Cubs Edge Rockies

Jon Lester (6-8) struck out 14, one shy of his career high and the most for a Cubs pitcher in more than a decade, leading Chicago over the Colorado Rockies 3-2 Wednesday.

Hector Rondon then worked around Carlos Gonzalez's two-out walk in a hitless ninth for his 13th save in 16 chances.

Anthony Rizzo hit his first homer since July 7, a wind-blown, two-run drive in the third that glanced off the right-field foul pole for his 17th home run this season.

A day after he was acquired from Toronto, Jose Reyes was 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base in his Rockies' debut. The four-time All-Star, obtained in a trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto, batted second and singled in his first at-bat for Colorado, then was caught stealing.

Chicago leadoff batter Dexter Fowler homered in the first off Eddie Butler (3-7), who allowed three runs and five hits in five innings.

Gonzalez hit his 21st homer, a solo shot off Lester in the seventh. Nolan Arenado hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

 width=>>Reds Blank Cardinals Again, Lose Holiday

Jay Bruce homered in the second to back Anthony DeSclafani's seven innings of three-hit ball, and the Cincinnati Reds shut out the St. Louis Cardinals for the second straight night, 1-0 on Wednesday.

The Reds ended a nine-series losing streak in St. Louis and have won consecutive games at Busch Stadium for the first time since July 6 and Sept. 2, 2011. It was the first time Cincinnati won consecutive games in the same series since June 2006.

Bruce's 17th home run moved him ahead of Barry Larkin into ninth in franchise history with 199 homers.

DeSclafani (6-7) did the rest, walking three and striking out three. Aroldis Chapman collected his 21st save in 22 opportunities.

The Cardinals squandered another strong outing from John Lackey (9-6), who gave up two hits in eight innings and has posted a 1.67 ERA during his last nine outings.

The Cardinals have been shut out for 22 straight innings and have scored in just one of the past 30 innings.

Adding to their problems, outfielder Matt Holliday left the game with a right quad strain after pulling up lame running to first on a double play that ended the first inning. It is the same injury that sidelined Holliday for 31 games earlier this season.

MLB Scoreboard


Pittsburgh 10
Minnesota 4

Arizona 8
Seattle 2

Atlanta 0
Baltimore 2

Philadelphia 2
Toronto 8

Oakland 7
LA Dodgers 10

American League

Kansas City 1
Cleveland 12

Detroit 2
Tampa Bay 1

NY Yankees 2
Texas 5

LA Angels 3
Houston 6

National League

Milwaukee 0
San Francisco 5

San Diego 7
NY Mets 3

Washington 7
Miami 2

Normal Cornbelters Defeat Traverse City Beach Bums

The Normal Cornbelters defeated the Traverse City Beach Bums by a score of 9-7 on Thursday night. 

Tune in tomorrow night, July 31, as the Cornbelters take on the Rockford Aviators. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

GMO Food Bill In House

Food producers will not be forced to identify if their products came from a GMO or genetically modified organism under a bill passing the U-S House.

Congressman Rodney Davis is chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotech, Horticulture, and Research. He says the label will be voluntary.

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says the labeling requirements match what is currently done for organic food.

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Critics of the bill say more testing is needed on GMO's and the label should be mandatory.

Madigan Leading Push Against Lawmaker Pay Hike

The Illinois House voted Tuesday to reject a two-percent cost of living pay raise for lawmakers. Speaker Michael Madigan says the rollback goes further.

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Governor Rauner urged Madigan to sign on to a GOP proposal to reject the pay hikes, but Madigan says he went his own way and saved more money for taxpayers.

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The Senate still must approve the bill. It isn't in session this week.

Apple N' Pork Preparations Ongoing

It may be two months away, but Apple N' Pork Festival organizers are behind the scenes making sure everything is in place fore 2015.

According to Larry Buss, Tourism Director of the CH Moore Homestead, this year's festival continues to come together. He says it seems like each day they are finalizing plans on some aspect of the biggest event in Clinton.

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For this year's festival, Buss indicates there will a few new food booths on the grounds as well as the Civil War reenactors. He says this is a group they are usually able to book about every other year and this is one year they are able to come to Clinton.

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The vendors on the grounds of the Homestead are non-profit groups designated by the CH Moore Homestead Board. The groups in many years, can raise an entire year's budget from the weekend and for others, it is the biggest fundraiser they have. Just a portion of their proceeds go back to the Homestead, otherwise, the groups keep their profits.

This year's festival is September 26-27.

Penguins Trade Star Sutter To Vancouver

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford ranks versatile center Brandon Sutter among of his favorite players. One Rutherford has now traded twice.

The Penguins sent the 26-year-old Sutter to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday in exchange for forward Nick Bonino and defenseman Alex Clendening. The teams also swapped 2016 draft picks, with Pittsburgh getting Vancouver's second-round selection and the Canucks receiving a third-round choice from the Penguins.
Pittsburgh also signed veteran forward Eric Fehr to a three-year deal in a pair of moves that give the Penguins needed forward depth, particularly along the bottom two lines.

 width=Rutherford said the two moves "went hand in hand" as Pittsburgh retools around stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Penguins acquired Phil Kessel from Toronto earlier this month to give Crosby or Malkin a high-profile and dynamic running mate. Shipping Sutter west in exchange for the less-expensive Bonino while also adding Fehr gives coach Mike Johnston more flexibility as the team tries to rally after a disappointing first-round playoff exit.

Sutter was among that group for the past three seasons after Rutherford - then the general manager in Carolina - sent Sutter to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal. A talented two-way player, Sutter is an effective penalty killer with an occasional scoring touch. He tied a career high with 21 goals in 2014-15 but was also entering the final year of his contract and likely due a significant raise next summer. With a large portion of the salary cap eaten up by its star-laden core, Pittsburgh opted to move Sutter - who has a cap hit of $3.3 million in 2015-16 - while it could still get some value from him.

A popular figure in the dressing room, Sutter was a steadying presence. He'll get a chance to do it now in Vancouver, which hasn't won a playoff series since reaching the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.

Wisonsin OKs Bucks Arena Deal

 width=The Wisconsin state Assembly voted Tuesday to spend $250 million in public funds on a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, a deal that both Republicans and Democrats lauded as good for the state and city.

No one spoke against the measure, which passed on a bipartisan 52-34 vote as Bucks coach Jason Kidd and team President Peter Feigin watched from the gallery. They made the rounds before and after the roughly hourlong debate, posing for pictures with both lawmakers and members of the public.

The bill, which passed the Senate on a bipartisan 21-10 vote earlier this month, now heads to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature. Walker, a Republican presidential candidate who was campaigning in Philadelphia at the time of the vote, has been working with lawmakers to reach a deal and was expected to sign it.

Walker called it a "good deal all the way around" while speaking with reporters at Pat's King of Steaks, one of two Philadelphia cheesesteak institutions he visited Tuesday.

NFL Notes: Brady Suspension Upheld; Steelers RB Suspension Reduced

>>Goodell Upholds Brady Ban

The commissioner pointed to concealed evidence. The team described it as a folly. And the agent added sham to the lexicon of "Deflategate."

Then the players' union said it would take it all to court.

Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game was upheld Tuesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell said the New England quarterback told an assistant to destroy Brady's cellphone on or just before March 6. Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells on that day.

 width=Calling the appeal process "a sham," Brady's agent, Don Yee, said Goodell "failed to ensure a fair process" in upholding the quarterback's four-game suspension.
The Patriots used the words "folly" and "incomprehensible" in their statement, then said they "unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady."

Brady acknowledged in his testimony he was aware of investigators' request for information from the cellphone before he had it destroyed, the appeal decision said.

After releasing the report in May, Wells said he had told Brady and Yee he did not need to see his phone and would have accepted a list of communications.
Wells' investigation had no subpoena power and Brady was under no legal obligation to cooperate.

The NFL had some messages from Brady sent to an equipment manager's phone, but investigators wanted to see if Brady's cellphone had other messages related to footballs.

The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback was suspended by NFL executive Troy Vincent in May following the Wells report. The Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a pair of draft picks. The team didn't appeal its penalty, but Brady appealed.

The NFL Players Association said in a statement on Tuesday that it would appeal in court.

>>Steelers RB Bell Has Suspension Reduced

Le'Veon Bell will head back to work a little earlier than the NFL originally planned.
The league reduced the suspension against the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back from three games to two on Tuesday, leaving him eligible to play when the Steelers travel to St. Louis on Sept. 27.

The league initially suspended Bell for the first three games of the 2015 season as part of the fallout from his arrest in August 2014 on DUI and drug charges.

The announcement came the same day the league upheld a four-game suspension against New England quarterback Tom Brady for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship win over Indianapolis

Bell was arrested last August following a traffic stop along with then-teammate LeGarrette Blount. The 23-year-old All-Pro ended up pleading no contest and was sentenced to 15 months of probation and entered into a diversion program.

"Whatever the consequence is, I'm just going to take it and move forward," Bell said on Saturday as the Steelers arrived for training camp.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert reiterated the team's disappointment in Bell's actions, but is optimistic Bell will avoid trouble in the future.

>>Jets Star To Report To Camp Despite Dispute

Big Mo will show for training camp.

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will report to the practice facility on Wednesday with the rest of his teammates despite being unhappy with his contract, according to a person familiar with his plans.

Wilkerson reported for mandatory minicamp last month, but was non-committal about showing for training camp.

"I'm not answering that question," Wilkerson said bluntly last month when asked if he would entertain thoughts of holding out of camp.

He stayed away from the team's facility during voluntary workouts and practices earlier in the offseason while looking for a long-term deal. Wilkerson, one of the key parts of new coach Todd Bowles' defense, is in the last year of his rookie contract and is due to make $6.97 million this season.

"I'm frustrated, yeah," Wilkerson said last month. "I thought that a deal would be made, but at the end of the day, it's a business. These things take time."

The Jets report for camp Wednesday at their facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Wilkerson's decision is not surprising, considering he stood to lose $30,000 per day of camp he skipped, per the league's collective bargaining agreement.

Baseball Notes

>>Nationals Acquire Papelbon From Phillies

The Washington Nationals have a new closer, landing All-Star Jonathan Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies.

That means their newly demoted closer isn't happy.

And the NL East race is shaping up to be a whole lot of fun down the stretch.
On the night the Nationals got Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman back from long stints on the disabled list, they also landed Papelbon from the Phillies and wasted no time announcing that he will be taking over the closer duties from Drew Storen. It didn't help Washington any Tuesday night, as the Nationals lost to the Miami Marlins 4-1.

 width=Washington's loss, combined with the New York Mets' win over San Diego, cut the Nationals' lead in the NL East to one game.

>>A's Ship Utilityman Zobrist To Royals

Back in college, Ben Zobrist once kicked Ned Yost out of his apartment.
He'll now play for Kansas City's manager.

The Royals made another big addition for the season's stretch run on Tuesday, acquiring the versatile Zobrist and nearly $2.6 million from the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Aaron Brooks and minor league left-hander Sean Manaea.

The 34-year-old Zobrist, an infielder and outfielder, batted .268 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 67 games for the A's, who are in last place in the AL West after three straight playoff seasons.

He joins a Royals team that leads the AL in wins and has an eye on winning the World Series after losing in seven games to the San Francisco Giants last October.

Just like that, Zobrist went from a 56-loss team to a title contender. It's the second big move in three days by the Royals, who acquired ace Johnny Cueto from Cincinnati on Sunday.

>>Mets P Mejia Suspended 162 Games For Failed Drug Test

Just back from an 80-game drug suspension, New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was banned for an additional 162 games Tuesday by Major League Baseball following a second positive test for performance-enhancing substances.

The right-hander was suspended April 11 after testing positive for Stanozolol and said in a statement then "I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system."

This time he tested positive for Stanozolol and Boldenone, the commissioner's office said less than an hour before the first pitch of New York's 4-0 victory over San Diego. The two penalties cost Mejia $2,112,869 of his $2,595,000 salary this season.

Mejia returned to the mound July 12 and was 1-0 in seven games, pitching 7 1-3 scoreless innings. Because of the first suspension, he would have been ineligible for the postseason this year - if the Mets make it that far. He would, however, be eligible for the 2016 postseason.

White Sox Blast Red Sox; Cubs, Cards Lose

 width=>>White Sox Pound Red Sox

The Chicago White Sox hit two home runs, one needing a video replay and the other leaving someone in need of a new windshield.

Jose Abreu and Geovany Soto homered and drove in three runs apiece and the surging White Sox won their sixth straight, beating the Boston Red Sox 9-4 on Tuesday night.

It continued as the White Sox quickly spoiled Boston's pregame party for Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez by scoring five runs in the first inning. They scored again in the sixth on a play that qualified as both a great catch and a home run.
Boston center fielder Mookie Betts ran down Abreu's shot deep to right-center field, then went tumbling into Boston's bullpen. Betts grabbed the ball on the run and managed to hold on while twisting his body and hitting the wall with his lower back, but dropped it when he landed.

Initially called the third out, umpires reviewed the play for nearly three minutes before overturning the call and allowing Abreu to round the bases for his 16th homer.

Samardzija (8-5) scattered four hits before unraveling slightly in the ninth, when he was pulled after allowing three straight singles to start the ninth during a meaningless two-run rally. Samardzija allowed four runs and seven hits, struck out three and walked one.

Samardzija had a big lead throughout the game, which Abreu extended to 7-2 on his homer in the sixth. Soto led off the seventh with a solo shot that cleared Fenway Park entirely, breaking the windshield of a car parked in a lot behind the Green Monster on Lansdowne Street.

Chicago tagged Boston starter Wade Miley for 10 hits and seven runs, all earned, over 5 2-3 innings, and finished with 14 hits. The last batter Miley (8-9) faced was Abreu.

Betts left the game and was being evaluated for a concussion.

Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer for Boston in the second to cut Chicago's lead to 5-2. The Red Sox didn't score again off Samardzija until the ninth when an infield single by Hanley Ramirez drove in David Ortiz.

 width=>>Rockies Top Cubs

D.J. LeMahieu had three hits and scored twice to help the Rockies get a win in their first game after trading Troy Tulowitzki, beating Chicago 7-2.

LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an RBI double as part of a four-run first, tripled in the fifth and singled in the ninth to help Colorado won for the third time in five games.

Daniel Descalso, who started at shortstop in this game, made a leaping grab of a line drive by Bryant to end the seventh inning and strand two runners.

Yohan Flande (1-1) got his first career victory, giving up a run and four hits while walking three and striking out four in five innings. He came in 0-7 with a 4.97 ERA and was making his first start since Sept. 24.

Nolan Arenado had a two-run double and Nick Hundley added a run-scoring groundout in the first against Dallas Beeler (0-1). Recalled earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Iowa, Beeler lasted 1 1/3 innings and allowed four runs and four hits while walking three and striking out one.

Dexter Fowler had three hits, Jorge Soler had two, including a run-scoring single in the first, and Chris Coghlan had a pinch-home run in the seventh for Chicago, which has lost four of five.

 width=>>Leake Leads Reds Past Cardinals

If that was Mike Leake's final turn in the rotation with the Cincinnati Reds, he ended with a flourish.

Leake (9-5) allowed four hits in eight innings to win his fourth straight start. He allowed just two earned runs in his last 30 innings for a 0.60 ERA.
So the asking price might be going up on a player eligible for free agency after the season.

Joey Votto hit a three-run home run in support of the right-hander, helping the Reds win for just the fourth time in 11 games.

Votto is the hottest hitter in the majors since the All-Star break, batting .561 with four homers and nine RBIs. He also walked, singled and doubled, giving him an NL-leading 37 multihit games.

Jaime Garcia (3-4), activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day, made his first start since June 24 and gave up three runs and four hits in six innings. He is 10-3 against the Reds, including 7-1 at home.

Garcia held the Reds to one hit before the sixth, when Leake reached on a leadoff single, Brandon Phillips walked with one out and Votto hit his 19th homer, a drive to straightaway center estimated at 418 feet.

Garcia didn't think he missed by much on a 3-2 inside pitch to Phillips that set up the homer.

Votto's one-out single in the fourth ended a string of 8 1-3 hitless innings for Garcia counting a rehab start with Triple-A Memphis. Stephen Piscotty singled for St. Louis' first hit with two outs in the fifth.

Jay Bruce added an RBI single in the ninth off Miguel Socolovich and Aroldis Chapman finished.

Cardinals cleanup man Jhonny Peralta is 2 for 20 against Leake after going 0 for 3 against the right-hander.

MLB Scoreboard


Atlanta 3
Baltimore 7

Philadelphia 3
Toronto 2

Pittsburgh 8
Minnesota 7

Arizona 8
Seattle 4

Oakland 2
LA Dodgers 0

American League

Kansas City 2
Cleveland 1

Detroit 2
Tampa Bay 10

NY Yankees 21
Texas 5

LA Angels 5
Houston 10

National League

San Diego 0
NY Mets 4

Washington 1
Miami 4

Milwaukee 5
San Francisco 2

Illini G Abrams Out For 2nd Season

 width=Illinois point guard Tracy Abrams will miss a second straight season after tearing an Achilles tendon.

Coach John Groce said Tuesday that Abrams tore his left Achilles during practice Monday. Abrams missed last season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Groce said he feels terrible for Abrams. Illinois could ask the NCAA to give the senior another year of eligibility.

The injury leaves Illinois with junior Jaylon Tate starting at point guard. Tate shared the spot last season in Abrams' absence, averaging three assists and 3.6 points per game.

Incoming freshman Jalen Coleman-Lands could also play point guard but is out with a stress fracture in his left leg. Groce has said the injury will be re-evaluated this fall.

Clinton Police Department Seeking Public's Help In Business Burglary

 width=The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a business burglary and criminal damage to property that occurred at 1520 E. South St. in Clinton.

On or around July 22nd 2015, Clinton Police Officers responded to an activated burglary alarm at the Clinton Elks Lodge. Upon arrival, officers discovered that an unknown person or persons had forcibly entered the building, causing damage to property including a video surveillance camera.

Upon gaining entry to the building, suspects stole numerous bottles of liquor.

Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1000.00 when a felony arrest is made as a result of information that you have provided. Anyone with any information regarding this burglary or any other crimes or wanted fugitives is asked to contact the Clinton Area Crime stoppers at 217-935-3333.

Remember Crimestoppers phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.

Crimestoppers wants your information, not your name.

Clinton Police Department Shuffles, Welcomes New K-9 Unit

The Clinton Police Department will be welcoming a new member to the force and at the same time doing some shuffling within the department.

According to Police Chief Ben Lowers, the Department will welcome aboard a new K-9 unit in the next month. He explains they had to decommission their last dog because of health problems, and now they are bringing on a new dog they hope will serve the community in more ways than one.

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In addition to getting a new K-9 unit, the department has done some other reshuffling. The Chief indicates he will become the new DARE officer in the schools and they have appointed a new resource officer for the district as well.

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For Chief Lowers, having a resource officer assigned to the district is more than just checking in with them, he explains he was Officer Jason Yost to be interactive with the students and also hopes to have him take over some of the programs they've started there as well.

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Elsewhere in the department, Chief Lowers indicates they will have a new juvenile investigator. He says that will fully staff their investigations department. The Chief also says this temporarily ends the promotions and shuffling in his office.

Rangers, F Stepan Agree To Long Term Deal

The New York Rangers and center Derek Stepan avoided salary arbitration, agreeing on a six-year contract.

 width=General manager Jeff Gorton announced the deal Monday, hours before a contract arbitration hearing for the 25-year-old Stepan was to be held in Toronto.

Stepan said the two sides have been close to agreement in recent days, but there was no guarantee that it would get done before the arbitration. He said there was "no bad blood" during the talks.

Stepan said the contract was six years in length, adding there was a no-trade clause for the third and fourth years of the deal.

There were several reports it was worth $39 million.

A restricted free agent, Stepan had 16 goals and 39 assists in 68 games as the Rangers posted the NHL's best regular-season record. He also had five goals and seven assists in 19 postseason games, tallying the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 7 against Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Stepan was one of two NHL players who ranked tied for fifth or higher on his respective team in all of the following categories in 2014-15: assists, points, game-winning goals, plus/minus rating, shots on goal, power play goals, power play assists, power play points, short-handed goals, short-handed assists, and short-handed points.

The other was Jonathan Toews of the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

Miami Heat Trade G Napier

The Miami Heat trimmed roster and payroll Monday, trading Shabazz Napier to the Orlando Magic and Zoran Dragic to the Boston Celtics and then waiving forward Henry Walker.

 width=Napier was a first-round selection after leading Connecticut to the 2014 NCAA title and played in 51 games for Miami, averaging 5.1 points and 2.5 assists. Dragic, the brother of Heat guard Goran Dragic, appeared in 16 games. Walker made 24 appearances for the Heat last season.

The moves cut about $4.1 million off next season's payroll, which also takes a sizable bit off Miami's projected tax bill for next season. Zoran Dragic earns $1.7 million this season, Napier will make about $1.3 million and Walker was due $1.1 million - $100,000 of which would have been guaranteed on Aug. 1.

Orlando sent a protected 2016 second-rounder to Miami for Napier. Boston sent a protected 2019 second-rounder for Zoran Dragic, while picking up a 2020 second-rounder and cash to cover his 2015-16 salary.

NFL Notes

>>Arizona Cardinals Hire First Female Coach

The Arizona Cardinals have hired Jen Welter to coach inside linebackers through their upcoming training camp and preseason.

The Cardinals say Welter is believed to be the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL. Welter played running back and special teams in 2014 for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League, becoming the first woman to hold a non-kicking position for a men's professional sports league.

Welter played linebacker for more than 14 seasons in the Women's Football Alliance, mostly with the Dallas Diamonds, where she helped the team win four championships. Welter holds a master's degree in sports psychology. A rugby player at Boston College, she also earned two gold medals on Team USA at the International Federation of Football Women's World Championships in 2009 and 2013.

 width=A news conference was scheduled for Tuesday to introduce Welter and Levon Kirkland, a former Pro Bowl linebacker who is the inaugural participant in the Bill Bidwill Coaching Fellowship established to give recently retired NFL players a chance to coach in the league. He will work with outside linebackers for the next two seasons.

Four months ago at the NFL meetings, Arizona coach Bruce Arians was asked about the possibility of a woman coaching in the NFL.

>>OT Martin Contemplates Retirement

Carolina Panthers offense tackle Jonathan Martin, the lineman harassed during the Miami Dolphins' 2013 bullying scandal, is contemplating retirement following a back injury.

Martin's agent Ken Zuckerman told The Associated Press on Monday his client recently injured his back during a workout. Zuckerman said doctors informed Martin he's not allowed to do any activity for six weeks and needs surgery, putting his availability for the season in question.

NFL.com first reported Monday that Martin planned to retire.

The Panthers said they had no news information regarding Martin's status.

Zuckerman said he advised Martin "not to rule anything out," but added that his client would rather retire than have surgery.

The agent did not want to discuss the exact nature of the injury.

>>Texans Put Clowney on PUP List

The Houston Texans have placed outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney on the physically unable to perform list.

The move means the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft will not be ready for the start of training camp this weekend. But Clowney will be able to return to practice whenever he is ready.

Clowney played just four games as a rookie last season before having season-ending microfracture surgery in December. Monday's move isn't a surprise. The Texans have said they weren't sure if he would be ready for the start of training camp, but they still hope that he will be healthy in time for the season opener.

MLB Trade Deadline Week Heating Up

>>Rockies, Blue Jays Swap Shortstops

A person with knowledge of the situation confirms the Colorado Rockies have traded slugger Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jose Reyes and three pitching prospects in a stunning swap of star shortstops.

In addition to Tulowitzki, the Rockies sent 42-year-old reliever LaTroy Hawkins to the Blue Jays.

Along with Reyes, the Rockies picked up reliever Miguel Castro and two minor league pitchers.

FoxSports.com first reported the teams had agreed to a trade involving Tulowitzki, Reyes and minor leaguers.

The talented but oft-injured Tulowitzki is a five-time All-Star who is hitting .300 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs this season.

 width=>>Angels Acquire OF Victorino

The Los Angeles Angels acquired veteran outfielder Shane Victorino and more than $3.8 million from the Boston Red Sox on Monday for infielder Josh Rutledge.
The 34-year-old Victorino is a two-time World Series champion, a two-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner. He has spent the past three years in Boston, batting .245 in just 33 games this season with two stints on the disabled list.

Overall, Victorino has hit .276 with 108 home runs, 486 RBIs and 229 stolen bases in 12 major league seasons, including stints with San Diego, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Red Sox.

The AL West-leading Angels coveted Victorino's postseason experience after he played a key role for the Phillies' championship team in 2008 and again for the Red Sox's title-winning team in 2013. Victorino memorably hit a grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS to send Boston to the World Series, where he added a key three-run double in the Red Sox's title-clinching victory in Game 6.

Victorino mostly played right field for Boston, but seems likely to play in left field against left-handers for the Angels.

Los Angeles has struggled at the position ever since owner Arte Moreno got rid of $125 million slugger Josh Hamilton in April with no clear replacement. The Angels' left fielders are collectively batting .212 with five homers.

Matt Joyce was expected to be the primary starter in left, but he is batting .178 in an awful season. Joyce also incurred an apparent concussion in Sunday's win over Texas.

Collin Cowgill was batting .180 when he was sidelined May 28 with a sprained right wrist, while Efren Navarro is batting .260 with no homers in 37 games.
Victorino has struggled with injuries throughout his tenure in Boston, although he is currently healthy again.

 width=>>Mets Acquire Reliever Clippard From A's

The active New York Mets acquired first-rate reliever Tyler Clippard from Oakland for a minor league pitcher Monday, completing their second trade in four days and sending another signal they're serious about contending this year.

The suddenly aggressive Mets shipped Casey Meisner to the Athletics in a swap of right-handers that increases New York's payroll by a little more than $2 million.
The 30-year-old Clippard, eligible for free agency after this season, is 1-3 with a 2.79 ERA and 17 saves in 21 chances. The Athletics obtained him from Washington in January.

Oakland also traded starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to Houston last Thursday.

A two-time All-Star, Clippard joins closer Jeurys Familia and gives the Mets an imposing 1-2 punch in the late innings to support their talented rotation.

With former closers Bobby Parnell and Jenrry Mejia also back in the bullpen, manager Terry Collins now has a number of proven relief options - which should take some pressure off the New York starters who have carried the club all season.

After six straight losing seasons and years of rebuilding, the Mets are finally in position to make a playoff run thanks to their stingy pitching staff. The team trails first-place Washington by two games in the NL East and entered Monday 3 1/2 behind San Francisco for the league's second wild card.

Cubs, Cards, Sox Win

 width=>>Bryant Homer Sends Cubs Past Rockies

After coming close to hitting a home run the previous few games, Kris Bryant believed he was due to get one to go out.

He got one in a big situation.

Bryant's two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Chicago Cubs to a 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Colorado had taken an 8-7 lead in the ninth inning on a two-run home run by Carlos Gonzalez - his second of the game. However, Bryant hit the second pitch he saw from John Axford (3-4) over the wall in left-center to give Chicago a dramatic victory and snap a three-game skid.

Trailing 7-4, the Rockies scored four times in the ninth to move ahead. Jason Motte started the ninth by allowing a pinch-home run to Daniel Descalso, a single to Charlie Blackmon and a double to D.J. LeMahieu.

Rafael Soriano (1-0), added to the roster July 20, then came on and gave up Tulowitzki's run-scoring grounder before Gonzalez, who had four hits, roped a two-run home run into right to put Colorado in front.

Gonzalez continued his torrid stretch after hitting five home runs and batting .476 last week. He hit his 19th homer of the season in the third off Kyle Hendricks to give Colorado a 2-0 lead.

LeMahieu's two-run single in the fourth doubled the Rockies' lead.
Two days after being no-hit by Philadelphia's Cole Hamels, Bryant and Jorge Soler had RBI singles and Chris Denorfia added a run-scoring grounder to pull the Cubs to 4-3 as part of a six-run fourth. Starlin Castro, who had been hitless in his previous three games, then singled to left to drive in two and put the Cubs in front.

Addison Russell's double then drove in Castro, capping the inning and ending the night for Jorge De La Rosa. De La Rosa, who was looking for his third victory of the month, gave up the six runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out two.

Chicago added a run in the sixth on Nolan Arenado's throwing error on Castro's grounder, bringing Denorfia in all the way from first and giving the Cubs seven or more runs for the first time since July 7 against St. Louis.

Hendricks pitched five-plus innings and allowed four runs and seven hits while walking three for Chicago, which was coming off a three-game sweep by lowly Philadelphia to slip 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the second National League wild-card spot.

 width=>>Kolton Wong Grand Slam Sends Cards Past Reds

Kolten Wong came through with the bases loaded. When faced with the same predicament, Lance Lynn minimized the damage.

Wong hit a grand slam that backed Lynn's seven resourceful innings and led the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 Monday night.

Wong connected on a 3-2 fastball from rookie Raisel Iglesias (1-3) with two outs in the fourth, putting St. Louis ahead 4-1. Wong's second career grand slam easily cleared the right-field wall, landing in the home bullpen.

The Cardinals have won six of seven. They are a big league-best 64-35 and lead the NL Central by 6 1/2 games.

Lynn (8-5) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, improving to 7-3 against the Reds. He has won five of his last six decisions overall.

Trevor Rosenthal earned his 31st save in 33 chances after getting two days off.

Jay Bruce hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the third for the Reds, who have lost seven of 10.

The Reds loaded the bases with none out in the third before Bruce's sacrifice fly. The next batter, Brayan Pena, grounded into a double play.

Yadier Molina doubled and Stephen Piscotty singled to start the fourth. Bourjos was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out ahead of the slam by Wong - also his 100th hit.

 width=>>Sox Win Slugfest With BoSox

Adam Eaton was given some unusual advice on what to do between at-bats in his first appearance as a designated hitter.

It must have worked. He made his time at the plate look easy.

Eaton, inserted as the DH because of a sore left shoulder, had three hits and drove in two runs to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 10-8 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.

It was the fifth straight win for the White Sox, coming off a four-game sweep at home over Cleveland.

Eaton had a triple, double and single to key Chicago's 15-hit night. He opened the game with his triple, sparking a four-run first.

Boston's David Ortiz homered for the third time in two games, hitting a two-run shot after a career-best, seven-RBI night that included two three-run homers in a win Sunday.

Mookie Betts added three hits and two RBIs for the Red Sox, who have lost 10 of 12.

Ortiz homered into the center-field bleachers, the 486th of his career, in the first, about 90 minutes after the club traded outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels in a deal for a minor league infielder.

In a seesaw contest that saw both teams squander leads, the White Sox broke a 7-all tie in the seventh against Robbie Ross Jr. (0-1).

J.B. Shuck doubled leading off and scored on Tyler Flowers' single. One out later, Eaton hit an RBI single.

Danks didn't give up a run in his previous two starts, covering 12 2-3 innings.

Matt Albers (1-0) got five outs in scoreless relief. David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.

Boston's Joe Kelly, making his second start after being demoted to the minors, gave up five runs - four earned - in 3 1-3 innings.

Third baseman Tyler Saladino's second error, when he bounced a throw past first, allowed Boston to take a 7-6 edge, but the White Sox tied it on Eaton's RBI double.

Trailing 5-4 in the fourth, Boston scored twice to grab its first lead. Betts' RBI single tied it before Saladino booted Hanley Ramirez's bouncer with the bases loaded.

Boston's Ryan Hanigan had a passed ball that scored a run, tying it at 6.

The White Sox jumped ahead 4-0 in the first, scoring three before making an out. Eaton and Saladino opened the game with consecutive triples, Melky Cabrera had an RBI double and Shuck a run-scoring grounder. The fourth scored on Alexei Ramirez's double-play grounder.

The Red Sox will retire Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez's No. 45 in a pregame ceremony before Tuesday's contest. It'll be the eighth Red Sox number retired - the first of a pitcher.

MLB Scoreboard

Atlanta 1 Final/11
Baltimore 2

Arizona 4 Final/10
Seattle 3

American League

Kansas City 9
Cleveland 4

Detroit 2
Tampa Bay 5

NY Yankees 6
Texas 2

National League

Milwaukee 2
San Francisco 4

North Dakota State, Illinois State Tops in Missouri Valley Football Polls

 width=Four-time defending Football Championship Subdivision winner North Dakota State is favored to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

A poll of league coaches, media and sports information directors released Monday shows that NDSU earned 32 of a possible 40 first-place votes for 389 points. Illinois State, the team the Bison edged in last year's FCS championship, received the other eight first-place votes and 366 points.

Northern Iowa is picked third with 300 points, followed by Youngstown State with 265, South Dakota State with 251, Indiana State with 180, Southern Illinois with 143, Western Illinois with 139, Missouri State with 91 and South Dakota with 66.

NDSU and Illinois state shared the conference title a year ago. The Missouri Valley has six national titles in 30 years as a conference.

DJWH Begins Process of Bringing on Full Time CEO

For over a year, the Dr. John Warner Hospital has been a revolving door for leaders at the City owned hospital, but now, their may finally be some stability.

The CEO position has seen it's share of leaders come through the doors of the facility and according to Aaron Kammeyer, the Hospital Board President, things may be changing by not changing at all. He explains they are taking the steps to make Paul Skowron the Hospital's CEO on a two-year contract.

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According to Kammeyer, a survey of hospital employees showed they wanted stability in the leadership position, and favored a CEO. He feels Skowron will be a great fit for the hospital and to take them into the future.

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Skowron comes to the DJWH with experience in Clinton but Kammeyer says it is his experience elsewhere can be beneficial to the city owned facility.

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Because the contract has to be approved by the Clinton City Council, Kammeyer anticipates everything being finalized by the middle of August.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 28

Jail Population: 23

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 1

Thanh Vo, 40, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Obstructing Identification/ Failure to Appear. Vo posted the necessary bond and was released.

Anthony Smallwood, 66, Clinton was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct. Smallwood posted the necessary bond and was released.

Anthony Facchinelio, 54, Maroa was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Facchinelip was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Roach, 49, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 64 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Roach was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Chasity Denham, 25, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 65 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Denham was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




Illinois House Votes to Block Automatic Pay Raise; Measure Goes to Senate

Well, there might not be a new state budget, but lawmakers Tuesday afternoon did agree on one thing: rescending the automatic pay increases of Illinois state legislators.

The Illinois House voted 101 to one, to block the pay raise. The bill now goes to the Illinois Senate, which won't be in session again until August 4th.

Governor Bruce Rauner lauded the House vote, saying that he appreciated Tuesday's action in the House and thanked the members who he said showed leadership on the issue.

Rauner added that he encourages Illinois Senate President John Cullerton to swiftly move the legislation to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Normal Cornbelters Fall to Traverse City Beach Bums

The Normal Cornbelters fall to the Traverse City Beach Bums by a score of 1-0 on Tuesday night. 

Tune in tomorrow night, July 29, as the Cornbelters take on the Traverse City Beach Bums. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Donald Trump Sore Subject in Springfield This Week

Donald Trump's name hasn't been too popular in Springfield, Illinois this past week Abe Lincoln's hometown has been hosted the Vietnam Veterans of America National Convention.

Former POW William Robinson spent seven a half years in captivity. He believes Trump said POW turned Arizona Senator John McCain was not a hero, for political gain. He believes Trump's move exploits Vietnam veterans.

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Trump's claim doesn't sit well with Robinson.

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Robinson was held for seven and a half years starting in 1965. That was longer than any other enlisted man.

Workers Respond To Mitsubishi Plant's Announced Closure

Bloomington-Normal and towns for miles around are responding to word that Mitsubishi is closing its Bloomington-Normal plant late this year.

Production has slipped from over 200-thousand vehicles in 2002 to 64,000 a year as Mitsubishi's share of the U.S. market has fallen below one percent. Marc Passoni is a former employee of the plant and has a number of relatives collecting a check there.

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He says the disappointment is heightened by previous talk of expansion.

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In November, Mitbushi will be the first Japanese automaker to cease production in Europe and North America, although they have no plans to abandon the U.S. car market.. Nearly 13-hundred workers will be impacted by the closure.

New Lincoln College President Proposing Big Plans

 width=The newest leader of one of the area's higher education institutions is proposing big changes.

Lincoln College recently hired Dr. David Gerlach as the President of the school and he comes to central Illinois hoping to shake things up. Dr. Gerlach indicates he plans to start offering four-year degrees as soon as next year.

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According to Dr. Gerlach, the University in New York he was at prior to Lincoln College, he took them from a two-year university and transformed them to a four-year university. He points out, Lincoln College started as a four-year college and hopes to go back to that.

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The first year President says with the dreams of academic expansion will come the need for expansion on their campus. Dr. Gerlach says the facilities at Lincoln College are older, yet well kept, and he has dreams of seeing the campus and college continue to grow.

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Dr. Gerlach also praised the new facilities the campus has. The campus in the last couple years has added a new sports facility that also houses a state of the art museum dedicated to the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Additionally, he feels the staff in place has impressed him early on and looks forward to working with them to continue to improve and advance the school.

Sen. Durbin Salutes Nuclear Deal With Iran

Senator Dick Durbin tried to take colleagues to history class this week. He cited a number of past arms reduction deals in expressing his continued support for the agreement to prevent a nuclear armed Iran.

He says under the deal, the US won't just turn a blind eye to Iran's actions.

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Durbin referred to President Reagan's arms talks with the Soviet Union that led to destruction of more than 2,500 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles. While many expressed concerns about the treaty proposal at the time, Durbin says the destruction of the missiles and eventual end of the Cold War shows the benefits of such deals.

Allerton Park In Midst of Mansion Upgrades

 width=Those who frequent Allerton Park may have noticed in recent weeks, the estate's mansion undergoing some minor renovations.

According to Matt Smith, with Allerton in Monticello, the mansion is receiving some minor roof work that addresses it's age. While the need has been there, Smith notes, the funding hasn't.

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Smith explains the repairs to the roof of the mansion at Allerton Park are the beginning phases of a master play they've recently adopted. He explains it outlines goals for the 30 years.

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Among other aspects of the master plan, Smith explains they hope to see areas of the inside of the mansion renovated to provide more space and opportunities for their guests.

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Smith explains there is often the perception, because the park is associated with the University of Illinois, they receive funding from the University, so that keeps them afloat, but in reality, they rely very little on the University, therefore, much of the funding has to come from their own efforts.

Smith says, that is going to be one of the big steps they focus on in the near-future as a part of the master plan.

County Board Chair Discusses H&M Trucking, County's Role in the Matter

Thursday night's DeWitt County Board meeting was attended by more than usual thanks to an issue that has a lot of the community concerned.

Odors permiating from a pond at H&M Trucking outside Clinton have residents across the community concerned and Thursday night, a group voiced their concerns and frustrations with the County Board hoping to find aid from the leaders of the County.

Board Chair David Newberg sympathizes with the group of residents and feels both parties are frustrated by the situation but wants the County, the group of residents and the business to work together to find a resolution. Newberg also feels the best avenue for action should be through the State's Attorney.

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Community leaders have recognized this issue could be viewed as targeting H&M Trucking however Newberg sides with others that have voiced an opinion relating to not targeting H&M but rather working alongside them as a community partner to remedy a temporary problem. He hopes for a positive solution for everyone.

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Several members of the public addressed the County Board Thursday night, and Newberg says the idea of reduced property taxes came up in that discussion. He says that is not a solution.

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Newberg continues to ask for all parties to work together to get the issue resolved to the satisfaction of everyone.

Day's Hot Streak Leads To Canadian Open Win

 width=Jason Day birdied his final three holes to shoot a 4-under 68 and win by one shot over Bubba Watson at the Canadian Open.

Day finished the week at 17-under-par 271 and picked up his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour. Day also won the Farmers Insurance Open in a four-way playoff in February.

Watson rallied with five birdies in his last six holes en route to a 3-under 69, but he came up one shot short. The two-time Masters champion ended alone in second at 16-under 272.

Canadian David Hearn, looking to become the first player to win his national open since Pat Fletcher in 1954, held a 2-shot lead going into the day. He finished in third at 15-under 273 following an even-par 72.

Jim Furyk carded a 3-under 69 at Glen Abbey Golf Club to finished in fourth at minus-14. Tom Hoge (66) and Stewart Cink (66) ended one shot further back in fifth at 13-under 275.

Day now has three straight top-10 finishes, with two of those coming at the U.S. Open (tie for ninth) and the British Open (tie for fourth) and has a top-10 finish in half of his starts on tour this season.

Up next on the PGA Tour is the Quicken Loans National, where Justin Rose topped Shawn Stefani in a playoff last year.

Caps Sign G Holtby To Extension

 width=The Washington Capitals signed restricted free agent goaltender Braden Holtby to a five-year contract Friday.

The deal is worth $30.5 million.

Holtby had a breakout 2014-15 season for Washington, leading the league in games played and saves. He set a career high in wins with 41 and posted a 2.22 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

In 13 postseason games, he led the league with a 1.71 GAA and .944 save percentage when Washington was eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Rangers.

For his career, the 25-year-old Holtby has played in 178 games with the Capitals, owning a 2.44 GAA and .921 save percentage.

Holtby previously filed for arbitration with an $8 million asking price. The Capitals offered $5.1 million in advance of the hearing.

Ohio State's Miller Wants To Switch Positions

Ohio State's Braxton Miller could move from quarterback to wide receiver for the 2015 season.

 width=Miller was a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as the Buckeyes' signal caller before missing the entire 2014 season with a right shoulder injury. Ohio State went on to win the national championship behind quarterback Cardale Jones, who took over for the Big Ten Championship Game and played the two College Football Playoff games after J.T. Barrett was hurt late in the season.

When all three decided to return for 2015, head coach Urban Meyer gave no indication as to which of the trio would emerge as the starter.

Miller told SI.com on Thursday he was switching positions to wide receiver, but Meyer was quoted by the Columbus Dispatch as saying that the idea has been discussed and that no definitive decision has yet been made.

Miller was considered a Heisman Trophy candidate heading into the 2014 season after leading Ohio State to a 24-0 regular-season mark in 2012 and 2013. He racked up 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns passing and 1,068 yards and 12 scores rushing in 2013.

After injuring his shoulder last August, Barrett was named the starter and led Ohio State to an 11-1 regular-season mark. He suffered a broken ankle in the regular-season finale against Michigan, leaving Jones as the starter.

Jones led the Buckeyes to a 59-0 win over Wisconsin for the Big Ten crown in his first start, then helped Ohio State beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon in the National Championship Game.

Should Miller make the transition to receiver, Barrett and Jones would likely vie for the starter's role.

NFL Notes

>>Steelers Extend GM Colbert Two-Years

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced a two- year contract extension for general manager Kevin Colbert on Saturday.

The news came two days after head coach Mike Tomlin received a two-year extension, also through the 2018 season.

Colbert, 58, is entering his 16th season with the Steelers and his fifth year as their general manager. He served as the team's director of football operations for 11 years before he was named GM in 2011.

During his tenure, the Steelers have won two Super Bowl titles, three AFC championships and seven division titles.

>>Vikings Extend Kicker

The Minnesota Vikings announced a contract extension for kicker Blair Walsh on Sunday.

 width=Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

Walsh was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and earned Pro Bowl honors as a rookie with 141 points. He set an NFL record that season by making 10 consecutive field goals of at least 50 yards.

The 25-year-old Georgia product has connected on 87-of-103 field goal tries and all but one of his 109 extra-point attempts in his three seasons. His 17 field goals of at least 50 yards are the most in team history.

>>Cardinals Ink TE Gresham

The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms with tight end Jermaine Gresham on a one-year contract on Friday.

Gresham, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, caught 62 passes for 460 yards and five touchdowns in 15 starts with Cincinnati last season.

Drafted 21st overall by the Bengals in 2010, Gresham has recorded 280 receptions for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns in 74 games (67 starts) over five seasons.

Gresham is just one of three tight ends (San Diego's Antonio Gates and Carolina's Greg Olsen) with at least 40 catches, 400 yards and four scores in each of the last five seasons.

Kyle Busch Wins Again

Kyle Busch won his third consecutive race in the Sprint Cup Series after holding off Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick in a green-white-checkered finish in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

One day after winning the 250-mile Xfinity Series race at this historic 2.5- mile track, Busch grabbed the lead from Harvick following a restart with 12 laps to go and then pulled away from the field in two more restarts, including the final one for a two-lap overtime finish. He crossed the finish line 0.3 seconds ahead of Logano, who won the Daytona 500 earlier this year. Harvick, who led the most laps in this event with 75, placed third.

Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, started ninth and led a total of 19 laps. He became the first driver to win three or more races in a row in NASCAR's premier series since 2007 when Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat.

 width=Busch moved up to 32nd in the standings. He is now 23 points behind 30th- place Justin Allgaier, as six races remain before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins. Busch must finish in the top-30 in points when the regular season concludes on Sept. 12 at Richmond in order to qualify for the Chase.

He missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races this season after he suffered a fractured lower right leg and left foot during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity season-opener at Daytona. He returned to competition a little more than two months ago and has started in nine points-paying events since.

Busch is now tied with Johnson for most Sprint Cup victories this season with four.

Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, was trying to become the fourth driver to win the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. He was also hoping to deliver team owner Roger Penske his first Sprint Cup victory at Indy. Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 a record 16 times, including a victory this year with driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth, and Denny Hamlin was fifth. Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski completed the top-10. Johnson, a four-time winner at Indy, placed 15th and Tony Stewart, a two-time winner here, 28th.

Jeff Gordon, who made his 22nd and final start in the Brickyard 400, finished 42nd after he was involved in an accident with Bowyer in the early going and spent more than 50 laps in the garage for repairs. Gordon is a record five- time winner of this prestigious race, including a victory here last year.

Baseball Notes

 width=>>Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio Enshrined Into Cooperstown

Pedro Martinez punctuated Sunday's National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony with a speech delivered in two languages.

The Dominican-born ex-pitcher, who spoke last said quote-"I don't know if I will find the words in Spanish or English, but my God I'm thankful, I'm thankful for everything."

Martinez entered the Hall alongside Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio -- the first time in 60 years that as many as four players were inducted, and the first time three pitchers made it in the same year.

Named on 91.1 percent of the ballots, Martinez led the majors in earned-run average five times between 1997-2003, bottoming out with a 1.90 ERA in the first year of the run with Montreal during a season when he threw 13 complete games on the way to the first of his four Cy Young Awards.

The right-hander played 18 seasons for the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets and Phillies, going 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts in 2,827 1/3 innings. He won back-to-back AL Cy Young Awards in 1999-2000 for Boston.

Johnson received the most votes of the bunch, named on 97.3 percent of the 549 ballots.

The fearsome 6-foot-10 left-hander ended his 22-year career after collecting 4,875 strikeouts -- second all-time to Nolan Ryan -- in 4,135 1/3 innings while playing for six teams, most notably the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.

He won the first of five Cy Young Awards with Seattle in 1995, then later four in a row for Arizona. He won a World Series title with the Diamondbacks in 2001 and finished his career in 2009 with a 303-166 record and a 3.29 ERA.

"So many of the reasons I've been inducted into the Hall of Fame are long gone now," Johnson said, before joking: "I no longer have a fastball, I no longer have a bad mullet and my scowl is long gone."

"I'm so happy to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame," he continued, "and to be in the greatest fraternity of all-time."

Johnson wasn't the only one who looked different.

Smoltz, who spoke for nearly 30 minutes, donned a wig and joked while addressing fellow Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who also starred for the Atlanta Braves during the 1990s, that he used to have more hair.

"When I got the call letting me know that I had been inducted into the Hall of Fame," Smoltz said, "words and emotions could not describe it. The phone rang and I was just thankful that Greg Maddux had not pulled off the ultimate prank."

Smoltz, elected with 82.9 percent of the votes, excelled as both a starter and closer over his 21-year career, with all but 15 of his 723 career appearances coming with the Braves.

Playing the bulk of his career on a team that won 14 consecutive division titles, Smoltz went 213-155 with a 3.33 ERA in his career and also racked up 154 saves -- all between 2001-04. He won a World Series with the Braves in 1995 and captured the 1996 NL Cy Young Award.

Biggio was the only one of the four players not elected on his first time on the ballot -- he made it on his third -- and became the first player to enter the Hall as a Houston Astro.

The seven-time All-Star spent his entire 20-year career -- all 2,850 games -- with Houston, batting .281 with 3,060 hits, 291 home runs, 668 doubles, 1,175 RBI, 414 stolen bases and a .363 on-base percentage. Known for his ability to play multiple positions, Biggio appeared in 428 games as a catcher, 363 as an outfielder and 1,989 at second base.

"What an honor it is to be here in front of these men," he said on the stage full of Hall of Famers. "I played against a lot of them and respected all of them."

>>Royals Acquire Ace Cueto Ahead of Friday Trade Deadline

The Kansas City Royals got star pitcher Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds in a four-player trade on Sunday.

The Royals acquired the Reds ace in exchange for left-handed pitchers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed.

Cueto, 29, was 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts for the Reds this season and will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The right-hander has gone 92-63 with a 3.21 ERA in his first eight major league seasons, all with the Reds. He finished in the top five in NL Cy Young voting twice over the past three seasons, including second to the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw last year.

Sweep Indians; Cubs Swept By Philly; Cards Lose

 width=>>Sox Complete Sweep of Indians

Carlos Sanchez homered as the Chicago White Sox earned a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

Carlos Rodon (4-3) was solid over 6 2/3 innings, scattering five hits and striking out nine.

Melky Cabrera added an RBI for the White Sox, who had lost four straight before entering Cleveland.

Danny Salazar (8-6) was given the loss after going 6 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on six hits and eight strikeouts.

Sanchez hit his second dinger of the season in the third inning to give the White Sox the lead.

Rodon did not need much more support, but Cabrera added an RBI single in the seventh for a two-run lead.

Chicago's bullpen took over after Rodon, with David Robertson earning his 21st save of the season despite giving up a run in the ninth.

American League Scoreboard
Baltimore 5, Tampa Bay 2
New York 7, Minnesota 2
Kansas City 5, Houston 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 13, Texas 7
Seattle 6, Toronto 5 (10 innings)
San Francisco 4, Oakland 3
Boston 11, Detroit 1

 width=>>Braves Beat Cardinals

Adonis Garcia's first career home run proved to be the difference in the Atlanta Braves' 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

Matt Wisler (5-1) allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings for the Braves, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Michael Wacha (11-4) was tagged for three runs on five hits and three walks in six innings for St. Louis.

Ryan Lavarnway opened the scoring with an RBI double in the second, then Cameron Maybin knocked him in with a single for a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis tied the game with a run in the fourth and fifth innings. Stephen Piscotty drove Jason Heyward in with a single in the fourth and Matt Holliday doubled home Kolten Wong in the fifth.

Garcia broke up the tie with a dinger off Wacha in the sixth.

Jim Johnson came on in the ninth for his ninth save.

 width=>>Nola Leads Phils Past Cubs For Series Sweep

Aaron Nola earned his first major-league win a day after Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter and the Philadelphia Phillies routed the Chicago Cubs 11-5 on Sunday to finish off a three-game sweep.

Nola (1-1) had six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks. The 22-year-old right-hander, who helped himself with an RBI single, lost his major league debut on Tuesday despite giving up just one run on a homer by Tampa Bay pitcher Nathan Karns.

Hamels struck out 13 on Saturday, becoming the first pitcher to no-hit the Cubs since Sandy Koufax's perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965.

The Phillies cranked out 17 hits on Sunday for their eighth win in nine games. Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard each hit two-run homers -- Franco had three RBI -- and Domonic Brown doubled, tripled and drove in three.

Cubs catcher David Ross pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, then homered in the bottom of the inning. Dexter Fowler and Addison Russell also homered for the Cubs, who have lost four of five.

The Phillies scored three runs before Cubs starter Jason Hammel (5-5) got an out. Cesar Hernandez led off the game with a single, Odubel Herrera tripled to right and Franco homered to left, the rookie's 11th of the season.

The Cubs scored in the bottom of the first on Kris Bryant's long sacrifice fly and again in the third on Fowler's ninth dinger of the season.

But the Phillies pushed their lead to 6-2 with three runs in the fourth. Cody Asche led off with a triple and Brown and Cameron Rupp hit consecutive RBI doubles. Nola added an RBI single before Hammel was pulled.

Brown stroked a two-run triple in the fifth, Philadelphia's third of the game, Franco hit an RBI double in the sixth and Howard homered in the eighth.

Russell homered off Nola in the eighth.

National League Scoreboard
New York 3, Los Angeles 2 (10 innings)
Pittsburgh 3, Washington 1
Arizona 3, Milwaukee 0
San Diego 3, Miami 2
San Francisco 4, Oakland 3
Colorado 17, Cincinnati 7

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 24

Jail Population: 23

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 1

Thanh Vo, 40, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Obstructing Identification/ Failure to Appear. Vo posted the necessary bond and was released.

Anthony Smallwood, 66, Clinton was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct. Smallwood posted the necessary bond and was released.

Anthony Facchinelio, 54, Maroa was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Facchinelip was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Roach, 49, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 64 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Roach was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Chasity Denham, 25, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 65 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Denham was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




Clinton Schools Set Registration Times




Wednesday, August 5 All Students 9:00 – 1:00pm
4:00 – 7:00pm

Thursday, August 6 All students 9:00 – 1:00pm
4:00 – 7:00pm


Wednesday, August 5 6th Grade 9:00 – 1:00pm
4:00 – 7:00pm

Thursday, August 6 7th and 8th Grade 9:00 – 1:00pm
4:00 – 7:00pm


Wednesday, August 5 A - M 9:00 – 1:00pm
4:00 – 7:00pm

Thursday, August 6 N - Z 9:00 – 1:00pm
4:00 – 7:00pm

In order to be accepted for registration in the Clinton Unit Schools for the 2015-2016 school year, kindergarten students must reach their fifth birthday on or before September 1, 2015.

All students who are entering Clinton Unit Schools for the first time are required to present a certified copy of their birth certificate as evidence of date of birth. This would include preschool, kindergarten students and those students transferring into the Clinton Unit Schools, regardless of age or grade level.

All parents and guardians will be required to show evidence of residency at registration. This can be done by showing a driver’s license, voter registration card, or a picture identification that reflects your address.

Medical examinations and immunizations are required of the following students: (a) all kindergarten and preschool students entering for the first time; (b) all first grade students who did not attend kindergarten last year and do not have a health record on file; and, (c) all students entering the sixth and ninth grade. PLEASE BRING PHYSICAL AND IMMUNIZATION RECORDS TO REGISTRATION. State law requires that all of the above students file a complete medical examination and immunization record on or prior to the opening of school on August 19, 2015. In addition to the normal requirements, a diabetes screening shall be included as a required part of the health examination. Lead screening is a required part of the health examination for children age six years or younger. A dental exam is required for all students in kindergarten, second and sixth grades by May 15 of that grade level. Eye exams by a registered optometrist will be required for all kindergarten students.

Supply lists for preschool through grade 5 will be posted in each building during registration.

The school breakfast and lunch program will begin on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Prices are as follows:

Breakfast: $1.25
K-8 Lunches: $1.75
9-12 Lunches: $2.00
Adult Lunches: $2.50
Milk .30

Lunch deposits for the elementary schools, Junior High and High School can be made during registration and anytime online.

PLEASE NOTE: During the school year lunch deposits at the High School and Junior High should ONLY BE MADE AT BREAKFAST. No charging of lunches will be permitted.



Grades K-5:
Insurance – Full-Time Coverage $ 60.00
Book Rental/Tech Fee 75.00

Grades 6-8:
Insurance – Full-Time Coverage $ 60.00
Book Rental/Tech Fee 79.00

Grades 9-12:
Insurance – Full-Time Coverage $ 60.00
Book Rental/Tech Fee 79.00

Additional Fees:
High School:
Football Insurance $110.00
Physical Education Uniform cost
Sports 60.00 per sport/$120 maximum
Science/Fine Arts/Vocational 20.00 per year/$10.00 per sem.
Behind the Wheel 160.00
Dance Squad 60.00

Junior High School:
Ind. Arts/Home Ec./7th & 8th Art $ 10.00 per semester
7th & 8th Science 10.00 per semester
Eighth Grade Promotion-Gown Fee cost
Physical Education Uniform cost
Sports 60.00 per sport/$120 maximum
Vocational 10.00 per semester
Please Note: All course fees are payable with book rental payment.

Admission prices for the following sports: football, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling.
$3.00 for Adults
$2.00 for Students
$0.00 for Senior Citizens (62 years and older)

Family Pass: $100.00 – Family pass allows immediate family access to all football, volleyball, basketball and wrestling contests.

Single Season Pass – Number of home games minus 1 student/adult/senior fee. This pass is
good for the season for which it was purchased.

School-time insurance coverage is provided for each student by the school district at no cost. Brochures explaining this coverage will be available to students and parents at registration. If parents have their own insurance coverage, the school accident coverage can help fill the gaps in coverage left by deductibles or coinsurance payments. This insurance is designed to be a co-insurance with your insurance plan and coverage. Additional insurance plans that can be purchased include 24-hour, school year coverage and high school football coverage.

Parents are encouraged to pay for all fees on the date of registration. Any parent who feels they are unable to pay the book rental fee or meals for their children, and desire to apply to the Board of Education for free textbooks or free or reduced meals, should obtain the necessary request forms on registration day. These request forms should be completed and submitted to the building principal at the time of registration. Only one form is needed for each family.

Wednesday, August 19 will be the first full day of school for all students.

ORIENTATION – Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st and 6th grade

Lincoln & Douglas Schools Preschool – August 19, 2015, 8:30am – 12:30pm. This is a time to meet the teacher.

Lincoln School Kindergarten & 1st Grade – August 17, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm. This is a time to drop off supplies and meet the teacher.

Douglas School Kindergarten & 1st Grade – August 18, 2015, 2:00pm – 4:00pm. This is a time to drop off supplies and meet the teacher.

Junior High – August 13, 2015, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Clinton Police Weekend Report










Monsanto Makes Donation To Farmer City Fire Protection District

Employees from Monsanto’s Farmer City production site selected Farmer City Fire Protection District to receive a $10,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund’s 2015 site grant initiative.

Funds from the grant will be used to upgrade equipment by purchasing new bottles for their Self-Contained Breathing Apparatuses, which hold filtered, compressed air to help firefighters breathe in smoky or contaminated environments.

Rick Hardesty, Farmer City Fire Protection District assistant chief says the new equipment will improve the quality of rescue service they provide if extrication is needed

He calls the relationship they have with Monsanto "great", and says they have had many joint training opportunities with them, including extensive fire and rescue trainings.

Farmer City Fire Protection District has used previous grants from the Monsanto Fund to purchase many tools critical to their operations, such as high-angle rescue equipment.

Clint Rauch, Farmer City site lead says partnering with first-responder organizations is a great way to impact the entire community.

This year, the Monsanto Fund awarded more than $1.2 million to nonprofit organizations through the site grant initiative to help address essential needs in rural communities. Emergency response organizations across the country have received $3.4 million from the fund since 2010.

Normal Cornbelters Fall to Gateway Grizzlies

The Normal Cornbelters were defeated by the Gateway Grizzlies by a score of 5 to 2 Sunday afternoon, finishing off the series.


Tune in Tuesday July 27th at 6:20 p.m. as the Cornbelters take on the Traverse City Beach Bums. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

Sen. Radogno Calls For Reset of State's Business, Economic Climate

With Illinois lawmakers into the third week of the new fiscal year with no budget in place, Democrats and Republicans continue to point the blame for the stalemate at the other side. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:7251592626-RADOGNORESET.mp3] [/audio]

Several recent studies using U.S. Census data have indicated a loss of population in Illinois, which includes border towns where people are moving to neighboring states for a variety of reasons including the economy and jobs opportunities.

Crowd Turns Out To Support Illinois State Museum

A midday rally Tuesday draws a few hundred supporters of the Illinois State Museum to the Capitol grounds.

Governor Rauner is seeking to close the facility. Among the most outspoken supporters was Jonathan Reyman, a retired State Museum employee, who served as curator of anthropology, he offered an unflattering comparison of the Governor to some of America's enemies abroad.

[audio:7251592628-ISMrally1.mp3] [/audio]

State Senator Andy Manar has sponsored legislation designed to keep the museum open. He called Governor Rauner out of touch on the issue.

[audio:7251592629-ISMRally2.mp3] [/audio]

Museum supporters delivered petitions supporting the museum with 11,000 names included to the Governor's office.

Concerned Residents Turn Out For Support From Board Over Atrocious Odors

 width=A DeWitt County business has come under fire the last six months over odors permeating from the site west of Clinton.

H & M Trucking has been the focus of residents' efforts to reduce the cause of a smell that originates from a pond at the trucking facility. Angie Koshinski addressed the Board Thursday night and provided nearly 75 pages of documentation to the Board on the issue.

She says they have no confidence in the Environmental Protection Agency to remedy the problem. She explains people across the community have reported the smell and the effects it has on them.

[audio:7241565013-72415hmdiscuss1.mp3] [/audio]

Among the documents Koshinski presented the Board were documents from H&M Trucking owners. She feels the reasons they give for the smell indicate they may have been in violation of the permits they had at the time.

[audio:7241565016-72415hmdiscuss2.mp3] [/audio]

Over a year ago, complaints started filing in to the EPA, and Koshinski says fault should fall on representatives of the EPA because of their lack of attentiveness to the problem and addressing it.

[audio:7241565021-72415hmdiscuss3.mp3] [/audio]

According to Koshinski, documents indicate the owners of H&M Trucking were reluctant to run the filters of the ponds during the day, however, the EPA made the recommendation to run them mostly during the day. She also points out, the filters in the ponds had no documentation of being cleaned since they were constructed 25 years ago.

[audio:7241565025-72415hmdiscuss4.mp3] [/audio]

Ultimately, the EPA slapped the company with two violations.

Koshinski also points out business around the area have received complaints about the smells and they feel it has hindered their business.

The EPA indicated to Regional Radio News in June, H&M Trucking has cooperated with them in their efforts to help the rid the community of the smell and get better flow for their separation tanks.

60-Percent of Budget Being Spent

The state is operating without a true spending plan but much of what is being taken in as tax revenue is going out in the form of state payments.

Senate President John Cullerton says that when you look at cash flow right now, the state is still spending more than it’s projected to take in with or without a formal budget plan.

[audio:7241572115-CULLERTONHOLE.mp3] [/audio]

On Wednesday Senate President John Cullerton indicated 60 percent of the state budget is already being spent for fiscal year 2016. In total that’s $23.5 billion, that figure includes state worker salaries, transfers to local government and pension obligations. Part of that figure wasn’t Medicaid payments to hospitals. Until today when Federal Judge Joan Lefkow ordered the state to reimburse Cook County hospitals for Medicaid payments during budget impasse. That adds even more money going out of the door.

There is no word yet if the Judge’s decision will impact Medicaid payments to hospitals outside of Cook County.

Crowd Turns Out To Support Illinois State Museum

A midday rally Tuesday draws a few hundred supporters of the Illinois State Museum to the Capitol grounds.

Governor Rauner is seeking to close the facility. Among the most outspoken supporters was Jonathan Reyman, a retired State Museum employee, who served as curator of anthropology, he offered an unflattering comparison of the Governor to some of America's enemies abroad.

[audio:7241580704-ISMrally1.mp3] [/audio]

State Senator Andy Manar has sponsored legislation designed to keep the museum open. He called Governor Rauner out of touch on the issue.

[audio:7241580706-ISMRally2.mp3] [/audio]

Museum supporters delivered petitions supporting the museum with 11,000 names included to the Governor's office.

Cullerton Wants Rauner To Know Politics of Illinois

The Governor’s Turn Around agenda seems stuck in political mud. Bruce Rauner says he wants issues like property tax and workers comp reform to be taken up and approved before he will sit down and work on a budget with Democrats that perhaps includes with additional revenue. But state house leaders are saying the Governor is extreme and out of touch with the state he is governing.

Senate President John Cullerton says Rauner, who almost lost a primary because of anti-union stances needs to appreciate the politics of Illinois.

[audio:7241580928-CULLERTONREALITY.mp3] [/audio]

Democrats want the Governor to send them a balanced budget with the cuts needed to meet projected revenue and the Governor is looking for them to take up what he calls pro-business reforms.

Publication Questions Governor's Transparency

Is the Governor being open and transparent with whom he’s meeting with and when?

A report from the Chicago Reader leads you to believe that he isn’t living up to a campaign promise to be transparent and accountable. The publication recently submitted a Freedom of Information Request for the Governor’s daily schedule and names of people he was meeting with in public buildings on public time. But his office sent the Chicago Reader a list of appointments with more than 150 names blacked out. The Governor says that he is open and doing more than is required of him.

[audio:7241581154-RAUNERSCHEDULE.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Chicago Reader, Rauner’s legal team has cited attorney client privilege in redacting the names of individuals who are meeting with the Governor.

Sen. Radogno Calls For Reset of State's Business, Economic Climate

With Illinois lawmakers into the third week of the new fiscal year with no budget in place, Democrats and Republicans continue to point the blame for the stalemate at the other side. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:7241581255-RADOGNORESET.mp3] [/audio]

Several recent studies using U.S. Census data have indicated a loss of population in Illinois, which includes border towns where people are moving to neighboring states for a variety of reasons including the economy and jobs opportunities.

University of Illinois Trustees Approve Deal for Medical School

University of Illinois trustees have agreed to a deal to finalize the structure of and financial arrangements for a new medical school in Urbana.

Trustees unanimously voted Thursday in Chicago to name the new medical school Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Carle is a local hospital partnering with the university.

Under the deal, the hospital's promised $100 million contribution to the medical school also will remain the same even if the hospital changed ownership.

The new medical school will focus on engineering and technology in medicine.

During their regular quarterly meeting, trustees also appointed Jeffrey Brown as dean of the Urbana-Champaign College of Business, Vikram David Amar as dean of the College of Law and Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko as dean of the Graduate College.

Coyotes, Glendale Reach Agreement on Arena Dispute

The Arizona Coyotes and the city of Glendale have reached an agreement to keep the troubled franchise in town for at least two more seasons.

 width=In June, the city council voted 5-2 to dissolve the 15-year arena lease agreed upon two years ago. The team then won an injunction in court to prevent the city from voiding the lease.

According to the statement released by the Coyotes and the city on Thursday, the council will vote on proposed amendments to the lease at a meeting on Friday.

Among the motions being considered is one to rescind the action the council took in June to cancel the lease.

Under the prior agreement Glendale accrued some revenues from ticket sales, parking and arena naming rights. The proposed amendment will allow the Coyotes to keep all hockey-related revenues.

Glendale would pay the Coyotes $6.5 million a year to manage the arena, down from $15 million. The team would continue to pay the city $500,000 per year in rent.

While the previous agreement contained provisions to allow the city to legally opt out of the lease, no such clause is present in the proposed amendments. Instead, the termination date will be June 30, 2017, guaranteeing the team will play in Glendale for the next two seasons.

Upon the amendments being agreed to, the team would agree to file to dismiss its lawsuit against the city.

The Coyotes' future in Arizona has been in limbo for years and they were in danger of relocating if they could not reach an agreement with the city. IceArizona AcquisitionCo., LLC purchased the team from the league in July 2013.

Emiliano Grillo Starts Canadian Open With Lead

 width=Emiliano Grillo fired an 8-under 64 in Thursday's first round and he grabbed a 1-shot lead at the Canadian Open.

Grillo, who spends most of his time playing on the European Tour, has never won on the PGA Tour. He qualified to play in this event by finishing tied for 10th at last week's Barbasol Championship.

Brian Harman and Vaughn Taylor carded matching 7-under 65s at Glen Abbey Golf Club and they share second place.

Erik Compton, Steve Wheatcroft, Tyrone Van Aswegen and amateur Ryan Ruffels are one shot further back and tied for fourth following 6-under 66s.

Defending champion Tim Clark carded an even-par 72, putting him in a tie for 88th and eight shots back.

Brickyard 400 Preview

The Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the 20th race on the 2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

There have been 21 races in NASCAR's premier series held at Indianapolis. The series has competed there once each year since 1994.

 width=One year ago, Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 for a record fifth time. Gordon moved into a tie with Formula One legend Michael Schumacher for most race wins at this historic track. He won the inaugural Cup Series race here in '94. His other victories at Indy occurred in 1998, 2001 and 2004.

Gordon is in his final season of Cup competition, driving the No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. He has yet to win a race this year.

Bobby Labonte and Gordon are the only drivers who have competed in each of the previous 21 Cup races at Indianapolis. Labonte is not entered in this year's event.

With seven races to go before the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins, Gordon holds one of the provisional spots in the 16-driver field. He is currently 10th in the point standings and has scored three straight top-10 finishes -- Daytona, Kentucky and New Hampshire.

Right now, Kyle Busch is the hottest driver in the series, winning three of the last four races, including the previous two. Busch missed the first 11 Sprint Cup races this season after he suffered a fractured lower right leg and left foot during an accident in the Feb. 21 Xfinity Series season-opener at Daytona. He returned to competition two months ago and has started in eight points-paying events since.

Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, is presently 33rd in the standings and trails 30th-place David Gilliland by 58 points. Busch must finish in the top-30 in points when the regular season concludes on Sept 12 at Richmond in order to qualify for the Chase. By winning at Kentucky and New Hampshire, he has gained 70 points on the 30th position in just two races.

In 10 Sprint Cup starts at Indy, Busch has finished in the top-five three times and in the top-10 eight times. His best finish here is second, which occurred twice, most recently in 2014.

Steelers Ink Tomlin To Extension

 width=Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin signed a two-year contract extension through the 2018 season on Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tomlin is set to enter his ninth season as Steelers coach. He has guided the storied franchise to a record of 82-46 with four AFC North titles, five playoff appearances and a pair of Super Bowls.

Tomlin led the Steelers to the Super Bowl title after the 2008 season in just his second year. The 27-23 win over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII made Tomlin, just 36 at the time, the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl.

The Steelers went back to the Super Bowl after the 2010 season and lost to the Green Bay Packers. Pittsburgh has never had a losing season under Tomlin, twice finishing at 8-8.

The Steelers won the AFC North last season with a record of 11-5 before dropping a 30-17 decision to arch-rival Baltimore in an AFC wild card playoff game.

Pirates, Astros Make First Moves of MLB Trade Deadline

>>Pirates Acquire 3B Aramis Ramirez From Brewers

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired infielder Aramis Ramirez and cash considerations from the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday in exchange for minor league pitcher Yhonathan Barrios.

Injuries to third baseman Josh Harrison and shortstop Jordy Mercer opened up a need for Ramirez, who hit .247 with 18 doubles, 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 81 games with the Brewers this season.

The 37-year-old Ramirez was originally signed by the Pirates as a non-drafted free agent in 1994 and made his MLB debut with Pittsburgh four years later.

 width=He spent nearly six seasons with Pittsburgh before being traded to the Cubs alongside Kenny Lofton in 2003. Ramirez signed as a free agent with the Brewers prior to the 2012 season.

The three-time All-Star has hit .284 with 482 doubles, 380 home runs and 1,384 RBI in 2,138 games in the big leagues.

The Pirates will make a corresponding move on the 25-man active roster when Ramirez joins the team. To make room for Ramirez on the 40-man roster, the Pirates designated Steve Lombardozzi for assignment.

>>Astros Acquire Kazmir From A's

The Houston Astros have acquired left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham.

The Astros, who enter Thursday's action with a 53-43 mark, sit in second place in the American League West, two games behind the division-leading Angels. They became the first playoff contending team to make a move to bolster their rotation before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Kazmir gives the team a top-line starter to go along with Dallas Keuchel.

Kazmir is just 5-5, but has an impressive 2.38 ERA in 18 starts this season for the disappointing Athletics. He has 101 strikeouts in 109 2/3 innings and ranks fifth in the AL in ERA. Keuchel is tops in the AL with a 2.12 ERA.

He was scheduled to start against Toronto on Thursday for Oakland, which recalled pitcher Arnold Leon to take his roster spot.

Most recently, Mengden and Nottingham had been playing for Class-A Advanced Lancaster after each began the 2015 season at Class-A Quad Cities. Mengden was originally a fourth-round selection in the 2014 draft, while Nottingham was originally taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft.

Cards, Sox Win

 width=>>Homers By Grichuk, Carpenter Pace Cardinals

Randal Grichuk and Matt Carpenter each hit two-run homers, and the Cardinals survived to beat the Royals 4-3 on Thursday.

The I-70 contest between division leaders was a makeup game from June 14 and came down to the wire.

Trevor Rosenthal gave up a run in the ninth on an Omar Infante triple, and a walk and stolen base by Jarrod Dyson put the go-ahead run on second base.

Rosenthal, though, got three straight outs to finish off his 30th save.

In the top of the first, Salvador Perez and Alex Rios each singled in a run, but that's all the Royals managed off starter John Lackey.

Lackey (9-5) went seven innings, scattering six hits and two walks while striking out five.

Grichuk sent a hanging 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers in the second, and Carpenter reached the right-field seats an inning later to give the Cardinals the lead.

Chris Young (8-6) served up both homers and did not make it past the third inning.

 width=>>Sox Route Tribe

Jeff Samardzija threw eight strong innings and the Chicago White Sox hit four home runs for an 8-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.

Melky Cabrera homered twice, driving in three runs. Alexei Ramirez cracked a three-run homer and Adam Eaton added a solo blast as the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.

Samardzija (7-5) allowed just four hits and one run while striking out three and walking none. He retired the last eight batters he faced.

Trevor Bauer (8-7) struck out nine in six-plus innings for Cleveland but also gave up three of Chicago's four home runs, tying a career high for the 24- year-old right-hander.

Cabrera lined a homer to right leading off the fourth and Ramirez cracked his three-run shot to left later in the inning.

Eaton pushed Chicago's lead to 5-0 with a leadoff homer to right in the fifth.

Samardzija allowed just two hits in the first five innings before the Indians got to him for a run in the sixth after Michael Bourn led off with a single and later scored on Francisco Lindor's hit.

Chicago extended its lead to 8-1 against Kyle Crockett in the seventh on Tyler Saladino's sacrifice fly and Cabrera's two-run shot to left.

National League Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 7, Washington 3
Los Angeles 3, New York 0
Arizona 8, Milwaukee 3
Miami 4, San Diego 0

American League Scoreboard
New York 9, Baltimore 3
Seattle 3, Detroit 2 (12 innings)
Toronto 5, Oakland 2
Minnesota 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Houston 5, Boston 4

Cards, Sox Win

 width=>>Homers By Grichuk, Carpenter Pace Cardinals

Randal Grichuk and Matt Carpenter each hit two-run homers, and the Cardinals survived to beat the Royals 4-3 on Thursday.

The I-70 contest between division leaders was a makeup game from June 14 and came down to the wire.

Trevor Rosenthal gave up a run in the ninth on an Omar Infante triple, and a walk and stolen base by Jarrod Dyson put the go-ahead run on second base.

Rosenthal, though, got three straight outs to finish off his 30th save.

In the top of the first, Salvador Perez and Alex Rios each singled in a run, but that's all the Royals managed off starter John Lackey.

Lackey (9-5) went seven innings, scattering six hits and two walks while striking out five.

Grichuk sent a hanging 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers in the second, and Carpenter reached the right-field seats an inning later to give the Cardinals the lead.

Chris Young (8-6) served up both homers and did not make it past the third inning.

 width=>>Sox Route Tribe

Jeff Samardzija threw eight strong innings and the Chicago White Sox hit four home runs for an 8-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.

Melky Cabrera homered twice, driving in three runs. Alexei Ramirez cracked a three-run homer and Adam Eaton added a solo blast as the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.

Samardzija (7-5) allowed just four hits and one run while striking out three and walking none. He retired the last eight batters he faced.

Trevor Bauer (8-7) struck out nine in six-plus innings for Cleveland but also gave up three of Chicago's four home runs, tying a career high for the 24- year-old right-hander.

Cabrera lined a homer to right leading off the fourth and Ramirez cracked his three-run shot to left later in the inning.

Eaton pushed Chicago's lead to 5-0 with a leadoff homer to right in the fifth.

Samardzija allowed just two hits in the first five innings before the Indians got to him for a run in the sixth after Michael Bourn led off with a single and later scored on Francisco Lindor's hit.

Chicago extended its lead to 8-1 against Kyle Crockett in the seventh on Tyler Saladino's sacrifice fly and Cabrera's two-run shot to left.

National League Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 7, Washington 3
Los Angeles 3, New York 0
Arizona 8, Milwaukee 3
Miami 4, San Diego 0

American League Scoreboard
New York 9, Baltimore 3
Seattle 3, Detroit 2 (12 innings)
Toronto 5, Oakland 2
Minnesota 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Houston 5, Boston 4

Cards, Sox Win

 width=>>Homers By Grichuk, Carpenter Pace Cardinals

Randal Grichuk and Matt Carpenter each hit two-run homers, and the Cardinals survived to beat the Royals 4-3 on Thursday.

The I-70 contest between division leaders was a makeup game from June 14 and came down to the wire.

Trevor Rosenthal gave up a run in the ninth on an Omar Infante triple, and a walk and stolen base by Jarrod Dyson put the go-ahead run on second base.

Rosenthal, though, got three straight outs to finish off his 30th save.

In the top of the first, Salvador Perez and Alex Rios each singled in a run, but that's all the Royals managed off starter John Lackey.

Lackey (9-5) went seven innings, scattering six hits and two walks while striking out five.

Grichuk sent a hanging 3-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers in the second, and Carpenter reached the right-field seats an inning later to give the Cardinals the lead.

Chris Young (8-6) served up both homers and did not make it past the third inning.

 width=>>Sox Route Tribe

Jeff Samardzija threw eight strong innings and the Chicago White Sox hit four home runs for an 8-1 win over the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.

Melky Cabrera homered twice, driving in three runs. Alexei Ramirez cracked a three-run homer and Adam Eaton added a solo blast as the White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak.

Samardzija (7-5) allowed just four hits and one run while striking out three and walking none. He retired the last eight batters he faced.

Trevor Bauer (8-7) struck out nine in six-plus innings for Cleveland but also gave up three of Chicago's four home runs, tying a career high for the 24- year-old right-hander.

Cabrera lined a homer to right leading off the fourth and Ramirez cracked his three-run shot to left later in the inning.

Eaton pushed Chicago's lead to 5-0 with a leadoff homer to right in the fifth.

Samardzija allowed just two hits in the first five innings before the Indians got to him for a run in the sixth after Michael Bourn led off with a single and later scored on Francisco Lindor's hit.

Chicago extended its lead to 8-1 against Kyle Crockett in the seventh on Tyler Saladino's sacrifice fly and Cabrera's two-run shot to left.

National League Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 7, Washington 3
Los Angeles 3, New York 0
Arizona 8, Milwaukee 3
Miami 4, San Diego 0

American League Scoreboard
New York 9, Baltimore 3
Seattle 3, Detroit 2 (12 innings)
Toronto 5, Oakland 2
Minnesota 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Houston 5, Boston 4

Cornbelters Fall to Grizzlies

The Normal Cornbelters were defeated by the Gateway Grizzlies with a score of 3 to 2 Friday evening, starting off the series.

Tune in Saturday July 25th at 6:20 p.m. as the Cornbelters take on the Gateway Grizzlies. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

Sen. President Urges Governor To Put Together Plan

It’s the end of July and the state is still looking for a path forward on a balanced budget. Today Senate President John Cullerton called on the Governor to introduce a new budget.

He says the original spending plan submitted by the administration was nearly $6 billion out of balance when you removed savings that were only perceived and could not be counted on.

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Cullerton says the original spending plan submitted by the administration was nearly $6 billion out of balance and cuts to working class families and programs to the poor were going nowhere.

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The Governor’s office responded with an emailed statement saying in part Cullerton’s view of a balanced budget is a budget that makes no spending reforms, no pension reform and only raises taxes.

Clinton Fire Department Makes Upgrades To Equipment

 width=In an effort to become more self-reliant, the Clinton Fire Department earlier this week was approved to purchase a water tanker for their crews.

According to Dan Ballenger, Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, the tanker would be an addition to the department that would allow them to respond to rural emergencies and not be as reliant on rural fire districts to aid them.

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Ballenger also commended interim Fire Chief David Dallas for his continued work in training with the department and to continue to build up their numbers.

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Ballenger indicates the department did not pursue a brand new tanker, instead they will purchase a truck with approximately 20-thousand miles on it but the rest of the features including the tank, the lights and paint will be brand new.

The Fire Department will also receive new pagers at a cost of just over $2-thousand.

New Clinton Superintendent Begins Tenure

 width=Curt Nettles began his tenure as the Superintendent of Clinton Schools earlier this month, and the school's leader says he is eager to get himself integrated into the system.

Nettles takes over for the retired Dr. Jeff Holmes and comes to the district from Lexington where he was the Superintendent there for eight years. He explains his career started in southern Illinois but his central Illinois roots drew him back home.

[audio:7231583939-72315nettles1.mp3] [/audio]

Nettles comes to Clinton at a time when the financial future of the district is at a point of uncertainty. He says compared to other districts, Clinton is in a competitive situation and conservative budgeting has allowed the district to balance their budget in recent years despite projected deficits.

[audio:7231583945-72315nettles2.mp3] [/audio]

Approximately half of the district's budget is comprised of tax dollars comes from Exelon and it's property taxes. According to Nettles, the possible closure of the plant is of concern and says they going to put together a contingency plan for a possible closure.

[audio:7231583950-72315nettles3.mp3] [/audio]

While finances seem to be the most concerning and addressed area of education in Illinois, Nettles doesn't necessarily see that as the biggest challenge facing them. He explains it is not necessarily a Clinton-specific problem, but a lot of districts face more challenges in the classrooms.

[audio:7231583954-72315nettles4.mp3] [/audio]

Nettles says Clinton provided him with a lot of what he was looking for professionally, including up to date facilities for modern day learning. He also feels the district has a very good and caring Board of Education in place and feels the staff of each building is very strong as well.

PGA Tour Heads To Canada

 width=The PGA Tour remains outside the United States this week with the RBC Canadian Open.

Glen Abbey returns as the host this year for the 27th time. The course had hosted 22 straight Canadian Opens before the Royal Canadian Golf Association began rotating courses throughout Canada.

Last year at Royal Montreal, Tim Clark fired a 5-under 65 in the final round to rally past Jim Furyk and win for the second time on the PGA Tour. Furyk had a 12-footer for birdie to force a playoff, but failed to convert.

Clark, who has missed time over the last few years with on-going elbow issues, tied the tournament scoring record with his total of 263. Johnny Palmer set that mark in 1952 and Scott Piercy matched it in 2012.

Among those expected to headline the field are Furyk, Bubba Watson and Jason Day. There are 27 players that competed at St. Andrews slated to play this week, but that number could dwindle with the Monday finish at the Open Championship.

Clark is also back in the field after a lengthy break earlier this year. Following a pair of top-30 finishes in Hawaii, the South African was out of action until late June when he returned at the Travelers Championship. Clark missed the cut there and also missed the cut in his last start at the John Deere Classic.

Clark had to skip the Open Championship due to visa issues.

The Canadian contingent will be Graham DeLaet, Nick Taylor and David Hearn. Taylor, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall, was the first Canadian to win on the PGA Tour since 2007.

Missing the event will be 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, who announced Friday he's taking time off from the tour.

NBA Notes

>>Kings Ink Seth Curry

The Sacramento Kings have signed free- agent guard Seth Curry.

The Sacramento Bee reports the deal is for two years and worth $2 million. The second year is a player option.

The 24-year-old Curry is the younger brother of league MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Playing for the New Orleans 2015 Summer League squad, Curry averaged a league- leading 24.3 points. He has played in four NBA games in two seasons with three teams: Memphis (2013-14), Cleveland (2013-14) and Phoenix (2014-15).

The Kings also signed forwards Quincy Acy and Duje Dukan to contracts Wednesday.

 width=>>Jimmer Fredette Joins San Antonio

The San Antonio Spurs have signed guard Jimmer Fredette.

He spent last season playing for New Orleans, and averaged 3.6 points and 1.4 assists over 50 games.

The 10th overall pick in 2011 by the Milwaukee Bucks, Fredette was dealt on draft night to Sacramento. He played two-plus seasons for the Kings before signing with the Chicago Bulls in March 2014. He signed with the Pelicans last July.

In 229 NBA career games, Fredette is averaging 6.1 points and 1.4 assists.

>>Hornets Sign Tyler Hansbrough

The Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday signed free-agent forward Tyler Hansbrough, who spent the past two seasons with the Toronto Raptors.

Hansbrough, 29, was drafted No. 13 overall by Indiana in 2009 and has averaged 7.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 17.9 minutes in 384 NBA games for the Pacers and Raptors.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 3.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 74 games for Toronto last season.

>>Pistons Ink Stanley Johnson

The Detroit Pistons signed first-round draft pick Stanley Johnson on Wednesday.

The Pistons made Johnson the eighth overall pick in last month's draft after one season at Arizona.

In 38 games with the Wildcats, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged a team-high 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals. The 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year was the lone freshman named to the All-Pac-12 or NABC All-District 20 First team.

Johnson averaged a team-high 16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks during the Orlando Summer League.

Molina Big Hit Sends Cardinals Past Sox; Cubs Split Day, Night DH


>>Molina Triple Sends Cards Past Sox

Yadier Molina's three-run triple in the eighth inning gave the Cardinals a 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday.

With the game in the balance, the White Sox took out Zach Duke (3-4) and used closer David Robertson to get out of a base-loaded, two-out jam. Molina greeted Robertson by slapping a two-strike pitch into the right-field corner to knock in Randal Grichuk, Pete Kozma and Jason Heyward.

Kevin Siegrist stranded runners on the corners in the eighth, and Trevor Rosenthal threw a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 29th save and secure the club's fourth win in five games.

John Danks was in line for the victory after scattering five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless frames for the White Sox, who have dropped four in a row.

Both of Chicago's runs came in the sixth inning, which started with a Carlos Sanchez single and an Adam Eaton walk. Jose Abreu broke the scoreless tie with a base hit to left, and Melky Cabrera knocked in another run with a single to center.

Lance Lynn was charged with two runs on five hits over six innings and was taken off the hook by Molina's clutch, go-ahead hit. Miguel Socolovich (4-1) earned the win by stranding a runner on second in the seventh.

>>Cubs, Reds Split Twin Bill

Mike Leake tossed eight strong innings and received plenty of offensive support in the Cincinnati Reds' 9-1 rout of the Chicago Cubs in the opener of Wednesday's doubleheader.

Leake (8-5) surrendered just one run and four hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Joey Votto homered among his three hits, walked and scored three times, while Todd Frazier, Eugenio Suarez and Billy Hamilton each drove in two runs apiece for the Reds.

 width=Kyle Hendricks (4-5) gave up five runs and seven hits, but fanned nine in his first loss since June 24 for the Cubs, who will look to avoid losing the four- game series in the nightcap.

Cincinnati left-hander Tony Cingrani will oppose Chicago righty Dallas Beeler in the finale. The doubleheader is a makeup of a rainout on April 25.

The Reds started the game by loading the bases off Hendricks on a pair of Brandon Phillips and Jason Bourgeois singles and a Votto walk. Frazier and Suarez each followed with two-run doubles for a 4-0 lead.

In the third, Addison Russell doubled with one out, moved to third on Chris Coghlan's base hit and put the Cubs on the board on Kyle Schwarber's line single to center.

Votto got the run back for the Reds in the fifth with a one-out solo shot to right, making it a 5-1 game.

The Reds added four more runs in the seventh. Reliever Yoervis Medina walked Skip Schumaker with the bases loaded to usher in a run, Hamilton drove in two with a base hit to center and Tucker Barnhart's RBI single accounted for the final score.

Taylor Teagarden had just 13 at-bats all season heading into his matchup with Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning.

Teagarden's third hit of the season, a run-scoring single to center, plated Anthony Rizzo with the go-ahead run to give the Chicago Cubs a 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the night portion of a doubleheader.

Dexter Fowler, who singled and stole second to start the ninth, tried to score on Rizzo's base hit to left. Fowler, at first, slowed up as he approached third base and was tagged out at the plate.

Chapman (3-4) intentionally walked Jorge Soler before Teagarden stepped into the batter's box to pinch-hit for reliever Hector Rondon (4-2). Rizzo stole third before Teagarden lined the 101 mph fastball to center field.

It was the first run allowed by Chapman since June 8. The hard-throwing left- hander had gone 13 consecutive games without giving up a run.

Jason Motte fanned two batters in the bottom of the ninth to get his sixth save.

The Reds scored five times in the second, but the Cubs countered with five in the third. Billy Hamilton's two-run double highlighted the second when the Reds sent 10 men to the plate. A two-run double to left by Chris Denorfia and a two-RBI pinch-hit single to left by Kris Bryant keyed Chicago's big inning.

Following Bryant's game-tying hit with two outs, the Reds went to the bullpen to replace Tony Cingrani with Pedro Villarreal, who then surrendered only two hits over a career-high 4 1/3 innings.

The Reds wasted a big chance to go ahead in the eighth. With the bases loaded and one out, Todd Frazier hit a sharp grounder that deflected off Rondon and caromed right to first baseman Rizzo, who threw home for the force out. Jay Bruce flied out to left to end the inning.

American League Scoreboard
Philadelphia 5, Tampa Bay 4 (10 innings)
Cleveland 7, Milwaukee 5
Texas 10, Colorado 8
Kansas City 5, Pittsburgh 1
New York 4, Baltimore 3
Detroit 9, Seattle 4
Houston 4, Boston 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Minnesota 2
Oakland 4, Toronto 3 (10 innings)

National League Scoreboard
Los Angeles 3, Atlanta 1
Washington 4, New York 3
San Francisco 7, San Diego 1
Miami 5, Arizona 3

>>Angels' Freese Breaks Finger on HBP

Angels third baseman David Freese is expected to miss at least two weeks because of a broken index finger on his right hand.

Freese was hurt during Wednesday's game against Minnesota when he was hit by a pitch from Mike Pelfrey in a 5-2 Angels win.

The 32-year-old veteran exited the contest in the fourth inning and had his finger in a splint after the game. He also fractured the middle finger of his right hand in a May 2014 game and sat out nearly three weeks.

In 90 games this season, his second with the Angels, Freese is batting a career-low .240 with 11 homers and 43 runs batted in.

Illinois Basketball Non-Conference Schedule Set

 width=Illinois has announced home games with South Dakota, Yale and Western Carolina to complete a non-conference basketball schedule that already included Notre Dame.

The Illini released their full con-conference schedule Wednesday.

The previously announced game against Notre Dame on Dec. 2 will be the first game in the newly renovated State Farm Center. The game will be part of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

After that the Illini will host Western Carolina on Dec. 5, Yale on Dec. 9 and South Dakota on Dec. 19.

The annual Braggin' Rights game against Missouri will be Dec. 23.

The Illini had already announced they'll open their season with a Nov. 8 exhibition against Illinois-Springfield in Springfield while work continues on their home arena. Four more Springfield games will follow.

Summer Concert Series on Square Continues Friday

The summer concert series on the downtown Clinton Square will host their second installment Friday evening.

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is coordinating this year's series of concerts towards the end of each month and according to their Executive Director, Marian Brisard, after the June concert left them scrambling, they hope for much more seasonable weather Friday.

[audio:7231520750-72415summerconcert1.mp3] [/audio]

The latest installment of the summer concert series is tonight on the downtown Clinton Square. Weather forecasts for the evening look very favorable and according to Brisard, some may already be familiar with their guests tonight.

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After this Friday's concert, the next concert is Friday, August 21. Each concert gets underway at approximately 7 pm and lasts until 10. They are free and open to the public.

Brisard says many businesses around the square extend their hours those nights to accommodate the hundreds that fill the square.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 23

Jail Population: 24

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Katelyn Umbra, 30, Urbana was issued Citations for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Umbra was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.


Cornbelters Defeat Joliet Thursday Night

The Normal Cornbelters defeated the Joliet Slammers with a score of 10 to 3 Thursday evening, winning the series.

Tune in Friday July 24th at 6:20 p.m. as the Cornbelters take on the Gateway Grizzlies. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

Budget Stalemate Continues on in Springfield



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Madigan Response To Pay Raises

While Governor Rauner attacked House Speaker Michael Madigan for the $1300 pay raise that kicked in for lawmakers, Madigan says lawmakers had already moved against the pay hike.

[audio:7221591652-Madiganpayraise.mp3] [/audio]

While Rauner continues to launch waves of criticism at Madigan, Madigan says he won't engage in "namecalling".

Clinton Board of Education Approves Temporary Budget

The Clinton Board of Education Tuesday night approved a temporary budget for the upcoming year.

Superintendent Kurt Nettles explains passing a temporary budget allows the district to start spending money and they will pass a permanent budget at their September meeting.

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Budget officer for the District, Lynn Westhoff explains the temporary budget that gets approved in September won't actually be official because there will transfer of money from fund to fund and other transactions. She does note the district expects a three-quarter million dollar deficit.

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The Board approved the temporary budget with a voice vote.

Las Vegas, Quebec City Submit Applications For NHL Expansion

 width=Owners in Quebec City and Las Vegas were the only ones to submit NHL expansion applications before Monday's deadline, the NHL confirmed Tuesday.

The NHL said it received requests from and sent applications to 16 different groups or individuals. The league sent out the applications on July 6.

Last month, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league is opening an expansion review process to consider whether to add new franchises to its 30- team league.

The NHL doesn't anticipate adding any teams before the 2017-18 season.

UAB Football To Return in 2017

Nearly half a year after shutting down its football program, the University of Alabama at Birmingham announced Tuesday that it would resume competition in 2017.

The team will compete at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level.

 width=The NCAA informed the school that the Blazers' football program will not be subject to FBS requirements for a period of three academic years, beginning with 2015-16, and that it would be counted as an FBS opponent once it begins participating in outside competition. UAB would be eligible for postseason bowl play and will also be eligible for Conference USA championships.

On June 1, university president Ray Watts said that the school's football, rifle and bowling programs will return after the university could not find money in the budget to continue the sports. The school is working on plans to resume rifle competition this year, and bowling in 2016.

Since the announcement that the football program would be restored, UAB, the NCAA and Conference USA have had discussions on recruiting, building a roster and maintaining FBS status.

UAB was the first school to shutter a major football program since Pacific in 1995. Its all-time record is 86-135, and Bill Clark, who coached the team for the first time in 2014, is expected to return.

NFL Notes

>>Vikings, Peterson Agree on Contract Restructuring

Following a rocky offseason, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson have mutually agreed to restructure the final three years of his contract.

NFL.com reports that Peterson's new deal will give him more guaranteed money, while bringing down his base salaries.

The 2012 NFL MVP was set to make a base salary of $12.75 million in 2015, $14.75 million in 2016 and $16.75 million in 2017. However, none of that money was guaranteed.

 width=The 30-year-old Peterson returned to the team on June 2, ending an 8 1/2-month absence that started with Peterson's indictment on child injury charges last September.

Peterson's name was linked to trade rumors throughout the offseason, even as Vikings officials said they wanted him to remain with the team.

The Vikings report to training camp on Saturday.

>>Titans Sign No. 2 Overall Pick Mariota

The Tennessee Titans and No. 2 overall draft pick Marcus Mariota have agreed to terms on a contract, the team said Tuesday.

Titans general manager Ruston Webster said the deal with the 2014 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback is "done."

Mariota passed for 10,796 yards and 105 touchdowns in 41 games for the University of Oregon over three seasons. He threw for 4,454 yards and 42 touchdowns last season, rushing for 770 yards and 15 more scores on the way to becoming the first Oregon player to win the Heisman.

Criminal Obstruction Case Against Barry Bonds Dropped

A court filing on Tuesday ended the criminal obstruction case against major league home run king Barry Bonds without a conviction.

The filing by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says prosecutors will not seek to have the case reviewed again and that a reversal of Bonds' conviction on obstruction of justice should no longer be stayed.

Bonds was convicted in 2011 of being evasive during his 2003 grand jury testimony in the BALCO case investigating performance-enhancing drug use in sports.

But the conviction was reversed in April, seven months after the court reheard the case despite previously ruling there was enough evidence to convict Bonds. Prosecutors successfully argued to have the decision stayed, but ended their prosecution with Tuesday's motion.

At issue was what the court called "a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question" during Bonds' 2003 testimony, when he was asked if his personal trainer ever gave him anything that required a syringe to inject himself.

Bonds' answer -- referred to as "Statement C" in court documents -- is what drew the obstruction of justice conviction from a jury.

But the appeals court found there was insufficient evidence that his statement was material to the government's investigation of steroids, ruling it must be vacated and that Bonds may not be tried again on that count.

He was also charged with four counts of making false statements, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on those charges.

Bonds, who broke Major League Baseball's single-season and all-time home run records while playing for the San Francisco Giants, was sentenced in 2011 to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $4,000 fine. He became a free agent after the 2007 season and never signed with another team.

He was questioned in 2003 for almost three hours about his suspected use of steroids.

Scwharber Sends Cubs Past Reds; Cards Crush Sox; Cards Recall Top Prospect

>>Schwarber Sends Cubs Past Reds

Kyle Schwarber's solo home run in the 13th inning led the Chicago Cubs to a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the second of this four-game series.

 width=Schwarber belted a pitch from Nate Adcock (1-2) over the wall in right, and Justin Grimm pitched a 1-2-3 home half for his second save of the season.

Schwarber hit a two-run home run in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, and finished the game 4-for-7 with four RBI. Chris Coghlan also hit a solo home run for the Cubs, who have won three of their last four. Jason Motte (7-1) tossed two scoreless innings of relief for the win.

Todd Frazier drove in three runs and Skip Schumaker had an RBI for the Reds, who have lost three of their last four.

Jason Hammel went five innings for Chicago and was charged with two runs -- one earned -- on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts, while Raisel Iglesias lasted 5 2/3 frames for Cincinnati and allowed two runs on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.

Cincinnati got on the board in the first as Brandon Phillips singled, moved to third on a Dexter Fowler error off a Joey Votto fly ball, and came home on Frazier's sacrifice fly.

The Reds made it a 2-0 game in the second on Schumaker's groundout that scored Marlon Byrd, who had reached on a single and wound up at third after another single and wild pitch.

Chicago cut its deficit in half in the fifth, as Addison Russell walked with one out, moved to second on Fowler's single, and came home when Schwarber hit a ground-rule double. Iglesias limited the damage by striking out Kris Bryant and forcing a line out from Anthony Rizzo.

In the sixth, Coghlan tied the game with his home run to left, his ninth of the year. It initially fell for a triple, but a replay showed it had cleared the wall and the game was tied.

Phillips and Votto hit singles in the seventh to leave runners at the corners, and Votto stole second. Frazier then dropped a single into shallow left that scored both runners for a 4-2

The Cubs, though, tied the game in the ninth as Fowler led off with a single and Schwarber crushed a pitch well over the wall in right for his second of the season.

 width=>>Holliday's Slam Helps Cards Past Sox

Matt Holliday smacked a grand slam and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Chicago White Sox 8-5 in the opener of a brief two-game set.

Mark Reynolds cracked a solo homer and Yadier Molina went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI for the Cardinals, who have won three of their last four games.

Michael Wacha (11-3) struck out eight, but allowed five runs on four hits and two walks to register the win. Trevor Rosenthal blanked the White Sox in the ninth for his 28th save of the season.

Tyler Saladino launched a two-run shot among his three hits and two runs scored and Geovany Soto added a solo blast for Chicago, which has dropped three in a row and five of its last six games.

Carlos Rodon (3-3) surrendered seven runs on seven hits and three walks with six punchouts over four frames to garner the loss.\

The Cardinals raced out to a huge lead after plating a run in the second, two in the third and four more in the fourth.

Matt Carpenter's RBI single in the second and Molina's two-run base hit in the third staked St. Louis to a 3-0 advantage. Reynolds worked a leadoff walk in the fourth, Stephen Piscotty singled and Kolten Wong was hit by a pitch before Holliday belted his grand slam into the seats in left two batters later for a 7-0 Cards cushion.

Jose Abreu's RBI single and Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly in the home fourth got the White Sox on the board. St. Louis, though, got a run back in the fifth on Reynolds' liner over the wall in left-center, extending the margin to 8-2.

Saladino's two-run shot and Soto's solo blast in the bottom of the fifth cut the deficit to 8-5.

National League Scoreboard
New York 7, Washington 2
Atlanta 4, Los Angeles 3
Miami 3, Arizona 0
Tampa Bay 1, Philadelphia 0
Milwaukee 8, Cleveland 1
Kansas City 3, Pittsburgh 1
Texas 9, Colorado 0
San Francisco 9, San Diego 3

American League Scoreboard
New York 3, Baltimore 2
Seattle 11, Detroit 9
Houston 8, Boston 3
Toronto 7, Oakland 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 7, Minnesota 0

 width=>>Cardinals Recall Top Prospect Piscotty

The St. Louis Cardinals purchased the contract of outfielder/first baseman Stephen Piscotty from Triple-A Memphis prior to Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

The right-handed hitting Piscotty was batting .272 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI in 87 games at Memphis this season.

Piscotty, 24, a supplemental first round draft selection (36th player overall) by the Cardinals in 2012, owns a career batting average of .288 with 39 home runs and 196 RBI in 390 minor league games.

Following Sunday's game, the team optioned outfielder Tommy Pham to Memphis. To make room for Piscotty on the 40-man roster, the Cardinals designated Memphis infielder Ty Kelly for assignment.

Conceal Carry Legislation Clarifies Illinois Laws

Legislation took effect earlier this month that aims to clarify ambiguities in Illinois' concealed-carry law.

Some of the areas the bill focuses on are privacy, mental illness and dealing with law enforcement. It seeks to address issues that have been discovered since Illinois first enacted the right to carry concealed weapons in June 2013. The law went into effect in 2014.

Reports indicate Illinois' concealed-carry law is among the most stringent in the country.

The most significant changes relate to the process of applying for a concealed-carry permit, including a review of personal records and appealing a denial. The bill also requires concealed-carry holders to notify officers and secure their weapon if a first responder asks them to do so.

Gov. Rauner OKs Ending Mandatory Life Sentences For Juveniles

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to end mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles.

The Republican signed the measure Monday. It will take effect Jan. 1.

The Legislature approved the bill in response to a 2012 U. S. Supreme Court ruling that sentencing people under 18 to mandatory life without parole is unconstitutional.

The law doesn't prevent minors from being sentenced to life in prison for serious crimes. But it allows judges to take into account certain factors when issuing a sentence. They include the juvenile's age and maturity, any past abuse and the potential for the minor to be rehabilitated.

Democratic Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park says the new law allows judges to tailor sentences to fit the crime.

Gov. Rauner Still Looking For Budget

The Rauner administration got a legal victory late last week when an appeals court ruled the comptroller's office can continue to pay state workers even without a budget, but Gov. Bruce Rauner won't say whether that might take some of the pressure off getting a deal done.

But he says he can’t support the 'sham' one-month budget lawmakers approved last week. Rauner notes it's Madigan's turn to give a little.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner says state lawmakers on the other side of the state budget stalemate should spend less time listening to House Speaker Mike Madigan and more time listening to their constituents.

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A recent report said Rauner gave about $400,000 dollars to Republican legislators in May. Rauner said he's backing the GOP lawmakers, but not for any particular issue. He said Madigan, on the other hand, has been using campaign gifts to exert power over Democratic lawmakers for the 35 years since he became House Speaker.

State Rep. Wants To Be Next Auditor General

State Rep. Frank Mautino is still an Illinois House member, but he has resigned from one job so he can apply for another. He left the Legislative Audit Commission last week. The Spring Valley Democrat intends to apply for the $152,000 per year auditor general job next month.

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Mautino says after 18 years on the Legislative Audit Commission, including 12 as the chairman, he knows what the Auditor General does and he knows that he can do it. But he’s not necessarily a shoo-in.

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Mautino says there’s a nationwide search, and for now, he intends to circulate petitions to run for reelection to the Illinois House this fall.

He says he’s still interested in being the Illinois House Speaker someday.

Mautino has been on the Legislative Audit Commission for 18 years, including 12 in which he was the chairman. The Spring Valley Democrat says he expects to be one of many candidates for the job.

In case he doesn’t get it, he still intends to circulate petitions to run for reelection to the Illinois House and continue working toward being the Illinois House Speaker.

Clinton Starting Up Travel Softball Association

Clinton area girls interested in playing softball competitively are encouraged to try out for a travel team that will enter it's second year of existence.

Jason Yost is the President of the Clinton Youth Softball Association and indicates after a popular team dissolved several years ago, he and many others are working to bring the travel concept back to Clinton.

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According to Yost, the first year, which was this past season, they only put a 12 and under team not knowing what to expect. He explains they want to allow as many girls the opportunity to play as they can.

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Yost believe giving the girls of Clinton this opportunity will translate to not only success in the future playing softball, but also in life.

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Yost indicates the schedule they hope to have the teams play will be very involved. He says they hope to participate in several tournaments with game during the week.

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This will be a round of tryouts for next summer's schedule. According to Yost, they will host a tryout this Thursday evening at 5 pm at the high school then again on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm also at the high school.

He says the girls will be hitting and fielding and there will be a separate tryout following each session for pitchers and catchers.

For more information you can contact Yost at 217-823-1330.

City of Clinton Approves New Park Hours

The Clinton City Council Monday night approved an ordinance to put "hours" on the community parks.

In light of recent vandalism, the Council considered changing the hours from sun up to sun down. City Administrator Tim Followell indicates the parks don't offer much in the way of leisure past dark, so the ordinance addresses this.

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The change in park hours for the City won't go into effect for another couple weeks. Followell indicates they want the community to be fully aware of the change, so signage will be put up at each park for everyone to see.

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Mayor Roger Cyrulik points out this is also a response to vandalism at the parks in recent years and a way to preserve the upgrade to them.

Also at the Monday meeting the Council...

>>Approved the purchase of a 2007 frieghtliner tanker truck for the fire department at a cost of just short of $70-thousand.

>>The City approved their portion of a facade agreement with Dr. Gary Riegel for just over $12-thousand.

Community Remember Carol Thompson

DeWitt County is mourning the loss of one of it's compassionate educators for nature and conservation.

Carol Thompson passed away this weekend after a battle with cancer and this week those who saw Thompson do what she loved are remembering her. Tom Jackson is the former Superintendent of Weldon Springs State Park. He calls Thompson an asset to the Park and the community and praised the dedication she had for nature and the kids of the community.

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Jackson calls Weldon Springs a "crown jewel of DeWitt County" and says much of what is there now is because of the work of Thompson.

Clinton Elementary School Principal Mary Diener says Thompson impacted numerous students that she has taught. Diener says Thompson wanted everyone to appreciate the outdoors, nature and animals.

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Diener says Thompson persevered through everything to continue her mission with children and education and spreading the love of the outdoors. Diener will give the eulogy at Thompson's funeral Thursday and says she has so much to say, getting it all out will be a challenge.

Thompson's funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the Rev. Leanne Noland officiating. Cremation rites will be accorded following the service. Private graveside service will be at Oak Park Cemetery, Clinton. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Clinton Tree Commission.

Cyber Security Consultant Says Things Could Always Be More Secure

While the Comptroller’s office says their payroll systems are antiquated, they also say there is technology and protocol in place to keep confidential information out of nefarious hands.

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Illinois Towns Increasingly Allow Golf Carts on Streets

Residents in many small Illinois communities are getting the green light to zip around town in golf carts.

According to reports, more towns are adopting ordinances to accommodate golf carts, which are growing in popularity as an alternative to cars and trucks.

Most communities with 10,000 or fewer residents in Champaign, Douglas, Piatt and Vermilion communities have ordinances allowing golf carts on local streets.

Hoopeston Police Chief Mark Drollinger helped draft an ordinance in 2009 when gas prices were around $4 a gallon. He says carts have grown in popularity ever since.

He says he initially had safety concerns, but drivers have been cautious.

Gibson City Police Chief Steve Cushman says his department issued 100 permits this year, up from 34 in 2010.

The issue came up two years ago in Clinton but was never called for a vote.

Sen. Durbin Teams Up With Congresswoman Duckworth For Military Legislation

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth are calling for new tools to shield military members from businesses they say are engaging in abusive financial practices.

New legislation filed by Duckworth in the House would empower the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to oversee and enforce compliance with certain existing provisions of the Service Member Civil Relief Act (SCRA). That act was designed to protect the finances of military members during times of deployment.

Duckworth, who lost her legs while piloting a military helicopter in Iraq, says predatory practices hurt the troops and the military as a whole.

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Durbin says the legislation would add teeth to efforts to enforce consumer protections for military personnel.

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Durbin has co-sponsored similar legislation in the Senate.

Sweet Corn Now Official Illinois Vegetable

Sweet corn is now Illinois' state vegetable.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Thursday, making the designation official. State Sen. Sam McCann of Plainview introduced the legisilation after fourth-graders at Chatham Elementary School asked him about giving corn the honor. It had unanimous support.

Sweet corn now joins the list of other state symbols. That list includes popcorn as the official state snack food, violet as the official flower, cardinal as the official bird and square dancing as of the official state dance.

Rauner signed the measure before he was scheduled to visit the Chatham Sweet Corn Festival. The governor has yet to act on legislation that designates pumpkin pie as the official state pie.

DeWitt County Sheriff Plans To Crack Down on Cell Phone Use While Driving

If you're passing through DeWitt County and you have your cell phone handy, perhaps it will be best to put it away.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner indicates his office plans to begin cracking down on those using their cell phones will behind the wheel. He notes laws and regulations have been in place long enough, the "education period" on those is over.

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The Sheriff says the enforcement of issuing citations for cell phone use could pose a potential challenge for his office but says it may be something they start specifically looking for while on patrols.

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Drivers may be incline to put cell phones away while in a town and then pull them out when they get to county or state highways but the Sheriff says that is not any better. Sheriff Shofner explains because your speeds are increased in those areas, it actually makes using a cell phone even more dangerous.

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Sheriff Shofner says motorists and society survived decades behind the wheel without being connected to what was happening and says no one's safety should come second to that.

Clinton Man Named AM-Vet of the Year

 width=A Clinton man was recently named AM-Vet of the Year for the State of Illinois.

Darrel Tucker with the Clinton Post 14 was named AM-Vet of the Year for the work he does around the community and the state. He says the award meant a great deal to him because of the mission and goal of the AM-Vets organization.

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According to Clinton AM-Vets Post 14 Leader Jesse Owens, Tucker receiving the award was much deserved. Owens explains they made the nomination and felt as though Tucker's work in the community more than speaks for his dedication to the organization.

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Tucker is employed at Exelon in Clinton and according to Brett Nauman, Clinton Exelon Power Station Communication Director, Tucker is a great advocate for the AM-Vets and says he sees often the dedication of Tucker to the organization.

Kyle Busch Wins Second Straight Race

Kyle Busch took another big step towards moving into the top-30 in the point standings and therefore earning a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by winning Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway -- his third victory in the last four races.

Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, moved up two positions in the standings to 33rd. He is now 58 points behind 30th-place David Gilliland, as seven races remain before the playoffs in NASCAR's premier series begin. Busch must finish in the top-30 in points when the regular season concludes on Sept 12 at Richmond in order to qualify for the Chase.

 width=With his victories at Kentucky and New Hampshire, Busch has gained 70 points on the 30th position in the rankings in just two races.

The race ended under caution after Alex Bowman hit the wall in turn 2 on the final lap.

Busch claimed his 32nd career victory in the series. He also became the 12th different winner in the last 12 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire, a streak dating back to the fall of 2009. It's the longest active streak at any track in the series.

Keselowski, who won this race at New Hampshire one year ago, crossed the finish line in second. He led the most laps with 100.

Kevin Harvick placed third, followed by Keselowski's teammate, Joey Logano, who won the most recent race here last September. Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the top-five.

Busch's teammates, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Edwards started on the pole and led the first 19 laps. Austin Dillon, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch, who is Kyle's elder brother, completed the top-10.

JGR driver Denny Hamlin placed 14th in this 301-lap race one day after he won the 200-lap Xfinity Series event here.

British Open Concludes Today

With three players tied for the third-round lead at St. Andrews, history could be made in Monday's final round at the Open Championship.

Among the three leaders is Irish amateur Paul Dunne. He is the first amateur atop the leaderboard after 54 holes since Bobby Jones in 1927.

 width=Dunne, who is the 80th ranked amateur in the world, fired a 6-under 66 to end three rounds at 12-under-par 204. He was joined there by 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day, who both shot 67 in round three.

Oosthuizen, who won his Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, is looking to become the sixth player to win two Open Championships on the same course.

If that isn't enough, Jordan Spieth is one stroke off the lead after a third- round 66. The Masters and U.S. Open champion stands at 11-under-par 205. Spieth has a chance to join Ben Hogan as the only ones to win the season's first three majors.

Two-time Open Championship winner Padraig Harrington fired a 7-under 65 to jump into fifth place at minus-10. The Irishman has three majors to his name as he also won the 2008 PGA Championship.

Marc Leishman finished before second-round leader Dustin Johnson even teed off. Leishman had a birdie putt at the last to tie for the lead, but missed. However, he fired an 8-under 64, the low round of the day, to soar into a share of sixth place at 9-under-par 207.

Leishman shares sixth with former major champions Retief Goosen (69), Justin Rose (68), Adam Scott (70) and Zach Johnson (70) as well as Sergio Garcia (68), Robert Streb (70), amateur Jordan Niebrugge (67) and Danny Willett (72).

Dustin Johnson made just one birdie in the third round and bogeyed the final three holes for a 3-over 75. He fell into a tie for 18th at 7-under 209.

Favre Has No. 4 Retired, Enters Packers Hall of Fame

Brett Favre entered the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday and had his No. 4 retired by the team he led for the bulk of his 20-year NFL career.

The record-setting quarterback will be honored again later this year when his name and jersey will be unveiled on the Lambeau Field facade during halftime of the Packers' Thanksgiving night game against rival Chicago on Nov. 26.

 width=During a banquet in the Lambeau Field Atrium on Saturday, Favre became the 154th person inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. He is the sixth player to have his number retired by the team.

Favre, 45, spoke to a crowd of 67,000 fans inside Lambeau who turned out to watch the Hall of Fame ceremony on the stadium's video boards.

"All I can say is wow," Favre said, looking at the crowd. "This is absolutely amazing."

It was the first time the Packers retired a number since they honored Reggie White posthumously in 2005.

Favre's 16-year tenure with the Packers ended in acrimony, of course, when he retired in 2008, then attempted a comeback only to be told that Aaron Rodgers was the starting quarterback.

But the relationship has apparently thawed, and Favre, who played three more seasons with the Jets and Vikings before retiring for good in 2010, said he thinks the Packers Hall of Fame rivals the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which he will likely enter next year.

Favre led the Packers to their first Super Bowl title in 29 years at the end of the 1996 season. He holds NFL records for passing yards, completions and attempts and famously started 297 consecutive games between 1992 and 2010, also an all-time record.

White Sox Notes

>>Hahn Says Sox Still Deciding On Whether To Buy Or Sell

General manager Rick Hahn says the Chicago White Sox are still deciding if they will try to add or sell players.

The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is approaching. The White Sox won 13 of 20 games before the All-Star break after struggling most of the way.

 width=Hahn says they have to "continue that over the next several days before we stick our flag in the ground."

He spoke before Friday's day-night doubleheader against AL Central leader Kansas City, the start of a difficult six-game stretch. It includes a two-game series against NL Central-leading St. Louis.

The White Sox began the day last in the AL Central and 5 1/2 games out of the wild card despite their recent surge.

>>White Sox DFA 3B Gillaspie

Conor Gillaspie, the Chicago White Sox' regular third baseman in each of the previous two seasons, was designated for assignment by the team Sunday.

The White Sox needed to clear a roster spot for reliever Matt Albers, activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to Sunday's game against Kansas City.

Gillaspie hit a career-best .282 with seven home runs and 57 RBI in 130 games last season, but has struggled at the plate for much of 2015 and has recently lost playing time to rookie Tyler Saladino.

The 28-year-old Gillaspie owns a .237 average with three homers and 15 RBI over 58 games this season. In his three years with the White Sox, he batted .258 with 24 home runs and 116 RBI, with 13 of those homers coming as a rookie in 2013.

Albers has been out for the majority of this season due to a fractured right pinkie finger he sustained during an on-field brawl between the White Sox and Royals on April 23. The veteran right-hander had allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings over four appearances prior to the injury.

Cubs Win; Cards Fall In 18 Innings; Sox Lose

>>Mets Outlast Cardinals In Another Marathon Between the Two Foes

 width=Ruben Tejada's sacrifice fly in the 18th inning helped the New York Mets end a marathon game in a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

New York loaded the bases with two singles and an error by pitcher Carlos Martinez (10-4) on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Kevin Plawecki. Tejada then sent a sac fly into right that gave the Mets the lead, and Eric Campbell executed a safety squeeze a batter later for a two-run edge.

Carlos Torres (3-4) picked up the win for two scoreless innings of relief.

Curtis Granderson opened the 13th with a double off Carlos Villanueva, then Plawecki followed with a single to right for the game's first run. Villanueva maneuvered out of a bases-loaded jam later in the inning to keep it a one-run game.

That proved to be huge for the Cardinals because Kolten Wong started the home 13th with a solo homer off Jeurys Familia down the right-field line.

Each team had a chance to plate a run in the fifth but came up empty. Tejada doubled with one out before Jon Niese and Juan Lagares struck out. Tim Cooney's two-out single in the home fifth put runners at the corners prior to Wong lining out to center.

Seth Maness relieved Cooney with the bases loaded in the sixth and got Plawecki to go down swinging for the final out.

Daniel Murphy led off the 10th inning with a single and was on third with two outs when Wilmer Flores grounded a pitch to second baseman Wong, who skipped a throw to Mark Reynolds but the latter made the scoop to keep the game scoreless.

Jenrry Mejia escaped a jam in the 11th by inducing a double play from Yadier Molina with runners at the corners.

>>Cubs Beat Braves

 width=Jorge Soler homered to help the Chicago Cubs in a 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Jonathan Herrera had a pair of RBI for the Cubs, who took two of three in the series against Atlanta.

Jake Arrieta (11-5) tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out 10 in the win.

Shelby Miller (5-6) allowed three runs -- one earned -- with eight strikeouts in six innings of work for Atlanta, which has lost seven of its last eight.

Chicago took a 2-0 lead after two innings in large part because of an error by second baseman Jace Peterson. Chris Coghlan singled with one out and Starlin Castro reached on Peterson's throwing error. Arrieta struck out after David Ross walked to load the bases, but Miller couldn't get out of trouble as Herrera singled up the middle.

Soler homered with two outs in the third to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Chicago tacked on another run in the ninth on Coghlan's RBI double.

Andrelton Simmons put the Braves on the board with an RBI double in the home ninth to account for the final margin.

National League Scoreboard
Los Angeles 5, Washington 0
Philadelphia 8, Miami 7
Milwaukee 6, Pittsburgh 1
San Francisco 2, Arizona 1
Colorado at San Diego, postponed

>>Duffy Sends Royals Over Sox

 width=Danny Duffy's eight-plus outstanding innings and home runs from Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando led the Kansas City Royals to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Duffy (4-4) was superb in the longest outing of his career, carrying a shutout into the ninth inning and limiting the White Sox to six hits and one walk while recording 14 outs on the ground.

Tyler Saladino spoiled the shutout bid by belting his first major league homer to begin the bottom of the ninth.

Orlando aided Duffy's cause with a two-run homer off Chicago ace Chris Sale and Cain kept up his hot hitting with a solo blast. Eric Hosmer chipped in three more hits, including an RBI single, to help the Royals to their third win of this four-game set.

Sale (8-5) wasn't at his best in his first start after the All-Star break, permitting a season-high 11 hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings of work.

Sale was particularly off early on, as three of the first four Kansas City batters reached base to produce the game's initial run. After Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas opened with back-to-back soft singles, Hosmer ripped a base hit up the middle to stake the Royals to a 1-0 edge.

The standout left-hander briefly settled down to keep Kansas City off the board over the next four innings, and had retired seven straight hitters until Cain led off the sixth with his second homer in as many days.

Duffy was able to protect the lead with clutch pitching and help from a defense that turned two double plays over the first four innings. He got into his biggest jam in the sixth, when Carlos Sanchez and Adam Eaton both singled to put two on with none out.

Saladino then dropped down a bunt and was originally called safe on Duffy's error, but Royals manager Ned Yost successfully challenged the ruling when replays showed Hosmer kept his foot on the bag while taking the throw. Duffy proceeded to strike out Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera to strand two in scoring position and keep the Royals up 2-0.

Orlando extended the margin a half-inning later by hammering a Sale fastball over the center-field wall with Alex Rios aboard.

Duffy followed up his two big strikeouts in the sixth by firing 1-2-3 innings in both the seventh and eighth. After Saladino reached the seats to start the ninth, Joe Blanton set down the next three hitters to record his first career save.

American League Scoreboard
New York 2, Seattle 1
Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 0
Baltimore 9, Detroit 3
Houston 10, Texas 0
Oakland 14, Minnesota 1
Cleveland 5, Cincinnati 3 (11 innings)
Boston at LA Angels of Anaheim, postponed

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 17

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Erick Aguilera, 21, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Aguilera was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jennifer Trivitt, 38, Vandaila was issued Citations for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Trivitt was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Joseph Ward, 36, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ward was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 29

Paper Services: 6

Warrants: 0

Tiffany Akens, 19, Farmer City was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Akens was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Thomas Aubbard, 57, Virginia Beach, CA was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Aubbard was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Rachel Greer, 30, Linden was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Greer was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Brandon Hieronymus , 23, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone.  Hieronymus was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Oricla Polen, 41, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Polen was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Russell Gambino, 40, was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Gambino was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Alexis Remimers, 18, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Remimers was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Joshua Durbin, 34, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Durbin was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Jennifer Whalen, 30, Champaign was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Whalen was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.





Cornbelters Defeat Wild Things

The Bloomington Cornbelters defeated the Washington Wild Things by a score of 5 to 4 in 11 innings Sunday afternoon, winning the series.

Tune in Tuesday July 21th at 6:20 p.m. as the Cornbelters take on the Joliet Slammers. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

Comptroller To Continue Pay Until Court Acts

Until another court issues an order to stop payroll, the state’s Comptroller is moving forward with future payroll for state employees. Illinois News Network has more:

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DCEO Says Lower Unemployment From Declining Workforce Shows Need For Reforms

A lowered unemployment rate isn’t necessarily a positive sign. Instead, it’s a sign of the need for reforms. That’s according to Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz. Illinois News Network has more:

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IDES Says June Unemployment Figures Reflect Declining Workforce

There’s more to that lower unemployment number than meets the eye. Part of the decreased rate is people leaving the workforce. Illinois News Network has more:

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The revised numbers for May saw 1,800 less jobs than originally estimated.

Local Dance Troop Competes At Nationals

Clinton based dance studio, Dance Xtreme, ended their season as National Champions at Bravo! National Dance Competitions held in Ames, Iowa last week.

The 14-member group performed to the production of “Nicest Kids In Town” led by owner/director/choreographer Kim Alexander.

In addition to the National Championship, the team also earned 8 Platinum Awards, 7 Elite High Gold Awards, 2 Category and Judges Awards, and a 1st, 3rd, 2-4th, 2-5th, and 6th overall placements with their other 14 dances.

Team members include Savanna Williamson, Jackson Alexander, Jade Detar, Destiny Detar, Khloe Morlock, Cadence Bishop, Kaitlin Burton, Lauren Broden, Justice Conn, Kylie Jordan, Chelsea McKinzey, Paige Shepherd, Rachael Hennessey and Ashlyn Biddle.

“Nicest Kids In Town” has attended four other competitions and claimed victories with the following awards: 4-1st overall, Elite High Gold, 2-High Gold, a Diamond, Choreography Award, Entertainment Award, and the Cutest Couples Award.

Dance Xtreme is celebrating their 5th Anniversary located at 505 W. Side Square, Clinton, Illinois.

Not All Bar Owners Pleased With New 'Happy Hour' Legislation

Happy hour is back in Illinois - but not all bar owners are saying "cheers" to the new law.

Pitchers Pub and Pizzeria owner Lloyd Cueto in Belleville supports the change. He says he's lost business to out-of-state bars since Illinois banned happy hour in the 1980s. But Tumble Inn owner Tobin Herges in Champaign says he doesn't rely on drink specials, and doesn't imagine he'll add a happy hour.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure Wednesday and the law took effect immediately. Proponents believe happy hour will generate tax revenue through increased alcohol sales.

Since happy hour was banned, drink discounts have been allowed provided they weren't limited to particular hours. The new law lets bar offer specials up to four hours a day and 15 hours a week.

EIU Announces Over 200 Employees Forced To Take Furlough

Budget cuts at Eastern Illinois University now include furlough days for 222 employees.

According to reports, EIU President David Glassman sent a letter to the university community on Wednesday detailing the furloughs. Last month Glassman sent an email letting employees know that layoffs were possible in July.

The school has had budget troubles due to lower student enrollment. Glassman has said EIU's fiscal year 2016 budget leaves the school with a deficit of between $12 million and $14 million.

Employees affected by furlough days are all administrative and professional workers. The number of days each employee must take will be determined on a sliding scale based on salary with higher-paid workers required to take as many as 14 furlough days.

Job Loss Long Term Budget Driver

With the state legislature and the Governor still at stalemate on the budget negotiations in Springfield, Micheal Lucci (Lew-Chee) with the business oriented Illinois Policy Institute says the budget problems in the short term are due to the fact that pensions consume 25% of the budget.

But in the long term, the root problem is job loss and population loss in Illinois.

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The legislature has to decide whether to take a short term approach to the budget and just raise taxes and make some cuts… Or address the long term drivers of population and job loss.

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Last year Illinois lost 95,000 people, over the past two decades about a million people left the state and haven’t been replaced by increased births.. The result is a declining tax base, reducing tax receipts by hundreds of millions a year.

Illinois Has Begun Processing Paychecks Due Wednesday

Illinois officials say they have begun processing paychecks for state workers even though there's no budget for the fiscal year.

Bradley Hahn is chief of staff to Comptroller Leslie Munger. He told The Associated Press on Friday the office is writing checks and they should be delivered Wednesday to 6,800 workers.

The fiscal year began July 1 and there's no budget agreement between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature.

State records show 64,460 workers are paid through the comptroller's office.

A Cook County judge ruled Tuesday the Constitution bars paying bills with no budget. But Munger got an appellate court to stall that ruling. On Thursday, a St. Clair County judge decreed the state would violate the Constitution by not paying.

More court action is likely.

New Law Gives Waives of License Plate Fees For Combat Veterans

Combat veterans returning from active duty will qualify for free Illinois license plates under legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

According to reports, the new law takes effect in January 2017.

It will waive the fees for one year after the veteran returns to Illinois.

Republican Sen. Neil Anderson of Rock Island sponsored the measure, which both chambers of the Legislature passed unanimously and Rauner signed on Friday.

Anderson says the bill will help make the transition to civilian life "just a little easier" for returning veterans.

The law requires veterans to provide documentation to the Secretary of State proving they received hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay in the 12 months prior to their application for new plates.

The bill is SB1603.

Sales Tax Hike Proposed By Cook County Board President

Consumer taxes in Cook County will increase by one percentage point next year as a result of a vote by commissioners.

The county sales tax is currently .75 percent and would rise to 1.75 percent. That would make Chicago's total sales tax rate 10.25 percent, among the nation's highest.

Before Wednesday's 9-7 vote, board President Toni Preckwinkle said the extra tax money is needed to restore financial health to the county's government worker pension fund.

Officials with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and the Civic Federation, a budget watchdog group, testified against the tax hike.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall noted his group has praised Preckwinkle for her efforts to streamline government. However, he said a sales tax increase shouldn't be considered before a 2016 budget proposal is unveiled.

Peoria Running Out of Funds For Abandoned Houses

Officials in the central Illinois city of Peoria say tearing down abandoned houses can remove eyesores and make neighborhoods safer.

Reports indicate the city is nearly out of money for such demolitions for the year, but a backlog remains.

Peoria has spent more than $750,000 demolishing 73 houses this year. That's most of the money budgeted for the knockdowns for 2015.

Assistant Community Development Director Joe Dullin says there's still a need for more demolition of abandoned buildings.

Peoria obtains a court order for each demolition, which can take many months. Structures must meet one of 13 "dangerous building" criteria to be torn down.

The Journal Star reports the city demolished 86 buildings last year, mostly in South Peoria.

Congressman Kinzinger Addresses Iran Deal

Congessman Adam Kinzinger thinks the nuclear deal with Iran is a bad one. The Channahon Republican says the world powers should have held out for a deal in which Iran doesn’t enrich uranium at all and stops all missile research. He thinks sanctions against the country should continue.

[audio:7181560110-KINZA.mp3] [/audio]

Kinzinger thinks with the newly announced nuclear deal, Iran will pursue a nuclear weapon and its neighbors will likely feel the need to do it too.

[audio:7181560110-KINZC.mp3] [/audio]

Kinzinger says it also appears human rights issues aren’t addressed. Another Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk has been monitoring restrictions on religious minorities in Iran and has been trying to draw attention to them.

Gov. Signs Electronic Recycling Bill

The state's electronics recycling efforts will change after Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation addressing shortfalls in the program.

The governor's office says the previous law put too much burden on local governments and the new legislation will provide time to develop new regulations. Reports indicate the bill seeks to save underfunded electronics recycling program statewide that have been jeopardized as demand for services continues to grow.

Dean Olson of Will County's Resource Recovery and Energy Division says the bill is a temporary but critical solution. He says it will save programs across the state from shutting down due to a lack of funding.

Marta Keane, the county's recycling program specialist, says the legislation increases the amount of items electronic manufacturers have to pay to recycle annually.

Sales Tax Hike Proposed By Cook County Board President

Consumer taxes in Cook County will increase by one percentage point next year as a result of a vote by commissioners.

The county sales tax is currently .75 percent and would rise to 1.75 percent. That would make Chicago's total sales tax rate 10.25 percent, among the nation's highest.

Before Wednesday's 9-7 vote, board President Toni Preckwinkle said the extra tax money is needed to restore financial health to the county's government worker pension fund.

Officials with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, and the Civic Federation, a budget watchdog group, testified against the tax hike.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall noted his group has praised Preckwinkle for her efforts to streamline government. However, he said a sales tax increase shouldn't be considered before a 2016 budget proposal is unveiled.

Energy Conference Hears About Illinois' Wind Potential

An Illinois State University professor said at a renewable energy conference that the state has the potential to produce far more wind and solar power than it now does.

David Loomis is an economics professor at Illinois State and director of its Center for Renewable Energy. According to reports, he says recent U.S. Department of Energy study indicated that Illinois has the potential to become the nation's No. 2 wind-energy producer behind Texas between 2030 and 2050.

Loomis also talked about solar energy projects such as a school in Farmington that turned much of its roof into space for solar panels. He said other schools could do the same.

The conference brought together experts on renewable energy from around the state.

Illinois Farmers Say Enbridge Pipeline Damaging Land

Farmers in central Illinois say crews working on an Enbridge oil pipeline have damaged their wet fields.

According to reports, a meeting is scheduled Friday among the Illinois Farm Bureau, Enbridge officials and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Tim Killian farms south of Hudson in McLean County and says Enbridge's Southern Access Extension pipeline crews came onto his farmland and started removing wet top soil to make way for future work. Killian says he intentionally doesn't till the land so it maintains its structure. Other farmers also have told the farm bureau that pipeline crews went into wet fields.

Jennifer Smith is manager of stakeholder relations for Enbridge. She says the project takes the complaints seriously and is in discussions with individual landowners and farm bureaus.

Illinois Unemployment Down in June

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in June. It was the first time the state jobless rate fell below 6 percent since 2008.

The department said Thursday in its monthly unemployment report that the state nonetheless lost 7,500 jobs for the month.

The state jobless rate fell from 6 percent in May. Nationally, unemployment was 5.3 percent in June.

In Illinois, companies in the transportation and utilities, financial activities and educational and health services sectors added the largest numbers of jobs in June.

Construction and leisure and hospitality firms reported the largest declines.

The number of unemployed people looking for work across Illinois dropped 2.5 percent in June to 382,400.

Job Loss Long Term Budget Driver

With the state legislature and the Governor still at stalemate on the budget negotiations in Springfield, Micheal Lucci (Lew-Chee) with the business oriented Illinois Policy Institute says the budget problems in the short term are due to the fact that pensions consume 25% of the budget.

But in the long term, the root problem is job loss and population loss in Illinois.

[audio:7171582014-Lucci1.mp3] [/audio]

The legislature has to decide whether to take a short term approach to the budget and just raise taxes and make some cuts… Or address the long term drivers of population and job loss.

[audio:7171582016-Lucci2.mp3] [/audio]

Last year Illinois lost 95,000 people, over the past two decades about a million people left the state and haven’t been replaced by increased births.. The result is a declining tax base, reducing tax receipts by hundreds of millions a year.

Peoria Running Out of Funds For Abandoned Houses

Officials in the central Illinois city of Peoria say tearing down abandoned houses can remove eyesores and make neighborhoods safer.

Reports indicate the city is nearly out of money for such demolitions for the year, but a backlog remains.

Peoria has spent more than $750,000 demolishing 73 houses this year. That's most of the money budgeted for the knockdowns for 2015.

Assistant Community Development Director Joe Dullin says there's still a need for more demolition of abandoned buildings.

Peoria obtains a court order for each demolition, which can take many months. Structures must meet one of 13 "dangerous building" criteria to be torn down.

The city demolished 86 buildings last year, mostly in South Peoria.

University of Illinois Negotiating To Privatize Sports Concessions

The University of Illinois has tentatively agreed to a $10 million contract with a national food service company to provide meals for athletes and fans in premium seats at Memorial Stadium and State Farm Center.

Reports indicate the five-year, $10 million contract with Sodexo is pending approval of trustees next week. The UI has negotiated an $8 million contract with Sodexo to provide concessions at all athletic facilities. The school's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics previously provided that service.

Susan Young is senior associate athletic director for business affairs at UI. She says the school wants to privatize to increase revenue and minimize expenses.

Sodexo would provide everything from buffets for athletes to desserts in luxury suites if the contracts are approved.

Warrensburg-Latham High School Going One-To-One

Last year, Warrensburg-Latham Schools began a pilot program for technology in the classroom, and in this upcoming school year, they will be introducing one-to-one technology at their high school.

Superintendent, Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle indicates the introduction of the ChromeBooks was a huge success in the limited areas they had it. She feels it streamlined a lot of schoolwork for the their students.

[audio:7171582337-71715wltech1.mp3] [/audio]

Normally funding for the latest technology can be a challenge for school districts but Dr. Kendrick-Weikle indicates they received a grant earlier this year from ADM to help them afford the latest technology in their classrooms.

[audio:7171582339-71715wltech2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Kendrick-Weikle believes having the technology in the classroom is getting the students excited about learning. She says technology is something all students are exposed to now and feels the schools need to adapt to that.

[audio:7171582343-71715wltech3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says always using technology is not appropriate. She believes that often comes down to the individual classroom leader's discretion. She adds students still interact and colaborate with each other and utilize teamwork concepts away from the cell phones and computers.

DeWitt County Habitat For Humanity Refocusing Priorities

 width=In an effort to better the organization, the DeWitt County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is narrowing their focus within the group.

According to Norman Emery, with Habitat in DeWitt County, the organization has decided to focus on three areas they feel are most vital. He explains they are focused on building up their board to rebuild the organization.

[audio:7171582328-71715habitatrebuild1.mp3] [/audio]

Habitat had started a 5K run as a fundraiser in recent years, and Emery says that was one of the things that was on their chopping block. He hopes to see it return next year if they are able to meet their goals this year.

[audio:7171582330-71715habitatrebuild2.mp3] [/audio]

Emery feels the refocus has been very positive for the group but points out they still need to find board members. He hopes to find people that want to dedicate themselves to a group like Habitat for Humanity.

[audio:7171582333-71715habitatrebuild3.mp3] [/audio]

To learn more about the DeWitt County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, search them on Facebook, habitatdewitt (one word) or email them at hfh.dewitt.county@gmail.com.

NFL Notes

>>Patriots OL Retires

New England Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly has decided to retire.

Multiple outlets, including the Boston Herald and ESPN, reported the news on Thursday.

"It's important to me to leave the game healthy," Connolly told ESPN. "I'm able to be here for my kids and walk away on my own terms. I feel like I got everything I could out of football in playing 10 years, winning a Super Bowl, and playing alongside some truly great players."

 width=The 32-year-old Connolly entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005 out of Southeast Missouri State. After being cut from the Jaguars in September 2007, he joined New England's practice squad.

Connolly, a captain on the Patriots' Super Bowl championship team in 2014, appeared in 89 regular-season games (71 starts) in his career. He also started in 11 playoff games (including two Super Bowls).

Connolly acknowledged winning a Super Bowl helped him with his decision to leave the game.

He became an unrestricted free agent following the season and visited the Buccaneers in March before deciding to end his playing career.

>>Steelers Sign DE Heyward To Six Year Contract

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed defensive end Cameron Heyward to a six-year contract, the team announced on Thursday.

Last season with the Steelers, Heyward set a career-high with 7 1/2 sacks and added 53 tackles in all 16 games.

The 31st overall selection of Pittsburgh in the 2011 draft, the Ohio State product has appeared in all 64 games over his four seasons in the NFL, tied for the third-longest active streak amongst defensive ends in the league.

He has amassed 143 tackles and 15 sacks, along with 12 passes defensed.

NBA Notes

>>Clippers Sign F Josh Smith

The Los Angeles Clippers signed forward Josh Smith to a one-year deal on Thursday.

Smith averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game over 55 contests last season with the Houston Rockets after being picked up on waivers from the Detroit Pistons.

 width=He played a crucial role in Houston's comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference semifinals over the Clippers. Smith poured in 14 of his 19 points in the third quarter of Game 6, which LA led by as many as 19 before falling apart. Smith then netted 15 points in Game 7 to help Houston become the ninth NBA team to rally from a 3-1 gap.

The 29-year-old Smith has averaged 15.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game over an 11-year career with the Atlanta Hawks, Pistons and Rockets.

>>Spurs Reward F Kawhi Leonard With Extension

The San Antonio Spurs announced a new deal for Kawhi Leonard on Thursday, weeks after reports said the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year had agreed to a max contract.

The Spurs did not release terms of the deal, but a max contract would pay the restricted free-agent forward around $90 million over five years.

Leonard, 24, battled injuries last season but averaged 16.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and an NBA-best 2.3 steals -- all career highs -- while continuing to maintain his reputation as a lock-down defender

The 2014 NBA Finals MVP has averaged 12.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists over four seasons with the Spurs, who acquired him in a draft-day trade with Indiana in 2011.

Dustin Johnson Leads After Day 1 At British Open

Playing for the first time since his devastating loss at Chambers Bay, Dustin Johnson was hitting on all cylinders in Thursday's first round at the Open Championship.

Johnson fired a 7-under 65 on the Old Course at St. Andrews with five birdies and an eagle. He closed with four pars in a row to cap a bogey-free round.

 width=The WGC-Cadillac Championship winner became the first man since Gary Player in 1974 to lead after first round of both the U.S. Open and the Open Championship in the same year.

Johnson was close to winning his first major title at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, but 3-putted for par on the final hole to share second place behind Jordan Spieth.

Spieth, who has won the season's first two majors, was paired with Johnson for the first two rounds. Spieth birdied the 18th on Thursday for a 5-under 67, which left him tied for eighth.

If Spieth were to win this week, he would join Ben Hogan (1953) as the only players to win the first three majors of a season. Spieth claimed his fourth PGA Tour victory of the season last week at the John Deere Classic.

Spieth stands alongside Kevin Na, 2011 Masters champ Charl Schwartzel, amateur Jordan Niebrugge and Louis Oosthuizen, who won this title in 2010, the last time St. Andrews hosted the Open.

Jason Day, one of the other key players at the U.S. Open, is far more healthy this week than he was at Chambers Bay, where he collapsed while battling vertigo.

Day opened with a 6-under 66. He was joined in second place by two-time U.S. Open champ Retief Goosen, 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson, Danny Willett and Robert Streb.

Last year's winner Rory McIlroy is out of action with an ankle injury. Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler shared second behind McIlroy. Garcia shot 70, while Fowler managed a 72.

Despite hoisting two Claret Jugs at St. Andrews, and boasting of swing improvements, Tiger Woods struggled again in a major championship. The three- time Open champion shot a 4-over 76, his worst round as a professional at St. Andrews.

Illinois First Appellate Court Decision Keeps State Employee Checks For Now

Illinois' First District Appellate Court this morning decided to vacate the Cook County Circuit Court's order to pay certain state employees at minimum wage, so for the time being all state employees can continue to get paychecks.

Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said that today's ruling removes any conflict between Court decisions and allows her office to continue paying all state employees for their work. She added that her priority has been to comply with federal mandates and she said she'll do everything in her power under the law to pay workers for services they are already providing the state.

Congressman Kinzinger Addresses Iran Deal

Congessman Adam Kinzinger thinks the nuclear deal with Iran is a bad one. The Channahon Republican says the world powers should have held out for a deal in which Iran doesn’t enrich uranium at all and stops all missile research. He thinks sanctions against the country should continue.

[audio:7161585646-KINZA.mp3] [/audio]

Kinzinger thinks with the newly announced nuclear deal, Iran will pursue a nuclear weapon and its neighbors will likely feel the need to do it too.

[audio:7161585645-KINZC.mp3] [/audio]

Kinzinger says it also appears human rights issues aren’t addressed. Another Republican, Sen. Mark Kirk has been monitoring restrictions on religious minorities in Iran and has been trying to draw attention to them.

Gov. Signs Electronic Recycling Bill

The state's electronics recycling efforts will change after Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation addressing shortfalls in the program.

The governor's office says the previous law put too much burden on local governments and the new legislation will provide time to develop new regulations. Reports indicate the bill seeks to save underfunded electronics recycling program statewide that have been jeopardized as demand for services continues to grow.

Dean Olson of Will County's Resource Recovery and Energy Division says the bill is a temporary but critical solution. He says it will save programs across the state from shutting down due to a lack of funding.

Marta Keane, the county's recycling program specialist, says the legislation increases the amount of items electronic manufacturers have to pay to recycle annually.

Rauner Pushing For Pension Reform

Governor Bruce Rauner is talking pension reform once again. Now he has included some new wrinkles.

He says the new plan to address underfunded pensions would save billions of dollars a year. Rauner called the effort fair and reasonable to workers and taxpayers and takes steps to freeze worker salaries for five years and then would offer workers the options of getting raises, more vacation or overtime but only if they agree to switch to a less generous pension plan.

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Rauner says this reform stands on it own and he won’t require it to be signed to get a budget.

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Rauner says the bill is over 500 pages long and it includes reforms saught by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Lincoln Leaders Gearing Up For First 'Arts in the Park'

Art, wine, and music are among the many themes on display this weekend in Lincoln for "Art in the Park".

Approximately 30 artists are set to converge on Latham Park in downtown Lincoln. According to Cara Barr with the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, there will be a lot of other things going on in conjunction with the art show.

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Nicole Cox is the Chamber Director, she explains Friday night, things kick off with a 4-course dinner that will be paired with wine. She explains the night also features a buffet and live jazz music.

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The live entertainment will be just off the square near the art fair so everyone can enjoy it. Barr says their lineup includes the Lincoln Theater promoting their upcoming show along with others that go Saturday and Sunday.

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Wineries from across the stae will be on hand to provide those attending with samples. According to Barr, there will be a few craft beer brewers there courtesy of the Young Professionals Network of Logan County.

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Arts in the Park is this weekend in downtown Lincoln. The Arts in the Park is an expansion event from the original Art and Balloon Festival.

Barr and Cox indicate they are in need of volunteers for the event this weekend. If interested in providing a lending hand, contact the Lincoln Chamber at 217-735-2385 or visit lincolnillinois.com.

Organizers Continue To Ready For Return of 'Tour DeWitt' Ride

 width=A returning event to DeWitt County is a little more than a month away and local organizers are very excited about it's potential this year.

Steve Lobb (right with his wife, Dana) heads a group of organizers that are bringing back the "Tour DeWitt" bike ride in August. According to Lobb, the event went away in recent years and he hopes to bring it back and benefit the local non-profit, Child Protection Network, at the same time.

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Lobb indicates the event will have four legs. There will be two beginner and intermediate courses and then two more challenging courses. Lobb says it is a non-competitive ride he believes anyone can participate in.

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According to Lobb, a lot of community groups and businesses have stepped up to cover the cost of the rides so their registration fees can all go back to the Child Protection Network.

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The event is August 29 starting at 6 am.

For all the information visit tourdewitt.weebly.com.

British Open Underway At St. Andrews

The stage is set for the third major championship of the season as the best players in the world head to the home of golf, St. Andrews, for the British Open Championship.

Rory McIlroy completed the third leg of the career grand slam last year when he carded a 1-under 71 in the final round to end at 17-under-par 271 at Royal Liverpool and win by two shots. McIlroy is still looking for a Masters title to complete the grand slam.

 width=The Ulsterman saw his lead drop to two shots a couple times throughout the final day, but that was as close as anyone would get.

This week's field will be missing the world's top player. McIlroy will not be back to defend his title after tearing a ligament in his ankle playing soccer a couple weeks ago.

There are still plenty of big storylines remaining, however, with the biggest one being that of world No. 2 Jordan Spieth. Coming off a playoff win at last week's John Deere Classic, Spieth is looking to become the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open in the same season.

Spieth will be paired with Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama over the first two days. Johnson 3-putted for on the final hole at the U.S. Open in June, giving the title to Spieth.

Three-time champion Tiger Woods is back for his second event since missing the cut at Chambers Bay. Two of Woods' three victories at this championship came at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005.

Charl Schwartzel will be playing alongside Woods and serves as last player to win at St. Andrews. Schwartzel captured the 2010 title on the Old Course by a whopping seven shots.

Phil Mickelson is looking for his first win since his Open title in 2013. Rickie Fowler hopes to join Mickelson as the only players to win the Scottish Open and British Open in back-to-back weeks.

Rangers Extend Miller, Fast

The New York Rangers have reached contract agreements with restricted free agent forwards J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast.

 width=According to the New York Post, Fast will sign a two-year, $1.9 million deal and Miller accepted the Rangers' one-year qualifying offer of $874,000.

Both players played key roles on a Rangers team that won the 2014-15 President's Trophy with 113 points and reached the finals of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Miller, 22, set career bests with 10 goals and 13 assists while skating in 58 games last season. The 2011 first-round pick, who added eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 19 postseason contests, has 15 goals and 33 points over 114 regular-season games in his three seasons with the Rangers.

Fast emerged as one of the Rangers' top penalty-killing forwards and tallied six goals and eight assists in 58 games last season. The 23-year-old Swede contributed three goals and three assists in 19 games during New York's 2015 playoff run as well.

The Rangers also agreed to terms with defenseman Dylan McIlrath on Wednesday, leaving valued center Derek Stepan as the club's lone restricted free agent not under contract.

Raptors Bring In Luis Scola

 width=The Toronto Raptors have signed forward Luis Scola to a multi-year contract.

Financial terms of the deal announced Wednesday were not disclosed.

Scola averaged 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 81 games last season for Indiana. He spent two seasons with the Pacers and has also played for the Suns and Rockets during an eight-year NBA career.

Scola has averaged 12.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 631 career NBA games. He spent his first five seasons with Houston and played one year in Phoenix before his two-year stint with Indiana.

The 35-year-old native of Argentina was selected by San Antonio in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft, but played internationally before making his NBA debut with Houston in 2007-08. He was a member of the NBA's All-Rookie team in his first season with the Rockets.

Stars Get Payday In NFL Wednesday

>>Cowboys, WR Bryant Agree To Five Year Extension

The Dallas Cowboys and Dez Bryant have come to terms on a five-year contract just ahead of Wednesday's deadline for franchise-tagged players, ending a drawn-out saga between the team and the All-Pro wide receiver over his long-term future.

According to NFL.com, Bryant will receive $70 million over the length of the new pact, $45 million of which is guaranteed.

Bryant and the Cowboys had until 4 p.m. (ET) Wednesday to negotiate a long- term deal. Otherwise, he would have been forced to play next season under the $12.8 million franchise tender for wide receivers.

The Cowboys and Bryant's representatives had been at an impasse for months after the club slapped the franchise tag on its star wideout. Bryant had publicly threatened to skip training camp if a deal had not been reached, and would not have been subjected to fines for doing so since he had not signed the tender.

 width=On the field, Bryant has been among the NFL's most dangerous and productive receivers over the past three years. The talented 26-year-old has logged at least 88 catches, 1,233 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of those seasons, capped by a league and career-best 16 TD grabs in 2014.

Bryant finished this past season with 88 receptions for 1,320 yards to help the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and an NFC East title, as well as a win over Detroit in the Wild Card round of the conference playoffs.

Originally selected by Dallas with the 24th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Bryant has compiled 381 catches totaling 5,424 yards and 56 touchdowns in five seasons with the Cowboys.

>>Broncos, WR Thomas Agree To Five Year Extension

The Denver Broncos signed wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to a new five-year contract on Wednesday.

Denver used its franchise tag on Thomas during March and had until Wednesday's deadline to negotiate a new long-term deal.

Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, will reportedly make $70 million over the length of his new pact with $43.5 million guaranteed. He would have been subjected to a one-year, $12.8 million salary this season if a new agreement was not reached.

The 27-year-old Georgia Tech product has started all 16 games in each of the past three seasons and has logged at least 1,430 yards and 10 touchdowns over that time.

Thomas recorded career highs in catches (111) and yards (1,619) while catching 11 touchdown passes last season. He set the single-season franchise record for receiving yards and also receiving yards in a game (226).

Selected by the Broncos with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 draft, Thomas has compiled 5,317 yards and 41 touchdowns on 351 receptions in 69 career games spanning five seasons.

>>Chiefs, NFL Sack Leader Agree To Long Term Deal

The Kansas City Chiefs and reigning NFL sacks leader Justin Houston have reached an agreement on a new contract.

Houston revealed the news on his Twitter feed Wednesday, hours before a deadline to either agree to a multi-year deal or settle for the franchise tag offer the Chiefs placed on him in March.

"Blessed to sign contract with the KC Chiefs," Houston wrote Wednesday. "Thanks to my family #1 & my agents Joel Segal & @gbo74 for the awesome contract!"

Houston would have earned $13.195 for the upcoming season under the franchise tag, but NFL.com reported the new deal to be worth $101 million with $52.5 million in guaranteed money.

It would be the richest deal in the club's history and the largest for a linebacker, eclipsing the $100 million deal the Texans gave J.J. Watt last September.

The 26-year-old Houston had 22 sacks last season, breaking Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas' single-season franchise record and coming within a half-sack of Michael Strahan's NFL mark.

Houston has appeared in 59 games for the Chiefs since the club selected him in the third round of the 2011 draft. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has compiled 48 1/2 sacks, 248 tackles, one interception and seven forced fumbles.

Sox Head To Second Half Playing Well But Is It Too Late

 width=The Chicago White Sox rolled into the All-Star break playing their best ball of the season, finally performing like the team they thought they were after a miserable start.

The question is can they somehow jump into contention?

They are last in the AL Central, 11 games behind division leader Kansas City and 5 1/2 out of the wild card.

The White Sox (41-45) won nine of 11 games before getting shut down by Jake Arrieta in a 3-1 loss to the Cubs on Sunday. Even so, they are 13-7 after dropping eight in a row last month.

ISU LB Named To FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List

 width=The leader in the middle of the Illinois State defense has improved his numbers each of the last two seasons and is poised for a big senior season, which is why senior middle linebacker Pat Meehan was named to the 2015 STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List Wednesday.

One of 22 players and nine linebackers named to the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List, Meehan is the first Redbird to appear on the list since 2013 when former teammate Colton Underwood was a finalist for the annual award.

Meehan, a 2015 STATS FCS Preseason All-America Second-Team selection, earned 2014 All-MVFC First-Team honors at middle linebacker after leading the Redbirds with 115 tackles. Those numbers ranked him No. 10 in the MVFC with an average of 7.7 tackles per game.

He added three sacks, six tackles-for-loss and four pass breakups to his defensive totals and also recorded an interception and recovered a fumble. He posted five double-digit tackle efforts, including a season-high 13-tackle effort in the season finale vs. Southern Illinois, and finished with 12 tackles in the FCS Championship against North Dakota State.

Illini Baseball Coach Gets Extension, Raise

The University of Illinois says baseball coach Dan Hartleb has been given a raise and a five-year contract extension after leading his team to an NCAA regional championship.

 width=The school said in a news release Wednesday that Hartleb's contract has been extended through 2020, pending university trustees' approval.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler added that the raise would increase Hartleb's pay to $290,000 a year. He now makes $155,000.

Kaler said Hartleb would be paid another $100,000 if he stays the full five years.

Hartleb said he appreciates athletic director Mike Thomas' support of the team.

The Illini finished 2015 with a school-best 50-10-1 record. They lost to Vanderbilt in the NCAA super regionals.

In his 10th season as head coach Hartleb was named Big Ten coach of the year.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 16

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 6

Warrants: 1

Tregg, Jipp, 50, Normal was Arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol, Driving on Suspended License and Driving 15-20 MPH Above Limit. Jipp unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Melissa Welch, 28, Clinton was Arrested  on a DeWitt County Warrant Charging her with Bad Check/ Obtain Control Property. Welch posted the necessary bond and was released.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 15

Jail Population:30

Paper Services: 31

Warrants: 1

Dusty McCray, 38, Lincoln was Arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Failure to Pay or Appear. McCray posted the necessary bond and was released.




County Fair Boards Look To Youth For Leadership

As county fairs throughout Illinois continue to struggle due to dwindling state reimbursements, one is hoping fresh ideas and new blood can result in a long term future.

The Mercer County Fair Board announced last week during fair week they are creating a Junior Fair Board featuring 16-to-22 year olds. The youth of today says Fair Board President Roger Grundstrom are needed to help continue county fairs.

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Grundstrom hopes the Jr. Fair Board can be organized and meet by October.

Legislature Back In Springfield, Budget Options Dwindling

Illinois lawmakers continue action in Springfield Wednesday with fewer options to break a budget impasse with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Senate Democrats pushed Tuesday to override Rauner's rejection of a $36 billion spending plan. Chances of that succeeding faded because the House would have to follow suit and two Democrats who hold necessary votes to override there remain opposed.

Lawmakers and the first-year governor have been deadlocked for weeks over a spending plan that was supposed to be in place by July 1 to pay bills for the new fiscal year. Democrats acknowledge they want to spend up to $4 billion more than they expect to take in, but Rauner wants pro-business reforms before negotiating.

The Senate will consider a one-month budget for essential services, but Rauner also opposes that.

Sen. Manar Expresses Concerns About Cuts To Home Care

State Senator Andy Manar is expressing his concerns about Governor Rauner's recent changes to the Community Care and Home Services programs.

The Bunker Hill Democrat says the changes could send up to 50,000 Illinois seniors and Illinoisans with disabilities into nursing homes says would mean reduced quality of life for them and no cost savings for taxpayers.

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Home care worker Andre Sikes has cared for a 26-year-old man who suffered brain injuries for the last seven years and isn't ready to walk away, even though his paycheck is up in the air.

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Department of aging officials have maintained the changes would bring a cost savings between $36 million and $100 million.

Senate Democrats Might Be Ready To Push Forward

The push is on. Not for a budget compromise at the Statehouse but rather for Democrats to make an end around the Governor and his budget veto’s.

Senate Democrats are meeting today to see what they are willing to do when it comes to breaking the budget stalemate. The Senate might act but it’s unclear if the House would be ready to follow their lead.

The Senate and House can still pass the budget they approved this spring, they have enough members of the party to override a veto with a 3/5 majority vote.

Tort Reform Would Save Taxpayers Money

Tort reform would improve Illinois’ business climate and save taxpayers money. That’s according to Travis Akin, Executive Director of Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch. Illinois News Network hare more:

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Law Enforcement Warning of Summertime Scams

 width=With more seasonable weather expected in the coming days, law enforcement officials are warning residents of people going door to door in hopes of landing a scam.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates this is the time of year where the "pavers scam" becomes very prominent. The Chief explains people posing as contractors will go door to door and offer services, perform partial or incomplete work and then charge more a lot more.

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The Chief points out many times these people are targeting the elderly generation. Chief Lowers encourages neighbors of the elderly to keep an eye on their home during the summer months and specifically for suspicious visitors.

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In Clinton, there is an ordinance in place that requires companies to have a solicitors permit to go door to door to solicit sales. This allows law enforcement to do background checks on those seeking to go door to door and give residents more security.

If someone is going door to door, they should have their company identification visible, their permit in plain view and presented to residents and are required to have a permit.

Exelon Contributes $1000 To Clinton AM-Vets

 width=The Clinton Exelon Nuclear Power Station recently made a $1000 contribution to the AM-Vets of Clinton.

Brett Nauman is communications Director with Exelon, he calls the AM-Vets a great partner in the community and feels the things they do make the contribution more than worthy.

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Darrel Tucker with the Clinton AM Vets Post 14 says the support from Exelon is terrific and notes, often, their support reaches beyond what they contribute annually.

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The AM-Vets are reliant on community support and the support of those within the organization to function and thrive. According to Tucker, the funds they receive go to anything from donation for the Danville Veterans Hospital to flags for the various holidays.

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The AM-Vets new building is approximately 600 square feet and Tucker says it will support their needs very well. He says the grant they are receiving is to establish them a facility they can call their own.

Bills OL Coach Put On Indefinite Leave

 width=The Buffalo Bills placed offensive line coach Aaron Kromer on indefinite paid administrative leave following his recent arrest, the team announced in a statement Tuesday.

Kromer was arrested on Sunday morning in Walton County, Florida and charged with misdemeanor battery following an altercation in which he allegedly punched a boy.

The Walton County Sheriff's Office received a call Sunday in reference to a battery at Inlet Beach on Saturday night. Deputies who responded were told that three boys had been fishing on the beach when they were confronted by Kromer and his son over the use of beach chairs left near a beach access.

The alleged victims told deputies that Kromer threw a fishing pole into the water, then pushed one of them to the ground and punched him in the face. The boy who was allegedly punched said Kromer told him if he reported the incident to the police, he would kill the boy's family, the sheriff's office said.

Kromer was booked into the Walton County Jail and released later Sunday on bond. The 15-year NFL coach was hired by the Bills in January after spending the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.

Former Illini Guard Signs With Mavericks

 width=The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Deron Williams on Tuesday.

ESPN reported that the contract is worth $10 million over two seasons and includes a player option for the second year.

Williams was waived by Brooklyn on Friday and landed with Dallas, which was in need of a point guard after Monta Ellis departed to Sacramento via free agency.

Injuries helped diminish the effectiveness of Williams in recent seasons.

In 2014-15 with Brooklyn, the 31-year-old averaged 13 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season in 2005-06 with Utah. His 6.6 assists per game were below his career average of 8.5, and he shot a career-low 38.7 percent from the field.

Williams, who attended The Colony High School in the Dallas suburbs before playing collegiately at Illinois, owns career averages of 17 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting in 716 career games with the Nets and Jazz.

>>Spurs Resign Green

The San Antonio Spurs re-signed sharpshooter Danny Green to a three-year deal on Tuesday.

"We are thrilled to have Danny returning to San Antonio," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "It was a pleasure watching Danny grow and develop this past season. We think he will only continue to mature and get better, and we're happy that this will be happening with the San Antonio Spurs."

The six-year NBA veteran averaged a career-best 11.7 points per game and shot 41.8 percent from beyond the arc last season. His 191 3-pointers made in 2014-15 set a franchise record.

Trout Leads AL Past NL, Wins MVP Award Again

>>Trout Leads AL Past NL

Mike Trout led off the 86th All-Star Game with a home run and won his second straight MVP award as the American League topped the National League 6-3 at Great American Ball Park.

The AL will have home-field advantage in the World Series for the third straight year thanks in part to Trout, who became the first player in MLB history to win consecutive MVPs in the Midsummer Classic.

Brian Dozier added a solo homer, Prince Fielder drove in two runs and David Price earned the win for retiring Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt and Buster Posey in succession in the fourth inning.

The loss was saddled to reigning NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, an injury-replacement addition who gave up two runs in his only inning of work.

 width=Andrew McCutchen's solo homer accounted for the NL's only extra-bast hit other than Ryan Braun's triple in the ninth inning.

Both starters gave up a run, though the one Dallas Keuchel allowed was unearned. Paul Goldschmidt led off the home second with a single, hustled to second when Josh Donaldson's throw got away and later scored on Jhonny Peralta's two-out base hit.

The RBI single countered Trout's opposite-field shot off Zack Greinke to start the game -- the first leadoff homer in the All-Star Game since Bo Jackson did so in 1989.

Two Angels scored in the fifth, as Trout came around from second when Fielder singled through the left side, and Albert Pujols raced home on Lorenzo Cain's double to left.

Chris Archer served up a leadoff homer to McCutchen in the sixth, but the AL got that run back and added another one off Francisco Rodriguez in the next half-inning.

Brock Holt, pinch-running for Trout after he led off with a walk, successfully stole second and scored on Manny Machado's double off the wall in right- center. Machado later scored on a Fielder sacrifice fly,

Dozier, in his first All-Star Game at-bat, cranked a solo shot to center off Mark Melancon in the eighth, and Brandon Crawford's sac fly in the ninth accounted for the final margin.

>>Trout Named MVP

As if Mike Trout's ongoing legend needed any more clout, the Angels star went out on Tuesday and became the first player in MLB history to win consecutive All-Star Game MVPs.

Trout led off the game with an opposite-field homer as he reached out on a 1-2 fastball from Zack Greinke and muscled it over the right-field wall.

The blast was the first leadoff homer in the Midsummer Classic since Bo Jackson did so in 1989, and while it wound up being Trout's only hit in four plate appearances, the incomparable slugger affected the game in other ways.

In the fifth, the reigning AL MVP beat out a potential double-play ball and later scored what proved to be the game-winning run for the American League on Prince Fielder's base hit to left field.

Trout, who also struck out and walked, has already racked up countless milestones in his brief but lofty career, but perhaps the most impressive is him hitting for a natural cycle -- a single, a double, a triple and a home run in succession -- during his first at-bats from his four All-Star Games.

Only Willie Mays, Gary Carter, Cal Ripken and Steve Garvey have even won two All-Star Game MVPs, and Trout, who turns 24 years old next month, is just getting started.

Illini LB Named To Butkus, Lombardi Award Watch Lists

Illinois senior linebacker Mason Monheim was picked to the preseason watch lists for the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award and 2015 Butkus Award on Tuesday. Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The Butkus Award, named after Fighting Illini legend Dick Butkus, goes to the nation's top linebacker.

 width=Monheim enters 2015 with 294 career tackles, which ranks as the second-most among active FBS players. The four-year starter is coming off a Honorable Mention All-Big Ten campaign in 2014, highlighted by career highs in tackles (111), TFLs (6.5), passes defended (4) and forced fumbles (4). He led the Big Ten and ranked 17th in FBS in fumbles forced per game (0.31).

Monheim made an immediate impact at Illinois, being named to Phil Steele's second-team freshman All-America team in his debut season. He has increased his total tackles each season at Illinois, leading the entire Illinois squad and all Big Ten freshmen in tackles with 86 in 2012, tallying 97 tackles in 2013 and 111 tackles in 2014.

The 46th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 9, 2015 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas.

The Butkus Award watch list contains 51 candidates, honoring the retired professional jersey of Dick Butkus, who is regarded by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. A selection panel of 51 deeply experienced coaches, evaluators and journalists will narrow the field by private ballot. Semi-finalists will be named November 2, finalists November 23, and winners will be notified on or before December 8. Players who do not appear on the watch list are eligible for the Award.

Comptroller Finishes Payroll For Wednesday

Despite it being Day 14 with no budget in place, Illinois’ Comptroller is moving forward with employee paychecks saying employee pay continues uninterrupted. Illinois News Network has more:

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Medical Marijuana Growing In Illinois

A legal marijuana growing operation is underway in Illinois.

One of the companies that has been given the authority to grow the drug is now doing so downstate. The 52,000 square foot facility in Albion started production on July 10.

Ataraxia, the company that runs the operation says they are in the early stages of cultivation. For now just a small portion of the facility is being used.

The state’s medical marijuana program has just 2,600 patients signed up, a number that is far below initial expectations.

Political Professor Says Redistricting Would Limit Both Parties

One of the Governor’s proposed political reforms would impact the power both of Illinois’ established parties have in the political process.

That’s according to a longtime observer and researcher of legislative redistricting in Illinois.

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The latest the idea could go before voters would be in the 2018 election, which is just before the 2020 census.

Weekly Crop Report



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Despite Record Rains, Expert Says More Rain Likely Needed

Record rainfall in the month of June has already done a number on the state's corn crop, however one expert now believes consistent rains may be necessary the rest of the summer to ensure decent yields from the fields that haven't been drowned out. Farm Broadcaster Jared White has more.

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Logan County Wind Farm Back Up For Vote

A once rejected wind farm in Logan County is coming back up for a vote.

The Logan County Board of Commissioners are setting up to vote next week after a tie vote was cast in January.

The 81 turbine Meridien Wind Farm also would up splitting the County Zoning Board of Appeals 2-2 last week.

The revised project is expected to garner a large local turnout to discuss the plan that would span Elkhart, Mount Pulaski and Broadwell.

Warner Library's Summer Reading Club Sees Increase in Participation

 width=Studies have shown students who read in the summer come back to school in line with where they should be than students who don't and one local group is hoping their summer program gives kids incentives to keep reading.

The Warner Public Library's Summer Reading Club is seeing a spike in attendance in 2015. Children's Librarian, Paula Lopatic attributes this to everything taking place on the top floor of their facility this year, making everything centrally located.

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Lopatic also attributes the increase in participation to the realization by parents their kids need to keep up with their reading skills away from the classroom. She adds, this is also why their summer program goes so long.

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It's not too late for kids to start in on the Summer Reading Club. Lopatic says registration is easy and can be done at the library at 310 North Quincy Street.

There is also an adults summer reading club, and it is not too late to participate in that either. To learn more, stop in at the library.

DeWitt County 4-H Fair Recap

The DeWitt County 4-H Fair wrapped up its 2015 edition this past weekend and it was once again yet another successful year in DeWitt County.

Reann Huffman was one of two 4-H scholarship recipients this year. She plans to use the funds to attend Richland Community College and hopes to eventually study something in agriculture.

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Briana Stengel was the other 4-H scholarship recipient and she plans to attend southern Illinois to study biology and then move on to medical school.

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Brandon Atten was the senior master showmanship champion and Grace Arnold was the junior showmanship champion. Atten explains the senior master showmanship championship involves displaying three different animals. Arnold notes the animals are pigs, sheep and cattle.

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The DeWitt County Fair spanned two weekends and included the annual horse show on the 4th of July.

For all DeWitt County Fair results, and results from fairs across central Illinois this summer, check the Fair Results tab at dewittdailynews.com.

PGA Tour Notes

>>Spieth Gaining On McIlroy For World No. 1

With Jordan Spieth's playoff victory at the John Deere Classic on Sunday, he closed the gap even more on Rory McIlroy's lead for the world's No. 1 spot.

Spieth, the Masters and U.S. Open champion, improved by 0.45 average points up to 11.29, while McIlroy dropped 0.18 average points to 12.51. The duo remains one and two in the world. McIlroy will not be able to defend his title at next weeks Open Championship due to an ankle injury.

Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson stayed put and are Nos. 3 and 4 for another week.

 width=Rickie Fowler rallied to win the Scottish Open Sunday and he vaulted up to No. 5. Due to Fowler's rise, Jim Furyk, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Jason Day all fell one and are six through nine, respectively.

Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes and Hideki Matsuyama remained the same from 10, while Scottish Open runner-up Matt Kuchar improved two to 15.

Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen both fell one to 16 and 17. Chris Kirk and Martin Kaymer swapped spots, with Kirk up to 18. Billy Horschel rounded out the top-20 once again.

>>Spieth, Dustin Johnson Paired Together At British Open

Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson are paired together alongside Hideki Matsuyama for the first two rounds of the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews following an exciting finish at the U.S. Open in June.

Johnson three-putted for par on the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay to hand the title to Spieth, who is coming off a playoff win at the John Deere Classic this past weekend and is trying to become the first player to win the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open in the same season since Ben Hogan in 1953.

The trio will tee off on Thursday at 4:33 a.m. ET, then will go off Friday at 9:34 a.m.

Three-time champion Tiger Woods is back in action for the second time since missing the cut at Chambers Bay. Seeking that elusive 15th major title and first since the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods will be paired with 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day, who is playing for the first time since dealing with a bout of vertigo at the U.S. Open.

Woods, Oosthuizen and Day will be two groups behind the pairing of Spieth, Johnson and Matsuyama and will tee off at 4:55 a.m. Thursday before going off at 9:56 a.m. Friday. Oosthuizen won by seven strokes the last time the championship was held at St. Andrews in 2010. Woods won at St. Andrews in 2005 and 2000.

Going off later in the day Thursday will be 2013 champion Phil Mickelson, who will be joined by Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson. That pairing tees off at 9:34 a.m. Thursday and 4:33 a.m. Friday.

Following that pairing will be Players champion and last week's Scottish Open winner Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and three-time champion Nick Faldo at 9:34 a.m. Thursday. Fowler is looking for his first major title as he hopes to become the second player next to Mickelson in 2013 to follow a Scottish Open victory with a British Open title.

Another intriguing pairing going off at 3:33 a.m. Thursday will include five- time champion Tom Watson and two-time winner Ernie Els. They will be joined by Brandt Snedeker.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel will be grouped with Ian Poulter and tee off at 4:00 a.m. Thursday. Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Patrick Reed will follow them at 4:11 a.m.

Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer and Jimmy Walker make up another star-studded group and will start their week at 9:12 a.m. Thursday.

John Daly, the 1995 champion at St. Andrews, is paired with Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jason Dufner. They start at 7:50 a.m. Thursday.

Dez Bryant Tweets About No Deal With Cowboys

 width=Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant sent out a warning Monday via Twitter that he won't play without a long-term contract.

"As much as I love football...on my beautiful babies.. I apologize (hash) cowboynation but I will not be there if no deal," wrote Bryant, who skipped offseason workouts and has threatened to sit out regular season games.

The Cowboys slapped Bryant with the franchise tag in March. He will earn a salary of $12.8 million for the 2015 season unless the two sides work out a long-term deal by Wednesday's deadline.

Bryant has emerged as one of the top receivers in the NFL. He caught 88 passes for 1,320 yards and a career-high 16 touchdowns in 2014, following 90-catch seasons in both 2012 and 2013.

In all, the 26-year-old Oklahoma State product has 381 receptions for 5,424 yards and 56 touchdowns in five seasons.

Reds' Frazier Wins Home Run Derby; All Star Game Notes

>>Reds' Frazier Wins Home Run Derby In Home Park

Hometown favorite Todd Frazier of the Reds set off the fireworks at Great American Ball Park, hitting 15 home runs in the final round to win Monday night's new-look Home Run Derby.

Frazier, who finished runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes last year, defeated Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson 15-14.

Pederson hit the longest home run (487 feet) of the entire competition earlier in the evening and amassed 14 home runs in his final round, setting the stage for Frazier.

Following a slow start, Frazier caught fire and just missed a go-ahead 15th home run as his regulation time expired. Frazier won on the first pitch of the newly implemented "bonus time" period.

Frazier, who hit 39 home r width=uns Monday, became only the second player to win the long-ball competition on his home field. Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg did it at Wrigley Field in 1990.

Frazier beat two-time Home Run Derby champion Prince Fielder of the Rangers in the first round, hitting 14 home runs to top his 13. He won in walk-off fashion again in the second round, belting 10 home runs to beat Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Pederson snuck past Orioles third baseman Manny Machado by a 13-12 margin in the first round, then beat Angels star Albert Pujols 12-11 to reach the final round. Pujols was the No. 1 seed in the eight-player bracket.

Major League Baseball made some last-minute tweaks to the single-elimination tournament due to severe storms expected late Monday.

Players had four minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, down from five, and the clock did not stop for homers hit during the final minute of each turn.

If a batter hit at least two home runs of 425 feet or longer, an extra 30- second period of time was tacked on.

In the first round, Donaldson got past Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo 9-8 and Pujols beat Cubs rookie Kris Bryant 10-9.

The new format produced 159 homers, compared to 78 from 2014.

>>Greinke, Keuchel Named Starters For All-Star Game

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Zack Greinke and Houston Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel have been selected as the starting pitchers for Tuesday's All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park.

National League manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants and American League skipper Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals made the announcements at a Monday news conference, also laying out the starting lineups for each team.

Greinke has the lowest ERA in the majors at 1.39 and owns a record of 8-2 in 18 starts. He has not allowed a run in five straight outings, covering 35 2/3 innings.

The 31-year-old right-hander will be the first Dodgers pitcher to start an All-Star Game since Brad Penny in 2006.

Keuchel is 11-4 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 starts this season. He is tied for the AL lead in wins and is tied for second in the league with three complete games and two shutouts.

Keuchel is the first Astros starting pitcher in the All-Star Game since Roger Clemens opened the 2004 contest when Houston was part of the National League.

>>All Star Game Rosters Set

The lineup for the National League will open with Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen, followed by Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier and Washington right fielder Bryce Harper.

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt will bat fourth and play first base, with Giants catcher Buster Posey batting fifth and Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs serving as the NL's designated hitter. St. Louis shortstop Jhonny Peralta will bat seventh, followed by Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson in left field and Colorado second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, who is replacing the injured Dee Gordon of Miami.

The American League lineup will start with Angels superstar Mike Trout in center field and Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who received the most votes in fan balloting. Angels slugger Albert Pujols will bat third and play first base with Seattle's Nelson Cruz hitting cleanup as the designated hitter.

Kansas City's Lorenzo Cain will bat fifth and play right field, followed by Baltimore's Adam Jones in left field, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez, Houston second baseman Jose Altuve and Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar.

The American League has won the All-Star Game each of the last two years, but the National League still owns a record of 43-40-2 in the all-time series.

ISU Duo Named To Player of the Year Watch List

The dynamic offensive duo of quarterback Tre Roberson and running back Marshaun Coprich led Illinois State to unprecedented heights last season, resulting in both being named to the 2015 STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List Monday.

Roberson and Coprich were among 22 players named to the STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List, which can undergo revision during the 2015 season. A national panel of over 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries will vote on the winner following the regular season. STATS will also honor the outstanding defensive player in the FCS, a freshman player of the year and a coach of the year with season-ending awards.

 width=In his first season at Illinois State, Roberson was named the MVFC Newcomer of the Year and an All-MVFC First-Team selection at quarterback while leading the Redbirds to the FCS title game and a school-record 13 wins. Roberson set single-season records for passing touchdowns (30), passing efficiency (155.3), total offense yards (4,250) and also set a school single-season record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 1,029, becoming the only quarterback in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards. He threw for 3,221 yards and was instrumental in the Redbirds' playoff run, with a game-winning touchdown in the semifinals at New Hampshire and four touchdowns in the FCS Championship game vs. NDSU.

Coprich led the FCS in rushing yards (2,274) and rushing touchdowns (27) last season, and was second in rushing yards per game (151.6). He was a First-Team All-America selection by The Associated Press, The Sports Network and the Walter Camp Football Foundation and was named to the College Sporting News 2014 Fabulous Fifty FCS All-America Team. The Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-MVFC honoree finished fifth in the voting for the outstanding offensive player in the FCS last season.

Clinton's First Christian Church Embracing Changing Times With Remodel

In an effort to make their facility both more accomodating and modern, the First Christian Church in Clinton finished an extensive remodel at their downtown facility.

According to Mark Behrends, their renovation focused on the youth area of the church and will provide them with additional space and more security.

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According to Pastor Greg Taylor, the security side of the renovation was very important to them and felt as though there were some challenges in trying to be a secure and safe place for kids but also inviting.

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Pastor Taylor explains this phase of renovation is part of a four-phase master plan. He explains they were focused on remaining debt free through the process even though it took several years to raise the money.

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The rest of the master plan continues to focus on their children's area, the cable building and then focuses on adult classrooms and fellowship areas. Pastor Taylor says because they are committed to remaining debt free, there is no timeline to the rest of the plan.

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Tuesday night at the church, they will open things up to the community to come in and see what is new. The open house goes from 6 pm to 7:30 pm.

CENCOM To Showcase Upgrades, Discuss Future of Emergency Response

If you're interested in what the future of reporting things to 9-1-1 looks like, stop by the DeWitt County CENCOM office tonight.

The DeWitt County CENCOM office took the first of what will be a major overhaul of their traditional systems. Tony Harris explains they finished a project that will be the catalyst to them switching to "next generation 9-1-1".

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Harris anticipates everything being done in five years and explains the way you once dialed in an emergency will change.

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With the changes coming, Harris notes not only are they going to have to accomedate the new way of reporting emergencies, but then locating those is going to be part of the challenge as well.

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The CENCOM office will host an open house tonight to showcase the new office upgrades. Harris indicates it will take place from 6 pm to 8 pm and tours start in the lobby of their office at the DeWitt County Building.

Kyle Busch Wins Quaker State 400

 width=Kyle Busch is on a roll and moving much closer to the top-30 in the point standings, which would earn him a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Busch won Saturday night's Quaker State 400 with a dominating performance at Kentucky Speedway. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota started ninth and led 163 of 267 laps for his second victory in the last three Sprint Cup Series races. He won at the Sonoma, California road course on June 28.

With his second win, Busch moved up to 35th in the standings. He is now 87 points behind 30th-place Cole Whitt. Busch must finish in the top-30 in points before the regular season concludes on Sept. 12 in order to qualify for the Chase. There are eight races to go before the playoffs in NASCAR's top series begin.

Joey Logano led 23 laps late in the race, but Busch passed him for the top position with 20 laps to go. Logano crossed the finish line 1.6 seconds behind in the runner-up spot.

Busch's teammates, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, finished third through fifth, respectively.

College Football Notes

 width=>>Alabama, Florida State Annoucne 2017 Game

Alabama and Florida State will play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game to begin the 2017 football season.

The contest will be played at the state-of-the-art New Atlanta stadium, which will be the home of the NFL's Falcons.

The game is set for Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.

The Crimson Tide and Seminoles have met four previous times with Alabama holding a 2-1-1 edge. Florida State won the most recent matchup in 2007.

Alabama is 4-0 all-time in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, while Florida State will make its first appearance.

 width=>>Another Florida State Player In Trouble With The Law

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was charged with misdemeanor battery Friday after allegedly punching a woman several times outside of a downtown Tallahassee bar on June 23.

Cook was suspended indefinitely from the football team Friday afternoon.

"Recent events at Florida State University involving members of my football team have brought a lot of attention to the school and program. It is important to me that our fans and the public be aware that I do not tolerate the type of behavior that was captured on video and that was most recently alleged," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement.

"We spend a good deal of time educating our student-athletes about appropriate behavior and their responsibilities as representatives of Florida State. The majority of our players are exemplary, but clearly we must place an even stronger emphasis on this, and I personally promise we will.

"I remain committed to educating our young men and holding them accountable for their actions."

The alleged incident involving Cook occurred the night before former Seminoles quarterback De'Andre Johnson punched another woman at a different bar near the FSU campus on June 24. Fisher dismissed Johnson from the team on Monday night, hours after the state attorney's office released surveillance video showing Johnson punching a 21-year-old FSU student in the face.

Cook led Florida State last year with 1,008 rushing yards as a freshman. He also was second on the team with eight touchdowns.

NFL Coach In Trouble For Battery; Cowboys' Hardy Suspension Reduced

>>Bills Offensive Line Coach Arrested on Battery Charge

uffalo Bills offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was arrested in Walton County, Florida, and charged with battery following an altercation in which he allegedly punched a boy.

The Walton County Sheriff's Office said Sunday it received a call in reference to a battery at Inlet Beach on Saturday night. Deputies who responded were told that three boys had been fishing on the beach when they were confronted by Kromer and his son over the use of beach chairs left near a beach access.

 width=The alleged victims told deputies that Kromer threw a fishing pole into the water, then pushed one of them to the ground and punched him in the face. The boy who was allegedly punched said Kromer told him if he reported the incident to the police, he would kill the boy's family, the sheriff's office said.

Kromer was arrested on Sunday morning and charged with misdemeanor battery, though the sheriff's office said the incident is still under investigation and additional charges may be filed.

Kromer was booked into the Walton County Jail and released later Sunday on bond. The 15-year NFL coach was hired by the Bills in January after spending the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.

>>Cowboys' Hardy Suspension Reduced

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy had his 10-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy reduced to four games Friday by arbitrator Harold Henderson.

Hardy will be eligible to return for the Cowboys' Oct. 11 game against the New England Patriots. Had the 10-game suspension been upheld, his first game could have been against his former team, the Carolina Panthers, on Thanksgiving.

In his ruling, Henderson concluded "that the Commissioner acted within his authority and properly exercised his discretion in finding that Hardy violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy."

Henderson also stated that "ten games is simply too much, in my view, of an increase over prior cases without notice such as was done last year, when the 'baseline' for discipline in domestic violence or sexual assault cases was announced as a six-game suspension."

Last July, a judge found Hardy guilty on two counts of domestic violence, but his conviction was dropped when his alleged victim did not cooperate with the investigation when the case was appealed.

An investigation conducted by the NFL found that Hardy used physical force on his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder four times. Commissioner Roger Goodell concluded that the nature of his acts was a "significant act of violence in violation" of league policy.

Hardy could continue challenging the case in court to reduce the suspension further.

Spieth Takes John Deere Classic In Playoff

 width=Jordan Spieth birdied four of five holes on the back nine Sunday to force a playoff, then he parred the second extra hole to defeat Tom Gillis and win the John Deere Classic for a second time.

Spieth closed with a 3-under 68 to meet Gillis at 20-under-par 264. Gillis, who was three groups ahead of Spieth, fired a 7-under 64.

The duo returned to the 18th at TPC Deere Run for the first extra hole. They both found the green with their approach shots and 2-putted for par.

They returned to No. 18 again. After Spieth found the right rough on the first extra hole, Gillis did so the second time through. Gillis' second landed in the water left of the green.

Spieth dropped his second shot from the fairway onto the green. He rolled his long birdie putt inside four feet. After Gillis failed to hole his bogey chip, Spieth tapped in for the win.

The Masters and U.S. Open champion also won this title in 2013 in a playoff.

For Gillis, the consolation prize was a trip to next week's Open Championship.

Zach Johnson, the 2012 winner, fired a 6-under 65 and was joined in third place at minus-19 by last week's Greenbrier champion Danny Lee (67).

Johnson Wagner (67), Chris Stroud (63) and Justin Thomas (67) tied for fifth at 18-under-par 266.

Stars, Blackhawks Make Deal For Sharp

 width=The Dallas Stars have acquired forward Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.

The Stars also will receive minor league defenseman Stephen Johns in the four- player trade.

Sharp, 33, was an instrumental part of Chicago's three Stanley Cup-winning teams since 2010. In 10 seasons with Chicago, he scored 239 goals and totaled 511 points in 679 regular-season games. In 129 playoff games, including 12 with Philadelphia, Sharp owns 43 goals and 81 points.

The Blackhawks acquired Sharp, along with Eric Meloche, from the Flyers in December 2005 for Matt Ellison and a 3rd-round draft pick.

Johns, a second round pick in the 2010 draft, scored 21 points in 51 games for Chicago's AHL affiliate in Rockford.

The 31-year-old Daley, an alternate captain for the Stars, set career highs with 16 goals and 38 points in 2014-15. In 756 games, all with Dallas, Daley owns 67 goals and 231 points.

Garbutt, 29, finished with eight goals and 25 points in 67 games for Dallas last season. In 198 games over four seasons for the Stars, he tallied 30 goals and 70 points.

Arrieta Leads Cubs Past Sox; Pirates Rally Past St. Louis

 width=>>Arrieta Leads Cubs Past Sox

Jake Arrieta went the distance and hit a home run to back his effort, as the Cubs took out the White Sox by a 3-1 count to avoid being swept in the finale of this three-game interleague set.

Arrieta (10-5) fanned nine without issuing a walk, and gave up a run on two hits while throwing 74 of his 106 pitches for strikes.

Kris Bryant hit an RBI triple for Chicago's north side franchise, with Jorge Soler knocking in the other run. The Cubs (47-40) hit the break with their best record in seven years.

Adam Eaton knocked in the lone run for Chicago's south siders, with Carlos Sanchez adding a double and Tyler Saladino the other hit.

Jose Quintana (4-9) also struck out nine and didn't walk a batter, but gave up three runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 frames.

The Cubs hit the scoreboard in the home first, as Dexter Fowler singled then back-to-back one-out RBI hits from Bryant (triple) and Soler (single) made it 2-0.

Arrieta began the home fifth by reaching the bleachers in left for a three-run cushion.

The ChiSox responded in the sixth as Sanchez doubled, moved up on a groundout and eventually scored on a sacrifice bunt from Eaton.

The Cubs starter recovered by retiring the final 10 batters faced, beginning with a Saladino groundout to end the sixth. As he did in the first inning, Arrieta struck out the side in the ninth.

 width=>>Pirates Rally Past Cards For Walk Off Win

Gregory Polanco's RBI single capped a three-run bottom of the 10th, sending the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Pirates sent Arquimedes Caminero (1-1) to the mound in the 10th with the score tied 3-3. Jhonny Peralta and Jason Heyward started things with consecutive singles, with Pete Kozma replacing Peralta on the basepaths. Yadier Molina then beat out a potential double play groundout to put runners on the corners.

Mark Reynolds was hit in the left forearm by a pitch to load the bases. Randal Grichuk followed with a two-run double to right-center field. On the play, Reynolds was thrown out at the plate.

However, Pittsburgh responded with three runs in the bottom half. Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) gave up a leadoff single to Jordy Mercer, who advanced to second on Andrew McCutchen's groundout and scored on Starling Marte's single.

Jung-Ho Kang and Francisco Cervelli followed with a pair of singles to plate the tying run. Pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa walked to load the bases for Polanco, who completed the comeback with a line single to right.

Rosenthal blew a save for only the second time this season.

The Pirates (53-35), who won in 14 innings on Saturday on McCutchen's two-run homer, head into the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak. They now sit just 2 1/2 games behind the Cardinals (56-33) in the NL Central. Pittsburgh's deficit had been nine games following play on June 28, but the Pirates have won 11 of their last 13 games since that time.

Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano allowed two runs on five hits with four walks over 6 1/3 innings. He also had a two-run single.

Tim Cooney got the start for St. Louis and gave up three runs on six hits over five innings.

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the second. Heyward walked, moved to third on Molina's single and scored when Reynolds grounded into a double play.

Liriano helped his own cause with a two-run single in the bottom half. Cervelli tripled and Polanco was intentionally walked with two outs, and both runners scored on Liriano's hit to right.

Peralta hit a solo homer in the third.

The Pirates took the lead back in the fourth when Sean Rodriguez doubled and raced home on Polanco's single to right.

Pittsburgh reliever Tony Watson gave up the tying run in the eighth. Kolten Wong was hit by a pitch, Peralta singled and Heyward reached on Mercer's fielding error to load the bases with no outs. Wong crossed the plate when Molina grounded out. Watson limited the damage by retiring Reynolds and Peter Bourjos.

Baseball Scorebaord
New York 5, Arizona 3
Miami 8, Cincinnati 1
Colorado 11, Atlanta 3
Los Angeles 4, Milwaukee 3
San Francisco 4, Philadelphia 2
Washington 3, Baltimore 2
San Diego 2, Texas 1
Oakland 2, Cleveland 0
Tampa Bay 4, Houston 3
New York 8, Boston 6
Minnesota 7, Detroit 1
Kansas City 11, Toronto 10
LA Angels of Anaheim 10, Seattle 3
Washington 3, Baltimore 2

>>Kershaw, Braun Added To All-Star Rosters

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will be an All-Star after all.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner was named to the National League team by San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy as a replacement for Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who pitched on Sunday and will not be active for Tuesday's game.

Kershaw, who received his fifth All-Star nod, was one of the NL Final Vote candidates.

Bochy also added Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun to replace injured St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday. Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson will take Holliday's spot in the starting lineup.

Kansas City manager Ned Yost named Los Angeles Angels pitcher Hector Santiago as a replacement for Oakland's Sonny Gray on the American League team. Gray also pitched Sunday and will not be available for the game in Cincinnati.

Clinton Police Weekend Report










UPDATED: Tornado Watch in Effect til 11pm Monday; CENCOM Event Canceled

 width=Expect storms unlike anything we've seen in a long time tonight.

That's the message from the National Weather Service to DeWitt County safety officials.

DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency Director Teresa Barnett and DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner stopped by the Regional Radio studios Monday afternoon to inform the public of what to expect, and Barnett says, it isn't encouraging.

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Sheriff Shofner says the open house tonight for the renovated CENCOM center has been canceled.

As of 5:55pm tonight, the Weather Service was tracking 2 storms that have a history of high winds and hail:


For the latest in severe weather, keep it tuned to The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 32

Paper Services: 1

Warrants: 0

Mark Ward, 59, Bloomington was Arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol. Ward was issued Citations for 2 Counts Driving Under Influence and Failure to Report Accident to Police. Ward posted the necessary bond and was released.

Evan Erswell, 34, Bloomingotn was Arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol. Erswell posted the necessary bond and was released.

Paula Matthens, 42, Maroa was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Matthens was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Amy Fortae, 42, Jacksonville was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Fortae was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Hannah Showalter, 23, Savoy was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Showalter was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Melissa Riggs, 31, Mt. Zion was issued Citations for Speeding 72 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Riggs was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.




Normal Cornbelters vs Frontier Greys

The Normal Cornbelters defeated and fell to the Frontier Greys by a score of 5-2 and 0-5 in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.

Tune in Friday night, July 17, as the Cornbelters take on the Washington Wild Things. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

July Starting Cooler, Wetter

It was cool, wet week in Illinois and according to the State's Climotologist Jim Angel, things will relatively warm up to the 80s this weekend and a warm up is expected early next week.

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Clinton's First Christian Church To Unveil Remodel

The Clinton First Christian Church in Clinton recently finished an extensive remodel to their facility and is inviting the community out to see it next week.

Mark Behrends, Vice-Chair of the Church Elders indicates the renovation was focused on their youth area of the church. He explains they will now have more space to accomodate the youth that come their doors.

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Tuesday night at the church, they will open things up to the community to come in and see what is new. The open house goes from 6 pm to 7:30 pm.

We'll have more on the renovation at First Christian Church Monday on Regional Radio News.

Treasurers Office Announces Partnership With Credit Unions



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Blue Cross Blue Shield Announces Layoffs

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois says group claims processing work the health insurer does will be outsourced to outside organizations. The total number of employees impacted by this decision is 60 across the state.

Spokesman Michael Deering.

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Deering adds the let-go-of employees will receive severance benefits, and transition and outplacement services.

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Deering stresses that customer service reps for the insurer would not be sent overseas to India. He adds that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois'
futurue is bright, touting that it's increased its workforce over a third over the last five years.

Comptroller Dealing With Shutdown Payday Questions

Comptroller Leslie Munger continues efforts to determine who gets paid if the state budget stalemate continues and who doesn't.

She is optimistic that workers who have to be paid under federal law will continue to get their full pay.

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While talk about state worker compensation has focused on wages, Munger says it looks like a key benefit will roll on for state workers.

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Ironically, Munger says her employees who are working to determine who cant get paid are expected to miss out on paychecks for the timebeing.

Illinois' Finances Make It Ill Equipped To Take On Economic Problems

Illinois’ is in bad condition to take on any economic hiccups. That’s according to research from the Mercatus Center, a free market research group at George Mason University.

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Among the various dimensions, the study put Illinois at Number 49 for cash solvency, Number 49 for long-run solvency and Number 50 for overall fiscal condition, all for fiscal year 2013.

Madigan Wants To Avoid Working in the Extreme

There is more to debate at the Statehouse than a budget and House Democrats say they have done plenty in considering the Governor’s Turn Around Agenda.
Those items include workers comp, property tax, pension reforms among others are all up for debate. Some of those topics have been the focus of House Committee’s.

Those meetings were often skipped by the Rauner Administration and Speaker of the House Mike Madigan wants the Executive Branch to send people to participate and he’s considered taking an extreme action to get gubernatorial officials to attend.

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Madigan says he and the Governor met yesterday and he “felt good” after a frank discussion with Governor Rauner.

DeWitt County 4-H Fair This Weekend

 width=The work of hundreds of kids will culminate this weekend in DeWitt County at the DeWitt County 4-H fair.

University of Illinois Extension Youth Educator, Sherry Fulton indicates Saturday and Sunday are the big days at the fair grounds. Friday night, there will be some projects checked in, but most everything is Saturday morning.

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Check-ins get going bright early Saturday morning. Once that wraps up, the judging begins. Fulton indicates judging starts for crop projects, the food, and then moves on to the engineering projects.

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Fulton says things don't stop on Saturday. Bright and early Sunday things get going and the day concludes with the annual awards ceremony that annually fills the main lawn of the fairgrounds.

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Of all the activities that go on during the weekend, Fulton believes the awards ceremony Saturday night is one of the highlights of the entire weekend. She says it is fun to see the amount of friends and family the come to support the 4-H students.

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The DeWitt County large animal shows aren't just DeWitt County kids as Fulton explains they have joined forces with Macon and Piatt Counties, who are a part of the DeWitt Count unit Extension offices. She adds DeWitt County kids were in Macon County two weeks ago for the dog show and the horse show was on the 4th of July this year.

Tune in to live coverage of the DeWitt County Fair Friday and Saturday on Regional Radio. Saturday morning from 10-11 am on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and live online at dewittdailynews.com.

Then tune in Sunday night from 7-8 pm for coverage from the annual awards ceremony on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and live online at dewittdailynews.com.

HRC Leader Blasts State Over Budget Stalemate

The leader of one local agency who is dependent on state funding is blasting the legislature over the budget stalemate in Springfield.

Lynn Scoville is the Executive Director of the DeWitt County Human Resource Center. She says Illinois is in a budget crisis and feels it should be treated as such in Springfield. She calls what the General Assembly leaders and the Governor are doing a bunch of games.

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Scoville says it is the intention of her and the staff at HRC to find any means necessary to keep the doors open but she says they have to be realistic about what they can do. She explains when the 80% of their revenue comes from the State and they aren't paying anything, it is going to make things difficult.

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Scoville says the impacts of no budget would be deep to the community. She points out HRC is the only provider of certain services to Clinton and DeWitt County.

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Scoville says grants that they get are limited. She also adds there is very little information about what programs are being funded. She says it is
'infuriating' to not have any information and try to put together a budget.

She thanks the DeWitt County Mental Health Board and indicates they have been a big help in providing assistance to keep their services intact.

Thomas, Thompson Lead At John Deere Classic

 width=Justin Thomas and Nicholas Thompson carded matching 8-under 63s in Thursday's first round and they share a 1-shot lead at the John Deere Classic.

Thomas is seeking his first career victory on the PGA Tour in his rookie season, while Thompson has also never won on tour.

Luke Guthrie bogeyed the last hole at TPC Deere Run and he fell into a share of third place with Charles Howell III. They shot 7-under 64s.

Three-time champion Steve Stricker is in the hunt once again following his 6- under 65. He is tied for fifth with Robert Garrigus, Daniel Summerhays, Shawn Stefani and Steven Alker.

Defending champion Brian Harman fired a 4-under 67, putting him in a tie for 21st.

Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, who picked up his first career win on tour here in 2013, struggled to an even-par 71 and he is tied for 101st.

Rams, NFL Notes

>>Former NFL QB Stabler Dies

Former NFL quarterback Ken Stabler passed away Wednesday as a result of complications associated with colon cancer.

Stabler, who was 69, battled Stage 4 colon cancer since being diagnosed in February 2015, according to a statement from his family.

Nicknamed "The Snake" for a long touchdown run during his high school career, Stabler played college ball for Alabama and was a second-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 1968. He played a total of 15 seasons in the NFL, the first 10 with Oakland (1970-79), two with Houston (1980-81) and three with New Orleans (1982-84).

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Stabler was named the 1974 NFL MVP. He led the Raiders to the title in Super Bowl XI, a 32-14 triumph over Minnesota on Jan. 9, 1977.

 width=>>Rams Select Isaiah Battle In Supplemental Draft

Former Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the fifth round of the NFL Supplemental Draft conducted Thursday.

By taking Battle, an 11-game starter at left tackle as a junior last season, the Rams forfeit their fifth-round pick in next year's draft.

Battle becomes the first player chosen in the supplemental draft since the Cleveland Browns took troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon in the second round of the 2012 edition.

The 22-year-old Battle declared for the supplemental draft last month, citing family matters that included an expecting child. Off-field issues may have played a part in the decision as well, as multiple outlets reported that he was cited for marijuana possession after being pulled over by Clemson police for speeding on June 11.

Battle was the one of seven players eligible for this year's supplemental draft and the only one selected.

NBA Notes

>>LeBron Re-Ups With Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers officially re- signed forward Kevin Love on Thursday, the day the NBA moratorium on signings and trades was lifted.

The team also reportedly inked LeBron James to a one-year, $23 million contract for next season. The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports James also received a player's option for 2016-17 worth $24 million.

It was last week that Love announced he was returning to the Cavs by saying he has "unfinished business."

Also Thursday, the Cavaliers re-signed guard Iman Shumpert to a reported four- year, $40 million deal.

 width=Love averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds over 75 regular-season games in his first season in Cleveland, though he played in just four playoff contests before suffering a dislocated shoulder that required surgery during the opening-round series against Boston.

The 26-year-old made three All-Star teams in six seasons with Minnesota before being shipped by the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers last August, part of a blockbuster trade in which Minnesota received reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins.

James is reportedly back after declining the $21.6 million player option for next season on his deal.

>>Lakers Trade For C Hibbert

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially come to terms with reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams.

The deal is worth $21 million over three seasons, according to previous reports.

The team also acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade from Indiana in exchange for a future second-round draft pick. The Lakers also signed forward Brandon Bass to a multi-year contract and inked second-round draft selection Anthony Brown.

The 7-foot-2 Hibbert played seven seasons for the Pacers and has career averages of 11.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

>>Suns, Pistons Make a Deal

The Phoenix Suns have dealt small forwards Marcus Morris and Danny Granger, and guard Reggie Bullock to the Detroit Pistons.

The deal will net the Suns a second-round draft pick in 2020.

This turns out to be a salary purge for the Suns.

The 25-year-old Morris averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 81 games last season.

Granger, who has spent most of his career with the Indiana Pacers, has averaged 16.8 points in 586 games. The 32-year-old played in 30 games last season for Miami and averaged 6.3 points. Granger was dealt to Phoenix in February, but did not play a game for the Suns due to a knee injury.

Bullock, a first-round draft pick by the Clippers in 2013, was traded to Phoenix in January. He averaged 1.9 points combined in 36 games last season.

Martinez Cools Off Red Hot Pirates; Samardzija, Sox Blank Blue Jays

 width=>>Martinez Cools Off Red Hot Pirates

In his final start before the All-Star break, Carlos Martinez was impressive in the St. Louis Cardinals' 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday.

Martinez (10-3) is one of five players fans can vote for as the last player to make the NL All-Star team. In his 10th straight quality start, Martinez pitched through a 36-minute rain delay and came out stronger after the break, scattering four hits and two walks over 7 1/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.

Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter each hit RBI singles in the four-game series opener.

Jeff Locke (5-5) was not as strong coming out of the break, allowing four runs -- one earned -- on five hits and three walks in five innings.

Andrew McCutchen's ninth-inning home run accounted for Pittsburgh's only run.

Martinez was in trouble early in the game, but timely double plays helped keep Pittsburgh off the board. In the first, the Pirates had runners on the corners with none out when McCutchen grounded a ball to third base.

Mark Reynolds was content to concede the run and turn the double play, but Gregory Polanco hesitated running home. Instead of turning the double play at second base, Carpenter fired to the plate, and Molina tagged out Polanco for a key out.

In his first inning out of the delay, Martinez faced two runners in scoring position with none out and Pedro Alvarez at the plate. Alvarez rocketed a 3-0 pitch up the middle, but Martinez reacted to make the catch and throw to third to double up the runner.

Martinez then retired 12 in a row before a one-out double in the eighth ended his night.

The Cardinals scored all four of their runs in the fifth. After Randal Grichuk's single, Jordy Mercer committed an error to allow a second runner to reach. After Martinez bunted them into scoring position, Carpenter delivered his two-run single. Locke walked Jason Heyward to reload the bases, and Molina drove in St. Louis' third and fourth runs with a single up the middle.

McCutchen's 11th home run created a save situation for Trevor Rosenthal with an out in the ninth, and the Cardinals' closer struck out both batters he faced for his 26th save.

National League Scoreboard
Miami 2, Cincinnati 0
Los Angeles 6, Philadelphia 0
Colorado 5, Atlanta 3

 width=>>Samardzija, Sox Blanks Blue Jays

Jeff Samardzija threw his second career shutout in the Chicago White Sox's 2-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday afternoon.

Samardzija (6-4) did not allow his first hit until the sixth and scattered four hits and a walk over his nine innings with five strikeouts to help Chicago win three games in its four-game set with Toronto.

The White Sox scored both of their runs in the sixth inning, first on a wild pitch and then on Melky Cabrera's solo home run.

R.A. Dickey (3-10) became the first 10-game loser in the AL despite a solid outing, allowing both Chicago runs on four hits and two walks in seven innings with six strikeouts.

Although he had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings, Samardzija was the first pitcher to get in trouble when back-to-back singles by Ryan Goins and Devon Travis put two on for the Blue Jays. He was then able to get Josh Donaldson to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Adam Eaton led off the home half of the sixth with a triple. After Abreu struck out, a Dickey wild pitch allowed Eaton to score. Just two pitches later, Cabrera hit his fourth home run of the season for a 2-0 White Sox lead.

Travis collected his second hit of the game to lead off the ninth, but again, Samardzija induced a double play from Donaldson to erase the baserunner. He then got Jose Bautista to swing through a 3-2 breaking ball to end the game, his sixth career complete game.

American League Scoreboard
New York 6, Oakland 2
Kansas City 8, Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 3, Houston 1
Detroit 4, Minnesota 2
Seattle 7, LA Angels of Anaheim 2

>>Mets Rookie Sensation Matz Has Muscle Tear

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz was diagnosed with a partial tear of the lat muscle on his left side Thursday and will not throw for three weeks.

The 24-year-old rookie received a PRP injection Thursday and will be re-examined at a later date.

Matz dealt with a sore lat muscle following his major league debut against the Reds on June 28, but was cleared to pitch. He went 2-0 with a 1.32 earned-run average over his first two career starts.

Prior to his call-up from Triple-A Las Vegas, Matz led the Pacific Coast League in both earned run average (2.19) and strikeouts (94) while posting a 7-4 record in 15 games (14 starts) this season. The 2009 second-round pick owns a 2.28 ERA over 66 career professional appearances, all but one of which have been starts.

 width=>>Yankees OF Gardner To Replace Royals' OF Gordon on All-Star Roster

New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner will replace Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon on the American League roster for the upcoming All-Star Game.

Gordon went on the disabled list Thursday with a groin strain.

Entering Thursday's game against Oakland, Gardner was batting .278 with a .378 on-base percentage and 33 extra-base hits -- including nine home runs -- in 78 games this season.

Gardner was one of five players vying for the Final Vote spot on the American League roster, along with Kansas City's Mike Moustakas, Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes, Minnesota's Brian Dozier and Boston's Xander Bogaerts.

Gordon injured his groin in Wednesday's win over Tampa Bay chasing a fly ball that resulted in an inside-the-park home run for Logan Forsythe. He is expected to miss eight weeks.

Baltimore's Adam Jones will replace Gordon in the AL starting lineup in Tuesday's All-Star Game.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for July 10

Jail Population: 35

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Larry Fisher, 50, Clinton was issued Citations for Driving Under Influence Alcohol, Use of Electronic Device while Driving, Illegal Transportation Alcohol, Improper Lane Usage and Failure to Wear Seatbelt. Fisher was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Nicholas Haake, 36, Forsyth was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Haake was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Hart, 20, Farmer City was issued Citations for Speeding 85 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hart was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.





Normal Cornbelters Fall to Frontier Greys

The Normal Cornbelters fell to the Frontier Greys by a score of 6-5 on Friday night.

Tune in tomorrow night, July 11, as the Cornbelters take on the Frontier Greys. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com

Governor Offers Up New Pension Reform Plan



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Law Enforcement Warns of Driving Through Flooding Areas

The summer of the endless rains continue this week and local safety officials are hoping local drivers will use caution when driving.

Flood watches and warning have taken the place of head advisories this summer, which means a shift in precautions to drivers. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates the ground is saturated with water and water covered roadways can become a problem.

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The Chief reminds drivers any time you are utilizing windshield wipers to turn on those headlights. Chief Lowers also reminds motorists it is state law to have those lights on when the wipers are going, but it's also a safety measure.

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There are areas in DeWitt County that can flood over the roadway and this can cause major challenges for motorist. Chief Lowers encourages motorists to never drive through water that gets above a third of the way up your tires or can reach the base of the car door.

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Hydroplaning becomes an increased likelihood when traveling around saturated areas. Chief Lowers encourages increasing the distance between yourself and the car in front of you and says if you do hydroplane, do not hit the breaks, but rather take your foot off the gas pedal.

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Similar to winter driving tips, the Chief says it's always a good idea to have your vehicles up to date with their maintenance and make sure your tires are in good shape.

Clinton YMCA's Camp Osage Seeing Record Turnout

The popularity of Camp Osage through the YMCA is grow according to its leader.

Camp Osage is a summer program offered to youth in the community through the YMCA and according to Rennie Cluver, Executive Director of the YMCA, this year's turnout has been the best he's seen in his time at the YMCA.

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Cluver contributes the great turnout this summer to a couple things. He credits his staff for their preparation of the entire summer and making their members and others aware of what is happening.

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Throughout the week, there are certain things they do but Cluver says his staff does a great job of finding activities to do through the week that makes things different each day.

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It's still not too late for students to be a part of Camp Osage this summer. Cluver encourages any kids or parents with kids to contact the Y to learn more about the camp or to get them registered. There are fees per day or weekly fees. To learn more about Camp Osage visit www.clintoncommymca.org or call 217-935-8307.

Rory To Miss British Open; PGA Tour Shifts To Northern Illinois

Rory McIlroy will not defend his title at the British Open.

The world's No. 1 player announced Wednesday he has withdrawn from the tournament due to a ruptured ligament in his left ankle.

"After much consideration, I have decided not to play in the Open Championship at St. Andrews," McIlroy released via his Instagram account. "I'm taking a long term view of this injury and, although rehab is progressing well, I want to come back to tournament play when I feel 100 percent healthy and 100 percent competitive. Thank you for all your support and best wishes. I hope to be back on the course as soon as I can..."

 width=McIlroy suffered the injury while playing soccer with some friends on Saturday. He will be the first player to not defend his British Open title since Ben Hogan in 1954.

The British Open starts on July 16.

The PGA Tour heads to Illinois this week for the John Deere Classic, which will serve as a final tune-up before the Open Championship in two weeks.

Last year, Brian Harman carded four straight rounds in the 60s, including a 5- under 66 on the final day to win by a shot over 2012 champion Zach Johnson. Harman finished the week at 22-under-par 262.

Harman is back in the field this week looking to successfully defend his title after finishing in third at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago.

Also in the field looking to get one final event in prior to the Open Championship is Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, who picked up his first career victory on the PGA Tour at this event in 2013.

Spieth is having a year for the ages and in two weeks he hopes to become the first player ever to win the first three major championships of the season.

Giants' JPP Loses Finger; Bucs CB Loses Two

>>Giants DL Pierre-Paul Has Finger Amputated

ESPN says it obtained a medical chart showing that star New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated on Wednesday.

A Giants spokesman said the team is aware of the report but would not comment further.

Pierre-Paul reportedly suffered a hand injury attempting to light fireworks over the weekend while apparently celebrating the Fourth of July.

 width=The injury is not thought to be career threatening, according to reports, and a medical source told ESPN that Pierre-Paul should be expected to play next season "sooner than people think."

The Giants used their franchise tag on Pierre-Paul in March, though he has apparently not yet signed the tender. He is expected to play next season for $14.8 million after the Giants reportedly withdrew a long-term offer after his injury that the five-year veteran likely wasn't going to sign anyway.

Pierre-Paul, 26, was drafted by the Giants No. 15 overall in 2010 and has collected 42 sacks and 286 tackles in 75 NFL games.

>>Tampa CB Injures Hand In Fireworks Mishap

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers say cornerback C.J. Wilson was injured in a fireworks accident over the weekend, the second such incident involving an NFL player apparently celebrating the Fourth of July.

Wilson's agent, Joel Turner, confirmed to ESPN that the cornerback suffered a hand injury.

The Lincoln Times-News, a newspaper based in Lincolnton, North Carolina, where Wilson was born, reported that he lost two fingers in the incident, citing sources close to the cornerback's family.

Wilson, 25, appeared in two games for the Bucs last season, making four tackles.

DeAndre Jordan To Stay With LA

 width=Less than a week after reportedly agreeing to join the Mavericks, DeAndre Jordan signed a contract to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers when free agent deals became official after midnight.

Reports last Friday had Jordan verbally agreeing to a four-year, $80 million deal with the Mavs, but after an apparent meeting with Clippers personnel, including All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Jordan changed his mind.

The Clippers announced the signing on their Twitter page, though terms were not disclosed.

Jordan, who turns 27 later this month, averaged career highs last season with the Clippers, scoring 11.5 points and grabbing 15 rebounds per game. He also finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.

On Tuesday, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was actually fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly confirming the signings of Jordan and Wesley Matthews before the end of the league's free agency moratorium period.

Peralta's Homer Sends Cards Past Cubs, Sox Walk Off On Jays; Sox, Cardinals Notes

 width=>>Peralta's Late Homerun Difference As Cards Down Cubs

Jhonny Peralta's two-run home run in the ninth inning led the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a four-game set on Wednesday.

Dan Johnson drove in two while Randal Grichuk drove in one and scored twice for the Cardinals, who earned a split of the series with the win.

Michael Wacha allowed five runs on seven hits over six innings and was also 2- for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Miguel Socolovich (3-1) got the final two outs of the eighth for the win.

Miguel Montero hit a three-run double while Kris Bryant and Starlin Castro each drove in a run for the Cubs, who had won four of five coming in.

Chicago starter Jason Hammel left after one inning with a tight left hamstring. Pedro Strop (1-4) was handed the loss for allowing Peralta's homer.

With two outs in the ninth, Matt Carpenter kept the inning alive with a walk, and Peralta crushed a high fastball over the fence in left for a 6-5 lead.

Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth for his 25th save of the season.

The Cardinals got on the board in the second on RBI singles from Johnson and Wacha for a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis added to its advantage in the fourth as Grichuk tripled home Mark Reynolds, who led off with a triple, and scored when Johnson followed with a base hit for a 4-0 lead.

The Cubs got two back in the fourth to make it a 4-2 game. Anthony Rizzo led off with a single and scored on Bryant's triple. Castro singled home Bryant two batters later.

Trailing by two runs in the sixth, the Cubs were able to load the bases with one out before Castro struck out. Montero, though, punched a double to right that cleared the bags and left the Cubs with a 5-4 lead.

National League Scoreboard
Milwaukee 6, Atlanta 5
New York 4, San Francisco 1
Pittsburgh 5, San Diego 2
Boston 6, Miami 3
Arizona 7, Texas 4
LA Angels of Anaheim 3, Colorado 2
Cincinnati at Washington, postponed

 width=>>Eaton Homer Sends Sox Past Blue Jays

Adam Eaton's solo homer in the bottom of the 11th gave the Chicago White Sox a 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The White Sox improved to 8-2 in extra innings this season thanks to Eaton's blast off Roberto Osuna (1-3).

Eaton finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored for Chicago, which pounded out 16 hits. Adam LaRoche also had two hits to go along with two RBI and a run scored.

White Sox starter John Danks allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. Zach Putnam (3-3) tossed a scoreless 11th to pick up the win.

Josh Donaldson and Jose Reyes each had two RBI and a run scored for the Blue Jays. Drew Hutchison gave up four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over five innings.

The White Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Eaton walked, moved to third on Jose Abreu's single and scored on Melky Cabrera's sacrifice fly. Avisail Garcia followed with an infield single to put men on first and second for LaRoche, who hit a two-run double to right.

Toronto went ahead with a four-run third. Dioner Navarro, Kevin Pillar and Devon Travis hit three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. Reyes hit a two-run single to left-center field and Donaldson added an RBI double. After Jose Bautista struck out swinging, Reyes raced home on Edwin Encarnacion's sacrifice fly.

Chicago quickly tied things up in the bottom half on Garcia's RBI single.

The Blue Jays took the lead back with a two-run fifth. Travis hit a ground- rule-double and crossed the plate on Donaldson's double to right-center field. Bautista followed with an RBI single to left-center field.

But the White Sox scored two runs of their own in the sixth. Liam Hendriks gave up consecutive singles before recording two outs. Carlos Sanchez then hit an RBI single to left. Aaron Loup entered and Eaton greeted him with a run- scoring infield single.

American League Scoreboard
Minnesota 5, Baltimore 3
Detroit 5, Seattle 4
New York 5, Oakland 4
Cleveland 4, Houston 2
Kansas City 9, Tampa Bay 7

>>Pirates, Cards Open Crucial Weekend Series

The Pittsburgh Pirates go after a sixth straight win on Thursday when they open a four-game series with the National League Central- leading St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh enters the series as one of the hottest teams in baseball and is now just 4 1/2-games back of the Cardinals for the division lead.

Pittsburgh continued to roll on Wednesday, as Gregory Polanco hit a go-ahead RBI single during a three-run eighth inning that lifted the Pirates to a 5-2 win and three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres.

The Pirates rallied for their major league-leading 10th sweep of the season.

Getting the call for the Bucs on Thursday will be lefty Jeff Locke, who was brilliant on Saturday against Cleveland. Locke scattered two hits over eight scoreless innings in that one to improve to 5-4, while lowering his ERA to 4.15.

Locke is 2-2 in six starts versus the Cards.

St. Louis, meanwhile, managed not to lose any more ground to the Pirates on Wednesday, as Jhonny Peralta's two-run home run in the ninth inning led the Cardinals to a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Heading to the hill for Cards on Thursday will be righty Carlos Martinez, who has won six of his last seven decisions and is 9-3 with a 2.70 ERA. Martinez did not get a decision on Saturday against San Diego, despite surrendering just a run in 6 2/3 innings of his team's 2-1 win.

St. Louis has won all but one of his last nine starts.

Martinez, though, is 0-2 in 11 games (2 starts) against the Pirates and has pitched to a 6.23 ERA.

St. Louis is 4-2 against the Pirates this season.

>>Sox, Blue Jays Close 4-Game Set

R.A. Dickey tries to put the brakes on a personal three- game losing streak on Thursday when the Toronto Blue Jays wrap up a four-game set with the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Dickey lost for the fourth time in five decisions on Saturday in Detroit, as the Tigers tagged him for five runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He has just one win since May 21 and is 3-9 on the year with a 5.02 ERA.

It may not get any better for him this afternoon, as he is 2-4 with an 8.21 ERA in 10 games (6 starts) against the Pale Hose.

Chicago, meanwhile, will turn to righty Jeff Samardzija, who is 5-4 with a 4.33 ERA. Samardzija did not get a decision on Saturday against Baltimore, despite giving up just a run in 7 2/3 innings of his team's 3-2 triumph.

Samardzija has only faced the Jays twice, but is 1-0 against them and has allowed just one earned run in 14 innings to them.

Grand Slam of Golf To Be Moved To Trump Nation

 width=The PGA of America announced on Tuesday that they met with Donald Trump on Monday and mutually agreed to move the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf from Trump National -- Los Angeles.

The Grand Slam of Golf was contested in Bermuda for the past eight years -- the first two at the Mid Ocean Club and last six at Port Royal Golf Course. Prior to that, the event was played 13 straight years at Poipu Bay in Kauai, Hawaii.

From the event's first year in 1979 until moving to Poipu Bay in 1994, the tournament was played in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Florida, Minnesota and New York.

The Grand Slam of Golf is for the four major winners each year. Martin Kaymer defeated Bubba Watson in a playoff last year.

Florida State QB Dismissed From Team

Florida State has dismissed freshman quarterback De'Andre Johnson from the football team in the wake of a June incident at a Tallahassee bar.

 width=Video was released Monday by the state attorney's office showing Johnson striking a woman in the face. Johnson had been suspended indefinitely by the school in June after being charged with misdemeanor battery for hitting the 21-year-old woman.

The video shows Johnson and the woman yelling at each other and the woman lunging at Johnson with her left hand. Johnson then connects with a right hand to the left side of the woman's face.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the woman suffered a cut, bruises and swelling to her face.

Johnson turned himself into authorities on June 30, six days after the incident, after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was released on $500 bond.

The 19-year-old was expected to compete for a backup spot in the fall.

Bulls Sign 1st Round Pick, Bring Back PG Brooks; NBA Notes

 width=The Chicago Bulls signed first-round draft pick Bobby Portis on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-11 forward from the University of Arkansas was drafted No. 22 by the Bulls last month.

Portis was named SEC Player of the Year after averaging 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 36 games for the Razorbacks this past season. He averaged 15 points and 7.9 rebounds in 70 games over two college seasons.

The Chicago Bulls will reportedly bring back guard Aaron Brooks on a one-year deal, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The 30-year-old Brooks averaged 11.6 points per game last season, but shot just 34.4 percent during the playoffs.

Brooks joins Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy as imcumbents who have verbally committed to the Bulls.

 width=>>Celtics, Warriors Make Swap

The Boston Celtics acquired center David Lee from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace on Tuesday.

Lee, two years removed from being an All-Star, was relegated to a lesser role on the world-champion Warriors due to the emergence of Draymond Green. The 32- year-old averaged 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this past season.

His 18.4 minutes per game were his fewest since his rookie season in 2005-06.

Wallace played less than 10 minutes per game last season, but his contract will help Golden State's salary cap situation in an effort to sign MVP Steph Curry to a max deal down the line.

>>1st Round Picks Signed

The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed first-round draft picks Karl-Anthony Towns and Tyus Jones.

Terms of the contracts announced Tuesday were undisclosed.

Towns was selected with the first overall pick of last month's draft after a stellar freshman season at Kentucky. He averaged 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.26 blocks in 39 games, all starts, for the Wildcats.

Jones helped Duke to the national championship in his lone season with the Blue Devils last season. He averaged 11.8 points and a team-high 5.6 assists with 3.5 rebounds for the season.

The 6-foot-1 Minnesota native was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. He averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in six NCAA Tournament games.

Jones was chosen with the 24th overall pick of the draft by Cleveland and was traded to Minnesota on draft night.

The Utah Jazz signed first-round draft pick Trey Lyles on Tuesday.

Lyles was selected No. 12 overall last month after playing one college season at Kentucky.

The 6-foot-10 forward, who is a Canadian and American citizen, averaged 8.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 23 minutes per game as part of Kentucky's platoon system and helped the Wildcats reach the Final Four.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced the signing of No. 3 overall draft pick Jahlil Okafor on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-11 center from Duke averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in his only college season and helped the Blue Devils win the national title.

A consensus first-team All-American and the ACC Player of the Year, Okafor had 20 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in his Summer League debut on Monday.

>>Blues Extend Tarasenko

The St. Louis Blues have signed forward Vladimir Tarasenko to an eight-year contract worth $60 million.

Tarasenko was the NHL's 10th-leading scorer this past season with 73 points and was fifth in goals with 37. He earned his first career All-Star Game selection in January and was also chosen as a Second-Team All-Star at the conclusion of the campaign.

The 23-year-old Russian native was selected by the Blues with the 16th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He has compiled 66 goals and 69 assists for 135 points in 179 games over three seasons with the club.

Tarasenko also has 10 playoff goals in 13 games, including six in this year's first-round series loss to Minnesota.

>>Blackhawks Ext van Riemsdyk

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms with defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on a two-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 23-year-old van Riemsdyk posted one assist in 18 regular-season games for the Blackhawks this past season and skated in four Stanley Cup playoff games.

Cubs Sweep DH With Redbirds; Sox Lose

>>Cubs Sweep DH From Redbirds

Jake Arrieta pitched into the seventh inning and added a pair of base hits, as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-4, in the opener of a day/night doubleheader at Wrigley Field.

Arrieta (9-5) won his third straight decision, allowing just two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked just two. Since losing on May 17, Arrieta is 5-1 over his last nine starts.

He also had two of Chicago's 12 hits.

 width=Anthony Rizzo added a two-run homer and Chris Denorfia drove in three runs for the Cubs, who evened this four-game set at a game apiece. Dexter Fowler had two hits, an RBI and scored a run for Chicago.

Peter Bourjos had two hits and drove in a run and mark Reynolds connected on a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who had a three-game win streak halted.

The Cubs went ahead in the third inning when Denorfia singled home a pair of runs and then extended the lead in the sixth when Jorge Soler worked a bases- loaded walk.

All three runs were charged to St. Louis starting pitcher Tyler Lyons (2-1). The left-hander, who took the loss, allowed seven hits, struck out three and walked five over 5 2/3 innings.

The Cardinals finally got to Arrieta in the seventh, forcing him from the game after an RBI double by Bourjos and a run-scoring single by Xavier Scruggs. However, with two on and one out, reliever James Russell came on for Arrieta and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter to end the threat.

The Chicago Cubs used a three-run seventh inning en route to a 5-3 win and a doubleheader sweep over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

Seth Maness (3-1), who relieved Cardinals starter Tim Cooney after 5 1/3 innings, allowed an RBI single to Addison Russell that tied the game at 2-2 in the seventh. Russell's hit was just inside the bag at first and Maness was then ejected by first base umpire Pat Hoberg for arguing the play.

Kevin Siegrist stepped on the hill and got Dexter Fowler to ground into a potential inning-ending double play, but his throw to second skipped into center field as the Cubs took the lead. Anthony Rizzo delivered a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat for a two-run edge. Starlin Castro accounted for the final Cubs' run with a sac fly in the eighth for the Cubs.

Travis Wood (5-3) earned the win for a scoreless seventh, Hector Rondon pitched the eighth and Jason Motte closed it out against his former team for his fifth save of the season despite giving up a run in the ninth.

Chicago got on the board in the fifth to break the scoreless draw. Castro doubled to begin the inning, then Taylor Teagarden singled him home for a 1-0 lead.

St. Louis put runners at the corners to begin the sixth and Jason Heyward tied the game with a groundout. Heyward moved to third on a pair of wild pitches before Mark Reynolds gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead with an infield single to shortstop.

National League Scoreboard
Cincinnati 5, Washington 0
Atlanta 4, Milwaukee 3
Pittsburgh 3, San Diego 2
Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles 2
San Francisco 3, New York 0
Boston 4, Miami 3
Arizona 4, Texas 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 10, Colorado 2

 width=>>Jays Edge Sox

Josh Donaldson's solo home run in the fourth inning was the difference as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Felix Doubront (1-0) earned the win in his first start of the season after yielding just one run, six hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. Doubront, who made his Blue Jays debut in a relief appearance against Detroit on Friday, had six strikeouts.

Jose Bautista knocked in the other run for the Blue Jays, who improved to 2-3 on their 10-game road trip.

Jose Quintana (4-8) was saddled with the loss despite striking out eight in eight innings. Quintana, who was 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in six career starts vs. Toronto entering the game, gave up two runs and four hits and walked none.

The game flew by in two hours and 33 minutes -- quick by baseball standards but glacial compared to Chicago's 4-2 win in the series opener on Monday night when starters Chris Sale and Mark Buehrle pitched every inning in a game that lasted one hour and 54 minutes.

Jose Reyes led off the game with a single, stole second base and scored after consecutive groundouts to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead, but Chicago tied the game in the third after Gordon Beckham hit a two-out double and came home on Carlos Sanchez's single.

Donaldson, baseball's leading All-Star vote getter, lined an opposite-field home run into the Toronto bullpen behind right field leading off the fourth for his 21st home run of the season.

Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for Toronto and gave up a leadoff single to Alexei Ramirez, who moved up to third base after a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch. But J.B. Shuck flied out and Conor Gillaspie popped up to end the game.

American League Scoreboard
Kansas City 9, Tampa Bay 5 (Game 1)
Kansas City 7, Tampa Bay 1 (Game 2)
Oakland 4, New York 3 (10 innings)
Cleveland 2, Houston 0
Minnesota 8, Baltimore 3
Seattle 7, Detroit 6 (11 innings)

State Workers Prepare for No Pay

State workers have been holding out hope that they would avoid missed paydays but yesterday's Cook County Court ruling that the state couldn't make payroll without a budget leaves next week's paychecks in doubt.

For Dan Swinson, an office associate at the Illinois Department of Public Health and a union steward for AFSCME local 805, it's a possibility that he has prepared for, but he says others may not be as prepared for their income to be on ice.

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Swinson isn't ready to name names when it comes to blaming the budget stalemate on someone but he says there are clearly multiple parties involved in the gridlock.

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Swinson is concerned about the impact on the Springfield economy if state workers have to significantly curtail their spending.

Pressure Mounting in Springfield

The Comptroller has joined with the Governor and the state’s largest employee’s union in urging full pay for all state employees and depending on the outcome of a case filed by the state’s Attorney General, there could be some relief to mounting financial constraints. Illinois News Network has more:

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Democratic majorities in both chambers passed a budget that spends upwards to $4 billion more than is estimated to be brought it, something Governor Rauner vetoed saying he can not support because it’s unbalanced.

LaHood Wins Republican Primary

Voters in central Illinois have given the Republican nomination to state Sen. Darin LaHood in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock. That means the son of former area congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is likely headed to Washington.

However, the family relationship was a delicate balance for the younger LaHood on the campaign trail. He portrayed himself as far more conservative than his dad and tried to distinguish his own career as a former prosecutor and a state senator.

LaHood heads into the Sept. 10 special general election as the favorite after defeating anti-establishment conservative writer Michael Flynn. LaHood will face Democratic high school teacher Robert Mellon.

Schock resigned in March amid mounting scrutiny of his spending, including a redecoration of his office in the style of TV's "Downton Abbey."

LaHood Touts Campaign Team, Record For Victory

The Republican nominee to replace ex-Congressman Aaron Schock says he spent most of his campaign talking about his record as a state senator and former prosecutor, not his famous former U.S. transportation secretary father Ray LaHood.

State Sen. Darin LaHood won his party's nomination Tuesday. He tells The Associated Press his campaign team hit the ground running early on and didn't take anything for granted.

LaHood had early backing from the state GOP, more money than the other candidates and key endorsements, including from the National Rifle Association.

But one of his two GOP opponents, conservative writer Michael Flynn, argued voters were tired of party politics, particularly after the Schock scandal.

The general election is Sept. 10.

Schock resigned in March after mounting scrutiny of his spending.

State Ag Director Says Ethanol Standards Unfair For Farmers

It’s unfair to change the ethanol rules on Illinois farmers. That’s the message to the U.S. EPA from Philip Nelson, the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, about proposed changes to Renewable Fuel Standards.

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The proposed rules will take public comment until July 27th with finalized rules by November of this year.

University of Illinois Spends Short of $1-Million For Legal Defense

The University of Illinois has spent $843,000 defending itself in a pair of lawsuits filed by a professor who was denied a job at the school after posting anti-Israel messages on Twitter.

Invoices were obtained showing how much the school paid to two outside law firms in the Steven Salaita cases. University of Illinois spokesman Tom Hardy says the school needed to hire outside counsel in the cases.

According to reports, some of the school's legal bills were been paid for using public funds, but Hardy didn't specify an amount.

Salaita sued the University of Illinois in January after administrators withdrew a job offer that he accepted in fall 2013. He's seeking compensation and to get the job back.

Rep. Mitchell Holds Open Discussion With DeWitt County Seniors

 width=State Representative Bill Mitchell came to Clinton to hold an open forum with DeWitt County seniors.

Topics at Tuesday's forum from the DeWitt County Friendship Center ranged from reforms to senior programs to welfare to the state's fiscal mess. Rep. Mitchell says it's time the state get back to basics and take care of those who can't take care of themselves.

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The Representative was approached about welfare. The Representative says one out of every two Illinois children are on welfare and in Decatur, part of his district, six out of ten children are on welfare. He believes, when responsibility is emphasized in society, people respond, and they have gone away from that idea in Illinois.

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Rep. Mitchell says the programs Illinois puts in place are well intended programs, but he notes, lawmakers ignore how to pay for them. He says that cannot happen anymore.

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Rep. Mitchell is sponsoring welfare reform programs that would include drug testing to recipients of welfare, a crackdown on LINK fraud, and a work requirement to receive food stamps.


County Board Chair Pleased With Agreement With PSI

Paramedic Services of Illinois' move to the former Black's Heating and Cooling property outside Clinton is being praised by the DeWitt County Board Chair.

The County Board approved in June, the lease agreement with PSI for them to occupy the second of the property acquired by the County formerly known as the Black's property. Board Chair David Newberg says that property is going to generate roughly $50-thousand in three years.

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Before the Board approved the Animal Control facility for the south building, the Animal Control facility was going to occupy the north building. Newberg explains when PSI expressed interest in the north building and the animal shelter architect got involved, it was decided Animal Control would take the south building.

[audio:7081591223-7815ambulancemove2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Newberg, the idea of that property being a revenue generator wasn't anything he had thought of. He points to the revenue PSI will bring in, plus selling the current Animal Control facility to the City of Clinton, Newberg says they could have 60% of the property paid for in three years.

[audio:7081591226-7815ambulancemove3.mp3] [/audio]

There was some push back from other Board members over the lease to PSI. A few County Board members felt because PSI was a taxing entity in the County, it wasn't right to have their revenue come back to the County. They also felt the Board should have sought a request for proposal for the property rather than outright rewarding it to PSI.

Clinton Police Report for July 8

On July 6, 2015 Clinton Police arrested Albert L. Bateson for the offenses of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse and Sexual Relations within Families. Bateson was transported to the Dewitt County Jail where he was turned over to corrections personnel pending a bond hearing before the Circuit Court.


AM Vets Opening of 4th of July Celebrations in Clinton

July 4th, Clinton Veterans groups (AMVETS, Legion, and VFW) color guard participated in the flag raising presentation to kick off the Celebrate Clinton's 4th of July event on the downtown Clinton Square.

A total of 16 Veterans participated in the event.

Part of the presentation included playing taps after the flag had been raised.


Information, picture submitted by Darrel Tucker, AMVETS Post 14 Publicity and Finance Officer

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For July 8

Jail Population: 35

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Kevin McDermott, 52, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. McDermott was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.





Comptroller, Governor, AFSCME Seek Appeal

Illinois’ Comptroller, Governor and largest state employees union plan appeals of Tuesday’s Circuit Court ruling that absent a state budget only certain employees can get paid and only the federal minimum wage.

[audio:7081524113-PAYCASE.mp3] [/audio]

It’s Day 8 of the new fiscal year and there’s still no budget in place.

2 Men Dead In Head-On Crash in Macon County

2 people are dead following an apparent head-on collision this morning around eleven o'clock on Illinois Route 121 near the Lincoln Memorial Parkway in rural Macon County.

Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day tells Regional Radio News, that both vehicles were engulfed in flames immediately after impact, and dental records had to be used to identify them during an autopsy this afternoon at he McLean County morgue.

Day says the driver of the pickup truck was 47-year-old Robert Doty of Decatur, while the driver of a passenger vehicle was 22-year-old Jonathan Franklin of Lincoln.

Logan County Coroner Robert Thomas assisted Day's office in the notification and identification process on the Lincoln resident.

An inquest will be scheduled at a later date. The exact causes of death are still pending completion of the final autopsy testing and issuance of the autopsy reports, according to Day.

The Macon County Sheriff's Office is conducting a crash reconstruction of the head-on crash.

Latest World Golf Rankings Released

 width=Danny Lee went on to win in a four-way playoff at the Greenbrier Classic on Sunday and that victory propelled him all the way up to No. 78 in the world rankings.

Lee, who was previously No. 158 in the world, improved 80 spots to No. 78.

The top-15 players all remained the same, headlined by Nos. 1 and 2 Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia rounded out the top-10 once again.

Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, J.B. Holmes, Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Reed also stayed put from No. 11.

Louis Oosthuizen improved two spots to 16, which dropped Matt Kuchar down one to 17. Martin Kaymer jumped three to 18. Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel both fell a pair and rounded out the top-20.

With his win at the Open de France last week, Bernd Wiesberger vaulted 16 spots from 39 to 23, which is a career high for him.

Giants Withdraw Long Term Offer To Pierre-Paul

The New York Giants are reportedly pulling a long-term contract offer for Jason Pierre-Paul off the table after the star defensive end suffered a hand injury in a fireworks mishap over the weekend.

 width=Pierre-Paul was injured attempting to light fireworks on Saturday and needed hospitalization, according to multiple reports. The injury is not thought to be career threatening.

The Giants, who have not publicly acknowledged the incident, subsequently withdrew a $60 million long-term offer to the two-time Pro Bowl selection, NFL.com reported Monday.

According to the report, Pierre-Paul was not planning to accept the deal anyway.

The Giants used their franchise tag on the five-year veteran in March and he is expected to play next season for $14.8 million, though he has apparently not yet signed the tender.

Pierre-Paul, 26, was drafted by the Giants No. 15 overall in 2010 and has collected 42 sacks and 286 tackles in 75 NFL games.

NBA Notes

>>David West Follows Aldridge To San Antonio

The San Antonio Spurs will sign forward David West to a veteran's minimum deal, according to multiple reports Monday.

The deal, which can not be signed until July 9 when the league's free agency moratorium period ends, would be worth $1.49 million next season.

 width=West, 34, averaged 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 66 games last season with the Indiana Pacers.

The two-time All-Star owns career averages of 15.5 points, 7.2 boards and 2.3 assists in 815 games with New Orleans and Indiana.

>>Spurs' Ginobili To Play Next Season

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili says he is returning for the 2015-16 NBA season.

"Happy to announce that I'm coming back next season," Ginobili tweeted Monday.

Ginobili, who will turn 38 on July 28, has spent his entire 13-year NBA career with the Spurs, who drafted him in the second round in 1999.

He averaged 10.5 points last season, his lowest scoring output since he was a rookie.

The two-time All-Star has won four NBA titles with the Spurs.

>>Grizzlie Give Gasol Max Contract

The Memphis Grizzlies have come to terms with all-star center Marc Gasol on a five-year deal worth $110 million, according to multiple reports.

The deal, which cannot be finalized until July 9, includes a player option after the fourth year.

Gasol, who was born in Spain but grew up in Memphis during older brother Pau's tenure with the Grizzlies, has spent his entire seven-year career with the Grizzlies and developed into one of the league's elite two-way players.

The 2013 Defensive Player of the Year and two-time all-star averaged a career- best 17.4 points and added 7.8 rebounds per game last season, landing him a spot on the All-NBA First Team.

Gasol, who also stars for Spain's National team, has never averaged less than 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game during his NBA career.

>>Nets Sign First Round Pick

The Brooklyn Nets signed rookie forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to a multi-year contract on Monday.

Financial terms for the Arizona product were not disclosed.

Hollis-Jefferson was selected with the 23rd overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by Portland and was shipped to Brooklyn on draft night. The deal also sent guard Steve Blake to the Nets in exchange for center Mason Plumlee and the 41st overall pick of the 2015 draft, Pat Connaughton.

The 6-foot-7 Hollis-Jefferson spent two seasons at Arizona and helped the Wildcats to a pair of Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 38 games as a freshman and increased those numbers to 11.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 38 games during his sophomore campaign.

All-Star Game Rosters Announced; MLB Notes

The Kansas City Royals owned the fan voting Sunday night and added a few more names to the 2015 American League All-Star Game roster Monday.

The AL-leading Royals lead all teams with six All-Stars and have an opportunity to add a seventh as the rest of the rosters for the Midsummer Classic were unveiled.

Catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon will start the game, while relievers Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis will join that quartet in Cincinnati. Third baseman Mike Moustakas, meanwhile, is one of the five candidates for the Final Man vote.

 width=Twenty-six of the 66 All Stars are first-timers.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Albert Pujols, who leads the AL with 25 homers, will start at first base in place of the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera. The 10-time All Star Cabrera went on the disabled list for the first time in his career Saturday with a calf injury.

The Toronto Blue Jays' Russell Martin and Oakland Athletics' Stephen Vogt are the other catchers and the Boston Red Sox' Brock Holt and Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis were named as the other second basemen alongside the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve. The Tigers' Jose Iglesias is the other shortstop and the Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado will join the Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson at third base to round out the infield.

Donaldson set an all-time All-Star Game voting record with 14,090,188.

Toronto's Jose Bautista, Baltimore's Adam Jones and Detroit's J.D. Martinez were named reserves in the outfield. The Angels' Mike Trout is the other starter.

The Texas Rangers' Prince Fielder made the team as a designated hitter.

The Tampa Bay Rays' Chris Archer, Oakland's Sonny Gray, Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez, Houston's Dallas Keuchel, Detroit's David Price and the Chicago White Sox' Chris Sale are the starting pitchers.

The New York Yankees' Dellin Betances, Tampa Bay's Brad Boxberger, Baltimore's Zach Britton, Baltimore's Darren O'Day and the Minnesota Twins' Glen Perkins were named as the other relievers.

Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Detroit outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and Twins second baseman Brian Dozier join Moustakas on the final vote.

Washington Nationals outfielder Harper (13,864,950) set a National League All-Star Game voting record. The 22-year-old is hitting .344 with 25 homers and 60 RBI so far this season.

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen will start in the outfield for the injured Giancarlo Stanton. The Miami Marlins' slugger leads MLB with 27 homers. The Los Angeles Dodgers' Joc Pederson, Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock and San Diego Padres' Justin Upton are the other outfielders. The St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday earned the third outfielder starting nod.

St. Louis' Yadier Molina and the Dodgers' Yasmani Grandal join starter Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants at catcher. Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt will begin the game at first base and the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo and the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez are the reserves. The Colorado Rockies' D.J. LeMahieu and San Francisco's Joe Panik will man the pine for the Dodgers' Dee Gordon at second base.

Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier round out the starters in the infield. San Francisco's Brandon Crawford will replace Peralta and Colorado's Nolan Arenado and the Cubs' Kris Bryant will take over for Frazier.

Washington's Max Scherzer, Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole, the Dodgers' Zack Greinke, Atlanta's Shelby Miller, the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom, San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner, St. Louis' Michael Wacha and Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett are the starting pitchers.

St. Louis' Trevor Rosenthal, Pittsburgh's Mark Melancon, Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman, the Philadelphia Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon and the Milwaukee Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez were named the relievers.

Fans will select between Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez, Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto, Mets reliever Jeurys Familia and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for the Final Man on the NL side.

Once again, the winner of the All-Star Game will give its league home-field advantage in the World Series. Any starting pitchers who throw Sunday, July 12, will not be eligible to pitch in July 14th's game at Great American Ball Park.

The American League earned a 5-3 win last year at Target Field, but the Senior Circuit still owns a 43-40-2 mark in the all-time series.

>>Tigers OF Martinez Player of the Week

Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday.

Martinez hit four homers and drove in 10 runs over six games to earn his second career AL weekly honor. He went 11-for-24 (.458) and led the majors in slugging percentage (1.000).

His week began with back-to-back three-hit games versus Pittsburgh, and finished it by going deep in consecutive games against Toronto.

Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz and Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland were among those considered for the honor.

>>Brewers 3B Ramirez Named NL Player of the Week

Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday.

Ramirez led the majors with a .545 (12-for-22) batting average and .577 on- base percentage. He drove in 11 runs, scored four runs and hit a home run over seven games.

It is the 37-year-old's fourth career weekly honor.

Cards Beat Cubs; Sox Win Behind Sale

 width=>>Cardinals Solve Lester, Cubs

John Lackey outdueled Jon Lester and the Cardinals edged the Cubs 6-0 in the opener of a four-game series.

Lackey (7-5) pitched seven innings and allowed six hits and a walk while striking out four to pick up the win, the Cardinals' third straight overall.

Lester (4-7) had a no-hitter going until allowing a pair of unearned runs in the fateful seventh. He put the blame on himself despite a critical error spoiling his outing.

Jhonny Peralta broke up the bid with a sharp, one-out single off the glove of Kris Bryant. Jason Heyward then reached on a bad throw from Bryant, and Yadier Molina's sacrifice fly scored the first run of the game. Kolten Wong followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

Kevin Siegrist took over for Lackey when play resumed following a 76-minute rain delay and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth, and the Cardinals tacked on plenty of insurance against Edwin Jackson in the ninth.

Mark Reynolds hit a bases-loaded sac fly, Randal Grichuk knocked in two more with a double to left, and Peter Bourjos singled up the middle to make it 6-0.

Mitch Harris closed out the shutout with a perfect ninth.

Lackey worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by getting Addison Russell to look at strike three to end the frame. The inning saw Lester record his first big-league hit in his 67th at-bat -- a comebacker off Lackey's leg. Earlier this season, Lester set the record for the most career plate appearances without a hit.

Consecutive singles to start the sixth saw the Cubs with men on the corners, but Miguel Montero struck out and Starlin Castro bounced into a 4-6-3 double play.

Jorge Soler had a pair of hits for the Cubs, who had won five of six coming in and Grichuk's double in the ninth was the Cardinals' only hit that went for extras bases.

National League Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 2, San Diego 1
Cincinnati 3, Washington 2
Atlanta 5, Milwaukee 3
New York 3, San Francisco 0
Los Angeles 10, Philadelphia 7

 width=>>Sale Pitches Sox Past Jays

Chris Sale's historic strikeout run came to an end, but the dynamic lefty outdueled his former mentor Mark Buehrle and led the Chicago White Sox to an 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.

Sale had 12 strikeouts against St. Louis in his last start to match Pedro Martinez's all-time record for consecutive outings with 10-plus strikeouts. He only fanned six in this one, but picked up the win after going the distance for the first time this season.

Sale (7-4) was charged with two runs on six hits and did not walk a batter.

Buehrle (9-5) took a lead into the bottom of the eighth inning but couldn't hold it. He gave up four unearned runs on nine hits over eight innings to fall to 1-2 in four career starts against his former team.

Chris Colabello and Josh Donaldson hit solo home runs to account for both of Toronto's runs.

American League Scoreboard
Houston 9, Cleveland 4
Minnesota 4, Baltimore 2 (10 innings)
Detroit 12, Seattle 5
Tampa Bay at Kansas City, postponed

Illinois Basketball Notes

>>Illinois Basketball Games in Springfield To Include In-State Rivals

Illinois has announced a schedule for its men's basketball team that includes two in-state schools for its games this November in Springfield.

The Illini will play four regular-season games and an exhibition at Springfield's Prairie Capital Convention Center this fall while renovation work is completed at the State Farm Center on campus.

 width=The exhibition will take place Nov. 8 against Division II Illinois-Springfield.

That will be followed by the season-opener Nov. 13 against North Florida. Then the Illini will play Nov. 15 against Summit League co-champions North Dakota State, Nov. 21 against Chattanooga and Nov. 23 against Chicago State.

>>Illini Basketball Attendance Down, But Still Top 20 In Country

Illinois' men's basketball team drew more people per game last season than all but 14 other teams around the country. But Illini per-game attendance was still down.

According to NCAA figures released Monday, the Illini drew 14,652 people per game in a 19-14 season that ended with a disappointing one-game appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. The attendance figure was nonetheless 15th in the country and fifth in the Big Ten.

Illinois' attendance fell 3.8 percent from the previous season's 15,246.

Syracuse was the top team in the country at 23,854 a game. Wisconsin was first in the Big Ten and fifth in the country at 17,279.

Illinois' attendance has been up and down since hitting 15,581 a game in 2011. That was 10th in the country.

Cornbelters Defeat the Boomers

The Schaumburg Boomers were defeated by the Bloomington Cornbelters by a score of 4-3 Tuesday evening.  


Tune in Thursday, July 9th as the Cornbelters again take on Schaumburg.  You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

University of Illinois Names California Administrator Law School Dean

The University of Illinois has hired a legal scholar with long ties to California as the next dean of its College of Law.

The university said Monday that Vikram Amar will become the new dean on Aug. 16, pending approval of the university's board of trustees.

Amar is the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the University of California, Davis School of Law. He previously was a professor at UC Hastings and a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Amar is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Yale Law School.

Amar said in a news release that he is "deeply impressed" by what he has seen of Illinois' law school.

Amar replaces interim Dean John Colombo. He took over when Bruce Smith left the job in 2014.

New University of Illinois Financial Task Force Looking Long Term

One of the top administrators at the University of Illinois' flagship campus says a new task force looking at the school's budget aims to plot a long-term financial course.

Ilesanmi Adesida (ill-ih-SHAHN'-mee uh-DISH'-eh-dah) is the provost at the Urbana-Champaign campus. According to reports, he says the school typically adjusts year to year as it watches state funding fall.

Adjusting for inflation, state support for the university has dropped from more than $1 billion a year in fiscal 2002 to $662 million in the year that just ended.

Adesida said the task force will discuss spending priorities for the next five to 10 years.

Illinois Voters Head To Polls In Primary For Schock's Seat

Illinois primary voters are set to nominate candidates to replace ex-U.S. Rep Aaron Schock, once a rising star in Republican politics.

Schock resigned in March after mounting questions and news reports about his spending of taxpayer and campaign funds. That included redecorating his congressional office in the style of the TV show "Downton Abbey" and worldwide travels documented on Instagram.

The election Tuesday in heavily GOP territory features a classic Republican primary with party-backed candidate state Sen. Darin LaHood facing conservative writer Michael Flynn, who's received tea party support.

LaHood is the son of former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Flynn helped start a news website with late commentator Andrew Breitbart. One other Republican and two Democrats are running for office.

Low turnout is expected. The special general election is Sept. 10.

Lincoln Sells Train Car As It Fixes Depot

One central Illinois community has sold off two passenger cars and two cabooses as it renovates its downtown train station.

Reports indicate, Lincoln recently sold the equipment to a short-haul railway company, Iowa Pacific Holding. The cars had been a curiosity of a long-closed restaurant, called the Lincoln Depot, adjacent to the station.

But Lincoln's focus is now on fixing up the old station. Part of the plan is to have office space in the building. Lincoln's city administrator, Clay Johnson, says the design will be finalized later.

The city devoted more attention to the station after a federal project to improve tracks on a Chicago-St. Louis line going through Lincoln. It's expected to cut travel times for passenger trains between those cities.

Clinton Community Educational Foundation Turns To School Board for Help

When parents go to register their students for school later this summer, they will have the opportunity to donate money to and learn more about an arm of the district that provides students expanded learning opportunities.

The Clinton Community Educational Foundation (CCEF) has for many years, provided grants to classroom teachers in the Clinton district and now they are hoping to expand on that role. According to Claudine Wargel, with the CCEF, they hope to seek out donations through the online registration process and get in front of more people in that time as well.

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The most recent endeavor of the CCEF is to support students in the process of pursuing higher education. Wargel indicates they provide assistance for students to take duel-credit courses offered within the high school through Richland Community College and also in take entrance exams and preparation for those.

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For around a decade, the Foundation has used fundraising efforts and funds from a generous former-Clinton resident to provide teachers the ability to expand their resources to reach students. Wargel indicates their classroom grants are their most recognizable trademark in the schools.

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The CCEF is also responsible for the memorial wall that stands outside the sports entrance at the high school. That was a part of a fundraising effort the CCEF took the lead on.

Clinton Summer Maintenance Work Delayed

The wet summer has done more than hampered the progress in the fields of Illinois and the midwest, it has also put a wrench in the plans of city workers.

According to Steve Lobb, the summer maintenance work in Clinton has been completely delayed to this month because of the overabundance of rain we've received this summer.

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Lobb indicates the work will take place throughout the city and they will utilize the notification system to inform where they will be. He notes once they get going, it should only take about a week.

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Lobb's update was a part of the Clinton City Council meeting Monday night that lasted less than 20 minutes.

State Sen. Continues Call For Legalization of Fireworks

 width=Another 4th of July has come and gone, and one local lawmaker continues to call for the legalization of fireworks in Illinois.

State Sen. Chapin Rose began his campaign last year to legalize fireworks. He says the state is missing out on revenues and jobs by allowing its residents to cross state lines for products deemed illegal by the state.

[audio:7061582813-7615fireworks1.mp3] [/audio]

The Senator points out when people spend the days prior to the 4th of July traveling across the borders, there is tax revenues going to other states because Illinois doesn't allow the sale of fireworks here.

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When it comes to the safety side of handling fireworks, Sen. Rose points out people are already getting hurt from fireworks they can't have in the state. He says accidents are going to happen and has put provisions into his bill to allow part of the sales tax to go towards EMS crews to better their response and services.

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Sen. Rose the argument for fireworks use correlates with the argument the state doesn't tell people to not use cars because someone might get hurt or use knives or motorcycles or anything because of the risks involved.

He also points out he has received resounding support for this effort from his district in the past year.

Clinton High School To Add Freshman Volleyball Coach

 width=Because of the popularity of one sport within Clinton High School, the Board of Education has approved the request of its athletic director to bring on an additional coach.

Athletic Director Barry Gurvey explains volleyball within Clinton High School has seen great numbers join the program in the last several years, especially as it relates to underclassman. According to Gurvey, he anticipates that trend continuing.

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Gurvey compares volleyball to girls basketball and Gurvey points out, it is actually harder to find schools that can field a freshman girls basketball team than it is volleyball.

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To continue to justify hiring a freshman volleyball coach, Gurvey wants to see 30 players in the program from freshman to varsity. He says the benefits of having a freshman coach would allow the players more instructional time and there wouldn't be any cuts.

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The school board approved the hiring of a third coach to join the staff at the high school.

Earnhardt Jr. Wins At Daytona

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the rain- delayed Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, a race that concluded with a horrifying crash on the frontstretch, injuring several spectators in the grandstands.

Sunday's 400-mile race at Daytona had been scheduled to start at about 8:10 p.m. ET, but rain forced postponement for three and a half hours. It got underway at 11:42 p.m.

 width=When the checkered flag waved at 2:41 a.m. ET, Earnhardt had crossed the finish line in first, just ahead of Jimmie Johnson, his teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, but behind them a huge accident ensued with Austin Dillon's car flying upside down and then slamming into the catch fence.

Dillon's No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet ripped a section of the fence along the frontstretch before it landed back down on its roof on the track. Brad Keselowski's car then plowed into Dillon's vehicle, spinning it around several times.

The engine block from Dillon's car was completely torn away and came to a rest on the infield grass, as it was smoking.

Dillon was not injured during the incident, as he walked away from his battered car and waved to the crowd after crew members and safety workers quickly helped him get out of his vehicle.

Earnhardt started on the pole and dominated by leading 96 of 161 laps. Saturday's qualifying was canceled due to severe weather in the area. Earnhardt earned the top starting position since he was the fastest in Friday's opening practice.

An accident involving Sam Hornish Jr. on the backstretch in the closing laps forced the ninth and final caution and set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Earnhardt led the way for the last restart and held the position for the final two laps around this 2.5-mile superspeedway, beating Johnson to the finish line by 0.122 seconds.

Hamlin finished third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

Jeff Gordon placed sixth in his 46th and final start at Daytona. Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer completed the top-10.

A seven-car wreck occurred in turn 2 on lap 86, and then an 11-car incident happened in turn 4 on lap 105. Aric Almirola, who had won last year's rain- delayed and shortened race, was involved in the third major crash.

Danny Lee Wins At Greenbriar Classic; Rory Hurt

>>Dann Lee Wins At Greenbrier in Playoff

Danny Lee parred the second playoff hole on Sunday to defeat David Hearn and win The Greenbrier Classic.

Lee (67) and Hearn (67) were joined at 13-under-par 267 by Robert Streb (65) and Kevin Kisner (64).

The foursome headed back to the par-3 18th. Streb and Kisner both knocked their tee shots over the green. Lee and Hearn found the putting surface and had similar lines as they did in regulation.

Kisner had a brutal lie in the rough and went right under his chip twice. After pitching on, he marked, but knew he was finished. Streb's chip ran by the hole as well.

 width=They were eliminated as Lee poured in an 18-footer for birdie. Hearn matched Lee from a few feet closer.

Lee and Hearn went back to the par-5 17th on the Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier for the second extra hole. Both players hit their tee shots left.

Hearn hooked his second shot from the trees and it stopped in the grass on top of a fairway bunker. Lee laid up into the fairway, then hit his third to about 60 feet. Hearn chipped down the fairway, then saw his fourth land within feet of the cup, but it bounced off the back of the green.

Lee lagged his birdie chance within two feet. Hearn 2-putted from over the green for bogey, then Lee tapped in for par and the win.

Russell Henley fired a 7-under 63 to set the early clubhouse lead. Henley ended alone in fourth at 12-under-par 268.

Bryce Molder, who was one of four co-leaders entering the final round, closed with an even-par 70. He was joined in sixth at minus-11 by Chad Collins (69), Greg Owen (67), Andres Romero (67), James Hahn (66), Brendon Todd (68) and David Lingmerth (68).

Lee, Hearn, Hahn and Owen all qualified for the Open Championship.

Tiger Woods closed with a 3-under 67 to end at 7-under-par 273. The final round was Woods' best of the week as he hit 12-of-14 fairways and 15-of-18 greens in regulation in a bogey-free round.

>>World No. 1 Injures Ankle Playing Soccer

Rory McIlroy might not be around to defend his British Open title next week at St. Andrews.

The world's top-ranked golfer said Monday he suffered an ankle injury while playing soccer.

McIlroy posted a picture of himself on Instagram with his left foot in a walking boot. He did not give a timetable for a potential return.

"Total rupture of left ATFL (ankle ligament) and associated joint capsule damage in a soccer kickabout with friends on Saturday," McIlroy wrote. "Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day. Rehab already started..... Working hard to get back as soon as I can."

The British Open starts on July 16.

Blues, Blackhawks Notes

>>After Trade From Chicago, Saad Signs With Columbus

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed two- time Stanley Cup champion Brandon Saad to a new six-year contract just three days after acquiring the talented forward from the Chicago Blackhawks.

 width=The long-term deal, which ESPN reported to be worth a total of $36 million, will keep Saad under club control through the 2020-21 season.

In need of salary-cap relief, the defending NHL champion Blackhawks shipped Saad, slated to earn a significant raise as a restricted free agent, to Columbus Tuesday as part of a seven-player swap. Chicago received veteran center Artim Anisimov, young forward Marko Dano and wings Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp in the trade.

Saad posted career bests of 23 goals and 29 assists in 2014-15, the 22-year- old's third full NHL season, then added eight goals in 23 postseason games to help the Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup title in three years.

>>Blackhawks Bringing Back Desjardins

The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with forward Andrew Desjardins on a two-year contract.

In 2014-15, Desjardins tallied a career-high five goals in 69 games between the San Jose Sharks and Blackhawks. He also had one goal and three assists in 21 postseason games on the way to his first Stanley Cup championship.

The 28-year-old has 15 goals and 35 assists over 285 career NHL games with San Jose (2011-2015) and Chicago (2015).

>>Blues Sign A Pair

The St. Louis Blues and goaltender Jake Allen have agreed to terms on a two-year contract.

Allen led all rookie goaltenders with 22 wins (22-7-4) this past season, while recording a 2.28 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. In addition, he tied a Blues rookie record with four shutouts while becoming just the second rookie goaltender in club history to post consecutive shutouts, on Oct. 30 vs. Anaheim and Nov. 4 vs. New Jersey (Ernie Wakely, 1969-70).

 width=The 24-year-old Allen also logged 184:38 consecutive shutout minutes from Oct. 23 (third period vs. Vancouver) to Nov. 6 (third period vs. New Jersey), etching a new Blues rookie record.

Allen has accumulated a 31-11-4 record to go along with a 2.33 GAA, a .911 save percentage and five shutouts in 52 career games with the Blues.

The St. Louis Blues have come to terms on a one-year contract with forward Kyle Brodziak.

He played in 73 games with the Minnesota Wild last season and had nine goals and 11 assists. In 621 career NHL games, Brodziak has compiled 98 goals and 130 assists for Edmonton and Minnesota.

>>Blues Trade TJ Oshie To Washington

The Washington Capitals acquired forward and Olympic shootout hero T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Heading to the Blues are forward Troy Brouwer, goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley and a third-round draft selection in 2016.

"T.J. is an outstanding skater with a tremendous skill set," said Capitals GM Brian MacLellan. "He is a powerful player and has consistent track record of production throughout his career in the NHL. We feel that he complements our core group nicely and can help us get to the next level in achieving our ultimate goal."

Oshie totaled 55 points (19 goals, 36 assists) in 72 games a season ago for the Blues, the franchise which selected him in the first round of the 2005 draft out of North Dakota.

Star of the USA-Russia shootout in Sochi, he finished last season with four goals in 11 shootout attempts (36.4 percent), tying for 17th among NHL players in total scores.

The 28-year-old departs the club having totaled 110 goals and 200 assists in 443 games, chipping in nine points in 30 playoff contests.

Brouwer ended his ninth NHL campaign with 21 goals and 22 assists while participating in all 82 regular-season games for the Caps. In four seasons with the club, he picked up 83 goals and 69 helpers in 293 games.

Over 531 career contests for Chicago and Washington, the 29-year-old has compiled 132 scores and 123 assists, while adding 19 points in 78 playoff tilts. Brouwer was a member of the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2010.

Copley, 23, out of Michigan Tech, spent the majority of last year with Hershey in the AHL. He went 17-4-3 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

NFL Notes

>>Giants Star DE Hurt In Fireworks Accident

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a hand injury during a fireworks mishap on Saturday, according to multiple reports.

Pierre-Paul was hurt while attempting to light fireworks and his injury required hospitalization, NFL.com reported on Sunday.

 width=A spokesman for the Giants said he didn't yet know any facts about the incident.

Pierre-Paul, 26, was drafted by the Giants No. 15 overall in 2010 and has made two Pro Bowls in five seasons, collecting 42 sacks and 286 tackles in 75 games.

The Giants used their franchise tag on Pierre-Paul in March but he has apparently not yet signed his $14.8 million tender.

>>Jets DL Richardson Suspended Four Games

The NFL has handed New York Jets Pro Bowl defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Richardson, the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, will sit out the first four weeks of the upcoming season after testing positive for marijuana, a league source told the New York Daily News.

The third-year standout will be eligible to return for the Jets' home game against Washington on Oct. 18, which follows the team's Week 5 bye.

Richardson made an immediate impact after being taken by the Jets with the 13th overall pick of the 2013 draft. The 24-year-old recorded 78 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks in his debut to earn Rookie of the Year honors, then followed up with an eight-sack campaign while starting all 16 games this past season.

The Jets do have depth along their defensive front, however, having taken highly regarded USC lineman Leonard Williams with the sixth overall choice of this past draft. The rookie will likely slide in opposite stalwart Muhammad Wilkerson while taking Richardson's place at defensive end.

NBA Notes

>>Aldridge To Join Spurs

After losing a classic, seven-game series in the Western Conference quarterfinals to the Los Angeles Clippers, the San Antonio Spurs were in search of a way to shift the balance of power.

They have done that Saturday by reportedly signing star free-agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

In a tweet Saturday, Aldridge said, "I'm happy to say I'm going home to Texas and will be a Spur!! I'm excited to join the team and be close to my family and friends," ending the heated competition for the four-time All-Star's services.

Yahoo! Sports reported that he will sign a four-year, $80 million contract when the NBA free agent moratorium ends on July 9.

The 29-year-old Aldridge spent the first nine seasons of his career with Portland, which acquired him in a 2006 draft-night trade after the Chicago Bulls selected him with the No. 2 pick from Texas.

In addition to the Spurs, the Trail Blazers, Suns, Heat and Lakers were among the teams trying to land Aldridge.

>>DeAndre Jordan To Sign With Dallas

The Dallas Mavericks and center DeAndre Jordan have reached an agreement on a four-year contract, according to multiple sources.

The deal can not be signed until July 9.

Jordan averaged career highs last season with the Clippers, scoring 11.5 points and grabbing 15 rebounds per game.

The Mavericks receive a durable big man in Jordan, who has played in 322 straight games which is the longest active streak in the league.

 width=>>PG Rondo To Sign With Sacramento

The Sacramento Kings have reportedly come to terms with point guard Rajon Rondo on a one-year deal that will pay the four-time all-star $10 million.

Rondo, 29, was a key member of Boston's 2008 championship team, and he made grew into one of the league's premier passers and on-ball defenders during his eight-plus years with the Celtics.

But he was traded to Dallas midway through the 2014-15 season and famously clashed with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, leading to him missing the team's final three playoff games. Dallas fell to the Rockets in five games in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

His career numbers also dipped across the board, averaging just 9.3 points and 6.5 assists in 46 regular-season games with Dallas.

Rondo will compete with Darren Collison for the starting point guard spot.

>>Knicks Sign Robin Lopez

After missing out on a number of prized free agents, the New York Knicks have reportedly agreed on a four-year contract with center Robin Lopez.

The deal, which cannot be finalized until July 9, is worth a reported $54 million.

Lopez, a first-round draft choice of the Suns in 2008, spent four years in Phoenix before leaving for New Orleans in free agency. He grew into a dependable starting center in his lone season with the Pelicans and has been a centerpiece in each of Portland's last two playoff runs.

For his career, Lopez owns averages of 8.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, and he will be a significant upgrade defensively for New York.

>>Blazers Agree On Extension With PG Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers and guard Damian Lillard have reportedly come to terms on a 5-year, $120 million contract extension.

The Oregonian reports the sides came to terms verbally on the deal, which can't be officially announced until July 9. It's a maximum long-term extension for the two-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year.

The new deal will start in the 2016-17 season and will run through the 2020-21 season, according to the newspaper.

Last season, Lillard averaged 21 points, 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds. He has started all 82 games each season over his three-year career.

According to the Oregonian, Lillard is on his way to Los Angeles with the hope of meeting free agent LaMarcus Aldridge so he can re-sign with the Blazers. Aldridge has already met twice with the Lakers and is being wooed by nearly half a dozen teams.

>>Wade Returning To Miami

Dwyane Wade will remain with the Miami Heat for at least one more season, telling the Associated Press Thursday that he has accepted a $20 million offer from the team the perennial All-Star guard has spent his entire career.

Heat president of basketball operations Pat Riley announced the team intends to re-sign wade once the NBA moratorium period for signings is lifted.

The decision, which cannot be made official until July 9, comes just days after Wade declined his $16.1 player option for the 2015-16 season.

Wade had taken less money in past negotiations with the Heat in order to enable the team to bring in other free agents, most notably LeBron James and Chris Bosh during the franchise's run of four consecutive NBA Finals appearances from 2011-14. With James now in Cleveland and Miami slipping to also-ran status this past season, Wade was seeking a more lucrative deal while still hoping to finish out his career with the team.

Wade becomes the third cornerstone player to re-up with the team in recent days. Forward Luol Deng exercised his 2015-16 option on Monday and the Heat reportedly reached a five-year, $90 million agreement with point guard Goran Dragic on Wednesday's opening day of free agency.

>>Warriors Bring Back Green

The Golden State Warriors and Draymond Green have reportedly agreed on a five-year contract worth roughly $85 million.

Green, a restricted free agent, came into his own as a valuable two-way asset for the NBA-champion Warriors this past season.

The 25-year-old forward averaged career bests in his offensive numbers and finished second to Kawhi Leonard in Defensive Player of the Year voting. The Michigan State product averaged 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

>>Shumpert Staying In Cleveland

Guard Iman Shumpert will stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers after agreeing to a four-year, $40 million dollar contract, according to several reports on Wednesday.

Shumpert, a restricted free agent, joined the Cavaliers along with J.R. Smith from the New York Knicks in January as part of a three-team trade.

He averaged 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 62 games overall this past season, including 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists with the Eastern Conference-champion Cavs.

The Cavs also learned Wednesday that star forward Kevin Love will remain with the team, reportedly on a five-year, $110 million deal.

MLB All Star Starters Announced

 The fans have rewarded the AL-leading Kansas City Royals.

They've also taken notice of Bryce Harper's scintillating first half of the season.

Four Royals were named starters for July 14th's All-Star Game in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Salvador Perez (13,747,294) will start at catcher and Alcides Escobar (11,960,907) at shortstop. while Lorenzo Cain (12,399,127) and Alex Gordon (10,609,006) will man two of the three outfield spots.

 width=Kansas City has more starters this season than its previous 25 years combined.

The Washington Nationals outfielder Harper (13,864,950) set a National League All-Star Game voting record. The 22-year-old, who is hitting .344 with 25 homers and 60 RBI so far this season, easily surpassed the previous NL record of 7,621,370 set by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey in 2012.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson set an all-time All-Star Game voting record with 14,090,188.

Detroit Tigers first basemen Miguel Cabrera (13,834,271) was slated to make his 10th all-star appearance, but went on the disabled list for the first time in his career Saturday with a calf injury.

The Houston Astros' Jose Altuve (9,634,464) will begin the game at second to round out the AL infield.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Mike Trout (14,013,021) received the other outfield starting spot and the Seattle Mariners' Nelson Cruz (10,632,184) won the voting as designated hitter.

Harper was followed in outfield voting by the injured Giancarlo Stanton (7,036,537) of the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holiday (6,362,653).

Posey led catchers with 9,909,668 votes. Around the rest of the infield, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt (9,119,375) will start at first base, the Marlins' Dee Gordon (7,574,750) at second, St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta (8,478,474) at shortstop and the Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier (9,233,686) at third.

Once again, the winner of the All-Star Game will give its league home-field advantage in the World Series.

The American League earned a 5-3 win last year at Target Field, but the Senior Circuit still owns a 43-40-2 mark in the all-time series.

The rest of the rosters will be announced Monday.

Cubs, Cardinals Win Sunday; Sox Pounded

 width=>>Cubs Blank Marlins

Kyle Hendricks tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first home win of the season as the Chicago Cubs snuck past the Miami Marlins 2-0 on Sunday.

Hendricks (4-4) was 0-2 in six starts at Wrigley Field this season, but he found the win column after holding the Marlins to five hits during his 91- pitch outing. Hendricks walked one and struck out six.

His counterpart Mat Latos (3-6), who entered the game with a 4-0 career mark at Wrigley, allowed just one run on one hit with seven strikeouts over seven innings for Miami.

His lone blemish came in the first inning, when Chris Coghlan drew a one-out walk and moved to third on Kris Bryant's single to left. After Miguel Montero went down swinging for the second out, a low fastball got away from catcher Jeff Mathis and Coghlan scored without a throw.

Jason Motte sealed the deal for Chicago with a 1-2-3 ninth.

 width=>>Cardinals Down Padres

After scoring both runs in Saturday's win, Tommy Pham drove in all three in the St. Louis Cardinals' 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres to earn a split of the four-game series.

Pham's first career home run erased a 1-0 San Diego lead, and his double in his next at-bat added an insurance run.

Starter Lance Lynn (6-4) shut down a dormant San Diego offense, allowing just an unearned run on three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

The Padres, who have only scored 13 runs in losing five of their last seven games, could not support starter Ian Kennedy (4-8). He allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings with four strikeouts and no walks, but his bats could only provide three hits.

Lynn quickly retired the first two batters in the third, but a two-out walk to Yangervis Solarte led to San Diego's only run. Lynn's errant pickoff attempt allowed Solarte to move into scoring position, and Matt Kemp drove him in with an RBI single.

Lynn also helped himself at the plate. He led off the third with a single to set up Pham's home run to left field that gave the Cardinals a 2-1 advantage.

Leading off the fifth, Lynn hit a ground-rule double and scored when Pham doubled over Will Venable's head in left field.

Starting with the final out in the third, Lynn set down 11 in a row before Venable singled with one out in the seventh. He then got Austin Hedges to ground out before striking out Brett Wallace to end his outing.

Seth Maness pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Kevin Siegrist also got the Padres to go down in order in the ninth for his fourth save.

National League Scoreboard
Milwaukee 6, Cincinnati 1
Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 0 (10 innings)
Colorado 6, Arizona 4
New York 8, Los Angeles 0
Pittsburgh 5, Cleveland 3
Washington 3, San Francisco 1

 width=>>Orioles Pound Red Hot Sox

Caleb Joseph knocked in three runs, while Chris Davis added two RBI as Baltimore downed Chicago by a 9-1 count on Sunday.

Jonathan Schoop returned from the disabled list to homer and drive in a pair for the Orioles, while Adam Jones doubled twice, scored twice and added an RBI.

Steve Pearce finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored as Baltimore avoided a sweep and halted a three-game losing skid.

Miguel Gonzalez (7-5) gave up a run on four hits with three strikeouts over his six-inning outing.=

Melky Cabrera drove in the only run for the White Sox, whose five-game win streak came to a halt.

Carlos Rodon (3-2) worked five-plus frames and allowed four runs -- three earned -- on four hits while fanning seven and issuing four walks.

American League Scoreboard
Tampa Bay 8, New York 1
Toronto 10, Detroit 5
Boston 5, Houston 4
Kansas City 3, Minnesota 2

Parents of Illinois Basketball Players Don't Believe Coach Allegations

 width=The parents of a current University of Illinois women's basketball player and an incoming recruit say they don't believe the allegations seven former players made this week in a lawsuit.

The former players accuse coach Matt Bollant and former assistant coach Mike Divilbiss of treating black players poorly to try to drive them off the team.

Bob White's daughter, Chatrice, was Illinois' top player last season. Scott Kirkpatrick's daughter Jaelyne is joining the team. Both men say they believe the coaches are being wrongly accused.

The attorney for the former players, Terry Ekl, said an eighth former player could be added to the lawsuit next week.

According to reports, Kierra Morris says she now believes she was ostracized from the team after an injury because she is black.

Clinton Police Holiday Weekend Report

On July 5, 2015 Clinton Police arrested Alena J. Stearns, 23, Bloomington, IL on two McLean county arrest warrants. Stearns was transported to the Dewitt County Jail where she was turned over to corrections personnel pending the posting of bond or extradition to McLean county.
On July 4, 2015 Clinton Police arrested Holly C. Thomas, 37, Clinton, for Domestic Battery. Thomas was transported to the Dewitt County Jail where she was lodged pending a court appearance.
On July 4, 2015 Clinton Police arrested Wylee W. VanValey, 18, Clinton, for Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor and Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (less than 2.5 grams). VanValey was transported to the Dewitt County Jail where he was turned over to corrections personnel pending the posting of bond. As part of the same incident, a 17 year old juvenile was taken into custody for Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The juvenile was transported to the Clinton Police Department for processing and later released to a legal guardian.

7/4/15 Courtney V. Jackson, Normal, IL Speeding 84/55

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for June 29-July 1

Jail Population: 27

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Teddy Brown, 37, Clinton was Arrested and Charged with Contempt of Court. Brown unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.




Local Lawmakers React To Budget Deadline Passing

Local lawmakers say they are disappointed in the passing of the July 1st deadline and no budget being in place.

State Representative Bill Mitchell says House Speaker Mike Madigan doesn't want to work with Republicans to pass a budget and so a lot of people are going to suffer because of that.

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Lawmakers are kicking around the idea of temporary, one month budget and Rep. Mitchell says that is not something he is in favor of. The Representative says the State needs a responsible budget, one that doesn't endanger those that depend on state services.

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Rep. Mitchell calls a one month budget "kicking the can down the road".

State Senator Chapin Rose believes the lack of a budget falls on the shoulders of Madigan. The Senator points out in the 30-plus years of his tenure, there have been numerous budget deadlines that have not been met.

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The Senator does not believe Gov. Rauner is being unreasonable in fact, he points out, the Speaker hasn't even allowed any of Rauner's bills to be called for a vote.

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Sen. Rose believes the State of Illinois is going to be caught up in the battle between Madigan and Rauner and adds "something is going to have to cause Mike Madigan to come down off his high horse and play with others in the sand box".

Leading Republican Senator Says No Revenue Before Reforms

What will the grand bargain to bring about a balanced budget look like?

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Governor Bruce Rauner says in an opinion piece published by the Chicago Tribune the road to fiscal sanity starts with his veto of an out-of-balance budget that included no reform. Rauner say that there needs to be job-creating economic reforms, a property tax freeze with the ability for local governments to control costs, term limit and redistricting reforms, and comprehensive pension reform.

Champaign Sex Offender Found With Five Toddlers In Vehicle

Police in Urbana say they've arrested a registered child sex offender after officers found him with five children in his vehicle at a park.

According to reports, 55-year-old Duane Eric Edwards of Champaign was charged Monday with being a sex offender in a prohibited zone. Urbana police say an officer found the children in the vehicle after pulling over Edwards Sunday afternoon. The children all were between the ages of 2 and 7. All of them were from Mattoon.

Police arrested Edwards, notified the children's mothers and called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Edwards was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault of a 3-year-old child in Jefferson County in 1989.

Budget Impasse Shuts Down Program For Troubled Youths

A spokesman for the Illinois National Guard says about 90 staffers of the Lincoln's Challenge program for troubled youth have been asked not to report for work because of the state budget impasse.

Lt. Brad Leighton says all of the staffers are contract employees and considered vendors to the state. He says only about 12 staffers remain at the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, where the Guard operates Lincoln's Challenge.

According to reports, Leightonsays the next class of more than 400 Illinois youths was expected July 15 but has been postponed.

Lincoln's Challenge offers a 22-week voluntary program for young women and men. It's 75 percent federally funded and 25 percent state funded, but the federal reimbursement is paid only after state funds have been used.

IDOT Announces 4th of July Weekend Enforcement



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Normal Cornbelters Defeat Southern Illinois Miners

The Normal Cornbelters defeated the Southern Illinois Miners by a score of 4-3 on Saturday night.

Tune in tomorrow afternoon, July 5, as the Cornbelters take on the Southern Illinois Miners. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

4th of July Celebrations Going on Across Area

The 4th of July will bring communities together once again in 2015.

The annual Celebrate Clinton 4th of July Celebration on the square gets going bright and early Saturday.

Things kick off at 8 am with a free breakfast on the square served by the Fire Department and Police Department.

At 8:45 am, there will be a flag raising conducted by the color guard and Clinton's Marcia Wise will sing the national anthem.

Live music will be playing throughout the day and that gets underway at 9:30 with Me N' Him.

There will also be food vendors scattered across the square along with art and craft booths. Additionally, the always popular dunk tank, baloon artists, and face painting will go on throughout the day with local dignitaries and leaders taking turns at the dunk tank.

At 11:15, the next musical act, Sugar Creek Cloggers, will hit the stage.

There will be a donut eating contest at 11:30 am followed by the pie and salsa judging at noon.

At 1 pm, the Flying Nelson Brothers will take to the stage and the kids pedal tractor pull contest will start at 1:15 pm.

The annual watermelon eating contest starts at 2 pm, the shopping cart races are at 3 pm, and the day concludes with the Green Diamond Express on the square stage at 3:30 pm.

Fireworks in Clinton are scheduled for dusk with a rain date of Sunday night.

Elsewhere across the area this 4th of July weekend...

In Monticello, their annual Freedom Fest opens at 4 pm. There will be food vendors, camel rides, pony rides, inflatables, kids games and spectacular fireworks display.

Everything takes place at Lodge Park on Route 47.

The Lincoln Park District in Lincoln will be hosting a children's walking parade with registration at 9 am and judging at 9:30 am. Kids are encouraged to dress up and decorate bikes or other recreational items and parents are encouraged to walk with their kids starting at Scully Park and the parade route ends at the Part District at 1400 Railer Way.

Fireworks in Lincoln will go off at dusk from the Park District as well.

At Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo Friday and Saturday night at 7 pm, the Miller Park Bandstand will be filled with some of Bloomington's favorite musical ensembles, dancers and actors performing songs of Americana, celebration and patriotism. This production is free and appropriate for all ages. The 4th of July show is immediately followed by the outstanding fireworks display at Miller Park Lake.

Saturday at the Park in Bloomington on Saturday morning at 7:30 am, the annual Bloomington and Normal Parks and Recreation department are hosting the annual Lake Run, visit www.lakerunclub.org for more information.

From 6-8:30 at Fairview Park in Normal, a pre-fireworks concert featuring the Bygones will be held to be followed at 9 pm by the city display of fireworks.

Fairview Park is at 801 North Main Street in Normal.

4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips

The 4th of July is here, and that means fun with family and friends enjoying food and of course, fireworks.

Local safety officials recognize many residents will be traveling outside the state to purchase fireworks that are not legal in Illinois. Clinton Fire Chief David Dallas encourages caution when handling anything flammable and always make sure the activities are supervised.

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When it comes to items legal or illegal in Illinois, Chief Dallas indicates it comes down to if it makes a loud "bang" at the end. He explains there are tents and vendors popping up across the area, and what they are offering are what is legal in Illinois.

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Chief Dallas says while the grass and ground across central Illinois may not have the increased risk of catching fire because of the wet summer so far, he says be aware of hot ambers coming down on roofs or other structures that may be suspect to fire.

State officials remind residents anyone possessing, using, transferring or purchasing the display fireworks without a valid IDNR individual explosives license or storage certificate is violating Illinois law and could incur penalties. A violation of the Illinois Explosives Act can be a Class 3 felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, the IDNR can assess administrative fines for violations involving display fireworks and other explosives.

University of Illinois Freezing Administration Hiring Over Budget

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen has frozen hiring in the school's administration until the state's budget situation is resolved.

Killeen says in a Thursday memo obtained by The Associated Press that the university will make the move to help manage finances while it waits to find out how much state money it will receive this fiscal year.

University spokesman Tom Hardy said later that faculty jobs and other positions on university campuses aren't affected - only the central administration. He says about 23 open positions are affected, plus positions that open while the freeze goes on.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats could not agree on a 2016 budget before the fiscal year started Wednesday.

The state last year provided about 11 percent of the university's $5.6 billion operating budget.

Budget Bill Passes Senate, Fails in House



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One Month Budget Fix Fails In House

Debate was hot and heavy in the Senate as lawmakers put a one month budget bill on the floor for a vote. The Senate Bill, which was similar to the House measure, is meant to fund the Government for one month to the tune of $2.25 billion. Democrats say it would fund essential services. Illinois News Network has more:

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The House will take up the Senate measure in Committee Wednesday evening with a possible vote Thursday next week.

Sen. Manar Outspoken In Criticism of Rauner

State Senator Andy Manar pulled no punches as the Senate passed an essential services short term budget to get through July.

He wasn't happy the Governor wouldn't offer input on what he considered essential services personnel.

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Rauner's office reported the temporary budget proposal was unconstitutional. That message didn't sit well with Manar.

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While the Senate passed a temporary budget bill, the Illinois House failed to do so.

Lawmakers Pay Increase Vetoed

While it’s unclear if state workers will have to go get bridge loans from a bank to make ends meet while there’s no appropriations authority, a state law requires state lawmakers continue getting paid--but they won’t get the raise they passed for themselves.

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USDA Says Illinois Farmers Planted More Soybeans, Less Corn

Illinois farmers have planted more soybeans and less corn this year, though the state's wettest June on record may impact how much they actually wind up harvesting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows 10.1 million acres of soybeans are in Illinois ground. That's up from 9.8 million last year.

Illinois' corn acreage is 11.8 million, down from 11.9 million.

Nationwide, a record 85.1 million acres of soybeans have been planted, up 2 percent from last year. Planted corn acres are the lowest since 2010 at 88.9 million acres

Near southwestern Illinois' Chester, 62-year-old Steve Stallman says nagging rainfall has made this the most-challenging spring he's had farming. The wetness has kept him from planting about 10 percent of his corn acreage and two-thirds of his 600 soybean acres.

Bradley Center Signs Canadian Deal

Bradley University says a new trade agreement signed by a business center on campus and a similar organization in Winnipeg, Canada, will open up new areas for cooperation between industries in the two areas.

The deal between the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Bradley and the World Trade Centre Winnipeg is intended to open up export opportunities for businesses in both areas and ease collaboration between universities and people involved in startups.

The deal is part of a U.S. State Department initiative to develop closer ties between small businesses in the Americas.

Jim Foley is director at the International Trade Center at Bradley. He said in a news release Tuesday that the deal also could create student and faculty exchanges for Bradley and links for entrepreneurs in the cities.

Cubs Fall; Cardinals Defeated; Players of the Month


>> Mets finally score, but Cubs complete sweep

Jonathan Herrera drove in three runs and Jake Arrieta dominated the struggling New York offense, as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Mets, 6-1, to complete a three-game series sweep at Citi Field.

Miguel Montero added a two-run homer and Starlin Castro added a pair of hits and scored a run for Chicago, which also completed a season sweep of the offensively-inept Mets, winning all seven games.

Arrieta (8-5) allowed just one run on five hits in eight innings, striking out seven without walking a batter.

The right-hander outdueled his New York counterpart, Jacob deGrom (8-6), who took the loss after allowing four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings.

DeGrom did account for one of the Mets' five hits, as the club continues to be offensive offensively. The Mets did end a streak of 22 straight innings without a run, scoring in the third inning of this game, it's only run in 29 innings of the series. This was the 21st time this season the Mets scored one run or fewer in a game.



>> Venable's 11th-inning HR lifts Padres over Cards

Will Venable belted a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the 11th inning to boost the San Diego Padres to a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals to open a four-game series.

The Padres challenged a foul ball call with two outs in the 11th and the replay went in favor of the visitors. Clint Barmes hit a ball tight to the line, where right fielder Jason Heyward made a sliding catch attempt. Upon review, the call was reversed to a ground-rule double. On the next pitch, Venable, who came into the game hitting .359 in his career at Busch Stadium, homered off Carlos Villanueva (3-3) to right-center field.

Craig Kimbrel allowed a leadoff single to Kolten Wong in the bottom of the 11th, but then retired the next three hitters to record his 20th save and send the Cardinals to their third straight home loss.

Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross hit a solo homer. Yangervis Solarte belted a solo shot for the Padres, but was ejected for arguing a strikeout on a checked swing in the sixth inning.

Tim Cooney pitched six innings for the Cardinals, who went 1-for-13 with men in scoring position and stranded 13 base runners. Cooney, who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to make his second major league start, allowed four hits and three runs -- two earned -- with a pair of walks and six strikeouts.


>> Cards call up Cooney for Thursday start, put Jay on DL

The St. Louis Cardinals recalled left- hander Tim Cooney from Triple-A Memphis to start Thursday night's opener of a four-game series against San Diego.

The Cardinals opened a roster spot for Cooney by placing outfielder Jon Jay on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist injury. He spent time on the DL in May because of tendinitis in the same wrist.

Cooney, who was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team, will be making his second MLB start. The 24-year-old made his big league debut in a start against Philadelphia on April 30, giving up three runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings of a 9-3 St. Louis win.

He has compiled a 6-4 record with a 2.74 ERA in 14 starts for Memphis this season.

Jay is batting .223 with a home run and 10 RBI in 57 games this season.


>> Sale honored as pitcher of month in AL

Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox Houston was named the American League's pitcher of the month for June.

Sale notched a 2-2 record with a 1.83 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings pitched over six starts during the month. He's the first White Sox to get the award since he won it in May 2012.


>> Phils' INF Franco named NL Rookie of the Month

Philadelphia Phillies infielder Maikel Franco was named the National League Rookie of the Month on Thursday.

Franco capped his first full month in the majors by leading all rookies with a. 352 average, eight home runs, 24 RBI, a .648 slugging percentage and .391 on-base percentage over 27 games. In addition, his 38 hits were the most overall for all players in the National League and third in all of MLB.

The 22-year-old native of the Dominican Republic began the month by slugging the game-tying, two-run homer in an eventual 5-4 Phillies victory over Cincinnati. The following night, Franco hit a game-tying, three-run shot in the bottom of the ninth and Philly went on to beat the Reds in extras.

Franco then went on to post back-to-back five-RBI performances against the Yankees on June 22-23.

Other rookies receiving mention were Giants pitcher Chris Heston, Randall Grichuk from the Cardinals and Diamondbacks hurler Andrew Chafin.


>> National League Game Capsules

Miami 5, San Francisco 4
Chicago 6, New York 1
Milwaukee 8, Philadelphia 7 (11 innings)
Atlanta 2, Washington 1
San Diego 5, St. Louis 3 (11 innings)
Arizona 8, Colorado 1
Pittsburgh 8, Detroit 4


>> American League Game Capsules

Cleveland 5, Tampa Bay 4 (10 innings)
Texas 2, Baltimore 0
Boston 12, Toronto 6
Minnesota 2, Kansas City 0
Oakland 4, Seattle 0

Matthews to sign with Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks have reportedly agreed to terms with guard Wesley Matthews on a four-year contract.

Matthews, who is coming off a season-ending Achilles tear, rejected a four- year, $16 million deal to play with Sacramento, according to ESPN.

The amount of Matthews' contract with Dallas is not yet finalized.

The 28-year-old averaged 15.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists over 60 games for the Trail Blazers last season.

Over six seasons with Utah and Portland, Matthews owns averages of 14.3 points, 3.1 boards and 2.3 helpers over 441 games.

Suns reportedly send trio of players to Pistons

The Phoenix Suns have reportedly dealt small forwards Marcus Morris and Danny Granger and guard Reggie Bullock to the Detroit Pistons.

The deal, which has been reported by several media outlets, will net the Suns a second-round draft pick in 2020.

This turns out to be a salary purge for the Suns, who are reportedly trying to free up money to land Portland Trail Blazers free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.

The 25-year-old Morris averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 81 games last season.

Granger, who has spent most of his career with the Indiana Pacers, has averaged 16.8 points in 586 games. The 32-year-old played in 30 games last season for Miami and averaged 6.3 points. Granger was dealt to Phoenix in February, but did not play a game for the Suns due to a knee injury.

Bullock, a first-round draft pick by the Clippers in 2013, was traded to Phoenix in January. He averaged 1.9 points combined in 36 games last season.

Knicks reach two-year deal with Afflalo

The New York Knicks and Arron Afflalo agreed to a two- year deal worth $16 million on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Afflalo will team up with Knicks star Carmelo Anthony again. Afflalo spent parts of two seasons as Anthony's teammate in Denver from 2009 to February 2011.

The 29-year-old Afflalo has averaged 11.4 points in 577 career games with Detroit, Denver, Orlando and Portland. The UCLA product is a 38.5 percent 3- point shooter over his eight-year career.

NFL suspends Chargers TE Gates four games

The NFL has suspended San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates for the first four games of the 2015 regular season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.

Gates will not be eligible to play in a contest until the October 12 Monday night home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Gates is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. His official return to the active roster will be on Monday, October 5, the following day after the team's game against the Cleveland Browns.

Blackhawks reach deals with D Schilling, Liambas

The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with defensemen Cameron Schilling and Michael Liambas.

The two-year contract for Schilling runs through the 2016-17 season and Liambas is a one-year deal for next season.

Schilling played in six games with the Washington Capitals (2012-15), including four last season. Liambas had five goals, three assists and 158 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL last season.

Langley leads at Greenbrier; Tiger shoots 66

Scott Langley fired an 8-under 62 in Thursday's first round to grab a 1-shot lead at The Greenbrier Classic.

Langley, who is winless on the PGA Tour, owns just one top-20 finish in 21 starts this season on tour.

Jonathan Byrd and Danny Lee share second place at minus-7. Brian Davis and Ryo Ishikawa are one stroke back after carding 64s on the Old White TPC Course at The Greenbrier.

Kevin Na and Kevin Chappell are among six players that share sixth place at minus-5.

Tiger Woods carded a 4-under 66 and is part of a large group tied for 12th. Woods' 66 was his lowest score since the third round of the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship and was his best opening round since the 2013 BMW Championship.

Woods started on the 10th and parred his first two holes. He got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker at the par-5 12th, then parred his next two holes.

Budget Bill Passes Senate, Fails in House



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Legality of State Worker Pay Without Appropriation Debated

Just how state workers will get paid by the middle of the month without an appropriation measure is unclear, but all sides are chiming in.

Monday Governor Bruce Rauner said he will do everything in his power to pay state workers. Attorney General Lisa Madigan countered with her legal opinion that absent an appropriations bill only nonexempt employees like first responders and clerical workers could get paid the federal minimum wage. Early in the day Tuesday Governor Rauner told employees at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency that he wants to pay employees their full salary but some people want to pay workers less.

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The next pay period for state workers is July 15 and AFSCME has threatened legal action if state workers do not get paid.

One Month Budget Fails At Statehouse

An effort to pass a temporary one month budget bill at the Statehouse has failed.

House Democrats and Republicans were unable to agree on a spending patch. On the House floor Wednesday, Republicans and Democrats battled back and forth over a one month patchwork plan. Republicans say the passage of the bill is another path to an unbalanced budget. Republican State Rep. Tom Demmer says that a one month patch isn’t good enough.

[audio:7021582729-DEMMERBUDGET.mp3] [/audio]

The bill would have supported core state services like the Illinois State Police, meals for the elderly and support of veteran’s homes. Republicans maintain that the proposed spending is again out of balance and therefore unconstitutional.

The bill needed 71 votes to pass and only mustered 67 votes.

State Lawmakers Up For Raises; Rauner Says No

The state may not have a budget but some state workers are still in line for a raise. Governor Bruce Rauner however isn’t on board.

Wednesday, Rauner struck down a cost of living increase for lawmakers as they debate a new spending plan for the state. Rauner crossed out those raises with an amendatory veto.

Lawmakers and constitutional officers were all set to make more money starting today. The raises were going to between $1,400 and $1,900 a year.

USDA Says Illinois Farmers Planted More Soybeans, Less Corn

Illinois farmers have planted more soybeans and less corn this year, though the state's wettest June on record may impact how much they actually wind up harvesting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows 10.1 million acres of soybeans are in Illinois ground. That's up from 9.8 million last year.

Illinois' corn acreage is 11.8 million, down from 11.9 million.

Nationwide, a record 85.1 million acres of soybeans have been planted, up 2 percent from last year. Planted corn acres are the lowest since 2010 at 88.9 million acres

Near southwestern Illinois' Chester, 62-year-old Steve Stallman says nagging rainfall has made this the most-challenging spring he's had farming. The wetness has kept him from planting about 10 percent of his corn acreage and two-thirds of his 600 soybean acres.

DNR Officials Hoping For Safe 4th of July Season

Department of Natural Resources officials expect this to be a very busy weekend on Clinton Lake and other popular bodies of water across the state.

DNR Conservation Police Officer John Williamson anticipates people to swarm to Clinton Lake with a potential three-day weekend, or longer for others. He encourages boaters to make sure they give their equipment a once over before hitting the waters.

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It is legal to have a few beverages while out on the lake, but Williamson encourages the designated driver program even on the waters. He stresses using the designated driver program no matter if you're behind the wheel of a car or boat.

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With waters being higher on the lakes and waterways because of the wet summer, Williamson encourages boaters to use extra caution and be aware of where they are.

Smoking On College Campuses Officially Nixed

The month of July arrives with a few new laws, one of them limits where you can light up a smoke on a college campus. Under the new law the only place you will be able to smoke is sitting in your car.

The American Lung Association applauds the new law, Kathy Drea says that schools have already been making the switch to keep students and workers healthier.

[audio:7021583539-SMOKEOUT.mp3] [/audio]

Next July the University of Illinois at Springfield is going to make their campus totally tobacco free. Outlawing the use of chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.

DeWitt County Welcomes New Zoning Administrator

Long time zoning administrator in DeWitt County, Mike Bradford is retiring and the County recently named his replacement.

Angela Sarver comes to DeWitt County from the Macon County zoning office and according to Board Chair David Newberg, her experience there not only makes her well qualified, but will make her an asset to this County. He explains she has a lot of experience dealing with the wind energy ordinances.

[audio:7021582905-7215zoneoffice1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Newberg, it's time the County update their wind energy ordinances and Sarver should be a big help in doing so.

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The Zoning Administrator in DeWitt County handles not only the wind energy ordinances, but permits for zoning but Newberg indicates Sarver will also take on some duties off the plate of the County Administrator.

[audio:7021582909-7215zoneoffice3.mp3] [/audio]

Sarver will begin in the Zoning Office July 13 and Bradford's final day will be at the end of the month.

Madigan Proposes One-Month Measure

With the deadline having come and gone, there is still no balanced budget in place. But a temporary one-month fix is on the way, according to Illinois’ leading Democrat. Illinois News Network has more:

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Rauner Says State Workers To Be Paid But Not Most Vendors

State employees can expect to get paid for their work while the state enters the new budget year without a budget, but vendors doing business with the state can expect payment delays.

That’s according to a letter to state employees from Governor Bruce Rauner as the next fiscal year is set to begin without a balanced budget deal in place.

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CAMA Leader Not Surprised By Ruling of Supreme Court on Same Sex Marriage

The leader of the Clinton Area Ministerial Association, CAMA, says he is not surprised by the ruling of the Supreme Court last week to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states.

Pastor Scott Marsh heads CAMA and believes the Supreme Court's decision aligns with where the country has been going for many years. While he's disappointed in the decision, he was not surprised.

[audio:7011595926-7115marshrule1.mp3] [/audio]

Pastor Marsh believes the dialogue in the coming future is going to get very intense. For the Christian community, he reminds everyone there is a difference between standing up for what they believe is right, but also loving people and showing them grace.

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The Pastor points out while the societal definition of marriage no longer aligns with what the Bible says, Pastor Marsh points out the Bible is very helpful in setting an example of what the attitude of Christians and churches should be like.

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Pastor Marsh encourages the Christian community to not overreact to the situation. He says reacting with violence and hatred go against what Christians stand for.

The Pastor points out, he does not speak for individual pastors or congregations or denominations. He says each may have their own points of view as it relates to the latest ruling by the Supreme Court.

Cornbelters Defeat River City

The Normal Cornbelters were victorious over the River City Rascals with a score of 8-4 on Wednesday night. 

Tune in tomorrow night, July 2, as the Cornbelters again take on the River City Rascals. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


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