Local News

Gas Prices To Remain Low

According to the most recent Daily Fuel Gauge Report from AAA, Illinois is currently averaging just $1.99 per gallon. That’s nearly 90 cents less than what prices were a year ago. The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is just $2.05.

Patrick DeHaan, of GasBuddy.com, fills us in on how people are spending less to “fill her up.”

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DeHaan believes low prices will stick around for at least another month to two months.

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 width=The lowest gas prices this morning appear to be in the Decatur area at $1.57, according to GasBuddy.com.

Gas prices in Clinton this morning range from $1.74 to $1.76. Wapella has gas for $1.69 while Heyworth has gas for $1.65.

Gas in Maroa is a $1.68. Gas in Decatur ranges from $1.57 to $1.63.

Prices in Lincoln this morning are hovering around $1.86. Monticello has fuel for $1.79 and in Champaign gas ranges from $1.64 to $1.69.

Gas in Bloomington ranges from $1.57 to $1.67.

Children's Advocacy Centers Seeking Community Support this Holiday Season

The Children's Advocacy Center, which serves DeWitt, McLean and Livingston Counties is hoping you'll think of them as you do your shopping this holiday season.

They are not asking for much, in fact, it's very basic things they are seeking. Judy Brucker is the Executive Director of the CAC and says they have their annual Blue Kids trees out in area businesses and the things you'll find on those trees are simple things they need through the course of the year for their clients.

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Having the support of those in the various communities in which the trees are placed is a huge lift to the agencies. Brucker says each year they place around 30 trees in area businesses and she says it's a huge boos to their mission of helping abused children.

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The trees in Clinton can be found at the Dr. John Warner Hospital but for a list of items the agency needs, you can find the information and drop off locations at their website, mcleancpn.org or call 309-88-5656.

University of Illinois Alum Legislator Blasting Alma Matter

 width=A local lawmaker who hold two degrees from the University of Illinois is not pleased with the way things are going at their flagship campus in his district.

State Sen. Chapin Rose says everyone within a 90 mile radius of Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois wants see the University succeed, but he says it becomes painful to watch when they "shoot themselves in the foot" over and over.

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The University has seen it's share of scandals which has led to interim positions all over the campus and Sen. Rose says in order to restore their image across the state, they need to do a better job of reaching their supporters.

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Most in the 90-mile radius Sen. Rose refers to would probably indicate they are disappointed in the sports programs and uncertainties there, however, he says there are greater concerns beyond those select few programs.

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Sen. Rose says the University needs to win back over those in central Illinois that root for the University and it's athletic teams.

Law Enforcement Discusses Cyber Monday Safety

 width=Cyber Monday is the busiest online shopping day of the year and local authorities are asking shoppers to be very attentive to what you're doing and also as you travel to shop this holiday season.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the craziness of the holiday season started with black Friday last week and Cyber Monday continues the trend. He says it all starts with your computer and what links you're clicking and the security programs.

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When you're out shopping, the Chief recommends limiting how much stuff you carry on your person. He says the more things you carry, the greater a target you become.

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For many, shopping alone can often times allow an individual to Christmas shop and preserve their surprise for the big day, however, Chief Lowers encourages shopping in pairs or groups, especially when going new places.

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As you make online purchases or use payment methods with debit or credit cads, the Chief also encourages you to use utilize online banking options to keep yourself from falling victim to theft and fraudulent charges with those electronic payment options.

Reports Indicate Tigers Land RHP Zimmermann

The first big free agent is off the board, as the Tigers have reached agreement with star right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, CBS Sports has learned.

The deal is pending a physical.

 width=Fox Sports first reported the Tigers were in serious talks with Zimmermann late Saturday night.

Zimmermann becomes the first front-line pitcher to do a deal in a market stocked with excellent starters. He is expected to sign a five-year contract, worth $110 million. Fox Sports and ESPN first reported the terms of the deal.

The Tigers have been trying to upgrade their staff and may look for a second starter. They previously enhanced their bullpen by trading for closer Francisco Rodriguez.

The Tigers finished last in 2015.

The Nationals will receive a draft choice since they made Zimmermann a qualifying offer.

The free-agent starting pitching market is led by Zack Greinke, David Price and Johnny Cueto, with several other excellent starters also available, including Jeff Samardzija, Wei-Yin Chen, Ian Kennedy, Mike Leake, Hisashi Iwakuma, Yovani Gallardo and many others.

Zimmermann, 29, was 13-10 with a 3.66 ERA last season and has a career 3.32 ERA. He had Tommy John surgery several years ago, which may have limited his market a bit.

Kobe Bryant Announces This is His Last Season

 width=Every day upon rising from sleep, Kobe Bryant said, his back and his feet ached. A week later, after a rare victory over the Pistons, Bryant revealed he was "barely standing up. ... I'm not looking forward to walking to the car."

But through the 30 percent shooting nights, through the mocking NBA 2K satire video and the abject refusal of his body to perform the otherworldly tasks that his mind had grown so accustomed to, Bryant still wasn't ready to say good-bye.

He is now.

In an essay in Players' Tribune, Bryant announced Sunday night that he will retire after the 2015-16 season, his 20th in the NBA. Predictably, since Bryant remains the most popular active basketball player on the planet, his missive crashed the website.

Bengals Pounce Rams; Colts Win Behind Ageless-Hasselbeck

 width=Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes - two of them to A.J. Green - and Cincinnati emerged from its brief skid with an effort reminiscent of its perfect first half of the season, beating the St. Louis Rams 31-7 on Sunday.

In addition to Dalton's three touchdowns, the Bengals (9-2) had three interceptions, including one that Leon Hall returned for a touchdown.

Dalton was 20 of 27 for 233 yards. He threw touchdown passes of 9 and 18 yards to Green, who hadn't caught two in a game since the third week of the season in Baltimore. Tyler Eifert also had a 22-yarder, giving him the league lead with 12 TD catches.

Jeremy Hill ran for a season-high 86 yards.

Tavon Austin had a team-high 63 yards on four runs. He also caught six passes for 33 yards. Todd Gurley was limited to 19 yards on nine carries, with the Bengals focused on stopping the run game.

The Rams (4-7) have dropped four in a row.

>>Colts Top Bucs

Matt Hasselbeck threw for 315 yards and two more touchdowns, and Adam Vinatieri made four more field goals.

The 40-year-old Hasselbeck improved to 4-0 as a starter this season by topping the 300-yard mark for the first time in four years, and the Indianapolis Colts beat the Buccaneers 25-12 to remain on top of the AFC South.

Hasselbeck finished 26 of 42 with no turnovers. He had a passer 100.8 rating.

Jameis Winston was 20 of 36 for 245 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a rating of 74.4. The rookie also was sacked five times.

The 42-year-old Vinatieri connected from 49, 27 and 26 yards before adding a 44-yarder after Indy (6-5) took the lead for good late in the third quarter.

A 56-yard run from Doug Martin set up Tampa's only touchdown, a 20-yard pass from Winston to Cameron Brate that made it 12-6 with 1:54 left in the second quarter. Martin finished with 14 carries for 97 yards.

>>Rams Fisher Uses Choice Words For Critics

The Rams lost -- again. On Sunday, Jeff Fisher's team dropped its fourth consecutive game, losing by 24 points to the Bengals.

Fisher's postgame press conference went even worse than the game. Not only did Fisher tell people to "kiss his (bleep) ..."

When asked if he's doing a good enough job coaching the team: "I've lost four in a row, so no."

The Rams are now 4-7. They're nowhere near making the playoffs for the first time under Fisher's guidance. Along the way, they've been called dirty by more than a few teams and players, and they've completely mishandled a player's concussion. Fisher is 10 games under .500 as the Rams head coach. In Fisher's coaching career, he's accumulated a winning percentage of roughly 52 percent.

Fisher ended his press conference while reporters were asking him questions.

No. 4 Iowa State Uses Big Second Half To Get Past Illinois

 width=Georges Niang scored 23 points and helped lead a decisive run during the second half of fourth-ranked Iowa State's 84-73 victory over Illinois on Saturday in the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic.

Jaylon Tate's layup gave the Illini a 58-57 lead before Iowa State (5-0) went on an 18-4 run to take control. Niang scored six points, while Monte Norris (20 points, nine rebounds) and Abdel Nader (18 points) had four apiece.

Matt Thomas was also in double figures for the Cyclones with 10.

Malcolm Hill led Illinois (3-4) with 20 points while Kendrick Nunn added 19 and Mike Thorne Jr., 10.

Illini Bringing Back Bill Cubit; Despite 5-7 Illini Could Still Make Bowl Game; NCAA Foobtall Notes

Bill Cubit has agreed to be the coach at Illinois for the next two years.

The appointment awaits the expected approval by the school's board of trustees.

 width=Cubit was promoted from offensive coordinator to interim coach after Tim Beckman was fired just before the start of the season. The Illini are 5-6, 2-5 Big Ten heading into Saturday's regular-season finale against No. 17 Northwestern (9-2, 5-2) at Soldier Field.

Interim athletic director Paul Kowalczyk says Cubit "has stepped in during an extremely difficult period and done an outstanding job."

Cubit will make $1.2 million per year.

Cubit joined the Illinois staff as offensive coordinator in 2013. He has a head coaching record of 90-70-1, including stints at Widener and Western Michigan.

>>Despite Losing Record, Illini Could Play in Bowl Game

With osses by Kentucky, Minnesota, Illinois and others on Saturday meant there will not be enough six-win teams with .500 records to fill a record 40 bowls.

At least two teams with a 5-7 record will be in the postseason, and maybe as many as five.

Indiana and Virginia Tech did get their sixth victories of the season Saturday, upping the total number of bowl-eligible teams to 75.

South Alabama, Kansas State and Georgia State could still get to six next week. But that's it.

With all that considered, it may be time to discuss the possibility there are just too many bowl games.

>>Oklahoma Jumps Iowa in Top 25 in AP Poll; Big Ten Dominates Coaches Poll

After a huge win on the road in Bedlam against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma moves up from No. 5 to No. 3 in this week's AP Top 25 poll. The Sooners jumped Iowa this week, despite the Hawkeyes' win over Nebraska on Friday to remain undefeated.

Other winners in this week's AP Top 25 are Ohio State (No. 8 to No. 6), North Carolina (No. 11 to No. 8), Stanford (No. 13 to No. 7) and Florida State (No. 14 to No. 10).

This week's biggest losers are Notre Dame (No. 4 to No. 9), Oklahoma State (No. 9 to No. 14), Baylor (No. 7 to No. 12), Michigan (No. 12 to No. 19), Navy (No. 16 to No. 22) and Florida (No. 10 to No. 18).

Entering the poll this week are LSU (No. 23), USC (No. 24) and Wisconsin (No. 25).

Dropping out of the AP Top 25 this week are UCLA, Mississippi State, Toledo and Washington State.

The final Coaches Poll of the regular season is out, and the Big Ten dominates the top of the rankings.

Three of the top six teams come from the Big Ten with Iowa (No. 3), Michigan State (No. 5) and Ohio State (No. 6) all lurking near the top after wins over the weekend.

Clemson maintains the No. 1 ranking in the Coaches Poll, but it did lose some first-place votes after struggling with South Carolina this weekend. Alabama, Iowa and Oklahoma all won convincingly this week and each saw an increase in first-place votes because of it.

Oklahoma moves up from No. 5 to No. 4 after dominating in Bedlam. Other winners this week are Ohio State (No. 8 to No. 6), North Carolina (No. 11 to No. 8), Stanford (No. 12 to No. 7) and Florida State (No. 14 to No. 9).

This week's biggest losers are Notre Dame (No. 4 to No. 10), Oklahoma State (No. 10 to No. 14), Baylor (No. 7 to No. 12), Michigan (No. 12 to No. 19), Navy (No. 15 to No. 22) and Florida (No. 9 to No. 15).

Entering the poll this week are LSU (No. 23), USC (No. 24) and Wisconsin (No. 25).

Dropping out of the Coaches Poll this week are UCLA, Mississippi State and Washington State.

>>Georgia Fires Mark Richt

Georgia has fired coach Mark Richt after 15 seasons at the helm of the Bulldogs, the school confirmed to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd and later announced. Georgia finished 2015 with a 9-3 record after beating rival Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta.

The Bulldogs have referred to Richt's departure as a mutual parting of ways with athletic director Greg McGarity saying Richt will be given the "opportunity to accept other duties and responsibilities at UGA following the bowl game."

Richt for his part did not immediately accept Georgia's offer, which likely puts to rest the notion that retirement is an option for the veteran coach. "I appreciate the opportunity of serving the University as well as considering other options that may present themselves," Richt said in the statement.

Richt led the Bulldogs to a 145-51 record (83-37 SEC) in his 15 seasons in Athens and took Georgia to a bowl game every year since taking over in 2001.

He won six SEC East division titles (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012), two SEC Championships (2002, 2005) and was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year (2002, 2005) in his time at Georgia.

The Bulldogs did not live up to lofty expectations the last few seasons as the preseason SEC East favorite, failing to win the division the last three years. After finishing with four straight wins to end the year with a 9-3 record despite injuries to key players -- most notably star running back Nick Chubb -- many of the rumors that were swirling after Georgia's loss to Florida had subsided.

That finish to the year was not enough to keep Richt around, however, as the Bulldogs have decided to make a coaching change.

>>LSU Says Miles Staying

If Les Miles' tenure at LSU was to be over, his players gave him a farewell to remember. But notions of Miles leaving the Tigers changed moments after LSU's 19-7 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday as athletic director Joe Alleva made it known that the team's football leadership would not be changing.

Alleva said quote-"I want to make it very clear and positive that Les Miles is our football coach and he will continue to be our football coach. Les and I have talked about this program. We are committed together to working to win to compete at highest level."

"We're going to go forward together and win championships here at LSU."

Prior to Alleva's comments, LSU players carried Miles off the field on their shoulders.

>>Reports Indicate Former Miami Coach Butch Davis Interviewing for School's Vacancy

Whether Butch Davis returns as Miami's football coach remains very much up in the air, but it appears the architect of the Hurricanes' early-Aughts juggernauts at least has his foot in the door.

FootballScoop reported Sunday that Davis "met with UM representatives yesterday." That report was quickly confirmed by the Palm Beach Post.

The Miami Herald reported in late October that Davis had been included in the Hurricanes' initial pool of candidates to replace Al Golden, and that school administrators were "taking a hard look at him."

The 63-year-old Davis' age and controversial 2011 departure from North Carolina amid the cloud of an academic scandal mean he might not be the top candidate on the Hurricanes' list. But Davis has made no secret of his desire to return to the post he held from 1995 to 2000, when he took over a sanction-hampered Hurricanes program, built it into the 2000 Sugar Bowl champion, and set the table for the legendary 2001 national champions coached by Larry Coker.

In an October radio interview, Davis said quote-“Obviously, I'd love to be considered for that opportunity. Age is just a number. I've been the biggest kid on my block the entire life. I've got all the energy. I love recruiting. It's something I've loved my entire career.”

Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITATIONS 11/25/15







Deere To Layoff 220

Deere & Company announcing they are laying off 220 employees at John Deere Seeding and Cylinder in Moline.

The layoffs will be effective February 15th.

Employees were informed today in meetings at the Moline facility.

The layoffs reflect last week’s forecast by Deere that agricultural machinery sales will decrease in fiscal year 2016. Deere said the actions are taken to align the size of the manufacturing workforce at individual factories with market demand for products made at each specific location.

In the past, manufacturing employees at John Deere Seeding and Cylinder have experienced seasonal layoffs in the spring and returned to work in the fall.
Today’s announcement is an indefinite layoff with no specific call-back date.

Western Illinois beats Dayton 24-7 in FCS playoffs

Nikko Watson ran for 152 yards and a touchdown and Western Illinois beat Dayton 24-7 on Saturday in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

Western Illinois (7-5), one of five Missouri Valley Conference playoff teams, next takes on fellow conference member Illinois State. Dayton (10-2) made its first playoff appearance since moving to Division I in 1993.

Dayton scored on Alex Jeske's 5-yard run in the first quarter but the Flyers turned the ball over three times in the red zone in the first half after having just one red-zone turnover all season.

Watson tied the game on a 7-yard run seven plays after the first of three Jeske interceptions.

Nathan Knuffman kicked a 27-yard field goal 11 seconds before halftime.

Sean McGuire threw touchdown passes of 22 and 9 yards to Lance Lenoir and Stacey Smith, respectively, in the second half. McGuire threw for 183 yards and was intercepted twice.

Northern Iowa rolls Eastern Illinois 53-17 in FCS opener

Aaron Bailey threw for three touchdowns and Tyvis Smith rushed for 147 yards and a score to lead Northern Iowa to a 53-17 win over Eastern Illinois in the FCS playoffs on Saturday night.

Bailey only threw 11 passes, completing 7 for 162 yards.

Northern Iowa (8-4) plays at sixth-seeded Portland State in the second round.

Northern Iowa broke the game open in the second quarter as Michael Schmadeke kicked three of his four field goals, Bailey hit Daurice Fountain for a 32-yard score and Smith scored on a 1-yard run for a 23-7 lead.

Bailey connected with Charles Brown on a 52-yard score and Fountain for 41 yards when Northern Iowa built the lead to 43-17 after three quarters.

Ray Buchanan Jr. added a 70-yard interception return to close it out.

Jalen Whitlow completed 27 of 49 passes with one touchdown but had two interceptions for Eastern Illinois (7-5), which had four turnovers.

Durbin Taking on Cruz Over Syrian Refugee Debate

Senator Dick Durbin didn't hold back as he weighed in on the Syrian refugee discussion this week.

Durbin has said the current vetting process is a proven success with refugees and he believes history will take issue with the tenor of the debate, namely the words of Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

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Durbin says demanding that refugees be victims of genocide would have closed doors on a number of groups in America's recent past.

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Durbin says France's President in particular is not holding Syrian refugees accountable for the actions of terrorists who struck their nation's capital. They are accepting 35,000 Syrian refugees.

Deer Population, Harvest Numbers in 2015

After the first firearm deer season of 2015, one Department of Natural Resources official says the harvest from the first season was good despite poor weather conditions.

Snowfall was a big factor in a slowdown in the first firearm hunt of the season according to DNR Conservation Police Officer, John Williamson. He says deer numbers across the state are up though, including those harvested.

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The big story is the rebounding of the deer numbers following 2013's outbreak of EHD, a disease from the drought that killed off a great number of the state's deer population. Williamson says usually the third year after and EHD outbreak is when the deer population reboundeds.

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Unofficial numbers from DNR in the first week of the firearm deer harvest indicate nearly 58-thousand deer were harvested compared to just under 52-thousand from last year.

Randolph County had the highest number of deer harvested with over 16-hundred.

The next firearm deer season is December 3-6.

IDES Releases Local Unemployment Figures

The Illinois Department of Employment Security released their local unemployment figures for the month of October earlier this week.

DeWitt County unemployment came in at 5.1%, up from 4.8% in September of this year and down from 5.4% in October of last year.

In Logan County, a 5.1% unemployment rate was a up from 4.6% in September and down from 5.5% in October last year.

Piatt County's 4.8% unemployment was on of the areas lowest, but that was up from 4.4% in September and in line with last October.

In Champaign County, unemployment was 5.1% for October, up from September's 4.4 rate but down from last October's 5.4%.

Over the past year, Macon County's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.8-percent, however, that is up from September's 6.4%.

McLean County's unemployment has remained steady from this time last year, as they registered an October unemployment rate of 4.8-percent. That figure is up from September, which was 4.3.

The state average for October was 5.3-percent while the national average is 4.8-percent.

Better Government Group Discusses Consolidation

The Better Government Association is weighing in on the issue of government consolidation. Governor Bruce Rauner has said Illinois needs to reduce the number of local governments with the state having far more units of government than any other state.

Better Government senior policy anlayst Alden Loury recently testified at the Lt. Governor’s Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force meeting. He says townships are an area that needs further review, although it might take a case by case review as some township appear to be much more essential than others.

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In Belleville, Belleville township recently decided to shut down on its own after 130 years, transferring its mission to the city of Belleville. Loury says school consolidation has proceeded at a respectable pace in the last 30 years but further consolidation could address the large administrative costs of Illinois schools.

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The General Assembly has introduced 22 streamlining bills this year.

Deere's Profit Tops Forecasts Even As Its Sales Fall Sharply

Deere & Co. reports better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings even though sales of its green tractors, bulldozers and other equipment fell sharply.

The Moline-based company reports net income of $351.2 million, or $1.08 per share, for the quarter that ended October 31.

Deere also posted an earnings outlook for the year that surpassed Wall Street expectations.

The company has been hurt by weak commodity prices which have made farmers less likely to buy new equipment. And falling oil prices has hurt sales of its construction equipment.

Sales of tractors and other farm equipment fell 25 percent in the quarter compared to a year ago. Construction equipment sales were down 32 percent.

Group Supports Home Births Safety Act

The Coalition for Illinois Midwifery (mid-WHIF-ery) support a measure it says will allow for licensed midwives in Illinois to assist in home births, while the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says Advanced Practice Nurses can perform those services.

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Midwives caught practicing without a licenses are subject to a class A misdemeanor with any subsequent charges leading to a class 4 felony.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Nov 23

Jail Population: 26

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 0

Ryan Beck, 39, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Beck was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

George Wallis, 28, Decatur was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Wallis was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.


DeWitt County Angel Tree Adoptions Open

With the holiday season in full swing, so too is a new a whole new level of shopping. With that in mind, one local non-profit is hoping you'll take the time to think of the less fortunate in the community this holiday season.

Sue Calvert is the Director of the DeWitt County Angel Tree program and indicates they have full and partial lists all over the County for around 500 kids who are underserved.

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Calvert says when you pick up a list, if you are unable to purchase all the items on a list that is OK. She explains they have partial lists to choose from but they have means of supplementing what is missing on each list in that scenario.

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Calvert encourages those who adopt their "angels this year to do their shopping at Clinton's Wal-Mart. Calvert explains if you show them your list prior to checking out, the purchase for their children will be tax free.

Gifts are to be dropped off at the Clinton Elks Club Monday Dec. 7 from noon until 7 pm or Tuesday 7 am to noon.

DeWitt County Museum Kicks Off Candlelight Tours Tonight

A long standing tradition at the DeWitt County Museum gets underway tonight.

The CH Moore Homestead's Candlelight Tours kick off tonight and Larry Buss with the Museum, indicates they have their usual activities before hand to kick off the holiday season. He says the popularity of it has surprised some within the leadership of the Homestead, and is popular even still.

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During the tours, the Homestead provides entertainment and Buss feels the entertainment can add a great deal to the experience. He feels their volunteers, who will dress up in period clothing, also help take people back to what the home was like in it's glory.

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This year's theme is "Let It Snow" and Buss says once again, their volunteers who decorate their rooms have done a great job. He feels they give the home a whole new feel you wouldn't otherwise get.

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Tours open tonight from 5 to 8 pm and are each Friday night leading up to Christmas.

For more information on the Candlelight Tours, visit www.chmoorehomestead.org, call 217-935-6066, or email chmoore123@yahoo.com.

IHSA State Finals Open Today

The Class 1A, 2A, and 3A state football finals all feature central Illinois teams as the finals kick off this morning from Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University.

The Arcola Purple Riders have cruised through their season largely unchallenged in almost every contest and take a high powered offense and a stellar defense up against Toulon Stark County today at 10 am.

Coming off a 42-0 victory over LeRoy last Saturday, head coach Zach Zehr will have to solve an equally impressive team lead by Coach Jade Noard.

Two more central Illinois teams will square off in DeKalb later in the afternoon when the undefeated Tri-Valley Vikings and Auburn Trojans square off for a 1 pm kick.

Coach Josh Roop and his team have rolled through their regular season and the postseason.

Today they'll be up against a group that may be as balanced of an offensive attack as they've seen this year.

Auburn gained a mere 400 yards more on the ground, oppsed to through the air, gaining better than 2000 yards both ways, nearly unheard of in small school high school football.

The Vikings will also face a front that averages better than 235 pounds.

While Coach Roop's squad may be undersized, their skill should play a major factor.

Three players rushed for over 1000 yards and quarterback Peyton Roop threw for 66% through the air, albeit on just 53 attempts.

Today's game kicks off at 1 pm.

And finally in Class 3A, Okaw Valley conference member Tolono Unity has found their stride after a mid-season scuffle as they head into a championship tilt with powerhouse Kankakee McNamara.

Coach Scott Hamilton's squad lost all three games against Monticello, St. Joseph-Ogden and Maroa-Forsyth, however, they wound up beating Monticello and St. Joe in consecutive weeks to reach the championship game.

Now the Rockets face a big, skilled and balanced Fightin' Irish team out of Chicago Catholic Conference.

The Fightin Irish and Rockets lines are nearly identical in average size, so the battle up front could be the deciding factor in this one.

Today's game gets underway at 4 pm.

Class 4A Championship

Chicago Phillips
Belleville Althoff Catholic 7pm

Illini In Chicago To Take on Northwestern

Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald was so hard on himself following last year's loss to in-state rival Illinois that he's vowed to have his team better prepared.

As the Fighting Illini look to become bowl eligible, the 17th-ranked Wildcats will try to take a step toward becoming the winningest team in school history Saturday in Chicago.

The Wildcats (9-2, 5-2 Big Ten) have a chance to reach 10 wins for the first time since 2012 and state a case for a major bowl game with a victory in the regular-season finale at Soldier Field. Northwestern has never finished a season with 11 wins.

Josh Ferguson finished with 95 yards and two touchdowns in that contest. The senior running back also took over the team lead in rushing yards (668) over freshman Ke'Shawn Vaughn last Saturday with a 105-yard effort in a 32-23 loss at Minnesota.

Illinois has dropped two in a row and five of six, but still has an opportunity to become bowl-eligible for the second straight season and fourth time in the past six. The program hasn't gone to bowl games in consecutive years since it went to five straight from 1988-92.

The Illini (5-6, 2-5) have struggled on both sides of the ball, getting outscored 166-107 in their last six. They've also surrendered 538 yards on the ground over the past two.

That isn't a good sign heading into a matchup with a Northwestern team that ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 192.3 rushing yards per game. Sophomore Justin Jackson has been on a roll, totaling 441 yards and two touchdowns over his previous three.

Jackson starred with 130 yards and two scores last season against the Illini, who have lost 12 straight versus ranked opponents by an average of 22.6 points.

Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois Head Into FCS Playoff matchups

It's the first round of the FCS football playoffs this weekend and Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois are looking to continue their respective season's.

For Eastern, the Panthers started out very slow, losers against Western Illinois, Northwestern, and Illinois State in their first three games, the Panthers rebounded to win seven of their final 8 games.

Now the Panthers take on Northern Iowa out of the Missouri Valley Conference who won their final five games.

Saturday's game is at 4 pm from Cedar Falls.

Western Illinois scuffled down the stretch falling to three straight ranked opponents before pulling out an improbable upset over South Dakota State, that likely was the win that punched their ticket to the playoffs.

The Leathernecks meet Dayton Saturday at 11 am.

The winner meets Illinois State, who is on bye as the second overall seed.

Bears Upset Packers on Big Night At Lambau

Jay Cutler threw for 200 yards and a score and the Chicago Bears held off the Green Bay Packers on fourth-and-goal from the 8 with 22 seconds left for a 17-13 victory Thursday night.

Aaron Rodgers' throw to the end zone deflected off receiver Davante Adams' hands on the rain. James Jones couldn't hang on to a potential touchdown catch on third down.

Cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Rodgers' pass with 3:19 left at the Bears 45 on the Packers' previous drive.

The highlight of the night for Green Bay turned out to be the return of Brett Favre, whose name and No. 4 was unveiled at halftime next to the team's other retired numbers.

Chicago (5-6) has won three of its last four. The Packers (7-4) lost a second straight home game.

Jeremy Langford ran for a touchdown for Chicago.

Sixers Okafor Involved in Fight in Boston

 width=Philadelphia 76ers big man Jahlil Okafor allegedly got in a fight in Boston on Wednesday following his team's 84-80 loss to the Boston Celtics, as first reported by TMZ.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman confirmed the story, and quoted a source close to Okafor saying, "Apparently, they said, 'The 76ers suck and you guys are all losers. You'll never win a game.'"

The Sixers are aware of the report, but have no comment.

The 19-year-old rookie felt he "was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street," according to TMZ, which reported that no one was arrested in the incident.

Philadelphia is 0-16 on the season.

Arcola Wins 1A State Title

 width=Arcola senior Clayton Strader has run for two touchdowns and thrown for two more to lead the unbeaten Purple Riders to a 35-17 victory over Stark County for the Illinois Class 1A championship.

Arcola (14-0), taking advantage of three Stark County turnovers, responded with three straight touchdowns in less than nine minutes in the first half Friday en route to its fourth state title and first since 1988.

Chase Strader, Clayton's brother, started the streak with a 15-yard interception return of John Groter's pass to pull within 7-6 with 56 seconds left in the first quarter. Clayton Strader scored on a 13-yard run early in the second quarter, then added a 27-yard scoring pass to Kollin Seaman to make it 21-7.

Stark County (13-1) scored first on Chase Johnston's 11-yard run with 8:13 left in the first quarter but lost starting quarterback John Groter to a left knee injury midway through the second quarter and managed only 10 more points.

Tri-Valley Dominates Auburn for 2A State Title

 width=Quarterback Peyton Roop ran for two touchdowns in leading unbeaten Tri-Valley dominated to a 41-8 victory over Auburn for the school's first Illinois Class 2A championship.

The Vikings (14-0) held Auburn (10-4) to 178 yards while piling up 328 yards, all but 3 on the ground.

Roop, the son of coach Josh Roop, rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries and scored on runs of seven and four yards. His first score came with 33 seconds left in the first half. That followed touchdown runs by Jake Steiner, Hayden Long and Brock Danko of seven, four and 15 yards.

Tri-Valley senior Tom Kinsella's 81-yard touchdown interception was the biggest defensive play. Kinsella avoided six opposing players as he weaved down the field to make it 34-0 midway through the third quarter.

Roop's second touchdown in the third quarter made it 41-0.

Auburn averted a shutout with Ryan McLaughlin's 5-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Tolono Unity Falls to Bishop McNamara in 3A State Final

 width=Ariez Andrew scored three touchdowns and Jonathan Ward added two more to pace Bishop McNamara to a 50-7 victory over Unity for the Illinois Class 3A championship.

McNamara (13-1) led Unity (10-4) 42-0 at the half, having piled up 353 yards on offense and holding Unity's Rockets to minus-4 yards.

McNamara on Friday collected its fifth state championship, and first since 1987.

Ward's 56-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage set the tone for the Fightin' Irish.

Ward ran for 189 yards on 17 carries, adding a 41-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to make it 28-0. Andrew, with 45 yards on eight carries, scored McNamara's last three touchdowns.

Jerrico Johnson also scored on the ground for McNamara, while Chris Bell scored on a 28-yard reception from Kobe Shutter.

Unity's only score, a 15-yard rush by Chandler Cousins, came with 6:22 remaining in the game.

Bears, Packers Meet For Thanksgiving

Aaron Rodgers is a student of the Green Bay Packers' illustrious history, so he understands the significance of this Thanksgiving matchup with the rival Chicago Bears.

The first big part Thursday night will be the retirement of Brett Favre's jersey at historic Lambeau Field, and the second is that the Packers have a chance to even the all-time series in the NFL's oldest rivalry.

The Bears, however, are expected to have running back Matt Forte and receiver Alshon Jeffery back as they try to spoil Green Bay's festive mood in this NFC North matchup.

The Packers are bringing some closure to the career of Favre, who is their all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes, among several categories.

Rodgers served as Favre's backup in his first three seasons before Favre reluctantly departed and eventually caused bad feelings among Green Bay's faithful when he played two season with arch-rival Minnesota. Time has now healed those wounds, and Favre and Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr will be on the field for halftime ceremonies.

Jay Cutler is 1-11 with Chicago against Green Bay - including one playoff defeat - and has three touchdown passes against 12 interceptions while being sacked 18 times in going 0-4 at Lambeau.

Cutler, enjoying a season in which he has produced a career-best 92.7 passer rating, isn't putting any extra emphasis on this contest.

Eddie Lacy returned from a one-game absence with a groin injury and had a season-best 100 yards on 22 carries. James Starks has started the last two games at running back.

Rodgers is third in the NFL with 23 touchdown passes, and his three interceptions match Kansas City's Alex Smith for fewest among quarterbacks who have started every game.

Frye, Gill score 13 apiece, New Orleans beats Bradley 64-51

Christavious Gill and Nate Frye scored 13 points apiece to help New Orleans beat Bradley 64-51 on Wednesday night.

Gill made three of New Orleans' seven 3-pointers. Frye was 8 of 8 from the free-throw line, and had six rebounds and four assists.

Erik Thomas added seven points and eight rebounds for New Orleans (2-2), which connected on just 21 of 56 field goals in the first of a four-game road swing.

New Orleans held the Braves without a field goal over the last 3:30 of the first half for a 33-25 lead. Then Bradley only made two field goals in the first eight minutes of the second half and fell behind 40-31.

Donte Thomas recorded his second straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Bradley (1-5). Ka'Darryl Bell added 10 points for the Braves, who made just 17 of 54 shots (32 percent).

Kane's 2 assists help Blackhawks beat Sharks 5-2

Patrick Kane had two assists to extend his career-best scoring streak to 17 games, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

Kane set up Brent Seabrook on Chicago's first goal and also got a helper on Duncan Keith's second-period goal to give him 28 points during the streak.

Jonathan Toews and former Shark Andrew Desjardins also scored for Chicago. Andrew Shaw added an empty-netter for the Blackhawks, who improved to 2-1-1 on their annual circus road trip. The six-game swing concludes this weekend with games in Anaheim and Los Angeles.

Corey Crawford made 27 saves.

Malkin scores in OT to lift Penguins over Blues 4-3

Crosby broke out with two goals and Evgeni Malkin scored 1:03 into overtime to lift the Penguins over the St. Louis Blues 4-3 just hours after a report surfaced that there was a rift between the Penguins' captain and team owner Mario Lemieux.

Lemieux publicly denied the claim, saying it was ''silly'' and ''absolutely not true'' that he was feuding with Crosby. The current Penguins star lived with Lemieux early in his career.

Crosby appears to be breaking out of an early-season slump at the right time. The two-time NHL MVP went scoreless in eight of his first nine games but now has a three-game points streak with 10 points in his last 12.

Crosby scored his fourth and fifth of the season and now has a goal against every NHL team - he had five assists in 10 career meetings against St. Louis. It was also the first time Crosby scored two regular-season goals since Feb. 12 against Ottawa, a span of 47 games.

Malkin scored after taking a lead pass from Phil Kessel. He goaltender Jake Allen on the backhand for his eighth of the season and league-leading fifth game-winner.

Rep. Mitchell Calling For Continuous Session

Illinois’ credit rating could move even closer to “junk” if its already large pension liability and budget deficit grow, Moody’s Investors Service said on Tuesday.

State Representative Bill Mitchell says it's the sense of urgency is felt by him as agencies in his district are feeling the effects becaue they aren't getting their mandated state funds. He isn't sure that sense of urgency is there at the top.

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The Representative says it's time to be in continuous session until the job is done. He says the threats coming from the credit agencies is "serious stuff".

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Moody’s says growth in Illinois’ chronic unpaid bill pile, a barometer of the state’s structural budget deficit quote-“would elevate liquidity risks and add further credit pressure.”

The bill backlog stood at $7 billion as of Monday and Moody’s projected it could top a $9.9 billion peak reached in November 2010 if the state fails to fill its fiscal 2016 budget gap.

MADD Honors Jesse White

As the Holiday Season approaches, the threat of drunken driving grows. Mothers against Drunk Driving says Illinois is ahead of the curve in efforts to keep drunken drivers off the streets and highways.

As a result, they have named Secretary of State Jesse White the 2015 Legislative Champion.

MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church is saluting White for his emphasis on interlock devices that prevent drunken drivers from shifting from park to drive.

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White says he has no intention of resting on his laurels. While many traditonally think of New Year's Eve as the most dangerous night when it comes to facing impaired drivers, White says the biggest threat now arrives on hump day this week.

[audio:11261584803-WhiteMADD1.mp3] [/audio]

MADD reports interlock devices prevented convicted DUI offenders from operating a vehicle more than 755,000 times since 2009.

CrimeStoppers Crime of the Week

The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a residential burglary.

On or around November 24th 2015, the Clinton Police Department responded to a report of a residential burglary that occurred in the 600 block of Kleeman Drive.

During this burglary, suspect or suspects forcibly made entry to the residence, and once inside stole a woman’s silver infinity bracelet.

Also stolen during the commission of this burglary was an original Colt AR15 semi-automatic carbine assault rifle. This particular rifle has a collapsible stock and a bayonet. Several magazines containing a large amount of ammunition were also taken.

The Clinton Police Department is reminding the public to be extra vigilant to inventory all of their valuables and document serial numbers of items.

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 as always; their phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.

They don’t want your name, just your information.

Fry Your Turkey Safely

Turkey fryer fires are easy to avoid. Ottawa Fire Chief Steve Haywood says one bad thing to do is overfill the oil vat. hot oil comes out and makes contact with the flame, you could have a big fire very fast.

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Haywood adds overfilled oil vats and cooking too close to the house are two big causes of turkey fryer fires.

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Haywood says thaw the turkey completely before setting it in a fryer, so you have minimum moisture reacting with hot oil. And keep an ABC fire extinguisher at hand.

As the turkey goes down, the oil level goes up. The heat from the fryer could catch anything very close on fire.

Sen. Rose Calling Out Local Representatives To Chide Madigan

Yesterday on Regional Radio News, a local lawmaker outlined a bipartisan effort to move budget talks forward, only to be stalled by Speaker Mike Madigan.

Today, Sen. Chapin Rose is blasting the Speaker for holding up progress and says there are things can be done locally. Sen. Rose says a lot of people in Springfield finally started acting like adults and began working towards common sense reforms.

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According to Sen. Rose, Speaker Madigan did not appreciate leaders cut a deal without. He says he was using that as a reason to shut down negotiations.

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Sen. Rose is calling on local representatives in central Illinois that voted Madigan as Speaker to step up and inform him of the impacts his recent actions are going to have on their districts.

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Sen. Rose says Madigan is "showing everyone who's boss" through all this.

He adds, there is a petition throughout Illinois to implement term limits, which Sen. Rose says would effectively get remove Speaker Madigan of his post.

Thanksgiving Cooking Safety Tips



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State Sen. Says Speaker Madigan Showing Us Who's Boss

 width=A local State Senator continues to maintain Illinois budget mess should fall on the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

State Senator Chapin Rose explains there was a bipartisan effort recently to make progress on the budget. He points out Senate leader John Cullerton supported the measure.

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While the agreement in place wasn't major, Sen. Rose points out it dealt with a lot of vital service for Illinois communities.

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Sen. Rose explains everyone who was a part of the agreement did their part except Speaker Madigan.

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Sen. Rose felt the day could have been major progress in the budget stalemate but the Speaker shut everything down and put a procedural hold on the road salt and 9-1-1 legislation.

Anyhdrous Ammonia Pipeline Planned to ADM

Archer Daniels Midland, in Decatur, has proposed to build a new underground pipeline to deliver anhydrous ammonia from a storage site south of Cowden in southern Shelby County, thru Shelby, Moultrie, and Macon Counties, to A-D-M's Decatur plant.

Tim Stock is the Manager of the Macon County Farm Bureau. He explains the pipeline will run to Cowden to the east side of Decatur, tying in with ADM.

[audio:11251575434-112515pipeline1.mp3] [/audio]

Stock says a lot of the Farm Bureau members' concerns are about access to the anhydrous ammonia and if there will be enough supply for them after this.

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The project will be filed soon with the Illinois Commerce Commission and Stock notes things could be up and going as soon as next winter. He indicates they are hoping the digging for the pipeline will not interfere with next year's harvest.

For area farmers with questions on this proposal, contact your local Farm Bureau office for details.

Iowa, Oklahoma Break Into College Football Playoff Top-4

 width=This week's College Football Playoff Rankings reflect the body's continued reliance on short-term memory and the eye test. The CFP Selection Committee also remains consistent in its inconsistency.

There is no change at the very top, where Clemson and Alabama are Nos. 1 and 2 for the third week in a row. The Tigers have actually topped the rankings for all four weeks this season, but LSU was the second-rated team in the initial rankings. Three straight losses later, and those Tigers are gone from this week's rankings.

Dodgers Name Dave Roberts Manager; McGwire Moving On

The Dodgers have named Dave Roberts as their new manager. The club made the announcement Monday morning in Los Angeles. Roberts had been a finalist for the job along with Dodgers Director of Player Development Gabe Kapler.

Roberts, 43 and a UCLA product, spent parts of the 10 seasons as an outfielder in the major leagues. He spent 2003 and part of 2004 with the Dodgers. Over the course of his career, Roberts established himself as a skilled defender and elite base-runner.

 width=Since retiring as a player, Roberts has worked as an analyst, coach, and front-office exec. In 2014-15, he served as bench coach for the Padres.

Roberts becomes the 32nd manager in franchise history and, as Ken Rosenthal notes, the first minority manager in Dodgers history.

After being eliminated in the NLDS round of the 2015 playoffs, the Dodgers, with a new, analytics-driven front office that may not have seen eye to eye with Don Mattingly, parted ways with Mattingly despite his leading the team to five straight winning seasons and three straight NL West titles.

Mattingly has since become manager of the Marlins.

>>Mark McGwire Takes Bench Coach Job With Padres

Mark McGwire, the slugger who served as hitting coach the last six years with the Cardinals and then the Dodgers, is expected to be named bench coach for the Padres.

Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune recently reported McGwire was a strong candidate for the job.

McGwire brings extra experience to the staff of rookie Padres manager Andy Green.

McGwire, respected as hitting coach, takes the place of Dave Roberts, who left to become Dodgers manager. So McGwire and Roberts effectively traded teams, though in different roles.

McGwire was well-liked for work in St. Louis, where he served for three years as hitting coach with his former team. McGwire, a Southern California native who starred at USC, also worked for three years with the Dodgers.

Reports Indicate Rams' WR Bailey Shot in Head

 width=St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey was shot in South Florida on Tuesday evening, according to multiple reports.

The Rams confirmed via their official website that Bailey was involved in an "incident" and is currently in "critical, but stable, condition."

"We are aware Stedman Bailey was involved in an incident this evening. We have spoken with Stedman and he is in the hospital in critical, but stable, condition. We are gathering facts about the situation and will provide updates as we learn more."

Multiple reports from NFL.com and other outlets indicate Bailey was in a car when the incident occurred and will undergo surgery on Wednesday morning.

Bulls, Pacers Win

 width=Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Derrick Rose added 17 in his return to the lineup and the Chicago Bulls held off the Portland Trail Blazers 93-88 on Tuesday night.

Rose had missed two games with a left ankle injury. His floating jumper stretched Chicago's lead to 78-65 early in the fourth quarter, but Portland rallied within 78-76 on Ed Davis' tip shot.

Damian Lillard missed a 3-pointer to tie it for Portland with 2:25 left, then missed the second of a pair of free throws with 20.7 seconds left that would have also pulled the Blazers into a tie.

Lillard finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. He shot 4 of 22 from the field. CJ McCollum added 18 points.

>>Pacers Blast Wizards

Paul George scored a season-high 40 points and made seven 3-pointers, part of a franchise-record 19 by the Pacers in a 123-106 victory over the Washington Wizards.

 width=C.J. Miles added 32 points, his most since joining the Pacers before the start of last season, as Indiana won for the ninth time in 11 games following an 0-3 start.

Gary Neal scored 23 points off the bench for the Wizards, whose three-game winning streak was snapped.

Beal added 20 points and John Wall scored 18 for Washington, which has lost five of its six games when it allows more than 110 points.

Indiana finished 73.1 percent (19 of 26) from 3-point range, crushing their previous season high of 44.4 percent (12 of 27).

Illinois State Gives No. 2 Maryland All They Can Handle, But Fall Short

 width=Rasheed Sulaimon scored 18 points and Melo Trimble added 15 to help No. 2 Maryland beat Illinois State 77-66 on Tuesday night in the Cancun Challenge.

With the game tied at 62, back-to-back 3-pointers by Jared Nickens and Sulaimon gave the Terrapins (4-0) a six-point cushion with 3:45 left.

The Redbirds (2-3) tried to rally, but too many turnovers (17) hampered them.

MiKyle McIntosh scored 17 points and Paris Lee added 15 for Illinois State.

Maryland will face Rhode Island for the Riviera Division title on Wednesday. Illinois State plays TCU in the consolation game.

This story has been corrected to indicate Sulaimon scored 18 points, not 16.

Cards Reach Out To Zobrist; Cubs Minor Leaguer Suspended; Sox Sign C Avilas

 width=>>Cardinals Reach Out To Super-Utility Man Zobrist

The Cardinals have reached out to Ben Zobrist, sources say.

While there are said to be as many as 20 teams in the mix, they are believed to be among the more interested teams, as they love his versatility, especially on the infield.

The Mets are also said to be looking hard at Zobrist, who hit .276 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI last season in 126 games between the A's and World Champion Royals. He was traded on July 28

Zobrist, one of the most versatile utility men in baseball, also posted a steady .359 on-base percentage and .816 OPS.

>>Cubs Minor Leaguer Suspended On Failed Drug Test

Chicago Cubs pitcher Tanner Griggs has been suspended for the first 50 games of next season after a positive test for amphetamine under baseball's minor league drug program.

A 21-year-old right-hander, Griggs was selected in the 12th round of the 2014 amateur draft. He was 1-1 with a 5.50 ERA in 14 relief appearances this year for Eugene of the Class A Northwest League and the Arizona League Cubs, striking out 19 and walking 10 in 18 innings.

The suspension, announced Wednesday by the commissioner's office, was the 99th this year under the minor league program.

 width=>>White Sox Bring On C Alex Avila

Free agent catcher Alex Avila and the Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract.

Avila is a .242 hitter with 66 homers and 282 RBIs during seven big league seasons, all with the Detroit Tigers, and has thrown out 24.5 percent of attempted base stealers. The 29-year-old was limited to 67 games with Detroit last season because of injuries, including a left knee bone bruise.

Avila was an All-Star in 2011 when he set career highs with a .295 average, 19 homers and 82 RBIs.

He joins a White Sox team that finished fourth in the AL Central with 86 losses last season. Catcher Tyler Flowers batted .239 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 112 games.

State Proposing Less Contact Days For IHSA Athletes

An IHSA by-law proposal would reduce the number of summer contact days between coaches and student athletes.

Currently 25 days are allowed, but Briant Kelly of Libertyville High School wants to lower that to 20 day.

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The issue has been discussed at town hall meetings throughout the state this month. The IHSA Legislative Commission will determine next week if the proposal goes to the general membership for a vote.

State's New Election Computers Haven't Been Delivered

The filing period for established party candidates to get onto the March primary ballot begins this week, and the State Board of Elections has new computers to help with the work. However, those computers haven’t been paid for.

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Filing deadline for Republicans and Democrats to get on the March 15 primary ballot runs now through 5 p.m. November 30th. Non-established parties can begin circulating petitions no earlier than March 29th with the filing deadline June 27th.

Congressman Davis Promoting Curbing of Student Debt Epidemic

 width=Congressman Rodney Davis last month announced his intention to begin addressing the problem of student loan debts in America.

Congressman Davis says the average American college student will graduate with nearly $30-thousand of debt from student loans. He says that is a problem that needs to be addressed.

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Congressman Davis is proposing legislation that would allow graduates to pay down their debt with pre-tax dollars. He notes this legislation has bipartisan support.

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To promote the legislation, Davis recently made appearances at the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, and the University of Illinois at Springfield.

DeWitt County Friendship Center Project On Hold Due To Budget Stalemate

A DeWitt County non-profit has been anxiously awaiting a resolution to the budget stalemate in order to proceed on a much needed project.

The DeWitt County Friendship Center has been awaiting funds through a grant from the State of Illinois to proceed on an expansion of their parking lot. Sissy Leggett is the Executive Director of the center and says it's a much needed project for them.

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Other than the occassional government grants, the Friendship Center relies only on donations, a local taxing entity and then a few small independent grants.

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Relying on donations can be difficult as the economy continues to rebuild in recent years but Leggett says the most reliable revenues are the tax dollars they receive.

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According to Leggett, they also rely on their fundraisers and continue to be appreciative of the support they get from local businesses that not only donate money, but also their services.

Kentucky College Basketball's New No. 1

Kentucky has moved into the top spot of the AP Top 25 after North Carolina's first loss of the season, at Northern Iowa on Saturday.

The Tar Heels remained in the top ten, falling only to No. 9 in the loss that soured a Homecoming appearance for Iowa native Marcus Paige.

 width=Kentucky and Maryland each moved up one spot after UNC's fall, with Michigan State jumping ten spots to No. 3 following a big week that included Denzel Valentine's triple-double against Kansas, earning him CBS Sports Player of the Week honors.

Virginia fell out of the top ten to No. 12 after losing to George Washington and Wichita State is down eleven spots to No. 20 after losing at Tulsa.

Following its win over Duke on Tuesday in the Champions' Classic and North Carolina's loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, Kentucky is the new No. 1 team in the Coaches Poll.

The Wildcats are followed by Maryland (who received three first-place votes), Duke at No. 3, Michigan State and Iowa State. North Carolina fell from the top spot all the way to No. 8 following its trip to Cedar Falls.

The biggest move in the poll this week came from the Miami Hurricanes, who moved from the nominal No. 38 spot all the way up to No. 19 following their wins over Butler and Utah this weekend in Puerto Rico. Oregon also moved into the poll following its impressive wins over Baylor and Valparaiso, as well as Cincinnati, who has looked strong on both ends to open the season.

Other significant movers in the poll included Purdue, who jumped from No. 23 to No. 15, Virginia, who slid down from No. 6 to No. 12 following its loss to George Washington, and Michigan State, who jumped from No. 13 to No. 4 after its win over Kansas.

The three teams to fall out of the poll were Utah, Butler and Michigan, all of whom lost this week.

Pats Stay Perfect With Win Over Bills

 width=Tom Brady completed 20 of 39 passes for 277 yards, hitting James White for a 20-yard score that was the first touchdown of the running back's career. White added a 6-yard run in the third quarter to give New England (10-0) the lead for good.

LeSean McCoy ran 20 times for 82 yards and a 27-yard touchdown and caught six passes for 41 yards to surpass 100 yards from scrimmage for the fourth straight game.

Tyrod Taylor was 20 for 36 for 233 yards for the Bills (5-5), who snapped a two-game winning streak.

Blues Get Passed Buffalo

 width=Robby Fabbri's third-period shot changed direction three times before slipping past Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark in the St. Louis Blues' 2-1 win on Monday.

St. Louis got 24 saves from Jake Allen and some good fortune when several Sabres chances hit the post or crossbar.

The Sabres led 1-0 after two periods on David Legwand's second-period goal, but the Blues tied it on Troy Brouwer's goal before Fabbri put them ahead with 6:34 to play.

Buffalo missed two good chances to double its lead early in the third, including when Brian Gionta put an in-close shot off the crossbar.

Brouwer then found the rebound of Kevin Shattenkirk's point shot and backhanded it past a screened Ullmark at 5:07.

St. Louis went ahead when Gorges unwittingly directed the puck into Buffalo's net with his left skate. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma challenged the call for offside, but the goal stood and was credited to Fabbri at 13:26.

Blues C Paul Stastny returned after missing 16 games with a broken foot.

White Sox Bring on Former CF Rowand as Minor League Instructor

 width=The Chicago White Sox have hired 2005 championship team center fielder Aaron Rowand as minor-league outfield and base-running instructor.

A fan favorite because of his aggressive play, which led to occasional collisions with the wall, he played five seasons with the White Sox and was a key figure on the team that won it all.

Rowand hit .283 during his time in Chicago before being dealt to Philadelphia with pitcher Gio Gonzalez for Jim Thome following the 2005 season. He hit .273 in an 11-year career with the White Sox, Phillies and San Francisco Giants. He was an All-Star with the Phillies in 2007 and helped San Francisco win a championship in 2010.

Rowand, who served as a guest minor-league instructor with the White Sox last spring, replaces Doug Sisson.

Bears Waive QB Clausen

 width=The Chicago Bears have waived quarterback Jimmy Clausen and elevated David Fales from the practice squad to back up Jay Cutler.

Clausen made two starts and appeared in six games over the past two seasons for Chicago. That included a forgettable 26-0 loss at Seattle in September that saw him throw for just 63 yards filling in for the injured Cutler and the Bears punt on all 10 possessions while falling to 0-3.

Coach John Fox said the Bears waived Clausen because other teams were showing interest in Fales, a sixth-round draft pick out of San Jose State in 2014.

Chicago (4-6), coming off a loss to Denver, visits Green Bay (7-3) on Thursday.

Illini Win on Buzzer Beater From Coleman-Lands

 width=Jalen Coleman-Lands sank a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer, allowing Illinois to escape with an 82-79 victory over Chicago State Monday night.

Michael Finke scored 17 to lead Illinois (2-3). The Illini needed a 14-0 run in the second half to tie it the game at 66, and then needed the game's final possession to steal the win.

After Chicago State (3-2) was called for a shot clock violation with 4.6 seconds left, Illinois rushed the ball up the court to find Coleman-Lands open in the corner. Coleman-Lands, Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr. scored 12 apiece for the Illini.

Elliott Cole had 21 points to lead Chicago State. The Cougars led by 14 in both halves.

Illinois won all 11 previous meetings with Chicago State by an average of 29 points.

Late Maroons Rally Falls Short Against Prairie Central

 width=Despite a late second half rally, the Clinton Maroons boys basketball team fell short against Prairie Central 39-38 Monday night at the GCMS Holiday tournament.

After trailing by rallying from seven down heading into the fourth quarter, the Maroons had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but fell short.

Jacob Overton led the Maroons with 14 points. Peyton McCubbin added 10 and Austin Baker had eight points.

Tom Shafer led Prairie Central with 17.

The Maroons are back at the GCMS holiday tournament tonight at 8 pm taking on host GCMS.

Hear the action on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

BBall scores from Monday
Central A&M 71
Illini Central 64 at Mount Pulaski Thanksgiving Tourney

Macon Meridian 57
Winchester (West Central) 38 at New Berlin Thanksgiving Tourney

Clinton Police Department Repsonds To 3-Car Accident


Local Veterans Groups Providing Thanksgiving Meals For Area Residents

If you are a veteran, senior citizen/shut in or emergency service worker on duty during this Thanksgiving holiday, you are encouraged to take advantage of meals being provided through the County's veteran groups.

The Am Vets of DeWitt County, the American Legion and VFW are teaming up to provide free meals on Thanksgiving Day.

The meals can be picked up or delivered and it will originate from the Wishbone in Clinton. Organizers stress there will be no in house meals, all meals are picked up or delivered.

Organizers also ask, if possible, those who will be wanting meals to contact the VFW at 217-935-4032 and leave a message with your requests prior to Thursday's holiday.

You can also call 217-935-8800.

Again meals are free and can be picked up or delivered on Thanksgiving Day.

UPDATED: Clinton Maroons Fall to Gibson City

 width=As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and dewittdailynews.com, the Clinton Maroons fell to Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley by a score of 70-64 on Tuesday night.

The Maroons were led by senior Jacob Overton with 19 points. Junior Peyton McCubbin also chipped in with 16 points and was the Country Financial Representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game .

For GCMS, they were led by Tucker Cribbett with 23 points.

With the loss the Maroons fall to 0-2 on the season.

Tune in next Friday night, December 4, as the Maroons take on the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 width=>>Monticello Pulls Uses Big Second Quarter To Top Riverton in Season Opener

The Monticello Sages outscored Riverton 25-16 in the second quarter and pulled away in the second half of their season opener from Miller Gym Tuesday night for a 66-45 win.

Senior Zach Fisher fell a rebound shy of a double-double, tallying 22 points and nine boards.

His younger brother Calvin, added 19 off the bench for the Sages (1-0). Luke Stokowski also chipped in with 13 points off the bench.

The Sages are at Bismark-Henning Friday night.

Boys basketball scores from Tuesday

Meridian 42
South County 60 at New Berlin Thanksgiving Tourney

Warrensburg-Latham 61
Heyworth 45

Hillsboro 51
Shelbyville 60

Sullivan 48
Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 32

Tuscola 35
Argenta-Oreana 65

Central A&M 71
Decatur Christian 21 at Mount Pulaski Thanksgiving Tourney

Property Tax Freeze Proposal Has Clinton Schools Leader Concerned

 width=A proposal at the state level to freeze property values has entities across the state concerned because those are fund that are heavily relied on in a lot of areas.

Clinton schools Superintendent Curt Nettles says the proposals are changing and it is becoming a huge negotiating point in the budget stalemate. He feels that is having an impact on the decisions they are making now.

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The repercussions of a property tax freeze would test many school districts, and even governing bodies at a more macro-perspective. Nettles says their reserves will be tested, but they will also have to consider renewing a working cash bond that is expected to expire. According to Nettles, that would be a benefit to taxpayers.

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Nettles says, the ultimate possibility of a property tax freeze is very concerning for Clinton. He points to assets in the community like the Power Plant that their property values are of great importance to the district.

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Nettles indicates there are school districts that are very reliant on general state aid, which means they don't have the ability to make up for what the state is not providing.

He believes even if property taxes are frozen at some point, the state isn't likely to go back to their base levels of funding through general state aid.

Emergency Repairs Needed At Clinton Lake Marina

 width=The Clinton Lake Marina has been a huge point of emphasis for the DeWitt County Board this year, with much of the focus on known improvements.

Last week it was discovered the high winds are forcing the hand of the County Board to make an immediate repair to the Marina after winds caused damage to a breakwater. County Board Chair David Newberg indicates former County Board member Dan Ballenger will make the repairs.

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Newberg says the replacement of the breakwater was something they knew was coming however, this moves the timeline up to have it addressed. He says a total replacement could run as much as a half-million dollars, and anticipates this project could exceed $100-thousand.

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The Clinton Lake Marina breakwater isn't as elaborate as other places but he says it's vitally important in that particular location because the gas dock is the first dock it protects.

Iowa Finally Cracks Top 4 in This Week's Rankings

Ohio State has fallen from No. 1 to No. 8 in just two weeks, losing the top spot to Clemson a week ago and then losing to Michigan State at home on Saturday. The Buckeyes handed control of the Big Ten East to the Spartans, now at No. 6 in the AP Top 25, and moved Iowa up to No. 3, the highest-ranked Big Ten team.

 width=Oklahoma State and Houston also lost for the first time in 2015, resulting in the Cowboys falling five spots to No. 9 and the Cougars dropping eight spots to No. 21.

The Tigers are still at No. 1 in the Coaches Poll top 25, receiving 58 of the 64 first-place votes, after a Senior Day win against Wake Forest.

Iowa is up to No. 3 in the Coaches Poll after blowing past Purdue, with only Alabama separating the Tigers and Hawkeyes at the top.

Ohio State fell from No. 2 to No. 8 after Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger booted a game-winning field goal in the final seconds to snap the Buckeyes' 23-game winning streak. The Spartans, now with wins at Michigan and Ohio State on its resume, is up to No. 6

Oklahoma State fell from No. 4 to No. 10 after losing at home to Baylor -- a win that also pushed the Bears up to No. 7 -- and Houston dropped from No. 14 to No. 21, the biggest fall in this week's poll, after losing at UConn.

White Sox Prospect Named Arizona Fall League MVP

 width=The winner of the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League MVP award is White Sox center field prospect Adam Engel, the league announced Saturday. The 23-year-old Engel was the White Sox's 19th-rounder in 2013 out of the University of Louisville and has seen his stock rise considerably since that draft.

In 19 games for the Glendale Desert Dogs, Engel hit .403/.523/.642 with nine doubles, two triples, a home run, nine RBI, 16 runs and 10 steals. He led the league in average, OBP and slugging (a strong feat for a table-setting speedster) while ranking second in doubles and stolen bases.

In the AFL All-Star Game, Engel had two hits and two walks with two runs and an RBI.

This past regular season, Engel played regularly for the high Class A Winston-Salem Dash. In 136 games, he hit .251/.335/.369 with 23 doubles, nine triples, seven homers, 90 runs and 65 steals in 76 chances. MLB.com ranks him as the 17th-best prospect in the White Sox system.

Packers End Slide; Bears, Rams Lose

The Green Bay Packers were in a funk, booed by their loyal fans the week before and passed by the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North.

 width=Aaron Rodgers and the Packers responded with a resolute victory, fending off the Vikings like Clay Matthews waving his finger after tackling Adrian Peterson for a loss.

Rodgers threw for a pair of touchdown passes without a turnover, Datone Jones had two of Green Bay's six sacks and Eddie Lacy contributed a season-high 100 yards rushing to help the Packers beat the Vikings 30-13 on Sunday and stop a three-game losing streak.

James Jones had six catches for 109 yards after several quiet games and Mason Crosby made all five of his field goal tries, lifting the Packers (7-3) to their 10th win over the Vikings in the last 11 meetings with Rodgers at quarterback.

The Packers used a 50-yard pass interference penalty on Terence Newman, who was covering Jeff Janis on third-and-15 from the 15, to set up the 10-yard touchdown toss by Rodgers to Cobb with 10 seconds left in the first half. An illegal contact call on Anthony Barr during a third-down incompletion gave Rodgers yet another opportunity on that defining drive.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Rodgers rolled right on third-and-9 and zinged the ball to Jones at the edge of the end zone for a 27-yard score on. He shoveled the 2-point conversion pass to Jones, too, for a 27-13 lead.

Kyle Rudolph had a touchdown and a career-high 106 yards receiving for the Vikings.

Teddy Bridgewater took quite a bruising, leaving the game briefly with an injury to his left shoulder but still finishing 25 for 37 for 296 yards and a touchdown without any turnovers.

>>Denver Edges Bears

Osweiler threw for two touchdowns filling in for the injured Manning, and the Denver Broncos stopped Jeremy Langford on a 2-point conversion run in the final minute to beat the Chicago Bears 17-15.

 width=Langford scored on a 2-yard run with 24 seconds left to cap a 65-yard drive. But the Broncos were ready for the run on the conversion attempt and stopped Langford to secure a narrow victory.

Osweiler completed 20 of 27 passes for 250 yards in the first start of his four-year career, while the five-time MVP stayed back in Denver because of injuries to his foot, ribs and shoulder. Osweiler got sacked five times.

Ronnie Hillman ran for 102 yards. The AFC West-leading Broncos (8-2) played turnover-free ball and got back to winning against former coach John Fox after dropping two in a row.

Osweiler threw a 48-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas on Denver's first possession of the game and a 10-yarder to Cody Latimer early in the fourth quarter to make it 17-9 after Chicago cut the lead to one.

Jay Cutler threw for 265 yards in his first meaningful game against Denver since the trade to Chicago in 2009, even though the Bears were missing running back Matt Forte (knee) and receiver Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder). He had an interception and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter with the Bears on the Denver 33.

>>Ravens Get Ugly Win Over Rams

A dramatic 16-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday was marred by season-ending injuries to quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett.

 width=Flacco tore ligaments in his left knee in the closing seconds, but stayed with the offense until the finish despite the pain.

Forsett, meanwhile, broke both bones in his right forearm in the first quarter. He is Baltimore's leading rusher.

Justin Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to end a mistake-filled game in which the Ravens rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

One final miscue decided the issue: Rams quarterback Case Keenum fumbled when hit by Courtney Upshaw, and teammate Lawrence Guy recovered at the St. Louis 41 with 54 seconds to go.

St. Louis (4-6) lost four fumbles and missed an extra point. In his first start of the season, Keenum went 12 for 26 for 136 yards and fumbled three times, losing two.

Keenum was selected as the Rams' starter on Monday, replacing Nick Foles in a move that coach Jeff Fisher said was designed to bolster the offense. The switch did not pay immediate dividends.

Both teams had a chance to win in the closing minutes of regulation. After Greg Zuerlein missed a 52-yard field goal with 1:41 remaining for the Rams, Tucker was wide right on a 51-yarder with 1:13 to go.

ISU Wins; Illinois Upset Saturday

 width=DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell was 8 of 11 from the floor and scored 20 points as Illinois State dominated the second half to claim a 72-56 victory over Houston Baptist in the second round of the Cancun Classic on Saturday night.

Deontae Hawkins added 13 points for the Redbirds (2-2). Paris Lee had six points and five assists.

Houston Baptist (1-3), trailing 28-26 at the break, was still close in the second half until Nick Banyard nailed a 3-point jumper to start a 16-5 run to lead 57-41 with 8:41 left in the game. The Huskies never challenged again.

The Redbirds turned up the heat in the second half, forcing the Huskies into 23 turnovers for the game.

Illinois State was 29 of 59 (49.2 from the floor while limiting the Huskies to 18 of 51 (35.3%).

Josh Ibarra had 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots for Houston Baptist.

>>Chatanooga Upsets Illinois

 width=Eric Robertson's 15 points led six Mocs in double figures as Chattanooga overcame a nine-point, second-half deficit to defeat Illinois 81-77 Saturday.

Chattanooga (3-0) led by as many as 15 in the first half and by 12 shortly into the second before Malcolm Hill, who finished with 25 points, led a 34-13 Illinois surge. The Illini (1-3) led 69-60 with 6:20 left.

Three Mocs made 3-pointers to take back the lead in the final minutes. Tre' McLean tied it with 2:45 left and Robertson's corner trey gave the visitors from the Southern Conference a lasting lead at 1:55.

Illinois is 1-3 for the first time since 1965-66 and just the fourth time in 110 seasons.

The game is part of the Emerald Coast Classic, which concludes Friday and Saturday in Niceville, Fla.

Mike Thorne Jr. scored 18 for Illinois. Chuck Ester and Justin Tuoyo had 12 each for Chattanooga.

Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Illinois State All Qualify for FCS Playoffs

The Illinois State University (9-2) football team is the number two seed after finishing as the co-champion of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

The Redbirds, the runner-up in last year’s national championship game, are making their sixth appearance in the championship.

The Panthers of Eastern Illinois will play Missouri Valley Conference member Northern Iowa Saturday evening at 5 pm with the winner to move on to face sixth seeded Portland State.


As for Western Illinois, they will face Dayton, and the winner to face Illinois State.

Jacksonville State is the number-one overall seed.

>>Illinois State Blanks South Dakota in Regular Season Finale

Marshaun Coprich rushed for 251 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns in a snowstorm as Illinois State blanked South Dakota 46-0 to claim a share of its second straight Missouri Valley Football Conference championship Saturday.

Tre Roberson ran for 121 yards and a touchdown as the Redbirds (9-2, 7-1) earned a share of the title with four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State.

Leading just 3-0 after a quarter with a snowy gale blowing at their backs, the Redbirds scored 20 points into the wind in the second quarter and never looked back.

Coprich had 122 yards and two scores in the first half as the Redbirds took a 23-0 lead into halftime. Coprich's TD runs covered 12, 12, 45 and 74 yards.

Roberson completed just two passes in the game, but one was a 20-yard TD to Christian Gibbs with 2:49 left in the half to go up 16-0.

 width=>>Seven Turnovers Allows Eastern Illinois To End Regular Season With Win

Malik Harrison and Jalen Whitlow each ran for one touchdown, and Eastern Illinois forced seven turnovers in a 21-7 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.

Whitlow opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. On Eastern Kentucky's first possession of the second half, Nick Horne returned a fumble for a 62-yard touchdown. Harrison's 9-yard touchdown run made it 21-0 with 4:35 left in the third.

Harrison had 13 carries for 79 yards for Eastern Illinois (7-4, 7-1 Ohio Valley). Whitlow was 8-of-21 passing for 72 yards and added 26 yards rushing.

Tyler Swafford threw for 99 yards and was intercepted four times for Eastern Kentucky (6-5, 5-3). Six of the Colonels' turnovers came in the second half, including two fumbles.

Tyrell Curry returned a blocked punt 35 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

>>Leathernecks Need Double-OT To Dispense South Dakota State


Sean McGuire ran for a touchdown in the second overtime to give Western Illinois a 30-24 win over South Dakota State on Saturday.

McGuire finished with 19-of-40 passing for 282 yards and a score for the Leathernecks (6-5, 5-3 Missouri Valley Conference). Nikko Watson ran for 178 yards and a touchdown. Devon Moore also ran for a score.

But it was McGuire's touchdown run in the second overtime that made the difference against the fifth-ranked Jackrabbits (8-3, 5-3).

With the score tied 24-24 in the second overtime, South Dakota State's Jay Carlson missed a 35-yard field goal, setting up McGuire's 7-yard keeper four plays later for the win.

Western Illinois trailed 10-3 at the break but Moore ran for a score late in the third quarter and McGuire threw for another early in the fourth to give the Leathernecks a 17-10 lead.

Zach Lujan was 21-for-37 for 246 yards for the Jackrabbits.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 24

Paper Services: 8

Warrants: 0

Elizabeth Lines, 40, Bloomington was issued Arrested and Issued Citations for Driving Under Influence of Alcohol and Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Lines posted the necessary bond and was released.

Maung Tin, 49, Forsyth was issued a Citation for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Tin was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

James Griggley, 42, Peoria was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Griggley was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Sondra Peirson, 34, Niantic was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Peirson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Jessica Husted, 35, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Husted was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Adam Davis, 33, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Davis was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Edge, 52, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Edge was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Mark Christensen, 39, Pontiac was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Christensen was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Christopher Zora, 41, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Zora was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.


UPDATED: Lady Maroons Fall to Lady Sages

As heard on 92.3 WHOW and dewittdailynews.com, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Monticello Lady Sages by a score of 35 to 16 on Monday night.

The Lady Maroons were led by Senior Faythe Newberry with 9 points. Junior Jessi Benson chipped in with 3 points, as well as 4 points for Country Financial Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game Sophmore Madi Filkin.

The Monticello Lady Sages was led by Senior Jenna Prather with a total of 16 points, and was aided by Junior Rachael Lockiller with 8 points, Sophmore Zanna Myers with 7 points, and Senior Hannah Smith with 3 points.

With the loss the Maroons fall to 3-2 on the season.

Tune in Tuesday, December 1st, as the Lady Maroons take on the Heyworth Lady Hornets. You can hear the game liev on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Girls basketball scores from Monday night...

Central A&M 71
Cerro Gordo/Bement 21

Monticello 35
Clinton 16

Macon Meridian 49
Argenta-Oreana 45

Sullivan 42
Arcola 33

October Unemployment Update



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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a wet, windy week in Illinios. State Climotologist Jim Angel says after a weekend snow, a strong El Nino effect will show up once again next week.

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Winter Weather Preparation Tips



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Kenney's Festival of Trees Underway

An annual event in one DeWitt County community opened Friday.

The Kenney Festival of Trees opens today until 8 pm. According to Debbie Rhoades of the Kenney Heritage Association, the Festival of Trees includes Christmas trees decorated by local residents, businesses and organizations along with wreaths and table settings.

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A running favorite are the old-fashion aluminum trees that are displayed.

The displays are at the Kenney Community Center and can be viewed Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm then Sunday from noon until 5 pm.

Homemade cookies and punch are available. The event is free and open to the public.

McIlroy Ahead in Dubai

Rory McIlroy birdied his last hole to pace Danny Willett in their chase for the Race to Dubai trophy on the opening day of the World Tour Championship on Thursday.

 width=McIlroy chipped in from a greenside bunker on the 18th hole to card a 4-under-par 68, tied with English golfer Willett, two shots behind the four leaders.

The pair are the main contenders to finish No. 1 for the season in the European Tour finale, McIlroy for the third time in four years, and Willett for the first time. Five others are in contention, but whoever finishes higher between McIlroy and Willett is expected to claim the trophy.

Martin Kaymer, English pair Ian Poulter and Andy Sullivan, and Australian Marcus Fraser topped the leaderboard with 6-under 66s at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Two-time defending champion Henrik Stenson dropped five shots in his last four holes to finish on 77.

McIlroy made the turn at 2 under, bogeyed the 10th, recovered with back-to-back birdies, and capped his round with an accurate chip off his fourth shot.

Sullivan eagled the par-5 7th, and Fraser was 7 under through 14 holes but bogeyed the 16th to fall into the tie for the lead.

Francesco Molinari, on 67, was between the leaders and McIlroy, Willett and six others on 68.

Justin Rose, who was third in the Race to Dubai, made successive bogeys in his last two holes in a 1-under 71.

Patrick Reed was one shot better.

Warriors Rally For Win Over Clippers

Stephen Curry scored 40 points and the Warriors shot 8 of 9 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 124-117 Thursday night for their 13th consecutive victory to start the season.

 width=Klay Thompson added 25 points, Harrison Barnes had 21 and Draymond Green 19 for the Warriors, one of four teams in NBA history to open 13-0. The defending champs improved to 6-0 on the road while completing the biggest comeback in the league this season.

Chris Paul scored a season-high 35 points, including 18 while igniting the Clippers in the opening quarter after missing two games with a sore right groin. Jamal Crawford added 15 points.

The Warriors closed on a 25-8 run, taking their first lead since Curry's 3-pointer began the game. He sat down with two early fouls in the first quarter.

Thompson hit a 3 for a 113-112 lead with 2:43 left before Crawford's 3-pointer provided the Clippers' last lead of 115-113. From there, Curry hit a 3, Green scored on a cutting layup and Curry made four straight free throws for a 122-115 advantage.

The Warriors host Chicago on Friday.

Blues Top Sabres in Shootout

The St. Louis Blues managed a pair of power-play goals, killed off two 5-on-3 penalty situations, got 32 saves from Jake Allen and won when Alexander Steen scored the only goal in a shootout for a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

 width=Kevin Shattenkirk and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in regulation for the Blues (13-6-1), who had lost three of four. Allen stopped four shots in the 3-on-3 overtime period and all three shootout attempts.

Steen scored in the third round of the shootout, after Shattenkirk and Tarasenko were denied. The goal was reviewed but it held up.

Sam Reinhart and Ryan O'Reilly scored for the Sabres (8-9-2), who have lost three straight after a stretch of five wins in six games. Linus Ullmark stopped 27 shots, including three in overtime.

The Blues scored first after Tyler Ennis went to the penalty box for 5 minutes for boarding Alex Pietrangelo.

Shattenkirk took advantage 5:34 into the first period with his second goal in two games, assisted by Steen and Tarasenko, on a top-shelf drive past Ullmark, who was screened by David Backes.

The Sabres outshot the Blues 13-10 in the third period, but neither team scored.

Cubs Claim LHP Leathersich From Mets; MVPs Named

 width=The Chicago Cubs have claimed left-handed pitcher Jack Leathersich off waivers from the New York Mets.

The 25-year-old Leathersich had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in July. He was 0-1 with a 2.31 ERA with 17 relief appearances for New York last season, his first in the majors.

The Cubs also agreed to a contract for next season with right-hander Andury Acevedo on Thursday. He spent the past four years in the New York Yankees organization and reached Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season.

The moves put the Cubs' 40-man roster at 32.

>>Washington's Harper, Toronto's Donaldson Named MVP

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been named National League MVP for 2015. MLB revealed the results of the BBWAA balloting on Thursday, and Harper was the unanimous choice.

This year, Harper, 23, batted .330/.460/.649 (195 OPS+) with 42 homers in 153 games for the second-place Nats. As well, Harper led the majors in OBP, SLG, OPS, and OPS+, and he led the National League in home runs and runs scored. Add up all facets of his value, and his 9.9 WAR leads the majors.

Harper becomes just the 13th player to win an MVP at age 23 or younger. The last to do it was Mike Trout in 2014.

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson has been named American League MVP for 2015. MLB revealed the results of the BBWAA balloting on Thursday.

Donaldson, 29, batted .297/.371/.568 (155 OPS+) with 41 home runs and 41 doubles in 158 games for the AL East champs. As well, Donaldson led the AL in RBI, total bases, and extra-base hits and led the majors in runs scored. On top of that, Donaldson also provided plus fielding at the hot corner. His 8.8 WAR in 2015 ranked second to only Mike Trout in the AL.

The Jays acquired Donaldson from the Athletics in November of 2014 in a five-player trade that sent Brett Lawrie and some notable prospects to Oakland.

Bears Welcome Broncos To Soldier Field Sunday; Packers In Minnesota

In danger of losing three straight for the first time in four seasons, the Denver Broncos face their former coach without their future Hall-of-Famer under center.

With Peyton Manning sidelined, Brock Osweiler makes his first career start Sunday when the visiting Broncos face John Fox's improving Chicago Bears.

 width=A season that looked promising has become concerning for Denver, which followed a 7-0 start by dropping two straight for the first time since September 2012 - the season after the Broncos last lost three in a row.

They'll try to avoid doing it again without Manning, who was benched last Sunday after throwing four interceptions in a 29-13 loss to Kansas City. A day later the Broncos announced that Manning has a torn plantar fascia in his right foot and coach Gary Kubiak decided to hand the offense over to Osweiler.

After allowing an average of 35.0 points during an 0-3 start, the Bears are yielding 21.5. Chicago gave up a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive to open Sunday's game, then held the Rams to 205 yards and two field goals in the 37-13 rout. The Bears did so without linebacker and defensive leader Pernell McPhee, who could miss a second straight game with a knee injury.

Rookie Jeremy Langford has rushed for 145 yards, caught 10 passes for 179 and scored three TDs while replacing the injured Matt Forte (knee) the last two games. It's uncertain if Forte will return to face a Denver defense that's allowed 56 points in the last two contests after yielding an average of 16.0 in the first seven.

Denver will have cornerback Aqib Talib back after he served a one-game suspension for poking Indianapolis' Dwayne Allen in the eye. Safety T.J. Ward, meanwhile, won't be suspended after being ejected for taking a swing at Kansas City's Jeremy Maclin.

DeMarcus Ware, who has a team-leading 6 1/2 of Denver's 32 sacks, could sit a second straight contest with a back injury.

>>Packers Face Stiff Road Test With Vikings Next

The Green Bay Packers have been the class of the NFC North for the past four years, while the Minnesota Vikings have been mired in mediocrity for much of that period.

It's the Packers that appear to be searching for some stability ahead of Sunday's battle for first place in Minneapolis, however, especially with Aaron Rodgers hurting.

 width=Green Bay (6-3) lost Sunday in one of the season's biggest upsets, 18-16 at home to a one-win Detroit team that hadn't earned a victory at Lambeau Field since 1991. The Packers failed to score at least 20 points for just the second time in their last 37 at home.

The team's third straight defeat was much different than the first two against Denver and Carolina, which are a combined 16-2. The Lions were coming off a 45-10 loss to sub-.500 Kansas City a week earlier.

Meanwhile, the Vikings (7-2) have won five in a row, surging to the top of a division the Packers are trying to win for the fifth straight season. No NFC team has done that since Dallas won the East from 1992-96.

Green Bay will be looking to avoid its first four-game skid since dropping five in a row in 2008 - Rodgers' first year as the starter.

South Dakota State Defeats Illinois State; No. 6 Virginia Tops Bradley

Reed Tellinghuisen had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead South Dakota State to an 83-67 victory over Illinois State on Thursday night.

 width=Tellinghuisen made two 3-pointers, and was 3 of 11 from the floor for his first career double-double. George Marshall led all scorers with 18 points. Deondre Parks scored 15 points, Jake Bittle had 11 and Ian Theisen added 10 for South Dakota State (3-0).

DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 15 points, Paris Lee 14 and MiKyle McIntosh 12 to lead Illinois State (1-2).

Akoon-Purcell made a 3-pointer to pull the Redbirds to 22-18 midway through the first half. But Mike Daum made a layup and Parks a 3-pointer to spark a 14-3 run that stretched the Jackrabbits lead to 36-21.

An 11-4 surge gave South Dakota State a 51-32 halftime lead. Tellinghuisen scored 7 points and Bittle added 5 points during the span.

>>No. 6 Virginia Drops Bradley

 width=Anthony Gill scored 16 points, Malcolm Brogdon had 13 and No. 6 Virginia bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 82-57 victory over Bradley at the Charleston Classic on Thursday night.

The Cavaliers (2-1) fell at George Washington on Monday and opened this one a bit sluggish as if still dealing with that loss and trailed 22-19 in the opening half. That's when Virginia took off on an 18-3 run to put the game away.

The demolition continued in the second half as the Cavaliers stretched the lead to 31 points.

Virginia will face Long Beach State here Friday night for a spot in Sunday's championship game.

The Braves (1-2) are one of the youngest teams in the country, starting four freshman against the ACC powerhouse. Eventually, the Cavaliers experience took control.

Luuk Van Bree had 16 points, off four 3-pointers to lead Bradley.

Illini Visit Minnesota Saturday; ISU, EIU Regular Season Finales Saturday

 width=Coming off their fourth loss in five games in a 28-3 defeat to Ohio State Saturday, the Illinois Fighting Illini will look to get back on track as they visit the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten West clash Saturday at 11 am.

The Illini are 5-5 and a win away from bowl eligibility for the second straight year while the Golden Gophers are a very disappointing 4-6 (1-5 in Big Ten).

Illinois will not play another game at Champaign this season as they will play Northwestern at Chicago's Soldier Field next week.

If Illinois is to get to bowl eligility and boos the resume for interim head coach Bill Cubit, they will need a win in the next two weeks. Northwestern is ranked 20th in the country.

The Golden Gophers have hit hard times of late with four straight losses paired with the sudden announcement of the retirement of former-head coach Jerry Kill due to health reasons.

 width=>>Redbirds Host South Dakota For Shot At Missouri Valley Championship

For the second year in a row, Illinois State (8-2, 6-1 MVFC) will have a chance to clinch at least a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title with a win in the regular-season finale.

A win over South Dakota (5-5, 3-4 MVFC) would secure the Redbirds back-to-back championships for the first time in school history and propel ISU into the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1998-99.

Coming off a 42-21 win at Southern Illinois last week, the Redbirds totalled a season-best 372 yards rushing at Southern Illinois (Nov. 14) and scored all six of their touchdowns on the ground against the Salukis.

Kickoff Saturday is set for noon and can be seen on ESPN3 or on Comcast Sports Network Chicago.

 width=>>Eastern Illinois Hosts Eastern Kentucky in Season Finale Saturday

The Eastern Illinois Panthers will host No. 23 Eastern Kentucky on Senior Day at O'Brien Field in Charleston Saturday.

The Panthers are coming off a 23-21 win over Tennessee-Martin last week and are 6-1 overall in the Ohio Valley and 6-4 on the season.

The Colonels are 6-4 overall and 5-2 in the OVC.

Game time is 1 pm and can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Okaw Valley, Heart of Illinois Among Conferences With Strong Showings in November

A pair of central Illinois football conferences could be well represented next weekend in DeKalb for the IHSA football state finals.

This weekend, the Heart of Illinois and Okaw Valley Conferences will be well represented in the semi-final round of the IHSA football playoffs, and the Okaw Valley will be represented at Northern Illinois' Huskey Stadium next weekend.

 width=Tomorrow afternoon, Tolono Unity and St. Joseph-Ogden will clash in a Class 3A semi final game at Tolono starting at 1 pm.

St. Joe-Ogden is undefeated at 12-0 on the year and Unity is 9-3. The Spartans are coming off a thrilling 26-21 victory over previously unbeaten Bloomington Central Cathoic while Unity is coming off a thrilling come-from-behind 41-34 win in Monticello last Saturday.

Earlier this year, the Spartans toppled the Rockets 34-14.

The winner meets the either Kankakee McNamar (11-1) or Elmhurst Catholic (11-1) next Friday at 4 pm.

As for the Heart of Illinois, Downs Tri-Valley has flexed their muscles en route to a Class 2A semi-final match up with Kewanee Wethersfield in Downs Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings closest competion the postseason was their opening round 22-0 win over Savanna West Carroll.

The Vikings rolled Taylor Ridge Rockridge 41-7 then rocked Dee-Mack 57-20 last week.

Taking an almost inverse path, the ninth seeded LeRoy Panthers have played Cinderella on the road to a Class 1A semi-final matchup with undefeated Arcola.

LeRoy went on the road to Greenfield-Northwest for an upset 30-0 win. Then upset top-seeded, and Central Illinois Conference member Tuscola 20-13.

The Panthers then upset fourth-seeded Carrollton in LeRoy last Saturday, again in convincing fashion, 30-6.

The competition takes a big step up this week as Little Okaw Valley member Arcola welcomes the Panthers to town for a 2 pm showdown.

The Purple Riders offense has been challenged just once this and that was last week against formerly unbeaten GCMS, where the Purple Riders escaped with at 14-13 victory.

The Panthers or Purple Riders will meet either Toulon Stark County or Ottawa Marquette next week at 10 am in DeKalb.

Tomorrow's winner between Tri-Valley and Kewanee-Weathersfield will meet Auburn or Nashville at 2 pm at Huskie Stadium.

Other football semi-final action Saturday...

Class 4A:

Belleville Althoff Catholic (12-0) vs. Breese Mater Dei (9-3) at Lindenwood University Sat. 1:00 pm

Class 5A:

Champaign Central (11-1) vs. Lincoln-Way West (10-2) Sat. 2:00 pm

Congressman Davis Stressing Need For Childhood Cancer Research

This week, Congressman Rodney Davis made a push for greater focus on childhood cancer research.

The Taylorville Republican saluted the courage of 8-year-old Jonny Wade of Jerseyville, who is battling a rare form of brain and spinal cancer, and other children who find themselves battling a merciless enemy.

[audio:11201575648-Daviscancer.mp3] [/audio]

Davis is calling for deeper investment in childhood cancer research through funding for the National Institutes of Health.

Ray LaHood Looks Back on Time in Washington

Longtime Peoria based Congressman and former US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is talking about his time in Washington and about the direction of national politics in his new book "Seeking Bipartisanship".

There were many twists and turns to his political career. He nearly became Speaker of the House but the gavel went to now disgraced former Illinois Congressman Dennis Hastert and he even considered moving his political career from Washington to Springfield.

[audio:11201575649-Lahoodgov.mp3] [/audio]

LaHood says bipartisanship is a lost art. He believes a recent development in politics has played a significant role.

[audio:11201575651-Lahoodtea.mp3] [/audio]

LaHood also says President Obama broke away from bipartisanship in his first term.

Among the other highlights, LaHood looks back at a key moment in history, as he presided over President Clinton's impeachment debate. The book is available through Cambria Press.

State Climotologist Says Illinois Right In Line For First Snowfall



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Watchdog Group Says Consolidations Would Cut Down on Corruption

Consolidating some of the thousands of units of local government in Illinois can help cut down on corruption. That’s according to the Better Government Association, which plans to testify at Thursday’s Unfunded Mandates and Government Consolidation Task Force hearing.

The meeting in Springfield will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and will delve into several proposals. Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association tells WMAY Springfield the BGA plans on testifying on the issue because it’s critical to helping Illinois battle corruption.

[audio:11201575651-Shaw.mp3] [/audio]

Another barrier to government consolidation that Shaw says the state must overcome is the necessary legislative action allowing for mergers.

Thursday’s meeting is the second-to-last meeting scheduled this year before a final report with recommendations is due to the governor.

Concealed Carry Laws and How They Are Relevant To Hunters

As the firearm deer hunting season opens in Illinois this weekend, Department of Natural Resources officials are reminding hunters how the new concealed carry laws apply when you are hunting.

John Williamson is a Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police officer in central Illinois. He explains all wildlife laws supersede the conceal carry laws in Illinois.

[audio:11201575641-112015huntconceal1.mp3] [/audio]

Williams says they have received a lot of questions about carry a firearm on an ATV while hunting and Williamson indicates carry on an all terrain vehicle is also illegal.

[audio:11201575643-112015huntconceal2.mp3] [/audio]

There is special information on how the wildlife code and the conceal carry codes work in Illinois. Williamson indicates that in pamphlet form that can be obtained through any DNR regional office.

He encourages all hunters to review that before taking their registered firearms out with them.

Clinton Schools Leader Says Tax Rate For Next Year To Remain Steady

Steady is the way the leader of the Clinton School district is describing their tax levy for this upcoming year.

Superintendent Curt Nettles says having a tax rate that is consistent allows them to keep all their services intact.

[audio:11201575646-112015schoollevy1.mp3] [/audio]

Nettles explains having stability in the tax rate allows land owners peace of mind and it allows the school district to plan.

[audio:11201575647-112015schoollevy2.mp3] [/audio]

A possible tax freeze measure that Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing as a part of his turnaround agenda has area leaders concerned, including Nettles.

We'll hear more from him on that next week on dewittdailynews.com.

Kenney Festival of Trees this Weekend

 width=An annual event in one DeWitt County community opens tonight (Friday).

The Kenney Festival of Trees opens today until 8 pm.

According to Debbie Rhoades of the Kenney Heritage Association, the Festival of Trees includes Christmas trees decorated by local residents, businesses and organizations along with wreaths and table settings.

[audio:11201530524-112115festivaltree.mp3] [/audio]

Additionally, a running favorite are the old-fashion aluminum trees that are displayed.

The displays are at the Kenney Community Center and can be viewed Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm then Sunday from noon until 5 pm.

Homemade cookies and punch are available. The event is free and open to the public.

Congressman Davis Issues Challenge To Local High Schoolers To Develop an App

 width=U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today announced the Congressional App Challenge is now open for high school students throughout the 13th Congressional District. This initiative is to encourage student engagement in coding and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) related fields.

“Innovation and technology drive the success of our nation,” said Davis.. “This competition will not only highlight the importance of STEM education but also encourage more students to engage in these fields.”

The 2016 Congressional App Challenge submission period will run from November 9, 2015 through January 15, 2016. The apps will be judged by a panel of local judges who work within the academic, software, and entrepreneurial fields. The winner will be on display in the U.S. Capitol building.

Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four. Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online by midnight on January 15, 2016 EST, as well as provide a video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.

For additional details, visit www.congressionalappchallenge.us or contact Jen White in Davis’ office at 217-403-4690 or jen.white@mail.house.gov.

Groups Want Reversal of Governor's Refugee Ruling

Illinois groups that help Syrian refugees resettle are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to reverse his threat to temporarily stop accepting new Syrian refugees after the attacks in Paris.

Members of groups including RefugeeOne and the Heartland Alliance said Wednesday they believe Rauner doesn't have the authority to halt the federal resettlement program, and they want a welcoming atmosphere in Illinois. They say Rauner and other GOP governors' similar decisions were made out of fear. They say refugee screening processes are vigorous.

Since 2010 Illinois has received 169 Syrian refugees.

RefugeeOne executive director Melineh Kano says at least 21 more individuals are expected in December. She says Rauner's administration has requested information on them.

Also on Wednesday, Chicago's City Council approved a largely symbolic resolution to accept Syrian refugees.

Support Shown For Governor's Blockage of Syrian Refugees

The chorus against allowing Syrian refugees into Illinois grew a little louder after Governor Rauner announced he was checking out legal avenues to keep them out until a proven vetting process could screen out possible ISIS infiltrators.

Eight Congressmen (Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood, John Shimkus, Bob Dold, Peter Roskam, Mike Bost, Randy Hultgren and Adam Kinzinger) have sent a letter urging President Obama to engage in a comprehensive strategy with American allies to defeat ISIS and suspend the flow of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has a different take.

[audio:11191581234-Durbinsyria1.mp3] [/audio]

Durbin's Senate colleague Mark Kirk sent a letter to the President urging that his administration "ensure that no members, supporters or sympathizers" of Islamic State infiltrate Syrian refugee movements to enter the U.S. Specifically, the letter asked the administration to detail what "special or enhanced measures" will be added to screen Syrian refugees."

Latest on Budget Deal in Illinois

Might a draft proposal by several rank-and-file lawmakers be the beginning of the end of the budget stalemate in Springfield?

Several media outlets report a bipartisan group of lawmakers is working behind the scenes on a package of compromises that address reforms, spending and revenue. Politico Illinois reports the compromise includes proposals for taxing retirement income over $50,000, allowing all school districts to bargain for 3rd party contracting, layoffs, class size, and more, and substantial workers compensation reforms along with property tax freezes.

Meanwhile Crain's Chicago Business reports a political consultant released proposals including suggested spending and budget reforms, business and regulatory reforms, revenue, local control and pension reform, among others.
Illinois is now more than four and a half months into the current fiscal year and there’s still no budget.

Rauner Comes To Terms With 11 Labor Unions

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office has reached four-year labor agreements with 11 unions and has criticized one of the larger state-employee unions for not doing the same.

A spokeswoman for the Republican says the unions that agreed to deals announced Wednesday represent more than 500 workers. A statement says it brings to 17 the number of labor deals reached covering 5,000 employees.

Rauner's statement says the contract agreements "stand in stark contrast" to ongoing negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. It represents 35,000 workers.

AFSCME (AFSK'-mee) says there are no agreements with six other major unions either - representing tens of thousands of workers. And it says the agreements Wednesday are with trade-union workers who get established wages and may decline state health insurance.

State Climotologist: Recent Rains Should Ease Drought Concerns



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Unfunded Mandates Among Concerns For Special Group

A list of ten proposals to be considered Thursday during an Unfunded Mandates and Government Consolidation Task Force hearing features mergers, a constitutional amendment ending future unfunded mandates and more. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:11191581233-consolidation.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Sheriff Reminds Hunters to be Safe

 width=As firearm deer hunting season opens this weekend, DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner reminds hunters to take a few extra moments to ensure everyone's safety.

Shofner advises hunters to know what's beyond the intended target before pulling the trigger:

[audio:11191581221-111815ShofnerHuntingSafety1.mp3] [/audio]

Shofner also reminds hunters that firearms must not be loaded when transported. The sheriff says hunters should take care of their own safety as well, especially when climbing into tree stands:

[audio:11191581222-111815ShofnerHuntingSafety2.mp3] [/audio]

The first firearm deer season is this weekend. The second season is the first weekend of December.

Former NFL Quarterback Flutie Loses Both Parents Within An Hour of Each Other

 width=Former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie tragically lost both of his parents on Wednesday in deaths that happened just one hour apart, according to Flutie.

Flutie had spent Wednesday morning in a hospital to be with his ailing father. In a statement, the former Bills and Patriots quarterback said that his dad passed away from a heart attack and then just one hour later, the same thing happened to his mom.

Flutie's parents had been married for 56 years and had four children, including Doug, who's now 53.

Hossa's OT Goal Lifts Blackhawks

 width=Marian Hossa scored 1:08 into overtime, Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Wednesday night for their third consecutive victory.

Patrick Kane had two assists and extended his point streak to 14 games but had his goal streak ended at seven. He leads the NHL with 13 goals and 30 points.

Hossa turned a long pass from Brent Seabrook into a breakaway and beat Anders Nilsson with a slap shot from in close.

Panarin, a 24-year-old rookie, has points in six straight games, amassing five goals and five assists in that time while on a line with Kane and Artem Anisimov.

Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw also scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford made 34 saves.

Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Eberle and Leon Draisaitl scored, Teddy Purcell had two assists and Edmonton lost its third straight.

Draisaitl tied it with 2:46 remaining off a feed from Taylor Hall.

 width=>>NHL Overhauls All Star Game Format

The NHL officially announced Wednesday that it is making significant changes to the format of the league's annual All-Star Game starting with this year's game on Jan. 31 in Nashville. The biggest difference is that the All-Star Game won't be a game at all. Instead it will be a three-game 3-on-3 tournament pitting the best players from each division against each other, as previously reported.

Perhaps spurred by the louder cries of boredom following last year's particularly putrid 17-12 game, or maybe the worse television ratings, the league is taking a drastic step to boost interest.

Last year's game had 1.2 million viewers tune into NBC Sports Network for the game broadcast in the U.S. That was down 14 percent from the 2012 All-Star Game. They were down in Canada, too. Don't forget that the 2013 All-Star Game was wiped out by the lockout and there was no game in 2014 due to the Olympics. The lack of consistency might have played some role, too.

Now the league is trying to capitalize on a widely popular change they made in real games --shifting to a 3-on-3 overtime period. The question becomes, however, how does a game that was already wide open benefit from creating more open ice when the players aren't going to go full speed?

That's what the new tournament format may correct. They're giving players a reason to compete. Some pride might be on the line, but more than that, they're actually going to pay out the winners this year.

Butler Leads Bulls Past Suns

 width=Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 32 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 103-97 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and eight rebounds, Kirk Hinrich scored 14 points and former Phoenix guard Aaron Brooks had 12 points as Chicago ended the Suns' three-game winning streak.

Butler's 3-pointer with 1:08 to play gave the Bulls a 99-92 lead, and he followed it up with a dunk with 9.2 seconds left.

Brandon Knight paced Phoenix with 23 points and P.J. Tucker added 20 points and seven rebounds. High-scoring guard Eric Bledsoe had his second-worst shooting night of the season, finishing 7 of 22 while scoring 21 points.

Cubs' Arrieta Wins NL Cy Young

Jake Arrieta has won the 2015 National League Cy Young award, beating out fellow incredible finalists, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, in one of the greatest Cy Young fields we've ever seen.

 width=The story of Arrieta becoming a Cy Young winner is a great one, considering he was one of two pieces -- along with Pedro Strop -- that went to the Cubs in 2013 in exchange for a few months of Scott Feldman and a backup catcher, Steve Clevenger. He parlayed a breakthrough 2014 season into a Cy Young-winning season in 2015.

Arrieta, 29, was 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA (222 ERA+), 0.87 WHIP and 236 strikeouts against 46 unintentional walks in 229 innings this season. He had four complete games and three shutouts, including a no-hitter. He also had the lowest hit rate (5.9 H/9) and home run rate (0.4 HR/9) in the majors.

Arrieta's most impressive work came down the stretch. In his last 20 starts, he was 16-1 with a 0.86 ERA. In August and September, the Cubs won all 12 of his starts while he posted a 0.41 ERA and opponents hit .136/.182/.172 against him.

This is the fifth Cy Young for the Cubs, but it has been a while. Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1971), Bruce Sutter (1979) and Greg Maddux (1992) did so. Rick Sutcliffe also pulled it off in 1984, despite having only been acquired via trade in May.

Dallas Keuchel won the American League Cy Young award, beating out fellow finalists David Price of the Blue Jays and Sonny Gray of the Athletics.

 width=>>White Sox, Scott Hairston Agree To Terms

The White Sox and veteran outfielder Scott Hairston have agreed to a minor league contract.

Hairston has not played in the major leagues since 2014, when he hit .208 in 61 games for the Washington Nationals. He is a career .242 hitter with 106 homers and 313 RBIs over 11 seasons with Arizona, San Diego, Oakland, the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and Nationals.

The White Sox confirmed the move on Wednesday.

Oil Spills in Rural DeWitt County Wednesday

The Wapella Fire Department was called to 10 Mile Creek early Wednesday morning for a call of an oil spill.

Upon arrival, crews found there was crude oil leaked and it was traced to the oil field nearby.

Wapella Fire Chief Nelson Thorpe indicated to Regional Radio News Thursday, the crude oil was from a 24-inch tile that had leaked and shut down several hundred acres of the field that has been in place for over 50 years, which has around 20 pumps in place.

He says they called in the hazmat team from Decatur to work with them. Also assisting at the scene hauling dirt and sand was the DeWitt County Highway Department, the Witted family, the Village of Wapella along with the Clinton Fire Department.

There were no street closures as a part of the process, which took nearly eight hours. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources joined their crews in the mitigation process.

Chief Thorpe also indicates his monitoring the situation daily along with the Illinois EPA and DNR.

The oil spill has been contained to a three mile radius.

Lady Maroons Defeat Lady Trojans

 width=The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans by a score of 53-30 on Thursday night. The Lady Maroons were led by the Country Financial Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game senior Faythe Newberry with 15 points. Sophomore Alyssa Saulsberry chipped in with 8 points.

The Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans where led by Alexa Hoffman with 8 points.

With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 2-1 on the season. 

Tune in Monday night, November 23, as the Lady Maroons take on the Monticello Lady Sages. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Area girls basketball scores from Thursday....

Central A&M 81, Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City 11
Monticello 66, Macon Meridian 25
Brownstown 62, Shelbyville 15
Sullivan 40, Okaw Valley 39

Clinton Chamber Ready for Saturday Christmas Parade

Santa and dozens of entries are highlighting the Clinton Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 28.

Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau Director Marian Brisard (brih-SARD) says the parade has a record number of 60 entries:

[audio:11181584624-111715BrisardXmasParade1.mp3] [/audio]

The parade's highlight is the arrival of Old Saint Nick, who will make additional appearances in downtown Clinton next month:

[audio:11181584623-111715BrisardSantaAppearances2.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard says the Clinton Chamber is also hosting four holiday movies at the Clintonia Eagle Theater:

[audio:11181584622-111715BrisardHolidayMovies3.mp3] [/audio]

For times and dates, visit the Clintonia Eagle Theater or Clinton Chamber websites or Facebook pages.

Pistons Get Past LeBron, Cavs

 width=Andre Drummond had 25 points and 18 rebounds and made some crucial free throws down the stretch, helping the Pistons rally to a 104-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

LeBron James scored 23 of his 30 points in the first half for the Cavs.

Drummond's free throw with 2:07 left gave the Pistons a 98-97 advantage. It was 102-99 with 13.8 seconds remaining after Reggie Jackson made two free throws for Detroit. J.R. Smith then missed a contested 3-pointer from near the top of the key.

Jackson had 23 points and 12 assists for the Pistons, and Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points.

Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak. The Cavs lost their second straight after winning eight in a row.

Kevin Love scored 19 points, and JR Smith and Mo Williams had 15 each for Cleveland, which is without injured star Kyrie Irving (knee) and guard Iman Shumpert (wrist).

The Pistons improved to 6-5 this season.

College Football Rankings Remain Largely Unchanged; OK State Up To No. 6

 width=The third edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night, and it should come as no surprise that there was some shakeup in bottom half of the top 10 after four teams in that portion of the rankings (Baylor, Stanford, LSU, Utah) lost last week.

The top five teams in last week's rankings came away unscathed, though. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Iowa all won games they should have by reasonable margins. None of the wins were the kind that move the needle, so there was no change in the order of those teams.

Oklahoma State was the lone survivor of the group right below that last week, but it wasn't easy. The Cowboys had to come back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter at Iowa State to stay unbeaten. They moved up two spots to No. 6 in this week's rankings, which is where they should have been last week.

Oklahoma jumped ahead of Florida for the No. 7 spot in the rankings.

NFL Notes

 width=>>Giants Bring Back WR Nicks With WR Cruz Out

To fill their void at wide receiver, the New York Giants are turning to a familiar face. On Tuesday, a day after Victor Cruz announced he will undergo season-ending calf surgery, the Giants signed Hakeem Nicks, who played for the team from 2009-13.

Nicks said, via the Giants' official website quote - "This is home. You know what they say, 'Let a dog roam, he'll find his way home.' They left the back door open for me."

In his five seasons in New York, Nicks averaged roughly 62 catches and 924 yards per season. But once he left the Giants, Nicks' career nosedived. As a member of the Colts in 2014, Nicks caught just 38 passes for 405 yards.

Earlier this season, the Giants brought in Nicks and Wes Welker for a workout but didn't sign either player. Welker was scooped up by the Rams last week, and now Nicks has finally latched onto a team -- one that could use some help at the position.

While the Giants' lineup boasts Odell Beckham Jr., they've failed to find a reliable second and third target for Eli Manning. Rueben Randle and Dwayne Harris, who sit behind Beckham in the pecking order, have combined for 64 catches.

>>Johnny Manziel Named Browns Starter For Remainder of the Year

The Browns are giving Johnny Manziel the quarterback reins for the rest of the season.

Cleveland has been bouncing back and forth between Manziel and Josh McCown based on the latter's injury status, but on Tuesday the Browns announced that they are going with Manziel as the starter under center for the rest of the year.

Cleveland is 2-8, a long, long way from contention this year.

Taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Manziel's first year was a waste. His offseason was even worse, with the quarterback going to treatment for off-field issues.

But he's shown progress as a quarterback and the only way to figure out if he can play the position during live game action is with, well, live game action.

Giving him a shot to play now and seeing how he handles it is the right call. It makes evaluating the roster and the quarterback position for 2016 substantially easier if you can get multiple games of "confident he's starting" tape from Manziel.

The tests will be tough, too. Division games against the Ravens and Bengals are up next (both at home), followed by a matchup against the 49ers at home.

Then a back-to-back trip to play the Seahawks and Chiefs in two of the toughest road spots in the NFL are followed by a home closer against the Steelers.

Manziel had one of his best games as a pro against the Steelers, completing 73.3 percent of his passes for 372 yards and a 95.8 passer rating.

Kentucky, Michigan State Win At Champions Classic

 width=>>Kentucky Looks Shart In Win Over Top 10 Duke

Tyler Ulis scampered up and down the court. Jamal Murray muscled his way to the basket. Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress finished with authority.

Another year, another impressive bunch of Kentucky Wildcats.

Ulis had 18 points and six assists, and No. 2 Kentucky used its speed and athleticism to pull away from No. 5 Duke for a 74-63 victory in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.

Kentucky (3-0) scored 17 points off 16 Duke turnovers and enjoyed an 18-4 advantage in fast-break points. Murray scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half, and Isaiah Briscoe added 12 points as the Wildcats placed four players in double figures.

Amile Jefferson led the Blue Devils (2-1) with 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Marshall Plumlee finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Grayson Allen, who scored 54 points in Duke's first two games, was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting. He got his first basket on a 3-pointer from the corner with 12:08 left in the second half.

Lee had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Kentucky, and Poythress finished with nine points and seven rebounds.

Matt Jones made three 3-pointers and finished with 16 points for Duke,.

 width=>>Michigan State Tops Kansas

Denzel Valentine had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists - the 13th triple-double in Spartans' history - and No. 13 Michigan State rallied for a 79-73 victory over No. 4 Kansas at the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.

Kansas (1-1) had a 13-point lead twice in the first half.

Valentine then scored seven points in a 12-1 run to tie the game at 62 with 6:08 to play.

There were six lead changes the rest of the way and it was Valentine who put the Spartans ahead for good at 72-71 on a drive with 1:29 left. He had 21 of his 29 points in the second half.

Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks with 21 points, Mason added 14 and Wayne Selden Jr. had 12.

David Ortiz To Retire After 2016

 width=Red Sox DH David Ortiz will retire following the 2016 season, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Neither Ortiz nor the Red Sox have confirmed the news.

Ortiz, who turns 40 on Wednesday, said last year he does not want a farewell tour a la Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Chipper Jones.

In parts of 19 big league seasons, including the last 13 with the Red Sox, Ortiz has hit .284/.378/.547 (139 OPS+) with 503 home runs and 1,641 RBI. He hit his 500th career home in September.

Columbus Downs Blues

The Columbus Blue Jackets appear to be finally playing up to expectations.

 width=Brandon Saad scored twice to help the Blue Jackets beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Cody Goloubef also scored for Columbus, which has won five of its last seven games.

Sergei Bobrovsky, continuing to recover from his poor start, had 19 saves to improve to 5-1-0 in his last six games.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored for banged-up St. Louis, which beat Winnipeg on Monday but has dropped three of four. Brian Eilliot finished with 35 stops.

St. Louis didn't severely threaten down the stretch, largely kept in their own zone or to the offensive perimeter by the Blue Jackets. Saad sealed it with Elliot pulled for an extra attacker, scoring with 33 seconds left.

In a high-speed opening period, Shattenkirk made it 1-0 at 7:36. Ryan Murray lost possession of the puck on a hard stick check in the high slot. Shattenkirk let go a dipping slap shot that squeezed through Bobrovksy.

St. Louis C Jori Lehtera took a high stick to the face from Saad, who has scored in three straight games, in the second period and didn't return.

The Blue Jackets outshot St. Louis 38-20.

The Blues dropped to 7-4-0 on the road and 7-1-0 when scoring first.

Cubs Maddon Wins Manager of the Year

 width=Joe Maddon has won his third Manager of the Year award, earning his first in the NL after guiding the Chicago Cubs to their first postseason berth since 2008.

Maddon got nine first-place votes for 124 points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America in balloting announced Tuesday.

Maddon becomes the seventh manager to win the award three times and the seventh to earn it in both leagues. He won the AL award with Tampa Bay in 2008 and '11.

With NL Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant anchoring a youthful lineup, Maddon's Cubs won 97 games, good for third-best record in the majors this year - and third place in the Central. Chicago beat Pittsburgh in the wild-card game before losing to the New York Mets in the NL Championship Series.

Texas' Jeff Banister was given the AL honor, the fifth first-year big league manager to win the award.

Wednesday Final Day To Register For YMCA Basketball

 width=Wednesday is the final day to register for the Clinton YMCA basketball program.

Rennie Cluver is the Clinton YMCA Executive Director. He explains they take all students, divide them up by grade levels and work with them on their skills until they begin games.

[audio:111815112156-111915basketbally1.mp3] [/audio]

Cluver indicates there they do accept registrations after the deadline but there is a late fee.

To get more information on the YMCA basketball program or to get registered, check out the YMCA mobile app, their website (www.clintoncommymca.org), or call them at 217-935-8307.

You can also pick up a registration form at 417 South Alexander Street in Clinton.

Harris Announces Run for U.S. Senate

The race for the Democratic nomination in the US Senate is now a three way race in Illinois. State Senator and former NFL player. Napoleon Harris will announce today he is entering the race. Harris says he can be an example for others, moving from humble beginnings to Northwestern University to the NFL and after football becoming successful in business and the legislature.

[audio:11171564801-111715Harris1.mp3] [/audio]

He'll challenge Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp in the March primary.

Weekly Crop Report Indicates Field Work Concluding

Farmers are wrapping up their work in the fields according to the latest crop report.

State crop statistician Mark Schleusener says with little rain last week, producers continued with fall tillage and fertilizer application. Additionally, sorghum harvest is now 96 percent complete.

[audio:11171565227-111715CropReport1.mp3] [/audio]

Schleusener says average statewide topsoil moisture was nearly unchanged at four percent very short, 22 percent short, 69 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

DeWitt County Agencies to Conduct Counter-Terrrorism Drill Wednesday

You may notice a lot of police and emergency services activity in DeWitt County on Wednesday, but most of it will be in preparation for an actual crisis.

A counter-terrorism drill will occur on Wednesday in DeWitt County. Sheriff Jered Shofner said that this drill has been planned for nearly a year as part of their ongoing emergency planning process to protect and support the Clinton Nuclear Power Plant.

“We want everyone to know that this is not a real life event, but a part of a commitment to constantly improve public safety," said Shofner. "Numerous local, state, and federal emergency response organizations are involved in this process. The terrorist attacks in Paris are a reminder that we must always be vigilant.”

Area residents may see an unusual amount of emergency vehicles and hear unusual police radio traffic.

WHOW Releases Clinton Maroons / Lady Maroons Basketball Broadcast Schedule

 width=The BIG 1520AM / 92.3FM WHOW has released its 2015-2016 broadcast schedule for the Clinton Maroons / Lady Maroons "Game of the Week" broadcasts.  The station will air a boys and a girls game each week throughout the high school basketball season.  Night time games can be heard on 92.3FM, while day time games will be heard on both 1520AM and 92.3FM.  All of the games will be streamed live on DewittDailyNews.com.  The broadcasts begin this week with Thursday night's Lady Maroons contest against Maroa-Forsyth in the Clinton Turkey Tussle.  You can see the full schedule by clicking the "Sports Broadcasts Schedule" button on the homepage of DDN.  Or by clicking here.

CPD: No Foul Play In Clinton Man's Death

 width=Officials are reporting that foul play has been ruled out in the Monday death of a Clinton man.

The Clinton Police Department reports the autopsy of 59-year old Paul R. Cox, of Clinton, determined that no foul play was involved in his death.

According to a release, the autopsy conducted Monday in McLean County revealed that Cox died of a single neck injury sustained as a result from a fall from standing height, coupled with pre-existing medical conditions. Toxicology results will not be available for several weeks, but officials believe they are also expected to have been a factor in the death.

The Clinton Police Department, the DeWitt County Coroner's Office, Illinois State Police Zone 5 Investigations, and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services all took part in the investigation. That investigation has been closed.

Cox's body was discovered early Monday morning in the 500 block of East Van Buren Street when a person lying face down along the roadway was reported by a passerby. He was pronounced dead on the scene by DeWitt County Coroner Randy Rice.

UPDATE: Fire Damages Downtown Clinton Business

 width=A popular downtown Clinton business was struck by fire Sunday night.

The Loft, located on Mr. Lincoln's Square in Clinton, will be closed for the forseeable future after fire damaged much of the coffee shop. Interim Clinton Fire Chief David Dallas indicates fire crews were alerted to the blaze around 6:30 Sunday evening.

[audio:11161594621-111615Loftfire1.mp3] [/audio]

No one was injured in the blaze. Dallas reports the fire was contained to The Loft, however a few other neighboring buildings were effected by the smoke. He says crews were on scene for about two and a half hours.

[audio:11161594622-111615Loftfire2.mp3] [/audio]

Fire crews from Wapella, Kenney, Maroa, Weldon, Hickory Point, and Heyworth also responded to Sunday's fire at The Loft. Dallas says the State Fire Marshall's Office will not be called in to investigate. He says it was evident the fire was electrical in nature.

In a Sunday night Facebook post, owners of The Loft said they were "thankful for the speedy response" of area fire departments, and they "will rebuild and be back up and running before you know it."

Three adults reportedly were living in the apartments above the Loft, at the time of Sunday's fire. The American Red Cross tells Regional Radio News that they were called and volunteers went to the scene to insure everyone had a safe place to stay, along with food, clothing and emotional support.

American Red Cross spokeswoman Trish Burnett told Regional Radio News that the organization has already assisted some 250 families after disasters in Central Illinois this year.




 width=(Photos by Ed Cicenas - EMC Photography)

Body Of Clinton Man Found Monday; Investigation Underway

 width=Officials are investigating the discovery of a body on Clinton's east side.

The Clinton Police Department reports emergency responders were dispatched to the 500 block of East Van Buren Street at 6:23 Monday morning for a report of a person laying next to the roadway near Subway.

Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates crews discovered the body of 59-year old Paul R. Cox, of Clinton. He says an investigation is ongoing, and an autopsy has been planned for this (Monday) afternoon.

[audio:111615103932-111615bodyfound1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Lowers says minimal information is being released due to an ongoing investigation. He also declined to comment if foul play is suspected.

[audio:111615103930-111615bodyfound2.mp3] [/audio]

This story will be updated as more information is released.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report for November 16

Jail Population: 28

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Jeremy Rich, 31, was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Suspended License. Rich posted the necessary bond and was released.

Jared Finley, 18, Shelbyville was Arrested and Charged with Consumption of Liquor by a Minor. Finley posted the necessary bond and was released.

Jonah Biensch, 19, Marsden, SK was issued a Citation for Driving While License Suspended. Biensch was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Tammy Huynh, 19, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Huynh was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Linda Dickerson, 54, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Dickerson was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Buebe, 19, Galesburg was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Buebe was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Bradley Rindfleisch, 48, Chicago was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Rindfleisch was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Tyler Mesick, 30, Peoria was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Mesick was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Rusty Garriott, 34, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Garriott was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.



No. 2 Ohio States runs past Illinois 28-3

Ezekiel Elliott ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns and No. 2 Ohio State pounded out a 28-3 victory over Illinois on Saturday.

The Buckeyes (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) started slowly and led 7-3 for much of the first half before Elliott picked up the pace. Elliott accounted for 50 of the Buckeyes' 75 yards on a third quarter drive that opened a 21-3 lead over the Illini (5-5, 2-4).

Quarterback J.T. Barrett, starting again after being suspended for last week's game, threw for 150 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for 74 yards.

Ohio State held the Illini to 20 yards rushing. Illini quarterback Wes Lunt was 23 of 47 for 241 yards.

Budget impasse puts law enforcement training in crunch

The director of a northern Illinois law enforcement training unit says it could close soon amid the state budget impasse.

The Dixon-based Northwest Illinois Criminal Justice Commission serves nearly 500 law enforcement personnel in six counties, and is one of 14 state-run centers that coordinate recertification courses. The commission is under the umbrella of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, which can't access funding without a state budget.

Dixon training unit director Doug Fargher told sources this week more than 20 courses critical to keeping officers current on mandates have been rescheduled or canceled. The unit is projected to close in February when reserve funds run dry.

Fargher said area law enforcement would have to get by on in-house training, or the unit would have to arrange courses "at no cost."

Eastern Illinois holds off UT Martin 23-21

Thomas Coronado returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown to help Eastern Illinois to a 23-21 win over UT Martin on Saturday.

The pick-six stalled a fourth-quarter UT Martin drive and was the second defensive score of the game by Eastern Illinois (6-4, 6-1 Ohio Valley Conference), which also got a 2-point safety late in the first quarter. Shepard Little had a 5-yard rushing touchdown and Devin Church ran one in from the 2.

Jalen Whitlow threw for just 80 yards but scrambled for 142 on the ground for the Panthers.

UT Martin (5-4, 5-2) trailed 16-15 in the fourth quarter and had driven to midfield when Jarod Neal threw the interception that Coronado returned. Neal finished with 322 yards on 30-for-49 passing, including a touchdown, but had four interceptions.

The Skyhawks, which also scored on a defensive safety, outgained Eastern Illinois 403-276 in total offensive yardage.

Coprich, Illinois State beat Southern Illinois 42-21

Marshaun Coprich had 29 carries for 254 yards and three touchdowns, and Illinois State beat Southern Illinois 42-21 on Saturday.

Coprich had scoring runs of 11, 22 and 75 yards - for the 10th Illinois State touchdown of 50-plus yards. He was four yards away from tying a career-high set against Eastern Washington.

Southern Illinois led 21-14 at halftime after Mark Iannotti's three touchdown passes. But Tre Roberson had rushing touchdowns of 13 and 23 yards on back-to-back drives - sandwiched around a Southern Illinois fumble - early in the third quarter.

Roberson was 4-of-13 passing for 88 yards and had 13 carries for 72 yards with two scores for Illinois State (8-2, 6-1 Missouri Valley). Five runners combined for 372 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

Iannotti threw for 329 yards on 42-of-62 passing with one interception for Southern Illinois (3-7, 2-5).

Civic groups push for meeting details

The groups that urged the governor and legislative leaders to meet and hash out details to end the budget impasse -- now in its fifth month -- are pushing for details as the meeting date nears.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and a group of reform and civic organizations say with the meeting less than a week away, details like the agenda, location and media access remain unclear. The letter to the governor and legislative leaders also urged input on the agenda be bipartisan, something they claim has not yet occurred.

The governor’s press office says they don’t have any updates to provide on the meeting at this time. The Wednesday, November 18th, meeting in either Chicago or Springfield has yet to be formalized. House Speaker Michael Madigan has said he wants to see an agenda before committing to attend, but he is planning on attending.

IML?s reaction to HB 4305

The Illinois Municipal League is reaching out to a leading House Democrat in hopes of lifting a procedural hold on legislation to free up money for local governments, saying cities have had the wind knocked out of them.

IML Executive Director Brad Cole says he’s talked with leaders in both chambers to ensure the bill gets moved forward, but there’s a procedural hold from leading Democratic Representative Barbara Flynn Currie. Cole speculates the hold on House Bill 4305 is an effort to use the motor fuel tax and 9-1-1 call center funds as a bargaining chip in the ongoing budget impasse, something he says doesn’t make sense.

[audio:111415101151-111415HB4305.mp3] [/audio]

Cole says there could be devastating consequences to cities across Illinois if the money is not released within the next two weeks. Democratic Representative Jack Franks speculates the motion to reconsider HB 4305 could be an effort to ensure the measure doesn't get amended before the Senate holds its next session, but the motivation behind the hold is still unclear.

Multiple calls to House Majority Leader Currie’s office have not yet been returned.

Killeen wants U of Illinois tuition freeze

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen would like to freeze tuition for in-state students at current levels but he isn't sure if that is possible.

Killeen told reporters that "we need to restrain any tuition growth for Illinois residents." But whether that happens will depend on the state budget.

Schools and other state-funded institutions are waiting to find out how much money they will have for the fiscal year that started July 1. But Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers have yet to agree on a budget.

University of Illinois trustees on Thursday passed a resolution urging them to act.

In-state students who started this fall pay $12,036 a year in tuition at the Urbana-Champaign campus. They pay $10,584 at the Chicago campus and $9,405 in Springfield.

Researchers use crowdfunding to support hepatitis C study

University of Illinois Springfield researchers are using crowdfunding to raise money to test homeless people for hepatitis C.

The professors plan to test homeless people in Bloomington, Champaign, Decatur, Peoria and Springfield. The goal is to conduct RNA testing to study the spread of the disease.

The study is being led by Kanwal Alvarez, UIS assistant professor of biology, and Josiah Alamu, associate professor of public health. They are getting help from Dr. Janak Koirala of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

They want to raise at least $500 and up to $2,000 by mid-December. The money will pay for test kits and other equipment.

Homeless people with histories of illicit drug use are more vulnerable to hepatitis C infection.

State?s backlog for CWLP grows to nearly $3 million

The backlog of utility bills the state owes the Springfield-owned utility continues to grow but there aren’t any plans to cut off service at this time. That’s the latest from City Water Light and Power. Two accounts at the state complex are at $2.9 million, which includes summer peak usage months. CWLP says, while disconnect notices are still going out, there aren’t any immediate plans to cut service at the complex. A CWLP spokesperson says the utility is still waiting on the state’s appropriations to go through so it can get current on the accounts. 

Monticello Fall to Unity

As heard on WEZC, the Tolono Unity Rockets defeated the Monticello Sages by a score of 41-34 on Saturday afternoon.

The Monticello Sages end the season 10-2.

High School Football Quarterfinals


Carrollton 6, LeRoy 30, F

Arcola 14, Gibson City-Melvin Sibley 13, F



Tri-Valley 57, Deer Creek-Mackinaw 20, F



St. Joseph-Ogden 26, Central Catholic 21, F

Tolono Unity 41, Monticello 34, F



Normal Community 27, Libertyville 41, F

Illinois Governor Rauner Appoints State Rep Raymond Poe as New Ag Director

 width=Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner late Friday announced the appointment of life-long farmer and Illinois State Representative Raymond Poe, as the Director of the Department of Agriculture.

Rauner says that Poe’s experience as a legislator, as a businessman and as a farmer makes him the ideal choice to lead the agency.

Poe has for the past 20 years been a member of the General Assembly. He’s a member of the Agriculture & Conservation; Appropriations-Higher Education; Personnel & Pensions; and Business Occupational Licenses committees, and been the Republican Spokesperson on those committees. He has farmed in Sangamon County his entire life.

The new Illinois Ag Director previously served on the Williamsville School Board, where he was president for three years. He is also the former president of the Sangamon County Farm Bureau and the former president of the Lincoln Land Farm Supply. Poe lives in rural Springfield.

Cerro Gordo Schools Watch State Budget

Illinois schools are playing closer attention than ever to state funding prospects as the budget stalemate continues.

Cerro Gordo Superintendent Brett Robinson says his district focuses on efficiency as the level of state funding remains uncertain:

[audio:111315113325-111215RobinsonCerroGordo1.mp3] [/audio]

Robinson says he and the Cerro Gordo board already try to streamline services, and that's even more important now:

[audio:111315113413-111315RobinsonCerroGordo2.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Superintendent Robinson says Cerro Gordo has reserves but like other districts, but is still monitoring the purse strings.

Post-Harvest Activities Dominate November Field Work

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports post-harvest activities are taking over field work.

Harvest is wrapping up, leaving tillage and fertilizer applications as the primary field activities.

Statewide, precipitation averaged 0.49 inches, 0.14 inches below normal. The average temperature was 53.3 degrees, 7.7 degrees above normal. There were 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending November 8.

Topsoil moisture supply was rated at five percent very short, 21 percent short, 69 percent adequate, and five percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated at six percent very short, 29 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and four percent surplus.

Sorghum harvest was 94 percent complete, compared to 82 percent complete last year and the five-year average of 88 percent.

Winter wheat planted reached 96 percent, compared to the five-year average of 94 percent.Winter wheat emerged reached 86 percent, ten percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Winter wheat condition was rated one percent very poor, eight percent poor, 31 percent fair, 49 percent good, and eleven percent excellent.

Pasture and range condition was rated eight percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 38 percent good, and three percent excellent.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for November 12

Jail Population: 32

Paper Services: 5

Warrants: 0

Tony Simlosky, 60, Monticello was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Simlosky was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Deshawn Davis, 21, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 81 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. David was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Joseph Ward, 36, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Speeding 85 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ward was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.



Congressman Davis to Serve on Committee to Reform Chairmanships

Congressman Rodney Davis has been asked to serve on a special committee by newly appointed Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

Davis explains he is well qualified to serve on the committee based on his years as a staffer in Washington and feels reforms are necessary.

[audio:11121513244-111215daviscommittee1.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee will seek to change how the heads of the various committees are selected. According to Davis, legislating in Washington is not as open and he notes Speaker Ryan wants to change that.

[audio:11121513359-111215daviscommittee2.mp3] [/audio]

Other members of the committee include House Majority LeaderKevin McCarthy of California, republicans Richard Hudson and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith of Virginia, Bill Flores of Texas, and Luke Messer of Inidana.

DeWitt County Angel Tree Seeking Coats, Shoes for Area Students

It may not feel like November yet in central Illinois, but one local organization is taking no chances the mild weather will sustain.

DeWitt County Angel Tree, led by Sue Calvert, is collecting shoes and coats for students in DeWitt County Schools. Calvert indicates they see far too often, students walking to school or waiting at bus stops with inadequate clothing because their families cannot afford it.

[audio:11121513838-111215coatscollect1.mp3] [/audio]

Referrals for coats or shoes come directly from teachers and staff within the schools and Calvert indicates, they are quick to act when they receive that information.

[audio:11121513924-111215coatscollect2.mp3] [/audio]

In recent years, Angel Tree has begun to have more of an impact in Farmer City and Calvert says they are getting very positive reviews from their team on DeWitt County's east side.

[audio:11121514004-111215coatscollect3.mp3] [/audio]

Calvert indicates they prefer to have new or gently used coats and shoes
donated. To contact Calvert about volunteer opportunities within the DeWitt County Angel Tree Program, contact her at suecalvert13@gmail.com.

Former WHOW On-Air Musician Dies

 width=A former WHOW on-air musician in the 50's and 60's has died. Joby Singer died November 3rd at the age of 78 in Pontiac.

He and his wife Margie, performed country and western music on WHOW in the 50's and 60's. He was known on the air as "Little Joe."

Joby and Margie were on-air guests during WHOW's 60th anniversary show in the spring of 2008, and told host Wayne R. Miller that he began singing on WHOW in 1956.

[audio:11121523511-SingeraudioNov1215.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Joby Singer's wife Margie passed away in September of last year.

CJHS, CHS Students Welcome Veterans For Veterans Day

 width=Through all grade levels at Clinton Schools this week, students have been preparing for Veterans Day in Clinton.

Grade school students have been learning about the basics of Veterans day all the way to preparing to honor those who have served. Students at the junior and senior high level in Clinton are taking those lessons a little further. Drew Goebel is the Principal of Clinton Junior High School and indicates his students are putting pen to paper this week and reflecting on freedom.

[audio:11111574059-111115veteransday1.mp3] [/audio]

For Jerry Wayne, Principal of Clinton High School, they seek to do different things each year for Veterans Day. He explains they will have a presentation from Veterans about their past experiences and hoping to hit home with their students.

[audio:11111574103-111115veteransday2.mp3] [/audio]

Veterans are invited to Clinton Elementary School this morning at 8:30 for a special salute and ceremony to those who have served and then are invited in to the Elementary school for breakfast.

They are also invited to Clinton Jr. High School for their program at noon today.

Measure Would Release Money To Lottery Winners

With only two more House sessions scheduled for 2015, Democrats have a bill in the works that would appropriate funds to pay Illinois Lottery winners.

If passed into law, House bill 4305 would release $1 billion to pay winners of the state’s lottery as well as multi-state drawings like the Mega-Millions game.

Lottery Spokesman Steve Rossi says since the budget impasse began in July, winners of over $25,000 have been given vouchers because State Comptroller Leslie Munger doesn’t have the budget authority to pay them. Rossi couldn’t say how much in total was owed to winners of over $25,000 since the impasse began in July.

The state also is holding payouts of any winnings over $600. The bill needs a 71-vote supermajority since it would be effective immediately.

Strong Storms Expected Wednesday Evening in Central Illinois

A strong cold front in the lower midwest is increasing the possibility of severe storms in central Illinois tonight.

Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln is indicating central Illinois could be in for potentially dangerous storms that could include high winds and the possibility of hail and even tornadoes.

[audio:11111574105-111115wedweather1.mp3] [/audio]

Miller explains as the daylight diminishes earlier in the day, he says a lot of these storms could be developing in the darkness and encourages everyone to stay alert and heed the warnings of weather officials if things do turn bad.

[audio:11111574108-111115wedweather2.mp3] [/audio]

As the system moves off after tomorrow, Miller anticipates a couple windy days. He says wind gusts in central Illinois could reach 40 to 50 MPH and winds will be very persistent during that time.

[audio:11111574109-111115wedweather3.mp3] [/audio]

Miller indicates says this storm has been compared on social media to the storms that saw a tornado outbreak that effected Washington and Gifford. He says this system is completely different from that one.

Monticello Mayor Resigns Citing Health Concerns

 width=Monticello Mayor Chris Corrie has resigned his post, effective immediately.

He tells Regional Radio saying he is struggling with chronic Lyme disease.

Mayor Corrie informed the Monticello City Council during Monday night's City Council meeting.

He indicates his doctors have told him he needs to reduce his activity.

Corrie was an alderman for one term before he was elected mayor in 2009. He was serving his second term when he resigned.

The city council now has to find someone to finish the rest of Corrie's term through April 2017. City Attorney Derke Price says nominations can be made at the next council meeting.

Clinton Movie Theater Honoring Veterans

The leader of a local business is making a point to show appreciation to veterans today.

Byron Connor is the General Manager of the Clinton Eagle Theater and indicates he has something special for those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. Today the Clinton Eagle Theater is giving any Veteran that comes in for a movie a free small popcorn.

[audio:11111574056-111115movievet1.mp3] [/audio]

Wednesdays at the Eagle are senior Wednesday. Any senior (65-years-old) can see a movie at any time for $5.50.

Popular movies at the Eagle this week include The Peanuts Movie, Spectre (the latest Bond movie), Burnt, Bridge of Spies, and War Room.

For show times visit eagletheater.net/clintonia.

NBA Notes

>>OKC Blasts Washington

Kevin Durant drove toward the basket late in the first half Tuesday night, elevated and got fouled. When the play was over, the 2013-14 NBA MVP limped a bit around the court and clutched at his strained left hamstring.

 width=After Durant left at halftime Tuesday night because of his injury, Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook took over, compiling a triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds to lead Oklahoma City to a 125-101 victory over the struggling Washington Wizards.

Durant, second in the NBA in scoring entering the night, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Dion Waiters scored 25 points for the Thunder, who had lost three of their past four games and now are 5-3.

The Thunder have a couple of days off.

First year coach Billy Donovan said: ''I don't think it's anything too, too serious.''

John Wall had only nine points and five assists as Washington's losing streak reached three games.

>>Cavs Fight Back To Beat Jazz

LeBron James tied a season high with 31 points, including 17 to spark a fourth-quarter comeback, and Cleveland rallied for a 118-114 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Cleveland trailed 95-86 midway through the fourth, but James took over and brought the Quicken Loans Arena crowd to its feet with one of his trademark plays.

With the Cavaliers trailing 95-91, James stole the ball near midcourt and headed to the basket. Rodney Hood wrapped his arms around James, but the four-time MVP made a layup anyway and flexed his bicep as Hood was called for the foul.

James made the foul shot and Cleveland followed with a 10-0 run to go ahead 104-98.

Utah cut the lead to 107-105, but James hit a hook shot in the lane and split four free throws.

Tristan Thompson's three-point play off James' assist and four free throws by Mo Williams, who scored 29 points, sealed the win.

Alec Burks led Utah with 24 points while Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors each added 17.

Kevin Love scored 22 points for Cleveland, which hasn't lost since the season opener in Chicago.

Utah center Rudy Gobert, who scored 15 points, twisted his left ankle in the fourth and left the game. X-rays were negative.

Cleveland committed 17 turnovers, resulting in 29 points.

College Football Rankings Updated; Notre Dame in Top 4

 width=The second edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Tuesday night, and there was a bit of a shakeup at the top, which was to be expected after Alabama's win over previous No. 2 LSU.

Clemson remained in the top spot following a win over Florida State.

Alabama jumped over Ohio State to take the spot previously held by LSU after pounding the Tigers this past weekend. The loss to Ole Miss aside, few teams have played a better schedule than Alabama.

Ohio State remained third after a pedestrian win over Minnesota this week, while Notre Dame slid up one spot to No. 4 after winning at Pittsburgh.

The CFP Selection Committee had something of an epiphany in the last week with Iowa jumping over Baylor; the Hawkeyes are now up to No. 5, while the Bears remain in the sixth spot. This must be a nod to the strength of Iowa's schedule.

Oklahoma State, which pounded TCU last week to give the Cowboys by far the best win of any team in the Big 12 so far, is still behind the Bears. In fact, OSU is still behind Stanford. The Cardinal are seventh, the Cowboys eighth.

Allen Leads Blues Past Devils

 width=Jake Allen made 24 saves for his second straight shutout, Martin Havlat scored against his former team and the Blues beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Allen, coming off a career-high 45 saves in a 4-0 win Saturday over Nashville, had an easier time against New Jersey. It was his third shutout this season and the eighth of his career.

Havlat, who signed with St. Louis last week after spending last season in New Jersey, opened the scoring in his season debut. The goal was set up by Scott Gomez, who also played for the Devils last season.

Magnus Paajarvi added a goal in the third period, and the Blues won for the sixth time in seven games while improving to 7-1 in their last eight against the Devils.

Cory Schneider stopped 26 shots for New Jersey, which was 8-2 in its previous 10 games.

49ers Cut Former Illini Pierre Thomas; Luck Out For Colts

Pierre Thomas' time with the 49ers is already over, as the team released the running back on Tuesday, just a week after signing him to a contract.

The 49ers only signed him because they needed an extra body to fill in for a banged up Carlos Hyde (foot) and Reggie Bush, who recently lost his season due to a serious knee injury.

But for Thomas, it was quite the week. Though he only carried the ball four times for 12 yards against the Falcons on Sunday, Thomas scored big -- financially, at least.

The 49ers paid RB Pierre Thomas $51,176, or 1/17th of the NFL veteran minimum, for his one week of service.

So, if Thomas brought in $51,176 for that one game, he really earned roughly $4,265 per yard! That's not the worst part-time job in the world.

 width=>>Colts Luck Out 2-6 Weeks

The Indianapolis Colts announced on Tuesday that quarterback Andrew Luck sustained multiple injuries during Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos that will keep him out for several weeks. Those injuries include a lacerated kidney and a partial tear of his abdominal muscle, per the Colts' official website.

Per the Colts, it is not yet known how long Luck will be out, but the injuries will take two to six weeks to heal.

Without Luck, the Colts will have to turn to backup QB Matt Hasselbeck, who also filled on for the Jaguars and Texans games, acquitting himself fairly despite being sick during the week leading up to the Houston game.

The Colts, who will take their bye this coming Sunday, have the Falcons, Buccaneers, Steelers, Jaguars, Texans, and Dolphins coming up in the next six games on their schedule before they take on the Titans in the season finale. They're currently in first place in the AFC South at 4-5, one game ahead of Houston.

Cards Lynn To Undergo TJS; Molina, Heyward Gold Glove Winners; Cubs Among Regular Season Finalists

 width=Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday, the team announced. He will miss the entire 2016 season since elbow reconstruction comes with a 12-15 month rehab.

Lynn, 28, went 12-11 with a 3.03 ERA (131 ERA+) in 31 starts and 175 1/3 innings in 2015. He battled forearm and ankle trouble during the season. Lynn signed a three-year contract worth $22 million last offseason.

Lynn will not pitch at all next season.

>>Cardinals' C Molina, OF Heyward Gold Glove Winners

The 2015 Gold Glove Awards were announced Tuesday night.

Managers and coaches around the league cast votes and account for 75 percent of the selection process. (They only vote within their league and can not vote for their own players.) The remaining 25 percent is a statistical component.)

Here are the 2015 Gold Glove winners.


AL: Salvador Perez, Royals
NL: Yadier Molina, Cardinals - 8th straight Gold Glove


AL: Eric Hosmer, Royals
NL: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks


AL: Jose Altuve, Astros
NL: Dee Gordon, Marlins


AL: Alcides Escobar, Royals
NL: Brandon Crawford, Giants


AL: Manny Machado, Orioles
NL: Nolan Arenado, Rockies


AL: Yoenis Cespedes, Tigers/Mets
NL: Starling Marte, Pirates


AL: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays - Parkland College Graduate
NL: A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks


AL: Kole Calhoun, Angels
NL: Jason Heyward, Cardinals - 3rd Gold Glove


AL: Dallas Keuchel, Astros
NL: Zack Greinke, Dodgers

 width=>>Cubs' Bryant, Maddon; Arrieta Among Finalists For Yearly Awards

Tuesday night, MLB and the BBWAA announced three finalists for each of 2015's major awards. That is the Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Manager of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards in each league.

The BBWAA awards votes are cast following the end of the regular season but before the postseason.


AL: Carlos Correa, Astros; Francisco Lindor, Indians; Miguel Sano, Twins
NL: Kris Bryant, Cubs; Matt Duffy, Giants; Jung Ho Kang, Pirates


AL: Jeff Banister, Rangers; A.J. Hinch, Astros; Paul Molitor, Twins
NL: Terry Collins, Mets; Joe Maddon, Cubs; Mike Matheny, Cardinals


AL: Sonny Gray, Athletics; Dallas Keuchel, Astros; David Price, Tigers/Blue Jays
NL: Jake Arrieta, Cubs; Zack Greinke, Dodgers; Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers


AL: Lorenzo Cain, Royals; Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays; Mike Trout, Angels
NL: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper, Nationals; Joey Votto, Reds

The major awards will be announced next week, November 16-19. The Rookies of the Year will be announced Monday, the Managers of the Year Tuesday, Cy Youngs Wednesday, then finally MVPs Thursday.

 width=>>White Sox Bring on Renteria

The Chicago White Sox have hired former Cubs manager Rick Renteria as their bench coach.

Renteria managed the young Cubs to 73 wins in 2014. The North Siders were planning to bring him back for a second season before Joe Maddon became available.

The Cubs went on to win 97 games and reach the NL Championship Series with Maddon, slugger Anthony Rizzo, rookies Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, and ace Jake Arrieta leading the way.

Renteria, who replaces Mark Parent, joins a 76-win team. He is expected to work with young position players in Carlos Sanchez, Micah Johnson, Tyler Saladino, Avisail Garcia and Trayce Thompson.

The White Sox also hired Greg Sparks as the assistant hitting coach Tuesday. He spent the past 19 seasons with the Oakland organization.

>>Cardinals Great, Brock, Loses Part of Leg

Hall of Famer Lou Brock recently had part of his left leg amputated due to an infection related to a diabetic condition, reports Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The leg was amputated just below his knee.

Brock, who stole an NL-record 938 steals in his career, is in physical therapy and recovering well. He is taking steps with a walker and being fitted for a prosthetic device.

Brock, now 74, played with the Cubs from 1961-63 before being traded to the Cardinals in a six-player trade in June 1964. He went on to lead the NL in stolen bases eight times and retire as a .293 career hitter with 3,023 hits.

Since retiring in 1979, Brock has been a regular at Cardinals spring training, working with players and meeting with fans. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

COGFA Analysis Says Illinois Experiencing Manufactering Recession

The entire manufacturing sector of Illinois has been deteriorating over the past year and some analysts are calling it a recession in manufacturing.

That’s according to Illinois’ Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. In their October Report COGFA says data indicates the state’s manufacturing sector is nearing contraction with Chicago’s manufacturing sector shrinking in September.

There was an increase in Chicago manufacturing in October but overall the Windy City’s manufacturing sector was 15 percent weaker than the year before.

COGFA adds Illinois saw a decline of 6,300 manufacturing jobs in Illinois from a year earlier.

COGFA Has Concerns Over Holiday Retail Sales

It could be a cold holiday shopping season, as far as retail sales are concerned. That’s according to the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

COGFA’s October report says GDP slowed in the third quarter and monthly business reports indicate further loss of momentum.

Retails sales were mixed. The report says there are concerns about how strong retail sales will be headed into the holiday season. Meanwhile new home sales dropped 11.5 percent in September while existing home sales remained strong but COGFA speculates the market may be topping out.

New housing permits have softened since June. There’s been average growth of 2 percent so far in the year which is around where the economy has been stuck at since the recovery began in mid 2009, according to the report.

Clinton Police Report for Nov. 10







Jobs Report May Signal Interest Rate Hike

After a week of solid gains in the financial markets last week, we saw a downturn on Monday.

AgriVisor’s Dale Durcholz says there are a couple of things at play, including concern over the stability of the Chinese economy.

[audio:11101595301-Dale1.mp3] [/audio]

But the biggest factor impacting the stock markets was last Friday’s positive job report. The report showed 271,000 new jobs created, and wages were up 2.5% over a year ago.

That’s a signal that the economy may be starting to grow a little faster, which could lead to an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve when they meet next month.

[audio:11101595302-Dale2.mp3] [/audio]

Durcholz expects a quarter percent rate hike next month as the fed will move slowly on interest rate hikes to see how the economy responds.

Leadership Shift At Exelon in Clinton

Ted Stoner, a longtime Macon County resident whose career in nuclear power spans nearly two decades, has been named site vice president at Clinton Power Station in Central Illinois, Exelon Generation announced today.

“I look forward to ensuring that Clinton continues to be a strong economic engine for the community, while remaining one of the highest performing plants in our industry,” Stoner said. “I also intend to keep building relationships with our neighbors and local officials in DeWitt County.”

 width=Stoner’s primary responsibility will be to oversee the safe and reliable operation of Clinton Station and to ensure the public is kept informed of the operation of the nuclear facility. Stoner replaces Mark Newcomer, who was appointed vice president of Mid-Atlantic operations at the company’s corporate offices in Pennsylvania.

Stoner has spent his entire nuclear career at Clinton, serving most recently as plant manager. Stoner began his nuclear career as a union maintenance technician, rising to leadership roles in projects, work management and maintenance.

In a related move, Brad Kapellas has been promoted to Clinton Station’s plant manager. In his new role, Kapellas is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the plant, including maintenance, work control, chemistry/environmental and radiation protection departments.

Kapellas, a 25-year veteran of the nuclear power industry, joined Exelon as a laborer at LaSalle County Generating Station in 1990 and has held numerous roles with increasing responsibility. Most recently, he held positions of Maintenance Director and Operations Director at Dresden Generating Station in Morris, Ill.

Exelon operates 11 nuclear units at six sites in Illinois. These facilities provide 48 percent of the state’s total electricity and 90 percent of its carbon-free electricity.

Limited Reaction on Term Limit Proposal

There’s been very little reaction to the actual proposal to place term limits on legislative leaders with responses focusing more on term limits for all lawmakers.
A measure filed earlier this week by a Senate Democrat would amend the state constitution to limit legislative leaders to only 8 years. Governor Bruce Rauner has made term limits of all state lawmakers a key reform item of his Turnaround Agenda.

In response to the proposal for term limits on legislative leaders, Rauner’s office says he supports term limits for all lawmakers.

A statement for both Senate and House Republican leadership says Republican legislators have introduced numerous pieces of legislation to bring term limits to the General Assembly that were bottled up by the Democrat majority.

A spokesman for Speaker Michael Madigan, who’s served as Speaker of the House for over three decades, said he didn’t have a comment. Senate President John Cullerton’s office said the Senate President will review the bill with the sponsor.

Limited Reaction on Term Limit Proposal

There’s been very little reaction to the actual proposal to place term limits on legislative leaders with responses focusing more on term limits for all lawmakers.
A measure filed earlier this week by a Senate Democrat would amend the state constitution to limit legislative leaders to only 8 years. Governor Bruce Rauner has made term limits of all state lawmakers a key reform item of his Turnaround Agenda.

In response to the proposal for term limits on legislative leaders, Rauner’s office says he supports term limits for all lawmakers.

A statement for both Senate and House Republican leadership says Republican legislators have introduced numerous pieces of legislation to bring term limits to the General Assembly that were bottled up by the Democrat majority.

A spokesman for Speaker Michael Madigan, who’s served as Speaker of the House for over three decades, said he didn’t have a comment. Senate President John Cullerton’s office said the Senate President will review the bill with the sponsor.

Dr. John Warner Hospital Rebrand Now Focusing on Former-Rural Health Center

 width=A focused effort by leaders within the Dr. John Warner Hospital recently shifted their focus to the former-Rural Health Center.

Picture right: Skowron outside the newly renamed Dr. John Warner Hospital Family Medicine Facility

CEO of the DJWH, Paul Skowron, indicates they have renamed the faciltiy "Family Medicine". He explains this brings them more in line with not only their demographic of patient, but also their geography.

[audio:11101595245-111015familymedicine1.mp3] [/audio]

The Family Medicine facility is just the latest change. According to Skowron, the interior of the hospital has undergone some changes to make it more inviting, and even more changes are on the way.

[audio:11101595248-111015familymedicine2.mp3] [/audio]

Skowron says he's extremely excited about the changes that have been made and what is to come. He calls it "setting the stage" for things to come.

[audio:11101595250-111015familymedicine3.mp3] [/audio]

Skowron explains they had hoped the Family Medicine center would be expanding their hours already, however, because of insurances and certifications, they have had the processed delayed. He indicates they have the staffing in place for the expansion of hours, they are just waiting on all the paperwork to be approved.

Clinton Schools Going All Out To Honor Veterans

 width=It's a day of the year many districts give their students and staff off, however, Clinton has made the decision in recent years to not.

Students and staff of the Clinton School District may be in school tomorrow for Veterans Day, but the day will certainly be all about those who have served. For Beth Wickenhauser and her students at Lincoln and Douglass Schools, Veterans Day is about learning why we show respect to those who have served.

[audio:11101595257-111015veteransday1.mp3] [/audio]

For Mary Diener and the students of Clinton Elementary school, for many years have invited veterans to join them at the start of the school day for a special salute to veterans and then serve them breakfast.

[audio:11101595300-111015veteransday2.mp3] [/audio]

The morning is concluded by a video presentation put together by pictures assembled by students. Diener explains that presentation is shown during the breakfast.

Once veterans of the community have concluded at the elementary school, the junior high has their own ceremony and the high school does a special presentation as well.

We'll hear about Veterans Day at Clinton Junior High School and High School tomorrow on dewittdailynews.com.

Cardinals Top Prospect Handed 50-Game Suspension; Baseball Notes

Top Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes has been suspended 50 games following a "second positive test for a drug of abuse," MLB announced Monday. The suspension begins immediately.

 width=Reyes, a 21-year-old right-hander, admitted to testing positive for marijuana in a statement.

"I take full responsibility for my actions and apologize for disappointing my family, friends, teammates and the St. Louis Cardinals organization," he said. "I acknowledge my inappropriate behavior and will accept the consequences."

Reyes is not on the team's 40-man roster and is thus subject to the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, which is different from MLB's program. Non-40-man players are tested for marijuana and other drugs of abuse. MLB players are not.

This past season Reyes went 5-7 with a 2.49 ERA and a 151/49 K/BB in 101 1/3 innings at mostly High Class A and Double-A. MLB.com ranks Reyes as the 16th best prospect in all of baseball.

Reyes was in the midst of participating at the Arizona Fall League.

>>Pujols Out Five Months After Foot Surgery

Angels slugger Albert Pujols will be sidelined 4 1/2 months after undergoing surgery on his right foot last week, the team announced Monday.

Alden Gonzalez of mlb.com says the surgery was to repair a plantar plate on his right big toe. Pujols spent his last 28 regular-season games at DH with pain on that foot.

The 4 1/2 month timetable means Pujols will not be ready for the start of spring training. It puts him on track to resume baseball activities at the end of March, putting Opening Day very much in doubt.

Pujols, 35, hit .244/.307/.480 (118 OPS+) with 40 home runs and 95 RBI in 2015. It was his first 40-homer season since 2010 with the Cardinals. Pujols played only 95 of 157 games at first base. The rest were at DH.

>>Former Braves Pitcher, Tommy Hanson, Dies at 29

Former Braves and Angels right-hander Tommy Hanson has died. He was 29. Further details surrounding Hanson's death are unknown at this time.

CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman confirmed Hanson was in a coma Monday night. Zack Klein of WSB in Atlanta first reported the news.

Hanson last pitched in MLB in 2013. He went 21-15 with a 3.16 ERA (126 ERA+) for the Braves from 2009-10 before dealing with numerous arm injuries. Hanson went 28-20 with a 4.36 ERA (89 ERA+) from 2011-13.

While with the Angels in 2013, Hanson spent three weeks away from the team following the death of his stepbrother. Hanson was two years older than his stepbrother, who died at age 24.

Hanson spent 2015 in the minor leagues with affiliates for the Giants. He went 4-6 with a 4.76 ERA in 15 starts, mostly at Triple A.

>>Twins Win Bid For Korean Slugger

The Minnesota Twins won the bidding rights to Korean slugger Byung Ho Park for a $12.85 million posting fee, as Daniel Kim of Daum and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported.

The posting system provides the fee to Park's KBO team, the Nexen Heroes. The Twins will now work on a contract with Park and they must agree to terms within 30 days or he'll stay in Korea and the Twins won't have to pay the $12.85M.

Park, 29, is a first baseman who has shown major power in Korean Baseball Organization. Last season, in 140 games, he hit .343/.436/.714 with 35 doubles, 53 homers and 146 RBI.

>>Dodgers Asking Puig To Shed Weight in Offseason

Thanks mostly to a series of hamstring problems, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was limited to only 79 games in 2015. He also hit .255/.322/.436 (109 OPS+) with 11 home runs, easily the worst offensive season in his three years as a big leaguer.

Getting Puig healthy and on the field for 150+ games is a priority for the Dodgers, so the team wants him to reshape his body and lose some weight this offseason. They want a leaner Puig in 2016. From

“That's a focus,” said Andrew Friedman, the team's president of baseball operations.

Puig is in regular contact with Brandon McDaniel, the team's strength and conditioning coach.

Puig, 25 next month, is listed at 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds on the team's official site. He's not necessarily overweight, but he's a large man with a thick frame, and trimming down a bit may help him stay healthy and tap into that freakish athleticism. The extra bulk is a problem.

>>Indians Star Brantley Out 5-6 Months After Shoulder Surgery

The Cleveland Indians have announced that star outfielder Michael Brantley underwent surgery on his right shoulder Monday morning and his recovery time is expected to be five to six months.

Six months from right now is May 9.

Brantley, 28, hit .310/.379/.480 (130 OPS+) with 15 homers, 84 RBI, 15 steals and an MLB-best 45 doubles last season. He walked more than he struck out (60 walks to 51 strikeouts), too. In 2014, he finished third in the AL in MVP voting.

So, yes, this is a huge blow to the Indians. Even a speedy recovery puts Brantley's status for the beginning of the season in doubt.

Without Brantley, the Indians right now are left with Lonnie Chisenhall, Abraham Almonte and Jerry Sands are their projected starting outfield.

Bulls Blast 'Sixers

 width=Nikola Mirotic had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Pau Gasol scored 16 points to lead the Chicago Bulls past Philadelphia, 111-88 on Monday night.

The Bulls played without Joakim Noah and still cruised to a 15-point lead in the first quarter that they eventually stretched to 26. Doug McDermott scored 18 points, Derrick Rose had 12 and the Bulls looked like title contenders against the woebegone Sixers.

Led by Gasol and Rose, the Bulls went on a 22-4 run in the first quarter to race to a 15-point lead, only to lose it in the second quarter.

Jahlil Okafor continued to serve as a lone bright spot for the Sixers, shaking off a 2-for-10 start from the floor to finish 9 of 25 and have his first career double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Without Noah around to help out Gasol, Okafor shot 6 of 9 in the third and scored 14 points.

Bears Escape Chargers on MNF; Rams Adding WR Welker

 width=Zach Miller leaped, snagged Jay Cutler's pass with his right hand and tumbled into the end zone.

A big-time play in another close finish for the Chicago Bears, who beat the staggering San Diego Chargers 22-19 on Monday night.

Miller's TD reception and a 2-point conversion run by rookie Jeremy Langford, subbing for the injured Matt Forte, gave the Bears (3-5) their first lead of the night. Chicago's last five games have been decided by three points or less, including consecutive losses to Minnesota and Detroit before the trip to San Diego.

Cutler, who had an interception returned for a touchdown and lost a fumble, kept attacking San Diego's depleted secondary, completing 27 of 40 passes for 345 yards.

Cutler calmly led the Bears on the winning 10-play, 80-yard drive after the Chargers opened a 19-14 lead on rookie Josh Lambo's 22-yard field goal. Two plays before the TD throw to Miller, Cutler was hit and still completed a 12-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery on third-and-6.

The Bears scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Cutler's two TD passes broke the franchise record, giving him 139 with the Bears. He had been tied with Hall of Famer Sid Luckman.

San Diego's Philip Rivers was 26 of 42 for 280 yards. It was the first time in six games that he didn't throw for more than 300.

 width=>>Rams To Add Wes Welker

The Rams' passing game could use a lift. So, they're turning to Wes Welker.

The Rams announced Monday that they've signed Welker, who worked out for them earlier in the day. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport first reported the news.

Just last season, Welker was catching passes from Peyton Manning and it was just two seasons ago when he hauled in 73 passes and 10 touchdowns for the Broncos. In his career, Welker has racked up 890 receptions for 9,822 yards and 50 touchdowns.

But Welker, up until now, had trouble finding another home in the league, which he recently vented about. The lack of interest around the league can be explained by his age and health. Not only is Welker 34, but he's had a scary history of concussions. At the end of September, Welker worked out for the Giants. After the workout, Giants coach Tom Coughlin called Welker "healthy" and "very quick."

Illinois Fires Mike Thomas; Mizzou President Resigns Amid Racial Tensions

Illinois has fired athletic director Mike Thomas following a turbulent year in Champaign that has seen serious allegations of abuse in the college football and women's basketball department.

 width="Mike Thomas has done a good job of leading through recent challenges," Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson said. "Decisions such as these are always difficult, but we have to focus on the best interests of our student-athletes. I believe this decision allows everyone to move forward."

The decision to fire Thomas comes at the end of an external review of the school's response to allegations in football and women's basketball. Illinois said the report includes "no findings of misconduct and no violations of policies or standards" by Thomas, which resulted in his firing "without cause" and allowed him to collect a buyout from the school.

"I understand the administration's decision to turn the page and turn the focus of this organization back on the success and welfare of our student-athletes," Thomas said in a statement. "The reports indicate that I acted appropriately and immediately whenever I learned of any issues related to the safety and well-being of our students. However, I understand the chancellor's viewpoint that my continued presence may create an ongoing distraction for our students, coaches and staff, and I accept the situation."

Football coach Tim Beckman was fired in August after preliminary results of this external review provided enough evidence of player mistreatment to make an immediate change. The allegations against the women's basketball coach Matt Bollant, still in his current post, and his staff, which include one assistant that has left the program, include racism, harassment and bullying.

>>Missouri President Resigns Amid Racial Tension

Missouri system president Tim Wolfe announced his resignation Monday, opening the door for Missouri's striking football players to return to practice.

"The motivation in making this decision comes from love," Wolfe said. "I love MU, Columbia where I grew up, the state of Missouri."

"This is not -- I repeat not -- the way change should come about," he continued. "Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. We have to respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other and start listening and quit intimidating each other. Unfortunately, this has not happened, and that is why I stand before you today, and I take full responsibility for this frustration. And I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred."

Many of Mizzou's black players announced they would no longer participate in football activities Saturday night, showing solidarity with Missouri graduate student Jonathan Butler, who had undertaken a hunger strike he vowed would not conclude until Wolfe resigned or was removed from his post. Part of a series of protests by black student groups upset with recent racially motivated incidents on campus and Missouri's administrative response, Butler's hunger strike lasted seven days.

Both Missouri coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades issued statements of support for the boycotting players. Pinkel also shared a photo of the entire Tigers team -- black and white -- locking arms in solidarity. He said the team as a whole would not practice until the 32 black players who began the boycott were prepared to resume.

A Missouri player told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd the team would return to practice as scheduled and resume full activities.

Weekly Crop Report

 width=The 2015 harvest is wrapping.

That's the message from State Crop Statistician Mark Schleussner. He explains with little rain, farmers were able to take care of post-harvest maintenance and finish things up.

[audio:111015120340-crop1.mp3] [/audio]

Schleussner says winter wheat planting continues and is 49-percent of the crop is considered in good condition.

[audio:111015120341-crop2.mp3] [/audio]

Sorghum harvest is 94% complete.

Average topsoil moisture was rated as five percent very short 21 short 69 adequate and five percent surplus.

United Prairie Expanding Into Macon County and Surrounding Area

United Prairie L-L-C, which is the seed and fertilizer division of Top Flight Grain and Premier Cooperative, are in the midst of constructing a new sales and service office and warehouse in Emory, which is just south of Maroa just off of U-S Highway 51.

Tim Hughes is general manager of United Prairie, and tells Regional Radio News that
the new building will be a retail and supply business.

[audio:110615111231-Hughescut1Nov615.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Hughes added the new building in Emory is an expansion for United Prairie, into Macon County and surrounding area.

[audio:110615111231-Hughescut2Nov615.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Hughes says the new United Prairie building will involve both sales and warehouse space.

[audio:110615111232-Hughescut3Nov615.mp3]comment here[/audio]

And, Hughes says the new United Prairie location will be adding staff.

[audio:110615111232-Hughescut4Nov615.mp3]comment here[/audio]

He says they're excited about the new structure.

[audio:110615111232-Hughescut5Nov615.mp3]comment here[/audio]

It's expected that the new United Prairie building will be completed sometime in February.

Donald Trump in Springfield Tonight

Live from Springfield, it's Monday night!

Well it doesn't have the same ring as the introduction to Saturday Night Live, but fresh off of his visit to S-N-L, renegade Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump will take on Springfield tonight.

For those hoping to catch tonight's Trump appearance and those preparing Springfield's Prairie Capital Convention for the event after a Fighting Illini basketball game yesterday, there's good news. Convention Center General Manager Brian Oaks says Trump's recent request for Secret Service protection won't come into play tonight.

[audio:11091591609-Oaks2.mp3] [/audio]

While Free tickets are still available at event-brite-dot-com. The doors will open at 5, with Trump scheduled to speak at 7.

Clinton McDonald's Honoring Veterans with Free Coffee

 width=Clinton's McDonald's is stepping up this week to help the military.

Michael Petro, owner of the Clinton McDonald's, indicates they have been donating cups of coffee to the military. He explains for each cup of coffee purchased, they are donating one to the service members.

[audio:11091591602-11915miccycoffee1.mp3] [/audio]

An effort on Veterans Day by McDonald's is hoping the youth will get involved in their effort. Petro indicates for a hand written letter to a military member, students can receive a free cookie.

[audio:11091591603-11915miccycoffee2.mp3] [/audio]

Stop in to your local McDonald's to take advantage of these opportunities. In Clinton, stop in at 1201 Route 54.

Blue Ridge Schools Embarking on New Strategic Plan

A DeWitt County school district is entering into a period of looking ahead three to five years and setting new goals for themselves.

The Blue Ridge School district recently started the process of looking at their strategic plan and are underway in the process to update it. According to Superintendent Susan Wilson, they were able to achieve a lot of the goals they set in their previous strategic plan.

[audio:11091591554-11915brplan1.mp3] [/audio]

As the next strategic plan is being developed, Wilson indicates they are always evaluating their curriculum, and it will continue to be a part of their planning but she says they need address students being in class. She explains they are looking for positive reinforcements in that regard.

[audio:11091591558-11915brplan2.mp3] [/audio]

The facilities was a major focal point of the last strategic plan and Wilson indicates while there will not be major projects in that regard, they do hope to address some minor areas like security.

[audio:11091591600-11915brplan3.mp3] [/audio]

Among the other goals on the strategic plan, Wilson hopes to better communicate with the parents of the district and hope to have their faculty provide more feedback to the parents of their students.

Last week, the community was invited out to provide input into the strategic planning process and Wilson was very pleased with the turnout.

Medical Pot Sales Begin Today

It’ll be Green Monday as approved patients of the state’s medical cannabis pilot program can begin shopping at dispensaries. In a statement the Illinois Department of Public Health says retail sales of medical cannabis for the state’s 3,300 qualifying patients will begin at eight locations throughout the state. Patients may visit any dispensary in the state but IDPH says they must designate a single dispensary with the Department in order to make a purchase. An additional 12 to 15 dispensaries are expected to register with the state by the end of November with even more by the end of the year. Cards for approved patients were mailed out at the end of October. 

Russell Knox Picks Up First PGA Tour Win

Russell Knox made an unexpected trip to Shanghai and left with a most surprising victory Sunday in the HSBC Champions.

Knox became the first player to win a World Golf Championship in his debut when the 30-year-old from Scotland was flawless on the back nine of Sheshan International and closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Kevin Kisner.

 width=Knox only found out a week ago Friday that he was in the HSBC Champions as an alternate when J.B. Holmes withdrew. He was in Malaysia and had to scramble to get a Chinese visa, arriving in time for one practice round with his wife, Andrea, as his caddie.

Then, he held off a world-class field for his first PGA Tour victory.

Li Haotong, the 20-year-old from China who felt like a rock star all week, faded quickly with a bogey-double bogey start. But he kept it entertaining the whole way around and at least achieved his goal of finishing in the top 10. Li saved par on the 18th hole for a 72 to tie for seventh, the highest finish ever by a Chinese player in a PGA Tour event.

Jordan Spieth, starting the final round three shots behind, never got anything going. Two birdies on the back nine at least allowed him to post a 70 and tie for seventh, enough for the 22-year-old Texan to return to No. 1 in the world.

Kisner made birdie on the 18th for a 70 to finish alone in second, his fourth runner-up this year. The other three were playoff losses.

Danny Willett of England closed with a 62 and was briefly tied for the lead. He tied for third with Ross Fisher (68), but at least made up significant ground on Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai on the European Tour. McIlroy, who closed with a 66 and tied for 11th, is not playing the BMW Masters next week in Shanghai. That means the Race to Dubai will be settled in the final event at the DP World Championship in Dubai.

Dustin Johnson had a 71 and finished four shots behind, though he will look back at one great shot that cost him. One shot behind Knox on the par-5 eighth, Johnson hit a wedge that looked as though it would land a few feet behind the cup for a tap-in birdie. Instead, it hit the pin and caromed hard off the green and down into a creek, turning a sure birdie into a double bogey. He never quite recovered.

Knox, though, would have been tough to beat. He finished at 20-under 268.

The victory sends Knox to the Masters in April for the first time, along with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Missouri Players Striking, Joined By Coach, AD

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel shared a message of support for the Tigers' players of color that are choosing to strike until university president Tim Wolfe either resigns or is removed from his post.

Pinkel wrote on Twitter quote - "The Mizzou Family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players #ConcernedStudent1950 GP"

These Tigers started their protest on the heels of increased racial tensions that have bubbled up on Missouri's campus, most recently involving an incident on Oct. 24 when a swastika carved with smeared feces was put up on the wall of a new dormitory.

Missouri's players were sure to point out on Saturday night that the team had no issue with the coaching staff, only the university president. Pinkel's message of support for the movement increases the pressure on Missouri, as the Tigers are scheduled to play BYU at home next Saturday.

Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades released a joint statement Sunday evening saying that the team would not practice until Jonathan Butler's hunger strike comes to an end.

"Today, Sunday, there will be no football practice or formal team activities. Our focus right now is on the health of Jonathan Butler, the concerns of our student-athletes and working with our community to address this serious issue."

Clemson New No. 1 in AP Poll; Ohio State Holding on in Coaches Poll

The first 10 spots in the AP Top 25 have a different look after three of the top six teams from last week's rankings suffered their first loss of the season in a wild Week 10 across college football. But the headline change comes at the top spot, where Clemson is now ranked No. 1 for the first time since the final poll of the Tigers' 1981 national championship season.

Toledo (on Tuesday), Memphis, TCU, Michigan State and LSU all lost for the first time in 2015 and fell in this week's poll.

TCU fell from No. 5 to No. 13 after its loss at Oklahoma State while the Cowboys, still undefeated, jumped from No. 12 to No. 5. LSU only fell to No. 9 after losing Alabama, Michigan State dropped to No. 14 and Memphis' lopsided loss to Navy at home resulted in a ten-spot tumble to No. 25.

 width=>>Ohio State Still No. 1 in Coaches Poll

The Top 25 shake up started early this week, with a freshman quarterback coming off the bench to lead Northern Illinois to a fourth quarter upset of previously undefeated Toledo on Tuesday night. The number of undefeated teams this late in the season has been a historical anomaly, but this week's action offered some correction in the craziest ways.

Toledo, Memphis, TCU, Michigan State and LSU all lost for the first time in 2015, shaking up the college football landscape just enough to provide some clarity. In terms of the Coaches Poll, the biggest adjustments came from the Memphis' one-sided loss to Navy at home and Oklahoma State's impressive win against TCU. Memphis fell nine spots to No. 25 while Navy jumped into the rankings at No. 23. The Cowboys surged into the top five (No. 5) and TCU fell nine spots to No. 12.

Clemson is also starting to make a charge at Ohio State's control of the spot, now holding 21 first-place votes to Ohio State's 34.

Cavs Get By Pacers

 width=LeBron James scored 29 points and made several key plays down the stretch Sunday, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Indiana Pacers 101-97 for their sixth straight win.

James took a knee to a leg Friday and said he would get round-the-clock treatment so he could play. Unfortunately for the Pacers, the treatment worked.

James hit seven free throws in the final few minutes and found Kevin Love for two key baskets in the final 27 seconds.

Love scored 22 points and had 19 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who haven't lost since the season opener against Chicago.

Paul George scored 32 points for Indiana, which went scoreless for nearly four minutes after taking a 90-88 lead. George's 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining cut the lead to 97-95.

The Cavaliers broke full-court pressure and James hit Love for a dunk with 8.2 seconds left. George Hill scored with 6.7 seconds remaining, but James made two foul shots at the 5.3 mark.

George, who scored a season-high 36 points Friday against Miami, had another outstanding game, making 11 of 21 from the field and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Blackhawks Double Up Oilers

 width=Patrick Kane had a goal and three assists, rookie Artemi Panarin scored twice in the first period and Corey Crawford made 34 saves to lead the Chicago Blackhawks past the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Sunday night.

Artem Anisimov added a power-play goal with 5.1 seconds left. The Blackhawks ended a two-game slide and won for just the second time in six games.

Crawford wasn't beaten until Edmonton's Jordan Eberle scored a power-play goal at 2:56 of the third period on the Oilers' 29th shot. Andrej Sekera cut it to 3-2 with 1:51 left and Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot on the bench for an extra attacker.

Talbot made 24 saves and the Oilers dropped their second straight without injured rookie Connor McDavid.

South Dakota State Upsets Illinois State; Eastern Falls To Top Ranked Jacksonville State

Taryn Christion accounted for three touchdowns to lead the Jackrabbits to a 25-20 upset of second-ranked Illinois State on Saturday.

Christion threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns and added 65 yards rushing and another score.

 width=Former starting quarterback Zach Lujan came on for an injured Christion late in the second quarter and promptly completed a 14-yard TD pass to Jake Wieneke to put SDSU on top for good.

Christion was 15-for-30 for 307 yards and Lujan was 1-for-3 for 14 yards.

SDSU (7-2, 4-2 Missouri Valley Football Conference) held ISU running back Marshaun Coprich to 55 yards on the ground, ending his streak of 100-yard rushing games at seven.

ISU quarterback Tre Roberson threw for 327 yards and three touchdown passes to Anthony Warrum.

Warrum caught eight passes for 241 yards. His touchdowns covered 5, 70 and 14 yards.

Roberson rushed for 80 of the Redbirds' 135 yards.

 width=>>Jacksonville State Uses Stingy Defense To Route Eastern Illinois

As heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, Eli Jenkins passed for 149 yards and a score and added 93 yards rushing, Troymaine Pope ran for 114 yards and a touchdown and Jacksonville State scored three second-half touchdowns to beat Eastern Illinois 24-3 Saturday.

Dawson Wells intercepted a Jalen Whitlow pass and returned it 35 yards for a TD for the Gamecocks' final score. It was Wells' second-straight game with a pick-6.

Jenkins was 12-of-24 passing, with a 43-yard TD strike to Dalton Screws in the third quarter to break a 3-3 tie. The Gamecocks (8-1, 6-0 Ohio Valley Conference) outgained the Panthers 385 total yards to 239.

Pope scored on a 10-yard run around the right end with 11:20 to play. Wells intercepted Whitlow on the next possession.

Nick Bruno kicked a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter for Eastern Illinois (5-4, 5-1).

Illinois Blasts Purdue

 width=Wes Lunt threw three first-half touchdown passes, and Illinois snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 48-14 Big Ten victory against Purdue.

Illinois (5-4, 2-3), which had scored 33 total points in consecutive losses to Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State, drove 76, 58 and 72 yards for touchdowns during the opening 30 minutes, running 44 plays for 295 yards and 17 first downs before halftime.

Purdue (2-7, 1-4), which defeated Illinois last season in Champaign and beat Nebraska this past Saturday, gained only 25 yards in the first quarter on homecoming and finished the opening half with 39 plays for 105 yards.

The Illini welcomed the return of running back Josh Ferguson from an injury. Ferguson carried 12 times for 133 yards. Ke'Shawn Vaughn rushed for 180 yards on 16 carries and two TDs.

Bears in San Diego For Monday Night Football

The San Diego Chargers won't have one of their top offensive players for the rest of the season. The Chicago Bears won't have two key ones for at least the near future.

 width=Each team will try to overcome its absences while attempting to earn a much-needed win Monday night.

San Diego (2-6) won't have one of the league's leading receivers, Keenan Allen, because of a lacerated kidney suffered while scoring a touchdown in last week's 29-26 loss in Baltimore. Allen had 67 catches - tied for third-most in NFL history through eight games - for 725 yards and four TDs.

They'll get to host a Bears team that's 2-5 during an injury-plagued season and won't have stalwart running back Matt Forte available. Forte hurt his right knee in a 23-20 loss to Minnesota last Sunday, and wide receiver Eddie Royal injured his left.

Coach John Fox said neither player is expected to undergo surgery and could return some time this season. Fox's team has already dealt with injuries to receiver Alshon Jeffery (hamstring), left tackle Jermon Bushrod (shoulder) and safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) among others this season.

Center Will Montgomery (broken leg) hasn't played since Week 4 and No. 7 overall pick Kevin White (shin) has yet to make his NFL debut.

Vikings Down Rams; Carolina Stays Unbeaten With Win Over Green Bay

Adrian Peterson rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, helping set up Blair Walsh's 40-yard field goal in overtime that gave the Vikings a 21-18 victory over the Rams on Sunday.

 width=The Vikings (6-2) ended Todd Gurley's streak with 125-plus yards rushing at four straight games. Gurley gained 89 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts for the Rams (4-4), who took the overtime kickoff at Zimmer's deferral but quickly went three-and-out.

Marcus Sherels tiptoed along the sideline for a 26-yard return of Johnny Hekker's 63-yard punt, and Peterson ran the ball well into Walsh's range to give the Vikings their seventh straight win at home.

Greg Zuerlein made four field goals for the Rams, including a 53-yarder with 17 seconds left in regulation to make up for the 48-yarder that went wide right a few minutes before.

On a 5-yard scramble early in the fourth quarter, Bridgewater slid to protect himself when cornerback Lamarcus Joyner dived at him shoulder-first. Bridgewater appeared to be out cold, before walking slowly off the field and eventually jogging to the locker room for evaluation.

Asked if he felt the Rams played dirty, Zimmer said simply: ''Yes.''

Zuerlein had a career-long 61-yarder among three field goals in the second quarter, the first from 60-plus yards in the NFL in nearly two years. Zuerlein became the second kicker in NFL history with multiple field goals from 60-plus yards, joining Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski.

Bridgewater, who was replaced by former Rams backup Shaun Hill, finished 13 for 21 for 144 yards with one interception. He ran for a touchdown in the third quarter to regain the lead for the Vikings, and then had a bootleg rollout for a 2-point conversion.

Nick Foles completed 18 of 33 passes for 168 yards for the Rams, who punted eight times and were penalized 12 times for 87 yards.

 width=>>Carolina Remains Unbeaten By Down Packers

Cam Newton threw for 297 yards as the Panthers (8-0) took an important step toward securing home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Every other NFC team has at least two losses, including the Packers (6-2).

Carolina has now won 12 straight regular-season games, including seven straight at home.

Carolina led by 23 points in the fourth quarter before Aaron Rodgers rallied Green Bay and nearly gave the Packers a chance to extend the game into overtime.

Rodgers threw for 369 yards and four TDs, but couldn't take advantage of one of Newton's few mistakes: an interception with 3:38 left in the game that gave the Packers the ball at the Carolina 22. Down by 8, Rodgers fourth-and-goal pass from the Carolina 4 was intercepted by linebacker Thomas Davis.

Illini Route Illinois-Springfield Sunday

The Fighting Illini eclipsed the century mark in an exhibition game Sunday afternoon, defeating sister school Illinois-Springfield by the score of 104-69 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center (PCCC).

 width=Five Illini scored in double figures, highlighted by four first-year players. Freshman Jalen Coleman-Lands scored a game-high 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 5-of-9 from 3-point land. Lands also had a game-high three steals. Fellow freshman Aaron Jordan registered 16 points on 5-of-8 from the field while grabbing seven rebounds.

Graduate transfer Mike Thorne Jr. owned the paint, racking up 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and collecting a team-high nine rebounds with a game-high four blocked shots. The UI's other graduate transfer, Khalid Lewis, also excelled with 13 points on 5-of-6 accuracy – including 3-of-3 from 3-point range ­– and four assists.

The Illini shot nearly 56 percent from the field on the afternoon (35-63) and knocked down 11 three-pointers in 25 attempts.

Illinois opens the regular season on Friday, taking on North Florida at 7 p.m. at the PCCC.

The Illini have relocated their first five home games of the season to Springfield while renovations continue in Champaign at State Farm Center. A total of 5,883 orange-clad fans were on hand today to see the UI newcomers shine in the debut game at the PCCC.

United Prairie To Build New Facility South of Maroa

United Prairie L-L-C, which is the seed and fertilizer division of Top Flight Grain and Premier Cooperative, are in the midst of constructing a new sales and service office and warehouse in Emory, which is just south of Maroa off of U-S Highway 51.

Tim Hughes is general manager of United Prairie, and tells Regional Radio News that
the new building will be a retail and supply business.

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Hughes added the new building in Emory is an expansion for United Prairie, into Macon County and surrounding area.

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Hughes says the new United Prairie building will involve both sales and warehouse space.

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And, Hughes says the new United Prairie location will be adding staff.

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He says they're excited about the new structure.

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It's expected that the new United Prairie building will be completed sometime in February.

Clinton Police Weekend Report







DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 33

Paper Services: 1

Warrants: 0

Rebecca Butler, 32, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Butler was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Rhett Butler, 43, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Butler was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Michael Ward, 24, Elk Hart was issued a Citation for Speeding 85 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ward was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Stephanie Carlson. 21, Bridgeview was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Carlson was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jeffrey Shade, 60, Decatur was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Shade was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Shelly Myers, 44, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Myers was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Anna OBrien, 39, Boungbrook was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 Zone. OBrien was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Marquesha Owens, 20, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Owens was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Erin McCauley, 20, Normal was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. McCauley was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jory Williams, 23, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Williams was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Brian Stewart, 50, Mt Pulaski was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Stewart was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Kevin Mitchell, 36, Buffalo was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Mitchell was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jayme Thompson, 26, Beecher City was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Thompson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.




Illinois Athletic Director Fired

 width=The turmoil continues at the University of Illinois.

Today, interim Chancellor Barb Wilson elected to terminate the contract of Athletic Director Mike Thomas. She says the University extended a “without cause” separation plan with Thomas. It comes after a report was released that showed mistreatment of football players under former head coach Tim Beckman. The report cleared Thomas of any wrong doing but Wilson says the athletics are key component of any university system.

[audio:11091523505-THOMASFIRED.mp3] [/audio]

Thomas will be paid $2.5 million in separation fees; this comes on the heels of the firing of Tim Beckman earlier this year.

An interim athletic director has been named but neither would comment on current interim head football coach Bill Cubit’s future.

High School Football Post-Season Second Round Scores

Class 1A playoff games this weekend:

#1 Tuscola 13, #9 LeRoy 20
#2 G.C.M.S.  20, #10 Winchester West Central 8
#3 Arcola 47, #11 Catlin Salt Fork 18

Class 2A playoff games:

#1 Tri-Valley 41, #9 Taylor Ridge Rockridge 7
#5 Mendon Unity 26, #4 Dee-Mack 32
#15 Athens 34, #7 Maroa-Forsyth 27
#3 Sangamon Valley 18, #11 Nashville 45

Class 3A playoff matchups:

#8 Carlinville 7, #1 St. Joseph-Ogden 42
#5 Bloomington Central Catholic 35, #4 Paxton-Buckley-Loda 28
#2 Virden North Mac 20, #10 Tolono Unity 55

Class 4A:

#5 Murphysboro 20, #4 Rochester 47
#6 Herrin 6, #3 Taylorville 28

Class 5A:

#1 Washington 12, #9 Sterling 7
#4 Champaign Central 49, #12 Decatur Eisenhower 40
#3 Peoria 29, #6 Centralia 28

Class 6A:

#7 Peoria Notre Dame 38, #2 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 61

Class 7A:

#11 Park Ridge Maine South 21, #6 Normal Community 42

Future Bond Sale Could Cost Taxpayer More

Illinois taxpayers can expect to see increased costs for the state borrowing money for general obligations and capital needs.

Bloomberg News reports that a $1 billion offering of 25-year tax-exempt bonds would cost about $175 million more than what it cost for the same offering in 2014.

Illinois recently saw its credit rating downgraded by two different ratings agencies and also announced it will miss the pension payment for November.

Though Bloomberg reports the state is expected to offer bonds in the current fiscal year, it’s still uncertain when that sale would occur.

Durbin Continues To Hammer For Profit Colleges

Senator Dick Durbin isn't going anywhere in his battle against for profit colleges.
Despite a voice that was under the weather, his message came through loud and clear that for profit colleges are taking a disproportionate share of student aid and is triggering nearly half of the student loan defaults, despite the fact the schools are only home to about ten percent of America's college students.

Durbin says even one of the forefathers of the movement is appalled at what's occurred.

[audio:110715100647-Durbincollege1.mp3] [/audio]

Durbin noted Murphy saw a clear shift in priorities before he left the school.

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Speaking of Wall Street, Durbin says the industry's been in a state of decline for the last half decade with Wall Street downgrading the for-profit colleges and universities because they believe this model is flawed and can’t be sustained.

World War I Reenactment This Weekend in Springfield

One century ago, the War to end all Wars began in Europe.

The Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield is bringing World War I to life on Saturday from 9 to 5. Retired Brigadier General Stewart Reeve says you won't just get the American perspective.

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General Reeve says you'll see plenty more indoors.

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For more info, call 761-3910.

Champaign County OKs Police Use of Stug Guns

The Champaign City Council has approved the use of stun guns for its police department.

Reports indicate Champaign had the only major police department in central Illinois without the stun guns. The vote was 6-3 on Tuesday night.

This isn't the first time the city has considered a stun-gun proposal. Police rescinded a similar request in 2004 after there was pushback from the community.

The stun guns will cost about $93,000 for a five-year contract. Public comment before the vote focused on dangers of the stun guns and their high price tag.

College Illinois Enrollment Underway



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NORML Says Illinois Should Note Failed Legalization fo Marijuana in Ohio

Illinois should take note of the recent failure of a measure to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana in Ohio to ensure any proposed measure don’t limit the free market of legal pot.

Dan Linn, the executive director of the Illinois Chapter of NORML tells WMAY Springfield the failure of a ballot initiative in Ohio this week to legalize cannabis was partly because the measure was not a free market approach because it restricted growing operations to just a handful. Linn says that’s very similar to Illinois’ current Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

[audio:110715100649-Linn2.mp3] [/audio]

Linn says only allowing a select few investors to benefit from the pilot program could lead to those investors getting some kind of carve out if Illinois ever does legalize and tax pot.

No Christmas Lights At the Capital Nixed This Year

There will be no Christmas lights over the capitol dome in Springfield this year thanks to the continuing budget impasse.

The move announced by the secretary of state’s office will save upwards to $7,300 and is another in a line of issues caused by the lack of a state budget. A statement from Secretary of State Jesse White says while the lights add color to the Capitol landscape and are a nice tradition, they are nonessential, and the office is cutting back wherever possible to save money.

Typically the lights are up for 50 days.

Meanwhile, because of the budget impasse, the Capitol complex is also months behind on utility bills totaling several million dollars.

Governor Proposes Plan To Add Trees To State Fairgrounds



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Senator Proposes Legislation for Term Limits



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Bilingual Education Waiver Taken Up in Senate Committee

Waivers for state mandates could take center stage when lawmakers are back in Springfield next week.

During a Senate Education Committee hearing Wednesday in Chicago, several school districts defended their waiver requests from a variety of state mandates, including bilingual education.

Democratic Senator William Delgado said bilingual education is important because you can quote “take a chihuahua to Germany and it’s still a chihuahua.”

[audio:11061582015-Delgado.mp3] [/audio]

Delgado said assimilation is important, but he wants to ensure cultural heritage is intact in the school environment.

House Joint Resolution 101 would disapprove certain school district waiver requests for bilingual education, the Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey, non-resident tuition, general state aid and instructional time and could be brought up when the General Assembly meets next week.

DNR Officials Anticipating More Hunters This Weekend

The hunting season is in full swing, however, the warm weather recently has slowed the traditional heavy hunting season, however, one official anticipates this weekend, things picking back up.

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officer John Williamson reminds hunters to check their tree stands. He explains every year they deal with at least one accident because of tree stands that are not safe.

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Tree stands are often stolen when they are not attended to. Williamson indicates once a tree stand is stolen, it is very rare they are recovered.

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Williamson says the biggest complaint they receive in the hunting season is night hunting. He adds they deal with hunters taking more animals than their permits allow and hunting on private property.

He encourages hunters to make sure they have the permission of landowners before they hunt on any private property.

Williamson says the cooler temperatures of the first weekend of November should bring out hunters in greater numbers than the first few weeks.

Food Bourne Illnesses Outbreak in Western Illinois

Officials with the Adams and Pike County Illinois Health departments now say that at least 35 people have been stricken in what they're calling an outbreak of food borne illness associated with the Pike County Fall Color Drive in mid-October.

In a joint statement released Wednesday afternoon, the health departments say they've identified more than 35 cases of Gastro-Intestinal illnesses in festival attendees who drank apple cider bought from vendors at two locations. They also say several people have been hospitalized, and more illnesses are being reported.

The departments say they still haven't determined the exact type of germ causing the illness, but suspect it's either E. Coli and Crypto-sporidium.

Samples have been sent to the Illinois State Laboratory and to the CDC for testing to determine the exact organism causing the illness and the actual food source.

Pilot Program Could Be Model Across State

If successful, a pilot program that seeks private donors to fund social services with an eye toward cost savings and efficiencies could be a model used across the state.

This week the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began the pilot program in four different counties. DCFS spokesman Andrew Flach (flahk) says if the program is successful it could be rolled out for other services the state manages.

[audio:11061582016-Flach.mp3] [/audio]

Flach says the initial evaluation could take upward of six months to gauge the success of the program, and investors will only get a return on investment if the programs they fund saves the state money.

The initiative was started by former Governor Pat Quinn and carried through by Governor Bruce Rauner.

Republicans Criticize Measure As Not Showing Revenue Sources

A measure that would reverse the governor’s changes to the Child Care Assistance Program doesn’t take into account the overall budget which could lead to bigger problems.

That’s according to opponents of Senate Bill 570, which could come back up for a vote next week when lawmakers return to Springfield. House sponsor of the measure, Democrat Jehan Gordon-Booth, pushed for the bill’s passage in September saying the measure reversing the governor’s changes to C-CAP keeps parents off of other welfare programs.

During that September debate Republican Representative Ron Sandack said the measure doesn’t take into account the financial impact to the overall state budget.

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Sandack says he understands the importance of the bill but wants there to be an entire budget with revenue backing up what lawmakers are looking to spend.

Warrensburg-Latham Schools Updating School Improvement Plan

 width=Area school districts are taking up the task mandated by the State of Illinois to take a look at ways to improve their districts.

Warrensburg-Latham Schools have narrowed their focus to four areas. According to Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle, it starts with literacy. She explains they are taking an overview look at the district to find ways to improve.

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Writing is becoming more prominent in the classroom than it was before. According to Dr. Kendrick-Weikle, the new Illinois learning standards mandate writing be a part of each subject's curriculum, which is what their second area of focus is.

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A non-curricular focus of the district is technology. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says they have excellent technology resources in their schools, however, they are focused on how to better use their resources in student learning.

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Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says there has also been an emphasis on mathematics in the latest learning standards, and that will be a part of their district improvement focus as well.

She adds, they have each building and it's administration has their own set of plans, which are being crafted this time of year.

Blackhawks Take on Devils Friday

 width=Coming off a 6-5 loss that saw the St. Louis Blues storm back Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks look to turn their fortunes around against the surprising New Jersey Devils tonight.

Chicago hits the road for a brief one game trip away from Chicago and are in the midst of a stretch with five of seven games at home.

The Blackhawks are 7-5-1 overall. The Devils are 6-5-1 on the season and have won five of their last seven games. Chicago has lost three of their last four.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane can finally put the investigation behind him that lasted nearly three and has been more of a focus rather than the stellar start to the season he's had, compiling 18 points.

Chicago returns to the United Center Sunday for a matchup with the Edmonton Oilers, who lost prized prospect Connor McDavid earlier this week.

>>Holtby Brilliant Again As Caps Down Bruins

Braden Holtby stopped 28 shots and the Capitals handed the Boston Bruins their first road loss of the season, 4-1 on Thursday night.

After blanking Boston in all three games between the teams last season, Holtby fell behind 1-0 when a centering pass from Brett Connolly ricocheted high off the stick of Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen, hit Jimmy Hayes in the chest and bounced into the net.

It would be the lone score from a team that came in with an NHL-best 3.82 goals per game average.

Alex Ovechkin tied the game at 1 with his seventh goal of the season and 482nd of his career, one short of Sergei Fedorov for most among Russian-born players in NHL history.

Goals by Laich, John Carlson and Karl Alzner followed, and Washington left the ice with a 9-3-0 record, matching the best start in franchise history.

Carlson gave Washington a two-goal cushion at 7:21 of the period, scoring off a pass from Nicklas Backstrom with two Bruins in the penalty box. Backstrom has nine points in nine games this season and 28 points in 26 career games against Boston.

The 5-on-3 occurred after a penalty was called on Brad Marchand for pounding T.J. Oshie in the head.

Holtby turned aside all seven Boston shots in the third period, and Alzner clinched it with an empty net goal at 18:10.

Ovechkin has a point (7 goals, 7 assists) in 10 of 11 games this season.

Cubs Unveil Logo Celebrating Century At Wrigley

 width=The Cubs will have a patch on their home uniforms next year to celebrate the team's century of play at Wrigley Field.

The team revealed the round logo on Thursday. It is blue, white and red and includes a version of the team's 1916 logo, but there is no representation of the iconic ballpark.

The franchise played in five ballparks before moving to its current home in 1916. The facility's first tenant was the Chi-Feds beginning in 1914, but the Federal League folded in December 1915 and a group of investors bought the Cubs and moved them into Weeghman Park.

Weeghman Park was renamed Cubs Park before becoming Wrigley Field in 1926.

The Cubs celebrated Wrigley Field's 100 years during the 2014 season.

>>Mets Harvey, Rangers Fielder Comeback Players of the Year

Major League Baseball awarded its Comeback Player of the Year awards to Matt Harvey of the Mets and Prince Fielder of the Rangers on Thursday, capping amazing turnaround seasons for both players in 2015.

The NL winner, Harvey missed all of 2014 recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery Oct. 22, 2013. In 2015, he posted a 2.71 ERA (sixth in the NL) and 188 strikeouts in 189 1/3 innings pitched for the Mets, who won the NL East for the first time since 2006. He also posted a 3.04 ERA in four postseason games -- two in the World Series, including the deciding Game 5 against the Royals, which he led 2-0 heading into the ninth inning. After he talked manager Terry Collins into letting him pitch one more inning, the Royals mounted a comeback to tie the score, and won in 12 innings.

The AL winner, Fielder sustained a neck injury in 2014 and was limited to three home runs in 42 games. After having surgery and re-tooling his workout regimen, Fielder rebounded to hit .305 with 23 home runs and an .841 on-base plus slugging in 158 games. He also made the All-Star game for the sixth time. From 2006 until his injury season of 2014, Fielder had played in all but 13 of the possible 1,296 games with the Brewers and Tigers.

>>Mariners, Rays Make Six Player Swap

We have our first major trade of the offseason. The Rays and Mariners have announced a six-player trade that sends first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison, righty reliever Danny Farquhar and utility man Brad Miller to Tampa Bay in exchange for righty starter Nathan Karns, lefty reliever C.J. Riefenhauser and outfield prospect Boog Powell.

The trade is the first for new Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto, who took over last month. He replaced Jack Zduriencik, who was let go during the team's disappointing 2015 season. Dipoto resigned as Angels GM at midseason after losing a power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia. Owner Arte Moreno sided with Scioscia.

Miller, 26, is the key piece for the Rays. He's a career .248/.313/.394 (101 OPS+) hitter who can play shortstop -- a position of need in Tampa -- but also has experience all over the infield and outfield.

The Rays are hoping Miller turns into their long-term shortstop, or, at the very least, becomes a supersub who can capably play multiple positions. They have the pitching depth to spare, which is why they moved Karns. Dipoto, meanwhile, is trying to make his roster a bit more flexible.

Rose Leads Bulls Past Thunder

The Chicago Bulls let the lead slip away. Derrick Rose wouldn't let the game get away, too.

 width=Rose came up big down the stretch to score 29 points and Jimmy Butler added 26 to lead the Bulls to a 104-98 victory over Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.

Oklahoma City tied it with just over 5 minutes left in the game. But Rose's performance in the closing minutes helped offset Durant's 33 points and lifted the Bulls after they got blown out at Charlotte two nights earlier.

Chicago was clinging to a 98-96 lead when Rose buried consecutive jumpers to make it a six-point game with just over a minute remaining.

After Durant hit a jumper, Pau Gasol nailed a sweeping hook with 38.4 seconds left, sealing the win for the Bulls.

Rose, still wearing a face mask after missing almost the entire preseason because of a fractured left orbital, found his rhythm after three straight single-digit scoring games. Butler set a career-high with 21 first-half points and hit four 3-pointers in the game, and the Bulls got back to winning after getting squashed by Charlotte 130-105 on Tuesday night.

Russell Westbrook had 20 points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City while Serge Ibaka scored 17. But the Thunder, playing their fourth game in five nights, came up short down the stretch again and dropped their third straight. They blew a late eight-point lead in a 105-98 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night.

The Bulls host Minnesota on Saturday night.

Packers Look To Bounce Back From First Loss Against Undefeated Panthers; Rams in Minnesota

Although they've shown poise at critical times while extending their historic run, the Carolina Panthers are still looking to put together a complete performance.

The Green Bay Packers, meanwhile, aren't panicking following one of the worst games of Aaron Rodgers' career.

 width=In a showdown between two of the NFC's elite, the Panthers seek a team-record 12th consecutive win Sunday when the visiting Packers try to rebound from a humbling defeat.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera says his team still has plenty to work on despite emerging from last weekend as the lone unbeaten in the NFC. The Panthers had a 17-point fourth-quarter lead Monday night before Indianapolis rallied with two touchdowns in less than five minutes and hit a tying field goal at the end of regulation.

The Panthers (7-0) haven't lost since Nov. 30, when they had a 3-8-1 record before going on to win the NFC South. They haven't been dominant this season, winning six of seven by 11 points or fewer.

After averaging 248.5 passing yards with 15 touchdowns during the Packers' 6-0 start, Rodgers was 14 of 22 for 77 yards - a career low for a start he was able to finish - and no scores. The star had thrown for at least one TD in 41 of his previous 44 games.

It wasn't all his fault with Green Bay's receivers having a difficult time getting open against the Broncos' top-ranked defense and running back Eddie Lacy being limited to 38 yards on 11 carries.

The Packers, one of the league's best offensive teams since Rodgers arrived, ranks an uncharacteristic 27th in passing yards per game (210.1) and 28th in total offense (332.1).

Clay Matthews is likely to play despite injuring his ankle last week.

 width=>>Rams in Minnesota

It seemed shocking when Adrian Peterson was able to begin one of the greatest seasons for a running back in NFL history less than nine months after tearing his ACL.

Todd Gurley was a senior in high school when Peterson suffered his injury, and it would be less than three years later that he would be setting a similar goal of getting back on the field at 100 percent as quickly as possible.

The comparisons extend beyond their time spent rehabbing, though, and they'll share the field for the first time when Peterson's Minnesota Vikings host Gurley's St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

The 21-year-old St. Louis rookie didn't play in the first two games and had only six carries for nine yards in his debut. Back to full strength, Gurley became the first back in league history to rush for at least 125 yards in his first four starts.

Gurley is averaging a league-high 6.12 yards per carry and finished with 133 - including a 71-yard touchdown run - in last week's 27-6 win over San Francisco.

St. Louis, which hasn't won three straight since coach Jeff Fisher's first season in 2012, has confidence it can slow the Vikings' offense.

The Vikings are no slouches defensively, either. They rank seventh in total defense - one spot behind St. Louis - allowing an average of 334.0 yards. They're 25th in yards allowed per carry at 4.39, but they've held opponents to fewer than 100 yards five times.

>>Bengals Blast Browns

Andy Dalton connected with tight end Tyler Eifert for three scores and played the role of blocker on Mohamed Sanu's reverse for a touchdown, setting up Cincinnati's 31-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.

Dalton finished 21 of 27 for 234 yards with a passer rating of 139.8.

The Bengals improved to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history, their longest winning streak within a season.

Johnny Manziel finished 15 of 33 for 168 yards and was sacked three times, all in the fourth quarter.

Manziel had some of his best NFL moments during a 10-play, 92-yard drive late in the first half that cut it to 14-10. He scrambled and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Duke Johnson with 19 seconds left.

Illinois Heads To West Lafayette To Battle Purdue

 width=Coming off a brutal 39-0 loss at Penn State last Saturday, the Illinois Fighting Illini football team will look to rebound when they take on Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium.

The 4-4 Illini who are 1-3 in the Big Ten look to get back on track against a struggling Purdue team who is just 2-6 on the year and 1-3 in the Big Ten. Purdue is coming off a shootout win, 55-45, over Nebrasaka.

The Illini have been hit hard by the injury bug this year but could receive good news.

Senior runningback Josh Ferguson is considered questionable for Saturday's game. Interim head coach Bill Cubit indicated Monday Ferguson returned to practice this week and they would evaluate him as the week went on.

Elsewhere, runningback Henry Enyenihi is out this week.

The Illini continue to be without wide receivers Mike Dudek and Justin Hardee.

Game time is 11 am Saturday.

 width=>>Illinois State Hits Road For Big Road Test

As the calendar turns to November, the journey for No. 3 Illinois State (7-1, 5-0 MVFC) to win a conference title for the second-straight season get extremely tough with a road contest at No. 11 South Dakota State (6-2, 3-2 MVFC) on Saturday.

Coming off a 27-24 win over Indiana State last Saturday where the Redbirds had to rally from behind, the Redbirds have taken the last three from South Dakota State, with their last meeting at Hancock Stadium last year for Homecoming.

The game will be streamed live on ESPN3, and is set for 2:05 p.m. kickoff.

 width=>>Eastern Illinois Hosts Top Ranked Jacksonville State

The Eastern Illinois Panthers will face their stiffest test since an 0-3 start to the 2015 football season as they welcome top ranked Jacksonville State to O'Brien Field Saturday.

Coming off a 34-20 victory over Murray State last Saturday, the Panthers will put their undefeated mark in the Ohio Valley Conference and a five game win streak on the line this week.

Jacksonville State is also 5-0 in the Ohio Valley and their only blemish on the season is was a 27-20 defeat to Auburn.

Game time Saturday is 1 pm and can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

Sages Head To Newton For Class 3A Second Round Game

 width=The Monticello Sages had to play comeback kids last Saturday afterrnoon to move on to a Saturday second round Class 3A playoff football game.

Down 21-7, Monticello scored 28 unanswered points in the second half and beat Trenton-Wesclin, setting up a Saturday showdown with undefeated Newton.

Newton ran the table through their season and won the Little Illini. Newton blasted Sullivan-Okaw Valley 46-21 Saturday night.

Saturday's game starts at 1:30 pm and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other Class 3A playoff matchups:

#8 Carlinville (8-2) at #1 St. Joseph-Ogden (10-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
#5 Bloomington Central Catholic (9-1) at #4 Paxton-Buckley-Loda (9-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
#2 Virden North Mac (10-0) at #10 Tolono Unity (7-3) Sat. 4:00 pm

Class 1A playoff games this weekend:

#1 Tuscola (10-0) at #9 LeRoy (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#2 G.C.M.S. (10-0) vs. #10 Winchester West Central (7-3) at Winchester Sat. 2:00 pm
#3 Arcola (10-0) at #11 Catlin Salt Fork (7-3) Sat. 5:00 pm

Class 2A playoff games:

#1 Tri-Valley (10-0) at #9 Taylor Ridge Rockridge (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#5 Mendon Unity (8-2) at #4 Dee-Mack (8-2) Sat. 1:00 pm
#15 Athens(6-4) vs. #7 Maroa-Forsyth (8-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
#3 Sangamon Valley (9-1) at #11 Nashville (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm

Class 4A:

#5 Murphysboro (9-1) at #4 Rochester (9-1) Sat. 3:00 pm
#6 Herrin (9-1) at #3 Taylorville (10-0) Sat. 3:00 pm

Class 5A:

#1 Washington (10-0) at #9 Sterling (8-2) Sat. 1:00 pm
#4 Champaign Central (9-1) at #12 Decatur Eisenhower (7-3) Sat. 1:00 pm
#3 Peoria (9-1) vs. #6 Centralia (9-1) at Peoria Stadium Sat. 4:00 pm

Class 6A:

#7 Peoria Notre Dame (8-2) at #2 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (10-0) Sat. 1:00 pm

Class 7A:

#11 Park Ridge Maine South (8-2) at #6 Normal Community (9-1) Sat. 1:00 pm

2015 Turkeys Expected To Be Healthy

Last winter the U.S poultry industry was hit with a major outbreak of avian influenza. The flu only effected poultry, mainly chickens and turkeys and did not spread to people or other animals, but, according to Dr Mark Ernst, Illinois State Veterinarian, the outbreak devastated the poultry industry.

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As a result of the avian flu outbreak, broilers and eggs were in tight supply for a while, but producers have recovered and supplies have increased… Ernst says turkey production continues to increase and there should be plenty of turkey available for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.

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But with cold weather, and flu season on the way, the poultry industry is on the alert, hoping new biosecurity measures implemented this year will prevent a repeat of last winter’s outbreak.

Attorney General on Board With Power Plant Limits

The state of Illinois, at least the Attorney General in Illinois, is teaming up with 17 other states to support new limits on power plants.

A court motion was filed today in a federal appellate court that supports new Federal limits on power plants and plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Illinois is in opposition of Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin.

They are among more than 24 states that are challenging the limits.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration says his office is still reviewing the rule.

Kindergarten Assessment Waiver Considered

A couple of school districts understand assessments of kindergartners encourages better instruction and guidance for teachers and parents, but they are also defending their waiver request from state mandated evaluations.

During a Senate Education Committee hearing Wednesday in Chicago, Ray Lechner from Wilmette School District 39 said the one-size-fits-all mandated assessment doesn't work.

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Lechner says the Illinois State Board of Education is in the process of changing the state’s assessment, which makes the issue even more frustrating for school districts.

A spokesperson from ISBE was not immediately available for comment.
Meanwhile, Glencoe’s school district requested a waiver from the assessment for up to year 2020. A resolution denying waiver requests could be brought out next week when the General Assembly meets in Springfield.

Resolution Defending Pork Industry Filed

Some state lawmakers are looking to defend the pork industry from a recent report linking processed meat to cancer.

House Resolution 839 would recognize the importance of bacon and other pork products, as well as pork producers, to the state’s economy and job growth.

Republican Representative Avery Bourne says the measure is a direct response to a recent report from the World Health Organization linking consumption of processed meat to cancer. The freshman lawmaker is an avid baker but says she’s never experimented putting bacon in her own confections.

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Bourne says she recently toured a large pork producer’s operation in Nokomis, where she saw how important the pork industry is for Illinois.

Millikin University To Break Ground on New Commons Building

 width=A central Illinois school is breaking ground on a major project this week.

This Friday, Millikin University will be holding a ceremony to officially break ground on the new University Commons, the largest square-footage building project in university history.

The ceremony will be held outside Staley Library beginning at 10:30 a.m.

According to a release by the school, The University Commons is one of three building projects under Millikin University's $85 million "Transform MU" capital campaign (TMU).

Millikin University President Dr. Patrick E. White and James R. Neff, Chairman of the Millikin Board of Trustees, will speak during the ceremony.

Construction for the 87,000-square-foot facility is expected to be in full swing in early 2016 and completion prior to the start of the fall 2017 semester.

Heyworth Superintendent Taking Wait and See Approach With PARCC Tests

The leader of a central Illinois school district says he is indifferent when it comes to the PARCC testing and wants to see more from the tests before he makes any judgments.

Heyworth Schools Superintendent Dr. Ty Wolf believes the PARCC tests are a different way of testing and feels they are designed for more critical thinking. He notes the old multiple choice style of testing is proving to be not as effective.

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To this point in time, Dr. Wolf does not believe the PARCC assessments can be labeled good or bad. He explains the tests aim to get students to think at a higher level.

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Dr. Wolf believes challenging kids is a good thing and feels the goals of the PARCC tests are to get students to think more critically, however, he feels the testing can't be the only measure to a student's success.

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Last year was the first year of PARCC testing and Dr. Wolf says despite less than positive news as it relates to the student's scores, he'd like to see more of it before he jumps to any conclusions.

College Basketball Notes

 width=Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced on Tuesday that freshman forward Mickey Mitchell has not yet been cleared by the NCAA to play in games this season.

Mitchell is a 6-7 forward that was considered by most recruiting services to be a four-star player in the Class of 2015. He was a bit more highly regarded before suffering injuries in his sophomore and junior seasons to a knee and his back, but 247Sports had him as the No. 119 player in the country according to their final composite rankings.

If healthy, Mitchell could be one of the most fun players to watch at some point during his college basketball career. He plays an entertaining style of basketball predicated on tremendous vision and passing ability.

>>Oregon Starting PG Out Month With Foot Injury

Already, Oregon is going to be without one of the two major pieces they brought in to replace last year's Pac-12 Player of the Year Joseph Young.

 width=After last night's 92-44 drubbing of Northwest Christian, Ducks' coach Dana Altman announced that guard Dylan Ennis will be out for upward of a month with a foot injury.

The Oregon coach learned he will be without senior transfer Dylan Ennis for at least one month and maybe longer because of a foot injury. Although new to the team, Ennis had already become a vocal leader for the Ducks and was likely the starting point guard.

After Oregon beat Northwest Christian 92-44 in a men's basketball exhibition game Tuesday night in front of 5,499 at Matthew Knight Arena, Altman said quote-“I'm not sure what we are going to do to be real honest. I had Dylan playing quite a few minutes. We will have to re-evaluate a lot of things and make some adjustments."

The 6-2 guard, who played the last two seasons at Villanova after starting his career at Rice, averaged 9.9 points and 3.5 assists last year while starting all 36 games for the Wildcats.

With his injury, the lead ball-handling responsibilties could fall to freshman Tyler Dorsey. Dorsey was a highly sought-after recruit that improved his stock this summer after a terrific showing with the Greek national team at the U19 World Championships.

 width=>>Kansas Freshman To Likely Miss First Exhibition Game

Kansas coach Bill Self told CBS Sports on Tuesday morning that unless the NCAA clears Cheick Diallo by Wednesday night the five-star recruit will not play in the Jayhawks' exhibition game against Pittsburg State at Allen Fieldhouse.

"We'll hold him out if he isn't cleared," Self said.

Diallo is the highest-profile freshman still waiting for academic clearance from the NCAA. The issue, a source has told CBS Sports, stems from his time at Our Savior New American, a private school in New York where Diallo, a native of Mali, spent the past three years before becoming the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 McDonald's All-American game.

There is no timetable for a resolution.

Still, KU officials are optimistic they'll know something soon.

Kansas is ranked fourth in the preseason AP poll.

The Jayhawks open the regular season against Northern Colorado on Nov. 13.

>>North Carolina G Paige Out 3-4 Weeks

North Carolina, the preseason No. 1 team in the country, is already dealing with injury woes.

The school announced on Wednesday that point guard Marcus Paige, a preseason All-American and the No. 15 player on CBS Sports' preseason Top 100 (and one) ranking, will miss three-to-four weeks with a fracture in the third metacarpal of his right (non-shooting) hand.

Paige was also named the co-preseason player of the year in the ACC by the media. He averaged 14.1 points and 4.5 assists per game last season despite struggling through injuries last season.

In the grand scheme, Paige is the one player this North Carolina team seems ill-equipped to lose.

Pacers Edge Celtics

 width=Paul George had 26 points and 10 rebounds, Jordan Hill added 16 points and 10 boards, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Boston Celtics 100-98 on Wednesday night.

Monta Ellis made two free throws with 13.7 seconds left to snap a 98-all tie. Avery Bradley, who had fouled Ellis, missed a potential winning 3-point attempt for the Celtics.

Indiana had led by as much as 10 points in the first half, but Boston slowly chipped away and overtook the Pacers at 62-61 on Jared Sullinger's 3-pointer with 4:52 to play in the third quarter.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while Bradley added 21 points.

White Sox Decline Option on SS Ramirez

 width=The White Sox have declined a $10 million option on shortstop Alexei Ramirez and owe the former All-Star a $1 million buyout.

The 34-year-old Ramirez has played his entire career with Chicago after leaving Cuba and is a .273 hitter with 109 homers and 542 RBIs in eight seasons. He was an AL All-Star in 2014 but batted a career-low .249 this year with 10 homers and 62 RBIs.

Chicago could re-sign Ramirez as a free agent or give playing time to Tyler Saladino, a solid fielder with a questionable bat. Shortstop Tim Anderson, among the team's top prospects, hit .312 at Double-A Birmingham this year.

The White Sox also selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Zach Phillips from Triple-A Charlotte, where he went 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 12 saves in 46 relief appearances this year. He is 0-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 19 relief appearances with Baltimore (2011-12) and Miami (2013). He was signed by the White Sox last December.

>>Royals' Gordon Declines $12.5-Million Option

As expected, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon declined his player option for 2016 on Wednesday, the team announced. He is now a free agent.

Gordon, 31, turned down a $12.5 million salary next season, though he should top that easily in free agency. A four- or five-year deal worth $15 million annually should be within reach, possibly more since the game is flush with money.

This past season was the final guaranteed year on the four-year, $37.5 million contract extension Gordon signed prior to the 2012 season. He was the longest tenured player on the 2015 World Series champs.

Gordon hit .271/.377/.432 (120 OPS+) with 13 home runs in 104 games this season. He missed time with a significant groin strain. From 2012-14, Gordon hit .276/.349/.436 (115 OPS+) with 53 home runs. He also won three Gold Gloves.

Even at age 31, Gordon should be a very popular free agent, especially among the teams that can't afford the top outfield free agents like Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton.

Free agents are free to begin negotiating and signing with new teams at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday.

>>Dodgers Ace Greinke Opts Out of Contract, To Become Free Agent

Starting pitcher Zack Greinke signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers prior to the 2013 season, but the deal included an opt-out clause for Greinke after the first three years of the deal.

Given that Greinke will be a top two finisher in the NL Cy Young vote this season, it's a no-brainer for him to opt out. Jon Heyman reported here a few weeks ago that he would and Wednesday Greinke did opt for free agency.

There were three years and $71 million left on his contract, but given the state of baseball in free agency in this day and age, Greinke's going to blow that figure out of the water this winter, especially with several major players in the market for starting pitching (such as the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees, Tigers, Giants and more).

Greinke, 32, was 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 200 strikeouts in 222 2/3 innings in the regular season. In two postseason starts, he struck out 17 and walked one, but did allow five runs on 11 hits in 13 2/3 innings.

Greinke's top-shelf pitching competition in free agency includes David Price, Johnny Cueto and Jordan Zimmermann.

>>Dodgers Interviewing Kirk Gibson For Manager

The Dodgers have interviewed former World Series hero Kirk Gibson for their managerial vacancy, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. The interview took place last week.

Gibson played parts of 17 seasons in the big leagues, including three with the Dodgers. In Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Gibson hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run with two injured legs against Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. It's one of the most famous home runs in baseball history:

Gibson, who was named NL MVP that year, was dealing with a left hamstring strain and a swollen right knee and was not expected to play Game 1 at all.

The 58-year-old Gibson managed the Diamondbacks from 2010-14. The team went 353-375 (.485) under his watch. Gibson spent last season broadcasting for Fox Sports Detroit, covering the Tigers.

Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease earlier this year. He is able to manage the condition through medication and other treatment.

The Dodgers and manager Don Mattingly parted ways after the season. Gibson is one of the several managerial candidates the team has interviewed. Gabe Kapler, Bud Black, Bob Geren, Darin Erstad and Dave Roberts are among the others.

Blues Storm Back For Win Over Chicago; Hockey Notes

Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 3:54 of a whistle-free overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 6-5 come-from-behind win over Chicago on Wednesday night, handing the defending champion Blackhawks their first home loss this season.

Tarasenko, who also had an assist, beat Corey Crawford on the glove side from the slot for his seventh goal after taking a nifty behind-the-back centering pass from Alex Pietrangelo.

 width=Alexander Steen scored twice goals, and Robby Fabbri, Jay Bouwmeester and David Backes each had a goal and an assist in regulation for St. Louis, which allowed more than three goals for the first time this season.

Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw each had a goal and an assist and Marko Dano - recalled from the minors on Monday - got his first goal to help the Blackhawks take a 5-2 lead after one period.

>>Blues' Reaves Receives Max Fine For Jab on Kopitar

The Los Angeles Kings could be without Anze Kopitar after he took a high blow from St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves in Tuesday night's 3-0 win. For his trouble, Reaves received the maximum fine from the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

The department called the play roughing, though some viewed Reaves' transgression as a butt-end to Kopitar's face.

The butt-end of his stick, however, never appears to extend past Reaves' glove, so it ends up being more like a little jab to an unsuspecting player. That has resulted in suspensions in the past, but the DPS opted for a maximum fine here instead.

Kopitar ended up leaving the game after this and did not return, with the team citing an upper-body injury as the cause for his absence.

The Kings forward's status going forward is not yet known.

>>Edmonton's Top Pick, McDavid, Breaks Clavicle

The Edmonton Oilers knew the news regarding prized rookie Connor McDavid wouldn't be good Wednesday morning after he was further evaluated. And it isn't.

While meeting with the media Wednesday morning, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed that McDavid suffered a broken left clavicle that will require surgery to repair. The 18-year-old is out indefinitely, but Chiarelli said it will take "months," with emphasis on the plural, for him to recover.

McDavid was injured after crashing into the boards during Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. It seemed like a freak play where McDavid was off balance and ended up going shoulder-first into the boards with a pair of Flyers players on top of him.

Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane suffered a similar injury last season. He was given a 12-week recovery timeline, but returned after seven weeks just in time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Clinton High School Golfer Recognized By Board of Education

 width=Clinton High School sophomore Chase Reynolds had an exceptional year on the golf course this year.

(Pictured Left to Right: Golf Head Coach Randy Workman, Chase Reynolds, Assistant Coach Clint Lichtenwalter)

Clinton Athletic Director Barry Gurvey indicates Reynolds' highlights included a conference tournament championship and an excellent showing at Regionals to propel him to the Sectional in Lincoln.

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Golf Coach Randy Workman says Reynolds works very hard at his game. Workman indicates Reynolds is out all summer playing and is taking advantage of indoor opportunities as well.

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For Workman, Reynolds' play was exceptional from the Central Illinois Conference Tournament to the Regional. Workman says when they went to Sectionals in Lincoln, competition took a big step forward.

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Workman says there is no doubt to him, Reynolds will be a State Tournament competitor at some point in the next two years.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Nov. 4

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Ell Jay Tyler, 21, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Tyler was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Nov. 5

Jail Population: 31

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Shirley Stelbrink, 30, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Stelbrink was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Megan Birch, 37, Mt. Zion was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Birch was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.



Time Change Health Tips

As daylight savings expired for 2015 this past weekend, one national health expert says to be aware of changes in your body.

With less and less daylight with each passing day, national health expert, Dr. Christine Horner says there are things to be aware of now that the amount of sunlight is less and there seems to be shorter days.

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Dr. Horner explains each and every system in the body is related and interacts with the other.

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According to Dr. Horner, the optimal times for sleep are 10 pm to 6 am. She explains a good night's sleep every night is the key to good health.

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Dr. Horner explains sunlight is a key to health as well. She says there are full spectrum lights for your home that can give off the feel of sunlight that help people improve their mood and health during the winter days with shorter amounts of sun.

Donald Trump To Be in Springfield Next Week

The Fighting Illini basketball team won't be the only big name act on the marquee at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield this month.

"The Donald", a.k.a Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, will bring his unique brand of politics to Downtown Springfield Monday at 7.

Trump, known for his wealth, time as a reality host and and an outspoken candidate, has helped create a new phenomenon for early debates, high television ratings with a brash, outspoken style.

Free tickets are being distributed through the website "eventbrite.com".

Pair of Illinois Towns Among Top 50 Small Towns in America

The inaugural list is being released by Discount My Flights, which runs a website of the same name, which classifies small towns as those with populations of 20-thousand or less. It includes Jacksonville and Galena.

Jacksonville Convention and Visitors Bureau President Brittany Henry.

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Task Force Looking At Drone Use



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Mild Weather Ahead

After a mild October, we are now looking ahead to a fairly mild month of November.

The 15 day outlook calls for mild weather through the first half of the month says DTN meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

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In fact, Anderson says mild weather could be trend for much of the winter.

Bryce 2 32”[audio:11041573859-Bryce2.mp3] [/audio]

DTN meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

Clinton, DeWitt County Officials Talk Withholding of Motor Fuel Tax Funds

The respective leaders of Clinton and DeWitt County roads departments say the state's announcement to withhold their motor fuel tax funds is not going to have a great deal of impact initially, though that's not to say things won't change

Mark Mathon is the DeWitt County Highway Engineer and Steve Lobb is the Clinton Public Works Director. Both say the announcement by the State won't have an impact in the short term, but Lobb says, that may effect them going into next year.

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Mathon says they are fortunate the County has built up a fund balance to match funds on a federal project, however, if motor fuel tax moneys don’t' begin to come in starting next year, they may be looking at drawing from that fund to make up the difference.

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The lack of a budget and the uncertainty of those funds is making future budgeting and planning very difficult. According to Mathon, they will soon begin their planning for next year and he says without knowing what the status of that money is, they are just going to budget as usual and hope to receive that money in a timely fashion.

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Lobb indicates they will budget for next year like they are getting those funds as usual. However, he says if for some reason they don't receive that money, there will be projects that get put on hold.

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Mathon indicates the motor fuel tax money from a County standpoint gets used for general maintenance work. He says for townships, if they don't have money for targeted projects by February or March, they won't be taking those on.

Lobb explains the motor fuel tax funds for Clinton tend to be used for secondary streets projects.

Mathon also adds, motor fuel tax funds have significantly decreased over the last several years, greatly effecting the amount of work and projects they are able to give to community roads.

New York Mets, Manager Terry Collins Agree To Extension

 width=Days after falling to the Royals in the World Series, the Mets and manager Terry Collins have agreed to a two-year contract extension. CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed the deal, and the team is expected to make an announcement Wednesday.

Collins, 66, just completed his fifth season and first winning season with the Mets. This year, the Mets won 90 games in the regular season, fended off the heavily favored Nationals for the NL East title and won the pennant. Across those five seasons in Queens, Collins has a record of 394-416 (.486).

Collins previously managed the Angels for parts of three seasons from 1997-99 (220-237, .481) and Astros for three seasons from 1994-96 (224-197, .532). This past season was the first in which a Collins-led team made the playoffs.

Johnny Football Preparing to Start Sunday for Cleveland

On a short week, Johnny Manziel will be asked to lead the Browns to a win over the undefeated Bengals. And, oh yeah, that game will be played on the road in Cincinnati.

 width=According to NFL Media's Rand Getlin, the Browns are preparing Manziel to start on Thursday as Josh McCown recovers from an injury to his ribs that he sustained during the Browns' loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.

McCown did not sound optimistic about the injury saying it would take longer than a few days for his injured ribs to heal.

Manziel has played in four games this season, completing 56 percent of his passes for 393 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. In his lone start this season, Manziel helped guide the Browns to a win over the Titans, demonstrating the improvements he's made since his disastrous rookie season. In that start, Manziel showed a willingness to pass first instead of relying too heavily on his legs.

If he does start Thursday, he'll face a stiff test. Not only are the Bengals undefeated, but their defense is surrendering just 18.9 points per game.

Manziel is currently under investigation by the NFL for his roadside incident with his girlfriend last month.

Kings Blank Blues; Blackhawks, Blues Notes

 width=Jhonas Enroth posted his sixth career shutout as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Jeff Carter, Tanner Pearson and Trevor Lewis scored for the Kings, who won for the eighth time in nine games. Los Angeles had a seven-game win streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.

Jake Allen made 31 saves for the Blues, who lost for the first time in four games and were handed their first regulation loss in six home games.

Enroth was making just his second start of the season for the Kings, in place of Jonathan Quick, and made 24 saves for his second win of the season. Enroth stopped 39 of 40 shots in a 4-1 win over San Jose on Oct. 22.

>>Blues, Blackhawks Meet Tonight

Coming off a 3-0 shutout to the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues look to rebound when they head to Chicago tonight to take on the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks were off Tuesday and beat the Kings Monday at the Madhouse on Madison.

Chicago has lost two of their last three games after a four game win streak. The Blackhawks are 7-5-0.

The Blues are 8-3-1.

 width=Gametime is 7 pm central time on the NBC Sports Network.

>>Report Indicates Kane Accuser No Longer Cooperating In Investigation

There has been another reported development in the ongoing rape investigation surrounding Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane. According to the Buffalo News, the woman that accused Kane of raping her in his home in early August no longer wishes to cooperate with the investigation due to the "tremendous stress" this has caused her and her family.

The News also reported that the woman has signed an "affidavit declining prosecution" after a long meeting with investigators last week. That affidavit is being reviewed by Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita.

This news comes on the heels of a Buffalo News report that it was unlikely Kane would end up facing criminal charges after the now three-month investigation into what happened on the night of Aug. 2.

Sedita, who has been avoiding definitive statements on this ongoing investigation since it began, told the News that no decision will be made on this case until the prosecutor assigned to it returns from vacation.

Even if the alleged victim doesn't want to cooperate in the case, the DA's office can still decide to prosecute. However, it has been reported and stated by Kane's attorney Paul Cambria in mid-September that the DNA evidence collected via a rape kit following the alleged incident did not confirm the allegations of rape. Without the alleged victim's cooperation, it appears it would be difficult for the case to move forward.

Though nothing is yet confirmed, it appears more likely than ever that this investigation is about to reach its conclusion.

Hornets Blast Bulls For First Win of Season

 width=Jeremy Lamb scored 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting, Nicolas Batum added 18 and the Charlotte Hornets cruised to their first victory of the season, 130-105 over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

Jeremy Lin had 15 points, Al Jefferson had 14 and Spencer Hawes chipped in with 13 on three 3-pointers as the hot-shooting Hornets shot 14 of 22 from beyond the arc and made 22 of 23 free throws.

The Hornets (1-3) led by as many as 27 in the second quarter after starting the game by hitting 13 of 18 shots from the field and all 11 foul shots in the first quarter.

Charlotte reached the 100-point plateau in the final seconds of the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Lin.

Jimmy Butler led the Bulls (3-2) with a season-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while Doug McDermott added 17 points.

Northern Illinois Rallies Past Ranked Toledo

 width=Freshman quarterback Ryan Graham led Northern Illinois on two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and the Huskies rallied to beat No. 20 Toledo 32-27 on Tuesday night.

Joel Bouagnon's 2-yard touchdown with 1:59 remaining lifted the Huskies (6-3, 4-1 Mid-American Conference) to their sixth consecutive victory against the Rockets (7-1, 4-1). Bouagnon rushed for 87 yards on 26 carries.

Graham entered midway through the second quarter after Drew Hare suffered a leg injury. Hare spent the second half on the sideline in crutches, and Graham was 9 for 12 for 132 yards and ran for 41 more yards.

The Huskies closed to 27-25 on Kenny Golladay's diving 7-yard touchdown reception in the fourth.

Toledo's Kareem Hunt rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns. His 1-yard score with 4:23 left in the third quarter gave the Rockets a 24-16 lead.

>>Clemon Atop First College Football Playoff Rankings

Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Alabama.

That's the top four in the first CFP ranking of the season.

Clemson comes as no surprise to the number one spot as their schedule is the toughest among the undefeateds in college football.

Sitting atop the SEC, LSU still has a long ways to go to remain in the top 5 as they play Alabama this weekend.

Notre Dame is a big surprise at number five while Baylor and TCU at 6 and 8. respectively, will meet in the last weekend of the season, all but eliminating one from contention.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Nov. 3

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 0

Lori Berger, 52, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 87 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone. Berger was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Daniel Igwe, 36, Round Rock, TX was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Igwe was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Michael Meele, 23, Maroa was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Meele was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.


Clinton Woman's Death Under Investigation

 width=The Illinois State Police with the cooperation of the Clinton Police Department are investigating the death of 32-year old Christina Godinet of Clinton.

At approximately 10:15 am Friday, first responders were called to 1700 East Main Street. Upon arrival, Godinet was found unresponsive.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers (right) indicated to Regional Radio News the investigation has been handed over to the State Police because of "extraordinary circumstances".

Messages to the State Police were unreturned.

32-year old Josh Dubson made the call to 9-1-1 and was arrested on misdemeanor possession drug paraphernalia charges.

DeWitt County Coronor Randy Rice tells Regional Radio News that autopsy results have not been released as of Tuesday afternoon.  He also notes the toxicology results in the investigation are not expected to be available for another four weeks.

$181-Million in Fuel Taxes Owed to Local Governments in Illinois

The state of Illinois is more than $181 million behind in distributing monthly motor fuel tax revenue to municipalities, counties and other local governments amid the ongoing state budget impasse.

Records from the Illinois comptroller's office show more than $89 million is owed to municipalities and $63.6 million is owed to counties. Reports indicate another roughly $29 million hasn't been given to smaller townships and road districts, and many rely on the funding for most of their maintenance and repair budgets.

Rich Carter, spokesman for the Illinois comptroller's office, says the comptroller can't release the motor fuel tax funds without a budget, statutory authority or a court order.

The state Department of Transportation has told local governments that the funds would be given out when there's a state budget.

Gov. Rauner Buys Dead Fish For Chicago Mayor Emanuel

Illinois’ Governor has a gift for Chicago’s Mayor--a dead fish. During a stop at Chicago’s Paulina Meat Market Governor Bruce Rauner said he picked up some dinner for himself--double cut pork chops and beef tenderloin. He also bought something for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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Afterward, Rauner talked about the large amount of paperwork business owners need to go through in order to get a liquor licence in the city of Chicago and said it’s an example of what needs to change in Chicago and the State of Illinois. Rauner said he still remains good friends with Emanuel and the gesture was in good fun. Emanuel reportedly sent a dead fish to a pollster back in 1988 when he was working on a congressional campaign.

Governor Reveals Agenda Items

Illinois’ Governor is revealing what he wants on the agenda for a meeting he’s called for himself and legislative leaders next month.

Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants structural reform, revenue and taxes, spending levels and more saying it’s going to a comprehensive agenda. As for how productive the meeting will be if the press has access, the Governor seems a bit skeptical compromise can be reached in front of TV cameras.

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A group of civic organizations that pushed for the public meeting later said the agenda needs to be partisan. The meeting is scheduled for November 18th in either Chicago or Springfield. Speaker Michael Madigan’s office says they are awaiting to see the agenda before committing to attend.

Rauner Continues Search For Buyer of Mitsubishi Plant

Illinois’ Governor wouldn’t say how many prospects there are to possibly buy a manufacturing plant in Bloomington-Normal but said one thing that’s keeping potential buyers away is Illinois poor business climate.

During a stop with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Governor Bruce Rauner said his administration is looking for a buyer to take over the plant being vacated by Mitsubishi.

However, Rauner said finding one to seal the deal is difficult because of the cost of doing business in Illinois and somethings have to change.

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The Governor said his reform agenda addressing workers comp and tort law will help the state grow and create more jobs but Democratic leaders suggest the Governor’s agenda will hurt the middle class and leave injured workers with less in benefits.

Senate Committees Meeting in Chicago This Week

No hearings in the House this week but the Senate will hold two hearings hearings with one being being a joint hearing of the Senate Public Health and Appropriations committees.

The meeting Tuesday afternoon in Chicago will hear testimony on Senate Bill 2178 and how the budget impasse is affecting local health departments. SB 2178 appropriates $17 million from the General Revenue Fund for local health protection grants.

Meanwhile Wednesday in Chicago the the Senate Education committee will delve into House Joint Resolution 101 that would disapprove certain school district requests for waivers related to transitional bilingual education, the Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey, non-resident tuition, general state aid and instructional time.

Both the House and Senate aren’t back in full session until November 10th.

Property Tax Freeze Would Devestate Communities Like Clinton

 width=Monday night, the Clinton City Council was presented information on the property tax freeze that is a focal point of Governor Bruce Rauner's reform agenda.

According to Clinton City Treasurer, Clint Lichtenwalter (pictured right), the two year property tax freeze the Governor is touting would likely not be temporary and the freeze would force communities like Clinton to increase their taxes before the legislation would go into effect.

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Lichtenwalter explains in the event there is economic growth in the community, the property tax freeze would not allow communities to capture the funds from that growth. He essentially calls a tax decrease.

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Clinton Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds explains the state sets the maximum levies for communities like Clinton. He points to communities such as Decatur and Bloomington and Normal do not fall under the rule which allows them to levy more.

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Lichtenwalter indicates the property tax freeze would also effect the police and fire pension funds. He indicates Clinton has been able to keep up with the annual payments to those funds, but if a property tax freeze goes into effect, it's likely they will have to find money from other places to fund their pensions.

Clinton Teachers Honored


Clinton School teachers were recently honored in front of the Board of Education.

According to Superintendent Curt Nettles, last spring, a pair of teachers and a community member were recognized from a local level and state level for their outstanding work.

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The late Carol Thompson was the community award winner. In a prepared statement from the latest Board of Education meeting, Nettles says, anyone who met her was inspired in some way by her example.

Picture Right: Gary Thompson, along with his daughter Lauren, accept the award on behalf of the late-Carol Thompson. 

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Trisha Bostic (pitcutred below on left), who was awarded the Clinton School District's Teacher of the Year award last year, was also recognized at a state level. Bostic is a third grade teacher at Clinton Elementary School.

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Clinton High School Life Coach Kara Klepp (pictured below on right) was among finalists for early educators. According to Nettles, the award recognizes those who are in the early years of their teaching careers.

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Nettles says he is proud of the work done by the two educators and by Thompson.

Cavs Win; LeBron Becomes Youngest Player to 25-Thousand Points

 width=LeBron James became the youngest player to reach 25,000 career points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers past the winless Philadelphia 76ers 107-100 on Monday night.

James had 22 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds and rallied the Cavs in the second half against a scrappy Philly team that had built a 15-point lead. James and the rest of the Eastern Conference champions had enough to push back the undermanned Sixers.

James scored the milestone basket on a dunk with 8:07 left in the fourth quarter. The 30-year-old James became the fifth active player with 25,000 points and the 20th overall. He joined Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio's Tim Duncan, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce of the Clippers.

North Carolina No. 1, Kentucky No. 2 in First College Basketball AP Poll

 width=The Associated Press released on Monday afternoon its preseason poll, a canonical look at the college hoops landscape as we head into the the 2015-16 season.

Unlike the coaches poll, which was released on Oct. 15 and featured Kentucky and North Carolina tied atop the rankings, UNC takes first place with a lot of room to spare in the AP's echelon. UNC received more first-place votes than all other teams combined. Reigning champs Duke, which did not receive a first-place vote, takes fifth. Kentucky is second, while Maryland is third, though the Terrapins have more first-place believers than UK.

Six Big Ten teams received Top-25 nods while the ACC received just four bids.

Missouri Valley Conference member Wichita State came in at number 10 overall.

Nationals Close To Naming Dusty Baker Manager

 width=The Nationals appear to be on the verge of hiring Dusty Baker as their manager after what seems to be a quick change of course.

Baker and the Nats are said to be close to a deal for the veteran manager to replace the fired Matt Williams after it seemed last week that former Padres skipper Bud Black would be getting the job.

There is no word yet from the Nationals or Baker, and it may be dangerous to declare the competition for the job over after reports circulated last week that Black was the guy. But the Nats, now focused solely on Baker, have offered him the job with a multiyear bid after breaking off talks with Black, the only other finalist.

The Nationals are said to expect Baker to accept the offer.

It was first reported on CBSSports.com on Monday night that the Nats had turned to Baker.

Blackhawks Blast Kings

 width=Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each had a goal and an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory over Los Angeles on Monday night, snapping the Kings' seven-game winning streak.

Kane scored to tie it at 2, then set up Teuvo Teravainen's tiebreaking goal in the third as Chicago scored three goals in the final period.

After taking Toews' pass, Artem Anisimov added a short-handed breakaway goal with 1:33 left to complete the scoring, and the Blackhawks ended a two-game slide. Toews got his fifth goal in five games after not scoring in the opening seven contests to help Chicago win its sixth straight at home.

Alec Martinez scored his first goal of the season and Anze Kopitar got his fourth late in the first period to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.

Chicago's Corey Crawford made 33 saves and Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick stopped 22 shots.

 width=>>Blues Look Continue Red Hot Start

The St. Louis Blues return to action at the Scott Trade Center tonight as they host the LA Kings.

Despite a rash of injuries to key players in their rotations, the Blues have rattled off an 8-2-1 start.

Tonight's game gets underway at 7 pm central time.

The Blues are in Chicago tomorrow night.

>>Blackhawks' Kane Unlikely To Face Criminal Charges

Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane is unlikely to face criminal charges stemming from allegations he raped a woman in his home in Hamburg, N.Y. in early August according to the Buffalo News. Nothing is set in stone yet as Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita has remained mostly quiet on the investigation, which is now nearly three months old, however the News cites three sources close to the investigation who don't see it moving forward with charges.

One knowledgeable source told The Buffalo News when asked about the possibility of criminal charges quote - “This case is going nowhere”.

“I was told … the case will be administratively dismissed” without being presented to a grand jury, a second knowledgeable source added.

Sedita did tell the News that he is still waiting for the investigation to be completed and noted that the prosecutor assigned to the case is currently on vacation.

Kane said Sunday quote - "Those are just reports. There aren't really any facts."

Kane has continued playing for the Blackhawks. He has appeared in all 11 games and is currently tied for fourth in the NHL with 14 points.

While nothing is confirmed, this investigation appears to be nearing its conclusion.

 width=>>Rangers Coach Takes Shot At Mets' OF Cespedes

It all started when Vigneault was asked about whether or not he had ever thought about pulling a goalie only to be talked out of it by the player, a reference to New York Mets manager Terry Collins leaving Matt Harvey in for the ninth inning of Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night.

The Mets ended up losing a 2-0 lead -- and the Series -- after Harvey failed to retire the first two batters of the inning, setting the stage for yet another Royals comeback and ruining what had been to that point a nearly flawless pitching performance by Harvey.

Vigneault said he never experienced anything like that, but as he walked away from the podium he rolled his eyes and shook his head while adding, "how about the one when you take the ball off the knee and you take yourself out of the game in the World Series?"

That was obviously a reference to New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes who had to leave Sunday's game after fouling a ball of his knee in the bottom of the sixth inning. After remaining on the field for several minutes in obvious pain, Cespedes finished his bat and popped out. He was unable to make it all the way to first base and could barely walk off the field. There is no way he would have been able to play his position in the outfield in that condition.

Along with the knee issue as a result of the foul ball, Cespedes also had shoulder and hand injuries throughout the playoffs. The shoulder injury forced him to sit out a game in the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Rangers did not include the comment in their video Vigneault's press conference but Rick Carpiniello of Rangers Report, via Lohud.com, did include it in his write-up of the press conference.

Panthers Escape Struggling Colts, Stay Perfect

 width=Graham Gano kicked a 52-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Carolina Panthers to a 29-26 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night to remain the NFC's only unbeaten team.

After Andrew Luck rallied the Colts from 17 points down in the final 7 1/2 minutes of regulation, both teams exchanged field goals in overtime.

Roman Harper then deflected Luck's pass over the middle to Coby Fleener and Luke Kuechly - who had dropped an earlier interception that would have sealed the game at the end of regulation - came up with the pick at the Colts 39.

Four plays later Gano hit the winner to extend the Panthers regular season winning streak to 11 games.

Cam Newton was 16 of 35 for 248 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 41 yards.

>>49ers Trade TE Davis To Denver

The unbeaten Broncos, fresh off their thumping of Green Bay, are preparing for their run into January. And on Monday, the Broncos bolstered an offense that has lacked firepower by trading for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis.

The news was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and was confirmed by CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Broncos general manager John Elway announced the trade on Twitter, though he did not include the terms of the deal.

The 49ers are also sending their 2016 seventh-round pick to Denver. In exchange for Davis and the draft pick, the Broncos are giving the 49ers two sixth-round picks.

Davis has played for the 49ers since 2006, racking up 441 receptions, 5,640 receiving yards, and 55 touchdowns. During the 49ers' days of relevancy under coach Jim Harbaugh, Davis was a key cog in the team's offense. But this year, Davis, along with the rest of the 49ers' offense, has struggled. Under the guidance of new coach Jim Tomsula, the 49ers are 2-6 and are scoring a league-worst 13.6 points per contest. Davis, meanwhile, has struggled to find any sort of rhythm or consistency with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, catching just 18 passes for 194 yards and zero touchdowns this season.

Davis will most likely take on the role as the No. 1 tight end in Denver, as the team's current starting tight end, Owen Daniels, has only 17 receptions and 129 yards.

Monticello 2nd Round Playoff Game Time Set

 width=The Monticello Sages second round football game time against Newton has been set.

The game will be played in Newton at 1:30 pm.

You can hear the game on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

The Sages stormed back for a 42-21 win over Trenton-Wesclin Saturday in the first round.

Newton is 10-0 and comes off a 46-21 victory over Central Illinois Conference member, Sullivan-Okaw Valley.

All four Okaw Valley football teams that qualified for the postseason advanced.

Clinton Streets Leader: We Have Every Intention of Keeping Brush Cleanup Program

Despite struggles this summer by the Clinton Streets Department to keep the brush cleanup program, the leader of the Streets Department says they have every intention of keeping the program in place.

Steve Lobb is the Public Works Director for Clinton and explains while they plan to keep the program in place, they also plan on making some adjustments. He notes, at no point have they ever thought about shutting it down.

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According to Lobb, one of the adjustments they are looking at is having a limit on how much brush will be taken from a residence. He explains this would ensure his crews are able to keep the line moving and be able to sweep the town in a timely fashion.

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The city streets department is very small in its personnel, and Lobb explains when they take the time to clean up the brush across the community, they put all hands on deck to do it, and it can in many cases, take over a week to complete.

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The Clinton City Council will continue their discussion of amendments to the program tonight.

The Council meets for their first of their November meetings.

School Improvement Planning Underway in Clinton

 width=The State of Illinois mandates Illinois schools take a yearly look at way to better their schools.

The process is underway in Clinton and according to Superintendent Curt Nettles, the things the state is looking for are measurable ways to improve. He explains factors include discipline, moral, testing and environments among many others to shape their goals.

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For Nettles, his only requirements for his leadership team is to shape their goals and develop a plan for achieving those goals.

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Lincoln and Douglass Schools this year will be focused on the health of their teachers. Nettles says the well-being of their staff can sometimes go unnoticed, and he feels it shouldn't because they invest a great amount of hours in the students of the district.

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Once the plans have been formulated, the principals of each building present a brief synopsis of their plans to the Board of Education.

Justin Thomas Wins First PGA Tour Event

 width=Justin Thomas overcame a double bogey on the 14th and some nervous moments on the final hole Sunday to win the CIMB Classic for his first PGA Tour title.

The 22-year-old American holed a 6-foot par putt on the par-5 18th for a one-stroke victory over Australian star Adam Scott. Thomas shot a 6-under 66 for a tournament-record 26-under 262 total at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Thomas, who had a course-record 61 in the second round, seemed to have blown his chances when he hit into the water at 14, but immediately rallied with three consecutive birdies to take the outright lead.

Scott, playing two groups ahead, had an eagle and seven birdies in his closing 63.

Thomas led by a stroke coming to the par-5 final hole, which he had birdied on Saturday, but the required par did not come easily. He drove right of the fairway and his approach found the bunker short of the green. He blasted out to 20 feet, raced his first putt past the hole and holed the comebacker for the breakthrough victory.

He was aiming to take his form in Malaysia into next week's World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China.

American Kevin Na and Brendan Steele tied for third at 24-under. Na had a 67, and Steele shot 68.

Two-time defending champion Ryan Moore had a 69 to tie for 10th at 17 under.

Royals Dominate Mets, Clinch First World Series In 30 Years

 width=The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series crown since 1985, rallying in the ninth inning when Eric Hosmer scrambled home to tie it and then breaking away in the 12th to beat the New York Mets 7-2 in Game 5 Sunday night.

The daring Royals capped their postseason full of comebacks with a dash for the ages, and made up for last year's near-miss in a Game 7 loss to San Francisco.

Hosmer's alert sprint home from third base on a grounder finished off a two-run burst in the ninth against Matt Harvey and closer Jeurys Familia.

Then in the 12th, pinch-hitter Christian Colon delivered a tiebreaking single in his first appearance of this postseason. Lorenzo Cain added a three-run double

Royals starter Edinson Volquez threw two-hit ball for six innings. He pitched a day after returning from his father's funeral in the Dominican Republic.

>>Catcher Sal Perez Series MVP

Following Sunday night's Game 5 of the 2015 World Series (KC 7, NYM 2; KC wins series over Mets 4-1), Royals catcher Salvador Perez was named series MVP.

Perez, 25, batted .364/.375/.455 with two RBI and, of course, stellar defense at the most grueling of positions.

Perez, a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, joins Bret Saberhagen (1985) as the only Royals to be named World Series MVP.

Bulls Outlast Magic

 width=Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic each scored 16 points and the Chicago Bulls withstood a late surge from the Orlando Magic, holding on to win 92-87 Sunday night.

Chicago led by 14 at halftime and 12 after three quarters, and the Bulls appeared to be headed for an easy win. But Orlando cut the lead to two with just under 3 minutes left before Chicago's Jimmy Butler jumped to intercept a pass and squelch the comeback bid.

Then, under the Bulls' basket after a Magic rebound, Butler came up with another takeaway to again foil Orlando.

It was the third win in four games for Chicago. The Magic dropped to 0-3.

Derrick Rose is still playing with a face mask as he recovers from a broken orbital bone suffered before the start of the season. He was held scoreless in the second and third quarters and finished with just six points.

Rams Blast 'Niners; Packers, Bears Lose

 width=Todd Gurley rushed for 133 yards on 20 carries, topping 100 yards for the fourth straight start to open his career, and the St. Louis Rams' defense shut down the San Francisco 49ers and contributed a safety to a 27-6 victory on Sunday.

Gurley, who had a 71-yard touchdown run, is the first rookie to open his career with four consecutive 100-yard games according to STATS with data available since 1991.

Tavon Austin caught a 66-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 2-yard score, compensating for an early lost fumble.

The Rams (4-3) are 3-0 against the NFC West for the first time since 2004.

The 49ers (2-6) were hit hard by injuries, losing Reggie Bush early, and haven't scored a touchdown in two games.

 width=>>Broncos Able To Hold Packers in Check

In only the fourth meeting of teams 6-0 or better, Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre's NFL record with his 186th regular-season win and Denver's defense rattled Aaron Rodgers into one of the worst games of his career in the Broncos' 29-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

Wearing the blue jerseys they did in beating the Packers for their first Super Bowl win in 1997, the Broncos piled it on in the fourth quarter, when DeMarcus Ware sacked Rodgers and the ball ended up in the end zone for a safety.

The Broncos improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1998, when they won the Super Bowl after finishing 14-2.

Rodgers of 14 of 22 for just 77 yards for the Packers (6-1) - the lowest of his career in a game where he wasn't knocked out by injury.

 width=>>Last Second Field Goal Sinks Bears

Adrian Peterson ran for 103 yards and Blair Walsh kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Minnesota Vikings to a 23-20 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

The Vikings had dropped seven straight at Soldier Field, and it looked like the streak would reach eight when Jay Cutler rolled to his right and plowed over safety Harrison Smith for a 4-yard touchdown with just under five minutes remaining.

But two late scores lifted Minnesota (5-2) to its third straight win.

Stefon Diggs turned a short pass into a 40-yard TD when he spun around Sherrick McManis and went up the left side, tying it with 1:49 left.

After Chicago (2-5) punted, Teddy Bridgewater hit a leaping Charles Johnson for a 35-yard pass that put the ball on the 27. Two plays later Walsh booted the winner, pumping his right arm as the ball went through the uprights.

Penn State Blasts Punchless Illini; ISU, EIU Win; Western Loses

 width=Christian Hackenberg threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns, caught a scoring pass and Penn State beat Illinois 39-0 on Saturday.

Hackenberg was 21 of 29 and connected with Chris Godwin and Geno Lewis for 5- and 6-yard touchdowns in the first quarter. He caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Nick Scott in the third.

Saquon Barkley rushed for 84 yards on 20 carries and added another 58 yards receiving. He scored on a 7-yard run to give Penn State (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) a 32-0 lead early in the fourth.

After two of his extra points were blocked and he sailed a kickoff out of bounds, Joey Julius was replaced by Tyler Davis who made 42- and 28-yard field goals. Mark Allen added a 20-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.

The Fighting Illini (4-4, 1-3) managed just 167 yards and punted on 12 of their 15 possessions.

 width=>>Illinois State Needs Late Rally To Beat Indiana State

Marshaun Coprich ran for 165 yards and a touchdown as Illinois State rallied to defeat Indiana State 27-24 Saturday.

Tre Roberson's 5-yard scoring run, and Coprich's 2-point conversion, gave the Redbirds the lead with 2:58 left.

On the Sycamore's ensuing drive, DraShane Glass stopped Robert Tonyan Jr., short of a first down, and the Redbirds took over on downs and killed the clock.

Illinois State (7-1, 5-0) overcame three Matt Adam's touchdown strikes- all to Tonyan- in the second quarter, which put the Sycamores on top 21-9 at halftime.

Eric Heidorn's 38-yard field goal gave Indiana State (4-4, 2-3) a 24-9 lead.

But on the following drive, Coprich sprinted 44-yards to score to make it 24-16. Sean Slattery's 23-yard field goal early in the fourth cut it to 24-19.

Adam threw for 231 yards and Tonyan had 117 receiving. Roberson threw for 121 yards and rushed for 61 and two scores.

 width=>>Eastern Illinois Tames Racers

As heard on WHOW Saturday, Shephard Little ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Eastern Illinois to a 34-20 victory over Murray State on Saturday.

The Panthers (5-3, 4-0 Ohio Valley Conference) have won five consecutive games following a three game losing skid to open the season.

Jalen Whitlow added 236 yards passing and one touchdown for the Eastern Illinois, an 80-yard strike to Ben Odugbesan in the third quarter. Tray Mitchell also returned a kick 94 yards for a TD for the first Panthers points of the game.

Murray State (2-6, 1-4) held a 13-10 first quarter lead after a 26-yard interception return by Marquez Sanford six seconds into the game and a KD Humphries 27-yard scoring strike to Jesse Blackburn.

Eastern Illinois took the lead for good 26 seconds into the second quarter on a 1-yard Little TD run.

Humphries had 346 yards passing and two touchdowns for the Racers.

 width=>>Youngstown State Too Much For Western

Zak Kennedy's third field goal of the game lifted Youngstown State to a 23-21 win over Western Illinois on Saturday in a matchup of FCS-ranked teams.

Kennedy's 30-yarder came with 2:07 left in the third quarter. He also had field goals of 46 and 40 yards. His final kick came on the end of a 62-yard drive that followed Nikko Watson's 2-yard touchdown run that had given the Fighting Leathernecks a 21-20 lead.

The Leathernecks (4-4, 3-2 Missouri Valley) struggled against the nation's second-best passing defense with Trenton Norvell completing only 8 of 29 passes for 154 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked four times. Watson had two touchdown runs.

Hunter Wells was 16 of 26 for 152 yards and an interception for the Penguins (4-4, 2-3). Ricky Davis completed both of his passes, including a 48-yard score to Andre Stubbs for game's first score. Stubbs finished with 129 yards on six receptions.

>>North Carolina Back in Top 25 AP Poll

The top 20 teams in the AP Top 25 won over the weekend, meaning there wasn't much in the way of movement at the top of the poll. But closer to the bottom, two new teams entered the top 25, including a first 2015 appearance for 7-1 North Carolina.

The Tar Heels defeated former No. 23 Pitt last Thursday, giving Larry Fedora's team its first AP Top 25 appearance since early in the 2014 season at No. 21. Texas A&M also returned to the poll at No. 25.

At the top of the poll, Ohio State maintained its grip on no. 1 following a bye week, collecting 39 of a possible 61 first-place votes. The Buckeyes were followed by No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 LSU and No. 5 TCU. The only change in the top 10 occurred at No. 8 and No. 9, where Notre Dame moved up a spot and Stanford down after the Cardinals' escape at Washington State.

Joining Pitt in dropping out of the poll was the Panthers' ACC Coastal rivals at Duke, controversial-and-then-some losers to Miami.

>>Coaches Poll Largely Unchanged

A week almost entirely devoid of upsets saw little change at the top of the Coaches Poll top 25, but North Carolina made its first appearance of the season after moving to 7-1.

The largest drop for any team still in the poll was just one spot, with Michigan State slipping to No. 6 from No. 5 and Temple dropping just one spot after losing to Notre Dame, going from No. 22 to No. 23. The largest jump belonged to the Tar Heels, who went from unranked to No. 21 after winning at Pitt.

The Panthers were one of three teams to drop out of the poll, along with previous No. 18 Duke and No. 23 Georgia. Along with the Tar Heels, Texas A&M and Mississippi State also re-entered the poll at the Blue Devils' and Bulldogs' expense.

Ohio State remained comfortably No. 1 after a bye week, followed by No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 TCU, No. 4 LSU, and new No. 5 Clemson. The Tiger's leapfrog of Michigan State was the only change in the poll's first 17 spots.

Clinton Police Weekend Report









Decatur St. Teresa Football Coach Resigns

A Central Illinois Conference football team will begin their search for a new head football coach.

Upon the request of Dr. Ken Hendriksen, Principal/CEO, Tim Brilley resigned as the football coach at St. Teresa High School, effective immediately.

Brilley will remain on the Faculty as a Physical Education teacher.

In a statement released Monday, Dr Hendriksen said quote-“Tim Brilley is an outstanding young man and a wonderful educator. I just feel that the St. Teresa football program needs a change at this time. I will have a detailed press release following the November 18, 2015 St. Teresa Board of Directors meeting.”

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 30

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 0

Danielle Murray, 27, Decatur was Arrested and Charged with Driving While License Suspended. Murray posted the necessary bond and was released.

Stephanine Wise, 24, Carterville was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Wise was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jeremy Ferguson, 30, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ferguson was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Kiley Bugaieski, 23, Morton was issued a Citation for Speeding 747 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Bugaieski was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Tina Jones, 43, Decatur was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Fail to Yield on Full Lane to an Emergency Vehicle. Jones was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Jacob Haycraft, 23, Dalton City was issued a Citation for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Haycraft was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Benjamin Kitlhens, 22, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 71 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Kitlhens was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Carla Killion, 47, Decatur was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Killion was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Joshua Vandecraft, 29, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Vandercaft was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Alana Sutter-Fowlis was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Sutter-Fowlis was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Vita Williams, 40, Peoria was issued a Citation for Speeding 68 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Williams was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Brandon Day, 21, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 66 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Day was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Craig Welch, 49, Farmer City was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Welch was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jackie Howard, 37, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 84 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Howard was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Damon Whitted, 37, Clinton was issued a Citation for Disobey Stop Sign. Whitted was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Nathan Hambrecht, 21, Forsyth was issued a Citation for Disobey Stop Sign. Hambrecht was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

John Buttitta, 35, Normal was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Buttitta was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.




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