Local News

Top Stories of 2015: Counting Down 10 to 6

As we get set to ring in the new year, let's take a look back today at some of the most viewed and talked about stories from 2015.

Regional Radio News will use data from DeWittDailyNews.com as a measurement for the most influential stories from this year.

Story 10: Clinton Police Make Arrests in Recent Vechicle Burglaries

The Clinton Police Department dealt with a series of unusual crimes this past weekend back in early February.

After a series of vehicle burglaries, the Clinton Police have apprehended a pair of suspects in a rash of crimes. According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, their night patrol officers caught the thieves in the act this weekend and notes the crimes are unusual given the time of year.

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Anthony F. Collins, 19, Clinton, was arrested for criminal trespass to vehicle, burglary, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia. A 17-year juvenile old was also taken into custody and released to corrections pending a court appearance.

Story 9: Roger Cyrulik Wins Mayoral Race; Election Results

In a commanding margin, Roger Cyrulik defeated incumbent Mayor Carolyn Peters in the April elections.

Receiving 830 votes, good for 71% of the vote, Roger Cyrulik returned to his post as Mayor of the City of Clinton. Mayor Carolyn Peters received 336 votes for 29% of the vote. There was only a 23% turnout for this year's election.

Cyrulik says he ran because he wanted to serve the people again and has some unfinished business he wants to see through.

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The City Council in the last few months has advanced funding to begin renovations to several community parks.

Other notable happenings from the April election:

Commissioner Danny Ballenger was voted in, replacing incumbent Jerry Milton. Ballenger's first order of business was to replace the fire chief, which is our next story in line.

Incumbents Tom Edmunds, John Wise and Nan Crang all won their respective races, with only Crang's being contested.

The Clinton Board of Education also had changes from the spring election.

Mike Walker, Ron Conner, and Rodney Rogers were all welcomed to the board. John Blythe would later be appointed School Board President with the baord shuffling.

Story 8: Clinton Fire Chief Resigns

Our next story stems off the previous one.

Among the sweeping changes made in June at the first installment of the new Clinton City Council, the biggest surprise perhaps was the resignation of Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton.

The former Chief indicated Commissioner of Public Health and Safety, Dan Ballenger, asked the Chief for his resignation. Milton says he obliged the Commissioner's request and stepped down.

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Milton felt he had been able to stabalize the numbers of the force. He added their work in the emergency medical services have been positive as they have saved a number of lives. The former-Chief believes he is leaving the department in a good situation.

Story 7: Fire Destroys Clinton Home

Business Highway 51 was shut down mid-day Thursday due to a house fire on the south side of Clinton.

Stone Drive was the site of the fire where a family's home was discovered to have open flames visible upon arrival. According to assistant Fire Chief Jason Karr, there was heavy fire on the north side of the house.

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There are no reported injuries. Karr indicates the residents were not home at the time the fire happened and the home was a total loss.

Multiple fire departments were on scene including Argenta-Oreana, Maroa, Hickory Point, Kenney and Wapella. It took crews approximately an hour to get things under control.

Story 6: Clinton Sav A Lot Announces New Store

One of Clinton's most popular businesses will be building a new storefront downtown.

Clinton Save A Lot, currently located off Center Street off the downtown Clinton Square, will be building a new store just across the street, east from their current location, bordered by Madison, Washington and Monroe Streets. He made the announcement in June.

Owner Dave Jackson indicates the move has become a necessity for their long term viability. He explains their sales have continued to increase in recent years. The plans have taken nearly four years to become final, and in a 100 year old building, they are in great need for a bigger facility.

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Jackson had hoped the store would be open last year at this around the time of the announcement, but delays caused that initial plan to be put on hold.

Further delays have put the projected opening to the fall of 2016.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News tomorrow for the top 5 stories of 2015.

Lincoln Group Offering Free Rides on New Year's Eve

In an effort to keep their community members safe this New Year's holiday, one Logan County group is once again stepping up to provide it's residents with free rides.

Healthy Communities Partnership will be offering Safe Rides on New Year’s Eve. Safe Ride is a free cab ride home to those who may have celebrated too much and should not drive. The program is sponsored by the Healthy Communities Partnership.

Community Partnerships Manager Angela Stoltzenburg says it's their hope the community will remember the service is available and says bartenders are encouraged to suggest it when necessary.

To receive a free ride home within Lincoln city limits, individuals can ask their bartender for a Safe Ride ticket and they will receive a free cab ride.

Healthy Communities Partnership is supported by the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation.

For more information or for updates, “like” Healthy Communities Partnership on Facebook, visit http://www.healthycommunitiespartnership.com or call 217-605-5008.

Decatur St. Teresa Hires Former Central A&M, Shelbyville Coach

Decatur St. Teresa has announced the hiring of Hall of Famer Coach Mark Ramsey to be the next head football coach.

Ramsey was the coach at Central A&M for 21 years, retiring in 2013 after accumulating a record of 179-63, winning a state title with the Raiders in 1997 and had four seasons as state runner-up.

Most recently, Ramsey coached at Shelbyville, accumulating a 17-12 record in three seasons and leading the Rams to two state playoff appearances.

Ramsey's hiring comes on the heels of the school announcing Tim Brilley's resignation back in early November.

Springfield Preparing For First Night

New Year's Eve long ago became stuck with the label of "amateur night", describing drinkers who got out of hand in various ways to open a new year. For 29 years, Springfield has been among cities offering an alternative with an alcohol free, family friendly event in First Night.

A number of performers including musicians, among them an Elvis impersonator, dancers, puppeteers, comedians and more, will be a part of the festivities in Downtown Springfield. While the event typically has been popular with families, Troy Roark with the Springfield Arts Council, says they are hoping to draw in a new audience.

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Roark says there will be an exciting new addition to the typical 8pm fireworks display.

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From 6pm to 11:15 PM, the city becomes a stage, with over 30 performances taking place on eight stages in downtown Springfield. Wristbands are $18 at the door, $15 in advance. For more info, check otu wwwspringfieldarts.com.org

College Basketball Notes

>> LeVert, Donnal lead Michigan to 78-68 win over Illinois

Mark Donnal had 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocks - all career highs - and Caris LeVert scored 22 with a career-best tying 10 assists to help Michigan beat Illinois 78-68 Wednesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

LeVert scored the first nine points for the Wolverines (11-3), who have won five in a row.

Kendrick Nunn scored 23 points to lead the Illini (8-6). Jalen Coleman-Lands added 13.

Coleman-Lands hit a 3 to close the first half and give Illinois a 37-34 lead at the break.

Donnal scored seven during a 9-2 run to open the second half that put the Wolverines in front for good.

Nunn made a layup to pull Illinois within two with 13:48 left, but Michigan's Zak Irvin answered with a 3-pointer that sparked a 13-2 spurt and made it 61-48 about four minutes later and held off the Illini thereon.

>> Illinois State beats Missouri State 74-61 in MVC opener

Deontae Hawkins scored a season-high 17 points, making all five of his 3-point attempts, and Illinois State used a strong second half to pull away from Missouri State 74-61 Wednesday night in a Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams.

Illinois State (7-7) made 15 3-pointers to set a school record.

Roland Griffin's 3 with 14:20 to play put the Redbirds up 39-37. Dequon Miller responded with a 3 for Missouri State before Hawkins' 3 immediately after gave Illinois State the lead for good.

Hawkins' 3 sparked a 23-2 run which Missouri State would never recover from. Hawkins hit four 3s during the offensive eruption while Tony Wills added another.

Dequon Miller scored 17 points for Missouri State (4-9), which led 21-8 early before the Redbirds cut the deficit to 27-25 at halftime.

>> Northern Iowa routs Bradley 80-44 in MVC opener

Jeremy Morgan scored 18 points and Northern Iowa routed Bradley 80-44 in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both schools on Wednesday night.

Northern Iowa (9-5, 1-0) has won 13-straight conference home games dating back to the 2013-14 season. Its 36-point win set a conference record for largest margin of victory.

Morgan was 6 of 8 from the floor and had six rebounds and four assists. Bennett Koch scored 15 points, and Paul Jesperson and Klint Carlson added 12 apiece for Northern Iowa. Matt Bohannon chipped in 11 points with three 3-pointers.

Scottie James scored nine points to lead Bradley (2-12, 0-1). The Braves shot 33 percent from the field, scored a season-low 44 points, and have lost three straight.

It was tied at 9-all five minutes into the game. The Panthers used a 13-0 run and led 22-9 midway through the first half and cruised from there.

Butler's tip-in gives Bulls 102-100 OT win over Pacers

Jimmy Butler tipped in a basket with 1.2 seconds left in overtime and the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 102-100 Wednesday night despite playing without Derrick Rose.

Butler scored 28 points and Aaron Brooks had 29 points to help Chicago win its third in four games. Chicago got 52 points from its bench and held Indiana to 38.1 percent shooting from the field. Pau Gasol had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Rose was scratched an hour before the game with right hamstring tendinitis.

Butler scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined.

Brooks' floater with 58.7 seconds left gave Chicago a 100-95 advantage. Solomon Hill made two free throws, and Brooks' turnover set up Monta Ellis' tying 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left.

On the final play, Butler tipped in Gasol's lob from atop the key. Butler then defended Paul George on a lob to preserve the win.

George Hill led Indiana with 20 points.

Bears' Jeffery to miss final game with hamstring injury

Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery will miss Sunday's season-finale against the Detroit Lions because of a hamstring injury.

The team placed the former Pro Bowl receiver on injured reserve Wednesday. Jeffery was limited to nine games because of a variety of injuries. The Bears also placed nose tackle Eddie Goldman on injured reserve because of a right ankle injury and signed defensive linemen Greg Scruggs and Terry Williams.

The team's leading receiver with 807 yards, Jeffery has had trouble staying healthy this season. It could cost him with the four-year contract he signed as a rookie set to expire.

Blues set to part ways with veteran Scott Gomez

The St. Louis Blues have placed veteran forward Scott Gomez on unconditional waivers for the purpose of releasing him from his contract, the team announced Wednesday.

When the Blues first signed Gomez to a one-year deal after a successful tryout, the idea was that he could slot in as the team dealt with a series of injuries to everyday players. Most notably, center depth was depleted with Patrik Berglund injured. With Berglund set to return soon, Gomez's services were no longer required.

Gomez was placed on regular waivers Tuesday, but went unclaimed by any of the other 29 NHL teams. He could have been sent to the American Hockey League, but both he and the club decided it was best to part ways.

Now Gomez may have to sit by the phone to see if another NHL team needs a player to fill the right kind of role.

In 21 games with the Blues this season, Gomez had a goal and seven assists.

Gomez is a veteran of 1,066 NHL games. He has two Stanley Cups, two All-Star Game appearances and was the Calder Trophy winner as the league's rookie of the year in 1999-2000. He has 755 career points over stints with the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers and the Blues.


State Police Increasing Patrols For Holiday



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Corn Belt Energy Expecting To Have Power Restored by Thursday Night

 width=Officials with Corn Belt Energy Cooperative tell Regional Radio News that as of early Thursday afternoon, almost all members in their central region now have power restored and less than 100 members remain without power in their northern region.

Steve Hancock, who is Vice President of Electric Distribution, expected to have all members back on by early Thursday evening, adding he appreciated the patience of the members who have been without power this week.

Hancock added one of the line sections that was without power, had 12 broken poles and only feeds 2 members.

Corn Belt Energy crews who have been working in the central region have been sent to assist in their northern region, along with four cooperatives-- Adams Electric Cooperative, Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative, Jo-Carroll Energy, and Menard Electric Cooperative--as well as crews from 2 city-owned utilities, the City of Geneseo and the City of Princeton.

Corn Belt encourages members to contact them at 1-800-879-0339 to report power outages, partial power, and downed lines or poles. As a reminder, people should not go near any downed power lines, downed poles, or trees near lines.

National Weather Service Releases Summary of Rain Totals


The National Weather Service in Lincoln this week released a summary of rain totals from December 26th thru the 28th, showing that the Regional Radio listening area got as much as 8 inches of rain.

The Weather Service says the powerful winter storm produced a variety of weather hazards across central and southeast Illinois, including heavy rain/flooding, significant ice accumulations, and strong winds.  
The system began to spread rain into the region from the southwest during the early morning hours on Saturday, December 26th, and steady rains continued across much of central and southeast Illinois into Saturday night.

The Weather Service says by Sunday morning, widespread 2 to 5 inch totals were reported southeast of a Jacksonville to Rantoul line. This amount of rain falling on saturated soil from recent wet conditions produced widespread flash flooding and fast rises on creeks and streams.  After a lull in the rainfall for much of Sunday, another round of moisture moved in from the south on Sunday night, and continued into Monday afternoon.  

Heavy rains of 1 to 3 inches were common across the entire area from this portion of the event, further aggravating existing flooding conditions. Many rivers across the area were expected to rise to major flood stage due to the heavy rainfall.

The St. Louis area and areas along Interstate 44 suffered the brunt of the heavy rain, receiving as much as 10 inches. The Mississippi River at St. Louis crested to a record flood level on Thursday morning.

New Illinois Law Gives Terminally Ill Patients Greater Access To Experimental Drug



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Flood Cleanup Tips

As central Illinois residents are cleaning up following the flood, the University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) would like to remind residents of some safety tips as concerns about personal health and safety may increase in the following days and weeks.

Doug Gucker, U of I Extension Educator of Local Food Systems and Small Farms of Unit 17, explains flood water could be infected with sewage and other contaminates that could affect personal health.

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Gucker added buildings that have water should be dried out as quickly as possible, and if the moisture doesn’t get out, mold could form. He also mentioned injury can occur if objects that haven’t drained well can be extremely heavy to lift.

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According to a report released by DeWitt County's EMA yesterday, no residents were displaced from there homes despite several flooded areas in town.

Some low lying areas remain impassable according to the report as well.

2015 Year in Review: New City Council Members, New Ideas

 width=Two familiar faces returned to the Clinton City Council this spring after the 2015 spring elections and once City official says the transition has been smooth.

Mayor Roger Cyrulik and Commissioner Dan Ballenger returned to the Clinton City this spring and City Administrator Tim Followell (right) indicates the transition of welcoming and integrating the two into City operations has been smooth.

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Upon the arrival of the two back to the Board, there were sweeping changes that took place right off the bat according to Followell.

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According to Followell, one of the first items for the newly elected Mayor was to adjust the outdated liquor codes. He explains Mayor Cyrulik recognized the codes allowed for just one bar establishment, and he has since adjusted that.

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 width=More changes were made as it relates to the liquor codes. Followell indicates there is now an ordinance that allows for liquor to be had on the downtown square for special events. He feels it should allow for more opportunities to utilize the new stage and overhangs on Mr. Lincoln Square.

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Followell says the two new Council members' passion for their respective areas, public safety for Ballenger (below) and the hospital for the Mayor (above), are now running very well.


Three Clemson Players Suspended For Orange Bowl


Three Clemson players will reportedly be suspended for failing a drug test before the Tigers' College Football Playoff semifinal against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Thursday.

According to ESPN Upstate in South Carolina and the Post and Courier, freshman wide receiver Deon Cain, senior kicker Ammon Lakip and junior tight end Jay Jay McCullough will all miss the Orange Bowl. The reports say that the three players' status for a potential trip to the national championship is unknown.

The biggest loss of the three is Cain, who was the Tigers' second-leading receiver on the season. Cain had 34 catches for 582 yards and five touchdowns for Clemson. Cain will be replaced by senior Charone Peake, who had similar numbers with 40 catches for 563 yards and five touchdowns.

Lakip lost his starting job as kicker before the season and was suspended for three games after an arrest for cocaine possession. He was expected to handle kickoffs and extra points, which will now fall on field goal kicker Greg Heugel.

McCullough did not have a reception this season as a reserve tight end.

Knicks Beat Pistons

 width=Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points, Derrick Williams added 18 and the New York Knicks held Andre Drummond to only nine boards in defeating the Detroit Pistons 108-96 on Tuesday night.

Drummond had double-digit rebounds in nine consecutive games and in 14 of his previous 15.

The Knicks received big contributions both offensively and defensively. Jose Calderon (15), Kyle O'Quinn (12), Robin Lopez (11), and Kristaps Porzingis (10) also scored in double figures while Lopez blocked a season-high six shots and led the Knicks with seven rebounds.

Ersan Ilyasova led the Pistons with 19 points. Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson each scored 17. Jackson added nine assists.

The Knicks play in Chicago on Friday.

Eagles Fire Chip Kelly

 width=Chip Kelly is officially free to coach wherever he wants in 2016. In a shocking move, the Philadelphia Eagles announced on Tuesday that Kelly has been released from his contract.

"We appreciate all the contributions that Chip Kelly made and wish him every success going forward," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement.

In a separate letter, Lurie added that he made the decision to release Kelly after "Evaluating" the team's performance over the past three seasons.

The team will hold a press conference on Wednesday to officially announce Kelly's release. Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will handle the team's coaching duties on Sunday during Philadelphia's regular season finale against the Giants.

Besides Kelly, the Eagles also dumped Ed Marynowitz, the team's vice president of player personnel who was handpicked by Kelly.

Kelly went 26-21 during his three seasons with the team.

Iowa Upsets Michigan State

Mike Gesell scored a career-high 25 points and Iowa cruised past top-ranked Michigan State 83-70 on Tuesday night, handing the Spartans their first loss of the season.

 width=Peter Jok had 19 points for the Hawkeyes (10-3, 1-0 Big Ten), which toppled a No. 1 team for the first time in 16 years.

Iowa never trailed in what turned out to be a surprisingly easy win over the Spartans (13-1, 0-1). The Hawkeyes led by as many as 19 points in snapping a nine-game losing streak against Michigan State.

Eron Harris scored 21 points to lead the Spartans. They were playing their second game without Valentine - their leader in scoring, rebounds and assists - and their first since Izzo's father Carl died Monday.

Iowa kept Michigan State off the scoreboard for nearly 6 minutes, and Dom Uhl's banked 3 put the Hawkeyes up 31-17 - despite having star Jarrod Uthoff on the bench with foul trouble - with just over 5 minutes left in the first half.

The Spartans trailed by double digits at halftime, this time 37-23, for the second straight game.

Consecutive 3s from Jok made it 58-39 with 11 minutes left, and Iowa cruised to its first win over a No. 1 team since beating Connecticut in former coach Steve Alford's debut in 1999.

Matt Costello had 17 points for Michigan State.

Blackhawks, Blues Win

 width=Patrick Kane scored a goal, assisted on two others and raised his NHL-leading point total to 53 in helping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 7-5 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Andrew Desjardins scored twice for the Blackhawks, who overcame Shane Doan's hat trick and set a season high for goals in a game.

Artem Anisimov scored his 13th of the season, Brent Seabrook had two assists and Duncan Keith added a goal and an assist for Chicago.

Doan scored three times for the Coyotes, tying Dale Hawerchuk for the franchise record with 379 career goals. Doan's third of the night came on a power play with 27.1 seconds left.

>>Blues Outlast Predators in Overtime

 width=Alexander Steen scored 4:01 into the extra period, giving St. Louis a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Steen got the puck from Paul Stastny and scored on a wrist shot in the slot, beating backup goalie Carter Hutton. It was his 13th goal of the season.

Two goals late in the third period lifted Nashville back into the game. Predators defenseman Shea Weber pulled his team within a goal when he scored from just inside the blue line at 16:08. Colin Wilson tied it at 18:28 when he poked in the puck from the side of the net.

The Blues have won six of their last eight overall.

St. Louis went ahead 2-1 in the second period, despite Nashville having a 17-7 shots advantage. The Predators also killed off two power-play opportunities, holding St. Louis to only four shots on goal.

Blues rookie center Robby Fabbri scored his fourth goal in his last five games at 12:04 of the second. Fabbri got the puck in the corner from Jori Lehtera, who had two assists. Fabbri skated to the front of the crease and snapped a wrist shot to the short side for his ninth goal.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored at 1:55 of the third period for a 3-1 lead. He took a pass from Lehtera and carried it to the right faceoff circle before firing in a slap shot.

The Blues struck first in the opening period when Dmitrij Jaskin scored on a rebound at 9:38. Jay Bouwmeester hit a slap slot that Hutton blocked with his leg. The loose puck came right back to Jaskin, who quickly knocked it in.

Nashville challenged, claiming the Blues were offside, but the goal was upheld.

Maroons Fall To Dee-Mack At Williamsville Holiday Tournament

 width=The Clinton Maroons fell in the finale at the Williamsville Holiday Tournament to Dee-Mack 48-42.

Peyton McCubbin led the Maroons with 12 points. Jacob Overton and Tanner White added nine points apiece. Overton added four assists and White had four steals. Collin Underwood led the Maroons with seven rebounds.

Clinton drops 5-8 on the season.

The Maroons are in action next on Tuesday, January 5, at 7:30 pm taking on LeRoy.

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

Decatur St. Teresa Names Mark Ramsey New Football Coach

 width=Decatur St. Teresa has announced the hiring of Hall of Famer Coach Mark Ramsey to be the next head football coach.

Ramsey was the coach at Central A&M for 21 years, retiring in 2013 after accumulating a record of 179-63, winning a state title with the Raiders in 1997 and had four seasons as state runner-up.

Most recently, Ramsey coached at Shelbyville, accumulating a 17-12 record in three seasons and leading the Rams to two state playoff appearances.

Ramsey's hiring comes on the heels of the school announcing Tim Brilley's resignation back in early November.

Clinton Police Chief Discusses Safety For New Year Celebrations

 width=The New Year's holiday can be one of the deadliest holidays on the roads and local law enforcement is outlining several ways to remain safe this weekend.

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates everyone wants to have a good time and a memorable New Year's celebration and the Chief encourages practicing responsible drinking and making plans in advance.

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If you're going to be on the roads this holiday week, the Chief says do not drink and drive and don't allow others with you to drink and drive. He points out, the New Year's holiday is one of the deadliest.

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Those who will be celebrating in Clinton, to encourage safe driving this weekend, Chief Lowers points out the city plans waive their overnight parking restrictions for New Year's Eve.

Again, Chief Lowers stresses that lifting of the downtown square parking restriction is for New Year's Eve only.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Dec. 30

Jail Population: 21

Paper Services: 1

Warrants: 0

William Lampe, 23, Clinton was issued Citations for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Lampe was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Traci Droke, 29, Wapella was issued a Citation for Speeding 63 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Droke was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Dylan Scott, 20, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Scott was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Shelita Strong, 43, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 81 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Strong was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Brianne Jones, 19, Lake City was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Jones was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Clinton Board of Education's 2015 Year of Changes

 width=As we get set to turn the page on 2015, one local leader is looking back on the calendar year as it relates to the Clinton school system.

John Blythe is the President of the Clinton Board of Education and indicates there's been a lot of change at a Board level this year between the introduction of new board members and a new Superintendent. He feels first year Superintendent Curt Nettles has been a great fit for the district.

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For Blythe, the change at the school board level wasn't the only highlights to the 2015 year. Despite the new elementary building being a year and a half old, he points out there were a few projects that were completed after they welcomed students in the new facility.

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Financially, Blythe feels the Board made a big decision in hiring a district maintenance director. He says the hiring of Ryan Black as the maintenance director and the hiring of Jeff Harrold will, in the long run, save the district. In fact, he points out he's already seen the benefit of having the two on staff.

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In the next calendar year, the district is going to pursue a one-cent sales tax measure for facility and maintenance purposes.

Blythe says they will begin to work on that along with continuing to update a 5-year district plan.

He hopes to continue to get to know his fellow board members and working alongside them.

He calls this past year positive and believes there is a positive attitude around the district as well.

Predators Blast Rangers

 width=James Neal scored twice, Nashville scored three times to open the final period and the Predators held off the New York Rangers 5-3 on Monday night.

Craig Smith, Ryan Ellis and Neal scored in the first 11:13 of the third period, making two late goals by the Rangers meaningless. Filip Forsberg also scored, Mike Ribeiro had three assists and Roman Josi had two assists. Pekka Rinne made 26 saves and Nashville won for the third time in four games against a Rangers team that's tied for third in the NHL with 106 goals.

Jesper Fast, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller scored, but New York lost its fourth in five games.

Henrik Lundqvist was relieved by Antti Raanta following Neal's second goal. Lundqvist made 30 saves on 35 shots against.

McIlroy Says Speith Will Struggle Next Season

 width=It would be more shocking if Jordan Spieth repeated his 2015 season in 2016 than it was that he accomplished his 2015 to begin with. Two majors, five wins, the FedEx Cup and close to $25 million. Those are stunning numbers. Backing them up with similar figures? Next to impossible.

There are only a handful of golfers who know how difficult this is to do. One of them is Rory McIlroy. He told the Telegraph recently that Spieth is in for a pretty intense 2016.

“It will feel completely different for Jordan,” McIlroy said. “If you look at the stats at how those who have had a double-major season have performed the next year… well, it's hard to back up. It just is. There's so much expectation, so much attention and focus. And I think it is more self-inflicted pressure really as your expectations are so high."

Few golfers win two majors in a season and follow it up the next year. It has only happened one time and it was Tiger Woods.

Kentucky Cracks Top-10 in Latest AP Poll; Michigan State No. 1

 width=Despite Denzel Valentine's injury and the Spartans' struggles against Oakland, Michigan State is still a nearly unanimous No. 1 team in the AP college basketball poll.

There was no movement among the first nine in the Top 25, as Kansas, Oklahoma, Maryland and Virginia, Xavier, North Carolina, Arizona and Butler stayed put.

The first change came at No. 10, where Kentucky was rewarded for its two-point win over Louisville on Saturday. The Wildcats moved up two places, switching places with Providence. For its part in the heated rivalry game this weekend, Louisville only fell two places to No. 18.

George Washington dropped out after a surprising loss to DePaul. The Colonials were replaced by UCLA.

>>Oklahoma Up To No. 2, Michigan State Still No. 1 In Latest Coaches Poll

 width=A light weekend of college basketball action, with many teams spending the holidays closer to home, resulted in only a few changes to the Coaches Top 25.

The biggest riser of the week was Utah, up five spots and back into the rankings at No. 22. South Carolina moved up three spots as one of the last undefeated teams in the country, and Butler (10-1) moved up two spots to No. 10.

On the other end of Coaches Poll movement, Louisville dropped three spots after losing a heartbreaker at Kentucky, down to No. 18, and Duke dropped two spots to No. 12.

Yankees Acquire Reds Flame Throwing Closer

The Yankees have completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds sending left-hander Aroldis Chapman, the fastest pitcher in Major League Baseball, to New York for minor leaguers, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman confirmed Monday. Jack Curry of the YES network first reported the deal, which the Yankees announced on Monday afternoon.

 width=Here's the return to the Reds: Right-handers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis, along with infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.

The Reds nearly traded Chapman to the Dodgers earlier in the offseason, but after a police report surfaced that included allegations of domestic violence against Chapman, the deal was scrapped. Chapman may still be subject to suspension under MLB's new domestic violence policy.

The left-handed Chapman, 27, is one of the hardest throwers in baseball history and has established himself as an elite frontline closer. This past season, he pitched to a 1.63 ERA and 1.94 FIP with 116 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings. For his career, Chapman owns an ERA of 2.17 and a K/BB ratio of 3.52 across parts of six big-league seasons. Over that span, he's struck out 42.9 percent of opposing hitters, and those opposing hitters have batted just .154 against him.

Chapman is third-year arbitration-eligible for 2016 and will certainly fetch a substantial raise over his $8.05 million salary for 2015. Presently, he's on target for free agency following the upcoming season. However, if Chapman is suspended for 46 games or more, then his free agency would be pushed back a year.

On the Reds' side of things, Jagielo, 23, was the Yankees' first-rounder in 2013. He's batted .266/.356/.469 across parts of three minor-league seasons. Cotham, 27, reached the majors last season (9 2/3 innings for the Yankees).

Broncos Storm Back To Beat Bengals, Clinch Playoff Birth; Rams Notes

DeMarcus Ware recovered a fumble in overtime sealing Denver's 20-17 victory over Cincinnati on Monday night.

Russell Bodine's catchable shotgun snap eluded AJ McCarron, who was making his second start in place of Andy Dalton. He raced to recover it, but Ware swept past right tackle Andrew Smith and secured Denver's fifth consecutive trip to the postseason.

Ware's recovery followed a 37-yard field goal by Brandon McManus, whose shanked 45-yarder at the end of regulation made necessary the extra drama.

The Bengals blew a chance to earn a bye in the playoffs and move ahead of the New England Patriots in the race for the AFC's top seed.

AJ McCarron drove the Bengals on two long first-half drives, covering 80 and 90 yards and eating up a total of 16:24 to put Cincinnati ahead 14-0. He threw a 5-yard TD pass to A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu scooted in from 6 yards out on a direct snap.

Brock Osweiler finished 27 of 39 for 299 yards and a TD.

McCarron finished 22 of 35 for 200 yards.

Green hauled in five catches for 57 yards and Jeremy Hill rumbled for 63 yards on 19 carries.

Owen Daniels had five receptions for 70 yards for the Broncos.

 width=>>Seahawks DE Bennett Calls Rams Punter 'Little Girl'

If Johnny Hekker keeps it up, there's a good chance the Rams punter is going to be the most hated player in the NFL by the end of the regular season.

Hekker made a few new enemies on Sunday after he took out Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril with a cheap shot following a second quarter punt.

On the play, Seahawks' punt returner Tyler Lockett called for a fair catch, which is what made the blindside hit so cheap. Hekker was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play.

As you can imagine, Avril wasn't happy about being blindsided.

"It was uncalled for, for sure," Avril said, via the Seattle Times. "Especially coming from a punter. You don't expect that from a punter."

On Hekker's next punt, Avril teamed up with teammate Michael Bennett to teach Hekker a lesson. Both players pretended like they were going to hit Hekker, who fell to the ground so he could avoid contact with the Seahawks players.

Even though Hekker went down on his own, the plan worked, according to Bennett.

"He was scared. He squealed like a little girl," Bennett said.

After the game, Hekker promised that he would try and avoid any future personal foul penalties.

Hekker has a history of taking cheap shots, something that the Ravens official Twitter account pointed that out on Monday.

Back in November, Hekker took a cheap shot on Ravens safety Will Hill during Baltimore's 16-13 win over St. Louis.

Hekker also did the same thing to a Saints defender in 2013.

Snell, Gasol Spark Bulls To Win Over Raptors

 width=Tony Snell and Pau Gasol each had 22 points, Derrick Rose added 20 and the Chicago Bulls pulled away late for a 104-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

Snell, who was back in the rotation because of an injury to Doug McDermott, had 19 points in the final 17½ minutes to spark the Bulls.

Aaron Brooks had 17 points and rookie Bobby Portis added 12 as the Chicago reserves outscored their counterparts 51-27.

Kyle Lowry had 28 points and DeMar DeRozan added 19 for Toronto.

Jonas Valanciunas had nine points in 20 minutes off the bench after missing 17 games with a broken left hand.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Dec. 29

Jail Population: 19

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Nathan Huffman, 18, DeWitt was Arrested and Charged with Speeding 35+ MPH Over Limit.Huffman was issued Citations for Speeding 94 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone, Too Fast for Conditions and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Huffman posted the necessary bond and was released.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Holiday Weekend Report

Jail Population: 20

Paper Services: 13

Warrants: 1

Douglas Manley, 51, Bloomington was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Revoked License and Resist Peace Officer. Manley posted the necessary bond and was released.

James Russell, 20, Clinton was Arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Battery/ Cause Bodily Harm. Russell posted the necessary bond and was released.

Nathan Huffman, 18, Clinton was Arrested and Charged with Speeding 35+MPH Over Limit. Huffman posted the necessary bond and was released.

Delmar Bean, 19, Milwaukee, WI was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Suspended License, Possess Cannabis <2.5 Grams and Possess Drug Paraphernalia. Bean posted the necessary bond and was released.

Corey Vinson, 28, Decatur was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Revoked License. Vinson posted the necessary bond and was released.

Denise Benneh, 34, Killeen, TX was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Benneh was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Wayne Young, 55, Wapella was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Young was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Wayne Young, 55, Wapella was issued Citations for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone, No Valid License, Disobeying Traffic Control Device and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Young was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Shawn White, 31, Schaumburg was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. White was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Christina Almanza, 29, Chicago was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Almanza was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Dionne Anding, 48, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 77 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Anding was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Tiffany Engstrom, 47, McLean was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Engstrom was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Robert Zuber, 42, Chicago was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Zuber was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Chloe Thorp, 23, Wapella was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Thorp was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Steven Marshall, 48, Clinton was issued a Citation for SPeeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Marshall was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Aaron Graves, 41, Springfield was issued a Citation for Speeding 82 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Graves was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Matthew Harrison, 30, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 81 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Harrison was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

DeWitt County EMA Releases Post-Flooding Assessment

The DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency has released a report following an assessment of anticipated Monday night flooding in Clinton.

The reports indicate the retention pond on the north east side of the community has receded, as have flood waters across the county, however, there are still low lying township roads that remain impassable.

Monday night, minor flooding occurred on East Washington Street in Clinton. No residents were displaced and there was no flood damage reported.

Additionally, the report indicates there were no power outages in DeWitt County.

A motorist was rescued by the Farmer City Fire Department early Tuesday morning.

There is no further danger of flooding in Clinton at this time.

Corn Belt Energy Still Has 2200 Members Without Power

 width=Corn Belt Energy, the Bloomington-based electric cooperative, tells Regional Radio News that high winds, ice, sleet and wet conditions throughout the Corn Belt Energy service territory Monday morning resulted in damage to several substations, over 130 broken poles and 6 broken transmission poles, downed lines, broken cross arms and downed trees.

The co-op says that although greater than half of the outages reported by the initial storm have been restored, 2,200 members remain without power as of late Tuesday afternoon, most of which have been out since early yesterday morning.

The majority of the damage is located in the north and west portions of the Corn Belt Energy service territory. Corn Belt Energy crews in conjunction with seven other electric cooperatives have been working since early Monday morning to restore power to members. Crews are working to have the transmission poles back up.
Corn Belt says they don't have estimated restoration times for the majority of the outages remaining. Even with the outside assistance from other cooperatives, restoration times could be prolonged in some areas.

Corn Belt Energy encourages members to check on neighbors who may be without power, especially the elderly and those with physical limitations, and urges members who are concerned about prolonged outages to find an alternative location to stay such as a relative or friend’s home or a local warming center.

As a reminder, people should not go near any downed power lines, downed poles, or trees near lines. To report outages or check for outage updates, members can call 1-800-879-0339 or use their cell phone to view outage updates at www.cornbeltenergy.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

Slow Start Dooms Sages in Holiday Hoopla Championship

Despite a furious second half comeback, the Monticello Sages could not overcome a horrendous first half, and fell to Ridgeview Tuesday night in the championship game of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla, 58-49.

 width=Trailing 31-8 at the half, a second half rally that saw the Sages outscore Ridgeview 41-27 fell short.

Three Mustangs scored in double figures, led by Drew Jones’ 20 points. Luke Ward had 14 points and seven rebounds and Tyler McCormick added 14 points as well.

Noah Young had eight rebounds, seven assists 9 and three points as all five Ridgeview starters logged 25 or more minutes.

Isiah Florey led Monticello with 17 points and five rebounds. Zach Fisher added 15 points and seven rebounds on just 1 of 9 shooting beyond the arc.

Fisher and Noah Freemon were named to the All Tournament Team for Monticello.

Mccormick and  Ward  were also named to the All Tournament Team.

The Sages fall to 7-1.

Tune in next Friday night, January 8 on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com for Monticello basketball as the Sages host Rantoul.

GCMS Defense Carries Falcons Past Blue Ridge for 3rd Place Finish at Holiday Hoopla

 width=A strong defensive effort carried the Gibson City Melvin Sibley Falcons past a cold shooting Blue Ridge Knights team Tuesday for a 62-59 win and a third place finish.

The Knights were just 2-14 from three on the night and turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 28 GCMS points.

Both teams are 8-4 on the year with Heart of Illinois Conference action up next.

Chase Zimmerman led Blue Ridge with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and was an All Tournament selection. Lindi Balazi had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists and Dylan Lytel added 13 points and five boards.

Isaac Trotter had nine rebounds for Blue Ridge.

Balazi was also named to the All Tournament Team.

Mitchell McNutt led GCMS with 23 points. Keegan Allen added 14 points and five boards. Tucker Cribbett had 11 points. 

Corn Belt Energy Reports Over 5,000 Members Without Power

 width=Regional Radio News has learned that over 5,000 members throughout Corn Belt Energy’s service territory are without power due to severe weather conditions. The widespread outages include four substations (Evergreen, Kappa, Goodfield and Tiskilwa), over 80 broken poles, numerous trees in the lines, many broken cross arms and downed lines.

Corn Belt Energy crews have been working to restore power throughout the day and evening. Due to the amount of outages, Corn Belt Energy, which is based in Bloomington, has requested assistance from other utilities and contract workers. Six other cooperatives are assisting Corn Belt Energy in restoring power to members, and contract tree crews are helping remove downed trees.

They have indicated to Regional Radio News, that they do not have estimated restoration times for these widespread outages. Even with the outside assistance from other cooperatives, restoration times could be prolonged in some areas. Corn Belt Energy members who experience outages should prepare for an extended outage.

The co-op encourages members to check on neighbors who may be without power, especially the elderly and those with physical limitations, and they are urging members who are concerned about prolonged outages to find an alternative location to stay such as a relative or friend’s home or a local warming center.

Corn Belt customers should contact the co-op at 1-800-879-0339 to report power outages and downed lines or poles. People should not go near any downed power lines, downed poles, or trees near lines. To check for outage updates, members can call 1-800-879-0339.

Blue Ridge Blasts Neoga at Monticello Holiday Hoopla

 width=A 16-0 first half burst propelled the Blue Ridge Knights past Neoga Monday night, 75-42 in the nightcap of day two at the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.

Lindi Balazi exploded offensively, pacing Blue Ridge with 22 points and three assists to just one turnover.

Chase Zimmerman fell just short of another double-double with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Knights turned 20 Neoga turnovers into 36 points, 18 in the second quarter alone and coach Joe Sawyer was able to play 10 guys in double figure minutes in their second game of the day at the Holiday Hoopla.

The Knights will take on GCMS at 6 pm Tuesday for third place. Blue Ridge improves to 8-3 on the year. 

Snow, Ice, Flooding Targeting Midwest

Parts of 11 Midwest states are under a winter storm warning as the weather system that spawned tornadoes in Texas and flooding in Missouri moves on.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for southern and eastern parts of Missouri, including St. Louis, and a small section of northern Arkansas. Most of Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, central Missouri and central Illinois are under a flood warning.

Forecasters say Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will see winter weather conditions ranging from heavy snow to ice, accompanied by gusty winds.

Parts of the Southeast will see rain, while severe weather is possible in Mississippi.

Clinton Police Holiday Weekend Report










Local School Leader Not Concerned Over Standardized Test Switch

School leaders across Illinois are reacting differently to the news of the State of Illinois changing the standardized testing for college.

State lawmakers have gone from the ACT test to the SAT, however, funding for the tests are not available with no budget in place and area school leaders have had drastically different reactions. Heyworth Schools Superintendent Dr. Ty Wolf says they don't place a heavy emphasis on the standardized testing.

[audio:12281584140-122815heyworthact1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Dr. Wolf, he is not concerned with the switch. He admits there may not be data to compare to with the SAT, but he feels there are other, better methods to measure student growth.

[audio:12281584142-122815heyworthact2.mp3] [/audio]

The State has paid for the ACT tests in the past and Dr. Wolf says they have no intention to seek other alternative funding for the students to take the tests if the state doesn't pay for them this year.

County Leaders Look Back on 2015

 width=December 1 marked the one year anniversary of a new DeWitt County Board and the leader of said board is looking back fondly.

County Board Chair David Newberg (right) credits a lot of people for their hard work in turning the County around, and says Vice-Chair of the Board, Camille Redman worked very hard for a balanced budget this past year.

[audio:12281584129-122815countyboard151.mp3] [/audio]

A big reason for a balanced budget is an agreement with the Clinton Landfill. Newberg says the agreement took a lot work to get figured out.

[audio:12281584132-122815countyboard152.mp3] [/audio]

Redman feels the re-introduction of the committee system and Newberg says the committees allowed the County work through some major issues they faced this year.

[audio:12281584135-122815countyboard153.mp3] [/audio]

Redman says the State's financial impasse has also had its impacts on the budget in DeWitt County but Redman feels they are going to be just fine despite that.

Celtics Beat Knicks

Isaiah Thomas had consecutive key baskets and finished with 21 points, Evan Turner scored 19 and the Celtics won their fourth straight with a 100-91 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday night.

 width=With the Celtics clinging to a 90-85 lead and just over three minutes to play, Thomas came up with his timely driving baskets to push the lead back to nine. The first came on a drive down the lane and the second he easily beat everyone down the floor after grabbing the rebound.

The Celtics had opened an 88-78 lead on Turner's driving basket with 6:11 to play before New York made its charge. Thomas' plays made sure the Celtics were never in danger of losing.

He added eight rebounds and six assists.

Jae Crowder defended Knicks star Carmelo Anthony tough and scored 18 points, and Kelly Olynyk added 11 points and nine rebounds for Boston.

Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points despite shooting just 11 of 26. Kristaps Porzingis had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

New York, which shot just 37.1 percent, lost its fourth straight. The Knicks committed 13 turnovers.

Blues, Blackhawks Lose

 width=>>Hurricanes Beat Blackhawks

Justin Faulk and Victor Rask scored, backup Eddie Lack stopped 35 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Sunday night.

Chicago's Brent Seabrook spoiled Lack's shutout bid with 3 seconds left and Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford on the bench for an extra attacker. The Blackhawks lost 4-0 to Dallas in their previous game on Tuesday night.

Lack wasn't consistently tested until the Blackhawks outshot Carolina 19-9 in the third period. No. 1 goalie Cam Ward got the night off while the Hurricanes played on the second night in a row.

The Hurricanes' Jeff Skinner had two assists.

Faulk scored his second even-strength goal of the season after netting his first on Saturday night in the Hurricanes' 3-1 win over New Jersey. The Carolina defenseman leads the NHL with 12 power-play goals and is tied for the team lead with 14 goals overall.

 width=>>Stars Blank Blues

Playing for the first time since he was pulled from a game after less than 9 minutes, the Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves for his 33rd career shutout and his third this season, and the Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 3-0.

Coach Lindy Ruff had pulled Lehtonen after he gave up two goals on four shots at Minnesota on Dec. 21, but had no problem starting him on Sunday.

Jamie Benn scored his NHL-leading 23rd goal. Benn and Patrick Sharp each had a power-play goal and an assist. Cody Eakin scored into an empty net with 1:32 remaining.

The Stars outshot St. Louis 38-22. Elliott made 35 saves.

Bears Beat Bucs; Rams Stun Seahawks; Packers Blasted

 width=Ka'Deem Carey caught a touchdown pass from Jay Cutler and the third-string running back also scored on a 1-yard run to help the Chicago Bears end a three-game losing streak with a 26-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carey's 1-yard scoring reception put the Bears (6-9) ahead for good early in the fourth quarter. The second-year pro teamed with Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford to spearhead a rushing attack that produced 174 yards and kept Jameis Winston off the field for long stretches.

The victory was only the second in the past six games for the Bears. Tampa Bay (6-9) has lost four of five, including three straight after rebounding from a slow start.

Winston completed 15 of 29 passes for 295 yards with one interception for the Bucs. He threw for two TDs, including a 43-yard Hail Mary toss to Austin Seferian-Jenkins with 1 second remaining.

 width=>>Rams Upset Seahawks

After making a habit of giving Russell Wilson fits in St. Louis, the Rams ended a decade-long drought in the Pacific Northwest.

Todd Gurley scored on a 2-yard TD run with 10:34 left, Akeem Ayers returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and the Rams ended Seattle's five-game win streak with a 23-17 victory.

Gurley rushed for 85 yards on 19 carries. Case Keenum won his third straight start for the Rams, completing 14 of 23 passes for 103 yards and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the second quarter.

Wilson was sacked four times and hit 13 times according to the final stats. Wilson was 25 of 41 for 289 yards and two touchdowns, including an 18-yard TD to Jermaine Kearse with 17 seconds left.

Wilson also threw a 25-yard touchdown to Doug Baldwin in the third quarter that appeared to be the start of Seattle's second-half rally. It never materialized and the Rams were left celebrating.

St. Louis DE Ethan Westbrooks, DT Nick Fairly and S Mark Barron all left the game with concussions.

 width=>>Cardinals Blast Packers

The Arizona Cardinals flattened Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

That makes it nine straight wins for the Cardinals, who think they're still gaining steam.

The Cardinals sacked Rodgers eight times and returned two of his fumbles for touchdowns in a dominant 38-8 victory.

Carson Palmer threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals (13-2). Michael Floyd caught six passes for 111 yards for the Cardinals, who entered the game with the NFL's No. 1-ranked offense.

Rodgers was 15 for 28 for 151 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

Dwight Freeney had three sacks and Campbell 2 1/2. Cory Redding rambled 36 yards with one of the fumbles for a score, and Jerraud Powers took another 5 yards for a touchdown.

The Packers dropped into a tie with Minnesota for the NFC North lead when the Vikings cruised to a 49-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night. Green Bay hosts Minnesota in its regular-season finale next Sunday.

Zimmerman Leads Blue Ridge Past Argenta-Oreana


Chase Zimmerman recorded another double-double in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla tournament, leading Blue Ridge over Argenta-Oreana 78-58 Monday morning.

Trailing 17-16 after one quarter, Blue Ridge used a 16-3 run in the second quarter to take a 44-33 halftime lead.

Zimmerman posted 21 points and 15 rebounds, Lindi Balazi added 20 points as the Knights moved to 1-1 in pool play in their first of two Monday games.

Isaac Trotter added six points and five rebounds, Dylan Lytel contributed six poitns and seven rebounds and Trevor Jamison had eight points.

The Knights turned 19 offensive rebounds in 26 second chance points.

Konnor Damery led the Bombers with 32 points and was 7-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also pulled down nine rebounds.

Brody Ulrey added 11 points.

Blue Ridge will be back in action tonight at 7:30 taking on Neoga.

City of Clinton Issues Statement About Potential For Flooding

With the current weather conditions we are making the community aware that flash flooding is possible.

In the area of Goose Creek which is E. Washington St., E. Main St., E. Jefferson St., and E.. North St. with the strongest potential flooding.

The areas of Coon Creek and 10 Mile Creek need to be of concern also.

Keep in mind flash flooding comes and goes very quickly, if you need to make any arrangements ahead of any potential flooding, now would be the time before some roads become impassable.

If you have any questions after hours call CENCOM 935-9441

3 to 6 Inches of Rain Falls on DeWitt County, Flood Warning in Effect

 width=A flood warning is in effect in DeWitt County, coming on the heels of roughly six inches of rain in parts of the area.

Teresa Barnett indicates there were parts of the County that saw around three inches of rain from the weekend, and others that received around six inches. The EMA Director for DeWitt County says that's what the National Weather Service has indicated to her.

[audio:12281530021-122915rain1.mp3] [/audio]

Those persistent rains today have caused the National Weather Service to issue a Flood Warning as heavy flooding has been reported on Route 10 between Clinton and Hallsville.

Barnett emphasizes, if you come to a spot where there is any flooding over the roadway, to turn around.

[audio:12281530022-122915rain2.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett also indicates there have been reports of power lines down, and those lines have been reported as live. She indicates with the strong winds combined with the heavy rains, there could be the possibility of power outages.

She encourages residents who come across flooded roads to contact the non-emergency line for CENCOM at 935-3196. For power outages, contact your utility provider.

Clinton Edges Calvary At Williamsville Tournament

The Clinton Maroons used a tremendous fourth quarter effort, and a last second shot, to down Springfield Calvary 53-52 Monday morning at the Williamsville Holiday Tournament.

Clinton trailed throughout much of the contest.  They were down by 8 at half, and down by 9 after three quarters, but an 18 to 8 fourth quarter was enough to secure the win.  Peyton McCubbin hit the game winning 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left in the game.  

Clinton was led by McCubbin's 20 points.  Jacob Overton also dropped in 16 for the Maroons.  Overton scored his 1000th career point on a 3-pointer in the 4th quarter of today's contest.  He now has 1001 points as a Maroon. 

Clinton improves to 5-7 with the win.  They next play Dee-Mack Tuesday at noon at the Williamsville Holiday Tournament.

Our next Maroons Game of the Week broadcast on WHOW is Tuesday, Jan 5, as the Maroons host LeRoy.

Clinton Lady Maroons Get Come Back Win At Riverton

In a game heard Monday afternoon on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons used a strong second half to down the North Mac Panthers, 49-43, at the Riverton Christmas Classic.

Clinton trailed the entire first half of the contest, and were down by as many as 9 in the 3rd quarter.  A late third quarter burst of offense lifted the Lady Maroons to a 34-33 lead after three.  They then outscored North Mac 15-10 in the 4th to pick up the win.  

Clinton was led by Sophomore Madi Filkin, who led all scorers with 17 points.  She also dished out several assists on her way to being named the Stephan York Country Financial Lady Maroons Player of the Game.  Senior Faythe Newberry added 14 points, and Junior Jessi Benson contributed 8 for the Lady Maroons.

Clinton improves to 7-6 with the win.  North Mac falls to 4-8.  The Lady Maroons next play Tuesday at 1:30 at the Riverton Christmas Classic.

Our next Lady Maroons Game of the Week broadcast on WHOW is Monday, Jan. 4, vs El Paso-Gridley.

Flash, Severe Flooding Expected For Parts of Clinton

 width=A flood warning issued for Clinton earlier in the day Monday has turned into a real possibility for residents in portions of the north and south central areas.

According to information director with the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Mike Trummel, an old rail road reservoir on the north side of the community is expected overflow. Trummel emphasizes the reservoir is not in any way associated with Clinton Lake.

[audio:12281542628-122915clintonflood1.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates the overflow will impact the center of the community. He says severe and flash flooding will be seen from the northeast to the southwest portion of Clinton.

[audio:12281542636-122915clintonflood2.mp3] [/audio]

Trummel says residents on the south side of the community who's homes will be impacted by the flooding can take advantage of approximately 300-500 sandbags.

[audio:12281542641-122915clintonflood3.mp3] [/audio]

Trummel encourages discourages traveling tonight unless completely necessary. He indicates there are still flooded roads across the county and says it is best to turn around if you come across standing water.

With temperatures cooling in the overnight, officials do not anticipate water freezing.


Eminent Domain Filed Power Company

Eminent domain claims have been filed by Ameren in its efforts to create an electricity transmission line across Central Illinois.

Cases were filed in six counties earlier this month by Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois against landowners seeking condemnation of the land so that the company can construct the Illinois Rivers Transmission Line.

In the legal documents, Ameren is seeking a court-ruled determination of fair compensation because the company has been unable to agree to an amount with the landowners, despite what Ameren calls “good faith” attempts.

Construction for the one-point-four-billion-dollar, 345-thousand-volt power line project got underway in late September. Eminent domain use was approved last summer.

In a statement, Illinois Rivers Transmission Project director Clifford Waits said Ameren is using eminent domain “only as a last resort.”

The statements also says, “We have been successful in obtaining voluntary agreements in the vast majority of cases. Despite these efforts, we have been unable to come to voluntary agreements with a small number of property owners.”

Attorney General: fantasy online sports is gambling and illegal

Play daily online fantasy sports through FanDuel and DraftKings in Illinois? You’re breaking the law.

That’s the opinion from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Wednesday who also asked the two operations to change their terms of use to include Illinois as a state whose residents are not eligible to participate in the online games for cash winnings.

In the opinion sent to state Representatives Elgie Sims and Scott Drury, both Democrats who serve on the House Judiciary Committee, Madigan says online fantasy sports is considered illegal gambling under the state’s criminal code.

Democratic Representative Mike Zalewski (zah-LESS-ski) says that’s why his measure in the House is important -- to clarify the law and allow people to legally play.

[audio:12261590314-zalewski.mp3] [/audio]

Zalewski says he will make House Bill 4323 a priority after the new year in hopes of making daily online fantasy sports legal. A similar measure has also been introduced in the Senate.

In the letter Madigan sent to representatives of both FanDuel and DraftKings she says in light of the opinion her office expects both operations to amend their terms of use until Illinois lawmakers pass legislation specifically exempting daily fantasy sports from the criminal code.

Clinton Maroons Fall to South Fulton Rebels

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons fell to the South Fulton Rebels by a score of 66-61 on Saturday morning. The Maroons were lead by Jacob Overton and Peyton McCubbin with 14 points each. Seth Westfall was named as the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game.

The South Fulton Rebels were led by Justin Batterton and Trace Hood with 18 points each.

With the loss the Maroons fall to 4-6. 

Tune in Monday, January 5, as the Maroons take on LeRoy. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Monticello Dominates Sangamon Valley in Holiday Hoopla Opener

 width=The Monticello Sages dominated Sangamon Valley Saturday morning to win the opener of the Holiday Hoopla 79-38.

Zach Fisher was once again terrific, leading the Sages with 25 points. Noah Freemon added 18 points, Brandon Wildman scored 12 and the Sages shot 65% from the floor.

Monticello outscored the Storm 51-13 in the middle periods but Monticello was never challenged in this one.

I next, the Sages play Tuscola in the nightcap at 7:30 pm.


Other Hoopla scores:


Tuscola 37

Ridgeview Uses 2nd Half Run to Beat Blue Ridge

The Ridgeview Mustangs used a 21-6 late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter to pull away from Blue Ridge for a 69-54 win on the opening day of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla tournament.

Tyler McCormick led the Mustangs with 24 points and Drew Jones added 12.

Chase Zimmerman had a double-double for the Knights with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Londi Balazi had 10 points and Isaac Trotter contributed seven points and seven boards.

Both teams shot 50% from the floor and better than 40% beyond the arc, however, Ridgeview forced 15 turnovers they turned into 26 points.

Blue Ridge falls to 6-3 while Ridgeview moves to 8-2.

The Knights will play twice Monday, starting at 10 am against Argenta-Oreana then at 7:30 pm against Neoga.

Monticello Defense Leads Sages to Hoopla Win

Zach Fisher was terrific in the nightcap of day one of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla tournament as the Sages defeated Tuscola 64-48.

 width=Fisher scored 29 points and Noah Freemon added 12 as Monticello stayed undefeated moving to 6-0.

Sutton Witterbottom had eight points and five rebounds.

The Sages turned 20 Warrior turnovers into 26 points.

Tuscola handedly controlled the glass by a 26-18 margin.

With a win against GCMS Monday (3:30 pm) afternoon, the Sages would play in the Hoopla championship game Tuesday night. 

The Sages beat Sangamon Valley earlier in the day. 


Day 1 Holiday Hoopla scores:

GCMS 71, Sangamon Valley 43

Ridgeview 69, Blue Ridge 54

Argenta-Oreana 64, Neoga 32

GCMS 54, Tuscola 37

Groundbreaking Research Could Help Troops, Farmers and Other Avoid Hearing Loss

A researcher at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine wants to launch a pre-emptive strike against the battlefield threat of hearing loss.

Dr. Kathleen Campbell secured a five-year $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance her decades of research in hearing loss prevention and treatment. Dr. Campbell says a truly natural medication could be a game changer.

[audio:12241582305-SIU3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Campbell says war movies can't begin to offer a true representation of how loud the battlefield can be but the military has noise issues outside of war zones.

[audio:12241582304-SIU1.mp3] [/audio]

While D-met is being tested with prevention in mind, it can also be used to treat someone in the battlefield who has suffered hearing loss. It could also prove helpful for swat teams, farmers, after car airbag deployment, loud concerts, fireworks or emergency work.

The Veterans' Administration and Defense Department have previously invested in Dr. Campbell's research. She says the DOD and VA lose $2 to $4 billion dollars a year on troops battling hearing loss and that's why they've taken such interest in her research.

Dr. Campbell has had to enter the realm of business, with the FDA requiring her to develop a biotech company and seek investors to get the product approved for use.

Power Line Project Pushed Past Appeal

The path for a proposed power line project cutting through parts of central Illinois seems to be moving forward.

The Illinois Commerce Commission filed notice on Tuesday that they are rejecting appeals for another round of hearings on the Grain Belt Express power line. The agreement against the project was that Clean Line failed to meet state standards during the hearing and approval process.

Land owners in Pike, Scott, Christian, Macoupin, Montgomery, Shelby, Cumberland and Clarke counties are to be impacted.

The project is being built to bring electricity produced in Kansas across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The Grain Belt still hasn’t met approval in Missouri.

Latest Monmouth Poll Shows Trump Losing Ground

A new Monmouth College (Illinois) poll shows Donald Trump is falling out of favor with ”Millennials”—those ages 18-to-24. The poll was conducted December 12th and 13th using a national random sample of 300 young adults.

The results show half the respondents say they have an unfavorable opinion of Trump and half oppose his policy to ban Muslim entry to the U.S.

In the college’s first poll of Millennials conducted in October, Bernie Sanders topped Hillary Clinton by roughly 14 points in the race for the Democratic nomination, leading 36 to 22.

Trump, who received just more than 15 percent of the Republican vote, topped Ben Carson and Jeb Bush, who both polled around 10 percent.

Erika Harold Weighs in on Miss Universe Debacle

If anyone knows what it's like to be in the Miss Universe contestants' elevated shoes, it's former Miss America Erika Harold.

She feels for the contestants involved in host Steve Harvey's gaffe where he announced the wrong winner of the pageant. Despite that, she doesn't believe Harvey should get the boot.

[audio:12241582303-Harold1.mp3] [/audio]

Harold, a former Congressional candidate, practices law out of Champaign these days and also devotes her time to prison ministry.

Sen. Brady Says It's Time To Start Thinking Next Fiscal Year

State Senator Bill Brady believes its time for a shift in the budget discussion.

With the state closing in on the halfway point of the fiscal year without a budget, the Bloomington Republican thinks it might be time to start thinking ahead, although there is one big lingering issue.

[audio:12241582302-Bradybudget.mp3] [/audio]

Like other Republican lawmakers, Brady doesn't believe the solution to the state's budget woes is House Speaker Madigan's push to return the state's income tax rate to 5 percent without business friendly reforms.

Health Tips For Remainder of Holiday Season

As the holiday season comes to a close, the treats and goodies from office and family gatherings will likely remain around and one health expert has several tips to avoiding the nasty feelings associated with that.

According to national health expert, Dr. David Foreman, says to avoid that bloated feeling after eating an unhealthy meal, the best things are green teas or peppermint teas.

[audio:12241582253-122415holidayfood1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Foreman says a starch blocker is a great way to keep your body from breaking starches down into sugars. The weight loss supplement, Phase-2 negates the starches from turning to sugar.

[audio:12241582257-122415holidayfood2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Foreman says it's easier said than done, but avoiding those foods and drinks is the biggest way to avoid the weight gain and bloated feelings that come with snack foods.

DeWitt County Keeping Up With National STEM Push

A push from a national level to get youth more involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is being taken up locally.

The STEM push comes from research that would lead you to believe the United States has fallen behind in these areas from the rest of the world, and is working to get young people more interested in these areas. Sherry Fulton helps lead the 4-H program of DeWitt County and she indicates one of their special interest clubs, or SPIN clubs, is their robotics club and it is increasing in popularity.

[audio:12241582259-122415stem1.mp3] [/audio]

Fortunately for DeWitt County students, the area has a couple of excellent leaders to take the reigns on the program and Fulton says that is a good thing because there is plenty of interest locally.

[audio:12241582301-122415stem2.mp3] [/audio]

It's not too late for a student wanting to be a part of the robotics SPIN club, contact the University of Illinois Extension office at 217-935-5764.

Clinton Schools Leader Says District Report Reflects New Illinois Learning Standards

If you want to know the most meticulous details of any district in Illinois, the district report card is a place to go.

The report details some of the most particular aspects of every district in the state and Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles says one thing about this year's report cards that will be true almost across the board will be the low assessment scores of last year. He says those scores reflect the new learning standards.

[audio:12241582246-122415clintonreportcard1.mp3] [/audio]

Nettles has seen three different assessments in his time in education and he says the low scores initially are nothing new. He says while it is concerning, he predicts the scores balancing out over time as students become more familiar with the new standards.

[audio:12241582248-122415clintonreportcard2.mp3] [/audio]

One issue Nettles takes with the report card is the accuracy of the information. He says a mistake on Clinton School's report card was never corrected and he feels accountability needs to be addressed.

[audio:12241582251-122415clintonreportcard3.mp3] [/audio]

The report card informs the public on demographics of the school, the education level of their staff, attendance rates and much more.

College Football Notes

>> Illinois survives drought in 68-63 victory over Missouri

Malcolm Hill had 21 points, including a basket that ended a scoreless drought of nearly 9-1/2 minutes, and Illinois held off Missouri 68-63 in the annual Braggin' Rights game on Wednesday night.

Kendrick Nunn had 19 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double for Illinois (8-5), which has won five in a row overall and three straight in the neutral site series.

Wes Clark had a career best 21 points with four 3-pointers for Missouri (5-6), which has lost three in a row. Kevin Puryear added 12 points and Russell Woods had seven points and 10 rebounds.

Illinois led 50-30 with 16:13 to go but missed 11 straight shots and three free throws while Missouri climbed back into it with a 15-0 run, including seven points from Clark. Hill drove the baseline to end Illinois' drought with 6:52 to go.

>> TCU downs Bradley 53-49 behind Collins

Sophomore guard Chauncey Collins scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds and TCU barely held off Bradley to win 53-49 Wednesday.

The Horned Frogs (7-4) are now 6-28 in road games since joining the Big 12 Conference in 2012.

The Braves (2-11) outshot TCU 36 percent to 30 percent and pulled to within three points with 10 seconds left.

Vladimir Brodziansky and Michael Williams scored 10 apiece for TCU, whose largest lead was 11 points.

Luuk van Bree scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Bradley, while Ronnie Suggs added 12 points.

Five Braves players fouled out in a game that saw Bradley called for 37 fouls and TCU shoot 21 of 40 free throws. The Braves also committed 23 turnovers, which led to 19 TCU points. The Horned Frogs turned it over 14 times.

TCU hosts Delaware State on Monday, while Bradley next plays Dec. 30 at UNI.

Bulls taking trade calls on Gasol, Noah, Gibson, seek wing player

Under new coach Fred Hoiberg, the Chicago Bulls have only shown flashes of being one of the better teams in the East. At 15-11, the Bulls are underperforming, possibly dealing with chemistry issues and are even questioning their identity. And now they may be trying to make some drastic roster changes.

According to reports, the Bulls seeking an upgrade on the wing and are considering trading either Taj Gibson or Joakim Noah.

Chicago does have a glut of forwards with Gibson, Noah, Gasol, Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic. Portis has shown flashes of being a solid player and although Mirotic has struggled this season, he could be a good fit for Hoiberg's uptempo offense. But does that make Gasol, Noah and Gibson expendable now?

Noah is a free agent at the end of the season and Gasol could opt out of his contract, so the Bulls may be trying to get some value on both players now, just in case they leave in the summer. The same could be said for Gibson, who will be a free-agent in the summer of 2017.

If the Bulls trade any of the three, Gibson and Gasol may be the best options as Chicago could get better value from those two. Noah's value on the other hand, may be at an all-time low. He is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career and, at 30, Noah's best years may already be behind him.

However, the Bulls do need a wing player that will pair well with Jimmy Butler, who they are committed to building around after signing him to max contract last summer. The injury to Mike Dunleavy has truly hurt the Bulls as they are relying on Tony Snell and Doug McDermott, two players that have underperformed.

White Sox claim Jerry Sands off waivers from Indians

Outfielder Jerry Sands has been claimed by the Chicago White Sox off waivers from the Cleveland Indians.

The 29-year-old hit .236 with four homers and 19 RBIs in games with Cleveland last season. He also played in 66 games with Triple-A Columbus.

Sands is a career .238 hitter with nine homers and 50 RBIs over parts of four major-league seasons with the Dodgers (2011-12), Tampa Bay (2014) and the Indians (2015).

Chicago announced the move Wednesday.

Cubs claim left-hander Olmos, release infielder Ryan

The Cubs have claimed left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and released recently acquired infielder Brendan Ryan.

Chicago also announced Wednesday that pitcher Yoervis Medina was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Olmos was initially claimed off waivers by Chicago from Seattle on Dec. 4. He was then claimed off waivers by Baltimore on Dec. 10.

Olmos spent most of last season at Triple-A Tacoma. He made six appearances and two starts for the Mariners, going 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA.

Ryan was acquired from the Yankees as the player to be named in the deal that sent infielder Starlin Castro to New York for pitcher Adam Warren this month. The 33-year-old Ryan was limited to 47 games due to strains of a calf and his back. He had a guaranteed $1 million salary.

Medina was designated for assignment Dec. 17 after going 1-0 with a 4.71 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Seattle and the Cubs.

DeWitt County Farm Bureau Names New Director

The Dewitt County Farm Bureau Board of Directors are announcing the upcoming retirement of Ken Bjelland as Manager, after 35 years of service on January 31, 2016.

 width=Since May of 1981, Bjelland has been instrumental in coordinating many Farm Bureau programs like AG in the Classroom, 4-H and FFA outreach, as well as bus trips for members around the country.

Thursday January 28, the Farm Bureau is hosting an open house to honor Ken for his accomplishments.

The Dewitt County Farm Bureau Board of Directors has announced the hiring of Janell Baum Thomas as their new manager, with a start date of January 18th.

Thomas is a graduate of the University of Illinois and a past state FFA officer.

The board feels very fortunate to have such a qualified local candidate to lead them in the next chapter of Dewitt County Farm Bureau and on into their 100th year which will be 2018.

Congressman Davis Reacts To WOTUS Revelations

 width=The Environmental Protection Agency is in hot water after an investigation by the Government Accountability Office found they broke federal law in regards to their use of social media to promote the controversial Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS).

The GOA found the EPA engaged in “covert propaganda” and “grassroots lobbying”, in their use of various social media outlets to rally support for the controversial measure.

Congressman Rodney Davis says he wants the EPA held accountable.

[audio:12231580751-RodneyWOTUS1.mp3] [/audio]

The Taylorville Republican added that the data behind WOTUS is murky at best, and the measure is simply too costly to be put into law without first passing through the chambers of the House and Senate.

[audio:12231580753-RodneyWOTUS2.mp3] [/audio]

The $1.1 trillion federal spending plan introduced by Congressional leaders Wednesday did not include text blocking the controversial rule.

No White Christmas This Year

The predictions of no snow for Christmas have come true as we get set to celebrate Christmas Friday.

You can blame El Nino for the mild weather so far in December, and it looks like the mild conditions will continue for a while. That's according to meteorologist Eric Schmidt, who says this means there will not be a white Christmas this year.

[audio:12231580749-Erics1.mp3] [/audio]

The extended outlook calls for the mild weather to last at least into early January meaning December could end up being one of the warmest on record.

[audio:12231580750-EricS2.mp3] [/audio]

Today will be rainy, with the possibility of some severe weather in Southern Illinois, but Christmas eve and Christmas day look to be mild and dry, with highs around 50 and lows in the mid 30’s.

Heyworth Schools Set Levy; Local Development Key To Positive Finances

The possibility of a property tax freeze in Springfield has left many school districts in central Illinois scrambling.

One district that says they are fortunate to not be scrambling is Heyworth in McLean County. Superintendent of schools, Dr. Ty Wolf, says they have been the fortunate benefactor of local development, which is allowing them to keep their tax levy stable.

[audio:12231580817-122315heyworthlevy1.mp3] [/audio]

The idea of a tax freeze has forced many districts to find ways to increase their revenue base, but Dr. Wolf indicates, that is something they have been working on for a number of years through implementing new programs and decreasing expenditures.

[audio:12231580822-122315heyworthlevy2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolf sees the property tax freeze legislation as an elimination of more funds to local schools. He explains a property tax freeze would pile on to the fact the state already doesn't distribute money they are constitutionally obligated to.

[audio:12231580823-122315heyworthlevy3.mp3] [/audio]

In recent years, Heyworth school leaders have saved almost a half-million through changes to their health insurance and around $100-thousand through adjustments to their lunch program.

He says economizing has helped the district a great deal.

Clinton School Teachers Eager For 2015-16 Classroom Grants

 width=Teachers in the Clinton school system will be finalizing, if they haven't already, applications for this year's round of classroom grants provided through the Clinton Community Educational Foundation, CCEF.

Ruth Lowers is one of the Board members of the CCEF, and explains the Foundation has kicked off their mailing fundraising effort for this year. According to Lowers, funds raised go back into the school system through their classroom grants and scholarships for graduating seniors.

[audio:12231580808-122315ccefcampaign1.mp3] [/audio]

Lowers says a teacher can receive up to $1-thousand for their classrooms and in the past those grants have covered a variety of things from supplies for a particular subject to simple enrichment tools for learning.

[audio:12231580811-122315ccefcampaign2.mp3] [/audio]

For the Foundation and the committee that reviews the applications, Lowers says they are seeking applications that have creativity and enhance the learning experience for the students of the district. She indicates they have awarded grants across all levels of the school system.

[audio:12231580813-122315ccefcampaign3.mp3] [/audio]

According to Lowers, the administrators at each building must sign off on the grants so the applications match the curriculum of the school.

Lowers indicates the teacher grant applications are due January 8.

The Foundation's campaign will continue to allow students to receive scholarships and will provide other opportunities in the district that the normal school's budget does not provide.

McIlroy To Open PGA Season At Northern Trust Open; Masters Notes

 width=Rory McIlroy sounds like he's already locked in for 2016. McIlroy will play multiple times in the Middle East before coming to the United States to play the Northern Trust Open in February.

It's a tournament he has never played before. 

McIlroy told NewsTalk in Ireland quote-"I've added an extra event in the States just because I want to go play the golf course. I've heard Riviera is a great course and I want to go play there in L.A., and I think it'll be a good course for me."

He's also doing it because he wants to be cruising heading to the Masters.

McIlroy notes some of his slow starts at the Masters might have been because he didn't have enough golf under his belt going into the first major of the year. That won't be the case in 2016.

>>Masters Field At 89

The Masters field is set. For now.

The 2015 calendar year is nearly complete, and Lee Westwood will be the last golfer to sneak into the top 50 next week to bump the Masters field to 89 heading into 2016.

 width=Golfers who win tournaments before the Masters or get into the top 50 in the weeks leading up to it will also be included.

The field has famously been under 100 golfers every year since 1966. It doesn't look like 2016's version will be any different.

There are are a number of ways to qualify for the tournament, but the one 15 golfers will use next week is being inside the top 50 of the world golf rankings at the end of the year. The only American to get into the field this way is Billy Horschel.

According to the AP, the field was at 90 at the end of 2014 and only a handful of other golfers sneaked in under the deadline after 2015 began.

The biggest question mark will obviously be Tiger Woods. There's no real indication that he's going to be anywhere close to ready.

Cardinals Agree To Deal With RHP Leake

The Cardinals and free agent right-hander Mike Leake have agreed to a five-year contract with a sixth year mututal option, the team announced. CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed the agreement is worth $80 million and includes a no-trade clause.

 width=Earlier this offseason the Cardinals lost John Lackey. Leake will join Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia in the St. Louis rotation next year.

Wainwright (Achilles), Martinez (shoulder) and Garcia (shoulder) all missed time with injury in 2015 while Wacha wore down late in the season. The signing pushes youngsters like Tyler Lyons, Tim Cooney and Marco Gonzales either into the bullpen or back to Triple-A for depth.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak recently said the team will not make a "dynamic signing" this offseason, though they clearly have money to spend. They were the runners-up for David Price and also made a substantial offer to Jason Heyward. The Cardinals might not be done after signing Leake, with an outfielder the likely next target.

Leake, 28, was 11-10 with a 3.70 ERA (106 OPS+), 1.16 WHIP and 119 strikeouts in 192 innings for the Reds and Giants last season. The right hander has been pretty durable, only hitting the DL for minor injuries twice in his career. He's topped 190 innings in each of the past three seasons.

 width=>>Mets Sign Former-Sox OF de Aza

The Mets have agreed to sign outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a one-year contract, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. The deal is worth $5.75 million with another $1.25 million in incentives. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.

De Aza, 31, will share center field duties with Juan Lagares, according to Heyman. De Aza is a left-handed hitter and Lagares is a right-handed hitter, so they're natural platoon mates. Lagares is a far superior defender, however.

In 90 games in 2015, De Aza hit .261/.319/.436 (102 OPS+) overall and .278/.351/.448 (121 OPs+) against righties. He played with three teams this past season, going from the Orioles to the Red Sox to the Giants in minor trades.

De Aza and Lagares will be flanked by Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto in the outfield. It has been unlikely the Mets would re-sign Yoenis Cespedes all offseason, and De Aza's addition all but confirms it.

Blues Win; Blackhawks Lose

 width=Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist in his first regular-season game against his former team, leading the Dallas Stars to a 4-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

Sharp scored 11 seconds into the third period to give Dallas a 2-0 lead in what had been a game with few chances between the highest-scoring teams in the Western Conference.

The veteran forward came to the Stars in an offseason trade when the Blackhawks were trying save salary-cap space after Sharp won his third Stanley Cup in the past six seasons with Chicago. He spent 10 years with the Blackhawks.

Antti Niemi stopped 20 shots for his third shutout this season a night after replacing Kari Lehtonen less than 10 minutes into a 6-3 win at Minnesota when the Stars rallied from a quick 2-0 deficit.

 width=>>Allen, Blues Blank Bruins

ake Allen stopped 32 shots for his fifth shutout, Vladimir Tarasenko and Robby Fabbri scored third-period goals and the St. Louis Blues rebounded by cooling off the Boston Bruins with a 2-0 victory Tuesday night.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask made 27 saves, but lost in regulation for the first time in 11 starts after going 8-0-2.

Tarasenko took a pass and came charging down the slot before slipping a wrister past Rask's blocker for his team-leading 22nd goal to make it 1-0 at 7:35 of the third. It extended his point streak to a season-high seven games, with six goals and five assists during that span.

Fabbri snapped off a shot from the left circle that beat Rask inside the far upper corner with just more than 7 minutes to play.

It was only the second regulation loss in 16 games for Boston (11-2-3). St. Louis posted its fifth win in seven games.

The Bruins had won six of their last eight at home, and center Patrice Bergeron said they could learn from this loss.

Bulls Noah Out 2 Weeks With Shoulder Injury

 width=Bulls center Joakim Noah will miss at least two weeks because of a sprained left shoulder.

Noah exited Monday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets in the third quarter.

He was on defense when Brooklyn's Andrea Bargnani, after jumping, came down hard on Noah's left arm, bending it back awkwardly. Noah, who was called for a foul on the play, ran around the court in obvious pain with his left shoulder slumped over for a moment before heading off the court and into the tunnel leading to the locker room.

He had an MRI on Tuesday and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Noah is averaging 4.5 points and 8.8 rebounds.

The Bulls (15-11) have dropped three straight.

>>Kobe Leads Lakers Past Nuggets

For a night, Kobe Bryant was vintage Bryant again. No second thoughts about retirement, though.

 width=Bryant tied a season high with 31 points after missing a game with a sore right shoulder, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 21-point, first-half deficit to beat the short-handed Denver Nuggets 111-107 on Tuesday.

Bryant also had five assists and played stellar defense to help bottle up the hot-shooting Will Barton, who had 23 points in the first half only to finish with 25.

Up 103-100 with 1:23 remaining, Bryant hit two free throws and then a jumper to seal the Lakers' fifth win of the season.

Gary Harris went down with a strained right knee early in the game, but returned to score 21 points, tying a career high.

Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 10 boards.

Illinois State Gets By Tennessee State

 width=Deontae Hawkins, Roland Griffin and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell each scored 10 points as balanced scoring lifted Illinois State over Tennessee State 66-55 Tuesday night.

The Redbirds (6-7), shot a season-high 54 percent in the first half while holding Tennessee State (9-3) to 23 points - Illinois State's fewest points allowed in a half. The combination of good shooting and tight defense derailed Tennessee State's seven-game winning streak.

MiKyle McIntosh scored nine points for the Redbirds, as did Tony Wills. Nick Banyard grabbed 11 rebounds and scored eight points. Eight of nine Illinois State players scored at least four points.

Keron Deshields scored 16 points and Christian Griggs-Williams added 12 with three 3-pointers for Tennessee State. The Tigers, picked to finish last in the Ohio Valley east conference, were 9-2 for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

UPDATED: 600 DeWitt County Youth Helped Through Angel Tree

 width=Around 600 of the County's youth were provided Christmas gifts thanks to the generosity of local groups and citizens.

Sue Calvert leads the DeWitt County Angel Tree program and she indicates between efforts like Shop With a Cop, Shop With a Fireman, and the always generous Clinton and DeWitt County residents, they provided Christmas presents for over 600 DeWitt County Youth this month.

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Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates they took a trendy slogan used in social cirlces, and turned it into a fundraiser for the Angel Tree program, which he says is "near and dear to their hearts". The Chief explains they loosened their grooming standards within the department for 'no shave November'.

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Last Tuesday, youth of the county were able to be paired with a police officer or a Sheriff's Deputy for the annual Shop with a Cop event. Calvert says the event is never possible without the generous support of Walmart.

[audio:12221582310-122215angeltreerecap3.mp3] [/audio]

According to Calvert, the children are selected from a pool of the first applicants into the program in the fall, and then they will take on emergency cases after that.

[audio:12221582312-122215angeltreerecap4.mp3] [/audio]

The support of the emergency responding groups is great, but Calvert says the support of the community as a whole is what makes the program a complete success.

[audio:12221582313-122215angeltreerecap5.mp3] [/audio]

Several community groups stepped up to help with collection and distribution of gifts and to make donations. Those include:

Douglas Dodge, BPW, Elk's, Macy's who provides coats, Baum's, FFA & Excel club at CHS, Clinton Elementary 5th graders with Senior gift day to nursing home sponsored by Samaritan Room.

Walgreens did a toy drive & employee donation. Syngenta participated in an employee donation drive.

Calvert also credits their Farmer City operation under the direction of Lynda Harman.





















'Bad Cops' Cost Taxpayers Big Money

There’s no easy fix to stem police misconduct cases, even as taxpayers of Illinois’ largest city continue to pay out big settlements.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports lawyers got $1.8 million as part of the $5 million settlement in the case of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being gunned down by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke in October of 2014. Lauren Krisai (chris-eye), director of criminal justice reform with The Reason Foundation, says similar cases across the country are gaining more of the public’s attention as taxpayers are on the hook for paying out the settlements.

[audio:12221582927-Krisai1.mp3] [/audio]

Krisai says those hurt by police actions should have their day in court and be compensated but there’s no one solution to solve the problem of taxpayers being on the hook for the actions of bad cops.

[audio:12221582926-Krisai2.mp3] [/audio]

Meanwhile previous Sun-Times reports indicate Chicago taxpayers have paid more than half-a-billion tax dollars on police misconduct settlements in the past decade.

City Parks Renovation Underway; Leaders Seek Community Input

A tax approved about a year ago is starting to pay dividends for the community.

Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, updated the Council on progress at community parks thanks to a tax the Council approved roughly a year ago.

[audio:12221583108-122215parksreno1.mp3] [/audio]

As City leaders try to plan out ways to make local parks more functional, they are seeking feedback. Followell indicates the goals set won't happen overnight, so they hope to have the community provide what they'd like to see in their local parks.

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Ideas for the various community parks include multi-use surfaces, challenge and fitness courses for young adults, walking paths around and through the parks, and to turn Kiwanis Park's material into longer lasting, more durable materials to ensure a longer life expectancy.

Illinois Manufacturing In Recession

It’s not just the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability saying the state’s manufacturing sector is in recession, it’s also several manufacturing groups.

Reacting to last week’s jobs numbers showing more than 12,000 manufacturing jobs lost in the past year, Illinois Manufacturer’s Association Vice President Mark Denzler said Illinois manufactures have been struggling with a variety of things, including the state’s business climate competing with neighboring states and other countries. Steve Rauschenberger, president of The Technology and Manufacturing Association agrees.

[audio:12221583819-Rauschenberger.mp3] [/audio]

Kim Maisch (MY-shh), the Illinois director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says many of her manufacturing members feel the manufacturing recession and will continue steps they took after the great recession that ended in 2009.

[audio:12221583818-Maisch1.mp3] [/audio]

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has been pushing for a more business friendly environment to spur on more jobs, something leading Democrats in the General Assembly oppose saying the reform items would diminish the quality of life for working class families. Leading Republicans counter the middle class has been negatively impacted by more than a decade of Democrat rule.

Nets Beat Bulls

Brook Lopez had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Thaddeus Young added 16 points and 13 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls 105-102 on Monday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Chicago center Joakim Noah left the game late in the third quarter with an apparent left shoulder injury.

Wayne Ellington had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench for the Nets.

Jimmy Butler had 24 points, Pau Gasol added 20 points and the Bulls lost their third straight.

Butler said before the game that he didn't regret his critical comments of first-year coach Fred Hoiberg two days earlier following a loss in New York. He was 11 for 20 from the field in this one.

Bulls' Noah Injures Shoulder

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has left their game against Brooklyn with an apparent left shoulder injury.

Noah was defending on a play in the final minute of the third quarter on Monday night when Brooklyn's Andrea Bargnani, after jumping, came down hard on Noah's left arm, bending it back awkwardly.

Noah, who was called for a foul on the play, ran around the court in obvious pain with his shoulder slumped over for a moment before heading off the court and into the tunnel leading to the Chicago locker room.

Noah had four points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 15 minutes off the bench before the injury.

Philly Gets By Blues

Evgeny Medvedev scored on a wrist shot with 3:13 left, lifting the Flyers to a 4-3 comeback victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

The Blues jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Paajarvi's breakaway goal midway through the second period. The goal was set up when Philadelphia's Pierre-Edouard Bellemare fell down at the Flyers blue line. Paajarvi took the puck the other way and beat Steve Mason through the legs.

Robby Fabbri, Kevin Shattenkirk and Magnus Paajarvi scored for St. Louis, which had won three straight.

Wayne Simmonds had a pair of goals and Chris VandeVelde also scored for Philadelphia, which enters a five-day Christmas hiatus with eight wins in its last 12 games.

Medvedev received a nice backhand pass from Ryan White and fired the puck high past Jake Allen on his blocker side.

Simmonds tied it 51 seconds into the third period with a rare power-play goal against the Blues, who entered leading the NHL in killing penalties at 87.8 percent.

Jakub Voracek took the initial shot with a one-timer from just above the right circle, and Simmonds deflected it past Allen.

Mason had 25 saves.

Charles Woodson To Retire

Charles Woodson's Hall-of-Fame caliber career is at its end. On Monday, Woodson, 39, announced that he'll step away from the game at the season's conclusion, putting an end to a career that began in 1998.

In Woodson's historically great career, he's intercepted 65 passes, tied for the fifth most all time. The eight-time Pro Bowler has returned 11 interceptions for touchdowns (tied for second all-time) and he was named AP's defensive player of the year in 2009. Woodson is the only player in NFL history with more than 50 career picks and 20 career sacks, per ESPN Stats & Info.

After winning the Heisman Trophy as a junior at Michigan in 1997, Woodson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Raiders in 1998. He spent eight years in Oakland before leaving for Green Bay prior to the 2006 season. As a member of the Packers, Woodson won a Super Bowl after the 2010 regular season. In 2013, Woodson returned to the team that drafted him, which means he'll end his 18-year career where it all began.

NFL Suspends Giants' Beckham One Game

The Giants' most explosive offensive player won't be on the field this week when New York travels to Minnesota.

The NFL officially announced on Monday that Odell Beckham Jr. has been suspended one game for his actions during the second half of the Giants' 38-35 loss to Carolina. Specifically, Beckham was suspended for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules.

In a statement, NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks noted that Beckham's actions, "placed his opponents at unnecessary risk of injury and should have been avoided."

Due to the suspension, Beckham won't be allowed to attend any team function or practice this week. The wide receiver is also not allowed to show up at the Giants practice facility until the suspension is lifted on Dec. 28.

Shaq, Allen Iverson Among Hall of Fame Nominee

NBA icons Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson -- as well as Michigan State coach Tom Izzo -- headline the list of first-time nominees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2016, it was formally announced Monday afternoon.

All three project as likely inductees. The Hall is starting its switch to a four-year waiting period for candidacy. Previously, players had to be retired for five full seasons before consideration.

O'Neal is a four-time NBA champion and 15-time NBA All-Star. He was MVP of the NBA in 2000. Iverson is an 11-time NBA All-Star who was MVP of the NBA in 2001. Izzo has coached in seven Final Fours. His Spartans won the national championship in 2000.

Other notable first-time nominees are Yao Ming, Sheryl Swoopes and Oak Hill Academy coach Steve Smith. Former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan is nominated for the second straight season.

The Hall of Fame's finalists will be announced during NBA All-Star Weekend in February. The actual inductees will then be announced April 4, which is the day of the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Houston.

Michigan State Still No. 1 In Latest Polls

The latest AP poll has a lot of shifting within the rankings, but little turnover from last week in terms of new teams to the fold. Only Utah and South Carolina join this week, while UConn and UCLA fall out. Utah's win over Duke on Saturday catapulted the Utes from 36th in votes last week to No. 24 this week.

South Carolina? It's yet to lose a game. Frank Martin's program earned a road win against Clemson on Friday night to push it into the polls for the first time under Martin's regime.

Elsewhere: Kentucky and Duke take big tumbles after their losses, while Maryland, Virginia, Xavier and Butler were the biggest risers this week.

For the third consecutive week, Michigan State is the No. 1 team in the country. But things are about to get tough for them with Denzel Valentine's injury.

The Spartans are out to a terrific start, and garnered 29 first-place votes in the latest coaches poll. Oklahoma is at No. 2, and the only other team with first-place votes. Kansas, Maryland, and Virginia round out the top five.

Xavier is No. 6 team, followed by North Carolina and Arizona, each of whom rose four spots. The next three are Iowa State, Duke and Kentucky, each of whom fell at least four spots, with Iowa State and Kentucky plummetting seven. Below them, Butler moved up six spots to No. 12.

This poll was a bit strange as well given the crazy weekend that just occurred, as no new teams entered the poll and no new teams fell out of the poll.

Tax Incentives For Manufacturers Could Spur Job

While many may believe the state’s manufacturing sector is nearly in recession, as noted by the state's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, several state manufacturing groups say there are steps the state can take to spur on more manufacturing jobs.

Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, says it’s been a challenging year, and not all factors can be controlled. However Denzler says some things can be controlled, like the recent sunset because of inaction from lawmakers for the manufacturer's purchase credit and a coming decision on the credit for research and development.

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Denzler notes that the recent bipartisan effort on unemployment insurance is a sign lawmakers can find solutions. Kim Maisch (MY-shh), the Illinois director of the National Federation of Independent Business, agrees those credits would go a long way to provide stability to the manufacturing sector.

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Recent reports from COGFA indicate many people believe the state’s manufacturing sector is in recession, but Steve Rauschenberger of The Technology and Manufacturing Association says it may be too soon to declare a full on recession for the manufacturing sector in Illinois.

Tort Reform Groups Say Illinois' Judicial Environment Leaves Taxpayers Holding Bag

A southern Illinois county has again made the list of Judicial Hellholes. A tort reform advocacy group says those “Hellholes” cause businesses to flee a litigious environment while taxpayers are left holding the bag.

The annual report from the American Tort Reform Association places Madison County, Illinois, at No. 5 of the Top 9 judicial hellholes, saying the Illinois county’s courts handle about a third of of the entire country’s asbestos litigation. The ATRA report says hundreds of cases are set for trial in a single day which puts pressure on defendants to settle. The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association says the report and ATRA works to undermine the independence of Illinois courts to help corporate interests avoid responsibility for their dangerous behavior and reckless actions.
However Travis Akin, executive director of the Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, or I-LAW, says the reason Madison County courts are on the list is because judges there are not independent.

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Akin says the state’s judicial climate increases pressure on taxpayers as businesses either leave or fly over the state.

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Akin says the report is a sign that there needs to be lawsuit reform in Illinois. Meanwhile the ILTA counters the report in a press release saying Illinois’ judicial system is a deterrent to corporate misconduct.

McCubbin, White Lead A Balanced Maroons Attack To Win Monday


Peyton McCubbin tallied a double-double and Tanner White had his best offensive game of the season as the Maroons rallied past Argenta-Oreana Monday night 64-45.

Tanner White paced four Maroons in double figure scoring with 19 points. Peyton McCubbin added 13 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, Austin Baker had 14 along with four helpers, and Jacob Overton finished with 12 as Clinton improved to 4-6 on the year and won their second straight.

Collin Underwood finished with one field goal but six rebounds.

The Bombers were led by Konnor Damry with 12.

The Maroons trailed 14-13 after the first quarter but rallied ahead, outscoring the Bombers 39-24 in the middle frames to pull away.

The Maroons are back in action at the Williamsville Holiday Tournament Saturday Dec. 26 at 9 am taking on South Fulton. Hear the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Social Security Says Scams Continue To Be An Issue

The number of people falling victim to scams continues to climb across the nation and one government agency is reaching out to provide helpful tips to keep you from falling victim.

Jack Myers with Social Security emphasizes agencies like Social Security, the IRS, or any other arm of the government is not going to contact you via a phone call or email. He says any time you get a call or email from someone claiming to be from that kind of agency, that should be a red flag.

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Myers indicates he fields questions all the time about a phone call or email from social security or the IRS, however, he says the action taken by agencies like theirs, is first a written notice in the mail.

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Myers says another tactic used is a promise tactic. He says if you are ever promised more benefits from an agency like social security, that is not accurate. He says their business is not conducted like that.

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To report fraud to social security, dial 800-269-0271 or visit socialsecurity.gov.

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office also has a fraud prevention hotline you can call with questions about phone calls or emails you've received to inquire about their legitimacy. Their number is 217-935-7867.

Christmas Safety Tips

 width=It's the week of Christmas, which means the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is sure to intensify as people get those last minute Christmas gifts and hit the roads for their holiday destinations.

Whether you still have Christmas shopping to get in or your family is hitting the road for your yearly traditions, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers hopes as you are on the roads to be patient and practice caution.

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Chief Lowers indicates this is a big time of year for burglaries. He says your garbage can actually be an attraction to burglars.

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Obviously the new year comes next week and the Chief has several tips for what is one of the more deadly weekends of the year.

We'll have more thoughts from Chief Lowers next week as you prepare for your new year's celebrations.

Ole Miss Star Suspended For Bowl Game; Declares for NFL Draft

Ole Miss star defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche will not play the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma State after being suspended by coach Hugh Freeze following Nkemdiche's fall at an Atlanta hotel and subsequent arrest. Later Sunday, Nkemdiche declared that he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.

 width=According to Scout.com's Ben Garrett, Nkemdiche will head to Miami with his brother Bryan to begin preparations for the draft.

Nkemdiche is scheduled to appear in court for his misdemeanor marijuana charge on Jan. 11, 10 days after the Rebels play in the Sugar Bowl.

Freshman Breeland Speaks will be the likely replacement for Nkemdiche at defensive tackle. Speaks has 30 tackles (five for loss) and one sack this season from his reserve role.

Later, Nkemdiche announced he wasdeclaring to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.

Heyward's Comments Irk Matheny; Cubs In No Rush To Move Soler

 width=Mike Matheny heard about what Jason Heyward said about the Cardinals -- and he doesn't like it.

Matheny saw Heyward's comments from when he was introduced by the Cubs at a press conference this past week, and intepreted them as Heyward thinking the Cardinals were somehow lesser than Heyward's new team, which he joined in free agency after signing an eight-year, $184 million contract (with two buyouts).

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Matheny was quoted as saying: "I don't think it's going to ring too well with our club."

At his introductory press conference, Heyward said quote- "Being 26 and knowing my contract would probably put me in any clubhouse longer than most people there, you have to look at age, you have to look at how fast the team is changing and how soon those changes may come about. You have Yadier, who is going to be done in two years maybe. You have Matt Holliday, who is probably going to be done soon.

"Chicago really offers an opportunity to come into the culture and be introduced to the culture by a young group of guys. Grow up with them and still watch myself grow up and have some fun with some familiar faces for a long time."

 width=>>Cubs In No Rush To Move Soler

Because the Cubs have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to positional talent, the thought is that they may look to trade one of their young bats in exchange for pitching. As MLB insider Jon Heyman indated via twitter not so long ago, Jorge Soler is one such possibility, and despite some occasional lapses, Soler is indeed a coveted talent on the trade market.

Theo Epstein was recently quoted saing - "I just watched some videos of him training and he looks great. He is down to 225 and is working hard on his quickness and flexibility. He looks fantastic. This guy wants to play. He did not like that when he returned from his injury last year he wasn't playing every day."

The Cubs originally signed the 23-year-old outfielder out of Cuba in 2012. Across parts of two big-league seasons, Soler has batted a solid .268/.325/.433 (107 OPS+) with 15 homers in 125 games.

Packers Pick Up Ugly Win in Oakland; Vikings Blast Bears

Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass and Damarious Randall returned an interception for another score to help the Packers beat the Oakland Raiders 30-20 on Sunday, after Green Bay clinched a franchise-record seventh straight postseason spot.

 width=Derek Carr threw two early interceptions to put Oakland (6-8) in a hole, but then had a pair of touchdown passes to Amari Cooper. It wasn't enough as the Raiders were eliminated from playoff contention for the 13th straight season.

Cooper hauled in six passes for 120 yards.

Julius Peppers racked up 2 1/2 sacks for the Packers, who won their third straight game.

The Packers (10-4) clinched the postseason in the first quarter when the New York Giants lost to Carolina.

Packers LB Jayrone Elliott (quadriceps) and OL David Bakhtiari (ankle) left with injuries.

Raiders DE Mario Edwards Jr. left after the first drive with a neck injury and WR Seth Roberts (abdominal) also was injured.

>>Bridgewater's Five TDs Carry Vikings Over Bears

 width=Teddy Bridgewater threw a career-high four touchdowns and ran for another one, and the Minnesota Vikings took a significant step toward clinching a spot in the playoffs with a 38-17 victory Sunday over the Chicago Bears.

Bridgewater completed 17 of 20 passes for 231 yards without a turnover, connecting twice with Stefon Diggs for scores. Jerick McKinnon and Zach Line had the other touchdown catches on a remarkably productive afternoon for all of Minnesota's running backs.

Adrian Peterson missed some time because of an injury to his left ankle, but he still finished with 63 yards on 18 attempts to maintain his NFL rushing lead. The Vikings (9-5) stopped their two-game losing streak. They turned a lost fumble and an interception thrown by Jay Cutler into 14 second-half points.

Maroons Beat Beardstown Saturday

 width=The Clinton Maroons boys basketball team overcame a 33-28 halftime deficit and beat Beardstown 73-60.

The Maroons outscored Beardstown 17-3 in the third quarter, propelling them to their third win this season.

Peyton McCubbin poured in 28 points. Austin Baker added 21 and Jacob Overton contributed 11 points.

D'ante McWilliams paced Beardstown with 19.

The Maroons are Argenta-Oreana tonight at 6 pm.

Clinton Police Weekend Report






DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 25

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 0

Scott Martin, 49, Atlanta was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Martin was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jason Sturdiuant, 41, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 82 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Sturdiuant was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Martin Garcia, 40, Sycamore was issued a Citation for Speeding 87 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Garcia was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Domminique Kinnie, 29, Urbana was issued a Citation for Speeding 26-34 MPH Over Posted Limit (88 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone). Kinnie was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Thomas Wargel, 47, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Wargel was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Bonita Brannan, 50, Weldon was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Brannan was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Natalie Pena, 20, Normal was issued a Citation for Speeding 85 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Pena was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Jason Kitson, 18, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Kitson was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Alex Concannon, 25, Shorwood was issued Citations for Illegal Transportation Alcohol and Speeding 71 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Concannon was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Stephen Eneme, 46, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Eneme was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Paul Dignan, 40, Macon was issued a Citation for Speeding 74  MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Dignan was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Chet Brumleve, 29, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Brumleve was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Brian Lane, 30, Roanoke was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Lane was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Ashleign Whitcomb, 28, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 72 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Whitcomb was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

David Hinz, 39, Spring Grove was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Hinz was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Charles Woodworth, 51, Sullivan was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Woodworth was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Patricia Ferguson, 59, Heyworth was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle Ferguson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.





Hill with 34 points, Illinois beats South Dakota, 91-79

Malcolm Hill scored a career-high 34 points and had 11 rebounds, and Illinois never trailed in a 91-79 victory over South Dakota on Saturday.

Hill was 10 of 16 from the floor with four 3-pointers and had five assists. Jalen Coleman-Lands added 17 points with four 3s for Illinois (7-5).

Tre Burnette had a career-best 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting to lead South Dakota (7-5).

The Illini opened on a 14-0 run behind eight-straight defensive stops, and led 55-36 at the break.

Burnette made three 3-pointers and Trey Norris made a jumper during an 11-4 spurt to pull the Coyotes to 84-78 with two minutes left. Michael Finke answered with a 3-pointer, and Hill and Coleman-Lands each made a pair of free throws to seal it.

Illinois shot 47 percent on 14-of-30 shooting from beyond the arc.

Saint Joseph's beats Illinois State 79-65

Isaiah Miles and DeAndre' Bembry scored 16 points each and Saint Joseph's defeated Illinois State 79-65 on Saturday for its fourth straight win.

Bembry, who had nine rebounds and seven assists, made four 3-pointers and Miles three for the Hawks (8-2), who hit a season-best 15 3-pointers on 33 attempts for 45.5 percent. Shavar Newkirk also made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points. James Demery added 12 points and Aaron Brown 11.

The Redbirds (5-7) made just 6 of 26 3-point tries. Mikyle McIntosh had a trio of 3-pointers and 16 points. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell added 12 points, Paris Lee 11 and Deontae Hawkins 10.

St. Joseph's outscored Illinois State 24-6, with Bembry making three 3-pointers and Newkirk two, over the final 7:12 of the first half to lead 45-26 at the break.

The Hawks led by 32 before the Redhawks closed the gap over the final 7:20 of the game.



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Food Safety Tips For Holidays

As we head into the holiday season… It’s that time of year for a lot of food and a lot of leftovers.

According to Dr John O’Keefe of the Il Dept. of Agriculture it’s also the season for food poisoning when you don’t fully cook meat, or fail to keep preparation surfaces clean.

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We hear a lot about food borne illnesses, like recent news stories about Chipotle… But in truth most food is perfectly safe when purchased, but we pick up bacteria at home during food preparation…. It’s actually very common. In fact a lot of people think they have the flu… when actually it’s mild food poisoning.

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Enjoy the holiday food through Christmas and New Years but be sure to follow the food preparation guidelines.

New Book Out on Blagojevich Impeachment

It was one of the most dramatic events to ever occur in the hallowed halls of the Illinois State Capitol. A new book looks back on the impeachment trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Author Bernard Sieracki has written "A Just Cause, The Impeachment and Removal of Governor Rod Blagojevich". A longtime lobbyist, Sieracki witnessed every moment of the proceedings that drove Blagojevich from office. He says Blagojevich never took it seriously for various reasons, including a dream of moving to Pennsylvania Avenue.

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The book is being released this month through the Southern Illinois University Press. Sieracki now teaches public administration at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and at the Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Clinton Schools Issues Working Cash Bonds

In reaction to a potential property tax freeze, Clinton schools are issuing just short of $3-million in working cash bonds.

Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles explains this serves three purposes. The first is the bonds keep the tax rate steady and the second purpose, is allowing the district access to consistent cash. He notes, this is in response to the property tax freeze legislation proposal.

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According to Nettles, the $2.9-million of bonds issued is not much debt when you consider the district operates on a roughly $25-million budget. He says their aim is to pay off the bond in around three years.

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Nettles indicates the State of Illinois formulates their capacities for bonds and right now, Clinton is nowhere near that capacity. He says they are in great shape.

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Nettles explains the property tax freeze legislation comes in to play as it relates to working cash bonds. He notes the working cash bond rates will be frozen and can only be issued or raised through a referendum.

Unemployment Up, More People Looking For Work



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4-H Year Underway in DeWitt County

The 4-H year is already underway in DeWitt County but the organizations leader says it's not too late to join.

Sherry Fulton is the Youth Educator at the University of Illinois Extension office in DeWitt County and helps lead the program locally. She indicates even though the year is underway, it is not too late for any interested youth to become involved.

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Fulton says there are so many benefits to having kids in 4-H and the stigma that you have to live in the rural parts of the area to be a part of 4-H is just not accurate.

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According to Fulton, youth that participate in 4-H are more likely to attend a college or university and says it paves the path for success in the future.

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Clubs are stilling forming and Special Interest Clubs, or SPIN clubs are still forming as well.

Fulton encourages youth not to miss out on great opportunities. She says call the Extension office at 217-935-5764.

Sunday Football Action



>>Bears Look To Foil Vikings Playoff Hopes

The Chicago Bears might be too far gone to reach the postseason, but there's nothing to say they can't play spoiler when they visit the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon.

At 5-8 and injuries beginning to mount, the likelihood of a return to the postseason for Chicago continues to lessen with each passing day.

This week alone it was announced the Bears will be without number seven overall pick Kevin White, who is out with a foot injury, along with safety Antrell Rolle.

The Bears have also been bitten by an untimely slump by the usually reliable Robbie Gould.

The veteran kicker, who has converted at 85.1 percent for his career, missed a tying 50-yard try with 1:40 remaining in a 24-21 loss to Washington last Sunday.

Gould missed from even closer - 36 yards - in the final seconds of regulation in a 26-20 overtime defeat to San Francisco on Dec. 6.

Gould went 2 for 3 against Minnesota last month and converted a season-best 55-yard attempt, but a 51-yard miss in the third quarter proved significant in a 23-20 loss.

There's an outside chance the Vikings could clinch one Sunday. That would begin with getting a win or tie against Chicago and the completion of some complicated scenarios involving losses or ties from Tampa Bay, Washington, the New York Giants, Atlanta, Philadelphia or Seattle.



>>Packers Take on Raiders Sunday

Two of the NFLs most historic franchise's meet up in a rare matchup between the Raiders and Packers on Sunday afternoon.

After a nearly month long slide, the Packers appear to have found their stride with win's over Detroit and Dallas in consecutive weeks, the Packers will these week seek consistency, while the Raiders look to remain the playoff hunt in the AFC.

An inconsistent run game for the Packers will face a stingy Raiders rush defense, who's held opponents under 100-yards in eight of their last 11 however, they've been torched for almost 56-points per game in their last three contests.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is surely licking his chops to face the Radiers 28th ranked pass defense.

Khalil Mack had a franchise record-tying five sacks last weekend, leaving him with a league-best 14. He's two away from matching Derrick Burgess' team record set in 2005.

Mack has to be licking his chops to face an offensive line that has allowed Rodgers to be sacked 31 times, the fourth most in the NFC.

Raiders signal-caller Derek Carr is enjoying a breakout campaign with 19 TD and 4 picks while averaging 290 yards per game.

The Packers have been much better against the pass, ranking 11th with 233.8 yards allowed per game. Cornerback Sam Shields, though, doesn't appear likely to play because of a concussion.

Rams put on a show for St. Louis fans, Win over Buccaneers

If this proves to be the last Rams home game in St. Louis, at least the local fans got treated to quite the show. It wasn't the Greatest Show on Turf out there, but for a few quarters it was as explosive and as dominant as this group has looked all season.

The Rams slowed down as the game went along and almost let the Buccaneers work their way back into it, but their hot start ultimately proved too much for Jameis Winston's charges to overcome. St. Louis jumped out quickly to a 14-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game on a pair of touchdown passes from Case Keenum (who finished the night with a perfect 158.3 passer rating, by the way), and the Rams were working ahead of the eight ball the rest of the way.

The first of those TD tosses was a quick screen to Tavon Austin, who benefited from great blocking and poor tackling, but the second was a beautiful 60-yard strike down the left sideline to Kenny Britt, who burned his man on a double move before waltzing into the end zone and handing the ball to his daughter in the stands.

The Rams added another touchdown in the second quarter on a short run from Todd Gurley, while the Bucs managed only a field goal on five first-half drives. Down 21-3 and needing to come back quickly, Tampa Bay opened things up for Winston in the second half -- in which he threw for 313 yards, two touchdowns and a pick -- but it ultimately was too little, too late.

The Rams were up by double-figures for much of the evening, and so the crowd's attention often strayed from the game in front of them and to the fact that this may very well have been the team's final game in their city. Chants of "KEEP THE RAMS!" broke out on multiple occasions during the second half.

Jeff Fisher's job is safe with Rams likely stuck in St. Louis for now

Jeff Fisher's job is safe in St. Louis, despite the 5-8 Rams closing in on their fourth straight losing season under Fisher. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is likely stuck in St. Louis for another year, and he is focused on a possible move to Los Angeles and is not in the business of paying ?people $6 million plus to leave for a product he isn't all that engaged in right now, anyway.

Profit opportunities are scant for the lame-duck Rams in St. Louis and Fisher remains very much aligned with team president Kevin Demoff and there was never any movement to making a coaching move even as dire as it is there. Kroenke's best-case scenario now is to have any moves to Los Angeles pushed back until 2017. It's hard to imagine his Inglewood stadium projects get 24 votes by mid-January, and that will lead to the status quo for the most part.

Fisher has one year remaining on a five-year, $35 million deal.

General manager Les Snead's deal is up and I haven't heard definitively there won't be any changes to the football operations staff. But sources said Fisher has not made any suggestions to ownership about changing GMs -- Fisher actually has final say over the roster and all transactions -- and with Kroenke not looking to sink more money into the franchise until it's long-term future is sorted out, it's likely Snead would return in 2016.

Crawford, Teravainen lead Blackhawks past Oilers 4-0

Corey Crawford made 33 saves in his NHL-best fifth shutout, Teuvo Teravainen had two goals and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 on Thursday night.

Jonathan Toews added a goal and two assists in a strong performance by Chicago's top line. Marian Hossa had three assists as the Blackhawks won for the third time in four games.

It was Crawford's third shutout in his last four starts and No. 17 for his career. The Stanley Cup champions kept him clean for most of the night, but he got over to make a nice right pad stop on Mark Letestu with about three minutes left in the second period.

Cam Talbot also had 33 stops for Edmonton, which has lost two in a row after a six-game win streak. Talbot was coming off a 47-save performance in a 3-2 overtime win at Boston in his previous start on Monday.

Tarasenko breaks tie, Blues beat Predators 2-1

Right winger Vladimir Tarasenko gave Ken Hitchcock exactly what the St. Louis Blues' coach wanted for his birthday on Thursday -- a victory.

Tarasenko snapped a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal with 5:20 to play in the third period to lift St. Louis to the 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators, giving the Blues back-to-back wins for the first time since they won three in a row from Nov. 4-10.

The goal was Tarasenko's 20th of the season, tying him with left winger Jamie Been of the Dallas Stars for the league lead. It also was his fourth consecutive game with a goal, equaling the longest streak of his career.

It was the second consecutive win for the Blues after trailing at the end of the second period. Center David Backes tied the game with his 10th goal of the year 2:38 into the period, off a deflection of a shot from defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

Backes also was in front of the net when Tarasenko lined up his shot, just 26 seconds after Nashville left winger Viktor Arvidsson was called for tripping.

The Blues have outscored their opponents by 17 goals in the third period.

They fell behind 7:14 into the game on a power-play goal by defenseman Roman Josi, his eighth of the year. The goal came when right winger Troy Brouwer was off the ice for interference.

It ended a streak of 23 consecutive penalty kills for the Blues and was the first power-play goal they had allowed in 10 games. The Blues lead the league in percentage of penalties killed.

Sages Dominate Redskins of Sullivan

 width=Monticello scored 19 of their 26 on turnovers and Zach Fisher led the Sages as they downed Sullivan 55-30 Friday night.

Fisher led Monticello with 20 points, Sutton Winterbottom scored five of his nine points in the first quarter and Luke Stokowski added seven points off the bench.

Winterbottom also hauled in six rebounds to lead the Sages on the glass.

Zach and Calvin Fisher had four assists apiece.

The Sages dominated the paint (outscoring Sullivan 32-8) and forced the Redskins into 26 turnovers leading to 30 points as the Sages moved to 4-0 on the year.

Monticello starts Holiday Hoopla play next Saturday with two games. 

Clinton Schools To Propose One-Cent Sales Tax Again

 width=Next spring, DeWitt County residents will once again vote on a measure for a sales tax that will provide additional revenue to the county's schools.

Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles explains the one-cent sales tax referendum will appear on the ballots this spring and the funds from the tax would only be able to be used on facilities and capital projects.

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Two years ago when the referendum was voted on, the annual revenue from the tax was projected at around $700-thousand, but Nettles indicates they will have a new analysis done to update those figures.

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With the funds from the tax, Nettles indicates he'd like to beef up security at their grade schools and look at some things at the high school as well.

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The district would also aim to use the money to lessen the burden on the taxpayers. Nettles indicates the funds from the one-cent sales tax could be used to abate taxes.

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Nettles indicates once the new year arrives, there will be more information coming out to inform the public. Nettles says it is his goal to give as much information as possible to the residents of DeWitt County to make an informed decision.

DJWH Foundation Kicks Off Fundraising for 2015

 width=The fundraising arm of the Dr. John Warner Hospital has kicked off their fundraising effort for this year.

Dixie Walden is the President of the Foundation and indicates their aim through efforts like their mailing fundraiser, which is now underway, is to provide the City-owned hospital with supplies or opportunities they may not otherwise be able to provide themselves through their yearly budgeting process.

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According to Margie Gehres, who is a member of the Hospital Foundation and also an employee at Dr. John Warner Hospital, says they have broken this year's fundraising goals into three phases. She says phase one targets and EKG-machine.

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Gehres says the staff at the hospital has requested a vein finder. She indicates the device is not very expensive and would be a very helpful resource and is found in many hospitals.

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The Foundation has for a couple years now, issued future medical students scholarships and Gehres says the final phase is to allow those scholarships to continue be given to area students.

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The mailings are going out in three phases but Gehres and Walden encourage anyone wanting to become a donor of the Foundation and help them in their efforts or anyone interested in serving on the Foundation Board to contact Melissa White at the hospital for all the details.

Click the Dr. John Warner Hospital icon at dewittdailynews.com for contact information.

IDOT Reminds of Drone Regulations



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New Book Out on Blagojevich Impeachment

It was one of the most dramatic events to ever occur in the hallowed halls of the Illinois State Capitol. A new book looks back on the impeachment trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Author Bernard Sieracki has written "A Just Cause, The Impeachment and Removal of Governor Rod Blagojevich". A longtime lobbyist, Sieracki witnessed every moment of the proceedings that drove Blagojevich from office. He says Blagojevich never took it seriously for various reasons, including a dream of moving to Pennsylvania Avenue.

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The book is being released this month through the Southern Illinois University Press. Sieracki now teaches public administration at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and at the Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.

Former-Five Star QB Murray To Leave Texas A&M

Texas A&M may have gone from having a quarterback controversy to not having a quarterback at all ... in a span of one week.

 width=Last week, it was announced that Kyle Allen was transferring from the school, which seemed to clear the road for Kyler Murray to become the Aggies starter. One small problem: Apparently Murray doesn't plan on returning in 2016, either.

GigEm247 reports that Murray and his family met with Kevin Sumlin for the second straight day on Wednesday, and that "some of the players are starting to talk and they think he is gone but there are other people that are apparently trying to convince him to stay." It's also mentioned that the Aggies began bowl practice on Wednesday afternoon, and Murray wasn't there.

Neither Kyle Allen or Kyler Murray had great seasons for the Aggies last year, but both are young with a lot of room to grow and plenty of potential. If both are leaving College Station, that means that Jake Hubenak (and his 27 career pass attempts) is the most experienced quarterback on the A&M roster.

The Aggies would likely then be in the market for a transfer quarterback of their own, like possibly Oklahoma's Trevor Knight.

As for where Murray could go from here, it's hard to know for sure, but you have to think Charlie Strong wouldn't mind making room for him in Austin.

Rams Host Bucs on Thursday Night Football

 width=With the future of the franchise in limbo, the St. Louis Rams will try to put the speculation behind them tonight when they host the Tampa Bay Buccanneers at the Edward Jones Dome.

Since the first third of the season, there's been little go right for 5-8 St. Louis but the Rams have plaed well at home and will look to continue to do so with Jameis Winston the 6-7 Bucs in town.

Perhaps the lone bright spot in a putrid offense this year has been rookie runningback Todd Gurley, who will look to join just Jerome Bettis and Eric Dickerson as the only rookies in franchise history to run for 1000-yards.

Game time tonight is 7:25 pm central time on the NFL Network.

Sox Acquire Frazier from Reds in Three Team, Seven Player Swap; Cards' Molina Has Second Thumb Surgery

 width=All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier has been dealt from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox as part of a three-team, seven-player trade that also includes the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Los Angeles receives second baseman Micah Johnson, right-hander Frankie Montas and outfielder Trayce Thompson from the White Sox, and Cincinnati gets infielders Brandon Dixon and Jose Peraza and outfielder Scott Schebler from the Dodgers.

The 29-year-old Frazier, who won last summer's All-Star Home Run Derby in Cincinnati, was an NL All-Star in each of the last two seasons and hit .255 this year with 43 doubles, 35 homers and 89 RBIs.

Frazier has a $7.5 million salary next year and can become a free agent after the 2017 season.

 width=>>Cardinals' Molina Has Second Thumb Surgery

After the first surgery in October "didn't take," St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina underwent a second operation Wednesday in order to repair torn ligaments in his left thumb.

MLB.com reports that Molina is expected to miss most of spring training. It's a troubling development for the Cardinals, who are among those that regard Molina as the best catcher in the majors.

Molina hyperextended his thumb Sept. 20 on a freak play at the plate against the Cubs at Wrigley Field when Molina tagged Anthony Rizzo sliding into home (on a throw by Jason Heyward).

With Molina out of the lineup, the Cards finished the regular season 7-6 and, though he returned to start the first three games of the NLDS against the Cubs, he was ineffective as a hitter. St. Louis finished the series -- losing in four games -- with Tony Cruz behind the plate.

The Cards finished with the best record in the majors in 2015, going 100-62, but went just 15-15 when Molina didn't start.

 width=>>Mets Bring Back Colon

The Mets have re-signed veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon to a one-year contract worth $7.25 million, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman confirmed Wednesday.

Colon, 42, is coming off a 2015 season in which he pitched to a 4.16 ERA and 5.67 K/BB ratio in 194 2/3 innings of work. In the postseason, he pitched effectively out of the bullpen. For his career, Colon owns an ERA+ of 110 across parts of 18 big-league seasons. His 218 career wins lead all active pitchers.

In 2016, Colon figures to work as the Mets' fifth starter. That means Colon is poised to become just the 36th pitcher in MLB history to make at least one start in his age-43 season (or older).

Butler, Rose Lead Bulls Past Grizzlies

 width=Jimmy Butler finished with 24 points, Derrick Rose scored 19 and the Chicago Bulls beat the Memphis Grizzlies 98-85 on Wednesday night.

Butler and Rose shook off recent illnesses, and the Bulls used a big third quarter to tie a season high with their fourth straight win.

Doug McDermott scored 17 - one shy of his career high - and hit four 3-pointers. Pau Gasol added 10 points and 14 rebounds in his 21st game against younger brother Marc.

Courtney Lee tied a season high with 18 points for Memphis, but the Grizzlies lost for the third time in four games because they couldn't connect from long range or at the line.

They were 5 of 19 on 3-pointers, with Mike Conley (eight points) missing seven of eight.

Illinois State's Coprich Named First Team AP All American

 width=Montana State quarterback Dakota Prukop, who plans to transfer to Oregon next season, leads The Associated Press FCS All-America team, along with three-time first-team selection Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington.

The team also includes running backs Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State and Lamar's Kade Harrington, who are finalists for FCS offensive player of the year with Kupp.

Kupp, a junior, has 114 catches for 1,642 yards and 19 touchdowns, all tops in FBS.

Prukop told Fox Sports on Tuesday he plans to transfer to Oregon, where he can be immediately eligible to play next season after graduating. The junior has passed for 3,025 yards and 28 touchdowns and run for 797 yards and 11 scores.

Montana defensive end Tyrone Homes, who leads the nation with 18 sacks, highlights the defense.

Second Half Burst Powers Illinois State Past Illinois-Chicago

 width=Paris Lee scored 17 points, including eight in a decisive 16-2 second-half run, and Illinois State rallied past Illinois-Chicago 72-60 on Wednesday night.

Lee's fourth layup during the spurt gave Illinois State a 50-49 lead - its first since 28-27.

Illinois-Chicago (1-7) scored the last four points of a see-saw first half to lead 31-28 at the break. The Flames pushed the lead to 45-37 with 15:20 left in the game when Paris Burns scored seven unanswered points.

From that point, however, Illinois State outscored the Flames 35-15 as half-court pressure and a season-high eight blocked shots disrupted Chicago's offense.

MiKyle McIntosh scored 14 points with 11 rebounds - the first double-double this season for the Redbirds (5-6). DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell added 18 points.

Dominique Matthews scored 20 for the Flames, Burns added 14.

New Animal Shelter Completion Out of County's Hands

 width=Everything DeWitt County leaders can take care of at a new location for the animal shelter have been done, now it is up to entities that aren't associated with the County to take care of their end of things.

That's the message from the leader of the committee charged with overseeing the progress at the animal shelter. Cris Rogers (right) chairs the Public Safety committee of the DeWitt County Board and says as of right now, the biggest hold up in the completion for a renovated location for DeWitt County Animal Control is Ameren.

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The DeWitt County pet society, Second Chance for Pets, has furnished a room where they will conduct showings for adoptions.

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Rogers says things have been rather frustrating of late in trying to get the finishing touches to the building, but he remains confident this project will get wrapped up and the animal control leaders will get a much needed new facility.

In other news from the Thursday night DeWitt County Board meeting:

>>Dan Ballenger was appointed to the Mahomet Valley Water Authority.

>>Animal Control fee increases were approved.

>>The Board approved $40-thousand for the DeWitt County Development Council.

>>A recently purchased Red Cross van was put under DeWitt County's Fleet insurance policy. We'll have details on this coming next week.

Labor Group Warns of Mass Layoffs

More than 1,800 jobs are on the chopping block in Illinois and more could be on the way. That’s according to the latest report of mass layoffs through the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN.

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WIU President Asks Board To Hold Off on Staff Reductions Vote

Western Illinois University could hold off on proposed cuts worth $7.5 million, plus 50 positions, but must make difficult and painful decisions in the face of a state budget impasse that’s keeping funds from the university’s coffers. That’s according to a letter posted by WIU President Jack Thomas Tuesday.

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Privatizing State Work Gaining Attention

A new push to privatize state government services is quietly gaining steam at the statehouse. Republicans, first lead by the Governor, are now seeking input on a number of proposals to cut back on services administered by state employees.

Bob Reed with The Better Government Association says that nothing is inherently wrong with privatization of government services but it needs to be handled correctly.

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Reed says plans are just starting to trickle out and they bear watching.

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The first attempt was proposing selling the Thompson Center in Chicago. Now Sen. Dave Syverson a Rockford Republican says the state can save money by setting up a private nursing home for aging inmates. Sen. Michael Connelly a Republican from Lisle wants to explore a private contractor handling property management.

The state has privatized services in the past, including a veterans home in Anna. That went so well over a seven year time span that Governor Rod Blagovich signed a bill to bring the operation of the facility back under state control.

Expect Mild Weather Until New Year

So far, December has been very mild and Eric Schmidt of EJS weather in Newton Illinois says after a cooler day on Friday the mild condition will return and last at least through the end of the year.

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So don’t plan on a White Christmas this year. Schmidt credits the strong El Nino for the mild weather in the Eastern U.S. and says it could continue well into January… On the other hand the Western U.S. is having a more normal, colder winter season.

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Meanwhile the mild December in Illinois may be one for the record books id current forecasts hold up.

Monticello Board of Education Expected Approve New Referendum for New High School

 width=The Monticello Board of Education is expected to approve a referendum to be on the spring ballot for a new high school, this time with a location and cost analysis.

That's according to Dr. Vic Zimmerman (right), Superintendent of Monticello Schools. He explains the Board meets tonight in what should be a culmination of a lot of work since last November, when an initial proposal to the taxpayers failed.

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A lot of analysis and thought and discussion has gone in to come up with better details for the voters. Dr. Zimmerman says location and cost were the two biggest concerns coming away from the failed referendum last year.

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 width=While a new school building would cost a lot up front, Dr. Zimmerman says long term, that is not the case. He notes though, no matter what the school board decides, it's going to take voter approval.

Clinton Buzzing With Christmas Activities

 width=The holiday season is in full swing and there's still plenty of things to do in Clinton this year.

Marian Brisard is the Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and indicates their community calendar is full of things for kids and adults to take advantage of. Brisard indicates there's been plenty of happenings already in the first few weeks of December.

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The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is one of many groups and businesses to have a tree at Liberty Village for their "Walk Through the Village". If you're seeking a way to give back or volunteer, Brisard adds there are several non-profit groups in the community seeking help this holiday season.

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There's plenty more activities and ways to get involved and all those can be found at the Clinton Chamber website, clintonilchamber.com or you can call 217-935-3364 for further details on any events or volunteer opportunities.

Wisconsin's Bo Ryan Retires

 width=Bo Ryan, the winningest coach in Wisconsin basketball history, announced his retirement late Tuesday after a 64-49 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Ryan's retirement is effectively immediately.

"I'll see you down the road," Ryan said at the conclusion of a press conference.

Assistant Greg Gard has been named Wisconsin's interim coach.

Ryan finishes his career with 747 victories and 223 losses. The 67-year-old Hall of Fame nominee never missed the NCAA Tournament in 14 seasons as Wisconsin's head coach. He never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten standings.

Ryan made the Final Four each of the past two seasons.

"Thanks for everything over the years, Coach Ryan," tweeted Wisconsin great Devin Harris, the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. "Enjoy retirement. You deserve it."

Ryan initially implied he'd retire after the 2015-16 season and that he wanted Gard to succeed him. But sources told CBS Sports that Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez would never guarantee Gard that opportunity, which led to Ryan publicly stating he no longer knew when he'd retire. Alvarez and Ryan were never again on the so-called same page.

 width=>>Duke Blasts Georgia Southern

Brandon Ingram had season highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds, leading No. 7 Duke to a 99-65 victory over Georgia Southern.

Grayson Allen added 18 points, Matt Jones had 16 and Derryck Thornton finished with 15 for the Blue Devils (9-1) in their first game without high-energy forward Amile Jefferson.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game that Jefferson, who averages a double-double, broke his right foot during practice and is out indefinitely, but does not need surgery.

The Blue Devils shot 57.6 percent in the second half and held a 55-29 rebounding advantage.

Tookie Brown scored 20 points and Mike Hughes added 14 for Georgia Southern (3-5), which has lost two straight and five of seven.

Duke plays Utah on Saturday in New York.

Cavs Beat Celtics

 width=LeBron James scored 24 points and Kevin Love returned to Boston to score 20 with eight rebounds on Tuesday night, helping the Cavaliers beat the Celtics 89-77 in an uneventful rematch of last season's bruising - but one-sided - first-round playoff series.

Timofey Mozgov had nine points and a season-high 10 rebounds, scoring seven with five boards in the third quarter when Cleveland turned a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead. The Cavaliers have won three in a row since losing three straight to start the month.

Avery Bradley scored 17 points for Boston.

Seven Buckeyes on AP All Big Ten First Team

 width=Offensive player of the year Ezekiel Elliott heads a list of seven Ohio State players voted to the first team of The Associated Press All-Big Ten team.

Penn State's Carl Nassib is defensive player of the year on the team released Tuesday, and Michigan's Jabrill Peppers is newcomer of the year. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was an overwhelming choice as coach of the year.

Elliott and Michigan State's Aaron Burbridge were the only players listed on the first team on every ballot turned in by media representatives who cover the conference.

Ferentz, who'll finish his 17th season as Iowa's head coach in the Rose Bowl against Stanford, led the Hawkeyes to a 12-0 regular-season record for the most wins in program history. That was a five-win improvement over 2014.

>>Another FCS QB Transfer Picks Oregon

 width=For the second straight year, the Oregon Ducks have landed a coveted FCS transfer at quarterback. Montana State's Dakota Prukop has chosen to transfer to Oregon over Alabama, first reported by Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman.

Prukop completed 62.7 percent of his passes for 3,025 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2015. He also rushed for 797 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Prukop follows in the footsteps of Vernon Adams, Jr., who transferred into Oregon from Eastern Washington this summer. The gamble taken on an FCS grad transfer paid off for the Ducks, as they were terrific in the second half of the season with Adams fully healthy.

After the success of Adams, the Ducks have good reason to believe Prukop can come in and handle the step up in competition at the FBS level.

Prukop will take the GRE in the next week or two, and hopes to enroll at Oregon for the spring semester.

Bears Receiver White To Remain on PUP List

 width=Chicago Bears rookie receiver Kevin White will remain on the physically unable to perform list for the rest of the season.

The No. 7 pick in the draft, White has been sidelined all season after having surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left shin. A 21-day evaluation period to determine if the Bears would activate the former West Virginia star ended Tuesday.

White started experiencing pain in his shin in June during organized team activities. He had surgery in August after therapy failed to cure his discomfort.

The Bears also waived defensive lineman Ziggy Hood and elevated linebacker John Timu from the practice squad to the active roster.

Slim Chances For White Christmas in Illinois for 2015



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Area School District Considering Options For College Entrance Exams

 width=The budget stalemate in Springfield is wreaking havoc on school districts' students who will take college entrance exams.

Because there is no budget in place, the ACTs and now the SATs are not being funded by Illinois, as they have in years past. Mike Williams is the Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools and explains the state recently switched from the ACT tests to the SATs.

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Williams calls the switch "mind boggling" because he feels there is nothing to compare how students score on the SATs to and because students now are preparing for the ACT and it has been the test for years.

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For Williams and his administrators at the high school, they are considering a variety of options to still be able to provide the ACTs to them. He says a few involve simply passing the cost on to the parents of their students, which Williams says he's not fond of.

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The final two options would take the cost for the tests and put it on the school district. Williams notes, those two options come with their own challenges, beyond just the obvious financial issues.

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Williams says the decision by the state has left not only himself, but those across the education field in Illinois scratching their heads.

He believes the decision was based on money but feels throwing away years and years of data comes with its own value.

Shop With A Cop Tonight

 width=Local law enforcement officials in Clinton will be participating in the annual Shop with a Cop event.

The event is organized by the DeWitt County Angel Tree and Police Chief Ben Lowers says it is an event he and his staff enjoy participating in and look forward to it year in and year out.

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Thanks to a grant through corporate Walmart, the Clinton police force along with the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department and the Clinton Fire Department are going to be able to provide this opportunity. Chief Lowers appreciates the opportunity provided by Walmart over the years.

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Chief Lowers notes some of his staff might get so invested in the child they're paired with, they many times will use their own money to provide more than what is provided through the grant they receive and what is allotted for each child.

DeWitt County Angel Tree handles all the selections of the children, and those families have previously submitted an application to be a part of the program for this year.

North Carolina Bumped From AP Top-10 After Loss At Texas; Oklahoma Up in Coaches Poll

The Associated Press has released its Week 6 rankings, and as expected, unbeaten Michigan State remains at the top. Behind MSU, in three of the next four sports, are Big 12 teams: Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa State. One-loss Kentucky is the other team in the top five.

Oklahoma bumps up from No. 7 to No. 3 after beating then-undefeated Villanova. For its loss, by the way, the Wildcats fall from ninth to 12th.

 width=George Washington, ranked No. 21, is a newcomer to the poll. It's the first time the Colonials have been ranked since the end of the 2005-06 season.

Three-loss UCLA (7-3) enters the rankings No. 22, along with UConn, who enters the poll at 6-3. Texas A&M is back in the top-25 at No. 24.

Vandy, Gonzaga, Oregon and Utah dropped from the poll this week.

>>Oklahoma Climbs in Coaches Poll

Oklahoma moved up five places to No. 3 in this week's coaches' poll as Michigan State consolidated its lead and stayed at No. 1.

The Sooners are coming off of a big week, having defeated Villanova 78-55. The Wildcats fell all the way from No. 6 to No. 13 following the loss. However, they were not the biggest faller of the week. In fact, that honor was bestowed upon North Carolina, who dropped all the way to No. 11 after its final-second loss to Texas.

On the other side of things, the biggest riser was George Washington, who entered the rankings at No. 22 after being ranked No. 31 last week. Mike Lonergan's club is 9-1 right now with wins over Virginia, Seton Hall and Tennessee and only a five-point loss to No. 20 Cincinnati. South Carolina is the other team to enter the rankings this week, as Frank Martin's group is still undefeated at 8-0.

The two teams to fall out of the rankings were Oregon and Utah, each of whom lost on Saturday.

Ole Miss Star Charged With Pot Possession

Ole Miss star Robert Nkemdiche has been charged with marijuana possession by Atlanta police after an investigation into the incident that ended with Nkemdiche's 15-foot fall over a wall outside a Buckhead hotel.

 width=Authorities told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that "approximately 7 rolled marijuana cigarettes" were found in the hotel room where Nkemdiche reportedly broke a window, walked outside and then fell over the wall.

Nkemdiche was found conscious and breathing when police responded to the hotel at 11:20 p.m. on Saturday, and the star defensive lineman was transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta.

Nkemdiche was named a to the AP All-America second team on Sunday after posting 29 tackles (seven for loss), three sacks, two pass break-ups and seven quarterback hurries this season for Ole Miss.

The Rebels star is among the top draft prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft, ranked fourth in the CBS Sports draft prospect rankings. At this time, there is no change to his status for Ole Miss' appearance in the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 1.

Hugh Freeze said Monday he has spoken to Nkemdiche and has been assured he is "fine" and "going to be fine." He acknowledged that the talented lineman made a mistake but would not lay out any potential punishment or reaction from the school.

Bryant, Harper To Be Honored in Las Vegas

 width=Two of Major League Baseball's hottest stars are coming home to Las Vegas for a special ceremony.

National League MVP Bryce Harper, outfielder for the Washington Nationals, and National League Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant, third-baseman for the Chicago Cubs, will be given keys to the city by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman to celebrate their accomplishments.

Harper went to Las Vegas High School and took the College of Southern Nevada to the Junior College World Series in 2010.

Bryant went to Bonanza High School and won the Golden Spikes Award while playing for the University of San Diego.

The native sons grew up playing together and against each other.

The public ceremony will be hosted in downtown Las Vegas' Fremont Street at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17.

>>Pete Rose Reinstatement Rejected, Commissioner Says Former Star Still Bets on Games

The all-time hit king will remain banned from baseball. Commissioner Rob Manfred has rejected Pete Rose's latest application for reinstatement, he announced Monday morning. The decision was detailed in a three-page legal document.

Manfred and Rose met at MLB's offices in September, at which point Rose made his case for reinstatement. This is hardly the first time Rose has applied for reinstatement. His first attempt was made back in 1992, when Fay Vincent was still commissioner.

Rose, now 74, has been banned from baseball since 1989, when a bombshell Sports Illustrated report detailed allegations he had bet on baseball. Rose insisted he only bet on games as a manager, but evidence has since surfaced indicating he may have done so as a player as well.

Following the league's initial investigation, Rose accepted a permanent ban in exchange for MLB making no formal finding regarding the gambling allegations. He was officially placed on the ineligible list on August 24, 1989, and has remained there since.

Commissioner Rob Manfred's report on upholding Pete Rose's permanent ban from baseball indicates Rose initially lied to the commissioner only to later "clarify" that he does, in fact, still bet on baseball.

A footnote from the commissioner also reads quote-"Even more troubling, in our interview, Rose initially denied betting on baseball currently and only later in the interview did he 'clarify' his response to admit such betting."

Rose can still work for FOX and cover baseball. He can still take part in ceremonies, such as he did last summer before the All-Star Game. He just can't work for or with any major- or minor-league teams.

>>Giants Ink Coveted FA Johnny Cueto

The Giants have reached a six-year, $130 million contract agreement with free-agent right-hander Johnny Cueto, reports CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman. Heyman reports that the deal includes an opt-out after two years.

Earlier on Monday Heyman reported reported the Giants had jumped back into the mix for Cueto. Heyman reported last week that the Dodgers turned to Cueto after losing Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks, so the two NL West rivals may have been the finalists.

The Giants pursued Greinke before he landed in Arizona. San Francisco turned around and signed Jeff Samardzija a few days later, and now they've also added Cueto to a rotation that also includes Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy and Matt Cain.

The D-Backs pursued Cueto before signing Greinke, and reportedly offered a six-year deal worth $120 million or so. Cueto was able to top that, and if he pitches like vintage Cueto in 2016 and 2017, the opt-out sets him up for another significant payday.

Cueto was easily the best free agent starter on the board after Greinke and David Price signed. The 29-year-old had a 3.44 ERA (117 ERA+) in 212 innings for the Reds and Royals this past season, and helped Kansas City to the World Series title.

While Cueto did struggle down the stretch for the Royals, he did have some ace-like moments in the postseason, most notably his performances in Game 5 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the World Series. He also has an excellent track record.

Heyman reports that the deal will be slightly frontloaded, with $46 million of the $130 million coming before the opt-out in 2017.

Blackhawks, Penguins Make Trade

 width=The Blackhawks have acquired Rob Scuderi in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for fellow defenseman Trevor Daley.

The 36-year-old Scuderi has four assists and 32 blocked shots in 25 games with Pittsburgh this season. He has eight goals and 96 assists in 745 games over 12 NHL seasons with Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Scuderi also won the Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Penguins and 2012 with the Kings.

Daley, 32, was acquired by Chicago in the July trade that sent Patrick Sharp to Dallas. He had six assists in 29 games with the Blackhawks.

Daley made his NHL debut with the Stars in 2003 and has 67 goals and 170 assists in 785 games over 12 seasons.

>>Caps Blast Penguins

T.J. Oshie scored twice and added an assist as Washington spoiled Sullivan's debut with a 4-1 win on Monday night. The victory propelled the Capitals into the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings and 11 points clear of their struggling rivals.

Nicklas Backstrom added a goal and two assists for Washington. John Carlson scored his fifth of the season and Braden Holtby stopped 44 of Pittsburgh's season-high 45 shots.

Evgeni Malkin scored his team-leading 14th goal and Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves, but the Penguins failed to keep pace with Washington in the team's first game since firing Mike Johnston on Saturday.

Washington is off to the best start in the franchise's 41-year history by finding a way to both take advantage of Alex Ovechkin's dynamic offensive play while also paying attention to detail at the other end of the ice.

Bears' S Rolle Goes to IR; Packers Sign DE Daniels To Extension

 width=Chicago Bears safety Antrel Rolle will miss the remainder of the season because of a sprained right knee.

The Bears placed Rolle on injured reserve on Monday. An 11-year veteran, he suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in practice last month and has not played since Nov. 15.

The three-time Pro Bowl safety appeared in seven games after signing with Chicago in March. He has 26 interceptions with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. With Rolle going on IR, the Bears reinstated offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje to the 53-man roster after having an exemption for him last week.

Coach John Fox said defensive back Sherrick McManis suffered concussion symptoms after Sunday's loss to Washington and receiver Marquess Wilson had foot surgery.

>>Packers Ink DE Daniels To Extension

 width=The Green Bay Packers have long been believers in the virtues of drafting and developing players, then keeping those players they feel are part of the future around for the long term. On Monday, they continued that practice with the signing of defensive end Mike Daniels to a 4-year, $42 million extension that contains a $12 million signing bonus and $22 million in the first 15 months, a source told CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

The deal makes Daniels the third-highest paid 3-4 defensive end in the NFL behind only J.J. Watt and Calais Campbell.

Daniels has been arguably the best player on Green Bay's defense. In addition to his 4.0 sacks, Daniels has 44 quarterback pressures on the year, per tracking done by Pro Football Focus. That's the fifth most among 3-4 defensive ends. On a per-rush basis, he's been the third best among players at that position. He also has 22 run stops, via PFF's tracking, sixth-most among 3-4 ends. In their overall grades, only Watt tops Daniels so far this season.

Daniels is 26 years old, so if he plays out the full deal, he'll stay in Green Bay through his age-30 season. Along with Aaron Rodgers and Bryan Bulaga, he is one of three players on the team signed through 2019.

>>Beckham, Manning Lead Giants Over Dolphins

Odell Beckham's 84-yard touchdown reception put the Giants ahead to stay with 11 minutes to go, and they forged a three-way tie atop the NFC East by beating the Miami Dolphins 31-24 on Monday night.

New York's Eli Manning went 27 for 31 for 337 yards and four scores. His passer rating of 151.5 was his highest since 2009, and his 87 percent completion percentage was a career best.

Beckham finished with seven catches for 166 yards and the game's final two scores. The 100-yard game was his sixth in a row, a Giants record.

He outplayed his close friend and former LSU teammate, Miami's Jarvis Landry, who made 11 catches for 99 yards but was flagged for a costly personal foul penalty with his team trailing in the fourth quarter.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 236 yards and burned a blitz by throwing deep to Kenny Stills for a 47-yard score that put Miami ahead 24-17.

The Dolphins were hurt by 12 penalties and seemed reluctant to run the ball, as has been the case most of the year. Lamar Miller rushed for 89 yards, including a darting 38-yard touchdown run after making Jason Pierre-Paul miss, but carried only 12 times.

The Giants (6-7) broke a three-game losing streak and are tied with the Redskins and Eagles for the lead in their woeful division.

Bulls Pull Away Late Over 'Sixers

 width=Jimmy Butler had 23 points and the Chicago Bulls rallied from a halftime deficit for a 115-96 rout of the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Nikola Mirotic had 17 points and Tony Snell added 16. Joakim Noah had 15 rebounds and eight assists as the Bulls won their third straight.

After trailing by four at the intermission, the Bulls had a 64-40 advantage in the second half.

The 76ers drop to 1-25 and remain winless through 15 road games. Rookie Jahlil Okafor had 22 points in his first game as a professional in his hometown.

Robert Covington had 15 points and Tont Wroten 12 for Philadelphia.

The Bulls had a 24-19 edge at the end of the first quarter, but the Sixers grabbed a 56-51 halftime lead. Philadelphia made 16 of 25 shots in the second quarter.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Dec. 15

Jail Population: 25

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Rashad Hill, 33, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Hill was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Deann Jiles, 23, Normal was issued a Citation for 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Jiles was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Laura Virson, 49, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Virson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.




Maroons Fall to Tri-Valley Vikings

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Tri-Valley Vikings by a score of 77 to 64 on Tuesday night. The Maroons were led by Stephan York Country Financial Player of the Game Sr. Jacob Overton with 28 points and 7 three-pointers. Jr. Peyton McCubbin also chipped in with 16 points. 


The Tri-Valley Vikings were led by Jr. Hunter Merritt with 25 points and Sr. Philip Westerfield added 13 points.


With the loss the Maroons fall to 2 and 6 on the season.


Tune in Saturday, December 26th as the Maroons take on Williamsville. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Durbin Weighs in on Every Student Succeeds Act

Senator Dick Durbin is celebrating an overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act after President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act.

Sen. Durbin met with representatives from the Illinois Education Association and Illinois Federation of Teachers, and other educators to discuss the new education law. that will overhaul No Child Left Behind. The Every Student Succeeds Act provides a more flexible approach to student testing and school accountability. Durbin believes the new plan will shift the focus of education back to learning.

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Durbin is thrilled with the bipartisan support that made the change possible...

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The Every Student Succeeds Act is designed to give states greater flexibility in developing plans that ensure all students graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education or the workforce.

Clinton High School Principal Reflects on First Semester

 width=It's finals week at Clinton High School and their leader is reflecting on the first semester.

Principal Jerry Wayne (right) says they have tried some new things this year for their students. Wayne explains the rearranging of their various hallways is giving students access to things they need.

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The Clinton High School football team's first playoff appearance in over a decade has increased the excitement around the sports programs and Wayne says it is evident that the student support has increased.

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As the two-day finals period approaches, Wayne hopes his students will keep their heads down and stay focused on finishing the semester strong.

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As the semester concludes, Wayne encourages his students to take some time during their break to reflect and evaluate what they have done and look ahead to next semester.

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As Wayne reflects on the positive aspects of the first semester, he also says there have been some challenges, most notably trying to find suitable options for his students to take the ACTs.

Clinton Police Department Unveils New Vehicles

The Clinton Police Department has rolled out a pair of new vehicles.

The new Ford Interceptors are custom made for the department and Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates the vehicles were planned purchases as they try to keep their fleet as up to date as possible.

[audio:12141571722-121415newcar1.mp3] [/audio]

The Interceptor is going to be a welcome addition to the updated equipment law enforcement officials use in today's world. Chief Lowers says the bigger vehicle is welcome with computers, video equipment and the usual guns and radar eqiupment inside as well.

[audio:12141571725-121415newcar2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Lowers says because of the versatility of the sport utility like vehicles, he believes they could become more trendy in the law enforcement world

[audio:12141571727-121415newcar3.mp3] [/audio]

Below are images of the Department's latest updates:



The Department's new logo:


Crawford Brilliant As Blackhawks Blank Canucks; Blues December Struggles Continue

 width=Patrick Kane extended his points streak to 26 games, Corey Crawford made 30 saves for his second straight shutout, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 on Sunday night.

Kane, the NHL's leading scorer with 46 points, had the second assist on Duncan Keith's power-play goal midway through the first.

Dennis Rasmussen, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Mashinter also scored for the Blackhawks, winners of four of five.

Kane surpassed Sidney Crosby's 25-game streak, set in 2010-11, for the longest in the league since 1992-93. The Blackhawks right wing has 16 goals and 24 assists during his run, and a point in 29 of Chicago's 31 games.

Ryan Miller had 26 saves for the Canucks.

>>Avalanche Down Blues

 width=Semyon Varlamov had a season-high 42 saves Sunday and Jack Skille and John Mitchell scored in the first period to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Carl Soderberg added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining to seal Colorado's fifth win in seven games.

Varlamov made 35 stops over the final two periods against the Blues, who fell to 2-4-1 in December. He robbed Jori Lehtera and Troy Brouwer from close range in the second period while protecting a 2-0 lead.

Skille and Mitchell scored in a span of 5:41 in the first period as Colorado converted twice on its first five shots against St. Louis goalie Jake Allen, who made 26 saves in a 3-0 shutout of Dallas on Saturday.

Allen finished with 15 saves against Colorado.

Run Game Powers Packers Over Cowboys, Rams Over Lions; Bears Lose

Eddie Lacy ran for 124 yards and a touchdown and fellow running back James Starks added two scores in the Packers' 28-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

 width=With 435 yards and 29 first downs, the Packers got better balance and production out of an offense that still struggled at times with penalties and short-yardage situations. The defense and running game came up with big plays in the fourth quarter.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 218 yards and two scores. But all the Packers really needed from their star quarterback late in the game was to hand off the ball.

Lacy and Starks each had touchdown runs in the fourth quarter during the rainy evening.

Darren McFadden running for 111 yards on nine carries for Dallas as the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards, and 80 came on four plays that led to Turbin's score.

Green Bay (9-4) has a one-game lead in the NFC North over Minnesota after its second straight victory following a 1-4 slide.

>>Rams Beat Lions Behind Gurley, Johnson

 width=Rookie Todd Gurley rumbled for 140 yards and two touchdowns helping the St. Louis Rams (5-8) end a five-game losing streak with a 21-14 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

The breakout coincided with the first game under new coordinator Rob Boras, who replaced the fired Frank Cignetti on Monday.

Trumaine Johnson had an even bigger day than Gurley, scoring on an interception return and shutting down Calvin Johnson.

Trumaine Johnson's 58-yard return was the only score in the first half, plus he did most of the work holding the Lions' star receiver to a late 16-yard catch.

Aaron Donald had three sacks of Matthew Stafford to further boost a defense that had sagged in recent weeks. Donald has a career-high 11 sacks.

Golden Tate caught two touchdown passes for Detroit from Matthew Stafford who passed for 245 yards.

Tavon Austin rushed for 40 yards, including runs of 20 and 13 yards for the Rams.

>>Redskins Stay In NFC East Hunt With Win Over Bears

 width=Kirk Cousins threw for 300 yards and a touchdown and the Washington Redskins hung on to beat the Bears 24-21 after Chicago's Robbie Gould missed yet another late field goal Sunday.

Washington, which came in tied with Philadelphia and the Giants for the NFC East lead, went ahead early in the fourth quarter on Dustin Hopkins' 47-yard field goal. The Redskins (6-7) hung on to break a nine-game road losing streak dating to last season.

The Bears (5-8) were in position to score after Jay Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery with a 50-yard pass that put the ball on the Washington 35. The usually reliable Gould, who missed the potential winner at the end of regulation in last week's overtime loss to San Francisco, got a chance to redeem himself.

His 50-yard attempt wasn't even close as it sailed wide right.

Redbirds Tame Racers

 width=Deontae Hawkins scored 16 points with nine rebounds and Illinois State held on late to beat Murray State 63-61 on Sunday.

Illinois State (4-6) led by three with 50 seconds left. Murray State's Bryce Jones missed a jumper and the long rebound went to MiKyle McIntosh. He found a streaking DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who went the length for the jam and a five-point lead. Jones drained a 3 to pull back to within two. After a timeout, the Redbirds broke the press, but Akoon-Purcell missed the front of a 1-and-1.

Murray State (5-5) had trouble with the inbounds play, and Jeffery Moss missed an off-balance 3 for the final.

Akoon-Purcell and Nick Banyard finished with 11 points apiece.

Wayne Langston led Murray State with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jones and Damarcus Croaker scored 12 points apiece.

Clinton Police Weekend Report






DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 23

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 0

Elvis Phillips, 32, Decatur was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Revoked License. Phillips was issued Citations for Driving While License Revoked and Speeding 64 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Phillips posted the necessary bond and was released.

Jason Shofner, 33, Kenney was Arrested and Charged with Driving on Suspended License. Shofner posted the necessary bond and was released.

Joshua Reeter, 28, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 64 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Reeter was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Patrick Danca, 49, Crystal Lake was issued a Citation for Speeding 67 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Danaca was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Hannah Showalter, 24, Maroa was issued a Citation for Speeding 86 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone. Showalter was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Dylan Hennenfent, 20, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Hennenfent was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Ulises Luna, 30, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Luna was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Kyle Shartzer, 21, Illiopolis was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Shartzer was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Kayla Arkbauer, 23, Orion was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Arkbauer was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Derrick Brown, 44, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Brown was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

John Boring, 41, Lane was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Boring was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Justin Brown, 21, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 84 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Brown was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Timothy May, 49, Mt. Zion was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. May was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Nicholas Haworth, 33, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Haworth was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Kristen Patterson, 34, Mt.Zion was issued a Citation for Speeding 26-30 MPH Over Posted Limit (81 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone). Patterson was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Jimmie Yearry, 56, Wapella was issued a Citation for Failure to Wear Seat Belt. Yearry was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.



Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Lady Bombers

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Argenta-Oreana Lady Bombers by a score of 41-36 on Monday night. The Lady Maroons were led by senior Faythe Newberry with 14 points. Junior Jessi Benson was named as the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game. 

The Lady Bombers were led by Camilyn Newbanks with 12 points. 

With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 5-5 overall, and 1-1 in the Central Illinois Conference.

Tune in Monday, December 28 as the Lady Maroons take on Riverton. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW  and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Girls basketball scores from Monday night...

Decatur St. Teresa 59
Maroa-Forsyth 25

Meridian 54
Cerro Gordo-Bement 36

Champaign Centennial 52
Sullivan 40

Monticello 77
Warrensburg-Latham 9

New Illinois agriculture director wants to hire more workers

The new director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture wants to hire more people after the
agency has gone through repeated cuts over the years.

Raymond Poe is a lifelong farmer and a former state representative from Springfield. He says
people probably don't realize how much the Department of Agriculture does because it's
"essentially a regulatory agency."

For instance, workers with the department ensure gasoline pumps give customers the correct
amount. Department inspectors also make sure meat and eggs sold in stores are sanitary.

Poe says about 800 people worked for the Department of Agriculture a decade ago, and that
it's now down to about 330 workers. He says the department needs more people, and that
some people are "doing three jobs."

Hill scores 22 as Illinois holds off Illinois-Chicago 83-79

 width=Malcolm Hill scored 22 points and Jalen Coleman-Lands added 15 as Illinois beat Illinois-Chicago 83-79 on Saturday.

Hill hit four straight free throws in the final minute to allow the Illini (6-5) to extend their lead and then hold on for the win.

Michael Finke and Kendrick Dunn each had 14 points in Illinois' balanced scoring attack.

Dikembe Dixson led Illinois-Chicago (1-6) with 20 points to go along with 18 from Dominique Matthews.

Coleman-Lands' 3-point field goal with 4:10 remaining gave Illinois a 66-65 lead after Illinois-Chicago's offense went cold during a stretch when the Flames missed 8 of 10 shots.

Hill, who finished 11 of 14 from the free-throw line, hit a pair of free throws with 3:49 left to snap a 66-66 tie.

Lawmaker files bill to keep guns from mentally ill, felons

An Illinois lawmaker has filed legislation aimed at keeping dangerous mentally ill people and anyone convicted of felonies or domestic violence from having guns.

Reports indicate that Rep. Greg Harris' bill also would ban people on the FBI's terrorist watch list from getting firearms.

The Chicago Democrat says not letting people who are severely mentally ill or on the terror watch list own weapons "just makes sense."

Harris noted an investigation that found more than 50,000 mentally ill people are prohibited from owning guns under current Illinois law. But it was found that state and local police haven't seized many guns from those people.

Democratic Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg says he wants to ensure the legislation doesn't intrude on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Green paces Richmond to 39-27 win over Illinois State

Jacobi Green scored four touchdowns and Richmond amassed 557 yards in a 39-27 victory over No. 2-seeded Illinois State in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals on Friday night.

The No. 7-seeded Spiders (10-3) advance to next weekend's FCS semifinals against either No. 3-seed North Dakota State or Northern Iowa.

Green, who ran for 137 yards, scored on touchdown runs of 28, 27 yards and 2 yards. The senior running back also had a 35-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Lauletta, who threw for 369 yards on 18-of-29 passing for the Spiders.

Illinois State (10-3) got to within five points with 3:23 remaining on backup quarterback Jake Kolbe's 17-yard touchdown run. But Green responded and put the game out of reach with his 28-yard touchdown run with 2:19 remaining.

The Redbirds had their 19-game home winning streak snapped with the loss.

Time Running Out To Enroll in Illinois Health Insurance



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Weekly Weather Summary

After the fifth warmest fall on record, we're set for a potential record breaking weekend. State Climotologist Jim Angel tells us more...

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State Health Officials Promoting Flu Shots



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Fending Off Seasonal Effective Disorder

With the days shorter, are you getting tired sooner? Are you having a hard time waking up in the mornings?

These types of symptoms are typical this time of year with shorter days and less sunlight because of weather, these may actually be indicators of a larger problem.

According to Dr. Jim LaValle, seasonal effective disorder is actually very common this time of year and he indicates it can be a form of depression.

[audio:121115113010-121215sed1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. LaValle says vitamin D is one thing your body needs this time of year and he recommends a couple supplements and also says watching your diet is another big key.

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Dr. LaValle recommends a special light that actual mimics real sun light. He explains that will help your body get rid of the melatonin.

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Dr. LaValle says the symptoms are categorized as the "winter blues" and he says it traditionally happens right around the holidays.

Federal Highway Dollars Available To Illinois

After nearly a decade of short term emergency funding, Congress has now passed and the President has signed a major transportation, or highway bill. Kevin Rund follows transportation issues for Illinois Farm Bureau.

[audio:12111581937-KevinRund1.mp3] [/audio]

The freight infrastructure funding will help contruct intermodal projects, linking roads to rail and port terminals that should be a major benefit for agricultural transportation.

Since congress has eliminated the use of earmarks, the federal bill does not spell out specific projects to be funded, so it is up to each state to select projects, then seek funding from the over 300 billion dollars available

[audio:12111581939-KevinRund2.mp3] [/audio]

Rund says we could use a lot more funding to get our transportation infrastructure where it needs to be, but the new bill puts us in a much better funding position than we have been over the past decade where short term extensions did not provide the long term funding needed for major road and bridge projects.

Now, it’s up the State of Illinois to get it’s budget problems solved so the state can come up with matching funds for in-state projects.

PEW: Illinois Losing Revenue From Last Quarter

Illinois joins about a dozen other states in losing revenue from the last quarter, according to the latest research from the Pew Charitable Trusts, but even more noteworthy is Illinois’ lack of reserves.

[audio:12111581942-pew.mp3] [/audio]

Maroa-Forsyth Schools Bracing For Property Tax Freeze

 width=Entities across the state differ on whether a property tax freeze would go into effect as Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants the measure as a part of his turn around agenda.

Whether the freeze goes through or not, to ignore the possibility would not be wise. That is the message from Maroa-Forsyth Superintendent Mike Williams who adds entities across the state are differing on whether the freeze will actually happen.

[audio:12111581930-121115mftaxes1.mp3] [/audio]

Because of the possibility of the property tax freeze, districts and other governing entities are reacting by increasing their yearly levies. Williams notes Maroa-Forsyth is but it is not in reaction to the possibility of the freeze, however, they are taking other actions to brace for such an event.

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There's also speculation that if the tax freeze goes into effect, it could become permanent. Williams believes that is a definite possibility.

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Williams emphasizes the property tax freeze doesn't actually freeze the rate, it freezes the "actual amount of dollars" and points out any local growth would not be able to be accessed by the various governing entities.

DeWitt County DOVE Pleased With Governor's Recent Spending Plan

DeWitt County's domestic violence agency is weighing in on the latest spending plan signed into law by the Governor.

Earlier this week, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a spending plan passed by the General Assembly that will provide money to local governments, 9-1-1 centers and domestic violence agencies. Megan Neville with DeWitt County DOVE says things with their agency have been very tough with no funding coming from the state.

[audio:12111581924-121115doverestore1.mp3] [/audio]

The State of Illinois owes DOVE around $200-thousand and Neville indicates not only does the bill signed by the Governor restore their funding but it will make up that $200-thousand they are owed.

[audio:12111581926-121115doverestore2.mp3] [/audio]

Neville points out many centers in southern Illinois closed, and that created challenges for their organization because several victims came to central Illinois seeking refuge and she indicates they did the best they could given the circumstance.

Neville adds, DOVE is one of the few non-profits that are now being funded by the state but there are numerous others who are not. She hopes as you choose to do any giving this holiday season, you might consider those non-profits in your community that do not have things going as well as they do at this point.

Ex-College Stars Plan Film About Exploitation

The debate over how college athletes are treated may become a feature film. Several former college stars -- including Aaron Rodgers, Ray Lewis and Desmond Howard -- have joined former LSU football player Abram Booty's efforts to make a movie portraying college athlete exploitation in the NCAA.

 width=The movie would be called “Work Horses” and is scheduled to start production in March 2016. The movie's website (workhorsesmovie.com) lays out some of the plans for the film and includes testimonials from prominent players.

Booty has created a Kickstarter campaign with an initial goal of raising $250,000 by Jan. 17. Booty claims the script is completed and would be produced by George Folsey Jr., who produced “Coming to America,” “The Three Amigos” and Michael Jackson's Thriller” video.

The movie marks a new effort in the athletes' rights movement -- propaganda through Hollywood. The NCAA and its schools have changed some facts on the ground regarding how they treat players, such as through cost of attendance, unlimited food, concussion safety guidelines (but not rules) and transitional health insurance required by the Pac-12. There continue to be legal fights over whether college athletes should be allowed to get paid.

Booty played wide receiver at LSU and is the brother of former All-SEC LSU quarterback Josh Booty and former All-American USC quarterback John David Booty. Abram Booty said the trigger for him to write “Work Horses” came after the 2007 Rose Bowl, when wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett was the MVP with a dominating performance. Booty said his family later saw Jarrett walking to a McDonald's for a cheap dinner a mile from where he had won the game in front of millions of people.

The fictional script is about a low-income football player from a Louisiana farm community whose eyes are opened to the injustices of major college sports, Booty said. A female student reporter becomes a love interest and enlightens the player and his teammates to take a stand.

About 50 to 70 major sports names are backing the project and lending their support for free while promoting the movie on Twitter, Booty said. Some of them plan to be on the set during production in Shreveport, La., to make the film be realistic.

Iowa State Edges Iowa

The fourth-ranked Iowa State Cyclones pulled off another stunner on Thursday, beating back rival Iowa Hawkeyes with a furious late surge.

 width=Monte Morris hit a runner with nine seconds left and Iowa State rallied from a 20-point deficit to down Iowa 83-82 on Thursday night.

Morris and Jameel McKay each had 20 points for the Cyclones (8-0), who scored the game's final nine points to remain unbeaten.

But rallies like that are nothing new for these Cyclones, who roared back from 21 down to stun Oklahoma and 17 down to beat Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament title game last March.

A 30-11 run brought Iowa State within 82-81 with 51 seconds left. Morris then drove the lane and floated in the go-ahead shot, which the Cyclones made stand with one final defensive stop.

Jarrod Uthoff scored 30 of his 32 points in the first half for Iowa (7-3), which has lost seven straight in Ames.

Flyers Double-Up Blues; Blackhawks Blasted By Nashville

Claude Giroux's 11th goal of the season capped Philadelphia's three-goal second period and the Flyers beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Thursday night for their fourth straight road win.

 width=Giroux made it 3-1 with by blowing past two St. Louis defenders and scoring with a forehand-to-backhand deke. He finished with a goal and two assists.

Michael Raffl and Matt Read also scored in the second and Ryan White added an empty-net goal to help the Flyers snap a two-game skid. Michal Neuvirth made 35 saves.

Robby Fabbri and David Backes scored and Brian Elliott made 25 saves for the Blues. St. Louis has lost four of five games in December.

Backes scored on the Blues' first power play of the game, 7:37 into the third period, after Simmonds went off for hooking. Backes redirected a shot from Alexander Steen and then slipped the rebound past Neuvirth for his eighth of the season.

Giroux assisted on White's empty-netter with 1.7 seconds left.

Giroux scored with 1:54 remaining in the second when he skated around Magnus Paajarvi and faked out Elliott. Schenn and Nick Schultz assisted on the goal.

The Blues are 2-3-2 over their last seven games and 5-6-3 over their last 14 after starting the season 11-3-1.

 width=>>Preds Blast Blackhawks

James Neal, Craig Smith and Filip Forsberg each scored in the first period and the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 even though Patrick Kane extended his franchise-record points streak to 24 games.

Kane scored his 18th goal this season at 5:43 of the third. He'll have a chance Friday night against Winnipeg back in Chicago to match Sidney Crosby's 25-game streak, set in 2010-11, for the longest since 1992-93.

The Predators lost their challenge for goaltender interference on Kane's tally.

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne thought he had covered the puck with his glove when Chicago center Marcus Kruger came in, knocking it away. Kane had the easy tap-in from the side.

Rinne even skated out near the blue line trying to argue his case with the officials.

Neal sealed the victory with his second goal unassisted at 14:55, and Eric Nystrom scored a short-handed empty netter with 1:14 left.

Bears, Packers, Rams All Home Sunday

>>Bears Host Redskins Sunday

With still an outside shot at the postseason, the Chicago Bears host the Washington Redskins on Sunday at Soldier Field in a battle of teams still holding on to hopes of a playoff appearance.

 width=Last week's 26-20 overtime loss came at home to lowly San Francisco and only needed extra time after Bears all-time point leader Robbie Gould hooked a 36-yard field goal left at the end of regulation.

The Bears had surprisingly crept back into the playoff picture with a 17-13 win at Green Bay on Thanksgiving, but reality hit with their fourth consecutive loss by less than seven points.

Chicago will finish the season without tight end Martellus Bennett as he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday with a fractured rib. Bennett leads the Bears with 53 catches despite missing the win over the Packers and playing in a limited role against the 49ers.

They might soon get a boost on the receiving corps, though, as Eddie Royal (knee) practiced for the first time in five weeks and No. 7 overall pick Kevin White (leg stress fracture) participated in 11-on-11 drills. Royal hasn't played since Nov. 1, and the Bears have until Tuesday to activate White from the physically unable to perform list.

After coughing up a chance to separate themselves in the cramped NFC East, the Washington Redskins are still in the driver's seat. The road to the playoffs, though, is a bumpy path away from home.

Washington (5-7) is winless in five games away from FedEx Field and is 0-9 on the road since a 20-17 overtime victory at Dallas on Oct. 27, 2014 - the longest current skid in the NFL.

>>Packers Host Cowboys Sunday

There's not much talk this week about how the Green Bay Packers eliminated the Dallas Cowboys from the playoffs last season thanks in part to a controversial call involving Dez Bryant.

These teams are instead concerned about repeating as division champions as they meet Sunday at Lambeau Field.

 width=Green Bay (8-4) advanced to the NFC championship last season by beating Dallas 26-21 behind two second-half touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers. The key play was when Bryant's leaping, bobbling 31-yard catch with 4:06 left on a fourth-and-2 play was challenged by coach Mike McCarthy and reversed as an incomplete pass.

With that Jan. 11 contest so long ago and Dallas (4-8) without an injured Tony Romo, there's little reminiscing about it.

These teams are in better positions in their division races than they would have expected for different reasons.

The Packers enter off a 27-23 win at Detroit last Thursday on Rodgers' 61-yard Hail Mary TD pass to Richard Rodgers on the last play of the game that capped a rally from 20 points down. Green Bay got an untimed down after Aaron Rodgers was tackled by the face mask on the previous play as time expired.

Green Bay is now tied with Minnesota atop the North after the Vikings lost 38-7 to Seattle on Sunday. The Packers avoided a fifth loss in six games.

Dallas won 19-16 at Washington on Monday on Dan Bailey's 54-yard field goal with 9 seconds left. The Cowboys prevailed for the first time in eight games without Romo and moved within a game of the East lead - with the mediocre division's other teams tied for first.

The Packers are seeking to avoid losing three straight at home for the first time since 2006.

>>Rams Host Lions

Jim Caldwell and Jeff Fisher sound like defeated men, and who can blame them?

Caldwell brings his Detroit Lions into St. Louis on Sunday to face Fisher's Rams with both clubs sitting at 4-8 and staring down an offseason during which their jobs could be in jeopardy.

 width=Detroit had a glimmer of hope with a three-game winning streak that followed the firings of team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew and appointment of new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

But Caldwell couldn't even bring himself to talk about how that run ended. Aaron Rodgers heaved a 61-yard Hail Mary pass that was caught in the end zone to give Green Bay a 27-23 win last Thursday at Ford Field, erasing the Lions' 20-0 second-half lead.

Fisher turned the page that day, too. Sunday's 27-3 loss to Arizona was the Rams' fifth straight after a promising start that had them thinking about their first playoff appearance in four seasons under Fisher.

St. Louis has been outscored 58-10 the last two weeks and ranks last in the NFL with 178.0 passing yards per game and a 24.5 percent conversion rate on third downs. All of that led to Fisher firing offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti and replacing him with Rob Boras, who was a finalist for the job in the offseason.

>>Cardinals Beat Vikings, Clinch Playoff Birth

Dwight Freeney stripped the ball from Teddy Bridgewater with 5 seconds remaining to deprive the Vikings a chance at the tying field goal, and the Cardinals clinched a playoff berth with a 23-20 victory over Minnesota.

 width=Bridgewater moved the Vikings to the Arizona 31-yard line, well within the range of Blair Walsh. But Freeney hit the quarterback's arm as Bridgewater tried to pass. The ball came loose and Calais Campbell recovered for Arizona.

Chandler Catanzaro's 47-yard field goal with 1:23 to go was the winning score as Arizona (11-2) won its seventh in a row.

Bridgewater passed for 335 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (8-5), who were playing without four defensive starters but made it close after being embarrassed at home by Seattle 38-7 on Sunday.

Carson Palmer threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals, who will win the NFC West if Seattle loses Sunday at Baltimore.

Minnesota's Adrian Peterson wanted more carries than the eight he got (for 9 yards) against the Seahawks. He got them, carrying 23 times for 69 yards, but had only 31 yards on 19 attempts after his 9-yard touchdown run on the Vikings' first possession of the night.

Palmer connected on scoring plays of 65 yards to John Brown and 42 to Michael Floyd. His 30th and 31st touchdown passes broke the franchise record of 30 set by Kurt Warner in Arizona's 2008 Super Bowl season.

Floyd caught five passes for 102 yards. David Johnson, the rookie who stepped in when the Cardinals' top two backs were hurt, rushed for 92 yards in 19 attempts.

Gasol Leads Bulls Past Clippers

Pau Gasol scored 24 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Los Angeles Clippers 83-80 on Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

 width=The Bulls caught a big break midway through the third quarter when Clippers Al-Star Blake Griffin was ejected for a hard foul against Taj Gibson, and they came away with the win after blowing a 16-point lead.

Griffin knocked him to the floor with a shot to face as Gibson went up for a shot inside with 5:59 left in the third quarter and was called for a foul.

Officials reviewed the play and gave him flagrant foul 2, which carries an automatic ejection. Griffin had 18 points.

Derrick Rose banked in a floater with 45 seconds left to make it 83-77 before Los Angeles' Wesley Johnson buried a 3-pointer. The Clippers then rebounded a miss by Chicago's Jimmy Butler with six seconds left, but Chris Paul's tying 3-point attempt hit the just before the buzzer.

Butler finished with 14 points after pouring in a career-high 36 the previous night against Boston.

Rose scored all of his 11 points in the second half, and Gibson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Redbirds Host Richmond in FCS Quarterfinals

 width=No. 2 seed Illinois State (10-2) will look to keep a 20 game home win streak alive when it hosts No. 7 seed Richmond (9-3) in a quarterfinal match up between two of the best programs in FCS football.

After not recording a catch in the final two regular-season contests for the Redbirds, junior wide receiver Anthony Warrum got back on track in the team's FCS second-round win over Western Illinois.

The Spiders finished the 2015 regular season with a 8-3 overall record and a 6-2 mark in CAA play.

The Spiders defeated longtime rival William & Mary in consecutive games to advance to the quarterfinals to play the Redbirds. Richmond knocked off William and Mary 20-9 in the final game of the regular season then defeated the Tribe by a score of 48-13 last weekend to move on to the quarterfinals.

Game time tonight is 6:30 pm from Hancock Stadium and will be aired on ESPN3.

Illini At United Center To Take on Illinois-Chicago

 width=As the struggling Fighting Illini try to find themselves through numerous injuries, in-state rival Illinois-Chicago awaits the Illini Saturday afternoon at the United Center.

The Illini have lost point guard Tracy Abrams and forward Mike Thorne Jr. indifenitely and played without sophomore forward Leron Black Wednesday against Yale.

Not having the two big men was evident as the Bulldogs outrebounded Illinois 48-25.

The Fighting Illini have Illinois-Chicago and South Dakota befor the "Braggin' Rights" game against Missouri Dec. 23 and then it's on to conference play.

At 5-5, the Illini hope to get above the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Saturday's game from the United Center tips at 1 pm.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report Dec. 11

Jail Population: 23

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 0

Kellie Lipe, 38, Argenta was issued a Citation for Improper Lane Usage. Lipe was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Joshua Merrick, 21,  was issued Citations for Improper Lane Usage and Failure to Reduce Speed/ Accident. Merrick was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Jonah Klob, 31, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Klob was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Chelsea Martinez, 23, Plainfield was issued a Citation for Speeding 26-30 MPH Over Posted Limit (82 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone). Martinez was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Amanda Stockdale, 31, Shelbyville was issued a Citation for Speeding 26-30 MPH Over Posted Limit ( 82 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone). Stockdale was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Dick Campbell, 73, Morton was issued a Citation for No Valid Registration ( Expired Over 1 Year). Campbell was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Curtis Stonewall, 50, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Stonewall was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Stephen Evans, 69, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 67 MPH in a 45 MPH Zone. Evans was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jamie Bruning, 36, Clinton was issued Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Bruning was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.



Clinton Maroons Defeat Hart-Em

The Clinton Maroons defeated the Hart-Em Stags by a score of 74 to 48 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Country Financial Stephan York Player of the Game Sr. Connor Ryan with 12 points. Sr. Tanner White also chipped in with 10 points. Sr. Jacob Overton and Jr. Peyton McCubbin both scored 9 points each for the Maroons.


The Stags were led by Brady Wolpert with 21 points and Alec Hayes added 11 points.


With the win the Maroons improve to 2 and 5 on the season.


Tune in Tuesday, December 15th as the Maroons take on Tri-Valley. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com

Hunters Harvest Just Sort of 87-Thousand Deer During Firearm Season

Hunters in Illinois harvested more than 85,000 deer during the seven-day firearm season - a more than 10 percent increase over last year.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday said preliminary totals show 86,771 deer were harvested during the season that ended Sunday. During the seven-day period in 2014 there were 76,575 deer harvested.

Department data show the biggest harvests were in Adams, Jackson, Randolph, Pike and Jo Daviess counties.

And the hunting season isn't over yet.

Illinois' archery deer hunting season lasts until Jan. 17, and muzzleloader-only season runs Friday through Sunday.

Late-winter antlerless-only deer hunting seasons are scheduled for Dec. 31 to Jan. 3 and Jan. 15-17.

Fifth Warmest Fall on Record



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Leaders Say Revamping School Funding Formula A Priority

Revamping the state’s school funding formula is a priority for legislative leaders, but it’s not something they’ll likely get to until after the budget impasse is resolved.

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Radogno Says Madigan's Call For Tax Increase Without Reforms is 'Outrageous'

Much of the state’s obligations have been covered through piecemeal appropriations measure, court orders and consent decrees but there’s still another $6 billion of spending that hasn’t been approved and there needs to be an income tax increase. That’s according to House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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Scovill Zoo Working On Certification

 width=Decatur's Scovill Zoo is working on their accreditation through the organization charged with overseeing the world's zoos and aquariums.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums sets up a strenuous process for their accredited members to go through to keep their membership with them. According to Director of the Scovill Zoo, Ken Frye, they have been long at work in the process in prepartion of a summer accreditation in San Diego.

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According to Frye, they are analyzing everything from their policies to their animal plans. He says the application is so extensive it takes a long time to get everything prepared.

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Once all the paperwork for the application has been complete, Frye indicates an inspection team from the AZA comes to the zoo.

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The application process then ends when representatives from the zoo take to San Diego to meet with a panel that reviews their application and will ask them questions about it and make recommendations.

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Frye indicates he and his staff started on the application process very early because of how extensive it is.

Liberty Village's A Walk Through the Village Going on Now

A Clinton business is inviting you to a free event in their building that is sure to brighten your holiday.

Liberty Village's "A Walk Through the Village" event is going on now and Allison Skelton says they have Christmas trees, wreaths and other holiday decorations set up by local businesses and non-profit groups.

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Skelton says the displays are scattered throughout their building but do not interfere with their patient care. She adds it's set up so their residents can enjoy the decorations as well.

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According to Skelton, a lot of businesses will set up coupons or information about their business and non-profits will have information about their groups.

You can take a free self-guided tour from 8 am to 8 pm through Christmas Day.

Clemson Star Declares For NFL Draft

 width=Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson plans to enter the NFL Draft after a wildly successful junior season with the No. 1 team in the country.

Lawson was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is given to the defensive player of the year in college football, after recording 62 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. After spending two seasons as a rotation player on Clemson's defensive line, Lawson recorded a tackle for loss in every game as a starter in 2015, finishing the regular season ranked sixth nationally in tackles for loss.

Sox Acquire A's Lawrie; Mets Active At Winter Meetings

 width=The Athletics have traded third baseman Brett Lawrie, as the club had been expected to try to do during baseball's winter meetings, sending him to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander J.B. Wendelken and minor league left-hander Zack Erwin.

The A's announced the trade Wednesday night, leaving them with five remaining arbitration-eligible players, down from 12 last week. New general manager David Forst has made an improved pitching staff a priority.

Oakland had a full infield after acquiring shortstop Jed Lowrie from Houston on Nov. 25, leaving third basemen Lawrie and Danny Valencia as possible options to be dealt.

Lawrie hit .260 with career highs of 16 homers and 60 RBIs in his lone season for the A's, also staying off the disabled list for the first time in five major league seasons.

>>Mets Pirates Make Trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets are teaming up on a good old fashioned veteran-for-veteran trade. The two teams have agreed to swap second baseman Neil Walker and starting pitcher Jonathon Niese. The deal is done, pending medicals, reports Jon Heyman.

 width=Walker will take over at second base for the Mets after free agent Daniel Murphy departs and the club missed out on signing Ben Zobrist, who went to the Cubs.

Walker, 30, is one year away from free agency. He hit .269/.328/.427 with 32 doubles and 16 home runs last season for the Pirates. He can generally play league average defense at second. Maybe after next season they'll know more about if they want to hand the keys to Dilson Herrera at second. Walker buys them a year here.

Niese, 29, is also likely a free agent after next season, as there is a $10 million club option for 2017. He was 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.40 WHIP last season for the Mets, moving to the bullpen for the postseason.

With the Pirates, Niese right now would be the fifth starter behind Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke. It's still possible they add a cheap free agent, such as Justin Masterson, to the mix.

At second base, the Pirates could probably play Josh Harrison at second base with Jordy Mercer at shortstop and Jung Ho Kang at third, but there's room for shifting in there.

As far as the Mets, they have Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler, who is returning from Tommy John surgery.

>>Mets Add SS Asdrubal Cabrera

The Mets on Wednesday agreed to terms with free-agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. Heyman also reports that Cabrera is guaranteed $18.5 million over two years.

Cabrera, 30, is coming off a 2015 season in which he batted .265/.315/.430 (105 OPS+) in 143 games for the Rays. For his career, Cabrera owns an OPS+ of 104 across parts of nine big-league seasons.

Cabrera has been a primary shortstop throughout his career, but he has also spent significant time at second base. Per Ken Rosenthal, Cabrera's expected to spend most of his time at short in New York but also second and third, thus providing the Mets with much-needed infield depth at three positions.

Bears Rookie White Participates in 11-on-11

 width=Chicago Bears receiver Kevin White participated Wednesday in 11-on-11 drills, another step as the rookie works his way back from a left shin injury that has sidelined him all season.

The No. 7 overall draft pick, White feels like he can "contribute whenever they want me to." He didn't say if he will play this year.

White suffered a stress fracture. A three-week evaluation window to decide whether he will be activated or placed on injured reserve closes next week.

Receiver Eddie Royal (left knee) practiced for the first time in five weeks. Coach John Fox said tight end Martellus Bennett went on injured reserve because of a fractured rib.

Chicago plays Washington on Sunday.

Celtics Beat Bulls 105-100

 width=Isaiah Thomas scored nine of his 20 points in the final three minutes to lead the Boston Celtics to a 105-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Kelly Olynyk scored 15 points. Jae Crowder and Evan Turner each had 13, and David Lee 12 for the Celtics, who had eight players in double figures and won for the fourth time in five games.

Jimmy Butler led Chicago with a season-high 36 points, and Pau Gasol had his fifth straight double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Derrick Rose added 12 points for the Bulls, who lost their third straight.

Illini Put Away Pesky Yale

 width=Kendrick Nunn scored 18 of his career-high 28 points in the second half and Malcolm Hill finished with 20 Wednesday night to help Illinois beat Yale 69-65.

Makai Mason hit a jumper and made a layup to pull Yale within three with two minutes left but the Bulldogs committed four turnovers and made just 1 of 4 field goals from there

Nunn hit a 3 to make it 66-60 with 1:25 remaining and his two free throws with two seconds to plays sealed it.

Illinois (5-5) took a 33-25 lead into halftime, but the Bulldogs (5-4) stormed back behind a 12-0 run early in the second half to take a 37-35 lead.

Yale's Justin Sears, who finished with 21 points, scored 17 in the second half. Mason had 15 points.

Yale committed 23 turnovers, which Illinois converted into 25 points.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Dec. 10

Jail Population: 25

Paper Services: 15

Warrants: 0

William Peterson, 38, Kenney was Arrested and Charged with Domestic Battery/ Bodily Harm and Assault. Peterson posted the necessary bond and was released.

Alicia Merritt, 42, Mahomet was Arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Failure to Pay or Appear. Merritt posted the necessary bond and was released.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Dec. 9

Jail Population: 22

Paper Services: 7

Warrants: 1

James Russell, 20, Clinton was Arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Driving While License Suspended/ Failure to Appear. Russell unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Margaret Ramage, 50, Weldon was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ramage was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Rep. Mitchell Reacts To Madigan's Proposal To Raise Taxes Without Reforms

 width=House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday that "a good place to begin" in mending a multibillion-dollar spending hole would be to return the state income tax to 5 percent, its level during a temporary hike that expired in January.

State Representative Bill Mitchell says this typical of Madigan and Chicago Democrats.

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Speaking to the City Club for the first time in 15 years, the House Speaker added “that a good place to begin ... would be the level we were at before the income tax expired…..Starting there, you can go in whatever direction you want to go."

UPDATED: Clinton Lady Maroons Fall to Central A&M

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to Central A&M by a score of 71-19 on Thursday night. The Lady Maroons were led by sophomore Alyssa Saulsbery with 11 points. Alyssa was named as the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game.

Central A&M were led by Mikah Maples with 17 points and Ryan Dooley with 16 points.

With the loss the Lady Maroons fall to 5-3 overall and 0-1 in the Central Illinois Conference.

Tune in Monday night, December 14, as the Lady Maroons take on Argenta-Oreana. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Central Illinois Conference girls basketball scores from Thursday

Decatur St. Teresa 62, Macon Meridian 30
Warrensburg-Latham 32, Sullivan 29

DNR Encouraging Tipsters To Call in Immediately

As the fire arm deer season for the year has wrapped up, there are still concerns for Department of Natural Resources officials this time of year.

John Williamson is a Conservation Police Officer and indicates this time of year, they get a lot of phone calls of tips of poaching and other calls they investigate. He says the biggest frustration they have is calls that come in hours, even days, after an incident with very few details.

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Williamson indicates the poachers hotline has been well utilized and has allowed the Department to better regulate the area. He points to the fact they are very short staffed across the state, so it helps having the public be their eyes.

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The most frequent complaints DNR receives are night hunting, baiting and hunting without permission.

Domestic Violence Funding Restored

Good news for those in Illinois that are in need of the services of domestic violence agencies- funding for those programs was included in Monday’s legislation signed by the governor that frees up nearly $3-billion in funding.

Senate Bill 2039, passed unanimously by the Senate on Monday before Governor Bruce Rauner signed it, includes a general line item for domestic violence support. Dona Leanard is the Executive Director of the Jacksonville-based Crisis Center Foundation.

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Leanard says even though the funding that will come in is on par with last year’s level, she says it’s still not adequate funding for domestic violence services in Illinois. She calls the $18-million allocated a “meager” amount and says advocates are working every day to get more of an increase.

Durbin Latest To Blast Presidential Candidate Trump

Senator Dick Durbin has joined colleagues and a coalition of national faith leaders to consider what he calls smart, moral policymaking over reactionary fear-mongering.

The comments are a response to efforts to block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the US and Donald Trump's headline grabbing proposal to block Muslim immigrants and visitors.

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Durbin says there are second thoughts in some corners when it comes to the effort to lock out Syrian refugees.

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Durbin has also called on Governor Bruce Rauner to drop his opposition to the arrival of Syrian refugees in the state.

Illinois FB Coach Proposes Separate Public, Private Championships

Mercer County head football coach Nat Zunkel says he will be offering an IHSA by-law amendment proposal calling for separate public and private school championships for football.

He says he’s in the preliminary stages of drafting the proposal, which would be submitted to the IHSA Legislative Commission by next school year.

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Mercer County’s lone state title in football came in 2012 with a win over Belleville Althoff, but the Golden Eagles lost in the playoffs this year to Bishop McNamara and Sterling Newman Central Catholic in 2013.

No MAP Grants



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Realtors Group Weighs in on Drones

There's growing concern about drones and growing talk of local governments curtailing the use of the unmanned vehicles.

The Illinois Association of Realtors is urging local governments to take a wait and see approach. Neil Malone, who handles governmental affairs for the realtor group, says state and federal officials are examining the issue.

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Realtor's Association President Christy DeBrun says drone use for aerial video and photography of properties on sale is exploding.

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Some fear drones will continue to interfere with aircraft. In Springfield, one alderman is seeking restrictions on drone use because of fears they could be used against the city's power plant facilities.

College Football Notes

 width=Michigan got some good news for 2016 on Tuesday when star tight end Jake Butt announced on Twitter that he will be returning for his senior season.

But said quote-"My heart and soul is with Michigan".

The draft-eligible junior was ranked as the top tight end in the 2016 NFL Draft according to the CBS prospect rankings and a projected second-round pick. Instead, Butt -- who was snubbed from being a Mackey Award finalist -- will return to Ann Arbor as one of Michigan's best players.

In 2015, Butt was the third-leading receiver for Michigan, hauling in 48 catches for 620 yards and three touchdowns. Having Butt back will be a huge boost for the Michigan passing game in 2016 as he is one of the nation's best receiving tight ends.

>>Pac-12 Commish Pushing Big 12 to Add Title Game; Big 12 Makes Schedule Changes

College football would be better off if the Big 12 stages a conference championship game, said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, whose league missed the College Football Playoff this season.

Scott said quote-"I'd like to see more consistency (between conferences) rather than less. I'd like to see the Big 12 go to a championship game. I don't think it's good or fair to see a conference not have to win that extra game and have that extra opportunity both for a win and a loss."

Oklahoma won the Big 12 and made the playoff without a game in the final week. A year ago, the Big 12 missed the playoff when a conference championship game helped Ohio State beat out Baylor and TCU for the final spot.

In an effort to improve the league's strength of schedule ratings, the Big 12 has announced a new scheduling requirement that will force every team play at least one nonconference game against an opponent from a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Notre Dame).

No existing game contracts will be impacted by this new requirement and there is no hard deadline, but this is clearly a move that has resulted from the decisions of the first two College Football Playoff Selection Committees.

The Big 12's rigorous round-robin nine-game conference schedule has been used an excuse for teams like Baylor to schedule a softer nonconference slate. The Bears have not played a Power Five foe in the regular season out of conference since 2009 and have just two nonconference agreements on the books right now -- Duke (2017-18) and Utah (2023-24).

But not all of the Big 12 teams have scheduled like Baylor. Big 12 champion and College Football Playoff participant Oklahoma won on the road at Tennessee. Both TCU and Texas opened the year against Power Five opponents, Minnesota and Notre Dame, respectively. Texas Tech beat Arkansas and West Virginia beat Maryland. Even Kansas traveled East to take on Rutgers -- not the most daunting non-conference opponent for others but it meets the new requirement.

Warriors Survive Pacers

 width=Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors spent the first three quarters playing as flawlessly as their unbeaten record.

They spent the last 12 minutes Tuesday trying to protect their perfect quest.

On a night Thompson scored a season-high 39 points and reigning MVP Stephen Curry nearly had a triple-double, the Warriors improved to 23-0 by stopping Indiana's furious fourth-quarter comeback and holding off the Pacers 131-123.

Thompson went 10 for 16 on 3s. He made a splash with his incredible first half when he scored 29 points, made 8 of 10 3s and was the key to a 22-0 run that forced Indiana to play catch-up the rest of the night.

Indiana (12-8) rallied with a 23-8 run to get within six in the final minute before the Warriors closed it out.

Paul George finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists while C.J. Miles added 24 points -- not enough to prevent the Pacers from losing their third in a row.

Indiana has lost three straight for the first time since starting the season 0-3.

Bears TE Bennett To Miss Rest of Regular Season

 width=Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett will miss the rest of the season because of a rib injury.

The Bears placed Bennett on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his third season in Chicago and ninth in the NFL.

With Bennett out, the Bears signed former Arizona and Cleveland tight end Rob Housler. They also announced that offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje has been removed from the reserve/suspended by the commissioner list, but the team has a roster exemption for him.

Bennett, the team leader with 53 catches, has been dealing with the rib injury the past few weeks. He missed the win at Green Bay on Thanksgiving and was limited during Chicago's overtime loss to San Francisco on Sunday.

Blues, Blackhawks Win

 width=Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 23 games with an empty-net goal with 1:36 left, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw each had a goal and an assist for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 36 saves. Dennis Rasmussen scored in his NHL debut.

Kane's 17th goal was his 600th NHL point. The winger, who entered as the NHL's leading scorer, has 14 goals and 23 assists during his franchise-record streak.

Eric Nystrom scored for Nashville in its first meeting with Chicago since the Blackhawks won their first-round playoff series in six games last spring.

Pekka Rinne blocked 20 shots for the Predators, who were coming off a 3-2 victory at Boston on Monday night.

>>Blues Blast Coyotes

Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko scored in the second period to help the Blues rally for a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.


Kevin Shattenkirk and David Backes also scored and Jake Allen made 22 saves.

Steve Downie scored for the Coyotes and Mike Smith stopped 18 shots.

Arizona scored first against the Blues, with 7:48 left in the first period, when Downie slipped a rebound past Allen for his second of the season.

It took the Blues 13:34 to get their first shot on goal. The Coyotes outshot the hosts 9-3 in the first period as the Blues missed the net on eight shot attempts.

St. Louis tied it 5:08 into the second period. Jay Bouwmeester delivered a long spring pass to Magnus Paajarvi, who found Tarasenko alone in the slot and Tarasenko buried it for his 16th.

The Blues took a 2-1 lead on a short-handed goal from Steen, his 10th of the season, on a 2-on-1 after a nice pass by Kevin Shattenkirk with just 8.8 seconds remaining in the second period.

It was the Blues' first short-handed tally of the season.

Shattenkirk scored at 6:53 of the third after a back-handed cross-ice pass from Jori Lehtera. Shattenkirk's fourth of the season, also assisted by Robby Fabbri, gave him a two-point night.

Backes added an empty-net goal with 1:02 remaining.

Cubs, Zobrist Agree To Deal, Then Cubs Move Castro To Make Room

The Chicago Cubs and free-agent infielder Ben Zobrist have agreed to a four-year contract.

 width=The team announced the deal on Tuesday night.

A person familiar with the negotiations says the contract is worth $56 million. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not announced.

Zobrist is 34 and a native of Eureka, Illinois.

The switch hitter who plays second, third and the outfield, and he was an important spark for the Kansas City Royals in their run to the World Series title.

With the agreement, the Cubs then traded infielder Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees for right-hander Adam Warren and a player to be named.

The 25-year-old Castro hit .265 with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs last season. He's spent most of his career at shortstop, but shifted over to second base late this year.

The 28-year-old Warren was went 7-7 with a 3.29 ERA last season. He made 17 starts and pitched 43 games overall.

Multiple baseball insiders are reporting the player to be named later is INF Brendan Ryan. The move will become official following this Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

>>Dbacks, Braves Strike Deal of Promising Young Talent

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a deal that will land them starting pitcher Shelby Miller from the Atlanta Braves, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The Diamondbacks were among the best offensive teams in baseball last season, but went 79-83 thanks mostly to having a poor pitching staff. They now have former All-Star Patrick Corbin fully back from Tommy John surgery, signed big-time ace Zack Greinke and have added Miller. It goes without saying that the rotation should be exponentially better next season for Arizona.

Miller, 25, was 6-17 last season but that figure is incredibly misleading due to Miller playing for a terrible team and having pretty bad luck in terms of run support. He had a 3.02 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 171 strikeouts in 205 1/3 innings. He made the All-Star team thanks to a 2.07 ERA through his first 17 starts.


Dansby Swanson is the highly regarded shortstop the Diamondbacks drafted first overall last June out of Vanderbilt. He's the first No. 1 overall pick to be traded while still in the minors since Adrian Gonzalez.

Ender Inciarte, 25, hit .303/.338/.408 with 27 doubles and 21 stolen bases last season to go along with very good defense at all three outfield spots.

Aaron Blair, 23, was ranked as the 40th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America last spring. A 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher, Blair had a 2.92 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 160 1/3 innings across both Double-A and Triple-A last season.

>>Chapman, Puig, Jose Reyes Under Investigation by MLB

Pursuant to the release of police report in which it's alleged that Reds closer Aroldis Chapman committed domestic assault in October, MLB has added his to the list of cases currently under investigation.

Jose Reyes allegedly assaulted his wife on Halloween in a Hawaii hotel, while Puig was is alleged to have pushed his sister prior to fighting with a bouncer at a Miami bar.

As MLB and the MLBPA announced in August, commissioner Rob Manfred is now empowered to discipline players for matters of domestic assault, and he can do so regardless of whether they're arrested and charged.

UT-Arlington Blasts Bradley

Kevin Hervey and Erick Neal had 20 points apiece to lead Texas-Arlington to a dominating 97-61 win over Bradley on Tuesday night.

 width=Hervey also grabbed 10 rebounds while Neal, who was 5 of 6 from beyond the arc, dished out 10 assists.

Drew Charles was 5 of 8 from long range for 17 points and Nathan Hawkins made 4 of 7 from distance for 17 as the Mavericks nailed 17 of 40 (42.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

Texas-Arlington (8-2), off to its best start in eight years, made 33 of 69 (47.8 percent) from the floor while limiting the Braves to 19-of-47 (40.4 percent) shooting.

UTA led 19-16 midway in the first half, but then sprinted to a 53-32 halftime advantage. The Mavericks opened the second half with a 16-8 run and coasted to the win.

Scottie James had 16 points for Bradley (1-9). Ronnie Suggs and Antoine Pittman chipped in 10 apiece.

>>Virginia Beats West Virginia At MSG

Tony Bennett scored all 13 of his points in the second half as the 10th-ranked Cavaliers beat No. 14 West Virginia 70-54 on Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

He shot 5 for 6 from the field in the second half including hitting all three of his 3-point attempts as the Cavaliers bounced back from a six-point halftime deficit to cruise over the final minutes.

Anthony Gill had season highs of 20 points and 12 rebounds for Virginia.

Virginia hosts No. 9 Villanova on Dec. 19.

Escaped Inmates Captured

Two escaped drug offenders who fled a Southern Illinois correctional facility didn’t enjoy their freedom long.

Jerrette Reed and Kevin Rivera were apprehended without incident in a field about one mile west of Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program just before 9:00 this morning.

They will be escorted back to the facility, fed, and given a medical examination before being transferred to a maximum security prison. Corrections officials first noticed them missing yesterday evening.

The Illinois State Police, the U.S. Marshalls, and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the search. An investigation is underway.

Governor Signs $3-Billion Spending Bill

The governor signed a measure to provide money to local governments, among other funds, and a leading Republican senator hopes the agreed measure is a sign of continued cooperation.

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Meanwhile Comptroller Leslie Munger says she will prioritize money for local governments and domestic violence shelters.

Congressman Davis Repsonds To President's Speech on ISIS

 width=There's a less than stellar review for President Obama's Oval Office speech on the ISIS threat from Congressman Rodney Davis.

The Taylorville Republican had hoped to hear of a stronger, more comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS. Davis says a greater dual approach aimed at destroying them abroad while protecting Americans at home needs to be pursued. He fears the President's lame duck status doesn't help matters.

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The House has passed legislation that Davis says is deisgned to prevent ISIS from infiltrating the Syrian and Iraqi refugee program. Last month, the House passed the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act to ensure comprehensive background checks are conducted on every Syrian and Iraqi refugee seeking admittance into the U.S.

Rep. Mitchell Says He's Sick of Deadlock

 width=Yesterday, appropriations were made by the Illinois legislature for money to finally be put into local governments in Illinois and one local lawmaker says it's about time.

State Representative Bill Mitchell says an agreement reached late Monday was already in place several weeks ago. He explains this bill puts money into local highway departments, 9-1-1 centers and domestic violence shelters.

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The Representative says the spending bill is progress but he says it is depressing that something that should have been done already is progress. Mitchell calls it positive the legislative leaders are meeting even though their meetings have not had much substance.

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According to Rep. Mitchell, Speaker Mike Madigan has "obstructed" progress in this whole process. He calls it absurd they require entities to pass a budget but the state legislature can't pass their own budget.

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Rep. Mitchell says the General Assembly has been irresponsible for far too long.

Clinton To Raise Levy Slightly; Reaction To Property Tax Freeze Will Wait

The Clinton City Council Monday night approved the levies for the upcoming fiscal year.

According to City Treasurer, Clint Lichtenwalter, the pension funds are the focus of the levy increase for this year. He says it's always been a focal point of their budgeting and they continue to exemplify that commitment to keeping those funds close to 100-percent.

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Lichtenwalter notes the EAV will see a slight increase and the tax rate will increase just above 4-percent.

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Indications among the Clinton City Council and Administration are a property tax freeze being discussed in Springfield is not going to happen. Clinton Mayor Roger Cyrulik says they don't have a lot of options until legislation is passed. City Administrator Tim Followell indicates they will wait until the next levy period to make a decision.

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Clinton Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds, says his hope would be for the legislature to allow them a little leverage to adjust the tax rate. He says right now, the Clinton levies are all but mandated by the state.

Watson Says He'll Retire If He Ever Reaches Wordl No. 1

 width=What would Bubba Watson do if he ever reached world number-one in the golf world?

He'd retire?

"(Winning the Hero World Challenge is) very big for my career personally, but I don't see it as 10 (wins)," said Watson on Sunday. "I need two, or nine, that's what it is. I still need two more still. But I will give you this though: If I ever become No. 1 in the world, ever somehow, I'm walking away. I'm going to walk away on top. But let's be honest, nobody here's voting on that, right? Everybody thinks I'm not going to do that."

Watson is pretty far away from being No. 1 despite only having three golfers in front of him. He'd have to go on a Jordan Spieth-like tear to start 2016 to sniff the top spot.

No. 7 Oklahoma Beats No. 9 'Nova

 width=The Oklahoma Sooners made a season-high 14 3-pointers, including four apiece from senior guards Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield, to cruise to a 78-55 victory over the Villanova Wildcats on Monday in the Pearl Harbor Invitational.

Cousins scored 19 points and Hield added 18 for Oklahoma (6-0), which never trailed.

Four players scored in double figures for Oklahoma. Ryan Spangler had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Dinjiyl Walker, a reserve, made three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points in 18 minutes. Jordan Woodward added 10 points for the Sooners.

Josh Hart, Phil Booth and Ryan Arcidiacono scored 10 points each for the Wildcats (7-1), who shot 32 percent from the field, including going 4 of 32 on 3-point attempts.

'Bama's Henry, Stanford's McCaffrey, Clemson QB Watson Heisman FInalists

 width=There will be three finalists for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded on Dec. 12 in New York City. Those three finalists for the 2015 Heisman Trophy are: Alabama RB Derrick Henry, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey.

There were just three finalists for the 2014 Heisman Trophy, as Oregon's Marcus Mariota won over Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon and Alabama WR Amari Cooper. In 2013, there were six finalists when Florida State's Jameis Winston won the award.

Derrick Henry led the nation this year with 1,986 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on 339 carries for Alabama.

Christian McCaffrey broke the NCAA's single-season all-purpose yards record, previously held by Barry Sanders, with 3,496 yards (including 1,847 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 319 carries).

Deshaun Watson led Clemson to an undefeated record, throwing for 3,512 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 69.2 percent of his passes. Watson also rushed for 887 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Quarterbacks have won the Heisman Trophy the past five years and 13 of the last 15. The last running back to win the Heisman was Alabama running back Mark Ingram.

>>LSU's Fournette Snubbed

When the Heisman Trophy finalists were announced on Monday night, LSU star running back Leonard Fournette was not one of them.

Only three players will head to New York City for the presentation on Saturday, and the early-season favorite for the award did not end up on the final list.

Fournette posted a very simple message on Twitter noting his disappointment in not being named a finalist.

Fournette bolted out of the gate to an incredible start to the season, but his production tailed off towards the end of the season as LSU struggled down the stretch. His 1,741 yards and 18 touchdowns were not enough to earn him a trip to New York, despite leading the country in rushing yards per game and playing two fewer games than Alabama star Derrick Henry.

 width=>>Texas Offers Offensive Coordinator Job To TCU's Sonny Cumbie

TCU co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie has met with Texas coach Charlie Strong, who offered Cumbie the Longhorns' offensive coordinator position, a source tells CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd.

The Longhorns had their offensive issues this season. Then-coordinator Shawn Watson was demoted after the season's second game. Receivers coach Jay Norvell was elevated to coordinator for the final 10 games of the season.

Cumbie just completed his second year helping coordinate a TCU offense that took off after he and Doug Meacham were hired by coach Gary Patterson.

HornsDigest.com previously reported the Strong-Cumbie interview earlier Monday.

Cumbie, 34, is a former Texas Tech quarterback. In his two seasons, TCU has finished fifth and third nationally in total offense. Quarterback Trevone Boykin had become a Heisman Trophy frontrunner at TCU until suffering an injury.

Late FG Lifts Cowboys Past Ridskins; Rams Fire OC

All in all, it was an ugly game, devoid of any style points or many scoreboard points until the final 1 1/2 minutes. Perhaps fittingly, a fumbled punt return by Washington's DeSean Jackson deep in his own territory led to Dallas' only touchdown.

And yet, none of that mattered to Dallas, really, because by beating Washington 19-16 on Dan Bailey's 54-yard field goal with 9 seconds left Monday night, the Cowboys somehow keep themselves in the thick of the playoff chase in the woeful NFC East.

The last-place Cowboys (4-8) won for the first time this season without quarterback Tony Romo and are only one game behind the Redskins, Giants and Eagles, who are all 5-7.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins went 22 for 31 for 219 yards, the one TD and zero interceptions.

Cowboys QB Matt Cassel finished 16 for 29 for 222 yards, with several of his throws landing nowhere near teammates.

Dez Bryant finished with three receptions for 62 yards, including a diving 42-yard grab that led to a field goal.

The teams combined for 16 penalties for 144 yards.


>>Rams Fire OC

The Rams offense has been one of the worst ones in the NFL all season and now, offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti has paid the price.

The team announced on Monday that Cignetti has been fired after just 10 months on the job.

Cignetti was hired by Fisher in 2012 to serve as the Rams quarterbacks coach. After three years at that position, Cignetti was promoted to offensive coordinator in February.

The promotion turned out to be a disaster for Cignetti, who basically had to somehow figure out a way to devise an offense that could work with either Nick Foles or Case Keenum at quarterback. That didn't happen though, which has been evident in the Rams' offensive struggles.

The offense has been especially ugly during the Rams' current five-game losing streak.

Including Sunday's 27-3 loss to Arizona, the Rams have only averaged 10.3 points and 275 yards per game over the past five weeks. Overall, the Rams offense ranks 31st in the NFL, ahead of only the 49ers.

>>Johnny Manziel To Start This Weekend

Three weeks after Johnny Manziel was named the Cleveland Browns' starter for the remainder of the season and two weeks after he was demoted due to his off-field behavior (without even making a start in between those two events), it looks like he may get another shot after all.

According to a report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen (via Adam Schefter), Manziel will get the start in Cleveland's next game, against the San Francisco 49ers.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora had previously reported ownership wants to see Manziel start and the coaching staff does not, ownership would eventually get its way at some point this season.

Cubs Bryant, Philadelphia's Franco File Service-Time Grievance; Bringin Back Cahill

Kris Bryant of the Cubs and Maikel Franco of the Phillies have filed grievances with Major League Baseball, accusing their respective teams of manipulating their promotions to the majors in order to delay free agency, which would cost both men millions of dollars.

That's the report of Yahoo's Jeff Passan on Monday during the first day of baseball's Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

 width=In terms of service time, a full major-league season lasts 172 days. Bryant put in 171 days as a rookie; Franco had 170.

It's hard to prove either way, but the MLBPA has been planning on challenging how Bryant and Franco (and perhaps others) have been treated, because missing the cutoff point means missing free agency by an entire year. That's big money, especially for the great players. Bryant unanimously won NL Rookie of the Year in 2015 and he figures to profit greatly someday.

>>Cubs Bring Back Cahill

Free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill enjoyed great success in his short time as a Cubs reliever, and now he'll stay put. He's returning to the Cubs, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has confirmed.

For Cahill, 2015 was a tale of two different seasons. He was terrible with the Braves and released in June. Two months later, the Cubs grabbed him and he enjoyed great success, posting a 2.12 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 22 strikeouts against five walks in 17 innings. He still relied heavily on his sinker -- inducing lots of ground balls -- but he missed more bats thanks in part to integrating more use of his change and curve.

The Cubs have Hector Rondon set as closer with Pedro Strop and Justin Grimm likely to remain in setup roles in some capacity and they've also been connected to relievers in trade rumors, so Cahill will slot as a depth reliever instead of a late-inning guy.

ESPN.com was first to report the deal.

>>Reds' Chapman Dealt, Then Reports of Domestic Violence Come Out

According to a police report obtained by Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan and Tim Brown, Reds All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman in an October incident fired a gun multiple times in his garage and allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. Passan and Brown write:

No arrests were made after the incident, in which more than a dozen police officers were dispatched to Chapman's home in Davie, Fla., around 11 p.m. on Oct. 30. Chapman's girlfriend exited the house and hid in bushes following the argument that stemmed from something she found on Chapman's cellphone, according to the police report.

CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman added: Chapman attorney Jay reisinger: "I reviewed the facts as they are stated, and I deny the facts on behalf of Aroldis."

On Monday, the Reds were thought to have initially agreed to trade Chapman, 27, to the Dodgers in exchange for prospects. However, the deal later hit a snag of some sort. According to Passan and Brown, that this police report came to light is indeed what held up the trade. As for as resolving any trade, it could be a while.

In August, MLB and the MLBPA announced that commissioner Rob Manfred would be empowered to discipline players for incidents of domestic abuse.

Suns Rally Past Bulls

 width=Mirza Teletovic scored 21 points, including a follow basket with 0.3 seconds left, to cap the Phoenix Suns' furious fourth-quarter rally in a 103-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Brandon Knight had 17 of his 21 points in the fourth as the Suns came back from 16 down after three quarters to snap a four-game skid. Phoenix outscored Chicago 42-24 in the final period.

Pau Gasol scored 22 points to lead the Bulls, Jimmy Butler added 19 and Derrick Rose 14.

Chicago led most of the way and its advantage grew to 77-61 entering the fourth quarter as Phoenix was held to 10 points on 4 of 20 shooting in the third.

The Suns' offense, though, came to life at the start of the final quarter.

>>LeBron Signs Lifetime Deal With Nike

For the rest of his life, LeBron James will be wearing Nike.

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, James signed a lifetime deal with Nike on Monday. Very few athletes get lifetime deals with a sneaker company (Allen Iverson has one with Reebok) and James is the first athlete to ever sign a lifetime deal with Nike.

Rovell says quote- "Nike has signed Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James to a lifetime deal in what one source familiar with the negotiations said is the largest single athlete guarantee in company history.

A company spokesperson would not say how much Nike paid. It is believed to be the first lifetime deal in the shoe and apparel company's 44-year history.

A source close to the deal told ESPN that it easily surpasses the 10-year, $300 million deal Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant signed with the world's largest shoe and apparel brand last summer."

James has been with Nike since 2003, signing a deal with the company before he was even drafted by the Cavs. He then signed a nine-year extension with Nike in 2010.

FEMA Raves About Counter-Terrorism Drill

A year of preparation culminated late in November as emergency responding agencies across central Illinois converged on DeWitt County at the Nuclear Power Plant for a counter-terrorism drill.

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Teresa Barnett, the DeWitt County EMA Director explained the drill was in coordination with FEMA and was basically a mock-disaster at the power plant.

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According to Barnett, in the post-drill evaluation, FEMA was raving about the performance. She indicates the mock-disaster coincided with an actual incident of an oil spill, which emergency responders had to go to.

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The drill resulted in a perfect score for DeWitt County and surrounding agencies. Barnett says she's been doing drills like these for many years and has never seen a perfect score. She calls it a "stellar year".

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Barnett indicates the perfect score was more than just a pat on the back for the emergency services of the County and area. She says if they could not demonstrate to FEMA, they could adaquately protect the power plant, there was a possibility the plant could shut down for that reason.

Fast Start Propels Blue Ridge Past Heyworth

The Blue Ridge Knights raced out to a 13-0 advantage and led 28-9 after the first period and then held on late to beat Heyworth 74-62 Tuesday night in the Blue Ridge home opener and the Heart of Illinois Conference opener.

 width=Trailing by 19 late in the game then went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 9 with 1:21 to play but that was as close as the Hornets would get after their first big bucket.

Isaac Trotter led four Blue Ridge seniors in double figures with 20. Dylan Lytel had 15, Chase Zimmerman had 14 and Lindi Balazi added 10.

Heyworth sophomore Tate Eller had 16 points in the second quarter and finished with 22. Sophomore Jeremy Witten added 12.

Blue Ridge is 4-2 and 1-0 in the Heart of Illinois.

Heyworth drops to 2-4 and 0-1 in HOI play.  

Sages Race Past Auburn

 width=The Monticello Sages scored 20 unanswered points to open a blowout 87-42 win over Auburn in non-conference boys basketball action Tuesday night.

Zach Fisher led the Sages with 32 points on 12-18 shooting.

Luke Stokowski contributed 14 points and five boards off the bench.

Noah Freemon added 10 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Sages scored the most points in a contest since 2009’s Holiday Hoopla.

The Sages dominated the paint in this one with a 48-20 advantage and forced 29 turnovers leading to 36 points.

The Sages are off to a 3-0 start this season and are off until next Friday when they travel to Sullivan. 

Scores in boys basketball from Tuesday:

Rantoul 81
Clinton 58

Shelbyville 45
Pana 46

Okaw Valley 85
Sullivan 86

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 18
Tuscola 47


Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments Announced For 2016

As we begin to look ahead to next year, Social Security has announced their new cost of living adjustments for the upcoming year.

Jack Myers with Social Security says next year there will not be an adjustment in their cost of living. He says it is based off of inflation that is gauged by the consumer price index.

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Myers indicates anyone receiving social security or Medicare Part B, your premiums are not going to increase. He explains there are some cases where premiums could increase.

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Myers feels most people utilizing social security would like to see their cost of living increase, however, he says, you can also view it as there are the other positive aspects to not having inflation across the country.

State Budget Impacting Clinton High School Students

 width=Administrators at Clinton High School are scrambling to provide their students with access to necessary college entrance exams.

In the past, the State of Illinois has provided the necessary funds for the ACT college entrance exams, however, this year that may change. Principal Jerry Wayne indicates because of the budget mess, those funds aren't available, and so too may be the ACTs.

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Wayne says this change is something that no one has experienced before. He explains it will directly effect parents of the students, but Wayne hopes to still be able to provide the tests for his kids.

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According to Wayne, he has thought about reaching out to a group like the Educational Foundation for assistance. He says the CCEF is tremendous to them and the district but he realizes there is only a certain amount of funds to go around and wants to see what comes of the opportunity he has pursued.

College Football Playoff Matchups Set

Undefeated at 13-0, Clemson claimed the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff and celebrated their tremendous season with 20,000 fans on Sunday afternoon with a pizza party at Tiger Stadium, as promised by coach Dabo Swinney.

Alabama (12-1) used a dominant 29-15 win in the SEC Championship Game over Florida to clinch the No. 2 spot in the CFP Rankings, while Michigan State (12-1) jumped up to No. 3 after taking down previously undefeated Iowa with a 22-play, 9-minute game-winning drive in the Big Ten Championship Game.

 width=Oklahoma (11-1), which was watching from Norman as the Big 12 champion (the conference does not hold a title game), moved down one spot to No. 4, with the Spartans jumping ahead of them due to their extra game and impressive strength of schedule.

>>Ohio State, Notre Dame Matchup Highlights New Years Day Games

Following the announcement of the four College Football Playoff teams on Sunday, the CFP Selection Committee released its final top 25 rankings of the season, along with its selections for the New Year's Six bowl games.

Leading the way on Jan. 1 -- the day after the CFP semifinals -- are two tremendous top-10 contests: No. 5 Iowa and No. 6 Stanford in the Rose Bowl, No. 7 Ohio State and No. 8 Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

In the Peach Bowl, No. 9 Florida State faces AAC champion Houston, which at No. 18 in the rankings was the highest-rated champion of one of the Group of Five conferences. No. 5 Iowa will face No. 6 Stanford in the Rose Bowl, while No. 12 Ole Miss will take on No. 16 Oklahoma State in the Sugar Bowl.

Warriors Stay Perfect, Beat Nets

 width=Steph Curry scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter and the Warriors ran their NBA-record start to 22-0 by beating Brooklyn 114-98 on Sunday night.

Draymond Green added 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, who won their 26th in a row overall in the regular season, one behind the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second-longest streak in NBA history.

Down 75-70 with 3:10 left in the third, the Warriors were soon ahead 96-85 early in the fourth.

Thaddeus Young had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Brook Lopez scored 18 for the Nets, who had their four-game home winning streak snapped.

Kane Continues Points Streak, Leads Blackhawks Past Jets

 width=Teuvo Teravainen scored from a sharp angle 21 seconds into the third period to snap a tie, and Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Sunday to end a three-game losing streak.

Chicago right wing Patrick Kane assisted on Artemi Panarin's empty-net goal with 1:46 left to extend his point streak to 22 games, breaking Bobby Hull's team record. Kane has a goal or assist in 25 of the Blackhawks' 27 games this season.

Teravainen broke a 10-game goal drought and connected for the first time in a month when he fooled Michael Hutchinson with a quick shot from the right circle. The puck struck Hutchinson, then slipped in just inside the right post on the short side.

Winnipeg's Chris Thorburn had a goal that was awarded after a delayed video review.

Bears, Rams Lose

Blaine Gabbert threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith in overtime after running for the tying TD late in regulation, lifting the struggling San Francisco 49ers to a 26-20 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

 width=The Bears (5-7) had just gone three-and-out after forcing a punt by San Francisco to start the extra period.

On the first play of the 49ers' second possession, Gabbert found a wide-open Smith along the left sideline, giving San Francisco (4-8) a surprising win over a team that had jumped into playoff contention.

All that happened after a wild finish in regulation.

The Bears took a 20-13 lead on Ka'Deem Carey's 4-yard run with 3:32 left, only to let it disappear and then blow a chance to win the game as time expired.

They let Gabbert scramble untouched through the middle for a 44-yard touchdown with 1:42 left.

>>Cardinals Take Off in Second Half, Beat Rams

Rookie David Johnson ran for 99 yards and scored a touchdown in his first career start, helping pave the way for a decisive 27-3 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

 width=Johnson caught one of Palmer's two TD passes as Arizona (10-2) rolled up 524 yards in its sixth straight win. Fellow fill-in Kerwynn Williams scored his first career TD on a 35-yard run, and the Cardinals had 175 yards rushing. They remain three games ahead of the Seahawks in the NFC West.

Palmer was 26 of 40 for 356 yards with no interceptions and - unlike the previous three games in the streak - he did not need to lead a late scoring drive to win. Arizona led 10-0 at the half and never let the Rams into the game.

Larry Fitzgerald made his 1,000th reception and topped 1,000 yards receiving for the seventh time. The Cardinals (10-2) have won seven of eight since losing 24-22 at home to St. Louis in Week 4.

At 32 years, 97 days, Fitzgerald is the youngest player to reach 1,000 catches and is tied for 10th on the career list with Hines Ward. He caught eight passes for 55 yards.

The Rams (4-8) have lost five in a row and have been outscored 58-10 the last two.

CBB: Illinois, Illinois State Win Saturday

 width=Kendrick Nunn scored 27 points and Michael Finke added 24 to help Illinois survive Western Carolina Saturday, 80-68.

Illinois (4-5) pulled away late. But the game was tied as late as the 7:58 mark in the second half when Elijah Pughsley hit a 3-pointer to make the score 59-59.

But Illinois answered with a pair of baskets by Nunn. The second was a powerful dunk that gave Illinois a 63-59 edge with 7:18 left. Western Carolina never got any closer.

While Finke and Nunn did most of the scoring for Illinois their teammates were quiet. The rest of the Illini combined for 29 points.

Mike Brown led Western Carolina (3-5) with 23 points. Pughsley finished with 15.

>>UAB Uses Second Half Burst To Escape Illinois State

Chris Cokley scored 20 points, Dirk Williams added 16 points off the bench and Alabama-Birmingham rode a strong second half to a 74-61 win over Illinois State on Saturday night.

 width=The Blazers (5-3) trailed by four, 29-27 in the final minute of the first half. Williams knocked down a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to cut the deficit to a point.

Cokley hit the first four field goals as UAB traded baskets to start the second half. William Lee put the Blazers in front for good with a 3-point play with 12:52 left in the game to start a 19-2 run.

UAB finished shooting 50 percent from the field (28 of 56), including 9 of 22 (40.9 percent) from beyond the arc.

DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 18 points and made 8 of 20 shots from deep to lead Illinois State (3-5).

Clinton Police Weekend Report








DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 21

Paper Services: 5

Warrants: 0

Karina Barraza, 25, Aurora was Arrested and Charged with Manufacture/ Delivery 1-15 Grams Cocaine/ Analog, DUI Any Amount of Drug, Driving/ Never Issued a License, Obstruct Justice/ Induce Witness and Possess Drug Paraphernalia. Barraza unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Sheila Russell, 38, Clinton was issued Citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Expired Registration. Russell was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Gregory Rubenacker, 36, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 81 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Rubenacker was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

Andrew Mehrkens, 21, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone. Mehrkens was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jeffrey Salchenberger, 29, Champaign was issued a Citation for Disobey Stop Sign. Salchenberger was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Alexa Meister, 20, Mt. Pulaski was issued Citations for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Meister was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.




Critics Question Illinois' Policy of Civil Forfeiture

More than $50 million in civil, criminal and asset forfeitures has been collected by the United States Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois in fiscal year 2015.

That’s according to the office which says $19.4 million was collected from criminal actions, $19.1 million in asset forfeiture actions and over $11.5 million in civil actions. However critics say civil forfeiture in Illinois needs reformed.

[audio:12071580616-forfeit.mp3] [/audio]

Hunters Urged To Provide Samples For Deer Disease Monitoring

Deer hunters statewide are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease from adult deer they harvest.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources lists locations serving as CWD sampling stations on its website. The stations are taking samples from entire deer or deer heads through Jan. 17.

The sampling is part of a program to monitor and reduce spread of the disease.

Deer that contract chronic wasting disease become emaciated and uncoordinated and eventually lose weight and die. But some infected deer may not show signs of the illness for 18 months after they've been infected.

The first case was reported in Illinois in 2002 and state wildlife officials have since sampled tens of thousands of deer, finding more than 500 cases.

Prison Officials Say Two Inmantes Escape in Southern Illinois

State prison officials say two inmates incarcerated on drug charges have escaped a facility in southern Illinois.

A statement from an Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman says staff at the Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program noticed 25-year-old Jerrette Reed and 20-year-old Kevin Rivera missing at 5:50 p.m. Sunday.

Reed is serving a three-year sentence on meth-related charges out of Randolph County. Rivera is serving a five-year sentence for the manufacture and delivery of cocaine out of Cook County.

Authorities are searching for the men, who were last seen wearing orange T-shirts and blue pants.

Residents were advised to use caution and contact authorities if they notice suspicious activity.

The facility is located near the Kentucky border in Pope County.

CFB: 2nd-seed Illinois State ousts Western Illinois 36-19

 width=Tre Roberson scored his second rushing touchdown to kick off the fourth quarter as No. 2 seed Illinois State used three late scores to sweep past Western Illinois 36-19 in the second round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday.

Illinois State (10-2) advances to meet Richmond (9-3) in the quarterfinals Dec. 12.

The Red Birds led 7-6 at halftime, fell behind 12-7 in the third quarter but outscored Western Illinois (7-6) 21-7 in the fourth.

Roberson, who passed for two TDs, scored on a 5-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter and opened the fourth with a 32-yard rushing TD. After the Leathernecks pulled to 22-19, Anthony Warrum scored on a 21-yard pass from Roberson, and Marshaun Coprich capped the scoring with a 72-yard run up the right sideline.

Illinois State racked up 350 yards on the ground. Coprich led with 217 yards and two scores. Roberson rushed for 111 and passed for 132.

Sen. Durbin Seeks Limits on Gun Trafficking

Senator Dick Durbin is talking about closing loopholes that open the door for individuals on the federal terrorist watchlist to acquire firearms and explosives.
He also has joined Senator Mark Kirk in introducing a bill that would make gun trafficking a federal crime. He says whether it's terrorism or terror on the streets of Chicago, all too often the guns being used are acquired out of state, especially at gun shows.

[audio:12061575902-DurbinGun1.MP3] [/audio]

Sen. Durbin says those out of state guns are more likely to show up in the highest crime areas.

[audio:12061575903-DurbinGun2.MP3] [/audio]

Earlier this year, Durbin introduced the Crime Gun Tracing Act , legislation that encourages law enforcement agencies to take full advantage of crime gun tracing resources offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Lincoln Museum To Mark Anniversary of End of Slavery

150 years ago this weekend, the era of slavery came to a close in America with the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

That anniversary is not lost on the powers that be at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Spokesman Chris Wills says the Springfield museum will bring a key historic document out of storage for the occasion.

[audio:12061580055-Willsslave1.mp3] [/audio]

Wills says museum visitors will also have a chance to see the film that profiled the legislative battle that paved the way for America to break the chains of slavery.

[audio:12061580054-Willslave2.mp3] [/audio]

The Lincoln Presidential Library copy of the amendment is considered rare and fragile. It's signed by more than 100 lawmakers who voted for it, in addition to Lincoln. It will be on display through Dec. 28.

Sages Defense Powers Them Past Bismarck-Henning Friday

 width=The Monticello Sages used a strong defensive effort to dominate Bismarck-Henning Friday night, 59-32.

Bismarck-Henning was held to single digit scoring in three of four quarters and the Sages pulled away in the fourth quarter scoring 18 points off 17 turnovers.

Zach Fisher led the Sages with 17 points. Noah Freemon finished with 12.

Brandon Wildman had 8 points and six rebounds while Luke Stokowski had nine points off the bench.

The Sages are 2-0 and host Auburn Tuesday. 

Rauner signs bill to reduce unemployment insurance costs

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation aimed at lowering the cost of unemployment insurance.

The bill signed Friday was a compromise between business groups and labor unions.

It tightens the definition of "misconduct" used to disqualify laid-off workers from receiving unemployment benefits. Under current law misconduct must be shown to be "willful and deliberate."

The new law would deny benefits in additional cases, such as if someone provides false information on an employment application or damages an employer's property through gross negligence.

The measure also eliminates a "Social Security offset," a reduction in unemployment benefits for people in Illinois who receive Social Security.

The Legislature unanimously approved the plan.

Most of the new law takes effect immediately. Some provisions take effect Jan. 3.

The bill is HB1285.

Monday Final Day For Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Local senior citizen advocates are reminding seniors Monday is the final day to enroll or adjust your Medicare Part D coverage.

Sissy Leggett is the Executive Director of the DeWitt County Human Resource Center. She also notes, Health Alliance Health plans will be ending.

[audio:12051595823-12515seniorenroll.mp3] [/audio]

Leggett says their PATH Outreach Services representative, Rebecca Wheat, is available to talk with anyone with questions.

To talk to Rebecca, contact her at 217-935-9411.

Committee Formed To Find New University of Illinois Athletic Director

The eight-member committee that has started searching for a new University of Illinois athletic director includes a professor, a coach and a university athlete.

Barbara Wilson is the interim chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus. She said Friday that she wants to hire someone to "restore the athletics program to a position of pride."

She did not say how soon the university hopes to have a replacement for Mike Thomas, who was fired in November after a series of complaints from athletes over treatment by coaches.

The committee includes soccer coach Janet Rayfield. A former soccer player has sued the university alleging she was improperly cleared to play after concussions.

The committee also includes animal sciences professor Matt Wheeler and softball player Nicole Evans.

A search firm may also be used.

Highway Funding Bill Passes Congress

 width=Hundreds of billions of dollars is slated to come to transportation funding around the county.

The US House passed a $305 billion bill, the FAST Act, to fund transportation projects around the nation. Illinois will get $7.5 billion over the next 5 years. The state also will pick up $3 billion for transit funding. Congressman Rodney Davis a Republican from the 13th District says the bill was passed without earmarks leaving an element of local control.

[audio:12041571948-DAVIS1.MP3] [/audio]

80 percent of state’s highway funding comes from the federal government. The bill is headed to the President’s desk for approval.

Property Tax Freeze Impacting Schools Budgeting

A focal point of Governor Bruce Rauner's turnaround agenda is a proposed property tax freeze.

As the possibility of a freeze looms on the horizon, area school leaders are indicating it is impacting how they are budgeting. Susan Wilson is the Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools and explains because of that possibility, they are increasing their levy heading into 2016.

[audio:12041571935-12415brlevy1.mp3] [/audio]

A property tax freeze proposal is for two years however there is growing speculation among entities across the state the freeze would ultimately be made permanent. Wilson indicates, if that is the case, they need to think long term about their levies for future budgets

[audio:12041571936-12415brlevy2.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson believes a tax freeze sounds good, especially for lawmakers to talk about with their home constituencies, however, she points out, it would have a reverse effect, and believes the blame would come back on the governing entities.

[audio:12041571938-12415brlevy3.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson says when Springfield makes claims of a tax freeze, that claim can be misleading because of the reaction from school boards and government entities across the state.

Paul Casey, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson Among Leaders in Nassau

 width=Paul Casey is off to a good start in his final chance to win a tournament this year.

Casey birdied the final hole at Albany Golf Club on Thursday for a 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the first-round lead with Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson in the Hero World Challenge.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one with a 6-iron on the second hole and finally added a birdie on a par 5 to join a large group at 67 that included Bubba Watson and Adam Scott, who lives at Albany and still holds -- barely -- the course record of 65.

Casey is among five players in this field of top-50 players who has yet to win this year.

He wasn't alone. Walker made quick strides with a new move in his swing and produced eight birdies, six of them in an eight-hole stretch on the back nine.

Johnson recovered from a slow start that could have been worse. He originally was penalized one shot for marking his ball off the green at the par-5 third, only for the penalty to be rescinded when officials determined it was too difficult on some holes to determine where the putting surface ended.

Dustin Johnson might have had the largest gallery when he added his coach, a social media consultant, his wife, her brothers and their girlfriends. He was happy just to be playing after he cut his right heel coming out of the water from diving on Tuesday.

He played the opening round in tennis shoes and managed just fine with a 68.

Anirban Lahiri of India, playing on a sponsor exemption had a 69 that included a bogey on the par-5 ninth when he hit a sand wedge out of the dunes that went over the green and over some 25 yards of water near the 18th fairway.

UCLA Upsets Top Ranked Kentucky

 width=The UCLA Bruins came out punching and landed a knockout blow, upsetting the to ranked Kentucky Wildcats 87-77 on Thursday night for their first victory over a No. 1 team since 2003.

Thomas Welsh led five Bruins in double figures with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton added 15 points each, Tony Parker had 11 and Aaron Holiday 10 for the Bruins (5-3), who led all but 30 seconds of the game and shot 53 percent from the field.

Isaiah Briscoe led Kentucky (7-1) with 20 points. Jamal Murray added 17 and Derek Willis 11.

The Wildcats had five players in foul trouble, including Alex Poythress, who fouled out with four points with under 10 minutes left. They lost a regular-season game for the first time since March 8, 2014, at Florida.

Kentucky shot its worst of the season at 38 percent, and never made a big run.

The Wildcats lost starting forward Marcus Lee, who sustained a head injury in the first half and didn't return.

Lillard, Trailblazers Blast Pacers; Gasol To Opt Out of Contract?

 width=Damian Lillard had 26 points and backcourt partner CJ McCollum added 21, and Portland snapped Indiana's six-game winning streak with a 123-111 victory Thursday night.

Mason Plumlee added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who had a season-high 18 3-pointers in their seventh straight victory at home against the Pacers. Allen Crabbe had a career-high 18 points, sparking Portland off the bench with 11 points in the fourth quarter alone.

C.J. Miles had 27 points, including eight 3-pointers, for the Pacers. Indiana was playing the second of a back-to-back after beating the Clippers 103-91 in Los Angeles a night earlier.

After the Blazers led by as many as 11 points in the third, the Pacers narrowed it to 105-103 midway through the final quarter. Lillard and Crabbe hit consecutive 3s for Portland, but Miles hit his own to close the gap to 111-107.

Plumlee's dunk extended Portland's lead to 120-111 and Al-Farouq Aminu hit a 3 for the final margin.

Paul George hit just four of 17 from the floor for 11 points for Indiana, with nine missed 3-point attempts. He had 30 or more points in each of his previous four games.

 width=>>Bulls' Gasol To Likely Opt Out After Season

Pau Gasol hasn't fit like a glove under Fred Hoiberg's system. It has been a little awkward and he has grumbled about it but he has gotten it going lately. The Bulls are winning, too. However, his future in Chicago is far from certain. Gasol has a player option next year to stay with the Bulls, but it seems he's going to explore free agency instead.

According to CSNChicago.com, Gasol said Wednesday it's "very likely" he'll opt out of contract this summer to test the market.

He added "“As long as I keep playing like this, I know I'll have some options.”

Gasol is averaging 14.4 points and 10.8 rebounds this season, shooting 51 percent from the field.

Overtime Goal Lifts Ottawa Past Blackhawks

 width=Mike Hoffman scored his second goal of the game 30 seconds into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone also scored for the Senators, and Craig Anderson - making his ninth straight start - stopped 35 shots.

Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and two assists for Chicago, and Artem Anisimov had a goal and an assist. Corey Crawford made 23 saves.

Kane tied Bobby Hull's franchise record 21-game point streak, set in 1971-72.

Packers Storm Back For Controversial Win Over Lions; Rams, Bears At Home Sunday

Aaron Rodgers took the shotgun snap on an untimed down with no time left, shuffled to his left, slipped a sack, rolled right and heaved a pass that seemed as high as it was long.

Richard Rodgers, drifting toward the end zone while teammates and opponents crowded behind him, leaped and made the catch on the 61-yard play to give the Green Bay Packers a stunning 27-23 victory over the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.

 width=The Packers got one more shot to win after Detroit defensive end Devin Taylor was called for grabbing Aaron Rodgers' facemask on a tackle on what would've been the last play.

The Packers (8-4) had lost four of five.

Matthew Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson on his second touchdown pass of the first quarter to help Detroit build a 20-point lead that it couldn't keep.

Aaron Rodgers scored on a 17-yard run with 3:04 left, pulling the Packers within two points.

Stafford connected with TJ Jones to convert a third-and-12 from the Detroit 18 after Green Bay called its final timeout with 2:54 to go. The Lions needed one more first down to seal the victory, but Green Bay forced them to punt and got the ball back on the 21 with 23 seconds left.

Following two incompletions, including one in which Detroit appeared to get away with pass interference, Aaron Rodgers threw a pass to James Jones, who lateraled it to Richard Rodgers, who tossed it back to the quarterback with no one behind him to lateral it again to keep the play alive.

But Taylor grabbed Aaron Rodgers' facemask, giving the Packers another play.

The Packers scored their first points with 5:44 left in the third when James Starks fumbled and Randall Cobb recovered it in the end zone.

Aaron Rodgers finished 24 of 36 for 289 yards with two TDs and an interception.

Stafford was 23 of 35 for 220 yards and two scores. He also lost a fumble.

Detroit went ahead 17-0 after its first three drives and capped the opening possession of the third quarter with a field goal to go ahead 20-0.

>>Bears Host 'Niners Sunday

If the Chicago Bears are to reach .500 for the first time in more than a year, they must find a way to halt their struggles at home.

 width=A visit from the lowly San Francisco 49ers should help.

Looking to continue their second-half surge, the Bears try to keep the 49ers winless on the road Sunday.

Chicago (5-6) has won three of four but each victory came on the road. The Bears have dropped 11 of their last 14 at home and are 1-4 this season at Soldier Field, where they'll play three of the final five. They lost their last two there to Minnesota and Denver by a combined five points.

San Francisco (3-8) has been outscored 176-71 while going 0-5 away from home for the first time since winning only its road finale in 2005.

Running back Carlos Hyde appears likely to miss a fifth straight game with a stress fracture in his foot, meaning ex-Bear Shaun Draughn could again be the featured back. Draughn has averaged 3.4 yards per carry while gaining 146 in starting the last three games.

Teammate Blaine Gabbert has completed 65.3 percent of his passes with four TDs and three interceptions in three games since taking over for Colin Kaepernick.

Defensively, San Francisco has held two of its last three opponents to fewer than 20 points and limited the Cardinals to 337 total yards in last Sunday's 19-13 defeat. However, the 49ers haven't forced a turnover in the last three contests and matched a season high with 13 penalties against Arizona.

They'll try to get after Chicago's Jay Cutler, who posts a career-high 92.5 passer rating and has thrown one INT in the last three games.

Even if tight end Martellus Bennett returns from missing last week's contest with sore ribs, Cutler should still look the way of Zach Miller. Bennett's backup has four TDs in the last four games.

>>Rams Host Cardinals Sunday

NFC West rivals are headed in opposite directions, with the Cardinals winners of five straight and the Rams losers of four in a row heading into Sunday's matchup in St. Louis.

 width=Arizona (9-2) can match a six-game run from last season but won't have Chris Johnson available after the club's leading rusher was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The Cardinals haven't disclosed the injury, though reports indicate Johnson fractured part of his tibia in last Sunday's 19-13 win at San Francisco. He can't return until the Super Bowl.

That leaves third-round pick David Johnson as the starter. He has 139 yards rushing, four touchdowns on the ground and three through the air but has fumbled a total of three times.

St. Louis (4-7) is enduring its longest losing streak since dropping the final seven games of a 2-14 campaign in 2011 - the year before Jeff Fisher was hired. This slide has put Fisher's job in jeopardy, though he isn't concerned.

Fisher said he hopes Case Keenum can return from a one-game absence due to a concussion. Nick Foles was back as the starter in last Sunday's 31-7 loss at Cincinnati one game after losing the starting job.

Keenum is 2-9 as a starter.

>>Coldplay Announced As Super Bowl Halftime Entertainment

Super Bowl 50's halftime show has been booked.

During halftime of Thursday night's game between the Packers and Lions, CBS Sports' Jim Nantz announced that Coldplay will perform at Super Bowl 50, which is scheduled to be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Feb. 7.

Since forming in 1996, Coldplay has won seven Grammy Awards and is best known for songs like Yellow, Fix You and Viva La Vida. The British rock band's seventh studio album, A Head Full of Dreams, will be released on Friday.

Illinois State, Western Illinois Meet in FCS Playoffs

 width=No. 2 seed Illinois State (9-2, 7-1 MVFC) will face off against a familiar foe in the second round of the FCS playoffs, when they host MVFC and in-state rival Western Illinois for the second time this season at Hancock Stadium.

WIU capped off the regular season with a thrilling 30-24 win over No. 5 South Dakota State to finish the season 6-5. That was good enough to get the Leathernecks into the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

The Leathernecks had to go on the road in the first round to face Pioneer League champion Dayton and came away with a 24-7 win to advance to the second round to face Illinois State. Nikko Watson rushed for a game-high 152 yards on 34 attempts, while redshirt freshman Pete Swenson recorded four sacks, as Western limited Dayton to just 25 yards in the second half.

 width=ISU was able to out-battle WIU by taking advantage of a 65-yard touchdown from Tre Roberson to Anthony Warrum in the third quarter. The long pass knotted the score up at 28-28, just a few plays after Western Illinois took its first lead of the game. Warrum's six points were the first of 27 unanswered points for the 'Birds in the second half as they pulled away for a 48-28 win over their in-state rivals.

Saturday's game is a 1 pm kickoff and can be seen on ESPN 3.

Lady Maroons Pound Shelbyville

 width=The Clinton Lady Maroons basketball team dominated Shelbyville from start to finish in a 64-21 win in the opener Central Illinois Conference play Thursday from Shelbyville.

Alyssa Saulsbery led Clinton with 14 points. Lexi Peterson and Madelyn Stevens added eight points apiece and Tori Wilson, Madi Filkin, and Faythe Newberry added seven points.

The Lady Maroons improve to 5-3 on the year and go to 1-0 in CIC play.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Dec. 4

Jail Population: 23

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 0

Jamie Taylor, 29, Decatur was Arrested for Driving While License Revoked. He was issued Citations for Speeding 80 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone, Driving While License Revoked and Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Taylor posted the necessary bond and was released.

Armani Alejandre, 21, Berwyn was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Alejandre was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Howard Nolden, 40, Springfield was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Nolden was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Alexia Ware, 24, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Ware was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Charles Provenzano, 42, West Chicago was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Probenzano was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

James Wheeler, 30, Decatur was arrested and charged with Possess Cannabis <2.5 Grams. Wheeler posted the necessary bond and was released.



Committee Formed To Find New University of Illinois Athletic Director

 width=The eight-member committee that has started searching for a new University of Illinois athletic director includes a professor, a coach and a university athlete.

Barbara Wilson is the interim chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus. She said Friday that she wants to hire someone to "restore the athletics program to a position of pride."

She did not say how soon the university hopes to have a replacement for Mike Thomas, who was fired in November after a series of complaints from athletes over treatment by coaches.

The committee includes soccer coach Janet Rayfield. A former soccer player has sued the university alleging she was improperly cleared to play after concussions.

The committee also includes animal sciences professor Matt Wheeler and softball player Nicole Evans.

A search firm may also be used.

Local Business Owner Nominated For Special Insurance Board Position

 width=Local business owner Jay Peterson, of Peterson Insurance in Clinton, has been nominated to the Independent Insurance Agents Regional Board.

Peterson says the board serves a liason between the board and it's members. He was selected by his peers in a roughly 13 county area.

[audio:12041521158-12515petersonboard1.mp3] [/audio]

Peterson says it means a lot to be selected by his peers in central Illinois.

[audio:12041521200-12515petersonboard2.mp3] [/audio]

The term is a two year term for Peterson and indicates he's undecided if he'll seek another term after the expiration of this one.

Maroons Fall to Maroa-Forsyth

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans by a score of 72 to 58 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by Sr. Jacob Overton with 23 points. Jr. Peyton McCubbin also chipped in with 11 points and Sr. Austin Baker scored 9 points. Stepahn York Country Financial Player of the Game Sr. Jason Love and Sr. Collin Underwood both scored 4 points each for the Maroons.


The Trojans were led by Parker Barrett with 21 points. Brody Adreon added 18 points, and Bryant Ahrens scored 17 points.


With the loss the Maroons fall to 1-4 on the season.


Tune in Friday, December 10th as the Maroons take on Hart-Em Stags. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Mt. Pulaski Gets By Cerro Gordo Bement

 width=Mt. Pulaski used a second quarter outburst to get past Cerro Gordo Bement Friday night 55-46.

The Hilltoppers outscored CGB 19-8 for a 35-18 lead at the intermission and led by as many as 20 in the third quarter.

The Broncos were within 11 late in the third and cut the lead to 9 late in the fourth, however, CGB couldn't take advantage of good looks on the offensive end and missed free throws by Mt. Pulaski in the 4th.

The Broncos were led by Frankie Foran’s 17 points. Foran exploded for nine points in the third in leading CGB back into the game.

Joe Tenney had 11 points.

Mt. Pulaski was led by Gezuz Oliver with 12.

Cerro Gordo Bement falls to 0-2.

Leaders Debate Core Principles

Leading Democrats in the Illinois statehouse oppose key elements in the governor’s proposed agenda as going against both parties’ core principals, something leading Republicans say is not true.

[audio:12031581917-principles.mp3] [/audio]

Next Leaders Meeting Could Be Next Week



[audio:12031580328-nextmtg.mp3] [/audio]


Unemployment Insurance Measure Passes

An agreed upon measure to update unemployment insurance before ramps in costs to employers and decreases in benefits for the unemployed now heads to the governor’s desk.

Before passing lawmakers from both sides of the aisle applauded the effort as a sign of true bipartisanship, not just between Republicans and Democrats, but also business and labor.

[audio:12031580336-ui.mp3] [/audio]

Warrensburg-Latham Schools Open Up Technology Campaign

One local school district is reaching out to their community in hopes of providing greater opportunities for their students.

According to Warrensburg-Latham Schools Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle, a first time technology campaign has begun to address several areas of need in their schools. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the campaign is being administered by the school's educational foundation.

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Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the elementary school's computer lab needs to be updated. She says because of testing mandates, they need to have updated technology to administer those tests.

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At the junior high school, the district hopes to purchase additional mobile Chromebooks. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says those have been a great resource to their students and teachers, and they hope to expand those opportunities.

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Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) has become a big focus across the country and Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says they would like to have the things necessary for students who take up those as interests to be able to have better opportunities for learning.

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Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the cost break down comes to around $80-thousand. She believes their communities are very capable of stepping and providing their students with the opportunities they hope to give them.

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Click here for further details about the campaign.

DeWitt County Angel Tree Seeking Volunteers For Upcoming Distribution

Time is running short to pick up gifts for kids on the DeWitt County Angel Tree lists.

Early next week, volunteers will gather at the Clinton Elks Club to collect the gifts purchased for DeWitt County children this Christmas. Angel Tree Director, Sue Calvert says they are utilizing volunteers to shop for items that may not get purchased.

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Starting this Sunday, Calvert says they are in need of volunteers to start setting for the gifts to begin rolling in Monday and Tuesday.

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Calvert says it's not too late to be a part of providing gifts for their kids this year. She says they have 500 kids to serve this year and says donations large and small go a long ways.

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For information on helping next week with the collection and distribution of gifts or to find an angel on of their many trees, you can email Calvert, at suecalvert13@gmail.com, call her at 309-825-5822 or visit First National Bank in Clinton.

Tiger, McIlroy Notes

>>McIlroy's Fortune Pushing Half-Million Dollars

Rory McIlroy is wealthy. We all know that. But I bet you didn't know exactly how wealthy the Ulsterman was. According to the Irish Examiner, McIlroy is worth nearly have a billion dollars.

 width=McIlroy has great sponsors. Between Nike, Bose, EA Sports and Omega, he's doing OK for himself. The underlying $422M number sort of contextualizes the quote McIlroy had at the Tour Championship earlier this year.

McIlroy said recently, quote-"Luckily, that amount of money doesn't sort of mean much to me anymore. So, no. I mean it's not a -- it will go in the bank and if I want to buy something nice, I will. It's not really anything that -- I mean like it's nice to think that you could win 10 million dollars this week, but that's not what excites me."

>>Tiger: "I'll Tell You When I'm Done"

Tiger Woods sort of alluded to the end on Tuesday in his Hero World Challenge press conference. It was sad. It was weird. It was real.

Woods clairifed some of his statements in an interview with PGA Tour Radio. He was asked if there are more majors in the bag.

"If I am physically able, then yes," Woods said. "If I am able to prepare the way I know I can prepare for an event, then yes. But if I can't because of whatever going forward, if this back doesn't get to where I need to get it to, then I don't see how you can win majors if you are not prepared. All the 14 that I've won, I was very prepared for those events."

Finally, Woods was asked about what he'd like to say to those of us who think he's cooked.

"Oh, I've been told that a lot," said Woods. "I've been told that a lot throughout the years. Whether I was in a slump and playing awful and won the '01 Masters, or I've had knee surgery and [they said] I'll never come back again, I was done there. Swing changes over the years. I've been written off by a lot of people over a number of different years and, you know, I'll tell you when I'm done. And you'll be one of the first to know because I'll be the first to tell you that, you know what, I can't prepare, I can't do this, there's no reason for me to continue on.

"And then I'm done, I'll just transition on to something else. And I get that part of it. But if I know I can prepare and if I can practice and train then you darn well bet I can win tournaments and win major championships."

Islanders Beat Rangers

 width=Two months into the New York Islanders' first season in Brooklyn, a visit from the crosstown-rival New York Rangers provided the most raucous atmosphere in their new home.

Kyle Okposo scored the only goal in the shootout to lift the Islanders to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

John Tavares scored in regulation and Jaroslav Halak had 33 saves through overtime and then stopped all three Rangers attempts in the shootout to give the Islanders their fourth win in five games (4-0-1).

Viktor Stalberg scored the tying goal in the second period, and Henrik Lundqvist had 36 saves for the Rangers.

Tavares gave the Islanders the lead with a 5-on-3 power-play goal with 7:38 to go in the second period.

Stalberg cut to the front of the net and redirected Marc Staal's shot past Halak to tie it with 1:23 remaining in the period.

Pirates, Alvarez Part Ways; Marlins, Former-All Star Alvarez Part Ways

 width=The Pirates non-tendered Pedro Alvarez on Wednesday, making the first baseman a free agent. Midnight Wednesday is the deadline for teams to tender their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players' contracts.

Alvarez, 28, was projected to earn $8.1 million through arbitration in 2016 according to MLB Trade Rumors. It would have been his final season of team control before free agency. The Pirates had reportedly been looking to trade Alvarez but obviously were unable to do so.

Two years ago Alvarez led the NL with 36 home runs. He hit .243/.318/.469 (114 OPS+) with 27 home runs in 2015. Alvarez has averaged 28 homers and a 111 OPS+ the past three seasons, making him a legitimate power threat in this low offense era.

>>Marlins Non-Tender Former All-Star Alvarez

The Marlins have non-tendered right-hander Henderson Alvarez, the team announced. Alvarez is now a free agent. Midnight Wednesday is the deadline for teams to tender contract offers to their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players.

Alvarez, 25, started Opening Day for the Marlins this past season while Jose Fernandez rehabbed from Tommy John surgery. He was an All-Star in 2014 after going 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA (140 ERA+) in 30 starts and 187 innings.

Due to ongoing shoulder problems, Alvarez started only four games in 2015 and had a 6.45 ERA. He did not pitch after May 22 and underwent surgery to repair a tear in his shoulder. Alvarez's rehab is reportedly going well, though he is not expected to return until at least May.

Gasol's Big Night Leads Bulls To Win

 width=Pau Gasol had 26 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 99-90 win over the struggling Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Gasol shot 12 for 19 from the field and had his fifth consecutive double-double for Chicago, which won for the third time in four games and improved to 7-1 at home. Jimmy Butler, playing through a lingering right heel contusion, scored 19 points in 39 minutes.

Derrick Rose finished with 12 points on 3-for-17 shooting.

Will Barton scored 16 points and Kenneth Faried had 14 points and nine rebounds as Denver lost its eighth straight.

The Nuggets, who finished shooting 39 percent from the field, led 72-68 heading to the fourth quarter after limiting Chicago to 17 points in the third.

Chicago regained the lead for good at 82-79 with 7:37 left on Doug McDermott's 3-pointer.

Assistant Coaches Leaving Illinois Football Prorgram

 width=Illinois assistant coaches Alex Golesh and Mike Ward have left the team.

Golesh was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach and Ward coached the inside linebackers. Coach Bill Cubit said Wednesday that a national search has begun to replace the two.

Iowa State announced earlier this week that Golesh has joined the staff of new coach Matt Campbell, who arrived from Toledo. It was not immediately clear if Ward left for another job.

Golesh and Ward were at Illinois for four years and came to the school from Toledo with former Illini coach Tim Beckman.

Beckman was fired after a preliminary investigative report found he interfered in medical decisions and pressured players to play hurt. Cubit was named head coach Saturday.

Big Second Half Propels Notre Dame Past Illinois

 width=Steve Vasturia and Demetrius Jackson scored 21 points apiece to bring Notre Dame back from an 8-point halftime deficit to beat Illinois 84-79 on Wednesday.

The Fighting Irish (5-2) spoiled the reopening of Illinois' recently renovated State Farm Center with the win.

Notre Dame had lost two of three coming into the game and fallen out of the Associated Press Top 25.

But a 3-pointer from Vasturia with 1:54 to play put Notre Dame up 72-62.

Illinois rode tough defense and the energy of the first night back in its campus arena to a 41-33 halftime lead.

But the Illini (3-5) went cold from the floor in the second half.

Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 19 points, while Kendrick Nunn had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Zach Auguste added 16 points with 14 rebounds for Notre Dame.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Dec. 3

Jail Population: 23

Paper Service: 0

Warrants: 0

Garrett Bolton, 34, Bloomington was Arrested and Charged with Obstructing Justice. Bolton unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.


Cullerton: What's Happening Is Not Good For Business

Expect another meeting in the near future between the governor and legislative leaders, and next time legislative staff could be included.

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DNR Still Battling Illegal Harvesting of Ginseng

In recent months, the Department of Natural Resources has been seeing a continued increase in illegal cultivation of ginseng in central Illinois.

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officer, John Williamson explains ginseng is a very popular herb overseas, and because of its prominence, it has all but become extinct, so the herb is in high demand.

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The roots of ginseng are extremely valuable and Williamson says the best ginseng is what is found in forested areas. He says what they continue to come across is illegally cultivated ginseng.

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When cultivating ginseng, Williamson notes you can only harvest a plant that is 10-years or older and the berries it produces must be replanted.

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Williamson indicates there are plenty of legal ways to harvest ginseng, but in some cases, the illegal cultivation of the herb could result in a felony at a state and even federal level.

Check with your local DNR office for more details.

Clinton School Improvement Plans About More Than Just Academics

 width=As the school improvement plans for each Clinton school district building have now been presented to the Board of Education, the district's leader says the plans are starting to go away from just an academic theme.

Curt Nettles is the Superintendent of Clinton Schools and indicates the plan presented to his Board of Education has components of discipline and relationships between staff and students.

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As each building leader crafted their plans, Nettles encouraged the principals to promote "individuality". He says education is getting away from a "cookie-cutter" mentality.

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According to Nettles, administrators from the various buildings work well together, however, he hopes to see their collaboration increase. He explains the alignment of the curriculum will also help in that regard.

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Nettles says the issue of local control from a state level will allow them to continue to create their own unique footprint on each building.

He hopes the message of local control gets through to lawmakers and policy-makers, especially considering nearly 80-percent of the school's budget is made up of local dollars.

Sixers Spoil Kobe's Final Game in Philly With First Win

Kobe Bryant breezed through the Philadelphia 76ers locker room and said to no one in particular, ''keep it going, guys.''

His homecoming game spoiled, Bryant said one final goodbye to Philly, which is winless no more.

 width=The 76ers said good riddance to the longest losing streak in major U.S. professional sports - winless in 28 games dating to last season. And 0 for 18 to begin this one.

No more.

With the spotlight on Bryant during the final game of his career in his hometown, the Sixers stole the show and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 103-91 on Tuesday night for their first victory of the season.

The Sixers remain tied for the worst start in NBA history with the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets, who also opened 0-18.

Playing with the shot selection of a pickup artist, Bryant tried to deliver a special performance in his finale.

He buried a step-back 3-pointer off the opening tip.

He hit another 3 on the next possession.

Bryant made it 3 for 3 and had the Philly crowd chanting ''M-V-P!'' as he turned back the clock to his championship form.

Bryant scored 20 points on 7-of-26 shooting and made four 3s.

Robert Covington scored 23 points and Jerami Grant and Nerlens Noel had 14 for the Sixers.

Prized FA Price To Red Sox; Mariners Trade Trumbo; Twins Sign Korean Slugger Park

 width=The Red Sox have agreed to terms with free-agent left-hander David Price on a seven-year contract worth $217 million, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman confirms. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe had the initial report on the signing. According to Ken Rosenthal, Price's deal with Boston also includes an opt-out after three seasons.

Price, 30, is coming off a 2015 season in which he pitched to a 2.45 ERA and 4.79 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings for the Tigers and Blue Jays. For his career, Price owns an ERA of 3.09 (126 ERA+) across parts of eight major-league seasons for the Rays, Tigers and Blue Jays. Price won the AL Cy Young Award in 2012, and he has worked at least 200 innings in five of the past six seasons.

Price's $217 million contract sets the record for pitchers, as it narrowly tops the $215 million extension that Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers in January 2014.

The Price acquisition also directly addresses one of Boston's primary weaknesses in 2015, when it finished 78-84 and in last place in the AL East. Last season, Boston used 12 different starting pitchers, and none of them reached 200 innings.

Red Sox president of baseball ops (and former Tigers GM) Dave Dombrowki has in a little more than a year traded for Price, traded away Price and signed Price to a mammoth free-agent contract.

>>Mariners Trade Trumbo To Orioles

The Orioles on Tuesday acquired slugging outfielder Mark Trumbo from the Mariners in exchange for reserve Steve Clevenger. CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman has confirmed the trade.

Trumbo, 29, batted .262/.310/.449 (108 OPS+) with 22 homers for the Diamondbacks and Mariners last season. He has been a reliable source of right-handed power, averaging 31 homers per 162 games played across parts of six big-league seasons.

Trumbo, however, is stretched defensively at any position and is best deployed as a DH, and he's also a low-OBP hitter. That said, Trumbo figures to be a good fit for Camden Yards, which is a park that benefits right-handed home run hitters. He could also see time at first base, assuming Chris Davis leaves via free agency. Trumbo is third-year arbitration-eligible this offseason and slated for free agency next winter.

>>Twins Ink Korean Slugger Park

The Minnesota Twins and Korea's Byung-Ho Park agreed to a four-year, $12 million contract Tuesday afternoon, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman reports. Their total commitment for Park is $24.85 million, taking into consideration the posting fee of $12.85 million the Twins paid Park's team in the KBO, the Nexen Heroes, after winning a blind auction against other MLB clubs.

Known for his home-run and bat-flip abilities with Nexen, Park belted 53 homers and slugged .714 in 2015. Fans also should not expect Park to flip his bat anymore on long balls; He says the act is retired for safety purposes.

As the Twins roster currently is constituted, Park figures to be the everyday designated hitter in 2016. The success enjoyed with the Pirates by Park's Korean teammate, Jung-Ho Kang, is a strong indicator that he'll be able to hack it over here in the majors. Kang was the first hitter from the KBO to make it in the majors.

Blues, Blackhawks Lose

 width=>>Wild Score Late To Beat Blackhawks

Defenseman Ryan Suter drove to the net and poked in a rebound with 7:56 left in the third period, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

After Chicago's Corey Crawford made an acrobatic right pad save on Mikael Granlund on a breakaway, Granlund missed on a rebound attempt. Suter then cruised to the net and buried a loose puck that was dangling near the goal line.

Chicago forward Patrick Kane scored a power-play goal at 5:21 of the second period to extend his point streak to 20 games. Kane has 12 goals and 20 assists during the record-breaking run for a U.S.-born player.

 width=>>Panthers Power Past Blues

Derek MacKenzie scored twice in the second period, leading the Florida Panthers to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Brandon Pirri also scored for Florida, which has won three in a row. Roberto Luongo made 29 saves.

The Panthers also snapped a six-game losing streak against the Blues.

David Backes scored for the Blues. Jake Allen made 12 saves in two periods, and Brian Elliott had eight stops in the third.

The Blues are 4-4-2 over their last 10 games after an 11-3-1 start to the season.

Illini's Karras, Ferguson Named All Big Ten Third Team; CFB Notes

The Big Ten's offensive season awards were announced Tuesday afternoon by the league office.

Illinois senior runningback Josh Ferguson was selected by both the media and coaches to the Big Ten third team and offensive lineman Ted Karras was selected by the coaches to the third team.

Yesterday, Illinois safety Clayton Fejedelem was named a part of the second team all defense.

Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott is the offensive player of the year and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is the coach of the year in the Big Ten.

The league on Tuesday announced Ferentz's honor and offensive awards, as determined by a vote of coaches and media.


Elliott, also the running back of the year, leads the Big Ten with 1,672 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns.

Ferentz guided Iowa to a 12-0 record after going 7-6 in 2014. He also was coach of the year in 2002, 2004 and 2009.

Other offensive honors: Connor Cook, Michigan State, quarterback of the year; Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State, receiver of the year; Jake Butt, Michigan, tight end of the year; Taylor Decker, Ohio State, offensive lineman of the year.

>>Illinois Would Accept Bowl Bid If Offered

Illinois now says that if its football team is invited to a bowl it would go.

The Illini are among the 5-7 teams that could fill out available bowl slots but spokesman Kent Brown had said Monday the team wasn't sure it would accept a bowl invitation.

There are 40 bowls but so far only 75 teams have the six wins usually needed for bowl eligibility. Kansas State, Georgia State and South Alabama could get there with wins Saturday.

The NCAA has said teams with 5-7 records will be eligible for unfilled slots based on their Academic Progress Rates. Illinois is tied for the fifth potential bowl slot with Rice.

After a season of turmoil, Illinois last weekend named interim coach Bill Cubit as the permanent head coach.

>>College Football Playoff Top Five Remains Unchanged

The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings for the 2015 season saw no change in the top four as Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa all remained in place following decisive victories last weekend. The same cannot be said for those immediately below those teams, however.

While Michigan State did stay put at No. 5, the next two teams both lost, leading Ohio State to jump to No. 6 and giving the Big Ten half of the top six teams in the rankings. Two-loss Stanford checked in at No. 7 with two-loss Notre Dame still hanging on at No. 8 after a defeat at the hands of the Cardinal.

The only other teams competing in Power Five conference title games on Saturday -- North Carolina, Florida and Southern California -- are at No. 10, No. 18 and No. 20 in the rankings.

>>Georgia To Bring Alabama's Smart on As Head Coach

Georgia's coaching search appears to be over as Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a former Bulldogs player, will reportedly be named UGA's new coach as early as next week, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and ESPN.

Following the firing of longtime Georgia coach Mark Richt on Sunday, it became obvious that Smart was by far the top option on the Bulldogs' list of candidates.

Smart still has the SEC Championship Game to prepare for as a member of Alabama's staff, and no announcement can be made by Georgia until after that game, according to the paper.

Smart went with Saban to Alabama in 2007, where he held the title of associate head coach and defensive backs coach before taking over as the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator in 2008.

In 2009, Smart was named the winner of the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach in the country. He is a finalist for that award again this season.

>>Oregon's Frost To Central Florida

UCF will name Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost its next head coach. CBS Sports' Ryan Bass first reported the news early Tuesday before it was confirmed by the school.

Frost is a proven offensive mind as a player and a coach. He compiled a 24-2 record as a national title winning quarterback at Nebraska and has been calling the shots during record-breaking offensive seasons at Oregon.

Illinois Opens Renovated State Farm Center As Illini Host Notre Dame; Bradley Loses

 width=After starting the season with seven games away from home, Illinois will reopen the State Farm Center on Wednesday.

The Illini (3-4) played a mix road games and "home" games in Springfield, while they waited on the $169.5 million arena renovation. They face Notre Dame (4-2) Wednesday.

Illinois coach John Groce said Tuesday the redone arena is a "game-changer" for the basketball program.

He recalled taking the job in 2012 and bringing then-new recruit Kendrick Nunn into the building. Groce said there was little in the 52-year-old arena that stood out.

The arena has new luxury boxes and other premium seating and new blue and bright-orange seats. Concessions have been upgraded, too.

Illinois on Wednesday will also officially name the court after Illini coaching legend Lou Henson.

>>Delaware Dominates Bradley

 width=Cazmon Hayes had 17 points and Anthony Mosley had a career-high 15 to lead Delaware to a dominating 70-47 win over Bradley on Tuesday night.

Mosley was 7 of 10 from the floor and dished out four assists. Kory Holden had 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Marvin King-Davis added 11 points for Delaware (3-2).

The Blue Hens, who have won every rebound battle this season, continued to control the boards 41-38. This was Delaware's largest victory margin since beating Penn 83-60 on Dec. 21, 2012.

Donte Thomas led Bradley (1-7), which has lost seven straight, with 10 points.

Mosley hit a 3-pointer and followed with a layup to start Delaware on a 15-2 run in the first period to build a 31-19 halftime lead. They stretched that to 53-28 lead midway in the second half and coasted to the win.

>>North Carolina Gets By Maryland In Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Marcus Paige scored 20 points to help UNC beat No. 2 Maryland 89-81 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, showing no ill effects from the broken bone in his right hand nor rust from the layoff.

Paige, the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference co-player of the year, assisted for the game's first basket then buried a 3-pointer on the next possession - proof that he was ready to roll in an early season top-10 matchup.

Brice Johnson added 16 points for the Tar Heels, who shot 53 percent to hold off Melo Trimble and the Terrapins (6-1).

Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists to lead Maryland, which shot 51 percent but committed 22 turnovers that UNC converted into 21 points.

Maryland missed eight of its last 10 shots as UNC gradually pushed a 74-72 lead back to double figures after blowing a 13-point first-half lead.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For Dec. 2

Jail Population: 22

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 0

Lindsey Harris, 26, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Harris was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Jeremy Horn, 38, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 80 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Horn was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

Thomas Doss, 55, Heyworth was issued a Citation for Speeding 83 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Doss was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.



House Hearings To Follow Legislative Leaders Meeting

Before the House goes into session Wednesday there will be several committee hearings, including another airing of the state’s schools superintendent contract.

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Tuesday's Leadership Meeting Preview

The outcome of Tuesday afternoon’s meeting in Springfield between the governor and legislative leaders is unknown, but various sides of negotiations are hopeful the meeting -- part private and part public -- will be productive.

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Lincoln High School Considering Conference Change Again

 width=It's been a few years since a conference change has been discussed at a school board level in Lincoln, but the discussion appears to be back on the table.

Superintendent Robert Bagby indicates the school has received three calls from central Illinois sports conferences about joining their conference. Bagby says the Big 12, Corn Belt and Apollo conferences have approached them.

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Bagby believes there are pros and cons with each conference they have been approached about. He believes the Big 12 would probably not be the best fit for them, but the Apollo and Corn Belt might be the most appealing.

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In the beginning many conference were aligned based on not only school enrollment but also geographical location and travel times. Bagby says a lot of the travel and distance consideration has gone by the wayside but for them it is still a consideration.

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Bagby says the decision will be discussed by the Board of Education and ultimately will be their decision. He says before any decision is made, there will be public meetings to allow the community their opportunity to be heard.

He says their school board president is committed to doing what is best for all their students, not just those in one particular sport.

County Board Sets Agreement To Expand Animal Control Role

The stray cat or loose dog is something that one DeWitt County entity has always taken care of, but has actually not had the legal authority to do.

DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg indicates DeWitt County is working towards getting the authority to take care of calls of loose animals in several parts of the county through to an intergovernmental agreement discussed at the latest County Board meeting.

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The County engaged into a cost-analysis study a few months ago and according to Newberg, this is agreement is a part of the findings from that.

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Newberg explains it was discovered animal control didn't have the legal authority to deal with animals in the city and he wants to see the appropriate measures taken so everything becomes legal.

He says they will still work alongside law enforcement of the community when they are called up until the agreement goes into effect.

Rangers Beat Hurricanes

 width=The Rangers held on for a 4-3 win on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak, but they almost squandered a three-goal lead against a team they routinely beat.

Mats Zuccarello and Oscar Lindberg scored first-period power-play goals to get New York rolling.

Chris Kreider and Derick Brassard also had goals and New York improved to 18-1-0 in its last 19 meetings with Carolina.

Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves.

Jordan Staal, Victor Rask and Chris Terry scored for the Hurricanes.

Rangers center Derek Stepan will miss four to six weeks because of broken ribs. New York coach Alain Vigneault made the announcement following the morning skate.

Blocked Kick Leads To Ravens Win

Brent Urban blocked Travis Coons' field-goal attempt and Will Hill returned it 64 yards for a touchdown as time expired, giving Baltimore a stunning 33-27 win Monday night over the luckless Cleveland Browns, who lost their sixth straight game along with starting quarterback Josh McCown.

 width=Coons lined up to kick a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal with 3 seconds to go for the Browns (2-9), but it was deflected by Urban, who was playing his first NFL game after missing the past two seasons with injuries to his knee and right arm.

Quarterback Matt Schaub, making his first start since 2013, threw two touchdown passes for the Ravens (4-7), who seem to take every game to the wire. All 11 of their games have been decided by less than eight points.

Austin Davis' 42-yard TD pass to Travis Benjamin tied it with 1:47 remaining.

Schaub finished 20 of 34 for 232 yards and his first TDs since Dec. 23, 2013.

Javorius Allen, playing in place of injured RB Justin Forsett, had 55 yards on 12 carries and a TD reception.

RB Terrance West, traded by the Browns earlier this season, had 37 yards on seven carries.

The Ravens are missing seven starters due to injuries, six on offense.

Gasol's Double-Double Leads Bulls

 width=Pau Gasol had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots, and the Chicago Bulls snapped San Antonio's five-game winning streak with a 92-89 victory over the Spurs on Monday night.

Jimmy Butler scored 14 points and reserve Doug McDermott had 12 for Chicago in the opener of a four-game homestand. Joakim Noah contributed eight points, seven assists and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.

Gasol blocked LaMarcus Aldridge on a drive with 1:06 left, and then hit one of two foul shots on the other end for a 90-89 lead. After Manu Ginobili missed for San Antonio, Butler hit two free throws with 10.6 seconds left.

The Spurs had one last chance, but Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker each missed 3-point attempts in the final seconds. Parker's try was partially blocked by Derrick Rose, who finished with 11 points and six assists.

Illini Safety Named 2nd Team All Big Ten By Media

 width=Illinois safety Clayton Fejedelem has been named to the Second Team All Big Ten defensive team as announced by the league on Monday.

He was the only Illini selected by either the media or coaches.

Penn State's Carl Nassib is the Big Ten's defensive player of the year in a vote of coaches and media.

Nassib leads the nation with 15 1/2 sacks and six forced fumbles. The 6-foot-7, 272-pound senior from West Chester, Pennsylvania, started his career at Penn State as a walk-on.

Other award winners: Joey Bosa, Ohio State, defensive lineman of the year; Joe Schobert, Wisconsin, linebacker of the year; Desmond King, Iowa, defensive back of the year; Griffin Oakes, Indiana, kicker of the year; Sam Foltz, Nebraska, punter of the year; Will Likely, Maryland, return specialist of the year; Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, freshman of the year.

The Big Ten announced only its defensive honorees Monday. The offensive award winners will be announced Tuesday.

No. 1 Kentucky Beats Illinois State


Isaiah Briscoe scored 18 points, Jamal Murray added 16 and No. 1 Kentucky overcame a sluggish first half to pull away from Illinois State 75-63 on Monday night.

Outhustled on both ends by the athletic Redbirds through 20 minutes while adjusting to playing without injured starting point guard Tyler Ulis (elbow), the Wildcats (7-0) emerged from halftime more physical and used that energy to gain some breathing room.

Outrebounded 20-12 in the first half, Kentucky beat Illinois State (3-5) 27-17 on the boards and held the Redbirds to 29 percent shooting in the second half.

Marcus Lee added 13 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double in five games while Alex Poythress had 11 points for Kentucky, which shot 43 percent.

DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 22 points for the Redbirds.

 width=>>Xavier, Louisville Enter Coaches Poll; Kentucky Still No. 1

The USA Today Coaches poll in college basketball features a lot of turnover this week, as six new teams enter the poll following a madness-filled Thanksgiving week.

Previously ranked No. 13 California, No. 14 Indiana, No. 17 LSU, No. 18 Notre Dame and No. 20 Wichita State were all top-20 teams who completely fell out of the poll following bad weeks. Each of those teams dropped multiple games, and really struggled when faced with playing tough competition.

Entering the poll this week are teams that have succeeded thus far in the early portion of the season. Particularly, Xavier moved from being unranked all the way up to No. 18 following a win in the Advocare Invitational. The Musketeers have been one of the most impressive teams in college hoops thus far, featuring a well-rounded, experienced roster that could build upon its Sweet 16 appearance a year ago.

Other teams to enter the poll included Syracuse, Texas A&M, Louisville, Providence, and Butler.

Illini Big Man, Thorne Jr., Has Knee Surgery

 width=Illinois starting center Mike Thorne Jr. is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Illinois (3-4) announced Monday that the fifth-year center was injured in Saturday's loss to then-No. 4 Iowa State. Thorne had surgery Monday.

Thorne was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. He is the team's leading rebounder, playing 22.1 minutes a game.

Thorne has started all seven games for Illinois, which played the Cyclones evenly before he left and eventually lost 84-73.

Illinois has had a series of injuries this season. Point guard Tracy Abrams is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Kendrick Nunn, Leron Black and Jaylon Tate have all missed games so far.

The Illini host Notre Dame on Wednesday.

Lady Maroons Use Big 4th Quarter To Beat Unity

 width=The Clinton Lady Maroons used a big fourth quarter effort Monday night en route to a 41-33 come from behind victory in a non-conference girls basketball matchup.

Trailing 25-20 heading into the final period, the Lady Maroons outscored the Rockets 18-8 in the final period.

The Lady Maroons were led by Faythe Newberry with 12 points. Maddie Filkin added seven and Jesse Benson chipped in with six.

The Lady Maroons improve to 4-2 on the season.

Tune in tonight as the Lady Maroons host Heyworth at 7:30 pm. Hear all the action live on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Girls basketball scores from Monday night...

Shelbyville 37, Kincaid South Fork 34
Mt. Zion 50, Sullivan 37
Warrensburg-Latham 41, Argenta-Oreana 36

DeWitt County Sheriff's Holiday Weekend Report

Jail Population: 26

Paper Services: 11

Warrants: 1

Bradley Painter, 38, Cerro Gordo, was issued a Citation for Operating  Motor Vehicle with Registration Suspended for No Insurance.  Painter was given a Notice to Appear and Released.

Trudy Sallie, 60, Decatur was issued citations for Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, Failure to Reduce Speed/Accident, and Driving Under the Influence.  Sallie was issued a Notice to Appear and Released.

Rachel Kemna, 35, Danville was Issued a Citation and was Arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence of Alcohol. Kemna posted the necessary bond and was released.

Stephen Ludwig, 46, Normal Was issued Citations and Arrested for Driving Under Influence of Alcohol. Ludwig posted the necessary bond and was released.

Orilla Polen, 41, Lincoln was Arrested and Issued a Citation for Driving on Suspended License. Polen posted the necessary bond and was released.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Dec. 1

Jail Population: 23

Paper Services: 0

Warrants: 0

Miranda Massey, 18, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Massey was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.

William Sorensen, 44, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 76 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Sorensen was issued a Promise to Comply and was released.



Lady Maroons Fall to Heyworth

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to Heyworth by a score of 55-37 on Tuesday night. The Lady Maroons were led by junior Tori Wilson with 9 points. Wilson was named as the Country-Financial representative Stephan York Lady Maroons Player of the Game. Junior Jessi Benson also chipped in with 8 points.

Heyworth was led by Seagan Snow with 17 points. 

With the loss the Lady Maroons fall to 4-2.

Tune in Thursday, December 12 as the Lady Maroons take on Central A&M. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92,3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.


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