Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sports Wrap: Soccer team fall at home

Sports Wrap: August 27

Soccer team level record at 1-all
Junior midfielder Zach Ohlsson was credit with an assist on Unity's only goal in their 8-1 non-conference loss to St. Teresa. Jackson Biddle's second half score was all the Rockets could deliver on their new turf field on Tuesday leveling their season record at 1-1. Tomorrow Ohlsson and the Rockets travel to Oakwood for another early season non-league match at 4:30 p.m..

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Flashback Friday: Rockets Knockout Macomb Bombers In Playoffs

Kyle Negangard holds up four fingers
Rockets' Kyle Negangard holds up four fingers on each hand at the end of the third quarter during his team's home stand against Macomb on November 12. Unity went on to defeat the visiting Bombers 35-7 in their 2011 Class 3A football playoff game. The senior scored a touchdown in the second quarter in the post-season rout. See the complete gallery of 72 more great photos here ...

Dalton Flowers blocks Macomb's Nicholas Severs       Micah Johnson shows his dance moves
Left: Dalton Flowers blocks Macomb's Nicholas Severs during second quarter action. After the victory, the Flowers and the Rockets advanced to play Aurora Christian on the road. Right: With the music of the Jackson 5's ABC playing over the PA system, Rockets' Micah Johnson shows his dance moves on the sidelines after he and his fellow starters were pulled from the game with a victory well in hand. Below: Head coach Scott Hamilton starts his team's quarterfinal celebration. The Rockets advanced to play Aurora Christian on the road on the next Saturday, the last stop to a shot at a possible state title.

Head coach Scott Hamilton celebrates a playoff win

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What is the magic number?

Guest Commentary
Terrorists proved on September 11, 2001 that guns are not necessary to kill 2,753 people.

Timothy McVeigh proved that a truck load of explosives can kill 168 people and injure 680 more as well as destroy one-third of building and damaging many others in Oklahoma City.

A man with a knife killed four people and wounded two others in Los Angeles last week.

A weapon of mass destruction can be a plane, an automobile, a knife, a gun or whatever an evil person chooses to utilize at a certain moment.

By and large the weapon of choice has been an automatic weapon capable of holding a high-capacity magazine.

Whether it was Las Vegas, Columbine, Charleston, El Paso, Dayton or sadly too many other locations to name, the weapon of choice has been an automatic rifle with high-capacity bullet magazines.

A truck can kill people but normally you can hear and see a truck coming. A knife can kill people but not as many as a rifle with a magazine clip holding 70 or more bullets.

An evil person can walk into a church, theatre, Walmart or school and immediately have a couple of hundred people huddled together as a target. He doesn’t have to aim. He just points the weapon and pulls the trigger. The gun acts like a sprayer of bullets hitting people so fast that running or dodging is almost impossible.

The shooter looks for scenarios where people are trapped with limited escape door opportunities. Thus a shooter with a bullet clip of 50, 70 or more has a potential of killing many people in just a minute or less.

This is why Congress must enact background checks, strict licensing for high-powered rifles and limit the number of bullets a clip can hold at one time.

However, here is the problem: What is the magic number? My ordinary pistols hold six shells and my automatic ones hold more, so what is the magic number of bullets that Americans will be limited to in one clip?

Will it be 10 or 15 or 20? Honestly, there is no right number because a skilled marksman will still be able to kill.

The hope is that maybe the ending of one clip or emptying of one pistol would give someone a chance to tackle the monster if anyone is still alive. Hopefully, someone in the room will have a gun and be able to stop the shooter.

I’m for limiting magazine capacity but it won’t eliminate terrorism and mass shootings. It’s a Hail Mary and our Congress has to do something, but we have to do more.

Hollywood and network television has to change.

Universal Studios/NBC television is the biggest hypocrite of all. They constantly bark gun control and are negative toward the National Rifle Association yet coming out with a movie titled "The Hunt", which is supposedly about liberals hunting deplorables and killing them. This kind of junk is a huge part of the problem.

Hollywood, the music industry and video games makers must dramatically change their tone. Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith show carried a gun but he never made any of us want to kill anyone or hate people.

Guns, knives, trucks and airplanes can all kill. There are many other weapons that will kill massive numbers of people. We can’t eliminate them all. Our greatest need is a culture change.

Dr. Glenn Mollette

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Memory Monday: Rockets jet past Reapers to state

Back on November 19 in 2005, Unity rolled to a 31-20 state semifinal victory over Plano. The Rockets went on to play for the Class 3A state title at Memorial Stadium. Here are four memorable photos from that game. If you want to see more, check out the gallery in the PhotoNews Media archives here.

Above: Unity High School senior Nick Hiles is pumped as he shows Rocket muscle during the 4th quarter.
Unity head football coach Scott Hamilton
Left: Dane Paul rolls out looking for an open receiver deep in the Plano secondary. Right: Unity head coach Scott Hamilton displays his joy celebrating as the last seconds roll of the game clock. Hamilton's Rockets advanced to the Class 3A state championship game against Bureau Valley on November 25.

Cody Stunkard
Cody Stunkard carries the ball for a short gain. See 16 more photos of Stunkard from the 2005 season here . . .

Eight area college students named to SIU Deans List

Unity graduate Leah Gateley and Heritage alum Cole Mohr were recognized for their exceptional academic performance at Southern Illinois University. Gatelely, a sophomore, and Mohr, a senior, earned a perfect 4.0 grade point this past spring semester and honored with Deans List recognition.

Unity's Ryan Spencer blocks Monmouth-Roseville's Nick Garrett during their game on September 6, 2014. Spencer, now a senior at SIU-Carbondale, earned Deans List recognition this past semester. The Rockets went on that day to pick up their second win of the season after cruising past the Titans, 42-16. The game was played on Saturday after inclement weather postponed the originally scheduled Friday night contest.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Full-time udergraduate students at SIU who meets or exceeds the minimum established GPA by the University are recognized each semester on the Deans List.

Other area high school graduates who earned a 3.5 or better GPA in the spring of 2019 include Heritage's Dakota McClellan from Allerton, who is a senior at the Carbondale campus, and six students who attended Unity High School.

Seniors Emma Deedrick (Sadorus), Adam Hartman (Sidney), Tyler Bates (Tolono) and Ryan Spencer (Tolono) along with junior Jada Burr (Sidney) were recognized on the list.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

More than 40 earn Parkland College degrees in May

More than 40 area students were awarded Associates degrees in fields of study from Communications to Veterinary Technology from Parkland College in May.

Popular areas of study for alumni of Heritage and Unity High School includes nursing, automotive technology and general studies.

Here is a list of graduates by city:

Courtney M. Stewart, AGS, Associate in General Studies

Rory A. Book, AAS, Construction Management
Zachary D. Coffin, AAS, Communication: Media Arts and Production
Brody D. Cole, AS, Elementary Education
Bobbi R. Moore, AAS, Nursing
Michael J. Norwood, AAS, Electronic Control Systems Technology
Megan C. Perry, AFA, Art and Design
Taylor J. Pruitt, AA, General
Elijah J. Richards, AAS, Automotive Technology; CER, Automotive Technician
Brenda L. Roy, AAS, Business Administrative Technology
Bryson L. Steele, AAS, Automotive Technology
Ashlee P. Walters, AA, English (Literature)

Amber D. Bowie, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Lesley A. Chumbley, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Chase S. Hutchison, AAS, Automotive Technology; CER, Automotive Technician
Madison N. Thomas, AA, Social Work

Robert D. Barnard, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Madison M. Clark, AAS, Nursing
Matthew S. Clark, AAS, Criminal Justice
Cory R. Duitsman, CER, Construction: Carpentry
Kourtney R. Ewerks, AA, General
Britton L. Grimm, AA, Criminal Justice Education
Anna M. Happ, AAS, Nursing
Emma C. Powell, AAS, Nursing
Austin M. Stoker, CER, Automotive Technician

Jennifer A. Barnard, AA, General
Morgan B. Cross, CER, Child Development Certificate
Chelsea J. Crowl, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Makenzie K. Heyen, AFA, Art and Design
Karin P. Honeycutt, AAS, Nursing
Angela N. Melvin, AAS, Nursing
Calli J. Robinson, AAS, Agricultural Business: Management; CER, Agri-Business
Sara J. Tate, AA, General
Zachary N. Weaver, AS, Business Administration

Sarah R. Fong, AA, General
Julia G. Gonzalez, AAS, Business Administrative Technology
Melinda S. Hoepker, AA, Communication
Ashley N. Holm, CER, Practical Nursing
Connor M. Kamradt, AAS, Automotive Technology; CER, Automotive Technician
Hunter J. Loschen, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Kristen A. Mathis, AS, Business Administration
Savannah J. Molina, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Gabrielle P. Moore, AS, General
Brooke E. Porter, AAS, Veterinary Technology
Younis Y. Ramahi, AGS, Associate in General Studies
Cayla B. Thompson, AS, General
Mikayla M. Wetherell, AS, General
Sophie E. Woolard, AS, General

Eight area students earn degrees from ISU

Eight area students were among 3,523 Illinois State University conferred with a bachelor degree in May.

Tolono graduates include Kyle Gateley and Taylor Stark earned a Bachelor of Science. Shelby Hildreth, also of Tolono, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education.

Also earning a B.S. in Education was Lauren Hamilton from Philo. Another Philo native, Brianna Messman received a Bachelor of Science.

Alexis LeCrone, of Pesotum, who was elected to Vice President of Membership of Pi Beta Phi during her studies, was awarded a Bachelor of Science. Heritage alumni Terra Rumer and Adelai McKinzie also received Bachelor of Science degrees from ISU.

32 Unity Junior High 6th graders make High Honor Roll

Sixty-nine Unity Junior High students in the 6th grade earned honor roll recognition in the final quarter of the 2018-19 academic year. Nearly half the recipients, 32 in all, were named to high honor roll list.

This quarter's awardees for high honors include Jenna Blair Adams, Lindy Marie Bates, Molly Kay Baxley, Sophia Cathryn Beckett, Paige Leeanne Brewer, Michael Allan Bromley, Elle Makenna Cheely, Josephine Rose Cler, Jordan Kathryn Daugherty, Ashlyn Brielle Denney, Kade Ryan Dubson, Chloey Ryanne Duitsman, Ava Maureen Fenter, Catharine Elizabeth Ford, Sophia Ruth Hartke, Lauren Mellissa Hellmer, Alex Nathaniel Mowrer, Makayla Jean Nonman, Camryn Elizabeth Reedy, Ashley Lynn Rennels, Ryan Benjamin Rink, Ryan James Robinson, Maegan Denise Rothe, Savannah Renee Rubin, Lauren Anne Shaw, Abigail Ruth Smith, Daniel Christopher Stein, Grant James Steinman, Joseph Robert Tempel, Avery Elise Watson, McKinley Mae Weller and Nolan Allen Wishall.

Sixth grade students earning honor roll status are Elizabeth Marie Anderson, Emmerson Matthew Bailey, Kolton Andrew Black, Noah Michael Bryant, Bentten Matthew Cain, Madelyn Rae Darnall, Jacob Ivan Davidson, Hunter Michael Eastin, Piper Ann Farney, Sophia Safrona Frye, Alexis Rae Gady, Paige Ann Garretson, Kadence Lynn Goff, Caleb James Hoewing, Dallas Anthony Hollingsworth, Lindsey Michelle Johnson, Andrew Jason King, Lindsey Hightower Lewis, Isabella Cassandra Matthews, Avery Jarrod McGraw, Riley Nichole McNeely, Gracie Marie Meharry, Addison Katie Mumm, Maliyah Marie Ortiz, Brady James Parr, Ryan Zachary Pickett, Reigna Jolie Price, Korben Dale Ray, Nolan Scott Remole, Lydia Claire Rossi, Brock Jacob Schlittler, Owen Michael Taylor, Jessie Nicole Tipsword, Jack Corbin Warren, Gavin Henry David Weaver, Tessah Rae Williams and Joseph Timothy Young.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Freedom Celebration ready for rain

Linda Lehovec runs in the 2008 Freedom 5K.
Linda Lehovec of Philo, IL, makes the final turn toward the finish line at the Freedom 5K race on a picture perfect day in 2008. The annual Fourth of July event drew 525 runners and walkers to its' 15th installment. Lehovec finished fourth in the Womens' 45-49 with a time of 27:55.1. In case the weather for this year's Champaign County Freedom Celebration turns less than favorable, organizers have a well-thought out plan to allow area residents to celebrate our nation's independence this week. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

With scattered thunderstorms in the forecast for the Fourth of July, the Champaign County Freedom Celebration posted its Inclement Weather Policy on Facebook. Here is what you need to know if you plan to participate in the 5K walk/run, take in the annual parade or view the evening's exciting fireworks display.

With rain chances at 40%, the event organizers are plans in place for the parade, the evening show and fireworks run as close as it can to the schedule on the Freedom Celebration website. Revelers are encourage to check the site should weather conditions warrant possible changes to start times.

Should weather conditions force the parade to be canceled, it will not be reschedule for another date.

Depending on the timing of any precipitation moving into the area or wind conditions on Thursday, the Board of Directors and Committee consider all the factors that best serves the public and safety protocols and make a decision as when start the fireworks show. The performance may start earlier than scheduled. If the fireworks show is cancelled, it will be held on the following Saturday, July 6.

If weather conditions are favorable, the fireworks show provided by Melrose Pyrotechnics will begin at dusk, approximately 9:15pm.

Visit the CCFC website at for the latest schedule updates and event information.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Turnback Tuesday Gallery: Rockets vs Salt Fork

On a beautiful September day, Unity hosted a non-conference soccer contest against Salt Fork. The Rockets battled with all their might to beat back the aggressive Storm, who won the contest, 7-2. Follow the link below to see all 131 photos from this early season match in 2013. Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

See more photos from this game here

Monday, May 20, 2019

Letter: Legalization of "super weed" is unnecessary

State lawmakers are pushing the legalization of "super weed".

The 500-plus page bill (SB 7) that was introduced earlier this month in Springfield should greatly alarm parents and grandparents:

This is the substance that gets users intoxicated. The marijuana of the 1960s and 1970s only contained 1-3% THC. Today, the levels are 20% or more. The Dutch government walked back their marijuana policy and now considers cannabis with 15% THC a hard drug and illegal.

High potency marijuana use is linked to increases in addiction, psychosis, schizophrenia and violence.

SB 7 allows adults to grow up to five marijuana plants in their home(s). What good is a community opt-out when neighbors are legally permitted to grow it? Moreover, who wants to live near pot cultivation centers?

Cultivating excessive amounts of marijuana is not hypothetical. Conservatively, five plants could produce ten pounds of marijuana per year. That is more than 10,000 joints a year. No one can use that much marijuana. Where will the surplus go?

There are many other reasons to oppose this policy. In short, legalization is just not worth the social costs to our families and communities.

David E. Smith, Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute

Thursday, May 16, 2019

SC Weekender: May 17

SMALL AXE FUNK • May 17, 10p-1a, Watson's Shack & Rail, 211 North Neil, Champaign. Check out the groovy music. Limited kitchen menu available. Cost: No Cover.

90's DAUGHTER "UNPLUGGED" • May 17, 9p, Boomerangs, 1309 East Washington, Urbana. Intimate acoustic set featuring covers from audience requests. Black Eye Peas, Stone Temple Pilots, Maroon 5 covers and more. Cost: $5 cover at the door.

NELLY, TWISTA, AND FUTURISTIC • May 17, 7p, Champaign County Fairgrounds, 1302 North Coler, Urbana. Grammy award winning, multi-platinum recording artist Nelly headlines event at the Fairgrounds. Cost: $28.00-$45.00 Information: Buy Tickets

HOME-GROWN COTTON SPINNING DEMONSTRATION • May 18, 10a-12p, Common Ground Food Co-op, 300 South Broadway #166, Urbana. Members of the CU Spinners and Weavers Guild will be on the Co-op porch spinning home-grown local cotton into yarn. Learn more about spinning, weaving, and fiber arts. Cost: FREE

PRAIRIE CYCLE CLUB METRIC CENTURY AND FAMILY FUN RIDES • May 18, 8:45a-2p, Weaver Park, 2205 East Main, Urbana. Choose from a self-supported ride of 35 or 65 mile routes or a 13 mile ride to St. Joseph and back on the Kickapoo Rail Trail. Information:

BLOCK OF THE MONTH CLASS • May 18, 10a-12p, Everyday Quilting Company, 1717 Philo Road, Urbana. Limited space available. Cost: Call for details. Information: (217) 693 7917 -

BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR & TASTING • May 18, 2p and 3pm, Prairie Fruit Farm & Creamery, 4410 North Lincoln Avenue, Champaign. Guests will learn a brief history about the farm and the owners, raising goats, how the farm functions day-to-day and how the creamery transforms goat milk into delicious cheese and gelato. Cost: Adults $10, Kids 12 and under $6. Information:

R&B SOUL YOGA • May 18, 10a, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 202 South Broadway, Suite 1, Urbana. This class is open to all levels. Participants welcome to submit songs/artists they would like to flow to during the session. Cost: Donation based, pay what you can. Information: R&B Soul Yoga

WOOD TYPE POSTER WORKSHOP • May 18, 1p-4p, Lisa Kesler Studio, 117 East Main, Tolono, IL. Get hands on experience working with antique wood letter type. Cost: $75, includes all materials. Information: Lisa Kesler Studio, 217-721-4738.

JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY • May 18, 2p-3p, Japan House, 2000 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana. Chado, or the Way of Tea, is one of the most ancient and revered arts of Japan, and is at the very heart of Japan House. Learn about Japan House, tea ceremony and the history of this 500 year old art form. Cost: General Public $12, Student/Tomonokai Members $10. Information: More info and order tickets.

THE CHRIS MONDAK JAZZ QUARTET LIVE • May 18, 6p-8p, Neil Street Blues, 301 North Neil, Champaign. Chris Mondak, a veteran of the Nextgen Jazz Quartet, the Jazz Band of America, and the Brubeck Institute plays a night of high-energy jazz featuring a mix of standards and compositions from his new album. Cost:

THAI YOGA MASSAGE POP-UPS • May 19, 10:15a-12p, Hatha Yoga & Fitness, 2109 South Neil Street, Champaign. Thai Yoga Massage is a partner practice that combines gentle passive stretching, acupressure, and breath work to encourage release of tension. This is a shared experience that is mutually beneficial to both the giver, and receiver. Cost: $20 per person, $35 per couple. Information: Thai Yoga Massage.

TENNIS IN THE PARKS • May 19, 3p-4:30p, Clark Park, 900 S McKinley Ave, Champaign. Free introductory tennis lessons taught by the Champaign Park District tennis staff. 3-3:30p Adult Beginner (ages 16+), 3:30-4p Pre-Teen Future Stars (ages 10-15) and 4-4:30p Young Future Stars (ages 6-9). Cost: Free

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wayback Wednesday: Getting after it

Dani Gooch and Kylie Holland battle for a loose ball

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Rockets' Dani Gooch (left) and Spartans' Kylie Holland (right) battle for a loose ball during second half action of their game in November of 2007. Despite a gritty hard-fought battle, Unity fell 54-47 on the road to the Spartans. See more photos from the game in the PhotoNews photo archives here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Weekend garage and lawn sales for May 17-18

201 S Locust - Pesotum

Multi-Family Sale - Rain or Shine

(Garage in alley)

Stove draft fan for wood stove, New and used tools and hardware, Appliance parts, Attic fan, High velocity fan, Golf cart cover, Shop lights, Electric super wench rated line 4500 lbs, Fighting Illini/Falstaff beer glasses, Bull Durham tobacco posters, Household items, Digital scales, Precious Moments Figurines, Toys, LOTS of clothes: men (L-XL), women (L-1X) and girls (5T-12). Too many items to mention.

Dates: May 17-18, 2019
Times: 8am - 3pm

205 E Maple St, Pesotum

Ice Bear -50cc moped Trike (2014), Sachs -50CC Moped (1977), Polaris- 4 wheeler (250 Honda Rebel Engine), Golf Cart - Club Car (gas), His & Hers 26" bikes, 2- small gas engines, Furniture, Dishes, Precious Moments and Household Items.

Dates: May 17-18, 2019
Times: 8am - 4pm

141 County Rd 900 E, Pesotum

Formal dining table and chairs, love seat and chair, King headboard, full sized mattress, tableware set, misc household.

Dates: May 18, 2019
Times: 8am - 3pm

401 W Washington St, Pesotum

Tons of crafting items, Rubber stamps, Paper, Jewelry making, Sewing items, New sewing machine still in box, and lots of misc items, Riding mower and Man’s 10 speed bike. Who knows what else we’ll find!!

Dates: May 17-18
Times: 8a - 4p

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Unity's Harmon and McDaniel advance to state track meet

Unity long distance runner Jordan Harmon
Unity's Jordan Harmon runs in the Class 2A 3200-Meter Run at IHSA State Track & Field Finals in Charleston back in May of 2017. Now a senior, Harmon once again qualified to run in the state title race and earned a spot in the preliminary race for the one-mile event a week from today. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Jordan Harmon extended her final prep running season one more week after qualifying for the IHSA State Track & Field Finals starting on May 16. The Unity senior long distance specialist finished second in the 3200-Meter Run at last night's sectional meet hosted by the Rockets.

Clocking in at 11:23.92, she ended her race between sectional title winner Olivia Rosenstein, from Urbana, and Olney's Cameron Hough, who placed third.

Harmon advanced to state in a second event as well.

Crossing the finish line ahead of Monticello's Alyssa McPike (3rd) and Rachel Koon (4th), she finished second in the 1600-Meter Run stopping the clock at 5:17.84. Rosenstein, who beat her in the longer run, held on to win the event with a time of 5 minutes, 13.86 seconds.

Also advancing to the finals in Charleston from Unity, who finished sixth in the final team standings with 36 points, was junior shot putter Aliyah McDaniel. She earned a second place sectional finish with her best put of 39 feet-11 inches.

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