Monday, December 30, 2019

Media and Democrats are using an old playbook

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Everything Jesus said and did was twisted by the religious elite of his day to bring charges against him. Charges that amounted to nothing, but they pushed the charges until he was brought to trial where he was found guilty of nothing.

The mean, wicked, sadly religious people who hated Jesus were willing to say and twist anything to eliminate him and so they did - they thought. When they were given the option to say what they wanted to happen to Jesus they yelled crucify him and they did by beating and whipping Jesus like no human being had ever been beaten. He was then nailed to a cross where they watched him die horrifically.

Never has any man been hated so much and treated so inhumanly as Jesus.

It all began with the hatred that the religious leaders had for Jesus. Next, came the accusations by the mob, twisting his words, totally misinterpreting what he said and making mountains out of molehills. They killed Jesus but he came back to life like never before. He defeated the grave, giving the world the good news that we celebrate and live by every day.

For hundreds of years religious groups in the Middle East have fought with each other and given religion a bad name. I don't think it's flattering to be accused of being religious since the meanest people in the world are religious.

Just read and watch the television to see who is doing all the fighting in the Middle East and usually done in the name of religion. Some of these people are barbaric in how they have treated prisoners and villages they have annihilated.

The epitome of evil was on full display during the arrest, trail and crucifixion of Jesus with the religious people leading the way.

President Trump is not Jesus nor am I comparing him personally to the divinity of Jesus.

No human can be compared to Jesus. However, the media and Democrats are using the same playbook used by first century thugs against Jesus.

The "trumped" up charges by the Democrats, the pure hate that Democrats spew at him and the way that everything that Trump says or anything he does is spun by NBC.

CNN and House Democrats like he in some way has committed blasphemy, is kind of like how Jesus was accused, tried and crucified. I don't see that Trump is going to be crucified but Democrats want him found guilty and removed from office for certain. We will stay tuned to future jargon and jockeying by the House, Senate and of course the President.

Anyhow, may we all have a peaceful and happy New Year.

Hopefully we can all survive and overcome what they do to us in Washington.

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.

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nine Unity seniors receive Illinois State Scholar recognition

Nine Unity High School seniors were named to this year's State Scholar Program by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).

ISAC recognizes students across the state that maintain an outstanding level of academic performance during high school. In order to be considered, they must be ranked in the top one-half of their class by the end of their third semester prior to graduation. Finally, the student's ACT or SAT score must reach be in the 95th percentile or higher. Only students attending approved Illinois public high schools are considered for this honorary recognition and it is awarded upon successful graduation the accredited school.

This year's recipients are: Kylie Decker, Connor Eastin, Karson Ewerks, Tyler Gadbury, Ella Godsell, Allyson Kennedy, Rachael King, Riley Millsap and Jakub Skupien.

Created by state lawmakers in 1957, the Deerfield, Illinois, based commission's main goal is to make post-secondary education accessible and affordable for resident high school students in Illinois through grants, scholarships and available loan programs.

We've found unique gifts for you or your home that we have to share

Below are six of more than of dozen one of a kind gift ideas from Miranda's Loom to put a smile on the face of that special someone this holiday season.

Located in Lincoln Square Mall, Miranda's Loom features the work of around 15 local fine art artists. From intricate fiber arts to eye-catching pottery, there dozens of gift ideas you won't find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana. Whether it is metal work, finely crafted turned wood or understated ikebana vases, there are dozens of art pieces waiting to become a sentimental addition to any home's decor.

Owner Leann Gehm is an award-winning artist who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art and a Master of Science degree in Art Therapy. Preferring plant-based natural fibers for her work, Gehm crafts colorful pieces with delicate precision.

See something you like? You will want to visit Gehm's store as soon as you can to see if the pieces featured below are still available.

Miranda's Loom is located near the mall center across from the food court is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 6pm and on Saturday's from 10am - 2pm.

Handwoven, lightweight cowls full view

Handwoven, lightweight cowls
Handwoven cowls
Above: Created on the premises, choose from more than a dozen handwoven cowls by artist and owner Leann Gehm. This piece is perfect when you want a lighter accessory for a splash of color or to keep you a bit warmer on a chilly day in the office or when out on the town. Gehm's cowls are eco-friendly made from eucalyptus fiber and embellished with glass beads. They are lightweight, silky with a wonderful drape. $68.

Below: While bracelets are commonly used as an accessory item to finish off a look, for many people they are more than just a stylish accessory. In some cultures bracelets carry a meaning deeper than the threads that compose them and are intimate gifts for both men and women. Made by Sarah Bernzott her free-spirited style will make a splash this holiday season. Prices from $12 - $50.

Miranda's Loom gift cards
Gift Cards
Miranda's Loom Gift Cards are the perfect gift for the person who is difficult to buy for; let them choose from hundreds of art pieces in the store. There are handcrafted greeting cards, handmade basketry, gorgeous scarves for every occasion and more.

Available starting at $25 & up.

Created by Paul Borian from Blanket Creek Pottery, his stoneware features high-luster glazes and an elegant form. Buy a single piece or choose from several available sets in the store today. Prices range $26 - $56 per piece.

Featuring mixed metals and semi-precious gemstones, Sarah Bernzott necklaces are stylish and unique for a refined finish to any outfit. Prices range $12 - $50.

Find more gift ideas for this holiday season on the Miranda's Loom website at

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tips for celebrating the holidays with a loved one with dementia

Guest Commentary by Diane Rock

Holidays can be a wonderful time of year when families get together and catch up on each other’s busy lives. All too often is also the time that you may find that things aren’t quite the same with our aging family members.

Those twenty-minute calls once or twice a month made everything seem a okay with the parents or grandparents. But now, you have noticed the signs and symptoms of dementia are starting to show.

Beginning signs often overlooked by many families are now more noticeable. Their loved one may not be eating well - losing weight can often be one of the first signs - along with falls, forgetfulness and/or a noticeable change in their personal hygiene. That parent, grandparent or close friend feels like they are older, forgetting things here and there, but it doesn’t seem alarming.

In couples where the spouse is suffering from dementia, they may become more argumentative and suspicious. Due to their forgetfulness, they assume the other is being untruthful.

Spouses often try to hide the signs and symptoms of dementia from their partner. Truly needing help, but not wanting to feel vulnerable, they are afraid of not being in control of their life they have built together.

A few things to keep in mind when celebrating and wanting to include family or friends suffering from dementia during the holiday season:

Your loved on may not realize that it a holiday and may ask often "Where should I be?". By responding with a reassuring answer such: "We are right where we should be, Ted invited us for dinner." This can give comfort to someone with dementia.

When around friends and family that they no longer recognize, avoid asking, “don’t you remember So-and-So?” It can be very frustrating and make them feel very inadequate or add to their confusion. While they may respond with a yes, they may still not have any idea who the person is or their relationship to them.

Please remember that sometimes over stimulation, like continuous loud environments or sudden noises, can sometimes bring about agitation or confusion.

Everyone loves seeing the excitement of young children especially at the holidays. But a busy, fast-paced environment is sometimes too much for someone with this disease. They no longer can process these situations as they once did and an innocuous experience may cause a sudden negative mood swing.

Consumption of alcohol has a much different effect on someone with dementia, especially if they are taking prescription medication and should be avoided.

Overall, just be mindful that your loved one may not enjoy these experiences as they did prior to onset of dementia. In advanced stages, it is often better to just spend quiet moments together separate from large family groups.

Remember that people with dementia continue to need loving, safe relationships and a caring touch not only during the holiday season, but everyday.


Diane Rock is the Community Resource Director at Amber Glen Alzheimer's Special Care Center located at 1704 E Amber Lane in Urbana. Learn more about Amber Glen and the memory care services they provide by visiting their website at

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the South County Dispatch. We welcome comments and viewpoints from readers who make up our diverse audience.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Black market marijuana threatens legal weed

by Kathy Valente, Guest Commentator

Contrary to what Big Marijuana wants us to believe, state lawmakers were warned that legal weed would flood Illinois with black market activity. California is now the perfect example.

California is considered the largest cannabis market in the world. Their total estimated marijuana sales revenue will be near $12 billion for 2019.

But here’s the kicker: CNN reports that the black market is credited with $8.7 billion of that $12 billion (73%). Yes, the black market is more than thriving and threatening to bury a quasi-legitimate (sic) industry.

If it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable. But it is no laughing matter.

The black market doesn’t pay taxes, follow regulations, pay minimum wage, licenses fees or insurance premiums. The result is cheaper weed. What users want.

But with black market activity comes other serious problems. One being much more marijuana than they’re able to regulate and control. Our communities will be flooded with “legal” and black market weed. Colorado law enforcement says they do more black-market marijuana busts post legalization.

Furthermore, it’s now called “medicine.” As a result, the perception of risk goes down while use goes up. What child thinks “medicine” will hurt them?

Major problems are right around the corner beginning with more drugs freely available to our children.


Kathy Valente is Director of Operations for the Illinois Family Institute. Learn more about the organization at

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the South County Dispatch. We welcome comments and viewpoints from readers who make up our diverse audience.


I wonder how many moms feel this way

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

As we approach Christmas day let's take a moment to salute the grand women of Christmas.

My wife knocks herself out preparing for events like Thanksgiving and Christmas. She started preparing the Thanksgiving meal two weeks in advance and for sure we had a feast.

For some time now she has been in charge of locating the right Christmas gift for children and grandchildren and most anyone else. She also wraps the gifts and has the wheels turning for our Christmas meal. Let me stop everything here and interject that I have presented myself front and center many times for helping wrap gifts and even preparing the meal. However, my wrapping and cooking do not "meet up to muster," as we used to say in the country.

My mom worked hard cooking and wrapping and decorating the Christmas tree. The mother of my two sons loved Christmas and always knocked herself out cooking, shopping and wrapping. I remember my grandmother Hinkle slaving over a stove and my hat is off to my two sisters and deceased mother's in law who did so much to make Christmas meaningful for family and friends. Trust me here I don't want to leave anyone out.

Hear me, I am not slighting the men of Christmas.

My dad, Joseph and Jesus all count big time. Many men cook, wrap gifts and shop. I've done all of that. For twelve years my now deceased first wife could do nothing because of multiple sclerosis. Whatever was done was on me. Looking back I know I was sorely lacking when it came to pulling it altogether. I simply had to do the best I could and my best wasn't all that great really.

I wonder how many moms and women feel this way. I wonder how women cook their brains out and wrap to exhaustion, clean house and try to make Christmas wonderful and then feel like nobody gives a dang or appreciates what they have done? I bet plenty do. Don't let this happen this year. Praise them! Thank the dear souls who knock themselves out to try to make Christmas happen - for you and your loved ones.

Mary the mother of Jesus went through a lot. When she became pregnant and still a virgin, who bought her story? Not many. Joseph did and he married her and took care of her and the new baby Jesus. However, starting out as a young mother with so many unknowns and the hardships that came with an unexpected pregnancy in that day were not easy. The Bible says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." For most of her life before and after the birth of Jesus, she carried a heavy load.

Keep the love, kindness and praise flowing this Christmas - especially for those dear women who often carry a heavy load. Often they are the ones who really make Christmas.

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.

This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Rockets face Clinton in 4A football postseason opener

Game time is set for 2pm at Hicks Field as the Unity Rockets make their first ever appearance in the Class 4A state football bracket this Saturday.

Nate Drennan celebrates a Rocket touchdown
Unity's Nate Drennan celebrates a touchdown on St. Joseph-Ogden during their regular season Illini Prairie Conference game back in September. The Rockets blanked the Spartans in their first meeting on the new turf at Hicks Field, 20-0. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

After dropping their opener to eventual league champions Illinois Valley Central, the Rockets went on to earn the #4 seed and will face former Okaw Valley Conference rival Clinton in the first round match up. After the loss, Unity shutout the next three opponents - Pontiac, Prairie Central and SJO - outscoring the trio 83-0.

Scott Hamilton's Rockets are the largest school in Champaign County to advance in this year's IHSA state football playoffs.

Jared Routh blocks Payton Cain in their IPC football game in September
Unity's Jared Routh blocks St. Joseph-Ogden's Payton Cain during their regular season Illini Prairie Conference game back in September. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Here is a look at the other Class 4A pairings and locations for this weekend. Official times for the games below will be available late Monday afternoon.

Game 1 — #16 Chicago (Phoenix) (3-4) at #1 Coal City (9-0), TBA
Game 2 — #9 Chicago (Agricultural Science) (6-2) at #8 Kewanee (H.S.) (6-3), TBA
Game 3 — #13 Chicago (Clark) (5-3) at #4 Wheaton (St. Francis) (8-1), TBA
Game 4 — #12 North Chicago (5-4) at #5 Genoa (G.-Kingston) (8-1), TBA

Game 5 — #15 Chicago (Urban Prep/Bronzeville) (4-5) at #2 Richmond (R.-Burton) (9-0), TBA
Game 6 — #10 Manteno (5-4) at #7 Marengo (7-2), TBA
Game 7 — #14 Chicago (Sullivan) (5-3) at #3 Elmhurst (IC Catholic) (8-1), TBA
Game 8 — #11 Dixon (H.S.) (5-4) at #6 Stillman Valley (8-1), TBA

Game 9 — #16 Taylorville (5-4) at #1 Chillicothe (Illinois Valley Central) (9-0), TBA
Game 10 — #9 Murphysboro [Coop] (7-2) at #8 Bethalto (Civic Memorial) (7-2), TBA
Game 11 — #13 Clinton (6-3) at #4 Tolono (Unity) (8-1), 2 p.m.
Game 12 — #12 Kankakee (McNamara) (6-3) at #5 Paris (8-1), TBA

Game 13 — #15 Roxana (5-4) at #2 Columbia (9-0), TBA
Game 14 — #10 Fairbury (Prairie Central) (7-2) at #7 Olney (Richland County) (7-2), TBA
Game 15 — #14 Breese (Central) (5-4) at #3 Effingham (H.S.) (8-1), TBA
Game 16 — #11 Salem (7-2) at #6 Benton (8-1), TBA

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Great Value brand recalled

If you recently bought Great Value brand turkey or pork sausages at Walmart, you might want to open your refrigerator or freezer and check the packages.

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released a statement that more than six thousand pounds of ready-to-eat pork sausage and turkey patty products produced in George's Prepared Foods' Caryville, Tennessee facility is subject to recall after a small quantity tested positive for Salmonella.

Salmonella symptoms usually start 12 to 72 hours after the contaminate food has been eaten. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. While most people recover in four to seven days without treatment, death may occur with older people, infants, or those with compromised immune systems.

As of today there has not been any reported illness attributed to the listed products. George's issued a statement on their website confirming the recall.

The contaminated product packaged under the Great Value brand name may have been distributed to Walmart Stores after their third-party cold storage facility inadvertently shipped the meat products.

If you purchased these items you are urged not to eat them and return it to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange, or thrown away immediately.

"FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers' refrigerators or freezers or both," the agency announced in Friday'statement. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase." Here are the packaged goods recalled :

Product Name: Great Value Original Breakfast Turkey Patties 24.92oz
UPC: 0007874212373 Best If used By Date: 10/24/2019 EST Number: 2260T

Product Name: Great Value Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Patties 35.6oz
UPC: 0007874203062 Best If used By Date: 11/05/19 EST Number: 2260T

Product Name: Great Value Fully Cooked Original Pork Sausage Patties 35.6oz
UPC: 0007874203062 Best If used By Date: 11/03/19 EST Number: 2260T

Product Name: Great Value Original Pork Sausage Patties 24.9oz
UPC: 0007874202095 Best If used By Date: 10/16/19 EST Number: 2260T

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..

* * * * *

Attention high school and junior high coaches: Please send game scores and stats to us. Send results and weekly stats to

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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