Saturday, April 11, 2020

Spartan Spotlight: Senior Lindsey Aden's future and success

Like the rest of the Class of 2020, Lindsey Aden is living through an unprecedented time in world history. With Illinois under a shelter in place order issued by the governor, she believes the time spent confined to our homes will allow families to reconnect and grow stronger.

"With our ever changing, busy world today, I think a positive we can take out of this situation is the fact that we've been given time alone to pursue our individual hobbies and talents," said Aden, whose dream job is working as television sports analyst covering the St. Louis Cardinals. "I hope that our country will come out of this time with a better sense of how to care for others and have important empathy and kindness are in our world."

The St. Joseph-Ogden senior lives outside of Royal with her mom, dad, and older brother, Jared. How she had time for her hobbies of reading, traveling, and going to concerts, is a mystery.

Undoubtedly she has some mad, mad organization and time management skills. In addition to playing four sports during her time at SJO, she was a member of FFA,Student Council, Spanish Club, We the People, Advisory Mentoring Program and NHS. Academically gifted, Aden has earned high honor roll marks every quarter this year, too.

Above: Aden celebrates a block by a teammate during the Spartans' supersectional volleyball game against Chicago Christian. The match that punched the volleyball team's ticket to state is one of her many memorable moments in high school. Below: Aden was a vocal team motivator throughout the 2019 season. During SJO's Class 2A state third-place game against Rockford Lutheran her positive energy kept the team on an even keel on their way to a 2-1 win last November. (Photo: PhotoNews Media)

Capping her prep volleyball career as a member of this year's Class 2A volleyball squad, Aden was set to play her third season of softball this spring until Illinois was forced to shelter in place. She also wore a Spartan basketball uniform for one season and competed with the track team for one year.

"My favorite sport of the four that I played in high school was volleyball because of the memories and friendships it gave me," she said. One of her greatest high school memories will always be winning the IHSA Volleyball Super-Sectional on the road at Palos Heights where the Spartans lost the first set, but then roared back past Chicago Christian to win the next two sets, which advanced the Spartans to the IHSA State tournament at Redbird Arena creating another set of vibrant memories she will never forget.

"To play on such competitive and talented teams was amazing, but the best part was getting to know my teammates and growing as individuals with them," Aden explained. "We went through some of the saddest times and the best times together, and we were able to really grow as a group because of it. My love for the sport and my school blossomed because I had the opportunity to play this sport with these girls."

After receiving her diploma from St. Joseph-Ogden, she will attend the University of Georgia. She said the out of state school was the complete package for her career goals. In addition to double majoring in agri-business and political science, she plans to obtain a minor in Spanish.

"They have great agriculture and political science departments, which are both areas that I am planning on pursuing," she explained. "The beautiful campus, warm weather, and overall college experience that UGA will offer me is also really appealing to me. I believe that the degrees that I will receive and the networks that I will build at this school will really allow me to succeed to the best of my ability."

Those networks will probably lead to numerous opportunities for Aden to rub elbows with influential people in politics and business. When asked who she would love have at the dinner table she came up with a list of three impressive names.

"I would really want to dive into Laura Ingraham's thoughts on being a woman in politics, as this is a field that I am considering pursuing in the future," she said. "I would be really intrigued to hear about Ben Carson's transformation from surgeon to politician, as well as how he brings his faith into his everyday life."

Her final choice, a fellow who led the Clemson Tigers to national football championships in 2016 and 2018, was another smart choice.

"I'd also like to dine with Dabo Swinney because I am a huge football fan, and I would want to pick his brain about coaching at Clemson and how important his faith is to him."

Her favorite classes were Advanced Civics and American History taught by Mr. Marshall Schacht, one of two of her favorite teachers at SJO. The other is Mr. Kevin Simondsen in the science department. She also gave a shoutout to Mrs. Anderson at Prairieview-Ogden as her favorite junior high teacher.

Aden's advice to future students at St. Joseph-Ogden is simple: Enjoy every day.


Rational regard: Will shelling be the new normal?

By Clark Brooks, Editor & Publisher

Shelling

It is the word I started using about a week or so ago in informal conversations to refer to sheltering-in-place. In our homes and apartments we are much like hermit crabs, turtles and clams safely tucked within our sanctuaries from a virus to avoid infecting or becoming infected with the coronavirus.

There are early indications that shelling may become the new normal - at least for a while longer than we all care to think about.

First, let me say I'm not a fan of shelling. I fully understand the urgent need to shelter in place to prevent family, friends and customers, as well any other American from contracting the Covid-19 virus.

Nature's predatory culling the herd of the human species is extremely disconcerting. Personally, I have no desire to inflict the severe, life-altering symptoms, or ultimately death, on and anyone. And hopefully, neither should you.

A few days ago Governor J.B. Pritzker hinted during his daily coronavirus briefing that Illinoisans may be shelling past the April 30 date established in Executive Order 16 back on April 1.

"I think everybody needs to think seriously about canceling large summer events," he said. "From my perspective today, I do not see how we are going to have large gatherings of people again until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away. I would not risk having large groups of people getting together anywhere. I think that's hard for everybody to hear, but that's just a fact."

Days before Gov. Pritzker's press conference the committee for the annual Freedom Celebration in Champaign-Urbana for 2020 was officially canceled. The decision came on the heels of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign decision to cancel all university summer camps through July 10, 2020 and all summer events held on campus until further notice.

Two days ago, Illinois State University President Larry Dietz announced that all summer camps, conferences, events, and activities held on campus scheduled through July 31, 2020 have been postponed or cancelled. Students who want to take summer classes at ISU will now take them online.

America improvises, adapts, and then overcomes. It has been what this country has done better than any other since 1776.
While Eastern Illinois University, home to the Illinois High School Association's boys and girls state track meets, has not released any information regarding campus events as of yet, it is likely administrators will follow ISU and the University of Illinois' lead and adopt the same policy through the beginning of their next fiscal year. It goes without saying should the EIU administration take the same approach, it will deliver a serious blow to the IHSA and dreams of thousands of high school track athletes throughout Illinois who continued training and held on to the hope of competing this season.

The response to COVID-19 by universities around the state, given many are the sites for IHSA sectional and supersectional contests, is just one more nail - I pray that I'm wrong - for next week's coffin to bury the spring 2020 sports season in American history.

Shelling does appear to be successful measure in the mitigation of CV-19. The spread of the Coronavirus in Champaign County had been minimal compared to other cities around the country. There have been just 21 new confirmed cases reported by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District in the last seven days. Currently there are just 40 active cases in the county with another 40 that were diagnosed with the infection, now listed as recovered. Eight people are hospitalized according the CUPHD site which is updated daily.

Already, there are 15 counties in Illinois with more than 70 confirmed cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that Cook has 5,242 cases, Kane lists 339 and nearby McLean County has 75 cases.

It is neither pleasant or convenient, but shelling seems to be working for Illinois. The question is how much longer will we need to stay sheltered in place. When will things go back to normal?

Last Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence's tone was not exactly optimistic.

"No one wants to reopen America more than President Donald Trump," Pence said, hinting that reopening the country at the end of April are perhaps unrealistic. He added that the White House would consult collected data to "inform the president’s decision and timing."

While I am praying for the exact opposite, I'm confident we will still be shelling after May 1 when Illinois current executive mandate ends.

Around April 24, give or take a few days, I expect the governor to announce we will need to continue shelling for another 21 days despite a gradual decrease in confirmed cases. Logically, this move would be justifiable in light of border states like Missouri and Wisconsin started shelling about two weeks after Illinois. Then there Iowa, one of a handful of states that has not instituted a stay-at-home order, obviously banking on the herd immunity strategy to combat the spread of the virus. Contaminated individuals traveling from or transporting goods through those states could cause resurgent hot spots or flare ups in Illinois.

I think it would be wise, especially if the antibody tests or a vaccine is not made available to the general public soon, to mentally preparing oneself for the inevitable roll of several back-to-back shelter in place extensions until at least July.

If the shelling works as planned, in three months we will be able to roam the planet freely again.

We will be free to laugh in the company of friends and family at a wedding, bar or outdoor venue. Free to listen to live music with hundreds of fans. Free to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or the passing of a loved one. Free to touch, kiss and hug once again.

But, for how long? Behavior biologists, virologists and microbiologists say expect COVID-19 to make encore appearance months (may be weeks) after we reach the all clear level. Reluctantly, after the taste of fresh air and the warmth of the sun across our faces, we will be required to return to our shells once again when infections from the coronavirus rise again.

America improvises, adapts, and then overcomes. It has been what this country has done better than any other since 1776 and counting. With a little experience under our belts, returning to our shells, won't be easier, but it will probably feel almost normal.


Friday, April 10, 2020

"Hands Across Illinois"
to be held April 29

The Illinois Association of Court Appointed Special Advocates is sponsoring the first-ever online "Hands Across Illinois" event on Wednesday, April 29th at 12 p.m. The organization, which is made up of community volunteers who invest their time and efforts in protecting abused and neglected children around the state, plans to join digital hands to raise awareness and draw attention to child abuse.

According to DCFS statistics, more than 36,500 youths suffered from child abuse or neglect in 2019. CASA recruits, trains and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.

The event, hosted by the Illinois CASA branch, will be the first of its kind on the Zoom video conferencing platform. The organization hopes to support its 32 local programs located throughout Illinois, while they advocate from a distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Hands Across Illinois" participants are encouraged to wear blue to demonstrate their support of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

For additional details visit http://tiny.cc/ILCASAHands to find out more about "Hands Across Illinois" or contact James McIntyre at 312-505-9226.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

In pursuit of a dream, Spartan Spotlight on SJO senior Jillian Plotner

St. Joseph-Ogden senior Jillian Plotner heads to the finish line
Clubs & Activities: Cross Country (4 years), Track and Field (4 years), Maroon Platoon

Senior Jillian Plotner started her running career long before high school. She started running competitively in the fifth grade. The choice to commit to the sport was a difficult one but one smoothed over by her dad.

"I had such a hard decision since I was choosing to either continue cheerleading or start a new sport," she explained. "With my dad's love of running, I decided to go to a few practices and that’s how I started running!"

Today, when she isn't hanging out with family or friends she is focused on training for cross country or track.

She really enjoys the close-knit feeling of the community.

"We just don’t function as a school, we function as a whole community," said Plotner, who resides in St. Joseph with her mother and father. "It's so nice to share our accomplishments as a whole community!"

Jillian Plotner runs the best time in her prep career at the Spartan Classic
Plotner runs at the 2019 Spartan Classic cross country meet. She finished the race with a carrier best time of 18:29. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks)
"I enjoy the atmosphere of having teammates who I can proudly call my family," said Plotner, who made The News-Gazette All-Area second team this year. "They motivate me to be a better person and runner. I love them to death!"

While she enjoyed the atmosphere under the Friday night lights at St. Joseph-Ogden as spectator, her fondest memories from high school will be from one of many racing for the Spartans. At the top of the list was her role in helping her 4x800 relay squad win the state indoor title in the event in 2019.

"I helped my teammates get the lead we needed to win!" she said recounting the race her junior year. "I had a lot of spectators and teams intimidated with how I ran in that 4x800 relay! It was my peak point of showing I’m healthy again."

She added, "Another memory is just all day, everyday spending time with my teammates and coaches. It’s never dull with all of us around!"

Some of her best times include finish the 800-meter run in two minutes and 26.69 seconds and turning in a 18:29 on a three-mile course. She also ran the 1600 in five minutes and 26.33 seconds.

After graduation, in whatever form that may be due to social distancing measures in place due to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, Plotner will begin pursuing the title of Forensic Anthropologist this fall.

Forensic anthropologists analyze human remains, typically for criminal investigations, to figure out how the person died. Using various scientific testing procedures to consult forensic pathologists and coroners. Their work includes determining the age, sex, stature, ancestry and unique features of a victim as well as determining the type of trauma and how long ago it may have occurred.

"Forensic anthropology has been a dream career of mine since the 5th grade!" Plotner said. "It all started with the show 'Bones'. The show has a forensic anthropologist as the main character, Temperance, who I adored."

Plotner runs the second lap of the lead leg in 4x800 during last year's IHSA state track meet in Charleston. The junior, along with teammates Rylee Sjuts, Ashlyn Lannert and Hannah Rajlich, qualified for the finals with a time of 10:16.75. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks)

Like the fictional character, Plotner wants to become the leading expert in the discipline.

"She was amazing at her job, and her job became a career I want to excel in!" she added.

When asked how she thought the coronavirus will change America, Plotner's message was one of hope.

"The COVID-19 will show America that many different opportunities can be taken away from someone and we just have to come back stronger than before," she replied. "Never lose hope!"

On a much more personal note, Halloween is Plotner's favorite holiday of the year.

"I LOVE HALLOWEEN! Even with being scared of scary movies, I love seeing children and even adults dress up in creepy and eerie costumes!"


Two weeks of executive orders issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in response to the Coronavirus pandemic


By Joe Tabor, Illinois Policy


In the last two weeks, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued a series of executive orders in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Illinois.

These executive orders have limited the size of public gatherings, suspended enforcement of certain laws and agency operations, and closed schools and nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and prevent the state’s health care system from being inundated with severely ill patients. The governors of New York, California, and Ohio have issued similar executive orders.

But where do those executive powers come from? And what is or isn’t allowed?

While the federal government is a government of enumerated powers – it can only exercise the powers specifically granted to it by the U.S. Constitution – state governments retain what is known as “police powers” to protect the welfare, safety and health of their residents, in keeping with the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This system means that states have more flexibility to act without running up against constitutional barriers. It also means states, not the federal government, have the power to tighten or loosen the restrictions ordered by state governors.

The governor’s authority to issue the recent series of COVID-19 executive orders comes from Section 7 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act. In the case of a disaster such as a viral epidemic, the governor can issue a proclamation declaring that disaster, allowing him to exercise the emergency powers authorized in the act for a period of up to 30 days. State and local police can work together to enforce orders given under these emergency powers.

Pritzker declared a statewide disaster on March 9, triggering his emergency powers. He began issuing a series of executive orders a few days later.

Pritzker’s emergency powers include but are not limited to the following, which have been cited in the governor’s orders thus far:

  • To suspend any provisions of regulatory statute that would prevent, hinder or delay necessary action by the state or state agencies.
  • To utilize all available resources of the state government reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster.
  • To redirect state departments or agencies toward disaster response purposes.
  • To control the movement of persons and occupancy of premises within the disaster area.
  • To provide temporary emergency housing.
  • To control, restrict, and regulate the use, sale, or distribution of food, feed, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods, or services.

    Pritzker is not the first Illinois governor to invoke the Emergency Management Agency Act. For example, former Gov. George Ryan twice made use of the provisions of Section 9 that allowed him to transfer money to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency after a tornado hit Centralia, Illinois, in 2002.

    Here is a timeline of Pritzker’s executive orders so far:

    March 12:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 1:

  • Extends the application deadlines for cannabis growers, infusers, and transporters to March 30, 2020


    March 13:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 2:

  • Cancels all public and private gatherings of 1,000 people or more
  • Closes the Thompson Center to the general public
  • Suspends the two-year continuous service requirement for state employees to receive advancement of sick leave

    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 3:

  • Closes all public and private K-12 schools through March 30
  • Suspends definition of student “chronic absences” so that it will not include absences due to COVID-19 closures and absences
  • Suspends the requirement that school districts gain approval for the implementation of e-learning programs


    March 15:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 4:

  • Clarifies that the closure of schools does not close the buildings for food provision or noneducational purposes like polling places


    March 16:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 5:

  • All bars and restaurants must cease all on-premises consumption through March 30 (later extended)
  • Prohibits all public and private gatherings of 50 people or more
  • Suspends one-week waiting period for unemployment claims
  • Suspends Open Meetings Act requirement that members of a public body must be physically present. Encourages postponing official government business when possible, and when conducting government business can’t be postponed, making video and phone access available to the public


    March 17:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 6:

  • Suspends expiration of vehicle registration, driver’s licenses, parking decals, state ID cards and related proceedings
  • Suspends filing requirements for statements of economic interest by certain public officials and state employees under governmental ethics laws


    March 19:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 7:

  • Mandates health insurance issuers regulated by the Department of Insurance cover the costs of in-network telehealth services


    March 20:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 8:
    Orders residents to stay at home, barring exceptions such as essential travel for essential work or supplies, exercise and recreation, through April 7.

  • Defines essential businesses, operations and government functions that are exempt from the order
  • Reduces allowable public and private gathering size to no more than 10 people
  • Orders all law enforcement officers to cease enforcing eviction orders for residential premises


    March 23:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 9:

  • Suspends requirement that Department of Corrections provide relevant state’s attorney’s office 14 days’ notice before an inmate receives an early release for good conduct and replaces with requirement that notice be provided as far in advance as possible or as quickly as possible
  • Makes several minor revisions, clarifications or additions to previous executive orders


    March 24:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 10:

  • Suspends prohibition on hiring nursing assistants who are inactive on the Healthcare Worker Registry if they meet certain criteria
  • Extends the conditional employment period for nurse assistants pending fingerprinting/criminal background check
  • Suspends provision requiring 30-day written notice from the Department of Juvenile Justice before a youth inmates target release date and replaces with requirement that the department notify the state’s attorney’s office of release dates with as much advance notice as possible or as quickly as possible
  • Suspends requirement that Miners’ Examining Board hold an exam once every month


    March 26: COVID-19 Executive Order No. 11:

  • Suspends all admissions to the Illinois Department of Corrections from all Illinois county jails, with exceptions at the sole discretion of the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections for limited essential transfers


    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 12:

  • Allows two-way audio-video communication to satisfy the requirement that a person must “appear” before a Notary Public
  • Allows any act of witnessing required by Illinois law may be completed remotely by via two-way audio-video communication if the communication meets certain requirements
  • Allows all legal documents to be signed in counterparts by witnesses and signatory absent an express prohibition, and sets out specific procedures when the signing requires a Notary Public


    March 27:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 13:

  • Suspends requirements on the administration of assessments, school terms, and the calculation of daily pupil attendance
  • Allows ISBE to implement rules regarding remote learning
  • Permits the use of early childhood block grant funding to provide child care for children of employees performing essential work
  • Any bids received by a school district for construction purposes may be communicated and accepted electronically


    March 28:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 14:

  • Suspends provisions of the vehicle code regarding repossession of vehicles
  • Allows training for Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprinting Vendor, and Locksmith Acts to be completed through online instruction COVID-19 Executive Order No. 15:
  • Further Extends the deadlines for previously extended cannabis-related licenses to April 30
  • Directs Department of Agriculture to accept all craft grower, infuser, and transporter license applications post-marked on or before April 30, 2020 via certified US Mail


    April 1:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 16:

  • Extends previous executive orders to last until April 30

    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 17:

  • Directs that elective surgeries be cancelled or postponed
  • Protects health care facilities, professionals, and volunteers from from civil liability for any injury or death alleged, unless caused by gross negligence or willful misconduct


    April 6:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 18:

  • Allows a verbal attestation documented by the State constitutes a valid signature for applications for public assistance, rather than requiring an audio recording
  • Allows unsigned applications for public assistance received by mail to be signed by a verbal attestation by telephone

    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 19:

  • Suspends the 14-day limit for inmate furloughs
  • Allows furloughs for medical, psychiatric or psychological purposes


    April 7:
    COVID-19 Executive Order No. 20:

  • Suspends date requirements for township annual meetings
  • Suspends license renewal limits for funeral director and embalmer interns
  • Suspends supervision requirement for funeral director interns when transporting bodies to a cemetery, crematory, or final place of disposition
  • Permits persons in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services who are 18 or older to remain in their placement
  • Suspends the requirement for healthcare workers that designated students, applicants, and employees must have their fingerprints collected electronically and transmitted to the Illinois Department of State Police within 10 working days, provided that they are transmitted within 30 working days of enrollment in a CNA training program or the start of employment

    Originally published by Illinois Policy on April 9, 2020. Published by permission.

  • Commentary: The Coronavirus could deepen globalization


    Guest Commentary by Sreeja Kundu

    by Sreeja Kundu
    There is no further doubt left that the coronavirus outbreak is both an economic and a social shock that will remain imprinted on a nation’s psyche.

    But the global impact of the pandemic poses a broader fundamental question: will this signal a major transition in the current neo-liberal order? Or more explicitly could the post-Covid world order witness the resurgence of the nation-state as we know it?

    Genuinely watershed or pivotal moments are one of those rare episodes in history. Take your pick among- The Versailles Peace Treaty, Great Depression, Battle of the Stalingrad, or most recently the 2008 global financial crisis - all had the potential to alter the existing course of events or more significantly the status quo.

    Even though, the world is yet to tide through the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but in short term the crisis has given fuel to all various camps in the global order debate. The nationalists, anti-globalists, the China hawks and even liberal internationalists had already been experiencing a sense of urgency for their views.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the course of life as we know it.

    Third and a crucial insight derived from the Covid-19 crisis is the upsurge of the nation states.

    It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospital and emptied public spaces and has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people had never witnessed. Given the deep economic damage and the social collapse that has unfurled because of this crisis, it is hard to see anything other than a reinforcement of a movement towards nationalism and a great power rivalry among others.

    A striking example is the statement made by Wilbur Ross, the US trade advisor who believed that the virus renders the possibility that the US can’t depend on even "close allies" for its supply of essential items. His response far from being minced actually suggests that the most plausible response would be to shut the economic drawbridge.


    What is surprising and perhaps unfortunate, that not just the US administration but the virus has revealed the hidden costs and the fragility of global supply chains which have prompted many to already write obituaries on globalization.

    The first phase of globalization which lasted from the end of the Cold war until recently, was about free-trade agreements, building supply chains, creating an aspirational middle class through eradication of poverty and facilitating interconnectedness through digital means and mobility.

    But the second wave of globalization which defines the latter part of the 21 st century has been confronted with mounting economic problems and consequent political challenges after a smooth phase of sail. The economic problems began with the 2008 financial crisis from which the world couldn’t fully recover. While economies might have become global, politics marked by nativist and populist impulses have remained national.

    Is globalization waning?

    One is already aware of the political backlash in the form resurgent nationalism that has taken place in both the industrialized nations and developing countries.

    In this respect the coronavirus pandemic has intensified suspicion between an authoritarian regime in China and a populist administration in the US. Besides the obvious pitfalls that open-trade and integration with the global economy brings, that would be routinely flagged by populist political parties it would automatically deepen economic decoupling.

    For example, some nationalists in the US and Europe already predisposed against unfettered trade, could actually flag the virus as the ultimate reason to seal the borders and bring factories back home.


    Second, besides the hypernationalist narrative and the possibility of the overt geopolitical competition lies the fragility of the global supply chains. The supply chains were already under fire- economically due to rising Chinese labor cost, the US-China tariff war and the advances in technology in form of 3D-printing and automation.

    Covid-19 crisis has undermined the basic tenets of manufacturing and exposed the weaknesses of the system. In other words, companies today will now rethink and possibly shrink the multi-step, multi-country supply chains that dominate production today. As Prof Richard Portes, sums it up correctly that "once supply chains were disrupted by [the virus] , people started looking for alternative suppliers at home".

    Third and a crucial insight derived from the Covid-19 crisis is the upsurge of the nation states.

    Unprecedented government aid and packages intended to mitigate the social and economic fallouts caused due to the outbreak and consequently the lockdown, forces a pertinent question to our minds - Is the nation-state back?

    Even so, as anti-globalist might consider that the virus in China, thanks to intricately interconnected world was able to hit both the supply chain and humans in no time. Since globalization is not about movement of goods and services, but also of people, capital, technology and ideas. So intrinsically, socialist regimes would be better positioned to respond to emergencies as opposed to states that rely on a neo-liberal model.

    A natural corollary is then that the high-water mark of globalization has arrived which signals radical pragmatic shifts.

    The crisis so far has exposed the deep inequalities that dot our global village and tested the endemic resilience symbolized by the presence of a lamentable healthcare infrastructure in even developed nations. But that might itself open up the path for global coordination.

    While on the short run the pandemic might benefit nationalists or anti-globalists by exposing the divisions, the crisis in the long run could further assist the development of the global consciousness. The more people over the world connect with each other over the same traumas over technology, the more they will be psychologically enmeshed within the community.

    On an optimistic note , the coronavirus might provide the perfect fodder for the revival and perhaps lead to a deepening of globalization which had been fractured before the crisis.




    About the author:
    • Sreeja Kundu is business writer at Live Mint and holds a Master of Science in International Relations and Affairs from the University of Bristol.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    SJO Senior Spotlights with Dade Allinger, Karsyn Wetzel and Mallory Ames

    Dade Allinger


    Clubs & Activities
    Boys’ Basketball (4 years)
    Youth Wrestling
    Spanish Club
    Chess Club
    Dade Allinger moved to St. Joseph at the beginning of the school year with his family. He has four siblings, three brothers and one sister.

    While he has only been a student at St. Joseph-Ogden High School for just one year, Allinger said he has made many great memories.

    Trading his orange and blue Bulldog gear for Spartan maroon and Columbia blue, he wore #21 as a member of the boys' varsity basketball team this past winter.

    He really enjoyed the electric environment of the Class 2A IHSA regional championship game hosted at St. Joseph-Ogden back in late February.

    At the beginning of the season, he came off the bench to contribute five points in the Spartans' 74-39 win over Schlarman at the Toyota of Danville Classic in early December.

    Allinger is thankful for the new friendships he cemented during the past nine months at SJO. Moving to the district from Mahomet, he appreciates how welcoming the community has been with him and meeting new people.

    After graduation this spring, Allinger will start his college education at attend Parkland College in pursuit of degree in physical therapy. After finish up at Parkland, he plans to transfer to the University of Illinois to continue his studies.

    His favorite classes in high school are Economics with Mr. Marshall Schacht and Business Management with Mr. Shawn Skinner.

    And, when it comes to favorite teachers, he named Mr. Schacht and Mr. Eric Andracke, who was his woods teacher at Mahomet-Seymour High School, as his favorite instructors during his high school career.

    His advice for future SJO students is to stay ahead on homework and to not be afraid to ask questions.

    Allinger said his hobbies include spending time with friends and family.


    Karsyn Wetzel

    Clubs & Activities
    Student Council (4 years)
    Drama Club (4 years)
    Chorus
    After high school, Karsyn Wetzel plans to attend Eastern Illinois University and will major in middle school education with an English emphasis.

    One of her greatest memories at St. Joseph-Ogden High School was being a part of last year’s musical production, which she says is her absolute favorite experience.

    Wetzel said she has also enjoyed her role as a member of the executive board for the Student Council and will always remember Senior Night for the last home football game of the season.

    Her advice for future SJO students is to get involved, and to cherish time with friends because high school goes by way too fast.

    Wetzel's four favorite classes are U.S. History, Sociology, Advanced Civics, and English 101/102.

    Her favorite teachers throughout the years have been Mrs. Jeffers in 6th grade at St. Joseph Middle School and Mr. Marshall Schacht, Mr. Jeff Kieffer, and Mrs. Heather Lindenmeyer in high school.

    Wetzel lives in St. Joseph with her mom and dad and two younger brothers. Her hobbies include hanging out with family and friends and working.


    Mallory Ames
    Mallory Ames' advice to future St. Joseph-Ogden students is don't sweat the small stuff and to live every day like it is your last.

    In addition to her interest in photography and cleaning, she likes hanging out with family and friends. How she finds the time for all three is mystery for a student who was actively involved in two sports and five clubs, including Spanish Club, We The People and FFA, during her high school career.

    As a member of the SJO FFA chapter, Ames placed 9th in a major career development event at State. At a land use career development event this past September, she earned a fourth-place individual ribbon and helped SJO to a second place team finish.

    She and other students competing in the land use competition evaluate soil characteristics including texture, slope and drainage. They then make recommendations for land treatments based on the use, whether it be agricultural, residential or urban.


    Clubs & Activities
    FFA (4 years), NHS, Bible Club
    Spanish Club, We The People
    AMP Program, Volleyball (2 years)
    Girls’ Basketball (1 year)

    She is also the Section 17 reporter, which covers 14 east central Illinois chapters including Arcola, ALAH, Fisher, GCMS, Heritage, Mahomet-Seymour, Monticello, PBL, Rantoul, Joesph-Ogden, Tuscola, Villa Grove, Urbana, and Unity in addition to St. Joseph-Ogden.

    She will also never forget the FFA Convention during her junior year in Indianapolis. The experience with friends was a lot of fun she said.

    Fellow students will remember Ames for her routine practice of screaming hello to social science teacher Don Beckett on a daily basis.

    After graduation, Mallory will move nine miles to the west to continue her education in Agri-Business and Ag Communications at the University of Illinois. She also plans to minor in Spanish.

    As her senior year comes to a close, Ames' favorite classes have been AP English IV with Mr. Ryan Searby and American History with Mr. Beckett.

    Ames' favorite teachers over the years have been Mr. Steele and Mrs. Cler at St. Joseph Middle School and Mrs. Duitsman at SJO.

    She lives in St. Joseph with her mom, dad, and a younger brother.



    Photos and text provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School

    Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    Meet the Class of 2020 - Four fantastic SJO seniors

    Ashley Abbott

    Clubs & Activities
    FFA
    Art Club
    Landscape Design
    Ashley Abbott lives in St. Joseph with her dad and stepmother. She has three brothers and one sister.

    Her hobbies include playing video games, attending Art Club, and gardening.

    Abbott currently misses her daily high school schedule, but she is making the most of her time at home.

    After high school, she plans to attend Parkland College. She plans to transfer to a four-year university to major in landscape design after finishing her program at Parkland.

    Her favorite classes at St. Joseph-Ogden High School include Horticulture, Biology, and Art. This school year, Abbott really enjoyed all aspects of FFA and enjoys learning about all aspects of agriculture.

    Her favorite teachers at SJO are Mrs. Jennifer Brooks, Mrs. Darcy Nekolny, Mrs. Jeanna Kerner, Mrs. Ashley Krisman, and Mr. Don Beckett.


    Kendall Ayers

    Clubs & Activities
    Scholastic Bowl
    Drama Club
    Chorus
    Kendall Ayers lives in Royal with his mom and has two older brothers.

    His hobbies include playing video games, singing, and working on computers, and he has a passion for geology.

    His greatest memories at SJO are simply the great day-to-day interactions he has had over the years in high school. Ayers said he will always remember going to All State Chorus at Olivet Nazarene University, which was a huge accomplishment for him that he certainly should be proud of.

    After high school, he plans to take a vacation out west and will attend Parkland College as a member the Parkland Pathways program. His goal is to eventually transfer to the University of Illinois where he will major in computer engineering.

    His advice for future SJO students is "to get their foot in the door and to make an impression."

    Ayers said his two favorite classes at St. Joseph-Ogden High School are Physical Education and Chorus.

    His favorite all-time teachers are Mrs. Max, who was his 5th/6th grade teacher at Prairieview-Ogden, as well as Mrs. Steffen, Mr. Kieffer, Mr. Don Beckett, and Mr. Hess at SJO.


    Kaylee Blackburn
    Kaylee Blackburn lives in St. Joseph with her family, and has six siblings: three brothers and three sisters.

    Her hobbies include writing poetry and short stories and hanging out with friends and family.

    Blackburn has many great memories from her time at St. Joseph-Ogden High School. Over the years, she enjoyed the overall atmosphere at all home football games with the Maroon Platoon. She is a big fan of Homecoming week and has really enjoyed participating in the Spartan Olympics.

    She really enjoyed post prom and will miss the opening show night for the spring musicals.

    After high school, Blackburn will attend Eastern Illinois University in Charleston to study early childhood education.

    Her advice for future SJO students is to "simply enjoy everything and to appreciate all of your teachers and friends."

    At SJO, her favorite classes over the years are American History, Advanced Civics, and Economics with Mr. Schacht; English with Mrs. Lindenmeyer; and Geometry with Mr. Duval.

    Blackburn, like other seniors, has several favorite teachers at the high school. Mr. Marshall Schacht, Mr. Jeff Kieffer, and Mrs. Heather Lindenmeyer as well as Mr. Steele from St. Joseph Middle School top her list.

    Clubs & Activities
    Cheer (4 years)
    Drama Club (4 years)
    SADA, Student Council
    We The People

    Joe Yeager
    Joe Yeager's greatest memory at St. Joseph-Ogden High School was when he missed two of his toughest classes his sophomore year because of a gas leak. The whole school had to evacuate the building and he will never forget this moment.

    His favorite classes at SJO included art with Mr. Jake Beccue his sophomore year and construction with Mr. Bill Billman this year. Over the years, Yeager's favorite teachers have been Mrs. Maxwell at Prairieview-Ogden in 5th/6th grade and Mr. Don Beckett at SJO.

    His dream job is owning his own shop where he can do custom automotive work or work on performance race cars. After graduation from SJO he willl start working toward that goal by attending Parkland College studying in one of their automotive programs.

    One Yeager's many hobbies is tearing down and rebuilding car engines. He is a member of one of two teams that trains at Parkland College and competes in Hot Rodders for Tomorrow competitions held around the country. In February, his team qualified for the national competition at the Race and Performance Expo in Schaumburg.

    Clubs & Activities
    Art Club
    FFA

    Teams are made up of high school students who practice teamwork, critical thinking and initiative as well as team communication as they tear down and reassemble Chevy 350 engines without the use of power tools.

    Hot Rodders for Tomorrow's mission is to teach high school and junior high students around the country about mechanical engineering and to encourage teamwork. The organization also offers scholarships to college students and has awarded more than $15 million since 2008 to future technicians. Not only are the competitions a great learning experience, but participants also have the opportunity rub meet with possible future employers as well as with industry experts to learn the latest technological advances.

    To future SJO students, Yeager offers this advice: "Finish all homework and to get involved."

    He lives in Royal with his mother, father and sister, Mariel.


    Photos and text provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School

    Spartan Spotlight: Senior Joey Acton plans to work his way up the corporate ladder


    Under normal circumstances, Joey Acton and the St. Joseph-Ogden baseball team would have traveled to Mahomet to face the Bulldogs in a non-conference varsity baseball game yesterday. Acton would have probably came in to close out the game for the pitching W and the rest of the team would have returned home with a 8-5 win under their belts.

    I say probably because the spring sport season is still on hold while the country prepares for the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Time is running out for Acton to throw strikes, pick off batters and pad his personal pitching record with wins in what would be his final year of varsity baseball at SJO.

    If you ask, the senior would probably tell you he thinks the mixture of spring and baseball is as good as it gets. Almost no one can argue with that point of view after almost five months of basketball and dreary central Illinois winter weather. But, with the state under a shelter-in-place order and the Illinois High School Association's hold on spring sports, all he can do is wait.

    While Acton said his greatest memories at SJO have been on a baseball diamond, he was also three-year veteran golfer and die one tour on gridiron playing football for the Spartans.

    Despite not yet taking the field this season, he said he has really enjoyed all of the great moments with his team during all four years of high school baseball.

    Fortunately, he did compete in one other varsity sport his senior year. Months before the Coronavirus made the jump from what scientists believe to be a bat species to humans, Acton represented St. Joseph-Ogden playing golf.

    Joey's advice to SJO students
    "Always stay ahead on homework and stay focused"
    Finishing with an 89 at the Oakwood regional tournament, he advanced to the El Paso-Gridley sectional with a shot at advancing to state in the balance. Unfortunately, he did not make the final cut shooting 48 on the front nine and 59 on the back for a final tally of 107 stokes.

    With graduation just a few short weeks away, Acton, who has made the Honor Roll all three quarters this year, plans to attend Illinois State University to major in business.

    "In ten years I hope to be working my way up the ranks of a corporate sales team for some big business somewhere," said Acton, who lives in St. Joseph with his mom, dad, and younger sister, Alyssa. "I see myself having a wife and a stable job with a beautiful house to come home to."

    To be successful in the business world, most people need mentors. When asked to name three people he would like to share a meal and what he want to learn from them, Acton replied with a sports superstar and two of the world's most successful names in business innovation.

    "If I could have a meal with three different people, I would choose Kobe Bryant, Elon Musk and Bill Gates," he said. "I would choose Kobe to learn his work ethic. I would choose Elon Musk and Bill Gates to gain knowledge of the business world and what it has to offer."

    Given the changes that will happen once America's current battle with the Covid-19 virus is brought under control, there will be a great deal of changes and innovations needed to keep the economy strong. In addition to the virus effect on the business sphere, Action acknowledges other changes to life as we know it.

    "I believe this virus will change life in America for the better," he said. "It will teach us to not be selfish, whether it be going out when you aren’t supposed to or not taking every roll of toilet paper at the store so grandpa and grandma can have some."

    With the focus on hygiene as a method to avoid a coronavirus infection, Acton thinks that the changes we'll see is a good thing.

    "I also believe it will clean up America. Everyone will continue to wash their hands frequently and clean off surfaces that may be touched by many people often. This continued use of cleaning techniques will keep America illness free and healthier as a whole."

    While at SJO, Acton was also a member of the Maroon Platoon and Spanish Club.

    "I can piece together some Spanish when I really think about it - thanks to SeƱor Sutton!" he said. "If I could speak languages fluently I would chose Mandarin and Spanish so I could use them to my advantage in the business world."

    His favorite class at SJO was trig with math teacher Kiel Duval during his junior year and includes his Spanish teacher Zak Sutton as one of his favorite teachers in high school.

    During 3rd grade and 6th grade at St. Joseph Grade School and St. Joseph Middle School, Mrs. Mabry was his favorite teacher before high school.

    Acton's hobbies include playing Wiffle ball, video games, and enjoying spending time outdoors.