St. Joseph-Ogden grad lands AD job at Salt Fork

On the Move! Following the rise of successful members from our community
In 2011, Dustin Dees decided to further his education to obtain a Master’s in Education Administration from Eastern Illinois University. The move paid off last month when the 2004 St. Joseph-Ogden High School graduate assumed the role of Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Catlin High School last month.

Before moving into his administrative role at the high school and as AD, Dees was a physical education teacher and coach at Tuscola High School.

"I felt like it would open the door for future opportunities to work with students, teachers, and coaches in an educational leaders role," he said. "I am grateful for all my experiences as a teacher and coach to this point. I owe a lot to some great communities and school systems such as Decatur, Monticello, Bismarck - Henning, and Tuscola. These places provided me with the experience I needed to pursue my dream of working in education administration."

He is grateful for the opportunities and the individuals who mentored him leading him to land his position at the Vermilion County school. He counts himself lucky to have been able to coach basketball, track & field, and cross country in several great towns, with some great coaches, and more importantly, with several programs that had great student-athletes.

"I owe a lot to great high school head coaches and athletic directors such as Coach Mike Stephens at Bismarck-Henning, Coach Matt Franks when he was at Tuscola, Coach Dave Beery at Monticello, Ryan Hornaday, Tuscola’s AD, and Randy Moss when he was the AD at Monticello," he pointed out. "Being around coaches and athletic directors like these helped me learn what great coaching and leadership look like on a daily basis."

Dustin Dees celebrates an SJO touchdown during a 2003 football playoff game
Senior Dustin Dees celebrates a touchdown by running back Daniel Widick during SJO's Week 2 road playoff game against Carlinville. When asked what did he remember about the 2003 game he wrote:

"I remember that game being a thriller! We were down early and made a huge comeback to win 19-14! If I remember correctly Carlinville had been ranked in the 4A polls that year and dropped down to 3A for the playoffs. They were really good that year and had a better seed than us. Answering the bell and winning that game was huge."

The Spartans indeed defeated the Cavaliers, 19-14.

The most rewarding part of coaching for the former Spartan who played football and basketball at SJO, is watching kids improve.

"I feel like as a coach it’s always a personal goal each meeting with your team for each athlete to get better at something," he explained. "That may not always mean improvement in the sport you are coaching, the reward for me extends into witnessing athletes become better teammates, improving work ethic, and building strong character."

His fondest memories from high school was playing four years of Spartan football.

"There was always such a buzz around our football program. There was just something about the fall at SJO and high school football that gives me goosebumps thinking about it," he recounted. "When I reflect on those days I think about how lucky I was to learn from the great coaches I had like Dick Duval, Brad Allen, and Bob Glazier."

Off the gridiron, Dees said the quality of his education at SJO was invaluable.

"I also have great memories of having some of the best teachers," he add. "I always felt like we had extremely high quality teachers at SJO, many of who were also coaches, and that made going to school a lot of fun."

While at Tuscola, Dees helped obtain $5,000 matching grant with Tuscola CUSD #301 and the Tuscola Rotary to add "POLAR" heart rate tracking technology for the classroom. He also developed a dynamic physical education curriculum for kindergarten age students through the fourth grade and he led the way in the creation of a school wide wellness committee. He also created a school Health and Wellness Fundraiser called "Competing for Wellness".

Prior to taking teaching and coaching responsibilities at Tuscola High School, Dees spent two years in the Bismarck-Henning school district where he coached junior high basketball and track. He also developed a junior high "Student learning outcomes" for physical education program and built district approved Student Growth Assessment program.

Outsiders might look at his job as athletic director and assume that scheduling games and managing travel for teams under his umbrella might be one of the biggest challenges he will face in the new job, especially as the Vermilion Valley Conference adds three new programs after the break up of the Sangamon Valley Conference at the end of the coming school year. Dees said navigating the uncertainties as well as maintaining a safe athletic environment during the Coronavirus pandemic might be tougher.

"Scheduling with the new VVC should go pretty smoothly since the conference AD’s work well together," he said. "The challenge I see for next year will be accommodating and changing some of the things that we do for COVID-19."

SJO senior spotlight with Zac Seeley

SJO senior soccer player Zac Seeley

St. Joseph

A younger brother and a younger sister

Running, fishing, playing soccer, playing video games, and hanging out with friends.

Favorite SJO memories:
He has enjoyed playing soccer at SJO, eating lunch with his friends each day and participating in Homecoming week all four years of high school.

Favorite classes:
Ag Construction, Ag Mech Tech, BSAA, Biology, and Intro to Ag

Favorite teachers:
Mr. Miller and Mr. Risley at St. Joseph Middle School and Mr. Don Beckett and Mr. William Billman at SJO.

Clubs & Activities:
Soccer (4 years) and Maroon Platoon

Career Plans:
He enlisted in U.S. Army and is currently in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, undergoing basic combat training.

Advice to future SJO students:
Get your homework finished on time.

Text provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School. Photos by Clark Brooks.

Transitions: Jack Knott, 79

Jack Wesley Knott, 79, was carried away to heaven at 4:55 p.m. Saturday (June 13, 2020) in Urbana. He was the son of Hiram Wesley Knott Jr. and Marian Louise Wood Knott.

Born in Urbana on June 18, 1940, he grew up near Kolb Park in St. Joseph and spent countless hours playing along the Salt Fork River. Never afraid of work, he delivered newspapers as a young boy.

He graduated in 1959 from St. Joseph High School, where he had been a member of the choir and participated in the state vocal contest. After graduating, he attended Champaign Commercial College in 1962.

Jack served in the Illinois National Guard from 1963-1969 as a staff sergeant in the 1144th Transportation Battalion. He completed basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

He worked as a computing supervisor in the Computing Service Office at the University of Illinois from 1963-1997. He also owned a jewelry store in the Lando Place Mall located on 6th Street in the heart of the University of Illinois campustown for several years.

Actively involved in the St. Joseph community, he was a member of the St. Joseph Civil Defense and St. Joseph Lions Club, including president; served on the St. Joseph Township Swearingen Memorial Library Board; and was co-chairman of the 1972 St. Joseph Centennial. He also was a member of the Mount Olive Cemetery Association board. He was a member of St. Joseph Church of Christ.

On Aug. 17, 1963, Jack married Barbara Gale Maddock at the St. Joseph Church of Christ; she survives him.

Also surviving are two sons, Gregory John Knott (Brooke) of St. Joseph and Kevin Wesley Knott (Julie) of Homer; and two grandchildren, Riley Knott and Hayden Knott of St. Joseph. Additionally, he is survived by numerous cousins that he was especially close to.

He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, John Bluford Wood and Ella Wood; one brother, James B. Knott; and sister-in law, Patricia M. Knott.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview, with Dave Barcus officiating. Freese Funeral Home, 302 E. Grand Ave., St. Joseph, is handling arrangements.

Memorials may be given to the St. Joseph Township Library.

Money Matters: Five tips to weather the COVID-19 recession

by Jake Pence

The National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee has officially announced that the United States has entered a recession. The United States has seen a record 128 consecutive months of economic expansion before COVID-19 bottlenecked the nation’s physical, mental, and economic health. However, this article is not going to be a COVID-19 or recession pity party; in fact, it will be quite the opposite as a mentor once told me, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."

Before we dive into the weeds, let’s preface these tips with the fundamentals of money management in a recession. First, you must live within your means and minimize discretionary spending. Second, you must prioritize saving and building an emergency fund of at least six months worth of expenses.

Third, you must continue to make your debt payments. If you want to learn more about any of those fundamentals then you’re a google search away, but my goal is to give you tangible, long-term tactics that will set you up for success both during and after this recession.


To effectively live within your means, you must understand where your money is going and be proactive with your cash flow management. In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, he wrote, “You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” Well … it’s time to confront the brutal facts about your spending and adjust your budget accordingly.

Whether your budget is in an excel document, on a piece of paper, or in your head, it is important that you have an understanding of the money you earn and the money you spend. In a recession, it can be difficult to earn more money; therefore, it is important to spend less money.

You can do this by checking your bank account, credit cards, and wallet on a weekly basis to see how much money you spent and what you spent it on. This will allow you to confront the brutal facts of your spending and identify what is necessary (groceries, housing, insurance, etc.) and what is discretionary (eating out, new clothes, subscription services, etc.).


Recessions affect almost every nook and cranny of the economy, especially credit markets. When credit markets tighten, it becomes difficult to get approved for a mortgage, car loan, credit card, or any other type of financing. Although it may be difficult, it is NOT impossible to gain access to financing in a recession. Access to financing is often what separates individuals who capitalize on the opportunities a recession presents, discounted asset prices, from those who don’t. Consequently, individuals with strong credit scores will be first in line at the credit market.

Your credit score consists of five components: total accounts, length of credit, credit inquiries, utilization rate, and missed payments. The most important components are the credit utilization rate and missed payments. To best explain your credit utilization rate, let’s say you have a credit card with a $1,000 credit line and a $500 current balance. This is equal to a 50% credit utilization rate ($500/$1,000).

You should maintain less than a 30% utilization rate across all forms of credit to improve your score. Missed payments are self-explanatory; however, it may become tempting to skip a credit card payment when times are tough. Do not give into this temptation as missed payments are the most important component of your credit score and will affect your score long after the recession ends.


Does the word "taxes" make you cringe? Cry? Worse? Well … taxes, taxes, taxes. For most individuals, taxes will be the greatest expense over the course of their lifetime. However, there are many LEGAL ways to pay less taxes so that you can keep more of your hard earned money.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of the United States tax code discusses how to legally reduce your taxes. You do not need to read the entire tax code, but you need to talk with an accountant who (hopefully) understands the tax code and will create an efficient tax plan for your unique situation. There is a critical difference between an accountant who prepares your taxes and an accountant who prepares your taxes and minimizes your taxable income through proper tax planning. When you can no longer increase your income or reduce your expenses, then focus on (legally) keeping more of your money.

If you don’t currently have an accountant or you file using a free online platform, then simply start by scheduling a meeting with a local accountant to review your financial situation. Most accounting firms will offer a free consultation to decide whether or not you will benefit from tax planning.

One other critical tip, you often will get what you pay for in terms of accountants and not all accountants are created equally. Don’t be afraid to pay a little extra for a great accountant who saves you far more money than a cheaper alternative, so be sure to focus on how much they save you rather than how much they cost you.


The purpose of diversification is to mitigate your risk. There is risk associated with any investment, and that risk is amplified in an economic downturn. Therefore, it is important to have a variety of investments in your portfolio. For example, if the stock market crashes and you have 100% of your investment portfolio in stocks, then your portfolio value will take a tremendous hit.

Alternatively, if the stock market crashes and you have 50% of your investment portfolio in stocks, 25% in bonds, and 25% in real estate, then your portfolio will not be as severely affected. When it comes to your financial portfolio, it is important to spread your eggs in a variety of baskets rather than loading them all into one basket.

Diversification can be done within each asset class. Let’s take a look at the 50% stocks, 25% bonds, and 25% real estate portfolio as an example. Within the 50% of your portfolio allocated to stocks, you should own stocks from different industries with a range of company valuations. An example would be owning shares of Amazon (e-commerce), Visa (financial services), and Caterpillar (industrial).

Within your 25% bond holdings, you can get a CD from a local bank or buy a government municipal bond; within your 25% real estate portfolio, you can own a single family home rental property in St. Joseph, IL and a duplex rental property in Champaign, IL. A few asset classes that you should consider investing in are stocks, exchange traded funds, bonds, real estate, real estate syndications, and precious metals such as gold and silver. Overall, prioritize diversification so when one sector of the economy is negatively affected, all of your chickens don’t come home to roost.


If you’re going to take away anything from this article then let it be this: don’t become emotional with your finances due to the recession. The next few years contain a lot of uncertainty, but don’t lose sight of your long-term financial plan and jeopardize your long-term financial security due to short-term economic events.

Whether this recession lasts 6 months to 3 years, it is still a very small period of your life. Make the necessary adjustments to your portfolio, live within your means, and actively manage your cash flow; however, do not become emotional and make rash decisions that will affect you long after this recession ends. We are in this for the long-haul.

Warren Buffett is a world-renowned investor and once said, "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked." Well … the tide is making its way out and time will tell who has prepared for this moment. If you feel vulnerable, then don’t become emotional or make rash decisions. Instead, cover yourself up while you still have time and make sure that you too, don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

About the author:
• Jake Pence is the President of Blue Chip Real Estate and a consultant for Fairlawn Capital, Inc.. A 2019 graduate from the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, he is a 2016 graduate from St. Joseph-Ogden High School where he was a three-sport athlete for the Spartans. You can view his latest acquisitions and advice on his YouTube channel here.

Community group organizes Juneteenth celebration in St. Joseph

A peace walk is scheduled for this Friday, June 19, at 6:10pm starting on the Northeast corner of US 150 and Main Street in St. Joseph to celebrate Juneteenth. Participants should arrive at 6pm or earlier prior to the start of the march.

Members of SJOnward, a local community group promoting diversity, inclusion, and racial equality in St. Joseph-Ogden and surrounding towns, will lead a procession through town stopping at least once for eight minutes and 46 seconds to pay homage to George Floyd, and African-American man in Minneapolis who was allegedly killed by an on-duty police officer in a video captured by a 17-year-old onlooker.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston on June 19, 1865, that anyone held in bondage in the state of Texas were free. The day is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day or Cel-Liberation Day. Despite that the Emancipation Proclamation was signed nearly two years and six months earlier, a large number of Americans, especially in remote areas of the country, continued to endure slavery due to the lack of availability of Union trips to enforce the Abraham Lincoln's executive order.

After walkers arrive at Kolb Park, there will be a speaker talking about the cultural and historical significance of Juneteenth, information about the history of sundown towns and how this has shaped perspectives of our community. Other speakers will be on hand to discuss their personal experiences with racism in St. Joseph and beyond.

Organizers ask that participants observe social distancing precautions by wearing a mask and keep a six foot distance from others as much as possible.

For more information visit the event page on Facebook here.

Spartan Spotlight with senior Hannah Rajlich

2020 St. Joseph-Ogden High School grad Hannah Rajlich likes to cook. Either way, that's probably a good thing considering her chosen career path in studying the science of food.

Hannah Rajlich runs her leg of the 4x800 relay at the IHSA state track meet in 2018. The third-place finish helped SJO secure the Class 1A state title that year. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
This fall, the two-sport athlete in cross county and track athlete whose dream is one day becoming an Olympic team nutritionist, will move to College Station, Texas, where she will join the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M. She said she likes baking more than cooking.

"My favorite (thing to make) would have to be Oreo cheesecake," Rajlich admitted. "I learned to bake by myself, but my grandma was the one who got me into it when I was young."

She is not afraid to experiment in the kitchen and like the races she ran the last four seasons with the Spartans, she doesn't give up when things don't necessarily go right the first time.

"I actually don’t have many kitchen failures," she explained. "One time I did try to make a strawberry pie - when I was like 12? - without a recipe and it didn’t turn out too great."

There are three people she would enjoy having over for a home cooked meal and good conversation. Her top three choices for dinner guests include her grandmother, Taylor Swift, Olympic gold medalist Emma Coburn, who specializes in the steeplechase.

"With my Granny we would just catch up on life," Rajlich said. "With Taylor Swift we would talk about how she became so successful and with Emma Coburn I would ask her about her training and Olympic experience."

Besides baking and spending time in the kitchen, her hobbies include traveling, hanging out with friends and family, and, of course, running.

"My top three places to travel to are Jamaica, Prague, and Bora Bora," Rajlich said. "I’ve been to Jamaica a few times now, and it’s my favorite place to travel to, plus I have so many good memories with my family there!"

She has also been to Prague in the past, too. She can't wait to return there in the future. The capital city in Czech Republic city is known for its architecture and is home of the Trdelnik, a sweet treat like a cinnamon roll which is wrapped around a pole, grilled, and then topped with a walnut mix and sugar.

"That's where my Dad is from, and where my grandparents grew up," said the St. Joseph native, who has four siblings, two older brothers, one younger sister, and one younger brother.

The South Pacific paradise of Bora Bora is at the top of her list of places she has visit and you can't really blame her.

Rajlich said, "It has always been my "dream' vacation because of the beautiful beaches and the unique location."

When she was not competing or doing training runs, Rajlich was involved in with National Honor Society, on Student Council and in Spanish Club at SJO. She also was a member of AMP and in the Spartans' student cheering section, Maroon Platoon.

Her advice for future SJO students is to get involved and to soak in the whole high school experience because it goes by so fast.

Despite not having a senior track season due to the Covid-19 Pandemic this spring, Rajlich leaves SJO with seven IHSA state medals and a pair of All-State ones to boot. She played a major role in running program bringing home the five state trophies and two championship titles the running program secured during her tenure. Heading into her final season she had high hopes for the SJO running program this spring with her sight set on the Spartans winning one more state trophy before her scholastic running career ended.

"My most memorable medal would have to be my 2016 State Champion XC medal," she said reminiscing about her first prep IHSA state final. Rajlich represented the Spartans in both track and cross country all four years of high school. "I was our team’s fifth runner as a freshman and we won the meet far ahead (of) the second place (team)."

Rajlich runs a lap around Detweiller Park in her last cross country race of her high school career last November. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
There is a second medal in her possession, one that she earned her sophomore year during track season, that also carries a fone memory attached to it.

"My second would be my 2018 4x800 3rd place All-State medal, when I ran a PR as our third leg in the pouring rain, helping contribute to our team State Champion trophy."

Her relay squad, featuring junior Rylee Sjuts along with seniors Zea Maroon and Sam Mabry, finished third in that race with a time of 9:51.85. SJO won the Class 1A state title with 43 points besting second place finishers Farmington and St. Teresa, who took third place.

"I have had so many great teammates over the years," she said. "Coming in as a freshman, Keely Smith was someone I really looked up to, and helped me become a leader for our team.

"She did everything right, even when things got really tough for her. And, she is one of the nicest people I know!"

Looking way, way, way into the future, before she retires, Rajlich has a couple of goals she would like to accomplish.

"Before I retire, I would definitely like to work with athletes and maybe have my own practice or business."

Sixth Coronavirus case identified in St. Joseph

Today, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, an additional positive case of the Coronavirus was confirmed in St. Joseph. It is the second to be announced this week. Six residents out the 420 members of the community that have been tested so far have tested positive results.

Meanwhile in Tolono, four new cases were identified in that community, bring the total to nine since the start of the pandemic in March. Three hundred and thirty-seven tests with residents from within the 61880 zip code have tested negative so far according to the IDPH.

Champaign County has logged 22,071 tests with just 728 of them coming back marked positive. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is reporting there are 57 active cases with six individuals currently hospitalized. While 662 cases have been declared recovered, there have been nine deaths attributed to the virus.

COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus mainly as a cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Other symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • If you or a family member has any of the following symptoms, the CDC recommends that you seek medical attention immediately. Those symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse or have bluish lips or face.

    People who have serious underlying medical conditions and older Americans may be at higher risk for contracting serious complications from COVID-19. The CDC has said those at high risk include:

  • Anyone 65 years of age and older
  • Older adults who live in a nursing home or long-term care facilities
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Individuals with Chronic lung disease or asthma, congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease, diabetes or neurologic conditions that weaken the ability to cough.
  • People with weakened immune systems, those who have undergone chemotherapy radiation for cancer currently or in recent past, people who have Sickle Cell Anemia, anyone with chronic kidney diseases requiring dialysis and those diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Also included are individuals who without a spleen or a spleen that doesn’t function correctly or people who are extremely obese with a body mass index (BMI) great than or equal to 40.
  • Free testing is available at Marketplace Mall at the State’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. A doctor’s referral, code, or appointment is not needed. Testing is available for anyone from 8am to 4pm, 7 days a week while daily supplies last. For more information call the COVID-19 HOTLINE at (217) 239-7877.

    Have you heard about Tubi? Ten shows to watch this month

    I'm not sure how or when it happened last month, but some how I stumbled upon a little known streaming service called Tubi. With a library of more than 20,000 shows and movies, users can watch an unlimited number of ad supported shows absolutely free at No membership, credit cards or subscription is required to binge watch shows non-stop.

    Barely eight minutes into browsing their selections I was hooked when I came across the Gothic vampire soap opera from my childhood Dark Shadows. Home with measles when I was about nine years old or so, I only got to watch a few shows. Starting next week, I'm going toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave and log on to Tubi to start watching all six season which ran originally from June 1966 to April 1971.

    Then today, while looking for The Sentinel's first installment of what to on Tubi, I came across another favorite television show I loved. Between episodes of Dark Shadows I catch an episode or two of the western TV series Rifleman starring Chuck Connors.

    There are shows for all ages with kids shows like Pound Puppies, Casper The Friendly Ghost and Transformers. Nancy Drew, Space and Skooled for older kids.

    War Movies? Check.

    LGBQT? Check.

    Horror? You bet.

    Foreign language films? Yep. There is a nice selection of Spanish language shows, a handful of Bollywood serials and a large list of Asian drama and romance titles to check out.

    Each month we will be sharing a list of ten shows worth watching or that look interesting enough to escape and leave behind for a few hours our world currently fraught with Coronavirus and polarizing political propaganda.

    1. Jack and the Beanstalk

    This 1952 film is inspired by a classic tale featuring comedians Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Jack (Costello) falls asleep during a bedtime story and dreams he is hero of the fairy tale. It is a laugh a minute in this adaptation. RATED: G • Running time; 1 hr 21 min • Comedy, Fantasy, Kids & Family

    2. Mr. Brooks

    There aren't many Kevin Costner films that I like and admittedly I also like this film so much because of the last name. Anyways, in my book, this is one of the best films in Costner's career. Demi Moore plays a detective and Danielle Panabaker (Necessary Roughness, Shark) Mr. Brooks' daughter with a secret of her own. RATED: R • Running time: 2 hrs • Thriller, Crime, Horror

    3. Garth Brooks County King

    Another film about a Mr. Brooks, this is the story about country music's greatest performer and philanthropist. RATED: G • Running time: 1 hr • Documentary, Music, Reality

    4. Memento

    Guy Pearce plays Leonard, a man who suffers from a rare brain disorder and no longer has the ability to create and retain any new memories. This is one of those movies that will instantly requires your full, undivided attention. The supporting cast features Carrie Ann Moss (Jessica Jones, Daredevil) who teams up with Matrix co-star Joe Pantoliono (M*A*S*H*, Hill Street Blues, The Sopranos) in this psychological thriller. RATED: R • Running time; 1 hr 53 min • Independent, Some Violence, Mystery, Thriller, Maybe Even Cerebral

    5. Terminator

    This is the movie that led off a successful movie franchise nearly a quarter of a century ago starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (Predator, Kindergarten Cop), Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Rock) and Linda Hamilton (Beauty and the Beast, Hill Street Blues, Secret Weapons) in a groundbreaking science fiction film. "I'll be back" never gets old. RATED: R • Running Time: 1 hr 47 min • Action, Sci-Fi

    6. Dark Shadows

    Grandfather to the popular teen saga Vampire Diaries, the 60s daytime horror soap opera produced 1,225 episodes during its five year run. True Blood without the nudity, sex and gore, Dark Shadows is the story of the Collins family and the supernatural in the small coastal fishing village Collinsport, Maine. RATED: TV-PG • Running time: Not listed • Drama, Horror, Thriller

    7. Black Snake Moan

    Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson), a deeply religious farmer, finds Rae (Christina Ricci) beaten and left for dead. He takes her in and helps her heal from her self-depreciating sexuality in this 2007 film. RATED: R • Running time: 1 hr 55 min • Drama, Some Violence, Strong Sexual Content, Independent

    8. Gipsy Kings: Live at the Kenwood House

    I was introduced to the Gipsy Kings' music circa 1997 and just added this one to my Tubi queue. With this service you can create you own library to play queued movies one right after another. The Gipsy Kings have their own unique danceable blend of flamenco, salsa and pop music that audiences all over the world love. RATED: PG • Running time: 1 hr 42 min • Music, Entertainment

    9. 3 Days To Kill

    Ethan Renner decides to give up his dangerous, high-stakes life as a spy after he is diagnosed with at terminal disease. Entertaining film about reconnection, bonding and saying goodbye. RATED: PG-13 • Running time: 1 hr 57 min • Action, Thriller

    10. Serious Moonlight

    True confession: Sometime after college I went to see a movie described as a black comedy. I was expecting a movie, rare as it would have been in the early 80s, featuring an all African American cast. Despite it being an entertaining and mildly successful film featuring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer, imagine my disappointment when there wasn't one person of color in the film. Well, this is a black comedy or perhaps a bitter one is directed by Cheryl Hines who is married to environmental attorney and vaccine-safety activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. The movie about an accidental love triangle features Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell, and Justin Long. Not for young eyes and ears, the movie has strong, sexually frank language and contains some violence. RATED: R • Running time: 1h 21min • Comedy, Crime, Romance

    Olauson, Kaiser and nearly a hundred area students on Dean's List

    Ninety-three area students earned a spot on the Spring 2020 Dean's List at Parkland College.

    Students must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 grade scale to earn Dean's List recognition at Parkland College. Those who take fewer than 12 credit hours during the semester can make the Dean's List by achieving a 3.5 cumulative GPA for 12 or more hours in the academic year. Dean’s List eligible courses are 100-level courses or higher, i.e. ENG 101. Note: Students are listed by hometown, in Illinois localities unless otherwise noted.

    Ryan M Stoerger

    John M Acklin, Taylor J Barnes, Zach T David, Adam D Frerichs, Brandi L Huson, Caleb L Johnson, Lindsey K Osterbur, Michael T Sage, Katelyn M Smith and Kenly R Taylor.

    Alexis N Moraski, Kaitlyn P Owen and Emily T Polonus.

    Nathan A Baker, Jack Kelman Brown, Rylie E Brown, Marlena Rayann Finical, Kaitlyn Dolores Fink, Kia J Freese, Christian M Hasler, Sydney M Huston, Allyson K James, Sophia A Kaisner, Peter R Manrique, Tori Catherine Patton, Abbegale Leigh Rix, Hannah Renee Swalls and Nolan C Walsh.

    Peyton G Crowe

    Kayla C McEvoy and Katharine C Wells.

    Jenna Leigh Albrecht, Austin C Anderson, Bryant W Anderson, Emily Ann Bigger, Kaylee Marie Blackburn, Melanie L Broch, Payton Michael Cain,Jennifer L Chatterton, Austin R Chilton, Elena K Cotter, Emory L Ericksen, Justyn R Fruhling, Payton Joseph Grimsley, Bryce M Haake, Erin E Henkelman, Chance Brian Izard, Cody M Johnston, Danielle Summer Kelso, Nathan Thomas Maier, Alexis G Manning, Caroline E Moore, Brendan Z Olauson, Alyssa R Omana, Grant E Siegmund, Stephanie Trame, Sarah E Wiseman and Nicole L Woller.

    Britney F Christman, Emma L Messman, Kaitlyn R Pruetting, Bailee M Shappard, Enoch D Wells and Rachel M Wells.

    Anna J Anderson, Alexis A Benskin, Breydon N Brennan, Dane M Crossin, Brandon G Downen, Destyne R Duncan, Emily C Eastin, Lauren N Frost, Kaitlynn M Gray, Megan L Henry, Katelyn E Kaiser, Cassidy L Kamradt, Joseph H Lamendola, Hallie E Lutz, Kaylee M Millsap, Destani A Newberry, Jalyn Mae Powell, Rayanna M Price, Caroline Michelle Rink, Anna Elizabeth Sanders, Briley L Smith, Jillian R Stadel, Alexander M Stahl, Chayton L Townsend, Carrie J Turner, Emilee M Walters, Mikayla M Wetherell, Caden Matthew Wingler and Alissa Kaylynn Young.

    Big Picture: Spartans topple Sabers, 8-0

    Closing our Big Picture series featuring players from St. Joseph-Ogden's class of 2020 are six intense photos from the Spartans' road game against St. Thomas More back on April 24, 2019. On that windy day on the prairie, SJO blanked the host Sabers, 8-0.

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    Big Picture: McCarty strikes out 12, Spartans hammer Panthers in home game

    Back on April 12 in 2019, the Spartans rolled to overwhelming 9-1 victory over visiting Paxton-Buckley-Loda in a non-conference meet up in the 'Joe'. The St. Joseph-Ogden baseball team collected six hits with juniors Drew Coursey and Jaden Miller pounding a couple RBIs apiece.

    Despite giving up a fifth-inning home run by Keyn Humes, SJO hurler Keegan McCarty picked up the win striking out 12 batters in five innings.

    Adam Frerichs, Sam Wesley, Kaden Jacobs, Nick Boggs also recorded hits against PBL.

    Here are the editor's top picks from the 170 action photos from the game.

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    Senior spotlights with Aubrey Kern, Cody Johnston & Kristen Costa

    Aubrey Kern

    Clubs & Activities
    Volleyball (1 year)
    Student Council, Maroon Platoon

    St. Joseph

    Older brother

    Hanging out with family and friends

    Favorite SJO memories:
    Going to all of the home games and Homecoming and Prom week.

    Favorite classes:
    All of her English classes and Biology

    Favorite teachers:
    Mr. Risley and Mrs. Kinney at St. Joseph Middle School and Mr. Kiel Duval and Mrs. Heather Lindenmeyer at St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

    Parkland College, Undecided major

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Have as much fun as you can and to not take anything for granted.

    Cody Johnston

    Clubs & Activities
    Bass Fishing, Scholastic Bowl, We The People, Rube Goldberg Team, Marching Band, SADA

    St. Joseph

    Fishing, riding motorcycles, and playing video games

    Favorite SJO memories:
    He earned first place in his We The People unit, and he also earned first place in percussion at one of his marching band competitions. Cody also enjoyed participating on the Rube Goldberg team.

    Favorite classes:
    Biology, Physics, U.S. History, Civics, and Calculus

    Favorite teachers:
    Mr. Risley at St. Joseph Middle School and Mrs. Jeanna Kerner, Mr. Robert Glazier, Mr. Marshall Schacht, and Mrs. Lianne Rash at SJO

    Parkland College, majoring in Engineering

    Technical training:
    Electrical Union Apprenticeship

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Pursue extracurricular activities and to do your homework.

    Kristen Costa

    Clubs & Activities
    Student Council-Class President, Student Council-Student Body President, AMP, Spanish Club, Maroon Platoon, NHS, Drama Club, We The People

    St. Joseph

    One younger brother, one older brother, and one older sister

    Singing, donating her time for volunteer work, and hanging out with friends and family

    Favorite SJO memories:
    Her greatest memories involvement in Student Council. She was elected into the IASC (Illinois Association of Student Council), and she was the first ever SJO student elected to serve as Vice President of this organization. Kristen also really enjoyed planning out the Kickapoo District Convention for Student Council.

    Favorite classes:
    All of her Spanish classes and Biology

    Favorite teachers:
    Mr. Dassow and Mrs. Ford at St. Joseph Middle School and Senor Zak Sutton and Mr. Marshall Schacht at SJO.

    Illinois College, majoring Spanish education (K-12).

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Enjoy what you have when you have it, and do not take anything for granted.

    Text & photos provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

    Spartan Spotlight with senior Danie Kelso

    Danie Kelso

    Clubs & Activities
    Track and Field (4 years)
    Cross Country (1 year)
    Bible Club

    St. Joseph

    One older and one younger sister

    Reading and running

    Favorite SJO memories:
    She said her greatest memories at SJO centers around track and field. During her freshman year, her 4 X 400 M relay advanced to State, which was an unbelievable moment for her. During her junior year, her 4 X 200 M relay placed first at IHSA State Track & Field Finals, which was incredible, she added.

    Favorite classes:
    U.S. History and Anatomy and Physiology

    Favorite teachers:
    Mrs. Stierwalt at St. Joseph Grade School, Mr. Risley at St. Joseph Middle School, and Mrs. Stacey Kietzman and Mr. Marshall Schacht at SJO.

    Millikin University majoring in nursing

    Collegiate Sport:
    She will join the Big Blue NCAA Div. III track & field program this fall

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Do not take anything for granted.

    Track & Field Career Bests

    60 Meter Dash8.71
    100 Meter Dash13.82
    200 Meter Dash29.45
    400 Meter Dash1:04.9
    800 Meter Run2:41.45
    2 Mile18:17.0
    3 Mile23:44.0
    4X200 Relay1:47.35
    4X400 Relay4:32.12

    Danie Kelso and SJO sprinters rise to the top of the podium in 2019

    Above: Kelso, with Spartan teammates Atleigh Hamilton, Hailey Birt and Maclayne Taylor pose for photos at the top of the Class 1A podium after winning the title race at the 2019 Illinois High School Association Track & Field State Finals on Saturday, May 18, in Charleston. The program finish the state meet in a two-way tie for third with St. Teresa.

    Below: Kelso fires out of the blocks in her relay squad's 4x200 prelim at the 2019 state track meet. Along with fellow junior Hailey Birt, sophomore Atleigh Hamilton and senior Maclayne Taylor the Spartans dominated their heat with 1:45.07 finish to qualify for Saturday's finals. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

    Danie Kelso fires out of the blocks at state track

    Text provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

    Rowland makes DACC Honor's List

    St. Joseph resident Libby Rowland was named to Danville Area Community College's Spring 2020 Honor's List.

    In order to earn Honors List recognition eligible students must carry a class load of 12 or more credit hours and have a B+ (3.5) grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

    This is the second consecutive semester the 2019 SJO graduate has made the list.

    SJO celebrates Class of 2020 scholarship winners

    This year's Honors Night was celebrated in a different format. Due to the state restrictions on large gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced this year's award winners via video made available on YouTube.

    "Even though we are not together in our gym and there were several scholarships that were not able to be given this year, the following is an amazing representation of how intelligent and talented our young people are," said SJO principal Gary Page in his introduction.

    Watch the video below to learn about the 21 scholarships earned by the Class of 2020.

    SJO Class of 2020 Scholarship
    Award Winners

    Jenna Schaefer
    Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
    Illinois State Scholarship
    National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation

    Tristan Fuqua
    St. Joseph Masonic Foundation Scholarship

    Hannah Rajlich
    Papa Pridemore Memorial Scholarship
    Illinois State Scholar

    Taddy Pettit
    Papa Pridemore Memorial Scholarship

    Jenna Albrecht
    C-U Optimist Club Scholarship
    American Legion Award
    Lexi Barbour Memorial Scholarship

    Lindsey Aden
    FFA Alumni Scholarships
    Illinois State Scholar
    Anderson's Scholarship
    Farm Bureau Womens Committee Scholarship
    Champaign County Farm Bureau Scholarship
    National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation

    Mallory Ames
    FFA Alumni Scholarships
    Illinois State Scholar
    Bayer Fund Farmers Grow Ag Leaders Scholarship
    Ag Future of America Scholarship
    Vincent O’Greene Memorial Scholarship

    Brodie Sullivan
    FFA Alumni Scholarships

    Katelyn Berry
    Illinois State Scholar
    Daughters of the American Revolution

    Emily Bigger
    Illinois State Scholar

    Ginny Bytnar
    Illinois State Scholar

    Andrea Cunningham
    Illinois State Scholar

    Faith Dahman
    Illinois State Scholar

    Hannah Dukeman
    Illinois State Scholar
    Illini Prairie Conference Scholar Athlete

    Erica Guelfi
    Illinois State Scholar
    John Phillips Sousa Award
    Lutheran Community Foundation Scholarship
    The National Merit Scholarship

    Ava Mills
    Illinois State Scholar

    Eric Poe
    Illinois State Scholar

    Kenly Taylor
    Illinois State Scholar

    Stephanie Trame
    Illinois State Scholar

    Isabelle Vliet
    Illinois State Scholar

    Zoey Witruk
    Illinois State Scholar

    Brayden Weaver
    Sons of the American Revolution
    Illini Prairie Conference Scholar Athlete

    Payton Cain
    American Legion Award

    Danie Kelso
    Lutheran Community Foundation Scholarship

    Eliza Lewis
    Lutheran Community Foundation Scholarship

    Nathan Maier
    Lutheran Community Foundation Scholarship

    Cody Johnston
    St. Joseph Youth Baseball Little League Scholarship

    Brendan Cooperider
    St. Joseph Youth Baseball Little League Scholarship

    Kendall Ayers
    National Choral Award

    Joshua Sexton
    National Band Director’s Award

    Rylee Stahl
    Tammy Walsh Memorial Scholarship

    Anna Wentzloff
    Tammy Walsh Memorial Scholarship
    St. Joseph Masonic Foundation Scholarship

    Zach Seeley

    St. Joseph Community Festival scaled back due to Covid-19

    The pandemic wounded yet another annual summer tradition this year. The St. Joseph Community Festival committee announced that this year's celebration will be scaled down considerably as the state continues to navigate through it reopening phases.

    In a statement released on Facebook, the festival committee announced that after conversations with the American Legion, the village officials and management from the carnival vendor, a decision was reached to cancel most of the events for this year's festival.

    "With all of the unknowns at this time due to the coronavirus it is hard to plan what might or might not be allowed in August," Josh Reese wrote in his post in the St. Joseph, IL - Information and Community Events public group on Facebook. "We are planning on keeping a few events."

    As of June 10, the planning committee plans to offer the following events:

    Saturday, August 1
    12pm • Antique and Lawnmower Tractor Pull Location: The Sports Complex

    Saturday, August 8
    7am - 10am • St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Department Pancake Breakfast

    6pm • Community Festival Parade
    Location: Downtown

    Dusk • Festival Fireworks
    Location: Sports Complex

    The Pancake Breakfast is listed as tentative. The SJSFD still needs to acquire applicable temporary food permits from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. The tractor pull was schedule to one week earlier due to the availability of the sled.

    Reese signed off with a piece of good news after thanking the community for their support. The dates for next year's festival are scheduled to be held on August 12-14 in 2021.

    SJO senior spotlights with Brady Lewis, Asjah Fonner & Tyler Jones

    Brady Lewis

    Clubs & Activities
    Coffee Club

    St. Joseph

    A younger brother

    Favorite SJO memories:
    He has been a part of the Coffee Club at SJO for the past two years and enjoyed making and delivering coffee to SJO staff members every Thursday morning. Each member of the staff was always happy to see Brady, with or without coffee in hand.

    Favorite classes:
    Classes with Mrs. Beth Beckett

    Favorite teachers:
    Mrs. Manwaring, Mrs. White, Mrs. Bayles, and Mrs. Beckett.

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Always do your best.

    Asjah Fonner

    Clubs & Activities
    Drama Club

    St. Joseph

    A younger brother

    Creative writing and reading

    Favorite SJO memories:
    She enjoyed everything about Drama Club and will always remember being a part of the musicals during both her junior and senior years.

    Favorite classes:
    Journalism and all of her English classes

    Favorite teachers:
    Mr. Risley at St. Joseph Middle School and Mrs. Alisyn Franzen at St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

    Parkland College majoring in Secondary English Dducation. She plans to transfer to Eastern Illinois University after two year.

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Push yourself to finish your homework, and don’t give up on what makes you happy.

    Tyler Jones

    Clubs & Activities
    Drama Club
    Football (1 year)

    St. Joseph

    Four older and three younger brothers

    Running and playing video games

    Favorite SJO memories:
    His greatest memories at SJO include his experiences in Drama Club during his freshman and sophomore years, working in the SJO greenhouse during Horticulture class, and attending post prom as a junior.

    Favorite class:

    Favorite teachers:
    Mrs. Kirk at St. Joseph Grade School, Mrs. Ford at St. Joseph Middle School, and Mrs. Kelly Steffen and Mrs. Ashley Krisman at St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

    Military Commitment:
    He joined the Army National Guard and reports for Basic Training at Fort Benning on June 15.

    Parkland College majoring in Physical Therapy.

    Advice to future SJO students:
    Do not procrastinate.

    Text & photos provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

    It was horrific and wrong and the officers must be punished

    By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

    The death of George Floyd at the hands of police should never have happened. It was murder and a dark moment in America. The looting, terrorism and burning of American cities by so called protesters is criminal and a dark moment in America.

    The Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death must be held accountable. The criminals involved in wrecking American cities, robbing and burning businesses must be held accountable.

    Americans have the right to free speech. Free speech does not mean destroying property, hurting police officers and criminal activities.

    The question many Americans are asking today is who is funding these criminal, terrorist riots that have happened across America? People are showing up from other cities and states to wreak havoc and chaos in American cities. Who is paying their travel? Who is providing their lodging? Who is paying them money? Are there really this many evil, bad people in America? Obviously, there are because the acts of violence displayed on national television are not coming from peaceful protesters. We have seen and heard about many peaceful protesters. Thousands of people have made their protests in a peaceful, honorable way.

    No one blames anyone for being upset and angry about what happened to George Floyd. It made me angry. I would be willing to march with anyone to cry out against such an act and event. Actually, I cried out against Floyd's murder in last week's column stating my feelings about his murder by the hands of the Minneapolis police officers. This column goes to thousands of media outlets. It was horrific and wrong and the officers must be punished. The looters and criminals who have vandalized and saw Floyd's death as an opportunity to pursue criminal activity also must be put in jail and punished.

    America is in deep trouble. We are still in the middle of Covid-19 with the prospects of a Fall resurgence. Unemployment soars. Businesses have closed and many are struggling to hold on. Economically our nation is buried. The future of our older generation is at great risk and the younger generation has not grasped yet what is really in store for them financially. The economic plight of this nation has put the realization of the American Dream at great risk for America's children.

    We desperately need a revival of "rightness" in America. There was a day when people believed in strong morals, decency, respect and the Golden Rule. This "rightness or rule" must happen from all the politicians, to the police officers, to the protesters and to every person in America. The preachers in America must get this message out. The politicians must get this message out. We must put this message into our daily living. Or, it's over for America.

    Here's the rule again, "Treat others the way you want to be treated."


    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.