Photo of the Day - September 30, 2020

Spartan football players maul QB

Heartbreak after halftime

Spartan defensive players stick Momence quarterback Seth Stevenson behind the line of scrimmage for another loss in the final quarter of their game on September 10, 2010. St. Joseph-Ogden, up 18-6 in the first half, crashed after the team was hit by a string of injuries and penalties midway into the game. The Redskins rallied back to beat the Spartans by one, 19-18.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo of the Day - September 29, 2020

SJO lineman Logan Carr plays in 2011 football game
Spartans open season with a victory
St. Joseph-Ogden's Logan Carr looks for a way past LeRoy's offensive line for tackle on August 26, 2011. The Spartans defeated the visiting Panthers 28-7 in their home opener Friday night. SJO went on to qualify for the IHSA postseason and finish the season with a 6-4 record with Carr under head coach Dick Duval.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Photo of the Day - September 28, 2020

Sisay Eisenmenger and Savannah Day at the 2014 PBL Invite
Eisenmenger, Day run strong at PBL Invite
Unity's Sisay Eisenmenger runs along side teammate Savannah Day at the 2014 PBL Invite. Day clocked in at 20:29 in 7th place on the course at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School while Eisenmenger finished in 8th place overall with a time of 20:44. The Rockets finished in second in the overall team standings on September 13, 2014.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
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Transitions: Larry Wagner, of Ogden, called home

Larry Wagner, 81, of Ogden passed away at 8:44 P.M. He was called home on Monday September 21, 2020 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

The son of Ralph and Evelyn (Johnson) Wagner. Larry was born October 7, 1938 in Danville, Illinois, and had one sibling, his brother Charles (Janet) Wagner of Lake Worth, FL

He married Sherry Wait on September 22, 1968 in Monticello. She survives.

He is also survived by his children; Jonathan (Jennifer) Wagner of Tuscola, Aaron (Cindy Stanton) Wagner of Rantoul, Sara (Richard) Atwood of Collinsville, IL, Amy Wagner of Knoxville, TN. Two grandchildren Xander and Lexi Atwood.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A model Railroad enthusiast, Larry worked at Horizon Hobby until 2008. He enjoyed watching trains.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served his country abroad tour stationing in England.

Graveside services was held at 10:00 A.M. Saturday September 26, 2020 at Stearns Cemetery, Fithian.

Memorials may be made to Disabled American Veterans.

I'm all for having medical insurance for everyone

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Give all Americans the option to buy into Medicare.

I've paid into Social Security and Medicare my entire life. I'm still paying to be on Plan B and Supplemental Coverage. I also pay for prescription insurance. I often feel like a coffee coupon from McDonald's would pay for about as much medicine as my prescription card pays.

I no longer pay over $1600 a month in medical insurance but I still pay about $450 a month even with Medicare. Nothing is free.

Americans should have the option to buy into Medicare especially if medical insurance will not cover them and they can't afford the sky rocketing premiums. It's also time to get rid of medical supplements and prescription cards. Make Medicare a single payer of the doctor's visits, prescription costs and all the above.

The government has more power to control the cost of big pharmacies and hospital costs. Most medical providers have "one price" but then the "price" they will accept from Medicare. Under President Trump Hospitals will have to display their secret negotiated rates to patients starting in January, 2021. This gives you the option to shop around.

I'm all for having medical insurance available. Make it available from state to state. Make it easy for Americans to buy from pharmacies in Canada. Let senior Americans at age 55 buy 20-year term medical insurance plans if they would prefer to do so. Some Americans have no idea how desperate other Americans are when it comes to medical treatment.

Why make it so hard for Americans who do not have access to healthcare? Let them buy into Medicare. If they are unemployed or disabled then give them the Medicaid option. However, this is just more bureaucracy. This system needs to become one.

It's also time to make 60 the age that retired Americans go on Medicare.

In your late fifties and early sixties Americans have to start going to the doctor more. A friend of mine is waiting until she turns 65 and has Medicare so she can have a badly needed surgery. She needs it now. If she could buy into Medicare she could go ahead and move forward with her needed surgery.

We also need to turn the age back to 65 for collecting full Social Security benefits. American men die by the time they are 76.1 years old. Many die much younger. This is very little time to enjoy retirement. Sadly, many Americans aren't having much of a retirement in their golden years. Many are working longer and spending less time doing what they had hoped to do.

The government waste our Social Security contributions. They've spent trillions on foreign wars. They now tell us Social Security has be reduced by 25% in a few years. Rich political leaders want to push the age until 70 for you to collect your Social Security. This is not working for the American people. We are working longer with the prospects of collecting less. On top of this, older Americans are having to pay more of their dwindling retirement dollars for medical bills.

Bringing our troops home and spending less money in Iraq, Afghanistan and on rebuilding foreign nations is a start. We can and we must fix our medical insurance dilemma.


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.


Photo of the Day - September 27, 2020

Braydon Rupert gets a big lift from his dad on senior night at SJO

Rupert heads above fellow seniors

St. Joseph-Ogden senior Braydon Rupert is hoisted by his father, Chuck, during the senior class introductions at SJO's final boys basketball home game of the season. At 6-foot-8, Rupert needed no help towering over his Spartan teammates during the 2019-20 season. The Spartans went on to defeat Illinois Valley Central 60-54 during their Illini Prairie Conference contest on February 14.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Transition: Eileen Welch, 99, of St. Joseph

Eileen Welch, 99, was born October 12, 1920 at Sadorus, the daughter of John and Anna (O'Neil) Gallagher. The St. Joseph resident passed away on Friday September 25, 2020 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, just short of celebrating 100 years on God's Earth.

She married William F. Bushue, who preceded her in death, and later married James Albert Welch, who survives. Eileen was preceded in death by her parents, son James, daughter Linda, and grandson Troy Waller.

Eileen is also survived by her daughter, Sandra Waller of St. Joseph, and her son, Dustin Ragle of St. Joseph. Grandchildren, Jeanne Lord, Joseph Ragle, and Everett Bushue. Great grandchildren, Blake (Katlyn) Waller, Ty Waller, Joseph (Alex) Ragle Jr, Josh Ragle, and two great-great grandchildren Riley and Anna Snyder.

She was employed at the University of Illinois and retired there. She also was a former manager at TCBY Yogurt store.

Eileen was active in her retirement and cherished family gatherings. She enjoyed mowing her yard until the age of 94 as well as sewing, cooking for her family, and family get-togethers.

Funeral services will be 1:00 P.M. Thursday October 1, 2020 at Freese Funeral Home 302 E. Grand Ave. St. Joseph. Entombment will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Urbana. Visitation will be Thursday from Noon-1:00pm.

'Temporary' tax increases always become permanent in Illinois

Ben Szalinski
Illinois Policy

State politicians have repeatedly reduced backlash from tax hikes by calling them temporary. That’s what they did in 1989 and 2011 but voted later to break their promises and make the increases permanent.

In 1989, former Republican Gov. Jim Thompson was pushing for a permanent 40% tax increase. Thompson lacked support from Democrats and reached a compromise with Speaker of the House Michael Madigan to temporarily raise taxes by 18% for the next two years by raising the rate from 2.5% to 3%.

State tax news
At the time, Madigan said Illinois did not need more tax revenue. Thompson disagreed, saying it was necessary to address concerns over school funding and property taxes. He said a temporary hike just pushed the problems to the future.

Two years later, lawmakers again voted to extend the temporary increase. In 1993, the General Assembly made it permanent.

Following the Great Recession in 2011, former Gov. Pat Quinn and state lawmakers jacked taxes up from 3% to 5%, again with the promise it would be temporary. Quinn said the increase was to help the state pay the bills and regain sound financial footing. Former Senate President John Cullerton promised it would help pay for pensions without borrowing.

“The point of this income tax increase is not to expand programs, not to do brand new things in Illinois state government, it is only intended to pay our old bills and deal with the structural deficit,” said former House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie.

Lawmakers planned to partially sunset the tax to 3.75% in 2014 and 3.25% in 2025. The decrease did happen in 2014, but it was short lived.

The General Assembly passed the largest tax increase in Illinois history in 2017 by raising rates back up to 4.95%.

The temporary 2011 hike solved few problems for Illinois and the 2017 increase has been no better. The state still struggles with the nation’s worst pension crisis and the deficit has quadrupled since 2011.

Illinois' net position worsens dramatically despite two major tax hikes

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is now asking taxpayers to play this game again with a progressive income tax structure. He wants a small percentage of Illinois taxpayers to pay more in taxes to bail out the state’s financial mismanagement.

However, the governor’s revenue projection falls short. Pritzker says a progressive income tax will net the state an additional $3.4 billion. Analysis by the Illinois Policy Institute found it would only generate $1.4 billion more.

There is no possible way Pritzker can fulfill all of his spending promises, pay down billions in debt and still cut taxes for 97% of Illinoisans, as his proposal claims. Eventually, lawmakers will be back seeking another tax increase but with greater power to put unfair burdens on smaller groups of taxpayers, including taxing retirement income like every state with a progressive tax.

The Illinois Constitution contains a flat tax protection, meaning you pay more when you make more and pay less when you make less – but everyone pays the same rate. Lawmakers pay a political price when they raise everyone’s taxes, as happened in 2017 when resignations and voter backlash cleared out the General Assembly.

Giving the General Assembly a progressive income tax would be equivalent to handing them a blank check. They will be able to spend however much they want and selectively target different segments of the population for more taxes, reducing the number of angry taxpayers at any one time.

Illinois voters for the first time in 50 years have a chance Nov. 3 to tell Springfield what they think about tax increases. Lawmakers need to fix basics, such as pension growth and 20 years of deficit spending, before making another promise to taxpayers that history shows is bound to be broken.

Originally published by Illinois Policy on September 16, 2020. Published by permission.

Photo of the Day - September 26, 2020

Blake Speckman wrestles his freshman year at SJO

State qualifier in the making

St. Joseph-Ogden wrestler Blake Speckman settles in for a pin on a Unity wrestler his freshman year at home dual meet held on January 22, 2004. Speckman, a two-sport athletes for the Spartans, rose to become a three-time state qualifier in the sport during his last three years of high school.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo of the Day - September 25, 2020

Tyler Clark makes a catch for the Unity Rockets against STM

Big Catch, Unity Rolls STM

Unity receiver Tyler Clark makes a catch in his team's road game at St. Thomas More on October 3, 2014. The Rockets blasted the Sabers 49-14 in their Okaw Valley Conference contest. Unity, crowned conference champions that year, went on to finish the season 9-2 after their loss in the IHSA semifinals to rival St. Joseph-Ogden on November 8.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Small business and retirees could suffer under progressive tax plan

Ben Szalinski and Adam Schuster
Illinois Policy

Illinois state Treasurer Michael Frerichs confirmed what many believe would be a new possibility in Illinois if voters pass the progressive income tax amendment: taxing retirees.

"One thing a progressive tax would do is make clear you can have graduated rates when you are taxing retirement income," he said while speaking at an event hosted by the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce. "And, I think that’s something that’s worth discussion."

State tax news
According to the Daily Herald, Frerichs said he knows people who receive annual pensions over $100,000 but pay no state income taxes. He said under the flat tax there is no way to differentiate between retirees who take home hundreds of thousands from those who get little.

Illinois voters on Nov. 3 will decide whether to remove the Illinois Constitution’s flat tax protections and give state lawmakers greater power to set tax rates.

All 32 states with a progressive income tax impose some sort of tax on retirement income from 401(k)s, IRAs, Social Security and pension benefits. Mississippi limits its retirement taxes to the income of those who retire before age 59.5.

The constitution’s drafters in 1970 included a flat tax guarantee in order to ease voters’ fears that the state’s first income tax – which went into effect in 1969 – could be raised easily in Springfield. Flat taxes treat everyone the same and make it harder for lawmakers to raise rates on everyone because voters can hold them responsible. A graduated tax allows politicians to decide who should be taxed how much and allows them to gradually increase taxes on smaller segments of the population, eventually hitting the middle class where most taxable income resides.

That is what happened in Connecticut, the only state in the past 30 years to impose a progressive tax. Middle class taxes rose 13%, property taxes spiked 35%, poverty increased by 50%, more than 360,000 jobs were lost and the state economy took a $10 billion hit. All that, and the state still failed to balance its budget.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has billed a progressive income tax as a way to increase taxes on the rich without also increasing taxes on the poor and middle class. But for a low-income resident making $12,400 a year, the tax would save them $6 while they are still taxed $1,800 a year.

The bigger problem is the tax’s impact on small businesses, which are just starting the economic recovery from Pritzker’s COVID-19 lockdown orders. A progressive tax would mean up to a 47% tax increase on over 100,000 small businesses, the state’s most prolific jobs creators.

Taxing retirement is not a new idea in Illinois. Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed taxing retirees with incomes over $100,000 last year, while the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago proposed taxing retirement income over $15,000 per year.

The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board even tied the two together, writing "Pritzker’s progressive income tax plan can set the stage for far greater tax fairness. Next, that tax should be expanded to include the highest retirement incomes."

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former state Sen. Daniel Biss also agreed with Frerichs’ position that a progressive tax is needed in order for Illinois to tax retirement income.

While government leaders argue for more taxation, Illinoisans want to move in the opposite direction. A 2019 poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found 73% are against taxing retirement incomes, while just 23% believe it is a good idea. Illinois is one of three states that does not tax retirement income.

With no retirement tax, Illinois can more easily retain retired workers without losing them to more tax-friendly states. Since 2013, Illinoisans over age 65 have been the least likely to move out.

Illinois' tax exemption for retirement helps retain state's older residents

Connecticut’s progressive income tax hits single filers on $50,000 and joint filers on $60,000 of retirement income. Unsurprisingly, Connecticut loses retired residents at a faster rate than Illinois.

If the Land of Lincoln changes tax structures and imposes a progressive income tax that taxes retired workers on their income, these trends can easily change. More Illinoisans over 65 will pack and move to states with better climates and lower tax rates.

Illinois leaders who want to ensure fairness and economic recovery should protect the current tax structure. Progressive taxation and taxing retirement income will not fix the state’s spending problem, but will send more jobs and retirees to other states.

Originally published by Illinois Policy on June 24, 2020. Published by permission.

Photo of the Day - September 24, 2020

SJO linebacker Jordan Hartman
Spartans surprised by Sabers on the road
Sophomore Jordan Hartman tries to fight his way into the St. Thomas More backfield for the Spartans in their 2011 Sangamon Valley Conference road game on September 30. St. Joseph-Ogden fell 14-12 in a thriller to the Sabers. After winning the next three games to finish the regular season playoff eligible with 6 wins and three losses, Hartman and Spartans made an early departure after falling to Monticello on their home turf, 42-14.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
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Turkey hunting permit lottery starts October 6

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced this week new updates to the process for hunters who want to enter the lottery for Spring Wild Turkey permits. The new application procedure, adopted earlier this year, will streamline the lotteries for turkey hunters, making it easier to obtain all three of their permits online rather than a combination of online and over-the-counter.

"We hope this new process will be simpler and more straightforward for our hunters," said Luke Garver, manager of the IDNR Wild Turkey Project in a release to the public. "Resident hunters can now apply in all three lotteries, whereas previously they would only be able to apply in the first and third. Hunters also will have the opportunity to get more permits for their favorite public land spots via the lottery."

Three changes to the lottery process includes a stipulation that only resident hunters may apply for one turkey hunting permit. This excludes hunters who have received or will receive a landowner property-only hunting turkey permit for the spring season. Applications for this lottery, also known as the First Lottery will be accepted starting on October 6 and will close on December 1.

In the Second Lottery, all hunters are eligible to apply for one turkey hunting permit, but hunters who have not already been awarded a permit will receive preference. Applications for this phase will be accepted through the first working day after Jan. 10.

Finally, the Third Lottery allows any to apply. The statement from the IDNR says "hunters may apply for up to three permits during this period, except that no one may exceed the limit of three permits in total for spring turkey hunting." The three-permit total includes all other allowable lottery-drawn, landowner, youth, and OTC permits. Applications for this lottery will be accepted through the first working day after Feb. 8.

For additional information or questions on Wild Turkey Hunting in Illinois, visit click here:

Photo of the Day - September 23, 2020

SJO girls track senior night

Spartans celebrate track senior night

With her mother looking on, St. Joseph-Ogden senior Hannah Graham receives a congratulatory kiss from her father, Chris, during senior night recognition at the 2012 Lady Spartan Classic. Graham, a three-sport athlete, was a member of the state qualifying 4x200 and 4x400 squads that advanced to state weeks later. The SJO girls finished 16th in the team standings at the state finals Charleston.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo of the Day - September 22, 2020

SJO's Connor Janes carries the ball through the PBL defensive line in 2014

SJO notches win in season opener

Connor Janes evades a pair of Panther tacklers while carrying the ball while teammate Jake Renfrew provides additional protection during a fourth quarter play in the Spartans home opener on Friday, August 29, 2014. The Spartans kicked off the 2014 season with conference victory over visiting Paxton-Buckley-Loda, 27-7. Janes, who carried the ball 8 times for 42 yards and caught two passes good for 61 more, finished the night with 103 all-purpose yards. St. Joseph-Ogden went on to finished the season with one regular season loss to Unity. SJO would avenge the 35-7 loss by kicking the Rockets out of the postseason with a 41-14 second round victory on their way to a 11-2 record.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Transitions: Wayne Sage, 81

On Friday September 18, 2020, Wayne L. Sage 81, of Ogden passed away at 1:25 P.M. surrounded by family at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Wayne was born May 26, 1939 in Compromise Township, the son of Fred and Reka (Albers) Sage. He married Roxie Schweineke on October 15, 1961 in Broadlands. She survives.

He is survived by his children: Sandra Lynne (Bill) Whalen of Crane, MO, SueAnn Denise (Jim) Billimack of Metamora, and Kevin Wayne (Lisa) Sage of Ogden; nine grandchildren: Emily (Cody) Scott, Rachel (Caleb) Gibbens, Mitchell (Haley) Billimack, Grant Billimack, Sydney Billimack, Janssen Sage, Jo Hannah Sage, Michael Sage, and Olivia Sage; two brothers: Darold (Millie) Sage of Venice, FL, and Myron Sage of Gifford; one sister: Donna (Carl) Beard of Tavares, FL; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Wayne was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Royal where he was baptized and confirmed.

His greatest love was his family and spending time with them. He also enjoyed Hereford cattle and attending Hereford cattle shows and events.

He was a member of the American Hereford Association and the Illinois Hereford Association. He was named the Illinois Hereford Man of the Year by the Illinois Hereford Association, received the Illinois Golden Breeder Award, and was honored as the American Junior Hereford Association Advisor of the Year.

Wayne was a lifelong farmer and was named the Champaign County Young Farmer of the Year in 1970. He also worked as a St. Joseph rural mail carrier for many years.

Visitation will be held from Noon to 2:30 P.M. Monday September 21, 2020 at St. John Lutheran Church, Royal. Masks are required during the visitation. Graveside services will be held at 3:00 P.M. Monday at Kopmann Cemetery with Pastor Jay Johnson officiating. Freese Funeral Home 302 E. Grand Ave, St. Joseph is assisting the family with arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the National Hereford Youth Foundation or Kopmann Cemetery Association.

Transitions: Edwin Dalton, 82

Born October 8, 1937, in rural Piatt County, Edwin D. Dalton was the son of Harlin and Bernadeane Dalton. At the age of 82, passed away on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Kirby Hospital, Monticello.

He married Alice Jane Rawley on November 26, 1961 in Philo, Illinois. She preceded him in death on March 2, 2007. Also preceding him in death was his brother Ellis, sister Phyllis and both parents.

He is survived by his children, Bill (Renee) Dalton and Glenda Dalton and one brother, George (Dianna) Dalton. Also surviving him are grandchildren Jacob (Erin) Dalton, Lucas (Cara) Dalton, Megan (Devon Mitsdarffer) Rawley and Gavin Rawley and great grandchildren Brecken and Eleanor Dalton.

Ed was a tenant farmer in the Monticello area as a young man then in 1961 was employed at the University of Illinois where he retired in 1994 from the Steam Distribution Shop.

Ed and Alice enjoyed camping and traveling. He was involved in the boy scouts, youth baseball and the Philo ESDA along with being active in Zion Lutheran Church of Philo. Ed enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and cruising Philo in his golf cart.

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff of the Piatt County Nursing Home, Harbor Light Hospice, and Kirby Hospital for their exceptional care.

A private family service will be held at a later date. Interment will be in Locust Grove Cemetery, Philo, Illinois.

Memorial donations may be given to Zion Lutheran Church, 101 East Van Buren, Philo, Illinois 61864.

Photo of the Day - September 21, 2020

Jolee Paden finishes first at SJO 5K
Winning spirit
Jolee Paden is all smiles behind her first book Spiritual Runner after running in the 2014 St. Joseph 5K. She finished the race in first place for the women's 19-24 title. Paden, who self-published the title just a few weeks before the race, was a product of the St. Joseph-Ogden cross country and track program. She was recently was promoted to Director of Operations for Southeast Asia FCA.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
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Youth wrestling club announces change in leadership

The SJO Youth Wrestling Club welcomed a new board of directors this month after three members, Mike Birt, Abby Klitzing and Travis Eastin resigned from their positions. Eastin plans to remain a member-at-large to assist in the transition.

The board for the 2020-21 season are:

President - Bill Gallo
Vice President - Richard Vetter
Head Coach - Billy Gallo
Equipment - Chad Carter
Stats - Ben Gorman
Treasurer - Randi Jones
Secretary - Bailey Schiff
Public Relations - Matthew Ware
Fundraising - Adrienne Umbarger
Member at Large - Travis Eastin

Photo of the Day - September 20, 2020

Brayden Weaver hugs his dad on senior night

Basketball seniors honored at SJO

With his mother, Angie, looking on and enjoying the moment, St. Joseph-Ogden senior Brayden Weaver hugs his father Blake during senior night introductions before the start of SJO's final home basketball game of the season earlier this year on February 14. Weeks later before the Coronavirus rose to the level of a national pandemic, Weaver, a three-sport athlete, decided to continue his athletic career by playing football at Illinois College. The Spartans went on to defeat their guests Illinois Valley Central, 60-54.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

The only way to overcome racial injustice is to stand together

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

I haven't watched much professional sports over the last few months. Last Thursday, I did tune into the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns football game. My attention grew when I saw both teams on the field, arm in arm standing together for the national anthem.

I didn't see three or four kneeling or one team in the locker room and another team on the field. I didn't see anyone standing on their heads or someone else doing flip flops or something else. Both teams were standing, arm in arm in attention for the national anthem. I watched the entire game. The Bengals and Browns played one of the best games I've watched in some time. The game was fun to watch.

What they did was so simple yet so profound.

They stood arm in arm for the national anthem. On the state flag of Missouri, we find these words, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall." This is also the state motto for Kentucky. Of course, words are only words if they are not backed by action.

The only way to deal with and overcome racial injustice in America is for all of us to stand together.

We must all stand against inequality. There is no room for bad police in America. We must all stand against all police acts that are unfair and eliminate all police who are not mentally stable to wear a badge. We must fund and support those who do wear the badge and put their lives at risk to protect us. We need a strong and good police force in every American community.

If we will stand together in America, we can protect our nation from being over taken by evil forces. We can strengthen our infrastructure. We can keep our military strong. We can keep Social Security and Medicare solvent for our aging population. We can make healthcare accessible for every American regardless of income or preexisting conditions. If we stand together, we will find a vaccine for Covid-19. We can bring our strong economy back and America will continue to be a great country.

What could happen in America if Congress would all stand together in unison for something?

Regardless of the issue or the vote the other political party is demonized for their stance on almost every issue. What could happen if Congress would stand with our President and try to help him tackle our difficult national problems? Regardless of what he wants to do the Democrats fight him and undermine him. Regardless of what the Democrat's want to do the Republicans fight them. This isn't working for our country.

What could happen if far left winged media in this country would stand with our President and try to help him? Instead, they fight him on his every move and every word.

A nation is no greater than her people.

America is filled with great people but we aren't a great country when we are fighting each other. The sure way to lose our country is to devour each other. If we devour each other, China, Russia, or whoever will take whatever is left.

Then, they will be telling us when to stand, sit or kneel. We can keep our freedom if we stand together now.


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.


A lib hoax or a serious public health issue, tell us your COVID experience

According to Champaign-Urbana Public Health statistics, 253 residents in our readership received confirmation they tested positive for COVID-19. As of today, out of the 382 reported active cases in the county, 31 cases or 8.1%, are neighbors in our area.

Do you have a personal experience with the Coronavirus you'd like to share?  How is your family handling life during a pandemic? 

Most people suffer the infection anywhere from just five days to a couple of weeks, but there is segment of the population whose symptoms simply will not go away.  Are you a long-hauler?  

Historically, viral pandemic outbreaks worsen during cold, winter months.  However, there are many who vehemently believe the Coronavirus is a hoax dreamed up and put into play by the liberal left to stymie President Donald Trump's reelection bid. Do you believe the outbreak will magically disappear on November 4?

The Sentinel would like to share your view, your story, your experience with our readers. Please email your story, tips or commentary to

Covid-19 count creeps up slighty in our area

The number of active cases of the Coronavirus in The Sentinel area of coverage has risen over the past week.

The current count by zip code includes two cases in Ogden (61859), St. Joseph (61873) with 15, Sidney (61877) with seven, and Philo (61864) is nursing six cases. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is reporting five cases in Tolono (61880) and none in Royal (61871).

Out of the 13,018 test performed to date, 251 area residents in the six zip codes covered by The Sentinel have tested positive. The number represents just six percent of the total confirmed cases in Champaign County.

Thanks to the students returning to the University of Illinois campus last month, there 424 active cases in the county, 30 of those are patients from our area.

Currently, there are eight individuals from the county who are hospitalized. The stats do not indicate the home zip codes of those who are undergoing treatment at area hospitals.

Photo of the Day - September 19, 2020

Taylor White pounds the ball through the St. Thomas More defensive line

Rockets post rushing rout in the Sabers' den

Unity ball carrier Taylor White pounds the ball through the St. Thomas More defensive effort in their conference game on October 3, 2014. The senior quarterback finished the night with 150 yards and four touchdowns. Improving their record to 5-1 on the season, the Rockets rushed past the Sabers at Henneman Field to a 49-14 road victory.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Area professionals react to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Much of America is mourning the passing of Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg this evening. Nominated by President Bill Clinton and taking her place on the bench just 26 days later, Ginsberg died of complication from cancer today at the age of 87.

Known by her initials RGB, she was heroine, a guiding light and courageous champion of women's rights in the highest court of law in this country. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court after Sandra Day O'Connor. She protected abortion rights and a wide range of other progressive ideals on an otherwise conservative Supreme Court.

"It’s honestly terrifying," said Tasha Shadden, a 2011 graduate from St. Joseph-Ogden High School currently working toward a masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. "She was the voice for gender equality and reproductive rights and losing that is a huge loss for women. It’s hands down the worst part of 2020 so far."

Like Shadden, Doctor Suzanne Ford, who graduated from the University Of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine in 2019, was a distance runner with the SJO running program. She said Ginsberg's showed strength and passion in her final days.

"Ruth Bader Ginsberg was an inspiration to so many women as she broke through the glass ceiling in the world of law, as not many women attended law school at the time that she did. She stood up for what was right and fair at all costs, and fought for equality for women, especially in education, paving the way for women such as myself to not be discriminated against in our pursuit of education.

"She was firm and known for her fierce dissents, which made her a role model for so many to stand up for what they believe is right, even when that’s against the majority. As she aged, RBG battled cancer yet remained active and continued to serve on the Supreme Court, which shows her strength and passion to uphold a fair and just legal system for our country. Even with her popularity, she remained humble. She is a hero to so many of us and will be greatly missed."

St. Joseph resident Kelly Miller Skinner, owner of Soul Care Urban Retreat Center was stunned by the news.  She wrote:

"I was shocked by the news. I've just spent the last 30 minutes being bombarded by text messages by female leaders and friends around the country who are devastated. Many see this as another blow that 2020 has dealt us. With the sadness, also comes a renewed determination to fight for justice and to step up campaign support efforts because of the fear that conservative political leaders will push a replacement before the election. There is a sense of needing to fight harder.

For me, she has always represented someone who works hard and uses all her smarts and skills to work within the system for lasting change. She has inspired so many women of all ages that they can make a difference in their own way and in their own spheres. Her plain talk has given words to what we all feel.

I also keep thinking....who is going to step up and inspire us next?

St. Joseph's Jennifer Tuttle hopes whoever replaces Ginsberg, mirrors the strength and determination she was known for by her admirers.

"Clearly she had a big part in women’s rights in the us," said Tuttle, General Manager of Champaign's Red Lobster. "I viewed her as a helper, one that always wanted to try to find common ground. She was a lady first, yet still showed independence. Hopefully, the next person to take the spot shows the same class that she did."

With less than two months before the presidential election, Ginsburg's passing will surely deepen and already polarized country making its way through a controversial pandemic, economic decline, and civil unrest in cities around the country.

President Donald Trump will likely become the first president since Richard Nixon to confirm three supreme court justices in a single term. Washington will be political battleground as Republicans will undoubtedly at the President's insistence push through a nominee before November. 

Ginsberg will be laid to rest at the Arlington National Cemetery. 


Photo of the Day - September 18, 2020

Victoria Roberts celebrates SJO softball win
Senior day smiles
St. Joseph-Ogden senior Victoria Roberts is all smiles with her Senior Day cookie after SJO defeated St. Thomas More in their last home game of the season on May 10, 2012. The five-inning affair ended with the Spartans celebrating a 15-1 victory over the visiting Sabers. SJO went on to finish the season with a record of 41 wins and just one loss on their way to a third-place finish at the Illinois High School Association's state tournament in Peoria under head coach Randy Wolken.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo of the Day - September 17, 2020

Aaron Woller dribbles the ball behind his back in SJO Class 2A semifinal
Quick stop
Spartans' Aaron Woller dribbles the ball behind his back as Maroons' defender Austin Weck sails past him during second half action of their home sectional game on February 29, 2012. St. Joseph-Ogden fell 57-32 to Robinson in their Class 2A semifinal basketball game.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Why do hamburgers taste so good?

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Because they are bad for you. If they were healthy and good for you, they wouldn't taste near as good.

Typically, I eat healthy. My doctor prefers I stay away from red meat, fried foods, dairy and sugar. He forbids stuff like ice cream, pie and cake. I actually enjoy salmon, salads, most all vegetables and chicken. I don't have too much trouble avoiding the bad stuff.

Recently I was in one of the little towns we visit and I didn't feel great. It was one of those feel bad days. Not far away was a little joint people commonly refer to as the pool hall. On this day I knew they had exactly what I needed - one of their world-famous hamburgers. Of course, like Adam and Eve when I go astray everyone else follows along as well. All of our family decided to have deluxe hamburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, fries, while I ordered a double hamburger, one piece of cheese, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.

On the way I picked up a sack of ice-cold sugary colas. I figured we might as well do this right. I brought the food back home and we all slid right into hog heaven chowing down on those juicy hamburgers. As you know there are hamburgers and there are great hamburgers when made with lean quality meat and prepared right, etc.

Actually, a hamburger is not the end of the world for consumption. You can add healthy stuff like lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and before you know it you almost have a health burger - not exactly. Too much red meat will start boosting your cholesterol levels that will show up when you have your blood work done. A few years back I got on a hamburger kick and after having my blood work I learned my cholesterol was 220. My doctor wanted to know what I had been doing and asked me to go into extreme moderation mode. His words were, "You don't need a heart attack."

Burgers are good sources of protein, iron and vitamin B12, but they come with a lot of problems, according to nutrition experts-particularly the fatty meat, sugary ketchup and refined grain buns. A diet of burgers will lead to obesity. My double burger had about 900 calories. The saturated fat is detrimental to your heart. My double burger had about 22 grams of saturated fat or 108 percent of my daily value. Add to this also 172 milligrams of cholesterol or 57% of the daily value based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. A one patty burger can have 258 milligrams of sodium. If you are battling high blood pressure you don't want a lifestyle of eating hamburgers.

Why do hamburgers taste so good? Because they are bad for you. But hey old friend, surely, we can eat one occasionally. Enjoy one, but then wait awhile before your next one.


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.


Photo of the Day - September 16, 2020

SJO freshman Emily Elsbernd dribbles the ball down the field
Frosh defender sees minutes early in SJO season
Emily Elsbernd dribbles the ball down the field in St. Joseph-Ogden's home game against Urbana University High School in August of 2019. The freshman defensive player saw 14 minutes of playing time in the Spartans' 7-1 loss to the visiting Illineks.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

St. Joseph yard sales this weekend

304 Western Drive
St. Joseph
Thurs. 4-6pm / Friday 8-4pm / Saturday 8-noon
Weather permitting ...
Chain saw, leaf blower, girl's bike, women's and men's clothes, dvd/vhs/cd's, xmas lights lots of misc.

528 Hawthorne Dr
St. Joseph
Thurs 5p-7p and Sat 8a-12p
Boys clothing Sizes 5-7; Girl clothing size 8-14, shoes/cleats/snow boots, toys, and household decor.

Pritzker says state has reached a "critical juncture"

On Tuesday, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker ordered state agencies to identify areas of their 2020 budgets that can be cut by 5% as well as 10% cuts that can be made in their spending plans for the next fiscal year should Congress fail to provide additional COVID-19 relief funds.

"Any cut to the Illinois state budget is a win for taxpayers," said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). "However, a broad cut to the state budget is not enough."

Tobin says the state of Illinois’s financial woes are due to the vast amount it spends on lavish, overpromised retired government employee pensions.

"This is why Pritzker is really cutting the budget, he wants to divert pay from current Illinois government employees to retired Illinois government employees," Tobin said in a release this morning. "Every year former Illinois government employees eat up even more of the state’s budget.

In fact, the primary motivation for a $5 billion state income tax hike that passed a few years ago was to transfer wealth from taxpayers to the black hole that is the Illinois pension funds."

Pritzker calls the current state's budget woes a "nightmare scenario".

We've reached a critical juncture for our own state finances in this COVID induced financial crisis," he said during his press conference in Chicago.

In June, Pritzker signed off on $43 billion dollar budget that began July 1 relied heavily on federal aid and borrowing to fill revenue shortfalls due to the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown.

A memo from Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes and budget director Alexis Sturm to agency directors stated the state's current budget "is only affordable in its current form with federal support to bridge the pandemic-related shortfalls and that now appears not to be forthcoming."

Illinois stands to lose out on $6.5 billion in revenue this year and next year. Agency heads were given until Oct. 2 to outline their reductions for the current year.  This includes taking necessary measures from hiring freezes to renegotiating on any planned spending commitments.

Tobin points out that governor's Illinois progressive income tax is purely a move to raise taxes.

"Pritzker’s income tax increase amendment, better described as an income theft amendment, is not what Illinois needs," he wrote. "Illinois taxpayers should vote no on November 3rd to the proposed amendment change, and demand Pritzker to cut spending further."

Illinois Rural Health Association hosts virtural conference in October

Despite restrictions on gatherings due to this year's pandemic outbreak, the Illinois Rural Health Association (IRHA) plans to host its 31st Annual Educational Conference next month.

The theme of this year’s conference is "Pulling Together in these Challenging Times". The two-day series of meetings with more than 20 workshops and panel discussions will be held virtually over the internet using a video communications platform starting on October 6. Planners are working diligently to ensure virtual attendees will have access to valuable knowledge from experts on rural healthcare. The conference is an excellent opportunity for rural healthcare professionals to learn about successful practices from their peers in Illinois. 

Topics for the upcoming annual event include COVID Tracing in Rural Communities, the Latest Case Law Impacting Medical Negligence Matters, Telehealth Billing and Mental Health Care for Healthcare Workers during the Pandemic and more. According to the release from the IRHA, there will also be a specific workshop track for Rural Health Clinics. The Keynote Address will be delivered by Brock Slabach, VP of Member Services for the National Rural Health Association on the Latest in Federal Healthcare Policy

To register or view the conference brochure, interested healthcare professionals can point their browsers to  For additional information, contact Margaret Vaughn by phone at (217) 280-0206 or via email at 


Money Matters:
Expected returns and investment experience

This is the fourth and final article Money Matters series by guest columnist Jake Pence. You can read part one What's the best way to invest in your future here, part two on the importance of Liquidity and diversification and part three covering real estate taxation here.

by Jake Pence, Guest Columnist

This is what so many people get caught up in "Expected Returns". In other words, which investment vehicle will make more money.

In reality, this is like comparing apples to oranges. The most convenient way to compare the returns is using the S&P 500 and a Vanguard Real Estate ETF and throwing them up side by side.

If I’m being honest, I think this is a lazy methodology and it is only used because of the convenience. In general, the returns will be comparable, but it will come down to the specific investment opportunity and it is lazy to make blanket statements about returns. Obviously, you need to invest in an asset that will create a return; however, there are other items to consider such as the investing experience, diversification, taxation, risk management, liquidity, and your financial goals.

Finally, something that is often overlooked in any investment is the experience of that investment.

When I say experience, I mean how is your investment going to make you feel, affect your sleep, make a societal impact, and so on. To this point, this article has been fact-driven, but the remainder of this section is 100% my personal opinion and it is absolutely biased towards real estate.

The stock market is great for people who want to put their money into a system to generate a long-term return without having to make many decisions. I worry about people who have all of their money tied up in the stock market and/or retirement accounts that are exclusively invested in the stock market (you can use them to invest in real estate too). The reason being, I don’t trust the decision makers that control these financial markets and I would rather have my money in Main Street real estate than on Wall Street.

Real estate is great for people who want to have more control over their investment, make a societal impact, and generate long-term wealth.

I love being able to create my own business plan, to meet my residents and give them a place to call home, and the proven path to create a generational financial impact. I worry about real estate investors who think that they will be able to get rich quick and think it will be easy money.

News flash … it’s a grind. There are a lot of bad actors in the industry that only care about money, and I think that is short-sighted in that this is long-term game.

In conclusion, the answer to this question should come from within and it should complement your financial goals and individual skill set.

To me, that means I should heavily invest in real estate and opportunistically invest in the stock market. To you, that could mean an entirely different investing strategy.

I encourage you to further your research on both of these topics and seek out reputable investors that have experience with both real estate and/or the stock market. When talking with other investors, make sure that you come into the conversation with an open mind, do your best to leave your biases at the door, and give yourself the chance to create a better financial future.

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.

Actor's untimely death is a remindar for cancer screening

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Actor Chadwick Boseman recently died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.

He was young, handsome, and very talented. He had a loving family who was by his Los Angeles bedside when he died. Colon cancer robbed him of another 20 or even 30 years of movie stardom.

Boseman starred in the blockbuster Marvel superhero franchise movie Black Panther rising to stardom. He played Jackie Robinson in the movie 42. He also played James Brown in Get on Up and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall. He received international accolades for his movie roles.

All cancer is serious but colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States when women and men's statistics are combined. Boseman's early diagnosis of colon cancer at the age of 39 reminds us all of the seriousness of colon cancer.

Fifty has always been the yardstick recommended age for the first colonoscopy. Newer reports have recommended age 45.

Television journalist Katie Couric's husband Jay Monahan died in 1998 at the age of 42.

I would suggest talking to your doctor by the age of 40 about a colonoscopy. My doctor has been adamant that my sons have colonoscopies by the time they are 40. There are more and more reports of early death from colon cancer.

Death comes to us all by something. However, a colonoscopy might extend your life several years.

You may know someone who has been impacted by colon cancer. My father was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 60 but after a couple of very serious colon surgeries he survived to live to be 85 years old.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer and lost most of her colon in her early forties, but also lived to be 85. When I was 50, I had my first colonoscopy and had several polyps removed that were not cancerous. Most likely if I had not had routine colonoscopies along the way I would be dead today.

While you are scheduling your colonoscopy eat plenty of fiber. When I was kid in health class, we were taught about the importance of eating fruit and vegetables. I can't underscore enough the importance of eating broccoli, lots of other vegetables, strawberries, oranges, apples and other fruit. A big bowl of plain oatmeal every morning and a handful of walnuts is another good choice.

We would never pour a cup of sand in our automobile's gas tank. Yet, often we consume food choices that do not benefit us much and often hurt us. Good eating choices are vital.

There is no eternal fountain of youth in this world. However, I do hope we can live a lot of more good years and keep in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


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.


Transitions: Jan Meisenhelter-Reifsteck loved music, passes away

Jan Meisenhelter-Reifsteck, age 60, of Philo and Tolono, had a passion for live music, especially listening to her partner Dave Lindsey play. She enjoyed her yearly Rock and Roll cruises. She died August 30, 2020 at her home.

Jan is survived by her son Ryan Reifsteck, The Meekers; her adoptive family; her partner David Lindsey and siblings.

She was born January 20, 1960 in Urbana, a daughter of Lynn and Dorothy Meisenhelter.

Among the dearest to her heart was the collection of knives made by her loving friend Craig Schneider. She loved animals and sitting by bon fires enjoying friends, family, and nature. Jan was also known for her elaborate music collection, her ability to be spontaneous and enjoy life as well as her care and compassion for others. She is at peace now with her beloved parents and pet Warlock.

"When you can’t find the light that got you through the cloudy days; when the stars ain’t shinin’ bright; you feel like you’ve lost your way; when the candlelight of home; burns so very far away; well, you got to let your soul shine."

Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior Project or C4A -Community Center for the Arts in Urbana, Illinois.

SJO youth wrestling club needs your help to build a permanent home

Dear Editor,

Wrestling has been part of the St. Joseph-Ogden community since 1990. Oftentimes this is the first organized sport that kids partake in as members have started as young as four years old. Athletes who have been part of the program have been taught life lessons such as commitment, hard work, dedication, responsibility, resiliency, and a sense of ownership. The program has also produced numerous State Qualifiers, All-Staters, and SJO’s first two state champions.

Here is where your help is needed.

For years the youth wrestlers have used the St. Joseph-Ogden High School facilities as their wrestling home. Although the relationship has been a mutually beneficial one, it is time for the youth wrestling program to find a permanent home.

The SJO Youth Wrestling Club has been conducting a search for a new facility that will meet the ever changing needs of the community and the program. The idea is for the Youth Wrestling Club to have a place that can be used year round for practices, dual meets, and off-season training. This need has arisen due to the popularity of the sport and a lack of space to provide more opportunities for those interested. The facility will allow wrestlers, from pre-K through college, a space to wrestle, lift weights, and build relationships; a place that all SJO wrestlers can call HOME.

The SJO Youth Wrestling Club is looking for individuals and businesses to help our current and future wrestlers find a home. Each generous donation will receive recognition via a donor wall that will be visible to all that enter the future home of Spartan Wrestling. The donations levels are listed below.

MAROON LEVEL- $1000-$2499
WHITE LEVEL- $250-$499

GoFundMe: SJO Wrestling Building

We thank you for taking the time to consider donating to this tremendous opportunity. We are grateful for any amount you are able to donate and thankful we live in communities that are always supportive of our youth. Go Spartans!!

Richard Vetter, Vice-President
SJO Youth Wrestling Board