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 


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