Photo of the Day - October 3, 2020

Bria Olson puts the ball away for a kill
Olson and the Spartans post non-conference win
St. Joseph-Ogden's Bria Olson hammers the ball during game one against visiting Westville on September 28, 2009. The Spartans won the match winning both games 25-8 and improved to 17-3 on the season. The team wore special uniforms and fans dressed in yellow in support of four-year-old cancer survivor Will Page from St. Joseph. Olson, a three-sport athlete, finished the match with four kills and four aces.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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Hours and guidelines set for Halloween 2020 in St. Joseph

St. Joseph will be hosting a village-wide Halloween contest for trick-or-treaters and residents.

We are asking those participating in giving out candy this year to get creative in how they deliver candy to the trick or treaters. The trick or treaters can submit those homes to the Village office on the Monday after Halloween," Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges said in a release today. "I thought this would be fun to encourage social distancing while distributing candy. The village has some very creative community members that hopefully will enjoy coming up with something."

Homeowners and trick-or-treaters are encouraged submit a photos with a description of the delivery system. The village will also accept description of how homeowners handed out candy and treats to trick-or-treaters if they are unable to print a photo in time. The description should the address and homeowners name if possible."

Village of St. Joseph news
Entries can be submitted through the Village office overnight slot by the front door or in-person during regular Village office hours. They may also be sent via emailed to

With guidance from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the Village President said the board will make an official proclamation at the next meeting to allow trick-or-treating on Saturday, October 31, from 6pm and 8pm.

Here is the complete list of guidance from the Village to help make this Halloween fun and safe for the community:


"Trick-or-treating hours in the Village of St. Joseph will be from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, October 31. The use of face coverings, hand sanitizer, and social distancing (at least 6 feet) from others will always be required (per IDPH Guidelines), when outdoors while participating or chaperoning.

"Trick-or-treating will be challenging amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year and may look different from previous Halloweens. However, for those who ARE welcoming trick-or-treaters to their home, leave your porch lights on to indicate you are participating. If you do not have a porch light, place a clearly marked sign welcoming trick-or-treaters or indicating you are not participating. For trick-or-treaters, if you do not see a home with a porch light on or a sign posted, we ask that you respect the wishes of those homeowners by bypassing those residences.

"If you and your family do decide to trick-or-treat this Halloween, here are a few guidelines to follow that will help protect our community and accommodate a safe Halloween experience for both participants and non-participants:

Trick-or-Treaters and Those Giving Candy:

"If you have COVID-19, developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19, are under quarantine, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or are in a higher risk category, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities.

1. Wear a mask – Incorporate a mask or face covering into your costume. Please remember that rubber or plastic masks do not offer any protection from the virus, so have a protective cloth mask layered into a costume’s decorative mask.

2. Practice good hand hygiene – If you choose to go house to house for trick-or treating or give treats, be prepared to practice good hand hygiene. Bring along hand sanitizer to use before you move from one location to another. A suggestion for those giving treats; give to a single person to limit contact with others. Also wash your hands as frequently as possible.

3. Maintain social distances – While it is fun to go trick-or-treating with friends, due to the COVID-19 risk, keep the group limited to family members who are within your protected “bubble”. Gathering in groups with people from outside your household increases the risks. When you are walking around with your child, you do not want to go into a big group of people or into crowded areas. Please remember that keeping social distance (at least 6 feet) from others is important to limiting the spread of the virus. Those passing out treats consider alternative ways to limit contact with trick-or-treaters. Be creative and inventive! *The Village is sponsoring a contest to see who can create the safest, imaginative, and clever way to deliver your candy. Encourage your trick-or-treaters to nominate your home and delivery system to the Village office on Monday. Nominations can be written on a piece of paper and placed in the overnight mail slot or dropped off on Monday. The winner will receive a gift card from one of our local businesses. 

4. Avoid “Face to Face” exposure – Interactions at any given doorway or front porch should be very brief and as limited as possible, which will help reduce the risk of exposure. Trick-or-treaters and those giving candy should always wear their mask.

5. Avoid eating candy while trick or treating – Encourage trick-or-treaters to be sure hands have been sanitized before opening and eating candy. Those giving out candy can consider this a diet saver. Wash Your Hands Frequently!!

6. Porch light must be on – If a homeowner is participating, they will keep their porch light on. If they do not have a porch light, they will have a clearly marked sign welcoming trick-or-treaters or indicating they are not participating. This is long-standing basic Halloween etiquette. If no light is on, do not go to that home. A yard light, common in many subdivisions, that usually comes on automatically at dusk is not considered a porch light and should not be an indication that it is ok to go to your door.

Those Not Participating Keep Your Porch Light Off!! If Your Porch Light Cannot Be Shut Off, clearly mark Your Porch or Front Door "NO TRICK OR TREATING"!!


Tami Fruhling-Voges, Village President and The St. Joseph Village Trustees."

Photo of the Day - October 2, 2020

Spartans blank Buffaloes

Cameron Harpst settles the ball during SJO's home soccer match against Georgetown-Ridge Farm-Chrisman in 2012. The St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team pummeled the Buffalo net to carve out a 7-0 victory in the non-conference matchup.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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Photo of the Day - October 1, 2020

Brian Parke, Clint Howard and three other referees

Brian Parke (center), of St. Joseph, and the crew of officials respectfully observe the National Anthem before the start of Unity's road game at St. Thomas More in Champaign. The Rockets won the Okaw Valley Conference game, 49-14.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

IDPH releases safe trick-or-treating guidance

On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a list of guidelines for trick-or-treaters and Halloween revelers.

If you are going door-to-door or staying home to pass out treats to ghouls and goblins in your neighborhood three weeks from now, here is what IDPH wants you and the good people of Illinois to consider.

Neighborhood trick-or-treating 

1. "As an alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating, anyone who would like to distribute treats should leave individually wrapped candy or treats on a table, on their front walkways, sidewalks, or any outdoor space that allows for at least 6 feet of social distance from the door,” IDPH says. “The individually wrapped candy should be spread out so each piece is not touching another. Anyone distributing candy or treats should wash their hands properly for at least 20 seconds before placing the candy on the table and when replenishing."

2. "All individuals participating in trick-or-treating, including those passing out candy should maintain social distance of least 6 feet and wear proper face coverings. A costume mask, such as those worn for Halloween, is not a substitute for a face covering. If face coverings are worn under costume masks, please ensure this does not create breathing problems, and if so, discard the costume mask."

3. "Only household members should trick-or-treat together, and they should maintain 6-feet social distance from other trick-or-treaters at all times. Mixed household trick-or-treaters are discouraged."

4. "Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be carried and used frequently."

5. "Candy collected during trick-or-treating should not be consumed until after handwashing. As always, a parent/guardian should check all candy to make sure it is wrapped and should discard unwrapped candy. And, of course, practice good dental hygiene as well."

6. "Outdoor areas are preferred for trick-or-treating. Enclosed indoor areas, like apartment buildings, present greater risk of transmission. Open doors and windows as appropriate to promote increased ventilation."

Alternatives to trick-or-treating

"Trunk or treat events are considered a higher risk activity and are discouraged, An alternative activity involves trick-or-treating in a large parking lot or other outdoor setting with adherence to social distancing. Tables are pre-set up with participants allowed to parade with a parent/guardian while maintaining at least 6-feet social distancing and wearing proper face coverings at all times. A limited number of people should staff the event, keeping tables replenished and monitoring social distancing. Proper handwashing should be performed before candy is consumed."

  1.  "Recruit a set number of table sponsors."
  2. "Create a timed entry schedule to figure out what the attendance limit will be." 
  3.  "Create a map of where tables will be with plenty of space between."
  4.  "Advertise with information about reserved time slots, social distancing and mask wearing."
  5.  "Package candies or favors in treat bags for easy distribution."
  6.  "Create signage to direct the flow of foot traffic."
  7.  "Draw markers on the ground to indicate 6 feet for social distancing."

Other Halloween activities and events

Haunted houses, forests or walks: "Halloween haunted houses are currently not allowed in Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines. Instead consider open-air, one-way haunted forests or haunted walks where social distancing of 6 feet or greater and appropriate masking is enforced. If screaming is anticipated, even greater social distancing is advised to lower the risk of spreading respiratory viruses."

Pumpkin patches, orchard visits and hayrides: "Visitors to these locations should use hand sanitizer before handling the produce. Cloth face coverings and social distancing should be enforced. Hayrides should not exceed 50% capacity with parties spaced at least six feet apart. Best practice is for hayrides to be limited to members of the same household. Participants should wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered at all times when around people who don’t live in your household."

Fall festival events: "Avoid attending fall festivals outside your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19."

"We have a nation of people quick to give you the middle finger"

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

September 29, 2020, was just another bad day in 2020.

We thought that with Covid-19, unemployment, and riots in the streets of America's cities it could not get worse. It did. Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Chris Wallace gave us a "show?" we will never forget.

Our leaders used to make us proud. We grew up wanting to emulate people in high places who inspired us with their remarkable lives. We watched how they conducted themselves, communicated and chose their words wisely with dignity, diplomacy and grace. This doesn't happen anymore in America.

Tuesday's debate was just another plummeting example of how badly and poorly people can act in America. Biden and Trump are supposed to be our two best men running for the highest office in America. Chis Wallace works for one of the biggest networks in the world. Instead we saw a production of America's scariest video, Heehaw gone crazy or bigtime wrestling Covid-19 style.

We've been on this track now for too long. The debates have gotten worse and worse. They have been more and more out of control. They have turned into 90 minutes of rudeness, name calling, hollering and mud throwing. Our children are watching and learning.

Where did we lose civility in our nation?

Did we ever have it? Is this just the way America has always been at heart and now we feel free to be who we really are? Rude, crude and ignorant?

The Beverly Hillbillies had far more class than we saw Tuesday night. They may have been uncouth and backward but they didn't treat people badly.

We've become scary in how we talk to and treat others in this country, starting with our national leadership and media. We have a nation of people who are quick to give you the middle finger on the highway, honk their horns at you on the road until you get out of their way and knock you down on the sidewalk rather than scoot over and give you some space to walk by.

Today, in America, we are name callers. We feel entitled to everything everyone else has without working for it. We expect to be treated with respect and dignity while we act like buffoons. Words and phrases such as "please, thank you, excuse me, may I, yes ma'am and yes sir," have been tossed out of too many windows. Therefore, we are now reaping what we sowed.

People feel like they have the right to treat others badly because of color or background, while others feel entitled to destroy and burn down our cities from Baltimore to Portland. We have a nation of people who believe they can do anything they want regardless of how others might be affected. This is one reason we can't defund the police. However, some of the procedures of the police must be revamped.

Be warned another debate is coming soon. Candidates should be allowed one- and two-minute response times to questions and to respond to statements. At these one and two-minute intervals the microphone should automatically be silenced so the next candidate can fairly respond with the same time limits. There has to be a fair civil way to conduct and present a Presidential debate. We need to see and hear one.

We are desperate to get this nation back together, one people, under God, united, with liberty and justice for all. We have to see some of this in this next debate and it has to come from the moderator, President Trump and former Vice President Biden.


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 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)

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