Photo of the Day - October 10, 2020

Jacob Shaw kicks the ball
Spartans unable to answer Manteno challenge

Jacob Shaw kicks the ball down the field in St. Joseph-Ogden's home game against Manteno in 2018. The Spartans fell 4-0 in the non-conference match. Other members of the team that season included Logan Ingram, Justyn Frisby, Cailer Kellenberger, Sophia Martlage, Jared Emmert, Zac Seeley, Tyler Sullivan, Bryce Froeschl, Jordan Kelly, Brayden Grimsey, Kolton Batty, Joshua Baldner, Nathan Emmert, Luke Cohen, Seth Wedig, Cade Hausman, Joel Branson and Mason Behrens.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
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Halloween parade, trunk-or-treat set for Tolono

The Tolono Fun Day group will host a Halloween parade starting at 3pm in Tolono on October 31. Open to walkers as well as to decorated floats, vehicles, tractors and golf cars, the parade will start at East Side Park and wind through town to West Side Park.

Participants are asked to line-up for the parade starting at 2:45pm at East Side. 

Tolono Halloween parade map
Parade route for the Tolono Halloween parade

"This is our first year doing anything like this," said Brian Booher, one of seven members of the group running the Halloween event. "We’re really not sure what our turnout will look like. It’s peaked the interest of some local businesses this time, too."

Booher, who lives in Tolono and graduated from Unity High School, said past participation in similar events has been modest, but with the parade open various vehicles, he is hoping for more participation and a decent size crowd along the route.

Our past golf cart parades we got around 20 carts," he said.  "With this parade also being open to vehicle, bike, and walkers, we hope to get a little bit larger turnout."

Once the procession reaches its destination at West Side Park, there will be a Trunk-or-Treat event for kids to enjoy.

"Trunk-or-Treat is where folks will decorate their car trunks or back of golf cart with some Halloween decorations and hand out candy to the kids," Booher said. "I personally have never participated or seen one before, but I’m told it’s fun."

Photo of the Day - October 9, 2020

Two-sport athlete Ryan Barnes
Barnes, Spartan hoops off to a good start
St. Joseph-Ogden's Ryan Barnes tries to make a save on ball headed out of bounds with a pass under the basket on the baseline. Barnes and the Spartans knocked off the Rockets 54-37 in their early season game on December 6, 2005, to earn their second win of the season. The two teams met again later in the season at the Rocket Center in Tolono on February 17 in their two-game series.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

National Fire Prevention Week: Play it safe in the kitchen

While annual Fire Prevention Week ends today, it is important to remember that fires as a result of preparing meals or snacks can occur at any time.

Data collected from around the country that between 2014 to 2016 notes that cooking was by far the leading cause of all residential building fires, nearly 50 percent of all fires in home across the nation.

"The most important step you should take before making a meal is to 'Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!'" says Fire Chief Jim Kreher, President of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. "A cooking fire can grow quickly. I have seen many homes damaged and people injured by fires that could easily have been prevented."

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Almost half (44%) of reported home fires started in the kitchen according to the National Fire Protection Association. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials. The most frequent cause of home fires is from cooking oil and grease.

"We know cooking fires can be prevented," said Lorraine Carli, VP of Outreach and Advocacy at the NFPA. "Staying in the kitchen, using a timer, and avoiding distractions such as electronics or TV are steps everyone can take to keep families safe in their homes."

The IFSA has safety tips that anyone cooking on a stove or open fire should observe to prevent accidental fires or flare-ups.

1. Never leave food to cook unattended. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

2. Create and maintain a "kid-free zone" of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

3. Always keep an oven mitt and pan lid nearby when you’re cooking.

4. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan to smother the flame. Turn off the burner, and leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.

5. If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

6. Be alert when cooking. Avoid cooking or baking if you are sleepy, have taken medicine or drugs, or consumed alcohol that can make you drowsy.

Photo of the Day - October 8, 2020

Rylee Stahl passes the ball forward
Spartans beat Pontiac in straight sets
St. Joseph-Ogden's Rylee Stahl passes the ball to the front row during her team's home Illini Prairie Conference match against Pontiac in October of 2019. SJO defeated the visiting Indians 25-12, 25-17. Finishing the remainder of the season undefeated, Stahl and the Spartans closed out the season with a final record of 37-5 after securing a third-place state trophy at the Illinois High School Association volleyball state tournament.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
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If Trump is not re-elected, America will be hurting

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

All most every American has an opinion about the upcoming election. However, there are several realities we must face.

If President Trump is not re-elected the southern border wall will not be completed.

I would suspect Biden and the Democrats will tear it down. The wall symbolizes Trump's Presidency. In an age of mass human trafficking, drug smuggling and terrorism the wall is a layer of security. It won't stop an army but it will prevent entry into our country from being so easy.

Jobs will go back to Mexico, China, Vietnam and other places.

Four years ago, you couldn't find a job that paid $15 an hour. Until Covid-19 hit, there were more jobs in America that were paying over $15 an hour than ever before. Hammering on the heads of corporations and big businesses for more taxes and higher priced health insurance will not keep jobs in America.

The answer to America's problems is not gouging the people who make more money than we do. More jobs with more people making good pay is what America continues to need.

It's a lot more fun to get a good paycheck than food stamps. Americans need the pride of being able to go to the grocery store, buy new cars and provide for an adequate retirement. The eight years before Trump saw a desperate country trying to decide between working for $8 an hour or applying for Social Security disability. Who wants to go back to that?

Medical care will skyrocket.

More taxes will be needed for Socialized medicine. We want all Americans to have good healthcare. Medicare should be a good option.

However, we need more competition between medical insurance groups and freedom to buy throughout the country. Trump has been working feverishly to bring the costs of medicine down and to make hospitals reveal upfront what their costs will be for procedures.

The military, police, and Veterans will suffer.

Can we really afford to defund the police? There are counties in America today that only have access to two or three police officers. The citizens of these counties are already on their own as far as protecting themselves. Can these areas afford less protection? Can Louisville, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago do better with fewer police officers? They cannot. Biden is being supported by people who want to defund the police. Is this what America wants?

In an age of world terrorism can we afford to not have the best supported military in the world? We all pray for no more wars but we have to keep our military strong and provide them with the best resources. Veterans are finally receiving help. Veterans were dying before Trump because of such poor medical care. Today a Veteran can actually see a doctor and be treated without having to wait six months for an appointment. Trump has worked hard for the military, the police and the Veterans. Does the average American want less?

The list goes on.

Trump has worked to rebuild our infrastructure. He will keep our Social Security solvent. The stock market has seen its greatest years in history. Today, more Americans feel like they have a chance at having some retirement money.

Trump will continue to encourage laboratories for a Covid-19 vaccine.

In years past we might have had to wait "years" for the average American to have access to treatment. Labs are working hard throughout America, England, Jerusalem and more to come up with the best vaccine possible. We will not get this country back on its feet until a vaccine is available and working. Trump is pushing for this.

What about freedom of religion in this country?

At least now we can have a day of prayer in America. Does the average American want more abortions than we have now? Does America want to kill more babies? Keep in mind that a government who supports the murder of the unborn for birth control purposes will also support making your senior adult death really easy when you are in an Intensive Care Unit or a nursing home.

They can't afford your Social Security and Medicare now. Will Joe Biden make this better?

No person is perfect. We all see the good and bad in people.

Voting is your opportunity to be a part of this process. We have to get through this year without destroying relationships. We all have our various opinions and I hope my liberal colleagues and relatives will still speak to me during the holidays.

However, if President Trump is not re-elected, America will be hurting.


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.


Taylor Hug finishes season 11th at regionals

With the prep volleyball season on hold until February, Taylor Hug stepped out of her comfort zone in August to represent St. Joseph-Ogden on the links. Today, her first season prep season in the sport came to a close at the IHSA Class 1A girls regional tournament in Watseka.

Hug, in her best outing of the season, yielded an 11th place finish out of a field 57 competitors at the Shewami Country Club. She was the only member of the girls golf program this fall and perhaps the first to represent SJO in the sport.

Starting her day off the tenth tee, the sophomore collected nine strokes on the par 5 for a rough start.  She went on to finish the back nine 14 over.

Despite tallying pars on the first, 5th and 7th holes, she added another 52 strokes on the front nine to finish the day with a 102. Unfortunately, Hug needed an 97 or better to advance to this season's sectional.

The top two teams, both from Champaign County, St. Thomas More (368) and Mahomet-Seymour (397) finished in the top two medal positions. In addition the teams finishing first and second, the top four individual players also continue their season at the upcoming sectional tournament.

This story was updated with Hug needing a 97 or better, not and 87, to compete in the upcoming sectional meet.

Kern leads Spartans at golf regionals, SJO finishes 4th

Tallying 394 strokes, the St. Joseph-Ogden boys golf team finished in fourth place at yesterday's IHSA regional golf tournament.

St. Joseph-Ogden sports
Thanks to a birdie on 16th hole, Jacob Kern led the Spartans with the team's top score of 88. He bogeyed or better on six of front nine greens, including a collecting a par on the 5th hole, to finish the first half of play nine over at 47 and advance to the Tuscola sectional tournament next Tuesday.

Fortunately, Kern had an easier time on the back nine at the Danville Country Club. He shot par on the 13th and 14th, and bogeyed the 15th before his spectacular birdie. He went par again on the 17th and finished two strokes over on the 18th hole.

Just two points separated the top three team on Tuesday. Bismarck-Henning Rossville-Alvin won the title with 377 strokes while St. Thomas More turned in a 378 team effort. Host Schlarman, finished in third place ahead of SJO with 379 points.

Ty Pence turned in the second best card for the Spartans shooting a 50 on the first nine holes and used 43 strokes to finish the last nine for a 93.

McGwire Atwood shot a 96 to finish in 13th place. Connor Hale and Jack Robertson finished back-to-back 117 and 118, respectively.

Photo of the Day - October 7, 2020

Griffin Meeker wrestles at SJO regional

Meeker prevails for regional gold

St. Joseph-Ogden's Griffin Meeker shoots in on Oakwood's Austin Shelton during their championship match during their IHSA Class 1A regional title match on February 8, 2014. Meeker's aggressive offensive surge in the second period provided the points to defeat Shelton 6-2 for the 145-pound gold medal. Both wrestlers advanced to sectional meet at Olympia in hopes of securing a state qualifier berth.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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Huffman wins singles match, SJO outgunned by Tigers

Junior Clare Huffman serves in match at Urbana

Clare Huffman serves the ball in set two against Urbana's Eisla Madigan. The junior won her match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

The Tigers' experience paid off handing the young, month-old Spartan program an 8-1 loss. There were a couple of bright moments of inspired play by the St. Joseph-Ogden girls team on September 29.

After commanding 6-3 first set victory against Urbana's Eisla Madigan, Clare Huffman jumped out to a 5-0 lead and needed just one more game to end the clash at Blair Park with a second set bagel. Madigan fought back breaking Huffman's serve and holding her own for the first time in four games.

"I got really tired," said Huffman after sealing St. Joseph-Ogden's only singles win with the 6-2 win. The junior and first-year player with the school's new club team pertinaciously gutted out game eight of set two to collect the W. "We had a lot of deuce games."

In posting the win, Huffman figured out her future strategy for upcoming matches.

"I need to hit the ball further back," she said. "That's how you win points."

Senior Emily Fisher, also new to the sport, nearly pulled off an upset at #5 singles after pushing her opening set to first set tie-breaker 7-6 against Daniella Coleman. Despite her lack of experience, she played toe-to-toe in the second set falling, 6-4.

The team has two matches, both on the road, left in their inaugural season. On Friday, SJO travels to Watseka High School for a 4p engagement against Watseka. Five days later, the newly formed team will end their season against Schlarman at the Danville Tennis Center.

Match results:

No. 1 - Sophia Solava, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Hope Rajlich, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 6-0 , 6-0
No. 2 - Sanjana Paul, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Abbey Dow, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 6-1 , 6-0
No. 3 - Devangana Rana, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Sophia Martlage, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 6-1 , 6-2
No. 4 - Clare Huffman, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL def. Eisla Madigan, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL, 6-3 , 6-2
No. 5 - Daniella Coleman, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Emily Fisher, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 7-6 , 6-4
No. 6 - Myra Stevens, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Emma Rydell, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 6-1 , 6-1

No. 1 - Sophia Solava, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL - Eisla Madigan, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Katie McDermott, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL - Allison Kearney, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 6-0 , 6-1

No. 2 - Devangana Rana, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL - Sanjana Paul, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Sophia Martlage, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL - Clare Huffman, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 3-4 (Retired)

No. 3 - Hannah Null, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL - Jacie Owens, URBANA HIGH SCHOOL def. Flannery McCorkel, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL - Grace Schmitz, ST JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL, 6-4 , 6-1

Blondies offers fresh designs for this year's Halloween

As you might have heard, the Village of St. Joseph is sponsoring a Halloween contest for the best candy and treat delivery system. Whether you are a one-person operation or will have a ghouled out posse to pass out treats, you will want to check out Blondies for some unique trick-or-treat to gear up your crew.

Provided photo
Photo provided
Owner Tiffany Monier has come up with some colorful new shirts and designs show your Halloween spirit all week or add the finishing touches to your trick-or-treat costume.

"I work for smiles," she said. "I started this [business] in order to provide affordable personalized merchandise for all."

Shirts like the one pictured on the left are available in newborn sizes all the way up to 6x. For last minute costume ideas, if she has the shirts in stock, most items are printed on the same day. Adult sizes start for as little as $12.

Orders can be placed online through Blondies' Facebook group which boast more than 2,200 members. The group features additional Halloween designs inspired by Frankenstein, mummies, pumpkins and more that are available.

"I always enjoyed trick-or-treating with my parents and brother, who has since passed away," Monier said sharing her on her favorite Halloween memories. Trick-or-treating also meant always having plenty of candy on hand for her birthday on November 1. "Although this year will be different, I will continue the tradition of costumes with the children, posting pictures on Facebook, and buying candy and hiding in yard for my own kids to find [while] in their costumes."

Like many other local small business owners she is weathering the pandemic as best she can.

"I am a local stay-at-home mom due to COVID and just trying to stay a float," she said.

Be kind and don't leave your dog's do-do behind

The Village of St. Joseph has a friendly reminder for dog walkers and pet owners who enjoy the wide, open space of Woodard Family Park and Sports Complex.

Village of St. Joseph news "Dog owners need to make sure to pick up after their animal or find somewhere else to let their animals run," Office Manager Julie Hendrickson wrote in a post on Facebook after fielding complaints that owners are not scoopin' their pet's poopin'. "It's unfortunate that we have to remind people of this."

Recently, the office has fielded multiple complaints from users who accidentally discovered a pile or two while attending high school and middle school cross country competitions at the park.

Photo of the Day - October 6, 2020

Hope Rajlich plays tennis at number 1 singles

SJO courts success in Urbana

Spartans' Hope Rajlich attacks a short ball during her match against Urbana's Sophia Solava during the St. Joseph-Ogden's road match against the Tigers on September 29. Playing number 1 singles against Urbana's top player, the junior, who started the sport competitively last month, dropped straights, 6-0, 6-0.

"I got to move my feet, stay low and get to the ball," Rajlich said after the match. Despite the loss she was upbeat. "It's fun to play. I've only been playing a month and feel like I am so much better already." Despite a strong, athletic showing, the Spartans lost the dual, 8-1 to the Tigers.

The team has two matches, both on the road, left in their inaugural season. On Friday, SJO travels to Watseka High School for a 4p engagement against Watseka. Five days later, the newly formed team will end their season against Schlarman at the Danville Tennis Center.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Community shred day in Philo

The Philo Exchange Bank will host a Community Shred Day in Philo this Saturday in town at 401 N Lincoln.

The staff will accept up to five boxes or bags of material per person to be shredded during the hours from 9 to 11am.

Depositors are ask to bring non-perishable food or canned goods to donate to their food drive. Free snacks will be available

Visitors can also spin the Philo Exchange Bank wheel to win prizes during the two hour event. The grand prize is a programable multi-cooker. Other prizes include gift cards, uChoose Rewards Points, wireless bluetooth earpods, Philo Exchange Bank swag, and other items.

For more information call (217) 684-5500.

Negangard Pumpkin Patch now open for the fall season

Twenty-six days and counting to Halloween; do you have your pumpkins yet? If not, the Negangard Pumpkin Patch is open with a huge selection available to make this year's Jack-O-Lanterns.

Located at 1883 County Road 700 N near Sidney, the pumpkin patch is open seven days a week from 9a to dark.

"Prices range from 50 cents to $5. The huge pumpkins are priced individually," says owner Pam Reinhart Negangard, co-owner of the family operated business that grows everything they sell. "My husband's family started the patch many years ago. It has grown a lot over the past 20 years!"

Negangard also offer gourds priced at three for a dollar, Indian Corn, corn stalks and straw bales for those creating lavish displays for All Hallows' Eve.

This year there will be two areas set up for visitors to take photographs. While shopping or taking photos, the management team asks guests to please follow social distancing guidelines. Pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash.

Photo of the day - October 5, 2020

Blake Hoveln runs to first base
Spartan baseball falls in heartbreaker to visiting Sages
Blake Hoveln sprints to first base after putting the ball in play during the team's 2010 home stand against Monticello. The Spartans fell 11-10 after seven innings. Other members of the team that season included Austin Griswell, Lucas Gones, Cody Bohlen, Tyler Mills, Christian Clabaugh, Dakota Hicks, Daniel Dunkman, Jared Orcutt, Ben Knipfer, Andy Bensyl, Drew Nagy and catcher Bryce Stewart.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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Country Chics to host Christmas garage sale

Start your holiday shopping early with gift items from County Chics. The store will host a garage sale October 15 through noon on October 17 this month at 203 East Duitsman Drive in Royal.

The doors open at 5pm on Thursday with all items are new, never used merchandise as well as remaining selected fall inventory discounted at 40-75% off in-store prices. No early sales will be allowed but there are several convenient methods to pay in addition to cash and checks.

"This is NOT your typical garage sale with used items, so please don't expect those prices," the event announcement explains.

Sale dates and times are as follows: Thursday, October 15th 5-8pm; Friday, October 16th from 9am-6pm; and on Saturday, October 17 for three hours starting at 9am until noon.

For more information call (217) 469-6316.

Photo of the Day - October 4, 2020

Spartans clinch playoff spot

Members of the St. Joseph-Ogden coaching staff are decked out in pink during their team's home game against Carlyle on October 17, 2009. (From right to left) Marshall Schacht, Brady Smith, head coach Dick Duval, Ben Gorman and Bob Glazier wore pink hats and t-shirts to honor the spouse of athletic trainer Casey Hug, who who recently underwent surgery for breast cancer. Donations taken at the gate and proceeds from the 50/50 drawing were earmarked for the Hugs to help cover treatment cost. Posting their 6th win of the season with a 41-7 win over visiting Indians. The victory, which guaranteed SJO's 19th straight playoff appearance, was also dedicated to Kathy.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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