Enter to win the 2020 Sentinel Halloween costume contest

The Sentinel and Blondies are teaming up for our first-ever Halloween Costume Photo Contest.

Whether it’s your child’s cutest costume, a costume you are wearing to a party or a costume your pet is wearing, submit your photos for a chance to win! Any photo of a person, pets, or a group decked out in a Halloween costume is eligible. Submit your tasteful, family friendly photos via email to photos@oursentinel.com.

You can submit up to five photos per email. One entry per email address. All ages welcome. Provide name, age, costume description, email address and phone number to be entered to win a prize. And let us know if your ensemble is home-made. The more creative, the better!

The contest begins on October 30, 2020. All entries must be received through oursentinel.com by 11:00 pm Central Standard Time on November 2, 2020. Submissions will not be accepted after the deadline lapses. By submitting any photo via email you agree to the contest terms and conditions below.

This year's contest and prizes are sponsored by Blondies and The Sentinel. The winners and top photos will be featured on The Sentinel starting Wednesday, November 4.

First prize is a $75 Gift Card to Blondies
Second prize is a $50 Sentinel Gift Certificate
Third prize is a $25 Sentinel Gift Certificate

2020 Halloween Costume Photo Contest

Please read the rules and guidelines below before submitting your photo(s) to The Sentinel's Halloween Photo Contest. By participating in this contest, you understand, acknowledge and unconditionally agree to abide by the following rules:

1. The contest is open for online submissions only via email.
2. Submitted photos must have been created between October 29 and November 1, 2020.
3. Photos submitted must be at least 640 pixels on the shorter side, and no more than 2000 pixels on the longer side. Images should be no larger than 2MB. Photos must be in JPEG format.
4. You may submit as many entries as you wish. However, you should send no more than five images per email.
5. You are required to provide a unique title & description for each image submitted.
6. All submitted photos must contain the original EXIF metadata information. However there must be no border(s), logo(s), copyright marks, identifying marks, or any other visible references and/or marks on the image.
7. Basic editing, including color enhancement, the use of filters, and cropping of the Photo(s) is acceptable, provided any such editing does not affect the authenticity and/or genuineness of the Photo(s).
8. Advanced editing used to create illusions, deceptions and/or manipulations, and the adding and removing of significant elements within the frame is prohibited.
9. Every image uploaded is subject to a moderation process before it becomes visible on the contest page. The Sentinel reserves the right to assess and disregard any submitted photo at our its discretion.
10. Photos that portray or otherwise include inappropriate and/or offensive content, including provocative nudity, violence, human rights and/or environmental violation, deemed racist and/or any other contents deemed to be contrary to the law, religious, cultural & moral traditions of United States of America, are strictly prohibited and will be immediately discarded.
11. A participant who submits any such photos may be permanently banned, subject to Better Photography’s discretion, from participating in any future contests.
12. The contest begins on October 30, 2020. All entries must be received through oursentinel.com by 11:00 pm Central Standard Time on November 2, 2020. Submissions will not be accepted after the deadline lapses.

1. The Sentinel will appoint a judge / judges for each contest. This will comprise of members of the editorial team and / or external judges.
2. The judging panel shall assess and determine the winning Photos. The results and the winners will be announced on the website.
3. The decision of The Sentinel’s judging panel will be final and binding on all Participants in respect to all matters relating to the Contest.
4. The Sentinel reserves the right to call for original JPEG or RAW files with unchanged EXIF for the purpose of authentication. An image maybe disregarded if this information cannot be provided.

1. Prizes will be mailed to the winners free of charge.
2. Any state/ provincial/ territorial, and/or local taxes, fees and surcharges and taxes (whether foreign or domestic, and including income tax) on any prize that may be awarded to You under the Contest will be solely paid by You.

1. Submitted photos must be original, created and/or taken by the contestant. It must not contain any materials owned or controlled by a third party for which you have not obtained a license, must not infringe the copyright, trademark, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity.
2. The Sentinel respects photographers’ copyrights and copyrights shall remain vested with the creator of the image. Upon making the submission, you grant The Sentinel, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sub-licensable right and license to use, publish, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, create derivative works, distribute, have distributed, print, in whole or in part, in any form, in all media forms now or hereafter known, to promote the contest, image, the photographer or for editorial or educative use.

1. You hereby hold harmless, release, indemnify and discharge The Sentinel and its partners, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers and representatives from all liability, claims, judgments, demands, controversies, agreements, damages, actions and causes of action whatsoever, arising out of or related in any way to the contest or the conduct of the contest and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded, whether in law or in equity, no matter what the cause or nature, and You further waive any claims that You may state or assert against The Sentinel in association with the contest or any of its associated activities, or in any way related to or resulting from the contest even if such injury or claims results from or is caused by the negligence or gross negligence of The Sentinel, in whole or in part, due to human error or otherwise. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless The Sentinel from any claim arising out of your participation in the contest including, without limitation, all claims brought or asserted by any third party as a result of any injury or loss that You or they may sustain in any way associated with your participation in the contest.

2. Under no circumstance will The Sentinel be liable for any:
a) lost, late, misdirected, stolen, illegible or incomplete Submissions
b) error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, submitted Photo(s);
c) problems, failures or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet, at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing;
d) incorrect or inaccurate information, caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the Photos and/or the Submissions; and/or
e) injury or damage to any Participant or to any computer related to, resulting from or in connection with the Contest.

3. If, for any reason, the contest is not capable of being conducted as anticipated, due to computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of The Sentinel, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the contest, The Sentinel reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest as deemed appropriate, disqualify any Participant, and/or select winners from all eligible Photos submitted prior to the termination, cancellation, modification or suspension. The Sentinel reserves the right to correct any typo-graphical, printing, computer programming or operating errors at any time.

The Contest, Your Submission(s) and the Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Illinois laws. Any aspects or disputes arising out of or in connection with the contest and/or your submission(s) will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Illinois courts.

Photo of the Day - October 24, 2020

SJO's Jake Pence runs the ball after a catch


Senior Jake Pence tries to break free from an ankle lock for a few additional yards after catching a pass in SJO's road game against Winnebago. Grinding out a season-opening win, St. Joseph-Ogden defeated the Indians 36-20 on August 29, 2015, to start what would be the beginning of an undefeated regular season leading to an overall 12-1 record under head coach Dick Duval.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Four village trustee seats open next April in Tolono

Four of the six trustee positions for the Village of Tolono up for election on April 6, 2021.

There are three four-year term trustee seats and one two-year term that will be contested as well as the seat for Village President.

Prospective candidates can pick information packets and petition forms at the Village Hall, located at 507 W. Strong Street in Tolono. The filing period will be December 14-21, 2020.

For more information contact village all at (217) 485-5212 or via email at info@tolonoil.us It is recommended candidates consult an attorney or contact the Illinois State Board of Elections for additional campaign information.

St. Joseph to host Halloween parade

A week from tomorrow on October 31, Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges will grand marshall a Halloween costume parade for kids through the sidewalks and streets St. Joseph.

The walking parade - sorry no motorized modes of transport will be allowed - will march through the downtown area starting at 10:30am. Parents and pets on a leash are welcome to join in the fun the mayor said.

"Parents will be asked to help keep the kids moving along the parade route and to keep the kids safely distanced from the others," she said. "Hopefully we will have a beautiful day for the kids to enjoy a fun fall tradition."

The parade will start and end at the Municipal Building. Participants are asked to show up at 10:15 to line up.

The route will leave the building area and head east on the south side of Lincoln Avenue.

"We will cross Lincoln at Country Chics and continue on the north side of Lincoln. Once we get to Main Street, we will walk past Busey Bank east down the alley by the grain elevator to the Library. Then back to Mai through alley past the Apothecary. We will cross Main at that location. After crossing the street, we will stay on the sidewalk and will continue past the IGA on the west side of Main all the way back to the Municipal building."

Streets will not be blocked off for automobile traffic except when the marchers are crossing the street.

"We will have someone to hold traffic when crossing any streets and will keep the kids from gathering together in groups," Mayor Fruhling-Voges said.

Along the way, businesses that want to participate can set up a table near the sidewalk so that the kids can walk past and safely grab a treat. Parade participants should not enter buildings.

Paraders are asked to wear masks and hand sanitizers will be made available.

Photo of the Day - October 23, 2020

Stephanie Canfield tries to steal second base

Spartans win supersectional, they're going to state

Stephanie Canfield tries to beat a tag at second on a steal during St. Joseph-Ogden's 2012 supersectional game against Chicago Christian. Knight's Ashley Quinlan got the pick-off tag for the third out with SJO leading 4-0 after their second at-bat. Canfield and the Spartans dealt a 11-1 thrashing while punching their ticket to the Class 2A state finals on May 28. Later in the week, the SJO softball team finished the season with a third-place state trophy.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo of the Day - October 22, 2020

Alex Arteaga lands in the sand

Major Leap

St. Joseph-Ogden's Alex Arteaga lands in the sand pit during a long jump attempt at the 2012 Spartan Classic. The senior finished his career as a state qualifier in both long and triple jump events. He also all-state honors in the 300 intermediate hurdles and was a member of the 1,600 relay crew that finished third at the IHSA state meet that year. The Washington University recruit went out a career best of 41-9.75 in the triple jump and sailed 20-10.25 down the runway in the long jump at O'Brien Stadium.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

ViewPoint | Voting 'Yes' could open the door for local income tax

Over the years, various voices in Chicago have supported adding a city income tax to the laundry list of government taxes and fees residents of the heavily indebted city are forced to pay.

Other cities across Illinois, including Kankakee, Alton, Danville, Peoria and more, also have crushing local government debts.

Amy Korte, Illinois Policy
Amy Korte
The Illinois Constitution currently allows certain larger cities to impose local income taxes, with state lawmakers’ approval – but no cities in Illinois currently collect income taxes. Because the constitution also states everyone must be taxed at the same rate, it would be wildly unpopular to impose an income tax on a whole city.

That could change if the progressive tax is approved November 3.

If the Illinois Constitution’s flat tax protection were given up by voters, local governments would be able to target specific income brackets for taxation. Divided, city taxpayers fall: it becomes politically easier for state lawmakers to support local income taxes if they no longer can be blamed for taxing everyone.

Initially state lawmakers saw the potential for city taxes to spread and included language in the amendment proposal that prohibited them. That changed by the time they approved the ballot question, and the current progressive tax amendment offers no protection against local income tax hikes.

The appeal of a city income tax would not necessarily be limited to leaders in Chicago.

Many Illinois cities have been under fiscal strain for years, with mounting pension debt putting pressure on budgets. Add to that the COVID-19 economic crisis with plummeting sales tax collections and other declines in revenues, and many municipal leaders are seeking more funding sources. An Illinois Municipal League survey revealed 87% of responding municipalities face 20-30% revenue shortfalls in 2020 compared with 2019.

Sentinel Viewpoints
Even before the COVID-19-related economic crisis and shutdown, Peoria had cut positions in its police force and fire department and imposed a public safety pension fee to fill a hole in its budget caused by mounting police and fire pension costs. In 2020, Peoria city leaders debated throughout spring and summer how to close $10 million of the city’s $50 million COVID-19-related budget hole. In September, the city council voted to decommission two fire engines, which, at the time was expected to result in the elimination of 22 fire department positions, though a recently negotiated settlement of the firefighters’ union’s unfair labor practices lawsuit could keep one of the engines in service into 2021.

In Springfield, the budget director warned in 2019 the city needs nearly $270 million more in additional revenue during the next 20 years to pay for its escalating pension costs. Springfield now has an $8 million-$11 million shortfall related to COVID-19. Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said he opposes tax hikes, but balancing the budget will be a challenge with pension obligations restricting the city’s room to maneuver.

Like Chicago, Peoria and Springfield, many other Illinois municipalities – such as Alton, Kankakee and Danville – face severe fiscal problems with few ways to balance their budgets other than service reductions or tax hikes. In an era of increasing pension costs and a COVID-19 economic crisis, many local leaders of cash-strapped municipalities might find progressive city income taxes hard to resist.

But they should, and voters should prevent the temptation. Adding city income taxes to Illinoisans’ already high tax burden would damage struggling municipalities by dampening economic growth and job creation, driving out residents and making it even harder for small businesses to recover.

Illinoisans should be aware: Stripping the Illinois Constitution of its flat tax protection could create damage far beyond the tax hikes already promised.

Amy Korte
Illinois Policy Institute

Amy Korte is vice president of policy for the Illinois Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization that promotes responsible government and free market principles.

Photo of the Day - October 21, 2020

Debbie Prather and Megan Blair

Time and time again

Debbie Prather, Megan Blair and other timers have their fingers ready to go on their stopwatch buttons at the finish line during the 2012 Boys Spartan Classic. The group was waiting for the starters pistol to fire for next heat of the 110-yard high hurdles.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO to hold virtual parent-teacher conferences

Instructors at St. Joseph-Ogden High School will hold Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, November 5 via an an online chat platform.

Parents are encourage to contact the high school to make appointments with their student's teachers and guidance counselor either by email or phone. Conferences will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 pm and from 6:00 – 9:00 pm that day.

With first quarter grades distributed to students on October 29-30, this will be a good opportunity for discuss student's academic performance as well as objectives for remaining quarters with teachers.

To schedule an appointment by email, contact Nicki Falls at fallsn@sjo.k12.il.us or call (217) 469-7321. Appointments must be made by November 2.

Photo of the Day - October 20, 2020

Nate Michael playing basketball for SJO

Spartans stall in semifinal

Trapped by Robinson seniors Derrick Nicholas and Aaron Siler, St. Joseph-Ogden basketball starter Nate Michael looks for an open teammate to pass the ball during their sectional semifinal contest on February 29, 2012. Michael, who grew to become a prolific scorer, was held to just a single three-pointer in the 57-32 sectional semifinal loss. He finished both his prep and college career with more than 1,000 points. As a Spartan, he drained 1,244 points, good for fifth in the program's all-time scoring list, and was the 51st Bearcat to surpass the 1K mark finishing his career with 1,528 points.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Scouts to rake leaves in St. Joseph

St. Joseph resident Owen Yohnka is organizing a leaf raking service project for the community. Between now and October 30, Pack 40 and Troop 40 will rake leaves for homeowners who would like their assistance.

"It's always good to help out your neighbors," Yohnka said. "The Troop used to do this years ago. This is my first time doing this."

The scouts have done similar service projects including garbage pick up along the Trail Rail and clean up after the Fall Community Festival. They also place the flags at the high school and cemetery for Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Veterans Day.

The service is being offered to anyone who need help raking their leaves. Yohnka said residents are encouraged to send their name and address or contact information for someone who would appreciate the help via email at pack40stjoseph@gmail.com. Questions regarding the raking services can be sent to this email address, too.

The service is set up to be a contact-less service for homeowners or residents. After receiving an email request, a scout and their family will visit the property over the next few weeks to rake leaves for the village to vacuum away.

"We will just show up during the date range provided and rake the leaves in a nice straight pile along the road," Yohnka wrote in a post on Facebook announcing the service.

Photo of the Day - October 19, 2020

Rachel Mullen


Rachel Mullen celebrates the final point of the match in St. Joseph-Ogden's 2-1 volleyball victory on October 7, 2014. After graduation in 2015 senior and two-sport athlete went on to play volleyball at Lake Land College. In her final season with the Lakers she was 4th in digs while competing in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 6th in service aces.

(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Easter-ween this Saturday in Ogden

The Old High School Park at 300 North Market Street in Ogden will be the site of Easter-ween this Saturday starting at 10am.

The egg hunt, originally scheduled for April 11, was postponed until this weekend due to the Shelter-in-Place Executive Orders issued by Governor Pritzker to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

In late March, Ogden trustee Sue Esposito told The News-Gazette that the village had no intent in canceling the event.

"We are going to just delay it, " she said. "So if we have an egg hunt in November or even December, whatever. ... There’s $700 worth of candy, eggs and money. That’s a lot. We’re not just going to give it up."

The Village of Ogden will provide Halloween bags to egg hunters.

Sentinel area trick-or-treat hours for Halloween 2020

Below are the hours set for trick-or-treating for Halloween 2020 in the communities The Sentinel covers.

Saturday, October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 31 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.

This story is amended or updated as The Sentinel receives information from village officials. Updated 10/21/20

Maybe Halloween will provide relief from the insantity

By Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Halloween is typically a relaxed day for America's kids to fill their coffers with candy. Children and adults often don their favorite wacky attire for a day of comic relief.

America needs a day of some kind of relief and maybe Halloween will provide some insanity or terror relief. Because nothing about Halloween is as scary as what America and the world has been experiencing.

We have buried over 220,000 Americans from Covid-19. Over eight million have been sick. Nursing homes and Intensive Care Units have become horror wards. The projections for more sickness and death scare most Americans. We are afraid to go to church, out to eat, and to the grocery store. The airplane, hotel and restaurant industries are in peril as many have already closed or are on the verge of closing. Over 12 Million Americans are now unemployed and many in financial devastation because of Covid-19.

Congress continues to haggle over what and how much the government can further indebt our nation to keep us afloat for the present. With an approximate 28 trillion-dollar deficit and growing when will America file for bankruptcy? What will it take to keep Social Security and Medicare going? More taxes for a broader range of Americans and increased payroll taxes are on the near horizon, most Americans fear. It's more than a little scary.

On top of Covid-19, job loss, business failures and increasing poverty Americans are masked fatigued.

Children are tired of being home from school. Adults miss the comaraderie and social dynamics of their workmates. Working at home first felt good and welcomed but has become old for many Americans. The thought of this going on for another six months or even a year or longer is more than scary - it's terrifying.

On top of all this, we have a major election in front of us. Americans are terrified about the election. We are frightened about who will be elected. Trump being reelected terrifies millions, while millions are terrified Joe Biden will be elected. We are horrified of what may come as the result of this election and what either of the candidates may bring to America the next four years.

We are further scared by each other. The hostility of Americans toward people with different views is out of hand.

Hurting people, cursing people, destroying property are not hallmark qualities of a civilized society. We have sadly stopped being civil in America. Rude and crude are no longer shy in this nation. Pushing, shoving and outright fighting with people is becoming too normal. This is not what the average American wants and is disdained by most of us.

Let's face it, people who act this way scare most Americans.

It's Halloween time in America and there is plenty of fright to go around. The best treat we can give our country is treating each other the way we would like to be treated.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


Photo of the day - October 18, 2020

SJO basketball player Ty Pence

Spartans drop home game to PBL

ST. JOSEPH - Ty Pence dives after a loose ball with Paxton-Buckley-Loda senior Dalton Busboom. Pence, a freshman starter, finished the non-conference game with six points. The St. Joseph-Ogden boys squad drops the home game, after leading by one at the half, 51-42 to the Panthers on January 14, 2019.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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