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High Honor Roll students named at St. Joseph-Ogden

Last week, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced their list of students who earned high honor roll status during the 4th quarter. Forty-nine members of the junior class were the among the 173 that achieved a high level of academic achievement.

To receive honor roll recognition at SJO students must earn a grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students whose GPA soared above 3.74 are recognized as High Honor Roll students.

High Honor Roll





Guest Commentary | Social Security, It is worth the bite out of every check

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

In 2020 over 64 million Americans were collecting Social Security benefits.

The National Institute for Retirement Security (NIRS)has reported that Social Security is the only income source for 40 percent of retirees over the age of 60. The study also claimed that only 6.8 percent of retirees receive income from the three-legged stool of Social Security, a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution plan.

Another study conducted by researchers at the Social Security Administration, found that only 19.6 of Americans 65 and over received at least 90% of their total incomes from Social Security. That’s a big difference from the stat provided by the NIRS.

Nevertheless, the point is that for millions of Americans Social Security is either all they have or mostly all they have. Also, there are some government employees who have their own pension system and do not pay into Social Security.

Social Security taxes take a bite of our income from every check. Employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent of wages up to the taxable maximum of $142,800 for 2021. The self-employed pay 12.4 percent. Some self-employed struggle with paying the 12.4 percent and look for creative ways to only report a small salary. This may enable you to have more cash now but your Social Security check will be much smaller when you become retirement age.

Religious objectors can often be exempted from paying the tax. I knew a minister who in his younger days did the paperwork to exempt out of Social Security. It was the one of the biggest mistakes of his life. When he became 65, he couldn’t quit working. He had also drawn out most of his other pension savings for emergencies.

With meager retirement dollars he was also faced with having to buy Medicare insurance. To make matters worse he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At a relatively young senior adult age he had nothing with which to fight. He was tired from his long years of work. He had nothing financially saved. He couldn’t stop working. Medical insurance became a dilemma and within two years he was dead.

Social Security is not a perfect world. It won’t make you rich but you’ll be glad you have the check and the medical insurance.

Keep this in mind the average monthly Social Security payment for 2021 is $1,543, and the maximum you can receive at full retirement age is $3,113 a month. If you have waited until you are 70 the amount is $3,895.00. These figures change all the time depending on cost of living adjustments and how long you work and how much you pay into the system. Keep in mind the longer you work and the more you pay into Social Security, the more you collect at retirement.

So, go to work and be glad for every dollar withheld from your check for Social Security.


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 The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


Are you washing your fruits and vegetables the right way?

StatePoint Media -- The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines recommend adults eat anywhere from five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. While meeting or exceeding your recommended daily dose is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, it’s just as important to ensure that you’re consuming produce safely.

Now that it is fresh produce season, keep in mind that rinsing with water doesn’t completely eliminate pesticides, or the wax that’s sprayed on produce to help extend its shelf life. Regardless if it is fresh out of your garden or delicious looking veggies from the farmer's market, it is a good idea to throughly wash your produce.

Photo: Any Lane/Pexels
Whether you’re making a salad, sauté, skewers or soup, the best way to ensure you’re maximizing the health benefits of these good-for-you food choices is to consider incorporating a fruit and vegetable wash into your kitchen routine. Just be sure that when choosing a wash you look out for the Safer Choice label from the EPA, which indicates the product is both effective and uses only ingredients that are safer for families.

One choice to consider using is ARM & HAMMER Fruit & Vegetable Wash, which combines baking soda with other pure and simple ingredients such as lemon, purified water and salt. This formula is scientifically proven to safely eliminate up to 90 percent of pesticide residue of the commonly used pesticide, thiabendazole, when used as directed, as well as clean four times better than water alone.

To safely eliminate pesticides, wax and soil from your fruits and vegetables, follow these three steps:

1. Spray: Spray produce with Arm & Hammer Fruit & Vegetable Wash.
2. Gently rub: Gently rub produce to remove soil and wax.
3. Rinse: Rinse under water to wash away pesticides, wax and soil.

To learn more and for additional tips, visit

When it comes to your family’s healthy lifestyle, choosing nutritious fruits and vegetables is just part of the equation. With this small tweak to your food prep routine, you can ensure those supermarket selections are wholesome and safe by the time they reach your plate.

Tips to keep remote meetings productive

Photo: Anna Shvets/Pexels
StatePoint Media -- With many offices continuing to function remotely or hybrid style, video conferencing will remain a mainstay of the American workforce for the foreseeable future. Here’s how to ensure your meetings stay professional and productive:

Be Mindful of Limitations
Miscommunication can occur during an in-person meeting, however, there is a larger margin for error in a video call. Be mindful of the limitations of remote meetings and encourage participants to address who they are speaking to by name to avoid confusion. Consider assigning a moderator to help prevent interruptions, as well as someone to take minutes. This can ensure key takeaways are understood by all, particularly if tasks are assigned during the call.

Embrace its Benefits
While video calls do have their limitations, they also have a number of key benefits too. Features like screensharing make it easy to share presentations, data and analysis. Meetings can be also recorded for future reference or shared with colleagues who were unable to attend. And, while the mute/unmute button should never be abused, having this feature does give moderators the ability to make it clear who has the floor at any given time so that meetings stay structured.

Employ New Tech
The right technology can help ensure your staff is not overwhelmed with calls and video conferences. For example, Motiv, a mobile dashboard powered by Eturi that tracks productivity metrics for team leaders, now has a new Google Meets feature offering deeper insights specifically into meetings and calls. Is the time allocated for reoccurring meeting being used effectively or can it be optimized? Are the right team members using ad hoc meetings to brainstorm and collaborate? Who is meeting with who, when? Using this feature, CEOs, managers and team leaders can have these questions answered so they can make informed decisions. To learn more, visit

Your team may be decentralized, but collaboration is just as important as ever. With the right habits and tools, you can run more effective meetings, and work productively together from afar.

Unity Junior High list 4th quarter honor roll students

Today, Unity Junior High School announced the names of students who achieved honor roll status during the third quarter. Congratulations to the 76 students who earned the requisite grade point average to celebrate the honor. See the names of UJHS students who made the quarter's High Honor Roll list here.

6th Grade Honor Roll

7th Grade Honor Roll

8th Grade Honor Roll

113 UJS students earn high honors recognition

Unity Junior High School announced the names of students who achieved high honor roll status during the final quarter of the 2020-21 academic year. Congratulations to all the students who earned the requisite grade point to qualify for high honor roll recognition during this period.

6th Grade High Honor Roll

7th Grade High Honor Roll

Anna Carolyn Amias
Aria Eve Battaglia
Mylie Lynn Castle
Kaedan Dane Chenoweth
Cameryn Dayle Cobb
Eli Samson Crowe
Ella Jean Darnall
Annaliese Birtukan DeNeal
Crewe William Eckstein
Callie Marie Ellars
Camden Michael Fairbanks
Tanner Elizabeth Gallivan
Collin William Graven
Isabel Grace Grob
Kenley Jo Harris
Brayden Jonathon Henry
Tyler Jason Henry
Lucas Alexander Hood
Logan Phillip Jeurissen
Miles Kennedy Johnson
Faith Lyn Lampe
Johanna Ilene Langley
Isabelle Joy Levingston
Mylie Emily Loftsgaard
Claire Lynn Meharry
Isaac Julian Neverman
Mason Robert ONeill
Harry Matthew Polonus
Dallas Jordan Porter
Mackenzie Rose Pound
Kyla Lanae Reed
Ty Steven Rodems
Katie Marie Ruggieri
Jillian Brooke Schlittler
Vanna Lee Schriefer
Liana Grace Sheets
Hunter James Shike
Annalise Rose Shunk
Caden Alexander Stierwalt
Ginna Mae Stierwalt
Madelyn Rose Stierwalt
Emma Marie Swisher
Alexander Lane Wells
Paula Louise Wilson
Claire Morgan Zorns

8th Grade High Honor Roll

Jenna Blair Adams
Lindy Marie Bates
Molly Kay Baxley
Sophia Cathryn Beckett
Paige Leeanne Brewer
Noah Michael Bryant
Elle Makenna Cheely
Josephine Rose Cler
Madelyn Rae Darnall
Jordan Kathryn Daugherty
Nathaniel Gojam DeNeal
Ashlyn Brielle Denney
Kade Ryan Dubson
Chloey Ryanne Duitsman
Ava Maureen Fenter
Catharine Elizabeth Ford
Sophia Safrona Frye
Alexis Rae Gady
Paige Ann Garretson
Kadence Lynn Goff
Faith Marianne Hall
Sophia Ruth Hartke
Lauren Mellissa Hellmer
Dallas Anthony Hollingsworth
Lindsey Michelle Johnson
Alex Nathaniel Mowrer
Makayla Jean Nonman
Brady James Parr
Reigna Jolie Price
Camryn Elizabeth Reedy
Ashley Lynn Rennels
Ryan James Robinson
Lydia Claire Rossi
Maegan Denise Rothe
Savannah Renee Rubin
Lauren Anne Shaw
Abigail Ruth Smith
Joseph Robert Tempel
Avery Elise Watson
McKinley Mae Weller
Nolan Allen Wishall

SJO seeking new head basketball coach

St. Joseph-Ogden High School is currently searching for a new head coach for the girls' basket program.

Early last month, head coach Kevin Taylor, who led the Spartans to a third-place state finish during the 2018-2019 season and secured four regional titles during his tenure, announced his retirement from the position. His five years at the helm resulted in 86 wins and 25 losses.

The successful candidate and subsequent staff will inherit a battle-tested, talented senior class with the potential to carry the program to another state final appearance.

The official position announcement is listed below.

Notice of Position Opening

School Name: St. Joseph-Ogden CHSD 305
Building Name: St. Joseph-Ogden High School

Job Title: Varsity Head Girls Basketball Coach

Job Description: To fulfill the duties of high school head varsity girls basketball coach as related to the St. Joseph-Ogden High School Girls Basketball Program.

Qualifications: A valid Illinois Professional Educators License or valid ASEP Certification

Job Posted: 5/5/2021
End Date: Until filled

Starting Date: Upon Hire

To Apply: Please send letter of interest, resume, references, and a copy of your teaching license or ASEP Certification to:

Gary Page Principal
St. Joseph Ogden High School 301 N Main
St. Joseph, IL 61873
Phone: 217-469-7321

Hamilton dashes by competition, SJO wins track sectional

Amassing 139 points, just five more than runner-up Salt Fork, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls track program earned their first post-pandemic sectional championship title last Wednesday.

It was a spectacular evening for two-time state Long Jump champion Atleigh Hamilton, who led the Spartans with three individual titles. The senior gave gold medal performances in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Later, she broke a long-standing school record of 59.2 in the 400-meter dash.

Hamilton also qualified for this week's state meet on Thursday in her signature event the long jump. The Illinois State University signee finished in second place behind Salt Fork's Gracie Jessup with her best attempt at 5.25 meters.

Meanwhile, Abby Behrens cleared 1.52 meters to win the High Jump competition. Teammate Macy Reed-Thompson finished third to help SJO rise to the top in the 14-team meet.

The Spartans also swept all three relay events.

Kailyn Ingram, Helene Jones, Malorie Sarnecki and Ashlyn Lannert combined for a time of 10:27.70 in the 4x800 Meter Relay besting squads from Urbana University High School (2nd), Clifton Central (3rd) and Milford.

The Spartans faced stiffer competition from Bismarck-Henning-Rossville and Uni High in the 4x200 Meter Relay. The SJO foursome of Payton Carter, Raegan Crippen, Grace Schmitz, and Hope Rajlich finished less than a second ahead of the Blue Devils with their time of 1:51.47. Uni High finished third at 1:55.59.

To close out the meet, Lannert, Ingram and Jones from the four-by-eight, along with Rajlich from the 200-Meter Relay squad punched their ticket to state with a 4:15.17 finishing ahead of Uni High and BHR.

Also turning in top-three finishes were Raegan Crippen, who finished third in the Triple Jump, Ava Knap clocked in at second place in the 1600 meter run

Grace Schmitz and Payton Carter finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively in the Pole Vault

To the Editor: Focus on mental health year-round

Dear Editor,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it has probably never gotten as much public attention as it has this year. That’s both good and bad.

To address the stigma around mental health disorders, we must talk about them openly and honestly year-round. As the Rosecrance Central Illinois Executive Director, it has been refreshing to see mental health in the spotlight for a sustained period.

Unfortunately, I also know that is because many of us are struggling. Mental illness affects one in five adults and one in six youth in a normal year. With COVID-19, that number doubled for adults. The past 12 months have been particularly difficult for those who struggle because they had to adjust to isolation and care by phone or video.

It is tough to talk about something this sensitive, but maybe now is the best time any of us might have to ask how our loved ones truly are doing. Once you have that first conversation, don’t let it be a just a May thing, or wait until we’re reminded again during Recovery Month in September. Make relationship-building check-ins a part of your life every day. The more you connect, the brighter someone’s world becomes through the joy of real relationships.

If you’re a little nervous about speaking up, or if you’re struggling with mental health now, know that you’re not alone. Whatever your concerns, there are many resources available to help you find information, support groups, or treatment. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is one place to turn. The Illinois Department of Health Call 4 Calm text line (text “talk” to 552020) is another great resource for emotional support. And, as always, caring Rosecrance Central Illinois staff would be delighted to talk with you or point you to valuable groups and resources.

Please remember that together we can help those who struggle with mental illness, and we can continue to work to end the stigma.

Life’s waiting.

Joey King, Central Illinois Executive Director

New library rules now in effect

With the state entering a new phase in its pandemic mitigation strategy, the St. Joseph Township-Swearingen Memorial Library has updated their visitor rules in accordance to Illinois' newly relaxed restrictions.

St. Joseph, IL Effective yesterday, the library will allow 25 people in the building. That maximum number includes both staff and patrons. Patrons, who must also wear mask when admitted, will be allowed 30 minutes a day inside. Restrooms and water fountains will not available for public use.

The library will continue to offer curbside service for those who can not or object wearing masks inside the building.

Residents and patrons who have a question about the updated policy can contact the St. Joseph Township-Swearingen Memorial Library by phone at (217) 469-2159 or via email at

Pix & Six | Six questions with Damian Knoll

A while back the Sentinel found Damian Knoll watching the Unity softball team's early season home game against Westville. Earlier in the week, the three-sport athlete drove in the winning run in his baseball team's season opener against Hoopeston Area.

Unity's Damian Knoll ty
Damian Knoll hits a foul ball during his second trip to the plate in the Rockets' April home game against Hoopeston Area. In the bottom of the 5th inning he tripled putting across the winning run for an 11-1 victory. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Relatively sure that Knoll will make huge impact in every sport he playes during his senior year for the Rockets starting next fall, we asked six questions so we would get to know the junior better.

Sentinel: What is your dream job?
Knoll: Police officer or DNR officer

Sentinel: Who are three people you would want to spend a month long vacation with?
Knoll: Kevin Hart, Duwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Nolan Arenado.

Sentinel: Name one thing you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
Knoll: How dedicated I am to sports.

Sentinel: If you were a superhero what would your alias be and what would be your super power?
Knoll: Dam Dollar. My main special power would be the ability to read people's minds.

Sentinel: If you inherited a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?
Knoll: A brand new truck.

Sentinel: Finally, where is your favorite place to eat?
Knoll: Monical's.

Damian Knoll slides into second on steal

Inches away from a safe call, Knoll is tagged out just before reaching the bag on a steal attempt at second base. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Viewpoint: Now that you have the diploma, how to work toward early retirement

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Families across America are celebrating high school and college graduations.

Young adults are now faced with going to work or pursuing more education. Employers across America are looking for workers. Colleges are looking for students. Will you spend $25,000 to $60,000 per year to go to school? Or, will you go to work and earn $25,000 to $60,000 or more?

Some of America’s graduates will find jobs working for state or federal government entities. One acquaintance went to work for her state government and retired by the time she was 46. With a full state retirement benefit she started a part-time business that seems to do well. She did not have one day of college education. She started out at an entry level job but worked hard, showed up and received several promotions that provided her with a good income and a very good government retirement.

A high school graduate can enlist into the military. He or she will start out on the bottom but show up and work hard every day and have a retirement by the time they are 38 years old. It’s only 50% of their salary but it’s a respectable check which will provide them financial security for the rest of their lives.

If school teachers start teaching at the age of 23 many can retire by about 51 years old.

Retiring at 46 or 51 is seldom on the mind of someone 18 or even 23. Often, just finding an enjoyable job that is maintainable is the main goal. However, give some thought to the type of work you are pursuing. What kind of financial stability and security will it provide for you and when will it afford you retirement income?

You don’t have to quit working at 46 or 50 just because you have obtained a monthly retirement check. There is a world of opportunities you can pursue. You can start a different career. You can work part-time. Or, you can stay with the job you are doing. Or, just enjoy life.

There is a sacrifice to a lot of jobs. Many jobs may be fulfilling but often come up short on solid retirement plans. Pursue and enjoy what you do but you can’t make a retirement plan happen out of thin air when you hit sixty. Keep in mind you can save a little bit of money every month and it will grow. Be diligent about this every month and you’ll eventually see results. Start now.

The career you went to school for may also allow you to retire at 55 if you want to. You may also train for a job that you will enjoy doing into your late sixties or even seventies or older. An acquaintance of mine is 82. He’s been in the hotel business for many years and loves his work. Another friend was a college President until he was 78 and loved every minute of his work. One of my friends is a surgeon and is 72. He loves working every day.

Today is a good time to think about what you are doing and where it will take you. Consider what you want life to look like when you arrive at your destination.


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 The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


Tolono village-wide garage sale May 14-15

May 14 and 15
362 County Road 1200 East
Boys and girls clothes, junior clothing, Fisher Price Power Wheel Jeep, dishes, Tupperware and Hallmark ornaments.

May 14 and 15
801 E. Boone
Concrete tools, lumber and miscellaneous household items.

May 14-15
802 E. Boone
Anything you need for a BABY. Swing, sleepers, carseat covers, socks, girl 6m-12m & 7-10, womens clothing, tools, home decore and more.
May 14 & 15 starting at 8am
201 North Condit
HUGE STAMPIN UP SALE. 100+ stamp sets, dies, designer paper, ink, punches, punch boards, etc. Supplies to make Cheer Bows (or just big hair bows), fabric all kinds, Norwex and more. Sale will be at the side drive on Holden.

May 15, 8am-2pm
408 South Bourne
Many household items and decorations/ women’s, juniors and men’s name brand clothing/ women’s shoes size 7, 7.5 and 8/ children’s clothing size 3T and 4T/ Mary Kay make up and some other cosmetics/ small TV stand/ three end tables/ stained quarter round/ flooring-ceramic tiles and much more!

May 14, 7:30am to noon
504 Deerpath
Women and Boys Clothing size Medium & Large. Also lots of household items.

May 14-15
418 Deerpath
Kids toys, puzzles, games, clothes. Lots of household items.
May 14-16
202 E. Washington St.
Moving sale so LOTS of stuff. We will start at 12:30pm and run until later in the evening, plus all weekend. Lots of baby boy clothes, baby items (new pump & supplies, bottles, etc.), toys, games, room furniture, some FREE items. I’m still going through stuff!

From the editor: Here is a map created by a third party showing the locations above as well as other sale locations - Tolono Garage and Yard Sales.

Kitchen Delight | Fruity Lemon Cheesecake

(Family Features) -- Fresh fruit is finally in season. When the sun is out and kids are hitting the pool, it’s also time to indulge in some sweet fruit flavors. Watermelon, berries, bananas and more can all be found near perfect ripeness at grocery stores or farmer’s markets during the warm summer months.

Lemon Cheesecake
Photo provided
On a hot day, there is almost nothing better than trying something new that sounds delicious. Throw your apron on, prepare your kitchen and get baking.

If you’re craving something sweet with no ideas where to start, try this sweet Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit. It’s tangy and rich, and allows you to escape to the summer oasis of your dreams, at least for a few minutes.

It has the smooth, creamy texture of cheesecake mixed with a hint of tart lemon juice. Topped with raspberries, mint and oranges, the burst of fresh fruit enhances the cheesecake flavor. It’s the perfect sweet treat for summer for people of all ages with its bright colors and varying flavors.

In a bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter then press into a springform pan.

Beat cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, three eggs, lemon juice and vanilla extract then pour it on top of the graham cracker mixture.

Bake for 50-55 minutes before cooling completely in the fridge and adding fruit and mint leaves.

The outcome is a fluffy cheesecake with a small hint of lemon topped with your favorite fresh fruits. It’s a delightful, sweet and satisfying recipe your family can make again and again to enjoy during those warm summer months.

Find more recipes perfect for summer at

Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit

Photo provided
Servings: 6-8

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, peeled and separated
8 raspberries
3 mint leaves, for garnish


Heat oven to 350 F.

In medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into 9-inch springform pan.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, fresh lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix until combined.

Pour into pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until center springs back when lightly pressed. Chill in refrigerator until completely cooled. Arrange orange slices around border of cake and place raspberries in middle. Top with mint leaves.

It's out of here!

SJO's Kennedy Hudson crushes home run
St. Joseph-Ogden's Kennedy Hudson watches the ball she put in play fly out to left field on Saturday during the Spartans' home softball game against Salt Fork. Hudson's ball was good for a two-run homer to put SJO up 7-4 in the bottom of 6th inning. The Storm rallied back to get within one run of putting the game into extra innings before fally 7-6 in the non-conference contest. Hudson finished the game with a hit and 2 the pair of RBIs.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Prep Sports Notebook: Softball and baseball teams notch wins

Alyssa Acton hits a foul ball against Olympia

Alyssa Acton hits a foul ball during SJO home game against Olympia. Today, in the Spartans' road game at Rantoul, the sophomore had 3 hits including a home run and 4 RBIs.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Spartans pick up 10th win of the season
Alyssa Acton put a shot over the fence in the fifth inning for a two-run homer to increase the St. Joseph-Ogden softball team's commanding lead over Rantoul, 11-4. In the next frame, Shayne Immke drilled a three-run, inside-the-park home run in the Illini Prairie Conference duel to put the Spartans up, 16-4.

Any hopes of an Eagles comeback was extinquished 1-2-3 by Acton, who was throwing heat from the circle. In her five-inning appearance, the sophomore slugger averaged just 12 pitches per frame to help the SJO pick up their 10th win of the season.

Emily Curtis, who gave up a pair of home runs and a double on 13 hits, earned the loss for the Eagles.

It was another superb outing also for Kelsey Martlage, who went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs, Immke with 2 hits and 3 RBIs and Maggie Ward (2-for-3) with two of the team's 11 stolen bases and a pair of RBIs.

Unity shuts out IPC foe
Every Unity batter that stepped in the box in today's home game today against Pontiac booked at least one hit in win #8 for the Rockets after handing the visiting Indians a 9-0 shutout.

Pitcher Taylor Henry, now 4-0 overall for the season, struck out 14.

The Rockets enjoyed back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the third, first from freshman Ruby Tarr, who went 2-for-4 on the day, and then from Henry, the next batter in the lineup, on a 3-1 count.

Madeline Reed and Gracie Renfrow hit a double during one of their three trips to the plate. Reed scored twice and contributed an RBI. Renfrow's offensive contribution included a pair of runs and 2 hits. Elise Swanstrom hit a triple and put two runs over the plate.

Unity improves to 3-0 in conference play. Next up, the Rockets take on IVC at home on Saturday with the first game of the twin bill starting at noon.

Spartan baseball team rebounds
It is hard to keep a good team down.

After dropping a disappointing heartbreaker to Maroa-Forsyth one day earlier, the St. Joseph-Ogden baseball team picked up their 13th victory of the season after beating Rantoul 8-7 on the road this afternoon.

Down 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning, SJO rallied back scoring five runs in the last two innings of the game for the win.

The key moment came on a one-out sacrifice fly ball from Andrew Beyers's in the top of the six that allowed senior Crayton Burnett to cross the plate from third for the go-ahead run.

The Spartans relied on three pitchers to get through their toughest conference game so far this season. Connor Hale was on the bump for two innings, Griffin Roesch saw action for just over an inning and Avian Gerdes three complete innings. The trio tossed 157 pitches and combined for nine strikeouts.

Hayden Brazelton and Isaiah Immke had two hits apiece. Ty Pence, Crayton Burnett and Keaton Nolan scored two times each for SJO.

Create lasting keepsakes for Mother's Day

StatePoint Media-- In today’s world, intimacy can sometimes be sacrificed for immediacy. We often send texts or emails to family and friends rather than hand writing letters, cards or notes.

However, handwritten notes are a beautiful way to capture meaningful moments and create something tangible that goes beyond the digital. In the past, writing by hand was an integral part of daily life -- letters were written to soldiers overseas, travel journals and diaries were kept, and cards were sent to celebrate birthdays. Today, we have to be much more intentional about crafting these handmade mementos.

This year for Mother’s Day, get inspired by the art of handwritten communication and celebrate Mom with one of these lasting keepsakes:

Tap into Nostalgia: Does your mom still have your kindergarten macaroni art or hand-drawn valentines lovingly tucked away in a drawer? Take her for a sweet trip down memory lane by compiling a scrapbook or memory box of your childhood masterpieces. Make sure to include a handwritten note from the present day for a heartfelt finishing touch.

Feed Mom’s Soul: Preparing food and sharing meals is one of the most common ways families connect. If your mom has a collection of handwritten recipe cards, consider binding them into a cookbook, complete with a title page inscription from her favorite kitchen helper (you!). Not only will it make her feel like an accomplished chef, it’ll preserve these treasured treats for the next generation of kids and grandkids to enjoy.

Capture the Everyday: The first step to preserving treasured memories is to record them. Gift your mom some stunning stationery, a sturdy leather-bound journal or even high-quality card stock and encourage her to do some writing of her own. Journaling is proven to be an effective tool for relaxation and self-reflection. For moms who give so much of themselves to their families, a lovely journal might be a welcome invitation to spend some much-needed time with herself. Pair your gift with a smooth-writing, long-lasting gel ink pen, like the G2 from Pilot, to ensure Mom’s words flow as effortlessly as her love.

Give Mom the Ultimate Upgrade: Complete Mom’s gift and make sure she’s ready for any writing task with a Decimo fountain pen. The slimmer barreled cousin to Pilot’s classic Vanishing Point fountain pen features a unique, retractable design and a rhodium plated 18K gold writing nib that is as durable as it is sophisticated.

However you celebrate Mom this year, be sure to skip the e-card and handwrite something from the heart, instead.

By embracing the art of the written word, you can create lifelong memories and treasured heirlooms this Mother’s Day.

Pix & Six | 6 questions with Unity's Tyler Hensch

Unity pitcher Tyler Hensch

While the girls' softball team was wrapping up their non-conference win over visiting Westville a week ago this past Tuesday, the Sentinel caught up with three-sport Rocket athlete Tyler Hensch. The junior, who also plays football and basketball, was on the mound for his team's opening game against Hoopeston Area. He pitched five innings for Unity, giving up one hit and one run while striking out seven batters.

We fired six random questions at him and here's how he responded.

Sentinel: What is your dream job?
Hensch: A pilot for the Navy.

Sentinel: Name three people you would spend a month long vacation with?
Hensch: Mariano Rivera, Jeff Bezos, and Derek Jeter.

Sentinel: What movie or TV show best describes your life right now?
Hensch: Friends.

Sentinel: Name one thing you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
Hensch: "Work ethic is everything".

Sentinel: You just inherited a million dollars. What would you would buy first?
Hensch: I would buy a sports car - a Ford GT350.

Sentinel: Name your favorite place to eat?
Hensch: Chick-fil-A.

Above: Putting wood on leather, Tyler Hensch puts the ball in play for the Rockets during the team's first home game of the season on their new turf field. At the top: Hensch hurls a pitch against Hoopeston Area during the second inning. (Photos: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Celebrate Mother's Day and the memories now and in the future

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Plan your telephone call to say hello to mom this Sunday. Better yet, if possible, make a visit with a card or even some flowers or maybe some brownies or a special treat.

Moms deserve to be treated special. Take her out to lunch or dinner if possible. It doesn’t have to be Sunday, maybe Saturday would work better. Tell mom what she means to you. Let her know that you love her and that you give thanks for all she has done for you. Let her know she was a good mother and that you are grateful for everything. Moms need to hear it and you’ll be glad for everything you do for your mother.

However, you may not be so fortunate.

My mother Eula Hinkle Mollette, passed away many years ago. My son’s mother Karen Mollette passed away in 2002.

The years go by quickly. For too many, Mother’s Day can be a sad day because mom is no longer here. All you have is your many memories and too often memories are filled with mixed emotions. You remember what was wonderful but you may start thinking about all you wish you had done or could do if you had her today. If you have your mother today then celebrate in every way you can.

Sadly over 200,000 women are in prison or jail in the United States today. Eighty percent of these women have minor children. Mother's Day is a painful day for these women and their families.

Millions of children live with parents who are addicted to alcohol or drugs or both.

These children are raised in sad environments where they have had to emotionally and often even financially help their parents. Often, these daily struggles make it difficult to celebrate the "picture perfect" day that is touted by the flower and card companies. They may go to buy a Mother's Day card but just cannot find one that really expresses how they feel.

Many children have been raised in painful, abusive environments and Mother’s Day is depressing because they can’t conjure up that many good memories of mom. Many of these children want mom to be well and healthy. They want to know that they are loved by mom. Unfortunately, there are so many adults who have mothers who could never turn their lives around. They are often exhausted from trying to make "Mom and family" work.

Mother’s Day is our opportunity to try to do the right things again. Using words like, I care, love, appreciate, thank you, and any that express your heart’s desire to be connected are worthwhile expressions. When you do the best you can do, you can at least look back and know that you tried.

When Mom and our loved ones are no longer with us then all we have are our memories. If you have any time left to work on your Mother’s Day memories you won’t regret it in the years to come.


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 The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to


Prep Sports Notebook: Unity beats VG, Spartan softball pounds STM

Still undefeated, Rockets bounce Villa Grove
Taylor Henry and Taylor Joop tallied three hits apiece in Unity's non-conference home game against Villa Grove.

The Rockets, who are ranked #17 in Class 2A in this week's ICA softball poll, collected at least one run in five of the six innings they played to beat the Blue Devils, 6-1.

Unity will put their undefeated 7-0 record on the line in their Illini Prairie game against Pontiac at home on Thursday.

SJO demolishes STM
Sophomore slugger Maggie Ward drove in four runs to help St. Joseph-Ogden pound St. Thomas More on the road, 18-1.

Alyssa Acton picked up the pitching win after giving up just two hits and one run out of her 58 pitches. The sophomore struck out seven Sabers after coming into the game in the bottom of the first inning.

Ward along with Kelsey Martlage (3 RBI) tapped out a pair of hits for the 8-4 Spartans.

SJO baseball robs bases at will from St. Thomas More

The Spartans rolled up ten stolen bases in their road game at St. Thomas More on Tuesday.

Andrew Beyers, Coby Miller and Ty Pence stole two bases each in SJO's 11-2 domination of the Sabers. Miller crossed the plate three times.

Tyler Altenbaumer surrendered just three hits on 86 pitches and struck out seven. Ty Pence closed out the contest with 22 pitches sacrificing one hit.

Viewpoint: Lying isn't leadership

Op-Ed by Darren Bailey

Gov. J.B. Pritzker's lie about taking politics out of reapportionment and pushing "fair and independent maps" wouldn't be so shocking if he hadn't said it so often and with such conviction and sincerity.

All through his 2018 campaign for governor, Pritzker said he supported an amendment to the state Constitution to take congressional map-drawing out of the hands of state legislators and into those of an independent commission.

He went so far as to say he'd veto legislative maps, "in any way drafted or created by legislators, political party leaders and/or their staffs or allies." Instead, he said, he would hand it over to an independent panel.

This is not some new, untried experiment. Neighboring Missouri has instituted an independent map-drawing commission, and so have Michigan, Colorado, and Utah.

With Pritzker facing reelection next year, though, it appears he's willing to allow his Democratic allies in the legislature one last go at picking their voters by drawing Republicans into concentrated and ludicrously configured districts.

"We need a governor who keeps his promises."

Lying isn't leadership. And J.B. Pritzker has broken his word more often than he spends his money to buy elections.

Last week, Pritzker said he "trusted" the Democrats in the House and Senate to send him a fair map.

"I look to the Legislature for their proposal," Pritzker said. "I'll be looking to it for its fairness."

The governor might want to invest in a microscope because he's going to have to look hard.

This is Illinois, a state where corruption and cynicism compete with one another as the political class builds its power base and their special-interest handlers line their pockets.

Let me be clear. I'm a conservative Republican. But I also know that there are some things bigger than politics – things like honesty, transparency, and fair play.

I'm committed to seeing an end to the inside-dealing that has dominated our redistricting process. Voters should pick their elected officials, not the other way around. That's why, as governor, I'll use the bully pulpit to reform the system by which we draw our districts.

Illinoisans deserve better than the current, worn-out system.

We were asked, by this very governor, to expect better. And it was all a lie.

Pritzker will argue that a constitutional amendment is absolutely necessary to take politics out of partisan hands and into those of a bi-partisan, or even non-partisan, commission. He should read his state's Constitution.

While the law assigns the power to redistrict to the legislature, it does not prohibit them from assigning the work of map-drawing to a less-partisan body. The legislature's job is to enact the maps.

And remember the governor's pledge to veto any partisan plan?

The Constitution provides for a commission, appointed by the legislature, to handle the task. And if that commission deadlocks, there's even language providing for the Supreme Court to pick a ninth member – by lottery if need be – to break deadlocks.

Let's not forget that after each of the past four censuses, the legislature proved itself unable to come up with a plan for new districts. As ever, it ended up in the courts because hardline partisans showed themselves incapable of governing legislatively.

We need a commission. And we need a governor who keeps his promises.

That doesn't sound like much, and it's far from perfect. Still, it's considerably better than the unpalatable task before us now that J.B. Pritzker has broken his word and made this process about partisan politics instead of how we can best provide Illinoisans the representation they deserve.

Darren Bailey, currently the Representative from the 109th District, is a Republican candidate for the 2022 Illinois gubernatorial election.

Serious Covid cases on the rise in young adults

The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public at events and gatherings when they are around other people in settings they can not observe social distancing.
Photo: Matt Moloney/StockSnap

By Will Stone
After spending much of the past year tending to elderly patients, doctors are seeing a clear demographic shift: young and middle-aged adults make up a growing share of the patients in covid-19 hospital wards.

It's both a sign of the country's success in protecting the elderly through vaccination and an urgent reminder that younger generations will pay a heavy price if the outbreak is allowed to simmer in communities across the country.

The explosion of cases in Michigan underscores the potential fallout of loosening restrictions.

"We're now seeing people in their 30s, 40s and 50s — young people who are really sick," said Dr. Vishnu Chundi, a specialist in infectious diseases and chair of the Chicago Medical Society's covid-19 task force. "Most of them make it, but some do not. … I just lost a 32-year-old with two children, so it's heartbreaking."

Nationally, adults under 50 now account for the most hospitalized covid patients in the country — about 36% of all hospital admissions. Those ages 50 to 64 account for the second-highest number of hospitalizations, or about 31%. Meanwhile, hospitalizations among adults 65 and older have fallen significantly.

About 32% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated, but the vast majority are people older than 65 — a group that was prioritized in the initial phase of the vaccine rollout.

Although new infections are gradually declining nationwide, some regions have contended with a resurgence of the coronavirus in recent months — what some have called a "fourth wave" — propelled by the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, which is estimated to be somewhere between 40% and 70% more contagious.

As many states ditch pandemic precautions, this more virulent strain still has ample room to spread among the younger population, which remains broadly susceptible to the disease.

The emergence of more dangerous strains of the virus in the U.S. — including variants first discovered in South Africa and Brazil — has made the vaccination effort all the more urgent.

"We are in a whole different ballgame," said Judith Malmgren, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington.

Rising infections among young adults create a "reservoir of disease" that eventually "spills over into the rest of society" — one that has yet to reach herd immunity — and portends a broader surge in cases, she said.

Fortunately, the chance of dying of covid remains very small for people under 50, but this age group can become seriously ill or experience long-term symptoms after the initial infection. People with underlying conditions such as obesity and heart disease are also more likely to become seriously ill.

"B.1.1.7 doesn't discriminate by age, and when it comes to young people, our messaging on this is still too soft," Malmgren said.

Hospitals Filled With Younger, Sicker People

Across the country, the influx of younger patients with covid has startled clinicians who describe hospital beds filled with patients, many of whom appear sicker than what was seen during previous waves of the pandemic.

"A lot of them are requiring ICU care," said Dr. Michelle Barron, head of infection prevention and control at UCHealth, one of Colorado's large hospital systems, as compared with earlier in the pandemic.

The median age of covid patients at UCHealth hospitals has dropped by more than 10 years in the past few weeks, from 59 down to about 48 years old, Barron said.

"I think we will continue to see that, especially if there's not a lot of vaccine uptake in these groups," she said.

While most hospitals are far from the onslaught of illness seen during the winter, the explosion of cases in Michigan underscores the potential fallout of loosening restrictions when a large share of adults are not yet vaccinated.

There's strong evidence that all three vaccines being used in the U.S. provide good protection against the U.K. variant.

One study suggests that the B.1.1.7 variant doesn't lead to more severe illness, as was previously thought. However, patients infected with the variant appear more likely to have more of the virus in their bodies than those with the previously dominant strain, which may help explain why it spreads more easily.

"We think that this may be causing more of these hospitalizations in younger people," said Dr. Rachael Lee at the University of Alabama-Birmingham hospital.

"We don't yet have enough younger adults vaccinated to counteract the increased ease with which the variants spread."

Lee's hospital also has observed an uptick in younger patients. As in other Southern states, Alabama has a low rate of vaccine uptake.

But even in Washington state, where much of the population is opting to get the vaccine, hospitalizations have been rising steadily since early March, especially among young people. In the Seattle area, more people in their 20s are now being hospitalized for covid than people in their 70s, according to Dr. Jeff Duchin, public health chief officer for Seattle and King County.

"We don't yet have enough younger adults vaccinated to counteract the increased ease with which the variants spread," said Duchin at a recent press briefing.

Nationwide, about 32% of people in their 40s are fully vaccinated, compared with 27% of people in their 30s. That share drops to about 18% for 18- to 29-year-olds.

"I'm hopeful that the death curve is not going to rise as fast, but it is putting a strain on the health system," said Dr. Nathaniel Schlicher, an emergency physician and president of the Washington State Medical Association.

Schlicher, also in his late 30s, recalls with horror two of his recent patients — close to his age and previously healthy — who were admitted with new-onset heart failure caused by covid.

"I've seen that up close and that's what scares the hell out of me," he said.

"I understand young people feeling invincible, but what I would just tell them is — don't be afraid of dying, be afraid of heart failure, lung damage and not being able to do the things that you love to do."

Will Younger Adults Get Vaccinated?

Doctors and public health experts hope that the troubling spike in hospitalizations among the younger demographic will be temporary — one that vaccines will soon counteract. It was only on April 19 that all adults became eligible for a covid vaccine, although they were available in some states much sooner.

But some concerning national polls indicate a sizable portion of teens and adults in their 20s and 30s don't necessarily have plans to get vaccinated.

"We just need to make it super easy — not inconvenient in any way," said Malmgren, the Washington epidemiologist. "We have to put our minds to it and think a little differently."

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Picking the right engagement ring tells your love story

NewsUSA - Engagement rings mean many things -- romance, love, commitment. Each love story is unique, each engagement ring is the start of a new love story, and each will be a witness to a lifetime of memories.

An engagement ring embodies the memories of each couple's unique courtship. The memories begin with first glance and a warm smile meeting for the first time.

Photo: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

If an engagement ring could talk, it might tell you a story of "boy meets girl" and how an awkward guy got up the courage to approach the girl across a crowded room. It might tell the story of fun dates to concerts, sporting events and hanging out with friends. Trips to new cities together, boating in the Ozarks, exotic vacations to destinations abroad. The story continues to meeting the parents for the first time.

An engagement ring might reflect on a couple's firsts. That first vacation together or the first long romantic walk. The ring will grow in sentimental value as memories are shared over and over of how the future bride's personality captivated their partner into popping the all-important question.

A ring might recall asking a father's permission, sneaking a sample ring from a drawer to determine the perfect size, and even providing some inspiration for a design that would bring her to tears when she said "yes."

Engagement rings are followed by wedding rings, which tell the story of a bright day full of joy as two become one in front of family and friends. In the future, these rings will experience years of holding hands, warming hearts, rubbing shoulders, holding babies, and serving as a reminder of a lifetime of love with the love of your life.

Custom diamond engagement rings from Cornelis Hollander can help you tell your unique love story with timeless beauty. Their engagement and wedding rings represent your love, energy, and commitment to each other.

The story doesn't stop with the walk down the aisle some bright day in June, it is only beginning, and their team of skilled designers are honored to help start your journey together. The Arizona-based company has four decades of awards and testimonials for its customized engagement ring designs that range from classic to modern, with stunning settings and sparkling gems.

"Your ring is the ultimate storyteller of your style and commitment," according to Cornelis Hollander's son, Walter Hollander, who inherited the company from his father in 2017. "Our diamond rings are exceptional because they are made uniquely for the wearer, making them exclusive, memorable, and personal."

For more information go to to explore their unique collection of handcrafted diamond ring designs.

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