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Village Crier: Youth summer sport programs open for registration

Summer softball registration in St. Joseph closes soon

St. Joseph Summer Softball is now underway. This year's registration fee will include the $5 village fee. Parents will to register online with a credit card.

The program will not have a separate age division for girls four years-old or in kindergarten this year. The organization is encouraging parents with kids in the age group to play Bitty Ball or T-Ball through the St. Joseph Youth Baseball program.

Questions can be sent by email to Registration closes on February 21.

Unity FFA pork chop lunch next week

The Unity FFA is celebrating FFA Week next week with their annual pork chop lunch. The drive through service will take place on the UHS east drive on Wednesday, February 24 from 11:00am - 12:45pm. Pork chop sandwiches are $5 each with proceeds going toward supporting the FFA program. Customers can get a meal deal for an additional $2, which will include chips, drink, and cookies.

Sidney summer ball sign up this weekend

Sidney Baseball/Softball/Tball signups will be held this Saturday from 10am to 12pm at the new Sidney Community Building located at 211 E Main Street in Sidney. An additional sign up day is scheduled for February 22 from 5:30-7:30pm. Ages groups are ages five and six for T-Ball and ages 7-15 for baseball and softball athletes. Registration cost is $55.

Questions or if parents are unable to make it to the in-person registration dates, they are encouraged to send a message to (217)649-7450.

Annual Chili Dinner in Sidney next week

The Sidney Fire Protection District will host its annual chili dinner on February 27 at the new community building, located at 211 East Main, from 4-7pm. The dinner will be available only through drive-through service. Toppings, hotdogs and drinks will be provided with the meal.

Sidney Fire Department cancer awareness shirts will also be available for purchase. Donations help support the local district's firefighter association.

Spots still available in Tolono virtual raffle

The Tolono Firefighters Association is doing a virtual raffle for a $500 Allen Meats Gift Card. Tickets for the drawing are $10 a piece and limited to the first 100 sold. Tickets can be purchased through Venmo or PayPal.

As of yesterday there were 34 tickets still available for the drawing. For more information visit the Tolono Firefighters Association page on Facebook.

Area COVID cases dips to 3-month low

Yesterday there were just 46 active Coronavirus cases across the six villages The Sentinel covers. The last time there fewer than 50 active cases in our area was back on November 13 of last year. A day later, that number surged to 60 and continued to rise from there to a peak of 142 active cases on several days.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reported the number of cases rose by five today.

The agency's dashboard now includes mortality data for Champaign County. Out of the 1,427 cases identified in our area, eight individuals lost their lives to the virus. Two individuals from Ogden, four from Tolono along with one resident from Sidney and St. Joseph succumbed after being infected. As of today, 123 county residents have died from the viral infection since March of 2020.

Put it On The Market

Do you have a home for sale in one of our six communities? The Sentinel would like to highlight it in the upcoming new local real estate feature called On The Market.

Each calendar week our online paper will pick a residential property from those submitted for consideration to promote to our audience. With over 700 readers daily, The Sentinel hopes the new section will direct more potential buyers and competitive offers to sellers in our area. For more submission information, sellers and agents can contact us at

Show us your art

We know there are more artists in our area. We just haven't met you yet but would enjoy seeing fruits of your creativity. If you paint, draw, sculpt or do metal work, The Sentinel would love to feature your work and share your artistic talent. Do you spend hours at the potter's wheel, dabble in mixed-media, do glass-work or design jewelry pieces? We would like to hear from you.

If you are interested in having your work featured in a story, please send a brief bio in an email with a link to your website or a online gallery featuring your work to We very much look forward to sharing your passion and vision with our readers.

As time and space allows we will publish details for upcoming community events. Please send your business, social or community organization's press release or event information at least four days in advance to The Sentinel at

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