House bill in the works to keep teens out of adult court

by Lily Bohlke
Public News Service

(SPRINGFIELD, IL) - A bill pending in the Illinois House of Representatives would bring misdemeanor cases against older teenagers to juvenile court rather than adult court.

House Bill 111 would allow emerging adults to be considered "delinquent minors" and adjudicated in the juvenile system up to their 19th birthday.

Lael Chester, director of the Emerging Adult Justice Project at the Columbia University Justice Lab, said 18 is an arbitrary age to start bringing teens into adult court.

Photo by Niu Niu/Unsplash
She pointed out young people go through a tremendous period of growth in their mid 20s, and argued not only can young people be particularly vulnerable in the adult court and prison system, but it affects the rest of their lives.

"When you are applying to college, when you have jobs, and they ask you if you've been convicted of a crime, you haven't been convicted, you've been adjudicated," Chester explained. "And it really provides young people with the opportunity to get their feet in the ground."

Chester emphasized Illinois is on the cutting edge, but it's not the first state to take this step. Starting July of last year, 18-year-olds in Vermont began entering the juvenile system for misdemeanors.

Chester noted focusing on emerging adults is one way advocates hope to reduce racial disparities in the justice system.

"Racial disparities are prevalent throughout the justice system at all ages," Chester contended. "But actually 18- and 19-year-olds have by far the highest racial disparities of any age group in the justice system."

Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, sponsored similar legislation in the Senate and said she plans to move forward with the House bill if and as soon as it passes.

She added there are many reasons young people commit misdemeanor offenses, and the juvenile system is better suited to find out how to help kids have successful and healthy futures.

"In the juvenile system, there are more opportunities for services," Fine remarked. "And sometimes these kids need services instead of severe punishment."

Recent research has shown when people are not arrested and prosecuted for nonviolent misdemeanors, they're less likely to offend again, especially if it's the first time they encounter the justice system.

St. Joseph yard & garage sales this weekend

512 Crestwood Dr
St. Joseph
Multi-family garage

Thursday, April 8th from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Friday, April 9th from 8 a.m.-?
Saturday, April 10th from 8 a.m.-?

400 Sherwood
St. Joseph
Thursday 4/8: 4PM - 7PM
Friday 4/9: 8AM - 6PM
Satruday 4/10: 8AM - 12PM
Multi-family garage sale! Kids' clothes (many name brands): Boys newborn - 5T; girls newborn - 3T.

Adult clothing, toys, housewares, Graco high chair, Graco pack & play, lots of misc.

Photo Gallery | Illini Prairie soccer, Unity at SJO

Unity's Nolan Decker challenges St. Joseph-Ogden's Jackson Greer durin first half action on Saturday, March 27. Greer and the Spartans went on to defeat the visiting Rockets, 4-1.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
SJO midfielder Brennan Haake moves the ball down the field in the first half of the game.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Rocket junior Will Thompson pushes steals the ball away from the control of Spartans' Logan Ingram will playing defense after the starting whistle. Ingram later nailed a second half penalty kick for hit team's fourth goal of the contest.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Rockets' Andrew Miller heads the ball away from oncoming SJO midfielders during second half play. The senior defender had his work cut out for him most of the game against offensively dominate Spartans. Miller was responsible for Unity's single goal in the conferene soccer match.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Unity defender Mary Bryant challenges St. Joseph-Ogden's Logan Ingram for ball possession early on in the game.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Unity's Zach Ohlsson takes advantage of laxed defensive positioning by the Spartans to move the ball down the field.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Mason Behrens tries dribble the ball away from Unity's Andrew Manrique. Behrens delivered two unassisted goals in the first half and found the net again on a long pass from keeper Hunter Ketchum to give the Spartans a comfortable 3-1 lead with 16:52 left to play in the contest.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
With a pair of Spartan defenders moving in to take the ball, Unity's Sara Butler taps the ball over in a passing lane early in first half.
PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

See a photo on this page you would like to have? Buy us a coffee and we'll send you the high-resolution digital photo for free.

Prep Sports Notebook: SJO volleyball wins at home, spring sports fires up today

Spring sports season gets underway

Today was the first official day of baseball, softball and track for area high schools. The spring season, which is off to a late start, will conclude on June 19.

Last month, there was a bit of good news for athletes in these three sports. The IHSA said that "all tournaments are currently expected to conduct all rounds of competition, including a State Final. State Final qualifiers in some individual sports may be modified to better meet gathering mitigations."

Unity soccer

Fighting back valiantly from a 2-0 first half deficit, the Unity soccer team posted a 4-2 conference loss against Illinois Valley Central this afternoon.

The Rockets netted two goals, one from senior Zach Ohlsson and another from junior midfielder Grace Brock, on their home field in the second half.

The Grey Ghost also scored twice in second half to seal the Illini Prairie Conference win.

Vallee pounds 9 kills in SJO win

The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team notched a 2-0 win over visiting Urbana tonight behind 9 kills Payton Vallee. The senior's defensive effort yielded seven digs in the non-conference victory.

Senior hitter Kennedi Burnett added another seven kills of her own to help the #4 Class 2A ranked Spartans to take the first set 25-16 and prevail in the second 25-20. Burnett led team in service aces with four and had 12 digs.

Becca Steinbach was credited with 22 assists.

Next, SJO travels to Unity to take on the Rockets at the Rockets Center on Tuesday. The varsity contest is set for a 7pm start.

Unity ranked in preseason softball polls

The Unity softball program started practice today for the spring season and they did so with a #7 preseason ranking in Class 2A by the Illinois Coaches Association.

"It is really good for our program," said head coach Aimee Davis. "Having not played last year, it is a nice compliment to our program and the young ladies that make it special."

With just two seniors on the team this season, Davis said Summer Day and Taylor Joop's will lead a strong junior class.

"They know what it takes to win," she said about the duo. "Having those two return with a few other key players in Taylor Henry (junior), Maddie Reed (junior), Gracie Renfrow (junior), Grace Frye (junior) and Ally England (junior) all playing roles in our 2019 run, plus five other juniors and some underclassmen should be a good combo heading into this season."

She added that the players that wear the Unity softball uniform are a special bunch. "They work hard on and off the field. Being ranked in the preseason polls is a nice feeling, but we know there will be teams itching to play us and beat us."

While the pandemic and a canceled season may have left a scar on Davis and players, they are looking forward, not backwards, to heal the wounds.

"Last year was a big loss for our program, but we aren't unique in that situation, no teams played last year," she explained. "We have to compete everyday to own the vision we have for this program and this season."

Looking forward to late May, early June and the postseason, the coach with three regional titles under her belt in her five seasons at Unity does so with cautious apprehension.

"I am truly excited for our program to get the opportunity to showcase our talent, however, we are all too familiar with how quickly decisions can be made," she said referring the public health protocols that forced sports for nearly a year to cease in Illinois. "June is a bit too far away for me to get too excited. Once we get all of our girls back on the turf, the excitement will be there from coaches and players."

St. Joseph-Ogden was also listed in the preseason poll at #20 on the list.

19 earn spots on ISU Dean's List

College students from four of our area villages completed the fall 2020 semester with outstanding grades points at Illinois State University. The students below who earned Dean's List honors were required to take 12 or more undergraduate graded hours during the semester.

Students whose grade point average placed them among the top ten percent of those majoring within their college from area include:

Shelby Hatchel

St. Joseph:
Elena Cotter
Joshua Sexton
Tyler Haake
Makenzie Pence
Sydney Kelso
Kalli Ingram
Abigail Izard

Nathan Shotton

Elizabeth Hughes
Briley Ackerman
Nicole Bagwell
Elijah Miller
Gabrielle Moore
Brianna Woodworth
Briley Smith
Keaton Eckstein
Noah Marvin
Logan Flesch

*Students who chose to restrict access to Illinois State University directory information will not appear on this list.

Basketball player of the week

February 28 - March 6, 2021

Sentinel basketball player of the week February 28-March 6, 2021

~ Boys ~

Ty Pence

St. Joseph-Ogden

SJO may have went 1-3 during the week as a team, but Pence's point production was pure gold. The sophomore averaged 29.75 points per game after collecting 39 game-high against BCC and chilled with 24 points in the Spartans' 81-58 win over Olympia.

Honorable Mention:
Andrew Beyers, SJO
Blake Kimball, Unity
Nate Drennan, Unity

~ Girls ~

Chloee Reed


Reed put up 23 points for the Rockets in their 57-20 win over Illini Prairie foe Rantoul. Despite the non-conference loss to a good Warrior squad, she led Unity once again on the following Saturday with a team-high 10 points against Tuscola.

Honorable Mention:
Ella Armstrong, SJO
Payton Jones, SJO
Katy Moore, Unity

Pair earn college degrees at SIU-C

James Moore, from St. Joseph, and Victoria Herb, from Sidney, conferred their college degrees from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale in December.

Moore was awarded a Bachelor's of Arts in Languages, Cultures, and International Studies as well as completed the requirements to also earn a Bachelor's of Scienc in Physiology.

Herb received her Bachelor's of Science in Zoology.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale plans to host in-person commencement ceremonies May 7-9, 2021 for their Spring 2021 graduates and all 2020 graduates.

SIU-C 2020 graduates recognized

*** Note: Students who chose to restrict access to SIU-C directory information will not appear on this list.

Unity grads make SIU-C Dean's List

Lauren Frost, a junior, and senior Connor Kamradt, both of Tolono, earned straight-A at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale during the fall 2020 semester. The pair were two of four former area high school students to earn a spot the college's Dean's list. Also, making high grades last semester were seniors Jada Burr and Victoria Herb from Sidney.

Undergraduate students that earned full-time credit at SIU during the semester and whose SIU term grade point average for all courses during the term meets or exceeds the minimum SIU GPA are named to the Dean's List. Students earning Dean's List recognition are given a special notation on their official transcript.

Food | Tuscan Chicken Pierogi

Tuscan Chicken Pierogi
Photo provided
Family Features - Moms. From big things like juggling a career and family priorities to little things like writing lunchtime love notes, there are so many ways they support their growing families and the people they love around them every day. One of the sweetest things you can do for that special, all-star mom or partner in your life is to make her a hearty homemade meal and enjoy quality family time together at the dinner table.

If you are looking for a tasty option sure to impress her, consider this Tuscan Chicken Pierogi recipe for a sure-to-impress dish that you can throw together while she's out shopping, carting the kids to sports practice or volunteering with a school project.

The key ingredient for this filling main course that takes about 45 minutes to cook is Mrs. T's Pierogies. Perogies, a filled dumpling most often associated with the cuisine of Poland and other Eastern European nations, are stuffed pasta pockets made with creamy mashed potatoes, cheese and other big, bold flavors.

Mrs. T's can usually be found in the frozen food aisle and available in 13 flavors. Available in full and mini size varieties, they can be boiled, baked, sauteed, fried or grilled. They are quick and easy to prepare, for a full meal or quick snack, which means less time in the kitchen.

Pierogis are normally simmered until they float in boiling water until the puff up, then drained before serving. Some people prefer to then fry or bake them in butter. There are great for leftovers, especially if you fry them in saved animal fat like bacon grease or with olive oil for a healthier option.

They also can be served with melted butter or sour cream, or garnished with small pieces of fried bacon, onions, and mushrooms. For the dudes at the table make sure you have a cold Pilsner or two ready wash them down or for the romantic dinner, serve with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay.

Tuscan Chicken Pierogi Skillet

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

1 box Mrs. T's Pierogies 4 Cheese Medley
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag (5 ounces) fresh baby spinach
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional, for garnish
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
fresh basil, for garnish
crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Boil perogies according to package directions. Drain then toss pierogies with 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep from sticking.

In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 8-10 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to plate, cover and allow to rest 5-8 minutes. Slice thin.

While chicken rests, lower heat to medium-low and add remaining oil to same skillet. Add garlic, spinach and tomatoes; saute 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Season with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream and 3/4 cup Parmesan. In small bowl, whisk cold water and cornstarch then stir into pan. Simmer 4-5 minutes until thickened and creamy.

Return chicken and pierogies to skillet and toss to combine. If desired, top with additional seasonings, to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Visit to find more recipes to celebrate the mother in your life.

Four former area high school students earn Bachelor's degrees

The following students from The Sentinel area earned Bachelor's degrees from Illinois State University in December of 2020:

Saint Joseph:
Ashley Gayheart - Bachelor of Science
Abigail Izard Abigail - Bachelor of Science in Education

Elijah Miller - Bachelor of Science
Brandon Reich - Bachelor of Science

*Students who chose to restrict access to Illinois State University directory information will not appear on this list.

Philo Exchange Bank to host community shred day in May

Community shred day in Philo
The Philo Exchange Bank will host a Community Shred Day in Philo on May 1 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.

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