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Tips for buying the right boat to fish this year

Photo: NewsUSA
(NewsUSA) -- After being couped up inside during the winter months, veteran fishermen and novices are eager to get out and enjoy the challenge and contemplation that comes with pond and lake fishing. In about three months, as the approach of warmer weather draws more COVID-19-weary people outside, the allure of being in nature and out on the water is inspiring a boom in the fishing boat business.

While it is fun to find a good spot along the shoreline, there are a few inconvenient barriers to bringing home a big catch from your favorite lake or pond. To really go where the fish are in a pond or lake setting, a small fishing boat is essential, and the right boat can get you on your way to a wonderful, "one with nature," experience.

Many current boat styles used for lake and pond fishing have certain disadvantages. Motors can get caught in vegetation, and deeper draft boats can't navigate shallow coves.

The Twin Troller, however, is an innovative small water fishing craft distinct from other boats on the market because it's designed specifically to address the criteria for successful pond and lake fishing. Here's how:

- Maneuverability. The Twin Troller carries two electric motors that are recessed within the boat's hull, eliminating the risk of a motor getting damaged on rocks or tangled in branches, weeds or other debris in shallow water. The in-hull propulsion allows quiet operation, shallow draft, and a 360-degree turning radius. In addition, foot pedal controls allow for a completely hands-free navigation experience, with no paddling required.

- Safety. The Twin Troller is lightweight and easy to handle. The flat-bottom design and strong sides offer maximum stability, without the tipping risk associated with jon boats, canoes, or kayaks, and anglers of all ages and flexibility levels can step in and out easily.

- Comfort. Nothing spoils a day of fishing faster than a stiff back or sore bottom from sitting on an uncomfortable boat bench. The Twin Troller features an elevated and padded seat so you focus on fishing.

"Freedom Electric Marine is dedicated to providing a one-of-a-kind experience for small water fishing enthusiasts through our high-performance Twin Troller boats," says founder Frank Jones.

Angier, N.C.-based Freedom Electric Marine was founded in 2007 by Jones, an avid fisherman who saw a niche in the market for a small electric motorcraft and assembled a team to help create one. The Twin Troller is manufactured in Madison, Indiana and ships to all 50 states.

For more information about optimizing your small water fishing experience, visit freedomelectricmarine.com.

Galentines Day Event at Urbana Country Club

Common Thread Boutique will host a Galentines Day Event this Thursday from 5p - 8p at the Urbana Country Club.

Attendees can check out the private club's new hotel and spa facility completed in September of last year. The upgrade and new additions include separate men's and women’s spas, a hair and nail salon, fitness center, event area, and bar. The new facility also features two new guest suites and six guest rooms, each with private balconies.

The country club also added a new zero-entry swimming, lap pool, wet deck, and diving board with the recent upgrade.

Looking for nice swag? Vendors from PM Marketing, Aligned Serenity, PS Blink, Second Cup Studios, Hada and and new fashionwear from Common Thread Boutique will be hand.

The event is free and open to the public. A cash bar and free hors d'oeuvres will be available. Ethan Scott and Darin Goebel will provide live entertainment during the event.

For more information contact Common Thread Boutique at info@commonthreadboutique.com

Rockets post another buzzer-beating win to beat Mt. Zion

MT. ZION -- Brittney Spears' Oops! I did it again might have to be the Unity girls basketball team's new theme song. Earlier this week Lauren Miller hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give Unity a 45-44 win over Bloomington Central Catholic.

On Friday, sophomore Katey Moore dropped in a buzzer-beater of her own to give the Rockets a 45-43 non-conference win on the road at Mt. Zion.

Despite three Lady Braves players finishing with double figures, Unity's unrelenting defensive effort and tenacity proved to be a better asset in yet another thrilling finish.

In his all of his years coaching high school basketball, head coach Dave Ellars has never won two games in the same seven-day stretch with a shot as time expired. His team improved to 18 wins against five losses after the victory.

"We won Monday, lost on Thursday, won on Friday," Ellars said. "The girls I have are winners, played on the 4th place state softball, ran on state championship cross country team, went to state track, played on Volleyball team that won 30 matches. We have a lot of confidence that if we get behind we can come back."

Raegen Stringer led Unity's scoring effort with 12 points. Maddie Reed also finished with double digits piling on another 11 points. The pair contributed three assists apiece.

Meanwhile, Moore and senior Taylor Henry hauled in a combined total of 21 rebounds. Moore, who also had three blocks and the same number of steals in the contest, recorded 10 of those boards. Henry led the effort with 11 rebounds and two steals in addition to her nine-point finish.

Unity's Lauren Miller was also active in the paint, pulling down four rebounds and poaching two steals. She finished with six points and three assists against the Lady Braves.

Denver Anderson led the Braves with 12 points, Bracie Barnes added another 11, and Karsyn Sloan rounded out her team's top three contributors with 10 points.

Unity returns to their conference schedule to host Pontiac tomorrow evening at the Rocket Center. The JV contest starts at 5:30pm and the varsity game is slated to start directly after.

Box Score

Final: Unity 45 - Mount Zion 43

  1 2 3 4 F
Unity 12 8 13 12 45
Mount Zion 9 15 14 5 43

Unity --
Ray 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Flesch 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Renfrow 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Miller 2 (0) 2-4 -- 6, Steinman 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Stringer 5 (0) 2-1 -- 12, Moore 3 (0) 1-3 -- 7, Reed 0 (3) 2-4 -- 11, Alagna 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, T. Henry 1 (1) 4-8 -- 9, Chandler 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, B. Henry 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0,

Mount Zion --
Schmahl 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Becker 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Flemming 4 (0) 0-1 -- 8, Sommer 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Meons 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Rockey 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Kendall 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Barnes 5 (0) 1-2 -- 11, Scharf 0 (3) 1-2 -- 10, Anderson 3 (1) 3-5 -- 12, 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, () - -- 0, () - -- 0,

SJO girls basketball team soar over Monticello for IPC win

ST. JOSEPH -- A huge third-quarter rally led by senior shooting guard Ella Armstrong secured St. Joseph-Ogden's fifth conference win after a 50-29 finish on Thursday. The Spartans (15-6, 5-0 IPC) retain sole possession of first place in the league standings ahead of Unity (5-1) in second place, and BCC and Prairie Central, both with 4-1 records, tied for third.

Armstrong, who finished with 11 points, and Ashlyn Lannert scored eight and six points respectively of the 21 points tacked onto the Spartans' side of the scoreboard in the third quarter. Lannert led all scorers with 16 points in the rout.

After a steal and layup less than 30 seconds after the opening tip, Lannert put the first points on the board.

Almost four and half minutes later, Peyton Jacob's put-back after a rebound at 3:03, extended SJO's advantage.

Sages' 5'10" senior Renni Fultz got her team's first basket with a minute and a half left in the first quarter to trail, 4-2. SJO quickly responded with a bucket on another layup from Lannert to go up 6-2 at the end of the quarter.

After two lead exchanges in the second quarter, Monticello's Hannah Swanson tied the game at 11-all after hitting two free throws with 1:16 left in the first half. The Sages took the lead at the end of the half after Lizzie Stiverson was fouled on a layup and sank her free throw to make the score 14-11 with just 16.7 seconds remaining before the break.

Lannert started the second half with a bucket to tie up the score. From there, SJO methodically pulled away to book their 15th win of the season.

Monticello (13-9) was paced by Fultz' 10 points. Megan Allen and Stiverson chipped seven points apiece and Swanson rounded out the Sages' scoring effort with five points.

SJO's Peyton Jones also finished in double-digits with 10 points. She was also a perfect 4-for-4 from the line.

Box Score

Final: St. Joseph-Ogden 50 - Monticello 29

  1 2 3 4 F
St. Joseph-Ogden 6 6 21 17 50
Monticello 2 12 9 6 29

St. Joseph-Ogden --
Lannert 5 (2) 0-0 -- 16, Hug 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Williams 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Frick 0 (1) 0-0 -- 3, Jacob 2 (0) 1-2 -- 5, Wells 2 (0) 1-1 -- 5, Baker 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Baltzell 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Behrens 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Jones 3 (0) 4-4 -- 10, Martinie 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Hamilton 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Kearney 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Armstrong 1 (3) 0-0 -- 11, Harms 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Ward 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0,

Monticello --
Leatherwood 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Swanson 0 (1) 2-2 -- 5, Fultz 5 (0) 0-2 -- 10, Allen 3 (0) 1-3 -- 7, Stiverson 3 (0) 1-1 -- 7, Young 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Patton 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Smith 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0,

Spartan wrestling drops dual meet to Clinton, 46-30

EL PASO -- Despite picking up 16 points in forfeits from Clinton, the St. Joseph-Ogden wrestling team fell 46-30 to the Maroons in a triangle meet at El Paso-Gridley on Thursday.

SJO senior Matt Falls secured one of two wins after an 8-3 decision over Clinton's Jacob Hubble at 145-pounds.

Later at 195-pounds, Spartan junior Owen Birt went the distance for a 6-1 win over Kaedyn Sloat-Shannon.

The Spartans will host their last home meet of the season this Thursday against Hoopeston Area starting at 5:30pm.

Box Score

Final Score: Clinton 46 - St. Joseph-Ogden 30

106 Ortiz (Clinton HS) over Forfeit, (SJO) Forfeit 0-6
113 West (Clinton HS) over Holt, Emmitt (SJO) Fall 4:38
120 Wirth, Lexi (SJO) over Forfeit (Clinton HS)
126 Poole (Clinton HS) over Brazelton, Holden (SJO) Fall 3:44
132 Fair (Clinton HS) over Butts, Landen (SJO) Fall 0:16
138 Denhart, Garrett (SJO) over Forfeit (Clinton HS)
145 Falls, Matt (SJO) over Hubble (Clinton HS) Decision 8-3
152 Morelack (Clinton HS) over Forfeit, (SJO)
160 Hibbard (Clinton HS) over Forfeit, (SJO)
170 Thums (Clinton HS) over Forfeit, (SJO)
182 Ketchum, Hunter (SJO) over Forfeit (Clinton HS)
195 Birt, Owen (SJO) over Sloat (Clinton HS) Decision 6-1
220 Jones, Quincy (SJO) over Forfeit (Clinton HS)
285 Thayer (Clinton HS) over Cotter, Austin (SJO) Maj Dec 19-8

Area Covid-19 Dashboard for January 21, 2022

Active Cases:
(Champaign County)
2,597
Total Area Cases:
(Sentinel Area)
1,012
New Cases:
(Sentinel Area)
571



Current local cases as of 1/21/22
Number in parenthesis indicates new cases since 1/20/22

Ogden • 17 (8)
Royal • 2 (0)
St. Joseph • 60 (32)
Urbana • 773 (434)
Sidney • 27 (7)
Philo • 28 (19)
Tolono • 83 (57)
Sadorus • 9 (4)
Pesotum • 13 (10)


Net change in local cases: 261



Total Local Confirmed Cases: 20,848




The information on this page is compiled from the latest figures provide by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the Illinois Department of Public Health at the time of publishing. Active cases are the number of confirmed cases reported currently in isolation. Local is defined as cases within the nine communities The Sentinel covers.

Effective 1/16/22, the CUPHD dashboard updated their reporting parameters to reflect the reduction from a 10-day isolation period to 5 days per the CDC guidance issued last month. Under the previous 10-day policy and based on the data released today, there would be approximately 5,961 residents in isolation.

Illini tennis picks up first win of the season in Vegas

LAS VEGAS -– The Illinois women's tennis team earned its first win of the 2022 season with a 5-2 victory over Brigham Young University on Monday, January 17.

"I am really happy for our team today," said head coach Evan Clark. "We had a really tough match to start our season yesterday and for them to bounce back today and beat a very good BYU team tells me a lot about the squad we have. These matches will really help us down the road with our tough non-conference and Big Ten schedule. We are excited to be back at Atkins on Thursday night for our home opener vs. Harvard."

The Illini lost their season opener to #11-ranked Baylor on Sunday, 6-1.

Illinois secured the doubles point with a 6-1 victory from Josie Frazier and Ashley Yeah, who are 2-0 together at No. 2 doubles. Emily Casati and Illinois newcomer Kasia Treiber also won their match over BYU's Emilee Astle and Kara Lin, 6-1.

The Illini dominated the #1 and #2 positions in singles with Kate Duong and Ashley Yeah noticing relatively easy wins.

Back on the court again after her doubles bout, Treiber then sealed the Illinois win with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Emilee Astle at No. 5 singles.

Heuser, who fell 5-2 with Doung at #1 doubles, turned around and posted a come-from-behind win on court four, 1-6, 6-2, 6-0.


Box Score

Illinois 5, BYU 2

Doubles
1. Anastasia Abramyan/Yujia Huang (BYU) def. Kate Duong/Megan Heuser (ILL) 5-2
2. Josie Frazier/Ashley Yeah (ILL) def. Leah Heimuli/Jacque Dunyon (BYU) 6-1
3. Kasia Treiber/Emily Casati (ILL) def. Emilee Astle/Kara Lin (BYU) 6-1

Singles
1. Kate Duong (ILL) def. Leah Heimuli (BYU) 6-3, 6-1
2. Ashley Yeah (ILL) def. Jacque Dunyon (BYU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Anastasia Abramyan (BYU) def. Josie Frazier (ILL) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
4. Megan Heuser (ILL) def. Yujia Huang (BYU) 1-6, 6-2, 6-0
5. Kasia Treiber (ILL) def. Emilee Astle (BYU) 7-5, 6-3
6. Madison Smith (BYU) def. Kida Ferrari (ILL) 7-5, 1-6, 6-0

Urbana Park District to host Galentine's Day wine tasting

The Urbana Park District will host a Galentine's Party from 6-8pm on February 10 at the Phillips Recreation Center.

Chef Leah Bodine from Blue Dragonfly Catering will be on hand to discuss wine pairing and share samples of some of her dishes. A self-taught chef, Bodine caters to private parties, business events, and weddings. She has also lent her cooking talents preparing dishes for famous recording artists and groups on-tour like REO Speedwagon, Styx, Lyle Lovett, ZZ Top, and Chicago.

There will be at least three different wines to sample and guests must be at least 21-years of age to attend the event. The party will be held in the James Room Kitchen and participation is limited to 21 guests.

The park district is currently offering an early bird registration discount of $38 for residents and $57 for non-residents if completed by January 27. After the deadline admission will be $48 for Urbana residents and $72 for those who reside outside the district.

Participants can register online here or call (217) 367-1544.

Recipe-of-the-week:
3 Layer Arkansas Possum Pie

Photo: Courtesy Cuinary.net


(Culinary.net) -- The star of your next spread can be hidden away in the refrigerator for a surprise delight for your guests. It's topped with chocolate syrup and chopped pecans, and your loved ones just may vote it to be their favorite dish.

It's an Arkansas Possum Pie, made with three delicious layers and crunchy toppings for a show-stopping dessert.

Whether it's a holiday, birthday or reunion, this pie is a perfect conversation starter. It's sweet, crunchy and filled with creamy, delightful layers of goodness. Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Surprise that special someone and bake it in a heart-shaped pan!

While you are out shopping this weekend for groceries, why not grab the ingredients below at the store and make one for this week's Sunday dinner?

Arkansas Possum Pie

Serves 8

Ingredients

Crust: 3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups pecans, crushed

Cream Cheese Layer:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream

Pudding Layer:
3 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans

How to bake

Heat oven to 350 F.

To make crust: In saucepan, melt butter; add flour, brown sugar and crushed pecans. Stir until combined. Press into 9 1/2-inch deep pie plate.

Bake 15-20 minutes until crust begins to brown. Cool completely.

To make cream cheese layer: In medium bowl, mix cream cheese until creamy. Add powdered sugar and heavy cream; mix until smooth. Spread over cooled pecan crust. Refrigerate.

To make pudding layer: In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Add milk; whisk until combined. Set aside.

In separate medium bowl, whisk sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, flour and salt until combined.

In saucepan over medium heat, add egg yolk mixture and flour mixture. Whisk constantly until pudding begins to thicken and bubble. Add butter and vanilla extract, stirring until butter is melted. Pour chocolate pudding in shallow bowl. Cover with plastic wrap touching pudding to keep it from forming skin. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Pour pudding over cream cheese layer. Cover pie with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

To make whipped cream topping: In stand mixer bowl, add heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over pudding layer.

Drizzle pie with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with chopped pecans.



Find more unique dessert recipes at Culinary.net.

If you make this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work and send your photos to us at editor@oursentinel.com.

Prep basketball tonight: Uni-High travels to Normal West, Rockets at Rantoul

Watch Live High School Sports Today

Tonight's Live NFHS Broadcasts

January 21, 2022

URBANA HIGH SCHOOL
6:00 PM - Boys Sophomore Basketball @ Normal West Central


ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL
5:30 PM - Boys Junior varsity Basketball vs Illinois Valley 7:00 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball vs Illinois Valley


UNI-HIGH SCHOOL
7:30 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball @ Normal West


UNITY HIGH SCHOOL
5:30 PM - Boys Junior varsity Basketball @ Rantoul 7:00 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball @ Rantoul


Click here to watch these games live or on demand tonight

** Just so you know: The Sentinel is reader-supported. When you make a purchase via a link on our site, we might earn an affiliate commission that we will use bring you more area news and sports coverage.

At home or away, a personal safety plan can give you peace of mind

Photo: StatePoint Media
(StatePoint) -- If you’re concerned about the nationwide spike in crime, you’re not alone.

According to a June 2021 SafeWise survey, 41 and 42% of U.S. adults are concerned about property crime and violent crime, up 31 and 24% respectively from the previous year.

"Being prepared means understanding the personal defense devices available and knowing how to use them safely," says David Nance, founder of SABRE Personal Safety Academy and CEO of SABRE, the number one personal safety brand of consumers and law enforcement worldwide.

To help you develop a safety plan and live confidently, SABRE is offering important insights into common crimes today, as well as recommendations for personal defense devices to use in various situations:

• Spray or gel? While most people are familiar with traditional pepper sprays, they may not understand the benefits of pepper gel or even be aware of this option. As effective as traditional pepper spray when sprayed across the eyes in an ear-to-ear pattern, pepper gel deploys 20% farther, providing protection at a greater distance.

Another big advantage of pepper gel is it only affects those it comes in direct contact with, making it safer for users and those they’re with, indoors and outside.

According to an independent University of Utah study, variability rates in the concentration of active ingredients in pepper sprays have a 30% failure rate. Tested in its in-house laboratory, SABRE guarantees its maximum strength formulation in every gel canister, including its Crossfire Pepper Gel with Belt Clip, which can be deployed at any angle, even upside down, making it more effective against moving threats.

When parking. According to the FBI, more homicides happen in parking garages than at bars, motels, gas stations or in the woods combined. Be extra vigilant in garages. Keep keys handy for quick access to your car and carry additional protection. For example, SABRE Pepper Gel with Finger Grip and Key Ring attaches to keychains and provides 25 bursts of maximum strength protection at 12-foot range, helping put distance between you and would-be attackers.

In the car. In 2020, Chicago carjackings were up 134%, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau report. This trend continued in 2021, with the Windy City seeing a 44% increase, Washington, D.C. a 45% increase and New York an 81% increase. Multi-use tools can make road trips and commutes safer. For example, SABRE’s Safe Escape 3-In-1 Pepper Gel with Seat Belt Cutter and Window Breaker helps aid in escape of a vehicle after an accident. For protection, it’s designed to prevent accidental deployment, yet allows the user to immediately deploy in high stress situations.

Outdoors. Eighty-four percent of women surveyed by "Runners World" have been harassed or attacked on a run. Everyone deserves to feel safe while exercising outdoors. Consider adding the SABRE Runner Pepper Gel with Adjustable Hand Strap to your running gear. It provides immediate access to protection and reduces wind blowback, making it safer for outdoor use. A UV marking dye helps authorities identify the aggressor, so you can focus on getting to safety. Bonus: It’s reflective, increasing your visibility to drivers at night.

At home. Equip your home to be a safe haven with pepper gel. Because it doesn’t atomize like traditional pepper sprays, pepper gel is less likely to foul indoor air. Be sure to store it in an accessible location out of children’s reach.

When it comes to safety, knowledge is key. Consider enrolling in a self-defense or martial arts course. You can also visit www.sabrered.com for educational materials and demonstration videos, and to learn more about the Civilian Safety Awareness Program and the SABRE College Safety Program.

You never know when you may find yourself in a threatening situation. A personal safety plan can provide everyday peace of mind, and help put distance between you and a threat when it counts.

5 things you need to know about "FREE" at home Covid-19 tests

Americans keep hearing that it is important to test frequently for covid-19 at home. But just try to find an “at-home” rapid covid test in a store and at a price that makes frequent tests affordable.

Testing, as well as mask-wearing, is an important measure if the country ever hopes to beat covid, restore normal routines and get the economy running efficiently. To get Americans cheaper tests, the federal government now plans to have insurance companies pay for them.

The Biden administration announced Jan. 10 that every person with private insurance can get full coverage for eight rapid tests a month. You can either get one without any out-of-pocket expense from retail pharmacies that are part of an insurance company’s network or buy it at any store and get reimbursed by the insurer.

Congress said private insurers must cover all covid testing and any associated medical services when it passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. The have-insurance-pay-for-it solution has been used frequently through the pandemic. Insurance companies have been told to pay for PCR tests, covid treatments and the administration of vaccines. (Taxpayers are paying for the cost of the vaccines themselves.) It appears to be an elegant solution for a politician because it looks free and isn’t using taxpayer money.

1. Are the tests really free?

Well, no. As many an economist will tell you, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pick up the tab. Initially, the insurance companies bear the cost. Cynthia Cox, a vice president at KFF who studies the Affordable Care Act and private insurers, said the total bill could amount to billions of dollars. Exactly how much depends on “how easy it is to get them, and how many will be reimbursed,” she said.

2. Will the insurance company just swallow those imposed costs?

If companies draw from the time-tested insurance giants’ playbook, they’ll pass along those costs to customers. “This will put upward pressure on premiums,” said Emily Gee, vice president and coordinator for health policy at the Center for American Progress.

Major insurance companies like Cigna, Anthem, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna did not respond to requests to discuss this issue.

3. If that’s the case, why haven’t I been hit with higher premiums already?

Insurance companies had the chance last year to raise premiums but, mostly, they did not.

Why? Perhaps because insurers have so far made so much money during the pandemic they didn’t need to. For example, the industry’s profits in 2020 increased 41% to $31 billion from $22 billion, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The NAIC said the industry has continued its “tremendous growth trend” that started before covid emerged. Companies will be reporting 2021 results soon.

The reason behind these profits is clear. You were paying premiums based on projections your insurance company made about how much health care consumers would use that year. Because people stayed home, had fewer accidents, postponed surgeries and, often, avoided going to visit the doctor or the hospital, insurers paid out less. They rebated some of their earnings back to customers, but they pocketed a lot more.

As the companies’ actuaries work on predicting 2023 expenditures, premiums could go up if they foresee more claims and expenses. Paying for millions of rapid tests is something they would include in their calculations.

4. Regardless of my premiums, will the tests cost me money directly?

It’s quite possible. If your insurance company doesn’t have an arrangement with a retailer where you can simply pick up your allotted tests, you’ll have to pay for them — at whatever price the store sets. If that’s the case, you’ll need to fill out a form to request a reimbursement from the insurance company. How many times have you lost receipts or just plain neglected to mail in for rebates on something you bought? A lot, right?

Here’s another thing: The reimbursement is set at $12 per test. If you pay $30 for a test — and that is not unheard of — your insurer is only on the hook for $12. You eat the $18.

And by the way, people on Medicare will have to pay for their tests themselves. People who get their health care covered by Medicaid can obtain free test kits at community centers.

A few free tests are supposed to arrive at every American home via the U.S. Postal Service. And the Biden administration has activated a website where Americans can order free tests from a cache of a billion the federal government ordered.

5. Will this help bring down the costs of at-home tests and make them easier to find?

The free covid tests are unlikely to have much immediate impact on general cost and availability. You will still need to search for them. The federal measures likely will stimulate the demand for tests, which in the short term may make them harder to find.

But the demand, and some government guarantees to manufacturers, may induce test makers to make more of them faster. The increased competition and supply theoretically could bring down the price. There is certainly room for prices to decline since the wholesale cost of the test is between $5 and $7, analysts estimate. "It’s a big step in the right direction," Gee said.


Subscribe to KHN's free Morning Briefing.

Area Covid-19 Dashboard for January 20, 2022

Active Cases:
(Champaign County)
1,833
Total Area Cases:
(Sentinel Area)
751
New Cases:
(Sentinel Area)
-63



Current local cases as of 1/20/22
Number in parenthesis indicates new cases since 1/19/22

Ogden • 11 (4)
Royal • 6 (2)
St. Joseph • 49 (4)
Urbana • 593 (-77)
Sidney • 24 (10)
Philo • 17 (-1)
Tolono • 39 (-7)
Sadorus • 7 (1)
Pesotum • 5 (1)


Total Active Local Cases:

751

Net change in local cases: -350



Total Local Confirmed Cases: 2,77

New cases: 355




The information on this page is compiled from the latest figures provide by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District and the Illinois Department of Public Health at the time of publishing. Active cases are the number of confirmed cases reported currently in isolation. Local is defined as cases within the nine communities The Sentinel covers.

Effective 1/16/22, the CUPHD dashboard updated their reporting parameters to reflect the reduction from a 10-day isolation period to 5 days per the CDC guidance issued last month. Under the previous 10-day policy and based on the data released today, there would be approximately 5,124 residents in isolation.

SNAFUs appear in Biden administration home rapid test rollout

Photo: Jan Kopřiva/Pexels

(Kaiser Health News) -- In the past week, the Biden administration launched two programs that aim to get rapid covid tests into the hands of every American. But the design of both efforts disadvantages people who already face the greatest barriers to testing.

From the limit placed on test orders to the languages available on websites, the programs stand to leave out many people who don’t speak English or don’t have internet access, as well as those who live in multifamily households. All these barriers are more common for non-white Americans, who have also been hit hardest by covid. The White House told KHN it will address these problems but did not give specifics.

It launched a federally run website on Jan. 18 where people can order free tests sent directly to their homes. But there is a four-test limit per household. Many homes could quickly exceed their allotments — more than a third of Hispanic Americans plus about a quarter of Asian and Black Americans live in households with at least five residents, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by KFF. Only 17% of white Americans live in these larger groups.

"There are challenges that they have to work on for sure," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

Also, as of Jan. 15, the federal government requires private insurers to reimburse consumers who purchase rapid tests.

When the federal website — with orders fulfilled and shipped through the United States Postal Service — went live this week, the first wave of sign-ups exposed serious issues.

Some people who live in multifamily residences, such as condos, dorms, and houses sectioned off into apartments, reported on social media that if one resident had already ordered tests to their address, the website didn’t allow for a second person to place an order.

"They’re going to have to figure out how to resolve it when you have multiple families living in the same dwelling and each member of the family needs at least one test. I don’t know the answer to that yet," Benjamin said.

USPS spokesperson David Partenheimer said that while this seems to be a problem for only a small share of orders, people who encounter the issue should file a service request or contact the help desk at 1-800-ASK-USPS.

A White House official said 20% of shipments will be directed every day to people who live in vulnerable ZIP codes, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social vulnerability index, which identifies communities most in need of resources.

Another potential obstacle: Currently, only those with access to the internet can order the free rapid tests directly to their homes. Although some people can access the website on smartphones, the online-only access could still exclude millions of Americans: 27% of Native American households and 20% of Black households don’t have an internet subscription, according to a KHN analysis of Census Bureau data.

The federal website is currently available only in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

According to the White House, a phone line is also being launched to ease these types of issues. An aide said it is expected to be up and running by Jan. 21. But details are pending about the hours it will operate and whether translators will be available for people who don’t speak English.

However, the website is reaching one group left behind in the initial vaccine rollout: blind and low-vision Americans who use screen-reading technology. Jared Smith, associate director of WebAIM, a nonprofit web accessibility organization, said the federal site "is very accessible. I see only a very few minor nitpicky things I might tweak."

The Biden administration emphasized that people have options beyond the rapid-testing website. There are free federal testing locations, for instance, as well as testing capacity at homeless shelters and other congregate settings.

Many Americans with private health plans could get help with the cost of tests from the Biden administration reimbursement directive. In the days since its unveiling, insurers said they have moved quickly to implement the federal requirements. But the new systems have proved difficult to navigate.

Consumers can obtain rapid tests — up to eight a month are covered — at retail stores and pharmacies. If the store is part of their health plan’s rapid-test network, the test is free. If not, they can buy it and seek reimbursement.

The program does not cover the 61 million beneficiaries who get health care through Medicare, or the estimated 31 million people who are uninsured. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are required to cover at-home rapid tests, but rules for those programs vary by state.

And the steps involved are complicated.

First, consumers must figure out which retailers are partnering with their health plans and then pick up the tests at the pharmacy counter. As of Jan. 19, however, only a few insurance companies had set up that direct-purchase option — and nearly all the major participating pharmacies were sold out of eligible rapid tests.

Instead, Americans are left to track down and buy rapid tests on their own and then send receipts to their insurance providers.

Many of the country’s largest insurance companies provide paper forms that customers must print, fill out, and mail along with a receipt and copy of the box’s product code. Only a few, including UnitedHealthcare and Anthem, have online submission options. Highmark, one of the largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates, for instance, has 16-step instructions for its online submission process that involves printing out a PDF form, signing it, and scanning and uploading it to its portal.

Nearly 1 in 4 households don’t own a desktop or laptop computer, according to the Census Bureau. Half of U.S. households where no adults speak English don’t have computers.

A KHN reporter checked the websites of several top private insurers and didn’t find information from any of them on alternatives for customers who don’t have computers, don’t speak English, or are unable to access the forms due to disabilities.

UnitedHealthcare and CareFirst spokespeople said that members can call their customer service lines for help with translation or submitting receipts. Several other major insurance companies did not respond to questions.

Once people make it through the submission process, the waiting begins. A month or more after a claim is processed, most insurers send a check in the mail covering the costs.

And that leads to another wrinkle. Not everyone can easily deposit a check. About 1 in 7 Black and 1 in 8 Hispanic households don’t have checking or savings accounts, compared with 1 in 40 white households, according to a federal report. Disabled Americans are also especially likely to be "unbanked." They would have to pay high fees at check-cashing shops to claim their money.

"It’s critically important that we are getting testing out, but there are limitations with this program," said Dr. Utibe Essein, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "These challenges around getting tests to individuals with language barriers or who are homeless are sadly the same drivers of disparities that we see with other health conditions."

KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber contributed to this report.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

Subscribe to KHN's free Morning Briefing.

Hungry? Order a pizza with the world's most expensive sneakers

(NewsUSA) -- March Madness returns this year, after a pandemic-imposed hiatus in 2020.

As a result, basketball fans, sneaker fans, pizza fans, and anyone else might be feeling a little extra crazy.

How crazy? Enough to consider a 2.2-million-dollar basketball shoe supported by Pizza Hut that not only looks stylish and feels great, but actually helps the wearer order pizza via cellphone.

The Pizza Hut Pie Tops hit the market in 2018 as part of a March Madness promotion from Pizza Hut. The company enlisted renowned "Shoe Surgeon" Dominic Chambrone to design approximately 50 pairs of a very limited-edition custom sneaker.

During the 2018 March Madness basketball tournament, the few individuals wearing the Pizza Hut Pie Tops could press one button inside the tongue of one shoe that would pause the game they were watching, press a button on the other shoe to order their favorite Pizza Hut pizza, and then resume the game.

Impossible? Apparently not. The shoes were made available in two color schemes, all red or wheat brown with red (or as Pizza Hut puts it, "marinara") highlights.

According to a description on the uber-shoe website, Godly Soles, "Atop a completely rubberized sole, the upper of the wheat iteration consists of a tumbled nubuck, while in contrast, the red version consists of mostly full-grain leather with hints of suede on the toe cap and heel."

In addition, "A patent leather splash of 'marinara' accents the medial and lateral while white translucent webbing, or 'cheese grater mesh', cages the emblazoned PIZZA HUT lettering."

The iconic Pizza Hut logo appears on an embossed hangtag, as well as on the lace lock, tongue, heel, and ankle collar. Even the insoles and laces reflect the pizza theme.

Guess what? Drake, the Toronto-based global rap star and sneakerhead, does not have a pair of Pizza Hut Pie Tops II in his collection. But you can.

Godly Soles is offering a new, in-the-box, unworn pair of the wheat Pizza Hut Pie Top IIs in a men's size 11. They can be yours for $2.2 million dollars, and you can claim ownership of the most expensive sneakers in the world.

With that, your purchase would top Drake's custom OVO x Air Jordan 10's, which are considered the most expensive sneakers in existence with a worth of $2.1 million dollars.

Godly Soles is offering these sneakers for sale through StockX. Visit godlysoles.com for more about the world's most expensive sneakers, and how to get them.

The drought ends, Urbana girls enjoy first win of the season

RANTOUL -- It finally happened. The Urbana girls basketball team earned their first win after beating Rantoul Township, 38-35. It took 14 games this season for the Tigers to finally sample the taste of victory.

"It is a great feeling for all of the team," said head coach Bobby Boykin. "They have worked so hard, and their dedication finally paid off. We are hoping to build upon this win, and just continue to work as a team to get better."

Urbana used a 14-point second-quarter run to erase a two-point deficit in the first quarter. Gabrielle Mboyo-Meta, Zineria Edwards, and Jasmine McCullough contributed two points each in the frame. Kenzie Sprague and Destiny Barber dumped four points apiece during the quarter to give the Tigers a 21-14 halftime lead.

Rantoul's Tashay Jackson-Roper was the leading scorer in the non-conference matchup with 13 points, 11 manufactured in the second half. Sheila Navarette buried three treys for nine points to help the Eagles' cause.

Barber led the Urbana (1-13, 0-6 Big Twelve) offense with 11 points. Mboyo-Meta chipped in nine points, and Edwards was good for another eight points.

Rantoul (0-9, 0-3 IPC) went to the free-throw line 31 times. Jackson-Roper, who found herself on the charity stripe 22 times, made seven of the team's 10 free throws.

Meanwhile, Urbana's McCullough was the only player who made 100% of her free throws, draining both in the second quarter. Mboyo-Meta was 3-for-6 from the line, and Barber found the net during three of her eight trips to the line.

While pleased with the outcome, Boykin knows there is a lot of work to be done and hoops to be played.

"We still have a ways to go and are going to face some great teams down the home stretch of our season."

Box Score

Final: Urbana 38 - Rantoul 35

  1 2 3 4 F
Urbana 7 14 7 10 38
Rantoul 9 6 10 10 35

Urbana --
Mboyo-Meta 3 (0) 3-6 -- 9, Sprague 4 (0) 3-8 -- 11, J. Hall 0 (1) 1-4 -- 4, McCullough 0 (0) 1-4 -- 1, T. Hall 4 (0) 0-3 -- 8, Blanden 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Blanden 0 (0) 0-1 -- 0, McCullough 0 (1) 2-2 -- 5, T. Hall 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Blanden 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

Rantoul --
Walton 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Emery 0 (0) 0-2 -- 0, Jackson-Roper 3 (0) 7-22 -- 13, Polk 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Dixon 0 (0) 3-6 -- 3, Sutherland 0 (1) 0-0 -- 3, Autman 1 (1) 0-1 -- 5, Martin 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Sheila 0 (3) 0-0 -- 9, Naverette 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Ortiz 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

Photos | MLK Walk for Peace sends message to young people

URBANA -- Late Monday morning on January 17, just over 100 walkers came together to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speakers also talked about the work in the community that still needs to be done, especially with a focus on the escalation of gun violence not only in the Champaign-Urbana area but around the country.

"What we want to utilize (this day) for is not only to commemorate him but to actually put a highlight on some of the things going on now in our own communities," said Maurice Hayes, Executive Director of HV Neighborhood Transformation. "We are facing the pandemic of gun violence and death in all of our high hope areas. We want to take this opportunity to let our kids know we are riding with them the same way Dr. King road for us."

The MLK Walk for Peace was a collaboration between HV Neighborhood Transformation, Urbana Rotary Club, Housing Authority of Champaign County/YouthBuild, Urbana Free Library and Park District, as well as the City of Urbana.

Hayes told the audience he and others have made their life's purpose to saving kids from the gun violence seen "every day in Champaign-Urbana, and in every high hope area across the United States of America."

"This, too, has to be a reason we stand and fight. This too has to be a reason why we march," he said. "This, too, has to be a purpose-driven mission that we as a community must take on ourselves. We stand with these young people."


Walkers set out from Crestview Park in Urbana along Cottage Grove for the 2022 MLK Walk for Peace on Monday. A diverse group of children and adults of all ages used the walk to Larson Park to discuss issues of concern and what they can do to improve life in the Champaign-Urbana community.
Photo: PhotoNews Media

MLK Walkers
Despite frigid temperatures on Monday, peaceful walkers reach Larson Park in Urbana where they heard a brief presentation from Maurice Hayes, Executive Director of HV Neighborhood Transformations, and Youth Build student Asia Mitchell.
Photo: PhotoNews Media

Maurice Hayes
Maurice Hayes gives a keynote speech at Larson Park. Hayes told the gathering, "Today, we tell him thank you. Today, we show a small bit of sacrifice being out here in this cold to the major sacrifice not only he but a bunch of others showed in the betterment of our lives. So we thank Dr. King and we say God Bless you, continue to rest in heaven and continue to rest peacefully."
Photo: PhotoNews Media

MLK Walk for Peace
Participants at the march stay socially distant while singing an impromptu rendition of Lift Up Every Voice and Sing during the rally at Larson Park.
Photo: PhotoNews Media

Asia Mitchell talks at the Urbana MLK Walk for Peace
During her talk, Asia Mitchell told listeners that Dr. Martin Luther King civil rights movement was an inspiration to her. "We are living his dream," she said. " There is still a lot of violence and crime, but we live in freedom. It is a free world. He had a dream all this nonsense would go away. Even though it is still here, as a family we are still making it work."
Photo: PhotoNews Media

"We have to know how to lead them and where we are leading them to," Hayes said about the future of young people of today. "So often our kids are misled by the some of the wrong things. It's going to take us as adults in the room to lead them in a different direction to prosperity and to grow success."
Photo: PhotoNews Media

Games online tonight
Urbana looks for 2nd win, SJO & Unity play conference teams

Watch Live High School Sports Today

Tonight's Live NFHS Broadcasts

January 20, 2022

URBANA HIGH SCHOOL
6:00 PM Central Girls Junior varsity Basketball vs Mattoon
7:30 PM Central Girls Varsity Basketball vs Mattoon


ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL
5:30 PM Central Girls Junior varsity Basketball vs Monticello
6:00 PM Central Boys Freshman Basketball vs Monticello
6:00 PM Central Boys Varsity Wrestling vs Clinton
7:00 PM Central Girls Varsity Basketball vs Monticello


UNITY HIGH SCHOOL
4:15 PM Central Boys Middle school Basketball vs Jefferson
5:30 PM Central Girls Sophomore Basketball @ Prairie Ridge
5:30 PM Central Girls Sophomore Basketball @ Prairie Central
6:00 PM Central Girls Middle school Volleyball vs Arcola
7:00 PM Central Girls Varsity Basketball @ Prairie Central
7:00 PM Central Girls Varsity Basketball @ Prairie Ridge


Click here to watch these games live or on demand tonight

** Just so you know: The Sentinel is reader-supported. When you make a purchase via a link on our site, we might earn an affiliate commission that we will use bring you more area news and sports coverage.

Unity fall semester honor roll students

TOLONO -- Students who achived a grade point average of 3.75 or better at Unity High School earn High Honor Roll recognition. Students earning a GPA of 3.20 to 3.74 are recognized as Honor students.

Senior High Honor Roll

Zayne Bonner
Grace Frye
Elise Johnson
Marie Baxley
Katelyn Allen
Shelbee Taylor
Annabelle Jokisch
Sydney Olson
Isabella Warner
Delaney Kamradt
Allyson England
Kaitlyn Reedy
Sara Steffens
Emma Bleecher
Lauryn Kennedy
Elise Swanstrom
Thomas Cler
Taylor Henry
Sarah Butler
Payton Kaiser
Erika Steinman
Malia Fairbanks
Alaina Scroggins
Taylor Cloud
Kelley Street
Samantha Ruggieri
Nolan Miller
Tyler Hensch
Carli Keller
Allison Shonkwiler
Hailey Flesch, Evelyn Eastin, Krystal Crossin
Tavius Hosley, Addison Montgomery
Grace Renfrow
Destiny Williamson
Madeline Reed
Savannah Alagna
Anna Burgoni
Shaelynn Carrier
Nolan Decker
Marshall Church

Senior Honor Roll

Ivy Wright
Phillip Hartke
Bridget Henry
Harper Hancock
Grace Brock
Calli Chandler
Macie Knudsen
Bailey Rice
Cole Newell
Riah Inman
Hanna Mataya
Carson Kleparski
Dillon Rutledge
Ryan Cole
Cameron Marvin
Claire Markstahler
Joseph Thompson
William Thompson
Carson Willard
Alida Maggio
Cameran Hansen
Nathan Weakley
Clayton Jamison
Christopher Conley
Christian Hite
Joel Neverman
Sophia Darnall
Blake Kimball
Anna Wodtka
Cody Broadfoot
Tristania Hansen
Grant Albaugh
Lucas Sommers

Junior High Honor Roll

Erin Lopez
Caleb Amias
Sophia Stierwalt
Sarah Rink
Brendan Graven
Raena Stierwalt
Kaitlyn Schweighart
Dylan Moore
Rachel Aders
Calvin Baxley
Mary Bryant
Jacob Maxwell
Anna Clark
Lauren Miller
Roger Holben
Andrew Mowrer
Avery White
Ellen Ping
Abigail Pieczynski
Annah Cloin
Emmalee Atkins
Ava Vasey
Audrey Remole
Julie Ping
Emily Anderlik

Junior Honor Roll

Ian Russell
Hunter Duncan
Mason Perry
Andrew Manrique
Emmilia Tiemann
Tyler Liffick Worrell
Jayce McGraw
Haylen Handal
Jolie Meyer
Kayla Nelson
Cale Rawdin
Annabelle Steg
Maria Buffo
Paige Farney
Lauren Cooke
Anthony Chaney
Lillian Montgomery
Kara Young
Logan Allen
Reece Sarver
Kiersten Reasor
Natalie Weller
Madison Loftsgaard
Anna Hamilton
Alivia Renfroe
Peyton Weckle
Garrett Wingler
Brandon Goyne
Boden Franklin
Bobby Kirkland

Sophomore High Honor Roll

Eden Johnson
Anna Polonus
Ava Price
Carsyn Smith
Madysen York
Lily Steffens
Shelby Hoel
Olivia Shike
Erica Woodard
Katelyn Moore
Rebecca Carter
Cassidy Keller
Jocelyn LeFaivre
Aubrey Sanders
Natalie Ellars
Analyse Carter
Caelyn Kleparski
Desire De Los Santos
Tanner Chilton
Isaac Ruggieri
Abigail Woolcott
Tatum Meyer
Briana Ritchie
Madison Henry
Lauren Neverman
Taylor Drennan
Dalton Oneill
Margaret Ingleman
Breanna Weller
Andrew Thomas
Logan Siuts
Caroline Jamison
Eric Miebach
Reagan Little
Ruby Tarr
Brooke Hewing
Henry Thomas
Meredith Reed
Brock Suding
Brenlee Dalton
Connor Cahill
Evelyn Albaugh
Jeremy Wells
Castillo Sanchez
Emberly Yeazel
Michael Porter
Piper Steele
Kamryn Edenburn
Bridget Vazquez
Maci Richmond

Sophomore Honor Roll

Bailey Grob
Nathan Bleecher
Bayleigh Jones
Dean Niswonger
Emma Plackett
Kendra Cromwell
Gabriel Howard
McKayla Schendel
August Niehaus
Zachary Lorbiecki
Kate Thomas
Carson Parker
Trevor McCarter
Aubrey Schaefer
Jay Saunders
Tanner Wells
Rylee Richardson
Gillian Rice
Sophia Wozencraft
Brooklyn Haas
Ava Holladay
Emma Fish
Darren Weckle
Keaton Roether
Thayden Root
Bryson Weaver
Grant Siuts
Carly Scroggins
Alexis Ritchie
Kolton Wells
Sebastian Allen
Trevor O'Bryan
Mason Davis

Freshman High Honor Roll

Joseph Temple
Ashley Rennels
Faith Hall
Avery Watson
Catharine Ford
Molly Baxley
Ashlyn Denney
Alex Mowrer
Ryan Robinson
Savannah Rubin
Camryn Reedy
Kade Dubson
Elle Cheely
Madelyn Darnall
Chloey Duitsman
Paige Brewer
Ryan Rink
Rylee Refisteck
Lauren Hellmer
Jordan Daugherty
Lindsey Johnson
Daniel Stein
Ava Fenter
Sophia Hartke
Meagan Rothe
Kadence Goff
Josephine Cler
Lindy Bates
Hunter Eastin
Lydia Rossi
Dallas Hollingsworth
Lauren Shaw
Kolton Black
Wyatt Huffstutler
Tessah Williams
McKinley Weller
Sophia Beckett
Sophia Frye
Gracie Meharry

Freshman Honor Roll

Ava Davis
Ezekiel De Los Santos
Reigna Price
Emily Decker
Noah Bryant
Brady Parr
Michael Bromley
Nolan Wishall
Paige Garretson
Estella Dodd
Caleb Hoewing
Bentten Cain
Alexis Gady
Gavin Weaver
Emmerson Bailey
Cohl Boatright
Lindsey Lewis
Logan Zumbahlen
Taylor Prough
Maddie Wheeling
Austin Mikeworth
Makayla Nonman
Riley McNeely
Grant Steinman
Jacob Davidson
Kathryn Lancaster
Logan Church
Brianna Blakley

SJO wrestling team nearly wins half their matches at dual meet

BISMARCK -- The St. Joseph-Ogden wrestling squad notched seven individual wins in their road match at Bismarck-Henning on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for the Spartans to shoot past the Blue Devils on their way to a 47-38 final score.

Emmit Holt earned four points for SJO after he racked up a 14-0 major decision over Bismarck-Henning's Landon Toellner in the 113-pound weight class.

Lexi Wirth was on the mat twice for the Spartans at 120-pounds. She was pinned on the boys' side of the card in 53-seconds by Grahm Abbed in 53 seconds. In her second match of the evening, Wirth stuck Gianna Ingargiola after five minutes and 18 seconds. The victory closed the team-score deficit and put SJO behind by two points at 12-10.

Holden Brazelton (126-lbs), Garrett Denhart (138-lbs), and Matt Falls (145-lbs), also won their Tuesday night matches, contributing 15 points toward the final team score.

Spartans' Hunter Ketchum (182-lbs) recorded a 33-second fall on freshman Tyson Smith, and Owen Birt won his 195-pound bout after pinning Blue Devils' Gavin Golden in the second period.

Box Score -


106 Pattison (BH) over Forfeit, (SJO) Forfeit
113 Holt, Emmitt (SJO) over Toellner (BH) Maj Dec 14-0
120 Abbed (BH) over Wirth, Lexi (SJO) Fall 0:43
120 Wirth, Lexi (SJO) over Ingargiols (BH) Fall 5:18
126 Brazelton, Holden (SJO) over Golden, A (BH) Tech Fall 20-3
132 Parish (BH) over Butts, Landen (SJO) Fall 2:00
138 Denhart, Garrett (SJO) over Carpenter (BH) Fall 2:27
145 Falls, Matt (SJO) over Gudauskus (BH) Maj Dec 12-3
152 Stevenson (BH) over Forfeit, (SJO)
160 Walton (BH) over Forfeit, (SJO) Forfeit
170 Godwin (BH) over Forfeit, (SJO) Forfeit
182 Ketchum, Hunter (SJO) over Smith (BH) Fall 0:33
195 Birt, Owen (SJO) over Golden, G (BH) Fall 1:16
220 Gnaden (BH) over Jones, Quincy (SJO) Fall 3:56
285 Wilson (BH) over Cotter, Austin (SJO)

Children with COVID-19-related MIS-C condition usually recover in months

This study details the cardiovascular complications or damage found during a three-month follow-up period to assess the short-term impact of MIS-C.


DALLAS -- Heart function recovery returned within three months in children who developed COVID-19-related multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access, peer-reviewed journal of the American Heart Association.

MIS-C is a new illness identified during the COVID-19 pandemic that affects children about four to six weeks after exposure to COVID-19. The new condition has some overlapping symptoms with Kawasaki disease, however, MIS-C is associated with more profound inflammation. MIS-C can cause inflammation in different parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal organs. About 80%-85% of MIS-C cases across the U.S. and Europe have involved the heart’s left ventricle.


Photo: American Heart Assoc.

This study details the cardiovascular complications or damage found during a three-month follow-up period to assess the short-term impact of MIS-C. It also employs newer cardiac measurements, known as "strains," to assess heart function related to MIS-C. Strain testing is a more sensitive tool that can detect whether an area of the heart is deformed or if there are any subtle changes in heart function during cardiac contraction and relaxation.

"There is limited data at this time about how frequently and how long we should monitor heart function during the recovery state of MIS-C after the child leaves the hospital," said the study’s senior author Anirban Banerjee, M.D., a professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and an attending cardiologist with the Cardiac Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, both in Philadelphia.

"Given that MIS-C was identified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment protocols have not yet been standardized and follow-up care varies greatly, which may lead to confusion and anxiety among families of patients and their care team. Our research team hoped to provide some guidance and reduce the ambiguity on optimal care approaches, especially as it relates to sports participation," Banerjee added.

Researchers retroactively reviewed data on 60 children hospitalized with MIS-C due to COVID-19 exposure who were treated at two Philadelphia hospitals between April 2020 and January 2021. None of the children were initially diagnosed with COVID-19 before the onset of MIS-C symptoms. This group of children were 60% male, with an average age of 10 years. About 48% were Black children, 27% were white children, 15% were Hispanic children, 4% were Asian children and the race/ethnicity of 23% of the children was unknown. The participants were treated with intravenous immunoglobulin and/or systemic steroids. Researchers reviewed echocardiographic and clinical data from medical records, including demographic factors, testing, treatment and hospital outcomes.

Data on another 60 children who had structurally normal hearts and did not have MIS-C or COVID-19 exposure served as control subjects. Their average age was 11.5 years, and 55% were male; 62% white children, 27% Black children, 7% Hispanic children, 3% Asian and 8% unknown. The control participants were divided into two groups: 60% had echocardiograms on file that were done prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 40% had echocardiograms under rigid COVID-19 protocols after October 2020.

For the children with MIS-C, researchers analyzed images of the heart taken at the initial hospitalization (acute phase) and examined additional imaging for a portion of the children who also had scans up to three additional times – one week after the first scan (subacute phase); at the one-month follow-up; and at a three or four-month follow-up. The children were screened using conventional echocardiography, speckle tracking echocardiography – an imaging technique that analyzes the motion of the heart tissue - and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for images of the heart.

The study found:

  • Based on echocardiogram imaging, systolic and diastolic function in the left ventricle and systolic function in the right ventricle improved quickly within the first week, followed by continued improvement and complete normalization by three months.
  • 81% of patients lost some contractile function in the left ventricle during the acute phase of illness, yet, by months three and four, contraction function had returned to normal.
  • MIS-C did not cause lasting coronary artery abnormalities. During the initial hospitalization, 70% of patients had evidence of some heart malfunction, however, all scans were normal by the three-month follow-up.
  • Using strain parameters to measure cardiac function, the results suggest that there is no subclinical cardiac dysfunction after three months.
  • "Recovery among these children was excellent," Banerjee said. "These results have important implications for our health care teams managing care for children with MIS-C. Our findings may also provide guidance for a gradual return to playing sports after cardiac clearance three to four months later. Tests needed for clearance include electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. We also recommend cardiac MRI for children who have highly abnormal baseline cardiac MRI during the acute stage or show evidence of continued severe left ventricle dysfunction."

    The study researchers note there are still important gaps in existing knowledge about MIS-C, since COVID-19 and MIS-C are both new illnesses. The most important question yet to answer is how these children are faring one to two years after their initial hospitalization.

    There are important limitations to note: the study was retrospective for clinical purposes and was not standardized for research. In addition, follow-up data was missing for some patients who dropped out of the study during follow-up stages. Banerjee explained that because both COVID-19 and MIS-C were newly discovered diseases, the timing of follow-up echocardiograms was somewhat arbitrary and driven by preference of different clinicians, rather than standard research protocol.

    "The strength of the study is that researchers performed a detailed, serial assessment of cardiac function over the initial three to four months of illness," according to AHA volunteer expert Kevin G. Friedman, M.D., a member of the American Heart Association’s Young Hearts Council and the AHA’s Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis and Kawasaki Disease Committee, an attending physician in pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston.

    "This study provides additional evidence that myocardial involvement is transient and may not lead to long-term abnormalities in left ventricular diastolic or systolic function," Friedman said. "Although cardiac involvement in the acute stage of illness is common, it is reassuring that all patients recovered normal cardiac function within about one week. This data tells us that, fortunately, lasting heart injury is very uncommon in MIS-C. Even in those patients with significant cardiac abnormalities in the acute phase of illness, these changes resolved by 3-4 months."

    Co-authors of the study are Daisuke Matsubara, M.D., Ph.D.; Joyce Chang, M.D., M.S.C.E.; Hunter L. Kauffman, B.S.; Yan Wang, R.D.C.S.; Sumekala Nadaraj, M.D.; Chandni Patel, M.D.; Stephen M. Paridon, M.D.; Mark A. Fogel, M.D.; and Michael D. Quartermain, M.D..

    ** Editor's note: This story was updated on Jan. 20 due to new information from the American Heart Association. The story initally said "During the initial hospitalization, 7% of patients had evidence of some heart malfunction". That number was suppose to be "70%".

    Rockets pull off rally to win on Miller buzzer-beater

    TOLONO -- Looking at a 15-point deficit with 5:15 left to go in the third quarter against an aggressive Bloomington Central Catholic team, the Unity girls' basketball team was going to have to wait a few days for that 18th win of the season. The Saints almost had the door shut until the Rockets clawed their way back into the game to trail by two with 1:05 left to play in the game.

    Forty seconds later, Unity got possession of the ball on a rebound after Central Catholic missed a free throw and called time out. The last 21 seconds of the game are worth watching over and over.

    After getting the ball past the half-court line, a couple of passes put the ball in the hands of Unity's Lauren Miller at the top of the key. Miller dribbled past three BCC defenders for a layup under the basket and missed. Teammate Raegan Stringer chases down the rebound and tosses the ball back to Miller.

    Miller and every fan in the Rocket Center watched the ball after she launched it from in front of the Rockets' bench back in three-point territory. As the ball passed through the net, the backboard lit up. And then the final buzzer sounded. The junior guard was then mobbed and deservingly while head coach Dave Ellars celebrated with three victory hops, arms high above his head. The junior guard had just sealed the Unity's come-from-behind effort with the double-U, 45-44.

    Dropping in 14 points for the night, Taylor Henry was the Rockets' leading scorer. The senior also had four rebounds and was credited with three steals.

    Katey Moore, who had a solid night defensively, also finished the game in double figures with 12 points. The talented sophomore nabbed five boards and slapped down four shots in addition to her two assists and a team-high four steals.

    Raegan Stringer and Maddie Reed rounded out the top three scorers for Unity with six points apiece. Stringer, whose rebound and pass helped make the game-winning shot possible, contributed four rebs and four assists to the comeback effort. Reed's six-point effort was from two 3-point shots converted in the third period.

    The Rockets play their next two games on the road this week. Thursday, the team travels to Prairie Central for a conference match with the Hawks. Twenty-four hours later, Unity is back on the road again, this time to Mt. Zion.

    Box Score

    Final: Unity 45 - Central Catholic 44

      1 2 3 4 F
    Unity 7 10 15 13 45
    Central Catholic 8 16 17 3 44

    Unity --
    Ray 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Flesch 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Renfrow 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Miller 1 (1) 0-0 -- 5, Steinman 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, Stringer 3 (0) 0-0 -- 6, Moore 5 (0) 2-3 -- 12, Reed 0 (2) 0-0 -- 6, Alagna 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, T. Henry 5 (0) 4-6 -- 14, Chandler 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, B. Henry 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

    Central Catholic --
    M. Uhren 0 (0) 2-2 -- 2, Evans 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0, Becker 3 (0) 1-4 -- 7, S. Shanks 0 (1) 4-4 -- 7, Schnierle 1 (1) 0-0 -- 5, C Uhren 0 (0) 2-4 -- 2, L. Shanks 0 (0) 2-2 -- 2, L. Emm 1 (0) 0-0 -- 2, E. Stenger 5 (2) 1-3 -- 17, I. Metzdorff 0 (0) 0-0 -- 0.

    Catch 8 area prep basketball games online tonight

    Watch Live High School Sports Today

    Tonight's Live NFHS Broadcasts

    January 14, 2022

    URBANA
    6:00 PM - Girls Junior Varsity Basketball @ Rantoul
    7:30 PM - Girls Varsity Basketball @ Rantoul

    UNIVERSITY HIGH
    6:00 PM - Boys Junior Varsity Basketball @ Cornerstone
    7:30 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball @ Cornerstone

    ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN
    5:30 PM - Boys Sophomore Basketball @ Prairie Central
    7:00 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball @ Prairie Ridge
    7:00 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball @ Prairie Central

    UNITY
    5:30 PM - Boys Junior Varsity Basketball vs St. Thomas More
    7:00 PM - Boys Varsity Basketball vs St. Thomas More


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