In The Know | Headlines you might have missed


Photo Gallery |
Urbana picks up home win over Danville
McKenzie Sprague is fouled

URBANA - McKenzie Sprague is fouled going up for a shot between Danville's Diamond Landfair and Dajahnae Taylor. See 13 more photos and a recap of the Tiger's first home win since 2020. Destiny Barber and Gabreille Mboyo-Meta led the Urbana offensive effort with a game-high eight points a piece. Junior guard Aziyaha Davis finished with seven points, and Jasmine McCullough rounded out the top four scorers for the Tigers with six points.


New RF technology can make you look years younger in as little as 10 weeks
NewsUSA - With the holiday season upon us, and the return to attending in-person events, everyone wants to look their best. But many people who might consider a skin-tightening treatment shy away from needles, and have concerns about fillers and chemicals.
Taking care of yourself during the holidays, steps you can take
Holiday cookies StatePoint Media - With seasonal stressors like end-of-year work deadlines, gift shopping and hosting potentially weighing on you, plus all those extra sweets and indulgent foods to nibble on, the holiday season may be the happiest time of year, but it’s not always the healthiest. Here’s how to take better care of yourself to feel your best this holiday season.
Photo of the Day | December 24, 2022
Garrett Siems leaps above a Rantoul defender RANTOUL - St. Joseph-Ogden's Garrett Siems leaps above a Rantoul defender to shield ...
Denied a home loan? Steps you can take to avoid it
StatePoint Media - You have researched the best areas to live within your budget. Spent countless hours visiting homes or viewing them online and talked to seasoned homeowners to ensure you haven't missed anything. You finally make an offer on your dream home that is accepted, and then the worst happens, the bank won't okay your loan.
Recipe |
Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder

Family Features - Colder, shorter days call for a little comfort. Cozying up with a hearty meal on brisk winter evenings can help fight off the chill while savoring favorite flavors alongside the ones you love.

Avoid venturing into the cold for a trip to the store by turning to a pantry staple like sweetpotatoes. As one of the most versatile veggies, they’re easy to add to a variety of recipes while enhancing both flavor and nutrition.


Eye on the prize
RANTOUL - Urbana middle blocker Sammi Christman passes the ball to the front in our December 26 Photo of the Day.
The person who investigates suspicious deaths in your town may not even be a doctor
When a group of physicians gathered in Washington state for an annual meeting, one made a startling revelation: If you ever want to know when, how — and where — to kill someone, I can tell you, and you'll get away with it. No problem.

That's because the expertise and availability of coroners, who determine cause of death in criminal and unexplained cases, vary widely across Washington, as they do in many other parts of the country.

"A coroner doesn't have to ever have taken a science class in their life," said Nancy Belcher, chief executive officer of the King County Medical Society, the group that met that day.


5 tips to shed those extra holiday pounds
According to a recent poll of 2,000 U.S. adults aged 30 and above commissioned by Nutrisystem and conducted by OnePoll, two in three Americans credit the past two years with teaching them how important their health really is. And 71% believe the pandemic has taught them to be more observant of their health. The poll also revealed that two-thirds of Americans said weight loss is a “top health goal” for them over the next year.

However, for many, losing weight can seem like a difficult task. The truth of the matter is it doesn’t have to be. Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem, offers the following tips to help you take that step toward a healthier you.


McGwire Atwood propels SJO to title game Bloomington - St. Joseph-Ogden's McGwire Atwood celebrates his team's 72-69 win over Rockford Lutheran at the State Farm Holiday Classic on Thursday. With less than four seconds on the clock and Crusaders ...

Photo of the Day | December 30, 2022

McGwire Atwood celebrates SJO win
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

SJO holds on the win semifinal at SFHC
BLOOMINGTON - St. Joseph-Ogden's McGwire Atwood celebrates his team's 72-69 win over Rockford Lutheran at the State Farm Holiday Classic on Thursday. With less than four seconds on the clock and Crusaders with possession, Atwood managed to snag the ball on the last play of the game to keep it from going into overtime. The Spartans, who started the tourney as the #1 seed, advance to the title game on Friday against Normal University High at 5:15pm. The game will be played at the Shirk Center on the Illinois Wesleyan University Campus.

Search the PhotoNews Media archives for more photos:

Search by athlete's name, team, school and more


5 tips to shed those extra holiday pounds

StatePoint Media - With the New Year right around the corner, new survey results suggest that 2023 will finally be the year that Americans bring their health back into focus.

According to a recent poll of 2,000 U.S. adults aged 30 and above commissioned by Nutrisystem and conducted by OnePoll, two in three Americans credit the past two years with teaching them how important their health really is. And 71% believe the pandemic has taught them to be more observant of their health. The poll also revealed that two-thirds of Americans said weight loss is a “top health goal” for them over the next year.

Photo: Avelino Calvar Martinez/Burst

However, for many, losing weight can seem like a difficult task. The truth of the matter is it doesn’t have to be. Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem, offers the following tips to help you take that step toward a healthier you.

1. Keep healthy food in sight

Having healthy food at arm’s reach can make losing weight easier. A Cornell study found that women who kept a bowl of fruit where they could see it weighed an average of 13 pounds less than those who didn’t. Plans like Nutrisystem deliver healthy, portion-controlled options right to your door, making it even simpler to make good choices.

2. Give yourself a bedtime

Children aren’t the only ones who need a bedtime! Adults need a set bedtime as well to be productive the next day. Setting a certain bedtime and sticking to it will also help your body get the rest that it needs to burn stubborn fat. “Not having a good night’s rest can lead to craving sugar and fatty foods, which can also lead to weight gain,” says McCormick.

3. Work out in 10-minute sets

If you’re short on time or have back-to-back meetings, working out in intervals of 10 minutes three times a day creates more flexibility in your busy schedule. Doing this creates long-term healthy habits that will help you lose and maintain weight.

4. Drink more water

What’s not to love about water? It’s hydrating and keeps your body healthy. Water aids digestive health, regulates body temperature and even aids in losing weight and maintaining the weight loss. This is because water helps you stay full between meals and avoid unnecessary snacking. In fact, feeling hungry is often a sign that you’re actually thirsty and it’s time to get hydrated.

5. Forgive a slip-up

Mistakes can actually help you understand what is healthy for your body. Having a slip-up allows you to consider the progress you’re making in your weight loss journey and be able to hold yourself accountable when making future healthy decisions.

For more additional wellness tips, visit Nutrisystem’s The Leaf, at leaf.nutrisystem.com.

There is no better time than now to focus on your overall health and wellness goals. When you are geared with the tools to succeed, living a healthier lifestyle is easily achievable.

The person who investigates suspicious deaths in your town may not even be a doctor

by Samantha Young
Kaiser Health News

When a group of physicians gathered in Washington state for an annual meeting, one made a startling revelation: If you ever want to know when, how — and where — to kill someone, I can tell you, and you'll get away with it. No problem.

That's because the expertise and availability of coroners, who determine cause of death in criminal and unexplained cases, vary widely across Washington, as they do in many other parts of the country.


Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

"A coroner doesn't have to ever have taken a science class in their life," said Nancy Belcher, chief executive officer of the King County Medical Society, the group that met that day.

Her colleague's startling comment launched her on a four-year journey to improve the state's archaic death investigation system, she said. "These are the people that go in, look at a homicide scene or death, and say whether there needs to be an autopsy. They're the ultimate decision-maker," Belcher added.

Each state has its own laws governing the investigation of violent and unexplained deaths, and most delegate the task to cities, counties, and regional districts. The job can be held by an elected coroner as young as 18 or a highly trained physician appointed as medical examiner. Some death investigators work for elected sheriffs who try to avoid controversy or owe political favors. Others own funeral homes and direct bodies to their private businesses.


The various titles used by death investigators don't distinguish the discrepancies in their credentials.

Overall, it's a disjointed and chronically underfunded system — with more than 2,000 offices across the country that determine the cause of death in about 600,000 cases a year.

"There are some really egregious conflicts of interest that can arise with coroners," said Justin Feldman, a visiting professor at Harvard University's FXB Center for Health and Human Rights.

Belcher's crusade succeeded in changing some aspects of Washington's coroner system when state lawmakers approved a new law last year, but efforts to reform death investigations in California, Georgia, and Illinois have recently failed.

Rulings on causes of death are often not cut-and-dried and can be controversial, especially in police-involved deaths such as the 2020 killing of George Floyd. In that case, Minnesota's Hennepin County medical examiner ruled Floyd's death a homicide but indicated a heart condition and the presence of fentanyl in his system may have been factors. Pathologists hired by Floyd's family said he died from lack of oxygen when a police officer kneeled on his neck and back.

In a recent California case, the Sacramento County coroner's office ruled that Lori McClintock, the wife of congressman Tom McClintock, died from dehydration and gastroenteritis in December 2021 after ingesting white mulberry leaf, a plant not considered toxic to humans. The ruling triggered questions by scientists, doctors, and pathologists about the decision to link the plant to her cause of death. When asked to explain how he made the connection, Dr. Jason Tovar, the chief forensic pathologist who reports to the coroner, said he reviewed literature about the plant online using WebMD and Verywell Health.

The various titles used by death investigators don't distinguish the discrepancies in their credentials. Some communities rely on coroners, who may be elected or appointed to their offices, and may — or may not — have medical training. Medical examiners, on the other hand, are typically doctors who have completed residencies in forensic pathology.

In 2009, the National Research Council recommended that states replace coroners with medical examiners, describing a system "in need of significant improvement."

Massachusetts was the first state to replace coroners with medical examiners statewide in 1877. As of 2019, 22 states and the District of Columbia had only medical examiners, 14 states had only coroners, and 14 had a mix, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The movement to convert the rest of the country's death investigators from coroners to medical examiners is waning, a casualty of coroners' political might in their communities and the additional costs needed to pay for medical examiners' expertise.

The push is now to better train coroners and give them greater independence from other government agencies.

"When you try to remove them, you run into a political wall," said Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen, a former medical examiner for the city of Milwaukee and the author of "Death Investigation in America: Coroners, Medical Examiners, and the Pursuit of Medical Certainty."


Lawmakers "didn't want their names behind something that will get the sheriffs against them," Collins said.

"You can't kill them, so you have to help train them," he added.

There wouldn't be enough medical examiners to meet demand anyway, in part because of the time and expense it takes to become trained after medical school, said Dr. Kathryn Pinneri, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners. She estimates there are about 750 full-time pathologists nationwide and about 80 job openings. About 40 forensic pathologists are certified in an average year, she said.

"There's a huge shortage," Pinneri said. "People talk about abolishing the coroner system, but it's really not feasible. I think we need to train coroners. That's what will improve the system."

Her association has called for coroners and medical examiners to function independently, without ties to other government or law enforcement agencies. A 2011 survey by the group found that 82% of the forensic pathologists who responded had faced pressure from politicians or the deceased person's relatives to change the reported cause or manner of death in a case.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, a former chief forensic pathologist in California, resigned five years ago over what he described as interference by the San Joaquin County sheriff to protect law enforcement officers.

"California has the most backward system in death investigation, is the most backward in forensic science and in forensic medicine," Omalu testified before the state Senate Governance and Finance Committee in 2018.

San Joaquin County has since separated its coroner duties from the sheriff's office.

The Golden State is one of three states that allow sheriffs to also serve as coroners, and all but 10 of California's 58 counties combine the offices. Legislative efforts to separate them have failed at least twice, most recently this year.

AB 1608, spearheaded by state Assembly member Mike Gipson (D-Carson), cleared that chamber but failed to get enough votes in the Senate.

"We thought we had a modest proposal. That it was a first step," said Robert Collins, who advocated for the bill and whose 30-year-old stepson, Angelo Quinto, died after being restrained by Antioch police in December 2020.

The Contra Costa County coroner's office, part of the sheriff's department, blamed Quinto's death on "excited delirium," a controversial finding sometimes used to explain deaths in police custody. The finding has been rejected by the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization.


When something like this affects rural areas, if they push back a little bit, we just stop.

Lawmakers "didn't want their names behind something that will get the sheriffs against them," Collins said. "Just having that opposition is enough to scare a lot of politicians."

The influential California State Sheriffs' Association and the California State Coroners Association opposed the bill, describing the "massive costs" to set up stand-alone coroner offices.

Many Illinois counties also said they would shoulder a financial burden under similar legislation introduced last year by state Rep. Maurice West, a Democrat. His more sweeping bill would have replaced coroners with medical examiners.

Rural counties, in particular, complained about their tight budgets and killed his bill before it got a committee hearing, he said.

"When something like this affects rural areas, if they push back a little bit, we just stop," West said.

Proponents of overhauling the system in Washington state — where in small, rural counties, the local prosecutor doubles as the coroner — faced similar hurdles.

The King County Medical Society, which wrote the legislation to divorce the two, said the system created a conflict of interest. But small counties worried they didn't have the money to hire a coroner.

So, lawmakers struck a deal with the counties to allow them to pool their resources and hire shared contract coroners in exchange for ending the dual role for prosecutors by 2025. The bill, HB 1326, signed last year by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, also requires more rigorous training for coroners and medical examiners.

"We had some hostile people that we talked to that really just felt that we were gunning for them, and we absolutely were not," Belcher said. "We were just trying to figure out a system that I think anybody would agree needed to be overhauled."



This story was produced by KHN, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.

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.
Health News on The Sentinel

Photo of the Day | December 26, 2022

Sammi Christman from Urbana volleyball team

Eye on the prize
Rantoul - Urbana middle blocker Sammi Christman passes the ball to the front row during the Tigers' Class 3A regional quarterfinal game against Danville on October 24, 2022. UHS defeated the Vikings after three sets, 25-18, 17-25, 25-16. See the slide show for more photos.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


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Search by athlete's name, team, school and more


In The Know | 9 stories you might have missed in the past week


A summary of our stories from December 20 through 22 readers might have missed. Subscribe to get your daily notification of The Sentinel's latest news and photos here. It's free and unsubscribe any time.


Photo of the Day | December 19, 2022
H TOLONO - Unity's Henry Thomas goes up for a shot between two Pleasant Plains players during second half action of their non-conference contest on Saturday. In front of ...
Guest Commentary | Seeing the hurts of others doesn’t make your troubles go away
When I was a child at Tomahawk Elementary School in Martin County, Kentucky there were many kids who got little to nothing for Christmas. I had classmates who I would never ask if they got anything for Christmas because I already knew ...
Special holiday prices for court time available at Atkins Tennis Center
URBANA - Atkins Tennis Center is offering reduce rates on indoor court time now through January 15, 2023. Area players can keep those extra holiday pounds off without putting a huge dent in their wallet. Normally $30/hour for indoor ...
Prep Sports Notebook | Spartans, Rockets post wins on the hardcourt
  • Spartans Taylor Hug, Addison Frick, and Addisyn Martinie finished the night in double-digits taking down the 10-2 Timberwolves.
  • Raegan Stringer led the Rockets with 24 points and five assists. Addison Ray delivered a 12-point effort.
  • Mikayla Knake led the Lady T'Wolves with 16 points.

  • Photo of the Day | December 20, 2022
    St. Joseph - With teammate Addisyn Martinie trying to help out, Addison Frick pulls down a rebound in SJO's home game ...



    Season's Greetings

    Frick drops 20 in SJO's road game at Oakwood
    Addison Frick was perfect at the free throw line, 2-for-2, while leading the Spartans to their second-straight victory heading into the Christmas holiday lull. The 5-foot-7 junior finished the night with a game-high 20 points ...
    A college education is gift we can give to children of our American heroes
    NAPSI - While the holiday season is generally a time of joy and celebration, military families can often experience a very different range of emotions. Active service members and veterans returning home for the holidays might struggle to participate in family gatherings ...
    Are you itching to get out and run the snow thrower?
    NAPSI - With a total accumulation between two and four inches expected by this weekend and blowing snow until Sunday morning in our area, it is time to rev up the snow throwers and blowers to clear sidewalks and driveways for the holiday celebrations at your house.

    Just like predicted precipitation from snow flurries and winter storms can be unpredictable, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) encourages home and business owners to be prepared in advance ...


    With schools out for winter break, seasonal illnesses will be on the rise
    Evergreen Park - Schools across the country are on winter break and holiday gatherings are here along with the winter weather. That means the perfect storm for seasonal illnesses to spread is nearly inevitable. This year we have heard the term "triple-demic" used in reference to the current strains of flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that are circulating across the country.

    In the Know | 8 headlines from last week you might have missed


    A summary of our stories from December 18 through 19. Subscribe to get your daily notification of The Sentinel's latest news and photos here. It's free and unsubscribe any time.


    Prep Sports Notebook | Area basketball teams post losses
    Unity's Austin Langendorf

  • Junior Aziyaha Davis led all Urbana scorers with six points in loss to Normal Community.
  • Owen Root and fellow junior Wyatt Eisenmann hauled in four rebounds apiece in win over Horizon Science Academy Southwest.
  • Addie Brooks came off the bench to post two third-quarter treys for six points for SJO at Pleasant Plains.
  • Unity snagged 21 rebounds and tallied eight assists in the 2-point overtime loss to Pleasant Plains.
  • Senior Abbie Piecaynski knocked down six fourth-quarter points, but it wasn't enough to close the gap with the generous Lady Braves' lead.

  • Recipe | Impress guests at your next wine party with this tasty tapas
    Family Features - Pairing an easy, delicious appetizer with the perfect wine doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. When you’re ready to elevate your home entertaining, turn to a simplistic recipe featuring fresh, bold flavors.
    5 ways to celebrate with the holidays and keep your family pet safe
    NAPSI - Most pet parents agree: their animals are part of what makes the holiday season so magical. While it’s an excellent opportunity to integrate furry family members into all the special holiday traditions and make memories together, there are a few things you should keep in mind to keep your pet safe and healthy ...
    Coping with grief during the holiday season with loved ones, here's how

    URBANA - During the holidays, societal norms expect us to be sociable and cheerful. But it can be difficult for people dealing with the loss of a loved one. A normal shopping trip may turn blue when you hear the song you used to dance to. Or the Christmas tradition of baking cookies just seems empty without your friend there.


    Sticker shock:
    Government to halt footing bill for Covid treatment
    Nearly 6 million Americans have taken Paxlovid for free, courtesy of the federal government. The Pfizer pill has helped prevent many people infected with covid-19 from being hospitalized or dying, and it may even
    Martinie scores team-high ten in SJO loss
    Pleasant Plains - Hoping to extend their 1-game winning streak to two, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team came up short after this afternoon's road game at Pleasant Plains. Addisyn Martinie led the Spartans' in scoring with 10 points in the 55-26 loss to the host Cardinals.
    Photo of the Day
    December 17, 2022
    Kaytlyn Baker dribbles at Turkey Tourney St. Joseph - SJO's Kaytlyn Baker makes a huge effort to dribble past Mahomet-Seymour's Savannah Orgeron ...



    Photo of the Day
    December 18, 2022
    Unity football players cheer TOLONO - Players on the bench and Unity fans, even Santa, celebrate a game-tying 3-point shot from Dalton O’Neill with 18 seconds ...



    Recipe | Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder

    Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder
    Photo provided
    Family Features - Colder, shorter days call for a little comfort. Cozying up with a hearty meal on brisk winter evenings can help fight off the chill while savoring favorite flavors alongside the ones you love.

    Avoid venturing into the cold for a trip to the store by turning to a pantry staple like sweetpotatoes. As one of the most versatile veggies, they’re easy to add to a variety of recipes while enhancing both flavor and nutrition. Perfectly suitable for both simple and elevated dishes, they can be baked, microwaved, grilled, slow cooked or prepared on the stove so their sweet taste never goes out of style.

    Their long shelf life – up to four weeks if stored properly in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from heat sources – means you can rely on sweetpotatoes throughout the winter as an on-hand ingredient. Additionally, as a "diabetes superfood" according to the American Diabetes Association, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease, making them a key source of nutrients during wintertime.

    When your family needs a warm-up on those frosty days, put sweetpotatoes at the center of mealtime (with an added kick) in this Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder. Loaded with the flavors of winter comfort, you can breakaway from the store-bought canned soups for a filling meal that makes enough for a crowd so no one goes hungry.


    Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder

    Recipe courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission

    Servings: 6

    2 large North Carolina sweetpotatoes, baked
    1 small onion, 1/4-inch diced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
    2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
    1 1/2 cups whole corn kernels
    2 teaspoons minced jalapenos
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon salt
    chopped scallions, for garnish


    How to make it

    Peel baked sweetpotatoes; discard skin and puree.

    In soup pot, saute onion in butter until softened. Add pureed sweetpotato and stock, as desired. Bring to boil, reducing liquid slightly.

    Add chicken, corn, jalapenos, heavy cream and salt. Simmer 10 minutes.

    To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions.


    Watch the video

    Denied a home loan? Steps you can take to avoid it

    Good credit demonstrates responsible money management and gives you more purchasing power
    StatePoint Media - You have researched the best areas to live within your budget. Spent countless hours visiting homes or viewing them online and talked to seasoned homeowners to ensure you haven't missed anything. You finally make an offer on your dream home that is accepted, and then the worst happens, the bank won't okay your loan.

    If you dream of homeownership, having your mortgage application denied can be devastating. If this does happen to you, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Thirteen percent of all purchase mortgage applications -- a total of nearly 650,000 -- were denied in 2020, according to federal government data.

    Before quickly reapplying for a loan, it’s important to first understand the reasons your loan was denied. The lender is required to disclose that information to you within 30 days of its decision. You can also call your lender for further explanation. Having this knowledge will help you work toward building your eligibility for a mortgage.

    Illustration: Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay

    In some instances, the situation involves a quick fix, such as providing missing or incomplete documentation. However, if the reasons cited for your application denial involve down payment cost, a low credit score, an adverse credit history or a high debt-to-income ratio, here are six steps you can take toward recovery:

    1. Consult a Housing Counselor. Consider speaking to a community-based credit counselor or a HUD-certified housing counselor. They can help you create a plan to increase your savings, decrease your debt, improve your credit, access down payment assistance or take advantage of first-time homebuyer programs.

    2. Improve Your Credit. In a 2022 Freddie Mac survey of consumers denied a mortgage application in the past four years, three in five cited debt or credit issues as reasons given for their initial denial. If this describes you, take time to improve your credit profile before applying for another loan. Good credit demonstrates responsible money management and gives you more purchasing power, opening doors to better loan terms and products. Visit creditsmart.freddiemac.com to access Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart suite of free financial education resources that can help you understand the fundamentals of credit and prepare you for homeownership.

    3. Pay Down Debt. In the application process, lenders will look at your recurring monthly debts, such as car payments, student loans and credit card loans. By lowering or paying down monthly debts, you can build a positive credit history and lower your debt-to-income ratio. Not sure where to start? Tackle your debt with the highest interest rate first.

    4. Obtain Gift Funds. If you’re short on money for your down payment, you may be able to use gift funds from a family member to decrease the amount you need to borrow.

    5. Find a Co-Signer. A co-signer applies for the loan with you, agreeing to take responsibility for the loan should you default. The co-signer’s credit, income and debts will be evaluated to make sure they can assume payments if necessary. In addition to ensuring your co-signer has good credit, you should make sure they are aware of this responsibility and have sufficient income to cover the payment.

    6. Look for a Lower-Cost Home. Remember, you should only borrow an amount you feel comfortable repaying. You may need to look for a lower-cost home than you’re financially prepared to purchase and maintain.

    For more information and additional resources, visit myhome.freddiemac.com.

    If your home loan application is denied, don’t panic. There are ways to build your eligibility so that next time, your mortgage application is more likely to be approved.

    Taking care of yourself during the holidays, steps you can take

    Holiday cookies
    Photo: Hansuan Fabregas/Pixabay
    StatePoint Media - With seasonal stressors like end-of-year work deadlines, gift shopping and hosting potentially weighing on you, plus all those extra sweets and indulgent foods to nibble on, the holiday season may be the happiest time of year, but it’s not always the healthiest. Here’s how to take better care of yourself to feel your best this holiday season.

    Protect Your Skin
    You may be aware that the more free radicals you have in your body, the more skin damage can accumulate over time. But did you know that exposure can be particularly high during the holiday season? There are a few reasons for this. One is that cooler temperatures are linked to sugar cravings, making sweet treats especially hard to resist at a time of year when there are so many to choose from. Increased sugar intake can boost the production of advanced glycation end products, and ultimately unwanted free radicals. In general, diets high in fat, sugar, and processed foods can contribute to free radical production, as can stress.

    Fortunately, you can take steps to protect your skin from the inside out during the holidays and beyond. Fernblock PLE (Polypodium leucotomos extract), the natural antioxidant in the dietary supplement Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula, can help neutralize free radicals and the damage they cause. Dermatologist-recommended, Heliocare aids in eliminating free radicals to help maintain younger-looking, more resilient skin.

    “Along with the cheer of the season comes skin hazards,” says New York-based dermatologist, Rachel Nazarian, MD. “But the holiday season is the perfect time to gift your skin additional protection from the damaging effects of free radicals. You can do this by incorporating a supplement like Heliocare into your routine in addition to using a topical broad spectrum sunscreen.”

    To learn more, visit heliocare.com. (These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Heliocare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

    Move Daily
    Be sure to take time for yourself each day to receive the combined physical and mental health benefits of movement. Head outdoors for a morning or afternoon walk to get some fresh air, improved blood circulation and some mood-boosting sunlight during the short, dark days of winter. To promote agility, flexibility and relaxation, take a few minutes to unwind with some meditation or gentle yoga.

    Practice Healthy Habits
    Holiday office parties and family gatherings often involve indulging in the kinds of food and drink that can leave you feeling more dehydrated, bloated and fatigued than you might normally. Counteract these effects by adopting healthy habits now that you can carry into the new year. Drink plenty of water each day, and incorporate decaffeinated green tea, coconut water or smoothies into your routine for added electrolytes. Likewise, get high-quality sleep each night. It’s especially important to do so if you’re burning the candle at both ends. For better shut-eye, avoid caffeine and blue light exposure before bedtime, and keep your bedroom temperature comfortable and consistent.

    While it can be hard to set aside time in your schedule when there’s so much to do, a bit of daily self-care is sure to have a restorative effect that helps you refresh, reset and be more focused.

    New RF technology can make you look years younger in as little as 10 weeks

    NewsUSA - With the holiday season upon us, and the return to attending in-person events, everyone wants to look their best. But many people who might consider a skin-tightening treatment shy away from needles, and have concerns about fillers and chemicals. Apex Center for Regenerative Medicine offers an alternative to help you look years younger this coming summer.

    Some forms of regenerative medicine involve using the body’s own cells, taking cells from one part of the body and using them to promote healing and rejuvenation where it is needed. This type of regenerative medicine has become a standard option in treating sports injuries, and recent advances have allowed the field to expand to aesthetics, specifically skin tightening and facial rejuvenation.

    The EmFace procedure harnesses the body’s own regenerative and healing ability for individuals who want to improve their appearance without surgery. EmFace uses radio frequency to heat up the skin and promote collagen and elastin regrowth. It also uses a patented technology called Hi-Fes which causes a supramaximal contraction of the facial muscles, allowing them to build back.     

    EmFace is a non-invasive procedure that promotes smoother, tighter skin without needles, fillers, or toxins. For example, EmFace can be used to create a “lateral brow lift” that raises the eyelids for a more energized appearance. The muscle- contracting technology also can improve the appearance of a sagging jawline by strengthening and toning the facial muscles that have weakened over time.     

    EmFace can also be used concurrently with Botox and fillers as part of a facial rejuvenation plan.

    “EmFace is complementary to injectables but many people won’t need injectables or need less” says Dr. Daniel Savarino, director of the Apex Center for Regenerative Medicine in Tinton Falls, N.J., which was the first practice in New Jersey to offer the EmFace procedure.

    “During your consultation, we will go over the best path forward for you,” he adds. Advantages of EmFace include:

    - Short and sweet. Each EmFace treatment takes 20 minutes, so patients can fit in appointments during a lunch break.

    - Simple and safe. No pre-treatment preparations are needed, and there is no post-procedure downtime.

    - Speedy results. Data show improvements after four EmFace sessions, and optimal results are evident at 10-12 weeks after the final session.

    - Safe and Effective. 20-minute treatments provide an average of 40% wrinkle reduction, 25% lift and 30% rebuilding of the facial muscles.

    The noninvasive aspect makes EmFace especially appealing for the holiday season, when no one wants the inconvenience of post-procedure downtime. “Our motto is ‘Don’t Operate . . . Regenerate,” says Dr. Savarino.

    Locally, a procedure known as FaceTite is available at Rejuvenis Facial Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa in Champaign. Like EmFace, it uses new RF technology to give patients a more youthful appearance.

    Photo of the Day | December 24, 2022

    Garrett Siems leaps above a Rantoul defender

    Spartans post regular season shutout over host Eagles
    Rantoul - St. Joseph-Ogden's Garrett Siems leaps above a Rantoul defender to shield a high ball away during their regular season match on September 29. The Spartans won the regular season conference battle, 6-O. SJO finished the season 18-5-1 and third in the Illini Prairie Conference with a 4-2 record.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


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    Photo Gallery | Photos from Urbana's 40-24 win over Danville

    Urbana's Jasmine McCullough dribbles the ball around Danville Diamond Landfair in the first half. Three-for-four from the free throw line, McCullough finished the game with seven points to help the Tigers log their first home win since February 8, 2020. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Aziyaha Davis dribbles around senior Diamond Landfair during first half action of their Big 12 Conference game on December 8, 2022. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Tigers' Jasmine McCullough plays defense on Vikings' Jyah Parker. Urbana held Parker scoreless the entire game. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Urbana's Gabreille Mboyo-Meta fights to keep the ball away from Danville's Ajia Johnson in the second quarter. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    McKenzie Sprague is fouled going up for a shot between Danville's Diamond Landfair and Dajahnae Taylor. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Gabreille Mboyo-Meta goes up for a shot around Danville's Laila Johnson. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Urbana's McKenzie Sprague fires a jumper from the corner during the second half. The senior chipped in two points and four rebounds for the Tigers. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    McKenzie Sprague slides across the floor while try to get the ball away from Danville's Ajia Johnson. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Tiger freshman Elizabeth Lange reaches for a loose ball. Lange chipped in 2 points and collected one board for Urbana. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Urbana's Gabreille Mboyo-Meta goes for a second-half shot. Meta-Mboyo shared team-high scoring with eight points, three steals, and one rebound. The senior leads the team in steals (3.3), assists (7), and scoring (9.8) per game. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Freshman Mia Schroeder sees minutes in the Tigers' first home win in nearly three years. She collected five points and tallied a pair of rebounds in the rout. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Urbana fans cheer for their team in the fourth quarter. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Urbana's Aziyaha Davis is fouled as she goes up for a shot in the second half of the game by Danville's Diamond Landfair. Davis contributed eight rebounds and three steals with her three field goals in the Tigers' home win. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Tigers' Destiny Barber shares a funny story with teammates as the game clock with Danville passes the one minute to play mark. The senior forward finished the game with eight points, three steals, and five boards. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    Photo of the Day | December 22, 2022

    Postseason catch
    Tolono - Unity receiver Will Cowan makes a leaping catch to haul down the ball over Mt. Carmel's Ashton Walker during their second-round playoff game on November 5, 2022. The Golden Aces' (9-2) playoff run ended the second straight season in a playoff loss at Hicks Field, after falling to the Rockets, 35-14. A senior, Cowan averaged 83 receiving yards per game for the program in his final prep season. .
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


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    Prep Sports Notebook | Frick drops 20 in SJO's road game at Oakwood

  • St. Joseph-Ogden 56, Oakwood 23: Addison Frick was perfect at the free throw line, 2-for-2, while leading the Spartans to their second-straight victory heading into the Christmas holiday lull. The 5-foot-7 junior finished the night with a game-high 20 points in the non-conference game moved to Wednesday evening to avoid inclement weather bearing down on East Central Illinois. Classmate Addison Seggebruch scored 10 points in SJO's sixth win of the season.

    Seven other players contributed in the team effort heading into the State Farm Classic, where they will open tournament play against the Sherrard Tigers (9-2) in the Small School bracket.

    Senior Addie Wright carried the Comets scoring effort with eight points and Jaydah Arrowsmith added a free throw, a three-pointer, and short-range bucket in the the loss.


  • Just a mid-season reminder to varsity coaches at Unity, Urbana Uni-High, Urbana High School or St. Joseph-Ogden, please send us your box scores, statistical leaders for each game, and other info via email to sports@oursentinel.com or editor@oursentinel.com.
  • With schools out for winter break, seasonal illnesses will be on the rise

    by Lee Batsakis
    OSF Healthcare

    Signs or symptoms to look out for are head bobbing and if a child has excessive head bobbing after each breath, flaring of their nostrils,...

    Photo: Caleb Woods/Unsplash
    Evergreen Park - Schools across the country are on winter break and holiday gatherings are here along with the winter weather. That means the perfect storm for seasonal illnesses to spread is nearly inevitable. This year we have heard the term "triple-demic" used in reference to the current strains of flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that are circulating across the country.

    Health experts are urging parents to use caution in the coming weeks in order to help reduce the spread of these viruses. The least familiar of the three viruses for many parents is RSV. While RSV is not new, the patterns of circulation for RSV and other common respiratory viruses have been disrupted and have evolved since 2020. Health experts encourage parents to be aware of any signs and symptoms of this virus their child might be experiencing.

    "Similar to other viruses they can present with cough, congestion, runny nose, and fever. However, with RSV, the symptoms seem to worsen on day three to five," says Dr. Safiat Amuwo, an OSF HealthCare pediatrician.

    One symptom of RSV in particular that differentiates it from these other viruses is respiratory distress, which can be difficult for parents to recognize. Some people associate a persistent or worsening with respiratory distress. This, however, is not necessarily the best indicator. Dr. Amuwo says paying close attention to your child’s breathing and body language is key.

    "Signs or symptoms to look out for are head bobbing and if a child has excessive head bobbing after each breath, flaring of their nostrils, chest retractions or increased work of breathing, poor feeding, they are lethargic, they are not easily arousable – these are some signs that they may be tiring out," Dr. Amuwo explains.

    Dr. Amuwo adds that the increased work of breathing, or fast, shallow breathing, is the most important of these to watch for as an indication of respiratory distress that would likely indicate it could be RSV. If you think your child might be in respiratory distress, Dr. Amuwo says not to wait for an appointment with their pediatrician and to take them directly to the nearest emergency room.

    The COVID-19 pandemic taught us the importance of isolating and monitoring symptoms if someone receives a positive diagnosis of the virus. The same can be said for RSV. According to the CDC, people infected with RSV are usually contagious for three to eight days and may become contagious a day or two before they start showing signs of illness – but some infants and people with weakened immune systems can continue to spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as four weeks.

    Health experts urge families with a known case of RSV in the household to refrain from attending gatherings and to cancel any travel plans. If you have a sick child at home and need to go in to work, Dr. Amuwo advises parents to bring childcare to them rather than bringing your child outside of the home, which would increase the risk of spreading the disease.


    Dr. Safiat Amuwo
    OSF HealthCare Internal Medicine and Pediatrics


    "In high risk populations, especially infants who are premature or who have some history or bronchopulmonary dysplasia, it is recommended to avoid daycares if possible," says Dr. Amuwo.

    Because there is not currently a vaccine for RSV, the best way to prevent it is similar to the measures that have been used for prevention of COVID-19: hand washing and mask wearing. If you do have plans to see loved ones or to travel over the holidays, do so with caution.

    There are measures that can be taken to help treat RSV at home, such as over-the-counter medications, warm showers, drinking plenty of fluids, and using a humidifier. Dr. Amuwo recommends talking to your child’s pediatrician before proceeding with any at-home treatments for RSV.

    "A humidifier, specifically a cool mist humidifier, can help relieve some symptoms. However, if a child has underlying asthma or allergies, sometimes a humidifier can actually worsen their symptoms," Dr. Amuwo says.

    Some at-home treatments that are recommended or work for one child does not necessarily mean they will work for another. Their pediatrician can help you determine the best plan for your child.

    Like many viruses, RSV cannot be treated with antibiotics. However, if the virus progresses and a child develops further illness such as a superimposed bacterial infection or pneumonia, antibiotics may be an option. In any case, if your child’s symptoms worsen, make an appointment with their pediatrician. If they become severe, go to the nearest emergency room.

    "If parents see that their child has respiratory distress – which includes the increased work of breathing, grunting, head bobbing, chest retractions, nasal flaring – those are more concerning signs so that would be more of a reason to be evaluated in an emergency room," advises Dr. Amuwo.

    If you or your child become sick with RSV, COVID-19, or the flu this holiday season, monitor symptoms closely, follow the recommended guidelines to reduce the spread, and stay home until the virus has run its course.

    Are you itching to get out and run the snow thrower?

    Man using a snow thrower
    Photo provided/NAPSI
    NAPSI - With a total accumulation between two and four inches expected by this weekend and blowing snow until Sunday morning in our area, it is time to rev up the snow throwers and blowers to clear sidewalks and driveways for the holiday celebrations at your house.

    Just like predicted precipitation from snow flurries and winter storms can be unpredictable, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) encourages home and business owners to be prepared in advance before they tackle the first snowfall of the season tomorrow or on Saturday.

    OPEI, an international trade association, represents manufacturers and suppliers of outdoor power equipment, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars.

    "Outdoor power equipment such as snow throwers can make quick work of a big job," says OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser. "Just remember: When getting out your snow thrower, review your owner’s manual. You should know how to correctly operate controls and quickly shut it off if necessary."

     Questions to ask before firing up your snow thrower

    Have you read your owner’s manual? Know safe handling procedures and how to operate the controls of your machine. If the manual cannot be found, look it up online and store a copy on the computer. 

    Have you checked your equipment? Equipment should be powered off when checking it. Adjust any cables and check the auger. If you forgot to drain the fuel before storing your equipment last year, empty the gas tank. 

    Have you purchased the right fuel? Be sure to use the fuel recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Fuel that is more than 30 days old can phase separate and cause operating problems. Buy gasoline ahead of a storm. For more information see LookBeforeYouPump.com. 

    Is gasoline used safely? Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store gasoline in a fuel container and label with date purchased and ethanol content. Make sure fuel is stored safely and out of reach of children. 

    Are batteries charged (for battery-powered equipment)? Make sure batteries are fully charged before a storm, in case electricity goes out.

    Is the yard clear of obstructions? Snow can hide objects. Doormats, hoses, balls, toys, wires, and other debris should be removed. When run over by a snow thrower, these objects may harm the machine or people. 

     Operating snow throwers safely

    Are you dressed properly? Wear safety glasses, gloves and footwear that can handle cold and slippery surfaces. 

    Is your clean-out tool ready? NEVER put your hands inside the auger or chute. Use a clean-out tool to unclog snow or debris. Always turn off the snow thrower and wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop before clearing any clogs.

    Is your snow thrower operated only in visible conditions? Never operate the snow thrower without good visibility or light. 

    Will you use extreme caution clearing slopes and hills? Never attempt to clear steep slopes. Use caution when changing directions on slopes or inclines. 

    For electric equipment, do you pay attention to where the cord is? Use an extension cord designed for outdoor use. Be aware of where the power cord is at all times when using the machine. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.

     Are pets and children inside while the snow thrower is operating? It’s best to keep kids and pets indoors and supervised while a snow thrower is operating. Do not allow them to play in the snow as it is tossed out of the chute. 

    A college education is gift we can give to children of our American heroes

    Audrey poses with a photo of her father
    Ashley Audo, a student at Eastern Illinois University, poses with a photo of her father U.S. Army Major David Audo, who died while serving in Iraq in 2009. Audo is a recepient of a scholarship from the Children of Fallen Patriots.
    Photo provided

    NAPSI - While the holiday season is generally a time of joy and celebration, military families can often experience a very different range of emotions. Active service members and veterans returning home for the holidays might struggle to participate in family gatherings or even find the season particularly distressing. And, for the families of those service members who do not return, the holidays can be an agonizing reminder of a loved one’s absence. 

    In the spirit of the season, honoring the sacrifice of all men and women who proudly served in our armed forces through charitable giving can make a big difference, especially for students like Ashley Audo.

    "It means that he was willing to put his life on the line for his country, as well as his family," Ashley Audo, a student at Eastern Illinois University, said in her student spotlight on the Children of Fallen Patriots website. "My Dad loved what he did, and I am proud that he was able to find happiness in life."

    Audo added: "Receiving this scholarship from Children of Fallen Patriots has impacted my life because, without it, I would not be able to reach my goals and achieve my dreams of being a nurse.".

    Children of Fallen Patriots, a foundation that honors the sacrifices of fallen military heroes by helping ensure the success of their children through college education, has outlined several ways that showcase how charitable giving ensures strong futures. 

    Support Veteran-Serving Organizations

    Tens of thousands of non-profits exist in the United States dedicated to serving veterans and their families. With so many different veteran-serving organizations in the States, it’s crucial to ensure donations are doing the most good for heroes in need. 

    A good way to evaluate an organization is to use Charity Navigator, a renowned nonprofit evaluation site. The site rates charities on the cost-effectiveness and overall health of their programs on a four-star scale, evaluating their measures of stability, efficiency, and sustainability. 

    Care for Military Families in Need

    Service members selflessly put their own lives on the line to ensure better lives for all Americans, but their families sacrifice much as well. While many organizations offer support directly to veterans, the family back home can get lost in the shuffle. 

    Children of Fallen Patriots provides college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who lost a parent in the line of duty. Studies show that almost 25,000 children have lost a parent in the line of duty over the last 35 years. A college education is a significant financial burden, and the majority of surviving military spouses make less than $50,000 annually. 

    Since 2002, Children of Fallen Patriots has provided over $61 million in support to over 2,700 children, including over 1,300 graduates. Additionally, the Gold Star family-focused nonprofit earned a perfect rating from Charity Navigator—an accomplishment less than 1% of the 200,000 rated charities have earned. 

    "The best way to honor the sacrifice of our service members is to ensure better futures for their children," said David Kim, co-founder and CEO of Children of Fallen Patriots. "A college education is the single most important gift we can give to the children of our fallen heroes, especially during the holiday season—a particularly difficult and stressful time for Gold Star families."

    Generosity Goes Beyond The Wallet

    Making a donation is one of the easiest ways to support veteran-serving organizations, but plenty of options exist. 

    More and more people give their time by coordinating fundraising events, such as bake sales and 5k runs. They also spread the word on social media so the country’s veteran community is supported and speak up about the issues that adversely affect them. 

    For more information on how you can support the foundation, visit www.fallenpatriots.org. 


    Update: This article has been updated to reflect that Maj. Audo lost his life in a non-combat related incident as reported by Military Times. Press release at the time of his demise indicate that Audo, 35, of St. Joseph, died on October 27, in Baghdad, from injuries sustained while assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 22nd Military Police Battalion, 6th Military Police Group.

    Photo of the Day | December 21, 2022

    Addy Roesch pounding the ball for the Spartans

    Big swings bouy SJO at regionals
    Bismarck - St. Joseph-Ogden's Addy Roesch attempts a kill between Hoopeston Area blockers Kaitlynn Lange and Charissa Johnson during their regional semifinal match October 25. The Spartans advanced to the title match after their three-setter defeating the Cornjerkers, 25-10, 22-25, 25-19. Roesch, a junior, posted nine kills and led the team on defense with ten digs.
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


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