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Guest Commentary: A thankful heart is a healthier heart

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Thanksgiving always comes and goes too fast. We often think, "We need more time to focus on the Thanksgiving holiday." For many, it seems that Thanksgiving gets sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas. 

By late September, many of the stores and television commercials are focusing on Christmas.

The only way we can fix the “fast Thanksgiving” holiday is to make Thanksgiving celebration every day. We shouldn’t wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks but give thanks every day. 

A thankful heart is a healthier heart. Living in an attitude of Thanksgiving celebrates the gift of life and every opportunity to live life.

Many of us have dreaded the shorter days. Dark by 6 o’clock and soon by 5 or even 4:30 in some areas. I used to always dread that but my attitude has changed. I’m just happy to be alive to experience the changing seasons. Take advantage of these cooler, shorter days to get some rest. Longer days will be back soon and you can mow grass, work or walk until 9:00 or later every evening. Go with the flow and enjoy the differences. 

I miss the Thanksgivings when my mom and dad were alive and mother cooked. If everyone got together, we could have 20 people in the house. This was a tiring time for my mother.  Be sure to always praise the person carrying the cooking load. 

Time passes quickly.  Every day we should embrace the day. When you see someone, talk to someone, share a meal with someone then by all means embrace and savor the moment. Give thanks for all occasions that you have to spend time with others whether family or friends. 

Thanksgiving is not the same for many of us because there are empty seats at the table. We miss moms and dads who have left us for a better place. We miss wives, husbands, children, and siblings who have left this life too early. This makes us sad and dampens our spirits. Yet, look around and see the people who may not be here next year. There are no guarantees. Be kind, be loving. Say good words to them. Lift them up. It will make you feel better to give thanks for people and to anoint them. 

Jesus was anointed by Mary the sister of Martha before his arrest and crucifixion. Some criticized her for doing it but Jesus said she has prepared me for the burial. Let her alone he said she has done a good work. After Mary finished anointing Jesus’ feet the house was filled with the smell of the ointment. When you love and are kind to people it always brings a better fragrance and atmosphere into the house. A part of this is showing Thanksgiving for them and toward them. Mary ended up with that ointment on her hands and in her hair. When you do good stuff for people to honor them a lot of that good stuff comes back to you. 

Have Thanksgiving every day. Give thanks, express thanks and live in a spirit of being thankful. Your attitude will make your day better and encourage others around you. 


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Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

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This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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Top basketball players at St. Joseph Turkey Tournament earn recognition

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Nominees from the four-team Toyota of Danville Turkey Tournament All-Tournament Team pose with their awards on Thursday, November 17. Pictured with their awards are Josie Armstrong (Tri-County), Kenzie Hales (Tri-County), Thaylee Barry (Tri-County), Durbin Thomas (M-S), Chloe Pruitt (M-S), Addison Frick (SJO), and Mahomet-Seymour's Savannah Orgeron, who was the tournament's Most-Valuable-Player. Champaign Centennial's Heaven Day, the 8th player of the group, was not present at the award ceremony.

Viewpoint: The Merry Go Round’ of PCOS Diagnoses and Disappointments. When does it stop?

by Brianna Dean


I got my first period when I was ten; by age 12 I spent several days a month hunched over, bleeding, and crying in pain. The gynecologist I went to told me I may have endometriosis, brushed off the pain as “normal” and recommended that I take birth control pills to regulate my period. I thought being on birth control at 12 was normal. It wasn’t until a few conversations with my friends, and the extreme concern expressed by my mother, that I became aware that it was in fact not normal. 

Looking back at that experience, I find myself not only angry at the lack of care I received from my provider but how I didn't know how to advocate for myself. Ten years later when I am talking to my new OB-GYN about my cycle and various physical symptoms I’ve been experiencing, she responded with a question “Do you think you have PCOS?” I didn’t know what that was. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome occurs when ovaries form numerous cysts and overproduce androgens. I didn’t end up having PCOS, but I have met several Black Women who were battling this disease with little to no medical intervention from their OB-GYNs. It was eye-opening when actress/singer Keke Palmer posted on Instagram that she had done her own research and advocated for herself to receive a diagnosis of PCOS, which explained her adult acne and excessive facial hair. 

In order to receive the care, Black Women and other women of color have to learn how to advocate for ourselves.  

According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 5 million women have PCOS. Black Women are disproportionately affected by this disease, but half of PCOS cases in Black Women go undiagnosed for years. Blogger Ore Ogunbiyi wrote that it took her five appointments and nine months before she was diagnosed with PCOS. Of her doctors, Ore says, “They trivialized my pain”. 

A feeling Black Women alike know far too well. Research posits that Black Americans have been historically undertreated due to the false beliefs that Black People perceive pain differently than white people. This notion is harmful and contributes to the lack of accurate medical diagnoses in the Black community. 

My previous classmate, current doctoral student, and PCOS advocate Chanel Brown spoke to me about her journey to her PCOS diagnosis. Chanel recounts that her doctor never took her seriously, which is why it took her seven years to receive her diagnosis. Why does it take so long for Black Women to receive a PCOS diagnosis? 

Many women with PCOS are overweight, and weight bias may add to racial bias in medical settings. Overweight women are often told to lose weight, no matter whether weight actually affects the condition they have. 

Fatphobia is the reason Beatriz Kaye, a Latino PCOS advocate, went seven years without a PCOS diagnosis – her doctors told her that her period would regulate itself if she would just “lose weight”, and delayed doing any lab or imaging tests to check for PCOS.

This “invisible” disease may not appear to be physically impactful or disruptful, but the long-term health implications are. Women with PCOS may experience infertility. They also may have a higher rate of diabetes, heart disease, and sleep apnea, although it is difficult to separate the risks of obesity from the risks of PCOS.

Racism and fatphobia both compromise the care of Black women. For women of color, this healthcare system is a system of misdiagnoses, disappointments, and dismissals. Women of color deserve the right to be heard and respected by their medical doctors.


Brianna Dean is a Masters of Science candidate in Health and the Public Interest at Georgetown University. 

Your health: Excessive alcohol consumption can be deadly for young adults

URBANA -- For many adults, alcohol is part of unwinding after a stressful work week. There are the usual reminders about having a sober driver, knowing your limits and mixing in water between your beers. But experts are also warning about the dangers of excessive drinking or binge drinking, which is having several drinks on one occasion.


Photo provided
Dr. Andrew Zasada

Two recent studies shed light on the dangers. One reported that around one in five deaths among people aged 20 to 49 was attributed to excessive alcohol use. The other study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine linked binge drinking to problems like alcohol addiction, emotional symptoms and not getting along with friends, family and coworkers. This was true in study participants who didn’t even consider themselves heavy drinkers.

The dangers

How quickly can binge drinking turn problematic?

"Very easily," says Andrew Zasada, MD, an internal medicine physician at OSF HealthCare in Champaign County, Illinois.

Dr. Zasada says for women, binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks on one occasion, like a night out on the town that lasts three to four hours. For men, it’s 15 drinks. That takes into account the differences in how men’s and women’s bodies metabolize alcohol.

Dr. Zasada says the internal issues linked with excessive alcohol use can be devastating.

"It can cause brain dysfunction. It can cause liver disease and stomach ulcers," Dr. Zasada says. "It’s just not a good thing. It can cause a wide variety of problems."

Not to mention the outward symptoms like: acne, redness on your nose and palms and dry, wrinkled skin that makes you look older. And drinking during pregnancy can lead to a host of problems for the child, like facial abnormalities and developmental deficits.

"A lifetime of misery" for the little one, as Dr. Zasada puts it.

Safety, recovery

Just like there’s no magic way to prevent or cure a hangover, there’s no magic number of drinks to have on a night out that will make you immune to alcohol problems. But for Fourth of July revelers, Dr. Zasada has this advice: take it slow.

"If you’re an average size gentleman, probably a beer an hour is just about the max you can drink," he says.

Dr. Zasada says are there many ways to help people who are drinking in excess. In the short term, such as during a party, call 911 if the person needs immediate medical attention. If they just need a break, take the person away from the clatter to rest. Take their car keys, and give them some water. A painkiller like Tylenol in appropriate doses can help with that hangover headache the next day.

Long term, a patient’s primary care provider can link them with resources to curb drinking, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or treatment centers. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also has resources. And within OSF HealthCare’s footprint, Illinois and Michigan have phone numbers to call for behavioral health issues.

"If the person is trying to deny that they drink at all; if they are drinking alone when there is nobody else around; if they're trying to hide or cover up their drinking, those are all fairly serious warning signs that this person needs help," Dr. Zasada says.

Dr. Zasada says it’s never too late to kick the habit of excessive drinking, but sooner is better.

"It's easier to mitigate any problems that have already occurred earlier, rather than wait for the problem to get very, very serious, very bad, and then quit," he says. "Yeah, you'll get better. But you won't go back to what you were."

That "getting better" looks like a lot of things.

"You might lose weight. You might lower your blood pressure. It may increase heart health," Dr. Zasada says. "You'll think clearer. You'll sleep better."

Cyberbullying more likely to make victim suicidal

Photo: RODNAE Productions/PEXELS

CHAMPAIGN -- As youth find their way in a digital age, the threat of online harassment continues to grow. A study earlier this year raises concerns that cyberbullying may be significantly more likely to influence suicidality.

Noting that suicide is the second-leading cause of adolescent deaths, the National Institutes of Health found that individuals targeted by bullies online are four times more likely to report suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This is at a time in which the national suicide rate jumped 4 percent last year, with the increase affecting youth and young adults.

"Youth are beginning to form an understanding of themselves and the world but lack the life perspective and coping skills to manage what they encounter," said Rosecrance Central Illinois Executive Director Melissa Pappas, M.S., LCPC, LCPHA. "Caregivers need to be aware of what their teens may experience, and be there to help develop healthy technology limits and build life skills."

Adults and caregivers are encouraged to watch for sudden changes in a youth’s online habits, the individual hiding content from others, or the person not wanting to discuss what is happening online. In addition, changes in mood, social habits, or grooming may indicate that the adolescent needs help.

If you sense a child is being bullied, have an open conversation about what you notice. If they may need help, contact Rosecrance or other mental healthcare providers that offer a full continuum of services for youth and young adults.


Matthew Hawkins is the Communications Specialist at Rosecrance Health Network. Over 100 years ago, Rosecrance began with children as its focus. Each client is cared for by a team of specialists who have committed their careers to addressing substance use and mental health disorders.

Cross-Country: Jack Fisher lead SJO's sectional cross country effort

by Daniel L. Chamness
      Special to The Sentinel


CHAMPAIGN --The St. Joseph-Ogden boys' cross country team destiny to compete at this year's Illinois High School Association Class 1A State Finals was confirmed at the sectional meet. Hosted by SJO on October 29 at Dodds Park in Champaign, the Spartans dashed to a fourth-place finish in what was arguably the toughest Class 1A Sectional in the state.

SJO finished with 164 points behind Decatur St. Teresa, who finished with 77 points.

While every cross-country athlete would like to make the state finals, it is highly-unlikely the current Spartan program will miss any in the forseeable future. Three juniors, two sophomores, one freshman, and one senior made up the SJO's top seven runners on the roster.

"We have been running in competitive meets all season to get to this point," said Jason Retz, SJO's head coach. "It will be great for them to have the state experience."

The team was led by sophomore Jack Fisher, who crossed 26th after he toured the three-mile course in 16 minutes, 29.38 seconds. Freshman Lance Retz finished immediately behind Fisher 28th in 16 minutes and 29.98 seconds.

The other Spartan athletes that finished within a second of each other were sophomore Mason Guido (17:02.61) and senior Ethan Blackburn (17:02.88). They were 50th and 51st, respectively.

Two juniors served as the third and fourth runners. Carson Maroon and Aden Armstrong took 37th and 41st, respectively. Maroon ran the three-mile course in 16:45.99, while Armstrong finished in 16:52.05.

The Spartans have competed in every state final except for two in 2012 and 2018. There was no state championship in 2020. In the seven times they advanced as a team, they were in the top 10 six times. They earned a team trophy in 2015, taking third in the state.

"We want to take advantage of every opportunity we are given," said Retz. "I want to see them show up and compete. We are excited to be here, but the athletes need to have a sense of urgency and purpose."

The Tolono Unity boys finished 10th in the sectional, scoring 260 points. Like their arch-rivals at SJO, the had a very young lineup, with only one senior. Four freshmen ran in the varsity race. One sophomore and one junior were also in the lineup.

Eli Crowe, one of the freshmen, took 25th in the SJO Class 1A Sectional. He finished the race at 16:28.91. The rest of the scoring top five were within a minute of each other. Camden Fairbanks took 44th in 16:53.75. On his heels was the lone senior on the team, Brendan Graven, who finished in 17:00.32, good for 47th place.

Isaac Ruggieri (85th) and Alex Mowrer (91st) rounded out the top five. Ruggieri crossed the finish line at 17:39.59, while Mowrer finished at 17:52.0.

Two freshmen served as the sixth and seventh runners. Carter Tiemann (93rd, 17:57.59) and Collin Graven (155th, 20:44.56), respectively.

A Quick Look | Wednesday November 16, 2022

Our latest stories and photos curated for our readers on-the-go


Photo: David McBee/PEXELS

Nov 16, 2022 12:47 am  .::. 
7 big mistakes small businesses can't afford to make

Running a small business often means wearing many hats. From accounting to marketing and everything in between, it can be difficult to know all the ins and outs and to always make the right decision. Here are seven mistakes to avoid in order to turn your new venture into a big success.


Unity's Gavin Moore celebrates the Rockets' 35-14 playoff win over Mt. Carmel back on November 6. After shutting out Prairie Central in last weekend's quarterfinal game, 14-0, Moore and the Unity football team will go up against an 11-1 Williamsville team on the road this Saturday with a trip to the Class 3A title game for a second consecutive season hanging in the balance. Kickoff is scheduled for 2pm.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Nov 15, 2022 10:37 pm  .::. 
Taking your family pet on holiday? Book your accommodations early

If you really want a stress-free holiday and enjoyable trip with your furkid, you should start by planning where you’re going to stay and book your accommodations ahead of time. Booking your pet-friendly hotel room well in advance has many advantages that definitely outweigh the lure of being spontaneous and/or procrastinating.



Ty Pence makes a catch over a Robinson defensive back for a St. Joseph-Ogden touchdown on October 29 during the two team's first-round IHSA football playoff game. Pence, who had not played a down of football since his freshman year at SJO, earn All-State recognition from the Illinois Football Coaches Association this week. Teammate Logan Smith received an honorable mention. See more photos from this game.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Nov 15, 2022 05:34 pm  .::. 
Unity, SJO players recognized as All-Staters

The names of four area players found a place on this year's Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 3A All-State Football Team.


Guest Commentary: Billions spent on the election while Americans continue to struggle

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Total cost of 2022 state and federal midterm elections may have exceeded $16 billion according to a OpenSecrets analysis. Federal candidates and political committees spent over $8 billion while state candidates, party committees, and ballot measure committees spent close to $8 billion.

Here are the five most expensive Senate races this year according to OpenSecrets. This includes both general election and primary candidates together with the outside groups supporting them, such as the national parties and Super PACs:

  • Pennsylvania: $373.6 million
  • Georgia: $271.4 million (Georgia’s is growing)
  • Arizona: $234.6 million
  • Wisconsin: $205.8 million
  • Ohio: $202.1 million
  • Pennsylvania’s crucial U.S. Senate race has been the most expensive in the country this year — and it wasn’t even close. Georgia may end up close to $300 million. Who in Georgia is happy about this? The television stations. If you own a television station during a highly contested election season, in a lucrative market, you’ll never have to work again when the election is over.

    Democrat John Fetterman, Republican Mehmet Oz and their political allies have spent a combined $312 million on a race that ended up not even close. According to OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics, money poured into Pennsylvania for Fetterman as he had over $15 million dollars more to work with than Oz.

    Many are wondering how Fetterman, a recuperating sick man with the worst debate performance ever on national television, beat Oz? The answer is not a simple sentence. The bottom line was they didn’t want Oz.

    Oz was seen as an outsider. Someone who moved to the state to further his career in politics. He is well known. That should have helped but it didn’t help him that much. He was well known for being rich, famous and still relatively good looking for an old guy. Fetterman on the other hand is the local state guy. He doesn’t look so good. They know who he is whether that is good or bad. He has been very sick and trying to rehabilitate. A lot of people feel sorry for him and didn’t see him as a rich, affluent personality but rather a down to earth guy they can relate to.

    People often cheer for the underdog. If you post something on social media saying you are sick, bad off, down and out you’ll get many more “likes” or responses than if you post you have just received a career advance and a $50,000 bonus.

    Rand Paul of Kentucky raised $26,410,677 and reportedly spent $20 million. I hope he will use the remaining $6 million to rebuild homes in East, Kentucky recently devastated by flooding. Or, even West, Kentucky that is still trying to rebuild from tornadoes that flattened that part of the state.

    The money spent on this election and all national elections is insane. People all over America can’t afford to go the grocery store, fill up the gas tank or take care of their children’s school needs. Yet politicians, interest groups, political parties, and Political Action Committees are raising and spending mega millions trying to keep or gain a political seat. You can’t do anything about it either. We have so very little to say about anything in our country.

    We have to depend on the people spending millions to get their seat. If the seat is worth millions to them and the special interest groups then do you really think they care about we think?


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    Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of Grandpa's Store, American Issues, and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

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    This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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    7 big mistakes small businesses can't afford to make

    Photo: David McBee/PEXELS
    Running a small business often means wearing many hats. From accounting to marketing and everything in between, it can be difficult to know all the ins and outs and to always make the right decision. Here are seven mistakes to avoid in order to turn your new venture into a big success.

    No Business Structure

    When you start as a solopreneur, you may be tempted to forgo all the legalese and just work on launching your product on the market. But not choosing the right business structure and not registering as the right business entity can end up hurting you in the long run.

    For example, When it comes to incorporating a business, there are two main options: an S corporation (S corp) or a C corporation (C corp). You need to understand the S Corp vs C Corp pros and cons, so it's important to do your research before making a decision.

    Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/PEXELS

    One key difference between the two is that an S corp has pass-through taxation, meaning that profits and losses are passed directly to the shareholders, who then report them on their personal tax returns. A C corp, on the other hand, is taxed separately from its owners. Another notable difference is that an S corp is limited to 100 shareholders, while a C corp can have an unlimited number of shareholders. This can be important if you're planning on expanding your business in the future. When it comes to raising capital, a C corp has an advantage because it can sell shares to the public. However, this also means that there is more paperwork.

    Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between an S corp and a C corp. It depends on your specific business needs and goals.

    No Business Budget

    For small businesses, keeping track of where the money is coming and going is critical. It will help you separate your personal and company finances, see how much your company is making, and establish what your fixed and variable costs are. Without a budget, you can’t set spending goals or run financial projections to attract potential investors or partners, which will hinder business growth.

    No Marketing Plan

    So you have a great product, but what good is it if no one hears about it? Without a strong advertising and marketing plan in place, you won’t be able to reach out to your target audience and ultimately generate sales. Failing to do some market research, analyzing what your competition is doing, and forecasting industry trends will prevent you from creating effective ad campaigns that will resonate with potential customers.

    No Social Media Presence

    It’s not just the kids doing it anymore; in today’s digital world, every business is online, posting content and engaging their followers on various platforms. This is where you showcase your brand and create sales funnels. You can also use social media to join groups and share your expertise, putting yourself out there for all the world to see. Keeping your content useful, relevant, and timely will also help you gain more customers.

    No SMART Goals

    Setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals will help you steer your business in the right direction. Without SMART goals, you won’t be able to clearly see the end result, and you’ll be left wondering if your company is performing the way it should. Short-term goals are great to help you stay on track and motivated so that you can reach your long-term goals and turn your budding company into a big success.

    No Legal Guidance

    You may be a do-it-yourselfer in most areas of your life, but when it comes to your business, make sure you consult with experts and professionals to avoid costly fines and penalties. Not filing the proper paperwork with the state, or failing to register your business and paying the fees and taxes required to be in compliance, could lead to huge penalties and even put your company under. Consulting a business attorney may cost you upfront, but their expertise will definitely spare you troubles later on.

    No Time for Fun

    As excited as you may be to launch your own venture, make sure to carve out time for self-care once in a while. Too many entrepreneurs end up suffering from burnout because they don’t think they can afford a day off. But in order to refuel and spark your creative juices, you need to step out of the office and enjoy some downtime once in a while.

    Owning your own business can bring you great freedom, but make sure you avoid pitfalls and take the necessary steps to keep it successful. Don’t hesitate to get expert advice, and hire professionals to fill in potential gaps. Your company will keep thriving, and you’ll enjoy running it.


    Courtney Rosenfeld started Gig Spark to be a resource and the first step for people who are looking to join the gig economy, either to supplement their income or as a way to fulfill their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

    Taking your family pet on holiday? Book your accommodations early

    Photo: RODNAE Productions/PEXELS
    Winging it can be a good thing. It takes the pressure off of having to plan and make decisions – and opens the door to spontaneity and free spirit. However, winging it also comes into play when you’re simply procrastinating. There is a time and a place for winging it and reserving a hotel room for you and your pet - particularly around the holiday season is not the time (or place).

    If you really want a stress-free holiday and enjoyable trip with your furkid, you should start by planning where you’re going to stay and book your accommodations ahead of time. Booking your pet-friendly hotel room well in advance has many advantages that definitely outweigh the lure of being spontaneous and/or procrastinating.

    Get the room you want (and need)
    When traveling with your pet, there are typically unique preferences or requirements when it comes to room selection. Booking a room on the first floor is a common request from pet parents. Rooms on the first floor make pet potty breaks easier. Plus, pets with mobility issues prefer first floor accommodations. In addition, a room away from “busy” areas such as an elevator or stairway are favored by people traveling with their pets to avoid potential barking and stress. There are also some hotels that have an allotted number of specific rooms designated for people traveling with pets.

    Booking early helps to ensure you’ll get a room that will definitely welcome you and your four-legged traveler. And of course, booking early will help to ensure that you'll get a room with all the highly desired “human” features and amenities that you’d like.

    YOUR pets need to be welcome, right?
    Lest we forget, not all hotels allow pets. And those that do allow furry guests have specific pet rules. This includes pet weight limits, number of pets allowed, types of pets, and pet fees – among other things. The reality is that it’s going to take a bit more effort to find a hotel that will welcome your 80 lb. dog and three cats than if you’re traveling with one 10 lb. chihuahua.

    Booking your hotel in advance will allow you the time to find a pet-friendly hotel that will accommodate your whole crew. It will also give you time to find the best options when it comes to pet fees.

    Get good deals
    In general, saving on hotel room rates is one of the biggest reasons people make hotel reservations ahead of time. Booking early typically equates to getting a better rate. As the departure date gets closer, availability wanes as the demand for rooms increases. This means you will very likely have to pay more for your pet-friendly hotel room. This is commonly the case when travel plans are around holidays and weekends. In addition, starting your pet-friendly hotel search early affords you more time to “shop” for the best deals.

    Stress-free holiday for the win
    You’re taking a trip for the holidays with your precious pet. It’s supposed to be an enjoyable, bonding, and stress-free experience.

    Anything to reduce stress is always recommended. Securing a hotel room is probably the most important thing you have to do when taking a trip with your pet (unless you’re flying). Why wouldn’t you take the time to ensure that you have the perfect pet-friendly place to stay when you arrive at your destination? Having that big question mark hanging over your head is unnecessary. Do yourself a favor and be sure to book your pet-friendly hotel early.


    Kim Salerno is the founder and CEO of TripsWithPets. With over 45,000 accommodations, TripsWithPets provides online reservations at pet-friendly hotels across the United States and Canada. For more information visit tripswithpets.com.

    Seniors earn Honor Roll recognition at SJO

    St. Joseph-Ogden High School Honor Roll St. Joseph -- At the end of October, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced the first quarter Honor Roll and High Honor Roll recipients. Eighty-four members of the St. Joseph-Ogden Class of 2023 earned first-quarter Honor Roll recognition.

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

    In all, 342 students from the freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior classes earned Honor Roll recognition.

    High Honor Roll

    Alyssa Acton
    McGwire Atwood
    Kaytlyn Baker
    Olivia Baltzell
    Cara Blanchard
    Taylor Burch
    Tyler Burch
    Maddux Carter
    Ariana Chambers
    Madelynn Cook
    Morgan Cramer
    Aiden Cromwell
    Zachary Dahman
    Aleah Dial
    Emily Elsbernd
    Leah Finley
    Joselyn Frerichs
    Brent Golladay
    Kennedy Greer
    Kylie Greer
    Andrew Guelfi
    Mikyla Haley
    Hayden Henkelman
    Maya Hewkin
    Taylor Hug
    Shayne Immke
    Emily Jeffries
    Aliya Jones
    Peyton Jones
    Cameran Kelley
    Jacob Kern
    Aaron Lane
    Katherine McDermott
    Teagan Miller
    Courtney Myren
    Ava Northen
    Allegra Pearman
    Ty Pence
    Jack Robertson
    Emma Rydell
    Kirsten Schaefer
    Johanna Schmitz
    Jack Setterdahl
    Isabel Sexton
    Paige Siegmund
    Payton Vander Logt
    Taylor Voorhees
    Alayna Wagle
    Emma Ward
    Maggie Ward
    Jackson Wetzel

    Honor Roll

    Owen Birt
    Ethan Blackburn
    Payton Carter
    Yamilka Casanova
    Bryce Collins
    Katie Earley
    Grace Flessner
    Jessica Gadbury
    Joe Gherna
    Jackson Greer
    Connor Hale
    Bryson Helfrich
    Mary Hinrichs
    Jonas Hutcherson
    Jade Kelley
    Hunter Ketchum
    Austin Kofoot
    Skyler Langley
    Shane Logan
    Haleigh Maddock
    Aidan McCorkle
    Kyle Meccoli
    Blake Morgan
    Jacob Newman
    Madeline Osterbur
    Katharine Short
    Garrett Siems
    Trinity Tapia
    Olivia Terven
    Mallory Wagner
    Gracelyn Warns
    AJ Wells
    Payton Wendell

    St. Joseph-Ogden juniors make first-quarter Honor Roll

    St. Joseph-Ogden High School Honor Roll St. Joseph -- At the end of October, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced the first Honor Roll and High Honor Roll of the academic year. Seventy-two students in the junior class earn a spot on the first-quarter list.

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

    High Honor Roll

    Edward Alewelt
    Logan Allen
    Aden Armstrong
    Owen Baltzell
    Samantha Beetz
    Chloe Burkhalter
    Payton Carter
    Garrett Denhart
    Rachel Divan
    Sadie Ericksen
    Joseph Frasca
    Mia Frederick
    Addison Frick
    Grace Getty
    Logan Haake
    Chloe Harper
    Rachel Harris
    Brody Hausman
    Annabelle Hueber
    Tanner Jacob
    Kya Jolley
    Helene Jones
    Tori Kibler
    Lauren Lannert
    Hayden Lewis
    Quinn Lewis
    Taylyn Lockhart
    Carson Maroon
    Addisyn Martinie
    Shannon McMahon
    Talan Miller
    Isaiah Mock
    Rowan Musselman
    Caleb Ochs
    Macy Reed-Thompson
    Addison Roesch
    Addison Ross
    Daniel Santiago
    Lucas Skelton
    Logan Smith
    Dylan Smoot
    Drew Thurman
    Emma Thurman
    Braxton Waller
    Elissia Ward
    Colin Wayland
    Corbin Wells
    Hayden Williams

    Honor Roll

    Chloe Allen
    Kaden Allinger
    Mya Bott
    Kyler Brown
    Tyler Buss
    Maya Chahine
    Grace Goldenstein
    James Harbourt
    Jayci Hayes
    Rylee Huson
    Holden Jones
    Luke Landrus
    Grace Mabrey
    Seth McBride
    Ethan McElroy
    Cole Pruitt
    Addison Seggebruch
    Aescton Slowikowski
    Madison Stevens
    Addisyn Swope
    Brody Weaver
    Justice Wertz
    Nicholas Wetzel
    Spencer Wilson

    St. Joseph-Ogden's Class of 2025 Honor Roll

    St. Joseph-Ogden High School Honor Roll St. Joseph -- At the end of October, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced the first quarter Honor Roll and High Honor Roll recipients. Eighty-six students in the sophomore class achieved honor roll status.

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

    High Honor Roll

    Rylie Barton
    EJ Beckett
    Audrey Benoit
    Sul Bonny
    Landon Brown
    Preslee Christians
    Madison Clampitt
    Aerolyn Davenport
    Lauren Dewese
    Ella Dietiker
    Luke Ditchfield
    Jackson Ennis
    Savanna Franzen
    Kaiden Gaines
    Tayton Gerdes
    Olivia Getty
    Richi Gomez
    Mason Guido
    Makennah Hamilton
    Lauren Harris
    Haley Hesterberg
    Maebree Houston
    Kendrick Johnson
    Paige Johnson
    Dylan Jones
    Sara Kearney
    Amilliya Kindle
    Owen Knap
    Aiden Krall
    Madison Lankster
    Logan Mills
    Gabriel Mortlock
    Grace Osterbur
    Sonia Patel
    Nathan Phillips
    Haley Rudolph
    Audrey Ruppel
    Charles Schmitz
    Tanner Siems
    Kyler Swanson
    Collin Thomey
    Samantha Uden
    Reese Wheatley
    Charley Wright
    Fiona Xiao

    Honor Roll

    Olivia Allinger
    Jared Altenbaumer
    Davin Alvarez
    Dillon Bear
    William Besson
    Eli Birt
    Miles Birt
    Chaz Bowlin
    Holden Brazelton
    Landen Butts
    Hayden Coffey
    Joshua Courter
    Jack Fisher
    Lyla Frerichs
    Addison Funk
    Madelyn George
    Joe Griebat
    Brodie Harms
    Tinley Ideus
    Jeffrey Kuchenbrod
    Abigail Lacey
    Logan Lackey
    Lillian Lanter
    Kristian Lindsey
    Gabriel Mata
    Brenden Maury
    Chayse Palmer
    Logan Patton
    Hailie Reifsteck
    Sydney Reitmeier
    Corbin Smith
    Thea Smith
    Coy Taylor
    Carter Turner
    Jackson Walsh
    Isabelle Wiese
    Madison Wolken
    Ava Worley
    Zoe Wright
    Merial Yeager

    100 SJO freshmen start prep academic career on the Honor Roll

    St. Joseph-Ogden High School Honor Roll St. Joseph -- At the end of last month, St. Joseph-Ogden High School announced the first quarter Honor Roll and High Honor Roll recipients. Seventy-eight first-year high school students earned High Honors recognition. An additional 22 members of the freshman class made it on the Honor Roll list.

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

    High Honor Roll

    Caroline Aden
    Trevor Ames
    Kylie Barrowman
    Lexie Barrowman
    Kaitlyn Beyers
    Emily Bird
    Aiden Bonny
    Addison Brooks
    Sara Bytnar
    Shelby Campbell
    Jacob Carlson
    William Carlson
    Rudra Chaudhary
    Adelyn Childers
    Cade Crozier
    Adreona Cruz
    Caleb Dwyer
    Callie Evans
    William Franklin
    Abigail Getty
    Camden Getty
    William Haley
    Erica Hardimon
    Zachary Harper
    Claire Hartman
    Bryson Houchens
    Lydia Huckstadt
    Adalyn Jannusch
    Kaelyn Jolley
    Sophia Kasper
    Madilyn Kelley
    Sami Kelso
    Cooper Kietzman
    Alexis Lackey
    Ryker Lockhart
    Mackenzie Loschen
    Vance McComas
    Michael McDaniel
    Isabelle McGinnis
    Kodey McKinney
    Patrick McMahon
    Ava Midkiff
    Ashlyn Miller
    Hannah Mock
    Delaney Nekolny
    Allison Ochs
    Brennan Oleynichak
    Kayla Osterbur
    Colton Overstreet
    Garrick Page
    Branson Pearman
    Kaleb Peoples
    Asher Pruemer
    Ainsley Rhoton
    Lily Rice
    Landon Roberts
    Logan Rosenthal
    Amber Ruppel
    Ethan Sanders
    Cameron Schlueter
    Allison Schmitz
    Gracyn Sjoken
    Lucas Smith
    Tao Smith
    Karleigh Spain
    Quinn Stahl
    Sydney Steinbach
    Hadley Sweet
    Carlee Taylor
    Luke Tranel
    Hunter Van Meenen
    Sophia Vliet
    Ryan Watts
    Emma Wells
    Madeline Wells
    Wyatt Wertz
    Logan Xiao
    Cyrus Zadeh

    Honor Roll

    Matthew Alexander
    Josiah Beals
    Tim Blackburn-Kelley
    Timera Blackburn-Kelley
    Bella Brooks
    Christopher Coffey
    Nathan Daly
    Katherine Ericksen
    Jeffrey Gossett
    Charles Hale
    Coy Hayes
    Bryanna Hood
    Amelia Huckstadt
    Nick Jackson
    Emma McKinney
    Grace Preston
    Graham Ray
    Lance Retz
    Jaxson Reynolds
    Trevor Sexton
    Jacek Slowikowski
    Landon Smith

    Unity, SJO players recognized as All-Staters

    PEORIA -- The names of four area players found a place on this year's Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 3A All-State Football Team.

    Announced earlier today, Unity running back Matt Brown and offensive lineman Hunter Duncan will be recognized as two of the state's top football players. St. Joseph-Ogden's wide receiver, Ty Pence, who is an Illinois State University basketball recruit, also earned an All-State nod.

    Junior Logan Smith, starting quarterback for SJO, pocketed a Honorable Mention recognition this season.

    All-State team members will be recognized during halftime of the Class 3A state championship football game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign on November 26.

    Get in shape before hunting season, strokes and heart attacks can happen

    DALLAS -- The crisp fall air is a welcome signal for the beginning of hunting seasons across the country, and while gun safety is an important part of any hunting season, the American Heart Association says heart attacks may be one of the biggest dangers many hunters face.

    “Many people look to hunting as a way to relax and commune with nature and if you’re healthy and in good physical shape, it can be a great way to get some outdoor exercise. However, for many hunters, the extra exertion, colder temperatures and even the excitement of the hunt can add up to a deadly combination,” said Gustavo E. Flores, M.D., a member of the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care committee and chairman and chief instructor for Emergency & Critical Care Trainings, LLC, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “Unfortunately, every year some hunters experience heart attacks or strokes while in the woods, so it’s important to recognize symptoms and to be able to take quick action.”

    According to Flores, developing an exercise regimen and getting a good health check-up prior to hunting season would be idea. However, many hunters may not think ahead to prepare physically for the exertion hunting can have on the body – especially the heart. The colder temperatures of hunting season can cause blood vessels to constrict. Tracking prey may mean lots of walking or running, often in hilly terrain. The excitement of seeing and connecting with a target can release hormones that can increase blood pressure to cause the heart rate to spike. Then the labor of dragging an animal through the woods can leave even the most fit hunter breathless.

    “Heart attacks and strokes can happen even to people who seem in good physical shape,” Flores said. “Listen to your body, take breaks if needed and have a plan in case of emergencies. Never hunt alone if possible and if cell phone service isn’t available, use walkie-talkies to stay in touch with your hunting party. Recognizing the warnings signs and seeking immediate help are key.”

    Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body and call 911 if you experience:

    • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
    • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
    • Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
    • Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

    Use the letters in F.A.S.T to spot a stroke

    • F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
    • A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
    • S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
    • T = Time to call 911
    • Other signs can include: numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech; trouble seeing in one or both eyes; trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; or a severe headache with no known cause

    Getting a person to the hospital quickly during a heart attack or stroke is critical to ensure they get medication and treatment to save their life. If calling 9-1-1 isn’t an option in the woods, it can also help to know in advance where the closest hospital is to the hunting area.

    Cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack because the heart suddenly stops beating, often without any warning. Signs of a cardiac arrest are:

    • Sudden loss of responsiveness – The person doesn’t respond, even if you tap them hard on the shoulders or ask loudly if they're OK. The person doesn’t move, speak, blink or otherwise react.
    • No normal breathing – The person isn’t breathing or is only gasping for air.

    In the event of a cardiac arrest, seconds count. Call 9-1-1, begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive.

    “Learning hands-only CPR is one of the best skills any hunter can have. The American Heart Association offers many local CPR classes, and even if you haven’t taken a formal class, you can still save a life. It’s two simple steps – call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest,” Flores said. “While hunting can be a very strenuous activity, taking a few precautions and being prepared can make a difference in the safety of the experience.”

    Spartan basketball teams to face the state's best at State Farm Classic

    Bloomington -- Once again, St. Joseph-Ogden boys' and girls' basketball programs will compete for tournament titles at the State Farm Holiday Classic next month. This year's tournament is the 43rd in the series and includes three state champions, two additional state trophy winners, and 17 teams overall ranked last season in the final AP poll. The annual holiday hoops competition at four locations in Bloomington-Normal December 27-30.

    Under first-year head coach Drew Arteaga, the Lady Spartans lost their first two games, then regrouped to win their last two. SJO finished fifth in last year's consolation bracket after using a 20-point advantage to roll over El Paso-Gridley, 49-29.

    Meanwhile, the St. Joseph-Ogden boys squad, the #2 seed in the 2021 tournament, opened the post-Christmas basketball tournament with wins over Tri-Valley and Quincy Notre Dame. The Spartans then suffered back-to-back losses finishing in 4th place.

    In the small school boys' bracket with SJO, the field of participating programs includes Annawan, Aurora Christian, Bloomington Central Catholic, Chicago Providence St. Mel, Downs Tri-Valley, East Dubuque, El Paso-Gridley, Kankakee Bishop McNamara, Minonk Fieldcrest, Normal University, Quincy Notre Dame, Rock Falls, Rockford Lutheran, Stanford Olympia, and Winnebago.

    "Our boys’ field is loaded with perennial powerhouse teams and highly recruited players," said Tournament President Kyle Myers. "We had three large school teams opt out of returning, but we feel the new teams we are bringing in will continue to make our tournament ‘The Best Basketball this side of March!’"

    Meanwhile, the girls' small school bracket features most of the historically top 1A and 2A basketball programs in the state, which include: Annawan, Bloomington Central Catholic, Brimfield, Camp Pt. Central/Augusta Southeastern, El Paso-Gridley, Kankakee Bishop McNamara, Normal University, Paris, Port Byron Riverdale, Rock Falls, Rockford Lutheran, Sherrard, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Stanford Olympia, and Winnebago are all schools that consistently make deep postseason runs.

    Winnebago, who finished the season as the Class 2A runner-up, won last year's girls' tournament title with Brimfield, the 2021 Class 1A state champions, finishing in second place.

    Unity Junior High 8th grade Honor Roll announced


    Unity Junior High School announced the 8th grade recipients achieving honor roll and high honor roll status for their academic performance during the first quarter last month. Congratulations to all the students who earned the requisite grade point average to celebrate the honor.


    High Honor Roll

    Dominic Russell Baxley
    Grace Michele Bickers
    Alex Martin Bromley
    Clare Faustina Bryant
    Cadence Marie Chandler
    Berkley Jane Cloud
    Caleb Benjamin Coy
    Danika Ann Eisenmenger
    Reese Bella Frye
    Journey Maddison Gabbard
    Bailee Mae Gadeken
    Walker Dale Hall
    Colton Ray Harmon
    Avery Nicole Kamradt
    Kathryn Clara Knoll
    Cash Cohen McCann
    Audrey Claire McDaniel
    Brooklyn Marie Mumm
    Sadie Jane Polonus
    Adam Lucas Reedy
    Ethan Daniel Schaefer
    Allyson Lynn Shaw
    Isaac Benjamin Siegwald
    Evalyn Alexandra Skibbe
    Piper Estelle Staley
    Grace Lynne Tempel
    Leah Marianne Watson
    Elizabeth Johnna Wayne
    Maggie Jean Weckle
    Grace Ann Wherley
    Rylan Kade Wolf


    Honor Roll

    Andrew David Berkey
    Wyatt Leon Blanchard
    Paige Nicole Bradley
    Matthew James Brady
    Maddix Jacob David Briggs
    Brody Ray Butler
    Kydie L Cain
    Ronin Naoto Carman
    Noah Seyha Conde
    Ryan Joseph Cunningham
    Braedyn Lucas Dalton
    Addison Tyler Davis
    Hudson Lee DeHart
    Austin Michael Drewes
    Elizabeth Lynn Farney
    Allison Renee Fenter
    Ava Nicole Grace
    Olivia Ashlyn Hall
    Dustin Rose Harris
    Broderick Wayne Irwin
    Cheyenne Jean
    Hailey Anne Keck
    Alexis Aryona Knee
    Azyel Xzavier Luna
    Carson Wesley McCune
    Aiden Meado
    Landrey Michelle Mohr
    Nicole Elizabeth Paeth
    Evan Alexander Puckett
    Max Warren Rossi
    Malakai Thomas Roth
    Lane Edward Sexton
    Alyssa Renae Shields
    Gabrielle Marie Spanglo
    Madison Amanda Spohn
    Jacob Michael Ward
    Jonathan Dean Warren
    Kingston Wheeler
    Ava McKenna Wolf Rice
    Addison Danielle Wyatt
    Joel Mitchell Yergler
    Kendal Lea Zerrusen

    Unity Jr. High 7th grade Honor Roll


    Last month, Unity Junior High School announced the names of seventh-grade students who achieved honor roll and high honor roll status after the first quarter. Congratulations to the students who earned the requisite grade point average to celebrate the honor.


    High Honor Roll

    Cameron Pierre Barnes
    Patrick Benjamin Baxley
    Cooper Charles Beckett
    Beckam Krystopher-Wayde Brown
    Brilynn Creola Cain
    Jackson Christopher Cheely
    Skyler Andrew Chilton
    Soren Lovell Davis
    Andrew Patrick Donovan
    Kaylee Grace Estes
    Carson David Fairbanks
    Cohen Fincham
    Reagan Elizabeth Lisle Fisher
    Mackinzee Brooke Gumm
    Hallie Lynn Handal
    Jordan Stephen Harmon
    Tessa Lynn Horn
    Karleigh Grace Jamison
    Lincoln Banner Johnson
    Joseph Brooks Kamradt
    Khison Able Kern
    Tatum Anne Kirby
    Bryan Michael Kleiss
    Nolan Mark Tempel Meharry
    Dalton Robert Moose
    Rhianna Olivia Ocasio
    Kandace Lachelle Reed
    Journee Lynn Ring
    Carter Charles Schmid
    Sophia Grace Seidlitz
    Caleb Joshua Siegwald
    Lillie Jean Vanderpool
    Kole David VanSickle
    John William White
    Austin James Wiersema
    Olivia Ann Williams
    Adilynn Michelle Wilson
    Olivia Ruth Witheft


    Honor Roll

    Joseph William Willard Baird
    Brayden Michael Burke
    Sadie Jo Carpenter
    Madison Grace Castor
    Garrisan Martin Cler
    Shamya Merari Davis
    Kinzey Nicole Duitsman
    Dillon Michael Ellars
    Nolan Myles Elliott
    Haley Elizabeth Ennis
    Zoe Margaret Fish
    Shae Lin Fournier
    Nathaniel Howard Hammer
    Brady Cullen Harris
    Roman James Hastings
    Kane William Knudsen
    Jax Hunter Logsdon
    Tysen Mac McConaha
    Clint Michael McCormick
    Payten Renee Niles
    Larissa Marie Parr
    Clayton Wyatt Pruitt
    Mia Lynn Reifsteck
    Lillian Yvonne Ring
    Rainer Arizona Robinson
    Caden Del Rogers
    Riley May Schendel
    Nate Stierwalt
    Gavin James Warren
    Sawyer Allen Franks Weller
    Vivian Wheeler
    Reece Earl Winfrey
    Cole Thomas Zorns

    Unity Jr. High 6th grade Honor Roll


    Last month, Unity Junior High School announced the names of sixth-grade students who achieved honor roll and high honor roll status after the first quarter. Congratulations to the students who earned the requisite grade point average to celebrate the honor.


    High Honor Roll

    Kenny Wayne Adcock
    Ethan Earl Bent
    Katherine Elaine Berkey
    Konnor Lewis Bletscher
    Sylvia Lola Cahill
    Logan Chounard
    Kale Boden Cowan
    Trevor Daniel Coy
    Alec Joseph Daly
    Amelia Marie Good
    Hayden Bradley Grussing
    Aubrie Paige Gumm
    Jordan Elizabeth Hamilton
    Kynedy Ashlynn Hoel
    Alivia Krall
    Adeline Marie Marinelli
    Scarlet Rosemary McCann
    Lilly Madelyn Meharry
    Tatum Faith Meharry
    Baeden Edward Millsap-Moore
    Jacklynn Kay Alexandra Moore
    Kelvin Justus Moose
    Holden William ONeill
    Carolina Maria Pagaduan Popovics
    Luc Sandor Marcelo Popovics
    Maxwell Douglas Powers
    Marina Ray Price
    Maya Alexis Rawdin
    Vivian Rosalie Shunk
    Dylan Robert Stierwalt
    Olivia Jane Styan
    Jack Christopher Terven
    Hayley Olivia Thompson
    Cassandra Pearl Thweatt
    Charles Reider Watson
    Quentin Stephen Webber
    Ashton Jace Wolf


    Honor Roll

    Kelsey Marie Adcock
    Lilly Annabelle Bailes
    Grace Bailey
    Brooklyn Blair Bates
    Ty Craig Benedict
    Elizabeth Joanne Berkey
    Ella Addyson Bromley
    McKenzie Lynn Deakin
    Emma Nicole Denney
    Evan Matthew Donaldson
    Jase Charles Eisenmenger
    Levi Amari Flowers
    Alice Marie Henigman-Foster
    Samuel Bentley Hollett
    Owen Dean Hottman
    Kaiyanna Renee LeForge
    Cora Dee Leonard
    Owen Michael Lighty
    Jauniyah Rosemarie   Lisanby
    Russell Patrick McCabe
    Addyson Jo McIntosh
    Ellery Merkle
    Hayden Andrew Moore
    Ava Alyse Murray
    Khloe Jo Orrison
    Jaxon David Pendleton
    Logan Harvey Reimer Couch
    Henry Scott Ritchie
    Bella Rose Robbins
    Skylar Grace Savona
    Grace Catherine Schriefer
    Sophia Isabella Schuckman
    Connor Allen Schwartz-Rouse
    Austin David Shafer
    Hayden Dale Smith
    Tucker Douglas Stierwalt
    Virgil Laurence Summitt
    Lea Ruth Taber
    Jayden Michael Terven
    Deklyn James   Thomas
    Nicholas James Thomas
    Hallee Ann Weber Patterson
    Henry Joseph White
    Olivia Lynn Wilson
    Ethan Matthew Wishall
    Adam Scott Wolken

    Giving Place continues to help local families in need

    TOLONO -- The Giving Place seeking donations of The Giving Place needs canned fruit, canned beans, canned tomato products, canned spaghetti sauce, 100% juice, canned vegetables, mac & cheese, and pasta meals.

    The Christian ministry also publicly thanked the Tolono Presbyterian WYN Youth Group for donating over 100 boxes of cereal.

    Located at 113 North Bourne in Tolono, TGP is a Christian ministry serving families in need in the Unit 7 School District on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:00. Last week, the organization helped nine families, including a new one, which included 28 people and 16 children with the weekly food pantry.

    TGP's next free-clothing giveaway will be from 9 am to noon on Saturday, December 3.

    Turkey tournament starts Monday at SJO

    St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Jones takes a shot during last November's first installment of SJO's first girls holiday basketball tournament. The Spartans will host the tournament once again with a new team this season. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


    ST. JOSEPH -- The girls' basketball season officially starts on Monday with SJO hosting the Second Annual Toyota of Danville Turkey Tournament. Mahomet-Seymour joins the four-team, round-robin style tournament replacing Urbana High School.

    Spartans fans can catch the varsity program on the hardwood this week on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at approximately 7:30p as the team will battle to defend their 2021 title against Tri-County, Centennial and the Bulldogs from Mahomet-Seymour. The SJO JV team will play in the school's practice gym at 6 pm on all three nights.

    This year's St. Joseph-Ogden varsity squad includes Sammy Uden, Addi Seggebruch, Olivia Baltzell, Katie Ericksen, Addison Frick, Taylor Hug, Kaytlyn Baker, Addie Brooks, Sara Kearney, Addy Martinie, Kayla Osterbur, and Ellie Ward.


    2nd Annual
    TOYOTA OF DANVILLE
    TURKEY TOURNAMENT


    Monday, November 14th
    JV: SJO JV vs. Tri-County JV 6:00 PM (Practice Gym)
    JV: Centennial JV vs. Mahomet-Seymour JV 7:30 PM (Practice Gym)
    VARSITY: Centennial vs. Mahomet-Seymour 6:00 PM (Main Gym)
    VARSITY: SJO vs. Tri-County 7:30 PM (Main Gym)

    Tuesday, November 15th
    JV: SJO JV vs. Centennial JV 6:00 PM (Practice Gym)
    JV: Tri-County JV vs. Mahomet-Seymour JV 7:30 PM (Practice Gym)
    VARSITY: Tri-County vs. Mahomet-Seymour 6:00 PM (Main Gym)
    VARSITY: SJO vs. Centennial 7:30 PM (Main Gym)

    Thursday, November 17th
    JV: SJO JV vs. Mahomet-Seymour JV 6:00 PM (Practice Gym)
    JV: Tri-County JV vs. Centennial JV 7:30 PM (Practice Gym)
    VARSITY: Tri-County vs. Centennial 6:00 PM (Main Gym)
    VARSITY: SJO vs. Mahomet-Seymour 7:30 PM (Main Gym)


    Slideshow

    Photo gallery from the Spartans' 2021 Turkey Tournament game against the Urbana Tigers.

    Food restrictions and negative eating habits can follow a child into adulthood

    Lee Batsakis
    OSF Healthcare

    If you had an "almond mom" growing up, it can be hard to shake the habit of restricting certain foods from your diet"

    PRINCETON -- Is it possible to be too healthy? Some health experts are weighing in on this. The phrase "almond mom" has been circulating on social media in recent days. The phrase originated when a video went viral of someone on the popular television show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." In the video, a mom is caught telling her daughter to just "eat a couple almonds" after the daughter says she is hungry and feeling lightheaded. The video prompted hundreds of young adults to turn to social media and share their own accounts of similar experiences, and how the video clip reminded them of their own childhoods.

    The moral of the story? The food restrictions some parents implement on themselves in front of their children can follow a child into adulthood. Abby Vladika, an OSF HealthCare family medicine advanced practice nurse, talks about the importance of eating a balanced diet and not being overly restrictive with the foods you eat.

    "When patterns are developed at a young age – sometimes even as early as five, six, or seven years old – and we emphasize and focus on negative aspects of food, that can create a pattern that follows children. So when you are talking about foods with kids, you want to emphasize healthy choices," says Vladika.

    If you had an "almond mom" growing up, it can be hard to shake the habit of restricting certain foods from your diet, like carbohydrates and fats. Skipping the slice of cake at a birthday party or not eating a sandwich because you are avoiding bread are habits that may seem normal to you. But when kids begin to observe these habits they may start to pick up on them, and it becomes a domino effect cycle that can be hard to break.

    While eating healthy is not a problem in and of itself, it can become a problem when food groups are completely avoided. Vladika says that there are not necessarily any "bad" food groups and that it is a better option to eat all food groups in moderation rather than avoiding a food group altogether. She adds that instilling this mindset in your kids is important as well.

    "I’m a big advocate of healthy eating with balance, moderation, and really avoiding using the word ‘diet’ because diets tend to be trendy and not sustainable long-term. So overall, with kids, really set the foundation of healthy eating habits and how to incorporate those and discuss why certain foods are good foods versus mentioning ‘bad’ foods. Maybe instead explain why we eat more of something and less of another," Vladika explains.

    In addition to eating food groups in moderation, you should aim to opt for whole foods whenever possible. Some people pick groceries that appear to be the healthier option because they have labels like "sugar-free" or "fat-free" – but these may not necessarily be the healthiest options.

    "When we look at foods that are considered fat-free or sugar-free, a lot of times they are processed and may be filled with additives and preservatives – things that are not great for our bodies and aren’t easy to digest," says Vladika.

    Furthermore, some people try to avoid eating fruit altogether because it contains sugar. This type of sugar, however, is not the same as the added sugar that is found in something like candy. Vladika says it is important to know the difference, and that not all sugars are unhealthy. The same can be said for foods containing fats. While fatty foods such as French fries and fast food do not need to be avoided altogether, the kind of fat in those foods should be consumed less frequently. Healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil, however, are good for the body and should not be avoided.

    The bottom line is that there is no one food group that should be avoided altogether.

    "Unless you have a chronic medical condition like Crohn’s or celiac disease or you are gluten intolerant where obviously you want to avoid those foods that might flare up those diseases, but restrictive eating should just really be considered just eating in moderation is what’s best," Vladika advises.

    Whether you are working to break old eating habits or are aiming to instill healthy eating habits in your own kids, remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" food. While some foods are healthier than others, eating and enjoying all foods in moderation is key.

    Visit http://www.myplate.gov to learn more about whole foods and nutrition guidelines.

    Rockets shoot down Hawks' football title game dream


    Unity                     14
    Prairie Central    0
    Unity's Austin Langendorf celebrates
    Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
    Unity linebacker Austin Langendorf celebrates a touchdown for the Rockets during their home playoff game against Mt. Carmel. After crushing the Golden Aces 35-14 a week ago, Langendorf and the Rockets avenged their week one loss to Prairie Central, winning their quarterfinal matchup via a 14-0 shutout today. The Unity football team continues their march toward the 3A title game next Saturday when they face Williamsville on the road in the division's semifinal.

    The road to state: The Rockets cross country performance was "impressive"

    by Daniel L. Chamness
          Special to The Sentinel


    CHAMPAIGN -- Based on their dominating performance all season, no one could doubt the Unity Rockets were going to win another Class 1A IHSA cross-country state title.

    Heading into the Illinois High School Association sectional meet, the program did not lose a meet. Not one race to any team. The program has brought home state titles in 2021, 2017, and 2015. The Rockets also collected trophies in 2016 for second and third-place hardware in 2018 and 2019.

    The path to the state finals included crushing it at the St. Joseph-Ogden Class 1A sectional meet held at Dodds Park on the campus of Parkland College back on October 29. The day was just one more chance to show just how dominant they were and had been all season.

    The Rockets cemented the sectional title by 86 points, finishing with 40 points. Marshall took second with 126 points.

    "Their performances were very impressive," said Kara Leaman, Tolono Unity's head coach of the Rockets' performance at sectionals. "They are excited. While we have won a state title before, we have never done it back-to-back. They want to be the first Unity Rocket team to do it."

    Not only did they leave the sectional with the all-important team championship plaque, four of the scoring top five left with individual sectional hardware.

    Emily Decker finished the 2.95-mile course in 18 minutes and 2.49 seconds. The sophomore was fifth. Mackenzie Pound (sixth), Erica Woodard (seventh), and Olivia Shike (10th) finished within 21 seconds of Decker. Pound finished at 18:11.21, while Woodard entered the chute at 18:12.55. Shike crossed the finish line at 18:22.89.

    The fifth scorer, Reagan Stringer, clocked in at 18:51.59. Camryn Reedy and Josie Cler took 18th and 25th, finishing respectively at 19:25.71 and 19:47.82.

    "This Saturday, my hope for every athlete is that they can walk away knowing they competed as well as they could," said Leaman.

    While the Spartan girls did not qualify as a team, Savanna Franzen grabbed one of the individual qualifying spots, taking 13th in the sectional. She ended her race at 18:35.28.

    "I tried to be controlled the first 50 percent of the race," said Franzen. "I was not feeling the best today. This course is not all that fast. I am looking forward to running at Detweiller, which is a very fast course."

    She led the Spartans to a 10th-place finish, which scored 271 team points.

    Hannah Mock (61st), Sydney Steinbach (69th), Sophia Kasper (82nd), and Kaytlyn Baker (93rd) rounded out the top five for the Spartans.

    Mock, Steinbach, and Kasper, all freshmen, all broke the 22:00 barrier. Mock finished in 21 minutes and 09.72 seconds, Steinbach finished the course in 21:35.14, and Kasper finished at 21:58.25. Baker closed out the Spartan effort with a time of 22:26.77.

    Tabacco industry made an intense effort to market methol cigarettes in Black communitites

    Photo: Frank K/PEXELS
    A study by Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (SRITA)and the American Heart Association, found overwhelming evidence showing that tobacco companies directly target populations including Black communities, women and youth with menthol cigarettes, which make it easier to get hooked and are much tougher to quit.

    DALLAS -- The massive growth in popularity of menthol cigarettes over several decades is the result of the tobacco industry’s intense and persistent targeting of Black communities, women and youth – a campaign the industry continues today with new products and marketing campaigns. These are the findings of a new research study by Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (SRITA), a research unit of Stanford Medicine, and the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health.

    The report comes as the Food & Drug Administration weighs public comments on draft rules to remove menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from the market, and as a growing number of states and localities act to stop the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. Massachusetts and 160 localities nationwide currently restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes, in addition to other flavored tobacco products. In November, California voters will consider a ballot measure to prohibit flavored tobacco products including menthol.

    “This study is a compelling addition to the overwhelming evidence showing that tobacco companies directly target populations including Black communities, women and youth with menthol cigarettes, which make it easier to get hooked and are much tougher to quit than other tobacco products,” said Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., FAHA, deputy chief science and medical officer of the American Heart Association and co-director of the Association’s National Institutes of Health/Food and Drug Administration-funded Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. “Nearly a century of disgraceful behavior by the tobacco companies has made clear that menthol and other flavored tobacco products threaten public health and perpetuate inequities – they should no longer be sold.”

    Menthol cigarettes are used by 85% of Black people who smoke and 44% of women who smoke, compared to 30% of non-Hispanic white people who smoke. More than half of teens who begin smoking start with a menthol brand. Numerous studies have shown that the cooling sensation of menthol cigarettes makes them easier to inhale deeply, which leads to a higher dose of nicotine and a stronger addiction as compared to other cigarettes.

    The study finds that disproportionately high use of menthol cigarettes by Black people, women and youth, as well as others including Hispanic people (48% of Hispanic people who smoke use menthol brands), is not the result of organically evolving consumer preferences over time. Rather, it is the result of decades of high-dollar marketing campaigns explicitly targeting these populations.

    The industry’s efforts continue today in a market dominated by categorical menthol brands such as Newport, Kool and Salem, which are joined by menthol extensions of major cigarette brands including Marlboro, Camel and Pall Mall. One measure of the tobacco industry’s strong emphasis on menthol is the number of menthol variants sold in the marketplace. For example, Marlboro cigarettes are sold in 11 menthol variants, including Black Menthol, Smooth Ice and Bold Ice; Camel sells 12 types of menthol cigarettes, including Crush Smooth and Crush Rich; and market leader Newport offers seven menthol variants, including Smooth, Boost and Boost Gold.

     

    Tobacco companies’ recent tactics: flavor bursts, additives and greenwashing

    The study finds that tobacco companies have evolved their products with capsule cigarettes, which contain a sphere of flavored liquid in the filter that when squeezed produces a burst of intense flavor. Known as “crushers,” “clickers,” “kickers,” “infusers” and “squeezers,” capsules serve as a flavor booster in menthol cigarettes and are sold on the U.S. market by Camel, Marlboro, Lucky Strike, Newport and Pall Mall.

    Capsules and other innovations including infusion cards, infused paper, flavor caps and flavor stones also serve as on-demand menthol additives in unflavored cigarettes. These post-market additives enable sellers to circumvent restrictions on menthol tobacco sales. Tobacco companies also attempt to sidestep sales restrictions by offering numerous menthol and mint varieties in categories including e-cigarettes, cigarillos, chewing tobacco, snus and hookah that are currently regulated differently than traditional cigarettes.

    Another new industry marketing tactic is the depiction of menthol products as “organic,” “additive free” or “plant based”. This trend, which the study calls the “greenwashing” of menthol cigarettes, continues years of tobacco industry efforts to hide the health hazards of tobacco use to the public. A federal court in 2006 found that several major tobacco companies had violated civil racketeering laws following decades of lying to the public about the health threats of smoking.

    “Our report shows that since at least the 1930s, tobacco companies have systematically preyed on targeted populations with menthol cigarette promotions intended to get more people to start smoking a product that the companies know is both harmful to health and exceedingly difficult to quit,” said Robert K. Jackler, MD, principal investigator, Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising and Edward & Amy Sewall Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine. “By continuously rolling out new marketing campaigns and innovating their products to avoid oversight, the tobacco industry is intent on recruiting new tobacco users and continuing to threaten public health.”

     

    A long history of industry targeting

    The study is the result of exhaustive research of tobacco industry marketing and internal corporate correspondence since the 1930s, including company advertisements targeting specific consumer segments by skin color, gender and age over the course of decades. The study also includes excerpts from numerous internal company documents reflecting the industry’s sophisticated marketing approaches in areas including:

    • Building a menthol market in Black communities – The report examines tobacco industry efforts to sell more menthol products within Black communities by deluging urban centers with menthol cigarette advertisements on billboards, buses and subways, distributing free “starter packs” and discount coupons, and featuring prominent Black athletes and entertainers in menthol advertisements in leading Black newspapers and magazines.

    For example, industry documents show that Newport employees handing out samples in predominantly Black communities from a Newport van were instructed to “assertively ask people to accept samples of Newports” as part of an overall effort to “provide aggressive promotional and advertising support for the brand.” A 1981 RJ Reynolds corporate document stated that “the Black segment has been identified as the Brand’s Special Market priority” for its Salem brand.

    • Seizing on menthol’s popularity among women – The report states that when tobacco companies discovered that women were early adopters of menthol brands, they responded in kind with marketing campaigns such as Kool’s “Lady, Be Cool” and Salem’s “For More of a Woman,” and with brands targeting women such as Virginia Slims (“You’ve come a long way baby”), Eve and Capri.

    The Eve brand, launched in 1971 by Liggett & Myers, intentionally chose both a “feminine package design” and a “truly female name,” according to industry documents. Philip Morris Executive Larry Williams indicated that the name Virginia Slims, launched in 1968, was chosen because “most women like to think of themselves as slim.”

    • Targeting youth – Internal company documents reveal a consistent focus on attracting youth smokers since the 1920s. An internal RJ Reynolds document from September 1927 states “School days are here. And that means BIG TOBACCO BUSINESS for somebody. Let’s get it. And start after it RIGHT NOW.” In other internal correspondence, companies adopted acronyms such as “YAS” (Young Adult Smokers) and “FUBYAS” (First Usual Brand Younger Adult Smokers), referring to the targets of their youth-oriented advertising campaigns.

    Lorillard’s 1984 promotion plan for Newport noted that: “Newport's franchise represents the youngest demographic profile in the industry. This profile is enviable in terms of it being an ‘in’ brand, as well as insuring future viability as long as these smokers stay within the Newport franchise.” The patently youth-targeted “Alive with Pleasure” campaign established Newport as a dominant youth starter brand, the best-selling menthol brand, and the second best-selling cigarette in the U.S. after Marlboro. Internal Newport documents reflect that a primary market for Newport cigarettes was young African Americans. Newport’s 1992 brand plan revealed that the products was targeted “primarily to young ethnic adult smokers ages 18-24,” and that “the ethnic market could be a major source of new business for the brand that we plan to exploit it.”

    • Financing music festivals – From the Newport Jazz Festival that began in the 1950s, to the Salem Spirit Concert Series in the 1980s, to tobacco-sponsored concert series today including Kool MIXX, Marlboro’s Vinyl Vibes and Salem’s Stir the Senses, tobacco companies continue to recruit new users across populations through music events. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibited music and art event sponsorships by cigarette and oral tobacco brands, but not by cigars or emerging nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco.
    • Obfuscating the harms of smoking – For much of the last century, tobacco companies attempted to reassure a public increasingly worried about the health consequences of smoking through marketing campaigns with claims such as “More Doctors Smoke Camels,” and “Got a cold? Smoke a Kool.” Today, menthol tobacco advertising continues to include health reassurance messaging with the use of proxy terms such as “natural” and “organic” tobacco.

    “Exposing the ways tobacco companies target people in disadvantaged communities with products that threaten their health is core to the American Heart Association’s commitment to battling systemic racism,” said Michelle A. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, volunteer president of the American Heart Association, immediate past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists and Walter A. Haas-Lucie Stern endowed chair in Cardiology, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. “To promote public health and achieve health equity, we must enact proven public policies that prevent the industry from engaging in practices that have contributed to the loss of millions of lives from tobacco use.” 

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