Photo Gallery: Unity volleyball team survives three-setter to beat Westville

Lydia Rossi (left) and Lindy Bates leap above the net to block a kill during Unity's junior varsity game against Westville. Rockets won their match in straight sets, 2-0. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Kara Young attempts to put the ball away during first set action
Kara Young pummels the ball during set one of Unity's home match against Westville. The Rockets dropped the first set, 27-25. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Piper Steele slams a kill shot
Junior Piper Steele attempts to put the ball away for a kill through Westville's Maddison Appl during set one. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Unity junior McKayla Schendel
Unity's McKayla Schendel puts the ball in play during set 2. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Ruby Tarr serves during second set action against the Tigers. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Ruby Tarr makes a pass during the Rockets home volleyball match
Junior Ruby Tarr passes the ball during second set. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Reagan Little leads Rockets' volleyball team
Reagan Little passes the ball in the second set. Little led the Rockets' offense with 22 kills and chalked up 10 digs (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Unity libero (center) receives a Westville serve in the second half. The Rockets won the set, 26-24. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Jayci McGraw plays volleyball with the Rockets
Jayci McGraw passses the ball to the front row during the third set action. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

The Unity volleyball team celebrate a point during their match against Westville
Ruby Tarr, Kara Young, Kaitlyn Schweighart, Reagan Little and members of the Unity volleyball team celebrate a point during the third set. The Rockets pulled out a 26-24 win to take the match, 2-1. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Had Covid and lost your taste or smell? You are not alone

Photo: Steve Harvey/Unsplash

Paul Arco
OSF Healthcare

Ottawa -- One of the most common symptoms found in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was the loss of smell and taste.

While many people rebound quickly from the loss of smell (most recover within 30 days), others have not. In fact, according to a recent study in the BMJ, (the medical journal of the British Medical Association), about 27 million people in the world are experiencing long-term effects of loss of smell or taste.

"There is a subset about 5%, where we're seeing the loss of smell and taste remaining longer than six months," says Angela Vezzetti, PA, a physician's assistant at OSF HealthCare, specializing in otolarynogology (the study of the ear, nose and throat). "Some studies have looked at different gene mutations in patients where they're seeing certain mutations impact the sense of smell and the recovery rates. There are a lot of studies going on right now to determine why these patients are not recovering their sense of smell and taste. One other study did note that there was a loss of tissue in the olfactory bulb of the brain that could potentially be causing this prolonged sense of loss of smell."

The study also revealed that women were less likely to regain their sense of smell and taste than men, which Vezzetti attributes to women having a higher perception of smell than men. People who suffer from nasal congestion were also slower to recover from the loss of smell and taste.

The loss of smell has also been shown to have a significant impact when it comes to emotional and psychological well-being, especially among older people. Loss of smell can cause many emotions. It can make people feel disoriented, detached, anxious or worse.

"I don't think a lot of people really realized the impact of loss of smell and taste, the sense of smell in general, people kind of took for granted to an extent and a lot more people have seen the really importance of smell when it comes to just taste in general," says Vezzetti. "Without the sense of smell and taste you can have aversions to certain foods, which for elderly people can lead to either a lack of desire to eat, or nutritional deficiencies, even malnutrition, because they're not getting those vitamins that they need because the food either tastes bad, or they just can't taste it at all."

As time goes on, the medical community has developed a better understanding of how COVID-19 impacts the sense of smell and taste. That includes treatment options which have provided relief for some patients.

"The number one protocol that we recommend is something called olfactory or smell retraining, which we recommend patients take some essential oils which are a nice concentrated scent," says Vezzetti. "There are four of them that we recommend. They are a lemon, clove, eucalyptus and Rose and they smell those scents for maybe 15 seconds a day, once or twice a day and we've have seen some patients regain some of that loss of smell or diminished smell, retraining their sense of smell with these essential oils."

This is just another reminder about the importance of getting the COVID vaccine. Medical experts believe that the vaccine may protect people from losing their sense of smell even if they get infected.

"I think people can be reassured to know that the good majority of patients with loss of smell or taste from COVID do recover either completely or partially," says Vezzetti. "And there are some things that can be done in the meantime while they're experiencing their symptoms to try to help such as smell retraining, maybe trying intranasal steroid spray to try to relieve some of that inflammation and hopefully bring back those senses. But I think that the fact that the good majority of patients have improved and are improving is a really good thing."

Did you have COVID and lost your sense of taste and/or smell? Tell us about your experience and we'll share it with our readers. Email us your story to

Getting a handle on bank overdraft fees

Photo: Andre Taissin/Unsplash
Overdraft fees can break your piggy bank. To help their customers, some financial institutions have increased their flexibility with regards to how and when overdraft fees are accessed and when funds are unavailable in an account.

StatePoint Media -- When your bank account balance is low, life can be stressful. For example, when it’s time to pay large expenses that can’t wait, like car loan payments or monthly rent, it’s all too easy to overdraft a bank account. This is especially true if you don't have a ready line-of-credit or a savings account you can dip into in an emergency. The current rate of inflation in the United States doesn't make it any easier either.

In fact, U.S. consumers pay billions of dollars a year in overdraft fees for covering all types of purchases, both large and small.

There is no doubt that overdraft fees serve as a pain point for many consumers, and as the issue of overdraft continues to be discussed and debated, several banks have taken different approaches in response.

Some have taken steps to address overdrafts, mostly by eliminating fees or eliminating the ability to overdraft completely.

Alternatively, PNC Bank now offers a solution that provides customers with greater control in these circumstances. Low Cash Mode, a tool that offers transparency and choices to help customers avoid fees by managing low-cash moments or mistimed payments, is a feature available in the PNC Virtual Wallet account through the PNC Bank Mobile app.

The feature notifies you when your available balance is near or below zero and gives you at least 24 hours (and often more) to bring a negative balance to at least $0 through a deposit or funds transfer before incurring a fee. It also gives you the choice of whether to pay or return certain pending checks and electronic payments when your balance is nearing negative territory.

The Value of Overdraft

The ability to choose to overdraft can help consumers avoid bigger repercussions like credit impacts and loss of access to banking that unpaid bills or late payments can cause. Allowing customers to make their critical payments – albeit for a small fee – sometimes makes a difference that helps allow them to stay in the banking system.

For example, if you opt to pay your rent or car payment – and avoid a penalty or a negative impact to your credit score by simply paying an overdraft fee – then the option to overdraft has provided a value.

“Removing the ability to overdraw an account doesn’t address the fact that many customers need to pay bills, even during temporary cash shortfalls,” says Alex Overstrom, head of Retail Banking at PNC Bank. “The key is that the consumer should be making the decision to incur or avoid fees, not just the bank.”

Control Pays Off

This level of control has demonstrated real results. PNC reports that 64% of customers who have a negative-balance event cure their account in time to avoid incurring a fee.

“Sometimes people just need a little more time to cover important expenses,” says Overstrom. “And in these moments, they should have choices to make things right.”

Photo-of-the-day: September 16, 2022

St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team crush visiting Spartans in second half run

St. Joseph-Ogden's Will Page pressures a Stanford Olympia forward get control of the ball during thier non-conference soccer game on Thursday. Tied at 1-all at the end of the first half, SJO put the ball between the post four more times to win, 5-1. Page's defensive effort was key in the Spartans' improving their record to 6-2-1. Today, he and his fellow seniors will be honored during a pregame Senior Day celebration before the start of St. Joseph-Ogden's home match against Illinois Valley Central.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, here's how they are different

Photo: PhotoNews Media
StatePoint Media -- As fall sports heat up for kids, so do 5Ks, marathons and golf tournaments for adults, leading to ankle sprains for athletes of all ages.

"Both serious athletes and weekend warriors often underestimate how serious a sprain can be, and they rush back into action without taking time to rehabilitate the injury properly," says Michael J. Cornelison, DPM, FACFAS, foot and ankle surgeon and president of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). "While no one enjoys being sidelined from the physical activities they love, quickly diagnosing and treating an ankle injury expedites the healing process. It also reduces the chances of long-term, chronic ankle pain."

To help people manage this painful injury properly, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is sharing some important insights and facts:

What is an ankle sprain? An ankle sprain is an injury to one or more ligaments, usually on the outside of the ankle. The severity depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn, as well as on the number of ligaments involved. Ankle sprains are not the same as strains, which affect muscles rather than ligaments.

What are the causes of ankle sprains? Sprained ankles often result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow that forces the ankle joint out of its normal position. Sometimes ankle sprains occur because of congenital conditions or previous injuries.

"I always recommend that those who’ve suffered sprains and injuries in the past get their ankles checked for chronic instability as they start new fitness routines," says Dr. Cornelison.

Do ankle sprains require a doctor’s visit? Those with ankle injuries should see a foot and ankle surgeon any time there is bruising or the inability to bear weight on that foot. Receiving a correct diagnosis is essential as different injuries require different treatment. An examination can determine if there is a fracture — which involves a crack or break in the bones that form the ankle joint. It can also differentiate between a high ankle sprain and a lateral ankle sprain.

Can an athlete play through the pain? Whether training for a 5K or quarterbacking for a high school team, getting back in the game is often a patient’s top concern, and athletes may experience pressure from teammates and coaches to play through pain. But rehabilitation of a sprained ankle needs to begin right away. If rehabilitation is delayed, the injury may be less likely to heal properly, and may lead to chronic ankle instability, which is not only painful, but can increase the risk of additional ankle sprains down the line.

How are ankle sprains treated? Most ankle injuries require no surgical intervention, according to Dr. Cornelison, who stresses that foot and ankle surgeons will always choose the most conservative treatment for the best long-term outcomes. In addition to rest, ice, compression and elevation, (also known as RICE) doctors may also recommend physical therapy to promote healing and range of motion, as well as NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, or in cases where the injury was initially neglected, surgery may be required to repair the damaged ligaments. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the procedure best suited to the type and severity of the injury.

For more ankle sprain information and to find a foot and ankle surgeon near you, visit, the patient education website for the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Playing a critical role, American farmers are stepping up to help solve global hunger

Farm implement in the early morning field
Noah Buscher/Upsplash
StatePoint Media -- With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain problems stemming from the global pandemic, and the world struggling under escalating inflation and a rapidly changing climate, the global hunger crisis has reached new levels.

Every night, more than 800 million people go to bed hungry, with the number of severely food-insecure people more than doubling from 135 million before COVID-19 to 345 million today, according to the World Food Program. At the same time, American agricultural exports of farm and food products shattered records in 2021 to total $177 billion, according to the USDA, demonstrating the instrumental role American farmers play in the U.S. economy, and in feeding the world.

"It’s more important than ever that the United States continues to lead globally to protect food systems abroad and our citizens at home from supply chain disruptions and rising prices," said Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. "As we face growing threats and crises on the global stage from wars, drought, climate change and food insecurity, farmers are part of the solution and will play a key role helping to save lives."

This is the driving idea behind a newly-launched initiative: Farmers for Prosperity. This network of agribusiness leaders is committed to U.S. global engagement by harnessing American resources to feed the world. Convened by the USGLC, Farmers for Prosperity will also shine a spotlight on both the role farmers play in solving critical global issues, and on why U.S. global leadership is essential to protect the security, health and economic interests of American families.

The launch of Farmers for Prosperity recently took place at USGLC’s Heartland Summit, hosted in Minnetonka, Minnesota, West Lafayette, Indiana, and Wichita, Kansas. The Summit, an annual event, convenes leaders this year from across the heartland with the aim of unpacking how strategic investments in agriculture, digital technology and global development help create jobs, feed the hungry, reduce poverty and keep America safe. Advocates are highlighting this year’s biggest takeaways:

• When communities are food insecure, it can lead to instability, slowing economic growth, perpetuating conflict, impacting child development and worsening malnutrition. Working with partners around the world, American farmers can help feed the world and save lives.

• U.S. leadership on the global stage is vital to advancing national economic and security interests, and agriculture is a part of that equation. Farmers have unique and important views on what it takes for the United States and the world to prosper, making it important for them to help shape foreign policy by educating policymakers on the challenges on the ground.

• Ensuring that American farmers have access to developing and emerging markets around the world is critical for the domestic economy. U.S. agricultural exports support over 1.3 million jobs on the farm and in related industries such as food processing and transportation.

To watch the 2022 Heartland Summit or learn more about Farmers for Prosperity, visit

"Farmers around the world are not all that different. Together, they grow the food that sustains communities. At a time of global crisis, American farmers can lead the effort to tackle hunger and food insecurity," says Glickman.

Free COVID-19 tests for everyone, new community site opens on campus Monday

URBANA -- Starting Monday, Champaign County residents will be able to take saliva-based COVID-19 test for free at SHIELD Illinois' new location at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE). The free PCR tests will be available to anyone in the community and are being made available through a partnership between the Illinois Department of Public Health and SHIELD Illinois through federal funding.

“Public access to COVID-19 testing is an important mitigation strategy,” said Julie Pryde, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s public health administrator. “Sites like this play a vital role in the fight to keep our community safer by minimizing the potential for COVID-19 outbreaks.”

While walk-in testing will be available, appointments can be made online at Masks or face coverings must be worn at the testing site.

Testing will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at CRCE, 1102 W. Gregory Drive in Urbana. Free parking is available at metered spaces conveniently marked along Dorner Drive on the south side of the building and the location is on multiple MTD bus routes. Bus schedules can be found on Access to the testing site is through the doors on the east side of the building.

Results from SHIELD Illinois testing are emailed within 24-48 hours and are completely confidential.

Funding from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan is being used to provide the free testing to the community to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its multiple variants.

“We are grateful to our partners at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the cities of Champaign and Urbana, who have paved the way for this new location,” said SHIELD Illinois Managing Director Ron Watkins. “We have heard from numerous community members about the need for testing in Champaign-Urbana and we are glad to be able to provide this service.”

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students, faculty, and staff who are required to test weekly will not be allowed to use the new site. Campus employees and students must continue to go to the Illini Union for testing.

Recipe: Get you grillin' on with something awesome

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs for dinner tonight
Photo provided

Family Features -- Summer is gone. The fall weather is making its way into Illinois taking its place. There's still more time to get out and grill some delicious food to enjoy after a Friday night football game or to serve when all the fellas are over Sunday's NFL game.

For dudes that know their way around a flame, taking your cooking skills to the next level, all you need is a little inspiration to go along with those deft skills you already have around a grill. It is easy to turn family meals or get-togethers with guys into an extravagant culinary adventure, take your backyard barbecues to new heights and impress friends and neighbors with your pitmaster-worthy creations.

In fact, it can be as easy as turning on the TV. From beef ribs and barbacoa to curried brisket rice and pho rub beef belly spring rolls, viewers are in for a treat by tuning into season 3 of "BBQuest: Beyond the Pit," a video series that dives into the long-held traditions, new flavors and everyday inspiration that make Texas barbecue legendary.

The show follows four themes that capture the very essence of Texas barbecue: legacy and tradition; creativity and innovation; Texas trailblazers; and family and community.

You can bring barbecue flavors home and cook like a pitmaster with dishes recreated from the series and developed by "Hardcore Carnivore" cookbook author Jess Pryles, including Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs and these mouth-watering Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs.

"Since launching BBQuest four years ago, it's truly remarkable to see how much has changed and yet stayed the same when it comes to Texas barbecue, and that's exactly what you see in season 3," said Rachel Chou, Texas Beef Council's director of consumer marketing. "There has been so much exciting innovation around cooking methods and international flavors while there's still a huge dedication to long-held recipes and smoking techniques."

Learn more about the show and find inspiration to bring the taste of barbecue to your kitchen at

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles on behalf of Beef Loving Texans

Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 15

What you will need:

1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
3/4 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef
3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
8 ounces cheddar cheese, finely diced
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt


How to make this tonight:

Place crushed tortilla chips in large bowl. Add milk and allow chips to soften about 10 minutes.

After milk is absorbed, add beef, jalapenos, cheese, paprika, garlic and salt. Mix well to combine then scoop approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture to form meatball; repeat with remaining mixture.

Place meatballs on plate or tray and refrigerate 30 minutes to firm.

Heat grill to medium for two zone cooking.

Place meatballs on indirect heat side of grill away from coals or lit burner; close lid. Grill 25-35 minutes, or until meatballs reach 165 F internal temperature on meat thermometer.

Remove meatballs from grill and cool slightly before serving.

Recipe: Smoked chuck beef ribs

Delicious smoked beef ribs you can make at home
Photo provided
Family Features -- For home chefs looking to take their cooking skills to the next level, it all starts with a little inspiration and a few new skills. Turn family meals into extravagant adventures, take backyard barbecues to new heights and impress friends and neighbors with pitmaster-worthy recipes.

In fact, it can be as easy as turning on the TV. From beef ribs and barbacoa to curried brisket rice and pho rub beef belly spring rolls, viewers are in for a treat by tuning into season 3 of "BBQuest: Beyond the Pit," a video series that dives into the long-held traditions, new flavors and everyday inspiration that make Texas barbecue legendary.

The show follows four themes that capture the essence of Texas barbecue: legacy and tradition; creativity and innovation; Texas trailblazers; and family and community.

You can bring barbecue flavors home and cook like a pitmaster with dishes recreated from the series and developed by "Hardcore Carnivore" cookbook author Jess Pryles, including Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs, Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs and Szechuan Skirt Steak with Crispy Rice.

"Since launching BBQuest four years ago, it's truly remarkable to see how much has changed and yet stayed the same when it comes to Texas barbecue, and that's exactly what you see in season 3," said Rachel Chou, Texas Beef Council's director of consumer marketing. "There has been so much exciting innovation around cooking methods and international flavors while there's still a huge dedication to long-held recipes and smoking techniques."

Learn more about the show and find inspiration to bring the taste of barbecue to your kitchen at Below is Pryles' signature Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs recipe.

Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles on behalf of Beef Loving Texans

Cook time: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

What you'll need:

1 slab beef chuck short ribs (about 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water

Here's how to put it together for your next meal:

Preheat smoker or pellet grill to 275 F.

Pat ribs dry with paper towel; remove moisture on surface.

Combine salt and pepper. Rub beef ribs well on all sides and ends with seasoning, coating generously.

Place ribs in smoker and close lid. Cook 5-6 hours.

In spray bottle, combine cider vinegar and water. Lightly spritz ribs every 30 minutes for first 4 hours of cooking.

Ribs are ready when completely probe tender. If parts still feel tough, continue cooking.

Once completely tender, remove ribs from smoker then wrap tightly in butcher's paper and place in small cooler to rest 30 minutes.

To serve, slice ribs between bones.

Which is flu shot is right for senior citizens?

Getting a flu shot
Photo: CDC/Unsplash

Tim Ditman
OSF Healthcare

DANVILLE --- As we enter fall, the emails from your workplace or pharmacy may start to pop up in your inbox.

"It’s time for a flu shot!"

But how early is too early to get the yearly jab?

It depends, says Jason Kole, MD, director of Emergency Department Services at OSF HealthCare in Danville, Illinois.

Dr. Kole says every influenza season is different. When will it peak? What will be the dominant strain of the virus? How effective will the flu vaccine be against that strain? Plus, Dr. Kole says, health care providers are still devoting time to treating COVID-19 patients.

"If [the vaccine] actually hits the strain of flu that’s prevalent during that season, then the flu season’s going to be relatively mild," Dr. Kole says. "If it doesn’t hit that strain, then we’re going to have a heavy flu season."

"We’re all going to have to stay on our toes and make sure we’re well prepared," Dr. Kole adds of the upcoming flu season.

Dr. Kole recommends taking the month of September to talk to your health care provider about the flu shot and other vaccines.

Questions to ask: Which vaccines and how many doses are recommended for me? Should I have concerns about side effects or other issues? Are there special circumstances to consider if I’m pregnant? Are there special circumstances for my child? My elderly parent?

Then by October, you’re ready to make an appointment to roll up your sleeve.

Immunizations like the flu shot are an important tool for everyone to stay healthy. But for seniors and people with underlying health conditions, Dr. Kole stresses that they need to be a priority.

"For the most part, when [the emergency department sees] someone come in with flu, we’re looking at a patient that’s older. We’re concerned about the complications of the flu developing into pneumonia or another serious illness," Dr. Kole says.

Some misconceptions on the flu shot:

"I made it to January without getting the bug. I can skip the flu shot this year."

Dr. Kole says you should still talk to your health care provider about the shot.

"We have seen [flu season] come in January or February," Dr. Kole says. "Sometimes it’s late. It doesn’t necessarily have to be coming in October, November or December."

"I got the flu shot last year, so I’m still good for this year."

This one elicits a smile and a shake of the head from Dr. Kole.

"Every year, the flu is different," Dr. Kole repeats. "The vaccines are designed to attack that particular [year’s] flu strain. So it’s key that you get [the flu vaccine] every year."

"I didn’t have any side effects after my flu shot, so it must not be working."

Like the COVID vaccine, flu shot recipients may experience a headache, muscle aches, nausea or other minor symptoms. Those are a sign the vaccine is working, Dr. Kole says. But not having side effects doesn’t mean the immunization isn’t effective.

"I need a flu shot and a COVID booster, but I don’t have time for two appointments."

Research has shown it’s safe to get both at once.

"I got the flu shot but still got sick later that day."

Dr. Kole says once you get the flu vaccine, you have some level of immune system response fairly quickly. But it takes a few days for you to build up a more robust immunity that, hopefully, prevents a trip to the emergency department.

"Once you’re vaccinated, you can be confident that you’re not going to get seriously ill," Dr. Kole says.

Rockets head south in search of win #4

Rocket duo blast SJO, 50-7
In the photo above, Cale Rawdin hands off the ball to running back Garrett Richardson during the Unity's road game at St. Joseph-Ogden. The sophomore took the ball 21 yards to chalk up his fourth touchdown of the game in the 50-7 win in Week 2 for the Rockets.

Tonight, the Rockets (3-1) are back on the road, this week heading to Paris to take on the Tigers in a non-conference gridiron affair. Unity's Little Illini conference opponent is 1-2 after a 19-7 loss to Casey-Westfield and a 35-7 non-conference loss to Harrisburg. Paris' first and only win so far this season was a 60-16 shellacking over Lawrenceville two weeks ago.

See more game photos from the Unity-St.Joe game here: SJO-Unity Photo Gallery. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Prep Sports Notebook: Schweighart 22 digs not enough, SJO soccer wins again

Rockets dip below .500 after road loss

The Unity volleyball team fell 2-1 on the road at Central Catholic in Bloomington.

The Rockets held their ground during the first set to win, 25-23. Battling fiercely in both the second and the tie-breaking third, Reagan Little's 11 kills for the night were not enough to pull Unity through in their first conference match of the season.

Kaitlyn Schweighart led the defensive effort for UHS with 22 digs. Julia Ping had 13 digs along with Little's eight, as the Rockets drop to 6-7 on the season. Schweighart also chipped in 5 kills, and Ping three assists in the Illini Prairie Conference loss.

Ruby Tarr, who had four digs, delivered 15 assists.

The Rocket volleyball squad will have a chance to rebound next Tuesday when they host the 10-4 Spartans from St. Joseph-Ogden at the Rocket Center.

SJO soccer sack Olympians

After 1-1 first half, the Spartans hit four unanswered goals to beat visiting Olympia High School, 5-1. The prolific scoring effort was led by Spenser Wilson, who netted the first two goals of the second half with assists from Logan Mills and then one from Collin Thomey.

Mills added another assist to his season stats on a feed to Jacik Slowikosky, who punched in the team's fourth goal of the contest. Zach Harper closed out the scoring effort with an unassisted score late in the half.

Back in the first 90 minutes, Olympia's Evan Deterding slipped the ball past SJO keeper Hunter Ketchum, who had five saves, for the first score of the contest. Ryker Lockhart fired up the host Spartans with a reply to remind his team was still in the game thanks to a pass from Jackson Greer before the midgame break.

The Spartans improve to 6-2-1 on the season, and host IVC at 10 am on Saturday.

SJO volleyball picks up 10th win

The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team notched their first Illini Prairie Conference win after a 2-0 win over visiting St. Thomas More.

After a 1-1 start, the Spartans took the lead after junior Addie Roesch's ace and relinquished it once, falling behind briefly at 5-6 in the first set. SJO then took control of the match and thwarted four concerted STM efforts to dominate on the scoreboard. Later, tied at 21-all, St.Joseph-Ogden won for of the last five points for the 25-22 win.

With the momentum clearly on their side of the net, the Spartans jumped out to an 8-0 lead against last year's Class 1A state champions to start the second set. Their strong defensive effort that never allowed the Sabers to threaten their dominance any closer than three points as SJO prevailed 25-20 behind the combined firepower from SJO's Shayne Immke and Josey Frerichs up front.

Op-Ed: President Biden has a laundry list of unfinished tasks to mind

Op-Ed by Dr. Todd J. Barry and Sean R. Barry

On Thursday, September 1, President Biden spoke from outside Philadelphia’s Constitution Hall, aiming to 1) motivate the Democratic base, and 2) unite the country. In his speech, the two goals did not coalesce, and he veritably accomplished neither. Rather, he incited 2020 election deniers, ignoring the fact that many Democrats lengthily repudiated the 2016 election results because of the belief of Russian hacking; in absolute truth, neither elections’ anomalies were enough to affect eithers’ outcome.

President Joe Biden’s accomplishments have been tepid. While the economy is in recession, as there have never been two consecutive quarters of negative growth that was not a recession, President Biden finally passed his stimulus bill: an anti-inflationary environmental and healthcare package. But, unemployment will probably upsurge, as a lagging indicator, particularly with a long-lasting recession. Therefore, a greater effort could be made to help the unemployed, and especially those having “left the workforce” - the long-term unemployed, such as through hiring tax credits. This issue could be called “MUM,” for mass unemployed men, a growing problem that few leaders discuss. There is also a strong chance of a “double-dip” recession.

With the Republicans likely to control Congress in November, since non-incumbent parties typically fair better in “off-year” elections, then barring unforeseen budget confrontations, Mr. Biden would be best to focus his term’s remainder on foreign policy. The next two years will probably see Republican investigations into Mr. Biden’s son (Hunter Biden), and Attorney General Merrick Garland, as well as questioning about the President’s age and health. Foreign policy presents greater opportunities.

In foreign policy, Ukrainian-Russian relations is the largest issue. Ukraine has fought bravely, with America’s help, and defended Kyiv. They wounded Russia’s army, making a future reinvasion dubious. But it is unlikely that Ukraine will be able to recapture the two eastern breakaway provinces, nor Crimea. The 1938 Munich Conference, though, was not, and will not, be repeated. Ukraine battles forward, but a complete victory could take thousands of more lives, billions of United States’ dollars, threaten a U.S.-Russian conflict, or produce a false-flag nuclear tragedy. A “reg militaire” could form, whereby fighting simply stops where the troops remain, such as with Korea’s 38th parallel. A better outcome might be for multilateral talks, perhaps over semi-autonomy for the two provinces, and future U.S.-Ukraine security guarantees. Ukrainian membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) seems rather implausible.

China is America’s most important long-term relationship: both the U.S. and China need to cool-off their increasing provocativeness regarding Taiwan, lest, to be succinct, China attempts to overtake the South China Sea from American influence. The U.S. should continue to deal with Russia and China, both, over nuclear weapons, in replacing treaties that expired, or, were withdrawn from. The U.S. should work against nuclear proliferation, such as with Iran, where the U.S. has taken a backseat to Europe in renegotiating the Joint Committee Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Middle-East is now a region where a war might be untimely.

Sanctions could also be used as a carrot-and-stick with North Korea, the world’s most dangerous country, short-term, as it is absurd to think that North Korea would rescind all of its nuclear weapons. The United States’ best hope is a “freeze for a freeze”- North Korea agreeing to cease building any more nuclear weapons, and allowing inspectors, while America would lessen its military exercises, or relocate adjacent peninsular troops to willing countries farther south.

Just as other Democratic candidates, in 2020, left the Democratic primary after South Carolina’s vote, enabling Mr. Biden to secure the nomination, it would be equally as noble if President Biden were to now abscond, helping a younger generation candidate, who could win the general election. The last time that a Democratic candidate lost the popular vote in over 30 years was in 2004. However, Americans are living in an “era of bad feelings,” of entrenched incumbents, a category which includes former President Trump, essentially, by his already garnered 2024 supporters. Also propitious for a Trump candidacy might be “left-leaning,” “third-party” contenders who siphon Democratic votes. For President Biden, though, to be unselfish, by mellowing his tone, and by parting gracefully, after his next two-year accomplishments, would all likely enhance his historical legacy.

Bio Notes: Dr. Todd J. Barry holds a PhD from the U. of Southern Mississippi, and teaches economics, with Hudson County Community College in NJ, USA. Sean R. Barry holds a master’s degree in public administration, and has served on town committees in Branford, CT. Contact at:

Guest Commentary: Don't cram electric cars down our throats

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Will you own an electric car? If you live long enough and that’s all that is being made, you probably will. Many of us we’ll hold out for as long as possible.

I’m all for electric cars especially if someone else is buying them. If 20 percent of America’s driving population goes to the electric vehicle, EV, then surely gasoline will become cheaper. Less people buying gasoline will reduce the demand and it should reduce the price. We hope.

California will not allow the sale of gasoline cars by 2035.

This same state told EV drivers not to charge their electric cars during the past Labor Day weekend when the temperatures were expected to hit triple digits for millions of residents putting a drain on the power grid.

This brings us to the same crisis every community will face. America’s power grids aren’t ready to accommodate millions of EVs plugging in a for a recharge. The prospects of city and regional blackouts are alarming. You can forget charging your car. You won’t be able to charge your cell phone or have air conditioning or heat during a blackout.

I’m not opposed to electric cars. I am opposed to them being crammed down our throats. The manufacturers are being pushed to eventually eliminate all gasoline vehicles. We will see how this goes over the next ten years.

Plan to spend some money. A local salesman talked to me about an electric Mustang. Stickered at $48,000 but they were asking $58,000 because as he said, “We can get it.” I didn’t want the car to begin with but was curious about the car.

It sounds time consuming to recharge an EV, although some EVs are promising up to 150-mile charge in a short amount of time.

EVs could mean fewer people on America’s Interstates. Currently in most American communities its much easier to go home to recharge at your own power station. Cross country driving will be out of the question or very difficult in an EV for the next two or three years. Currently an EV will go about 250 to 350 miles on a charge. This means you will always be searching for the next power station. This will be a major lifestyle change.

There are reports that Pilot and Flying J will have charging stations installed by 2025 and are spending a billion dollars to upgrade their facilities. They will also want to recoup their costs.

The car will cost you more money. You will spend anywhere from $20,000 (low minimum) to $6,000 to install a station at your home and this is all variable. To keep your car charged at home will cost you about what you spend on your monthly electric bill now. So, figure your electric bill doubling, if you’re lucky.

You may be wanting something different in your life and an EV may be just what you want. There is a lot to consider and on some level they will impact all our lives, eventually.


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.


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


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