Martinie scores team-high ten in SJO loss

Pleasant Plains - Hoping to extend their 1-game winning streak to two, the St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team came up short after this afternoon's road game at Pleasant Plains. Addisyn Martinie led the Spartans' in scoring with 10 points in the 55-26 loss to the host Cardinals.

Addisyn Martinie looks for an open teammate to pass the ball during the Spartans' Turkey Tournament game against Mahomet-Seymour. The junior led all SJO scorers on Saturday in the team's away game at Pleasant Plains. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

SJO struggled on offense, scoring just five points in each of the first two quarters. Martinie knocked down a pair of field goals, and Taylor Hug kicked in five points with one shot inside and one outside the arc. Junior Addison Seggebruch hit one of her two free throw attempts in the team's first half scoring effort. Seggebruch's first quarter trip to the line was the Spartans' only opportunity for free points.

Freshman Addie Brooks came off the bench in the fourth quarter to hit two treys for six points to finish as the second-leading scorer for SJO. Addison Frick chipped-in four points in the third quarter to sum up Saturday's offense.

Meanwhile, Pleasant Plains (8-3) was paced by Jaycee Smith's 15 points and frosh Anna Weber's seven points.

St. Joseph-Ogden is back in action on Monday with a home contest against Cissna Park and travels to Oakwood to face the Comets on Thursday this week.

Box Score

Final: Pleasant Plains 55 - St. Joseph-Ogden 26

St. Joseph-Ogden  5 -  5 - 10 -  6 - -26
Pleasant Plains    13 - 15 - 12 - 15 - -55

St. Joseph-Ogden: Uden 0(0)-0-0--0, Seggebruch 1(0)-0-0--2, Baltzell 0(0)-0-0--0, Ericksen 0(0)-0-0--0, Frick 2(0)-0-0--4, Baker 0(0)-0-0--0, Brooks 0(2)-0-0--6, Blackburn 0(0)-0-0--0, Kearney 0(0)-0-0--0, Martinie 5(0)-0-0--10, Osterbur 0(0)-0-0--0, Ward 0(0)-0-0--0.

Pleasant Plains: Frasse 2(0)-2-0--4, Morley 0(0)-0-0--0, Taft 0(0)-0-0--0, Cameron 0(0)-0-0--0, Derrick 3(0)-0-0--6, Leach 3(0)-0-0--6, Hiltabrand 0(0)-3-3--3, Lynch 0(0)-0-0--0, Smith 5(1)-2-2--15, Burke 1(0)-0-0--2, Hadley 3(0)-0-0--6, Weber 1(1)-2-2--7, Long 0(0)-0-0--0, Redmon 1(0)-2-2--4, Sebatka 1(0)-0-0--2.

Photo of the Day | December 17, 2022

Big step forward
St. Joseph - SJO's Kaytlyn Baker makes a huge effort to dribble past Mahomet-Seymour's Savannah Orgeron down the baseline during their 2nd Annual Toyota of Danville Turkey Tournament game on November 17. The three-sport senior for the Spartans was held scoreless as St. Joseph-Ogden fell to the 34-29 to the Bulldogs on the final day of the tournament.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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Is it dementia? Diagnosis of memory issues isn't always easy

by Paul Arco
OSF Healthcare
ROCKFORD -- Actor Chris Hemsworth recently made headlines when he announced that he's taking time off from acting after undergoing testing that resulted in an alarming discovery: he has a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease at some point in his lifetime.

The 39-year-old Hemsworth made the discovery after undergoing tests as part of his documentary series Limitless, where Hemsworth tests his body and searches for ways to live longer.

While having a predisposition for Alzheimer's is not a diagnosis, it can help someone take the appropriate preventative measures. Hemsworth has said he is going to spend time focusing on stress and sleep management, nutrition and fitness.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, making up 60-80% of dementia cases. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, and is caused by damage to brain cells that can lead to memory problems, confusion and communication issues.

"With dementia, it's a short term, memory-deficit, but usually long term is intact," said Andrea Shewalter, a nurse practitioner with OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute (INI). "People will forget what they ate for breakfast that day and they may forget having a specific conversation with a family member that morning or the day before, but they'll be able to tell you what they did 25 years ago and be able to reminisce with stories like that."

Typically it's a loved one who notices the initial troubling signs of dementia such as memory loss, problem-solving difficulties or issues with daily tasks such as paying bills, taking medication or preparing meals, so it's the patients who are accompanied by family members to an appointment who are most likely exhibiting the greatest symptoms of dementia.

Shewalter adds that anyone is a candidate for testing. And if you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia you do not need to wait to develop symptoms to look into testing options for yourself.

"When patients come in we refer them for a neuro psychological evaluation, where the psychologist reviews the 12 different domains of the brain through different systems and assessments," she says. "And they can come up with a potential diagnosis and are able to tell us what part of the brain is having a deficit or what deficit of the brain is occurring."

But arriving at a dementia diagnosis isn't always easy. Physicians have to recognize a pattern of loss of skills and function and determine what a person is still able to do. And it usually takes more than one test to come up with the diagnosis. Tests include cognitive and neuropsychological tests, neurological evaluation, brain scans, lab tests and sometimes psychiatric evaluation.

"I would refer anyone for neuropsychological testing, where they can help determine what areas of the brain are being affected," says Shewalter. "And then we usually send the patient for imaging to make sure that there's nothing from a pathological standpoint that's going on in the brain. Is there a brain tumor? Is there Lyme's disease? Is there some sort of disease that is affecting this? We can also look at the structures of the brain to be able to tell if there a lot of shrinkage for their age. Is the brain compensating due to the atrophy or the shrinkage of the brain?"

... we recommend the exercise, the increase in socialization, and the brain healthy diet ...

In the early stages of dementia, Shewalter has several recommendations for patients to remain as independent as possible, including doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and crafting – anything that involves hand and eye coordination.

She also encourages socialization – getting out in the public and being around people as much as possible. While there is no conclusive evidence, there is still benefit to taking care of yourself as much as possible. That includes a healthy brain diet and a high intensity exercise program of 150 minutes each week. Finally, get your financial affairs and power of attorney in order, especially if memory loss progresses to the point where you can't make decisions for yourself.

"We try to treat dementia as naturally as possible," adds Shewalter. "That's why we recommend the exercise, the increase in socialization, and the brain healthy diet, because it is what you make of it. If you just sit in a house and don't use your brain or challenge your brain and let the world go by, you often have generally worse outcomes than if you were to face this head on. Do the steps that we naturally recommend to decrease the rate at which your memory declines."

In addition to taking preventative measures and staying active, having a support system in place early on is especially important for someone with any dementia diagnosis.

Health News on The Sentinel

Photo of the Day | December 16, 2022

Logan Smith rising to the top in SJO record books

Smith a rising star for Spartans
SJO quarterback Logan Smith pitches the ball to running back Tyler Burch during St. Joseph-Ogden's home football game against Paxton-Buckley-Loda. Smith, who was nominated to 2nd Team in the Illini Prairie Conference and earned an All-State Honorable Mention by the IHSFCA, had a stellar 2022 season. Moving into the top four of every passing statistic for the Spartans, he has tied for the Most TD Passes in a Game, Most Completions in a Game, and Most Passing Yard during the regular season. The junior threw 28 TD passes, completing 148 out of 245 for 2,582 yards during the 2022 season. SJO won the Senior Night season finale, 34-20.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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Barber and Mboyo-Meta lead Tigers in conference win over visiting Danville

URBANA - It took 34 months, to the day, for the Urbana girls' basketball program to finally post a win on their home court at Oscar Adams Gym. A week ago Thursday, after holding visiting Danville to just eight first-half points, the Tigers (2-4) posted a 40-24 win over the Vikings.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Destiny Barber goes up for one of three first-quarter scores during Urbana's home game against Danville on December 8. Barber finished with eight points in the Tiger's first home win since 2020.

The last time the girls' program celebrated a victory on their hardwood dates back to a 64-47 win over visiting Bloomington High School when most of the squad were playing freshman ball back on February 8, 2020.

"It's been almost two and half years since we had a home win. They earned this one," Head coach Bobby Boykin said after the game. Despite their current record, he is pleased with the strides his team is making this season. "They have really grown and are starting to come together."

The Tigers return eight players who saw significant playing time from the previous season. Many of last season's familiar faces contributed to last week's win.

Destiny Barber and Gabreille Mboyo-Meta led the Urbana offensive effort with a game-high eight points a piece. Junior guard Aziyaha Davis finished with seven points, and Jasmine McCullough rounded out the top four scorers for the Tigers with six points.

Barber, a senior, scored six of her eight points in the first quarter with assists from Davis, who forced turnovers to create an abundance of scoring opportunites for UHS in the first half. With the help Mboyo-Meta and McCollough, the Tigers put up an 11-point lead on scoreboard.

Urbana continued to stretch the gap on the scoreboard all the way to the end of the third quarter boasting a 22-point advantage.

"Danville is definitely a hardworking team," Boykin said, acknowledging Danville's attempt to dig themselves out of an impossible situation. "We tried our best to be the same tonight."

Layla Johnson paced the Vikings with seven points.

Box Score

Urbana 40 - Danville 25

  1 2 3 4 F
Urbana 14 6 14 6 40
Danville 3 5 4 13 25

Urbana --
Barber 4(0)-2-0--8, Davis 3(0)-3-1--7, Mboyo-Meta 2(1)-4-1--8, Schroeder 1(1)-0-0--5, McCullough 2(0)-4-2--6, Sprague 1(0)-3-0--2, Hall 1(0)-0-0--2, Blanden 0(0)-2-0--0, Lange 1(0)-0-0--2, Hall 0(0)-2-0--0.

Danville --
Johnson 3(0)-2-1--7, Blandeo 0(0)-0-0--0, Rudy 0(0)-6-1--1, Berryhill 2(0)-4-2--6, Longfair 1(0)-0-0--2, Walls 1(0)-3-1--3, McFarland 0(0)-0-0--0, Brown 0(0)-0-0--0, Parker 0(0)-0-0--0, Johnson 0(0)-0-0--0, Taylor 1(0)-0-0--2, Foley 2(0)-0-0--4, Winston 0(0)-0-0--0.

Shoveling heavy snow may increase risk of a heart attack or sudden cardiac episode

Photo: Todd Trapani/Unsplash

DALLAS — Clearing sidewalks and driveways of snow may be essential to keep from being shut in, however, the American Heart Association urges caution when picking up that shovel or even starting the snowblower. Research shows that many people may face an increased risk of a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest after shoveling heavy snow.

The American Heart Association’s 2020 scientific statement, Exercise-Related Acute Cardiovascular Events and Potential Deleterious Adaptations Following Long-Term Exercise Training: Placing the Risks Into Perspective–An Update, notes snow shoveling among the physical activities that may place extra stress on the heart, especially among people who aren’t used to regular exercise. Numerous scientific research studies over the years have identified the dangers of shoveling snow for people with and without previously known heart disease.

The lead author of that scientific statement and long-time American Heart Association volunteer Barry Franklin, Ph.D., FAHA, is one of the leading experts on the science behind the cardiovascular risks of snow shoveling. He has authored a number of studies on the topic, estimating that hundreds of people die during or just after snow removal in the U.S. each year.

"Shoveling a little snow off your sidewalk may not seem like hard work. However, the strain of heavy snow shoveling may be as or even more demanding on the heart than taking a treadmill stress test, according to research we’ve conducted." said Franklin, a professor of internal medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Royal Oak, Michigan. "For example, after only two minutes of snow shoveling, study participants’ heart rates exceeded 85% of maximal heart rate, which is a level more commonly expected during intense aerobic exercise testing. The impact is hardest on those people who are least fit."

A study conducted in Canada a few years ago found that the chance of heart attack after a snowfall increased among men but not among women. The study found that, compared to no snowfall, a heavy snow – about 7-8 inches – was associated with 16% higher odds of men being admitted to the hospital with a heart attack, and a 34% increase in the chance of men dying from a heart attack.

Photo provided by AHA

Franklin said winter weather in general can contribute to the increased risk. Cold temperatures may increase blood pressure while simultaneously constricting the coronary arteries. Those factors, combined with the higher heart rate from the extra physical effort, may increase the risk for acute cardiac events. There are even studies that show an increased risk for heart attacks among people using automatic snow blowers. Similar to the extra exertion of pushing shovel, pushing a snow blower can raise heart rate and blood pressure quickly.

"The impact of snow removal is especially concerning for people who already have cardiovascular risks like a sedentary lifestyle or obesity, being a current or former smoker, having diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, as well as people who have had a heart attack or stroke," he said. "People with these characteristics and those who have had bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty simply should not be shoveling snow."

Franklin said the most important thing is to be aware of the dangers, be prepared and take it easy, including taking short breaks. Even people who are relatively healthy should note that pushing the snow with a shovel is better physically than lifting and throwing it.

The American Heart Association urges everyone to learn the common signs of heart trouble and if you experience chest pain or pressure, lightheadedness or heart palpitations or irregular heart rhythms, stop the activity immediately. Call 9-1-1 if symptoms don’t subside shortly after you stop shoveling or snow blowing. If you see someone collapse while shoveling snow, call for help and start Hands-Only CPR if they are unresponsive with no pulse.

Learn more about cold weather and cardiovascular disease here.

Recipe | Pomegranate Cheesecake

Dishing out a dessert that boasts the colors of the season is a perfect way to cap off a gathering of friends and family or a delicious holiday meal.

With pops of red and deliciously sweet flavor, Pomegranate Cheesecake is ideal for serving in individual tins so guests can delight in the creamy deliciousness together without the hassle of cutting and serving.

Developed to capture the taste of dairy cream cheese, it’s designed to be enjoyed by everyone at the table this holiday season as a non-GMO solution free from dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, preservatives and lactose.

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Prep time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 6 individual cheesecakes


  • 10 1/2 ounces vegan gingerbread biscuits
  • 6          ounces plant-based butter
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt


  • 0.07     ounces agar-agar
  • 3 1/2    ounces canned coconut milk
  • 2          packages Violife Just Like Cream Cheese Original
  • 2          tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla essence

Pomegranate Syrup:

  • 10        fluid ounces pomegranate juice, divided
  • 3          tablespoons cornstarch
  • pomegranate seeds, for garnish
  1. To make crust: In blender, blitz gingerbread biscuits until they form powder. Add butter and salt; blitz again until combined.
  2. Place in six individual greased tart tins and smooth over base with back of spoon. Refrigerate to set.
  3. To make cheesecake: In small pot over low heat, dissolve agar-agar in coconut milk, whisking constantly. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In large bowl, mix cream cheese, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla essence; slowly pour over warm coconut milk, whisking until combined and creamy. Divide evenly among tart tins and refrigerate 4 hours.
  5. To make pomegranate syrup: In small bowl, combine 3 fluid ounces pomegranate juice with cornstarch. In small pot, boil remaining pomegranate juice 5 minutes. Pour in cornstarch and pomegranate mixture; whisk 5 minutes until syrup forms. Cool.
  6. When cheesecakes have set, remove from tins and serve on plates. Pour pomegranate syrup on top and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Visit to find more holiday-worthy recipes.

Prep Sports Notebook | Hoopeston drops close game at Watseka tourney, SJO picks up win

Cornjerkers suffer heartbreaking loss

WATSEKA - The Hoopeston Area basketball team dropped their first conference game of the season to Milford at the Watseka Christmas Tournament on Thursday. Despite seven players contributing to the final outcome, the Cornjerkers (4-6, 1-1) came up short, 70-67.

Anthony Zamora led Hoopeston's scoring effort with 19 points. Preston VanDeVeer finished the night with a 13-point effort. Kendrick Sigrill, who hauled down 12 rebounds, and Wyatt Eisenman chipped in 12 points apiece. Owen Root added another 8 points, Mason Rush finished with 2 points, and Ethan Steiner added one more in the conference loss.

Cornjerkers continue their quest at the Watseka tournament facing St. Anne tomorrow.

Hug drains 5 treys

BISMARCK - St. Joseph-Ogden Taylor Hug led all scorers with a game-high 19 points in her team's 50-31 win over Bismarck-Henning. The senior was also a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line. She swished a three-pointer in every quarter except for the third, where she drained an extra.

Teammate Addison Frick hit three shots from behind the arc on her way to a 12-point finish for the Spartans. Addie Martinie contributed 12 points, and Addie Seggebruch rounded out the team's scoring effort with nine points.

The road win improves SJO's season record to 4-6. The Spartans travel to Pleasant Plains on Saturday for another non-conference contest.

Uni-High falls to Salt Fork at home

URBANA - The Illineks scored 10 points in all four quarters but came up short in their non-conference home game against the visiting Storm from Salt Fork 74-40 on Wednesday. U-High is 1-11 on the season after the loss.

** This page will be updated as results are reported **

Recipe | Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Family Features - Memories made and recipes shared are the trademarks of a successful holiday gathering, and this year, you can host your way to a practically perfect party with delicious dishes that resonate with the flavors of the season.

If you and your family enjoy mushrooms dishes or you are looking for a cozy meatless meal to impress holiday guests, then this recipe is for you.

This could be a family-favorite in your house. Start your meal with a main course that looks and smells as good as it tastes. Creamy Mushroom Pasta Nests deliver that festive flavor with a robust blend of breadcrumbs, earthy mushrooms and a homemade sauce crafted with Violife Just Like Cream Cheese. Developed to capture the taste of dairy cream cheese, it’s designed to be enjoyed by everyone at the table this holiday season as a non-GMO solution free from dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, preservatives and lactose.

Serve with a fresh tossed salad and warm bread for a memorable meal.

Visit to find more holiday-worthy recipes.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta Nests

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2    ounces hoisin sauce
  • 2          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1          tablespoon garlic chili paste
  • 2          tablespoons black and white sesame seeds
  • 1          teaspoon harissa paste


  • 1          tablespoon Violife Plant Butter
  • 1/2       cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1          tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1          teaspoon dried garlic


  • 17 1/2 ounces mushrooms, roughly sliced
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 1/2 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1          package Violife Just Like Cream Cheese Original
  • 17 1/2 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1          teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 1/2    ounces Violife Just Like Parmesan Wedge, grated
  1. To make marinade: Whisk olive oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic chili paste, sesame seeds and harissa paste. Set aside.
  2. To make breadcrumbs: In frying pan, heat plant butter. Add breadcrumbs, rosemary and garlic; saute 3-5 minutes until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make pasta: Saute mushrooms in olive oil 5-7 minutes until golden. Add spinach, 2-3 minutes, and pour over marinade. Add cream cheese and whisk until creamy.
  4. Boil pasta according to package instructions. Sieve and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, adding to pasta sauce. Whisk constantly until combined.
  5. Using tongs, make small nests in pasta, place on plates and pour creamy mushroom sauce on top.
  6. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan.

New smoke detector law goes into effect on January 1 in Illinois

Residential fires were responsible for 97 deaths in Illinois last year. In nearly 70% cases, the loss of life happened in homes without a working smoke alarms.
Photo illustration: Николай Егошин/Pixabay

SPRINGFIELD -- In two weeks, Illinois' updated Smoke Alarm Law goes into effect across the state. The new provisions, which applies to homes built before 1988, require any smoke alarm being installed within a single or multi-family home be replaced with models that have a sealed, non-removable 10-year battery.

"With a long-term 10-year battery smoke alarm, there is no need for battery replacement, saving the average homeowner between $40-$60 in battery costs over the life of each alarm," says Phil Zaleski, Executive Director for the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance. "At the end of the 10-year life cycle, the smoke alarm will automatically alert the homeowner to replace the alarm."

He added that, "While many people deactivate their older model smoke alarms or remove the batteries while cooking, the 10-year model is not a cooking nuisance and has a 15-minute silencer button.

Zaleski said in a release that required model is "very affordable with the current retail price being about $15 and as low as $10 if you buy them in bulk."

A quick on search on Amazon today shows 10-year, tamper-proof models retailing as low as $13 each. Order a six-pack, and the price drops to $8.33 each.

Passed in 2017, Public Act 100-0200 required all Illinois homes to have a smoke alarm with the extended-life battery by the first of next month. The bill states that "Every dwelling unit or hotel shall be equipped with at least one approved smoke detector in an operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. The detector shall be installed on the ceiling and at least 6 inches from any wall, or on a wall located between 4 and 6 inches from the ceiling."

To avoid ‘false alarms’ from the new detectors, they should not be placed within 15 feet of a stove or within 3 feet of bathrooms because of the humidity to avoid tripping the alarm.

Alarms already installed in dwellings are exempt if the manufactured date is less than 10-years old on date of inspection, does not fail testing, and is in proper operating condition. Residents or landlords replacing smoke detectors that are not hardwired in the home must do so with the new 10-year model. Homes with hardwired systems or systems connected to remote monitoring services are also exempt.

There were 97 residential fire deaths in Illinois in 2021, and nearly 70% of those deaths happened in homes without a working smoke alarm, according to Margaret Vaughn, Illinois Fire Safety Alliance and Illinois Fire Association government affairs director.

According to the bill, homeowners without an updated alarm will get a 90-day notice to install a sealed battery model. After that, they can be fined up to $100 every 30 days until the correct alarm(s) are installed. Also, homeowners and landlords should note the law makes it a Class B misdemeanor to not have a working smoke detector installed as required.

New government act to limit the cost of insulin for people on Medicare starting in January

byMark Richardson
Illinois News Connection

CHICAGO -- Last month was National Diabetes Awareness Month. With almost 1.3 million Illinoisans diagnosed with the disease, people with diabetes make up 10% of the population, and another 3.4 million people have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Dr. Nicole Brady, chief medical officer for employer and individual business at UnitedHealthcare, said the rising cost of insulin is putting many patients in a bind.

"Many of them may even have to make decisions such as, 'Am I gonna buy food for my family this week or am I gonna spend money on my insulin?' So it puts them in a very precarious position," Brady observed.

A study published last month in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed one in five adults with diabetes is rationing insulin to save money, a practice which can damage his or her eyes, kidneys, blood vessels and heart.

The Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act, which passed this summer, caps the cost of insulin for people on Medicare at $35 a month starting in January. It also caps Medicare recipients' out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs at $2,000 a year, and allows Medicare to negotiate the cost of some drugs.

Brady added starting Jan. 1, UnitedHealthcare will offer zero-dollar cost sharing for people enrolled in standard fully insured group plans, which would eliminate out-of-pocket costs for certain prescription medications, including preferred brands of insulin.

"This should reduce the risk of expensive hospitalizations and of complications from the high blood sugars that can be an effect of diabetes," Brady emphasized. "And overall should make people just feel better."

In the meantime, Brady has some tips on improving your quality of life while on an insulin regimen. She advised reducing sugary processed foods, limiting alcohol and avoiding tobacco.

"Smoking and tobacco actually decrease the effectiveness of insulin," Brady pointed out. "We can better manage our stress because stress can raise our blood-sugar levels."

She added regular exercise can improve your blood-sugar levels because working out causes your muscles to use more glucose for energy.

Photo of the Day | December 15, 2022

Jasmine McCullough goes up for a shot between Danville's Cheyenne Walls and Diamond Landfair
Grin and win it

Jasmine McCullough goes up for a shot between Danville's Cheyenne Walls and Diamond Landfair with a huge smile after beating the two defenders during Urbana's home basketball game last Thursday. The Tigers (2-4) picked up their second win of the season after rolling past the Vikings, 40-25. McCullough, who went 2-for-4 from the free throw line and is currently the third-best 3-point shooter in the Big 12, finished the night with six points for UHS. The team's next home game will be on January 7 against Centennial, who the Tigers play tonight in Champaign.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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The Wright stuff for the Hawks, Oakwood hoops star signs with Quincy University

With family, teammates and friends taking in the moment, Oakwood basketball player Addie Wright signs her National Letter of Intent to continue her basketball career with the Hawks of Quincy University.
Photo provided

Oakwood -- Addie Wright signed her NLI on Monday to continue athletic career at Quincy University. The 6-foot-0 post player for Oakwood is averaging 10 points per game in the first ten contests of her final prep season. She finished the 2021-22 season with an average of 14 points and nine rebounds per game.

The daughter of Greg and Staci Wright, Addie plans to study biology or psychology.

"Addie is a hard worker with a strong presence around the rim. We are excited to add her steady and tough skillset to our program," said second-year head coach Kaci Bailey.

Wright's 3.2 steals per game and blocking ability have bouyed the Oakwood progam with a 5-5 record this season. She has scored 107 points and collected 99 rebounds with a little more than two months left in the season.

The future 2023 grad and 2022 VVC First Team member plays summer ball with the Indiana Elite Havoc, an AAU club team. She also ran cross country in the fall the Comets.

Wright and the Comets host Hoopeston Area tomorrow evening and then play two consecutive road games starting with St.Thomas More followed by a trip to nearby Westville.

Expert says certain risk factors increase your chance of blood clots

by Shelli Dankoff
OSF Healthcare
Peoria -- In November, Today Show weatherman Al Roker was hospitalized after a blood clot that formed in his leg sent clots to his lungs. After being discharged on Thanksgiving he was readmitted almost immediately because he started showing more symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blood clots are a serious and growing health issue affecting an estimated 900,000 Americans each year resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths.

Big swollen leg with discomfort, the discoloration is not normal

Blood clots are a normal response to an injury where a blood vessel gets broken. If it doesn’t clot, you will continuously bleed causing a hemorrhage. The problem is when blood clots occur for the wrong reasons such as a piece of plaque breaking off in the artery to the heart which can cause a heart attack.

According to Mark Meeker, D.O., an internal medicine physician and vice president of community medicine at OSF HealthCare, another example is in the legs. He says blood usually flows relatively rapidly through our body but if something changes that flow, that’s when you could have a problem.

"If you think about if you mix cocoa and milk, and you stir it, it all dissolves. If you just dump it in there, it clumps up. So if our blood isn't flowing, it can tend to clump or clot. So if I have surgery, for example, and I'm laid up in bed, and I'm not moving, and the blood flow in the veins of my legs really slows down and starts to pool I can get a blood clot that shouldn't be there. It's blood that stays there. I might be okay, but if a blood clot breaks off and goes to my heart or lungs that's called a pulmonary embolus. That's very serious and can be life threatening."

Dr. Meeker says the signs to watch out for that you might have a problem depends on where the clot is located and what it’s affecting. In an artery, that is the high pressure system that delivers oxygen from the lungs, through the heart and out to your body. Dr. Meeker recalls a patient of his who developed pain in her leg but no swelling, the leg became pale looking and cold to the touch. The arterial clot prevented the leg from getting oxygen and the leg ended up having to be amputated because the arteries clotted off.

The other side is the low pressure venous system bringing the blood back to the heart and lungs to be re-oxygenated and recirculated. On the venous side, a clot can cause a backup not unlike clogging the drain to a sink. This will cause blood to build up in your leg and the leg to swell, maybe change color, and potentially cause a pain in the calf if the swelling starts to increase pressure inside the muscle. If the clot then breaks off and goes to your heart and lungs, as in Al Roker’s case, you could have chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.

"Big swollen leg with discomfort, the discoloration is not normal. If you have one leg swollen and not the other and you've either had recent surgery or a recent illness, or you are sitting for a long period of time, usually. Either you really got into a movie marathon or you're on a plane to Hawaii or something like that, or a long car ride. Some people get in the car and they drive for hours. They don't take a break to go for a small walk. All those are risk factors for those venous clots."

Dr. Meeker says there are risk factors that increase your chances of developing blood clots like smoking or taking birth control bills. But he adds blood clots don’t care, under the right circumstances they will happen to anybody

"If you have a family history of stroke or heart attack, you want to be checked out by your primary care team to see if you have genetic risk factors for heart attack or stroke because you have them in your family. And if you do there are specific things that can be done depending on what that risk profile looks like. From a general standpoint from the venous clots side, maintain a healthy weight, stay hydrated, and don't get dehydrated. Don't sit for unusually prolonged periods of time. You want to be up and moving around because movement is what gets the circulation that veins in the legs need to stay active and not clot."

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of blood clots and remember to reach out to your primary care provider if you are experiencing any of them, or visit your nearest emergency department if necessary.

Natural gas price increase will sting central Illinois pocketbooks

by Mark Richardson
Illinois News Connection

CHICAGO -- Forecasters are predicting another season of cold, wet weather for Illinois and the upper Midwest this winter, which could bring some high energy bills.

The National Weather Service, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and the Old Farmer's Almanac are all calling for a snowier-than-usual season, with major storms possible in January and February.

Illinoisans are being advised to take steps now to make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient.

Whitney Hayes, research analyst for the nonprofit advocacy group Elevate, said folks who heat with gas should prepare to dig deep into their wallets.

"There's a couple of things going on with gas prices, one of which is the cost of gas itself," Hayes pointed out. "And so, that does fluctuate depending on the market and depending on what's going on in the world. I mean, gas prices globally are up, it's not just the U.S."

The nonprofit Citizens Utility Board said natural gas prices have doubled or tripled in the past two years, and gas futures just hit a 14-year high. Analysts estimate for November through March, natural gas customers can expect to pay between $1,200 and $1,400 to heat their homes.

Hayes pointed out homeowners could save a significant amount on their energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions by switching to electric appliances. While it is not something everyone can afford, she stressed making even minor changes can cut costs.

"Even small things like making sure that there's air sealing around windows and doors, electrical sockets," Hayes outlined. "Even those things can add up when you kind of seal it in -- almost 10% of energy savings -- by doing those small little things."

Hayes added higher gas bills are often a result of regulators allowing utilities to pass along cost increases they incur in what they pay for gas, and the cost of maintaining and expanding the equipment they use to deliver it. She explained both can increase a ratepayer's bottom line.

"In the U.S., and especially in the Illinois-Chicago area, there's a lot of infrastructure costs that people are paying for," Hayes noted. "Gas companies have made all these plans to improve the infrastructure, so that gets funneled down into people's bills."

Illinois teachers are focusing on post-pandemic learning strategies

byMark Richardson
Illinois News Connection

CHICAGO -- Illinois educators are investing millions of dollars to accelerate the learning recovery process for students who fell behind their grade level during the pandemic.

The State Board of Education is implementing the Illinois Tutoring Initiative, a high-impact instruction program targeting the state's highest-need school districts.

Post-pandemic test data show only 30% of Illinois students read at grade level, and 75% are not proficient in math.

Jennifer Kirmes, executive director for teaching and learning at the Illinois State Board of Education, said the goal is to bring students up to speed as quickly as possible.

"The bottom line is so that students who weren't able to progress at what would have been the expected pace, as a result of the disruptions from the pandemic, are able to grow faster now as a result of this program," Kirmes explained.

So far, they have trained almost 500 so-called "high-impact" tutors to provide learning recovery instruction in 45 school districts statewide, and the department has distributed grant funds to an additional 27 districts to design and implement their own programs.

The initiative is funded by a $25 million grant from federal pandemic relief funds. Kirmes pointed out districts are chosen based on funding levels, their number of low-income students, and the impact of COVID-19 on lost, in-person instructional time.

"High-impact tutoring really works intentionally on the skills and competencies that students need to succeed," Kirmes noted. "Certainly with their homework, but also in classroom assignments and on assessments, with additional content."

She added as many as 45 additional districts will launch high-impact tutoring in early 2023 as the state expands the initiative.

Guest Commentary |
None of us are immune

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Award-winning actress Kirstie Alley was diagnosed with cancer shortly before her untimely death at the young age of 71. Grammy award-winning Celine Dion has recently been diagnosed with a neurological disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. The disease attacks about one in a million and is a very debilitating disease.  She is 54 years old.  

Disease, death and bad news can attack anyone at any age and none of us are immune. 

Good news came to Britney Griner who spent 10 months in a Russian prison for allegedly having hashish oil in her suitcase at a Moscow airport. She was recently released and is now back in the United States. The Bad news is that arms dealer Victor Bout who smuggled millions of weapons to the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa was released from prison in exchange for Griner’s release. 

Paul Whelan a former United States marine received bad news in that he is still being held in a Russian prison accused of spying. Russia is apparently holding onto him for another deal with the United States. It’s tragic that he wasn’t released with Griner. 

Please stay out of Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. There are other places to avoid as well but there are plenty of nice places to visit. 

My deceased wife was 37 when she received the bad news that she had multiple sclerosis. The diagnosis was very bad news and Karen died one day at a time for 12 years. The last four years of her life she could do nothing. She required 24-hour care. She became a person trapped inside a body. She died at the age of 49. The toll that such a disease took on our family and my young sons was severe. Such an illness changes the lives of the entire family. Everyone to some extent is involved in the caregiving and are changed by the emotional drain of sickness and death. However, no one suffers as much as the person struggling with the disease. 

Such life struggles play havoc with holidays such as Christmas. Our family never had a normal Christmas for at least 12 years. However, it became our new normal.

Jesus is good news at Christmas. He was bad news to King Herod of Judea. Herod was a mental illness case who ordered the death of all male babies two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem. He hoped to eliminate Jesus because wise men from the East had come to worship him. We must pray for the families of Kirstie Alley, Celine Dion and Paul Whelan and many others. These families are suffering. Fame and fortune never provide a way of escaping bad news and the results of bad news. We should also pray for one another and rejoice with any good news that comes each other’s way.

We are all sojourners in this life. The message of Christmas is a Savior is born, Christ the Lord, peace on earth and good will toward all. 

May good news find its way to you this season of the year and may we all with God’s grace be there for each other when the news is not so good. 


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


Grab a smaller plate this holiday season to help keep those cheerful pounds off

Photo: Unsplash/Brooke Lark

by Tim Ditman
OSF Healthcare

SAVOY -- December and January bring bountiful holiday meals.

While it’s tempting to chow down, experts are cautioning about how overindulgence can make you feel mentally and physically crummy in the moment, plus open the door to long-term unhealthy eating habits.

Have the right mindset

Andrew Zasada, MD, an OSF HealthCare internal medicine physician in Savoy, Illinois, says avoiding stuffing yourself starts before you sit down for the meal.

“If you come to the meal hungry, you tend to try to make up for not having breakfast. You load your plate up, which is going to cause you to overeat,” Dr. Zasada says. “Instead, have a light snack an hour or two before you sit down to the meal.

“Put the food in one room and sit down in another room to eat. That necessitates you going there rather than having food available for another fill.”

The meal itself

Enjoy holiday meals, Dr. Zasada says. It’s not a race.

Grab a smaller plate, and take smaller portions of each item. Pretend you’re filling the plate up for a child. You wouldn’t take five rolls and two big slabs of meat for a youngster, so don’t do it for your adult self.

Other tips: Chew slowly. Between bites, put your utensil down, take a drink of water and talk to someone. This allows your stomach to fill up and tell your brain that you’re full.

When you finish eating, leave the table, and go to another room. Staying next to the food increases the temptation to keep nibbling.

If you can’t help it

Dr. Zasada says despite our best efforts, sometimes you overeat during holiday meals. Maybe you don’t want to offend your aunt by not having a slice of her famous pie.

If that happens, Dr. Zasada says there are two pitfalls to avoid: Drinking alcohol and lying down right after the meal.

“That opens up the sphincters of your stomach, slows down digestion and increases the chance for heartburn,” Dr. Zasada says.

Try tea or coffee after a meal instead of alcohol. But if you must indulge in a spirit, Dr. Zasada says to wait at least 90 minutes so your stomach can partially empty.

Instead of lying down for that post-meal nap, sit upright, talk to people or play a game. If the weather is nice, go for a walk.

A word on more serious eating issues

Holiday meals may be difficult for people who suffer from eating disorders, such as binge eating (eating a lot in one sitting and feeling you can’t stop), anorexia nervosa (an unwarranted fear of being overweight which leads to things like starvation) or bulimia nervosa (taking unhealthy steps to avoid weight gain like purging your food).

Dr. Zasada says, in the moment, you should have someone you trust who can help you through the holiday meal and check in with you later. Long term, he says these are serious issues that should be talked about with a health care provider.

“Repeated bulimia will damage your teeth. It’s corrosive. You lose electrolytes when you vomit,” Dr. Zasada says. “You become sick. If you do this repeatedly, you will lose weight in an unhealthy way. You will possibly dehydrate. You will start losing muscle mass.

“It’s just not a good thing.”

Bottom line: Don’t get discouraged

Dr. Zasada says one day of extra eating may make you feel bad, but it isn’t going to derail your overall health.

“One day won’t make you fat,” he says.

Get back into your healthy eating habits the next day while enjoying those leftovers in moderation. If you feel you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight or body image, talk to your primary care provider. They may refer you to a specialist like a dietitian or mental health provider. From there, plans could include a diet and exercise regimen, medication or, in rare cases, weight loss surgery.

Photo of the Day | December 14, 2022

Smith receives All-Tournament honors

St. Joseph-Ogden's Logan Smith takes the ball to the hoop during the Toyota of Danville Classic title game against Oakwood on December 3. The junior finished with 10 points in the Spartans' 66-31 victory over the Comets. While helping SJO maintain their perfect early season record, Smith earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.

Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Search the PhotoNews Media archives for more photos:

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Hypertension is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease

DALLAS - High levels of lipoprotein(a), a type of “bad” cholesterol, may be associated with a 24% higher risk of cardiovascular disease among people who have hypertension, however, CVD risk was not higher among those without hypertension, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

“High blood pressure is a known cardiovascular disease risk factor, and lipoprotein(a) is a type of inherited ‘bad’ cholesterol that may also lead to cardiovascular disease,” said lead study author Rishi Rikhi, M.D., M.S., a cardiovascular medicine fellow at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “We found that among people with hypertension who have never experienced a stroke or heart attack before, lipoprotein(a) seems to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and risk of a major cardiovascular event like heart attack or stroke.”

Hypertension is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In this study, hypertension was defined as a top number of 140 mmHg or higher, a bottom number of 90 or mmHg or the use of blood pressure medication. In 2017, the Association updated its definition of hypertension to be a top number of 130 mmHg or higher or a bottom number of 80 mmHg or higher.  Previous studies have indicated that when a person has hypertension and lipid imbalance, or dyslipidemia, their cardiovascular disease risk substantially increases. According to the study’s authors, there is less information on how much of an affect lipoprotein(a) may have on cardiovascular disease risk among people with hypertension.

Lipoproteins, which are made up of protein and fat, carry cholesterol through the blood. The subtypes of lipoproteins include low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a). Much like LDL cholesterol, lipoprotein(a) cholesterol may deposit and build up in the walls of blood vessels, thus increasing a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The research used health data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study, an ongoing community-based study in the U.S. of subclinical cardiovascular disease—meaning the disease is discovered before there are clinical signs and symptoms. MESA is a research study including nearly 7,000 adults that began in 2000 and is still following participants in six locations across the U.S.: Baltimore; Chicago; New York; Los Angeles County, California; Forsyth County, North Carolina; and St. Paul, Minnesota. At the time of enrollment in the study, all participants were free from cardiovascular disease.

The current study included 6,674 MESA participants who had lipoprotein(a) levels and blood pressure assessed and for whom there was documented cardiovascular disease event data throughout MESA’s follow-up exams in approximately 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2017 and in telephone interviews every 9 to 12 months to gather interim data on new diagnoses, procedures, hospitalization and deaths. The study’s participants were from diverse racial and ethnic groups: 38.6% self-identified as white adults; 27.5% self-identified as African American adults; 22.1% self-identified as Hispanic adults; and 11.9% self-identified as Chinese American (n=791) adults.  Additionally, more than half of the group was female (52.8%).

To evaluate the potential correlation between hypertension and lipoprotein(a) on the development of cardiovascular disease, the researchers first categorized the participants into groups based on their lipoprotein(a) levels and blood pressure measures obtained once at baseline:

  • Group 1 (2,837 people): lipoprotein(a) levels less than 50 mg/dL and no hypertension.
  • Group 2 (615 people): lipoprotein(a) levels greater than or equal to 50mg/dL and no hypertension
  • Group 3 (2,502 people): lipoprotein(a) levels less than 50mg/dL and hypertension
  • Group 4 (720 people): lipoprotein(a) levels ≥ 50mg/dL and hypertension

Participants were followed for an average of approximately 14 years and cardiovascular events, including heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke or death from coronary artery disease, were tracked.

The study’s results include:

  • A total of 809 of the participants experienced a cardiovascular disease event.
  • Lipoprotein(a) levels had an effect on hypertension status that was statistically significant (meaning it was not due to chance).
  • When compared to Group 1 (low lipoprotein(a) levels and no hypertension), Group 2 (higher lipoprotein(a) levels and no hypertension) did not have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease events.
  • Less than 10% of Group 1 (7.7%) and Group 2 (participants 8%) had cardiovascular disease events.
  • Participants in Groups 3 and 4, all of whom had hypertension, demonstrated a statistically significant increase in risk for cardiovascular disease events when compared to those in Group 1.
  • Approximately 16.2% of the people in Group 3 (lower lipoprotein(a) levels and hypertension) had cardiovascular disease events, and 18.8% of the participants in Group 4 (higher lipoprotein(a) levels and hypertension) experienced cardiovascular disease events.

“We found that the overwhelming amount of cardiovascular risk in this diverse population appears to be due to hypertension,” Rikhi said. “Additionally, individuals with hypertension had even higher cardiovascular risk when lipoprotein(a) was elevated. The fact that lipoprotein(a) appears to modify the relationship between hypertension and cardiovascular disease is interesting, and suggests important interactions or relationships for hypertension, lipoprotein(a) and cardiovascular disease, and more research is needed.”

Everyone can improve their cardiovascular health by following the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8: eating healthy food, being physically active, not smoking, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Cardiovascular disease claims more lives each year in the U.S. than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined, according to the American Heart Association.

Rockets make a statement bouncing Maroons in home win, 65-56

TOLONO -- Mark Twain said, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of the fight in the dog." Unity showed visiting Champaign Central (1-4) that despite more than half their size in enrollment, they can run with big dogs after prevailing 65-56 in the non-conference meeting at the Rocket Center on Tuesday.

Henry Thomas led all scorers with a game-high 25 points, 11 of them, thanks to 13 trips to the free throw line for the Rockets. Also finishing with double-digit scoring for the home team were Dalton O'Neill with 16 points, and Austin Langendorf, who had 10.

Expecting an easy non-league match, the Maroons' comfortable first quarter 15-7 lead evaporated by the end of the second, with the Rockets trailing by one at the break, 30-29.

O'Neill, a junior, drained two of his three treys in the contest in the third quarter igniting the Unity offense.

Central, paced by Chris Bush's 20-points performance in the first three periods of play, couldn't buy a shot in the final quarter. When the sophomore's shooting prowess fizzled out, and the team's offense went colder than a Siberian winter day despite David Riley's attempt to heat things up, scoring all eight of his team's fourth-quarter points.

The Rockets doubled the Champaign school's output, thanks to another three from O'Neill and nine points from Henry Thomas in his best frame of the night.

Improving to 4-2 on the season, the Rockets hit the hardwood again on Friday at Clifton Central and host Pleasant Plains on Saturday at 4:30 pm.

Box Score

Unity       7  22  20  16 -- 65
Central  15  15  18     8 -- 56

Thomas 3(0)-0-0--6, Cowan 0(1)-0-0--3, Thomas 7(0)-13-11--25, Meibach 0(0)-0-0--0, Warfel 0(0)-0-0--0, Saunders 1(0)-2-1--3, Porter 0(0)-2-2--2, O'Neill 1(3)-7-5--16, Ruggeri 0(0)-0-0--0, Langendorf 3(0)-8-4--10, Maxwell 0(0)-0-0--0, Bleecher 0(0)-0-0--0.

Robinson 0(0)-2-1--1, Clifton 0(0)-0-0--0, Davis 0(0)-2-2--2, Rhone 1(0)-6-5--7, Swanson 0(0)-0-0--0, Bush 1(4)-7-6--20, Chen 2(1)-4-1--8, Hastentab 0(0)-0-0--0, Baldwin 1(1)-0-0--5, Riley 2(3)-0-0--13, Harmon 0(0)-0-0--0, Christmon 0(0)-0-0--0, Sutton 0(0)-0-0--0, Brandy 0(0)-0-0--0.

Zamora leads Hoopeston Area in 8-point win over Westville

HOOPESTON -- Anthony Zamora stepped up with a 15 point finish to lead Hoopeston Area to a 54-46 conference win over Westville on Tuesday.

Zamora, averaging 12.3 points per game, made six of his eight shots from the field and drained half of his attempts from the line. The senior collected a team-high five steals.

Junior Owen Root and sophomore Trenton Montez also finished with double-digit scores against the Tigers. Root logged two boards and two assist to give the Vermilion Valley team their first conference win of the season with his 13 points performance. Montez came off the bench to score 10 points, four from the charity stripe.

The Cornjerkers improve to 4-5 on the season. The team travels to Milford (5-2) on Thursday to face the Bearcats in another conference test and follows up with another game on Friday evening at St. Anne (2-9), who are 1-3 at home against opponents this season.

Box Score

Hoopeston   13     7   16   18   - 54
Westville      13     5     5    23 - 46

Root 4(1)-3-2--13, Montez 3(0)-6-4--10, VanDerVeer 1(0)-1-3--5, Rush 0(2)-0-1--7, Zamora 6(0)-6-3--15, Sigerill 1(0)-2-1--3.

Not reported

Thanks to property taxes, Illinois ranks 36th out of all 50 states

byMark Richardson
Illinois News Connection

CHICAGO -- As Illinois residents get ready to pay their taxes next year, they could be in for some sticker shock.

The 2023 State Business Tax Index survey, out this week, ranked Illinois 36th out of the 50 states for the efficiency and competitiveness of its tax code. The results showed while wage earners are doing well, small businesses, homeowners, and consumers are shouldering an outsized share of the state's tax burden.

Janelle Fritts, policy analyst for the Tax Foundation, said even though Illinois finished in the bottom third of the rankings, it could have been worse.

"Illinois' best category is the personal income tax, and that's because Illinois has a flat income tax with a relatively low rate of 4.95%," Fritts pointed out. "That is really what's bringing up the score from being even lower."

The annual survey, put out by the Washington D.C.-based Tax Foundation, ranks states based on how their tax policies affect the state's economy. Fritts explained governments need to earn revenue, but when taxes get too high, the economy is less competitive and can drive people to move to states with lower taxes.

Fritts added Illinois' other tax categories, including sales, corporate, and unemployment, are dragging down the state's rankings, but one particular levy is taking the biggest bite.

"Where Illinois really struggles is property taxes, which I'm sure will come as no surprise," Fritts contended. "Illinois has very, very large property-tax burdens in terms of how much they bring in and how big of a portion of personal income property taxes are."

Fritts noted the effectiveness of a state's tax system often determines the success of its economy.

"States' biggest competitors are each other," Fritts remarked. "As the economy is becoming increasingly mobile, tax competitiveness matters more than ever before. So people are looking at those tax codes. They do make a difference for both businesses and residences. So states do need to be aware of how they compare."

Neighboring states Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin were all ranked higher than Illinois. The top five in the survey were Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida and Montana. New Jersey came in last.

Tolono's Giving Place helps 10 families

TOLONO -- Located at 113 North Bourne in Tolono, The Giving Place is seeking donations of canned fruit, canned beans, canned tomato products, canned spaghetti sauce, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jelly, mac & cheese and pasta meals to serve families in the Unit 7 school district. The Christian ministry food pantry is open one day a week on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 6:00.

The Giving Place also publicly thanked The Sweet Adelines "for their generous food donations" at the recent holiday party. Last week, they were able to help ten families with the Food Pantry.

TGP will hold its next monthly free clothing giveaway on Saturday, January 7, 2023.

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