In The Know | Headlines you might have missed


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Urbana picks up home win over Danville
McKenzie Sprague is fouled

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

Photo of the Day | December 30, 2022

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

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

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


5 tips to shed those extra holiday pounds

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

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

Photo: Avelino Calvar Martinez/Burst

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

1. Keep healthy food in sight

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

2. Give yourself a bedtime

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

3. Work out in 10-minute sets

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

4. Drink more water

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

5. Forgive a slip-up

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

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

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

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

by Samantha Young
Kaiser Health News

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

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


Photo: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Photo of the Day | December 26, 2022

Sammi Christman from Urbana volleyball team

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


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


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


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

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



    Season's Greetings

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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



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




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