Illinois Fighting Illini News for March 5, 2014
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Fred Kroner's March 6 prep sports chat

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:30pmHigh school related sports questions? Ask our Executive Sports editor Fred Kroner. Questions can be submitted any time and he will anwer then on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m.

Central, Centennial to meet again

Class 3A regional title on the line when Champaign rivals meet Friday night at Combes Gym. CHAMPAIGN — This season’s Battle of Champaign will be decided Friday night — with a regional title on the line.Second-seeded Champaign Central defeated third-seeded Mahomet-Seymour 58-49 on Wednesday night in a Class 3A semifinal.Next up for the Maroons: a date against top-seeded Centennial at Combes Gym. read more

Spartans flame out in overtime

Four different Reed-Custer players drained first-quarter three-pointers, and the team’s ball-hawking, double-teaming pressure forced 26 turnovers as SJ-O was bounced from the postseason in overtime, 77-72. WESTVILLE — Brian Brooks sets up the St. Joseph-Ogden boys’ basketball schedule with one motive in mind.“We want to see different styles to get us prepared for the postseason,” Brooks said.His choices of nonconference opponents included ones with size, quickness, slowdown te

Illini must develop play-makers at D's play-making positions [$]

Outside linebacker coach Al Seamonson and his crew may hold to the key to the improvement of the Illini defense in 2014.

Matt Daniels: Hot reads from practice

Our college football beat writer picked up on these three things during the Illini's first day of spring practice. 1. Staying warm. Those who walked from Memorial Stadium to the Irwin Indoor Facility on Wednesday morning had rosy cheeks and watering eyes. Thanks, wind. For the players who went through the paces of the practice, they didn’t have to worry about the cold, going through drills and plays inside. read more

Boys Class 2A Sectional: SJ-O and Reed-Custer

St. Joseph-Ogden and Reed-Custer the IHSA Class 2A sectional game at Westville High School Wednesday March 5, 2014.

Foster: Pro day can lead to NFL

New Orleans player made the most of his chance last year at Illinois' event. Evan Wilson and others will try to do the same Thursday. CHAMPAIGN — Evan Wilson passes the eye test upon first glance.He’s tall. He’s big. The genetic makeup of a tight end is evident.  The former Illinois player knows, however, he must pass numerous other tests in front of multiple NFL scouts this morning at Illinois’ pro day. Like the 40-yard dash. Three-cone drills. Bench-press reps. Vertical jum

Bulletin board: B-H's Bott selects Marshall

BISMARCK — Senior Andy Bott, from Bismarck-Henning, will sign a letter of intent next month to continue his golf career at Marshall University, in Conference USA. He will major in business and said eventually, “I want to do something in the golf industry.”Bott, the area Player of the Year for the past three seasons, also considered Illinois Wesleyan University. read more

Chart toppers: A-L keeps coaching in family

Dale Schuring and his wife, Val Cornwell, have a reciprocal agreement. They help each other.They are part of the same family team, even though it’s usually the exact same sports team.As veteran coaches at Arthur High School, they’ve had to adjust their own schedules when conflicts arise. Sometimes the reciprocal agreement includes their squads. read more

N-G Top 10: Boys' basketball — Shakeup at the top

SCHOOL (Previous)    REC.    SINCE 20001. Centennial (3)    24-4    six regional titles2. St. Thomas More (—)    21-7    three regional titles3. Champaign Central (5)    16-10    six regional titles read more

Position Battles Tracker: Version 1.0 [$]

An update on the position battles to track following the first practice of spring.

Teams of the Week: Danville boys in spotlight

****DANVILLE BOYS’ BASKETBALLThe Vikings (11-16) hit their peak at season’s end, winning four of their last five games to advance into Friday’s Class 4A regional title game at Normal Community. Senior Denzel Smith has 60 points and 18 rebounds and is 16 for 16 from the free throw line in two regional games.*** read more

Athletes of the Week: Stutsman, Harshbarger

Max StutsmanSalt Fork, senior, basketballRecently: Won three games in five days to capture the Catlin 1A Regional crown. Stutsman had 66 points for the week, including a season-high 31 in the title game against Milford. read more

Boys 3A Regional:Central vs. Mahomet-Seymour

Champaign Central vs. Mahomet-Seymour in their 3A Regional semi-final game at Central in Champaign on March 4, 2014.

Nobody reported hurt in mobile home fire

URBANA — A Wednesday afternoon fire destroyed a mobile home in rural Urbana. Nobody was reported hurt. According to a Carroll Fire Department report, firefighters were called to a fire at 29 Gurth Drive at 3:15 p.m. Firefighters from the Eastern Prairie Fire Department provided mutual aid assistance. read more

Recently offered CB plans visit [$]

Orange and Blue News caught up with recently offered cornerback Nick Coleman ahead of his visit to Illinois this weekend for a junior day.

Pitt offers QB Alex Malzone

Offering a quarterback usually requires a lengthy evaluation process, and Pittsburgh has been watching Brother Rice (Mich.) three-star signal caller Alex Malzone for several months before Wednesday's offer.

Daniels previews two trips this month

Warren (Ohio) Harding's James Daniels is the No. 3 ranked offensive center in the 2015 class, and his offer list reflects that ranking. He will see two schools that have offered later this month.

Asafo-Adjei visits local school

West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei did not have to travel far for his most recent recruiting visit, making the short drive to Cincinnati this past weekend.

Sports Talk 3-5-14

Sports Talk 3-5-14: Play now!News Gazette sports writer Marcus Jackson joins Steve on today's show. They discuss the latest in sports news, the first day of spring practice for the Illini football team, and the Illini men's basketball team's chances at post-season play. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

Wrestling. #17 Illini Set for Big Ten Championships

The Fighting Illini wrestling team heads to Madison, Wis. for the 2014 Big Ten Championships on March 8-9.

Some in Rantoul angry over firing

A number of residents are angry about Friday's firing of Rantoul Village Administrator Bruce Sandahl, and several of them, including business people and two former trustees, let Mayor Chuck Smith and the village board know about it. RANTOUL - A number of residents are angry about Friday's firing of Rantoul Village Administrator Bruce Sandahl, and several of them, including business people and two former trustees, let Mayor Chuck Smith and the village board know about it. rea

UI Opera Singer Bethany Stiles

FF-Opera-Singer.jpg   Bethany Stiles, a University of Illinois graduate student in music, sits at her piano where she practices her version of the "Illinois" state song at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Videographer/Producer:  Heather Coit

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard 3-5-14

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard 3-5-14: Play now!Brian Moline talks to the mayor about Unofficial St. Patrick's Day, potholes and more. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

VIDEO: Hundreds at UI mark Ash Wednesday

Hundreds of students and others on the University of Illinois campus marked Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  Hundreds of students and others on the University of Illinois campus marked Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.  Here is Paul Wood's story about the observance.

Q&A roundup, March 18, 2014 primary

Here are Q&As for the upcoming primary election for Champaign County Board, Illinois House District 103 and the 13th Congressional District. Champaign County Board candidates are here. read more

In populist appeal, Obama spotlights minimum wage

Mounting a show of support from like-minded governors, President Barack Obama put a spotlight Wednesday on a minimum wage push that Democrats hope will appeal to economically squeezed voters in November's midterm elections. JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press read more

Transcript of president's speech on minimum wage March 5, 2014...

Transcript provided by the White House of President Barack Obama's remarkls on March 5, 2014, at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Conn.   read more

Softball. Softball Flies South for Florida Atlantic Tournament...

Illinois heads to Boca Raton this weekend for the final travel tournament of the Spring, taking on No. 14 South Alabama twice, RV Hofstra and host FAU. | COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF) |

Football. Illini Open Spring Practice

The Fighting Illini opened spring practices inside the Irwin Indoor Practice Complex on Wednesday morning. Spring Report #1 | Beckman Interview |

VIDEO: Ash Wednesday

sequence.jpeg St. John's Catholic Newman Center at the Univesity of Illinoiis held their annual Ash Service on the Quad on Wednesday afternoon, March 5, 2014. Between services earlier in the day, the organization servied about 1100 students. Videographer/Producer:  John Dixon

Coal firm to pay record fine for water pollution

One of the nation's largest coal producers will pay a $27.5 million fine and spend $200 million to reduce illegal toxic discharges into hundreds of waterways across five Appalachian states. DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press read more

Q&A: Al Kurtz, Champaign County Board, District 7

Q&A with Al Kurtz, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 7, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A: Ralph Langenheim, Champaign County Board, District 9...

Q&A with Ralph Langenheim, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 9, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A: Pattsi Petrie, Champaign County Board, District 6

Q&A with Pattsi Petrie, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 6, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A: Pius Weibel, Champaign County Board, District 7

Q&A with Pius Weibel, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 7, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A: Shana Jo Harrison, Champaign County Board, District...

Q&A with Shana Jo Harrison, Democrat, Savoy, candidate for District 9, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A: Brent West, Champaign County Board, District 11

Q&A with Brent West, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 11, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A: Tony Fabri, Champaign County Board, District 6

Q&A with Tony Fabri, Democrat, Champaign, candidate for District 6, Champaign County Board read more

Q&A with candidates for Champaign County Board

Here are the answers to questions submitted by The News-Gazette to the candidates running for seats on the Champaign County Board in the March 18 primary. Here are the answers to questions submitted by The News-Gazette to the candidates running for seats on the Champaign County Board in the March 18 primary. District 6 (Here is a map of District 6) read more

Spring Ball: First Day Tidbits [$]

Quick hitting news and notes from the first day of spring football practice...

03-05-14 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast

03-05-14 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast: Play now!03-05-14 The News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast.  Fred Kroner, Matt Daniels, and Bob Asmussen  High School Sports spring seanon. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

03-05-14 Hal Higdon

03-05-14 Hal Higdon: Play now!03-05-14 Jim Turpin with author Hal Higdon 4:09:43 Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners.  Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

Woman sentenced to prison in federal wire fraud, tax case

URBANA — A Tuscola woman who admitted stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Urbana company where she worked has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution and back taxes. read more

Traffic stop brings drug, weapon charges

URBANA — A Champaign man who police say ran from them after a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon has been charged with drug and weapon offenses that could net him 30 years in prison if convicted. read more

Q&A with candidates for 13th Congressional District

Questionnaires from the candidates for the 13th Congressional District. Here are the answers to questions submitted by The News-Gazette to the candidates running for the U.S. House 13th District seat. Republicans Here are the answers for incumbent Rodney Davis, Taylorville. read more

Q&A: Michael Firsching, U.S. House, 13th District

Q&A with Michael Firsching, Republican, Moro, candidate for 13th District, U.S. House. 1. Do you favor repeal of the Affordable Care Act? If so, should Congress move quickly to approve an alternate health care program that would cover all or most Americans? What kind of provisions, coverage do you think it should include? read more

M. Golf. Campbell Named Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week

Brian Campbell was named Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week on Wednesday, while he and teammate Thomas Detry also were included in the first spring Palmer Cup ranking. Palmer Cup Ranking |

W. Basketball. Big Ten Tourney Notes & Links: Illinois vs. #23...

No. 12 seed Illinois (9-20, 2-14) opens the 2014 Big Ten Tournament against fifth-seeded and No. 23 Iowa (23-7, 11-5) Thursday at approximately 1:30 p.m. CT. BTN2Go | Listen ($) | Gametracker | Printable Notes |

iPTV: Dismantled Before the Renovation [$]

Michigan gave Illinois it's worst beating in State Farm Center history on Tuesday night. Here's a brief recap of what happened and Coach Groce's thoughts moving forward.

Man arrested over mugging on campus last summer

URBANA — A Champaign man wanted in connection with a mugging on campus last summer was arrested Tuesday. Arsenio P. Carter, 26, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Thornton Drive, was charged in August with attempted robbery and aggravated battery in connection with an Aug. 17 attack on a Champaign man. read more

In The Stands - Illini Blasted by Michigan [$]

Join Fletcher Page and Taylor Rooks for a casual conversation about IIllinois falling to Michigan.

2014 Spring Football Practice

The University of Illinois football team held their first Spring Practice at the Irwin Indoor Facility on Wednesday March 5, 2014.

Support for UI varsity hockey lacks key component - funding

Until a super-rich, super-generous hockey superfan shows that he really wants Illinois to have a hockey team, Illinois probably won't have a hockey team because it's just not financially feasible.

Michigan too good for Illini

Michigan clinched the outright Big Ten title with a performance that was just too good for the Illini to overcome. They would finish with the largest win by an opponent in the State Farm Center, 83-52, including a school record and visitor record 16 three pointers.

Orpheus in the Underworld

Scenes during a rehearsal of Orpheus in the Underworld at Krannert Center for Performing Arts on  Tuesday, March 4, 2014. It runs Thursday March 6 to Saturday March 9 at 7:30 pm and Sunday March 9 at 3 pm in the Tryon Festival Theatre.

Auditions set for Middleton work

URBANA — The Early Modern Workshop of the University of Illinois Department of English will have auditions for Thomas Middleton's "The Revenger's Tragedy" from 6 to 10 tonight in Room 150, English Building, 608 S. Wright St. The company gave this synopsis: read more

Film on Title IX to debut on Big Ten Network

URBANA — The Big Ten Network will premiere, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, the new documentary, "Title IX: Let 'em Play." The documentary also will be broadcast at 10 p.m. Friday, airing both before the first game of the Big Ten women's basketball tournament and immediately after the last game in the tournament. read more

Facility adding class for fourth-, fifth-graders

University Primary School plans to expand next year by adding a classroom for fourth- and fifth-graders.   CHAMPAIGN — A campus-based grade school plans to expand next year by adding a classroom for fourth- and fifth-graders. University Primary School is a small laboratory school run by the University of Illinois College of Education and located in the lower level of the Children's Research Center off Gerty Drive in Champaign. read more

Teacher: Students benefit from chess club

When originally asked to help lead an elementary school chess club, Monticello resource teacher Mindy Donahue said no.  But when her 10-year-old son Riley seconded the idea, she said "I'm in." She hasn't regretted it, and has seen benefits ranging from increased critical thinking skills to more simple common courtesy among the 40 fourth- and fifth-graders who take part in the weekly lunch-hour activity.   MONTICELLO — When originally asked to help lead an elementary school c

Illinois Ancestors: Illinois Archives' 2013 acquisitions are...

Genealogists, historians, attorneys and others are indebted to the Illinois State Archives for continuing to house and make accessible state and local government records.   Genealogists, historians, attorneys and others are indebted to the Illinois State Archives for continuing to house and make accessible state and local government records that document various activities within the state. read more

Deadline nears for health insurance signup

If you still don't have health insurance, you've got less than a month to sign up.   If you still don't have health insurance, you've got less than a month to sign up. The six-month open enrollment period that was launched Oct. 1, 2013 to meet the Affordable Care Act requirement that nearly everyone have health insurance this year will close at the end of March. read more

Toddler, family deal with blood disorder

A happy Joe Heath doesn't want much for his second birthday — just blood. A bone marrow donor is also on his wish list. MAHOMET — A happy Joe Heath doesn't want much for his second birthday — just blood. A bone marrow donor is also on his wish list, but if he can't find a match right away, he and his parents would be thrilled with gifts of blood so others may have the life-saving opportunities Joe has had in the last year. read more

My Amish Home: Warm thoughts about cold winter days

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 read more

Empty nests subject of Paxton play

PAXTON — The Tri-County Players will present at the Market Street Theatre this and next weekend "The Kids Left. The Dog Died. Now What?" The show is described as a heartfelt look at the day-to-day concerns of over-50 empty-nesters. The musical comedy revue by Carole Caplan-Lonner premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007. read more

Shave for the Brave fundraiser scheduled for this weekend

CHAMPAIGN — The fund-raiser Shave for the Brave will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at B.J. Grand Salon & Spa, 3006 Crossing Ct. read more

Third concert of season scheduled Sunday

CHAMPAIGN — The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana will give their third concert of the season at 3 p.m. Sunday at McKinley Presbyterian Church, Fifth and John streets. The concert features one of the Baroque period's most popular composers — George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). The two featured works are relatively unknown but beautiful anthems, BACH director Chester Alwes said. read more

Parkland to impose registration deadlines

Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, Parkland College will implement registration deadlines, meaning students will no longer be able to sign up for classes after they begin. CHAMPAIGN — Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, Parkland College will implement registration deadlines, meaning students will no longer be able to sign up for classes after they begin. Students interested in enrolling in classes at Parkland must register by 11:59 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the start

Military news: Tuscola grad awarded medal

Corp. Jerry Wilke has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for outstanding service and performance of his duties while serving as Utilities Quality Control Non-Commissioned Officer, Combat Logistics, Battalion 13, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. read more

Turner ready to serve on Vermilion board

It is with much respect for this candidate that I submit my letter of recommendation for Chad Turner who is running for Vermilion County Board in District 5. I have known Chad for the last 14 years. Chad is a lifelong resident of Vermilion County. read more

Tom Kacich: Rosenberg mailer turns Madigan into a hypocrite

One of the newest mailpieces from Sam Rosenberg, the Democratic candidate for the Illinois House in the 103rd District, gets an award for political chutzpah.   One of the newest mailpieces from Sam Rosenberg, the Democratic candidate for the Illinois House in the 103rd District, gets an award for political chutzpah. It's paid for by the Democratic Majority political action committee chaired by House Speaker Michael Madigan. read more

Former TV Broadcaster Paul Davis 3/5/2014

Former TV Broadcaster Paul Davis 3/5/2014: Play now!Liz and Loanie talk about a wide variety of toped with broadcast legend Paul Davis. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." Download now!

Flute player to be featured at free recital Sunday

URBANA — The Urbana Pops Orchestra's principal flute player, Ai Yamaguchi, will be the featured performer at the ensemble's third of five free recitals at 2 p.m. Sunday in the auditorium on the lower level of the Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St. read more

Aren't low-riding pants indecent?

With my granddaughter's birthday right around the corner, I decided to head to Market Place Mall for a gift. Upon my arrival, I couldn't help but see a giant freak show. read more

'The Nerd' will be presented in Sidney

SIDNEY — The Creative Dramatics Workshop will present "The Nerd" by Larry Shue this and next weekend, at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. "The Nerd" is a comedy about an old army buddy of Willum's who shows up to help his architect business but becomes the classic "nerd" of the play. read more

Local women's center thanks supporters

We greatly appreciated reporter Deb Pressey's Feb. 25 article on Austin's Place. The Center for Women in Transition is proud to work with United Way of Champaign County, First United Methodist Church of Champaign and their dedicated volunteers to make emergency shelter available for women in Champaign-Urbana. read more

Area history, March 5, 2014

Today is Wednesday, March 5, 2014. News reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago: read more

One big case

Less is more in the case of public employees and retirees challenging changes to their pensions.   Less is more in the case of public employees and retirees challenging changes to their pensions. Before the Illinois courts can make a decision on the constitutionality of last year's controversial pension reform legislation, they had to get procedures straight. read more

This day in history: March 5, 2014

Today is Ash Wednesday, March 5, the 64th day of 2014. There are 301 days left in the year. Today's highlight: On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. Churchill declared: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent." On this date: read more

Road crew did good job patching Mattis

I want to commend the crew that filled the potholes on North Mattis Avenue, north of Bradley Avenue. Sometimes filled potholes are still rough to drive on, but this crew did an excellent job of providing a pretty smooth road, considering what it was before their work. read more

License issue up in the air

There's no question that changing attitudes and federal court decisions have ushered in a societal revolution on the marriage front.   Jumping the gun may be popular in some quarters, but it's no sure thing. There's no question that changing attitudes and federal court decisions have ushered in a societal revolution on the marriage front. read more

What's going on with newspaper changes?

Who do we have to thank for the dramatic changes going on to The News-Gazette over the last several months, and why are these changes being made? What I'm referring to is the substantial increase in coverage of local and area news combined with the substantial decrease in coverage of state, national and international news. read more

Top of the Morning, March 5, 2014

I called Jeff Finke on Tuesday to see if he waved to his former Illinois football teammate, Mike Hopkins, who was high above C-U in his role as a NASA astronaut. I called Jeff Finke on Tuesday to see if he waved to his former Illinois football teammate, Mike Hopkins, who was high above C-U in his role as a NASA astronaut. Hopkins tipped off his whereabouts by tweeting the photo above: "Hey, University of Illinois. It took a while, but I finally got a cloud free pass. Looking g

'Inextinguishable' concert set for Saturday night

Concertgoers are invited to arrive early to listen to young musicians URBANA — The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will present the concert "Inextinguishable" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. read more

Disagreeing with Pitts results in bigot label

Every day I rush home after work to read the editorial page of The News-Gazette, hoping to be enlightened by rational discussion. And every Wednesday I am informed by editorial columnist Leonard Pitts that I am nothing but a bigot and a racist. read more

Spring (practice) is here!

“It’s really cold out,” quarterback Wes Lunt said with a laugh. “I thought we’d get out of winter by now.”Not so fast, even though Tim Beckman’s third team is about to start spring practices. In fact, by the time you finish your first cup of coffee this morning, chances are Lunt, Aaron Bailey and Reilly O’Toole have already worked on taking snaps and completing passes. The week started with a snow-covered playing surface at Memorial Stadium.Bone-chilling temperatures. Not exac

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