April 20, 2017

Howard Chueh runs in Illinois Marathon

Howard Chueh runs at Illinois Marathon
April 22, 2017 - Champaign, IL - Howard Chueh runs to a 63rd place finish in the Mens 25-29 division during the 2017 Illinois Marathon. The Taiwan native finished the race at 4:12:20. He crossed the finish line 597th overall out of 1,216 competitors on Saturday. See more photos from the 2017 Illinois Marathon or use the handy search tool on this page to search our archives for Illinois Marathon from other years. (Photo: PhotoNews Media)

April 18, 2017

We need help fast

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

The new medical insurance premium for my wife and I will be just a few dollars shy of $2,000 per month for 2017. This amounts to a total of $24,000 for the year. Should either of us have a serious illness or medical procedure then our out of pocket expense will be $11,000. Therefore we could potentially be out $35,000 in medical expenses in one year. I hope we aren't but the potential is always there. Of course, that would be better than a $100,000 medical expense or being shoved into bankruptcy because of medical bills. It is easy in today's world to rack up several hundred thousand dollars in medical expenses.

President Trump appears to be moving fast on his promises. I hope he acts fast on affordable health care because it's killing me.

I continue to hear from people who have achieved Social Security disability status. They were declared disabled by a doctor and were eventually legally approved. This not only means a nice monthly check from Social Security but it means medical care provided by the American taxpayers. Sadly, there are lots of reports of people who have obtained crooked attorneys with connections to crooked doctors who know a crooked Judge who help them get approved for disabled Social Security. I'm for anybody that is truly disabled to have this help from the American taxpayers. It's bad for America when people lie and fake an illness to get a disability check. Unfortunately when the government is writing checks multitudes line up to get their share whether they deserve it or not.

If I live a few more years I can apply for a full Social Security check and I will have Medicare. We will only have to pay for my wife's medical insurance for a little while and thus life will go on. The point is that most of us are feeling the pain of health insurance costs. Mr. President we need help fast.

Hospitals and doctors have been gouging the government and insurance companies for a long time. For years the government and insurance companies have paid it but things are changing some. Insurance companies are no longer paying for everything or paying the full price they are being charged. One doctor recently told me that he has to bill the insurance company about three times more than he would normally charge a patient to just receive close to the amount he needs for a procedure.

While our new government leadership is supposedly working on a plan to fix medical care they need to fix the rising cost of a college education. Too many college graduates are racking up $60,000 to over $100,000 in debt with horrendous interest rates being charged by some lending institutions. Colleges know they have a gravy train. Thousands of students across the country who meet the conditions can receive $5,815 in government money paid directly to their college of choice. Colleges then tack on thousands of dollars more that families or the students often have to borrow. Colleges in turn build bigger buildings and incur more debt that in turn requires more and more tuition from struggling students and families.

Many federally funded colleges pay big salaries. One college President in Kentucky made about $400,000 a year at a tiny private Christian college. That's not that huge as some Presidents today are making close to a million dollars a year. What is interesting is that his Board of Trustees promised him this same salary package upon his retirement for the rest of his life plus medical insurance, an apartment, a car and even his cell phone. Where does this money come from? The money comes from federal grants that we the taxpayers pay and from struggling students who rack up big debts so that a retired college President can receive almost $400,000 a year and additional perks for the rest of his life. Sadly, a lot of academic institutions are crumbling across this country. There are numerous cases of campuses closing and being sold to bigger institutions or closing altogether.

Average Americans can't handle what we are being handed in medical and college costs. We need help fast.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion 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 PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


April 16, 2017

April 15 Rapid Rundown

Monticello grad pitches shutout
Former Monticello High School standout Sophie Catlin threw a four-hit shutout and crushed her eighth home run of the season in the first inning for 2 RBI. Catlin is now 9-4 from the circle this year after the 8-0 victory in game one a doubleheader against Lewis & Clark.

She wasn't the only pummeling home runs in Friday's game. Megan Magsamen hit a two-run shot in the third inning and Maddy Shoemaker tacked on a solo homer in the fourth inning.

The hits kept coming in game two against the Blazers. Parkland' Haley Ginger was good for a two-run homer and Shelby Youngblood fenced a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning for the green and gold 'W'. The Cobras collected 10 hits including doubles from Magsamen, Shoemaker and Amber Tabeling.

Parkland coach earns 700th victory
After a back-to-back shutout over Lewis & Clark, Parkland College head coach Chuck Clutts joined the 700 Club after his team's home doubleheader on Friday. The veteran coach has led the Cobra softball team to the NJCAA national tournament seven times and while a national title has eluded the program, he has produced three National Runner-Up titles.

The Cobras are now on a 12-game win streak this season with an impressive 29-7 record. Clutts' team is ranked #13 in the NJCAA division 2 poll and in first place in the Midwest-Athletic Conferece.

Clutts' coaching record as of Friday's twin bill is 700-272-2.

Illini win softball opener at Michigan State
A four-run fifth inning rally at the top of the frame gave the Illini women's softball team a 6-0 lead in their series opener on the road at Michigan State. The Spartans' comeback effort fell short giving Illinois a 6-3 win in Caledonia on Friday.

Breanna Wonderly (14-9) notched another win after giving up 6 hits and striking out five of the 30 Spartan batters that came to the plate.

Meanwhile, Ruby Rivera scored twice for the Fighting Illini and tallied 3 RBI in the Big Ten Conference game.

Courting failure top-ranked Buckeyes crush Illini
Ohio State didn't pull any punches in drubbing the Illinois women's tennis team on Friday leaving no doubt why they are a top four team in college tennis this season. Despite home court advantage, the Illini fell 7-0 to the Buckeyes at Atkins Tennis Center. The Fighting Illini drop to 5-3 in the Big Ten while Ohio State remains undefeated in the conference at 8-0.

After taking the doubles point, the visitors dominated the singles half of the program thanks to a roster with five nationally ranked players. On average, the Illini players won just five games against their OSU counterparts.

Illinois' Louise Kwong faced the country's #1 college player Francesca Di Lorenzo for a second time from the service line during the match. Kwong put a long fight on the #1 court but eventually succumbed in a 6-2, 6-3 decision. Earlier, Di Lorenzo, paired Miho Kowase who is ranked 88th and the team's #3 singles player, beat Kwong and teammate Jaclyn Switkes, 6-1.

Like Kwong, Champaign native Madie Baillion lost to Kowase by the same score on court 3 after the Fighting Illini's #2 player Alexis Casati also dropped both sets 6-2, 6-3.

Engel's walk-off walk wins whips Wildcats
It was barely five minutes from becoming a two-day game when pinch hitter Tyler Engel drew a walk-off walk in the 11th inning against Northwestern at Illinois Field on Friday. His patience paid off as the Fighting Illini baseball knocked off Northwestern in the opener of their three-game series, 4-3.

Illinois center fielder Doran Turchin was good for two of his teams four runs and chipped in a RBI on 3 hits. Trent Hammond drove in two runs (Rowbottom and Turchin) in the fourth inning on a double to left center.

Joe Hoscheit led the Wildcats' effort with 2 hits and 2 RBI after five trips to the plate.

April 5, 2017

April 5 Rapid Rundown

SJO girls captures four 1st at county meet
Zea Maroon runs her leg of the 4x400m relay
Zea Maroon runs her leg of the 4x400-Meter relay during the prelim races at the IHSA Girls State Track Finals last May. Along with teammates Sam Mabry, Rylee Suits and Abbey Mizer, the foursome ran a 4:19.61 to win this year's Champaign County Meet last Saturday. Maroon also turned in a 1 minute, 2.32 second time to place second in the 400m Dash. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/ Clark Brooks)

St. Joseph-Ogden dominated the field taking the two top spots in the Girls 100m dash at the Champaign County Meet on Saturday. Frankie Izard placed first with at time of 13.26 and was followed over the finish line by teammate Aleesia Reeves. Izard also took third in the 200-Meter Dash finals.

Senior two-sport athlete Parker Francisco ran a 15.55 in the 100m Hurdles and sailed 33 feet, 1.5 inches, in the Triple Jump earning first place honors for her effort.

In the field events, Hanna Atwood, who finished second in the Class 1A Pole Vault competition last spring with a career best 11 feet, 9 inch, took home the county meet title in the event with a meet best of 10 feet, 6 inches.

Both Atwood and Francisco were on the Spartans second place 4x200-Meter relay squad.

Parkland splits Danville conference series
The Parkland softball team's bats went nuclear on their host in Danville blanketing 14 hits in the opener of their road conference game against Danville Area Community College on Sunday. The Cobras broke loose the 2-all game in the third inning plating a pair of runs to go up 4-2 on their way to a 10-2 victory.

Maddy Shoemaker led the Parkland offense with four hits and 2 RBI. Megan Magsamen, Sophie Catlin, Makenna Butcher and Haley Ginger delivered two hit each. Butcher and Catlin also contributed 2 RBI in the near-shutout.

The Jaguars rallied back early in the nightcap scoring five runs on 4 hits and 2 errors in the bottom of the first inning. DACC would plate three more run on their way to a 8-3 win over the Cobras.

Down 8-1 in the top of the 5th, Shelby Youngblood crushed a hard shot over the left-center field fence for Parkland's second run of the game for Parkland. In the next frame, Brigette Belt drove in Megan Magsamen with a double down the left field line to set the final score.

Sitting at 17-5 for the season, the Cobra's return to action with back-to-back-back doubleheaders on Thursday. Chuck Clutt's might sluggers six-game weekend schedule starts with two games at Rock Valley tomorrow and then a twin bill at Spoon River on Saturday. The Snappers then travel to Champaign to finish off the four-game conference rotation start at 2pm on Sunday.

Illinois softball improves 4-1 in Big Ten
Thanks to a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh by Annie Fleming, the Fighting Illini softball team squeaked out a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Sunday at Eichelberger Field on Saturday. Kiana Sherlund scored twice and chipped in an RBI in the fifth inning.

Recording four strike outs, Breanna Wonderly picked up her 10th win of the season after a complete game giving up 3 runs on 7 hits in front of a little more than 600 fans in attendance.

McInerney's solo shot delivers Illini victory
Pat McInerney's 10th home run of the season couldn't have come at a better time. Illinois' starting first baseman put the ball over the left field wall for a walk-off solo home run to beat Indiana State 2-1 at home on Saturday.

McInerney and the Fighting Illini baseball team (10-16 overall, 0-3 conference) head to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines in a three-game series starting Friday.

Anderson finish 1st in three events
Jyana Anderson runs a prelim race at state track in 2016. Now a sophomore, the Tigers' sprinter medaled three times at the Champaign County Girls Meet on Saturday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/ Clark Brooks)

Urbana speedster Jyana Anderson won three medals - all gold - at the Champaign County Girls Meet on Saturday. The sophomore sprinter bested Rantoul's Akalah Spinks and St. Joseph-Ogden's Frankie Izard with at time of 25.93 in 200-Meter Dash. Spinks finished second at 27.04 and Izard crossed over at 27.31.

With a sub-50 second time in the 4x100-Meter Dash, Anderson along with teammates Diamonasia Taylor, Shyanee Bufford and Ayana Kelley-Weatherspoon, earned her second medal of the day after they turned in a time of 49.82. Later, the squad ran a 1:47.30 in the 4x200-Meter Dash also winning gold.

Taylor won a second gold medal after clearing 5-02 in the high jump and Lanaeja Carter won the Discus Throw with her best toss going 118 feet to round out the Tigers' top performers. Carter was followed by Mahomet-Seymour's Cassie Perry going 115 feet, seven inches in second and Centennial's Faith Ayodele earning bronze at 104 feet, four inches.

April 2, 2017

April 2 Rapid Rundown

Parkland Split With DACC
Freshman thrower Lexie Black stayed in the circle all seven innings giving up one unearned run on six hits.

The Cobras improved to 6-3 with the conference win and 16-3 overall for the season.
Parkland College softball player Maddy Shoemaker

Parkland's Maddy Shoemaker puts the ball in play against John Wood. The freshman standout has scored 24 runs in 20 game appearances for the Cobras so far this season. She has also tagged three home runs as the team approaches the midpoint of their season.

Cobra Softball Suffers Loss
A solo home run from Hannah Sheppard in the 3rd inning was all Danville Community College needed to beat Parkland College to split their road doubleheader on Saturday, 1-0.

Sophie Catlin led the Cobras with two hits and Amber Tabeling contributed one in an effort that lead to no runs for the home team.

Parkland will have a chance to avenge the loss, their fourth of the season, in less than 24 hours when the two team meet for a scheduled doubleheader in Danville on Sunday.

Illini Baseball Holds On For Win
The Fighting Illini baseball team survived a late rally by Indiana State to secure a 6-4 victory in their series opener on Friday.

Illinois' Trent Hammond and Ben Troike combined for 4 RBI, with two each, in the non-conference contest under chilly conditions in front of small, loyal home field crowd.

Down 2-0 Illini slugger Pat McInerney hit solo home run over the left center wall to put a stick on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. In the same frame Troike unleashed a shot down the right field line for triple, plating teammates Dan Rowbottom and Casey Dodge.

The Illini improved to 7-16 on the season while Indiana State stays above .500 dropping to 12-10 record.

McInerney Slams Winner
Pat McInerney hit crushed a two-run homer in the 9th inning to give the Illinois baseball team a 2-1 win and 2-0 lead in their three-game series on Saturday with the Indiana State Sycamores.

Freshman hurler Ty Webber earned his second collegiate pitching win striking out seven batters while giving up one run on four hits.

Golden Gophers Crush Fighting Illini In The 5th
The Minnesota softball team plated 10 runs in the 5th inning rolling to a 12-0 shutout over the Illinois softball team at Eichelberger Field on Friday.

Kendyl Lindaman tallied 6 RBI after hammering two home runs for the Golden Gophers in the same inning on Fighting Illini pitcher Breanna Wonderly.

Maddi Doane led the stagnant Illinois offense with team's single hit in the contest.

Parkland Baseball Win Streak Continues
The Parkland baseball team picked up a pair of wins after knocking of Lincoln Land, 10-2, and 8-5, on Saturday. With a nine-game win streak now on the books, the Cobras improved to 20-4 overall record and remain undefeated in conference play at 6-0.

Spartans Sweep Two Teams On Saturday
Marty Wright cracked a double over the head of Stillman Valley's right fielder for his second RBI of the game to put St. Joseph-Ogden up 3-0 in the third inning on Saturday. The Spartans went on to win their second game of the day 4-2 over the Cardinals. Wright and fellow senior Brant Hoveln delivered two hits and 2 RBI to help the Spartans to improve to an 8-1 record on the season.

In the earlier game against Teutopolis, senior Brant Hoveln pushed Austin Cain, who was on third from a steal, over the plate for the only run of the game in SJO's 1-0 shutout over the Wooden Shoes. Colton Hale recorded 12 strike outs from the hill in the victory on Saturday.

Illini Women Continue To Roll
The Illinois women's tennis team extended their win streak to five matches after cinching a road victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes, 5-2. The victory improves the team's conference record to 3-1 and 9-9 for the season.

Dropping the doubles point 2-1, the Fighting Illini stormed back to dominates the singles side of the match taking five out the six matches.

Louise Kwong needed three sets on the #1 singles court to put away Iowa's Elise Van Heuvelen and cement the match win for Illinois. The senior quickly recovered from the 3-6 first set loss to finish out the match 6-2, 7-5.

Like Kwong, Alexis Casati hung tough and played out a grueling three-setter slipping by the Hawkeyes #2, Zoe Douglas, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Meanwhile, Champaign-native Madie Baillon, Jaclyn Switkes and Grace Tapak cruised to W's giving up four or fewer games in their romp over Iowa opponents.

Illinois Men Pinched In Heartbreaker
The Fighting Illini men's tennis team drop to 2-2 in Big Ten play after falling 4-3 to 33-ranked Minnesota on Friday. Their overall 9-9 record mirrors that of the women's team after the loss.

After Illinois took the doubles point, Aleks Vukic quickly dispatched Gophers' Matic Spec 6-4, 6-2, to give his team a 2-0 lead. The junior extended his win streak to 12 matches. Partnered with Vuk Budic, the pair won their doubles bout, 6-4.

Aleks Kovacevic prevailed in his three-set battle with Minnesota's Stefan Millcevic for the Illini's only other singles victory in 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

The men will face Iowa in their next home match at Atkins Tennis Center starting at noon on April 8.