March 2004

March 2004

Scouting report

For the real scoop on Murray State, we talked to Travis Ford. His Eastern Kentucky team played the Racers twice during the season, losing 82-71 and 94-70. Here are his thoughts:

Weber won''t let underdog surprise Illini

Kent Williams remembers the timeout like it was yesterday.

Williams and his Southern Illinois teammates huddled around their coach, Bruce Weber, and though they were being blasted in the second round of the NCAA tournament and though Weber couldn''t have been happy with the direction things were going, an eerie calm surrounded the Saluki bench.

Illini NCAA tourney madness hits a fever pitch

When a few dozen elementary school children start cheering, principal Chuck Lowell said the gym at St. John's Lutheran School in Champaign sounds like the Assembly Hall.

Last Friday, groups of kindergarten through eighth-graders watched Illinois' Big Ten basketball tournament game in the gym. They made quite a ruckus as the Illini beat Indiana.

Arizona too tough

Katie O''Connell hit a home run off Arizona All-American Alicia Hollowell, but the top-ranked Wildcats were too much, downing Illinois 4-1 Wednesday at the KIAKlassic in Fullerton, Calif.

Sewer system questions fail to pass

Sanitary sewers won't be coming to Sidney any time soon, and the prospects for Philo are in doubt.

Sidney voters soundly rejected, by a 225-93 vote, an advisory ballot question Tuesday over the creation of a $6.1 million sanitary sewer system.

Voters support further funding to Blue Ridge

FARMER CITY – Voters on Tuesday approved a referendum proposal for Blue Ridge schools that increased the education fund tax rate by $1.10.

And supporters of the schools celebrated at Farmer City's Victory Christian Center, where they waited for results Tuesday from DeWitt, McLean and Piatt counties. The district's schools are at Farmer City, Bellflower and Mansfield.

Asmussen: It''s time for Mr. Wrong to get it right

Who to pick? Who to pick? Who to pick? - - The first 42 years of my life, it has been pretty easy.

Made the right choice on my wife, a sports fan who doesn''t complain about the satellite dish. Got the right house, a two-minute drive from work and Memorial Stadium. Didn''t go wrong on our cars, the required minivan and a mini-SUV.

Illinois knows teams are brought together in crisis

CHAMPAIGN – With a full roster at full strength, Murray State still might come up empty against Illinois.

The No. 5 seed Illini are bigger, deeper and more highly regarded headed into Friday''s first-round NCAA tournament game against the 12th-seeded Racers.

Ludlow approves proposal for increase in tax rates

LUDLOW – School officials facing tough choices about the future of this tiny Champaign County district got a new lease on life Tuesday when voters approved their referendum proposal to increase taxes.

"We're going back to work tomorrow because we have jobs and a future," said Superintendent Lyle Rigdon, who wore a tie printed with apples and schoolhouses while he watched results come in with other district representatives at the Champaign County's Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana.

Piland wins primary battle

URBANA – Champaign County State's Attorney John Piland, a two-term incumbent Republican, beat back a primary challenge Tuesday from Urbana attorney Bruce Ratcliffe.

Piland won the GOP primary, 54 percent to 46 percent.