Tony Bleill answers the burning questions.
LODA –The sun beat down on Ryan Coe as he stepped up to bat in a baseball game last August.
But a wild pitch hit him in the elbow. By the time he reached second base, his elbow was sore. And when another batter drove Ryan home, Ryan was struggling for breath as he rounded third base.
MONTICELLO – Hope Elam had a game-high 33 points, leading Champaign Central to a 58-40 nonconference girls' basketball victory Tuesday night.
Elam made 13 free throws. The Sages' Lucy Coleman notched a double-double.
DECATUR – It was a game with a postseason atmosphere. The stands were packed and the play was physical as 14th-ranked Monticello proved to be the better team down the stretch and outlasted No. 13 Warrensburg-Latham 62-56 on Tuesday night in the semifinals of the Okaw Valley Conference tournament at St. Teresa High School.
"We want to be experienced playing in big-game situations," Sages coach Kevin Roy said. "I wanted to make sure they enjoyed the atmosphere and prepared themselves for the postseason as well."
Any longtime teacher will tell you that the public school environment has changed greatly in the last 25 years and, sad though it may be, there is a lot of support among the adult staff and even the students for the notion of having police officers in the schools.
A cursory report on the first four months of Champaign's school resource officer program (which has an officer stationed in both high schools and each of the three middle schools) shows that the police have been fairly busy. There were 245 incidents in the schools during the 18-week period. That covers everything from minor violations of school rules and smoking on school property to arrests for fighting or possession of drugs. In fact, there were 30 arrests in the schools during the four-month period, including 14 for battery, three for drug possession and four for trespassing.
In Illinois, the way things are supposed to be done in state government and the way they're actually done are two different things.
Take the way that state funds are supposed to be budgeted. The Illinois Constitution says: "The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the State." But that's not the way it works.
URBANA – It's no surprise that students in Susan Gleason's photography classes take pictures.
What's surprising is that, this week, they're inside the camera when they're getting the shots.
URBANA – Some Urbana bar owners and employees say the past month has been a difficult one, with a smoking ban in effect in Urbana while Champaign continued to allow public smoking until today.
Jim Kelly, co-owner of Bunny's Tavern, 119 W. Water St., said his bar lost 40 percent of its business this January compared with a year ago. Urbana's smoking ban for bars took effect Jan. 1 while Champaign's is effective today.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign developer Jon "Cody" Sokolski hopes to replicate his downtown development success in Champaign with a similar project in Normal.
Sokolski, whose company developed the One Main Plaza building in downtown Champaign, is planning a mixed-use development in downtown Normal similar in scale to the "M2 on Neil" project proposed in Champaign.