2020 Digital Duck Derby Begins September 29th

2020 Digital Duck Derby Begins September 29th

September 25, 2020 – The 2020 Digital Duck Derby presented by Jerger Pediatric Dentistry will begin with its first heat on Tuesday, September 29 at 5 p.m.  The following heats will be held at 5 p.m. each day through Friday, October 2, with the top 10 qualifiers from each heat racing in the final heat on Saturday, October 3 at 10 a.m. for a grand prize of $3,000.  The second and third place ducks will win $1,500 and $500 respectively.  If there are enough ducks purchased, there could be two races held per night.  The races will be available to watch live on the Children Museum of Illinois’ Facebook page.

Ducks are available for purchase until noon on Monday, September 28.


Macon County Enters State Warning Level For COVID-19

Macon County Enters State Warning Level For COVID-19

September 25, 2020 –

September 25, 2020 – The Macon County Health Department has announced that The Illinois Department of Public Health has moved Macon County into one of 17 counties at warning level for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to the IDPH, a county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

Macon County Public Health Administrator, Brandi Binkley, stated that the movement to warning level was caused after there were more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people. In addition, the weekly number of deaths increased by more than 20% for 2 consecutive weeks.

Binkley stressed that moving into this warning level does not come with new restrictions, but urged residents to be more vigilant to reduce the number of positive cases. Possible restrictions, such as not allowing indoor dining, is decided by the state and on a regional basis. Macon County is located in Region 6.

However, IDPH recently decided that Champaign County’s metrics would not be included in the Region 6 metrics for the purpose of monitoring movement to warning levels.  Champaign County, specifically the University of Illinois, is testing at a higher rate. IDPH felt that the positivity rate in Region 6 might not be accurately reflected by including Champaign County numbers.  The result of removing those metrics may cause Region 6 to be closer to reporting 8% positivity rate for 3 consecutive days.  That benchmark would lead the State to institute new mitigation measures for Region 6.

Binkley says the Macon County Health Department, along with the Joint Crisis Communication Team, has increased efforts to try to avoid that fate, including increasing testing capacity, increased contact tracing, public education, increased communication with congregant settings, and investigating businesses and facilities with complaints of non-compliance.

Binkley added the increase is due, in part, to large gatherings and events that have occurred in the community.  Those including weddings, funerals, parties within families and groups and friends, crowded bars, schools, congregant living settings and people continuing to go to work when they are symptomatic.  Community cases and community transmission has also increased as well.

“Our community thankfully has worked together collaboratively.  We need the entire community to come together and see that we are in a pandemic.  We need everyone to take ownership and do what you can.”

Brinkley said there are a number of things that community members can do to help stem the spread, including:

-Properly using PPE and masks. Binkley added that masks are not a substitute for proper social distancing.

-Stay home if you are symptomatic, have tested positive, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

-Follow health guidelines and use proper hygiene.

-Participate in contact tracing. Binkley said that due to increased contact tracing, the number may come up as “spam” on your phone.  Binkley encourages residents to add 423-6988 to their phones so that they are aware if the Health Department is calling.

“Help us move these numbers back in the right direction”, Binkley added.

Seventeen counties are currently reported at a warning level – Bond, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeWitt, Fayette, Grundy, Hamilton, Macon, Menard, Peoria, Putnam, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago.

IDPH uses numerous indicators when determining if a county is experiencing stable COVID-19 activity, or if there are warning signs of increased COVID-19 risk in the county.  A county is considered at the warning level when at least two of the following metrics triggers a warning.

COVID-19 County Metrics

• New cases per 100,000 people.  If there are more than 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the county, this triggers a warning.
• Number of deaths.  This metric indicates a warning when the weekly number of deaths increases more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly test positivity.  This metric indicates a warning when the 7-day test positivity rate rises above 8%.
• ICU availability.  If there are fewer than 20% of intensive care units available in the region, this triggers a warning.
• Weekly emergency department visits.   This metric indicates a warning when the weekly percent of COVID-19-like-illness emergency department visits increase by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Weekly hospital admissions.  A warning is triggered when the weekly number of hospital admissions for COVID-19-like-illness increases by more than 20% for two consecutive weeks.
• Tests performed.  This metric is used to provide context and indicate if more testing is needed in the county.
• Clusters. This metric looks at the percent of COVID-19 cases associated with clusters or outbreaks and is used to understand large increase in cases.

These metrics are intended to be used for local level awareness to help local leaders, businesses, local health departments, and the public make informed decisions about personal and family gatherings, as well as what activities they choose to do.  The metrics are updated weekly, from the Sunday-Saturday of the prior week.

A map and information of each county’s status can be found on the IDPH website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/countymetrics.
IDPH Recommends Flu Shot to Avoid Co-Infection

IDPH Recommends Flu Shot to Avoid Co-Infection

September 25, 2020 – Every year the flu sickens millions of Americans.  This season, we are in the midst of a pandemic that has sickened nearly 7 million Americans.  That’s why the IDPH is emphasizing the importance of getting a flu shot.

“This season more than ever, it is critical that Illinoisans get our flu shots,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Flu and COVID-19 each can cause serious respiratory illness and co-infection could possibly lead to more severe illnesses, hospitalization, and even death.  While a vaccine for COVID-19 is still in development, a vaccine for flu already exists and is your best protection against flu.  The choice is yours, but I urge you to not risk co-infection of two potentially deadly viruses.  Please try and protect yourself and the people around you by getting the flu vaccine, which has been proven over the years to be safe and effective.”

The vaccine for the flu is available in the form of a flu shot or a nasal spray.  Speak with your healthcare provider to determine which would be most appropriate for you.  More information can be found on the CDC’s website.


LISTEN: ‘ESPNDecatur’s 20 Greatest Games’, #11 – Bulldogs & Trojans End Annual Rivalry

LISTEN: ‘ESPNDecatur’s 20 Greatest Games’, #11 – Bulldogs & Trojans End Annual Rivalry

(GAME #11 … Already split-off into different conferences with the creation of the CIC, this annual battle of Route 51 schools was touted as the, ‘End of an Era’ game, as the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans were en route to the closed Sangamo Conference in 2016, and no longer had regular season scheduling room for the rivalry against the St. Teresa Bulldogs … Injuries plagued the Dawgs in the preseason, and bit at them in this clash, but the Trojans defense was the storyline of the night, as the St. Teresa offense was only able to muster 103 total yards … The Bulldogs would grab the lead, but Maroa-Forsyth grinded just-enough to claim three scores, including a surprising dagger on Deondre Gregory’s halfback pass to Josh Gilbert, for the game-sealing six … The pair obviously would meet again to reignite the flames in a State Semifinal Battle in 2018, a game not on this list, as it was broadcast by the WSOY team, and not the ESPNDecatur Game of the Week)


THE LIST … (Click to Link to Game Broadcast)

#20 … MacArthur def. Eisenhower, 14-6 (2012)

#19 … LSA def. Argenta-Oreana, 34-24 (2016)

#18 … Warrensburg-Latham def. Clinton, 21-14 (2018)

#17 … Chatham Glenwood def. Eisenhower, 42-36 (2016)

#16 … Warrensburg-Latham def. Cerro Gordo-Bement, 28-22 (2016)

#15 … MacArthur def. Springfield, 8-6 (2018)

#14 … Cerro Gordo-Bement def. LSA, 39-38 (2015)

#13 … Maroa-Forsyth def. Central A&M, 39-36 (2012)

#12 … Auburn def. Cerro Gordo-Bement, 21-12 (2013)

#11 … Maroa-Forsyth def. St. Teresa, 18-7 (2015)



AUGUST 28  –  We may be without High School Football this fall, but ESPNDecatur 1050 AM has dug into its recent archives, and launches the, ’20 Greatest High School Football Games of the Decade’.


To be exact, the archives only go back to the 2012 season, although ESPNDecatur has been carrying a Game of the Week since 2009 with Aric Lee as the play-by-play voice.


“I wanted to do something on these quiet and lonely Friday nights,” Lee said. “So let’s find some old games, rank them so everyone can argue, and hear some of the greatest players, plays, and matchups of the last eight seasons.”


The plan is for a pair of games to be released on NowDecatur.com, and the NowDecatur Social Media Pages, every Friday afternoon. Those games will be available via podcast on NowDecatur.com, or the free NowDecatur app. Due to Cubs baseball on ESPNDecatur through September, and any possible playoffs, the first five-plus weeks will only be streamed/podcasted on NowDecatur.


But by the Friday nights of October, the Top 10 games on the list will be played on-air, on ESPNDecatur 1050 AM, each Friday night at 6 & 8 p.m. That will take us into November until we get to the number one and two game on the final Friday.


Lee adds that a few games had equipment issues and aren’t playable, and some won’t sound the best, but we make them available anyway. Plus, the likely number one game, Maroa-Forsyth’s 2012 State Championship victory over Stockton was never recorded and is lost forever, so that will not be included on the list. St. Teresa Football will also only have a few games make the list, as WSOY has been the home of Bulldog Football for over 10 years, and those broadcasts are not available to replay. However, the Bulldogs returned to ESPNDecatur in 2019, and also had their ‘End of a Rivalry’ game make the list versus Maroa-Forsyth, from 2015.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Announces 2,514 New Cases of COVID-19; 25 Additional Deaths

The Illinois Department of Public Health Announces 2,514 New Cases of COVID-19; 25 Additional Deaths

September 25, 2020 – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 2,514 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 25 additional confirmed deaths.

• Cook County: 1 male 60s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s, 1 female 100+
• Cumberland County: 1 female 80s
• DuPage County:  1 male 70s, 2 females 90s
• Green County: 1 female 60s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s
• Jersey County: 1 male 90s
• Kane County: 1 male 50s
• Menard County: 1 male 90s
• Richland County: 1 male 80s
• Saline County: 1 male 70s
• St. Clair County: 1 female 70s
• Tazewell County: 1 female 70s
• Will County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s
• Williamson County: 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 283,885 cases, including 8,563 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years.  The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from September 18 – September 24 is 3.6%.  Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 69,793 specimens for a total of 5,363,471.  As of last night, 1,637 people in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 371 patients were in the ICU and 124 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
Rodney Davis Co-Sponsors Legislation Allowing Student Athletes to Profit from Name, Image and Likeness

Rodney Davis Co-Sponsors Legislation Allowing Student Athletes to Profit from Name, Image and Likeness

September 25, 2020 – U.S. Representative Rodney Davis is co-sponsoring The Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act.  The bill would allow student athletes the right to make money off of their own name, image, and likeness.  It also included guardrails for recruiting and leveling the playing field by pre-empting the patchwork of state laws that have been signed into law or are currently pending in state legislatures.  Anthony Gonzalez, U.S. Representative, and former NFL and Ohio State wide receiver and Representative Emanuel Cleaver introduced the legislation yesterday.

“I believe it’s a matter of fairness that college athletes should be able to earn income off their own name, image, and likeness,” said Rep. Davis.  “They put in a lot of time, training, and effort to be a part of our nation’s college athletic system and deserve to be compensated for their work. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring the bipartisan ‘Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act.’ Our legislation would pre-empt state laws on this issue and create one national standard for NIL policies governing student athletes.  Student athletes should be entitled to earn a living off their hard work just like every other American.”

Key points of The Student Athlete Level Playing Field Act include:

  • Grants student athletes the right to capitalize off their own name, image and likeness and engage in agent contracts – The bill prohibits universities, the NCAA, or conferences from restricting student athletes from entering into NIL or agent contracts unless a contract falls into a category that could harm the reputation of a student athlete, such as tobacco or alcohol. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tasked with enforcing this provision, and student athletes can file a complaint with the FTC if they believe their rights are infringed upon.
  • Establishes one federal standard – The bill pre-empts any existing or prospective state law on NIL, creating one federal standard and a level playing field for college athletics.
  • Provides Congressional oversight– The bill establishes a commission appointed by Congress and made up of a variety of NIL stakeholders, including student athletes. The commission is tasked with continuing to study the logistics of NIL as it is rolled out and providing legislative recommendations to Congress about ways the process could be improved.
  • Ensures student athletes are not considered employees of universities – The bill makes clear that universities should not compensate student athletes for the use of their NIL or allow a student’s NIL earning ability to affect their scholarship or financial aid status.
  • Protects the recruitment process – The bill amends The Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act (SPARTA) to include a definition of “boosters,” and details actions taken by boosters in the recruiting process that would be penalized through FTC enforcement.