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Illinois

3 Illinois kids accused of making threats to schools in Florida

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3 Illinois kids accused of making threats to schools in Florida


Ocala Police started investigating after students from Forest, Vanguard, and North Marion high schools received texts from strangers threatening to shoot up the school.

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Threats like those have sent schools into lockdowns as Marion County SWAT officers flooded into classrooms multiple times in recent months.

Paul Bloom, the Public Information Officer with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, says those threats are a serious crime affecting entire communities. 

“Now a parent doesn’t want their child in school. So, now this parent is not going to their job. So now an employer is missing an employee,” Bloom gave as an example. “It’s a community-wide ripple effect.”

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Reports from the Ocala Police Department explain that to track down who sent the texts, a detective followed IP addresses and got investigative subpoenas to review call records. Those linked to three kids, ages 12, 13, and 14, in Peoria, Illinois, authorities said.  All three were arrested.

“We are grateful for the cooperation of Peoria Police and the great investigative work done by our detectives. Ensuring school safety is our top priority. We take threats like this very seriously, and we will hold those who seek to cause panic accountable for their actions. If students or parents ever encounter such a threat, please contact law enforcement immediately.”

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The Sheriff’s Office has the same sentiment about taking crimes seriously.

“It’s very serious to us from a criminal aspect,” said Bloom. “But also just in general terms and the community as a whole, we’re all affected by it.”

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Marion County is on track to have more school threats this school year than in years past.

In the 2021 – 2022 school year, there were 65 threats and three arrests made. All three of the people caught were minors.

Last school year, there were 64 threats in total, and one person was arrested – also a juvenile.

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This school year, there have already been 61 threats made. As of last week, three minors and one adult had been arrested.

Now, there are three more kids facing felonies.

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“We want to make sure that every child knows if you’re going to make that threat, then there are going to be consequences. It doesn’t matter if you live here. It doesn’t matter if you live in another state,” said Bloom. “We go far and wide to find you, and we will find you.” 



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Illinois

Looking for something to do this weekend in Central Illinois? Here’s the list.

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Looking for something to do this weekend in Central Illinois? Here’s the list.


Check out our roundup of the latest special events, music, theater, nightlife and kids events.

To submit an item, send an email to features@pantagraph.com.

Special events

Bloomington-Normal

IHSA Wrestling; all day Feb. 23-24, Grossinger Motors Arena, 101 S. Madison St., Bloomington; $9. 

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Free Fridays in February; all day Feb. 23, Miller Park Zoo, 1020 S. Morris Ave., Bloomington. 

Kiwanis Pancake Days; 7:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 24-25, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; $8-$10. 

Bloomington Polar Plunge; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 24, Miller Park, 1020 S. Morris Ave., Bloomington. 

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Try Hockey for Free Day; 4:20-5:10 p.m. Feb. 24, Bloomington Ice Center, 201 S. Roosevelt Ave., Bloomington; free. 

The Barrel Room Wedding Experience; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 25, The Barrel Room at Destihl Brewery, 1200 Greenbriar Drive, Normal; $10. 

Cirque Mechanics – Zephyr; 3-5 p.m. Feb. 25, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington; $27-$55. 

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ISU Women’s Basketball; 2-4 p.m. Feb. 25, CEFCU Arena, Campus Box 2660, Normal. 

ISU Men’s Basketball; 7-9 p.m. Feb. 29, CEFCU Arena, Campus Box 2660, Normal. 

IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals; all day Feb. 29-March1, CEFCU Arena, Campus Box 2660, Normal. 

Wine, Body, & Spirit – Meditation & Wine Tasting; 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 29, The Barrel Room at Destihl Brewery, 1200 Greenbriar Drive, Normal; $30. 

Central Illinois

Official Spring Home Show; Feb. 23-25, Exhibit Halls at Peoria Civic Center, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $3-$7. 

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Dead is Forever Murder Mystery; 5:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, Wild Harvest Honey Farm, 9122 Bucks Road, Heyworth; $25. 

Bradley Men’s Basketball vs Illinois State; 7 p.m. Feb. 24, Peoria Civic Center Arena, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $12+. 

Bradley Men’s Basketball vs Southern Illinois; 7 p.m. Feb. 28, Peoria Civic Center Arena, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $12+. 

Music

Bloomington-Normal

Tropidelic with Ballyhoo!, The Palmer Squares; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, The Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington; 18+; $20. 

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Hip Hop Comedy Upfront ft. Thurston Stevenson & V8 Vast Change; 7 p.m. Feb. 22, Jazz Upfront, 107 W. Front St., Bloomington. 

Thaddeus Tukes; 8 p.m. Feb. 23, Jazz Upfront, 107 W. Front St., Bloomington. 

Municipal Waste with Ghoul, Nectro, Dead Heat, Brainsqueeze Tour 2024; 7 p.m. Feb. 24, The Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St., Bloomington; 18+; $27.50+.

Dexter O’Neal & Funk Yard; 8 p.m. Feb. 24, Jazz Upfront, 107 W. Front St., Bloomington. 

Straight Ahead Sunday with U of I Concert Jazz Orchestra; 5 p.m. Feb. 25, Jazz Upfront, 107 W. Front St., Bloomington. 

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Open Stage w/ Maestro; 8 p.m. Feb. 28, Jazz Upfront, 107 W. Front St., Bloomington. 

Three Dog Night – Sold Out; 7:30-10:30 p.m. Feb. 29, Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, 600 N. East St., Bloomington. 

Juke Box Thursday; 8 p.m. Feb. 29, Jazz Upfront, 107 W. Front St., Bloomington. 

Central Illinois

Krannert Uncorked with Haki N’ Dem; 5 p.m. Feb. 22, Stage 5 at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; free.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, Stage 5 at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; $10-$100. 

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University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23, Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; $4-$10. 

Cabin Fever with Revel in Red; 6-11 p.m. Feb. 24, Five Points Washington, 360 N. Wilmor Road, Washington; $20-$225. 

Phil Wickham – I Believe Tour; 7 p.m. Feb. 24, Peoria Civic Center Theater, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $35+. 

Chelsea Guo, Soprano and Piano; 3 p.m. Feb. 25, Foellinger Great Hall Salon-Style at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; $5-$90. 

University of Illinois Philharmonia Orchestra; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28, Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; $4-$10. 

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Krannert Uncorked with Nadirah Shakoor; 5 p.m. Feb. 29, Stage 5 at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; free.

University of Illinois Wind Orchestra and Hindsley Band; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29, Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; $4-$10. 

Theater

Bloomington-Normal. 

ISU School of Theatre and Dance presents Space Girl; 7:30-10 p.m. Feb. 22-23, Westhoff Theatre, 401 S. School St., Normal; $10-$12. 

Macked, Hammered, Slaughtered and Shafted; 7 p.m. Feb. 22, Normal Theater, 209 W. North St., Normal. 

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Sometimes I Think About Dying; 7 p.m. Feb. 23-25 and 3 p.m. Feb. 24-25, Normal Theater, 209 W. North St., Normal. 

The Muppets; 7 p.m. Feb. 26, Normal Theater, 209 W. North St., Normal. 

Central Illinois

Mean Girls; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, Peoria Civic Center Theater, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $44+. 

Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29, Peoria Civic Center Theater, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $46.50+. 

Airness; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29-March 2, Fat City Bar and Grill, 505 S. Chestnut St., Champaign. 

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Studio Dance 2024; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 29-March 2, Studio Theatre at Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana; $10-$60. 

For Kids

Bloomington-Normal 

ECK: Shapes & Animals (Pickup); 9 a.m. Feb. 22, Children’s Discovery Museum, 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal; ages 2-5. 

PLG: Shapes & Animals; 4-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. Feb. 22; 9:15-10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Feb. 23, Children’s Discovery Museum, 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal; ages 2-4. 

Early Explorers: Shapes & Animals; 9:15-10:45 a.m. Feb. 24, Children’s Discovery Museum, 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal; ages 4-5. 

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PLG: Shapes & Animals (Members Only); 9:15-10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Feb. 26, Children’s Discovery Museum, 101 E. Beaufort St., Normal; ages 2-4. 

Central Illinois

Baby Shark’s Big Broadwave Tour; 6 p.m. Feb. 27-28, Peoria Civic Center Theater, 201 SW. Jefferson Ave., Peoria; $24+. 

To submit an item, send an email to features@pantagraph.com.

To submit an item, send an email to features@pantagraph.com.

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Illinois sent the betting public into a spiral after blowing 7-point lead over Penn State in final minute

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Illinois sent the betting public into a spiral after blowing 7-point lead over Penn State in final minute


No. 12 Illinois was favored by eight points over Penn State Wednesday and led by seven with under a minute to play. A basket on their next possession would have put the Illini on track to cover the spread. If they didn’t score, no big deal, they still had a better than 96 percent win probability, according to ESPN Analytics.

Those might have been the final words before the game went up in smoke.

Illinois missed a jumper with around 40 seconds left, gave up a 3-pointer, turned the ball over, gave up a layup, missed two free throws, then fouled on a 3-pointer. Penn State’s Zach Hicks made all three free throws to complete the comeback.

Illinois was one of the biggest public favorites Wednesday, receiving 62 percent of bets against the spread, according to BetMGM’s John Ewing. And when a team is so heavily favored to cover 7.5 points, you can imagine how its moneyline might be a popular addition to parlays.

The team’s meltdown made for a lot of spoiled bets.

This is the season no bet is safe in college basketball.

 

 

 

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Penn State takes down No. 12 Illinois, LSU beats Kentucky at the buzzer in wild Wednesday

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Penn State takes down No. 12 Illinois, LSU beats Kentucky at the buzzer in wild Wednesday
























Penn State takes down No. 12 Illinois, LSU beats Kentucky at the buzzer in wild Wednesday | NCAA.com

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