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The Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games kicked off on Friday, bringing thousands of people in attendance

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The Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games kicked off on Friday, bringing thousands of people in attendance


NORMAL (25News Now) – Once again, Illinois State University in Normal hosted the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games from June 7. through June 9.

With over 15,000 participants and attendees, many athletes got to showcase their skills in power lifting, soccer, swimming, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.

Special Olympics Athlete, Kate Nelson has been competing in the summer and winter games since 2015, and is doing the four by 100 meter walk relay and shot put.

Nelson adds that she’s competed in a variety of sports such as snowshoeing, golf skills, and track and field.

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“My team got fourth place in our walk relay this weekend,” she said. “Then I got fourth place for shot put. The important thing is that we’re coming out to have fun.”

Taylor Reidel has been competing for 27 years, and is doing bocce this year.

She says competing has been one of the best experiences, and it means a lot to have her coaches and family’s support.

“I did running, walking relays, and javelin throw,” said Reidel.

Reidel adds that she loves the friendly atmosphere and meeting other athletes.

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Central Illinois prepares to honor Juneteenth days before the official observance – IPM Newsroom

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Central Illinois prepares to honor Juneteenth days before the official observance – IPM Newsroom


Although Juneteenth falls on Wednesday of next week, many central Illinois communities will celebrate the historical moment this weekend. 

Friday at 11:00 a.m., the City of Urbana will host a ceremony and raise the red, white, and blue Juneteenth flag at city hall.

Saturday from noon to 3:00 p.m., the Champaign Park district will host a Juneteenth celebration at Douglass Park with different vendors, music, and food. Illinois Soul, which is a production of Illinois Public Media, will be one of the vendors.

Sunday at 1:00 p.m., Crystal Lake Park in Urbana will host music, food, and fishing as part of honoring Black Freedom.

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Also on Sunday, The Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater in Decatur will host a Freedom Day celebration from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Performances include African dance and drumming.

Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865.

Federal and state offices will be closed on Wednesday.

On Thursday, June 20, Illinois Soul and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts will present a Juneteenth concert featuring artist, author, and actress Syleena Johnson. The Grammy-nominated R&B singer-songwriter will take to the stage at 6:00 p.m. at Krannert’s Lobby/Stage 5/Stage 6 area. The performance is free to the public.

Reginald Hardwick contributed to this story.

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Illinois Schedule Preview, Aug. 31: Fighting Illini Faces Eastern Illinois In Saturday Showdown

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Illinois Schedule Preview, Aug. 31: Fighting Illini Faces Eastern Illinois In Saturday Showdown


The Illinois Fighting Illini kick off their season with a Saturday showdown on Aug. 31 against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.

Quarterback Luke Altmyer is starting his first opener for the Illini after transferring from Mississippi. The 21-year-old discussed the adjustment period with the team following a 116-yard, two-touchdown performance in a late-April spring game.

“That’s kind of the deal with me, being more assertive, more urgent in my game,” Altmyer said. “It comes with a lot of things. It comes with reps. It comes with being more comfortable with what I’m doing … I’m excited to move forward and looking forward to the fall and being able to showcase it.”

Eastern Illinois finished last season with a record of 8-3, one of their most notable wins was a one-point triumph over Illinois State. Despite a recent drought of NFL talent, quarterbacks including Tony Romo (retired Dallas Cowboy) and Jimmy Garoppolo (Los Angeles Rams) attended the school.

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This marks the third meeting between the schools. Illinois has dominated the series, winning 47-21 in 2008 and 42-17 in 2006. There is no reason to expect that to change because the talent gap is still evident as ever. Illinois has their sights set on making an impact in the Big Ten.

If anything, the Fighting Illini can gain some valuable experience for Altmyer and some of the newcomers. It should also provide a solid tuneup before facing Kansas the following week in Champaign for Family Weekend.

Anthony Pasciolla is a contributor for Illini Now. He can be reached at ampasciolla@gmail.com or on Instagram @anthony.pasciolla





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Judge faces inquiry after Illinois attorney was kicked out of court and handcuffed to chair

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Judge faces inquiry after Illinois attorney was kicked out of court and handcuffed to chair


CHICAGO — Cook County’s top judge has asked state regulators to review allegations that an attorney was handcuffed to a chair after a judge kicked him out of her courtroom.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans referred misconduct allegations against Judge Kathy Flanagan to the state Judicial Inquiry Board on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

According to a sheriff’s report and court transcripts, attorney Brad Schneiderman was arguing for his client at a May 7 hearing when Flanagan told him to stop talking and ordered the attorneys to step back. Schneiderman walked toward the gallery, muttering, then turned back to the bench, according to the sheriff’s report.

Flanagan then yelled, “That’s it. Take him,” the report said. A deputy took Schneiderman into a back hallway and handcuffed him to a chair. The deputy told the county’s judicial executive committee that he was following protocol when holding someone in custody.

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Flanagan later told deputies to let Schneiderman go. The attorney returned to the courtroom. According to a transcript, he complained that he hadn’t been given a chance to explain his client’s position. He said that in 17 years of practice he’d never had a problem with a judge before Flanagan accused him of being sexist.

Flanagan accused the lawyer of making false statements and the hearing soon ended.

Flanagan has served as a judge since 1998. She told the judicial executive committee that she didn’t hold Schneiderman in contempt and never asked that he be taken into custody.

The judicial executive committee has referred Schneiderman’s conduct to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Schneiderman declined the Sun-Times’ requests for comment and didn’t immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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