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A change in high school athletics is coming. Following several departures from the Corn Belt Conference, remaining members are proposing a merger with Okaw Valley high school athletic programs. Members of both conferences have voted unanimously in favor of the merger. If approved by Superintendents and Boards, the merger would take effect in 2017. In the new conference would be: Bloomington Central Catholic, Illinois Valley Central, Olympia, Pontiac, and Prairie Central from the Corn Belt, and The High School of St. Thomas More in Champaign, Monticello, Rantoul, St.

Luke Wellman / Soundsations-Photos

Alex Wellman recently earned a silver medal in the intermediate men's level at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota.  As a member of the Central Illinois Figure Skating Club, Wellman began his career just a handful of years ago and is already achieving great success.

JERushton / Wikipedia via Creative Commons

A national trapshooting event is returning to a shuttered state-owned shooting range in southern Illinois with an uncertain future. The American Trapshooting Association and Illinois Department of Natural Resources have agreed to host the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in August at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta. The complex was temporarily shut down in October because of the ongoing state budget impasse.

Deer Harvest Exceeds 150,000

Jan 20, 2016

More than 155,000 deer were harvested by Illinois hunters during the 2015-2016 deer hunting seasons. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says about 155,130 deer were harvested this year, compared to 145,720 deer last year. Hunters took about 56,730 deer during the archery season from Oct. 1 to Jan. 17. Young hunters harvested about 2,840 deer during the youth season from Oct. 10 to 12. Nearly 86,900 deer were taken during the traditional firearm season from Nov. 20 to 22 and Dec. 3 to 6. Hunters harvested 2,375 deer during the muzzleloader-only season from Dec. 11 to 13.

Senait Gebregiorgis / Illinois Public Media

University of Illinois Interim Urbana Chancellor Barbara Wilson says the decision to fire athletic director Mike Thomas came after a law firm’s release of a final report into abuse allegations within the football and women’s basketball programs. But speaking in a morning news conference, Wilson says the dismissal is tied to ‘distractions' and not any misconduct or violations of policies or standards by the now-former Athletic Director.

Normal Lands Fast Pitch Tournament

Nov 5, 2015

The town of Normal's place as a center for competitive softball tournaments is further cemented with the announcement the Amateur Softball Association will hold it's 2017 Girls National Fast Pitch Championship here. The tournament will be July 30th through August 6, and about 150 teams are expected. The tournament is also an economic benefit, and will have an economic impact of over $1.5-Million, officials say.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

  Homecoming is more than just bonfires and football games these days.  Laura Kennedy talks with Doris Groves from the ISU Alumni Center about what  Illinois State University's Homecoming has to offer the campus and the community.

A federal appellate panel has upheld a lower court ruling that the NCAA needs to provide full scholarships for student athletes, including meals and cellphone expenses.  But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel struck down another ruling requiring schools to pay athletes up to $5-thousand annually for the use of their name, likeness, or image.

University of Illinois Labor and Employment Relations Professor Michael LeRoy calls this part of the decision a ‘significant victory’ for the NCAA.

Flickr user Donnie Ray Jones via Creative Commons

The owners of Illinois' horse race tracks say the industry is struggling to survive, but key players diverge on how to salvage the industry. As Amanda Vinicky reports ... decisions by a state board Tuesday could determine tracks' fate.

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