Unit 5NORMAL – To both the casual observer and people who regularly attend them, May 28’s regularly-scheduled Normal-based Unit 5 School Board meeting had a different feel to it for a few reasons, all of them celebratory. For openers, the event, held at Sugar Creek Elementary School, began with a late-afternoon reception for Dr. Gary Niehaus, District Superintendent, who will retire on June 30.

Approximately 400 people, including community leaders and fellow educators, came through the reception line on the second floor of the school to wish the veteran educator well in his retirement. Following the 90-minute reception, family members, Board members, and invited guests joined Niehaus for dinner in the school’s cafeteria.

Although the regular Board session began a little behind schedule, it was understandable considering the circumstances, as Niehaus took a moment to thank his wife, Becky, and his family for their support. “It has meant a lot to me what you have done for me,” he told his wife.

“I’ve been proud to be doing this job for seven years,” said Niehaus, who became superintendent in July 2007. “What we’ve done in those seven years is unbelievable.”

State Rep. Dan Brady (R-105th Dist.) attended the session and presented Niehaus with a Resolution from the Illinois House of Representatives honoring him for his efforts. Board President John Puzauskas presented Niehaus with a proclamation from Gov. Pat Quinn. After the presentations, the audience in attendance, numbering around 25, gave Niehaus a standing ovation.

Benjamin Elementary Has “Good News”: Marlys Bennington, Principal at Benjamin Elementary School, spoke to Board members to recognize Nishant Bhamidipati for his academic achievement. Son of Mr.and Mrs. Srinivas Krishnaja, Nishant was recently selected as a Ben Carson Scholar. The Carson Scholars Fund awards scholarships to students in grades 4th-11th who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities. Nishant is one of only 510 students across the country to be selected this year. With this honor, he received a $1,000 college scholarship, and he was invited to attend a special award assembly in Chicago, where Dr. Ben Carson and his wife, Dr. Candy Carson, both spoke to scholarship honorees. A columnist and retired neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

Nishant also received recognition for his involvement in the iEXCELL program, where his team’s project was selected as the top regional project for the 4th-6th grade level in the Toshiba ExploraVision competition. That means Nishart’s project was selected among projects from a region that consists of Canada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Nishant and his two teammates created a project based on 3D printers and how they can be used to create a 3 Dimensional Vaccines that would help individuals throughout the world to receive vaccinations on time, in order to help prevent illness. The students conducted research on 3D printers and included the risks and risk mitigation process with their solution. David Lillis, Senior Sales Engineer with Toshiba America Information Systems, flew in from Texas to present Nishant and his team with their award.

At the end of May, Nishant was one of the featured student speakers at Benjamin Elementary School’s 5th Grade Recognition Ceremony.

But it wasn’t just a Benjamin Elementary student getting recognition, two teachers were introduced to Board members for their efforts.

Carol Johnson and Chris Sewell, 5th grade teachers at Benjamin Elementary, were recognized for their recent science accomplishments. On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, they held the first ever Benjamin Science Fair, where 4th and 5th grade students displayed their science projects and talked about them with parents, others students, and guests. Science Fair projects showcased student hypothesis statements, detailed the experiment, and shared the results of the projects. Bennington, in a memo to Board members, indicated, “These projects demonstrated the deep thinking that went on in the minds of our students.”

A few of the topics studied included, “Does Runoff from Roads Affect the Growth of Corn?”, “Which Liquid Grows Beans Best?”, “Can People Really Taste How Sweet Drinks Are?”, and “What Kind of Juice Cleans Pennies Best?”

Johnson and Sewell secured judges from Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University, who had reviewed projects and spoken with students on the afternoon of the Science Fair. Trophies for the top three projects were awarded during the Science Fair for both 4th grade students and 5th grade students. The teachers also invited many guests from our community to showcase the science projects.

Johnson told Board members that when she and Sewell put out the call for exhibitors for their event, they got a number of responses, including from ISU’s Solar Car team. “But the biggest thing for us about this event was seeing the result of our students’ critical thinking skills develop.”

The students, families, and staff at Benjamin were able to experience, among other science-oriented items such as geocaching, 3-D printing, fossils, slime making, solar cars, a drone demonstration, engineering, composting, a liquid nitrogen demonstration, and generating electricity.

In addition to the Science Fair, Johnson was recently selected by the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics and the National Science Teachers Association from more than 1,100 teachers nationwide to attend the intensive one-week, all-expense paid Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in New Jersey in July. She’s one of only 150 third through fifth grade teachers chosen for this honor. Sewell was chosen for this same honor last year. This year she has been chosen to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama for a week this summer. Johnson said she even received a congratulatory phone call from U. S. Rep Aaron Schock (R-18th).

Unit 5 map“Good News” From Beyond The Books Foundation: Board members found out which district teachers became recipients of grants from the Beyond The Books Foundation. District Board Member Gail Ann Briggs, who serves as a Beyond The Books Foundation Board Member, and Bruce Weldy, the district’s director of elementary education announced the names of the winners to Board members.

Beyond the Books Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Illinois corporation founded in 1992. Its mission is to provide a long-term self-sustaining financial base that will annually fund innovative academic programs in Unit 5 and District 87 public schools. Since the first grants were awarded in 1993, $550,613 has been awarded to support 656 grants. Awards are determined through a blind review of the applications using established criteria.

The winners (and Unit 5 schools they are from), titles of their projects, and grant money received are: Susan M. Layden (Cedar Ridge Elementary School), “Math In The Real World,” $375; Megan Yaklich, Tracey Boyer, Sara Johns, and Vanessa Lopex (Cedar Ridge Elementary), “Stamp Out Summer Reading Loss,” $4,900; Karen Mercer and Cathy Troyer (Colene Hoose Elementary), “Edible Classroom,” $375; Jennifer Snyder (Kingsley Junior High School), “Fiction…In Science, It’s All About Connections,” $664.

Six separate projects from Normal Community West High School won Foundation grants. Those were: Kevin Enderlin, Molly Stolfa, and Don Whitman, “Manipulating Photosynthesis In The Production Of Poinsettias,” $400; Rexie Lanier and Remy Garard, “Book Bracket Battle,” $400; April Schermann, “Using Robots To Teach Math And Science,” $3,500; Beth Smith, “The Mobile Museum Project,” $1,260; Jeritt Williams, April Schermann, Barb Bush, Dave Weber, and Beth Smith, “Beam Me Up, Scotty! – Star Trek STEM,” $1,800; And Lisa Tomlin, “Bringing The Next Generation Science Standards To Life,” $300.

Four separate projects from Sugar Creek Elementary School won Foundation grants. Those were: Tara Bennett, “Goodnight, Construction Site,” $400; Lora Boyd, “Step Their Way From A-Z,” $288; Tracy Hitchins, “Light And Shadow Explorers,” $400; and Susan Nicklas and Polly Swearingen, “Postcards From Across The USA,” $388.

Two separate projects from Normal Community High School won Foundation grants. Those were: Jeff Christopherson, John Bergmann, and Mike Roller, “Science Palooza – Hands On Science,” $400; and Barbara Koski, Julie Trimpe, Claire Rybaraczyk, Caroline Fox, Trish Warner, Jenny Sokulski, and Nicole Maurer, “Hi-Lo Library/Literacy Library,” $3,000.

Briggs and Weldy also made public the winner of the $10,000 “Beyond The Box” grant winner. That prize went to a group consisting of Kathie Brown, Christa Hoder, Margaret Nelson, Rylee Long, and Karen Mercer for their project, “Big Designs By Little Scientists,” which mixes literacy, active participation, and experiments as a means of encouraging an increase in test scores.

This year, a total of 104 applications were submitted from both districts requesting $122,129. The Foundation has awarded $36,327, which is the most in the Foundation’s history, to fully or partially fund 28 programs for the 2014-2015 school year.

Normal Community West High’s “Good News”: Normal Community West Special Education Teacher Peggy Modglin was introduced to Board members for having been selected as the recipient of the State Clinical Achievement Award due to her daily advocacy on behalf of her NCWHS students.

While working with high school juniors, Modglin noted a disparity in accommodations awarded for the ACT exam for students whose primary learning disability designation is Specific Learning Disability (SLD) and students whose primary designation is Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Modglin observed Normal West students who have with eligibility of SLD were granted accommodations upon request, while students with an eligibility of SLI were consistently denied accommodations with their first request.

Upon receiving the denials, ACT requested additional information including academic and cognitive testing, which was not required in the requests made for students with SLD. This additional documentation did not guarantee accommodations on the ACT would be granted for the student with SLI. Learning this, Modglin started a campaign to help ACT understand that students with SLI struggle with reading and writing tasks in much the same manner as students with a language-based learning disability.

Modglin has been working in the past few years with ACT, American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and Illinois Speech Language Hearing Association (ISHA). She initiated a state-wide survey, gathered enough data to present a case, with the assistance of ASHA, to the U. S. Department of Justice. Before the Board meeting, the U. S. Department of Justice was in the midst of reviewing Modglin’s concerns along with similar complaints they have received.

By the time of the Board meeting, she was able to report to Board members that, last week, U. S. Department of Justice contacted her through the ASHA to clarify a few questions they had regarding the impact of a Speech Language Impairment on taking the ACT. They also requested some information regarding case studies. Modglin informed Board members she has provided the Justice Department with that information. That department continues to investigate the matter to determine if discrimination has occurred against persons with Speech Language Impairments because they were denied accommodations for ACT.

Committee Assignments Announced: The only item of business was the announcement of committee assignments given to Board members. Board members were assigned to the following committees: Gail Ann Briggs, Beyond the Books Educational Foundation; Gail Ann Briggs and Mike Trask, Board Policy Review Committee; Briggs and Meta Mickens-Baker, Community Connections Committee; District Core Team: John Puzauskas and Denise Schuster; Facilities Review Committee: Trask and Mark Pritchett; Finance Committee: Wendy Maulson and Denise Schuster; Superintendent Evaluation Team: Pritchett and Mickens-Baker.

Individually, Board members will serve on committees as well. Board members (and the committees they will be responsible for) are: Gail Ann Briggs (Pandemic Planning Team, Unit 5 Educational Foundation Board, Wellness Committee, in addition to serving as Board Representative to Illinois Association of School Boards); Puzauskas (Safety Team); Maulson – (Insurance Review Committee and Risk Management Team); Mickens-Baker (Joint Governmental Representative); and Pritchett (McLean County Regional Planning Commission).

By Steve Robinson | May 26, 2014 - 10:32 pm
Posted in Category: NCHS, Normal West HS, The Normalite

BaseballNORMAL – When the Softball teams from Normal Community West High School and Normal Community High School met earlier this month, it took eight innings to determine a winner, with NCHS pulling away with a 1-0 victory. When the rematch between the squads was held at Maxwell Park on May 22, Normal West jumped out front early and held the lead en route to evening the season series at a game apiece, beating NCHS, 3-0.

West (25-7, 11-1 Big 12) got on the scoreboard first as right fielder Amy Nelson singled in the home half of the third inning, then motored around the bases on defensive plays to score West’s first run, putting the Wildcats up, 1-0.

Normal West In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Wildcats went up 3-0 on a home run by center fielder Claire Ambrose, with Nelson on base, leading to the final score. Nelson led off the inning with a single. Reganne Camp (12-5) got the victory for West, while the loss for NCHS (25-7) went to Keegan Fields (7-3).

“Claire’s home run was great for her and her confidence,” explained her coach, Normal West’s April Schermann. “She’s been struggling a lot, lately.” But Schermann, added, a piece of hitting advice from assistant coach Byran Cumbess seemed to turn things around for her. Cumbess advised Ambrose to shorten her swing against hard-throwing Fields. That bid of a change in her approach at the plate aided Ambrose to get the hit she needed, Schermann explained.

“Anytime we face NCHS, it’s going to be a tough game,” Schermann said.

NCHS“We just couldn’t get hits when we had people on base,” explained NCHS head coach Bob Grimes. “Camp kept us a little off-balance. I was pleased with what Fields did for us all day. I thought, for the most part, she did a really nice job. West has a good offense.”

With the season series between these two knotted at a game each, the only way they would face each other during State playoffs would be if they were to meet in the Regional championship.

By Steve Robinson | May 25, 2014 - 10:35 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

Steve RobinsonNormal Community High School students have, for the last year, been able to gather outside of school hours at a long curved sitting wall to do, among other things, wait for rides, share laughs with friends, and take a break from studies. The 45-foot wall is just outside the school’s main entrance.

The Sitting Wall was a project constructed last September by 14 Illinois State University students who were in an outdoor horticulture class called Urban Landscape Management, taught by Dr. David Kopsell. In eight hours over a couple of days, Kopsell’s students were able to erect the structure. “The class basically teaches landscape design to ISU students,” said David Bollman, NCHS Principal, in explaining the purpose of the college course whose students were involved in making the structure part of the school’s front entryway.

The Sitting Wall was the brainchild of members of NCHS’ Alumni Association and school administrators, Bollman said. “Members of the alumni association asked us about what kinds of things the school was needing. They had put in the walkway at the front of the building, and paid for the plantings nearby.” But the notion of a sitting wall did not even take shape overnight. The school’s alumni association originally made a request for the Sitting Wall three years ago as a means of trying to curb the amount of litter that was accumulating around the school’s entrance.

Initial planning for the Sitting Wall began in the spring of 2013, Bollman said. “Measurements were taken, and drawings were done, he explained, adding the plans also needed and received the approval of Unit 5’s Facilities Committee before the job was finally okayed. The Unit 5 School Board approved the project as part of its omnibus agenda. Bollman said the goal was to have the Sitting Wall finalized in time for last year’s NCHS Homecoming festivities.

The cost of the materials came to roughly $5,000. NCHS’ Alumni Association also raised another $2,000 on top of that which they donated to ISU’s Horticulture Club.

NCHS’ Alumni Association “had a vision of what other things could go out in that part of the front of the building, and we began talking about a sitting wall,” Bollman added. “We have students who wait out there at the end of the day for rides and so forth. Instead of putting plants or other kinds of things out there, we decided to make it more useful for students, teachers, and other to use.”

Dr. Mary Ryder, a former NCHS teacher who is now a member of the school’s alumni board, got in touch with Kopsell about involving his students in the project, Bollman explained. “The project was kind of a win-win for all of us,” he said. “The alumni had some money they wanted to use for this project. The school had need of the project, and could provide some financial support, and Dr. Kopsell’s students could enter their work in a competition and show the sitting wall for that purpose.”

It took a full weekend and a couple of follow-up visits to complete the job, Bollman said. All the materials were donated by the school’s alumni association, while Kopsell’s class provided the labor.

“It’s gotten a lot of use during the nice weather in the fall and spring,” Bollman said of the addition. “We have classes that go out there on occasion. It’s used frequently, as well as being able to provide esthetics” to the school.

Bollman said there is a larger benefit that is gained by the project that maybe some people don’t think of. “One of the best parts of this has been the level of cooperation between our school and ISU, and the alumni association.” Bollman cites the high school’s relationship with ISU includes having student teachers learning to hone their skills in NCHS’ classrooms and adding, “A project of this sort takes that level of cooperation in a different direction and to a whole new level.”

Bollman said the Sitting Wall also shows a uniquely different form of support on the part of the school’s alumni association. “The Alumni Association supports our school with scholarships and those sort of items, but the Sitting Wall is a very different, very visible way for the alumni to be celebrated and give back to the building.”

On another subject, congratulations to Mike Troll, who was recently named the new head football coach at University High School. Troll has been an assistant for the last six seasons under Dusty Burk. Burk announced earlier this month he is leaving to become assistant principal at Pontiac Township High School. Under Burk, the Pioneers won Corn Belt Conference titles with a perfect 9-0 regular season twice — in 2012 and 2013. Troll has high school head coaching experience having patrolled the sidelines at Olympia High School from 1996 to 2000. During that tenure, Troll registered a 15-30 record.

Town of NormalNORMAL – Normal Town Council members unanimously approved a resolution authorizing execution of a collective bargaining agreement with the union representing Normal’s fire fighters, Local #2442 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), at the governing body’s regular meeting Monday at Normal City Hall.

As part of the agreement, the contract calls for a wage increase of 1.4 percent, or $60,000. In addition under the terms of the contract, the Town will hire three firefighter/paramedics and promote a trio of NFD Captains to Battalion Chiefs. Those moves will cost the Town $183,020. The three new fire fighters the Town will hire will fill the vacancies caused by the creation of Battalion Chief’s positions.

In addition, effective April 1, NFD base wages will not be adjusted. All members of the bargaining unit will receive a one-time payment of $1,000 once the agreement goes into effect. Also effective that day, base wages will go up 2.85 percent.

Regarding the three NFD Captains promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief, the Battalion Chief position will not be part of the bargaining unit, but will join the Town’s regular salary system.

Resolution Supporting Aquifer Approved: Council members unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Mahomet Aquifer as the sole source of water for the community in an application to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. USEPA has the authority “to designate an aquifer that serves a large number of people, where there are no reasonable and practical alternatives to meet the potable water needs of the community” as a sole source aquifer, according to the report from City Manager Mark Peterson to Council members.

The operators of the Clinton Landfill, Peoria-based Area Disposal Co. (ADC), is seeking permission from State and Federal authorities to add a location to be used for the disposal of toxic waste, including Polychlorinated Biphenyl, better known as PCB. ADC is required by law to seek permission of USEPA for what they are seeking to do.

Thus far, there was a summit meeting on the subject at Normal City Hall in February, and Council Members Jeff Fritzen and Sonja Reece attended hearings in Champaign and Morton, respectfully, earlier this month, to rally support for the aquifer to be kept untouched by ADC’s plans.

At Monday’s meeting, Reece and Fritzen reported back about the response to the situation at the meetings they attended. “We found a very receptive group in Morton,” Reece said. “It was the most animated discussion I’ve seen in quite some time,” Fritzen said.

“Actions like this sometimes takes getting people’s attention,” Fritzen added. “This affects a lot of people. Any future development for Bloomington-Normal is going to depend on the safety of this aquifer.”

Bryan St. Properties Rezoned: Council members unanimously approved rezoning of 14 buildings on the north side of Bryan St. to Medium Density Multiple Family Residential from Mixed Residential. Single family homes surround the buildings on their east, west, and south sides. The owner of 1612 Bryan St. wished to rebuild the structure after a fire there in 2013 destroyed over 50 percent of the building. After the fire, the owner wanted to build a single family home, but was unaware the area wasn’t zoned for such properties.

The event prompted the Town to consider rezoning all 14 properties on that side of the street into one classification. The properties in question are: 1600, 1602, 1604, 1606, 1608, 1610, 1612, 1614, 1616, 1618, 1620, and 1624 Bryan St. The buildings were developed in the 1960s and 1970s when the Town zoned them as Multiple Family. Of the 14, there are 12 4-unit apartments, one 3-unit apartment, and a duplex.

Memorial Service For Carol Reitan Slated For June 13: “The community has lost a good friend,” Reece told her fellow Council members when speaking about the Town’s first and only woman mayor, Carol A. Reitan, who died May 12 at the age of 83. Reece reminded a public memorial service is scheduled for June 13 from 4:30p.m.7:30p.m. at the conference center that bears her name at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott in Uptown Normal.

Shaw Reappointed To Connect Transit Board: Council members unanimously approved reappointing Felicia Shaw to the Board of Trustees of Connect Transit. Her current term ends on June 30. Her new term will expire June 20, 2018. Shaw was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Mary Caisley.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of minutes of the Regular Council meeting held May 5, 2014.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of May 14, 2014.

• A motion to award a bid to Bloomington-based Diamond Vogel Paints for the purchase of pavement paint and beads for an estimated total cost of $53,103.50.

• A motion to accept the low bid in the amount of $65,150 from Bloomington-based Birkey Farm Store for the purchase of a backhoe for the Normal Parks and Recreation Department.

• A motion to waive the formal bidding procedure and authorize the purchase of a tornado outdoor warning siren from Bloomington-based Innotech Communications.

• A resolution approving Title VI Program.

• A resolution approving a professional services agreement with Orland Park-based The Horton Group for insurance brokerage services.

• A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement with Normal-based Midwest Fiber Recycling, Inc. for paper recycling from the Town of Normal Drop Box Recycle Program.

• A conditional resolution partially re-approving the sixth addition to Vineyards Subdivision.

• A resolution accepting dedication of property – Raab Road.

• An ordinance rezoning property in the Town of Normal – 1025, 1027, 1029, and 1031 Decoy Ct. (Vineyards).

By Steve Robinson | - 10:02 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Cornbelters, The Normalite

Steve RobinsonSome of you might recall that when Mike Veeck was here in January for the “Hot Stove Dinner” to raise money for the victims of the Washington tornado last fall, we were all looking forward to warmer temperatures and the chance to get back to The Corn Crib for the fifth season of Normal CornBelters baseball.

Well, when the season officially opened on Friday, May 16, let’s just say we got baseball back on the field and enjoyed watching the CornBelters start their campaign toward attaining their first Frontier League Championship. We are, however, still looking for the warmth that’s known to come with baseball. The fans at The Corn Crib were ready for baseball to be sure, but dressed or bundled as though they were prepping for football season, some of them bringing blankets to stay warm while enjoying hot chocolate during the home opener. While the weather may not have cooperated, Normal getting a big 5-0 win was enough for the fans to counter the chill.

Santiago Chirino hit a one-out triple to the left field wall and was driven in with a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Mike Schwartz to score the very first run of the new season for the CornBelters, giving Normal a 1-0 lead. The Belters tacked on a run in the fourth inning as Roman Hernandez sent a solo shot over the left field fence, upping the CornBelters’ lead, 2-0. Tyler Shover smacked a long high hit over the right center field fence to increase Normal’s lead, 3-0. Two insurance runs came in the eighth inning, both unearned once Chirino doubled to the right field wall to score Shover and Mark Micowski. Pitcher Drew Provence took the win with five innings, giving up three hits with two walks and one strikeout. Otters starter Zach Petersime took the loss also with five innings, giving up four hits and two runs while walking three and striking out two.

“The first wins are always tough to get,” said CornBelters Manager Brooks Carey. “We were able to hit the long ball. We got a couple of clutch hits, and pitched the heck out of the ball. We had great pitching and good defense, which helped.”

After the first game, Carey said there would be no tinkering with the lineup as long as the team keeps producing Ws. ”With the lineup we’ve got right there, we can do some damage,” the second season Normal Manager added.

Even with the win, it would have been great if first baseman Pat McKenna could have participated in it. But by the time you read this column, he should be on the mend totally from a lower hip injury which put him on the 7-day disabled list before the season’s first pitch.

Saturday and Sunday turned out not to be as positive, with Normal dropping a 10-7 decision on Saturday, followed by falling short Sunday in a 5-4 loss. As a result, the CornBelters’ opening weekend ended with a 1-2 mark to open the season. As of Monday, the Joliet Slammers and Windy City Thunderbolts are both still perfect at 3-0 tied for first in the Frontier League’s Western Division. Each sporting 2-1 records, Gateway and River City are tied for second; and Rockford and Normal are tied for third, each managing a 1-2 record. The Schaumburg Boomers are in the Western Division basement, at 0-3, after the opening weekend.

Having covered minor league hockey, indoor football, and now independent baseball, I have heard from head coaches and now managers that seasons are marathons, not sprints. So, since we are at the beginning of this year’s marathon, I would suggest settling in, getting comfortable, and enjoying the spring and summer at The Corn Crib. I still have a few weeks left covering high school activities before I can formally join all of you there, but I will get there and I will introduce you to players and keep you apprised of all the activities planned as the ‘Belters get ready to celebrate their fifth season.

No Monday Games: Let’s face it – we all hate Mondays. And it looks like the CornBelters aren’t too fond of them, either. During the entire 2014 season, the CornBelters will only play one game on the day that starts the work week, and it’s an away game at that, at River City on July 28.

The Coming Week: River City Visits, At Joliet, Evansville Returns: Having had Monday off, the CornBelters visited River City Tuesday through Thursday, and are prepping for the return of the Evansville Otters Friday through Sunday at The Corn Crib. Friday and Saturday games will be at 7p.m. Sunday’s contest will begin at 6p.m.

I’m still covering high school events for the time being, but once the local teams end their seasons (and here’s hoping we have a lot of them making the post-season), I will be easy to find – visiting The Corn Crib interviewing players and Manager Brooks Carey, and, like many of you, hoping the team gets into the post-season for the first time.