(SPRINGFIELD) Just a week removed from an early season blizzard in parts of central Illinois, a late season severe weather outbreak resulted in several tornadoes across central and west-central Illinois this past Saturday, December 1. The town of Taylorville, in Christian County, was hardest hit, with the other communities with damage including Litchfield, Harvel, Beardstown, and Morrisonville. The particular supercell took a long path from the eastern fringes of the St. Louis metro area, north-northeastward, to the area east of Bloomington, plus other supercells tracked up the Illinois River Valley in west central Illinois. While no deaths have been reported, there are various reports of damage to homes, sheds, and buildings. The National Weather Service started tornado damage surveys yesterday that will continue today.
(CHAMPAIGN) A top University of Illinois official says a new campus committee will not be choosing a replacement for the school’s former Chief Illiniwek mascot. The new commission on Native Imagery : Healing and Reconciliation met for the first time last week on the Urbana-Champaign campus. It was established following the September release of a university report suggesting adoption of a new sports mascot and traditions to replace the Chief Illiniwek portrayal that was dropped amid complaints in 2007 due to issues from American Indians that it was offensive. The new commission includes former Illinois Board Trustees, former Fighting Illini athletes, former Chief Illiniwek portrayers, and Native Americans.