Smithfield, IL

Canton man sues YouTube, other websites after son's suicide 'prank' takes a near-fatal turn

A Canton man alleges social media algorithms targeting his children based on their race influenced his son into attempting a prank that left him with permanent brain damage. Damian Johnson is a Black single father of three. In 2021, his 12-year-old son attempted to create a "I Killed Myself Prank" video. The stunts play up the reactions of loved ones who discover a staged suicide scene as a practical joke.
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Jenna Lou's Homemade Ice Cream huge hit

MARIETTA — Not many young people are entrepreneurs while still juggling college, but Jenna Spangler is. A graduate of Bushnell-Prairie City High School, living in Marietta, she is currently a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Food Science and Human Nutrition with a concentration in Hospitality Management. When not hitting the...

M-R Lincoln Early Childhood Principal Joe Pilger Ready for New School Year

Summer projects are wrapping up as a new school year is right around the corner. Monmouth-Roseville’s Lincoln Early Childhood building saw outdoor improvements with all new concrete parking areas and front door landing, plus a new math curriculum, i-Ready, will be incorporated for the pre-school through First Grade students. Principal Joe Pilger recently attended the annual Principal Meeting with the Regional Office of Education and says there are lots of new programs out there being offered:

WIU Athletics to Host Purple & Gold Auction Aug. 13

MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University Athletics will host its largest fundraiser of the year this Saturday (Aug. 13) at Western Hall. The 33rd Annual Purple & Gold Auction will feature a social, silent auction, two cash raffles, dinner, a short program and a live auction benefiting Western’s nearly 400 Leatherneck student-athletes. The online auction is currently open.

Social Media Victims Law Center Files Suit Against Social Media Giants For Race-Driven Anguish Suffered By One Small-Town Family

PEORIA, Ill. The Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC), a legal resource for parents of children harmed by social media addiction and abuse, announced that it has filed suit on behalf of Damian Johnson, a single father living in Canton, Ill., and his three children against YouTube, LLC, Meta Platforms, Inc.’s Facebook and Instagram, Snap, Inc. and TikTok, Inc. alleging that their algorithms purposely pushed dangerous race- and gender-based content to his children. The lawsuit alleges that Johnson’s youngest son, KLJ, nearly killed himself when he attempted the “I Killed Myself Prank” popularized on YouTube, resulting in lifelong disabilities and personality changes; while accusing Instagram and TikTok of using racial profiling algorithms which would direct his oldest son, JAJ, to gun and gang-themed content, and his underaged daughter, KAJ, to receive countless messages from strangers offering her money in exchange for sex and asking her to send sexually explicit photos and videos of herself. The lawsuit, which was filed in The Central District of Illinois (Case: 1:22-cv-01260-MMM-JEH # 1), alleges that these social media products drove his children into depression, addiction and other mental health disorders. Further, the products’ manufacturers did not take reasonable, actionable steps to prevent their products from deliberately identifying and pushing violent, sexual, and disturbing content to his children – and other minors – product defects, Johnson alleges, are known to these social media companies. This is the first time SMVLC has filed a lawsuit against YouTube. “Each of these social media companies have made billions of dollars by intentionally designing dangerous products that they know are harmful to minors,” said Matthew P. Bergman, founding attorney of SMVLC. “Not only are they pushing their dangerous content to minors but their discriminatory, racially profiling algorithm disproportionately directs violent and sexual content to African Americans and other minority groups.”

Chamber holds ribbon cutting at Line-X

CANTON — Located at 71 E. Alder Road in Canton, Line-X of Canton opened June 1 and had its grand opening Aug. 4. They offer trusted Line-X bedliners, a wide ranger of truck accessories and award-winning protective coatings. In addition to the the grand opening, the Canton Area Chamber...

Holly M. (Boyer) Powell

Holly M. (Boyer) Powell, 83, of Avon, IL, passed away at 8:12 a.m., Sunday, August 7, 2022 at Roseville Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Roseville, IL. Holly was born November 18, 1938 in her home near Abingdon, IL in Knox County. She was the daughter of Vernon and Hilma (Roberts) Boyer.
Mendota Reporter

Education Briefs-Aug. 10

MACOMB/MOLINE – A total of 192 undergraduate students enrolled at Western Illinois University were named to the 2022 Summer Dean's List. The total includes 34 students at the WIU-Quad Cities Campus. Among the students making the list is Leah Metcalf, a senior from Ohio. To receive this award, an...

Redneck Fishing Tournament pulls invasive copi from Illinois River

Just after 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, a crowd gathers on the banks of the Illinois River. The locusts droning overhead and the oppressive heat don’t take anything out of the experience for the several hundred people in Bath, Illinois for the 15th Annual Redneck Fishing Tournament. “There’s...

Celebrating National Farmers Market Week

It’s National Farmers Market Week, an annual celebration to highlight the vital role local growers play in the nation’s food system. John Greenwood, manager of the Macomb Farmers Market and a vendor with JNJ farms, said there will be drawings for vendor gift certificates at the Thursday and Saturday markets this week to commemorate National Farmers Market Week.

Bushnell-Prairie City Schools announces new teachers, staff

BUSHNELL — The Bushnell-Prairie City school district has announced its teacher line-up for the school year. Brandon Nott has been hired as a first grade teacher at B-PC Elementary. Nott replaces Mrs. Beekman, who is taking the role of interventionist. The interventionist role was vacated by Mrs. Rodeffer, who was recently appointed as the Director of Programs and Services. She replaces Mrs. Rhoades.

Little Giants open football practice

CANTON — The Canton Little Giants are hoping to show what a difference a year makes when they took to the field Monday for their first official practice for the 2022 season. Coach Nick Wright who is starting his third season, says preseason preparation totally changed compared to the past two years.

Mathew Sadler ranks 2,443rd in Boys' 18 bracket in week ending July 30

There is one junior tennis player from Macomb ranked in the Boys' 16 category in the week ending July 29 by the United States Tennis Association. There was one junior tennis player who ranked in Boys' 16 bracket the previous week. Mathew Sadler is the top ranked boy in the category...