The Illinois Department of Transportation on Friday urged drivers to consider postponing unnecessary road travel this weekend as heavy snow, bitter cold and gusty winds threaten the Chicago area during a winter storm taking aim at the region.
IDOT expects the winter storm will “create hazardous conditions across the state,” including extremely slick conditions and poor visibility.
“IDOT crews will be out on the roads but conditions could still be extremely hazardous, so we encourage motorists to ask themselves if they really need to make the trip,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman in a statement. “If you do have to travel, remember that the bitter cold and wind reduces the effectiveness of the materials we use to treat snow and ice. There will be lengthy travel times so make sure to prepare your vehicle in the event you are stranded.”
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday for Cook, Lake, DuPage, DeKalb, Kane, La Salle, Kendall, Grundy, Will, Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, Ogle and Lee counties through midnight. A winter storm watch was previously issued for the Chicago area from 6 a.m. Saturday until Sunday morning.
Forecasters say that steady, blowing snow will be the primary threat from the storm, causing dangerous travel conditions throughout the area.
Snow accumulations will vary widely depending on the track of the storm, but forecasters say that accumulations of greater than six inches are possible, along with northeasterly winds gusting in excess of 35 miles per hour.
Travel will be difficult at times during the storm, with blowing snow expected to dramatically reduce visibility in open areas.
Forecasters say that the steadiest snow rates will likely occur from 2 p.m. through 8 p.m. Saturday.
IDOT said more than 1,800 trucks and equipment will be deployed statewide to treat roads and respond to weather emergencies. Drivers are asked to slow down and increase driving distance if you encounter a plow or maintenance vehicle.
If you must travel, IDOT recommends:
• Take it slow, especially when approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shaded areas that are prone to icing.
• Make sure your gas tank is full.
• Keep a cell phone, warm clothes, blankets, food, water, a first-aid kit, washer fluid and an ice scraper in your vehicle.
• Check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your route and schedule.
• Carry a cellphone and dial *999 in the Chicago area for assistance in case of emergency.
• Reminder: Using handheld phones while driving is illegal in Illinois, unless it is an emergency situation.
• If you are involved in a crash or break down, remain inside your vehicle, which is your safest form of shelter. Exiting your vehicle into live traffic can have fatal consequences.
• Always wear a seat belt, whether you’re sitting in the front seat or back seat. It’s the law.
IDOT provides regular updates on statewide road conditions at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.
Women’s Basketball | December 31
DeKALB, IL – The Northern Illinois University women’s basketball team opens Mid-American Conference play Saturday afternoon when the Huskies travel to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas. Tip-off is at 12 p.m. CT with the game being broadcast locally on WLBK 98.9 FM/1360 AM as well as ESPN3.
NIU (3-5) enters league play on the heels of a 103-71 loss at DePaul in its last game on Dec. 16. Junior forward A’Jah Davis (DeKalb, Ill./Montverde Academy [Fla.]) scored a career-high 26 points against the Blue Demons, with 22 points in the second half alone. She added 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She was named MAC Player of the Week on Dec. 21 for her efforts in that game. Davis leads the conference in rebounding at 10.4 boards per game which puts her 20th in the country.
The Huskies are leading the MAC in free throw shooting so far this season at 77.3 percent, with Central Michigan second at 74.4 percent. NIU has made 22 of its last 25 free throw attempts over the last three games. Chelby Koker (Racine, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) is tops among MAC players at the charity stripe, shooting 96.6 percent this season. She has made 26 of 27 free throws to put her third in the nation in free throw percentage.
Saturday’s game marks just the second time NIU will play on New Year’s Day in program history. NIU defeated Stetson 91-61 on Jan. 1, 1984 in a tournament in Miami, Fla. Central Michigan (2-8, 0-1 MAC) opened their conference slate Wednesday afternoon with a 92-75 loss at Buffalo. Molly Davis led the Chippewas with 23 points and 12 assists against the Bulls. Jahari Smith also had a double-double with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Davis leads the Chippewas with 17.1 points and 4.8 assists per game.
Following Saturday’s game, NIU returns to the Convocation Center to host Ball State on Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale at NIUHuskies.com/MyHuskies or by calling the NIU Athletics Ticket Office at 815-753-PACK (7225). Huskie Flex Plans are now available for the 2021-22 men’s and women’s basketball seasons. Purchase vouchers for $6 each and use them throughout the season to attend Huskie men’s and women’s basketball home games. Simply redeem vouchers for tickets prior to the game.
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation is urging drivers to postpone any unnecessary travel due to snow, rain and bitter cold temperatures expected this weekend.
A strong storm system with a wide range of weather is expected starting New Year’s Day.
Rain and several inches of snow are expected across Illinois as well, IDOT said.
A wintry mix with minor ice accumulations is also possible. This will be most prevalent between Interstate 80 and I-70 on Saturday.
“IDOT crews will be out on the roads, but conditions could still be extremely hazardous, so we encourage motorists to ask themselves if they really need to make the trip,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “If you do have to travel, remember that the bitter cold and wind reduces the effectiveness of the materials we use to treat snow and ice. There will be lengthy travel times so make sure to prepare your vehicle in the event you are stranded.”
On Saturday afternoon, gusty north winds will create blowing and drifting snow on east-west roads. The system could also trigger severe storms south of I-64 starting Friday evening and into Saturday.
Damaging winds and a few tornadoes are possible.
Heavy rainfall on Friday could produce minor flooding of roads in low-lying and poor drainage areas, IDOT said.
Wind chills on Sunday could fall between zero and -20 degrees west of the I-55 corridor.
IDOT is encouraging drivers to slow down and remain patient this weekend.
For regular updates on statewide road conditions, visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com.
The last time Arsenal and Manchester City matched up, it was clear who the better side was. But this isn’t late August anymore.
The Gunners will put their fine form to the ultimate test as they host English Premier League leader and title favorite Manchester City at the Emirates on New Year’s Day. They will hope to show off the marked progress made since a 5-0 loss to the Citizens on Aug. 28, when a first-half red card sabotaged Arsenal’s bid for a result.
Since the integration of some key summer signings, Arsenal (4th place, 35 pts) has surged into a Champions League spot on the heels of four straight wins. All four were pleasing to the eye as they topped Southampton, West Ham, Leeds United, and Norwich City by a combined 14-1 scoreline. However, the opponent will be of a different caliber this time around.
Man City (1st place, 50 pts) enters on a whopping 10-match league winning streak which began with a 2-0 Manchester derby win in early November. Six of those 10 victories came via a clean sheet as Pep Guardiola’s squad appears virtually unbeatable. Now holding an eight-point lead atop the table, the next two games could be decisive in the title race as Arsenal and Chelsea will provide stiff competition and perhaps a window of opportunity for those below to gain ground should City slip.
How to watch Arsenal vs. Man City
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 1
- Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
- TV channel: USA Network
- Spanish-language TV: Universo
- Streaming: fuboTV, NBCSports.com (authenticated users)
The Saturday match between Arsenal and Man City from the Emirates will be broadcast on USA Network (English) and Universo (Spanish) in the USA.
It’s first match of a USA Network tripleheader on New Year’s Day with Jan. 1 marking the Premier League’s permament move to USA Network as its new English-language TV home.
Arsenal vs. Man City projected lineups
Arenal is again without the out-of-favor Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was allowed to travel early to join Gabon for the Africa Cup of Nations. Sead Kolasinac will return to training in January from his long-term injury, while the trio of Calum Chambers, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Cedric are all out after positive COVID-19 tests.
That’s it for Arsenal, who looked fantastic against Norwich City last time out and has a mostly healthy squad. Alexandre Lacazette should continue to lead the line up front, with few changes expected from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. There will probably be no room once again for Nicolas Pepe with both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli in great form on the wings.
Arsenal projected starting lineup (4-4-2, left to right): Ramsdale (GK) — Tierney, Gabriel, Holding, White — Partey, Xhaka — Martinelli, Odegaard, Saka — Lacazette.
The Man City squad news is less about who is injured and more about predicting who from his bursting squad Pep Guardiola will select on any given day. Only John Stones and Kyle Walker have question marks around their availablility due to a lack of fitness, while Rodri is missing after a positive COVID-19 test. Otherwise, the entire selection of players is available to Guardiola. It’s possible that Joao Cancelo is given a break after suffering a recent assault, but there are no natural right backs to replace him unless Walker recovers in time.
Oleksandar Zinchenko was rested for the Brentford match, but should return to left back with Nathan Ake not exactly lighting the world on fire as his replacement. Fernandinho, who is no longer a regular starter in the side, could drop to the bench for Ilkay Gundogan, while Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez also see opportunities to make a return to the first-choice side.
Man City projected starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Ederson (GK) — Zinchenko, Laporte, Dias, Cancelo — Gundogan, De Bruyne, Silva — Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez.
Arsenal vs. Man City betting pick & prediction
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Pep Guardiola has never lost to Arsenal in a Premier League match since taking charge of Man City in 2016. The last time Arsenal beat Man City in league play was December 2015, when Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott scored to beat Manuel Pellegrini’s side captained by Yaya Toure. Since that victory, it’s been two draws and 10 defeats, including nine straight losses for the Gunners. The last time these two teams matched up, Man City blasted the Gunners 5-0.
The situation is completely different now. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta seems to have finally found a consistent starting XI that clicks, and Man City’s recent run of dominant results against the Gunners will be challenged. Arsenal has won four league games in a row, and while it still has yet to prove its worth against a top Premier League side this season, now would represent the perfect time.
Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard are all in fine form, and the Gunners are a good enough footballing team that they should be able to keep pace with Man City in a shootout. And they should also be competitive in a lower-scoring contest — for all their attacking prowess, Pep Guardiola’s men are also defensively solid and more than comfortable winning 1-0 or 2-0 — which justifies a gamble on Arsenal and the +1 spread at plus-money. The stake is returned in the case of a one-goal Arsenal loss.
Pick: Arsenal +1 Asian Handicap (+100)
Prediction: Arsenal 1, Man City 1
- Moneyline: Arsenal +500 / Draw +360 / Man City -195
- Spread: Man City -1.5 (+150) / Arsenal +1.5 (-170)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -170 / Under +140
- Both teams to score: Yes -150 / No +115
The New York Knicks (17-18) travel to Paycom Center Friday to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-22). Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Knicks vs. Thunder odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Knicks are coming into this matchup having won three straight. In their last two, they’ve scored less than 100 points but allowed under 90. The Knicks will be without their star forward Julius Randle in this one.
This season, New York has been one of the worst covering teams in the league, a drastic difference from a season ago. As for the Thunder, while they’re still near the bottom of the West, they’ve covered at a high rate, sitting with a 21-13 ATS record.
Led by G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder will be the healthier team in this matchup. They’ve covered six of their last games, failing to do so as 16-point underdogs in their last game against Phoenix.
Knicks at Thunder odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET.
- Money line: Knicks -200 (bet $200 to win $100) | Thunder +160 (bet $160 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Knicks -4.5 (-120) | Thunder +4.5 (-105)
- Over/Under (O/U): 206.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)
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Knicks at Thunder key injuries
- G Evan Fournier (ankle) questionable
- F Julius Randle (health and safety protocols) out
- C Nerlens Noel (health and safety protocols) out
- G Derrick Rose (ankle) out
- PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) questionable
- F Darius Bazley (health and safety protocols) out
- G Josh Giddey (health and safety protocols) out
- F Aleksej Pokusevski (health and safety protocols) out
Deposit $10 or more, get $100 in instant bet credits at Tipico Sportsbook! New customer offer in CO and NJ. 21+, see Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. Place your legal, online sports bets at Tipico. Let’s make this interesting. Bet now!
Knicks at Thunder odds, lines, picks and predictions
Thunder 99, Knicks 96
SPRINKLE on the THUNDER (+160). OKC is a young team and has played far better at home this season. They’re 12-22 on the season but 7-10 at Paycom Center.
With that in mind, the Knicks will be without two of their top four scoring threats while OKC’s best two players could be active.
While they’re missing three role players, SGA and Dort, are the only players averaging over 11 points per game. Wait until the final report on SGA to bet this game at all, especially in favor of the Thunder.
If he’s active, consider the sprinkle and ensuing bet on OKC. The Knicks are led by a slew of players, so missing several key rotational players should be more detrimental.
BET on the THUNDER +4.5 (-105). The Knicks are getting more tickets, around 58% per Pregame.com at the time of writing, but are getting just slightly more cash at 55%.
The sportsbooks have reacted by dropping this from +6 to +4.5 despite more money being on the Knicks. With that in mind, I’ll side with the sportsbook and take the side getting some reverse line movement.
“LEAN” to the UNDER 206.5 (-115) as the Knicks just haven’t been playing at a high speed lately. Their last two games have both separately totaled under 190 points.
New York will again be without a key three-point shooter and their top scorer. That should be consequential to their offensive efficiency.
At the same time, the Knicks are 15-20 O/U while the Thunder are 14-20 O/U. It’s been far more profitable betting against points for both teams this season.
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ORLANDO, Fla. – New Year’s Eve is expected to be the second busiest day for holiday travel at Orlando International Airport, with more than 153,000 travelers.
This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to shatter records. On Monday, Orange County Health officials reported the highest number of cases in one day since the pandemic began, more than 2,500 cases.
Airport employee Damion Baxter understands the importance of make sure he’s protected COVID-19- not just for himself but his family, friends, and everyone at the airport.
“In Jamaica they say do the right thing! So you don’t touch stuff and put your hand in your mouth. You have to pay the bills and if you’re sick, you can’t work and pay the bills so you have to protect yourself,” explains Damion.
Which is why he just received his second vaccination.
Damion says these past few weeks at the airport have been incredibly busy.
“Holiday time is always busy and people haven’t traveled for two years and who wouldn’t want to be with their family at this time. I wasn’t surprised at all. I came prepared for it!” exclaims Damion.
But others, like Marcela Boudreau weren’t quite prepared for the crowds. Marcela and her family thought traveling on New Year’s Eve would make it easier. Instead, they found themselves waiting in line for a COVID-19 test ahead of their flight to Brazil.
“We did a PCR test on 8 a.m. on Wednesday and they guaranteed 1-2 day turnaround and we still haven’t gotten the results so we had to come to the airport early,” says Marcela.
The airport testing site will be closed Saturday and reopen Sunday. According to the online reservation site, there aren’t any available reservations until Monday. Walk-ins are welcome.
WILSON, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) issued a “no unnecessary travel” alert for Teton Pass just after 11 a.m. this morning, Dec. 31.
According to WYDOT, roads are slick with snowfall and chain law level 1 is in effect from milepost 6 to 17.49.
The impact level is currently categorized as High, one category below closed. “Dangerous impacts expected, use extreme caution, delay travel or consider alternate route. If travel is necessary, slow down and allow extra time.”
About The Author
Buckrail @ Lindsay
Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.
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