Naperville resident’s Jeopardy! run ends | Self-defense seminar | Let groundhogs sleep, say officials

NCTV17 news update slate for Feb. 1 with Erin Portman on Jeopardy! set in background
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Naperville resident’s run on Jeopardy! ends

Naperville resident Erin Portman ended her run on ABC’s Jeopardy! Champions Wildcard series on Wednesday, when she lost in the semifinals.

The Plainfield East High School English teacher had earned her spot there after coming up the first-place winner in a quarterfinal competition, banking $20,200. But on Wednesday’s semifinal match, she came up short, going into Final Jeopardy in third place.

Though she got the correct answer, so did one of her competitors, Michael Menkhus. His total earnings of $17,800 bested her end total of $5,200. Portman went out in style though, sporting the exclamation point and question mark earrings, which had gotten her some attention when she first wore them during her first appearance on the show during regular play in January 2023.

Photo courtesy: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

District 11 Republican candidates debate Gaza Strip, migrants

Three Republican congressional candidates for District 11 debated several issues facing the United States during a virtual forum on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

Jerry Evans, Susan Hathaway-Altman, and O. Kent Mercado all took part in the hour-long event, taking questions on topics ranging from the turmoil in the Gaza strip to climate change. Read more about some of their stances.

Women’s self-defense seminar to be held Feb. 4

The Krav Gym is teaming up with Naperville-based RJM Strategy Group to host a women’s self-defense seminar on Sunday, Feb. 4.

The class will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Krav Gym, 485 W. Boughton Rd., Bolingbrook. Participants will learn a number of self-defense strategies, including how to identify potential attackers, proper mindset for safety in combat, soft and hard skills, and using weapons of opportunity.

The class is open to adults of all ages. Those interested can register on The Krav Gym’s website. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the seminar will benefit Guardian Angel Community Services of Joliet.

2024 State of the Park District podcast now available

The Naperville Park District has released its 2024 State of the Park District podcast.

The podcast’s theme is “Growing into the Future,” with a number of park district officials and program directors weighing in on that topic within six different episodes. They review some of the past achievements of 2023, and also look ahead to what’s coming for the park district in 2024.

The podcast can be found on the Naperville Park District’s website, as well as on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music, under the ParkTalk Podcast.

Don’t wake groundhogs for Groundhog Day, says Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Groundhog Day is nearly here, but there’s one local spot that won’t be celebrating the Feb. 2 holiday.

Officials at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn say getting the groundhog out to check their shadow for the spring forecast can actually be detrimental, as they’re being awakened from hibernation prematurely. Find out why that can be harmful to the groundhog.

National Wear Red Day is Feb. 2

Besides being Groundhog Day, tomorrow is also National Wear Red Day. That’s a day supported by Go Red for Women, a social initiative developed by the American Heart Association, to help raise awareness around heart disease in women.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Go Red for Women reports that nearly 45% of women ages 20 and older are living with some form of heart disease.

That’s why on Feb. 2, the group encourages all to wear red to help bring attention to the cause and help save lives. They also accept donations on their website to help fund their mission.