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From Summer Camp to Macy’s Parade

•August 26, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

 

Photo by Mike Brothers Ben Berner is getting ready for Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. He will be joined by mother Samantha in New York City while father Mike watches from Sullivan.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Ben Berner is getting ready for Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. He will be joined by mother Samantha in New York City while father Mike watches from Sullivan.

Summer camp changed Ben Berner’s life and Sullivan High School’s history at the same time.

The B-flat clarinet player from the Sullivan High School band will march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with the Great American Honor Band.

Ben attended summer band camp at Eastern Illinois University where Camp Director Barry Houser encouraged him to apply for the Honor Band.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” Berner said of his acceptance. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go as the first kid from Sullivan.”

Clarinets are in the Berner family with Ben’s mother Samantha playing in high school. She plans to attend while dad Mike will hold down the fort in Sullivan with the rest of the family watching the parade on television.

“This is cool! “ Samantha said, noting this was the 10th annual Honor Band performance at the Thanksgiving Day parade. She will fly out later in the week to join Ben and take a place on the main stage to watch the parade.

“Ben will be a busy guy,” said Sullivan band director Brock Freece, “He will have to prepare for the Thanksgiving parade in addition to performing in all our competitions and games this season.”

Freece attended the Eastern band camp as a youth. He has been a resource to help find ways to help with expenses for Ben’s trip as he will have to take care of transportation costs. Read More

Sullivan Council Approves New Culvert Policy

•August 26, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Sullivan

The need for a culvert policy prompted action by the Sullivan City Council at the August 17 session.

After some heavy rains and flooding, it became clear that some culverts and drainage ditches would need to be repaired and installed. During that discussion, the question of who was responsible for payment of the culverts was brought to the table -the homeowner or the city?

Commissioner Ken Johnson presented a new culvert policy that answered that question. In section one of the policy it states: “The cost of purchasing the initial driveway culvert will be the responsibility of the homeowner/taxpayer.”
Read More

Moultrie Moment of the Week: Lovington Mule Skinners

Moultrie Moment of the Week                                                    Lovington Mule Skinners—Took care of the mules that were used to haul coal from the shaft mine in Lovington- The Lovington Coal Mine closed in 1924. this photo was donated by Roy Bolin. Partially identified: Top row from left Reenie Eckel, George Simpson, ?, (bottom) Ralph Morthland, Pearl Cantor, Mox Jurick, and Edra Morthland. Please submit photos to the News Progress for future consideration. Originals will be saved for return or forwarded to Moultrie County Historical Society. If you have any other information, please contact the Moultrie County Historical Society at 217-728- 4085.

Moultrie Moment of the Week
Lovington Mule Skinners—Took care of the mules that were used to haul coal from the shaft mine in Lovington- The Lovington Coal Mine closed in 1924. this photo was donated by Roy Bolin. Partially identified: Top row from left Reenie Eckel, George Simpson, ?, (bottom) Ralph Morthland, Pearl Cantor, Mox Jurick, and Edra Morthland. Please submit photos to the News Progress for future consideration. Originals will be saved for return or forwarded to Moultrie County Historical Society. If you have any other information, please contact the Moultrie County Historical Society at 217-728- 4085.

•August 26, 2015•

Coal mining was once a leading industry in Moultrie County, and Lovington was the hub of that industry.

The Lovington Coal Mine began operation in 1910 and closed in 1924 due to flooding issues. There were more than 300 employed by the mine at its closing.

With the discovery of a nine foot vein of coal some 900 feet below the land surface outside Lovington, the Lovington Coal Mining Company began by selling stock for $25 per share.

The company owned 114 acres of surface land and leased 5000 of coal rights.

Once the funds were raised shaft drilling began. To reach the needed 1050 foot depth men worked from a steel cage lowered based on their progress each day.

Working in the 10 x 15 foot steel cage dirt was hauled up from the shaft in buckets as the men descended the shaft. Read More

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sectionheaderFeatures

A Fun Filled Windsor Harvest Picnic

Photo by RR Best Patti Woods of Shelbyville provided Windsor Picnic crowds with some of Paddi’s Air Filled Fun on Saturday. She  shaped balloons into a variety of animals and flowers for an appreciative group.

Photo by RR Best
Patti Woods of Shelbyville provided Windsor Picnic crowds with some of Paddi’s Air Filled Fun on Saturday. She shaped balloons into a variety of animals and flowers for an appreciative group.

•August 19, 2015•

By Nick Fiala
Reporting in Windsor

The Saturday afternoon events for this year’s annual Windsor Harvest Picnic kicked off under a blazing summer sun that would make anyone think twice about sitting outside for an hour.

But that didn’t stop shop owners from setting up extra seating outside their Main Street storefronts. By the 2 p.m. parade starting time, sidewalks were lined with kids and adults alike cheering as the fire and police departments, the American Legion, local churches, beauty pageant winners, and more all blared their horns and threw candy to smiling parade goers.

A half hour before the parade even began, a rectangular patch of empty lawn chairs was set up to reserve a good seat for that night’s music entertainment.

By 6:30, there was a solid line of guests that was almost as long as the park itself, each of them standing there just to get a part of the main dinner course. Some of the vendors, serving funnel cakes and corn dogs and ice cream cones, tried to meet demand by serving two lines at a time.

An auction was also going on about that time, selling off two gooseberry pies from the stage..

“Just bid like your husband was bidding on a piece of farm equipment, Ma’am.” That was the advice that the energetic auctioneer gave to one bidder, earning laughs from the crowd.

And it seemed to work. Prices on the pies skyrocketed as dozens of bids came in from everywhere in a crowd . The first pie finally peaked at $150 and the second one got up to $405.  Read More


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sectionheaderSports

New Athletic Director Takes Over with Some Help From Friends

Photo by Mike Brothers New Athletic and Activities Director for Sullivan Schools Ryan Aikman is on the job.

Photo by Mike Brothers
New Athletic and Activities Director for Sullivan Schools Ryan Aikman is on the job.

•August 26, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

Ryan Aikman is Sullivan Schools athletic and activities director and is getting into the new job with a little help from some friends.

“One my best resources has been Charlie Brown” Aikman said of former Sullivan athletic director , now A&M principal.

Another advisor is Mt. Zion athletic director Mike Mose. “When your head is spinning like a tornado, seasoned veterans such as Mose and Brown are a big help,” he reflected.

As athletic and activities director Aikman schedules all sports for junior high and high school teams in addition to other extra curricular activities, including show choir.

“Strengthening all activities through good communication,’”Aikman said is his goal. “ I would like to build camaraderie among the coaching staff.”
Read More

Area Golf Teams Get Underway

•August 26, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Both this and last week Sullivan, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond/Arcola, and Okaw Valley golf teams began regular season play.

For the Redskins, as reported in last week’s paper, they began the season in Windsor at the St. Anthony Invite where they finished ninth out of 12 teams, shooting more than 65 strokes better than this time last year.

Sullivan then travelled back to Windsor last Wednesday where they took first out of five teams.
Read More

Mattoon Hit-Men Baseball Tryouts August 16

•July 29, 2015•

The 2016 tryouts for Mattoon Hit-Men Baseball will be held for 8-and-under through 14-and-under Sunday August 16 in Mattoon.

8U to 11U tryouts will be at 1 p.m. at MJBL Fields.

12U tryouts will be at 1 p.m. at Lawson Park. Read More

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Obituaries 8-26-2015: Thomas Polk, Sr.

Thomas Polk, Sr.

Services for Thomas E. Polk Sr., 84, of Mt. Pulaski were held at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday) in Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home in Mt. Pulaski. Burial will be in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery at a later date.

He died at 3:28 p.m. Saturday Aug. 22, 2015 in Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Read More

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