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Man Found Dead Sunday in Sullivan

Photo by RR Best Sullivan fire and police personnel are seen at 412. N. Seymour in Sullivan Sunday, where 58-year-old James Helms was found deceased after an apparent house fire.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan fire and police personnel are seen at 412. N. Seymour in Sullivan Sunday, where 58-year-old James Helms was found deceased after an apparent house fire.

December 17, 2014

Apparent house fire to blame, but still under investigation

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A Sullivan man was found dead inside his residence Sunday afternoon after a neighbor came by to check on him.

According to Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed, James E. Helms, 58, of Sullivan was pronounced dead in his residence located at 412. N. Seymour at 4:20 p.m. Sunday. An autopsy was performed Monday, and a full report on the cause of death including toxicology results is not expected for two to three weeks. Reed did say that, while preliminarily there does not appear to be anything suspicious surrounding Helms’ death, it is still under investigation.

Helms was found by Sullivan fire personnel Sunday after they received a 911 call at 4:02 p.m. that alerted them of a house fire with a trapped individual. However, when Sullivan fire fighters arrived four minutes later, there was no fire.

“The fire was out and had been for some time,” said Sullivan fire chief Mike Piper. “There was no heat smoke and no fire. It appeared that the fire had occurred several hours before, probably when he succumbed to it.” Read More


Semi-trucks Reminded of Restrictions on Parking in Village Limits

December 17, 2014

Ordinance says vehicles over 3/4 ton unable to park in village limits for more than 30 minutes

by Florence Hallford
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The topic of semi-truck parking has been an on-going discussion since a resident asked permission to park his truck over a sidewalk several months ago.

The board members have been looking into solutions since, unable to find a suitable one. During his research, village president Jim Minor located an ordinance that prevents owners of vehicles in excess of ¾ ton from parking in most of the village limits for more than half an hour.

While the board members identified with residents on the issue, there is not much they can do about it, noting that the resident needs to find suitable parking. However, trustee Roger Walker became concerned, stating that many residents drive regular trucks that weigh close to, if aren’t at the weight limit of the truck size the ordinance includes that need special parking. Read More

ALAH Schools Go Ahead with Levy Increase

December 17, 2014

With over $10,000 increase in property value, levy up nearly 8 percent

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

After holding a truth and taxation hearing, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood Hammond school board members approved the tax levy for the tax year 2014 payable 2015.

This year’s EAV was estimated at $193, 490,228 while last year’s total was $183,286,949. An increase of 7.98 percent was passed by the board. So far, the district has not received its incentive money from the state, and Schwengel noted that it is possible that they may receive only three out of four payments. The present total of all funds in the district’s accounts is $6,965,024.74. A resolution abating the tax levied for the year 2014 to pay debt service on General Obligation School Bonds (an alternative revenue source) was also passed. Read More

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Bulldogs Hand Knights First Loss of the Season, 43-33

Photo by Keith Stewart The Knights’ Colton Yeakley pauses before going back up for the bucket Tuesday evening. Yeakley left the game with over three minutes left in the first quarter after he was struck above the left eye.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Knights’ Colton Yeakley pauses before going back up for the bucket Tuesday evening. Yeakley left the game with over three minutes left in the first quarter after he was struck above the left eye.

December 17, 2014

Worst night of shooting so far spells ALAH demise

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Knights may have suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night, but it wasn’t all that bad of a thing.

In fact, for head coach Dale Schuring, it was almost nice.

“Obviously there are a lot of things we didn’t do well– a lot of things we can learn from the game, but the bright spot of it is, we lost by 10, and we couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean,” said the Knights’ head coach. “I mean, if we’re going to shoot like that, we’re not going to beat anybody. I don’t care who it is. They had a very good defense and game plan, but if we make half the shots we normally make, I think we probably come out on top, and that’s not a slight to them, but it’s just who we are and what we do, and tonight we were just awful other than Jeremy [Plank], who I won’t say was consistent but streaky tonight.”

After managing to keep a meager 7-6 lead over St. Teresa after one quarter of play, the Knights succumbed to a 5-0 run in the second, which would be just enough breathing room for the Bulldogs to eventually take and run with it.

While neither team shot well in the opening period, including the Knights’ knocking down just one field goal in addition to their five free throws, the Bulldogs recovered in the second, while Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond continued to miss. Read More

Tuscola’s Size Too Much For OV in Second Loss of Season

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley freshman Paige Robinson drives to the basket Monday night. After playing nearly all the JV game beforehand, Robinson was a much needed shoulder in the varsity game, which she started. Robinson led the Timberwolves with eight points in her team’s 45-26 loss.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley freshman Paige Robinson drives to the basket Monday night. After playing nearly all the JV game beforehand, Robinson was a much needed shoulder in the varsity game, which she started. Robinson led the Timberwolves with eight points in her team’s 45-26 loss.

December 17, 2014

OV still sit at 7-2 on year

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Okaw Valley and Tuscola each had one thing in common Monday night: they both entered with just one loss on the season and to the same foe: Sullivan.

But Tuscola’s near uniform size advantage proved too much for Okaw Valley as the Lady Timberwolves fell 26-45.

Tuscola’s size proved most formidable in both rebounds and lane penetration. The Lady Warriors out rebounded Okaw Valley 39-20, with several put-backs.

“Their size I think hurt us a little bit, and we knew coming in that they were a bigger school,” said OV head coach Don Gardner. “With the height advantage, we played as hard as we could, and you can’t coach height. There’s nothing you can do about that, so hats off to them. They played well, ran the floor, rebounded, did what they needed to do to win.” Read More

Female Track Phenom McClain Signs with Ill. State

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley senior Amanda McClain signed her letter of intent to become an Illinos State track athlete on December 5. Pictured, left to right: mother Michelle, SOV girls’ track coach Kali Taylor, Amanda McClain, and father Rod.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley senior Amanda McClain signed her letter of intent to become an Illinos State track athlete on December 5. Pictured, left to right: mother Michelle, SOV girls’ track coach Kali Taylor, Amanda McClain, and father Rod.

December 17, 2014

SOV athlete will be Redbird beginning next fall

by Keith Stewart

keith@newsprogress.com

Amanda McClain has already left her mark on girls’ high school track.

She has 11 high school state medals over just three years, including three first place medals. Two of those are from the 4×2 relay that took the top spot both this past spring and in 2012–the year in which SOV also set a state record. Earlier this year, McClain also nabbed the 400m dash, a race she came up seconds short of for first the two prior. She also took third place in the long jump, marking the second consecutive year the SOV program athlete has earned four medals at the state meet.

And she still has her senior year to go.

But McClain recently made another mark–her signature to continue her track career at Illinois State beginning next year after officially singing her letter of intent before classmates December 5 at Okaw Valley high school.

“I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said SOV girls’ head coach Kali Taylor. “It’s been a very rewarding experience for me as a coach to be a part of the success she has had and that she’s brought to the program. She’s definitely leaving a legacy, not only for our track program, but for her competitors, for the state of Illinois, for her teammates, and definitely for her coaches.” Read More

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