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Sullivan Chiefs Inducted into Hall of Fame

Short-lived softball team recognized for big impact

April 15, 2015

 
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This past Saturday night may have been organized to recognize efforts and performances deserving of hall of fame status, but for the men and women involved, it was about recalling the smell of fresh cut grass, playing double-headers four times a week, and playing fast pitch softball on the Fourth of July.
The Sullivan Chiefs, one of five teams inducted into the Amateur Softball Association 11th annual Hall of Fame held at the Decatur Convention Center and Hotel Saturday evening, may have been last, but they certainly were not the least deserving.
“The Sullivan Chiefs didn’t play a lot of years, but they did win the state championship in 1970 with a truly outstanding bunch of players,” said presenter Joe Snedeker. “Our teams played against them many times, and they could hit, and they could run, and they could do it all.”
Before winning the state tournament in 1970, the Chiefs began as a 4H club that slowly evolved over the next few years.
There was, according to Moultrie County News archives, a Sullivan Merchants softball team that played throughout the 30s but disbanded in 1964. The next year, at just 19 years old, Larry Morrison decided to keep Sullivan’s fastpich softball alive by seeking a sponsor from Ed Dunphy.
“Believe it or not, we started out as the Sunnyside Fleaflickers 4H club,” recalled Morrison, who played first base for the team, including the state championship team. “My dad got sick after my freshman year of college so I came home, and we still wanted to play ball, but we couldn’t play 4H anymore, so we talked to Ed Dunphy, and he sponsored when we started.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

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Zoos Now Allowed Inside Moultrie

Photo by RR Best The Moultrie County Board held its monthly meeting last Thursday in what became a packed courtroom anxious to speak their thoughts about allowing zoos to set up shop in the county. The board eventually voted and approved by a count of 8-1 an amendment that would allow just that.

Photo by RR Best
The Moultrie County Board held its monthly meeting last Thursday in what became a packed courtroom anxious to speak their thoughts about allowing zoos to set up shop in the county. The board eventually voted and approved by a count of 8-1 an amendment that would allow just that.

Ordinance amended Thursday to allow for wildlife parks

April 15, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Moving their monthly meeting to a third floor courtroom Thursday to allow for more members of the public to attend, the Moultrie County Board approved by a vote of 8-1 to amend the zoning ordinance to allow for zoos and wildlife parks in the county.
The board’s decision followed more than 45 minutes of public comment, 30 of which were from Urbana attorney Kent Follmer, who is representing 17 landowners opposed to, not only the zoning amendment, but also a specific wildlife project that has been proposed in the county, but that wasn’t up for consideration.
Known as the Aikman Wildlife Adventure, the park would initially span 45 acres and include both a drive-through area where patrons could feed animals and a walk-through that would be similar to a zoo but with much larger habitats. There would also be a 7,000 squared foot walk-through aviary featuring different species of birds that patrons could feed. The park would be located one mile west of the Great Pumpkin Patch southwest of Arthur.
Follmer’s presentation to the board Thursday included objections from the Moultrie County Farm Bureau and local veterinarian Dr. DeWayne Richter.
The Bureau, in a letter to the county board, expressed its stance, saying, “The Moultrie County Farm Bureau opposes production farmland taken out of production for non-agricultural use.”
This was a point that has been and continues to be echoed by Follmer when arguing the intent of the agricultural zoning ordinance and citing its preamble which in part outlines its goal as to “promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare by separating incompatible nonagricultural uses from potentially incompatible agricultural uses…” Read More

Cause Undetermined in Vehicle Fire Investigation

Photo by RR Best Sullivan fire captain Chris Wright looks at the remains of a vehicle fire that spread to a garage Wednesday afternoon.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan fire captain Chris Wright looks at the remains of a vehicle fire that spread to a garage Wednesday afternoon.

Fire spreads to garage of triplex

April 15, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A garage belonging to a three-apartment structure suffered damage Wednesday, April 8 from a parked vehicle that previously caught fire.
According to Sullivan Fire Captain Chris Wright, a vehicle belonging to Cynthia Fleming caught fire Wednesday afternoon after being parked and idle for approximately an hour. The vehicle was in close proximity to a garage door belonging to a triplex, which caught fire but did not spread beyond the garage.
Fleming added that she only discovered the fire after a neighbor notified her. A phone call was received by the Sullivan Fire Department at 3:23 p.m., but according to Wright, on-duty personnel were out on two simultaneous ambulance calls, requiring duty crew to come from home. Read More

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Park and Timberwolves Shutout Indians

Photo by Keith Stewart Second baseman Peyton Hagerman hurls the ball to first Tuesday evening. Hagerman had two clutch throwouts at first in their game against Neoga.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Second baseman Peyton Hagerman hurls the ball to first Tuesday evening. Hagerman had two clutch throw outs at first in their game against Neoga.

OV ends Neoga’s unbeaten streak

April 15, 2015

by Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Okaw Valley baseball notched their 12th victory on the season Tuesday over undefeated Neoga 3-0. Dylan Park blanked the Indians across seven innings with five strikeouts in a complete game shutout. Drew Fructhl drove home the game winner in the third inning, and Garrett Fritz sewed it up with a two RBI double in the fifth.
Both pitchers tossed a pair of scoreless frames to start the contest before the bottom of the third when a leadoff walk and steal by Joe Jeffers set up an RBI chance for Drew Fruchtl, who drove home the game’s first run on a sharp single and advance to third on the throw home. The lone run would turn out to be all Park needed. Playing the role of insurance man Fritz hit a two-out two-run double to the gap in right center which let Timberwolves fans breathe easier heading into the final two innings.
Head coach Andrew Hagerman credited Neoga’s pitcher for making it an uncomfortable day for Okaw Valley at the dish, but in clutch times the team came up big. Read More

Sullivan Shows Off in Tuscola Showcase

Redskins net four big bombers Friday

April 15, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

“This kid isn’t going to ding it.”
“He ain’t no dinger.”
“Oh my god! He dinged it!”
If you were sitting in the stands of Friday evening’s Tuscola Showcase opener between Sullivan and Danville Schlarman, you too would have heard that conversation by way of a few shocked and awed Lanark Eastland baseball players waiting to take the field. The Lanark team made it just in time to see Levi Nadler demo a ball back over the left-field wall for a two-run homer, putting Sullivan up 18-0. Then Bryce Farris followed and on just the second pitch, knocked the ball over the right-field wall, much to the young spectators’ surprise.
And that was Sullivan’s fourth home run of the day in what was a 20-0 blowout aided somewhat by a strong westerly wind. Read More

Knights Finish Top Three at Home Track Invite Friday

Photo by RR Best SOV’s Jed Wheeler eyes the shot put area moments before his throw Friday in Arthur. Wheeler finished 15th out of 28 with a throw of 34 feet, 3 1/2 inches.

Photo by RR Best
SOV’s Jed Wheeler eyes the shot put area moments before his throw Friday in Arthur. Wheeler finished 15th out of 28 with a throw of 34 feet, 3 1/2 inches.

SOV boys take 11th

April 15, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Competing in the annual Arthur Invite, the host’s girls finished second, the boys third, while SOV’s boys took 11th.
The Redskins’ best finish was junior Zane Uphoff’s third place in the triple jump, going 40 feet, 6 1/4 inches. He would also earn seventh in the long jump (18-10).
"Well, obviously Uphoff has been jumping pretty well and has become more consistent this season," said SOV boys' head coach John Bertetto. "He had another PR on Friday night.  We are just going to keep working to where he will hopefully have a shot at state at the end of this season."
Other top 10 finishes included Calen Landrus (9th-100m dash, 11.43 seconds), Blake Stewart (5th-200m dash, 24.11), J.T. Bland (10th-1600m run, 5:09.06), Nick Cravatta (9th-3200m run, 11:57.94), Zach Devore (9th-300m hurdles, 46.83), Ross Metzger (5th-triple jump, 39-0), the 4x100 relay (7th-48.82), 4x200 relay (4th-1:38.55), and the 4x800 relay (5th-9:54.47).
"Our kids competed pretty well on Friday night, but I was hoping we would finish with a higher team score, and we may have except for a hiccup with our 4X400m team, because they would have likely placed pretty high," said Bertetto. "We are getting more competitive, but we still have a ways to go to get where we want to be in our program. We have quite a bit of young talent that will hopefully keep improving throughout this season." Read More

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Obituaries 4-15-15: Felty Marner

Felty Marner

Funeral services for Valentine J. “Felty” Marner, 61, of Arcola were held at 10 a.m. today (Wednesday) in Pleasant View Church in rural Arcola. Burial was in Pleasant View Church Cemetery. Edwards Funeral Home handled arrangements.

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