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Local News Stories in Moultrie County, Illinois

Rau Appointed

Bradford Rau appointed Resident Circuit Judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Appointed by Illinois Supreme Court filling vacancy from retirement of Judge Dan L Flannell. Appt from April 1, 2017 - Dec 3, 2017.

A Soldier Remembered-The Past Recalled

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Gene Denton next to the new plaque honoring Sgt. Wayne Bathe (inset) at Sullivan American Legion Post #68.

•February 22, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Out of the blue on June 15, 2015, Sullivan resident Gene Denton received an email from a Daniel Fonner who was researching his grandfather’s WWII experience and was seeking pictures and information.

Fonner’s grandfather, Frederick Allen Fonner, had been close friends with a Sgt. Wayne Bathe of Sullivan, Ill. and knew Wayne’s fiance was Ola Denton - Gene’s sister. Fonner had found Gene’s name in Ola’s obituary.

The unfolding story is one of love, deep friendship, bravery, profound grief and sadness ending with a plaque which Gene Denton has placed in memory of Sgt. Wayne Bathe at the American Legion Hall. Read More

Agri-Fab Moves Toward Healthier Workforce

Photo by Mike Brothers
Moultrie County Counseling Executive Director Dave Cole, AgriFab Director of Human Relations Lori Foreman, and IPS Employment Specialist Jeremy Nolen.

•February 22, 2017•

Agri-Fab’s ability to employ 60% of its workforce locally and implement an employee friendly environment is the result of efforts to change the work environment over the past two years.

Director of Human Relations Lori Foreman told the Individual Placement & Support (IPS) of Moultrie County Counseling Center’s quarterly meeting about some changes that are helping retain employees at the 42 year old lawn equipment manufacturer in Sullivan.

“The six families who saved the company did so because they wanted to live here and keep jobs in the community,” Foreman said of Agri-Fab’s commitment to the area, noting the president of the company started out as a welder on the factory floor.

Besides making strides within the factory walls by reducing turnover with comprehensive benefits and better hiring practices, Agri-Fab is making strides with retaining employees by helping them stay healthier.

As part of the newly implemented health and wellness program the company provided a Fitbit for every employee and their spouse, Foreman said, noting the impact has been tremendous since being introduced during the summer.  Read More

Sullivan School Board Proposes Property Tax Abatement

•February 22, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

The Sullivan CUSD #300 school board proposed a $250,000 annual tax abatement at the Feb 15, district board of education meeting.

The proposed abatement could save Moultrie County property tax payers from $23 to $131 on annual tax bills.

Property tax relief  would come for Moultrie, Coles, and Shelby county taxpayers in the event the County School Facility Occupation Tax is approved at the consolidated election Tuesday,  April 4, 2017.

“The commitment by the board to abate taxes speaks for the integrity of everyone serving,” Supt. Brad Tuttle said following the unanimous approval of the resolution.

Tuttle explained funds generated from the proposed sales tax will help retire bonds and interest issued to replace the roof and HVAC systems last summer. Read More

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Featured Stories

Valentine’s Day Changes Over Time

•February 8, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Ah, be still my heart, Valentine’s Day approacheth, and hope springs eternal for all aspiring lovers.

The world’s population will spend close to $20 billion on cards, candy, fragrances, flowers and other objets d’amour in this timeless ritual of love and courtship this year.

Its origins are ancient, but the concept of sending decorated cards spread from England to the United States about 1850. Hallmark Cards in Kansas began mass producing Valentine cards in 1913, and now 25% of all cards mailed each year are Valentines.

So, it is not surprising that 100 years ago in 1917 there is absolutely no mention in the local Sullivan papers of anything relating to Valentine’s Day - no ads, parties, etc. The country was preparing for WWI and Hallmark had only been producing Valentines for four years. It was not a time to celebrate love or anything else. Read More

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Local Sports stories in Moultrie County Illinois

Timberwolves Advance in Regional Action

Photo by RR Best
Austin Hill passes the ball during Okaw Valley senior night Friday.

•February 22, 2017•

By Jason Brown
NP Sports Editor

The Okaw Valley boys’ basketball team won on senior night Friday then advanced in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A regional at Okaw Valley High School in Findlay Feb. 20.

The host Timberwolves defeated Edinburg in the first round of the regional.

Okaw Valley did not blow out Edinburg but did increase its lead by three points each quarter for a 12-point win, 51-39.

Taylor Coleman scored a game-high 20 points, and Connor Cloyd hit double digits with 12 points.

Garrett Fritts added six points, and Jared Bunfill had five.

Austin Hill and Austin Harshman each scored three points. Read More

Redskins End Season at Pana Regionals

Photo by Jason Brown
Bryce Farris rebounds the ball at the Pana Class 2A regional Monday night.

•February 22, 2017•

By Jason Brown
NP Sports Editor

The Sullivan boys’ basketball team dropped its last two Central Illinois Conference games to Clinton and Warrensburg-Latham and then lost in the Class 2A regional to host Pana to end Redskins’ season.

Against Pana Monday, Bryce Farris’s game-high 19 points and nine rebounds were not enough for the Bulldogs to overcome the Panthers.

Farris kept his team in the game in the first quarter, scoring eight points to cut the Panther lead to 11-10.

Sullivan stayed close in the second quarter but trailed 18-13 at half. Read More

SOV Swimmers Place at Sectionals

•February 22, 2017•

By Jason Brown
NP Sports Editor

Sullivan-Okaw Valley-Shelbyville boys’ swim team placed fifth in the 29-school IHSA swimming and diving sectionals at Champaign Centennial High School Saturday.

Sullivan’s 200 Medley Relay team placed second with a time of 1:47.66.

The relay members included Charlie Goss, Brodie Goss, Bryce King and Aiden Short. Read More

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Obituaries 2-22-2017: Allison Moon

Allison Moon

Allison Virginia Moon, 50, of Trenton, Ill., born November 29, 1966 in Red Bud, Ill., a daughter of Ernest “Leroy” and Lola Sauerhage Koch of St. Libory, Ill., passed away at noon, Monday, February 20, 2017 in Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. with her family by her side.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 25 in Moss Funeral Home, 105 S. Main St. in Trenton with the Rev. Timothy Moon presiding. Visitation will be 1-2 p.m. Saturday, February 25 in Moss Funeral Home. Read More

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