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Supreme Court Confirms 90-Day Suspension for Sullivan Attorney

Robert V. Elder to begin suspension June 4

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After more than a year of inquiries and hearings re-
garding allegations of misconduct, a Sullivan attorney has been handed a 90-day suspension from the practice of law.
Robert Vernon Elder, 73, of Sullivan will officially begin his suspension from the practice of law in Illinois beginning June 4 for a period of 90 days after being found guilty of misconduct involving a probate matter.
The complaint against Elder, which was first filed by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC) on March 3, 2014, alleged that Elder engaged in a conflict of interest “by assisting” his client Pam Baskette of Sullivan in “selling the decedent’s residence to a friend…”
The complaint further alleged that Elder did not inform Baskette of the conflict of interest, which included withholding the name of the friend and buyer, who the ARDC notes is Ron Houchin, or that the friend owed several thousand dollars to Elder, or that Elder and Houchin had at one time been business associates. Additionally, the complaint held that Elder did not disclose to Baskette that he himself would use funds from his wife’s bank account to purchase the property or that his wife would hold the mortgage on it. Furthermore, because of the misconduct, the probate estate, which was described as “extremely small”, remained open an extended amount of time. Read More

Mt. Zion Man Found Dead Near Coalshaft

No foul play suspected

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Local law enforcement found a man dead just before midnight Friday near the Coalshaft Bridge.
According to Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed, Bradley Stoneburg, 38, of Mt. Zion was pronounced dead at 12:03 a.m. Saturday after Moultrie County deputies located the man in a wooded area on the east side of the bridge and south side of Lake Shelbyville.
Reed added that the Mt. Zion man had been missing since Wednesday after he left his residence to go fishing. After he didn’t return Thursday morning, at some point, his fiancé reported him missing. Soon after, Moultrie County deputies began to check nearby boating docks and accesses through Thursday evening. Read More

Okaw Valley District to Demolish Findlay Elementary

At $116,000, demolition to be completed by August

May 27, 2015

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

Demolition of Findlay’s old elementary school, which saw a brief stint as Okaw Valley Intermediate School following the consolidation of Bethany and Findlay school systems, began earlier this month after members of the board of education voted to dismantle the building during their April meeting. The old schoolhouse became disused back in 2010 when the decision was made to send elementary aged children living in Findlay to Bethany’s more modern and robust elementary school.
The vote to demolish the building was unanimous despite several members of the board having themselves attended the Findlay school in their youth. The decision marked what many regarded as an expected end to the declining building. Read More

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sectionheaderSports

Lady Red Repeat with McClain’s Incredible Feat

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured, from left to right, are members of the SOV girls’ track and field team with their third place team trophy at the IHSA state track meet Saturday in Charleston: Head coach Kali Taylor, Ashlynd Risley, Amanda McClain, Emily Neuhauser, Carlin Nuzzo, Bailey Turnbaugh, and Abby Cravatta.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured, from left to right, are members of the SOV girls’ track and field team with their third place team trophy at the IHSA state track meet Saturday in Charleston: Head coach Kali Taylor, Ashlynd Risley, Amanda McClain, Emily Neuhauser, Carlin Nuzzo, Bailey Turnbaugh, and Abby Cravatta.

Three individual crowns propel SOV to third place team trophy

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sure. The 400m dash and the long jump are both events in which SOV senior Amanda McClain was at the top of her class. But the 200m dash too?
Saturday’s answer was “apparently so,” as she exploded down the big blue track at O’Brien Stadium in Charleston taking first in the 200m event and thus marking her third individual championship on the day. That coupled with Emily Neuhauser’s fourth place finish and an earlier sixth place in the 4x200 earned SOV a third place team trophy for the second straight year.
“To bring that trophy back to the communities of Sullivan, Findlay, and Bethany, it’s just a phenomenal feeling as the SOV coach to be a part of that,” said head coach Kali Taylor. “It’s something these girls are going to remember for the rest of their lives.” Read More

OV Baseball Makes History with Trip to Sectional Championship

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley pitcher Peyton Hagerman thrusts his fist into the air after tallying the game-winning strikeout of Wednesday's sectional semi-final against Oakwood.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley pitcher Peyton Hagerman thrusts his fist into the air after tallying the game-winning strikeout of Wednesday's sectional semi-final against Oakwood.

Staple T-Wolf defense and pitching keep hold of 1-0 win

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In football, senior Joe Jeffers was known as “Jumping Joe” for his often aerial grabs as a tight-end. In baseball, he might as well be called “Jackrabbit Joe,” especially after his helmet flew off as he careened past second base Wednesday following his shot to deep right field for a triple. The next at-bat, Peyton Hagerman, sent Jeffers home on an RBI groundout, which would be the one and only run of the game as Okaw Valley defeated Oakwood 1-0 to advance to Saturday’s sectional championship.

“Joe’s triple was the offensive story of the game,” said Okaw Valley head coach Andrew Hagerman. “Devon (Still) was outstanding all day long. Peyton (Hagerman) had an outstanding game. You’re talking about a lot of seniors coming through today.”

Still took the mound for OV to start and would go 5 and 1/3 innings, throwing 85 pitches, which included eight strikeouts, one walk, one hit-by-pitch, and just four hits. Hagerman came in with a high-pressure situation at hand as Oakwood had bases loaded with just one out. The senior would strikeout the next batter in what may have been the second-most pivotal play of the game. The third out then came from the big glove of left-fielder Cody Drake, who had to track the fly ball in the wind. Read More

A Decade’s Wait No More as OV Wins Regional

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured is the Okaw Valley softball team with their regional championship. The Lady Timberwolves defeated Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 12-2 Friday in Windsor.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured is the Okaw Valley softball team with their regional championship. The Lady Timberwolves defeated Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 12-2 Friday in Windsor.

Big fifth inning propels T-Wolves past Knights

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Some will call it a regional championship.
But for those close to the Okaw Valley softball program, including head coach Dave Benning, it’s more like unfinished business.
The Lady Timberwolves, who entered the Windsor/Stew-Stras regional as the no. 1 seed and faced off against two-seed Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Friday afternoon, gritted their teeth through four innings before taking advantage of a three-error fifth that would prove pivotal in their 12-2 win.
After the Knights’ Macy Hollingsworth started the bottom of the fifth by striking out Maddie Perrine, the ALAH freshman gave up back-to-back hits to Amanda McClain and Paige Robinson. Then back-to-back errors allowed OV two runs. After the first pitch on Paige Harlin’s at-bat, the Knights attempted a throwout at second, during which Natalie Jeffers stole home. Harlin would soon after lay down a bunt, and the ensuing throw to first was high, allowing yet another run to score, putting OV up 6-2. Jesse Robinson then singled to shortstop, the hard shot ricocheting off the glove to score the last run of the inning. Read More

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