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Renewing Wood Lake

Upgrades come just as Lake Shelbyville is named top project in nation

Photo by Keith Stewart Volunteer members from the Sullivan AmBucs install decking at the new fishing pier at Wood Lake. The pier was completed as of this week. The volunteers will next construct a roof for the pier.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Volunteer members from the Sullivan AmBucs install decking at the new fishing pier at Wood Lake. The pier was completed as of this week. The volunteers will next construct a roof for the pier.

•July 29, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

These days, the Lake Shelbyville area is glistening and not just because of the hot sunshine beaming down on the water.

Two weeks ago this Thursday the US Army Corp. of Engineers announced that Lake Shelbyville had taken this year’s top spot as the Natural Resources Management project of the year.

And as if any further proof was needed, that same day, a small group of volunteers was working on installing a handicapped accessible pier at Wood Lake, just a half mile north of the Bruce-Findlay road–one of several upgrades to the 30-acre lake that when finished looks to make it a unique destination, particularly for fishing.

The volunteers constructing the pier come by way of the Sullivan AmBucs, a local chapter of the national service organization that has come to be best known for, not only providing ‘AmTrykes’ for disabled children, but also constructing ramps to make homes and businesses accessible.

And that’s where the group has drawn much of their expertise with their latest project–building a 50’x20’ handicapped accessible pier at Wood Lake that when finished, will not only allow fishing more than 45’ feet in, but also at night with the aid of solar-powered lights and a roof overhead.

“It’s a real opportunity for AmBucs to do some real good, not only for Sullivan, but the Shelbyville area,” said Denny Hutchings, a member of the Sullivan AmBucs group. “To have a facility like that as close as it is to Sullivan, open to the public and that is a nice fishery, it could be a real boom to the area, and it’s a chance for AmBucs to have a little wider impact. Just a great opportunity.” Read More

Board of Appeals Given Appreciation Bonus

Decision comes after lengthy hearings on wildlife park

•July 29, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Earlier this month the county board unanimously approved an appreciation stipend or bonus for the zoning board of appeals for the time spent deliberating and attending lengthy meetings regarding the Aikman Wildlife Park.

The $100 bonus was given to four of the five board of appeals’ members, with Howard Sanders excluded since he did not attend the June meetings due to a conflict of interest. Those receiving the bonus include Tyson Grooms, Neil Hinkle, Paul Roney, and Mike Sheehan.

“They spent a lot of time and patience at all the hearings so I think it’s well deserved,” said vice-county chairman Ron White.

“They don’t get any stipend at all. They get paid mileage, [but] they spent a day-and-a-half at one hearing and then half a day at the other hearing,” said board chairman Dave McCabe at the budget and finance committee meeting July 6. “If we’re going to get volunteers to serve on these kinds of things, we need to show we appreciate their efforts when its above and beyond their normal call of duty.”

In particular, the four board members were rewarded for their time spent across two meetings held on June 5 and 17, which together spanned a little more than seven hours. The meeting on the 17th, however, began at 9 a.m. and then broke for lunch before then resuming at 1:15 and adjourning at around 3:30 p.m.  Read More

Sullivan Man Formally Charged with Child Pornography Offenses

•July 22, 2015•

Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, announced today that a federal grand jury in Peoria has returned an indictment charging Justen W. Troxell, 30, of the 400 block of South Worth Street, Sullivan, Ill., with distribution and possession of child pornography.
The indictment alleges that in June 2015, Troxell distributed and possessed images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of computers and related materials allegedly used to commit or promote the offenses. Read More

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“Adams Family”, the Best Showing at Little Theatre Yet

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured in “The Addams Family” are, from left to right, Lexie Dorsett Sharp as Grandma, Gideon Johnson as Pugsley, Jesse Sharp as Gomez, Josh Houghton as Lurch, Emmy Burns as Wednesday, Colleen Johnson as Morticia and Tommy Lucas as Uncle Fester.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured in “The Addams Family” are, from left to right, Lexie Dorsett Sharp as Grandma, Gideon Johnson as Pugsley, Jesse Sharp as Gomez, Josh Houghton as Lurch, Emmy Burns as Wednesday, Colleen Johnson as Morticia and Tommy Lucas as Uncle Fester.

•July 29, 2015•

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

Truth is not only stranger than fiction, but stranger even than the Addams Family.

The New Yorker magazine cartoonist Charles Addams once dated a widow named Jacqueline Kennedy, and even proposed marriage to her.

“No,” Jackie replied, adding drily, “What would we talk about? CARTOONS?”

Broadway has never shared Jackie’s condescending attitude on that subject. Both comic strips and Broadway musicals are American inventions, and both display the brash energy and optimism that are part of the national spirit.

L’il Abner, Little Orphan Annie, Peanuts, Doonesbury, Superman and Spider-Man all went from four colors to footlights, and so did Addams’ series of humorously macabre New Yorker cartoons collectively referred to as the Addams family. Read More


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sectionheaderSports

Post 429 Splits Two Games to Open District Tourney

Advanced to Tuesday’s must-win game

•July 22, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Moultrie Douglas Legion ball took a disappointing 14-2 loss versus Shelby County Saturday in the first game of the district tournament. However, the team rebounded thanks to a double elimination format, beating Macon County 9-4 Sunday advancing to Tuesday night’s matchup versus the loser of Mattoon and tournament host Rantoul.
A key for any successful baseball team is a short memory. After their drubbing at the hands of Shelby County, Post 429  rallied despite fighting injuries and oppressive heat. Mo-Do’s ace Devin Rose took the ball in the second contest on his birthday and did not disappoint. The big righthander was living low in the zone with excellent velocity in a performance his coach Duff Hoel has come to expect. “Devin gives us a chance to win every time out. I told the team we needed to get ahead and get the momentum in our favor. We just played Macon County two weeks ago, and once we got up on them they quit. We swung the bats well today and played pretty good defense.” 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

SMS Softball Information

•July 22, 2015•

Prior to the start of the Sullivan Middle School softball season, a conditioning camp will be held 9-11 a.m. the week of July 27 at the north diamond at Wyman park for seventh and eighth graders. Read More

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Obituaries 7-29-2015: Fred McKenzie

FlagForWebsiteFred McKenzie

A funeral service for Fred B. McKenzie, 77, of Decatur was held at 2 p.m. Monday in Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home in Decatur. Burial with military rites conducted by Macon County Honor Guard was in Graceland Cemetery.

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