“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

Health Screenings August 20

•July 29, 2015•

SBL Lincolnland Home Care and Lincolnland Hospice will conduct a free blood pressure clinic from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, August 20 at the Senior Center in Sullivan. For more information, call Lincolnland Home Care at 1-800-879-3212.  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

Understanding Illinois: A Pox on Both Your Houses

Nowlan•July 29, 2015•

By Jim Nowlan
NP Guest  Columnist

The relative handful who follow Illinois politics closely are captivated by the unresolved mano a mano tussle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan over the failure to enact a state budget.

The policy outcome is not in much doubt: a somewhat trimmed budget and a bump back up in the income or other taxes, to be hammered out sometime before Labor Day.

The open question is whether Rauner will, as part of the deal, achieve any of his “turnaround agenda” of business-friendly changes and votes on term limits and redistricting reform.

A related, more beguiling matter for political junkies is which combatant will come out of this adjudged the winner.

As a friend once observed, politics is “football without muscles,” so we love the political game going on.

At the moment, most of my political friends seem to think (worry?) that Speaker Madigan, the wily veteran, has the upper hand with Rauner, the feisty newcomer. But we are still in the early rounds of this contest, if I may mix metaphors.

To get an assessment of how the fight is playing out, I meandered from my home office in Toulon down the main drag to Connie’s Country Kitchen, the fount of all wisdom. Read More

Growing Up in Sullivan: Our Neighborhood

Ginther•July 29, 2015•

by Jerry Ginther
NP Columnist

Many of my age group will remember the two small grocery stores on Blackwood St. One of them was Jake Marble’s grocery located just east of Seymour St. and the other, first known to me as Murphy’s grocery, was located just west of McClellan St. There wasn’t much difference in their size or the items they offered for sale, and today they would probably be categorized as convenience stores. Then, they were just neighborhood groceries owned by local proprietors who either lived next door or on the same property.

From the time I was big enough to keep up with my grandpa, I would walk with him to Jake’s store where my grandparents did the bulk of their grocery shopping. Prior to that, I could go only when he could carry me, and what he anticipated carrying home pretty well dictated that. I was on one arm and the grocery bag was on the other. That was necessary because Grandpa never had a driver’s license nor owned an automobile.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted with something like, “Good morning, Tom. I see you’ve got your sidekick with you today. Has he been a pretty good boy this week, Tom?” Of course the answer was always yes. Read More

Remember When? 7.29.15

25 Years Ago This Week

Chantel Scherer of Sullivan, a member of the Northern Illinois University golf team, was recently named NIU Sportswoman for 1990. She received her award for sportsmanship, academic and athletic contributions to the Lady Huskies golf team.

Thirty-nine youngsters participated in the 1990 4-H Fishing Derby held July 10 in Wyman Park. Travis Bunch won a tackle box for catching the biggest fish, and Chelsey Peters won a bait box for catching the most fish. Other awards were won by Dane Jackson, who won a mini tackle for being the first 4-H’er to catch a fish; Karen McCall, who won a gift certificate for making the best effort; Missy Gillen, who won a kite for being the 4-H’er to catch the smallest fish and Jeremy Helton, who won a kite for being the smallest fisherman. Read More

Department on Aging and State’s Senior Health Insurance Program Commemorate Medicare 50th Anniversary

•July 29, 2015•

In commemoration of Medicare’s 50th anniversary July 30, the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) would like to encourage Illinois seniors and people with disabilities to learn about services provided by the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). This year, marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Amendments to the Social Security Act that established the Medicare program.

“The Department on Aging supports SHIP’s role in assisting older adults and individuals with disabilities make informed decisions,” said acting director Jennifer Reif. “There are more than 250 existing local SHIP offices statewide with 1,000 dedicated counselors who are readily available to assist and educate people about Medicare and available insurance options.” Read More

Mobile Mammography Aug. 20

•July 29, 2015•

Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Mobile Mammography Services will be at SBL Sullivan Clinic August 20.

The Mobile Mammography van helps provide mammograms to women who may not otherwise have access to, or be able to afford these life-saving preventive screens. Women who qualify will receive their mammogram free.

The mobile mammography van is available to all women regardless of their financial status. Women with insurance that covers their yearly mammogram are also welcome.

To make an appointment for a mammogram on the mobile van, call 1-800-639-5929.