A Little Trim Now Helps Keep the Lights on Later

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News•Progress Archives

•September 2, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

“I love my trees so I understand why people get upset,” Mayor Ann Short said of recent tree trimming in the city. “But when there is a bad storm and trees take down power lines, everyone suffers.”

In order to gain some control over the branches hanging over power lines the city is trying to be proactive and Short explained the existing crew in the electric dept. can’t keep up.

That led the city to contract with Nelson Tree Service, arborists that trim for Ameren, for the project.

Shannon Risley is in charge of the electric plant and making sure Sullivan residents can depend on their electric service.

On July 19, 2010 one of the worst storms to ever hit Sullivan brought that home with 21 poles downed as the result of falling limbs and wind, putting pressure on power lines.

“That week from Monday until most service was restored by Wednesday we worked 40 hours overtime in the sweltering heat,” Risley recalled. He explained the damage was beyond the ability of Sullivan’s six man crew to handle. Read More

A Good Day For a Walk in Wyman Park

Photo by Mike Brothers Walking in the park is the same today as it was 100 years ago except the lake is a little bigger and the trees are mature. Sisters Martina Emrick and Teresa Ingram are taking a morning stroll around the lake on Wyman Park’s 100th birthday.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Walking in the park is the same today as it was 100 years ago except the lake is a little bigger and the trees are mature. Sisters Martina Emrick and Teresa Ingram are taking a morning stroll around the lake on Wyman Park’s 100th birthday.

A century old gift to the city

•September 2, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

It’s a good day to take a walk in the park. And for the people of Sullivan Wyman Park is the best place to take that stroll.

On Sept 1, 2015 the 45 acre Wyman Park at the north edge of the city turned 100 years old.

It was the vision of German immigrant and shoemaker Albert Wyman, a frugal man who took five mile walks every day.

Local resident and Wyman historian Joe Pound got interested in the shoemaker’s life after he and wife Joan returned to Sullivan to retire.

“What intrigued me at first was how a man who came from Germany in his twenties ended up in Sullivan,” Joe said, noting wife Joan, who passed away in July, was his researcher who traced Wyman’s journey along with help from local historian Janet Roney.

Pound, who is also of German ancestry, discovered that Wyman came to Sullivan from Effingham County in 1870 with 65 cents in his pocket.

By the time he gifted the city of Sullivan with $33,000 to establish a park, he was worth more than a million dollars in present day currency value. Read More

A Different Chapter-Same Life

MikeBrothersOh Brother…

•September 2, 2015•

by Mike Brothers
NP Managing Editor

It seems like a hundred years ago when I sat down at the old Underwood manual typewriter at the Harrisburg Daily Register and cranked out my first story as a reporter.

Here I am some three decades later sitting down to a MacBook to crank out another story.

This is a different chapter of the same life.

A life where the road less traveled brought me out of southern Illinois to the great prairie to tend a batch of community newspapers for about 15 years.

Then I took a break from the newspaper business, learning during that time that the newspaper business hadn’t left me.

Once ink flows through a person’s veins they can never be the same.

There is something about the unpredictable nature of the news business that keeps it exciting. Read More

Opportunistic Redskins Defeat Hoopeston 56-3

Photo by RR Best

Photo by RR Best

•September 2, 2015•

By Matt Kracht
NP sports reporter

In their season opener Sullivan Okaw-Valley rushed out to a 42-0 halftime lead thanks in part to a strong defensive effort.

Ty Molzen was sharp in limited action hitting on four of seven passing for three touchdowns and 110 yards in the first half. Head coach Gerald Temples thought overall it was a good start to the season. “We got some details we need to work on, but our defense played hard. We did not tackle exceptionally well so we got to get that corrected, but for the first ball game they did a nice job.”

After forcing a quick three and out on Hoopeston’s opening possession, the Redskins offense took over on the Cornjerker 34 yard line. On the first play Molzen plowed around the right end for an 18 yard gain. The Redskins then flipped it outside to Alec Ballinger who found space taking it 18 yards for the score with 10:16 remaining in the first quarter. Ballinger, who has game changing speed, received a pancake block from Blake Stewart to open his alley. The score was the first of three touchdown catches by Ballinger who finished with 105 yards receiving on the night. Coach Temples was pleased with the quick strike aspect of the offense. “Alex Ballinger is a pretty talented young man. When he gets in some space, he can make things happen. He did a nice job; our kids did a nice job getting it there.” Read More


The electric feeling doesn’t wear off

•September 2, 2015•

By Colleen Callahan
USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Tony Hernandez & USDA IL Rural Development Director

Some say the electric feeling of buying and moving into your own home never wears off. When you own the floors you’re standing on, the walls surrounding you and the roof over your head, you also own great satisfaction from the hard work that resulted in your home becoming yours.

Yet, just as it was hard work to achieve the American Dream of homeownership, being responsible for maintaining and, inevitably, repairing your own home can be just as much hard work. USDA Rural Development’s Home Repair Program is an affordable way to keep your home safe, accessible and energy efficient.

The program provides very-low income rural homeowners with a one percent-interest fixed-rate loan of up to $20,000 for essential things such as leaky roof repairs, improving accessibility, or even upgrades to heating and cooling systems to make a home more energy efficient. Seniors age 62 and older, who cannot qualify for a loan, may be eligible for a grant of up to $7,500, or a loan and grant combination to make needed repairs and improvements. Read More

Remember When? 9-2-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Seven Moultrie County 4-H’ers received superior awards for their entries Monday at the 1990 Illinois State Fair. Superior award winners from Sullivan were Amy R. Bishop, Ross A. Haverstock and Krystal L. Horsman, Sarah E. Shasteen and Carrie L. Wildman. Lovington superior award winners were Wesley J. Bolsen and Ryan D. Nettles.

The Illinois State Fair open show Grand Champion Barrow became a family project for the DeOrnellases of Sullivan, who brought home the winning ribbon, silver bowl and a prize check for approximately $800. Ron Deornellas of Sullivan showed his sister’s Grand Champion Barrow, Nicki, in the Illinois State Fair open show. The 241-pound crossbred is owned by Pam Deornellas.

With her brown and shiny 29-inch pony tail, Lacosta Meadows of Sullivan, daughter of Kenneth and Deborah Meadows, won first place last week in the Illinois State Fair’s pony tail contest for five and six year olds. Lacosta won over approximately 25 other contestants in her age group for having the longest hair.

Ruby Christy of Sullivan and Gloria Foley of Lovington represented the Moultrie County Homemakers Extension Assn. at the Illinois Homemakers Extension Federation District 4 and 5 meeting held recently in Decatur.

Approximately 2,000 submarine sandwiches were prepared for customers during Sullivan Subway’s grand opening Friday and Saturday. Cathy Janes and Hillary Barnes were among the many employees who prepared the made-to-order sandwiches. Read More

America’s Farmers Grow Communities to Award Grants

•September 2, 2015•

America’s Farmers Grow Communities will partner again with farmers to award more than $3.3 million to community nonprofits across the country. In Illinois, 97 organizations will receive donations in 2016.

Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program’s purpose is to make a positive impact in rural communities by giving farmers a chance to direct $2,500 donations to eligible nonprofit organizations of their choice. Farmer enrollment for Grow Communities kicked off on Aug. 1 and runs through Nov. 30, 2015. Read More

Lovington Public Library September News

•September 2, 2015•

Reading Redbirds Youth Book Club is an exciting club for those who like to read, volunteer time at the library and help assist with library activities that are being planned. The club is for 4-8th grade youth who are encouraged to bring a book each time to discuss with the group. September meetings are 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday September 1 and  September 15.

Digital Game Day is being planned at the Lovington Library 1-2 p.m. Friday September 4 for first-eighth grades. Participating children may bring their mobile and handheld devices to play together on a no-internet wireless connection, play together head-to-head, or just help each other get past those hardest video game bosses.

The library will be closed  Monday September 7 in observance of Labor Day.

Adult Book Club will be meet 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday September 10. Participants should bring a favorite book to discuss. Read More

Ice Cream Social Celebrates DOVE Anniversary

Photo by Nick Fiala

Photo by Nick Fiala

•September 2, 2015•

By Nick Fiala
Reporting in Sullivan

Just before 11 a.m. last Saturday, August 29, a small gathering of community volunteers, family, and friends stood under the protective branches of a large tree in Wyman Park.

It was all part of a public ceremony and free ice cream social to rally the local community together against domestic violence and celebrate the 45th anniversary of Dove, Inc., a domestic violence shelter and advocate center in Sullivan.

Though the event would include fun, games, and good-tasting food, it began with a period of quiet reflection. Pastor Ron Thomas of Sullivan’s Highway Church of Christ led the group in a prayer to dedicate a new garden on the park grounds in tribute to Sheri Randall, a repeat victim of domestic violence who lost her life at the hands of an abusive ex-boyfriend last March.

“There is a way to live,” Pastor Thomas said. “And it is with respect and love.”

In addition to the prayer, a speech was given by Mary Hughes, the director of the Moultrie County Agency of Dove, Inc.

“We vow to make a stand against domestic violence in our community, and we shall make a difference.” said Hughes. Read More

Innovation Lab for Lake Land

Photo Submitted

Photo Submitted

•September 2, 2015•

Students debut human and computer interaction projects in Lake Land College’s new Innovation Lab and Maker Space

From home automation to robots and banana pianos, Lake Land College Information Technology (IT) students are thinking outside the box and creating groundbreaking projects in the college’s new Innovation Lab and Maker Space.

Housed in Webb Hall, the space will be home to new innovation courses that instructor Scott Rhine is developing.

“We now have the space and equipment to take what was formerly known as my Human Computer Interaction class and turn it into something more in-depth and creative for students in the IT field and beyond,” said Rhine. “The new classes will be designed for non-IT majors as well. Everyone can benefit from increased creativity and better problem solving skills and this new lab will be an incubator for future makers and creators. We’ve been working on significantly automating the lab, which will have, what I have dubbed, a Wall of Awesome an interactive wall that visitors and especially children can use to activate different pieces of the automated lab.”

While Rhine is transitioning his curriculum for the new courses, this summer, students used the Innovation Lab to work on more than 20 unique projects. During the class, students start by learning the basic equipment in the lab and then start exploring the different project possibilities.  Read More