Moultrie Awarded Emergency Food, Shelter Funds

April 22, 2015

Moultrie County has been chosen to receive $2,800 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The selection was made by a national board that is chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and, United Way Worldwide. The local board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country. Read More

Private Donor Allows for New Moultrie K-9 Unit Purchase

Photo by RR Best Pictured is Moultrie County deputy Caleb Smith along with the department’s K-9 next to the latest vehicle addition–a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe fully equipped and valued at over $62,000. The purchase was made possible by a recent private donation.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured is Moultrie County deputy Caleb Smith along with the department’s K-9 next to the latest vehicle addition–a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe fully equipped and valued at over $62,000. The purchase was made possible by a recent private donation.

Vehicle, equipment valued at over $62,000

April 22, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

The county’s K9 unit is now riding in style and improved capability.
With an older vehicle having taken its fair share of wear and tear not to mention proving unfit to accommodate storage of all their equipment, the sheriff’s department was in need of a new K-9 unit.
One large anonymous donation later, the department was in business.
Now in their fleet sits a fully decked out 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe along with new K-9 equipment–paid for in full by a private donor. The total amount given from the anonymous donor was $62,549.
Miles Chevrolet in Decatur allowed the department to purchase the Tahoe at $33,190. The rest of the funds were put towards the addition of the K-9 equipment.
According to Sheriff Chris Sims and Deputy Caleb Smith, a 2012 Chevrolet Impala was already in place with the unit, but it was difficult getting around in inclement weather, and there wasn’t always enough storage space. Read More

Sullivan Police Receiving Reports of Fraudulent Tax Income Returns

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A few local federal tax income filers have discovered their identities stolen after they tried to file but were told they already had.
According to Sullivan police chief John Love, his department recently received just over a handful of calls from local citizens who discovered that someone else had fraudulently filed their federal return.
John Vander Burgh, CPA and owner of Vander Burgh Financial Service LLC in Bethany says such rejections from the IRS for filings are for one of two reasons–the preparer has incorrectly input the social security number by accident or, more seriously, someone else has fraudulently filed their form as a result of identity theft. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Is America Becoming the Dependent Society?

NowlanApril 22, 2015

By Jim Nowlan
Outside
Columnist

I am invited to give talks to Lions, Rotary, women’s and other clubs, generally about Illinois and, particularly, its budget problems.
In recent talks, during the question period, several listeners have observed that we could save taxpayer money if we took the “undeserving” off the welfare rolls.
Then the audience members illustrated with anecdotes of local cases they “know” of people who are abusing our several welfare programs.
Anecdotes certainly don’t prove a case, but they do illustrate alarming trends in the growth of dependency of Americans on our government.
For example, one audience member, who rented properties, told of a woman, “smart and capable,” with four children, who received substantially more than $2,000 a month in rental payments ($882), food stamps ($775), heating, phone and other benefits. Read More

Yost’s Trial Moved Up to June

State’s attorney requests speedy trial

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A Sullivan man accused of murdering a woman in March was back in court Monday for a brief hearing regarding a request for a speedy trial.
Michael S. Yost of Sullivan appeared before the Hon. Judge Dan Flannell Monday afternoon after state’s attorney Jeremy Richey filed a motion for a special jury term or, in other words, a speedy trial. The motion was largely a formality since both state and federal law entitles individuals to a speedy trial.
Richey’s motion was granted, and as a result, Yost’s original trial setting commencement date of August 3 was essentially thrown out in exchange for 9 a.m. June 15. Read More

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Photo by Jeni Yantis The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Okaw Valley High School drama club will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. April 24 & 25 in the OVHS gym.  The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam County. Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. For this quirky group of outsiders, a spelling bee is the one place they can fit in and stand out at the same time. Cast members include seniors Olivia King, Maureen Blakey and Kali Forsyth, juniors Gretchen Macklin, Charli Uhlrich and Nick Tipsword, sophomores Brianna Creviston, Sydney Hagerman and Madison Uhlrich and freshman Hannah Landreth. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Okaw Valley High School at 665-3631.

Photo by Jeni Yantis
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Okaw Valley High School drama club will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. April 24 & 25 in the OVHS gym. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam County. Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. For this quirky group of outsiders, a spelling bee is the one place they can fit in and stand out at the same time. Cast members include seniors Olivia King, Maureen Blakey and Kali Forsyth, juniors Gretchen Macklin, Charli Uhlrich and Nick Tipsword, sophomores Brianna Creviston, Sydney Hagerman and Madison Uhlrich and freshman Hannah Landreth.
Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Okaw Valley High School at 665-3631.

Dirks Presented Award for Heroism

Photo by RR Best Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Council also discusses creating possible fourth TIF district

April 22, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan mayor Ann Short and the city council presented Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks an award at their regular meeting earlier this month for her heroic handling of a homicide call on Wednesday, March 11.
Many members of the Sullivan police force and chief John Love were present as Dirks accepted her award.
“Our entire police department did a great job that day,” said police chief John Love. “Janet was a lifeline. We are fortunate to have her.”
Two guests, TIF consultants Steve Kline and Gwen Crawford, presented reports about the current TIF districts and information about the possibility of forming another TIF district, the area of which includes the former Jackson Chevrolet building. Read More

Lovington Park Ordinances See Several Deletions in Effort to Tidy Up Codes

Move comes amidst effort to update across the board

April 22, 2015

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

The Lovington Village Board has been updating ordinances that govern Lovington for several months now, and the next to fall in line recently was the park code– just in time for all of the enjoyable outdoor activities.
In general, the changes deal with deleting certain sections from the code, essentially lifting bans on things such as riding bicycles in the park and throwing propelled objects including balls. The actual deletions are as follows and were effective as of April 6, 2015:
Under Operations of Vehicles within the park (12-1-5), the following has been deleted: Read More

Trying to Put the Picture Back Together

One of Moultrie’s oldest families tries to reunite

April 22, 2015

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

A picture can be worth a thousand words, but what about a thousand relatives? And what if many of the faces in that picture are without names, waiting to be identified? A complex puzzle to be sure, especially when that photo was taken nearly 100 years ago.
Yet, this is just what Janie Ball of Estes Park, Colo., Doris Hubner of Onarga, Ill., and Connie Cerdena of LaCenter, Wash. have undertaken to do in planning and preparing for their family’s reunion set for the May 9 and 10 in Sullivan.
However, this is not your typical family get together.
Ball, Hubner and Cerdena each trace their lineage back to one of the first families to arrive in Moultrie County, who were actually the first white settlers to take up permanent residence here: the Isaac Waggoner family.

Submitted Pictured is a photo from 1928 in what was then called Freeland’s Grove (near present day Wyman Park) of the Waggoner family reunion. The family goes back as far as 1828, making it one of the first to settle in Moultrie County. After more than 80 years after their last, the family plans to reunite in Sullivan next month, but is still trying to get the word out to family members.

Submitted
Pictured is a photo from 1928 in what was then called Freeland’s Grove (near present day Wyman Park) of the Waggoner family reunion. The family goes back as far as 1828, making it one of the first to settle in Moultrie County. After more than 80 years after their last, the family plans to reunite in Sullivan next month, but is still trying to get the word out to family members.

Read More

Why Strengthening the Freedom of Information Act is So Important

GuestColumnApril 22, 2015

By Caroline H. Little
President and CEO
Newspaper Association of America

President Obama has routinely promised greater transparency within the federal government. Now, Congress is making strides towards achieving this critical goal.
The House of Representatives and Senate are currently considering nearly identical bills to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which provides the general public, including journalists, with access to federal government records.
This legislation has received broad support across media organizations, including the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of which the Newspaper Association of America is a member. And here’s why:
Openness rather than secrecy would be the “default” key within the government. Read More