42nd Annual Barbershop Christmas Concert Sunday

Photo furnished

Photo furnished

•November 30, 2016•

The Coles County Barbershop Chorus will present their 42nd Annual Christmas Benefit Concert(s) Sunday, Dec. 4.

The 3 p.m. concert will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston, and the 7 p.m. program will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon. The concert lasts one hour and is free to the public. A free will offering is taken, and annually more than $5,000 is generated for area food pantry and homeless shelter programs.  Read More

Okaw Valley Falls Hard Against St. Anthony

•November 23, 2016•

In seasons past the Okaw Valley baseball team has beaten teams 18-0.

The same could be said for the softball team and SOV football.

But to start the 2016-17 boys’ basketball tenure, the ‘Wolves were on the wrong end of that margin after a quarter.

The first bucket of the season came with 5:09 to go in the first half when Garrett Fritz took to the lane and lifted up a floater that wasn’t sent back by one of the St. Anthony post players. Read More

Thanksgiving Day – An American Tradition

Ginther•November 23, 2016•

By Jerry L. Ginther
NP Columnist

Tradition has significance for most seniors, I believe, especially during the autumn and winter holidays. I mean, what would Thanksgiving Day be without the traditional turkey dinner with pumpkin pie, stuffing, cranberry sauce and the many other treats associated with the day? The aroma from the kitchen created anticipation for all who waited for the feast to be served. Who would think of dining out at a restaurant on this occasion unless one had no family with which to share the day?

There was always excitement in the preparations, too. And, as the old song, Over the River and Through Wood, suggests, we often went to Grandmother’s house for the day. Family would begin arriving at Grandma’s house mid morning, some with excited children. Some would bring side dishes to share, and all brought good humor and a healthy appetite. The ladies gathered in the kitchen with cheerful greetings and preparations for the meal got underway. I don’t recall any complaints concerning, “too many cooks in the kitchen.”

So many cheerful conversations took place before, during and after the meal. Of course, I can’t remember every Thanksgiving Day, but I can remember the atmosphere that was present at all. With the menfolk, the first fishing tale would never top the last, and every buck deer bagged had a huge rack. If you were a young boy, you were enthralled by the adventure. Even the girls found enjoyment in those accounts. The details of each hunt and fishing trip were articulated in such vivid detail that they captured the imagination of the listeners as only the old storytellers could. The art of conversation and storytelling was still intact in those days. That is to say, they were never boring. To me there was no such thing as an embellished account. If one of my uncles was telling the story, it had to be just as he told it. Is there any wonder as to why they enjoyed telling their stories to children? Yes, we believed every word! Read More

Moultrie Douglas Farm Bureau Update

Training and Traveling with the Farm Bureau

•November 23, 2016•

By Annaleah Emm
Illinois Farm Bureau Manager Trainee

My name is Annaleah Emm, and I am a manager trainee with Illinois Farm Bureau. I have been training in the county for the past two weeks. The training program is a unique program that allows me to train and travel with Farm Bureau managers from around the state. I have currently trained in Livingston, Bureau, Knox, Cass- Morgan, Lawrence, Piatt and Douglas-Moultrie counties.

The holiday season is among us. While most are preparing for the holiday festivities, farmers are still hoping for good weather to finish their last-minute field work. As 2016 harvest is wrapping up, we see many farmers making the most out of the few good weather days. Many are applying anhydrous ammonia, while others are disking. Service companies such as South Central FS are also busy with end of the year activities. They are applying lime and other dry fertilizer. Tiling is also big right now. As of Sunday November 13, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reads Illinois as 100% harvested for the 2016 corn crop. This is above the five- year average of 96%. Soybeans are also 100% harvested and above the five- year average of 97%. A general census with farmers from around the area is corn harvest will be better than 2015 but not as good as the harvest of 2014. Soybeans of 2016 are the best many have seen in years. Final yield numbers will be released at a later date. Read More

Lovington Village Receives Drainage Report

•November 23, 2016•

Lovington Village board met November 14 approving a request from Amanda Kreher to help with Breakfast for Santa Saturday, December 17.

Kreher told the board that the breakfast is from 9-11 a.m. in New Life Community Building. She requested the village donate $500 toward the event’s food and treat bags for the children.

At the October village board meeting David Bowers reported on drainage district progress.  Read More

Understanding Illinois: New Dem Comptroller Could Wreak Havoc

Nowlan•November 23, 2016•

By Jim Nowlan
NP Guest Columnist

I promise readers this is the last column, at least for a while, about my near-obsession, understandable as I think it is, over the failure of the governor and Illinois House speaker to come together somehow to forge a responsible state budget.

In the recent election, GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner reduced the speaker’s House Democratic majority from 71-47 to 67-51, and in the state Senate he gained two GOP seats, which brings the Dems’ majority in that chamber down to just under two-thirds.

The governor was unable, however, to hang onto the office of Illinois Comptroller, which had been rather securely in GOP hands under the late Judy Baar Topinka until 2014, when Rauner appointed Leslie Munger, a businesswoman, to the post on Judy’s passing.

At that time, the Democrats enacted a bill that limited Munger’s appointed tenure to two years, rather than the four years it would have been otherwise.

This is a ministerial, rather than policy, office. The comptroller writes the checks to pay the state’s bills. Yet the office has been critical to Rauner.

Because of the lack of a balanced budget, the state has been racking up billions of dollars in bills each recent year, which it lacks the revenue to pay.  Read More

Menus 11-23-2016

Senior Peace Meal
For additional information or for reservations, please call 1-800-543-1770
Monday, Nov. 28 - Sloppy Joe, German potato salad, green bean casserole, bun, Hawaiian salad.
Tuesday, Nov. 29 - Swedish meatballs w/gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, whole grain wheat, fresh fruit.
Wednesday, Nov. 30 - Cheese tortellini alfredo w/ham, buttered peas, tomatoes & zucchini, whole grain wheat, pears.
Thursday, Dec. 1  - Fried chicken, mashed potatoes w/gravy, mixed vegetables, Texas toast, peaches.
Friday, Dec. 2 - Beefy vegetable soup, creamy cole slaw, fruit salad, crackers, peanut butter pie.

Sullivan Pre-School Breakfast
Monday, Nov. 28 - Cereal, grape juice, milk.
Tuesday, Nov. 29 - Toast,  grape juice, milk.
Wednesday, Nov. 30 - Muffins,  grape juice, milk.
Thursday, Dec. 1  - English muffins,  grape juice, milk.
Friday, Dec. 2 - Breakfast burritos,  grape juice, milk.

Sullivan Pre-School Lunch
Monday, Nov. 28 - Tacos, lettuce salad, peaches, milk.
Tuesday, Nov. 29 - Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, pears, dinner roll, milk.
Wednesday, Nov. 30 - Beef & noodles, mashed potatoes, applesauce, bread & butter, milk.
Thursday, Dec. 1  - Chili soup, crackers, cheese sticks, carrot & celery sticks, crackers, milk.
Friday, Dec. 2 - Chicken nuggets, mixed vegetables, mixed fruit, bread & butter, milk.

Sullivan School Board Reviews Testing, Approves Tax Levy

•November 23, 2016•

The Sullivan Community Unit 300 school board approved the 2016 payable in 2017 tentative tax levy of 4.99% based on a projected Equalized Assessed Valuation of $121,595,853.

Supt. Brad Tuttle explained the amount requested could be reduced and noted the district tax levy increase has averaged two percent per year since maximum rates were set in 1983.

Director of maintenance Kevin Landrus reported that work has begun on the elementary school chillers now that the  cooling season in over. He told the board the new boiler was fired at the high school, and the middle school boiler is pending a gas flow regulation adjustment before it can be fired.

Landrus then explained a $23,000 construction change order for the high school HVAC system replacement. The roof top unit for the north wing of the high school was larger than expected and required additional steel reinforcement for the roof.

Supt. Tuttle went on to note that both the architect and carrier returned $2500 to the district because of the error that led to the required change.

“The change was heavier than expected so we had to make a quick decision,” Tuttle said of the problem, noting the architect and carrier’s contributions helped ease the pain. Read More

Sullivan Chief Served a Giving Community

Photo furnished Chief John Love accepts appreciation plaque from Mayor Ann Short at a recent city council meeting. Chief Love begins retirement November 23 after serving the city of Sullivan for 28 years.

Photo furnished
Chief John Love accepts appreciation plaque from Mayor Ann Short at a recent city council meeting. Chief Love begins retirement November 23 after serving the city of Sullivan for 28 years.

•November 23, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

When Sullivan Chief of Police John Love became a patrolman in 1985, he knew local police could have a greater purpose in the community.

As Chief Love looks toward retirement Nov. 23 after 28 years on the force, it’s with mixed emotions.

“It’s kind of funny, but I know I’m going to miss those weekend calls at home and people stopping me at the local restaurant to discuss a problem,” Love said of the years he has served the community.

For the past 10 years Chief Love, with the backing of the Sullivan City Council, has been able to maintain a professional police force that is well-equipped.

“Jim Waggoner will be a good chief who I have total confidence in,” Love said of his replacement. “With the help of Mayor Short and the city we have a well-equipped professional staff force, and I look forward to that continuing.” Read More