Smiles on Faces Four Hooves at a Time

Photo by RR Best Andrea Ebert is seen with Jasper, one of her two mini therapy horses, during a visit to Aspen Creek in early December.

Photo by RR Best
Andrea Ebert is seen with Jasper, one of her two mini therapy horses, during a visit to Aspen Creek in early December.

January 21, 2015

Mini horses make visits to local residential centers

by Keith Stewart

Andrea Ebert describes it as her perfect storm.
The nurse of more than 30 years who also has a master’s degree in gerontology was able to combine her love for people and for horses last fall by way of creating Heartland Mini Horses, an organization she formed out of Taylorville that seeks to provide therapeutic visits to nursing homes and assisted living centers with the help of two hairy little horses: Jasper and Bailey.
At just 32 inches tall, Jasper is a two-year old miniature horse and is joined by eight-month old Bailey who stands an inch shorter, is black-and-white, and acts as Jasper’s sister in the way they will playfully gnaw at one another.
“Anything over 34 inches is pony stage,” explained Ebert. “As far as training them, these horses have to have a great deal of patience. There are times I’ve had Bailey sit for five minutes waiting for someone to touch her.” Read More

Farm Bureau Update: Conferences Abound


January 21, 2015

By Tyler Harvey
Mo-Do Farm Bureau Manager

The New Year is off and running, and the Farm Bureau on a county, state, and national level is staying very active. On a national level, The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is in the middle of their Annual Meeting which is held from January 11-14. Just like the Illinois Farm Bureau, the AFBF meets once a year to look and decide on policies and resolutions that make up the organization. The AFBF is made up of all the state Farm Bureaus in the United States. The Board of Directors for AFBF are comprised of 27 directors from across the nation. The United States itself in broken into four different regions with a certain amount of directors coming from each region. Bob Stallman from Texas is the current AFBF President. This is the same position our very own Charles Shuman held from 1954-1970. President Shuman was the President of the Illinois Farm Bureau before his tenure as AFBF President. Read More

Findlay Boys’ Cinderella Season Remembered

Photo by Brandi Denton Pictured are members of the 93’ Findlay eight grade boys’ basketball team. Back row, left to right: Coach Herb Bricker, Anthony Scott, Zac Atkinson, Travis Park, and Nick Berry; Front row: Curtis Shinn, Brock Nichols, cheerleaders Robin Perry and Jamie Martinski, and Michael Williams.

Photo by Brandi Denton
Pictured are members of the 93’ Findlay eight grade boys’ basketball team. Back row, left to right: Coach Herb Bricker, Anthony Scott, Zac Atkinson, Travis Park, and Nick Berry; Front row: Curtis Shinn, Brock Nichols, cheerleaders Robin Perry and Jamie Martinski, and Michael Williams.

January 21, 2015

‘93 team remembered for Elite 8 run

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Herb Bricker has been coaching basketball in the area for more than 15 years. But there’s one game in particular that still sticks out to him–one where he enjoyed having a pair of scissors in one hand and a net in the other.
And last Thursday night that game, in part, along with the 1993 Findlay 8th grade boys’ basketball team was recognized almost 20 years after their Elite 8 run in the state tournament. That year the team coached by Bricker went 18-4 with Bricker winning IESA coach of the year.
“After our win, the president of the IESA stayed in our hotel, and he made a point to tell me the defense we played was the most impressive he had since Andy Kaufmann in the mid 80s,” recalled Bricker.
Travis Parks confirmed just how important defense was to that team.
“Herb coached us from fourth grade that defense wins games,” he said. “That is just what it takes to win games.”
Bricker noted the team would try to hold opponents to 15 shot attempts per game and actually held a team to just four shot attempts in one contest. Read More

ALAH Receives Transportation Payment From State

January 21, 2015

Only two payments expected

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

“We’ve received our first payment for transportation and special education, and we are excited about that,” superintendent Kenny Schwengel announced during his treasurer’s report at the ALAH School Board meeting Wednesday, January 15.
The district’s transportation fund had been short for several months, and the district found themselves borrowing money from other sources to help cover costs.
“We’ve had to take money from the education fund to help pay for transportation and special education needs” added Schwengel. Recently the district received a voucher for $11,324.89, although other payments are still to be expected. “We should receive four payments this year, but we will be lucky to see two of them,” noted Schwengel. It was also reported that the district received a voucher of $20,660 for reorganization. The current balance of all the district funds is $6,290,154.05. Read More

Sixth Poker Tournament Fundraiser Jan. 24

January 21, 2015

American Legion Post 507 in Bethany will host its 6th Poker Tournament Fundraiser on Saturday, January 24th. The event will benefit students at Okaw Valley High School through academic scholarships awarded annually. The Texas Hold’em poker tournament starts at noon and has limited seating so early registration is advised. All players will be eligible to win door prizes donated by local businesses. Pork burgers and refreshments will be available for purchase at the event.
For more information or to pre-register, please contact or view us on Facebook at “American Legion 507 Poker Group.”

Top Seeded OV Upset by Lady Knights in LOVC Tourney

January 21, 2015

Strong shooting propels ALAH

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Fourth seed Arthur Lovington Atwood-Hammond rallied from a seven point first quarter deficit to stun the top seeded Lady Timberwolves Monday night in the second round of the LOVC Conference tourney. The Lady Knights outscored Okaw Valley 22-7 in the second quarter and 18-5 in the third ultimately cruising to a 56-39 point victory.
With the Lady Knights trailing 13-7 early in the second quarter sophomore Mycalea Miller knocked down back to back threes to tie the game with six minutes to go before half. Miller scored a team high 15 points on the night. Okaw Valley fought back taking a 17-15 lead before Kimberly Davis nailed a dagger three to take it right back at 18-17. The floodgates then opened, and ALAH went on a 10 point run capped off by another clutch three from Kimberly Davis putting the score at 28-17 with under a minute to go before the half. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Executive Mansion–Home or Political Tool?

NowlanJanuary 21, 2015

by Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

Gov. Bruce Rauner promises to renovate the leaky Illinois Executive Mansion with his seemingly limitless wealth—and to live there as well.
Better to utilize the mansion extensively for social events for the political class, especially when the lawmakers are in town, but continue to live in Chicago, where the action is.
The undistinguished Italianate, brick, 16-room mansion was built in 1855 during the governorship of Joel Matteson (who apparently tampered with a jury to avoid prison for cashing in $300,000 in state script that had already earlier been redeemed).
Entry into the building is from under a low-ceilinged portico, which darkens the entry way. A spiral staircase leads up to airy, sunny public rooms that are furnished tastefully in 19th Century style of the era of its construction.
There is a large, long dining room that can serve 30 or so, I am recalling, for formal dinners but is used more frequently as a buffet table. Beyond the dining room is a modest ballroom with small stage that would be perfect for musicales, but is rarely used in that way. Read More

SCED Announces 2014 Award Recipients

January 21, 2015

Submitted by the SCED

The Sullivan Chamber & Economic Development is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 annual awards which will be presented at the SCED Annual Dinner this Saturday.
Larry Stenger will be recognized as the 2014 Citizen of the Year.
Stenger is the Regional Community Bank President for First Mid Illinois Bank & Trust and is an individual who displays a passion for service and for the community of Sullivan. Stenger has used his extensive financial knowledge and creativity to help many projects in Sullivan become reality. Larry’s quiet dedication to community and economic development and his behind the scenes willingness to give back to the community exemplify the criteria for the SCED Citizen of the Year
Ron White will be honored with a lifetime achievement award. Read More

Sullivan PD Warns of Unlocked Vehicle Thefts

January 21, 2015

Recent string has police urging public for help

by Keith Stewart

After several instances where items were taken from unlocked vehicles this past week, Sullivan police chief John Love is asking the community to be alert and to call his office for any information related to the thefts.
Love, who declined to comment on the number of actual thefts or their exact location within Sullivan said that it appears at least one individual is targeting vehicles that are unlocked and then stealing items, though so far the value of such items remains minor. Read More

Three 20-point Plus Performances Aid Sullivan Victory

SullivanGirls2January 21, 2015

St. T unable to stop Lady Red trio

by Aaron Dyer
Sullivan Reporter

Last Thursday night, Sullivan Lady Redskins jumped forward in the Central Illinois Conference at 4-0 after taking on the St. Teresa Lady Bulldogs and winning 80-32.
With a combination of Brittin Boyer, Emily Neuhauser, and Elissa Stewart, it has become clear the SHS Lady Redskins are a tough team to beat.
And though St. Teresa fought to keep up with Sullivan, the first quarter was all anybody had to see to know the game would be a blow out.
Boyer won the jump, and Sullivan took off scoring six points in the first 30 seconds of the game forcing St. T to call a time out. Read More