Enjoying the Summer, Outdoors

Summer recreation program sees largest number of participants this year

•July 22, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Since June 1, chances are if you’ve gone by Wyman Park during the morning or afternoon, you’ve witnessed a large circus of children playing a variety of games from flag football to kickball, soccer, Frisbee, table tennis, and even interacting on the park’s many slides and swings.
But what may appear to be just a large rag-tag group of children running about is actually the long-standing summer park recreation group, which for decades has kept Sullivan youth busy playing and having fun outside.
“I think it’s a good thing for kids in the community to have some structured event to go,” said Sullivan mayor Ann Short. “It keeps them out of trouble.”

Photo submitted by Melissa Haegen Children enjoy the waterworks provided by the Sullivan Fire Department last Wednesday as part of the popular park recreation program at Wyman.

Photo submitted by Melissa Haegen
Children enjoy the waterworks provided by the Sullivan Fire Department last Wednesday as part of the popular park recreation program at Wyman.

For more than 50 years, the summer rec program has been open to Sullivan’s youth. Paid volunteers run it on a daily basis for eight weeks, typically beginning the first Monday of summer break. The program is funded through property tax revenue, a small portion of which is set aside in a recreation fund to help pay not only for the volunteer staff, but also supplies. For the last four years, the program has been manned by husband and wife Jake and Melissa Haegen.
“I came out here when I was a kid,” said Jake. “My dad said he came out here when he was a kid, too, so it’s been going on for at least 50 years.”
“For the kids I think it gives them something that keeps them occupied, and they’re not getting into trouble,” said Melissa. “They’re being active. They’re not sitting in front of video games all summer long. We’re encouraging them to participate in sports that they may not have thought they were good at. It builds their confidence, their social skills. It’s just a positive thing for them to be out here. It’s a little less structured than the school environment so they enjoy that.”
One key element in the program’s success more recently is the implementation of the summer food service program, an initiative that is funded by the USDA and aims to provide meals to low-income students. Read More

Strong at 90, Craig Continues to Work

Photo by Keith Stewart Paul Craig, who recently turned 90, is still as active as ever and in his 37th year at Atchison Electric in Sullivan.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Paul Craig, who recently turned 90, is still as active as ever and in his 37th year at Atchison Electric in Sullivan.

January 14, 2015

‘Short’ still stocks inventory at Atchison

by Joash Tiarks
Reporting in Sullivan

Of the many employees Dick Atchison has working for him at Atchison Electric, one stands out far above the rest, and it is not because of his height. In fact, Paul Craig’s nickname is ‘Short’ and has been for as long as he can remember, and that memory stretches back to the 1920’s.

“I don’t know nothin’, but I got two hands,” Short said as he approached Dick back in 1978. Having worked for the city electric department for the previous 10 years, he was ready for a change, and Dick gave him that opportunity. Thirty-seven years on he is still going strong and, having recently celebrated his 90th birthday, still works 8.5 hours a day four days a week with no plans to stop anytime soon.

“I just love what I do,” he declared.

Born in 1924, Short has lived in the Sullivan area for as long as he can remember, growing up in a tenant house on a farm about a mile from town. He and his younger sister are now the only ones left of nine siblings, four brothers and three sisters having already passed away, all older than he. Read More

Asa Creek Reunites in Full

Submitted Pictured, from left to right, are members of Asa Creek, a popular local band: Dave Morgan, Scott Phillips, Keith Wood, Tim Gotts and Jan Courtright (original members), Jeff Trower and Jason Gotts, who are now performing with Asa Creek. The band reunited in full last month to celebrate the 60th birthdays of  Courtright, Wood, and Gotts.

Submitted
Pictured, from left to right, are members of Asa Creek, a popular local band: Dave Morgan, Scott Phillips, Keith Wood, Tim Gotts and Jan Courtright (original members), Jeff Trower and Jason Gotts, who are now performing with Asa Creek. The band reunited in full last month to celebrate the 60th birthdays of Courtright, Wood, and Gotts.

December 3, 2014

Birthday bash for members brings full ensemble

by Joash Tiarks
Reporting in Sullivan

With a 60th birthday celebration for three of its original members as an excuse, one of Moultrie County’s diamonds in the rough resurfaced Saturday, November 22 at the Sullivan American Legion to reunite old friends and relive some good times.

What started as “the worst garage band in history”, according to guitar player Keith Wood, has developed into something like an extended family over the years, with some players phasing out and others joining in. But one thing has remained constant through all the changes: a deep love of music and a deep joy in playing it together. Originally comprised of Keith Wood on guitar, Tim Gotts as lead singer, Jan Courtright on drums, Scott Phillips on guitar/harmonica, and Dave Morgan on bass, the band has been joined by Jeff Tower on bass, Diane Conner on keyboard and vocal, as well as others. Read More

Taking Some Room to Honor Those Who Served

Photo by Keith Stewart US Army veteran Norman Shoemaker, originally of Findlay, looks at the various military garments on display last Thursday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
US Army veteran Norman Shoemaker, originally of Findlay, looks at the various military garments on display last Thursday.

November 19, 2014

Mason Point exhibit brings deep, local connections

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The small side room off the Knights’ Banquet Hall at Mason Point sat quiet Thursday morning.

Decked out in veterans’ memorabilia and with the colors red, white, and blue pervasive, the temporary “Honor Room”, as it is known, was a large part of Mason Point’s ceremony on Tuesday to recognize those who served their country. Dozens of people, some of whom were residents, attended and filtered into the room to take in what spanned nearly a century of US armed service.

“We were honored to be in the presence of 30 of our heroes at Mason Point on Tuesday,” said assistant administrator Johna McFadden. “Our program, scripted by one of our employee veterans Dan Moschenrose,  was created to celebrate a day to honor those who guaranteed our freedom. We were blessed to have several family members who came to enjoy our program as well having our local American Legion provide the 21 gun salute and the always moving Taps. One of our residents Donna Doty was so excited to share the day with her twin brothers- both veterans from Decatur- that she called them the morning of the program to have them attend.” Read More

The Challenge of Creating Interest in a School Assignment

Photo by Keith Stewart Zane Dudley tries to keep his focus during the push-up hold.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Zane Dudley tries to keep his focus during the push-up hold.

November 12, 2014

World-record lesson a hit with sixth graders

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

What was destined to become tomorrow’s trash was in fact yesterday’s school lesson for Megan Holt’s sixth grade language arts students.

The Sullivan Middle School teacher recently had her students complete one of the last segments of a multi-project lesson involving the organization and tracking of world record breaking attempts.

Well, Sullivan Middle School record attempts that is. Such feats as how long to hula hoop, how many stairs climbed, and how far one could throw a medicine ball. Read More

Getting Hairy for Cancer

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are members of the Sullivan police department, from left to right: Josh Qualls, Adam Collins, Brandon Beckwith & son Bryson ,  Janet Dirks, Andrew Pistorius, John Love,  and Jim Waggoner.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are members of the Sullivan police department, from left to right: Josh Qualls, Adam Collins, Brandon Beckwith & son Bryson , Janet Dirks, Andrew Pistorius, John Love, and Jim Waggoner.

November 12, 2014

Sullivan PD takes on ‘No Shave’ fundraiser

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Things are a little hairy at the Sullivan Police Department- but it’s all for a good cause.

Through the month of November, the Sullivan Police Department is holding a “No-Shave Fundraiser” to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

“November 1-30, police who participate will be allowed to grow a beard, but it must be neat and trimmed-It won’t be like Duck Dynasty!” said Sullivan Police Chief Johnny Love. “Each officer who participates will be making a donation to the American Cancer Society.” Read More

Remembering and Looking Forward

Photo by Barry Featheringill Barry and Karen Golden look at the contents of the time capsule that was opened last Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Barry Featheringill
Barry and Karen Golden look at the contents of the time capsule that was opened last Saturday afternoon.

November 5, 2014

Veterans memorial rededicated, time capsule opened and new one planned

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

On November 11, 1989 the Sullivan Veterans Memorial was dedicated to all those who have served the country starting with the Revolutionary War. Along with the dedication a time capsule was placed to be opened in 25 years. Doris Cazel’s first grade class collected items to be included in the capsule.

“Al Golden, who envisioned the veteran memorial, came to me about doing a time capsule,” explained Cazel. “He came to the class and told the children about it.” Read More

County Veterans Encouraged to Sign Up For New Honor Rewards Program

Photo by Keith Stewart Retired Air Force First Lieutenant Dick Isaacs fills out a form to sign up for the newly offered Honor Rewards Program, which Moultrie County clerk Georgia England (pictured) along with her land records software vendor Fidlar Technologies made available recently for local veterans.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Retired Air Force First Lieutenant Dick Isaacs fills out a form to sign up for the newly offered Honor Rewards Program, which Moultrie County clerk Georgia England (pictured) along with her land records software vendor Fidlar Technologies made available recently for local veterans.

November 5, 2014

Local businesses give back through discounts

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This coming Veterans Day will be marked with an extra special thank you for Moultrie County veterans.

County clerk Georgia England, along with her land records software vendor Fidlar Technologies, has recently made a program called Honor Rewards available here in Moultrie where local businesses sign up with incentives such as discounts on services such as tire repair, flower orders, etc. for local veterans. All veterans have to do is make sure their DD-214 is on file with a county clerk in the U.S. and sign up. For those actively serving, they simply have to provide a copy of their military ID card showing they are still serving. Read More

Bethany Alumni Celebrate Oldest Living Graduate

Photo by Keith Stewart Dora Dean Hudson (center) was surprised last Thursday with a visit by (from left to right) fellow Bethany high school alumni, including alumni association secretary Sandra McReynolds, class of ‘57; vice-president John McLaughlin, class of ‘62; Linda Korte, class of ‘64; and president Jim McLaughlin, class of ‘63.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Dora Dean Hudson (center) was surprised last Thursday with a visit by (from left to right) fellow Bethany high school alumni, including alumni association secretary Sandra McReynolds, class of ‘57; vice-president John McLaughlin, class of ‘62; Linda Korte, class of ‘64; and president Jim McLaughlin, class of ‘63.

September 17, 2014

Hudson, class of ‘29 receives surprise visit
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

As the Bethany High School Alumni Association glanced down their list of graduates recently, one in particular stood out.
Dora Dean Hudson, class of 1929.
“One of the things we’re trying to do with the alumni association is to get all the records of everybody that graduated from high school, which we were able to get,” said John McLaughlin, vice-president of the alumni association. “We noticed that she was still on the list, the 1929 graduating list, as still alive. That started the look. Of course, when we heard the name Dora Dean, my brother and I knew who that was. We couldn’t believe it. So we made some calls and got hold of her grandson in Decatur and got permission to come down and have this get-together.”
John and his brother Jim, who was also in attendance and is the alumni association president, grew up across from Hudson up until 1949 when they moved to their family farm. Read More

Reminiscing, Showcasing Antique Tractor Equipment at Inaugural Plow Day

September 3, 2014

Dozens come to watch old plow technique

by Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Sullivan

Every now and then, some need a reminder of what it used to be like when days moved at a slower pace. Technology often makes one forget the feeling of satisfaction from hard labored work and a job well done. When Steven Buxton created “Plow Day” for farmers and agricultural enthusiasts, he had this in mind.
So on Saturday, August 23, antique tractor operators moldboard plowed 50 acres of wheat stubble that was located at Moultrie County Road, 1350 North. Buxton explained that moldboard plowing was a type of plowing that was used in the mid 80’s. It not only cut furrows, but it also turned the soil. Farmers used this technique until about 1986. Read More