Local Scouts Complete Eagle Scout Projects

Submitted Pictured is former Troop 39 scoutmaster Gerry Wood (left), recently promoted Eagle Scout Benjamin Berner (middle), and current scoutmaster Jeff White at the formal unveiling of Berner’s Eagle Scout project, a list of more than 2,000 Moultrie County veterans and current armed forces and a podium upon which the list will sit.

Submitted
Pictured is former Troop 39 scoutmaster Gerry Wood (left), recently promoted Eagle Scout Benjamin Berner (middle), and current scoutmaster Jeff White at the formal unveiling of Berner’s Eagle Scout project, a list of more than 2,000 Moultrie County veterans and current armed forces and a podium upon which the list will sit.

August 13, 2014

High honor now within grasp

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

“Congratulations, Eagle Scout.”

Three simple words that so many Boy Scouts hope to one day hear, they perhaps don’t completely encompass the years of merit badges attained nor the hours and hours of work on their Eagle Scout project.

But for two local scouts, Benjamin Berner and Sean Johnson, hearing these words recently were well worth the time, money, and work.

“The Eagle Scout project is the last major requirement before a boy becomes an Eagle Scout,” explained Troop 39 Scoutmaster Jeff White. “He must earn 21 merit badges, 13 of them are required (first aid, citizenship in the community, citizenship in the nation, citizenship in the world, communication, cooking, personal fitness, emergency preparedness (or lifesaving), environmental science, personal management, swimming, camping and family life), but the remaining eight merit badges are chosen by each scout according to his interests (there are over 100 in all).”

For the 16-year-old Berner, his project involved the collection of service records both for current and past Moultrie County citizens enlisted in the armed forces. Read More

A Trip Worth Taking

Submitted by Troy Rogers Jazmyn Jane feeds a giraffe during a visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., which was just one of several science related experiences Sullivan students encountered on their trip this past June.

Submitted by Troy Rogers
Jazmyn Jane feeds a giraffe during a visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., which was just one of several science related experiences Sullivan students encountered on their trip this past June.

August 6, 2014

Sullivan students embark on biennial science trip to Florida

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

From snorkeling with manatees and feeding giraffes, to dissecting sharks and kayaking on barrier reefs, there’s a trip Sullivan students have taken every other year for the last five years that completely immerses them in a world of science and marine biology over just three days.

Near the beginning of June, 16 Sullivan students from both the eighth and ninth grade classes travelled to Tampa, Fla. and experienced nonstop hands-on science, first beginning with a trip north of Tampa to the Crystal Springs Preserve. There the students swam with manatees and even interacted with a mother and its calf, before then traveling to the Rainbow River, where students enjoyed more snorkeling in the fresh water spring fed river.

“There was a mile and a half stretch we snorkeled in,” explained SHS science instructor and trip leader Troy Rogers. “We saw shoals of tilapia, and there are bubbling springs, so there is bubbling water that is coming up to the surface. Then there are also caverns 20 feet down. It’s just a really neat experience and really my favorite one, but each time it’s different.” Read More

Sparrows to Celebrate 20 Years Sat.

August 6, 2014

Lovington-based outreach group to host public extravaganza

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

Sparrows Unlimited, a non-profit organization, will be celebrating 20 years of service to the Lovington community this Saturday, August 9 in downtown Lovington. The celebration will begin at noon and feature a car and bike show, inflatables for the kids, a DJ, hamburgers and hot dogs and a bags tournament with signups starting at 12:30 at Jerry’s East End. Read More

A Repeat Donator: Punches Cuts Again for Locks of Love

Submitted Local hair stylist Candy Cox (left) and Ricky Punches  (right), each hold up their recently cut locks of hair, which they plan to donate to Locks of Love.

Submitted
Local hair stylist Candy Cox (left) and Ricky Punches (right), each hold up their recently cut locks of hair, which they plan to donate to Locks of Love.

July 30, 2014

Joined by local stylist in hair donation

by Christina Whitford
Sullivan Reporter

For most people the never ending task of getting your hair cut becomes routine. But for those who have lost their hair due to medical illness, the gift that one person’s hair cut can give them is extraordinary and priceless.

Through the non- profit organization Locks of Love, many people choose to give the locks they cut to help children, including Ricky Punches of Sullivan, who recently made his second donation in two years.

The organization provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from an assortment of diagnoses. Locks of Love goal is simply to restore self confidence to children in these situations.

Over the years, many local residents have generously made hair donations to help others in need. Recently making a return trip to the salon for another round of donation was Punches, who first donated in January 2013.

“After my first donation, I began growing it again to cut and donate,” explained Punches.

He made the donation after learning about the program from his mother and seeing her rally to help find people to donate their hair.  Read More

A Legend Restored

Photo by Florence Hallford The Burcham Sisters, (from left to right) Julie Yantis, Carole Jacoby, and Sara Gale recently visited the newly completed and relocated horse shoe pits in Tom Conn Park, which they helped fund. Not pictured is Laura Stinson. Their father, the late Emmett Burcham was a reknown horseshoe thrower. The pits were officially reopened last Thursday.

Photo by Florence Hallford
The Burcham Sisters, (from left to right) Julie Yantis, Carole Jacoby, and Sara Gale recently visited the newly completed and relocated horse shoe pits in Tom Conn Park, which they helped fund. Not pictured is Laura Stinson. Their father, the late Emmett Burcham was a reknown horseshoe thrower. The pits were officially reopened last Thursday.

July 23, 2014

Lovington’s horseshoe pits reinstalled at Tom Conn Park

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

The old horseshoe pits in Lovington’s Tom Conn Park held the memories of many residents as they watched or played horseshoes with friends and family. But last year the pits were removed to accommodate the new skate park. Yet, towards the end of the planning for the skate park project, Sara Gale approached the board to reinstall the horseshoe pits in a different location to keep alive the memory of her father Emmett Burcham, who was a champion thrower.

“During the discussion of the skate park, they talked about relocating the pits,” said Gale. “But they lacked the funds. Then I thought my sisters and I could help.” 

The sisters, known as the ‘Burcham Girls’, were not against the skate park being put in but were concerned with moving the original horseshoe pits. 

“It was the idea that Dad had used them, not necessarily where they were located,” added Gale. Nonetheless, the sisters are now more than satisfied since the pits were relocated last Thursday, though still in Tom Conn Park.

The horseshoe pits were built to regulation and include the pins from the original pits. The only thing missing is the clay, which board member Dennis Garmon is working to locate. 

Jeremy Doggett executed the project while Garmon designed the pits. 

“They turned out exactly like it was on paper,” explained Garmon, who was supportive of the project and was interim mayor during the final talks on the skate park project.  Read More

A Life Spent Outdoors

Submitted Avid outdoorsman Joe Florini of Sullivan has been recently recognized by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for his 35-plus years of volunteer outreach by way of gun safety classes he helped teach and organize in Moultrie and surrounding counties.

Submitted
Avid outdoorsman Joe Florini of Sullivan has been recently recognized by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for his 35-plus years of volunteer outreach by way of gun safety classes he helped teach and organize in Moultrie and surrounding counties.

July 9, 2014

Florini recognized for outdoor outreach

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Florini is a name that has been tied to Sullivan and the surrounding area for almost 75 years beginning in the early 1940s with the opening of Jibby’s restaurant. But the recognizable family name has extended beyond the once local spot in the form of Joe Florini and his decades of outreach when it comes to the outdoors.

“Obviously, a Florini, all of them are well thought of,” said childhood friend Steve Wood. “Never a bad word from anybody.” Read More

Making the Cut

Photo by Keith Stewart The Buxton family rushed a large delivery of corn up to Chicago last fall after receiving a request from the movie set of the latest Transformer’s film. Pictured are father Steve Buxton and daughter Abbey.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Buxton family rushed a large delivery of corn up to Chicago last fall after receiving a request from the movie set of the latest Transformer’s film. Pictured are father Steve Buxton and daughter Abbey.

July 9, 2014

Local corn crop featured in Hollywood film

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

A late corn harvest is not typically what a farmer plans, but for local businessman Steve Buxton of Buxton’s Garden Farm it is the order of the day. And last year it brought some unexpected and unusual business, with potentially far-reaching results.

Each spring, with the majority of corn farmers busy planting out in the field, Buxton occupies himself with other concerns at his family-run farm, situated off Route 121 halfway between Bethany and Sullivan. However, come the first week of June he fires up the tractor and gets busy putting seed in the ground anticipating a harvest of tall, strong stalks of hearty Blue River hybrid corn. The drastic difference in planting schemes arises from their annual corn maze event. Since 2007, each October Buxton’s has fashioned a life-sized maze of living corn stalks, open to everyone during the day and to the more adventurous on Friday and Saturday nights.  Read More

Dawson Returns to CEFS as Outreach Coordinator

July 2, 2014

Replaces Waymire, who is promoted to director

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

C.E.F.S Economic Opportunity Corporation announces the return of Kristy Dawson to the Moultrie County C.E.F.S office as outreach coordinator after Barbara Waymire was promoted to position of Outreach Director in the Effingham office. Waymire had served as Moultrie County coordinator for four years. Read More

A Look Back at Moultrie’s Contribution

Provided by the Moultrie County Historical Society Pictured is the last gathering of Moultrie County Civil War veterans. The place and date, however, are not known.

Provided by the Moultrie County Historical Society
Pictured is the last gathering of Moultrie County Civil War veterans. The place and date, however, are not known.

July 2, 2014

County’s men fought in Civil War’s largest battles

by Tom Emery

Illinois supplied the fourth-highest number of men to the Union during the Civil War, sending some 259,000 men to the Northern cause. An estimated 773 of them came from Moultrie County, whose men fought with valor in some of the war’s most significant battles.

Moultrie County men fought in some of the state’s top regiments and in the war’s largest battles.

Company E of the 21st Illinois Infantry was predominately a Moultrie County company, which had the distinction of serving under Ulysses S. Grant in his first major field commission.  Read More

Saunders Retires as Lovington Library Director

June 25, 2014

Barlow to take over July 1

by Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Lovington

A library can often be the face and heart of a community– a place of knowledge, entertainment and social activities. And the face who represents a library plays a very vital role. Library directors are not just responsible for the books-but they are the ones who spend time with the patrons to develop personal relationships. From the stream of people who attended Lovington Library’s open house Saturday for retiring director Suzy Saunders, it was clear that there were plenty of those relationships built. Read More