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

Little Theatre Actor Pops Big Question on Stage 

Photo by Keith Stewart Little Theatre actor John McAvaney looks on happily after proposing to his longtime girlfriend Kerry Maloney following a performance of “42nd Street” Saturday, June 14.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Little Theatre actor John McAvaney looks on happily after proposing to his longtime girlfriend Kerry Maloney following a performance of “42nd Street” Saturday, June 14.

June 25, 2014

Audience gets engagement as encore

By Mallory Murphy
Sullivan Reporter

A separate production of its own took place following the finale of “42nd Street” a week ago Saturday at The Little Theatre On The Square — a surprise wedding proposal onstage from returning New York actor, John McAvaney to longtime girlfriend, Kerry Maloney.

McAvaney, who played the role of Bert Berry in “42nd Street,” is currently performing in his eighth production at The Little Theatre and considers Sullivan to be his second home. Read More

St. Isidore Celebrates 150 Years with Special Mass

June 11, 2014

More than 200 attend

Submitted by
David McCabe

Over 150 years ago, 16 Irish Catholic immigrant families settled in what is now Dora Township, Moultrie County and what would eventually be home to St. Isidore Church. A week ago Sunday, hundreds attended a special Mass to recognize the sesquicentennial.

Submitted Pictured is a portion of those who attended the celebratory mass at St. Isidore May 25.

Submitted
Pictured is a portion of those who attended the celebratory mass at St. Isidore May 25.

Read More

Bringing to Life Research, History, and Heroes

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan fourth grader Ben Bushue portrays Davy Crockett during the live wax museum project at Sullivan Elementary.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan fourth grader Ben Bushue portrays Davy Crockett during the live wax museum project at Sullivan Elementary.

Three week project culminates with live wax museum at SES

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A week before school was set to let out for summer, Sullivan Elementary School was full of motley and miniature versions of both past and present historical and cultural figures as fourth grade students did their best to imitate an individual of whom they based a three week research project.

“This project was a huge undertaking for our students,” said fourth grade teacher Nichole Hendry. “In the five years I’ve been here it was the largest research and writing project that our fourth grade class has been asked to do.”

From Sacagawea, to Davy Crockett, to Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the SES gymnasium that Thursday was alive with brief one to three minute speeches detailing childhoods, marriages, and successes from dozens of the world’s most historically important figures. Read More

No More Pining Away at OVMS

Photo by RR Best Pictured are those who volunteered to replace the treeline at Okaw Valley Middle School two weeks ago. From left to right: Roger Kirkwood, Lillian Beckett, Nannette Ramsey, and Mike Cummins.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured are those who volunteered to replace the treeline at Okaw Valley Middle School two weeks ago. From left to right: Roger Kirkwood, Lillian Beckett, Nannette Ramsey, and Mike Cummins.

Tree donation replaces those removed last year

by Jake Dilley
Reporting in Findlay

Okay Valley Middle School received a donation from the Findlay Planning Committee two weeks ago in the form of 50 white pine trees.

With a $250 donation to the project from the Findlay Planning Committee and trees from Roger Kirkwood, the task was underway. The original windbreak, planted in 1943, had contracted a disease last year. With the trees literally falling over, they had to be cut down. Mike Cummins, the Okay Valley Middle School principal, was then approached by Kirkwood with a proposal on the new windbreak. 

“Mike was really receptive,” said Kirkwood. “Everything has gone smoothly. Phil Ozier brought in his stump grinder to take care of all the debris after the trees were cut down. Then with the help of Suzi Nolan and Carl Spencer, we got 50 white pine trees in the ground. I was happy to help.” Read More