Douglas Co. Health Dept. Awarded Grant

•November 25, 2015•

The Douglas County Health Department in Tuscola was awarded $10,000 from the Delta Dental Foundation.

In partnership with the Wellness on Wheels bus, the Douglas County Health Department Dental Clinic will use the grant to provide oral health awareness and education to the Amish population within Coles, Douglas and Moultrie counties. Children from nine different parochial schools between the ages of five and 18 will receive exams, cleanings and sealants through the bus, and any children needing restorative services will be seen at the on-site dental clinic.

As part of its commitment to improve children’s oral health in Illinois, the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, awarded $149,165 to 16 organizations through its Community Grants Program. These organizations were selected as a result of their dedication and commitment to help improve access to oral health care and/or education for Illinois children.

“A staggering amount of children in Illinois suffer from preventable dental disease, as well as face significant barriers to access the oral health care they need,” said Lora Vitek, director of philanthropy and community relations for the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation developed its Community Grants Program as a way to help combat tooth decay and improve access to care. We are proud to support each of these 16 organizations as they help us further our mission of improving oral health in Illinois by providing essential oral health services to children across the state.”

Time to Mail Santa Letters

•November 25, 2015•

Santa Claus is waiting for letters, and we are doing all we can at the Moultrie Country News Progress to make sure he gets those letters.

Starting Monday, November 30 the News Progress Letters to Santa mailbox will be set up at the Monroe Street office in Sullivan.

We will accept Letters to Santa until 5 p.m. Friday, December 11. The letters will be reviewed by Santa and his elves and will appear in the Wednesday, December 16 edition of the News Progress.

The more tech savvy children may email their letter to Santa at observing the same December 11 deadline.

October OV HS Students of the Month

•November 25, 2015•

Photos submitted

Photos submitted

Sophomore Danielle Lochbaum, daughter of Greg Williams and Jessie Gipson, and senior Preston Underwood, grandson of Don and JoAnn Gibbons, are students of the month for October at Okaw Valley High School.

Lochbaum is a member of the basketball and softball teams.  She enjoys reading, and she plans to become a veterinarian.
Underwood attends Heartland Tech Academy at Richland College during the morning hours and is enrolled in their auto tech program.  This quarter he was awarded student of the quarter in his class at HTA.  He enjoys playing guitar and riding his motorcycle.

Christmas Parade

•November 25, 2015•

The annual Hometown Holiday’s Christmas Parade sponsored by Petersen Health Care will be held at noon Saturday, December 5.

Line-up will be in the Sullivan High School parking lot and will follow the normal parade route. Those interested in being in the parade should contact Angie Clawson at 217-454-3845 or email

No entries will be turned down, and there is no deadline to enter. Along with the parade, Faith Lutheran Church/Thrivent Financial will sell dog and cat treats in front of the Little Theatre to raise money for Homeward Bound Animal Shelter.

First Christian Church will give away hot chocolate and coffee on the south side of the square.

Deer Crashes Up

•November 18, 2015•

Moultrie County sheriff Chris Sims would like to remind motorists to watch out for deer on the county’s highways.

“We handled six car-deer crashes on Tuesday,” Sims said, reminding everyone deer activity increases this time of year.

Deer are highly unlikely to try to avoid an accident so it is up to the motorist.

Gays Man Killed

•November 18, 2015•

A 21 year-old man from Gays was killed in a head on collision south of Arcola Monday afternoon.

Caleb Rakeshaw was traveling south on U.S. 45 a half mile south of Illinois 133 when his car crossed into the northbound lane.

That is when he hit a northbound truck driven by Michael Pointon, 40, of Lerna. Pointon was not injured.

The 12:25 p.m. Monday accident blocked traffic on U.S. Route 45 for hours. Douglas County Coroner Joseph Victor and the Illinois State Police are continuing the investigation.

Temporary Closings at Lake Shelbyville

•November 18, 2015•

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of Natural Resources will hold the 26th annual Lake Shelbyville deer hunt for people with disabilities during the first firearm deer season November 20-22.

The hunt will be conducted in portions of recreation areas at Lake Shelbyville that are closed for the season.  As a safety precaution, Lone Point and Lithia Springs Campgrounds, Sullivan Beach, Wilborn Creek, Coon Creek, and Opossum Creek Recreation Areas will be closed to all automobile and pedestrian traffic from 8 p.m. Thursday, November 19 to 7 p.m. Sunday, November 22.

This temporary closing includes boat ramps located within Wilborn Creek, Coon Creek, and Opossum Creek Recreation Areas.

Boat ramps remaining open to serve lake users during the time period are Dam West, Bo Wood, Lone Point, Lithia Springs, Whitley Creek, Wolf Creek and Eagle Creek state parks.  All primitive ramps will remain open as well.

For more information contact Lake Shelbyville Natural Resource Specialist Ashley Florey at (217) 774-3951 Ext: 7005.

Truck Rolls Outside Bethany

•November 18, 2015•

Moultrie County sheriff’s deputies investigated a rollover crash on Highway 121 Sunday night.

According to the county accident report Georgia Elwood-Smith, 38, of Decatur was driving a 1995 Chevrolet S-10 pickup north on Route 121 , a quarter mile west of New Hope Road when the accident occurred.

The driver said she drifted into the oncoming traffic lane, and when she turned the wheel to correct, the truck went out of control, rolling over into the ditch. The truck was a total loss.

Elwood-Smith was ticketed by Moultrie County Sheriff’s Dept. for improper lane usage and driving on a suspended driver’s license. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries. A passenger in the truck was uninjured.

Lake Land College Awarded Geothermal Incentive Grant

Photo Submitted

Photo Submitted

•November 18, 2015•

The Lake Land College Board of Trustees accepted a geothermal incentive grant in the amount of $50,000 through the GeoAlliance Program between the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

The award covers up to $50,000 or one-third of the incremental cost difference between furnace/central air installation and geothermal installation in campus buildings. The presentation of this award was preceded by the board of trustees’ acceptance of the same award in March 2013.

To learn more about Lake Land College, visit

Lovington man found guilty

•November 11, 2015•

Larry D. Smith, 66, of Lovington was found guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in Moultrie County court on November 4.

Smith was arrested October 28, 2014 with the jury trial presided over by Judge Dan L. Flannell.

Smith was represented by Philip Tibbs with Jeremy Richey prosecuting for Moultrie County.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 in Moultrie County court.