Cancer Sucks Party at VFW

•August 10, 2016•

Cancer Sucks benefit for Steve “Ike” Hower is Saturday, September 10 at Sullivan V.F.W. Post 6410.

The Brothers Odd will perform 8 p.m. until midnight, providing favorite country styled music with a heavy dose of pedal slide guitar along with a string driven sound.

The evening starts with a fried chicken dinner with all the trimmings catered by the VFW from 5-7.

Activities include a silent auction, live auction, gun raffle and 50/50.

Hower is the father of Nolan Hower and Paula Moody and has been battling cancer for two years. Diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, he has undergone four surgeries and recent dialysis.

The proceeds with go to assist financially until he wins this battle.

Raffle and auction donations are being accepted. For more information call 217/520-9656 or 972-8112. Donations may be made at Sullivan First National Bank.

Red Cross Blood Drive

•August 10, 2016•

The Sullivan Church of God and the American Red Cross are sponsoring a blood drive at the Sullivan Church of God 8 am.-2 p.m. September 10.  Blood donors are encouraged to call drive coordinator, Jeri Davis, at 217-273-9456 to schedule an appointment. Donors may also go to to schedule an appointment.

This is a critical time for blood donations. Blood supplies can be at critical low levels due to summer traveling and vacations.

Walk ins are welcome and appreciated; however, having an appointment decreases donor wait time and ensures adequate Red Cross staffing. Child care for donors will be provided at the event.

Okaw Coop Annual Meeting

•August 10, 2016•

The 11th annual meeting of members and shareholders of the Okaw Farmers Cooperative, Inc. will be held Thursday Aguust 25 at Yoder’s Kitchen Restaurant in Arthur.

Dinner is served from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. preceding the business meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

Tony Brown, President of the Board of Directors, will outline goals for the company’s future.

General Manager Dave Kieffer will discuss company operations.

Registration Reminders Are Back!

•August 3, 2016•

Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office has reinstated the mailing of vehicle registration reminder notices to Illinois drivers. To offset the cost of the mailings, White is drafting legislation allowing his office to offer advertising space on the mailings. In addition, White is urging the public to sign-up for email notices to further reduce mailing costs.

The Secretary of State’s office discontinued mailing reminders in October 2015 due to the lack of funding as a direct result of the state budget impasse. The stop-gap budget recently passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor allows White’s office to reinstate the notices.

“The notices are an essential tool for the public to be sure their vehicles are in good standing and avoid paying late fees and fines resulting from tickets issued by law enforcement,” White said. “The driving public paid the price for the budget impasse, and it proved to be an unfair burden. With the funds from the stop-gap budget the notices will resume. In addition, we are reducing the number of mailings and seeking alternative funding sources for the postage costs.”

“Although we are now able to reinstate mailing the vehicle registration reminder notices, I continue to strongly urge motorists to sign up for email reminders,” said White. “Saving taxpayer dollars is always a priority of our administration.”

White noted that more than 2.3 million people have registered for the email notification, 800,000 of which signed up since October 2015.

Vehicle owners may sign up for email notifications by visiting the Secretary of State website, To register for the program, vehicle owners will need their assigned registration ID and PIN, which may be found on their current vehicle registration card. If that information is not available, they may call the Secretary of State public inquiry division at 800-252-8980 to obtain the Registration ID and PIN.

The one-time registration process will allow vehicle owners to receive a series of three email notices per vehicle each year highlighting the upcoming vehicle expiration date.

New First-Mid Loans Officer

Stepheny McMahon•August 3, 2016•

Stepheny McMahon has joined First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust as a Commercial Loan Officer and will provide a full range of commercial lending services to Sullivan and the surrounding areas.

In her position, McMahon will assist business customers in achieving their financial goals, from short-term financing to long-term real estate loans.

“Stepheny is a great addition to our staff,” said Larry Stenger, First Mid Sullivan Regional Senior Vice President.  “With her vast knowledge of central Illinois business relationships and her involvement in the community, she is a natural fit for First Mid.”

McMahon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Business from Illinois State University and has spent the last 13 years as the Executive Director of the Sullivan Chamber & Economic Development.  She is the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Economic Development Award, the 2016 Innovative Partnerships Award and the 2004 Community Builders Award.

About First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, N.A.:

First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. is the parent company of First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, N.A. (First Mid) and First Mid Insurance Group.  A community bank with more than $2 billion in assets headquartered in Mattoon, First Mid offers comprehensive banking, trust and wealth management services and insurance services. First Mid’s mission is to fulfill the financial needs of our communities with exceptional personal service, professionalism and integrity, and deliver meaningful value and results for customers and shareholders. First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, Inc. stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol FMBH.  More information about First Mid is available at

August is School Preparedness Month

•August 3, 2016•

In the next few weeks, students from pre-kindergarten through college will be headed back to school. As parents prepare their students for the new academic year, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies across the state are encouraging parents to include emergency preparedness in their back-to-school plans.

“Emergencies can occur any time of the day or night, including when children are in school,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “The start of a new school year is the perfect time to make sure you know your school’s plans for keeping students safe during an emergency and then talking to your child about those plans.”

Joseph offered several back-to-school planning tips for parents of school-aged children, including:

• Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.

• Ensure your current emergency contact information is on file at your child’s school.

• Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency, and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.

• Teach children with cell phones about ‘Text First, Talk Later.’ Short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are more likely to get through than a phone call if phone service is disrupted following an emergency. As phone congestion eases, you can follow up with a phone call to relay more information.

Students headed off to college also need to be prepared for emergencies. Many college campuses offer email and text messages to alert students of potential dangers such as severe weather and other threats. Encourage your college student to sign-up for such alerts. Some colleges also provide alert messages for parents so they also are aware of potential dangers on campus. In addition, make sure your student knows the emergency plans for their dorm or apartment building.

Emergency Services Change for Bethany

•July 27, 2016•

Bethany Fire and Ambulance Protection District, emergency medical services (EMS) was recently downgraded to the Basic Level, due to staffing issues.

The state Emergency Medical Services Systems Alternate Rural Staffing and Response issued the downgrade, which now requires one first responder and one Basic EMT.

Ambulance calls that are treatable and transportable at the a basic level may now be accomplished without an intermediate on board.

The benefit of alternate staffing is that the ambulance is still equipped at an Intermediate level and can run as an advanced care ambulance when an Intermediate is available.

The Basic response includes stabilizing the patient and begin transport with the option of requesting an advanced care intercept either from Sullivan or en route to Decatur.

This should result in fewer dropped calls and continue the tradition of excellent care for the patient,

Bethany has four EMT Basic staff starting intermediate/paramedic training. Currently five licensed first responders, 12 Basics, four Intermediates and two paramedics are on BFPD staff.

Anyone wishing to volunteer may contact the department at 665-3726.

Previously the BFPD ambulance was licensed at the Intermediate level which requires an EMT/I available 24/7 and response to every ambulance call.

Bethany, as with other volunteer departments,has a shortage of volunteers for both fire and emergency services.

When an Intermediate was not available, Bethany relied on mutual aid from surrounding departments, often with themselves short on staffing. Intermediates provide an advanced level of care including IV therapy and cardiac monitor interpretation.

Vehicles Entered Items Taken

•July 27, 2016•

The Sullivan Police Department received reports of several vehicle entries during the past week.

In most cases unlocked vehicles were entered with at least three vehicles reporting items missing.

Police urge residents to lock unattended vehicles and be on the alert for suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.

Sullivan Annual Cleanup

•July 27, 2016•

In the July 20 News Progress front page story “Sullivan Plans Citywide Cleanup” a mistake on the number of days for cleanup was made.

According to a letter from the Advanced Disposal’s Municipal Waste manager Ed Woker, the Charleston based company would pick up house to house at $1550 per load.

The city would be divided in half with one Saturday set for one part of town and another Saturday scheduled for the remainder.

The article incorrectly indicated this would be done once a month. The citywide cleanup is one time only.

Menus 7-27-2016

Senior Peace Meal
Monday, Aug. 1 - Beef tips in gravy, mashed potatoes, buttered baby carrots, pears, bran muffin.
Tuesday, Aug. 2 - Ham loaf w/glaze, German potato salad, green beans, applesauce, roll.
Wednesday, Aug. 3 - Goulash with beans, spinach salad w/Mandarin oranges and dressing packet, whole grain biscuit, warm fruit cobbler. Thursday, Aug. 4  - Turkey or cheese salad sandwich, vegetable soups w/legumes, cole slaw, diced peaches, bun and crackers.
Friday, Aug. 5 - Fried chicken, mashed potatoes w/gravy, peas, roll, fruit cream parfait.

Sullivan Pre-School Breakfast
Monday, Aug. 1 - Cereal, peach juice, milk.
Tuesday, Aug. 2 - Sausage & cheese biscuits, peach juice, milk.
Wednesday, Aug. 3 - Toast, peach juice, milk.
Thursday, Aug. 4  - Muffins, peach juice, milk.
Friday, Aug. 5 - Nutri-Grain bars, peach juice, milk.

Sullivan Pre-School Lunch
Monday, Aug. 1 - Chicken & noodles, mashed potatoes, pears, dinner rolls, milk.
Tuesday, Aug. 2 - BBQ Pork on bun, green beans, pineapple, milk. Wednesday, Aug. 3 - Macaroni & cheese, carrots, peaches, bread & butter, milk.
Thursday, Aug. 4  - Fish square on bun, mixed vegetables, Mandarin oranges, milk.
Friday, Aug. 5 - Taco, lettuce, mixed fruit, milk.