Bethany Applies TIF Funds to Park Trail Project

•July 27, 2016•

By Derek Pope
For the News Progress

Bethany’s village board gave a nod to nature enthusiasts this month by approving TIF funds to expand and improve Crowder Park’s walking trail. According to the Township Investment Fund chairman Greg McLain, the park district had envisioned alterations to the existing trail that would expand its “most visible, top portion” westward “down by the batting cages or skate park”.

While modest in scope, the cost of the project was the motivating factor for Marrowbone Park District to seek outside funding for the renovations.

The park district is itself a taxing body, levying a portion of village residents’ yearly property taxes for funding, but McLain said that the park board reported only around $16,000 in on hand money when they submitted their proposal to the TIF committee.

Although the TIF committee has been somewhat deterred from funding major projects for other taxing bodies in the past, McLain said that the relatively small cost of the proposal influenced the TIF’s final decision.

“We have helped private businesses with a lot more money than what they were asking for so the committee recommended to grant them the entire $6,840.” McLain also mentioned the village’s 2013 decision to provide a much more sizable TIF grant to Marrowbone Public Library, another taxing body in the village, as precedent for the committee’s recommendation.  Read More

Pokemon Go Keeps Going in County

Photo by Kennedy Nolen All it takes is a smart phone, a free app, and a desire to solve the mysteries of Pokemon Go.

Photo by Kennedy Nolen
All it takes is a smart phone, a free app, and a desire to solve the mysteries of Pokemon Go.

•July 27, 2016•

By Kennedy Nolen
For the News Progress

It’s like an invasion. As the sun sets in Sullivan the young people come on to the streets armed with smart phones as Pokemon Go takes them to stops all over town.

Pokémon Go, a game/application by Niantic, has taken the world by storm since its July 6 release. This free application merges the Pokémon world with reality and gives players an opportunity to relive their childhood.

The game uses players’ smart phone GPS locations and maps to track their current location. Based on the location, a range of 250 Pokémon will appear along with the level of its power.

After catching a certain amount of Pokémon, players will eventually run out of Pokéballs which they will need to restock. This may be done via buying them with coins purchased with actual money, by earning them at battling in gyms, or by visiting special monuments known as ‘Pokéstops’. Read More

Explosive Scare in Sullivan Neighborhood

Photo by Mike Brothers Sullivan Chief of Police John Love (right) shows Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims the bundle of flares that looked like dynamite to the person who reported its location to authorities last week.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Sullivan Chief of Police John Love (right) shows Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims the bundle of flares that looked like dynamite to the person who reported its location to authorities last week.

•July 27, 2016•

A call to Sullivan police early Wednesday, July 20 led to a few tense hours in the neighbor surrounding 216 W. Harrison Street when a possible explosive was discovered.

Chief of Police John Love explained the department received a report that what was believed to be dynamite was located in a shed at the residence.

Chief Love reported the incident to the Secretary of State’s office with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency bomb squad dispatched to Sullivan immediately.

“We were instructed to establish a 300 foot perimeter and wait for the bomb squad to arrive,” Love said, thanking all the agencies who got involved in the incident. Read More

Passports Available Through Sullivan Post Office

Photo by Mike Brothers Passports are available at the Sullivan Post Office. Postmaster Cindy Temple explained the forms may  be completed in advance to save time in processing.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Passports are available at the Sullivan Post Office. Postmaster Cindy Temple explained the forms may be completed in advance to save time in processing.

•July 27, 2016•

With national political conventions stirring things up, some folks may be looking to leave the country for a while.

Moultrie County residents have new hope in that direction, with the addition of passport services at the Sullivan Post office.

“We are glad to provide this additional service to our patrons,” Sullivan postmaster Cindy Temple said.

A year ago the Moultrie County Circuit Clerk’s office discontinued passport service, and by April 2016 Sullivan Post Office was approved by the U.S. State Department to process passport applications.

“First we went through the State Dept. approval process, then all our clerks were trained, tested and certified on the specific requirements for passport applications,” Temple explained, noting Sullivan Post Office has averaged four passport applications per week since April. Read More

Group Makes An Appeal to Heaven at Moultrie Courthouse

Photo by Mike Brothers A group touring the state with An Appeal to Heaven stopped in Sullivan last week. Pictured following prayer at the Moultrie County Courthouse flagpole from left to right Christiane Sheets, Roy Lyerla, Moultrie County Courthouse officer Mike Brewer, Jim Skaggs, Pat Sheets, Ron Turnbow, Lee Clawson.

Photo by Mike Brothers
A group touring the state with An Appeal to Heaven stopped in Sullivan last week. Pictured following prayer at the Moultrie County Courthouse flagpole from left to right Christiane Sheets, Roy Lyerla, Moultrie County Courthouse officer Mike Brewer, Jim Skaggs, Pat Sheets, Ron Turnbow, Lee Clawson.

•July 27, 2016•

It was high noon Thursday on the Moultrie County Courthouse lawn, and in spite of the 90 degree heat people of faith from around the state gathered around the flag pole for “An Appeal to Heaven”.

Pastor Patrick Sheets of Peoria began his trek visiting all 102 counties in Illinois April 8, 2016.

The Moultrie County courthouse July 21 was the 58th visit.

“The state of this state and this nation has reached crisis stage,” Sheets said, explaining he had presented county clerk Georgia Clerk with  “An Appeal to Heaven” flag for the county.

The group then gathered around the courthouse flag pole and prayed for the condition of the country to improve. Read More

Sullivan Schools Construction Moves Forward

Handbook Revisions Approved

•July 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

As a variety of improvements continue, the Sullivan School District 300 board met in the elementary school library with one less member.

Board member Scott Atchison resigned, creating a vacancy on the board. The board is accepting applications for the vacancy with the appointment effective until the April 2017 election.

Supt. Brad Tuttle noted the need for asbestos removal from locker rooms was an unexpected glitch in the district construction, but students should be able to attend classes as scheduled on August 22.

Director of maintenance Kevin Landrus continued, explaining ceiling grids are being installed with a test of all systems planned before installing ceiling tile.

Landrus noted additional tuckpointing on the inner roof wall of the high school was needed before the new roof membrane was installed.

“As we are getting closer to completion, the trick is keeping contractors from getting in each other’s way,” he said, noting all the trades were working well together. Read More

Water Fun at Wyman

•July 20, 2016•

Photos by RR Best
Sullivan Summer Park program director Melissa Haegen records video of water play day at Wyman Park last week. Sullivan Fire Department personnel brought the ladder truck and treated the 100 kids participating in the summer program to a day filled with water based fun. Fire fighters finished the afternoon off serving the group hot dog lunches.

water wall wall of water&SlipSlide wall o water view from ladder

slipSlide

kids eat

hot dogs for 100 kids Haegen videos

Sullivan Plans Citywide Cleanup

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The Sullivan City Council voted to use services from Advanced Disposal for city clean-up day.

According to a letter from the Charleston’s Municipal Waste manager Ed Woker Advanced’s house-to-house service is at a rate of $1,550 per load for two Saturdays a month.

Mayor Ann Short noted it would be best to do one half of the city on one Saturday and then complete the other half the following Saturday.

Commissioner Bill Hagen contacted Advanced Disposal’s regional office after the city received a quote from a Peoria disposal company presented at the June 27 meeting.

Advanced pricing was $745 per truck load less for curbside service, and Hagen is scheduling the service days as soon as possible. Read More

Little Theatre Bridges Generations With “All Shook Up”

All Shook Up pic•July 20, 2016•

By Cheryl Murphy
NP Columnist

If you’re a true Elvis fan, you’ll have fun. Even if you’re not, as several patrons expressed, you’ll still have fun as this is NOT a showcase for an Elvis impersonator.

True, “All Shook up” is inspired by and features the songs of Elvis Presley; it’s a jukebox musical full of 50’s and 60’s hit songs from ballads to blues to rockabilly. Some of Presley’s biggest hits are performed such as “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and the title’s song. But you’ll find quite a diverse group, too; these come from Presley’s soundtracks and LPs that would be unfamiliar to non-Elvis fans.

Amongst all this vintage singing and dancing there is a story that has a host of characters all searching for love. It is set in the 1950’s, somewhere in the Midwest where one girl’s dream and a surprise visit from a leather-jacketed, guitar-playing, motorcyclist helps a small town discover the magic of romance and the power of Rock N Roll.

One critic commented the dialogue seems to just set up the next song, 24 in all, and it’s too much music to make it on Broadway or with the general theatre audience. I disagree; I saw a complex plot to completion with lots of amazing singing and dancing in the normal time frame. Read More

ALAH Budget Looking Up, but Still Room for Improvement

•July 20, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry,
For the News Progress

“All funds are in the black,” noted Superintendent Kenny Schwengel at the last Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board meeting. “There is $1,669, 501.91 in the education fund balance. We are still short $240,000 from the incentive money that we did not receive.”

Schwengel also stated that the district was expecting around $670,000 in incentive funding for the 2016-2017 school year. “Things are still looking up from a budget standpoint, but there is still room to improve,” he said.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

• The athletic department wanted to know the board’s opinion on including the local bar and gun shop as part of their ad sales for their fundraisers. Members of the board didn’t have any issues with it. Read More