Can a Solar Customer Operate Economically in Sullivan?

Sullivan City Council researching net-metering policies

•May 18, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Recently, resident Mike Fowler approached the Sullivan City Council about installing solar power in his home. Fowler has never had solar energy anywhere else, but he does know it can save money.

“I have a niece and nephew-in-aw in the St. Louis area who installed a solar system two years ago, 2014, and I spoke with them, and they are very happy with their system and the amount of money they are saving on their electric bill,” he commented. “ During the summer months when the sun is shining bright on their solar panels and their air-conditioning is running full force, they get electric bills of three to six dollars per month,” he added.

Fowler is no stranger to how utilities work. He does, after all, have a background in the electrical industry. “I graduated from Lake Land Community College with an associates in electronics before becoming a journeyman electrician after serving a four-year IBEW apprenticeship. If you go back even further, I worked at the Sullivan electric plant my senior year in high school, mopping floors, and then I’d go for in for the maintenance crew on day shift and help the meter readers on second shift,” he said.

Fowler realizes that a few years have passed since he last spent time in the industry. Read More

Sullivan Board Changes Behavior Policy, Hears Dance Team Proposal

•May 18, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan School Board adopted new student behavior policies and learned a dance group may be forming.

Nathan Ogle, assistant principal, explained to board members the student behavior policy changes proposed were mandated by recent legislation addressing student behavior (formerly known as student discipline), suspension procedures and expulsion procedures.

Ogle commended the district teachers who put in extra time and effort to improve performance of struggling students over the past year.

High school principal Erik Young reported that interest had been expressed in starting a Sullivan dance team.

He explained that according to policy the formation of a new group must be self-sufficient for the first three years, and at that time the board would decide whether the new program becomes part of the regular extracurricular schedule.

Kassie Thomas, recently hired children’s choir director, is also a dance instructor and submitted the proposal for dance team.  Read More

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington Included Sullivan Veteran

Vet Johns Ruscin

John D. Ruscin

•May 18, 2016•

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) of Springfield flew with 80 veterans of World War II, Korean and Vietnam War eras on their Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC Tuesday, May 17. They departed Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport shortly after 6 a.m. on board a chartered 737 jetliner, then were met by three coach buses in DC.

John D. Ruscin of Sullivan was on board the jetliner. Ruscin joined the Navy and spent the end of World War II in the Pacific in preparation for the invasion of Japan, which was averted by dropping the atomic bomb.

Ruscin went on an Landing Ship Tank (LST) sweeping the waters around Japan for underwater mines.

After the war, Ruscin came to Sullivan to teach and coach at Sullivan Junior High School. That is where he met his wife Anna who was an art teacher.

Included during the day were stops at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War National Memorials, the Air Force and Marine (Iwo Jima) Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery. They visited the cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and witnessed the changing of the guard. During the day the veterans had the opportunity to tour the National Air & Space Museum that houses aircraft from WWI to the Superfortress bomber Enola Gay of WWII all the way up through the retired Space Shuttle Discovery. They also had the chance to view the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln memorials, the Pentagon and much more prior to departing back to the Springfield airport.

Read More

County Board Approves Tech Upgrades

•May 18, 2016•

The Moultrie County Board approved a $13,874.34 bid from Quality Network Solutions of Sullivan to replace three older servers with one bigger unit.

Building and grounds chair Gary Smith made the motion with members approving the purchase unanimously.

Board chairman Dave McCabe explained the county’s computer systems have experienced capacity and speed issues for some time. He noted QNS agreed to defer payment until the county is satisfied the problems are fixed with the new server.

Planning and zoning committee chair Todd Maxedon moved that a special use permit be approved for Vickie Kinnaman allowing a mobile home in Gays. The motion passed unanimously.

Mike Brewer and Arlene Aschermann were reappointed to the Board of Review. Board chair McCabe was approved as chairman pro temp of the personnel committee in the absence of Roger Glazebrook. McCabe explained  the retirement of Supervisor of Assessments Cindy Kidwell will require meetings as her replacement is sought. Read More

Good Weather for Graduation in Sullivan

Photo by Mike Brothers Pomp and Circumstance-Sullivan High School seniors Evan Baker holding the flag and Ben Berner line up during the processional Sunday. It was the 138th high school commencement held at 5 p.m. May 15 on the high school football field.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Pomp and Circumstance-Sullivan High School seniors Evan Baker holding the flag and Ben Berner line up during the processional Sunday. It was the 138th high school commencement held at 5 p.m. May 15 on the high school football field.

•May 18, 2016•

The weather blessed Sullivan High School with outdoor graduation ceremonies at 5 p.m. Sunday with 83 seniors receiving diplomas.

District 300 board president Steve Poland announced the salutatorian Zane Uphoff and valedictorian Emily Stutzman.

In her valedictory address Stutzman recalled arriving at Sullivan High School as a new student.

“When I arrived here three years ago, I was amazed how quickly news travels,” she began, “I wasn’t used to everyone knowing everyone.”

She explained the dread she felt in the beginning was relieved when unfamiliar classmates quickly became friends. “Now I’m not quite ready to leave.”

“How we see others is a reflection of how we see ourselves,” Stutzman said, pointing out the friends and memories of high school are priceless.

“Ours is a bright, untouched future, where the possibilities are endless,” she continued, encouraging her classmates to work for their dreams. Read More

Progress on the Square

Photo by RR Best Progress on the Square Traffic around the Sullivan square has been challenging lately. Sidewalks are completed and resurfacing the streets downtown are underway. Ne-Co Asphalt of Charleston was awarded the $919,122.30 contract with the city of Sullivan.

Photo by RR Best
Progress on the Square
Traffic around the Sullivan square has been challenging lately. Sidewalks are completed and resurfacing the streets downtown are underway. Ne-Co Asphalt of Charleston was awarded the $919,122.30 contract with the city of Sullivan.

WHS Prom 2016

Photo furnished Windsor Prom Court The Windsor High School prom was held in April. Prom Court: Back Row (L to R):  King Candidates Tristan Warner and Tyler Kemper, 2015 King Devin Deremiah, 2015 Queen Paige Woolard, Queen Candidates Breana Wiltermood and Raquel Jackson.  Front Row (L to R):  Crown Bearer Grayson McCray, 2016 King Zach Caywood, 2016 Queen Autumn Bennett, and Crown Bearer Emma Hickman.

Photo furnished
Windsor Prom Court
The Windsor High School prom was held in April. Prom Court: Back Row (L to R): King Candidates Tristan Warner and Tyler Kemper, 2015 King Devin Deremiah, 2015 Queen Paige Woolard, Queen Candidates Breana Wiltermood and Raquel Jackson. Front Row (L to R): Crown Bearer Grayson McCray, 2016 King Zach Caywood, 2016 Queen Autumn Bennett, and Crown Bearer Emma Hickman.

A Twist of Fun Followed by the Sound of Laughter

Photo By Mike Brothers Deb Joy Hart brought the WorldLaughterTour to Mason Point as part of National Nursing Home Week activities.

Photo By Mike Brothers
Deb Joy Hart brought the WorldLaughterTour to Mason Point as part of National Nursing Home Week activities.

•May 18, 2016•

National Nursing Home Week brought a variety of activities to area facilities May 8-14. The sounds of laughter arrived when Mason Point residents in Sullivan met Deborah Joy Hart.

Hart, a laughter therapist, is part of the WorldLaughterTour and stopped by Mason Point May 10 for…you guessed it…a few laughs.

“Laughter has psychological and physiological benefits for the body, mind and spirit.” Hart of St. Joseph, Ill. has spread laughter therapy all over the world.

“I was the class clown in school, and while I was a nurse I saw the positive effect humor had in healing and health,” she said of her start in applied and therapeutic humor. Read More

ALAH District Board Reviews School Lunch Programs

•May 18, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Last school year after experiencing rising costs in services with Aramark, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond questioned the possibilities of finding alternatives. The new 2016-2017 contract with a 2.6% increase (due to cost of living) was brought to the table at the last ALAH board meeting.

“With new regulations and menus that have come about in the last few years, it would be a huge undertaking to find other companies,” commented superintendent Kenny Schwengel .

“High school lunch numbers have gotten bigger since there is an open menu. More kids eat here,” noted principal Buck Condill.

“The menu has changed drastically since last year,” said Lindsay Blickenstaff, Atwood-Hammond elementary principal. “Some complaints I have heard are portion size—some students may not be getting enough to eat. Although our breakfast numbers are large, there are a lot of people who eat breakfast,” she added.

At Lovington Elementary School, the story was a little different. “Our lunch numbers are down,” informed principal Brandon Stone. “The main complaint heard in Lovington is the variety. Variety is lacking. Even the students who receive free and reduced lunches are bringing their own lunch. That is rare,” he said.

Sage Hale, principal of Arthur Elementary School reported little change in numbers served. After some discussion among the administrators and school board, the 2016-2017 contract was approved unanimously. Read More