Propane Heater Found to be Source of Wednesday’s Fire

Photo by Keith Stewart A local firefighter douses flames in the front room of a house located at 115 W. Mattox in Sullivan Wednesday evening.

Photo by Keith Stewart
A local firefighter douses flames in the front room of a house located at 115 W. Mattox in Sullivan Wednesday evening.

November 21, 2014

Sullivan home suffers extensive heat and smoke damage

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A fire left a Sullivan home badly damaged Wednesday evening.

According to Sullivan fire chief Mike Piper, the home located at 115 W. Mattox caught fire from a propane heater that was being used temporarily to heat the house since the furnace had previously gone out and was waiting to be replaced.

Piper said other than pinning the fire to the heater, which was located in the southwest room near the front of the house, his department is unsure what exactly caused the heater to cause the fire. The propane tank had been recently changed, however. Read More

Just Shy of 42 Years of Service, Thomas Retires

November 12, 2014

Photo by RR Best Outgoing sheriff Jeff Thomas holds a plaque congratulating him on his retirement at a public gathering in October.

Photo by RR Best
Outgoing sheriff Jeff Thomas holds a plaque congratulating him on his retirement at a public gathering in October.

Outgoing sheriff’s tenure up Nov. 30

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

There’s a new sheriff in town–almost. And another, well, not quite leaving, but turning in his badge.

After more than four decades of service with the Moultrie County Sheriff’s office Jeff Thomas is retiring. And when Thomas leaves office November 30, he will be 90 days short of having spent 42 years of service to Moultrie County.

Thomas joined the sheriff’s office in 1973 and was elected to the office of sheriff in 2002.

“I’ll do anything that I want that does not require that I be responsible for actions of 22 other people,” said Thomas of his upcoming retirement. “I plan to spend time playing golf, fishing, traveling, along with spending time with the grandkids.” Read More

Arthur Man Dies After Being Hit on Bike Friday

November 5, 2014

Car strikes man while passing another bike

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An Arthur man was struck while riding his bike to work last Friday and was later pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Moultrie County coroner Lynn Reed, 54-year-old Velvon J. Schrock was traveling south on county road 1800 north to work around 7 a.m. last Friday when he was struck head on by a car that was attempting to go around another bike that was heading north. Reed said that preliminarily it appeared that the driver had been focused on the bike he was passing and had not given consideration to the possibility of an oncoming bike in the southbound lane. Read More

Train Strikes Car, Sending Single Occupant to Hospital

November 5, 2014

Shelbyville man listed in critical condition

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

AShelbyville man’s vehicle was struck by a train last Tuesday in Dalton City, sending the single occupant to Carle Hospital in Urbana where he was listed in critical condition this week.

According to a Moultrie County sheriff’s crash report 43-year-old James N. Lewis’s 1997 Pontiac Grand Am collided with a locomotive near the railroad crossing situated closest to the intersection of Illinois Routes 128 and 121 in Dalton City at 4:55 a.m. October 28. Read More

Sullivan High School Class to Host Veterans Day Program November 11

November 5, 2014

A Veterans Day program is scheduled for November 11 at 1 p.m. in the Sullivan high school gym.

“We are doing this to give back,” said Sullivan High School senior Issac Shields about his Career English Class who is hosting the Veterans’ Day program.

The class, guided by high school English teacher Becky Lawson, has been working on the event for several weeks.

“We are giving honor to the ones who deserve honor,” added senior class member Brooke Leavitt. Read More

Third Annual IGA Round Up to Benefit Food Pantry

November 5, 2014

IGA staff to try and set record fundraising total

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For Moultrie County Food Pantry outreach coordinator Kristy Dawson, her typical week includes purchasing ground beef once a week and then traveling to both the Sullivan IGA and the Windsor Food Center for two grocery pickups a week.

But more recently, the purchases have been happening more often and in larger quantities due to a severe lack in donations.

“We’ve had several small food drives here and there in recent months, but it’s been three months since our last large food drive,” said Dawson, “so purchasing food has been happening more often than normal.” Read More

Sullivan American Legion to Rededicate Veterans’ Memorial Nov. 1

October 29, 2014

Time capsule from 1989 also to be opened

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

On November 11, 1989 the Sullivan American Legion dedicated the Veterans Memorial located at the southwest entrance of Wyman Park.

The memorial was a dream of Legion Commander Al Golden Sr. and the committee of legion members which included Al “Sonny” Golden Jr, Richard Shellabarger, and Mike Keown. The legion started planning the memorial in 1987 with legion members traveling around to other communities to see what their memorials were like. Read More

Red Apple Owners Enter into TIF Agreement with City

October 22, 2014

Part of reconstruction costs eligible for TIF funds

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Steve Sadikoska and Tim Halili of the Red Apple Restaurant were in attendance at the October 13 city council to hear discussion regarding possible Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to help with the reconstruction of the restaurant that burned down July 29.

Mayor Ann Short opened the discussion expressing the feelings of the city: “All of us feel so badly because of your unfortunate situation. That was just horrible.”

Short then went on to explain that the TIF program is when construction is completed and taxes are assessed by the county, the difference between what taxes were before the fire and what they are after construction is completed. In talking with the city’s TIF attorney it has been determined that the construction would be eligible for TIF funding for the reconstruction of the restaurant. Read More

County Board Approves FY15 Tentative Budget

October 15, 2014

Opts to levy less than max amount for now

Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

At the October county board meeting finance chairman Ron White presented a 2015 tentative budget for Moultrie County.

White noted that “The state allows each county to set 0.37 percent of total assessed property value. This would have created a maximum tax levy of $880,000. The finance committee after gathering figures from department heads has set a levy of $810,000. We have a good balance to carry forward into 2015”.

With no discussion White made a motion to accept the tentative budget for fiscal year 2015. Votes were all in favor with one board member absent while the vote was taken (Tim Rose arrived after the vote). Read More

ALAH Schools Implement Google App Tools as Key to Learning

October 15, 2014

Jr. high moves towards 1:1 learning to prepare for high school

by Ariana Cherry
Sullivan/Arthur Reporter

Junior high mathematics teachers Sarah Smith and Jami Budd opened the ALAH School Board meeting with discussion about the new Google Chrome notebooks and Google accounts that have recently been set up with the junior high classes. Seventh and eighth graders are learning about using Google email, documents, slide, groups, and sharing documents.

“It will be good for group projects so that kids can work together from home and be live via Google. It is unbelievably exciting to watch. We are trying to prepare them for high school because we know that is the direction we are going towards,” said Smith. Read More