3 Degree Guarantee Donations

Help Food Pantry Feed People

•February 3, 2016•

WAND TV’s 3 Degree Guarantee is getting better and better for the Moultrie County Food Pantry.

Kristy Dawson, Moultrie Food Pantry director, reported a total of $950 was reached by the end of the month from the challenge for the Food Pantry.

Presentation will be made during the WAND -TV 6 p.m. newscast Wednesday, February 3 by the station and co-sponsor IBEW Local 146.

A Moultrie County challenge has also been issued to match the WAND 3 Degree Guarantee in an effort to double up on the effort to help those who need food in Moultrie County. That challenge may be responded to by calling 728-7381. Read More

City Seeks Housing Improvement Grants

•January 27, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Kevin McReynolds, housing manager for Coles County Regional Planning and Development Commission, presented the Sullivan City Council with a housing grant opportunity during the January 11 council meeting. The grants are available for single family owner occupied homes and up to $45,000 may be spent for home improvement repairs such as replacing the roof, furnace, electrical and windows. McReynolds stated that these grants are important for improving neighborhoods and bringing homes up to code. Mayor Ann Short felt that there were families who could benefit from the grants. In order to get started, there would be a $3,500 application fee, the only cost to the city. After conducting a survey, McReynolds said there are about three neighborhoods in the city that qualify for these grants based on their income. Commissioner Bill Hagen made a motion to hire McReynolds and his organization. The council voted to start the application process.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon:

· Zak Horn expressed interest in purchasing Rotary Park. He has submitted a proposal to bury a vault. He needs the property because his business, Metro Communications has been expanding.  Read More

Sullivan Has Break Even Year Financially

•January 27, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Jim Russell of West and Company presented the Sullivan City Council with its annual audit at Monday night’s meeting. He stated that the city’s growth last year as a whole was marginal.

From an asset/liability standpoint, it had a marginal $1.8 million dollar increase, and its net profit had a small decrease of $300,000. The city’s expenses saw a $1.6 million dollar increase (which equaled out to about 10%). Sullivan had about $17.6 million dollars in total revenue which came from city revenue and government funds.

Thirteen million of that were earned from utility sales. Business activities in Sullivan saw a 13% increase, yet revenues showed no growth but stayed consistent. Russell said the city had a break-even year, and its financial state is stable.  Read More

ALAH School District Receives Incentive Funding

•January 20, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Superintendent Kenny Schwengel shared some good news at the last Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond school board meeting.

The district received an unexpected $101,800 in incentive funding, although the state still owed them $240,000.

“Our current checkbook balance is $6,578,329.69,” he said. “ All funds are in the black.”

With a state budget still not in place, Illinois will no longer pay for students to take the ACT as they have in the past. For the last 15 years, the state has paid for the test. Once the state could no longer pay for the ACT, legislators passed a bill requiring the state to offer some type of college entrance exam. The Illinois Board of Education broke its longtime partnership with ACT by putting the test up for bids.

The SAT’s offered a contract $1.37 million less than ACT’’s bid. Although, the state can’t sign anything until it reviews and evaluates a protest from ACT. This puts a lot of this year’s juniors in a tough spot for college testing as well as the district as they try to help their students prepare for testing.

High school principal Buck Condill stated that they are still awaiting instruction from the state regarding funding or if they are planning on giving the SAT to their students. Read More

County Board Gets Governor’s Task Force Report

•January 20, 2016•

The Moultrie  County Board learned about the governor’s task force on local government consolidation and unfunded mandates from Steffanie Seegmiller at the January 14 meeting.

Seegmiller is president of the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond school board and was asked to be one of two representatives from education on the 24 member task force that met 16 times at various locations around the state.

She explained that the task force under the direction of Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti began by executive order of the governor in February 2015, and the report was submitted to Governor Rauner in December.

Seegmiller said school consolidation is encouraged in the report and noted the ALAH district underwent two consolidations within two years, an experience that prompted her invitation from the governor to participate in the task force. Read More

County Flood Damage May Qualify for Disaster Aid

•January 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie is among 23 counties in Illinois that could qualify for Illinois Emergency Management Agency assistance because of recent flooding.

Jan Haegan, Moultrie’s planning and zoning director who is responsible for collecting flood damage information in the county, reported Moultrie County received $165,741.12 in uninsured storm and flood damage.

In his report to the Moultrie County Board January 14, Haegan explained that the minimum $53,000 in damages was surpassed in the county.

Once submitted to the IEMA public assistance program, Haegan explained the total damage in the 23 disaster declared counties would need to exceed $18 million in damages before federal disaster money would be available. Read More

Accurate Forecasts Mean Cash for Food Pantry

•January 20, 2016•

WAND TV’s 3 Degree Guarantee is proving to be a good thing for the Moultrie County Food Pantry.

During the month of January when chief meteorologist JC Fultz gets the weather forecast correct within three degrees, the television station and IBEW Local 146 contribute $50 to the charity of the month.

The Moultrie County Food Pantry was chosen for the month of January and the 3 Degree Guarantee has earned $450 in donations as of January 14.

A local challenge has also been issued from someone or group to come forward to match the 3 Degree Guarantee in an effort to double up on the effort to help those who need food in Moultrie County.

“To be able to help the Moultrie County Food Pantry that helps so many is near and dear to my heart,” Fultz said of WAND’s choice of the Sullivan based charity. Read More

Lovington Village Reduces Liquor Licenses, Changes Meeting Dates

•January 20, 2016•

When the Lovington village board met in December they voted to change meetings to the second Monday of the month and reduced the number of Class A liquor licenses from three to two.

The meeting change was to accommodate preparation of the village treasurer’s report with Jim McMahan moving to approve the change with April Daily seconding and all members voting in favor.

On the recommendation to reduce the number of Class A liquor licenses from three to two by Roger Walker with a second by Dennis Garmon: Garmon, Walker, Daily and Pam Anklam voted for the measure with Jim McMahan voting no.

Christmas bonuses of $200 full time and $100 part time village employees were approved unanimously.

A $450 donation to Breakfast for Santa sponsored by the Park District was approved. Read More

Seth Dunscomb New Year’s Opener Held at Civic Center

BlueDolphinsNewYearCelebrates Blue Dolphin Legacy

•January 6, 2016•

Sullivan Blue Dolphins kicked off the new year competing in the Seth Dunscomb New Year Opener in Decatur.  Out of 14 teams the Dolphins brought home first place recognition with 1093 points earned.

The meet is held in honor of Seth Dunscomb, son of Richard and Connie Dunscomb.

Dunscomb died at the age of 21 in 1997 from a heart ailment while poolside during a practice for the University of Kansas swim team.   Read More

Sullivan Moves to Sell Dilapidated Property

•January 6, 2016•

Sullivan City Council met December 28 agreeing to sell dilapidated property on Graham Street, while discovering the bid process needs some work.

Mayor Ann Short explained the original $3000 bid from Nick Grooms was made public before the city attorney advised the council to rebid the sale of the property.

Grooms had submitted his original bid of $3000, which included a provision the property would have to be cleaned up within 60 days.

Greg Yoder also submitted a bid for $6300 during the new round of bidding, causing the council to weigh the bid process results with doing the right thing.

“Since Mr. Groom’s bid had been made public, we felt the only fair thing to do was to honor that original offer,” Short explained of the unanimous vote to let Grooms have the lot for $3000.

Yoder operates a demolition company and said he planned to remove the dilapidated house and probably build a duplex there.

“I was a little ticked off when I first heard what happened, but I understand the situation,” Yoder said. Read More