Police Warn of New Mail Scam

Letter asks to cash check and return portion as processing fee

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sullivan police are warning citizens of Sullivan and the surrounding communities of what appears to be a new scam.
According to Sullivan police chief John Love, a citizen recently received a notice in the mail informing them that they were the second prize winner of a European, African, and US Consumers Sweepstake. The notice added that as a result, they had won $250,000.
The notice also goes out of its way to try and reassure the recipient that bank details are not needed and that they should not be given to anyone on behalf of the sweepstakes. However, the notice does instruct the recipient that in order to collect their quarter-million dollar prize, they only have to cash the enclosed $3600 check and then return the $3300 as the processing fee. Read More

Burch Charged with Sexual Assault

Rural Shelbyville man brought up on second count

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A rural Shelbyville man who was arrested and charged with aggravated criminal sexual
abuse last month is now facing a second count of criminal sexual assault.
Wade T. Burch, 25, of rural Shelbyville appeared in court a week ago Monday with his attorney Sean Britton. There, Burch was read the second charge filed against him and a preliminary hearing was set for next month. Read More

Sullivan Seniors Receive Recognition on Awards Night

May 13, 2015

Listed below are the various scholarships/awards followed by the students who received them during Sullivan High School’s annual Awards Night, which was held May 6:
American Legion Post #68-Keegan Kruckeberg;Barbara Steffens Scholarship-Ariel Heppe; Billy Harris Educational Scholarship-Elissa Stewart and Tori Murphy; Blake Lane Scholarship-Jed Wheeler; Calvin Family Memorial Scholarship-Dakota Clayton; DAR Good Citizens Award-Kennedy Lucas; David Elzy Memorial Scholarship-Kenneth Farley and Nick Cravatta; Delmar Elder Scholarship-Becca Pratt; Dr. Joseph Schrodt/DMH Scholarship-Dylan Hart; Ellsworth & Nellie Lehman Collegiate-Brent Mauck; First National Bank Scholarship-Zac Mayberry; George A. Sentel Lodge #764-Kennedy Lucas; Helping Hands Scholarship-Liam Bechtold; J. Leonard Brown Scholarship-Ariel Heppe; Julio “Jibby” & Ruth Florini Memorial Scholarship-Keegan Kruckeberg; L.J. Hollonbeck Track Memorial Award-Emily Neuhauser; Leon Lane Memorial Scholarship-Dylan Hart; Lewis Lingafelter, Jr. Memorial Read More

Team Wise Benefit Planned for Saturday in Bethany

Submitted Pictured is Christina Wise, a Bethany native that was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease and is currently undergoing treatment. A benefit will be held this Saturday at the Bethany Fire House to raise money for her ongoing treatment and to raise awareness about the disease. Pictured along with Christina is her husband Wes and their children Amelia and Parker.

Submitted
Pictured is Christina Wise, a Bethany native that was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease and is currently undergoing treatment. A benefit will be held this Saturday at the Bethany Fire House to raise money for her ongoing treatment and to raise awareness about the disease. Pictured along with Christina is her husband Wes and their children Amelia and Parker.

Mother/daughter from Bethany each suffer from Lyme Disease

May 13, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Mothers and daughters hope to share many parts of their lives together as they grow older. That may include dances, weddings or even children. But one thing that mothers and daughters hope not to share - is battling the same disease.
Christina Wise has had Lyme Disease for at least 20 to 25 years.The doctors believe she contracted the disease between the age of five to seven years old. Her mother Karen Allen was diagnosed in November of 2014 after experiencing chronic fatigue and major joint pain in her knees, hips and elbows. Since then, the two have been battling the disease together.
“It’s unknown how I contracted it. I was probably five to seven years old. We don’t ever remember a tick biting me, and I never had the bulls eye rash, (a rash that gradually spreads over about 12 inches as part of it clears -appearing like a “bull’s-eye” -CDC.gov) but we went camping and fishing all the time. We were constantly outdoors,” noted Wise. “My mom asked me to get tested. I always had a bad immune system, but we never thought I was ever this sick and that there was a reason for my sickness,” she added. After having a Western Blot Test, (a test done that confirms the diagnosis and detects antibodies), it was confirmed that Wise had Lyme Disease. Read More

Commissioner LeCrone Makes One Last Council Appearance Before Johnson Steps In

Sullivan Police Department also given go-ahead to purchase new squad car

May 6, 2015

by Ariana Cherry & Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

At the regular city council meeting last week, streets and public improvements commissioner Monty LeCrone announced that it would be his last time attending.
“Thanks for all of your cooperation,” he said. “I hope we got everything in good shape in the last four years.”
LeCrone did not seek re-election earlier this year. He is to be replaced by former county board member Ken Johnson who ran unopposed.
LeCrone noted that one of the things he felt still need completed were improvements to the streets on the square; in particular, that they needed tilled up and redone at some point. This was a concern before the council in April of 2014, but a proposal by LeCrone for the project was ultimately postponed after concerns were raised about the bid specs. The project also saw frustrations and tempers flare in a special April meeting. Read More

Suspicious Fire Damages Abandoned House in Bethany

Photo Submitted by Kade Grimm Flames are seen engulfing the exterior of an abandoned house located at 409 N. Washington Street in Bethany Friday.

Photo Submitted by Kade Grimm
Flames are seen engulfing the exterior of an abandoned house located at 409 N. Washington Street in Bethany Friday.

Ongoing investigation into cause

May 6, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A fire that took place Friday evening caused extensive exterior and interior damage to an abandoned house in Bethany.
According to Bethany fire chief Jim McMahan, his department received a call at 9:08 p.m. Friday about a fire at 409 N. Washington. His department was on scene five minutes later. McMahan, who lives near the property, says he could see the fire from his house.
“Flames were shooting up about 30 feet above the house,” he said. Read More

Okaw Valley Middle School Baseball Coach Charged with Sexual Abuse

Rural Shelbyville man arrested Thursday in Findlay

April 28, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An Okaw Valley middle school baseball coach was arrested last week after allegations surfaced that he had sexual relations with a 13-year old girl.
According to court records, Wade T. Burch, 25, of rural Shelbyville was arrested last Thursday by Illinois State Police special agent Rodney Slayback after an investigation into allegations that he was sexually involved with a 13-year old OVMS student.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Burch voluntarily met with both Findlay police chief Chris Nichols and Slayback last Wednesday afternoon at the Mattoon Police Station. There, Burch was told of the allegations against him and subsequently interviewed. According to Slayback, Burch was told repeatedly that he was not under arrest and free to go, but the rural Shelbyville man agreed to stay until having to leave to umpire a baseball game.
The affidavit goes on to explain that Burch initially denied the allegations but eventually admitted to the possibility that he had met with a 13-year old girl during the Thanksgiving break last November and that he could have possibly kissed her at that time, but cited difficulty in recalling the events due to having been drinking heavily. Read More

Sullivan Schools’ Amended Budget Improves by Nearly Quarter Million

Final budget later this year could improve even more says superintendent

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In what is a typical move for most school districts across the state this time of year, the board unanimously approved a tentative amended budget at their April 13 meeting.
In it, the budget decreases the district’s deficit spending by $242,305 when compared to the initial budget passed last September. Overall, the decrease in deficit spending can be largely traced to contingencies the district had inserted into the September budget that have now been pulled out after Superintendent Brad Tuttle found them to likely no longer be a possibility. He said that he hopes the district can further pull out more contingencies as the school year nears its conclusion. Read More

Two Vehicle Wreck Sat. Near Howie’s

No serious injuries reported

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A wreck occurred Saturday night after a vehicle entered route 32 and collided with an oncoming car south of Sullivan.
According to Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims, a 17-year old was heading east on county road 800N at approximately 9:15 p.m. Saturday and proceeded onto route 32 on which a vehicle operated by Jessica Todd was traveling southbound. Read More

Amended ALAH Budget $1.4 Million Off From Tentative

Nearly $500,000 in cuts not helping

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This month’s regular Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond board meeting revealed that the tentative budget approved last fall, was nearly $1.5 million off from current estimates. In the next breath, superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the board that the school district along with every other in the state, would not be receiving their final two mandated categorical grants from the state. That coupled with the Governor’s 2.15 percent cut to K-12 aid means ALAH will not receive approximately $464,000 for this fiscal year–money that last fall they were told they would receive. Read More