Lovington Village Board

•February 15, 2017•

Jeremy Doggett, water and sewer superintendent, attended the meeting of the Lovington Village Board and distributed handouts from the engineering firm, Farnsworth Group, regarding the chlorine feed modification for the Chlorine Disinfection Exemption Revocation. The cover letter listed the requirements which need to be done by May 1, 2017. Doggett will try to have an estimation of the cost for the next meeting but believes it will be under $10,000. He is of the opinion that Roland Birt and Scott Connelly will be able to do the required work by April 1. Read More

FUMC Tuesday Pancake Supper

Photo furnished
FUMC Tuesday Pancake Supper
Shrove Tuesday 2016: Pastor Charliam Renner (back) mixed batter and Joyce Shellabarger fried sausage to serve guests at the FUMC Shrove Tuesday pancake supper in Sullivan.

•February 15, 2017•

The third annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at the Sullivan First Methodist Church is 4:30-6 p.m. Feb 28 in the Fellowship Hall. This free event marks the end of Mardi Gras and the anticipation of Lent, which begins the next day on Ash Wednesday. Everyone is invited to the celebration, which will include pancakes with toppings, sausage and drinks. Since it is a party, all who come eat free of charge. Fellowship Hall will be decorated in purple, green and gold with lots of beads on display.

Trivia questions and festive music will add to the party atmosphere.

Pancake suppers are popular events on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and not just in New Orleans.

Since rich foods are often given up for Lent, the practice is to empty the pantry of flour and sugar by making pancakes. People enjoy the butter and syrup, knowing that during Lent they will eat a much blander diet, some even choosing to fast.

OV Job Shadow: Helping Students Get on the Right Path

Photo by Brycelynn Durbin
Job Shadow students work hard in class and on site to gain experience that will help them in the future. Pictured left to right are Kayla Wheeler, Maddie Perrine, Jesse Robinson, Moranda Matheson, Kailyn Boyer, Evan Blakey, Kristy Burford, Makayle Rozanski, Laine Crawford, Madison Uhlrich, and teacher Bonnie Scott.

•February 15, 2017•

By Madison Uhlrich
for the News Progress

When most people think Job Shadow, they think you go to a business a few times, you watch stuff happen for a while, and you go home and try to figure out if that’s what you want to do with your life.

While that does seem to be the case with some experiences, I have to tell you that my Job Shadow class at Okaw Valley High School has been nothing like that.

This course, which was introduced in the 2010 / 2011 school term, was handcrafted by Mrs. Bonnie Scott and Mrs. Ann Wilson, and offers a much more comprehensive and in-depth curriculum than most schools.

According to Mrs. Scott, current teacher of the Job Shadow class, “My goal is for my students to obtain real world career skills that will give them an advantage in life.” Read More

Courtyard Hosts the Poetry of Valentines Day

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Mrs. & Mrs. Larry Baker celebrated their 30th anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

•February 15, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Courtyard Estates was the place to be last Friday, Feb 10 for the most anticipated party of the year for area seniors - the annual Valentine’s Day luncheon and poetry contest sponsored by the Senior Center.

Over 100 seniors were greeted by the sight of clusters of pink balloons on the tables festooned with pink placemats and candy dishes overflowing. Most of the ladies had chosen to wear either a red blouse or sweater and some gentlemen sported red plaid shirts.

The traditional meal of beef tips, mashed potatoes, and green beans was served with a dessert choice of coconut, strawberry or chocolate pie.

Seven people submitted or read poems, and the winners were first place - Marilyn Leonard for “Living the Dream”; second - Pamela Mann for “The Golden Years?” and third - Ed Dixon for “I’m Old”.  Read More

Moultrie County Board Regulates Public Comments

•February 15, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County Board met in regular session Thursday, Feb 9 adopting regulations for speaking at public meetings and a local ordinance allowing the county to collect for civil cannabis violations.

County board chairman Dave McCabe explained that a resolution should be in place regulating the right of the public to speak at county board and committee meetings in Moultrie County.

According to the resolution: Any person who wishes to address the board or any other meeting of the county of Moultrie may request recognition by signing in with the county clerk or chairperson or raising their hand during the public comment time. Read More

SHS Presents The Burden of Silence at The Little Theatre

•February 15, 2017•

Sullivan High School presents The Burden of Silence at 7 p.m. Friday

Feb. 17 at the Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan.

This original script prepared and performed by Rebecca L. Lawson’s Mirror Images class explores the theme: “If you don’t speak up when you see things that are wrong, you may suffer ‘the burden of silence’ for the rest of your life.”

“We had a lot of ideas for the title and narrowed it down to this one because it fit perfectly,” Colleen Miller said. “Lots of characters in the play were silent and some were for too long.”

Lawson explained that all class members helped with the writing. “ We started writing in October and finished most of the play by December. Read More

Lincoln Legacy Reached Beyond Politics

•February 8, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Abraham Lincoln is celebrated on President’s Day in February but also on his birthday Feb. 12. He is remembered locally for his years as a circuit court rider and for the many clients he served.

What is less known is that he was the first corporate lawyer for the Illinois Central Railroad when it was one of the largest corporations in Illinois. To properly tell this story we have to begin at the beginning with Land Grants.

Land Grants were started in the U.S in the 16th century for the purpose of establishing settlements. There were several kinds of land grants - for veterans, universities, etc. and the Land Grant of 1851 granted 2.5 million acres of Illinois public land to the Illinois Central Railroad - ICRR. This was the first railroad to receive a land grant and when finished, it was the longest railroad line in the world. But there were restrictions and financial burdens with the land grant so the ICRR received a charter from the state of Illinois which freed it from all the responsibilities of the land grant - but were required to pay seven percent of gross earnings annually as a charter tax to run from Galena through Springfield to Cairo.
Read More

ALAH Transportation Deficit May Require Fund Transfer

•February 8, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

Superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond school board that the total of all district funds was $6,229,662.40; although there was a deficit of $19,968.24 in the transportation fund.

At the January meeting he reported that the transportation had received one payment back on December 28, but nothing else had come through. The district spends about $90,000 in transportation fees a month. Read More

Investing for a State that has No Money

Photo by Mike Brothers
State Treasurer Michael Frerich visited a Sullivan Chamber round table at Cathrine’s 5 West Feb 3. John Hindman of Mattoon (right) was among interested citizens attending.

•February 8, 2017•

State treasurer Michael Frerichs gave visitors to the Sullivan Chamber of Commerce round table a chance to find out how he does his job in a state with no money.

“As the chief investment officer for a state without money, we were able to generate $68 million in interest for Illinois last year,” Frerichs explained to community leaders gathered at Cathrine’s 5 East Feb. 3.

He explained that if the state had a balanced budget, that would have grown another $30 million.

“We try to help provide tools for families to help invest,” he continued, noting programs such as the College Savings has grown to include 440,000 participants.

“A new investment program involving 14 states now allows people to save on behalf of persons with disabilities or blindness without jeopardizing federal disability benefits,” Frerich said.

He reported that the National Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Alliance allows for tax free investments when funds are used for the person with disabilities utilizing a pool involving 14 states. Read More

Court Absence Brings Jail Sentence for Farm Manager

•February 8, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Lyle Roger Harrison’s repeated absence from sentence hearings got him jail time; although his August 2016 felony theft conviction yielded 36 months’ probation.

Judge Richard Broch, who had presided over the case since December 2013, issued a warrant for Harrison’s immediate arrest placing bond at $500,000 bond for failure to appear.

Harrison, 43, having recently relocated to Manitowoc, Wisc., will return to Moultrie County jail to serve 50 days of a 180 day sentence on the failure to appear charge.

The sentencing hearing was conducted without Harrison’s presence.

In August a Moultrie County jury convicted Harrison of theft when he deprived farm operator Donald Cochran of $9,488.67 and the Willoughby Trust of $5,829.87 when he sold grain from land he did not own. Read More