Origin of Sullivan’s Name Traced to Revolutionary War

•February 1, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

My friend and News Progress colleague Joe Pound has every so kindly advised me that my source of the city website for the origins of the name “Sullivan” was incorrect.

Indeed, further research shows that in documents from the Sullivan County Commissioners in 1845, they met and agreed on a site for the new town and selected the name “Sullivan” after General John Sullivan of Revolutionary War fame.

So, let me now praise famous men. John Sullivan was born Feb. 17, 1740 in New Hampshire and was a continental general in the Revolutionary War, a delegate to the Continental Congress, Governor of New Hampshire and a U.S. federal judge. He studied and practiced law often to the annoyance of his neighbors for his numerous frivolous suits and foreclosures. Read More

Sullivan Council Accepts Bid for Sanitary Project

•February 1, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry,
for the News Progress

The Sullivan City Council accepted a bid of $830,777 from Followell Construction Company of Marion, Ill. for the sanitary project.

Discussions for this project began about seven years ago after the city had applied for grants for funding which were declined. They applied for a city grant and was approved for funding of $450,000 to help pay for the project.

The council also approved research to install a new water tower. Lee Beckman of Milano and Grunloh suggested that in order to find the best place for the tower, the city needs to perform a hydraulic analysis of the existing water system which will cost $20,000. Council members approved the hydraulic analysis.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon: Read More

The Little Museum Time Has Forgotten at Mason Point

Photos by Ellen Ferrera
Through the doors of the Ward Museum at Mason Point are treasures from a lifetime of collecting frozen in time.

•February 1, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Up the steps of the main Mason Point building, through the front door and about 100 yards ahead you will arrive at the entrance to the magical world of the Abraham L. and Cora Ward Museum - frozen in time since it opened in 1948. Inside are some 25,000 items, many valuable and rare with mysterious origins as intriguing as the story of the museum itself.

When ill health forced Mr. Ward into retirement in his early forties, he and Cora set out on train trips all over North America, Mexico, Canada and Cuba.

It was their custom to purchase a train ticket as far as they could travel to a good sized city by daylight. They would spend the night in a hotel and the following day engage in their passion of collecting anything and everything of interest.

His passion was sea shells and hers was glass tumblers and goblets, but their interests were wide-ranging. When they tired of one city, they would buy another ticket as far as daylight would take them. Read More

Bethany Church Families Come Together in Worship

Photo furnished
Community Worship in Bethany January 22 included Kay Atkinson, Pastor Tracy Siegman, Pastor Steve Guarneros, Pastor Ted Hartley, Jim Ulrich, and Bill Ashley.

•January 25, 2017•

By Marge Overlot
NP Guest Columnist

The Bethany Christian Church families came together to worship Sunday morning, January 22 to commemorate Christian Unity Sunday at the Bethany United Methodist Church.

The service brought nearly 100 people together to give God the praise and glory for their lives. The worship hour was conducted by Pastor Ted Hartley of the United Methodist Church, Pastor Tracy Siegman of the Presbyterian Church and Pastor Steve Guarneros of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

The pastors also came together to offer communion to the congregation that was received by all. A potluck lunch was held following the service. Read More

Judicial Steering Commission Screens Judge Applicants

Six Express Interest in the Sixth

•January 25, 2017•

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman has selected the judicial screening committee for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The screening committee was formed for the purpose of assessing the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the Office of Judge of the Circuit Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit created by the resignation of Chief Judge Daniel Flannell on January 12, 2017.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the vacancy will be filled by Supreme Court appointment. Read More

Board Approves Proclamation Honoring Judge Flannell

Honored for Courthouse Restoration

•January 18, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County board proclaimed Judge Dan L. Flannell day Friday, January 13, his last day as Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial circuit.

County board chairman Dave McCabe added the proclamation at the end of the regular Jan. 12 business meeting.

McCabe’s proclamation emphasized the county’s appreciation for Judge Flannell’s efforts to help restore the historic Moultrie County Courthouse. He continued to note his service to Moultrie County as a sitting judge from 1988 through 2012 when he was appointed chief administrator of the Sixth Judicial Circuit has been exemplary. Read More

What Keeps Readers Reading After They Move Away?

•January 18, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

There is something almost ethereal about Thursday mornings when I bring in the paper, grab my pot full of tea, snuggle into the couch and settle down for a good read.

At my age, it is news of a deceased classmate or friend, an 80th birthday party, what poor soul got caught speeding on Route 121, and good stories that either bring tears or make the heart go pitty-pat.

What interests former residents who live thousands of miles away and keeps them subscribing year after year? I caught up with two sisters who grew up in Bethany and have subscribed to the News Progress for many years.

Audrey Oathout Gasdorf was a classmate who went to college, married and for many years has lived in Michigan.  Read More

Senior Center Provides Medical Equipment For Loan

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Kathi Shackles stands among the various medical equipment available at the Senior Center.

•January 18, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

If you or a loved one is scheduled for hip or knee replacement surgery, the hospital has probably told you that you need to arrive with a walker.

You may also need an elevated toilet seat and shower seat. Many of these items are not covered by medical insurance, but you may get all of them on loan at the Senior Center.

“We take all kinds of walkers, canes, wheelchairs for loan to others. We also have a large supply of Depends and some oxygen supplies such as tubing,” executive director  Kathi Shackles said. “The center will also take almost any kind of medical supplies as long as they haven’t been opened.”

Many times when a loved one dies, the family has many of these items and is not aware that the senior center will take them. Clean bed pads are also accepted. Several styles and makes of walkers and canes are available so you may select the one that best suits your needs.

Shackles advises calling in advance to reserve the equipment as supplies are limited. The items are available only to senior citizens and are signed out. The center just asks that all items be returned as soon as possible because some are on a waiting list, such as wheelchairs. Donated items may be dropped off at the senior center during regular business hours. Unfortunately, the center cannot  pick up donated items. Read More

An English Influence from This Mason Point Knitter

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Jean Dulik is always on the move.

•January 18, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

The little English garden outside with miniature gnomes, birdhouses, whirligigs and such is the first hint an artist of sorts lives here.

Jean Dulik welcomes you in with her lovely, lilting English accent. Attention immediately focuses on the many beautiful artificial flower arrangements in equally beautiful containers throughout her home.

“Oh, it’s nothing, you just get some flowers and stick them in,” she said modestly. “I just love anything “crafty” to keep me busy.”

Jean married a G.I. and came to America at age 20, moving around to various military bases, arriving in Sullivan to be near a son in Mt. Zion and a daughter in Lovington.

That’s a long way from where she grew up in Faringdon, England - the oldest village in England. A brother, sister, aunt and uncle still live there.

Her sister lives in the village of Bampton, famous as the place where “Downton Abbey” was filmed. “The town you see on TV is completely fake - just sets that they take down after filming.” Jean misses the show and all the gossip her sister provided on the movie stars. Read More

Sullivan Faculty Face Harlem Wizards in Sports Fundraiser

Harlem Wizards come to Sullivan High School

•January 11, 2017•


The Sullivan High School boys’ basketball team is scheduled to host the Harlem Wizards for an exhibition fundraiser game against Sullivan teachers, coaches and community members from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, January 14.

The game will be played at the Sullivan High School, and doors will open at 6 p.m.

“This event will be like no other event that has ever been at Sullivan High School,” said Sullivan head coach Chester Reeder. The Wizards are an amazing group of people that really know how to make it fun for everyone.”

The game is a fundraiser for the boys’ basketball programs and will consist of 30 players and volunteers.  Read More