Moultrie County Prepares for Real Estate Tax Sale

•September 7, 2016•

Moultrie County, as Trustee, has completed their tax deed proceedings on real estate properties that were delinquent for 2012 and prior real estate taxes.

The County, as Trustee, will now offer for sale the real state obtained to the public. They will offer approximately five items through a sealed bid auction sale. All sealed bids must be in the Moultrie County Treasurer’s Office located in the Moultrie County Courthouse, 10 S. Main Street, Suite 10, Sullivan, Illinois 61951 no later than the close of business on September 23, 2016.

The sale of these lots should be a major benefit to both the taxing districts and the neighboring property owners. This sale will place the properties into the hands of individuals who have interest in owning them.  Read More

New TIF District Explored South of Sullivan

•September 7, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Possible development of an Alzheimer treatment facility south of Sullivan could lead to a new Tax Increment Financing district.

Mayor Ann Short explained that Dr. Faisal Burkhari of Sullivan and a group of investors contacted the city expressing interest in building a treatment facility near Vineyard Church, south of Sullivan on Route 32.

Short noted the area is within the city limits, and if the city of Sullivan annexed property to the east, a TIF 4 district could be formed to allow future growth in the area.

Mayor Short noted those property owners could benefit from increased development of subdivisions as well as commercial expansion without endangering tax bases for existing agricultural operations.

“The city has been able to work with landowners to encourage participation in successful TIF districts, with those expiring possibly included in a new district,” she said. Read More

Tabor Park Clearing Opens Asa Creek Walk

Photo by Mike Brothers Large brush clearing equipment was contracted to help clear Asa Creek in Tabor Park

Photo by Mike Brothers
Large brush clearing equipment was contracted to help clear Asa Creek in Tabor Park

•August 31, 2016•

By Gerry Mander
for the News Progress

Walkers and runners visiting Tabor Park in Sullivan the past week may notice a different look along the creek.

“We are in the process of clearing honeysuckle and cleaning up around Asa Creek,” park’s supt. Kory Wiley explained.

Over the past decade honeysuckle and other invasive overgrowth has closed in on the walking paths at the 40 acre Tabor Park where Asa Creek flows.

Wiley explained clearing that brush away has opened the trails and should make those using the trails for exercising more comfortable.

The park district contracted with a Mattoon excavating firm for the major clearing which was accomplished over six days. Read More

44th Annual Cheese Festival in Arthur over the Labor Day Weekend

•August 31, 2016•

by Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese,” said singer/songwriter Willie Nelson.

Of course, there won’t be any reason to fight over cheese - there will be plenty of opportunities for free cheese at this year’s 44th Annual Cheese Festival in Arthur over the Labor Day weekend. There will be a variety of events, live entertainment, cheese tasting and shopping for everybody.

The celebratory “Cutting of the Cheese” kicks off the festival at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 3 with “Erste Kase Schnitzen.”

At 11 a.m., 300 pounds of free cheese will be given away at the main cheese tent at Cheesy Hollow.

Attendants who enjoy a good refreshment and need to cool off during the live music entertainment may visit the beer tent (sponsored by Angie’s Food and Spirit) and wine (sponsored by Wine on Vine). It is near the Welcome Center. Read More

Increased Tennis Court Use Prompts Resurface Proposal

•August 31, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The Sullivan City Council was recently approached about repairing the tennis courts in Wyman Park. Coach Chris Dobosz explained that the tennis association was growing larger, and the courts were getting much more use.

Commissioner Mike Mossman noted that he had been out to the tennis courts and noticed the numbers had increased. Dobosz presented a proposal of $18,560 from All Weather Courts of Dawson, Illinois.

The cost would cover repairs such as fixing the cracks, resurfacing the courts and adding more holes for new tennis nets. All Weather Courts resurfaced the courts about 10 years ago.

Mossman stated that there could also be the possibility of making the current basketball courts dual purpose so that more courts would be available for playing tennis. Further research and discussion needs to be done before moving forward with repairing the courts. Read More

Sullivan Kiwanis Movie Night

At Wyman Park Saturday

•August 24, 2016•

Sullivan Kiwanis Club’s annual movie night will be held at dusk in Wyman Park Saturday, August 27.

Everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets for the popular Disney family feature film “Up”.

Concessions will be available throughout the show.

Sponsored by the Sullivan Kiwanis Club, “Up” is free of charge to the general public. This year’s free family movie is courtesy of Oakwood Apothecary, Rural King and Metro Communications.

Sullivan Kiwanis was originally chartered in 1960 and reorganized two years ago. The club is responsible for a variety of community activities throughout the year. Read More

County Goes to the Air for Next E-911 Phase

Last Photos Taken 2003

•August 17, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Moutlrie County’s move toward an enhanced 911 system will require updated aerial photos of the county.

Public safety chair Arlene Aschermann requested the county proceed with a proposal for Orthophotography for E-911 and Assessment use.

The photos were used primarily for tax assessment purposes in the past. Kevin McReynolds of public safety explained the existing black and white photos of the county were taken in 2003, and more detailed photos are required to complete the E-911 property location section.

McReynolds explained the new larger oblique photos would give a more three dimensional quality for more accurate property location in addition to serving the county’s various GIS needs.

He noted the original aerial shoot for the county cost $119,000 with grant funding assistance. The board approved proceeding on the proposal. Read More

Local Korean War Vet Makes Honor Flight

•August 17, 2016•

By Emily Stutzman
For the News Progress

In 1950, tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States were defining the era we know as the Cold War.

Although no direct fighting occurred between the two countries, the distrust and animosity began showing itself in the proxy wars, as they were called, that broke out in several small Asian countries.

The Korean War was the first of these. It led to the creation of North and South Korea as two separate countries, split at the 38th parallel. After an armistice on July 27, 1953, the unrest remained.

Local resident and veteran of the Korean War, Dane Henderson, had a first-hand experience with those events during his days in the United States Navy.

Henderson was drafted as a 21 year-old who had just graduated Eastern Illinois University.

He spent his time patrolling the coast of Korea in a destroyer whose mission was to intercept any messages that would provide any insight into “what they were talking about”, with “they” being the North Korean military.  Read More

Piano Playing Summer Ends at Titus Manor

Photo furnished Pictured above playing the piano is Reagan Crouse.

Photo furnished
Pictured above playing the piano is Reagan Crouse.

•August 17, 2016•

By Kennedy Nolen
For the News Progress

Teen pianist, Reagan Crouse, shared his talent at the Titus Manor Friday afternoon on August 12.

Crouse, 13, has been playing the piano for six years now, which means he started at the ripe age of seven.

His interest in the piano began around age two, and his mom began to take notice. Since he had taken a liking to his plastic piano as a young child, his mom knew she had to let him begin lessons.

He began lessons with Jay Durham of Effingham, and continued in Sullivan with teacher Nina Marshall.  Read More

ALAH School Board Endorses Knight Shift Group

Enrollment Up

•August 17, 2016•

By Arianna Cherry
For the News Progress

A tentative budget for 2017 was approved at the last Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board meeting. According to the tentative budget, an estimated beginning balance for July 1, 2016 was $1,675,641. The estimated end balance for June 2017 is $1,995,394.

The transportation fund was short due to state funding issues; therefore, $37,000 was transferred from the education fund. Superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the board that the district would pursue the incentive money that was not received the previous year. In order to do so, the district must show a need for the funds. A hearing for the tentative budget will be scheduled at the board’s next meeting on September 14.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

-The number of students are slightly up at ALAH High School. Enrollment figures for 2016-2017 are as follows: freshmen, 83; sophomore, 77; junior, 70 and senior,60. A total of 290 students are enrolled for 2016-2017. There were 285 in 2015-2016. Nine students transferred out and 16 students transferred in including two exchange students from Thailand and Germany. High School open house will be 7-8 p.m. Monday, August 22. Read More