County Approves Wine Serving for Pumpkin Patch

•September 16, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County Board members allowed wine to be served at the Farm to Fork Dinner held at the Great Pumpkin Patch Sept. 27.

Following a recommendation from Liquor Control Commission chair David McCabe the board unanimously approved the Special Event License “G” for Wine on Vine LLC during the annual event in Jonathan Creek Township.

Building and grounds chair Gary Smith recommended Jason Salvato’s bid of $2,580 to repair flooring in the courthouse ladies’ room. The measure passed unanimously.

A motion was made by budget and finance chair Ron White to engage Coles County Regional Planning Commission to do a fee study for the county. Cost of the study is not to exceed $3000. The motion passed with Kevin McReynold’s abstaining.

Road and bridge chair McReynolds moved to approve preliminary engineering agreement with HLR for inspection of lake bridges in water too deep water for the county highway dept. equipment.

He also recommended approval for county engineer Jeff Birch’s salary following state recommended guidelines. Birch will receive a 1.5% increase for an $85,200 annual salary.

Both McReynolds recommended motions and the resolution to appropriate funds for the engineer’s salary were approved unanimously.

Legislative committee chair Tim Rose moved to appoint drainage district commissioners with terms through Sept. 2018. Included were Daniel L. Gingerich-Cadwell Drainage Dist.; Gary Emel-Dist 1 of East Nelson; Chris Yoder-Dist 1 of Lowe; Steve Jurgens-Lowe Special Dist.; Henry Herschberger- Mast Union Dist. 1; Ed Hogan Moultrie, Coles, Douglas Dist.; John C. Yoder -Lowe Dist. 2; Daniel L. Gingerich - Lowe Dist 5; R. Dennis Miller - Lowe Dist. 7; Levi Yoder - Lovington, Lowe, and Jonathan Creek Special drainage district. All received unanimous vote approval.
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Lovington Grade School to Extend Bus Lane

Safety is #1 concern

•September 16, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
Reporting from Arthur

“Safety is the number one issue ,” said Lovington principal Brandon Stone at Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s most recent school board meeting as they discussed the possibility of extending the drive that runs through Al Best at Lovington Grade School.

Parents who are dropping off their children at the grade school are competing with bus traffic, and it has become a problem and safety issue for students who are walking into school.

If the bus lane gets extended, the buses won’t be meeting oncoming traffic. “It would be a good plan for the time being,” said Stone. Extending the bus lane would require the removal of a tree and shed and installing a culvert. Superintendent Kenny Schwengel estimated the construction of the lane to be an eight week process. Work may not begin until next spring or summer. The new extended lane would be for bus traffic only. The board voted to move forward with plans to extend the drive at Lovington Grade School.  Read More

Okaw Valley Homecoming is Under the Big Top

Photo by Jeni Yantis Homecoming king and queen candidates at Okaw Valley High School are (front to back - left to right): Front row: Gretchen Macklin, Hannah Dicken, Charli Uhlrich, and Nicole Miller. Back Row: Alex Martin, Justin Johnson, Nick Tipsword, and Race Underwood.

Photo by Jeni Yantis
Homecoming king and queen candidates at Okaw Valley High School are (front to back - left to right): Front row: Gretchen Macklin, Hannah Dicken, Charli Uhlrich, and Nicole Miller. Back Row: Alex Martin, Justin Johnson, Nick Tipsword, and Race Underwood.

•September 9, 2015•

Okaw Valley High School student council has announced their annual Homecoming Week activities September 14-19. The overall theme to this year’s festivities is “Under the Big Top”. Each day will highlight a special theme at OVHS, and students are encouraged to participate accordingly. The week kicks off with Monday as “Pajama Day” day and Tuesday as “Crazy Dress-Circus Side

Photo by Jeni Yantis Homecoming attendants at Okaw Valley High School are: Front Row: Sydney Hagerman (junior), Grace Harlin (sophomore), Gracie Weybright (freshman) Back Row: Jon Gentry (junior), James Burnes (sophomore), Sam Hagerman (freshman).

Photo by Jeni Yantis
Homecoming attendants at Okaw Valley High School are: Front Row: Sydney Hagerman (junior), Grace Harlin (sophomore), Gracie Weybright (freshman) Back Row: Jon Gentry (junior), James Burnes (sophomore), Sam Hagerman (freshman).

Show” day. Wednesday’s theme is “Class Color Day” with the “Powder Puff” football games beginning at 11:30 am. The Marching Timberwolves will perform their competition show at halftime of the powder puff game. Thursday is “Clown Day”, where students are to dress as their favorite clown. Thursday evening will be the annual bonfire. The bonfire along with a pep rally will begin immediately following the Okaw Valley varsity girls’ volleyball game vs. Villa Grove. Friday is “SOV Spirit Day”.

The classes will compete with homecoming float building during the day along with a school wide cookout. Other events on Friday will include the annual homecoming parade at 3 pm (line up at 2:30 behind the high school). This year’s parade will use the same route as the Bethany Celebration. The varsity SOV football game will begin at 7 p.m. on the Sullivan High School football field. The SOV jr. varsity football team will play at 6 p.m. Monday on the Okaw Valley High School football field. Read More

Times are Changing for Secret Santa in Sullivan

•September 9, 2015•

With the closing of ShopKo Police Chief John Love explained shopping for children in need who are older than seven is a challenge.

“We try to shop locally, but we don’t have a way to buy clothes and boots for older kids,” Love said, noting that Dollar General in town has been great for children six to seven years old.

”We’re taking Secret Santa back to its roots,” he continued. “We will seek out those in need throughout the year and help the best way we can.”

For the past few years people receiving Secret Santa help around Christmas would start filing into the police department to sign up in September and October. He explained with the way Secret Santa has grown that has to change. Read More

Wildlife Park Goes to Rockome Gardens

•September 9, 2015•

A wildlife park rejected by Moultrie County in June found new life at the former Rockome Gardens site south of Arcola.

James Aikman’s dream of a drive through wildlife park, a walk through petting zoo and aviary got a second wind with a $506,794 loan from the city of Arcola to help get things rolling.

“The Sullivan Chamber & Economic Development is thrilled to hear that Aikman Wildlife Park will be located within our region and that the Rockome site will be repurposed,” said Stepheny McMahon of the Sullivan Chamber. “We wish the Aikman’s much success.” Read More

Remember When? 9-9-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Cameron Parrott and Susan Ozier of Moultrie County were each named a recipient of a CEFS Economic Opportunity Corp. Community Services Block Grant scholarship Aug. 2 at the agency’s annual board of directors meeting. Parrott is the son of Robert and Suzanne Parrott of Lovington and is attending Eastern Illinois University. Ozier is the daughter of Bobby and Linda Book of Bethany and is enrolled in the pre-law program at the University of Illinois.

With seven of ten letter winners returning, a little more hard work and a lot of dedication may prove to be an unbeatable combination for the Lady Redskins’ volleyball team. All seven of the letter winners were in starting positions at one time or another last season. Topping the list are third year varsity players Becky Clayton and Amanda Glazebrook.

For more than 20 years, Sharon Emel has served countless area residents food as a waitress in several Sullivan eating establishments, including her former restaurant, the Ham ’n’ Egg. A former employee of Hezzy’s, Little Richard’s and the former Red Fox, Sharon is popular among local residents—many who have dubbed her “the best waitress in town.” Popularity aside, Sharon said she loves waitressing, which is one of the reasons she is opening Sharon’s Family Restaurant in Sullivan this Saturday morning.

“It really feels good to win!” was the consensus of the Bethany Mustangs followng their 20-0 victory over the Lovington-Arthur football team Friday night in the season opener for both teams. “Hungry was the first word first year head coach Kris Wheeler used to describe the Mustangs and specifically the quarterback Burl Coclasure. Read More

A Little Trim Now Helps Keep the Lights on Later

NP Archives

News•Progress Archives

•September 2, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

“I love my trees so I understand why people get upset,” Mayor Ann Short said of recent tree trimming in the city. “But when there is a bad storm and trees take down power lines, everyone suffers.”

In order to gain some control over the branches hanging over power lines the city is trying to be proactive and Short explained the existing crew in the electric dept. can’t keep up.

That led the city to contract with Nelson Tree Service, arborists that trim for Ameren, for the project.

Shannon Risley is in charge of the electric plant and making sure Sullivan residents can depend on their electric service.

On July 19, 2010 one of the worst storms to ever hit Sullivan brought that home with 21 poles downed as the result of falling limbs and wind, putting pressure on power lines.

“That week from Monday until most service was restored by Wednesday we worked 40 hours overtime in the sweltering heat,” Risley recalled. He explained the damage was beyond the ability of Sullivan’s six man crew to handle. Read More

Remember When? 9-2-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Seven Moultrie County 4-H’ers received superior awards for their entries Monday at the 1990 Illinois State Fair. Superior award winners from Sullivan were Amy R. Bishop, Ross A. Haverstock and Krystal L. Horsman, Sarah E. Shasteen and Carrie L. Wildman. Lovington superior award winners were Wesley J. Bolsen and Ryan D. Nettles.

The Illinois State Fair open show Grand Champion Barrow became a family project for the DeOrnellases of Sullivan, who brought home the winning ribbon, silver bowl and a prize check for approximately $800. Ron Deornellas of Sullivan showed his sister’s Grand Champion Barrow, Nicki, in the Illinois State Fair open show. The 241-pound crossbred is owned by Pam Deornellas.

With her brown and shiny 29-inch pony tail, Lacosta Meadows of Sullivan, daughter of Kenneth and Deborah Meadows, won first place last week in the Illinois State Fair’s pony tail contest for five and six year olds. Lacosta won over approximately 25 other contestants in her age group for having the longest hair.

Ruby Christy of Sullivan and Gloria Foley of Lovington represented the Moultrie County Homemakers Extension Assn. at the Illinois Homemakers Extension Federation District 4 and 5 meeting held recently in Decatur.

Approximately 2,000 submarine sandwiches were prepared for customers during Sullivan Subway’s grand opening Friday and Saturday. Cathy Janes and Hillary Barnes were among the many employees who prepared the made-to-order sandwiches. Read More

Innovation Lab for Lake Land

Photo Submitted

Photo Submitted

•September 2, 2015•

Students debut human and computer interaction projects in Lake Land College’s new Innovation Lab and Maker Space

From home automation to robots and banana pianos, Lake Land College Information Technology (IT) students are thinking outside the box and creating groundbreaking projects in the college’s new Innovation Lab and Maker Space.

Housed in Webb Hall, the space will be home to new innovation courses that instructor Scott Rhine is developing.

“We now have the space and equipment to take what was formerly known as my Human Computer Interaction class and turn it into something more in-depth and creative for students in the IT field and beyond,” said Rhine. “The new classes will be designed for non-IT majors as well. Everyone can benefit from increased creativity and better problem solving skills and this new lab will be an incubator for future makers and creators. We’ve been working on significantly automating the lab, which will have, what I have dubbed, a Wall of Awesome an interactive wall that visitors and especially children can use to activate different pieces of the automated lab.”

While Rhine is transitioning his curriculum for the new courses, this summer, students used the Innovation Lab to work on more than 20 unique projects. During the class, students start by learning the basic equipment in the lab and then start exploring the different project possibilities.  Read More

ALAH School District Reviews Tentative 2016 Budget

•September 2, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
Reporting from Arthur

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond school board discussed a tentative 2016 budget at their last regular meeting. “There is about a $150,000 difference in the education fund,” stated Superintendent Kenneth Schwengel. “We had to move $150,000 to the transportation fund so that it would be in the black,” he said. “We also have yet to receive a million dollars in reorganization funds.”

The estimated beginning fund balance for the ALAH district as of July 1, 2015 is $1,347,192. The budget calculates the total disbursements/expenditures to be $8,556,208. If the district receives all of their appropriate funding, the anticipated ending balance for June 2016 has been calculated to be $1,615,666. The board noted that the budget will be on display for the next 30 days and then a hearing will be held at 6 p.m. September 21 to approve it.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

-Students returned to class Wednesday, August 19. Read More