Moultrie County Looks into Improving Courthouse Technology

•May 11, 2016•

Moultrie County Courthouse computer systems have grown slower and older, prompting the county board building and grounds committee to recommend an upgrade.

County Clerk Georgia England reported Quality Network Selutions findings at the regular meeting May 4. Slow access and crash problems prompted QNS to look further into the problems within the courthouse system.

QNS discovered servers from 2001, 2003, and 2006 in use beyond their capacity. Average server life expectancy is five-seven years.

County board chairman Dave McCabe explained the county will have to start looking toward more frequent system updates. He explained the out-of-date servers are not useable, and the county will need to start from scratch on rebuilding new servers. Read More

Sullivan City Council Explores Recycle Options

Civic Center Gets New Lockers

•May 4, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

At the most recent Sullivan City Council meeting, a few projects that had been set aside in the TIF budget were discussed. A bid of $20,775.95 was received from Salisbury Industries for new lockers at the Civic Center. Many of the older lockers have started to show their age and have started to rot out after long time usage. The bid will replace 116 lockers for the men and women’s locker rooms.

The old chiller at the Civic Center has also been removed to make room for a new one. Commissioner Mike Mossman also noted that the south side of the roof center has came loose. He will be in contact with an attorney and is moving forward with the suit and hopes to get the company back to repair it. Other TIF projects include the street pavement project (which is underway) and new canopies for the baseball park to help block out the sun.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon: Read More

ALAH Transportation Fund Dwindles, Schools’ Needs Grow

•April 27, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s transportation fund continues to dwindle as the state still continues to not pay the school districts. The current funds for transportation sit at $88,640; although a third payment has been dispersed but not processed. If the payment is processed, it will add another $255,000 to the balance. If that money is not received, more money from the general education fund will have to be transferred. The over-all checkbook balance of the district is around four million dollars with all funds still in the black.

ALAH district looks to federal and state grants to help make technology updates.

Jeremy Rodebaugh,technology coordinator, noted a few things that the district is in need of updating. Some of the things he mentioned include getting more bandwidth as it currently tops out at 75MB. Atwood-Hammond has maxed out on their bandwidth and fiber optics will be needed to increase it.

The cost of installing fiber optics is estimated at $20-25,000. Rodebaugh has been doing some research and stated that there are several state and federal grants for which the district could apply in order to help pay for the increase of bandwidth. Read More

Moultrie Counseling Center Cuts Keep Coming

•April 27, 2016•

The current state of Illinois budget impasse is being felt locally in many ways. Moultrie County Counseling has suffered significant reductions according to Executive Director David Cole. The National Alliance of Mental Health reported that from 2009-2012 Illinois cut funding for community mental health programs by 30% or $187,000,000. With the exception of three other states, Illinois had the highest cuts in the nation. To have the current budget impasse on top of these previous reductions creates significant difficulties. Read More

Windsor Man Injured Following Planter Crash

•April 20, 2016•

A thirty two year old Windsor man was transported to Carle Hospital following a head on crash into the rear of a planter on Highway 32 Tuesday afternoon.

Macon County Chief Deputy Gary Carroll said that the Toyota RAV driven by Seth Polk was shredded beyond recognition after driving headon into the yellow planter being pulled south while he was traveling south on Rte 32 about a mile from the Bruce-Findlay road.

First transported to Sarah Bush Lincoln then to Carle Hosptial in Champaign, Polk managed to escape with a back injury.

The Moutlrie County Sheriff’s Department noted charges are pending further investigation, once Polk in released from the hospital.

Telephones and Security Systems Eyed by School Board

•April 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

An aging telephone system that is growing more inoperable with new technology and a lack of coverage with security cameras prompted the Sullivan School District to look at a way to finance new systems.

A proposed amendment for a health life safety project to replace existing security cameras and telephone systems was approved by the school board at the April 11 meeting.

Superintendent Brad Tuttle explained the amendment to the existing health life safety request was a first step to finding out whether the proposed projects qualify.

Recommended are replacement of existing telephone systems with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VCIP) throughout the elementary, middle and high school buildings, which includes complete installion and five year support.

Tuttle noted all phones will have 9-1-1 emergency call capability, improving communication speed in emergency situations.

The existing security camera system has limited coverage. The new security systems adds 19 cameras to Sullivan Middle School, nine cameras to Sullivan Elementary School and five new security cameras to Sullivan High School. Read More

Wilborn Creek Road Project Rehab Set for Early May

Photo by Mike Brothers This  Wilborn Creek Road crossroads will be realigned for safety to remove a sudden jog which can catch drivers by surprise as part of the summer project.

Photo by Mike Brothers
This Wilborn Creek Road crossroads will be realigned for safety to remove a sudden jog which can catch drivers by surprise as part of the summer project.

•April 20, 2016•

The Moultrie County Highway Department is announcing a road rehabilitation project to improve the roadway smoothness and safety on County 5/16 (Wilborn Creek Road, CR 625E).

Work is tentatively scheduled to begin May 2 and is anticipated to be completed in September.

The project begins south of the Illinois Central Railroad at Illinois Route 121 and extends southward approximately 3.7 miles.

Included is the replacement of across road culverts (which will cause periodic road closures), pavement removal and replacement south of the Wilborn Creek Access Road. Read More

Road to Enhanced 9-1-1 Encounters Obstacles

•April 13, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Although Coles-Moultrie enhanced 9-1-1 service is in the home stretch the path has contained some obstacles.

Moultrie County Board Public Health and Safety Committee found out the $45,000 the county spent preparing for the new emergency services network would not be reimbursed by the Statewide 911 Bureau that is now a division of the Illinois State Police.

David Bowers of Lovington, a state 9-1-1 committee member since 1976, appealed to the state on behalf of Moultrie County. He learned that since Moultrie is not yet an authorized 9-1-1 provider, the $45,000 isn’t eligible for reimbursement.

Bowers presented the question of appealing Moultrie County’s costs of the local line and forwarded 9-1-1 calls over the long distance network to Marci Elliott of the ISP Statewide Bureau. Read More

Diary of The Trip to Cuba

•April 13, 2016•

By Jose Pound
For the News Progress

Sunday, 13 March – Day 1.

Now I’ll relate some of our daily activities in Cuba beginning with our arrival at Jose Marti Airport in Havana via a chartered Aruba Airline flight (both going to and coming home from Cuba). Jose Marti is a national hero, poet of the Cuban people emphasizing “freedom” and godfather of current Cuban political life. His is the main statue in Revolutionary Square in center of Havana, where both Pope Francis and President Obama spoke to huge crowds of Cubans. It reminded me of a smaller version of Tiananmen Square in Beijing China…surrounded by government ministries.

On our arrival, after the 45 minute flight from Miami, the airport terminal was jammed with people, without much control as where we were to go. Plus it was hot (in the 80s) and humid like a summertime greenhouse without air conditioning. The exit lounge at the airport on our return home was “somewhat” air conditioned. Finding our luggage after arrival from Miami was a two hour event, which was a real strain on your disposition. However, when we all had our luggage, we were directed to a “new” Chinese made luxury bus, which served us well for the next seven days plus it was delightfully air conditioned. There were numerous antique (50s) vintage cars in the airport parking lots. We soon learned that these cars have been carefully maintained/rebuilt as Cuban taxis.

Cuba is being inundated with US visitors…like us. We were there on a People to People program based on regulations of the US Department of Treasury. A Road Scholar contact person told me Cuba is their most sought after travel destination of late. After our experience, I understand why. Read More

Lovington Plans Summer Celebration

•April 13, 2016•

The Lovington Village Board met March 14 agreeing to participate in a village celebration.

Carol Smith of the Lovington Community Club, Alumni Association and Revitalization organizations requested the village celebration for June 17 and 18.

Smith presented planned activities for the event and asked the village to provide two porta potties, police supervision during the parade, blocking streets downtown for vendors and electricity for those vendors.

Board members present expressed no problems with those requests. Read More