Honor Rewards Helps Veterans in Moultrie County

•October 14, 2015•

Businesses in Moultrie County are getting a chance to help veterans by providing discounts and incentives through the Honors Rewards program.

“With everything going on these days the least we can do as a community is honor those who have sacrificed so much,” Moultrie County Clerk Georgia England said of the rewards program.

The Honors Rewards program is for all eligible veterans. England explained veterans may sign up online www.honorrewards.com or in person at the county clerk’s office.

The veteran must have a DD214 on file. England explained that once the proof of discharge is recorded the veteran receives an Honor Rewards card containing essential information, along with the insignia of his or her branch of service. Read More

Remember When? 10-14-2015

Compiled By Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Lovington High School’s 1990 homecoming court includes one male and female attendant from the freshmen and sophomore classes and two each from the junior class. They are freshmen Michelle Geiling and Jeremy Tarr; sophomores Joy Day and Matt Powell; juniors Chasity Smith, Paula Reser, Justin Mechling and Heath Wilson.

Lovington High School’s homecoming king and queen candidates are Kassandra Staples, Christy Mueller and April Markham, Greg McCoy, John Renfro and Chad Uphoff.

Kristy Sims of Sullivan, a freshman majoring in music business at Elmhurst College, has already been recognized for her musical talent in her first semester. Sims is one of 10 students chosen for the college’s vocal jazz ensemble, and when she tried out for the college production of Little Shop of Horrors, she won the role of Audrey. Sims is a 1990 graduate of Sullivan High School and is the daughter of Thomas and Kerrie Sims.

Richard Barker, son of Jesse and Nancy Barker of Sullivan, was among a number of undergraduate students from Illinois State University who were honored for scholastic achievement during the annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony Sept. 23. Barker, a 1990 Sullivan High School graduate and a pre-business-international business major, was recognized as a Deans’ Scholar.

Top Sullivan golfer Josh Haegen finished the regular season as medalist at the Monticello Invitational, shooting a 37 and a 38. The Redskins finished their 1990 season with a 13-6 record. Read More

A Chill in the Air for the Chili Cook Off

Oktoberfest Weekend

•October 14, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
Reporting from Sullivan

Twelfth Annual Oktoberfest this weekend in Sullivan: October 17 and 18.

The tree leaves are turning a variety of beautiful shades and colors and the air has gotten cooler… It is that time of year again for warm comfort food, such as chili or instance, which has been a family favorite for years.

The chili will be steaming hot at Oktoberfest this weekend in downtown Sullivan. Five teams will be cooking up their best recipes for a chance to win the annual chili cook-off. Local celebrity judges who will taste the creations will be Jim Standerfer, Gaby Uphoff and Therese Kincade. The official judging begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and then opens to the public for the people’s choice at 5 p.m.

Not only will there be the scents of spices from chili lingering in the air, but there will also be about 15 other food vendors from which festival goers may choose. Some of those vendors are regulars from surrounding towns, while others will be making a first time appearance.

A sausage and pancake breakfast will be served 6-10 a.m. Saturday at the Sullivan Fire Department. Read More

Windsor Man Grows Huge Watermelon

Photo Submitted

Photo Submitted

•October 7, 2015•

Shawn Mowry of Windsor is the watermelon man.

When he showed the folks at church the 127 pound watermelon he grew in his garden this year, Marlene Brotherton had to take a picture.

”We were all really impressed that Shawn had grown a larger watermelon than before ,” she said.

Two years ago Mowry harvested a 109  pound watermelon. “It started out as a personal goal to grow a bigger one,” he said of the effort which came up short last year when his vines died.

“I had two seeds from the 109 pounder come up this year,” he continued, pointing out that the vine containing the monster melon produced two at first, but one was damaged by mice and died.

By the end of July the fruit of the prize winner was as big as Mowry’s thumb, then he started seriously watering.

I placed a flag at the end of the plant and watered every day. “I’d go out, turn the sprinkler on, go inside and set the oven timer for an hour and let it soak,” he said, noting the water from his well made the watermelon grow noticeably every day.

“I set the flag a quarter inch from the watermelon, and it grew to meet it each day,” he continued. “It was fun to watch it grow.” Read More

EIU AD Impacting Student Athletes with Integrity

Photo by Nick Fiala Eastern Illinois University Athletic Director Tom Michael explains his leadership style to Sullivan Rotarians during a recent meeting at TNT Pizzeria.

Photo by Nick Fiala
Eastern Illinois University Athletic Director Tom Michael explains his leadership style to Sullivan Rotarians during a recent meeting at TNT Pizzeria.

•October 7, 2015•

By Nick Fiala
Reporting in Sullivan

The Sullivan Rotary Club, located at TNT’s, was recently visited by Eastern Illinois University’s sophomore athletic director Tom Michael.

Michael explained how he has approached his new responsibilities based on his roots and personal values.

“I grew up in southern Illinois, 12 miles east of Carlyle.” Michael said. “Those small town values I think are important.The work ethic and the dedication, the respect, the trust, the integrity, and loyalty were certainly formed back then. It’s been an extremely rewarding first year.”

As a former student athlete and now a father of them, Michael’s relatively new position has not only challenged him but allowed him to work at an occupation that fuels his own personal passions and concerns.

“Being able to lead a group of individuals with energy and enthusiasm and passion: that’s what I really enjoy coming to work everyday and doing. I love what I’m doing because I know I’m making an impact on those student athletes.”

At the center of Michael’s leadership style is consistent integrity. Read More

Remember When? 10-7-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

All four Redskin harriers turned in personal bests during the St. Joseph-Ogden Invitational Cross Country meet last Saturday. Sophomore Katie Tice led Sullivan with a 13th place finish and a time of 12:30. Kristy Jesse completed the course with a time of 13:05. Her run was good enough for 33rd place. Also competing were freshmen Emily Patrick and Brandie Riley who finished 106th and 114th respectively.

This year’s recipient of the Who’s Who award at Sullivan High School has retired in his hometown after a career with the American Fly Ash Corp. which saw him rise from field engineer to chief operating officer of the company. Joseph H. “Joe” Pound is a 1955 graduate of SHS.

Donald L. Elzy of Greenwood, Ind. became the 22nd inductee into the Sullivan High School Hall of Fame Saturday night during the annual alumni banquet. Elzy, currently staff assistant purchasing engineer for the lison Gas Turbines Division of the General Motors Corp. (GMC) in Indianapolis, Ind., is a 1949 graduate of SHS.

After 25 years of owning Kaskia True Value Hardware on the square in Sullivan, Dick Isaacs has decided to close the business and has accepted a job with the State Bank of Sullivan. Isaacs said he tried unsuccessfully for several months to find a buyer, and there was some interest, but, apparently, economic conditions worried potential owners.

Denise Hortenstine of Sullivan recently passed Part A of the official court reporters proficiency examination which was given July 21 in East Peoria. She is a 1990 graduate of the court reporting course at Sparks College in Shelbyville. Read More

Sullivan Discontinues Recycling Program

•October 7, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
Reporting from Sullivan

The recycling program was the topic of discussion at the past Sullivan City Council meeting.

With increasing costs, it was making it harder for the council to decide whether or not to keep the program.The council is paying $16,848 per year for two containers that are getting delivered twice a month. Also, once those containers are full, there are times items are left on the ground, creating extra clean-up.

Another question arose whether it is worth the cost to invest in a third container, which would be a total of $25,920 per year. Commissioner Bill Hagen commented, saying that it was necessary for a third container since trash is getting thrown on the ground.

There was speculation that not just Sullivan residents are adding items to the recycling bins. Since other communities have discontinued their recycling program, residents are bringing their items to Sullivan. With increasing costs and the possibility of more tax dollars having to pay more for the program, the council voted to discontinue the recycling program.

“It is something that we can’t really afford anymore,” Hagen noted. The last days for the program will be November 13-15.

In other matters, the council heard or acted further: Read More

Adult Scavenger Hunt This Week

•October 7, 2015•

Sullivan’s Adult Scavenger Hunt is Oct. 10 with headquarters set up in Wyman Park.

Jeri Davis explained that the adult hunt is held on homecoming weekend, and the group will be part of the parade.

Because some of the prizes contain alcohol, adults only may participate, she explained. Some 40 prizes valued at more than $50 each will be awarded. First clue will be posted at 9 a.m.; second clue at noon, and the third and final clue is 1:30 p.m. Read More

OV Holds September 2015-2016 Budget Vote

•September 30, 2015•

By Derek Pope
Reporting from Bethany

During their September regular meeting, Okaw Valley’s board of education will vote on whether or not to confirm their 2015-2016 school year fiscal budget. Prior to the meeting, the board held a public hearing to notify the public and field discussion of the budget in its entirety, as well as matters related to the increase or decrease in its ending balance.

Previously the News Progress reported that Okaw Valley’s “final estimated ending budget” for the 2014-2015 would end with a roughly $145,000 deficit—this turned out to not be true. In fact, the district’s final budget ended up in the positive as of its closing date on June 30. Its four major operating funds totaled roughly $4,896,000 versus the approximately $4,528,000 it started with, entailing an actual surplus of almost $380,000. Okaw Valley’s previous tentative budget did not include revenue accrued as of June 30 for operating funds budgeted for but not used during the 2014-2015 school year. The entirety of the budget voted on this month will “not be the same” as the district’s ending budget though according to Okaw Valley superintendent Kent Stauder, “due to the rising cost of salary, insurance, and capital projects.” Following the board of education’s vote, the complete 2015-2016 budget will be made available to the public and posted on the district’s website. Read More