Senior Center Expressed Increased Parking Need

•August 17, 2016•

By Arianna Cherry
For the News Progress

Mid-Illinois Senior Services Director Deb Groendal asked Sullivan City Council to consider reserved parking for senior functions at the Aug. 1 meeting.

She explained parking has become an issue during Peace Meals served at lunch. Eight of her 12 spots are taken each day. Seniors who usually come during Peace Meals are having trouble finding parking near the entrance. “Instead, they have had to phone in and ask that their meals be delivered because they are unable to park near the door,” Groendal said.

Seniors who need to park near the door often carried oxygen or they have other handicaps that make it difficult for them to walk long distances.

Groendal said not only had parking been an issue for seniors but also the volunteers who deliver the meals. They need to park near the entrance because of the numerous hot meals they must carry to their vehicles. She noted walking a long distance carrying all of the meals can impose a danger as well.  Read More

Lovington Looks into Ordinance Changes

•August 10, 2016•

Lovington Village Board met Monday, August 8 to finalize ordinance changes with utilities, motor vehicles- golf carts and UTVS permits and open  burning offenses.

During the July 11 meeting, the animal control contract with Lisa Clark was amended to a $25 per animal fee but with no hourly amount.

Dennis Garmon reported the the condition of the park condition is excellent and reported that Lovington Homes is being sold. Pam Anklam and Jim McMahon moved to send a letter to the board to reconsider the sale. Read More

Moultrie Committee Accepts Bid for County Farm Rent

Price Reflects Grain Market

•August 10, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Bids on the Moultrie County farm opened August 3 reflect changes in the grain market, with this year’s $367 per acre bid, $50 per acre less than the previous two year contract.

Building and grounds committee chairman Gary Smith opened proposals from two local farmers for a two year contract.

Mark Kuhn, who is currently farming the 217.58 acre county farm, submitted the $367 per acre bid, totaling $79,851.86. Smith noted an additional $5.40 fee from Ag Answers insures soil fertility is maintained. Read More

Deer Farming Interest Grows With Upcoming Tours

Photos by Stu D. Baker Travis Phelps displays an antler rack from a four year old buck, about twice normal size.

Photos by Stu D. Baker
Travis Phelps displays an antler rack from a four year old buck, about twice normal size.

Animal Crackers Treat the Herd

•August 3, 2016•

By Stu D. Baker
For the News Progress

Travis Phelps Moultrie County Monsters Deer Farm northwest of Sullivan is anything but scary.

To prove his point Phelps scooped a cup full of animal crackers up and headed in to the eight foot high corral that’s home to five young deer. As the yearling does and bucks gathered around the cups of animal crackers, Phelps pointed out one of the his favorite benefits of deer farming.

“It doesn’t matter how rough work has been,” Phelps, a veteran Illinois Department of Corrections employee, said, “As soon as I enter the pen, I’ll sit down on a bucket, and the deer gather around for a few animal crackers, and all the stress of the day drops away.”

The monsters theme of the farm started with one deer who got a little eager for the animal crackers.

“Each deer has its own personality, and we gave them fun names like Cookie Monster,” he said, noting they even went as far as to incorporate Silence of the Lamb movie characters Hannibal and Clarice into the monster mix. Read More

Explosive Scare in Sullivan Neighborhood

Photo by Mike Brothers Sullivan Chief of Police John Love (right) shows Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims the bundle of flares that looked like dynamite to the person who reported its location to authorities last week.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Sullivan Chief of Police John Love (right) shows Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims the bundle of flares that looked like dynamite to the person who reported its location to authorities last week.

•July 27, 2016•

A call to Sullivan police early Wednesday, July 20 led to a few tense hours in the neighbor surrounding 216 W. Harrison Street when a possible explosive was discovered.

Chief of Police John Love explained the department received a report that what was believed to be dynamite was located in a shed at the residence.

Chief Love reported the incident to the Secretary of State’s office with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency bomb squad dispatched to Sullivan immediately.

“We were instructed to establish a 300 foot perimeter and wait for the bomb squad to arrive,” Love said, thanking all the agencies who got involved in the incident. Read More

Group Makes An Appeal to Heaven at Moultrie Courthouse

Photo by Mike Brothers A group touring the state with An Appeal to Heaven stopped in Sullivan last week. Pictured following prayer at the Moultrie County Courthouse flagpole from left to right Christiane Sheets, Roy Lyerla, Moultrie County Courthouse officer Mike Brewer, Jim Skaggs, Pat Sheets, Ron Turnbow, Lee Clawson.

Photo by Mike Brothers
A group touring the state with An Appeal to Heaven stopped in Sullivan last week. Pictured following prayer at the Moultrie County Courthouse flagpole from left to right Christiane Sheets, Roy Lyerla, Moultrie County Courthouse officer Mike Brewer, Jim Skaggs, Pat Sheets, Ron Turnbow, Lee Clawson.

•July 27, 2016•

It was high noon Thursday on the Moultrie County Courthouse lawn, and in spite of the 90 degree heat people of faith from around the state gathered around the flag pole for “An Appeal to Heaven”.

Pastor Patrick Sheets of Peoria began his trek visiting all 102 counties in Illinois April 8, 2016.

The Moultrie County courthouse July 21 was the 58th visit.

“The state of this state and this nation has reached crisis stage,” Sheets said, explaining he had presented county clerk Georgia Clerk with  “An Appeal to Heaven” flag for the county.

The group then gathered around the courthouse flag pole and prayed for the condition of the country to improve. Read More

Sullivan Schools Construction Moves Forward

Handbook Revisions Approved

•July 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

As a variety of improvements continue, the Sullivan School District 300 board met in the elementary school library with one less member.

Board member Scott Atchison resigned, creating a vacancy on the board. The board is accepting applications for the vacancy with the appointment effective until the April 2017 election.

Supt. Brad Tuttle noted the need for asbestos removal from locker rooms was an unexpected glitch in the district construction, but students should be able to attend classes as scheduled on August 22.

Director of maintenance Kevin Landrus continued, explaining ceiling grids are being installed with a test of all systems planned before installing ceiling tile.

Landrus noted additional tuckpointing on the inner roof wall of the high school was needed before the new roof membrane was installed.

“As we are getting closer to completion, the trick is keeping contractors from getting in each other’s way,” he said, noting all the trades were working well together. Read More

Water Fun at Wyman

•July 20, 2016•

Photos by RR Best
Sullivan Summer Park program director Melissa Haegen records video of water play day at Wyman Park last week. Sullivan Fire Department personnel brought the ladder truck and treated the 100 kids participating in the summer program to a day filled with water based fun. Fire fighters finished the afternoon off serving the group hot dog lunches.

water wall wall of water&SlipSlide wall o water view from ladder

slipSlide

kids eat

hot dogs for 100 kids Haegen videos

ALAH Budget Looking Up, but Still Room for Improvement

•July 20, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry,
For the News Progress

“All funds are in the black,” noted Superintendent Kenny Schwengel at the last Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board meeting. “There is $1,669, 501.91 in the education fund balance. We are still short $240,000 from the incentive money that we did not receive.”

Schwengel also stated that the district was expecting around $670,000 in incentive funding for the 2016-2017 school year. “Things are still looking up from a budget standpoint, but there is still room to improve,” he said.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

• The athletic department wanted to know the board’s opinion on including the local bar and gun shop as part of their ad sales for their fundraisers. Members of the board didn’t have any issues with it. Read More

Noise Concerns Bring Visitors to County Board

Dog Kennel Questioned

•July 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Concerns over the noise level of a dog kennel brought an audience to the Moultrie County Board meeting July 14.

When planning and land use committee chair Todd Maxedon presented the motion for a special use permit allowing Duane Schrock to operate a dog kennel in rural Arthur, neighbors voiced concerns.

Bill Crane spoke for a number of neighbors explaining the prior owner had a puppy mill in the location, and the noise was unbearable.

“There are a lot of people living within 400 feet of the area,” Crane pointed out, “and putting up with 60 or 70 yelping dogs is not what we want.”

Gary Cornwell lives next door to the proposed kennel. “When those dogs are howling at night, it’s like a freight train,” he said, pointing out coyote traffic in the area added to the dogs’ agitation.

Planning and zoning director Jan Haegen pointed out four P&Z directors met at the property, returning a split vote to the planning and zoning committee, which approved the permit with recommendations. Read More