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


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

Lovington Selects Animal Control Officer, Purchases Police Vehicle

Community Garden Grows

•July 20, 2016•

By Stu D. Baker
For the News Progress

During the June meeting of the Lovington village board a new animal control officer was appointed and a new police car purchased.

Lisa Clark was selected as animal control officer for the village at a $20 per hour rate. Clark was approved for a 30 day trial period.

A motion to purchase a 2017 Ford Explorer police vehicle from Wright Automotive for $26,310 was approved. Trustee Anklam noted the village received $11,000 from the Timm Foundation to add to the $15,000 budgeted for a new vehicle. The price includes the trade-in of the 2010 patrol car. An additional $2000 will convert the vehicle for police use. Read More

Coles-Moultrie Enhanced 911 Approved by State

Land Line Locators Left

•July 13, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Coles-Moultrie enhanced 911 system became the first emergency dispatch consolidation approved in Illinois.

Bernie Buttram told Moultrie County Board Public Health Safety and Welfare Committee members July 6 the process could move to the next step.

“This is indeed very good news, and I’m excited about moving forward,” committee chair Arlene Aschermann said of the approval.

The Coles-Moultrie Emergency Communications approval by the Illinois State Police administered program followed a state 911 board approval in Springfield last week.

“Thanks to the help from Kelly (Lockhart) and Kevin (McReynolds) from Coles County Regional Planning the mapping process is already underway,” Buttram said.

McReynolds explained the address enhancement utilizing aerial photos last updated in 2002 was a challenge. Read More

Sullivan Fourth of July Activity Winners

•July 13, 2016•

Sullivan’s Wyman Park was buzzing with activity Monday, July 4 with turtle racing, watermelon eating contests and sack races.

Turtle race heat winners and grand champion: Race 1- Jonathon Nixon; race 2- Brea Farris; race 3- Karson Ragsdale; race 4- Payton Schum; race 5- Carson Nixon; race 6- Harper Havens; race 7- Riley Roehrs.

The grand champion turtle race winner was Payton Schum. The championship race included all heat race winners.

Watermelon Eating: (Age 0-4) first Payton Schum; second Kylie Wickline; third Koda Polley, all of Sullivan.

Ages 5-7-first Madison Highland, Monticello; second Stella Schum, Sullivan; third Emmerson Jiannoni, Sullivan.

Ages 8-10- first Maddie Probus, Sullivan; second Arty Grant, Decatur; third Emily Miller, Sullivan. Read More

Rainy Races

Photo by RR Best Rainy Races Crowds gathered under umbrellas for the 2 p.m. Fourth of July turtle races at Wyman Park in Sullivan. In spite of threatening weather, events continued during the Independence Day celebration. Everything from the parade and games to a fantastic fireworks display sponsored by the Sullivan American Legion Post #68 went off as planned.

Photo by RR Best
Rainy Races
Crowds gathered under umbrellas for the 2 p.m. Fourth of July turtle races at Wyman Park in Sullivan. In spite of threatening weather, events continued during the Independence Day celebration. Everything from the parade and games to a fantastic fireworks display sponsored by the Sullivan American Legion Post #68 went off as planned.

Director Leaves, Economic Development Moves Forward

Sullivan Honors McMahon

•July 6, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development improved the city in the 13 years Stepheny McMahon served as director; times are changing though.

The first director’s last day is Friday, July 8 as she moves on to First Mid Illinois Bank, and Laurrie Minor is interim director during the search.

Members of the economic development committee gathered at Cathrine’s Gallery Gifts & More last week to reflect on economic development’s role since the committee started 13 years ago.

Before Ann Short was mayor she was among the founding members of the city’s Economic Development Committee.

“Realizing economic development would best be accomplished by an economic development director, we began accepting resumes,” Short said of the early efforts.

“Stepheny’s outgoing personality and commitment to the community made her a natural choice,” Short continued. Read More

United Way Donations Return Home

•July 6, 2016•

by Mike Brothers

Nine Moultrie County partner agencies with United Way received $37,965 for programs helping people in Moultrie County last year.

Stan Parks, resource development associate for United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, is Moutlrie County’s representative and emphasized all the money raised in Moultrie County stays in Moultrie County.

“The beauty of United Way partnerships is all the locally raised funds stay in the area,” Park began, explaining a Moultrie County volunteer board annually determines where United Way funds raised in the county are spent.

In 2015 that included nine partner agencies: American Red Cross, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center (Peace Meal), C.E.F.S. Economic Community Corp., Camp New Hope, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, Dove, Inc., U of I Extension 4H & Youth Development, Lincoln Trails Council Boy Scouts of America and Moultrie Counseling Center.

“Accountability is the key to supporting successful programs,” Parks said, emphasizing the partner programs are closely monitored to assure those dollars donated are put to best use.

ParksTuesday office hours are from space donated by Moultrie County Counseling Center.

A United Way partner with the Counseling Center’s jobs program illustrates how people’s lives can be assisted through agencies cooperating. Read More