Greenhill Cemetery: Two Decades of Memories for One Man

Photo by Madison Uhlrich
Kurk Grohler is digging his last grave at Greenhill Cemetery in Sullivan along with Kyler Lane (right). Kyler is grandson to Kurk’s first boss Mayor Leon Lane. Kurk will concentrate on his landscaping business while Kyler stays on with the Greenhill crew.

•April 5, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Kurk Grohler has been working at Greenhill Cemetery in Sullivan for the past 24 years. Next week Grohler steps down to allow the new cemetery superintendent Herb Bricker to take over maintaining the 35 acre city cemetery.

“I’ve had three bosses, Leon Lane, Rick Dunscomb and Ann Short, and they have all been great to work for,” Grohler said, noting Leon Lane first gave him a chance to work for the city.

One thing for which Grohler is glad is that Lane’s grandson, Kyler, joined Grohler at Greenhill three years ago and will get to continue working under Supt. Bricker.

“Kurk has been more than a great boss; he has been like a second father to me,” Kyler Lane said of Grohler.

As Grohler prepared to dig what could be his final grave, he noted that most people think all there is to taking care of a cemetery is mowing. Read More

Sullivan Council Considers Additional Water Tower

•March 29, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

City council members weighed in the options for building another water tower at the most recent council meeting.

After conducting a few tests, it was found that building a water tower north of Hydro-Gear would be the city’s best location option. A tower at this location would increase water distribution ability throughout the city.

Sullivan uses more than 400,000 gallons per day. The current tower holds 500,000 gallons – increasing the capacity by another 250 – 500,000 gallons would better prepare the city if emergency usage was required or the city experienced growth. Currently tower water storage is enough for Sullivan’s current usage.

The council noted it would be beneficial but was also was a large financial investment- an estimated million dollars.  Read More

Oh Brother: Afraid of Heights? Why Not Climb the Clock Tower

•March 29, 2017•

By Mike Brothers
NP Managing Editor

I am not very good with heights; my palms start sweating when I hear someone talking about mountain climbing or looking over a cliff’s edge.

So when it was time to move the clocks forward an hour for spring, I have no idea what got into me.

Maybe it was curiosity as I looked out my apartment building and the clock on the Moultrie County Courthouse had not yet leaped forward.

I called Rick Matthews who is responsible for all things related to the 1904 building that houses the giant clock tower.

From north, south, east or west of the Sullivan square the time shines night and day. Except this one day the four faces needed to gain an hour.

Rick explained that since it had snowed Sunday night, he needed to clear access to the courthouse for the public before attending to the time change. Read More

2016 Moultrie County Final Multiplier Announced

•March 29, 2017•

Moultrie County has been issued a final property assessment equalization factor of 1.0000, according to Constance Beard, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The property assessment equalization factor, often called the “multiplier”, is the method used to achieve uniform property assessments among counties as required by law. This equalization is particularly important because some of the state’s 6,600 local taxing districts overlap into two or more counties (e.g. school districts, junior college districts, fire protection districts). If there were no equalization among counties, substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.

Under a law passed in 1975, property in Illinois should be assessed at one-third (1/3) of its market value. Farm property is assessed differently, with farm homesites and dwellings subject to regular assessing and equalization procedures, but with farmland assessed at one-third of its agriculture economic value. Farmland is not subject to the state equalization factor. Read More

Agri-Fit Breaks Ground on Organic Garden

Photo by Mike Brothers
Daycare Diggers broke ground at the Agri-Fit garden in Sullivan last week. Pictured from left: James Conlin, Brooklynn Clark, Elijah Crosier, Agri-Fab president Mike Cohen, Addi Heaton, Savannah LaDew, Hope Conner, and Brinnley Hobbs.

•March 29, 2017•

Children from the Agri-Fab daycare center gathered on a cloudy March 22 morning for a growing experience.

As part of the growing Agri-Fit wellness program for Agri-Fab families, ground was broken behind the daycare center for an organic garden.

This is part of the ongoing effort by the Sullivan garden equipment manufacturer to give back to the community by donating a portion of the harvest to the local food bank.

Plant IT manager Neal Ozier came up with the idea and presented it to the Agri-Fit team, and it gained a life of its own from there. Read More

Security Wall Recommended for States Attorney’s Office

•March 8, 2017•

A wall with a security window and magnetic entry door for the state’s attorneys was approved for installation by the Moultrie County Board building and grounds committee March 1.

Building and grounds manager Rick Matthews reported the measure to provide increased security to the Moultrie County State’s Attorney Jeremy Richey’s office could be accomplished for about $1000.

Matthews noted an eternal bid of $5906 for constructing the security window and wall let him take another look at the project.

By utilizing used security glass with a built in speaker, Matthews told the committee he could build the wall with occasional assistance from the state’s attorney for $958.19. Read More

Hands Producing Good Works from the Heart in Honduras

Photo by Joe Pound
In the little village in Honduras every one comes to the church where volunteers work to provide medical treatment for families like the one above. Volunteers from the Sullivan mission helped with Vacation Bible School which was attended by more than 300 children. Regular classes are conducted for students in the church pavilion built during an earlier mission trip.

•March 8, 2017•

By Jose Libra
for the News Progress

For the eighth year in a row, 17 members of Hearts and Hands for Honduras  traveled to a remote community in the northeast part of Honduras, near the large town of Tacoa.

The mission team from Sullivan First United Methodist Church (FUMC) included members from area churches and communities who brought support and healing medical services to residents of nearby La Ceibita. The small, struggling community’s local Methodist church building was the clinic’s location.

These semi-annual treks consist of a medical mission effort in February (just completed) and a trip with a construction focus in July.

Last July a group helped local church members build a 20x20 ft. covered pavilion in the front yard of the church, which is now used as a classroom.  Read More

Titus Opera House-Sullivan’s Musical Past

Photo furnished
Performers at the Titus Opera House.

•March 8, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Long before Guy Little, Jr. had a vision for The Little Theatre on the Square, Sullivan enjoyed a storied musical past with the Titus Opera House.

It was Sullivan’s cultural center from 1871 to 1910.

Joseph Titus moved to Sullivan with his wife, Louise, and their talented daughter, Winifred. Mrs. Titus sang and played piano, sharing that love of music with the community.

Mr. and Mrs. Titus became patrons of the arts and built the opera house in 1871 for $30,000. Located on the northeast corner of the square where Dunscomb’s Furniture later resided, people began to come. Read More

CIPT is Making Sure No One is Left Behind

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Jennifer Moore (l) accepts the $1,000 grant from Kristy Dawson, Area Agency President.

Grant Helps Cover Costs

•March 8, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Central Illinois Public Transit (CIPT) has received a $1,000 grant from the Moultrie County Interagency Group.

This returning grant will be used to help cover transportation costs for seniors over 60 and people with disabilities. Kathi Shackles, Exec. Dir. of the Senior Center, is surveying seniors for suggestions on trips or other services they need. Some ideas include a trip to Moonshine, Scovill Zoo, or Effingham for a performance.

Jennifer Moore, Mobility Manager of CIPT, emphasized that transportation services are not just for the elderly and disabled, but for anyone in Moultrie, Christian, Clay, Fayette, Montgomery, Effingham or Shelby counties.

“Even a millionaire can use our service,” she said.   Read More

Council Discusses Ordinances Regarding Cannabis and Curfew

•March 8, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

City council members discussed ordinances regarding cannabis and city curfew hours at the last meeting.

Illinois law on marijuana possession changed in 2016. It is now a civil offense for individuals who are caught with 10 grams or less of cannabis. The fine will cost such persons $200. The new law makes this punishable by fines – but not by jail time.

The council discussed whether they should pass a city ordinance creating a policy and setting fines.

Presently the county has an ordinance; otherwise, it is a state citation. Without an ordinance, the city loses the revenue from the citations.

City police chief Jim Waggoner reported six cases of individuals who have been caught with cannabis recently. No action was taken during the meeting regarding the ordinance. Read More