Sullivan Schools Add Instagram to Social Media Offerings

See what’s going on

•November 4, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan Community Unit District 300 added Instagram to its list of social media offerings in October.

“Using Instagram gives our community another way to “see” what is going on without needing to subscribe to other services,” IT Director Mark Waelde said.

The idea to ad Instagram started with a suggestion to increase community access through social media from superintendent Brad Tuttle.

The feed began October 22 with Waelde noting it took only about an hour from registration, converting images, adding a slide show to placing it on the website.

He explained by using The Cube to stream home sporting events, adding the photos for an Instagram page an easy way to provide more information for the community to view.

“Right now I am focusing on events that are accessible to the public,” he said of the content, adding that sporting events will be posted.

High School art teacher Jaclyn Lindberg is working with Waelde to showcase some of the students photography work.

The Sullivan High School Tech Club can also provide images for review before being placed on the Instagram page. Read More

Habitat ReStore Welcomes New Manager

Photo by Mike Brothers ReStore manager Jan Courtright is constantly cleaning and arranging merchandise at the Moultrie County Habitat for Humanity store in Sullivan.

Photo by Mike Brothers
ReStore manager Jan Courtright is constantly cleaning and arranging merchandise at the Moultrie County Habitat for Humanity store in Sullivan.

•November 4, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

When Jan Courtright became manager of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Sullivan it was a natural fit. An open house was held to from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 31.

“I worked in Arthur and lived in Findlay so I drove by every day,” Jan began. “I began stopping and getting things for my house and just shopping.”

Courtright began to look at the ReStore as a daily American Pickers adventure, as he looked through shelves filled with everything from building supplies to vinyl albums and cassette tapes to rows of glassware and furniture.

You can get pretty much anything you need for your house at the ReStore.

Courtright’s shopping experience turned to management when his daughter told him about the opening in Sullivan.

“I really liked the store and what it does for the community, so I applied, and here I am,” he said, as he cleaned off a microwave getting prepared for the shelf.

He spends his 10 hour days moving and organizing and picking up donations along with the help of about a dozen or so Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

“Without the dozen or so volunteers this would not be possible,” Courtright said of dealing with the volume of merchandise coming in and out. Read More

Sullivan City Council Changes Cart Limits

•November 4, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
For the NewsProgress

The Sullivan City Council met Monday, October 26 to cover a few issues that were on hand.

Commissioner Bill Hagen discussed the time frame for when golf carts used as transportation should be allowed in the streets. “Golf carts must have proper tail and headlights,” he stated. “There really shouldn’t be any out between 12 and 1 a.m.,” Hagen informed the council. Police chief John Love suggested that there shouldn’t be any golf carts after 10 p.m.  The new ordinance was changed to reflect the time change.

Hagen also discussed the recycling program once again. The city had decided to discontinue the recycling program because of the rising costs. “I don’t want people to have to pay extra money for people who come out of town to use it. People out of town had been using it too,” stated Hagen.

While the council suggested adding an extra dollar or two to utility bills, they felt that cost wouldn’t cover those from other cities.  “We are going to stop the program, despite the letters and the comments,” he added.

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

Professional Learning Group Grows for Local Educators

•November 4, 2015•

Matt Schoaff is a principal of action. That is one reason every student at Okaw Valley High School toured major businesses and industry in the area on October 30.

Schoaff explained that four busloads of high school students left Bethany heading to places such as Mid-State Tank, Agri-Fab and Hydro-Gear in Sullivan, to MasterBrand Cabinets in Arthur and to TCCI in Decatur.

“We had kids in welding internships for the first time at Agri-Fab last year,” Schoaff said of Okaw Valley’s commitment to training.  “Our major goal is to graduate kids to be productive citizens.”

“Not another school is doing this,” he emphasized.

Doing things is what Schoaff is good at.

Last year he noticed that many of the schools in the area have common issues relating to curriculum. So a professional learning group became his goal to let educators in different districts share successful teaching curricula in five different subjects.

Arthur, Shelbyville, Oakland and Windsor joined Okaw Valley to explore curriculum issues with math courses in August.

That experience went well so Schoaff stepped it up this year, inviting more schools and setting aside a weeklong curricula series. Read More

Remember When? 10-28-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Cadet Bruce A. Gannaway, son of Jeffrey L. and Patricia A. Gannaway of Windsor, received practical work in military leadership at the U.S. Army ROTC advanced camp in Ft. Riley, Kan. Gangway is a student at Eastern Illinois University.

The Sullivan High School marching band captured first place among Class C schools in field competition during the Arthur Marching Knights and Arthur Music Boosters fourth annual “Bandfest 90” competition Saturday in Arthur. Bethany High School took second place among Class D schools. The Sullivan and Bethany flag corps both placed second in their auxiliary divisions.

Bethany teacher Jane White Hendricks is one of a select group of American teachers to be honored by her toughest critics, her former students, in the inaugural edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Quarterback Jason Kottwitz got great protection from Paul Riley, Chad Reed and the rest of the Redskin offensive line Thursday during the Redskins 40-20 win against St. Teresa. The victory gave Sullivan the playoff berth they have worked toward all year and sends them up against the undefeated Casey-Westfield Warriors on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. first-round game at home.

The CYF group at the First Christian Church of Sullivan will host its annual Holiday Bazaar Nov. 10 at the church. Organizers for this year’s sale of baked items and crafts include Ruth Erickson, Marian Crawford, Dorothy Hall, Anna Jane Sager and Virginia Reed.

Sullivan freshman Amy Bishop has participated in three cross country invitational meets this season for Lake Land College. Bishop placed 15th out of 23 runners at the Parkland College meet and improved her time at Danville Area College where she placed 29th out of 60 runners. She also participated in a meet at Spoon River College.  Read More

New CIPT Program Director Announced

Photo Submitted C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation recently hired Kim Adair of Louisville as the new Central Illinois Public Transit Program Director.

Photo Submitted
C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation recently hired Kim Adair of Louisville as the new Central Illinois Public Transit Program Director.

•October 28, 2015•

C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation has announced the hiring of Kim Adair as the Central Illinois Public Transit (CIPT) Program Director. As CIPT Director, Adair will serve as a key member of the agency management staff and will be responsible for the day-to-day management, leadership and operation of the C.E.F.S. Central Illinois Public Transit Program to ensure effective accountability, oversight and outcomes of the transit operations with funders, grant recipients, partners, local communities and riders.

Adair was previously employed with the North Dakota Department of Transportation for four years where she held the position of Public Transit Section Manager. Prior to that position she was employed by the Paducah Transit Authority for 13 years, first as Assistant General Manager followed by General Manager, and during this time Paducah Transit Authority was awarded the 2010 Rural System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of America. Adair obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from American InterContinental University with a major in business management. She lives in Louisville with her husband Barry and son Brodie. The couple also has three grown children who live in North Dakota and Kentucky. Read More

Food Pantry Fundraiser Looks to Keep Building

IGA Round Up begins Nov. 1

•October 28, 2015•

by Keith Stewart
For the NP

The Sullivan IGA Round Up may be an annual fundraiser, but for the Moultrie County Food Pantry it helps lighten a big load this time of year– providing 200 Thanksgiving dinner baskets, which is a reoccurring need.

“A lot of the Thanksgiving baskets we give away go to the elderly,” said Moultrie County Food Pantry coordinator Kristy Dawson. “Some of them only get $16 a month on their Link card, which is not obviously enough for a month’s worth of food let alone a meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

In order to meet the need, Dawson and the pantry try to put together at least 200 baskets this time every year.

They include a turkey or turkey breasts, cranberry sauce, ingredients for green bean casserole, noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole and stuffing.

But not only does the pantry try to provide the fixings for a special holiday meal for those in need, it also tries to keep up with its normal outreach by still providing the normal small, medium, and large boxes of food for individuals and families, with each box supplying a week’s worth of meals.

And with the lack of a state budget now four months into the fiscal year, Dawson says those boxes have become a bit more important.

“Because of the lack of funding, we are trying to give more items in our food boxes to last a little longer than before,” said Dawson. “We’ve also increased our ground beef order. Our standing order used to be 80 pounds. Now we’re at 100 because we were running out.” Read More

Sullivan Schools Look to the Future

•October 28, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

Future goals are a step closer to being for Sullivan schools following a special October 21 planning meeting.

This special meeting of the Unit School District No 300 board invited participation from attending members of the public, teachers and administration in an effort to best determine the future course of education in the district.

“Overall the comments were not as negative,” Supt. Brad Tuttle began. “We have made progress on original goals, and we’ll be looking at new goals.”

Tuttle explained the planning session information will be put together by Illinois Association of School Boards Field Service Director Larry Dirks, who is helping guide the district.

The group was asked to evaluate the school district’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as ground work toward establishing goals.

Dirks explained the role of the school board was to use the members connection to the community to learn how the schools may best serve community needs.

“This is how you can teach the values of your community in the schools,” parent Monte Johnson, commented on how that information translates to the schools.

Dirks agreed pointing out the school board members then translate that into policy.

Policy manual delegates authority to the superintendent to implement it. Read More

Sullivan Pursues New Debt Collection Program

SS Numbers Track Those Who Owe

•October 21, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

For years the city of Sullivan’s collections for unpaid utilities were an iffy process; so the city council is trying Local Debt Recovery through the Illinois Comptroller’s office.

The intergovernmental agreement was approved unanimously by city council at the Monday, October 12 meeting.

“As a municipality we can send past utility bills, ordinance violations and even past due parking tickets to Local Debt Recovery, and they take care of collections,” city treasurer Sarah Golden said of the new program.

In the past the city and collection agencies had difficulty locating people after they left Sullivan with no forwarding address. This made the ability to collect past utility bills limited to those folks who wanted to live in Sullivan again.

Golden explained that the returning customer would have to pay the past due utility bill to get service again. With 20 or more utility shut offs per month it didn’t take long for a back log to exist in collections.

A collection agency also charged the city 33% of the due bill, reducing the amount again. Golden said Local Debt Recovery charges a fee, but it is to the person who owes the delinquent bill. Read More

Oktoberfest 5K Run/Walk & Punkin Run

•October 21, 2015•

Overall winner in the Octoberfest 5K run/walk and punkin run was Crystal Ashby with a time of 24:53.

Other winners  include overall male, Pat Stinson 26:12; 14 and under male, Hayden Moody 26:39; 25-29 female, Leanna Beck 28:10; 30-34 female, Chelsea Wildman 35:13; 35-39 male, Jason Moody 26:44; Troy Stockdale, 34:20; 35-39 female, Dusty Forlines 25:53; 40-44 male, Neil Elder 28:09; 40-44 female, Starla Stockdale 29:04; 50-54 male, Kyle McCarter 26:52 Read More