City of Sullivan Treasurer Salmon Steps Down

•September 30, 2015•

By Ariana Cherry
Reporting from Sullivan

Sullivan city treasurer, Myron Salmon, announced his resignation at the Sept. 14 city council meeting “He made a good situation in what we do here,” commented Mike Mossman. “We wish him luck in his new endeavor,” he added. September 29 will be Salmon’s last day.

“I can’t say that I am happy, but I understand his position,” stated Mayor Ann Short.

“We appreciate everything he has done,” said Mossman. The council will begin looking for someone else to fill his position.

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

-Commissioner Bill Hagen was absent. Discussion regarding the recycling program will be held at the next meeting as well as updates on the water and sewer plant projects and the 403 N Graham demolition. Read More

Remember When? 9-30-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Sullivan High School will crown a new queen this Friday during homecoming festivities. Senior candidates are Stacey Anderson, Laura Pound, Angie Johnson and Misha Coy. Princess attendants Mandy Collins, Jennifer Daily and Nicki Wood will also take part in homecoming festivities all week at Sullivan High School.

Bryan Yoder of rural Lovington recently took home seven prizes for his corn exhibits at the Illinois State Fair. He dedicated his prizes to Howard Phillips of Arthur, superintendent of the Moultrie-Douglas Fair for many years.

Sandi Cameron was recently elected president of the United Way Board of Moultrie County for 1990-91. Also elected were Terry Shaw, vice president; Sheila Muzzy, secretary; Margaret Ann Smith, treasurer; and Darrell Davis, campaign chairman.

Bethany’s Ben Osman was just a few yards from catching a pass from Burl Coclasure during the Mustangs 14-2 victory Friday night over Maroa-Forsyth.

After 27 years as chief cook, bottle washer and owner of Wilson’s Cafe in Dalton City, Dorothy Wilson recently hung up her apron and leased the family style restaurant to a young Dalton City woman. Michele Phelps, 22, who previously worked at the restaurant as a teenager before she launched her own career in the food industry, leased the business Sept. 1 and has renamed it Michele’s Cafe.

Two more military service personnel with local ties are reported to be serving in the Middle East as part of Operation Desert Shield. Army Pvt. 1st Class Robert S. Hale, son of Robert Hale and Carol Hale Bolin of Sullivan, was recently dispatched to Saudi Arabia. He is a 1989 graduate of Sullivan High School. Linda Hall of Harrisburg, Pa., a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard and the daughter of Warren and Dorothy Hall of rural Sullivan, left last week for Saudi Arabia. She is a 1966 graduate of Sullivan High School. Read More

Training Gap Addressed by No Job Left Behind

•September 23, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

With some 500 production related jobs opening in the next few years the need to train local students is in growing demand.

On Sept. 18 representatives of No Job Left Behind from Coles, Douglas, Shelby and Moultrie counties gathered at Faith Lutheran Church in Sullivan to find out how to best meet that demand.

Dr. Mike Rudibaugh , GIS professor from Lake Land College, analyzed results from the 2015 gap survey sent to 131 employers in the region.

What Rudibaugh learned was the growing need for production employees is in a region that is experiencing a decline in population.

“One thing I think you will find is many communities have an aging population,” Rudibaugh said, citing Shelby County as one with 40% of its population over 50 years of age.

He went on to explain the present commuter trends across county lines indicate the need for training will require regional cooperation in order to attract major government funding.

“Production (manufacturing) still plays an important and vibrant role in our communities,” Rudibaugh continued. “And partnerships between production and education can help communities stabilize population by training workers for jobs that need to be filled here.”

Sullivan schools superintendent Brad Tuttle pointed to the recent success of the welding program in its first year at District 300 high school.

Aimed at preparing students for Agri-Fab and Hydro-Gear jobs in Sullivan the class has more than 12 students in its first year.The school has also enjoyed success with the summer intern programs at these local facilities.

Deacon Patient of Agri-Fab said he would like to utilize more internships if some funding sources could be located to grow that program.

Joe Sheiner of Hydro-Gear noted they opened the tour to include more than the manufacturing side of the business. Hydro-Gear utilized the summer intern program to help fill a receptionist vacancy this year.

Tuttle noted an adult education welding program is being planned with hopes of vocational funding to assist.
Read More

A Time to Honor Direct Service Professionals

•September 23, 2015•

By Susan Sullivan Rauch
Executive Director of the Beacon

“People with developmental disabilities have special needs, but their basic needs are the same as everyone else’s. The need to have a home, learn useful, relevant skills; work; and develop and sustain relationships with people they care about and who care about them.” Author Unknown

The Moultrie County Beacon has done this in Sullivan since 1968, yet many of our citizens have only a vague notion of what we actually do and whom we actually help. This isn’t such a surprise for our first 30 years we really didn’t talk about what we did.

To the families that we served, we were a blessing, but for the majority of the population our work remained a mystery that had little impact on their lives. Most children with special needs were bused out of town to special schools, thereby inhibiting the social relationships that are built during the 12 years attending public school. As a result, many adults with developmental disabilities grew up without being fully integrated into their communities.

Today we are driven to push the boundaries that once hindered people with disabilities from meeting their full potential. Today most of our children attend our local schools and, as a result, form relationships that enrich their lives as well as the lives of their classmates.  Read More

Sullivan School Approves New Budget, Staffing Completed

•September 23, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan District 300 school board members approved a $10,043,969 total budget at the Monday, Sept. 14 meeting.

The fiscal budget year is July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 with Superintendent Brad Tuttle explaining the process during a public hearing on the budget.

“With the state still struggling with their budget, we are looking at the third year of some type of cuts.” Tuttle said, noting that contingencies are built into the budget in case things start to go south.

He said the district is starting the year in better shape with account balances but warned that declining enrollment will equalize the increased state reimbursement formula.

Educational fund receipts from local taxes are anticipated at $2,975,199. The state contribution is expected at $3,266,267 with the federal government budgeted for $876,016, bringing anticipated fund total for education to $7,117,482.

Even with a $50,000 contingency, education expenses are anticipated at $7,3034,134, some $185,652 less than the fund is bringing in. An account balance of $2,985,659 covers the shortage in education.

Operations and maintenance and transportation funds also are budgeted in the red.

Superintendent Tuttle explained the budget is a working document and will be revised as more information is available during the year. Read More

Police Investigating Rash of Saturday Incidents

•September 23, 2015•

Saturday night had Sullivan police investigating a few incidents of a hold up, vehicle entry and one home burglary.

Sullivan Police Chief John Love reported all the incidents are under investigation although some of the stolen property has been recovered.

At 11:30 p.m. Sullivan police were notified of the hold up in the parking lot outside Lucky’s food and Spirits on Washington St.

Love indicated, according to the report, a six foot tall black man approached the couple demanding, “Give me all your stuff!”

The couple complied, but as the crime unfolded, the victims eventually persuaded the hold up man to give up things he didn’t need such as car keys and drivers’ licenses and other personal effects. Read More

Remember When? 9-23-2015

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Sullivan’s Redskins racked up the points, played tough defense and provided plenty of excitement Friday night in their 27-8 win over the Villa Grove Blue Devils. The Redskins increased their undefeated streak to 3-0 last Friday by continuing their strong rushing attack from Schascle Yochim, Nate Hutchings and Troy Rogers. Yochim rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns while Hutchings and Rogers also contributed to the 215-yard total.

Sullivan resident George “Bill” Frazier was honored by the illinois Dept. of Public Health Monday in Springfield as one of 13 recipients of hero certificates signed by Gov. James R. Thompson and acting health department director John Lumpkin. Frazier, 30, received the award for his part in helping save nine year old Sullivan resident Dustin Jenkin’s leg following a boating accident June 16 at Lake Shelbyville near the Bo Wood access area.

Christopher Condill of Arthur was one of 88 Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy seniors who qualified as semifinalists or received letters of commendation in this year’s National Merit Scholarship Corp. competition.

Trent E. Doty of Lovington and Rodney W. Davis of Findlay have received scholarships to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Doty, the son of Bob and Rita Doty, has received a $600 Crows Hybrids Scholarship to continue his studies in agriculture. Davis, son of Amos and Gloria Davis, is a junior majoring in forestry. He is one of 13 ag students who have received tuition supplement scholarships rewarding academic excellence. Read More

Remember When? 9-16-2015

25 Years Ago This Week

Butler Heating, Plumbing and Hardware changed ownership last week when former Bethany residents Terry and Sharon Muzzy purchased it from longtime owners Francis and Gloria Butler. Muzzy, the son of Doris Muzzy of Bethany, returns to Bethany after many years in Florida, where he worked for 20 years in air conditioning and commercial refrigeration.

Three area students earned practical nursing pins during a recent ceremony at Lake Land College. They are Macia Ann Epperson and Susan S. Quick, both of Sullivan, and Olga Yaworski of Lovington.

Marsha Ward, daughter of Bill and Angie Ward of Sullivan, received her master of arts  degree Aug. 10 during summer commencement at Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Mo.

The Sullivan Redskins earned the right to keep their number 10 state ranking—thanks to some quick thinking and extra effort. The Redskins, lead by Schascle Yochim’s 126 yards rushing, defeated Macon 30-12 Friday on the Ironmen’s home field. Touchdowns by Yochim, quarterback, Billy Harris, Nate Hutchings and Josh Crowe highlighted the contest as Sullivan finished the evening with 257 running yards. Read More

Sullivan’s Blue Dolphins Celebrate Fifty Years

Photo Courtesy of the News•Progress Archives Pictured are six members of the 1983 Blue Dolphins Swim team which qualified for the Junior Olympics that March. Those who qualified were, clockwise from the top, Heather Highland, Darren Powell, Brad Voltz, now current Blue Dolphins Head Coach Jason Drury, Trenton Guyot, and Justin Dunscomb.

Photo Courtesy of the News•Progress Archives
Pictured are six members of the 1983 Blue Dolphins Swim team which qualified for the Junior Olympics that March. Those who qualified were, clockwise from the top, Heather Highland, Darren Powell, Brad Voltz, now current Blue Dolphins Head Coach Jason Drury, Trenton Guyot, and Justin Dunscomb.

•September 16, 2015•

Open House Friday

Fifty years of Sullivan Blue Dolphin swimmers have trained at the Civic Center, and this Friday, September 18 an open house commemorates the occasion.

Everyone is invited to the Sullivan Civic Center from 4-7 p.m. Friday to help the Blue Dolphins celebrate their Golden Anniversary.

Swimming heritage started the day the doors opened at the Civic Center with 525 splashing in the Olympic sized pool.

When Charles Smith came in as director, the school district allowed students to receive swimming lessons. This led to the eventual birth of a competitive swim team.

Early competitions involved surrounding counties and included Olympic swimmer Lynn Alsup of Bloomington.

By 1974 Steve Ludwig reorganized the team into the Blue Dolphins.

Now, as in the beginning, the city of Sullivan has supported the swim team providing them a free pass for all practices and competitions.

Blue Dolphins coach Jason Drury is a Sullivan native who swam for the team in the 1980s.

He was among the first Blue Dolphins to compete at the state level.

Drury has been with the Blue Dolphins for the past 10 years, building it from 20 to 80 swimmers.

“Swimming is a progression,” he told Joash Tiarks in August. “In the early years, it does not matter how fast you are…using the correct form and stroke is the key.” Read More

County Approves Wine Serving for Pumpkin Patch

•September 16, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County Board members allowed wine to be served at the Farm to Fork Dinner held at the Great Pumpkin Patch Sept. 27.

Following a recommendation from Liquor Control Commission chair David McCabe the board unanimously approved the Special Event License “G” for Wine on Vine LLC during the annual event in Jonathan Creek Township.

Building and grounds chair Gary Smith recommended Jason Salvato’s bid of $2,580 to repair flooring in the courthouse ladies’ room. The measure passed unanimously.

A motion was made by budget and finance chair Ron White to engage Coles County Regional Planning Commission to do a fee study for the county. Cost of the study is not to exceed $3000. The motion passed with Kevin McReynold’s abstaining.

Road and bridge chair McReynolds moved to approve preliminary engineering agreement with HLR for inspection of lake bridges in water too deep water for the county highway dept. equipment.

He also recommended approval for county engineer Jeff Birch’s salary following state recommended guidelines. Birch will receive a 1.5% increase for an $85,200 annual salary.

Both McReynolds recommended motions and the resolution to appropriate funds for the engineer’s salary were approved unanimously.

Legislative committee chair Tim Rose moved to appoint drainage district commissioners with terms through Sept. 2018. Included were Daniel L. Gingerich-Cadwell Drainage Dist.; Gary Emel-Dist 1 of East Nelson; Chris Yoder-Dist 1 of Lowe; Steve Jurgens-Lowe Special Dist.; Henry Herschberger- Mast Union Dist. 1; Ed Hogan Moultrie, Coles, Douglas Dist.; John C. Yoder -Lowe Dist. 2; Daniel L. Gingerich - Lowe Dist 5; R. Dennis Miller - Lowe Dist. 7; Levi Yoder - Lovington, Lowe, and Jonathan Creek Special drainage district. All received unanimous vote approval.
Read More