Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington Included Sullivan Veteran

Vet Johns Ruscin

John D. Ruscin

•May 18, 2016•

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) of Springfield flew with 80 veterans of World War II, Korean and Vietnam War eras on their Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC Tuesday, May 17. They departed Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport shortly after 6 a.m. on board a chartered 737 jetliner, then were met by three coach buses in DC.

John D. Ruscin of Sullivan was on board the jetliner. Ruscin joined the Navy and spent the end of World War II in the Pacific in preparation for the invasion of Japan, which was averted by dropping the atomic bomb.

Ruscin went on an Landing Ship Tank (LST) sweeping the waters around Japan for underwater mines.

After the war, Ruscin came to Sullivan to teach and coach at Sullivan Junior High School. That is where he met his wife Anna who was an art teacher.

Included during the day were stops at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War National Memorials, the Air Force and Marine (Iwo Jima) Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery. They visited the cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and witnessed the changing of the guard. During the day the veterans had the opportunity to tour the National Air & Space Museum that houses aircraft from WWI to the Superfortress bomber Enola Gay of WWII all the way up through the retired Space Shuttle Discovery. They also had the chance to view the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln memorials, the Pentagon and much more prior to departing back to the Springfield airport.

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County Board Approves Tech Upgrades

•May 18, 2016•

The Moultrie County Board approved a $13,874.34 bid from Quality Network Solutions of Sullivan to replace three older servers with one bigger unit.

Building and grounds chair Gary Smith made the motion with members approving the purchase unanimously.

Board chairman Dave McCabe explained the county’s computer systems have experienced capacity and speed issues for some time. He noted QNS agreed to defer payment until the county is satisfied the problems are fixed with the new server.

Planning and zoning committee chair Todd Maxedon moved that a special use permit be approved for Vickie Kinnaman allowing a mobile home in Gays. The motion passed unanimously.

Mike Brewer and Arlene Aschermann were reappointed to the Board of Review. Board chair McCabe was approved as chairman pro temp of the personnel committee in the absence of Roger Glazebrook. McCabe explained  the retirement of Supervisor of Assessments Cindy Kidwell will require meetings as her replacement is sought. Read More

Moultrie County Looks into Improving Courthouse Technology

•May 11, 2016•

Moultrie County Courthouse computer systems have grown slower and older, prompting the county board building and grounds committee to recommend an upgrade.

County Clerk Georgia England reported Quality Network Selutions findings at the regular meeting May 4. Slow access and crash problems prompted QNS to look further into the problems within the courthouse system.

QNS discovered servers from 2001, 2003, and 2006 in use beyond their capacity. Average server life expectancy is five-seven years.

County board chairman Dave McCabe explained the county will have to start looking toward more frequent system updates. He explained the out-of-date servers are not useable, and the county will need to start from scratch on rebuilding new servers. Read More

Sullivan City Council Explores Recycle Options

Civic Center Gets New Lockers

•May 4, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

At the most recent Sullivan City Council meeting, a few projects that had been set aside in the TIF budget were discussed. A bid of $20,775.95 was received from Salisbury Industries for new lockers at the Civic Center. Many of the older lockers have started to show their age and have started to rot out after long time usage. The bid will replace 116 lockers for the men and women’s locker rooms.

The old chiller at the Civic Center has also been removed to make room for a new one. Commissioner Mike Mossman also noted that the south side of the roof center has came loose. He will be in contact with an attorney and is moving forward with the suit and hopes to get the company back to repair it. Other TIF projects include the street pavement project (which is underway) and new canopies for the baseball park to help block out the sun.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon: Read More

ALAH Transportation Fund Dwindles, Schools’ Needs Grow

•April 27, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s transportation fund continues to dwindle as the state still continues to not pay the school districts. The current funds for transportation sit at $88,640; although a third payment has been dispersed but not processed. If the payment is processed, it will add another $255,000 to the balance. If that money is not received, more money from the general education fund will have to be transferred. The over-all checkbook balance of the district is around four million dollars with all funds still in the black.

ALAH district looks to federal and state grants to help make technology updates.

Jeremy Rodebaugh,technology coordinator, noted a few things that the district is in need of updating. Some of the things he mentioned include getting more bandwidth as it currently tops out at 75MB. Atwood-Hammond has maxed out on their bandwidth and fiber optics will be needed to increase it.

The cost of installing fiber optics is estimated at $20-25,000. Rodebaugh has been doing some research and stated that there are several state and federal grants for which the district could apply in order to help pay for the increase of bandwidth. Read More

Moultrie Counseling Center Cuts Keep Coming

•April 27, 2016•

The current state of Illinois budget impasse is being felt locally in many ways. Moultrie County Counseling has suffered significant reductions according to Executive Director David Cole. The National Alliance of Mental Health reported that from 2009-2012 Illinois cut funding for community mental health programs by 30% or $187,000,000. With the exception of three other states, Illinois had the highest cuts in the nation. To have the current budget impasse on top of these previous reductions creates significant difficulties. Read More

Windsor Man Injured Following Planter Crash

•April 20, 2016•

A thirty two year old Windsor man was transported to Carle Hospital following a head on crash into the rear of a planter on Highway 32 Tuesday afternoon.

Macon County Chief Deputy Gary Carroll said that the Toyota RAV driven by Seth Polk was shredded beyond recognition after driving headon into the yellow planter being pulled south while he was traveling south on Rte 32 about a mile from the Bruce-Findlay road.

First transported to Sarah Bush Lincoln then to Carle Hosptial in Champaign, Polk managed to escape with a back injury.

The Moutlrie County Sheriff’s Department noted charges are pending further investigation, once Polk in released from the hospital.

Telephones and Security Systems Eyed by School Board

•April 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

An aging telephone system that is growing more inoperable with new technology and a lack of coverage with security cameras prompted the Sullivan School District to look at a way to finance new systems.

A proposed amendment for a health life safety project to replace existing security cameras and telephone systems was approved by the school board at the April 11 meeting.

Superintendent Brad Tuttle explained the amendment to the existing health life safety request was a first step to finding out whether the proposed projects qualify.

Recommended are replacement of existing telephone systems with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VCIP) throughout the elementary, middle and high school buildings, which includes complete installion and five year support.

Tuttle noted all phones will have 9-1-1 emergency call capability, improving communication speed in emergency situations.

The existing security camera system has limited coverage. The new security systems adds 19 cameras to Sullivan Middle School, nine cameras to Sullivan Elementary School and five new security cameras to Sullivan High School. Read More

Wilborn Creek Road Project Rehab Set for Early May

Photo by Mike Brothers This  Wilborn Creek Road crossroads will be realigned for safety to remove a sudden jog which can catch drivers by surprise as part of the summer project.

Photo by Mike Brothers
This Wilborn Creek Road crossroads will be realigned for safety to remove a sudden jog which can catch drivers by surprise as part of the summer project.

•April 20, 2016•

The Moultrie County Highway Department is announcing a road rehabilitation project to improve the roadway smoothness and safety on County 5/16 (Wilborn Creek Road, CR 625E).

Work is tentatively scheduled to begin May 2 and is anticipated to be completed in September.

The project begins south of the Illinois Central Railroad at Illinois Route 121 and extends southward approximately 3.7 miles.

Included is the replacement of across road culverts (which will cause periodic road closures), pavement removal and replacement south of the Wilborn Creek Access Road. Read More

Road to Enhanced 9-1-1 Encounters Obstacles

•April 13, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Although Coles-Moultrie enhanced 9-1-1 service is in the home stretch the path has contained some obstacles.

Moultrie County Board Public Health and Safety Committee found out the $45,000 the county spent preparing for the new emergency services network would not be reimbursed by the Statewide 911 Bureau that is now a division of the Illinois State Police.

David Bowers of Lovington, a state 9-1-1 committee member since 1976, appealed to the state on behalf of Moultrie County. He learned that since Moultrie is not yet an authorized 9-1-1 provider, the $45,000 isn’t eligible for reimbursement.

Bowers presented the question of appealing Moultrie County’s costs of the local line and forwarded 9-1-1 calls over the long distance network to Marci Elliott of the ISP Statewide Bureau. Read More