ALAH Schools Go Ahead with Levy Increase

December 17, 2014

With over $10,000 increase in property value, levy up nearly 8 percent

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

After holding a truth and taxation hearing, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood Hammond school board members approved the tax levy for the tax year 2014 payable 2015.

This year’s EAV was estimated at $193, 490,228 while last year’s total was $183,286,949. An increase of 7.98 percent was passed by the board. So far, the district has not received its incentive money from the state, and Schwengel noted that it is possible that they may receive only three out of four payments. The present total of all funds in the district’s accounts is $6,965,024.74. A resolution abating the tax levied for the year 2014 to pay debt service on General Obligation School Bonds (an alternative revenue source) was also passed. Read More

Man Found Dead Sunday in Sullivan

Photo by RR Best Sullivan fire and police personnel are seen at 412. N. Seymour in Sullivan Sunday, where 58-year-old James Helms was found deceased after an apparent house fire.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan fire and police personnel are seen at 412. N. Seymour in Sullivan Sunday, where 58-year-old James Helms was found deceased after an apparent house fire.

December 17, 2014

Apparent house fire to blame, but still under investigation

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A Sullivan man was found dead inside his residence Sunday afternoon after a neighbor came by to check on him.

According to Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed, James E. Helms, 58, of Sullivan was pronounced dead in his residence located at 412. N. Seymour at 4:20 p.m. Sunday. An autopsy was performed Monday, and a full report on the cause of death including toxicology results is not expected for two to three weeks. Reed did say that, while preliminarily there does not appear to be anything suspicious surrounding Helms’ death, it is still under investigation.

Helms was found by Sullivan fire personnel Sunday after they received a 911 call at 4:02 p.m. that alerted them of a house fire with a trapped individual. However, when Sullivan fire fighters arrived four minutes later, there was no fire.

“The fire was out and had been for some time,” said Sullivan fire chief Mike Piper. “There was no heat smoke and no fire. It appeared that the fire had occurred several hours before, probably when he succumbed to it.” Read More

Sullivan Employees See Bonus Increase

December 17, 2014

Extra $25 added on

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

A discussion was held at this month’s first city council meeting whether or not to increase the Christmas bonus for city of Sullivan employees.

Since about 1999, employees have been given $75. Health and safety commissioner Bill Hagen motioned that it be increased to $100, explaining that $75 doesn’t go quite as far today as it did in the 90’s. Public property manager Mike Kirk seconded the motion, and the council agreed to raise the Christmas bonus to $100.

A TIFF participation loan of $680,000 (including full project fees) was also approved for the Red Apple.

About $250,000 will be financed by First Mid Illinois Bank in an eight year balloon payment. Sullivan has received $700,000 in TIFF funds, but they must be used for TIFF purposes only. All funds must be used by 2022, or they will be returned to their original source. Read More

Windsor High School 2014 Homecoming Court

Submitted Windsor High School 2014 Homecoming Court Windsor High School will host their homecoming dance on December 20 at the high school. Coronation will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the dance starting at 8 p.m. Pictured (back row left to right): freshman attendant Dalton Armes, sophomore attendant Anthony Curry, junior attendant Tristan Warner, king candidates Ken Chan and Uriah Jones. Front row: freshman attendant Amber Newell, sophomore attendant Jodie Harris, junior attendant Mercedez Austin, queen candidates Taylor Higgins, Claire Pfeiffer, and Lindzie Douglas. Not Pictured is king candidate Dalton Turner.

Submitted
Windsor High School 2014 Homecoming Court
Windsor High School will host their homecoming dance on December 20 at the high school. Coronation will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the dance starting at 8 p.m. Pictured (back row left to right): freshman attendant Dalton Armes, sophomore attendant Anthony Curry, junior attendant Tristan Warner, king candidates Ken Chan and Uriah Jones. Front row: freshman attendant Amber Newell, sophomore attendant Jodie Harris, junior attendant Mercedez Austin, queen candidates Taylor Higgins, Claire Pfeiffer, and Lindzie Douglas. Not Pictured is king candidate Dalton Turner.

Sullivan School District Introduces iSullivan

December 10, 2014

Submitted by the
Sullivan School District

The Sullivan school district will be holding a series of public meetings beginning next week to discuss iSullivan, the district’s 1:1 digital device learning initiative.
School districts have witnessed a major shift in the role technology plays in instruction. Instead of students having access to technology only when the school’s computer lab is available, more school districts are providing access to students as needed. Sullivan School District has been working on a plan to give students this daily access. Money was awarded to the district through a combination of grants from the Sullivan Community Education Foundation and the federal government. With that funding in place, the implementation of iSullivan began. Staff members began working together to create a vision for students’ futures. The district feels that in  order to prepare students for a technology enriched world, it needs to give them the tools to experience a technology enriched education. Read More

Fixing 911?

December 10, 2014

County to vote on 911 improvements Thursday

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Moultrie County Board will decide Thursday whether to sign off on 911 upgrades totaling more than $45,000.
Given the current state of 911 here in Moultrie County, the board and its public health committee have long struggled with how to address the issues with both the lack of automatic location information as well as the extra time it takes in paging out emergency responders.

Photo by Keith Stewart A.J. Roley, a 911 dispatcher at the Coles County Emergency Communications Center, handles an emergency call last Thursday night.

Photo by Keith Stewart
A.J. Roley, a 911 dispatcher at the Coles County Emergency Communications Center, handles an emergency call last Thursday night.

Right now, if you dial 911 from your cell phone in the county, here is what happens:
Your call gets sent to CECOM, the 911 center in Coles County, where a dispatcher will ask for and record your emergency information, including your address. From there, your call becomes a three-way conversation as the dispatcher then calls either the Moultrie County sheriff or the Sullivan Fire Department depending on the nature of the call. CECOM verbally relays the emergency information to the county and then typically disconnects unless further needed. Either Sullivan fire or the county sheriff’s department takes over, and sometimes, requests either more or the same information that the caller gave CECOM before then paging out the appropriate responders, whether that be Lovington Ambulance, Bethany Fire, or Sullivan Police, to name a few.
That whole process can take several minutes–minutes that can make a difference in life-threatening situations and minutes that the county is trying to eliminate by making improvements to its 911 service. Read More

SOV Football Awards 2014

Submitted SOV Football Awards Pictured, left to right: Nick Frerichs, most valuable offensive back, Ill. high school football coaches association 3A all-state team quarterback; Levi Nadler, most valuable defensive back, Dakota Clayton, most valuable offensive lineman, Zach DeVore, most improved defensive player, Ross Metzger, most valuable offensive scout squad; Brandon Fleshner, most improved offensive player; Max Todd, most valuable defensive scout squad; Dalace Ray, most valuable defensive player.

Submitted
SOV Football Awards
Pictured, left to right: Nick Frerichs, most valuable offensive back, Ill. high school football coaches association 3A all-state team quarterback; Levi Nadler, most valuable defensive back, Dakota Clayton, most valuable offensive lineman, Zach DeVore, most improved defensive player, Ross Metzger, most valuable offensive scout squad; Brandon Fleshner, most improved offensive player; Max Todd, most valuable defensive scout squad; Dalace Ray, most valuable defensive player.

City Finances Reported as Solvent for Previous Fiscal Year

December 3, 2014

Annual audit shows city finances reported accurately

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan’s annual audit was presented at last month’s later city council meeting, and it signaled a comfortable financial situation.

The type of opinion issued by West & Co was an ‘unqualified opinion,’ which means the numbers presented to West & Co. and to the public April 30, 2014 were done so fairly and in accordance with most general accounting principles. It is the highest opinion an auditor may make on financial reports.

“The overall financial condition of the city is solvent as of April 30, 2014,” added Russell. “It is healthy and stable as it was last year.” Read More