Sullivan Schools Plan to See Further Reduction in State Aid

October 8, 2014

Expenditures also rise in latest budget

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Last month the Sullivan school board approved an updated tentative budget that saw more than $200,000 less in revenue over the previous tentative budget.

After holding a public hearing on the budget (which went unattended by the public), the board unanimously passed the latest budget, which increases the overall deficit by $393,226. Of that, $212,726 was a loss in revenue, while $180,500 can be attributed to expenses.

With revenue, the kicker is despite the school district receiving 89 percent of its full state aid payment as in the previous fiscal year, this year’s amount is $198,147 less because of two primary factors. Read More

SHS Homecoming Court 2014

Photo by Kevin Sesko SHS Homecoming Court 2014 Sullivan’s homecoming coronation will take place during half time at Friday night’s football game. The student council hosted dance, themed Neon Lights, will take place from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. Pictured is this year’s Sullivan High School’s homecoming court. Back row, from left to right, are: senior attendants Emily Neuhauser, Shawn Cody, Nicholas Cravatta, Dakota Clayton, Levi Nadler, and Drew Harris. Front row: Bailey Root (freshman), Hannah Moody (senior), Heather Cody (senior), Heidi Clements (junior), Jadeyn Land (senior), Tori Murphy (senior), and Abby Williams (sophomore).

Photo by Kevin Sesko
SHS Homecoming Court 2014
Sullivan’s homecoming coronation will take place during half time at Friday night’s football game. The student council hosted dance, themed Neon Lights, will take place from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4.
Pictured is this year’s Sullivan High School’s homecoming court. Back row, from left to right, are: senior attendants Emily Neuhauser, Shawn Cody, Nicholas Cravatta, Dakota Clayton, Levi Nadler, and Drew Harris. Front row: Bailey Root (freshman), Hannah Moody (senior), Heather Cody (senior), Heidi Clements (junior), Jadeyn Land (senior), Tori Murphy (senior), and Abby Williams (sophomore).

OV School Budget Approved

October 1, 2014

Projected budget shortfall of $70,000

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

One of the major items on the agenda for school boards this time of year is the annual budget proposal, Okaw Valley being no exception.

There was ample opportunity for public discussion on the proposed 2014-15 budget during the special session scheduled for the 15 minutes previous to the regularly scheduled meeting last Thursday evening. However, no one from the public attended to take advantage so the regular meeting commenced without incident, and the budget ended up passing with a unanimous vote. “Everything is going to be decided on the governor’s race,” said  superintendent Kent Stauder replying to board president Tim Rothrock after he asked about the direction state funding might take over the course of this next year. “We know where the Democratic governor is going, as far as funding, but the Republican candidate really does not have a plan yet.” The amount of General State Aid(GSA) is, in fact, lower than last year but that is in response to a rise in local Equalized Assessed Valuation of property, or EAV. Read More

Bethany Continues Expansion and Modernization of Police Department

October 1, 2014

Body cameras proposed for village officers

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

During last month’s regularly scheduled village council meeting, Bethany officials voted to hire two new part-time police officers.

Officially hired on September 11, the two new part-time officers, Thomas Lehew of Bethany and Joshua Ekiss of Sullivan, are currently part of Decatur’s auxiliary police force. According to Bethany’s police chief Jessie Scribner, the dates of the two new officers’ first patrol are still to be determined as of the end of September. Read More

ALAH FFA Attends State FFA Horse Judging

Submitted ALAH FFA Attends State FFA Horse Judging The Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond FFA chapter went to its first career development event of the school year. Darian Hays, Katie Gingerich, Kayley LaGrou, and Isaac Ashenfelter left at 5 a.m. to travel all the way to Black Hawk College in Kewanee to judge eight classes of horses in the State Horse Judging Contest with 214 other students.  The ALAH FFA Chapter was part of the 63 schools that did the non-reasons classes. Other students that were in the reasons classes later gave a presentation about how they judged the horses. The ALAH students judged four riding classes and four halter classes. The halter classes were judged only on their physical appearance and how they trotted. The riding classes involved judging horses on complicated riding patterns.   The Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond FFA Chapter earned a B rating and a red ribbon, and Hays had the best score of 338.

Submitted
ALAH FFA Attends State FFA Horse Judging
The Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond FFA chapter went to its first career development event of the school year. Darian Hays, Katie Gingerich, Kayley LaGrou, and Isaac Ashenfelter left at 5 a.m. to travel all the way to Black Hawk College in Kewanee to judge eight classes of horses in the State Horse Judging Contest with 214 other students.
The ALAH FFA Chapter was part of the 63 schools that did the non-reasons classes. Other students that were in the reasons classes later gave a presentation about how they judged the horses. The ALAH students judged four riding classes and four halter classes. The halter classes were judged only on their physical appearance and how they trotted. The riding classes involved judging horses on complicated riding patterns.
The Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond FFA Chapter earned a B rating and a red ribbon, and Hays had the best score of 338.

Moultrie Circuit Clerk Takes on E-Filing 

September 24, 2014

New online tool to allow attorneys to file and retrieve case information remotely

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Cindy Braden’s office has undergone an upgrade, so to speak. But it hasn’t only made her office more efficient. It has also provided attorneys a more efficient way to file and retrieve case information without having to travel to Moultrie, which could eventually trickle down to clients in the form of some cost savings.

“Attorneys of record can now access documents electronically through Judici,” said Braden.

“It also means that an attorney in Chicago can file from his office and not make a trip here,” said sixth judicial circuit chief judge Dan Flannell. “The decision to go to e-filing is driven by the clerk in every county. It won’t matter in my view if the presiding judge each county is in favor. If the clerk isn’t, it won’t happen. And this has been Cindy’s project. Frankly, from a court’s perspective, it effects them more.” Read More

Sullivan Council Rescinds Vote on Purchase of Patterson Property

September 24, 2014

Appraisal comes in far below asking price

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Council members voted to rescind a vote taken earlier this month to purchase a piece of property.

Following a 3-2 vote at the Sullivan city council meeting September 8 to purchase the property located at 402 S Patterson for $40,000 an independent appraisal was since obtained.

Due to Freedom of Information Act exclusions, the appraisal amount is not yet public knowledge until either the ongoing negotiations are completed or are terminated. However, the appraisal was described by Mayor Ann Short as well below the asking price. Read More

Smyser Christian Welcomes New Pastor

Submitted Smyser Christian Welcomes New Pastor Dan Fultz has become the senior minister at Smyser Christian Church which serves the Moultrie, Shelby and Coles county area. Fultz began his ministry at the age of 17 when he served as a volunteer junior high leader at his home church, the Blanchard Church of Christ, in Blanchard, Penn. He completed his undergraduate work at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn. and received his Masters of Divinity in 2014 from Emmanuel Christian Seminary, also in Johnson City. With 10 years of ministry experience, Fultz has served congregations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. His experience ranges from youth and children’s ministry to hospital chaplaincy and prison ministry and small rural churches to suburban mega-churches. He and his wife Lauren are the parents of two children.

Submitted
Smyser Christian Welcomes New Pastor
Dan Fultz has become the senior minister at Smyser Christian Church which serves the Moultrie, Shelby and Coles county area.
Fultz began his ministry at the age of 17 when he served as a volunteer junior high leader at his home church, the Blanchard Church of Christ, in Blanchard, Penn. He completed his undergraduate work at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn. and received his Masters of Divinity in 2014 from Emmanuel Christian Seminary, also in Johnson City. With 10 years of ministry experience, Fultz has served congregations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. His experience ranges from youth and children’s ministry to hospital chaplaincy and prison ministry and small rural churches to suburban mega-churches. He and his wife Lauren are the parents of two children.

In 3-2 Vote, Council Agrees to Purchase Patterson Property for $40,000

September 17, 2014

Dissenting votes cite lack of appraisal, believe price is too high
by Barry Featheringill
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After meeting in closed session last Monday to discuss the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, the Sullivan city council then emerged and voted 3-2 in favor of moving forward on the purchase of property located at 402 S. Patterson for $40,000.
Commissioners Mike Kirk and Monte LeCrone both dissented, each citing that the price was, in their opinions, too high.
“Would it be logical for the city to own it?  Sure,” said LeCrone, in an email. “My no vote was the result of price and timing. We don’t know what it’s worth, but at the price given in the motion, [it] seems twice what I believe it’s worth.” Read More