Miss Preteen Arthur 2015

Submitted Miss Preteen Arthur Above are the three young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Miss Preteen Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Charliegh Tripp,  a 7-year-old who is sponsored by Arthur Custom Tank and whose parents are Amanda Tripp & Brennon Winskill; MacKenzie Erixon, an 11-year-old who is sponsored by  Vivi Jewelry by Erica Schrock and whose parents are Jennifer & Jim Erixon; 2014 Miss Preteen Arthur Deanna Clark whose parents are Chris & Michelle Clark; and  Brooklynn Colter, a 6-year-old who is sponsored by the Arthur Flower Shop and whose parents are Harley & Ashley Colter.

Submitted
Miss Preteen Arthur
Above are the three young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Miss Preteen Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Charliegh Tripp, a 7-year-old who is sponsored by Arthur Custom Tank and whose parents are Amanda Tripp & Brennon Winskill; MacKenzie Erixon, an 11-year-old who is sponsored by Vivi Jewelry by Erica Schrock and whose parents are Jennifer & Jim Erixon; 2014 Miss Preteen Arthur Deanna Clark whose parents are Chris & Michelle Clark; and Brooklynn Colter, a 6-year-old who is sponsored by the Arthur Flower Shop and whose parents are Harley & Ashley Colter.

Okaw Valley Middle School Baseball Coach Charged with Sexual Abuse

Rural Shelbyville man arrested Thursday in Findlay

April 28, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An Okaw Valley middle school baseball coach was arrested last week after allegations surfaced that he had sexual relations with a 13-year old girl.
According to court records, Wade T. Burch, 25, of rural Shelbyville was arrested last Thursday by Illinois State Police special agent Rodney Slayback after an investigation into allegations that he was sexually involved with a 13-year old OVMS student.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Burch voluntarily met with both Findlay police chief Chris Nichols and Slayback last Wednesday afternoon at the Mattoon Police Station. There, Burch was told of the allegations against him and subsequently interviewed. According to Slayback, Burch was told repeatedly that he was not under arrest and free to go, but the rural Shelbyville man agreed to stay until having to leave to umpire a baseball game.
The affidavit goes on to explain that Burch initially denied the allegations but eventually admitted to the possibility that he had met with a 13-year old girl during the Thanksgiving break last November and that he could have possibly kissed her at that time, but cited difficulty in recalling the events due to having been drinking heavily. Read More

Lovington Community Club Donation

Photo by Sally Foley Lovington Community Club Donation The Lovington Community Club donated a total of $2100 to seven area organizations ($300 each), which were represented by the following individuals: seated left to right are Gary Smith (Lovington Ambulance Corporation and the Lovington Fire Department), Rodney Houser(Churches of the Lovington Area), and Leroy Fair (Lovington Alumni Association). Standing left to right are Norma Brust, Linda Alumbaugh(Christ’s Food Pantry), Darlene Barlow (Lovington Library), Jessica Mercer(Sparrows), Pam Nottingham, and Carol Smith. Brust, Nottingham, and Smith represented the community club.

Photo by Sally Foley
Lovington Community Club Donation
The Lovington Community Club donated a total of $2100 to seven area organizations ($300 each), which were represented by the following individuals: seated left to right are Gary Smith (Lovington Ambulance Corporation and the Lovington Fire Department), Rodney Houser(Churches of the Lovington Area), and Leroy Fair (Lovington Alumni Association). Standing left to right are Norma Brust, Linda Alumbaugh(Christ’s Food Pantry), Darlene Barlow (Lovington Library), Jessica Mercer(Sparrows), Pam Nottingham, and Carol Smith. Brust, Nottingham, and Smith represented the community club.

A Favorite Sullivan Spot Returns

Photo by RR Best Red Apple Family Restaurant owner and operator Steve Sadikoska shows off his new dining room Friday afternoon. Sadikoska and his family reopened the restaurant Monday after it burned down last July.

Photo by RR Best
Red Apple Family Restaurant owner and operator Steve Sadikoska shows off his new dining room Friday afternoon. Sadikoska and his family reopened the restaurant Monday after it burned down last July.

Red Apple Family Restaurant reopens Monday

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

“Finally.”
No doubt the second most uttered word in Sullivan right now, following the phrase, “When is the Red Apple going to reopen?”
One of Sullivan’s favorite spots reopened this past Monday at 5 a.m., though unbeknownst to most of the public. It was, as owner Steve Sadikoska put it, a “soft opening” in an effort to gently reenter as one of the local handful of eateries.
“More than 10 times a day. Every time I went to Hardee’s or TnT, everybody would ask me, ‘When are you going to open?’ And they’re still asking,” said Sadikoska.
This week’s quiet reopening came after a grease fire last July devastated the building and shuttered the restaurant. In the time since then, Sadikoska says it’s not been without strain.
“It hasn’t been easy. Bills have needed to be paid, and we experienced some hard times,” he said. “But it’s alright, because we’ve made it.” Read More

Sullivan Schools’ Amended Budget Improves by Nearly Quarter Million

Final budget later this year could improve even more says superintendent

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In what is a typical move for most school districts across the state this time of year, the board unanimously approved a tentative amended budget at their April 13 meeting.
In it, the budget decreases the district’s deficit spending by $242,305 when compared to the initial budget passed last September. Overall, the decrease in deficit spending can be largely traced to contingencies the district had inserted into the September budget that have now been pulled out after Superintendent Brad Tuttle found them to likely no longer be a possibility. He said that he hopes the district can further pull out more contingencies as the school year nears its conclusion. Read More

Two Vehicle Wreck Sat. Near Howie’s

No serious injuries reported

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A wreck occurred Saturday night after a vehicle entered route 32 and collided with an oncoming car south of Sullivan.
According to Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims, a 17-year old was heading east on county road 800N at approximately 9:15 p.m. Saturday and proceeded onto route 32 on which a vehicle operated by Jessica Todd was traveling southbound. Read More

Amended ALAH Budget $1.4 Million Off From Tentative

Nearly $500,000 in cuts not helping

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This month’s regular Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond board meeting revealed that the tentative budget approved last fall, was nearly $1.5 million off from current estimates. In the next breath, superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the board that the school district along with every other in the state, would not be receiving their final two mandated categorical grants from the state. That coupled with the Governor’s 2.15 percent cut to K-12 aid means ALAH will not receive approximately $464,000 for this fiscal year–money that last fall they were told they would receive. Read More

Bethany Approves TIF Loan for Hired Hand and Echoes

Village grants $48,000 five-year loan

April 29, 2015

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

Earlier this month, village officials voted to approve another round of TIF funding to renovate the noted but aging buildings on East Main Street. This time however, funding will be aimed at improving two of the easternmost buildings on the block, which house some of the village’s newest businesses—the Hired Hand Winery and Saloon and Echoes Studio.
In a 4-2 vote, members of the village board approved an agreement with the establishments’ ownership, granting a $48,000 five-year forgivable loan. The two dissenting votes came from council members John Book and Jeannie Ruppert. Read More

Sullivan Police Receiving Reports of Fraudulent Tax Income Returns

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A few local federal tax income filers have discovered their identities stolen after they tried to file but were told they already had.
According to Sullivan police chief John Love, his department recently received just over a handful of calls from local citizens who discovered that someone else had fraudulently filed their federal return.
John Vander Burgh, CPA and owner of Vander Burgh Financial Service LLC in Bethany says such rejections from the IRS for filings are for one of two reasons–the preparer has incorrectly input the social security number by accident or, more seriously, someone else has fraudulently filed their form as a result of identity theft. Read More