Lovington Looks into Ordinance Changes

•August 10, 2016•

Lovington Village Board met Monday, August 8 to finalize ordinance changes with utilities, motor vehicles- golf carts and UTVS permits and open  burning offenses.

During the July 11 meeting, the animal control contract with Lisa Clark was amended to a $25 per animal fee but with no hourly amount.

Dennis Garmon reported the the condition of the park condition is excellent and reported that Lovington Homes is being sold. Pam Anklam and Jim McMahon moved to send a letter to the board to reconsider the sale. Read More

Moultrie Committee Accepts Bid for County Farm Rent

Price Reflects Grain Market

•August 10, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Bids on the Moultrie County farm opened August 3 reflect changes in the grain market, with this year’s $367 per acre bid, $50 per acre less than the previous two year contract.

Building and grounds committee chairman Gary Smith opened proposals from two local farmers for a two year contract.

Mark Kuhn, who is currently farming the 217.58 acre county farm, submitted the $367 per acre bid, totaling $79,851.86. Smith noted an additional $5.40 fee from Ag Answers insures soil fertility is maintained. Read More

Slick Ramp Claims Vehicles

Photo by Mike Brothers Slick Ramp Claims Vehicles Campers John and Sara Wilson of Hillsboro were preparing to take friends on a pontoon boat tour of Lake Shelbyville at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3. The afternoon of lake fun was spoiled when the Jeep Liberty pulling the pontoon got pulled into the lake at the Bo Wood ramp. Sheriff Chris Sims arrived as the top of the Jeep was still visible and its windshield wipers continued to work. Wilson explained he had lowered the trailer with pontoon down the ramp. He stopped, put on the brake and got out of the Jeep to unhook the pontoon from the boat trailer. Sara alerted John that the Jeep was sliding toward the water. He was able to get inside, but attempts to pull the Jeep away from the algae coated boat ramp were in vain. Shelby County dive team members pictured above: Austin Prichard, Scott Jefson, Mark Shanks and Matt Menis with Moultrie dive team member Amanda Farley in background, prepare to go into the lake to hook up the Jeep for Walker’s Towing Service to pull it out. Moultrie County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois Department of Conservation closed the ramp for about two hours during the Jeep rescue. Later that night the sheriff’s department returned to the Bo Wood ramp where yet another vehicle fell victim to the algae covering on the concrete ramp. On Saturday night another vehicle incident was reported at the Wilborn Creek boat ramp, and rescue workers returned to the lake. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers noted that stagnant conditions in water levels teamed with warm temperatures increase algae growth. Ramps are inspected daily and treated with algaecides and power washed when needed.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Slick Ramp Claims Vehicles
Campers John and Sara Wilson of Hillsboro were preparing to take friends on a pontoon boat tour of Lake Shelbyville at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3. The afternoon of lake fun was spoiled when the Jeep Liberty pulling the pontoon got pulled into the lake at the Bo Wood ramp. Sheriff Chris Sims arrived as the top of the Jeep was still visible and its windshield wipers continued to work. Wilson explained he had lowered the trailer with pontoon down the ramp. He stopped, put on the brake and got out of the Jeep to unhook the pontoon from the boat trailer. Sara alerted John that the Jeep was sliding toward the water. He was able to get inside, but attempts to pull the Jeep away from the algae coated boat ramp were in vain. Shelby County dive team members pictured above: Austin Prichard, Scott Jefson, Mark Shanks and Matt Menis with Moultrie dive team member Amanda Farley in background, prepare to go into the lake to hook up the Jeep for Walker’s Towing Service to pull it out. Moultrie County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois Department of Conservation closed the ramp for about two hours during the Jeep rescue. Later that night the sheriff’s department returned to the Bo Wood ramp where yet another vehicle fell victim to the algae covering on the concrete ramp. On Saturday night another vehicle incident was reported at the Wilborn Creek boat ramp, and rescue workers returned to the lake. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers noted that stagnant conditions in water levels teamed with warm temperatures increase algae growth. Ramps are inspected daily and treated with algaecides and power washed when needed.

New Board Member for Sullivan Schools

•August 10, 2016•

Sullivan Community Unit #300 board appointed Ann Wheeler to serve as new member of the board during the August 8 meeting.

Wheeler will serve until the spring 2017 school board elections. She replaces board member Scott Atchison, who resigned earlier this year.

The retired Arthur school district English teacher applied for the opening after 11 years of retirement. “I would like to give something back to the community,” she explained of her application.

Sullivan veterinarian Justin Florey also applied for the opening.

Both candidates were interviewed by the school board in executive session following the regular business session. Read More

Hole in One at Eagle Creek

Photo furnished Hole in One at Eagle Creek Ben Gordon of Shelbyville got a hole in one on Eagle Creek Golf Course at hole No. 17. The play date was 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 21.His Hole in One Club was a 52 deg. wedge hitting a Noodle+ ball 107 yards.

Photo furnished
Hole in One at Eagle Creek
Ben Gordon of Shelbyville got a hole in one on Eagle Creek Golf Course at hole No. 17. The play date was 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 21.His Hole in One Club was a 52 deg. wedge hitting a Noodle+ ball 107 yards.

Deer Farming Interest Grows With Upcoming Tours

Photos by Stu D. Baker Travis Phelps displays an antler rack from a four year old buck, about twice normal size.

Photos by Stu D. Baker
Travis Phelps displays an antler rack from a four year old buck, about twice normal size.

Animal Crackers Treat the Herd

•August 3, 2016•

By Stu D. Baker
For the News Progress

Travis Phelps Moultrie County Monsters Deer Farm northwest of Sullivan is anything but scary.

To prove his point Phelps scooped a cup full of animal crackers up and headed in to the eight foot high corral that’s home to five young deer. As the yearling does and bucks gathered around the cups of animal crackers, Phelps pointed out one of the his favorite benefits of deer farming.

“It doesn’t matter how rough work has been,” Phelps, a veteran Illinois Department of Corrections employee, said, “As soon as I enter the pen, I’ll sit down on a bucket, and the deer gather around for a few animal crackers, and all the stress of the day drops away.”

The monsters theme of the farm started with one deer who got a little eager for the animal crackers.

“Each deer has its own personality, and we gave them fun names like Cookie Monster,” he said, noting they even went as far as to incorporate Silence of the Lamb movie characters Hannibal and Clarice into the monster mix. Read More

Expanded Cheer Squad Prepares for the New School Year

Photo by Brynna Sentel SOV Cheerleading Camp offered training for those competing to make this year’s expanded squad. Above Cassie Freese (front) and Aspen Bridges work on choreography.

Photo by Brynna Sentel
SOV Cheerleading Camp offered training for those competing to make this year’s expanded squad. Above Cassie Freese (front) and Aspen Bridges work on choreography.

•August 3, 2016•

By Brynna Sentel
For The News Progress

Sullivan Okaw Valley cheerleading squad is expanding thanks to the generosity of a local business.

The ability to offer positions to more students trying out was made possible in June thanks to the donation which could allow the squad to expand from 16 to 21 cheerleaders this school year.

That donor covered additional costs in uniforms, equipment and transportation, enabling the cooperative venture between Okaw Valley and Sullivan school districts to expand with no additional school expense.

The additional cheerleaders present new challenges for coach Marsha Kirby.

The second year coach has improved not only the support of the team but the desire to get involved. Last year Sullivan had only 13 cheerleaders tryout and make the team. This year 19 girls have managed to get a spot on the team. Read More

Council OKs IBEW Contract

•August 3, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The city of Sullivan signed a four-year contract with the Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 51 at their most recent meeting.

The contract begins August 1, 2016 and will end July 31, 2020 and includes a 2½ percent raise, sick time which may roll over and accumulate up to 21 days and giving workers Christmas Eve and Christmas day off.

The council also voted to move forward with a bid from Johnco Construction to build a garage for the gas department for the amount of $33,000. The bid covers the construction of a basic garage with three windows, no insulation and one light bulb with a light switch. It will be for the use of storing small vehicles.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon: Read More

Lemonade for a Cause

Lemonade for a Cause Five enterprising Sullivan elementary students served lemonade with a purpose on the square last Wednesday.  Darby Harden, owner of Gypsy Soul, where the Lemonade for School Supplies stand was set up on her front sidewalk, explained the students decided to accept school supply donations by selling lemonade. In addition to accepting supplies they were raising funds through donations to help students who need supplies when school begins August 22.  Harden said she would continue to accept school supply donations after the stand closes, turning the supplies and donations over to Sullivan schools. Those hawking lemonade and water for a dollar on the square were: Photo at left (from left) Callie Standerfer, Ruby Haegen, Bella Harden, Tessa Seeley, and Ava Shriver.

Lemonade for a Cause
Five enterprising Sullivan elementary students served lemonade with a purpose on the square last Wednesday.
Darby Harden, owner of Gypsy Soul, where the Lemonade for School Supplies stand was set up on her front sidewalk, explained the students decided to accept school supply donations by selling lemonade.
In addition to accepting supplies they were raising funds through donations to help students who need supplies when school begins August 22.
Harden said she would continue to accept school supply donations after the stand closes, turning the supplies and donations over to Sullivan schools.
Those hawking lemonade and water for a dollar on the square were: Photo at left (from left) Callie Standerfer, Ruby Haegen, Bella Harden, Tessa Seeley, and Ava Shriver.

“Sister Act,” the Musical: Sinfully Divine At The Little Theatre

Sister Act art with Cheryl•August 3, 2016•

By Cheryl Murphy
For the News Progress

Sister Act, the musical comedy, is based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg as a club singer who has more sass than sense.

She is forced to hide her sinful soul beneath a nun’s habit after she witnesses her mobster boyfriend commit murder. Warning! This show retains the fun of the film but not the music. If patrons understand this up front and have an open mind, they will find this show too good to resist.

To illustrate that point my cousin took three nuns from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Decatur to the show, and they laughed so hard they were crying. Pretty good testimony.

The movie was special by redoing already familiar songs into ones of faith. In the musical, those songs are replaced with original tunes by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. A very qualified Menken has written iconic songs for Disney’s “Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.”  Read More