Open House Honors McMahon

Photo furnished Open House Honors McMahon An open house was held at Cathrine’s Gallery Gifts and More for outgoing Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development director Stepheny McMahon Friday, July 8. Pictured above with Mike Kirk, business owners, chamber directors, friends and family gathered to wish McMahon the best with her new career at First Mid Illinois Bank. Laurrie Minor is interim director.

Photo furnished
Open House Honors McMahon
An open house was held at Cathrine’s Gallery Gifts and More for outgoing Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development director Stepheny McMahon Friday, July 8. Pictured above with Mike Kirk, business owners, chamber directors, friends and family gathered to wish McMahon the best with her new career at First Mid Illinois Bank. Laurrie Minor is interim director.

Shooting Fireworks Packs a Bang Locally

Photo by Darian Hays Hunter Kamm returned to Lovington with a mission. He not only designed but also shot the fireworks return for Central State Fireworks during the rescheduled event July 9.

Photo by Darian Hays
Hunter Kamm returned to Lovington with a mission. He not only designed but also shot the fireworks return for Central State Fireworks during the rescheduled event July 9.

•July 13, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Hunter Kamm’s childhood love of fireworks turned into a full time job, designing shows for Bethany, Arthur, Sullivan and Lovington this Independence celebration season.

Kamm, who works for Central States Fireworks in Athens, is in the busiest of the fireworks season.

“I always dreamed about being able to design and shoot a display,” Kamm said, noting this year he was happy to lead the new Sullivan fireworks program.

At 19, the Lovington native is an assistant pyrotechnist, which allows him to design and set displays but not shoot. Fortunately, his father Jake is lead pyrotechnist with Hunter taking care of design and set up for the Sullivan show as well as others in the area.

Last weekend Hunter brought fireworks back to his hometown of Lovington in a big way.

Gene Clark created a series of ground fireworks displays that were the hallmark of the village fireworks for years. When Clark passed away eight years ago, Hunter began the process of restoring some of those displays and was able to bring “The Chief” back for the rescheduled July 9 Lovington fireworks show.

“He had some unique ground displays over the years, and my goal is to eventually get them restored and returned to service,” Kamm said of Clark’s memorial.

Lovington fireworks followed the spectacular show in Sullivan on July 4. Read More

Direct Primary Care Comes to Sullivan Health Care

Photo by Mike Brothers Dr Dust changes practice at Sullivan Health Care to focus more on patient care.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Dr Dust changes practice at Sullivan Health Care to focus more on patient care.

Thirty Year Practice Continues with New Approach

•July 13, 2016•

When Dr. Glen Dust converts his Sullivan Health Care practice to Direct Primary Care October 1, he joins four physicians in Illinois offering concierge medicine.

Interest in the trend to replace insurance companies with a membership for primary care has grown nationwide as it helps lower health care costs.

Dr. Dust’s traditional family care practice has demanded more time dealing with insurance requirements for the past 10-15 years which does nothing toward treating patients.

“I’m spending weekends and additional time just to keep up with the growing requirements from insurance companies,” Dust explained. “I want to get back to taking care of patients.”

“In some ways Direct Primary Care is a throwback to when doctors were taking chickens and eggs for payment,” he continued, emphasizing the set fee includes everything from office surgeries to regular visits.

Savings in lab costs can reach 90 percent as just one example of services included for a plan set up with monthly payments. No co-pays, no questions from insurance companies about quality of care and no worries of sharing medical files are among the benefits offered. Read More

CodeRED Offers Mulitple Warning Services for County

•July 13, 2016•

By Emily Stutzman
For the News Progress

Living in central Illinois, weather conditions such as tornados, flash floods, and thunderstorms are abundant.

In order to maintain public safety, hazardous weather conditions are commonly broadcast on radio and television; however, most of these warnings are general, and cover sizable, generalized areas.

As Moultrie County ESDA coordinator, Jan Haegen, puts it, “That’s too general, and people don’t take heed. It’s like crying wolf.” Addressing the need to reach only the specific groups of people affected by these occurrences, ESDA employs an innovative alert service called CodeRED.

CodeRED is a nationally used warning service that not only warns citizens of weather conditions but can also be used to send out warnings about dangerous situations such chemical spills, fires, and missing person situations, to name only a few.

Haegen recalls implementing the service several years ago, calling it a “worthwhile investment.”  Read More

Rainy Races

Photo by RR Best Rainy Races Crowds gathered under umbrellas for the 2 p.m. Fourth of July turtle races at Wyman Park in Sullivan. In spite of threatening weather, events continued during the Independence Day celebration. Everything from the parade and games to a fantastic fireworks display sponsored by the Sullivan American Legion Post #68 went off as planned.

Photo by RR Best
Rainy Races
Crowds gathered under umbrellas for the 2 p.m. Fourth of July turtle races at Wyman Park in Sullivan. In spite of threatening weather, events continued during the Independence Day celebration. Everything from the parade and games to a fantastic fireworks display sponsored by the Sullivan American Legion Post #68 went off as planned.

Salute to Old Glory

Photo by R.R. Best Salute to Old Glory Lilly Null from Sullivan joined the Fourth of July celebration in full patriotic attire on Independence Day. Sullivan residents and visitors enjoyed the weekend filled with activities at Wyman Park.

Photo by R.R. Best
Salute to Old Glory
Lilly Null from Sullivan joined the Fourth of July celebration in full patriotic attire on Independence Day. Sullivan residents and visitors enjoyed the weekend filled with activities at Wyman Park.

Extension Programs: Helping People Help Themselves

Photo by Mike Brothers Moultrie Douglas Extension educator Cheri Burcham introduces Judy Brown to the first of the Memory Game story cards. Brown had a lion card, and she went to the zoo. Nina Glazebrook had to remember Brown’s story while adding her own story to the list as they traveled around the table at Mid-Illinois Senior Center in Sullivan last week.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Moultrie Douglas Extension educator Cheri Burcham introduces Judy Brown to the first of the Memory Game story cards. Brown had a lion card, and she went to the zoo. Nina Glazebrook had to remember Brown’s story while adding her own story to the list as they traveled around the table at Mid-Illinois Senior Center in Sullivan last week.

•July 6, 2016•

By Emily Stutzman
For the New Progress

University of Illinois Extension is about helping people help themselves.” This is how Cheri Burcham, Family Life Educator with the University of Illinois Extension, describes her job in a nutshell.

Burcham has worked with Extension since 1998 and says that the chance to reach people of all ages, empowering them and assisting them in attaining a better quality of life, is what makes her career so worthwhile.

Burcham covers the five counties of Coles, Douglas, Moultrie, Cumberland, and Shelby and is one of the six Family Life Educators in the state of Illinois.

As a Family Life Educator, she is able to offer programs based on research from the world-renowned Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. She remarks that, “My job as an educator is to take the research from the University of Illinois and bring it to the public in a way that they can use in their everyday lives.”

One aspect of her job is using that research to work with parents and childcare providers. For instance, Burcham teaches workshops and programs for groups of people concerning healthy communication within families, helping them build healthy relationships and become stronger together. Although working in group settings and with presentations is more typical, Burcham affirms that she also aids individuals who come to her with specific questions.  Read More

Director Leaves, Economic Development Moves Forward

Sullivan Honors McMahon

•July 6, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development improved the city in the 13 years Stepheny McMahon served as director; times are changing though.

The first director’s last day is Friday, July 8 as she moves on to First Mid Illinois Bank, and Laurrie Minor is interim director during the search.

Members of the economic development committee gathered at Cathrine’s Gallery Gifts & More last week to reflect on economic development’s role since the committee started 13 years ago.

Before Ann Short was mayor she was among the founding members of the city’s Economic Development Committee.

“Realizing economic development would best be accomplished by an economic development director, we began accepting resumes,” Short said of the early efforts.

“Stepheny’s outgoing personality and commitment to the community made her a natural choice,” Short continued. Read More

United Way Donations Return Home

•July 6, 2016•

by Mike Brothers

Nine Moultrie County partner agencies with United Way received $37,965 for programs helping people in Moultrie County last year.

Stan Parks, resource development associate for United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, is Moutlrie County’s representative and emphasized all the money raised in Moultrie County stays in Moultrie County.

“The beauty of United Way partnerships is all the locally raised funds stay in the area,” Park began, explaining a Moultrie County volunteer board annually determines where United Way funds raised in the county are spent.

In 2015 that included nine partner agencies: American Red Cross, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center (Peace Meal), C.E.F.S. Economic Community Corp., Camp New Hope, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, Dove, Inc., U of I Extension 4H & Youth Development, Lincoln Trails Council Boy Scouts of America and Moultrie Counseling Center.

“Accountability is the key to supporting successful programs,” Parks said, emphasizing the partner programs are closely monitored to assure those dollars donated are put to best use.

ParksTuesday office hours are from space donated by Moultrie County Counseling Center.

A United Way partner with the Counseling Center’s jobs program illustrates how people’s lives can be assisted through agencies cooperating. Read More

July Corn

Photo furnished July Corn Cailyn, 9, and sister Cara,6, checked out the height of corn near Sullivan recently and found out it was a lot more than knee high in July. Cailyn and Cara are daughters of Eric and Candace Elder (SHS class of 1990) Murphy. Grandparents are Elvin and Leatitia Elder of Sullivan.

Photo furnished
July Corn
Cailyn, 9, and sister Cara,6, checked out the height of corn near Sullivan recently and found out it was a lot more than knee high in July. Cailyn and Cara are daughters of Eric and Candace Elder (SHS class of 1990) Murphy. Grandparents are Elvin and Leatitia Elder of Sullivan.