Family Donates Cheerful Pillowcases

Photo furnished
Family Donates Cheerful Pillowcases
Sarah Bush Lincoln Volunteer Services recently received a donation of hand-sewn pillowcases to help bring a smile and a little cheer to children having surgery. Young patients are given a fun, brightly colored pillowcase to use during recovery from a surgical procedure and then get to take the pillowcase home. The pillowcases were made by Anieta Trame and her grandchildren, who each made their own pillowcase to donate to the cause. Pictured with their donation are (l-r) are Ryan, Ellie, Lucy, Anieta, and Gracie Trame. Anyone who sews may learn more about this project by contacting Colleen Stoner, SBL Volunteer Services at cstoner@sblhs.org or (217) 258-2500.

$1000 Grant from VFW

Photo by E. Kenney
$1000 Grant from VFW 
The Sullivan V.F.W. recently presented $1000 to the Wyman Park Community Park Grant, Youth Program 2017. Presenting the check: (left to right) VFW #6410 Commander Russell Craig, Park Commissioner Mike Mossman, Melissa and Jake Haegen Youth Program Coordinators, Harry Woolen.

New Sign for Oldest Bank

Photo by Mike Brothers
New Sign for Oldest Bank
First Community Bank signs went up at all former First National Bank and Hardware State Bank facilities last week as the oldest bank in the county got a new name. Seth and Sean from Monitor Sign Service owned by Bryan Cornell of Mattoon made Sullivan changes.

Agri-Fab Moves Toward Healthier Workforce

Photo by Mike Brothers
Moultrie County Counseling Executive Director Dave Cole, AgriFab Director of Human Relations Lori Foreman, and IPS Employment Specialist Jeremy Nolen.

•February 22, 2017•

Agri-Fab’s ability to employ 60% of its workforce locally and implement an employee friendly environment is the result of efforts to change the work environment over the past two years.

Director of Human Relations Lori Foreman told the Individual Placement & Support (IPS) of Moultrie County Counseling Center’s quarterly meeting about some changes that are helping retain employees at the 42 year old lawn equipment manufacturer in Sullivan.

“The six families who saved the company did so because they wanted to live here and keep jobs in the community,” Foreman said of Agri-Fab’s commitment to the area, noting the president of the company started out as a welder on the factory floor.

Besides making strides within the factory walls by reducing turnover with comprehensive benefits and better hiring practices, Agri-Fab is making strides with retaining employees by helping them stay healthier.

As part of the newly implemented health and wellness program the company provided a Fitbit for every employee and their spouse, Foreman said, noting the impact has been tremendous since being introduced during the summer.  Read More

Harlem Wizards at SHS

Photo by Cole Denton
Harlem Wizards at SHS
When the Sullivan High School boys’ basketball team hosted the Harlem Wizards for an exhibition fundraising event putting Sullivan teachers and coaches against the nationally known “Clowns of the Court” Wednesday, Feb. 15 Cassie Becker had no idea she would get a chance to dunk the ball in front of hundreds of fans.

Sullivan School Board Proposes Property Tax Abatement

•February 22, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

The Sullivan CUSD #300 school board proposed a $250,000 annual tax abatement at the Feb 15, district board of education meeting.

The proposed abatement could save Moultrie County property tax payers from $23 to $131 on annual tax bills.

Property tax relief  would come for Moultrie, Coles, and Shelby county taxpayers in the event the County School Facility Occupation Tax is approved at the consolidated election Tuesday,  April 4, 2017.

“The commitment by the board to abate taxes speaks for the integrity of everyone serving,” Supt. Brad Tuttle said following the unanimous approval of the resolution.

Tuttle explained funds generated from the proposed sales tax will help retire bonds and interest issued to replace the roof and HVAC systems last summer. Read More

Sullivan’s Victory Arch-A Brief Tribute to Veterans By Ellen Ferrera for the News Progress Next year in February Moultrie County will celebrate its 175th anniversary of incorporation (1843). Sullivan was incorporated in 1850. There are various plans afoot for a celebration and, in that spirit, we revisit stories of Sullivan’s interesting past. The famous Arc d’Triomphe in Paris was commissioned in 1806 after the victory of Austerlitz but was completed between 1833 and 1836. One of the world’s most beautiful monuments, it is 164’ high, 148’ wide and 22’ deep. It was used for victory and Bastille Day parades until Armistice Day, 1920, when the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected under the arch. Parades now go around the arch rather than under it. A biplane was actually flown under the primary vault in 1919. Meanwhile, back in Sullivan, Illinois in 1919 a fund was started to build a welcome arch for our returning local servicemen. It looks suspiciously like the famous Paris arch. Located in the NW corner of the square, it was built of wood and wallboard and was the most elaborate structure of its kind in central Illinois. Work was completed shortly before July 4, 1919 when a big celebration was held honoring the returned veterans. There was still a deficit of $100 for building the arch so several local citizens paid the sum with the understanding that when the structure was torn down, they would get the material for salvage. Our arch had a short history. The top of the structure was seriously damaged the following November by a prairie wind storm and the structure had to be torn down. The merchants who had made up the deficit drew lots to see who would get the material. A. D. Miller was the winner. I appreciate Pat Cribbet at the Historical Society for her invaluable assistance in the preparation of this article. I have become a regular at this incredible repository of all things Moultrie County — and so should you!

•February 22, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Next year in February Moultrie County will celebrate its 175th anniversary of incorporation (1843). Sullivan was incorporated in 1850. There are various plans afoot for a celebration and, in that spirit, we revisit stories of Sullivan’s interesting past.

The famous Arc d’Triomphe in Paris was commissioned in 1806 after the victory of Austerlitz but was completed between 1833 and 1836. One of the world’s most beautiful monuments, it is 164’ high, 148’ wide and 22’ deep. It was used for victory and Bastille Day parades until Armistice Day, 1920, when the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected under the arch.

Parades now go around the arch rather than under it. A biplane was actually flown under the primary vault in 1919. Read More

ALAH School District Approves New Security Cameras

•February 22, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board voted to install security cameras in all of its four buildings after choosing the lowest bid of $56,966 from Barbeck Communications of Decatur.

The district received two other bids – one from QNS for $72,615 and Heart Technologies for $78,134. Funds from the Health/Life Safety money will assist in paying for the cameras once it has been approved by the State Board of Education. Read More

A Soldier Remembered-The Past Recalled

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Gene Denton next to the new plaque honoring Sgt. Wayne Bathe (inset) at Sullivan American Legion Post #68.

•February 22, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Out of the blue on June 15, 2015, Sullivan resident Gene Denton received an email from a Daniel Fonner who was researching his grandfather’s WWII experience and was seeking pictures and information.

Fonner’s grandfather, Frederick Allen Fonner, had been close friends with a Sgt. Wayne Bathe of Sullivan, Ill. and knew Wayne’s fiance was Ola Denton - Gene’s sister. Fonner had found Gene’s name in Ola’s obituary.

The unfolding story is one of love, deep friendship, bravery, profound grief and sadness ending with a plaque which Gene Denton has placed in memory of Sgt. Wayne Bathe at the American Legion Hall. Read More

Pulitzer Prize Winner Andy Schneider’s Death Touches Best Newspapers

File Photo
Kathy and Andy

•February 22, 2017•

By David McCumber
Special to the News Progress

Andrew Schneider, an acclaimed investigative reporter and public-health journalist, died Friday. He was 74.

Mr. Schneider, who lived in Missoula, Montana, died of heart failure in Salt Lake City, where he was being treated for pulmonary disease.

For several years, he worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and was remembered by colleagues Saturday as a relentless, inspiring reporter who built indelible relationships with people from all walks of life.

Mr. Schneider won two Pulitzer Prizes, journalism’s highest honor, while at The Pittsburgh Press — one for specialized reporting in 1986 and another for Public Service in 1987.

The public service Pulitzer was for “Danger in the Cockpit,” co-written with Matthew Brelis and photographed by Vincent Musi, a story revealing dangerous gaps in airline safety, including that pilots with alcohol and drug issues were not prevented from flying. The 1986 winner, written with Mary Pat Flaherty, detailed violations and failures in the organ-transplantation system in the U.S. Read More