OV Debuts Tentative End of Year Budget

Public hearing to be held in May before vote

April 1, 2015

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

Coming out of school board meetings in February and March, Okaw Valley’s administration has been focused on rolling out a tentative end-of-year budget that, according to superintendent Kent Stauder, would largely act as “the start of next year’s budget.” The process has not been without some difficulties though, Stauder explained to school board members during their most recent meeting. Since Governor Bruce Rauner took office in January of this year, school districts have faced numerous financial uncertainties in the wake of his efforts to make good on campaign promises of drastically cutting the state budget. Read More

April 7 Election Will Sport Several Contested Races

Submitted Pictured is the approximate Sullivan school district boundary map (red line) along with approximate township and range boundaries.

Submitted
Pictured is the approximate Sullivan school district boundary map (red line) along with approximate township and range boundaries.

Sullivan school board sees four new faces run for seats

April 1, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Next Tuesday’s election will see three contested village trustee races, one Sullivan commissioner race, and a contested Sullivan school board.

Sullivan School Board
Out of the eight candidates representing four congressional townships, not one is a shoo-in. The only fact prior to Tuesday’s election is that at least one individual from 13N5E will be elected to the board since that township allows voters to elect no more than two on the ballot while only one candidate may be voted upon for the other three townships. With that said, there in lies the possibility that one of the three remaining townships may not elect a candidate to the board. Read More

Yost Pleads Not Guilty to First Degree Murder

Requests trial by jury

April 1, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A man accused of murdering a Sullivan woman pled not guilty Monday morning and requested a trial by jury.
Michael Yost, 40, of Sullivan, appeared before the Hon. Judge Dan Flannell Monday morning along with public defender Bradford Rau. Yost was to appear that afternoon for his preliminary hearing of which he instead waived.
Yost was found unresponsive on March 4 inside a Graham Street apartment along with Sheri L. Randall, 43, also of Sullivan. Randall was pronounced dead by Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed. A preliminary autopsy the following day concluded that Randall had died as a result of multiple stab wounds on the abdomen. Yost had also been found with stab wounds, but which appeared to emergency personnel to have been self-inflicted. After being transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur and released six days later, Yost was promptly arrested and brought up on four counts of first degree murder. Read More

Sullivan City Council Approves Wayward Signage for Hamilton, Jefferson Streets

April 1, 2015

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Members of the Sullivan City Council met briefly at their final meeting of March to discuss the addition of wayward signage throughout areas in Sullivan to direct visitors to dining/shopping areas, The Little Theatre on the Square, the public pool, and the Welcome Center. The Sullivan Chamber of Economic Development proposed that two signs be installed on Hamilton Street (Route 32) that would direct people east on towards the downtown square – one northbound and one southbound. An additional two signs to be placed on Jackson Street (Route 121) that would direct people south on Washington Street to the downtown square, one eastbound and one westbound were also proposed. Hamilton street signs would display “The Welcome Center,” and the Jefferson Street signs would display “The Public Pool.” Read More

Seth Dunscomb 14th Annual Opener

Submitted Seth Dunscomb 14th Annual Opener The Sullivan Blue Dophins entered 58 swimmers in the 14th annual Seth Dunscomb New Year’s Opener in January. Pictured left to right are Connie Dunscomb, Dalace Ray, Brodie Goss, Dylan Sanders, McKenna Kull, Brynna Sentel, Calista Clark, Charlie Goss, Anna Wooter, and coach Jason Drury (not pictured is Noah Spain). Seth Dunscomb began his swimming career with the Sullivan Blue Dophins when he was just a boy. Each year, the dolphins remember him when they attend the Seth Dunscomb New Year’s Opener in Decatur. Dunscomb was a record-setting swimmer who died suddenly of a heart ailment in 1997 during a practice for the University of Kansas swim team. Dunscomb was a state champion in the 200-yard individual medley while at Sullivan High School and still holds 16 records with the Sullivan Blue Dolphins that have not been broken in more than 15 years. This year marked the 14th year the meet has been held at Millikin University’s Griswold Center.  With ages ranging from 5 to 18 years old in a total of 506 races, the Dolphins brought home a hefty amount of hardware, with the following swimmers receiving overall trophies: Open Division - Brynna Sentel 1st place; Charlie Goss 2nd place; Dalace Ray 3rd place.13-14 age group - McKenna Kull 1st place; Anna Wooters 2nd place;  Brodie Goss 2nd place; Dylan Sanders 3rd place. 11 - 12 age group - Calista Clark 3rd place. 9 -10 age group  - Noah Spain 3rd place.

Submitted
Seth Dunscomb 14th Annual Opener
The Sullivan Blue Dophins entered 58 swimmers in the 14th annual Seth Dunscomb New Year’s Opener in January. Pictured left to right are Connie Dunscomb, Dalace Ray, Brodie Goss, Dylan Sanders, McKenna Kull, Brynna Sentel, Calista Clark, Charlie Goss, Anna Wooter, and coach Jason Drury (not pictured is Noah Spain). Seth Dunscomb began his swimming career with the Sullivan Blue Dophins when he was just a boy. Each year, the dolphins remember him when they attend the Seth Dunscomb New Year’s Opener in Decatur. Dunscomb was a record-setting swimmer who died suddenly of a heart ailment in 1997 during a practice for the University of Kansas swim team. Dunscomb was a state champion in the 200-yard individual medley while at Sullivan High School and still holds 16 records with the Sullivan Blue Dolphins that have not been broken in more than 15 years. This year marked the 14th year the meet has been held at Millikin University’s Griswold Center. With ages ranging from 5 to 18 years old in a total of 506 races, the Dolphins brought home a hefty amount of hardware, with the following swimmers receiving overall trophies: Open Division - Brynna Sentel 1st place; Charlie Goss 2nd place; Dalace Ray 3rd place.13-14 age group - McKenna Kull 1st place; Anna Wooters 2nd place;  Brodie Goss 2nd place; Dylan Sanders 3rd place. 11 - 12 age group - Calista Clark 3rd place. 9 -10 age group  - Noah Spain 3rd place.

SHS Boys’ Basketball Banquet 2015

Submitted by Charles Brown SHS Boys’ Basketball Banquet The SHS boys’ basketball banquet was recognized March 18 at their banquet. Pictured, left to right: Nick Frerichs (defensive award), Jacob Piper (practice player award), Alec Ballinger (free throw award), Ty Molzen (rebounding award, most outstanding player), and Zach Hrvol (most improved).

Submitted by Charles Brown
SHS Boys’ Basketball Banquet
The SHS boys’ basketball banquet was recognized March 18 at their banquet. Pictured, left to right: Nick Frerichs (defensive award), Jacob Piper (practice player award), Alec Ballinger (free throw award), Ty Molzen (rebounding award, most outstanding player), and Zach Hrvol (most improved).

Retiree Health Benefits to Remain the Same

Dependents’ costs questioned

March 25, 2015

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Discussions got heated when the question of health insurance coverage for retired employees came up during the regular meeting of the Sullivan City Council March 9.
Currently, all present employees pay 10 percent of the premium costs for their dependents (if they have any).
But in the city handbook, there is a clause stating that any employee who was employed with the city on July, 25, 1988 would have “comparable” health insurance paid for after retirement.
In 2013, when the city agreed to a new police union contract, one of the stipulations was that employees would begin paying a percentage of their dependents’ costs. Read More

Juvenile Falls from Third Floor of Courthouse Monday Afternoon

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan paramedics are seen transporting a juvenile to a medevac helicopter Monday afternoon in Arthur after the boy fell from the third floor of the Moultrie County Courthouse in Sullivan.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan paramedics are seen transporting a juvenile to a medevac helicopter Monday afternoon in Arthur after the boy fell from the third floor of the Moultrie County Courthouse in Sullivan.

Boy then transported by
helicopter from Arthur

March 25, 2015
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A boy was being treated for injuries he received after he apparently jumped from the third floor of the Moultrie County Courthouse onto the first-floor rotunda a week ago Monday.
The boy, shackled and clad in an orange jumpsuit, had just left a courtroom about 3:15 p.m. Monday when he went over the railing.
Because the incident involves a juvenile, authorities are not releasing his name.
The boy was treated at the scene by Sullivan paramedics, who then rushed him by ambulance to Arthur, where a makeshift helicopter pad was set up in Eberhardt Park across from the fire station Monday afternoon. There, a medevac helicopter landed and transported the child to Carle in Urbana.
State’s attorney Jeremy Richey, who is handling all media requests regarding the incident, declined to comment about the boy’s condition or provide any details about the incident. Read More

State Behind on Transportation and Special Education Payments

ALAH district still in the black, for now

March 18, 2015

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the board at its regular meeting last Wednesday that the state was behind on several payments to the transportation and special education funds. The transportation fund has been prorated at 71 percent and on top of that has received just one payment of $126,000. The amount includes one regular payment and a special education payment for Arthur-Lovington and Atwood-Hammond. Payments are still being made to Atwood-Hammond since the state was previously behind on them.
The district has received only one of the four payments that were expected. In the special education fund, only $85,800 of the $246,500 have been received. According to Schwengel, there has been some speculation that only two payments will be received in both the transportation and special education funds. Read More