Supreme Court Confirms 90-Day Suspension for Sullivan Attorney

Robert V. Elder to begin suspension June 4

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After more than a year of inquiries and hearings re-
garding allegations of misconduct, a Sullivan attorney has been handed a 90-day suspension from the practice of law.
Robert Vernon Elder, 73, of Sullivan will officially begin his suspension from the practice of law in Illinois beginning June 4 for a period of 90 days after being found guilty of misconduct involving a probate matter.
The complaint against Elder, which was first filed by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC) on March 3, 2014, alleged that Elder engaged in a conflict of interest “by assisting” his client Pam Baskette of Sullivan in “selling the decedent’s residence to a friend…”
The complaint further alleged that Elder did not inform Baskette of the conflict of interest, which included withholding the name of the friend and buyer, who the ARDC notes is Ron Houchin, or that the friend owed several thousand dollars to Elder, or that Elder and Houchin had at one time been business associates. Additionally, the complaint held that Elder did not disclose to Baskette that he himself would use funds from his wife’s bank account to purchase the property or that his wife would hold the mortgage on it. Furthermore, because of the misconduct, the probate estate, which was described as “extremely small”, remained open an extended amount of time. Read More

Okaw Valley District to Demolish Findlay Elementary

At $116,000, demolition to be completed by August

May 27, 2015

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

Demolition of Findlay’s old elementary school, which saw a brief stint as Okaw Valley Intermediate School following the consolidation of Bethany and Findlay school systems, began earlier this month after members of the board of education voted to dismantle the building during their April meeting. The old schoolhouse became disused back in 2010 when the decision was made to send elementary aged children living in Findlay to Bethany’s more modern and robust elementary school.
The vote to demolish the building was unanimous despite several members of the board having themselves attended the Findlay school in their youth. The decision marked what many regarded as an expected end to the declining building. Read More

Lovington Talks TIF

Village to decide whether to establish TIF district

May 27, 2015

by Florence Hallford & Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Guest Tony Schuering, vice president of Municipal Consulting Group, LTD, spoke to the Lovington Village Board earlier this month about the possibility of starting a TIF district in Lovington.
The initial concerns of putting in a district involved cost, with a start-up expense around $30,000, but which can be recovered through TIF.
TIF districts work by first identifying the base value of property within the proposed district. This is done so as to ensure that all property taxes paid on this base value continue to go to all of the established and governing taxing bodies. After the district is established, however, any taxes paid on the value over the base amount are diverted into a special TIF fund that ultimately is reinvested in the TIF district either by making improvements to roads and other infrastructure, promoting the area to potential new businesses, or building new public buildings. The growth that in turn creates the tax increment occurs as a result of increased property value, which is often a result of increased development, which, in a cyclical nature, is derived from the increment. Read More

Check Presented to DMH

Submitted Check Presented to DMH The Okaw Valley Middle School Student Council raised $300 to help support the Decatur Memorial Hospital Mammography Initiative. Last year on October 11 the student council hosted a 5k and mile fun run. The 5k and mile fun run was held in Bethany at the Okaw Valley High School. To help the council with the 5k and mile fun run they had sponsors who supplied prizes for the participants which helped raise $200. Along with the 5k and mile fun run the student council hosted a movie night on March 21st of this year. The movie night helped raise an additional $100 towards the total. The DMH Mammography Initiative is a program the helps to subsidize the cost of mammography testing for underserved women in the community. This was the second year that the organization was able to donate money to the program. The student council would like to encourage anyone who can to come out next year to one of the events as they work to eclipse the amount from this year. Pictured, right, is DMH Foundation representative Heather Ludwig accepting a check from, left, OVMS Student Council President Anna Wooters.

Submitted
Check Presented to DMH
The Okaw Valley Middle School Student Council raised $300 to help support the Decatur Memorial Hospital Mammography Initiative. Last year on October 11 the student council hosted a 5k and mile fun run. The 5k and mile fun run was held in Bethany at the Okaw Valley High School. To help the council with the 5k and mile fun run they had sponsors who supplied prizes for the participants which helped raise $200. Along with the 5k and mile fun run the student council hosted a movie night on March 21st of this year. The movie night helped raise an additional $100 towards the total. The DMH Mammography Initiative is a program the helps to subsidize the cost of mammography testing for underserved women in the community. This was the second year that the organization was able to donate money to the program.
The student council would like to encourage anyone who can to come out next year to one of the events as they work to eclipse the amount from this year. Pictured, right, is DMH Foundation representative Heather Ludwig accepting a check from, left, OVMS Student Council President Anna Wooters.

Police Warn of New Mail Scam

Letter asks to cash check and return portion as processing fee

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sullivan police are warning citizens of Sullivan and the surrounding communities of what appears to be a new scam.
According to Sullivan police chief John Love, a citizen recently received a notice in the mail informing them that they were the second prize winner of a European, African, and US Consumers Sweepstake. The notice added that as a result, they had won $250,000.
The notice also goes out of its way to try and reassure the recipient that bank details are not needed and that they should not be given to anyone on behalf of the sweepstakes. However, the notice does instruct the recipient that in order to collect their quarter-million dollar prize, they only have to cash the enclosed $3600 check and then return the $3300 as the processing fee. Read More

Sullivan Applies for $450,000 CDAP Grant

Plans to improve sewer system on northwest side

May 20, 2015

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Before the regular meeting of the Sullivan city council last Monday evening, a public hearing concerning a grant from the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for which it intends to apply was held.
It is funded by Title I of the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. If the city is approved for the grant, the funds will be used to improve the sanitary sewer system in the northwest part of town. Most of the work would be done throughout the neighborhoods rather than the sewer plant. The total amount that has been requested is $450,000. It wasn’t until October of last year when the city discovered that it hadn’t been approved for this same grant for which they had applied previously. The city is assuming that there will be a similar time frame this year. Last year, Sullivan received an unrelated CDAP (Community Development Assistance Program) Grant of $100,000 to fix the sewer system on Monroe Street. Read More

Burch Charged with Sexual Assault

Rural Shelbyville man brought up on second count

May 20, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A rural Shelbyville man who was arrested and charged with aggravated criminal sexual
abuse last month is now facing a second count of criminal sexual assault.
Wade T. Burch, 25, of rural Shelbyville appeared in court a week ago Monday with his attorney Sean Britton. There, Burch was read the second charge filed against him and a preliminary hearing was set for next month. Read More

2015 Miss Arthur Winners

Photo by Miranda Quinn, Golden Hour Photography Miss Arthur Winners Pictured, from left to right, are the winners from last Saturday’s Miss Arthur Pageant: Jr. Miss Arthur Kyla Carson, Miss Arthur Hannah Leal, Miss Preteen Arthur Mackenzie Erixon, and Little Miss Arthur Emeline Hope Greathouse.

Photo by Miranda Quinn, Golden Hour Photography
Miss Arthur Winners
Pictured, from left to right, are the winners from last Saturday’s Miss Arthur Pageant: Jr. Miss Arthur Kyla Carson, Miss Arthur Hannah Leal, Miss Preteen Arthur Mackenzie Erixon, and Little Miss Arthur Emeline Hope Greathouse.

Windsor 2015 Prom Court

Submitted Windsor2015 Prom Court Windsor High School recently held its annual prom and announced its royalty. Back Row (L to R):  Queen Candidates Melanie Adams and Sydney Boehm, 2014 Prom Queen Olivia Williamson, 2015 Prom Queen Paige Woolard, 2015 Prom King Devin Deremiah, 2014 Prom King Spencer Blackburn, King Candidates Uriah Jones and Dalton Turner.  Front Row (L to R):  Crown bearers Olivia Ross and Ty Welsh.

Submitted
Windsor2015 Prom Court
Windsor High School recently held its annual prom and announced its royalty. Back Row (L to R): Queen Candidates Melanie Adams and Sydney Boehm, 2014 Prom Queen Olivia Williamson, 2015 Prom Queen Paige Woolard, 2015 Prom King Devin Deremiah, 2014 Prom King Spencer Blackburn, King Candidates Uriah Jones and Dalton Turner. Front Row (L to R): Crown bearers Olivia Ross and Ty Welsh.