Photo by David Mobley/Courtesy of Booth Library Special Collections, Eastern Illinois University.
Pictured is Guy Little, Jr. in costume as Scrooge’s nephew in “A Christmas Carol” from 1968.
Sullivan icon turns 80
by Joash Tiarks
Reporting in Sullivan
“Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.”
- Carousel, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’
A successful Broadway musical production and its poetic lyrics may not relate all that easily to the daily life of your average central Illinois resident, being far removed from the lights
and bustle of New York.
However, your average resident of Sullivan, Ill. could likely recall fun times with friends over food and drinks at Jibby’s restaurant, formerly just off the square from the county courthouse. At first glance a connection between Broadway productions in New York and Jibby’s in Sullivan might be hard to make. But that is before taking into account the life and work of Guy S. Little, who turned 80 this month, and his love for the theater.
Born in 1935 to a local farm manager and a former high school English teacher, Guy attended his first stage performance at age five when his mother Inis who herself directed high school plays out of a love for the theater, took him to the Lincoln Theatre in Decatur to see ‘The Merry Widow.’
“I was hooked, enthralled,” declared Little. “From that moment I knew what I wanted to do.”
This turned out to be no passing infatuation.
Guy would wholeheartedly pursue his passion for the stage from Sullivan to New York and New Jersey, to Miami, back across the midwest and out to Arizona, eventually owning a theater and a playhouse here in central Illinois. In addition he produced shows and managed theaters in Milwaukee and Phoenix and in numerous theatrical tours across the country, hosting hundreds of Broadway and Hollywood stars along the way.
Family legend tells of of how he produced his first play, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, at the age of nine with a set of marionette puppets in the backyard; of his wild night ride from New York to New Jersey with James Dean and the few days they roomed together while working in summer stock shows on the east coast as a teen on summer break from high school. Read More
Photo by Barry Morgan
Pictured left to right: Ken Ruff (Winning farmer’s husband), Al Rennert (Christ’s Pantry), Jane Franklin (Christ’s Pantry), Greg Watters (Monsanto representative), Larry Adams (Monsanto representative)
February 25, 2015
Christ’s Pantry recently received a $2,500 donation from Moultrie County farmer Kathy Ruff and America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The donation will help the organization purchase a new freezer, ground beef and groceries.
“The pantry recently lost use of a freezer full of meat,” said Pastor Al Rennert. “With this money, we hope to purchase a new, more reliable freezer and to also buy ground beef and other food items that are given out on a weekly basis.”
In addition to the new freezer, the donation will help cover about six months of food. Pantry director Jane Franklin started the pantry in 2011 when she noticed people in her community were going hungry.
“The best part about receiving this donation is that we won’t have to worry for a while knowing that we have the funds to take care of people for a long time,” said Franklin. “I think it’s so wonderful that the Ruff family chose us to receive the donation. They are really good people.” Read More
Photo by Keith Stewart
Applications engineer Tom Gavin walks down a busy isle at Hydro-Gear Friday, February 6.
February 18, 2015
New hiring practices, training and promotion opportunities
by Keith Stewart
Like many manufacturers today, Hydro-Gear in Sullivan is finding it difficult to recruit quality workers. But the Sullivan based company has taken a hard look at its own shortcomings and as a result, recently made internal changes to hiring practices, is applying new training and promotional opportunities, and taken a more active seat at the discussion table when it comes to the perception of manufacturing in today’s day and age, all in an effort to show they mean business when it comes to valuing their workforce.
“Manufacturing is a whole lot different today than when I started in manufacturing 30 years ago,” said Joe Scheiner, Priority Quality Issues Leader at Hydro-Gear. “I want people to see that.”
Hydro-Gear’s roots may be traced back to the 1980s when Sauer-Danfoss located in Ames, Iowa began producing a hydraulic transmission that was paired with an axle assembly at the original equipment manufacturer, be it John Deere or Cub Cadet. Read More
February 18, 2015
TNT requests outdoor bistro-like area
by Ariana Cherry
The Sullivan City Council looks poised to vote on an ordinance in the near future after a local business owner came forward at their last meeting requesting al fresco dining for his restaurant.
Tim Rose of TNT Pizzeria approached the council about the possibility of outdoor dining at his restaurant during the regular meeting February 9.
“I would like to have it during The Little Theatre season for intermission or after the shows,” explained Rose. “It would be a small bistro type area and for those looking for a quick meal.”
The idea of outdoor dining or al fresco dining was first formally brought before the council last April when the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development unveiled what it called its downtown vision, which in addition to outside dining, proposed outdoor merchandise and sandwich signs, which were approved last June. Read More
February 18, 2015
Difficulties with typing and time allotted, cited
by Ariana Cherry
There wasn’t much good to be said for the new standardized test that is slated to replace both the ISAT and PSAE this spring at Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s monthly school board meeting last Wednesday.
“The tests are time consuming. It takes a lot of preparation and scheduling. All the tests are done online, and we have 27 computers, 37 Chrome Books. We test over an eight day period in grades three through eight. The longest test is 90 minutes and the average is 55,” explained Atwood principal Lindsay Blickenstaff.
As explained on the PARCC (www.parcc.pearson.com) website, PARCC came about through a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and in their careers. The assessments are in mathematics, English language and literature and are designed to replace both the elementary school ISAT and high school PSAE and are built on the new common core standards. Read More