Bethany Advances Towards Major Road Project

December 3, 2014

Still, much of Robinson Street improvements up in the air

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

At last month’s regular village board meeting in Bethany, city officials approved a measure that would provide initial funding for a major roadwork project that was previously reported could cost the village up to $1 million to complete.

In reference to Robinson Street, that $1 million price tag is now expected to be considerably less, prompting the village to approve $45,000 in preliminary funding that could ultimately be wasted if officials decide not to further pursue the project. The vote, which passed 4 to 2, was just one in a series of decisions that Bethany’s village council will make in coming months concerning the reconstruction of Robinson Street. Read More

OBOS 2014 Selection

Photo by Keith Stewart OBOS 2014 Selection Pictured is Sullivan Middle School’s reading club One Book One Sullivan who unveiled their book selection for the school and city November 24. This year, the club chose “Unstoppable” by former NFL defensive end Tim Green. The novel surrounds a jr. high student named Harrison who has aspirations to one day play in the pro football league, but is faced with an almost insurmountable challenge. The book club is encouraging the public to read the novel and then join them early next year for book discussions.

Photo by Keith Stewart
OBOS 2014 Selection
Pictured is Sullivan Middle School’s reading club One Book One Sullivan who unveiled their book selection for the school and city November 24. This year, the club chose “Unstoppable” by former NFL defensive end Tim Green. The novel surrounds a jr. high student named Harrison who has aspirations to one day play in the pro football league, but is faced with an almost insurmountable challenge. The book club is encouraging the public to read the novel and then join them early next year for book discussions.

Kiwanis Reforming in Sullivan

November 26, 2014

After a few years, international outreach organization makes a local comeback

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After dissolving a couple years ago, the Sullivan Kiwanis is reforming.
Starting at the end of September, meetings began being held in an effort to recruit a strong nucleus of local members and to begin molding the group’s focus based on local needs.
“Meetings are set up now, but that will likely change as the club reaches charter strength,” said Jim Dooley, the 2014-2015 Kiwanis Governor for the Illinois and Eastern Iowa district. “I have a strong belief that with Kiwanis local members need to determine what the rules are and what the needs are of the community.” Read More

Okaw Valley School Report Card Shows Gains and Declines

November 26, 2014

Test results still shaky as state moves towards common core

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

This month Okaw Valley School District’s annual school report card has been made available by the state’s board of education at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The school report card, which is released at roughly the same time every year, is a metric that gauges student academic growth from year to year based on state standardized testing. In addition to this, the school report card also provides useful data to the public such as graduation rates, attendance rates, and even data such as the school district’s racial makeup. The school report card is designed to be a valuable tool internally within school districts for making academic and instructional improvements to school environments, as well as for the public, which may include families considering moving to the area or parents concerned about their children’s education.
The results of this year’s school report card, much as last year’s, are mixed for Okaw Valley—containing examples of both improvements and declines in academic growth. Read More

ALAH Schools Present 7.98 Percent Levy Increase

November 26, 2014

Truth in taxation meeting to be held next month

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

A proposed tentative tax levy increase was presented to the Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond school board Wednesday, November 12.
With this year’s EAV estimated at $193, 490,228 and last year’s total $183,286,949, an increase of 7.98 percent was figured. A total of $6,517, 231,000 in taxes was received from both districts in 2013. Presently, the proposed amount to receive is $6,905,829. Because the increase represents more than a five percent increase over last year’s levy, a truth and taxation hearing is planned before the next school board meeting in December. Read More

NP Accepting Santa Letters

Photo by RR Best NP Accepting Santa Letters Cami and Conner Denton place their letters to Santa in his mailbox Monday outside of the News•Progress office. Letters may be dropped in the mailbox or emailed to santa2014@newsprogress.com up through Friday, December 12 by 5 p.m. For more information, call 728-7381. Santa letters will be printed in the December 17 edition of the News•Progress.

Photo by RR Best
NP Accepting Santa Letters
Cami and Conner Denton place their letters to Santa in his mailbox Monday outside of the News•Progress office. Letters may be dropped in the mailbox or emailed to santa2014@newsprogress.com up through Friday, December 12 by 5 p.m. For more information, call 728-7381. Santa letters will be printed in the December 17 edition of the News•Progress.

Sullivan Schools to Hold Tax Hearing, Again

November 26, 2015

Two levy rates presented, but board errs on side of caution

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Earlier this month, the Sullivan school board agreed to schedule a truth in taxation hearing early next month, though presented two different levy rates, one of which will be decided at next month’s regular board meeting.
Citing recent speculation that school districts across the state might be facing a cut in their already cut state aid for this financial year, Sullivan Superintendent of Schools Brad Tuttle presented two tentative tax rates, both of which represent increases over last year’s levy amount, but one that would require a truth in taxation hearing, at an increase of 6.69 percent, and one that would not at an increase of 4.99 percent, just under the five percent limit that decides whether such a hearing is legally required.
“As early as this financial year, we could get a prorated version of our prorated version,” said Tuttle, who had travelled to Springfield earlier that day. “For the first time, I heard from some people that understand in Springfield that there is a legitimate chance we could not get 89 percent this year. They don’t know that,  but that’s speculation that could happen.”
Districts were told earlier this year that they would receive 89 percent of their otherwise full amount for this financial year. In addition to this level of funding being potentially cut further, Tuttle cited “major concerns” about the income tax extension likely to run its course and end come January and the implications that, too, could have on school revenue.
“The only reason I tell you that is because I think it’s important as we think about this tentative (levy), that we talk about this,” said Tuttle, “to guarantee that we would be able to levy the amount to get our maximum rates.” Read More

FFA Support Recognized

Submitted FFA Support Recognized Alan C. Horn of Sullivan was recently presented with a plaque of appreciation by local FFA officers for the more than 25 years of monetary support to the foundation. Horn accepted the honor on behalf of Camazi Corp.

Submitted
FFA Support Recognized
Alan C. Horn of Sullivan was recently presented with a plaque of appreciation by local FFA officers for the more than 25 years of monetary support to the foundation. Horn accepted the honor on behalf of Camazi Corp.

Lions Club Members Recognized

Submitted Lions Club Members Recognized Recently two members of the Sullivan Lions Club were recognized for their many years of service. John Ruscin is a 60 year member of Lions, while Bill VanKeuren has been a member for 10 years.  Those pictured, from left to right, are Cindi Reed, Sullivan Lion’s Club president, VanKeuren, Ruscin, and Bill Hazelhorst, District Governor who presented the awards.

Submitted
Lions Club Members Recognized
Recently two members of the Sullivan Lions Club were recognized for their many years of service. John Ruscin is a 60 year member of Lions, while Bill VanKeuren has been a member for 10 years.  Those pictured, from left to right, are Cindi Reed, Sullivan Lion’s Club president, VanKeuren, Ruscin, and Bill Hazelhorst, District Governor who presented the awards.

Boberg Arrives at SHS

Submitted Boberg Arrives at SHS The University of Illinois Agricultural Education program has placed student teacher Jennifer Boberg, with SHS agricultural science instructor Don Lockwood. From January through April, Boberg will be teaching classes including Introduction to Agriculture, Eighth Grade Exploratory, Greenhouse Management, Agricultural Science, and Agribusiness. The student teaching experience will also include advising FFA activities such as career development events, leadership conferences, and FFA week promotions.

Submitted
Boberg Arrives at SHS
The University of Illinois Agricultural Education program has placed student teacher Jennifer Boberg, with SHS agricultural science instructor Don Lockwood. From January through April, Boberg will be teaching classes including Introduction to Agriculture, Eighth Grade Exploratory, Greenhouse Management, Agricultural Science, and Agribusiness. The student teaching experience will also include advising FFA activities such as career development events, leadership conferences, and FFA week promotions.