SHS Seniors Enjoy Outdoor Graduation

Valedictorian Maxwell Todd

•May 24, 2017•

Sullivan high school graduated 67 seniors during an outdoor ceremony held under cloudy skies at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

Principal Erik Young presented the class of 2017 to board president Jeff White. Senior class president Morgan Miller opening the program reflecting on her high school experiences.

Maxwell Todd is valedictorian and Grace Mauck class salutatorian.

Maxwell noted in his address that goals are something for which to strive, but graduates have to be realistic.

“It is important to be a realist,” Maxwell said. “Know what you are good at and go from there.”

He went on to reflect on the closeness of growing up in a small town, “Where you know when the sun goes down, there will be fishing in the dark. Read More

Okaw Valley Schools Lunch Buddies Mentor Students

Photo by Mike Brothers
Last week 36 Lunch Buddies from Okaw Valley elementary school in Bethany and the middle school in Findlay gathered at OVES to celebrate the year of companionships developed during lunchtime mentoring. Students presented their Lunch Buddies certificates following the celebration.

•May 17, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Okaw Valley District schools realize it takes a village to raise a child, and the villages served get it.

Last week 36 Lunch Buddies gathered at the elementary school in Bethany honoring the adult and student mentors for these young students.

“At Okaw Valley we are a family” Lunch Buddy and Supt. Kent Stauder said. “We strive to help our students succeed in and out of the classroom.”

“What I have discovered is that we get as much from the time with our lunch buddies as we give,” he continued.

How the district got people outside the classroom involved began five years ago with an idea developed by two district staff members and a community member.

Middle and elementary school counselor Paula Coffer explained she, high school counselor Jena Atchison, and parent Vanessa Patient were brainstorming ways to collaborate with the community to help the kids. Read More

Sullivan Honors Students on Awards Night

Photo by Mike Brothers
At Sullivan High School Awards night Bryce King sits with family and friends. Vocal music director Jeff Thomas announced that King and Tatum Ellis were Vocal Music Award winners.

•May 10, 2017•

Sullivan High School Honors and Awards night was May 3 in the high school commons with more that $40,000 in scholarships awarded, along with a variety of honors for attending students.

Lake Land Community College Foundation scholars: Jonathan Gavin, Devin Warren, Shelby Freeman, Cassandra Freese, Bretton Crouse, Blake Pistorius.

LLC Presidential scholars: Anne Hogan, Shelby Freeman, Colleen Miller, Alexis Elder, Grace Mauck, William Nolen, Cassandra Weber.

Eastern Illinois University Commitment to Excellence award winners: Ashlynd Risley and Parker Whitaker.

Business student of the year: Bretton Crouse. Band student of the year: William Nolen.

Vocal music students of the year: Bryce King and Tatum Ellis.

Read More

Sullivan City Council Welcomes New Member

•May 3, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

A possible new online payment option (Payment Service Network) offer to the residents of Sullivan was discussed at the most recent council meeting. This new online option would have paperless billing and send email notifications to customers when their utility bill is due or late. Treasurer Sarah Golden advised that the city processed 3,000 bills per month. Going paperless would cut back on work for the clerks, and it would automate payments for the customers. In addition to saving paper, this could also save the city money on postage. The city would also be able to accept credit cards with the new payment option. The city would pay any additional credit card fees. Council members discussed this possible option and stated they would research it more before a decision was made to move forward.  Read More

Grandfather’s Memory Inspires Boston Marathoner

Photo furnished
Kyle Wickline stands next to a Boston Marathon sign last week.

•April 26, 2017•

By Jason Brown
NP Sports

Kyle Wickline, a city carrier for the United States Postal Service in Sullivan, decided to pick up the pace last week.

Not during his deliveries through the streets of Sullivan but rather in the oldest annual marathon in the world.

On Patriots’ Day, Wickline ran in the Boston Marathon for the first time.

He ran the marathon in memory of his late grandpa, Dean Fulk, who referred to Wickline as “his marathoner.”

Wickline finished the race with a time of 3:28:18 and a 7:56 pace per mile. Read More

Schools Await Payments While Fighting Deficit

•April 19, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

A budget that is $179,565 in the red and a state $380,420 behind in categorical payments faces the new Sullivan Community District #300 school board when it organizes April 25.

Supt. Brad Tuttle explained the situation to the outgoing school board as well as new members Zak Horn, Tyson Grooms and Erik Stollard who attended the regular April 17 board meeting.

During the full funding agreement reached by the state legislature last year the four categorical payments were guaranteed school districts this year.

“We have only received one categorical payment, which was the fourth one due last year,” Tuttle began. Read More

Voters Reject Penny Sales Tax for Schools

•April 12, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan school district’s proposition to raise funds for facilities with a one percent sales tax failed in Moultrie County 1851 to 1309 during the April 4 election.

Sullivan’s sales tax rate remains at 6.75 percent as a result of the vote. The proposed one percent increase could have generated $977,252 for county schools, with $499,850 as the CUSD 300 share.

Coles, Douglas, Champaign, Piatt, Macon, Christian and Shelby counties previously approved the sales tax. Sales tax rates range from 9.00% to 7.25% in those counties.

Seven candidates were seeking four open seats in the Sullivan CUSD #300 school board race. Ann Wheeler was appointed to replace Scott Atchison who resigned and was running to complete his term. Sitting members Mary Ann Wiley, Amy Fultz and Roger Bragg chose not to run. Read More

National Award for OV/Corp Partnership

Photo by Mike Brothers
National Excellence in Partnership award winner Okaw Valley High School was honored with the first place national U.S. Corp of Engineers recognition during ceremonies March 31. Pictured accepting the award are OVHS ag instructor Wes Wise, OVMS principal Ross Forlines, OV dist. supt. Kent Stauder, U. S. Corp Maj. General Michael Wehr, OVHS principal Matt Schoaff, and Lake Shelbyville director of operations Jon Summers.

•April 5, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Okaw Valley Community #300 received the National Excellence in Partnership Award from the U.S. Corp of Engineers last week.

Chief of National Resources Management at the Corps Mary Coulombe made the announcement at a school wide assembly held in the Bethany High School gymnasium on March 29.

Coulombe, who travelled from Washington, DC, explained the joint partnership with the U.S. Corp of Engineers and Okaw Valley Schools at Lake Shelbyville placed the project in the top 10 nationwide.

She went on to note the total school participation, creativity of the project and the accomplishments made the Okaw Valley School/U.S. Corp project the top choice in the nation. Read More

School Board Candidates Express Views at Forum

Photo by Mike Brothers
Interested citizens gathered at the First United Methodist Church in Sullivan May 23 for the Sullivan Education Association/Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development sponsored school board candidate forum.

•March 29, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan School Board candidates revealed a universal support for seeking alternative revenues during a candidates’ forum held in Sullivan Thursday, March 23.

Sponsored by the Sullivan Education Association and Sullivan Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, interested citizens attended the 6:30 p.m. forum at the First United Methodist Church.

SEA president Don Lockwood explained the format of the forum following a power point presentation by county clerk Georgia England explaining the complexities of the consolidated election.

The Sullivan Unit 300 power point may be viewed at with England offering to answer questions during office hours at the courthouse. Read More

An Empty Seat at The Little Theatre

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Memorial for Guy Little Jr. is 11:00 a.m. March 25 at the First Christian Church of Sullivan.

•March 8, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

When The Little Theatre on the Square opened its season Friday, founder Guy Little’s seat on the front row was empty except for a rose.

Guy Little Jr, the founder the The Little Theatre on the Square in 1957 passed away earlier in the day. He was 82.

On opening night Little Theatre Executive Director John Stephens announced the 60th anniversary season will be dedicated to Little. The show  must go on.

And in spite of the fact that Guy was not seated on the front row as usual, handing out notes to crew and cast, the curtain went up on the Square in Sullivan although Guy has gone on to a grander stage.

The city of Sullivan remained a supporter of the Little Theatre of the Square, and the Theatre has in return put the city on the map.

Mayor Ann Short explained that Guy Little actually put Sullivan on the world map.  Read More