Yost Found Guilty of Randall Murder

Photo by Mike Brothers Convicted of murder Michael Yost is escorted from Moultrie County Courthouse Sept. 15 by Sheriff Chris Sims (right) Chief Deputy Gary Carroll (left) and Deputy Gary Eller (second from left). Yost remains in Moultrie County Jail until his sentencing October 21.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Convicted of murder Michael Yost is escorted from Moultrie County Courthouse Sept. 15 by Sheriff Chris Sims (right) Chief Deputy Gary Carroll (left) and Deputy Gary Eller (second from left). Yost remains in Moultrie County Jail until his sentencing October 21.

•September 21, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Michael Yost was found guilty of first degree murder in the cutting death of Sheri Randall in March 2015.

Chief Circuit Judge Dan L. Flannell announced the guilty verdict at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, ending the bench trail that began Monday, Sept. 12.

Judge Flannell emphasized that the state’s case established that Yost was guilty of all four counts filed, acknowledging the crime was cruel and heinous as State’s Attorney Jeremy Richey emphasized in his closing.

Yost faces a 20 years to natural life sentence with Judge Flannell scheduling a pre-sentence investigation report for 9 a.m. October 21. Yost was returned to the Moultrie County Jail to await sentencing.

Public Defender Brad Rau offered two witnesses on Yost’s behalf following the close of the state’s case on Thursday morning.

Yost, 43, recounted the events leading up to the death of Sheri Randall on March 4 while the court allowed endocrinologist Dr. Gregory Clark to observe the testimony.

Rau began by pointing out that Yost had Type II diabetes and asked his activities beginning on March 2, 2015. Read More

Yost Found Guilty of Randall Murder

image•September 15, 2016•
Michael Yost, was found guilty of first degree murder in the cutting death of Sheri Randall in March 2015.

Chief Circuit Judge Dan L. Flannell announced the guilty verdict at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, ending the bench trail that began Monday, Sept. 12.

Judge Flannell emphasized that the states case established that Yost was guilty of all four counts filed, acknowledging the crime was cruel and heinous as States Attorney Jeremy Richey emphasized in his closing.

Yost faces a 20 years to natural life sentence with Judge Flannell scheduling a pre-sentence investigation report for 9 a.m. October 21. Yost was returned to the Moultrie County Jail to await sentencing.

Public Defender Brad Rau offered two witnesses on Yost’s behalf following the close of the states case on Thursday morning.
Michael Yost, 43, recounted the events leading up to the death of Sheri Randall on March 4 while the court allowed endocrinologist Dr. Gregory Clark to observe the testimony.

Rau began by pointing out Yost had Type II diabetes and ask his activities beginning on March 2, 2015.

Yost Murder Trial Continues in County

*Update: Yost has been found guilty

•September 14, 2016•

by Mike Brothers and Soyna Best
For the News Progress

The murder trial of Michael S. Yost, 43, for the cutting death of Sheri Randall in March 2015 continued Sept. 13 in the Moultrie County Courthouse with Judge Dan L. Flannell presiding.

Appearing with his court appointed attorney Brad Rau, Yost sat quietly listening to testimony from Illinois State Police CSI Stephen Hulen.

Hulen recounted his investigation of Randall’s Graham Street apartment crime scene. Referring to a series of crime scene photographs, Hulen told prosecutor Jeremy Richey and the court that entry was gained by a concrete block thrown through a window.

He went on to describe blood from the kitchen where knives were removed from drawers, then on to the bedroom where Randall was found dead as Yost lay semiconscious with his arm over her. Read More

Dr. Suess on the Loose OVHS HC Week

The Okaw Valley High School 2016 Homecoming Court Homecoming is Sept. 17 for Okaw Valley High School. Front row (L to R): Brianna Creviston, Kristy Burford, Madison Uhlrich, and Jasmine Baumbarger. Back row (L to R): Evan Blakey, Brendon Lane, Ty Nichols, and Skyler Birch.

The Okaw Valley High School 2016 Homecoming Court
Homecoming is Sept. 17 for Okaw Valley High School. Front row (L to R): Brianna Creviston, Kristy Burford, Madison Uhlrich, and Jasmine Baumbarger. Back row (L to R): Evan Blakey, Brendon Lane, Ty Nichols, and Skyler Birch.

•September 7, 2016•

Okaw Valley High School Student Council is announcing the annual Homecoming Week September 12-17. The overall theme to this year’s festivities is “Dr.Seuss”. Each day will highlight a special theme at OVHS, and students are encouraged to participate accordingly.

The week kicks off Monday as “Pass the Yawn Day” in which students will wear pajamas. Monday evening the Okaw Valley Lady Timberwolves volleyball team will host the Hawks from Heritage High School.

Immediately following the matches, there will be a Fall Sports Rally on the OVHS football field that will highlight the Marching Timberwolves along with introducing the fall sports teams. The rally will end with a victory march to the bonfire. All OV and SOV supporters are encouraged to attend this spirited event.

Tuesday students will dress for “Thing One and Thing Two Day”, where they will be encouraged to dress as twins.

Wednesday’s theme is “Maisy Head Daisy Day” with the “Powder Puff” football games beginning at 11:40 am.  Read More

Okaw Valley School District Partners With Army Corps

Photo courtesy OVHS Corps of Engineers and Okaw Valley School District recently began a vocational cooperative program on 40 acres of Corps property in Shelby and Moultrie counties. Pictured above are Okaw Valley students, administration and the Corps of Engineers during the agreement’s official signing at the Lake Shelbyville headquarters.

Photo courtesy OVHS
Corps of Engineers and Okaw Valley School District recently began a vocational cooperative program on 40 acres of Corps property in Shelby and Moultrie counties. Pictured above are Okaw Valley students, administration and the Corps of Engineers during the agreement’s official signing at the Lake Shelbyville headquarters.

•August 31, 2016•

By Derek Pope
For the News Progress

Shortly after the 2016-2017 school year commenced, Okaw Valley’s administration announced a milestone addition to their schools’ growing vocational education programs—a focal point for the district over the last few years.

In a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Okaw Valley was granted an in-kind lease on 40 acres of land around Lake Shelbyville for educational purposes. The plots, which span both Moultrie and Shelby counties, are intended to provide students with numerous opportunities for field studies in agriculture, engineering, and science. The first of its kind collaboration was officially approved with a signing held at the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center on August 29.

Col. Anthony Mitchell, commander of the USACE St. Louis District, who was on hand for the signing, said of the program, “What you see here is a community effort. What you hear amongst these people is a shared vision. That breeds innovative thought, and innovative thought leads to creative ideas and critical thinking” . Read More

Blend of Old and Young for St. Isidore

Father Steve Arisman

Father Steve Arisman

•August 24, 2016•

by Mike Brothers

St. Isidore Catholic Church, one of the oldest parishes in the area, has one of the youngest priests in the Springfield diocese.

The rural Bethany parish established in 1864 welcomed Father Steve Arisman to his first assignment as a priest from the bishop of the Springfield diocese recently.

Father Arisman at 35, serves St. Isidore, Holy Family in Mt. Zion, is chaplain at St. Teresa High School and for all scouting programs within the 28 counties of the Springfield diocese. Arisman is also one of four assistants assigned to travel with the bishop while visiting parishes within the diocese.

“I had only been here for two weeks when the McCabe family invited me to their family reunion,” Father Steve said, noting that early acceptance into the church family was a gift.

“When I had spoken with other visiting priests who have served St. Isidore, they said everyone sings there,” he recalled, noting each would have been honored to receive his assignment. Read More

Bethany Patient Stages Toy Drive to Give Back

Photo by Bernie Sanders Seth Webner of Bethany isn’t letting juvenile rheumatoid arthritis slow him from collecting toys for other patients at Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis. He is collecting more toys from the public at the Sullivan Church of God on Aug. 20.

Photo by Bernie Sanders
Seth Webner of Bethany isn’t letting juvenile rheumatoid arthritis slow him from collecting toys for other patients at Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis. He is collecting more toys from the public at the Sullivan Church of God on Aug. 20.

To Shriners Hospital Kids Like Him

•August 17, 2016•

Seth Webner has suffered with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for the past three years, and the treatment he has received at Shriner’s Hospital has inspired him to give something back.

Children from all over the country are treated free of charge at Shriners hospitals, and the Bethany seventh grader wanted to show his appreciation for the care he continues to receive.

“When I went through my first surgery at the old hospital, there was this lady who entertained me and gave me a toy,” Webner said, explaining the gesture did a lot to make him feel better about the treatments he was having to go through.

After his last visit in July, he told his mother Brooke he wanted to have a toy drive for Shriners Hospital, and so it began. Read More

United States Map Painter Visits SES

Bella_USA

Photo by Mike Brothers SES playground got a free map of the United States thanks to some team work from left photo: Elementary teacher Nichole Hendry (left) and student Bella Brownlee (right). After receiving Bella’s letter “Mr. A” traveled from Benton to paint a USA map for Sullivan students.

Retired Educator Donates Fun

•August 17, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

After spending 26 years on playgrounds, you would think Gene Alexander would look for another place to play.

Instead this 81 year old retired teacher and principal of Benton visited the Sullivan Elementary School playground August 9, leaving a generous gift.

For the past 26 years Alexander “Mr. A” has been painting maps of the United States on playgrounds and in parking lots all over the state.

As school was closing last year Nichole Hendry and her fifth grade class began searching for a way to get a map of the United States placed on the playground at SES.

“One of the classes painted a map on the old playground that had faded away,” Hendry said, noting they were looking at making it a class project.

Patterns for such a project plus materials were costly. Hendry said she shared the idea with elementary school administrative assistant Ann Sanner.

Sanner ran across a story in Outdoor Illinois about Alexander’s mission to place maps of the United States on school playgrounds free of charge and passed it along to Hendry.
Student Bella Brownlee was given the assignment of contacting “Mr. A” and requesting one of his maps for Sullivan Elementary School. Read More

A Shear Madness Partnership for Little Theatre and Food Pantry

•August 17, 2016•

Stu D. Baker
For the News Progress

With school beginning and the Moultrie County Food Pantry’s supplies exhausted the Little Theatre on the Square is offering a unique chance to see a show and give to the food pantry.

For the third week of Shear Madness Aug 23-28 anyone who brings in canned or non-perishable goods for the food pantry will receive a $17.50 ticket discount.

“We are extremely happy to be able to give back to the community,” Little Theatre executive director John Stephens said of the cooperative arrangement to help rebuild stock in the Food Pantry.

Stephens noted that patrons may bring in as many as 10 items and that would help the Food Pantry tremendously. Read More

Sullivan Resale Shop Now Open

Sullivan Resale Shop recently opened at the corner of Harrison and Van Buren streets downtown offering a variety of electronic equipment.

Owner Ross O'Dell brings ten years experience to the electronic resale business, offering everything from old Atari games and equipment to the most recent game offerings. Computer's, players, televisions and everything from DVDs to VHS tapes and CDs to LP albums are available.

Sullivan Resale is open 11-6 Monday thru Thursday, 11-7 Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday.