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.

Mountain Bicycling Brings Area Riders to Camp Camfield

Photo by Mike Brothers CIMBA members Todd Harris (front) and Doug Lee of Sullivan ride a new section of the Camp Camfield trail in preparation for the Aug. 14 Clash at the Camp.

Photo by Mike Brothers
CIMBA members Todd Harris (front) and Doug Lee of Sullivan ride a new section of the Camp Camfield trail in preparation for the Aug. 14 Clash at the Camp.

CIMBA Hosts Sanctioned Event Open to Public

•August 10, 2016•

By Mike Brothers
For the News Progress

Camp Camfield, located five minutes southwest of Sullivan, hosts mountain bicycling enthusiasts from all over the state at Clash at the Camp this Sunday, August 14.

Central Illinois Mountain Bicycling Association not only allows riders to compete for points in a sanctioned event this weekend, but club organizers are planning a family friendly event including a free ride. Kids 12 and under may bring their bikes for a scenic cruise.

“We offer different level trails for every kind of rider,” Eric Harris said of the trail system that grew from a 2.5 mile walking trail in the 1970s to the well-manicured 7.5 miles that wind the hills around Lake Shelbyville today.

He emphasized the trail is for multi-use. Bicyclists, walkers and runners are accommodated with choices of three different difficulty level trails, all with scenic lake views at every turn.

Harris explained the kids race includes a special half mile course that is just for fun.

“This is a whole lot of fun for all the kids and parents,” Harris said, explaining his nine year old daughter is excited about the possibility of winning a race in which she ran third her first time out.  Read More

Jury Finds Evanston Farm Manager Guilty of Theft

•August 10, 2016•

A Moultrie County jury found Lyle Roger Harrison, 43, of Evanston guilty of theft on Friday, August 5.

The jury’s verdict was returned on two counts, ending a week long trial and a case that began with the arrest of Harrison in November 2013.

From 2011-2013 Harrison Farm Management handled 640A in Moultrie and Piatt counties, including the Whiteman tracts. Moultrie County Sections 19 & 20 were under disputed ownership.

In 2013 Harrison sold grain from Section 19 and 20 under contract to Okaw Farmers Coop in Cadwell, Topflight Grain in La Place and Cargill Grain in Tuscola.

After Harrison was paid $8900 by Cargill, the remaining grain harvested from Section 19 and 20 was seized and Harrison arrested by the Moultrie County Sheriff’s Dept. on the theft charge. That grain has remained in storage at Topflight and Okaw Farmers Coop since 2013. Read More

New Board Member for Sullivan Schools

•August 10, 2016•

Sullivan Community Unit #300 board appointed Ann Wheeler to serve as new member of the board during the August 8 meeting.

Wheeler will serve until the spring 2017 school board elections. She replaces board member Scott Atchison, who resigned earlier this year.

The retired Arthur school district English teacher applied for the opening after 11 years of retirement. “I would like to give something back to the community,” she explained of her application.

Sullivan veterinarian Justin Florey also applied for the opening.

Both candidates were interviewed by the school board in executive session following the regular business session. Read More

Expanded Cheer Squad Prepares for the New School Year

Photo by Brynna Sentel SOV Cheerleading Camp offered training for those competing to make this year’s expanded squad. Above Cassie Freese (front) and Aspen Bridges work on choreography.

Photo by Brynna Sentel
SOV Cheerleading Camp offered training for those competing to make this year’s expanded squad. Above Cassie Freese (front) and Aspen Bridges work on choreography.

•August 3, 2016•

By Brynna Sentel
For The News Progress

Sullivan Okaw Valley cheerleading squad is expanding thanks to the generosity of a local business.

The ability to offer positions to more students trying out was made possible in June thanks to the donation which could allow the squad to expand from 16 to 21 cheerleaders this school year.

That donor covered additional costs in uniforms, equipment and transportation, enabling the cooperative venture between Okaw Valley and Sullivan school districts to expand with no additional school expense.

The additional cheerleaders present new challenges for coach Marsha Kirby.

The second year coach has improved not only the support of the team but the desire to get involved. Last year Sullivan had only 13 cheerleaders tryout and make the team. This year 19 girls have managed to get a spot on the team. Read More

Council OKs IBEW Contract

•August 3, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The city of Sullivan signed a four-year contract with the Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 51 at their most recent meeting.

The contract begins August 1, 2016 and will end July 31, 2020 and includes a 2½ percent raise, sick time which may roll over and accumulate up to 21 days and giving workers Christmas Eve and Christmas day off.

The council also voted to move forward with a bid from Johnco Construction to build a garage for the gas department for the amount of $33,000. The bid covers the construction of a basic garage with three windows, no insulation and one light bulb with a light switch. It will be for the use of storing small vehicles.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon: Read More