Supreme Court Confirms 90-Day Suspension for Sullivan Attorney

Robert V. Elder to begin suspension June 4

May 27, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After more than a year of inquiries and hearings re-
garding allegations of misconduct, a Sullivan attorney has been handed a 90-day suspension from the practice of law.
Robert Vernon Elder, 73, of Sullivan will officially begin his suspension from the practice of law in Illinois beginning June 4 for a period of 90 days after being found guilty of misconduct involving a probate matter.
The complaint against Elder, which was first filed by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC) on March 3, 2014, alleged that Elder engaged in a conflict of interest “by assisting” his client Pam Baskette of Sullivan in “selling the decedent’s residence to a friend…”
The complaint further alleged that Elder did not inform Baskette of the conflict of interest, which included withholding the name of the friend and buyer, who the ARDC notes is Ron Houchin, or that the friend owed several thousand dollars to Elder, or that Elder and Houchin had at one time been business associates. Additionally, the complaint held that Elder did not disclose to Baskette that he himself would use funds from his wife’s bank account to purchase the property or that his wife would hold the mortgage on it. Furthermore, because of the misconduct, the probate estate, which was described as “extremely small”, remained open an extended amount of time. Read More

Sullivan Applies for $450,000 CDAP Grant

Plans to improve sewer system on northwest side

May 20, 2015

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Before the regular meeting of the Sullivan city council last Monday evening, a public hearing concerning a grant from the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for which it intends to apply was held.
It is funded by Title I of the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. If the city is approved for the grant, the funds will be used to improve the sanitary sewer system in the northwest part of town. Most of the work would be done throughout the neighborhoods rather than the sewer plant. The total amount that has been requested is $450,000. It wasn’t until October of last year when the city discovered that it hadn’t been approved for this same grant for which they had applied previously. The city is assuming that there will be a similar time frame this year. Last year, Sullivan received an unrelated CDAP (Community Development Assistance Program) Grant of $100,000 to fix the sewer system on Monroe Street. Read More

Okaw Valley District Looking into Possibility of Closing Elementary School

With state funding cuts, board discusses proactive vision for future

May 13, 2015

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

At a special meeting May 4, after the culmination of more than an hour of discussion, the Okaw Valley School Board assigned superintendent Kent Stauder what amounts to a mini research project, some of which will deal with the possibility of closing the elementary school in Bethany.
Guest speaker Larry Dirks, Director of Field Services with the Illinois Association of School Boards, kicked off the meeting with a small presentation related to the district’s goals and objectives. Every few years the board reviews and updates their ‘Goals and Objectives” document, available on the okawvalley.org website, which is essentially a strategic plan for the coming years. Dirks’ presentation was aimed at giving the board tools to clarify and give focus to the objectives laid out in the document, outlining measurable steps toward their completion. This would help to give more clear direction as well as evaluate what progress has been made.
This is not the first time the veteran board has faced this process. The consensus among the board members was to remain proactive, with a long term plan, rather than try to react to whatever the state may or may not do.
“I don’t want to see us forced into anything,” board member Brooke Bartimus said. “I want to see us having a vision”. Read More

Building a Total Loss in Sunday Afternoon Fire

Photo by RR Best Local firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that fully engulfed a building and two vehicles at the Kaskaskia Biological Station west of Allenville Sunday afternoon.

Photo by RR Best
Local firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that fully engulfed a building and two vehicles at the Kaskaskia Biological Station west of Allenville Sunday afternoon.

Biological station near Allenville suffers damage

May 6, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A fire that occurred Sunday afternoon resulted in the total loss of a garage-type structure, a camper, and two vehicles parked nearby.
According to Sullivan fire captain Larry Edwards, his department received an emergency call at around 2:02 p.m. Sunday of a fire located at the Kaskaskia Biological Station west of Allenville, also more commonly known locally as Fish Hook. Sullivan personnel arrived at approximately 2:18 p.m. and observed a garage-type structure that had been converted into a conference/break room fully engulfed, in addition to two parked vehicles and a camper. Read More

A Favorite Sullivan Spot Returns

Photo by RR Best Red Apple Family Restaurant owner and operator Steve Sadikoska shows off his new dining room Friday afternoon. Sadikoska and his family reopened the restaurant Monday after it burned down last July.

Photo by RR Best
Red Apple Family Restaurant owner and operator Steve Sadikoska shows off his new dining room Friday afternoon. Sadikoska and his family reopened the restaurant Monday after it burned down last July.

Red Apple Family Restaurant reopens Monday

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

“Finally.”
No doubt the second most uttered word in Sullivan right now, following the phrase, “When is the Red Apple going to reopen?”
One of Sullivan’s favorite spots reopened this past Monday at 5 a.m., though unbeknownst to most of the public. It was, as owner Steve Sadikoska put it, a “soft opening” in an effort to gently reenter as one of the local handful of eateries.
“More than 10 times a day. Every time I went to Hardee’s or TnT, everybody would ask me, ‘When are you going to open?’ And they’re still asking,” said Sadikoska.
This week’s quiet reopening came after a grease fire last July devastated the building and shuttered the restaurant. In the time since then, Sadikoska says it’s not been without strain.
“It hasn’t been easy. Bills have needed to be paid, and we experienced some hard times,” he said. “But it’s alright, because we’ve made it.” Read More

Dirks Presented Award for Heroism

Photo by RR Best Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Council also discusses creating possible fourth TIF district

April 22, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan mayor Ann Short and the city council presented Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks an award at their regular meeting earlier this month for her heroic handling of a homicide call on Wednesday, March 11.
Many members of the Sullivan police force and chief John Love were present as Dirks accepted her award.
“Our entire police department did a great job that day,” said police chief John Love. “Janet was a lifeline. We are fortunate to have her.”
Two guests, TIF consultants Steve Kline and Gwen Crawford, presented reports about the current TIF districts and information about the possibility of forming another TIF district, the area of which includes the former Jackson Chevrolet building. Read More

Sullivan Chiefs Inducted into Hall of Fame

Short-lived softball team recognized for big impact

April 15, 2015

 
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This past Saturday night may have been organized to recognize efforts and performances deserving of hall of fame status, but for the men and women involved, it was about recalling the smell of fresh cut grass, playing double-headers four times a week, and playing fast pitch softball on the Fourth of July.
The Sullivan Chiefs, one of five teams inducted into the Amateur Softball Association 11th annual Hall of Fame held at the Decatur Convention Center and Hotel Saturday evening, may have been last, but they certainly were not the least deserving.
“The Sullivan Chiefs didn’t play a lot of years, but they did win the state championship in 1970 with a truly outstanding bunch of players,” said presenter Joe Snedeker. “Our teams played against them many times, and they could hit, and they could run, and they could do it all.”
Before winning the state tournament in 1970, the Chiefs began as a 4H club that slowly evolved over the next few years.
There was, according to Moultrie County News archives, a Sullivan Merchants softball team that played throughout the 30s but disbanded in 1964. The next year, at just 19 years old, Larry Morrison decided to keep Sullivan’s fastpich softball alive by seeking a sponsor from Ed Dunphy.
“Believe it or not, we started out as the Sunnyside Fleaflickers 4H club,” recalled Morrison, who played first base for the team, including the state championship team. “My dad got sick after my freshman year of college so I came home, and we still wanted to play ball, but we couldn’t play 4H anymore, so we talked to Ed Dunphy, and he sponsored when we started.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Read More

An Incumbent Kind of Night

Nearly every race re-elects candidates

April 8, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In all but one of the five contested races Tuesday incumbents were all re-elected according to unofficial final tallies. Moultrie county clerk Georgia England says that final results will not be available until a canvass is completed on April 21, which will include any provisional and absentee votes remaining. However, England said she does not imagine the canvass to result in any change in the unofficial results. Overall voter turnout came in at just 15.76 percent, which the clerk described as low compared to previous consolidated elections. ElectionTABLE Read More

April 7 Election Will Sport Several Contested Races

Submitted Pictured is the approximate Sullivan school district boundary map (red line) along with approximate township and range boundaries.

Submitted
Pictured is the approximate Sullivan school district boundary map (red line) along with approximate township and range boundaries.

Sullivan school board sees four new faces run for seats

April 1, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Next Tuesday’s election will see three contested village trustee races, one Sullivan commissioner race, and a contested Sullivan school board.

Sullivan School Board
Out of the eight candidates representing four congressional townships, not one is a shoo-in. The only fact prior to Tuesday’s election is that at least one individual from 13N5E will be elected to the board since that township allows voters to elect no more than two on the ballot while only one candidate may be voted upon for the other three townships. With that said, there in lies the possibility that one of the three remaining townships may not elect a candidate to the board. Read More

Juvenile Falls from Third Floor of Courthouse Monday Afternoon

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan paramedics are seen transporting a juvenile to a medevac helicopter Monday afternoon in Arthur after the boy fell from the third floor of the Moultrie County Courthouse in Sullivan.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan paramedics are seen transporting a juvenile to a medevac helicopter Monday afternoon in Arthur after the boy fell from the third floor of the Moultrie County Courthouse in Sullivan.

Boy then transported by
helicopter from Arthur

March 25, 2015
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A boy was being treated for injuries he received after he apparently jumped from the third floor of the Moultrie County Courthouse onto the first-floor rotunda a week ago Monday.
The boy, shackled and clad in an orange jumpsuit, had just left a courtroom about 3:15 p.m. Monday when he went over the railing.
Because the incident involves a juvenile, authorities are not releasing his name.
The boy was treated at the scene by Sullivan paramedics, who then rushed him by ambulance to Arthur, where a makeshift helicopter pad was set up in Eberhardt Park across from the fire station Monday afternoon. There, a medevac helicopter landed and transported the child to Carle in Urbana.
State’s attorney Jeremy Richey, who is handling all media requests regarding the incident, declined to comment about the boy’s condition or provide any details about the incident. Read More