Yost Waives Jury Trial

•June 22, 2016•

Michael S. Yost, 43, waived his right to a jury trial in Moultrie County Circuit Court  June 21.

Public Defender Brad Rau presented the waiver to Chief Judge Dan L. Flannell with State’s Attorney Jeremy Richey explaining the trial could take up to four days without juror selection.

Before setting the 9 a.m. September 12 court date, Judge Flannell read the four counts of murder with which Yost has been charged. The most serious of the first degree murder charges could carry a 20 years to natural life sentence and up to a $25,000 fine.

Flannell explained that the trial by the court would mean the decision on Yost’s innocence or guilt would rest exclusively with the judge.

Once agreed on the new court date Judge Flannell then addressed Yost’s correspondence concerning jail accommodations. Read More

ALAH H.S. Principal Resigns; Board President Steps Down

•June 22, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School District has recently experienced some changes in both its staff and board of education.

After a closed session meeting at the last ALAH school board meeting, a motion was made to approve the resignation of ALAH principal, Buck Condill. Presently, the position has not yet been filled.

ALAH school board president Steffanie Seegmiller stepped down June 1, which left vice-president Jake Kamm to fill her shoes. Seegmiller served on the board for seven and a half years. “I leave the board in good hands as they are dedicated to continuing to make our schools great,” she said.

A special board meeting was held June 20 to consider appointment for the vacancies.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

• As of June 8, funds were in the black at $3,621,901.73. After paying the district’s bills, it left the balance at 2.7 million dollars.

• Two general state aid payments may arrive in June. The district will possibly receive some sales tax money from Douglas County soon. Read More

George Garden Tools Started 70 years ago

Photo furnished Gary Davis of Herrick will display his George Garden equipment collection at the 70th anniversary open house at Agri-Fab July 2.

Photo furnished
Gary Davis of Herrick will display his George Garden equipment collection at the 70th anniversary open house at Agri-Fab July 2.

•June 22, 2016•

What began as a small garden tool company in 1946 became the seeds for Agri-Fab of Sullivan today.

On Saturday, July 2 Agri-Fab will open the doors at 303 West Raymond St. to observe the 70th anniversary of George Garden Tools.

From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Agri-Fab is dedicating a building to display their historic collection of the George Garden Tools line from the Sullivan factory that employed as many as 450 people during the mid-1960s.

The Church of Christ on S. Hamilton St. started three industries in the present Agri-Fab location; Felicity Fashions, Lucy Ellen Candies and Creative Designs, to help members of the congregation find work.

By 1946  George Garden Tools took off growing across the country through vendors with sales and its innovative garden equipment. Read More

American Legion has Veterans Display at Bethany Celebration

Photo by Mike Brothers Terry Muzzy prepares Honor Guard uniform that is part of the military memorabilia display at Bethany Celebration this weekend.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Terry Muzzy prepares Honor Guard uniform that is part of the military memorabilia display at Bethany Celebration this weekend.

•June 22, 2016•

By Kennedy D. Nolen
for the News Progress

War photos and memorabilia from local veterans will be on display at the Bethany Celebration this weekend, June 24 and 25, at Crowder Park.

The American Legion of Bethany has sponsored this event to honor veterans in the area.

Terry Muzzy is assembling uniforms, weapons, photos and a variety of items loaned by families of Bethany area veterans.

“The response has been great,” Terry said, noting he already has 75 photographs and he is still taking calls from people with items to display.

With help from Steve Sowers Muzzy has assembled hundreds of military items ranging from the civil war to present day.

“Bethany American Legion is also one of the oldest in the nation,” Muzzy said. That long time commitment (Chartered in February 1920) makes the Veterans display so important to share with the next generation.  Read More

Sullivan Board Removes Head Baseball Coach

•June 15, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan Unit #300 school board’s decision to remove Troy Rogers as head baseball coach was witnessed by a crowd of supporters June 13.

Held in the Sullivan Elementary School gymnasium due to ongoing construction, the meeting opened with board president Steve Poland allowing visitors to speak.

Austin Raboin, who played baseball when the Sullivan Redskins earned a Regional title under Rogers, recalled the hard work he put into baseball that paid off later.

Raboin, a law student who graduated in 2011, pointed out the coach required conditioning and following the rules.

“Even when our time was over, Coach Rogers found us places where we could continue playing after school.” Read More

Das Clubhaus Offers A Taste of Germany in Sullivan

Photo by Mike Brothers Das Clubhaus owner Don Frevert welcomes visitors to the Sullivan Country Club with display cases filled with his nutcracker collection and show bills from the Little Theatre. Once inside the dining room, golf course views are featured from every table.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Das Clubhaus owner Don Frevert welcomes visitors to the Sullivan Country Club with display cases filled with his nutcracker collection and show bills from the Little Theatre. Once inside the dining room, golf course views are featured from every table.

•June 15, 2016•

Das Clubhaus offers a taste of Germany in the scenic new dining room at Sullivan Country Club.

From the canopied entry way, into the foyer displaying Don Frevert’s nutcracker collection and photos of his wife Rose’s, grandparents’ restaurant in Germany, the focus is relaxed dining in an inviting atmosphere.

Frevert is approaching the grand opening of Das Clubhaus and pointed out one of his favorite features in the dining room view.

“There is a beautiful view from every seat in the room,” Frevert said, explaining that helped his decision to undertake the project.

“My wife came from Germany when she was 18, bringing her grandmother’s recipes from their family restaurant along,” he continued, noting that German menu features rouladen, schnitzel and bratwurst.

This is all in addition to traditional lunch and dinner menus plus Sunday brunch.

Frevert was faced with extensively remodeling and upgrading the existing country club facility that had been worn from years of use. Read More

Washington Street Plaza For a Place to Relax Downtown

Photo by Mike Brothers Washington Street Plaza is Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development’s newest project, east of the Little Theatre, offers visitors a place to relax before and after shows or while strolling around the square.  Above SCED’s Stepheny McMahon and Laurrie Minor are enjoying the plaza along with The Little Theatre’s Brenda Abbott, John Stephens, Nikki Schlieker and Lori Harbaugh.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Washington Street Plaza is Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development’s newest project, east of the Little Theatre, offers visitors a place to relax before and after shows or while strolling around the square. Above SCED’s Stepheny McMahon and Laurrie Minor are enjoying the plaza along with The Little Theatre’s Brenda Abbott, John Stephens, Nikki Schlieker and Lori Harbaugh.

•June 15, 2016•

Downtown Plaza Offers Washington Square Plaza in Sullivan is giving visitors a place to enjoy the outdoors only a few steps away from downtown shops and activities.

Located at the northeast corner of the square adjacent to The Little Theatre, Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development has been working the past several months on ideas to create a patio area downtown.

“When we began looking into ways to attract traffic downtown 10 years ago, our consultant recommended closing the block to create a walkway and patio for visitors,” SCED Director Stepheny McMahon said, noting the city wasn’t interested in closing the street then.

Washington Square Plaza is an experiment that has utilized already.

John Stephens, Executive Director of The Little Theatre, noted that some 350 kids gathered in the patio area for autograph sessions following the Shrek and Robin Hood shows.

“It is great to have the patio for the autographs,” Stephens said, noting in the past children were overflowing into street traffic in front of the theatre. Read More

Hope Holds for City Wide Clean up, Outside Collector is Sought

•June 15, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Sullivan City Council took action toward scheduling a citywide clean up day at the June 13 meeting.

Mayor Ann Short explained that it wasn’t because of the cost that the city couldn’t have citywide clean up day after the townwide rummage, it was because both Doty and Advanced Disposal had refused to do the services.

Without the existing collectors on which to rely, the city is seeking outside services and decided to contact PDC/Area Disposal for quotes.

PDC/Area Disposal of Peoria has serviced Arthur’s townwide clean up in the past. After doing some research, it was found that they had charged $1,950 per truckload in Arthur. Read More

New Principal for A-H Grade School

Photo furnished Arthur kindergarten teacher Kristin Nall says goodbye to her class as she moves into the principal’s office at Atwood-Hammond Grade School next year.

Photo furnished
Arthur kindergarten teacher Kristin Nall says goodbye to her class as she moves into the principal’s office at Atwood-Hammond Grade School next year.

•June 8, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The principal of Atwood-Hammond Grade School Lindsay Blickenstaff resigned in April.

This left an open position within the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond school district finding a replacement who wouldn’t be too far away. Arthur Grade School kindergarten teacher Kristin Nall was interested in the vacancy.

“I have had my administration degree since 2007. I have been looking to move forward in administration the last couple of years. My heart is and always will be in this school district. When the opportunity came up for me to stay in the district that I am raising my family in, I knew I wanted to move forward,” Nall commented.

Nall had been teaching kindergarten in Arthur for the past four years. Before that, she taught early childhood special education for six years in Sandoval, Illinois as well as preschool in Arthur for six years. She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and the Arthur High School class of 1995.

Transitioning from kindergarten teacher to principal is quite a change, but Nall is up for the challenge and has become established with communication and building relationships within the school system. Read More

How to Succeed Opens at Theatre

•June 9, 2016•

The Little Theatre production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starts Wednesday, June 15 and runs through June 26.
Shows at the Sullivan theatre are 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays.
The production is based on the award winning 1960s Broadway musical hit about a man who climbs the corporate ladder to success with little skill and a lot of smooze.