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

“Sister Act,” the Musical: Sinfully Divine At The Little Theatre

Sister Act art with Cheryl•August 3, 2016•

By Cheryl Murphy
For the News Progress

Sister Act, the musical comedy, is based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg as a club singer who has more sass than sense.

She is forced to hide her sinful soul beneath a nun’s habit after she witnesses her mobster boyfriend commit murder. Warning! This show retains the fun of the film but not the music. If patrons understand this up front and have an open mind, they will find this show too good to resist.

To illustrate that point my cousin took three nuns from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Decatur to the show, and they laughed so hard they were crying. Pretty good testimony.

The movie was special by redoing already familiar songs into ones of faith. In the musical, those songs are replaced with original tunes by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. A very qualified Menken has written iconic songs for Disney’s “Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.”  Read More

Bethany Applies TIF Funds to Park Trail Project

•July 27, 2016•

By Derek Pope
For the News Progress

Bethany’s village board gave a nod to nature enthusiasts this month by approving TIF funds to expand and improve Crowder Park’s walking trail. According to the Township Investment Fund chairman Greg McLain, the park district had envisioned alterations to the existing trail that would expand its “most visible, top portion” westward “down by the batting cages or skate park”.

While modest in scope, the cost of the project was the motivating factor for Marrowbone Park District to seek outside funding for the renovations.

The park district is itself a taxing body, levying a portion of village residents’ yearly property taxes for funding, but McLain said that the park board reported only around $16,000 in on hand money when they submitted their proposal to the TIF committee.

Although the TIF committee has been somewhat deterred from funding major projects for other taxing bodies in the past, McLain said that the relatively small cost of the proposal influenced the TIF’s final decision.

“We have helped private businesses with a lot more money than what they were asking for so the committee recommended to grant them the entire $6,840.” McLain also mentioned the village’s 2013 decision to provide a much more sizable TIF grant to Marrowbone Public Library, another taxing body in the village, as precedent for the committee’s recommendation.  Read More

Pokemon Go Keeps Going in County

Photo by Kennedy Nolen All it takes is a smart phone, a free app, and a desire to solve the mysteries of Pokemon Go.

Photo by Kennedy Nolen
All it takes is a smart phone, a free app, and a desire to solve the mysteries of Pokemon Go.

•July 27, 2016•

By Kennedy Nolen
For the News Progress

It’s like an invasion. As the sun sets in Sullivan the young people come on to the streets armed with smart phones as Pokemon Go takes them to stops all over town.

Pokémon Go, a game/application by Niantic, has taken the world by storm since its July 6 release. This free application merges the Pokémon world with reality and gives players an opportunity to relive their childhood.

The game uses players’ smart phone GPS locations and maps to track their current location. Based on the location, a range of 250 Pokémon will appear along with the level of its power.

After catching a certain amount of Pokémon, players will eventually run out of Pokéballs which they will need to restock. This may be done via buying them with coins purchased with actual money, by earning them at battling in gyms, or by visiting special monuments known as ‘Pokéstops’. Read More

Passports Available Through Sullivan Post Office

Photo by Mike Brothers Passports are available at the Sullivan Post Office. Postmaster Cindy Temple explained the forms may  be completed in advance to save time in processing.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Passports are available at the Sullivan Post Office. Postmaster Cindy Temple explained the forms may be completed in advance to save time in processing.

•July 27, 2016•

With national political conventions stirring things up, some folks may be looking to leave the country for a while.

Moultrie County residents have new hope in that direction, with the addition of passport services at the Sullivan Post office.

“We are glad to provide this additional service to our patrons,” Sullivan postmaster Cindy Temple said.

A year ago the Moultrie County Circuit Clerk’s office discontinued passport service, and by April 2016 Sullivan Post Office was approved by the U.S. State Department to process passport applications.

“First we went through the State Dept. approval process, then all our clerks were trained, tested and certified on the specific requirements for passport applications,” Temple explained, noting Sullivan Post Office has averaged four passport applications per week since April. Read More

Sullivan Plans Citywide Cleanup

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The Sullivan City Council voted to use services from Advanced Disposal for city clean-up day.

According to a letter from the Charleston’s Municipal Waste manager Ed Woker Advanced’s house-to-house service is at a rate of $1,550 per load for two Saturdays a month.

Mayor Ann Short noted it would be best to do one half of the city on one Saturday and then complete the other half the following Saturday.

Commissioner Bill Hagen contacted Advanced Disposal’s regional office after the city received a quote from a Peoria disposal company presented at the June 27 meeting.

Advanced pricing was $745 per truck load less for curbside service, and Hagen is scheduling the service days as soon as possible. Read More