Illinois Department on Aging Mired by State Budget, Problem Areas Persist

July 16, 2014

Shortfalls will need to be addressed

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

With the state of Illinois’s new fiscal year beginning on July 1, Governor Pat Quinn gave up his opposition to the state budget passed by lawmakers in May and approved the majority of the bill just one day before the deadline. The new state budget, which Quinn has repeatedly described as “incomplete” due to its exclusion of an extended income tax increase, may provide a fiscal framework under which the government can operate, but it does little to mitigate the daunting uncertainty felt by state agencies including the Illinois Department of Aging and its East Illinois Area Agency on Aging, which supports seniors services in Moultrie County. Read More

Legion, Community Pull Together to Fund Fireworks Show

Photo by Brian Andrews/1st Sense Photography! After several months of uncertainty surrounded the American Legion Fourth of July Fireworks display, the Legion, with the help of the community’s outpouring of donations, was able to purchase the display for Friday’s celebration.

Photo by Brian Andrews/1st Sense Photography!
After several months of uncertainty surrounded the American Legion Fourth of July Fireworks display, the Legion, with the help of the community’s outpouring of donations, was able to purchase the display for Friday’s celebration.

July 9, 2014

Improvements still needed and to come

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In February, American Legion Post 68 board member Mike Keown thought Sullivan would go without its annual Fourth of July fireworks display. With the majority of its board members replaced with new, including Keown, it wasn’t discovered until January that not only had the Legion missed its first $6,000 installment towards the display but that the Legion didn’t have the money.

“In my opinion, we weren’t going to have fireworks,” said Keown. “The Legion couldn’t pay for it upfront.” Read More

A-Frame Signs Get Approval in Sullivan

July 2, 2014

More requests for downtown changes to come

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

The ordinance to allow Sullivan business owners to display A-frame signs on the sidewalk in front of their business passed unanimously last month.

The process of changing the ordinance started back on April 15 with a presentation from Cathrine Craig, owner of Cathrine’s Custom Framing on the importance of A-frame signs for local businesses. Just over two months later, Craig, in an interview after the June 23 council meeting, noted “This is a big step forward and has been a long and difficult process to get this approved.”  Read More

With Big Act and Entertainment Tent, Celebration Enjoyed by Many

Photo by Stan Smart Members of Sullivan based band “Them Gringos” Lauren Harris (left), Steffen Shook (middle), and Jerry Snyder (right) perform Saturday evening at the Bethany Celebration.

Photo by Stan Smart
Members of Sullivan based band “Them Gringos” Lauren Harris (left), Steffen Shook (middle), and Jerry Snyder (right) perform Saturday evening at the Bethany Celebration.

June 25, 2014

New additions, important aspect

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

From the SOV fundraiser dinner Friday to the firework display Saturday evening, the day-and-a-half long Bethany Celebration was once again a success according to organizers.

“We feel it went over really, really well this year,” said Heidi Ward, the Bethany Celebration chairperson. “We have heard nothing but great feedback from everyone that attended so far. There were people in the park constantly enjoying activities, whereas in the past few years, attendance seemed to die down somewhat during the Saturday afternoon hours.”

But with this year featuring an entertainment tent from which patrons could enjoy an adult beverage as well as a larger musical act in Gracia Harrison not to mention local talent in Slant Six and Them Gringos, the Bethany Celebration enjoyed rave reviews following its conclusion Saturday night. Read More

State’s Attorney Receives Grant to Aid Violent Crime Victims

Will help victims find resources often needed but unable to find

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Moultrie County State’s Attorney Jeremy Richey announced at Thursday’s county board meeting that his office has been named the recipient of a Violent Crime Victims Assistance (VCVA) grant in the amount of $11,000.

“About six months or so ago I applied for this grant. The purpose of this is to get a victim witness coordinator, someone who will be a contact person when you have a victim of a violent crime or even a property crime. They can contact our office to know what the status of the case is, they’ll send letters out to the victims to keep them informed on the case,” said Richey. “[It can] provide them with resources, [like] victim compensation or referrals to different counselor organizations–all the sort of things victims may need but may not necessarily know how to get.” Read More

Sullivan Woman Attacks UPS Driver Friday

June 11, 2014

Also chased group of children prior to being subdued

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A woman in Sullivan was charged Tuesday with aggravated battery after she allegedly attacked a UPS driver and was reported to have been acting strangely Friday afternoon.

According to Sullivan police chief John Love, a phone call was received shortly before noon Friday of a female walking in the North Graham Street area acting strangely and wearing aluminum foil on top of her head. An officer was then dispatched while more calls came in with similar reports, including that the woman had struck UPS driver Jeff Howard, of Windsor, with a cell phone, resulting in a two inch gash between his eyes that later required stitches. Read More

A Golden Opportunity

Photo by Keith Stewart John Golden reads his recently published children’s book “Kiley and the Love Struck Frog” as his daughter and inspiration for the book Kiley listens during Saturday morning’s public reading at Cathrine’s Custom Framing.

Photo by Keith Stewart
John Golden reads his recently published children’s book “Kiley and the Love Struck Frog” as his daughter and inspiration for the book Kiley listens during Saturday morning’s public reading at Cathrine’s Custom Framing.

June 11, 2014

Sullivan man publishes first children’s book

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Perhaps for most authors, books begin with writing something down.

For John Golden, his began with a text message. Or a series of them. 

Now, two years later, the Sullivan man and monthly columnist for the News•Progress conducted his first book signing and children’s reading of “Kiley and the Love Struck Frog.”

“It’s about a frog that falls in love with a girl while she’s fishing. She gets up and leaves, and the frog waits for her, but she never comes back,” explained Golden. “He then decided he will go find her. That’s what the book is about, this journey to find Kiley and along the way he encounters different animals.” Read More

Not One for Plot, but “42nd” Big on High Energy Numbers

Photo by Keith Stewart Heather Dore Johnson (left) as Gladys and Alex Jorth (middle) as Billy Lawlor dance away in the Little Theatre’s season opener “42nd Street.”

Photo by Keith Stewart
Heather Dore Johnson (left) as Gladys and Alex Jorth (middle) as Billy Lawlor dance away in the Little Theatre’s season opener “42nd Street.”

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

When you think of the generic term “Broadway musical,” the Little Theatre’s 2014 summer season opener — “42nd Street” — is probably the kind of show that springs to mind.

It’s that “You’re going out there a youngster, but you’re coming back a star!” musical. Yes, that very bit has been a cliché for 70 or 80 years now, at least since the deep Depression debut, in 1933, of the Dick Powell/Ruby Keeler film that inspired this 1980 stage musical. 

And that’s the problem I always have with this show, the paper-thin plot we’re stuck with. It’s not so much a plot, in fact, as a skeletal dramatic scaffolding on which to hang a number of crowd-pleasing tap-dance numbers.  Read More

Arthur-Lovington Acquires More Parking, Begins Planning for New Roof

Board passes own sales tax resolution, in step with Sullivan

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

The Arthur-Lovington School District acquired extra parking space at their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 14.

An additional city lot, located at the corner of Park and Ash Street, was purchased for $34,500. Recently, this spot became available for sale, and the district found that it would be a convenient area for parking space. Funds from the district farm that was previously sold will be used to help pay for the additional lot. Read More

Children at Play, Drivers Beware

Photo by Keith Stewart Signs like the one above are scattered throughout residential areas, but parents say drivers are still being reckless while children are outside playing.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Signs like the one above are scattered throughout residential areas, but parents say drivers are still being reckless while children are outside playing.

Parents cite speeding cars in residential areas

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur Reporter

It’s that time of year when the weather is warmer, and children are spending time outside playing or walking or riding their bike home from school. As a result, it is important for drivers to be extra aware of children in school-zone and residential areas, but according to some parents, there are some who aren’t taking the extra precaution.

“There are drivers who are driving too fast. People are just zooming around the curves, and they aren’t stopping at stop signs,” noted Heather Casteel, a parent in Sullivan.

Casteel lives just past the golf course and has noticed an increased number of speeding drivers in her area.

“There’s a speed limit sign near the golf course. It is supposed to be 30 miles per hour, and people are driving at least 50,” she explained. “I have to warn the kids to stay away from the roads when they are outside. But if they are playing basketball and the ball goes out in the road, then they have to go out there and get it. Drivers need to be aware that kids might go out in the road.” Read More