ALAH Funds Technology with Outside Resources

•May 4, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

No state funds force the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School District, teachers and other staff to look for other ways to pay for the tools they need to continue to educate students as well as cope with the rising costs of technological needs.

With the advancements in technology and learning, schools’ funding needs are more pressing. While ALAH is in good shape from a network point of view in the technology department, there are still several items the district needs to continue to grow.

“Over the last two school years Quality Network Solutions of Sullivan has done a great job of renovating the wired and wireless infrastructure in all four of our district’s buildings,” technology coordinator Jeremy Rodebaugh told the board. “This work has been done in large part due to a $119,698.34 federal grant we received this school year. This hard work has left our district in very good shape from a network standpoint for the foreseeable future,”  he added. He did state that the wiring in the high school and a server at Atwood-Hammond are in need of updating, which could cost approximately $15,000 for both projects.

Rodebaugh said, while it isn’t urgent, the district will need to look to grants and other outside funding in order to make those projects happen. Without funding from the state though, providing adequate bandwidth will be an issue for all of the schools within the district. Read More

Reaching Out is Part of a Full Life

Photo furnished Bowers getting “Roasted” at April 2 retirement party.

Photo furnished
Bowers getting “Roasted” at April 2 retirement party.

David Bowers Keeps Going

•April 27, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

David Bowers has spent the better part of his life in Lovington reaching out to touch someone.

Even though he retired from family owned Moultrie Independent Telephone Company at the end of March he isn’t going to stop being involved.

“When you live a full life, life is fulfilling,” Bowers said, noting his retirement as vice president and plant supervisor gives him time to concentrate on other community needs.

Shawnee Communications purchased the family phone company, which is going through a fifth plant rebuild as fiber optic cable delivery comes to Lovington customers, who started receiving telephone service from wires strung along fence posts 71 years ago.

‘I remember when I was five years old sitting on the operator’s lap while I plugged a call into the switchboard,” he recalled, noting he and his brothers worked at the phone company part time while growing up in Lovington.

“We had some wonderful and inspiring teachers in Lovington,” he said explaining his career path was guided by those educators but didn’t exactly go as he planned.

“What I really wanted to be was a teacher and football coach,” Bowers recalled attending North Central College in Naperville for his bachelor’s degree. Read More

Kiwanis Bedding Collection Saturday

At Jackson/Hamilton Intersection 

•April 27, 2016•

The Sullivan Kiwanis Club bedding collection drive is at the corner of Jackson and Hamilton streets 10 a.m-noon Saturday, April 30.

Located at the northeast corner lot, Kiwanians will be on hand to accept new and slightly used bedding for donation to those in Sullivan with a need.

“There is help for struggling families with food and other essentials,” Sullivan Kiwanis treasurer Marci Thompson said. “More people than we realize simply can’t afford bedding.”

She explained this is a part of the Kiwanis mission serving the children of the world.  Read More

Finding Greenhill Cemetery Spaces

Monte Greenhill Cem

Photo by Mike Brothers Using Sullivan’s existing Geographic Information Service (GIS) City Clerk Monte Johnson created a computer application for locating sites at Greenhill Cemetery.

•April 20, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

The city of Sullivan has been able to use existing Geographic Information Services to help find spaces in Greenhill Cemetery.

GIS coordinator and city clerk Monte Johnson has spent the past three years building a user friendly application to find spaces in the city-owned cemetery without leaving your home computer.

After getting on the city of Sullivan website, in the center of the page is a cemetery photo with the Greenhill Cemetery Viewing Application—click there.

Once you are on the Greenhill page you may search for the desired burial plots by name of the person or by the section and space number if a person has a deed. The application will then direct you to the location within the cemetery.

Johnson noted if a person has accurate GIS on their cell phone or tablet the GIS locator will take them within a few feet of the cemetery space.

This user friendly system didn’t appear overnight, and the process of getting every space in the cemetery into a mapping application has slowed in the older sections where little accurate information is available. Read More

Moultrie County Board Green Lights Early Liquor Sales

•April 20, 2016•

Moultrie County Board members gave the green light to 6 a.m. liquor sales and granted land use changes for portable building manufacturing at the April 14 meeting.

Liquor commission chair David McCabe presented the 6 a.m. liquor sales proposal effective with the next license renewals, which was approved unanimously.

The combined Class J liquor license fee was limited to $1000 maximum; previously individual $750 fees were charged to same locations containing two liquor licenses.

Special event licenses were approved for “T-1” for wine for Vine LLC and Tuscan Hills Winery. The Hob Nob Back Forty Market at the Great Pumpkin Patch is the special event location May 20 and 21. All motions were approved.

Planning and zoning chair Todd Maxedon presented a variety of requests: Special mobile home use permit for Jason Stroud and variance to build 10 feet from west property line was granted.

Glen Chupp’s request to C-1 from A-1 for a bulk foods shop and portable building manufacturing location, and build variances were granted.

Wilmer Herschberger was granted to rezone to C-1 from A-1 for manufacturing portable buildings. Read More

For Those Who Served Before Them

Photo by Mike Brothers Sullivan American Legion Post 68 Color Guard from left: James Darnell, George Selby, Bob Sims, Ed Riley, Charles Bragg, Mike Gross, (the Memorial) then Mike Black, Mac Bond, Mike Keown, Jon Garvin, Marty Reynolds, Richard Murphy and Nathan Selby.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Sullivan American Legion Post 68 Color Guard from left: James Darnell, George Selby, Bob Sims, Ed Riley, Charles Bragg, Mike Gross, (the Memorial) then Mike Black, Mac Bond, Mike Keown, Jon Garvin, Marty Reynolds, Richard Murphy and Nathan Selby.

•April 13, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

They perform their duty, then return to daily routines: the Sullivan American Legion Post 68 Color Guard has always been there.

Since January 1, the Color Guard has put on their uniforms, grabbed their rifles and gathered their flags to perform military rites for 11 of their brothers and sisters in arms who have passed away so far this year.

What is becoming a challenge for the American Legion Color Guard now, with 23 active members, is getting others to join the group,

Nathan Selby is a 27-year-old father of a three-year old daughter, who works for ADM in Decatur and is a volunteer with the Sullivan Fire Dept.

Selby is an Army veteran of Afghanistan who has found the time to be a Color Guard. “I remember how those who came back from Vietnam were mistreated,” Selby said, noting when he returned from his Army tour, he wanted to get involved.

“What military rites show is respect for those who came before us,” he concluded.

Marty Reynolds is 75 and retired from the Air Force along with his wife who is an active American Legion member. He is responsible for flag presentation to the survivors, which signals the 21 gun salute. Read More

ALAH Schools Turn to the Internet for Curriculum

•April 13, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

The way students learn keeps changing through the years-especially as technology advances and other opportunities become available.

While staff and administrators have felt the effects from the financial distress, they have learned how to be more creative when it comes to learning and how to take advantage of resources that are already out there.

The teachers of Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School district looked to the internet for new learning materials that meet the new Common Core standards. Atwood-Hammond first grade teacher Vanessa Davis was part of the literacy committee that helped the district find curriculum so all of the schools could align curricula when the consolidation took place.

“When we began our search, there weren’t a lot of reliable and affordable resources out there,” Davis began. “With declining funding from the state, teachers were left to sort of “figure it out” on their own, and that meant finding or creating our own materials.”

A website that ALAH elementary and junior high teachers are taking advantage of is EngageNY.org. EngageNY offers kindergarten through grade 12 curriculum in English language, arts and mathematics. All of the learning materials on the website are free to use; although some of the teachers have purchased other accessories and books to enhance the lessons.  Read More

Broken Down Springfield Bus Leads to Sullivan Pizza Party

•April 13, 2016•

What looked like a long boring wait for a busload of students from Springfield turned into a pizza party at Sullivan Civic Center last week.

It all started when a charter bus carrying 35 students from Grant Middle School broke down about 3 p.m. next to Jim Warren Auto Sales.

“Jim Warren called me when he saw those kids waiting around the broken bus,” Sullivan police chief John Love said. “Officers sent to the scene learned it could be several hours before another bus could be sent for the students.”

Love said he made two calls; the first to Sullivan school district where director of transportation Kevin Landrus immediately sent a Sullivan School bus for the students.

“The replacement bus was coming from Jacksonville, and there was going to be about a 4 hour wait/delay,” Landrus began.

“I sent Michael Puyear, employee within the transportation department of Sullivan Schools out to pick them up and we shuttled them to the Civic Center.”

“I can’t imagine trying to keep 35 middle school aged kids occupied for four hours, let alone on a bus sitting on the side of the road. We were glad to do our part and offer assistance to the kids and adults on board,” he concluded. Read More

Beacon Looks For Outside Funding Sources

Photo by Mike Brothers Above Joe Ellis and David Cornwell load the box crusher, preparing cardboard collected from area businesses for recycling. At right Executive Director Susan Rauch checks photo display strip which helps consumers with autism deal with schedule changes.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Above Joe Ellis and David Cornwell load the box crusher, preparing cardboard collected from area businesses for recycling. At right Executive Director Susan Rauch checks photo display strip which helps consumers with autism deal with schedule changes.

•April 6, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

The Moultrie County Beacon’s annual benefit auction at the Otto Center in Arthur April 15 is more than a place to get the best fried pies and donuts anywhere; it has become a financial lifeline for the local non-profit agency.

Located in Sullivan the Beacon is a community-based not for profit, offering a wide range of services to the developmentally disabled and mentally ill residents of the area.

“We were resistant to outside fund-raising until the state got three months behind on funding,” executive director Susan Rauch said of the decision to follow up on a suggestion from board member Dannie Kuhns that the Beacon approach the Otto Center about a benefit.

Since that time, state funding reached a crisis for community agencies when the state failed to come up with a budget. That lack of funding for programs to help people who need it the most has forced the Beacon to focus as much on fund- raising and training just to maintain existing services.

David Kaufman of the Otto Center was not eager to help a Moultrie County agency since he was in Douglas County, but Rauch encouraged him to tour the Beacon facility in Sullivan.

“Once he saw the services we provide at the Beacon he agreed, and that brought a host of help from the Amish community which has been essential to the success of the annual benefit,” she continued. Read More

News Sidewalks Around Sullivan Square

Photo by Mike Brothers Penhall Company started early Monday sawing away the old sidewalk in preparation for removal. Traffic was rerouted and the noise level on the square increased as the city project includes new accessible walks and resurfacing the street around the square.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Penhall Company started early Monday sawing away the old sidewalk in preparation for removal. Traffic was rerouted and the noise level on the square increased as the city project includes new accessible walks and resurfacing the street around the square.

After A Few Noisy Days of Demolition

•April 6, 2016•

The city of Sullivan sidewalk renovation project started Monday April 4.

It will involve removing the sidewalk and curb around the inside of the square and replacing it with new ADA compliant  walk and crosswalks. The north and east sides of the square will be closed first.

Then closings will occur as needed after the new is installed. The plan is to saw cut the sidewalk all the way, but only the north and east sides will be closed to parking. Workers are using water to cut so the dust will be minimum, but soupy. They will be removing the entrance by the fountain at the northwest corner and leaving the southwest entrance until the north side is complete.

The second phase is to mill the roadway around the square and adjoining streets to prepare for new asphalt. This part will be very noisy but should only last three or four days. Parking will be at a premium during this construction period, and all who can are encouraged to park off the square. There are a few parking places beside the dive shed to the south, as well as the parking lots around the area. No work is scheduled on Washington St. from Jefferson to Water and Jefferson from Washington to Worth.  Everything else around the square will be in the construction zone.  All construction is weather dependent.

Ariana Cherry looks into the costs of the project in her Sullivan City Council story on page 12 of today’s newspaper.