Okaw Valley School Report Card Shows Gains and Declines

November 26, 2014

Test results still shaky as state moves towards common core

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

This month Okaw Valley School District’s annual school report card has been made available by the state’s board of education at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The school report card, which is released at roughly the same time every year, is a metric that gauges student academic growth from year to year based on state standardized testing. In addition to this, the school report card also provides useful data to the public such as graduation rates, attendance rates, and even data such as the school district’s racial makeup. The school report card is designed to be a valuable tool internally within school districts for making academic and instructional improvements to school environments, as well as for the public, which may include families considering moving to the area or parents concerned about their children’s education.
The results of this year’s school report card, much as last year’s, are mixed for Okaw Valley—containing examples of both improvements and declines in academic growth. Read More

If We Aren’t Thankful What Else is There?

November 26, 2014

by Sarah Hudson Pierce
Guest Columnist

If we aren’t thankful for what we possess what else is there? What good does it do to have the best of everything if we are discontented?
Having been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, along with my sister Alice, due to having grown up in an orphanage, perhaps we are a little more grateful than some of our peers.
Maybe it takes emotional storms, of having the rugs jerked out from under our feet, to truly understand the trauma of hurting. Having stood on the edge of homelessness as a child and an adult, God has always stepped out of the woodwork to help me. Read More

Sullivan Schools to Hold Tax Hearing, Again

November 26, 2015

Two levy rates presented, but board errs on side of caution

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Earlier this month, the Sullivan school board agreed to schedule a truth in taxation hearing early next month, though presented two different levy rates, one of which will be decided at next month’s regular board meeting.
Citing recent speculation that school districts across the state might be facing a cut in their already cut state aid for this financial year, Sullivan Superintendent of Schools Brad Tuttle presented two tentative tax rates, both of which represent increases over last year’s levy amount, but one that would require a truth in taxation hearing, at an increase of 6.69 percent, and one that would not at an increase of 4.99 percent, just under the five percent limit that decides whether such a hearing is legally required.
“As early as this financial year, we could get a prorated version of our prorated version,” said Tuttle, who had travelled to Springfield earlier that day. “For the first time, I heard from some people that understand in Springfield that there is a legitimate chance we could not get 89 percent this year. They don’t know that,  but that’s speculation that could happen.”
Districts were told earlier this year that they would receive 89 percent of their otherwise full amount for this financial year. In addition to this level of funding being potentially cut further, Tuttle cited “major concerns” about the income tax extension likely to run its course and end come January and the implications that, too, could have on school revenue.
“The only reason I tell you that is because I think it’s important as we think about this tentative (levy), that we talk about this,” said Tuttle, “to guarantee that we would be able to levy the amount to get our maximum rates.” Read More

LLC Honors Glazebrook with Exemplary Trustee Award

September 17, 2014

The Lake Land College Board of Trustees awarded Leland Glazebrook as a posthumous recipient of the Clem G. Phipps Exemplary Trustee Award last Tuesday evening.
His surviving family members – Richard Glazebrook and wife Carol; Roger Glazebrook and wife Sara; Sarah Glazebrook-Perry and husband Todd; and Jim Glazebrook and wife Tena – received the award on his behalf. Read More

Wanted Man Arrested in Effingham Saturday

September 10, 2014

Fugitive that Mo.Co. deputies searched for last week found in K-Mart

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

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A fugitive that sparked a manhunt last Tuesday near Windsor was found and arrested Saturday in Effingham.
Matthew E. Armer, 42, of Trilla, was arrested Saturday just after 8 p.m. at a K-Mart in Effingham according to area authorities.
Armer’s arrest comes after he fled from Moultrie County deputies last Tuesday while they were attempting to serve him an arrest warrant. Armer fled on foot into a cornfield around 3:12 p.m., sparking an immediate manhunt in the area by Sullivan, Windsor, and Mattoon police, as well as Coles, Shelby, and Moultrie county deputies. The Illinois State police also assisted with patrol units and with an aerial unit that was already in the area. Read More

Moultrie County Health Department Officially Relocates

September 10, 2014
Photo by Keith Stewart The new Moultrie County Health Department facility was unveiled at an open house last month. Pictured in front of the new facility, from left to right, are: Ill. Rep. Adam Brown, board of health member Dr. Glen Dust, State Senator Chapin Rose’s chief of staff Landon Stenger, ADG, LTD architects Tim Raibley and Jason Wright, Moultrie County health department administrator Angela Hogan, board of health secretary Vickie Bowers, board of health members Marge Overlot and Kerry Pate, health department building committee chair Ron White, board of health member Mike Reedy, county board chairman Dave McCabe, and former director of the Coles County Regional Planning and Development Doug McDermand.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The new Moultrie County Health Department facility was unveiled at an open house last month. Pictured in front of the new facility, from left to right, are: Ill. Rep. Adam Brown, board of health member Dr. Glen Dust, State Senator Chapin Rose’s chief of staff Landon Stenger, ADG, LTD architects Tim Raibley and Jason Wright, Moultrie County health department administrator Angela Hogan, board of health secretary Vickie Bowers, board of health members Marge Overlot and Kerry Pate, health department building committee chair Ron White, board of health member Mike Reedy, county board chairman Dave McCabe, and former director of the Coles County Regional Planning and Development Doug McDermand.

Open house last month celebrates move

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An estimated 175-200 people came out to see the official public unveiling of the new Moultrie County Health Department building last month.
Relocating to an-above ground and newly constructed facility just south of where it was previously in the basement of the Fields Wright Medical Facility, the county health department began operating out of its new space July 17 but held its open house almost a month later on August 14 with both county board and health department committee members in attendance, as well as architects Tim Raibley and Jason Wright of ADG, LTD.
“The biggest challenge was the lot sloped seven feet,” remarked Raibley. “But once that was taken care of, it went very smoothly. We had a good contractor and an excellent owner to work with.” Read More

Forget spring showers–dedicated downpours solicit flood warnings across central Illinois

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keith@newsprogress.com

Last week’s showers culminated Thursday, pouring inches upon inches of rain on central Illinois and spurring flooding in both rural areas and within city limits.

According to the National Weather Service out of Lincoln, 3.41 inches were recorded at the Windsor Sewage Plant, the most in the immediate area. It was followed by 3.38 inches in Sullivan, 3.28 in Arthur, and 3.06 in Lovington. Read More

Another One Bites the Dust as Sullivan Sends A/O to the Cleaners

Photo by Keith Stewart Argenta-Oreana’s Katlyn Gibson kicks the ball back out after being met by three Sullivan defenders down low. Gibson scored 20 of her team’s 34 points on the night, a defensive weakness for Sullivan, who still managed to earn a 34-point margin of victory Friday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Argenta-Oreana’s Katlyn Gibson kicks the ball back out after being met by three Sullivan defenders down low. Gibson scored 20 of her team’s 34 points on the night, a defensive weakness for Sullivan, who still managed to earn a 34-point margin of victory Friday.

Outdoes Argenta for another conference win

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

And one, and one, and one.

Sure, that could describe the manner in which Sullivan’s girls’ basketball team has racked up win after win this season (13 in a row), but it more accurately describes the fashion in which they secured their most recent 68-34 victory over conference opponent Argenta-Oreana.

“That hurt us early,” said Argenta coach Jeff Shumate.

Sullivan converted on three of five and-one opportunities in just the first half and were helped along by the aggressive post play of Brittin Boyer, who earned 11 points and seven rebounds in the same stretch.

The Lady Red established a lead early and ran away with the game going on a 9-0 run in just two minutes during the first quarter. Read More

Plank to the Rescue, as Buzzer Beater Earns Lady Red Win Over A&M

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Photo by Keith Stewart
Members of Sullivan’s girls’ basketball team Elissa Stewart (left) and Brittin Boyer (right) celebrate after Maggie Plank (center) hit the buzzer beater, earning the Lady Red a 69-68 win over Central A&M Thursday evening.

Neuhauser adds 21, Boyer 16 in nail biter
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com
As Sullivan’s Maggie Plank described it, “Why not?”
Despite a less than stellar first half, the Sullivan senior took over beginning in the third, when she scored eight points, three rebounds, and a timely steal, helping to pull her team within two of Central A&M.
And who else would the game come down to other than the senior?
But Plank had to be relied upon earlier with just 12.2 seconds left in the game when a foul sent her to the line for two. Down 65-67, Plank hit both shots, of course.
But then a foul immediately after sent A&M’s Ryan Dooley to the line. There, she made one of her two shots, leaving 10 seconds left for the Lady Red to make something happen.
Elissa Stewart sprinted up court and dished the ball to Emily Neuhauser, who went for the throat with a 3-pointer that ultimately fell short. But out of nowhere, it was none other than the senior who grabbed the offensive board and then threw it right back up.
Why not?
Plank’s determination paid off when her last ditch effort went in, earning Sullivan a tough 69-68 victory over the Lady Raiders Thursday night. She along with Neuhauser’s 21 point and Brittin Boyer’s 16 point performances go to show that so often it’s not what someone does, so much as when they do it.
“I can’t speak enough about her,” said head coach Sheri McCain of Plank. “She just came through with that senior leadership. It was her night. It was a magical moment for her. She deserved it.” Read More