Letters to the Editor: October 15, 2014

An Argument for School Facility Sales Tax

What do the counties of Shelby, Douglas, Macon, Christian and Champaign all have in common?  Each of them is collecting large funds as a result of having the county school facility sales tax in effect for each one of their schools and most of them border Moultrie County.  That means each time we shop in any of these counties we are contributing to the funding for their school buildings.  I encourage all of us to drive by and check out the new schools and/or new additions in Macon, Maroa, Decatur, Arthur, Champaign and other districts because you have invested in each of them. Read More

Farm Bureau Update: Student Outings a Success

HarveyOctober 15, 2014

By Tyler Harvey
Mo-Do Farm Bureau Manager

I have to say I am glad I am not asked to give reports on the weather. The temperatures the last two weeks of September were as good for drying the crops as it could get; however it seems Mother Nature has officially turned on the faucet here in the last week or two. Going around both Moultrie and Douglas counties, I can tell many crops have been taken out, but for the crops still in the field, I hope drier weather will be on the horizon. Read More

Newspapers Are Community

AndersonKeithOctober 8, 2014

by Keith Anderson,
Director of news, ECM Publishers, Coon Rapids, Minnesota

There are hundreds of beautiful towns in the United States. And each of them has a claim to fame. Whether it’s the Fire Hydrant Capital of the world in Albertville, Alabama, the giant statue of Paul Bunyan welcoming visitors to Brainerd, Minnesota, or the giant ice cream sundae statue in LeMars, Iowa, every city has a desire to be known for something.

It’s part of what makes living in a community so special. Everyone wants to have a sense of home, a place where they can be involved and where getting to know neighbors is a blessing, not something to be avoided. Read More

Your Living, Breathing, Community Newspaper

WILLIAMSOctober 8, 2014

By Robert M. Williams, Jr.

What do you care most about in life?

Most of us would put family at, or near, the top of such a list. Friends would be there. So would our jobs or businesses, our livelihoods. Our homes. Maybe our pets. Our hobbies and pastimes. Add in those around us: Neighbors, the community, etc.

That’s our world, our “sphere of influence.” Whatever happens to those who inhabit that place in our hearts and lives means something to us. Read More

Records Are Made To Be Broken

Bill Bailey, WIUOctober 1, 2014

by William C Bailey
Professor, Western Illinois University

It is said that records are made to be broken. In my undergraduate days, a classmate set a record when, at one sitting, he ate 24 breaded jumbo shrimp at the local Friday seafood buffet. As noteworthy as that seemed at the time, Illinois corn and soybean farmers are on track to set four records this year – now that is really impressive and makes one marvel at today’s agriculture.

In recently released estimates on the size of this year’s Illinois corn and soybean crops, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) set the state corn yield at 194 bushels an acre with soybean yield projected to be 56 bushels an acre. Both of these yields, if harvest goes well, will be records. 2004 was the year the previous Illinois corn yield record was set – 180 bushels an acre. The 14 bushel increase in corn yield is testimony to contemporary farming technology, farming skill and, of course, some excellent weather. It is a similar situation for soybeans – the new record yield of 56 bushels an acre is almost nine percent higher than the previous record. Read More

Trick, Don’t Treat, Cyber Criminals

October 1, 2014

By Gerald Tilley
Social Security Dist. Manager, Decatur

Kids and kids at heart look forward to the end of October, when we use tricks and treats in equal measure to celebrate Halloween. No doubt, you’ll be passing out treats to costumed hobgoblins and hooligans in your neighborhood this Halloween night. But be careful that you’re not fooled by a different kind of trickster looking for a larger handout—such as your identity. Read More

Growing up in Sullivan: Remembering Lowe School and the Plaques

October 1, 2014

by Jerry Ginther
NP Guest Columnist

One thing that comes to mind when I reflect on the schools in Sullivan was what was located at the top of the stairs at the east entrance of Lowe School. On the wall at the top of the stairs there was a plaque depicting the Ten Commandments. If memory serves, I believe an identical plaque was posted on the opposite wall as well, so, no matter which side of the stairs you ascended you would see one or the other. I suppose that sticks in my memory because I do not recall there being such a display in the other school buildings in town. There may have been, but if so they were not so prominently displayed. At Lowe you would see them each morning or any other time you topped the stairs. I’m unaware if they remained as long as the building was in use, but they were there in 1955, the year I entered the fourth grade. Those plaques are in part responsible for the remainder of this article. Read More

It’s Just Golden: Farewell to the Colored Balls of Summer

Golden Column PhotoSeptember 24, 2014

by John Golden
NP Columnist

Just in case you have not noticed, all signs are currently pointing to another summer gone. The children are firmly back in school, and the temperatures in the classrooms remain cool enough that the student body can stay and learn all day long. Sweatshirts are out of the rear of everyone’s closets, and they are being worn prominently. Football is back and being played every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And all the while, inside most of our homes, the air conditioners have been turned off, and all of the windows have been opened in order to invite in the fresh air. Also, if one felt so inclined, for a limited time they could purchase a pumpkin spice frappuccino blended beverage at a near-by Starbucks. Read More

Letters to the Editor: 9-24-2014

Sullivan Needs to Support Restaurants

It never ceases to amaze me how odd people act sometimes. What I hear most is that there isn’t anywhere to have a good sit down dinner that isn’t fast food or pizza. Pauly’s On the Green at the County Club has one of the finest Sunday brunches I have eaten at in a very long time. Unfortunately , due to the lack of customers, they are cutting down their hours of operation and even contemplating closing forever this coming December. It’s a shame that even with ads in the papers, this restaurant hasn’t been given a chance, because it’s a bit of a drive. Read More

Understanding Illinois: Readers Skeptical of Redistribution, Favor Education

NowlanSeptember 24, 2014

by Jim Nowlan
Outside Columnist

This column summarizes the 26 reader responses to a recent column I wrote on income inequality. I laid out a list of generally redistributive ideas to address the problem.

I note that many respondents conflated low-wage workers with welfare recipients and in turn focused on the latter. I meant to focus on those who were indeed working yet struggling to make ends meet.

Slightly more than half the respondents were clearly against redistribution by government. Read More