Civil War Presentation Attracts Crowd to Elizabeth Titus Library

Photo by Keith Stewart Dan Guillory plays Civil War inspired music for the crowd last Tuesday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Dan Guillory plays Civil War inspired music for the crowd last Tuesday.

Guillory speaks both of Lincoln and war’s longstanding effects on culture

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

“You have to understand the Civil War to understand the American lifestyle,” said author Dan Guillory at the “Civil War and Abe Lincoln” presentation he gave last Tuesday at the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library.

Guillory is a local author with nine published books that include “The Lincoln Poems,” which was honored in 2009 at the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. The book is also on display at the Ford Theater Museum in Washington, D.C. Guillory is Professor Emeritus of English at Millikin University, and it’s no coincidence that he gave a presentation about the Civil War that evening.  Read More

Drama Aside, Plenty of Gospel Music in Theatre’s Latest

Smoke… to run through March 16

Oh, come to the church in the wildwood,
Come to the church in the dale,
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the dale.
How sweet on a clear Sunday morning,
To listen to the clear ringing bells,
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh come to the church in the dale.
— “The Church in the Wildwood”

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

Photo by Keith Stewart Rev. Mervin Oglethrope, played by Gregory Matzker, clenches the pulpit after considering to allow Dennis Sanders a go.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Rev. Mervin Oglethrope, played by Gregory Matzker, clenches the pulpit after considering to allow Dennis Sanders a go.

The audience members chatted about how much it reminded them of their childhood church.

David Scobbie’s set for “Smoke on the Mountain” at the Little Theatre is all muted, weathered country-church browns — pews, pulpit, old rugged cross — against a yellow background. With a quilt to one side and the impression of a blue, green and yellow stained glass window above, it’s a fit setting for people whose Christian beliefs are as unadorned as the bare light bulb that hangs overhead.

Only two cell phones glowed in the crowd prior to the show, testimony, no doubt, to the venerability of the audience. And none at all were shining after the toe-tapping tribute to bluegrass gospel got underway.

This kind of show is not my dish of tea. I can go for years without hearing a gospel song and not miss it. But the winsomeness won me over, being delivered with professionalism by director Don Bailey and his cast of seven actor-musicians. Read More

Sullivan to See Live Comic Perform March 21 at Country Club

Photo courtesy of zancomedy.com Zan Aufderheide will be headlining at the Sullivan Country Club come March 21.

Photo courtesy of zancomedy.com
Zan Aufderheide will be headlining at the Sullivan Country Club come March 21.

Aufderheide, featured on Bob & Tom, Comedy Central

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A different form of on-stage entertainment is coming to the Sullivan area later this month.

Stand-up comedian Zan Aufderheide, who has been featured on the Bob & Tom radio show, Comedy Central, and even performed at the Ryman Auditorium (formerly the Grand Ole Opry), will be coming to the Sullivan Country Club Friday, March 21 to perform with feature act Jesse Tuttle.

Aufderheide, who is based out of Indianapolis, first performed in 2008 on the Generations of Laughter comedy tour. Working as a road comic, she then won a radio contest, earning her the opportunity to open for Chondra Pierce. This led to an 18 month national tour, which culminated with her show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Read More

Two Area Teams Take Plunge for Special Olympics

Submitted The Beacon Blizzards prepare to jump into the frigid water together Saturday.

Submitted
The Beacon Blizzards prepare to jump into the frigid water together Saturday.

Bug Squashers raise most for team under five

by Christina Whitford
Sullivan Reporter

During the frigid winter months, many people often dream about the time when they can go to the lake and plunge into the water. Few people elect to take that leap while there is still ice on the lake. However, when there is an opportunity to give back to an organization such as Special Olympics, most will brave the elements of winter to help out.

This past Saturday, 555 supporters lined the bank of Lake Decatur to raise money for the Special Olympics by taking the Polar Plunge. The Polar Plunge has been an annual event in Decatur for the past 12 years. Participants are invited to plunge into Lake Decatur by simply raising at least $75 in donations that will benefit the area Special Olympics.  Read More

Exhibition on Illinois Civil War Soldier Experiences at Elizabeth Titus

To commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library is presenting the exhibit Experiences of the Illinois Civil War Soldier: Reflections through Art and Artifacts. This traveling exhibition explores the journey of Illinois Civil War soldiers as presented through their art.

The exhibit, which will be on view March 7-28, was created by and is on loan from the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University. Read More

LLC Celebrates Agriculture Students at Annual Awards Banquet

Uphoff

Uphoff

Uphoff of Findlay Receives Honored Alumnus

Submitted by Jennifer Forneris
LLC Media Specialist

Lake Land College recently honored students in its agricultural programs at the 43rd Annual Agriculture Banquet.

More than 650 people filled the Lake Land College Field House for the banquet which honored outstanding agriculture students and alumni.

“I am very proud of our faculty, staff, retired faculty and students because without their hard work and success, the agriculture programs at Lake Land College would not be what they are,” said Jon Althaus, agriculture division chair, as he welcomed families and friends of the agriculture students.

Throughout the evening, various groups were recognized for their outstanding efforts including the Agriculture Transfer Club, the Agriculture Business Club, the Horticulture Club, student leaders in the agriculture division, the Livestock Judging Team and members of the Post-Secondary Agriculture Students group. Read More

Schlieker Gets Second-Chance with Powerlifting Scholarship

Will be a part of inaugural McKendree team

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sullivan high school senior Trey Schlieker missed his senior year of football. After breaking his right foot, the passionate lineman was told he would not be able to play his last year on the gridiron. After watching from the sidelines, Schlieker had only his spring track season for which to look forward. From there, he planned to go to Illinois State and have a fairly normal student career.

That was, until a month ago, when former football coach Charles Brown contacted Schlieker about a new powerlifting team at McKendree. Not much else had to be said to the Sullivan senior, whose reputation is putting up big numbers in the weight room. Read More

Relaxing Atmosphere and Drink Come to Downtown Bethany

Photo by Keith Stewart Erin and Shane Weybright are the owners of the Hired Hand Winery & Saloon in downtown Bethany, which officially opened last November.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Erin and Shane Weybright are the owners of the Hired Hand Winery & Saloon in downtown Bethany, which officially opened last November.

Pizza also available to order

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Shane Weybright is a carpenter by trade. As such, the Bethany native has become accustomed to tools and expanding his tool belt, both literally for his profession and in he and his wife Erin’s other endeavors as entrepreneurs.

Nearly two years ago, the couple opened Echoes Pottery Studio and then helped with the establishment of Howlin’ Dog Studios last year. But more recently, the Weybrights moved forward with opening Hired Hand Winery & Saloon, the third new business in downtown Bethany. Read More

Village-wide Reading Program Celebrated as Success

Lovington residents reach 750 book goal

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

It was no trick that the community of Lovington managed to read 750 books last month, but on Saturday, that endeavor was in fact celebrated with a little bit of magic.

Area children gathered Saturday to celebrate reaching their goal of reading 750 books in February with magician Dan from Abra-Kid-Abra.

The children participating in the Community Reading Program kept track of their reading on bookmarks and presented them to library staff to receive a sticker for each book to keep count. Other patrons and adults participated as well and contributed to the final count that led the village to their goal.  Read More

SHS Band Selected to Perform at State Conference

Photo Submitted by Ryan Krapf Pictured is the Sullivan High School band, which was selected to perform at the Illinois Music Education Conference last month.

Photo Submitted by Ryan Krapf
Pictured is the Sullivan High School band, which was selected to perform at the Illinois Music Education Conference last month.

Shumard earns all-state orchestra honors

by Emily Scott
Reporting in Sullivan

The Sullivan High School band program recently received honors including their first time being selected to perform at the Illinois Music Education Conference on January 23 and having trumpet player Keaton Shumard selected for the All State Orchestra. Read More