Twain’s Classic Still Rings True with LTOTS’ Performance

Photo by Keith Stewart Josh Houghton, as Mark Twain, looks up at the stars during the Little Theatre’s latest performance of “Big River”.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Josh Houghton, as Mark Twain, looks up at the stars during the Little Theatre’s latest performance of “Big River”.

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

“Big River” is a show with big heart that delivers big entertainment.

What could be more natural — and trickier — than marrying the American popular art form of the musical with what a considerable number of people have called the greatest American novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Mark Twain’s 1884 novel became a successful Broadway musical precisely 100 years later, running for more than a thousand performances. The Little Theatre’s production, directed and choreographed by Kelly Shook, succeeds on the strength of its exemplary cast. Read More

Miss Lovington Pageant Crowns Jr. and Little Miss

Photo by Darian Hays Pictured are the Lovington Jr. Miss Natalie Lambdin (left) and Little Miss Halle Wardrip (right) who were crowned at the  June 7 pageant.

Photo by Darian Hays
Pictured are the Lovington Jr. Miss Natalie Lambdin (left) and Little Miss Halle Wardrip (right) who were crowned at the June 7 pageant.

The Lovington pageant crowned a jr. miss and little miss Saturday June 7, but did away with both Miss Lovington and the first runner up amid rule violations.

Natalie Lambdin was crowned Jr. Miss Lovington while Halle Wardrip earned Little Miss Lovington.

As for both Miss Lovington and the first runner up, pageant director Julie Kinert released the following statement:  Read More

St. Isidore Celebrates 150 Years with Special Mass

June 11, 2014

More than 200 attend

Submitted by
David McCabe

Over 150 years ago, 16 Irish Catholic immigrant families settled in what is now Dora Township, Moultrie County and what would eventually be home to St. Isidore Church. A week ago Sunday, hundreds attended a special Mass to recognize the sesquicentennial.

Submitted Pictured is a portion of those who attended the celebratory mass at St. Isidore May 25.

Submitted
Pictured is a portion of those who attended the celebratory mass at St. Isidore May 25.

Read More

Bringing to Life Research, History, and Heroes

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan fourth grader Ben Bushue portrays Davy Crockett during the live wax museum project at Sullivan Elementary.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan fourth grader Ben Bushue portrays Davy Crockett during the live wax museum project at Sullivan Elementary.

Three week project culminates with live wax museum at SES

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A week before school was set to let out for summer, Sullivan Elementary School was full of motley and miniature versions of both past and present historical and cultural figures as fourth grade students did their best to imitate an individual of whom they based a three week research project.

“This project was a huge undertaking for our students,” said fourth grade teacher Nichole Hendry. “In the five years I’ve been here it was the largest research and writing project that our fourth grade class has been asked to do.”

From Sacagawea, to Davy Crockett, to Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the SES gymnasium that Thursday was alive with brief one to three minute speeches detailing childhoods, marriages, and successes from dozens of the world’s most historically important figures. Read More

No More Pining Away at OVMS

Photo by RR Best Pictured are those who volunteered to replace the treeline at Okaw Valley Middle School two weeks ago. From left to right: Roger Kirkwood, Lillian Beckett, Nannette Ramsey, and Mike Cummins.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured are those who volunteered to replace the treeline at Okaw Valley Middle School two weeks ago. From left to right: Roger Kirkwood, Lillian Beckett, Nannette Ramsey, and Mike Cummins.

Tree donation replaces those removed last year

by Jake Dilley
Reporting in Findlay

Okay Valley Middle School received a donation from the Findlay Planning Committee two weeks ago in the form of 50 white pine trees.

With a $250 donation to the project from the Findlay Planning Committee and trees from Roger Kirkwood, the task was underway. The original windbreak, planted in 1943, had contracted a disease last year. With the trees literally falling over, they had to be cut down. Mike Cummins, the Okay Valley Middle School principal, was then approached by Kirkwood with a proposal on the new windbreak. 

“Mike was really receptive,” said Kirkwood. “Everything has gone smoothly. Phil Ozier brought in his stump grinder to take care of all the debris after the trees were cut down. Then with the help of Suzi Nolan and Carl Spencer, we got 50 white pine trees in the ground. I was happy to help.” Read More

Benefits to Help Family with Daughter’s Rare Condition

Only 200 known cases of Trisomy 14 Mosaic known since 1970

by Jake Dilley
Reporting in Sullivan

Faith Lutheran Church will sponsor medical benefits for Sullivan’s Wagner family in the next two weekends, following Presley Wagner, six month old daughter of Andy and Shelbi, being diagnosed with the rare disease Trisomy 14 Mosaic. With only 200 known cases in the world since 1970, it is a lifelong syndrome in which Presley has already taken on some traits, such as cleft hand, conductive hearing loss, slow respiratory development and short/little stature. And while Presley currently sees doctors in Decatur, Springfield, Champaign, and St. Louis, the family doesn’t know what additional traits she may exhibit in the future. Read More

Army Veteran Gets Surprise Thank You Saturday

Submitted Pictured, center, is Tosha Duzan, an Arthur native and soldier of 22 years who after speaking to a crowd at Church House Treasures in Bethany was surprised with gifts as a thank you for her service.

Submitted
Pictured, center, is Tosha Duzan, an Arthur native and soldier of 22 years who after speaking to a crowd at Church House Treasures in Bethany was surprised with gifts as a thank you for her service.

Arthur native attends, thinking it just a speaking engagement

by Jake Dilley
Reporting in Bethany

With the sun shining, the churchyard and sanctuary festooned in star-spangled ribbons and flowers and service and awareness flags dancing around in the breeze, this was the alluring scene set before  those in attendance Saturday at Natalie Elliott’s Thank-A-Veteran program held at Church House Treasures in Bethany.  Read More

A Hidden Treasure in Bethany

Photo by Keith Stewart Owner of Church House Treasures, Natalie Elliott, is prepared for her business to enjoy a full second year of operation in Bethany having reopened this month.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Owner of Church House Treasures, Natalie Elliott, is prepared for her business to enjoy a full second year of operation in Bethany having reopened this month.

After difficulties, Church House Treasures looks to a new year

by Emily Scott
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Natalie Elliott first opened her antique store, Church House Treasures, last May after reading about the property being for sale in a local publication. Elliott, a St. Joseph native, had never previously been to Bethany, let alone known where it was.

“It was something I wanted to do for a long time,” she said.

Located in the former Presbyterian Church in Bethany, the store featured hundreds of items from clothes to jewelry, to holiday decorations and dishware and anticipated more offerings throughout its first year of business.

But just a few weeks after opening, her husband Dave was involved in a motorcycle accident, putting a halt to the store’s ambitions.

“Everything changed that day,” said Elliott of her husband’s wreck. “Everything.”

Though it remained open off and on last year with the help of Elliott’s friends, the store re-emerged this month, a year old in reality, but truly just beginning. Read More

Perkins Nationally Recognized For Classroom Reading Progress

Submitted Pictured is Arthur second grade teacher Kirsten Perkins and her class, which was recently recognized for outstanding achievements in reading. Front Row (left to right) Jesus Corona,  Amy Otto, Selene Rohr, Samantha VanMeter, and Jaydon Yoder. Back Row (left to right) Malachi Gutierrez, Chris Miller, Hunter Grant, Isaiah Sawyer, Evanger Wiley, Ayla Condill, Kayden Bontrager, and Kirsten Perkins. Not Pictured: Darren Miller, Martha Herschberger, Lacey Knox, and Jaylon Herschberger.

Submitted
Pictured is Arthur second grade teacher Kirsten Perkins and her class, which was recently recognized for outstanding achievements in reading. Front Row (left to right) Jesus Corona, Amy Otto, Selene Rohr, Samantha VanMeter, and Jaydon Yoder. Back Row (left to right) Malachi Gutierrez, Chris Miller, Hunter Grant, Isaiah Sawyer, Evanger Wiley, Ayla Condill, Kayden Bontrager, and Kirsten Perkins.
Not Pictured: Darren Miller, Martha Herschberger, Lacey Knox, and Jaylon Herschberger.

Second grade teacher’s savvy use of software helps students be more proficient readers

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur Reporter

While reading can open up doors to virtually any type of world, it also can lead down a path to a rewarding future. Arthur Elementary School second grade teacher, Kirsten Perkins, is instilling the passion of reading and helping her students set goals that will help them excel in the future by using a program known as Renaissance Learning, a cloud-based educational software based in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin that is used for benchmark testing and supplementary reading assessment. Another subsection of the software, widely known as The Accelerated Reader Program, is also implemented by the school. By using Renaissance Learning, teachers can personalize reading habits and monitor students’ comprehension to optimize growth. Read More