An Authentic Hobby Full of Decoys

Photo by Barry Feateringill Geoff Auten of Sullivan is seen with a few of his homemade duck decoys, a hobby he has enjoyed for 15 years.

Photo by Barry Feateringill
Geoff Auten of Sullivan is seen with a few of his homemade duck decoys, a hobby he has enjoyed for 15 years.

October 8, 2014

Duck decoys a passion for Auten

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan resident Geoff Auten has a hobby that relates back to early waterfowl hunters: carving decoys. “I like to hunt and decided I’d like to make some water fowl decoys like the old-timers did,” said Auten, who has been carving for 15 years. “Taking a block of wood and carving it into the shape of a specific species of bird.”

It did not take long for early waterfowl hunters to discover that his arrows did not fly high enough to hit a flying bird. Early Native Americans discovered that it made sense to build some sort of decoy to attract fowl within shooting range. Taking cattails, bulrush and thule plants, they fashioned decoys to lure the birds to within range of their bow & arrow. Read More

New Class at ALAH Helps Students Transition into Careers

Photo by Keith Stewart Rachel Dettling researches potential careers online Monday morning during her cooperative education class.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Rachel Dettling researches potential careers online Monday morning during her cooperative education class.

October 8, 2014

First year class hopes to expand in coming years

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

With today’s unstable work economy, students need help with developing employment skills, making appropriate career choices and on-the-job training. It is more difficult than ever for students (both high school and college) to find work after graduation. As a guide to professional job experience for students at Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond High School, a new course, cooperative education, has been developed.

“The goal of this program is to provide the opportunity for students to develop occupational skills that smooth students’ pathways from high school to advanced education and/or the workforce,” said the instructor Amanda Romine, who began teaching the class this school year. “This class was created to link the high school, the student, the parent, and the teacher in a dynamic support partnership.”

Read More

Barefoot Freedom Yoga Gives Back Through Mind, Body, and Soul

Photo by Keith Stewart Barefoot Freedom Yoga studio owner Jolene Wright (bacground)breathes out along with her student Emilie Beagle Monday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Barefoot Freedom Yoga studio owner Jolene Wright (bacground)breathes out along with her student Emilie Beagle Monday.

October 1, 2014

Sullivan native returns home to open studio

by Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Sullivan

To Jolene Wright, yoga is more than just exercise. It’s about finding a calm steady body and mind while living a peaceful productive life. Wright truly understands that meaning on a personal level. Not only is she the owner and yoga instructor at “Barefoot Freedom Yoga,” but she is also a veteran. After graduating Sullivan High School in 2001, she joined the Illinois National Guard. Soon after, she was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Barefoot Freedom in 2004.

After her return from Iraq, Wright entered Southern Illinois University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in forestry outdoor recreation. She then moved to Colorado to work as a forest technician. While in Colorado, Wright noticed yoga all around her. She, herself had been practicing since 2002, but it had become more prevalent during her time in Colorado. What seemed to be a new calling, she embraced it by undergoing training to become a yoga teacher. Her path to becoming a yoga instructor was lead by her teachers Shannon Paige, Nancy Kate Rau and Gina Caputo, and after dedicating her time and energy to yoga, Wright earned the credentials to become a 500 hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher while also becoming certified through Mindful Yoga Therapy. Read More

SHS Alum to Perform Stand-Up at Country Club Saturday

October 1, 2014

Gardner to be one of three acts

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An Indiana native that graduated from SHS is returning to Sullivan to perform comedy this coming Saturday.

KrisGardnerKris Gardner, a 1996 SHS alum, will open for Chris Speyrer, who will be followed by Dr. Gonzo.

“[He]is hilarious and has been doing comedy since the 80s,” said Gardner of Dr. Gonzo. “I got to work with both Chris and Gonzo at Mason City Limits a while back, and they were phenomenal.”

Gardner got his start in comedy a year ago this past August when he attended a coworker’s comedy show in Champaign.

“I work with a fellow comedian Justin Tinkle at C.H.I in Arthur, and when he told me he was a comic, I went to one of his shows with CU Comedy in Champaign, and I got up the nerve to give it a shot. I did okay, and they invited me back and it kind of took off from there.” Read More

Refurbishing a Spot to Relax

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan high school senior Levi Nadler applies a coat of fresh paint to the metal arm of a bench out front of SHS Monday morning. Nadler and six other seniors in the Manufacturing II class have been working to refurbish the three benches the last two weeks.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan high school senior Levi Nadler applies a coat of fresh paint to the metal arm of a bench out front of SHS Monday morning. Nadler and six other seniors in the Manufacturing II class have been working to refurbish the three benches the last two weeks.

October 1, 2014

SHS seniors repair outdoor benches in time for homecoming

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Instead of making model rockets or CO2 cars, the manufacturing II class at Sullivan High School has been working on something less fun.

But that’s okay with the students.

The all senior class comprised of seven boys began working to repair the three outdoor benches in front of the high school about two weeks ago and hope to have them completely done and put back together in time for homecoming Friday.

“This is the first really big, serious project that we’ve got to do that will help make a difference, especially at the school,” said senior Alex Ryherd, a fourth year industrial arts student.

“Everything else we’ve ever done has been little personal projects,” added Garret Wilcoxon, another four year shop student. “Then Mr. Van Pelt came in and we started actually doing stuff with the school.” Read More

Bethany Alumni Celebrate Oldest Living Graduate

Photo by Keith Stewart Dora Dean Hudson (center) was surprised last Thursday with a visit by (from left to right) fellow Bethany high school alumni, including alumni association secretary Sandra McReynolds, class of ‘57; vice-president John McLaughlin, class of ‘62; Linda Korte, class of ‘64; and president Jim McLaughlin, class of ‘63.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Dora Dean Hudson (center) was surprised last Thursday with a visit by (from left to right) fellow Bethany high school alumni, including alumni association secretary Sandra McReynolds, class of ‘57; vice-president John McLaughlin, class of ‘62; Linda Korte, class of ‘64; and president Jim McLaughlin, class of ‘63.

September 17, 2014

Hudson, class of ‘29 receives surprise visit
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

As the Bethany High School Alumni Association glanced down their list of graduates recently, one in particular stood out.
Dora Dean Hudson, class of 1929.
“One of the things we’re trying to do with the alumni association is to get all the records of everybody that graduated from high school, which we were able to get,” said John McLaughlin, vice-president of the alumni association. “We noticed that she was still on the list, the 1929 graduating list, as still alive. That started the look. Of course, when we heard the name Dora Dean, my brother and I knew who that was. We couldn’t believe it. So we made some calls and got hold of her grandson in Decatur and got permission to come down and have this get-together.”
John and his brother Jim, who was also in attendance and is the alumni association president, grew up across from Hudson up until 1949 when they moved to their family farm. Read More

Gospel Folk Band Coming to Sullivan Next Month

September 17, 2014

Rain for Roots to headline rural church Oct. 4

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For pastor Vanessa Patient, the opportunity to share music she loves is a passion. So when she was given the chance to solicit one of her favorite musical groups, Rain for Roots, to come to Sullivan and play live, Patient was just the opposite: she was thrilled.
“I think with any music that you love or book that you love or movie, you’re so excited to get it in the hands of other people and see their reactions and hopefully they’re excited,” said the pastor. “When I first heard them I thought this is not just music for children but music for anyone. There is a complexity to the music yet a simplicity to the words that is so appealing. And their voices are beautiful. Their music is something that is very close to my heart.” Read More

Seeing a Cut, Above

Photo by JC Fitzgerald of Bethany Pictured is Buxton’s Garden Farm’s latest corn maze, which depicts the American Cancer Society’s Ribbon of Hope. The maze was unveiled to the public last Thursday, and the admission fees were in turn doanted to the Moultrie County Relay for Life. The maze is set to open later this month.

Photo by JC Fitzgerald of Bethany
Pictured is Buxton’s Garden Farm’s latest corn maze, which depicts the American Cancer Society’s Ribbon of Hope. The maze was unveiled to the public last Thursday, and the admission fees were in turn doanted to the Moultrie County Relay for Life. The maze is set to open later this month.

September 3, 2014

Unique fundraiser brings in money for Moultrie Relay for Life

Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Have you ever thought it might be fun to journey through a corn maze? Well on Thursday evening August 28 some 60 people did just that at Buxton’s Garden Farm west of Sullivan.
But this wasn’t just any maze nor was it a search for any exit. Particpants gathered for the public unveiling of the maze, which was cut to depict the American Cancer Society’s Ribbon of Hope, with proceeds going to the Moultrie County Relay for Life. Read More

Reminiscing, Showcasing Antique Tractor Equipment at Inaugural Plow Day

September 3, 2014

Dozens come to watch old plow technique

by Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Sullivan

Every now and then, some need a reminder of what it used to be like when days moved at a slower pace. Technology often makes one forget the feeling of satisfaction from hard labored work and a job well done. When Steven Buxton created “Plow Day” for farmers and agricultural enthusiasts, he had this in mind.
So on Saturday, August 23, antique tractor operators moldboard plowed 50 acres of wheat stubble that was located at Moultrie County Road, 1350 North. Buxton explained that moldboard plowing was a type of plowing that was used in the mid 80’s. It not only cut furrows, but it also turned the soil. Farmers used this technique until about 1986. Read More

Despite Sudden Heat, Back to School Bash Quite the Treat

Photo by RR Best Donning a backpack, Lilly Ayer inspects one of several games featured at this past weekend’s Back to School Bash in Lovington.

Photo by RR Best
Donning a backpack, Lilly Ayer inspects one of several games featured at this past weekend’s Back to School Bash in Lovington.

August 27, 2014

Lovington Library plans for another event next year

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

The Lovington Library hosted a Back to School bash Friday with the help of area churches to give local children the opportunity to play games and enter a raffle to win a pizza while they listened to music presented by A-Sharp DJ Service.

While the unexpected heat wave kept attendance to the bash lower than expected, the 80 children and adults who attended enjoyed the festivities and entered the raffle by bringing school supplies to donate to Lovington Grade School.

Local churches provided snacks, hot dogs, and drinks as well as the games, such as bowling and a bag toss.

Candi Fultz, a rural resident, came into town to attend the bash.

“We don’t come out often,” she said. “We live in the country, but it’s fun for him.”  Read More