Sullivan Chiefs Inducted into Hall of Fame

Short-lived softball team recognized for big impact

April 15, 2015

 
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This past Saturday night may have been organized to recognize efforts and performances deserving of hall of fame status, but for the men and women involved, it was about recalling the smell of fresh cut grass, playing double-headers four times a week, and playing fast pitch softball on the Fourth of July.
The Sullivan Chiefs, one of five teams inducted into the Amateur Softball Association 11th annual Hall of Fame held at the Decatur Convention Center and Hotel Saturday evening, may have been last, but they certainly were not the least deserving.
“The Sullivan Chiefs didn’t play a lot of years, but they did win the state championship in 1970 with a truly outstanding bunch of players,” said presenter Joe Snedeker. “Our teams played against them many times, and they could hit, and they could run, and they could do it all.”
Before winning the state tournament in 1970, the Chiefs began as a 4H club that slowly evolved over the next few years.
There was, according to Moultrie County News archives, a Sullivan Merchants softball team that played throughout the 30s but disbanded in 1964. The next year, at just 19 years old, Larry Morrison decided to keep Sullivan’s fastpich softball alive by seeking a sponsor from Ed Dunphy.
“Believe it or not, we started out as the Sunnyside Fleaflickers 4H club,” recalled Morrison, who played first base for the team, including the state championship team. “My dad got sick after my freshman year of college so I came home, and we still wanted to play ball, but we couldn’t play 4H anymore, so we talked to Ed Dunphy, and he sponsored when we started.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Read More

Spinning Vintage Treasures Into New Fashions

Submitted Pictured is local artist and clothing designer Darby Harden who just recently unveiled her new clothing line, The Wanderlust Collection–a handcrafted line that boasts uniqueness in every garment.

Submitted
Pictured is local artist and clothing designer Darby Harden who just recently unveiled her new clothing line, The Wanderlust Collection–a handcrafted line that boasts uniqueness in every garment.

Darby Harden designs new Wanderlust Clothing Collection

April 8, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Many have heard the saying, “turning something old, into something new” or “somebody else’s trash, is another person’s treasure.” Darby Harden, owner of Gypsy Soul Revival in Sullivan did something similar with her latest clothing line, “The Wanderlust Collection” by literally turning vintage pieces into an intricate meaningful fashion line for women to treasure for years to come.
“I love things that have a history, that would normally get discarded and that need to be reused,” she said. “I have handcrafted each piece in the Wanderlust Collection using select vintage linens, lace, fabric, and trims. No two items in the collection are the same.”
Harden may have found the perfect “niche” as there is already an interest in antiques and handcrafted items within the area. But in order to stand out amongst the rest, though, it is important for items to have something special and unique. Read More

Sullivan Native Wins $21,500 On “Jeopardy!”!

Photo Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc. Pictured is “Jeopardy!” game show host Alex Trebek with Sullivan native Rachael Sims during an episode that aired March 6.

Photo Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
Pictured is “Jeopardy!” game show host Alex Trebek with Sullivan native Rachael Sims during an episode that aired March 6.

Sims appeared on popular game show earlier this month

March 25, 2015

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Not only does knowledge equal power, but it also can help you earn some extra money for your bank account. That is what Sullivan native and recent law school graduate Rachael Sims found out after competing on the famous ““Jeopardy!”!” game show.
“I won $21,500 in my first game, which was very exciting!” said Sims. “Unfortunately, I didn’t win my second game, but I did get to earn $1,000 for my third place finish. Of course, all of these totals are before taxes!
While the show was aired March 6, it actually had been filmed in January. And the journey to participating on ““Jeopardy!”!” actually started online.
“Everyone who wants to appear as a contestant on “Jeopardy!” has to take an online test,” said Sims. “The test is offered once per year and consists of 50 questions. You’re given eight seconds to answer each question, and you don’t have to phrase your answers in the form of a question. It’s basically just a general knowledge test to see if you know enough about a variety of different categories to be competitive on the show. You don’t get your results for the online test, but if you score high enough, you might be contacted for an interview.” Read More

New Ownership for Muzzy’s Hometown

Submitted Pictured are former Muzzy’s Hometown owners Terry and Sharon Muzzy (left) handing the new owners C.J. Swinehart and his wife the first dollar that the business made in an informal sign of the official sale and transfer of the business.

Submitted
Pictured are former Muzzy’s Hometown owners Terry and Sharon Muzzy (left) handing the new owners C.J. Swinehart and his wife the first dollar that the business made in an informal sign of the official sale and transfer of the business.

Bethany native takes over

March 25, 2015

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

The building at 115 W. Main St. and the business it contains has long been a fixture in the rural community of Bethany.
Situated just west of Scott State Bank headquarters, it is a conspicuous storefront in the small downtown. Emblazoned with large blue lettering, the front window is easily recognizable to passing motorists.
Many readers are undoubtedly personally familiar with Muzzy’s Hometown Heating and Cooling of Bethany, a business that has a pedigree spanning six decades. In the early 1960s the location was known as Crowder’s Hardware Store, at which time Danny Coleman opened a plumbing/heating business from the back office. Shortly thereafter, he purchased the whole store from Crowder, running the two businesses out of the same building. Read More

Revisiting the Public Library Act and Its Signing in 1872

by Tom Emery

March 18, 2015

Today, library users in Illinois enjoy of the best public libraries in the nation and a statewide commitment to resource sharing and library technology that is the envy of the nation. It wasn’t always that way.
This March marks the anniversary of the signing of the Public Library Act by then-Governor John M. Palmer in 1872. The law provided for the tax-supported, free-usage public libraries that Illinoisans know today.
Before then, Illinois residents had no access to free reading, and had to join private organizations for library material. Social libraries date to 1818 with the founding of such organizations in Albion and Edwardsville. A subscription library was founded in Belleville in 1821, and by 1872, there were an estimated forty such libraries across the state. Read More

CCC Camps Left Mark in East Central Illinois

March 11, 2015

by Tom Emery

Few federal government programs today are viewed as efficient and popular, with long-lasting results. The Civilian Conservation Corps, the enormously successful Depression-era program of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was all that and more.

The CCC put unemployed, impoverished young men to work in forestry, soil conservation, drainage, and public parkland. Known for its quality of work, the imprint of the CCC remains in parks, forests, and farmlands today.

Decatur was home to three CCC camps, with a fourth near Macon. Other area communities with CCC camps include Shelbyville, Charleston, and Tuscola. Read More

Cassady’s Project Receives Ag in the Classroom Grant

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley’s Aspen Cassady teaches her agriculture education students about the differences of cells in male and female reproductive organs in livestock Monday. Cassady recently earned a grant that will pay for a digital microscope set to arrive next week.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley’s Aspen Cassady teaches her agriculture education students about the differences of cells in male and female reproductive organs in livestock Monday. Cassady recently earned a grant that will pay for a digital microscope set to arrive next week.

March 11, 2015

Will purchase digital microscope for student use

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

The Illinois Agriculture In The Classroom(IAITC) program constantly seeks teachers who inspire their students, and the program is able to accomplish this by partnering with local teachers, specifically in the area of agriculture. Recently it found a partner in Okaw Valley ag teacher Aspen Cassady.

Each year, under the oversight of the Illinois Farm Bureau, the IAITC raises funds through the Illinois Agriculture Association(IAA), making more than $700,000 available to the teachers and classrooms throughout the entire state “to fund education, research, and charitable activities that benefit Illinois farm families and agriculture,” according the the IAA website. The IAA counts the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, and the University of Illinois Extension among its large group of generous contributors. Read More

More Than Just Reading in One Book One Sullivan

Photo by RR Best Pictured is Sullivan high school and One Book One Sullivan organizer Rikki Ray (right), along with retired teachers and helpers (left to right, background) Lois Shuman, Carol Glazebrook, and Martha Sherer. The reading group just concluded another successful year after it held its final community book discussion on its latest read, “Unstoppable.”

Photo by RR Best
Pictured is Sullivan high school and One Book One Sullivan organizer Rikki Ray (right), along with retired teachers and helpers (left to right, background) Lois Shuman, Carol Glazebrook, and Martha Sherer. The reading group just concluded another successful year after it held its final community book discussion on its latest read, “Unstoppable.”

March 11, 2015

In eighth year, group just as strong as ever

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Not only can a good storyline reside within the pages of a book but so can the opportunity for a good conversation. Sullivan middle school student, Sarah DeLong, wanted to get the conversation started when she was inspired by the Mattoon reading group, Read Across Mattoon. She had come across a book that the group had been reading while at Common Grounds. DeLong had asked language arts teacher Rikki Ray about possibly starting something similar in Sullivan. “How could I turn her down?” replied Ray. After writing a grant to the Sullivan Community Education Foundation, One Book One Sullivan was formed in 2007. Read More

Former Sports Editor to Hold Book Reading

March 4, 2015

Brown’s Mad Gasser Tale to be presented Saturday in Sullivan
by Ariana Cherry
Sullivan/Arthur Reporter

Brown

Brown

WWII era Mattoon, Illinois, is descending into madness. The small town’s fears of an enemy within, stalking them like prey, are threatening to become a reality and consume the town. As the hysteria rises, the people of Mattoon are tested in ways that will change their lives and their idyllic small town forever. And for one family, everything hangs in the balance.”
That is the brief summary of Jason Brown’s latest book, “Prowler: The Mad Gasser of Mattoon,” a novel that covers the two week long hysteria surrounding the famous 1940’s incident.
In 1944, it was noted that a bizarre figure dressed in black wreaked havoc in Mattoon by spraying an unidentified paralyzing gas into the windows of unsuspecting residents. The attacker vanished without anyone ever seeing him, and the case stumped not only the residents but the local law enforcement. Social scientists ended up calling the whole situation a mass hysteria, which has now become the inspiration for Brown. Read More

“What Can’t Be Said” Touches Audience’s Hearts, Inspires Students’ Creativity

Photo by Keith Stewart Mary Farley as Debbie (left) delivers a body image to Bethany played by Summer Utley (right) as Rachel, played by Gillian Lange, (center) looks on.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Mary Farley as Debbie (left) delivers a body image to Bethany played by Summer Utley (right) as Rachel, played by Gillian Lange, (center) looks on.

February 11, 2015

Mirror Images group writes own screenplay and performs

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Students in Sullivan High School’s prevention theater group, “Mirror Images,” literally got to see their hard work come alive on stage during last Friday’s original production of “What Can’t be Said.”
The magic not only radiated from the portrayal of true-to-life characters from the students, but it also reached out to the hearts of the audience, loud and clear. The production’s message reached about 400 people, who were in attendance to see the show.
“I have had several people stop me this weekend to tell me how much they loved the play and how well written it was. Some people also have told me that they cried because certain characters were like people they knew or were like they were in high school. It truly touched a chord with people,” said Becky Lawson, Mirror Images adviser and SHS English Teacher. Read More