County Veterans Encouraged to Sign Up For New Honor Rewards Program

Photo by Keith Stewart Retired Air Force First Lieutenant Dick Isaacs fills out a form to sign up for the newly offered Honor Rewards Program, which Moultrie County clerk Georgia England (pictured) along with her land records software vendor Fidlar Technologies made available recently for local veterans.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Retired Air Force First Lieutenant Dick Isaacs fills out a form to sign up for the newly offered Honor Rewards Program, which Moultrie County clerk Georgia England (pictured) along with her land records software vendor Fidlar Technologies made available recently for local veterans.

November 5, 2014

Local businesses give back through discounts

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This coming Veterans Day will be marked with an extra special thank you for Moultrie County veterans.

County clerk Georgia England, along with her land records software vendor Fidlar Technologies, has recently made a program called Honor Rewards available here in Moultrie where local businesses sign up with incentives such as discounts on services such as tire repair, flower orders, etc. for local veterans. All veterans have to do is make sure their DD-214 is on file with a county clerk in the U.S. and sign up. For those actively serving, they simply have to provide a copy of their military ID card showing they are still serving. Read More

With New Ownership Millrich Outdoors Offers Essential Supplies for Hunters

October 29, 2014

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

To some, hunting is not just a sport—it’s a way of life. There’s the thrill of seeking game and then, the bonding experience between close friends and family. Beginning in October, hunters started to escape into the woods, waiting for the perfect deer or turkey. Later in November, smaller game animals such as pheasants or rabbits will become the next quest to conquer. And as all hunters know, it is essential to have the perfect tools for a successful hunt. Read More

Former Harrison Street Inn Named to Top 50 Ill. Haunts

Photo by Keith Stewart John Stephens (front left), Timmy Valentine (middle) and Tyler Mosier (back) stand on the staircase of the former Harrison Street Inn, which was recently named to Reboot Illinois’ top 50 Most Haunted in Illinois list.

Photo by Keith Stewart
John Stephens (front left), Timmy Valentine (middle) and Tyler Mosier (back) stand on the staircase of the former Harrison Street Inn, which was recently named to Reboot Illinois’ top 50 Most Haunted in Illinois list.

October 29, 2014

What is now the Astoria Company, takes 30th most haunted

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Most people like to conjure up scary stories and paranormal experiences around this time every year. But for Sullivan residents John Stephens and Timmy Valentine, it’s sort of a year-round thing.

It all started a few years ago when the Sullivan couple purchased the building at 204 E. Harrison and moved in.

First, Valentine experienced lights that would flash on and off, toilets flushing upstairs, and TVs turning on and off. But then one night, both Valentine and Stephens experienced what is today one of their most startling occurrences. Read More

Lucky’s Food and Spirits Opens in Sullivan

Photo by Keith Stewart Amy Fultz prepares to enjoy her ribeye sandwich for lunch Tuesday at Lucky’s Food and Spirits in Sullivan.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Amy Fultz prepares to enjoy her ribeye sandwich for lunch Tuesday at Lucky’s Food and Spirits in Sullivan.

October 22, 2014

A little Luck goes a long way for new restaurant

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For Danny and Marissa Luck, stepping back into the restaurant business required, well, some luck.

The husband/wife duo planned for a soft opening Tuesday, October 7 and then be in full swing the following Wednesday. Read More

New Coffee, Wine Lounge Premieres Near Square

Photo by Keith Stewart Terrie Golden (left) receives her latte from owner Cathrine Craig Tuesday afternoon at 5 West coffee and wine lounge.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Terrie Golden (left) receives her latte from owner Cathrine Craig Tuesday afternoon at 5 West coffee and wine lounge.

October 22, 2014

5 West trying to bring the urban to the rural, while staying casual

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Cathrine Craig and husband J.R. never ran or owned a coffee shop before, let alone a hybrid coffee/wine/beer shop.

So they did what anyone new to something would or should do. A lot of research.

But before ever researching espresso grinds or milk stouts or merlots, the Craigs first had to discover such an idea. Read More

Okaw Valley Weight Room Gets Pumped

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley sophomore Connor Dotson squats Tuesday morning while Jonathan Gentry spots from behind. The new squat rack is just one of several new pieces of equipment purchased thanks to a collaborative donation effort.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley sophomore Connor Dotson squats Tuesday morning while Jonathan Gentry spots from behind. The new squat rack is just one of several new pieces of equipment purchased thanks to a collaborative donation effort.

October 15, 2014

Donation helps purchase new equipment

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

The Okaw Valley High School student body’s need for updated and new weight training facilities and equipment was met at the beginning of this school year thanks to an endowment from the Gene Patient Memorial Scholarship fund and donations from Scott State Bank, Agri-Fab, and several anonymous contributors.

Most students today would not know of Gene Patient, apart from perhaps a few seniors applying for the memorial scholarship set up in his name. But as a significant portion of readers may already know, Gene Patient was an educator and football coach for 25 years with Okaw Valley. When he passed away in 2005, a memorial scholarship fund was established through contributions by members of the community to benefit at least one OVHS student with $1000 and one student from Sullivan High School with $500 each year. Read More

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