OVHS Drama Club to Present “Afternoon of the Elves”

Submitted Pictured are Hillary (Brianna Creviston), left, and Sarah Kate (Gretchen Macklin), right, exploring the wonders of the Elves Village during the OVHS drama club’s production “Afternoon of the Elves,” which will be on stage at the high school May 9 and 10.

Submitted
Pictured are Hillary (Brianna Creviston), left, and Sarah Kate (Gretchen Macklin), right, exploring the wonders of the Elves Village during the OVHS drama club’s production “Afternoon of the Elves,” which will be on stage at the high school May 9 and 10.

The Okaw Valley High School Drama Club will present “Afternoon of the Elves” at 7 p.m. May 9 and 10 in the OVHS Gym.

“Afternoon of the Elves” was adapted by Y York from the Newbury Award Honor book by Janet Taylor Lisle. The play addresses the power of imagination, the need to fit in and be popular as well as the stigma of mental illness.

Just as fourth grader, Hillary Lenox, finds herself being accepted as part of the “mighty three” with popular girls Jane and Allison, next door neighbor and outcast Sarah Kate invites her to share in the wonder of the elf village that has mysteriously appeared in the Connolly’s backyard. Hillary discovers that Sara Kate’s backyard hides not only an elf village but a terrible secret that takes on a life and horror of its own. Read More

Not Your Ordinary Clothesline 

Photo by Keith Stewart Tiffany Hammer (right), owner of the new consignment shop the Clothesline in Sullivan, is seen next to her employee Donna Scheffer in the former Goldie’s Front Porch restaurant building, which now sits full of clothing and other accessories for sale.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Tiffany Hammer (right), owner of the new consignment shop the Clothesline in Sullivan, is seen next to her employee Donna Scheffer in the former Goldie’s Front Porch restaurant building, which now sits full of clothing and other accessories for sale.

Sullivan’s newest consignment shop opens

by Ariana Cherry
Sullivan/Arthur Reporter

As a child, Tiffany Hammer didn’t receive clothes from consignment stores or garage sales.

“I was spoiled growing up. I always had new name brand clothes. It wasn’t until I grew up and had a family of my own, that I realized how expensive things are and how fast my daughter goes through clothes. But now my mother and I both love to go garage sale shopping together.” she explained.  Read More

Marrowbone Library Addition Nears Completion

Ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday

by Emily Scott
Bethany Reporter

After more than 20 years of saving, planning, and applying for grants, co-directors Sally Ascenzo and Lisa Spracklen of the Marrowbone Library in Bethany are finally seeing their dreams, and no doubt the public’s, come true.

“Finding out we were getting the addition after so many years of dreaming about it was very exciting,” Spracklen said. Read More

Sullivan Family Farm Earns 150 Year Status

Photo by Keith Stewart Daniel Terzo Jr. stands next to the official placard designating his family farm a sesquicentenial farm, located off of Patterson Road in Sullivan.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Daniel Terzo Jr. stands next to the official placard designating his family farm a sesquicentenial farm, located off of Patterson Road in Sullivan.

Oldest family farm on record in Moultrie at 178 years

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

James Patterson, along with his son James and his grandson Levi, first came to Sullivan in 1832. Six years later, the family farm was established through a land grant just off of present-day Patterson road (no coincidence). Through eight generations the farm stayed in the family–all 178 years–eventually finding its way to Daniel Terzo Jr. and sister Leslie Coretti, the great grandchildren, five times over, of the first James Patterson. And more recently, in light of this fact, the family farm was honored through the Illinois Department of Agriculture sesquicentennial farm program. Read More

Last Supper Reenactment Comes to United Methodist

Photo by RR Best Pictured are the 12 disciples during the reenactment of the Last Supper at the First United Methodist Church. Pictured, left to right, are: Don Schmidgall, John Love, Steve Bonnett, Steve Austin, Dustin McDermith, Damon Moody, Mike Craig, Rich Benning, Mike Grose (with microphone), Jeff Gregory, Bruce Hecht, and David Sowers. The church will have the reenactment Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Photo by RR Best
Pictured are the 12 disciples during the reenactment of the Last Supper at the First United Methodist Church. Pictured, left to right, are: Don Schmidgall, John Love, Steve Bonnett, Steve Austin, Dustin McDermith, Damon Moody, Mike Craig, Rich Benning, Mike Grose (with microphone), Jeff Gregory, Bruce Hecht, and David Sowers. The church will have the reenactment Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Hopes are for annual tradition

by Florence Hallford
Reporting in Sullivan

Joe Pound has long been familiar with the story of the Last Supper. But it wasn’t until he unexpectedly took part in a reenactment, did it come to life.

“It totally changed their lives,” states Joe Pound about the Last Supper, referring to the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ and the supper that Christ had to celebrate, the Jewish holiday of Passover. The celebration turned into the beginning of communion and a well-known story of betrayal by Judas.  Read More

Donations Needed for Twin Baby Girls with RSV

Baby

Submitted
Pictured is baby Anabell, who remains sick and on life support at St. Francis Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

One of the joys of parenthood is bringing your newborn child home for the very first time. Although, it can also be quite frightening, with so many new responsibilities and the chance of your baby getting hurt or sick. Those fears came to a reality when Joshua and Jessica Ekiss’s twin girls, Anabell and Aylana Ekiss were born prematurely January 30. After their birth, the twins spent 27 days in the NICU at Carle Hospital. Both girls were released to go home February 26. Read More

One Big Catch

Submitted Nathan Riley is seen with his 20 inch long 5-pound, 7-ounce large-mouth bass, which he caught in Wyman Lake in March.

Submitted
Nathan Riley is seen with his 20 inch long 5-pound, 7-ounce large-mouth bass, which he caught in Wyman Lake in March.

20 inch, 5lb large-mouth caught out of Wyman

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Nathan Riley is 12 years old. He’s been fishing for only a couple years. He is mostly self-trained too, having watched dozens of YouTube videos on the sport. And it was he who was by himself at little ol’ Wyman Lake when he supposedly caught a 20-inch, 5-pound., 7-ounce large mouth bass on a cold March morning.

Sounds a little fishy.

Perhaps some doubt could, in fact, be cast if there wasn’t a photo or two of the Sullivan middle schooler showing off his fresh catch. His friends at school can’t deny it–Riley has shown them photos on his cellphone. It’s the reel-deal.

Bad fishing puns aside, Riley’s catch is the biggest of his life so far and a young life at that.

He first got into fishing after seeing the line and reel for the first time. Read More

IGA to Host Round-Up Fundraiser for American Legion Fireworks Display

Photo by RR Best Three girls watch as last year’s fireworks  display goes off over Wyman Lake in Sullivan.

Photo by RR Best
Three girls watch as last year’s fireworks
display goes off over Wyman Lake in Sullivan.

Customers will have opportunity from April 2-28

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

The Sullivan IGA is hoping customers will roundup so that come the Fourth of July spectators will be able to look up.

With the American Legion having difficulties in raising funds for the annual Fourth of July fireworks show, IGA manager Pat Stinson is giving the community the option to round up their purchases to the next higher dollar amount beginning April 2.

“We have done similar programs for the Moultrie County Food Pantry with very good results,” said Stinson. “This is an opportunity for the community to support the fireworks display by rounding up their purchase.” Read More

Monsanto Grant Goes to Lovington Ambulance Service

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Photo by Barry Morgan
The Lovington Ambulance Service was recently the recipient of a $2,500 grant that local farmer John Stinson won through Monsanto. Stinson, in turn, chose the service as the nonprofit recipient.
Pictured, from left to right are: Lovington Ambulance board member Steve Fleming, AsGro-Dekalb district sales manager for Moultrie County Jason Pitcher, John Stinson, wife Karen, and fellow board member and volunteer EMT Darin Powell.

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

Local farmer John Stinson has long supported the Lovington Ambulance Service. As a former board member, Stinson knows how much the ambulance service relies on donations to stay up and running. So when he had a chance to apply and win a $2,500 grant from Monsanto, he did.

That, in turn, led to an award ceremony March 24 where the grant check was given to the ambulance service.

The Monsanto fund is through America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program. Since its inception in 2010, more than $16 million has been donated to more than 6,500 non-profit organizations. To be eligible, entrants must farm a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans or cotton, 40 acres of open field vegetables or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers grown in protected culture. Stinson has been farming since 1969 and currently farms about 1300 acres of corn and soybeans. “I was brought up on a farm and always enjoyed farming,” he said.  Read More

Love–the Tie that Binds

Seniors come together for annual V- Day Luncheon

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Photo by Keith Stewart Lucille Fultz recites her first place poem “Courtyard Baby” Friday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Lucille Fultz recites her first place poem “Courtyard Baby” Friday.

It is said that love is the tie that binds relationships. At the Sixth Annual Senior Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Poetry Contest Friday, area seniors and citizens reflected on spouses, either living or past, parents, and family in an afternoon full of food, desserts, and poetry.

“We talked about any problems that we had. So if there was a misunderstanding, we solved it right then and there. That’s what made it possible,” said Wilma Wilhelm of her 65-year marriage with Gilbert Ray. “He passed away at 93 five years ago. He was the best one that I ever had,” she gushed. While it was clear that Wilhelm missed her spouse deeply, she did get to share the special event with her son Roger. He attested to the facts of his mother’s story simply by smiling and nodding as he sat by her side.

Sometimes people get a second chance at love. Charles and June Hutchcraft’s 22-year marriage is proof to that. Charles had married once but had separated while June’s former spouse had passed away. The second chance came through local restaurant the Red Apple where Charles frequented and often saw June.

“I had known her husband and had been friends with him so I gave her a call. It’s all history from there!” he said.

Smiling, June replied, “The key to a lasting relationship is all about loving and caring for each other.” The couple has been attending the luncheon since it began six years ago and said they always look forward to seeing all of their friends.

Some marriages have lasted so long that it’s often forgotten how the romance started in the first place. While all in good fun, one couple who moved to Sullivan a year ago after living in Lovington in the same home for 50 years, Freeman and Lucille Wildman, could not agree whether or not they met on the school bus all of those years ago. But they did agree on one thing: that their first date was January 17, 1945.

“Having five kids and giving up 75 percent when there is a disagreement is what made it last,” joked Freeman. Then, he cautiously added, poking fun at Lucille, “The woman gives up 99.9%!”

“True love is what makes a marriage last,” she added.

While a few brave couples offered their advice to what makes a relationship work, there were also those who shared their personal stories by entering poems in the poetry contest.

Of the several poems, the judges admitted it was difficult to choose a winner.

“It’s hard when everyone is so talented,” commented judge Holly Alendorf.

As an opening to the contest, Walden Brown read poems written by Mush Shirey who passed in February 2011.

In “AP 51 and 35 Men,” Shirey wrote of the relationships and bonds shared with his former soldiers during the war. The poem then goes on to describe the importance of protecting and saving each other in the verse:  “32 men were lost….but they saved my life…”

Bonds may also form within the walls of an assisted living center as shared by first place winner Lucille Fultz’s poem, “Courtyard Baby.”

Fultz described the pending birth of a baby girl that one of the CNA’s at Courtyard Estates would soon deliver. She spoke of the excitement shared between the soon to be “adoptive grandmothers” and how they couldn’t wait to see and hold the Courtyard baby. While the ladies were not “blood relatives,” it was all about the love that would bond them and the baby together. “Love is the tie that binds,” a verse stated from Fultz’s poem. Coincidentally, the baby about which Fultz had written had been born earlier that morning at 12:07 a.m.

For some, the love of the game is what makes their heart tick. Second place Harry McCorkle’s poem,”The Golf Cart,” spoke about his love for golf and while he dearly enjoyed it, he did need a reminder every now and then that it indeed was only a game. One day after some frustrating rounds, he hopped back into his cart, only to find Jesus riding along side him offering him the simple reminder that there was much more to life.

While love may bring great joy, it can also deliver pain with heartfelt memories.

Third-place winner, Patti Peterson, wrote, “My Pops,” a tribute to her father-in-law who had passed away unexpectedly. With tears, she read her special tribute, declaring the love and special bond that they shared.

“It was great to see so many area seniors come out and share this special event with us,” said Courtyard Estates Director Erika Piper. “It is something we look forward to hosting with Deb Groendal and Mid-Illinois Senior Services every year.”