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.”

GRIZ-FM honors former Moultrie County Clerk

After a heart attack took his life Easter Sunday 2001, former Moultrie County Clerk and radio broadcaster Gerald “Griz” England is being honored by Cromwell Radio Group.

Before his time as county clerk, England worked for a couple of radio stations, finishing his broadcasting career at Cromwell Radio Station, WYDS when it was known as “D-93”. He married his wife of nearly 27 years, Georgia—who is currently Moultrie County Clerk—June 2, 1974.asdfasdfasdfadsfasdfasdfasdfBefore being elected clerk in 1998, England enjoyed a long radio career that began in Sullivan at WFWA-FM. He worked at several area radio stations and made a national name for himself as a country radio personality.

Read More

Sprucing Up Lake Shelbyville

Photo by Barry Featheringill Volunteers load donated Christmas trees into a boat before then taking them out to various locations and submerging them across Lake Shelbyville Saturday. More than 100 participants were present to disperse 482 trees and 70 artificial structures in an effort to improve fish habitats.

Photo by Barry Featheringill
Volunteers load donated Christmas trees into a boat before then taking them out to various locations and submerging them across Lake Shelbyville Saturday. More than 100 participants were present to disperse 482 trees and 70 artificial structures in an effort to improve fish habitats.

Donated trees submerged in annual fish habitat day

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Not all Christmas trees get put out to pasture or street curbs come December 26. In fact, some get put out to the lake. 482 to be exact.

This past Saturday, dozens of volunteers gathered at the Lithia Springs boat ramp on Lake Shelbyville to create habitats for fish in the 25th annual fish habitat improvement day.

According to Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) district fisheries biologist Mike Mounce, this year boasted 105 volunteers which, while less than last year’s record setting 157, was still a work force enough to get the job done. Mounce attributed the decline due to postponing the event and the colder weather. Read More

Civil War Presentation Attracts Crowd to Elizabeth Titus Library

Photo by Keith Stewart Dan Guillory plays Civil War inspired music for the crowd last Tuesday.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Dan Guillory plays Civil War inspired music for the crowd last Tuesday.

Guillory speaks both of Lincoln and war’s longstanding effects on culture

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

“You have to understand the Civil War to understand the American lifestyle,” said author Dan Guillory at the “Civil War and Abe Lincoln” presentation he gave last Tuesday at the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library.

Guillory is a local author with nine published books that include “The Lincoln Poems,” which was honored in 2009 at the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. The book is also on display at the Ford Theater Museum in Washington, D.C. Guillory is Professor Emeritus of English at Millikin University, and it’s no coincidence that he gave a presentation about the Civil War that evening.  Read More

Drama Aside, Plenty of Gospel Music in Theatre’s Latest

Smoke… to run through March 16

Oh, come to the church in the wildwood,
Come to the church in the dale,
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the dale.
How sweet on a clear Sunday morning,
To listen to the clear ringing bells,
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh come to the church in the dale.
— “The Church in the Wildwood”

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

Photo by Keith Stewart Rev. Mervin Oglethrope, played by Gregory Matzker, clenches the pulpit after considering to allow Dennis Sanders a go.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Rev. Mervin Oglethrope, played by Gregory Matzker, clenches the pulpit after considering to allow Dennis Sanders a go.

The audience members chatted about how much it reminded them of their childhood church.

David Scobbie’s set for “Smoke on the Mountain” at the Little Theatre is all muted, weathered country-church browns — pews, pulpit, old rugged cross — against a yellow background. With a quilt to one side and the impression of a blue, green and yellow stained glass window above, it’s a fit setting for people whose Christian beliefs are as unadorned as the bare light bulb that hangs overhead.

Only two cell phones glowed in the crowd prior to the show, testimony, no doubt, to the venerability of the audience. And none at all were shining after the toe-tapping tribute to bluegrass gospel got underway.

This kind of show is not my dish of tea. I can go for years without hearing a gospel song and not miss it. But the winsomeness won me over, being delivered with professionalism by director Don Bailey and his cast of seven actor-musicians. Read More

Sullivan to See Live Comic Perform March 21 at Country Club

Photo courtesy of zancomedy.com Zan Aufderheide will be headlining at the Sullivan Country Club come March 21.

Photo courtesy of zancomedy.com
Zan Aufderheide will be headlining at the Sullivan Country Club come March 21.

Aufderheide, featured on Bob & Tom, Comedy Central

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A different form of on-stage entertainment is coming to the Sullivan area later this month.

Stand-up comedian Zan Aufderheide, who has been featured on the Bob & Tom radio show, Comedy Central, and even performed at the Ryman Auditorium (formerly the Grand Ole Opry), will be coming to the Sullivan Country Club Friday, March 21 to perform with feature act Jesse Tuttle.

Aufderheide, who is based out of Indianapolis, first performed in 2008 on the Generations of Laughter comedy tour. Working as a road comic, she then won a radio contest, earning her the opportunity to open for Chondra Pierce. This led to an 18 month national tour, which culminated with her show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Read More