A Life Spent Outdoors

Submitted Avid outdoorsman Joe Florini of Sullivan has been recently recognized by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for his 35-plus years of volunteer outreach by way of gun safety classes he helped teach and organize in Moultrie and surrounding counties.

Submitted
Avid outdoorsman Joe Florini of Sullivan has been recently recognized by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for his 35-plus years of volunteer outreach by way of gun safety classes he helped teach and organize in Moultrie and surrounding counties.

July 9, 2014

Florini recognized for outdoor outreach

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Florini is a name that has been tied to Sullivan and the surrounding area for almost 75 years beginning in the early 1940s with the opening of Jibby’s restaurant. But the recognizable family name has extended beyond the once local spot in the form of Joe Florini and his decades of outreach when it comes to the outdoors.

“Obviously, a Florini, all of them are well thought of,” said childhood friend Steve Wood. “Never a bad word from anybody.” Read More

Making the Cut

Photo by Keith Stewart The Buxton family rushed a large delivery of corn up to Chicago last fall after receiving a request from the movie set of the latest Transformer’s film. Pictured are father Steve Buxton and daughter Abbey.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Buxton family rushed a large delivery of corn up to Chicago last fall after receiving a request from the movie set of the latest Transformer’s film. Pictured are father Steve Buxton and daughter Abbey.

July 9, 2014

Local corn crop featured in Hollywood film

by Joash Tiarks
Bethany Reporter

A late corn harvest is not typically what a farmer plans, but for local businessman Steve Buxton of Buxton’s Garden Farm it is the order of the day. And last year it brought some unexpected and unusual business, with potentially far-reaching results.

Each spring, with the majority of corn farmers busy planting out in the field, Buxton occupies himself with other concerns at his family-run farm, situated off Route 121 halfway between Bethany and Sullivan. However, come the first week of June he fires up the tractor and gets busy putting seed in the ground anticipating a harvest of tall, strong stalks of hearty Blue River hybrid corn. The drastic difference in planting schemes arises from their annual corn maze event. Since 2007, each October Buxton’s has fashioned a life-sized maze of living corn stalks, open to everyone during the day and to the more adventurous on Friday and Saturday nights.  Read More

Dawson Returns to CEFS as Outreach Coordinator

July 2, 2014

Replaces Waymire, who is promoted to director

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

C.E.F.S Economic Opportunity Corporation announces the return of Kristy Dawson to the Moultrie County C.E.F.S office as outreach coordinator after Barbara Waymire was promoted to position of Outreach Director in the Effingham office. Waymire had served as Moultrie County coordinator for four years. Read More

A Look Back at Moultrie’s Contribution

Provided by the Moultrie County Historical Society Pictured is the last gathering of Moultrie County Civil War veterans. The place and date, however, are not known.

Provided by the Moultrie County Historical Society
Pictured is the last gathering of Moultrie County Civil War veterans. The place and date, however, are not known.

July 2, 2014

County’s men fought in Civil War’s largest battles

by Tom Emery

Illinois supplied the fourth-highest number of men to the Union during the Civil War, sending some 259,000 men to the Northern cause. An estimated 773 of them came from Moultrie County, whose men fought with valor in some of the war’s most significant battles.

Moultrie County men fought in some of the state’s top regiments and in the war’s largest battles.

Company E of the 21st Illinois Infantry was predominately a Moultrie County company, which had the distinction of serving under Ulysses S. Grant in his first major field commission.  Read More

Fast and Fun, Little Shop of Horrors is Theatre’s Latest

Photo by Keith Stewart Tough guy Orin played by Mike Danovich (right) gives the loveable and earnest florist/botanist Seymour, played by Brady Miller (left) a few tips about his new attraction for a plant.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Tough guy Orin played by Mike Danovich (right) gives the loveable and earnest florist/botanist Seymour, played by Brady Miller (left) a few tips about his new attraction for a plant.

July 2, 2014

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

“Little Shop of Horrors” makes for a Little Theatre of Fun.

I’ve seen only bits and pieces of Roger Corman’s original low-budget 1960 monster movie, or the 1982 Off-Off-Broadway musical based on that, or the 1986 movie musical based on that, but I’ve seen enough of the Little Theatre’s brisk little show to be well entertained.

It would be difficult to explain this pop cultural artifact to someone who had dropped from the sky like Audrey II the man-eating plant. Here we have the traditional tragedy of a man corrupted by the devil (a vegetable devil, in this case) played out to its inevitable sad conclusion, and yet played as a camp comedy with the sprightly doo-wop music native to the era of the original film.  Read More

Sullivan Bingo Hall Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

July 2, 2014

Submitted by Justine Brewer

The Sullivan Bingo Hall, located at 401 W. Water Street in Sullivan, recently celebrated five years of successful operation.

The Beacon, a non-profit organization that provides services to adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness, was previously struggling to find the dollars to make ends meet. The financially strapped state of Illinois budget has been unable to provide any type of funding increase or cost of living increase for the past six years, putting a strain on the annual budget.  Read More

EK Looks To Fuel Windsor With Support, New Choices

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are mother-son managerial duo of EK Petroleum Cheryl and Chris Coddington. Cheryl (left) is EK’s area manager while son Chris (right) is the Windsor location’s general manager.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are mother-son managerial duo of EK Petroleum Cheryl and Chris Coddington. Cheryl (left) is EK’s area manager while son Chris (right) is the Windsor location’s general manager.

June 25, 2014

Grand opening set for early July

by Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Windsor

Roger Bragg and Jon England, owners of Sullivan EK Petroleum, do their share when it comes to giving back to the community.

According to the two owners, since 2012, EK has donated over $6,000 to scholarship funds for local schools by donating a penny per gallon of gas. The company has also supported the Sullivan athletic fund through events such as the Three for Three Point Challenge where $3 is donated for every three-point shot made.

And now Bragg and England have their sights set on the town of Windsor, where a new EK Petroleum location was opened June 2.  Read More

Saunders Retires as Lovington Library Director

June 25, 2014

Barlow to take over July 1

by Ariana Cherry
Reporting in Lovington

A library can often be the face and heart of a community– a place of knowledge, entertainment and social activities. And the face who represents a library plays a very vital role. Library directors are not just responsible for the books-but they are the ones who spend time with the patrons to develop personal relationships. From the stream of people who attended Lovington Library’s open house Saturday for retiring director Suzy Saunders, it was clear that there were plenty of those relationships built. Read More

Little Theatre Actor Pops Big Question on Stage 

Photo by Keith Stewart Little Theatre actor John McAvaney looks on happily after proposing to his longtime girlfriend Kerry Maloney following a performance of “42nd Street” Saturday, June 14.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Little Theatre actor John McAvaney looks on happily after proposing to his longtime girlfriend Kerry Maloney following a performance of “42nd Street” Saturday, June 14.

June 25, 2014

Audience gets engagement as encore

By Mallory Murphy
Sullivan Reporter

A separate production of its own took place following the finale of “42nd Street” a week ago Saturday at The Little Theatre On The Square — a surprise wedding proposal onstage from returning New York actor, John McAvaney to longtime girlfriend, Kerry Maloney.

McAvaney, who played the role of Bert Berry in “42nd Street,” is currently performing in his eighth production at The Little Theatre and considers Sullivan to be his second home. Read More

Twain’s Classic Still Rings True with LTOTS’ Performance

Photo by Keith Stewart Josh Houghton, as Mark Twain, looks up at the stars during the Little Theatre’s latest performance of “Big River”.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Josh Houghton, as Mark Twain, looks up at the stars during the Little Theatre’s latest performance of “Big River”.

By Dan Hagen
NP Theatre Critic

“Big River” is a show with big heart that delivers big entertainment.

What could be more natural — and trickier — than marrying the American popular art form of the musical with what a considerable number of people have called the greatest American novel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Mark Twain’s 1884 novel became a successful Broadway musical precisely 100 years later, running for more than a thousand performances. The Little Theatre’s production, directed and choreographed by Kelly Shook, succeeds on the strength of its exemplary cast. Read More