News Briefs

Rural Housing Loans for Low-Moderate Income Families

•February 3, 2016•

Tax return and home-buying seasons are just around the corner, but saving enough money to qualify for a mortgage is one of, if not the, biggest barriers to buying a home.

Through the 502 Direct Single Family Housing Loan program, USDA Rural Development helps low income individuals and families purchase a home with 100% financing. As homeownership grows, rural communities across Illinois are strengthened.

Nancy had no idea where she would get the money for a down payment on a home. She and 256 other families around Illinois in FY2015, qualified for and purchased a home with 100% financing – a reality that would not have been possible for them without the Direct Single Family Loan program.

Rural housing loan funds are also available for qualifying families and individuals to build or rehabilitate a modest home in rural areas. Read More

January Had Swinging Temps

•February 3, 2016•

Illinois temperatures in January showed some very large swings in which the highs and lows tended to cancel each other out, with a monthly temperature of 26.7 degrees, or just 0.3 degrees above average, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

The first nine days of the month were above average, followed by four days below average, then three days above average. The second half of January started out much below average, but steadily warmed, and by the month’s end the temperature was 20 degrees above average. Read More

Young Artists, Guest Conductor to Lead MDSO Performance

Photo Submitted Dr. Martha Placeres

Photo Submitted
Dr. Martha Placeres

•February 3, 2016•

The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra (MDSO) will continue its 2015-16 performance season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6 in Kirkland Fine Arts Center.

The performance on Feb. 6 is the first of two guest-conducted concerts featuring one of the finalists for the position of music director and conductor of the MDSO. The guest conductor on Feb. 6 is Dr. Martha Placeres.

The concert will also feature performances from Millikin student soloists Kyle Johnson (piano), a junior vocal music education major from Hanover Park; John Robinson (trombone), a sophomore music performance major from Bloomington; and Abigail Karnes (soprano), a senior vocal performance major from Kearney, Mo. The students were named winners of Millikin’s annual Concerto/Aria Competition in Oct. 2015.

The concert will open with Sibelius’ “Finlandia.” Kyle Johnson will be the featured soloist on Mendelssohn’s “Piano Concerto No. 1,” while John Robinson will perform on Ferdinand David’s “Concertino for Trombone.” Abigail Karnes will be the featured soloist on Weber’s “Kommt ein schlanker Bursch,” Duparc’s “L’Invitation au voyage,” and Gounod’s “Ah! Je veux vivre.” Following an intermission, the MDSO will conclude the concert with a performance of Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 8.”

Dr. Martha Placeres is currently the orchestra director at Washburn University and performs as a violinist in chamber music in Mexico and the United States. Read More

Lovington Fireworks Returns

•February 3, 2016•

Energized with a $6000 commitment from the village of Lovington, plans are underway for a community fireworks display July 3.

A major part of the fundraising effort falls on the Lovington Community Fireworks Reverse Raffle.

The $1000 grand prize drawing is set for Saturday, May 21 at the Lovington American Legion. Read More

Blood Drive in Honor of Two Past Volunteers

•February 3, 2016•

The American Red Cross and the Sullivan American Legion will sponsor a blood drive at the Legion noon- 6 p.m. March 8. Blood supplies are critically low at this time, and every eligible donor is needed.

This drive will be dedicated and hosted in honor of two wonderful Red Cross volunteers who have recently passed. Nancy Park had been a greeter for the drives at the Legion for many years.

She spent countless hours getting donors signed in and ready to donate.  Read More

Mission Trip Auction Held at Windsor High

•February 3, 2016•

Smyser Christian Church will host an auction at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at Windsor High School with proceeds raised going toward an upcoming mission trip. Items have been donated by more than 100 contributors including Agri Fab, Chicago White Socks, Magic House in St. Louis, Thirty-One, Shedd Aquarium, Big Splash Adventure and Ace Hardware.

Included are free tickets, signed photographs, metal signs, yard cart, jogging stroller, artwork, outdoor storage cabinet, and more. There will also be a coffee/snack bar, and students will provide live music for entertainment. Read More

Farm Bureau Scholarship Available

•February 3, 2016•

The Moultrie County Farm Bureau has announced that applications are available for the Charles B. Shuman Memorial Scholarship.

The $500 scholarship will be awarded to a resident of Moultrie County who is a graduating high school senior or currently enrolled in a University or Community College.

The successful applicant should be of good moral character and exhibit potential for successful completion of a course of study in agriculture or related fields. In addition to academic performance, extra curricular and community involvement will also be considered in the selection process. Read More

Bailey Benefit at American Legion

•February 3, 2016•

A benefit for Joe Bailey begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, February 13 at the Sullivan American Legion.

Joe at 56 years old, has incurable pancreatic cancer and is unable to work with no income at the present time.

He does have insurance, but out of pocket expenses are becoming astronomical. Read More

Sullivan & Lovington Hold District Spelling Bees

Photo Provided

Photo Provided

On to County

•February 3, 2016•

The 2016 Sullivan School District Spelling Bee was held Wednesday January 27 in the Sullivan High School Commons. Students in grades 4-8 earned the privilege of representing their grade level at this spelling bee.

The six winners and two alternates who are moving on to the Moultrie County bee are Lara Herschberger (5th), Zachary Kursell (5th), Aastha Patel (6th), Alyssa Thompson (6th), Reagan Crouse (7th) and Brett Johnson (7th)

The alternates are Maggie McLaughlin (8th) and Zoe Walton (7th). Read More