Social Security Combats Homelessness and Helps Veterans

•June 22, 2016•

Carolyn W. Colvin, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security, and other leaders in the fight to end homelessness gathered today to continue the ongoing battle against homelessness among veterans, seniors, and other vulnerable populations.

“Social Security plays a key role in reducing homelessness, and our benefit payments help people to secure and maintain stable housing,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said. “Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in our country’s history and collaborates with other federal, state and local agencies to ensure that veterans, people who are disabled, have lost a loved one, or are retiring have access to our benefits and services.”

Acting Commissioner Colvin joined with federal and state officials to discuss initiatives to end homelessness and outreach programs to vulnerable populations, including veterans, at a forum called “Ending Homelessness: Lessons Learned from the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Representatives from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, and the Virginia Housing Alliance participated in the discussion.

In 2015, Virginia announced that it had ended homelessness among veterans. Many federal and state agencies are looking to replicate best practices from Virginia’s success in their respective states.  Read More

“When Thunder Roars, Time To Go Indoors”

Lightning  Awareness Week 

•June 22, 2016•

When thunder roars, go indoors- is more than a catchy phrase about lightning safety. It’s a reminder that you’re at risk of being struck by lightning if you’re outdoors and can hear thunder. That’s the message the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies will promote during Lightning Safety Awareness Week “We all enjoy being outdoors on beautiful summer days,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “But don’t push your luck when thunderstorms are in the area. There’s absolutely no picnic, golf game or other outdoor activity that’s worth risking your life.”

Joseph added it’s important to remain inside a substantial building or hard-topped vehicle for 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. Read More

Remember When? 6-22-2016

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Hydro-Gear employees really pulled together as they accepted a challenge from Shrock Bros. in a tug of war with $100 in prize money to be donated to the Quincy Veteran’s Hospital in the name of the winning team. On the women’s team were Susan Tipsword, Lisa Todd, Scarlet Mayer, Sue Pope, Linda Fultz, Kelly Nolen and Karen Click. The women took second place. On the winning men’s team were Ron Sporer, Doug Moore, Ron White, Lyle Elzy, Gary Cooper, Tom Key, Keith Hughes, Kevin Corley, Joe Taber and Todd Harris.

Rural Sullivan resident  Dean Byers became so intrigued with the fishing at Lake Shelbyville when the lake was built he honed his fishing skills as a fisherman and became a fishing guide.

Sullivan Middle School teacher Bill Ward of Sullivan handed out his final report cards last week. Ward retired at the end of the school year after teaching in the Sullivan School District for 33 years.

Cassie Jackson was elected president of the Okaw Challengers 4-H Club when the group met May 13 for its first session of the year. Officers serving with her will be Dane Jackson, vice president; Sarah Jackson, secretary; Meg Reedy, reporter; Brad Smith, recreation chairman; and Carrie Jackson, treasurer.

Sullivan High School baseball team members have chosen Troy Rogers as the team’s most valuable player and Monte Johnson as captain. Read More

Women’s Civic Club Scholarship Winners

•June 22, 2016•

Sullivan Women’s Civic Club scholarship winners Summer McClain, Danielle Tingey and Ryan Baker along with their mothers were guests of the club at their June meeting held at the Moultrie County Senior Center. The recipients delivered short “thank you” speeches and related their plans for continuing their education. Read More

Higher Premiums Are likely Coming for Those Buying On and Off the Exchanges

•June 15, 2016•

By Trudy Lieberman
Rural Health News Service

An Indiana couple who wrote to me a few weeks ago has experienced the ups and downs of Obamacare, and they wanted me to know about one downside they now face---a monthly premium of $836.

“No one should have to pay those high premiums unless you’re considered high class, and we aren’t,” the woman said.

The couple-she is 59 and he is 62-are self-employed, and their income fluctuates. At first the Affordable Care Act was, a “godsend,” the woman told me. Before they signed up for Obamacare, they were paying almost $1,000 a month for insurance coverage. Then they bought an Obamacare policy, a Gold plan Anthem sold on the Indiana shopping exchange. It was a good policy with a relatively low deductible, low copays and coinsurance costing about $1,435. Best of all, they qualified for a subsidy.

Their income that year was low, between $23,000 and $28,000. That entitled them to a subsidy of around $1,200, leaving them to pay only about $235, which they could easily swing. Recall that subsidies are intended to help those with the lowest incomes, and because their income was low, their subsidy was generous.

Then, as the economy started to improve, their income went up, but their subsidy went down. As they’re supposed to do, the family regularly reports income changes to the government so they don’t get stuck with a gigantic bill at the end of the year, money they would owe for subsidies they were not entitled to. Read More

Summer Popcorn and a Movie Program at Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library

•June 15, 2016•

Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library’s summer Popcorn and a Movie program for general audiences will begin July 1 and be held each Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. with the last program occurring August 19.

Pre-registration is not required, all programs are free and the child doesn’t need a library card. Parents / caregivers may stay and enjoy the movie and popcorn too.

Children may bring a drink, snack, lunch or pillow. A staff member will stay in the room to ensure everyone behaves properly and the noise level is kept to a minimum.  Read More

Sullivan Summer for Kids

Summer Youth Program

Sullivan Summer for Kids Between 70-125 kids arrive ready to enjoy the Sullivan Parks and Recreation summer programs daily Monday-Friday through the end of July. Jake and Melissa Haegen (pictured directly above) are program directors. The Sullivan VFW Post donated $1000 for the purchase of games, t-shirts and prizes for tournaments.

Sullivan Summer for Kids
Between 70-125 kids arrive ready to enjoy the Sullivan Parks and Recreation summer programs daily Monday-Friday through the end of July. Jake and Melissa Haegen (pictured directly above) are program directors. The Sullivan VFW Post donated $1000 for the purchase of games, t-shirts and prizes for tournaments.

Moultrie-Douglas Crops Off to a Great Start

•June 15, 2016•

By Tyler Harvey
Douglas-Moultrie Farm Bureau Manager

As of Sunday, June 12, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has Illinois corn condition rated at 58% good with 17% of the corn crop excellent. Soybeans are at 90% planted as of this week with a condition rating of 62% good and 13% excellent. NASS comes out with a weekly updated crop report every Monday at 3 p.m.

Driving between Tuscola and Sullivan and looking at various crops, the 2016 crop is off to a great start. It is amazing to see the growth and size of some of the cornfields for being in June. Early beans that were emerged in cooler temperatures are also looking very good. We have been fortunate to not get the heavy rains that were received south of us during planting season. I expect the crop percentages for good and excellent to increase with the overall weather we are having at this time. The very warm temperatures we are receiving right now are making for very good growing degree days especially for corn. However, looking at the long range forecast, upper 80s and 90s are slated to stick around throughout the rest of the month. With this, we will need to get some measurable rainfall every few days to keep the crop growth at the level it is. With the warm temperatures, wind and sun, it does not take long for the moisture to be pulled out of the ground. Illinois, Iowa and Indiana are all reporting similar percentages for both corn and soybean conditions.  Read More

Letter to the Editor: 6-15-2016

Dear News Progress,

My name is Anderson Crouse. I am nine years old. This is a persuasive letter asking you to bring back paperboys.

My first reason is that children from nine to teen-age need more exercise than they get at home.

Also, some kids don’t get allowance or chore money to pay for their own things.  Read More

Surpreme Court Holds Hearing on Minor Restraint Rule

•June 15, 2016•

The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hear comments July 8 at a public hearing in Chicago on three proposals, including one calling for the creation of a Supreme Court rule to govern the use of restraints on minors during court proceedings.

The Committee will also consider proposed changes to Supreme Court rules involving proof of service and the record on appeal.

All the proposals, which must be approved by the Illinois Supreme Court before they could take effect, will be aired at a hearing before the Rules Committee at 10 a.m., Friday, July 8, 2016, in Room C-500 of the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St. in Chicago.

The Rules Committee invites public comments on the proposals, which are posted on the Supreme Court website at:

Written comments should be submitted by Friday, June 24, 2016, to or by mail to: Committee Secretary, Supreme Court Rules Committee c/o Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, 222 N. LaSalle Street, 13th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601. Read More