LLC to Name New Laker Mascot at Alumni Athletics Night

•November 18, 2015•

Lake Land College will announce the name of its new mascot at the college’s upcoming Alumni Athletics Night, which will be held Tuesday, Nov. 24 in the Field House on the Lake Land College campus at 5001 Lake Land Blvd., Mattoon.

Lake Land College alumni are encouraged to attend the Laker basketball games, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for the women’s and men’s teams, respectively. They play Lincoln Trail College.

Between games, the mascot will be introduced and be available for autographs and photos with fans. Read More

Ministerial Alliance Serves the Community

•November 18, 2015•

By Dan Fultz
Smyser Christian Church
NP Contributing Columnist

We live in a world fueled by competition. Wireless phone companies pay to get you out of your contract with other providers. Political parties argue for your vote. Manufacturers demand that you use their products over “the other guy’s.” Even restaurants want you craving their sandwich rather than the dozens of other options.

And though the churches in some places may have this same spirit of competition in them, there is a different story being written in Sullivan.

On the first Wednesday of every month, I have the privilege of gathering together with a dedicated group of pastors who care deeply for the Sullivan community.  Read More

Too Much Data Made Public

•November 18, 2015•

The Department of Insurance (DOI), through a constituent complaint, has learned of an inadvertent data disclosure involving health care providers’ Social Security Numbers (SSNs).

DOI provided unrelated filings from Blue Cross Blue Shield to the System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing (SERFF) database which posted the information on its publicly available website.  Read More

Ensembles Perform at Millikin

•November 18, 2015•

Two of the major performing ensembles at Millikin University will combine forces in a unique performance, free and open to the public, on Thursday, Nov. 19, in Kirkland Fine Arts Center beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Millikin’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University Men’s Choir, along with faculty soloist Dr. William Gorton, Millikin assistant professor of voice and opera, will perform a variety of musical selections including: Bernstein’s “Suite from Candide,” and Copland’s “Old American Songs,” “Variations on a Shaker Melody and Hoe-Down,” and “Zions Walls.”

Together, the University Men’s Choir and William Gorton will perform Stanhope’s “The Bold Benjamin” and Gorton will also perform Steve Rhodes’ “O Danny Boy.” The concert will conclude with the Wind Ensemble performing Holst’s “Suite No. 2.”

Dr. William Gorton has had a diverse career as a singer, voice teacher, conductor, and composer. Dr. Gorton teaches studio voice, serves as coach and conductor for the opera program, and directs Tudor Voices, a select chamber choir specializing in early music. As a professional tenor, he has performed numerous opera roles and oratorios with organizations such as the Sacramento Opera, Opera Pacific, Pacific Repertory Opera, the National Messiah Festival at Bethany College, Orchestra X of Houston, and the San Francisco Opera Guild. Read More

SCED Taking Award Recipients Nominations

•November 18, 2015•

Sullivan Chamber & Economic Development is now accepting nominations for recipients of the 2015 Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Small Business of the Year and Business of the Year.

Winners of the 2015 annual awards will be presented at the SCED Annual Dinner Friday, January 29. Read More

IHSA Sponsors Spirit Contest

•November 18, 2015•

As a part of the 2015 IHSA Student Leadership Conference, the IHSA announced that the IHSA Student Section Showdown will return for its second installment during the 2015-16 school year.

The inaugural contest took place in 2014-15, with Central A&M High School in Moweaqua and Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect being named the champions in Class 1A/2A and Class 3A/4A, respectively. The winning video entries from Central A&M and Prospect are linked here. Read More

Thinking About Health: The Cadillac Tax Brings More Costs, Less Value to Your Health Insurance

•November 18, 2015•

By Trudy Lieberman,
Rural Health News Service

More health insurance upheaval is coming your way. The value of your health insurance is shrinking, and you may be paying more for less this year and in years to come.

Perhaps your employer has taken away the choice of plans with large provider networks and rather is offering those with a much narrower selection of doctors and hospitals. Some companies are enticing workers with lower premiums if they leave preferred provider organizations (PPOs), which let them use any provider and choose health savings accounts. These are tax-advantaged savings arrangements coupled with catastrophic coverage and high deductibles. Others require employees to pay higher premiums for the plans they have.

Blame those changes on the Cadillac tax, a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which calls for a 40 percent excise tax on employer-provided health insurance. Employers pay the tax, but ultimately it’s passed on to some 60 million workers who have employer coverage.

The tax will be levied on the portion of health insurance premiums that exceed $10,200 for single and $27,500 for family coverage. Because premiums continue to rise (this year the average family premium from employers is about $17,500), they have a strong incentive to lower the cost of coverage to avoid paying the tax. Many have begun making changes this year, and experts believe there will be more adjustments as 2018 approaches when the tax takes effect. Read More

Lake Shelbyville Aerial Spraying for Bush Honeysuckle

•November 11, 2015•

A pilot program aimed at eradicating bush honeysuckle on Lake Shelbyville is scheduled to proceed  between November 11 and 13.  Bush honeysuckle, an aggressive exotic plant that is taking over much of the woodlands at Lake Shelbyville, will be treated with Rodeo Herbicide, an aquatic safe form of glyphosate, with the use of a crop-duster helicopter. Timing of the treatment will be dependent upon leaf fall as the leaves need to be off the trees in order for the herbicide to make its way to the forest floor where the bush honeysuckle is located. Bush honeysuckle goes dormant up to a month later than native plants and is often the only green plant seen during the month of November.  Because the natives are dormant, they will not be affected by the herbicide, and only the target plants will be impacted. The aerial application method has been utilized successfully in surrounding states and in tests conducted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Lake Shelbyville staff set up tests plots within the treatment area with the help of IDNR in order to be able to measure the success of the application. Up until the last couple of years hand treating or forestry mowers have been utilized to control bush honeysuckle. These methods are expensive and time consuming whereas the aerial treatment is showing promise for quick application and reduced costs.  Read More