Annual Easter Drama at Smyser Church April 3, 4

March 25, 2015

The high school students of Smyser Christian Church will perform their 16th annual Easter drama at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4.
More than 55 area high school students will present “This Changes Everything” an Easter message of hope through dramatic skits, creative expressions, and worship. Refreshments will be served following the performance. Read More

A Big Night in the Valley for OV’s FFA Chapter

Submitted Pictured are members of the Okaw Valley FFA organization.

Pictured are members of the Okaw Valley FFA organization.


March 25, 2015
The Okaw Valley FFA Chapter recently celebrated accomplishments from the past year honoring and awarding more than a dozen of its FFA students.
State FFA president Cody Morris, a guest speaker for the event, touched on the value of FFA in a member’s high school career.
“Attendance to the event was probably the highest this community has ever seen with more than 275 people who attended the event. The kids worked hard to display just how driven they were this past year to succeed in numerous FFA events,” said Okaw Valley FFA advisor Aspen Cassady. Read More

Shelby County Asks Residents To Sign-Up to Receive Local Alerts

March 18, 2015

Shelby County, Ill. has partnered with Nixle to implement a Community Notification System to alert residents in real-time for localized emergency situations and relevant community advisories.
As a resident, there are several simple ways to register:
1. Text SHELBYEMA to 888777 from your mobile phone
2. Text your Zip-Code to 888777 from your mobile phone
3. Go to and sign up via the Nixle Widget
4. Go to and sign up via the Nixle Widget
Once registered, residents will receive a confirmation text to their mobile device. Residents may also customize their alert settings by going to and creating a user profile. Read More

Central Illinois Restaurants Raise Thousands for Local Ronald McDonald House

March 18, 2015

Continuing its commitment to the community, central Illinois and Peoria/Bloomington McDonald’s® Restaurants helped raise thousands during the annual “Give a Little Love” campaign to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois (RMHCCI). This year, over $211,178.51 was raised for the charity from January 22 to February 15.
More than 100 central Illinois and Peoria/Bloomington McDonald’s restaurants participated in the campaign. The money that was raised will go directly towards providing a home away from home for families of critically ill children receiving treatment at Springfield-area hospitals. Read More

Head Start Now Taking Applications

March 18, 2015

C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program is a federally-funded program that provides comprehensive classroom and home-based educational services to pregnant women and children ages 0-5 including those with significant or multiple special needs.
The C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program is located at 203 S Graham Street in Sullivan. Preschool center-based classes are provided in either the morning or afternoon Monday through Thursday. Each session lasts 3½ hours and includes healthy meals and snacks. Teachers plan daily lessons with developmentally appropriate activities that advance the children’s self-confidence, problem solving skills, and social development. Indoor and outdoor activities are provided along with computer experiences and field trips. Read More

Comedy Night in Sullivan Saturday Night

March 18, 2015

Comedienne Zan Aufderheide will be back in Sullivan this coming Saturday to perform stand-up on stage at the Little Theatre.
Aufderheide has been seen on Bob & Tom, Comedy Central and recently performed at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Her performance last summer at Pauly’s On the Green was the perfect combination of wit and sarcasm that kept the audience roaring. Read More

Rural Housing Loans For Low Income Families

March 18, 2015

Home-buying season is 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 percent financing. As homeownership grows, rural communities across Illinois are strengthened.
Heather and her husband had no idea where they would get the money for a down payment on a larger home for their growing family. They, and 240 other families around Illinois in FY2014, qualified for and purchased a home with 100% financing – a reality that would not have been possible for them without the Direct Single Family program. Read More