Windsor FFA Chapter Attends Convention

•December 14, 2016•

The Windsor FFA Chapter, along with 63, 000 other FFA members and guests, invaded downtown Indianapolis Oct. 19-21.

Ten members of the Windsor FFA Chapter attended the 89th Annual National FFA Convention & Expo. There they listened to guest speakers give motivational life stories in the convention hall and explored the many booths in the career show.  Read More

Millikin January Immersion Helps Students Get Ahead

•December 14, 2016•

Millikin University’s January Immersion term is set to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. While registration for January Immersion courses began on Wednesday, Nov. 2, current Millikin students can still register online and non-Millikin students can register using the immersion registration form available at

January Immersion features courses for Millikin students who want to get ahead on credits, raise their GPA, or improve a grade by repeating a course over the summer/winter term. Millikin Immersion courses are beneficial for incoming freshmen; community members interested in adult enrichment education or who just want to learn something new; or students attending other universities, but would like to earn credits while home for break.

A wide range of courses are offered, with a variety of different subjects covered and flexible meeting times. Read More

Serving Those Who Served Program Assisted Veterans in Illinois

•December 14, 2016•

Throughout the month of November, now established as “Veterans Month,” hundreds of volunteers participated across the state of Illinois in the Serving Those Who Served (STWS) Program. Their goal was to make an impact in the lives of veterans throughout Illinois through a community service program designed by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

“We wanted to offer more to our Illinois Heroes than one more Veterans Day program or parade. We knew we could count on our fellow Illinoisans to volunteer and assist our veterans,” IDVA Director Erica Jeffries said.

The STWS program brought in seven other partners to increase the success of the program. Serve Illinois, Chicago Cares, Boeing, Corporation for National & Community Service, Illinois Joining Forces, Student Veterans of America and Campus Compact. Each of these partners assisted the program with either volunteers, funding or community service projects. The program allowed organizations to register a project for volunteers to assist with during the month of November. The website created through Serve Illinois allowed Illinoisans to look for a project in their area and sign up to volunteer for that project. At the end of the month, there were 41 projects drawing in 570 volunteers. Collectively, the projects provided service, support, and assistance to over 3,730 Illinois veterans.  Read More

Drones to Offer New View on Transportation

Research will provide information to help improve safety, reduce costs

•December 14, 2016•

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has begun testing drone technology to potentially help improve the safety of workers and the public, reduce costs and introduce new strategies on everything from bridge inspections to determining the appropriate responses to emergency incidents.

“One of our main priorities has been to encourage staff to find opportunities to innovate and seek out new ways to use the latest technology that supports the important work we do,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “While we are still in the experimental stage, we know that drones can gather valuable data to support a wide variety of applications. We are excited to launch this initiative that puts us on the path to becoming the most innovative department of transportation in the country.” Read More

Investigation Yields Arrests for Crack Cocaine Distribution

•December 14, 2016•

Members of the East Central Illinois Task Force and the Coles County Crisis Response Team executed a search warrant at 808 S. 9th Street in Mattoon December 6.

The search warrant was a result of a month long investigation into the distribution  of crack cocaine in Mattoon. Located in the residence were Ron R. Cole,  43, and Justin J. Sargent, 28, both of Peoria and Monica L. Bailey, 28, of Mattoon.  Read More

Letter to the Editor 12-14-2016

A Star Shines Above Bethany

Dear Editor,

The happiest of anniversaries is here again. In the jubilation of family gatherings and the exchange of gifts let us not forget the bigger thoughts and blessings which Christmas should bring.

Here on the banks of the Marrowbone in the Valley of the West Okaw our spirits and thoughts are lifted as we view the myriad displays of lights and decorations that proclaim the birth of the Son of God. Read More

Deer Harvest Numbers Low First Firearm Week

•December 14, 2016•

Hunters harvested a preliminary total of 79,429 deer during the seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Season that closed Sunday, Dec. 4. That figure compares to the final total of 86,847 deer harvested during the seven days of the firearm season in 2015.

The preliminary harvest for the second segment of the firearm season Dec. 1-4 totaled 24,977, compared with 28,977 during the second season in 2015. The preliminary harvest total for the first segment of firearm season Nov. 18-20 was 54,452 deer, compared with the 57,870 deer taken by hunters during the first season in 2015.

Deer hunting opportunities remain available in Illinois this late fall/early winter:  Read More

Fifth Warmest November, Second Warmest Fall in Illinois

•December 7, 2016•

November 2016 was the fifth warmest November on record for Illinois, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

The statewide average temperature in November was 47.4 degrees, 4.9 degrees above normal. The warmest November in Illinois was in 2001 with an average of 49.9 degrees. Read More

Visit with Santa at Lake Shelbyville

•December 7, 2016•

Santa Claus is coming Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. to noon to the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center. Children of all ages and their families are welcome to stop in and see Santa. All who attend will receive a free photo print with Santa as well as some water safety items from Bobber the Water Safety Dog. Photos will also be made available for download on the Lake Shelbyville U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facebook page following the event. Read More

Remember When? 12-7-2016

Compiled by Bekki Ferguson-Stevens

25 Years Ago This Week

Lovington returns three starters and five lettermen from the 1990-91 squad which finished last season 12-13. Four seniors lead the lineup with 6-foot-2 Brian McGregor the most experienced. The Panthers point guard will be senior Heath Wilson who went out for high school basketball for the first time last year and came on strong for the team toward the end of the season. Also experienced is off-guard Justin Mechling who saw playing time in his sophomore year and started last season.

Bethany lost three lettermen but returns nine players coach Brent Philips feels comfortable he can play and rely on. “We’re small, but we are very quick. If we play tough defense, I think we can overcome our height problems,” said Phillips about the 1991-92 Mustang squad. Seniors Sean Harshman, Ben Osman, Chris Smith, Dave Snyder, Ryan Martin and Steve VanLoon and juniors Phillip Dickens, Ben Yarnell and Justin Ozee are expected to lead the Mustangs. They are joined by more talent in seniors Greg Dickens and Wes Russell and junior Rob Trussell. Read More