New City Administrator is a Familiar Face

Photo by Mike Brothers Sullivan City Adminstrator Dan L. Flannell assumes new duties after retiring as Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in January.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Sullivan City Adminstrator Dan L. Flannell assumes new duties after retiring as Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in January.

•November 30, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

When Dan Flannell becomes Sullivan city administrator January 16, 2017 he leaves a 28 year career as Moultrie County Circuit Judge to walk across the street for a new challenge.

On November 21 the Sullivan City Council ended a long search for a city administrator when they chose retiring Judge Flannell to coordinate the city’s day to day operations.

“I knew when I stepped down from the bench, I didn’t want to retire,” Flannell said, noting when he learned of the city’s search for an administrator in the spring it interested him.

Appointed Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit in 2012, following the illness of Judge John Shonkwiller in Piatt County, Flannell found himself enjoying the administrative duties involved in balancing court operations in rural counties such as Moultrie and Douglas as well as two metro centers in Champaign and Decatur.

Thinking the city administrator position might be a unique match for his skills, he applied and was considered along with other professional applicants.

“I know there were several applicants, and I am grateful to the city council for choosing me,” he said.

“I realize it’s a lot different than being a judge, but I intend to start learning as much as possible.” Read More

Gypsy Soul is Full of Eye Candy

Gypsy Soul

Gypsy Soul

•November 30, 2016•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Gypsy Soul Revival, next to Thrifty Boutique is just full of beautiful eye candy. Colorful blouses and tees, an entire rack of pastel, plaid, flannel shirts, turquoise handmade jewelry and two comfy chairs in front of a table of goodies for that shopping-weary hubby.

The mother/daughter owners are Sheri Seabaugh and Darby Harden, and they started their store almost four years ago. They had been doing a runway show which was closing down, and they felt like gypsies with nowhere to go, and thus was the inspiration for their store name.

“I make most of the jewelry, and Darby makes a lot of the clothes,”said Sheri, “although some of the clothing comes from California. We are pleased to offer sizes from small to 3X including children’s clothing.” Read More

Archie Has Got a New Vest

Photo by RR Best Archie Has Got a New Vest Sullivan patrolman Adam Collins and Moultrie County sheriff’s deputy Kaleb Smith, K-9 patrol Archie’s handler, is pictured with Archie in his new bullet and puncture proof vest. Sullivan police dept.’s annual Rushmore law enforcement golf outing generated the extra funds from the 50/50 raffle and hole sponsors to help purchase the new vest. Golf outing coordinator Collins received approval from the sheriff’s K-9 unit for the donation with which police were able to purchase the $1800 vest for $1100.

Photo by RR Best
Archie Has Got a New Vest
Sullivan patrolman Adam Collins and Moultrie County sheriff’s deputy Kaleb Smith, K-9 patrol Archie’s handler, is pictured with Archie in his new bullet and puncture proof vest. Sullivan police dept.’s annual Rushmore law enforcement golf outing generated the extra funds from the 50/50 raffle and hole sponsors to help purchase the new vest. Golf outing coordinator Collins received approval from the sheriff’s K-9 unit for the donation with which police were able to purchase the $1800 vest for $1100.

Go to Simpler Thymes for a Vintage Feel

elf-simpler-times•November 30, 2016•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Simpler Thymes located across from the IGA is by no means simple but seems like a walk back in time with all the carefully selected antiques, primitives and vintage items artfully displayed by owner Brandi Novak and her staff. While many of the items belong to Novak, she does rent out space to other dealers.

“A lot of the materials in the booths are made by the dealers, said Novak. We have an art teacher from Windsor, and she makes all of the pottery in her booth”.

Most everything here is primitive, vintage antique or repurposed old items such as paintings on barn wood or painted window frames. The unique feature is that Simpler Thymes carries a lot of the larger items such as furniture, chairs, desks and cabinets that most stores of this genre don’t carry. Read More

One Book One Sullivan

Photo by Mike Brothers One Book One Sullivan Coordinator Rikki Ray announced this year’s One Book One Sullivan Middle School group is the largest ever with 26 members. This year’s selection of The Paper Cowboy by Kristine Levine was announced to a packed Sullivan Middle School gymnasium November 23. Principal financial supporters of the community project is the Sullivan Rotary Club, and members were in attendance. The OBO group produced a trailer for the introduction to the audience along with individual members giving insight into how the selection was made. The Paper Cowboy is a historical fiction set in the 1950s when communism was feared. Advisers and members of the One Book One Sullivan club are pictured above following the announcement to the school. Community discussions of the book will be announced in the future.

Photo by Mike Brothers
One Book One Sullivan
Coordinator Rikki Ray announced this year’s One Book One Sullivan Middle School group is the largest ever with 26 members. This year’s selection of The Paper Cowboy by Kristine Levine was announced to a packed Sullivan Middle School gymnasium November 23. Principal financial supporters of the community project is the Sullivan Rotary Club, and members were in attendance. The OBO group produced a trailer for the introduction to the audience along with individual members giving insight into how the selection was made. The Paper Cowboy is a historical fiction set in the 1950s when communism was feared. Advisers and members of the One Book One Sullivan club are pictured above following the announcement to the school. Community discussions of the book will be announced in the future.

Cathrine’s Keeps Offering Unique Gifts

elf-cathrines•November 30, 2016•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Cathrine’s and West 5 Coffee and Wine Bar - these two stores in one are most welcoming and delightful. The owner is Cathrine Craig, but this is truly a family business. Husband, JR, is the barrista and her son-in-law does all of the custom framing. But her daughter and mother also put in time to help keep everything running smoothly.

“We felt that Sullivan needed a unique retail shop with a unique shopping experience for those looking for something special not found in the mall shops,” explained Craig. “We have people come from Decatur, Champaign, Chicago and even those on their way to a wedding stop by for a gift that is packaged and all ready to take to the gift table.” Read More

Chamber Of Commerce Welcomes New Intern

Photo by Ellen Ferrera Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurrie Minor pictured with new intern Melinda Calhoun-Hurt.

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurrie Minor pictured with new intern Melinda Calhoun-Hurt.

•November 30, 2016•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurrie Minor welcomed me into her office and introduced me to her new intern, Melinda Calhoun-Hurt who was just completing her fifth day on the job.

Calhoun-Hurt is from Memphis, Tennessee and is a senior at Lake Land College majoring in administrative executive assistantship.

She learned about the position from her sister Amy who works at Moultrie County Counseling.

Minor said “I have had other interns from high school, but Melinda is the first one working on a degree in this job category so we are really happy to have her.” When asked her favorite part of the job, Calhoun-Hurt said, “Actually, working with Laurrie because she gives me a lot of confidence and allows me to work on a lot of different projects. I have done everything from helping with planning to getting soaked in the rain while delivering bags to members.” Read More

Sullivan School Board Reviews Testing, Approves Tax Levy

•November 23, 2016•

The Sullivan Community Unit 300 school board approved the 2016 payable in 2017 tentative tax levy of 4.99% based on a projected Equalized Assessed Valuation of $121,595,853.

Supt. Brad Tuttle explained the amount requested could be reduced and noted the district tax levy increase has averaged two percent per year since maximum rates were set in 1983.

Director of maintenance Kevin Landrus reported that work has begun on the elementary school chillers now that the  cooling season in over. He told the board the new boiler was fired at the high school, and the middle school boiler is pending a gas flow regulation adjustment before it can be fired.

Landrus then explained a $23,000 construction change order for the high school HVAC system replacement. The roof top unit for the north wing of the high school was larger than expected and required additional steel reinforcement for the roof.

Supt. Tuttle went on to note that both the architect and carrier returned $2500 to the district because of the error that led to the required change.

“The change was heavier than expected so we had to make a quick decision,” Tuttle said of the problem, noting the architect and carrier’s contributions helped ease the pain. Read More

Sullivan Chief Served a Giving Community

Photo furnished Chief John Love accepts appreciation plaque from Mayor Ann Short at a recent city council meeting. Chief Love begins retirement November 23 after serving the city of Sullivan for 28 years.

Photo furnished
Chief John Love accepts appreciation plaque from Mayor Ann Short at a recent city council meeting. Chief Love begins retirement November 23 after serving the city of Sullivan for 28 years.

•November 23, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

When Sullivan Chief of Police John Love became a patrolman in 1985, he knew local police could have a greater purpose in the community.

As Chief Love looks toward retirement Nov. 23 after 28 years on the force, it’s with mixed emotions.

“It’s kind of funny, but I know I’m going to miss those weekend calls at home and people stopping me at the local restaurant to discuss a problem,” Love said of the years he has served the community.

For the past 10 years Chief Love, with the backing of the Sullivan City Council, has been able to maintain a professional police force that is well-equipped.

“Jim Waggoner will be a good chief who I have total confidence in,” Love said of his replacement. “With the help of Mayor Short and the city we have a well-equipped professional staff force, and I look forward to that continuing.” Read More

Sparrow Volunteers

Photo furnished Sparrow Volunteers Volunteers of all ages gathered Saturday, Nov. 19 for the annual Sparrows Unlimited fruit basket day. In all, 150 baskets were assembled and delivered in and around Lovington. Sparrows’ 22nd annual fundraising auction will be held December 3 at Jerry’s East End in Lovington.

Photo furnished
Sparrow Volunteers
Volunteers of all ages gathered Saturday, Nov. 19 for the annual Sparrows Unlimited fruit basket day. In all, 150 baskets were assembled and delivered in and around Lovington. Sparrows’ 22nd annual fundraising auction will be held December 3 at Jerry’s East End in Lovington.