Sullivan Police Receiving Reports of Fraudulent Tax Income Returns

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A few local federal tax income filers have discovered their identities stolen after they tried to file but were told they already had.
According to Sullivan police chief John Love, his department recently received just over a handful of calls from local citizens who discovered that someone else had fraudulently filed their federal return.
John Vander Burgh, CPA and owner of Vander Burgh Financial Service LLC in Bethany says such rejections from the IRS for filings are for one of two reasons–the preparer has incorrectly input the social security number by accident or, more seriously, someone else has fraudulently filed their form as a result of identity theft. Read More

Yost’s Trial Moved Up to June

State’s attorney requests speedy trial

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A Sullivan man accused of murdering a woman in March was back in court Monday for a brief hearing regarding a request for a speedy trial.
Michael S. Yost of Sullivan appeared before the Hon. Judge Dan Flannell Monday afternoon after state’s attorney Jeremy Richey filed a motion for a special jury term or, in other words, a speedy trial. The motion was largely a formality since both state and federal law entitles individuals to a speedy trial.
Richey’s motion was granted, and as a result, Yost’s original trial setting commencement date of August 3 was essentially thrown out in exchange for 9 a.m. June 15. Read More

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Photo by Jeni Yantis The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Okaw Valley High School drama club will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. April 24 & 25 in the OVHS gym.  The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam County. Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. For this quirky group of outsiders, a spelling bee is the one place they can fit in and stand out at the same time. Cast members include seniors Olivia King, Maureen Blakey and Kali Forsyth, juniors Gretchen Macklin, Charli Uhlrich and Nick Tipsword, sophomores Brianna Creviston, Sydney Hagerman and Madison Uhlrich and freshman Hannah Landreth. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Okaw Valley High School at 665-3631.

Photo by Jeni Yantis
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Okaw Valley High School drama club will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. April 24 & 25 in the OVHS gym. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam County. Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. For this quirky group of outsiders, a spelling bee is the one place they can fit in and stand out at the same time. Cast members include seniors Olivia King, Maureen Blakey and Kali Forsyth, juniors Gretchen Macklin, Charli Uhlrich and Nick Tipsword, sophomores Brianna Creviston, Sydney Hagerman and Madison Uhlrich and freshman Hannah Landreth.
Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Okaw Valley High School at 665-3631.

Dirks Presented Award for Heroism

Photo by RR Best Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Council also discusses creating possible fourth TIF district

April 22, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan mayor Ann Short and the city council presented Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks an award at their regular meeting earlier this month for her heroic handling of a homicide call on Wednesday, March 11.
Many members of the Sullivan police force and chief John Love were present as Dirks accepted her award.
“Our entire police department did a great job that day,” said police chief John Love. “Janet was a lifeline. We are fortunate to have her.”
Two guests, TIF consultants Steve Kline and Gwen Crawford, presented reports about the current TIF districts and information about the possibility of forming another TIF district, the area of which includes the former Jackson Chevrolet building. Read More

Lovington Park Ordinances See Several Deletions in Effort to Tidy Up Codes

Move comes amidst effort to update across the board

April 22, 2015

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

The Lovington Village Board has been updating ordinances that govern Lovington for several months now, and the next to fall in line recently was the park code– just in time for all of the enjoyable outdoor activities.
In general, the changes deal with deleting certain sections from the code, essentially lifting bans on things such as riding bicycles in the park and throwing propelled objects including balls. The actual deletions are as follows and were effective as of April 6, 2015:
Under Operations of Vehicles within the park (12-1-5), the following has been deleted: Read More

Sullivan Chiefs Inducted into Hall of Fame

Short-lived softball team recognized for big impact

April 15, 2015

 
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This past Saturday night may have been organized to recognize efforts and performances deserving of hall of fame status, but for the men and women involved, it was about recalling the smell of fresh cut grass, playing double-headers four times a week, and playing fast pitch softball on the Fourth of July.
The Sullivan Chiefs, one of five teams inducted into the Amateur Softball Association 11th annual Hall of Fame held at the Decatur Convention Center and Hotel Saturday evening, may have been last, but they certainly were not the least deserving.
“The Sullivan Chiefs didn’t play a lot of years, but they did win the state championship in 1970 with a truly outstanding bunch of players,” said presenter Joe Snedeker. “Our teams played against them many times, and they could hit, and they could run, and they could do it all.”
Before winning the state tournament in 1970, the Chiefs began as a 4H club that slowly evolved over the next few years.
There was, according to Moultrie County News archives, a Sullivan Merchants softball team that played throughout the 30s but disbanded in 1964. The next year, at just 19 years old, Larry Morrison decided to keep Sullivan’s fastpich softball alive by seeking a sponsor from Ed Dunphy.
“Believe it or not, we started out as the Sunnyside Fleaflickers 4H club,” recalled Morrison, who played first base for the team, including the state championship team. “My dad got sick after my freshman year of college so I came home, and we still wanted to play ball, but we couldn’t play 4H anymore, so we talked to Ed Dunphy, and he sponsored when we started.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Read More

Zoos Now Allowed Inside Moultrie

Photo by RR Best The Moultrie County Board held its monthly meeting last Thursday in what became a packed courtroom anxious to speak their thoughts about allowing zoos to set up shop in the county. The board eventually voted and approved by a count of 8-1 an amendment that would allow just that.

Photo by RR Best
The Moultrie County Board held its monthly meeting last Thursday in what became a packed courtroom anxious to speak their thoughts about allowing zoos to set up shop in the county. The board eventually voted and approved by a count of 8-1 an amendment that would allow just that.

Ordinance amended Thursday to allow for wildlife parks

April 15, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Moving their monthly meeting to a third floor courtroom Thursday to allow for more members of the public to attend, the Moultrie County Board approved by a vote of 8-1 to amend the zoning ordinance to allow for zoos and wildlife parks in the county.
The board’s decision followed more than 45 minutes of public comment, 30 of which were from Urbana attorney Kent Follmer, who is representing 17 landowners opposed to, not only the zoning amendment, but also a specific wildlife project that has been proposed in the county, but that wasn’t up for consideration.
Known as the Aikman Wildlife Adventure, the park would initially span 45 acres and include both a drive-through area where patrons could feed animals and a walk-through that would be similar to a zoo but with much larger habitats. There would also be a 7,000 squared foot walk-through aviary featuring different species of birds that patrons could feed. The park would be located one mile west of the Great Pumpkin Patch southwest of Arthur.
Follmer’s presentation to the board Thursday included objections from the Moultrie County Farm Bureau and local veterinarian Dr. DeWayne Richter.
The Bureau, in a letter to the county board, expressed its stance, saying, “The Moultrie County Farm Bureau opposes production farmland taken out of production for non-agricultural use.”
This was a point that has been and continues to be echoed by Follmer when arguing the intent of the agricultural zoning ordinance and citing its preamble which in part outlines its goal as to “promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare by separating incompatible nonagricultural uses from potentially incompatible agricultural uses…” Read More

Cause Undetermined in Vehicle Fire Investigation

Photo by RR Best Sullivan fire captain Chris Wright looks at the remains of a vehicle fire that spread to a garage Wednesday afternoon.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan fire captain Chris Wright looks at the remains of a vehicle fire that spread to a garage Wednesday afternoon.

Fire spreads to garage of triplex

April 15, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A garage belonging to a three-apartment structure suffered damage Wednesday, April 8 from a parked vehicle that previously caught fire.
According to Sullivan Fire Captain Chris Wright, a vehicle belonging to Cynthia Fleming caught fire Wednesday afternoon after being parked and idle for approximately an hour. The vehicle was in close proximity to a garage door belonging to a triplex, which caught fire but did not spread beyond the garage.
Fleming added that she only discovered the fire after a neighbor notified her. A phone call was received by the Sullivan Fire Department at 3:23 p.m., but according to Wright, on-duty personnel were out on two simultaneous ambulance calls, requiring duty crew to come from home. Read More

Foster Takes Seventh

Submitted Foster Takes Seventh Brady Foster of Lovington competed at the 15th annual Midgetstate IKWF championship March 21 and 22 in Danville. Competing in the 66 lb, 9-10 year olds division, Foster came away with seventh place. He is the son of Chastity and Chad Foster.

Submitted
Foster Takes Seventh
Brady Foster of Lovington competed at the 15th annual Midgetstate IKWF championship March 21 and 22 in Danville. Competing in the 66 lb, 9-10 year olds division, Foster came away with seventh place. He is the son of Chastity and Chad Foster.