Early Pay Off

Photo furnished Early Pay Off The Moultrie County Board was able to make the final $64,583.33 payment on the county jail last week. Budget chairman Ron White noted the county was able to retire the $1 million loan 11 years early due to extra income generated through housing federal prisoners early on. Five county banks participated in the local debt certificate, accounting for the local share of financing for the jail. A $4 million grant helped finance the majority of the jail. Above Moultrie County budget chair Ron White (left) and Moultrie County Board chairman Dave McCabe (right) present First Mid Illinois Bank president Larry Stenger with the final payoff for the local loan.

Photo furnished
Early Pay Off
The Moultrie County Board was able to make the final $64,583.33 payment on the county jail last week. Budget chairman Ron White noted the county was able to retire the $1 million loan 11 years early due to extra income generated through housing federal prisoners early on. Five county banks participated in the local debt certificate, accounting for the local share of financing for the jail. A $4 million grant helped finance the majority of the jail. Above Moultrie County budget chair Ron White (left) and Moultrie County Board chairman Dave McCabe (right) present First Mid Illinois Bank president Larry Stenger with the final payoff for the local loan.

Piano Playing Summer Ends at Titus Manor

Photo furnished Pictured above playing the piano is Reagan Crouse.

Photo furnished
Pictured above playing the piano is Reagan Crouse.

•August 17, 2016•

By Kennedy Nolen
For the News Progress

Teen pianist, Reagan Crouse, shared his talent at the Titus Manor Friday afternoon on August 12.

Crouse, 13, has been playing the piano for six years now, which means he started at the ripe age of seven.

His interest in the piano began around age two, and his mom began to take notice. Since he had taken a liking to his plastic piano as a young child, his mom knew she had to let him begin lessons.

He began lessons with Jay Durham of Effingham, and continued in Sullivan with teacher Nina Marshall.  Read More

United States Map Painter Visits SES

Bella_USA

Photo by Mike Brothers SES playground got a free map of the United States thanks to some team work from left photo: Elementary teacher Nichole Hendry (left) and student Bella Brownlee (right). After receiving Bella’s letter “Mr. A” traveled from Benton to paint a USA map for Sullivan students.

Retired Educator Donates Fun

•August 17, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

After spending 26 years on playgrounds, you would think Gene Alexander would look for another place to play.

Instead this 81 year old retired teacher and principal of Benton visited the Sullivan Elementary School playground August 9, leaving a generous gift.

For the past 26 years Alexander “Mr. A” has been painting maps of the United States on playgrounds and in parking lots all over the state.

As school was closing last year Nichole Hendry and her fifth grade class began searching for a way to get a map of the United States placed on the playground at SES.

“One of the classes painted a map on the old playground that had faded away,” Hendry said, noting they were looking at making it a class project.

Patterns for such a project plus materials were costly. Hendry said she shared the idea with elementary school administrative assistant Ann Sanner.

Sanner ran across a story in Outdoor Illinois about Alexander’s mission to place maps of the United States on school playgrounds free of charge and passed it along to Hendry.
Student Bella Brownlee was given the assignment of contacting “Mr. A” and requesting one of his maps for Sullivan Elementary School. Read More

A Shear Madness Partnership for Little Theatre and Food Pantry

•August 17, 2016•

Stu D. Baker
For the News Progress

With school beginning and the Moultrie County Food Pantry’s supplies exhausted the Little Theatre on the Square is offering a unique chance to see a show and give to the food pantry.

For the third week of Shear Madness Aug 23-28 anyone who brings in canned or non-perishable goods for the food pantry will receive a $17.50 ticket discount.

“We are extremely happy to be able to give back to the community,” Little Theatre executive director John Stephens said of the cooperative arrangement to help rebuild stock in the Food Pantry.

Stephens noted that patrons may bring in as many as 10 items and that would help the Food Pantry tremendously. Read More

ALAH School Board Endorses Knight Shift Group

Enrollment Up

•August 17, 2016•

By Arianna Cherry
For the News Progress

A tentative budget for 2017 was approved at the last Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board meeting. According to the tentative budget, an estimated beginning balance for July 1, 2016 was $1,675,641. The estimated end balance for June 2017 is $1,995,394.

The transportation fund was short due to state funding issues; therefore, $37,000 was transferred from the education fund. Superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the board that the district would pursue the incentive money that was not received the previous year. In order to do so, the district must show a need for the funds. A hearing for the tentative budget will be scheduled at the board’s next meeting on September 14.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

-The number of students are slightly up at ALAH High School. Enrollment figures for 2016-2017 are as follows: freshmen, 83; sophomore, 77; junior, 70 and senior,60. A total of 290 students are enrolled for 2016-2017. There were 285 in 2015-2016. Nine students transferred out and 16 students transferred in including two exchange students from Thailand and Germany. High School open house will be 7-8 p.m. Monday, August 22. Read More

Senior Center Expressed Increased Parking Need

•August 17, 2016•

By Arianna Cherry
For the News Progress

Mid-Illinois Senior Services Director Deb Groendal asked Sullivan City Council to consider reserved parking for senior functions at the Aug. 1 meeting.

She explained parking has become an issue during Peace Meals served at lunch. Eight of her 12 spots are taken each day. Seniors who usually come during Peace Meals are having trouble finding parking near the entrance. “Instead, they have had to phone in and ask that their meals be delivered because they are unable to park near the door,” Groendal said.

Seniors who need to park near the door often carried oxygen or they have other handicaps that make it difficult for them to walk long distances.

Groendal said not only had parking been an issue for seniors but also the volunteers who deliver the meals. They need to park near the entrance because of the numerous hot meals they must carry to their vehicles. She noted walking a long distance carrying all of the meals can impose a danger as well.  Read More

Sullivan Resale Shop Now Open

Sullivan Resale Shop recently opened at the corner of Harrison and Van Buren streets downtown offering a variety of electronic equipment.

Owner Ross O'Dell brings ten years experience to the electronic resale business, offering everything from old Atari games and equipment to the most recent game offerings. Computer's, players, televisions and everything from DVDs to VHS tapes and CDs to LP albums are available.

Sullivan Resale is open 11-6 Monday thru Thursday, 11-7 Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Fun Time at Library

Photo by Mike Brothers Fun Time at Library Elizabeth Titus Library’s summer reading program added a little physical fun to the weekly story time and craft adventures last week. Above Asher Hendry, 5, races through rings on the library lawn August 3.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Fun Time at Library
Elizabeth Titus Library’s summer reading program added a little physical fun to the weekly story time and craft adventures last week. Above Asher Hendry, 5, races through rings on the library lawn August 3.

Mountain Bicycling Brings Area Riders to Camp Camfield

Photo by Mike Brothers CIMBA members Todd Harris (front) and Doug Lee of Sullivan ride a new section of the Camp Camfield trail in preparation for the Aug. 14 Clash at the Camp.

Photo by Mike Brothers
CIMBA members Todd Harris (front) and Doug Lee of Sullivan ride a new section of the Camp Camfield trail in preparation for the Aug. 14 Clash at the Camp.

CIMBA Hosts Sanctioned Event Open to Public

•August 10, 2016•

By Mike Brothers
For the News Progress

Camp Camfield, located five minutes southwest of Sullivan, hosts mountain bicycling enthusiasts from all over the state at Clash at the Camp this Sunday, August 14.

Central Illinois Mountain Bicycling Association not only allows riders to compete for points in a sanctioned event this weekend, but club organizers are planning a family friendly event including a free ride. Kids 12 and under may bring their bikes for a scenic cruise.

“We offer different level trails for every kind of rider,” Eric Harris said of the trail system that grew from a 2.5 mile walking trail in the 1970s to the well-manicured 7.5 miles that wind the hills around Lake Shelbyville today.

He emphasized the trail is for multi-use. Bicyclists, walkers and runners are accommodated with choices of three different difficulty level trails, all with scenic lake views at every turn.

Harris explained the kids race includes a special half mile course that is just for fun.

“This is a whole lot of fun for all the kids and parents,” Harris said, explaining his nine year old daughter is excited about the possibility of winning a race in which she ran third her first time out.  Read More

Jury Finds Evanston Farm Manager Guilty of Theft

•August 10, 2016•

A Moultrie County jury found Lyle Roger Harrison, 43, of Evanston guilty of theft on Friday, August 5.

The jury’s verdict was returned on two counts, ending a week long trial and a case that began with the arrest of Harrison in November 2013.

From 2011-2013 Harrison Farm Management handled 640A in Moultrie and Piatt counties, including the Whiteman tracts. Moultrie County Sections 19 & 20 were under disputed ownership.

In 2013 Harrison sold grain from Section 19 and 20 under contract to Okaw Farmers Coop in Cadwell, Topflight Grain in La Place and Cargill Grain in Tuscola.

After Harrison was paid $8900 by Cargill, the remaining grain harvested from Section 19 and 20 was seized and Harrison arrested by the Moultrie County Sheriff’s Dept. on the theft charge. That grain has remained in storage at Topflight and Okaw Farmers Coop since 2013. Read More