Grit & Glory – Traversing the Panama Canal

Photo by Joe Pound
At the Farewell Panama party the Sullivan Eleven lined up with the rest of the tour group and with four native women dressed in Pollera, native dress of the culture. The elaborate dresses take up to a year to make and are adorned with thousands of dollars in jewelry.

•February 1, 2017•

By Jose Libra
for the News Progress

Along with about a dozen friends from Sullivan, we just returned from five warm, sunny days touring this remarkable civil engineering project and its environs in the Republic of Panama.

The preplanned trip was organized and led by Road Scholar guides, beginning with our landing in the skyscraper crowded Panama City, the capital of the country.

Led by Don Schmidgall of Sullivan our group benefited from his energy and attention to detail, making the trip easy and fascinating. Highlights included history of the canal, size and scope of this project, traversing by ship the entire canal, perfect weather in the 90’s, our two tour guides, the new bridge over the Canal being built at Colon, riding high in the top cabin of the tour boat, the railroad trip back to Panama City from Colon, wonderful breeze along the canal trip, the rainforest, delicious food and the farewell dinner and dancers.

Our local tour guides from Road Scholar were “Archie” and “Rey”, both Panamanian citizens. Both of them were a joy and taught us a great deal about the history and reality of this central part of Panama. Read More

Sullivan Council Accepts Bid for Sanitary Project

•February 1, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry,
for the News Progress

The Sullivan City Council accepted a bid of $830,777 from Followell Construction Company of Marion, Ill. for the sanitary project.

Discussions for this project began about seven years ago after the city had applied for grants for funding which were declined. They applied for a city grant and was approved for funding of $450,000 to help pay for the project.

The council also approved research to install a new water tower. Lee Beckman of Milano and Grunloh suggested that in order to find the best place for the tower, the city needs to perform a hydraulic analysis of the existing water system which will cost $20,000. Council members approved the hydraulic analysis.

Other news that was discussed or acted upon: Read More

The Little Museum Time Has Forgotten at Mason Point

Photos by Ellen Ferrera
Through the doors of the Ward Museum at Mason Point are treasures from a lifetime of collecting frozen in time.

•February 1, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Up the steps of the main Mason Point building, through the front door and about 100 yards ahead you will arrive at the entrance to the magical world of the Abraham L. and Cora Ward Museum - frozen in time since it opened in 1948. Inside are some 25,000 items, many valuable and rare with mysterious origins as intriguing as the story of the museum itself.

When ill health forced Mr. Ward into retirement in his early forties, he and Cora set out on train trips all over North America, Mexico, Canada and Cuba.

It was their custom to purchase a train ticket as far as they could travel to a good sized city by daylight. They would spend the night in a hotel and the following day engage in their passion of collecting anything and everything of interest.

His passion was sea shells and hers was glass tumblers and goblets, but their interests were wide-ranging. When they tired of one city, they would buy another ticket as far as daylight would take them. Read More

ALAH Knights Win Tournament

Photo furnished
ALAH Knights Win Tournament
The ALAH Knights won the LOVC Tournament Championship. Front row: Marcy Petersheim, Kyla Carson, Janette Comstock, Marissa Herschberger, Hannah Wallen, Mycaela Miller, Megan Fifer, Madi Corum; back row: Shea Shlabaugh, Abby Wallace, Kimberly Davis, Abi Duzan, Drew Wingler, Callie Schable, Liz Shipman, Payton Wellbaum. Head coach Craig Moffett explained: “Rebounding is something we’re always trying to improve, being that we’re not an overly tall team. I do think we are improving in that area. In an early practice Janette Comstock said  “rebounding is all about heart/desire,” and she’s exactly right. Our balance is a luxury with unselfish players as the most important aspect of the balanced offense. We do have multiple girls who can score off dribble, in post or shooting from perimeter. Payton Wellbaum had a very good game tonight and was set up by excellent post entries.”

Sullivan’s Healthcom Reaches Out to Help Others

Photo furnished
Last year Healthcom celebrated 25 years of growth in Sullivan with a selfie. As the needs of senior citizens grow, so grows the staff at Healthcom.

•January 25, 2017•

By Kennedy Nolen
for the News Progress

The business was born in the small town of Sullivan in 1992 and has helped thousands ever since: Healthcom.

The founder Ralph Kirk said his idea for Healthcom all began when his aunt in Chicago had a stroke. He said she fell on the floor and lay there for three days until she passed.

At the time, Kirk worked in a hospital, and all he thought was, “Why in the world can we not do something to help people in these situations?”

Healthcom is a company that provides seniors and those with disabilities with health services at the push of a button to help them live comfortably at home. Kirk said the business partners with hospitals and home care services in all 50 states, and they rescue 1,500 to 2,000 people per month. That is nearly 25,000 a year! Read More

Bethany Church Families Come Together in Worship

Photo furnished
Community Worship in Bethany January 22 included Kay Atkinson, Pastor Tracy Siegman, Pastor Steve Guarneros, Pastor Ted Hartley, Jim Ulrich, and Bill Ashley.

•January 25, 2017•

By Marge Overlot
NP Guest Columnist

The Bethany Christian Church families came together to worship Sunday morning, January 22 to commemorate Christian Unity Sunday at the Bethany United Methodist Church.

The service brought nearly 100 people together to give God the praise and glory for their lives. The worship hour was conducted by Pastor Ted Hartley of the United Methodist Church, Pastor Tracy Siegman of the Presbyterian Church and Pastor Steve Guarneros of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

The pastors also came together to offer communion to the congregation that was received by all. A potluck lunch was held following the service. Read More

Judicial Steering Commission Screens Judge Applicants

Six Express Interest in the Sixth

•January 25, 2017•

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita B. Garman has selected the judicial screening committee for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

The screening committee was formed for the purpose of assessing the qualifications of those persons who have applied for appointment to the Office of Judge of the Circuit Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit created by the resignation of Chief Judge Daniel Flannell on January 12, 2017.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the vacancy will be filled by Supreme Court appointment. Read More

WHS Homecoming 2017

Photo furnished
WHS Homecoming 2017
Windsor High School hosted Homecoming on Saturday, January 21st with a theme of Neon Nights. Homecoming royalty was crowned and are pictured. Front row left to right: Crown bearer Faith Hendrickson, 2017 Queen Gillian Sanders, 2017 King Travis Fox, and Crown bearer Bryce Rincker.Back row left to right: Queen candidates Jodie Harris and Kaitlyn Armes, Junior Attendant Morgan Lesko, Sophomore Attendant Rachel Miller, Freshman Attendant Ava Bennett, 2016 Queen Kristen Morlen, 2016 King Mitchell Haddock, Freshman Attendant Mason Campbell, Sophomore Attendant Ben Beck, Junior Attendant Gage Sattler, King candidates Joel Beck and Sterling Howard.

Board Approves Proclamation Honoring Judge Flannell

Honored for Courthouse Restoration

•January 18, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County board proclaimed Judge Dan L. Flannell day Friday, January 13, his last day as Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial circuit.

County board chairman Dave McCabe added the proclamation at the end of the regular Jan. 12 business meeting.

McCabe’s proclamation emphasized the county’s appreciation for Judge Flannell’s efforts to help restore the historic Moultrie County Courthouse. He continued to note his service to Moultrie County as a sitting judge from 1988 through 2012 when he was appointed chief administrator of the Sixth Judicial Circuit has been exemplary. Read More