Commissioner Bill Hagen Retires from Sullivan Council

•February 22, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

“It has been my pleasure to sit on city council and with all the commissioners....I wish the council good luck on behalf of the city residents,” said commissioner Bill Hagen as he announced his retirement, effective March 27, 2017.

Health and Safety Commissioner Hagen began working for the city of Sullivan at the age of 13 and later enlisted in the Army.

After returning from the Army, Hagen returned to work for the city once again. “The city has been very good to me,” he concluded.

Mayor Ann Short and the council thanked Commissioner Hagen for his time on the council and wished him well in retirement.

Other news discussed or acted upon: Read More

Sullivan Pre School IGA Label Savers

Photo by Mike Brothers
Sullivan Pre School IGA Label Savers
Store manager Pat Stinson conducted a front to back store tour for Sullivan pre school students Feb 7. At the end the kids received treats and set up a collection site at the customer service desk to collect IGA brand bar codes. Sullivan Preschool is now participating in the IGA Label Savers program. The preschool will receive $50 for every 500 labels collected. Cut out the barcode (starts with 41270) from an IGA brand product excluding aluminum products, store made products and fresh meat products. The money raised through this program can aid in purchasing new playground equipment, technology or even fund a field trip. There will be collection boxes available at IGA and the preschool. Back row (left to right): Stephanie Spellman, Pat Stinson, Casey Pruemer. Middle row: Harper Standerfer, Kennedy Graven, Connor Dagg, Hunter Walton, Ryleigh Force, Owen Moomaw, Briella Castle, Oliver Dean, Bentley Davis, Ainsley Winkels, Easton Spellman, Jackson Williamson, Miriam Parri, Cade Thompson. Front row: Landen Butler, RaeLynne Matherly, Auggie Foust, Carson Black, Channing Jensen, Michael Hawkins, Havyn Meador, Piper Fleener.

New Interceptor for Lovington

Photo by Darian Hays
New Interceptor for Lovington
The village of Lovington recently placed its new 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor in operation with help from the John E. Timm Charitable Trust of Arthur. The Trust donated $11,000 toward the vehicle purchase with the village paying the balance to Wright Automotive of Hillsboro after trading the 2010 Chevrolet squad car. Pictured are Chief of Police Christian Swisher, Pam Anklam Police Trustee, Arthur Mayor Matt Bernius Director of the Timm Trust and Lovington Village President Jim Minor. Rodney Stanfill of Central Service Center switched equipment from the old squad car, and past president Barry Morgan designed graphics installed by Dynagraphics of Decatur. Lovington has two full time and five part time patrolmen.

Lovington Village Board

•February 15, 2017•

Jeremy Doggett, water and sewer superintendent, attended the meeting of the Lovington Village Board and distributed handouts from the engineering firm, Farnsworth Group, regarding the chlorine feed modification for the Chlorine Disinfection Exemption Revocation. The cover letter listed the requirements which need to be done by May 1, 2017. Doggett will try to have an estimation of the cost for the next meeting but believes it will be under $10,000. He is of the opinion that Roland Birt and Scott Connelly will be able to do the required work by April 1. Read More

Scary Bus Ride

Photo by RR Best
Scary Bus Ride
Thirty-five passengers on a Teutopolis school bus took an unexpected detour on the way to a ball game Friday. At 3:19 p.m. the bus was struck on the driver’s side by a van driven by Scarlett McKenzie, 36, of Mattoon and turned over on its passenger side blocking Route 32 at the Bruce-Findlay road intersection. Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims reported the bus contained the Teutopolis basketball team, cheerleaders and coaches. Five students were taken to Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. McKenzie was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur and kept for observation. She was ticketed by MCSD for driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to yield. After her hospital release on Monday she was transported to Moultrie County Jail pending further charges from the states attorney. Robert Bothwell of Teutopolis was the driver of the bus. In addition to MCSD, Sullivan police and fire departments, Illinois State Police, plus ambulances from Sullivan, Lovington, Mattoon, Bethany, Windsor, Findlay and Arthur responded to the scene. Walker Wrecker Service uprighted the bus and towed it away. Traffic was detoured through Sullivan 66, Inc. (Howy’s) parking lot. Students were treated by area EMTs west of the parking lot. Sullivan school district dispatched a bus to transport the Teutopolis students. Surrounding school district administrators were on hand to offer assistance as well.

FUMC Tuesday Pancake Supper

Photo furnished
FUMC Tuesday Pancake Supper
Shrove Tuesday 2016: Pastor Charliam Renner (back) mixed batter and Joyce Shellabarger fried sausage to serve guests at the FUMC Shrove Tuesday pancake supper in Sullivan.

•February 15, 2017•

The third annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at the Sullivan First Methodist Church is 4:30-6 p.m. Feb 28 in the Fellowship Hall. This free event marks the end of Mardi Gras and the anticipation of Lent, which begins the next day on Ash Wednesday. Everyone is invited to the celebration, which will include pancakes with toppings, sausage and drinks. Since it is a party, all who come eat free of charge. Fellowship Hall will be decorated in purple, green and gold with lots of beads on display.

Trivia questions and festive music will add to the party atmosphere.

Pancake suppers are popular events on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and not just in New Orleans.

Since rich foods are often given up for Lent, the practice is to empty the pantry of flour and sugar by making pancakes. People enjoy the butter and syrup, knowing that during Lent they will eat a much blander diet, some even choosing to fast.

OV Job Shadow: Helping Students Get on the Right Path

Photo by Brycelynn Durbin
Job Shadow students work hard in class and on site to gain experience that will help them in the future. Pictured left to right are Kayla Wheeler, Maddie Perrine, Jesse Robinson, Moranda Matheson, Kailyn Boyer, Evan Blakey, Kristy Burford, Makayle Rozanski, Laine Crawford, Madison Uhlrich, and teacher Bonnie Scott.

•February 15, 2017•

By Madison Uhlrich
for the News Progress

When most people think Job Shadow, they think you go to a business a few times, you watch stuff happen for a while, and you go home and try to figure out if that’s what you want to do with your life.

While that does seem to be the case with some experiences, I have to tell you that my Job Shadow class at Okaw Valley High School has been nothing like that.

This course, which was introduced in the 2010 / 2011 school term, was handcrafted by Mrs. Bonnie Scott and Mrs. Ann Wilson, and offers a much more comprehensive and in-depth curriculum than most schools.

According to Mrs. Scott, current teacher of the Job Shadow class, “My goal is for my students to obtain real world career skills that will give them an advantage in life.” Read More

Courtyard Hosts the Poetry of Valentines Day

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Mrs. & Mrs. Larry Baker celebrated their 30th anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

•February 15, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Courtyard Estates was the place to be last Friday, Feb 10 for the most anticipated party of the year for area seniors - the annual Valentine’s Day luncheon and poetry contest sponsored by the Senior Center.

Over 100 seniors were greeted by the sight of clusters of pink balloons on the tables festooned with pink placemats and candy dishes overflowing. Most of the ladies had chosen to wear either a red blouse or sweater and some gentlemen sported red plaid shirts.

The traditional meal of beef tips, mashed potatoes, and green beans was served with a dessert choice of coconut, strawberry or chocolate pie.

Seven people submitted or read poems, and the winners were first place - Marilyn Leonard for “Living the Dream”; second - Pamela Mann for “The Golden Years?” and third - Ed Dixon for “I’m Old”.  Read More

Moultrie County Board Regulates Public Comments

•February 15, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County Board met in regular session Thursday, Feb 9 adopting regulations for speaking at public meetings and a local ordinance allowing the county to collect for civil cannabis violations.

County board chairman Dave McCabe explained that a resolution should be in place regulating the right of the public to speak at county board and committee meetings in Moultrie County.

According to the resolution: Any person who wishes to address the board or any other meeting of the county of Moultrie may request recognition by signing in with the county clerk or chairperson or raising their hand during the public comment time. Read More

SHS Presents The Burden of Silence at The Little Theatre

•February 15, 2017•

Sullivan High School presents The Burden of Silence at 7 p.m. Friday

Feb. 17 at the Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan.

This original script prepared and performed by Rebecca L. Lawson’s Mirror Images class explores the theme: “If you don’t speak up when you see things that are wrong, you may suffer ‘the burden of silence’ for the rest of your life.”

“We had a lot of ideas for the title and narrowed it down to this one because it fit perfectly,” Colleen Miller said. “Lots of characters in the play were silent and some were for too long.”

Lawson explained that all class members helped with the writing. “ We started writing in October and finished most of the play by December. Read More