Resignations Received at Regular Meeting

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

At their regular meeting earlier this month, the Sullivan school board approved four staff resignations and also approved the dismissal of a third year teacher.

Certified preschool teacher Brittney Phebus was dismissed after the board discussed the potential action in closed session. Because she had less than four years of continuous service to the district, the board does not, nor did it, disclose the reason for her dismissal. As Brad Tuttle, superintendent, explained, a faculty member with less than four years and excellent ratings could still be dismissed. Read More

Sullivan Schools Proceed with Reductions in Force

Includes cutting one full-time P.E. teacher

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The Sullivan school board approved three types of measures Monday evening in a special meeting concerning reduction in force.

Faced with potentially steeper cuts in state aid payments for the next school year, the board approved nine resolutions totaling approximately $65,000 in cuts, including the honorable dismissal of Brent Weakly, a physical education teacher at Sullivan Middle School.  Read More

An Eyesore No More

Photo by RR Best An Eyesore No More What was the former Sullivan Area Chamber of Commerce Building at 112 S. Hamilton was demolished last week. The building had sat empty for several years after serving as the home of several businesses and organizations including Habitat for Humanity. Dustin Lane of Sullivan bought the lot approximately six months ago with the intention of demolishing the building. Now with it gone, Lane says he is looking for businesses or individuals interested in moving to that location. Once serious interest has been expressed, Lane says he plans to install a new building. In the meantime, Lane has agreed to allow the Sullivan Fire Department to store building materials on the lot while they undergo an addition to their fire house, which is expected to be completed mid to late summer.

Photo by RR Best
An Eyesore No More
What was the former Sullivan Area Chamber of Commerce Building at 112 S. Hamilton was demolished last week. The building had sat empty for several years after serving as the home of several businesses and organizations including Habitat for Humanity. Dustin Lane of Sullivan bought the lot approximately six months ago with the intention of demolishing the building. Now with it gone, Lane says he is looking for businesses or individuals interested in moving to that location. Once serious interest has been expressed, Lane says he plans to install a new building. In the meantime, Lane has agreed to allow the Sullivan Fire Department to store building materials on the lot while they undergo an addition to their fire house, which is expected to be completed mid to late summer.

Education Foundation Awards Over $50,000 in Grants at Annual Dinner

More than 230 years commitment to district also honored

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In the 20 years that the Sullivan Community Education Foundation has been awarding grant money to local organizations and groups, this year saw close to, if not the largest, payout.

A total of $56,226.85 was awarded at last Thursday’s teacher appreciation dinner to various groups for education related projects. Of that amount, more than $10,000 were donated.

“The approximate $10,000 of donations were toward specific grant areas per the donors,” explained SCEF treasurer and former Sullivan superintendent Terry Pearcy. “The SCEF does receive other donations and memorials in order to give grants annually.  In addition, the SCEF has fundraising projects such as an annual ‘Technology Raffle’ that raises funds through sponsorship and ticket sales prior to the prize drawing which occurs at the SHS homecoming football game.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are this year’s Sullivan school district employees who were honored at last Thursday’s teacher appreciation dinner for their longstanding careers in Sullivan. Pictured from left to right are Becky Lawson, Anne McGhghy, Janet McFarland, Clarice Singer, Leslie Auten, Sara Boyer, Christine Grohler, Karen Harpster, and Don Typer. Not pictured are Chris Sides and Elaine Daniels.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are this year’s Sullivan school district employees who were honored at last Thursday’s teacher appreciation dinner for their longstanding careers in Sullivan. Pictured from left to right are Becky Lawson, Anne McGhghy, Janet McFarland, Clarice Singer, Leslie Auten, Sara Boyer, Christine Grohler, Karen Harpster, and Don Typer. Not pictured are Chris Sides and Elaine Daniels.

Read More

Arthur-Lovington Mulls Over Concealed Carry’s Effects on Policy

Decision to ban firearms on all school property up in the air

by Ariana Cherry
& Keith Stewart
Reporting in Arthur

Thoughtful silence filled the room for a few moments during a discussion regarding Policy 8:30 during last Wednesday’s Arthur-Lovington school board meeting.

According to the present handbook, Policy 8:30 states “Arthur-Lovington District 305 has established a policy that prohibits guns, ammunition, knives and any other weapons from school property.” Although, with the Concealed Carry Law, that could change.

The Concealed Carry Law reads, “The new law generally allows license holders to carry concealed firearms in areas of the state not designated as prohibited areas. Those prohibited areas include buildings or portions of buildings under the control of local governments such as schools, public libraries, court buildings, parks, playgrounds, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation, etc…” Read More

Betsy England

Photo by Keith Stewart Betsy England Moultrie County Clerk Georgia England (right) stands dressed in patriotic wear as Betsy Ross at Faith Lutheran Church in Sullivan during Tuesday’s elections. To her right (left), stands election judge Sharon White, who made the dress in a week using 10 yards of material.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Betsy England
Moultrie County Clerk Georgia England (right) stands dressed in patriotic wear as Betsy Ross at Faith Lutheran Church in Sullivan during Tuesday’s elections. To her right (left), stands election judge Sharon White, who made the dress in a week using 10 yards of material.

Garbage Collection Contract Issue a Wrap for Council

Advanced Disposal cancels attendance at city council meeting

by Joash Tiarks
Reporting in Sullivan

After passing an ordinance last month limiting garbage contracts to no more than one year, the Sullivan city council was told that a representative from Advanced Disposal–an area garbage collection service provider–would attend last week’s meeting.

But a local residential representative with Advanced Disposal, instead, called the city prior to last week’s meeting inquiring about the ordinance.

According to the council, Ed Worker, the representative, was read the ordinance over the phone by city clerk Monte Johnson, after which Worker explained that there would no longer be a need for someone to attend on behalf of AD. Worker assured Johnson that the call meant nothing more than their desire “to be legal.” Read More

Check Donation

Photo by Keith Stewart Check Donation Sullivan girls’ basketball coach Sheri McCain was presented with a $120 check by Roger Bragg of E.K. Petroleum at last Thursday’s awards banquet. During the season, the company pledged $1 for every three pointer the team made. McCain was also recently named the IBCA Coach of the Year for the region and will be presented with her award in April.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Check
Donation
Sullivan girls’ basketball coach Sheri McCain was presented with a $360 check by Roger Bragg of E.K. Petroleum at last Thursday’s awards banquet. During the season, the company pledged $3 for every three pointer the team made. McCain was also recently named the IBCA Coach of the Year for the region and will be presented with her award in April.

Legion in Need of Funds for Fourth of July Fireworks

Fireworks fundraiser underway

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

When Mike Keown and his family moved to Sullivan in 1958, the only thing more memorable than Richard Nixon’s visit to Wyman Park was the fireworks display that the local American Legion had routinely sponsored.

“They were spectacular,” said Keown. “The night sky was just lit up. Even though we lived right by the park, we all took a blanket and went to Wyman Lake.”

But now, the certainty as to whether Sullivan will continue to have its annual display is up in the air, or perhaps, not quite yet.

“The Legion has always paid the cost of the fireworks as long as I can remember,” said Keown. “But right now, we can’t do that. We don’t have the money to pay it.” Read More

Eagle Creek Contract Terminated by BMDD

Photo by Keith Stewart Eagle Creek Resort’s fate is once again up in the air after BMDD Resorts, the vendor who was awarded the bid to renovate the resort in 2010, officially packed up earlier this week and walked away from the project after what they cite as a frustrating relationship with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Eagle Creek Resort’s fate is once again up in the air after BMDD Resorts, the vendor who was awarded the bid to renovate the resort in 2010, officially packed up earlier this week and walked away from the project after what they cite as a frustrating relationship with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Agreement to effectively dissolve March 15

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

The vendor that IDNR chose in 2010 to renovate and ultimately reopen Eagle Creek Resort has issued the state agency a notice of termination effective later this week.

The contract that BMDD Resorts and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources entered into in July 2010 will be terminated effective March 15, according to Dennis Ballinger, CEO of BMDD Resorts out of Decatur.

“We’ve tried not to make this a public issue, but finally, it had to,” said Ballinger in a phone interview Tuesday evening. Read More