Mattoon Boy Drowns at Sullivan Marina Pool Saturday

August 27, 2014

Boy, 8, found in deep end

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An 8-year-old boy drowned Saturday while swimming in the Sullivan Marina Pool.

Reginald Fulton III of Mattoon was pronounced deceased at 7:52 p.m. at Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital according to Coles County coroner Ed Schniers. 

A report by the Moultrie County Sheriff’s Department states that its office and the Sullivan Fire Department were dispatched to the Sullivan Marina swimming pool at 6:58 p.m. in reference to an unresponsive 8-year-old. According to witness statements, Fulton was seen swimming in the shallow end of the pool before then going into the deep end. Witnesses further added hearing Fulton say, “Look at me, I am in the deep end.” Read More

Civic Center Floods After Water Heaters Misfire Sunday Morning

August 27, 2014

For now, only cold water available for showers

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

Early Sunday morning the Civic Center was flooded when one of the two 90 gallon water heaters misfired, causing steam. This in turn caused a solder joint in the 1-1/4 pipe to come loose and flood the floor in the gym and surrounding area. It is thought that, when discovered, water had been running out for between two to three hours. There were about 16 inches of water collected when the leak was discovered. Civic Center staff and volunteers worked until late Sunday pumping and squeegeeing the water. “Needless to say Ron (Jenkins) will not have to clean the floors for a few days” noted commissioner Mike Mossman.

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Red Apple Fire Ruled Accidental

Photo by Keith Stewart The south side of the Red Apple Family Restaurant in Sullivan is seen torn wide open after the state fire marshal conducted an investigation into the cause of the July 29 fire, which was concluded last week as accidental and indicating that grease was in fact a potential cause.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The south side of the Red Apple Family Restaurant in Sullivan is seen torn wide open after the state fire marshal conducted an investigation into the cause of the July 29 fire, which was concluded last week as accidental and indicating that grease was in fact a potential cause.

August 20, 2014

Grease the likely culprit in cause

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An investigation into the fire that ravaged the Sullivan Red Apple Family Restaurant in late July concluded last Wednesday citing the cause as accidental and with grease a probable suspect according to Sullivan fire chief Mike Piper.

The investigation also concluded that the cause did not appear to be linked to anything electrical. 

“It was the hood vent,” explained Red Apple manager Tim Halili. “The grease collects in the vent hood, and it the fire started in the kitchen.” Read More

Despite Plea, ALAH School Board Continues with Demolition of Atwood-Hammond Gym

August 20, 2014

Board cites Illinois school code in denial

by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Lovington Reporter

With 48 hours to go before demolition, 1966 Atwood High School graduate, Richard Price, who purchased the land on which the Atwood-Hammond High School sits, made a plea to the ALAH School Board to reconsider the decision to tear down the gym.

“The building has a lot of use in it still,” he noted. “I could save it and use it and return some of the money to the school district for not tearing it down,” Price explained. “I do have the money to take care of it. I was even approached with the possibility of making it a community center,” he further added.  Read More

Rauner in Sullivan

Photo by RR Best Rauner in Sullivan Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner stopped in Moultrie County Sunday evening, just one of 38 counties on his Shake Up Express Bus Tour that began Friday, August 15 and was expected to conclude Wednesday,  August 20.

Photo by RR Best
Rauner in Sullivan
Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner stopped in Moultrie County Sunday evening, just one of 38 counties on his Shake Up Express Bus Tour that began Friday, August 15 and was expected to conclude Wednesday, August 20.

County Audit Report Shows Good Standing, but Caution in Future

August 20, 2014

Revenues slide while expenditures rise

by Barry Featheringill
Sullivan Reporter

At the monthly Moultrie County board meeting the board heard a report from West & Company regarding the annual audit for the financial year 2013.

“The purpose of the audit is to render an independent opinion as to whether or not the financial statements made by the county are reasonably stated,” explained Jim Russell of West & Company. Russell went on to highlight where the county is in relation to the previous year, citing revenues in 2012 were $7.3 million while in 2013 they fell $7.2 million. Investments in 2012 came to $5.3 million and improved to $6 million in 2013. Expenditures, meanwhile, for 2012 amounted to $6.3 million and increased to $6.6 million in 2013 mostly due to increases in health insurance.  Read More

First Day Back

Photo by Keith Stewart First Day Back Sullivan Elementary School fourth graders Kylee Ragsdale (left) and Hannah Chance (right) exit the gym on their way to class last Thursday, marking the beginning of the school year for Sullivan.

Photo by Keith Stewart
First Day Back
Sullivan Elementary School fourth graders Kylee Ragsdale (left) and Hannah Chance (right) exit the gym on their way to class last Thursday, marking the beginning of the school year for Sullivan.

Cold Air Funnel Cloud

Photo by Keith Stewart Cold Air Funnel Cloud A long thin cold air funnel cloud is seen just southeast of Sullivan last Thursday afternoon. There were several sightings in the area occuring along a weak frontal boundary according to the US National Weather Service.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Cold Air Funnel Cloud
A long thin cold air funnel cloud is seen just southeast of Sullivan last Thursday afternoon. There were several sightings in the area occuring along a weak frontal boundary according to the US National Weather Service.

Teacher Union Negotiations Near Completion

Special meeting to finalize talks this Friday

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Superintendent Brad Tuttle informed the Sullivan school board Monday evening that negotiations with the local teachers’ union, Sullivan Education Association, are wrapping up and are expected to be finalized during a special meeting Friday morning.

The negotiations, which began May 14, are expected to be discussed and finalized among the union during a meeting Wednesday. The contract then looks to be formally adopted at Friday’s special board meeting at 7:30 a.m.  Read More

Over 2,000 Traffic Signs to be Replaced in Moultrie

Photo by Keith Stewart The new style of rural reference and street name signs, as seen at the intersection of Rt. 32 and the entrance to Bo Wood, includes mixed case as opposed to the now outdated all uppercase lettering.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The new style of rural reference and street name signs, as seen at the intersection of Rt. 32 and the entrance to Bo Wood, includes mixed case as opposed to the now outdated all uppercase lettering.

August 13, 2014

2009 rules and routine wear prompt replacement

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

With routine replacement of traffic signs and regulations from 2009 dictating new retroreflectivity levels and upper and lower case street signs, Moultrie County is preparing to replace more than 2,000 regulatory, warning, and post mounted guide signs beginning this fall, not to mention 2,755 rural reference/street signs as needed.

At the monthly road and bridge committee meeting last Tuesday, it was announced that bids for the purchase of the 2,015 regulatory signs would open August 22.

According to county engineer Jeffrey Birch, the sign upgrade project comes with a program cost of $185,000, though a figure that is strictly for budgeting purposes. While there is an estimated cost for the project, which is typically lower than the program cost, Birch says that in order to have potential bidders bid “blind”, that estimate would need to be withheld.

“The program cost is a ‘best guess’ established by the agency at the time of preparing the annual budget and is a very rough ballpark figure,” explained Birch in a separate interview. “The estimate of cost is prepared  after the specifics to any contract have been determined.  The estimate of cost is a much more refined number.  Both numbers were prepared by the County Highway Department.” Read More