Car Goes Off Deep End New Year’s Eve

Photo by RR Best Moultrie County dive team members Jesse Scribner, Rob Martz and Amanda Farley secure equipment before diving down to hook the submerged car from the drink.

Photo by RR Best
Moultrie County dive team members Jesse Scribner, Rob Martz and Amanda Farley secure equipment before diving down to hook the submerged car from the drink.

Area Agencies offer assistance

•January 6, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Moultrie County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 6 a.m. call New Year’s Eve to a car submerged in water off Joe Pound Road east of Sullivan.

Chief Deputy Gary Carroll said when they arrived at the scene by 6:20 the Dodge Magnum was about 80 yards from dry land and another 35 yards off the roadway.

“When we arrived the car was under water and there was no sign of a driver,” Carroll said, explaining they had concerns for the safety of the driver.

That’s when Sullivan Fire Department and the Moultrie County dive team joined Moultrie County deputies at the scene.

Department of Natural Resources and the Shelby County dive team also responded as backup.  Read More

Sullivan Moves to Sell Dilapidated Property

•January 6, 2016•

Sullivan City Council met December 28 agreeing to sell dilapidated property on Graham Street, while discovering the bid process needs some work.

Mayor Ann Short explained the original $3000 bid from Nick Grooms was made public before the city attorney advised the council to rebid the sale of the property.

Grooms had submitted his original bid of $3000, which included a provision the property would have to be cleaned up within 60 days.

Greg Yoder also submitted a bid for $6300 during the new round of bidding, causing the council to weigh the bid process results with doing the right thing.

“Since Mr. Groom’s bid had been made public, we felt the only fair thing to do was to honor that original offer,” Short explained of the unanimous vote to let Grooms have the lot for $3000.

Yoder operates a demolition company and said he planned to remove the dilapidated house and probably build a duplex there.

“I was a little ticked off when I first heard what happened, but I understand the situation,” Yoder said. Read More

Sullivan Council Upgrades Radios, Secret Santa Lauded

•December 30, 2015•

By Nick Fiala
For the News Progress

The December 14 Sullivan City Council meeting covered multiple points of financial and personal importance to the community at large.

After reviewing the city’s bills, members asked about a notable expense of nearly $15,000.

“$14,900 (is being paid) for a used 2003 Ford F350 1-ton dump truck,” said Justin Farris of the water and sewer department.

Though this cleared up the need for the funds, it also led finance and accounts commissioner Mike Mossman to inquire as to why he did not know other departments were looking for a used vehicle.

“I sure would like to know upfront what we’re going to spend,” he said, “in case somebody comes up to me on the street and says ‘Well, why’d you do this?’ There’s a lot of things going on. Departments are hiring people. We’re spending money above and beyond the bid amount, and I’m sitting here, and I don’t know anything about this. I think that we need to step back and start communicating. I would just like to be informed about what’s going on.”

After Mossman had made his case, he seconded a motion to pay the bills. Read More

Bethany for the Holidays

Photo by RR Best Bethany for the Holidays It was time for the holiday season celebration in Bethany with the streets lined with craftsmen such as Mark Seely who helped busy Bethany shoppers with their holiday gift decisions.

Photo by RR Best
Bethany for the Holidays
It was time for the holiday season celebration in Bethany with the streets lined with craftsmen such as Mark Seely who helped busy Bethany shoppers with their holiday gift decisions.

Wind Flips Tractor-trailer on Cadwell Road

Photo courtesy Moultrie County Sheriff’s Dept. As the wind and rain picked up around noon Wednesday, Dec. 23 trucker Floyd Jones of Cowden was traveling on Cadwell Road near Jonathan Creek.  According to chief deputy Gary Carroll, Jones said he noticed a funnel cloud filled with dust, mud and debris coming toward him in the middle of the road.  Jones told the deputy that he hit his brakes, and the next thing he knew the tractor-trailer he was driving was on its side in the road. Jones was able to climb out the passenger side of the truck uninjured. Carroll also noted that at about the same time as the high wind incident that turned Jones’ truck over, a power pole snapped in Cadwell causing a power outage and traffic delays.

Photo courtesy Moultrie County Sheriff’s Dept. As the wind and rain picked up around noon Wednesday, Dec. 23 trucker Floyd Jones of Cowden was traveling on Cadwell Road near Jonathan Creek.
According to chief deputy Gary Carroll, Jones said he noticed a funnel cloud filled with dust, mud and debris coming toward him in the middle of the road.
Jones told the deputy that he hit his brakes, and the next thing he knew the tractor-trailer he was driving was on its side in the road. Jones was able to climb out the passenger side of the truck uninjured. Carroll also noted that at about the same time as the high wind incident that turned Jones’ truck over, a power pole snapped in Cadwell causing a power outage and traffic delays.

Culvert Upheaval in Sullivan

Photo by Mike Brothers Culvert Upheaval in Sullivan During the heavy rains in and around Sullivan a culvert on Patterson Street failed, taking half the street with it. Chief of Police John Love noted that the road is closed until repairs can be made to the culvert and street, and residents should seek alternative routes.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Culvert Upheaval in Sullivan
During the heavy rains in and around Sullivan a culvert on Patterson Street failed, taking half the street with it. Chief of Police John Love noted that the road is closed until repairs can be made to the culvert and street, and residents should seek alternative routes.

Lovington Church Gets Another Chance

Photo by Nick Fiala Pastor Jill Walker examines one of the original paintings left behind when the structure was built as the Catholic Church in Lovington which remained open from 1915 until the late 1980s.

Photo by Nick Fiala
Pastor Jill Walker examines one of the original paintings left behind when the structure was built as the Catholic Church in Lovington which remained open from 1915 until the late 1980s.

Pastor Sparks Reconstruction

•December 30, 2015•

By Nick Fiala
For the News Progress

With God, all things are possible. It is not only a Bible verse but the driving force behind efforts to restore a century old Lovington church.

A preservation and remodeling project is taking place at the Revival Church building in Lovington. It is spearheaded by Pastor Jill Walker, former volunteer senior pastor of the Revival Church of Lovington and Mattoon and the head of Jill Walker Ministries.

JWM repurchased the building in mid-October.

Constructed in 1915, the church was first used for worship by the Catholic Church until the late 1980s.

JWM had originally purchased the building from the Catholic Diocese in 1989. Pastor Walker preached there until May of 2010.

JWM gave away the building to a major denomination with everything in it as a gift. But last September, Pastor Walker became determined to get the building back when she found out it had been sold to a third party who planned to use it for something other than ministry.

Despite originally turning down the first offer to sell the building back, the owner reconsidered only eight days later and accepted, allowing Pastor Walker and her ministry to begin remodeling and preserving the century-old church.  Read More

Moultrie County Toys for Tots Collects for Those in Need

•December 30, 2015•

By Mike Brothers

People, get ready the train’s a comin’, you don’t need no ticket, ya just get on board”.

Not just a lyric from a popular song , but it was a call to collect for the Toys are Tots train in this area.

That train brought Toys for Tots back to Moultrie County where they  collected 360 toys in Sullivan, Bethany and Lovington.

Moultrie County Toys for Tots coordinator Ric Kenney said in this return year for the U.S. Marine Corp based program 179 children in Moultrie County received toys or books from the program.

One way people were able to help without buying toys was to purchase a train at participating locations for $1.00. Names go on the trains which were displayed at the Toys for Tots business location.

Drop boxes at the Sullivan IGA, First National Bank of Sullivan, First Mid Illinois State Bank & Trust and Scott State Bank generated the bulk of toys collected.

Kenney noted Christmas week they were still picking up toys which they were still delivering on Christmas Day.

“When I took the final box check at IGA in Sullivan, people were still dropping off toys (December 22),” Kenney said.

He explained that monetary collections went for the purchase of new toys and books.  Read More