February 11, 2015
No Jobs Left Behind group helps get gears going at OVHS
by Derek Pope
While the school year is heading into its final stretch for many area educators, administrators over at Okaw Valley have decided that it is not too late to reinvent how they teach nontraditional skills to students.
In January, Okaw Valley’s administration released details on their participation in a new initiative aimed at reviving manufacturing in east central Illinois that, at the same time, promises to revitalize how individuals become proficient in trades before entering the workforce. The initiative, being called the Student Learner Program, places students with novice level experience in specific trades, gained through their time at Okaw Valley, into paid internships at local businesses that encompass the trade in which they are interested. Read More
February 11, 2015
by Florence Hallford
Last month, Valsalon owner Valerie Brumfield approached the Lovington Village Board about acquiring a permit to place a building on a residential property.
“It’s getting expensive to do hair uptown using the storefront,” Brumfield said.
She presented her information, including specs on the building and letters of approval from her neighbors, to the board for approval. Zoning board member Mike Castelli was present to give the zoning board’s approval and answer questions relating to the permit Brumfield was seeking.
Under Zoning Ordinance 40-10-55, Castelli recommended approval for a nonconforming permit, which would allow Brumfield to erect a building to operate as a salon on a part-time basis. Other requirements include removing the building if the business closes or moves and seeking a different permit if the salon decides to begin operating on a full-time basis. Brumfield also cannot advertise on the property and can have an ‘open’ sign as long as it is not lit.
Before approval a week ago Monday, village board members expressed concern. Read More
February 11, 2015
Total of 32 years, Calandrilla, Florey, to leave
by Keith Stewart
At their first regular board meeting of the year last month, the Sullivan school district hired two in-house staff members to replace outgoing principals following the completion of this school year.
Sullivan middle school principal Jerry Calandrilla tendered his resignation at last October’s meeting whereas Sullivan elementary school principal Rita Florey announced her retirement at last July’s board meeting.
Last month the board approved the hiring of Dan Allen and Ted Walk, both Sullivan school district staffers, to replace Florey and Calandrilla, respectively.
Allen has been a high school teacher at Sullivan for 14 years and has served as student council sponsor, scholastic bowl coach, and middle school basketball coach. He was hired after a group of candidates was narrowed to eight and then interviewed.
“I’m really looking forward to this new atmosphere and working with the staff,” said Allen. “One of the biggest reasons my family and I stayed in Sullivan is the staff at all three buildings. I’m confident we’ll give our children a great education, and I’m very excited about working with the elementary teachers. Read More
February 4, 2015
Council Asked to Zone Travel Trailer Area Tuscola’s Cronus plant construction seen as local economic opportunity
by Ariana Cherry
Stepheny McMahon, director of the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development, addressed the Sullivan City Council in their last regular meeting about the possibility of zoning for a travel trailer area in preparation for the Cronus Plant (Tuscola) construction workers who will be coming to work in September.
McMahon questioned whether the mobile home parks would be interested in allowing campers and fifth wheels to come fill their empty spots.
“I spoke with the regional manager of the trailer parks, and she was interested, whether it be temporary or permanent, if the city would allow it,” said McMahon. Read More