Two Vehicle Wreck Sat. Near Howie’s

No serious injuries reported

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A wreck occurred Saturday night after a vehicle entered route 32 and collided with an oncoming car south of Sullivan.
According to Moultrie County Sheriff Chris Sims, a 17-year old was heading east on county road 800N at approximately 9:15 p.m. Saturday and proceeded onto route 32 on which a vehicle operated by Jessica Todd was traveling southbound. Read More

Amended ALAH Budget $1.4 Million Off From Tentative

Nearly $500,000 in cuts not helping

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This month’s regular Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond board meeting revealed that the tentative budget approved last fall, was nearly $1.5 million off from current estimates. In the next breath, superintendent Kenny Schwengel informed the board that the school district along with every other in the state, would not be receiving their final two mandated categorical grants from the state. That coupled with the Governor’s 2.15 percent cut to K-12 aid means ALAH will not receive approximately $464,000 for this fiscal year–money that last fall they were told they would receive. Read More

Bethany Approves TIF Loan for Hired Hand and Echoes

Village grants $48,000 five-year loan

April 29, 2015

by Derek Pope
Bethany Reporter

Earlier this month, village officials voted to approve another round of TIF funding to renovate the noted but aging buildings on East Main Street. This time however, funding will be aimed at improving two of the easternmost buildings on the block, which house some of the village’s newest businesses—the Hired Hand Winery and Saloon and Echoes Studio.
In a 4-2 vote, members of the village board approved an agreement with the establishments’ ownership, granting a $48,000 five-year forgivable loan. The two dissenting votes came from council members John Book and Jeannie Ruppert. Read More

Sullivan Police Receiving Reports of Fraudulent Tax Income Returns

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A few local federal tax income filers have discovered their identities stolen after they tried to file but were told they already had.
According to Sullivan police chief John Love, his department recently received just over a handful of calls from local citizens who discovered that someone else had fraudulently filed their federal return.
John Vander Burgh, CPA and owner of Vander Burgh Financial Service LLC in Bethany says such rejections from the IRS for filings are for one of two reasons–the preparer has incorrectly input the social security number by accident or, more seriously, someone else has fraudulently filed their form as a result of identity theft. Read More

Yost’s Trial Moved Up to June

State’s attorney requests speedy trial

April 22, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A Sullivan man accused of murdering a woman in March was back in court Monday for a brief hearing regarding a request for a speedy trial.
Michael S. Yost of Sullivan appeared before the Hon. Judge Dan Flannell Monday afternoon after state’s attorney Jeremy Richey filed a motion for a special jury term or, in other words, a speedy trial. The motion was largely a formality since both state and federal law entitles individuals to a speedy trial.
Richey’s motion was granted, and as a result, Yost’s original trial setting commencement date of August 3 was essentially thrown out in exchange for 9 a.m. June 15. Read More

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Photo by Jeni Yantis The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Okaw Valley High School drama club will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. April 24 & 25 in the OVHS gym.  The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam County. Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. For this quirky group of outsiders, a spelling bee is the one place they can fit in and stand out at the same time. Cast members include seniors Olivia King, Maureen Blakey and Kali Forsyth, juniors Gretchen Macklin, Charli Uhlrich and Nick Tipsword, sophomores Brianna Creviston, Sydney Hagerman and Madison Uhlrich and freshman Hannah Landreth. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Okaw Valley High School at 665-3631.

Photo by Jeni Yantis
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Okaw Valley High School drama club will present the musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. April 24 & 25 in the OVHS gym. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam County. Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. For this quirky group of outsiders, a spelling bee is the one place they can fit in and stand out at the same time. Cast members include seniors Olivia King, Maureen Blakey and Kali Forsyth, juniors Gretchen Macklin, Charli Uhlrich and Nick Tipsword, sophomores Brianna Creviston, Sydney Hagerman and Madison Uhlrich and freshman Hannah Landreth.
Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Okaw Valley High School at 665-3631.

Dirks Presented Award for Heroism

Photo by RR Best Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks (left) holds a merit award presented to her at last week’s city council meeting by Mayor Ann Short (right) for her heroic handling of an emergency phone call in March that was pertaining to what was shortly after found to be a homicide.

Council also discusses creating possible fourth TIF district

April 22, 2015
by Ariana Cherry
Arthur/Sullivan Reporter

Sullivan mayor Ann Short and the city council presented Sullivan police office manager Janet Dirks an award at their regular meeting earlier this month for her heroic handling of a homicide call on Wednesday, March 11.
Many members of the Sullivan police force and chief John Love were present as Dirks accepted her award.
“Our entire police department did a great job that day,” said police chief John Love. “Janet was a lifeline. We are fortunate to have her.”
Two guests, TIF consultants Steve Kline and Gwen Crawford, presented reports about the current TIF districts and information about the possibility of forming another TIF district, the area of which includes the former Jackson Chevrolet building. Read More

Lovington Park Ordinances See Several Deletions in Effort to Tidy Up Codes

Move comes amidst effort to update across the board

April 22, 2015

by Florence Hallford
Lovington Reporter

The Lovington Village Board has been updating ordinances that govern Lovington for several months now, and the next to fall in line recently was the park code– just in time for all of the enjoyable outdoor activities.
In general, the changes deal with deleting certain sections from the code, essentially lifting bans on things such as riding bicycles in the park and throwing propelled objects including balls. The actual deletions are as follows and were effective as of April 6, 2015:
Under Operations of Vehicles within the park (12-1-5), the following has been deleted: Read More

Sullivan Chiefs Inducted into Hall of Fame

Short-lived softball team recognized for big impact

April 15, 2015

 
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

This past Saturday night may have been organized to recognize efforts and performances deserving of hall of fame status, but for the men and women involved, it was about recalling the smell of fresh cut grass, playing double-headers four times a week, and playing fast pitch softball on the Fourth of July.
The Sullivan Chiefs, one of five teams inducted into the Amateur Softball Association 11th annual Hall of Fame held at the Decatur Convention Center and Hotel Saturday evening, may have been last, but they certainly were not the least deserving.
“The Sullivan Chiefs didn’t play a lot of years, but they did win the state championship in 1970 with a truly outstanding bunch of players,” said presenter Joe Snedeker. “Our teams played against them many times, and they could hit, and they could run, and they could do it all.”
Before winning the state tournament in 1970, the Chiefs began as a 4H club that slowly evolved over the next few years.
There was, according to Moultrie County News archives, a Sullivan Merchants softball team that played throughout the 30s but disbanded in 1964. The next year, at just 19 years old, Larry Morrison decided to keep Sullivan’s fastpich softball alive by seeking a sponsor from Ed Dunphy.
“Believe it or not, we started out as the Sunnyside Fleaflickers 4H club,” recalled Morrison, who played first base for the team, including the state championship team. “My dad got sick after my freshman year of college so I came home, and we still wanted to play ball, but we couldn’t play 4H anymore, so we talked to Ed Dunphy, and he sponsored when we started.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are individuals who either played for the Sullivan Chiefs or a team just prior to their formation in 1970 who were present at this past Saturday’s hall of fame induction in Decatur. Back row, left to right: Carl Fieldbinder, Harold Martin, Barry Freeman, manager Ron (Sox) Sutton, Mark Wascher, Danny Green, Jerry Lane, and “Iron” Mike Shelton. Front row: Gary Yoder, Dean Mitchell, Larry Morrison, Richard Maxedon, Charlie Bland, Mike Orris, and Terry Phillips (team announcer and son of the late Joe Phillips). Not pictured is Buster Chumbley.

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