Scholastic Bowl Conference Champions

Photo furnished
Scholastic Bowl Conference Champions
The Sullivan High School scholastic bowl team won the Central Illinois Conference last weekend. From Left to right: Ben Richter (coach) Katie Webb, Trevor Elder, Lindsay Jones, Spencer Johnson, Grace Mauck, Brendan Rau, Luke DeLong, Justuss Ramsey, Parker Whitaker, and Atticus Harris. They competed Jan. 7 in five matches and finished 5-0 winning the conference tournament and finishing the conference season with a 19-0 record. Leaders on the day were Grace Mauck who had 18 toss ups, Luke DeLong with 15, Trevor Elder six and Spencer Johnson two. The last three games were very close against St. Teresa, Central A&M, and Meridian. The team kept their cool and got some key toss-ups to remain in the lead. DeLong was recognized for most toss-ups for the season (All Conference first place) with 56. Mauck was All-Conference second place with 51 on the season.

Gold Slips for SES

Photo furnished
Gold Slips for SES
The Sullivan Elementary School SES Gold Slip winners for the months of November and December are (from left to right): Mitchell Hooten, Rhett Lehman (standing), Roman Miller, Ava Eckert, Luke Waelde, Abagail Dean, Mae Dawkins, Lillian Moxley, and Aiden Burgess. Not pictured are Kolton Wiley and Malaysia Haywood. Gold slips are awarded to students who go above and beyond expectations inside and outside the classroom. During recess, while things were hectic, Rhett Lehman stopped in the middle of his game to help a student pick up her math fact cards that had fallen all over the area. Roman Miller was putting forth his best effort in the classroom. Luke Waelde is a leader in the classroom and sets an example around the school by following expectations and being respectful at all times. Aiden Burgess, Abagail Dean, Lillian Moxley, Kolton Wiley, Mitchell Hooten, Mae Dawkins, Malaysia Haywood, and Ava Eckert all helped clean up the cafeteria after second and third grade lunch all of first semester.

Bethany Library Displays Yearbook Collection

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Librarian Sally Ascenzo next to class picture file of the first Bethany High School class of 1889

•January 4, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

When I was growing up in Bethany, the library was a dingy, musky storefront in a block of buildings that isn’t even there anymore. Imagine this librarian’s surprise when I entered the new Marrowbone Public Library with its bank of computers, community room and comfy chairs for casual reading. What a joy to find such a library in a small community such as Bethany.

The head librarian, Sally Ascenzo, ushered me into a side room, and there on a large stand was a collection of all the high school senior class pictures from the first class in 1889 to 1993. The class pictures forward are in a scrapbook nearby.

This collection was originally housed in storage in the high school and was beginning to deteriorate badly.

It was also unavailable to the public. Glenn Austin, Jim McLaughlin and Virginia Weakly rescued the collection and lovingly restored it before giving it to the library for permanent display Ascenzo told me. “There are some pictures in the scrapbook with unidentified students, and we are hopeful that someone will come in and help us identify these classmates,” she said. Word on the street is that every time Glenn Austin comes in, he flips the pictures to his class and leaves it there. I flipped it to my class. Read More

Prairie Winds Perform

Photo by Mike Brothers
Prairie Winds Perform
Prairie Winds musical ensemble opened its performance season at Mason Point in 2016. Pictured front: Debbie Seelhoefer, Donna Arendell, Barb Sampson, Kathy Camp, Shirley Rogers; second row: Nancy Craig, Lori Harbaugh, Patti Patient, Patty Bailey, Marlene Wirth, Marilyn Rogers, Vicki Osman; third row: Scot Light, Mike Lane, Victor Landers, Dave Horsman, Denny Hutchings, Don Rogers, Bob Vail.

New City Offices, Council Moves Meetings

•January 4, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

Sullivan City Council meetings are moving to the Elizabeth Titus Library and new offices are replacing the city council chambers at city hall.

Discussions explored renovating the first and second floors with the council  settling on first floor office space.

A quote from Standerfer Bros. Gen. Contractors of Sullivan to renovate the present council room into two offices was solicited. Standerfer Bros bid includes installing new walls, floors, adding two new doors and repair the ceiling.

The quote to convert the council chambers into two offices was $9,547.

The cost of new flooring and new trim will be an additional $9,820.00.  Read More

Family Tradition Reflects Giving Season

Photo by Mike Brothers Bicycle Gifts for Lovington Kids: Two bicycles were given to two Lovington elementary students Dec. 21. One boy and one girl student were selected randomly from all students enrolled. Pictured above: Winner Layna Kapp, Amanda Scroggins with son Lincoln in front, Joc French with daughter Kenzie Frye in front, winner Hunter Carnahan, and Sebastian Eckart (back). The French family has presented gift bicycles for more than 25 years, a tradition begun by Joc’s parents Mark and Tammy French.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Bicycle Gifts for Lovington Kids: Two bicycles were given to two Lovington elementary students Dec. 21. One boy and one girl student were selected randomly from all students enrolled. Pictured above: Winner Layna Kapp, Amanda Scroggins with son Lincoln in front, Joc French with daughter Kenzie Frye in front, winner Hunter Carnahan, and Sebastian Eckart (back). The French family has presented gift bicycles for more than 25 years, a tradition begun by Joc’s parents Mark and Tammy French.

•December 28, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

“Our parents have always made sure we knew the real meaning of Christmas, and I am glad my brother carries on the tradition,” Amanda Scroggins.

The spirit of Christmas giving lives on with the French family, as they gave two bicycles to Lovington elementary students for Christmas.

Joc French is a Lovington alumnus who continues a tradition started by his parents more than 25 years ago. On Wednesday, Dec. 21 the French family tradition continued at the school he once attended.

“When this started, it was meant to help make sure every child has gifts on Christmas just as his children did,” Joc said of parents Mark and Tammy French, who desired to share the season of giving.

“I will continue this tradition as long as our good Lord Jesus Christ will allow.”

All the students from Lovington Elementary School were placed in a container with one boy’s name and one girl’s name chosen.

Seventh graders Layna Kapp and sixth grader Hunter Carnahan were 2016 winners of the two bicycles. Read More

Mentors Put A Little Love In The Hearts Of SES Students

Photo by Ellen Ferrera A Little Time is all it Takes SES Mentoring Program Poppy Graham (l) and mentor, Janet Pasley.

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
A Little Time is all it Takes
SES Mentoring Program Poppy Graham (l) and mentor, Janet Pasley.

Extending A Helping Hand

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

My assignment today is to interview Poppy Graham, social worker with Sullivan Elementary School. As she ushers me into her tiny office I notice that her door is covered with children’s drawings-almost all of them expressing love for Mrs. Graham.

Don’t we all remember the first teacher with whom we fell in love?

She offers me a seat and affectionately begins to describe her mentoring program which has 24 children in grades K through 5.

“These are children who need extra love, support both emotionally and academically, and someone to help facilitate their personal growth,” Graham said. “They are identified by either me or their teacher, and we then ask permission from the parents to pair them with a mentor.”

The program was actually begun by two other teachers, and Graham has been with it for six years.

The mentors are usually retired teachers or other people in the community who meet once a week with their wards during PE or music classes so they don’t miss regular classroom work.  Read More

New C.E.F.S. Transportation Director for Area Public Transit

Susan Love

Susan Love

•December 28, 2016•

C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation announced the hiring of Susan Love of Mattoon as the Central Illinois Public Transit (CIPT) Program Director. As CIPT Director Love will serve as a key member of the agency’s management team and will be responsible for the day-to-day leadership and operation of the C.E.F.S. Central Illinois Public Transit and Effingham County Public Transportation Programs. Love will ensure effective program accountability, oversight, leadership, and performance outcomes of the transit operations with funders, grant recipients, partners, local communities and most importantly with the riders.

Love had previously been employed at Camp New Hope in Mattoon as the executive director responsible for day to day oversight and leadership of the not for profit agency. Prior to that position she was employed by Addus Healthcare in Charleston as the agency director responsible for leadership, program development, oversight and management of staff. Prior to that position, Love was employed at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Systems in Mattoon as a clinical applications specialist. Love obtained her Bachelor of Science degree at Millikin University in Management and Organizational Leadership and her master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University in technology with an emphasis on training and development. Read More

A Holiday Beacon Still Shines Outside Sullivan

Photo by Mike Brothers Paul Feist has decorated his home southeast of Sullivan since 1959. Above he puts the finishing touches to the display that may be seen from the city limits.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Paul Feist has decorated his home southeast of Sullivan since 1959. Above he puts the finishing touches to the display that may be seen from the city limits.

•December 21, 2016•

A beacon shines southeast of Sullivan city limits just as it has since 1959.

That’s when Paul Feist decided to decorate three Christmas trees at the corner of his property south of Mason Point.

“Those trees were 15 feet tall when I started decorating,” Feist recalled, noting those three original white pine trees are now 100 feet tall.

“This year Herb Flannell brought his 100 ft. lift truck out, and we still needed a pole to get the lights to the top,” Feist said of the three cornerstone trees that mark the entrance to the former cut yourself tree farm.

After more than 40 hours working in the cold weather, Feist threw the switch December 14 to illuminate his yard just as he has every holiday season since 1959.

At a rate of about $12 per day for electricity the display stays on until the first of the year. Read More

Hams for Christmas

Photo by Mike Brothers Hams for Christmas Thanks to the generosity of one anonymous Sullivan individual 100 hams were delivered from Sullivan IGA to the Moultrie County Food Pantry Dec. 20. IGA meat dept. manager Barry Golden (right) explained this was the second year for the $1200 donation. Joining Golden delivering the hams were Matt Martin (left) and Timothy VanDeursen. Food Pantry director Kristy Dawson said the request list for the hams filled quickly, and they would all be picked up by Wednesday just in time for Christmas.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Hams for Christmas
Thanks to the generosity of one anonymous Sullivan individual 100 hams were delivered from Sullivan IGA to the Moultrie County Food Pantry Dec. 20. IGA meat dept. manager Barry Golden (right) explained this was the second year for the $1200 donation. Joining Golden delivering the hams were Matt Martin (left) and Timothy VanDeursen. Food Pantry director Kristy Dawson said the request list for the hams filled quickly, and they would all be picked up by Wednesday just in time for Christmas.