Yost Waives Jury Trial

•June 22, 2016•

Michael S. Yost, 43, waived his right to a jury trial in Moultrie County Circuit Court  June 21.

Public Defender Brad Rau presented the waiver to Chief Judge Dan L. Flannell with State’s Attorney Jeremy Richey explaining the trial could take up to four days without juror selection.

Before setting the 9 a.m. September 12 court date, Judge Flannell read the four counts of murder with which Yost has been charged. The most serious of the first degree murder charges could carry a 20 years to natural life sentence and up to a $25,000 fine.

Flannell explained that the trial by the court would mean the decision on Yost’s innocence or guilt would rest exclusively with the judge.

Once agreed on the new court date Judge Flannell then addressed Yost’s correspondence concerning jail accommodations. Read More

ALAH H.S. Principal Resigns; Board President Steps Down

•June 22, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School District has recently experienced some changes in both its staff and board of education.

After a closed session meeting at the last ALAH school board meeting, a motion was made to approve the resignation of ALAH principal, Buck Condill. Presently, the position has not yet been filled.

ALAH school board president Steffanie Seegmiller stepped down June 1, which left vice-president Jake Kamm to fill her shoes. Seegmiller served on the board for seven and a half years. “I leave the board in good hands as they are dedicated to continuing to make our schools great,” she said.

A special board meeting was held June 20 to consider appointment for the vacancies.

Other matters that were discussed or voted upon:

• As of June 8, funds were in the black at $3,621,901.73. After paying the district’s bills, it left the balance at 2.7 million dollars.

• Two general state aid payments may arrive in June. The district will possibly receive some sales tax money from Douglas County soon. Read More

George Garden Tools Started 70 years ago

Photo furnished Gary Davis of Herrick will display his George Garden equipment collection at the 70th anniversary open house at Agri-Fab July 2.

Photo furnished
Gary Davis of Herrick will display his George Garden equipment collection at the 70th anniversary open house at Agri-Fab July 2.

•June 22, 2016•

What began as a small garden tool company in 1946 became the seeds for Agri-Fab of Sullivan today.

On Saturday, July 2 Agri-Fab will open the doors at 303 West Raymond St. to observe the 70th anniversary of George Garden Tools.

From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Agri-Fab is dedicating a building to display their historic collection of the George Garden Tools line from the Sullivan factory that employed as many as 450 people during the mid-1960s.

The Church of Christ on S. Hamilton St. started three industries in the present Agri-Fab location; Felicity Fashions, Lucy Ellen Candies and Creative Designs, to help members of the congregation find work.

By 1946  George Garden Tools took off growing across the country through vendors with sales and its innovative garden equipment. Read More

Clearing Needed at Sullivan Utility Distribution Locations

Sul garden overOvergrowth Creates Hazard

•June 22, 2016•

By Ariana Cherry
For the News Progress

An issue with the Sullivan utility department electrical sectionalizers were brought to attention at the last city council meeting.

Many of them are close to 40 years old which has left time for trees, plants and weeds to grow around them.

When these sectionalizes, which distribute 7200 volts of electricity, have overgrowth around them, they overheat and do not perform at their highest quality.

Recently, there was a power outage which lasted an hour and a half because utility workers were having problems getting to a sectionalizer. Commissioner Mike Kirk presented several photos which showed a number of them which were blocked with shrubbery, trees and various other items.  Read More

American Legion has Veterans Display at Bethany Celebration

Photo by Mike Brothers Terry Muzzy prepares Honor Guard uniform that is part of the military memorabilia display at Bethany Celebration this weekend.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Terry Muzzy prepares Honor Guard uniform that is part of the military memorabilia display at Bethany Celebration this weekend.

•June 22, 2016•

By Kennedy D. Nolen
for the News Progress

War photos and memorabilia from local veterans will be on display at the Bethany Celebration this weekend, June 24 and 25, at Crowder Park.

The American Legion of Bethany has sponsored this event to honor veterans in the area.

Terry Muzzy is assembling uniforms, weapons, photos and a variety of items loaned by families of Bethany area veterans.

“The response has been great,” Terry said, noting he already has 75 photographs and he is still taking calls from people with items to display.

With help from Steve Sowers Muzzy has assembled hundreds of military items ranging from the civil war to present day.

“Bethany American Legion is also one of the oldest in the nation,” Muzzy said. That long time commitment (Chartered in February 1920) makes the Veterans display so important to share with the next generation.  Read More

Secretary of State Mobile at Titus Library July 21

•June 22, 2016•

Secretary of State Jesse White, in cooperation with Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library in Sullivan, is offering drivers a chance to renew their driver’s license or vehicle registration renewal sticker, obtain a duplicate or corrected license, or obtain an Illinois identification card.

White’s mobile unit will be available at the Sullivan Library, located at 2 West Water 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 21. Read More

Sullivan District #300 Board Approves Security, Communication Upgrades

Health Life Safety Approved

•June 22, 2016•

By Mike Brothers

Upgraded security cameras and phone systems were approved by the Sullivan District #300 school board at the June 13 meeting.

Supt. Brad Tuttle explained the enhanced phone service allowed 911 calling capability from every classroom.

District IT director Mark Waelde checked into vendors for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) systems. Frontier Communications $63,724.10 proposal for a complete VOIP system was recommended by the administration and approved unanimously.

Additional security camera locations and upgraded units also were approved under Health Life Safety, with existing provider Dynamic Controls projecting $78,944 to complete.

Travis Bushue of Bushue Human Resources presented bids for the district’s insurance coverage, excluding worker compensation and health. He recommended the Mattoon based First Mid Insurance Group/Arthur Gallagher Agency bid of $50,348.65. Read More

New Visitors Center

Photo by Mike Brothers New Visitors Center Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development and The Little Theatre are cooperating to move the Sullivan visitor and welcome center to the Little Theatre where office hours will be more accommodating.

Photo by Mike Brothers
New Visitors Center
Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development and The Little Theatre are cooperating to move the Sullivan visitor and welcome center to the Little Theatre where office hours will be more accommodating.

Horse Chestnut Blossoms

Photo by Mike Brothers Horse Chestnut Blossoms This was the season for the Warren’s Horse Chestnut tree in Sullivan to have a bountiful year. Timely rains and warm weather covered the tree with blooms and yielded bushels of the lucky but poisonous horse chestnuts.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Horse Chestnut Blossoms
This was the season for the Warren’s Horse Chestnut tree in Sullivan to have a bountiful year. Timely rains and warm weather covered the tree with blooms and yielded bushels of the lucky but poisonous horse chestnuts.