Oh Brother: Afraid of Heights? Why Not Climb the Clock Tower

•March 29, 2017•

By Mike Brothers
NP Managing Editor

I am not very good with heights; my palms start sweating when I hear someone talking about mountain climbing or looking over a cliff’s edge.

So when it was time to move the clocks forward an hour for spring, I have no idea what got into me.

Maybe it was curiosity as I looked out my apartment building and the clock on the Moultrie County Courthouse had not yet leaped forward.

I called Rick Matthews who is responsible for all things related to the 1904 building that houses the giant clock tower.

From north, south, east or west of the Sullivan square the time shines night and day. Except this one day the four faces needed to gain an hour.

Rick explained that since it had snowed Sunday night, he needed to clear access to the courthouse for the public before attending to the time change. Read More

2016 Moultrie County Final Multiplier Announced

•March 29, 2017•

Moultrie County has been issued a final property assessment equalization factor of 1.0000, according to Constance Beard, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The property assessment equalization factor, often called the “multiplier”, is the method used to achieve uniform property assessments among counties as required by law. This equalization is particularly important because some of the state’s 6,600 local taxing districts overlap into two or more counties (e.g. school districts, junior college districts, fire protection districts). If there were no equalization among counties, substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.

Under a law passed in 1975, property in Illinois should be assessed at one-third (1/3) of its market value. Farm property is assessed differently, with farm homesites and dwellings subject to regular assessing and equalization procedures, but with farmland assessed at one-third of its agriculture economic value. Farmland is not subject to the state equalization factor. Read More

Agri-Fit Breaks Ground on Organic Garden

Photo by Mike Brothers
Daycare Diggers broke ground at the Agri-Fit garden in Sullivan last week. Pictured from left: James Conlin, Brooklynn Clark, Elijah Crosier, Agri-Fab president Mike Cohen, Addi Heaton, Savannah LaDew, Hope Conner, and Brinnley Hobbs.

•March 29, 2017•

Children from the Agri-Fab daycare center gathered on a cloudy March 22 morning for a growing experience.

As part of the growing Agri-Fit wellness program for Agri-Fab families, ground was broken behind the daycare center for an organic garden.

This is part of the ongoing effort by the Sullivan garden equipment manufacturer to give back to the community by donating a portion of the harvest to the local food bank.

Plant IT manager Neal Ozier came up with the idea and presented it to the Agri-Fit team, and it gained a life of its own from there. Read More

School Board Candidates Express Views at Forum

Photo by Mike Brothers
Interested citizens gathered at the First United Methodist Church in Sullivan May 23 for the Sullivan Education Association/Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development sponsored school board candidate forum.

•March 29, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

Sullivan School Board candidates revealed a universal support for seeking alternative revenues during a candidates’ forum held in Sullivan Thursday, March 23.

Sponsored by the Sullivan Education Association and Sullivan Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, interested citizens attended the 6:30 p.m. forum at the First United Methodist Church.

SEA president Don Lockwood explained the format of the forum following a power point presentation by county clerk Georgia England explaining the complexities of the consolidated election.

The Sullivan Unit 300 power point may be viewed at www.escottengland.com with England offering to answer questions during office hours at the courthouse. Read More

Ground Breaking at Agri-Fab

Photo by Mike Brothers
Ground Breaking at Agri-Fab
Wyatt Taber, Colin Patient, Ruey Price, Hailey Gullett. Front row- Hazel Crothers, Reed Smith, James Conlin, Brooklynn Clark, Elijah Crosier, Agri-Fab president Mike Cohen, Addi Heaton, Savannah LaDew, Matthew Moody (behind LaDew) and Hope Conner.

An Empty Seat at The Little Theatre

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Memorial for Guy Little Jr. is 11:00 a.m. March 25 at the First Christian Church of Sullivan.

•March 8, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

When The Little Theatre on the Square opened its season Friday, founder Guy Little’s seat on the front row was empty except for a rose.

Guy Little Jr, the founder the The Little Theatre on the Square in 1957 passed away earlier in the day. He was 82.

On opening night Little Theatre Executive Director John Stephens announced the 60th anniversary season will be dedicated to Little. The show  must go on.

And in spite of the fact that Guy was not seated on the front row as usual, handing out notes to crew and cast, the curtain went up on the Square in Sullivan although Guy has gone on to a grander stage.

The city of Sullivan remained a supporter of the Little Theatre of the Square, and the Theatre has in return put the city on the map.

Mayor Ann Short explained that Guy Little actually put Sullivan on the world map.  Read More

Sparrows Take Plunge

Photo furnished
Sparrows Take Plunge
Members of Sparrows of Lovington participated in the annual Polar Plunge in Lake Decatur for Special Olympics. Taking the plunge March 4 were Allison Miller, Jessica Mercer and Andrea Miller.

Security Wall Recommended for States Attorney’s Office

•March 8, 2017•

A wall with a security window and magnetic entry door for the state’s attorneys was approved for installation by the Moultrie County Board building and grounds committee March 1.

Building and grounds manager Rick Matthews reported the measure to provide increased security to the Moultrie County State’s Attorney Jeremy Richey’s office could be accomplished for about $1000.

Matthews noted an eternal bid of $5906 for constructing the security window and wall let him take another look at the project.

By utilizing used security glass with a built in speaker, Matthews told the committee he could build the wall with occasional assistance from the state’s attorney for $958.19. Read More

Hands Producing Good Works from the Heart in Honduras

Photo by Joe Pound
In the little village in Honduras every one comes to the church where volunteers work to provide medical treatment for families like the one above. Volunteers from the Sullivan mission helped with Vacation Bible School which was attended by more than 300 children. Regular classes are conducted for students in the church pavilion built during an earlier mission trip.

•March 8, 2017•

By Jose Libra
for the News Progress

For the eighth year in a row, 17 members of Hearts and Hands for Honduras  traveled to a remote community in the northeast part of Honduras, near the large town of Tacoa.

The mission team from Sullivan First United Methodist Church (FUMC) included members from area churches and communities who brought support and healing medical services to residents of nearby La Ceibita. The small, struggling community’s local Methodist church building was the clinic’s location.

These semi-annual treks consist of a medical mission effort in February (just completed) and a trip with a construction focus in July.

Last July a group helped local church members build a 20x20 ft. covered pavilion in the front yard of the church, which is now used as a classroom.  Read More