Harlem Wizards at SHS

Photo by Cole Denton
Harlem Wizards at SHS
When the Sullivan High School boys’ basketball team hosted the Harlem Wizards for an exhibition fundraising event putting Sullivan teachers and coaches against the nationally known “Clowns of the Court” Wednesday, Feb. 15 Cassie Becker had no idea she would get a chance to dunk the ball in front of hundreds of fans.

Sullivan School Board Proposes Property Tax Abatement

•February 22, 2017•

By Mike Brothers

The Sullivan CUSD #300 school board proposed a $250,000 annual tax abatement at the Feb 15, district board of education meeting.

The proposed abatement could save Moultrie County property tax payers from $23 to $131 on annual tax bills.

Property tax relief  would come for Moultrie, Coles, and Shelby county taxpayers in the event the County School Facility Occupation Tax is approved at the consolidated election Tuesday,  April 4, 2017.

“The commitment by the board to abate taxes speaks for the integrity of everyone serving,” Supt. Brad Tuttle said following the unanimous approval of the resolution.

Tuttle explained funds generated from the proposed sales tax will help retire bonds and interest issued to replace the roof and HVAC systems last summer. Read More

Sullivan’s Victory Arch-A Brief Tribute to Veterans By Ellen Ferrera for the News Progress Next year in February Moultrie County will celebrate its 175th anniversary of incorporation (1843). Sullivan was incorporated in 1850. There are various plans afoot for a celebration and, in that spirit, we revisit stories of Sullivan’s interesting past. The famous Arc d’Triomphe in Paris was commissioned in 1806 after the victory of Austerlitz but was completed between 1833 and 1836. One of the world’s most beautiful monuments, it is 164’ high, 148’ wide and 22’ deep. It was used for victory and Bastille Day parades until Armistice Day, 1920, when the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected under the arch. Parades now go around the arch rather than under it. A biplane was actually flown under the primary vault in 1919. Meanwhile, back in Sullivan, Illinois in 1919 a fund was started to build a welcome arch for our returning local servicemen. It looks suspiciously like the famous Paris arch. Located in the NW corner of the square, it was built of wood and wallboard and was the most elaborate structure of its kind in central Illinois. Work was completed shortly before July 4, 1919 when a big celebration was held honoring the returned veterans. There was still a deficit of $100 for building the arch so several local citizens paid the sum with the understanding that when the structure was torn down, they would get the material for salvage. Our arch had a short history. The top of the structure was seriously damaged the following November by a prairie wind storm and the structure had to be torn down. The merchants who had made up the deficit drew lots to see who would get the material. A. D. Miller was the winner. I appreciate Pat Cribbet at the Historical Society for her invaluable assistance in the preparation of this article. I have become a regular at this incredible repository of all things Moultrie County — and so should you!

•February 22, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Next year in February Moultrie County will celebrate its 175th anniversary of incorporation (1843). Sullivan was incorporated in 1850. There are various plans afoot for a celebration and, in that spirit, we revisit stories of Sullivan’s interesting past.

The famous Arc d’Triomphe in Paris was commissioned in 1806 after the victory of Austerlitz but was completed between 1833 and 1836. One of the world’s most beautiful monuments, it is 164’ high, 148’ wide and 22’ deep. It was used for victory and Bastille Day parades until Armistice Day, 1920, when the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was erected under the arch.

Parades now go around the arch rather than under it. A biplane was actually flown under the primary vault in 1919. Read More

ALAH School District Approves New Security Cameras

•February 22, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond School Board voted to install security cameras in all of its four buildings after choosing the lowest bid of $56,966 from Barbeck Communications of Decatur.

The district received two other bids – one from QNS for $72,615 and Heart Technologies for $78,134. Funds from the Health/Life Safety money will assist in paying for the cameras once it has been approved by the State Board of Education. Read More

A Soldier Remembered-The Past Recalled

Photo by Ellen Ferrera
Gene Denton next to the new plaque honoring Sgt. Wayne Bathe (inset) at Sullivan American Legion Post #68.

•February 22, 2017•

By Ellen Ferrera
for the News Progress

Out of the blue on June 15, 2015, Sullivan resident Gene Denton received an email from a Daniel Fonner who was researching his grandfather’s WWII experience and was seeking pictures and information.

Fonner’s grandfather, Frederick Allen Fonner, had been close friends with a Sgt. Wayne Bathe of Sullivan, Ill. and knew Wayne’s fiance was Ola Denton - Gene’s sister. Fonner had found Gene’s name in Ola’s obituary.

The unfolding story is one of love, deep friendship, bravery, profound grief and sadness ending with a plaque which Gene Denton has placed in memory of Sgt. Wayne Bathe at the American Legion Hall. Read More

Pulitzer Prize Winner Andy Schneider’s Death Touches Best Newspapers

File Photo
Kathy and Andy

•February 22, 2017•

By David McCumber
Special to the News Progress

Andrew Schneider, an acclaimed investigative reporter and public-health journalist, died Friday. He was 74.

Mr. Schneider, who lived in Missoula, Montana, died of heart failure in Salt Lake City, where he was being treated for pulmonary disease.

For several years, he worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and was remembered by colleagues Saturday as a relentless, inspiring reporter who built indelible relationships with people from all walks of life.

Mr. Schneider won two Pulitzer Prizes, journalism’s highest honor, while at The Pittsburgh Press — one for specialized reporting in 1986 and another for Public Service in 1987.

The public service Pulitzer was for “Danger in the Cockpit,” co-written with Matthew Brelis and photographed by Vincent Musi, a story revealing dangerous gaps in airline safety, including that pilots with alcohol and drug issues were not prevented from flying. The 1986 winner, written with Mary Pat Flaherty, detailed violations and failures in the organ-transplantation system in the U.S. Read More

Commissioner Bill Hagen Retires from Sullivan Council

•February 22, 2017•

By Ariana Cherry
for the News Progress

“It has been my pleasure to sit on city council and with all the commissioners....I wish the council good luck on behalf of the city residents,” said commissioner Bill Hagen as he announced his retirement, effective March 27, 2017.

Health and Safety Commissioner Hagen began working for the city of Sullivan at the age of 13 and later enlisted in the Army.

After returning from the Army, Hagen returned to work for the city once again. “The city has been very good to me,” he concluded.

Mayor Ann Short and the council thanked Commissioner Hagen for his time on the council and wished him well in retirement.

Other news discussed or acted upon: Read More

Sullivan Pre School IGA Label Savers

Photo by Mike Brothers
Sullivan Pre School IGA Label Savers
Store manager Pat Stinson conducted a front to back store tour for Sullivan pre school students Feb 7. At the end the kids received treats and set up a collection site at the customer service desk to collect IGA brand bar codes. Sullivan Preschool is now participating in the IGA Label Savers program. The preschool will receive $50 for every 500 labels collected. Cut out the barcode (starts with 41270) from an IGA brand product excluding aluminum products, store made products and fresh meat products. The money raised through this program can aid in purchasing new playground equipment, technology or even fund a field trip. There will be collection boxes available at IGA and the preschool. Back row (left to right): Stephanie Spellman, Pat Stinson, Casey Pruemer. Middle row: Harper Standerfer, Kennedy Graven, Connor Dagg, Hunter Walton, Ryleigh Force, Owen Moomaw, Briella Castle, Oliver Dean, Bentley Davis, Ainsley Winkels, Easton Spellman, Jackson Williamson, Miriam Parri, Cade Thompson. Front row: Landen Butler, RaeLynne Matherly, Auggie Foust, Carson Black, Channing Jensen, Michael Hawkins, Havyn Meador, Piper Fleener.

New Interceptor for Lovington

Photo by Darian Hays
New Interceptor for Lovington
The village of Lovington recently placed its new 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor in operation with help from the John E. Timm Charitable Trust of Arthur. The Trust donated $11,000 toward the vehicle purchase with the village paying the balance to Wright Automotive of Hillsboro after trading the 2010 Chevrolet squad car. Pictured are Chief of Police Christian Swisher, Pam Anklam Police Trustee, Arthur Mayor Matt Bernius Director of the Timm Trust and Lovington Village President Jim Minor. Rodney Stanfill of Central Service Center switched equipment from the old squad car, and past president Barry Morgan designed graphics installed by Dynagraphics of Decatur. Lovington has two full time and five part time patrolmen.

Lovington Village Board

•February 15, 2017•

Jeremy Doggett, water and sewer superintendent, attended the meeting of the Lovington Village Board and distributed handouts from the engineering firm, Farnsworth Group, regarding the chlorine feed modification for the Chlorine Disinfection Exemption Revocation. The cover letter listed the requirements which need to be done by May 1, 2017. Doggett will try to have an estimation of the cost for the next meeting but believes it will be under $10,000. He is of the opinion that Roland Birt and Scott Connelly will be able to do the required work by April 1. Read More