Commissioner LeCrone Makes One Last Council Appearance Before Johnson Steps In

Sullivan Police Department also given go-ahead to purchase new squad car

May 6, 2015

by Ariana Cherry & Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

At the regular city council meeting last week, streets and public improvements commissioner Monty LeCrone announced that it would be his last time attending.
“Thanks for all of your cooperation,” he said. “I hope we got everything in good shape in the last four years.”
LeCrone did not seek re-election earlier this year. He is to be replaced by former county board member Ken Johnson who ran unopposed.
LeCrone noted that one of the things he felt still need completed were improvements to the streets on the square; in particular, that they needed tilled up and redone at some point. This was a concern before the council in April of 2014, but a proposal by LeCrone for the project was ultimately postponed after concerns were raised about the bid specs. The project also saw frustrations and tempers flare in a special April meeting. Read More

Suspicious Fire Damages Abandoned House in Bethany

Photo Submitted by Kade Grimm Flames are seen engulfing the exterior of an abandoned house located at 409 N. Washington Street in Bethany Friday.

Photo Submitted by Kade Grimm
Flames are seen engulfing the exterior of an abandoned house located at 409 N. Washington Street in Bethany Friday.

Ongoing investigation into cause

May 6, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A fire that took place Friday evening caused extensive exterior and interior damage to an abandoned house in Bethany.
According to Bethany fire chief Jim McMahan, his department received a call at 9:08 p.m. Friday about a fire at 409 N. Washington. His department was on scene five minutes later. McMahan, who lives near the property, says he could see the fire from his house.
“Flames were shooting up about 30 feet above the house,” he said. Read More

Jr. Miss Arthur 2015

Submitted Jr. Miss Arthur Above are the five young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Jr. Miss Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Katie Smith, a 7th grader who is sponsored by CHI and whose parents are Tina & Danny Smith; Isabel Harlin, a 6th grader who is also sponsored by CHI and whose parents are Aaron & Leah Dolan; Calista Clark, a 7th grader who is sponsored by Amazing Memory Photography and whose parents are Chris & Michelle Clark; 2014 Jr. Miss Arthur Kayla Hodge whose parents are Matt & Melissa Bernius and Kory & Gina Hodge; Emma Lee, a 7th grader who is sponsored by Delberts and whose parents are Nolan & Cindy Lee; and Kyla Carson, a 9th grader who is sponsored by Erica Carter Live Love Smile Photography and whose parents are Randa Carson & Jamie Carson.

Submitted
Jr. Miss Arthur
Above are the five young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Jr. Miss Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Katie Smith, a 7th grader who is sponsored by CHI and whose parents are Tina & Danny Smith; Isabel Harlin, a 6th grader who is also sponsored by CHI and whose parents are Aaron & Leah Dolan; Calista Clark, a 7th grader who is sponsored by Amazing Memory Photography and whose parents are Chris & Michelle Clark; 2014 Jr. Miss Arthur Kayla Hodge whose parents are Matt & Melissa Bernius and Kory & Gina Hodge; Emma Lee, a 7th grader who is sponsored by Delberts and whose parents are Nolan & Cindy Lee; and Kyla Carson, a 9th grader who is sponsored by Erica Carter Live Love Smile Photography and whose parents are Randa Carson & Jamie Carson.

Little Miss Arthur 2015

Submitted Little Miss Arthur Above are the three young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Miss Preteen Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Laila Sanchez, a 4-year-old who is sponsored by her mother and father Marchita & Tyler Sanchez; Emeline Hope Greathouse, a 5-year-old who is sponsored by APT and whose parents are Jay Martin & Tracey Greathouse; and Kyndrie Carter, a 3-year-old who is sponsored by Live Love Smile Photography and whose parents are J.J. & Erica Carter.

Submitted
Little Miss Arthur
Above are the three young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Miss Preteen Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Laila Sanchez, a 4-year-old who is sponsored by her mother and father Marchita & Tyler Sanchez; Emeline Hope Greathouse, a 5-year-old who is sponsored by APT and whose parents are Jay Martin & Tracey Greathouse; and Kyndrie Carter, a 3-year-old who is sponsored by Live Love Smile Photography and whose parents are J.J. & Erica Carter.

Miss Preteen Arthur 2015

Submitted Miss Preteen Arthur Above are the three young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Miss Preteen Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Charliegh Tripp,  a 7-year-old who is sponsored by Arthur Custom Tank and whose parents are Amanda Tripp & Brennon Winskill; MacKenzie Erixon, an 11-year-old who is sponsored by  Vivi Jewelry by Erica Schrock and whose parents are Jennifer & Jim Erixon; 2014 Miss Preteen Arthur Deanna Clark whose parents are Chris & Michelle Clark; and  Brooklynn Colter, a 6-year-old who is sponsored by the Arthur Flower Shop and whose parents are Harley & Ashley Colter.

Submitted
Miss Preteen Arthur
Above are the three young ladies who will be competing for the crown of Miss Preteen Arthur at the Miss Arthur Pageant Saturday, May 9 beginning at 7 p.m. From left to right: Charliegh Tripp, a 7-year-old who is sponsored by Arthur Custom Tank and whose parents are Amanda Tripp & Brennon Winskill; MacKenzie Erixon, an 11-year-old who is sponsored by Vivi Jewelry by Erica Schrock and whose parents are Jennifer & Jim Erixon; 2014 Miss Preteen Arthur Deanna Clark whose parents are Chris & Michelle Clark; and Brooklynn Colter, a 6-year-old who is sponsored by the Arthur Flower Shop and whose parents are Harley & Ashley Colter.

Okaw Valley Middle School Baseball Coach Charged with Sexual Abuse

Rural Shelbyville man arrested Thursday in Findlay

April 28, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

An Okaw Valley middle school baseball coach was arrested last week after allegations surfaced that he had sexual relations with a 13-year old girl.
According to court records, Wade T. Burch, 25, of rural Shelbyville was arrested last Thursday by Illinois State Police special agent Rodney Slayback after an investigation into allegations that he was sexually involved with a 13-year old OVMS student.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Burch voluntarily met with both Findlay police chief Chris Nichols and Slayback last Wednesday afternoon at the Mattoon Police Station. There, Burch was told of the allegations against him and subsequently interviewed. According to Slayback, Burch was told repeatedly that he was not under arrest and free to go, but the rural Shelbyville man agreed to stay until having to leave to umpire a baseball game.
The affidavit goes on to explain that Burch initially denied the allegations but eventually admitted to the possibility that he had met with a 13-year old girl during the Thanksgiving break last November and that he could have possibly kissed her at that time, but cited difficulty in recalling the events due to having been drinking heavily. Read More

Lovington Community Club Donation

Photo by Sally Foley Lovington Community Club Donation The Lovington Community Club donated a total of $2100 to seven area organizations ($300 each), which were represented by the following individuals: seated left to right are Gary Smith (Lovington Ambulance Corporation and the Lovington Fire Department), Rodney Houser(Churches of the Lovington Area), and Leroy Fair (Lovington Alumni Association). Standing left to right are Norma Brust, Linda Alumbaugh(Christ’s Food Pantry), Darlene Barlow (Lovington Library), Jessica Mercer(Sparrows), Pam Nottingham, and Carol Smith. Brust, Nottingham, and Smith represented the community club.

Photo by Sally Foley
Lovington Community Club Donation
The Lovington Community Club donated a total of $2100 to seven area organizations ($300 each), which were represented by the following individuals: seated left to right are Gary Smith (Lovington Ambulance Corporation and the Lovington Fire Department), Rodney Houser(Churches of the Lovington Area), and Leroy Fair (Lovington Alumni Association). Standing left to right are Norma Brust, Linda Alumbaugh(Christ’s Food Pantry), Darlene Barlow (Lovington Library), Jessica Mercer(Sparrows), Pam Nottingham, and Carol Smith. Brust, Nottingham, and Smith represented the community club.

A Favorite Sullivan Spot Returns

Photo by RR Best Red Apple Family Restaurant owner and operator Steve Sadikoska shows off his new dining room Friday afternoon. Sadikoska and his family reopened the restaurant Monday after it burned down last July.

Photo by RR Best
Red Apple Family Restaurant owner and operator Steve Sadikoska shows off his new dining room Friday afternoon. Sadikoska and his family reopened the restaurant Monday after it burned down last July.

Red Apple Family Restaurant reopens Monday

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

“Finally.”
No doubt the second most uttered word in Sullivan right now, following the phrase, “When is the Red Apple going to reopen?”
One of Sullivan’s favorite spots reopened this past Monday at 5 a.m., though unbeknownst to most of the public. It was, as owner Steve Sadikoska put it, a “soft opening” in an effort to gently reenter as one of the local handful of eateries.
“More than 10 times a day. Every time I went to Hardee’s or TnT, everybody would ask me, ‘When are you going to open?’ And they’re still asking,” said Sadikoska.
This week’s quiet reopening came after a grease fire last July devastated the building and shuttered the restaurant. In the time since then, Sadikoska says it’s not been without strain.
“It hasn’t been easy. Bills have needed to be paid, and we experienced some hard times,” he said. “But it’s alright, because we’ve made it.” Read More

Sullivan Schools’ Amended Budget Improves by Nearly Quarter Million

Final budget later this year could improve even more says superintendent

April 29, 2015

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In what is a typical move for most school districts across the state this time of year, the board unanimously approved a tentative amended budget at their April 13 meeting.
In it, the budget decreases the district’s deficit spending by $242,305 when compared to the initial budget passed last September. Overall, the decrease in deficit spending can be largely traced to contingencies the district had inserted into the September budget that have now been pulled out after Superintendent Brad Tuttle found them to likely no longer be a possibility. He said that he hopes the district can further pull out more contingencies as the school year nears its conclusion. Read More

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