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Archives for November 2010

Fire Destroys Pana Home

PANA FIREMEN ATTACK a fire at 710 Kitchell Ave. just before 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20. The home of Bill and Penny Merrifield was destroyed in the fire.

(Gene Reed Photo)

Fire investigators are still looking for the cause of a fire which ravaged a Pana family’s home in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 20. Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland says the home of Bill and Penny Merrifield, 710 Kitchell Ave., was destroyed in the blaze which happened at 12:46 a.m. Saturday.

Bland said the family was not at home when the fire started on the lower level. They were camping at Ramsey Lake State Park, Bland said. When firemen arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the inside of the house.

The fire burnt a stairway to the second floor and firemen had to use a porch roof to access the upstairs. Bland said mutual aid from Oconee, Tower Hill, Assumption and Nokomis responded. Bland said the north half of the home was gutted and the rest of the home received smoke and water damage. Firemen were on the scene until 5:00 a.m., but were called back about 45 minutes later due to some hot spots. No one was reported injured.

Also responding was the American Red Cross Illinois Capital Area Chapter who provided emergency assistance to the family of two adults and four children. They helped provide emergency clothing, medication, food and shoes for three of the children.

A support fund for the family has been established at the First National Bank of Pana. Donations can be sent to Merrifield Fire Fund, c/o Georgette Merrifield, 900 Holly St., Pana IL 62557.

Clothing and furniture is also needed by the family. Call 562-5548 for more information.

Former Pana Police Chief Ivan ‘Ike’ Braye Dies

Ivan “Ike” Braye, 83, of Pana died Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 in Heritage Manor, Pana.

The son of John and Edith Simmons Braye, he was born August 28, 1927 in Witt. He had lived in Nokomis and attended Nokomis High School. After serving in the U. S. Air Force during World War II, Ike came to Pana in 1951. He went to work for the City of Pana in 1957 transferring to the police department in 1962. He was named Chief of Police in 1980, and retired in June, 1983. Ike was a 45-year member of Pana Elks Lodge #1261 where he had served as Exalted Ruler 1998-1999. He was voted Life Member in 2001. He served as Lodge Tiler for 30 years, Lodge Trustee for 3 years and was head of the Kitchen Committee for as long as can be remembered, teaching the rest of the members secret recipes. Ike will be remembered mostly by his devotion to the success of his Lodge, the Elks Children Care Corporation and promoting patriotic duty to our flag, to our country and our community. He was also a member of Pana VFW Post #4431, had served on Pana Economic Development Board, Pana Police Pension Board, and past member of Pana Jaycees. Ivan Braye and Lois Havrilka were united in marriage on Oct.27, 1951 in Pana.

He is survived by his wife Lois Braye, Pana; children, Linda (David) Miller, Tower Hill, Michael (Erin) Braye, Decatur and Bradley (Sandy) Braye, Maroa; three grandchildren, Kristi (Marshall) Minth, Ft. Wayne, Ind., Jeffrey (Carrie) Miller, Cincinnati, Ohio and Wade Braye; step granddaughter, Halie Rowland, Joliet and by four great-grandchildren, Taylor Renaye Minth, Baylee Elizabeth Minth, Lincoln Jeffrey Miller, Kennedy Poe Miller.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his granddaughter Lindsey Sue Braye.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 24, in McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, with Pastor Allen Ebbler officiating. Burial will be in St. Paul Cemetery, Nokomis. Friends may call Tuesday, Nov. 23, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. with Elks rites at 6:00 p.m.

Memorials may be made to Elks Children’s Care Corp., Pana Community Hospital Foundation or charity of your choice.

Condolences may be sent to

Large Tank Makes Its Way Through Pana

IT TOOK NEARLY an hour for a large storage tank to maneuver its way through the streets of Pana on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

B & K Trucking of Marathon, Wis., was in charge of the haul. The vehicle left its yard just west of Wausau, Wis. on Monday, Nov. 15, and was expected to be at its destination in Kentucky on Friday, Nov. 19, a dispatcher said.

While some thought the large, white cylinder was a part of a tower for a wind turbine, the dispatcher said it was a tank to be used for ethanol storage. The dispatcher was not sure how many gallons it held, but it had been manufactured at a plant about 40 miles west of Wausau.

There appeared to be a mechanical problem with the device on the end of the tank which is used for steering and help in pushing the tank down the highway. The  caravan had to stop for about a half-hour in Pana while the repairs were made.

The Pana Police Department helped with traffic control as the big tank made its way through Pana.

(Gene Reed Photos)

Pana Opens Inaugural Tournament With Three Wins

PANA OPENS THANKSGIVING TOURNEY – The Pana Panthers girls basketball team opened their very first Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday, Nov. 19, with a 62-44 win over the Mattoon Green Wave.

In the top photo, Pana sophomores Allie Schoonover, 14, and Charley Lett, 23, lead the fast break against Massac County during Saturday’s, Nov. 20, action. Schoonover scored 16 points to lead the Panthers to a 70-25 win. Lett added 10.

In the bottom photo, Pana’s Allison Allen, 32, grabs one of her 12 rebounds against the Green Wave Friday evening.

At left is team mate Allie Schoonover, 14, and in the foreground is Nadine Vaughn, 25.

(Gene Reed Photos)

For the first time, the Pana Panthers girls basketball team is hosting its own Thanksgiving Tournament. It has been a good tournament thus far for the Panthers as they are undefeated, 3-0 as the first weekend comes to a close.

In the opening game of the tournament Friday evening, Nov. 19, the Panthers defeated Mattoon Green Wave, 62-44. As hosts, they drew the first game of the day Saturday morning, Nov. 20, and dispatched Central A & M, 64-43. In the evening session on Saturday, Pana took care of Massac County, 70-25.

“Things have improved for us as the tournament has gone on,” Pana Head Coach J. R. Boudouris said. “I don’t think we could have played any better than we did the first quarter of tonight’s (vs. Massac County) game.”

Pana put three players in double figures led by Allie Schoonover with 16 points while Ashley Funneman added 13. Charley Lett scored 10 points and dished out 6 assists while Allison Allen scored 9 points. Alyssa Waddington finished with 7 points while Hannah Funneman got 5. Nadine Vaughn added 4 points with 7 rebounds and 9 steals. Jessica Etter sank a 3-pointer and Kendal Frisina scored 2 points. Jessica Kasch added a free throw.

In the first game of the day Saturday, Pana shook off the doldrums ending the first half with a 17-3 run over the final 6 minutes of the half to post a 31-17 halftime lead over the Central A & M Raiders. Pana downed the Raiders, 64-43.

Allison Allen had 20 points in the game and a team-high 7 rebounds. She also accounted for 11 steals. Adding 14 points was Charley Lett and Ashley Funneman and Allie Schoonover each scored 9 points. Jessica Harbert put in 7 points and had 4 rebounds and Nadine Vaughn put in 3 points. Morgan Dressen rounded out the scoring with 2 points. Jessica Etter did not score but she had 7 assists in the game.

Pana opened the tournament on Friday evening with a 62-44 win over the Mattoon Green Wave. Charley Lett and Allie Schoonover were instrumental in the win as each of the sophomores scored 14 points to pace the Panthers.

“I thought Charley (Lett) and Allie (Schoonover) did an exceptional job for us considering this was the first time they played significant minutes at the varsity level,” Boudouris said. “Allie (Allen) got into some foul trouble early and she wasn’t able to get into the rhythm of the game, but I thought everyone gave a good effort.”

Despite her foul trouble, Allen managed 9 points and 12 rebounds. Jessica Etter scored 7 and Ashley Funneman added 5. Nadine Vaughn chipped in with 4 points and Jessica Harbert finished with 3. Lett also had 6 assists and 7 steals in the game.

Schedule Change–

Due to the Rochester Rockets football team playing in the Class 4A State Football Championship Game on Friday, Nov. 26, the Rockets’ girls basketball game with the Pana Panthers has been moved from Friday evening to Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.

The other two Friday games will go on as scheduled. The Saturday session will be played as scheduled.

With the changes, here is the schedule of games for the remainder of the first Pana Thanksgiving Girls Basketball Tournament:

Friday, Nov. 26

Session 4

5:00 p.m. –  Central A & M vs. Massac County

6:30 p.m. – Mattoon vs. Breese Central

Saturday, Nov. 27

Session 4A

10:00 a.m. – Rochester vs. Pana

Session 5

5:00 p.m. –  Massac County vs. Mattoon

6:30 p.m. – Central A & M vs. Rochester

8:00 p.m. – Breese Central vs. Pana

Out In Left Field: November 22, 2010

Felt kind of funny Saturday not getting ready to go to a football game. . . .

But, that feeling will pass.


Been some great basketball this past weekend as the Panthers girls are hosting the first-ever Thanksgiving tournament in the PHS gym.

Was great to see the ceremonial opening tip being tossed up by Pana’s Carol Schramm Friday evening. She was instrumental in getting this tournament off the ground and she started the fledging girls basketball program off the ground as the first girls basketball coach at Pana. And, if I’m not mistaken, the Panthers won the tip!

No “homer” tips here. . . .

Be sure you get out to the Pana High School gym this weekend to see some great basketball.


Vikings fans licking their wounds today. . . .

Resigned to the fact this is a wasted season.

I hope Brad Childress is looking for a new coaching job very soon.

Maybe Childress and Ron Zook can go as a package. . . .


So, how did you like football again in Wrigley Field?

It was rather novel – especially playing on a one way street.


Why has it taken the NCAA so long to figure out Bruce Pearl is a liar? All of us in Illinois have known what a shady character he’s been since he slandered the Illinois basketball program and Deon Thomas.

What a mockery! This guy should be drummed out of NCAA basketball.


Still trying to catch up –have the Volleyball Awards waiting in the wings for next Monday.


We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to arrive safely and have a safe trip home if you’re on the road.


See you next week!

Obituaries: November 23, 2010

Joe Holthaus

Joe Holthaus, 82, of Pana died Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 in his residence. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Thomas Arnold

Thomas L. Arnold, 72, of Carmel, Ind., a native of Pana, died Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. Leppert Mortuary, Indianapolis, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Helen Eddy

Helen Eddy, 72, of Pana Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 in Pana Community Hospital. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Menus: November 29 – December 3

Pana Public

Pana Community Unit 8 Schools breakfast and lunch menus for the week Nov. 29-Dec. 3:

Monday: Breakfast-Magaic stars cereal, two cinnamon toast, orange juice. Lunch-Ham/fish on bun, macaroni and cheese, peas, pineapple.

Tuesday: Breakfast-Sausage patties, English muffin, applesauce. Lunch-Pulled pork barbecue, tater tots, applesauce, jello.

Wednesday: Breakfast-Pancake on a stick, syrup, applesauce. Lunch-Chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, pears.

Thursday: Breakfast-Breakfast nuggets with syrup, hash browns. Lunch-Grilled cheese sandwich, chicken noodle or tomato soup, crackers, peaches.

Friday: Breakfast-Scrambled eggs, toast and jelly, orange juice. Lunch-Pepperoni pizza, glazed carrots, cinnamon roll, fruit.

Sacred Heart

Pana Sacred Heart School lunch menus for the weekNov. 29-Dec. 3:

Monday: Ham on bun, macaroni and cheese, peas, pineapple.

Tuesday: Pulled pork barbecue, tater tots, jello, applesauce.

Wednesday: Chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, pears.

Thursday: Grilled cheese, tomato soup, crackers, peaches.

Friday: Beef tips over rice, glazed carrots, fruit.


Cowden-Herrick schools breakfast and lunch menus for the week Nov. 29-Dec. 3:

Monday: Breakfast-Donut and sausage. Lunch-Barbecue chicken on bun, tater tots, green beans.

Tuesday: Breakfast-Pancake and sausage on a stick. Lunch-Cowboy stew, cornbread, cole slaw, peaches.

Wednesday: Breakfast-Cinnamon raisin biscuit and ham. Lunch-Pizza, corn, lettuce salad.

Thursday: Breakfast-Sausage patty and biscuit. Lunch-Pork roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, bread and butter.

Friday: Breakfast-Hot pocket. Lunch-Cheeseburger on bun, french fries, carrots, fruit snack.

Golden Circle

Golden Circle Nutrition Program lunch menus for the week Nov. 29-Dec. 3, served at Pana Senior Center, Rt. 51 South:

Monday: Barbecue chicken, baked potato, mixed vegetables, plums, cookie, whole grain bread.

Tuesday: Lasagna, four-bean salad, lettuce salad, bananas and oranges, garlic bread.

December menus not available.

Peace Meal

Peace Meal Senior Nutrition Program menu for the week Nov. 29-Dec. 3:

Monday: Ham and beans, carrots, buttered potatoes, cornbread, vanilla pudding.

Tuesday: Spaghetti with sauce and meatballs, garden salad, green beans, pears, garlic bread, fresh fruit.

Wednesday: Salisbury steak with mushrooms, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, whole grain roll, cherry fluff.

Thursday: Fried chicken, fried potatoes with onions, five-bean salad, cranberry salad, wheat bread, cake.

Friday: Walleye sandwich, peas, slaw, tropical fruit, bun.


Pana Community Hospital lunch menus for the weekNov. 29-Dec. 3:

Monday: Soup, salad, sandwich.

Tuesday: Meatloaf, augratin potatoes, seasoned green beans, ice cream pie.

December menus not available.

Kids Korner: November 22, 2010

Hey folks, Jacob here.

Sorry about last week. I forgot to write a column. I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon.

This week my column is on Monday because that’s the only paper this week.

Hopefully A. J. Wiss will be able to get my stories from my old computer so you guys and gals can read them.

I spent Sunday for a Thanksgiving dinner with my grandma because she can’t go to Galena with me and that made me sad.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.


Be sure all you kids out there between seven and 15 send me in your short stories to be printed in the Pana News-Palladium. Any kind of short story is welcome. When you bring it in the office, bring a picture, your name and address, phone number, parents and grandparents names, too. The office is at 205 S. Locust St. in Pana, right across the street from Peoples Bank.

If your story appears here, you and your family gets a certificate for dinner at Pana’s McDonald’s.

Fact, Fun & FIllips: November 22, 2010

Though we must share our time span or needs of subjects needing attention as we move along towards the holidays . . . . .

Our mind seems to drift and here and there and collide with subjects flickering through our subconscience.

And for some reason the project of Tenaska and the new power plant and proposed coal mine, keeps flickering on and off . . . . .

Reason: We think  the movers and shakers of the young, middle aged and seniors of our time and place here and proponents of the project, should not let the sight of future prosperity slip into the hands of political power brokers who may or may not have all our best interests at heart.

It seems that when we think of coal fired supplies of energy a shadow of misunderstanding takes over the scene.

Suppose we all move now to a total energy system. How long would it take for a total conversion? How long will it take to start and finish such a national scene that would include just bringing up to speed to prepare an auxiliary source to supply the country’s interim energy while modernization, if it does take place.

Every time we see an aerial picture of Chicago and the loop, we have thoughts of what would we all do if the lights were to go out for and extended.

Perhaps there is a major disaster system to replace.

Or is there out there in the darkness . . . . . All ready with extra personnel standing by to rectify the little Panas, Taylorvilles, Shelbyvilles, Assumptions, Rosamonds, Nokomises, Ramseys, Vandalias, Herricks, Moweaquas . . . . .

Quite a thought isn’t it? And perhaps we should put such  situations out of our mind.

But, first, to preclude this type of negativity from our mind, perhaps we should first ascertain what total damage was done, short term and long term by the recent oil spill, etc.

Know what our first thought on learning of it was . . . .?

What if we can’t stop this?

You say “that’s impossible!”

Our next thought – Don’t be too sure!

Scary isn’t it when you break it down to we mere mortals not feeling we have the “power” to face the cataclismic.

And one day, if we do, or “they,” have to reun on renewable energy – where is it, how much is left and for how long will it last – thinking on a world-wide scale?

Such thinking tires us out, so think we’ll move on.


The big “turkey day” is almost upon us.

This was always a big day at FFF’s aunt and uncle’s store at 411 S. Clark Street. They were also happy days with crowds packing the store during World War II and also everybody sharing.

A neighborhood meeting spot, while shopping for groceries turned into many of the happier days and now serve as “fodder” for us in our attempts at writing this column.

Here’s a short test in remembering back to those days!

How about John Engleman, fireman for the “west greenhouse” where he lived and worked for some years and under the management of Gene Schmitz, Sr. and assisted closely by his family and brother Aurelius and members of his immediate family?

Then, a favorite of almost everybody, Russell “Rusty” Castle, father of daughter Sharon, husband of Irene. Sharon is a retiree of Endris Drug.

Going on down the street to the Pana Paint Store and Mr. and Mrs. “Frosty” and Eleanor (Umpleby) Tate.

We have name after name of former Pana merchants we can remember in the business and who come to mind at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Tanner family, Harry, wife Lena and daughter Rosa – Sue Jewelry, Claude Butts and the Galbreath Upholstering shop, NW corner of Locust and Third.

And it goes on and on. Oh yes, the “king” of the business district, and favorite of all, the late Leon Budds, daughter Jeannie and sons David and Michael, and their Mom, Helen Kramer Budds.

Wonderful memories!


Happy Thanksgiving to All!


So Long.

Paul Schmitz Retiring From Pana First National Bank

John Livesay, president of the First National Bank of Pana has announced the retirement of vice president, Paul Schmitz after 19 and half years of banking service.

A lifelong resident of Pana, Paul began his banking career at the First National Bank of Pana in July of 1991.

“Thank you to my friends and customers for allowing me to be a part of your financial life,” Schmitz said. “I’m going to miss the people both whom I’ve enjoyed working with and served over the years. I’ve been proud to be a part of the First National Bank of Pana, truly a quality bank.”

After his retirement Paul is looking forward to spending his free time with family and friends, fishing, gardening and continuing his involvement in county and township government.

Paul is married to the former Linda Flesch and is the father of two grown children, Mark and Sarah.

In recognition of Paul and his 19 and a half years of friendship and dedicated service to the community, the First National Bank of Pana will host a special open house in the lobby of the Pana facility from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30.  The public is invited to join Paul in his retirement celebration.

First National Bank of Pana is a locally owned 5-Star Rated bank with full service locations in Pana, Assumption and Taylorville.