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Archives for February 2011

Some Newspapers Late; Holiday

Due to the President’s Day holiday today, Monday, Feb. 21, there is no one at the Pana Post Office to accept the mailing of the Pana News-Palladium.

Local subscribers should get the newspaper as usual on Tuesday. However, those who live away from Pana will be getting this copy of the newspaper a day later than usual because the mail will not leave Pana until Tuesday, Feb. 22.

“Our apologies to our subscribers who are affected by this,” Tom Latonis, managing editor said. “But it’s out of our hands. Usually, on holidays like these, someone is at the post office to accept our mail during a specific time frame. But we were told by the post office last week this wouldn’t be the case on Monday.”

Christian County Board To Oppose Pana TIF District

Members of the Christian County Board voted not to endorse a redevelopment plan and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District for the City of Pana. The vote was 14-1 to send the letter opposing the plan with County Board Chairman John Curtin, Taylorville, casting the lone “no” vote. Member Carol Foli voted “present.”

The action came at the Board’s February monthly meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the Taylorville Courthouse.

Seven of the eight board members in the two districts which divide Pana voted to oppose the plan. Those who voted to oppose the plan were District Four representatives Paul C. Schmitz, Pana; Laura Wilkinson, Palmer; Lloyd S. Washburn, Morrisonville; and Joseph Marley, Nokomis. In District One, members Timothy W. Butcher, Mt. Auburn; Tony Woods and Timothy J. Carlson, both of Taylorville, voted to send the letter of opposition. John Curtin, Taylorville, was the District Three rep voting to approve the plan.

Pana is divided into two County Board Districts. Pana Precincts Four and Five are in District One which stretches north through Assumption while Pana Precincts One, Two and Three are in District Four which stretches back to the west to the Morrisonville area.

Squad Cars–

After dropping the purchase of two squad cars from the county budget for this fiscal year, the Board reversed itself and voted to make the purchase. Each carries a price tag of almost $21,000 apiece.

The Sheriff’s Equipment Fund will fund $20,000 of the purchase price with the remaining money transferred from the county’s Contingency Fund.

At the Audit, Finance and Purchasing Committee meeting Monday, Feb. 14, Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said the county needs to stay on its current schedule of replacing squad cars. He said on Mar. 1, the Ford Motor Co. would stop manufacturing the Crowne Victoria line. Kettelkamp said the fleet of Christian County squad cars are Crowne Victorias, and if a different style of car is purchased, accessories such as the light bar and rear cage will not fit in the newer cars, thus costing more money to outfit. It was also said both cars in question had more than 150,000 miles on them.

Ameren Files For Delivery Rate Increase

Ameren Illinois has filed delivery service rate cases with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to recover costs for delivering electricity and natural gas to more than 1 million homes and businesses in Downstate Illinois.

“We are sensitive to the impact that any delivery service rate increase may have on our customers,” said Craig Nelson, senior vice president of Ameren Illinois. “However, we must have the financial ability to provide a safe and reliable energy delivery system that will accommodate future economic growth and development.”

Ameren Illinois must secure permission for additional cost recovery from the ICC as required by state law. The process to change delivery service rates takes 11 months so the new rates would not take effect until early 2012. Ameren is seeking an additional $51 million in cost recovery for its natural gas delivery service and another $60 million in cost recovery for its electric delivery service.

As the proposed rates are filed, a typical Ameren residential customer using 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would pay between $2.96 to $3.78 more per month over the present bill amount including power supply charges. A typical residential customer using 785 therms of natural gas per year would pay between $1.88 to $4.53 per month over the present bill amount including gas supply costs.

The effect of the proposed rates – for a one month period – for each residential customer will appear on bills in April. In addition, customers will be able to see how the proposed rates would impact them for a full year by using the rate estimator at This information also is available by calling Customer Service at 1-800-755-5000.

Pana Splits SCC Games; Beat Piasa, Lose At Vandalia

MAX SCHMITZ OF the Pana Panthers is fouled as he drives into the lane in Saturday night’s, Feb. 19, ball game at Vandalia. After dropping two contests to the Panthers this season, Vandalia got the best of the Panthers, 78-73.

Schmitz made the lay-up and the free throw with 1:28 left in the game to make it 74-68, Vandalia. Schmitz finished the game with 8 points.

(Gene Reed Photo)

The 2010-11 season ended on a sour note for the Pana Panthers in the Vandalia High School gym Saturday, Feb. 19. Despite shooting 47% from the floor, the Panthers couldn’t stop the Vandals on their Senior Night as Vandalia posted a 78-73 win. On Friday night, Feb. 18, after an uninspired first half, the Panthers posted a 63-36 win over the Piasa Southwestern Birds in Piasa, holding the Birds to only two third quarter points.

The Panthers, who broke into the AP Top 10 in Class 2A last week tied with Effingham St. Anthony, finish the regular season with a 23-4 record and 11-2 in the South Central.

Head Coach Gary Bowker wasn’t pleased with the effort on Saturday night.

“When we tied it at 51, I turned to Coach Storm and said, ‘I can’t believe we’re still in the ball game.’,” Bowker said. “I felt like they were out-hustling us, out-playing us and out-working us. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to their kids. They were fired up for senior night and they just played a hundred miles an hour and we played about eighty.”

Turnovers also hurt the Panthers with 22 in the game which led to a dozen Vandals points. Case in point was in the second quarter after Mitchell Beyers’ short jumper pulled Pana within 3, 24-21 at the 4:56 mark. But after a Vandalia basket, back-to-back steals by the Vandals led to a pair of lay-ups for a 30-21 led some 20 seconds later. Pana fought back and with a minute to go in the half, Jared McMillen’s fade away got the game back within 3, 36-33. But another Pana turnover and last second basket by Vandalia’s Bryan Hosick gave them a 40-33 lead at the half.

Jared McMillen led all scorers with 25 points and Mitchell Beyers added 14 to the cause. Max Schmitz and David Kirkbride had 8 points apiece and Kirkbride drilled a pair of 3’s. Nick Spracklen had 6 points and Allen Kile had a 3 and finished with 5 points. Lucas Willson chipped in with 4 points and Phillip Arnold rounded out the scoring with 3 points.

The Vandals had 5 players in double figures led by Quenten Austin with 13. Marty Johnson had 11 and Bryan Hosick, Leyton Godoyo and Daniel Bell all scored 10 points each.

Piasa Game–

The weekend started in Piasa where the Panthers out-scored the Birds 38-14 in the second half to pick up the win.

Jared McMillen had 17 second half points to finish with 19 and 13 rebounds. Lucas Willson drained four 3-pointers and had 16 points in the game. Mitchell Beyers also had 16 points and was 6-of-6 at the free throw line. Max Schmitz had 5 points and 4 assists and Nick Spracklen finished with 4 points and 6 rebounds. Raustin Zahradka added 2 points and Tyler Epley had a free throw.

Bowker said the highlight of the game was a lob pass from McMillen to Beyers for a flush.

“Just like Tuesday night (vs. Litchfield) with the roles reversed,” Bowker said.

Pana went 15-of-18 at the free throw line Friday night, 83%, and Piasa 4-of-6, 67%.


The IHSA Class 2A Greenville Regional begins tonight, Monday, Feb. 21. It could be dubbed the “South Central Conference East Division Tournament.” All five teams are entered in the regional. The Panthers are seeded number 1.

Hillsboro and Litchfield play each other at 7:30 tonight for the right to advance to face the Panthers at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Vandalia meets Greenville at 7:30 Wednesday night, Feb. 23, in a semi-final contest. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s winner square off at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 25, for the right to advance to the East Alton-Wood River Sectional the next week.

Following is the complete schedule of the Greenville Regional Tournament:

Monday, Feb. 21

Game 1:  7:30 – (4) Hillsboro vs. (5) Litchfield

Tuesday, Feb. 22

Game 2: 7:30  – (1) Pana (H.S.) vs. Winner Game 1

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Game 3: 7:30 – (2) Vandalia vs. (3) Greenville

Friday, Feb. 25

Game 4: 7:30 – Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3 (Championship)

PYB/SO Registration Sunday

Registration for the Pana Youth Baseball/Softball Organization will be held on Sunday, Feb. 27, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. It will be held in the Panthers Den of Pana High School.

Parents/guardians must accompany children for registration. All fees must be paid at the time of registration. Late registration will result in an extra $5 fee.

Registration is for the following leagues and the fees associated with the league:

T-ball: 5 & 6 girls and boys (must be 5 by Apr. 30 and cannot be 7 by Apr. 30); Fee – $20

T-shirt: 7 & 8 girls & boys (must be 7 by Apr. 30 and cannot be 9 by Apr. 30); $30

Boys Baseball: 9 & 10 (must be 9 by Apr. 30 and cannot be 11 by Apr. 30); $30

Boys Baseball: 11 & 12 (Must be 11 by Apr. 30 and cannot be 13 by Apr. 30); $30

Boys Pony League: 13 & 14 (must be 13 by Apr. 30 and cannot be 15 by Apr. 30); $55

Girls Softball: 9-11 (must be 9 by Jan. 1 and cannot be 12 by Jan. 1); $30

Girls Softball: 12-15 (must be 12 by Jan. 1 and cannot be 16 by Jan. 1); $30

Boys and girls traveling teams will have tryouts. You must play on a league team to be able to tryout for traveling team.    Fee of $30 can be paid later.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Ade or Karen Lett.

Out in Left Field: February 21, 2011

Mentioned last week I punished Jacob last week by making him watch the Illinois game with Prudue.

However, I was reprimanded myself for doing such a thing.

“What if he picks up some of their bad habits while watching them?” Mark Dixon questioned me.

Lesson learned, Mr. D.


Was sorry to see the Panthers’ boys team 15-game winning streak end Saturday night, but we hope the Panthers are able to build on that loss as they head into the post-season this week.

Rather ironic the streak began on the Vandalia floor with an overtime win on Thursday, Dec. 30, and ended six weeks later on the same floor against the same team.

Best of luck to them in the tournament.


No sour grapes on my part but couldn’t help but feel our girls basketball team was “cheated” when I watched the news last Thursday night and saw Piasa and Litchfield (teams our girls beat a total of three times) playing for the Sectional title at Rochester.


Good luck to the Pana Junior High School volleyball teams as they finish up their regular season this week and begin post-season play.


See you next week!

Obituaries: February 21, 2011

Victor Trumper

Victor Robert Trumper, 89, a resident of Clinton Township, Mich. and a Pana native, died Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Harold W. Vick Funeral Home, 140 South Main, Mt. Clemens, Mich., was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Norma Bracy

Norma Lee Bracy, 84, a native of Pana, died Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 in Redlands Community Hospital in Redlands, Calif.  A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m.  Saturday Mar. 5, in Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Frances Howse

Frances Mae Porter Howse, 70, of Lake Stevens, Washington and an Oconee native, died at 4:36 p.m., Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, at Providence Hospital, Everett, Washington. Purdy & Walters, with Cassidy Funeral Home in Everett, are in charge of arrangements.

Sadie Miller

Sadie May Miller, 85, of Decatur, died at 3:21 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in Decatur Memorial Hospital. Lockert-Green Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: February 21, 2011

‘Tis a small, small world . . . .

This is pointed out again by while reading the obituary of a good friend, who finished “after a lifetime of service in education and as a civic leader at Eastern Illinois University.” Professor Daniel (Dan) Thornburgh, 80, died at 5:50 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 at Odd Fellow-Rebekah Hone in Mattoon.

A celebration of life service was held Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston. The Rev. Wally Carlson presiding. Masonic rites were performed at 1:45. Visitation was held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., prior to services.

We continue to marvel at the speed of the clock. Dan first came to EIU in Charleston in 1959 as director of information. It was then we met! From 1965 to 1984, he served as chairperson of the nationally accredited Department of Journalism there, which he was instrumental in creating.

About that time, FFF was active in going “through the ‘chairs’” of the Illinois Press Association and Dan asked FFF there was anyone in the state legislative body who might assist him.

We referred him to former Panaite Senator Sam Vadalabene, D, then representing the Edwardsville area.

The rest is now history and a fine person and friend is gone – but missed.

Dan served in the army during the Korean Conflict. Before he came to EIU in 1959, Dan served as information director at Marshall University in Huntington, W. Virginia.

It was a university that would capture our interest as we would traverse “old Route 60” through Huntington, W. Virginia as we passed the state on the other side of the Kanewah River. At that time the campus was easily identified by its name painted or emblazoned by its name on the roofs of its buildings.

Dan was active in so many other civic activities, and recognized. He is survived by his wife, Adrianne, daughter, Debbie Considene, sons Stewart and Malcolm, 2 sisters and an aunt.

Dan was also a member of the Rotary District Hall of Fame and many, many organizations of high education.

We bid a sad “farewell” to a friend of most of our adult lifetime and a talented man of many, many worthwhile civic acts.


So Long.

Births: February 21, 2011

Adam and Erica Bailey of Tower Hill are the parents of their third child, a son, Maks Eugene Bailey, born at 7:47 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011, in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield. He weighed eight pounds, three ounces and was 21 inches long. He has two sisters, Kyndall, 10 and Addison, 5. Mrs. Bailey is the former Erica Sisk.

Paternal grandparents are Todd and Jan Bailey, Edinburg. Great-grandparents are Earl and Doris Bailey, Owaneco, and the late Don and Anita Gatons Tower Hill. Maternal grandparents are Archie and Deb Fox, Tower Hill and  Mike Sisk, Pana. Great-grandparents are George and Louise Sisk and the late Clyde and Martha Hall, all of Tower Hill.

Scott and Shawn Collins of Herrick, are parents of their fourth child, a daughter, born at 7:48 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in Decatur Memorial Hospital. Samantha Lynae Collins weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 19 inches long. She has two brothers, Ryan Scott and Preston Scott Collins, and a sister, Brittney Nichole Rhodes. Mrs. Collins is the former Shawn Sims.

Maternal grandparents are Paula Lebon, Donald Sims and Belle Sims, Pana. Paternal grandparents are Sheredith and Sandy Durbin, Ramsey. Great-grandparents are Dona Sims, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Ronald and Jane Lebon, Pana.

PCH Auxiliary Dinner Meeting Monday

The Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary Dinner Meeting is Monday, Feb. 28, at 6:00 p.m.

Make reservations to LuAnn Funk, 562-6313, by Friday, Feb. 25.