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Archives for July 2011

Temporary Crossing Closing Starts Tuesday

THE UNION PACIFIC Railroad crossing north of Pana on U. S. Route 51 will be temporarily closed beginning at 7:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 26. The closure is scheduled to last one day, however, it may overlap into a second day on Wednesday, July 27.

Due to the closure, traffic will be detoured at the junction of Route 51 and Illinois Route 16 to Tower Hill where traffic will be routed north along a county road to its intersection with the Findlay Blacktop east of Assumption. From the north, traffic will be detoured at the Taylorville-Findlay Blacktop, going east, then south to Tower Hill and Ro ute 16.  The detour will be clearly marked.

Pana Township Highway Commissioner “Cork” Wafford said he and his staff will be out on Pana Township roads making sure no large vehicles try to use township roads during the detour.

A spokesperson with the Illinois Department of Transportation said the closure is to resurface the crossing. No ties or rails will be replaced during the operation.

                                                                             (Tom Latonis Photo)

City Oiling Streets This Week

The City of Pana will be oiling roads east of Locust St.,  Thursday, July 28, and Friday, July 29.

Vehicles parked along the streets should be removed.

Hot Enough To Fry An Egg on the Sidewalk?

WE ALL KNOW how hot it has been, but has it been hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk?

Kyle Lynch, left, and Jacob Latonis, right, tried the experiment Saturday afternoon, July 23. They are the sons of Cathy Lynch and Mike Lynch and Tom and Cindy Latonis.

THE EGG STARTED to bubble slightly right after it was dropped in the pan (top photo) and there were signs of it cooking about 30 minutes later (bottom photo).


BUT, IN THE end, after three hours, the egg was never fully cooked. So, despite the hot weather, at least in this experiment, it wasn’t hot enough to cook the egg.

                                                                           (Tom Latonis Photos)


Pana School Board Meeting Thursday

 Pana School Board will meet at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, July 28, in the Unit Office board room.

Items on the agenda include FY2011 end of year budget update, E-rate update, lumens software update, unit technology integration specialist, goals/budget priorities for FY12, five year technology play.

PHS Registration Set

Registration for all Pana High School students will be on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 2 and 3, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., in the Panthers Den of the high school.

All students will be receiving the following information in the mail: demographic sheet (please make corrections and bring to registration), student/parent sign-off sheet (must be signed by both and turned in at registration) and an RtI Guide for Parents.

Freshmen will also receive an invitation to Freshman Orientation which will be held Thursday, Aug. 11.

Student schedules were handed out on report card day, or mailed home. They will be distributed again at registration with lunch and study hall assignments.

All student-led schedule changes must be made during registration. No student-led schedule changes will be allowed once school begins.

Those who cannot attend registration must contact the high school office between Thursday, Aug. 4, and Tuesday, Aug. 16, to request a change. Not all requests may be granted due to class size limitations and/or conflicts with classes in which students are currently enrolled.

If this packet is not received by Monday, Aug. 1, contact the high school office at 562-6600.

Pana Athletic Handbook Meetings Set

Three Athletic Handbook meetings for Pana School District students who plan to play sports this school year have been set.

All three will be in the Panthers Den of Pana High School.

The first meeting is Tuesday, July 26, at 7:00 p.m.

Another meeting is set for Sunday, Aug. 7, at 4:00 p.m.

The final meeting is Monday, Aug. 8, at 7:00 p.m.

This is a mandatory meeting for the athlete and a parent or guardian. The student/parent needs only attend one of these meetings.

Also, athletes must have a completed physical examination form turned into the school office prior to the start of practices on Wednesday, Aug. 10.


Obituaries: July 25, 2011

Rita Barrish

Rita Jean Barrish, 56, of Tower Hill, died Saturday, July 23, 2011 in her home. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condloences may be sent to


Morgan Evans, Jr.

Morgan “Jiggs”  Evans, Jr., 86,  of Fillmore, died on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Montgomery Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Taylor Springs. Miller Funeral Home in Fillmore was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: July 25, 2011

After a long dry spell from the “Bard of Bear Creek Road” – Our friend, John Oller:

“Hi Tom:

“It’s been a long time time I have written to you. I still write poems. Here is one I wrote right after Pearl Harbor.

“It’s about a young man and girl who had only been married about a year. Uncle Sam drafted the man and sent him to war. Now the war is over and he is coming home. He has been on the train all night and all day. He is very tired, that’s why he said something to his wife at the last of the poem.

“She is at the depot waiting for the train. She is telling the poem:


“I hear the train’s whistle far away,

“Telling me this is the day

“My husband is coming home to me

“From the war across the sea.

“We had only been married a year and a day

“When Uncle Sam took my husband away.


“Now the war is over and we will be

“All so happy, just us three.

“Our baby was born when he was away,

“Now he will see her for the first time today.

“The train came to a stop and I could see,

“He was looking around for me.


“He saw me at last and with a grin on his face,

“He came running at a pretty fast pace.

“He looked in my arms the baby to see,

“And he said, she is as pretty as me.

“With both arms around me and holding me tight,

“He whispered in my ear,

“‘Let’s go to bed early tonight.’ – John Oller, Bard of Bear Creek Road.”


Something happened Sunday that to FFF, was both neat and refreshing.

We witnessed and experienced a rare treat! Tom Latonis and FFF were sitting next to their above ground swimming pool in the back yard.

Both of us were sweltering as the almost non-existent breeze came up on the landscape at 306 S. Sherman. It continued to pick up and a few drops fell.

We take Editor Latonis’ word for it. By the time it faltered, the thermometer, and in no time – had dropped some 26 degrees. A wonderful heat shattering incident! All the way from pretty near 100-plus, we think.

For Whoever was at the world’s heat controls on Sunday moring about 11:00 a.m., thereabouts. . . . . thanks!

Try to stay cool!


It so happens we’re a “town louse,” so expertise in rural matters do not ring a bell with us always! But after reading only one sample copy of the Kiplinger Agriculture Letter’s forecasts for Agribusiness Decision Maker “special issue,” ‘twould be some good reading for those in the business.

Am including a copy of a “subscription app” – catch is that FFF doesn’t know if the same deal is applicable now. Our trial newsletter was in a special deal included in the Pana News-Palladium renewal  for the regular news business letter. It was from February of this year, we believe. We’re a slow reader! Ha!

Seems to me it might be a good thing for our  farmer friends, and others. We’d be glad to show or make copies for anyone interested.


Mrs. Donna Hands Brown of Minnesota, furnished a welcome treat for Doris earlier today.

In the area visiting her mother, friends and relatives, she stopped at Heritage Manor to visit Doris and FFF.

‘Twas a real treat for us seeing a classmate, Class of 1951, daughter of Mrs. Bill and the late Bill Hand, and a wonderful person!


So Long.


Births: July 25, 2011

Wes and Randi Castle are parents of a son, born at 2:57 p.m., Wednesday, July 13, 2011, in Decatur Memorial Hospital. John Jett weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mrs. Castle is the former Randi Holman.

Grandparents are Allen and Bobbie Holman of Fillmore and Tim and Suzi Castle of Pana. Great-grandparents are B John and Brenda Clark of Vandalia and John and Mary Castle of Pana.

Cowden-Herrick Schools Registration Dates

Registration dates for the 2011-2012 school year at Cowden-Herrick have been scheduled.

All students in  grades K-12 are to complete final registration on either Wednesday, Aug. 3 or Thursday, Aug. 4.

Registration on Wednesday, Aug. 3, will be held at the Cowden-Herrick Junior High in Herrick, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, registration will be held at the Cowden-Herrick grade school cafeteria in Cowden, 1:00 to 3:00 and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Book rental fees are due at registration. Book fees are $30 plus $20 for workbooks for grades 9-12 and $30 book rental, plus $10 for workbooks for grades K-8; sports fee (one time fee each year), $20; driver education fee, $20.

There will also be student accident insurance for those families that are interested. Lunch and breakfast fees are the same as in the past: high school $1.50; K-8, $1.25; breakfast 75¢ for all students.

Physical examinations are required for all students upon entrance into kindergarten, first grade, sixth grade and ninth grade. Students new to the district must also present evidence of a complete physical examination when registering for classes. Physical forms may be picked up at the school office. All student athletes going out for any sport must have their physicals before they can practice.

Dental exams are now required for students in kindergarten, second and sixth grades. Those forms are also available in the school office. The State of Illinois is now requiring all kindergarten students have an eye exam by an optometrist. Forms are in the school office.

Students in first, second, third, fifth and ninth grades, as well as all special educataion students, are required to have a vision and hearing test during the school year. These tests will be given by the Shelby County Health Department at the school. Fee for the service is $5, paid at registration. Make check payable to SCHD.

The 2009-2010 high school yearbooks are in. If  you have already purchased a book, they can be picked up at registration. A limited number of copies will be available for purchase at $40.