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Archives for December 2012

Holiday Cheer, Decorations In Pana, 2012


BRIGHT AND COLORFUL decorations have lit up Pana this holiday season. Many homes in and around Pana have been decorated by owners, most of them saying the great weather prior to the holidays enabled them to get out and set up their displays.

This is the Delmar Voudrie home, 815 E. Second St. in Pana.


THE HOME OF Kevin and Candy Cothern, 210 Kennedy Ave., in Pana.


(Tom Latonis Photos)


DCFS Files Lawsuit Against Mizeur Trucking, Driver, KV

Four months after a crash in which two persons were killed on a country road intersection south of Dunkel, a lawsuit has been filed by an agent for Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and as guardian for two of three children who survived.

The daytime collision happened Aug. 3 as a Kemmerer Village van was southbound on 2500 East Road and a Mizeur Trucking, LLC, semi tractor trailer was going west. According to the Illinois State Police report related in the PN-P, the van driver, Daniel Kennell, 40, of Taylorville died at the scene. He was a KV staff member. Lucky Hamilton, 14, a KV resident, died the next day from his injuries at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Cheryl Carson, 47, of Decatur, also a KV staff member, and three other KV youth who were residents of the rural Assumption facility, were passengers in the van and were injured. The other three young people – two girls ages 14 and 15, and the boy, 16, were airlifted from the scene along with Hamilton.

Rick Evrley, 53, of Owaneco, the semi driver, was uninjured.

The two-count lawsuit filed on Dec. 4 seeks $100,000 judgment plus costs of the action by D. Jean Ortega Peron, as guardian of Baylee Gentry and William Thomas, minors, and as IDCFS agent, is the plaintiff, through the Chicago law firm of Mitchell, Hoffman & Wolf. (Reporter’s note: the fourth, unnamed youth injured in the crash, is not mentioned in the complaint.)

The first count cites Rick J. Evrley, independently and as agent of Mizeur Trucking, LLC, and also Mizeur Trucking, LLC. The second count is against Kemmerer Village.

In the second count, the complaint restates the incidents preceding the crash, adding Kennell was driving the southbound van as agent and employee of Kemmerer Village, when the vehicle struck the semi. In disregard for the duties owed to other drivers on the roadways, including operating the van in a safe manner, Kemmerer Village was negligent by and through its employees and/or agents in one or more ways: failing to yield to the vehicle driven by Evrley, carelessly and negligently operated and controlled the van at a speed greater than reasonable, failed to sound the horn, and failed to stop at the intersection.

The resulting collision caused injuries as mentioned in the first count, states the suit, of permanent and lasting nature.

Paul Wolf of the Chicago law firm is attorney for the plaintiff, D. Jean Ortega-Piron.


PN-P Monday; Office Closed New Year’s Day

The Monday, Dec. 31, issue of the Pana News-Palladium will be printed at its usual time.

Subscribers will be getting their copy in the mail on Tuesday as usual.

The Thursday, Jan. 3, issue of the PN-P will appear at the regular time that day.

The PN-P office will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1, for New Years.

We wish all of our readers a Happy New Year.

Second Half Outburst Lifts Pana Over St. Elmo, 66-48

The Pana Panthers boys basketball team scored almost as many points in the third quarter as they did in the first half of their game with the St. Elmo Eagles on Wednesday, Dec. 26, and posted a 66-48 win in their first game of the Vandalia Holiday Tournament.

Senior Dylon Hudlin had one of his best varsity games of his career as he scored 18 points to lead the Panthers. Four Pana players were in double figures in scoring in the game.

A trio of Panthers scored 10 points in the game. They were Kyle Gibson, Clint Kircher and Raustin Zahradka. Alex Metzger finished with 9 points and Andrew Rybolt had 5. Brock Trexler and Kyle Miller each scored 2 points. Robbie Hester cleaned up 10 rebounds and Metzger got 6. Rybolt and Kircher had 4 apiece.

Connor Beasley and Levi Maxey led the Eagles with 17 points each.

Pana improves to 6-3 on the season and they are 1-0 in tournament pool play.

The Panthers have a pair of games today, Thursday, Dec. 27. The first game was at 12:30 p.m. versus South Central. They come back and face Greenville in a game at 5:00 p.m.

On Friday, Dec. 28, Pana wraps up pool play with a contest with Flora at 8:00 p.m.

The championship round of games takes place on Saturday, Dec. 29.


Schoonover, Lett Trigger Pana Girls Win at Classic

Sophomore Sydney Lett scored 18 points and senior Allie Schoonover added 16 as the guard tandem of the Pana Panthers led their team to a 57-55 win over Fairbury Prairie Central in the State Farm Classic Tournament in Bloomington on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

But while Sydney Lett was big news in Bloomington, perhaps the biggest news of the day was Syndey’s big sister, Charley, who returned to action following recuperation from a torn ACL in volleyball in the fall. She was released from the doctor exactly 3 months and a day following her injury on Sept. 25. She did not start the game, but had limited play in all four quarters. She finished the game with 5 points, getting a first quarter 3-pointer and a basket in the second quarter.

The younger Lett celebrated the return of her sister to the line-up with a pair of 3’s and went 8-of-10 from the free throw line.

For Schoonover, she had 4 baskets from the field and was 8-of-8 from the free throw line. The Panthers shot 72% from the line, 18-of-25. Half of those free throw points came in the fourth quarter when Pana was 9-of-15. For the second half, Pana was 13-of-19.

Hannah Funneman had 7 points and got 6 rebounds. Kendal Frisina and Nadine Vaughn each had 3 points and Lexi Siegert and Rachel Alde had 2 points. Breanna Schoonover had 1 point.

Gabby Webber of Fairbury led all scorers with 19 points and Laura Crane had 15. Prairie Central was 10-of-14 from the free throw line for 72%.

The win improves Pana’s overall record to 14-2 this season.

This evening, Thursday, Dec. 27, Pana faces Annawan at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played in the U. S. Cellular Coliseum in downtown Bloomington.


Hornets Round-Up

At the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament, the Cowden-Herrick Hornets burned the Ramsey Rams for 20 points in the fourth quarter of their game on Friday, Dec. 14, to pull out a 57-47 win. The Hornets trailed, 42-37 entering the fourth quarter.

Luke Moore poured in 25 points and Tyson Morgason added 18. Moore had 8 rebounds in the game. Ethan Schoonover had 5 points and Seth Barnes added 4. A. J. Miller scored 3 points with Caleb Heiserman having 2 points and 3 steals.

The Hornets were down, 12-9 after a period and it was 26-22, Ramsey at halftime.

The Hornets shot 37% from the floor, making 18-of-49. They hit 17-of-24 from the free throw line, 71%.

In the final game of the tournament on Saturday, Dec. 15, the Hornets dropped Brownstown, 59-38. Cowden-Herrick was down, 16-12, after one quarter, but then went on to out-score the Bombers, 47-22 in the last 3 quarters.

In a fairly balanced scoring attack, Luke Moore had 16 points for the Hornets. Tyson Morgason had 15 and Ethan Schoonover added 10 points. Dylan Barnes had 6 points with Tyler Black getting 4. Caleb Heiserman, Carson Lorton, Seth Barnes and A. J. Miller each had 2 points. Both Moore and Morgason pulled down 11 rebounds apiece.

Cowden-Herrick was 21-of-52 from the floor for 40%. The shot 68% from the free throw line, going 15-of-22.

Moore was selected to the first team all-tournament.

In the final game before Christmas break, the Hornets went to Altamont on Tuesday, Dec. 18, and the Indians handed them a 63-61 setback in overtime.

Four of the Hornets were in double figures scoring, led by Luke Moore with 15 points. Seth Barnes, Ethan Schoonover and Tyson Morgason each tossed in 12 points. Colton Burrus had 5 points with Caleb Heiserman getting 4. A. J. Miller had 1 point. Moore had 13 rebounds and Barnes had 7.

Altamont had a 31-22 lead at halftime, but the Hornets out-scored them 32-23 in the second half to send the game into overtime, tied at 54-54.

From the floor, C-H was 22-of-65 for 34% and they made 12-of-20, 60% at the free throw line.

The Hornets are 8-4 this season.

Obituaries: December 27, 2012

Paul D. ‘Bud’ Cothern

Paul D. “Bud” Cothern, Jr., 85, died peacefully at his home in Olathe, Kas. on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2012, after celebrating the holiday with family. Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 14275 S. Blackbob, Olathe, Kas., in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Timothy Ockler

Timothy “Tim” Paul Ockler, 47, of Pana, formerly of Anaconda Mont., died at 8:58 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, in Prairie Rose Health Care Center, Pana. Arrangements are incomplete with Kennedy and Sons Funeral Home, Pana. Send condolences to

Births: December 27, 2012

Tyler and Jamie (Walter) Cooper of Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, are parents of their first child, Jase Tyler Cooper, born at 9:52 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 at Bassett Community Army Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska.  He weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz and was 20 inches long.

Maternal grandparents are Jim and Sharon Walter of Tower Hill.  Paternal grandparents include John and Peggy Cooper of Coffeen and Staci Mollett of Hillsboro.  Maternal Great-grandparents are Susan Walter and the late James Walter of Pana, Marilyn Vits of Pana and James Vits of Tower Hill.  Paternal Great-grandparents are Bill and Carolyn Cooper of Coffeen, Vern and the late Peggy Holtgrave of Breese

Marissa Presnell December Senior of the Month at FNB, Pana


MARISSA PRESNELL, LEFT, is presented her award as the December Senior of the Month at First National Bank of Pana. It was presented by Mike Cothern of the bank staff.

Marissa Presnell is the December Senior of the Month at First National Bank of Pana. She is the daughter of Randy and Tracy Presnell of Pana.

Marissa has a 4.08 Grade Point Average on a 4.0 scale. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is a scholar-athlete. She is a member of the volleyball and track teams at PHS and has played intramural basketball. She is a member of the WYSE team and the Foreign Language Club. She was a member of the Prom Committee.

In her spare time she enjoys sports, going to church and hanging out with her friends. She has been involved in Service Learning at the high school and an administrative assistant with PBI and baby-sitting.

She plans to attend Eastern Illinois University and study Speech Pathology.


Senior Citizens Monthly Meeting

Pana Area Senior Citizens will hold their monthly meeting Wednesday, Jan. 2. A roast pork meal, catered by Lynnette DeClerck, will be served at noon.

Prior to the meal, entertainment will be by Country Music performers, Tadd Slater and the Smart Brothers.

Cost of the meal is $5. All seniors are encouraged to attend. Bingo will be played following the meal.