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Archives for February 2013

Snow, Wind, Batters Area Thursday


A CITY OF Pana snow plow clears off South Poplar St. Friday morning, Feb. 22, cleaning up from a winter storm which hit the area late Thursday afternoon and early Thursday night, Feb. 21.

Officially, the city recorded 3.6 inches of snow as a result of the storm. Several “backyard observers” noted anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of snow.

No major problems were reported, but there were a number of vehicles which had to be towed from ditches. The snow fell at a rapid rate. At one time, the National Weather Service estimated the snowfall was at 3 inches an hour. The wind also reduced visibility which did not help drivers. Later in the night, the snow turned to freezing rain, sleet and freezing drizzle.

Most major roadways were cleared before early Friday morning, but secondary and country roads were snow covered and icy, forcing school officials to call off school on Friday.

(Tom Latonis Photo)


Panthers Fall Victim To North Mac, 69-64, in Regional Championship Game


PANA’S JORDAN CLARK, number 44, handles the ball after a rebound during the Pana-North Mac Regional Championship basketball game in the Auburn High School gym on Friday, Feb. 22. He’s hoping to pass the ball off to Pana’s Dylon Hudlin, number 45, at the top of the key. 

Hudlin was Pana’s scoring leader with 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting from 3-point range.

However, the Panthers were unable to shut down North Mac’s Tommy Ulinski, who poured in 44 points in North Mac’s 69-65 win.

(Tom Latonis Photo)


It’s hard to imagine someone making 9 three-point baskets on 9-of-13 shooting in a game could be overshadowed, but that’s exactly what happened Friday night, Feb. 22, in the Auburn High School gym.

Pana senior Dylon Hudlin scored a career-high 28 points but his effort was eclipsed by North Mac’s Tommy Ulinski with 44 points, pacing the North Mac Panthers to a 69-64 win over the Pana Panthers in the IHSA Class 2A Auburn Regional.

Between Ulinski’s 44 points and 21 points by Taten Musso, a 6-3 junior, the pair combined for 65 of North Mac’s 69 points.

“We knew coming in they had scored 50 of their 60 the other night and scored 50 of their 56 against Nokomis when they beat them a few weeks ago,” Pana Head Coach Gary Bowker said following the game. “They look to those guys and the other kids on the team play their roles so well and get those guys open and don’t take bad shots.”

“We just never gave up,” Bowker said. “I felt good even when we were down by five. I thought, ‘We’re right there.’ We kept the pace right where we wanted it. I thought we could wear those guys down because we had a little better depth, but their kids are in great shape. They kept making those big shots down the stretch.”

Hudlin was able to shake loose for his 9th 3 of the game at the 23.8 second mark off an assist from Metzger to make it a 66-62 ball game as Bowker called his last time-out.

Ulinski got the in-bound and was fouled, making the second of his two free throws for a 67-62 North Mac lead. Jordan Clark got a rebound basket with 11.5 left, cutting the lead to 3, 67-64, But Ulinski’s 2 charities with 9 seconds left put the last nail in Pana’s coffin and secured the win, 69-64.

Hudlin kept the 3-point stroke he established during the Country Companies 3-Point Showdown (10-of-15) as the game started. He tossed in a pair of 3 pointers in the first 2 minutes of the game for an 8-0 lead with 6:07 left in the quarter. Hudlin had 7 3-pointers in the first half, making 7-of-9 from behind the arc.

Pana finishes the season with a 19-10 record. North Mac will head to the Beardstown Sectional on Tuesday night, Feb. 26, when the 21-7 Panthers take on Warsaw.

Hudlin will continue in the 3-Point Showdown in Beardstown this week. He was second in the showdown Friday night in Auburn.

Seventh Grade Volley Team Heads To Regional

After finishing the regular season with a 13-5 mark, the seventh grade Pana Junior High School volleyball team starts action in the IESA Class 3A Regional Tournament.

Pana has the number 1 seed and they get a first round bye into the semi-finals. The Panthers will face either Shelbyville or Sullivan at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26, in the Shelbyville Junior High School gym. The other semi-final, at 6:00 p.m., has Blue Mound playing Central A & M.

The match between Shelbyville and Sullivan takes place at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

Winners of the semi-finals goes to the regional championship at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28.

The regional winner at Shelbyville advances to the PJHS Sectional next week, on Monday, Mar. 4, at 6:00 p.m. The winner qualifies for the state tournament.

Final Match–

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the seventh grade defeated Hillsboro, 25-23, 25-15, in Hillsboro. Pana ended the Junior Mid-State Conference schedule with a 7-1 record.

Top server was Maddie Hackler with 11 and 3 aces. Madolyn Zahradka had 8 service points and Lily Anderson got 6 with 3 aces. Claire Holthaus, Madison Hilbert and Danielle Epley each served 5 points.

Aubrey Funneman made 6 kills and Grayson Beyers had 3. Brenna Dameris, Epley and Allyssa O’Rourke each got 2. Holthaus made 2 blocks and Dameris and Zahradka each had 1.

Zahradka dished out 5 assists with Funneman making 4. Hackler had 3 assists. Holthaus got 2 digs and Dameris and Zahradka, 1 each.

Out in Left Field: February 25, 2013

OILF-294x300They came pretty close. . . .

Don’t think you’ll see a better effort by a boys basketball team than the Pana Panthers put forth Friday night. Got to feel good about the way Dylon Hudlin shot the ball against North Mac –will have to go back to the days of Joey Shrake (as well as Justin Shrake) bombing them from outside to compare. Wish the outcome had been better. . . .

But, as I said, couldn’t fault the Panthers for the effort. A great season for the Panthers!


I’m not sure you could even call the 55th annual Daytona 500 a “race.” It looked more like the Daytona “Follow the Leader.”

Almost reminded me of traffic on Route 29 coming out of Springfield where the 4-lane ends at the end of the work day – drivers wanting to pass, but not going to take the chance. At least on Route 29, it’s for the right reasons – not wanting to plow into a car or truck going the other way!

But on Saturday, we saw the result of what happens when they try to race. Two massive pile ups.

I know a lot of emphasis has been put on the end of the race – where the car goes through the safety fence. But, if you were watching earlier, you’d note the race was red flagged (stopped) with 5 laps left because of another accident.

Looks to me like stock cars have doubled their length lately, as it takes another car behind you to push you along to get anywhere. Some of those “holes” drivers were trying to guide their cars through on the race track at 20 mph were barely big enough for one car, let alone the second one pushing from behind.

Even Danica Patrick admitted she was affraid to drop out of line to try to pass because she didn’t want to be shuffled down in the running order.

If racing like this continues, I don’t think NASCAR is going to like the result. They have more and more fans showing up disguised as empty seats!


See you next week!


Obituaries: February 25, 2013

Katherine Bond

Katherine Anne Beard Bond, 99, of Pana, died Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Lela Stout

Lela V. Stout, 92, of Bethany, died at 6:00 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 in Hawthorne Inn, Shelbyville. McMullin-Young Funeral Home, Bethany, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Donald Bland

Donald Bland, 63, of Pana, died Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 in Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis. Arrangements are incomplete with McCracken-Dean Funeral Home.

Condolences may be sent to


Kathryn Pease

Kathryn Pease, 83, of Pana, died today, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 in Decatur Memorial Hospital.                            Arrangements are incomplete with McCracken-Dean Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: February 25, 2013


Memo to the President, and members of the Congress of the United States of America:

To save any remnant of dignity after this second bringing the American people to the “brink” of despair and doubt over the real or imagined worry of living through this “sequestration,” Act. . . . !

And to President Obama. Lead us Sir! As you were elected to do.

To all – if things are as dire as all the propaganda, we the people keep hearing . . . .

Forget the words Democrat and Republican! And think America!!!! After all, that’s who we are . . . . .

To even think that those elected to lead us would let their constituents, especially the elderly,  into the valley walled by perpetual apprehension is something that presently is beyond our comprehension.

Let the oath of office you all have pledged your service and life – guide you. Nothing more is necessary.

Thank you . . . . .


So Long.


More Names Released From Grand Jury Indictments

The names of more persons charged with drug-related complaints have been released since the PN-P published a list of those arrested by the Central Illinois Enforcement Group and several police agencies in a sweep on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The Christian County grand jury met Feb. 13, and the related felony cases were filed Feb. 14. (The newspaper account was in error as to the date when the grand jury convened.)  The News-Palladium published 13 names.

Additional information has been obtained since then, regarding two Pana men who were arrested during the sweep, and three more names have been released and their charges revealed.

During the 7:22 a.m. apprehension of Lyle Linn, 50, on a warrant during the CIEG detail, more information was obtained and will be forwarded to the state’s attorney’s office for consideration of charges: possession of cannabis and of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of ammunition without a Firearm Owners Identification card.

•Robert Swafford of Pana, who is charged with possession of a controlled substance known as bath salts, specifically, 7 grams of Methylenedioxypryovalerone/MDPV. He is alleged to have committed the offense Oct. 12, 2012 at his residence.

Another individual posted $1,500 on his behalf, Feb. 19. Court appearance is set for Mar. 19.

According to Pana Police Department, when Swafford was arrested on the warrant at 8:19 a.m. last Tuesday during the CIEG detail, additional information was obtained and will be forwarded to the state’s attorney‘s office for consideration of charges: posession of a controlled substance.

Added Cases

•Kirstie A. Miller, 37, of Taylorville has four counts lodged against her: unlawful delivery of a controlled substance to a confidential source in 2012, 2.2 grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school on Jan. 3, 15 grams of cocaine Jan. 5, 2012; Jan. 3, 2.2 grams of cocaine, and on Jan. 5, 1.5 grams of cocaine, all in Kroger parking lot within 1,000 feet of a school. Bond is set at $100,000.

•Justin M. Durbin, 21, of Taylorville, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, six counts, 1.1 grams of cocaine on Dec. 21, 2011 in Taylorville; 2.8 grams of cocaine Dec. 22, 2011; 2 grams on Dec. 28, 2011; 2.6 grams cocaine on Jan. 10, 2012;  1.5 grams of cocaine Jan. 5, 2012, and 1.5 grams of cocaine Jan. 5, 2012, all at the Kroger Parking lot in Taylorville, within 1,000 feet of a school.

•Olajuwan D. Hampton-Jenkins, 23, of Taylorville, unlawful distribution of a look-alike substance (Class 3) Jan. 2, 2011 in Taylorville. Bond is set for $30,000.


Casner Elected To Statewide Hospital Network Board of Directors

Trina Casner, Chief Executive Officer at Pana Community Hospital in Pana, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network at its annual member meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Springfield.

In her new role, Casner will support the organization as it further advances its mission to strengthen and provide assistance and resources to its 51 member hospitals. On Jan. 1, 2012, she became President and CEO of Pana Community Hospital.

ICAHN is a network of 51 small rural Illinois hospitals dedicated to strengthening the operations of its member hospitals through collaboration. The organization is composed of Illinois hospitals who have earned Critical Access Hospital designation by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Laughs, Lines, Latonis: February 21, 2013

Hey, people of Pana – Jacob here.
I can’t believe track is almost here. It’s great that it starts next week with practice starting on Feb. 25.
Last weekend, I went to Wisconsin and stayed with my aunt and uncle. It was great!
We went to the Wisconsin-Ohio State basketball game. I was so happy when the Badgers won!
After that, we went snowboarding at Cascade Mountain. It was all amazing!
That’s all for this week!
Be sure all you kids out there 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 get a certificate for dinner at Pana’s McDonald’s.
Send your suggestions for this column by e-mail to
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Thirteen Drug-Related Arrests Tie With Grand Jury Indictments

Police enforcement agencies made a sweep Tuesday, Feb. 19, arresting 13 persons on narcotics and cannabis/marijuana charges. All are criminal felony complaints stemming from Christian County grand jury indictments returned Thursday, Feb. 14 at the courthouse in Taylorville. Eight are Pana residents – with two of them imprisoned with other convictions; four are from Taylorville and one, Decatur. Their ages range from 21 to 62, and bonds are from $15,000 to $100,000.

Pana residents include:

Brian K. Durbin, 29, 140 U.S. Hwy 51, delivery of controlled substance (Class 3), possession of 500-2,000 grams on Sept. 30, 2011 (Class 3);

• Lyle J. Linn, 50, of 106 N. Poplar, two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (Class 3), other amount of amp/fentanyl/anlg, Aug. 16  and Aug. 18, 2011;

• Robert P. Swafford, 29, 309 W. Orange, possession of controlled substance/other amount narcotic on Oct. 12, 2012 (Class 4);

• Justin M. Eckart, 22, with addresses of 1009 E. Second St., Pana and R. R. 2, Tower Hill, unlawful delivery of cannabis, 10-30 grams Nov. 8, 2011 (Class 4);

• Caycee D. Halbrook, 22, with addresses at 1009 E. Second and 118 S. Locust, two counts of manufacture/delivery of cannabis, 30-500 grams Dec. 2, 2011 (Class 3) and 10-30 grams on Oct. 24, 2011 (Class 4);

• Shane A. Mosley, 38, 412 S. Poplar and 203 McKinley addresses, possession of methamphetamine precursor, less than 15 grams on July 22 and 20, 2010 (Class 2);

• Kevin E. Hix, Illinois Department of Corrections, Pinckneyville, last address in Pana, unlawful delivery of cannabis (Class 3). Hix was sentenced Aug. 17, 2010 for possession of 30-500 grams of cannabis to three years imprisonment.

• Justin M. Caudle, 21, IDOC, Hillsboro, formerly of 310 N. Walnut, Pana, participation in meth production (Class X), 15-100 grams on Aug. 28, 2012. He was sentenced Jan. 31 to two years in prison for burglary.

Taylorville residents:

• Roy Childers, 62, Taylorville, delivery of controlled substance (Class 2);

• Billy R. Davenport, 47, delivery of controlled substance (Class 1);

• Shawn M. Westbrook, 28, delivery of controlled substance (Class 2);

• Tricia L. Cox, 42, possession of methamphetamine precursor (Class X), and

• Matthew P. Bridgman, 26, of Decatur, delivery of a controlled substance (Class 3).