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Archives for December 2013

Veteran Remembered, Honored at Christmas


DURING THIS HOLIDAY season, local veteran’s organizations paid tribute to veterans residing in several locations around Pana. These veterans at Heritage Health were presented Christmas presents.

In front, from left, Roger Halbrook, Richard Kasten, Melvert Cordani, Gilbert Virden, Louis Moreland and Harry Lewey.

In back, Wally Bingaman, American Legion Post 168; Ralph Wilson, Jim Stout, Mickey Clemmons, Matt Baldwin, Commander of VFW Post 4431; Leland Schmitz and Lowell Sickles.


AT GOWIN PARC in Pana, veteran Bruce Wieneke, in front, was presented his gift by, in back, John Funk, Mickey Clemons, Wally Bingaman, American Legion Post 168; Matt Baldwin Commander of VFW Post 4431 and Ralph Wilson.


Fair ‘Holiday Wonderland’ Through Dec. 31

A little less than a week is left for visitors to pass through the Pana Tri-County Fair’s “Winter Wonderland” at the fairgrounds.

Officials said the final night of the show will be Tuesday, Dec. 31.

The fairgrounds is open for viewing between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 p.m.


City Council Again Votes for Four-Member Committees

On a 5-1 vote, Pana City Council voted to reinstate four-member committees, at the Monday, Dec. 23 meeting in city hall. For some time, the numbers of committee members has been in debate. Recently, there has been a push to expand committees to four members.

The same ordinance passed in the fall, but Mayor Steve Sipes vetoed the change. The council could not over-ride the veto.

The matter was the second presentation and passage of the amendment for changing committee structure, with Bill Pierce making the motion to approve. Voting “No” was Glen Schneider. Other aldermen present to vote for the measure were Debbie Dust, Wayne Richter, Ron Miles, and Roger Lebon. Absent aldermen were Raymond “Butch” Hocq, due to the illness of his wife, and Tim Eddy.

The problem with an electric panel at the water plant remains unresolved relating to the company that installed it. The company is in the process of setting a date to work on the unit when consultant Don Buerk is present to show what the panel is doing and not doing. It is hoped to have this accomplished before the next meeting.

Richwood Manor

Under Community Operations, a committee meeting was requested to discuss a master (water) meter and bill for Richwood Manor, a mobile home court on the northeast side. In addition, Attorney Farr was directed to review the current agreement with Richwood Manor to determine whether or not it complies with the present ordinance regarding branching of water lines.

An executive session to discuss the agreement for legal services/municipal attorney contract was held from 7:38 to 7:51 p.m. However, no action was taken after the regular meeting resumed.

There was a motion to turn the question of definition of the meaning of “official” to the Administration Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.


Pana Girls Drop First Game Of State Farm Classic

The Pana High School girls basketball team played Kankakee Bishop McNamara this morning, Dec. 26, in their first game of the State Farm Classic Holiday Tournament in Bloomington. The girls came up on the short end of a 59-49 score.

Pana had a 19-13 first quarter lead and were up, 32-30, at halftime. But Bishop Mac out-scored Pana 29-17 in the second half.

Pana will now face the loser of the El Paso-Gridley/St. Joseph-Ogden game. It is scheduled at the Normal Community High School gym at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27. That winner will be in the semi-finals of the consolation bracket at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28. The consolation championships is at 9:00 p.m. that night. Those two games are in the Normal West High School gym.

Another loss by Pana puts them is a game at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and a win in that game puts them in the 5th Place Consolation game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. A loss drops them from tournament play.

At Vandalia–

In the last game of the regular season prior to the tournament, Pana got on the winning track with a 53-48 win at Vandalia in South Central Conference action on Thursday, Dec. 19. Sydney Lett poured in 31 points to lead the way for Pana as they won for the first time in SCC play. They are 1-3 in the SCC and 3-8 overall.

Lett’s performance featured 20 trips to the free throw line of which she sank 14. She was 8-of-10 in the fourth quarter. She accounted for all 10 of Pana’s fourth quarter points.

Other Pana scorers included Lexie Siegert with 7 points and Rachel Alde chipped in 4 points. Renee Waddington, Reaghan Vaughn and Breanna Schoonover all scored 3 points apiece and Daylee Denton had 2 points. Siegert got 6 rebounds and Lett led in assists.

In the junior varsity contest, Pana got out to a 21-10 first quarter lead and went on to defeat Vandalia’s JV, 68-38.

At Piasa–

Traveling to Piasa for a SCC game with the Southwestern Birds on Monday, Dec. 16, the Panthers dropped a 38-21 contest.

Sydney Lett scored 8 points as the top Pana scorer. Renee Waddington and Erin Holthaus got 4 points apiece with Taylor Rochkes picking up 3 points. Lexie Siegert had 2 points.

Once the tournament is over, Pana will have a non-conference contest to get back into regular season play. They will host Clinton, starting at 1:00 p.m. with the JV game, on Saturday, Jan. 4, in the Pana High School gym.


Vandalia’s 42nd Annual Tourney Starts Today

The Pana Panthers start play today, Thursday, Dec. 26, in the 42nd annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament in the VHS gym. The Panthers have a 5:00 p.m. game with Maroa-Forsyth.

Pana, runners up in last year’s tournament, is one of 10 teams in the tournament. They have the number 4 seed. Flora, defending champs, are the first seed. Other teams in the field include host Vandalia, St. Elmo-Brownstown, South Central, Altamont (second seed), Effingham St. Anthony, Greenville and Shelbyville.

In the round-robin format, Pana plays again on Friday, Dec. 27, twice. They have the early game with South Central at 9:30 a.m., then come back at 5:00 for a game with St. Elmo-Brownstown. On Saturday, Dec. 28, at 8:00 p.m., they take on Flora.

Monday, Dec. 30, is championship day with the 9th place game at 2:00, followed by the 7th place game at 3:30 p.m. The 5th place game starts at 5:00 p.m. with the 3rd place game at 6:30, followed by the championship game at 8:00 p.m.


Junior High Teams Off Until 2014

The Pana Junior High School boys basketball teams have a Christmas break over the next two weeks.

Facing Greenville in a rescheduled game on Wednesday, Dec. 18, the seventh grade lost, 36-29.

Vs. Vandalia–

It was an exciting 1-point win for the seventh grade with Vandalia, 38-37.

The eighth grade fell, 57-44.

The 7th grade has a 7-10 mark this season and the 8th grade is 3-11.

When the new year comes, Pana will be going to Litchfield for a game on Monday, Jan. 6, then be home to host Greenville on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Central A & M comes calling on Thursday, Jan. 9, in non-conference action. The 7th grade game starts at 6:00 p.m. each night followed by the 8th grade game.

Obituaries: December 26, 2013

Velma Wygal

Velma Micenheimer Wygal, 90, of Pana, formerly of Hillsboro died Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 in Gowin Parc, Pana. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to


Ruth Turner

Ruth I. Turner, 89, of Shelbyville, died at 4:16 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 in Shelbyville Manor. Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: December 26, 2013


If anyone is hard to follow – it’s Santa Claus . . . . .!

And that mission falls to us today! Hope the building up of yesterday morning around the millions of holiday trees world-wide held the same magic and mystique before the arrival of the jolly gent has in many days, years and centuries past for all!

This especially true for all who have not lost the traits of expectation, anticipation, excitement and belief that everything good this “man of the ages” promoter of the reindeer and all the other things that keep people happy anticipating his arrival and all the good things that the “baby in the manger” for whom we basically celebrate the wonderful night (eve) and day of the Savior.

Even though while we mortals find ourselves leaning on the superficial, while those with feelings are turned on by the celestial, never-the-less find time to share “the day” with the more mystic side of the holiday.

FFF, himself, basks in the days before the big holiday and their anticipatory qualities or expectation and the sense as darkness falls each evening that something big, wonderful and beautiful is about to happen!

And that along with calling on our childhood memories for the commonality of everyday happenings that move our senses of even though this is the world – there still remains space and time to wish for the unexpected, seeming impossible to happen, that we all wish for deep down in our hearts. FFF still does!

Translated: It’s now time for FFF to move out of his yuletide fantasy and return to the real world!

But, before totally dismissing this season to storage and calendar watching for its next appearance of the gentle, little old man in the red suit trimmed in fur, let us once more congratulate him on the creation of the mystical ages that he, along with Charles Dickens, and other talented people have created for us through the ages. Wish FFF had some of that!

And as far as we’re concerned, let us still be mindful, sympathetic and possibly understanding of those who find that religion in any fashion, stirs the fires of misunderstanding, discomfort and some even to the point of hatred! And are constantly about their world-wide evangelism!

Above all, the “season” was never meant for that but for them also the God above sees, hears and understands!

Amen . . . . .!



Jerry Dowell

And adding to the signing off of the 1973 Christmas season is a photo given to us by his family for use of one of the 6 children of Mr. and Mrs. Rudy and Flo Ann Dowell, in what we shall call a “season closing manger” scene for 1973. They reside in Hickory Estates.

Jerry Dowell, then 3 or 4, found a favorite place to nap on the Rudy and Flo Ann Dowell farm back in 1972. It is the “box” of the family’s combine. The Dowell farm was northwest of Tower Hill.

Jerry is now, of course, a grown man and participating in farming with his brother, John, of Ramsey.


And to all a good night and Happy New Year . . . . . .


So Long.


Celebrating 60th Anniversary

Jim and Wanda King of Pana, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on Friday, Dec. 27. The couple were married Dec. 27, 1953, at the home of her parents, C.C. and Hazel Tipton, in Dundas, with Rev. Forrest Crouch officiating.

They have three children: Tina and Walt Evans, Stan and Suzie King and Jim King; grandchildren Corey and Chase King, Jeremy and Jason Easton and Trevor King; and seven great-grandchildren.

Suhrbier Named MacMurray Ambassador 

JACKSONVILLE, IL — Elizabeth Suhrbier, a junior nursing major from Pana, was named a Student Ambassador for MacMurray College. The 2011 graduate of Central A&M High School in Moweaqua, is the daughter of Julia Perry of Pana.

After a rigorous selection process including interviews, 18 students were chosen based on their leadership skills and their academic achievements. The goal of the Student Ambassador Program is to use outstanding volunteer students to communicate effectively with prospective students through the recruitment process. Ambassadors will have the opportunity to learn speaking and leadership skills, build confidence, improve their resumes and give back to the MacMurray community.