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Archives for April 2014

Renovation Project Continues At Pana Towers Housing Unit



THE $7.9 MILLION renovation of Pana Towers on South Locust Street in Pana continue. The eight-story building makeover – both inside and out – should take the rest of the year to complete.

The finances are a combination of public and private funds.

However, residents from lower floors of the building will be moving into the renovated apartments on the eighth floor this week (top photo). Work continues on the seventh floor where completion is expected shortly and it is also progressing on schedule on the sixth floor (bottom photo) where work is also underway.

The redevelopment was initiated by the Christian County Housing Authority. Christian County Integrated Housing Corp. will take over the day to day operation of the facility once completed.

The 72-unit complex will feature apartments on the first floor and the main entrance will be moved to the south end of the building. Laundry facilities will be on each floor of the building and it is wired for the Internet.

More details on the remodel will appear in future issues of the PN-P.

(Tom Latonis Photos)


PPD Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs Saturday

Pana Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Bring the medication for disposal to Pana Walgreens at 108 South Poplar Street.  This service is free and anonymous, and no questions are asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the US are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses do to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinets.

In addition, Americans are warned their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines (flushing down the toilet or throwing them in the trash) pose potential safety and health hazards.

The Pana Police Department, Taylorville Police Department, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Christian County Prevention Coalition, and the DEA will continue to hold drug take-back events until new regulations are in place to properly dispose of these medicines.

Fact, Fun & Fillips: April 24, 2014


Daughter Trish replaced Editor Tom Latonis in seeing FFF got to the N-P this morning to accomplish what little he does – including writing this column, one of the “loves” of his life in the years he has been here.

And we spend hours and hours each night laying awake and dictating or all sorts of civic projects to push the town forward.

And in recent weeks, FFF has been fired up over a drive to move the town forward.

Then today on coming downtown, we traveled different paths.

Has anyone travelled the areas of “blight” in what was called the “City of Roses” recently? And if they haven’t, why not?

After our trip around, just this morning – and it just wants to make us cry!

It also gave us a sense of dissapointment and disolution. Our first thought to ourself is that we don’t have enough time to get the job of “clean up” over the percentages of problems health and otherwise. Until something drastic is proposed.

Something must be done to clean up the city we’ve proposed our love for so long.

FFF will begin carrying a camera. And along with that we will accept calls here at the N-P for areas of neglect and will publish pictures, with location, etc. We will assure when we do, they will all be down and presented legally.

We will be watching to see there are no “vendettas” of persons merely to hurt some.

Sites will be published that show but sign of neglect.

We ask that we do not hear an upright roar of this in disapproval.

No one would like to live near some of the scenes we saw this morning! They shouldn’t have to is our claim.

We speak of all over town, residential, some business properties, the town and area in general, unfinished projects, building or razing, etc.

If we don’t accomplish this, we might not need to – for with continued neglect like has already taken place – we will not have to – the city and all of us.

And as publisher and owner of this newspaper in this once beautiful and thriving town we do not want to play a bigger part in its demise than we have to.

And how did it happen?

And how did this happen?

Just like you and the next person and this writer did when such situations arose, we turned our heads away, made small talk and we, and persons within the city administration let such things escape from what should be our caring eyes and of this newspaper, if indeed we do love this town the way we say we do!!!!

And we put our signature at the end of this piece, just to authenticate it!

So, in this case we do – so there will be no mistake . . . . .


So Long.


Pana Shuts Out Hillsboro, 5-0, on Senior Day


SENIORS ON THE Pana High School girls soccer team were honored on Senior Day, Monday, Apr. 21, at Tanner Field in Pana.

The seniors and their parents are, from left, Zadie Miller, daughter of John and Heather Milby; Kelsey Henschen, daughter of Keith Henschen and Angie Rutherford; Gabby Beyers, daughter of Joe Beyers and Crystal Kay; and Hannah Baker, Daughter of Sherie Baker.

For the fourth time in five games, the Pana girls soccer team has shut-out their opponent. On Monday, Apr. 21, it was the Hillsboro Hiltoppers, 5-0, on Senior Day at Tanner Field in Pana.

Four seniors – Zadie Miller, Kelsey Henschen, Gabby Beyers and Hannah Baker – were all introduced to the fans prior to the start of the game.

Pana’s Sydney Lett recorded a hat trick with 3 goals all in the first half. She was assisted each time by Myah Herbord. Lett scored at the 5 minute mark, then 3 minutes later and finally 27 minutes into the half.

In the second half, Pana got insurance goals from Sydney Maton at the 10 minute mark and Zadie Miller put one in the back of the net 23 minutes into the half. Jessica Swenny got the assist on the Maton goal and Reaghan Vaughn on Miller’s.

The Toppers had just 2 shots on goal in the contest and goal tenders Taylor Rochkes and Savannah Horton had 1 apiece. Meanwhile, Pana peppered Hillsboro keeper Reba Morrison with 25 shots and she made 20 saves.

Pana got 4 corner kicks and Hillsboro didn’t have any.

The Panthers are 9-1 and will hit the road for a South Central Conference foe, Litchfield today, Thursday, Apr. 24, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 26, at 10:00 a.m., Pana is home to host Carlinville in another SCC game, then on Monday, Apr. 28, Pana is off to Centralia for a tournament game. The tournament continues on Thursday and Saturday, May 1 and 3.


Pana Drops Edinburg; Loses To Litchfield Wednesday

The Pana Panthers split their last two games played at Panthers Field in Pana. On Monday, Apr. 21, they were 12-2 winners over Edinburg in 5 innings. Litchfield came calling on Wednesday, Apr. 23, and came away with an 8-2 South Central Conference win.

Pana was behind, 2-1, against Edinburg before a 3-run outburst in the third and 5 more unanswered runs in the fourth to take a commanding 9-2 lead. The Panthers got 3 more runs in the bottom of the fifth to seal the win by the 10-run rule.

Kyle Gibson went the distance, throwing a 2-hitter. He struckout 5 Wildcats batters.

Rhett Zahradka was 2-for-5 and drove in 5 runs in the game. Jeff Winter went 4-for-4 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI’s. Jordan Clark was 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and Christian Lett had a hit with an RBI and 2 runs scored.

Vs. Litchfield–

Litchfield got 14 hits in their win on Wednesday. Pana had 7 hits and committed 3 errors in the game.

Rhett Zahradka was tagged with the loss. He pitched 4 innings and allowed 2 runs, 1 earned. He struckout 5 and walked 2. He gave up 7 hits in the contest.

Kyle Gibson went 2-for-4 with a run scored and stolen base. Christian Lett was 2-for-3 with an RBI and 2 stolen bases. Brock Trexler and Zahradka were 2-for-3 at the plate. Trexler had a double.

Pana is 5-6 on the season and 2-3 in the South Central Conference.

Next action is set for Friday, Apr. 25, as Greenville comes to Pana for an SCC contest. First pitch is at 4:30 p.m. Another SCC game is set for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Apr. 28, when Piasa Southwestern invades Panthers Field.


Free Soccer Clinic Saturday

Challenger Sports British Soccer coaches will be at Tanner Park Saturday, Apr. 26, at 1:00 p.m. for a free soccer skills clinic. All soccer players, age 5 and up, are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Pana Soccer League will host British Soccer Camp July 14-18.  Each day of camp will cover a different aspect of skill such as passing, shooting, turning, and dribbling.  The camp finishes with World Cup scrimmages.

The Challenger Sports ‘champions of character’ (respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and leadership) are covered each day of camp.

Players will have the opportunity to sign up for camp Saturday, and will receive a free official Challenger Sports British Soccer jersey when they do so.  During camp, all players will also receive a player evaluation, poster, soccer ball, and a t-shirt.

As a reminder, spring soccer resumes on Sunday, Apr. 27, at 1:00 p.m. All players currently in third through eighth grade may play. Cost is $15.

Interested players may register at or in person at the Tanner Park concession stand starting at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.


Pana Swamps Ramsey, 11-0

An 11-run third inning led the Pana Panthers softball team to an 11-0, 5-inning win over the Ramsey Rams Monday, Apr. 21. The game was played in Ramsey.

Adrianna Suter threw another great game allowing only one hit while striking out 11 and walked just 1 batter.

Vs. Morrisonville–

At Tanner Field on Tuesday, Apr. 22, Sue Smart threw a one-hitter as the Panthers won their fifth straight game over the Morrisonville Mohawks, 6-1.

Morrisonville got their first and only hit off Smart in the top of the first and  that would be their last. Morrisonville scored their only run due to a couple of second inning errors by Pana. Afterwards, Smart would go on to throw the next five innings, giving up only one base on balls while striking out five.

Meanwhile, it took the Panthers offense until the third inning to get things rolling and Pana took a 2-1.

Pana then scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th to make the score 5-1. Pana got its final run in the fifth, making it 6-1.

Vs. Litchfield–

It was a tough night for the Panthers as they could only muster 3 hits in a 10-0 loss to the Litchfield Purple Panthers on Wednesday, Apr. 23, at Tanners.

The Panthers host Greenville at 4:30 p.m. in a South Central Conference game at Tanner Field on Friday, Apr. 25. On Saturday, Apr. 26, Pana is at Lincolnwood for a 10:00 a.m. contest and they return home to face another SCC foe, Piasa Southwestern at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Apr. 28.

Obituaries: April 24, 2014

Richard Trelz

Richard Trelz, 76, of Pana, died Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 in Gowin Parc, Pana. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Michael Flemming

Michael D. Fleming, 74, of Pana, died in his home Monday, Apr. 21, 2014. Kennedy and Sons Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Joseph Miller

Joseph C. Miller, 84, of LeRoy, died at 3:28 p.m., Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 in Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal. Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy, in charge of arrangements.


Cassandra Pollard

Cassandra L. Pollard, 44, of Effingham, formerly of Vandalia died Saturday, Apr. 19. The family is being served by Kennedy & Sons Wallace-Carroll Funeral Home, Herrick. Condolences may be sent to


Mary VanHooser

Mary E. VanHooser, 73, of Tower Hill, died Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014 in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to


Daniel Long

Daniel J. Long, 63, of Nokomis, died at 9:29 p.m., Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014, in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield. Stiehl-Dawson Funeral Home, Nokomis, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Evan Gatons Seeking Mike Rowe Scholarship, MTI


Pana High School senior Evan Gatons is seeking to win a Mike Rowe Works Foundation Scholarship to further his education this summer at Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) in Springfield. He is the son of Scott and Rhonda Gatons.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, Evan had to write an essay telling why he wanted the scholarship and also needed two letters of recommendations. Once he was accepted, Evan had to make a short video explaining why he’s like the scholarship. He was among 50 finalists whose videos appear on Facebook. The public has been invited to go to the Facebook page and vote for their favorite video.

People need to go to Evan’s Facebook page or the MTI Facebook page and vote for Evan’s video. The voting ends at midnight on Sunday, Apr. 27. The top four vote-getters will each win a scholarship.

Evan said he was in fifth place right now and needs support to jump up a spot.

It will be a quick turn around for Evan at MTI. He will graduate from PHS on Friday night, May 30, and will start his course at MTI on Monday, June 2. Evan will take the HVAC and major appliance course. It is a nine month session.


Baby, Little Miss/Mr. Contests During Pana Days

The Baby, Little Miss and Little Mr. Chautauqua Contests (formally  Chili Pepper contests) will be held Saturday, May 17, during Pana Days Chautauqua at Pana Kitchell Park at the Chautauqua Stage and is presented by McDonald’s, Prairie Rose Health Care and Qik-N-Ez.

Children three through six years of age will compete for the title of 2014 Little Miss or Mr. Chautauqua, 2014 Little Miss or Mr. Chautauqua 1st Runner-up and 2014 Little Miss or Mr. Chautauqua 2nd Runner up.   Awards and Pana Chamber of Commerce gift certificates will be given to each of the three winners in both the Little Miss and Little Mr. contests.

Babies will be competing in three different age categories; newborn through 12 months, 13 through 24 months and 25 thru 35 months.  Awards and Pana Chamber gift certificates will be presented to the baby winners in each class

Single Entry forms for all three contests are now available at the Chamber of Commerce office, Pana McDonald’s, Pana News-Palladium, and Pana Qik-N-Ez. Entry fee is $5 for boys, girls and babies, payable to the Pana Chamber of Commerce. Entries, with entry fees, will be due in the Pana Chamber of Commerce Office, Pana City Hall, no later than noon on Monday May 12.

The Baby Chautauqua contest will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. and the babies should arrive at 8:45. The Little Miss Chautauqua contest will begin immediately following the announcement of the baby winners and the Little Mr. Chautauqua Contest will start immediately following the announcement of the Little Miss Winners.

For more information call the Pana Chamber Office at 562-4240.