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Archives for August 2014

Pana School Board: Smaller Fiscal Year Deficit Projected for 2015

Members of the Pana School Board passed a tentative budget Monday night, Aug. 18, with less red ink in the Education Fund than has been projected over the past few years. Members voted 5-0 in favor with members Clint Foor and John McLeod absent.

The 2014 Fiscal Year budget first indicated a $1.1 million deficit in the Education Fund. However, figures posted on June 30 show the deficit to be about $731,000. The new spending plan for Fiscal 2015 shows the deficit to be about $425,000.

According to Dr. David Lett, Pana school superintendent who presented the budget, there may be a further reduction in the deficit of another $25,000, which would place it at $400,000.

“We have made some significant progress in the reduction of our debt,” Lett said.

Most of the deficit reduction was due to the closure of Tower Hill Jefferson Middle School this school year.

Lett said in the past four years, Illinois state aid to the district has been “shorted” $2.3 million. This year, the state will provide 89% of aid from the 2010 level.

The one bright spot when it comes to state aid is in transportation, Lett said. From early indications, the superintendent said it appears the state will fund the district at a the 100% level. However, this past fiscal year, the state only paid 73% of the total.

Even with the Board approving transferring $200,000 from the Working Cash Fund to Transportation, there will still be a projected deficit of abut $39,000. If not for the transfer, the deficit would be around $238,000.

Over the next 30 days, while the budget is on public display, the numbers will be refined and some adjustments will be made. A final vote on the Fiscal 2015 budget will take place at the next school board meeting, set for Monday, Sept. 22, in the Pana High School library. The meeting is a week later than usual to allow the statutory 30-day public inspection period to be met.

Roof, Floor Repairs–

Lori Ade, District Buildings, Grounds and Transportation Director, reported to the Board the roof of the Unit Office and Bus Garage on East Main Street needs replacing. She said this past winter was especially hard on the roof and with recent rains, it was discovered the roof membrane had pulled away from the edges, causing tears and rips where water has penetrated.

Repairs to the roof were put off due to the need to replace the roofs at Washington and Lincoln schools which were done last summer.

Bid specifications will be prepared on the unit office roof replacement.

Ade also noted repairs are going to be made on the gym floors in both elementary schools which were installed this summer. She said there was a curing issue with the floor covering and the contractor will be in Pana during the Labor Day weekend to make the repairs. The school district will pick up the contractor’s overnight accommodations for the weekend, but the contractor will supply the materials and equipment to make the repairs.

Sportsmanship Policy–

A new policy concerning the conduct of Pana Panthers fans in the bleachers takes effect this school year after the Board approved the policy at the meeting.

Fans who violate the policy will be issued a warning for the first offense. Second offense will mean a one-game suspension and a 365-day probationary period. If a third offense occurs while on probation, the spectator will be suspended for at least one year from attending any school sanctioned event.

Other Business–

An agreement between the school district and the Pana Sports Boosters was approved. The plan covers varsity uniforms and the replacement of uniforms every five years. It will be the responsibility of the athlete or parents to replace a uniform which is mot returned, lost or damaged. The player and parent will be required to sign a uniform -equipment policy form.

Administrators praised the work of the district’s custodial staff for the work they did this summer in moving equipment and classroom from Jefferson Middle School to Lincoln School and the junior high. Staff also moved classroom from Lincoln to Washington School for the start of the school year.

In employment matters, the Board approved hiring three high school teachers. Those hired are Jared Wolf, high school math; Michael Kinkade, high school English; and Sara Christine, high school football cheerleading coach.

Resignations approved were Rachel Willenborg, high school Family and Consumer Science teacher; Dustin McDonald, high school Math teacher and bowling coach; Stepnanie Day, high school English; Laura McNeely, paraprofessional and playground aide; and Cynthia Denning, Parent Coordinator.

Mark Schmitz was given the added duty of District School Improvement Coordinator.

Volunteer coaches appointed were Cody McLaughlin, high school football and Denise Dameris, high school volleyball.

Superintendent Lett reported 40 more school districts have joined the SB (Senate Bill)-16 Support Coalition. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), is a “redistribution of assets,” Lett said.

“There is not new revenue contained in this bill,” Lett said. “This bill brings equity to the school aid formula. The current formula does not reflect lower equalized assessed valuation of many school districts, especially downstate.”

The meeting was adjourned at 7:57 p.m.


Pana JFL Teams Defeat EA/WR

Pana Junior Football League made a clean sweep of East Alton/Wood River at Brummett Field on Saturday, Aug. 9.

The fifth grade won 14-0; sixth grade, 8-6; seventh grade, 36-6 and 8th grade, 32-18.

The game at Roxana on Saturday, Aug. 16 was cancelled because of rain. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11, at Roxana.

This Saturday, Aug. 23, Pana JFL is at home to take on Staunton.

The fifth grade begins at 10:00 a.m.; sixth, 11:30; seventh, 1:00 p.m. and 8th, 3:00.


Letters to the Editor: August 21, 2014

Thanks To Bohannon’s: Support Local Businesses

Dear Editor,

Many children I work with, and even adults I know, say they can’t wait to “get out” of our little town. They say this town has gone downhill, that there are better places to raise their families or places with more opportunities, but please let me give you just one reason I love living in Pana.

This past weekend, I did something stupid that many of you might be able to identify with – got a ring stuck on my finger so badly that it turned purple and swollen. I tried for two days on my own, but by Sunday noon, I had no more options. Where else but here could I call a jewelry store owner’s home, have someone offer to meet me ten minutes later, open up just for me, and cut the ring off, saving finger and ring both?

That’s the kind of hometown goodness you can’t find in Springfield or St. Louis! If I had lived there, I would have ended up with a $1,000 bill from the emergency room and a ruined wedding ring. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate Margaret and Karin of Bohannon’s Jewelry. They both went out of their way to help me, taking up their own weekend family time.

We all want a “good deal” or the best sale price on whatever we are buying. Money is tight, that’s sure. But when we save $2 or $3 (or even $20 on a “big-ticket” item, such as jewelry or an appliance or a car) by buying out of town, we are putting our hometown businesses out of business. If we want the kind of people, like Bohannon’s, who will help us out and treat us like neighbors and friends they know, we need to support them by buying local. If we want our businesses downtown to look nice again, we have to make it possible for the owners to make a profit.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Margaret and Karin this week, but as I look back on my life in this town, I should have written this letter many times for kind things people have done to help me out of a pinch. Loan officers at First National have met me after hours or early in the morning so I wouldn’t have to miss work. Holthaus’ has dropped everything and come right away to fix a washer or freezer. Tom Morrell got out in a snow storm to help my friend who had locked her keys in a running car. Pizza Man gives school groups I sponsor huge discounts, and practically every Pana business advertises in our yearbook, buys booster club memberships, etc. What Pana lacks in material wealth, we more than make up for in the kindness, friendliness, and helpfulness of our people.

Thanks again, Margaret and Karin, for reminding me of that this weekend!


Deeanna Stalets



Lions Club Sweet Corn Fundraiser Successful

Dear Editor:

We have so many people to thank for a very successful sweet corn fundraiser held in July.

To those that donated sweet corn seed and plots to plant on: Kevin and Jon Mickey of Mickey Seed Company; David Dorn and Son, Dorn Farms; Lynn Henschen; John and Jeff Scott; and Owaneco FS and Effingham Equity (Pana facility). Tri-County Feed also donated seed.

Special thanks to Pana Boy Scout Troop 99, Jim LaMarche leader and several other scout leaders for their help picking the sweet corn. Others helping pick were Wade McMillen, Nick McMillen, Blake Kircher, Robert Deere, Gabe Henschen and Lincoln McGrath.

Many Lions Club members helped organize and pick corn, then spent hours selling it.

And finally, thank you to the Pana community for supporting our fundraiser and purchasing the many dozens of sweet corn, allowing the Lions Club to support the many charities in our community.

Thanks to everyone.


Pana Lions Club


Loaves & Fishes To Collect Food During Labor Day Parade

Dear Editor:

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry plans to have a trailer in this year’s Labor Day Parade to collect non-perishable food for the food pantry.

The people of Pana have been very generous in the past. Last year we received nearly one ton of food and large monetary donations.

The Pana News-Palladium has always been very supportive of our efforts and the “Don’t come to the parade empty-handed” phrase is greatly appreciated.

The food pantry will be open before and during the parade to receive donations.

We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who helps us in our efforts to help do God’s work.


Charlie Weers

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

Obituaries: August 21, 2014

Jim Klein

James “Jim” Klein, 79 of Decatur, formerly of Pana, died at 1:23 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Decatur Memorial Hospital.  McCracken-Dean Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to


Ruby Elvers Buck

Ruby M. Elvers Buck, 74, of Taylorville, formerly of California, died Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Legal Notices: August 21, 2014





Is hereby given to all Adult Landowners that own land in Rosamond Drainage District No. 2 in the Township of Rosamond that an Election of Drainage Commissioners for said Drainage District No. 2 of the Town of Rosamond, Christian County, Illinois will be held at the residence of Charles Spencer, 1786 E 200 North Rd., Pana, IL in said District on Tuesday, the 2nd day of September 2014, being the first Tuesday in said month. Said Election will open at the hour of 2:00 p.m. and close at the hour of 4:00 p.m.

Every adult owner of land in said Drainage District, whether a resident or non-resident of said district, has lawful right to vote in said election and if a resident of the State of Illinois, is eligible to the office of Drainage Commissioner in and for said Drainage District. But no person who is not an adult owner of land wholly or partly in the district can lawfully vote at said election.

Given under my hand this 19th day of August 2014.

Julie J. Mayer

Circuit Clerk of

Christian County, Illinois

Ex Officio Clerk of said

Drainage District







Is hereby given to all Adult Landowners that own land in Pana and Assumption Drainage District No. 1 in the Townships of Pana and Assumption that an Election of Drainage Commissioners for said Union Drainage District No. 1 of the towns of Pana and Assumption, Christian County, Illinois will be held at the residence located at 490 North 2300 East Road, Pana, IL in said District on Tuesday, the 2nd day of September 2014, being the first Tuesday in said month. Said Election will open at the hour of 2:00 p.m. and close at the hour of 4:00 p.m.

Every adult owner of land in said Drainage District, whether a resident or non-resident of said district, has lawful right to vote in said election and if a resident of the State of Illinois, is eligible to the office of Drainage Commissioner in and for said Drainage District. But no person who is not an adult owner of land wholly or partly in the district can lawfully vote at said election.

Given under my hand this 19th day of August 2014.

Julie J. Mayer

Circuit Clerk of

Christian County, Illinois

Ex Officio Clerk of said

Drainage District





NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Board of Education of School District No. 8 in the County of Christian, State of Illinois, that a tentative budget for this school District for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, will be on file and conveniently available for public inspection at the Unit Office, 14 East Main, City of Pana, Illinois, from and after 8:00 a.m. on the 19th day of August, 2014.

NOTICE IS FURTHER HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing on the budget will be held at 6:15 p.m. on the 22nd day of September, at the Pana High School Library, 201 W. 8th Street, Pana, IL.

Dated this 18th day of August 2014.

BOARD OF EDUCATION of School District No. 8, in the County of Christian, State of Illinois.

By: Clint Foor



Fact, Fun & Fillips: August 21, 2014


“No wonder we’re always having to have things fixed he muttered… “with kids busting up the machinery!”

Then the tone of voice softened as PNP publisher, Thomas J. Phillips, saw who that “kid” was!


J.J. Bonn Currently


The other guy, Jacob “Jake” Latonis,

son of Tom and Cindy of the N-P “family”!


Why, it was only tiny, but beautiful to Mr. Phillips, little J.J. Bonn, his and wife Doris’ first great-grandchild.  JJ, son of Mr. and Mrs. Josh and Nicole (Spracklen) Bonn, practicing at his great-grandfather’s old “mill” hopefully for some kind of literary masterpiece of the far-away future.

J.J. sits at his great-grandpa’s temporary desk, here at the N-P, and FFF noticing already, the tiny “hung up” keys of the machine, you can get the “drift” of today’s introductory paragraph of Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 version of Fact, Fun & Fillips!

“Hello” J.J., glad to see you might already be interested in that used to be a trademark tool of the journalistic world! The good old manual typewriter.

What other machine has carried such, in its magic of re-creating on paper, scribing words of joy, sorrow or whatever!

And now, we’ll let J.J. and his engaging look, get back to his business at hand!

In the meantime – “will somebody please call the typewriter “fix-it” man, if you can find one…


Must be getting about Pana Tri-County Fair time!

Just finished a conference at the attractive office of our accountant Michael Trexler!  And each time we go there we take pleasure in sitting in the offices owned by a young Pana man able to stay and progress so admirably in the business in times of Pana and the area.

And Atty. Bob Beyers, who is moving in the same direction, returning to business in Pana.

both instance of young professionals able to stay and live at home comfortably, and wouldn’t it be nice again to see young people be able to stay, work at home, raise their families here.

And moving back to Atty. Beyers – his seemingly bottomless pit of energy in attempting to maintain his own business and using some of that seemingly enough to open ideas for other young persons!

Those interested, to do the same, by opening the doors of opportunity.

If you think this is a not so thinly veiled plea for supporting “Pana Pride – Think Tank”and the opportunities to support and participate – you are absolutely on target!

And thank you!  Sure Atty. Bob will thank you too!


Speaking of younger people, reminds FFF of one older and the responsibility to voice an appreciation for his life here in Pana, respect and sadness at the passing of  Eldon “Buck” Russell of Pana. It comes to pass within time constraints, it is Monday late and time does not allow time to make arrangements to attend his services at Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Shelbyville at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Another good friend of FFF, the Rev. Ron Brown, pastor at Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, down the road north of Williamsburg Hill, officiated at the services and burial in Price cemetery.

We’ll tell you, just a little what we think, but really know very little, about his growing up life, even though he was only 4 years our senior, dead at 86.

“Buck” we thought was, if one really wanted to know “ a macho man, ready to stand by quietly, for the most part, but physically always ready to guard that which divided his rights from yours.

From our many enjoyable, but not nearly enough visits, here at the N-P, we spent hours of listening to his boyhood life in Pana, things, people, experiences we never knew or experienced!

“Buck” came form a family of 13 children and that is plenty of responsibility to divide around love for all, but again we think, they did. As tough as he came across to us, never did we hear a cross word or that he would disagree in a bad way to words passing , but we took it for granted that he did reserve his own opinions!  And was willing to stand behind them, maybe forcibly, and why we always respected him!

Possibly the worst thing, for FFF is sorrow that we did not sit longer on the front porch of the Russell’s home which he and his wife  occupied on Pana’s far north west edge on Paris Avenue.

“Buck” was an entity unto himself, not to be copied!  Remember one time he stopped by and we mentioned some ailment we had at the time! He told us he’d fixed up a “remedy” for same, for a friend, and would bring us a sample.  He did.  We put it on top of our desk.  We were sitting, where we always did on his visits, in the “back shop” of the N-P and we think it’s still there.

FFF will live for the rest of his life an agreement we made with “Buck”!  He planned on picking us up some day, and we would travel out around some of his old haunts in Pana and the country east and south of the city and south that he grew up being familiar with.  We never got together to make the trip!  And we’re sorry!

He was a man of many friends and a colorful resident of the area during his lifetime and FFF will never forget him.

He was always, to us, a good man and proud. One who “paddled his own canoe” and if you didn’t like it, get out and “walk”.  And FFF has no fear, if you knew “Buck”, you’ll get the meaning.

And on the “home-side” a softhearted guy, who with his wife, were delighted each season with the annual coming of the barn swallows who nested in the rafters of the comfortable front porch of the Russell home on Paris Avenue.

Rest in peace “Buck” my friend, will miss you!  Sympathy to Mrs. Russell and the family…


Buck was prominent in Pana, with his own companies, Russell Trucking and E.J. Russell Demolition and Wrecking, on 613 Paris Avenue.


So Long!



Allen-Harlow Family Reunion August 31

The Allen-Harlow family and friends reunion will be held at noon, Sunday, Aug. 31, in the Chautauqua auditorium at Pana Kitchell Park.

The potluck meal will begin at 12:30 p.m. Bring covered dish. Fried chicken will be provided by the reunion fund along with plates, cups, utensils, drinks, etc.

Nice items are needed for the auction. Anyone with family photos or information on the family tree are encouraged to bring those items.


Laughs, Lines, Latonis: August 21, 2014


Hey everybody, Jacob here.


School has officially started! We’ve been back in school since Tuesday.

I hope everyone has been enjoying their first few days of school. I know I have. Good luck to everyone in their health and grades throughout the year.

Now, time to start counting down number of days until summer again! It’s not too far away, right?? I mean, it’s only like a year away. . . .


A lot of sports with Orange and Blue nights starting today with soccer. Football is Friday night and next week the volleyball team has theirs on Tuesday.

Get out and support the Panthers.


Well, that’s all for this week!



Pana Kitchell Park Main Playground Now Closed


MAKING WAY FOR THE NEW – Equipment in the main playground area of Kitchell Park was removed by city employees on Friday, Aug. 15. Over the course of the next couple of months, new equipment will be installed along with safety ground cover. There will also be an exercise track and ADA accessible fishing dock for the lagoon.

(Photos by Tom Latonis)

Effective this past Friday, Aug. 15, the main playground in Pana’s Kitchell Park is closed.

The playground is being closed for the beginning of the clearing and construction for the “Ruby June Munzenmaier Playground.”

Clearing and ground preparation began Friday and completion is estimated to be on or about Friday, Oct. 3.

During this time, the concrete exercise track will be poured as well as two ADA parking spots, the ADA fishing dock and the conversion of the current restrooms to accommodate ADA use is also expected to begin.   It also should be noted that at times during the reconstruction the playground restrooms could be closed.

The bequeath from Ruby June Munzenmaier as well as funds from the Pana Parks Revitalization Committee, Pana Wal-Mart and others gave the City their match portion of the O.S.L.A.D. grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, awarded to the Community by Governor Quinn on Apr. 5.


Pana Philanthropist, Bonnie Flagg, Dies


Bonnie Flagg, 94, of Pana died Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 in Pana Community Hospital.

She was born on Oct. 30, 1919 in Rosamond to William and Clara Strauss Lawrence. She graduated as Salutatorian from Monticello High School. Bonnie worked for the Department of the Army at the Pentagon for 35 years.  She enjoyed knitting and philanthropy. Any time there was a community project which needed funding, Mrs. Flagg could be counted on for a generous donation and be one of the first with her donation. She coordinated scheduling of the volunteers of the Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary for many years. Bonnie was married to Burr M. Flagg for 43 years.

She is survived by her niece, Linda L. Stackhouse, Wind Gap, Penn.; nephew, William H. Lawrence, Fairfax, Va. and sister-in-law, Dorothy H. Lawrence, Springfield, Va.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and brother, Marion H. Lawrence.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, Aug. 22, in United In Faith Church, Pana, with Rev. Marilyn Rauch officiating. Following the service will be a time for food and fellowship at the church.

McCracken-Dean Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Condolences may be sent to


Just A Thought. . . .

“Pick Up Pana For The Parade”

With all of the ideas being discussed by people to improve Pana, a thought crossed my mind this morning. . .

The Pana Labor Day Parade is approaching, in fact, it’s two weeks away. How about we all take it upon ourselves to “Pick Up Pana for the Parade.”

Won’t require a lot of work – just your own yard or neighborhood or the downtown area – do your part. If you see a plastic garbage sack flying around, pick it up and throw it away (better yet, recycle it!). An old cup flattened in the road or gutter – pick it up. Some weeds sticking up out of the sidewalk, pull them out.

There will be thousands of visitors coming to Pana for our parade and the Tri-County Fair. We can all do our part to help make Pana a little more attractive.

Let’s all pitch in and “Pick Up Pana for the Parade.”

Tom Latonis