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Archives for September 2014

United Way, Christian County, Begins Fall Campaign Thursday


THESE FOUR PEOPLE have been tapped to lead the 2014-15 United Way of Christian County’s Fund Drive Campaign by the UWCC Board of Directors. From left are, Robert Lael, Rosemary Horsthemke, Rachel Peabody and Barry Allen.

This year’s campaign kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 18. The goal is $155,000 for this year.

The Board of Directors of the United Way of Christian County have announced Rosemary Horsthemke, Pana, Robert Lael, Edinburg, and Rachel Peabody and Barry Allen, both of Taylorville, have been appointed to lead the 2014-15 Fund Drive which kicks off Thursday, Sept. 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

As Campaign co-chairs, they will be responsible for leading and coordinating with area United Way Caring Leaders, Team Captains, and fund drive volunteers in their efforts to raise funds for 28 agencies who provide services to Christian County residents, including the Community Mission Center, Faith in Action and Pana EMS.  Last year over 12,000 county residents’ lives were impacted in some way by a United Way funded agency.

“We are so excited to kick off the 2014-2015 fund drive,” said Malia Hepburn, UWCC Executive Director. “Our goal this year is $155,000.  We are off to a good start and are looking forward to reaching our goal.  Each year, the needs of the residents of Christian County have grown. It is very important that we all work together to meet those needs.”

Last year’s goal of $145,000 was exceeded as contributions totaled $150,000. The fund drive runs through Oct. 16.

The United Way theme is, “Good Things Happen When We Live United.” Each CoChair has been involved with United Way either as a board member, Caring Leader, volunteer worker or committee member.

Those interested in volunteering during the campaign, or making a donation, contact the United Way office at 824-8404 or at

Pana Couple Invited To Poland For Dedication Ceremony


Mr. and Mrs. David Nance of Pana, should have been in Jablonka, Poland on Saturday last, Sept. 13, at the invitation of Mayor Antoni Karlak, of Jablonka.  The occasion was  to visit the municipality for the reason of memorializing the following incident as described here.

“Dear Mrs. and Mr. Nance,

I am writing to invite you at the ceremony commemorating the heroes of American airmen, inhabitants of Jablonka and Home Army’s soldiers from Orava, from a squad called “Limba”. On 13, Sept. 1944, over the Upper Orava, Boeing B017, No.4-6412 from the 483rd Bomb Group was shot down by German fighters.  We would like to commemorate this event by unveiling a commemorative obelisk on 13, Sept. 2014 in Jablonka locality. We would be very pleased, if you as a family member of the person from the crew of an American bomber could honor us with your presence.

Naturally, during the few days’ stay in Jablonka locality accommodation and board will be ensured.

I enclose the invitation

Respectfully yours,

Antoni Karlak,

Mayor of Jablonka”

Aboard the B-17, serving in the U. S. Air Force as a radio operator and tail gunner, was T/SGT. Phillip “Phil” Nance, he, the brother of David Nance of Pana. The other living members of the Nance family, (other than David) is Mrs. Belle Moeller of Canada, and deceased are brothers Dwight, Charles, Jim, and Joe, and sisters Bernadine Reeves, Faye Brush, and Ruth Fuller. They are all the children of Mr. and Mrs. William Nance of Tower Hill.

City Of Pana Flushing Hydrants

The City of Pana will be flushing water hydrants beginning Wednesday, Sept. 17, through next week from the east side to west.

Customers may notice an odor or different taste however, the water is still safe to drink.

Panthers Shake Off Gillespie With Second Half Surge


HEAD OVER HEELS – Gillespie’s Corey McCallister, number 2, goes head over heels trying to stop Pana running back Wade McMillen (number 6 with the ball)  during action on Friday night, Sept. 12, in Gillespie.

The Miners couldn’t stop the 6-foot junior as he barrelled through the Gillespie line for 136 yards on 21 carries as he led the Panthers to a 41-28 South Central Conference victory.

Helping plow the way for McMillen are, from left, Tucker Moeller, 32, Jeff Winter, 70  and Kaelob Dilley, 28.

(Mary Cothern Photo)

Cold, damp, misty, windy and nasty. That’s the way you could describe the weather Friday evening, Sept. 12, at Gillespie. It is also the way you could describe the play of the Pana Panthers against the Gillespie Miners in the first half of their game Friday night.

While the weather never quite improved, the play of the Panthers did, scoring 28 unanswered points and went on to beat the Miners, 41-28, in South Central Conference action.

After neither team got anything on their first drive of the second half, Pana put together a 65-yard, 6-play drive to get within a point of the Miners. The big play was the 40-yard touchdown run of junior Tucker Moeller with 5:03 left in the third. Ben Sims couldn’t get the extra point kick through the uprights but Pana trailed by just 1, 14-13.

The score seemed to energize the Panthers as Zahradka, who kicked off to Gillespie after the score, boomed the ball through the back of the end zone for a Miners first-and-10 at the Gillespie 20. The Miners’ Bryce McKinney lost 5 yards on the first carry from scrimmage, moving the ball back to the 15. Gillespie quarterback Derick Engelke, a senior, tried to get around the right end, but was hit by Pana’s C. J. O’Rourke who caused him to fumble. The ball bounced back toward the goal line and Nick Culberson came up with the football in the end zone for a Pana score with 4:32 to go in the third. The try for 2 extra points was no good, but Pana took the lead, 19-14.

Pana would strike again early in the fourth quarter. Late in the third, Adam Miller got an interception at the Gillespie 45 and it set Pana up with a first-and-10 at the 41. A six-play drive followed with Zahradka calling his own number up the middle for the score. He also carried in the 2-point conversion run and it was 35-14, Pana, and 10:28 showing on the clock.

Pana chewed up the clock and churned up 417 rushing yards in the game. They had 1 passing yard in the game. McMillen, the 6-foot, 180-pound junior, got 136 of those yards on the ground and scored a touchdown. He averaged about 6-1/2 yards per carry on 21 rushes. Tucker Moeller picked up 94 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Caleb Rybolt had 92 yards on the ground with a score and Zahradka scored a touchdown and rushed for 41 yards. In passing, Zahradka completed just 1 pass in 9 tries and was picked off twice. McMillen caught the 1 pass for 1 yard.

Top ground gainer for Gillespie was quarterback Derick Engelke who had 71 yards on 14 carries. He scored a touchdown. Kirklund Davis gained 45 yards on the ground and Irwin ran for 17. Engelke threw for 99 yards, going 6-of-14 with 1 interception and a touchdown. Top receiver was Evan Price with 83 yards on 5 catches with a touchdown. Bryce McKinney caught 1 pass good for 16 yards. The Miners had 237 total yards in the game.

Pana is at Carlinville this Friday, Sept. 9, with a 7:00 p.m. kick-off. Also on Friday, Vandalia goes to Roxana; Gillespie is at Piasa Southwestern; Greenville goes to Hillsboro and Staunton will be at Litchfield.

Raucous Time As Pana Hosts Taylorville in Volley Action


LOOK OUT BELOW – Fans in the Pana High School cheering section passes a fellow student above them during the Pana-Taylorville volleyball match on Thursday, Sept. 11.

Both student sections were loud and boisterous, cheering on their teams during the action. Pana took care of Taylorville in two games.

(Mary Cothern Photos)

If the rafters of Pana High School have ever shook, it came the closest Thursday evening, Sept. 11, when the Pana Panthers hosted the Taylorville Tornadoes in volleyball action. A large student section group for both Pana and Taylorville packed the place to witness the yearly revival of the cross-county rivalry.

The Panthers got the upper-hand in the battle as Pana took care of the visitors, 25-16, 25-18. With the win, Pana improves to 7-3 on the season.

In junior varsity action, it took 3 games, but the visitors came away with the win, 25-23, 18-25, 23-25.

The JV team falls to 2-3.

The freshmen teams got the evening started and Pana was a 25-22, 25-17 winner. They improve to 4-0 on the season.

Shelby Tourney–

On Saturday, Sept. 13, the Panthers played in the Shelbyville Invitational Tournament. They took third place in the tournament with a 22-25, 25-15, 15-8 win over Monticello in the third place match.

Lexie Siegert of Pana was selected to the all-tournament team.

Pana went 2-1 in pool play, They beat Decatur MacArthur, 26-27, 25-14, 15-7, but lost to Edwards County, 9-25, 24-26. They took care of New Berlin, 25-21, 25-21.

In the semi-final match, the host Rams of Shelbyville slipped by the Panthers, 20-25, 24-26.

Siegert and Erin Holthaus each had 16 kills and Siegert made 25 blocks at the net. Gloria Duduit had a dozen kills and Shayna Stremming and Colleen Weddle each had 11.

Tessa Rodman made 18 blocks with Holthaus and Stremming each getting 16.

Top server was Phoebe Hrabak with 29 and Reaghan Vaughn tallied 21. Laurel Funneman made 20 service points with Stremming and Renee Waddington getting 13 apiece. Stremming had 5 aces with Funneman and Myah Herbord getting 4 aces each.

Hrabak made 41 assists and Funneman got credit for 31.

Dig leader was Waddington with 22 and Stremming had 19. Herbord got to 14 and Funneman, 12.

Pana improves to 10-5 this season and is 2-0 in the South Central Conference. They are tied for second place with Gillespie, who is also 2-0. Carlinville is the league leader with a perfect 4-0 mark.

Vandalia is fourth, 3-1, and Greenville, fifth, 2-1. Roxana is 1-2 and Piasa, 1-3; Litchfield, 0-2; Hillsboro, 0-3; and Staunton, 0-3.

This week, the Panthers are in Gillespie and Greenville, respectively, on Tuesday, Sept. 16 and Thursday, Sept. 18. There are freshmen matches which begins each evening at 5:00 p.m., followed by the junior varsity and varsity matches.

On Saturday, Sept. 20, Pana will be at the St. Anthony-Newton Invitational Tournament.

Quarterback Club Meeting

The Pana Quarterback Club will meet at 6:30 p.m.,  Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Pana High School library.  Anyone interested in helping with the Quarterback Club is urged to attend.

The Quarterback Club has been supporting Pana High School football in the Pana School District since 1982 and the club’s mission is to provide Pana student-athletes with the best possible football experience.

As a “football family,” club members provide community support, promote school spirit and encourage team camaraderie by raising funds for equipment, awards, meals, sponsoring events and providing academic scholarships.

Out in Left Field: September 15, 2014

OILF-294x300What a miserable night this past Friday at Gillespie.

The drive home was bad enough, I don’t know what it would have been like had Pana lost!

I told Coach Stupek the next day that is the most miserable – physically – I’ve felt after a football game. That includes those I played in high school. And I have covered games in the cold, in the rain even in the snow!

Don’t know what it was about that game, but my knees still ache. . . .

As I told the Coach: “Maybe it’s because I’m 59!”


Speaking of those “good old days” – were we? – This Friday night is a return to yesteryear when I get a chance to go behind the mike to do play-by-play for the Panthers football game from Carlinville.

I will be filling in for Coach Gary Bowker who has family obligations to see to.

I’m almost positive the last time I did play-by-play on the radio, none of these high school players were born.

So, tune in the Ramsey radio station if you don’t make it to Carlinville.


Can’t believe the mess the NFL is in with the Ray Rice – and now Adrian Petersen – scandal.

Don’t know how things got so messed up. I guess I really do know – it’s how sports “heroes” are held in such high esteem and how there is another standard for the rich and famous than the rest of us.

And maybe that’s more society’s fault than the NFL.


See you next week!

Obituaries: September 15, 2014

Annabelle Denton

Annabelle Denton, 87, of Pana, died today, Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 in Prairie Rose Health Care Center, Pana.

Funeral arrangements are pending with McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana.

Condolences may be sent to

Karen Hoots

Karen Sue Hoots, 60, of Pana, died at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in her residence. Dawson & Wikoff West Wood Street Funeral Home, Decatur, is in charge of arrangements. Condolence may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: September 15, 2014


Today, after a weekend of frustrating television —

FFF asks President Obama to diplomatically tell those who are wondering, is it a war or conflict  we are about to engage in to rid the world of ISIS!  We do not particularly care which – just so the verbiage is bold enough, when, it is impossible for the writer to come up with language bad enough,.

We’re talking about the scourge and desecrated of the sands in the recent movement of ISIS, group blood letting, disgracefully rampaging across the sin covered, morally bereft, now bloodied sands.


We wish all trash we are hearing, while our world, yours and ours is incessant babbling, on TV of the importance of which side Democrat or Republican will win the mid-term election?

Frankly, FFF doesn’t give a darn, politically, just so all our country and its people are left unharmed.

We have seen first hand how badly we can be misguided at the voting booth.

Guess to finally tell it like it really is:  We voted with this question in mind, if push comes to shove which man would stand ready and willing to pull the trigger.

If we could only trade candidates at the halfway point in such peculiar and testing times to prove in such a manner.

But then that would be far too easy!  Considering it is only the price of world peace and morality, hanging in the balance.

Guess we’ll just have to rely on Him – and those of heart and the American way, clarity of mind, backed by unwavering bravery!  And the refusal of the land of the free and brave to give way to murderers.

Don’t know why it hasn’t happened as yet.

But, it is called inability to make a decision, when postponement is available on the sidelines!


Good luck, and with that having been said, we say to those of murderous intent, and who don’t feel that way…

In the most polite terms…!

(May you), go to hell!


So Long.

CEFS Utility Assistance Program Starting Soon

The C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation is now taking applications for the 2015 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

September and October are priority months reserved for those households which either have a member aged 60 and above or disabled. Appointments can be made by contacting the local C.E.F.S. County Outreach offices.

Starting Oct. 1, applications will be accepted from households that have children under age 6.  Proof of age will be required.  Households who are disconnected from their utilities will also be allowed to make application for the program during October.

Appointments for LIHEAP can be made by contacting the C.E.F.S. Christian County Outreach office at 311 S. Main St. Taylorville, phone 217-824-4712 or 715 E. Lincoln St. Pana, phone 217-562-2311, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Funding for LIHEAP is provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  C.E.F.S. is the local administering agency for Christian, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery, Moultrie and Shelby counties.