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Archives for October 2014

PPD K-9 Unit to Hold Presentation; Children’s Health and Safety Fair


PANA POLICE DEPARTMENT K-9 Officer Jeremy Cox with  “Brahm.”

Pana Community Hospital is sponsoring its 11th annual Children’s Health and Safety Fair Saturday, Oct. 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in Pana High School.    Admission is free.

This year, the health fair will feature several special presentations to be held in the large gym.  One of the presentations will include K-9 handler, Jeremy Cox and his dog, “Brahm.” Officer Cox and Brahm will host a demonstration at 11:00 a.m. The educational program teaches kids about Brahm’s capabilities and answer questions the children may have about the K-9 and his handler.

Brahm is a male Belgium Malinois born in July of 2012 in Holland.  Jeremy Cox and Brahm completed six weeks of training at the Vohne Liche Kennel in Denver, Indiana in July of 2014. A few benefits to having a K-9 program include suspect apprehension through tracking and building searches, article search, apprehension of combative subjects, drug detection, and public relations and educational programs for the community.

Other presenters at the Children’s Health Fair will include Ronald McDonald at 10:00 a.m. and a special Zumba kids demonstration at 9:30 a.m. in which children can join in the fun.

In the small gym, the health fair will feature over 25 health and safety booths with information for children of all ages and their parents.  All the booths are fun and involve the children in a game to learn about the health or safety issue presented.

Drive Thru Flu Clinic, Emergency Preparedness Exercises in Pana

On Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Christian County Health Department, Pana Fire Department, and the Christian County Emergency Management Agency will partner together to provide Christian County residents with a community service of a Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinic and at the same time practice emergency preparedness exercises in Pana.

The Clinic will allow residents to complete the one-page form; provide method of payment; and get their flu vaccination while staying in their car. The cost is $25 and cash or a check made payable to “CCHD” is acceptable.

The following health insurances can be billed:  Medicare Part B, UMWA-The Funds Contract Only, Retired or Current State Employees, and Retired Railroad Employees. Please have proof of health insurance easily accessible.

This Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinic is being offered to those who are over 18 years of age. Last year’s Pana Drive Thru Clinic start to completion times were between four minutes and nine minutes per car. The Christian County Health Department’s office will be open all day that day.

Traffic pattern for the clinic is as follows: East Main St. will be used as the only entrance for traffic and all traffic will exit onto Route 51 (E. First St.).  East Main St. can be accessed from S. Popular St. or Vine St.

Route 51 will be the main route for emergency vehicles.

Emergency Distribution

At the same time, Mike Crews, Emergency Management Coordinator, and the Pana Fire Department will be exercising Christian County’s Food and Water Distribution Plan.

There will be one question on the form that asks “number in each household.”  This information allows the department to calculate the amount of potable water and Heater Meal or Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) needed in a public health emergency.

The Christian County Health Department, Pana Fire Department and Christian County Emergency Management Agency  appreciates the participation of the Christian County residents in these important emergency preparedness exercises so community partners can continue to be prepared in the event of a public health emergency.

Staff and Volunteers will assist with traffic flow as one lane will be marked and used for traffic flow for residents paying by cash, check, or billing insurance.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113, Ext. 111.

Pana Stays in Football Play-Off Hunt With 34-28 Win


SENIOR BRADEN CHRISTER had another big night for the Panthers on defense Friday, Oct. 17. The 5-10, 205-pound lineman sacks Vandalia quarterback Collin Nestleroad during this play. He also had a fumble recovery in the game.

(Mary Cothern Photo)

In this year’s World Series, both the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals are wild card teams, each having to win a “play-in game” after the regular season to get into the play-offs.

The same scenario exists Friday night, Oct. 24, when the Pana Panthers travel to take on the Hillsboro Hiltoppers in the final game of the regular season, the winner gets a shot at the IHSA Football Play-Offs.

This is by virtue of the Panthers’ 34-28 win over Vandalia on Senior Night, Friday, Oct. 17, at Brummett Field in Pana and Hillsboro’s thrashing of the Purple Panthers in Litchfield, 51-8. Both teams are 4-4 and a record of 5-4 is necessary to have a chance at the post-season. The Panthers needed to win their final 3 games of the season to get to the 5-4 mark. So far, they have won 2, looking for 3 on Friday night.

You couldn’t have asked for a more exciting game for Pana’s Senior Night with 19 graduating players looking forward to extending their season past Friday night. The game was a nail-bitter to the end, with the Vandals near Pana’s goal line with less than a minute to play.

Pana took a 34-22 lead with a minute-58 left in the game as Paul Rhodes rumbled up the middle for an 11-yard score. The extra point kick was no good.

Vandalia was able to take the ensuing kick-off down the field as Pana’s kick-off sailed out of bounds on two consecutive tries. The score came on a 10-yard scoring strike from Vandalia’s Collin Nestleroad to Marcus Durbin to make it a 34-28 game with 47 seconds left. The try for 2 points was no good.

The Vandal’s were able to execute a successful on-side kick, recovering the ball near midfield. They drove right down the field headed for the end zone. But Pana’s defense was able to hold and Adam Miller’s interception of Nestleroad in the end zone ended the threat.

Pana’s Paul Rhodes was nearly unstoppable, once again, getting 158 yards on 15 carries (10-1/2 yards per carry). He scored the first touchdown in the game with 4:15 to go in the first quarter on a 48-yard jaunt. Zahradka was 8-of-12 in passing for 69 yards, including 2 touchdown passes on the night.

In other South Central Conference games Friday night, Greenville continued their winning ways with a 56-28 win at Gillespie. Roxana got a 34-18 win at Staunton and Carlinville got a 55-25 win at Piasa. Hillsboro won 51-8 at Litchfield.

Kick-off for Pana’s game Friday at Hillsboro is 7:00 p.m. Other SCC games to wrap up the regular season are Piasa (3-5) at Roxana (6-2); Litchfield (1-7) at Carlinville (7-1), Staunton (2-6) at Gillespie (0-8) and Greenville (8-0) at Vandalia (5-3).

Soccer Season Comes To End For Pana in Regional Final

regional soccer

PANA STRIKER NICK Copley, dark jersey, left, has his shot blocked by Hillsboro goal keeper Matt O’Quinn, on the ground.

O’Quinn’s fine efforts helped his ball club to a 2-1 win over the Panthers and advance to the IHSA Class 1A Sectional on Tuesday, Oct. 21, also in Raymond.

Also in dark jersey, for the Panthers, is Jake McLeod, at top of photo.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

A record-setting season for the Pana Panthers boys soccer team came to an end on the field at Raymond Friday evening, Oct. 17, as they fell to South Central Conference foe, Hillsboro, 2-1. It was the second loss to the Hiltoppers this season and the second 1-goal defeat.

In Pana’s third varsity season, they finished with a 12-7 record, best ever for the Panthers, improving on a 4-11-1 mark from the 2013 campaign.

A little like Hillsboro’s 1-0 overtime win several weeks ago when an inadvertent whistle stopped Pana’s players in their tracks and allowed them to score the winning goal, this win was not without controversy.

Pana took the lead in the first half as Andrew Bland scored his first goal of the season for the Panthers. He took a cross from senior Nick Copley in front of the goal to put the ball past Hillsboro keeper, Matt O’Quinn with 13:55 left in the first half.

Hillsboro got the equalizer about 2 minutes later, but with some controversy. After the initial shot, a Hillsboro player collided with Pana goaltender Jack Epley, knocking him down and falling on top of Epley. The officials let the play continue and Mitchell Beck got the ball and put it in the unprotected goal at the 11:34 mark.

The half ended with the game tied, 1-1.

Hillsboro pressured the Pana defense at the start of the second half, and early on, found a hole. Kyle Kiper put the ball in the top left corner of the net off a cross from Seth Watson with 37:12 left in the game.

Throughout the remainder of the game, the Panthers had several opportunities, to score the tying goal, but outstanding work by O’Quinn kept the ball out of his net. Pana’s best opportunity came with less than 5 minutes to play as Jacob Latonis made a corner kick into the middle of the goal box which Copley got a foot on, but O’Quinn just got his fingertips on the ball to clear it away.

Pana got 11 shots on goal with Hillsboro having 7. Epley made 8 saves for the Panthers in the game.

This was Pana’s second regional final appearance in 2 years. Last year, also in Raymond, another SCC foe, Greenville, beat Pana, 2-0.

Vs. Lincolnwood–

Delayed a day by the weather, the Panthers took on host Raymond-Lincolnwood in the second semi-final game of the day on Thursday, Oct. 16. In the first game, Hillsboro struggled, but defeated a stubborn Vandalia squad, 2-1.

Pana fell behind in this game, but were able to come back and get the win, 4-2, and advance to the finals.

The Lancers put the first goal on the board as Kyle Thomas slipped the ball past Epley for a 1-0 lead at the 31:18 mark. Brenden Friesland got the assist for the Lancers.

Just 2 minutes later, Nick Copley tied things up, 1-1, as he scored on an assist by Reide Beyers with 29:15 to go in the first half.

Copley would get the go-ahead goal with 12:09 left in the first half, this time with the assist coming from Jake McLeod to make it 2-1.

In the second half, it was McLeod’s turn to score as he took a pass from senior Braden Bumgardner at the 23:05 mark which gave Pana some breathing room and a 3-1 advantage.

Lincolnwood didn’t back down and Thomas picked up his second goal of the evening with 21:55 left in the contest, bringing the Lancers to within 1, 3-2.

But the Panthers bounced back as well, and McLeod got his second goal, with 7:51 left, to put the game away, 4-2. Beyers picked up his second assist of the game on the play.

Lincolnwood had 16 shots on goal and Epley picked up 16 saves. The Panthers had 11 shots on goal with Hendrix Barnes making 5 saves.

Volleyball Panthers Win Pair


GLORIA DUDUIT OF the Panthers puts a kill on the Roxana Shells during action Saturday, Oct. 18, in Roxana. Pana won the match in 3 games, 16-25, 25-19, 25-14. Duduit had 6 kills in the match.

At right is her teammate, Lexi Siegert, who had 10 kills in the match.

(Mary Cothern Photo)

The Pana Panthers varsity volleyball team has recorded 2 straight wins in the past week. On Thursday, Oct. 16, Pana emerged with a 25-16, 25-18 win over Hillsboro in the Pana High School gym during the annual “Volley for the Cure Night.” Then on Saturday, Oct. 18, traveling to Roxana, Pana came away with a win in 3 games, 16-25, 25-19, 25-14.

The Panthers are 18-14 overall this season and have a 5-3 South Central Conference mark.

At Roxana–

Junior Lexi Siegert was a force at the net for the Panthers Saturday with 10 kills and 20 blocks to her credit. Shayna Stremming made 8 kills with Gloria Duduit and Colleen Weddle each getting 6. Tessa Rodman and Erin Holthaus each got 13 blocks with Weddle picking up 7.

From the service line, Kyra Bearup served 9 points with Stremming getting 8. Laurel Funneman served 7 points and Erin Holthaus had 5 service points.

Phoebe Hrabak made 16 assists while Funneman dished out 11. In the back court, Stremming had 11 digs and Reaghan Vaughn and Funneman each had 9. Holthaus got 5 digs.

In Saturday’s junior varsity action, Pana was a 25-9, 25-15 winner, as they improve to 13-4 overall and 7-1 in the conference.

Abby Holthaus made 5 kills with 3 blocks. Colleen Weddle made 4 kills with a block and Madyson Butkauskas and Renee Waddington each having 3 kills.

Jenna Dudra served 10 points with Butkauskas having 9. Waddington got 6 service points and Sydney Maton, 4. Aces went to Butkauskas (3); Maton (2); and Abby Kuhn, Dudra, Waddington and Holthaus (1).

Butkauskas was the assist leader with 8 and Kuhn got 7. Waddington made 4 digs with Dudra and Maton getting 2 apiece.

There was no freshman match.

Vs. Hillsboro–

It was the annual “Volley for the Cure Night” for breast cancer awareness in the Pana High School gym on Thursday. An auction was held and donations were accepted in order to benefit the Breast Cancer Imaging Center at Pana Community Hospital. Several breast cancer survivors were also introduced during the evening.

Pana was able to subdue the Hiltoppers in 2 games, 25-16, 25-18.

Junior Lexi Siegert had 8 kills to pace Pana and she made 4 blocks. Gloria Duduit had 4 kills with Erin Holthaus and Tessa Rodman collecting 3 apiece. Holthaus made 11 blocks to lead Pana and Rodman and Colleen Weddle each had 6.

Serving honors were shared by Shayna Stremming and Phoebe Hrabak with 8 each. Each had an ace. Renee Waddington served 5 points and Laurel Funneman, 3. Funneman got an ace.

Assist leader was Hrabak with 13 and Funneman with 6. Stremming got 7 digs and 6 for Reaghan Vaughn. Holthaus and Myah Herbord had 5 digs apiece.

The JV Panthers were also winners in 2 games, 25-14, 25-18.

Jenna Dudra was the leader at the net with 4 and 3 kills and blocks, respectively. Myah Herbord also had 4 kills and Colleen Weddle made 3 kills. Savannah Weishaar made 2 kills. Claire Henschen had 3 blocks and Abby Holthaus, 2 blocks.

Holthaus also had 8 service points with an ace to lead the servers. Abby Kuhn and Herbord each served 7 points with Kuhn collecting 6 aces and Herbord, 2. Kuhn was the leader in assists with 10 and Aubrey Funneman got 3 assists.

Jessica Swenny, Madyson Butkauskas, Dudra, Funneman and Renee Waddington each had a dig.

There was a freshman match with Pana coming out on top, 25-19, 25-19.

Danielle Epley made 8 kills with Brenna Dameris having 7. Hollie Johnson got 1. Epley got 2 blocks with Taylor Gibson, Johnson and Claire Holthaus each having a block.

Service point leader was Aubrey Funneman with a dozen and a half-dozen aces. Epley served 6 with 2 aces and Dameris got 4 with 2 aces. Maddie Hackler served 3 points with Epley collecting a pair of aces.

Both Anderson and Funneman had 5 assists apiece. In digs, Hackler and Epley had 5 apiece and Dameris and Madison Hilbert, 4 each.

The freshmen are 10-0 overall and 5-0 in the SCC.

Pana wraps up the regular season this week with a pair of matches. First, they are home for Senior Night, Tuesday, Oct. 21, for a non-conference match with Teutopolis. The final regular season match is at Vandalia on Thursday, Oct. 23. Each night, the freshmen teams start action at 5:00 p.m. and the junior varsity goes at 6:00. The varsity match follows the JV.

Obituaries: October 20, 2014

Thelma ‘Spud’ Koontz

Thelma “Spud” Koontz, 85, of Pana died Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 in Pana Community Hospital. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Virgil Duduit

Virgil H. Duduit, 83, a native of Pana, died Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Florida. Brevard Memorial Funeral Home, Cocoa, Fla., was in charge of arrangements.

James Miller

James Lee Miller, 71, of Shelbyville, died unexpectedly on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements.

Nancy Bly

Nancy Marie Bly, 77, of Shelbyville, died at 3:00 a.m., Sunday Oct. 19, 2014, in Shelbyville Manor in Shelbyville. Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Shelbyville, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Rodney Mitchell

Rodney Wayne Mitchell, 57 of rural Sigel, passed away at 6:15 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. Bauer Funeral Home in Effingham is in charge of arrangements.

Fact, Fun & Fillips: October 20, 2014


“Ask and you shall receive!”  And FFF did.

The column of last Thursday was in the process of being written, with comments on Samuel Herschbergers’ ordeal, after the booklet of his accident, now we guess about 15 years ago and was written by Bob Hastings, known to FFF.  Samuel is from rural Sullivan way.  It happened in 1991.

And as we read it, we hoped that somewhere in the future we’d be able to ask a member of the Bob and Marian Best family publisher’s of the Sullivan Progress newspaper, of their recall of the accident and reporting it here in FFF.  For as any other readers, we wondered after reading the booklet some days ago, what had passed since, most importantly!  Samuel’s present day circumstances.

But, guess who walked into the N-P after experiencing trouble with their newspaper plate maker, a twin of ours here at the N-P, purchased in recent months!

And making a happy and joyous ending to the end of the frightful story of “Samuel The Amish Boy Who Lived” – and he still does!  And no doubt he represents to those who know him – God is still alive, has been, for a long time, and will be for ever and ever we’re sure for eternity..

For all his ordeal, the Herschbergers family and Samuel endured those years ago, it is still a matter of concern to FFF, since, and the time in between and still a concern to hear about Samuel.

But as Bob Hastings, and the title of his book tells truthfully, and still does.  That Samuel Herschbergers lived, and still does.  Bob and Marion Best’s son, who continues the Sullivan newspaper, the Progress, in the Best family name which includes Bobby, and his sister Kathy, also a prize winning journalist and editor of the Times of the Seattle, WA.



He works for our “Big Boss”, we found out, as soon as we noted as seen as he voiced his mission to the N-P, Friday last, and we hope we made a new friend along the way!

That is Keith Wantland of Taylorville, retired contractor of that city who was involved in the promotion and building of Timber Lake Estates of Taylorville, FFF found in further conversation.

Mr. Wantland was distributing a beautifully printed color poster, inscribed – “In God We Trust” and on his arrival at the N-P shortly before noon Friday, also passing out with this same message, pamphlets and a window sticker.

The pamphlet, under “Who We Are…” simply says: “We are a group of citizens who reside in Christian County.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Milling or Debra Pratt.

It also stated the Christian County campaign of “In God We Trust” had kicked off earlier that morning at 10:00 a.m. Friday at the County Court house in Taylorville with a presentation by the group.


So Long.

Engagements: October 20, 2014


Whitney Walter and Nathaniel Ridgway announce their engagement and approaching marriage.

Whitney is the daughter of Doug and Melody Walter of Pana. She is a 2011 graduate of Lake Land College and 2013 graduate of Murray State University and has a bachelor of science in agriculture. She is employed at Candy’s Flowers and Gifts and Horse Heaven Farms.

Nathaniel is the son of Craig and Shelly Kirby and Dean Ridgway. He is a 2008 graduate of Lake Land College and 2013 graduate of McLean County Area EMS. He is a licensed paramedic with Pana Ambulance Service.

The ceremony will be held at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1, at Oak Terrace Resort Villas. A reception will be held at 5:00 p.m., at Oak Terrace Resort banquet room.

(Kaleena Weakley Photo)

Tower Hill Seniors Monthly Potluck

Tower Hill Seniors held thei monthly potluck on Monday, Oct. 13. There were 21 present with six veterans.

Four October birthdays were celebrated: Frank Ruhohl, Bob Barnes, Stan Rich and Carolyn Bouchez. The door prize of $5 was won by Carolyn Bouchez with #12.

Entertainment was by Kenny and Larry Smart, Wally Bechtel, Russell Young, Dick Rauch and Stanley Rich.

The next potluck will be held Monday, Nov. 10.

Arrests Made In Last Week’s Shasteens Armed Robbery


A week after a clerk in Shasteens Marathon, at 703 E. Jackson St. in Pana, was pistol-whipped in an armed robbery, two suspects have been arrested by the Pana Police Department.

A man and woman, Nathan D. Wisdom, 27, and Andrea L. Bolyard, 28, both of 714 South St. in Ramsey, have been arrested and charge with armed robbery in connection with the case, according to Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland.

The arrests were made in the afternoon on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The armed robbery incident occurred in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 8, just a week prior.

The pair were taken into custody in Ramsey and brought to Pana where they were both charged with armed robbery. Wisdom is alleged to have been the actual robber and Bolyard, the alleged driver of the vehicle involved in the robbery. Both were then taken to the Christian County Correctional Center in Taylorville.

They appeared in Christian County Circuit Court this morning, Thursday, Oct. 16, where bond has been set at $500,000 for each. Wisdom and Bolyard have both been charged with Armed Robbery With a Firearm at the probable cause hearing. Each has been appointed a public defender and Wisdom will return to court on Monday, Oct. 20, and Bolyard on Thursday, Oct. 23, to answer the charges.

They remain in custody at presstime today.

Wisdom and Bolyard are accused in the incident which occurred at 1:53 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8. According to the information from the Pana Police Department, a 59-year-old female clerk was taken into a back office and pistol-whipped by the suspect. She was taken to Pana Community Hospital by ambulance where she was treated for her injuries and was released the following day, Thursday, Oct. 9.