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Archives for November 2014

Santa, Christmas Comes To Pana With Saturday Events


GETTING READY – Volunteers worked this past weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22 and 23, to put up Christmas decorations in downtown Pana in preparation for the city welcoming the holiday season.

They battled high winds both days and on Sunday, the rain as well.

Josh Ishmael, right, is at the controls of the lift while Tracey Kimbrel, left and Nathan Morrell, center, attach the lights.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

The Christmas season officially gets underway on Saturday, Nov. 29, in Pana with a number of activities, including the Pana Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade.

The Christmas season – and the jolly ole elf himself, Santa Claus – comes to Pana on Saturday, Nov. 29. A number of activities are planned.

Saturday is also known as “Small Business Saturday,” so it will be a great opportunity for shoppers to visit stores and businesses in Pana and support local business.

The day starts with a breakfast with Santa in the Pana American Legion Hall from 9:00-11:00 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

A little later in the day, a free movie, sponsored by the Pana Chamber of Commerce, will be shown at the Roseland Theater in downtown Pana. “Arthur Christmas” is the film and it will be shown at 3:30 p.m.

Santa Claus will be making his official grand entrance to Pana at 5:15 p.m. with the Pana Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade.

The Parade will assemble at the corner of First and Locust Streets at 4:30 p.m. The route will follow Locust Street south and end at Santa’s house located in Peoples Community Park at the intersection of Locust and Third. Santa will be available for taking Christmas request, following the Parade.

Santa will be assisted by the Pana Lions Club.

Lighting Contest–

The Pana Chamber of Commerce will hold an outdoor Christmas Light Display Contest this year.

Residents should submit their name, address and telephone number to the Chamber Office. Prizes will be awarded in Pana Chamber gift certificates. Entrants must live within the city limits of Pana.

Addresses will be listed in the Pana News-Palladium beginning the week after Thanksgiving and continuing until the winner is announced in the Monday, Dec. 22, issue.

For more information about any of these events, contact the Pana Chamber at 562-4240.

Downtown Decorations–

Members of the Christmas Committee of Pana Pride are working with downtown merchants, encouraging them to decorate their store fronts for the holidays.

Chairman Rosemary Horsthemke says quite a few businesses are going to decorate and she encourages others to do the same.

The committee will also be working to promote the Christmas season in Pana.

Another meeting of the committee, as well as the full membership of the Pana Pride organization, will be held on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Hickory Estate’s dining room.

Final Day To File For City Council

As of presstime today, Monday, Nov. 24, only two petitions remain unfiled for the aldermanic positions for the April, 2015 Pana election.

Incumbents Bill Pierce in Ward 2 and Roger Lebon in Ward 3, have yet to file their petitions. Petitions must be filed by 5:00 p.m. today.

Those who have filed are, Ward 1,  – Ray “Butch” Hocq and Don Buerk; Ward 2, Don Kroski and Gene Price; Ward 3, Jerry Jordan; and Ward 4, Wayne Richter and Kirk Woods.

School Elections–

Seats on the Pana School Board are also up for election in April, but their filing period and petition distribution has changed for this year.

All Pana School Board petitions, as well as all school boards in Christian County, are being handled by the Christian County Clerk’s Office in Taylorville. Petitions may be picked up there and they must be filed in the office as well. In the past, petitions and filing has been done through the unit office of the school districts.

Three seats will be up for election this spring.

Clerk Linda Curtin says the filing period is from Monday, Dec. 15 through Monday, Dec. 22, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

School petitions must have 50 signatures and there are other miscellaneous forms to be filled out by candidates.

For information on the school board election, call the clerk’s office at 824-3969.

Double Issue Of PN-P Today

You are holding the only issue of the Pana News-Palladium you will receive this week. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, only one issue is being printed. This is a double issue being published on Monday, Nov. 24.

And as you can tell, it is packed with supplements so shoppers can get ready for the holiday season. Included in today’s newspaper is the full color Pana Area Holiday Gift Guide, produced by the advertising staff of the PN-P.

Anyone with items for the Monday, Dec. 1, issue should have their material to the newspaper office by Wednesday, Nov. 26. You may call 217-562-2111; toll-free, 1-888-880-NEWS (6397); or e-mail,

In order for our employees to spend time with their families for the holiday, the newspaper office will be closed both Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27 and 28.

The office will re-open for business at 8:00 a.m., Monday, Dec. 1.

Pana Thanksgiving Tourney Opens With 9 Games Played


PANA’S ERIN HOLTHAUS, number 25, goes in for a basket on Friday, Nov. 21, against the Mattoon Green Wave in the Pana Thanksgiving Tournament in the Pana High School gym.

Holthaus had 19 points for the Panthers, but Mattoon prevailed, 55-43.

Trailing the play is Pana’s Renee Waddington, number 11.

(Cathy Jones Photo)

The Pana High School girls basketball team opened their 2014 Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday, Nov. 21. The girls played 3 games in two days, and are still searching for their first win.

Vs. Mattoon–

On Friday, Pana opened the tournament with the Green Wave of Mattoon and fell, 55-43.

Both teams were cold at the on-set and Mattoon finally cracked the ice with a pair of free throws at 6:04 of the first. Avery Jackson scored back-to-back baskets to give Mattoon a 6-0 lead before Jenna Dudra scored for the Panthers at the 3:59 mark. The period ended with Mattoon on top by 10, 18-8.

Erin Holthaus had 19 points for Pana and Shayna Stremming put in 10. Daylee Denton added 6 points with Reaghan Vaughn, Katie Beck, Jenna Dudra and Brooklyn Thompson each scoring 2 points.

Avery Jackson led Mattoon with 11 points and Sierra Thompson and Samantha Thompson each scored 10 points.


In the opening session Saturday, Nov. 22, Pana fell to Athens, 63-38.

The game was close in the first half with Pana trailing, 37-27 at the half. But the Warriors went on an 18-2 run in the third to pull ahead, 55-29, and didn’t look back.

Reaghan Vaughn had 8 points to lead Pana and Taylor Rochkes added 7. Katie Beck, Jenna Dudra and Daylee Denton each added 4 points and Sydney Maton had 3. Kristen Lenover, Bree Hall, Erin Holthaus and Shayna Stremming scored 2 points apiece.

Pana was 12-of-27 from the free throw line in the game for 44% and Athens was 10-of-15, 67%.

Leading scorer for Athens was Micah Tapscot with 16 points and Madi Epperson and J. J. Penrod each had 14.

In the nightcap, Pana fell to Piasa Southwestern, 52-27.

Once again, it was a fairly close first half with Pana trailing, 25-17. But the offense went south in the second half as the Birds out-scored Pana 27-10 in the second half.

For Pana, Reaghan Vaughn and Katie Beck led the way with 7 points apiece. Erin Holthaus 6. Bree Hall and Renee Waddington each had 3 points and Shayna Stremming had a free throw.

Maddy Greeling had 22 points for the Birds and the junior scored her 1,000th career point in the game.

Pana was 7-of-16, 44%, at the line and Piasa, 10-of-14, 71%.

In other games Friday, Central A & M beat Decatur St. Teresa, 61-44, and Piasa downed Athens, 48-28.

Saturday’s morning games found Central A & M downing Mattoon, 56-24 and Piasa beating St. Teresa, 48-18.

The evening session on Saturday saw Mattoon whipping St. Teresa, 57-30, and Central A & M knocking off Athens, 68-53.

The Panthers are 0-3 in the tournament and 0-4 this season. They will look to get on the winning track this coming weekend as the tournament wraps up.

Currently, both Central A & M and Piasa are 3-0 in the tournament. Mattoon is 2-1 and Athens, 1-2. Pana and St. Teresa are 0-3.

On Friday, Nov. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 29, the tournament wraps up with 3 games each night.

At 4:30 on Friday, Mattoon faces Athens, followed by A & M versus Piasa in the battle of the unbeatens at 6:00. Pana tangles with St. Teresa at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, the tournament leads off with St. Teresa and Athens at 4:30 and Piasa meeting up with Mattoon at 6:00. Central A & M and Pana meet at 7:30 p.m. to close the tournament.

Pana Girls Win on 8th Grade Night


EIGHTH GRADE BASKETBALL players of Pana Junior High School celebrated Eighth Grade Night on Thursday, Nov. 20, in the PJHS gym. It was the final home game for the girls of the 2014 season.

In front from left are Marissa Cravens, Maddie Ashcraft, Samantha Perry and Brailey Coulter.

In back, Carlee Phillips, Haley Klein, Andrea Ambrose, Grace Sims, Breanna Rochkes, Regan Hilbert and Katelin Weideman.

The Pana Junior High School girls eighth grade basketball team finished their home season on Thursday, Nov. 20, with a 27-12 win over Nokomis. It was the final home game for the eighth grade girls – Andrea Ambrose, Carlee Phillips, Haley Klein, Regan Hilbert, Brailey Coulter, Marissa Cravens, Katelin Weideman, Breanna Rochkes, Samantha Perry, Madison Ashcraft and Grace Sims.

Madison Ashcraft led Pana with 9 points. Brailey Coulter, Katelin Weideman, Breanna Rochkes and Samantha Perry all added 4 apiece. Grace Sims added a bucket.

Pana led at halftime 7-4, but came out and played a much stronger second half, with 13 third quarter points for a 20-5 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The eighth grade is 14-7 on the season. This evening, Monday, Nov. 24, the eighth grade wraps up the season with a game at Rochester. Game time is 6:00 p.m. It is an eighth grade game only.

On Thursday, Dec. 4, the girls play in the Greenville IESA Class 3A Regional against the host Greenville team. They play at 7:00 p.m. Pana and Greenville are seeded second and third, respectively.

There was no report on the seventh grade game.

The seventh grade play in the Class 3A Greenville Regional tonight, Monday, Nov. 24, at 6:00 p.m. versus Litchfield. The winner goes to the semi-finals on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 7:00 against Hillsboro. The championship game is at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 26. The rest of the regional field includes Vandalia and Greenville.

Out in Left Field: November 24, 2014

OILF-294x300What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? – My Packers fan family members from Sherman and Williamsville didn’t call me yesterday when the Vikings lost to Green Bay.


Still early.

See a lot of potential with our girls basketball team. Hope they get things turned around this weekend when the tournament continues.

Keep your heads straight, girls.


The junior high regionals are underway for seventh grade girls. Next week, the eighth grade girls get into action.

Good luck to all of our teams.


Want to wish everyone out there a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Be safe when traveling to any destination this weekend. We want to have you back in readership-land when next week comes along.


Until then. . . .


See you next week!

Obituaries: November 24, 2014

Charles Evans

Charles Robert Evans, 88, of Cowden died in his home at 2:15 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer. Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Cowden, in charge of arrangements. Condolences at

James Willson

James L. Willson, 77, of Lincoln formerly of Pana, died today, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 in Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Lincoln. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Tony Hoover

Tony Hoover 55, of Pana died Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Decatur Memorial Hospital. Lockart-Green Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Lee Stanberry

Lee Ora Stanberry, Jr., 71, of Pana died Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 in Decatur Memorial Hospital. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: November 24, 2014


Coming, coming closer –the holiday activity! And one thing we’re happy for – this Friday, is a special one in the days of our telephone communications history!Folks are installing a new phone system!! It’s time though! There are a lot of user friendly things we can do with the new system.

We’d like to tell you a few, but FFF doesn’t even know them all yet, himself (One of the nice things will be the recorded messages we can leave on print days, that will tell callers what time we estimate the newspaper will be out. – Carrie Cummins) — the last line is not one we were sure to approve, but we add, we do!  Carrie, each week carries the whole burden of transcribing our “palmer method” — FFF


Hope you all enjoyed Dr. Stanley’s words on Christmas, and its existence chronologically, as he expressed last column. He is a learned man, who FFF admires!


Phone just rang! Picked it up – and guess who? Our oldest daughter in Madison, Wisconsin, Elizabeth Ann Phillips Bennett, Mrs. David, now director of and heading up, the Wisconsin Press Association. She, Beth and we assume husband David, are going to be down this way, in early December for a visit with her sisters, Cindy and Trish — Latonis and Spracklen, respectively and their nieces and nephew.

FFF asked how everything was going for the now woman-headed executive organization, and she replied, “Fine!” and she was so well pleased with Miss Holly Henschen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lynn and Kim Henschen, who joined the Wisconsin Press Association, some recent months ago and she was pleased and delighted to have her. Beth has worked hard , and she is deserving and her proud father of three girls, and both her mother and I, and the family joins with us! She’s come a long way from Sacred Heart School, Pana High school and St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN. It was nice talking to our oldest daughter and hear all is going well with her at the helm of the Wisconsin Press Association administering a state-wide organization.


This was once a typical daily scene, many times at, the old Pana Railroad Tower – a necessity in the days that once saw 38 passenger trains served the city in early 1900’s, and the number of freights, coal, etc, is unknown by FFF.


The picture is of a freight train pulling past the tower, headed west. At the bottom of the photo is what FFF thinks is a historical part of Pana’s history. It is where the New York Central Railroad and Illinois Central Railroad cross, giving way to the founding and birth of Pana.

The ICRR runs south from Chicago to Florida and the sea, to the south. The New York Central going from Pana, East to New York City. The NYC tracks were abandoned and ripped up some years ago. We’re just not sure when, as we write this. Same for the abandonment of the ICRR tracks, north and south and running southeast.  FFF would like to see the location of the crossing of these railroads as a local historical landmark.  But we’ll see!! That’s it for today!  Almost!


Thanks and a pleasant and happy Thanksgiving Holiday to all of you who are “family” of the Pana News, Inc. “family” community of newspapers – Pana, Nokomis, Morrisonville and Assumption.

We hope all have full tables for your holiday board, and give “thanks” for it and give thanks to the Provider of it all.

And a special thanks from and for my family at the N-P


So Long!

Community Blood Drive Results

Thanks to all who supported the community blood drive on Wednesday, Nov. 12.  The blood drive was held at the First United Methodist Church of Pana and was conducted by Central Illinois Community Blood Center (CICBC) in conjunction with Pana Community Hospital.  CICBC is the sole supplier for blood and blood products for the hospital.

Forty-one donors presented and 37 units of blood were collected.  Donors included:  Zack Apke, Lisa Bland, Morgan Bland, Lisa Bloemer, Barb Bock, Peggy Christer, Linda Christer, Ed Clavin, Mary Cottrell, Kay Duduit, Kevin Duez, Linda Eck, Larry Epley, Amy Funneman, Pattie Gatons, Terry Henschen, Susan Hippard, John Hippard, Tina Janssen, Eric Jostes, Joe Karback, Sandy Koontz, Judy Marley, Linda Marsh, Myra Mathias, June Miller, Angie Miller, Joyce Morey, Marvin Morey, Michael Moss, Sherri Oller, Christy Overby, Mary Richardson, Sarah Rochkes, John Scott, Harold Simmons, Lorene Sims, Bob Smith, Joe Weishaar, Diana West, and Maggie West.

Pana Community Hospital thanks all the donors and volunteers who donated their time to serve refreshments supplied by the hospital Dietary department. Volunteers were Tammy Rhodes and daughters, Aubrea and Adrian. Special thanks to First United Methodist Church and Glenn Schneider who set up for the blood drive.

Huge Undertaking To Bring You Today’s Newspaper



IT WAS A mammoth effort to put together this week’s Pana News-Palladium newspaper you received. Several workers put together the eight inserts you find today, filled with “Black Friday” and holiday shopping bargains.

Those inserts are from County Market, Rural King, Walgreens, two inserts from Menard’s; Dollar General, Wal-Mart and the 2014 Pana News-Palladium Holiday Gift Guide.

In the top photo, those assembling the section are, at the back table, Bev Rossman (back to camera) and Aaron Vandenburgh. In the foreground are Don Werner (back to camera) and Kathy Lynch.

Another worker, Jean Gitcho, surveys the stacks – 25 in each stack – of completed inserts waiting to be placed in today’s publication.

(Joni Etchison/Tom Latonis Photos)