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Archives for April 2015

Evacuation of Residents Today Due To Vehicle Tampering


THE CAR IN this driveway in the 400 block of South Clark Street was believed to have been tampered with an incendiary devise place under the hood. It was reported by the owner today, Thursday, Apr. 23, to the Pana Police Department.

Because of the nature of the situation, police evacuated homes around the scene and blocked traffic in a two block area all around the scene.

Pana Police, Pana street department crew members and members of the Pana Fire Department were on hand to assist as well as county, state and federal police agencies.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

A call to the Pana Police Department at 7:11 a.m. today, Thursday, Apr. 23, led to a three hour drama which ended peacefully on South Clark St.

According to the police, a woman in the 400 block of South Clark reported her car, a 2000 Ford Tarus, looked to have been tampered with overnight. She said the hood of the car was ajar. A relative’s vehicle in Shelby County had been tampered with and an incendiary devise was found in the car.

Police immediately cordoned off the area, evacuation neighbors which were within two houses of the scene in all direction. Streets were also blocked off.

Assistance from Christian and Shelby County Sheriff’s Offices, the Pana Fire Department, Pana Street Department was requested and they arrived almost immediately to help securing the area. Officials with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Police, Illinois State Police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also responded to the call for assistance.

Shortly after 10:00 a.m. this morning, it was determined there was no danger, and police cleared the scene shortly after 10:30.

There was some damage to the car.

An investigation into the incident will continue according to the police.

Pana School Board Discuss Finances, Tower Hill School Property Disposition


THE PANA SCHOOL Board recognized retiring members of the board, Dave Koontz and John Metzger, prior to the start of their meeting on Monday, Apr. 20, in the Pana High School library.

From left are Dr. David Lett, school superintendent; board member Dr. Bill Beyers, Dave Koontz, John Metzger, board members Clint Foor, John McLeod and Aaron Schafer.

Board member Rosemary Carlson who is also retiring was unable to attend the meeting.

(Tom Latonis Photos)

Once the celebration of retiring school board members was finished, the Pana School Board got down to business with their regular agenda on Monday, Apr. 20, in the Library of Pana High School.

Board members Dave Koontz, John Metzger and Rosemary Carlson did not run for re-election this past cycle and Monday’s meeting was the final of their careers. Koontz, current board president has served for 18 years and Metzger, the current vice-president of the board, has served for 15 years. Carlson, a former school teacher, finished up her four-year term.

Pana School Superintendent Dr. David Lett presented each with a plaque to commemorate their service and a lifetime pass for athletic events in the Pana School District.

“The most important thing to remember is put the children first,” Metzger said after receiving his plaque. “Everything else will fall into place.”

Koontz echoed those sentiments. “It’s all about the kids,” he said.

Currently serving member John McLeod was re-elected in April. Taking the seats of the retiring members who were elected in April are Craig Deere, Doug Kirkbride and Anne Dorn. The trio was present for the meeting Monday night.

Tower Hill Property–

With little or no interest in the Tower Hill School, the idea of auctioning the property and some contents is being considered.

Building Supervisor Lori Ade said she has talked with Carol Spracklen on beginning the auction process. The sale could be finalized within 90 days of the opening of bids.

The district has been offering the building and grounds for sale on its own recently, but Ade said it was felt all of the possibilities have been exhausted. She said the concern with asbestos in the building is a concern to potential buyers.

In addition to the school and grounds, unwanted equipment such as chairs, tables, cabinets and other items will be part of the sale. The district also owns the lot in Tower Hill where the old bus garage was located.

The district will have to keep up the property and it was decided to hire Brett Henschen to do mowing at the facility for just over $300 each time it is mowed.

It was also announced the roof repairs at the Unit Office will be starting shortly. Geissler Roofing was the winning bidder of the project. It is being paid for with funds generated from a 1% sales tax which went into effect in 2014.

Other Business–

Following legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly recently, the loss of state aid for Pana schools was reduced by about $92,000. When the governor’s budget plan was announced, it was thought the loss to the Pana district would be around $125,000.

“I guess we’re supposed to be happy to get our $92,000 back,’ quipped Superintendent Lett.

Resignations were accepted from Randy Nicolas, bus driver; Marge Dukeman, district administrative assistant; Gary Ade, high school boys basketball; Shawn Holland, 8th grade volleyball; and Staci Calvert, high school cheerleading coach. Nicolas also retired as Bus Maintenance Custodian for the district.

There will be a special meeting of the board on Monday, May 5, in the Unit Office on East Main Street in Pana. The purpose of the meeting is to swear-in the new members and reorganize the board. The next regular meeting of the board is Monday, May 18, in the Unit Office.

Christian Church Hosting 2015 Baccalaureate

Pana Christian Church, 1005 E. Sixth St., will be hosting the 2015 Baccalaureate at 4:30 p.m., Sunday, May 17.

There will be a “linger longer” following the program.

All 2015 Pana High School graduates, parents, family and friends are encouraged to attend.

Pana Track Girls Win, Boys Third In Sullivan Invitational


THE GIRLS TRACK team of Pana High School came out on top at the Sullivan Invitational on Tuesday, Apr. 21.

Members of the winning team are, in front from left, Shayna Stremming, Madison Hilbert, Claire Holthaus, Erin Holthaus, Gloria Duduit, Danielle Epley and Lauren Merrifield.

In back, Assistant Coach Carol Schramm, Daylee Denton, Colleen Weddle, Maddy Hackler, Claudia Magnussen, Grayson Beyers, Josi Semro, Taylor Gibson, Hollie Johnson and Head Coach Missy Ade.

Assistant Coach Janice Hrabak and Allyssa O’Rourke were not present when the picture was taken.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

The Pana High School boys and girls track teams went to Sullivan on Tuesday, Apr. 21, and appeared in the Sullivan Invitational Meet for the first time. It was a successful outing for the Panthers as the girls won their division and the boys team finished third.

The girls team nosed out Central A & M by a point, 153-152 to win. Shelbyville, with 88, was third in the 9-team field.

The boys meet was dominated by Shelbyville High School who literally ran away with their division, scoring a whopping 236 points. Arcola was second with 79 and Pana followed, third, with 74. The hosts, Sullivan Okaw Valley were fourth with 72 points.

Girls Results–

Pana won 8 events in the meet leading to their team title.

Long-distance runner Claudia Magnussen, a sophomore, remained dominant as she won three events – the 800 meters in 2:30.19; the 1,600 meters, 5:29.66; and the 3,200 meters, 12:04.24.

Hollie Johnson, a freshman, took the top spot in the 400 meters with a time of 1:02.15 and in the 100 hurdles, the winner was Erin Holthaus in 16.93 seconds. Lauren Merrifield was third, :17.26. Holthaus also took the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 48.43 seconds with Merrifield again third with a time of :50.13.

Gloria Duduit, Shayna Stremming, Grayson Beyers and Daylee Denton won the 4 x 100 relay, being timed in 53 seconds flat. In the 4 x 400 relay, Erin Holthaus, Duduit, Johnson and Colleen Weddle were first in 4:17.38.

In other events, Denton went :13.54 in the 100 meters for third and Beyers was sixth, :13.99. Denton was fourth in the 200 meters at :28.17. The 4 x 200 relay had a time of 1:59.84 for fourth place. Running was Taylor Gibson, Madison Hilbert, Josi Semro and Beyers.

In shot put, Allyssa O’Rourke was third with a distance of 29-feet, 11-1/2 inches. Maddy Hackler went 28-10 1/2 for fifth. Hackler placed fourth in discus with an 87-9 effort. Erin Holthaus was fourth in the high jump going 4-feet, 10 inches and Hilbert cleared 8-feet even for second in the pole vault. Johnson’s long jump of 15-4 placed her third and Gloria Duduit went 30-11 1/4 for third in the triple jump.

Boys Results–

Two relay teams were the two wins racked up by the Panthers. In the 4 x 200, Jack Epley, Lincoln McGrath, Caleb Rybolt and Taylor Moeller ran 1:35.49 for the win. In the 4 x 800, Jacob Latonis, Joe England, Michael Hrabak and Kaelob Dilley brought home the prize in 8:56.19.

Other top  five finishers for Pana were Moeller and Rybolt in the 100 meters. Moeller, third, had a time of :11.56 and Rybolt, fifth, :11.93. Moeller was fourth in the 200, :23.73. Nathaniel Moss was fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:14.45. With a time of 11:22.35, Case Hudlin was fourth in the 3,200 meters. Epley, Moeller, Rybolt and Adam Miller had a time of 45.11 seconds for second in the 4 x 100 relay. In the 4 x 400 relay, Brayden Bumgardner, Miller, Rybolt and Epley were second, 3:42.28.

C. J. O’Rourke was fifth in the shot put going 37-feet, 10 inches. Owen Herbord and Austin Gruber were four and five in the discus. Herbord threw 123-2 and Gruber, 122-2.

Pana Soccer Shut-Out String Ends, But Win Streak Continues

Yes, all good things come to an end.

And so, the 7-game shut-out streak by the Pana Panthers girls soccer came to an end on Monday, Apr. 20, at Hillsboro. However, Pana’s winning streak continued as the Panthers scaled the Hiltoppers, 8-1, in South Central Conference action. It was the 8th straight win for the Panthers.

In the last 8 games, Pana has out-scored its opponents 47-1.

Myah Herbord had an exceptional game with a hat trick and 2 assists. McKenzi Moe scored the only goal for the Hiltoppers. It was the only shot for Hillsboro during the game. Meanwhile, Pana peppered Hillsboro with 37 shots. They had 6 corner kicks and 4 direct kicks.

Hillsboro goal keep Maddie Miller made 20 saves.

The win is Pana’s fifth in conference play against no losses. Overall, Pana is 12-2.

Pana is playing host to Litchfield this afternoon, Thursday, Apr. 23, at Tanner Park. The kick-off is at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 25, at 10:00 a.m., the Panthers will be in Carlinville. Both are South Central Conference games.

Pana Softball Team Stops Litchfield, 2-1

In a pitcher’s dual at Litchfield on Wednesday, Apr. 22, the Pana Panthers scored the winning run in the top of the 7th, then held the Purple Panthers to 1 run in the bottom of the inning to pull out a 2-1 South Central Conference victory.

Pana’s Adrianna Suter and Litchfield’s Tessa Steffens were stingy in giving up base hits. Each allowed just 3 apiece. Suter allowed just 1 hit through the first 6 innings. She struck out 6 and didn’t walk a batter.

Litchfield wouldn’t go away easily as Suter would be tagged with a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th with 2 outs to make the score 2-1. The next batter then doubled to left center to put the tying run in scoring position. Suter would bear down and get the final out by strikeout to seal the conference win.

At Morrisonville–

Panthers defeated Morrisonville 11-6 on Tuesday, Apr. 21, in Morrisonville.

Pana, needing one run to tie, got off to a good start in the top of the 7th when Harmston led off with a single and advanced to second on a ground out by Riggs. With Ginger at the plate, Harmston moved up to third on a passed ball. Ginger then slapped a ground ball to third which Harmston scored on in a close play at home, knotting the game at 6-6.

Pana used its third pitcher of the game, Adrianna Suter, after a Lily Anderson start and Bailey Wafford middle relief. In the bottom of the 7th, Suter sat the Mohawks down in order.

In extra innings Pana’s  Madison Butkauskas beat out a perfect bunt and Ashcraft again would come through in the clutch.  With a 3-2 count and Butkauskas going on the pitch, Cheyenne hit a line drive to left center, scoring Butkauskas from first to give the Panthers the lead, 7-6.

With the momentum, Pana continued the rally scoring 4 more times in the inning with consecutive hits by Suter, Harmston, Riggs and Sarah Parkinson to put the game out of reach.

In the bottom of the 8th, Suter struck out 2 of the next 3 batters to seal the deal for the Panthers.

Pana is now 8-6 on the season and they are 3-2 in the South Central Conference. Next action for the Panthers is Friday, Apr. 24, when they host the Greenville Comets in SCC action. First pitch is at 4:30 p.m. at Tanner Field. Saturday, Apr. 25, the Panthers are in Rochester for non-conference action at 10:00 a.m. They are also on the road Monday, Apr. 27, when they head to Piasa for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

Weddings: April 23, 2015


Mr. and Mrs. Michael John Prey

Melanie Joy Scott and Michael John Prey were married on Friday, Mar. 20, at sea by Captain Robert Oliver during a Caribbean cruise with Princess Cruise Line.

Attending the couple as matron of honor was Molinda Scott, sister-in-law of the bride and best man, Michael Scott, brother of the bride, who were celebrating their 10th anniversary. Also attending were Sharlyn Scott, Fred Goedel, Paul and Joy Prey and Herb and Ruth Brommeck, the groom’s uncles and aunts.

Melanie is the daughter of Sharlyn Scott of Williamsville and the late Lonnie Scott. Grandparents are the late Nelson and Madelyn Kottwitz of Nokomis and the late Levenne and Wanda Scott of Pana. She graduated from Riverton High School and Lincoln Land Community College and is employed as a registered nurse in the cardiac ICU at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, IN.

Michael graduated from Center Grove High School in Greenwood, IN and from Ivy Tech in Indianapolis. He is employed at Pilkington NSG in Franklin, IN, as a glass inspector.

After returning from their cruise, the couple are residing in Whiteland, IN.

Obituaries: April 23, 2015

Martin Amling

Martin Paul Amling, 92, of Pana, died Sunday, Apr. 19, 2015 in Pana Community Hospital. Mr. Amling was well known in the community for his flower-growing business and his athletic success while a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Lillis June McCain

Lillis June McCain, 95, of Shelbyville, died at 3:05 a.m. Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015 in Shelbyville Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, Shelbyville. Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Tom Schloz

Tom Schloz, 59, of Pana, died Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 in Memorial Medical Center, Springfield. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to

Clara Voss

Clara A. Voss, 96, of Ramsey, died Saturday, Apr. 18, 2015, at her home in Ramsey. Miller Funeral Home, Ramsey, is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Fact, Fun & Fillips: April 23, 2015


Short, short column today.

First business of it is to, as D.B. Pauschert said on the first time, shortly after we arrived here and hesitantly asked him if absent for a funeral the next day.

his answer was simple, direct, but thankfully carried more meaning than he possibly ever realized.

More meaning to me, it meant that m y inbred emotion to recognize this significance of all the living, should be honored by respect in their death.

And this we did with taking time to bury the dead!

And today it is Andrew Baga, respected and loved by all who worked and were associated with him and his family.

Final services were this morning at Kennedy Funeral Home. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.

Andy, is a member of the N-P family, and who was loved. He had been at the N-P, already 7 years, when we arrived in 1956.

May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.


So Long!

Baby, Little Miss & Little Mr. Chautauqua

Entrants are being sought for the 2015 Baby, Little Miss and Little Mr. Chautauqua Contest that will be held Saturday, May 16 during Pana Days at Kitchell Park.  This year’s contest is presented by McDonalds of Pana, Prairie Rose Health Care and Qik-N-EZ.

Boys and girls ages 3 through 6  will compete for the title of Little Miss or Mr. Chautauqua and runners up.

Babies  will compete in three different age categories: newborn through 12 months, 13 months through 24 months and 25 months through 35 months.  Awards and Chamber gift certificates will be presented to the winners which will be determined by the number of 50/50 tickets each contestant sells.

The contests will begin shortly after 9:00 a.m. at the conclusion of Mayor Sipes’ welcome to Pana ceremony. All contestants should arrive at 8:45 a.m. for check in.

50/50 tickets will also be sold all weekend during Pana Days and the drawing will be held at approximately 8:00 p.m. Saturday.

Single entry sign up sheets along with the 50/50 ticket books and are now available at the Pana Chamber of Commerce Office located in the basement of City Hall, you may pick them up Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to noon.