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Archives for July 2015

Tower Hill Sale Set For Sept. 12; New Sports Requests Presented


THIS BLACKTOP PATCH on the south side of Washington Elementary School in Pana may look inauspicious, but below, problems are occurring. The asphalt covers the roof of the school’s former coal room and over the course of years, water is seeping through the roof and causing problems in the school.

It was discussed at the Pana School Board meeting on Monday night, July 20, to do away with the room by shoring up the inside of the school’s basement wall, filling in the room and concreting over the top.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

During the Pana School Board meeting on Monday, July 10, members approved a resolution which will allow for the sale of the Tower Hill School and the former bus garage property on Saturday, Sept. 12. The vote was 7-0 in favor of the resolution as all members voted in agreement.

The auction will be conducted by Price-Spracklen Auction Service of Pana. The sale will begin at 10:00 a.m. Bidding will open at $5,000 for the school and property surrounding it – approximately 6.7 acres on Benton St. in Tower Hill. The other piece of property, on Michigan St. across from the Tower Hill Post Office will have an opening bid of $500.

In addition, it is also planned to auction some other surplus property of the district including but not limited to desks, chairs, tables and other school room equipment.

Washington School


On the south side of Washington Elementary School is the old “coal room” where coal for the school’s boiler was delivered. It sets outside the footprint of the building and for years, its roof has been covered by asphalt. The outside roof is not a safety hazard or weak, but it allows water to enter into the underground room. 

School engineers, BLDD of Decatur, is assessing the situation and will come up with specifications on what needs to be done. Lori Ade, Buildings Grounds and Transportation Director, says the best option may be to close it off from the basement of the school, back fill the room and concrete over it. A ballpark estimate to do the work ranges between $25,000 and $30,000.

The money used from this project will more than likely come from the 1% sales tax income which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. After Shelby County voters approved a similar referendum, the district began receiving money from them as well.

Thus far, the district has collected about $602,500. Around $548,000 has come from Christian County and nearly $54,500 from Shelby.

These funds have paid for some large repair projects such as new roofs at Washington and Lincoln school sand the Unit Office and Bus Garage.


Two groups were in attendance to present ideas for new high school sports in the district. They are bass fishing and cross country. Both would be financed by outside sources, not using any school district funds.

Students Dagen Mizeur, Brady Fitzpatrick and Hunter Shelite spoke to the board in favor of adding bass fishing to the line-up of sports. It is a co-ed sport.

The trio was confident they could get support from tackle shops, local fishing clubs and possibly professional bass fishermen to finance the venture. They also would plan fund-raisers to raise the money.

Students would have their own equipment and they were confident they could get boats to use. An adult would be needed to drive the boat and they must be insured. Area schools which participate in the sport are Taylorville, Shelbyville, Hillsboro (only South Central Conference school) and Macon Meridian. They also discussed plans to start a junior fishing club to stimulate interest in younger children.

Board members appreciated the job the students did in bringing their idea before the board. They did request the students come back with a proposed budget and number of participants who may be interested in the sport. Athletic Director Gary Ade said the district has until Feb. 1, 2016, to file with the Illinois High School Association if Pana will have a team this season.

For cross country, the time line is a lot shorter. A decision needs to be made by a Sept. 6 deadline to inform the IHSA.

Mark Magnussen, rural Oconee, asked the board to re-instate the sport which has not been contested since the mid to late 1980’s. The sport had also been offered in the early 70’s.

Magnussen, a runner himself and former cross country and track athlete in high school and college, volunteered to coach the co-ed sport. He thought five to eight runners would make a good team for this season this fall.

Many South Central Conference school have the sport as do Taylorville, Shelbyville, Rochester and Effingham. He said Pana would not host any meets and a Panthers team would mainly run in invitational meets on Saturdays.

Likewise, he was asked to present a budget and to come up with some participation numbers for the sport.

Both matters were tabled until the August meeting which will be Monday, Aug. 17.

Until then, any student who may have an interest in participating in either sport is encouraged to contact Ade at 217-562-6602. Leave a message with the student’s name and class and telephone number.

Members of the board seemed receptive to the sports, saying the more students participating in extra curricular activities the better. School Superintendent Dr. David Lett said both proposals would enhance the school, but could not in good conscience recommend adding the sports – despite the money coming from outside sources – while the district is deficit spending in the Education Fund.

Molly Holthaus, Pana, 2015 Miss Christian County Fair


MOLLY HOLTHAUS, 20, OF Pana, was crowned the 2015 Miss Christian County Fair on Tuesday, July 21, during the pageant held at the fairgrounds in Taylorville. She is the daughter of Bob and Sonda Holthaus of Pana.

Also, in the Little Miss Christian County Fair Pageant, Zachiah Dionne of Pana was crowned the winner. No other information about the Little Miss Pageant was available from the fair.

First runner-up in the Miss Christian County Fair pageant was Kendall Beck of Taylorville. The second runner-up and People’s Choice Award winner was Lauren Berry of Taylorville.

Miss Congeniality was Hannah Dennison of Morrisonville. 

The women competed in swimsuit, street wear and formal wear. They also answered a pop question and delivered a one-minute speech on the topic of their choice. There were nine candidates vying for the title.

In the Little Miss, first runner-up was Paige Mollet and the second runner-up was Liberty Courtaway.

The fair continues through Saturday, July 25.

Back To School Bash August 1

The Community Mission Center and the churches of Pana and Tower Hill will host the annual “Back to School Bash,” Saturday, Aug. 1, in the Kitchell Park Chautauqua Pavilion from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

The bash is to help those students and their families who may not be able to afford school supplies for the upcoming school year get them for free. Area churches, businesses and individuals have donated school supplies and money to make this event possible for another year.

In addition to the school supplies, there will also be carnival games for the children and food throughout the event.

The Pana Police Department’s K-9 Unit will also be on hand for a demonstration beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Anyone who would like to donate cash for the program is invited to stop by the Community Mission Center, 34 S. Locust St., in downtown Pana on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Annette McNeill, Mission Coordinator, is in charge of the Back To School Bash.

City Oiling Streets Next Monday/Tuesday

The City of Pana will be oiling streets on Monday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 28, from Locust Street, west.

Residents are asked to remove vehicles that are parked along the roadways

PHS State Basketball Players Return For Event

In an effort to promote the City of Pana as well as help those who are tryng to improve the landscape of downtown Pana, members of the Pana High School boys basketball teams which participated in state championship games are scheduled for an exhibition game with the current PHS varsity team.

The game and several other events are planned for Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Pana Junior High School gym and activities get underway at 11:00 a.m. At that hour, a tailgate lunch sponsored by Pana Save-A-Lot will be held on the north parking lot.

There will be a performance by the Zumba Kids with Amanda Taylor starting at 1:00 p.m. Then, at 1:15, noted artist from Pana, Scott Jeralds, will present artwork.

Also planned is an auction of donated items starting at 1:30 p.m.

The basketball game will start at 2:30 p.m. Special guests and alumni team coaches will be former PHS Head Basketball Coach John Blackburn, who guided the 1981 team to the quarterfinals and former PHS Assistant Harry Curtis, who was a member of the 1988 state championship coaching staff.

Players from the 1988 state championship team, the 1981 quarterfinals team and the state runner-up teams from 2001 and 2004 are expected to play.

Donations are $4 for adults; students and senior citizens, $2; and those under 3 are free of charge.

The event is being hosted by the Just Brew It Coffee Shop and Bakery in the 200 block of South Locust Street, Pana. Proceeds will benefit developing businesses, organizations and committees for Pana.

Cross Country; Fishing Teams Interest

Any Pana High School student who may wish to participate at the high school level in bass fishing or cross country, should contact Pana High School Athletic Director Gary Ade as soon as possible. The Pana School Board is trying to determine the interest in the sports to possibly add them to the sports roster at the high school.

Call 562-6602 to speak to Ade or if unavailable, leave a message with the student’s name and telephone number.

Central Illinois Elite Softball Camp Aug. 8

The Central Illinois Elite Softball Camp will be held Saturday, Aug. 8, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon at Tanner Park.

The camp is open to those entering grades four through eight. Cost of the camp is $15.

Those interested should contact Pana High School Head Softball Coach Mitch Cloe at 217-254-3388 (text or call) by Tuesday, July 28, to register and give T-shirt size.

Cutest Baby Contest Still Accepting Entries

Entries for the 2015 Pana Labor Day Parade Committee’s annual “Cutest Baby Contest” are still being accepted. Photos will be accepted on a first-come, first served basis at the Pana News-Palladium office, 205 S. Locust St. through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31. Photos of the contestants will appear in the Monday, Aug. 10, issue of the PN-P.

To be eligible, a child must be newborn through two years of age, not turning three before Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. They must reside within a 10-mile radius of Pana.

A photo of the child must be submitted. On the back of the photo should be the child’s name, date of birth, age, parent’s names and address and daytime telephone number. No mail, telephone or e-mail entries accepted. Only one child per family. No twins, triples, etc. may be submitted as an entry.

Only wallet-sized photos will be accepted (2 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall). No Polarid®-type photos or computer generated pictures will be accepted. Digital photos on CD’s are acceptable, if they are in the .jpg format.

Color photos should have a light background for best newspaper reproduction. The newspaper will not take photos of the contestant, nor take any responsibility for reproduction in the newspaper.

The contest is one of the largest fund-raisers for the Labor Day Parade which is Monday, Sept. 7, at 10:00 a.m.

Hilda Kinsey To Mark 101st Birthday

Hilda Kinsey of Pana will celebrate her 101st birthday on Sunday, July 26, quietly in her home.

She was born in Edinburg, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Ivemeyer. She married Kenneth Kinsey in 1943.

She has a step-daughter, Maxine Gordon and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Obituaries: July 23, 2015

Herbert P. Campbell

Herbert P. “Herb” Campbell, 82, of Shelbyville, died at 3:39 p.m., Tuesday, July 21, 2015 in Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon. Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to