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Archives for August 2015

Rural Pana Man Found In Burned Vehicle Saturday

Law-enforcement officials are investigating the death of Lawrence I. Langan, 62, of rural Pana, according to a press release issued by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office this morning, Aug. 24.

According to the department, at about 9:00 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 22, a deputy was on routine patrol and noticed a vehicle fire in a grass way between a corn and bean field just inside Rosamond Township, near the boundary with Locust Township. The field was near the intersection of 1800E and 600N Roads. It is about 5-1/2 miles northeast of Pana.

The Owaneco Fire Department was dispatched to the scene. After extinguishing the fire, Mr. Langan’s body was discovered inside the vehicle.

Initial investigation of the incident reveals that Mr. Langan’s vehicle, a 2008 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, hit a culvert in the waterway causing the vehicle to crash and catch fire.

Autopsy was held on Sunday and preliminary autopsy results are pending. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, the Christian County Coroners Office, the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit, along with the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office.

No other details were available at presstime today.

Nominations Sought For Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal

Nominations for the 2015 Pana Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal are now being accepted. The deadline to submit a nomination is 5:00 p.m., this Friday, Aug. 28. This is the 41st year the public has been asked to help in the nominating process.

Last year’s grand marshal was David Budds of Pana.

The theme for this year’s Labor Day Parade is “Keeping Family and Friends Close.” The 81st annual parade is Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, at 10:00 a.m. in downtown Pana.

A person may nominate anyone they wish for grand marshal. Include the name of the nominee and give an accurate description of why they believe the nominee should be selected, based on the person’s service to the Pana community.

The grand marshal selection is not based on the number of nominations received. The naming committee will take the list of those nominated and select a grand marshal from those nominated.

Nominations may be submitted to: Grand Marshal Nomination, P. O. Box 200, Pana IL 62557. They may also be dropped off at the Pana News-Palladium office, 205 S. Locust St., during regular business hours. Nominations may also be mailed to the newspaper office.

Jim Deere State Fair Red Chili Champion


OUT OF 20 cooks competing in the 2015 Illinois State Fair Red Chili Cook-Off, veteran chili chef Jim Deere of Pana, right, was declared the winner. The competition took place at the Miller Beer Tent on Sunday, Aug. 23, on the fairgrounds.

At left is his son, Ron Deere of Pana.

Nick Groesch, Chambersburg, was second and Taylorville chili cook, Tom Calvert, was third. Calvert was the first place winner in the green chili competition.

The win qualifies Deere for the International Chili Society’s World Championships in Reno, Nev., in October. For Jim, and his wife, Joni, a two-time Illinois State Chili Champion Cook, this will be their 16th visit to the world championship.

The only downside to the championship – the Illinois budget impasse means he won’t receive his $500 first prize check until the General Assembly passes a budget. Something he hopes happens before his Reno trip.

Cooks from throughout Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi competed on Sunday for the state fair title.

Football Orange & Blue Scrimmage; Play For Real Friday Night


IN A PRELUDE to Friday’s, Aug. 28 football opener in Staunton, the Pana Panthers 2015 football team gave fans a preview at Brummett Field. The varsity Panthers divided into two squads for the scrimmage. Ten seniors led the teams in the spirited two-quarter controlled scrimmage.

Also on display Friday night were the Pana Junior Football League teams, the Panthers freshman-sophomore football squad and the Marching Panthers of Pana High School.

In this scene, senior quarterback Rhett Zahradka, number 16, right, hands off to fellow senior Wade McMillen, left, number 6.

(Mary Cothern Photo)

PHS Soccer Season Starts Today


THE PANA HIGH School boys soccer team begins its fourth season in school history today, Monday, Aug. 24, with a game at Litchfield, starting at 5:00 p.m.

On Thursday, Aug. 20, the team made its 2015 debut with its Orange and Blue scrimmage on their home field at Tanner Park in Pana. The white squad was a 2-0 winner in the game.

Junior Jack Epley, above, makes a stop during the action on Thursday. In the foreground are junior Mitchell Beyers and sophomore Brian Housh, number 17.

(Cathy Jones Photo)

Out in Left Field: August 24, 2015

OILF-294x300High school sports all over the place. . . .

Soccer and football Orange and Blue scrimmages last week; Volleyball Orange and Blue Tuesday.

Check the schedule of high school events for times and places.


The last Sunday of the Illinois State Fair was always a favorite for me – that meant being on the west side of the 4-H building in the parking lots playing in the state bocci ball tournament. We played on asphalt, rocks and in the parking lot medians.

Always a good time! Uncle Nick would fix a batch of his famous caggochi (if the spelling’s wrong, Deanna Green, let your cousin know!).

Even before I got down this way, we played bocci ball with people from Taylorville, Tovey, Kincaid, Bullpitt, etc – bastions of Italians! We had tournaments at Uncle Nick’s tavern on North 19th Street as well in Springfield during the summer. Always a fun time.

Never made it to the state exposition this year – again. But, I was able to watch something going on at the fairgrounds Sunday – the Allen Crowe Memorial 100 car race was televised by the CBS Cable Sports network.

Was actually flipping through channels when I noticed the background, thinking, “That place looks familiar.” Sure enough, it was the Springfield mile race track.

Was a nice day for a car race. I will always remember a rainy Saturday afternoon being at the fair for the car race, and the track crew trying to dry things out by any measure they could – including one of the drivers!

This road grader comes around the number four turn of the course and I had to do a double take. At the controls in his driver’s suit was none other than A. J. Foyt!

That was back in the days when ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” televised the races from the fairgrounds. Nice memories.


Nice memories for Cubs fans as well – when was the last time they were 20 games over .500 at this point (or any point, for that matter) this late in the season?!


See you next week!

Obituaries: August 24, 2015

Raymond Blaase

Raymond W. Blaase, 83, of Herrick died at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Lutheran Care Center, Altamont. Wallace-Carroll Funeral Home, Herrick, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Ella Mae Jackson

Ella Mae Jackson, 78, of Edinburg, died at 9:10 a.m.,  Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. Sutton Memorial Home, Taylorville, in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

Julia Henson

Julia Anne Henson, 91, of Hillsboro died Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015 in St. Mary’s Mercy, Livonia, Mich. McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Pana and Bass, Patton Dean Funeral Home, Hillsboro are assisting the family. Condolences may be sent to or

Fact, Fun & Fillips: August 24, 2015


A suggestion for Pana goers of home grown activities, emphasizing local people and suggest how to start figuring how to allot their time for future Pana events to entertain and enlighten!

As September looms, so does our own Pana Tri-County Fairgrounds! Folks are working even now keeping alive the up-coming Labor Day festival weekend, historically one of the busiest and most exhilarating times of the year for Panaites, closing the door on summer, opening the door to the many other activities of fall, accompanying the changing season.

First of all, school opening activities, you mention it, this season’s got its cool breezes, the heart and blood pumps faster as the days pass and the leaves fall.

Make time for the Fair and following – Stan King’s planned exposition of activities for remembering more of old Pana, and the “quiet man’s” program in remember him, Hector Honore’s Day in Kitchell Park on September 5th and then again for a meeting of those wanting to recall, gathering to swap memories of Mr. Honore at Oak Terrace Resort on September 13 and it goes on and on.

So loosen up your legs,  for using, and be glad you can to take yourself and the little ones around Pana and it’s events. It’s not so easy for FFF anymore without his trusty cane, and driver, we’re just about totally dependent for rides on somebody else’s time and sometimes in their vehicles!  The days of jumping into our own auto – and moving off to any location, any time we want, now is not as possible as it used to be! No complaints, but fact!

And the advice, follows; use them (the legs) and and as briskly as needed, without complaint! “Use ’em while you have ‘em”.  A person never really realizes how many things are taken for granted.  Small things! Until they are gone!

And believe this “old codger” (how, the time does come…)


And would we kid you?


We really aren’t comfortable with the red hat that Mr. Trump wears, but how about a new white one – just don’t know what that red one he wears, signifies, if anything particular.

We’ve taken great pleasure at the “down to the earth “manner of a man who pulls along his own helicopter as needed, such as to give rides to little kiddies on his campaign trail, almost like it’s on a string! And attached to that, by another string, a huge 747 jet, the ‘copter to handle “small stuff” the “big job” to carry Mr. Trump and associates, personally in his business endeavors, including his campaign (neither of which is paid for by the U.S. Government or us).

As another gentleman in the entertainment world said many years ago – “How Sweet It Is!” to stand off to the side and watch it all.

And what is great it all comes, no chaerge to the taxpayer at all, under the banner of “Make America Great!” And no way at this point does this reflect on the wonderful numerous slots of presidential candidates!


So Long!

St. Paul’s Holding Retirement Reception For Irma Waddington

St. Paul Lutheran Church will hold a special reception on Sunday, Aug. 30, to honor Pana resident, Irma Waddington who has retired as the church’s head organist and choir director after almost 64 years of service.

The reception will be held in the church basement from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Irma’s relatives, friends and acquaintances are invited to attend.

Irma began serving as St. Paul’s head organist in late 1951. She has provided music for countless weddings, funerals and civic events, and is well-known for entertaining area residents with her musical skills at many other churches, organizations and activities. In addition to playing the organ and piano, she has led and participated in numerous choral groups. She was co-founder of a multi-congregation Reformation Day Service held (on a rotating basis) at six central Illinois churches and has served as choir director for a mass choir that performed annually at those services.

The church is located at the corner of Fourth and Kitchell streets in Pana. An elevator is available for those needed assistance to attend the reception.

For more information, contact the church at 562-4731.

Pana Labor Day Parade Horse Show

The annual Pana Labor Day Parade Horse Show will he held just prior to the parade, Monday, Sept. 7, at approximately 9:30 a.m., at the Wallace Bros. Stable (former stockyards) at the intersection of Poplar Street and Cold Springs Road (1 block west of Parkway Apartments and Kitchell Park).

The grounds will open at 8:00 a.m. to riders and horses. In addition to the awards for the Oldest and Youngest Riders, prizes will be awarded in the classes of Pony, Hitch, Western, and Parade/Costume.

Everyone and anyone is welcome to participate. The show is for fun. The only requirement for entering is riders have a horse or pony.

Following the show, all horses may be ridden in a caravan via Cold Springs Road and Hickory Street to join the parade line-up on East Second Street.

For additional information, call 217-562-7202. In case of inclement weather on Labor Day morning, call 217-565-2332 to inquire if the show will be held.