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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.

Extension Hosting Free Gardening Programs In April/May

The spring series of University of Illinois Extension’s Four Seasons Gardening program, has been announced, and will focuses on “Sustainable Landscapes,” “Busting Garden Myths,” and “Strawbale Gardening”.

Sessions include:

•“Introduction to Sustainable Landscaping,” to be held on Apr. 28 at 1:30 p.m. and again on April 30 at 6:30 p.m.  Taking a sustainable approach to your yard benefits you, the environment and our future. Sustainable landscapes save money by using fewer pesticides and fertilizers and lowers power, water and waste disposal bills. Sustainable landscapes safeguard our water quality, soils and wildlife and provide us with countless ecosystem services. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, Chris Enroth will discuss sustainable lawns, how to handle stormwater, building healthy soils and more fundamental methods to reduce your eco-footprint.

•“Busting Garden Myths,” to be held on to be held on May 12 at 1:30 p.m. and again on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. and again on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. There are so many recommendations and suggestions for gardening and plant care out there, but which are fact and which are fiction?  Join Kari Houle, Extension Educator Horticulture, as she walks you through some of the most common garden and plant myths and explains why they are myths and gives recommendations for better plant care.

•“Straw Bale Gardening,” to be held on to be held on May 26 at 1:30 p.m. and again on May 28 at 6:30 p.m. and again on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. Straw Bale Gardening teaches gardening in a way that is revolutionary to home gardener. It solves every impediment today’s home gardeners face: bad soil, weeds, a short growing season, watering problems, limited gardening space, and even physical difficulty working on ground level. Join Kelly Allsup, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, to learn more about this Straw Bale Gardening phenomenon.

Most of the programs are offered on two different dates and times, so that participants may choose the one that is most convenient. All sessions will be presented via computer at the Macoupin County Extension office located at 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville.

Also, participants will now be able to take the classes on-line, from their home computers. Visit the Extension website for information on registering for the on-line version of the classes.

Classes are free, however advanced registration is required.  Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact the Christian County Extension office by calling 217-287-7246, or emailing, or they can register on-line at:  Once on the site, go to the “Register Online” area at the right hand side and click on the event.

Neal Oreskovich PBT ‘Volunteer of Quarter’

Pana Volunteer Neal Oreskovich

NEAL ORESKOVICK, RIGHT, accepts the Peoples Bank and Trust “Volunteer of the Quarter” for the first quarter, 2015.

Making the presentation is George Heintz, left, Community Bank President in Pana.

Neal Oreskovich, Oconee, has been chosen as Peoples Bank & Trust Volunteer of the Quarter for his work with Oconee Baptist Church Food Pantry in Oconee.  Neal was one of the founders of the food pantry 10 years ago.

The Oconee Food Pantry opened 10 years ago and has been going strong ever since. They are open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They are a USDA site and are partners with Central Illinois Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington.

The pantry is manned strictly with volunteers and currently have 17 in all. The volunteers are  from the Oconee Baptist Church and other area churches. Neal said that when they started the food bank, they served 30 to 50 people a month. Now, they average 1,650 people a month, which comes to about 500 families.

They were originally housed in the church, but have purchased two buildings over the years to be able to store enough food to serve everyone.

Neal said he really enjoys his work with the Food Bank. He made it very clear though, he would not be able to do his job if it weren’t for the other volunteers who help and the area businesses and private citizens who donate time, money and services to the Food Bank. He wanted to thank Oconee Grain, First Baptist Church, Cowden Christian Church, Sacred Heart Church, Shelbyville Wal-Mart, Stark Distributing, Holthaus Appliance and the many private donors, who wish to remain anonymous.

In honor of Mr. Oreskovich’s service, Peoples Bank has donated to the Oconee Food Pantry and Neal’s name will be placed on a plaque displayed at the bank.

As a community bank, Peoples Bank & Trust recognizes the value of volunteerism in the community.  To recognize, commend and promote volunteerism, Peoples Bank has established a program to recognize outstanding community members for their volunteer efforts of improvement to the community.

Peoples Bank & Trust is an independent community bank with ten offices including Pana, Taylorville, Tower Hill and Morrisonville.  Peoples is a full service bank with customer service to consumers, small business and farmers..  People First Bancshares, Inc., with corporate offices in Pana, is the holding company for Peoples Bank & Trust.

‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ This Weekend in PJHS Auditorium

Tea With Alice ad color

The Pana High School Theater Department will be putting on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Friday and Saturday, Apr. 24 and 25, at 7:00 p.m. each evening. The preformances will be given in the Pana Junior High School auditorium.

In addition, the group is asking for support in on-line voting for a grant of $10,000 for the theater department.

Admission for this weekend’s performances  is $5 for adults; $3 for students and $4 for senior citizens over the age of 60.

Additionally, the group is hosting a “Tea with Alice” event at 2:00 p.m. in the PJHS Cafeteria on Saturday. The cost is $5 per child and children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The cost includes games, snacks, drinks, and a 4×6 picture with Alice and the Wonderland characters. Show your Tea with Alice card and receive $1 off admission for Saturday night’s show.

Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling the High School office (562-6600) or email

MTI Grant–

The Pana High School Theater Department is asking for help in seeking a sizeable grant.  They recently entered a contest sponsored by MTI to win $10,000.  They have created a video which details what they would use the money for (new flats, new equipment, etc.).  The contest runs through Tuesday, May 5, at midnight and is based solely on the amount of votes the video receives through Facebook.

“I am so proud of our students and those who attend our yearly performances for the schools,” sponsor Heather Strom said. “I know the amount of work they put into the productions.  Our goal is always to put on quality shows that showcase the wonderful talents of our students as well as encourage the younger students to be a part of the plays or drama club when they enter high school.”

Strom asks for everyone to vote for the PHS video. There are a lot of larger schools entered and Pana can use all the help it can get.

The link to vote is People can also search in Facebook for Midwest Technical Institute, then select the $10,000 High School Grant. Pana High School can be found under the Springfield, IL location.

For more information please contact Heather Strom, theater director, at Pana High School (562-6600).

Kindergarten Pre-Registration April 23-24

Registration of Pana Community Unit School District #8 kindergarten students for the 2015-2016 school year, has been set for Thursday and Friday, April 23 and 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Washington Elementary School, 200 S. Sherman, top floor in the library.

Parents should furnish, at this time, the child’s birth certificate and any other health records you may have ready to turn in.

Parents will receive dental, vision, and physical exam form packets with a checklist showing what all is needed for their child when they begin kindergarten.  School law requires that all students must have a physical exam and the proper immunizations before entering kindergarten.  A lead screening, dental exam, and eye exam is also required.

Students must have a physical exam and the required immunizations in order to start school in the fall.   A child must be five years old by September 1st to be admitted to kindergarten.

If it is impossible, because of illness or other good reason, to register on the above dates, call Washington School, 562-7500, to make other arrangements.  All students who will be in kindergarten next fall will be screened  in May.  Screening appointments will be made with parents during the pre-registration.   A complete kindergarten informational letter will be mailed this summer to all parents of 2015-2016 kindergarten students.

If you have any questions, call the school at any time, 562-7500.

Jesus Loves You Ministry Meeting

Jesus Loves Ministry will be holding their monthly meeting Monday, Apr. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, Pana. All members and board members are urged to attend.

Any member of the general public who would like to attend are welcome.

Call Bob Smith at 827-1936 for questions or more information.

Seeking Information On Veteran, Eaton

The name of Emmanuel Lloyd Eaton was added to the Tower Hill Veterans Memorial on Wednesday, Apr. 8. According to records, his birthdate is Dec. 20, 1947; never married and a resident of Tower Hill.

The committee is looking for family members or friends who may have known him.

If you have questions of have information, contact Jim Purdue, 565-3756.

Pana Parks Revitalization Committee

The Pana Parks Revitalization Committee will meet for their regular monthly session at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Apr. 14, in the Pana Masonic Lodge.

All members are urged to attend as there be discussion on the playground equipment. The public is also invited to attend.

Call Bob Smith at 827-1936 for questions or more information.

Rosamond Twp. Receives Dividend From TOIRMA

The Township Officials of Illinois Risk Management Association (TOIRMA) has voted to pay a dividend. All TOIRMA members who joined the program from June 1, 1986 through May 31, 2010 and continue to be members in the current year received a dividend.

TOIRMA is a self-funded intergovernmental pool established to provide coverages exclusively for Illinois townships that are members of the Township Officials of Illlinois.

This is the 24th year a dividend has been paid to eligible members. A total of 1,358 member townships will be paid $2,006,917 which represents approximately 15% of their annual contribution for the 2009-2010 program year.

The dividend is applied to the township’s annual contribution

United Way of Christian County

All health and human care not-for-profit agencies serving Christian County and seeking funds from United Way of Christian County for the 2016 funding year, should contact the United Way office, 108 W. Market, Second Floor US Bank Building, Taylorville IL 62568, by phone 824-8404, or by email

Agencies must be a 501(C)3 organization. Allocation applications are being distributed and are due by Monday, Mar. 30.

Allocation Hearings will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Apr. 21 and 22 and are being scheduled now.