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Taylor Strom Senior Vocal Recital Tuesday

Taylor Strom will be giving her Senior Vocal Recital on Tuesday, May 19th at 5:00 in the Pana Jr. High Auditorium.  This recital is one of her requirements as a Honors Chorus student. Karen Neece is her accompanist.

Some of Taylor’s music accomplishments during high school include: Illinois Music Education Association District Choir all 4 years and band for flute her junior year, All-State Choir her junior and senior years, Solo and Ensemble Competition for voice and flute all 4 years (received 1st superior ratings all 4 years), Drum Major for two years and flute section leader all 4 years.  She was awarded the Outstanding Musician Award for the Music Department this year.

Taylor is the daughter of Heath and Heather Strom.  Next year, Taylor is going to University of Illinois to study Music Education.

Kenneth Moore Receives Medical Degree

Kenny Moore

Kenneth Adam Moore, of Indianapolis, Ind., formerly of Moweaqua, received his Doctor of Medicine degree with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from Indiana University School of Medicine at its commencement exercises on Saturday, May 9, at the Indiana Convention Center.

Dr. Moore is the son of James and Donna Moore of Moweaqua, and grandson of Kenneth L. and Emily Moore, also of Moweaqua, and the late Kyle and Gwen Adams. Dr. Moore is a 2007 graduate of Central A & M High School and a 2011 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, where he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Dr. Moore will relocate to Memphis, Tenn., where he will begin residency training in neurological surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and the Semmes-Murphey Clinic.

Rep. Bourne Travelling Office Hours, Assumption

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and staff will hold travelling office hours in Assumption on Thursday, May 28. Bourne encourages any constituents seeking assistance, or those with questions or suggestions to stop by.

“Travelling office hours allow us to provide one-on-one assistance to constituents who may not otherwise be able to travel to my district office,” said Bourne.  “I encourage anyone with questions or concerns in and around the Taylorville area to please come by and share those with our staff.”

Travelling office hours will be held on Thursday, May 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon  in Assumption at the Assumption City Hall (229 N. Chestnut).

For more information, Rep. Bourne can be contacted at her district office located at 324A North State Street, P.O. Box 38, Litchfield or by calling (217) 324-5200.

2015 Lincoln School Spelling Bee

LINCOLN ELEMENTARY School held the 2015 Spelling Bee on Friday, Apr. 24 at the school.

From left are, Marilyn Stalets, pronouncer; Andi Koontz, 3rd grade winner; Brant Bowker, 4th grade winner; Izzy Miller, 5th grade winner and Debra Zueck, judge, Lincoln School principal.

PEO Fund For Women In Need

PEO Fund for Local Women in Need was established due to the generosity of a long-time member, Eleanor Tate. This fund is for local women with special monetary needs due to illness, divorce, loss of job or other monetary problems who do not quality for help through any other funds or source.

To apply call Shirley Dennis, committee chairman, 539-4342.

May Is Mailbox Improvement Month

It’s the time of year when many Pana residents spruce up their homes and yards, and since May is designated as Mailbox Improvement Month, it’s also a good time to check your mailbox.

“Neat, attractive, and well-maintained mailboxes enhance the overall appearance of your neighborhood and the community,” Postmaster Nancy Rudow said.  “It also provides a secure depository for your mail.  A well-maintained mailbox keeps your mail out of the wind and weather.”

Here are some tips for maintaining your mailbox:

• Check the door and hinges to ensure the door closes properly.

• Look for protruding nails and sharp edges.  Sand, repaint or replace your mailbox if it is rusty.

• Check the post for stability and anchor it if necessary.

• Make sure your box identifies your address.  It’s a good idea to display the address on both sides of the box so police, fire, and rescue personnel can find you. Adding house numbers to the box helps ensure that you get our mail too.

• Trim shrubs and branches that may be blocking access to your mailbox.

Approved traditional or contemporary mailboxes are required when a mailbox is replaced or newly installed.  Contact your local post office for height requirements for curbside or rural boxes.

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).