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Warren Knoles, Project Manager, Engineering Consultant for Projects

knowlesWarren Knoles of Springfield, past senior vice-president and chief technical officer of Crawford, Murphy and Tilly, is nominated to the 2015 Pana High School Wall of Fame. Knoles is a 1966 graduate of PHS.

Along with Springfield, the headquarters, CMT has offices in Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Peoria and Edwardsville; St. Louis, Missouri, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio.

He and two other nominees will be inducted in a ceremony at 2:00  p.m., Sunday, Oct. 4 at the PHS Panthers Den. The public is invited to attend. A reception will follow.

Presenter for Mr. Knoles will be Marsha J. Woodruff, D.D.S., his sister.

Knoles, who retired in 2012 from CMT after 35 years with the engineering consulting firm, “exemplifies professionalism, integrity, leadership and commitment to quality and innovation described one person who nominated him for the award.

Said another, “Warren has always valued education highly and he is appreciative of all of the teachers and administrators that made such a strong impact on his life, both professionally and personally.”

The son of the late Carroll and Helen Marsh Knoles, Warren was born Aug. 3, 1948 in Pana. In 1976 he married Deborah Curry. They have two children, Julie and Brian.

His great-uncle, Albert Marsh, a scientist, was named to the Wall of Fame in 1997; he was a 1897 Pana Township High School graduate.

High School

Warren excelled as a Pana High School student. During high school he was involved in such activities and organizations as Boys Major Letter Club, Young Citizens of Central Illinois, Sons of the American Revolution, and he served as president of the Student Council as a senior. (See more information beneath Knoles’ senior picture.).


Among his accomplishments with CMT, Knoles was principal in charge for Prairie Crossing, the commercial subdivision development; project manager, planning, design and inspection of Parkway Pointe retail center, and for site development for Target Greatland store, and for site master planning and development for West Side Christian Church, all in Springfield. In addition, he was project manager for University of Illinois/Capital Development Board project to reconstruct three streets, and prepare the site for a new major U of I campus building in Urbana. He also was roadway design engineer for the terminal area site development at the U of I Willard Airport.

Pana High School ‘Moon Buggy’ Team Prepares for 2016 Event


FAYTH STOUT, LEFT, and Andy Schloz, of the Pana High School Moon Buggy  team show off the team’s current rover which will be retired and used as a training vehicle.

Pana High School’s Rover Challenge Team is planning on participating in the 2016 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge race at Marshall Space and Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Pana is the only high school team from Illinois currently participating in the challenge.

Due to major rule changes, the team will focus on designing, constructing and testing technologies for a new rover to perform on different terrains. This will provide valuable experiences which will engage students in the use of science, technologies, engineering, math and concepts which will be needed in future space exploration missions.

It will be a challenge for the students in building a new rover, both  financially and creatively. The team is actively looking for sponsors to support the effort. Sponsors will be fostering the growth of future technicians and engineers.

All sponsorships would be recognized in many ways, such as, having their name on T-shirts, media outlets and a sign will be created and mounted on the buggy which will be viewed during live video streaming at the race.

For more information, contact Pana High School, 562-6600.

Motorcycle-Car Accident Injures Pana Man Thursday


SEPTEMBER HAS BEEN a busy month for the Pana Fire Department and Pana Emergency Medical Services. They have responded to nearly 60 calls since the first of the month.

One of those calls was for a car fire in the parking lot of County Market on Sunday, Sept. 20.

A 62-year-old Pana man was injured in a car-motorcycle accident at 5:47 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, in front of the Pana Bowl on U. S. 51/Route 16.

According to Pana EMS officials, a 1997 Toyota, driven by Kody Cole, 28, of rural Herrick, was eastbound on the highway. A vehicle in front of him slowed to make a left turn into the Bowl parking lot and the Cole vehicle slowed as well. But, a 1975 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, driven by James Challans of Pana, also eastbound, apparently did not see the cars in front of him slowing down and he struck the rear of the Cole vehicle.

Challans was thrown from the motorcycle and it broke in half when it struck the pavement. He was treated at the scene and taken to Pana Community Hospital by Pana Ambulance Service where he was stablilized, then flown to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for treatment of his injuries. Cole was not injured.

Pana Fire Department directed traffic as the eastbound lane was closed while the accident was investigated and the scene cleaned up. Rose City Towing removed the motorcycle from the scene.

Illinois State Police, who investigated the accident said neither driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They issued Challans a citation for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Busy Month–

The Pana Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services have  been very busy in the month of September. To date they have responded to 60 total calls. Eleven of them have been fire/rescue and 49 EMS calls.

St. Paul UCC Celebrates 150 Years, Oct. 3 And 4

Two days of activities are planned for the 150th year celebration of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Dollville.

There will be a chicken and fish fry on Saturday, Oct. 4, with gospel music, and the Rev. Dr. Steve Nance, pastor, will portray the first pastor: The Rev. Mr. Matthias Galster, who served the church from 1864-1880.

Sunday, the anniversary service will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the church.

A feature story will appear in a future issue of the PNP about the history of the church.

PHS Wall of Fame Oct. 4 Three 2015 Inductees

The 2015 Pana High School Wall of Fame inductees have been announced by Gayle McRoberts, principal of Pana Hifh School.

Warren Knoles of Springfield, Illinois, Class of 1966; Tom Suey of Herrick, Class of 1964, and Harald Hess, Leesburg, Virginia, Class of 1973.

The induction ceremony will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct 4 at the Panthers Den in the high school.  Public invited to attend.

Julie Mayer Seeking Re-election As Christian County Circuit Clerk


Circuit Clerk Julie Mayer of Taylorville has announced her candidacy for re-election to the office of the Christian County Circuit Clerk.

Since Mayer was elected as Circuit Clerk in November 2008, she has instituted many technological updates to benefit the citizens of Christian County.

In October of 2009, the circuit clerk’s office implemented a customer-friendly website that is useful to the general public at, which provides information with regard to the mission statement, hours, address, filing fees and many other links to several useful websites.

In January of 2011, the Christian County Self-Help Center was accessible to the general public. This free, internet-based legal self-help center provides information about legal problems, videos on what to do in court and court documents which can be filled out and filed in court.  This link is provided on the website.

The Clerk’s office also implemented a Windows-based computer system that provides the public with the ability to view the record sheets online, including the judge’s entries.  The information is accessible through the Judici link. 

Mayer is a life-long resident of Christian County.  She is married to Mike Mayer, and they have two children, Jason and Jenni.

Hot Rod’s ‘Drag Week’ — Pana ‘Invaded’ By Dragsters Monday Night


GETTING THE PICTURE – A dragster owner poses in front of the Pana Labor Day Parade mural, created by the Pana Community Council of the Arts, on the east wall of E. and F. Productions in Commercial Alley Monday night, Sept. 14. The dragsters were headed to Indianapolis to race on Tuesday, Sept. 15, as part of Hot Rod Magazine’s “Drag Week, 2015, after having raced at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., earlier in the day.

Organizers of the event from the magazine made Pana a “checkpoint” on the route with drivers needing to get a photo of the mural before heading on to Indianapolis.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

Windows open to enjoy the quiet, fresh, cool air of  Monday night, Sept. 14, was interrupted by the sounds of muscle cars roaring through Pana on a most unusual quest.

Sept. 14 through Sept. 19 is Hot Rod Magazine’s “Drag Week” in the Midwest. Some 350 cars took part in racing at the Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, near St. Louis, Mo. on Monday, then headed off to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. But the organizers from Hot Rod made the cars and drivers take a bit of a detour on some “roads not often travelled.” They inserted a pair of checkpoints along the route. One was near Staunton where participants had to photograph either the elephant at the Pink Elephant Antique Mall or the futuristic-looking “flying saucers” which is nearby.

Once that was accomplished, it was back on I-55 to the Litchfield Exit to pick up Illinois Route 16 through Hillsboro, Irving, Witt, Nokomis, Ohlman and Rosamond to downtown Pana. There, the drivers had to pull into Commercial Alley – between Locust and Poplar Streets – and get a photograph of the Pana Labor Day Parade mural, which was created by the Pana Community Council for the Arts in 2000, on the east wall of E. And F. Productions at 119 E. Second.

Dragsters of all shapes, sizes and models – Chevys, Fords, Chryslers, Toyotas, Pontiacs, Plymouths, Dodges, Oldsmobiles – you name it and it was surely represented in some way or form. The vehicles had an international flare to them as well. Not only did cars come from all over the United States, there were at least a half-dozen vehicles which had been shipped from Australia. Cars were spotted with Canadian license plates, and while they did not have a dragster, fans from the Caribbean were part of the motorcade as well.

The trail took the cars and drivers through Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Once the racers competed in Indianapolis, it was off to Great Lakes Dragway in Union Grove, Wis., then head to northwest Illinois to Cordova International Raceway in Cordova, about 25 miles north of the Quad Cities. The next stop was back in Madison at the Gateway Motorsports Park.

Land Bank For City Approved To Combat Property Blight

The Pana City Council approved the establishment of the “Christian County Land Bank and Development Authority” during its meeting in Pana City Hall on Monday, Sept. 14. It is a joint venture with Christian County as the partnership had to be established prior to the city applying for a grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to help reduce the number of blighted residents and buildings in Pana.

All eight aldermen were present and the ordinance to establish the partnership was approved 7-1 with Third Ward Alderman Ron Miles voting “no.”

The land bank had to be created as a not-for-profit entity to which the property could be turned over. It would be the land bank which would be responsible to administer the grant. Once title to a property was given to the land bank, it would be up to them to determine its fate. They could either fix the home/building or demolish it. Once the property was taken care of, the land bank would be responsible to sell the property with the money going into the land bank for future projects.

In addition, the Council voted 7-1 to establish a set of by-laws for the land bank and the lone “no” vote was registered by Miles.

A resolution approving an agreement with Quest Housing Solutions for consulting the city in its grant application was approved. Fees will not exceed $5,000.

Pool Repairs–

City Engineer Greg Holthaus presented the Council with a plan for repairs at the Pana Swimming Pool. It would involve removing a small portion of the pool decking and “tapping” a return line to determine the source of a leak. Holthaus will be assisted by two city street department employees and Greg Hilton, Pana plumber.

Holthaus says Hilton is “very knowledgeable” about the pool and its plumbing.

Alderman Jerry Jordan told Holthaus to do the repair if it is minor in nature, but he would need to report back to the Council if it is something major.

Other Business–

Improvements in Kehias Park in the memory of Adam Bertin were approved. Collette Chaney and family will be allowed to repair the jungle gym, install two space modules with a crawlway and run electricity from the restrooms to the pavilion. Mayor Sipes thank the family for their donations.

The meeting came to a close at 7:58 p.m. The meeting might have been shorter, however the proceedings were interrupted from time to time by noisy vehicles outside the Council Chambers. Because of the nice weather, the windows in city hall were left open and the noise from dragsters which were coming through Pana made hearing aldermen and audience members difficult at times.

It was discovered the noise was from cars associated with Hot Rod Magazine’s Drag Week, 2015, which had to go through Pana to get a picture of the Pana Labor Day Parade mural in Commercial Alley (See related story this issue).

Former Tower Hill School Sells at Auction


THE FORMER TOWER Hill High School, most recently known as Tower Hill Jefferson Middle School, sold at auction Saturday, Sept. 12. The building and the seven acres surrounding the building sold for $60,500 to Dial and Dial Properties, LLC, of Tower Hill.

The building and property, as well as another piece of property, the site of the former Tower Hill Bus Garage on Huron St., also sold at auction. The empty lot garnered $800 for the Pana School District which owns the property. The buyer of the property was identified as Andrew Fitzgerald of Tower Hill.

Bidders also doled out nearly $7,000 for miscellaneous items, such as desks, tables and chairs which were also on the block.

Pana School Superintendent Dr. David Lett said members of the Pana School Board were pleased with the sale of the items as well as the school building and property.

The sale was conducted by Price-Spracklen Auction Group, Pana.

Mega Night Friday; Pana FCA Chapter

The Pana Fellowship of Christian Athletes group will be hosting the tailgate Friday, Sept. 18, during the football games between the Pana Panthers and Carlinville.

Serving and gates open at 4:30 p.m., prior to the Carlinville-Pana freshman football game which starts at 5:00. The varsity game begins at around 7:00 p.m.

In addition, there is a girls junior high basketball game between Pana and Carlinville in the Pana Junior High School gym. The seventh grade games begins at 4:30 p.m., followed by the eighth grade game.

Menu items include hamburgers, hot dogs and brats with chips and drinks. A donation to the FCA is the meal cost. For everyone making a donation to FCA, Peoples Bank and Trust will be handing out ice cream sandwiches.

Sponsors are Morrell Auto Service, County Market, Pepsi and Peoples Bank and Trust of Pana.