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Emails for March 2007
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Minonk Tae Kwon Do Holds Testing | Response to Rocky VII | Rocky VII | Fieldcrest Poms Win 4th in State | Baseball comments | Reponse to Editorial | Question on Fireman's Breakfast | Baseball issue | Still waiting for true consolidation | It also rains in Wenona | Why not move everything from Fieldcrest? | Lookimg for recipe | Thanks to Alderman Buchanan | Englishman wants to locate Alvin Reed | Comments on Mayor/City Council | Fieldcrest Poms going to State | St. Paul's Youth Group Fund Raisers | Minonk Fireman's Breakfast April 1 | VBS Soup and Sandwich fundraiser this Saturdayt | Looking for info on Wendland family | Traveling Soccer Recreation Signup | 1st Infantry Division Reunion | Happy 81st to Tjark Rients | Youth Football Sign-Up Reminder | TV lineup for replays of Fieldcrest basketball | Two consecutive years | MidState Stars Soccer Club Registration | Video comments | Response to Editorial | Iroquois Fire Comments |

Response to Rocky VII

Wenona does NOT have a chance at hosting Regionals no more then Minonk did. To host Regionals the fields have to meet IHSA specifications. Guess what? Neither Minonk nor Wenona has a field that can host a Regional or Sectional Game. Plus Regional and Sectional sites for the 2007 Season are already set for this year. Here is the link from the IHSA website:

Jason E Buchanan

Fieldcrest Poms Win 4th in State

WOW!!! What an exciting day in Champaign. Congratulations to the Fieldcrest Pom Team for placing 4th in the state in the Class A Pom competition. A years' worth of practice, competitions, changes, and more practice came down to 3 minutes on the U of I Assembly Hall basketball floor. The performance was almost flawless and when they nailed their long pom tosses, which were the most difficult of any team at state, the Assembly Hall went nuts! Some people from Streator who were sitting in front of us turned and said, "Wow, how did they do that?" Inside, I was asking the same question. It was awesome!!! The girls accomplished all of this while usually having to practice in the lobby because they are low priority when it comes to scheduling gym time. Even the week before state they had to fight for the gym. I realize it's difficult to get enthused about a sport where teams cheer for each other and you don't get a chance to boo or cuss at referees, but I guess that kind of sportsmanship hasn't crept into this sport yet.

It would have been nice for the girls to see at least one school administrator in Champaign supporting them. I know everyone's lives are busy, but I do recall seeing most of them at the boys sectional game at Olympia on a school night. These girls had a good chance at bringing a state championship trophy home to Fieldcrest and not one administrator was there to cheer them on. Several teachers made the journey to Champaign and even the Peoria Civic Center, in bad weather, to watch the team perform. One teacher even drove to O'Fallon to support the girls at the super-sectional. To be sitting in a gym 200 miles from home, and see one of your daughter's teachers walk in and sit down to watch a 3 minute performance, that was special!!! We are fortunate to have caring teachers who are involved in all aspects of our children's education.

I'm not sure how many of Coach Fortner's teams have made it to state, the banner is hanging in the high school gym, but our daughter has been there three out of the last four years. The winning tradition will continue at Fieldcrest High School. I am confident that there will be a Fieldcrest Poms state championship in the near future. When you watch the team perform next year at football and basketball games, remember that you are watching one of the top programs in the state. Good luck next year Fieldcrest Poms!

Scott Oncken

Reponse to Editorial

I admit, it is unusual for me to respond to an editorial. However, the overall negative reaction to the recent decision of moving the baseball games to Wenona prompted me to share my thoughts. I also was prompted because I specifically requested one of the Board members to vote in favor of moving the games. I don't know if this person did or not. I had intended on being at the Board meeting, but instead chose to go to the HOIC Music fest to support my son, who is in the chorus.

Before I get into the baseball decision, I have some thoughts on the survey. I'm sure the intent simply was to get a pulse of the publics' view. If so, then perhaps it served it's purpose. However, I hope that no one tried to use, or will try to use, these results as a basis for any argument. The questions themselves are biased and with the limited number of responses (less than 10% of the district's total available population), it could not be considered statistically valid.

Now on to baseball. As many residents of the Fieldcrest district know, I am a licensed IHSA Baseball Umpire (12 years and counting) and have seen many different baseball fields. I have to honest, the field in Minonk is one of the worst fields for drainage I've seen. In fairness, when I first moved into town, the field didn't seem to be nearly as bad. The problem seems to have gotten noticeably worse over the last 4-5 years. Based on that, I support the decision to move the games to Wenona for this season. Let the City of Minonk address the drainage issue and get the field in condition that is suitable for IHSA games.

We live in Minonk and our son plays on the baseball team. I just want them to get in as many games as they can and I don't really care where they play. We hire administrations (including coaches and athletic directors) and elect Board members to do what they feel is best for the school and students. For once, can we please give them the benefit of the doubt?

Rich Luckey

Baseball issue

Mr. Uphoff,

I would like to respond to your recent editorial on the baseball issue. In a previous email I stated that as a resident of Toluca I did not think the games should be moved out of Minonk as that is where the high school is located. Once again having said that, the drainage problem has been known for years to the coach and parents of athletes who have participated in baseball or softball. The city has allocated the money to fix the problems and I believe this move to Wenona to be temporary. If I have my facts and dates correct, I believe the 01-02 girls 7th grade softball team played their home games in Minonk because Toluca was putting up a new water tower near the park and considered the area dangerous. The following year the home games returned to Toluca. If I may correct you when you stated that the coach lives in Toluca, Mark Brown resides in Eureka. Also, I would like to give Heidi Cook the benefit of the doubt ( and not because she resides in Toluca) that her vote to move the games comes from first hand knowledge of the condition of the fields after a rain as her son played baseball for Fieldcrest all four years of high school. To the question someone asked in an email as to why the girls games weren't moved: our J.V. girls were scheduled to play in Toluca tonight. I participated in your survey and read some the responses. There was one respondent who said if the games were moved they would not attend. May I say you are only hurting the child whose games you will miss? Safety is a concern for ALL of us who have kids traveling on 251 each day, but I truly believe the kids just want to play their baseball/softball games whether they are in Minonk or Wenona. I have yet to hear them complain. Thank you for letting me use your forum.

Kim Yunker

Editor's note: I apologize for the error. Mr. Brown does live in Eureka. I was told otherwise but I should have checked it out. When I was in school all of the teachers lived in the community so it was easy to know where they lived.

It also rains in Wenona


I do believe JV Baseball games got cancelled yesterday due to a wet field in Wenona. How can this happen Mr. Brown? I hope the School Board Members who voted "yes" to move these games don't plan on being re-elected? I won't be voting for them.

Ann McMullen

Thanks to Alderman Buchanan


As you reported, Alderman Jason Buchanan has decided not to seek re-election. With Jason's last meeting approaching soon, I would like to thank him for his public service. Serving the community can sometimes feel like a thankless job, taking much of your family time. I have had the honor of serving a short time with Jason and personally witnessed the passion in which he led.

Hopefully after Jason's children are grown, he will once again find the time to serve as an alderman. Until then, my family and I would like to thank him for all of his hard work!

Russell & Lanna Ruestman
Minonk, Illinois

Comments on Mayor/City Council


In regards to your article on "Kudos to Koos for handling of raceway project": I agree that Minonk, or Koos, handled this matter very well but I'm not sure I agree with your comment " Any future development of Section Six must be handled through the City of Minonk."

If you'll remember, it was one of Minonk's old town boards that got Minonk into all the trouble you mentioned earlier in your article with the Caroline development. I will admit this town board seems to be on it's toes or maybe they are learning from past mistakes but Minonk could just as easily get into another situation like the past, after the next election. I am sorely disappointed that the chance for the raceway seems to be killed but I am glad for Minonk for having a decent town board/mayor at last.

Art Hillenburg

Editor's reply: The reason that Section Six's development must be controlled by the City of Minonk is because the City has purchased the option to buy the land.

St. Paul's Youth Group Fund Raisers


I along with the other Youth Group leader's at St. Paul's UCC in Minonk would like to announce our upcoming events. The first event will be at Pizza Hut in Wenona on March 24th. Anyone visiting Pizza Hut can participate by dining in the hours of 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. And then again from 5:00 p.m. Till 9:00 p.m. All we ask is that when ordering your lunch or dinner that you mention that your proceeds go to St. Paul's Youth Group and 20% of the proceeds will then go to our Mission Trip this summer.

The other event will be on April 28th from 4:00 - 7:30 at St. Paul's Fellowship Hall and that will be our Chicken Fry. Tickets will be available soon! This is also the day of the town wide garage sales and the Village Aire's Concert. So Minonk will be booming that day! I hope that everyone will take full advantage of everything that Minonk has to offer on April 28th.

All of the proceeds will help with our mission trip we will be taking this summer.

Thank you for all your support!
Dee Ragusa

VBS Soup and Sandwich fundraiser this Saturdayt

I would just like to remind the Minonktalk readers of the Vacation Bible School Soup and Sandwich Fundraiser this Saturday from 4:30 to 7:30! The meal consists of your choice of "homemade" Baked Potato Soup or "homemade" Chicken Noodle Soup, Gondola, Dessert and Beverage. The fundraiser is being held in fellowship hall of St. Paul's UCC.

Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $5.50 at the door. Tickets are available at Visions Video and Pop's Sweet Shop until Saturday at 1:00pm. All of the proceeds benefit the Minonk Co-op Vacation Bible School program which ministers to approximately 200 children each year! Your support is greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Stephanie Fuchs
Fundraiser Coordinator

Traveling Soccer Recreation Signup


My name is Brandon Martin and I am the Recreation Director here in El Paso. We are forming a travel soccer league for kids that fall into the categories of 10U, 12U and 14U. I know that we have had kids in the past from Minonk participate. We currently are holding registration through Next Wed. the 14th. I thought maybe this would be a good way to get the
word out. If anyone were to be interested they can email me at I will attach a few documents that may help.

Thanks for any help or guidance you are willing to provide.

Brandon Martin
Recreation Director
El Paso Parks and Recreation
(309) 527-4250

Soccer Registeration editorial, I have a sickened feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am not quite sure I can put the feeling into appropriate words, but I would like to try to voice my opinion on the subject.

While I am all for accountability on vandalism, I will always advocate for my personal privacy as well as the safety of minors. True, when in public we become public figures, and in this day and age of technology, we are at constant risk of being photographed or recorded without our permission. However, I feel that putting a camera on Main Street is not simply an invasion of privacy, but an issue of safety. When we broadcast real-time video up-links of our town with the capability of "zooming in," we are also creating a real-live threat to the personal safety of our minors! Many children ride their bikes, or walk on the street.....some walk the same route everyday, at the same time (such as before or after school), therefore this "new technology" would also make it so that any predator could "stalk" these children via internet. After all, they would already know what town to go to!

I understand the fact that you want Minonk to be on the cutting edge of technology, and I admire that you are so passionate about the work you do with the website. However, there are already satellites in place that interested individuals can up-link to so as to check out the area, except they cannot "zoom-in" close enough to see people. I am comfortable with this. You mentioned that Peoria has internet cameras covering areas in their town, but their town does not compare to Minonk! Minonk is one of the few small towns left that has the 'cozy-home-town-we are safe-feeling' which is why people are drawn to the community to buy homes and raise their families here. Live video up-links would destroy that feeling. Although I think it is wonderful that you or other members of the community post pictures of the town on the website, I cannot in good conscience condone any activity that would jeopardize the safety of our children! We owe it to our children to protect their innocence and identity on the internet, and in my opinion any camera placed in town that would display their image to the "world" would violate that.

As far as the topic of vandalism, if the police would like to place a video camera at the pavilion in the park to catch vandals, I would be fine with this as long as the video is NOT up-linked to the internet. After all, banks have video cameras that record tellers and customers, as well as grocery stores.... even McDonalds has them. The difference is that they do not up-link it to a website for everyone in the world to see. Further, when police catch the vandals, and if they are minors, then parents should be held accountable along with the minor and punished for the action as well. Perhaps if the penalties are severe enough the message to other "would-be" vandals is that for every action there is a reaction.

Thanks for your time-
Christina Jenkins

Christina Jenkins

Minonk Tae Kwon Do Holds Testing

Hi Dave,

I just wanted to say congratulations to all of my students who tested on Saturday March 24th to increase their belt rank. Overseeing the testing was Grandmaster Kim of Bloomington. Grandmaster Kim said that all of the students performed great and was suprised that most students started their training in Febuary and were already increasing in rank. All belts tested for under Grandmaster Kim are recognized by the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. Listed below are students who took part in the testing.

Advancement to Blue Belt
Brittany Jones

Advancement to Orange Belt
Corey Oncken

Advancement to Yellow Belt
Joel Jochums
Sheri Baker
Ryan Baker
Alessio Catarinicchia
Cameron Pinkham
Evan Seggerman
Kyle Colglazier
Leonard Kellow
Scleigh Kellow
William Kellow
Joshua Kellow

Derick Jackson
Minonk Tae Kwon Do School

Rocky VII

Minonk vs. Wenona. It might as well be another sequel called Rocky VII.

Why is there an outrage when ANY sport is moved to Wenona? Do you people understand that you have a good Fieldcrest baseball team? And, since you have such a good baseball team that means you will probably playing for a regional or sectional championship. And, since you moved the games to Wenona you might have a chance at HOSTING that game?? WOW!! How cool would that be? Just think about watching those boys play at HOME! I also find it pretty comical that when the junior high moved to Wenona that there was an uproar about moving their games to that location. Why wasn't anyone saying the games should be played at the location of the school then? That was different wasn't it? It doesn't amount to a hill of beans one way or
another for me. I just find it pretty ridiculous all the commotion this brings about.

I think this is a pretty irresponsible article. To blame the board members for making this decision calling it "...smacked of self interest." is a ridiculous statement. There are three board members from Wenona. This is true. But what this article fails to mention is that NONE of them have a
child playing baseball for this team. So I ask, what is the benefit for these members with "self interest"? Why aren't you saying the same about the other board members who voted not to move the games? Did they make their decisions based on "regionalism"? They voted no - right? They didn't want to move the game away from Minonk - Right? So, did they make their decisions based solely on politics like you are suggesting the others did? HMMMMMM???? Because that is what this is all about right, politics? Wrong. This is about the kids. Until people start to understand that, this is the way it will ALWAYS be.  The editor is suggesting that if more people from Minonk would have turned out to vote then other candidates from that area probably would have won. He is also implying that they then would have made decisions based on "regionalism" and the games would have stayed in Minonk. So, Mr. Editor you are implying they would have done the same thing you are alleging the other board members did huh?

I, like ALL of you parents worry on a daily basis of the kids
traveling to and from school, sporting events, or just to one's friends house. Safety is an issue to us all. But do you think 251 is a one way street? These kids have been traveling this road for a long time now. I am fully aware of this being a touchy subject with all the accidents. But what should we do to solve this problem? Draw a Mason-Dixon line between Wenona and Minonk? Wenona kids don't travel to Minonk and Minonk kids don't travel to Wenona. That isn't going to happen.

It is also irresponsible to bring up the issue of M-D-R being a
financially sound school district. What does that, OR the Wenona TIF have ANYTHING to do with baseball being played in Wenona? I'll tell you what - NOTHING! Last time I checked TIF wasn't in the baseball rulebook. And I am
completely speculating about the following BUT, maybe the traveling Minonk parents didn't show up to the board meeting because their CHILD doesn't care where they play the game. The kids just want to get out there with their friends and play baseball.

It's about time to hang up those gloves like ROCKY did. We need to stop taking ALL of these issues with a MINONK vs. WENONA mentality. I have watched it be this way for 4 years now. But I have come to accept the fact that this is the way it will always be in this area. UNLESS the parents can stop making it that way. These kids will do anything for one another Folks. It's time that you all open your eyes and see it for yourself.


Editor's reply:  The only response I will make to your diatribe is that your logic is faulty in assuming that  Minonk  board members would be accused of regionalism.  If the majority of the school members were from Minonk they would have voted to keep the baseball games in Minonk because that was an implicit agreement between the communities and would have nothing to do with regionalism.  They would just be  protecting that agreement.

Baseball comments

Thanks for printing my story. I don't know if everyone really knows how much time and effort you put into keeping the site up and running. And more importantly than adding anyone's little stories and other nonsensical things that people send you is the fact that you tell the people things that they need to know and of course, how you feel about it. Some folks do respond and offer very wide and varied opinions which makes your site even more valuable. I was a bench warmer on the 1945/6 baseball team that played their games directly behind the school. If the current field needs repair, then shame on those Minonkites who allow this drainage oversight to permit moving the practices and games.

A. Johnson, San Clemente

Question on Fireman's Breakfast

In the email titled Minonk Fireman's Breakfast April 1 It stated that the cost for children 5 and under free and 5 - 12 years of age $3.00 and Adults $6.00.

I am a bit confused. I plan on going (have every year that it has been offered since we moved to Minonk), but I have a 5 year old. So, is it free for her, or does it cost $3 ? The email stated both for a 5 year old (not that it matters, I would gladly pay the money to help out, just curious)..

Thanks for helping to clarify this..

Richard Stillwell

Still waiting for true consolidation

Why is it never about what is best for the kids, but what will be best for each town? I still wait for a true consolidation and it looks like I will continue to have to wait.

Lisa Zimmerman

Why not move everything from Fieldcrest?

I was wondering since the school board has made the decision, to move a sport way from the hosting school, what's next? Are they planning moving high school Basketball to Wenona also? Why not? Their gym holds more. The school then could bring in more funds. Then while they are moving activities, they might as well move Jr high basketball to Toluca. To finish it off they might as well move the football team while they are at it, to maybe El Paso, they have better lighting system for their games.

If there was a issue with this field why isn't softball being moved? The 2 fields are back to back. If it rains on the baseball field it rains on the softball field. This could be one of the most ludicrous decisions I have ever heard. Let's put 20+ students to travel down 251 (Formally 51) everyday. You would think none of the school board members are from around this area knowing how dangerous 51/251 is and still having kids travel it daily? I would like them to think back for the last 20 years and reflect on how many accidents have occurred on this road over this time. Forget about 20 years, you can go back 5.

Chris Mc Kay

Lookimg for recipe


I'm Sandy from Woodbridge, VA. I stumbled across your web site looking for a "Sweet Butter Bread" recipe for my bread machine. I came across Barb Petri's and she mentioned at the bottom of the recipe that she had the 1 1/2 pound loaf recipe if any one was interested. Please let her know that I would love to have the recipe for the bigger loaf.

Thank You


Editor's note: Barb. I do not have your email so please respond to me and I can forward this email to you.

Englishman wants to locate Alvin Reed

Hello from England in the United Kingdom !

I am a Scout Leader ( and last year was kindly given a Scout Handbook as a gift from an acquaintance of my wife a Brownie Guide Leader who swaps badges around the world. The Scout Handbook dates from around the late 1950's (poss 1957 ?) and on the first page has the following details:


I have searched the net with all these details but have drawn a blank in identifying the owner of the Handbook from all those years ago.

2007 is Scoutings Centenary Year. In 1907 Lord Baden Powell held the first (experimentary) Camp on Brownsea Island in the Solent close to the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. 100 years later we are now celebrating being members of the worlds largest movement - a movement of goodness and peace.

In this Centenary Year I would love to return the Handbook to the original owner Alvin Reed - with the details as set out above and wondered if you could possibly help me track down Mr Alvin Reed please ?.

I look forward to any assistance you can offer to put us in touch with other please.

Kind regards

Tony Brown
Scout Leader
Saint Andrew's (5th Burnley) Scout Troop,
Burnley, Lancashire, England.

Fieldcrest Poms going to State

The Fieldcrest High School Pom Dance Team is going to State!!! The girls will be performing on the floor of the University of Illinois Assembly Hall, March 17, at 12:02 pm. The girls qualified for state competition by placing 2nd out of 12 teams at the Illinois South super-sectional, March 10, in O'Fallon, missing 1st by just a fraction of a point. Only 8 teams from throughout Illinois have qualified for state competition in the Class A Pom division.. The best of the best!!! ( equivalent to the high school basketball Elite Eight). Show your school and community pride by cheering on the Pom Team Saturday in Champaign. You'll find that people from all over Illinois know and respect Fieldcrest because of what Coach Fortner and her teams accomplish year in and year out. A chance to cheer for your school at a state competition doesn't come around very often so don't miss it. Hope to see you there!

p.s. The only other team from our area to make it to State is Streator. We'll be cheering for them too.

Scott Oncken

Minonk Fireman's Breakfast April 1

Just wanted to inform everyone of the Minonk Fireman's Breakfast. It will be April 1, 2007 at the Firehouse located on Chestnut Street. Serving time will be at 7:00 a.m. continuing until 1:00 p.m, The cost will be children 5 and under free and 5 - 12 years of age $3.00 and Adults $6.00. And it's all you can eat.

Hope to see everyone there.
Dee Ragusa

Looking for info on Wendland family

I would like to find any information available for my great-great grandfather, Ferdinand Wendland. According to his obituary, he was a resident of Minonk (after arriving from Germany) for 40 years from 1869-1909 and the town's only police officer from 1887-1897. I believe he had other family in the area. His wife's name was Mary (Teska) Wendland and their children were:

John A.
Theodore August (my great grandfather)
Peter A.
Fred W.
Frank J.
Edward W.
Charles P.



Mike Wendland
2306 29.5 st
Rock Island, IL 61201

1st Infantry Division Reunion


I've attached a news release for the annual 1st Infantry Division, to be held in St. Louis August 8th through the 12th. Please post on minonktalk.

Duane Knepp

Youth Football Sign-Up Reminder

Just a reminder that Youth Football sign-up will be this Saturday (March 10th) & next Saturday (March 17th) from 10:00 - 2:00 in the Fieldcrest South Elementary School front lobby. Kids going into 3rd - 8th Grade this fall are eligible for sign up. There will be 3 levels this year, Bantams (3rd & 4th), Juniors (5th & 6th) & Varsity (7th & 8th). Each level will be playing teams in the new Heart Of Illinois Junior Football League (Fieldcrest, Flanagan, El Paso, Lexington, Heyworth, Fisher & Blue Ridge). If you are unable to attend the two sign up dates please visit and download a form and follow the directions and send it in before March 18th.

Questions contact:
Jason E Buchanan -

Two consecutive years

Congratulations to the Fieldcrest basketball team on another win-filled season. Even though the season may have ended sooner rather than later, bringing statewide recognition to the Fieldcrest communities in two consecutive years will challenge those who follow for "many moons."

Enjoy the results!

A Mohawk from "many moons ago"!

Gerry Schmidt

Video comments

Hi Dave,

Video project sounds a great idea. I suggest high school classes consider a contribution to the Community Action Fund when they hold their reunions. I will certainly bring this up to our class committee.

Bob Schmitz

Iroquois Fire Comments


Since Zadel and Donald Stoddard would have been by great-aunt and great-uncle, I have always held a special place for this particular and horrible fire (Iroquois Theater fire) which, like the Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, resulted in some really common sense reforms regarding exits from public places. Are you aware that the victims of the Iroquois fire were identified by clothing? Snippits of their clothing were shown (given) to relatives for identifications. Fred Simitar ended up with those pieces which his daughter, Esther Simitar Dye eventually gave to John Stoddard (son of Bela Stoddard, a brother to Zadel and Donald) of Monticello. I have no idea where they are now.

I have a more complete newspaper article which, when I get back to Illinois, I will share with you --- also, many other articles and programs concerning both Donald and Zadel. Most were kept in scrapbooks by my great-aunt Melita Stoddard, ended up stored in a barn for many years, discovered and given to me by her son-in-law, Donald Laughlin.

When I was a child, and living in the house my grandfather built (at 417 Maple Ave.), I had to practice the piano for a certain length of time each day. Some of the music I used had Donald's name on it in either his handwriting or Zadel's. I used to get sort of spooked sitting in that large living room, alone, as night entered and I would tell Mother I had to quit and would practice extra the following day. I never explained why but I think she eventually understood. I really did have a vivid imagination as a kid.

Martha Eikenmeyer Owens