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Emails for March 2015
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Fieldcrest Brain Tumors | Minonk to Peoria St Jude Bingo Night | Board of Education | Board of Education | Error in City Want Ad | Garage sale sign up forms ready | Donate your old shoes for fundraiser | Town-wide garage sale set for April 25th | Cancer Information | Superintendent Oakley comments on student cancer cases |

Minonk to Peoria St Jude Bingo Night

Hi Dave,

Can you please post this information about bingo night for St Jude on Minonktalk for us.
Thank you!!

Minonk to Peoria St. Jude Runners' 4th Annual Bingo Night

Saturday April 11th
at the Rutland Legion

Doors open at 5:00pm for food and raffles, Bingo play begins at 6:30pm

Adults (11 yrs. & up) $20, Kids (10 yrs. & under) $10

We will play 15 games of Bingo to win really nice prizes. We also have lots of great raffles, 50/50's, door prizes, as well as bake sale items, and a dinner of gondola, chips, and drink for $5

Because seating is limited, we ask that anyone in attendance have a ticket once Bingo play begins.

To guarantee your seats, please purchase tickets in advance by calling
Beth Hakes at (309)432-4026 or Sonja Frei at (309)432-2139

This is a fun event for all ages- please join us in having a good time while raising money for the kids and families of St. Jude, and the amazing cancer research this hospital provides.

Thank you for your continued support!
-Minonk to Peoria St. Jude Run Team

Morgan Koehler

Garage sale sign up forms ready

A town-wide garage sale is being planned for Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. What better way to clean out those closets, attics, basements, or that spare room.

If anyone is interested in participating in the Town Wide Garage Sale sign up forms are available at IGA, Minonk Community Bank or download the form from

To have your sale advertised in the map you must fill out the form with the $4 for advertising, etc and return both to Cathy McKay, 626 Locust, Minonk no later than Monday, April 20th.

The final garage sale map will be available at; at IGA, Minonk Community Bank, and garage sale participants.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact Cathy McKay.

Cathy McKay

Town-wide garage sale set for April 25th

The Town Wide Garage Sale is scheduled for April 25, 2015 from 8 am until 2 pm. If you are interested in participating the sign up forms will be available at IGA, Minonk Community Bank or download the form from this website.

To have your sale advertised in the map you must fill out the form and return it to me by April 20.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with me.

Cathy McKay

Superintendent Oakley comments on student cancer cases

Dear parent/guardian:

The medical concerns involving three Fieldcrest South Elementary students over the past year have saddened, concerned, and even alarmed the Fieldcrest school district family - students, parents, staff members, board members, and community members alike. Understandably, many are asking questions.

Because cancer is such a complex disease with any number of root causes, there are no simple or immediate answers to those concerns and questions. In our cases, there are no known connections between the first and second set of diagnoses. And, because the disease is so complex and the causes are so varied, there is no way for the average person, including school administrators, to determine the root causes of the onset.

In order to further the discussion regarding this issue, the Fieldcrest district has been in contact with the Woodford County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The IDPH is in the process of reviewing this community-wide concern. We will continue to offer our services as a conduit of information between the health departments and parents and the broader community. During this time, it is also imperative that the school and district protect and preserve the confidentiality of affected students.

We wish peace and comfort to all during this difficult time in our district. And may we all work together to reach the time when cancer is vanquished from our world.

Dan Oakley
Fieldcrest Superinendent


Fieldcrest Brain Tumors

I grew up in El Paso, IL, and my heart goes out to the families of these boys and to the community as a whole.
Has the community explored the school's wireless environment to ensure it is safe? Has the wireless technology changed in that specific classroom? A new router, new service or upgrades, new SmartBoard, laptops or tablets? Have any cell towers been built or modified near the school or near the homes of these children? Have the electromagnetic radiation levels emitted by wireless networks and devices been tested in the class room?
There is so much happening in Europe now to ban wireless technology in schools and convert to wired computer technology, in an effort to protect children from the likely dangers of radiation emitted from wireless networks and devices (including brain and blood cancers, auto immune disorders and pediatric neurodevelopment disruption). Children are far more susceptible to the effects of this kind of radiation, especially in the head, as their skulls are still developing and are thinner. Radiation at the same level can penetrate far further into the brain of a child than an adult.


Board of Education

I follow the Minonk talk several times a week and when I read all the cuts to the educational staff I was sad. So many Minonk citizens losing their jobs because the board could not find ways of coming up with a budget that would fit. How about the high paying board itself? Why didn't they take a cut in pay as always the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. My opinion a former born and raised in Minonk citizen.

Walter Renken
Whittier California


Error in City Want Ad

The latest edition of the Woodford Journal mistakenly placed an ad for the office of Police Chief in Minonk. The ad should have been for a part-time paramedic for the City of Minonk ambulance squad instead. The newspaper admitted the error and apologized for the mistake.

City Administrator
Gary Brennan


Donate your old shoes for fundraiser

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: DO NOT THROW ANY SHOES AWAY! Fieldcrest South Elementary is having a FREE fundraiser for future playground equipment. All you have to do is donate old shoes. Make sure they are a matching pair. Tie the pair together, and then donate. Our goal is to collect 2,500 pairs by April 30th. Just start sorting your closets out. Speak to family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors!

Donation boxes are located at:
Fieldcrest South
Fieldcrest HS
Minonk City Hall
St. Paul's Church- Minonk
Heritage Manor-Minonk
St. Patrick's Church-Minonk
HSHS Medical Group- Wenona
Mangold Ford-Eureka
St. Ann's Church-Toluca
St. Mary's Church-Wenona

Any questions? Please contact:
Gloria Ehrnthaller

Amanda Whited

Penny Baran


Cancer Information

Hi! In response to your editorial, I wanted to post an e-mail exchange that I had with the Illinois Department of Public Health. I received permission by the sender to post on this website, as long as I did not paraphrase the response. So, here it is in its entirety. I hope you find it informative. She also mentioned, "If anyone contacts you or the website about this situation, please give them my name, phone number and e-mail address (below). I am available Monday – Friday from 07:30 to 4:00 and would be happy to discuss their concerns."

Hollie Kearfott

Your e-mail was forwarded to me from the Department website. We have already been contacted by the local health department on behalf of the school nurse concerning these childhood cancers.

Your concerns are not uncommon. However, according to current literature, unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors. The only well-established environmental risk factor for childhood brain tumors is radiation exposure. This is usually as a result of radiation treatment for another cancer and usually does not occur until 10-15 years after the radiation treatment.

Although we think of cancer as a single disease, cancer is actually many different diseases, each with differing rates of occurrence, risks, causes, and chances of survival. Additionally, childhood cancers tend to be different from those in adults. There are even several different types of brain cancers and cancers of the spine both in adults and children.

Some inherited and genetic condition carry an increased risk for different types of brain tumors (less than 5% of brain tumors). If you are interested in more detailed information on this, the American Cancer Society website has excellent information about childhood brain tumors. You can access this at This publication is updated frequently as results from new studies are released.

Since you expressed a concern about environment, I did check with our Division of Environmental Health and there has been no reported or documented potentially carcinogenic exposures in this area (61760). I have attached a fact sheet from our Division of Environmental Health that provides more detail about cancer and the environment.

Unfortunately, there is no study the Department can do that will show what caused cancer among children in this area. No single study or even a large number of epidemiologic studies will enable a person to know why he or she developed cancer or can prove that a particular exposure causes cancer ( see attached fact sheet).

I assessed all the data we have on the cancer registry from 1986-2012 (28 yrs) and there were no cases of cancer in persons under the age of 20 reported. Based on the cancer incidence in an area of Illinois with a like population density and demographic profile as 61760, one would expect to see 4 cases of childhood cancer in the 61760 area during that time frame. So 2-3 cases now would not be alarming as cancers do not occur on a regular time frame.

The reporting for 2013 through 2014 is not yet complete, but to date, no cases of cancer in persons under the age of 20 have been reported. Most likely the 2 cases of brain cancer (medulloblastoma) and the one case of a spinal tumor have not yet been reported but I would not expect they would be reported yet.

Dr. Shen (Division Chief/Epidemiologist) and I discussed this information and as there are no unusual number or patterns of childhood cancer in this area to date, no further assessment is warranted. We understand it is very difficult to allay residents' (particularly children's) fears about cancer. I hope you will find this information helpful. Please feel free to give me a call if you have any further questions."

Melinda Lehnherr, RN
Assistant Division Chief, Epidemiologic Studies
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street, 3rd floor
Springfield, IL 62761
phone (217) 785-3852
fax (217) 524-1770