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Emails for October 2009
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IMEA All District Music | Fieldcrest Test Scores | Fieldcrest Test Scores Must Be Improved | Fieldcrest Test Scores | Leaf-burning Reminder | Minonk Co-Op Preschool Fundraiser | Park Restrooms to be closed for the winte | Boy Scouts Trick or Treating | Give A Gift Of Food This Holiday Season | Gary Baker Benefit | Thanks SMSgt Curtis | ROBBERY | Class of 1975 Reunion | Water Bills | Water Bills | MDR Class of 66 Facebook Group |

IMEA All District Music

I went to Braden Auditorium this afternoon to watch my Daughter perform in a choral concert. She was one in a choir of 179 other children from all over the area. She had to audition in October in front of a panel of judges. Fieldcrest Middle School was fortunate enought to be able to send 10 talented students.

There are only a few words I can use to describe how these children performed. TOTALLY AMAZING!!!! If you closed your eyes you would have thought you were listening to a group of professionals! The band, choir and orchestra totally blew us away! How many of you out there were aware that we had such talented students in our schools??

It's a shame there aren't more of you aware of this. It's a shame there isn't funding for music and drama. It's a shame when my Daughter asked why there wasn't an announcement about IMEA at school, the teacher looked at her and asked her what IMEA was. I have to believe there are some parents out there that think music is an important part of our childrens lives. Unfortunately I have to believe that Fieldcrest cares primarily about their sports and their athletes. Music and drama takes the back seat. This makes me very sad because all you people that weren't there today missed something very beautiful and very special.

Thank you Mrs. Peterson and Mr. Russel!! Keep up the GREAT work you are doing with our children.

Linda Judd

Fieldcrest Test Scores Must Be Improved

Dear Dave,
I am not a frequent follower of Minonktalk, but i was wondering if you did research before you posted this editorial? Yes, we should be concerned that Fieldcrest did not meet the PSAE requirements, but i can guarantee you that it was not just the athletes that brought down the test scores.
You also stated that we should "forget about the character building nonsense," but you obviously do not understand what highschool sports do for a young person.
The one yardstick to predict "success" in later life (self satisfaction and participation in a variety of community activities two years after college) is achievement in school activities, particularly sports. Not as useful predictors are high school or college grades, or high ACT scores. (According to the American College Testing Service (ACT)).
Also ninety-five percent of Fortune 500 executives participated in high school extra-curricular activities(According to Fortune Magazine). I am very confused by what you mean by "character building nonsense?"
By implying that football concussions reduce intelligence, do you mean that football players bring down the test scores?
Illinois State Sports League states that: student-athletes have a higher grade-point average than the average student and are absent from school less. You may say that not all athletes play football, but about 90% of the male athletes at Fieldcrest High School play basketball, baseball, and football, so i feel like this statistic applys to Fieldcrest High School Football.
I agree concussions are something that needs to be monitored in sports, but one concussion does not cause dementia in later life. The adults that have dementia you are refering to play higher levels of football and have recieved multiple concussions.
The Riddell helmets that the Fieldcrest Football players wear reduce concussions by 31%, which almost eliminates high school concussions. 2A Illinois high school football just does not occur at the same speed as NFL or even college football (where these helmets were tested).
I also do not agree with you on your administrator hypothesis. I am a Fieldcrest High School student and can say that Mr. Lapp does not place extra emphasis on sports. I did hear that he was a great coach at his previous school, but i would not guess this otherwise. Mr. Lapp always talks about the importance of academics and has even instituted the "Expectations of Knighthood." These expectations are all about behavior in class and grades, not once do they mention success in sports or even participation. He is completley committed to the education of Fieldcrest students, and i believe you are completley wrong that our administrators place a larger emphasis on sports than academics.
Fieldcrest sports are always at the top of the conference, and have had great success, this does not mean our teachers do not teach. Maybe you should give the credit to the coaches and the athletes in the Fieldcrest School District, rather than blaming the athletes for the low PSAE scores. I agree the scores do need to be addressed, but before you cut down Fieldcrest sports, teachers, and adminstrators maybe you should take a closer look into our hallways. The students that bring down the test scores are the students that seldom come to school and do not care how they perform. Our teachers can not teach empty seats to take tests. I think we should look at these student's parents and the morals they are teaching their sons/daughters or lack there of.

Fieldcrest Student

Editor's reply: I normally do not accept anonymous or unsigned emails but I will assume that you are a Fieldcrest student since I want all views to be heard. I must repeat that I am not saying that football players bring down test scores. My concern is the injuries received from football. My hypotheses are suggestions on what might cause low test scores. I am not saying that I absolutely know the reasons. The purpose of the editorial was to root out what may be the real causes. Being a student you may have better insight than I. It will not offend me if my hypotheses are wrong as long as we can find out the real reasons for Fieldcrest's low test scores. I hope others will comment on this very important subject as you have. If there is no feedback then the editorial is an exercise in futility. You have made some very good points and I thank you for your input.

Fieldcrest Student

Leaf-burning Reminder

Minonk residents are reminded of the following rules for leaf burning:
Leaves and landscape waste can be burned only between the hours of 6 am and 8 pm.
Leaves cannot be burned on any sidewalk or asphalt street

City Administrator Doug Elder

Park Restrooms to be closed for the winte

Restrooms at West Side Park and Veterans Park will be winterized the week of November 9 and closed for the winter. Parks will remain open all year; restrooms will be opened again in the spring.

Doug Elder
City Administrator | City of Minonk

Give A Gift Of Food This Holiday Season

I would like to thank all of our loyal customers for their support this past year. We realize with the tough economic times we are enduring, a gift of food would be greatly appreciated by all. As you prepare your gift giving list this year please keep this in mind. Minonk IGA has assorted Food Gift baskets, Gift Certificates, Fruit Baskets, and a wide selection of Meat and Bakery Products available. Please feel free to call with any questions concerning your choices. Once again we thank you for your support and wish you a Happy Holiday.

Sincerely the Employees of your local Hometown Proud IGA

Minonk IGA

Thanks SMSgt Curtis

I would like to express my congratulations to SMSgt Donita Curtis, both for her receipt of the Bronze Star Medal and also for her long and distinguished career in service to our country. If my math serves me correctly she has already served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force attaining the highest of the Enlisted ranks. I always feel a little extra pride when I see that one of our fellow MD/MDR H.S. grads has chosen a military career path. Thanks Donita!
Jon R Johnson, Major
USAF Retired
MDHS 1954

Jon R Johnson

Class of 1975 Reunion

Hello Dave,

On behalf of the Class of 1975 Reunion team I would like to post information on Minonk Talk, which btw is such and excellent site. Kudos to you!

M-D-R Class of 1975
35th Class Reunion
July 31, 2010
To begin at 5:30 pm
Tall Oak's Country Club
Toluca, Illinois

If a request can be made for class members to send their e-mail addresses to Ray McNamara at

Thank you kindly,

Mary Lisa Zimmerman

Water Bills

I was curious if anyone else has noticed the steady rise of our water bills? I found it quite interesting when talking with my neighbor, to find out his bill was the exact same amount as mine. Isn't that odd?? How can that be?? Do they actually read meters? My bill does not reflect what the meter says on my house. Am I now paying for everyone who chose to fill a pool this year?? Does anyone have any answers??

Linda Judd

Fieldcrest Test Scores

I agree that we sometimes put too much emphasis on sports in our schools. I also know many grown men who are suffering lots of pain in their knees and hips because of their high school years in football, and now wish they hadn't played. The time committment with football practice may affect study time. Because of the time devoted to sports, students are often forced to choose between sports and music. Too bad the school and community don't put the same emphasis on the music programs because studies have shown that music will often enhance learning potential. Music is also something that can be enjoyed at any age--without damage to joints!! I am aware though, that being eligible to play sports forces some students to work harder on their studies.
I think the concept of tenure is misunderstood. Tenure is to prevent a teacher from being UNFAIRLY terminated. Tenure is not meant to protect poor teaching. Administrators must document and date incidents that are proof of a teacher's inability to carry out expectations for a job. With proper documentation a teacher can be released from a position.
My final comment is that it may not be the just the teachers' fault that students aren't scoring high enough. There's probably enough blame to go around for the parents and students as well. Perhaps, the importance of studying and work ethics isn't being stressed enough. No Child Left Behind mandates that all students at certain levels be tested on the same test, regardless of learning, emotional, and cultural differences, and we know that not all students are created equal. I heard Chinese exchange students from Heartland Community College talk about a year ago about how relaxed, carefree, and happy the youth are in this country, compared to the stresses they had in school. I agree we need to put more empasis on academics, but not to the degree that China and other countries do.

Lila McCulley

Fieldcrest Test Scores

I read your editorial and I agree that the test scores need to improve. I am just trying to understand your paragraph regarding football. Are you stating that these concussions are causing the poor test scores? I am not sure how many concussions the Fieldcrest team has suffered over the past 10 years, but I would guess the Fieldcrest band is at more risk being in a bus accident heading to Band Day in Bloomington.

You obviously don't care for football but how can you tie this to the poor test scores. I agree with the second part of your editorial. The teachers union has too much clout with Washington and unfortunately the tenure will continue. Teachers have to be accountable just like all other employees.

I really enjoy your website and I normally agree with most of your editorials but you really lost me on this one. You can like sports or not like sports but don't throw this in as a reason for poor grades. I did not look but I think the schools that are beating us in test scores still have a football program.

Jeff Meyer

Editor's Reply:  Jeff I did not mean to imply that the football programs create lower test scores.  My main concern is the injuries that can result from playing football.  I feel that academics at Fieldcrest are not emphasized enough and I feel that this may be due to an over emphasis on all sports, not just football.

Minonk Co-Op Preschool Fundraiser

The Minonk Co-Op Preschool is selling fruit boxes, sausage, and cheese to raise money for school supplies. Parents of the enrolled preschoolers have the pamphlet & order form. We will be collecting the money when we take the order and will be selling until November 29th. The products will arrive on December 5th and will be passed out to the customers shortly thereafter.

Please call Jodi Timmerman at 432-3061 or Kimberly Schmitt at 432-2734 for more information or to place an order. Thanks & Happy Holidays!

Kimberly Schmitt

Boy Scouts Trick or Treating

I just wanted to let everyone know that the local Boy Scouts will be Trick or Treating for UNICEF this Saturday. The hours that they will be out are 11am till Noon.

Jeremy Peiffer

Gary Baker Benefit

The family & friends of Gary Baker would like to thank everyone who generously donated to his benefit. Napa, Country Florist, A Stylish Affair, Wooden Nickel, Boardwalk, Hermans's Body Shop, Pops, Joes Pizza, Kathys Alota Sence, J's Tire, Cunninghams Candy, Park Place and Visions Video. A special thanks to the Stevenson Family & the Baker Family for making this benefit a success. And also a special thanks to Rons Ironwheel, DJ Jay, Daniel Baker, Shelia Crosby & Geri DeLancey for all their time & effort for this cause. Gary appreciates all the help that was givin to him & we hope he gets better soon. From the friends & family of Gary Baker & John Stevenson

Geri DeLancey




Water Bills

In response to Linda Judd's letter, Yes, water meters are read every month, usually on or about the 20th day of the month.

It is a known fact, comparing your water bill to your neighbor's water bill is never a valid comparison as no two households never use water in the exact same manner.

Billing is based on nearest 100 cubic foot of water metered from month to month. As an example, in any one month you may be metered at any number such as 440 cubic feet and you would be billed for 400 cubic foot, or you may have been metered at 470 cubic feet and you would be billed at 500 cubic foot. Over period of consectutive months, you do get all the water that has been metered and billed.

Rate increases are not annual increases regardless of the fact that cost of operating the treatment plants almost always increase year after year.

I am speaking from experience as former city administrator, mayor and alderman.

David A. Shirley

MDR Class of 66 Facebook Group

Minonk-Dana-Rutland HS Class of 1966 now has a Facebook page. 7 members so far (10%) of the class. Search Minonk Dana Rutland for the Class of 66, there are several other classes listed as well. If you're from the class of 66 and are on the Internet then join, there is no cost.

John F. Schaab

Thank You From the FHS Marching Band

Thanks to all who donated or came to the Pizza Hut fundraiser for the FHS Marching Band. This was our first fundraiser to support our marching band. The marching band will be competing in their first field show competition at Metamora on the 10th of October. Thanks again for all of your support. -The Band Boosters

Band Boosters