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Emails for December 2003

Comments on Moran Street extension

To the citizens of Minonk in regards to the Moran Street extension. This letter is being written simply to inform all of the interesting events and circumstances we have encountered while dealing with the City of Minonk council and administration. When approached about selling our land to allow Moran to extend, neither of us approved. We were, however, convinced by Mayor Spencer and councilman Koos of the benefits of Miner's Trail to the community and gave in against our better judgement.

Our main concern was the speed of drivers along the alley running north and south and those traveling down Moran. We asked what could be done to make sure the alley and Moran don't become another speedway. Citizens dealing with excessive speeding on their street understand what I mean by speedway. By suggestion of Koos-an important piece of information- we ALL agreed that making the alley one way going south would help alleviate excessive traffic. Rob and I also realized that we wouldn't have to worry about the blind spot created by a back garage that drivers encounter driving north down the alley while approaching the curve onto Moran. By alleviating said blind spot we felt the safety of those using Miner's Trail would be secured since the trail is to cross over that very curve.

Unfortunately, we came to find out that the safety of all would succumb to the convenience of a few. A petition signed by many - 99% of whom do not have a home off the alley as well as some that don't even live in Minonk- was submitted to the city council asking that the alley return to two way.

The petition stated "Do you want someone who is not a city official or has no use for an alley to determine which way taxpayers can go on that alley? If you agree that the alley going north off 8th Street and ending going east onto Maple avenue should remain a two way alley, sign below".

For those that signed that petition, you were misinformed. And a question, also, for those that signed the petition that don't live on Maple, what use is that alley to you? Traveling down the alley to arrive at Maple isn't any shorter than going down Maple off of 8th.

First, a city official DID determine which way you could travel down the alley-Koos and Spencer! The city council agreed as well-more than once!

Second, the alley ended at the curve. After the curve, heading east toward Maple, was OUR land and part of the property that was sold. It was NOT city property! WE paid the taxes on that land...

But, of course, our wonderful council wouldn't tell those that submitted the petition this information! Maybe they didn't want to upset any "important" people.

Regardless, as a result, we have simply become the "bad guys" for having "conditions" on the sale-which, by the way, the council agreed to with no problems or concerns!

We questioned Koos and Spencer about any disagreements that citizens may have regarding the one way alley and we were assured by them that if anyone had a "problem" with the one way they will simply be told that the one way alley was part of the contract and that it is for the good of the community. But, any backbone the council and Mayor -minus Alderman Ron Redenius-may have had disappeared at that meeting while the offer/contract-signed by the Mayor- was rescinded.

The whole "one way alley" fiasco was created mainly out of a safety concern for those that would be using Miner's Trail. It is, however, quite evident that it is actually only my husband and I involved that are truly concerned about everyone's safety-especially children. By the way most people drive down the alley, they definitely aren't concerned about anybody's safety and we are the "bad guys" for having such concerns. We are now simply waiting for the horrible inevitable to occur before the council decides that maybe the one way alley was a good idea after all, even if it is inconvenient for some people. Funny thing, though, those same people that didn't want to have to drive all the way down the alley to get to their home on the south end of Maple have been driving north all the way down the alley only to turn south on Maple. Interesting, huh? I thought it was such an INCONVENIENCE!

A simple warning to anyone that may have dealings with the City of Minonk-their word is worthless and meaningless, as well as the Mayor's signature. Be careful. You may become the "bad guy" too.


Kimberly D.K. Schmitt & Robert L. Schmitt

Looking for trophy

Dear Mr. Uphoff,
My name is Mark Elliott and I graduated from M-D-R in 1978. I entered Military service upon graduation and have lived away since then. I was very disheartened when I heard that the trophies had "disappeared". At the time no one seemed to know what the fate of the trophies was. I am not sure how old this article is that I am responding about. During my time as a Mohawk I had received a number of trophies. But there is one that really means a lot to me and that is The Heinie Mohar Memorial trophy. You see Heinie and his son Nick had hired me to work at Kent Lumber at the start of the summer of 1977 through the school year in the IRO program until I graduated in 1978. I thoroughly enjoyed that employment. Heinie passed away during that time and he was a big supporter of the football team. At any rate if that trophy still exists I would sure like to see that it is not lost. I would hope that if it is not displayed for all to see, if possible, it be kept in the Mohar household. Maybe that way I could look upon it again sometime and see who all the following recipients were. I have always wondered about that. Any information or help regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Mark Elliott

Editor's reply: I do not have any of the Heinie Mohar Memorial trophies stored with the other trophies in the IOOF building. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the trophy, please contact us.

Thanks for Big Bend Reunion article

Thanks to Kenneth Rients, Donna Rae Eilts, and MinonkTalk for providing a well written, detailed and interesting history of Minonk in the 1800s.

Gerry Schmidt

Attendance centers needed at Fieldcrest

To the people in Fieldcrest School district:

Attendance centers at Fieldcrest school district could have saved the district some money. This could have been a start to a brighter future for Fieldcrest schools. First off all the students of the district would be in one building. All kindergartens in one building together, all 1st, 2nd and so on together. This would give each and every child in that grade level the same benefits. What am I talking about? Well, 5th grade in Toluca are introduced and play in the band, while 5th graders in Wenona do not. Is that fair? NO ! All the kids who are in Fieldcrest school should have equal learning, and extracurricular activities. I wonder if many would like it if one had 5th grade had basketball and the other did not ?? We are all one school district so the kids should be treated as such and all learn the same, be exposed to the same.

I also believe that attendance centers would have been a step in the right direction not only for that, but for pulling us together as one district. All the children together, not Fieldcrest south having pre k thru 4th, Fieldcrest East having pre k thru 8 and Fieldcrest West having pre k thru 8. Would it be better to have Fieldcrest elementary, Fieldcrest Middle, and Fieldcrest high school? I sure think so because the kids would be together all the time, not together for a while then split up and then go back together like the kids of Minonk, Dana, and Rutland do now. Also as to much time on a bus well the kids that are from Minonk, Dana, and Rutland are on the bus from 3:05 until 4:30, and they are adjusted to it so why wouldn't all kids adjust? Don't get me wrong there is an adjustment for them, but they do adjust and handle it well as do the parents.

I just believe that attendance centers would have been a place to start saving money for our district, we need to start somewhere.

I also read in the board minutes that volunteers were asked to help raise money to fund school expenses. I don't have a problem helping, but then I read where Wenona donated $20,000.00 and what was the purchase?? Baseball diamond renovation, new glass backboards for the basketball court, and new lockers in gym, new batting cage!!!! Isn't that what fundraisers are for ????

I guess we will just have to wait and see if we can dig ourselves out or if we will have to wait and see what the state will do. If the state comes in I wonder if we would have 2 middle schools like we do now? Only time will tell. Just our opinions.

Randy and Peggy Winters

Website brings back memories of Minonk

I would like to commend you and those who supported you by supplying you with information to put together this remarkable website. I'll have to admit when I first found the website I was surprised that such a thing existed for such a small town. It truly reflects the professionalism and commitment of those responsible.

It brought back many memories as I browsed through its contents. I saw pictures of people I knew years ago which was a reunion of sorts. And it allowed me to reflect on a time that may very well have been the most impressionable years of my life. As a paperboy for 6 years or so I rode my bike everywhere. During the time that I lived in Minonk each neighborhood, street and even individual houses and buildings had special meaning for me. And while looking at the pictures I have seen how things have changed, like the disappearance of the Jumbo, where I once (or maybe more) rode my bike down its treacherous ridges; or the fire that destroyed the movie theater, where I used to be a projectionist; Bradbury's store where I drank my first and subsequent RC colas but never (I don't know why) drank one anywhere else or since.

Another important thing that you brought out was the history of Minonk. While I lived there I took no note of anything in Minonk being of any historical significance. I might have thought that house or building was cool to look at but that was about the extent of it. As I have grown older I have taken a greater interest in historical things or stories and the next time I return I will take the time to absorb some of what I took for granted in my youth.

I really appreciate what MinonkTalk has achieved thus far. Again my thanks to you and those who help you on a job well done!!

Mark Elliott

Now's the time for resolve

Your editorial on Saddam was right on. He's gone and put away, but now's the time for us to be resolved and finish the job. In my way of thinking, this will be the hardest part of his demise. The insurgents (Saddam loyalists), along with other factions, will be on the streets to undermine our efforts. We are making progress with these thugs by finding documents that show Saddam was linked to the insurgency against the coalition forces, and it has led to the arrest of at least one high-ranking individual.

We are proud of our troops here, since the raid was conducted by men from Fort Hood. There are banners and celebrations honoring these brave men, and well there should be. The entire Nation both here and in Iraq should be forever grateful.

Some of the Arabs feel humiliated by this, and will continue their attacks on our troops and Iraqis who are co-operating with us.

So, while 'ol Saddam is gone, some of his garbage is still cluttered around. Now's the time to clean it up and throw it away. We need to be patient, hold on to our resolve, and support the efforts of our troops, and also remember those who have paid the price for our freedom..the men, women and their families who have suffered the loss of loved ones. God Bless America! Can you imagine what the world would be like today, if there were no United States? Am I bragging? Your dern tootin' I am. Happy Holidays to you and all the folks in Minonk...

Art Kettelhut

Reply from Senator Rutherford on school funding

Dear Dave,

Thank you for sending me the link to your recent article regarding school funding and the Lt. Governor's ideas on the subject. I will be looking further into his plan.

Again, I appreciate knowing what issues are important to you. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of help.


Dan Rutherford
State Senator