May 2001.
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May 2001 news

May 1

The Village-Aires will present their spring show on Saturday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 6, at 3 p.m. The theme of the show is "USO for the U.S.A.", a salute to the veterans.

The show will cover songs from the war years from World War I through Desert Storm.

The Village-Aires is under the direction of Ann Dirksen. Elaine Cunningham is the assistant director and accompanist. The program director is Jack Jochums.

Fieldcrest crushed Tremont 15-4 in a game at Tremont Tuesday, May 1. Andy Craig and Neil Ropp each had two homeruns apiece to pace the hitting attack. Ryne Haag gained the victory (5-2) with 9 strikeouts and added 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Fieldcrest is now 16-4.
The Fieldcrest Knights beat Putnam County 4-2 on Monday, April 30, in a game at Granville. Josh Gerdes got the win for the Knights and now has a 2-0 record. Shawn Manning led the hitting attack with a double and 2 RBIs.
Tremont scored a run in the last inning to beat Fieldcrest 2-1 Tuesday, May 1, in a game at Tremont. in a game at Minonk. Amy Breyne (4-2) had 8 strikeouts in the loss. Their record is 13-7.

Fieldcrest beat El Paso 8-6 Friday behind the hitting of Ryne Haag who had 2 homeruns and 3 RBIs. Andy Craig and Neil Ropp also contributed homeruns to give Josh Gerdes (3-0) the victory for the Knights.

Meadow equipment is cleaning out the bottom of Well #3 that is contaminated with bacteria. The city council had originally approved pouring grout at the 1640 foot level in order to seal the bottom of the well so as to prevent the contamination from coming to the top. However, that attempt proved unsuccessful because the grout would seap down beyond the point to be sealed and thus making it impossible to seal off the contaminated portion of the well.

This means that the more expensive option of drilling out the blockage at the bottom became necessary. After the blockage is removed, the bottom of the well will be disinfected. This procedure may cost up to $50,000 in addition to the original estimate of $24,000 to clean the upper part of the well. The extreme depth of the well makes any maintenance work very expensive.

The work is being performed by Meadow Equipment and is expected to be completed by the end of next week, May 11.

Greentree Pharmacy moved from its Fifth Street location along Oak Street to its new location on North Chestnut Street Saturday morning, May 5. The new location is the former site of the True Value Hardware store that closed down a year ago.

The pharmacy will continue to be a wholesale operation supplying drugs to area nursing homes throughout the area. There are no plans to open a retail pharmacy at the new site.

The building which the pharmacy had previously occupied will eventually be torn down to make way for future retail development at that site. The site was previously used by Kent Lumber Company for many years.

May 7

Fieldcrest High School will hold its annual prom at the Scottish Rite Temple in Bloomington at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12. A post-prom celebration will be held at the Fieldcrest Gym.

The prom banquet will be held at Mona's Restaurant on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Cassie Mouser was married to Joshua Marsack, formerly of Rutland, on February 17. The parents of of the bride are Robert and Linda Mouser of Minonk. The parents of the groom are Carl and Patti Marsack of Pontiac.

The couple currently reside in Pontiac.

Ben McKay, son of Mike McKay and Teresa Livingston of Minonk, has been seeing action as a pitcher for the Iowa State Cyclones baseball team. Ben is a senior at Iowa State and is a former standout baseball player at Fieldcrest High School.

To see the stats on Ben's career, click here.

The trial of Fieldcrest teacher Judy McNamara appears to be delayed again. It is being reported that there may be a scheduling conflict with the Defense Attorney Paul Welch.

Welch's request that the indictment be dismissed were denied by Judge Robert Freitag. He did, however, grant a motion that prevents State's Attorney Mike Stroh from being able to establish a pattern of behavior that could show that McNamara has a propensity for battery.

Stroh said that the defense has lined up several character witnesses that could help argue this point.

May 7 continued

A new mayor and city council were sworn in Monday night at city hall. Mayor Mark Spencer took over from outgoing Mayor Earl Anderson at the normal city council meeting. In addition, new aldermen Bill Koos and Matt Fink were also sworn in along with encumbment Shawn Cunningham.

The first order of business was for Mayor Spencer to appoint Roberta Evans as city clerk to replace Kathy McKay. Spencer then appointed Kathy McKay to take over his old position as alderperson in Ward 1.

The council meeting started off with business conducted by the old council. In that session, the council tabled a discussion on a $20,000 revolving loan for Mary Kearfott in starting up a restaurant/catering business in the former VFW building.

Alderman Tucker reported that he received many complaints from residences about the construction mess involved in the sewer project underway on East Eighth Street. Tucker said that the mess will eventually be cleaned up and everything will be back to normal. In his parting comments, Tucker added that he was glad to see the city get beyond its initial problems with the Caroline Development and was pleased to see the building of the Shell truck stop and restaurant and the Motel 6.

In his parting comments, ex-Mayor Anderson said that it was a priviledge to serve as mayor of Minonk and will miss working with the council. He said it was time for new blood and new ideas. He received a plaque from Alderman Spencer citing his efforts as mayor.

Outgoing councilperson Shelley Butler said she was grateful for her four years and made new friends and learned a lot from the job. She encourages other people to get involved and help to make Minonk grow.

In its final business the outgoing council approved the payment of $729.86 to Pam Jolly for sewer damage to her basement in her house on Walnut Street. Aldermen Cunningham and Tucker voted against the motion. She said that when she filed a claim for damages from her insurance company they paid for the damages but then dropped her coverage. Jolly wanted the city to pay for the damage so that she could withdraw the claim in order to get her insurance coverage back. After a discussion the council decided that it could file the claim with the city's insurance carrier while reimbursing Ms. Jolly.

After the swearing in ceremony, a short intermission was taken with snacks and refreshments provided for those in attendance. Mayor Spencer gave his list of mayoral appointments to the council for their approval. To see the list, Click here.

A letter was given to the council from Farnsworth & Wylie requesting that the New Millennia Community Center Committee be able to use the City of Minonk as a tax body vehicle in applying for a Department of Natural Resource grant from the state. The grant would be used to develop a parking lot, athletic fields, and a jogging and walking track at the proposed site of the new community center. Since the community center committee is not a governmental tax body it is necessary to go through a governmental agency such as the city or township to get a grant.

It was emphasized that this would not require any matching funds from the city. Alderman Barth said he would not vote for the measure unless the city would have decision making power in the use of the grant and also insisted that it was necessary to have an audit performed on the financial status of the committee before the city takes any action.

Alderman Cunningham objected saying that he was already on the committee and thought that the city should give its support to the project. He and Spencer added that if the city is involved in the grant the committee would automatically be subjected to a public audit.

Alderman Barth stated that the community center project is largely unknown to the public and he didn't think it was wise to go ahead and commit the city's financial backing until more is known about the project. After much discussion, the request to use the city as the vehicle for applying for the DNR grant was approved by the council with Barth casting the only dissenting vote.

It was noted that Meadow Equipment was still cleaning out Well #3 and had not yet got to the bottom. It was learned that the company did not bring a long enough cable to reach the bottom of the well and had to go back to their suburban Chicago location to retrieve a longer cable.

The council closed its meeting by going into an executive session to review applicants for the position of city administrator.

The Lady Knights pounded El Paso for a 15-5 victory in a game Friday, May 4, at Minonk. Amy Breyne(5-2) gained the victory and also contributed 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Kasi Kiefer had a 2 run homer for the Knights.
Fieldcrest pounded Heyworth 13-4 in a game at Minonk Wednesday, May 9. The Knights had 5 home runs with 2 by Andy Craig and one each by Ryne Haag, Kyle Lutz, and Drew Glowacki. Craig (8-0) gained his eighth victory with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk.

Ridgeview beat Fieldcrest 3-1 in a game at Colfax on Saturday, May 5. Ryne Haag(5-4) suffered the loss while Drew Glowacki had 3 hits for the Knights.

The Fieldcrest Knights handedly defeated Calvary Baptist at Colfax, Saturday, May 5, by a score of 10-2. Kyle Lutz was the winning pitcher and also added 3 hits and 3 RBIs, including a double. Drew Glowacki had 2 hits for the Knights.

The Minonk Bakery closed down for good on Thursday, May 10. Company officials said that the economics of the Minonk operation were not sufficient to allow it to compete competively anymore. The equipment will be sold off and the building will be sold in the near future.

Over twenty people will be out of work as of Friday. Minonk has had a bakery since 1878 and a bakery has been located at the Oak Street site since 1937.

See story on bakery history

The City of Minonk has sent a letter to the owner of a mobile home requesting that he remove the structure from a vacant lot across from city hall on main street. The mobile home was moved to that location last week without any notice to the city.

The location of the mobile home violates a city ordinance that prohibits the placement of mobile homes in a commercial district. One city official said he felt that the city is probably being tested for its enforcement policies since the city administrator resigned and left town last week.

May 14

Neil Ropp was named King and Sofia Hernegard, an AFS student from Paraguay, was pronounced Queen at the Fieldcrest High School Prom held at the Scottish Rite Temple in Bloomington Saturday night, May 12.

The other members of the court are Grant Palmore, Katie McCann, Katie Schinzel, Kaci Klendworth, Kim Arndt, Jerae Puetz, Shawn Russell, Dan Reichman, Eric Joop, Nick Jensen, and Andy Craig.

Twenty five boxes of trophies stored in the bus barn at the Fieldcrest High School were retrieved and moved to another storage area where they will be categorized and cleaned.

Bob Cufaude, Dean Barth and Dave Uphoff removed half of the trophies Friday afternoon, May 18, and took them to a building in downtown Minonk owned by Don Cline.

Mr. Cline indicated that they can be stored in his building until a permanent home can be found for the trophies. There are still another twenty five boxes of trophies in the bus barn attic that will be retrieved in another week.

Volunteers will be recruited to help identify and clean the trophies. All of the trophies are from the Minonk and Minonk-Dana-Rutland school period before the Fieldcrest school consolidation in 1991.

The New Millenia Community Building committee met Thursday night, May 17, at city hall to discuss the contents of a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant proposal. The proposal must be submitted by July 1 and is to be prepared by Farnsworth & Wylie.

A DNR grant can only be used for outdoor development and the funds must be matched by the recipient.

The committee ranked the items to be included in the proposal. The items are (1) a soccer field, (2) an all-weather outdoor track surrounding the soccer field, (3) parking lot, (4) tennis courts, (5) basketball court, and (6) a linear park which would essentially be an asphalt path from Chestnut Street downtown out to the community center complex at the north edge of the city.

Committee member Dr. John Podzamsky said that soccer is becoming a popular sport among young people and does not require a lot of equipment to play. Bob Hakes stated that an all-weather track is a very desirable feature since it can be used not only by the Fieldcrest school system for track meets but also can be used by adults for jogging and walking. He added that Superintendent Cappaso thought that the Fieldcrest school system might be able to help fund the cost of the track since the school would be using the facility.

The committee felt that it was important to get the outdoor development started so as to give visibility to the community center project and to raise the interest and support of the community.

Hakes said he will get some costs estimates on the proposed items before submitting the proposal "wish list" to Farnsworth & Wylie representative Neil Finlen for preparation of the grant proposal. He stated that if the all-weather track is too expensive it will be dropped from the list.

The Minonk City Council earlier this month had approved the request to have the grant submitted through The City of Minonk.

Kimberly M. Cook and Allen M. Kapraun were married April 27.

She is the daughter of Jayne and Howard Harms of Minonk and Steven and Sandee Cook of Tennessee. He is the son of Roger and Kapraun of Rural Minonk.

The couple reside in Roanoke, Il.

May 21

Hartem ended Fieldcrest's season with a 3-2 victory over the Knights on Tuesday in a first round game of the Central Catholic Regional at Minonk. A two run homer in the sixth inning by Hartem's Matt Gleason sealed the decision. Andy Craig suffered his first loss of the season while contributing two doubles and a single. Shawn Manning had 3 hits including a home run.

The Knights ended the season with a 20-7 record.

Fieldcrest beat Ottawa Marquette 3-2 Friday, May 18, in a game at Minonk. Lindsey Weld brought victory to the Knights with a game-winning RBI in the seventh inning. Sarah Breyne (6-2) relieved Jen Lutz in the last inning striking out the side to gain the victory. Breyne also had 2 hits and 2 RBIs.

The Knights face Midland Monday in the semifinals at Ottawa.

Fieldcrest ladies lost to Putnam County 3-1 in the championship game of the Ottawa regional at Ottawa. Sarah Breyne drove in the only run for the Knights in the seventh inning. Fieldcrest ended the season with a 20-8 record.
This past weekend the State Track Meet was held at the East Side Centre in East Peoria Illinois. Both of the Fieldcrest junior highs were represented there. Below are the athletes who competed in the event.

Fieldcrest WEST

Samantha Hall - Shot Put

Fieldcrest EAST

Brittany Bane - 100 m dash
Chelsea Snyder - 400 m dash
Zach Kirkpatrick - 400 m dash; 4X100 M Relay
Bill Kleiber 4X100 M Relay
Kevin Orabutt 100 M Dash; 4X100 M Relay
Josh Harper 4X100 M Relay; 1600 M Run; 800 M Run
__ Josh medaled 3rd in the 1600 & 7th in the 800
Jason Harper - Shot Put
Marcus Sellers - 400 M dash; 200 M dash
Melissa Patterson - discus
Molli Springer 1600 M run; 800 M run
__ Molli medaled 7th in the 1600 & 8th in the 800
Commencement exercises for the the Fieldcrest High School graduating class of 2001 were held Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

The valedictorian is Jessica Lynn White and the salutatorian is Kimberly Jean Arndt.

At its normal Monday night meeting the city council learned that Well #3 was being treated with chemicals to remove the bacteria that has contaminated the well since December. Meadow Equipment finished drilling through the blockage at the 1410 foot level last week and this week is sending chemicals to the bottom of the well through a dremmie pipe. The well is being treated at 20 foot intervals starting from the bottom.

The treatment is expected to be finished by the end of the week. After that 2 samples will be taken 24 hours apart and tested for contamination. If both samples reveal 0% contamination, the EPA will allow the use of the well once again. Results shown be known by next Tuesday, May 29.

The council voted to give a DECA loan of $12,000 to Mary Kearfott as a business loan to develop a restaurant in the former VFW Hall. The new building is now known as the Woodford.

The council budgeted for 3000 lineal feet of sidewalk replacement this year. However, unfinished work from last year will be completed before any new sidewalk replacement is undertaken this year.

The council learned from Public Works Supervisor Charlie McGuire that a new 10 inch sewer pipe was put in at the corner of Seventh and Walnut to alleviate the sewer backup problem on Walnut Street. Existing sewer lines are being televised to determine potential problems elsewhere in the city. The council also learned that a sewer tile at Tenth street between Skaggs Welding and SMF has tree roots growing in it and must be replaced.

Councilman Bill Koos expressed concerned about the rough condition at Eighth and Mary Streets in the aftermath of the sewer repair work being done there by Rupe Excavating. Supervisor McGuire said he will contact Rupe about smoothing out that corner.

Councilman Sean Cunningham requested approval to have the city crew shut off parking on the west side of Chestnut Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets for the Minonk Western Days celebration that will take place on June 15. Cunningham also said that the Economic Development Committee is meeting next week to discuss potential TIF projects for downtown.

The Public Safety Committee will meet next week to make a decision on a request to lower the speed limit to 25 mph on Chestnut Street between First and Fourth Streets.

In preparation for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration Councilman Kathy McKay requested the council to designate one-way traffic going north on Maple Avenue from the corner of Moran and also one-way going west on Moran from Mary Street. Mckay also requested permission to install electrical power at the north end of Veterans Park for the event. Both requests were granted. The council also approved a motion to donate $2500 to the Fourth of July committee for expenses. Mckay indicated that expenses this year will reach $50,000.

In other news, the mayor announced that he was appointing Lanna Ruestman to the Zoning Board. A motion by Alderman Dean Barth to purchase a new push mower for the city crew was rejected when no one would second the motion. Mayor Spencer announced that there will be an open house for Jim Beaver at the Filger Library on May 24 at 7:00 p.m. to honor him for his many years of service on the library board.

The Minonk Businessmen's Association have organized a festival to be held downtown Minonk on Friday, June 15. The 'Minonk Western Days' festival will feature art demonstrations, music, story telling and specials and discounts provided by Minonk stores.

The art demonstrations will be held from 5:30-7:30. Local art that will be demonstrated include wood carving by Herb Pinkham, stain glass by Elmer Timmerman, and furniture refinishing and caining by Ernest and Mildred Froman.

In addition, leaf printing , pottery making and water coloring will be demonstrated by the El Paso Depot.

M. A. Shaw will be available to do antique appraisals. People who want to know the value of their antique should bring it to the festival and Mr. Shaw will give it an appraisal value for a fee of $3.

Other features include hot wheel races and a children's smoke house set up by the Minonk Fire Department.

For those who have never heard the lost art of story telling, Mike Lockett will be spinning some yarns at 6:30.

From 7:30 - 8:30 music will be provided by the Bloomington Barber Shop Singers. From 9:00 - 12:00 music will be provided by area musicians.

Stores in downtown Minonk will be open until 10:00 for those who wish to take advantage of the specials being offered by the various businesses.

Since the theme is on western days, people are encouraged to dress up in their western attire to provide an air of authenticity to the event. Those who have questions on the festival should contact Jack Jochums, Bob Hakes, Cathy Jackson, Kay Monge, or Craig Hook.

There will be an open house for Father Gilles on Sunday, June 3, from 1:00 - 4:00 at the St. Patrick's Church Hall. Father Gilles is retiring from the priesthood after serving the Minonk and Flanagan area.

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