March 2002
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March 2002

March 3

The Knights of Columbus District Free Throw contest was held on Feb. 24 at Fieldcrest High School gym at 1:P.M. The winners of the boys starting with the age of 11 thru 14 are Sam Darley of Roanoke, Andrew Cross Roanoke, Devin Small Benson, and James Kowaski El Paso.

At the same time the winners of the girls contest, starting at age of 11 thru 13 are Kara Kolb Roanoke, Lindsey Rasmuson Benson and Amanda Lowalski of El Paso.


The Fieldcrest school board gave bus driver Anita Breyne a 5 day suspension for a January 25 bus accident. Breyne was charged with failure to yield turning left. The bus collided with a car at the intersection of Route 117 and County Highway 44. The bus was taking students to Fieldcrest East in Wenona. The driver and students were taken to St. Mary's hospital in Streator, treated and released. There were no serious injuries.

The Fieldcrest school board approved a bid by Union Roofing Company of Chenoa to reroof the gymnasium lobby at Fieldcrest Middle East in Wenona for $41,498. The bid includes a 10 year warranty on the roof.

The board approved the award of $13,173.75 to Alfred's Floor Service of Morton to strip and refinish the gymnasiuns at Fieldcrest East and the high school. The work is necessary because of water damage. The cost will be covered by $25,000 in insurance payments.

Fieldcrest Middle East will receive a $50,000 matching grant to install elevators so as to make the school handicap accessable. The other $50,000 will come from the district funds.

Shirley Barth submitted her resignation as an aide at Elementary South where she has been employed for 31 years.

The board accepted the resignation of Michael Breyne who coached girls' softball and basketball at Middle East.


The Minonk Fire Department received a $70,000 check as part of an Illinois First grant. State Representative Keith Sommer gave the check to Minonk Fire Board Protection President Joe Schmillen at the Fire House in a cermony on Tuesday, February 26. The money will be used to purchase a 3,000 gallon pumper tank. The truck is expected to be delivered in November of this year.

March 10

Mrs. Ruth Steinhilber is the new director of the Nutrition Center at Minonk. The center serves meals every noon at the Woodford, 541 Oak Street, to senior citizens over 60 and the handicapped. She replaces Norma Turner.

Mrs. Steinhilber said the Center serves approximately 20 home delivered meals to Minonk residents. She stated, "But we lack participation of persons over the age of 60 at the site for the daily meal. On April 4, 2002, we hope to have at least 20 persons eat that day. Minonk NEEDS this center for the "young" senior citizens." Those who wish to eat at the Center should call the day before at 432-2081.


Minonk Talk has received word from Terry Bailey, a Dollar General Regional Real Estate manager in Evansville, Indiana, that the developer of the Dollar General store in Minonk will not locate the store in the city parking lot. Instead, the building will be located to the east of the parking lot along Oak and Fifth Street.

According to Mr. Bailey, "The developer has changed the site plan to the rear of the area and leave the parking lot intact. We look forward to serving the Minonk community in the near future with our new store."

Mayor Spencer said at the city council meeting Monday night that the new location is not official. However, it is believed that the only thing holding up the announcement is the legal paperwork that needs to be done.


The Woodford County American Legion held "Post Everlasting" cermonies Wednesday, March 13, at St. Mary's Parish Hall in El Paso. Names of Legion members who died during the past year were read and their service records recognized from all four Legion Posts in Woodford County. Approximately 15 Legion members and family memebers from Minonk were in attendance. Those remembered are listed below:

Fred Rutkowski, Corporal (Tec 5) died March 23, 2001, served with CO. E 130th Infantry, United States Army from April 11, 1941 to November 18, 1945. Total service time: 4 years, 7 months, 8 days. Received WW II Victory Medal, Asiatic pacific Theater Ribbon with 3 Bronze Battle Stars, Phillippine Liberation Ribbon with 1 Bronze Battle Star, 4 overseas Service Stars,a nd 1 Service Stripe. Total overseas service June 19, 1943 to November 11, 1945.

Gilbert F. Janssen, Served in the United States Navy during World War II. Died March 15, 2001. 50 year member of the American Legion Post 142.

Lester H. Kleen, Corporal (Tec 5) United States Army, died June 20, 2001. Served on active duty from April 11, 1951 to April 11, 1953; total of 2 years. Served with Headquarters & Service Co., 51st Armored Engineer Battalion, with the 6th Armored Division at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Carl E. Matter, Sergeant (Tec 4), died August 5, 2001. Served with Service Co., 19th Tank Battalian, 3rd Armored Division. Served in the United States Army a total of 3 years, 5 months, 16 days from May 7, 1942 to October 23, 1945. Served overseas 1 year, 7 months, 11 days. Served at Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes, Central Europe, Northern France. Awarded European-African-Middle Eastern Theater ribbons with Silver Battle Star and Good Conduct Medals.

Virgil Ray Oltman, dield August 13, 2001. Served 39 months in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Served 24 months in China and 2 months behind enemy lines in Burma.

Harm U. Cremer, Corporal (Tec 5), dield October 7, 2001. Served in the U. S. Army a total of 3 years, 6 months, 16 days from April 3, 1942 to October 19, 1945. Served overseas from June 7, 1944 to September 30, 1945. Served with Headquarters Co., 33rd Armored Engineers, 7th Armored Division. Awarded European-African-Middle Eastern Theater ribbons with 4 bronze battle stars and Good Conduct medals. 50 year member of the American Legion Post 142.

Francis "Ollie" Schneider, Sergeant (Tec 4), died October 31, 2001. Served with the U. S. Army Field Artillery a total of 2 years, 10 months, 29 days. Overseas service 10 months, 24 days. He served in the Service Battery, 590th Field Artillery Battalion. Awarded European-African-Middle Eastern Theater ribbon with 3 bronze battle stars, 1 overseas Service Bar, and Good Conduct Medal. 50 year member of American Leion Post 142.

John Gaspardo, Major in the United States Army. Died November 17, 2001. Served in the U. S. Army a total of 20 years from 1958 until retiring on October 31, 1978. He served in both Vietnam and Germany.

Edmund "Bud" Schneider, First Sergeant United States Army Infantry. Served a total of 3 years, 9 months, 17 days from August 28, 1941 to December 15, 1945. Served overseas 6 months, 1 day. Awarded American Theatre Campaign Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and Victory Ribbon. Died December 21, 2001. 50 year member American Legion Post 142.

Jeffrey L. Carlson, 56 died, February 9, 2002. Veteran of Vietnam War and served in the 101st Airborne Division.

March 17

Don Achelpohl resigned his position as principal of the Fieldcrest School District. He has accepted a position as Superintendent of the Orion Commmunity Unit School District. Orion school district has over 1,152 students and is located near the Quad Cities in northwest Illinois. He starts his new position on July 1.

Achelpohl has been principal at Fieldcrest since 1998. In addition to his normal duties, he was also co-chair of the Fieldcrest Technology Committee. During his tenure, he has substantially reduced truancy at the school.

The school board has hired a search firm to find a replacement for Achelpohl. A deadline is set for April 15 for applicants for the position of principal.


A meeting of the Westside Park pavilion committee was held with local residents Thursday night at St. Paul's Church. The purpose of the meeting was to elicit comments and direction from citizens on developing a fund raiser to come up with $36,000 needed to enable building the proposed $80,000 structure.

The results of the meeting indicated that the proposed pavilion should be a memorial for the September 11 terrorist attacks as well as a World War I memorial. A letter is to be composed asking for donations from private businesses and other potential sources of revenue. It was felt that donations from businesses as well as citizens will be needed to raise the required funds.

A meeting is scheduled for next Thursday, March 21, to approve the letter and to come up with other ideas for raising funds.


Minonk resident Jim Pierceall won the Republican nomination for sheriff of Woodford County. Pierceall received 2,209 votes to beat his opponents James Fyke with 2,129 votes and Don Knapp with 2,008 votes.

The outcome means that Pierceall will be the next Woodford County sheriff since the Democrats did not run any candidate for the office.

Pierceall has been a Woodford County deputy for 21 years in the sheriff's office and will replace his former boss Bill Myers who resigned last fall after being investigated for misuse of department funds. Pierceall is faced with the responsiblity of restoring morale and confidence in the sheriff's department and to ensure that all property and monies are properly accounted for. >

March 24

The Fieldcrest school board started the reduction in its teaching staff by announcing the dismissal of 3 teachers. The teachers dismissed are Jeane Hamby, a special education teacher at Fieldcrest High School, Kelli Gillette, a fourth grade teacher at East, and Martha Metz.

There will be a reduction in hours for the cooks at Fieldcrest High School and at East.

Many parents showed up for the board meeting expressing their concern over class size and the quality of education that would result from the cuts in staff. Some also asked if the new school addition at Fieldcrest South would result in empty rooms. Dr. Michael Stagliano, Superintendent of the Fieldcrest School District, stated that the new class rooms will not be empty and will be used. He indicated that there is a lack of space at South regardless of class size.

Fieldcrest Education Association president Lila MuCulley indicated that the school board's decision will effect the lives of the teachers as well as the students. The teachers need to have some guidance for the future.

The school board will have a special meeting on April 3 to discuss the class size issue.


The Fieldcrest board of education has released a response to the public explaining the current financial situation of the school district. In summary, the board has indicated that with the downturn in the economy there will be a cut in $40 million dollars from the proposed State of Illinois education budget. This cut will necessitate corresponding cuts from local school districts as well.

The board advises citizens to contact our state representatives in Springfield in an effort to reduce the amount of proposed cuts in education.

To view the board's explanation of the current school funding crisis and proposed course of action, click here.



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