September 2002
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Sepember 2002 news

September 2002

September 1

At its normal Monday night meeting the Minonk City Council unaminously approved plans for the Westside Park pavilion. Architect Chuck Fischer presented the plans to the council and answered their questions. Fischer said that the proposed structure will be able to accommodate 50 to 60 people comfortably. The pavilion will be close to utilities and the parking area and will offer a good southwest view of the park from its location in the northeast corner of the park.

Alderman Cathy McKay was concerned about the electrical power needed for band equipment. Fischer said that a 200 amp service will be provided to prevent any electrical shorts.

In response to a question by Alderman Bill Koos on how the building would be heated, Fischer replied that electrical boxes will be installed in the ceilings of the bathrooms and the kitchen for portable heating units when needed. As money becomes available permanent heating will be considered.

Fischer said that he plans to advertise bids on the pavilion on September 26 and hopes to select a bidder by the middle of October so that construction can still be started this fall.

Alderman Dean Barth, who is chairman of the Westside Park Adhoc Committee, said that money collected in the fund drive for the pavilion will be turned over to the city for payment of expenses when needed. Barth said that the fund drive will remain open indefinitely so that future monies collected can be earmarked for improvements and maintenance of the pavilion. The collected money from the fund drive is now collecting interest from a CD at Alpha Community Bank and money will be withdrawn as needed.

September 8

Eleven local area youths participated in a gun safety course that culminated in a competitive shooting competition sponsored by Panola Prairie Sportsman's Club, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and the Illinois Rifle Association. Lowell Ioerger, of Minonk, who served as the coach of the "Shoot'em Ups" and "Trap Masters", said " We need to teach these kids how to safely handle guns and for kids who might not compete in athletic sports, this is an opportunity for them to participate.

Dick Cusac, of Rutland, also spent every Sunday afternoon for 10 weeks teaching the participants proper gun handling and shooting technique. His expertise and the weekly practices lead up to having 2 teams participate in the Illinois State Trapshooting Finals in Bunker Hill, Illinois on Saturday June 15, 2002.

The experienced team members were John Barth, Andy Pfister, both from Roanoke, Dan Kolb, from Benson, Zachary Kirkpatrick and Zachary Weber, both from Minonk. Their team name was Shoot'em Ups.

The novice team members were Eric Moore, Dana, Tara Lowell, LeRoy, Brian Payton, Broc Hovey, and Jacob Ioerger, all from Minonk. The novice team was called Trap Masters.

The experienced team placed 9th in overall state competition. The novice team earned a 3rd place ranking. All practice sessions, and practice ammunition was supplied by the Panola Prairie Sportsman's Club. Ammunition used during the competition and half of the teams registration fees were sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Illinois Rifle Association.

Panola Prairie Sportsman's Club is operated by the Lowell and Janet Ioerger family at their farm south of Minonk. In addition to 2 trapshooting houses, they also offer sporting clays, and skeet ranges. They also offer upland game bird hunting on 300 acres.

Currently, there is a weekly trapshooting league on Monday nights at 6:30 P.M. You can reach Lowell or Janet at 309-432-2448 to schedule hunting times and get more information on participating in either trapshooting or sporting clay leagues.

St. Patrick's Altar and Rosary Society held their annual Salad Luncheon Sept. 4th, 2002. There was a raffle drawing of 19 prizes and the winners are:

Kay Knack, Minonk - Toaster Oven; Christine Janssen, Watseka, Il. - aphgan; Joan Schneider, Minonk - cash prize; Irma Kuehl, Minonk - cash prize; Rita Conroy, Minonk - Angel Doll; Vickie Meyer, LeRoy, Il - cash prize; Ruth Steinhelber, Minonk - Gift Certificate for Cunningham Candies; Donna Halhime , Springfield, Il. - Christmas Wreath; Joan Tallyn, Benson, Il. - Candle holder; Alda Kleen, Minonk - cash prize; Carolyn Alaksiewicz, Peoria, Il. - Gift Certificate Woodford Inn; Lorraine O'Brien, Minonk - Games; Trey Meyer, LeRoy, Il. - Gift Certificate Cunningham Candy; Sharon Christ, Toluca, Il. - Gift Certificate Woodford Inn; Sharon Worth, Bloomington, Il. - Table Center Piece; Carolyn Alaksiewicz, Peoria, Il. - Table Center Piece; Mary Lou Majesky, - Groceries; Zelda Janssen, Minonk - Groceries; Jenna Thorp, Minonk - Groceries;

The Minonk Boy Scout Troop 878 along with other area boy scouts enjoyed a trip to Wisconsin July 27 thru August 3, 2002. They stayed at the Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Boy Scout Reservation. The boys pitched their own tents, made their meals and were responsible for doing chores around the camp. They had a lot of fun activities to keep them busy while they were there. They learned how to water ski, had fun white water rafting and went to a ski show. They did a lot of swimming, went on a horseback trail ride and went canoeing. The boys enjoyed a beautiful lake to take in some fishing. A fun time was had by all and the boys are looking forward to a camping trip to Canada next summer. Those attending this trip were leaders: Don Gensler and Ron Redenius and troop members Andy Krischel, Patrick Howell, Broc Hovey, Patrick Tarmann and David Gensler.

On August 24, 2002 the boys enjoyed a trip to Rockford to have fun in the sun at Magic Waters. They enjoyed a day full of swimming and fun in the water. Those attending were Don and David Gensler, Patrick Howell, Broc Hovey and Patrick Tarmann. Family members also enjoyed the day outing with the scouts.

The boys annual popcorn sale will begin September 29 thru October 20, 2002. We have a new item to offer this year a 24-Pack Microwave variety pack. It will include butter light, butter, unbelievable butter, and the new kettle corn. If you have any questions about popcorn or would like to place an order please contact Jan Hovey at 309-432-3262.

If you have a boy who has completed the fifth grade or is 11 years old but under the age of 18 and is interested in joining our troop for many more adventures and fun please contact Don Gensler at 309-399-7651 or Ron Redenius at 309-432-2320.

September 15

Jeff Tarmann of 431 East Sixth was seriously injured in a fall from the roof of his house late Wednesday afternoon. Tarmann was working on his roof when he fell 12 feet to a concrete landing. He was found lying there by a neighbor who happened to be passing by. He was airlifted by helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Peoria Wednesday evening after paramedics and nurses worked for 45 minutes to stabilize him for the trip.

Word was received Thursday morning that he was doing as good as can be expected.

Ridgeview crushed Fieldcrest in a Friday night home game. The Knights were able to only rush for 35 yards and pass for 24 yards. Ridgview's quarterback Kyle Simpson threw for 127 yards as the Knights record fell to 1-2.

A delegation of Chinese MBA students visited the Randy Johnson farm on Wednesday, September 18. The thirty nine members of the group are on an extended ten month tour of the United States as part of their MBA program.

The trip was organized by Judy Courson of Chicago who is a friend of Randy and Jeri Sue Johnson, the host and hostess of the event. The group arrived at the Johnson farm at 10:00 a.m. State Representative Keith Sommer gave a talk on Illinois government to the group after which lunch was served by the Johnsons.

After lunch the group heard a talk by Fieldcrest Superintendent Michael Stagliano. He explained how the Fieldcrest school system is organized and how it is supported by our tax dollars. Stagliano also fielded the questions posed by the group.

Group leader Jeff Wang from Chicago explained that the members of the group had about ten years of experience at their profession before they entered the MBA program which is sponsored and controlled by the Chinese government. The members represent a rather elite segment of the population. The purpose of their visit here in the United States is to learn how our economy and governmental units function.

After the visit, the group was bussed to the farm of Jeff Barth near Flanagan where they saw the machinery used to harvest the crops.

To see more pictures of the visit, click here.

September 22

Jordan Castrejon's four touchdowns led Fieldcrest to an easy victory over host Chenoa 28-12 Friday night. Castrejon caught three of his six pass receptions for touchdowns in addition to a 47 yard sprint to the goal line. Quarterback Shaun Manning completed 10 of 22 passes for 166 yards. The Knights are now 2-2 for the season.
The Board of Education for Fieldcrest Community Unit School District 6 held its regular Meeting on Thursday, September 19, 2002, 7:00 PM at the Fieldcrest West Elementary School at Toluca. Below is a summary of the meeting as prepared by the District Six administration.
Discussion of Alternate Sources of Revenue for District 6
District 6, like 450 other school districts in the State of Illinois, is experiencing declining revenues and increasing expenditures. For the past three (3) years District 6 has drawn upon reserves in the Education Fund in order to present a balanced operating budget. During this past fiscal year expenses increased dramatically due to the addition of teachers, settlement of a new three-year agreement with the Fieldcrest Education Association and costly expenses in health insurance and workers compensation. The District's sources of local and state revenues are finite. In December 2001 the Board levied the maximum amounts in the major operating funds. Unfortunately, a decline in the District's assessed valuation has impeded the District's ability to maximize its resources to the fullest despite levying $2.97 in the Education Fund. A similar scenario exists in the second major operating fund of the district, Operations and Maintenance or Building Fund. A comparison to school districts of similar size indicates that District 6 not only supported the lowest operating tax rate in Woodford County but one of the lowest in Central Illinois. Not surprisingly, District 6's Education Fund reserves were (even three years ago) one of the lowest for similar size districts. Bond issues prevented District 6 from building reserves (which are done over a period of years). The options available to the Board of Education are the following: A referendum (sometime in the future) for the Education Fund, Tax Anticipation Warrants (temporary fix) and Working Cash Bonds. Issuing Working Cash bonds is also a temporary fix of sorts, but they do allow a new source of revenue on which to operate until expenses can be curbed and the EAV returns to more reasonable levels. After a lengthy discussion, the Board favored a permanent long-term solution to funding District 6 schools. A referendum at the April 3rd consolidated election appears to be a most likely avenue to generate needed revenue for the Education Fund. A committee of Board members and the administration are currently evaluating financial projections to determine revenue needs. More discussion will take place at the October 17, 2002 meeting of the Board. The meeting will be held in the newly completed South edition in Minonk.
Review of Elementary South Addition Completion
Russ Middleton (District architect) is working with principal Becky Hardine and Head of Maintenance Chuck Volker to prepare a deficiency list (punch list); front door glazing is scheduled for completion, kitchen, fence to be reinstalled around playground, change out sprinkler heads (over Christmas break), sliding glass at Office and front foyer, miscellaneous key and hardware items, test and balance the heating and cooling system-this will be done over a three-day period when students are not present (Christmas break). The District has some small improvements to complete as part of the project, including some carpeting in the old lower floor Teachers' Lounge, a ramp at the kitchen door parallel to the alley, and appliances in the kitchen Contractor will continue to work on the punch list items. Closeout will not be sooner than February 2003 because of the sprinkler head issue (contractor supplied incorrect sprinkler heads). As soon as the kitchen is further along, probably in October, District 6 will file for final State grant payment.
Status of Elementary - Middle East Elevator Project
A pre-construction meeting was held on September 6th @ East. Elevator delivery is six (6) to eight (8) weeks after shop drawings are returned. Contractor plans to start demolition for the elevator and restrooms/corridor connection on Monday, September 16, 2002. Also, discussion concerning job access, noise issues and clean up was discussed. The project could possibly be Substantially Complete near the end of November.
Sale of Former Elementary West Property
At the September 19, 2002 Board meeting a completed Resolution will be adopted by the Board authorizing the sale by auction of the "old" West property. Lauf Auction Service of Wenona, Illinois, will conduct the auction. The auction will be conducted on Saturday, October 19th.
  • Accept the Resignation of Nancy Graves, JV Girls' Basketball Coach
  • Accept the Resignation of Hillary Rigsby, Head Track Coach, Fieldcrest East Middle School
  • Accept the Resignation of Kurt Barth, Assistant Track Coach, Fieldcrest East Middle School
  • Appoint Kurt Barth as Head Track Coach, Fieldcrest East Middle School
  • Appoint Hillary Rigsby as Assistant Track Coach at East Middle School
  • Appoint Max Hood as AM Route and Shuttle @ high school
  • Appoint Jessica Stremlau as 5th grade volleyball @ East
  • Appoint Lindsay Reed as high school basketball cheerleading coach
  • Appoint Anna Woessner as Assistant Musical Director @ high school
  • Appoint Derek Renz as Assistant Baseball coach @ high school
  • Appoint Derek Renz as Freshman Boys' Basketball coach @ high school
  • *Appoint Ken Baker as Freshman/Sophomore Girls' Basketball Coach @ high school
  • *Appoint Dan Wieczorek as Varsity Girls' Basketball Coach @ high school
Next Regular Board Meeting October 17, 2002, Elementary South, Minonk

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