January 2003
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January 2003 news

January 5

Fieldcrest let its lead slip away in the fourth quarter and lost in overtime to AlWood 72-68. Alwood sank 11 freethrows in overtime to snare the victory and snap Fieldcrest's seven game winning streak. Fieldcrest's scoring leader was Eric Heider with 24 points. The Knights record is now 8-3.
After leading most of the game, Fieldcrest lost to El Paso 52-49 at El Paso Wednesday night. Eric Heider was the leading scorer for both teams with 17 points as the Knights record dropped to 8-4 overall and 4-1 in the Midstate Conference.

Tri-Point downed Fieldcrest girls 56-44 Thursday night in a game at Cullom. Nicole Ropp was the Knight's leading scorer with 14 points. Fieldcrest is now 7-10 and 3-3 in the Midstate.

January 12

Fieldcrest defeated Dee-Mack, 58-48, Friday night at Minonk. The Knights scoring leader was Eric Heider with 20 points while Shaun Manning added 16 points and Josh Baker had 11 points. Fieldcrest made 20 of 27 free throw attempts to improve their record to 9-4 overall and 5-1 in the Midstate Conference.
St. Bede overpowered Fieldcrest girls Saturday night 68-25. Jordan Ruestman scored 8 points for the Knights.
Shaun Manning scored eight of his fourteen points in the last period to help Fieldcrest overtake Roanoke-Benson for a 54-46 victory in a game at Minonk. Eric Heider led the Knights in scoring with 16 as Fieldcrest improved its record to 10-4.
The Westside Park Pavilion Committee decided to reject all bids that were submitted for construction of the pavilion for the park. In a meeting held at St. Paul's Church Wednesday night, the committee had no choice but to reject the bids because they all were over the amount of funds that were available for construction of the pavilion.

The committee then decided to advertise for bids again next month in hopes that the bids will be lower. Committee member Ray Matter said that the bids should be advertised in smaller newspapers instead of Bloomington and Peoria newspapers so that smaller contractors to the north may be informed of the bid.

In an attempt to get lower bids the committee decided to allow the contractors to bid with an option to exclude a finished ceiling in the pavilion since that part could be done later when more funds became available. Architect Chuck Fischer said that the bids would be advertised the first week of February to give the Minonk City Council time to accept the committee's recommendation to reject the current bids and to solicit new bids. The target date for opening the new bids is set for February 20 at 3:00 p.m.

Part-time Minonk policeman Duane Knepp resigned for personal reasons last week according to City Admininstrator Trent Smith. Smith said that Knepp's hours will be covered by the new fulltime policeman hired by the City last year. Knepp has worked as a weekend officer for the past ten years.

January 19

Fieldcrest raced past Tri-Point 74-53 at Cullom Friday night behind the 26 points of Eric Heider. Brett Brown had 12 points, Josh Baker 9 points, and Jamie Buss 8 points for the Knights as they improved their record to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in the Midstate.
At its monthly board meeting the Fieldcrest Board of Education made it official. They unaminously approved a motion to put a tax referendum on the April 1 ballot that will ask for an increase in the Education Tax Rate of Fieldcrest from 2.975% to 3.875%. The action was not unexpected as Fieldcrest along with the majority of the school districts in the state are in a financial bind due to the economic slump, the decline in property tax values and a decrease in state aid.

Fieldcrest Superintendent Michael Stagliano stated that 58% of budgeted expenditures, or $6,127,846.52, have been spent so far which he stated is well within accepted guidelines. He also indicated that 71 % of budgeted revenues, or $7,343,275.28, have been received so far.

In other action, the board awarded a $12,495 contract to Town & Country Services of Tonica to replace a water heater at Fieldcrest East with two 100 gallon gas heated water heaters. The old water heater failed an inspection by the state and had to be replaced within 30 days.

The installation of the new elevator at Fieldcrest East should be completed in three weeks according to Superintendent Michael Stagliano. The new restrooms are ready to be dry-walled and should be ready soon. Stagliano said that Janko Construction and others have come to an agreement on paying a certain amount on the dollar to settle claims with their subcontractors on the construction project at Fieldcrest West last year.

The board renewed an agreement with the Lostant School District to accept any child from that district wishing to attend the Fieldcrest High School. The tuition rate for the Lostant students will be around $6616 per year per student. Lostant agrees to pay Fieldcrest a rate of 105% for 2003-2004 and 102% for 2004-2005 of the prior years'capita tuition rate.

Becky Hardine, Principal at Fieldcrest South, said that testing of the First Grade students resulted in exceptional scores. Hardine said that 85% of the students tested at level 10 or above with the expected score to be at level 9. Only 4 percent scored less than level 9. She also indicated that the discipline referrals at the school were down considerably. She had no explanation for that fact but mentioned that it could be due to less crowded conditions and a more comfortable environment with the completion of the new addition.

Fieldcrest Principal Steve Wallick said that the school curriculum is now 85-90% aligned with state standards. He mentioned that registration for 2003-2004 will start next month. Wallick projects that Fieldcrest will have 400 students next year, an increase of 40 students. He indicated that the school can handle the increase but space is becoming tight. Wallick also mentioned that numerous bus breakdowns have occured this past semester. He said 5 or 6 buses have broken down between trips to Peoria and Bloomington. Wallick said many of the bus breakdowns are electrical failures and the situation is being looked into by the bus mechanic.

Robert Prince presented a check from the Knights of Columbus for $1185 to Fieldcrest which was the result of their annual Tootsie Roll sale drive.

Sandy Furst donated a new RCA Diagonal Entertainment Series television in memory of her recently deceased sister, Sue.

The following people have turned in petitions for running for the school board in the elections on April 1: Jeff Geringer and Joe Kirkpatrick from Minonk, Melinda Tirabaschi from Toluca, Rebecca Donna from Rutland, and Jeff Pickard from Wenona. The board has three positions open. Joseph Knapp and Cynthia Bernardi are not running again while Jeff Pickard will run as an incumbent.


Accepted the resignation of Mark McNamara as after school study hall shuttle driver effective Feb. 3.
Approved maternity leave request in May 2003 for Tina Fortner.
Jordan Reynolds was hired to teach social studies at Fieldcrest West starting Monday, January 20. She is replacing Jim Egleton who is retiring.
The Fieldcrest School District is proposing cost cuts in response to the financial crunch facing the district. Cuts are being proposed in both the Education Fund and the Transportation Fund. Superintendent Dr. Michael Stagliano said that more cost cutting is forthcoming.

Education Fund

Certified Staff

Eliminate Industrial Technology Program - $49,930
Replace retiring teacher with a 1st year teacher - $17,931
Replace retiring teacher with a 1st year teacher - $27,490
Replace retiring principal with a lst year prinicipal - $15,000
Eliminate two elementary positions - $63,418
Eliminate afterschool study hall teachers - $12,180
Subtotal - $185,949

Extra Curricular

Eliminate the separate Freshman sports program
Football - $2,300
Volleyball - $2,300
Boys Baskeball - $2,300
Eliminate the 5th/6th grade sports program
Volleyball - $4,688
Basketball - $3,340
Subtotal - $14,928

Subtotal - Education Fund only - $200,877

Transportation Fund

Eliminate Middle School study hall shuttle - $2,537
Eliminate the AM & PM Cross Town Route - $2,456
Eliminate all Freshman sports program bussing - $807
Eliminate all 5th/6th grade sports program - $2,121

Subtotal - Transportation - $7,921

Overall cost savings - $208,798

January 19 (continued)

The financial health of area school districts have been reported and is listed below.


Henry Senachwine #5
Midland #7
Putnam County #535
Metamora Grade #1
Riverview #2
Fieldcrest #6
Lowpoint-Washburn #21
Roanoke-Benson #60
Germantown Hills #69
Metamora High #122
Eureka-Congerville-Goodfield #140
El Paso #275





% of tax levy increase



Financial Recognition
Financial Review
Financial Watch
Financial Warning

Fieldcrest defeated Lowpoint-Washburn 59-56 Tuesday night at Washburn behind the 18 points of Eric Heider. Shaun Manning had 11 points and Blake Overocker 10 points as the Knights improved their record to 12-4.

January 26

Flanagan beat Fieldcrest girls Thursday night 58-25 in a game at Flanagan. Jamie Arndt had 11 points and Lindsey Kolb had 10 points for the Knights.
Fieldcrest crushed Henry 76-36 in a Saturday night game at Minonk. Josh Baker led the Knights in scoring with 22 points and also garnered 9 rebounds. The Knights are now 13-4.
Evelyn Diane Simpson, 18, of rural Minonk died in a car accident on Tuesday afternoon, January 21. The accident occured one mile east of Minonk on the First Street road out of Minonk. The accident occured when a car driven by Daniel Devine of rural Minonk collided with a car carrying Simpson and Michelle Bobinski at the intersection of Woodford County Highway 2800 and Woodford County Highway 2100 North.

Devine is in critical condition at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria. Bobinski's condition was serious at the same hospital.

Lexington slipped by Fieldcrest 54-51 Tuesday night at Minonk after being down by 6 points in the third quarter. The Knight's Eric Heider led all scorers with 21 points while team mate Josh Baker had 15 points.
Members of the Millenium Committee will be attending a workshop on January 29 at Springfield to become familiar with the requirements to administer the $302,000 grant that the committee received from The Department of Natural Resources last month. Committee members Rosemary Oldenburg and Mary Ford will attend the session along with City Administrator Trent Smith and Duane Washington from the Farnsworth Group.

The workshop will focus on the forms that must be completed and the procedures that are necessary to administer the grant that will be used to help fund the construction of recreational facilities at the north end of Minonk. The facilities are the first step in a project to build a community center at that site.

The Millenium Committee will meet February 13 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. The Farnsworth Group will work with committee members to plan and organize the project for building the recreational facilities.

Four candidates are running for Minonk Fire Protection District board. Secretary of the district, Jerry Welch, has reported that Jerry Barth, David Timmerman, Christopher McKay and Steve White have filed petitions for the two seats in the April 1, 2003 consolidated election. David Timmerman is an incumbent. The other seat is being vacated by Tom Barth. Those elected will take office at the December 2003 meeting.

Peititions to run for the city council have been filed according to Bobbi Evans, Minonk City Clerk. In Ward 1 Russell Ruestman will be the only candidate to fill the position of Cathy McKay who is not running for re-election.

Jason Buchanan is the only candidate in Ward 3 to fill the position of Shari Stalter who also is not running for re-election.

In Ward 2 Ron Redenius, Tyler Witte, and Mike May filed for candidancy to run for the two year term currently filled by Ron Redenius. No candidates filed for the four year term which means that the second alderman for Ward 2 will be chosen by the Mayor and approved by the city council.

The blood drive held for Dave Wyss on Thursday at St. Patrick's Church was a great success. Two hundred people came to give blood on behalf of Wyss who is suffering from a blood disease. In addition to the blood donor much food was brought in during the drive for the donors and volunteers. Wyss has had several operations since last October that has required much blood. The donated blood will help resupply the blood given to Wyss.

The blood drive was sponsored by Wyss's employer Evergreen FS.

Heyworth downed Fieldcrest 58-46 Thursday night at Heyworth. Nichole Ropp led the Lady Knights in scoring with 15 points. Amber Pescitelli had 9 points while Jamie Arndt and Sara Fluech each had 8 points. The Knights are now 8-15.
Fieldcrest defeated Flanagan 60-54 Friday night behind the scoring of Eric Heider and Shaun Manning. Manning had 23 points while Heider had 22 to improve the Knights' record to 14-5 and put them in a tie for second place with the Falcons in the Midstate Conference.

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