A summary of the news for April 2001.

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April 2001

April 2

There was a "Meet the Candidates' Night" for the Fieldcrest School Board on Tuesday night, March 27, at the American Legion Hall in Rutland. Candidates answered questions prepared in advance in the first session. After an intermission the candidates fielded questions submitted by the audience.

The candidates for the four-year terms are Patricia Schmillen, Timothy McNamara, John Ehrnthaller and Kristine Klieber. Cynthia Bernardi is running unopposed for the unexpired two-year term. Candidate Thomas Barth was unable to appear because of illness in the family. No explanation was given for candidate James Bane's absence.

Candidate Pat Schmillen helps her husband manage their farm west of Rutland. She feels that this experience enables her to help manage the affairs of the Fieldcrest School District. Also, she is working toward a degree in communication and feels that her communications skills helps her in negotiations. Her top objective is to be a team member on the school board She wants to work toward goals that are beneficial toward everyone in order to maintain a unified district. On the subject of the MDR high school trophies that are stored in the bus barn, she did not know the status of the trophies and doesn't know if there is room for them anywhere. Schmillen feels that the best quality of Fieldcrest is the overall calibre of the kids and their parents.

Candidate Tim McNamara from Dana stressed the importance of discipline in the schools and the need to back the teachers. He said we have to forget the individual towns that make up the school district and treat Fieldcrest as a new community. "We need to come out of the dark ages, forget the past and start anew." Mcnamara wants the school board to work as a team and give the people the facts and be truthful with the people. He also wants to improve and update the technology plan. He thinks that the board's function is to make decisions on options presented by the school's administration. He feels that the district's kindergarten program is one of its strong points. He said that the MDR trophies could be auctioned for money as a possible resolution.

Candidate Kris Klieber from Wenona wants the school board to work as a team. She is a realty specialist with the Illinois Department of Transportation and has to make decisions that will treat taxpayers fairly, a skill she feels will help her as a member of the school board. She wants to stress the fact it is important that we are a united school district in order to bring together the different communities. Her top objective is to have a safe learning environment for the children and pursue grants for the school district. She feels it is important to meet with the teachers to get a feel for their needs. She feels that Fieldcrest's best quality is its great staff and good teachers. She stated that the shop classes in the school could make trophy cases to display the MDR trophies somewhere in the school.

Candidate John Ehrnthaller says he will be accessible to the public and concentrate on getting a good staff. He says it is important not to micro-manage the schools and that the day-to-day issues should be handled by the staff. The school board should only set policy. He supports the concept of two middle schools. He feels it broadens the students experiences. His top objectives are to complete the current building projects, develop sound fiscal policies and remain responsive to students, staff and the public. He feels that Fieldcrest's best quality is the people in the community. He felt that only Fieldcrest trophies should be displayed in the High School gymnasium. He stated that Toluca has their trophies displayed in the local bank. He said that school board members have access to more information than the public and that is why they are elected to make the decisions.

Candidate Cindy Bernardi stressed the importance of being a good listener and to be open-minded to the information available. She has great affection for the school district. She said she respects the taxpayers money and wants to make sure they are being treated fairly. She feels that the Fieldcrest communities have come together through the passage of the referendums. Having a school in each town gives everyone a chance to get involved in school affairs. She feels strongly that each town be represented in the vote and the school board. She also wants to see the completion of the building projects as a high priority. She feels that the running of the school should be left to the school administration and thinks that Fieldcrest's best quality is the people in the community. She thinks that the Minonk community should decide what to do with the MDR trophies in the bus barn. She doesn't think the school board should have to decide.

In response to whether the high school was going to have a marching band, Tim Mcnamara said that they were working on getting the marching band back.

In response to school violence, Cindy Bernardi said that the district has plans and procedures in place for potential school violence. Tim McNamara said that locks have been put on all the doors. New buildings will have sliding glass doors so people entering can be viewed easily from inside. He also stated that periodic drug searches by dogs have been conducted by the state police. Pat Schmillen mentioned that there is an intercom system in all of the teachers rooms.


Minonktalk conducted a brief interview with each candidate who has an opponent in the upcoming city election on April 3.

The candidates interviewed were Shelly Butler, 42, of 425 E. Fourth Street, incumbment in Ward One; Matt Fink, 39, of 508 E. Fourth Street, challenger in Ward One; Wayne Tucker, 75, of 717 Johnson Street, incumbment in Ward Three; and Bill Koos, 40, of 1035 Maple Avenue, challenger in Ward Three.

The first question asked of each candidate was "Would you vote for a landfill to be put into Section Six north of Minonk under any circumstances?"

Candidates Butler, Tucker, and Koos all said they would not vote for a landfill. Candidate Fink said he was not familiar with the background to the landfill issue but would probably not vote for a landfill either.

The second question asked was, "Do you think the City Manager should have supervisory control over the city employees and that his actions should be supported by the city council".

All of the candidates answered yes to the above question.

Each candidate was asked "What is Minonk's most challenging problem."

Candidate Shelly Butler said that she felt that the city sewer system was the most pressing problem to be solved and the city's infrastructure must be improved.

Candidate Matt Fink felt that the Minonk businesses must be supported and new businesses be sought out. He did not want to see Minonk business community continue to decline.

Candidate Wayne Tucker said that the downtown area needs to be revitalized. He sees a need to replace the hardware store that was lost. He also wants to see the proposed Westside Park Pavilion become a reality.

Candidate Bill Koos thinks that Minonk needs to update and improve its infrastructure so that it can meet the needs of future growth. He felt that upgrading the sewer and water system was important in attracting new businesses and residents.

In an interview with the Minonk News-Dispatch unopposed candidate Sean Cunningham in Ward Two wants to help Minonk move forward in economic development. He would like to see more downtown development and sound fiscal decisions made.

Also in an inteview with the Minonk News-Dispatch unopposed mayoral candidate Mark Spencer said that he wants to be involved in helping Minonk become a better community. Continuing to fight against any landfills in and around the city is a priority and working toward economic development.

Spencer wants to see upgrade and repair to the citys water, sewer, roads, sidewalks and city equipment. He also mentioned wanting to increase public input into decisions.


City of Minonk election results

Mayor

Mark Spencer - Unopposed

Alderman Ward 1

Matthew Fink - 78
Michelle Butler - 65

Alderman Ward 2

Sean Cunningham - Unopposed

Alderman Ward 3

Bill Koos - 120
Wayne Tucker - 59

Fieldcrest School District election results

Elect four

(X) Pat Schmillen - 1,131
(X) Kristine Klieber - 1,045
(X) Thomas Barth - 1,041
(X) Timothy McNamara - 955
(_) James Bane - 913
(_) John Ehrnthaller - 872

Elect one

(X) Cynthia Bernardi - Unopposed


Minonk Township election results

Supervisor

James Meyer-R - Unopposed

Clerk

Henry Budde-R - Unopposed

Highway Commissioner

James Baumann - Unopposed

Trustee

Elect four

(X) Mae Copp-D - 361
(X) Ronald Seggerman-R - 353
(X) Wilbur Whitcomb-R - 294
(X) Roger Janssen-R - 274
(_) Alan Rients-R - 250
(_) Joseph McKay-D - 204
(_) Margaret Roberta-D - 162


The Fieldcrest Knights beat Woodland 10-0 Monday, April 2, at Minonk. Andy Craig was the hitting star for Fieldcrest with a homerun, a double and 4 RBIs. Ryne Haag struck out 10 batters and allowed only one hit in gaining the victory. Haag also also had 3 hits. Shawn Manning had 3 hits while Eric Joop had 2 hits for the Knights. Fieldcrest is now 3-3 for the year.
Fieldcrest beat Peoria Christian at Peoria Thursday, March 30, by a score of 3-0. Fieldcrest pitcher Ashlie Kolb gave up 4 hits and had 3 strikeouts while going the route for the Lady Knights. Eve Rhodes and Lindsey Weld both had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

April 9

The annual residential spring cleanup day for Minonk has been scheduled. Cleanup for Chestnut Street and west of Chestnut Street is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 and east of Chestnut Street is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11.

The following items will NOT be accepted with Spring Cleanup items: Landscape materials, hazardous waste materials, roofing and other construction materials, gas and fuel tanks, window glass, and clothing apparel.

The following items will be accepted only through special arrangements with Tomlinson Disposal Services: tires and batteries, old cars and trucks.

For arrangements on these items, call Tomlinson's at 309/248-7067.

All items must be placed at the curb or berm by 7:00 am the morning of collection. No pickups will be made in alleys. Garbage and recycling items must be set out separately from spring cleanup items.

This service is provided only to residential properties within the corporate limits within the City of Minonk. All items must be from residences within the city limits.


At Monday night's city council meeting, April 2, it was learned that well #3 has bacteria again. Farnsworth & Wylie hydrologist Bob Kohlhase told council members that testing revealed that the bacteria count from the well exceeds the state EPA standards. He emphasized that the bacteria is not harmful or pathogenic but is considered a nuisance bacteria and poses no public health threat.

The well had been treated for bacteria earlier this winter and it appeared that the problem had been eliminated. The fact that it is re-occuring means that more aggressive measures must be taken. Right now the EPA will not allow any new water permits to be granted or any water expansion projects be allowed until the bacteria problem is solved.

Kohlhase thinks that the reason the previous treatments have not stopped the bacteria is due to some irregular surface in the well that is hard to reach with normal treatments. He gave the council his recommendation for eradicating the bacteria. The new treatment process requires first removing the pump. Then the inside of the well is televised to determine the condition of the well and to identify potential trouble spots. Next, tremmie chemicals will be put into the well followed by wire brushing the well. Then the well and chemicals would be agitated and the chemicals allowed to sit over night. Finally, the pump is re-installed and the chemicals pumped off and the well tested again at 24 hour intervals.

The estimated cost of this latest treatment process is between $20,000 - $24,000. Kohlhase said that the cost of the treatment is expensive because of the deepness of the well. Well # 3 is 1902 feet deep making it one of the deepest wells in the state.

Mark Spencer made a motion to accept the proposal to do the suggested treatment with a cap of $24,000 to do the job. He cited the need to get this done right away since the water usage will be going up soon with the advent of warmer weather which will prohibit the shutting down of well # 3 for any length of time. Well # 3 could be shut down for up to 2 weeks during the treatment process. The council approved Spencer's motion. It was noted that a boil order would not be required during the treatment process.

Bob Rychlicki from Kane, McKenna gave the council guidlelines and samples on how to set up a TIF district for the downtown area. He mentioned that the city must define the review process for potential TIF applicants and set up parameters for implementing a TIF project. Other things to consider is what type of percentage split to apply to TIF payments. Rychlicki indicated that new construction is not elgible for TIF money unless it is a public building.

The council is planning on establishing a TIF ordinance. The TIF committee would consist of the city council and perhaps some local residents.

Frank McKay from Locis Company explained the computer accounting package that his company markets. The software package consists of a Utilities system, general ledger, accounts payable and payroll. The package is being used by 200 cities in Illinois and is controlled by the Illinois Municipal League. Local cities that have been using the accounting package include Metamora, Pontiac and Henry.

The system includes an optional membership program that provides unlimited telephone support and enhancements to the system. McKay indicated that his company can provide help in converting the city's current files into a format for the new system.

Councilman Dean Barth made a motion to buy the accounting package along with the membership program. The package's individual systems can be bought and implemented separately. City Administrator Phil Cotter recommended that the city first start with the Utility program. Cotter also mentioned that the city would need a new computer in order to handle the new system. He said he would work with the software vendor in buying a new computer that would meet the requirements of the system.

City Administrator Cotter gave the proposed city budget for 2001-2002. The budget will be discussed at a public town meeting on April 16 at 7:00 p.m. Cotter advised council members to make a changes or corrections prior to that meeting. The public can review the budget at city hall after April 5 and can make suggestions or inquiries to their councilperson prior to the town meeting. The town meeting will be conducted by a Farnsworth & Wylie representative.

In other affairs, Councilman Dean Barth said that he has been requested to ask that the speed limit be decreased from 35 to 25 between First Street and Fourth Street on Chestnut Street. He indicated that there are new families with children living along that stretch of road necessitating the action.

The CDPA grant has been successfully closed according to City Administrator Cotter. He indicated that this grant provided the money to start the Caroline Development and was tied to the creation of jobs.


The Knights of Columbus are holding their annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 14, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick's school located at the corner of Sixth and Maple Avenue.

The event is open to all children ages pre-school through fourth grade. Prizes will be awarded inside St. Patrick's after the hunt.


Fieldcrest Superintendent John Capasso has been hired by the Leroy school district to replace retiring Superintendent Larry Copes. Capasso will start July 1.

Capasso signed a three year contract with the school district. He served 12 years at the Fieldcrest school district and its precedessor, the Minonk-Dana-Rutland school district. The past seven years he was superintendent.

Capasso was selected from the five finalist who were interviewed from a field of 42 applicants. Leroy school board president said that Capasso's experience and background in curriculum, as well as building projects, put him at the top of the list of qualified candidates.

Capasso said he accepted the job because he sees lots of exciting things going on, including the building of a new high school. He added, "Leroy is a nice community with a nice school and good reputation." He stated the he liked the board and felt it would be a great bunch of people with whom to work.

"Following a guy like Larry Copes, there aren't any messes to clean up," Capasso added.

Capasso was hired by the Leroy School district. He signed a three year contract that will pay him $82,355 in the first year.


Workers at the local bakery in Minonk were informed Tuesday, April 3, that the plant will be closing down on May 10. Two supervisors were summoned to Peoria on Monday and were given the verdict by Interstate Bakeries, owner of the bakery. The bakery employs 25 people. Initial reports indicate that no openings are available at other locations of the baking company for the soon to be dismissed employees. Mark Dirkes, a vice-president with Interstate Bakeries, said a severance package will be worked out with the union.

Francis Flynn, assistant production manager at the Minonk bakery, said the state will offer retraining through its dislocated workers program at Illinois Valley College, Olgesby, or at Illinos Community College, East Peoria. Flynn also has been contacting other area employers about possible jobs for the employees.

According to research provided by Donna Rae Eilts, the Minonk bakery moved to its present location on July 29, 1937. J. E. Morgenstern, proprietor of the Sanitary Bakery, bought the Leiken building and moved the bakery 2 doors south to its new location.

For many years the Sanitary Bakery sold bread retail to area customers with its orange bread trucks delivering bread and rolls to homes throughout Central Illinois.

In 1960 the Sanitary Bakery closed down and was bought out by a Rockford firm which converted the bakery into strictly a wholesale manufacturing business. Walt Stringer managed the bakery at that time.

The person associated with the bakery longer than anyone was Nick Butera. Mr. Butera took over as manager of the Minonk Bakery in the early 1970's and worked there until his death last August 22.


At a town hall meeting Wednesday night at City Hall, Jon Johnston of Farnsworth & Wylie announced the successful closing of the CDAP (Community Development Assistant Program) grant awarded to the City of Minonk for infrastructure development at the Caroline Addition northwest of the city. The infrastructure work included the development of streets, curbs, fire hydrants, sewer and water mains, and tiling.

The amount of funds awarded through the CDAP grant #9324115 was $299,500. The total cost of the infrastructure development at the Caroline Addition was $1,037,432. This meant that local funding amounted to $737,932. Included in the local funding was a grant of $138,500 from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The project resulted in the creation of four new businesses with the potential for more new businesses. Thirty four new jobs were also created, most of which were for lower or middle income persons.


The trial of Fieldcrest teacher Judy Mcnamara was delayed again when three defense motions were filed Tuesday, April 10, delaying the trial for another month.

The originally scheduled trial date of April 16 was changed to May 21 to allow for the three defense motions made by defense lawyer Paul Welch. The three motions - requesting dismissal of the case, specific information about the time and place of the alleged offense, and a ruling on what evidence will be allowed at the trial - could have been filed earlier, said Woodford County State's Attorney Michael Stroh.

However, since the defense, until two weeks ago, had a motion pending to remove Judge Robert Freitag from hearing the case, Welch said this was the soonest such motions could be presented.

The defense indicated that the trial make take three or four days to complete. Freitag ruled that the rwo sides are to provide each other with a witness list by April 24. According to Stroh, early defense reports suggested more than 100 possible defense and character witnesses.

McNamara was charged last summer with aggravated battery. She was accused of slapping a 16-year-old student during halftime of a basketball game Jan. 15, 2000.


A freakish hail storm hit the Minonk area Tuesday morning,April 10, around 2:30 a.m. along with 3/4 an inch of rain. The hail ranged in size from mothballs to golf balls and covered the ground like snow in certain areas as shown in the above photo. Some sewers were clogged in some areas of town. Damage to some vehicles from the hail was also reported.

In an article in The Pantagraph, Bill Herman of Herman's Body Shop said that he had 50 to 60 estimates on cars damaged by the hail. Scott Meirerhofer of Uftring Automotive said he had about 30 to 40 estimates. Most of the damage was in the range of $2,000 to $4,000 according to Craig Meyer of the Meyer Jochums Agency.


Fieldcrest handed El Paso a defeat Monday, April 8, 13-9. The Knights were led by Drew Glowacki who had 4 hits and Ryne Haag who had 3 hits, including a homerun, and knocked in 5 runs. Kyle Lutz added 2 hits and 2 RBI. The Knights are now 8-3 overall and 3-0 in the Midstate Conference.
Fieldcrest slipped by Prairie Central 6-5 at a game in Minonk on Tuesday, April 3. Josh Gerdes gained his first victory for the Knights pitching the first 5 innings before being relieved by Drew Glowacki. Eric Joop had a three run homer in the first inning and led the Knights with 3 hits. Kyle Lutz, Drew Glowacki and Andy Craig each chipped in with 2 hits apiece.

The Fieldcrest school board hired The Consulting and Resource Group Inc. to find a replacement for outgoing superintendent John Capasso. The board approved an agreement not to exceed $3,850 for the search, according to Mr. Capasso.

"They hope to have a successor named by the end of May," said Capasso.


Reports were presented at the Minonk Township annual meeting on Tuesday, April 10, at city hall.

Supervisor Jim Meyer reported the beginning and ending balances for each of the township funds.

General town fund
Relief: Beginning - $98,614.24, Ending - $53,097.45.
Ins.: Beginning - $28,921.38, Ending - $29,557.25.
Cemetery: Beginning - $42,622.97, Ending - $39,929.37.
Soc. Sec.: Beginning $1,351.83, Ending $3,039.89.
Road district fund
Rd/bridge: Beginning - $70,254.22, Ending $100,530.66.
Jt. bridge: Beginning - 1,635.31, Ending $2,138.54.
Spec. rd: Beginning - $27,880.14, Ending $$15,009.94.
Equip.: Beginning - $9,675.89, Ending $11,682.68.

Highway Commissioner Jim Baumann reported on the condition of the township equipment: one 2000 International dump ruck, one 1995 International dump truck, one 1975 Allis Chalmers road grader, one 1983 John Deere loader backhoe, one 2000 reversible snowplow, one 1986 reversible snowplow, one 1984 snowplow, one V-plow, one 1979 wing plow, one 2000 salt spreader, one air compressor, one 1995 weed sprayer, one Stihl chainsaw, one 1991 road drag, two chain hoists, a bench grinder, one 2000 and two 1999 mobile FM radios, one GE Phoenix two-way radio and base, one five-drawer filing cabinet and two jacks, which are all in good condition.

Next year's annual township meeting is set for April 9, 2002, at 7 p.m. at city hall.

April 16

Governor George Ryan announced Thursday, April 12, that Grayville has won the bid for the new state prison. This means that Wenona has again lost its bid to land a prison.

This is the third time that Wenona was a finalist for a state prison. Wenona City Administrator Bill Simmons said he isn't sure whether Wenona would try again for a prison.

The $140 million maximum-security men's prison is expected to bring 750 permanent jobs - plus 300 during construction - and a $40 million payroll to one of the state's poorest regions.


Several Fieldcrest High School students won awards at the Midstate Fine Arts Festival. Among the first place winners were:

Cassie Jolly (2) - advanced oil painting and black and white photography

Lee Baker - weaving and textiles

Amy Breyne - black and white ink


Agnes Nemmers, President of the 7th District ladies Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars, will be the guest of honor at a dinner on Sunday, April 22, at the Pontiac VFW Post 531.

She is a charter member of the Minonk VFW Auxiliary to Post 7185 and has previously served as district president from 1961-1962, in 1990-91 and 2000-01.


At its normal Monday night session, April 16, the Minonk City Council passed a motion asking City Administrator Phillip Cotter to delay his leaving of his position until July 1 or until a replacement is found for him, whichever comes first.

The motion was spurred by requests from public attendees at the meeting. Melvin Matter and Ron Redenius both gave testimony praising Mr. Cotter's work for the city and asked the council to consider asking him to stay at the post. The council passed the motion by Shelley Butler to keep Mr. Cotter on. Future mayor Mark Spencer was the lone dissenter.

After the council vote of confidence, Mr. Cotter said his decision will be made after he meets with the future mayor to make sure that there is enough commonality between them to allow him to continue. If the meeting does not result in that goal he will be leaving April 30.


Farnsworth & Wylie hydrologist Bob Kohlhase told the Minonk City Council Monday night that Well #3 is filled with stagnant water at the bottom due to blockage at a depth of 1640 feet. Kohlhase indicated that this stagnant water could be the source of the high bacteria count that has been plaguing the well.

Meadow Equipment has been in the process of cleaning the well and used a television camera to inspect the well. The camera showed normal mineral buildup on the walls of the casing but could not pass the 1343 foot depth. The well was wire brushed to a depth of 1640 feet before it ran into the blockage. The bottom of the well is 1920 feet deep.

Kohlhase gave the council two options to consider. The first option is to disinfect the well from 1640 feet up. Money already has been approved for this option. The second option was to drill out the blockage and then disinfect the well. This option could cost anywhere from $45,000 to $100,000 depending on the method of drilling. Councilperson Shelley Butler asked if it would be possible to seal the well at the 1640 foot level to prevent the stagnant water from leaching up into the above water. Kohlcase said that would be a viable option but would cost another $10,000.

After a discussion the council voted to spend another $10,000 to seal the well with grout at the 1640 foot level to prevent any contamination from the stagnant water below. Alderpersons Dean Barth and Sherri Stalter voted against measure stating that it would be better to spend the extra money to drill through the blockage.

Kohlhase indicated that neither option is guaranteed to remove the bacterial infestation. He said that the city should start planning now for drilling well #4 so as to have a more guaranteed supply of water for future expansion. A preloan application has been made for $400,000 to cover the expense of a new well.

City Administrator Phil Cotter said that he and a Farnesworth & Wylie representative inspected all the streets in Minonk to determine places that needed to be repaired. It was estimated that $17,000 is needed to spread oil and chips to repair the problem areas. Cotter also mentioned that the city should be looking ahead to repaving Chestnut Street in its entirety. The estimated cost for that project is $300,000.

The council voted to spend $1312.66 to purchase 2 adult fiberglass backboards, 2 pediatric fiberglass backboards and 1 papoose fiberglass backboard for the Minonk Ambulance Squad. Ambulance Squad member Tanya Minz indicated that the present wooden backboards are outdated and not OSHA approved.

The council appropriated $450.00 to the Filger Library for the summer reading program. The council also approved the budget for 2001-2002. A revolving loan fund of $20,000 to Mary Kearfoot was tabled until later due to a question on the amount of collateral required for the loan.

The council denied a petition by Dan Marshall to not have to pay a water bill of $325.85. Marshall stated that the water pipes at his north end restaurant building burst when the water was not turned off by the city. However, the city indicated that the water meter shutoff was inside a building put around the meter and could not be reached by city employees for turning it off. Marshall said he would take care of it himself and turned off another shutoff valve of his own inside the building. The pipes froze between the two shutoff valves. Since the water froze after the city shutoff valve, the council felt that it was then the fault of the owner and denied his request.

City Adminstrator Phil Cotter received a letter from Mike and Debby McCann and Pam Jollie complaining about the sewer backup in their basements and asking for compensation from the city for the cleanup. Their request was tabled until the exact amount of the insurance claim can be determined. Cotter indicated that he has received only 3 or 4 complaints about sewer backup from the past rains. He said that older areas of Minonk with clay tiles and broken tiles are more suspectible to sewer backup from heavy rains and that there are no easy answers to the sewer backup problem. Installing a new system is economically prohibitive he stated.

The council denied a request from a storm watch volunteer to cover the $100 deductable on the hail damage to his vehicle during last week's hail storm.


Lexington whipped Fieldcrest by a score of 10-0 Wednesday, April 18, in a game played at Minonk. Chris Coffey had a grandslam homerun for the winners. Fieldcrest is now 9-4 overall and 4-1 in the Midstate Conference.
Ladies softball:

Jennifer Lutz pitched the lady Knights to a 6-3 victory over Flanagan Friday, April 20, at Flanagan. Lutz also contributed 2 hits. Amy Breyne led the hitting attack with 3 hits. Fieldcrest is now 9-4 overall.

Fieldcrest beat Eureka 5-0 in a game played at Eureka on Thursday, April 19. Ashley Kolb issued no walks in gaing the victory for the Knights. Lindsey paced the victors with 2 hits, including a double and an RBI.

Ashlie Kolb (3-1) twirled the Lady Knights to a victory over Lexington 10-0 in a game at Minonk on April 18. Katie Schinzel and Lindsey Weld both had 2 hits and 2 RBI's. Fieldcrest is now 7-4 overall and 4-1 in the Midstate Conference.

April 23

Jim Meyer is retiring from Meyer-Jochums Agency after 45 years in the real estate and insurance business.

Meyer, a native of Iowa, grew up in Carlock where his mother, Mae Meyer, was a postmaster for 20 years. He attended Carlock High School and graduated in 1952 from Normal Community High School after the Carlock school closed. He graduated in 1956 from ISU where he sang in the Men's Glee Club.

He met his wife Barbara Morrison when she worked at the Cline Cafe in downtown Normal. They were married in 1955. He joined the insurance and real estate business of his father-in-law Robert Morrison in 1956. In 1976 he purchased the Morrison Agency from Bob. In 1990 Jim merged his firm with Jack Jochums' agency, Havener-Jochums, and called it Meyer-Jochums.

Jim and Barbara raised four children. Daughter Kim and son Craig joined the firm and purchased their father's interest in the firm last year. Jeff is in Milwaukee and Craig's twin Eric is in Wausau, Wis.

Meyer was an alderman for 10 years before becoming mayor in 1976. He is currently the Minonk Township Clerk and has been a township supervisor for 42 years. He also was a charter member of the group that started the Minonk ambulance squad.

Jim has been a singer with the Village-Aires since their inception and has sung at many weddings, funerals and other special occasions.

There will be an open house from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at The Woodford in Minonk, formerly the VFW Hall.


Kurt Barth, former Fieldcrest and Eureka College standout, suffered and injury to this eye in a construction accident last week. The injury will prevent Barth from playing for at least the next six weeks for the Peoria Panthers in the Indoor Football League. Barth plays both receiver and linebacker for the Pirates.
A shipment of 6 gravestones to replace damaged stones for civil war veterans was received Friday. American Legion members Eugene Tweedt, Lawrence Gerdes and Eldon Folkers were on hand in helping unload the stones. The stones are already engraved and ready to be set. Four stones were received Friday and six more will be coming later. Listed below are the civil war veterans whose stones were received.

George Foote - 1844-1921
Frank Brown - 1837-1913
Charles Dunham - 1839-1919
John Herald - 1836-1911

Below are the other civil war veterans whose gravestones will be delivered later.

Oliver Wallace - 1887-1914
Francis Lockwood - 1820-1874
Frederick Melhorn - 1926-1866
Charles Webber - 1837 - 1894
Charles Sands - ? - 1891
Israel Thorn

The replacement of the gravestones was conducted through and funded by The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office in Springfield, according to Gene Tweedt who coordinated the project.


City Administrator Phillip Cotter refused the city council's request that he delay his departure. This decision came after Cotter met with Mayor-elect Mark Spencer Saturday morning to see if they could forge a workable relationship.

The city council approved a motion at their last meeting that requested Mr. Cotter to stay until July 1 or until a new city administrator could be found. Spencer was the only dissenter. Cotter will be leaving his position on April 30. Meanwhile, the city is continuing its efforts to find a replacement for the vacated position.


The Fieldcrest Knights beat Tremont 8-7 Wednesday, April 25, at Minonk. Eric Joop led Fieldcrest with 3 hits including 2 homeruns and 5 RBIs. Andy Craig gained the victory and now has a 6-0 record. Fieldcrest is now 11-4 overall and 6-1 in the Midstate Conference.
A "Praise Team" consisting of Tammy Sanders, Kristy Baxter, Jon McMullen, and Joel Jochums has been leading Sunday evening Praise services at the Baptist Church in Minonk. Praise services are held at 7:00 on the second and fourth Sundays of each month, and feature joyful singing and praise (no sermon and no offering). The Praise team has both vocalists and guitarists, and in each service lead in singing some familiar praise songs, teach some new ones, and present a variety of solos and ensemble songs. The services are open to all.

On April 29th, a Praise team from the Fairbury Baptist Church featuring former Minonk resident Loralee Dunahee will visit and lead the service.


At its regular monthly meeting the Fieldcrest School Board heard a presentation about a reading discovery program which helps kindergartners learn phonemically, a stepping stone to reading.

Kindergarten teachers along with Rebecca Hardine presented the reading discovery program that the teachers would like to expand upon.

Hardine explained that there is a high rate of developmentally delayed students in the school system.

Phonemic awareness is an auditory skill that enables a person to hear separate sounds in words. Some children struggle to learn this concept and there is a need for one additional full-time staff member to help teach this skill. The board did not take any action on this issue.


Superintendent John Capasso said that the building project at West is "winding down" and should be completed in the next couple of weeks.

New equipment costing approximately $10,000 is being ordered for the new building.


The board approved a bid of $18,780 by Peoria M & O Environmental for removal of asbestos at the "Old" Elementary West in Toluca. The board also approved the bid of $42,614 by River City Demolition for the demolition of "Old" Elementray West and agreed to auction off the items from "Old" West that are not wanted or needed in the other school buildings in the district.
Anna Woessner as FHS instrumental and choral music teacher, Jeremy Hahn as agricultural instructor at FJHS, Mark Brown as a multi-age classroom teacher for at-risk students, and Jennifer Porter as an FHS language arts teacher.

The final school day for the 2000-2001 school year will be May 30.


Fieldcrest took a double header from Hall of Spring Valley at Minonk Saturday, April 28. In the first game pitcher Andy Craig went the distance with six strikeouts in the Knights 7-4 victory. Eric Joop had 3 hits for Fieldcrest.

In the second game, the Knights scored 5 runs in the 7th inning to eke out a 6-5 victory. Drew Glowacki gained the win with 4 strikeouts in 4 innings. Andy Craig hit 3 hits while Neil Ropp added 2 hits and 2 RBIs.


Amy Breyne had 11 strikeouts and 2 hits in leading Fieldcrest to a 8-6 victory over Gridley Friday, April 27, in a game at Gridley.
According to Don Pratt, president of Consulting and Resource Group Inc. in Monticello, a new superintendent will hopefully be named by May 30. The firm has been conducting a search to replace John Capasso who is leaving to take a similar post at the Leroy School district.

Pratt said that about a dozen people have applied for the job. The deadline to apply is May 14. He expects 20 to 25 applicants from Illinois and surrounding states. The company will screen the candidates and present four to six finalists to the school board May 17.

The board will conduct its own interviews and select one or two finalists by May 21. Final interviews and community visits will take place before a new superintendent is named.




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