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Emails for May 2003

Public meeting to be held on I-39 Overpass problem

As you may be aware, the County is planning on making repairs to the overpass and ramps at the I-39 exchange on Route 2 in Minonk. The project will be 80% State funded. There are options available to the County in their method of implementing this project. Among them is partial closure while allowing traffic to exit or access the Interstate from all directions. The other is the complete closure of this overpass during the entire construction period. This project could take as long as two to three months.

Unfortunately, all things wear out for one reason or another and the overpass is in need of repair BUT total closure of the overpass, while being an inconvenience to residents, will have a dire effect on Minonk businesses. This is especially true of businesses that rely heavily on highway traffic. It may also cause unacceptable delays in emergency personnel responses to incidents occurring on I-39.

The City of Minonk is sponsoring a public meeting on this issue so that we may develop a strategy regarding this serious dilemma. Please plan to attend and pass this information on to anyone else that you believe would be affected by this closure.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, May 29th at the Minonk City Hall.


Mark Spencer

All male graduates served in military

Dave, in the process of developing a memory book for our 1948 Class reunion I found this info from "bio" questions I asked the graduates. There were 34 students in my class. 2 others dropped out of school before graduating. Of the 34, 19 were girls and 15 were boys. During the next couple of years all 15 boys were in the US Military service. Army, Navy and AirCorp. Some were enlistees, some national guard and some were drafted. Of the 19 girls, (some of my records are incomplete) but, at least 5 of the girls married men in uniform. Considering that the Korean War was thought of as a limited confrontation with half the duration of the war spent in negotations for a peace agreement, I am amazed at the patriotism my class had shown. In July of this year, the Postal Service will have a new 37 cent stamp commerating the Korean War.

Albin Johnson
San Clemente, CA

Looking for aerial view of Minonk

I am making a picture ABC book about Minonk. Could you ask if anyone has an aerial view of Minonk? Or just a picture of the town from a distance.

I need it pretty soon. They could e-mail me if they had one.


Marylu Pille

Les Buzz Ballroom remembered


Not exactly sure when you wrote your memories about music in the '50's and your mention of the Les Buzz ballroom. I had the occasion the other day to take a call from a guy from Spring Valley and it reminded me of the '50's when I was in high school and we used to trek from Oregon to Spring Valley to hear the likes of Les Brown, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, etc. Of course that was near the end of the big band era. Some years later the ballroom was turned into a discount store of some kind. The caller from Spring Valley then related that he remembered that it burned down sometime in the '70's, maybe under mysterious circumstances. He related that the owner (Les?) had a relative high in the police force and that the whole arson thing was forgotten. Then I went to the net to see if there was any link to the Les Buzz ballroom and there was your article. Anyway, thanks for the memory.

Rusty Rush - College Station, TX

Wants action taken on Wenona TIF district


I fully agree with your editorial on the Wenona TIF district. The taxpayers in the Fieldcrest school district are being cheated by the unfair Wenona TIF district. This type of TIF district should never have been allowed to be created in the first place. Where was our school board and Superintendent Jerry Christiansen when this TIF was formed in 1994? Did they know about it? If so, why didn't they object and make an issue out of it so that the general public could know what was going on? If I knew what was going on when the TIF was formed, I certainly would have objected.

Now that the general public is aware of how much tax dollars are being lost due to Wenona's TIF, it is time for us taxpayers to put pressure on the Fieldcrest school board to get Wenona to sign an agreement with the school district that puts a cap on how much tax dollars can be kept in the Wenona TIF district. Instead of cutting out extracurricular activities and depriving our students, the school board should first try to recoup some of the $2,500,000 of tax dollars that will be lost in the next 14 years because of Wenona's TIF. A school tax referendum will never pass as long as the Wenona TIF district continues to drain money from our school system.

Gene Oncken

First Graduating Class of Fieldcrest - Class of 1993

Plans are underway for our 10 year class reunion to coincide with Fieldcrest's homecoming (probably the last weekend of September). We are looking for everyone's current address, if classmates could send them to


Christine Cunningham and LeAnn Judd

Message from new city council member

My name is Jason Buchanan. A number of people know me as Buck. I will be taking office Monday May 5th as an Alderman for Ward 3. I feel as if we live in one of the best towns in Illinois. That is why I chose to stay in Minonk and raise a family and that is also why I wanted to serve on the council. I am looking forward to serving the community and I will do what I can over the next 4 years to do what is best for this community and everyone who lives in it.

If anyone wants to contact me with questions or concerns you can catch me at home or at the following email: minonkward3@mchsi.com


Wants information on Minonk's annual carnival


My husband's grandmother was Queen of the Carnival in Minonk one year. I have a newspaper article about the event but do not have the date of the event. I am looking for any information you may have about it. The article says Mayor H.B. Meils presented her with a diamond ring and crowned her Queen. Her name was Sarah Kelly.

Are you aware of this event? Was it a yearly event?

Thanks for any information you may have

Janet Hildebrand

Editor's note: H. B. Meils was mayor of Minonk from 1903-1907. Does anyone have any additional information on Minonk's Queen of the Carnival?

Recreation park a good idea

I think a recreation park is a great addition to Minonk and surrounding area. Being a graduate of MDR in 1977, I know that there wasn�t anything like this in the area for the community to use. My only hope is the cost is low enough for everyone to use and enjoy.

Linda (Armstrong) Williams