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Emails for May 2004

Councilman's response to litter

I agree with the two e-mails sent about garbage in Minonk. However over the past 6 months there has been plenty of good things done to help clean up this great town we all call home. The City has been enforcing ordinances on junk cars, high grass and other violations. The City is also looking into passing a more stricter nuisance ordinance. In the meantime great citizens and volunteers gathered to paint rusty signs, Fire hydrant, and faded yellow curbs and picked up the town a couple weeks ago and proved that people in Minonk do have pride in there town. All anyone needs to do is drive down Main Street and numerous side streets and see all the flags and flower baskets being hung out on there poles or flowers being planted on there burms. No town is spotless everyday of every year and Minonk does have some issues with garbage at the Caroline Development and roads coming into town. But I am hoping in the near future this will all be picked up and kept up. I for one am quit proud of Minonk and how it is starting to pull itself together as a community and showing there pride and to all the people who do go out and volunteer to do things and help make the community a better place I thank everyone of you.

Jason E Buchanan

Amazed at amount of litter in Minonk

I read with interest your article on cleaning up Minonk. Like my sister, Jane, I am amazed at how much litter I find when I return to Minonk and take my run around town. It saddens me because I don't have memories of Minonk being this way when I grew up. My heart sinks whenever I run around the athletic field and see the garbage cans overflowing and litter just steps away from the garbage can. I now live in a town of 100,000 people but we still keep litter clean up at a grass roots level. All it takes is some volunteers and pride in your community. If you go for a nightly stroll around Minonk grab a garbage bag to take with you and pick up as you go along. Get your kids involved as well. They get exercise and learn how to help the environment. If everyone did a little it would make a huge impact.

Andrea Boudreau
Email: aboudreau@vancepublishing.com

Why wait for sesquicentennial to clean up city?


Why is it that it takes an event such as a sesquicentennial to keep Minonk clean? I grew up in Minonk and visit there on a weekly basis. I am amazed at the amount of litter that lines the streets, vacant lots and ditches. My sister and I have walked the streets of Minonk picking up garbage only to find our trash bags full after five blocks.

I enter the city on the west side of town and come down 8th Street. Those two blocks from old US 51 to Jefferson Street are just full of cans, bottles and cigarette packages. My nephews and I walked those blocks a few times picking up trash (it goes towards their Cub Scout merit badges) only to find that the following week they are filthy again.

Don't people teach their children that littering is wrong? Is it going to kill someone if they have to have an empty soda bottle in their car for a few extra minutes until they can dispose of it properly? And what do all of these individuals do who are given hours of community service? What good are the ordinances when individuals only get their hand slapped for not abiding by them? The people of Minonk should take pride in their town and be cognizant of their surroundings as they drive along the city streets. If you see some trash, pick it up. As last weekend's cleanup day proved, every little bit helps.

Jane Milburn

P.S. I think Mountain Dew should change the color of their ugly green bottle.

Chief Illiniwek should stay

Dave, I agree with your editorial on the Chief. What's the point? I can't see any, except a bunch of students with their new found expressions of being politically correct. Well, let's get rid of the Kansas City Chiefs, The Redskins, or do away with the Seminoles. Or how about changing the name of the Chicago Bears..after all, that's really disrespecting the bear, right? We wouldn't want a bunch of ticked off bears picketing City Hall in Chi Town, now would we? That could get messy. Maybe we should start to change all the team names..to flowers..like the pansies, or daffodils. Roses would be sweet..I can see the cheer-leaders now: "Go Roses go, hit 'em high, hit 'em low".

Well, down here we have Bevo, the Longhorn steer..and we're keepin' him, and that's no bull! Keep up the good work.

Art Kettelhut

More state fees!

Dear Dave,


I want you to be aware, that after stalling for weeks and having to file a FOIA with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, I was finally provided the dollar amounts each municipality was charged on a brand new fee in our state for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

I figured there had to be some reason the IEPA was stonewalling legislators getting the information. After an analysis of what we received, I now know why. I have posted our findings of all the municipal fees on the website sponsored by Committee For Legislative Action: http://www.CommitteeForLegislativeAction.org/municipalfees.asp

Besides the amounts per municipality, you can see the dollar per capita. There is a massive disparity between communities; some are only pennies per resident, while many small, rural and suburban communities are tens of dollars per person. This is yet another example of additional fees being charged to hard working people of Illinois. This brand new municipal fee is a direct cost to residents either through property taxes paid or as an add-on to water/sewer bills.

Please encourage others to register their opposition to these new fees and the hundreds of other fees the Blagojevich Administration is pushing. All of this information is on the same website.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.


Dan Rutherford
State Senator

Jobs for students to help pay fees

Dave, This is a 2 part e mail. First, the citizens advisory council is working on our job list to help the students of Fieldcrest earn money to pay their upcoming fees. We would like any student interested in this program to contact Tonya Krone (432-2040), Craig Meyer (432-2519) or Tim Sanders (432-2044). We also would invite any Business or individual who may have odd jobs for these students to contact one of the above members. All earned money will be paid directly to the Fieldcrest extra-curricular fund and placed in each students (the student doing the work) account.

Second, the Minonk Recreation Board is in need of 10 to 12 High school or Junior high students that are interested in doing some field maintenance work this summer. We have hired a supervisor who will be in charge of this group. Each student will earn $100.00 for this job with the money going into their fund. The duties will include lining and dragging the ball fields, setting out equipment, and trash pick up at the end of the night. (The supervisor will be in charge of scheduling games and umpires) Each student would have to work 1 or 2 nights per week.

Tim Sanders

Virgil Folkerts "salt-of-the-earth" guy

Dave, I'd just like to make a comment regarding Virgil Folkerts, who is featured as one of the Pavilion workers. His wife, Edith worked for my dad (Dr. Kettelhut) for many years. We took a trip to Florida together and had a wonderful time. One of the events I remember like it was yesterday, is when Edith dropped her engagement ring down the heating vent at dad's office. She was so upset. Well, Virg came over, and got it out using a wire or coat hanger, and all was well again. I'll never forget that day. Thru the years we remained friends, and had many visits with them. Virgil is the "salt-of-the-earth", one really fine man. And not only that, he looks great! Pass on my regards and best wishes, please.

Art Kettelhut

Where are all the volunteers?

We recently attended training at the Joliet Route 66 Race Track to raise money for extra curricular activities at the Fieldcrest schools. Unfortunately, there are only 47 participants at this time. We ask the question 'Where is everyone else?' Parents? Teachers? Administration? Members of the School Board? of the 47 participants, four do not live in this school district but were raised here and came to help. We do not have anyone in the school district and two more were grandparents of students.

The responsibility of raising funds falls directly on the shoulders of the parents, employees and administration of the school district and the school board. We have heard all kinds of excuses as to why people cannot help. But the bottom lines is --Are your children not worth one day of your time? Just a few hours!

The benefits of extra curricular activities go way beyond just playing in a sport or being in the class play. your learn how to be a member of a team' meet kids from other towns; how to win or lose' how to be competitive; good work ethics; and how to represent you school, town and family. the downside of not having extra curricular activities is kids with too much energy and time with no outlet. This will lead to families moving out of the school district and no new young families moving in. Everyone will suffer the consequences.

When we first heard of the activity and participation fees that the parents were going to have to pay, we felt sorry for them. but not any more! If they do not want to work a little to help defray some of the costs, then we do not want to hear them complain. This is crunch time! We need sharp pencils and volunteers to keep the activities that are an essential part of education. Everyone needs to do their fair share of volunteering to keep all activities for the students of Fieldcrest. If not, the few who donate time and energy will soon wear out an the????!!!!

Happy to volunteer

'Chop" and Lou Jacek

Another testimony for Jim Wise

Dear David,

I entered into the 20th century by finally getting on the internet. I finally entered the 21st century by figuring out how to use email. I am finally able to surf MINONKTALK. Your articles bring back many fond memories. Now I'm sorry that I took so long to take advantage of all this high technology.

I enjoyed reading your great editorial regarding Jim Wise. I never had Jim as a teacher, but he and his wife were very good friends of my folks. I used to enjoy going pheasant hunting with Jim while I was still in high school. Following our service in World War II, we became even better acquainted.

Although I officially retired as President of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, in 1997, I have managed to keep myself very busy. I have come out of retirement three times. A year after I retired from HCC, I returned to the college doing fisheries research. I retired for the second time in 2000 and immediately accepted the position of Interim President of Luzerne County Community College in Wilkes Barre, PA. I retired for the third time in 2002 and again came out of retirement working as a consultant for Collegiate Enterprise Solutions out of Peabody, Mass. Although I have my own office at home, I have succeeded in destroying Bess's work schedule. It seems that I want to take a nap at the same time she decides to vacuum. Bess really enjoys the days I have to be out of the house.

Our two sons and their families also live in Tampa. It's great having our three grandchildren here also.

As you can tell, I use e-mail as a word processor. I haven't yet learned all the techniques for e-mail. I use it for sending letters.

Give my regards to all my classmates from the Class of 1943. Keep up the good work.

Andy "SONNY" Paloumpis

Looking for info on early settlers

To Whom It May Concern:

I am hoping someone reading this will have information on some of Minonk's early settlers that they will be willing to share with me. Their last names were MCSPARRAN & STITELER. The heads of these families are: Margarett McSparran (my husband's gr-gr-gr-grandmother), also David & Hadassah (McSparran) Stiteler (my husband's gr-gr-grandparents).

Of course, these names may have had different spellings, such as: MCSPARRAN---may have had "a" changed to "e" or "o", or possibly spelled with only 1 "r", etc. STITELER---I have found this name with many & varied spellings---first "e" dropped, extra "t", minus a "t", or "o" & "a" instead of "i" & "e", etc.

Widowed Margarett "Priscilla" McSparran moved with her grown children to Minonk twp., about 1857. As far as I can tell, her daughter Priscilla outlived all the others, dying 11 June 1904, in Minonk twp. I have the Minonk Cemetery info on the McSparran family, but little more. I am interested in ALL information on ANY Minonk area McSparran (then & now) anyone might have information on, because they are ALL of this same family.

David Stiteler was the husband of Margarett McSparran's daughter Hadassah (possibly called Esther or Addie). David & Hadassah (McSparran) Stiteler came to Woodford County (probably Minonk twp.) between 1862 & 1870. After that the Stiteler family moved to Kansas. Again, I am interested on ALL information on ANY Minonk area Stiteler.

I very much appreciate any help anyone can give me!

Thank you,

Donna Carnall

Enjoyed article mentioning Baldy Wypeski

I was reading one of your old columns about the Minonk bars. I was especially interested in the part about the bartender Baldy Wypeski. He was my favorite Uncle. He first worked for Pete Mazzini in a bar on the main street in Minonk. I used to dance on the bar a'la Shirley Temple and drink "highballs" coke with lots of ice. I called my Mom and read your column to her. It was so great, you did him justice. I could even hear him razzing you about looking like Fidel Castro. My Mom, his sister is Cecelia Wypeski Kelly. She married Patrick Kelly son of Martin Kelly and Veronica Vogel Kelly. My Grandpa Steve Wypeski was a miner and a union man. I remember my grandparents telling me about the "company store". When Tennessee Ernie Ford came out with the song who's lyrics tell Saint Peter not to call them because they could not go, they owed their soul to the company store it really meant something to them.

I did not intend to go on and on but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your whole web site Minonk Talks and especially the stories about my Uncle. I have enjoyed the history and the pictures and reading names I had not heard in years.

Thank you,

Karen Kelly Muhlstadt

Stop littering in the park

Very recently I was at Westside Park, and I noticed garbage all around the swings and teeter totter area. Soda bottles, cups, lids, chip bags, and even socks were strewn about the area. Near the basketball court was much of the same. The sight not only repulsed me, but at the same time angered me as well.

This month, my son's Cub Scout Den cleaned up the park for a community service project. These young boys got up extremely early and put forth great effort to maintain the aesthetic beauty of the popular park.

Last week, the grade schoolers enjoyed their "Teddy Bear Picnic" and their "Field Day" at this park. I was there those days too, and I saw all the youngsters picking up trash, some that was not even theirs. Teachers were in on the act, and I heard them say to the children how it shows " 'respect to leave a place better than when you found it.' " Immediately I was taken aback to my youth, when my mom and even Grandma would say the very same thing, in turn I passed this line to my Scouts, 4-Hers and even my own children. However, I wonder if having been taught this respect is a rare thing. From what I saw today, I'm thinking it must be, and it makes me nauseous to think this is the case! I'm not too young that I don't remember the commercial with crying Indian on the roadside watching another car throw trash out it's window on an already litter abundant land. That scene is something I will always remember! Whatever became of service announcements like that one? Who dropped the ball and failed these ignorant idiots who litter by not teaching them values?! I have some opinions (as always) but that is off the point I wish to make here!

It is completely shameful for those lazy, morally bankrupt individuals to have made the children's good deed pointless, and to them I say this: If you cannot take care of something and pick up after yourself, then you should not use it- stay out! Just because this is a public park does not mean that gives you the right to trash it! This goes for any property that you do not own! You obviously need to be taught some manners! Here's an invitation- next time you see the Scouts (or anyone for that matter) cleaning the park, join in and experience selfless serving with those who are picking up YOUR trash! After doing that, if you still don't "have a clue," see me, and I will explain it to you in great detail.

Christina Jenkins

Litter in Minonk has been a pet peeve


The litter in Minonk has always been a pet peeve of mine. However, I will admit that conditions are vastly improved from three years ago. It wasn't that long ago that Sutton Park was an eyesore and downtown city berns were turned into confetti after mowing. This improvement I and others are grateful for and kudos to the hard working city crews who see that papers are picked up routinely. Now, if individual homeowners (and business owners) can only do the same.

What never ceases to amaze me are property owners with homes that front the street, seldom or never pick up debris along the curb right in front of their homes. Take a walk along 5th street or Maple street, just to name a few streets, and one notices very well kept homes, and there a short distance from the sidewalk, but on the street there are pop bottles, trash and so on. It stays there until the wind moves it someplace else. What gives? The city, unfortunately, does not own a street sweeper so it's up to the residents and business owners of Minonk to do their part.

Yes, regrettably, I have to agree with Andera Boudreau in many respects. Towns with significantly more population than Minonk somehow have less litter. And it's not entirely because of state-of-the-art city services. It's plain and simple hometown pride!

Michael Stagliano

Tennis courts to be resurfaced

The tennis courts are being re-done this spring early summer. The same company that is doing the Chestnut project will also be doing the tennis courts. They should be done within the next couple weeks I would hope.

Jason E Buchanan
Alderman Ward 3

What's happening to the tennis courts?

Hi, I was wondering if anybody knows if the tennis courts are going to be fixed up, or if they are just tearing them down. Thanks!

Samantha Hall

Update on former Minonk residents

Dear Dave

I guess you could call this the "latest news from the deep South."

Pat (Curley) Keel was recently named as the President-Elect of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs. As you know, Pat is a native of Minonk. Her husband, C.J. Keel, is an attorney, originally from the Peoria area.

Other Minonk residents in the Tampa area are Mary Lou (Sutton) Goodwin, her son Jim Goodwin and Tom Toler. Tom now lives in Sun City, FL. He read my e-mail to you and called me. Had a nice long chat with him.

Andy Paloumpis

Volunteers deserve recognition


You are familiar with the ole saw, "no good deed goes unpunished". In this instance, the good deed(s) should not be punished, but greatfully acknowledged.

Two weeks ago, Fieldcrest High School held a very successful Junior-Senior prom and post-prom. The involvement of the high school faculty, staff and students was admirable. The activities leading up to prom week also deserve attention and recognition.

In addition, what many do not realize is that parents of students and contributors carried an equal responsibility in ensuring that prom and post-prom was worthy of the hype and good times. Not only were there excellent prizes, plenty of refreshments and activities, but the total experience was a success from start to finish.

The Sunday morning following post-prom, I happened to notice a parent and huge supporter of Fieldcrest mopping the floors of the high school gym lobby and carrying extra prizes and materials to her van. She politely refused my assistance saying that her sister was on her way to help her out the door.

Mrs. Christie Ruestman deserves a huge round of applause and recognition for pitching in and carrying the ball on so many occasions. The Minonk Community knows whom I am speaking of, since she is a permanent fixture at all football games grilling chops or doing other odds and ends. She and her colleagues also assist in organizing community projects such as clean up Minonk and the annual Luminaria.

In essence, more individuals should emulate Christie for her unselfish dedication to the cause whether it be Fieldcrest athletics, prom or the Minonk Community. Her actions speak louder than any words. I am certain that I am leaving out salient points on her volunteer resume, but those who know Christie can fill in the gaps.


Michael A. Stagliano, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Fieldcrest District 6

Needs use of a copy machine

Does anyone, business or individual, have a copy machine that can handle several copying jobs for the Sesquicentennial Celebration. I need to make copies of our Sesquicentennial Celebration schedule - about 5-600 copies, also need to make copies (about 200) for the parade) and copies of the Kid's Events Flyer that we usually put out (about 100) . The machine I usually use is not working very good anymore. Please contact me at 309-432-2605.

Cathy McKay

Volunteers not contacted

In response to "where are all the volunteers" from Chop & Lou Jacek....My husband and I both volunteered to help at the racetrack! I signed the form, sent it back in and have not heard a word from anyone! I guess there were two dates you could go for training??? I know of several others who volunteered and did not get any more information! I was told about the meeting after one had passed and the next one was two days away!!!!! I assumed after I volunteered I would be contacted by someone to fill me in with all the details! So, there were more volunteers, just not everyone got the information about the meetings. I am curious how some were told about the training and others were not!!!!!!!!????????

Also happy to volunteer!
Debbie Rippel

More Minonk bands from the past

Rick's editorial was nicely done. However, there were some groups before his time that need to be recognized. Babe Smith and the Oyen boys and whoever else used to play German ompah music on the old bandstand at events like 4th of July. Even earlier, Harold (Hix) Webster and some others had a band that used to play at dances in the area. I don't remember what they were called but I have seen a poster advertising the band. Perhaps Mae (Copp) would remember. Hix was my mother's age, meaning he was born in 1914 and I think this band existed prior to Hix's joining the army in WWII

Rick also overlooked my son Mike Cunningham's group which used to practice in our basement...which sometimes made conversation upstairs a little difficult. That group had several names and featured Dave Spires and Matt Cornell on guitar (and Matt did vocals also), Greg Weiland on bass (and also vocals) and Mike on drums.

Martha Owens

80th birthday party planned

Edith Miller of Normal, Illinois the daughter of Tony and Elizabeth Brockling turns 80 on May 28, 2004. Family and friends will celebrate her birthday on May 30, 2004. For presents please be ready to share a memory or story. If you would like to join us or just share a story or memory, please contact Bill Miller at BNTMiller@aol.com.

Bill Miller

Looking for old pictures

If anyone has pre-1950 scrapbooks that pertain to Minonk's history, please contact me. We have found several and they have been very valuable in putting displays together for Minonk's Sesquicentennial. If possible, we will copy the pages. We will not display the original paper item as we do not want anything to happen to these old items. Also, we would like to look at any of your old photographs. We don't want to miss anything (people, homes, railroads, mining, businesses, etc). If you would like to display your families geneology (if your family has been here for years) please let me know. We are looking for things that will interest even one person. We would like to have a whole room full of things to look at than just have a few of the same old pictures. Check your attics and then call me with any treasures you may find. I am in the phone book.

Thank you,

Nancy Reiter