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Emails for November 2003

Looking for info on Ioerger reunion

Dear Mr. Uphoff,

I hope perhaps you or your staff can help me to find out some information. Since the late 1800's or early 1900's, Joerger / Ioerger Reunions were held either in Minonk or Metamora during the summertime. The last reunion I learned about was in the 1970's. My father, Glenn A. Joerger, was born and raised in Pekin, IL. I would like to find out of a person who may be a contact for these reunions, if at all possible.

Thank you for your time.

Kathleen Hannum
2148 Winding Creek Ln. SW
Marietta, GA 30064
e-mail address to use: kajh76@yahoo.com

Cheers to the workers

Hi, Dave...

As a former Minonk resident, I just want to express MY appreciation to the workers who are putting up the new pavilion. These men and women should be congratulated for giving to the community.

Thanks to your site, I can keep up with the goings-on, and it is really great to be able to do so. You know, all of us who leave Minonk always keep a small part of us there.

I just wanted to let these fine folks know that it's a good thing they're doing. Minonk will be a better place to live, thanks to them.

In appreciation...

Art Kettelhut

Everyone has to give in school crisis

As a concerned Fieldcrest parent, I would like to comment on the crisis in our school district. I also agree that something must be done to "fix" some of the problems. I do believe that charging fees MAY be a step in the right direction. However, they need to be carefully planned out.

I understand many concerns about the higher fees. As a parent with four children that will go through the Fieldcrest district, I understand that this will be a financial burden in the coming years. However, if parents know of these fees in advance, they can start planning now.

I was wondering if these proposed fees will need to be paid for at registration time in August, or will they be staggered throughout the school year? My suggestion would be to spread them out as much as possible so all the money would not be due at the same time. Finally, this is just my opinion, I currently send my daughter to dance lessons once a week. I pay approximately $360.00 a year just on tuition. This does not include shoes, dance clothes, and recital items. This is much more than I have to pay each year for my daughter's education. This is why I am more than willing to pay a small fee to better my children's educations. Does anyone else send their children to dance lessons, karate, or music? If you do, just think about it.

I would also like to agree with Kim Barth about the restaurants in Toluca. Not once in the past 10 years have we been to any restaurant in Toluca because of a sporting event. While I understand that this may be a concern, everyone must think of what is best for all the children. Businesses will survive based on the quality of the food, atmosphere, and good service, not sporting events.

Finally, I would like to comment on one more thing. I read one of the things against attendance centers was that students from one family would be split into different towns. Since consolidation, there have been numerous families affected by this from Minonk, Dana, and Rutland. I'm sure there are several families that have students in three different schools. If things stay the same, we will be one of those families. This is the way it is, we have no choice in the matter. If attendance centers are a reality, this will become the norm for all families in the district, not just for those in certain towns. In such a crisis, everyone must be willing to give a little. And no, everyone is not going to be happy with all the decisions that will be made. Please keep in mind what has been said before, let's do something before our schools go to the state!!!

Amy Rossman

No fees for band or music


In response to Eric Olson's concern for those who cannot afford to pay to play, I offer this clarification. Students who qualify for free and/or reduced lunch will be provided fee waivers. We currently do this as provided by School Code. Secondly, band and chorus are "for credit" courses and are part of the core curriculum, therefore they are exempt from fees.

Michael A. Stagliano, Ph.D.

Former AFS student looking for email address

Dear Minonktalk,

My name is Sergio Furtado Borges Filho. I had been an AFS student from Brazil,living in Minonk 24 years ago(1978/79), hosted by Don and Helen Ludwig.There have been a long time since I lost contact with my host family.Could you up date me of their email so I could contact them again? By the way I really enjoyed visit the site "Minonktalk"...I miss this town and my MDR HS very much! Thanks a lot for this help,my best regards,


Cut spending to resolve budget crisis

Just read the "pie in the sky" suggestions made by the committee to the school board. Do they really think that the average person back there can afford an additional $150 (middle school) to $200 (high school) per student for various activities and fees?

As with most budget crisis, the answer is not additional taxing but less spending.

Martha Owens

50th for Mr. and Mrs. Glen Barth

Glenn and Joan Barth are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary! Glenn and Joan were married on November 22, 1953. They have 2 married daughters and 2 grandchildren who live in the area. They are lifelong residents of Minonk and continue to reside here. When you see them, please offer your congratulations!

Lori Harper (daughter)

Alums contribute to scholarship fund

Dave, Not living in Minonk means I can comment about problems in the schools and at the same time I don't get upset when the local folks ask "who are you to add your 2 cents worth?" Well, I remember little about Minonk High in the late 40s except for basketball. (and girls, of course.) Playing ball with good friends and the lessons learned in team work and winning expectations have lasted me through my life. Knowing the thrill of winning and the terrible hurt when losing and how you move forward from these are the stairsteps for later life. Today we award stellar athletes and classroom excellence with scholarships; it wasn't always so. Neither my High School academic accomplishments nor my athletic ability got me through college. My folks got me going and the Military saw me through. With that in mind, I'll go out on a limb. Yes, I suppose there are some parents who REALLY do have a difficult time making ends meet and others who might have to give up on a new F150 until their kids have graduated. The thought of dropping field trips, yearbook, clubs, athletics and social functions is unforgivable! Somewhere in the community of Minonk and Toluca and Wenona live graduates who had their High School moment like myself. I propose that these old alumni make an effort to contribute a few bucks to the school for a "scholarship" fund to help pay for uniforms, clubs, bus fare, and athletics programs to assure opportunities for these programs to continue. $50-100 donations are not out of hand. Contact some of the areas famous and not so famous graduates for help. If this concept is not acceptable with the school, well I tried.

Albin Johnson, Class of 1948

Wants positive change in police department

There will be a city council meeting on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.

Anyone who has a desire for a positive change in our local police department needs to attend this meeting.

Positive results will only occur if a show of support is shown to our city council members. This is the time the majority of this town has long been waiting for.

My name is Tom Palmore and I would appreciate a show of support. Changes will be made if you stand behind me.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call me at 432-3616 after 4:00 p.m.

Tom Palmore

Comments on budget cuts

We are all aware that cuts need to be made in order to keep Fieldcrest going. We need to concentrate on what is best for the school district and our children. Unfortunately that means that someone is going to lose out at some point. As Dave's editorial mentions, we are all going to have to give something. But my biggest question is this. Why does everyone feel that if Toluca loses their middle school that it will make the restaurants suffer? This has been brought up in several articles and at meetings. What about the restaurants in Wenona? There is Georgetown, Park Place, Pizza Hut. I am not saying that one town is better then the other. I am just wondering why this is the thought.

I for one, don't believe it was just the sports that made the Toluca Restaurants famous. It is the good food and friendly atmosphere that bring people from all over the state to dine there. My family eats there many times during a year. It isn't a sporting event that takes us there. It isn't a sporting event that takes many families there on a Sunday after Church to dine. I feel there is much more to the issue then this, yet this seems to be the one brought up time after time.

And about the fees. It was pointed out that Band and Chorus wouldn't cost because they are classes for credit. But it was told to me that the understanding of the extra curricular fee is for everyone regardless if they participate in anything extra because they have class sponsors and class activities. And it was noted that if you qualify for free or reduced lunches then parents would be provided with fee waivers for these extras. Well, first of all the salary amounts are figured on gross income only. Not expenses. So many people don't qualify for these programs because they supposedly make too much. Doesn't mean though that we can still afford the extras. $150.00 to play basketball, then another $150.00 for shoes, socks, practice jerseys, etc. It doesn't stop there. Olympia charges the same fee for sports that is being proposed to our board, but they limit it to paying for 2 sports even if they participate in more. But also, they have tryouts and you have to make the team before you have to pay the fee. I feel a limit needs to be set.

And asking people to take pay cuts is a thought, but is it realistic? How many people would take a voluntary pay cut? Involuntary, they wouldn't have a choice, but to be asked if they would take a cut, I doubt many would.

The editorial talks of a proposal that Lieutenant Governor Quinn has, and also urges us to contact our Representatives demanding that they support this proposal. It only takes a few minutes to do this and I for one think it is a good idea. We need to be heard and we need to get the State to reinstate some of the funding they have cut. Perhaps Dave could provide on the website the address of our Representatives and maybe even a sample letter so we can do that. Maybe more of us would take those few minutes if a layout were provided.

Yes, something has to happen. I don't want to see the school suffer anymore than the next person. I want my kids to have opportunities and I want to stay in a small town. How can we do this? We as a SCHOOL DISTRICT, need to figure that out. Are we going to come up with solutions that everyone likes? No. It just isn't going to happen. Back in 1992 M-D-R was doing ok, but Toluca and Wenona needed help. So a referendum passed and people voted to combine Minonk, Dana, Rutland, Toluca and Wenona. And Fieldcrest is the result. And they did what they thought was right back then by dividing up the schools the way they did. Was it right? Perhaps not. Maybe a new school should have been built to start with. But that is the past and now we have to learn from mistakes and move forward. We are now all one and we are all, as one school district, in trouble. Why single out each town now?

Kim Barth

Editor's note: To email Senator Rutherford, click here or go to his website at http://www.danrutherford.com. I did not include a form letter since I want Senator Rutherford to feel that each letter came from the heart. I would just simply state that you feel that Lt. Governor Quinn's proposal to fund education is a good idea and that you want him to do whatever is required to help increase funding for education.

Enjoying website from Texas

I was surfing the web and came upon your web site and found it very interesting.

My Great Grandfather was Max Leiken. My Grandfather was Joseph Jacob Leiken brother of Ben and Isadore Leiken. My mother is Debra Leiken.

It was fun seeing some old photos and reading the history of the town.


Mark Pell
Bullard, Texas

School fees are elitist


I just read the proposals put forth by the advisory committee for Fieldcrest. I realize there may be few options, yet I find this approach a bit appalling. If I understood your article, all high school students will be charged $200 for various activities such as yearbook, student council, national honor society, etc. This is a huge burden to place on the parents. Heaven help the parents who are unlucky enough to have several children in this school system at the same time. On top of this, there is a $150 fee for any student that wishes to participate in sports? This goes a long way in enforcing a capitalistic, elitist sociological hierarchy - only the wealthy can play. Don't the wealthy already benefit from enough perks in life? I did notice one thing that is often left out of these discussions, or is at least not mentioned in your web site - what about music? Is band affected by these cuts? Does it fall under the $200 fee or the $150 fee?

Eric Olson