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Emails for April 2015
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My after thoughts addressed to the school board after last nights meetings | Rockin and Runnin for St. Jude! | Town Wide Garage Sale map available | Donald Rients announces candidacy for Congress | Wind Turbines | Fieldcrest South Playground Committee to host flower sale May 2 | Fieldcrest Board of Education to hold community meetings | Loose dog caught | Lost/confused dog roaming the area | Food recall from Minonk Township Food Pantry | very well put | Fieldcrest School Cuts | To The Minonk Ward #1 Voters | Thanks | St. Jude Bingo Night Tickets Still Available! | Town Wide Garage Sale Reminder | Coming Home | Response to Walter Renken's Email |

Rockin and Runnin for St. Jude!

The Minonk to Peoria St. Jude Runners are hosting a Rockin and Runnin event on Sat. June 6th in downtown Minonk. There will be a chalk the walks contest, kids fun run, 5 K Run/Walk, food, 50/50's, raffles, beer tent and live music by Gas Road Riot and Jury's Out! Event kicks of at 3 pm and will go till midnight. You can pre-register for the kids fun and 5K Run/Walk online at Register by May 15th to guarantee your shirt and goody bag! Come and support the kids of St. Jude! Thank you!

Tami Tallyn

Donald Rients announces candidacy for Congress

Hi, My Name is Donald Rients; I am seeking the 18th District Representative seat in Congress. I was raised on a farm at Dana, Illinois. I attended and graduated from Minonk-Dana-Rutland High School and Illinois Central College. I have lived in rural Benson, Illinois since 1987. I have been married for 27 years. I have six children, two boys and four girls, ranging in ages from seven to twenty years old. My family and I attend the Apostolic Christian Church.

I am a Christian Conservative Republican. I believe:

1. The government should operate within the bounds of a balanced budget. If this is not accomplished soon I feel that this county will be in ruin.
2. The government should serve the people, not the people serving the government.
3. What the government expects of its citizens, it should also expect of itself.
4. That the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, should never be infringed upon.

I believe that there needs to be a person that represents the everyday working people of this district. We need someone who understands and knows our issues. We need someone who will stay strong on his beliefs, standup for what is right, and not waiver to special interests groups and big money. When I saw the field of candidates (only Darin LaHood running at the time) I thought "is that it?" I felt I had to do something. My wife and I prayed about this and the decision was made to run for this office. I am the Candidate that best reflects the people of this district.

When you go to the polls to vote remember what you are voting for, ask yourself - Do you want more of the same out of government, or do you want someone who has had the desire to consistently live and work in this district?

Donald Rients
1968 County Road 2300 E
Benson, IL


Fieldcrest South Playground Committee to host flower sale May 2

"The Fieldcrest South Playground Committee will host their 1st annual flower sale on May 2, 2015 from 9-3 pm.This event will take place across from Pop's Sweet Shop in Minonk, IL.
We have partnered with Granby's Greenhouse Inc. and will offer planters, hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and more! These are top quality plants that you won't want to miss!
Funds generated from this sale will be used towards playground equipment for the South elementary students.
For more information and pre-orders please contact
Gloria Ehrnthaller, 815-867-1362, or
Amanda Whited, 309-645-1637,"

Gloria Ehrnthaller

Loose dog caught

I caught this baby today.

Kim Tannahill Livingston

Food recall from Minonk Township Food Pantry

I just received word that there is a recall on food that may have been distributed at the Minonk Township Food Pantry on April 2. The recall is on certain SKUs of Sabra Classic Hummus. To check your containers of Hummus, please check the following website: Because we do not keep information about our clients and I have no way to contact clients, we will have to rely on word of mouth. If you or someone you know comes to the Pantry, please encourage them to go to the website.

Lila McCulley

Fieldcrest School Cuts

I understand that funding is an issue and the School Board has no control over how much money is received. I feel that the school board is looking in the wrong direction on where to make cuts. The most influential time for children is birth to age 8. This is the time that they are learning the basics that they will continue to build on. This is the time when they need the smallest class sizes and teachers aides.

I did 20 minutes of research and came up with the figures below. I got the High School sizes from the IHSA website and the staff information from each school's websites. As you can see below, Fieldcrest has double the Administration and Office Staff as other schools that have more students.

Tremont HS - 320 Students - 1 Principal and 1 Counselor
Fieldcrest HS - 353 students - 1 Principal, 1 Student of Deans, and 2 Counselors
Shelbyville HS - 363 students - 1 Principal and 1 Counselor
Hoopston HS - 376 Students - 1 Principal and 1 Counselor
El Paso Gridley HS - 395 students - 1 Principal and 1 Counselor
Eureka HS - 479 students - 1 Principal, 1 Assistant Principal and 1 Counselor

Another concern, is that it was reported by the School Board about the poor shape of the Wenona school and the extreme cost to fix it. I have recently learned that due to the cuts, Fieldcrest South will only hold one class per grade and the other students will be sent to Wenona and Toluca. I don't understand why we would be putting students into Wenona school if it is in bad shape. To my knowledge, nothing has been said about Fieldcrest South being in bad shape. Why wouldn't you move students to a better building?

Please write the School Board members and Fieldcrest Administration if you have concerns about where the cuts are being made. They will not know people's concerns, unless we tell them how we feel and try to help come up with other options.

Kristi Tjaden


I would like to thank Ward 3 for their support. It will be a privilege to serve the residents of Minonk for 4 years.

Nick Cavera

Nick Cavera

Town Wide Garage Sale Reminder

Just a reminder that the Town Wide Garage Sale is Saturday, April 25 from 8 am to 2 pm. If you want to participate please print out the attachment or pick up a form from IGA or Minonk Community Bank. Please return the form to me at 626 Locust Street or in the boxes at IGA or Minonk Community Bank. The deadline for filling out the form is Monday, April 20th. After that time I will be emailing everyone a copy of the map of the sales and posting a copy on

The sales are advertised in the following papers: The Woodford County Journal, and the Woodford Star; Streator Times Press; Toluca Star Herald; El Paso Journal and Craigslist. Each and every ad has a date/time of the sale and that the sales will be posted on this website for everyone to see.

Cathy McKay

Coming Home

Hi Dave,

Just a quick note to let you know that my wife (Linda) and I have been RV traveling in the Lower 48 since the end of September. We will be visiting Minonk April 20-27 before beginning our long journey back to Alaska. While in Minonk we'll be parked at my Aunt Adele Stalter's home at 901 West 4th. Looking forward to visiting old friends.

A Faithful Follower of MinonkTalk

Loren Smith
North Pole, Alaska


My after thoughts addressed to the school board after last nights meetings

Before tonight's meeting, I had a chance to talk to Mrs. DeBlaey about many of my concerns. She had already de-bunked many of my main focal points for the evening and answered many of the questions that I had in regards to the reading model before the school board walked into the room. Again, how unfortunate that she has been let go! Even if she were offered to take the position as an aide, it is a demotion and degrading to her personally, especially with the level of knowledge and effort that she obviously put into her classroom this year! In the future, I think it would be wise if we consider investing adequate training for veteran teachers in the district that will not be faced with the possibility of being cut due to lack of appropriate funding from year to year thus allowing them the opportunity to be Lead teachers in Pilot classrooms in their buildings.

Also, after listening to Pat, I wished that my children in the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms at West, or even all of the children in the K-5 classrooms at West for that matter,had been recieving the same learning opportunities and experiences as those benefiting from this program at East. WOW!! I was very impressed to hear the amazing results and the wonderful learning outcomes they've witnessed! Bravo to their team!

That being said, I still feel there is some validity in my observations and my concerns.
1. I think that it is imperative that the board and public realize that there are 4 adults working with literacy efforts in the First grade classroom at East. This puts the experience for those 18 students to about a ratio of 5:1. Overcrowding the classrooms and no aide support will not show the same results.
2. What about the rest of the students and teachers in other classrooms in this district? I asked Mrs. Allen during the meeting if there was data available for my children's classrooms at West and she responded with a "No, there's not, but there will be eventually." How many students will fall through the cracks while this district gets their act together? Can this district really provide each child with personalized and individualized coaching? Can we provide each classroom with a 5:1 student to teacher ratio? In the next 7 years will this approach be placed on a shelf, dollars spent and efforts made tossed aside for the next, latest best thing that comes around with all the flutes and whistles? This has been an ongoing trend, curriculums and material I said a huge amount of money was spent on Reading and Math textbook purchases during the 2007-2008 school years. Teachers were barely getting their feet wet into those series when along came this?! This is wasteful and unneccessary. Any curriculum that is being truly invested in, where all teachers are given adequate training and supports, will have a result in higher student achievement and will show measured growth over time.

3. On an entirely different note, we may have gotten a little side tracked with the emphasis on reading, when STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) are also hot issues on the plate in regards to best practices. I'm not sure if the district or public is aware, but currently the 5th grade Science books have a 1992 year of publication. The irony of this is, one of the 5th grade teachers teaching from the book was born the year of the publishing!!
Are we investing just as much into all core curriculum subject areas? Why is it acceptable to present students with science knowledge content that was current 23 years ago, but not reading materials purchased 8 years ago? Why haven't these books been shelved? I guess, the statistics mentioned tonight would prove that at least the students will be able to read the books by the time they reach the 5th grade, that's a plus!

4. I'd also like to mention that I requested to bring to the meeting copies of the textbooks that are now sitting on shelves to present to present this evening and I was refused. The reason given to me by Mrs. Allen was that I do not currently have students enrolled in the district (My husband and I pulled our children out of the district after the first quarter parent teacher conferences this year). I asked Gloria Ernthaller, who is hired as a district sub and also has students enrolled, to request these materials at Fieldcrest South. She was also denied, however she was given the excuse that these books are no longer being used as curriculum in the district and that Mrs. Allen had already told "amy s." no. Gloria has this in email. Why?

My concern is is 'trending-spending' practical when we are in a financial crisis? Is having the latest, newest model and approach on the market out there what's best for a school district struggling to survive? When it comes to being a lighthouse, I'd rather shine in the fact that we were wise decision makers and able to make the necessary cuts while also using the materials and resources we already had in order to focus on what truly mattered, educating children!

Amy Stutzman

Town Wide Garage Sale map available

Minonks Town Wide Garage Sale is this Saturday, April 25 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. There are many, many items listed on the map. Thanks to all who participated and good luck with your sales. click here to download the map.

Cathy McKay

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines Can be Hazardous to Human Health Dr. Salt, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis has a research lab for studies of the inner ear. I had heard about the children and adults in Minonk who developed brain tumors/cancer and after reading his article at the above link, just wondered if the ultrasound energy from the wind turbines could cause cancer, as well as inner ear problems. I was unaware until reading this article, that wind turbines cause ultrasound frequencies. There is also this:

Ann Lee

Fieldcrest to hold community meetings

The Fieldcrest Board of Education is announcing a series of community meetings to speak directly to the public and to hear public ideas regarding the building project the Board has been discussing recently. Members of the public are invited to attend and contribute their ideas to the conversation.

The dates and locations are as follows:

May 6, 7:00 pm - West
May 13, 7:00 pm - East
May 14, 7:00 pm - High school


Dr. Daniel L. Oakley, Superintendent
Fieldcrest Community Unit School District 6
1 Dornbush Drive
Minonk, IL 61760


Lost/confused dog roaming the area

Dave, can you put on MinonkTalk that there is a lost/confused dog roaming out in the country the area between Rt 116 (on the south) and Minonk's 1st Street (on the north). Last week it was a along Rt 116, a mile east of Rt 251. This morning it was at the intersection of the Dana blacktop & Minonk's 1st Street. I don't know dog types, so I can't be helpful that way. However, it is a small to small-med size dog. It has a longer tail with long white hair. I hope someone knows the owner and can help.

Colleen Weber

very well put

Wow, a big high five to Kristi Tjaden on her email about the Fieldcrest crisis. Great job on the research and everything she wrote i truly agree with. I have no children in the Fieldcrest school district but i do have 2 grandchildren that belong to this district. I for one cannot understand why the school board keeps cutting teachers and putting our children in overcrowded classrooms. The students are our future, without proper education they will not be able to be productive in this ever changing society. I for one and sure there are many others who feel this way, that isn't it possible to possibly make cuts in the administration part of our school district instead of cutting teachers, and overcrowding our children in the classrooms.

If the school boards plans to cut teachers, than I would think each school in the district will not need every principal and assistant principal. Perhaps the Principals should be cut and one principal can take care of several schools. Half day at one and half day at the other. Especially in the Grade schools. And why does the High School need 2 guidance counselors? When my 2 children went to Fieldcrest the student population was about the same and they only employed 1 guidance counselor. What changed that the school board feels the need for 2 of them. And having an assistant principal, principal and a superintendent in the High School is in my opinion over spending and unnecessary.

Also, like Kristi wrote why would we send children to a school that is deemed in bad shape and no air conditioning. They want to tear it down, but yet they want to send more kids there. I agree with Kristi, write or email the school board members and let them know how you feel before its too late and the damage is done! Take a look at Administration and office staff before making the children of the Fieldcrest school district suffer with overcrowding classrooms.

School is more difficult these days than when i was in school which has been many years ago so why make the kids suffer. They need the best education they can receive and if this continues Fieldcrest will not be the school that will bring more people to the towns that are in the district. I can only see it driving people away.


To The Minonk Ward #1 Voters

I really appreciate all of the people who voted for me. It was really nice to see that so many people have confidence in me to do what is right for the people of Minonk.
I would like as much inpurt from as many different voices as possible.
Thank you very much.

Jack Marcoline

Jack Marcoline

St. Jude Bingo Night Tickets Still Available!

St. Jude Bingo Night Tickets are Still Available! Call Beth Hakes at (309)432-4026 to purchase now and guarantee a seat! Bingo Night is this Saturday April 11th in Rutland. Doors open at 5, play begins at 6:30. Get a group of friends or family together and join us for food, drinks, and lots of chances to win really great prizes and raffles - all to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!

Sonja Frei

Response to Walter Renken's Email

This is in response to an email that Walter Renken - retired - Whittier California sent in March stating that the "high paying board itself" should of taken a pay cut. I would like to point out that being on the Fieldcrest School Board is a NON-PAYING position. So to suggest they are high paying board members is ludicrous and sows discord.

Richard S