January 2001.
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January 2001 news

January 14

Caucuses were held Tuesday night to nominate candidates for the Minonk Township Board Trustees. Nominated for the Republican Party were Jim Meyer, supervisor; Henry Budde, clerk; James Baumann, highway commissioner; Ron Seggerman, trustee; Alan Rients, trustee; Roger Janssen, trustee; and Wilbur Whitcomb, trustee. Nominated for the Democratic Party were Mae Copp, trustee; margaret Roberta, trustee; and Joseph McKay, trustee.
The lawyer for Judy McNamara, a Fieldcrest High School teacher accused of slapping a student, asked for a new judge because of the judge's past working relationship with the county's prosecutor.
The lawyer, Paul Welch, stated that Judge Robert Freitag and State's Attorney Michael Stroh worked together in the McLean County state's attorney's office. Welch stated that a judge cannot hear a case if the judge has worked in private practice with one of the principals in the last three years. Welch felt that the state's attorney office is a private practice. The court felt otherwise and denied Welch's request.

Ms. McNamara is accused of slapping a student during a basketball game last January 15, 2000. If convicted of aggravated battery, she could face up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine. She has pleaded innocent to the charges.

The Minonk IGA was robbed on Thursday night, December 28. According to Minonk Police, cigarettes were the only itmes taken. An employee coming to work in the morning found the front door broken. No arrests have been made. The case is currently under investigation.

January 21

The Motel 6 opening is being delayed due to a state inspector's decision on public restrooms according to an interview with one of the workers at the site. Supposedly, the motel is required to have public restrooms available in the lobby area. It is not known if this requirement will be enforced prior to the opening of the motel. Meanwhile, finishing touches are being made to the motel.
The Fieldcrest School Board approved a $980,000 bond issue that was approved in last November's election. The money is to be used to construct a new wing at Elementary South in Minonk.

Superintendent John Capasso said that the other building project, located at Elementary West, should be completed in March. He added that the design draft for the Elementary South addition should be completed by March.

Six candidates, including four incumbments, are vying for a seat on the Fieldcrest School District School Board. The incumbments seeking re-election are Tom Barth of Minonk, Tim McNamara of Dana and Patricia Schmillen of Rutland. Also, running are James Bane and Christine Kliber, both from Wenona, and John Ehrnthaller of Rutland.

Incumbment Cynthia Bernardi of Toluca is running unopposed for an unexpired two-year term currently held by Terry Miller who is not seeking re-election.

Candidates for the upcoming city wide elections in April have turned in their petitions. The deadline was Tuesday January 23. The only mayoral candidate is Mark Spencer, current alderman in the First Ward. Incumbment councilman Sean Cunningham is running unopposed in the Second Ward. In the First Ward Mathew Fink is running against incumbment Shelly Butler. In the Third Ward Bill Koos is running against incumbment Wayne Tucker. Secretary William Hart and Treasurer Dean Tucker retired from the Rob Morris Lodge No. 247 at their first meeting of the year on January 22. Hart had served since 1968 and Tucker had been treasurer since 1962.

The oficers for 2001 are as follows: James Meyer, W. Master; Vernon Matter, Senior Warden; William Tealby, Junior Warden; Richard Vaughn, Treasurer; Russell McCulley, Secretary; Wilbur Whitcomb, Senior Deacon; William Hart, Junior Deacon; Paul Vallow, Senior Steward; Jeffrey Zivney, Junior Steward; Avril Cartern, Chaplin; Raymond Zivney, Marshall; John Podzamsky, Tyler.

Marine Corps lance Cpl. Matthew Hovey, son of Melissa and Tim Hovey of Minonk, returned from a 6 month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf. He is assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

During his deployment, Hovey's unit defended U. S. policy and supported international interests in the Middle East and Europe.

Hovey is a 1999 graduate of fieldcrest High School. He joined the Marine Corps in January 1999.

For the sixth year since its inception, the Fieldcrest East will host a state grade school basketball tournament in Wenona. The seventh grade tournament will take place February 3, 5, 7, and 8. Tournament managers Bill Seifert and Dan Wieczorek have set ticket rices at $4 for adults and $2 for students.

Fieldcrest High School will also sponsor the high school boys regional tournament, February 20-23 at Minonk.

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