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February 2Tremont defeated Fieldcrest 59-54 behind the 29 points of Kristen Endress Monday night at Minonk. Amber Pescitelli led the Knights with 19 points while Sara Fluech had 9 points. The Lady Knights are now 8-16 for the season.
Tremont eliminated Fieldcrest from the MidState Conference Tournament by a score of 64-39. Adam James led the Turks with 27 points while Eric Heider was the scoring leader for the Knights with 13 points. Josh Baker had 11 points for Fieldcrest as their record is now 14-6.
Fieldcrest girls won their opening game in the Dwight Regional by defeating Tri-Point 34-31 Monday night. Jamie Arndt led the Knights with 12 points while Kristin Ghiglieri had 11 points. Sara Fluech had 10 rebounds. Fieldcrest plays Flanagan Tuesday night.
City administrator Trent Smith said that the drilling of Well #4 has reached a depth of 1200 feet. Drilling must reach a depth of 1900 feet before the desired water vein is reached. Smith said that at the rate of drilling the well should be completed by the end of next week. The drillers are now able to use water to help drill the well rather than pounding which reduces considerably the noise level at the drilling site.
Vandals knocked over 11 old monuments stole candles at the Minonk Township Cemetery on or about January 9, 2003, according to Rodney Ruestman, the cemetery sexton. The Woodford Co Sheriff's Dept. has taken a report and pictures of the overturned monuments but, as of yet, no suspects have been taken into custody.
A $200.00 reward will be given for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of this individual.
Ruestman said, "Someone has to have a sick mind to do something like this. Last spring someone stole candles and landscape lights, but this is the first real damage in 27 years. It is going to take a lot of work to get them back in place."
Any who has any information should call Russell Ruestman at the Woodford County State's Attorney's Office, 309-467-3212. Callers may remain anonymous.
February 9Top seeded Flanagan overpowered Fieldcrest 55-29 to gain a berth for the championship game. The Lady Knights scoring leader was Amber Pescitelli with 11 points. The Lady Knights finished the season with a 9-17 record.
Fieldcrest's balanced scoring attack defeated Eureka 71-56 Tuesday night at Minonk. Josh Baker led the Knights with 18 points. Eric Heider and Shaun Manning both had 17 points as the Knights improved their season record to 16-7.
Fieldcrest downed Tremont 63-50 Friday night at Minonk. Shaun Manning led the Knights with 18 points and Eric Heider made 14 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to keep Fieldcrest (8-2) one game behind El Paso in the Midstate Conference. Josh Baker had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Knights as they improved their record to 17-7 overall.
February 16Fieldcrest ended up in a tie for the Midstate Conference title by beating Gridley 65-43 Friday night at Gridley. The Knights easily overcame the Redskins behind the 28 points of Shaun Manning that included a perfect six out of six 3 pointers. Eric Heider added 24 point for the Knights. The win coupled with El Paso's loss to Ridgeview left Fieldcrest in a tie with El Paso and Flanagan for the conference title.
The Millenium Committee met with the Farnsworth Group Thursday night at the Immanuel Lutheran Church to develop a plan for constructing the recreational park at the north edge of Minonk. The project is being funded in part through a matching $302,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
Neil Finlen of the Farnsworth Group said that a topographical study will be done next week to determine what grading needs to be done and to determine if a retention pond will be needed. Millenium Committee President Ned Leiken said that he felt that the project should involve a retention pond because it will be an attractive feature of the park if properly landscaped.
Jeff Gastel, the project engineer from the Farnsworth Group, said plans on what type of skate park and inline hockey field to develop must be completed. The inline skating park would sit above ground and can be portable if necessary. Ned Leiken asked if the inline hockey field could be flooded during the winter and used as a skating rink. Gastel said that would be possible. Gastel said that the type of shelter and landscaping must also be determined.
Finlen indicated that the goal is to advertise bids by May so that construction can start in June. He said that it is important to get started in June so that construction can be completed by September when seeding can be done. He added that if the project can be done in an timely and efficient manner, that it will reflect well on the committee and improve its chances of getting more grants from the DNR.
Finlen said that the city must do some tile work on the site before construction can be started. Mayor Mark Spencer said that the city would complete the tile work by April. Finlen also said he would check with an insurance company to determine if the city can be indemnified from liability on the recreational site. A policy needs to be written that would enable the Millennium Committee to pay for the insurance even though the land would belong to the city.
Bob Hakes asked Finlen to give the committee assurance that the grant funds will not be pulled from the project by the state due to the current economic crisis. Finlen did not think that the state would do this but would verify it. Finlen stated that this was a great project for the city and he is grateful to be involved.
The committee's next meeting will be March 20 at City Hall. To view the plans of the proposed recreational park, click here.
February 23Fieldcrest Superintendent Michael Stagliano told the Fieldcrest Board of Education that is possible that the state may withhold its last two state aid payments to the district thereby piling on top of a deficit that already sits at $659,000 this year. District 6 receives approximately $2,227,984.90 in state aid in 24 installments. At the Thursday night board meeting, Stagliano stated that the last two payments of $92,832.80 are normally paid by June 30, the end of the school's fiscal year. If the state withholds the last two payments until July, which is the next fiscal year, it will leave a $185,665.60 gap in this year's budget. He said that the district should know by March or April if the payments will be late. If the payments are to be late, it may require the school district to borrow the money in order to pay the bills according to Stagliano.
Board President Joe Knapp said that efforts should be made by the board to get people to write to their state legislator urging them not to withhold the last two payments beyond the end of the fiscal year. He asked Stagliano to put a notice on the school's website and in the local media asking taxpayers to write their legislator.
Superintendent Stagliano said that a new Senate Bill 23, referred to as EFAB, is being introduced into the Illinois Senate in an effort to make the state education funding more equitable. The proposed bill intends to shift some of the tax burden away from the property tax and place more reliance on state and corporate income tax. The bill would set the foundation level at $5,665 per pupil Transporation costs would be reimbursed based on a state-wide formula rather than on actual cost, which should benefit the Fieldcrest School District according to Stagliano. He also said that the bill has incentives for less cost effective school districts to merge. The board passed a resolution supporting Senate Bill 23.
Board President Joe Knapp said that efforts will be made to inform the public of the district's financial situation. Knapp said that Fieldcrest's instructional expenditures per student is $3800 compared to the state average of $4667. He said that if the public is made aware of the school district's efforts to control cost, they will be more supportive of the tax referedum in April. Knapp stated that if the state fails to step up to the plate, then the local community must step in and resolve the financial crisis.
In other news, Fieldcrest Elementary South Principa Rebecca Hardine encouraged everyone to come to the open house at Fieldcrest South in Minonk on March 11. Hardine said that a District School Improvement Day will be held on March 12. A demonstration of a new computerized testing service will be given. Harding said that the new test automatically determines at what level each student is functioning. She said the new testing program costs $10,000 compared to $11,000 for the current STS test used by the school. Superintendent Stagliano said that the new testing program is more consistent with the state initiatives.
Superintendent Stagliano said that the new elevator installed at Fieldcrest East is now operable. Completion of the bathroom renovations should be finished in two weeks to end the project. Dry walling has been completed as well as painting. Flooring and ceiling treatments are underway. Fixtures are to be set in about two weeks. Stagliano said that Leander Construction Company is to be commended for their efforts in completing this project with the minimum of disruptions to the school routine. He also stated that the new kitchen at Fieldcrest Elementary South is still not finished.
Stagliano stated that the district has received 75% of its funding for the fiscal year while 61% of expenditures have been made. He indicated that the school is putting a clamp on unnecessary spending and that the school is not spending as fast as last year.
In personnel matters, the board approved a maternity leave request for Hillary Rigsby, MS East, 6-8 math
and a maternity leave request for Wendy K. Smith, MS East, 6-7 language arts.