Monday, December 21, 2015

Pontiac Police Looking for Missing Person in Pontiac

lou lowery
Pontiac Police are asking for the public's help in looking for a missing person from Pontiac. 80 year old Louis Lowery was last seen Saturday morning at his home in Pontiac. He is described as an African American man who is believed to be wearing a grey sweatshirt, sweatpants, and white tennis shoes. He is 5'7'' and weighs 160 pounds. He is believed to have left his home on Dorothy Drive in Pontiac on foot and his direction was unknown. He does not have a vehicle or cell phone with him and is believed to be suffering from dementia.

On Sunday afternoon, Pontiac Police and the Livingston County Sheriff's Office launched a search effort, as well as a group of community volunteers who also did a search. Neither one came up with anything.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pontiac Police Department at (815) 844-0911 or share information to the department's Facebook page.

Ford County Sheriff's Report: December 13-19

The following is a list of activies at the Ford County Sheriff's office during the week on December 13th through the 19th. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Complaints Reported
  • On December 13th, deputies assisted a Melvin resident with removing a possum from her home.
  • On December 14th, a report of a domestic battery was taken in Clarence.
  • Also on the 14th, a deputy assisted Illinois Department of Transportation personnel on Route 47 with a tree that has fallen across the roadway.
  • Also on the 14th, multiple officers from several local jurisdictions assisted with an inmate who was combative while being treated at the Gibson Area Hospital Emergency Room.
  • On December 15th, a deputy assisted the Illinois State Police with a semi on Route 47 that was blocking the roadway.
  • Also on the 15th, a report of telephone threats was taken in Melvin.
  • On December 16th, a commercial burglar alarm was received in Sibley.
  • Also on the 16th, a deputy assisted the Gibson City Police Department with a suicide.
  • Also on the 16th, a deputy and a Paxton Police officer assisted a Ford County Animal Control officer with putting down a sick skunk.
  • Also on the 16th, deputies mediated a disagreement between a mother and her son in Melvin.
  • On December 17th, a deputy assisted with a structure fire in Paxton.
During the week, deputies handled one civil matter and issued six traffic citations.

Friday, December 18, 2015

BUG Award Winners: December 18th


GCMS Elementary School has announced its BUG Award winners for the past week. Winners are as follows:
·         Kindergarten: Kamden Lockhart, Sawyer Sullins, Roy Schlickman, Carson Sexton, and Maysen Frashier
·         1st Grade: Mataya Hill, Kyra Mounts, Maria Hitchcock, and Nathan Bristow
·         2nd Grade: Trevor Benningfield, Adam DeLong, Keegan DeWall, and Alex Barnard
·         3rd Grade: Aleigha Goff, Ava Rexroat, Wyatt Higgins, and Paul Baillie
·         4th Grade: William Baker, Connor Mueller, Carter Kallal, and Jesse Bridgeforth
·         5th Grade: Elizza Koester, Cecilia Goodin, Austin Corry, and Noah Adkins

GCMS Middle School Students of the Month: December

During the past month, the following students were nominated for the Student of the Month Award at GCMS Middle School by staff members at each grade level. Students are as follows:
·         6th Grade: AidenPhillips, Kenley Andreae, Katja Walls, Caleb Ard, Rachel Thomas, Markus Miguel, Peyton Leonard, Eric Luparell, Austin Elliott, Brandon Mueller, Emma Reynolds, and Molly Kroon
·         7th Grade: Jessica Freehill, Brandon Rigoni, Owen Miller, Haley Brown, Isabel Eichelberger, Cody Heavilin, Braden Roesch, Lindsey Heinz, Ryleigh Brown, Alex Killian, Carter Wilson, Nathan Kallal, Skylar Funk, and Liam Killian
·         8th Grade: Hannah Hathaway, Ashley Kaiser, Rylee Tompkins, Taylor Dueringer, Scotty Benninger, Kelsee Cliff, Skylar Nanavati, Lorllii Adams, Rachel Zheng, Hannah Cliff, Autumn Carter, and Natalie Koester
And the Students of the Month for December, as voted on by the faculty are:
·         6th Grade: Markus Miguel, the son of Rachel Miguel of Gibson City.
·         7th Grade: Alex Killian, the son of Steve and Andrea Killian of Gibson City.
·         8th Grade: Kelsee Cliff, the daughter of Jason and Shelley Cliff of Gibson City.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

GCMS School Board Approves Working Cash Bonds

After a very lengthy discussion, the GCMS School Board voted unanimously to issue working cash bonds not to exceed $1 million at its board meeting last night. The bond issue had come to light earlier in light of pending state legislation that may freeze property taxes, meaning that the district will not receive any additional money from property taxes. Superintendent Anthony Galindo told the board that he believes there is a 90 percent chance that the legislation will pass, and the district needs to move forward in case the freeze is passed. Mr. Galindo told the board that the district needs to have the ability to operate without any cuts, and that the only possible solution for the district would be to pass the working cash bonds. At this point, bonds will be taken out at $500,000, with the district hoping that it will not have to take out the full $1 million. Board president Josh Johnson stressed that although the decision was tough to vote on, it was the only solution the district had at the present time in order to operate smoothly.

The board approved the hiring of current Middle School principal Jeremy Darnell as the new Superintendent for the GCMS School District, beginning at the end of the school year. Darnell will replace Mr. Galindo, who is retiring. Darnell has served as principal at the Middle School for the past seven years. Once all contracts and paperwork with Mr. Darnell are wrapped up, the district will begin seeking applicants for the open Middle School principal’s position, which could happen as early as next month.

District curriculum coordinator Erin Nuss gave a presentation to the school board regarding PARCC test scores for the district. GCMS High School ranks 23rd in the state in terms of composite PARCC scores, and beat out several much larger schools in the rankings. Based on current results, over 91% of the incoming freshmen class at GCMS High School are on track to graduate, which Mrs. Nuss gave high importance to. Another accomplishment for the district is that overall test scores are steadily increasing with each additional grade level. Elementary School principal Justin Kean pointed out that all GCMS students took the online version of the exams, which were significantly harder adjustment to take than a traditional paper-and-pencil exam. Mrs. Nuss also reminded everyone that GCMS is paying for current high school juniors to take the ACT exam in March, so there is no need to take the test anywhere else.

Superintendent Anthony Galindo informed the board that Jeff Jackson, who currently holds the mowing contract with the district, has requested to extend the current contract for the next three years. For the first year, no increase in pricing will be made, however, a 10% increase in costs will be adjusted for the second and third years of the contract. The Building and Grounds Committee will consider the proposal at its next meeting. Mr. Galindo also informed the board that the bus transportation contract will need to be bid out soon. He hopes to put a bid out sometime in January.

In other action, the board approved the tax levy for 2015, which was presented in a meeting before the regular board meeting on Thursday night. The board also approved the 2016 board meeting calendar.

The following donations were accepted:
 $500 from Carl and Roger Reum for High School FFA
 $899.64 from Bruce and Amy Killian for High School FFA

And in personnel action, the board approved the following volunteer coaches for winter sports:
 AJ Richard and Kyle Salyards for high school boys’ basketball
 Grant Horsch, Phil Schwing, and Cameron Schwing for high school wrestling
 Caity Heap and Melanie Arends for high school cheerleading
 Stephanie Sexton for the high school dance team

State Representative Tours Ethanol Plant

Representatives from the Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau, as well as a state representative visited Gibson City today as part of the Adopt-A-Legislator Program. State Representative Will Guzzardi of Chicago, along with constituents and farm bureau representatives, toured One Earth Energy in Gibson City to learn about the operations at the plant. The program is designed so that representatives can learn more about what life is like in other districts in the state. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is also participating in the program. Attendees were given a tour of all parts of the plant. They concluded the tour with lunch at Miller Farms in rural Melvin.