Mental health funding in Stark County is threatened

In an effort to save the special project funding for mental health services, representatives from both Stark and Marshall Counties met with Representative David Leitch in Lacon on Saturday, May 2.  The loss of such funding would significantly reduce the access to mental health services in Stark and Marshall Counties.  Called the “Innovative Solutions for Rural Mental Health Access,” this special project was the result of collaboration with the citizens of Stark and Marshall Counties, elected officials, and the Illinois Department of Human Services.  The project has won both state and national awards and serves as a model program in Illinois.
Representing Stark County at the meeting were Sharon Sager, President of the Stark County Health Board and Doris Bogner, member of the Stark County Health Board along with Gail Ripka of the Stark County Citizen’s Mental Health Task Force.
The Stark County Citizen’s Mental Health Task Force was established in 2004.  With the award of State funding in 2005, full time mental health services became available in Stark County.  In addition to access to mental health services, both advocacy and education are components of the program.  With the success in Stark County, the project was expanded to Marshall County in 2007.

New Stark County School Board members seated

The Stark County School District has three new faces on the school board following the recent election.  During the April meeting, board president Brian Rewerts swore in newcomers Matt Nagode, David Steward and Bruce West.  They will replace Skip Turnbull and Keith Knobloch who did not seek reelection and Robin Nowlan who was appointed to finish out the term of Dave Turner.  Nowlan had said when appointed that he did not plan on running for the seat.  Turnbull and Knobloch had both served 12 years on the board.
After the new board was seated, the board voted to elect Rewerts as president, Rob Groter as vice president and Elizabeth Rumbold as secretary.  Barb Loane will continue as the recording secretary for the board.

Travis King arraigned on felony weapons charge

Travis L. King, 23, of Wyoming, was arraigned in Stark County Circuit Court Friday on a Class 3 felony charge of unlawful possession of weapons by a felon.
Court documentation states King on April 2, to be “a person who has been convicted of a felony under the law of Illinois, knowingly possessed firearm ammunition, to wit, .22 caliber firearm ammunition.”

Bradford School awards bids


The Bradford School board awarded two bids for work to be done in the district at their April meeting.  A contract water pipe replacement at the grade school was awarded to Dooley Brothers of Kewanee.  The total bid was for $105,000 of which $50,000 will be covered by a grant.  Two bids for a fire alarm upgrade were received with the board awarding the contract to Ruyle Mechanical Services, Inc of Peoria at a price of $60,700.
The board discussed new math curriculum and felt that a program called GO Math would be the best fit for the district.  Samples of the curriculum will be on display in the Junior High School office for the public to look over.

Highway Dept. secures funds for drainage improvements

The Stark County Highway Department has secured $1.2 million for drainage improvements on Snareville Road.  The funds will be used to replace two culverts damaged during the floods of April 2013.  The Stark County Board approved a resolution on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 to enter into a funding agreement for each of the two projects.  
In a meeting held February 19, 2015, Stark County Engineer, Mark Otten, presented the justification for upgrading the projects from repairs to replacements to representatives of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  Mr. Otten substantiated the fact that the two culverts required replacement - rather than the previously approved repairs – to ensure the safety of the motoring public in Stark County.  The continued degradation of the two culverts since the flood event was shown to be a result of the initial damage caused by the floodwaters.  Until the culverts are replaced, the Stark County Highway Department continues to monitor both culverts and will take the necessary steps to protect the safety of the travelling public at all times.