UNIT 2 FY08 BUDGET PASSED BY BOARD MEMBERS MONDAY NIGHT
The Unit 2 School Board met Monday night and passed the Fiscal Year 2008 budget for the district. The final budget reflects a projected possible increase in state aid, as passed by the Governor, but is awaiting approval by the Illinois General Assembly. If the increase is not passed, the budget would need to be amended by the end of the year.
Superintendent Melanie Allyn reported that the district would be receiving nearly $93,000 in a Truants' Alternative & Optional Education Program (TAOEP) grant. The funding will allow the district to hire a social worker and possibly a part-time resource officer, as a way of meeting the needs of students who may be in danger of "falling through the cracks", according to Allyn.
In other business, the Unit 2 School Board voted to issue a Letter of Intent to Honeywell to furnish equipment and services to the district, in return for a specific annual fee. Some of the objectives include, providing efficiency and aesthetic improvements and reducing energy costs. And Athletic Director Joe Alstat presented a web-based athletic program to enhance communication regarding school sports with students, parents and the public.
FORMER HIGHLAND MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER
George Luna, age 37, of Benton, Kentucky, a town of about 4200 people, has been indicted by the Grand Jury of Marshall County Kentucky for alleged Murder and Arson, in the 1st Degree. Luna is a former area resident, having lived in Highland and Troy.
In early September, a fire was reported at a residence in the 1300 block of Scale Road, in Marshall County Kentucky. Palma Briensburg Firemen responded and reported discovery of the body of a woman inside the structure. The Marshall County Coroner, area police departments, and the Kentucky State Fire Marshal's Office were called to investigate the case.
Three days after the fire, the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office released information on the case. The body found in the fire was identified as 46 year-old Debra S. Hendrickson of Benton, Kentucky. Hendrickson was a resident at the location of the fire. The autopsy also revealed the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head and the death was ruled a homicide.
The next day, the case was presented to the Marshall County Grand Jury. Following deliberation, the Grand Jury returned an indictment, charging George Luna, a resident/boarder of the Scale Road residence of Hendrickson, with alleged Murder and Arson in the first degree.
Luna was apprehended in Williamson County Illinois, on I-57, south of Marion, traveling at approximately 100 miles an hour, driving a truck owned by Hendrickson. Search warrants were served and evidence collected, at the scene, from Luna, and from the vehicle, for analysis. Luna was held in the Williamson County Jail on traffic charges and other unrelated charges. The indictment warrant charging Luna with alleged Murder and Arson, was sent to Williamson County, where it was served and the extradition process begun.
At this time, Luna is still in the Williamson County Jail awaiting action on charges in Illinois. Following action on pending charges, he will be extradited to Marshall County Kentucky. The Marshall County investigation, into the murder and arson, continues.
MULBERRY GROVE UNIT 1 BOARD MEETS
The Mulberry Grove Unit 1 Board of Education met Monday night. The annual budget presentation started at 6:30 with the regular meeting at 7:00 PM. Doug Ess of Glass & Shuffett, presented the District Audit Report for 2006-2007. The report was positive in all accounts, showing substantial growth in each district fund. Junior / Senior High School Principal Mike Gauch updated the board with recent ISAT & PSAE scores. All classes tested, showed state Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
Dan Steiner presented the board with a request for consideration of a memorial representing fallen classmates who lost their lives serving in the Vietnam War. The board accepted the request and will study the issue.
Following closed session, the board approved the 2007-2008 District Budget and the application for recognition of schools for Mulberry Grove Elementary, Junior High, High School, and Community Unit School District #1 for 07-08. They also hired Aristede Ephron as Elementary Basketball Coach for 07-08, approved suspending health rules and policies to comply with new Illinois Legislation and approved, by resolution, the waiver of Lincoln's birthday from the District Calendar from 2008-2013.
The next meeting of the MGCU#1 Board of Education will be October 22, 2007, at 6:30 PM.