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Local News

Bell Road and Route 6 deemed hazardous by Minooka school board

MINOOKA – There likely will be one more hazardous walking route added to Minooka Community High School District 111’s existing six hazardous routes.

The school board Thursday approved adding the intersection of Bell Road and Route 6 to its list and requesting the Illinois Department of Transportation add it to their reimbursable bus route list.

The state reimburses school districts’ transportation costs for students who live farther than one-and-a-half miles from their school or who would have to walk through a defined hazardous route to get there.

IDOT will declare certain sites hazardous, according to Assistant Superintendent of Business John Troy, based on a cumulation of points from criteria such as whether there are sidewalks along the walk to school, the age of the children who use the route, traffic, speed limit, width of roads to cross and how close sidewalks are to the street.

The Bell Road and Route 6 intersection meets most of the qualifications to be officially considered a hazardous route, according to Troy, and the board chose to give its allowed two points to make up the difference.

Troy said most of the students along that route live in Ravine Woods, north of Route 6. They have to cross the busy Route 6 south, then cross Bell Road west to get to South Campus.

Both roads have a lot of traffic, he said, and there was a traffic incident with a fatality at the intersection in 2011, involving two vehicles. Several parents have called the district asking for the route to be classified as hazardous.

Troy said if the site is declared a hazardous route, district buses would be able to accommodate the extra students with no overcrowding.

Other sites that have already been declared hazardous routes in the South Campus area are Route 6 at McKinley Woods Road, Route 6 at South Copper Leaf Drive, and Condor Court at Bell Road.

The school board Thursday also approved an agreement with Visual Image Photography Inc. to take underclass portraits, senior portraits, dance portraits, and sports and activities photographs for the school. VIP will also provide student and staff identification cards and, on request, will train yearbook staff photographers.

Under the agreement, the school will also receive a 10 percent commission of the gross profits VIP makes from selling underclass portraits if those sales exceed $2,500. Troy said based on prior years, that amount is estimated to be about $9,000.

The contract was approved as a one-year agreement, effective July 1, with a renewal option of up to two additional years.

The school board also recognized student A.J. Wojtowicz for being named to the 2017 Bassmaster High School All-State Fishing Team.

According to Community Relations Director Dave DiLorenzo, Wojtowicz is one of only two Illinois high school bass fishermen presented with the honor, and is the first from the Minooka Community High School program.

Coach Stan Tischer told the board that Wojtowicz is a good teammate and helps the younger fishermen on the team. He also runs an at-home business, Bass-Tuff Baits, where he makes and sells fishing jigs.

The board also recognized four American Legion Post 1188 Essay Contest winners, each of whom received a certificate and a monetary prize. Senior Abigail Holloway won first place in the junior and senior category. Winning first, second and third in the freshman and sophomore category were Nicole Kijowski, Genevieve McPartlin and Hunter Russell, respectively.

Kijowski also won first place at the district level.

Minooka graduation this year will take place 7 p.m. May 21 in the stadium. According to teacher Donna Engel, seating on the field will be “flipped” this year to better keep the setting sun out of attendees' eyes.

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