compiled by Helen Mogill,, 728-2048





               Don’t forget to vote, Tuesday, November 7




Proposed Levy for Ambulance Service


Because the Bloomington/Normal LifeLine is ending their transport service in the near future, the Towanda Fire Department has purchased an ambulance.  They are now a transporting agency for emergencies for the entire Towanda Fire Protection District which includes Indian Creek.  They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, and have a licensed staff of EMT’s who are required to take continuing education to be certified.  There will be a proposition on the November ballot to levy a special tax for the purpose of continuing to support the Towanda Fire Protection District Ambulance.  (For the month of October, the Towanda Fire Department had 5 calls for car accidents, 2 investigations, and 4 medical calls.)



                 Legion Auxiliary Pork Chop Dinner


Pork chop dinner Friday, Nov. 10, serving from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, at the Legion Hall on Hely Street on the south edge of town (just before the curve on the Towanda Barnes blacktop).  Carry outs available.



                   Digital vs Traditional Cameras


The Towanda HCE’s November meeting will feature a lesson by Jeanie Wager on 'Digital vs Traditional Cameras': keys to purchasing and tips on taking good pictures.  Contact Cindy Kelley 663.4796 for information about HCE....and/or plan to attend and learn to 'snap into the holiday/winter season taking pictures'.   

Monday, Nov.13, 7:30 p.m. at the Community Building.




Towanda Library News (on the web at


Family Movie Night  

Fri., Nov. 10 from 6:30-8:30pm:  Cars

Fri., Dec. 8 from 6:30-7:30pm:  The Year Without a Santa Claus


Pajama story time on Family Reading Night   Thur., Nov. 16th 7-8pm

Come join librarian Mary Williams for library stories and a bedtime snack.  All ages of children are invited, and parents, too!  After Mary reads stories, parents may find a cozy corner to read to their own children. 



Make greeting card boxes for holiday gift giving   Mon, Nov. 27 6:30-7:30pm

These little boxes can be used to box homemade gifts but are also pretty enough to be used as gifts themselves!  Volunteer Pat Pulokas from the Towanda Home Extension will show you how to make the boxes and will supply greeting cards and samples.  You will need to bring a ruler and scissors with you to the program.  Please register for this program by calling 728-2176.  Limit 12.


TOWANDA READS!  Tues. Dec. 5th at 7pm

The Friends of the Towanda District Library invite you to join them in a book discussion of March by Geraldine Brooks at president Kay Liebenow’s house.  Attendees are invited to bring a few homemade Christmas cookies to share.  Call the library for more details.


Look What I Can Do

The library has a supply of “Look what I can do” brochures, posters, magnets,  growth charts and pencils from the Illinois Dept. of Human Services and State Board of Education, for parents to track the developmental progress of their children from birth to age 5.  This is an early intervention program and we are pleased to offer these materials to you free of charge.  These materials are located near the Parenting Section in the library.


Board meeting time change

Due to the new library hours, the library board has changed its meeting times from 7pm on the 2nd Monday of the month to 6:30pm on the 2nd Thursday of the month.


A note from the Library Board President

The Towanda District Library is continuing to find ways to enhance the library experiences for you, your children, and the used-to-be resident patrons of our library (expanded hours, downloadable digital audio books and videos, and programs for all ages, to name a few).  We are, however, losing property and income to the Bloomington/Normal expansion as they annex Towanda District Library property and thus take tax revenues with them.  We want you to know that the Board of Directors of the Library is looking at this situation - and we would surely welcome your participation! - Tim Mogill, President, Board of Trustees.


You and your library board

Do you love your library?  Are you over 18?  How about running for a library board seat?  There will be three positions available for the May 2007-2011 term.  We need you!  Contact the library director or the library board president, Tim Mogill, for more information.



Towanda Historical Society


Work has begun on the LSTA grant project.  Funding for this grant was awarded by the Illinois State Library, a Division of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the federal Library Services and Technology Act.  Equipment is ordered and contracts with vendors are being developed.  One of the first orders of business is to move the accumulated files of documents, photographs and materials to the library.  We will begin development of a database that will identify the donor or location, description, year(s) and other pertinent information of the items.  People who may be interested in assisting with the transfer, sorting and documentation should contact the library at 728-2176, or Gail Ann Briggs at 728-2187.


An  OPEN HOUSE  will be held from 2:00-4:00 on Sunday, December 3 at the  Library.  Your items can be scanned at that time (or left to be scanned later).  Or, items can be brought to the library during open hours and they will be locked in our file cabinet.  Anyone loaning items to be scanned will fill out an ‘information and contact form’. 


The next meeting of TAHS is Tuesday, Nov.28, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Building

Nature Club

by Sue Arnold

The topic for the October Nature Club meeting was bird identification.  Dale Birkenholz and Les Allen from the local John Wesley Powell Audubon Society talked to us about the birds which make their home in our subdivision in winter, summer, or year-round.  The discussion was very informal and interactive.  Dale and Les passed around stuffed specimens from the ISU collection.  Here's a few fun facts which you may not know:


a.      Robins are year-round residents of Central Illinois.  Many migrate south, but some remain throughout the winter.  They spend the winter in large flocks in wooded areas near running water.

b.      The drab olive-colored birds you see on your sisal feeders in winter are the same bright yellow goldfinches you see in the summer.  They change their feathers twice a year to throw us off!

c.      We have two types of nuthatches.  The larger, more common White-breasted Nuthatch is a year-round resident.  The smaller Red-breasted Nuthatches are less common and are typically seen during migration and during the winter months.

d.      The Indian Creek Nature Area has been included in the annual Bloomington-Normal Christmas Bird Count for many years.  It's part of a larger, nationwide bird count.


A couple of members relayed sightings of a large, white owl in the subdivision.  If anyone has a picture of this owl, please submit it for identification.  The two common owls we have are the Barred Owl and the Great Horned Owl.  A Barn Owl would be an extremely rare find!


Barn Owl

(not a local photo)

The next meeting of the Nature Club is planned for the end of January.



Indian Creek Fall Work Day

October 28, 2008

by Jim Russell





After a dreary gray week we had a beautiful Saturday for the Indian Creek Fall 2006 work day.  The neighbors who volunteered were Jon Rosenthal, Helen Mogill, Greg and Carol Beneze, Jim Larson, Dave McCarty, Sue Arnold, Dennis Maze and Jim Russell.  After coffee, juice and doughnuts (thanks Carol!) we got to work.


The bird houses in the nature area and along Eastwood were cleaned out. This required Helen to evict a few mice who thought they had a nice place to stay for the winter!  Jim L and Jim R dismantled the goals in the soccer field which much improved the view of that area.  Greg and Carol braved the strong winds coming off the fields and picked up multiple bags of trash along the highway. 


Everyone pitched in on honeysuckle control in the nature area with much pulling, cutting, clipping and spraying.   We made a lot of progress in the on-going battle against invasive species in our nature area. 


Please consider joining your neighbors for the next Indian Creek work day Spring 2007.



Towanda Elementary PTO News

By  Karen Showalter

A BIG THANK YOU to all who supported Towanda Elementary through the Beich Candy Sales Fundraiser. Over $7000 was earned this year!  Delivery of items will take place starting Nov. 13.   


Congratulations to the students.  They raised $1238.21 for United Way!!


A new offering: Bergner’s Community Day on Nov. 11 for $5 (100% of which goes to the school).  You will receive a $10 coupon good towards any purchase and 7 other money saving coupons.  Contact Amy Kinsella at 728-2000.


Mr. Smock trained the staff on CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver recently in order to provide a safer school environment.  Thank you to Mr. Smock who is a Captain on the Towanda Fire Dept.


Residents are also invited to attend our annual Turkey Trot for fitness on Nov. 22 from 2-3pm.  The kids will ''trotting" around a special course during their gym classes looking for turkeys.


We're looking into starting a chess club after school.  If anyone would be interested in helping, please contact Principal Sarah Edwards at the school 728-2278.


                                Property Taxes

Information provided by Jim Larson and Dave Schulthes


There has been a lot of discussion about the assessed property value increases seen on the most recent assessment notices by people in Indian Creek.   The property tax multiplier used for Indian Creek is based on sales in the township which includes Lake Bloomington properties.  This has caused problems in the past because of the soaring values of Lake Bloomington properties and appears to be causing a significant part of the increases Indian Creek is seeing this year.


Last year an 8.15% multiplier was applied.  This year a 9.46% multiplier has been applied.  When the multiplier is applied, the result is your new assessed value and is permanent unless you file a complaint and have your assessment changed. The multiplier is determined by McLean County based the ratio of assessed value to sales price for the sales in the township for the past three years. A Sales Analysis obtained from the assessor's office shows all sales for the past 3 years (1/1/2003 - 10/27/2006) in Money Creek Township, including the ratio of the assessed value to the sales price.  Theoretically this should be approximately 33.33% (or 1/3).  The County uses the "median" in determining if a multiplier is needed.  The list shows that Indian Creek parcels that have sold generally have a ratio (close to the desired 33.33%) that is higher than non-Indian Creek property sold.


It is up to the homeowner to determine whether to file complaint or not.  This is a judgment call.  Each property is different and some properties can actually be under assessed. Appeals need to be filed by November 13th.  The Assessment Notice has information on how to file and where to get the forms.  The complaint form and instructions can also be printed or downloaded from . You will need to be prepared to state your case and provide evidence of why you believe your property is over assessed.  The complaint form requires information about your property that you can obtain from your assessment notice or from the McLean County Assessor's website ( 


The complaint goes to the assessor for review to determine if your complaint is valid.  You will receive a notice whether or not an adjustment is made.  If no adjustment is made, you will have seven days to contact the Assessor's office to set up a meeting with the McLean County Board of Review.  At that meeting you would have an opportunity to state your case further.


If you have questions or would like further information, including a copy of the McLean County Sales Analysis report, you may call or email Dave Schulthes, 728-2927,




There have been more complaints of ATV riding in public areas of Indian Creek on the soccer field, in the woods surrounding the soccer field and along the creek, and on Eastwood, Candle Ridge and even once on Bent Tree. 


One of the purposes of the Homeowner's Association is to preserve the natural woodlands and wildlife.  At the March, 2006 homeowner’s meeting it was noted that no wheeled motorized vehicles are permitted or appropriate for use in the common areas. To re-emphasis this, a formal vote of homeowner’s can be taken at the next homeowners meeting.  If you or your child has been riding an ATV in the common areas, please cease.  And note that riding ATV’s on public roadways is against the law. 


Towanda 4-H Club - Chili Supper


A chili supper will be held at the Community Building on Friday, Nov.17, serving from 5:00-7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $5 in advance; $6 at the door (children 3 & younger eat free with adult ticket).  Menu:  All you can eat chili, or hot dog w/ chips - and dessert & beverage.  For tickets/information call: 728.2137, 728.2616 or 728.2852                                            






Groundhog (Woodchuck)

Photo by Janet McCarty

Janet and David McCarty have been welcoming hosts this summer to a groundhog that has made its home under their deck.  They have enjoyed observing its activities.


The groundhog, also called a woodchuck, is a rodent and a member of the squirrel family.   Few of the groundhogs’ natural predators are present to control their number. Some people consider them nuisances because of their tunneling habits and their lack of fear of humans.


The groundhog’s sight, hearing, and smell are all reported to be keen.  It produces a shrill whistle when alarmed. Although it lives on and underground, the groundhog can also swim and climb trees.


The groundhog lives alone in a burrow near a source of food. Favorite foods are grasses, clover, alfalfa, and crops like corn, so burrows are typically in fields and meadows. There is a separate summer and winter den, and the latter will often be sheltered by trees or shrubs. The burrow dug by the groundhog may be 5 feet below ground and extend for 30 feet.  The groundhog prepares a nesting chamber, where it can sleep, and also makes a separate excrement chamber for its toilet needs. Old groundhog burrows may be used by other animals, such as skunks and foxes.

The winter den is generally used from October through February. With a thick layer of fat in the fall, the groundhog retires to its winter den, seals the sleeping chamber with dirt, and curls into a ball on its nest to sleep. A true hibernator, the groundhog’s heart rate slows down to about 4 beats per minute, its body temperature is lowered to about 40 degrees, and its breathing is slowed considerably.

The legend of the Groundhog and its shadow is the basis of Groundhog Day. It is said that on that day, February 2, the Groundhog will leave its burrow. If it sees its shadow, it returns to its den to wait out six more weeks of winter. However, if its cloudy and the groundhog does not see its shadow, it remains outside because winter is over. There is no truth to the legend. Groundhogs in the southern United States do not hibernate and those in the far north do not come out of hibernation until April.