Zion-Benton News

Stories from the March 26, 2015 Issue


City begins work on 2015/16 budget

By Mona Shannon
Zion-Benton News staff 

The Zion City Council held its first budget workshop on March 17 prior to the regular city council meeting.

Director of accounts and finances David Knabel said he had met with every department and went over the budget line by line. He said they looked at actual, historical and data from the current year as well as any changes that may be coming in coming year.

He said he is seeing a deficit in the General Fund of $1,640,000 or an actual deficit of $1,440,000 if the city had a break-even budget this year.

He said the budget is showing a $250,000 loss from the matching funds the city must pay for the Illinois Housing Development Authority grant for demolition of abandoned, dilapidated properties and rehabilitation for exterior building safety. He said $200,000 shows up next year as an expense paid out this year.

Knabel said the city will see a decrease in revenue from $1,125,000 to $225,000 due to a principal payment on the 2012 bonds, a 2 percent raise in salaries and the end of the Zion Solutions and CTCA permit fees. More...

Changes in school tests create a

By Mona Shannon

Zion-Benton News staff 

The state of Illinois has made some changes in what tests are required for students and that has left Z-BTHS District 126 caught between two different standards in trying to plan its curriculum, Z-BTHS Superintendent Dr. Chris Clark told the board of education last week.

The new test, based on Common Core standards, is the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. Clark said Z-BTHS just completed two weeks of PARCC testing of freshmen. She said it is a very rigorous test.

Clark said this is the first year for the test so the district was only required to give it to one grade level. The district also had the choice of conducting the test online or using paper and pencil. District 126 used the online test and she said it went well.

Clark said the district won’t get the results for a while. Because this is a benchmark year no one will receive a rating.

Other students took the ACT on March 3, which has been the test required by the state. The ACT is based on college readiness standards and is still the test recognized by colleges and universities for placement. More...

Photo of the Week

Passion Play opens

Zion Passion Play, a ministry of Christ Community Church since 1935, opens its 2015 season Friday. Pictured: Jesus, portrayed by Leo Barnes, stops talking to the crowd and addresses His Father in prayer.


Breakfast is ready

The Winthrop Harbor Lions Club held
its 29th Annual Steak & Egg Breakfast
on March 22 at Stone Creek Grill.
Shown here is Michael Huff of local
Boy Scout Troop 667, which assisted
at the breakfast. The next annual Lions
Club event is its Easter Egg Hunt at 9
a.m. on April 4 at Village Park.

School News

Jacob Holverson was a surprise guest reader in Ms. Morley’s first grade class. He was having fun reading and asking wonderful comprehension questions. The first graders really enjoyed learning new reading strategies!!


Z-BTHS cadets participate in an Armed Exhibition event. The Zee Bees
will compete at Nationals in Pensacola, Fla. next month.