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Kane County Chronicle



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2 Illinois residents fall ill as state health experts link sprouts from Jimmy John's to salmonellaBeck Diefenbach - bdiefenbach@daily-chronicle.com The new Jimmy John's restaurant is located at 850 Pappas Drive in DeKalb.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 20:37:00 GMT

Illinois health experts have linked a recent cluster of individuals with salmonella, a bacterial illness associated with contaminated food, with sprouts served at multiple Jimmy John's locations across the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration and other state and local health departments announced in a news release Friday that they were investigating a cluster of salmonella infections after two Illinois residents became ill.

The residents reported becoming ill on Dec. 20 and 26, and based on a review of produce, suppliers and items consumed, investigators believe the most likely source of the infection is sprouts from multiple Jimmy John’s locations.

The release did not state at what locations the individuals believe they became infected.

IDPH has asked the sandwich chain to discontinue the sale of sprouts until the investigation is complete.

Anyone who might have developed symptoms of salmonella after eating food at a Jimmy John’s restaurant should contact his or her health care provider or local health department.

Symptoms include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea and dehydration, according to the release and usually appear six to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but can be longer.

Most illnesses resolve on their own and do not require treatment other than drinking fluids to stay hydrated.

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Person-to-person transmission of Salmonella occurs when an infected person’s feces, from his or her unwashed hands, contaminates food during preparation or comes into direct contact with another person.

Almost any food can be contaminated with the bacteria.

Beck Diefenbach - bdiefenbach@daily-chronicle.com The new Jimmy John's restaurant is located at 850 Pappas Drive in DeKalb.


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Crash involving propane truck closes road in North Aurora for hoursShaw Media file photo

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:56:00 GMT

NORTH AURORA — A crash involving a propane truck closed Mitchell Road Friday morning in North Aurora for roughly two hours.

North Aurora police and firefighters responded around 8:30 a.m. Friday to the intersection of Mitchell Road and Bilter Road in North Aurora for a reported crash, a spokesperson for the North Aurora Fire Protection District said.

Propane leaked onto the roadway because of the crash, and the area was blocked for roughly two hours to clean up debris.

It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured in the incident, and police could not be reached for comment for more information Saturday afternoon.

Shaw Media file photo


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Watch D.O.G.S. program brings dads to Davis Primary School in St. Charles[Jason Hammer plays a tag game with students during recess at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Then, those dads – volunteers with the Watch D.O.G.S. program – spend the entire day at the St. Charles school, interacting with students and assisting in classrooms, on the playground and in the lunchroom. “Our kids really look forward to Fridays,” Davis Principal Denise Liechty said. Davis is among many elementary, middle and high schools across the country that is taking part in the Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads Of Great Students – initiative. At each participating school, the program is coordinated by staff and a volunteer dad, the Top Dog. They recruit participants, set the volunteers' schedules and identify opportunities for the dads to help at the school. Watch D.O.G.S. is in its first year at Davis, where the program's staff coordinator is teacher Trisha Duever and the Top Dog is David Prentiss, who has a first-grader at the school. They promoted the program during two curriculum nights and a school fair in the fall. At those events, dads interested in taking part provided contact information and were invited to a Kids Pizza Night to sign up and choose a Friday to volunteer.[Sean Frederick plays with cars with kindergartners Jordan Ynocencio (center) and Ryan Brown (far right) at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Prentiss was impressed at the number of dads – about 100 – who made the commitment that night. “I figured we'd have about 50 dads, and we had double that,” Prentiss said. On the day of their participation, each of the three volunteer dads wears an official Watch D.O.G.S. T-shirt with a Dog Tag I.D. The dads' kids who attend Davis also wear the shirts that day. Sporting the T-shirts on a recent Friday during lunch at the school were Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer Sean Frederick and his second-grader, Brody Frederick. After Sean Frederick helped at the cafeteria tray line, he sat down next to his son to partake in the same lunch as the students – a healthy slice of pizza. Duever said students “love having an adult sit with them and just talk, that's not a teacher.”[Drew Pistilli high-fives kindergartner Ian Kaliski at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Brody Frederick was thrilled to have his dad at school that day. “I really like that he can be in my classroom,” he said. During the day, Sean Frederick also spent time in other classrooms, from pre-school on up. He said he was having fun and learning a lot about Davis, too. “You get to see a different side of school – how busy they are, how much stuff is going on, how hard the teachers work,” he said. Top Dog Prentiss said being part of Watch D.O.G.S. has offered him “an opportunity to meet the other dads.”[Drew Pistilli plays a tag game with students during recess at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Duever and Prentiss' wife, Nicole Prentiss, earlier this year recommended the program to Davis. Watch D.O.G.S. has been in place for several years at J. B. Nelson Elementary School in Batavia, where Nicole Prentiss is principal. Duever had coordinated the program in another school district where she previously taught. The Davis PTO has been supportive of the new program and covered the pizza night cost for more than 150 parents and students, said the principal. Watch D.O.G.S. is designed to offer positive male role models who, by being present, reinforce the importance of education, states the national organization's website. dadsofgreatstudents.com. The program also provides schools extra sets of eyes and ears to reduce bullying, according to the site.[Sean Frederick gets lunch with second-grader Eliza Faulds at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Schools or PTOs wishing to participate in the Watch D.O.G.S. program first sign up with the organization for a "7 Steps to Success" training conference call for school representatives. Then, the schools purchase start-up kits that include an implementation guide, an activity list, D.O.G.S. T-shirts, stickers, pencils, posters and bookmarks, among other items.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:16:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Every Friday morning, three Davis Primary School dads can be seen welcoming students with a high five at the building's entrance and telling them to “have a great day.” [Jason Hammer plays a tag game with students during recess at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Then, those dads – volunteers with the Watch D.O.G.S. program – spend the entire day at the St. Charles school, interacting with students and assisting in classrooms, on the playground and in the lunchroom. “Our kids really look forward to Fridays,” Davis Principal Denise Liechty said. Davis is among many elementary, middle and high schools across the country that is taking part in the Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads Of Great Students – initiative. At each participating school, the program is coordinated by staff and a volunteer dad, the Top Dog. They recruit participants, set the volunteers' schedules and identify opportunities for the dads to help at the school. Watch D.O.G.S. is in its first year at Davis, where the program's staff coordinator is teacher Trisha Duever and the Top Dog is David Prentiss, who has a first-grader at the school. They promoted the program during two curriculum nights and a school fair in the fall. At those events, dads interested in taking part provided contact information and were invited to a Kids Pizza Night to sign up and choose a Friday to volunteer.[Sean Frederick plays with cars with kindergartners Jordan Ynocencio (center) and Ryan Brown (far right) at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Prentiss was impressed at the number of dads – about 100 – who made the commitment that night. “I figured we'd have about 50 dads, and we had double that,” Prentiss said. On the day of their participation, each of the three volunteer dads wears an official Watch D.O.G.S. T-shirt with a Dog Tag I.D. The dads' kids who attend Davis also wear the shirts that day. Sporting the T-shirts on a recent Friday during lunch at the school were Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer Sean Frederick and his second-grader, Brody Frederick. After Sean Frederick helped at the cafeteria tray line, he sat down next to his son to partake in the same lunch as the students – a healthy slice of pizza. Duever said students “love having an adult sit with them and just talk, that's not a teacher.”[Drew Pistilli high-fives kindergartner Ian Kaliski at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Brody Frederick was thrilled to have his dad at school that day. “I really like that he can be in my classroom,” he said. During the day, Sean Frederick also spent time in other classrooms, from pre-school on up. He said he was having fun and learning a lot about Davis, too. “You get to see a different side of school – how busy they are, how much stuff is going on, how hard the teachers work,” he said. Top Dog Prentiss said being part of Watch D.O.G.S. has offered him “an opportunity to meet the other dads.”[Drew Pistilli plays a tag game with students during recess at Davis Primary School in St. Charles as part of the school's Watch D.O.G.S. – or Dads of Great Students – program, which invites fathers and father-figures to work with students in their various classes throughout the day.] Duever and Prentiss' wife, Nicole Prentiss, earlier this year recommended the program to Davis. Watch D.O.G.S. has been in place for several years at J. B. Nelson Elementary School in Batavia, wh[...]


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We've got 5 things for you to do this week in Kane County TERRY FATOR WHERE: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora WHEN: 3 and 8 p.m. Jan. 20 COST AND INFO: $79, $89 and $99; ParamountAurora.com, 630-896-6666 ABOUT: Comic puppeteer Terry Fator, who won the second season of "America's Got Talent," brings a family-friendly show to the Paramount Theatre. With his puppet pals, Fator offers celebrity impressions, singing, comedy and ventriloquism. For an additional $125, Terry Fator fans can add a VIP meet-and-greet upgrade. It includes a photograph with Fator, group Q&A session, VIP laminate, a Winston pin, a Terry Fator bracelet and an autographed merchandise item.NATIVE AMERICAN ART WHERE: Schingoethe Center of Aurora University, 1315 Prairie St., Aurora WHEN: Reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23; show runs to April 13 COST AND INFO: Free; aurora.edu/museum ABOUT: A reception for a major retrospective of works by the late contemporary Native American artist Rick Bartow will highlight more than 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints in "Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain." The prominent artist (1946-2016) was a member of the Wiyot tribe of California. He explored self-portraiture and animal imagery, often blurring the lines between the two. His art is held in major collections, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Pictured is "Creation of Crow."CLUB ARCADA WHERE: Club Arcada Speakeasy & Showroom, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles WHEN: Comedy night at 9 p.m. Jan. 20 COST AND INFO: Ticket prices vary; arcadalive.com, 630-962-7000 ABOUT: A Comedy Night with Vito Zatto is on tap this weekend, followed by The Flat Cats at 9 p.m. Jan. 26, and swing, soul and Sinatra by The Nick Pontarelli Band and Gina Knight at 9 p.m. Jan. 27. Pictured is Rosie and The Rivets, a returning favorite at the club.FILM FEST TEASERS WHERE: Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 26; (separate event Feb. 2) COST AND INFO: $10 at the door with early reservations recommended at http://bit.ly/2yttVpL, genevafilmfestival.org/geneva ABOUT: Sneak preview events for the 10th anniversary Geneva Film Festival kick off as part of the Live Art Series at Water Street Studios. Refreshments will be available for purchase, including beer and wine. Seating is limited. The next sneak peek is from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2 at Playhouse 38, 321 Stevens St., Geneva; admission costs $5, with reservations offered at http://bit.ly/2BsGBAf. Previews include narrative features and short, documentaries and animation. The fest returns from March 8 to 10.CALAMITY JANE'S WHERE: Calamity Jane's, 9S593 Route 47, Sugar Grove WHEN: Open daily 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., an hour later Fridays and Saturdays COST AND INFO: For menu and entertainment details, visit calamityjanesplace.com or call 630-466-4427. ABOUT: Calamity Jane's Bar & Restaurant, open from breakfast until late evening, features entertainment each Saturday night. Offerings range from karaoke to solo entertainers, duets, trios and bands. The family-owned enterprise opened in 2011, using reclaimed barn wood to create the rustic setting, which includes an expansive patio for events in warmer seasons.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 14:54:00 GMT

TERRY FATOR WHERE: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora WHEN: 3 and 8 p.m. Jan. 20 COST AND INFO: $79, $89 and $99; ParamountAurora.com, 630-896-6666 ABOUT: Comic puppeteer Terry Fator, who won the second season of "America's Got Talent," brings a family-friendly show to the Paramount Theatre. With his puppet pals, Fator offers celebrity impressions, singing, comedy and ventriloquism. For an additional $125, Terry Fator fans can add a VIP meet-and-greet upgrade. It includes a photograph with Fator, group Q&A session, VIP laminate, a Winston pin, a Terry Fator bracelet and an autographed merchandise item.NATIVE AMERICAN ART WHERE: Schingoethe Center of Aurora University, 1315 Prairie St., Aurora WHEN: Reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 23; show runs to April 13 COST AND INFO: Free; aurora.edu/museum ABOUT: A reception for a major retrospective of works by the late contemporary Native American artist Rick Bartow will highlight more than 120 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints in "Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain." The prominent artist (1946-2016) was a member of the Wiyot tribe of California. He explored self-portraiture and animal imagery, often blurring the lines between the two. His art is held in major collections, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Pictured is "Creation of Crow."CLUB ARCADA WHERE: Club Arcada Speakeasy & Showroom, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles WHEN: Comedy night at 9 p.m. Jan. 20 COST AND INFO: Ticket prices vary; arcadalive.com, 630-962-7000 ABOUT: A Comedy Night with Vito Zatto is on tap this weekend, followed by The Flat Cats at 9 p.m. Jan. 26, and swing, soul and Sinatra by The Nick Pontarelli Band and Gina Knight at 9 p.m. Jan. 27. Pictured is Rosie and The Rivets, a returning favorite at the club.FILM FEST TEASERS WHERE: Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 26; (separate event Feb. 2) COST AND INFO: $10 at the door with early reservations recommended at http://bit.ly/2yttVpL, genevafilmfestival.org/geneva ABOUT: Sneak preview events for the 10th anniversary Geneva Film Festival kick off as part of the Live Art Series at Water Street Studios. Refreshments will be available for purchase, including beer and wine. Seating is limited. The next sneak peek is from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2 at Playhouse 38, 321 Stevens St., Geneva; admission costs $5, with reservations offered at http://bit.ly/2BsGBAf. Previews include narrative features and short, documentaries and animation. The fest returns from March 8 to 10.CALAMITY JANE'S WHERE: Calamity Jane's, 9S593 Route 47, Sugar Grove WHEN: Open daily 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., an hour later Fridays and Saturdays COST AND INFO: For menu and entertainment details, visit calamityjanesplace.com or call 630-466-4427. ABOUT: Calamity Jane's Bar & Restaurant, open from breakfast until late evening, features entertainment each Saturday night. Offerings range from karaoke to solo entertainers, duets, trios and bands. The family-owned enterprise opened in 2011, using reclaimed barn wood to create the rustic setting, which includes an expansive patio for events in warmer seasons.


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Geneva police reports

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 11:30:00 GMT

• Jose Garcia-Garcia, 44, of the 0-99 block of East State Street, Geneva, was charged Jan. 11 with driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08 percent.

• Tools valued at $555 were reported stolen Jan. 12 from a vehicle parked in the 0-99 block of Grant Avenue. Items taken include a red tool bag, a DeWalt saw and a DeWalt impact wrench, reports stated.

• Mahmud H. Smith, 41, of the 0-99 block of Sumac Drive, Aurora, was charged Jan. 13 with driving under the influence and speeding.

• Daniel A. O. Jelonek, 24, of the 0-99 block of Greenfield Circle, Geneva, was charged Jan. 16 with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and received a written warning for an expired car registration.

• Lawrence I. Lenski, 18, of the 500 block of Maple Lane, Geneva, was charged Dec. 30 with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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Good Natured: Tracking coyote tracksThe tracks that proceed straight down the middle of this sidewalk show how, especially in winter, coyotes can be masters of efficiency. Not a step was wasted as the individual moved from north (top of photo) to south.

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 11:30:00 GMT

The other night my dog, Joey, and I decided to take advantage of the (comparatively) warm weather and head out for a walk. The plan, at least as far as I was concerned, was to get a little fresh air, shake off that cabin fever we’d been suffering from and maybe get a little exercise in the process. Fifteen minutes tops, I thought. What I got instead was an hour-long odyssey of exploration of our local environment. Joe was intent on sniffing an innumerable amount of interesting smells in the grass, on trees and at the base of fire hydrants. (Apparently we weren’t the only human-dog pairs who decided to get out and enjoy the warm spell.) I, meanwhile, practiced some nighttime tree ID. Never hurts to reacquaint with the silhouettes of old friends like the linden, honey locust and willow. I also, when it was quiet, strained my ears for the calls of our local great horned owls. But I heard nothing, which was a stark contrast to their continued hooting around the holidays. (Their courtship finished, the pair has moved on to the next stage – reproduction. Mama Owl is busy sitting on eggs; the last thing the pair would want now would be to call attention to their nest site. And so the silence.) Anyway, as we wandered, slowly, around the neighborhood, I couldn’t help but wonder what our trail would have looked like had there been snow. Off to the left, off to the right, back and forth and around at the spots where something was particularly intriguing. Then there were the half-dozen times I got tangled up in the leash as Joe went one way and I another. Economy of motion has never been one of our strong suits. Clearly, we’re not coyotes.As we walked along in a repeated series of stops and starts, I recalled a picture I’d taken last week, when there was still snow on the ground. That particular morning I’d tottered out to bring in the garbage can and had the good fortune to find a near-perfect set of coyote tracks, smack in the center of the sidewalk, right in front of my house. Better still, there were no other footprints from man or beast to detract from the perfect alignment of pawprints, one after another, in a straight line heading from north to south. It was so remarkable, I just had to stop and capture it for posterity with my cell phone camera. Coyotes – in fact, many of our wild neighbors – face a delicate balance during the winter months. They need to maintain a certain body temperature, so their internal furnace, aka metabolism, is raging. They fuel it with calories that, in the coyotes’ case, come from many sources. Mice and voles, rabbits and sometimes even deer factor into that equation, but so too does our human trash. Coyotes will scavenge our scraps and also hunt the animals drawn by the scent of those leftovers. Indeed, I don’t think it was a coincidence that those tracks showed up on garbage pick-up day. Okay, back to the whole economy-of-motion thing. Besides finding calorie-rich food sources, coyotes also help keep their furnaces stoked by conserving energy expenditures. Instead of meandering to and fro, the way Joe and I wandered that same sidewalk, the coyote moved forward with as little excess motion as possible. Rear feet came down on top of where front feet had landed, a style of movement known as direct register. And judging by the space between the tracks, a measurement known as stride, the individual was moving at a brisk, but not frantic (and energy-wasting) pace. This trait of walking in a straight line is really useful, not just for coyotes and foxes, but for people too. That is, people who like to follow tracks. One of the most frequent questions we get when out on hikes at Hick[...]


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Growing Elburn’s business fortunes

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 01:32:00 GMT

ELBURN – A private corporation designed to grow Elburn’s business community is getting organized and making plans to promote the village.

The Elburn Community Development Corp. has elected a board of directors and is preparing a budget, evaluating a membership plan and eyeing the possibility of creating an incubator business program.

“We’re trying to have some impact,” Village President Jeff Walter, who is part of the six-member ECDC board, said.

The president of the new board is CeCe Rocha, branch manager of First Midwest Bank in Elburn.

The other board members include Elburn businessman Patrick Leach, Bob Jass Chevrolet general manager Ryan Easter, attorney Craig Hasenbalg and Bill Brauer of First Midwest’s business development office.

Village Administrator John Nevenhoven and Walter both said money earmarked for economic development activities remains in the village coffers from the budget approved last year.

Meanwhile, the not-for-profit ECDC is working to establish a structure for business and professional memberships in the organization, Hasenbalg said, in order to create sustainable financial support.

“We don’t want to be an agency relying on the village for money,” Hasenbalg said.

Once the group gets its initial funding from the village, it will be able to purchase promotional materials, Walter said.

The board is already considering the possibility of instituting a business incubator program like those in other communities, where start-up enterprises are offered commercial space at below-market rents.

Walter said the prime target for this effort would be the former Glidden Pharmacy building on Main Street in the heart of the community’s downtown.

The vacant building would be ideal for one or more retail businesses on the first floor and a professional office on the second, Walter said, and the ECDC could help facilitate getting the building back into use.

“The plan is to act as the leasing agent,” Walter said.

Other board members were a little more tentative on the location, but clearly like the incubator business idea.

With the Elburn Station residential and commercial project under construction, and other business developments, such as the proposal for a Taco Bell along Route 47 north of Route 38, also coming to town, Elburn is growing rapidly.

“The village is undertaking an effort to re-brand itself,” Walter said, complete with a new logo and marketing campaign.

Nevenhoven and Walter both said the village is looking at commissioning a consulting firm to handle the re-branding project.

For the ECDC, the new campaign represents yet another opportunity.

“We’re definitely going to be a part of that re-branding,” Leach said.


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St. Charles police reports

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 01:32:00 GMT

• Wesley K. Williams, 24, of the 7200 block of W. Devon Avenue, Chicago, was charged Dec. 20 with disorderly conduct.

• Brian W. Patz, 50, of the 400 block of Jackson Avenue, St. Charles, was charged Jan. 13 with domestic battery.

• Algerto Perez Ramirez, 20, of the 1000 block of Barber Street, West Chicago, was charged Jan. 15 with theft.

• Christopher B. Sikorski, 18, of the 600 block of Chasewood Drive, South Elgin, was charged Jan. 9 with disorderly conduct.

• Sherry R. Breese, 53, of the 4000 block of Coyote Lake Circle, Lake in the Hills, was charged Jan. 11 with reckless conduct.

• Susan L. Lambert, 54, of the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue, West Dundee, was charged Jan. 11 with battery.

• Jose L. Alcantara-Alcantara, 34, of the 1900 block of Wessel Court, St. Charles, was charged Jan. 11 with domestic battery.


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Sugar Grove community remembers ‘Lil’ AdamsLil Adams passed away Jan. 18 at the age of 82

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 01:31:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – As a telephone operator at Illinois Bell and AT&T for 33 years, Lillie “Lil” Adams spoke to countless people on the phone, including actress Kim Novak, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” and Michael Jordan, who most consider the greatest basketball player of all time.

Adams was great in her own right and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Sugar Grove resident who didn’t know her or crossed paths with her at the Sugar Grove Township Community Building.

A resident of Sugar Grove since 1967, Adams passed away Jan. 18 at the age of 82.

“I can’t even begin to count how many lives she touched,” longtime friend Mary Unterberg said. “I have a friend of mine who didn’t meet her until a couple of years ago, and she already knew about her because of all she’s done with the Community Building.

“She and her husband have left a legacy in Sugar Grove of her Christian faith, her love of family and work ethic, because she worked very hard at everything she did. She was humble and didn’t want the spotlight, but was tickled a bit when she got it.”

Many knew Adams because of her involvement with the Community Building, where she started as a board member in 1977 before taking over managerial duties. She continued to serve until retiring in 2013, two years after being named the 2011 Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year.

“She was truly one-of-a-kind,” said Stan Schumacher, former longtime board president of the Community Building. “She loved everything about that building. Whether it was morning or night, weekday or weekends, she was always there taking care of the building and working to make sure others could use it. She was extremely giving to Sugar Grove.”

Rocky Troutman of Rocky’s Dojo and Gym experienced that unselfishness.

He rented the Community Building for numerous large events for many years, and his father, Ron Troutman, used to work with Adams’ husband, Tom, at Caterpillar. So the two families go way back, although Tom Adams passed away in 1997.

“She was one of the most dearest, sweetest people I ever knew,” Rocky Troutman said. “She was always there to help and went of her way so many times that I couldn’t even tell you. She’s going to be missed dearly.”

Lil Adams had two children, three grandchildren and her baby – the Community Building.

“We called it her baby,” Unterberg said. “It was almost like it was her home. She was so dedicated and committed to it, and she really went overboard. She did a wonderful job.”

Sugar Grove resident Marguerite Ledone agreed.

“Lil Adams always was so welcoming when I wanted to rent the gym at the Community Building so all the kids off of school could play dodgeball,” Ledone said. “She never said no. She was the nicest woman. I hope I am that loved when I am gone.”

In addition to her time spent at the building, Adams somehow found the time to get involved in many other activities and events around town. She helped in getting the Sugar Grove Corn Boil started, worked the Fish Fry on many Friday nights at the American Legion and was a committed member of the Wandering Foxes Camping Club, United Methodist Women and the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

Lil Adams passed away Jan. 18 at the age of 82


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Raptors on tap at Geneva Park District

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:19:00 GMT

GENEVA – Live owls, falcons and hawks will be presented from 11 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 2 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Geneva Park District Sunset Community Center, 710 Western Ave., Geneva, according to a news release.

The show is presented by Peck Farm Park and Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education Center. Attendees will learn about the lives of these birds of prey, how human activity can unknowingly harm them, how they are protected, and what can be done to support them, the release stated.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The cost is $10 per person with registration available online at genevaparks.org.


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Backpack with bomb left at St. Charles business leads to felony chargePeter Vanecek is charged with felony possession of a homemade explosive device.

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:16:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – A Willowbrook man was charged with felony possession of an explosive device – a homemade pipe bomb – which he left in a backpack at a Harley-Davidson dealer, according to police reports released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Peter Vanecek, 40, of the 800 block of Cramer Court, Willowbrook, was charged Dec. 1 for an incident that occurred July 27, in which Vanecek left a backpack containing an explosive device at Fox River Harley-Davidson, 131 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, police reports stated.

The backpack contained a commercial smoke bomb and a homemade pipe bomb made of PVC pipe wrapped with tape, and it had a wicking fuse coming out of one end, reports stated.

Vanecek posted $3,000 bond, or 10 percent of the $30,000 bail that was set. His next court date is Feb. 2.

Vanecek faces two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 if he is convicted.

On July 28, 2017, an employee found Vanecek’s green backpack on a bench outside the main entrance to the store, looked inside and saw the smoke bomb and the explosive device and “thinking nothing of it,” brought the backpack inside and set it on a chair near the sales desk, reports stated.

Employees explained the delay in calling police because they were busy that day and forgot about the devices in the backpack, reports stated.

St. Charles police notified the Kane County Bomb Squad and the store was evacuated until the backpack was removed; then customers and employees were allowed back in, according to police reports.

Vanecek had called the business twice once stating to an employee, “Hey, if you locate a backpack, you can go ahead and toss it because I have another one," reports stated.

In another call, Vanecek left a voicemail stating he had forgotten his backpack and that it should be thrown away, reports stated.

"There might be some ordinance in there," Vanecek stated on the voicemail according to police reports. "Just get rid of it. Throw it in the dumpster. I'd appreciate it. Thank you.”

When police contacted Vanecek, he said both devices were harmless, reports stated.

After police notified Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, agents became involved in the investigation, eventually serving a federal search warrant on Vanecek’s home on Oct. 19, police records stated.

According to an ATF report provided to police, the PVC pipe bomb was approximately 4 1/2 inches in length and three-quarters of an inch in diameter and was packed with 18.9 grams of a smokeless powder, which is a "known explosive substance.”

The fuse was 5 1/2 inches long and extended through one of the end caps and into the device, the police report stated making a reference to an ATF report.

After a warrant was issued for Vanecek’s arrest on Nov. 30, he turned himself in, the report stated.

Peter Vanecek is charged with felony possession of a homemade explosive device.


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Local educators receive National Board certification

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 22:55:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – Getting to the Kaneland Board of Education meeting was challenging, but by incorporating some speed walking during her route through the halls of Kaneland Harter Middle School, Mary Doranski made it there just in time. Who would’ve expected otherwise from Doranski, who is, after all, a challenge teacher at Blackberry Creek Elementary School in Elburn. Doranski was one of three teachers/administrators who were recognized by District 302 Superintendent Dr. Todd Leden during the Jan. 17 meeting for becoming board certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. According to NBPTS, students who are taught by National Board Certified Teachers learn more than students taught by other teachers. The estimates of the increase in learning are on the order of an additional one to two months of instruction and the positive impact is even greater for high-need students. "The process for National Board Certification is rigorous and exemplifies the teacher's passion for students, learning and honing their craft as an educator,” Leden said. “Through this cohort program, our three staff members learned on their own and also from their peers. Only 3 percent of teachers are National Board Certified so earning this designation is truly going above and beyond in their role as an educator.” Martne McCoy, principal at Blackberry Creek Elementary School, said that Doranski is loyal and committed to her career. “She’s been extremely dedicated to those she serves,” McCoy said. “Often times she will think way outside of the box, solving problems and supporting the students and their needs. I couldn’t be more proud of how dedicated Mary has been.” Patrick Raleigh, principal at Kaneland McDole Elementary School in Montgomery, shared the news that Sadie Stark, a physical education/health teacher at Kaneland McDole Elementary School, also is now certified. “In my first year at McDole I’ve inherited a fantastic staff and Sadie is a part of that staff and she does a phenomenal job,” Raleigh said. “She’s student-centered, an outside of the box thinker and will do anything from P.E. to intervention to coming to me heading up a great idea to involving the community. It’s just indicative of who she is and the hard work she puts in. We’re very lucky to have her at McDole.” Samantha Aversa, who became dean of students at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove at the beginning of the school year in 2017, also completed certification. Her principal at Harter, Brian Faulkner, said he has worked with numerous teachers that have gone through the certification process, such as Aversa. “The one thing I’ve always known is you truly need to be student-centered in order to obtain this, and she is truly student-centered,” Faulkner said. “She has done so many awesome things at Harter already as our dean, and it’s not an easy position. It’s a very difficult position, but her positivity and her student-centered attitude is really what makes her a great fit with our team and family at Harter.” Additionally, the Kishwaukee Division of the Illinois Principals Association nominated Shelley Hueber, principal at John Shields Elementary School in Sugar Grove, for an award. “I feel the significance for these types of recognition awards is that either a peer, co-worker or fellow IPA member has nominated Shelley for this award,” Leden said. “Thi[...]



Lawmaker panel talks about state's budget woes[State Rep. Steve Adersson, R-Geneva, answers a question during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] Lawmakers generally said they could support it – but only if the state could make up the revenue elsewhere. About 130 people attended the meeting, most of them representatives of cities and villages in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties. State Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, said there will be additional pressure on lawmakers for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget, because they passed a $350 million education bill that adds to the bottom line.[State Rep. Steve Andersson (center), R-Geneva, greets guests following the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] “Asking for us to consider the $30 million drop in revenue to the state to return that to [local governments] while laudatory – I don’t know,” Andersson said. “That means I [have] to find $380 million.” Still, Andersson said he was optimistic that lawmakers would pass a new budget on time as the state's new fiscal year begins July 1. “I have a belief that what we went through the last 2 1/2 years – we are not going to forget [that] in the next six months,” Andersson said.[State Rep. Mike Fortner (center), R- West Chicago, answers a question during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] “This is not about politics right now, this is about people’s lives. This is about passing a budget that affects everybody in the state,” Andersson said. “We are a lot closer on this budget monetarily than we have ever been before." Gov. Bruce Rauner is campaigning on repealing the income tax increase lawmakers passed in a budget compromise last summer, Andersson said, and his budget address is expected Feb. 14. "He’s never presented an actual budget that does balance. We have to be candid about that, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat," Andersson said. "Last year’s version was a $5 [billion] or $6 billion gap that said, ‘Grand Bargain. Fill in the blank.’ So I don’t know how that’s going to go.”[Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels gives a welcome address during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] But Andersson said he did not think it would matter because a veto can be overridden with 71 votes in the House and 37 in the Senate. “And I can tell you, we’ve done that,” Andersson said. “And I’d be happy to do it again if he decides his choice is to find a way not to agree. And I don’t think I’m alone.”[Local dignitaries listen as a panel of state legislators discuss the Illinois budget during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] On July 6, the Illinois House overrode Rauner’s veto to pass a state budget that included increasing the state income tax to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and the corporate rate increases to 7 percent from 5.25 percent. “We’ve done the heavy lifting,” Andersson said. “This one [the new budget] is not that big.”[State Rep. Anna Moeller (far right), D-Elgin, addresses the crowd during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] State Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin agreed. “He [Gov. Rauner] is already campaigning on rolling back the income tax increase that we had to pass as part of the balanced budget,” Moeller said. “He is not mentioning where he would … make up those revenues. … There is no way that we can roll back the income tax increase without inflicting incredible damage.” Moeller noted the state had $15 billion in a backlog of bills after three years of no budget. “We’re finally down to about $8 billion,” Moeller said. State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, said the last three years of her 10 years in office have been the most difficult, with Republicans and Democrats divisive and separated. “I came in when Rod Blagojevich was our governor. I call those the good old days,” Holmes said, as the crowd laughed.[State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (second from left), D-Aurora, answers a question during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] Holmes said when Gov. Quinn began his term, the state’s backlog of bills was about $6 billion and when he left, it was down to $4.1 billion. “After 2 1/2 years with no budget, it had skyrocketed to $16 billion,” Holmes said. “You get into that kind of debt in 2 1/2 years, you don’t come out of it in 2 1/2 years. We’re looking at probably a couple of decades before … we recover from that.” State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, said the state and local governments need to come up with other ways of raising revenue – including serious consideration of legalizing marijuana as other states have done. “We need to sit down – especially with local governments – and come up with new revenues that the state can take on their side as opposed to our three-legged stool of income, property and sales tax,” Chapa LaVia said. “That is not going to sustain our state.” State Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, and State Reps. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, and Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, also participated.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:45:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – A lawmakers’ panel discussion that began about the state restoring money to local governments evolved into more than an hour of talk about Illinois’ maintaining the budget progress it has made. The discussion occurred at a Jan. 17 breakfast meeting of the Metro West Council of Government, held at Waubonsee Community College. Lawmakers were asked if they would support a bill to reduce the state’s 2 percent take to 1 percent of what it collects from local sales taxes that are higher than the state’s 6.25 percent. “That diverts $60 million a year from local governments,” Metro West moderator Bart Olson said of the 2 percent level. [State Rep. Steve Adersson, R-Geneva, answers a question during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] Lawmakers generally said they could support it – but only if the state could make up the revenue elsewhere. About 130 people attended the meeting, most of them representatives of cities and villages in Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties. State Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva, said there will be additional pressure on lawmakers for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget, because they passed a $350 million education bill that adds to the bottom line.[State Rep. Steve Andersson (center), R-Geneva, greets guests following the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] “Asking for us to consider the $30 million drop in revenue to the state to return that to [local governments] while laudatory – I don’t know,” Andersson said. “That means I [have] to find $380 million.” Still, Andersson said he was optimistic that lawmakers would pass a new budget on time as the state's new fiscal year begins July 1. “I have a belief that what we went through the last 2 1/2 years – we are not going to forget [that] in the next six months,” Andersson said.[State Rep. Mike Fortner (center), R- West Chicago, answers a question during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] “This is not about politics right now, this is about people’s lives. This is about passing a budget that affects everybody in the state,” Andersson said. “We are a lot closer on this budget monetarily than we have ever been before." Gov. Bruce Rauner is campaigning on repealing the income tax increase lawmakers passed in a budget compromise last summer, Andersson said, and his budget address is expected Feb. 14. "He’s never presented an actual budget that does balance. We have to be candid about that, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat," Andersson said. "Last year’s version was a $5 [billion] or $6 billion gap that said, ‘Grand Bargain. Fill in the blank.’ So I don’t know how that’s going to go.”[Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels gives a welcome address during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] But Andersson said he did not think it would matter because a veto can be overridden with 71 votes in the House and 37 in the Senate. “And I can tell you, we’ve done that,” Andersson said. “And I’d be happy to do it again if he decides his choice is to find a way not to agree. And I don’t think I’m alone.”[Local dignitaries listen as a panel of state legislators discuss the Illinois budget during the Metro West Legislative Breakfast at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Jan. 17.] On July 6, the Illinois House overrode Rauner’s veto to pass a state budget that included increasing the state income tax to[...]


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Batavia Key Club's Mr. BHS pageant to make big splash for charity[Batavia High School freshman Grant Cardelli counts money he collected for his run for Mr. BHS. The mock beauty pageant hosted by the school's Key Club, a student-led service organization that is part of Kiwanis, will raise money to help people with spastic paralysis.] BATAVIA – Surprises have been part of a mock male beauty pageant at Batavia High School since 1989, where this year's competition for the title of Mr. BHS promises lots of fun and some serious fundraising by the Kiwanis' Key Club. This month's student-led event is organized for the second time by club President Maggie Keating with help from her board members and the volunteer contestants who bring their creativity and generosity to the fore. The community is invited to attend at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre on the school campus. The fundraising recipient is the Kiwanis Neuroscience Research Foundation, helping people with spastic paralysis. The club raised $7,500 last year and now is aiming for $10,000. In addition to the formal wear opener during which pre-arranged questions are posed to the contestants, there will be two components that are flexibly interpreted – the swimwear contest and talent portion. Planning for the Key Club's major fundraiser starts in the fall when members send the student body an online form to nominate boys for the pageant, seeking three from each grade. Those with the most votes are asked if they are willing to take part, said Sara Wheat, a senior who serves as secretary of Key Club. Fundraising continues from December right up to the pageant, with the boys earning added points for how much they raise in donations. The event's judges will be a panel of teachers. "We like to begin fundraising as soon as possible," Wheat said. "The boys aren't solely raising money themselves." Teaming up in the cause are their fundraising partners – Key Club members from the same grade level for each contender. Each of the 12 contestants and their 12 escorts carry a decorated paint can for donations to classes most days to rally support from fellow students. In addition, some participants such as Sarah Dremel, the board's freshman representative, have started GoFundMe accounts and club members have been working on securing business sponsors. A variety of businesses pitch in, including Men's Wearhouse assisting with tuxedos or suits for the big night and Special Occasions on the Avenue with gowns. "These kids are fantastic," English teacher and Key Club adviser Marnie Heim said. "Key Club is wonderful because it's developing these young students as leaders. I think it's one of the most exciting things I get to do – see them evolve, especially kids who stick with the program all four years. Mr. BHS is a fun event. [The contestants] are not in Key Club, [but] they're dedicated to our cause." One of the competitors is senior Peter Novak, returning for the third time. He recalls that his first talent performance as a freshman was to play crash cymbals to a Sousa march attired in his band uniform.[Batavia High School sophomores Vinny Cerone (clockwise from bottom left), Kelly Keating and Gabe Kramer count charitable donations collected by Keating and Kramer as part of Kramer's run for the title of Mr. BHS. The pageant is presented by the Kiwanis' Key Club, a student-led service organization.] "[As] a sophomore, I did a drum line battle with one of my friends and a lightsaber fight," he said. "[This time], I’m doing sort of a street performance – a lot of buckets, paint cans and garbage cans – and I'll be doing drum stuff with some of my friends. "It’s for a really great cause … it’s about the donations … and it’s a lot of fun performing in front of all of your classmates and parents. You have a lot of freedom. You can be really creative with it. I set a goal for $1,000 for myself. I’m getting close." Heim said a newer fundraising element at the pageant will be the miracle minute near the finale, in which fast music plays as Key Club students race through the audience to collect the last donations within 60 seconds. Intermission at the pageant will feature a bake sale in the lobby and poster board showing the respective donation totals for each contestant. The swimwear component has been freely defined, Wheat said, recalling a past "Jaws" re-enactment, with one contestant in a shark suit. "Talent can be a wide range," Wheat said, noting that some show off their singing or piano chops. "One winner featured his little brother as they re-enacted the final battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in 'Stars Wars' – arm cut off and everything. [The show] was really funny and serious – a good balance to have." To launch the pageant, the club will screen a brief video about YMCA Camp Independence, which serves children with spastic paralysis, according to Wheat. She said the video shows how much the donations have helped the kids and made an impact on their lives. In addition to serving as Key Club secretary, Wheat is lieutenant governor, working at the state level for Key Club as liaison between six clubs in the area. She and Keating, also a senior, have been part of Key Club for four years. Wheat credits the contributions of Vice President Bridget Grimm and the entire board for all their work on the fundraiser.[Batavia High School junior Will Huber (from left), senior Sara Wheat and senior Peter Novak count money collected by Wheat and Novak for Novak's run for Mr. BHS.] Wheat said Key Club has opened her eyes. "I've been going to district conventions since [my freshman year]," she said. "When you see the actual impact that you are able to have [working on] smaller things, it shows a lot about what people can do together." Keating said she got her start in Key Club, when a cousin who was a senior at BHS introduced her to the organization and she became its freshman class representative. "It sparked something inside me," Keating said. "Helping people really helped fulfill my life. I feel I have a purpose and am using my time more usefully." She said her career goal is to become a physician and keep on giving back. Meanwhile, her sister, Kelly, is already in her second year with Key Club and one of this year's pageant escorts. The contestants and their fundraising partners are seniors Peter Novak (Sara Wheat), Ethan Slaughter (Katie Turnquist) and Jacob Morton (Lindsey Wegner); juniors Tommy Larson (Lida Marsico), Xander Montiel (Shelby Woods) and JJ Martinez (Natalie Bock); sophomores Gabe Kramer (Kelly Keating), Adam Kennedy (Katherine Polick) and Eamon Samsami (Kiersten Wydra); and freshmen Grant Cardelli (Katie Rentas), Riley Woods (Sarah Dremel) and Jeremy Bauman (Alli Ten Haken). Bridget Grimm and Maggie Keating are show hosts, and stage managers are club board members Will McClure, statistical secretary; Treasurer Will Freiburger; and Junior Representative Will Huber. The board also includes Editor Natalie Bock, Publicist Lida Marsico, Senior Representative Kyra Marszalek and Sophomore Representative Adam Kennedy. If you go WHAT: Key Club's Mr. BHS pageant WHERE: Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1399 W. Wilson St., Batavia WHEN: 7 p.m. Jan. 20 COST: $8 for students, $10 for adults, with tickets available at the door INFO: View video of YMCA Camp Independence at a Mr. BHS site at gofundme.com/mr-bhsneuroscience-research-found; learn about the Batavia Kiwanis Club at bataviailkiwanis.org

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:08:00 GMT

[Batavia High School freshman Grant Cardelli counts money he collected for his run for Mr. BHS. The mock beauty pageant hosted by the school's Key Club, a student-led service organization that is part of Kiwanis, will raise money to help people with spastic paralysis.] BATAVIA – Surprises have been part of a mock male beauty pageant at Batavia High School since 1989, where this year's competition for the title of Mr. BHS promises lots of fun and some serious fundraising by the Kiwanis' Key Club. This month's student-led event is organized for the second time by club President Maggie Keating with help from her board members and the volunteer contestants who bring their creativity and generosity to the fore. The community is invited to attend at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre on the school campus. The fundraising recipient is the Kiwanis Neuroscience Research Foundation, helping people with spastic paralysis. The club raised $7,500 last year and now is aiming for $10,000. In addition to the formal wear opener during which pre-arranged questions are posed to the contestants, there will be two components that are flexibly interpreted – the swimwear contest and talent portion. Planning for the Key Club's major fundraiser starts in the fall when members send the student body an online form to nominate boys for the pageant, seeking three from each grade. Those with the most votes are asked if they are willing to take part, said Sara Wheat, a senior who serves as secretary of Key Club. Fundraising continues from December right up to the pageant, with the boys earning added points for how much they raise in donations. The event's judges will be a panel of teachers. "We like to begin fundraising as soon as possible," Wheat said. "The boys aren't solely raising money themselves." Teaming up in the cause are their fundraising partners – Key Club members from the same grade level for each contender. Each of the 12 contestants and their 12 escorts carry a decorated paint can for donations to classes most days to rally support from fellow students. In addition, some participants such as Sarah Dremel, the board's freshman representative, have started GoFundMe accounts and club members have been working on securing business sponsors. A variety of businesses pitch in, including Men's Wearhouse assisting with tuxedos or suits for the big night and Special Occasions on the Avenue with gowns. "These kids are fantastic," English teacher and Key Club adviser Marnie Heim said. "Key Club is wonderful because it's developing these young students as leaders. I think it's one of the most exciting things I get to do – see them evolve, especially kids who stick with the program all four years. Mr. BHS is a fun event. [The contestants] are not in Key Club, [but] they're dedicated to our cause." One of the competitors is senior Peter Novak, returning for the third time. He recalls that his first talent performance as a freshman was to play crash cymbals to a Sousa march attired in his band uniform.[Batavia High School sophomores Vinny Cerone (clockwise from bottom left), Kelly Keating and Gabe Kramer count charitable donations collected by Keating and Kramer as part of Kramer's run for the title of Mr. BHS. The pageant is presented by the Kiwanis' Key Club, a student-led service organization.] "[As] a sophomore, I did a drum line battle with one of my friends and a lightsaber fight," he said. "[This time], I’m doing sort of a street performance – a lot of buckets, paint cans and garbage cans – and I'll be doing drum stuff with some of my friends. "It’s for a really great cause … it’s about the donations … and it’s a lot of fun performing in front of all [...]


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Sugar Grove Village Board considers a backup SSA for Hannaford Farm subdivision

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:02:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Village Board held a public hearing Jan. 9 to discuss a potential backup Special Service Agreement for the Hannaford Farm subdivision. This backup SSA would be set in place for projects related to the maintenance and management of stormwater.

Village President Sean Michels explained that this backup SSA would not be immediately activated if the village approves the ordinance to allow for it and it would not replace the Hannaford Farm Home Owner Association.

Michels went into further detail about the nature of the backup SSA during the public hearing.

“It’s only a backup SSA,” Michels said. “A backup SSA does not go into effect unless your HOA would go under or not deal with the maintenance needed. It does come out of your taxes and would be tax deductible. It would be paid off in a series of years as opposed to a lump sum. We prefer the HOA take on projects because they can get better labor rates and things like that.”

This backup SSA is similar to what other subdivisions in Sugar Grove already have.

“Instead of taxing the entire village for something that is local in Hannaford Farm, then we would look at activating the SSA, but we would have to come out with a scope for the project and put it out for bid,” Michels said. “The backup SSA was supposed to be implemented when the subdivision was first developed. The developer, Redbud Development, went out of business and did not complete the process. Backup SSAs are established in all of our subdivisions to maintain the stormwater infrastructure, which can include retention basins and ponds.”

Since the board is considering a backup SSA for Hannaford Farm, the village would only consider activating the backup SSA if there was a situation where the HOA was not able to maintain the stormwater infrastructure and there was a negative impact on the homeowners in the subdivision, according to Michels.

Questions from concerned Hannaford Farm residents came up during the meeting concerning the backup SSA. Village Board trustee Rick Montalto addressed the concerns about the difference between a backup SSA and an SSA to help further explain what the village board is considering.

"In the history of the village, we have never had to activate a backup SSA in a residential area ever,” Montalto said. “There have been SSAs like in Mallard Point subdivision where I live. The pond was an issue where a developer probably left it behind. We needed to put piping in it to fix stuff, and it’s costing us an extra $400 a year for 20 years. It was a $2 million project. That was a huge project. That was an SSA, not a backup SSA. A backup SSA comes only if you have an HOA that says, ‘Yeah, we don’t want to fix that anymore.’ Then we’ll start having problems, and we’ll have to come in and the backup SSA will kick in. This has never happened in a residential area in the village.”

Michels announced that the public hearing will continue on Feb. 6.


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9-year-old cook job shadows at Blue Goose Market[Addison Jarecki, 9, works on making macarons while job shadowing Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] Don’t let the pretend hairspray blind you, however. Jarecki truly aspires to operate her own bakery one day. “I like cooking and baking for people,” she said. Jarecki, 9, practices her culinary craft on most weekends alongside her father, Chad, a St. Charles resident who mixes his own cooking background with dashes of feedback from a chef friend and observations from various TV cooking shows. On Jan. 13, Jarecki experienced her dream through a one-on-one session with Kate Bjorklund, executive chef at Blue Goose Market, 300 S. 2nd St., St. Charles.[Addison Jarecki, 9, works on making macarons while job shadowing Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] Naturally, Jarecki shined with anticipation on the day of the event and remained giddy well beyond it. The two-hour-plus session of making cookies and decorating cakes and cupcakes hardly ended with only one person beaming, however. “Honestly, people who just bake because they enjoy eating cookies, they measure with cups. They still do volume measurements,” Bjorklund said. “But Addison is already on it. She’s measuring everything by weight [with a scale]. She’s got pretty much all the equipment she needs. … She’s pretty serious about it. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was like a lifelong fascination for her.”[Addison Jarecki, 9, during a job shadow at the Blue Goose Market in St. Charles on Jan. 13. Addison was using a macarons recipe.] Chad Jarecki aimed to augment the crown jewel of his daughter’s Christmas haul, a starter baking set that included pans and utensils. That’s how the Blue Goose trip surfaced. Jarecki’s sister, who also lives in St. Charles, knows Blue Goose President Paul Lencioni, and suggested the market as a potential destination for her niece’s ultimate field trip. Chad Jarecki sent Lencioni a Facebook message proposing the idea, grinned when a positive response came shortly thereafter and soon was finalizing plans for his daughter. “I thought maybe it would be a liability to have her in the kitchen,” Chad Jarecki said. ”But Blue Goose was pretty cool about letting her come in.”[Addison Jarecki, 9, cracks an egg while her dad, Chad, takes a photograph during a job shadow at the Blue Goose Market in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] Chad Jarecki, who works in sales from home, first embraced cooking while learning from his mother. He soon found himself extending the tradition to Addison when she came to live with him on weekends. Addison, a student at Sandburg Elementary School in Wheaton, lives with her mother, Samantha, during the week, and sometimes helps with cooking there, too.[Addison Jarecki, 9, mixes while job shadowing Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] “She picks up really quickly,” Chad Jarecki said. “Usually, I only have to show her once or twice. She’s pretty good on her own. I mean, she does everything now except physically turn on the oven.” Addison Jarecki said her favorite dishes to prepare include scrambled eggs and four kinds of pancakes – regular, chocolate chip, strawberry and banana. Gymnastics and swimming are among her other interests, but classmates – even those outside social studies – know what really inspires her.[Addison Jarecki, 9, practices writing with frosting as her dad, Chad, right, watches during a job shadow at the Blue Goose Market in St. Charles on Jan. 13. Also pictured are Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund and Paul Lencioni.] Addison Jarecki spends much of her free time finding cooking demonstrations or recipes online. She impresses seemingly everyone who lays eyes upon a book she compiled featuring cake recipes from the web and elsewhere. Could it be the first ingredient in a baking career? To her father, Addison Jarecki’s childhood ambitions may not feel so impractical. “Kind of like finance, you know?” Chad Jarecki said. “You’re always going to use numbers. You’re always going to eat.”

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:57:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Addison Jarecki and a group of fellow fourth-graders developed a business plan for a would-be salon as part of a recent social studies class project. [Addison Jarecki, 9, works on making macarons while job shadowing Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] Don’t let the pretend hairspray blind you, however. Jarecki truly aspires to operate her own bakery one day. “I like cooking and baking for people,” she said. Jarecki, 9, practices her culinary craft on most weekends alongside her father, Chad, a St. Charles resident who mixes his own cooking background with dashes of feedback from a chef friend and observations from various TV cooking shows. On Jan. 13, Jarecki experienced her dream through a one-on-one session with Kate Bjorklund, executive chef at Blue Goose Market, 300 S. 2nd St., St. Charles.[Addison Jarecki, 9, works on making macarons while job shadowing Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] Naturally, Jarecki shined with anticipation on the day of the event and remained giddy well beyond it. The two-hour-plus session of making cookies and decorating cakes and cupcakes hardly ended with only one person beaming, however. “Honestly, people who just bake because they enjoy eating cookies, they measure with cups. They still do volume measurements,” Bjorklund said. “But Addison is already on it. She’s measuring everything by weight [with a scale]. She’s got pretty much all the equipment she needs. … She’s pretty serious about it. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was like a lifelong fascination for her.”[Addison Jarecki, 9, during a job shadow at the Blue Goose Market in St. Charles on Jan. 13. Addison was using a macarons recipe.] Chad Jarecki aimed to augment the crown jewel of his daughter’s Christmas haul, a starter baking set that included pans and utensils. That’s how the Blue Goose trip surfaced. Jarecki’s sister, who also lives in St. Charles, knows Blue Goose President Paul Lencioni, and suggested the market as a potential destination for her niece’s ultimate field trip. Chad Jarecki sent Lencioni a Facebook message proposing the idea, grinned when a positive response came shortly thereafter and soon was finalizing plans for his daughter. “I thought maybe it would be a liability to have her in the kitchen,” Chad Jarecki said. ”But Blue Goose was pretty cool about letting her come in.”[Addison Jarecki, 9, cracks an egg while her dad, Chad, takes a photograph during a job shadow at the Blue Goose Market in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] Chad Jarecki, who works in sales from home, first embraced cooking while learning from his mother. He soon found himself extending the tradition to Addison when she came to live with him on weekends. Addison, a student at Sandburg Elementary School in Wheaton, lives with her mother, Samantha, during the week, and sometimes helps with cooking there, too.[Addison Jarecki, 9, mixes while job shadowing Blue Goose Market's Kate Bjorklund in St. Charles on Jan. 13.] “She picks up really quickly,” Chad Jarecki said. “Usually, I only have to show her once or twice. She’s pretty good on her own. I mean, she does everything now except physically turn on the oven.” Addison Jarecki said her favorite dishes to prepare include scrambled eggs and four kinds of pancakes – regular, chocolate chip, strawberry and banana. Gymnastics and swimming are among her other interests, but classmates – even those outside social studies – know what really inspires her.[Addison Jarecki, 9, practices writing with frosting as her dad, Chad, right, watch[...]


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Batavia opens electric car-charging stationRichard Jones demonstrates use of the payment card reader for the electric vehicle car-charging station in the west parking lot at the Batavia Government Center. Jones' company, Advanced Data Technologies of Naperville, installed the station, which is now open for use by the public and can charge two vehicles at once. [Swipe left to see additional photo.]Richard Jones charges his Tesla at the electric vehicle car-charging station in the west parking lot at the Batavia Government Center. Jones' company, Advanced Data Technologies of Naperville, installed the station, which is now open for use by the public and can charge two vehicles at once.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:03:00 GMT

BATAVIA – An electric vehicle charging station now operates at the Batavia Government Center. The station is located in the west parking lot next to the utility payment drop-off bin and is available for use by the public. Motorists can use a credit card or the QR code on their phones to pay for the charge. The station resembles a gasoline fueling pump and is equipped to charge two vehicles simultaneously. The city has established a cost of 40 cents per kilowatt hour to charge a vehicle at the station. For a typical electric car with a range of 200 miles, getting a full charge at the station would cost about $24 and take about four hours, Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm said. However, most users are not expected to be charging up at the station for that long. Rather, they likely would be topping off the charge while visiting downtown businesses and restaurants or using the bicycle trail, Holm said. The city spent $15,000 to buy, install and maintain the station for three years and hopes to recoup that cost through public use of the station. Holm said the primary goal of the charger is to promote the use of electric vehicles. The Batavia charging station is part of a growing trend and reduces the anxieties of electric vehicle owners that they might run out of power. “They are popping up all over the place,” Abby Beck, of the Batavia Environmental Commission, said Richard Jones of Advanced Data Technologies of Naperville, the firm which installed Batavia’s station, agreed. “They are getting to be everywhere,” Jones said, including a large facility at Woodman’s Market in North Aurora, the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva and numerous locations in St. Charles. In addition to the vehicle charging station, Batavia is taking a more direct approach to convincing residents to buy an electric car. Acting on a recommendation from the Batavia Environmental Commission, the city offers residents a $500 rebate for the purchase and installation of an electric vehicle charger in the home. In addition, the $85 city building inspection fee will be waived. The rebate comes in the form of a credit on the household’s city utility bill. The incentive program is limited to one rebate per household. The cost of home car-charging equipment is in the $400 to $600 range plus installation. The city has budgeted $10,000 this year for the program. City officials want to see an increase in electrical demand. Batavia operates its own electric utility and has an investment stake in the coal-fired Prairie State electric power plant in downstate Illinois, an arrangement that has the city paying for surplus generation. The charging station stands on the small grassy island near the west end of the parking lot, between the City Hall building and Batavia Riverwalk. The station serves the parking lot’s two inside spaces farthest from the government center building. Richard Jones demonstrates use of the payment card reader for the electric vehicle car-charging station in the west parking lot at the Batavia Government Center. Jones' company, Advanced Data Technologies of Naperville, installed the station, which is now open for use by the public and can charge two vehicles at once. [Swipe left to see additional pho[...]


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The Write Place: Senior year endings lead to new beginnings

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:50:00 GMT

At long last, I have reached the point in my educational career that every high school student longs for: second semester of senior year. It’s reassuring to know that four years of hard work will pay off when I receive my diploma in just a few short months—months that I’m certain will fly by. As excited as I am for graduation, I’m also getting sentimental about all the “lasts” that will occur this semester. Some of them I can do without, of course – last high school finals, for example, or last day forcing my way through a painfully crowded hallway full of adolescents. However, other “lasts” will be much more difficult to let go of. Last time singing with my choir. Last time learning from some of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Last time attending class with people I grew up going to school with. All of these milestone moments are approaching so quickly, and it’s overwhelming to think about saying goodbye to the people and activities that have made my high school experience amazing. There’s just no getting around it; change is always difficult, and the transition out of high school is a particularly challenging one. Not only does it indicate the shift out of a sheltered school environment, it also bridges the gap between childhood and adulthood. I’m planning on attending college next year (that decision is another entire column in and of itself), and while I’m looking forward to it, I also know it’ll take some getting used to. Leaving high school means leaving a familiar building, curriculum, faculty, and student body behind, and that’s naturally something I’m a little apprehensive about. What I’ve been trying to keep in mind is that change can be a positive thing, and every ending is a beginning in disguise. Eighth-grade Emma was terrified at the thought of going to the high school, where she was certain she’d get lost in the hallways and drown in endless studying. Before that, fifth-grade Emma was intimidated by the middle school, with its confusing lockers and rotating class periods. Even before that, preschool Emma was scared to go to kindergarten, which lasted for several hours and had – gasp! – homework. Looking back now, I wish I could have reassured those younger versions of myself that it was all going to be okay. I wish I could have told eighth-grade Emma that the high school’s layout would make sense eventually and that she would survive even the most mentally taxing of classes. I wish I could have told fifth-grade Emma that despite the worry, she would figure out how to open her locker and find her way from class to class. I wish I could have told preschool Emma that she’d adjust to the new schedule and even survive the dreaded homework just fine. These transitions weren’t easy, and they usually meant leaving something behind. However, everything I gave up made way for bigger and better things – people that I’m forever grateful for, opportunities that helped me grow, and experiences that changed my life. I know it won’t be easy to say goodbye to high school, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Until then, for my final semester of high school, I plan on making the most of every moment. Emma Chrusciel is a senior at Geneva High School. In addition to writing, she loves Broadway musicals, playing piano, and spending time with her family and friends. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com. [...]



St. Charles property tax levy frozen for 9th consecutive year

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:37:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles City Council has unanimously voted to freeze the city’s property tax levy for the ninth consecutive year, at its Dec. 4, 2017, meeting. Since 2009, the city’s operating levy has remained flat, a news release stated.

The operating tax levy funds city services, and for 2018 is estimated to be 9.63 percent of a St. Charles residential property tax bill, the release stated.

For an average $300,000 home, an estimated $854 would pay for a full year of city services, including police, fire and public works services, planning, engineering, economic development and more, the release stated.

“City Council and staff have worked hard to ‘hold the line’ on taxes for the better part of a decade,” St. Charles Finance Director Chris Minick said. “We will continue to follow fiscally prudent policies while providing professional, reliable services.”

The city’s tax levy has remained flat in part thanks to a tax strategy, known as tax abatement. When bonds are issued for large capital improvement projects, such as the design and engineering of the city’s new police station or improvements along South Tyler Road, the city does not use money from property taxes to pay those bonds, the release stated. Sales, liquor, and hotel/motel taxes are used instead.

“The city’s flat property tax levy speaks volumes to the outstanding financial stewardship of our city staff,” St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina said. “I think it’s important for residents to know their tax dollars are being managed wisely and effectively for the full benefit of our community.” 


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Plans for Elburn parks move forward

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:05:00 GMT

ELBURN – The Elburn Village Board at a meeting held Jan. 16 approved the purchase of playground equipment to be installed this spring in Blackberry Creek subdivision's park, currently known as Independence Park.

Although the village will initially pay for the cost of the equipment, a total of $91,618, private donations totaling $50,000 as well as a donation from the Blackberry Creek Homeowners Association of $12,000 will make up more than half of the total cost, Village Administrator John Nevenhoven said.

The park will be renamed the Elliot Family Park.

A group of Blackberry Creek residents donating their labor to perform the installation will help save between $20,000 and $25,000 on the initial estimate of the project. The installation will be conducted under the supervision of a playground installation supervisor recommended by the manufacturer, Nu-Toys, and will include laying down 196 cubic yards of wood chips.

“It should be a nice community event,” Nevenhoven said.

Trustees also discussed hiring Hitchcock Design Group, a park-planning firm, to assist the village with planning for additional parks, including the writing of grants to help pay for the parks.

Nevenhoven said the firm has “gotten very good reviews” and has been successful at obtaining grants. Trustees discussed having Hitchcock design, plan and acquire grants for a park within the Elburn Station subdivision and based on the success of that, moving forward with the firm for future parks in other areas of the village.

Trustee Ken Anderson said that, with the village’s limited resources, he wants to make sure that the village will spread those resources for future parks equitably across all parts of the village.

Village President Jeff Walter said that it will be important to continue thinking creatively to come up with ways of providing parks and areas for recreation for the various parts of the village. The installation of an ice-skating rink in the field currently owned by the Elburn and Countryside Community Center is one innovative project, as well as the plan to install a skate park on village property in the downtown area.

The vote to approve hiring the Hitchcock Design Group will come before the board at its next regularly-scheduled meeting, Feb. 5.


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New Nar-Anon support group for families opens in Geneva

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:01:00 GMT

GENEVA – A new Nar-Anon Family Group will be meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays at TriCity Family Services, 1120 Randall Court, Geneva, according to a news release.

Nar-Anon is a 12-step support group for family and friends of addicts, the release stated.

The disease of addiction can affect family members and friends of the addict both physically and emotionally, the release stated.

There are no dues or fees to join, as the only requirement for membership is the problem of addiction in a relative or friend, the release stated.

Nar-Anon meetings can provide support and hope to those affected by a relative's or friend’s addiction, the release stated.

In these group meetings, participants share experience, strength and hope to help each other, the release stated.

Others going through similar problems talk about how they cope and find recovery, the release stated.

Nar-Anon is a national organization of local support groups that have brought renewed hope and confidence to thousands of people whose lives have been adversely impacted by another's addiction, the release stated.

More information is available by visiting www.nar-anon.org.


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Dentist With a Heart to aid low-income patients

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:59:00 GMT

Kane County dentists are once again participating in Dentist With a Heart, a service that provides free dental care to the community’s underprivileged, officials announced in a news release.

Dentists will offer some services for free, including cleanings, fillings and extractions, but not every office will offer all services, so patients should call ahead.

Times and dates for their participation are:

• 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 1, K&L Family Dental, 503 E. Thornhill, Carol Stream; no extractions; 630-653-0020.

• 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 2, Geneva Family Dental, 2631 Williamsburg Ave., Geneva; no extractions; 630-262-1055.

• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 6, Midwest Dental Implantology, 525 Tyler Road, St. Charles; routine extractions; Dr. Tricia Crosby will not do fillings; 630-377-4677.

• 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 8, St. Charles Family Dentistry, 516 E. Main St., St. Charles; Dr. Edmond Lipskis will do routine extractions; 630-377-3131.

• 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 9, Dr. Thomas Skoumal, 2800 Keslinger Road, Geneva; Skoumal will do routine extractions; 630-232-7385.

• 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 9, Mason, Faith & Brammeier, 2035 Foxfield Drive, St. Charles; Dr. John Mason will do routine extractions; 630-584-5444.

• 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 14, Penniall Family Dental, 40W330 LaFox Road, Campton Hills; no extractions; 630-444-1730.

• 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 16, Dr. Rose Vivirito, 2210 Dean St., St. Charles; no extractions; appointments only, call 630-377-9007.

• 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 21, All About You Dental Care, 2631 Williamsburg Ave., Geneva; routine extractions; 630-262-9696.

• Feb. 1-28, Mill Creek Dental, 39W250 Herrington Blvd., Blackberry Township; no extractions; call 630-208-0051 now through Feb. 2 to schedule.

• Stith Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Ltd., 1131 Randall Court, Geneva; 630-208-6700; extractions only by referral from dentists participating in Dentists With a Heart.


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Geneva nonprofit seeks aid in representing Fox Valley diversity

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:54:00 GMT

GENEVA – A local nonprofit is seeking people who can depict the diversity of the Fox Valley in writing and in photographs, according to a news release.

Called Faces of the Fox, do-over.me is seeking people who can participate or be nominated to participate, the release stated.

To participate or nominate someone, visit the nonprofit website at www.do-over.me/faces-of-the-fox, the release stated.

Once an application has been filled out, do-over.me will contact you with further instructions, the release stated.

Faces of the Fox will be held this summer at multiple locations in the Fox Valley, the release stated.

The goal of do-over.me is to create a community of lifelong learners who see crisis as an opportunity and change as a positive and necessary part of life, the release stated.


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St. Charles St. Pat parade entries now being acceptedThe Downtown St. Charles Partnership is now accepting parade entries for the March 10 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and is also in need of volunteers. Parade entries will be accepted until Feb. 9.

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:54:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – The Downtown St. Charles Partnership is now accepting parade entries for the 18th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 10 and is in need of volunteers, officials announced in a news release.

The deadline for parade entries is Feb. 9, the release stated.

The partnership is also in need of volunteers from the community and is accepting volunteer applications up to the date of the parade, the release stated.

Parade pacers, marshals and banner carriers are needed, the release stated.

Local businesses, community groups and nonprofits are encouraged to participate, the release stated.

Those that wish to participate must complete an entry form, obtain a certificate of insurance, sign off on the rules and regulations and return the documents along with the appropriate entrance fee, the release stated.

The entry fee is $275 for businesses, $125 for members and $25 for nonprofits, the release stated.

Entertainment for this year’s parade includes the Dundee Scottish Pipe Band, Tunes of Glory Pipes and Drums and the South Shore Drill Team, the release stated.

Businesses looking to sponsor an element in the parade and receive recognition through marketing and promotions are encouraged to contact the Downtown St. Charles Partnership by calling 630-443-3965 or via email to afeulner@downtownstcharles.org.

Parade entry, sponsorship and volunteer information are available online at www.downtownstcharles.org.

The Downtown St. Charles Partnership is now accepting parade entries for the March 10 St. Patrick’s Day Parade and is also in need of volunteers. Parade entries will be accepted until Feb. 9.


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Neal Anderson named 1st Outstanding Citizen for Campton HillsDolores, Neal and Tracy Anderson at the Campton Village Board meeting Jan. 16 as Neal receives the Outstanding Citizen Award. This is the first year for the award.

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:53:00 GMT

CAMPTON HILLS – Neal Anderson, a lifelong resident of the area now known as Campton Hills, received the village’s first Outstanding Citizen Award at the Village Board meeting on Jan. 16. “He is an active volunteer with Boy Scouts, Kane County Fair Chicken Department and Garfield and Corron farms,” Norm Turner, a member of the Community Relations Committee which created the award, said. Anderson participated in restoring the steel roofs at both Corron Farm and Grey Willow Farm, hosts and volunteers at churches’ special occasions and contributes to village events. He is said to be a strong listener, a strong proponent of open space in the village and a volunteer in the village. He expanded his Luau Coffee Shop last year and hosts local church activities there, Turner said. The criteria for the award included being a resident or business that directly supports Campton Hills, possessing a continuing history of voluntary service to the community and being someone who has made a significant, positive difference in the village’s quality of life, as well as making a commitment of personal time that directly benefits the village, officials said. “I’m very surprised,” Anderson said. “Very surprised, very happy, very thankful that people believe in me.” Campton Hills’ first village president, Patsy Smith, and Dave Corron were also nominated, Turner said.  Smith was nominated for her advocacy to form the village – which was incorporated in 2007 – and her leadership as president of Preserve Campton. Corron was nominated for his support for local business, for his care of open spaces and parks and for being the “go-to guy” for event help, Turner said. Anderson also credited his wife, Tracy, and his parents, Dolores and the late Robert Anderson, when he accepted the award. “Thanks to Patsy and Dave – you’ve done a wonderful job, too, for the village,” Anderson said. “It’s really hard for all of us not being up here enjoying the award, but I appreciate that you singled me out, very much. I couldn’t do these things without, two great parents – my mother and father – and my wife.” Village President Harry Blecker credited the Community Relations Committee’s work in putting the award program together. Blecker recognized co-chairwomen Jayne Holley and Sue Windland, committee members Turner, Silvana King and Phillis Nowicki. Blecker also recognized ad hoc Citizen of the Year Review Committee members of Turner, trustee Mike Millette and Laura Garda. Blecker said they “did all the really hard work on this, gathered all the applications and sorted through them and finally came up with a really hard choice.” Windland said she chose a sign that states, “Amazing people just don’t happen” as a kind of byword for recognizing Anderson and for future award recipients who give back to the community. “You can take that many, many ways,” Windland said. “And it’s true. … We know our community is blessed with amazing people.” [...]


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Judge rules to allow Aurora Election Commission question on March 20 ballot

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:52:00 GMT

GENEVA – A referendum that seeks to dissolve the Aurora Election Commission will be printed on the March 20 primary ballot, Kane County Court Judge David Akemann ruled Jan. 9.

Akemann’s decision followed court hearings on objections to the ballot question filed by two Aurora residents and the commission itself.

Akemann overruled the objections and denied a request by the commission to file a friend-of-the-court brief.

Akemann also ruled that the question would be presented in a form specified by law, “Shall the city election law be rejected?” without additional summary or explanation as requested by the proponents.

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, who was among those collecting 1,500 signatures to get the question on the ballot, said if the commission was abolished it would save money for Aurora and Kane County taxpayers.

“If it was dissolved, it would save Aurora taxpayers $650,000 a year,” Lauzen said. “I am an Aurora taxpayer.”

Lauzen said it costs Kane County about $750,000 per year to support the Aurora Election Commission. If the Kane County Clerk took up the commission’s duties, it would cost that office an additional $150,000 to $250,000, he said.

Lauzen said the additional funds for the clerk’s office would be found by cutting expenses elsewhere as the county would not increase its levy to cover it.

Commission chairwoman Leah Anderson said it would cost the clerk’s office more than what Lauzen projected because the commission bought new voting equipment six months ago that does not match the county’s machines. This would put an additional expense on the clerk to buy more machines, she said.


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Federal funding halted for Kane County victim's rights advocatesKane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:30:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Victims of violent crime and their families lost access to advocates working on their behalf in the court system when longstanding federal grant money was denied without explanation late last month, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said at his monthly media briefing Jan. 9. "I have had to eliminate the Victims' Rights Unit within our office," McMahon said. For more than 25 years, his department had received funding for the program from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, which distributes federal money from the U.S. Department of Justice authorized by the Victims of Crime Act. McMahon said his office's grant application for fiscal year 2018 was rejected; a notice arrived at the end of December with no explanation given for the denial of funds. "We have filed an appeal; [there's] no time frame on when that appeal will be resolved," McMahon said. "I reached out to [ICJIA] Executive Director John Maki. He declined [the] offer to meet." The grant application sought $104,368, for which Kane County would provide a match of $59,982. The combined total of $164,350 would have continued to fund the three full-time positions. McMahon said two of the three advocates were reassigned to open administrative positions within the state's attorney's office; the third recently had left. "When the [Illinois] General Assembly continues to pass laws that mandate responsibility without providing an attached revenue source to fulfill those responsibilities, I think it's irresponsible," McMahon said of the Illinois Constitution's crime victims' bill of rights. He said part of prosecuting offenders to hold them accountable means being able to work with victims of crime – to make sure they are not revictimized by the court process, which he said can be intimidating, drawn out and confusing. "The loss of that grant means I don’t have a dedicated Victims' Rights Unit to work with – to literally walk with and sit with family members who have lost loved ones [or] people who have gone through incredibly violent crimes," McMahon said, citing the victims' trauma and shock. "I see the pain on their faces, hear the pain in their voices and it’s extremely emotional [and] difficult. … These victim's rights advocates have been a tremendous resource to the community and to this office to help people get through probably one of the most, if not the most, difficult emotional and physical experience of their life," he said. McMahon said the loss of the advocates means more of their work will fall to lawyers and administrative staff. He also is asking his department's children's advocates and domestic violence victim advocates to step in to assist as well, acknowledging their already full caseloads. "We’ve reached out to our community partners [and] set up a meeting with [domestic violence shelters] Mutual Ground in Aurora and Community Crisis Center in Elgin; they’ve been incredible partners for this office," he said. He said he also had preliminary discussion with t[...]


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Geneva D-304 tech plan to cost $625k

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 23:07:00 GMT

GENEVA – The District 304 school board plans to acquire more than 1,600 new computer devices for students for the next school year. The equipment purchases are part of a technology capital plan board members approved unanimously on Jan. 8. Official projections show that the district will pay about $625,000 toward the $1.1 million overall plan. Superintendent Kent Mutchler praised the district’s Technology Director Michael Wilkes for his work in putting the plan together. “He’s done an excellent job with this, trying to bring technology into our district for students and staff in an affordable way and in a way that makes sense educationally and instructionally for our students,” Mutchler said. Wilkes said the plan covers both the learning environment and the network and infrastructure. “Network and infrastructure are the things you don’t normally see, but are just as critically important to make sure everything works,” Wilkes said. The plan calls for 1,615 devices – computers – for each second-, fifth-, sixth- and ninth-grade student and replacements for 275 staff devices by next fall, Wilkes said. The plan also calls for replacing aging projectors with 65 new ones at a cost of $80,000 at Heartland and Fabyan Elementary schools, documents show. Those are the last two schools to get this upgrade, he said. Looking ahead to the infrastructure, Wilkes said the district’s capacity needs to keep up with the goal of having a computer for each student and for relying on internet based resources. “We need to keep up with our boxes and wires,” Wilkes said. “These are just as important – if not more so to some degree – to make sure all those computers do, in fact, work as we want them to in those classrooms.” Wilkes said he wanted to formalize a replacement plan for the devices. “It helps us better plan and be more efficient,” Wilkes said. “We’re looking at three years out, in terms of our network and infrastructure.” The plan would have the goal of increasing capacity to 10 gigabytes a second – at least – from 1 gigabyte a second in each school, Wilkes said. This would require an upgrade in cable and equipment across the board, Wilkes said. The plan also calls for upgrading the district’s wireless access points, he said. The district can look to E-rate – a federally funded universal service program that makes telecommunications services more affordable for schools and libraries – to reimburse them for the cost of some of these upgrades, Wilkes said. “The funding of this equipment would not be contingent – necessarily – upon E-rate approval,” Wilkes said. “We would do this work because it’s necessary and needed, no matter what, and E-rate reimbursement is something that would offset those costs, but not be a contingent for the purchase.” The total projected to be spent is nearly $1.1 mill[...]


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Fabyan Crossing landscape plan – almost – put Geneva in cross-hairs of legal dispute

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:12:00 GMT

GENEVA – Aldermen unanimously voted as the Committee of the Whole on Jan. 8 to recommend approval of an ordinance to allow modifications to landscaping, signage, building elevations and the site plan for a portion of the Fabyan Crossing Shopping Center. The committee’s action followed a warning from Mayor Kevin Burns to stick to the issue at hand – renovations at the former Gander Mountain store, 2100 S. Randall Road, Geneva – and not get involved in a legal dispute between two owners in the shopping center. The next court date is Jan. 25. Parkway Construction & Associates is assisting At Home, a home decor superstore, in the renovation of the 104,800-square-foot former Gander Mountain space, documents show. The owner of the Gander Mountain, Geneva Center 2015 LLC, is in a legal dispute with Wauconda LLC, the owner of the former Dominick’s in the same shopping center. The dispute is over the mall owners’ governing documents. The lawsuit has halted work by Wauconda LLC to prepare the former Dominick’s space at 2000 S. Randall Road, Geneva, where grocery retailer Fresh Thyme and Burlington are to share the space. Mark Lambert, president of The Crown Group – which represents Wauconda LLC – said he would answer any questions aldermen might have about the legal dispute. Burns said he did not believe it was relevant to the issue. “I would ask that the chair rule on whether there is relevance and that we turn back to the matter on the floor,” Burns said. But 3rd Ward Alderman Dean Kilburg, acting as chairman of the Committee of the Whole meeting, allowed Lambert to continue. “What you are being asked to approve tonight is inconsistent with what you have already approved for us on the overall landscaping plan,” Lambert said. Community Development Director David DeGroot said the landscaping proposed was for missing materials on the interior parking lot islands and for permanent landscaping along Fabyan Parkway. “It does not conflict with the previous approval,” DeGroot said. As the conversation veered again toward the legal dispute, Burns restated his objection. “For this community to engage in this discussion risks drawing us into that lawsuit. I think it is a risk that we should not be taking,” Burns said. Lambert had called the city about speaking at that night’s meeting, and if he had talked to Burns, the mayor said he would have advised Lambert “strongly not to do that.” “The judge will make a decision soon enough,” Burns said. “Our matter is to whether we wish to embrace At Home or do we wish to throw the entire Fabyan Crossing development at risk. Because I guarantee you – once this meeting is tuned into [online] by the other developers, there is a 50-50 chance they will never return to this community.” The City Council will take final action. [...]


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Face Time with Tammy Georges

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:11:00 GMT

Campton Hills resident Tammy Georges, 55, was at Beautiful U Ministries Resale in Elburn when she answered questions for the Kane County Chronicle's Brenda Schory.

Schory: Where did you grow up?Georges: In Skokie and in Hendersonville, Tenn.

Schory: Do you have any pets?Georges: A Chihuahua mix named Scarlett, a shepherd-Australian mix named Riley and two cats, Molly and Tiger

Schory: Who would play you in the movie of your life?Georges: My sister

Schory: First job?Georges: At Ben Franklin, a dime store

Schory: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?Georges: A veterinarian, but I work as a manager for a long-term care pharmacy.

Schory: Book or movie you would recommend?Georges: “Arthur”

Schory: Favorite charity?Georges: Beautiful U Ministries

Schory: Favorite ice cream flavor?Georges: Butter Pecan

Schory: Favorite local restaurant?Georges: Charlie Fox's Pizza in St. Charles

Schory: What is an interesting fact about yourself?Georges: I was a volunteer firefighter, a first-responder, in Tennessee.


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Kane County Sheriff's Office reports

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:10:00 GMT

• A mailbox and post valued at $300 were reported damaged Jan. 7 in the 4N600 block of High Meadow Road, Campton Township.

• A resident of the 0S200 block of Northern View Court, Blackberry Township, reported Jan. 6 what he thought was a wolf/coyote hybrid that was possibly stalking him and his wife when they walked in the nearby woods. Deputies were unable to find the animal, and the resident stated he and his wife would stay out of the woods for the time being, reports stated.


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Setback for contractor suing over unfinished clinic with ties to Jenny McCarthy

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:09:00 GMT

GENEVA – A judge dismissed two defendants from a lawsuit brought by a contractor suing to get paid for a St. Charles clinic project with ties to Jenny McCarthy’s autism charity Generation Rescue.

Kane County Associate Judge Katherine Moran ruled in favor of a defense motion Jan. 11 to drop Samir Patel and Shannon Kenitz from a lawsuit brought by J.V. Construction.

The defendants’ attorney, Eric Miller, had argued that the construction contract is with Goodfellows LLC and that the contractor cannot sue Patel and Kenitz as individuals.

But Moran gave the contractor’s attorney, William Bochte, leave to file an amended complaint regarding Patel and Kenitz.

J.V. Construction’s lawsuit against Goodfellows is continuing.

The project, at 157 S. Tyler Road in St. Charles’s Tyler and 64 Business Park, was halted before it was completed. Contractor Vince Fiore filed suit Sept. 8, seeking to be paid nearly $511,000 he said he is owed by The Goodfellows LLC.

Patel, a board member of Generation Rescue, is listed as a partner of Goodfellows and Kenitz signed the construction contract with Fiore’s firm.

Miller declined to comment when asked whether Goodfellows has enough assets to pay J.V. Construction.

Though Candace McDonald, executive director of Generation Rescue, is listed as the manager of Goodfellows, Miller said her involvement “will be determined by the litigation.”

McDonald and McCarthy are both named as respondents in discovery – a legal term that means they can be questioned about their interests in the project, Bochte said.

They have answered some questions already, Bochte said.

Although the charity has raised money for the project – which it called “integrative health clinics in Illinois and Missouri” in a news release – McDonald has disavowed any association between Generation Rescue and the St. Charles clinic plan.


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Geneva D-304 earns award for excellence in financial reporting

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:06:00 GMT

GENEVA – For the ninth year in a row, School District 304 has been recognized for excellence in financial reporting. The district has received the Association of School Business Officials International’s Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting, the district announced in a news release. The award results from having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability, the release stated.

It reflects the work of staff on the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the 2016-17 fiscal year, the release stated. The report can be seen online at www.Geneva304.org by clicking on the Presentations, Reports, Studies under the community section of the navigation menu.

“We greatly appreciate the hard work and professional competence of our staff in the Business Services Office, which led to this recognition for District 304,” Superintendent Kent Mutchler stated in the release.


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Elburn teen receives civic award at Pearl Harbor Day eventCamryn Streid and her father, Gene Streid of Elburn. Camryn Streid was presented with the Brattin Civic Youth Award at the annual Pearl Harbor Day Luncheon on Dec. 4 in Aurora. The award is given to students who demonstrate the qualities of citizenship, leadership and service through their activities in the school, church or community.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:02:00 GMT

Rosary High School senior Camryn Streid, daughter of Robbyn and Gene Streid of Elburn, was presented with the Brattin Civic Youth Award at the annual Pearl Harbor Day Luncheon on Dec. 4 in Aurora, the school announced in a news release. This award is given to students who demonstrate the qualities of citizenship, leadership and service through their activities in the school, church or community, the release stated. Sponsored by the Navy League and the Rotary Club of Aurora, the award is named for the late Ted Brattin, a World War II pilot and Aurora Rotary Club charter president who was dedicated to recognizing citizenship, service and leadership among youth, the release stated. Camryn Streid and her sister, Lauryn, of Rosary class of 2016, founded the Real Swimmers Wear Pink program to help those whose lives are affected by breast cancer, the release stated. Real Swimmers Wear Pink is an annual breaststroke clinic, raffle and bake sale hosted by the Rosary Beads swim team, the release stated. The sisters lost their grandmother and great aunt to breast cancer and have made a commitment to help find a cure, the release stated. “Camryn thinks on her feet, is articulate and can organize and invigorate a large group of people of all levels to work together to achieve a common goal,” Rosary guidance counselor Lisa Sustersic stated in the release. Sustersic nominated Camryn Streid for the award, the release stated. “Since its inception in 2010, Real Swimmers Wear Pink has raised more than $70,000, which has been distributed to a variety of organizations that aid in the fight against breast cancer,” Sustersic stated in the release. “During her career at Rosary, Miss Streid has shown herself to be a highly mature, talented, confident, self-motivated and intellectually curious young woman,” Sustersic stated in the release. Academically, Camryn Streid holds a consistent place on the honor roll and been inducted into the National Honor Society, the release stated. Camryn Streid has also excelled in co-curricular activities, as she is currently a leader and individual state champion on Rosary's Illinois state championship varsity swim team, is a founding member of the new Local Heroes Club – which works to honor and aid service members and first responders – and has been a member of the Academy Bullets swim team for the past 10 years, the release stated. In the past, Camryn Streid has also volunteered for Feed My Starving Children and the Elburn Lions Club, the release stated. In November, Camryn Streid signed a national letter of intent to continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio where she will swim for the Bearcats, the release stated. “Miss Streid is an asset to the Rosary High School community,” Sustersic stated [...]


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100 Women Who (really) Care(From left) Carolyn Nagle, executive director of the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association; Beth Burke, member of 100 Woman Who Care Fox Valley; Ben Brizzolara, an Aktion Club member; Karen Hollis, co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley; Theoni Limouris, co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley; Britta McKenna, member of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley; and Jamie Spiva, foundation manager for the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association, hold a novelty check for $12,000 from the 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley to the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT

AURORA – Some people care and show it through their works and deeds. That’s just what 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley accomplished recently by  surprising the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association with a donation of a little more than $12,000. The donation was made Jan. 15 at a meeting of the Aktion Club, a division of Kiwanis for adults with developmental disabilities, at the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association in Aurora. Around 40 members of the Aktion Club were able to watch the unexpected event unfold. “This was quite a surprise,” said Carolyn Nagle, executive director for the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association. “… They were all so excited.” Theoni Limouris, a co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley, said that two members – Sandra Jelm and Nanci Vaughn – championed the idea of donating to the FVSRA during a quarterly meeting held Jan. 8 after the name of the organization was one of three drawn from a vase. Jelm and Vaughn spoke about the FVSRA’s programming, how it gives parents some relief and how it serves both children and adults. The approximately 150 club members, who each donate $100, then voted on where to give their money and chose the FVSRA. The funds will go to help equip a sensory room for the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association located inside the Vaughan Athletic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail, Aurora, for relaxation and de-escalation, which especially can help individuals with autism, Nagle said. The FVSRA currently is finalizing the details on a dedicated room for the sensory equipment that the FVSRA is in the process of purchasing, according to Nagle. Equipment in the room will include different types of projectors that show peaceful scenes; they could feature a stream running through a forest carrying leaves along the surface or that ripples as someone steps into the water, Nagle said. There also will be different kinds of sensory tools that are stimulating or relaxing, including certain types of toys and a weighted vest that aids in comforting someone when they are over-stimulated. This isn’t the FVSRA’s first brush with 100 Women Who Care. Two years ago, the 100 Women Who Care Geneva group donated $13,500. Nagle said the donations “totally enhance the program,” adding that the ultimate goal is between $85,000 and $95,000. “This certainly gets us on our way to open the door to get grants,” Nagle said. “We are very appreciative of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley.” In the past, 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley has donated to organizations including Mutual Ground, Simply Destinee, Rise from the Ashes, Cal’s Angels, Fox Valley Food For Health, CASA and Batavia United Way, according to the 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley website, www.100womenwhocarefoxvalley.org. Limouris said that someone can get involved with 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley by attending one of the quarterly meetings or filling out an a[...]


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Metra fares to increase Feb. 1 'to close $45 million funding gap'Sarah Nader- snader@shawmedia.com Metra employees board an inbound train to Chicago at the Cary station Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Snow and ice-packed railroad switches along with the number of hours railroad employees can work are causing delays, cancellations and headaches for Metra commuters.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:22:00 GMT

The fare increase Metra officials voted on in November of last year will go into effect Feb. 1. As part of the commuter rail system's $797.2 million operating budget for 2018, several fare increases are about to take effect, according to a news release from Metra. Those increases include: • The price of one-way tickets increasing by 25 cents in all zones (a 2.3 percent to 6.7 percent increase depending on the zone). • The price of 10-ride tickets increasing from $4.25 to $7.75 (8 percent to 12.6 percent) depending on the zone. • The price of monthly passes increasing from $9 to $12.50 (4.1 percent to 8.4 percent) depending on the zone. Monthly tickets are available for purchase in advance, with sales beginning on the 20th of each month • The price of the weekend pass, which allows unlimited rides throughout the Metra system on both Saturday and Sunday, increasing to $10 from $8. • The price of some reduced fare tickets and passes increasing. Additionally, a number of weekday trains will be curtailed or eliminated on the North Central Service, SouthWest Service and Rock Island Line and weekend trains will be cut on the Milwaukee District North Line, starting Feb. 5. This has caused some train runs to be eliminated, some train departure times to be changed, some trains to be renumbered and others to have changed or added station stops. "Customers are advised to check the new schedules to understand how their commute may be affected," the release stated. New schedules are available online at metrarail.com and paper copies will be available at Metra’s downtown stations next week. Metra officials agreed upon the changes in November in an effort to close a $45 million funding gap. The company's new budget included about $17 million in fare increases, about $3 million in trims in service and a variety of other changes. The board also approved a 2018 capital budget totaling $196.8 million, only one-sixth of Metra’s estimated annual need for the maintenance and renewal of its capital assets, according to the release. “We are raising fares because everything we did last year will cost more to do this year,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said. “And we are raising fares because the public subsidies that would normally help us cover those rising costs have been cut. We are simply using these funds to cover the increased costs of operating the railroad.” Board members said the shortfalls in funding for both operating and capital needs point to a growing problem with local, state and federal subsidies for public transportation, while voting to approve the 2018 budget. "The sales taxes and state aid that fund about half of Metra’s operatin[...]


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Batavia man named student laureate by Lincoln AcademyJeremy Kwitschau of Batavia (second from right) was named a student laureate by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He is pictured with Lincoln Academy Chancellor Stephanie Pace Marshall (from left), Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner and Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:16:00 GMT

BATAVIA – Jeremy Kwitschau of Batavia was among outstanding students representing Illinois colleges and universities recently honored by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois during the annual Student Laureate Convocation at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

Kwitschau is a senior at National Louis University, a news release stated.

“President Lincoln’s legacy is a reminder of the power of public service and civic engagement,” Gov. Bruce Rauner stated in the news release. “The students chosen to receive this honor have exemplified the principles and ideals of [Lincoln] through their hard work and dedication to their schools and communities.”

Rauner, current president of The Lincoln Academy as sitting governor, and first lady Diana Rauner awarded each honoree a certificate of merit, a medal of Lincoln and a $1,000 check provided by sponsors.

The civic engagement awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the state’s four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities, and one student from the community colleges in Illinois. The schools select the laureates.

“By recognizing deserving students who are honoring the principles of democracy and humanity in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, the Student Laureate Convocation ceremony provides fellow Illinoisans the opportunity to share a glimpse of the finest qualities of our state’s next leaders,” Stephanie Pace Marshall, chancellor of The Lincoln Academy, stated in the release.

Jeremy Kwitschau of Batavia (second from right) was named a student laureate by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He is pictured with Lincoln Academy Chancellor Stephanie Pace Marshall (from left), Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner and Gov. Bruce Rauner.


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Sam’s Club closure in Batavia puts $1 million dent in city budgetThe Sam's Club in Batavia will close its doors Jan. 26.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:11:00 GMT

BATAVIA – The impending closure of the local Sam’s Club store has put a $1 million hole in the city of Batavia’s budget. City Administrator Laura Newman said the staff will meet this week to discuss budget cuts and then present recommendations to the Batavia City Council at a committee meeting Jan. 23. “This is a huge chunk of our operating budget,” Newman said. Finance Director Peggy Colby said the city will lose numerous sources of revenue from Sam’s Club including electric, water and sewer, utility taxes, liquor taxes, property tax and, of course, sales tax. Specific sales tax figures are proprietary business information, Colby said. However, all of the taxes and fees paid by Sam’s Club total about $1 million a year, she said. “That’s a big impact,” Colby said. “We really have to sit down and look at what we can live without. I’m still reeling a little bit.” No wonder. The announcement last week that Sam’s Club would be closing 63 stores nationwide came just two weeks into the city’s new budget year for 2018. The operating budget stands at about $83 million. The closing of the Batavia store at 501 N. Randall Road will result in the loss of about 150 jobs. It also means that the city will delay the hiring of two new employees, including a police officer and a building inspector. “We have put those positions on hold until we can determine how we are going to revise the budget in light of the loss of revenue,” Newman said. “And both are really important positions." One area where the city may attempt to save money, Newman said, is by delaying vehicle replacement. Asked if the city may be forced to cut personnel, Newman indicated such a move is not being contemplated. “In my opinion that is a last resort,” Newman said, noting that the city staff is still smaller than it was in 2011, after cuts were made in response to an economic downturn. The decision to close the Sam’s Club was puzzling for city officials. “We’re still scratching our heads,” Mayor Jeff Schielke said. “They just spent a lot of money to upgrade that building.” Schielke noted that many of the Sam’s Club store closures are taking place in locations where a Sam’s Club is in close proximity to a Walmart, as is the case in Batavia. Sam’s Club is part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Newman said Walmart officials have informed the city that they intend to sell the Sam’s Club property. Schielke said the building should “obviously continue as retail.” The closure of the store will have implications beyond revenues for the city. “The loss o[...]The Sam's Club in Batavia will close its doors Jan. 26.


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New Horizons Preschool in Batavia plans parent introductory eventNew Horizons Preschool, a program of the Batavia Park District, plans an informational event for parents of prospective students Jan. 23.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:18:00 GMT

BATAVIA – To help families find the right preschool fit for their child, New Horizons in Batavia will open its doors to prospective parents from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23.

Parents can meet teachers, explore classrooms and learn more about the play-based program offered through the Batavia Park District, according to a news release. Children are also welcome to attend.

New Horizons Preschool provides a framework for social and emotional growth, as well as a beginning adjustment to a more formal school experience. The program is based on the philosophy that children learn more through play. Play provides opportunities for children of all abilities to participate in common activities.

A focus is on building self-esteem and self-confidence. In a safe and happy environment, children are encouraged to think independently, be creative and freely explore in a structured atmosphere.

The New Horizons school year runs from the day after Labor Day in September to the Friday before Memorial Day in May. Registration recently opened to current participants and Batavia Park District residents, and will open to nonresidents Feb. 5. For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact Lori McDonald at 630-406-5282 or lorim@bataviaparks.org.

New Horizons Preschool, a program of the Batavia Park District, plans an informational event for parents of prospective students Jan. 23.


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Dancers learn about, help out Lazarus House in St. CharlesThat’s because 34 dancers in a dance company from Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles participated in a team day activity called “Hopes, Dreams and Pizza” on Jan. 12. According to Jenny O’Brien, studio owner and director, team day is where the dancers do a team-building activity monthly to bond and could even do something that helps the community. “It’s important for me … to teach kids about giving back, helping others, promoting kindness especially in today’s world,” O’Brien said. “… That was something that I always wanted to set out to create. …” During the event Anne Stephans, volunteer and special events coordinator of Lazarus House in St. Charles, spoke.[Anne Stephans of Lazarus House talks to dancers of Inspire Dance Company during an activity at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Dancers brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] Dancers with hair down or in ponytails and socks sat on the black dance floor and listened attentively. “It’s a homeless shelter,” Stephans said. “We offer a safe place for people to come.” Stephans explained that people could receive food and get resources to find a job. “It’s just like your house,” Stephans said. “ … Lots of good toys, food.”[Lauren Quisling, 10, of Geneva speaks to Lazarus House volunteer and special events coordinator Anne Stephans during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] She called the living arrangements like living in a dorm, which has bunk beds and a family room. She added that rent could be 10 percent of one’s paycheck. Also, the residents do chores. “It’s kind of how it would be at your house,” Stephans said.[Audrey Zho, 10, of Elburn and Emma Haybox, 9, of Geneva write letters for residents of Lazarus House during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] She spoke on some local businesses providing leftover food. She asked if the dancers liked cookies and pies. The girls—ranging from 7 to 14 years old – smiled and nodded. Donations from the dancers lined the studio’s brick wall, including disinfecting wipes, cough drops, detergent bottles, dishwashing liquid and sandwich and storage bags. Dancers wrote messages on cards called a “smile card” that had smiling face on the cover to people at Lazarus House.[Jenny O'Brien talks to her company dancers during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] Stephans expressed her appreciation for the dancers. “I was very touched by all that they wanted to do for us,” Stephans said. “And I was just impressed with Jenny … and how giving these girls want to be.” Later the dancers dined on thin cheese pizza and bottled water.Avery Cook, 10, a Geneva resident, spoke on feeling happy to give back. “I have this little warm spot in my heart,” Cook said. “… It means so much to these people. And the fact that just one little thing can do so much – it’s really amazing.” Dancers wrote messages on a tag about what their dreams were. Recipients were invited to share their dreams via O’Brien’s email.[Delaney Cook, 7, of Geneva carries a donation for guests of Lazarus House during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter from volunteer and special events coordinator Anne Stephans.] The messages were attached to the streamer string of pastel pink, hot pink and white balloons. The dancers let balloons fly in the chilly night sky and purple haze clouds, looking like bubbles until they disappeared. Avery Cook’s sister, Delaney, 7, wrote that her dream is to help as many people as she could. “I just want to change the world to make it a better place for others,” Delaney Cook said.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:47:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Young dancers had a chance to help the community, munch on pizza and dream. That’s because 34 dancers in a dance company from Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles participated in a team day activity called “Hopes, Dreams and Pizza” on Jan. 12. According to Jenny O’Brien, studio owner and director, team day is where the dancers do a team-building activity monthly to bond and could even do something that helps the community. “It’s important for me … to teach kids about giving back, helping others, promoting kindness especially in today’s world,” O’Brien said. “… That was something that I always wanted to set out to create. …” During the event Anne Stephans, volunteer and special events coordinator of Lazarus House in St. Charles, spoke.[Anne Stephans of Lazarus House talks to dancers of Inspire Dance Company during an activity at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Dancers brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] Dancers with hair down or in ponytails and socks sat on the black dance floor and listened attentively. “It’s a homeless shelter,” Stephans said. “We offer a safe place for people to come.” Stephans explained that people could receive food and get resources to find a job. “It’s just like your house,” Stephans said. “ … Lots of good toys, food.”[Lauren Quisling, 10, of Geneva speaks to Lazarus House volunteer and special events coordinator Anne Stephans during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] She called the living arrangements like living in a dorm, which has bunk beds and a family room. She added that rent could be 10 percent of one’s paycheck. Also, the residents do chores. “It’s kind of how it would be at your house,” Stephans said.[Audrey Zho, 10, of Elburn and Emma Haybox, 9, of Geneva write letters for residents of Lazarus House during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] She spoke on some local businesses providing leftover food. She asked if the dancers liked cookies and pies. The girls—ranging from 7 to 14 years old – smiled and nodded. Donations from the dancers lined the studio’s brick wall, including disinfecting wipes, cough drops, detergent bottles, dishwashing liquid and sandwich and storage bags. Dancers wrote messages on cards called a “smile card” that had smiling face on the cover to people at Lazarus House.[Jenny O'Brien talks to her company dancers during an event at Dreams Dance Academy in St. Charles on Jan. 12. Members of the school's Inspire Dance Company brought donations for Lazarus House and learned about the St. Charles shelter.] Stephans expressed her appreciation for the dancers. “I[...]


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St. Charles Park District: Special nights create singular memories for parents and kids

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:30:00 GMT

Caring parents who want to give their children indelible memories of a happy childhood don’t necessarily have to book an expensive trip to Disney or stand in line for the latest hot toy. The best gift a parent can give a child is the gift of themselves, the present of time. Two special events sponsored by the St. Charles Park District can help parents do just that, in ways that are both exciting and unique.

The phrase "ladies and gentlemen, start your engines" takes on special meaning during the race car-themed Mom and Son Date Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2. In this case, the ladies are moms who want to give their special gentlemen, their sons, a memorable night out for just the two of them.

While it’s no secret that little boys love racing cars, they might be surprised to learn that their moms have a need for speed, too! The night of fuel-injected fun features a high-octane mix of activities, entertainment and dancing. Throw in a light dinner of pizza, salad, a sundae bar sponsored by Culver's and themed treats based on the popular “Cars” animated movies, and boys and their moms have a fast-paced night to remember. Perfect for boys ages 3 and up, costumes are encouraged to make the evening one for the record books.

And speaking of record books, no little girl’s memory album would be complete without a night out on the town with her first and best boyfriend – her dad. The popular Daddy and Daughter Dances take place over two nights, March 3 and 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

These shimmering nights under the glittering lights of the disco ball are perfect occasions for little girls – and dads – to dress in their finest attire. Filled with entertainment, refreshments and, of course, dancing, the night is memorialized by a special photo capturing the evening’s magic.

Sign up for a Daddy and Daughter Keepsake class Feb. 28 to make a decorative 4-by-6-inch picture frame to hold a commemorative photo of the night’s festivities. And dads can make sure their little girls looks their finest by preordering a fragrant corsage of spray roses and carnations in either pink or white. Crafted by Paragon Flowers of St. Charles, the cost of the corsage is $15 and can be picked up at Pottawatomie Community Center before entering the dance.

Both events take place at Pottawatomie Community Center, 8 North Ave., St Charles. Registration in advance is required. For more information on either program, contact Cheryl Riley at 630-513-4331.


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Chamber Exchanger: New year, new chamber

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:30:00 GMT

Welcome 2018!

The new year always brings new ideas, new resolutions and new goals as we strive personally and professionally. I love a fresh start to the year, creating goals and lists of what I would like to accomplish and strive for. This year I will do my best to learn, grow and explore; sounds like everyone, right, and easy to say but not always as easy to do.

As a chamber we want you to use us as a resource to engage with the community, enhance skills and knowledge, increase brand exposure and to build relationships. Here is a preview of our great opportunities coming up this year; you can start planning out how you would like to get involved with the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce.

One of our largest and most celebrated events, the Charlemagne Award Dinner, will be Feb. 2 at the Q Center in St. Charles. At this event, we honor several community businesses and major business anniversaries, and in addition to that, we are celebrating the Charlemagne Award, which is given to a community member for a lifetime of achievement. This is a wonderful event for our members and the community.

February will kick off with a few seminars that are related to today’s events. First we will have a Facility Safety and Active Shooter seminar at City Hall from 8 to 10 a.m. Feb. 13. Then there is a hot topic that we are all very familiar with in the St. Charles area, tax reform. The legislative committee will be hosting its Legislative Update Luncheon on Feb. 23. Stay tuned for more information!

Feel free to contact us here at the chamber with any questions and find out how to get involved!

To learn more about who we are, what we do and how to get involved, visit our website at www.stcharleschamber.com, call 630-584-8384 or email info@stcharleschamber.com. Stop by and visit the chamber office, 216 S. Riverside Ave., St. Charles, to pick up member literature, coupons and business cards.

Johanna Kistner is the special events and marketing coordinator for the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com




Joan Knows: Joan says goodbye

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:20:00 GMT

This is Sandie Benhart the transcriber talking; the person that has put Joan’s words on paper over the last several months. I arrived to visit her at a new care facility. I meant to visit just as a friend.  Joan had other ideas. “Sandie, just so you know, this is my hospice column. I have a few last things to say.” I ran out to my car to get my laptop and typed as she spoke … Being a survivor comes with multiple commitments. This time, it came along without a lot of choices. The pain I have been suffering has been disappointing. I wish I had better control.  But I finally had to admit that at this point, control is making the decision to allow pain medication to soothe what I have felt for quite some time. It makes me so sleepy, and it’s hard to maintain cohesive thoughts at times. I have thought about what I will be leaving. The easiest to let go of will be hospitals, doctors, nurses and the myriad treatments. The people and their kind care … I have loved.  The grind of trying to get better … well you can have that. The best doctor I ever had came to the house, washed his hands and came to my bedside saying, “Let’s find out what’s really going on.” He spent some time exploring those necessities. It wasn’t often as simple as needing a temperature. There was always a row of symptoms varied by complications of a frail and inelegant person. I think about all the fun I’ve had and who came along for the ride. Let me tell you some of the best times were those days and nights at the Oasis, the tavern my parents owned. I put in more hours there than anyone ever knew. But there were so many times of unsolicited joy … people came for a drink or two and out of nowhere there were peals of laughter. There is my daughter, Tina. We began to hear early from people that Tina was a beautiful person and that was easily adjudicated. And my dear Mr. Z. It has been amazing to see how many friends he has that have come from all distances to pitch in on all this and help us keep on our feet. And my grandchildren. I highly recommend this adventure as a source of endless joy and a reminder of what a bright future might look like. I have had such great times in the world of education, both in terms of earning degrees – are you aware that one of my degrees is from the University of Wisconsin in Madison? – and in teaching others. There was a time when I measured my happiness in terms of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It’s all been such a wonderful ride I never thought I would want it to end.  But almost 80 years of age has a different look and feel than those past days. It’s such a long time. I’m at a peaceful place in my life, and I find I can let go. This is Sandi[...]



Reflexologist in Elburn provides palliative careLynn Meredith relaxes during a 60-minute reflexology session with Jennifer Sand at Shear Image Salon and Spa in Elburn.Reflexologist Jennifer Sand works with client Lynn Meredith at Shear Image Salon and Spa in Elburn.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:19:00 GMT

ELBURN – Jennifer Sand’s introduction to reflexology was quite by accident, when during a flight from Newark, N.J., to Hong Kong, she developed a “raging sinus infection.” She was on her way for a month-long visit with her brother, who was living in China at the time. As soon as she landed, she told him she needed a Z-Pack, also known as azithromycin, which is a strong antibiotic. Her brother had a different suggestion. In China, the two types of health care providers one is most likely to find are reflexologists and herbalists. Her brother arranged a session for her with a local reflexologist, and before she knew it, her sinuses were draining. “I fell in love with reflexology at that moment,” she said. “I never needed the antibiotic.” Converted, she searched out a reflexologist when she returned to the United States. More than a decade later, when her mom took a 6-foot fall onto her driveway, breaking four of her ribs, Sand became her caregiver. She said she did some research and found some ways to work with the connections between her mom’s reflex points and her broken bones, as well as with the bruised tissue around her lungs. Her mom was able to stop taking the pain killers that her doctor had prescribed. “She told me, ‘You really have a gift,’” she said. When Sand’s twins turned six and headed off to full-time kindergarten, Sand went off to school to learn reflexology. “I felt it was meant for me,” she said. “It’s my path.” Not long after Sand became a certified reflexologist, her sister received a diagnosis of cancer. In order to be of help to her, Sand went back to school to learn about cancer care. Reflexology is not meant as an attempt to cure disease; it’s meant to be supportive or palliative care, she explained. Sand said she was able to be a part of her sister’s end-of-life care by helping provide peace and relief from pain before she passed away. Sand said that the Chinese people have a belief that everything enters the body through the head and leaves through the feet. In reflexology, every one of 1,000 reflex points on one’s feet is connected to a bone, a gland or an organ in another part of the body. Through manipulating these pressure points, a reflexologist reportedly is able to find an inconsistency in an individual’s foot, sort of like a grain of sand under the skin. Similar to a massage therapist who finds a knot in one’s muscle and works with it until it disappears, a reflexologist is allegedly able to work with the inconsistency until it becomes smooth, affecting the body part to w[...]


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Tales from the Motherhood: Sharing a few favorite things

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:18:00 GMT

Everyone’s got a few favorite things in their toolbox that help them to feel well, happy and peaceful, right? I feel compelled to share a few of my latest faves with you, dear reader, in hopes you’ll find them useful.  For starters, Trader Joe’s lip balm. It’s the bomb! Doesn’t dry out my lips like Burt’s Bees’ products do. Seems one's stashed in all my coat pockets.  I’m also a huge fan of white bean soup. New Year’s Day, when it was too chilly to go in search of black-eyed peas to ensure my little family’s luck for the coming year, I resorted to culling my cupboards for ingredients, possessed with the determination to make something cozy of them. A moment later I spotted the following recipe on Facebook, posted by my favorite author, Elizabeth Berg. Oddly enough, nearly every ingredient was already on my kitchen counter. I love it when the universe cooperates. (No luck needed, I guess!) I didn’t have pancetta, but a half-stick of turkey summer sausage did the trick: WHITE BEAN SOUP 2 T. olive oil ¼ cup chopped pancetta ½ yellow onion, chopped 1 each carrot and celery stalk, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced 3 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained (I prefer one or two cans) 5 cups rich chicken broth (I used four cups, since that’s what those handy broth cartons hold. Don’t you hate opening a whole carton of broth, only to use a smidge?)  ¾ tsp. finely chopped thyme (I had fresh in my fridge – I know, shocking! Heck if I know how much I actually chopped. Probably more than ¾ tsp.) ½ cup grated good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Splurge on this cheese. You only need half a cup. It’s SO worth it, and ‘makes’ the recipe!) Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 T. olive oil. Cook pancetta for five minutes. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook eight minutes. Add garlic, cook one minute. Add beans, broth and thyme. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Off heat, puree with immersion blender (if you don’t have one, let soup cool and puree it in a blender) until smooth. Stir in cheese, salt and black pepper. Serves six. This soup came in handy (pureed even more thoroughly and cooled down) for Holly when she convalesced after her recent oral surgery. All that garlic! A nice balance to all the sherbet she consumed. As for good health, I’m also a huge fan of the herbal supplement quercetin with bromelain. I use the “Now” brand, which I picked up a coupl[...]



Former foe honors Elfstrom, Batavia shares police and Thomle updatesNick Burdett (from left) and William Konovsky are new patrol officers with the Batavia Police Department. The two men were sworn in by Mayor Jeff Schielke on Jan. 2.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:21:00 GMT

BATAVIA – A recently approved resolution honoring the late Phil Elfstrom of Batavia was sponsored by a lawmaker who once was one of his passionate opponents. Elfstrom, who served as chairman of both the Kane County Board and Kane County Forest Preserve District, was a political powerhouse who knew how to get things done. He will be remembered best for his work to create the Fox River Trail bike path system, as well as the baseball stadium for the Kane County Cougars, which once bore his name. The resolution honoring him was sponsored by state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, whose 33rd District includes a portion of Batavia. Elfstrom was partly responsible for the start of McConnaughay’s political career – not as a mentor, but as an opponent. When the county under Elfstrom's leadership attempted to use the power of eminent domain to extend the bike trail system north into unincorporated St. Charles Township, Elfstrom was met with opposition from a group calling itself STOP (for Stop Taking Our Property). McConnaughay was one of STOP’s leaders. The plan ultimately was thwarted by STOP, and it was a bitter political defeat for Elfstrom. Later, as Elfstrom retired from county politics, McConnaughay’s star was on the rise, and she, like Elfstrom, became chairman of the county board. Once in the job, McConnaughay appears to have gained a better appreciation for Elfstrom’s work and his legacy, while Elfstrom approved of the way McConnaughay was handling public service. Mayor Jeff Schielke took note of this political rapprochement during the Batavia City Council meeting Jan. 2, as a legislative aide from McConnaughay’s office presented the state’s resolution honoring Elfstrom. Mutual admiration had grown enough that the two former adversaries had gotten together with Schielke for lunch one day, and Elfstrom revealed to McConnaughay that he had voted for her. “It’s one of the classic political stories of Kane County,” Schielke said. Two new police join force Two new patrol officers bring solid law enforcement experience to the Batavia Police Department. Nick Burdett and William Konovsky were sworn in by Mayor Jeff Schielke at the Jan. 2 Batavia City Council meeting. Burdett comes to Batavia with service as a corrections officer at Crest Hill's Stateville Correctional Center. Konovsky has been an officer with the Normal Police Department. A member of the Illinois Army National Guard, Konovsky serves as a military police officer and recently returned fr[...]


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Kane County offers a variety of winter activities[Ryan Crimmins, 17, of Elburn (center) handles the puck during a pick-up hockey game with Sam Jackson, 14, of Elburn (left) and Mitch Jackson, 17, of Elburn (right) at the ice rink adjacent to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center.] Elburn Elburn recently acquired an ice-skating rink that is available for pleasure skating. Two hockey goals also were installed, allowing for hockey games to take place on the ice when the weather allows. Elburn Parks Commission Chairman Dan Kolzow previously said that rather than come up with specific hours for hockey usage, the initial plan is for users to regulate themselves. “It’s all a learning experience,” he said. Elburn is also home to two Kane County Forest Preserves, where people can enjoy a winter hike, according to the Kane County Forest Preserve's website, www.kaneforest.com. The Elburn Forest Preserve is located at 45W061 Route 38, Elburn. just west of Route 47. Johnson’s Mound, located at 41W600 Hughes Rd, Elburn, which is east of Route 47, features a sledding hill. Sugar Grove The Sugar Grove Park District, through a state-wide initiative with the Illinois Association of Parks and Recreation, is sponsoring an annual day-long ski trip to the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena on Feb. 19, according to Sugar Grove Park District marketing and communications manager Eric Smith. The resort features 19 ski runs and the $100 price includes transportation, a lift ticket, a ski lesson and equipment rental. For those staying closer to home, Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, located at 5S660 Bliss Road, Sugar Grove, offers trails for winter hiking and plenty of opportunities for bird-watchers. For indoor activities and classes, check out the park district website at www.sgparks.org. Smith added that two programs are new this year: Little Dribbler's Basketball for first- and second-graders and Mini-Hoopsters for kindergartners.[Mitch Jackson, 17, of Elburn plays a pick-up game of hockey at the ice rink adjacent to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center.] Batavia Depot Pond, the outdoor ice-skating pond near the Depot Museum at 155 Houston St., Batavia, made famous 60 winters ago with a cover picture on a Saturday Evening Post magazine, offers ice-skating when weather allows, Batavia Park District director of marketing and public relations Katie Drum said. She added that people should check for a green flag, which indicates that the ice is safe, before they skate. The Fox Valley Park District’s Red Oak Nature Center, located at 2343 S River St., Batavia, offers snow shoe rentals for $5 a day. A highlight of the winter season in Batavia is the annual Daddy-Daughter Date Night, for three-year-old to 12-year-old girls, on Feb. 2 at Rotolo Middle School, 1501 S. Raddant Road, Batavia, Drum said. Entertainment, dessert, dancing, games, photographs and a carnival theme will be featured at this year's event.[Ryan Crimmins, 17, of Elburn (right) plays goalie during a pick-up hockey game with Sam Jackson, 14, of Elburn (left) at the ice rink adjacent to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center.] Geneva Wheeler Park at North Street and Route 31 in Geneva offers outdoor ice-skating when the weather permits. One sheet is dedicated for general skating, and the second is for hockey, Geneva Park District director of marketing and public relations Traci Wicks said. A warming shelter also is available weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 pm. on weekends and school holidays. Peck Farm Park and Wheeler Park walking paths are plowed for cross-county skiing, Wicks said. Geneva Park District’s annual Super Shuffle 5K on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 4, at Geneva Middle School South takes place snow or shine. Wicks added that last year more than 600 runners participated. "It's a fun thing for families and group's," Wicks said. The race begins at 10 a.m., with a game day party immediately following at Stephen D. Persinger Gym, located at 3507 Kaneville Road, Geneva. Participants can enjoy games, refreshing beverages, food and more, Wicks said. St. Charles St. Charles boasts four lighted outdoor ice-skating rinks, with one, located at Langum Park at Seventh and Madison avenues, especially for hockey, Park District public relations and marketing manager Erika Young said. The extensive trail system in the city’s parks encourages cross-county skiing, St. Charles, Young said. She added that snow shoes are available for rent at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, located at 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, and Primrose Farm Park, located at 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. Sled hills are located in Timber Trails Park, at the far north end of N. 17th Street and Langum Park, with both available for sledding and snowboarding, Young said. Hickory Knolls Center has a variety of winter fun and educational family programs, including Who’s Awake, about animal hibernation. "Hickory Knolls Discovery Center has tons of indoor winter activities," Young said. "There are so many fun, educational family programs."

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:21:00 GMT

Cities and towns all over Kane County have different forms of entertainment that can only take place when the mercury drops. [Ryan Crimmins, 17, of Elburn (center) handles the puck during a pick-up hockey game with Sam Jackson, 14, of Elburn (left) and Mitch Jackson, 17, of Elburn (right) at the ice rink adjacent to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center.] Elburn Elburn recently acquired an ice-skating rink that is available for pleasure skating. Two hockey goals also were installed, allowing for hockey games to take place on the ice when the weather allows. Elburn Parks Commission Chairman Dan Kolzow previously said that rather than come up with specific hours for hockey usage, the initial plan is for users to regulate themselves. “It’s all a learning experience,” he said. Elburn is also home to two Kane County Forest Preserves, where people can enjoy a winter hike, according to the Kane County Forest Preserve's website, www.kaneforest.com. The Elburn Forest Preserve is located at 45W061 Route 38, Elburn. just west of Route 47. Johnson’s Mound, located at 41W600 Hughes Rd, Elburn, which is east of Route 47, features a sledding hill. Sugar Grove The Sugar Grove Park District, through a state-wide initiative with the Illinois Association of Parks and Recreation, is sponsoring an annual day-long ski trip to the Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena on Feb. 19, according to Sugar Grove Park District marketing and communications manager Eric Smith. The resort features 19 ski runs and the $100 price includes transportation, a lift ticket, a ski lesson and equipment rental. For those staying closer to home, Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, located at 5S660 Bliss Road, Sugar Grove, offers trails for winter hiking and plenty of opportunities for bird-watchers. For indoor activities and classes, check out the park district website at www.sgparks.org. Smith added that two programs are new this year: Little Dribbler's Basketball for first- and second-graders and Mini-Hoopsters for kindergartners.[Mitch Jackson, 17, of Elburn plays a pick-up game of hockey at the ice rink adjacent to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center.] Batavia Depot Pond, the outdoor ice-skating pond near the Depot Museum at 155 Houston St., Batavia, made famous 60 winters ago with a cover picture on a Saturday Evening Post magazine, offers ice-skating when weather allows, Batavia Park District director of marketing and public relations Katie Drum said. She added that people should check for a green flag, which indicates that the ice is safe, before they skate. The Fox Valley Park District’s Red Oak Nature Center, located at 2343 S River St., Batavia, offers snow shoe rentals for $5 a day. A highlight of the winter season in Batavia is the annual Daddy-Daughter Date Night, for [...]


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Picturing the Past With ... the St. Charles History MuseumThe McCornack Gas Station building, now home to the St. Charles History Museum, has been sitting on the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue for the past 90 years.

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:38:00 GMT

"Serving Gas to Preserving History" will explore the connected stories and histories of the McCornack Gas Station and the St. Charles History Museum.

Through the 90 years of sitting on the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue the McCornack Gas Station building has seen many changes, including ownership and name changes. Though serving the community a little differently from a gas station, the building has been home to the St. Charles History Museum since 2001.

Many of St. Charles' most influential people set up the St. Charles Historical Society 85 years ago and called for the community to take part in their own history.

This exhibit will celebrate the two separate enterprises, while also bringing together the history they now share in serving the community. 

The McCornack Gas Station building, now home to the St. Charles History Museum, has been sitting on the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue for the past 90 years.


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Batavia police reports

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:46:00 GMT

• Two gravestones were damaged after being struck by two vehicles, according to a Dec. 27 report of criminal damage to property at the East Batavia Cemetery, 1100 N. Washington Ave., Batavia.

• Dakota R. Frantz, 22, of the 200 block of South Main Street, Sugar Grove, was charged Dec. 27 with driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident in the 400 block of Main Street, Batavia, according to a police report.

• Jane E. Roman, 43, of the 1700 block of Pinnacle Drive, Aurora, was arrested Dec. 29 on a Batavia Police Department warrant related to charges of retail theft.

• Credit card fraud was reported Dec. 29 in the zero to 99 block of Breton Court, Batavia, involving unauthorized charges.

• Delfino E. Garcia, 44, of the 1000 block of Grove Street, Aurora, was charged Dec. 29 with aggravated driving under the influence, driving with a revoked license and leaving the scene of an accident in the 700 block of North Kirk Road, Batavia, according to a police report.

• D’Quan A. Smith, 23, of the 700 block of North Van Buren Street, Batavia, was arrested Dec. 30 on four Kane County warrants and a Kendall County warrant.

• Jessie L. Haines, 25, of the 200 block of Chandler Drive, Mundelein, was charged Dec. 30 with retail theft greater than $300 at Kohl’s, 251 N. Randall Road, Batavia.

• The theft of property valued at less than $500 was reported Dec. 31 in the 200 block of Webster Street, Batavia.

• Jonathan A. Hinds, 35, of the 300 block of Boulevard Street, Sandwich, was charged Dec. 31 with driving under the influence, improper lane use and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident at North Batavia Avenue and West Fabyan Parkway, Batavia.

• Pallets valued at less than $500 were reported stolen Jan. 2 from Walmart, 801 N. Randall Road, Batavia.

• Carrie A. Lapitan, 39, of the 900 block of Bennett Drive, North Aurora, was charged Jan. 2 with retail theft less than $300 at Walmart, 801 N. Randall Road, Batavia.


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http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2018/01/04/7c1295b5667846bfb65bfca6eb15a6e0/64d2e0ee-2d0f-4740-b66e-34c604941a2f/image-pv_web.jpg




Holmstad in Batavia to outline tax benefits of retirement communities

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 18:05:00 GMT

BATAVIA – The Holmstad retirement community in Batavia will offer a free program to educate older adults and family members about the potential tax savings of living in a continuing care retirement community at 2 p.m. Jan. 16.

Linda Kanter from Covenant Trust Company will present “The Golden Ticket to Tax Savings,” according to a news release. Afterward, guests can tour The Holmstad and learn about life at the 38-acre community. Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 877-226-7310 or visiting TheHolmstad.org.

The Holmstad is a faith-based, nonprofit continuing care retirement community operated by Covenant Retirement Communities and located at 700 W. Fabyan Parkway.


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