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Kane County Chronicle



Recent news from Kane County Chronicle



 



FONA names new vice president of salesJason Taylor

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:30:00 GMT

GENEVA – FONA International in Geneva announced the hiring of Jason Taylor as executive vice president of sales, replacing Tom Esposito, who is retiring, the company announced in a news release.

FONA is a developer and manufacturer of complete flavor solutions for many of the world's leading food, beverage and nutritional companies, the release stated.

Taylor has nearly 25 years of experience in the food industry, including multiple roles responsible for multimillion dollar global business channels for major food ingredient companies and food manufacturers, the release stated.

Taylor combines a talent for outstanding business growth with a foundation in technical science, as his early career focused on microbiology and chemistry, the release stated.

This background represents a perfect combination to serve out FONA's high-tech, high-touch mission for partners, the release stated.

"Jason brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership acumen to FONA," Executive Vice President Amy McDonald stated in the release. "He has a proven track record in growing business and developing partner-centric relationships. I'm very confident his skill set, experience and talent will deliver growth for FONA."

Esposito is retiring after 31 years in the flavor and ingredient industry to spend more time with family in the Cleveland area, the release stated.

"Tom has been an exceptional partner,” McDonald stated in the release. “While I am very sad that he will be spending less time with FONA, I am happy that he will be focusing on his enjoying a well-deserved retirement.”

Jason Taylor


Media Files:
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Recent Geneva High School grad dies in central Illinois crashEweart “Daine” Rice–Picasso, 18, of Geneva, died in a car crash Sunday in central Illinois. Rice–Picasso was a member of Geneva High School's graduating class of 2017.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:49:00 GMT

GENEVA — A member of the Geneva High School Class of 2017 died in a car crash in central Illinois on Sunday.

Geneva School District 304 issued a statement on the death of Eweart “Daine” Rice-Picasso, 18, of Geneva, on Tuesday on its website. Rice-Picasso, a member of the Geneva High School Cass of 2017, died in a car crash in central Illinois on Sunday, the letter from Geneva High School Principal Tom Rogers said.

"We understand that this news will be troubling to our students," the letter stated. "Please encourage your child to seek assistance in the days to come if they are in need."

Students were informed of Rice-Picasso's death on Wednesday.

Visitation will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at Yurs Funeral Home, 1771 W. State St. (Route 38), Geneva, and a funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 25 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 2900 E. Main St., St. Charles. 

Eweart “Daine” Rice–Picasso, 18, of Geneva, died in a car crash Sunday in central Illinois. Rice–Picasso was a member of Geneva High School's graduating class of 2017.


Media Files:
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Waubonsee Voices: 'Think beyond the disaster of the moment'John Wu

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:08:00 GMT

There seems to be news stories about terrorist attacks, extreme weather, shootings, wildfires and other calamities throughout our world at least weekly. At times there’s so much information about the impact of these events that it can become overwhelming. People can become confused, overwhelmed and disheartened about what may be coming around the corner next. Past research has shown that very few of us have done much about our family’s preparedness, let alone learn about what the community around us is able to do to prepare, respond and recover from large-scale emergencies. Even with ample evidence that emergency response systems are overwhelmed because of the complexity and volume of needs, we continue to hope that the “authorities” will provide accurate information and unlimited resources. The truth is that even if help is on the way, we really should not expect a quick and painless resolution, especially if the emergency is widespread. Others react as if these extreme events are now the next thing that can happen to them personally. There’s evidence that gun sales increase after a shooting incident, and people avoid public places if a terrorist attack is reported. Those two extreme responses, either doing nothing or preparing for only one type of emergency, however remote, are really not well-advised nor a good way to manage our limited resources. It certainly should not be, and isn’t, Waubonsee Community College’s strategy in evaluating and preparing for risks to our students, faculty and staff and our four campuses. Instead the college uses a structured way to think beyond the “disaster of the moment,” and prepare ourselves for the most likely emergencies and the ways to prevent, mitigate, respond and recover from these risks. The first step in our planning process is to conduct a risk assessment, which considers the frequency of an emergency from historical data and local expertise. Then we combine that with the likely consequences of the most likely events, such as impact to the college’s population, structures, or reputation to arrive at relative priority for our preparedness planning. Taking these steps has demonstrated that, perhaps not surprisingly, severe weather events are the highest risk for the college. This is not to suggest that we neglect the feedback from drills and training we conduct routinely. When the false report of a shooter on campus occurred in April, we learned that expectations from our stakeholders was for a more robust early warning system, a more comprehensive staff training program and a structured post-incident management strategy. Since that time, the college has improved the public information and alerting program, piloted more customized staff training and devoted additional resources to incident management. These improvements make the college’s response to all emergencies better and ultimately will lead to greater awareness and resilience for all of our stakeholders. While no one at the college could have anticipated this false call, we learned from it and are safer because of the renewed emphasis on alerting, communications and oversight. For our community, our advice is to heed the recommendation from experts to have enough supplies and resources on hand to last for at least 72 hours. However, instead of just buying a standard preparedness kit online, I invite you to conduct a risk assessment of your own. Because each family is different, your location, transportation options, family needs and other factors should drive how you prepare and what to prioritize. Take the time to conduct a family risk assessment based on not just the likelihood of any emergency in your area, but where your family is most vulnerable. If you have young children or seniors living in your ho[...]John Wu


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Kane County Sheriff’s Office

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:07:00 GMT

• Michael F. Rosenberg, 57, of the 500 block of Shorewood Drive, Shorewood, was charged Sept. 3 with driving under the influence, driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 percent and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

• Harassment by telephone was reported Sept. 6 in the 5N500 block of Longview Drive near St. Charles.

• Criminal damage to property greater than $300 and less than $10,000 was reported Sept. 7 in the 1100 block of Raddant Road near Batavia. A Rubbermaid mailbox and a wood post with a total value of $300 were reported damaged.

• Utilization of account numbers to defraud a credit card was reported Sept. 7 in the 1N100 block of Stargrass Lane near Elburn.

• Theft greater than $500 was reported Sept. 7 in the 44W400 block of Keslinger Road. A shotgun valued at $1,305 was reported stolen. In a related incident, a different shotgun valued at $1,305 was recovered.

• Criminal damage to property under $300 was reported Sept. 8 in the 39W100 block of Warner Lane near Geneva. A mailbox valued at $200 was reported damaged.

• Criminal damage to property greater than $300 and less than $10,000 was reported Sept. 6 on Butts Road near Maple Park.

• Theft under $500 was reported Sept. 10 in the 5N800 block of Harvest Court near St. Charles. A blue Tony Hawk bike valued at $150 was reported stolen in addition to a white Redline bike valued at $150.

• Disorderly conduct was reported Sept. 11 in the 40W900 block of Keslinger Road near Elburn.

• Disorderly conduct was reported Sept. 5 in the 100 block of North Buckingham Drive near Sugar Grove.

• Criminal damage to property greater than $300 and less than $10,000 was reported Sept. 7 in the 3N500 block of Prairie Drive near St. Charles. The rear tires of two vehicles were both punctured with damage valued at $900.


Media Files:
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Geneva police reports

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:07:00 GMT

• Daniel J. Garrett, 55, of the 2000 block of Eldorado Court, Geneva, was charged Sept. 7 with driving under the influence, driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 percent, disobeying a stop sign, driving in the wrong lane, and driving an uninsured vehicle.

• Criminal damage to property was reported Sept. 6 in the 200 block of Longview Drive. A rear windshield, the driver’s side quarter panel and bumper and a side taillight were reported damaged with repairs valued at $1,400.

• Criminal damage to property was reported Sept. 6 in the 200 block of Longview Drive. A rear windshield valued at $300 was reported damaged.

• Criminal damage to property was reported Sept. 6 in the 200 block of Longview Drive. A rear windshield valued at $300 was reported damaged.

• Criminal damage to property was reported Sept. 6 in the 200 block of Longview Drive. A front windshield valued at $400 was reported damaged.

• Criminal damage to property was reported Sept. 7 in the zero to 99 block of East State Street. Grass was reported damaged by a vehicle spinning its tires. Repairs were estimated at $2,500.

• Jimmy Trejo Jr., 27, of the 1200 block of Orion Road, Batavia, was charged Sept. 6 with driving under the influence and driving without a front registration plate.

• Galen T. Smart, 22, of the 900 block of Apple Drive, Schaumburg, was charged Sept. 10 with public intoxication.

• Marquis K. Rushing, 19, of the 4700 block of West Gladys Avenue, Chicago, was charged Sept. 10 with possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.

• Timothy P. Armstrong, 57, of the zero to 99 block of Anderson Boulevard, Geneva, was charged with domestic battery causing harm, domestic battery of a provoking or insulting nature and interfering with a report of domestic battery.

• Joseph K. Wagner, 20, of the 2800 block of Old Mill Court, was charged Aug. 31 with possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, driving without a front plate and failure to notify the Secretary of State of an address change.


Media Files:
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A collaborative effort – East, North raise funds to fight cancer through Kick-A-Thon

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:07:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Players, coaches and fans each went their separate ways after the St. Charles North football team edged host St. Charles East, 35-34, in overtime Sept. 15.

A few hours earlier, however, most eyes were fixed on the lively, collaborative fundraising effort between the two school communities and their drill teams.

Shortly before kickoff, drill team members welcomed family and other volunteers in a bid to triumphantly “kick out” cancer after gathering donations for LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva, Fox Valley Food for Health and the Fox Valley Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

“You’ve got the Rockettes on one end and everybody from grandpa down to somebody who’s graduated from college in recent years, so there’s all sorts of levels of fitness,” Kick-A-Thon official Dawn Stippich said. “And it’s all in fun and it’s not competitive and no one is trying to outdo each other or anything like that.”

Certainly not. Far from it.

“I think the thing that makes it so special is the fact that it brings together the entire community,” Stippich said. “We’ve got dancers from St. Charles North and dancers from St. Charles East joining together to fundraise for our three beneficiaries. It brings in both sides of the crosstown rivalry. They work together, and all members of the community come out to kick.”

Kick-A-Thon is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018 after surpassing $1 million in donations last year. The 2016 effort brought more than $100,000 in donations.

Drill team members, with the help of parent volunteers, begin planning in May of each year. Stippich said registration information typically starts coming in July, with various new contributors joining longtime Kick-A-Thon supporters.

In July, drill team members joined organizers and volunteers at a kickoff meeting at LivingWell, offering an invaluable, firsthand look at one of the organizations the effort benefits.

With East and North set to join the new DuKane Conference beginning next school year, Stippich said there’s “no fears” that the event will continue. Recent realignment to both schools’ longtime home, the Upstate Eight Conference, may have shifted the week the Saints and North Stars met each season, but it never kept the crosstown rivalry game off the schedule.

Players notice the lively atmosphere each year. The anticipation begins at the start of the week – and often before – but seeing Kick-A-Thon festivities signifies that kickoff finally is near.

“It’s crazy,” North Stars senior linebacker/wide receiver Billy Durocher said. “We know it. We love it.”

Kick-A-Thon officials are set to announce the 2017 fundraising total during the East-North girls and boys basketball doubleheader on Jan. 12 at East, Stippich said.

“Every penny we raise, we try and be able to give back to the beneficiaries,” Stippich said. “Of course, there’s going to be a couple of costs for paper plates and things like that, but other than that, every single dime that we make, we try and give back to the beneficiaries.”




Geneva cop lights up boy’s birthday, lets him inside police carOfficer Dustin Haney (left) helped make Louis Morelli's fifth birthday a day he will never forget.Birthday boy Louis Morelli was able to toy with the different sirens as he sat in a Geneva Police Department patrol car.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:07:00 GMT

GENEVA – Louis Morelli of Geneva is obsessed with police officers and wants to be one someday.

“That’s his dream, ever since he started to talk,” said Jessica Morelli, his mother.

So when it came to planning a birthday party for her 5-year-old son, Jessica Morelli knew just what to do.

“He loves playing cops and robbers and wanted a police-themed birthday party,” Jessica Morelli said, “I called the Geneva Police Department, and they made it happen.”

Responding to the call was Dustin Haney, a patrol officer and three-year veteran of the force.

Haney brought the birthday boy a goody bag for his birthday with a hat, T-shirt, badge and other fun stuff, but the real treat was the chance for Louis Morelli to get inside a police car.

“I turned on all the lights,” Louis Morelli said.

Haney also let Louis Morelli activate all four of the car’s siren sounds.

So Louis Morelli, what are those different sounds for?

“All different things,” he replied.

Young Louis Morelli already knew enough about police work to know who sits in the back seat of a squad car.

“I was where all the bad guys sit,” he told his mother.

“I told him you never want to be in the back seat of a police car again,” Jessica Morelli said, laughing.

When Haney asked Louis Morelli what was missing on that particular patrol car, the boy immediately recognized that there was no light bar on the roof.

“He was pretty observant,” Haney said of Louis Morelli.

Haney said it made him feel pretty good to make the visit and reach out to a family. “This was just a chance to let people know we care, especially when we strive for community-oriented policing,” Haney said. “It makes an impact to share what we do.”

Jessica Morelli said she and her husband, and also her son, are very appreciative of what the police do, day in and day out. “It just makes me very happy to see that they were willing to come out and make my son’s birthday party so successful,” Jessica Morelli said. “The police protect us and give to our communities every day, and this was so much more.”

Louis Morelli turned 5 years old on Sept. 12, but the party was held two days earlier, on a Sunday. Haney arrived early, before most of the other guests, which gave Louis Morelli plenty of one-on-one time with his new hero.

“I wanted to make his birthday party special, and this blew it over the top,” his mother said. “He still has not stopped talking about it.”

Louis Morelli has several relatives who are in law enforcement, including a grandfather who is a retired Cook County sheriff’s deputy.

“He’s on the right track,” Haney said.

Louis Morelli is still a little young for the police academy. For now, he is a preschool student at St. Patrick Catholic School in St. Charles.

Officer Dustin Haney (left) helped make Louis Morelli's fifth birthday a day he will never forget.Birthday boy Louis Morelli was able to toy with the different sirens as he sat in a Geneva Police Department patrol car.


Media Files:
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St. Patrick Catholic grade school helps students affected by Hurricane HarveyThe St. Patrick Students of Service Club is sending backpacks loaded with school supplies to students in Texas who have lost their homes due to Hurricane Harvey.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:06:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – St. Patrick Catholic grade school in St. Charles collected more than 300 filled backpacks to send to Spring Woods High School in Spring Branch, Texas, which is near Houston.

All students at that high school have lost their homes and are living in shelters because of Hurricane Harvey, a news release stated. The school was able to stay dry throughout the hurricane and opened Sept. 5.

To help, the St. Patrick Students of Service Club collected backpacks and filled them with notebooks, folders, pencils, pens, highlighters, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, a comb and brush, toilet paper, paper towels, hygiene products, hand sanitizer and mints, according to the release. Donations came from school families, parishioners and community members who wanted to make a difference.

The Students of Service Club collects donations monthly for food pantries, shelters and other organizations that help those in need, the release stated. Other service activities by the Students of Service Club include packing lunches for local homeless shelters, volunteering at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, bingo, Christmas caroling at local nursing homes and other activities throughout the year, according to the release.

The St. Patrick Students of Service Club is sending backpacks loaded with school supplies to students in Texas who have lost their homes due to Hurricane Harvey.


Media Files:
http://www.kcchronicle.com/articles/2017/09/05/2653d157d032433f86fd887e6b587aa9/8b665ec1-4412-4b38-a880-a6620478c113/image-pv_web.jpg




Face Time with Savannah VajgertSavannah Vajgert

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:05:00 GMT

Maple Park resident Savannah Vajgert, 19, was working at Kane County Landscape Materials and Supply in Elburn when she answered questions for the Kane County Chronicle’s Zachary Van Vuren.

Van Vuren: Where did you grow up?Vajgert: Maple Park

Van Vuren: What did you want to be when you grew up?Vajgert: When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet.

Van Vuren: Who would play you in a movie?Vajgert: Jennifer Lawrence

Van Vuren: Do you have a book or movie recommendation?Vajgert: “The Zookeeper’s Wife”

Van Vuren: What’s your favorite local restaurant?Vajgert: Kane County Country Market

Van Vuren: What’s your favorite ice cream?Vajgert: Butter pecan

Van Vuren: What’s your favorite charity?Vajgert: ASPCA

Van Vuren: What’s an interesting fact about yourself?Vajgert: I worked for my family’s business all my life.

Savannah Vajgert


Media Files:
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Waubonsee names 2 members outstanding adjunct facultyMike RiebeNancy Emanuel

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:03:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – Two Waubonsee Community College adjunct faculty members have been selected as the 2017 Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Members in the first year of the award, the college announced in a news release.

Nancy Emanuel, an English as a second language instructor, and Mike Riebe, an instructor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, were both selected for their teaching excellence, the release stated.

Emanuel is recognized for her work in teaching in the college’s noncredit programs, the release stated.

In more than 11 years at Waubonsee, she has helped hundreds of students complete the English as a second language program. She also helped develop the curriculum for introduction to English as a second language, the release stated. She is a constant inspiration to students and faculty members, the release stated.

Riebe is recognized for his work in teaching in the college’s credit programs, the release stated.

Riebe provides unmatched instruction in duct work, sheet metal fabrications and other sheet metal projects, the release stated.

As the owner of a local heating, ventilation and air-conditioning business, Riebe has used his experience to revamp the college’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning lab and program, the release stated.

Riebe’s students respect him for both his expertise and his business leadership, the release stated.

Adjunct faculty members are nominated for the award for their demonstration of quality instruction, commitment to student success, and their contributions to the college’s credit and noncredit divisions, the release stated.

Mike RiebeNancy Emanuel


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Sugar Grove's Java Plus reopens in Aurora

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:01:00 GMT

Those who continue to miss the coffee, fellow customers, friendly staff and ambiance of Java Plus will be pleased to know that they can now get their fix once again.

The only problem is that the new location is about 14 miles away from the Sugar Grove Public Library at 1677 Montgomery Road in Aurora.

Java Plus had been a popular destination at the library for more than three years before closing at the end of March 2016 because of growing frustration about limitations with operating hours and space.

It opened at its new location four months ago and finally had its official grand opening and ribbon-cutting Sept. 7.

“We appreciate all the support from the city and everybody else,” co-owner Vicki Morkert said. “We are so happy that we were able to create a place where people could come and meet new people, to enjoy peace and quiet and to do their thing. People will come in and sit for three hours doing their homework. The nurses from [Rush] Copley [Medical Center] will come to study, and throughout the day the fire department and ambulance drivers will stop in for coffee, so it’s been great so far.”

Former customers from the Sugar Grove location also are making the trek to Aurora, which says a lot about the coffee and the comfort of having a place to get away, to catch up with a friend, study, read and enjoy live entertainment.

“Some of the old-time guys have come out already and hopefully more will come out as well,” co-owner Mike Morkert said. “This has been a journey for us, and it’s been an interesting process. We’ve been blessed. We’re excited to be here.”

And the community was more than happy to welcome them.

“I personally like the independent mom-and-pop coffee shops that have unique warmth and you can tell the owners love their business and their customers,” said State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora. “I understand the chains, but they’re not the same. You come in here and immediately you feel at home. You’re welcome here and it’s a really nice place to come to.”

Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership for the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, compared Java Plus with a sitcom made famous by Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson, among others, in the 1980s.

“It’s kind of like the coffee version of ‘Cheers’ where they all know who you are,” she said. “There’s a lot of good things being done here, and I like how other small businesses can come here and how they are supporting them and partnering with others by selling their products here as well.”

Java Plus may be known for its coffee, but it’s more than that.

“We’re happy to welcome them to the community and they’re much more than just coffee,” Aurora 9th Ward Alderman Edward Bugg said.

“Coffee, teas, gelato, pastries, brownies and then there’s art and music. This is the kind of place that brings the community together and we’re overjoyed that they are here.”




Mystery author visits Sugar Grove library

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:00:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – A cozy mystery writer arrived on the scene and spoke to attentive readers inside the Sugar Grove Public Library on Sept. 7.

Patricia Rockwell, author, Aurora resident and managing editor of Cozy Cat Press, spoke about the cozy mystery story called “Chasing the Codex.”

This book is written by 24 authors, including Rockwell. She was responsible for chapter 13, along with editing the book.

“It’s just a transitional chapter that needed to be there to hold things together,” Rockwell said.

Rockwell explained the process of creating the book.

“There was no synopsis,” Rockwell said. “I did not have a grand plan in mind.”

The authors wrote their chapters based on the alphabetical order of their last names. And the author could only read what happened in a previous chapter. Then, an author would create the next chapter, creating an urgency and “thrillingness.”

Rockwell revealed the mindset of authors carrying on the baton of a story: “I’m going to write the doozy!”

The attendees’ eyes were glued to Rockwell with pen in hand. Those that came together for the author visit are from the library’s Sugar Grove Mystery Readers and a Sugar Grove-based book club called Reds, Whites and Views.

Joann Verdeyen, a Sugar Grove resident and Mystery Readers member, pointed out an observation.

“Characters would show up,” Verdeyen said. Fellow member Joan Roth replied, “That’s life.”

Rockwell noted a variety of happenings in the story, including dead bodies appearing all over the place, a twin plotline out of nowhere, kidnappers and treasure.

Readers expressed more thoughts on the “Chasing the Codex” after the event.

Barb Gore, an Aurora resident and Mystery Readers member, called the story a fun read.

“It wasn’t gory,” Gore said. “And there were so many twists and turns. I really enjoyed it. Each author made it fun.”

Sandy Andry, a Sugar Grove resident and coordinator of Reds, Whites and Views, said she was impressed by “the fact that 24 authors could come together with a story.”

Roth also expressed being impressed with the idea of the numerous authors putting together one book.

“I’ve been intrigued by it for over a year,” Roth said. “… The whole concept is just absolutely fascinating.”

Rockwell also spoke about her mystery series: the Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery series and Essie Cobb Senior Sleuth Mysteries series. As for Rockwell, she put it in a nutshell about what she wants readers to get out of her cozy mystery books.

“I hope they get a lot of pleasure and warmth and happiness and joy and fun,” Rockwell said.

“And I hope they can forget their troubles. And I hope … whatever it’s bothering them – they ought to be able to sit down. A good cozy mystery, you ought to be able to read through pretty quickly and enjoy it in one kind of fell swoop and feel just fabulous.”




Word From Elburn: Town and Country Public Library presents cool new programsConnor Wilcox

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:50:00 GMT

The Town and Country Public Library is committed to searching out and scheduling programming to teach, enlighten and engage. In keeping with this commitment, the library has added a variety of fascinating programs for the end of September and beginning of October. Whether you are discovering family roots in colonial America or looking into raising your own chickens, the library is offering plenty of chances for you to fall into a cool program this autumn. Many budding genealogists may assume that personal records and family documents from colonial America have simply disintegrated and disappeared over the years. Fortunately, this is not necessarily true. At 10 a.m. Sept. 25, genealogy expert Jane Haldeman is coming to the library to help you learn how to uncover possible colonial connections in your family history and what records are available for your search. Regardless of whether your ancestors can be traced back to colonial America, all who attend this program will gain valuable genealogical researching skills and access to resources. If you are looking for a program to aid in your job search, the library also has you covered. In today’s world, your resume is a potential employer’s first impression of you. The descriptions of your experience, strengths, and accomplishments on your resume are the cornerstones of your personal brand. At 7 p.m. Sept. 27, the library is holding a special workshop to help you refine and perfect your resume to shine for that all-important first impression. This workshop will be run by career specialist Julie Bartimus, who will bring her 20 years of career services experience to bear in helping you to create a compelling resume. This program is especially useful for young job-searchers in high school and college seeking to construct an effective resume. The library is looking to the sky for beneficial programs to bring your way. While the sun’s warmth fades into the fall and temperatures drop, the sun’s rays can still power your home all year long. Jeff Gahris from the Illinois Solar Commission is coming to the library at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 to teach you the basics of solar energy, how harnessing solar energy works in Illinois, and what financial benefits installing solar panels can provide. Come to this presentation to discover an environmentally friendly way to slash your electricity expenses. The library is also offering a program to dispel the notion that unlimited supplies of farm-fresh eggs are just for farmers. In fact, a steady supply of eggs is only one of the many joys of raising and caring for chickens. Chicken-raising guru Ellen Posledni will be at the library at 10 a.m. Oct. 14 to teach you how to raise a chicken from a chick and how to properly take care of the chicken. Everything from chicken breed selection to chicken coop design will be covered in this informative presentation on raising and keeping backyard chickens. Visit the new Town and Country Library website at www.elburn.lib.il.us and click under the Programs & Events tab to browse all of the library’s upcoming programs. In addition, you can follow Town and Country Library on Facebook for updates and other news. As always, feel free to give the library a call at 630-365-2244 for an answer to any library-based question. Connor Wilcox is the communications coordinator for the Town and Country Public Library. The “Word from Elburn” column runs the third Thursday of each month. Feedback can be s[...]


Media Files:
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Legalizing recreational marijuana opposed by Kane County state's attorneyKane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:19:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – A lobbying effort against the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois, a prison sentence for an embezzler, and the launch of Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement officers were discussed by Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon at his monthly media briefing Sept. 12. In response to marijuana bills including SB316, the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, McMahon said he sent a letter of opposition to 15 state legislators, and provided two pages of statistics about crime, safety and health issues related to the drug. Citing studies in Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012, he noted that highway safety data shows a 145 percent increase in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana between 2013 and 2016. He said cartels involved in the movement of illegal drugs continue to operate, and there has been an increased number of drugged-driving offenses. “I don’t see the benefit of adding another intoxicating compound,” he said. He said he is a proponent of early childhood education, which helps at-risk kids stay out of the juvenile court system, calling marijuana accessibility counterproductive, especially for the developing brain, given the drug’s possible effects on learning and behavior. “[Because marijuana] remains illegal under federal law, it must remain a cash business,” McMahon said, noting that has led to smash-and-grab robberies. “I think it’s early in the process. I don’t know if we’ll ever be ready for it [in Illinois]. I encourage them to wait and allow the process to play out in some of the other states.” In the letter to legislators, he stated: “In states that have legalized marijuana, most anticipated revenue has been offset by social and societal costs such as higher crime, costs associated with drugged-driving injuries and fatalities, workplace absenteeism and injuries, and homelessness, as well as regulatory costs.” He said the American Medical Association considers marijuana a dangerous drug and opposes legalization. When it comes to medical marijuana, McMahon said he would like the discussion to be driven by doctors and other health care professionals rather than private industry that stands to make millions into billions. In other news, McMahon said he was pleased with the outcome of the case against Martha P. Strauss, 53, of Geneva, convicted of embezzling $600,000 in an almost eight-year period from her employer, the St. Charles Veterinary Clinic, where she was the business manager. “The five-year sentence is significant … it sends a strong message that white-collar criminals will be pursued aggressively,” McMahon said. Following up on last month’s news that the application to offer Crisis Intervention Training for officers in communities across Kane County had been submitted to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, McMahon announced the board has granted tentative approval. The first training session will take place from Oct. 16 to 20. Members of the board will audit the presentation, which can accommodate 30 officers. CIT is designed to help officers more effectively and safely interact with people dealing with mental health issues. CIT teaches them how to de-escalate encounters, leading to safer outcomes for both parties. [...]


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Geneva police on alert after rumors of school shootingGeneva High School reacted this week to rumors of a possible shooting. It also had a student pour gasoline onto himself from a water bottle in the cafeteria. That student was later taken to a hospital.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:46:00 GMT

GENEVA – Officials at Geneva High School are taking extra steps to ensure student safety after being alerted to rumors of a possible shooting at the school being planned, stated the district website, www.geneva304.org, Wednesday morning.

Cmdr. Julie Nash said police saw the same rumors on social media and were working in conjunction with school officials to determine their legitimacy.

“One rumor [on social media] and everything gets passed around,” Nash said. “It’s under investigation. ... We are taking every precaution to make sure the schools are safe. We have extra patrols at all the schools in the city, not just the high school."

But Nash would not comment about any stated reason behind the shooting rumor.

“Any tips, rumors – we are considering everything and looking into it,” Nash said.

School officials stated that Geneva police and extra staff will be on hand at the high school and advised that students should come prepared to have bags and IDs checked, stated the website.

"While we have not been able to validate the credibility of these rumors, we will continue to take extra precautions until we have determined that our students are totally safe attending our school, and updates will follow," the website stated.

The news comes on the heels of an incident at the school earlier this week, when a student poured gasoline onto himself from a water bottle in the cafeteria, but was immediately prevented by students and staff from taking further steps to do self-harm or harm to others, according to a news release.

Officials did not identify the student, who was later taken to a hospital.

"Our student services staff (which consists of counselors, psychologists and social workers) from across the district continued to be available throughout the school day for all GHS students. These resources will continue to be available for students as long as needed," stated a letter From Principal Tom Rogers on Tuesday.

That letter also noted that a student from the GHS Class of 2017 – Daine Rice-Picasso – died as a result of an automobile accident that occurred in central Illinois last weekend. 

Geneva High School reacted this week to rumors of a possible shooting. It also had a student pour gasoline onto himself from a water bottle in the cafeteria. That student was later taken to a hospital.


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'Involvement is awesome this year'[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-grade band instructor Dan Zielinski works with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] There is overwhelming support for the band and choir programs at Kaneland Harter Middle School from the teachers and parents alike who encourage students to join. Band teacher Dan Zielinski has witnessed an overwhelming support for the music program from the school staff, parents and the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. “Involvement is awesome this year,” Zielinski said. “The beginning band camp on Aug. 10 saw its largest numbers. The kids are outstanding. The staff at Harter Middle School does an excellent job of promoting the extracurricular activities. Teachers are giving the kids encouragement to explore different activities.”[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-grader Jude Mullins plays the flute with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] The amount of support from the students’ parents has been apparent at the concerts for the band and choir, according to Zielinski. At several different performances last school year, the school split the concert times to accommodate the audience. “For 'The Little Mermaid' last year, there were over a 1,000 audience members,” Zielinski said. Zielinski had asked his colleague, the seventh- and eighth-grade Choir Director Bradley Staker, what he thought of the music program at Kaneland since he has been a part of it. Staker responded with, “There’s a tradition of music at Kaneland.”[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-grader Aiden Krump (far left) takes direction from instructor Dan Zielinski during a rehearsal with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] As the sixth-grade band director Zielinski has noticed tremendous growth in the students he works with each year. There is a lot of growth and development that takes place in the first year that students are in the band. “The kids are fresh to music,” Zielinski said. “It’s a pleasure to witness the growth and be a part of their first year. It’s a privilege to be the first director they have.” Zielinski has had students come back to obtain observation hours throughout the years, and he has noticed students come back with different insights and perspectives along with an excitement about what they are doing.[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-graders (from left) Marissa Sorrentino, Berlyn Ruh and Sydney Kendrick play their clarinets with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] Anyone interested in supporting the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters through a donation or by supporting an event can visit their Facebook page by searching Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters or by sending an email to info@knightmusic.org. For more information, visit www.knightmusic.org.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:00:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – A large sixth-grade class at Kaneland Harter Middle School is a big part of the reason for the growth of the music program. With more than 150 band members, this year the school will have the largest band yet.

[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-grade band instructor Dan Zielinski works with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] There is overwhelming support for the band and choir programs at Kaneland Harter Middle School from the teachers and parents alike who encourage students to join. Band teacher Dan Zielinski has witnessed an overwhelming support for the music program from the school staff, parents and the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters. “Involvement is awesome this year,” Zielinski said. “The beginning band camp on Aug. 10 saw its largest numbers. The kids are outstanding. The staff at Harter Middle School does an excellent job of promoting the extracurricular activities. Teachers are giving the kids encouragement to explore different activities.”[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-grader Jude Mullins plays the flute with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] The amount of support from the students’ parents has been apparent at the concerts for the band and choir, according to Zielinski. At several different performances last school year, the school split the concert times to accommodate the audience. “For 'The Little Mermaid' last year, there were over a 1,000 audience members,” Zielinski said. Zielinski had asked his colleague, the seventh- and eighth-grade Choir Director Bradley Staker, what he thought of the music program at Kaneland since he has been a part of it. Staker responded with, “There’s a tradition of music at Kaneland.”[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-grader Aiden Krump (far left) takes direction from instructor Dan Zielinski during a rehearsal with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] As the sixth-grade band director Zielinski has noticed tremendous growth in the students he works with each year. There is a lot of growth and development that takes place in the first year that students are in the band. “The kids are fresh to music,” Zielinski said. “It’s a pleasure to witness the growth and be a part of their first year. It’s a privilege to be the first director they have.” Zielinski has had students come back to obtain observation hours throughout the years, and he has noticed students come back with different insights and perspectives along with an excitement about what they are doing.[Kaneland Harter Middle School sixth-graders (from left) Marissa Sorrentino, Berlyn Ruh and Sydney Kendrick play their clarinets with a portion of the school's sixth grade band Aug. 31.] Anyone interested in supporting the Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters through a donation or by supporting an event can visit their Facebook page by searching Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters or by sending an email to info@knightmusic.org. For more information, visit www.knightmusic.org.


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News cooking segment features former St. Charles residentFormer St. Charles resident Stephanie Bruce was recently featured on a news station in Charlotte, N.C., where she did a back-to-school cooking segment on breakfast ideas. She also has a blog called "Gathered in the Kitchen."

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:30:00 GMT

Stephanie Bruce started a blog called Gathered in the Kitchen in 2010 mainly as a way to keep track of her recipes. “I was a stay-at-home mom and I was experimenting in the kitchen and I figured this would be a way for me to remember what I made,” Bruce said, laughing. Formerly from St. Charles, Bruce – whose maiden name is Dobberfuhl – and her husband, Clayton, now live in North Carolina with their three children, but come back to St. Charles often to visit family. Most recipes listed on her blog are created solely by her. She throws together whatever foods she thinks sound good together. Some of her favorites are Crock Pot Beef Sandwiches – “it’s not Portillo’s beef, but it’s close,” she said; the Zucchini Lasagna Roll – “a great way to get vegetables into kids without a lot of carbs;” and the Greek Spinach Pie. “I also have a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe on my blog,” Bruce said. “It’s not the healthiest of recipes – it has corn starch in it – but, hey, it is homemade and better than store-bought cookies.” The blog started as a place for cooking and recipe information and was a new adventure for her. She never helped her mom cook as a kid, but she needed to learn how to do so for her family, and she figured everyone else needs to eat every day, too. And when most people socialize, they gather in the kitchen – hence the title of her blog. As a stay-at-home mom, she has involved her kids in her day-to-day activities and in every aspect of the kitchen, so many of her recipes are “kid-approved.” Because her blog has a decent following and high monthly page views, she recently was featured on a news station in Charlotte, N.C., where she did a back-to-school cooking segment on quick and healthy on-the-go breakfast ideas. “I have no idea how I was selected to be on the show,” Bruce said. “I received a call from a media agency out of Ohio asking if I’d like to participate in the segment. It’s amazing what my little blog has done for me.” Her blog, which started as a “recipe box,” has now turned into much more than that. It now features do-it-yourself projects, travel and craft ideas, and has a social reach of 140,000. As a former recreational therapist, Bruce was able to teach Alzheimer’s and dementia patients how to do a lot of things with their hands, including fine motor skills, and that skill is helping her now with the crafts on her blog. She’s able to teach people how to successfully create the projects they are working on. Bruce loves to inspire people to change their home with DIY projects. Pinterest has helped that part of her blog take off, and she is also doing Facebook Live how-to-craft videos for a company called Home Talk. With the success of that section of her blog, she has gone a step further and is now teaching classes at a local Hobby Lobby in her town and is also teaching workshops out of her home. She’s still doing a lot of cooking and adding new recipes to the blog all the time. “In the future I hope to launch a cookbook with kid-approved recipes,” Bruce said. “It’s always a challenge to get kids to eat healthy, and I hope to inspire others that it’s doable and it doesn’t take a lot of skills.” More online [...]


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St. Charles police reports

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:30:00 GMT

• Cole Z. Szafraniec, 26, of the 1200 block of Dean Street, St. Charles, was charged Sept. 3 with domestic battery.

• Betty A. Riley, 59, of the 4N300 block of Woodland Trail, Wayne Township, was charged Sept. 2 with obstructing or resisting a police officer and criminal trespass after entering or remaining when told to leave.

• Oluwafadekemi A. Adekanye, 37, of the 200 block of Riverside Drive, St. Charles, was charged Aug. 29 with theft under $500.

• Ann M. Brzozowski, 37, of the 800 block of New Britton Road, Carol Stream, was charged Aug. 30, with driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, improper lane use and failure to signal.

• Richard A. Limbach, 55, of the 1800 block of West Highland Avenue, Elgin, was charged Aug. 30 with driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

• Shirley Sams, 57, of the 1700 block of Wessel Court, St. Charles, was charged Aug. 28 with driving under the influence, improper lane use and failure to yield from a private driveway.

• Gregory M. Hague, 57, of the 500 block of Longmeadow Circle, St. Charles, was charged Aug. 31 with driving under the influence.


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Learning to Grow: When it rains, it pours"By spreading the use of rain gardens we can help fight soil erosion and reduce the amount of pollution that flows into our waterways," writes columnist and master gardener Jim Stendler.

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:30:00 GMT

Many of us have had the concept of saving water engrained in us at an early age, with our parents yelling at us to stop taking long showers, so the idea of managing excess water might seem irrelevant. After all, there are sewers and retention ponds to handle the occasional deluge of rainwater. But the best way to deal with excess rain is to encourage it to trickle down to the water table near where it falls, instead of causing run-off, soil erosion and breeding spots for mosquitoes.

Fortunately, horticulturalists have found an answer to this issue by creating rain gardens. These gardens are designed so that yard runoff is focused into one low area. Plants are chosen for both their ability to withstand wet conditions and help rainwater permeate the soil. You might already have an area in your yard where it ponds after heavy rains, but it should drain within a couple of days in order for it to be a suitable spot for a rain garden.

The backbone of the rain garden is sedges (Carex spp.). These clumped grass-like plants not only have the ability to survive flooding, but they also have deep roots that help to funnel surface water deep into the ground. The main issue with an entire garden comprised of sedge is that it gives the appearance of a bed of weedy grasses instead of a well-planned garden. To counter this issue, more attractive blooming perennials are added to give the garden color and texture. Lists of plants that can handle a marshy environment are available.

Ideally, a rain garden should be established when the landscape is being graded so all of the yard's runoff is concentrated in one direction, with the water slowly reaching the garden. This is not always possible, but you may be able to find a spot where downspouts can be directed, or by modifying a smaller area to encourage water flow. The rest of the garden goes together easily, with sedges planted in a grid formation and showy plants interspersed in the grid. The first year or two the garden will need some water to help it get established, but after that it should be self-sufficient, other than periods of drought.

There are many publications available through University of Illinois Extension to help you learn more about rain gardens. Every little bit helps, and by spreading the use of rain gardens we can help fight soil erosion and reduce the amount of pollution that flows into our waterways.

Jim Stendler is a University of Illinois Extension master gardener for Kane County. The “Learning to Grow” column runs weekly during warmer months of the year. Call the extension office at 630-584-6166 for more information. Feedback on this column can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.

"By spreading the use of rain gardens we can help fight soil erosion and reduce the amount of pollution that flows into our waterways," writes columnist and master gardener Jim Stendler.


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Actors in Batavia to tune in Campana radio programA live homage to a classic radio show tied to the Campana factory in Batavia will be presented at Water Street Studios. (Swipe left to see another vintage image.)Campana's radio show was the longest-running program in the golden age of radio.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:40:00 GMT

BATAVIA – Campana will be back in the news on the entertainment front, where it once was synonymous with the longest-running show in the golden age of radio. “The First Nighter Program” aired from 1930 to 1953 and carried the name of the Batavia beauty products manufacturer across the nation. Actors will re-enact several of the scripts Sept. 22 for Water Street Studio’s Live Art Series in Batavia. Batavia Arts Council President Julane Sullivan, whose All Dressed Up Costumes business has been located inside the landmark Campana building for more than a decade, will direct members of the Shakespeare at the Centre acting troupe. “I have been wanting to re-create the radio shows sponsored by The Campana Company since I moved into the building and learned about its history,” Sullivan said in an email. “I have selected three different plays, from various times in the history of the radio program to highlight the differences in the programming as well as the advertising copy.” The original show, produced in Chicago, included stars such as Don Ameche, said Sullivan, who shared some of the history. Ernest Oswalt, founder of The Campana Company, was one of the first entrepreneurs to see the value of media advertising and used newspapers, magazines, billboards and radio. Oswalt hired Florence Ward, a fiction writer who lived in Batavia, to write radio scripts for the program. Italian Balm was introduced nationally through the show, which drew an estimated 20 million listeners weekly. Performing before a large studio audience, the actors wore formal attire, ladies in gowns and Mr. First Nighter clad in tails and top hat. The program was meant to depict opening nights on Broadway. The show solely featured commercials for Campana products, whose Italian Balm became the best-selling hand lotion in the U.S. in the 1930s. With Italy an adversary in World War II, Oswalt changed the name to Campana Balm after the Canadian doctor from whom he had purchased the formula. The Campana Company began business in 1927 and constructed the factory on the border of Batavia and Geneva at Fabyan Parkway and Route 31 in 1936, designed by architects Frank D. Chase and William James Smith. The all-steel frame building has glass blocks and bricks used extensively in the design. Inside the lobby are Art Deco bathing ladies who can be seen through the second-level windows. The tower encases a 45,000-gallon water tank used for water circulation for air-conditioning and fire sprinklers. “As the founder of Shakespeare on Clark, now Shakespeare at the Centre, I was delighted to find how often Shakespeare plays were referenced in the radio programs,” Sullivan said. “We will be doing one of those plays, called ‘Old Lady Shakespeare,’ written about a fictitious actress who uses a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to stage a comeback in her twilight years.” Sullivan shared an anecdote about a cowboy confused by the nature of Campana’s famous product, who sent the company a letter: “Please send me one of your Italian bombs – I have some skunks under the meat house and I want to get rid of them.” If you go WHAT: “Cam[...]


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Kaneland Blackberry Creek to host sale to benefit Hurricane Irma victims

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:36:00 GMT

ELBURN – Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School teacher Emily Owen’s fifth-grade class will host a sale to benefit those affected by Hurricane Irma from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 29 in the school’s gym, 1122 Anderson Road, Elburn.

For the sale, students are collecting books, clothes, shoes, stuffed animals, toys and gift cards.

There will also be a bake sale at the event.

The class is currently deciding where it will donate proceeds from the event.

For more information, see https://youtu.be/tUegSlDfqTs.


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Geneva ties food, beverage tax to successful sales tax referendum

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:30:00 GMT

GENEVA – Aldermen took up the issue of the food and beverage tax again Sept. 18, this time tying it to a sales tax referendum.

After some discussion, aldermen directed staff to prepare a resolution to put a half-percent general sales tax on the March 20, 2018 ballot. But it would be coupled with an ordinance enacting a 2 percent Places for Eating Tax to go into effect July 1 if the sales tax referendum fails.

Officials have targeted the Oct. 23 Committee of the Whole meeting for the next discussion.

The food and beverage tax – a pass-through tax to be collected by restaurants – would raise about $1.5 million in revenue, City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins said.

A half-percent sales tax would raise about $2 million, but 2 percent of that would go to the state, she said.

Fifth Ward Alderman Craig Maladra said the Places for Eating Tax makes the most sense because the money would remain under local control.

But 2nd Ward Alderman Don Cummings and 4th Ward Alderman Jim Radecki questioned its fairness in targeting a small, specific group for a tax.

Fifth Ward Alderman Robert Swanson said the city needs the additional revenue for the increased costs of police, fire and streets. Sales tax revenue was $5 million in 2005 and 12 years later, it is the same, he said.

Third Ward Alderman Dean Kilburg said officials have discussed the issue over and over.

“I don’t think there is a whole lot new we can say about it,” Kilburg said. “Let’s move forward.”


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Correction

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:06:00 GMT

St. Charles School District 303 has a new operating budget of about $172.5 million and expenses of about $170.4 million. This was incorrectly reported in the Sept. 7 edition of the St. Charles Kane County Chronicle. The Chronicle regrets the error.




D-303 Class of 2017 earns record ACT scores

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:06:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Students who graduated from St. Charles School District 303 in 2017 matched the Class of 2016 ACT composite score of 23.8, which continues to be the highest-ever ACT composite score for District 303 students, according to a news release from the district.

The Class of 2017 posted the highest District 303 scores ever in reading (23.9) and in science (23.6), and also tied the highest mark in math (23.8) since all students began taking the ACT in the state of Illinois.

District 303 scores for the 2017 senior class are well above the Illinois state averages: 2.6 higher in English; 2.6 higher in math; 2.3 higher in reading; 2.3 higher in science; and 2.4 higher for the composite score.

Each of those margins is the highest spread ever between the District 303 score and the Illinois state average.

The St. Charles North High School Class of 2017 earned its school’s highest composite score ever with 24.3, which surpassed the 24.1 mark for the Class of 2016. North’s Class of 2017 also set new high marks for the school in English (24), reading (24.3) and science (24).

The 23.5 composite score for the Class of 2017 at St. Charles East High School matches the highest composite score ever posted at the school.

The Classes of 2010, 2014 and 2016 also earned a 23.5 score.

East’s Class of 2017 also posted the highest mark ever for the school in reading (23.7) and tied the high mark in science (23.3), which was posted by the Class of 2014.




14th District Democratic candidates square off at Kendall forumThe candidates will compete in the March 20, 2018 Democratic Party primary election, and the winner will take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, in the November 2018 general election.Brolley, the village president of Montgomery, said he's running partly as a result of the November election of President Donald Trump. Brolley, whose wife's family is from Mexico, said he faced questions from his children about Trump. "When my daughter asks why Donald Trump wants to build a wall so she can't visit her grandma, that really hits home and that hurts," Brolley said.Swanson, a teacher from Batavia, said he's "not running for myself." He said he's running for his elderly father with Parkinson's disease and uses Social Security and Medicare; his mother, who is a small business owner; his sister, who has a pre-existing condition, diabetes; his son, who he said couldn't understand how the Republicans went from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump; and for his daughter, who he said deserves to be paid the same as his son for the exact same work; and for his students.Underwood, a public health nurse from Naperville, said she's running because of Hultgren's vote on health care. She said she has a pre-existing heart condition. Hultgren voted in favor of the Paul Ryan-backed American Health Care Act in May; the measure failed to pass Congress. "I felt betrayed, and I think he needs to be held accountable for that action," Underwood said of Hultgren's vote.Walz, a Gurnee resident who ran against Hultgren in 2016 but lost, said he's a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and said he wants the United States to wean itself off of fossil fuels. He said he would file legislation to provide incentives for wind, solar, geothermal and other energy. He said he also wants to get "money out of politics" and voiced opposition to the Citizens United decision. He also criticized Congressional Republicans' attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "The fact that anybody would vote to take away health care from the most vulnerable among us, while also giving tax breaks to the rich, I found it immoral and disgusting," Walz said. Weber, a chemical engineer from Lakewood, Ill., near Crystal Lake, said he wants "prosperity for the middle class."

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:35:00 GMT

Democratic Party candidates for the 14th Congressional District race talked climate change, health care, education and a multitude of other topics at a candidates forum Sept. 18 at the Amalgamated UAW Local 145 Union Hall in Montgomery.

The Democratic Women of Kendall County organized the forum, which featured candidates Matt Brolley, Victor Swanson, Lauren Underwood, Jim Walz,and George Weber.

Photos by Tony Scott - tscott@shawmedia.com

The candidates will compete in the March 20, 2018 Democratic Party primary election, and the winner will take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, in the November 2018 general election.Brolley, the village president of Montgomery, said he's running partly as a result of the November election of President Donald Trump. Brolley, whose wife's family is from Mexico, said he faced questions from his children about Trump. "When my daughter asks why Donald Trump wants to build a wall so she can't visit her grandma, that really hits home and that hurts," Brolley said.Swanson, a teacher from Batavia, said he's "not running for myself." He said he's running for his elderly father with Parkinson's disease and uses Social Security and Medicare; his mother, who is a small business owner; his sister, who has a pre-existing condition, diabetes; his son, who he said couldn't understand how the Republicans went from Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump; and for his daughter, who he said deserves to be paid the same as his son for the exact same work; and for his students.Underwood, a public health nurse from Naperville, said she's running because of Hultgren's vote on health care. She said she has a pre-existing heart condition. Hultgren voted in favor of the Paul Ryan-backed American Health Care Act in May; the measure failed to pass Congress. "I felt betrayed, and I think he needs to be held accountable for that action," Underwood said of Hultgren's vote.Walz, a Gurnee resident who ran against Hultgren in 2016 but lost, said he's a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and said he wants the United States to wean itself off of fossil fuels. He said he would file legislation to provide incentives for wind, solar, geothermal and other energy. He said he also wants to get "money out of politics" and voiced opposition to the Citizens United decision. He also criticized Congressional Republicans' attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "The fact that anybody would vote to take away health care from the most vulnerable among us, while also giving tax breaks to the rich, I found it immoral and disgusting," Walz said. Weber, a chemical engineer from Lakewood, Ill., near Crystal Lake, said he wants "prosperity for the middle class."


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Fox Valley Marathon: St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina reflects on his latest runParticipants run at the Fox Valley Marathon races on Sept. 17 in St. Charles.Participants push for the finish line on Sept.17 at the Fox Valley Marathon races in St. Charles.Participants head for the finish line on Sept.17 at the Fox Valley Marathon races in St. Charles.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:51:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Fresh off the course following his three-hour, six-minute trek through the Fox Valley half marathon, Mayor Ray Rogina reflected on his racing career and the event on Sept. 16. "It's a great race here," Rogina said. "We're very happy to have it in St. Charles. I'm happy to participate. It's a wonderful event for the city and for visitors. I think people come here and have a good time, they should. This race is run very well." Rogina has run four half marathons, one full marathon and one 20-mile race at the Fox Valley event alone, including 15 career overall marathons. Phoenix, Arizona native Carol Reeve runs 95th Marathon: One dare made to 54-year-old Carol Reeve back in January, 1991 to complete a marathon – her first, the Phoenix Marathon – has now ballooned into 94 more over 26 years later. Reeve finished the marathon in five hours and 30 minutes. Reeve, born in Chicago, is set to run 100 marathons by January, 2019 – finishing in Phoenix. Her goal is to reach the century mark before she turns 60. "Never give up. If I can do it, anybody else can do it," Reeve said. Three Fires Council Boy Scout Chief and team run half marathon: Three Fires Council Scout Executive Joe Wiltrout had never run a half marathon before, but the Scout Oath creed of "a scout is physically strong" was only a portion of his drive to complete a half marathon on Sunday. "I thought it would be fun to use social media to get a little more presence about what scouting can do, [and] put my actions behind what we’re trying to do," Wiltrout, an Eagle Scout recipient in 1987, said on Sept.15 before the race. Alongside both his family and teammates on staff at the St. Charles-based Three Fires Council office, Wiltrout had been raising funds to raise awareness for the Boy Scout program in the area. He finished the 13.1-mile race in just shy of three hours and two minutes. His daughter, Ashley, also competed in the half marathon and finished in two hours and 47 seconds. Per the council's fundraising page, the group raised $4,222 for local scouting programs. "Scouting is truly woven into the fabric of our daily life," Wiltrout said. "Scouting is one of those organizations that builds our young people into the leaders that are going to lead [into] tomorrow." Three Fires Council is seeing recent positive growth in the area, as Wiltrout says the program's "Blast into Scouting" initiative last Sept. 14 helped recruit 1,486 new families into the program. Furthermore, Wiltrout says the council has seen 17 months of consecutive membership growth. As a part of the council's plan for growth, the Elgin-based Camp Big Timber, owned and operated by the council, is undergoing a massive renovation camp-wide. The renovation projects include repairing and painting buildings for Scout-related events, clearing brush for future campsites and more. "All of our funding is used to reach more families and build greater programs [for] kids," Wiltrout said. [...]


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Fox Valley Marathon: 13.1 miles for MooreaFamily and friends, along with Susan Des Roches (middle) and Elizabeth Gray (her right) prior to running or supporting the team for the half marathon on Sept. 17. The team ran the 13.1 mile race in remembrance of Moorea Des Roches, who was murdered in June 2016.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:49:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Susan Des Roches had not run a competitive race in 16 months until Sept. 17. Donning purple T-shirts – the color of domestic violence awareness – and promoting a message of hope, "May you always be brave enough to fly," family and friends of Moorea Marguerite Des Roches propelled the deceased 19-year-old's compassionate and vibrant spirit forward with each step. Mile by mile they ran – carrying her memory through the Fox Valley half marathon, and #TeamMoorea printed on their backs to push them onward. "We don't have a pulpit to preach from," Susan Des Roches, Moorea's mother, shared via email prior to the race. "We don't have a state senator making speeches on our behalf. But we are here, standing, no, running together, to try to do our part. For women everywhere. And for Moorea." Moorea, a former St. Charles North High School student and mother of a young son, was found murdered in June 2016. Her boyfriend, Michael G. Kulpin, is accused of the murder, and faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery and concealment of a homicide. In the seven years prior to her daughter's death, Susan ran 16 marathons, but stopped running in the wake of the tragedy. Shortly following the incident, Susan's friend, Christine Bastone, heard the story of Elizabeth Gray – A domestic violence survivor, who runs marathons raising awareness regarding the issue and conducts speaking engagements across the United States. At the time, Gray was involved in a massive contest – over 1,000 entrants – to be featured on the cover of Runner's World magazine. Bastone then contacted Gray on Facebook to share Moorea Des Roches' story. In Gray's second marriage, her abusive ex-husband laughed at her and told Gray "You'll never be able to run a marathon". A family friend helped inspire her to reach her goal to run one. In March 2012, Gray completed her first marathon. In 2015, she was named to then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's Domestic Violence Task Force. Gray, a former four-year active duty marine, is now attempting to run 50 marathons in 50 states. To date, she's run 34 marathons in 31 states while representing her self-started "Marathons Against Domestic Violence" campaign. She projects to complete the prestegious task in her hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo., next September and averages two marathons per month. "I just want to inspire those that are in an unhealthy relationship [to realize] that they can get out," Gray said. "The one thing I really try to always tell people is, 'Hey, you're not stuck in this situation. There's a whole other life out there for you. You just have to reach for it – you have to desire it." Last year on Labor Day, Gray ran and dedicated a race to Moorea's memory. Gray then made the trip to St. Charles last weekend to race side-by-side with Susan and her team. "Elizabeth wants me to find my love of running again and to try to keeping moving forward as I struggle with this devastating loss," Des Roches continued. "Neither of those are possible to do when yo[...]


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An Autumn Fair was held at Peck Farm Park Sept. 16Children paint pumpkins during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.People enjoy a hayride during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A hayride through the prairie during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A pregnant calf was on hand during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Saturday, September 16.A hayride through the prairie during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.People watch a birds of prey show during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.Folk Yeah performs during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A warm and colorful Peck Farm Park in Geneva greeted people attending an Autumn Fair on Sept. 16.Children ride ponies during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A petting zoo was part of an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.Pumpkins were for sale during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:49:00 GMT

The Geneva Park District hosted an Autumn Fair, featuring crafts and hayrides, at Peck Farm Park in Geneva Sept. 16.

Children paint pumpkins during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.People enjoy a hayride during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A hayride through the prairie during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A pregnant calf was on hand during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Saturday, September 16.A hayride through the prairie during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.People watch a birds of prey show during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.Folk Yeah performs during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A warm and colorful Peck Farm Park in Geneva greeted people attending an Autumn Fair on Sept. 16.Children ride ponies during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.A petting zoo was part of an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.Pumpkins were for sale during an Autumn Fair at Peck Farm Park in Geneva on Sept. 16.


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Judge gives green light for Geneva ethics complaint to continue

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 18:30:00 GMT

GENEVA – A Kane County judge has denied the city of Geneva’s motion to dismiss an ethics complaint against itself, Mayor Kevin Burns and others.

In a two-page Sept. 1 ruling, Kane County Circuit Judge David Akemann determined that the legislative intent in Geneva’s ordinance meant that decisions made by its ethics commission are, in fact, subject to administrative review by a court.

Akemann gave Geneva until Oct. 2 to file a response and continued the case to Oct. 5. Akemann’s ruling stems from a court filing by former 5th Ward Alderman Tom Simonian. Simonian sought to reverse a March 20 decision by the Geneva Ethics Commission to dismiss his complaint, which named the city, Burns, ethics commission chairman Timothy Moran and Deputy Fire Chief Mark Einwich as defendants.

Simonian’s complaint alleged that Einwich intentionally did campaign work for Burns while in uniform and using a city vehicle.

At the time, Burns and Simonian were rivals in a hotly contested election for mayor, with Burns ultimately winning a fifth term April 4.

Simonian’s complaint also alleged that the commissioners should have recused themselves because they had all been appointed by Burns.

The ethics commission had dismissed Simonian’s complaint, citing a lack of evidence, and its members also refused to recuse themselves.

In court papers, Simonian asked the judge to reverse the ethics commission’s ruling and to have his complaint heard by a disinterested third party with no ties to Burns.

In response, the city and Moran sought to dismiss Simonian’s claim. They asserted that because Geneva never expressly adopted the provisions of the state’s Administrative Review Act, the court did not have jurisdiction over the decisions of the city’s ethics commission.

In his decision, Akemann wrote that while the Administrative Review Law applies only where it is adopted, when judicial review cannot be had under that law, a petition for review is “sufficient to authorize review under common law.”

Simonian had filed his ethics complaint March 13, alleging Einwich had delivered campaign signs to Burns’ house while in uniform and using a city vehicle.

In testimony at the ethics hearing, Einwich said the campaign sign had become lodged under his vehicle and he called Burns to ask what to do with it. Burns responded in a text to drop it off at his house.

If the commission had found Einwich’s actions to be intentional, the punishment could have been up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, according to the city’s code.




Facetime with Nancy LombardiNancy Lombardi

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:30:00 GMT

St. Charles resident Nancy Lombardi, 29, was in Geneva when she answered questions for the Kane County Chronicle’s Brenda Schory.

Schory: Where did you grow up?

Lombardi: Indianapolis

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

Lombardi: Kate Hudson

Schory: First job?

Lombardi: A lifeguard

Schory: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Lombardi: A teacher and I became one – I teach third grade at Hoover-Wood Elementary School in Batavia.

Schory: Book or movie you would recommend?

Lombardi: “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech

Schory: Favorite charity?

Lombardi: Mooseheart and Alzheimer’s Association – anything to do with kids or Alzheimer’s.

Schory: Favorite local restaurant?

Lombardi: Harner’s in North Aurora

Schory: What is an interesting factoid about yourself?

Lombardi: I saved my little brother when he was a year old. He had a seizure, and I did CPR until the paramedics got there. Last year, I saved my husband with the Heimlich maneuver after he was choking on a huge peanut.

Nancy Lombardi


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Elburn appoints Filek as board trustee

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:48:00 GMT

ELBURN – Plan Commissioner Sue Filek was sworn in Sept. 18 as trustee on the Village Board. With former trustee John Krukoff’s departure, Village President Jeff Walter had the opportunity to appoint someone to fill the spot. Filek has served on the Plan Commission for the past 13 years. The open Plan Commission position was then filled by the appointment of Ryan Anderson, 41, the son of former Village President Dave Anderson. Walter said he was pleased that 11 candidates applied for the open position on the Village Board. Two of the those candidates, Judy Miller and John Marshall, were appointed to serve on the Police Commission. “People are stepping up,” Walter said. “All four candidates came from that list of 11. That’s fantastic.” At the Committee of the Whole meeting, Elburn discussed adding electronic and hazardous waste pickup to the waste-hauling services households receive, if the current waste-hauler Waste Management will agree to a one-year trial. The current contract between the village and Waste Management is not set to expire until a year from now. However Waste Management’s public sector representative Vaughn Kuerschner explained the additional available option would be part of a new five-year contract set to begin a year early on Oct. 1. Kuerschner said that the electronic and hazardous waste services, At Your Door Special Collection, can be added for an additional $15 per resident per year. All residents would need to be in the program in order for the village to take advantage of the service. In addition to the electronic and hazardous waste pickup, the new contract would include an option to buy a larger 94-gallon recycling cart as well as additional recycling education for residents. Trustee Dave Gualdoni wondered whether the village should add the electronic and hazardous waste services for all residents, given that some households may not wish to take advantage of them. Residents would not be able to opt out. But trustee Pat Schuberg said most households have some type of hazardous waste in their homes, and Village Administrator John Nevenhoven agreed this service would be preferable to residents pouring them down the drain. Schuberg said she would prefer this service to waiting in line for hours at the Naperville hazardous waste drop-off site. The Naperville location is funded through a partnership with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and several surrounding counties, including Kane, and is available for use by Kane County residents.  The various items that Waste Management would pick up include paints, household cleaners, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, automotive products, garden chemicals, batteries, syringes and needles. It would not include unused prescriptions. Schuberg asked Kuerschner if Waste Management would be agreeable to a one-year trial period, in order to obtain feedback from residents about whether the s[...]


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Renz in Elgin hosts fundraising dinner to support addiction treatmentGreenRoom Improv will perform at the celebration of Renz Addiction Counseling Center’s Epicurean Delight Fundraiser on Oct. 7 at Elgin Community College. GreenRoom is an ensemble-based theatre company that specializes in improvisation.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:42:00 GMT

ELGIN – Community residents are invited to attend a celebration of Renz Addiction Counseling Center’s 55 years of service at its 10th annual Epicurean Delight Fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 7 at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, the agency announced in a news release. The event will include gourmet fare, raffles and an hour of improv comedy featuring GreenRoom Improv, the release stated. GreenRoom Improv was founded by a group of Judson University students in 1999 after the school’s theater program was canceled, the release stated. Since then, GreenRoom – an ensemble-based theater company that specializes in improvisation – has performed nationally for a wide range of audiences and events, the release stated. Tickets are $90 per person with all proceeds to benefit Renz Addiction Counseling Center’s clinical and prevention programs, the release stated. “Substance abuse is related to soaring health care costs, homelessness, criminal activity and domestic disputes,” Renz Center Board President Brian Monson stated in the release. “It also has a dramatic effect on the children of our community. This fundraiser is important because it directly supports someone in treatment while at the same time makes an impact on the safety and wellness of our community.” An iPad, a weekend getaway including hotel and Southwest Airline tickets and Walt Disney World tickets are among some of the raffle prize items, the release stated. Community residents are invited to participate in advanced raffle sales as attendance is not necessary to win. Tickets are $10 for one, $45 for five, $80 for 10, and $100 for 13, the release stated. To enter the raffle or buy tickets to the fundraising dinner, send a name, address and check payable to Renz Center, Attn. Deb Howe, One American Way, Elgin, IL 60120. Raffles and tickets can also be charged through credit card by calling 847-742-3545, ext. 236, or online at www.RenzCenter.org, the release stated. Group discounts are available. Top event sponsors include Tighe, Kress and Orr PC, Advocate Sherman Hospital, Farmer’s Insurance Mark Hauser Agency, Corkill Insurance and Lamp Inc., the release stated. Renz Center is seeking additional sponsors who could provide a monetary or raffle basket donation. Renz Center – with offices in Elgin, St. Charles, and Streamwood – provides a continuum of care dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs and gambling, the release stated. Services range from prevention programs for youth in schools to outpatient treatment programs for adolescents and adults, with priority given to pregnant women and women with dependent children, the release stated. Renz Addiction Counseling Center is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the federal government, Fox Valley United[...]


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City honors TriCity Family Services, mental health agency in its 50th year

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:24:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – St. Charles officials on Sept. 18 lauded TriCity Family Services for 50 years of service to the community.

During a City Council meeting, Mayor Ray Rogina read a proclamation honoring the mental health agency.

“It's counseling, emotional wellness, family-based treatment for eating disorders, wilderness challenge, and employee assistance services have touched the lives of thousands of residents and assisted generations of families,” Rogina said.

The agency offers affordable mental health services to residents of Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles and Aurora, as well as Blackberry, Campton, Kaneville, and Virgil townships.

Laura Poss, executive director of TriCity Family Services, thanked the mayor and council for recognizing the agency.

“I appreciate your support of our mission,” Poss said.

Based in Geneva, TriCity Family Services has a satellite office in St. Charles at 2570 Foxfield Road.

The organization is governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported by a volunteer advisory council and Helpers with Heart auxiliary. The agency relies on grants and private donations for funding.

Mayor bestows keys to the city

Also on Sept. 18, Mayor Ray Rogina presented symbolic keys to the city to Eagle Scout Daniel Galush and to members of the St. Charles High School Class of 1967.

Galush is the son of Jeffrey and Kimberly Galush of St. Charles. A recent Marmion Academy graduate and a Scout since third grade, he has earned 36 merit badges. His Eagle Scout project with Troop 10 involved designing a memorial for all the Marmion alumni who died serving the U.S. military.

Alderman Maureen Lewis, a member of the St. Charles High School Class of 1967, accepted the key on behalf of a group of fellow alumni attending the council meeting. They plan to attend their 50th high school reunion Sept. 22 and 23. Events will include a tour of Thompson Middle School, which in 1967 was the city's high school building.


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Down to the river to praise – St. Mark's celebrates mortgage payoff at Pottawatomie Park in St. CharlesThe Rev. Tim Bayer of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in St. Charles burns St. Mark's mortgage documents on Sept. 17 to celebrate the church's successful Paid-in-Full Campaign. The campaign erased the church's mortgage debts.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:56:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – St. Mark's Lutheran Church of St. Charles held a special riverside service at Pottawatomie Park on Sept. 17 that included burning – not of candles or incense – but of a retired mortgage. The Rev. Tim Bayer, senior pastor, set fire to the document above an urn placed in front of the congregation, which packed the park's pavilion. Church members cheered afterward in celebration of what Bayer said was a “milestone” for the 110-year-old St. Mark's. The service also included hymns, scripture readings and a sermon, followed by a picnic lunch for attendees. The Paid-in-Full Campaign within the congregation in the spring accelerated the church's payoff of the remainder of its mortgage for the 2003 addition to the church at Sixth and Walnut avenues. The church erased its mortgage debt of $177,969 in 40 days, said Jody Wendt, who coordinated the celebratory service. An anonymous gift helped by matching every dollar given up to $75,000. “It was a gift that will be multiplied for generations to come,” Bayer said. “Paying off our debt now eliminated almost six years of repayment.”  Because the church's debt is paid off, it now will have more resources to pursue the goal of “spreading out and thinking big.”  What does that mantra mean? “Blessing our Fox Valley community of people and families together like never before, mobilizing the next generation of world changers, and giving real hope to hurting people in powerful and creative ways,” Bayer said. Bayer became senior pastor in February 2016 after his predecessor, longtime pastor Timothy Silber, stepped down from the role after more than 15 years. Since then, Bayer has focused on connecting the congregation to the community, said church member Linda Cox, who attended the service. Cox joined St. Mark's congregation about 20 years ago. She is pleased with the direction the church has taken recently. “I love where we're headed,” Cox said. “The church is becoming really missional in the community.” Cox said among the church's recent efforts toward its goal was holding prayer sessions with St. Charles East High School students after their classmates Brittany and Tiffany Coffland were slain in March. Lately, the church members have reached out to the neighborhood school community, offering free coffee weekday mornings to parents taking their children to Lincoln Elementary School. The church also holds community suppers, serving free meals “that are really quite good” to all, with many people attending from outside of the congregation, Cox said. "Pastor Bayer is looking for any opportunity to get the church involved in the community,” Cox added. Brief history St. Mark's Lutheran Church was founded in 1907 by German immigrants[...]


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St. Charles East, North raise funds to fight cancer through Kick-A-Thon[Mayor Ray Rogina and his wife, Diane Cullen, join the St. Charles North and St. Charles East mascots during the annual Kick-A-Thon fundraiser. Photos by Sandy Bressner.] “You’ve got the Rockettes on one end, and everybody from grandpa down to somebody who’s graduated from college in recent years, so there’s all sorts of levels of fitness,” Kick-A-Thon official Dawn Stippich said. “And it’s all in fun and it’s not competitive, and no one is trying to outdo each other or anything like that.” Certainly not. Far from it. “I think the thing that makes it so special is the fact that it brings together the entire community,” Stippich said. “We’ve got dancers from St. Charles North and dancers from St. Charles East joining together to fundraise for our three beneficiaries. It brings in both sides of the crosstown rivalry. They work together, and all members of the community come out to kick.”Kick-A-Thon is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018 after surpassing $1 million in donations last year. The 2016 effort brought more than $100,000 in donations. Drill team members, with the help of parent volunteers, begin planning in May of each year. Stippich said registration information typically starts coming in July, with various new contributors joining longtime Kick-A-Thon supporters. In July, drill team members joined organizers and volunteers at a kick-off meeting at LivingWell, offering an invaluable, firsthand look at one of the organizations the effort benefits.With East and North set to join the new DuKane Conference beginning next school year, Stippich said there’s “no fears” that the event will continue. Recent realignment to both schools’ longtime home, the Upstate Eight Conference, may have shifted the week the Saints and North Stars met each season, but it never kept the crosstown rivalry game off the schedule. Players notice the lively atmosphere each year. The anticipation begins at the start of the week – and often before – but seeing Kick-A-Thon festivities signifies that kickoff finally is near. “It’s crazy,” North Stars senior linebacker/wide receiver Billy Durocher said. “We know it. We love it.”Kick-A-Thon officials are set to announce the 2017 fundraising total during the East-North girls and boys basketball doubleheader on Jan. 12 at East, Stippich said. “Every penny we raise, we try and be able to give back to the beneficiaries,” Stippich said. “Of course, there’s going to be a couple of costs for paper plates and things like that, but other than that, every single dime that we make, we try and give back to the beneficiaries.”

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:06:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Players, coaches and fans each went their separate ways after the St. Charles North football team edged host St. Charles East, 35-34, in overtime on Sept. 15. A few hours earlier, however, most eyes were fixed on the lively, collaborative fundraising effort between the two school communities and their drill teams. Shortly before kickoff, drill team members welcomed family and other volunteers in a bid to triumphantly “kick out” cancer after gathering donations for LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva, Fox Valley Food for Health and the Fox Valley Chapter of the American Cancer Society. [Mayor Ray Rogina and his wife, Diane Cullen, join the St. Charles North and St. Charles East mascots during the annual Kick-A-Thon fundraiser. Photos by Sandy Bressner.] “You’ve got the Rockettes on one end, and everybody from grandpa down to somebody who’s graduated from college in recent years, so there’s all sorts of levels of fitness,” Kick-A-Thon official Dawn Stippich said. “And it’s all in fun and it’s not competitive, and no one is trying to outdo each other or anything like that.” Certainly not. Far from it. “I think the thing that makes it so special is the fact that it brings together the entire community,” Stippich said. “We’ve got dancers from St. Charles North and dancers from St. Charles East joining together to fundraise for our three beneficiaries. It brings in both sides of the crosstown rivalry. They work together, and all members of the community come out to kick.”Kick-A-Thon is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018 after surpassing $1 million in donations last year. The 2016 effort brought more than $100,000 in donations. Drill team members, with the help of parent volunteers, begin planning in May of each year. Stippich said registration information typically starts coming in July, with various new contributors joining longtime Kick-A-Thon supporters. In July, drill team members joined organizers and volunteers at a kick-off meeting at LivingWell, offering an invaluable, firsthand look at one of the organizations the effort benefits.With East and North set to join the new DuKane Conference beginning next school year, Stippich said there’s “no fears” that the event will continue. Recent realignment to both schools’ longtime home, the Upstate Eight Conference, may have shifted the week the Saints and North Stars met each season, but it never kept the crosstown rivalry game off the schedule. Players notice the lively atmosphere each year. The anticipation begins at the start of the week – and often before – but seeing Kick-A-Thon festivities signifies that kickoff finally is near. “It’s crazy,” North Stars senior linebacker/wide receiver Billy Durocher said. “We know it. We love it.”Kick-A-Thon officials are set to announce the 2017 fundraising total during the East-North girls and boys basketball doubleheader on Jan. 12 at East, Stippich said. “Every penny we raise, we try and be able to give back to the beneficiaries,” Stippich said[...]


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Shodeen reveals more about Elburn StationDavid Patzelt, president of Shodeen Group, answers questions from the business community about Elburn Station during an Elburn Chamber of Commerce meeting Sept. 7.

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:37:00 GMT

ELBURN – The business community met with developers at Hughes Creek Golf Course during an Elburn Chamber of Commerce meeting on Sept. 7 to discuss Elburn Station. One of the big reveals during the meeting is that two homes have already been contracted out, according to Craig Shodeen, president of Shodeen Homes. Those first two homes are expected to be finished by January and February. The project is a 20-year development; over that time a variety of uses will come online. The first phase of the project will comprise about 150 homes. The final development, according to the current plan, will consist of about 2,200 residential units ranging from four-bedroom homes to studio apartments, bringing with it an expected 6,600 people, said David Patzelt, president of Shodeen Group. Multiple types of homes will be available, Patzelt said. Single-family home models will come in two varieties, traditional and neotraditional. He said a traditional home will feature a garage on the side of the home, while the neotraditional homes will feature a garage in the back of the home with site widths ranging from 30 to 60 feet. A neotraditional style also includes alleyways to access the backs of the houses. “One of the things we try to promote in our neighborhoods is bringing the neighbors together so you can sit on your front porch and converse with your neighbors next door or across the street,” Patzelt said. “It also encourages walking up the front and in the alley.” Prices for homes will range from the low $219,000 to $336,000, said Jeremy Lund, sales manager for Shodeen Homes. There also will be townhomes and walk-up apartments, in addition to stacked flats, which are apartments above first-floor office and retail spaces with underground parking. The stacked flats will be part of the mixed-use area, which will be built around the Metra station. Developers also plan to open an about 3,000-square-foot sales and design center on the corner of Anderson and Keslinger roads that will allow people to work with sales representatives to order a home from options presented in the center. The center is expected to open in February. An audience member asked whether Menards was interested in locating in the area. Patzelt said that Menards is not interested at this time, but Shodeen is actively seeking a hardware store for Elburn Station and is in conversation with one interested party that wants to be in the area of Anderson and Keslinger roads. The group plans on including “giga-speed” fiber optic internet accessible to all houses and businesses, which will allow users to “download 25 songs in one second,” Patzelt said. “It’s an amenity that we … looked at 10 to 15 years ago in Mill Creek – we started laying the cable and there wasn’t enough desire or need for the fiber optics, so we stopped i[...]


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Church in North Aurora to simulcast 'Revive2017' for womenNancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:29:00 GMT

NORTH AURORA – Living Hope Church, a merged church of Union Congregational Church of North Aurora and Christ the King Church of Batavia, will present a live simulcast of “Revive2017” on Sept. 29 and 30. It will focus on women mentoring women – woman to woman, older to younger, day to day, life to life, according to a news release.

A few of the guest speakers will be Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Mary Kassian, Blair Linne and Betsy Gomez.

It will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 29 and from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30 at 405 W. State St., North Aurora. A soup and salad lunch will be provided on Sept. 30 with reservations requested at priscilla_carr@sbcglobal.net.

For information, call the church office at 630-897-0013 or visit livinghope.ch.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth


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Batavia hits pause button on Shodeen project[Here's a previously submitted design for the proposed One Washington Place development in downtown Batavia as envisioned from North River Street. It shows brick on State Street.] BATAVIA – City aldermen are opposed to any significant changes to the One Washington Place project, in the face of construction bids that show the project as planned would cost much more than anticipated. They reacted negatively to the possibility of reducing the parking and retail space inside the building in order to accommodate additional apartment units, during a committee meeting Sept. 12. Two bids on the downtown mixed-used redevelopment project resulted in what Shodeen Construction President Dave Patzelt has described as a $6 million to $8 million gap that needs to be closed. City Administrator Laura Newman told aldermen that the city staff has been working with Shodeen to find a solution, but the project is on hold for the winter. “There was such a significant increase in the cost of the project that we had to hit the pause button,” Newman said. The ambitious plan agreed to by the city and Shodeen earlier this year would see construction of a multilevel structure housing 186 apartments, a 350-space parking garage and more than 14,000 square feet of retail space.Patzelt now proposes use of precast concrete panels for the parking garage, as opposed to poured concrete, to help reduce the cost. Aldermen did not seem to dismiss that possibility. But they were strongly opposed to removing street-level retail space on the Wilson Street side of the building, or up to 100 parking spots inside the garage, to provide room for more apartments, which would increase revenues for Shodeen. Nor did aldermen like the idea of substituting concrete for the brick-facing on the lower levels of the State Street side of the building, where the entrances to the parking garage will be located. Both 3rd Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit and 5th Ward Alderman Mark Uher described the sacrifice of retail shops as “a nonstarter.” Seventh Ward Alderman Dave Brown called the proposed changes “drastic.” The redevelopment site covers most of a downtown city block bounded by North Washington Avenue and East Wilson, North River and State streets.[When One Washington Place first was proposed, protestors marched along the property at Washington Avenue and Wilson Street in Batavia.] This spring, the city demolished several structures along the 100 block of East Wilson Street, including the former Baptist church, an insurance office, a dentist’s office and the ServiceMaster building. The city parking deck at the corner of River and State is to be razed when construction on the project is ready to begin. Under the redevelopment agreement, the city will turn over the cleared site to Shodeen to build the project. The city will kick in $14 million, recouping its investment through tax increment financing district revenues. When the project is complete, the city would take ownership of the parking garage. City Attorney Kevin Drendel said Shodeen would be required to build the project as approved once the city conveys the property to the developer. “They don’t want us to deliver the property,” Drendel said. “We are going to need to bring this to a head.” Batavia Economic Development Consultant Chris Aiston said the cost of labor and materials has increased since Shodeen made its calculations two years ago. Shodeen did not take into account the additional cost of building a portion of the parking garage underground, Aiston said. “They screwed up in their estimates,” Aiston said.[The former Baptist church was razed to make way for One Washington Place.] Shodeen could save as much as $700,000, if it is able to have the site designated as a State Enterprise Zone, allowing it to purchase construction materials without paying sales tax, Aiston said. The city has asked Shodeen for a new, detailed outline of expenses and revenues. The precise amount of the construction bids have not been released publicly. Total expenses for the original $40 million price tag include a variety of soft costs, such as architectural design, that do not figure into the construction bids. For the first time, aldermen hinted at the possibility that they may have to start over. They do not seem to have any interest in increasing the city’s financial commitment. “We were assured this thing pays for itself,” 2nd Ward Alderman Marty Callahan said. Aldermen scheduled Patzelt to meet with them Oct. 10 to discuss the project’s future. “I think there’s room for more discussion,” Aiston said.If those discussions cannot produce an agreement on the proposed changes, the city may have to take a new direction, Newman suggested, adding, “Then we’re really back to what project we would like to see.” In an interview a few days after the meeting, Patzelt confirmed that he had underestimated the cost of the subterranean portion of the parking garage. He confirmed figures quoted by Aiston that above ground parking costs about $22,500 per space, while underground parking costs about $35,000 per space. Patzelt characterized the proposals relayed to aldermen by Newman and Aiston as ideas for discussion. He said it was unfortunate for aldermen to have heard those ideas without dollar figures attached. While expressing a strong desire to push ahead with the project, Patzelt made clear that changes need to be found. “If there are no substantial changes, the project won’t be able to happen,” Patzelt said. “You’ve got to make some drastic changes.”

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:53:00 GMT

[Here's a previously submitted design for the proposed One Washington Place development in downtown Batavia as envisioned from North River Street. It shows brick on State Street.] BATAVIA – City aldermen are opposed to any significant changes to the One Washington Place project, in the face of construction bids that show the project as planned would cost much more than anticipated. They reacted negatively to the possibility of reducing the parking and retail space inside the building in order to accommodate additional apartment units, during a committee meeting Sept. 12. Two bids on the downtown mixed-used redevelopment project resulted in what Shodeen Construction President Dave Patzelt has described as a $6 million to $8 million gap that needs to be closed. City Administrator Laura Newman told aldermen that the city staff has been working with Shodeen to find a solution, but the project is on hold for the winter. “There was such a significant increase in the cost of the project that we had to hit the pause button,” Newman said. The ambitious plan agreed to by the city and Shodeen earlier this year would see construction of a multilevel structure housing 186 apartments, a 350-space parking garage and more than 14,000 square feet of retail space.Patzelt now proposes use of precast concrete panels for the parking garage, as opposed to poured concrete, to help reduce the cost. Aldermen did not seem to dismiss that possibility. But they were strongly opposed to removing street-level retail space on the Wilson Street side of the building, or up to 100 parking spots inside the garage, to provide room for more apartments, which would increase revenues for Shodeen. Nor did aldermen like the idea of substituting concrete for the brick-facing on the lower levels of the State Street side of the building, where the entrances to the parking garage will be located. Both 3rd Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit and 5th Ward Alderman Mark Uher described the sacrifice of retail shops as “a nonstarter.” Seventh Ward Alderman Dave Brown called the proposed changes “drastic.” The redevelopment site covers most of a downtown city block bounded by North Washington Avenue and East Wilson, North River and State streets.[When One Washington Place first was proposed, protestors marched along the property at Washington Avenue and Wilson Street in Batavia.] This spring, the city demolished several structures along the 100 block of East Wilson Street, including the former Baptist church, an insurance office, a dentist’s office and the ServiceMaster building. The city parking deck at the corner of River and State is to be razed when construction on the project is ready to begin. Under the redevelopment agreement, the city will turn over the cleared site to Shodeen to build the project. The city will kick in $14 million, recouping its investment through tax increment financing district revenues. When the project is complete, the city would take ownership of the parking garage. City Attorney Kevin Drendel said Shodeen would be required to bu[...]


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A custom bar, wine cellar and more: What $1.05 million can get you in St. CharlesSt. Charles home listed for sale on Zillow: 5N155 Prairie Lakes Blvd. 4 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 7,729 square feet. Listed price: $1,050,000. Estimated mortgage: $3,974 per month. This St. Charles estate features a dramatic architectural design, starting with a grand foyer and curved staircase. The kitchen features a center island, stainless steel appliances and cherry cabinets. The walkout custom basement features a brick bar, wine cellar, media room, second fireplace and two bonus rooms. The master suite includes a sitting room with two walk-in closets. Listing agent: Kari Kohler: 630-673-4586St. Charles home listed for sale on Zillow: 5N155 Prairie Lakes Blvd. 4 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 7,729 square feet. Listed price: $1,050,000. Estimated mortgage: $3,974 per month. This St. Charles estate features a dramatic architectural design, starting with a grand foyer and curved staircase. The kitchen features a center island, stainless steel appliances and cherry cabinets. The walkout custom basement features a brick bar, wine cellar, media room, second fireplace and two bonus rooms. The master suite includes a sitting room with two walk-in closets. Listing agent: Kari Kohler: 630-673-4586Dining roomKitchenDining areaLiving room with fireplaceOfficeMaster bedroomMaster bathroomOne of four bedroomsWine cellarBasement barExercise room

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:17:00 GMT

Ever drive by a house and wonder what it looks like inside? Or how much does it cost? Check out this St. Charles home, listed for sale on Zillow.

St. Charles home listed for sale on Zillow: 5N155 Prairie Lakes Blvd. 4 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 7,729 square feet. Listed price: $1,050,000. Estimated mortgage: $3,974 per month. This St. Charles estate features a dramatic architectural design, starting with a grand foyer and curved staircase. The kitchen features a center island, stainless steel appliances and cherry cabinets. The walkout custom basement features a brick bar, wine cellar, media room, second fireplace and two bonus rooms. The master suite includes a sitting room with two walk-in closets. Listing agent: Kari Kohler: 630-673-4586St. Charles home listed for sale on Zillow: 5N155 Prairie Lakes Blvd. 4 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 7,729 square feet. Listed price: $1,050,000. Estimated mortgage: $3,974 per month. This St. Charles estate features a dramatic architectural design, starting with a grand foyer and curved staircase. The kitchen features a center island, stainless steel appliances and cherry cabinets. The walkout custom basement features a brick bar, wine cellar, media room, second fireplace and two bonus rooms. The master suite includes a sitting room with two walk-in closets. Listing agent: Kari Kohler: 630-673-4586Dining roomKitchenDining areaLiving room with fireplaceOfficeMaster bedroomMaster bathroomOne of four bedroomsWine cellarBasement barExercise room


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Judge Family Chiropractic in St. Charles hosting week of events

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 17:15:07 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Judge Family Chiropractic, 2422 W. Main St., St. Charles, is hosting a community dinner at The Lodge on 64, 41W379 Route 64, Wasco, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18 that is open to the public.

Reservations are needed. Call Luke at 630-377-3506 to reserve a space.

In addition, a 30-minute new patient orientation will take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 23 at the office. The orientation is open to the public, but appointments are needed. Call Judge Family Chiropractic at 630-377-3500 to make an appointment.

And an open house will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 23 at the office. That event is open to the public. For more information, call 630-377-3500 or visit http://maximizedlivingjudgechiro.com.  




Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame seeks nominations

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:58:00 GMT

NORTH AURORA – The Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame invites nominations of outstanding artists for its 2018 class of inductees.

Anyone may submit a name for consideration until Nov. 1, according to a news release. Artists previously recommended may be nominated again, but a new form is necessary. There is no fee required. The nomination form and requirements can be found at foxvalleyarts.org.

Every two years, the organization gives public recognition to artists associated with the Fox Valley – by birth, education, residence or service – who have achieved international or national acclaim. The honor is for living artists or can be awarded posthumously. Candidates should have completed 20 years in their professional field and received recognition for excellence.

To date, 56 individuals representing the literary arts, media arts, performing arts and visual arts have been inducted. A fifth category is for an arts educator, director, curator or benefactor. These individuals have created or promoted a strong cultural legacy for future generations.

Plaques with the artists’ images and a brief profile are displayed in the entry area of the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. Inductees' detailed biographies appear on the website.

The Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, organized in 2001, honors the work and performances of artists who have achieved extraordinary distinction. The inductees selected during the current round will be recognized at a banquet and gala awards ceremony planned in their honor April 20 at Villa Olivia in Bartlett.

A selection committee composed of board members and professional experts from the community will meet in December to choose the finalists whose names will be submitted to the board for approval. Board president is Susan Starrett of North Aurora. The names of the new inductees will be announced at a press conference in early 2018.


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Kane County Country Market in Maple Park set to become a community destinationThe Kane County Country Market is now open in Maple Park. The store and cafe is located on Route 47, just south of Route 64.The Kane County Country Market is now open in Maple Park. The store and cafe is located on Route 47, just south of Route 64.

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:15:00 GMT

MAPLE PARK – Maple Park businessman Bruce Vajgert’s dream of creating a one-stop shopping experience in a comfortable, family-friendly environment has become a reality. Bruce Vajgert and his wife, Carol Vajgert, opened their Kane County Country Market at 0N250 Route 47, Maple Park, this summer, with a grand opening set for Sept. 23. The country store features a restaurant and coffee bar where pastries, gourmet coffee, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, sandwiches, salads, soft serve ice cream and other desserts are served. Patrons that walk into the next building will find “a little bit of everything,” Manager Mary Ellen Pound said. The shop features a vast array of home decor, soaps, salsa, locally-produced honey and oils, clothing, a few antiques, distressed furniture pieces and a few equestrian items for horse lovers. Bruce Vajgert met Pound when she held a barn sale a while ago; he was her first customer. He liked the way she had everything laid out for the sale, and he asked her to come work for him. Bruce Vajgert said she has a great knack for decorating the store. She does all of the buying as well as the merchandising. Gardeners and other outdoor enthusiasts can step outside and peruse flowers, shrubs, bushes, trees and all things green and growing; garden decorations, compost, mulch, grass seed and garden tools; as well as seasonal produce from local area farmer Klein’s Quality Produce in Burlington. Nursery Manager Toni Berenes is available in the store for questions or suggestions about any of the outdoor items. Chef Jeff Ramirez, long-time friend of the Vajgerts, makes cinnamon rolls several times each morning. There is plenty to check out while waiting for a fresh cinnamon roll – Savannah Rose Design jewelry is made by an artist from nearby Lake in the Hills, as well as old-fashioned penny candy that some may remember from their childhoods, including Mary Jane candies, Bit-O-Honey, DOTS and salt water taffy in all kinds of flavors. “We can’t keep it on the shelf,” Ramirez said. Pause for a moment at the wishing well, dedicated to Elijah “Shy” Vajgert and his best friend Arthur "Arty" Stenger, two 16-year-olds who died in a tragic automobile accident at Beith and Meredith roads in November 2016. Change tossed into the well will be donated to the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in honor of the boys. “I lost two sons that day,” Bruce Vajgert said. Plans for the store pretty much ground to a standstill for a while, with the Vajgerts devastated by their grief. From the groundbreaking in December 2015 to the store opening, it’s been more tha[...]


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Geneva High School student reacts to friend pouring gas on himselfAfter a soft lockdown at Geneva High School was lifted the morning of Sept. 18, students were back in the cafeteria and dining outdoors before 11 a.m. The lockdown was necessitated after a student poured gasoline on himself, officials said.

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:17:00 GMT

GENEVA – A Geneva High School student poured gasoline onto himself from a water bottle at about 7:30 a.m. Sept. 18 in the cafeteria, but was immediately prevented by students and staff from taking further steps to do self-harm or harm to others, according to a news release. Officials did not identify the student – who was later taken to a hospital – but senior Claire Kobleur, 17, said she knew him and was shaken by news of the incident. “Honestly, my first reaction was shock and horror … that this could even happen,” Kobleur said. “I’m still in shock. It’s probably not going to sink in until tonight. I have a feeling I’m going to need a lot of tissues.” Kobleur said she was in the library when she heard about it. “I’d like to say we were friends, but we were not close friends,” Kobleur said of the student involved. “I’ve heard he had issues with his family – but then, who doesn’t? So I don’t know if that played a role, but it might have. I do know he’s been stressed lately.” Kobleur said she shared some classes with the student. “He is very laid back, kind of on the outskirts of … school,” Kobleur said. “We’re kind of the outsiders. We don’t fit in with anybody – but we’re happy like that. It’s a lot of fun, like we don’t have to conform. He’s just a very laid back guy. He has a nice sense of humor, he can be sarcastic and witty.” Kobleur said she and the student had many conversations about what they would do after graduation. “And he always talked about … going on the road, not really stopping anywhere or settling, and just seeing what the country was like,” Kobleur said. “I asked him if he would, like, take me with him … and I was like tentative plans, why not? Just for fun, you know. I’m hoping we’ll still be able to.” School officials stated in the news release that local police and fire departments arrived and took the student to a hospital. Administrators followed the district’s protocol, temporarily putting the school on a soft lockdown and rerouting students away from the cafeteria, the release stated. The soft lockdown was lifted and students resumed their normal school day, the release stated. The Geneva Fire Department cleaned the cafeteria, making it safe for students to re-enter, the release stated. "The safety of our students is the district’s first priority, and guidance staff are on hand to provide support and assistance as needed," stated the release. After a soft lockdown at Geneva High School was lifted the morning of S[...]


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Early morning fire at home in St. CharlesThe St. Charles Fire Department was dispatched to a reported house fire in the 400 block of Jackson Avenue about 2:45 a.m. Sept. 18.

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:26:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Fire Department was dispatched to a reported house fire in the 400 block of Jackson Avenue about 2:45 a.m. Sept. 18.

While in route, firefighters were advised that police were on the scene and that there was visible fire in the rear of the home, according to a news release from the fire department. Firefighters were on the scene within minutes and found a single-story residence with fire showing.

Firefighters confirmed that all occupants were out of the house and, upon entry, found a fire in the basement and first floor of the home. They were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes, stated the release.

The 911 call was made by one of the people in the home, who awoke to the smoke-filled house, according to the release. There were no injuries to firefighters or occupants.

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental and remains under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $200,000 to the structure and contents, stated the release.

The St. Charles Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Geneva, Batavia, Elburn and West Chicago fire departments.

The St. Charles Fire Department was dispatched to a reported house fire in the 400 block of Jackson Avenue about 2:45 a.m. Sept. 18.


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Fashion comes alive: New exhibit on display at St. Charles History MuseumAlison Costanzo, executive director of the St. Charles History Museum, holds a pair of shoes for the museum's new exhibit, “Head to Toe: Celebration of Men’s and Women’s Fashion.” The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.Volunteer Francisco Valerio (center) and Executive Director Alison Costanzo (far right) move a glass case for the St. Charles History Museum's new exhibit, “Head to Toe: Celebration of Men’s and Women’s Fashion” as curator and marketing coordinator Amanda Wolf (far left) looks on. The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.Alison Costanzo, executive director of the St. Charles History Museum, holds up a woman's undergarment from the turn of the century for the museum's new exhibit, “Head to Toe: Celebration of Men’s and Women’s Fashion.” The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.Alison Costanzo, executive director of the St. Charles History Museum, situates a sign for the museum's new exhibit, “Head to Toe: Celebration of Men’s and Women’s Fashion.” The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 13:26:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Fashion and history notes spanning the decades are displayed inside the St. Charles History Museum. The museum, located at 215 E. Main St. in St. Charles, recently opened its exhibit called “Head to Toe: Celebration of Men’s and Women’s Fashion.” Fashions represented are from 1860 to the 1960s. Alison Costanzo, executive director of the museum, said the exhibit highlights what’s great about fashion – such as clothing structure. “We don’t think about garments being tailor-made to you,” Costanzo said. “And today we are [a] disposable clothing-era. We don’t think about having a garment tailored to every inch of us. The exhibit itself is just really quite lovely and showcases so many unique qualities from 100 years of fashion.” Costanzo said all of the exhibit’s clothes were tailor-made. Historical St. Charles residents have some of their clothing on display, such as John Warne Gates. “He’s known, really, because of his money,” Costanzo said. She explained that Bates had convinced ranchers in Texas to use barbed wire to pen their cattle. “It sold like hotcakes,” Costanzo said. She added that while Bates was in Texas he was involved in steel. “He made millions upon millions upon millions,” Costanzo said. “And he also liked to gamble. That’s why his name is ‘Bet-a-Million’ Gates.” A replica of Gates’ body shows a figure wearing casual attire of a buttoned vest, striped pants and gray tie. The only item that was Gates’ was the white pleated shirt with the lavender monogram of his initials on the sleeve. Mrs. Mae Jordan, considered an “everyday resident” in St. Charles, is represented in the exhibit as well. Her brown wedding dress is topped with buttons and fringe. “The wear and tear on a white dress, keeping that clean during the 1880s … wasn’t very practical,” Costanzo said. Local resident Julia Strum’s cream-colored wedding dress with peachy white pearls and white beads, as well as a beaded and crowned veil with tiny fake orange blossoms, is displayed. Loungewear from long ago shows a tea gown – a simple silky black robe – for a woman. The man’s version is a silk smoking jacket with blue and red circles. Underwear is shown, too, including items such as corsets, white bloomers, a neutral lacy garter belt, thigh highs and a cres[...]


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Batavia double bill: Cuban concert, Waterline WritersChristine Swanberg will be one of five featured authors when Waterline Writers launches its new season Sept. 17 at Water Street Studios in Batavia, following a 5 p.m. concert of Cuban music in the adjoining Kiss The Sky record store.

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 04:27:00 GMT

BATAVIA – Five authors will be presented by Waterline Writers at 7 p.m. Sept. 17, at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. And beginning at 5 p.m. next door at Kiss The Sky record store, a concert of Cuban music will be offered.

Ed Piotrowski reads "A Fishy Encounter in the Retail Garden of Eden" from his memoir, "A Life Well Fished"; Susan Van Kirk reads "Rockin’ Out" from her memoir, "The Education of a Teacher (Including Dirty Books and Pointed Looks)"; Linda Heuring reads "Nibbling at the Bloodstains" from her short story collection, "A Woman Walked into a Bar;" Christine Swanberg reads from her new poetry collection, "Wild Fruition"; and Joan Colby reads "Carnival and Sideshow" poems from "Carnival," a recent collection of her poems. 

Admission costs $5, $3 for students. Writers can join a five-minute-limit open mic at 8:30 p.m., or find submission details at waterlinewriters.org. There will be craft beer and wine for purchase, and food provided by The Market at Gaetano's. People planning to attend are asked to go to facebook.com/events/1286682641454663.

The 5 p.m. concert will feature guitar, laúd (lute) and tres (a Cuban variation of the guitar) played by Cuban musician Jesús Fernández, Colombian musician Julián Norato and American professor and ethnomusicologist William Hope. Although the show is free, donations are appreciated and all proceeds will be given to the visiting musicians.

Jesús Fernández is director and laúdista of Grupo Amanecer and Quinteto La Luz in Guantánamo, Cuba. He was a featured guest artist on the Septeto Santiaguero’s album "No Quiero Llanto," awarded the Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Tropical Album in 2015. He is currently a visiting artist-in-residence at Knox College in Galesburg, and is in the Chicago area to perform with the Chicago Cuatro Orchestra.

Julián Norato (“el sinsonte de Bogotá”) is lead vocalist and guitarist of the group Sandunga, originally based in Urbana-Champaign.

Knox College Assistant Professor of Anthropology William Hope, coordinator of the event, will play laúd and tres, a Cuban variation of the guitar.

People planning to attend the concert are asked to go to facebook.com/events/117071372344729.

Christine Swanberg will be one of five featured authors when Waterline Writers launches its new season Sept. 17 at Water Street Studios in Batavia, following a 5 p.m. concert of Cuban music in the adjoining Kiss The Sky record store.


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Field grows in 6th Congressional raceSmall business owner and engineer Grace Haaf recently announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Illinois' 6th Congressional District.

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 13:33:00 GMT

The race for the Democratic nomination for Illinois' 6th Congressional District in the March 2018 primary election continues to get crowded.

Grace Haaf, the co-owner of a small business that specializes in data analysis and operations integration for industrial and manufacturing clients, is the latest person to announce her candidacy. Whoever wins the Democratic nod will likely face U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, in the November 2018 general election. Roskam was first elected to Congress in 2006.

“We are desperate for leaders in Washington that will elevate the level of political discourse beyond partisan ranting," Haaf said in a news release Sept. 5 announcing her candidacy. "We need representatives in Congress developing innovative solutions to our nation’s challenges like fixing health care, creating jobs, protecting Social Security and keeping our country safe. To that extent, Peter Roskam has failed us. I will bring much-needed thoughtfulness, sound judgment and experience to Congress.”

Haaf is a former cyber security analyst for the CIA and investment banker at JP Morgan. According to the bio on her website, Haaf married her husband, Tim, in Chicago in 2013.

Other candidates for the Democratic nomination for Illinois' 6th Congressional District include regulatory attorney and Clarendon Hills resident Jennifer Zordani; Becky Anderson Wilkins, co-owner of Anderson's Bookshops and a member of the Naperville City Council; scientist and engineer Sean Casten of Downers Grove; Carole Cheney, former district chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville; College of Lake County Trustee Amanda Howland, who lost to Roskam in the November 2016 general election; College of DuPage adjunct faculty member Suzyn Price; Lake Zurich resident Geoffrey Petzel; Chicago resident Austin Songer; Barrington Hills Plan Commissioner Kelly Mazeski; and Ryan Huffman, a data analyst and policy expert who worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Small business owner and engineer Grace Haaf recently announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Illinois' 6th Congressional District.


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Huffman enters race for 6th Congressional District seat

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 13:33:00 GMT

Progressive Democrat Ryan Huffman has announced his candidacy for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District.

If he wins the primary election, he could face Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, in the general election in November 2018.

“It will take a youth movement in this district if we’re finally going to flip this seat blue,” said the 31-year-old Huffman in a news release, noting that the share of millennials voting in the 6th Congressional District’s primary tripled in 2016 thanks to Bernie Sanders. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the Democrats running in this pivotal race, but if we keep running the same kind of campaign we’ve run against Roskam for over a decade, the result will be just as disappointing.”

Huffman, a data analyst and policy expert who worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and in his White House, listed wealth inequality, climate change and student loan reform as issues key to winning over hard-to-reach millennial voters.

“All over the country, people in my generation are looking for new leaders who will address the issues that matter to them,” said Huffman, who holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago. “We are a passionate and hopeful generation, and we’re ready to move beyond the tired politics of the past.”

Because he believes it’s so critically important to break the stranglehold of special interests on politics, Huffman, a Palatine resident, has pledged that he will accept no special interest or corporate money during the campaign or while in office, and he encourages his opponents to do the same.

“While my top priority is flipping the 6th District blue, it’s important that we do it the right way,” said Huffman. “Switching from a Republican owned by corporations to a Democrat owned by corporations is not the way forward for our party or our country.”


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Batavia restaurateur John Hamel to receive community honorBatavia restaurateur John Hamel will receive the Donna Dallesasse Award at the Batavia Chamber of Commerce's Harvest Celebration, honoring his contributions to the community.

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 12:30:00 GMT

BATAVIA – John Hamel, owner of Pal Joey’s and Bar Evolution in Batavia, will receive the 2017 Donna Dallesasse Award from the Batavia Chamber of Commerce at its Harvest Celebration on Sept. 20. The event gathers the community to salute one chamber member who has displayed outstanding commitment to the organization’s mission, vision and values, according to a news release. It described Hamel as incredibly humble, who, when asked how he felt, said: “I have always lived in the back … when I get noticed, it is a weird thing. It has been nice getting a lot of texts, calls and congratulatory comments from friends and people in the community.” In talking to Hamel, the chamber learned more about his upbringing and how it factors into his drive to help support the community, particularly the younger members. Hamel was raised by an adoptive family, which helped fuel his spirit of giving to those in need, according to the release, adding he understands how it feels as a child to be without, which has been a motivator in his desire to help others. “John has worked tirelessly to support charitable organizations and our Batavia business community,” Holly Deitchman, president and CEO of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, stated in the release. “Like Donna [Dallesasse], John is always there to partner with another business person to help them with an event.” Among those describing his business and charitable contributions is Melinda Kintz. “His revitalization of Pal Joey’s patio, including the addition of entertainment and beautiful fire tables, does nothing but add class and draw to the best riverfront seating in Batavia,” she stated in the release. “… Bar Evolution adds significantly to the character, charm and appeal of our downtown. … In my role as executive director for Batavia United Way, I have been so grateful for John’s willingness to work with me on different ideas I’ve pitched, and he is always ready to brainstorm on ways to make it work. … He has always been willing to share his expertise, his experience and his contacts.” She noted he also has been a supporter of CHIP IN Batavia, providing gift certificates for family meals in welcome baskets for families fortunate to move out of a homeless situation into more permanent housing. He is also a friend to teens seeking summer employment, and to local charities, sports teams and clubs looking for donations or deals for group events. “When I mentioned a CHIP IN immigrant family of 10 in dire need, John patiently int[...]


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Good Natured: Hickory nuts the jackpot for squirrels, other rodentsTalk about a tough nut to crack! Lacking sharp rodent incisors, humans usually need to resort to hammers or other such tools to open and enjoy the sweet taste of the shagbark hickory nut.

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 10:30:00 GMT

I’ll admit it. I’m a cookie dough freak. Even though I know full well that baked cookies taste really good, I just can’t resist digging into the bowl with a spare spoon and letting a gooey glob, gritty with sugar, slide down my gullet. If the dough happens to contain chocolate chips, look out; the oven’s optional when those babies are around. Squirrels, I suspect, are the same way. Only instead of cookie dough, their downfall is nuts. Walk in the woods these days and it’s easy to find evidence of the furry critters’ foraging – especially underneath shagbark hickory trees. Shagbark hickory nuts, it seems, are the chocolate chip cookie dough of our local woods. It appears that 2017 is a big year for hickory nuts, and already it’s difficult to find one that’s not been nibbled. The thing is, the nuts aren’t quite “done” yet. They still need a few more weeks on the tree. Over time the bitter green husk, which tastes a little like a really bitter green apple, tinged with hot peppers, will darken, harden and split. Inside lies the shell that protects the nut’s ultimate prize: protein-rich, fat-laden nutmeat. I’m not much of a connoisseur (clearly! I eat raw dough and sample green nuts, for heaven’s sake) and I can’t speak for squirrels’ taste buds, but to me a hickory nut is among the finest flavors our woods have to offer. It’s reminiscent of pecan, which makes sense as both trees belong to the genus Carya. But the hickory nut seems more buttery – probably because of its high fat content. According to one source, 1 ounce of hickory nuts contains 186 calories, 152 of which come from fat. If my math is right, that translates to a fat content of more than 80 percent. It’s cholesterol free, but still ... . With our pampered suburban lifestyles, we tend to recoil at such a high number (raw chocolate chip cookie dough, with nuts, has 46 percent fat). But for squirrels, and other woodland creatures that have to work hard for every calorie they consume, finding a nut-laden shagbark hickory is like hitting all five lottery numbers, plus the Powerball. It’s literally fat city; a few thousand of these babies, stashed away in tree cavities, crevices and underground, means survival will be a lot simpler this winter. But wait, there’s a catch. When it comes to survival, there’s always a catch. If every delicious, nutritious shagbark hickory nut was eaten, there’d be no baby hickories sprouting next spring. And really, flavor and nutrients as[...]


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