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Kane County Chronicle



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Police take training in Kane County on how to deal with people in crisis[Kane County Sheriff's Office deputies Wesley Phelps (left) and Tom Durham (center) talk with actor Andrew Pond (right) during a training session for officers to learn to help people with mental health disorders at the Kane County Sheriff's Office in St. Charles Township on Oct. 19.] The officers ask where he lives, and Charlie responds, “In a house in Geneva – up until last night.” Kane County Sheriff’s Office deputies Tom Durham and Wesley Phelps were role-playing with a professional actor, Andrew Pond, on Oct. 19, during a session of their weeklong Crisis Intervention Training held in a training room at the sheriff’s office. The 40-hour, week-long training for 28 officers from 12 departments was intended to help them learn how to respond when members of the public are having a mental health crisis. Charlie was despondent – having lost his job – was drinking too much and then his wife threw him out – so he walked into a building by following someone else in and passed out under a table. “I’m not worth the time you guys put in on me,” Charlie tells the deputies. Eventually, Durham and Phelps build rapport with Charlie and get him to agree to let them call emergency medical services on his behalf.[West Dundee Police Officer Chris Krason (right) is critiqued by actor Lisa Curran (left) and Elgin Officer Heather Robinson (center) during a training session for officers to learn to help people with mental health disorders at the Kane County Sheriff's Office in St. Charles Township on Oct. 19.] The session, using trained actors, helps the officers use what they learned, Kane County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chris Collins said. For this session, the 28 officers were from Elgin, Aurora, Sugar Grove, North Aurora, Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles, Wayne, Sleepy Hollow, Carpentersville, West Dundee, the Kane County Sheriff's Office and the Illinois State Police, Collins said. Each session was recorded while Elgin officer Heather Robinson and actor Lisa Curran gave each participant a critique of what they did right and what they could do to improve. “There is no script to this,” Robinson said. “There is no magic thing to say. Every person is going to be different. We don’t pick the calls; the calls pick us.”[West Dundee Police Officer Chris Krason talks with actor Parrish Collier (right) during a training session for officers to learn to help people with mental health disorders at the Kane County Sheriff's Office in St. Charles Township on Oct. 19.] In another role-play, actor Parrish Collier portrayed Pete, a man who would not leave a library that was closing until he had finished a book he was reading. Three officers, Chris Krason from West Dundee and Carpentersville officers Derek Neuman and Doug Heitkamp came to see about helping him leave. It became clear that Pete was far from home and that he had not taken his medication for three days. Krason offers to take him to an all-night cafe and buy him coffee and breakfast, diffusing the situation and gaining Pete’s trust. In a similar role-play, Parrish plays a man whose wife has left with his two children because he won’t take his medication – which he says makes him feel like a strung-out zombie. Parrish throws his children’s little plastic toys – yellow ducks, snowmen, clowns – forcefully to the floor. “It’s too late,” Parrish said, crying in despair. “She’s gone with the kids back to her country.”(Facing camera, left to right) Carpentersville Police Officer Doug Heitkamp, Carpentersville Police Officer Derek Neuman and West Dundee Police Officer Chris Krason talk with actor Parrish Collier (back to camera) during a training session for officers to learn to help people with mental health disorders at the Kane County Sheriff's Office in St. Charles Township on Oct. 19. But the three officers – Heitkamp, Neuman and Elgin officer Elias Acevedo – kept speaking gently to him while they retrieved the toys and returned them to the bag. They encouraged him to try medication again. “Right now she’s gone,” Acevedo said, acknowledging Parrish's grief. “But we do not know what tomorrow will bring.” Robinson said it was critical for officers to ask blunt questions about whether the person in crisis is suicidal. She said not to ask if they’re thinking of hurting themselves, but to ask straight out if they are thinking of suicide or killing themselves. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office funded the specialized training at a cost of $10,000, officials said. The Kane County Board authorized $40,000 for four sessions, with two more to be held next year, officials said. Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon has said in his monthly media briefing session that training police to de-escalate encounters with people who are having mental health crises diverts them from jail to get the assistance they need. "Communities that have the unit historically have seen cost savings in their jails, but also at emergency room departments," McMahon had said at his August media briefing.

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:17:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – Charlie was asleep under a table in a building when two police officers arrived. “Do you know where you are?” one asks. Charlie looks up, confused for a moment, then responds, “I’m under a table.” “Why are you under the table?” a police officer asks. “I needed to sleep,” Charlie responds. The officers ask where he lives, and Charlie responds, “In a house in Geneva – up until last night.” Kane County Sheriff’s Office deputies Tom Durham and Wesley Phelps were role-playing with a professional actor, Andrew Pond, on Oct. 19, during a session of their weeklong Crisis Intervention Training held in a training room at the sheriff’s office. The 40-hour, weeklong training for 28 officers from 12 departments was intended to help them learn how to respond when members of the public are having a mental health crisis. Charlie was despondent – having lost his job – was drinking too much and then his wife threw him out – so he walked into a building by following someone else in and passed out under a table. “I’m not worth the time you guys put in on me,” Charlie tells the deputies. Eventually, Durham and Phelps build rapport with Charlie and get him to agree to let them call emergency medical services on his behalf. The session, using trained actors, helps the officers use what they learned, Kane County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Chris Collins said. For this session, the 28 officers were from Elgin, Aurora, Sugar Grove, North Aurora, Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles, Wayne, Sleepy Hollow, Carpentersville, West Dundee, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police, Collins said. Each session was recorded while Elgin officer Heather Robinson and actor Lisa Curran gave each participant a critique of what they did right and what they could do to improve. “There is no script to this,” Robinson said. “There is no magic thing to say. Every person is going to be different. We don’t pick the calls; the calls pick us.” In another role-play, actor Parrish Collier portrayed Pete, a man who would not leave a library that was closing until he had finished a book he was reading. Three officers, Chris Krason from West Dundee and Carpentersville officers Derek Neuman and Doug Heitkamp, came to see about helping him leave. It became clear Pete was far from home and he had not taken his medication for three days. Krason offers to take him to an all-night café and buy him coffee and breakfast, defusing the situation and gaining Pete’s trust. In a similar role-play, Parrish plays a man whose wife has left with his two children because he won’t take his medication – which he says makes him feel like a strung-out zombie. Parrish throws his children’s little plastic toys – yellow ducks, snowmen, clowns – forcefully to the floor. “It’s too late,” Parrish said, crying in despair. “She’s gone with the kids back to her country.” But the three officers – Heitkamp, Neuman and Elgin officer Elias Acevedo – kept speaking gently to him while they retrieved the toys and returned them to the bag. They encouraged him to try medication again. “Right now she’s gone,” Acevedo said, acknowledging Parrish’s grief. “But we do not know what tomorrow will bring.” Robinson said it was critical for officers to ask blunt questions about whether the person in crisis is suicidal. She said not to ask whether they’re thinking of hurting themselves, but to ask straight out whether they are thinking of[...]


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Campton Hills farm opens for shopping, meeting alpacas

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:40:00 GMT

CAMPTON HILLS – Fiber artist Susan Waldron invites the public to meet her alpacas and consider gifts made from their fiber from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Nov. 25 and 26 at Waldron Grove Alpacas Farm, she announced in a news release.

Guests can learn more about alpacas and the luxury fiber they produce, but they can also find unique handmade gifts of originally designed alpaca clothing and accessories, the release stated.

Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere, the release stated.

Alpaca fiber is as warm as wool but not as itchy, yet it is a third of the weight of wool, the release stated.

It contains no lanolin and is naturally hypoallergenic, the release stated, as most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca, the release stated.

Alpaca fiber comes in 22 natural shades and can be dyed any desired color, the release stated.

Admission and parking are free. More information is available by calling 847-888-3934 or by email at susanwaldronart@gmail.com.


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Holiday art classes in Batavia on tap at Water Street StudiosCreating glass-blown ornaments is one of the art courses offered by Water Street Studios in Batavia.

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 13:48:00 GMT

BATAVIA – Gifts from the heart can be created in classes offered by Water Street Studios in Batavia.

Among the choices is a simple blown glass ornament workshop presented Nov. 19 and 28 and Dec. 2 and 16 for those ages 16 and older, according to a news release.

Holiday card calligraphy will be taught to people ages 14 to adult from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 4.

A cuff bracelet class will be presented from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 2; a copper keepsake trinket box from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 3; and a kids’ holiday project day from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 3 for those ages 7 to 13.

A painting workshop for children will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 10, focusing on a winter landscape.

Water Street Studios is located at 160 S. Water St.

For registration information, visit waterstreetstudios.org. Using coupon code “holidays” through Dec. 1 is good for a $5 discount.

Creating glass-blown ornaments is one of the art courses offered by Water Street Studios in Batavia.


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Batavia might allow demolition of Thomle buildingThe city of Batavia is putting the historic Thomle building up for sale, and has not ruled out demolition. The building at 2 E. Wilson St. is on the east bank of the Fox River.

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:26:00 GMT

BATAVIA – The Batavia City Council is opening the door to the possibility of demolishing the historic Thomle building at 2 E. Wilson St.

The city wants to sell the riverside building and has established a $160,000 price tag. But just as important, aldermen want the property’s redevelopment to be a major boost to the economy in downtown Batavia.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting Nov. 7, aldermen acted on a recommendation by Batavia Economic Development Consultant Chris Aiston to hire a local real estate broker to market the property for sale. At the same time, they removed a previous prohibition on tearing down the building; that ban had been part of the city’s formal request for proposals on the property.

Aldermen emphasize they are not advocating demolition of the building, but they do not want a ban on removing the structure to get in the way of any ambitious redevelopment plans for the property.

City Administrator Laura Newman presented the rationale for allowing the building’s demolition in a memo to aldermen. “There is no reason to completely prohibit a would-be buyer from making an offer that could include the building’s demolition, as this activity may allow for an overall highest and best use of the property under a comprehensive, value-added redevelopment of the subject site,” Newman wrote.

The Thomle building was constructed circa 1878 of locally quarried Batavia limestone. It occupies a prominent location on the east bank of the Fox River in the heart of the downtown.

The structure has a classification of “significant” in the downtown Historic District, meaning that any addition, changes to its exterior or razing of the building would require a hearing before the Batavia Historic Preservation Commission. The two-story building is small, with a footprint of about 700 square feet. But the property includes land extending about 90 feet behind the structure to the south.

At a committee meeting last month, aldermen raised the possibility of gutting the building’s interior while leaving the facade intact, in order to make better use of the available space. This idea quickly progressed to the notion of allowing outright demolition of the building.

Mayor Jeff Schielke has been promoting the idea of redeveloping the property for a restaurant, with an addition extending out from the back of the building and a deck overlooking the river.

The building’s lower level along the river served as the Batavia terminal for the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin Railroad, an electric line, from 1902 to 1957.

In later years, the commercial storefront building fell into disrepair, prompting the city to acquire the structure through the eminent domain process in 1995. The city made extensive repairs to the building, including facade improvements. For a time, the building’s second floor served as the headquarters for the Batavia MainStreet organization, while the first floor has been home to a succession of start-up enterprises paying below-market rents under the city’s incubator business program. FAWN Gifts currently occupies the building.

The city of Batavia is putting the historic Thomle building up for sale, and has not ruled out demolition. The building at 2 E. Wilson St. is on the east bank of the Fox River.


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Geneva police reports

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:30:00 GMT

• Karol L. Ziegler, 48, of the 1100 block of Geneva Road, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 10 with driving under the influence, driving with an expired registration and speeding.

• Rebecca J. Herndon, 18, of the 700 block of Fieldstone Lane, Geneva, was charged Oct. 30 with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding.

• Davin B. Ayarzagoitia, 23, of the 1000 block of Brentwood Place, Geneva, was charged Nov. 7 with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Andrew W. Helmick, 19, of the 800 block of Hamlet Street, Batavia, was charged Nov. 7 with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Luke S. Rothengass, 18, of the 1000 block of Center Street, Elgin, was charged Nov. 7 with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Ariana Cortez, 27, of the 100 block of North Fourth Street, Aurora, was charged Nov. 5 with possession of marijuana.


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Geneva promotes downtown shopping on Small Business Saturday

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:30:00 GMT

GENEVA – To encourage people to patronize independent stores and restaurants in Geneva, Mayor Kevin Burns issued a proclamation in proclaiming Nov. 25 as Small Business Saturday, officials announced in a news release.

The city is also listing Shop Small Geneva Deals of the Day on its website, www.geneva.il.us/shopsmall, and on social media to highlight businesses' specials, the release stated.

These include Bare Moxie, 115 W. State St.; Coffee Drop Shop and The Gathering, 227 S. Third St.; Halsa Aromatherapy Shop and Spa, 202 W. State St.; The Little Traveler, 404 S. Third St.; The Olive Mill, 315 James St.; Peaceful Parlour, 212 S. Third St.; Stringworks, 327 Franklin St.; Veiled in Elegance, 21 S. Third St.

Other businesses that want their promotions to be included should send an email to ctracy@geneva.il.us, according to the website.

The proclamation notes that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all businesses with employees in the U.S. and are responsible for 63 percent of net new jobs created over the past 20 years.

Local merchants are promoting their Small Business Saturday deals on social media through the hashtag #shopsmallgeneva, the release stated.

Other business deals the city is promoting are for Doughocracy, FreshGround Roasting, Geneva Running Outfitters, Galena Garlic Company and Green Envee, which are collaborating on a “Passport to Shopping” program that features discounts at each location and a chance to win a drawing, the release stated.

Doing holiday shopping in Geneva on Nov. 25 and beyond not only supports the city's retailers, but also generates sales tax revenue for the city, the release stated.

Revenue helps fund critical police, fire and public works services; needed road repairs and infrastructure upgrades; and other key programs, the release stated.


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Elmhurst students selected to perform at IMEA Music Festival at Elmhurst College

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 03:09:00 GMT

ELMHURST – More than 3,000 students from more than 75 schools throughout north-eastern Illinois auditioned for the honor of being included in the All-District band, chorus, orchestra and jazz band, according to an Elmhurst School District 205 news release.

The Illinois Music Educators Association District I Band, Chorus and Orchestra Music Festival will be Nov. 18, at Elmhurst College, 190 S. Prospect Ave.

Thirty York Community High School student musicians have been chosen to perform at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-District Music festival on Nov. 17: Nick Agliata, bassoon; Katharine Bartosz, soprano; Michael Bindeman, bass; Olivia Braun, trombone; Madds Buckley, alto; Grace Clarke, alto sax; Matt Dardick, alto sax; Emily Dow, cello; Kristen Drost, soprano; Audrey Fatheree, French horn; Danielle Fite, alto; Lauren Hund, flute; Rylan Johnsen, viola; Carina Kanzler, soprano; Helen Koczur, soprano; Erin Lee, soprano; Wilke Macariola, tenor; Bailey Maguire, alto; Lauren Makinney, double bass; Abigail Marianetti, cello; David Menichini, trumpet; Jackie Meyer, alto; Chuck Miller, tenor sax, concert band and jazz ensemble; Siena Olson, French horn; Nicole Polizzi, soprano; Sebastian Rohn, tenor; Erin Stone, alto; Cece Stumpf, trumpet; Tessa Vermeulen, flute; and Nick Villarreal, clarinet.

Timothy Christian High School students Dana McAdam, soprano 2; and Jack Vandermolen, clarinet, will also perform Nov. 17.


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Taste of the Town in St. Charles: Vintage 53 counts ways to please palates[A cheese and charcuterie board includes prosciutto di Parma, Zingerman's goat cheese, Hook's 12-year cheddar, Volpi pepperoni, truffle mousse pate, whole grain mustard and currant jelly at Vintage 53, located at 162 S. First St. in St. Charles.] ST. CHARLES – A relaxed yet sophisticated wine bar with tempting edibles has called St. Charles home since late March. Vintage 53 is the creation of first-time restaurateur Mario Grado. The St. Charles resident said he has enjoyed the learning experience, even the nuts-and-bolt accounting. "Overall, it's exactly what I was expecting to get into," Grado said. "It's been great so far." His vision for Vintage 53 has been to offer a carefully curated collection of wines all available by the glass, as well as the bottle.[Server Loryn Oliva pours a glass of wine at Vintage 53.] They represent various price points right up to the rare chance to purchase a $150 glass of Hundred Acre Ark Vineyard cabernet sauvignon. Before launching Vintage 53, Grado said he spent months reviewing wines from different regions. "I would taste things out – like and not like things – changing the [proposed] wine list almost every week just based on different things I was wanting to bring to the bar," Grado said. "Keeping away from a lot of the more mainstream, common things – staples you expect to see at various restaurants."[Craig Larsen (clockwise from top left), Christy Wempe, Jorie Pitt and Heidi Blakely enjoy an evening at Vintage 53.] He said it took about nine months before he was happy with the wine list. "It's still always evolving and changing," Grado said. "We just released wine list 2.0. It expands to Greece, South Africa, [with] a lot of things I think the people in this area would really appreciate that they can't get at other places around here." Among the clientele, he said he has noticed a nice balance from absolute beginners to the wine savvy. And for people who stop by with a group but don't care for wine, his bartender is a specialist in craft cocktails. The bar also offers a wide choice of Two Brothers beers, as well as soft drinks, espresso and other coffees.[Mario Grado owns Vintage 53.] People won't spot any televisions in the attractive, high-ceilinged space accented with brick and wood. "We want to create a comfortable, relaxing, mature environment for people who want to go out and enjoy cocktails and drinks and expand their wine knowledge," Grado said. "[We offer] a lot in reasonable price ranges and sought-after stuff for more advanced wine connoisseurs." Live entertainment is featured Friday and Saturday nights, Grado said, noting it's on the quieter side so people can still enjoy the company they're with and the conversation.[The espresso martini is one of the craft cocktails at Vintage 53.] Grado helped shape the menu filled with small plates meant for sharing. Among the most popular offerings are the customized cheese and charcuterie boards, he said. A card listing all the item choices, including varied meats, sausage, cheeses and pate, is filled out by the diner, and the kitchen creates the board to order. Another menu favorite is the wild boar meatballs served in a red wine tomato sauce, Grado said. It's the only item on the menu that can't be prepared to be gluten-free. The meatballs, which arrive with torched white cheddar and micro-basil, are served with warm rosemary ciabattini.[Patrons can select their favorites from the cheese and charcuterie order form.] Also a hit are the recently added medjool dates stuffed with Zingerman’s goat cheese and wrapped in pancetta, drizzled with a creamy sauce and garnished with sliced scallion. Part of the menu features flatbreads that range from black mission fig to shiitake mushroom to rabbit sausage. Dessert is a deconstructed cannoli. Wine flights are an option, available in groupings of red, white or rose, as well as new world and old world, plus lineups focused on cabernet, chardonnay or Napa offerings. Bar selections extend to aperitifs and port.Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The space is available for private gatherings Sundays and Mondays. Vintage 53 is at 162 S. First St. just west of the Fox River. To learn more, visit vintage53.com or call 630-549-0423.

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:06:00 GMT

[A cheese and charcuterie board includes prosciutto di Parma, Zingerman's goat cheese, Hook's 12-year cheddar, Volpi pepperoni, truffle mousse pate, whole grain mustard and currant jelly at Vintage 53, located at 162 S. First St. in St. Charles.] ST. CHARLES – A relaxed yet sophisticated wine bar with tempting edibles has called St. Charles home since late March. Vintage 53 is the creation of first-time restaurateur Mario Grado. The St. Charles resident said he has enjoyed the learning experience, even the nuts-and-bolt accounting. "Overall, it's exactly what I was expecting to get into," Grado said. "It's been great so far." His vision for Vintage 53 has been to offer a carefully curated collection of wines all available by the glass, as well as the bottle.[Server Loryn Oliva pours a glass of wine at Vintage 53.] They represent various price points right up to the rare chance to purchase a $150 glass of Hundred Acre Ark Vineyard cabernet sauvignon. Before launching Vintage 53, Grado said he spent months reviewing wines from different regions. "I would taste things out – like and not like things – changing the [proposed] wine list almost every week just based on different things I was wanting to bring to the bar," Grado said. "Keeping away from a lot of the more mainstream, common things – staples you expect to see at various restaurants."[Craig Larsen (clockwise from top left), Christy Wempe, Jorie Pitt and Heidi Blakely enjoy an evening at Vintage 53.] He said it took about nine months before he was happy with the wine list. "It's still always evolving and changing," Grado said. "We just released wine list 2.0. It expands to Greece, South Africa, [with] a lot of things I think the people in this area would really appreciate that they can't get at other places around here." Among the clientele, he said he has noticed a nice balance from absolute beginners to the wine savvy. And for people who stop by with a group but don't care for wine, his bartender is a specialist in craft cocktails. The bar also offers a wide choice of Two Brothers beers, as well as soft drinks, espresso and other coffees.[Mario Grado owns Vintage 53.] People won't spot any televisions in the attractive, high-ceilinged space accented with brick and wood. "We want to create a comfortable, relaxing, mature environment for people who want to go out and enjoy cocktails and drinks and expand their wine knowledge," Grado said. "[We offer] a lot in reasonable price ranges and sought-after stuff for more advanced wine connoisseurs." Live entertainment is featured Friday and Saturday nights, Grado said, noting it's on the quieter side so people can still enjoy the company they're with and the conversation.[The espresso martini is one of the craft cocktails at Vintage 53.] Grado helped shape the menu filled with small plates meant for sharing. Among the most popular offerings are the customized cheese and charcuterie boards, he said. A card listing all the item choices, including varied meats, sausage, cheeses and pate, is filled out by the diner, and the kitchen creates the board to order. Another menu favorite is the wild boar meatballs served in a red wine tomato sauce, Grado said. It's the only item on the menu that can't be prepared to be gluten-free. The meatballs, which arrive with torched white cheddar and micro-basil, are served with warm rosemary ciabattini.[Patrons can select their favorites from the cheese and charcuterie order form.] Also a hit are the recently added medjool dates stuffed with Zingerman’s goat cheese and wrapped in pancetta, drizzled with a creamy sauce and garnished with sliced scallion. Part of the menu features flatbreads that range from black mission fig to shiitake mushroom to rabbit sausage. Dessert is a deconstructed cannoli. Wine flights are an option, available in groupings of red, white or rose, as well [...]


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Construction on Geneva's 3rd rail to begin next summer

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:58:00 GMT

GENEVA – Union Pacific’s plan to add a third rail to the UP/Metra West Line from Kress Road in West Chicago to Peck Road in Geneva will begin next summer, officials stated at the Nov. 6 Geneva City Council meeting.

Adrian Guerrero, director of public affairs for Union Pacific, said the railroad’s real estate team is working with adjacent property owners to acquire land for the project.

Once all the surveys and appraisals are completed, the railroad will be making offers to property owners early next year with construction to begin by summer, Guerrero said. Construction is expected to last 24 months, he said.

The railroad has three commuter lines – north, northwest and west, which is the Geneva line, Guerrero said. All but two segments have three tracks, one of which is on the Geneva line, and the lack of a third track causes freight trains to be backed up to make way for commuter trains, he said.

“You see … 60 Metra trains a day and then over 50 trains [of Union Pacific] freight [trains] a day on this line,” Guerrero said. He went on to explain further that there are two major bottlenecks on the line where freight trains on a daily basis are "backed up across Iowa."

“Because of the two bottlenecks we are essentially … withholding our freight traffic, our core franchise, from operating six hours of the day,” Guerrero said.

Freight lines are stopped three hours for the morning rush, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and three hours for the evening rush, from 4 to 7 p.m., Guerrero said.

The project was done in four phases: safety improvements, station improvements, grade separations in other communities and stations, with the fourth and last phase now to add the third rail between West Chicago and Geneva, Guerrero said.

Guerrero's presentation is available through the city's website, www.geneva.il.us


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St. Charles police reports

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:27:00 GMT

• Michele D. Salvadore, 49, of the 1100 block of Geneva Road, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 12 with failing in her duty to stop after an accident.

• Robert M. Witwicki, 44, of the 12000 block of Coon Creek Road, Marengo, was charged Nov. 11 with two counts of battery.

• Serafin M. Sanchez, 48, of the 300 block of California Avenue, Aurora, was charged Nov. 12 with battery.

• Andrew S. Hoelscher, 34, of the 3N700 block of Route 31, St. Charles Township, was charged Nov. 11 with driving under the influence and failure to give aid or information.

• Christopher J. Lambrecht, 27, of the 100 block of Lakeside Drive, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 11 with driving under the influence and improper lane use.

• Sophea Lee, 54, of the 600 block of Derby Course, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 9 with retail theft.

• Jacob B. Welbes, 29, of the 300 block of April Lane, North Aurora, was charged Nov. 8 with driving under the influence, driving without a valid registration, improper lane use, failure to display his registration and driving without insurance.


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D-304 hires former Geneva cop to safety/security postFormer Geneva police officer Tim Baker was hired by Geneva School District 304 as its new safety/security coordinator.

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:25:00 GMT

GENEVA – The Geneva School District 304 Board approved the hiring of Tim Baker on Nov. 13 as the new safety/security coordinator, officials announced in a news release.

Baker has experience as a military police officer and a law enforcement officer, having worked for 32 years at the Geneva Police Department, the release stated.

For more than eight years, Baker also worked at Geneva High School as the resource officer, the release stated.

He has a general education degree from College of DuPage and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management from Aurora University, the release stated.

A resident of Geneva, Baker has many community ties, the release stated.

Baker has demonstrated an active interest in promoting the development of young people, the release stated.

Baker’s involvement includes more than 20 years as director of the Greater Fox River Valley Operation Snowball, a community-based substance abuse prevention program for teenagers, the release stated.

Baker also received the Geneva Police Department’s Exceptional Duty Award in 2014 for his involvement with Operation Snowball.

Baker also teaches a law enforcement course at the Fox Valley Career Center, the release stated.

The search for a new safety/security coordinator began in mid-September after the resignation of the former safety/security coordinator, Amy Campbell, the release stated.

“We are very pleased to have Tim Baker join us in Geneva 304,” Superintendent Kent Mutchler stated in the release. “He brings an extensive background in security and law enforcement, as well as an excellent understanding of the Geneva community and school system.”

Baker will be working approximately 20 hours per week at a salary of $37,500 annually, according to an email from a district spokeswoman. 

Baker began his part-time assignment Nov. 14, the release stated.

Baker was also the subject of controversy in Geneva when he sought a second position with the police department as a community service officer after he retired.

Baker aired the dispute at a City Council meeting April 6, 2015.

Baker said officials had told him it would be "unethical" to hire him for the second position, as they were trying to get state laws changed to prevent "double-dipping" in public pensions.

If Baker had been accepted for the community service position, he would have received his police pension, plus the community service officer salary, and then a second pension once he retired as a community service officer, officials said.

But in a voluntary separation agreement last year, Baker accepted a lump sum of $18,000 to leave and released the city from all legal or financial claims.

The agreement was released through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Former Geneva police officer Tim Baker was hired by Geneva School District 304 as its new safety/security coordinator.


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Geneva Park District hosts free fitness day Dec. 2

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:24:00 GMT

GENEVA – The Geneva Park District is hosting a free fitness day from 8:15 to 11:15 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Sunset Community Center, 710 Western Ave., Geneva, and at theStephen D. Persinger Recreation Center, 3507 Kaneville Road, Geneva, officials announced in a news release.

The fitness programs available for trying out are Yoga Tune Up from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m.; MetCon from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m.; TRX Body Blast from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m.; STRONG by Zumba from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.; Muscle Barre from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.; and WERQ from 10:45 to 11:15 a.m., all at Sunset Community Center, the release stated.

Indoor Cycle is from 10:30 to 11 a.m. at the Persinger center, the release stated.

Classes are open to ages 14 and older and registration is recommended and can be completed online at www.genevaparks.org or by calling 630-232-4542, the release stated.

Participants must sign waivers, the release stated.


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Ashley HomeStore to open Dec. 2 in GenevaAn new Ashley HomeStore will open Dec. 2 at 1777 S. Randall Road in Geneva with a ribbon-cutting, prizes and children's entertainment.

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:23:00 GMT

GENEVA – Ashley HomeStore will host a grand opening with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 2 at its new location, 1777 S. Randall Road, Geneva, followed by refreshments, activities and prizes throughout the day until 3 p.m., the company announced in a news release.

In a partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, those who come to the furniture store’s opening festivities are asked to bring food items to donate, the release stated.

The first 100 guests will receive $100 gift cards and Bluetooth headsets, while the next 100 people will receive Bluetooth headsets, the release stated.

Guests can enter to win over $30,000 in prize giveaways, which include a $1,000 dining room set, a $1,500 bedroom set and a $2,000 living room set, the release stated.

Guests can also spin a prize wheel for other items, such as tumblers, wine glasses and entries to enter a money machine, the release stated.

Also available for guests will be finger foods, desserts and visits with Santa, the release stated, while face painters, balloon artists and a magician provide entertainment.

Ashley HomeStore is filling the retail space left vacant when Sports Authority officials announced in March 2016 that the Geneva location would be one of 140 stores it was closing in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. But by May, the company closed all of its remaining 450 stores.

An new Ashley HomeStore will open Dec. 2 at 1777 S. Randall Road in Geneva with a ribbon-cutting, prizes and children's entertainment.


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Geneva teen seeks donations of baseball equipment for Eagle Scout project

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:23:00 GMT

GENEVA – Geneva High School sophomore Tom Antonson is seeking new and gently used baseball equipment to send to migrant Nicaraguan families doing agricultural harvesting in Costa Rica, he announced in a news release.

The goal of his Eagle Scout project is to provide the baseball equipment and resources to Nicaraguan laborers so they may enjoy baseball, as well as the dignity, sportsmanship and momentary escape from labor it provides, the release stated.

Baseball equipment including mitts, wooden bats – no aluminum bats – balls, catcher’s equipment and batting gloves can be donated at various drop-off locations, the release stated.

Equipment may be dropped off on Nov. 27 and 28 at these locations:

• Geneva Public Library, 127 James St., Geneva, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Northwestern Medicine Field, 34W002 Cherry Lane, Geneva, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Royal Builders, 1003 W. Main St., St. Charles, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Bowling Green Sports Center, 243W130 Roosevelt Road, West Chicago, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

• Geneva Middle School North, 1357 Viking Dr., Geneva, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Geneva High School, 416 McKinley Ave., Geneva, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also needed are donations of shipping materials, including boxes and tape, as well as donations of cash to cover shipping costs, the release stated.

For more information, send an email to tommy@antonson.us.


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Face Time with Tanya Smith

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:22:00 GMT

Maple Park resident Tanya Smith, 37, was in Geneva when she answered questions for the Kane County Chronicle’s Brenda Schory.

Schory: Where did you grow up?

Smith: Malta

Schory: First job?

Smith: Baby-sitting, and I cleaned dorm rooms at NIU with my mom at cheerleading camp.

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

Smith: A vet because I grew up with horses. I became a marketing professional.

Schory: Favorite charity?

Smith: Humanateen and Hope for Widows Foundation

Schory: Favorite local restaurant?

Smith: Gia Mia and Bien Trucha in Geneva; Barrel+Rye in St. Charles; Sorrento’s and Bootleggers in Maple Park

Schory: What is an interesting factoid about yourself?

Smith: I was widowed at 26. I had been married only a year and three months, but we had been together seven years. He had been stung [by a bee] too many times, and it put his body into anaphylactic shock. He was stung at the back of the neck and that gets into your blood stream so much quicker. He was an organ donor and helped six other people live, so I blog and write about it all. My blog is called A Widow’s World. And I serve on the Hope for Widows Foundation board as their creative director. We have a private website where widows can connect with women who live close to them.


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Geneva jewelry retailer gets rezoning nod to relocate store

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:01:00 GMT

GENEVA – Geneva aldermen acting as the Committee of the Whole unanimously recommended approval of a zoning change Nov. 13 to allow a retail use in a limited business district so a jeweler can relocate his store there.

Fox Jewelers owner Tom Lannoye sought the rezoning to allow him to relocate his store from 307 W. State St., to 1009 E. State St., documents show.

The property, which is nearly an acre in size, is at the northeast corner of East State Street and Longview Drive, records show.

The property is zoned for general office use, requiring the rezoning to allow retail, records show.

The property had been a drive-thru bank site when it was built in 1981 and was most recently was occupied by U.S. Bank until September 2013, according to a Geneva Community Development Department report on the property.

It has not attracted potential office users for years, the report stated.

The jewelry store will not use the drive-thru and will keep normal business hours, documents show.

Changing the zoning for retail development is consistent with other commercial property uses in the area, the report stated.

The Plan Commission also unanimously recommended approval of the request, records show.

Lannoye’s application stated the zoning change to allow the jewelry store’s relocation to the city's east side “would allow our business to continue to provide tax dollars to the city, give a vacant building a new use, while at the same time being a great neighbor to the surrounding homes and businesses.”

Lannoye’s application also stated the new location would support creating "an even more vibrant east side for everyone.”

“Our plans are to be here for a long time," Lannoye's application stated. "The suitability of this location is perfect for the long-term goals for our business, our family, the city and our neighbors.”

The City Council will take final action on the rezoning.


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Kane County Sheriff's Office reports

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:46:00 GMT

• Rosa M. Colon-Crawley, 37, of the 900 block of Serendipity Drive, Aurora, was charged Nov. 3 with aggravated battery, domestic battery of an insulting or provoking nature, domestic battery causing bodily harm, interference with reporting of domestic violence, criminal damage to property under $300 and disorderly conduct.

• The violation of an order of protection was reported Nov. 8 in the 37W700 block of Route 38 near St. Charles.

• Theft under $500 and criminal trespassing to real property were reported Nov. 8 in the 44W300 block of Route 64 near Maple Park. A pushmower valued at $150 and scrap materials valued at $50 were reported stolen.

• Burglary from a motor vehicle was reported Nov. 9 in the 38W100 block of Henricksen Road near St. Charles. Among the items reported stolen were a leather wallet containing five credit cards and an Illinois driver's license valued at $20, an Xbox One gaming system valued at $500, a vehicle key fob and Armani sunglasses valued at $100.

• Manuel Murillo, 35, of the 500 block of E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, was charged Nov. 9 with unlawful possession of a fraudulent identification card and knowingly possessing a fraudulent driver's license.

• Prohibited use of a credit card and theft under $500 were reported Nov. 10 in the 39W000 block of Dean Lane near St. Charles. An Apple MacBook Air power cord valued at $95 was reported stolen.

• Harassment by telephone was reported Oct. 23 in the 47W600 block of Route 38 near Maple Park.

• Forgery was reported Nov. 14 in the 03S500 block of Bliss Road near Sugar Grove.

• Burglary from a motor vehicle and criminal trespassing to real property were reported Nov. 11 in the 6N700 block of Murray Road near St. Charles. A wallet with miscellaneous cards and paperwork valued at $225, a purse containing $20 valued at $45, two DVDs each valued at $20, two king size mattress covers valued at $100 and three children's books valued at $30 were reported stolen.

• Leaving the scene of an accident was reported Nov. 12 on Bolcum Road near St. Charles.

• Jarod J. Selle, 18, of the 500 block of Alton Court, Carol Stream, was charged Nov. 15 with criminal trespassing to real property.

• Theft under $500 was reported Nov. 15 in the 2S600 block of Horseshoe Drive near Batavia. A volleyball net and pipes valued at $100 were reported stolen.


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College of DuPage reaches out to small businesses in Kane County

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:45:00 GMT

Small businesses throughout Kane County can now receive additional support thanks to the Illinois Small Business Development Center, a program offered by the Center for Entrepreneurship at College of DuPage.

The program has extended assistance to Kane County-area businesses this July; it also services Will and DuPage counties. Until recently, there were Illinois Small Business Development Centers at Waubonsee Community College and Elgin Community College, but both closed last year due to budget reasons, according to Ute Westphal, program specialist for the Center for Entrepreneurship at College of DuPage.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center has roughly 300 clients throughout Kane County. Fifty percent of clients served in Kane County are start-ups; the other half are businesses looking to grow, which is fantastic, according to Westphal.

The center is currently working to serve clients through the development of a workshop schedule that will be brought to the area in January 2018.

“What we’ve done so far is serve our clients in Kane County with one-on-one meetings,” Westphal said. “The one-on-one meetings are catered to their needs and their industry.”

A number of industries have received assistance, including manufacturing, home services, medical, handyman services, occupational therapy and retail.

Bulldog Plumbing of Batavia, operated by Douglas Saam, received guidance by attending a class before the business incorporated in 2011. Saam attended a class by the now shuttered Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College.

“So when we were first starting the company, there was a class that explained how you looked at your expenses. Not just your materials or the stuff you’re selling but all the stuff you don’t think about or easily overlook: rent, the different kinds of insurance, and all of your overhead,” Saam said. He added that this lets a potential business owner know if his or her idea makes financial sense or if the price point he or she is setting for services works out.

Saam said that after the class, he had called the center and asked questions on specific matters.

The workshop attended by Saam isn’t the only type of class offered by such centers, as the Small Business Development Center at College of DuPage plans to offer workshops on customer relations, operations, organizations and business contacts, as well as a start-up guide that goes over everything legally necessary to start a business in Kane County.

Westphal went on to say that educating small business owners about developing a sustainable model dramatically reduces the failure rate.

“And that’s our mission,” she said. “It’s what we do.”

Holiday Gift Auction

Shaw Media will host a Holiday Gift Auction featuring local businesses from Nov. 17 to 27. Gifts listed on the auction site will be available for up to 50 percent off. Those featured on the site include State Street Jewelers, the Kane County Cougars, All Spoked Up, Skin Deep Day Spa, the Herrington Inn and Spa and others. Visit kcchronicle.com for more information.




Correction

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:45:00 GMT

Due to inaccurate information provided to the Elburn Herald and Sugar Grove Herald, the story about MetroNet that ran Nov. 9 on page 6 requires a correction. Kathy Schneller's email address is Kathy.Scheller@metronetinc.com.




Kaneland High School students competed in Burger Cook-OffSarah Lakomek (left) and Gabby Gibbons (right), students from Kaneland High School's culinary arts class, alongside culinary arts teacher Garrett Wolf competed in the second annual Valley Education for Employment Systems Burger Cook-Off at Joliet Junior College on Oct. 27. Teams of two students participated from Indian Valley, Oswego, Oswego East, West Aurora, East Aurora and Kaneland. Teams had an hour and a half to prepare six burgers and a side dish. Students were able to bring one premade item, something that they might not have time for during the competition. Gibbons and Lakomek created a barbecue burger with Swiss cheese and fresh onion rings with fried mac and cheese, which fell short of honors.

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:44:00 GMT

Sarah Lakomek (left) and Gabby Gibbons (right), students from Kaneland High School's culinary arts class, alongside culinary arts teacher Garrett Wolf competed in the second annual Valley Education for Employment Systems Burger Cook-Off at Joliet Junior College on Oct. 27. Teams of two students participated from Indian Valley, Oswego, Oswego East, West Aurora, East Aurora and Kaneland. Teams had an hour and a half to prepare six burgers and a side dish. Students were able to bring one premade item, something that they might not have time for during the competition. Gibbons and Lakomek created a barbecue burger with Swiss cheese and fresh onion rings with fried mac and cheese, which fell short of honors.


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Town and Country Public Library in Elburn adds youth services manager

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:44:00 GMT

ELBURN – The Town and Country Public Library in Elburn will now have one more person to nurture young minds.

Emily Hoffman joined the library as the youth services manager Oct. 25. Hoffman said the last person in her current role left in August.

Hoffman brings a passion for youth services to the library, as she has always been interested in reading.

When Hoffman was a child, she learned of the importance of reading skills. She wants to encourage a love of reading in younger patrons by acting as a mentor, she said.

“I want to develop a collection that’s really useful for our young patrons,” Hoffman said. “I want to have this program that’s going to encourage cognitive and social development and encourage our patrons to be lifelong learners and readers and really great critical thinkers later on.”

She noted that she has past experience working with young children through childcare and focused on children and youth services in a public library environment while studying for her master’s of library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also brings roughly seven years of academic library experience, as she worked for Waubonsee Community College and Aurora University.

She added that her goal is to create relevant and engaging programming for the community, including teens.

“I’d like to develop programming more for teens, as that’s an underserved area in libraries,” Hoffman said.  She added that the she’d like to draw teens into the library by making sure their needs are met and by having interesting materials available for them.

Library Director Glenn Kahmann explained that Hoffman has been doing well so far.

“Everyone is getting to know her,” Kahmann said, inviting the public to meet Hoffman during the Christmas Stroll on Nov. 25 at the library, located at 320 E North St.




Elburn receives a donation of skate park equipment

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:43:00 GMT

ELBURN – It may have taken years, but the village of Elburn is on its way to fulfilling the wishes of several young skateboarders. Four Kaneland Harter Middle School students and their teacher attended a Village Board meeting in April 2015 with a request for a skate park where they could safely engage in their sport.

At the time, officials said the village didn’t have the money to fulfill the request. When village staff researched the surrounding communities that already had skate parks, they found that a Batavia skate park had cost $65,000, with an additional $108,000 for the slab and fencing work.

In October, Village President Jeff Walter and Village Administrator John Nevenhoven were at a Metro West Council of Government meeting when they came across an opportunity to access some skate park equipment. In a chance conversation between Nevenhoven and the village administrator of Gilberts, George Sakas, Nevenhoven learned that Gilberts was looking to dispose of skateboard equipment that had fallen into disuse.

The two villages worked out a nominal fee of $10 for the equipment with the agreement that Elburn personnel would disassemble it and transport it away.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” Walter said.

Walter explained that although Elburn has a tot park for younger children and Lions Park has playground equipment for older children, there is not a lot for teenagers to do in town.

According to Sakas, the equipment, which was valued at nearly $27,000 in 2003, needs extensive refurbishment, and the condition of the underlying asphalt is poor. Since the park wasn’t really being used any longer, Gilberts officials did not feel it was worth the money it would take to bring it back to a usable condition. The village was looking at options for salvaging it.

Sakas said the value of the equipment in 2003 when Gilberts had purchased it was $26,770. Today, the depreciated value is closer to $10,500.

According to Walter, village staff have disassembled the equipment and are in the process of bringing it back to Elburn. Now Elburn will need to find a place to locate the skate park, where young people can get some skating done and have some fun.

He would like to find a centralized location for the skate park, a place where skateboarders won’t need a ride to get to it.

Walter said they are considering several options, including the property next to Elburn Village Hall behind the U.S. Army tank and the lot at North and 1st Street.

Public Works employees will spend the winter refurbishing the equipment, so it will be ready to install in the spring.

Walter said he would appreciate assistance with the repairs from interested skateboarders, as well as input on where to put the park.


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Batavia police reports

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:52:00 GMT

• A vehicle incurred damage to the front passenger side window and a panel, according to a Nov. 1 report of criminal damage to property in the 1100 block of Bradford Circle, Batavia. • Staci J. Bonnes, 20, of the 200 block of North Washington Avenue, Batavia, was charged Nov. 2 with the unlawful sale of tobacco to a minor at Jewel-Osco, 119 S. Randall Road, Batavia. • Lorianne A. Feldott, 49, of the 440 block of North Sycamore Street, Hinckley, was charged Nov. 2 with the unlawful sale of tobacco to a minor at Walgreens, 1918 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia. • Harassment by telephone was reported Nov. 3 in the 1200 block of Orion Road, Batavia. • Brock D. Gardner, 18, of the 34W300 block of Sunset Drive, Batavia, was charged Nov. 3 with unlawful possession of between 30 and 100 grams of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in the 1100 block of McKee Street, Batavia. • Darius A. McCullough, 28, of the 1000 block of Lorlyn Circle, Batavia, was charged Nov. 3 with retail theft less than $300 at Walmart, 801 N. Randall Road, Batavia. • A white garage door was struck by paint balls, according to a Nov. 4 report of criminal damage to property in the 1000 block of North Forest Ave., Batavia, causing an estimated $200 in damage. • Alcohol and shrimp were reported stolen Nov. 4 from Jewel-Osco, 119 S. Randall Road, Batavia, including two bottles of whiskey valued at $139.98, and a bottle of bourbon valued at $47.99. • Retail theft was reported Nov. 4 at Target, 115 N. Randall Road, Batavia, including dental products, nicotine gum and shaving gear. • Criminal damage to property involving a support pole for a mailbox was reported Nov. 5 in the 2000 block of Alexander Drive, Batavia. • When confronted about a $100 counterfeit bill, a person left the Trader Joe's grocery store at 1942 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia, according to a Nov. 5 report of deceptive practices. • A U.S. flag valued at $20 was reported stolen Nov. 7 in the 500 block of West Wilson Street, Batavia. • A $100 counterfeit bill was discovered in a Batavia bank deposit made by the victimized business, Five Below, according to a Nov. 7 report of fraud. • Three people left without paying at the Denny's restaurant, 521 N. Randall Road, Batavia, according to a Nov. 7 report of theft of services. • Six instances of burglary to a motor vehicle were reported Nov. 8 at locations including the 600 block of Brady Way, Papermill Hill Drive and Fox Trail Drive, the 500 block of North Van Nortwick Avenue, the 100 block of North Dixon Drive and the 1000 block of Schonback Court, Batavia. The police previously have cautioned people to lock their vehicles. • An incident of deceptive practices was reported Nov. 8 in the 500 block of Ellen Lane, Batavia, involving $18,000 taken from an out-of-state bank account. • A report of embezzlement was made Nov. 10, amounting to more than $500 in the 1200 block of North Raddant Road, Batavia. • Retail theft was reported Nov. 10 at G[...]


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We've got 5 things for you to do this weekend in Kane CountyRUMER HAVEN WHODUNIT WHERE: Available at amazon.com WHEN: Book newly released COST AND INFO: For price and plot details, visit rumerhaven.com ABOUT: A new whodunit, "Coattails and Cocktails," is out for former Tri-Cities resident Rumer Haven (real name Colleen Keough Wagner), who moved to London in 2008. This year, she gave the keynote speech at the 2017 Upstate Eight Literary Festival, hosted by St. Charles North High School, where she taught English. The Cantigny estate inspired the setting of the 1920s murder mystery, done in the style of Agatha Christie meets "The Great Gatsby."IN LOVE WITH SHAKESPEARE WHERE: Aurora University's Perry Theatre, 349 S. Gladstone Ave., Aurora WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 and 18 COST AND INFO: Free; tinyurl.com/ycugfrob ABOUT: Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" will be presented by Aurora University students. AU staff members from St. Charles working on the production are Tavia DeFelice, who's set and prop designer, and John Curran, technical director. The comedy, set in a contemporary world inspired by hipsters, music festivals and celebrity culture, features live music and open karaoke at pre-show and intermission. The plot involves twins, sassy servants, a drunk uncle, a pirate and a merry band of fools.CELLO AND PIANO WHERE: ​​Congregation​ ​Beth​ ​Shalom,​ ​772​ ​W.​ ​Fifth​ ​Ave.,​ ​Naperville WHEN: 1 p.m. Nov. ​19 COST AND INFO: Free; venue information at napershalom.org ABOUT: Batavia cellist ​Emily​ ​Camras​ ​and​ ​pianist​ ​Cindy​ ​Trowbridge of Wheaton​ will give a recital​ ​of​ ​works​ ​​by​ ​first-generation​ ​Israeli​ ​composers​ who ​combine​ 20th ​century,​ ​European​ ​post-romanticism​ ​with​ ​musical elements​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Middle​ ​East. ​​A​ ​reception​ ​will​ ​follow. Trowbridge is a member of the piano faculty at College of DuPage. Camras attended​ ​the​ ​Illinois​ ​Mathematics​ ​and​ ​Science​ ​Academy​ ​and​​ ​is​ ​pursuing​ ​degrees​ ​in​ ​cello​ ​and​ ​physics​ ​at​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of Michigan.BREAD AND ROSES CHORAL TREAT WHERE: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb WHEN: 3 p.m. Nov. 19 COST AND INFO: Donations welcome; breadandroseschorus.org ABOUT: Bread and Roses, which includes Tri-Cities members, will perform inspirational songs, Christmas and Hanukkah favorites, a cappella pieces and arrangements with piano, guitar, flute and glockenspiel. A silent auction begins at 2 p.m. and a bake sale follows at the reception. The concert, which will help fund members' attendance at the Sister Singers Choral Festival, is titled "Singing Songs of Generosity and Gratitude."WATERLINE WRITERS WHERE: Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia WHEN: 7 p.m. Nov. 19 COST AND INFO: $5, $3 for students; waterlinewriters@gmail.com, waterlinewriters.org ABOUT: Five authors will read at the next Waterline Writers gathering: poet Vida Cross, Lynne Handy, Wayne E. Johnson, humorist Kurt Luchs and spoken word poet Chris Reid. Writers may bring a five-minute piece to share at the 8:30 p.m. open mic. Food, dessert, wine and beer will be available. The authors' respective work includes "Bronzeville at Night: 1949," "Where the River Runs Deep," "The Militarized Zone: What Did You Do in the Army, Grandpa?," "It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny)" and spoken word poems.RUMER HAVEN WHODUNIT WHERE: Available at amazon.com WHEN: Book newly released COST AND INFO: For price and plot details, visit rumerhaven.com ABOUT: A new whodunit, "Coattails and Cocktails," is out for former Tri-Cities resident Rumer Haven (real name Colleen Keough Wagner), who moved to London in 2008. This year, she gave the keynote speech at the 2017 Upstate Eight Literary Festival, hosted by St. Charles North High School, where she taught English. The Cantigny estate inspired the setting of the 1920s murder mystery, done in the style of Agatha Christie meets "The Great Gatsby."

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:25:00 GMT

Fans of books, concerts, Shakespeare and live theater have a bounty of entertainment options at hand. RUMER HAVEN WHODUNIT WHERE: Available at amazon.com WHEN: Book newly released COST AND INFO: For price and plot details, visit rumerhaven.com ABOUT: A new whodunit, "Coattails and Cocktails," is out for former Tri-Cities resident Rumer Haven (real name Colleen Keough Wagner), who moved to London in 2008. This year, she gave the keynote speech at the 2017 Upstate Eight Literary Festival, hosted by St. Charles North High School, where she taught English. The Cantigny estate inspired the setting of the 1920s murder mystery, done in the style of Agatha Christie meets "The Great Gatsby."IN LOVE WITH SHAKESPEARE WHERE: Aurora University's Perry Theatre, 349 S. Gladstone Ave., Aurora WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 and 18 COST AND INFO: Free; tinyurl.com/ycugfrob ABOUT: Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" will be presented by Aurora University students. AU staff members from St. Charles working on the production are Tavia DeFelice, who's set and prop designer, and John Curran, technical director. The comedy, set in a contemporary world inspired by hipsters, music festivals and celebrity culture, features live music and open karaoke at pre-show and intermission. The plot involves twins, sassy servants, a drunk uncle, a pirate and a merry band of fools.CELLO AND PIANO WHERE: ​​Congregation​ ​Beth​ ​Shalom,​ ​772​ ​W.​ ​Fifth​ ​Ave.,​ ​Naperville WHEN: 1 p.m. Nov. ​19 COST AND INFO: Free; venue information at napershalom.org ABOUT: Batavia cellist ​Emily​ ​Camras​ ​and​ ​pianist​ ​Cindy​ ​Trowbridge of Wheaton​ will give a recital​ ​of​ ​works​ ​​by​ ​first-generation​ ​Israeli​ ​composers​ who ​combine​ 20th ​century,​ ​European​ ​post-romanticism​ ​with​ ​musical elements​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Middle​ ​East. ​​A​ ​reception​ ​will​ ​follow. Trowbridge is a member of the piano faculty at College of DuPage. Camras attended​ ​the​ ​Illinois​ ​Mathematics​ ​and​ ​Science​ ​Academy​ ​and​​ ​is​ ​pursuing​ ​degrees​ ​in​ ​cello​ ​and​ ​physics​ ​at​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of Michigan.BREAD AND ROSES CHORAL TREAT WHERE: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 830 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb WHEN: 3 p.m. Nov. 19 COST AND INFO: Donations welcome; breadandroseschorus.org ABOUT: Bread and Roses, which includes Tri-Cities members, will perform inspirational songs, Christmas and Hanukkah favorites, a cappella pieces and arrangements with piano, guitar, flute and glockenspiel. A silent auction begins at 2 p.m. and a bake sale follows at the reception. The concert, which will help fund members' attendance at the Sister Singers Choral Festival, is titled "Singing Songs of Generosity and Gratitude."WATERLINE WRITERS WHERE: Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia WHEN: 7 p.m. Nov. 19 COST AND INFO: $5, $3 for students; waterlinewriters@gmail.com, waterlinewriters.org ABOUT: Five authors will read at the next Waterline Writers gathering: poet Vida Cross, Lynne Handy, Wayne E. Johnson, humorist Kurt Luchs and spoken word poet Chris Reid. Writers may bring a five-minute piece to share at the 8:30 p.m. open mic. Food, dessert, wine and beer will be available. The authors' r[...]


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More than 100 protestors turn out for Roskam appearance at GOP fundraiser in Downers GroveRoskam gave the keynote speech at the Downers Grove Township Republican Organization’s 2017 Ronald Reagan Dinner at Ashyana Banquets, 1620 75th St. Many protesters said they came out to oppose Roskam’s support of a tax plan they describe as regressive and harmful to the middle class. The House of Representatives on Nov. 16 voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Roskam, who serves as the chairman of the Tax Policy Subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee, has taken a leadership role in crafting the legislation. Tom Shadle of Westmont described the tax plan as “completely unfair for most Americans.” “It benefits millionaires and corporations over us,” he said. Shadle said changes in the nation's political climate motivated him to attend the rally. “I used to never come to these myself, [but] what’s happened over the last year has just been utterly insane," he said.Nancy Holst of Sleepy Hollow was dressed in a Waldo costume as she carried a life-size cutout of Roskam. She said she's opposed to the tax plan as well as Roskam's support of repealing the Affordable Care Act. “For me, specifically, it’s Roskam because he is our congressman," Holst said. "It started for me with health care because I have MS. It’s a pre-existing condition, and that was going to affect me. My mom is in a nursing home, and it was going to affect her. It’s very personal for me. Now it’s the taxes because I will be unable to deduct my expenses for my MS. My meds are $12,000 a year.” Holst said the protest combined with campaigns on social media are making a difference. “This is what’s made a difference," she said. "I think this is a great turnout.”Julie Brethauer of Downers Grove said she never attended protests before Trump was elected but feels the need to speak out. “There’s no sign of bringing our nation together,” Brethauer said. “It’s a very dangerous climate. It’s incumbent upon us to raise our voices.” Reid McCollum, a leader of the Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th, said the proposed tax plan was the primary reason for the protest. “There’s not one thing in that bill for the middle class,” said McCollum, who specifically criticized the proposal to eliminate state and local tax deductions.The tax plan also would increase the federal deficit by as much as $1.7 trillion and lead to massive cuts to services and programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, opponents said. The House passed the measure by a vote of 227-205. Roskam offered a different portrayal of the tax plan. “We’ve got a tax code that’s a disaster,” said Roskam, who added most Americans want some form of tax relief. He said the current proposal calls for a $5,000 tax break for a family of four with a median income of $130,000. “The more people look at this bill, the better it looks,” he said.

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 03:25:00 GMT

DOWNERS GROVE – Wheaton resident Nancy Schoot held a sign and chanted along with more than 100 others who gathered outside a Downers Grove banquet hall Nov. 16 to protest an appearance by U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton. “I’m so frustrated,” Schoot said. “This is personal.” Schoot, a cancer survivor, said she’s attended several protests since President Donald Trump was elected and is especially angry about efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “It started with the health care repeal,” Schoot said. The protest was organized by the Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th and several partner groups. Roskam gave the keynote speech at the Downers Grove Township Republican Organization’s 2017 Ronald Reagan Dinner at Ashyana Banquets, 1620 75th St. Many protesters said they came out to oppose Roskam’s support of a tax plan they describe as regressive and harmful to the middle class. The House of Representatives on Nov. 16 voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Roskam, who serves as the chairman of the Tax Policy Subcommittee on the Ways and Means Committee, has taken a leadership role in crafting the legislation. Tom Shadle of Westmont described the tax plan as “completely unfair for most Americans.” “It benefits millionaires and corporations over us,” he said. Shadle said changes in the nation's political climate motivated him to attend the rally. “I used to never come to these myself, [but] what’s happened over the last year has just been utterly insane," he said.Nancy Holst of Sleepy Hollow was dressed in a Waldo costume as she carried a life-size cutout of Roskam. She said she's opposed to the tax plan as well as Roskam's support of repealing the Affordable Care Act. “For me, specifically, it’s Roskam because he is our congressman," Holst said. "It started for me with health care because I have MS. It’s a pre-existing condition, and that was going to affect me. My mom is in a nursing home, and it was going to affect her. It’s very personal for me. Now it’s the taxes because I will be unable to deduct my expenses for my MS. My meds are $12,000 a year.” Holst said the protest combined with campaigns on social media are making a difference. “This is what’s made a difference," she said. "I think this is a great turnout.”Julie Brethauer of Downers Grove said she never attended protests before Trump was elected but feels the need to speak out. “There’s no sign of bringing our nation together,” Brethauer said. “It’s a very dangerous climate. It’s incumbent upon us to raise our voices.” Reid McCollum, a leader of the Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th, said the proposed tax plan was the primary reason for the protest. “There’s not one thing in that bill for the middle class,” said McCollum, who specifically criticized the proposal to eliminate state and local tax deductions.The tax plan also would increase the federal deficit by as much as $1.7 trillion and lead to massive cuts to services and programs such as Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, opponents said. The House passed the measure by a vote of 227-205. Roskam offered a different portrayal of the tax plan. “We’ve got a tax code that’s a disaster,” said Roskam, who adde[...]


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Algonquin, Huntley police warn of recent motor vehicle burglaries, theftsShaw Media file photo

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 02:12:00 GMT

ALGONQUIN – Local police are warning residents about an increase in motor vehicle burglaries and motor vehicle thefts throughout McHenry and Kane counties.

The village of Algonquin and numerous surrounding communities in both counties have experienced an increase in the crimes, police said Thursday in a post on the Algonquin Police Department's Facebook page.

Huntley police said incidents have occurred in residential areas off Route 47, mostly on the south side of the village, according to a Nixle alert.

The majority of the incidents have occurred late at night or overnight in residential areas, the post stated. Many of the items stolen came from unlocked cars. Residents who reported their cars stolen had left their keys inside the vehicles.

"The Algonquin Police Department would like to remind the members of the community to always lock their vehicles’ doors and to never leave their vehicle’s keys inside of an unattended vehicle," the post stated.

Police also advised against leaving valuables in vehicles in plain sight.

"We strongly believe that these simple preventative measures will help to deter future incidents," the post stated.

A juvenile is facing charges for dozens of vehicle burglaries and auto theft after he admitted to 14 vehicle burglaries in Lakemoor and involvement in an auto theft and chase Sept. 12, which ended in a crash at Route 12 and Molidor Road in Volo, police said.

The juvenile also admitted to more than 20 vehicle burglaries and five auto thefts in multiple jurisdictions. Police said the juvenile did not break into any cars, but only opened doors to unlocked vehicles.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity is asked to report the activity while it is in progress, and anyone with information about previous incidents should call the Algonquin Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 847-658-4531.

Shaw Media file photo


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Geneva Chamber honors Gaines for 40 years of serviceGeneva Chamber of Commerce President Jean Gaines is honored for 40 years of service with the chamber on Nov. 9 at Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva.

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:30:00 GMT

GENEVA – The Geneva Chamber of Commerce sprang the surprise of a lifetime on its president, Jean Gaines, at its annual dinner Nov. 9 at Eagle Brook Country Club in Geneva. Board of directors chairman Scott Lebin went off script to announce accolades to Gaines for her 40 years of service at the Geneva Chamber, 38 of them as the president. Lebin showed a video of U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, delivering a statement on the House floor to congratulate Gaines. “I rise today to honor Mrs. Jean Gaines for her 40 years of service at the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, most recently as president,” Hultgren said. “Her contributions have made the Chamber of Commerce a vibrant organization and a model for many other chambers throughout the state of Illinois and the country.” Gaines also received recognition from State Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, in recognition of her dedication and hard work in her 40th year. She also received a proclamation from the city of Geneva, but Mayor Kevin Burns preferred to comment rather than read the proclamation. “Longevity without passion and curiosity and commitment and a deep sense of honor in what you do is just another way of saying, ‘I’m hanging out,’” Burns said. “Jean Gaines is not that way. Jean Gaines has the passion, has the commitment, has the curiosity. She loves what she does and I know she loves all of you. So Jean, from the bottom of my heart, the City Council and community and all those whose lives you’ve touched, two score, happy anniversary.” But that was not all. With Gaines standing speechless at the podium, Martha Sanchez of State Street Jewelers in Geneva presented her with a diamond pendant. “The piece was custom-made for her,” Sanchez said. “It’s in precious metals, a symbol of how precious you are to all of us here. It has 40 diamonds and most important is the oval design – which, like the circle, is never ending. And it symbolizes eternity. We are eternally grateful for your hard work and dedication to the chamber.” Lebin still was not finished honoring Gaines. He called up the chamber’s board of directors to stand in front of the podium and announced their unanimous decision to name the event the Jean Gaines Annual Dinner. An emotional Gaines thanked them for recognizing her. “I don’t know how I can thank you all for the wonderful life I’ve had promoting Geneva,” Gaines said, her voice breaking. “It’s a wonderful product to promote. I’ve had the support of a wonderful board of directors and the staff through the years. It has been marvelous,” Gaines said. “I’ve had support from my family going way back to when my daughter had to be the elf at the Santa House.” Gaines spoke of her late husband, John, as also supporting her efforts. “As you all know, my husband is not with us anymore, but he supported me and encouraged me to work as hard as I could an[...]


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GreenFields employees save lives with Heimlich maneuverMary Kennedy, an employee at Greenfields of Geneva, was on vacation in Europe with her husband, Patrick, when she used lifesaving training she learned at work to rescue a choking diner at a restaurant.

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:30:00 GMT

BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – For the second time in just over a year, an employee at GreenFields of Geneva senior living community saved someone’s life using the Heimlich maneuver, according to a news release. The first time involved a high school-age dining room server who rescued a resident who was choking at dinner, the release stated. The second, more recent incident, involved Mary Kennedy, a life enrichment associate, the release stated. Kennedy was in a restaurant on vacation in Europe when the training she received at GreenFields spared a fellow diner’s life, the release stated. “I am very proud to say that because of the life-saving training I received at GreenFields, I had the confidence to jump into action,” Kennedy stated in the release. While Kennedy and her husband were eating their dinner, her husband noticed a woman walking near their table at the back of the restaurant with a panicked look on her face. “I think she’s choking,” he said to his wife, according to the release. “Other patrons got up when they saw what was happening, but I knew exactly what to do,” Kennedy stated in the release. Kennedy asked the woman, who appeared to be in her mid-60s, if she could speak. When she shook her head no, Kennedy asked her to raise her arms and then performed the Heimlich maneuver, the release stated. “I felt so glad I could help her and so grateful to GreenFields,” Kennedy stated in the release. All members of the GreenFields staff receive ongoing training in the Heimlich maneuver, CPR, fire and other emergency situations, the release stated. Once recovered, the choking woman embraced Kennedy and her husband in gratitude, the release stated. She told Kennedy, “I was thinking that today was going to be my last day,” the release stated. “My adrenaline was still pumping, too,” Kennedy stated in the release. “It was hard to finish my meal. Maybe I should have gone out for a little walk.” Several patrons also approached Kennedy with their thanks, and someone at the restaurant asked her whether she was a nurse, the release stated. Kennedy told them she was not a nurse, but that she works in a senior living community. “I was so proud to be able to say that, and I’m so grateful for all the experiences I’ve been given at GreenFields,” Kennedy stated in the release. “They’ve all been wonderful, but to be able to save someone’s life because of what I’ve learned is really something.” Kennedy’s current training goes far beyond what she received in a former senior care experience, the release stated. “I understand that people might think of me as a hero, but again, I’m just grateful that I knew what to do because of my training at GreenFields,” Kennedy stated in the release. Remarking that th[...]


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Sugar Grove residents express concern over proposed Heartland Recycling facility

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 18:26:00 GMT

SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove Planning Commission Board held a public hearing for the proposed Heartland Recycling facility on Nov. 15 for Sugar Grove residents to voice their questions and comments. Around 40 concerned citizens attended the public hearing to voice their opinions and questions on the proposed annexation agreement for the Heartland Recycling facility. Heartland Recycling Partner John Savage and several colleagues were in attendance of the public hearing. Savage explained the background and current operations of Heartland Recycling facility in Aurora. "We're seven years in existence and [have] been in operation for four years," Savage said. "We came together with the concept to find distressed properties that would never be developed upon. Through land reclamation, we would be able to build office and residential properties. We identified a quarry, a 50-acre parcel, in Aurora, and we've been there for four years. It's a ways to an end. There would be a 10-year limit on the clean construction demolition and debris but we think it will be filled in in five years. But it is all dependent on the market." According to Savage, all the material including the clay, dirt, asphalt and concrete that would be used to fill the hole would be deemed clean by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Thomas Volini, an environmental consultant for Heartland Recycling, gave an example of the measures that are taken to determine if the material meets the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency requirements. "A licensed engineer or geologist has to do an evaluation of the materials to determine if the soil has the remote chance that it could be contaminated," Volini said. "Then they compare test results to health risks and standards by the Illinois EPA before they can call Heartland." After presentations by members of Heartland Recycling were made, the conversation about the proposed annexation agreement was opened up to the public for comments. Tim Leuer, who lives on Harter Road, expressed his disapproval of the proposed site. "I'm here to speak against the proposal," Leuer said. "I'm not qualified to speak on legitimacy except for sand. We will have brake and transmission fluid leaching into our environment. Just because the county or EPA says it is OK doesn't mean it is OK. It would be an act of betrayal to us. There is no benefit to the community. The nearest resident to their site in Aurora is 1,422 feet away. Heartland proposes to open an operation literally next door to residents. Profits at any cost." Sugar Grove resident Brandon Mathews determined his well is located 60 feet away from the proposed site. "My well will be 60 feet from where they are mining," Mathews said. "It is 160 feet deep. There is a farm field directly to the north. The farm field is one third underwater almost year-round. Areas within the field, they aren't able to farm upon it. They are bringing all the water to a retention pond and then it goes into a catch basin and goes out into our field. How[...]


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World War II vet looks back on military service

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:28:00 GMT

ELBURN – Elburn resident Claude Henderson was 18 years old, weighed 115 pounds and had just graduated high school when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945. He was inducted Aug. 11 and underwent seven weeks of basic training at Camp Blanding, Fla., before being shipped overseas. His mother sent his piano accordion to him at the base, and Henderson would play “Sentimental Journey” over the public address system for his fellow soldiers. “It seemed appropriate at the time,” he said. During basic training, he qualified for a number of weapons, but he was lucky in that he never had to use them in battle. By the time he completed basic training, the war with Germany and Japan was over. He was assigned to the 193rd Chemical Depot Company in Traunstein, Germany, which at one point had been a barracks for Germany’s elite SS police troops. The Nazis had manufactured and stored mustard gas at the site, and the task for Henderson’s unit was to dispose of the toxic material. The journey to his destination began on a Liberty Ship, which departed from New York. It took eight days to cross the Atlantic Ocean before landing in Le Havre, France. From there, he traveled to Germany by trains and boxcars he believed were used by the Germans to transport Jewish prisoners during the war. It was winter, and he recalled barefoot French children along the tracks, waving and smiling at the soldiers as the train traveled through their country. He said many of the U.S. soldiers threw their C-rations out to the children. The SS barracks was located 15 miles from Berchtesgaden, Germany, a scenic resort area in the Bavarian Alps. The barracks had been well-camouflaged during the war, keeping it safe from being bombed, while the larger cities, such as Munich, were reduced to rubble. Henderson said he and his fellow soldiers spent many of their weekends at a nearby club, then occupied by U.S. troops. Stationed nearby in Vienna, Austria, his brother Stanley Henderson joined him there one weekend before he was shipped home. The resort was only a couple of miles from Adolf Hitler’s summer home. Although by that time, only the subfloor of the home remained. The site still offered an excellent view of the Alps, Henderson said. When Henderson’s mission was completed, he left for home, arriving in Elburn on Dec. 24, 1946. He settled in and married the girl who had waited for him back home, Doris, in Sycamore. He and his wife have remained in Elburn. Nearly 50 years ago, he built the home they live in on Willow Street and where they raised four children. He went on to forge a career, first with the Chicago and North Western Railroad and later with the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division for the Teamsters Union. He retired 30 years ago and on Dec. 6 of this year, he and his wife will celebrate 70 years of marriage. Henderson was treated to an “unforgettable” experience th[...]



Word from Elburn: Fantastic programs for all ages at the Town and Country Public Library

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:27:00 GMT

The Town and Country Public Library in Elburn believes that excellent programming should be offered for all ages, all year long. From delightful children’s events to compelling adult programs, the library works to bring new and exciting presentations and activities to the community each month. From a whimsical children’s book reading to crafting fun for teens and tweens to valuable heirloom preservation, the library has a wide range of programs for a full range of ages. The creators of the charming children’s book “A Tale of a Chicken-Duck Named Chuck” are coming to the library at 11 a.m. Dec. 7. Local author Jen Meiring and illustrator Carmen Hampson are stopping by to read their newest book about an adorable chicken-duck that kids are sure to love. If your family wants to read more about the cute chicken-duck named Chuck after the event, copies of the book will be available for purchase at the library. The library is hosting two special crafting sessions for teens and tweens ages 10 to 18 in December. The first session is a fun and festive night of holiday-inspired crafting at 6 p.m. Dec. 9. Come to this session to sip gourmet hot chocolate, craft edible treats and watch holiday movie favorites. The second session takes place at 1 p.m. Dec. 29 and also features awesome movies and tasty snacks alongside cool crafts. These crafting sessions are filling up quickly, so make sure to sign up to reserve a seat. For all those patrons interested in genealogy and family history, the library is offering two excellent programs you will not want to miss. The first of these two programs features genealogy expert Jeanne Bloom’s informative presentation on locating little-known familial connections. Genealogists will want to come to this fascinating genealogical foray into discovering lost family members at 10 a.m. Nov. 27. The second program is essential for those looking to preserve the past. Because storing precious family heirlooms is no simple matter, the library is hosting a class to teach proper preservation at 10 a.m. Dec. 18. Sign up for these free genealogy classes to learn more about hidden family histories and to keep your cherished heirlooms safe. The library is hosting a special presentation of “The True Story of Smoky the War Dog” at 1 p.m. Nov. 27. After being rescued from an abandoned foxhole in Papua New Guinea during World War II, Smoky went on to earn eight battle stars and many medals for her bravery and lives saved throughout the war. She was named the mascot of the South Pacific and even became the dog that inspired the creation of today’s therapy dog programs. Professional public speaker and storyteller Adrian Brigham, alongside recording artist and wife Denise Brigham, presents this inspirational and emotional tribute to veterans and their four-legged compatriots. The addition of vintage photos, posters, actual videos of Bill and Smoky and the presence of Denise’s therapy dog Hairy Pawter will all bring this story to life. Connor Wilcox is the communications coordinator for the Town and Country Publi[...]



Kaneland High School to present a twist on the bard's classics[Kaneland High School student Lyndsay Mach rehearses a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Theater students will have the opportunity to add their own flair to the works of William Shakespeare through improvisation. “This play is more improv-based,” Director Rachel Giles said. “The play is scripted but they can add their own lines. I wanted the students to have this skill. The kids are already funny. There’s a lot of trial and error in rehearsal. They get comfortable with each other during rehearsal. Sometimes, students have a negative view [of] Shakespeare, but this play is a spin on Shakespeare.”[Kaneland High School students Brendan Neis and Ella Siblik rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Theater students are learning how and when to add their own lines to the play, according to Giles. There are three narrators in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]" who play themselves and refer to themselves. Each narrator has a particular persona. There are times when they are playing their characters and when they’re playing themselves, according to Giles. All narrators do research on their own to further develop their character.[Kaneland High School students (from left) Leonardo Espinosa, Evangeline Beck and Jack Lasater rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Kaneland High School senior Jack Lasater has the honor of introducing each work during the entire play. “I introduce the stories,” Lasater said. “I also play Juliette, Cleo and Ophelia. The hardest part is the memorization and thinking about how your character would act. We have character development days where we get to know our characters more. There is a lot of improv and sporadic movement. I really like being weird on stage.”[Kaneland High School students Jack Lasater and Evangeline Beck rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] There are many opportunities to be dramatic and uninhibited with acting, according to Lasater. Lasater’s cast mate, Kaneland High School junior Evangeline Beck, describes Lasater’s character as a hooligan. “Jack’s character is a hooligan,” Beck said. “He’s the child. Leonardo and I are the parents. This play is a jumble of Shakespearean mess. It’s like organized chaos. The most challenging part is reading and speaking Shakespeare and memorizing the lines. For ‘Othello,’ we are rapping, and it’s so much fun. It’s a wonderful mess.”[Kaneland High School student Evangeline Beck rehearses a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Giles described Evangeline’s role along with Jack and Leonardo’s role. “Each narrator has their own persona,” Giles said. “[Evie] keeps everyone in line. Jack interprets and looks like a member of the audience. Leo gives historical context.”[Kaneland High School student Leonardo Espinosa rehearses a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Leonardo Espinosa, a junior at Kaneland High School, describes his role as a narrator who keeps the play intact. “My character is book smart and holds the play together,” Espinosa said. “He wants it to stay true to the original story. It’s a cool experience. The audience interacts with us. Since, I’m the nerdy one, I’m memorizing a lot of Shakespeare. … It’s hard getting into the role when you’re rapping.”[Kaneland High School student Stevie Kumar rehearses a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]" is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 17, 7 p.m. Nov. 18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19 at Kaneland High School, located at 47W326 Keslinger Road in Maple Park.[Kaneland High School students (from left) Evangeline Beck, Leonardo Espinosa and Jack Lasater rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Tickets can be purchased at the door or through Kaneland High School’s website, khs.kaneland.org. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children. Kaneland High School students can attend the play for free when they present their school identification card.

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:26:00 GMT

MAPLE PARK – Improvisation and hilarity are the name of the game for Kaneland High School’s presentation of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]" will be performed with unexpected humor and feature all of Shakespeare’s 37 works in a total of 97 minutes. [Kaneland High School student Lyndsay Mach rehearses a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Theater students will have the opportunity to add their own flair to the works of William Shakespeare through improvisation. “This play is more improv-based,” Director Rachel Giles said. “The play is scripted but they can add their own lines. I wanted the students to have this skill. The kids are already funny. There’s a lot of trial and error in rehearsal. They get comfortable with each other during rehearsal. Sometimes, students have a negative view [of] Shakespeare, but this play is a spin on Shakespeare.”[Kaneland High School students Brendan Neis and Ella Siblik rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Theater students are learning how and when to add their own lines to the play, according to Giles. There are three narrators in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]" who play themselves and refer to themselves. Each narrator has a particular persona. There are times when they are playing their characters and when they’re playing themselves, according to Giles. All narrators do research on their own to further develop their character.[Kaneland High School students (from left) Leonardo Espinosa, Evangeline Beck and Jack Lasater rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] Kaneland High School senior Jack Lasater has the honor of introducing each work during the entire play. “I introduce the stories,” Lasater said. “I also play Juliette, Cleo and Ophelia. The hardest part is the memorization and thinking about how your character would act. We have character development days where we get to know our characters more. There is a lot of improv and sporadic movement. I really like being weird on stage.”[Kaneland High School students Jack Lasater and Evangeline Beck rehearse a scene from "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]." The play will be performed Nov. 17 through 19 at the school.] There are many opportunities to be dramatic and uninhibited with acting, according to Lasater. Lasater’s cast mate, Kaneland High School junior Evangeline Beck, describes Lasater’s character as a hooligan. “Jack’s character is a hooligan,” Beck said. “He’s the child. Leonardo and I are the parents. This play is a jumble of Shakespearean mess. It’s like organized chaos. The most challenging part is reading and speaking Shakespeare and memorizing the lines. For ‘Othello,’ we are rapping, and it’s so much fun. It’[...]


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Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus challenges members to 'burn the turkey'Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus facility offers various challenges for members throughout the year, including the Turkey Burn.

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:34:00 GMT

ELMHURST – Courts Plus, an Elmhurst Park District facility, is challenging members to burn off calories consumed on Thanksgiving through the Burn the Turkey App Challenge, which runs from Nov. 16 through 30.

The average American may consume more than 4,500 calories in a traditional Thanksgiving Day celebration through snacking and dinner, according to the Calorie Control Council. Courts Plus, which is celebrating Member Appreciation Month this November, has issued the Burn the Turkey App Challenge on the Courts Plus mobile app this year in response, according to an Elmhurst Park District news release.

Members can track calories lost and progress made on the Courts Plus app, available for free for iOS and Android. Those who achieve the goal will have a chance to win a $50 gift card to Whole Foods Market, the release stated.

Courts Plus members also can track fitness progress, earn Courts Plus rewards toward prizes and participate in Courts Plus challenges throughout the year.

To keep up to date on all the happenings during Member Appreciation Month, visit courtsplus.com or the Courts Plus Facebook page at facebook.com/courtsplusEPD.

Elmhurst Park District's Courts Plus facility offers various challenges for members throughout the year, including the Turkey Burn.


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Art studio to showcase students’ works in colored pencilBeech Tree Studio artists will feature their pencil-drawn artwork at the studio's annual show, Drawn Together, from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at Chapelstreet Church, 3435 Keslinger Road, Geneva. Pam Williams of Lake in the Hills created this colored pencil art as the cover of a Christmas card.

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:30:00 GMT

GENEVA – Beech Tree Studio artists will feature their pencil-drawn artwork at the studio’s annual show, Drawn Together, from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at Chapelstreet Church, 3435 Keslinger Road, Geneva, according to a news release.

The public is welcome to see more than 150 pieces of original artwork as well as packets of Christmas cards created by students with colored pencil artwork on the covers, the release stated.

Proceeds from the card sales will be donated to The Joshua Tree Community, the release stated.

The Joshua Tree Community is a nonprofit that offers a day program for nonaggressive mildly intellectually disabled adults, providing them a means to participate in activities, according to its website, www.joshuatreecommunity.com.

Information about classes in techniques of colored pencil, workshops and rural artistry retreats can be found by visiting www.beechtreestudio.com or by calling 630-845-3325.

Classes are taught in Geneva, Elgin, Montgomery and Shorewood.

Beech Tree Studio artists will feature their pencil-drawn artwork at the studio's annual show, Drawn Together, from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 at Chapelstreet Church, 3435 Keslinger Road, Geneva. Pam Williams of Lake in the Hills created this colored pencil art as the cover of a Christmas card.


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St. Charles plumbing company hits 100-year mark[Jack Wagner looks through old newspaper clippings about past anniversaries of his company, J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping, Inc. in St. Charles.] In fact, there aren’t many major buildings – schools, banks, hospitals, churches or factories – in the Fox Valley region that haven’t had a Wagner employee work on its plumbing, heating or ventilation systems, the company stated in a news release. “One hundred years – that’s a remarkable track record, a remarkable business feat,” said St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina. “A 100-year business, the way I look at it, is one of the benchmarks of why we have ‘heritage’ as one of the four prongs of our [city’s] mission statement.” On Nov. 6, Rogina and the city of St. Charles made a proclamation to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, and current President Jack Wagner was given a key to the city in a symbolic gesture of trust. Wagner, 69, is the third-generation owner of J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc., which has undergone a few simple name changes over the years. One of his sons, Dan, 37, is poised to take over when Wagner is ready to retire – which isn’t for a while, the elder Wagner said. But the fact that four generations of Wagners have worked for 100 years building a reputation that the Fox Valley region has come to rely on is a proud testament to his family, he said. “I’m sure my grandpa and dad would be pretty proud of it,” Wagner said. “I know I am.”[Jack Wagner (left) and his son, Dan, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc. in St. Charles.] The secret to success To stay in business for a full century, a company must have several things. First, said Wagner, you must have the unequivocal support of your family. “The secret, I think, first of all, is having family that’s willing to put up with a business,” said Wagner, the oldest of 10 children. “I wasn’t home a lot some nights and had to leave early in the morning. And same thing with my dad and grandpa. We enjoyed the business, and we worked the business. The wives stayed home and took care of the kids. Thank God for our wives and kids who put up with it.” That isn’t to say that life was all work and no play, he said. For fun, his siblings and their families always have taken nice vacations and frequently hang out together, but everyone has been on board with the family business. In fact, nine of the 10 siblings worked for the company at some point. All four of Wagner’s children have worked for him, as well – Colleen, Andrea, Pat and Dan – and his wife of 45 years, Bette, always has stood by his side. “They all understand: You work hard, you play hard. That’s kind of what my philosophy was and my dad’s was,” Wagner said. “You need to have that trust from your family and that conviction from them, too. This family business is a little bit more than just going to work.” Beyond strong family ties, a business must have solid ethics, Wagner said. “You treat people right, they treat you right – that’s the way my dad thought about it,” he said. “These relationships, it’s not just business, business, business. You also get to know them and respect each other. You have to gain [each other’s] confidence.”[J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc. in St. Charles was founded by Jack Wagner's grandfather, Roscoe. Jack Wagner's father, Bob, continued the business until Jack became owner.] Keeping promises and fixing problems as “fast and as best as you can” are two additional keys to the Wagner family business success. “We had one project where we installed all the sewers into this new building, and the engineer came out and there was one sewer that was run backwards,” Wagner recalled. “It was supposed to run out of the building. We had to dig it out and replace it – a three-day job. A guy was reading the level wrong … .” “The customer at first was a little upset, but then he said, ‘That’s fine, thank you.’ He finally decided, ‘Wagner fixed the problem; he didn’t just run away from it.’” Jerry Hope, 82, of St. Charles, has worked with three generations of Wagners, starting with Wagner’s father, Bob, in the late 1960s on a $10 million job for the Swift Dry Sausage plant being built on Kirk Road. Today, Smithfield Foods operates the building, but the project remains the largest that a Wagner team ever worked on, with more than 100 employees on payroll, Wagner said. As construction superintendent and first chief engineer for the original plant, Hope recommended Bob Wagner because of the excellent work his company did, Hope said. And over the years, as Hope built a team of reliable specialists to tackle the construction and maintenance jobs he oversaw in the Fox Valley area, he continued to rely on the Wagner company. “I always looked at a team approach, and Wagner just fit in,” he said. “They were very, very customer-oriented, and their prices were always competitive. It was just a good relationship.” “There’s a lot of competition out there,” Hope continued. “To survive 100 years, it’s how you treat your customer. If I called them with a problem, somehow, they would get somebody to me, not in two or three days, but usually that same day. They might have to keep somebody on overtime, but they would get somebody to me. “Extra effort – that’s the key word for Wagner.”[Jack Wagner looks through old newspaper clippings about past anniversaries of his company, J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping, Inc. in St. Charles. The company is celebrating its 100th anniversary.] Extra effort also helped maintain a family and business relationship between the Wagners and Driessens, who own another long-standing St. Charles company – Driessen Construction. The patriarchs and grandfathers were the business founders. Roscoe Wagner co-founded Wagner and Cramer in 1916 and his wife, Mary Agnes, bought out the partner in 1917 while both men fought in World War I and changed the name to Roscoe Wagner Plumbing (later R.L. Wagner and Sons, and today J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc.). Joseph Driessen founded Driessen Construction in 1924, and the two companies often did business together. The next generation – Bob Wagner and William Driessen – followed suit, becoming fast friends in both business and in life. “They were members of the country club; they golfed together – our families were always together at the pool,” said 56-year-old Joe Driessen, the third-generation owner of Driessen Construction and the 11th of his father’s 12 children. Today, Jack Wagner and Joe Driessen continue their family legacy and business partnership, still golfing together and still sharing jobs. “We always relied on each other for work,” Driessen said. “We felt they did quality work, and we always were calling on them. As far as friends, they’re just great people – a lot of fun to be around, good values – up and down the whole family … . That made it easy to work with them. They did quality work. You could always trust them; they were always there if you needed them, and they still are today. If you have an emergency, you can call the Wagners and they’ll take care of you.”[Jack Wagner (left) and his son, Dan, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc. in St. Charles.] Changing with the times In the 1960s and ’70s, the Fox Valley area was still in the Industrial Age, with new factories and schools being built one after the other, Jack Wagner said. The family company – which expanded during this time to include sheet metal to its projects – was too busy with big bids to tackle residential service jobs. But in 1990, Jack Wagner began focusing more on residential plumbing, understanding that not only had the times changed, but the need for reliable plumbers was growing. Today, his son, Dan, is growing that department. “We want to service the customers in our area that we know [are] always going to need plumbing repairs,” Jack Wagner said. “That’s something that people can’t do themselves, and we have the equipment and people to do that. These big jobs are fine to have, but they’re [one] and done; there’s not a steady flow of it.” In 1992, the company underwent another major change. Jack Wagner and his brother Mike split the family business, with Mike taking over the sheet metal portion and Jack sticking with plumbing and piping. It had crossed Jack Wagner’s mind to retire then, but after a bit of persuasion, he decided to extend his family’s legacy. “My family, my employees and my customers all said, ‘Come on, let’s keep going,’” he said. “And it worked out.” Learn more What: J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc., 920 Cedar Ave., #4B, St. Charles Contact info: 630-584-1181 and jlwagnerplumbing.com Fun facts • Jack Wagner is on the St. Charles Building Board of Review to provide advice on plumbing issues; he’s a past president of the Illinois Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors (as were his father and grandfather); and he also served as president of the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce (as did his father and grandfather). • Wagner was the first Fox Valley company to use a helicopter to raise HVAC units onto the roof of a building, performing the task on the former General Mills plant in St. Charles and on subsequent buildings. • In the 1970s, Wagner installed the first solar heating unit in a high school when the St. Charles High School building on Dunham Road – now St. Charles East High School – was built.

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:30:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – The inner bellies of some of the oldest and most prominent buildings in St. Charles and the surrounding areas have been products of a local family-owned company that this year celebrates its 100th year in business. In the past century, St. Charles-based J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc. has worked on the Hotel Baker – both the original plumbing and piping and a recent piping remodel; all the plumbing in The Q Center; the Kane County Courthouse; St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva; a large 1978 addition to the original Sherman Hospital in Elgin; and many more. [Jack Wagner looks through old newspaper clippings about past anniversaries of his company, J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping, Inc. in St. Charles.] In fact, there aren’t many major buildings – schools, banks, hospitals, churches or factories – in the Fox Valley region that haven’t had a Wagner employee work on its plumbing, heating or ventilation systems, the company stated in a news release. “One hundred years – that’s a remarkable track record, a remarkable business feat,” said St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina. “A 100-year business, the way I look at it, is one of the benchmarks of why we have ‘heritage’ as one of the four prongs of our [city’s] mission statement.” On Nov. 6, Rogina and the city of St. Charles made a proclamation to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, and current President Jack Wagner was given a key to the city in a symbolic gesture of trust. Wagner, 69, is the third-generation owner of J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc., which has undergone a few simple name changes over the years. One of his sons, Dan, 37, is poised to take over when Wagner is ready to retire – which isn’t for a while, the elder Wagner said. But the fact that four generations of Wagners have worked for 100 years building a reputation that the Fox Valley region has come to rely on is a proud testament to his family, he said. “I’m sure my grandpa and dad would be pretty proud of it,” Wagner said. “I know I am.”[Jack Wagner (left) and his son, Dan, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of J.L. Wagner Plumbing and Piping Inc. in St. Charles.] The secret to success To stay in business for a full century, a company must have several things. First, said Wagner, you must have the unequivocal support of your family. “The secret, I think, first of all, is having family that’s willing to put up with a business,” said Wagner, the oldest of 10 children. “I wasn’t home a lot some nights and had to leave early in the morning. And same thing with my dad and grandpa. We enjoyed the business, and we worked the business. The wives stayed home and took care of the kids. Thank God for our wives and kids who put up with it.” That isn’t to say that life was all work and no play, he said. For fun, his siblings and their families always have taken nice vacations and frequently hang out together, but everyone has been on board with the family business. In fact, nine of the 10 siblings worked for the company at some point.[...]


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North Aurora police seek help in finding suspectThe identity of a man photographed outside a home is sought by the North Aurora Police Department.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 22:58:00 GMT

NORTH AURORA – The North Aurora Police Department announced it is seeking help from the public to identify the suspect in two recent burglaries.

Officers responded to the 100 block of South Lincolnway Street for a burglary in progress Nov. 14, according to a news release. The homeowner heard the attempted break-in and saw the suspect walking from the rear of his property toward Route 31 and then north, according to the release. The homeowner took a photograph of the subject and later found that his back door was forced open but nothing was taken, the release stated.

The area was checked, but officers were unable to locate the man. The police report described the suspect as a black male wearing a bright yellow jacket and military-style camouflaged pants.

The man appears to match the description of the suspect in an attempted burglary that occurred Nov. 7 in the 0-99 block of South Grant Street, in which someone attempted to force entry and nothing was taken. The police report in that case described a black male, around 50 years old, about 6 feet tall, of slightly chubby build with scruffy gray facial hair.

The cases remain under investigation by the North Aurora Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to call the Investigations Division at 630-897-8705, ext. 610. Anonymous tips may be left by calling 630-897-8705 and choosing option 3. Or one may call Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at 630-892-1000 and receive a reward for information leading to a felony arrest, the release stated.

The identity of a man photographed outside a home is sought by the North Aurora Police Department.


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Northwestern Medicine celebrates Pediatric Rehabilitation Services Clinic in GenevaThe Batavia Chamber of Commerce was recently part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with officials from the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, for Northwestern Medicine's Pediatric Rehabilitation Services Clinic. The clinic is located at 302 Randall Road, Suite LL10, in Geneva. It will provide children, who may experience a delay in normal growth and development due to illness, injury, birth defects or other conditions, a wide spectrum of rehabilitation services closer to home.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 21:58:00 GMT

The Batavia Chamber of Commerce was recently part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with officials from the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, for Northwestern Medicine's Pediatric Rehabilitation Services Clinic.

The clinic is located at 302 Randall Road, Suite LL10, in Geneva. It will provide children, who may experience a delay in normal growth and development due to illness, injury, birth defects or other conditions, a wide spectrum of rehabilitation services closer to home.

The Batavia Chamber of Commerce was recently part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with officials from the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, for Northwestern Medicine's Pediatric Rehabilitation Services Clinic. The clinic is located at 302 Randall Road, Suite LL10, in Geneva. It will provide children, who may experience a delay in normal growth and development due to illness, injury, birth defects or other conditions, a wide spectrum of rehabilitation services closer to home.


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St. Charles police reports

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 20:30:00 GMT

• Jonathan L. Walker, 39, of the 500 block of State Avenue, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 5 with driving under the influence and disobeying a traffic control device.

• Nathan J. Smith, 33, of the 200 block of Green Valley Drive, Naperville, was charged Nov. 5 with driving under the influence and improper lane use.

• Michael J. Fox, 47, of the 28W400 block of Main Street, Winfield Township, was charged Nov. 4 with driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08 percent and speeding.

• Sethe M. Roberts, 18, of the 400 block of South 13th Avenue, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 4 with failing to give information and aid after an accident.

• Edgar A. Hernandez-Rodriguez, 27, of the 34W700 block of South James Drive, St. Charles Township, was charged Nov. 3 with driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08 percent.

• John A. Skryd, 18, of the 40W300 block of Francis Bret Harte Street, Campton Hills, was charged Nov. 2 with possession of marijuana.

• Nicholas L. Cayton, 18, of the 100 block of South 19th Street, St. Charles, was charged Nov. 2 with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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Waubonsee Voices: Waubonsee Community College provides philanthropic opportunities for students

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:26:00 GMT

Often, when one thinks about college student life – activities that happen outside of the classroom – the mind automatically pulls up images of Greek life, athletics or maybe a coffeehouse musician. While these are some of the typical options for involvement in college, they don’t represent what truly happens when students get involved during their college years. Waubonsee has many options for students to get involved during their time here. In addition to our 12 athletic teams, we host more than 45 student organizations with more being added every year; leadership opportunities, such as speakers, honor societies and semester-long development programs; campuswide events ranging from poets and musicians to dances and movies; and service or philanthropic opportunities offered every month, all year long. Each of these options not only gives students a chance to meet others, but also develop a wide range of skills, such as leadership, delegation, time management, responsibility, attention to detail, critical thinking and more. These activities are important for students’ personal growth and contribute to their marketability when applying for jobs or other positions. Involvement while in college, particularly with service and philanthropy, also leads to involvement in the community and caring about people and issues larger than one’s self. Waubonsee is fortunate to have strong connections with many of the nonprofit agencies in our district, and our students are passionate about making a difference. During the 2016-17 academic year, students participating in student organizations and campus events documented nearly 2,000 hours of service. Those 2,000 hours do not include donations made, money raised, the hundreds of students doing service on their own time and the hundreds of hours completed by our Gustafson Scholars every year. While some of these events are organized by the Student Life office, more than 21 events last year were organized by our student organizations who are passionate about giving back to their communities. Some examples of events and activities are cleaning up local parks and rivers, raising money for Haiti disaster relief through a dodgeball tournament, organizing drives for various agencies and sponsoring local children during the holiday season to ensure families in need are also able to celebrate with gifts and needed items. The number of events and documented service hours completed by Waubonsee students grows each year as the passion and dedication of our student body grows. Waubonsee also sends 10 to 20 students to another part of the country each March through our Alternative Spring Break program. Students raise money to fund their travel and food expenses, spend two months educating themselves on a particular issue and then sp[...]



Celebration of Lights in Batavia to cast holiday glowThe Celebration of Lights Festival will usher in the holiday season at 4 p.m. Nov. 26, organized by the Batavia Park District along with other presenters.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:07:00 GMT

BATAVIA – A beloved holiday tradition will return with the Celebration of Lights Festival from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Batavia Riverwalk. Before the event, community voting will get underway mid-month to determine the People’s Choice winner among entries in Christmas Tree Lane along the Riverwalk, featuring 25 evergreens decorated by local organizations and businesses. Celebration of Lights is the official kickoff to the holiday season, said Katie Drum, director of marketing for the Batavia Park District, a major organizer of the event. “We get around a thousand people depending on the weather,” Drum said. “It’s definitely a tradition in Batavia. We get a lot of families … who stay in town for the Thanksgiving holiday or … come back to town for Thanksgiving.” Mayor Jeff Schielke will introduce Santa Claus, who will arrive by trolley about 5:30 p.m. Following the ceremonial tree lighting, Santa will hear children’s wishes inside the Peg Bond Center from 5:45 to 7 p.m. that evening and will present a gift to each child. Before Santa’s entrance, a community singalong will be led by Craig Foltos, owner of Foltos Tonsorial Parlor, accompanied by the Batavia Community Band at 5:15 p.m., Drum said. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available for purchase, and people can savor complimentary chestnuts roasted on the Riverwalk. Drum said people also can warm up inside the Batavia Government Center, where the fire department will host a bake sale, and a Holiday Craft Market will offer items for sale. Families can take a tractor-pulled hay ride around the Riverwalk to view all the lights; a $1 cash or food donation is requested for the Batavia Food Pantry. Voting for People’s Choice in the Christmas Tree Lane project runs from noon Nov. 20 until noon Nov. 25. Photos of all the trees will be on the Batavia Park District’s Facebook page at facebook.com/BataviaParkDistrict. To submit their vote, folks can “like” or “heart emoji” their favorite tree, Drum said. The winner will be announced online the evening of Nov. 26 and on stage during the 5:45 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony. “The amount of engagement we get – thousands and thousands look through there,” she said. “It’s really fun to see the community get competitive in the fun way of supporting each other, and the local Girl Scouts or the local community organizations, like the Rotary or the Kiwanis or the Lions Club.” Drum said Christmas Tree Lane transforms the Riverwalk between November and January. “It’s really beautiful,” she said. “Regardless if you can’t make it out to the festival, enjoy going to the river and walking the grounds[...]


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Sen. McConnaughay details steps that address complaints against lawmakersIn response to the state lacking an inspector general to respond to ethics complaints, state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, has supported legislation to address sexual harassment and other complaints. McConnaughay serves on the Legislative Ethics Commission, which appointed an interim inspector general to hear 27 ethics complaints.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:29:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – Reports of sexual harassment have been highlighted in the news lately, and Illinois is also facing the issue, said state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles. “We have our share of it in state government as well,” McConnaughay said. “I sit on the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission, and this young lady came forward and testified at [a] hearing on proposed legislation on sexual harassment. She brought forward a complaint last year about the behavior of one of our senators.” Denise Rotheimer, a victims rights activist, testified at a committee hearing that she’d been harassed by state Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago, and could not find anyone to take her complaint. McConnaughay said she was stunned, because she’s been on the Ethics Commission for three years, and members have always been told there were no complaints, when – in fact – there were 27 complaints over three years. “The leaders were dragging their feet on getting an inspector general,” McConnaughay said. “The commission had a meeting a week ago and appointed Julie Porter, a former U.S. district attorney, as an interim inspector general. The Legislative Ethics Commission does have the legal right to hire a special inspector general for a special purpose. In this case, it is to look at the 27 allegations.” Porter would have the authority to bring in whomever she needs to help her with the investigations, McConnaughay said. The complaints will remain confidential to protect the privacy of the accused and the accuser – unless there is a charge to be made, McConnaughay said. When the accusations against Silverstein were “played out in the court of public opinion … nobody’s rights were served with that” because no one knows who is right and who is wrong, she said. Not all 27 complaints are necessarily for sexual harassment, McConnaughay said, as some could be about conflicts of interest or illegal activities, or items simply filed with the wrong agency. Illinois lawmakers have passed bills to address sexual harassment and other issues, she said. McConnaughay’s 33rd District website, www.senatormcconnaughay.com, gives particulars of the laws passed: • Senate Bill 402 specifically prohibits sexual harassment of legislators and lobbyists, and requires state agencies and lobbyists to adopt a sexual harassment policy, and requires all state officials, employees and lobbyists to complete in-person sexual harassment training on an annual basis. • House Bill 137 lifts the one-year statute of limitations on the 27 complaints to allow the new interim inspector general to go back and review the co[...]


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Kabemba features items from across AfricaKabemba Louis Kasongo recently opened a business called Kabemba at the Berry House, 227 S. Third St., Geneva, featuring a variety of items from Africa. Kasongo is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and carved some of the giraffes he sells.

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:00:00 GMT

GENEVA – The walls of Kabemba, a new business in the Berry House, 227 S. Third St., Geneva, are full of masks so striking that they all seem to look directly at anyone who comes into the store. Next to them are bright batik prints of rhinoceros, a lion and elephants. And near the front window are giraffes, some carved by the business owner, Kabemba Louis Kasongo, himself. Kasongo is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, from which he, his wife and five children fled because of a war in 2006. They lived in the Osire refugee camp in Namibia for seven years before coming to the U.S., Kasongo said. His family came first, living in Aurora for the past three years; Kasongo said he joined them eight months ago. Two months ago, he opened the store. “This was my business for [a] long, long time, 20 years … ,” Kasongo said, “in Congo and in Namibia, especially in Namibia. The items in his store are specific to various tribes and come from different countries in Africa, Kasongo said. The striking batik prints, for example, are made by the Shona tribe of Zimbabwe, he said. One grouping of masks with a distinctive pattern on the forehead – known as scarification – were made by the vast Chokwe tribe who are in Congo, Angola and Zambia, Kasongo said. “Each one has its own meaning. This is a Chokwe mask,” he said, pointing to a pattern on the forehead of the mask. “That is how you know the sign for Chokwe. Each is … for [a] different ceremony. That is for when a boy is circumcised, they took him to the bush. And from the bush there, he comes [back] after a month, the wound is completely finished. And when [the boy comes] to the village, there is a big party. And that big party is where they wear these masks.” Kasongo’s store also carries a variety of African drums, some made by the Chokwe and others by the Djembe from Ghana. He also has a large, heavy door, carved with intricate designs of the Mbunda tribe in Angola. Though most of the store’s stock is decidedly African, the store also features other items, such as some modern art prints and a model of Kitty Hawk. “We have to have other things – we can’t be just Africa,” Kasongo said. More information about the store and its wares is available by calling 331-262-4505 or on his Facebook page, www.shawurl.com/36l1. Kabemba Louis Kasongo recently opened a business called Kabemba at the Berry House, 227 S. Third St., Geneva, featuring a variety of items from Africa. Kasongo is [...]


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Geneva police reports

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:46:00 GMT

• Ariana Cortez, 27, of the 100 block of North Fourth Street, Aurora, was charged Nov. 5 with possession of marijuana.

• Jeffrey A. Pocuis, 31, of the 1500 block of Winthrop Court, Glendale Heights, was charged Oct. 28 with driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane use.


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One injured in series of I-88 crashes involving 7 vehicles near North AuroraShaw Media file photo

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:53:00 GMT

NORTH AURORA – One person was hospitalized following a series of crashes Tuesday night on Interstate 88 near North Aurora.

North Aurora firefighters responded just after 6:45 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a crash with injuries at mile marker 115.7 on westbound I-88, North Aurora Fire Captain Adam Miller said.

There was already a two-vehicle crash involving a car into the wall under the Randall Road bridge before the second crash occurred, Miller said. There were no injuries in the first crash.

The second crash happened in the same spot. It was a chain reaction, involving several cars rear ending the preceding car. Between the two crashes, there were seven vehicles strewn across the interstate, Miller said.

One person was transported to Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora from the second crash with wrist and facial injuries that were considered non-life threatening.

"There were so many vehicles and so much debris it caused enough to shut [down] at least two lanes and push it to one lane under [the] bridge," Miller said.

North Aurora crews had cleaned up another crash one mile west on I-88 roughly an hour before the following two crashes, which had already disrupted traffic.

Illinois State Toll Highway Authority workers assisted to clean up debris and Illinois State Police conducted the investigation. Police did not immediately respond to calls seeking information regarding how the crash occurred or if any citations were issued Wednesday morning.

Illinois Tollway tweeted that all lanes reopened just before 7:45 p.m.

Shaw Media file photo


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Batavia race registration underway for Thanksgiving's Fox and Turkey

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:59:00 GMT

BATAVIA – More than 2,000 participants from the Tri-Cities area are expected to gather in downtown Batavia on Thanksgiving morning for the Fox River Trail Runners’ 21st The Fox and the Turkey, a 4-mile race and 1-mile youth race.

It’s one of the longest-running turkey trots in the Fox Valley area, a news release stated.

“Since its humble beginnings in 1996, The Fox and the Turkey race has been about celebrating fun, family and fitness in the Tri-City area,” Karen Willuweit, president of Fox River Trail Runners, stated in the release.

The day gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 with the 1-mile youth race open to children age 12 and younger. At 8:15 a.m., the 4-mile race will begin. All runners will start on Houston Street and Island Avenue and will head west across Route 31 and through the neighborhood.

Online registration is open at foxrivertrailrunners.org/racing/the-fox-the-turkey, closing at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 20. Race-day registration will be held from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. at the Peg Bond Center, 151 N. Island Ave., Batavia.

Packet pickups are planned between noon and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 22 at The Holmstad, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia, and on race day from 6:30 to 8 a.m. at the Peg Bond Center.

All spectators and participants are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.


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D-303 exploratory teachers earn accoladesSt. Charles School District 303 exploratory teachers Ed Coyle (far left) and Rob Harmon (second from left) were recently honored as Technology Education Association of Illinois Co-Middle School Teachers of the Year. In addition, the Thompson Middle School 7/8th Grade Center’s Technology Education Program received the Middle School Program of the Year Award. Also pictured are Associate Director of Curriculum Dr. Melissa Byrne and Thompson Middle School Principal Steve Morrill.

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:24:00 GMT

St. Charles School District 303 exploratory teachers Ed Coyle (far left) and Rob Harmon (second from left) were recently honored as Technology Education Association of Illinois Co-Middle School Teachers of the Year.

In addition, the Thompson Middle School 7/8th Grade Center’s Technology Education Program received the Middle School Program of the Year Award. Also pictured are Associate Director of Curriculum Dr. Melissa Byrne and Thompson Middle School Principal Steve Morrill.

St. Charles School District 303 exploratory teachers Ed Coyle (far left) and Rob Harmon (second from left) were recently honored as Technology Education Association of Illinois Co-Middle School Teachers of the Year. In addition, the Thompson Middle School 7/8th Grade Center’s Technology Education Program received the Middle School Program of the Year Award. Also pictured are Associate Director of Curriculum Dr. Melissa Byrne and Thompson Middle School Principal Steve Morrill.


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Valedictorian/salutatorian system could change in Kaneland School District 302

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:36:00 GMT

Kaneland High School is in the process of changing the way it recognizes the academic success of its graduating students. A proposal was made during the Kaneland School District 302 Board meeting Nov. 13 for a Latin honors designation system to replace the current valedictorian/salutatorian system, beginning with the incoming freshmen class next fall, which would be the Class of 2022. A graduation committee consisting of community members, department chairs, staff, students and others convened and ultimately made the proposal. The committee determined that the new system will acknowledge academics more explicitly; encourage more students to push themselves to achieve; create a fixed target for students to pursue; allow students more flexibility when choosing their courses; and simplify the process of identifying students and eliminating potential errors. Michael Rice, director of educational services for grades six through 12 for District 302, explained the difference between the two structures, including that valedictorian/salutatorian is based on the highest grade-point average, while the Latin honor system is based on predetermined GPA cut scores. “The valedictorian/salutatorian awards the students with the highest GPAs,” he said. “And one of the things that’s a knock against the system is it’s kind of a moving target because you don’t know what the GPAs are going to be until the kids start taking courses ... .” Rice explained that while the valedictorian/salutatorian honors the top two highest performing students in the graduating class, the new system would honor the top 10 to 20 percent of students. The Latin system includes Summa Cum Laude (those with a 4.1 GPA or higher), Magna Cum Laude (4.0 to 4.9 GPA) and Cum Laude (3.9 to 3.99 GPA). “It’s far more of a range of celebration, instead of just those top two GPAs,” Rice explained. “Both are still a competition, but Latin is a bit more of an internal competition, while valedictorian/salutatorian is more external with students in your class. It’s a moving target, while Latin is a fixed one.” Board member Aaron Lawler questioned whether the new system is designed to eliminate competition, since he believes the new system is still going to be pretty competitive. “I guess if you’re No. 10 in your class you might say that there’s no chance to make it to No. 1, so why keep bothering,” he said. “But now the seventh place trophy people will still get a trophy, and this isn’t a trophy just for participating, it[...]


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D-303 approves levy proposal, expects tax decreaseThe St. Charles School District 303 School Board on Nov. 13 approved a proposed 2017 property tax levy of $149,715,000, which includes expected increased revenue from new property growth.

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:46:00 GMT

ST. CHARLES – New property growth in St. Charles should contribute to lower St. Charles School District 303 taxes for most property owners this spring.

Individual district tax bills for 2017 will decrease an average of 6.77 percent from last year, said Seth Chapman, the district's chief financial officer.

The school board on Nov. 13 approved a proposed 2017 property tax levy of $149,715,000, which includes expected increased revenue from new property growth.

On Dec. 11, the board will adopt the proposed levy and then file it with the Kane County Clerk's Office. The proposed levy is about 3.3 percent more than the $144,893,194 in total taxes billed for the district for 2016.

In calculating the proposed levy, the district included additional tax revenue from $35 million in new property growth. However, the new property growth figure likely will be less – an estimated $25 million, Chapman said. 

Taxing bodies typically propose levies that reflect a higher amount of new property growth than they anticipate, to make sure they capture all new revenue from actual growth.

The actual new property growth and final district levy will be determined by Kane County before it issues 2017 property tax bills in the spring.

The St. Charles School District 303 School Board on Nov. 13 approved a proposed 2017 property tax levy of $149,715,000, which includes expected increased revenue from new property growth.


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Pie auction dinner to help Senior Services brighten lives

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:22:00 GMT

Senior Services Associates will sound the gavel on its 13th annual pie auction fundraiser at 6 p.m. Nov. 17 at Pipers Banquets, located at 1295 Butterfield Road in Aurora.

A $45 ticket includes a full dinner and three-hour complimentary beer and wine bar, with music and dancing, according to a news release.

Homemade pies and an array of auction items will be up for bid with the help of the Little Rock-Fox Fire Protection District. Auction items include destination dinners and experiences, ranging from the Lake Geneva, Wis., area to a night’s stay at The Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva.

“Our pie auction is always a guaranteed great time and a wonderful kickoff into the holiday season,” Senior Services Executive Director Bette Schoenholtz stated in the release. “We invite you to join us with your family for a fantastic evening full of fun and surprises.”

Proceeds from the event will support programs provided by Senior Services Associates, a nonprofit agency dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of life for individuals age 60 and older, people with disabilities and their caregivers by providing access to the social services they need. It serves people in Kane, Kendall and McHenry counties.

Tickets can be bought online at seniorservicesassoc.org or by contacting the Aurora Senior Services office at 630-897-4035.


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