Category Archives: Elburn

Former police chief sues village

by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—The former police chief of Elburn has filed a lawsuit against the village.

James Linane, who was Elburn’s police chief from May 2001 to July 2009, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 3 alleging that the village of Elburn owes him $147,665.48 in accrued unpaid severance, holiday, personal day and sick pay, as well as compensation time.

Linane was one of four Elburn department heads asked by Dave Anderson to resign after Anderson was elected village president in April 2009. Anderson said at the time that he would interview all four with the possibility of re-hiring them. According to the lawsuit, Linane declined to resign and was terminated without cause on or about July 29, 2009.

Linane’s hiring agreement with the village, which he entered into on or about May 7, 2001, specified that Linane’s position as chief of police was subject to termination with or without cause, but such an event would necessitate a reasonable severance package consistent with village policy.

The lawsuit states that the village policy was to pay one month of severance for each year of service, which would result in a severance payout of $62,369.40 to Linane. Accrued unpaid holidays, personal days, sick pay and compensation time account for the remaining $85,296.68 of the sought amount.

“As a result of my not being reappointed, a number of compensation issues were not resolved consistent with the personnel manual, nor with my employment agreement which now necessitates legal action through the courts,” Linane said in a prepared statement. “I gave total effort to the village of Elburn during those eight years and held up my part of the conditions of my employment agreement, as well as to the village of Elburn personnel manual. The village of Elburn has not.”
Dave Anderson declined to comment.

Making a million meals in a weekend

by Lynn Meredith
St. Charles—Who said it can’t be done?

Christ Community Church (CCC), with campuses in St. Charles, Aurora and DeKalb, took a stab at packaging one million meals for Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) on two weekends in December. It’s likely that they succeeded because they had 4,500 volunteers to help them do it.

With 17 shifts of approximately 180 packagers, CCC put into play a well-organized and executed packaging event that included church members, their friends and other organizations that wanted to help.

“It’s an opportunity for people to bring their friends and neighbors,” said Larry Stratton, director of Community Impact for CCC. “People want to serve, but they don’t always know what the opportunities might be. It’s my job to create an on-ramp for people to go into the community.”

Dave Young of St. Charles and 10 of his Sprint co-workers from Itasca, Ill., decided to package meals for FMSC for their office Christmas party instead of going out to celebrate. They teamed up to package the meals as a group.

“I take any opportunity to serve,” said Sprint employee Mark Adams of Bolingbrook, Ill.

Tanglewood neighbors Jennifer Pecor and Katy Balon from Batavia came out for a second year in a row, bringing kids and friends to work the two-hour shift.

“It’s a good bonding experience with the team,” Pecor said.

Dawn Stover from Elburn worked with her Bible study group from CCC for the second year. Working as a group with each team member having a job to do, they put together meals in plastic bags.

Each package consists of six meals made with four ingredients. The meals were designed by Cargill and the University of Minnesota to meet all the nutritional requirements for one day, so that children living in extreme poverty can continue to grow and develop.

Volunteers scooped cup servings of chicken flavoring, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and white rice, and poured them down a funnel into a plastic bag. The bag is then weighed, sealed and boxed for secure shipment to places like Haiti, Uganda and the Phillipines.

“We partner with 67 countries that have specifically asked to receive food,” FMSC worker Bethany Schwartz told the assembled volunteers during the orientation. “This is part of a long-term solution to help train artisans and farmers, not a one-time fix. We don’t use machines. Machines aren’t going to change the world. You are.”

FMSC announced that it recently broke the 100 million meal mark for the fiscal year.

FMSC packages meals six days a week at their warehouses in Aurora and Schaumburg, Ill. Each month CCC sends a group of volunteers to package meals at the Aurora site.

“It’s a huge opportunity for people to be involved directly with helping the poor,” Stratton said.

Elburn businessman sues County Board chairman

by Keith Beebe
KANE COUNTY—An Elburn resident filed an injunction against Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay regarding pay raises given out to county officials.

James MacRunnels, an Elburn businessman and Kane County Board chairman candidate in 2008, filed the injunction on Dec. 14. The lawsuit alleges that McConnaughay, throughout her tenure as County Board chairman, has provided pay raises to 14 county officials and employees without seeking approval from either the Executive Committee or County Board.

The lawsuit identifies IT Executive Director Roger Fahnestock, former Development Department Director Phil Bus, HR Management Executive Director Shelia McCraven, Finance Executive Director Cheryl Patelli, Health Department Executive Director Paul Keuhnert, Deputy Director of Transportation Tom Rickert, Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong, former Economic Development Director Chris Aiston, Facilities, Subdivision and Environmental Resources Director Tim Harbaugh, Family Health Division Director Theresa Heaton, Water Resources Director Paul Schuch, Network Services Director Robert Shive, IT Chief Financial Officer Bill Lake and Community Health Assistant Director Michael Isaacson as the officials who have been given pay raises or had their salary established by McConnaughay without Executive Committee or County Board compliance.

“I would like (Karen McConnaughay) to admit that she violated county statutes by giving out these pay raises,” MacRunnels said. “I asked my County Board member if he was aware of these raises, and he was not aware (of it). At that point in time, I said the only action I have as a citizen is to get involved and file the suit against her.”

MacRunnels said he believes McConnaughay should have to admit to newspapers and all 90,000 households in Kane County that she gave out unauthorized pay raises.

“That’s punishment enough, but she needs to step up and do that,” he said.

The lawsuit cites a Kane County code that establishes the Executive Committee’s jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the compensation of all members of the County Board, the rules of order of the County Board, fees, salaries, clerk-hiring for and in all departments of the county, and the amount of the salary and per diem compensation of all county officers not otherwise set by law.

“MacRunnels is talking about a county code where the Executive Committee sets the salaries for the executive directors,” McConnaughay said. “Back in the early ’90s, the Executive Committee delegated that responsibility to the employee’s review, and the setting of salaries to the County Board chairman and to the respective committee chair.”

McConnaughay also said she doesn’t think the lawsuit has any merit.

“The state’s attorney will represent the chairman’s interest in this (matter),” she said.

Elburn changes policy to exempt certain employees

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—A change in the village of Elburn’s personnel manual will eliminate overtime pay and compensatory time off for certain employees. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, these employees are considered exempt by virtue of their position and decision-making authority and do not receive compensation for overtime work.

For the village of Elburn, those exempted from overtime pay and compensatory time off would include village administrator, administrator assistant, police chief, director of public works and the building and zoning officer. All but building and zoning are appointed positions.

The board wanted to phrase the resolution to leave open the possibility that all department heads could be exempted. They decided on the word “certain” rather than “appointed” so that, if the village grows, other positions not currently filled, such as Streets Foreman or Waste Water Treatment Operator, could be included in the exemptions.

The expectation behind exempt employees is that these higher-level positions require the employee to work whatever hours are necessary to accomplish the goals and deliverables of the exempt position. They work more flexible hours than those working as hourly employees.

As Trustee Jeff Walter put it, “Management will be treated like management.”

Dec. 24 police blotter

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Jerry M. Kolacinski, 59, of the 7N000 block of Gary Court in St. Charles, was charged Dec. 17 at 12:25 a.m. with DUI, DUI over .08 and for following too closely after Elburn police stopped him on Route 47 between Shannon Street and Route 38.

• A resident of the 400 block of Banbury Avenue in Elburn reported that someone had punctured the rear right tire of his automobile multiple times sometime between the evening of Dec. 16 and when she drove it Dec. 17 shortly after 2 p.m.

• A resident of the 200 block of Amie Street in Hinckley reported that his car had been damaged overnight Dec. 19 when it was parked at a residence on the 200 block of N. Third Street in Elburn. The car sustained damage to the rear passenger-side window, and the hood, driver’s door and rear deck lid were dented.

Sugar Grove
• Dijon R. Grissette, 37, of the 200 block of Maple Street, Sugar Grove, was sentenced Dec. 17 by Circuit Judge Thomas E. Mueller to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Grissette was convicted Aug. 16, 2010, by a Kane County jury, of one count of aggravated battery to a corrections officer, a Class 2 felony.
At about 9:30 a.m. on May 20, 2009, Grissette was being escorted by two corrections officers back to his holding area at the Kane County jail. After Grissette was placed in his cell and corrections officers began to remove his cuffs and shackles, Grissette began to make threats against the two corrections officers, and then struck one of the officers while continuing to make threats. Grissette eventually was subdued with the help of additional officers and pepper spray, although he continued to make threats at the officers. No one was seriously injured in the incident.
According to Illinois law, Grissette was given day-for-day sentencing. Grissette was given credit for 230 days served in the Kane County jail.

• On Dec. 13, Sugar Grove police were informed of an incident at Waubonsee Community College, where a man exited his vehicle wearing no pants. A female student provided a description of the man, his vehicle and the vehicle’s license plate.
Sugar Grove police stopped the vehicle in the parking lot of the Jewel-Osco on Galena Road and Route 47, and the vehicle was spotted on Park Avenue. After being questioned, the man admitted that he had been on the Waubonsee campus. Sugar Grove police contacted Waubonsee campus police, since the reported incident occurred outside of Sugar Grove police jurisdiction.
The man was released from the scene pending contact with the complainant in-person. No arrest was made as of press time.

• Christopher K. Murre, 20, of the 200 block of Chatsworth Avenue in Sugar Grove, was arrested at 11 p.m. on Dec. 14 on two in-state warrants, out of Will and DuPage counties, after Sugar Grove police responded to an open 911 call. He was unable to post bond at the time of arrest, and was transported to the Kane County Jail to await bond or transport to either DuPage or Will county jail.

• Aderemi A. Olowo, 50, of the 600 block of Wilson St. in Waterman, Ill., was arrested at 6 p.m. on Dec. 14 for expired registration, operating an uninsured vehicle, and an in-state warrant out of Will County. Sugar Grove police stopped Olowo after running her license plates and seeing they came back expired. A court date of Jan. 21 was set in Aurora.

• Someone broke two windows at a Fox Metro pumping station located on Galena Boulevard, between Dec. 15 and Dec. 17. A rock and a three-pound dumbbell were used to break the windows. The dumbbell was taken as evidence to see if fingerprints could be extracted. No damage estimate was given.

• Jesse Eichelberger, 20, of the 900 block of Lakeridge Court in Sugar Grove, was arrested Dec. 19 shortly before 1 a.m. for improper lane usage, DUI, and DUI over .08. Sugar Grove police stopped Eichelberger after he was clocked travelling 57 mph in a 45 mp. zone on Galena Boulevard.

• More than $3,000 worth of damage was reported to Christmas decorations at a home on the 100 block of Oxford Avenue in Sugar Grove on Dec. 19. A six-foot-tall Santa figure, valued at $750, a six-foot-tall Frosty the Snowman figure, valued at $750, and a white wire reindeer, valued at $30, were stolen from the property. Christmas lights were also cut, a wooden candy cane arch, wooden sled, and another white wire reindeer were damaged.

Community of Trees’ program deemed success

Elburn—The Elburn & Countryside Community Center held a “Community of Trees” Christmas tree and wreath silent auction during the Elburn Christmas Stroll on Dec. 3.

Four-foot trees and 30-inch wreaths were purchased from the center by the following businesses: American Bank and Trust, American Family Insurance, Amy’s Wild Hairs, A Salon, Country Automotive, Curves of Elburn, Creative Beginnings Learning Center, Dallas Peters of Critchell, Miller and Petrus, Da Capo Music Studio, Division One, Escapar Farm, Elburn Herald, GTP Activewear, Leyden Electric, Mid-Town Martial Arts Studio, Napa Auto Parts, Old Second Bank and Paisano’s Pizza and Grill.

Each business decorated their tree/wreath with their own design. Many used their business as a theme, some included gift certificates and some were decorated in a traditional style.

The trees/wreaths were then donated back to the Elburn & Countryside Community Center to put into a silent auction. The decorated items were bid on by a host of individuals attending the stroll. All of the proceeds made from the “Community of Trees” will benefit the Community Center.

The Elburn & Countryside Community Center is a privately funded, nonprofit organization, that provides gym space for team practices, meeting space, field use for baseball as well as space for classes such as Jazzercise, Zumba, Irish dance, dog training classes, yoga and other activites. For more information, visit

Softball gains approval for training facility

Elburn—The Wasco Diamonds Girls Fastpitch Softball organization received its final approval from the board to open a training facility at 707 Herra Drive.

The club will begin renovations immediately and start training in January. Village President Dave Anderson clarified that the club, comprised of young girls, was notified that the St. Charles Gun Club shoots at night so that they understand where the shots are coming from.

Elburn Scholarship Fund open to Kaneland alumni, current KHS seniors

ELBURN—The Elburn Scholarship Fund will award grants for studies at the college level again this year. All applications must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2011.

Eligibility for Elburn Scholarships is limited to Kaneland High School alumni and members of Kaneland’s current senior class who will attend a local community college or one of the state universities in Illinois. High school seniors may obtain application forms in the Kaneland High School guidance office. Former recipients should follow their earlier instructions for reapplication.

Awards may also be available for Kaneland High School alumni whose pursuit of a degree was interrupted, or who would like to pursue a new career. Such applicants should call (630) 665-2776 for instructions.

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, extracurricular activities, citizenship, community and school service and commitment to higher education as a means of enhancing potential for contributing to society.

Applications and supporting documents should be returned to: The Elburn Scholarship Committee, 611 Plamondon Court, Wheaton, IL 60189-6305.

John Stewart program aims to expose more students to the arts

by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—The old adage of turning life’s lemons into lemonade might be a tad cliche at this point, but it’s a concept that seems to be working just fine for the art department at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School.

“We applied for a $3,000 grant from Crayola where you were supposed to come up with a dream scenario for your arts program, and we submitted the idea of having a different artist give a presentation at the school each month,” said Bonnie Whildin, an art teacher at John Stewart. “I was sure we were going to get that grant, but we didn’t, so I just said, ‘Let’s see if we can still do this (idea) with all the connections we have.’”

As it turns out, quite a few artists have been more than willing to donate their time and energy to Whildin’s cause, as both she and her co-teacher, Heidi Gilkey, have put together an event intended to host a different artist on the second Wednesday of each month.

And these artists are not getting paid to appear, either.

“It’s really sweet of them to donate their time, because we really don’t have the money to pay them,” Whildin said.

Larry Cimaglio, an artist from Wheaton who specializes in glass blowing, visited John Stewart on Dec. 8 and gave a 90-minute demonstration that included students making their own glass jewelry.

“This event is intended to bring art into the school, bring artists into the school and give the community more exposure,” Cimaglio said. “I talked about glass art (during the presentation) and gave my viewpoint on the importance of art, and I cited two studies by the Guggenheim Museum that talked about the relativity between art education and literacy, and also art education and problem solving.”

Whildin said more than 30 people showed up to Cimaglio’s demonstration last Thursday evening.

“We thought that was a very good response for the first show, especially since we’re now in a paperless society and can’t send advertisements on actual paper home with the kids so their parents can read it,” Whildin said.

The next art demonstration is scheduled for Jan. 12 and will feature clay artists Joe Hernandez, a former ceramics teacher at Waubonsee Community College, and Cory McCrory. Additional art demonstrations are scheduled for Feb. 9, March 9 and April 13—the Wednesday following the Kaneland Fine Arts Festival, which will take place on April 10.

“We always think this (upcoming) Fine Arts Festival will be the best one ever, and even though we’re struggling with the finances, I think we’ll be fine,” Whildin said. “We have a good following, and I don’t believe there’s another event in the Kaneland School District that brings out 3,000 people like we do … and it’s free to get in.”

Taking a first look at Elburn Police budget

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith presented the public safety budget to the Committee of the Whole in the first of at least two looks at department needs for the coming year. One need in particular is the staffing of officers in the Police Department.

With eight full-time and 12 part-time officers, plus one full-time slot to fill, trustees asked Smith how many officers are needed for a community the size of Elburn.

“The question is what a community of this size should have for a police department staff,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “Speaking for me, we need, from a comfort level standpoint, to know where we are. Should we have 58 police officers or eight officers?”

Smith said that complex formulas can be applied that look at the number of people in the city, the number of calls received, the types of crimes and the size of the area that is covered. He cited FBI standards as suggesting two officers for every 1,000 population. But in the end, it’s a judgment call.

“It’s not like factory work. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Smith said. “It’s the best we can do for the safety of our officers and our citizens.”

The board also discussed with Smith the issue of whether to fill the full-time slot with part-time officers. Citing flexibility of staffing to cover sick days and vacation and the added expense of paying a full-time officer benefits and vacation leave, Smith gave his recommendation to stay with part-time staffing.

“We’re good with part-timers right now. With part-time, you’re not going to incur vacation and benefits that you pay to full-timers,” Smith said. “Full-time is best in the future, but we don’t need another full-time officer right now. On my wish-list, I would have one, but that’s several years out.”

Web of winter snowmobile trails

by Lynn Meredith
Regional—Little do we know when the weather is warm and the ground is clear that a web of trails surrounds the Kaneland community. The De-Kane Sno-Trackers, a club of about 45 snowmobile enthusiasts, mark and groom the 20 miles of snowmobile trails when the snow is deep enough.

Snowmobilers can ride on the Great Western bike path from Wasco to Sycamore, take some spur trails on Peplow near the Elburn Coo-op, ride through Maple Park and to the gas station in Cortland, and possibly end up at Mott’s in Hinckley.

“You can actually ride from here to Lake Superior, from Presque Isle to Hinckley,” said club member Jerry DeBruyne. “But there’s no trail into Elburn unless you ditch-ride on Route 47, and that’s illegal.”

As part of the Illinois Association of Snowmobilers, the local club is interested in promoting snowmobiling as a safe and family-friendly sport. Since DeBruyne joined in 1979, he has seen more kids getting involved. He wants to dispel misunderstandings of what it’s all about. He will join with other members to become part of the Forest Preserve’s safety patrol.

“They will provide us with a vest, and we’ll act as Forest Preserve officers. If we see somebody doing something wrong, we can pull them aside and explain how they might be giving snowmobiling a bad name with their actions,” De Bruyne said. “We can ask them to stop or call a Forest Preserve cop to help. Also, if we see someone in trouble, we can help them out.”

The club will also be allowed for the first time to mark the bike path. Two snowmobilers were killed a few years ago where the trail dips. Now, the club can put up signs indicating caution, speed limits and bridge ahead.

The De-Kane Sno-Trackers gather for meetings once a month to plan outings both locally, such as a Poker Run to raise money for needy families, or a three- to four-day overnight trip into Wisconsin.

“The advantages of being in the club are that you get to know the trails. You help put the trails in and mark them. You’re not just riding out in a field,” DeBruyne said. “Also, it’s family-oriented. You meet a lot of people, and there’s socializing.”

The trails open Wednesday, Dec. 15. The drag pulled by a tractor to groom the trails will be out as well as the truck track. The $40,000 truck track purchased in 1989 was paid for by state grants. The club receives occasional money, but it’s very sparse, according to DeBruyne.

The real appeal for club members is the things you see while you’re out on the trail.

“I like seeing the wildlife. I’ve seen wolves, bears, eagles, deer. Once I saw an albino deer. It’s spectacular the things you see late at night when it’s quiet and so clear,” DeBruyne said.

The DeKane Sno-Trackers

• Formed in 1972,
with 148 members at its peak

• Membership dues of $25 per year

• Meets the first Tuesday of every
month from September to April

• Any land owner who is willing
to let the club cross their
property, please call
(630) 303-8269

Community center announces raffle winners

Elburn—The Elburn & Countryside Community Center held its Holiday Raffle drawing on Dec. 3, and the winner of the first-place prize of $418.75 was Debbie Terpstra of Elburn. The second-place winner of $251.25 was Vicky Spratt of Yorkville and third-place winner of $167.50 was Robbyn Streid of Elburn.

Chamber announces Elburn Christmas Stroll winners

Elburn—The Elburn Chamber of Commerce announced the winner of its Elburn Christmas Stroll drawings.

The first place of $85 in gift certificates went to “Rachel R.” of South Elgin; second prize of $60 in gift certificates went to Connie Moon of Sugar Grove; and third prize of $50 in gift certificates went to Bobby Swearingen of Aurora. The chamber said that the turn-out was nearly 1,000 visitors the evening of the stroll.

Edward Jones—Daniel Murphy said the winners of the Elburn Christmas Stroll coloring contest were: Ages 5 and under, Kate Collins (5); ages 6-9 Alyssa Molitor (9); and ages 10-12, Sandra Gale (10).

Police blotter for Dec. 17

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Caroline R. Kunold, 19, of the 1200 block of Hart Road, Batavia, was charged with unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, speeding, operating a vehicle without proper registration and operating a vehicle without insurance after Elburn Police stopped her on Keslinger Road and Johnson Street in Elburn on Nov. 28 at 5:06 a.m. Her passenger, Nicholas L. Janacek, 19, of Aurora, was also charged with consumption of alcohol by a minor.

• Jessica R. Alonzo, 21, of the 1400 block of Blackberry Creek Drive, Elburn, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol at 2:27 a.m. on Nov. 27, after Elburn police stopped her on Keslinger Road near Pouley Road. She was also charged with operating an uninsured vehicle, improper lane usage, and received a warning for driving without a rear license plate. Elburn police stopped the vehicle after observing the vehicle did not have a rear license plate light.

• Rashena D. Hannah, 21, of the 2300 block of W. Eves Circle, DeKalb, was charged Nov. 24 at 11:10 p.m. for driving on a suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle and driving without headlights when required. A court date was set for Jan. 7 in Geneva.

• Liedgrin E. McGee, 28, of the 1300 block of Brandywine Circle, Batavia, was arrested at 2:39 p.m. on Nov. 24 by Elburn Police on a warrant out of the Aurora Police Department for retail theft.

• Walter E. Mills, 45, of the 1500 block of Hinckley Road, Maple Park, was arrested shortly before 10 p.m. on Nov. 24 by Elburn Police on a failure to appear warrant out of Kendall County.

• Mark A. Pfister, 48, of the 400 block of 8th Street, Rochelle, was arrested for driving on a suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle and speeding. Elburn police stopped Pfister on Anderson Road at 10:15 a.m. on Nov. 28 after they observed his vehicle traveling at 44 mph in a 30 mph zone.

• Valientino M. D. Coates, 22, of the 6200 block of King Drive, Chicago, was charged with driving without a valid license and speeding. Elburn police stopped Coates at 9:24 p.m. on Dec. 4 on Keslinger Road for traveling 48 mph in a 35 mph zone.

• Guinevere K. Halsey, 41, of the 800 block of Shepherd Lane, Elburn, was charged at 1:04 p.m. on Dec. 4 with driving under the influence of alcohol after Elburn police stopped her on First Street at Lilac Street. Halsey was also charged with disobeying a stop sign.

• Timothy P. Routson, 41, of the 43W000 block of Thorndon Ridge Road, Elburn, was arrested on a warrant out of the Kane County Court for contempt of court on Dec. 14 at 4:46 a.m.

• Michael J. Grex, 29, of the 400 block of W. Shannon Street, Elburn, was charged at 6:57 p.m. on Dec. 11 with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a hypodermic syringe. Elburn police stopped and approached Grex’s vehicle, which was pulled onto the side of Anderson Road in Elburn. When police approached the vehicle to see if everything was OK, they observed Grex’s hands at the center console with a spoon that contained an unknown substance, a cigarette lighter and a syringe. When police asked what he was doing, Grex responded “heroin.”

• Knostandinos C. Hronopoulos, 24, of the 6S000 block of Timberlane Drive, Naperville, Ill., was charged with driving while his license was suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and no rear registration plate light. Elburn police stopped Hronopoulos at 1:52 a.m. Dec. 12 on Keslinger Road after noticing the rear vehicle license plate light was out.

• Matthew R. Markel, 31, of the 200 block of E. Shannon St., Elburn, was charged with operating a vehicle with suspended insurance, operating an uninsured vehicle, operating on a foreign license while suspended and loud exhaust. Elburn police stopped Markel shortly after midnight on Dec. 11 on Route 47 for having loud exhaust.

Sugar Grove
• A resident of the 43W400 block of KaDeKa Road in Sugar Grove reported to police that he was attacked outside his home in an attempted armed robbery around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 30. The assailants struck the man with a hard, blunt object and attempted to take his wallet and phone. The man was able to stand back up before they could take it, and the assailants ran away. The victim was unable to provide a description of the assailants.

• A resident of the 0-100 block of Main Street, Sugar Grove, reported a license plate had been stolen from a flatbed trailer, which was parked next to the residence. It was noticed missing Dec. 2.

• Constance J. Noral, 52, of the 7400 block of Camale Dr., Pensacola, Fla., was charged with driving while license suspended and driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Dec. 4 at 3:37 p.m. She was pulled over after turning the wrong way onto the eastbound Route 56 exit ramp, nearly hitting a patrolman.

• Robert A. Valdez, 52, of the 2S100 block of Harter Road, Kaneville, was arrested for violating an order of protection during the early morning hours of Dec. 5.

• Tiffani R. Bornhorst, 20, of the 400 block of North Third Street, DeKalb, was charged on Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m. with driving with no front license plate, driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle on Route 47 near Waubonsee Drive. A court date was set for Jan. 7, 2011, in Aurora.

• Sugar Grove police reported an attempted residential burglary occurred on the 300 block of Gillette Street, Sugar Grove, at 1:49 p.m. on Dec. 14. A basement window had been broken from the outside of the home. No entry occurred during the incident.

A Heart for medicine: Taking time to care

Elburn MD closes solo practice after 10 years
by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—In this day of fast-paced, revolving-door medicine, the opportunity to spend time with your personal physician is almost non-existent—unless you were a patient of Dr. Tom Collinett of Elburn Health Associates. Collinett was known by his patients as a doctor with a big heart who took the time to care.

Elburn Health Associates closed on Nov 5. The doctor said he needed to cut back, because the pressures of running a solo practice were taking their toll.

“I spent so much time taking care of others that I neglected my family and my own health,” Collinett said. “I’m basically retired, but I will probably go back and do something part-time.”

Those who worked with Collinett testified to the care he gave his patients. His medical assistant, Sarah Lindeman, said that because of the time he took with patients, they were devoted to him.

“He spent a lot of time in the exam room—often 45 minutes. The patients felt like he was their doctor, but they also felt like he was their friend,” Lindeman said. “His elderly patients loved it because they got the respect they wanted and not just a 30-second visit. If they had questions, he would take the time to find out when the symptoms started and locate the cause. He would go above and beyond just writing out a prescription.”

Even though he says what he’ll miss most about leaving Elburn is the people, Collinett particularly enjoyed seeing older patients.

“I have a soft spot for my older population. I feel I deserted them. They will not get the same type of care,” Collinett said. “Some of the Medicare patients have five or six significant problems and are on various meds that they might not remember. You often have to get the families involved.”

So loyal were his patients that some followed him out to Elburn from Chicago, where he practiced more than a decade ago. Patients would wait for over an hour to see him when he was running late.

“Many patients, when I run into them at the store, keep asking about him,” Medical Assistant Sylwia Balaga said. “I’m so sad. I wish I could still work for him. I miss him and his daughter, Heather. I cried when I heard he was closing the office.”

Although he was raised in the city and practiced there, he always wanted to do small-town medicine and be the family doctor.

“I wanted to do more than just say, ‘Hello, how are you.’ I wanted to actually get to know people in the community,” Collinett said.

He said that medicine has changed over the years and that doctors are being asked to keep office visits short in order to keep their practices afloat.

“It’s sad that medicine has deteriorated to that point. I’m disheartened with the way things are. You should be able to practice medicine the way you want,” Collinett said. “But when it works, it’s very satisfying. I love what I do.”

Both Lindeman and Balaga had nothing but good things to say about their former employer, and they both would go back in a heartbeat.

“I know that his heart is medicine. It’s what he did to make himself happy. He would come in with his whole heart,” Lindeman said.

Residents may be able to use credit cards for bills, fines, fees

Elburn—Sometime in the future, Elburn residents will be able to use credit cards to pay for their water bills, fines, fees, Metra parking and anything else paid to the village. The Village Board on Monday passed an ordinance approving the acceptance of credit cards. According to Village Administrator Erin Willrett, several changes need to be made in the village’s procedures. The village needs to investigate bank rates and train the bookkeeping staff.

“We will not be getting credit card (transactions) tomorrow,” Willrett said. “It may be a long process.”

At the time the credit cards become accepted currency, the Metra rates will go from $1.25 to $1.50 for both cash and credit card paying customers, a rate that is comparable to La Fox’s parking rate.

Wasco Diamonds fastpitch softball on way to Elburn

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—The Wasco Diamonds Girls Fastpitch Softball club is well on its way to having its new practice and training home in Elburn. The Elburn Planning Commission approved the club’s application to use 707 Herra Street, Unit G, as a training facility.

The center would provide a full indoor astroturf infield and three enclosed batting cages for the 100 girls who play softball.

The Diamonds attracts girls ages 8 to 18 from as far west as Oregon, as far north as Waconda, Ill., but most centrally from Burlington, St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia.

“We have a very dynamic group of girls,” Diamonds’ Board Secretary Pam Waslowski said. “We have some girls who can pitch over 60 miles an hour.”

The proof that this kind of training pays off is seen in the 14 girls currently playing for colleges such as University of Illinois, Northwestern, University of Wisconsin and DePaul. Twelve more girls have collegiate commitments for either 2010 or 2011.

The facility will be used primarily after school from 4 to 6 p.m. in two-hour intervals of 12 to 15 girls each. The teams have nine teams divided by age group and 15 coaches.

Besides practicing their sport, the girls also reach out to the community with different fundraisers during the year.

“They have given over 15,000 pounds of food to the Elburn Food Pantry over the years,” Waslowski said. “We focus on community service, the character of the girls and the quality of their play.”

The next step is final approval by the Village Board at its meeting on Dec 20. The Diamonds plan to start construction right away and be up and running by Jan 8.

For more information, visit

Computer server on last legs

Elburn—Described as having a band-aid holding it together, the computer server that allows the village to access e-mail and the Internet is on its last legs. The Village Board on Monday voted to approve its replacement.

“We’re at the next time it turns off, it won’t turn back on,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “We patched it, but we’re holding our breath.”

Village President Dave Anderson said the $12,600 expense was neither budgeted nor expected, but the good news is that the transition will be seamless. All the programs are either Microsoft-based or upgraded to be compatible.

Lead on: NIU student teams up with a Leader Dog

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—For 10 years, Cory Lipsett, who is visually impaired, used a cane to help him find his way around obstacles that he encountered in his daily life. He also used a Treker GPS system to find locations. Neither of these options available to those whose vision is impaired could compare to his current companion, Ragin the guide dog.

“Basically, for 10 years, I used a piece of graphite. It keeps you safe to a point, but it’s not what you want. You’re thinking, ‘there’s got to be something better than this,’” Lipsett said. “A dog is the next step from a cane for more mobility purposes.”

Ragin is a two-year-old German Shepherd that has been trained by Leader Dogs for the Blind, a Michigan-based training program that matches and trains guide dogs for the visually impaired. Lipsett was recommended by the Elburn Lion’s Club and is their first recipient. Lipsett spoke to the club Monday at the monthly dinner and presentation.

He described, with a good dose of humor, that the process of getting a guide dog is not quick, mainly because recipients have to be at a level of independence where they can navigate for themselves. Being independent is something that Lipsett has been focused on all his life.

“It’s a long process. I started mine in fifth grade when I learned things like how to cross the street safely. Then in high school, I learned getting on the train and going into Chicago, taking CTA buses and cabs to get wherever,” Lipsett said. “I have to be able to travel safely. He (Ragin) is not a horse—I wish he were sometimes—but he isn’t. He won’t just take you where you want to go.”

As a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, Lipsett lives in the dormitory and has a roommate. Ragin lives in the room with them.

“The day-to-day life of a college student is simple. Ragin gets food and water first thing in the morning. After that it’s work time,” Lipsett said. “Then he’s on my time. He gets harnessed up, and we go to class. He knows which door I like to go in and even knows where I sit. It’s nice when they start to learn your schedule.”

When Ragin isn’t working, he is out of his harness, either sleeping on Lipsett’s roommate’s bed or chasing his tail. Lipsett hopes to procure a key to the tennis courts so he can throw the ball for Ragin and give him more play time. Ragin also enjoys observing the people around him.

“He likes to people watch. He stares at them. Then his ears go up and his nose goes down,” Lipsett said.

Jim Lipsett, Cory’s father, points out that a guide dog is not a pet. His job is to help Cory avoid obstacles in their path. Since Cory got Ragin six months ago, he has been able to travel at night, giving him more confidence.

“It’s peace of mind. Traveling at night was always a concern for me,” Cory said. “Last year I avoided night time travel. But this year (with Ragin), it’s no different than getting around during the day.”

Leader Dogs for the Blind has been around for 70 years. Each year, more than 270 students attend a 26-day residential training session to be paired with a guide dog. In Lipsett’s class, students ranged in age from 16 to 87 years old. The dogs they were paired with ranged in size from 40 to 70 pounds.

The puppies are raised in private homes from the time they are seven weeks old until they are over a year old. They are taught basic obedience and house manners. Also, they are exposed to a variety of public places with different types of people, animals and events.

When the dog is paired with a recipient, the two begin to learn about each other during training and at home.

“When you’re done with training, it’s really the half of it. The real work begins when you get home,” Lipsett said. “An effective guide dog team is when he knows what he needs to do all the time, and I know what I need to do all the time. This is when the dog can truly work: he’s in his groove and knows what’s going on.”

When Ragin is working, people are asked not to pet him.

“It distracts him and gets him unfocused. It changes his mindset from working to wanting to solicit attention,” Lipsett said.

Because they are together all the time, when they are not for some reason, Lipsett feels the loss.

“It feels weird not to have him with me,” he said. “It’s like something is supposed to be there and it’s not.”

Lions’ monthly dinners
The Elburn Lions Club hold monthly dinners and presentations on a variety of topics.

Wednesday, Dec. 29,
the director of Tails Humane Society
from DeKalb will speak.

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011,
a program on bullying will be presented by
the Center for Rural Psychology.

Cash bar opens at 6 p.m., and dinner is served at 6:45. Dinner reservations are required.

For more information and
to make dinner reservations, call (630) 365-6315.

Powerful choices

Residents will vote on power provider
by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Elburn residents will soon be able to vote on whether they want the village to decide who supplies electricity to the village. Currently, ComEd provides electrical service, but with the passage of a law in 2007 by the state legislature, citizens have the right to choose among competing power sources.

In a 6-1 vote with Trustee Jeff Walter voting no, the Elburn Village Board on Monday approved an ordinance that will put the choice of whether the village can arrange for the supply of electricity for its residents on the April 5 ballot.

“The state changed the law to empower municipalities to make municipal-wide decisions to move to another power company, similar to trash handling,” David Hoover of the Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Cooperative (NIMEC) said in an address to the board on Monday. “The state wants ComEd out of the power business.”

NIMEC is a buying group that would act as an intermediary to help the village get the best rate on its power. In that scenario, NIMEC would go out for bid with other companies in an attempt to beat ComEd’s rate. But even with another company supplying power, ComEd would continue to provide billing and service the lines.

“ComEd stays the same, but we have an opportunity to have savings on who puts electricity through our wires,” Trustee Ken Anderson said.

Any repairs and all billing would be handled by ComEd regardless of the power supplier.

“You would still be a customer of ComEd,” Hoover said. “Nothing changes at all with your service, just the rate changes. You accept the lower rate for the exact same product.”

Individual residents can opt out and return to ComEd at any time with no extra fees by filling out a form. They are not obligated to the choice the village makes, similar to the model of gas providers to the village.

Walter questioned why the village is inserting itself between the suppliers and the residents. In response, Hoover said that currently no suppliers of power are actively soliciting business. They do not have the model to deal with individual residents.

“We are enticing them with all of Elburn,” Hoover said. “NIMEC aggregates it with all its other municipalities. We leverage our 100 municipalities and set ourselves up to be the big purchaser in the market.”

NIMEC is currently talking with Harvard, Orland Park, Polo, Fulton, Darien, and 10 to 20 other municipalities.

“If we get all the way down to the bid and ComEd is lower, then don’t go with (NIMEC’s rate).We’re not asking the board or anybody to commit to us today. If we can’t beat it, then nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we beat it by a negliable amount of 1 to 2 percent and it’s not worth it, then don’t go with it. But if we can beat it by 5 to 10 to 20 percent, we present it and you decide to move forward or not,” Hoover said.

Trustees noted that if this ordinance passes on April 5, NIMEC may not be the only power brokerage to approach the village.

“The bottom line as I see it is that it’s an opportunity for the citizenry to look at it and see if we can save ourselves money,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “It’s a competitive issue. At the end we’ll have a better educated consumer.”

New Chamber president ready to step up

Editor’s Note: Leslie Flint is the Design Director of the Elburn Herald.
by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Supporting a community isn’t difficult when you enjoy the people and the town. Leslie Flint will take over the reins as president of the Elburn Chamber of Commerce in January.

“She’s been a very dedicated and active member and leader in the chamber for years,” former Chamber president Bob Britz said. “She’s never been afraid to step up and take the initiative to see the job through. If only all chamber members were that active.”

For the past nine years, Flint has been volunteering her time and energy to help promote businesses in Elburn. She has been active in organizing the annual pork chop dinner, the Christmas Stroll and the Day in the Park, along with many other chamber events. She has also acted as Vice President of Marketing and then Vice President of Committees.

“I like helping out with community events,” said Flint, who is the Design Director at the Elburn Herald. “It’s an easy way to meet people and get involved.”

Growing up in the Kaneland area, Flint was active in 4-H, volleyball and softball. It wasn’t until she started working at the Elburn Herald that a co-worker who was active in the chamber asked Leslie to help with events.

“Growing up in a large family, it’s not hard to get to know people. We enjoy being supportive of the community. It’s something we value,” Flint said.

Flint summarizes the skills she has honed over the years of handling events into two necessary elements.

“Organization is key, and getting volunteers. If you’ve got that, you can put on any event,” Flint said. “If you can get people excited about an event, you can get them to volunteer. It doesn’t take a lot of time or labor (to volunteer). It just takes an hour here and an hour there.”

With those persuasive skills in tow, Flint has succeeded in orchestrating not only events that volunteers can get excited about, but also a vision for businesses in Elburn.

“Obviously, we want to bring more businesses to town. It’s hard to do, so we ask ‘What can we do for you?’” Flint said. “This year I want to work on getting businesses to work with each other. We want to work on businesses cross-promoting.”

Flint cites Paisano’s Pizza and Grill as being exemplary in both giving back to the community and joining with other businesses and helping them out.

She also says that the chamber has been working on improving its communication with the village and the Lion’s Club. She said that the organizations now talk freely and can coordinate efforts.

Even though the chamber has taken a hit in the last few years, especially last year’s Day in the Park fundraiser for the fireworks, she looks forward to taking the time to revise its goals.

“Now’s the time to regroup, to try to get some new volunteers to help with events that don’t cost much to put on,” Flint said. “We want to come up with a new game plan. We want to offer something for the community but not kill the chamber in the meantime.”

Candidates for 2011 election may file nominating petitions

Elburn—Candidates for the Elburn 2011 Consolidated Election may file their nominating petitions with Elburn Village Clerk Diane McQuilkin at the village hall, 301 E. North St., Elburn., during the following dates and times:
• Dec. 13, 8 to 9 a.m.
• Dec. 15, noon to 1 p.m.
• Dec. 18, 9 to 10 a.m.
• Dec. 20, 4 to 5 p.m.

Nominating papers must include the following:
• Statement of Candidacy
• Nominating Petition Sheets
• Recepit for Filing of Statement of Economic Interests
• Loyalty Oath (optional)
Staff of the village of Elburn are not permitted to dispense legal advice. Candidates are urged to consult with their own attorneys.

Manitoba hockey team has case of the SWEATTS

Elburn native Bill Sweatt battles with Chicago Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino but comes up empty in the shootout portion of the Manitoba Moose 2-1 loss at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. Sweatt, a left winger, is contributing to the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks as its fourth-leading scorer.
Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
ROSEMONT, Ill.—Look a little close to see which team is the home favorite.

On Nov. 30, the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League took the Allstate Arena ice for the 24th time in the 2010-11 season, but it wasn’t against an ordinary opponent.

Their foe was the Vancouver Canucks’ top affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, featuring brothers Bill and Lee Sweatt, who have taken to the ice for the first time this season as professional teammates.

Originally from Elburn, and now based in Colorado, the Sweatts saw big minutes of ice time, but saw their efforts fall just short in a 2-1 loss that went to a shootout. Bill was the last Moose entry of five to aim for Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino, but was stopped. Chicago’s Darren Haydar scored for the only goal past Eddie Lack for the final result.

Seasoned hockey players will tell you ‘that’s hockey’ but coming to the suburban Chicago area for the first time as pro teammates made a cold November night anything but ordinary.

“That’s exactly what it is,” Lee said. “We just didn’t score enough goals.

Playing for the biggest pro hockey team in hockey-crazy Manitoba, the Sweatts can provide what a phenomenon playing the national sport can truly be.

“It’s way different,” Bill said. “Chicago’s getting a little hockey-crazy because of the Hawks, but it’s just on a different level. They’re obsessed with it.”

The Moose (12-9-0-3) currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference’s North Division and got a goal from center Cory Hodgson with 5:59 remaining in the second period, only to be matched by Jason Krog’s shot with 2:25 remaining in regulation.

But both Sweatts put their franchise in a position to win with needed contributions. Rookie Bill has 13 points with five goals and eight assists as the fourth-leading point gatherer on the squad, while Lee has four goals and four assists as the sixth-leading points nabber.

Bill, 22, was the second-round pick of the Blackhawks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, behind the first-round pick of Patrick Kane, but after sticking with his standout college hockey career at Colorado College (CC), he found himself traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Kris Versteeg. Waiting until ownership of his rights expired, Sweatt signed with Vancouver, capping a crazy stretch.

“Absolutely, I’m happy,” Bill said. “No matter what happened, I knew I was going to have to play in the minors and work my way up and learn the pro game a little bit, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Lee, 25, who played at CC with his brother for a year and was undrafted, enjoys playing in North American after making the rounds in Latvia, Austria and Finland over the last four years.

“I’ve been very fortunate to be in Finland and Austria. I would say they all have their pros and cons, Riga (Latvia) has the wildest fans, but I like Winnipeg. The fans are great there.”

The Moose, with Sweatts in tow, return to Rosemont on March 6, 2011.

Elburn native Lee Sweatt does what he can as defenseman during the Manitoba Moose 2-1 shootout loss to the local Chicago Wolves on Nov. 30 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. He graduated from Colorado College like his younger brother, Bill, and spent last year split between teams in Latvia and Finland. Photo by Ben Draper

The Da Capo Duo concert to benefit community center

ELBURN—The Da Capo Duo’s holiday concert will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St., Elburn.

The duo, consisting of flutist Kristin Paxinos and guitarist Ben Westfall, will delight concert goers with an exciting mix of holiday, classical and popular favorites. The program will be highlighted by Ben Westfall’s brand new arrangements, featuring entertaining renditions of “Carol of the Bells”; “O Christmas Tree”; “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”; “O, Holy Night”; “Silent Night”; and “Away in a Manger.” The duo will also perform Westfall’s flute and guitar adaptations of popular favorites such as Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and John Denver’s “Annie’s Song.” The program will also include Westfall’s superb arrangements of Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” “Arabesque No. 1” and “Reverie.”

The benefit concert is free. However, a free-will donation will be taken up at the end of the concert, with all proceeds going to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center. The center is a not-for-profit organization serving the Greater Elburn Community.  

For more information about the concert, please contact The Da Capo Duo at (630) 777-2955 or

Candidates for 2011 election may file nominating petitions

Elburn—Candidates for the Elburn 2011 Consolidated Election may file their nominating petitions with Elburn Village Clerk Diane McQuilkin at the village hall, 301 E. North St., Elburn., during the following dates and times:
• Dec. 13, 8 to 9 a.m.
• Dec. 15, noon to 1 p.m.
• Dec. 18, 9 to 10 a.m.
• Dec. 20, 4 to 5 p.m.
Nominating papers must include the following:
• Statement of Candidacy
• Nominating Petition Sheets
• Recepit for Filing of Statement of Economic Interests
• Loyalty Oath (optional)
Staff of the village of Elburn are not permitted to dispense legal advice. Candidates are urged to consult with their own attorneys.

Barbie raffle at the library

ELBURN—The Friends of the Town & Country Public Library, 320 E. North St., will hold a raffle for a Happy New Year Barbie 1995 collectors edition and John Deere Monster Treads toy tractor.

Barbie was donated by Fran Kitz of Elburn. The toy tractor was donated by Hogan Walker of Elburn. Both items are on display at the library. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and are available at the circulation desk. The drawing will be held noon on Dec. 18 at the library. Winner need not be present.

For more information, call (630) 365-2244.

Snug Hugs for Kids

Photo: Sally Compton of Elburn knit 105 winter caps this year for the Snug Hugs for Kids: Crochet and Knit-A-Thon, a program conducted by Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops. Photo by Mary Herra

Compton knits hats to spread warmth, holiday cheer
by David Maas
Elburn—The holiday season is in full swing, and Sally Compton, 88, is doing her part to spread joy and warmth to kids in need.

Sally, a retired farmer’s wife, was looking for a way to spend her time as less and less work needed to be done on the farm, and knitting seemed obvious.

“She used to knit all kinds of things,” said Kit Compton, Sally’s daughter, “She even used to knit in movie theaters, in the dark.”

For over eight years, Sally has been participating in the Snug Hugs for Kids: Crotchet and Knit-A-Thon, a program conducted by Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops to provide local children in need with winter attire.

For this year’s drive, Sally knitted a collection of 105 winter hats, estimating that she has donated well over 800 hats to the program since she has been a part of it.

“No hats are ever repeated,” Sally declared, pointing to the hats, most of which were brightly colored, some even resembling a box of crayons, “They are all different combinations,” she added.

Sally has already started knitting hats for next year’s drive, thinking of all of the kids who will wear her hats as she knits.

“I think it makes two people warm,” explained Sally, “The children that will wear the hats, and me while I’m knitting them.”

Christmas Stroll trail mix

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Join in the community spirit as you hit the trail through downtown Elburn for a mix of fun and food on Friday, Dec. 3.

The town will be lit with the spirit of the Christmas season as businesses and organizations open their doors from 5 to 8 p.m. serving refreshments, giving tours and welcoming the community. From the Town & Country Library to the Elburn & Countryside Community Center, you’ll find enough music, food, decorations and sights to light up the night.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be front and center at the library, giving wish consultations and photo ops. While snacking on refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library, merry-makers can see the Kaneland Madrigal Singers perform at 5:15 p.m., Magic Matt create balloon characters, and Mr. E and Maggie perform ventriloquism from 7 to 8 p.m. Village of Elburn trustees will be on hand to greet. Watson, of course, will be dressed for the holidays.

Learn how quickly a Christmas tree can catch fire as the fire department presents its annual Christmas tree burning at 5:30, 6:15 and 7:45 p.m.

Stop in at the American Bank and Trust to take home a balloon creation, and at Edward Jones to enter a coloring contest and decorate a Christmas ornament. Catch another performance of the Madrigal’s at Ream’s Elburn Market. Then cross the street and wander the wonder of life-sized Kandyland at the Elburn Herald.

The Elburn Community Congregational Church will host cookie decorating and refreshments. Heartland Counseling will present the blessing of the manger.

If you’re tired of strolling at this point, you can hop the free, heated 28-passenger shuttle bus to head to the Elburn Hill Church, where the Lamplight Singers will perform and the Oberweis truck will stand at the ready.

Across the street at the Community Center will be a free train ride with Santa. The Wildlife Center will bring animals to see.

“There is a lot going on,” said Laurie Studdard, Community Center director. “We have about 400 people come through here.”

The Christmas Tree Auction will allow the highest bidders to take home Christmas trees and wreaths decorated by local businesses.

The Silent Auction will raffle off gift baskets, sports memorabilia and games.

Ring the bell for neighbors in need

by Lynn Meredith
ELB, SG, KNVL—Take a break from your holiday schedule and help your neighbors in need this season by volunteering to ring the bells in front of the Elburn and Sugar Grove Jewel stores and Elburn Ream’s Meat Market. Each Saturday, the red Salvation Army kettles will be in place, collecting for local families in need. All the money collected will go to help families in the Kaneland and Big Rock areas.

Conley Outreach is the local Salvation Army representative. It receives about $3,500 yearly from the metropolitan division, but those funds have been used up. Since July, 30 families have received help with paying for rent, heat, food, clothing and other necessities. The money collected at Christmas goes a long way in replenishing the fund.

“We have been inundated,” Carol Alfrey, Executive Director of Conley Outreach Community Service said. “I’ve had to limit the amount I help people with.”

Besides collecting in front of the Jewels’ and Ream’s on each Saturday during December, volunteers will be stationed in Elburn on Friday, Dec. 3, Kaneville on Saturday, Dec. 4, and in Sugar Grove on Saturday, Dec. 4. Alfrey also hopes to collect on Dec. 23 and 24 at the Jewel locations. The Sugar Grove Library will have a permanent kettle.

But Alfrey still needs volunteers to ring bells at the locations. The more times the kettles are out, the more money can be collected, and every little bit helps.

“On these days, I’m hoping to have the kettles out, but I still need volunteers,” Alfey said. “I have several shifts still available.”

Each shift is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with two ringers each shift. So far, the freshman and sophomore Kaneland High School basketball teams have signed up, along with other individuals. If your group or family would like to help out, call Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880. To send a donation, mail it to Conley Outreach/Salvation Army Fund, P.O. Box 931 Elburn, IL 60119.

Howland’s run (and bike and swim)

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—Triathlons are difficult for even the most experienced athlete.

However, one needs the will. Elburn resident and Kaneland High School senior Jen Howland continues to employ that, as well as training and her athletics gifts to continue on the triathlon circuit both stateside and abroad.

Most recently finishing 20th in the junior women’s category at the ITU World Championship Grand Final in Budapest, Hungary, Howland continues to enjoy her work.

“It’s my passion, and I hope to do it for a long time,” Howland said.

The recent cross-country State qualifier has been participating in the event for nine years.

“It was a local Delnor kids triathlon,” Howland said her introduction to the race.

“When I train, it’s for 30-35 hours a week. I’ll be in the pool once or twice a day, run every day and bike every other day,” Howland said.

Having finished in Budapest with a time of one hour, 23 seconds, a two-second improvement over her 2009 World Championship, Howland has big goals ahead.

“I want to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Next year, I’ll start training and pushing myself. I really want to be a professional triathlete,” Howland said.

The junior women’s championship in 2011 is set for Beijing, China.