Category Archives: Elburn

Baseballs on Parade

Bank sponsors Elburn art project to promote village, local businesses
by Martha Quetsch
On parade—Cows in Chicago, Huskies in DeKalb, Adirondack chairs in St. Charles, bicycles in Geneva. What’s next?

Baseballs in Elburn.

Nathional Bank & Trust Co. (NB&T) is sponsoring Baseballs on Parade to promote the business community, bring visitors to the village and celebrate the bank’s one-year anniversary in Elburn.

“We tried to look beyond the traditional celebrations for something that would be fun and unify the community, something that the village could grab onto,” said Tami Armstrong, NB&T vice president of marketing. “And baseball has a broad appeal.”

Baseballs on Parade is a community art project that celebrates summer, family and the community, Armstrong said. Local businesses may participate by purchasing a 12-inch concrete baseball to decorate themselves or by an artist, and to display from May 1 (Opening Day) through Aug. 1 on their premises. The bank will promote the baseball displays by printing a map of their locations to bring residents and out-of-town visitors into Elburn businesses.

Armstrong said NB&T welcomes designs that are original and vibrant, and reflect the community of Elburn.

Baseballs on Parade will culminate during Elburn Days with an auction of the baseballs, with proceeds to benefit the Elburn Baseball and Softball Association and Kaneland High School scholarships for graduating seniors.

Local businesses may purchase one of the baseballs for $75, which is the cost to NB&T for each. Then, they can return them to the bank to auction off during Elburn Days to benefit the organizations previously mentioned.

Businesses that want to keep the baseballs may buy them for $125, with $75 of the price going to the charitable auction recipients.

NB&T is coordinating Baseballs on Parade in conjunction with the Elburn Chamber of Commerce and the village of Elburn.

To purchase a baseball for Baseballs on Parade, fill out an application and submit payment to The National Bank & Trust, Baseballs on Parade, c/o NB&T, 930 N. Main St., Elburn, IL 60119. Baseballs will be available for pickup at the Elburn branch. For more information, call NB&T at (630) 365-3335.

Draft, Spring Training Party
5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 26
National Bank & Trust Co.
930 N. Main St., Elburn
Local businesses can find out about the art and commercial promotion program in Elburn, and purchase a 12-inch concrete baseball to decorate for the summer-long display.

Photo: Patti Vlieger’s Art Club at Kaneland High School will paint and decorate a 75-pound concrete baseball which is part of the Baseballs on Parade community art aand business project. The baseball will be painted by the class and auctioned off at Elburn Days. Art Club members from left to right are Molly Lambert, Alyssa Novy, Shanna Adams, Cassie Yankula, Sonja Issacs, Jessie McHenry and Alex Morefield. Photo by John DiDonna

Public gun safety, target shooting classes

The St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club announces its spring and summer schedule of free firearms safety and introductory shooting classes. The classes will cover basic gun safety instruction and introduce students to the sport of clay target shooting.

The first two-hour class session will be held Saturday, March 21, at 1 p.m. Additional sessions continue the third Saturday of each month through the summer and fall. Remaining dates include April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19 and Oct. 17.

The classes, held at the club’s grounds on Keslinger Road, one-quarter mile west of Route 47 on the south edge of Elburn, are open to the public. A classroom style seminar covering firearms safety and basic shooting instruction will be followed by target shooting instruction on the shooting range.

Children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult, and all students interested in the shooting portion of the class should possess an Illinois FOID card and provide their own shotgun. Students may bring their own target grade ammunition or purchase it at the club. There will be a charge for the clay targets thrown during the shooting portion of the class.

Admission to the classes is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information and to sign up for these classes, visit

Field of Dreams hosts Bunco tournament

Field of Dreams Horse Rescue & Adoption, a local nonprofit, all-volunteer horse rescue barn in Elburn, is hosting a Bunco Tournament on Friday, March 20, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Campton Township Community Center.

The community center is located at 5N082 Old LaFox Road In Campton Hills, near the intersection of Route 64 and Old La Fox Road. Organizers are looking for teams and individual players to compete for cash and raffle prizes. Registration is $25 per player.

To register, call Chris Biederer at (847) 431-6302.

Disaster response training starts March 26

Residents who want to help local authorities with emergencies and disasters can be trained by Elburn Police Department in its Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) program.

The free C.E.R.T. classes will take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 26 through April 30, at Village Hall, 301 E. North St., Elburn.

Training includes basic response, triage, treatment and disaster skills, that can help sustain lives until emergency help arrives.

To register for the C.E.R.T. training, visit, click on Police, and then click on Certs. For more information, call Sgt. Ron Brandenburg, (630) 387-8743 or e-mail him at

Conley Outreach offers Grief Support in March

Mourning After, a self-help group for young widows and widowers (including all with children still living at home), will meet on Thursday March 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 10 of the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 Main St. Bring a friend or support person. Child care stipends are available for parents with young children.

Friendship Night, a self-help group for grieving adults, will meet Thursday, March 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 Main St. in Elburn. This month’s topic will be “Meeting Your Grief Needs.” Light refreshments and a time for informal sharing will follow the group discussion.

All of these events are free. For more information or to register, call Conley Outreach at (630) 365-2880.

Wayside horns could reduce train whistles by this summer

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn must wait a few more months for the wayside horns that, for the most part, will rid the village of train whistles.

The horns will be installed at both the First Street and the Main Street railroad crossings in Elburn, a project the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved last December after a five-month review.

Now, the ICC must approve of the project construction contract between the village and Union Pacific Railroad (UP) before installation can begin.

ICC approval likely will take 60 to 90 days from when the Village Board approves the UP contract, which could be as soon as March 16, Village Administrator David Morrison said.

“Both (contracts) could be approved next week (Monday’s Village Board meeting), if insurance issues are cleared up,” Morrison said.

Under the contract with UP, the village will be required to carry railroad liability insurance for the wayside horn system, at a cost village staff is determining.

Trustee Craig Swan wants the Village Board to approve the UP contract as soon as possible.

“It (the wayside horn project) still remains a top priority for people in town,” Swan said.

The UP agreement is necessary because the railroad owns the property on which the village will install the horns. Under the agreement, the village will pay UP $2,500 for a real estate license and a $54,524 deposit for railroad work related to the wayside horn project. The village also will have to pay UP for the railroad company’s flagger services during the project.

For wayside horn installation and materials, the village will pay the company, Railroad Controls Limited, $93,640 for the Main Street crossing wayside horn, and $101,637 for the First Street crossing horn.

The total cost of the wayside horn project for both crossings, including engineering and consultant fees, equipment and installation, is approximately $300,000, less than other options village officials proposed in the past to meet federal safety requirements for a quiet zone.

The wayside horns will direct the horn sound only toward the immediate area of pedestrian and vehicular traffic near the crossings. Trains still will blow their whistles if the wayside horn lights are not functioning, or if the locomotive engineer sees a safety hazard.

Last April, village trustees agreed to pursue the least costly method to silence train whistles in the village in compliance with federal safety regulations. They decided installing wayside horns at the First Street and Main Street rail crossings were the solution.

The total estimated cost for a previous proposal to install a center barrier of pylons at the First Street crossing—was $400,000, village engineers said.

Village trashes residents’ garbage tickets

by Martha Quetsch
Village officials will make Elburn’s garbage ordinance more lenient and void all tickets received by residents in 2008 for violating it.

Elburn trustees decided this Monday, after a 30-day public comment period on the ordinance the Village Board approved in May 2008. The ordinance states that garbage and recycling bins may be placed on the parkway no earlier than 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and must be removed no later than 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane said he wants the village to approve a less restrictive garbage pickup ordinance in response to residents’ concerns.

“It made some sense that we need to change the hours,” Linane said.

The police chief said he was concerned about seniors having to put their garbage out in the dark, and about some businesses and people whose work hours did not allow them to comply with the ordinance.

Linane suggested the village should allow people to put their trash cans out starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, and bring them in from the curb by 9 a.m. Thursday, the day after garbage pickup. The Village Board is expected to vote in favor of this proposed ordinance change on Monday, as all trustees agree the revision is needed.

During the first few months the existing ordinance was in effect, the Police Department issued warnings to violators and distributed flyers to let people know about it. In the fall, began issuing tickets to violators.

People who objected to receiving a ticket had an opportunity to appeal the tickets. Police voided 72 of the 130 tickets they issued in 2008 for garbage ordinance violations. The department will reimburse the remaining 58 people who were ticketed for fines they paid, totaling about $1,450.

Since December, the police have not ticketed violators because the Village Board imposed a temporary moratorium on enforcement of the ordinance while village officials reviewed it for possible changes.

Another change Linane proposed for the refuse pickup ordinance is allowing residents to place bags of leaves on the parkway at any time during October and November. Under the current ordinance, they cannot place the bags at the curb until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The reason village officials created the ordinance nine months ago was that some residents were putting their trash receptacles on the parkway so far in advance of pickup that their garbage blew all over their neighborhoods. In addition, other people left their garbage bins out long after pickup, which some residents said was unsightly.

Village considers stricter rules for senior tax rebates

by Martha Quetsch
Any Elburn senior citizen may request a 75 percent refund of last year’s municipal utility taxes. But because some people may be misusing the program, village officials might tighten its rules.

“The idea was to help seniors through difficult times,” Village Administrator David Morrison said. “But now we have some concerns about potential abuse of the program,” Morrison said.

Seniors who want municipal utility tax refunds must be at least 62 years old. In addition, they must provide the village with copies of their utility bills-gas, electric and telephone-from the previous year.

However, one senior citizen submitted a refund application that included bills for six different cell phones. So now, village staff members are studying ways to make sure residents do not abuse the program.

One option they will consider is allowing municipal tax refunds on bills for just one telephone per applicant. Trustee Jeff Humm suggested the limit on Monday.

The only taxes eligible for reimbursement are those identified specifically on utility bills as municipal taxes. Municipal taxes typically are up to 6 percent of a phone bill and 5 percent of a gas bill, and electric bill municipal taxes are based on kilowatt use, Morrison said.

Approximately 34 village seniors applied for the village’s municipal utility tax reimbursement during the first two months of the year, trustee Bill Grabarek said.

Tax break request deadline is March 31
Senior citizens who want a
75-percent reimbursement
of their 2008 municipal utility taxes
must submit a request
with copies of last year’s telephone,
gas and electric bills
by Tuesday, March 31,
at Elburn Village Hall,
301 E. North St.,
during business hours,
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday.

Elburn police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the Elburn Police Department. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Felony traffic arrest
• Carlos Pena, 22, of St. Charles, was charged on March 1 with possessing a vehicle title certificate without complete assignment, a Class 4 felony. Police stopped Pena at 12:01 a.m. on Route 38 near Anderson Road in Elburn for having one headlight out. He also was arrested for not having a valid drivers license or proof of liability insurance.

No valid driver’s license
• Aydee Dominguez-Lopez, 29, of St. Charles, was arrested at 11:38 p.m. March 4 for driving without having a valid license. Police stopped her on Route 38 near Anderson Road in Elburn for not having a working rear plate light.
• Alvaro G. Carillo, 33, of Elburn, was arrested at 7:55 a.m. March 6 for driving without a valid license. Police stopped him in the 400 block of East Pierce Street in Elburn for driving without valid vehicle registration. He also was cited for driving without insurance.

• Someone broke into a coin machine at Elburn Car Wash, 120 W. Nebraska St., Elburn, between 6:30 p.m. March 3 and 9 a.m. March 4, and stole $100 in change.

• Tammy A. Champion, 40, of Sugar Grove, was arrested at 10:28 p.m. March 5, for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Police also cited Champion, whose vehicle was stuck in the mud on Anderson Road north of Freedom Road, for driving while her license plates were suspended and for not having liability insurance.

Driving while license suspended
• Shannon S. Fitzhugh, 28, of Yorkville, was arrested at 1:45 a.m. March 7 for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him on Route 47 at Hughes Road in Elburn for speeding.
• Melissa K. Vonplachecki, 24, of DeKalb, was arrested at 12:32 .m. March 10, for driving while her license was suspended. Police stopped her on Route 38 at Center Street in Elburn, for not having a front license plate. She also was cited for operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Criminal defacement of property
• Someone spray painted grafitti on seven stop signs in Elburn between noon and 3 p.m. March 7. A public works employee reported the damage. The signs will have to be replaced, costing the village $1,400. The signs were located on Stetzer Street at Johnson Avenue, Parkside Avenue, Saratoga Drive, and Cambridge Avenue, and on South Street at Cambridge, Saratoga and Parkside.

Wildlife center hosts baby shower

The Fox Valley Wildlife Center is holding a baby shower to prepare for the orphaned birds and mammals that will be coming into their care this year.

The baby shower will take place Sunday, March 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Wildlife Center, located in the Elburn Woods Forest Preserve on Route 38, west of Route 47 in Elburn. Snacks and beverages will be served, and children can participate in fun activities and craft projects. Guests will also have a chance to visit with the Fox Valley Wildlife Center’s education animals.

Please bring a shower gift for the animals from the center’s wish list, available at

Reservations are not necessary. For more information, call (630) 365-3800.

Conley Outreach offers Grief Support in March

Mourning After, a free self-help group for young widows and widowers (including all with children still living at home), will meet on Thursday March 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room 10 of the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 Main St. Bring a friend or support person. Child care stipends are available for parents with young children.

Friendship Night, a self-help group for grieving adults, will meet Thursday, March 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 Main St. in Elburn. This month’s topic will be “Meeting Your Grief Needs.” Light refreshments and a time for informal sharing will follow the group discussion.

All of these events are free. For more information or to register, call Conley Outreach at (630) 365-2880.

Maple sugaring event held March 15

Come celebrate one of the sweetest signs of spring—maple sugaring—with the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

The group will perform the time-honored tradition of maple tapping Sunday, March15, at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve in Elburn. This fun, free event runs from noon to 4 p.m.

Naturalists will demonstrate how to tap a maple tree, and you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at drilling and setting a tap. We’ll simmer sap over an open fire and watch as it thickens to syrup. During the “Sugarin’ Time” hike, you’ll learn how to distinguish maples from other species of hardwood trees. Plus, we’ll explore the art, science and folklore of the “sugar bush,” or maple grove, from early Native American times to the modern sugaring industry. You won’t want to miss this popular family-friendly event.

The Maple Sugaring Festival is cosponsored by the Forest Preserve District of Kane County and the local Slow Food organization. For more information, call (847) 741-8350 or e-mail

Cemetery seeks input

Blackberry Township Cemetery is seeking community input regarding how to celebrate the cemetery 150th anniversary.

Fred Dornback, cemetery superintendent and sexton, will host a meeting on Saturday, March 28, at 9:30 a.m. at the Blackberry Township Hall, 43W390 Main Street Road in Elburn. The purpose of this exploratory meeting is to see if there is community interest in having a special celebration in conjunction with the 150th anniversary in spring/summer 2010.

The exploratory committee will meet for no more than 90 minutes to determine if, when, where and how the community might commemorate this special occasion in history. Coffee, tea, juice and morning snacks will be provided.

If interested, call the cemetery office at (630) 365-6089 or e-mail us at

Homemakers group gathers March 12

The March meeting of the Country Cousins Unit of the Kane County Association for Home and Community Education will be held on Thursday, March 12, at the Elburn Town and Country Library. The meeting will convene at 12:30 p.m. with hostesses Helen Eggert and Carol Kleckner. The lesson for the day will be “Fruits and Vegetables.”

For information, call (630) 365-2209.

Elburn girl makes it to top of Hustle Up the Hancock

Victoria Clinton of Elburn finished first among all women ages 1-11 in the 12th annual Hustle Up the Hancock in Chicago. Over 4,000 people competed in the 94 floor climb up John Hancock center in a fundraiser for lung disease research programs of Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago.

11-year old Victoria led the way to the top for all participants under the age of 11 with the impressive time of 14 minutes, 14 seconds. She finished 100th out of over 4,000 climbers. Victoria’s finish is over six minutes faster than the winner from last year’s winner in that age division. The first place finisher was Terry Purcell of Springfield with a time of 9:31. Participants in the event ranged from age 6-77.

The climb is expected to raise $1.3 million by March 20 for the Respiratory Health Association local investment in lung disease research.

Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, more than half of the climbers have been touched by lung disease. Funds raised from this climb will go a long way toward helping us find cures for lung cancer, COPD and other lung disease.

Climbers’ times can be found at

Curious kid

Three-year-old Caden Miller came to the Town and Country with his grandparents to meet Monkey George, as he is known to Caden. The rest of us may know him as Curious George, and he visited the library Saturday. The library event featured Curious George stories, plus a chance for children to meet the famous character. Photo by Sarah Rivers

Maintaining Mayberry

Elburn wants to keep historic downtown alive
by Martha Quetsch
Many Elburn residents wish their historic downtown was still as bustling as Mayberry. In response, locals have adopted strategies to make it happen.

The latest initiative to boost downtown vitality is the Shop Elburn First program, which the village is working on with the Elburn Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s to promote businesses and let residents know what we have here,” Community Development Director Erin Willrett said.

Through the program, residents will receive coupons for local shopping, highlights about new and existing businesses, and information about how retail sales tax can help the village. The promotional materials will be enclosed in residents’ water bills, so the program will not require mailing costs.

“It’s all about getting the word out,” Willrett said.

Panel’s advice pans out
Elburn was the subject of a study on growth planning conducted in 2004 by the Technical Assistance Panel of Campaign for Sensible Growth. As part of the study, residents shared with the panel characteristics they wanted to preserve in Elburn, one being the village’s hometown “Mayberry” atmosphere.

The fictional TV community of Mayberry, which some people compare to Elburn, had a barber shop and a diner downtown, just like Elburn does. Mayberry also had a lot of other stores, including a pharmacy and a grocery, which downtown Elburn no longer has.

After Jewel-Osco opened at Route 38 and Main in 2007, downtown Elburn lost two retailers, Gliddon’s Pharmacy and The Grocery Store, both in the 500 block of North Main Street. Another store in the same block, Sears appliance store, shut down in 2008 after less than two years in business.

The advisory panel suggested that the downtown not try to compete with new big-box stores; instead, the village should promote a niche market in its historic business district, keeping it vital with specialty shops.

Indeed, stores that specialize have fared well in downtown Elburn, while other non-niche shops have struggled or closed. Among those specialty-shop successes are Ream’s Meat Market and Party Animals. Ream’s owner Randy Ream’s decision to specialize in sausages has been a boon for business, he said. Party Animals, a gift shop that also hosts children’s parties, is doing so well that its owner, Cindy Thul, moved it down the block last fall to a larger space at 166 N. Main, the former Gliddon’s.

More measures designed to boost retail
To ensure that if retailers want to open in Elburn they have prime space including downtown sites, the village adopted a new ordinance in 2008. The ordinance prohibits new financial institutions from locating in prime retail sites or within 1,000 feet of the same type of business. The village’s goal is to keep retail space available for stores and restaurants that will produce sales tax and draw people to town, Planning Commission Chairman Pat Schuberg said. The village already has five banks in Elburn, and two others are slated for construction.

To make the downtown more attractive to new businesses, the village several years ago started a façade improvement program. Through the program, the village splits the cost with business owners for improving their storefronts.

Organizations help promote downtown
Elburn Lions Club is doing its part to bring more people to the downtown. In 2007, the Elburn Lions Club hosted a farmer’s market every Sunday during the summer at Lions Park. Opening the farmer’s market was among suggestions four years ago from the Technical Assistance Panel for community revitalization. The Lions had such success with the first farmer’s market that the club brought it back again in 2008.

The chamber created a new event in 2008, Aleburn. Chamber member Leslie Flint said the beer festival last fall had a good turnout, so the organization may hold it again this year.

Photo: By Sarah Rivers

Elburn police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the Elburn Police Department. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Warrant arrest
• Eric Smorovsky, 19, of the 11000 block of Cape Cod Lane in Huntley, was arrested at 1:43 a.m. March 3, on a warrant for failure to appear in court on fraud charges. Police stopped Smorovsky on Route 47 near Kansas Street in Elburn for speeding.

Underage drinking
• Timothy Christopher Watson, 19, of the 500 block of Fadia Street in Maple Park, was arrested at 1:20 a.m. Feb. 10, for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor. The arrest took place after Watson flagged down a patrol officer in the 500 block of Main Street in Elburn to help him retrieve his possessions from his residence after he left because of an altercation with his roommate.

DUI, illegal drug paraphernalia
• Frank J. Pope, 18, of the 3300 block of Blackhawk Trail in St. Charles, was arrested at 5:16 a.m. Feb. 15, for driving under the influence of alcohol and possessing illegal drug paraphernalia. Police stopped him on Route 38 west of Anderson Road in Elburn for speeding. In the vehicle Pope was driving, police found a bong and two glass pipes containing marijuana residue.

DUI, no insurance
• Brett C. Cochran, 20, of Lasher Road in Sugar Grove, was arrested at 1:26 a.m. Feb. 15, on Keslinger Road west of Thryselius Drive in Elburn, for driving under the influence of alcohol. Cochran also was cited for speeding and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

Stroke, osteoporosis screening comes to Elburn

Residents living in and around Elburn can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. The Elburn Lions Club, 500 Filmore St., will host Life Line Screening on Wednesday, March 11.

Appointments will begin at 9 a.m. Four key points every person needs to know:
• Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability
• 80 percent of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their stroke
• Preventive ultrasound screenings can help you avoid a stroke
• Screenings are fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient

For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-697-9721 or visit Pre-registration is required.

Dragons, swordfighting stuff of teen’s tale

Kylen Pattermann started first novel in 9th grade
by Martha Quetsch
Not everyone can turn their fantasies into reality. But with creativity and determination, Kylen Pattermann of Elburn has.

Two years ago when she was in ninth grade, Pattermann wrote the novel, “Battle Scarred,” an imaginative tale she is currently continuing in a sequel.

Pattermann’s writing teacher at Kaneland High School, Kristen Johnson, said her student’s commitment to being an author helped make it happen so early in life.

“Kylen is a very spirited student who is determined to succeed and wasn’t going to let her age be a deterrent, Johnson said.

Pattermann went online and found a publisher for her book that did not require her to have an agent. She sent a draft of her novel to the company, Comfort Publishing of North Carolina, which agreed to edit, publish and market the book at no charge to Pattermann.

Before “Battle Scarred,” Pattermann had composed nine other stories.

“I have been writing my whole life. I think those other stories were like practice—me learning what I wanted to write and where I wanted to go with it,” said Patterman, 17.

Fantasy is Pattermann’s favorite genre.

“I read a lot of it, so I knew that was what I wanted to write,” she said. “I was into medieval swordfighting and dragons.”

Among novelists she likes are Stephanie Meyer, who wrote the “Twilight” series, and Garth Nix, author of “The Abhorsen Trilogy.”

Pattermann likes the challenge of writing fantasy.

“It’s because it is not real and couldn’t happen; I couldn’t go out and live it, I had to come up with it myself,” she said.

The young author said when she is thinking about what to write next, her imagination is unleashed.

“If I can get my friends where they can’t run, I talk to them all about books I haven’t even written yet,” Pattermann said.

Pattermann has not finished the sequel to “Battle Scarred” yet, but promised “it will have a lot to do with dragons.” She hopes eventually to write a third sequel to complete a trilogy.

Pattermann plans to continue writing throughout her life.

“I have so many books I want to write. And I think my characters would get mad at me if I stopped writing about them,” she said.

‘Battle Scarred’
When Dera awakes in the woods, beaten and broken, with no recollection of who he is or where he comes from, he doesn’t realize his troubles are just beginning. Fortunately, two kind farmers find him and help him heal, help him to understand the world in which they live—a world consumed by civil war. Once he finds himself on the front lines, fighting for a side, for a cause he knows nothing about, he hopes and prays that no one will dig too deeply into a past that doesn’t exist. Dera has to remember who he is before someone else does, because for Dera, not knowing who you are is not only disturbing, it can also be deadly.
Synopsis of the novel
by Kylen Pattermann,

Police propose $250 criminal user fee

Offenders whose cars are impounded would have to pay
by Martha Quetsch
People arrested in Elburn for some crimes and whose vehicles are impounded might have to pay a criminal user fee in the future.

Police Chief Jim Linane proposed Monday that the village charge $250 to anyone whose vehicle is impounded after the person is cited for driving under the influence or with a suspended license or one expired for more than a year, and to anyone arrested for having illegal drugs or firearms in a vehicle.

Linane told village trustees at the Committee of the Whole meeting that the fee likely would not be a deterrent to these crimes. However, it would help the village cover the cost of having to take officers off the street for offender processing and court appearances.

Such offenders already have to pay a towing fee, which typically is about $135. The criminal user fee would be in addition to that charge.

Some towns charge a criminal user fee of as much as $500, even when a person whose vehicle is impounded was cited for lesser offenses, such as having tinted windows or playing a car stereo too loud.

“I think $250 is reasonable,” Linane said.

The criminal user fee would have to be paid before police release the vehicle from the impound lot. Offenders could contest the fee by requesting, within 10 days, a police administrative hearing at Village Hall. If the village administrator decides not to waive the fee, the offender would have 45 days to settle the debt with the village so that the vehicle can be released, Sgt. Ron Brandenberg of the Elburn Police Department said.

The offender’s other recourse would be to appeal the fee in the Kane County Circuit Court.
If someone loans a vehicle to a person who is arrested and the car is impounded, the owner would not get the car back until the criminal user fee is paid by someone.

Village trustees will decide if Elburn will impose the fee when they vote at a future Village Board meeting on a criminal user fee ordinance Linane drafted.

Trustee Bill Grabarek said he does not object to the village charging the fee to cover the Police Department’s related administrative costs. However, he is bothered by the appeal process.

“My concern is when due process is carried out within the same body that did the search and seizure,” Grabarek said.

Linane said he and Brandenburg researched the proposal thoroughly and he is not worried that the ordinance would violate an offender’s due process.

“I think we are on pretty solid ground,” Linane said.

The criminal user fee would not apply if a driver is arrested and has a passenger who can drive the vehicle legally from the scene.

Coloring contest reminds public to change batteries

The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District is holding a coloring contest to promote changing your batteries on all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors during the time change on Sunday, March 8.

Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors provide those critical extra seconds people need to get out of their homes safely. They also increase your chances of surviving a home fire or carbon monoxide incident.

There will be a prize of one $15 gift card for each of the following age categories: 4-6 years old; 7-9 years old; 10-12 years old.

The official judge will be Fire Marshall Alan Isberg. Please have all entries into the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District Station One, 210 E. North St., Elburn, by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 2. Entries can be turned in from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Entries can be picked up at the Town and Country Public Library in Elburn, Elburn Jewel, or at the fire station.

Village seeks grant for tobacco-sale stings

by Martha Quetsch
The village of Elburn will apply for another grant for a program that monitors local tobacco sales in the village to make sure businesses comply with the law.

Elburn Police Department conducts the program, which previously was funded with the grant, from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane said to qualify for last year’s $1,100 grant, the Police Department was required to complete four sting operations per year at each of the five businesses in the village that sell tobacco products. During the sting, police send an underage person to the stores to attempt to buy tobacco products.

In addition to funding compliance checks, the grant money also helps the village provide educational materials for tobacco retailers.

Since 2000, the state commission provided grants to nearly 300 communities.

Read Across America day

Town & Country Public Library
320 E. North St., Elburn • (630) 365-2244

The National Education Association’s “Read Across America” is a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2.

“Read Across America” promotes reading and adult involvement in the education of our community’s students. The library will host two special events for children in the Fox Valley. Register at the library.

Curious George will visit on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m. We will read some of Curious George’s adventures. There will be time at the end of Curious George’s visit for pictures and hugs.

Sandi Sylver will visit on Monday, March 2, at 6:30 p.m. Sandi is a storyteller, singer and ventriloquist. She and her friends will give a special performance focusing on Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat.

Park project fund will help village operate

by Martha Quetsch
The village of Elburn will use $100,000 previously designated for recreation to help cover its day-to-day operations.

The reason is that village’s general operating fund balance is declining. The fund, which pays staff salaries and other costs related to running the village, totaled $208,000 at the beginning of the village’s fiscal year, April 2008.

“That balance has been depleted to where it is today ($53,056),” Village Administrator David Morrison said Feb. 9.

Village President Jim Willey said the fund in the past typically had a six-figure balance.

Village trustees on Feb. 8 agreed that the village should transfer the sum from the recreation fund to the general operating fund.

The village established the recreation fund several years ago to pay for future park projects. Elburn does not have a park district, nor does it tax residents for recreation.

The village initially supported its recreation fund with 15 percent of its municipal utility taxes. However, the village since then diverted that money into its general operating fund.

So now the recreation fund’s only growth is from interest. The fund’s balance now totals approximately $164,000.

One recreation project village officials considered spending part of that money on was building a skateboard park. However, after spending many meetings over two years debating the proposal, the Village Board tabled it in October 2008. Trustees said that the village might need the more than $100,000 the park could cost for other purposes.

The village expects increasing financial constraints stemming from the residential construction downturn; village revenue has been declining because of a drop in the number of building permits and water and sewer connections for new housing, for which it collects fees, village officials said.

Not only is the village suffering a decline in permit fees, it anticipates that income taxes the village receives (its portion from what the state collects) could drop because of the economy as well.

“We will have to watch that closely,” Morrison said.

Project will promote bicycling to train

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn soon will have a new brochure highlighting the best street routes and paths for bicycling in the village.

“This is part of Elburn’s goal of making the village walkable and bikeable,” Trustee Bill Graberek said.

The village will develop the brochure with help from the League of Illinois Bicyclists (LIB), to promote biking, especially to the Metra station. Elburn trustees on Tuesday approved an agreement between the village and the LIB for the “Bike to Metra Guide” project.

“The idea is to encourage people to bike for part of their commute, both for public health and to reduce the need for vehicle parking spaces,” LIB project planner Jessica Thompson said.

LIB consultants will collaborate with village staff to develop and produce the guide, which will highlight routes within a five-mile radius for traveling by bicycle.

The village will pay for the $4,000 project with a grant it received from the Public Education and Enforcement Research Study (PEERS). Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane applied for the grant last year from Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). The ICC administers the PEERS program to issue grants to communities and nonprofit agencies for specialized education and safety enforcement projects.

Before compiling the guide, the village and the LIB will host a public meeting at which residents may make suggestions for the brochure.

The brochure will be an informational tool for bicyclists, so that they know the safest and most practical routes to take in Elburn. It also will be geared for drivers, so that they know the routes and certain rules of the road that apply to drivers in proximity of bicycles traveling on the street.

LIB also worked with the City of Aurora on its Bike to Metra Guide.

Elburn police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the Elburn Police Department. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

No valid license
• Tracy Haugabook, 28, of the 400 block of Freemont Street in Elgin, was arrested at 12:45 a.m. Feb. 2 for driving without a valid license and without vehicle insurance. Police stopped her on Route 38 near Saddlewood Drive in Elburn, for speeding.

• Donna Lynn Dichiarro (Klimek), 42, of the 300 block of Hobart Drive in South Elgin, was arrested at 10:52 p.m. Jan. 30 for driving without a valid license. Police stopped her on Route 47 near North Street in Elburn for driving without having a front license plate.

• Christine B. Doherty, 30, of the 90 block of East State Street in DeKalb, was arrested at 10:45 a.m. Feb. 4 for driving without a valid license. Police stopped her at 940 N. Main St., Elburn, for making an illegal left turn from Route 38 into the Amoco parking lot.

Illegal transportation of alcohol
• Devin D. O’Connell, 21, of the 2000 block of Newpoert Lane in Geneva, was arrested at 3:45 a.m. Jan. 31 for illegal transportation of alcohol. Police stopped O’Connell at Route 38 at Anderson Road in Elburn for driving without a front license plate.

Outstanding warrant arrests
• Brittany D. Anderson, 21, of the 400 block of Pierce Street in Elburn, was arrested at 6:11 p.m. Feb. 9 on an outstanding warrant from Boone County for failure to appear in court. She posted bond and was released. Police arrested Anderson on the warrant after responding to a complaint from her regarding her landlord.

• Amanda Georgia Zito, 21, of the 27W00 block of 80th Street in Naperville, was arrested on an outstanding Kane County warrant for failure to appear in court on a retail theft charge. Police stopped her as she was driving on Route 38 at Anderson Road in Elburn, for having only one working headlight.

Expired plate registration
• Carl N. Corlew, 23, of the 500 block of Redwood Court in North Aurora, was arrested at 8:45 a.m. on Route 47 at Center Street in Elburn, for having an expired license plate registration.

Driving while license suspended
• Nicholas Diaz, 24, of the 800 block of Greenbrier Road in DeKalb, was arrested at 5:25 p.m. Feb. 5 for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped Diaz in the Metra station parking lot in Elburn, after he disobeyed a stop sign.

Underage drinking
• Josephine Mae Quigley, 18, of the 200 block of Virgil Street in Maple Park, was arrested at 12:39 a.m. Feb. 6 for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor. Police stopped her on Keslinger Road at Liberty Street in Elburn, for speeding.

• Cole J. Deines, 21, of the 8000 block of Burns Road in Fenton, Ill., was arrested at 1:49 a.m. Feb. 7 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped him on Meredith Road just south of Route 38 in Elburn, for speeding. He also was arrested for illegal transportation of alcohol.

Criminal damage to property
• Twelve street signs in Elburn were marked with graffiti sometime between Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, most of them on First Street. At 11 a.m. Feb. 8, an Elburn Public Works Department employee discovered the damage, estimated at $1,320.

Elburn village notes

by Martha Quetsch

Program offers village deals on equipment
The village of Elburn this year will participate in the State of Illinois Federal Surplus Property Program, through which it may bid on low-cost, surplus equipment.

Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane said items the village hopes to obtain include color copy machines, computers and all-terrain vehicles.

The program offers a variety of surplus property at approximately 5 to 25 percent of the original value.

Participation requires that the village use the surplus property only in an authorized program and not sell, loan, trade or tear down the property without written consent from the state.

March 1 declared Boy Scout Troop 7 Commemoration Day
Sunday, March 1, will be Elburn Boy Scout Troop 7’s 85th Anniversary Commemoration Day, the Elburn Village Board proclaimed Tuesday.

Founded in October 1924, Troop 7 since has had more than 65 Scouts who achieved Eagle Scout status. The troop’s first Scoutmaster was Dr. John M. Turnbull, an Elburn chiropractor.

The proclamation states that the Elburn Herald, in 1924, declared Troop 7 to be both “creditable and peppy,” which it remains today, Village President Jim Willey said.

Village officials review site plan for possible annexation

by Martha Quetsch
St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn recently completed one year of fundraising for its new building, and has two more to go before construction likely can start.

“We’re optimistic that we will be able to begin building at the end of our capital campaign,” St. Gall business manager Joe Batorson said.

St. Gall plans to build a new church on an unincorporated 30-acre parcel it owns on Route 47 at Hughes Road, to accommodate its growing parish of 708 families. The church’s fundraising campaign started Jan. 1, 2008, and will continue through December 2010.

The first phase includes worship and gathering space, 10 religious education classrooms for evening youth programs, and several offices, with an estimated cost of $6 million. St. Gall has received about $612,000 of the $1.8 million that parishioners pledged so far toward the total first-phase cost.

“We had a very good response,” Batorson said.

Father Karl Ganss, parish pastor, said that with the contributions collected to date, and money the church has saved, St. Gall has about $3.5 million in the bank for the building project.

Village to study service connections for site
After its fruitful first year of fundraising, St. Gall church approached the village with building site plan Feb. 2. The church wants the village to approve the plan so the property can be annexed to the village.

“We want to stay in the village, and to be able to hook into village (water and sewer) services if not initially, in the future,” Batorson said.

Elburn officials agreed that village engineers would study the site to determine whether they could extend those connections to the future church location and at what cost, Village Administrator David Morrison said. If the connections are too expensive for St. Gall, the church could install its own well and septic tank.

“We will sit down with village engineers to determine the best and most economical approach to provide (sewer and water) services,” Batorson said.

Civil engineers hired by the church conducted soil borings on the property to make sure that the site could support the building. The church recently presented those findings to the village.

“We’re doing our due diligence to make sure the plans will fit the property,” Batorson said.

Second phase will require more fundraising
When the first phase of the building project is finished, St. Gall will hold worship services at the new 650-seat church and have large social gatherings at its current building on Route 47 at Shannon Street; the new church will not have a full fellowship hall and kitchen until after the third phase of the project is finished.

A second phase calls for expanding the worship area to 1,100 seats.

St. Gall will not vacate the old building until it finishes the third phase of the new church. Additional fundraising campaigns will be necessary for the second and third phases, for which St. Gall does not have cost estimates yet.

After the fundraising campaign is over, St. Gall could borrow 25 percent of the project cost, if needed, from the Rockford Diocese. Then, St. Gall would have to conduct another fundraising campaign to pay the diocese back, Batorson said.

Image: St. Gall Catholic Church architects designed a traditional-style building at the request of church officials. The church is expected to begin construction at Route 47 and Hughes Road in Elburn in two years, after its fundraising campaign. Courtesy Image