Category Archives: Featured

Stay awhile, relax, enjoy

Emerson Creek Pottery and Tea Room may be off the beaten track, but patrons say it’s worth the trip
by Susan O’Neill
OSWEGO—Once people discover Emerson Creek Pottery and Tea Room, they want to share it with their friends. Many of the lunch guests are pairs or clusters of friends, with one or more of them being treated to the Emerson Creek experience for the first time by their companions.

The room in which lunch is served had originally been a horse barn, and still maintains its rustic, down-home appeal, with remnants of the original structure out in front and along the porch.

The food consists of tasty homemade soups, signature salads with fresh, home-made dressings, and simple but unique sandwiches. Lunch is served on the hand-painted pottery dishes from the shop, and customers sit at old, mismatched tables brought back to life with a bright coat of paint.

The barn-wood walls are graced with country decor and plaques sporting home-spun philosophies on life, giving the room a warm, homey feeling that welcomes diners to tarry awhile over their meal.

The experience actually begins along the gravel road on the way to the old homestead, which includes the 100-plus-year-old renovated farm house where the pottery shop is located. The property is far off the beaten path, with a few twists and turns, and visitors can feel their body and spirit begin to relax before they ever arrive.

Owner Chris Barickman, who learned about customer service during her years working for Nordstrom’s, said she has always listened to her customers. So when people began bringing their own picnic lunches to enjoy on the front porch after making their purchases at the pottery shop, she realized they had a good idea.
“We needed timers on the rocking chairs,” she said with a laugh.

When they told her she should open a tearoom, she listened.

She originally opened the pottery shop eight years ago to showcase pottery she found made by hand in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bedford, Va. The pottery, completely USA-made, lead-free, and hand-painted, offers a clean look with a choice of several simple designs.

Although 80 percent of the merchandise is the pottery, shoppers will also find hand-crafted gifts and accessories for the home, including hand-poured candles and blended soaps. Be forewarned—Chris said that 90 percent of the visitors leave with something. But at a variety of price points, the purchase does not have to break the bank.

Emerson Creek will hold its second annual Fall Fest on Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18, featuring a variety of vendors selling antiques, homemade purses, garden art, stained glass, homemade honey and rustic furniture. Barickman said that outdoor seating for lunch will be available, at tables made by setting old doors on top of a bale of hay.

Barickman said she invites everyone to pull up a chair, relax, shop, have a bite to eat, and enjoy the country atmosphere.

Emerson Creek Pottery
and Tea Room

5000B Grove Road
Tea Room:
Wednesday through Saturday,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pottery Shop:
Tuesday through
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reservations are encouraged at
(630) 554-7100
or visit

Women answer the call for quilts and more

Local church organizes project to make 3,009 quilt for those in need
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—When the women of the Sugar Grove Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints Relief Society came up with a goal in April of making 2,009 quilts for their service project, Joyce Smith said she thought it would be impossible.

“None of these ladies had ever quilted before,” she said.

Imagine her surprise when she arrived to drop off her contribution at the church at Bliss and Hankes roads in September, and she saw 3,009 quilts piled up in every corner of the building.

“It was breathtaking,” she said.

Smith, former president of the Relief Society, the women’s service organization within the LDS church, said she suggested the idea of giving the quilts to The Linus Project and Infants in Need, two organizations that provide quilts and blankets to children and infants while they are in the hospital.

The women decided that contributions could be in the form of infant receiving blankets, crocheted and knitted blankets, as well as quilts. Nine church congregations were involved. A number of them held quilting classes, and Smith said some women who had never even sewn before learned how to quilt during the project.

Sugar Grove resident Cynthia Lippincott said the camaraderie that developed among the women during the project was very rewarding. She said there were nights when the women sat around in a circle at the church and worked on the quilts together, and times during which groups of teenage girls gathered together to tie the quilts.

“It was fun,” she said. “The best part was when we started thinking about the children who would soon be cuddled in the blanket. It makes you grateful for the blanket on your own bed.”

Smith conducted several classes on making receiving blankets, and taught her 10-year-old granddaughter Katie how to tie the quilts, a technique used to keep the batting within the quilts evenly distributed. Joyce made a total of 35 quilts, and Katie tied five of them on her own, with a little help from her mom, Sarah.

A “Pie and Tie” day was held in July, during which about 20 women gathered to eat pie and tie quilts. Smith said she was pleased at how well-supported the event was and that so many women showed up to help.

While a majority of the quilts and blankets went to the two U.S. infant organizations, the women sent 1,000 of them to the church’s Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. From there, they will be shipped to people in need throughout the world. Recent international crises to which the LDS church has responded include the earthquake and tsunami in Samoa and the flooding in the Phillipines.

“It’s what we do best,” Lippincott said.

She said the church works with other humanitarian agencies to ship food, clothing, school supplies, newborn kits and hygiene items to people in need world-wide.

Celebrating Homecoming

Aurora University library staffers displayed vintage photos, pennants, and other memorabilia for homecoming weekend Oct. 9-11. Jewel Huggins, Aurora; (left to right) Amy Manion, Sugar Grove; Kay Culhane, Aurora; and Nancy Mactague, Lombard. Courtesy Photo

New American-style pub also is a wee bit Irish

Riley’s opens in downtown Elburn
ELBURN—Downtown Elburn’s flavor is changing, Riley’s Classic American Bar & Grill, opening this weekend at 117 Main St., as well as another pub that will open soon.

Riley’s owners, Michael and Cheryl Rafferty, remodeled the space that was formerly occupied by Emma’s Pub and Cantina.

The Raffertys are not new to the bar business, having operated the Dog & Duck Inn, a tavern in downtown St. Charles, for three years before selling it last December. Cheryl said they decided Elburn would be a good place to open a similar business, with the addition of food.

“There are not a lot of bars in Elburn; we will be just one of three,” she said. “We wanted to give people another choice of a place to go so they don’t have to drive to Geneva or St. Charles.”

Riley’s features a wide variety of classic American fare, from sandwiches to prime rib, as well as a shepherd’s pie, a traditional Irish favorite, and an all-day-every-day Irish breakfast including bangers (Irish sausages).

“We’re not going to push it, but I can’t hide the fact that I’m Irish,” said Michael, a former Dubliner with a pronounced Irish brogue.

Riley’s offers beers ranging from domestic to Irish brews such as Guinness, Newcastle and Bodington.
Seating is available for 15 people at the bar, and 25 at several tables.

In the same block as Riley’s, Kevin Schmidt of Elburn is renovating the space formerly occupied by The Grocery Store, for a bar and grill to open later in the fall.

Photo: Riley’s Classic American Bar & Grill is set to open this weekend at 117 Main St. Riley’s features a variety of American fare, from sandwiches to prime rib. Photo by Ben Draper

Tri City Health Fair offers screenings

ST. CHARLES—The Tri-City Health Partnership will join with The Salvation Army and Delnor Hospital to host the annual Tri City Health Fair on Saturday, Oct. 17. The event offers attendees a variety of free services and screenings provided by local agencies. The fair will be held at the Salvation Army, 1710 S. 7th Ave. in St. Charles.

The fair will offer screenings for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, hearing loss, skin cancer, depression, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and osteoporosis. Flu and pneumonia vaccinations will also be available. The fair will also provide extensive health information on everything from addiction and aging, to cancer prevention, hospice and local medical clinic services.

For more information, call (630) 377-9277.

Krier earns honors

by Ali Boan
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor

KANELAND KRIER—Every spring, high school journalists across the nation rush to send their stories into Quill and Scroll, the international high school journalism honor society. Every September, the judges’ booklets come back. This September brought another honor to the 2008-09 Kaneland Krier: the International First Place award.

“This honor is for everyone on the staff. More than 80 students worked on the paper throughout the year, but it’s especially (an honor) for the 17 editors who worked tirelessly to write, produce, design and edit the paper,” Cheryl Borrowdale, Krier adviser, said.

“The staff has worked incredibly hard to continue Kaneland’s long history of journalistic excellence. The Krier has been completely student-run for 36 years now, and this staff dedicated themselves to producing the best student newspaper they could. It’s a group who set some very high expectations for themselves, and they met them,” Borrowdale said. “I’m glad to see them be recognized for all that they have done.”

Quill and Scroll is an international high school journalism honor society based at the University of Iowa. The judges read student newspapers and news magazines from 44 countries around the world, score each paper and offer critiques. Newspapers that score more than 900 out of 1,000 possible points are given first-place awards. The Krier scored 903 points, which places it among the best student news magazines in Illinois.

“Last year, all the editors worked really hard, and I’m glad that it paid off and we got recognition for it in the end,” senior Erin Rodway, executive editor, said.

Although the Krier received first place and was cited for superior achievement, the Quill and Scroll judges did have suggestions on how to improve.

“The judges told us that we should have our news stories come before the editorial, so we switched the pages up this year and listened to what they said,” Rodway said. “They also said we should have stronger and more unique leads, so we’re trying to do that as best as we can, too.”

The International First Place Award is the most recent of several awards won by the 2008-2009 Krier staff. The Krier also won a Gold Medal from the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association, as well as 19 individual awards. It was the only news magazine in its division to win an award in every category at NISPA.

Executive editor Mel Mazuc, now a senior, took third place nationally in column writing at the National Women’s Press Association contest in July. Mazuc had placed first in state at the Illinois Women’s Press Association contest in April, along with Kathleen Kuhar, ’09, who placed first in state for an in-depth news story.

The 2009-10 staff is working to continue improving the news magazine and accomplish many things.

“We’re going to try to work together with the executive editors so that we share more ideas and hopefully make the Krier a more diverse news magazine,” said junior Maria Kernychyny, centerspread editor.

Photo: Many of the 2008-09 Kaneland Krier staff gathered for a picture in the Krier newsroom. The Krier recently earned the Quill and Scroll International First Place Award.
Courtesy Photo

Knights to return to United Center Feb. 20, 2010

The Kaneland boys’ basketball team will play Geneva High School this season at the United Center, before the Bulls game against the Philadelphia 76ers, on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $28 and will go toward admission into the Kaneland vs. Geneva game as well as the Bulls vs. 76ers game at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Kaneland High School through Brian Johnson at or by calling (630) 365-5100 ext. 347.

The school said it needs to sell as many tickets as possible by Oct. 31.

Last season, Kaneland lost to Geneva on New Year’s Eve at the United Center 58-39.

Photos from last season’s game:

Information via Kaneland’s Twitter feed

Marching band comes home #1

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—The Kaneland High School marching band’s hard work this summer paid off on Sept. 26, when it took first place in its class, as well as best percussion, best color guard and best overall effect in a marching band competition held in Rockford.

The seventh annual Phantom Regiment Band Fest featured a total of 10 bands in the northern Illinois area. Not only did the Kaneland band win recognition in its class by size, but Kaneland came home with the second-highest score overall.

Band teacher Aaron Puckett said the group did an excellent job during the competition and had worked hard to put their show together. They have been practicing for the past four months.

“This is definitely noteworthy,” Puckett said. “It was a big boost to the esprit de corps.”

According to Puckett, most of the 81 members joined the band in fifth grade, the first time it is offered to students as a class. He said that most of the students also take private lessons on their instruments, in addition to practicing with the band during the week.

The band plays during half times for football games, in parades for village festivals and in several marching band competitions during the year.

This is the first time the band has won a first place award, he said.

“It’s really fantastic,” High School senior and drum major Chelsea Robert said. “To win the first competition of the season is a big boost. The band’s really motivated this year.”

Robert, who played saxophone in the band for the past six years, said the marching band is like one big family.

“Everybody contributes to something really big,” she said.

She said that marching while playing an instrument is probably the hardest part.

“It’s very much a sport,” she said. “We train, compete, practice. There’s a million things you have to think about.”

Robert said the color guard adds a good visual element to the music. High School junior Brock Feece, also a drum major, said the band is playing well-written music this year.

Feece said the band members have stepped up their game this year.

“It’s exciting to see it pay off,” he said.

The band plays in two more competitions this year; one in Marengo the weekend of Oct. 10 and11, and the Illinois State University High School Marching Band Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Photo: Kaneland marching band members practice for their next competition in Marengo on Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo by Susan O’Neill

No neighbors named yet for new Walgreens

Developer seeks other businesses for commercial corner
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn—Walgreens, which opened this month in Elburn, is the anchor store for the Prairie Valley North Commercial Center at the northeast corner of Routes 38 and 47, but so far, it’s not anchoring anything.

The commercial complex offers more than 15,000 square feet of additional available retail space. However, village officials do not know what retail tenants the developer has found for the complex, if any.

Assistant Village Administrator David Morrison has not been able to reach the developer, National Shopping Plazas this week, as he had hoped, to inquire about the commercial center’s progress.

The Elburn Herald contacted the developer’s leasing office on Tuesday to ask whether the company had found any additional retail tenants for the Walgreens complex.

Leasing agent Carol Cutler said, “There are possibilities. I am waiting for signed leases,” but she declined to name any potential future tenants.

Prairie Valley North Commercial Center is bordered by Route 47 on the west, First Street on the east, Walker Drive on the north and Route 38 on the south.

Photo: Walgreens is open in Elburn, the anchor store for the Prairie Valley North Commercial Center at the northeast corner of Routes 38 and 47. Walgreens is adjacent to more than 15,000 square feet of available retail space in buildings under construction to the north and the east of the pharmacy. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Fair games

Parent volunteer Karen Gagne paints pink swirls on 3-year-old Brooklynn Mondroski’s cheeks during the Blackberry Creek Elementary School Fun Fair Oct. 2 in Elburn. Hundreds of people attended the event, which featured a host of games and other activities for children. Photo by Martha Quetsch


Knights struggle all game long in 21-7 loss to Glenbard S.
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—In less than desirable conditions, Kaneland football neither reigned nor poured it on Friday.

Glenbard South came into enemy territory for the Knights’ homecoming and came out with a 21-7 win.

Kaneland drops to 4-2 (3-1 Western Sun Conference), while Glenbard South improved to 4-2 (3-1 Western Sun Conference).

This marked the third straight victory for the Raiders over Kaneland. The Knights had not beaten the Raiders sincer 2006. The game marked the last outing between the two football programs for the foreseeable future, due to the dismantling of the WSC, effective at the end of the school year.

The Knights amassed just 125 yards of total offense and succumbed to Glenbard South’s 353 total yards. GS quarterback Trace Wanless passed for just 83 yards, but had a touchdown pass and rushed for 148 himself with a touchdown.

“He’s a special player and a great athlete,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said about the Raiders signal-caller.

Joe Camaliere was 9-for-18 for 92 yards and a touchdown. Ryley Bailey had two catches for 48 yards.

The scoring started on Glenbard South’s third drive, when on the fourth play, Wanless completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Nick Slezak in the flat for a touchdown. Glenbard South’s score gave them a 7-0 lead with :28 left in the frame.

Kaneland fought back with its first drive of the second quarter, with a 7-play, 64-yard drive. Bailey caught a screen and followed his blockers for a 42-yard touchdown that came with 8:13 remaining in the half to tie the score.

Kaneland’s offense struggled thereafter, coming up empty on five second-half drives.

Meanwhile, Glenbard South took the lead (14-7) for good on a 10-yard TD run by fullback John Hentges, capping an eight-play, 60-yard drive with 7:33 left in the third.

After the Knights punted away, Wanless called his own number on the second-play of the next drive and scored on a 52-yard run with 4:46 to go in the third for a 21-7 lead.

The Knights players and coaching staff look to rebound against DeKalb on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10.

DeKalb comes into the contest at 1-5 (0-4) on a five-game losing streak, and got trounced 55-0 on Friday at Geneva.

“We told them next week’s the biggest game of the season, and we want to see how they respond and prove themselves every week and get better,” Fedderly said.

Photo: Knight Joe Camaliere (12) tries to evade Glenbard South tacklers for a positive gain during Friday’s 21-7 loss. The Homecoming night contest marks the last conference outing between the two programs. Photo by Ben Draper

80 years young

Oct. 1, 2009, marked a milestone for the Town and Country Public Library District of Elburn—its 80th birthday. To celebrate the occasion cake was served all day. As an added bonus, patrons who share an October birthday are invited to stop by during October for a birthday surprise. Tech Services Deb Smith, Adult Services Catherine Korthals, Director Mary Lynn Alms, Circulation Manager Kathy Semrick and Youth Services Dwayne Nelson helped the mascot Watson cut the cake to start the festivities.
Courtesy Photo

KHS homecoming spirit

Kaneland High School students showed their spirit during Homecoming festivities. A group of KHS sophomores gathered prior to the pep assembly (bottom photo), a while group of KHS senior girls gathered before the powder puff game (top photo). Courtesy Photos

Longtime emergency communications leader named Waubonsee featured alumnus

SUGAR GROVE—During the past 33 years, Jerald “Jerry” Bleck helped ensure the safety of thousands of local community members through his groundbreaking work as director of Tri-Com Emergency Dispatch Center. For his numerous accomplishments and years of service, the Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees recognized Bleck as the college’s September Featured Alumnus at the board’s Sept. 16 meeting.

Retired for less than three weeks, Bleck’s impact on the field of emergency and public safety communications continues to resonate throughout the region and especially in Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles and Elburn, which are the communities served by Tri-Com.

In 1976 the police and fire departments in each of the Tri-Cities had separate numbers for their police and fire departments, creating six different emergency numbers. That year, Bleck set out to centralize emergency communications when he led the creation of the Tri-Com Emergency Dispatch Center that brought together emergency dispatch services for Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles, allowing residents for all three communities to dial 911 for police and fire assistance. One of the first consolidated dispatch centers in the state, Tri-Com greatly improved communications through its centralized, multi-jurisdictional approach.

“The communities were now able to communicate better, share equipment and share manpower,” Bleck said. “There is much less duplication. You don’t need three systems for everything.”

Throughout his career, Bleck has witnessed significant changes in the emergency communications field and successfully worked to keep Tri-Com at the leading edge of trends and technologies. Starting out with no computers and 10 employees working out of the Geneva Police Department, the agency now has 23 employees and operates out of its own, high-tech, $2.1 million center near the Kane County Judicial Center. Tri-Com also coordinates mutual aid for 15 urban and rural fire and EMS agencies during large-scale incidents.

Bleck began his higher education at Aurora College, now Aurora University. He transferred to Waubonsee in 1969 and was one of the first students to take classes at the college’s new Sugar Grove campus. He earned an associate degree in professional law enforcement from Waubonsee in 1971 and would return to Aurora College to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

While at Waubonsee, Bleck helped spearhead the creation of Waubonsee’s public safety department. Having helped form a Tri-Cities civil defense program, he saw the need for a safety and security presence at Waubonsee’s new campus. Coordinating with a law enforcement instructor, Bleck’s idea resulted in a plan approved by Waubonsee’s Board of Trustees. A key element of the plan, which continues today, is that criminal justice students gain valuable experience as public safety cadets.

Bleck began his career in the field in 1972 as a dispatcher for the Geneva Police Department. Being named Tri-Com’s first and only director at only 26 years old is testament to his strong skills, reputation and knowledge base.

“I’m very sure that if I had not gone in the direction I did, in terms of my education, I would not have had the opportunity to lead Tri-Com,” he said. “My education was the difference, and I am very grateful to both Waubonsee and Aurora (University).”

Beyond helping him get the job, Bleck’s education also enabled him to understand the demands of the officers in the field and better support their work.

“At Waubonsee, I really got involved in learning how to be a police officer,” he said. “It gave me a great deal of insight into what happens in the field and how to give them the tools they need to do their job.”

Working with other colleagues in the emergency dispatch field, Bleck helped create the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), which is dedicated to making 911 technology and emergency communication work universally throughout the United States and Canada. He has served a term as president of NENA, as a regional director for more than six years, and has been inducted into the NENA Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Association of Safety Communication Officials and recently received the national 2009 Communications Center Director of the Year Award, recognizing his service to more than 125,000 Fox Valley residents in a 200-square-mile area, with an annual emergency call request of more than 80,000 each year.

Bleck is a Life Member of the Illinois Police Association and a member of the Kane County Fire Chiefs Association. Since 1989 he has been a member of the Kane County Emergency Telephone System Board and has been its chairman since 2001.

A resident of Geneva, Bleck and his wife, Kathy, have two grown children, Laura and Lisa. In addition to his work with Tri-Com, he has also served as an instructor in Elgin Community College’s Public Safety and Telecommunications program.

Cuento Commigo open house

Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice celebrated the renaming of Cuento Conmigo (Lean on Me), the agency’s program serving Spanish speakers, with an open house on Sept. 10. Program volunteers and staff in attendance were: Carlos Navarro, Aurora; Luis De Leon, Elgin; Manuel Aponte, Aurora; Greg Weider, FVVH Executive Director; Lupe Garcia, North Aurora; Beto Ramirez, Aurora; Adriana Torres, Cuenta Conmigo Director; Lupe Garcia, Elgin; Mark Alleman, Sugar Grove; and Peggy Batty, Batavia. Courtesy Photo

Congressman Foster nominates CASA Kane County for the Angels in Adoption Award

GENEVA—Congressman Bill Foster nominated Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Kane County for the annual Angels in Adoption award.

For the past 10 years, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Program has invited members of Congress to honor a person or organization from their district that has made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in the foster care system.

According to Foster, “For 20 years, CASA Kane County has advocated for abused and neglected children in our community, representing their best interests in court. I am pleased to nominate CASA Kane County for the Angels in Adoption award, as they protect approximately 500 children per year from further abuse and neglect, helping judges to determine the best future living situation for each child.”

In addition to giving members of Congress a firsthand look at the foster care system and adoption-related work taking place throughout the country, the Angels in Adoption program seeks to draw global attention to the positive difference adoption makes in the life of a child.

Once selected, Angels in Adoption nominees travel to Washington D.C. to participate in three days of events designed to train them in using their personal experience to affect change on behalf of children in need of homes, and to celebrate their hard work and dedication to the issue.

CASA Kane County is a nonprofit organization established in 1988 whose mission is to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the Kane County Juvenile and Probate Court system.

CASA volunteers are appointed to 100 percent of all abuse and neglect cases that come into the court system. These volunteers are appointed by the judge to serve as the child’s Guardian ad Litem. The goal of every case is to find a safe, permanent and nurturing home for the children involved.

Children in the child welfare system commonly experience changes in their caseworkers, foster parents, schools, etc. The CASA program prevents these children and their needs from falling through the cracks of the system by providing a trained advocate who is solely focused on that child’s needs.

Last year, CASA Kane County’s 220 CASA/GAL volunteers contributed 17,000 hours to serve 523 children—a record in the agency’s 20-year history.

For more information about the CASA Kane County program, including information about the agency’s volunteer training program, visit

Photo: CASA Kane County Executive Director Gloria Bunce (center) with Juvenile Court Judge Susan Clancy Boles and members of the Tri-City Exchange Club at this year’s annual Hands Around the Courthouse. Courtesy Photo

Community comes through for couple with quadruplets

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Michelle and Matthew Krol, of Elburn, have been blessed with five children, including quadruplets born in August. With those blessings, however, have come unusual challenges, which the community has helped the couple meet.

Early this year, the Krols learned Michelle was pregnant with quadruplets, and at about the same time, Matthew was laid off from his job.

“Difficulties and joys—they always come together,” Michelle said.

When the Krols had their first baby, Ethan, in 2005, their excitement about his birth was followed by fear a few months later, when they found out he had a rare and serious form of cancer.

Since having surgery and treatment at Children’s Memorial Hospital at 10 months of age, Ethan has been cancer-free and is now a healthy 4-year-old, Michelle said.

“He’s doing fantastic,” she said.

Ethan’s four new baby brothers are doing well, too, and all will be released soon from the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush Medical Center.

Michelle said Ethan is thrilled about the new babies. Michelle and Matthew are ecstatic, too, but also are concerned about meeting the bills and additional household expenses that four additional children will bring. One of their needs now is a car large enough to hold the entire family, Michelle said.

Thankfully, many of the Krols’ concerns have been alleviated by an outpouring of community support, she said.

Their neighbors recently held a diaper drive for the babies. Members of St. Peter Church in Geneva, which the family attends, have offered prayers and given them baby clothes, cradles and car seats. Parishioners also organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 8, to benefit the Krol family. Chris Propheter of Geneva, who heard about the family’s situation, is organizing the event.

“I felt so moved by their plight that I felt compelled to do something for the family,” Propheter said.

Propheter also coordinated a youth group effort at a recent St. Peter picnic to raise money for the Krols.

Michelle has been impressed by how many people, including those she and Matthew do not know, have wanted to help. Michelle said even those who do not have much to give have found a way to help them.

“It’s really been very special,” Michelle said. “Nine months ago, we were asking ourselves how it could all come together, how we would make it work.”

The Krols also are thankful for the medical care and compassion they received from other other cancer parents during Ethan’s ordeal. To show their appreciation, the Krols have taken part in the annual Kane County Relay for Life in Geneva for the past several years. In 2007, Ethan was the Kane County Relay for Life Junior Grand Marshal, at age 2.

Krol family fundraiser
All-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner
Hosted by Knights of Columbus
5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8
Riverview Banquets
1117 N. Washington Ave., Batavia
Admission is $10 for adults and children 10 and older;
$5 for children ages 3-10;
and free for younger children
Will hold tickets at the door

To reserve tickets, call
Chris Propheter at (630) 208-6750 or e-mail her at

Photo: Matthew and Michelle Krol of Elburn, with their sons, Ethan, 4, and the new quadruplets, Aiden, Beckham, Liam and Griffin, assembled recently for the first photograph of the entire family together, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. Courtesy Photo

Life-long volunteer honored for service

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—TriCity Family Services (TCFS) offers counseling and other support services to people in need. However, as Sugar Grove resident and TCFS Friend Ann Alexander said, when an individual with an addiction has been able to give up drugs, or a single mom has received the support she needed to get by, or when a fragile marriage has been saved, the people who were helped don’t go around bragging about it.

“It’s a challenge to get the word out,” Alexander said.

Alexander said she has been getting the word out about TCFS for 43 years, ever since her sister-in-law asked her to do some artwork for the agency. She has also raised money for its programs, solicited donations for its silent and public auctions and other fundraising events, and stuck around to clean up after an event has ended.

She was recognized recently for her many years of service to TCFS at its annual luncheon.

There, TCFS gave Alexander the Judy Burgess Award for Outstanding Volunteerism. The award was established in 1998 in honor of the Friends of TriCity Family Services’ founder, Judy Burgess, of St. Charles.

According to a press release from TCFS about the award, “Judy demonstrated unfailing energy, and enthusiasm in establishing and perpetuating ‘The Friends’ to support the work of TriCity Family Services.”

Calling her “the quintessential volunteer,” TCFS Executive Director Jim Otepka said that Alexander is one of the most dedicated board members ever to serve TCFS.

“Long before she began serving on the board, Ann was a dedicated phonathon volunteer and invaluable goodwill ambassador for the agency, always working behind the scenes to educate the community about TCFS and elicit the support of anyone who would listen to her story,” he said.

He said it would be impossible to calculate the volume of resources, both human and monetary, that Ann has brought to the agency. In addition to soliciting special event sponsorships and countless auction items, she has also recruited board members, Friends and new donors, many of whom have become perennial supporters of the agency.

Determined to make sure that every item at a silent auction was bid on, he said that Alexander would often go around and place a bid on an item that seemed to be lagging in interest. He said it was often a humorous scene at the end of the night, watching her walk out with a number of auction items under her arm.

Describing her boundless enthusiasm and energy, he explained how she took it upon herself to single-handedly organize a benefit at the Blackberry Polo Farm, as well as rolling up her sleeves to join the midnight clean-up crew at the annual benefit at the DuPage Airport.

According to Otepka, she even talked her husband out of his old, five-speed compact car, when one of the client families was in need of transportation.

“However, I believe Ann’s most enduring contributions to the life of this agency were more intangible,” he said. “They were the gifts of her spirit. She has inspired all with her passion for her ministry of service and with the joy she exuded in carrying out this ministry. She really does put her faith into action.”

TriCity Family Services
1120 Randall Ct.

Photo: Representatives of Tri City Family Services surround award recipient Ann Alexander. From left, Lori Hansen, Diane Gibson, Judy Burgess, Ann Alexander, Maureen Bird, Cheryl Hurt and Jami Johnson. Courtesy Photo

Women mentor girls through golf

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Rich Harvest Farms and the Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois, located in Sugar Grove, are looking for additional women business professionals to participate in a unique mentoring golf event at Rich Harvest Farms on Saturday, Oct. 17.

Thinking Outside the Tee Box is an annual event that pairs a successful female business professional with a young woman for a day of golf and mentoring. Although golf is on the agenda, the emphasis is on the interaction between the women and the girls, Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois Director Holly Alcala said.

“We don’t even score the event,” she said.

The girls, who represent a wide demographic range, are chosen from those nominated by foundation site coordinators from around the state, and are matched up with the women in terms of careers, hobbies and interests. The girls attend a welcome dinner with a featured speaker on Friday night, with a nine-hole golf scramble and other activities with their mentors on Saturday.

Illinois High School Association administrator Sue Hinrichsen is among the mentors. Hinrichsen, who participated in the first event in 2004, said giving the girls an opportunity to meet successful women professionals and giving them access to places they might not otherwise have is an important part of the weekend.

“Seeing women in positions of business being successful shows the girls that barriers can and have been broken, and that their dreams can become a reality,” she said.

Hinrichsen was paired with Nora Durkins, who was a sophomore in high school at the time. She has since stayed in touch with Durkins, who is now a student in college. She said Durkins, who is from the Kankakee area, is considering a career in charitable work overseas.

Hinrichsen said she has had her own heroes and role models that have helped her along the way, and she gains satisfaction in knowing that she has passed on some of what she was given.

Former youth participant Megan Ewers from Chicago Heights said her experience at the event was exciting.

“They treated us like princesses,” she said.

She and her mentor, then Chicago School District Physical Education Director Patrice Faire, still keep in touch. Currently a senior in high school, Ewers plans on a career that involves teaching and sports, and she continues to play golf.

Ewers played in the recent Junior Solheim Cup Pro-American tournament during the Solheim Cup event in Sugar Grove. She also volunteered during the event, showing kids younger than her how to play golf, and served as a standard bearer during the tournament.

She said she has encouraged her entire family to begin playing golf, and they all enjoy playing together now.

“Even if you don’t become a professional golfer, you can still do it for the rest of your life,” she said. “You can make a lot of friends.”

Mentoring Event

“Thinking Outside the Tee Box”
Saturday, Oct. 17
Sponsored by Rich Harvest Farms and Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois

Mentors needed in these career fields
• Medicine
• Pharmacy
• Culinary arts
• Law
• Child care providers
• Graphic arts, design
• Others

Holly Alcala at (630) 466-0913

Photo: Lynn Keel and Madison Lord prepare to start the 2008 Thinking Outside the Tee Box golf outing. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17. Courtesy Photo

Kaneland uses two late scores in 21-17 win

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—What a note to go out on for the Kaneland-Batavia rivalry.

As Kaneland and Batavia football go out to greener pastures, namely the Northern Illinois Big 12 and the Upstate Eight, the Knights put on one to remember, coming back to beat the Bulldogs on Friday in Maple Park, 21-17.

With the win, the Knights improve to 4-1 and keep pace with Western Sun Conference-leader Geneva at 3-0.

Batavia, in danger of being skipped over for the postseason, fell to 1-4 with an 0-3 mark in WSC play.

Kaneland won the first down battle, 16-10, and outgained the Bulldogs 229-204.

“We didn’t really make any adjustments, we just executed,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “We just kept our heads and didn’t panic. They really showed their maturity.”

In a game played under wet conditions, Joe Camaliere, who had difficulty with many snaps in the first half, went 14-of-21 for 183 yards and a touchdown. The junior found the end zone on two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to key the win.

Senior Ryley Bailey, who caught the first touchdown pass, snared six balls for 105 yards.

Batavia’s Danny Seiton rushed for 94 yards on 17 carries.

Kaneland struck first on a seven-play, 77-yard drive that ended in a 46-yard touchdown pass to Bailey with 8:46 to go in the first. Bailey reversed his field and avoided tacklers on his way to the end zone. The extra point attempted was botched and kept the score at 6-0.

With five errant snaps having to be recovered, the Knights offense spun its wheels, allowing the Bulldogs to crawl back into the game.

A 12-play, 93-yard drive ended in a 24-yard touchdown run by Seiton and gave Batavia a 7-6 lead with 2:27 remaining in the half.

Batavia pounced again, thanks to a Braden Hartmann score from the 1 with 2:10 to go in the third quarter. That sent Kaneland to a 14-6 deficit.

A 13-play drive that continued into the fourth quarter for the Knights was keyed by Blake Serpa, who got nine touches. On first-and-10 from the Bulldogs’ 11, Camaliere ran to the right side of the end zone and went in for the score with 9:23 to go. The QB then found Taylor Andrews in the middle of the end zone for a two-point conversion to tie matters at 14.

Batavia came right back with an 11-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal by Mike Clopton to give BHS a 17-14 lead with 3:41 remaining.

Starting from its own 35, Kaneland got an Andrews catch on second down. Bailey caught a 15-yard pass play at the 30 and had the ball stripped, but the officials ruled his forward progress stopped.

Four plays later, Camaliere recovered from a broken play at the line to score from the three with 2:07 left, putting the Knights up to stay.

Batavia failed to convert on fourth down, and QB Noel Gaspari was stopped by Serpa.

“We could just keep going,” Blake Serpa said. “Offensively, we knew it was going to come. Defensively, we knew we had to stop them.”

In sophomore action, Kaneland lost to Batavia 14-7. Batavia beat KHS in the freshman contest on Monday, 17-14.

Kaneland hooks up with 3-2 Glenbard South at Peterson Field on Friday, Oct. 2.

Glenbard South defeated Kaneland on Oct. 3, 2008, 47-31.

Photo: Kaneland’s win was made possible on both sides of the ball, but things really got going in the fourth quarter. No. 32 Brock Dyer stopped Bulldogs RB Edmund Kabba on a third-and-2 from the Knights 26. Dyer set up shop in a hole made by blocking and won the duel. Batavia settled for a field goal, but KHS came back with a winning TD. Photo by Ben Draper

Lady Knights conquer court

by Mike Slodki
Lady Knights volleyball doesn’t mind seeing carbon copies of matches, as long as they turn out to be wins.

Much like a previous conference win three weeks ago at Glenbard South, Kaneland found itself trailing after one game before coming back to beat host Yorkville on Thursday, 14-25, 25-21. 25-13.

Kaneland also disposed of Rochelle in a road jaunt by a 25-20, 25-9 final, and beat WSC powerhouse DeKalb (14-4) on Tuesday at KHS.

The wins bring KHS up to 7-7, with a 5-3 mark in Western Sun Conference play.

Jess Lubic had 27 assists and three aces.

“We worked the kinks out, and we were able to relax between game one and game two. We had missed six serves in the first game. We just can’t do that,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said.

Kaneland was down 7-3 early and 20-11 before succumbing to a Lady Foxes kill to end the game.

Yorkville became error-prone, and Kaneland took advange with a 7-1 lead before YHS tied it at eight. Front-line play of Lubic and Mackenzie Curran keyed a 10-3 surge. Later, a side out gave KHS a 22-18 cushion before a Lubic block gave the Lady Knights a second-game win.

Against the Hubs, Lubic had 10 assists and three aces.

Lubic had 24 assists, four kills, three blocks and four aces against the Barbs, while Abby VanDerHeyden added four kills and eight digs. Taylor Bradbury contributed with six digs.

Photo: Lady Knights Kylie Siebert and Abby VanDerHeyden look to save the ball during Kaneland’s win over DeKalb on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Slodki

What is an A?

District asked to review current grading scale
By Ben Draper
KANELAND—Kaneland School District officials plan to study the grading scale currently implemented district-wide during the 2010-11 school year.

But that is not soon enough for some that attended Monday’s School Board meeting held at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove.

Pedro Rivas, a former candidate for the D302 School Board, asked the board to move the study to this school year.

“I wish to put in a request to expedite this process,” Rivas said during the public comments portion of the meeting.

Rivas was not alone, as 16 others in attendance stood and supported what Rivas had said.

Currently, the Kaneland School District uses a scale that makes an A grade between 93-100 percent, a B grade between 86-92 percent, a C grade 78-85 percent, a D grade 70-77 percent, and 69 and below an F grade.

According to Batavia High School’s website FAQ, an A grade is anything between 90-100 percent, a B grade 80-89 percent, a C grade 70-79 percent, a D grade 60-69 percent, and anything under 60 percent is considered a failing grade.

This, according to Rivas and others in attendance at the meeting, puts Kaneland students at a disadvantage when it comes time to apply for college.

The sentiment from the group of 17 was not lost on board member Bob Myers.

“How does our system impact how our students get into college?,” Myers asked. “If there is such an outcry, I am just wondering if we can put it to bed sooner.”

Curriculum Director Sarah Mumm explained that there is a strategy behind the fact that the review process is scheduled for the 2010-11 school year.

“The reason we put it (during the 2010-11 school year) is strategic—we have kind of laid out this school year to lead up to the review next year,” she said.

Mumm explained that moving up the review process would mean jumping to the end before a solution could be properly worked out.

“You’ll start the discussions, but the background pieces won’t be done yet,” she said.

Board member Diane Piazza expressed a desire to move the decision to the current school year, but added that she would like to see the logic behind why the study was planned for next year.

“Knowing (the administration) had a study planned, I want to know whether that needs to impact my stance,” she said. “It would be nice if you could show us how those go together.”

One parent in attendance, Teresa Witt, said the board should be cautious to characterize the grading issue as an “outcry,” and that many parents, including herself, support the current system.

Witt was not opposed to a study into why the district uses a particular grading scale, but did not see the need for a decision this school year.

“How would this transition happen? If my son got a 91 percent (currently “B” grade on Kaneland’s scale) in the current system, and then it changed that 90 percent is an A, do you (retroactively) change the grade?” Witt asked. “I think the higher grading system fits into the School Improvement Plan.”

School Board members expressed a desire to at least discuss informally some of the logic behind the different grading scales.

The administration will present an informal discussion item regarding the grade scale issue at the next board meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Best defense against the flu is a good offense: Vaccination and education

COUNTY—As we enter the flu season, the Kane County Health Department wants to remind residents that even a single sick family member can cause disruption in a family’s day-to-day life.

For example, a sick child can force a parent to stay home from work, possibly losing wages. Businesses, too, can suffer if substantial numbers of their workforces are out ill or are staying home caring for an ill child.

“The best defense against the flu is a good offense. In other words, taking pre-emptive measures such as getting vaccinated and following the Three Cs (cover your cough, clean your hands, contain your germs by staying home) are the best ways to prevent getting or spreading the flu,” said Paul Kuehnert, Kane County Health Department Executive Director.

The Health Department recommends keeping the sick person in a room separate from the common areas of the house (for example, a spare bedroom with its own bathroom, if that’s possible). Keep the sickroom door closed. Unless necessary for medical care or other necessities, people who are sick with an influenza-likeillness should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible, including avoiding travel, for at least 24 hours after fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities (Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). This is to keep from making others sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods

Vaccine for the seasonal flu is now available at many pharmacies or from your physician. A vaccine for the H1N1 virus is expected to be available in October.

More information about the seasonal or H1N1 flu viruses is available at the Health Department’s Web site at

Providing safe care

When providing care to a household member who is sick with influenza, the most important ways to protect yourself and others who are not sick are to

• remind the sick person to cover their coughs, and clean their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after coughing and/or sneezing

• have everyone in the household clean their hands often, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Children may need reminders or help keeping their hands clean

• ask your health care provider if household contacts of the sick person—particularly those contacts who may be pregnant or have chronic health conditions—should take antiviral medications such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) or zanamivir (Relenza®) to prevent the flu

• If you are in a high risk group for complications from influenza, you should attempt to avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with household members who are sick with influenza.

• Infants should not be cared for by sick family members.

Photo by Mayr, cc

Stoplights coming to site where fatal accidents occurred

State begins engineering work for project at Route 38, Meredith Road
by Martha Quetsch
Maple Park—Because of two fatal accidents at Route 38 and Meredith Road intersection and many crashes with injuries there, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plans to install stoplights at the site, possibly by 2011.

IDOT program development chief Brian Carlson said Monday that the state is pursuing an aggressive schedule for the signalization project, but that what will drive its progress is the right-of-way acquisition. Land will be needed on which to install turning lanes, signal poles and possible drainage improvements.

He said following engineering and design of the project this fall, land acquisition could take 12 to 16 months. The process will include negotiating for land purchase from property owners, and if they do not agree to sell, taking ownership of the land through the federal government’s eminent domain laws.

Carlson said if all goes well, the stoplights’ construction could begin in spring of 2011.

Until early 2008, the intersection was controlled by stop signs only on both sides of Meredith. There were no stop signs on Route 38 at the intersection.

Following several accidents at the intersection in 2006 and 2007, including two fatal crashes, the state installed flashing lights on both roadways, warning approaching drivers of the intersection. In addition, in early 2008, the state installed stop signs on Route 38 at the intersection. County officials including former board member Jan Carlson of Elburn, urged the state to install those additional signs and signals.

The stoplight project will cost $1 million. It is among the state’s 2010-15 Highway Improvement Program projects, totaling more than $11 billion, announced last spring.

The local project will be funded, in part, with federal dollars the state received for safety improvements at locations where serious accidents have occurred, Carlson said.

During the next few months, IDOT engineers will do environmental screenings including wetland and drainage surveys at the Route 38 and Meredith intersection. When that and other engineering work is completed, it must be approved by the Federal Highway Administration so that the project qualifies for federal funding.

“We hope to get both done by the end of the year,” Carlson said. “Then we can commence with land acquisition for the right of way.”

Since Route 38 is an Illinois highway, the project will not involve participation from the Kane County Department of Transportation (KDOT), although county officials support the state’s installation of the stoplights as a way to improve safety at the intersection, said KDOT director Carl Schoedel.

No serious or fatal accidents have occurred since IDOT installed the stop signs on Route 38 at Meredith in January 2008. Accidents have occurred there since then, however, including one as recently as Aug. 28.

That morning, a two-car crash occurred when the driver of one of the vehicles failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Department. A car driven by Jan Dabrowski, 77, of Florence, Colo., was westbound on Route 38 approaching Meredith Road. Another vehicle, driven by Susan Phillips, 60, of Sycamore, was southbound on Meredith Road. Phillips entered the intersection to continue south and was struck by Dabrowski, who failed to stop at the stop sign. No one was injured.

Kaneland Superintendent Charles McCormick said he has been pleased that the flashing light signals have worked well to alert drivers about the intersection. However, Kaneland School District officials support the signalization project, district transportation director Jim Ogle said.

“We are waiting for the installation,” Ogle said.

Crash history
The state plans to increase traffic control at Route 38 and Meredith Road in Virgil Township by installing four-way traffic stop lights at the intersection, which is just north of Kaneland’s high school and middle school on Meredith Road. The following accidents are among those that occurred at the intersection of Route 38 and Meredith Road in Virgil Township before the state installed stop signs on Route 38 at the site in early 2008.

• On Nov. 9, 2007, Carrie Hilliker, of Bradley, Ill., died from injuries she sustained in an accident at the intersection. She had been driving north on Meredith Road and when she entered the intersection, her vehicle was struck by another car and a semi-truck on Route 38. A passenger in Hilliker’s car was severely injured in the crash.

• On July 14, 2007, a St. Charles police officer Vaugh Olson, of Maple Park, was killed and two Elburn teen-agers were critically injured in a crash at the intersection. The teens, Melanie Carlson and Mitchell Westerlin, spent several months undergoing surgeries for and recovering from their injuries.

• On July 12, 2007, seven people were injured in a two-car collision, when a vehicle carrying three Naperville teenagers entered the intersection from Meredith Road after stopping at the stop sign. The teens’ car was hit by a vehicle traveling through the intersection on Route 38. One of the youths suffered a broken neck.

Between July 2006 and July 2007, 16 accidents took place at the intersection, with half of those involving injuries, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.

Pilots bring dogs to local families

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—A local family helped a dog complete a long, life-saving journey that began in a Georgia shelter, continued through a rescue flight that landed in Joliet, Ill., and culminated in a good night’s sleep in the animal’s new Sugar Grove home.

The Novacks, parents Mark and Staci and their two daughters, are a Rover Rescue foster family who picked up the black and white chihuahua on Sunday during the Geneva PetSmart’s Adoption Day.

The dog’s journey was supported by multiple volunteers and nonprofit organizations. The rescue flight was through a program called Pilots N Paws.

Jon Wehrenberg, a retired businessman and a Pilots N Paws pilot from Knoxville, Tenn., met Elisa Crawford from Rover Rescue at the Joliet Regional Airport on Sunday morning. The passengers in his Cessna 210 were 17 dogs from a Georgia shelter, where, because of overcrowding, they would have been euthanized.

Wehrenberg said he began transporting dogs from shelters to rescue organizations two years ago, when friend and Pilots N Paws co-founder Debi Boies needed to get a dog from Tallahassee, Fla., to its new home in Tennessee. Six months later, they founded Pilots N Paws, and since then, he has recruited nearly 1,000 pilots to help transport the dogs.

“(Transporting the animals) by car is hard on them,” he said. “It’s hard to find enough people, and you end up with relays of an hour or more at a time.”

Jon Wehrenberg
Jon Wehrenberg

By flying the dogs, the entire trip takes about two hours. The animals are not moved, and they end up getting fairly relaxed during the ride. He said he has flown 320 dogs from high-kill shelters to places where the dogs will be offered a new life.

Wehrenberg said the need is so great because in many places, especially in the South, spaying and neutering is not a common practice, and shelters end up with more dogs than they can care for. He said that in Knoxville alone, they euthanize between 70 and 100 dogs a day.

Once Wehrenberg landed in Joliet, the chihuahua and the other dogs were transferred into the care of Rover Rescue.

The Aurora-based organization specializes in rescuing dogs from shelters and abusive homes and placing them in new homes. The organization coordinates with a network of dog foster families, which includes local families from Elburn, Maple Park and Sugar Grove, like the Novacks. The organization also works with local PetSmart stores, which regularly provides space for Rover Rescue to bring in animals for an Adoption Day.

Rover Rescue President Kelly Janulis said that although her organization has been working with Pilots N Paws only a short time, she is grateful to Wehrenberg and all the other pilots who donate their time, their plane and their fuel to save these dogs.

“A life is a life is a life,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s from Illinois or Georgia.”

She said that Pilots N Paws makes it much easier to save more dogs and bring them to a loving home.

Two of the 17 flown in on Sunday have already found permanent homes, while the remaining 15 reside in temporary foster homes.

The Novacks, one of the Rover Rescue foster families, have two other rescue dogs at home. Mark said they brought one of the dogs home when she was pregnant, and have since adopted out her five puppies.

He said that initially, it was hard for his daughters to give the puppies up for adoption.

“But they know if we kept all of them, we couldn’t offer another dog a home,” he said.

People who wish to adopt a dog can find pictures of them along with descriptions of them and their temperaments on the Rover Rescue website, and can make arrangements to visit the dog at the foster care home to see if it is a good fit. They can also come to a PetSmart adoption event to meet the dogs.

Novack said that he and his wife talk with the prospective adopters to ensure that the dog and its future family will be a good match.

“Usually there’s a dog out there that’s a good fit for every family,” he said.

While a dog awaits adoption, the foster home family can provide a natural environment in which the dogs will thrive, and socialize and train the dog, making it more likely that the adoption will be successful.

For more information about Rover Rescue or to view adoptable pets, visit

Top photo: A Rover Rescue dog up for adoption at Sunday’s Adoption Day at the PetSmart in Geneva gets a big hug from foster home family member Staci Novack. Photo by Susan O’Neill

XC runs through Eddington

by Mike Slodki
Boys XC takes the fifth at Eddington
MAPLE PARK—Looks like the annual Eddington Invite brings out the best in teams besides KHS.

Saturday had the Knights finishing fifth out of a tough 16-team field. With 122 points, the Knights finished ahead of Westmont (157). Crystal Lake Central took the Eddington crown with 92 points, followed by Geneva (93) and Dundee-Crown (97). Additional Western Sun Conference rival Sycamore finished fourth.

Trevor Holm of Kaneland provided a nice showing with a 16th place finish (16 minutes, 47 seconds) to be the top Knight runner. Dundee-Crown’s Anthony Manfrin took the race at 15:40. Logan Markuson of Kaneland finished 23rd at 17:06. Next for the Knights was Edgar Valle at 25th with a time of 17:10.

“I think there’s a ton of great competition at meets like this,” Markuson said. “It’s still kind of early in the season. We have some of our top runners out. I think we’re pretty close to what we’ll see later in the season. A lot of people ran well.”

Dominic Furco was 28th at 17:17.

On the F/S side, the Knights won the 12-team mix with 69 points. Clayton Brundige of Kaneland finished seventh at 18:00.

Strang, Dodis key girls XC at Eddington
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland girls had a productive finish at the Eddington Invite at Elburn Woods on Saturday.

But so did at least eight other teams in the annual event hosted by KHS.

While Kaneland nabbed 231 points, ahead of Westmont’s 267 in the 17-team girls battle, Geneva, with four top-10 finishes, earned the prize (27 points), followed by Lisle’s Benet Academy (91) and Glenbard East (145). Western Sun Conference rivals Rochelle (198) and Sycamore (207) finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Lady Viking Kelly Whitley won the Elburn Woods course with a time of 18 minutes, 49 seconds.

For the Lady Knights, Andie Strang finished 17th at 20:23, followed by upstart Abby Dodis at 29th, with a time of 20:48. Lady Knight Kris Bowen was next in the black-and-white at 21:00, good for 36th place. Shaela Collins took 70th at of 22:21.

“We have some top runners out,” KHS runner Andie Strang said. “We’re really not going to know how good we’re going to be until later. This race was OK, I wish I ran a little bit faster.”

The frosh-soph girls race was won by Geneva with 47 points, followed by Benet Academy at 67.

Photo Gallery: Aleburn 2009

Aleburn takes over Elburn
More than 250 people attended the second annual Aleburn festival at the Elburn American Legion last Saturday. The band Swing Assembly including Randy Ream entertained the crowd, while children like Zach Innocenti, 11, got up-close and personal with an Elburn and Countryside Fire truck at the touch-a-truck program. The event also featured a bags tournament and local vendors.
Photos by Martha Quetsch
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Crosby named Minors’ Pitcher of the Year

COMSTOCK PARK, MI—The Detroit Tigers announced Sept. 23 that left-handed pitcher Casey Crosby has been named the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Crosby went 10-4 with a 2.41 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 104.2 innings pitched with the Whitecaps this season. He also put together an amazing second half, going 5-2 with a 0.78 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched and was named to the Midwest League Postseason All-Star team.

This is the fourth straight season that a Whitecap has been named the Tigers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Jon Kibler won the award last season. Duane Below took home the award in 2007 and Burke Badenhop was honored in 2006.