Category Archives: Featured

Knights soccer opens 1-0 against Marengo

MAPLE PARK—Against the always physical Marengo Indians, the host Knights soccer squad held its own, enough to open 2009 with a win.

The 4-2 win on Tuesday started off with a 1-1 tie after the first 40 minutes, but Jordan Escobedo’s goal six minutes into the second half gave Kaneland a 2-1 lead.

“I called for the ball and Kevin (Szatkowski) gave me a nice pass. I’m excited, it was the first goal in high school,” Escobedo said.

Kevin Szatkowski had three assists. Derek White had two goals with Alex Gil adding another goal. Joe Garlinsky had an assist.

The Knights host Wheaton Academy on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Photo: Mark Breon of Kaneland goes all out to protect the net in Kaneland’s season-opening 4-2 win over Marengo on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Slodki

Majority of board says no to video gambling

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A majority of trustees want to ban video gambling in Elburn. So although a new state law would allow the activity, it will not be coming to Elburn while the current board is in place, unless one of the opposing trustees changes his, or her, mind.

Following its second discussion in a week about whether to allow video gambling in Elburn, the Village Board on Monday voted against it. The board then directed the village attorney to draft an ordinance banning video gambling in the village.

Only one trustee, Jerry Schmidt, voted in favor of allowing video gambling in the village, saying it would be a pro-growth measure.

“If we ban it in Elburn and they have it in other towns, people are going to go there instead,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said video gambling also would boost the village budget through tax revenue it would produce.

Voting to ban video gambling were trustees Patricia Romke, Bill Grabarek, Jeff Walter and Ken Anderson. Trustee Gordon Dierschow abstained from voting, saying the village should take more time to decide.

Grabarek said he wanted to ban video gambling now, as a “pre-emptive measure,” before the state adopts regulations he worries might prevent the village from banning it later. He said state estimates of tax revenue that video gambling could generate are way overstated. He added that most of the money from video gambling would go to bar owners.

“To me, that keeps the money within too small a circle,” Grabarek said.

The reason Romke voted for the ban was that she wants family-oriented businesses in Elburn, and if she had small children, she would not want to take them into an establishment with gambling. She said she finds the possibility of Elburn being a gambling destination, “scary.”

“It does not, in my opinion, fit the village of Elburn,” Romke said.

Trustee Ken Anderson is opposed to having video gambling in the village, because it could promote addiction to the activity, which he said can cause serious problems for gamblers and their families, he said.

Trustee Walter said most of the residents he has talked to about the issue are against having video gambling in Elburn. Like Grabarek, he said unless the village places a moratorium now on video gambling, he is concerned that it could lose the opportunity for that control.

Village President Dave Anderson said he understands the fear of not being able to opt out later, but is concerned that future regulations also might prevent the village from reversing a ban on video gambling.

When the ordinance banning video gambling is ready for the Village Board to vote on, he would not participate unless his vote was required to break a tie.

3rd-graders strike out for stroke

Awareness, early intervention key in childhood stroke
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove third-graders Alex and Amanda Malawski threw out the first pitch at the Schaumburg Flyers baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 13, as a part of a Strike out for Stroke event. The activity was a fundraiser and awareness event connected with the Alexian Brothers Hospital’s support group for stroke supporters.

Alex and Amanda, born 11 weeks premature, both suffered strokes when they were born. Due to the strokes, each has a mild case of cerebral palsy. Alex’s muscles on his left side were affected, as were Amanda’s muscles on her left side.

“They’ve been in therapy since they were born,” said Lori, their mom.

Lori said she joined a support group for parents dealing with childhood stroke when she found out about it from a flyer on a doctor’s office desk. The group, Childhood Stroke and Hemiplegia Connections of Illinois, has been a tremendous help to her.

Lori said that although some parents are afraid to find out what might be wrong with their child, the biggest thing that she and her husband have learned in speaking with other parents is the importance of early intervention.

She said some parents are afraid to find out what might be wrong with their child.

Her husband went to Washington, D.C. in 2006 to lobby Congress and to Springfield this year regarding raising the awareness of childhood strokes and the importance of hospital guidelines for what signs to look for to recognize a stroke in a child.

Lori said that Kaneland John Shields Elementary School has been wonderful in working with her to obtain what she needs for her children, but that other people might not be that lucky.

She encourages parents to join a support group, because it is easy to feel lost when they encounter this problem.

“People are not alone,” she said. “My husband and I feel seasoned in all of this. You need to ask for what you need for your kids.”

Through the Fox Valley Special Education Program and the Kaneland School District, Alex and Amanda are involved in a number of physical activities that have also helped them, including as Sunshine through Golf, a tennis camp, a swimming team and adaptive sports, such as water skiing.

They both got the ball across the plate, Lori said of the baseball event. Alex’ pitch was very dramatic, as he began with a big wind-up.

“It was really exciting and nervous,” Amanda said. “My whole family was there cheering for me.”

“She’s very competitive,” Lori said of Amanda. “She won’t let this get in her way.”

Photo: Alex and Amanda Malawski of Sugar Grove, accompanied by pitcher, Carmen Pignatiello of the Schaumburg Flyers, threw out ceremonail first pitches before the game on Aug. 13 at Alexian Field. Photo by Mike Slodki

Risk factors for pediatric stroke include:
• Sickle-cell disease
• Congenital or acquired heart disease
• Head and neck infections
• Head trauma
• Dehydration
• Maternal history of infertility
• Maternal preeclampsia
For more information about pediatric strokes and support groups, visit

Teen ready to rock in American Miss contest

Elburn youth will compete in local pageant
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Ashley Taylor of Elburn wants to act when she grows up, and she already has performed in two school theatrical productions. Next weekend, the 12-year-old will take the stage again, as a contestant in the National American Miss Pageant Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6 at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

The state-level contest winner will receive $1,000 and a trip to Hollywood and Disneyland, and go on to compete in the national pageant. Although Ashley finds those prizes enticing, what really interested her was the contest’s opportunity to practice poise in front of an audience, a must for any actor, she said.

Unlike other pageants, contestants do not model swimsuits or wear make-up, although the competition does feature a formalwear category. Its main focus is on personality and presentation, which appeals to Ashley.

“I like that it is not just about what is on the outside but what is on the inside, which is what really matters,” Ashley said. “It’s about being confident and knowing you are a valuable person.”

Other contest categories are a personal introduction and an interview.

Ashley also chose to take part in an optional category, acting. She will deliver several lines of a commercial for Target teen wear, starting, “Girls, are you ready to rock?”

Ashley already has raised the $440 in pledges required to participate in the pageant, from sponsors including local businesses Harry Krausbe DDS, Bob Jass Chevrolet, Party Animals, J & R Herra, Papa G’s, the Shipping Place, and Xsport fitness, and family members, said her mother, Maria Taylor.

Now, Ashley is looking for a full-length gown to wear, one that expresses her personality but is not too expensive, she said.

During the next two weeks, she also will be polishing her commercial segment lines and responses to interview questions such as, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She already knows the answer to that question.

“I’ve always wanted to be an actress,” said Ashley, who was in the cast of “Oklahoma” and “Much Ado About Coconuts” at Kaneland Middle School.

Solheim rookies excited to be here

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—U.S. Solheim Cup team member Kristy McPherson said they haven’t had a chance to see much of the area since they arrived earlier this week, but she’s not complaining.

“They’ve been keeping us here, but it’s not a bad place to be,” she said.

McPherson was referring to the spacious grounds of Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove, where later this week the team will play the European women’s team.

“I really wanted to go to Lollapalooza, but oh well,” Michelle Wie said.

The Solheim Cup, a prestigious international team event in women’s golf, features the best women professionals from the United States against the top European-born players from the Ladies European Tour (LET).

McPherson said the last time some of the team members came to practice at Rich Harvest Farms, they went to a Cubs game, but not this time.

“They’ve been keeping us pretty busy,” she said.

When they are not practicing, McPherson said the team members have been spending their time horseback riding, fishing, visiting owner Jerry Rich’s car museum, biking around the property or engaging each other in putting contests and table games, such as ping pong.

The three rookies, Brittany Lang, McPherson and Michelle Wie, said they were excited to have the chance to play in this tournament with the other, more seasoned players for whom they have much respect.

“She (Captain Beth Daniels) was always my idol,” McPherson said. “I always looked up to her, and when I found out she was going to be the captain, that just gave me more motivation to want to be on this team.”

Growing up in South Carolina, McPherson said that she grew up watching Daniels play.

“It’s a dream come true,” McPherson said. “The coolest thing is just hanging out with 11 cool girls that are just good friends, and for one week every two years, we get to play with each other, pull for each other and have each other’s backs and play for our country together.”

At 19, Wie is the youngest member of the U.S. team. She has set multiple records during her junior and amateur careers, beginning at age 10, when she became the youngest to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2000.

Chosen as a captain’s pick, Wie said she was honored and thankful that Captain Beth Daniels picked her for the team.

“I’ll do my best not to let her down,” she said.

Photo: Fellow Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup team player Kristy McPherson (left) listens as Michelle Wie responds to a question during a press conference at the Solheim Cup event on Tuesday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Kaneland senior loses life in Campton Hills crash

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Police investigators are trying to determine the cause of a Campton Hills crash that killed Kaneland High School senior Kelsey M. Barsic, 17, of Elburn.

At 6:10 a.m. Tuesday, Campton Hills Police responded to the crash scene after residents reported seeing a vehicle against a tree at 41W323 Burlington Road. Police Chief Gregory Anderson said officers found Barsic dead in the vehicle, a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu.

The Kane County Coroner’s office will establish the approximate time of death. Anderson said that based on the condition of the victim’s body, she had been deceased for some time. He said it was apparent that the injuries she sustained in the crash caused her death, although the coroner will make the final determination.

The westbound vehicle Barsic had been driving apparently left the south side of the roadway, traveled for a significant distance through an open field and struck a tree of about three feet in diameter, Anderson said. There was no apparent evidence of braking or steering maneuvers before the vehicle struck the tree, he added.

“The tracks in the grass showed the vehicle moved in a straight line across the field,” Anderson said.

Police and the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team are trying to determine the speed Barsic at which had been driving based on evidence at the scene.

Anderson said based on interviews with the victim’s family on Tuesday, Barsic had been at a friend’s house Monday night and was possibly going to another friend’s home when the accident happened.

It is not known yet whether Barsic was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Amy Renwick, of the coroner’s office, said toxicology test results could take up to three weeks.

Barsic was not wearing a seatbelt nor did the air bag deploy during the crash; if the victim had been wearing a seatbelt, she may have survived, Anderson said.

Conley Funeral Home is making the funeral arrangements for the Barsic family.

Kaneland High School officials learned of Barsic’s death on Tuesday. They said she would have started her senior year when classes begin Aug. 26.

Barsic was an outgoing, friendly girl who was enrolled in the health occupations program at Fox Valley Career Center, working toward her certification as a nurse’s assistant, Assistant Principal Diane McFarlin said.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8p.m., with a wake service to begin at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A mass to celebrate her life will begin at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 25, at St. Gall Church. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at S.S. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Virgil.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the “Kelsey Barsic Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Fire leaves SG family with nothing

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—A fire in Sugar Grove last week left a Kaneland family homeless and two youngsters and their mom with nothing but the clothes they were wearing at the time.

The fire, which started in the garage of the Lawrence family’s townhome on Capital Drive on Aug. 5, gutted their home and did structural damage to their next door neighbor’s homes on both sides.

Jordyen, a Kaneland High School freshman, her brother Ryan, a sophomore, and a friend were home at the time. All three escaped the house unharmed. Sugar Grove firefighters rescued one of their cats, but the other is unaccounted for.

“It took an hour to get the fire under control,” Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said. “Unit C (the Lawrence’s home) will have to be torn down completely,”

Although the fire is under investigation, Kunkel said there is nothing suspicious about its origin.

Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer said that a number of people within the community have stepped up to help the family.

“It’s a bad time for this to happen,” Sauer said. “People are getting ready to go back to school. Just think of it. They literally had nothing left.”

Kaneland High School Assistant Principal Diane McFarlin has been in touch with Melissa Lawrence, the mom. The family is temporarily staying with some friends in the area.

McFarlin said that the family’s friends, neighbors and church community have all been ready, willing and able to help.

“It’s been awesome,” she said.

Castle Bank employee Lisa Lund said that since Melissa and her children are currently staying with friends, they are still in the process of figuring out what they need.

“She’s just pretty overwhelmed,” Lund said.

Long Time: Girls hoops great gives back

by Mike Slodki
SUGAR GROVE—It wasn’t too long ago that Lyndsie Long was running up and down the court draining three-pointers against the likes of Batavia and Geneva, for highly successful Kaneland Lady Knight basketball squads.

The problem for opposing teams is that she still runs up and down the court at the college level, making life miserable for College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin teams.

However, during this week, she’s taking her tempo down a notch in an effort to teach. Long is hosting her first basketball camp for girls at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School in Sugar Grove.

“I want to be a P.E. teacher, and I obviously want to coach basketball,” said Long, entering her senior year at Elmhurst as a P.E. major. “I’ve done a few camps this summer and thought that maybe I should try to do my own camp, and I set it up with the (Sugar Grove) Park District.”

Long scored over 1,500 points for those noteworthy Lady Knights clubs, along with teammates Kelsey Flanagan and Jessica Lund, and in 2005 helped lead Kaneland to a sectional championship contest.

Long eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for Elmhurst back in January for coach Tethnie Werner’s roster and was the first Bluejay to be named to an all-region team from and is a three-time all-CCIW member.

What better player for area girls to learn the game from?

“In my Kaneland days, I think I was more set on one aspect of the game. Now, I know the whole game, and I’ve learned so much from college players and coaches,” Long said.

Long’s Bluejays were 14-11 in the 2008-09 season.

Photo: Current Elmhurst College Bluejay and former Kaneland Lady Knight Lyndsie Long emonstrates some skills on Monday during her basketball camp, which takes place this week at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School. Photo by Mike Slodki

Owls bring people together

Contributed by Janet Doherty of Sugar Grove
Sugar Grove/Elburn—I know I have always talked about how wonderful it is to live in a rural setting and today was no exception. During the past several weeks we have been listening to two Great Horned Owls carry on conversations through the night and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.

Our neighbors, Brian and Cindy Babka, have been following the pair of juvenile owls around our neighborhood since the first time they heard the screeching. Brian armed himself with a high-powered light and tracked the birds to the many rooftops of their neighbors. Other families in the neighborhood have joined in and taken an interest in the pair of owls, following them around just to get a glimpse of their beauty. Little did my neighbor, Michele Bruno, know she would get an up-close and personal meeting with one of the two owls.

On the morning of Aug. 5, as she walked around the house, she noticed the large, brown bird floating in her pool. Its head was not submerged and it was still alive, neck deep in water. Not knowing what to do, Michele called her neighbor over to help assess the situation. The two immediately started calling rescue agency after rescue agency only to find none of them were able to help and if they might have been able to assist, it would have been too late to save the bird. Fearing they could further injure the bird or injure themselves, Michele luckily tracked down Sugar Grove Police Officer, Tom Barna.

Officer Barna called for assistance and another officer arrived on the scene. Together the two officers were able to rescue the owl from the water by placing a noose over the bird’s neck and gently placing it into a lidded box. Knowing just what the owl needed, Officer Barna called the Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Elburn, who then graciously took the scared, drenched owl into its care. A few hours had passed and our curiosity could not be contained, we needed to know what happened to our neighborhood owl. We called the Fox Valley Wildlife Center and listened to the hours but didn’t understand that the hospital is not open to the public. Upon seeing the faces of our kids huddled around the doorway, the staff couldn’t help but provide us with a picture of our friend in his cage. They gave us as much information that they could about his condition.

We learned that the owl must have been trying to catch something to eat out of the pool and for some reason ended up getting his feathers too wet. The wet feathers prevented him from getting out of the water and basically held him hostage until he was rescued. The owl was dehydrated and scared but for the most part he was completely healthy. No broken wings or any maladies to worry about. The hospital staff plans on keeping the owl for approximately a week and then releasing it back into the wild. One of our biggest concerns was that this young owl would desperately miss his sibling back at Hannaford Farm. So we kindly requested that when he is ready for life back in the wild suburbs, that he could be released back where he was found.

No, not back at the pool but back at the barn where we believe the owls are living.

To everyone’s delight they staff of the Fox Valley Wildlife Center agrees with this philosophy and hopes to have him returned home as soon as our friend the owl is eating his mice and gaining strength again.

Many people had a hand in insuring this animal was saved from certain death and we are all personally thankful. It is fortunate that we have a place like the Fox Valley Wildlife Center that cares for wounded animals. A special thank you goes to the Sugar Grove Officers who put aside normal protocol and rescued this beautiful animal. In turn they helped a scared homeowner who had run out of options and then thoughtfully brought our neighborhood owl to a place where it could be cared for.

New Sugar Grove library gets an A+

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—John and Diane Kramp sat comfortably in the Sugar Grove Library’s sunlit room near the stacks of magazines; John perused the latest Consumer Reports as Diane thumbed through her magazine of choice.

The Kramps, who live in unincorporated Kane County west of Montgomery, were among the 1,243 visitors to the new library’s grand opening on Saturday. Library staff issued 76 new library cards between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“I’m excited about the new facility,” John said. “I can’t wait for our grandchildren to come and visit. I’ve been looking at the children’s books.”

The Kramps said they liked all the space available in the new library for reading, and the skylights and other lighting the new building offers.

“It kind of feels like a resort,” John said. “It’s like being on vacation.”

Thanks to a generous donation from Anthony J. Rich and family, the library also features a computer lab and learning center, which houses 17 computers. Sugar Grove resident Laurie Geary scheduled training times for a number of office, entertainment and networking applications, e-mail services and EBay.

In addition to the two dozen computers available to patrons throughout the library, visitors can also access the Internet on their own laptops, thanks to the Wi-Fi service donated by the Sugar Grove Medical Associates.

John Cordogan of Cordogan, Clark & Associates, and a Sugar Grove resident, sat on the bench in the front foyer on Saturday, smiling as he surveyed the crowd around him. He said the thing that was most rewarding to him was how everyone there looked very much at home.

Indeed, the Kramps did seem at home in the new space. However, they said that more money is needed to keep the building open more hours. The pair said they both voted for the operating funds referendum each time it was on the ballot, but that others within the district did not.

Library District voters approved an $8 million bond referendum in 2004 to construct the building, but have since then rejected a referendum that would increase funding to pay for its operation nine times. The library is currently open 44 hours a week, reduced from 58 hours after the referendum failed in 2006.

The new 26,000-square-foot building on a five-acre site at Municipal Drive and Snow Street, which opened on Saturday, replaced the 6,600-square-foot building that had served the community since 1980.

Patrons had an oportunity to experience Sugar Grove’s new library building at the grand-opening Saturday. Facility staff issued 76 new library cards that day. Courtesy Photo

New library hours
9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday

New library location
125 S. Municipal Drive
Sugar Grove, Illinois
(630) 466-4686

Farmer’s Market goes to the dogs

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Dog owners and dog lovers alike are invited to take part in the Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market Dog Days of Summer event on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Dog owners who believe they have the peppiest dog, the laziest dog, the best dressed dog or the cutest puppy should bring photos of their canine friends to enter them in the individual contests. Winners will receive a blue ribbon, a treat for their dog and a cookie for the owner.

Photo entries will be displayed at the information tent. Farmer’s Market volunteer Tina Cella said that visitors to the market will be asked to vote for their favorite photos as they enter the market, so entrants are encouraged to submit their entries ahead of time or first thing Saturday morning.

Entrants may sign up for the contests by completing an entry form on the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry website at or at the information tent at the Farmer’s Market before 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

A Stupid Pet Trick Contest will be held at 10 a.m. Audience reaction will determine the winner, who will receive a $20 gift certificate redeemable at any Sugar Grove Chamber member business.

Several specialty vendors and organizations will have booths, including Midwest Greyhound Adoption, Sugar Grove Animal Hospital, Bil Jac Dog Food, Barkaholics, Kilogi Dog Treats and Rover Rescue.

Event sponsor Mille Molitor of Millie’s Pet Sitting and More will be on hand to give out $1 gift certificates to the first 100 visitors to the market. The certificates are redeemable at any vendor at the market that day.

Millie, who offers in-home pet sitting services for all types of animals, vacation care, daily dog walking and emergency visits, is in her sixth year of business. Millie services the village of Sugar Grove and Prestbury.

“I’m very excited about the event, and I look forward to seeing everyone and their pets,” she said.

Sugar Grove
Farmer’s Market
Dog Days of Summer

Saturday, Aug. 15
8 a.m. to noon
Parking lot of the
Sugar Grove Municipal Building
Route 30 and Municipal Drive

Delnor’s Orthokids program seeks volunteers

KANE COUNTY—Delnor’s Orthokids Program has been around for more than 11 years, and is in need of volunteers who love working with kids and have patience and a willingness to be silly and have fun. Volunteers need to be high school age or older.

What is Orthokids?
The Orthokids program helps children with neurological and orthopedic conditions gain independence of movement. To keep the quality of this program at peak levels, a volunteer needs to be paired with each Orthokid to play games and to work on different therapeutic activities based on the child’s individual needs.

Classes are held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday, from 4:15 to 5 p.m., from Aug. 17 through Sept. 24, at the Delnor Health and Wellness Center. There will be no classes on Labor Day, Sept. 7.

A one-hour orientation will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 11, and Thursday, Aug. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Health and Wellness Center cafe. Volunteers need to attend just one of the two sessions.

The center is located at 296 Randall Road, Geneva. For information, call Jennifer Simmons at (630) 208-5510.

Sun safety for infants, babies and toddlers

Just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. According to one US study, 54 percent of children become sunburned or tanned in their second summer, versus 22 percent in their first.

“Children should not be getting sunburned at any age, especially since there are a range of very effective sun protection methods that can used,” said Perry Robins, MD, President, The Skin Cancer Foundation. “Parents need to be extra vigilant about sun protection all the time.”

Many parents don’t know the best ways to protect their young children.

“With a little effort and planning, it’s easy for young children to enjoy the outdoors safely,” Robins said. “Parents need to make it a priority and to also lead by example.”

Now celebrating its 30th year, The Skin Cancer Foundation is committed to educating the public and medical professionals about sun safety. As leaders in the fight against skin cancer, the foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of the world’s most common cancer. The mission of the foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. To learn more about the foundation and its programs, visit

Recommendations for protecting young ones
Infants (0-6 months)—Infants under 6 months of age should be kept out of the sun. Their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen.

An infant’s skin possesses little melanin, the pigment that gives color to skin, hair and eyes and provides some sun protection. Therefore, babies are especially susceptible to the sun’s damaging effects.

• Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car or invest in UV window film, which can screen almost 100 percent of ultraviolet radiation without reducing visibility.

• Take walks early in the morning before 10 a.m. or late afternoon after 4 p.m. and use a stroller with a sun-protective cover.

• Dress baby in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs.

• Choose a wide-brimmed hat or bonnet that protects the baby’s face, neck, and ears. A baby who wears a hat during the first few months will get used to having it on.

Babies (6-12 months)—It’s now safe to use sunscreen on babies.

• All the protection methods explained above still apply, however now sunscreen use should be incorporated.

• Apply a broad-spectrum, SPF 15+ sunscreen to areas left uncovered such as baby’s hands. Many companies have tear free formulas that won’t sting baby’s eyes.

• Most importantly, sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.

Toddlers / Pre-School Age—Protecting toddlers from the sun requires a little more thought and effort. It is important to educate your child and caregivers.

• Make sure your child seeks the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check the outdoor area where your child plays to make sure there is adequate shade.

• Make sure toddlers are covered. Long-sleeved, unbleached cotton clothing is cool and comfortable, while also highly protective. Clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) listing on the label offers extra security. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends clothing with a UPF of 30 or higher.

• Don’t forget hats and sunglasses. Choose a wide-brimmed hat that protects face, neck and ears.

• Water-resistant, spray-on sunscreens are a good choice for toddlers who won’t sit still. Look for sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher with some combination of the following UVA ingredients: avobenzone, ecamsule (a.k.a. Mexoryl), oxybenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

School to begin on time

KANELAND—The offices at several Kaneland schools have been contacted by community members concerned over a delay of the start of the school year, or opening a specific building, due to construction schedules. All Kaneland schools will open as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

According to a notice sent out by e-mail from the district, the construction is moving forward rapidly as the administration is preparing to open school on time. Cleaning crews have begun work in the classroom areas, to be followed by the delivery and set up of furnishings.

The Harter Middle School campus is closed to anyone that is not a member of the construction crew or an authorized district employee.

Anyone not authorized to be on the site is trespassing; the construction manager reserves the right to prosecute anyone entering the building without permission.

Firefighters golf for scholarship fund

Annual Big Kahuna outing took place at Tanna Farms
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—An annual golf outing that raises money for scholarships also is an opportunity for local firefighters to share some time together away from the station.

This year’s Big Kahuna Classic took place Aug. 1 at Tanna Farms golf course in Geneva.

“It’s a light-hearted event, and at the same time, it raises money,” said participant Robert Cahill, a firefighter with the Sugar Grove Fire Department.

In addition to firefighters, the event’s golfers also are paramedics and other employees of local fire departments.

Cahill’s foursome, one of dozens participating in the outing, included Dave Blankenship, a Sugar Grove firefighter, Brandon Kotecki, a firefighter for the Sugar Grove North Aurora fire departments, and Bill Eby, a pilot and former Sugar Grove firefighter.

Paula Lacey, administrative assistant at the Sugar Grove Fire Department, also was part of this group. They shared some laughs, some divots and some sharp longshots and putts during the all-day event that ended with an outdoor supper and prizes.

The Big Kahuna was named after Mark Southern, the husband of a local firefighter, who passed away several years ago. Southern’s friends called him “The Hawaiian,” because he looked like a big Samoan, they said. After Southern died, Hanson and other area firefighters decided to honor his memory with an annual golf outing.

In its first year, the Big Kahuna outing raised money to help the Southern family, which includes his widow, Elburn firefighter Christine Southern. Since then, proceeds from the golf outing have funded scholarships for graduating high-school seniors with a parent employed by a fire department.

Proceeds from the Big Kahuna have funded two or three scholarships per year of up to $1,000 each, said Nancy Faber of Virgil. Faber and her daughter, Becky, cruised the course in a golf cart during the outing, selling raffle tickets.

PHOTO: Sugar Grove firefighter Dave Blankenship is poised to putt, while fellow firefighter Robert Cahill holds the flag, on a green at Tanna Farms golf course in Geneva during the Aug. 1 Big Kahuna Classic. The annual event honors Mark Southern and raises money for college scholarships. Photo by Martha Quetsch

2009 Solheim Cup teams cinched

LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND—U.S. Solheim Cup Captain Beth Daniel and European Solheim Cup Captain Alison Nicholas Sunday announced their respective 12-player squads for the 2009 Solheim Cup during a joint press conference at the RICOH Women’s British Open. At the end of the two-year qualifying process, Paula Creamer and Gwladys Nocera are the leading points earners for the U.S. and European Solheim Cup Teams, respectively.

Based on the top-10 rankings in the U.S. Solheim Cup points standings at the conclusion of the RICOH Women’s British Open, the 10 players who automatically qualified for the U.S. Team are (listed in order of points ranking): (1) Paula Creamer, (2) Cristie Kerr, (3) Angela Stanford, (4) Kristy McPherson, (5) Nicole Castrale, (6) Christina Kim, (7) Brittany Lang, (8) Morgan Pressel, (9) Brittany Lincicome and (10) Natalie Gulbis. Michelle Wie (13) and Juli Inkster (16) were selected by Daniel to round out the 12-person U.S. Team.

“We have some experience in The Solheim Cup on this team, but in terms of age, we have a very young team,” said Daniel. “And to me, that’s really exciting, because this is the future of American golf sitting to my right, and it’s a pretty exciting future.”

The European Team is selected by taking the top-five players from the Ladies European Tour (LET) points standings, followed by the next top-four eligible European LET members appearing on the Rolex Rankings, plus three captain’s selections. Players began accumulating points toward the 2009 European Solheim Cup Team at the 2007 De Vere Ladies Scottish Open. Based on the LET’s qualifying process, (1) Gwladys Nocera, (2) Tania Elosegui, (3) Diana Luna, (4) Laura Davies, (5) Sophie Gustafson qualified automatically via the official points system. Suzann Pettersen, Helen Alfredsson, Catriona Matthew and Maria Hjorth qualified from the Rolex Rankings and Becky Brewerton, Janice Moodie and Anna Nordqvist were selected by Nicholas as her captain’s picks.

“That’s the toughest day that I can imagine that I’ve ever had right now,” said Nicholas after announcing her 2009 team. “But I felt this was from my heart and I know the players well, and I’m confident in what I’ve chosen, and I’m delighted in my 12 players.”

Qualifying points for the U.S. Team are awarded weekly to the top-20 finishers and ties at official LPGA tournaments. Points are doubled at the four major championships every year. Points during a Solheim Cup year are weighted with 60 points for a win, 30 for second, 28.5 for third, 27 for fourth, 25.5 for fifth, 24 for sixth, 22.5 for seventh, 21 for eighth, 19.5 for ninth, 18 for 10th, 16.5 for 11th, 15 for 12th, 13.5 for 13th, 12 for 14th, 10.5 for 15th, 9 for 16th, 7.5 for 17th, 6 for 18th, 4.5 for 19th and 3 for 20th.

U.S. players started earning 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup points at the 2007 LPGA State Farm LPGA Classic in Springfield, Ill., and ended today at the RICOH Women’s British Open. U.S. Players begin earning points toward the 2011 Solheim Cup at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, Aug. 28-30, in North Plains, Ore.

About The Solheim Cup
The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim and his family, the makers of PING golf equipment. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the LPGA and the best European-born players from the LET. The U.S. Team leads the competition 7-3 and has never lost on home soil. The 2009 Solheim Cup will be played at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove on Aug. 21-23. It will be contested at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, in 2011, and then moved to Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo. in 2013. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Global Partners of The Solheim Cup include AIB Group and Rolex. For more information, log on to

Photo: On Sunday at the RICOH Women’s British Open in Lancashire, England, the teams for the upcoming Solheim Cup at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove were revealed. The U.S. team is captained by Beth Daniel, while the Europe squad is captained by Alison Nicholas. More information on the first-ever joint announcement is inside the sports section. Courtesy Photo

Youth with rare illness granted wish

By Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Sheehan family’s Elburn backyard looks a lot different than it did a month ago, when Kids Wish Network arranged for the installation of a huge swimming pool. For Caden Sheehan, 10, who suffers from a serious illness, life is much different, too.

Now, Caden and his siblings, Jacob, 13, and Brenna, 6, can cool off, swim and romp in the water anytime they want. During recent hot weather, the pool was well-used.

“We went in it every day,” Caden said.

The gift came about after the Kids Wish Network called his aunt, Liz Ruzick of Plano, a fundraiser for the organization, asking if she knew of a child who might benefit from having a wish granted. She told the fundraiser of her nephew, Caden, and his struggle with a life-threatening illness.

Kids Wish Network contacted Caden’s parents Lily and Jim Sheehan, to offer to grant his wish.

Caden has chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction, a rare disorder that slows digestion and can cause blockages. For Caden, having this disorder has meant four intestinal surgeries and constant intestinal problems. He is often nauseous and has very weak muscle tone.

“He has been in and out of occupational and physical therapy,” Lily said.

Caden has to receive 75 percent of his nutrition in liquid form through a G-tube in a portal on his chest. Luckily, the tiny portal does not prevent him from swimming.

Caden’s mom said he was thrilled when he learned his wish would be granted.

“He was like, ‘Wow, it’s terrible that I have this (illness), but then to get something like this, for them to give that to me…’ He was just very excited, very impressed,” Lily said.

Caden’s mom is glad he chose the pool. She said not only will it offer lasting entertainment for him, but a fun form of exercise to strengthen his muscles.

“It will be great physical therapy for him,” Lily said.

Jim said the organization would give Caden anything he wanted, within reason. At first, Caden could not decide what he wanted most.

“He went back and forth. He had a couple of other choices, as far as his wish,” said his dad, Jim Sheehan.

Initially Caden wanted to meet an actor from “High School Musical,” then he was thinking of going to Legoland in California, and finally he decided on the pool.

Caden decided on the pool because the fun would last a lot longer than a trip or meeting a celebrity.

“He said, ‘A pool is something that I can use all the time; if I go to Legoland, that’s just four days,’” Lily said.

Businesses helped make it happen
Several area businesses and individuals contributed time and materials last month to install the swimming pool that Kids Wish Network gave to 10-year-old Caden Sheehan of Elburn:
• Swim ‘n’ Play
• Peterson Pool Service and Supply
• W.M. Olsen Inc.
• Russell Automotive
• Martin Overstreet
• Jim and Marylin Swift
• Todd Martin
• Weiland Excavating
• Al Hint Trucking
• James Self
• KW Electric
• Lowe’s

Photo: Caden Sheehan took a dip Saturday in the swimming pool that Kids Wish Network had installed in the Elburn youth’s backyard in June. The organization granted the wish for Caden, who suffers from a rare digestive disorder.
Photo by Martha Quetsch

Batavia production highlights Kaneland talent

by Susan O’Neill
Nearly half of the small cast of a locally produced play this summer share something in common—they are either Kaneland High School students or Kaneland alumni.

Elburn resident Lynn Meredith said she was surprised to find so many actors from Kaneland at the audition she went to for Shakespeare on Clark’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Meredith majored in theatre at Illinois State University after graduating from Kaneland High School. She was a cast member of the Chicagoland children’s theatre group Alphabet Soup during the 1990s, and continued her acting career when she lived in Cincinnati.

However, since she moved back to Elburn several years ago, she had not been on the stage.

When she saw the notice for auditions for the Batavia-based summer theatre production, she decided on a whim to try out. Meredith said she had been trained in Shakespeare, and had always wanted to try acting in a Shakespeare role.

She said that “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the bard’s lighter plays, with a fairly simple plot. She plays Titania, the Queen of the Fairies.

“The costumes are gorgeous,” she said. “As a fairy, I get to wear really fun things.”

She said the cast, although young, is very talented and the actors have a good grasp of what could be seen as difficult.

“I’ve been really pleased with how it’s turned out,” she said. “It’s a good production.”

Bryan Renaud, one of her fellow actors, graduated from Kaneland High School this year. Renaud, who soon turns 18, has been acting since he was seven years old, when he appeared in a Waubonsee Community College staging of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Renaud had roles in a number of plays while at Kaneland High School, including “As You Like It” last fall. He played Lumiere, a major role in “Beauty and the Beast,” staged at the high school this spring.

He has acted with the First Street Playhouse and performed in a number of Shakespeare on Clark productions.
Renaud has a lead role in this summer’s performance and plans to attend North Central College in the fall, where he will major in theatre performance.

“Acting is my focus,” he said. “This is what I need to be doing.”

The outdoor summer theatre is sponsored through a partnership of All Dressed Up Costumes, a costume rental company, and Batavia MainStreet.

All Dressed Up Costumes owner Julane Sullivan is also the director. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the summer theatre offering staged at Clark Island.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Staged on Clark Island in Batavia

7 p.m. on Friday, July 31
and Saturday, Aug. 1
6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2
(75-minute act; no intermissions)

Cast includes Kaneland alumni
Lynn Meredith
Bryan Renaud
Nikky Prusinski

Kaneland students
Kasey Ostarello
Ben Tennant
Ryan Stasell
Kevin Krasinski

Photo: The Kaneland area is well-represented in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Shakespeare on Clark on Clark Island in Batavia. Many of the 18 members of the cast are current students of Kaneland or alumni. Pictured are some of the Kaneland students and alumni that are performing, including Nikki Prusinski, Bryan Renaud, Ben Tennant and Kasey Ostarello (Dan Bach of Batavia also pictured). The final performances of the summer are at 7 p.m. Friday, July 31, Saturday, Aug. 1, and at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2. Courtesy Photo

Editorial: Newspapers’ job not to serve as PR firm

We received some interesting feedback due to a story published on page 8A of the July 23 edition of the Elburn Herald, “Code change allows liquor license for space village president owns.”

What made it interesting was that for some, the feedback demonstrated a lack of understanding of the purpose of a community newspaper and the facts relative to this situation, or a perception of some of those involved that we have a bias that led us to write the story in the first place.

We feel that it is important for our readers to understand not only why we do what we do, but to understand how our community journalism mission applies to this specific situation.

First, our job as a community newspaper is to report what happens in our community. It can consist of stories that may be heart warming or heart wrenching. It may be an edition full of arrests and crime, or of fundraisers and examples of residents helping each other. We are not here to make anyone look good or look bad, it is the situation itself that determines that.

If those involved in the situation reported in both the July 23 and July 30 editions feel that the act of reporting what happened is inherently biased, then you do not understand the purpose of a community newspaper. We are not here to be the village’s, or anyone’s, public relations firm; and we are not here to make anyone or any group look good or bad. We are here to let our readers know what is happening in their communities

The average reader could conclude that the officials involved tried their best to avoid a conflict of interest and acted in a manner to remain beyond reproach. Likewise, the average reader could also conclude that officials used their positions for personal gain; that the building would not have sold when it did if it were not for the influence inherent in officials’ positions. The fact that the average reader could read the same set of facts and reach different conclusions means there is the existence of gray area in this situation.

One of the individuals providing feedback argued that if one were to remove the names and titles of those involved, the same result would occur, that everything would have happened in the same way and in the same timeframe as happened in this situation.

While that may arguably be true, it is also irrelevant to our coverage.

It is irrelevant because stating what, how and when something happened does not change the what, how or when something happens.

It is not the act of reporting that created a possible negative perception of what occurred, it is the event or situation being reported on.

If you do not want a negative perception to occur, you should act in a manner that does not allow for a gray area to exist.

IDHS announces changes in WIC food program

New foods will improve nutrition for more than 300,000 woman, infants and children
STATE—The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced changes to the WIC Program’s food packages recently.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 3, WIC participants will be able to purchase fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread and healthier baby food items. IDHS Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. said the Illinois Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program (USDA-administered Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) food packages are changing to better meet the nutritional needs of all Illinois WIC participants. The food package is the list of foods covered by the WIC program.

“The WIC program helps pregnant women, new mothers and young children eat well and stay healthy,” Adams said. “These changes will better support the nutritional needs of our WIC participants and promote the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding for our mothers and babies.”

This will be the first major change to the WIC food packages since 1980. When the program was first established in the 1970s, food packages were developed based on deficiencies in the diets of low-income pregnant women, infants and children. Targeted nutrients included Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium and protein.

Nutritional needs of clients have changed over time, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published its recommendations “WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change” in 2005. IOM provided USDA with a sound scientific basis for developing a new set of food packages for the WIC program, which better address the health concerns of child obesity and chronic diseases.

The new foods align with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. New foods added to the package include whole wheat bread, soft corn tortillas, brown rice, soy milk, baby foods including fruits, vegetables and meats, and fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables. Reductions in juice, milk, cheese and eggs, were made in order to align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and be cost neutral.

The Illinois WIC Program currently serves 313,000 low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children across the state. Illinoisans seeking more information may contact the Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Family Nutrition, or visit

Pet vaccination is key to rabies prevention

COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department is reporting that two bats have tested positive for rabies so far this year. One was found in Elgin, Ill.; the other one in Dundee, Ill. Although both were discovered in residences, there were no human or pet exposures.

“As we head into the warm summer months, this is a good time to remind everybody about the importance of the preventative measures they can take to protect themselves and their pets,” said Paul Kuehnert, Executive Director of the Health Department. “Obviously, the most important measure people can take is to ensure that their pet’s vaccinations are up to date.”

Not only does the vaccine protect the pet, it also serves as a barrier of protection for people, Kuehnert said. Because many of the positive bats are discovered indoors, it is important to vaccinate pets even if they never venture out of doors.

Last year, Kane reported nine positive bats. Illinois recorded 113 confirmed cases of rabies in animals last year, all found in bats. Bats are the primary carriers of rabies in Illinois. A case of human rabies has not been reported in Illinois since 1954.

More information about rabies is available by calling the Health Department at (630) 208-3801 and asking for the Communicable Disease program. Exclusion remains the best way to prevent and control bats in a structure. Information about exclusion can be found by logging on to the Illinois Department of Public Health website at

Rabies prevention guidelines
• Rabid bats may exhibit no obvious abnormalities, so all contact with bats should be avoided.
• Where there is a likelihood of encountering bats, such as at children’s outdoor camps, people should be instructed not to touch bats.
• People should not be allowed to occupy a room in which bats are found until it is certain that no bats remain in the room and that the room has been sealed to prevent their re-entry.
• If a bat is found indoors, the structure should be thoroughly inspected for the presence of roosting bats.
• Exclusion remains the best way to prevent and control bats in a structure.
• Keep pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal or exposed to a bat, seek veterinary assistance for your pet immediately.
• Call local law enforcement or animal control agency for direction as to whom to contact for the remove of contained stray animals in your neighborhood.

For information about a referral for capturing bats or for instructions on submission of
appropriate specimens for testing, call Kane County Animal Control (630) 232-3555

Updated 7/24: Code change allows liquor license for space village president owns

updated 7/24/2009 at 2:11 p.m. CST
Village president said in July 23 email building was under contract, now sold (not rented)
Trustee’s son’s application granted, 2 others pending
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board changed an ordinance on Monday to allow a liquor license to be issued for a new tavern in a building, at 107 N. Main St., that was owned by Village President Dave Anderson, even if he has an indirect interest in the business.

“Good common sense says everyone in the village has an indirect interest in the business,” Anderson said Wednesday.

The previous ordinance would have prohibited a liquor license for a business in which Anderson or any village trustee had direct or indirect interest. The change approved by village trustees Monday removed the reference to indirect interest. Anderson said the language change in the village liquor code mirrors the wording in the state’s liquor code. Anderson said he does not have a direct interest in the tavern business planned for the space he said July 23 he sold to Kevin Schmidt.

Anderson sold the building Thursday, July 23 to Kevin Schmidt, attorney Bob Britz said.

Also on Monday, the Village Board approved two ordinances allowing for the establishment of three new liquor licenses in the village, but not granting them to applicants.

After the board meeting closed, Deputy Liquor Commissioner and trustee Bill Grabarek approved an application for one of the licenses, for Schmidt’s bar, Village Attorney Bob Britz said. The license will allow the bar to sell beer, wine and hard liquor.

Applicants for the other two liquor licenses are Michael Rafferty, for the Riley Boys Tavern planned for the former Emma’s Pub at 117 Main, and Rosati’s—for a new restaurant space near Jewel-Osco at Route 47 and Route 38. Rafferty is seeking a license to sell beer, wine and hard liquor, and Rosati’s is seeking a license to serve beer and wine.

Rosati’s and Rafferty still must sign the letter of understanding with the village before Liquor Commissioner Dave Anderson can grant them the other new liquor licenses, village officials said.

Kevin Schmidt’s father, trustee Jerry Schmidt, voted during the July 20 Elburn Village Board meeting for an ordinance allowing for a liquor code language change, and for an ordinance creating a second available Class A liquor license, one of which was obtained by his son after the meeting. Trustee Jerry Schmidt said Wednesday that he did not believe voting for the ordinances on July 20 was a conflict of interest. Schmidt had recused himself from voting for the creation of one of the two Class A licenses in June. Those licenses are not assigned to any business at the time they are created. The license is granted to the applicant only when the liquor commissioner approves the application and assigns the license.

“I didn’t think it was. I want to support my son in this project, but I have no interest in the business,” trustee Schmidt said.

He added that during his campaign before being elected in April, he was a proponent of bringing new businesses to the village to boost tax revenue.

Extreme green makeover in Sugar Grove

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—For two days last weekend, the St. Charles-based Aqua-scape, Inc. turned the Lakes of Bliss Woods Subdivision into an in-the-field classroom for its contractors. The independently-owned business owners who purchase their product from Aquascape received training in how to design and install an effective rainwater harvest system, and about 25 families received completed ecosystem ponds, rain gardens, rain barrels and other water exchange solutions by Saturday night.

“Nice, nice,” resident Brad Huggins said as he and his wife Audrey watched a crew of contractors from California, Arizona and Illinois turn the front of their house into a gurgling water feature nestled in a bed of decorative rocks.

The Huggins’ rain water system installation was part of Aquascape’s 20th annual Pondemonium, a large-scale networking, training and education event for contractors across the country and Canada to learn the latest about the company’s products.

Aquascape, Inc., which creates and markets a wide range of water gardening products, including backyard ponds and waterfalls, began looking into the rainwater harvesting concept several years ago. Aquascape’s Chief Sustainability Officer Ed Beaulieu said that 75 percent of the calls the company’s technology department currently receives are about rainwater harvesting.

Although the fountain will provide Brad and Audrey a pretty and relaxing spot to spend a summer evening, it’s what is underneath the ground that makes it more than just a nice amenity.

The RainXchange system includes a 500-gallon underground water storage tank designed to collect rain water from the roof and a booster pump that turns an everyday garden hose into a power washer for the car or a tool to water the lawn and surrounding landscape.

In the past, when it rained, it would run off the Huggins’ roof and down the drainpipe, flow through the bushes and plants and mulch, across the sidewalk and down a storm sewer in the street.

“We would always see all this water going to waste,” Brad said. “We knew we needed to do something.”

Then they received an e-mail from their neighbors Ed and his wife Ellen, who also works for Aquascape, Inc., inviting them to participate in the extreme green community makeover by purchasing a rainwater harvest system for their home.

Brad said it made sense to become environmentally conscious of the water they use, especially with the water shortages the village has experienced the past few years. Water had become so scarce that the village imposed restrictions on residents’ water use for the past two summers.

“This is perfect,” Brad said. “This is the answer to everything.”

Beaulieu came to talk to the Sugar Grove Village Board a few months ago about their project, and told them he and Ellen wanted to use the community as a model for the company’s RainXchange solutions. Their idea is to create something that can be replicated in other communities.

The response was overwhelming, he said.

Brad said he was “pleased as punch” about their system, and that it is even better than he expected.

“We’re just so lucky to have Ed and Ellen here in our community,” he said.

Lakes of Bliss Woods ponds and other water features will be part of Aquascape’s 17th annual Parade of Ponds, held the weekend of July 25-26. The tour features a variety of water features at more than 65 tour locations in the western suburbs.

Proceeds from ticket purchases benefit the Aquascape Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 3C organization dedicated to creating sustainable solutions for the world-wide water crisis.

Photo: A certified Aquascape contractor tests the water fountain on a RainXchange system during Saturday’s Pondemonium. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Team Budzyn wins again

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Branden and Ryan Budzyn enjoyed their lesson in Sugar Grove history, but it was their knowledge of navigation through longitude and latitude points that led them to the medallion.

For the past six weeks, the boys and their mom Michelle had followed the clues published in the Elburn Herald that would lead them to where the Corn Boil Medallion was hidden. This is the third year that Corn Boil Committee member Bob Carroll hid a medallion in the Sugar Grove area and created clues to lead someone to it.

They couldn’t wait to get home and open the paper to read the clues, Michelle said. The first couple of clues were more general in nature, indicating that the coin might be hidden outside the village corporate limits. The boys and their mom read the book on the history of Sugar Grove, “Sin-Qua-Sip,” to find the answer to another clue.

They learned a lot about the history of Sugar Grove, but it wasn’t until the July 16 clue that they zeroed in on the location. The seventh clue was a cryptogram that symbolized the Global Positioning System (GPS) location for the medallion, hidden in a bird house in the Sauer Family Prairie Restoration spot along Harter Road.

The Sugar Grove boys, who will enter third grade this fall, love to participate in geocaching, an outdoor activity in which players hide and seek items using navigational techniques. Their knowledge of these techniques led them off the beaten path to find the medallion.

This is Team Budzyn’s second year in a row that they found the medallion before anyone else.

“Last year they found it during a thunderstorm,” clue-creator Bob Carroll said. “They were determined.”

Last year, the boys found the medallion quickly, after only three clues. They said that Carroll should make it harder this year, and he obliged. Although it took them seven clues this year, the boys still prevailed. They are looking forward to the 25 gold coins they will each receive at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil this weekend.

Photo: Branden and Ryan Budzyn pose with the 2009 Sugar Grove Corn Boil medallion they found in a birdhouse in the Sauer Family Prairie Restoration spot along Harter Road in unincorporated Sugar Grove. This was the second year in a row the boys found the medallion. Photo by Susan O’Neill

New director’s goal: Attract more people to library

Martin wants patrons to know about facility’s fresh looks, new books
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Library has a new look, new offerings and a new director.

Kim Martin became the library’s head June 1, and since then has overseen a reorganization of the library designed to make it more user friendly.

She saw the job posting last spring and decided to apply.

“I love the library and I thought I could bring something more to it than someone just looking for a paycheck,” she said.

Martin graduated from Kaneland High School in 1995. With five children, she spent the past 12 years as a stay-at-home mom. She is not a certified librarian. However, she plans to take Library Technical Assistant (LTA) courses online through College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Next June, she will attend the week-long Small Public Library Management Institute in Bradley, Ill.

Before becoming library director, Martin trained for seven weeks with Sukey Blake.

The library is located in the Community Center in a four-room space in the building’s basement. It was closed for 2-1/2 weeks in June for the reorganization project.

The project included expanding a reading and computer room by removing old cabinets that used to occupy half its space.

Also new at the library will be eight computers the library purchased in May with a grant.

“Every area has been reorganized,” Martin said.

Patrons now can see that the library has books on tape along one wall that was not easily visible before. Several new shelves are featured throughout the library, donated by the Library Friends.

In her new role, Martin is working to add and promote new programs such as a book club and materials including more books for young adults, such as the “Bone” series, “Hunger Game” and the “Twilight” series.

“We want to bring patrons back in here who maybe haven’t been here in awhile who don’t know that we have new materials,” Martin said.

Hometown hire
Twenty people applied for the 30-hour-per-week Maple Park Public Library position vacated by former Library Director Sukey Blake, who retired. Of those, the Library Board was most impressed with Kim Martin (nee Signorella), a lifelong resident of the village.

Library Board President Beth Miller particularly liked that Martin was informed and concerned about handicapped accessibility issues.

“Kim is really passionate about that,” Miller said.

The library is working to upgrade its accessibility for people with disabilities.

Photo: New Maple Park Library Director Kim Martin assists Jane Ostrom in checking out a book. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Why not Wasco?

Wasco’s 12U baseball team recently took home the 1st Place trophy from the June 28 Rockford Round Robin Tournament.  Pictured are:  Austin Wheatley, Gunnar Stanke, Trevor Dunne, Cole Nelson, Ryan Walsh, DJ Walsh, Stephen Kleefisch, Jake Esp, Jacob Lindstedt, Matt Krajewski, Steven de la Torriente, Mikey Malawski.  Coaches:  Mike Stanke, Bruce Krajewski, Mike Malawski and Ken Walsh. Courtesy Photo

Corn Boil caters to the public

The 2009 Sugar Grove Corn Boil is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 24-26, and its goal is to be public-friendly.

To that end, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil seeks to be a community event where friends and family come together to have fun.

The Corn Boil opens at 4 p.m. on July 24, as does the beer tent. The corn, always the Corn Boil highlight, can become even more exciting with lemon pepper spice, garlic spice or seasoned salt available for flavoring.

A variety of food is available at the food court. Many of our vendors have returned year after year to offer their unique foods. Favorites include Annabell’s pork chop on a stick, corn dogs and curly fries from Crusin’ Concessions, the Genoa foot-long Italian sausage, and lemon shakeups. Consumers are reminded to follow the “no alcohol on school property” law and keep the drinks on the north side of the sidewalk and snow fence. Everyone is invited to pick up the park. Trash barrels are located throughout the park, and event organizers appreciate your effort to help be good neighbors as well. Please toss your trash before you leave the park.

Handicapped parking is available on Main Street in front of the school. In addition, a special shuttle will be made available by J&S Construction to pick riders up at this parking location and transport them to the event. For people parking west of the event in Village Hall or the Sugar Grove Library parking lots, an on-street shuttle service will pick up passengers along the route between Municipal Drive and the south end of Corn Boil at Grove and Snow streets. J&S Construction is making available its brightly decorated hay wagon to shuttle visitors into the Corn Boil from the Sugar Grove Village Hall and Sugar Grove Library parking areas.

The pre-sale ticket advantage continues for any of the carnival unlimited ride times. This is a discount for the same ticket, good for one rider, during one unlimited ride time, which will be available in the park for the cost of $20. Discounted unlimited ride tickets are available at Castle Bank—Sugar Grove, American Heartland Bank & Trust, and Old Second Bank—Sugar Grove until 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23.

There are three Corn Boil carnival unlimited ride times: Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. Carnival goers may purchase a $20 unlimited ride ticket for use, by one rider, during an unlimited ride time. The ticket is sold at a ticket booth in the carnival area.

In the interest of safety, “no parking” signs will be posted by directive of the Sugar Grove Police Department and Sugar Grove fire chief; they will indicate that no parking is allowed on the hydrant side of the street. Bicycles, skate boards or roller blades are not allowed at the Corn Boil. Dogs, other than service dogs, are not allowed.

Corn Boil has a cooling station with First Aid facilities. The bingo tent offers a shady space to sit and relax. The tent will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday; noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Free, live entertainment is a staple of Corn Boil. This year, the event features a lineup of music ranging from the Waubonsee Steel Drum Band, rock, country-rock and ‘50s-’70s rock. Free demos are scheduled from local dance studios, do-jo’s and exercise groups.

The Corn Boil Committee owes a debt of thanks to the Corn Boil’s current sponsors, who so graciously help each year. This event has free admission, thanks to the support of the event’s sponsors.

Following is a list of sponsors.
Stage sponsor: The Solheim Cup
Platinum sponsors: Castle Bank; The Daily Herald; Engineering Enterprises, Inc.; The Elburn Herald; Genoa Pizza; Harris Golf Carts; Hinds Trucking; J&S Construction; The Chronicle; Metrolift, Inc.; Old Second National Bank; Provena Mercy Medical Center; Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Sugar Grove Firefighters Association; Sugar Grove Lions Club; Sugar Grove Fire District; Sugar Grove Police Department; Sugar Grove Public Library; Village of Sugar Grove;; Waste Management, Inc.; and WSPY TV/Radio
Gold sponsors: Advanced Realty Consultants; Baker, Diana; Born, Lisa; Carroll, Bob; D&S Painting; John Shields Elementary School—District 302; Lindsay & Associates, Inc.—structural engineers; Lisa Cavalier Ameriprise Financial Advisor; Markus, Donna and Al; Mid America Financial Group—TM; Attorney Steven B. Ekker—Momkus McCluskey, LLC; Paluch, David and Deborah; Plumb, Kim; Quist, Jim; River Front Chrysler Jeep, North Aurora; Scimeca, Ross & Linda; SIGNFx, LLC; Sugar Grove Park District; Sugar Grove Public Library Friends; Swatek, Gerald
Silver sponsors: Healy Chapel; Law Office of William T. King, Jr.; Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson; Waubonsee Community College
Entertainment sponsors: Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; Blue Peak Tents; Quik Impressions Group; Volkman Insurance Agency, Inc.
Special Friends: Hollywood Casino; Sugar Grove Animal Hospital.
Friends: Spring Bluff Nursery, Inc.; William F. Keck CPA, Kane County Auditor

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is held in Volunteer Park, west of Route 47, just off Main Street in downtown Sugar Grove behind Kaneland John Shields Elementary School. For more information about the Corn Boil, call the Sugar Grove Events Hotline at (630) 466-5166, listen to WSPY 1480 AM and 107.1 FM or visit
Courtesy of
Beverly Holmes Hughes
Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee

Photo: Two Sugar Grove brothers with the 2007 Corn Boil medallion. File photo

Get up and dance!

WCC Steel Drum Band brings party music to Saturday of festival
by Martha Quetsch
The soothing sound and syncopation of steel pan music is intoxicating, said Waubonsee Community College Steel Drum Band coordinator Gibby Monokoski.

“It has a heavy-base back beat that makes people want to dance,” said Monokoski, who is WCC’s music department director.

“Even if you’re in a bad mood, it just cheers you up,” he said. “It’s fun party music.”

The WCC Steel Drum Band plays a lot of Caribbean- and African-influenced music, including selections from Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album and other covers.

But Monokoski said the band’s sound is not limited to traditional tropical styles.

“For steel pan music, there’s a broad repertoire that includes everything that exists now, including classical, rock and jazz,” Monokoski said.

What really makes listeners want to get up and move to the music are bosonova and reggae numbers, he said.

The band’s 10 members play drums of various sizes. Different sized drums produce different sounds, Monokowski said.

Performing at many local festivals and parades, the WCC Steel Drum Band is an entertainment fixture at the annual Corn Boil.

“We’ve played there for 15 years,” Monokoski said.

The WCC Steel Drum Band will take the stage from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Corn Boil.

The instrument
The steel drum, or steel pan, originated in the Caribbean island of Trinidad in the 1940s. It is usually played in ensembles called steel bands.
A traditional steel drum is made from the end, and part of the wall, of an oil barrel. The barrel’s end surface is hammered into a concave shape, and several areas are outlined by chiseled grooves. It is heated and tempered, and domes are hammered into the outlined areas; the depth, curvature, and size of each dome determines its pitch.
Melodies, complex accompaniments, and counterpoint can be played with rubber-tipped mallets on a single drum.
Source: Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Photo: The Waubonsee Steel Drum Band will perform from noon to 2 p.m. Sat., July 25 at the Corn Boil. File Photo