Category Archives: Kaneville

KUMC welcomes new secretary

KANEVILLE—For years, Katee Werrline was a member of Kaneville United Methodist Church in Kaneville, attending services and socializing with parishoners, never knowing that one day, she would be the church secretary.

After her mother received the church’s monthly newsletter, which announced an opening for the secretary position, she forwarded the information over to Katee.

Werrline started supporting staff and church community members on Aug. 20 and has been fervently working with leaders of the church and collaborating with Rev. Avani-Cosset Christian. Also a newcomer to Kaneville United Methodist, Christian and Werrline are an energetic combination to execute new ideas, like an updated and fine-tuned website.

“Working at Kaneville United Methodist Church is a great opportunity for me,” Werrline said. “Not only am I able to see the inner workings of the church and be a support to our community, they have been extremely flexible with my schedule so I can continue my education.”

Werrline this fall will spend time between working at Kaneville United Methodist and attending her second year of classes at Waubonsee Community College. While her physical time at the church has increased, so has the spiritual aspect of her faith walk. Werrline is more excited about her faith in God than ever before as a result of this new position.

“I don’t feel like I am going to work,” she said. “The church is such a different environment, where people are constantly helping others. In fact, I am not only helping the church—they are helping me.”

The presence that Werrline feels mirrors the intent of United Methodist Church founder John Welsey. Today, with 11-million members globally, Werrline joins members at the Kaneville church who believe in an emphasis on Christian living, specifically putting faith and love into action.

Committed to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, Kaneville United Methodist practices hospitality, sharing, fellowship and serving others. A focus on bringing glory to God by impacting the lives of others and reaching out to the community and the world is the forefront and core beliefs of the church.

For more information about Kaneville United Methodist Church, visit its website at kanevilleumc.org, or call Katee at (630) 557-2353. Sunday school is offered for children at 8:30 a.m., followed by a 9:30 a.m. church service. The church is located at 46W764 Main Street Road, between Harter and Dauberman roads, in Kaneville.

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Nelson fundraiser set for Oct. 20

KANEVILLE—Becky Nelson, the Maple Park native who spent almost five weeks in a coma following a hit-and-run accident in the Cayman Islands on July 1, is awake and undergoing rehabilitation in Chicago—and a family-friendly fundraiser on Oct. 20 intends to raise money to help her bounce back.

It’s been a nightmarish scenario for the Nelson family, who found their 28-year-old daughter stranded in a Caribbean hospital with a traumatic brain injury, a shattered pelvis and no health insurance. Dave and Peggy Nelson, who own a dairy farm in Maple Park, struggled for several weeks to get Becky enrolled in Medicaid and transferred to a Chicago-area hospital.

Though Becky has been undergoing extensive therapy at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since mid-August, her application for Medicaid is still being processed.

That means that even as Becky faces a two-year recovery process—right now, she’s working with a physical therapist to sit up and balance again and has started to regain her ability to speak, saying a few things such as “Where am I?” and “Hi, Mommy”—it’s unclear how much of her treatment will be covered and what medical bills she will face.

Becky will have another surgery later this fall to put a plate in her head to replace the portion of skull that was removed during earlier surgeries. Doctors also hope that in about a month, her hip will be healed enough for her to begin putting weight on it.

News of the accident mobilized Audry Buchanan, an Elburn resident who had never met the Nelsons but understood their plight because she had been in a coma as a result of a car accident in 1981, to reach out to the family. Together, they’ve planned a fundraiser to help pay for Becky’s treatment.

The fundraiser, the Help Becky Bounce Back Blowout, will be held at the Kaneville Community Center on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 1 to 5 p.m.

“We are hoping to make a significant contribution to Becky Nelson’s medical fund, because her brain and bodily injuries were so traumatic that she is looking at a two-year recovery period, and she is without health insurance,” Buchanan said. “Our goal is to help the family to make enough money to pay her medical bills, and maybe to even do a series of fundraisers, because this is going to be an expensive two years.”

Anne Carson, Becky’s aunt, is helping plan the fundraiser and said she hoped the community would come out to support the cause.

“We just hope that it helps raise some funds to offset part of the medical costs,” Carson said. “We’re not sure what the insurance coverage is right now, and even when you have insurance, it doesn’t pay for everything.”

Since Becky is a preschool teacher, the event will feature a bevy of children’s activities, including a bounce house, Halloween-themed arts and crafts, wagon rides, games and face painting. Families can purchase $15 wristbands at the door to give their children unlimited access to activities, and families with three or more children can purchase wristbands for $10 each. Tickets for individual activities will also be available.

There will be live music for the adults, as well as a bean bag tournament, a 50/50 raffle, a bucket raffle and a silent auction. Teams can register for the bags tournament for $20 a team.

Raffle prizes include two tickets to see the Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions on Nov. 10 at Soldier Field, a queen-sized Sealy mattress and a Stihl leaf blower. Tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20; they are available now at Old Second Bank locations in Elburn, Kaneville and Maple Park, as well as at the event.

Silent auction items include a Kaneland Knights jersey autographed by Don Beebe, Blackhawks and Bears jerseys, a wine tasting for a party of eight, a photo session, a quilt, a private group yoga session, gift certificates and a variety of gift baskets. Donations of prizes are still being accepted, Carson said, and the list is growing.

Food from Paisano’s and Hill’s Country Store will also be for sale, and some of the proceeds will go toward the fundraising effort.

“People should come because it’s fun with a purpose. It’s Halloween shopping time, and if you’re going to blow $40 on decorations and pumpkins and costumes, come blow it here. It is simply amazing what can be accomplished—now look, hundreds of people are going to have a good time on this day, and Becky is going to have the financial support that she needs,” Buchanan said.

Pat Hill, Kaneville’s Village President, urged area families to come out and support the fundraiser.

“Becky is a great person, and she deserves to be helped, and that’s what we do. We help people in their time of need,” Hill said. “Put yourself in their situation. You’d want somebody to help you if that happened to you, and that’s what you do.”

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Kaneville Fest 2013 a success in the community

KANEVILLE—Horse-drawn wagon rides, face-painting, an ice cream eating contest, a fireworks display, and many other attractions contributed to a successful 2013 Kaneville Fest. Approximately 250 area residents attended the festivities the weekend of Aug. 22-25.

“(Kaneville Fest) went perfectly,” said Pat Hill, chairperson of the Kaneville Fest Committee and owner of Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville. “It went smoothly with no flaws, just like it should have.”

Movie night, held the evening of Aug. 23 at Hill’s Country Store, featured the children’s movie “Epic,” with at least 120 viewers in attendance. The festival weekend featured a book sale at the Kaneville Public Library and community-wide garage sales. There were also several crafting stands that featured a variety of local and commercial crafts.

“There’s something for everybody to do,” Hill said.

5-B’s Catering, based in Waterman, Ill., supplied food at 2013 Kaneville Fest to support the event. There were also raffle ticket sales, and Hill sold World’s Finest Chocolate candy bars in her store.

In fact, this year’s fundraising efforts provided enough to begin supporting the 2014 Kaneville Fest.

According to Hill, the recent fundraising efforts garnered a high volume of raffle ticket sales. Raffle winners redeemed their tickets during Kaneville Fest in exchange for prizes such as golf packages, wine baskets, gift cards and certificates for local shops, Amazon Kindles and more. All Kaneville Fest prizes were donated by either individuals or businesses in Kaneville and other local communities.

“I’d like to thank all of the volunteers and everyone who made (Kaneville Fest) a great success,” Hill said.

Hill intends to create an additional full day of activities for the 2014 Kaneville Fest. During this year’s festival, local car owners created an impromptu Cruise Night, which Hill hopes to bring to the festival again next year. Other slated activities include a parade, softball games, a watermelon eating contest and a horseshoes contest.

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2013 Kaneville Fest time schedule

Thursday, Aug. 22
5-8 p.m. Library book presale at the Kaneville Library. Cost is $5 at the door.

Friday, Aug. 23
9 a.m. Community garage sales kick off
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Library book presale continues at the Kaneville Public Library
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Grill out at Hill’s Country Store
5-7 p.m. horse-drawn wagon rides
8 p.m. Movie night at Hill’s Country Store. Bring blankets and lawn chairs.
Free pizza from Paisano’s and popcorn from Rich’s Auto Service will
be available, as well as $1 slushies and ice cream.

Saturday, Aug. 24
9 a.m. Community garage sales
9 a.m. Crafter booths open
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Library book presale continues at the Kaneville Public Library
2:30 p.m. Sign up for the ice cream eating contest
3 p.m. Ice cream eating contest (sponsored by Colonial Ice Cream)
4 p.m. Horse-drawn wagon rides (sponsored by BlueMeadow’s Belgians)
5 p.m. 5B’s Catering hosts its pork chop/chicken fundraiser
6 p.m. Classic rock band Red Woody takes the stage
Dusk Kaneville Fest 2013 fireworks show kicks off

Sunday, Aug. 25
9:30 a.m. Community church service (sponsored by Kaneville UMC)

In addition to Kaneville Fest’s slate of activities,
a 50/50 raffle and raffle prizes will be available at Hill’s Country Store.
Ticket prices are six for $5, or $1 each.

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Hit-and-run accident leaves MP native in coma

Photo: Maple Park native Becky Nelson is currently in a coma as a result of her being struck by a vehicle on July 1 in the Cayman Islands. Nelson, who previously worked at the Kaneville Community Childcare Center, is undergoing treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla. Courtesy Photos

MAPLE PARK—It was supposed to be a Caribbean paradise. But for Rebecca Nelson, it became a nightmare—one she hasn’t woken up from yet.

She’s been in a coma since the night of July 1, when she was struck by a Dodge Caravan in the Cayman Islands in a hit-and-run accident.

Becky, who is 27, grew up on her parents’ dairy farm in Maple Park, and fell in love with the tiny Caribbean nation on a family vacation in Nov. 2011, according to her aunt, Anne Carson of Maple Park. Five months later, Becky packed her bags and moved to the Cayman Islands, an English-speaking nation of just 56,000 people located west of Jamaica.

“She really just fell in love with it,” said Sarah Peterson, a cousin who went on that vacation with Becky. “She fell in love with the climate and the people, and she hadn’t really found any jobs up here she was totally satisfied with, so she moved down there.”

She settled in George Town, the islands’ capital, on Grand Cayman and worked at a child care center, spending her free time enjoying the island’s beaches, looking at wildlife—stingrays, frogs and iguanas—and spending time with friends.558060_4953907401789_1875787003_n

“She was loving it down there,” Carson said. “She loved to go to the beach. She had friends who would take tour groups and go snorkel and see the stingrays, and she loved doing that. She likes cooking; she’d always be cooking dinners for her friends down there and baking treats for them.”

July 1 was Constitution Day, a national holiday celebrating the Cayman Islands’ freedom, and the fireworks at nearby Camana Bay drew spectators from all over the island, including Becky. She didn’t have a car, so she walked. It’s unclear whether she was heading to or from the fireworks display at the time of the accident. What is clear is that, as she walked along North Church Street, a busy two-lane road that hugs the island’s western shore, a Dodge Caravan swerved off the road and struck her at 8:20 p.m. Becky was thrown into a wall. The driver fled the scene.

Just like that, paradise was lost.

The accident
The one piece of luck Becky had that night was that a Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officer saw the accident in his rear-view mirror and turned around immediately to help her, calling paramedics to the scene.

“The police officer had just passed her by in his vehicle, and he had actually seen the guy hit her in his rearview mirror, so he swung around and they had help to her within 5 minutes,” said Betsy Beyer, Becky’s aunt. “We were blessed in that at least.”

Another driver who witnessed the accident followed the Dodge Caravan until it stopped, called police to report the vehicle’s license plate number and location, and then returned to the scene to be a witness, RCIPS Supt. Adrian Seales said.

The driver of the Dodge Caravan that struck Becky was arrested later that night on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident. He’s a Columbian national who resides in the Caymans and is now out on bond, said RCIPS Officer Janet Dougall, but the RCIPS will not release his name before he has appeared in court. Though the suspect’s blood alcohol level was tested when he was arrested—three hours after the accident occurred—the test results will not be released until the RCIPS has finished its investigation.
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Becky was transported to George Town Hospital in critical condition, Dougall said.

According to Carson, Becky was rushed immediately into surgery, where a neurosurgeon removed two clots from her brain. The hospital contacted her parents, Dave and Peggy Nelson, in Maple Park around 10:30 p.m. The following night, Becky had another brain surgery to relieve the pressure in her skull as her injured brain swelled.

Becky’s family flew down to the Cayman Islands to be by her side. She remained in intensive care there for four days, even though neither of Grand Cayman’s two hospitals had the kind of trauma center she needed.

Her condition was too critical to move her, and because she had no health insurance, no hospital in the United States would accept her.

The second nightmare
And so the money to pay for her medical care—surgeries, weeks in intensive care, hospital transfers, rehabilitation when she comes out of the coma—has become the second nightmare Becky and her family face.

The Nelsons on July 4 were able to get Becky transferred to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla., which has the only Level 1 trauma center in South Florida. For now, the driver’s insurance company has agreed to pay Becky’s hospital bills, up to $1 million, and that assurance made Jackson Memorial willing to accept her.

Her condition was so delicate that she had to be transferred to Miami by Lear Jet, a flight that cost $14,000.

“They couldn’t go much above sea level because there would be a pressure change in the plane, so they had to take her by Lear Jet so they could fly lower,” Beyer said.

Becky spent two and a half weeks in intensive care. Then, as she stabilized, she had another surgery to repair her fractured pelvis, Carson said.

“They had to put some plates and screws in, and then put the ball back in the socket where it belongs,” Carson said.

Peggy has spent the past month sleeping in her daughter’s hospital room, conferring with her doctors and waiting for her to wake up, Carson said. Other family members have been flying to Florida on alternating schedules to visit.

“Coma” is a broad term that covers a range of states, and although patients in the deepest levels of coma have no response to any stimuli, at higher levels, patients hover somewhere between unconsciousness and awareness. Becky has been in a coma for over a month, but she’s now opening her left eye and tracking movement. That’s one reason why her doctors believe she is gradually emerging from her coma, though it’s hard to say when she’ll wake, Carson said.

Perhaps it’ll be tomorrow. Perhaps it’ll be months.

“(The doctors) are saying that, right now, she’s showing good signs of improvement. They told us that brain injuries take a long time,” Carson said. “She doesn’t wake up and talk to you, she hasn’t done that, but she can open one eye and can respond to movement. There is brain activity, so they think she’ll come out of the coma, but the long-term damage, they’re not sure what that will be yet.”

Peterson spent five days at the hospital with her in late July and said daily signs of improvement are there.

“Just for five days, we were down (in Miami), but we saw improvement,” Peterson said. “She’s been being more active as far as tracking movements with her eyes, and she started moving her head to look at things, and just moving her hands more. We noticed that every day, she was just a little more active. She still can’t follow commands, so if you say, ‘Squeeze my hands,’ she doesn’t do anything yet. Everybody’s very positive now, and we’re just waiting on Becky.”

The extent of the damage won’t become clear until after Becky’s woken up, Carson said, but her doctors have said that the right side of her brain may have more damage than the left, and that there may be some nerve damage, as well. She will almost certainly need extensive therapy.

“Our biggest challenge is getting her to wake up right now. She’s in a coma, and we don’t know how much she’s aware of. We just want her to wake up at this time. Anything after that… this family’s used to challenges, and we’ll deal with it,” Beyer said. “Becky’s that type of person too; she won’t let anything stop her.”

The next steps
Adversity is something the Nelsons, who have lived on their family farm in Maple Park for generations, have faced before.

Becky was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 18 months old and suffered from seizures for years before having two brain surgeries—the most recent when she was 21—that brought them under control. Her younger brother, Eric Nelson, had a heart transplant when he was just four months old, as well as a later liver transplant.

“(Dave and Peggy) are like rocks,” Beyer said. “They just keep going. God’s throwing another one at us, and they need all the support they can get. We’re a close-knit family, and we’ve been trying to take care of things, but you can only do so much with what you have.”

Getting Becky transferred to a Chicago-area hospital is the family’s current priority, Carson said, so that they can visit her more easily and stop spending money on flights and hotels. Without health insurance, though, it’s difficult to find a hospital that will accept her.

“What we’re most concerned about is having the money to pay expenses and getting her back up here,” Carson said.

Carson said that the family has been working to get Becky approved for Social Security Disability benefits, which will qualify her for Medicare and pay 80 percent of her medical bills. Once that happens, an area hospital should be willing to accept her transfer, Carson said.

“I know the airlift from (Grand) Cayman to Miami was $14,000, and obviously she’ll have to be airlifted again when she’s able to come to Chicago,” Peterson said. “Overnight stays in the hospitals add up. And on top of that, she’s going to have to go to rehab to regain some of her functions, so the costs will be adding up for years to come.”

That’s why Old Second Bank in Elburn, where Peggy has worked for over 30 years, has set up a benefit account for Becky. Donations to the fund will help cover medical bills and rehabilitation costs, Carson said, and anyone who wishes to donate can walk into any Old Second location and ask for the Becky Nelson benefit fund.

A special table will also be set up during Kaneville Fest, Saturday, Aug. 24, to collect donations to help defray Becky’s medical bills. She previously worked at the Kaneville Community Childcare Center and is friends with Kaneville Fest Committee Chairperson Pat Hill.

“The family is struggling as far as money goes,” Beyer said. “We have no idea what it’s going to take when it’s all said and done. Their concern with Medicare is, will she be getting the care she deserves? She’s 27 years old, and to see her just laying there, with a (tube) down her throat … it’s hard to see it.”

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Kaneland Foundation annual golf Sept. 19

SUGAR GROVE—The Kaneland Foundation Annual Golf Outing will take place on Thursday, Sept. 19 at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove.

To register or receive more information, contact Beth Sterkel at (630) 365-8295 or email beth.sterkel@kaneland.org.

The Kaneland Foundation is a non-profit organization that contributes to the educational needs of the students of District 302. Its mission is to support academic excellence through innovation. Since the Kaneland Foundation has no administrative costs, every dollar goes back to our students in District 302.

Image source: Kaneland.org

KC to perform resurfacing on Keslinger Road

KANE COUNTY—Pavement resurfacing work for Kane County’s 2013 Resurfacing Program is scheduled to take place from now until Friday, July 19, weather permitting, on the portion of Keslinger Road stretching from West County Line Road to Route 47.

The resurfacing process typically includes grinding and removal of 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches of the top wearing surface of pavement; placement of a fresh oil application over the ground pavement; and placement of 2.25 inches of an asphalt layer over the oil application to provide a new, smooth riding surface.

Temporary daily lane closures, Monday through Saturday, will be required to accomplish this work. Watch out for fresh oil signs and flaggers, and reduce speed while traveling through the construction zone. Motorists should expect delays, increased travel times during the resurfacing process, and are advised to consider alternate routes during the afforementioned work.

Questions or concerns may be directed to John Guddendorf at (630) 816-9671, or Bryan Schramer at (630) 762-2744. For all Kane County traffic advisories, see www.co.kane.il.us/dot/trafficalerts.

Kaneville Village President Pat Hill is using the sign outside her store, Hill’s Country Store, to urge residents to write letters to the USPS and their congressmen, asking for the post office’s hours to be increased.                                   Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale

Residents, USPS weigh in on reduced Kaneville post office hours

KANEVILLE—Frustration over the reduced hours at the Kaneville post office has been rising, as residents struggle to pick up their mail and do business, and Village President Pat Hill wants to do something about it.

The post office, located at 2S101 Harter Road, had its hours slashed in February to just four hours a day, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and is among 13,000 offices nationwide facing reduced services as the U.S. Postal Service struggles with declining first class mail volume and nearly $50 billion in debt.

Kaneville resident Joann Murdock said that the reduced hours have affected her business, Artists of Note, by lengthening her turn-around time for customers. Since she now has to wait until the afternoon to get her mail, it’s difficult to turn around orders, bills and invoices before the office closes again at 4:30.

Hill said that a lot of people have been coming into her store, named Hill’s Country Store but better known as “the purple store,” and complaining about the reduced hours. Many local businesses have been affected, she said, including her own.

Kaneville resident Joann Murdock (left) hands Kaneville Postmaster Roger Fronek several packages a day for her business, Artists of Note. The reduced hours have affected her business and increased her turn-around time for customers. Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale
Kaneville resident Joann Murdock (left) hands Kaneville Postmaster Roger Fronek several packages a day for her business, Artists of Note. The reduced hours have affected her business and increased her turn-around time for customers.
Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale

“We’re all crabby,” Hill said. “(Residents and business owners) can’t mail things out. They have to have it mailed out in the morning, and they can’t wait until the next day to get it out because it’s time-sensitive stuff. So they go to the Elburn post office or the Sugar Grove post office, and we’re losing the revenue (at the Kaneville post office).”

The reduced hours are just part of a pattern of recent changes that are causing many residents to worry their office might close, she said.

First, the office’s equipment was downgraded last fall, which made providing services slower and more labor-intensive. Then the hours were reduced in February.

And now, postmaster Roger Fronek is being transferred to Elburn and replaced with a new employee who will be paid less and will not receive benefits.

It’s a series of events that has intensified worries among residents that the USPS will close the office and the close-knit town will lose its identity, Kaneville resident Dan Isham said.

“It seems like it’s the first step in phasing it out altogether,” Isham said as he picked up his mail from his P.O. Box. “It will hurt the community. I’ve had a P.O. Box for a long time, and I like having it instead of delivery. I like having the same postmaster, who knows me by sight and I know him by sight.”

Kaneville Village President Pat Hill is using the sign outside her store, Hill’s Country Store, to urge residents to write letters to the USPS and their congressmen, asking for the post office’s hours to be increased.                                   Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale
Kaneville Village President Pat Hill is using the sign outside her store, Hill’s Country Store, to urge residents to write letters to the USPS and their congressmen, asking for the post office’s hours to be increased. Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale

Hill is encouraging residents to contact the USPS and their congressmen about the issue—the sign outside her store, at the intersection of Harter Road and Main Street in Kaneville, urges residents to write letters this week—and is hoping that if enough people ask for the hours to be expanded again, it will make a difference.

“Our goal is to get our post office back up to at least six hours a day because we do have the revenue,” she said. “We want a full-time postmaster back.”

Fronek said he heard complaints from customers daily about the cutbacks and understood residents’ concerns.

“They want their Kaneville identity is what this comes down to,” Fronek said. “Basically a community is based on their town having a ZIP code. It’s important to a lot of people. This is a tight-knit community, and they are proud of their identity. They’ve been here since 1836, and a lot of them think that if the post office were to close, they would just become a blip on the radar screen.”

Though the hours and equipment have been reduced, Fronek said he knows of no plan to close Kaneville’s office, and that the decision to reduce hours was actually an encouraging thing.

“(USPS) said they would compromise the hours but not close the office, which I think was encouraging. The people on the street are very skeptical, but I’ve been told that they are reducing the hours in order not to close offices,” he said.

Decisions about the Kaneville post office’shours and future are made by officials at USPS headquarters in Washington, D.C., according to USPS spokesperson Beverly Howard, and all of it is driven by workloads. There are currently no plans to close Kaneville’s office or any other post office in the country, she said.

“I do know that the hours have already been reduced, but so far as we know, those are all the changes that are being made,” Howard said. “There’s nothing in process to close the particular office, based upon the workload that the office has been receiving.”

Howard said many customers from across the country had contacted USPS and expressed worry that their offices would be closed and their addresses would be changed to accommodate new delivery routes. Part of the decision to reduce opening hours rather than the number of offices was to prevent people from having to change their addresses, she said. She noted that closing post offices, which would route mail through another town’s office and potentially change some customers’ mailing addresses, would be a logistical nightmare since many towns have streets with the same names, such as Main Street, and that USPS’s databases were not designed to handle that overlap.

Reduced hours at thousands of offices nationwide will save USPS about $2 billion a year, mostly in personnel costs, Howard added.

Fronek said that USPS made decisions about which offices should have reduced hours based on mail volume and on the amount of revenue.

“Volume-wise, I can see them reducing Kaneville’s hours,” Fronek said. “But revenue-wise, Kaneville pulls its weight. We do deserve to be here, whether it’s for four hours or six hours or eight.”

Despite low volume, Fronek said that the Kaneville office makes money or breaks even on a daily basis in part because the village charges the post office very low rent—just $600 a month—and provides it with free water.

“We’re not Chicago. We’re not going to get the revenue of a big city,” he said. “But this community set it up so that it’s dirt cheap to have this office.”

He estimated that rent and electricity cost just $30 a day for the office. Personnel costs are the biggest expense, he said, but those will be reduced in a few weeks, when he is transferred back to his home office in Elburn and his replacement, a new employee who can be paid a lower wage and isn’t given benefits, arrives.

Fronek said that while he will miss Kaneville and its residents, he doesn’t mind being transferred back to the Elburn office. He already works at the Elburn office in the mornings, he said, before the Kaneville office opens.

“It’s not like I’m losing a job,” he said.

Yet the personnel changes upset Murdock, who said that Kaneville deserved to have a postmaster.

“We’ve been notified that they have hired a new person, new to the postal service, and they aren’t going to be a postmaster,” Murdock said. “We’re going to have a person who has never worked in a post office before. And I’m not the only one who mails international packages and things that require insurance, things that are so complex that I have to ask someone at the counter. How am I going to ask someone who has only two weeks of training? As far as I see it, they are preparing to shut us down, and even if they are not preparing, they are doing everything they can to make us fail.”

Reducing the hours creates a downward spiral of revenue, she said, because the inconvenience pushes residents into going to other post offices to buy stamps and send mail. That causes revenues to drop further and gives USPS administrators in Washington, D.C., more justification for closing the office.

“I can’t see how taking away the equipment we need to sell stamps is going to support sales,” Murdock said. “I believe that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Part of the problem, Murdock said, is also that too many of Kaneville’s postal services have been divided out among other local post offices, which further reduces its revenue.

“The Kaneville post office is here and serving this community, but Maple Park, Elburn and Big Rock all have a piece of this post office and none of them want to give it up. Kaneville has been thrown to the dogs,” she said.

Since the Kaneville post office does not have its own delivery route, both the Elburn and Maple Park offices deliver to parts of Kaneville, and Big Rock’s office now routes some of the mail that gets delivered to Kaneville P.O. Boxes, she pointed out.

“The post office is looking at every office and their revenues to see who to cut down,” Murdock said. “We are Kaneville. We are a village, but Elburn has a piece of our revenue; Big Rock has a piece of our revenue. We want it to be Kaneville’s revenue. The people here are saying, ‘We want our address to be Kaneville, not Elburn or Maple Park.’ It might have made sense in 1932, when the population was a lot lower. But this is not 1932.”

Howard said she worries that USPS’ moves might lead to closure were understandable.

“I can understand why someone might want to draw those conclusions,” Howard said. “We’re hoping that there’s some kind of break or legislation that will move forward and have us not have to make these difficult decisions and adjustments. But if we still have to continue to do business and make cuts, then (closing offices) might be the next step. That’s not something that’s decided locally. That comes from headquarters.”

Yet Murdock thinks locals should have some say.

“It just doesn’t make sense for someone out in Washington, D.C., or Springfield to say, ‘You don’t need your post office and you don’t need your town name in the address either,’” she said. “We call and call, and we can’t find anyone to talk to about this. I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this because I’m afraid we’re going to lose our (Kaneville) address. We don’t want the Kaneville post office to go away.”

‘Task force’ to look into Kaneville drainage issue

KANEVILLE—Due to heavy rains last week resulting in drainage problems for Kaneville, a “task force” was appointed at the April 18 Village Board meeting. The appointed group will look into the drainage problems and update the board at its next meeting, Thursday, May 16.

One of the issues is that village residents need to keep the culverts at the end of their driveways free and clear of all debris. The village is asking all residents to clear out and open up their culverts.

Kaneville committee discusses solutions to drainage issue

by Chris Paulus
KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville on May 8 held a special Drainage Committee meeting to discuss solutions regarding the issue of rain water drainage.

The drainage committee includes Village President Pat Hill, and trustees Poul Flamand, Carl Hauser and Jon Behm. Behm was absent from the special meeting.

The drainage issue is the result of months of heavy rain, and there has been flooding in the ditches on the east side of Harter Road. Hill said that the water from the ditches is not flowing through the culverts correctly, and that the water is currently flowing near the fire bar.

Hauser said that the drainage project actually started about two or three years ago, and that it has been a “work in progress.”

“We keep doing a little bit more to see if that works. Each year we try something new and then we see if it works,” Hill said. “This needs to be done in stages. We’ll keep looking at it each six months.”

Hauser said that some progress that has been made thus far.

“There is a ditch now. What we ran into, though, was that the ground was still pretty wet,” he said. “We were still able to make enough of a ‘V.’ Our next step is to let this dry out, and we’re going to rototill that up. It is not completed yet, but the work can’t yet be completed because of how wet it is. We want to make it so that it makes a 90-degree turn.”

Individuals in the community have also been contributing to the reparations.

“We don’t want to spend any of the taxpayer’s money. We’re hoping to get the most done efficiently and professionally without spending any of the taxpayer’s money,” Hill said. “Obviously we’ll try to repair what we can. If we come across some that are beyond repair, we will approach each section individually.”

Hill gave credit to individuals that have helped with the reparations and to save the community money, naming village trustee Jon Behm, and Kaneville Township Highway Commissioner Dale Pierson and his son, Trent, as being extremely helpful to the process and saving the community thousands of dollars.

The Drainage Committee is asking residents to take out any restrictions on their culverts. Committee members, based on a prioritized and individualized list, will encourage members of the public whose yards are contributing to the problem to help take care of the issue individually so that the water in the culverts are properly flowing.

“Now it’s just a matter of checking when it rains and Mother Nature working with us,” Hauser said.

Cooking in Kaneville

The weather on May 2 didn’t stop 5 B’s Catering and local volunteers from raising money for
the Kaneville Fest. Many meals were packed up to go due to poor conditions, though. Volunteer Kathy Kovach packed dozens of meals as residents came to pick up their dinners. Jenni Meyers of Hinckley supported the cause. Meyers works in the area.
Photos by Kimberly Anderson
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Kaneville village clerk opening

KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville is looking for a village clerk. The candidate does not need to live within the village limits. This is an appointed, part-time position. The candidate must be available the third Thursday of every month to attend Village Board meetings and take minutes.

If you are interested in applying, send your resume to Village President, Village of Kaneville, P.O. Box 83, Kaneville, IL 60144. You can also email it to info@villageofkaneville.com.

If you have questions, you can contact the village office at (630) 557-0037.

Panda Express

Photo: Kaneville resident and FedEx pilot Steve Gramley recently flew two pandas from Chengdu, China, to Vancouver, Canada. Here, he takes time out from the flight to pose with his new friend Da Mao. Da Mao and Er Shun were later flown to Toronto. Courtesy Photo

Kaneville resident flies pandas from China to Canada
by Cheryl Borrowdale
KANEVILLE—Steve Gramley isn’t sure how he was chosen to pilot FedEx’s “Panda Express,” but flying two giant pandas from China to Canada on March 25 was the most interesting flight of his career.

The Kaneville resident, who works as a pilot for FedEx, was one of two pilots who flew the MD-11F aircraft that transported Er Shun, a 5-year-old female panda, and Da Mao, a 4-year-old male panda, from Chengdu, China to Vancouver, Canada. A second set of pilots took the pandas on to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, where Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met the plane for a welcoming ceremony.

The pandas were transported as part of a cooperative conservation agreement between Canada and China. Er Shun and Da Mao, a breeding pair, will spend five years at the Toronto Zoo, followed by another five years at the Calgary Zoo. It’s the first time in 20 years that pandas have been loaned to a Canadian zoo.

Gramley began working for FedEx in 2001, after several years flying regional commuter flights for Northwest AirLink and a stint in the Marine Corps as a crew member on a cargo plane. He said he was surprised to have been chosen to represent FedEx on such a prominent flight.

“I don’t know how my name came up,” Gramley said. “My chief pilot called me and said, ‘Hey, I’m looking for guys to take these pandas. Do you want to?’
Normally, it would be management pilots who get opportunities like that, not just the ordinary line guy like me. Do I think it was any great achievement that I was picked? Not really, but I am flattered that he thought I would do a good job.”

Gramley is a MD-11F first officer and typically flies the Memphis-to-Chicago route for FedEx, although he has flown all over the world for the company. On a transpacific flight, the plane’s cargo hold normally carries 100,000 pounds of cargo, but the Panda Express flew light.

“On this particular flight, there was only about 15,000 pounds because all we had on this particular airplane was the two pandas; some equipment for the pandas; three handlers, one of whom had been with the pandas since birth; and a zookeeper from the Toronto Zoo,” Gramley said.

The flight was a unique experience for Gramley, who got to leave the cockpit once the flight was underway and see the pandas.

“They were just hanging out,” he said. “They had bamboo and were just chewing on it, and they didn’t seem bothered by flying. One of them was a little upset when he was getting loaded, but as soon as we got the door closed and got them moving, they were pretty much fine for the rest of the flight.”

Gramley got quite close to the pandas and was surprised by how gentle they were.

“They were literally right there, essentially in something like a large dog cage. I could have touched them if I wanted to. They are fairly docile animals, and I think you could actually touch them and be fine,” he said.

Visiting Chengdu was also a highlight for Gramley, who went to its famed panda breeding center to see the going-away ceremony for Er Shun and Da Mao. Though Gramley has been to Shanghai and Hong Kong before, he said visiting Chengdu gave him a better understanding of China.

“I’d never even heard of Chengdu, but it has 14 million people in it,” he said. “It really got me understanding how big of a country it is.”

Unlike Shanghai and Hong Kong, where many people speak English, Gramley said he had a hard time finding anyone who spoke English.

“It was like seeing a real Chinese environment,” he said. “It was a pretty neat place.”

FedEx donates the flights and has transported several pairs of giant pandas from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, including the pair that were at Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo from 2000 to 2010. There are only an estimated 2,000 giant pandas left in the wild, and the research center loans out breeding pairs of pandas for ten years to zoos involved in conservation efforts around the world.

The company will also be transporting roughly 700 pounds of bamboo from the Memphis Zoo, which maintains a 10-acre bamboo farm to provide food for its giant pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le, to the Toronto Zoo two to three times a week.

Both the panda exchange between countries and FedEx’s Panda Express flights are heavily promoted, Gramley said.

“Everybody works hard at promoting the whole panda thing—the exchange—because it’s really as much of a diplomatic thing as anything else,” Gramley said. “The reason Canada is getting these pandas is because the prime minister had requested it, and they’d been working on it for a long, long time. It’s sort of a relationship thing between the two countries.”

FedEx donates the panda flights because it generates so much publicity, he said.

“I can’t begin to guess what it cost FedEx to pull off that flight, but when you look at all the press they got, it was another way to reach people. When they arrived in Toronto, the plane had a big old panda decal on it to show the whole thing off, and when they had the welcome ceremony in Canada it was in front of the plane. Who doesn’t love a panda?”

Hill’s Country Store hosts ‘Great Purple Cupcake Project’

by Mari Parrilli
KANEVILLE—Hill’s Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road, in Kaneville, is currently hosting a charity event called the “Great Purple Cupcake Project” as a way to raise epilepsy awareness.

From now until Saturday, March 30, Alexa Hill, the daughter of Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill, is baking and selling purple cupcakes and cupcake-shaped sugar cookies for $1 each, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the Anita Kaufmann foundation.

The Foundation’s mission is to educate the public against fear of epilepsy and other brain traumas. Kaufmann is a woman who suffers from epilepsy.

Alexa, 22, studies communications at Aurora University. She is doing her capstone project on the creation of a bakery, since she loves to bake and creates pies and other goods for the Country Store (aka the “Purple Store”). During her research for her project, Alexa came upon the Great Purple Cupcake Project listed on a bakery website.

“I investigated the project, and I thought it would be perfect for us, since we are the purple store and epilepsy’s color is purple,” she said.

Alexa’s charity project is unrelated to her school project, but she thought that it would be a nice program to host and take part. Hill designed fliers detailing the event, and has been busy handing them out to everyone she can think of. She also notified “anyone and everyone she knows” via email, as well as her university teachers, and also asked Hill’s Country Store employees to tell all customers about the event.

Alexas has been baking nonstop for the past few days trying to keep up with all the orders coming in. The cupcakes are either chocolate or vanilla with purple frosting, but she is also making purple sugar cookies for those who want another option.

“I also designed, on Photoshop, little purple cupcake paper cut-outs for people to just donate money if they want to, and 100 percent of their donations go directly to the foundation,” Alexa said. “I’ve gotten a lot of donations this way, as well. People have been coming into the store and donating nice amounts, and then we put up the paper cupcake on the wall of the store with their name and amount donated.”

People can pre-order the cupcakes by calling the store and coming to pick up the order at a later date. With each cupcake or cookie sale comes a bookmark or pamphlet for epilepsy education—one of which outlines the signs of epilepsy and what to do in case of seizure.

Alexa estimates her sales to be about $300 so far. Her goal is $500, and she hopes to reach it by Saturday.

For more information or to make a donation, call Hill’s Country Store at (630) 557-2228.

Kaneland Community Child Center currently hosting food drive

by Mary Parrilli
KANEVILLE—Interested in making a donation as a way to kick off the Easter season? If so, you’re in luck.

The Kaneville Community Child Center (KCCC) is currently hosting a food drive for the Elburn Food Pantry this month. The food drive began on March 1 and will continue until Friday, March 22.

“We wanted to find a project to help the community, so we decided to sponsor a food drive to help the Elburn Food Pantry. After all, it’s Easter season—a season about giving and helping people in your community,” said Judy Divizio, director of KCCC.

Divizio and KCCC proceeded to do just that. She and the KCCC board wrote a letter to the parents at the school, announced in the Kaneville United Methodist Church newsletter and posted a notice at Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville as a way to get the word out about the food drive and the fact that it’s open to all for donations. Donation boxes are currently located at all three establishments.

Divizio said she’s received items such as diapers, cooking oil, laundry detergent, cereal, stuffing, cake mixes and toilet paper from the families of children who attend KCCC. In addition, KUMC Pastor Harkness informed Divizio that the church’s donation box is already full.

“People really did a great job as far as looking to see what the food pantry needs,” Divizio said.

The donations will be transported to the food pantry before Easter weekend.

Divizio has worked at the KCCC for about four years, and said she is very dedicated to her community.

“I wanted to thank all of the families and individuals who have supported us and contributed during this time of giving,” she said.

Kaneville Post Office to reduce hours

by Dave Woehrle
KANEVILLE—An announcement calling for reduced hours at the Kaneville Post Office was made during the Kaneville Village Board meeting on Feb. 21.

The post office, located 2S101 Harter Road, officially reduced its working hours on Saturday. The office’s revised hours are 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Village trustee Pat Hill informed the board of the United State Postal Services’ decision to move forward with hour reduction.

“For now, we’ll see reduced hours. But we’ll see what we can do to change this,” she said.

Roger Fronek, Kaneville Post Office’s officer in charge, who began working in Kaneville in March 2012, will keep his job. However, the loss of hours, he said, is a disservice to the community. Fronek on Monday noted that the mail will now be a day behind.

“People have protested, made their points, but we’re getting the short end of the stick here,” he said.

Kaneville resident and business person Joann Murdoch spent the last few months attending local meetings and writing letters to the editor in regard to the reduction in post office hours.

“I’m down there at the post office two or three times a day because I run my business from home,” she said. “Like most people, I only have a P.O. box, so I have to go in to get my mail. I’m stymied as to why they are closing, as I spend a lot of money down there.”

Kaneville residents last fall received a letter notifying them of a town meeting to discuss post office budget issues. A public forum, hosted by Huntley Postmaster Derek Strissel on Nov. 1, was held with the intention of hearing comments from residents. The comments, Murdoch said, fell on deaf ears.

“There are no reports of what we said. And I think the argument about budget cuts is artificial,” she said. “When they cut hours, the revenue will be reduced. With less revenue, they’ll cut more hours. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Kaneville Interim Village President Rick Peck said he was disappointed in the decision.

“It just feels like no one is held responsible,” he said. “We’re a small town, and our post office is a part of our identity.”

One issue Murdoch brought up was online postage. When a resident purchases postage materials online for larger packages, only 10 percent of that revenue goes to Kaneville.

“I spend $500 online a month for postage and only $50 goes to our post office here. It’s not fair,” she said.

Murdoch wrote a letter to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin expressing her postal concerns. In his response, Senator Durbin stated the USPS has reduced operating costs by $9 million over

the last three years. Durbin said the Senate has passed bipartisan legislation to give the Postal Service proper resources, and that it’s on the House of Representatives to initiate proper USPS reform.

Hill said she will meet with Congressman Randy Hultgren in the coming week to work toward finding solutions for the reduced hours.

Kaneville village president candidates square off

by Dave Woehrle
KANEVILLE—Two Kaneville trustees will compete for the village president position in this April’s General Election, as Patricia Hill and Rick Peck both are seeking the seat vacated by former village president Bob Rodney, who passed away in July 2012.

Peck has served as Kaneville’s interim village president the past six months, and was a village trustee for three-and-a-half years prior to that. He said his record to the community speaks for itself.

“I was nominated to serve as Interim president by our Village Board,” he said. “I feel that some of the things we have been working on the last six months have begun to gain some momentum, and I want to follow through.”

Peck said he helped save Kaneville taxpayers nearly $100,000 by negotiating a single-waste hauler service for the area. Peck also worked with the Kane County Department of Transportation to reduce speeding and other traffic issues.

“My family and I have lived here for almost nine years. We are very involved in town,” he said. “I want to continue serving Kaneville to keep it a great community.”

Peck said the main message of his campaign is to serve the community and maintain a rural and family character in Kaneville.

Hill has served as a village trustee since the incorporation of Kaneville in 2006. She said she’s running to keep Kaneville a small, quaint country town.

“We have faced many challenges as a board,” she said. “I believe I can take over the leadership Bob provided to the Village Board and make Kaneville a great little town.”

Hill said one main challenge that faces Kaneville is the proposed plan to reduce hours and funds to the local post office. Current condition of roads and subdivision cul-del-sacs are in need of repair, as well. She said the Prairie Parkway project, which is currently on hold due to lack of funds, is also a concern.

Hill said her main message for Kaneville is that she’s here for Kaneville residents.

“I will listen to the needs and wants of the residents,” she said.

Hill has served on the Kaneville Cemetery Board and the Memorial Day Committee, and is also a member of Kaneville Historical Society. During her free time, Hill volunteers and organizes local events, such as the Kaneville Fest and the village’s 175th Birthday Celebration. She also helped raise money for remodeling the local library and rejuvenating the village’s Dean Downen baseball fields.

Hill emphasized that the future of Kaneville is not synonymous with change.

“Some things just need to be preserved and maintained,” she said.

Hill said Rodney was a very meticulous man in regard to village issues. He kept himself very informed on all aspects of the village.

Peck agreed with Hill’s sentiment.

“Bob was great. He had a servant’s heart and willfully gave a lot of his own personal time to begin our Village Board. We will all miss him,” he said.

Hill and Peck also agree that procuring funds to replace downtown’s sidewalks is a priority, preferably without raising taxes to residents.

Peck is an engineering manager for a telecommunications business. Hill runs Hill’s Country Store, aka the “Purple Store,” with her husband, Cliff.

Kaneville United Methodist Church’s annual Chili Supper

KANEVILLE—Kaneville United Methodist Church Men’s Club’s 16th annual Chili Supper will take place Saturday, Feb. 23, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the church, 46W764 Main St., Kaneville.

Chili, mild to wild, will be served, and a free will offering will also take place. Live country and bluegrass music will be provided by The Good Old Boys Gospel Singers.

For more information, call (630) 557-2353.

Ups, downs define 2012 for Kaneville

by Keith Beebe
KANEVILLE—The year 2012 was a bittersweet one for the Kaneville Village Board.

Despite accomplishing several road improvements and operating debt-free as a village last year, the board’s successes were overshadowed by the loss of Kaneville Village President Bob Rodney to cancer on July 20.

“He was our first elected leader who has formed our local government body to where it is today,” said Interim Village President Rick Peck. “He will be deeply missed by his family and our community.”

Rodney relocated from Bolingbrook, Ill., to Kaneville in 2003, and was named Village President in 2007. Village residents and family members last August stated that Rodney would be remembered for his role in incorporating the village of Kaneville, for serving as its first village president and for his devotion to his family.

Kaneville resident Pat Hill last August said that Rodney was the most thorough person she has ever known.

“We’ll miss his knowledge and his input on things (on the board),” she said.

On a positive note, the Village Board appointed two new members in 2012: Village Clerk Denise Harris and trustee Nick Garifalis. Other village accomplishments in 2012 included the completion of culvert repair work at very little cost to the village and no cost to residents.

“We completed some road repairs that will hopefully give us some more years of use before any major replacements may be needed,” Peck said.

According to Peck, Kaneville will continue to contract with the Kane County Sheriff for patrols.

“Having them, along with the radar signs, has really made a big difference. We are thankful for the partnership with KDOT and the Sherriff,” Peck said.

As for village plans regarding 2013, Peck said the board intends to replace existing sidewalks—many of which are in complete disrepair.

“We are in the beginning steps of this, and we will have to evaluate how to proceed once all the financials have been determined,” Peck said. “This was an important part of our Comprehensive Plan, and we need to continue forward with this. We will continue to look for ways to imporve our community while retaining our rural character.”

Filing dates for Kaneville Consolidated Election candidates

KANEVILLE—Candidates for the Kaneville 2013 Consolidated Election may file their nominating petitions with Kaneville Township Clerk Kim Wendling at the Kaneville Township Office in the Kaneville Community Center, 2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville, during the following dates and times:
• Friday, Dec. 21, 10 to 11 a.m.
• Saturday, Dec. 22, 10 to 11 a.m.
• Wednesday, Dec. 26, 4 to 5 p.m.

Nomination papers must include statement of candidacy, nomination petitions with 15-65 signatures of registered voters in Kaneville township, receipt for filing statement of economic interests and (optional) loyalty oath.

Photos: Christmas in Kaneville

Riders (right) return from a tour of the town during the Kaneville Christmas celebration.


Gunner Barrett (left), 21 months, really liked seeing Santa at the Kaneville Fire
Department during the Christmas in Kaneville event.


Katee Werrline hands out free snacks and drinks at Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville.




Photos by John DiDonna

Kaneville board reacts to cut in post office hours

by David Maas
KANEVILLE—Kaneville Village Board trustee Pat Hill on Nov. 15 gave an update to the board regarding the reduction in window hours for the village’s post office.

“We had the meeting (on Nov. 1), but they basically shot us down,” she said.

As a result, the Kaneville Post Office will operate from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Hill said the hour reduction can go into effect anytime after Jan. 1., but the exact date is still unknown.

Despite the announcement at the post office meeting earlier this month, Kaneville isn’t going to give up trying to get those hours back.

“I don’t know if there is much we can do, but we’re trying everything we can. This (reduction) is the first step in closing the post office,” Hill said.

The village is handing out flyers to residents as a way to explain the situation and urge them to write their representatives.

“We need to encourage everyone to buy stamps at our post office,” Interim Village President Rick Peck said, “We need to show them that we use it, that we need it.”

Standing up for the ‘little guy’

[quote] Kaneville residents speak out against reduced post office hours
by Keith Beebe
KANEVILLE—Kaneville residents on Nov. 1 attended a forum expecting to plead their case against the United State Postal Service’s pending decision to reduce Kaneville Post Office hours.

The same residents left the forum believing that they never really had a choice in the matter.

“(The USPS) made up their minds before we got there,” said Pat Hill, owner of Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville. “Afterwards, we all talked and basically said that we felt like we wasted our time.”

The meeting, which drew close to 60 residents, consisted of Huntley Postmaster Derek Strissel fielding questions and explaining the results of a USPS survey that was recently mailed to Kaneville residents. The survey asked whether the post office should realign its hours or close in favor of rural delivery or service through a local company or nearby post office.

Many Kaneville Township residents’ mailboxes have an Elburn, Maple Park or Big Rock address, and those residents didn’t receive the survey. Nevertheless, of the 114 surveys that were returned to the USPS, 89 percent were in favor of hour realignment, 3 percent chose a delivery option, and 0 percent were in favor of the local company or nearby post office options.
Nine percent of the surveys were returned with no selection indicated.

The realignment in hours is a part of the USPS’ “Post Plan” process, which seeks to navigate the service’s 50 percent decrease in first-class mail over the last five years. Strissel said the Kaneville Post Office only requires four hours per day.

As a result, Kaneville Post Office’s hours will likely be 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Strissel said the plan for hour realignment will go into effect sometime during the new year. No date is currently set; the USPS will next review its Post Plan in 2014.

“The community prefers the post office open, so that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.

That explanation wasn’t good enough for some residents, however, as many stated that they thought the forum was an opportunity for the public to make its case against the reduction of hours. Strissel said the Post Plan was a solution to discontinuance.

“It’s not a continuance; it’s the beginning of closing,” one resident said during the meeting.

Hill said Kaneville had a great turnout for the forum, but residents were “totally and completely disgusted with the outcome.”

“We’re a unique town, and we don’t want to lose our identity. We want to keep our postguy.”

That postguy is Roger Fronek, who serves as officer in charge at the Kaneville Post Office. Fronek drew high praise from several residents in attendance during the forum.

“We’d be lost without Roger,” one resident said.

Kaneville resident Joann Murdock during the meeting said Kaneville has experienced growth and will continue to as the economy recovers. Another resident said she felt like the USPS was picking on the “little guy” by choosing to go after smaller post offices.

According to Hill, many Kaneville residents will write Congressman Randy Hultgren and ask him for help with the reduction in post office hours.

“Even if he can’t get us seven hours, hopefully he can get us six hours of operation,” Hill said.

Hill said that, prior to the meeting, she didn’t think hour realignment was a done deal.

“I thought that if the (USPS) saw how many people showed up, they’d reconsider. We don’t have to pay any taxes on the building,” she said.
“Halfway through the meeting, I could tell we were getting nowhere. It was like (Strissel) was reading from a script.

“I thought we were gonna show that we’re a strong community and we’re going to beat this thing. I was disheartened.”

Hill wasn’t the only one.

“I feel like our town just died,” said one resident in attendance.

Kaneville residents protest shortened hours at post office

by Chris Paulus
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Post Office on Thursday, Nov. 1, at noon will host a meeting at its location, 2S101 Harter Road in Kaneville, to finalize a decision to shorten the post office’s hours from seven window hours a day to four window hours a day.

According to Pat Hill, village trustee and owner of Hill’s Country Store, most of the local community is very unhappy about the proposed reduction in post office hours.

“Our post office is unique in that we don’t have to pay high rent because we don’t own it,” she said. “We pay lower taxes to our township compared to those that pay real estate taxes, because they own the building. We should have the money to keep these hours. If we change these hours, we might wind up with somebody who doesn’t know the job.”

Hill organized a petition at her store that has managed to gather about 180 signatures protesting the measure. She said she is also expecting a large turnout of community members to object the reduction at the meeting on Thursday.

Kaneville resident Joann Murdock said that these hours will pose a significant inconvenience to the community, local business owners, and post office employees.

“It takes a couple of hours to sort through the mail. We have unique and peculiar addresses, and it takes time to sort through,” she said. “Local businesses, like Record Information Services, who services clients in the Chicago area, will not be able to send mail out on the same day.”

Both Hill and Murdock confirmed that there were surveys sent out regarding this decision, but both claimed that they were not sent to the full extent of the community.

“They sent out about 170 surveys, which isn’t near the amount of the approximately 400 families that use this office,” Murdock said.

Murdock is concerned that these shorter window hours will hurt the profitability of the post office, and that it’s a poor, long-term decision that could reflect poorly on future budget reviews.

“We incorporated Kaneville about three years ago. If they wind up taking out the post office due to poor profitability, then no one will have a Kaneville address, and we feel like that will take a bit of our identity away from us,” Murdock said.

Calendar puts Kaneville’s rich history on display

“Remember When” Kaneville 2013 Calendar
Available at the Kaneville Library, Hill’s Country Store, by calling Lynette Werdin
at (630) 557-2202 or online at www.createphotocalendars.com

KANEVILLE—At last, there is a calendar to commemorate and depict the history of Kaneville.

The “Remember When” 2013 calendar marries each month of the year to a piece of Kaneville history. Photos of the steam train and electric trolley on Harter Road adorn the January portion of the calendar, while snapshots of the Needham Blacksmith Shop are displayed in the April section.

If the month of May brings to mind Kaneville’s Decoration (Memorial) Day ceremony and parade circa 1903, this is the calendar for you.

“We’ve sold the calendar for two or three weeks now, and we’ve sold about 10 so far,” said Pat Hill, owner of Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville. “We’ve had people coming up from the area, and even Batavia, to get the calendar.”

“Remember When” was put together last summer by Kaneville resident Jeanette Wampach. She said the project was delegated to her by Kaneville resident Lynette Werdin and the Kaneville Historical Society.

Werdin even gave Wampach access to the historical society’s photo library.

“Since I was recently retired, I was able to devote time and my skills to the project,” Wampach said. “I wanted to be very careful and make sure that everything I put in there was accurate.That took a lot of time. I worked quite heavily on the overall project for about two months. The hard part was deciding which pictures would be included; the fun part was actually putting them into the calendar.”

Wampach said the public response to the “Remember When” calendar has been very positive, especially from people who lived in Kaneville but don’t reside there any longer. They’re able to see the pictures and reflect back on their time spent in Kaneville.

“I think it looks awesome. I think Jeannete did a great job on it,” Hill said. “She took hours and hours scanning pictures and finnagling it and putting it together. She probably put over 200 hours into the calendar.”

In addition to nostalgic photographs, the calendar also features great trivia and facts related to Kaneville. A glance at the February portion of the calendar reveals that Kaneville had boys and girls basketball teams in the 1920s. Spatial constraints forced the teams to play on an L-shaped court.

Several other fascinating nuggets of knowledge line the bottom of each page. The July page reveals that tug of war was once a “competitive community sport, and Kaneville’s team drew very large crowds while competing at Kaneville Days.” They were even named Northern Illinois Champs in 1932.

The calendar isn’t all fun facts and glitz, however. It contains a complete listing of village meetings, and the back page features Kaneville Township Historical Society information, community organization contacts and a weekly events summary.

So, can the public expect a “Remember When” Calendar for 2014?

“I think that’s contingent upon the response we see in actual sales, but we’re leaning in that direction,” Wampach said. “We’d like to see this become an ongoing project.”

The calendars are $20 each, and can be purchased from the Kaneville Library, Hill’s Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road in Kaneville, or by calling Werdin at (630) 557-2202.
The calendars are also available online at www.createphotocalendars.com.

Wampach said she will gladly speak with any Elburn, Sugar Grove or Maple Park residents who want to make a “Remember When”-type calendar for their village. Those interested should email Wampach at jewam@aol.com.

Kaneville Board talks Post Office hours

Calls for residents to attend Nov. 1 meeting
by David Maas
KANEVILLE—Kaneville Village Board members on Oct. 18 discussed the upcoming forum that will outline the possibility of reduced hours for the Kaneville Post Office.

The forum is slated to take place at noon on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Post Office, 2S101 Harter Road, Kaneville.

Due to a lack of funds, the Postal Service is looking for ways to cut costs. Village trustee Pat Hill believes the Kaneville Post Office is in the Postal Service’s financial crosshairs.

“It sounds like they aren’t going to close the Post Office, but that they may already be set on reducing the hours,” she said. “Everybody in the village uses our Post Office. It’s important that we do everything we can to keep it.”

Village Board members during the meeting stated that, while they understand the Postal Service needs to make cuts, it would be unfair to cut from Kaneville’s Post Office.

“Our Post Office is different then other local offices,” Hill said, “The rent for our post office is low—about $200 a month. It isn’t a big building.”

Aside from the low rent, Hill also cites their hours are already reduced.

“The Post Office is already open seven hours instead of the normal eight,” she said. “And they want to cut another three-to-four hours off of that.”

The board called on the help of Kaneville residents to show their support for the Post Office and attend the Nov. 1 meeting.

“Let’s make an effort to get as many people as we can to get out here and show their support,” interim Village President Rick Peck said.

Kaneville passes Kaneland IGA

by David Maas
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Village Board on Sept. 20 discussed the proposed intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District.

“We got a call from Assistant Superintendent Julie-Ann Fuchs,” trustee Rick Peck said. “She asked us to review the IGA now that Maple Park had passed it.”

The IGA, which will be in effect for 10 years, institutes rate tables for impact fees from development on newly annexed land within the village.

“We don’t have any big development coming into the village right now,” trustee Paul Ross said. “But anything can happen in 10 years. It’s for the schools; we should do it.”

The board unanimously agreed to pass the IGA.

“Passing the IGA is the right thing to do,” trustee Paul Flamand said. “If we have any development, that’s money the schools get.”

With Kaneville passing the IGA, Sugar Grove is the only municipality to vote against the agreement.

“It puts us on a level playing field with the other municipalities in the School District,” Peck said.