Category Archives: Kaneville

175 years of community

Photo: The entire population of Kaneville Township posed for a photo 25 years ago in 1986. The 2011 population of the Township is invited to pose for a new photograph on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m. Courtesy Photo (View larger version)

by Lynn Meredith
Although Kaneville Fest is only a few years old, Kaneville Township has been around a lot longer. This year marks the township’s 175th anniversary. The community is ready to come out and celebrate during Kaneville Fest on Friday through Sunday, Aug. 26-28, with not only a cake, but also a township picture.

That’s right. The entire population of Kaneville Township is invited to pose for a photograph on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m. following the cutting of the anniversary cake. This isn’t the first time Kaneville has called up its ranks. They did it in 1986 (see photo).

The community will open its doors for three days with a plethora of events and activities. They will hold community garage sales starting at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The library will hold its book pre-sale from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday with a $5 cover, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. On Friday night at 8 p.m., Hill’s Country Store will show a “kid-appropriate movie,” according to Pat Hill, one of five organizers of the fest. The anniversary celebration will have its own commemorative T-shirt with the Kaneville logo costing $12 to $15.

“Pre-orders will be accepted at the store,” Hill said. “We have all sizes.”

While there are no food vendors this year, there is a community bake sale with donations being taken at Hill’s store. Hill will grill out on Friday as she does every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer. During the fest, she will also grill steaks, brats and pork chops on Friday and Saturday, lunch and dinner.

Colonial Ice Cream will sponsor an ice cream eating contest at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Blue Meadow Belgians will give horse-drawn wagon rides starting from the community center. The Kaneville Fire Department will have Touch-a-Truck and water fights. Inflatable jumping slides will be available for kids to play on. Also, they can participate in a bike parade at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday night highlights include music by Back Country Roads on stage behind the community center from 7 to 8:30 p.m., fireworks at 8:30 p.m. and more music from Back Country Roads from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The fireworks, provided by Maple Park pyrotechnician Roger Kahl, are paid for by fundraisers.

“We raise money all year long. We have a pork chop dinner in the spring and another one in the fall. We keep a bucket out to get ahead for next year,” Hill said.

Raffles and prizes will be given out during the fest. One that is being pre-sold at Hill’s store is four tickets to a Cubs games, with other Cubs memorabilia.

Sunday morning service will be held outside at the pavillion at 9:30 a.m. and is sponsored by the Kaneville United Methodist Church. At noon, the community will hold a pot luck dinner with meat provided by Kaneville Township. The cake cutting and township picture follow.

The Kaneville Historical Society will hold a cemetery walk at 1:30 p.m. Volunteers will dress up as people buried in the cemetery and give a talk about their lives and contributions to the town.

“They will dress up as Amos Miner or another person buried in the cemetery—someone important or one that they want to pick, like founding fathers or relatives,” Hill said. “They’ll wear what they’d wear and talk about that person.”

The fest ends with pick-up softball games starting at 3 p.m.

Kaneville Fest features library used book sale

Annual Used Book Sale
Hardbacks from $1;
paperbacks and recordings from 25¢
Collectibles and sets from $2;
all children’s items are 10¢

Preview Sale: ($5 admittance fee)
Thursday, Aug. 25 • 5 to 8 p.m.

General Sale:
Friday, Aug. 26 • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27 • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 28 • 10 a.m. to noon

by Susan O’Neill
Kaneville Public Library Director Ray Christiansen estimates that there will be approximately 8,000 books and about 1,500 videos, books on tape, etc. for sale at the Kaneville Fest used book sale.

The annual sale will take place at the Dave Werdin Community Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-28, during Kaneville Fest, plus a preview sale on Thursday, Aug. 25, with a $5 admittance fee. The books will line the hallways of the center.

Christiansen said there will be quite a variety of fiction, non-fiction, hard cover and paperbacks, as well as children’s books. There will also be an assortment of collectible books, such as coffee-table books and books autographed by the authors.

“We always get 30 to 40 of those, at least,” he said.

The books are donated from a number of places, including residents, families when a loved one passes away, Friends groups from other libraries, and other organizations, as well as books withdrawn from the Kaneville Library (when it receives a new edition of a book and doesn’t keep the old one).

“Everybody’s trying to raise money, so we’re trying to recycle things around,” he said.

Last year, the sale made a little less than $900; the year before that, the revenue was more than $1,000. The money goes toward the library technology fund, which goes to purchase computer upgrades and other equipment. The library currently has five computers open to the public and three staff computers, Christiansen said.

The most expensive book this year will be a rare-edition book by Alexander Dumas from the mid-1800’s, he said. Dumas was a famous French novelist who wrote books such as the “Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers,” although this book is neither one of those. The book, which was an early edition written in French and translated into English, will be priced at $40.

There are also some deals to be had, librarian Judy Angell said. Angell, who helps sort the books for the sale, said there will be grab-bags of romance novels for 50 cents per bag, and boxes of paperbacks that will be sealed and sold for a flat fee, depending on the size of the box. The “Buck a Bag” sale takes place on Sunday, Aug. 27, from noon to 2 p.m.

All children’s books will be sold for 10 cents each.

“If a parent wants to spend some time looking at books, they can give the child a dollar, and they can go shopping and pick out 10 books. It buys peace and quiet for a few minutes,” Christiansen said with a laugh.

Donations of books, videos, audio recordings and other items will be accepted until the week before the sale. Donations may be dropped off at the library or at Hill’s Country Store, both located at the corner of Harter and Main Street roads. For more information, call the library at (630) 557-2441.

Village raises funds for fireworks

by Susan O’Neill
The fundraising for the Kaneville Fest fireworks never stops. As soon as enough money is raised for this year’s display, event organizers begin working on the following year’s show.

The money donated by sponsors listed on T-shirts commemorating Kaneville Township’s 175th anniversary will help defray the costs. Pre-orders are being taken at Hill’s Country Store on Harter and Main Street roads for the shirts, which come in both children’s and adult’s sizes. A successful 5-B’s pork chop drive-through dinner event this spring helped pay for the show, and money raised through the sale of raffle tickets will also help with expenses.

“There are plenty of raffles and prizes to win,” Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill said.
Tickets are on sale at Hill’s purple store on Harter and Main Street roads in Kaneville now through Kaneville Fest, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 26, to Sunday, Aug. 28. The variety of prizes includes four Cubs tickets.

The fireworks display will once again be done by Maple Park resident and S&N Display Fireworks employee Roger Kahl. This will be the third year in a row that Kahl has presented the show.

“He has a fair price and does a great job,” Hill said. “He puts on a great show.”

Back Country Roads will play onstage behind the Kaneville Township Community Center on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m., with the fireworks scheduled for 8:30 p.m. The fireworks will last about 20 minutes, with the band playing for another hour after that, Hill said.

Another 5-B’s pork chop and chicken dinner at the end of September gets the ball rolling for next year’s event.

Kaneville Fest 2011

Thursday, Aug. 25
5 to 8 p.m.:
Library Book Pre-sale, $5 admission

Friday, Aug. 26
9 a.m.:
Community Garage Sale
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
Library Book Sale
8 p.m.:
Movie Night at Hill’s Country Store

Saturday, Aug. 27
9 a.m.:
Community Garage Sale
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:
Library Book Sale
1 to 7 p.m.:
Horse-drawn wagon rides by
Blue Meadow Belgians
1 p.m.:
Touch-A-Truck, water fights,
bike parade, bake sale
3 p.m.:
Ice Cream Eating Contest
7 to 8:30 p.m.:
Back Country Roads performs
8:30 p.m.:
9:30 to 10:30 p.m.:
Back Country Roads performs

Sunday, Aug. 28
9:30 a.m.:
Community Church Service at pavilion
Potluck dinner; meat provided by
Kaneville Township,
please bring a dish to pass
1 p.m.:
Cutting of Kaneville Township
175th birthday cake, ice cream,
Township picture
1:30 p.m.:
Historical Society Cemetery Walk
3 p.m.:
Pick-up softball games

Board saves money by reducing repairs

by David Maas
Kaneville—The Kaneville Village Board on Thursday discussed available possibilities for road work and repair of several major roads in the village.

Originally, the board had discussed completely repaving Merrill Road and Lovell Street, as well as subdivision roads, but due to funds, the board had to re-evaluate the situation.

“It would cost over $80,000 to completely repair the roads,” Board President Bob Rodney said. “That’s a solid chunk of the village’s funds.”

Instead, the village decided to focus on pothole repairs on Merrill and Lovell, and crack sealing on the subdivision roads.

“It will cost about $9,000 to repair the potholes, and $10,000 to fill the cracks,” Rodney said. “It should buy us some time and allow us to build up our funds.”

While the roadwork will be under warranty for a year, Rodney said work of this nature lasts around three years.

“We’ll only be filling the major cracks,” Rodney said. “We don’t want the cost to get out of hand.”

Because this is only a temporary measure, the board is already planning on revisiting road repairs early next year.

“We will have to revisit this early next year, as early as February,” Trustee Jon Behm said. “We need to be ready to go ahead with the road work as soon as it’s needed.”

Kaneville man named to White House science post

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Kaneville—Gerald Blazey knew the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was looking for someone. The distinguished research professor of physics at Northern Illinois University said a casual inquiry was made.

Now Blazey, who acts as special advisor for science to NIU President John Peters, will be advising another president—Barack Obama. Blazey has accepted a two-year post as senior policy advisor for the physical sciences in the OSTP.

“I was honored (the inquiry) led to an offer to join the office,” Blazey said.

He’s already moved into his office in the White House complex.

The Kaneville resident will be responsible for physical science policy issues in the federal government in his role as assistant director for physical sciences. He will be involved with formulating policy for the justification, planning, management and coordinator of activities.

“My focus is on large physics initiatives involving multiple agencies,” he said.

The OSTP provides scientific and technical advice to President Obama and others in the Executive Office of the President.

Blazey will take a two-year leave of absence from the university. He said he’s excited to play a “small role” in the big picture of the country’s science program.

Blazey joined the faculty at NIU in 1996 after being recognized as a top scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia.

“High energy physics is at a crossroads,” Blazey said. “I’m hoping my expertise in this area in particular will be of assistance. It also will be exciting to learn more about all of the other science programs nationwide.”


“High energy physics is at a crossroads. I’m hoping my expertise in this area
in particular will be of
assistance. It also will be
exciting to learn more
about all of the
other science programs

Gerald Blazey
Kaneville resident, White House advisor

Movies under the stars

Cousins Jordyn Withey (left) and Morgan Withey enjoy a Bugs Bunny cartoon before the start of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice on Friday evening. Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville held their first movie night of the summer, a once-a-month event through August. Paisano’s donated free pizza and Rich’s Auto provided free popcorn for the event.
Photo by John DiDonna

Kaneville installs new village sign

Kaneville—After months of planning and location searching, the village of Kaneville has finally installed its new village sign.

“That was a long haul to get the sign up,” Village President Bob Rodney said.

The board had some trouble finding a suitable spot for the sign, where it would be easily visible upon entry of the village.

“We just need to get together about finishing the project,” Trustee Pat Hill said. “We still need to discuss the landscaping.”

Before they do a grand revealing event, the board would like to install various flowers and bushes surrounding the sign.

Though they hoped to have the project done by Memorial Day, board members said they are pleased to have this project almost completed.

“The sign looks great,” Hill said. “We are all very pleased to see it up, welcoming people into Kaneville.”

Residents want ‘speedway’ traffic to slow down

Photo: Myra Ottoson’s van was damaged when a car skidded across three front lawns and struck her parked van in the middle of the night. Courtesy Photo

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Kaneville—Kaneville will be getting some new speed limit signs that show drivers’ speed in response to resident complaints about the main drag through town—Harter Road—becoming a speedway.

“Harter Road is definitely a drag strip,” resident Kathy Hofmann said.

The latest incident happened last Thursday in the middle of the night when residents heard a vehicle leave the roadway and crash into a van parked on a lawn. Tire tracks show skid marks across three front yards and debris left in the street, indicating the vehicle in question lost a taillight and may have been a teal color.

Hofmann found tire tracks across her property including the sidewalk, where kids often play during the day.

“Fortunately for the kids, this happened at night when no one was around,” she said.

The Kane County Sheriff’s report indicates that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. Lt. Pat Gengler said the crash has been assigned to investigators. He said the person who caused the damage didn’t leave a note or any way to get hold of them later.

“So they’re gonna make us track ‘em down,” he said.

Myra Ottoson woke up to find her van with a damaged bumper.

“Apparently, they went through my driveway then hit the van,” she said.

Ottoson is also a Kaneville trustee and says the board has tried to get the speed limit changed from 30 mph down to 25 mph without success.

“There is a huge safety concern since there are so many kids,” she said. “This is a main thoroughfare between the middle school and the high school.”

Ottoson said she’s noticed more traffic since the middle school opened in the fall of 2009. She said in the past, the board has contacted the high school to work together on a program to talk to young drivers, without fruition.

“Certainly, if we became aware of a safety issue or concern involving our students, the school would work with folks to try to address that with our kids,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said.

Schuler recently took over as superintendent and said he’s not aware of any previous contact the school has had with concerned neighbors. He said there are a number of ways the school can connect with students such as school announcements and also driver education classes.

Traffic Manager Tom Szabo, Kane County Division of Transportation, said the county is working with the village to address the speed issues. He said new speed limit signs have been ordered and will be installed at two locations: one on Harter on the south end of the village limits, and another one on Main Street coming into town from the east.

“They’re dynamic speed advisory signs, a fancy name, but basically they go underneath the speed limit signs with an electronic readout showing actual speed,” he said. “There’s a radar gun inside.”

Szabo said the signs should be installed within a few weeks.

Meantime, Gengler asks anyone with information about the crash to call the investigations division at (630) 208-2024.

Kaneville finds location for new roadside sign

Kaneville—Kaneville Village Board member Pat Hill told the board on April 21 that she had found a location within village limits to place the new roadside sign.

The previous location chosen for the sign was abandoned after it was discovered that being outside of village limits, the sign would be required to be 66 feet from the road’s center-line. At that location, it was decided that the sign would be very difficult to see.

“The new location is located on an undeveloped, half-acre open lot, owned by Ruth Lawson” said Hill, “She is very excited to be a part of this.”

The board also discussed landscaping plans for around the sign.

“There needs to be some bushes and flowers,” Trustee Paul Ross said. “Something to make it look nice.”

Also discussed were ways in which these plants would be acquired, and how the work would be done. One possibility they talked about would be to have the plants donated and installed by a local group.

If all goes according to plan, the village will have the sign installed by Memorial Day.

Kaneville shares sign cost with county

by David Maas
Kaneville—The Kaneville Village Board on April 21 voted to approve cost sharing with Kane County on village speed enforcement signs.

“The county will purchase two signs to put up,” Trustee Rick Peck said. “They will also purchase a spare for maintenance.

With this agreement, the village will pay the county for one sign, which will cost the villlage about $4,000.

One of the signs will be placed on Harter Road and the other on Main Street, where they will display the speed limit, as well as motorists’ current speed. The signs will also capture data, which will allow the county and village to view different traffic trends throughout the day.

The signs will come with a two-year warranty, and will be installed in the coming months.

Continuing impact

Photo: Cathy Reinert of Elburn, with Calee Lukoshus of Elburn (left) and Kyle Russell of Maple Park, enjoy a wheel barrow ride from Mike Stoffa

of Elburn. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

Conley Farm Work Day draws largest group ever in first year since founder’s death

by Sandy Kaczmarski

Kaneville—About 60 people with shovels, garden gloves, rakes and brooms showed up on a misty morning for a little spring cleaning at the Conley Farm in Kaneville to get the gardens ready for community outreach programs in the coming months.

This was the first work day since the death of its founder, Bruce Conley, who succumbed to cancer last fall following a year-long battle.

“It’s a huge loss for us,” Conley Outreach Board President Al Miller said of Conley’s passing.

“If you were going to pick a model, Bruce would be your model,” he said. “What a life and what a person, right up to the last day.”

And while there was an occasional somberness in the air as those who were lost were remembered, there was too much work to do, picking up debris left over from the harsh winter and cleaning the walkways in the prayer garden, to stay sullen too long.

In addition to the cleanup, four crabapple trees were planted in memory of those who were lost in the last year, including Dave Compton, Catherine Konen, Shirley Stoffa, and, of course, Bruce Conley. Family members with spades in hand shoveled the earth over the root balls as a lasting tribute in their memory just as the sun burned off the morning mist.

“Our goal is for everybody to stop by and sit and rest and find some peace,” Farm Manager Tigger Kainz said.

Farm Manager and Director of Programming Tigger Kainz chats with Board President Al Miller. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

That’s just what 84-year old Willie M. King Sr., of Sugar Grove, said he does on occasion. He’s been volunteering at the farm for about six years. He lost his wife, daughter and a grandson in a 10-month period. He said Bruce “took care of everything.”


“I drive through here a lot, and I hope they don’t mind,” he said. “It gives you a different feeling. I can go home then and rest for a few hours.”

Some of the community programs include creating stepping stones made of cement that can be left in the prayer garden or be taken home. Visitors can include mementos in the stones such as key rings, coins or toys.

The Good Grief Day Camp from June 27 to July 1 is designed for children ages 6 to 12 who have lost a parent or sibling. Through music, theater, art and nature, children can learn to accept their loss.

Bruce is described as a pioneer in grief and bereavement programs and was intimately involved with families after the funerals ended. He took a special interest in children and teens, and the programs he created will continue on.


“Bruce Conley was a man who could sit down with 50 little kids and he would hold their attention for an hour,” King said. “I learned more from Bruce Conley than anyone I know.”

The Grieving Fire is held each September and allows those who have lost a loved one to write a letter to them saying things they didn’t get a chance to say.

“The ashes go up so you think, well, maybe my loved one got the message,” King said.

Kainz explained that after the bonfire, lit candles are put in plastic bowls and set afloat in the creek that runs alongside the prayer garden. She said sometimes they bunch up, and then another candle bumps into them and frees them up to continue floating away. She compared it to life’s tribulations, when sometimes it takes a nudge to move on.

“It’s the most amazing thing,” she said.

For more information on the outreach programs available, go to the Conley Outreach Community Services website at, or call (630) 365.2880. Conley Farm is located at Daubermann Road and Main Street in Kaneville and is always open.

Conley Farm expands what it offers

Kaneville—The Conley Farm in Kaneville is available for weddings and special events. This is the second year the 10-acre farm has been open for receptions. Seating is about 150 and tents are available.

“We had one, and now we have four bookings,” Farm Manager Tigger Kainz said. “We’re putting in a pergola to extend seating and in the back will be a dance floor.”

Kainz said they’ll also add a second bathroom. The first one used to be a horse stall and is made entirely of raw barnboard. Photographs adorn the walls, including one of Bruce Conley.

“Sometimes the brides go into the bathroom and are surprised at how beautiful it is,” Kainz said.

For more information on booking a reception, call (630) 768-1679.

Rocking the Reading Cafe

by Lynn Meredith
Kaneland—Enter the Reading Cafe at Blackberry Creek Elementary School on the second floor overlooking the library, and you won’t see a typical classroom, or library for that matter. You’ll see a place where kids can kick back and get excited about reading.

Lime green shag rugs cover the floor, flanked by bright yellow cabinets and turquoise and lime green curtains. Paper lanterns hang from the ceiling, and artwork adorns the walls, along with posters of the Jonas Brothers and Tony Hawk. Bean bag chairs, a futon, pillows, stuffed animals, and, yes, books, contribute to the dorm-like atmosphere. And then there’s the bright orange leather couch.

“That orange couch was the piece de resistance,” Literacy Specialist Linda Zulkowski said.

Zulkowski, along with fellow teacher Terri Konen, brought the idea to the school after attending an inspiring professional development workshop.

The purpose of the reading cafe is to motivate kids to read inside and outside of school. By having an energizing and fun place to come for reading activities, kids associate reading with fun.

“The ultimate goal is to promote reading outside of school, to choose to do it out. We hope they will be engaging more here in school and getting hooked on books,” Zulkowski said.

The cafe opened in October. Each teacher has a designated time if they choose to use the room. They can also sign up for open times. They use the room to read aloud to the students, to give students independent reading time, or even to reward the kids.

“They love this room. It’s being used often by teachers as a reward. The reward is getting to read,” Zulkowski said. “ It’s so different. You don’t expect to see something like this in a school.”

After attending a workshop presentation by Steven Layne, a professor at Judson Univeristy who has written a book on motivating students to read, Konen and Zulkowski first thought of it as a professional development goal. It soon became a whole building and school improvement goal. They went to the PTO to see if it could help, perhaps by donating a couch or small items. Instead, the PTO gave them $2,000 to fund the entire room.

After a shopping trip to IKEA for the bright furnishings and cool outfitting, the plan was to keep the room a secret from the kids and give hints that something was coming.

“We had a huge kick-off,” said PTO President Kathy Webster. “We blacked out the windows of the room and had a countdown from 20 to zero of what is in the mystery room. We really pumped it.”

The unveiling was a ribbon-cutting, whole-school assembly. Music teacher Brandon Fox even wrote a song about it. Webster then had the idea to involve the community by having a month of community leaders come in to read to the students and talk about how they use reading on their jobs.

The month of February began with a Ronald McDonald assembly. Elburn Mayor Dave Anderson, Ben Conley of Conley Funeral Home, Dr. Wayne Larsen, a veterinarian from Kaneville, Pat Hill, owner of Hill’s Country Store, Pastor Lou Quetel from Geneva, Dwayne Nelson from the Town and Country Library and Bryan Janito all participated.

“It was a big deal for us,” Zulkowski said. “We had fun shopping for it, we had fun watching the kids when they first saw it, and we have fun seeing the kids actually reading.”

Board talks road safety

Kaneville—The Kaneville Village Board on Thursday, Feb. 17, heard a report on upcoming actions to make the roads of Kaneville safer.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve safety,” said Tom Szabo of the Kane County Department of Transportation (KDOT).

Szabo explained KDOT’s plans to add speed reduction markers to roads, close some passing zones, and add more signs.

“We are going to reinforce and double up on signs,” said Szabo, “Where there is one sign on the road, we will now add a sign at the opposite.”

Board members said they are most excited to be the first township to see the addition of solar-powered speed reduction signs, which will be mounted under current signs. These signs will show drivers their current speed, as well as collect data that the township can track.

“We are very excited to see the difference these signs will bring,” Trustee Paul Ross said.

These signs are intended to be permanent but are estimated to cost upwards of $5,000.

“Hopefully we can encourage some sort of deal, so we don’t have to put the full cost on the township,” said Szabo.

While board members said that the cost could be a potential problem, they focused on the safety implications.

“The signs might save a life,” President Bob Rodney said. “And what is a life worth?”

The signs will be delivered to KDOT by mid-March and should be installed in the township by April.

“It’s a step forward,” said Rodney, “But, we’ll keep looking for ways to make our roads safer.”

Local updates on severe winter storm

If you know of a closing, postponement or another bit of news, send it to us, or post it on our Facebook page.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 7:57 p.m.
New video from the NOAA >>

Feb. 1, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
Visit the Emergency Closing Center for info updated every 15 minutes.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
On February 1, Kane County government offices will close at 2:30 PM except for emergency and public safety-related business.

On Wednesday, February 2, Kane County government offices will conduct business with a skeletal staff to provide only emergency and public safety-related business.

The Chief Judge has entered a General Order closing all Kane County Courts Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  That all matters set for hearing on February 2, 2011 will be continued to February 16, 2011, or to such further date as may be agreed upon by the parties, or a new notice for hearing served therein.

Information regarding any changes in Kane County’s schedule can also be obtained from the Emergency Closing Center at

Feb. 1, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
Big update from our editor, Ryan Wells:

• Sugar Grove board meeting for Tuesday evening has been cancelled.

• The Sugar Grove Library will close at 3pm Tuesday, February 1, 2011 and remain closed for all of Wednesday, February 2.

Please check the Library website for information about hours on Thursday Feb. 3. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, fines and fees will be suspended for the time closed. Please stay home and stay safe.

• Kane County Assessment Office closed until Thursday, Feb. 3 at 8:30 a.m.

• Fox Valley Park District closed Tuesday and Wednesday—all programs and activities are cancelled. More information at their website.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 2:27 p.m.
We are packing up at the office. Keep sending stuff in and we’ll get it up ASAP. We will likely be closed Wednesday, too.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.
Our own Carly Shaw (Business Manager) reported that there are already near-white out conditions on Route 47 as she travelled south from Elburn toward Sugar Grove. Be safe out there!

Feb. 1, 2011 at 1:53 p.m.
From the Village of Sugar Grove – Closure and Winter Storm Information

All indications are that the current weather event is expected to continue well into Wednesday and possibly Thursday is not being exaggerated and may be the worst since 1979. Due to this forecast the decision has been made to close all Village administrative offices. We discourage all unnecessary travel on Wednesday and if necessary Thursday. The conditions are expected to be extremely dangerous.

The Sugar Grove Public Works snow removal team and the Police Department will be on duty, with the exception of their respective administrative office staff. The snow removal crew has begun staggered shifts and all available equipment is readied. The Police Department has implemented their emergency response procedure. Both departments are ready to respond in the best manner possible to insure the well being of our community.

While our snow removal team will be working, please be advised that their main goal is to keep the roadways as open as possible for emergency travel. The first priorities are streets that lead directly to primary transportation streets. With weather conditions this severe the crews will be performing a single clearing pass to allow for the passage of emergency vehicles. A Parking Ban on all streets will be in effect from 5 pm this evening until the snow is fully cleared. You are advised to stay informed of roadway closing by listening/watching both radio and television. Please do not call the Village or the Police Department for roadway conditions as crews will be busy with emergencies and clearing snow.

Should you need to travel during this weather event, travel slowly with extreme caution and make certain you and your vehicle are prepared in case you become stranded. Should you need shelter the Sugar Grove Fire Department will be open for a warming shelter.

The Sugar Grove Library will close at 3 pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 and remain closed for all of Wednesday, February 2nd as well. Please check the Library website for information about hours on Thursday Feb. 3. All library fees and fines will be suspended for the time being.

Be prepared in case there is a power outage as high winds and snow build-up can cause damage to power lines. ComEd has mobilized crews and is ready in the event of a power outage. Should power lines be damaged the crews will work as safely and quickly as possible to restore power. You can sign up at – click on Customer Service, Outage Information and then Outage Alerts to receive text messages that can alert you of estimated restoration times.

Waste Management will be suspending refuse and recycling service tomorrow Wednesday February 2, 2011. Waste Management will resume service on Thursday February 3, 2011. Wednesday pickups will be serviced on Thursday February 3rd.

We will place updates and information, if needed, on the website, barring any major power failures. Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 1:52 p.m.
Updating a previous item:
Kaneland Schools will remain open until regular dismissal times today. All after school activities have been cancelled. For Wednesday, February 2, 2011: All Kaneland schools will be closed. This includes all regular classes and after-school activities Parents are encouraged to monitor the Kaneland web site on Wednesday for weather-related closings and updates should inclement weather continue.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.
The Elburn Town and Country Public Library will close today at 5 p.m. Please call (630) 365-2244 before coming to the library on Wednesday.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 1:04 p.m.
St. Gall has cancelled all Religious Education and Youth Ministry activities and classes for tonight, Tuesday Feb. 1 and tomorrow, Wednesday Feb. 2.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
Waubonsee Community College is closing at 2 p.m. today and will post any closing info. for tomorrow on their website prior to 5 a.m.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.
Tonight’s Maple Park Board meeting has been cancelled.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 12:01 p.m.
Kaneland Schools will remain open until regular dismissal times today. All after school activities have been cancelled.

Further, the after school CARE program will be open at all four elementary schools this Tuesday. We do ask that parents please try to pick up children from early the program so that children and CARE staff can arrive home before the worst of the storm.

Feb. 1, 2011 at 11:55 A.M.
Winter weather safety and survival tips >>

Feb. 1, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

From Jan. 31, 2011
From a KC Sheriff’s office press release:

Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez wants to remind citizens to be prepared with the upcoming snow storm.

The large amount of snow mixed with blowing and drifting snow can cause white out conditions.

The western part of Kane County usually experiences a considerable amount of drifting snow. If we experience the amount of snow and high winds that is predicted some of the roads will most likely become impassable.

Anyone who does not have to travel should stay home. For those who must travel you should plan ahead and stick to primary routes. Anyone traveling should make sure you have a function cell phone with a fully charged battery, and emergency kit that includes a blanket and flares and have a full tank of gas.

Snow removal causes more concerns

KANEVILLE—The current state of snow removal in Kaneville has caused problems, and the Village Board is still working to fix them.

“I’ve never seen these roads in such bad condition,” said Trustee Paul Ross.

There have been more complaints regarding slippery roads, some covered in ice, as well as the infrequency of the plowing.

“The contract states that there needs to be 2 inches of snow before they come plow,” said Board President Bob Rodney, “But at an inch, I think we will need to ask them to come salt.”

The board said that for now, it is a trial-and-error process. Also, they feel part of the problem may be that the company is not located in Kaneville, and as a result is not directly aware of the current state of the roads.

“We lost the personal perspective,” Ross said. “Someone that lives in the area would know when to throw down some salt when needed.”

They hope to be able to solve these problems, as they are trying to avoid canceling the current contract.

“We are going to increase communication,” Rodney said. “It is between ourselves and the contractor to work out these problems. We will see how they respond in the future.”

Some local ‘Folk’

The Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival presented Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert at the KHS auditorium on Saturday. Lee Murdock (left) sang several songs and introduced special guest, southern Indiana farmer-song writer-actor Tim Grimm was the special guest at Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert on Saturday at the Kaneland High School auditorium. The concert was presented by the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival. Photos by John DiDonna

Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert Saturday, Jan. 7

MAPLE PARK—Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert will welcome special guest artist Jim Post at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, in the Kaneland High School Auditorium, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park.

Post is well-known for his one-man shows, including “Mark Twain and the Laughing River,” and has enjoyed a long career, beginning in 1968 with the No. 3 hit song “Reach Out in the Darkness (as Friend and Lover).”

Tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors and are available at the door.

Courtesy Photo: Jim Post

Village unhappy with snow service

by David Maas
Kaneville—The Kaneville Village Board expressed its displeasure with the current state of the village’s snow removal at its Dec. 16 meeting.

After the first substantial snowfall of this season, residents reported rocks—some as substantial as four inches wide—scattered on the road and throughout yards. The snow removal company denied it could have been from their salt loads.

Also expressed by residents was the fear of the danger of some roads which have been very slick, sometimes covered in ice. Those concerns raised questions from the board as to when they need to call the company out to salt the roads, with the possibility of pre-salting before major amounts of snowfall.

“We have the funds to salt when we need to,” board member Paul Ross said. “That was the first snowfall this company has handled for us, so it is kind of a learning curve with both parties.”

Despite the learning curve, the board members said they are not going to deal with this situation lightly.

“I assure you, action is being taken to resolve this problem,” Ross said.

Fill up on holiday cheer in Kaneville

by Lynn Meredith
Kaneville—Kaneville is celebrating Christmas with all the delights of the season on Saturday, Dec 4. The village will be alive with food, gifts and entertainment.

The sight of a horse-drawn wagon carrying passengers in a leisurely tour of the town is one mark of an old-fashioned Christmas. Add to that a cookie walk at the United Methodist Church and a cake walk in the gym of the Community Center, both from 9 to 11 a.m., and the picture is complete.

Kids can find Santa at the fire barn and story time at the library on Saturday morning.

Those looking for seasonal gifts can walk the craft displays both at the library and in the gym from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hill’s store will also stock gift baskets that can be purchased.

As part of their customer appreciation, village businesses will serve snacks all morning. Hill’s Store will give out free peppermint ice cream and cocoa. Old Second Bank will have breakfast food until its noon closing.

Setting the Christmas scene, local students will provide musical entertainment at the library.

“We have a lot going on,” business owner Pat Hill said.

Ring the bell for neighbors in need

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clock continues to tick

Kaneland reviews Intergovernmental Agreement as Jan. 1expiration approaches
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Tuesday reviewed its current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), which allows Kaneland to collect consistent land cash payments, capital-impact and transition fees from the nine municipalities within the School District.

The Kaneland School District offered a three-year IGA extension to all nine municipalities, but Sugar Grove recently stated that it would like a significant reduction in its capital-impact and transition fees. Sugar Grove’s response forced the School District to take a step back and reopen IGA talks in the hope of reaching a unanimous agreement with all nine municipalities before the current IGA expires on Jan. 1, 2011.

Kaneland School Superintendent Jeff Schuler led the discussion and stressed that the cost to educate a student in the Kaneland School District should remain the same regardless of the municipality that student resides in.

“We want to make sure that we are consistent with our municipalities. The School District wants to make sure we are not potentially caught in a position between competing municipalities,” he said. “(And) that’s why we’ve fought to maintain a consistent model.”

Schuler also touched upon the notion that residential growth should pay some of its own way.

“When you don’t have impact payments in place, the cost of growth, when it comes to educating new students, will fall squarely on existing taxpayers,” he said. “There are very direct measurable costs with growth when it comes to building buildings; when it comes to building classrooms; when it comes to doing necessary (school) renovation; as well as when it comes to educating students.”

Schuler’s presentation, which KSB Secretary Lisa Wiet referred to as a “re-education of the board as well as a reaffirmation of our goals,” essentially echoed his statement made at the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Nov. 16.

But can re-education and reaffirmation fix the district’s IGA logjam before Jan.1?

“We continue to have conversations with the municipalities, and the municipalities are having conversations between themselves. We feel that we should be able to get something in place (by January),” Wiet said.

• The current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Kaneland School District and the municipalities within it sets a fee table, based on home type, number of bedrooms and home value.

• The table remains consistent, regardless of the municipality within which a new development is constructed.

• The fees are designed to offset the cost of new growth, in effect requiring that new growth pay its own way.

• The IGA is designed to extend to all municipalities that extend into the Kaneland School District boundary. Its function is to eliminate impact and transition fees from being a negotiation tool between individual municipalities and developers.

• The current IGA will expire Jan. 1, 2011

Holiday worship service seeks to create unity

by Keith Beebe
Sugar Grove—Mention the upcoming holiday season to anyone and you’ll likely hear a few groans. After all, the holidays have come to represent long department store lines, ruthless “Black Friday” crowds and credit cards practically smoldering from overuse.

However, hidden amongst all the rat race activity is the fact that the holidays are meant to celebrate life, family, friends and goodwill. The Sugar Grove Methodist Church understands this true meaning of the holiday season and will proudly put it on display during the Kaneland Area Thanksgiving Eve Worship on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend this ecumenical service, which will include at least six congregations from Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville.

People from all congregations are welcome to attend the service, and are invited even if they do not belong to any congregation.

“These are people who are sometimes neighbors and know each other but go to different churches on Sundays,” said Steve Good, pastor at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. “So this is one of those rare opportunities where they can all worship with each other. We live in the same communities, and it’s wonderful to actually come together in the same place of worship, sing the songs together and hear the scriptures together.”

Good said the Thanksgiving worship service is held at a different location each year, which means the head pastor of the hosting church must organize and publicize the service. Good assigned various scripture-reading assignments to several pastors in the area, and also asked the pastor of Elburn’s Community Congregational Church to preach a sermon during the Thanksgiving eve worship

“My job is to sort of set up the service and welcome everyone to come in and worship with us and with each other,” Good said. “It’s a rare opportunity for everyone to pray together, and there’s a sense of unity that we all have something to be thankful for as we consider the ways God has blessed us in the past year. It’s a great feeling.”

Good said the Thanksgiving eve offering will be shared with the Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove and the Elburn Food Pantry.

“We want to let them benefit from the offering and help our neighbors, who might need a little extra help making ends meet this year,” he said. “It’s certainly a real need in our community, and I think people will feel good about helping both of those food pantries.”

People can also bring a nonperishable food item to the Thanksgiving eve service for donation to the food pantries.

Halloween happenings and Trick or Treat hours

Elburn resident Chuck Swanson went all-out with the Halloween decorations this year, but the high winds Tuesday wreaked havoc on the frightful crew in his front yard. Photo by Mary Herra

Trick-or-Treat Times
Local officials have set the following times for trick-or-treating in their villages on Halloween, Sunday, Oct. 31.
• Maple Park: 3-6 p.m.
At 3:30 p.m., Lincoln Highway 4-H Club will host a costume judging the Civic Center gym.
• Sugar Grove: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
• Elburn: 4-7 p.m.
• Kaneville: 3-7 p.m.

Wind leads to thousands of power outages

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Galeforce winds on Tuesday led to power outages in more than 60,000 households and businesses in Northern Illinois including the Kaneland area, ComEd spokesman Alicia Zatkowski said.

Zatkowksi said at 10 a.m. Tuesday that the power outages began occurring at approximately 2 a.m. and were expected to continue through the day. The wind, in some areas as strong as 70 mph, knocked trees onto power lines, which was the main reason for the outages, she said.

Between 7 and 10 a.m., the number of power outages increased threefold, she said.

ComEd was prepared for the outages, Zatkowski said.

“We did know this was coming,” she said.

ComEd increased the number of employees on Tuesday’s shifts to deal with the expected power-line damage.

“Currently, we have 340 crews mobilized and ready to go into the field to restore downed power lines,” Zatkowski said Tuesday morning.

Although local homes and businesses were without power until Tuesday afternoon, Elburn Village Hall was able to remain in operation all day because it has a backup generator, Village Administrator Erin Willret said.

KHS sets parent-teacher conference times

Kaneland—The following are times for parent-teacher conferences at Kaneland High School this fall:
Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 4, from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

Conferences will be scheduled in 15-minute intervals and scheduled in the order in which calls are received.

If you desire a conference with your child’s teachers, call Nancy Huggins in the Student Services Office at (630) 365-5100, ext. 202.

For Fox Valley Career Center classes, call Sue Webb at (630) 365-5113, ext. 170.

Recycling programs vary among villages

by Keith Beebe
SG/MP/ELB/KNVL—The concept of recycling rarely comes across as complex. After all, what’s so difficult about placing plastics and paper in a separate bin when you are putting the garbage out? Well, some people might be interested to find out that although Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville all embrace recycling programs, the overall approach to “going green” varies a bit from one village to another.

Take Elburn, for example, where residents pay a yearly recycling fee regardless of whether or not they use the service provided by Waste Management. In addition to the recycling bin provided by Waste Management, residents are able to use any container as an extra recycle bin, as long as it has “recycle only” written on it. The village also offers “recycle only” stickers free of charge. All materials, with the exception of items including hazardous waste (batteries, anti-freeze, pool chemicals, etc.), are acceptable for recycle pick-up.

“Since all Elburn residents pay for recycling, it makes sense for them to use the service and get the most out of their money,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “There is no separate rate (for recycling). It’s all bundled into one (cost covering trash pick-up).”

Sugar Grove also has a contract with Waste Management, but provides each of its residents with one, 64-gallon container for recycling use. Common materials such as plastics, glass and cardboard are accepted, but used household batteries must be put in a sandwich bag and placed next to the recycling container.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a resident ask for a second container, since the one we provide them with is quite large,” Sugar Grove Village Clerk Cynthia Galbreath said.

Maple Park, like Elburn and Sugar Grove, has a recycle pick-up contract with Waste Management, but the village’s approach to recycling containers is a bit more traditional. Waste Management provides all the bins, and any resident who wants a bigger container must pay extra for it.

And then there is Kaneville, where recycling is certainly encouraged but also greeted with a more freewheeling approach.

“We’ve typically let residents choose their own recycle pick-up service in the past,” Village Clerk Sandra Weiss said.

Kaneville’s guidelines regarding recycling will become more traditional on Jan. 1, 2011, when the village will enter into a recycle pick-up contract with Waste Management.

One “green” item not allowed in any of these village’s recycle bins is a compacted fluorescent light bulb (CFL), which uses less energy and lasts considerably longer than incandescent light bulbs. The reason residents may not place these energy-saving light bulbs in their everyday recycle bin is because the bulbs contain very small amounts of mercury. However, residents can recycle CFL bulbs at any location that collects hazardous waste recyclables.

Mayor escorts student to school

Elburn—Elburn Village President and St. Gall Parishioner David Anderson recently made a local student’s dream come true, with the help of the boy’s grandparents and a local limousine company.

The St. Gall’s Annual Gala included the silent auction item “Have the Mayor Take Your Child to School in a Limo,” won by Maple Park residents Eldon and Sandra Gould. Their grandson, Andrew Gould, was ecstatic to learn that Anderson would arrive at his home in a limousine on the first day of school, take him to Blackberry Creek Elementary School, and escort him into his new classroom.

Elburn resident Jeff Hiltunen of West Suburban Limousine in Winfield, Ill., donated the limousine ride.

The Annual Gala is a fundraising event for the building of a new church to be located at the corner of Hughes Road and Route 47. The 2010 Gala is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 9. For more information, contact the St. Gall Parish Office at (630) 365-6030.
Courtesy Photo