Category Archives: Maple Park

Burglars target unlocked vehicles in Blackberry Creek

ELBURN—Elburn police are investigating a string of more than 20 automobile burglaries that took place between Sunday night and Monday morning in several neighborhoods in the Blackberry Creek subdivision.

Calling it “a crime of opportunity,” Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said that all of the vehicles entered had been left unlocked, and they were all parked either on the street, or in the driveways of the owners of the vehicles.

In addition to cash, items taken from the vehicles include iPads, computers and jewelry, which Smith said could easily be sold to a third party.

Elburn Police Department detectives have begun an investigation, working with officers in several nearby communities that have experienced similar burglaries in recent weeks. Maple Park and Campton Hills recently had a series of similar burglaries.

“That’s standard procedure to touch base with other Police Departments in the area,” Smith said. “Maybe we’re looking at the same people or same group of people. We all share information on these things.”

Smith said that the most important thing people can do to avoid this type of burglary is to lock their vehicles, and not to leave anything of value in the car, especially in plain sight. In addition, they should never leave the keys to their car inside the car.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” he said. “They’ll try the door handle and rummage around in the car. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it’s the car that’s unlocked that gets hit.”

Anyone who thinks that they might have any information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to contact Detective Brad Ferguson at (630) 746-0046. Also, anyone who thinks that one of their vehicles was a target of the burglars, even if nothing was taken, are encouraged to call 9-1-1, so that an officer can conduct an initial investigation.

Moondance

Moon Dance Diner set to re-open at end of May

by Elizabeth Rago
MAPLE PARK—May 2013 ends a brief interlude in the Moon Dance Diner and Grill’s history, as George and Elizabeth Georgiou will soon re-open the Maple Park classic American eatery with select hours.

Located at 309 Main St., the Moon Dance Diner and Grill will be open for Classic Car Cruise night on Wednesdays, from 4 to 9 p.m., and breakfast on the weekends from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the future, George looks to run lunch Thursday and Fridays, in addition to Friday Night fish frys and shrimp boils.

“We are going to open the diner and serve on the days which thrived in the past,” George said.

Raised amid the bustle of his father’s restaurant business as a young child, it was only natural that George would create a concept like the Maple Park establishment. After securing the 100-year-old building in 2011, which once housed Sanders’ Barber Shop, George and his wife Elizabeth were excited to meet older residents who visited the diner to share stories about getting their first haircut in the historic building.

Serving classic American fare like breakfast, burgers and sandwiches, George has streamlined the existing menu, but assures patrons he has not forgotten about their favorites.

“Our homemade chicken salad, rueben sandwich and turkey panini are still on the menu,” he said.

So what would George like the Moon Dance Diner and Grill to be known for?

“We would like to be known as the coolest diner in the Fox River Valley for our atmosphere, good service and good food,” he said. “We like this location because we love the small community of Maple Park, and there are no other restaurants in town.”

Ready your utensils, Maple Park. A tentative opening for Memorial Day weekend is on the horizon, so keep your eye on the Moon Dance Diner Facebook page for grand re-opening specifics.

“We are very happy to be back, and want Moon Dance Diner and Grill to be a positive addition to Maple Park and its citizens again,” George said.

For more information about the Moon Dance Diner, check out www.moondancedinerandgrill.com or visit the “Maple Park Moon Dance Diner and Grill” page on Facebook.

Natalie Remsen of Maple Park finds some blocks to making time pass while her parents garage sale.

Happy shoppers come out

The Maple Park garage sales held last weekend brought out sunny weather and streets full of anxious shoppers ready for bargains. Those shopping could find anything from weightlifting equipment to fresh-made slushies. Parents were on the lookout for good deals on clothing and accessories for their kids.

MPsales_May18_1

Betty and Floyd Austin of DeKalb stopped to check out a framed picture that caught their eye.
Betty and Floyd Austin of DeKalb stopped to check out a framed picture that caught their eye.
Ruth Swaim of Batavia came out to Maple Park this morning to see if she could find some good deals.
Ruth Swaim of Batavia came out to Maple Park this morning to see if she could find some good deals.
Good weather brings people out to the Heritage Hills Subdivision during the garage sales saturday.
Good weather brings people out to the Heritage Hills Subdivision during the garage sales saturday.

Ashlynn age 9, Faith age 9 and Julie age 8 of Maple Park put a lemonade stand together to make some money at the garage sale.
Ashlynn age 9, Faith age 9 and Julie age 8 of Maple Park put a lemonade stand together to make some money at the garage sale.

Photos by Kimberly Anderson

Maple Park adds stop signs

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on April 2 approved Ordinance 2013-07, adding several stop signs within the village. The ordinance will place a two-way stop sign at the intersection of Elm and Liberty streets, and four-way stop signs at the intersection of Willow and Broadway streets, and the intersection of Elian and DeKalb streets and DeKalb and Huntley streets.

These stops signs were requested by the residents and are for the safety of the motorists and residents of Maple Park. Be aware of the change and be prepared to stop at these intersections.

MP Board swears in village president, trustees, village staff

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday swore in Village President Kathy Curtis, trustees Debra Armstrong, Steve Nowak, Terry Borg, Greg Cutsinger and Lucas Goucher, Village Clerk Liz Peerboom and Deputy Clerk Cheryl Aldridge.

Goucher, newly elected to serve on the Maple Park Village Board, expressed excitement about becoming a trustee.

“I’m just excited to get in here and bring my background of skills to the table and see what I can help with,” he said. “I have a finance background and a business background, and I hope to bring that element into the room.”

Goucher said he’s always been someone who likes to be engrained in the community.

“I like to be a positive contributor to the community. I’ve been president of the Elburn Chamber. I hope to hone those skills and make this a better place for everybody,” he said. “I hope to continue to improve the community aspect and the public infrastructure. I also hope to bring business into town. I hope to bring us to the next level, while preserving the historic aspect of the town.”

During the meeting, Curtis announced that this will be Borg’s fourth term serving on the Village Board.

Village Board approves open burning, recreational fire ordinance

by Chris Paulus
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on April 2 approved an open burning and recreational fire ordinance.

“(The ordinance has) been published in the newspaper, it’s been published on the website, and we will produce hard copies,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The ordinance stipulates that recreational fires shall not be conducted within 20 feet of a structure or combustible material and that recreational fires shall be contained with rocks and non-combustible screening to contain the fuel within the dedicated space.

In addition, fire pits should be “at least 4 inches in depth, and should be surrounded on the outside by non-combustible materials,” while bonfires are not to be conducted within 50 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is “contained in a bit or approved container.” Bonfires will require a permit from the Maple Park village clerk.

The ordinance prohibits the burning of leaves, lawn rakings and landscape waste. Instead, residents are asked to place said material in an approved yard waste bag at curbside.

APHS donates playground to Maple Park

by Cheryl Borrowdale
MAPLE PARK—For the last 14 years, Captain Nick Louis has been driving down Washington Street in Maple Park on his way to a private airstrip near DeKalb, looking at the sad state of the playground equipment at Washington Park.

This year, he decided it was time to do something about it—but when he walked into the village office in February and offered to donate a set of expensive, new playground equipment, village staff was skeptical.

They put him in contact with Village President Kathy Curtis. Louis, who is the founder of the Airline Pilot’s Historical Society (APHS) and lives in St. Charles, soon convinced her that he was serious.

“I went to Kathy, and I said, ‘First of all, you’re going to think I’m trying to get money, but here’s all the information about our foundation and about me,’” Louis said. “‘Check us out, because we’re clean, and there’s no ulterior motive and no punchline. Once you’re satisfied that I’m not scamming you, we built a playground in (the) Fox Chase (subdivison) in St. Charles. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.’”

Curtis was thrilled.

“He asked us if we’d be interested. Of course we’d be interested,” Curtis said. “Park equipment is very expensive. That’s why Maple Park has never been able to invest in park equipment, because we use all our budgetary resources to serve our citizens.”

Though Louis originally had new playground equipment in mind for Washington Park, Curtis took him on a tour of the village and suggested putting the new equipment in at the Civic Center Park on Willow Street, which is in use nearly every night during the warmer months, and where she believed the equipment would get more use.

The APHS said it would pick out and purchase the equipment if Maple Park’s Public Works Department would take care of the installation. Louis said the playground is a quality piece, but he declined to say how much it would cost.

“We try not to put dollar value on it going in, because we don’t want people to feel beholden to us or to want something more,” Louis said. “We want people to say, ‘That’s nice. We don’t care what you paid for it.’ We want it to be a nice outfit that looks good.”

Curtis requested that the APHS-purchased playground equipment be designed for children ages 10 and younger, since the Civic Center Park is mainly used by young children whose older siblings are playing baseball games at the center.

Louis said the unit would have a little hut in the middle and slides off the central unit.

“Because (young children) have special needs, we tailored (the playground) a little to them so that it’s for 3- to 8-year-olds who could care less about the baseball game and want grandpa to take them over.”

The process has been moving forward quickly, and the new park equipment should be installed at the Civic Center by the end of June, Curtis said. A metal plaque will mention that the park was donated by APHS.

The APHS, a group of 10 volunteers, raised the money for this project and several others by selling off pieces of old airplanes to collectors and by offering technical consulting to Hollywood studios.

Louis founded the organization in 1997, soon after he retired from his 31-year career as a United Airlines pilot.

“I started this foundation because it was a great interest, and people like me wanted parts of old airplanes to hang on their walls, and a lot of old planes were being scrapped. And I said, ‘Gee whiz, we’ll beg, buy and sell pieces of these old airplanes, and we’ll use the money we raise to do good.’”

He’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars selling those parts to collectors and to people building airplane simulators, as well as advising production crews for movies such as “Man of Steel,” a reboot of the Superman series, and “World War Z,” a zombie film starring Brad Pitt, both of which come out later this year.

“If it blows up on TV or catches fire and it’s in the air, we’ve had our finger in it,” Louis said. “The PanAm series, we worked on that, and the cockpit they did was beautiful. It was pretty hokey from an aviation standpoint though.”

The foundation has “a soft spot for sick kids,” Louis said, and donates $20,000 to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago every year. It also donates to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, gives away airline parts to students in flying programs to help further their education, and does at least one other project like the park in Maple Park every year.

Although the APHS’s five-member board had to vote on this year’s project, Louis said he was confident Maple Park would be selected.

“It’s amazing how difficult it is to give something away for free,” Louis said. “We’ve approached other towns before. Some wanted to make sure that they could pick and choose and tell us what we should buy, and it made it very difficult. The mayor of another town had a rosewood desk worth more than his car, so we knew where the money would go.”

The APHS had donated new playground equipment to Fox Chase Park in St. Charles in 2005, and “it really kind of bit us in the shorts,” Louis said.

“That project in St. Charles cost us $30,000, and then they came out and built a waterpark out there for $20 million,” Louis said. “We busted our butts to raise $30,000 for them and then they built that, so we don’t need to (help them).”

Maple Park was an attractive choice, Louis said, precisely because it is small and doesn’t have many facilities for families with small children.

“Why Maple Park? The people there are humble, they aren’t self-impressed, they aren’t blowing money down a hole somewhere, and that’s where you want your money to go,” Louis said. “And they needed some help.”

Curtis said that she was grateful for the APHS’s assistance.

“It’s going to be a great benefit for our citizens, because we’ll be able to give the park a facelift at no cost to the citizens. We have a great group of people who maintain the ball fields (at the Civic Center) and run a great ball program. Families spend the evenings there, and now the little kids have something to do. I couldn’t be more thankful to Mr. Louis for what he’s done for us.”

Visiting Bunny in style

Lily Wennemar, 3, of Maple Park, poses with the Easter Bunny at Saturday’s Easter Egg Hunt at the Maple Park Library.

Awaiting the Egg Hunt

Counting & Sorting Eggs

Little ones racing to get eggs
Alyson and Samantha Malo, and Audrey Walker, count their eggs and inspect the contents at the Maple Park Easter Egg Hunt at the Maple Park Library Saturday.

Photos by Kimberly Anderson

MP Village Board implements burn ordinance

by Chris Paulus
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Village Board members on Tuesday discussed an ordinance to amend the village’s municipal code by adding a chapter on “Open Burning and Recreational Fires,” which will implement a burn ordinance stating that recreational fires cannot be burned within 20 feet of a residence or within 15 feet of a property line.

“It was originally 25 foot, and we had it changed to 20 feet. This has been reviewed by Chief (Kevin) Peterson and the Fire District board,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Some trustees were unsure of how to proceed with the motion.

“We have to talk about how to educate the community about the fact that they can’t burn anymore,” trustee Terry Borg said. “This is kind of a big change; we can’t do it through enforcement means.

Borg made a motion to defer the decision until the Village Board’s meeting on Tuesday, April 2. Trustee Suzanne Fahnestock seconded the motion.

Maple Park meets its candidates

by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park residents on March 6 had an opportunity to hear from the seven candidates running for five village trustee seats in the April 9 General Election.

Candidates Gregory Cutsinger, Lucas Goucher, Brian Kinane and Terry Borg will run for the three four-year-term seats available this spring, while Stephan Nowak, Debra Armstrong and Christopher Higgins will compete for the two two-year seats available.

“I thought all of the candidates were sincere in their statements regarding the village of Maple Park,” Kinane said. “All candidates seemed to want to see the village move forward, and have the best interests of the residents in mind. Most of the statements were about growth of the village, as well as how to improve what is existing.”

Resident turnout for Meet the Candidates was small (less than 10 showed up for the event), but Borg and Village President Kathy Curtis attributed the low attendance number to the fact that the current Village Board have worked well together without controversy and under economic conditions that limit significant change from occurring in the village.

“I was hoping for a larger turnout on candidate night. It is very exciting to have seven people vying for five open seats,” Curtis said. “Voters have options; this was their opportunity to ask questions that matter to them and find the right candidates to represent them.”

Kinane said he hoped residents who did attend Meet the Candidates night can determine which combination of trustees will be best for the town.

“Each candidate brought something different to the table, whether it be a financial background, a construction/building background or previous trustee experience,” Kinane said.

Borg said he thought the candidates all presented similar perspectives that were reflective of the community.

“I trust residents learned that all candidates were committed to maintaining the small town, rural nature of the Maple Park community,” he said. “All candidates voiced the understanding and need for assisting business development and balanced growth. Growth does not mean any diminution of the true values and character of Maple Park.”

Curtis said she walked away from the Meet the Candidates event with the realization that Maple Park “has seven very talented people ready to work in the best interest of the village.”

“The skills that these people bring to the table are all very good,” she said.

Rescued horses continue recovery

by Cheryl Borrowdale
MAPLE PARK—By the time the Kane County Sheriff’s deputy arrived to evict Richard and Monica Goshen from their rental home in Maple Park on Jan. 11, one of the Goshens’ horses was dead.

The body of a black filly—perhaps a year old—lay on the floor of the barn, her hair matted and filthy. Two more mares stood nearby, one so emaciated that her ribcage was clearly outlined under her hair and her hip bones jutted out.

And as 18 people, including landlords Henry and Arlona Fredrickson, moved the Goshens’ belongings out of 8N215 McGough Road and alongside the edge of the road—piling everything from chairs to ladders to a Polaris snowmobile into a great stream of debris—Kane County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Seidelman called Kane County Animal Control and the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) of Woodstock, Ill., to rescue two more horses.

It was the end of a court-ordered eviction of the Goshens, a lengthy process that started in October 2012 when the Fredricksons began proceedings for non-payment of rent, but it was also the beginning of an Animal Control investigation into potential animal cruelty. No charges have been filed, but Animal Control forwarded the case to the Kane County State’s Attorney in February.

The Goshens moved into the house in Maple Park in September 2011. Richard, who is originally from Red Rock, Texas, calls himself “Tex” and owns a contracting business called Carpentry Plus. A Texas federal court convicted him of conspiracy to manufacture narcotics—methamphetamine—in 2005 and sentenced him to 30 months in prison, with credit for time served, and three years’ probation; the court later extended his probation to ten years.

In a voicemail message, Richard said that no horses had been rescued from his home in Maple Park.

“I have no clue what you’re talking about. I have all my horses, no horses were rescued, and I ride them every day,” he said in the message. Subsequent attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.

Yet according to police, the Goshens originally had six horses on the property, as well as several pigs, a chicken and a peacock, but the couple took three of the horses and the other animals with them. The three horses they left behind—one dead, one emaciated and one in good health—were “strays” that they couldn’t take with them, Richard told Seidelman, according to the police report.

“A case like this, obviously we don’t know what happened,” Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office said. “We have a deceased horse, but we don’t know how that horse died, and as police officers, we’re not qualified to determine how it died.”

The filly had been dead for a day or so by the time the eviction began on Jan. 11. Henry Fredrickson said he found the carcass inside his barn, near the automatic watering tank.

“You could tell that it had thrashed around quite a bit at the end,” he said. “It was laying flat on its side; looked very thin. The hair was pretty gruff. The two ladies who came out (from HAHS) for it, they were able to tip it over by themselves. It didn’t weigh a lot.”

The other two horses were in the same barn, Fredrickson said, but there was no food within their reach when he arrived to help evict the Goshens. Two bags of alfalfa feed were in another room, “isolated away from the animals,” he said, and a half-bag of feed was given to the two surviving horses while Seidelman called Animal Control and the HAHS.

Though the dead filly and one of the surviving mares were emaciated, whether the animals were starving or suffering from another health condition is the subject of Animal Control’s investigation. Tom Schlueter, the Kane County Health Department’s public relations officer, said no information about the investigation has been released because the case is ongoing. The State’s Attorney’s office had no comment.

In the days leading up to the eviction, Seidelman made two unannounced visits to the property—one on Jan. 8, the other on Jan. 10. On both occasions, he reported, all six horses were standing in the pasture and eating.

“I saw food in the pasture, and although the two younger horses appeared thin, they were eating,” Seidelman reported. “Richard (Goshen) said that he thought they might have worms or some other medical problem, and they were not gaining weight.”

The dead horse was autopsied by veterinarian Jane Davis on behalf of Animal Control, though she said she was not authorized to release the results. Both surviving horses were immediately evaluated by a different veterinarian when they arrived at the HAHS facility in Woodstock.

“One of the horses was in very bad condition,” said Tracy McGonigle, executive director of the HAHS. “Our vet scored her as a 1.5 on a 9-point body condition scale, and that scale goes from 1, (which is) extremely emaciated or near death, to 9, (which is) overweight. The horse was weak, and she actually was pretty friendly. She’s a nice horse.”

The other surviving horse scored a 4 on the body condition scale—a score of 5 is the ideal weight for a horse—and McGonigle said it was clear that at least one of the animals had access to food.

Though McGonigle said that it didn’t appear that the thinner horse had received “adequate nutrition,” she cautioned that several health conditions can cause horses to lose weight or have difficulty eating.

“Starvation is a rule-out diagnosis,” she said. “Blood tests have to rule out any underlying diseases, like cancer, that may cause problems. It appears she just wasn’t given adequate food, but you can’t just look at a horse and say, ‘Oh, that’s why.’”

Blood tests performed by HAHS veterinarians ruled out cancer and other illnesses, McGonigle said, though the horse did have mild leukocytosis, a white blood cell count above the normal range, which she said was frequently a sign of an inflammatory response to an infection or to emotional stress. The tests also showed the horse was slightly dehydrated and had low glucose levels. The mare also had a significant heart murmur, something that McGonigle said was sometimes found in animals with poor nutrition.

“So far, it doesn’t look like there was anything underlying. It just appears that she wasn’t getting enough food,” McGonigle said.

The horse, which has been on a refeeding program since it arrived at the HAHS facility, is now out of the acute danger period, she said.

“She’s been gaining weight, and (is) double blanketed because of this (cold) weather,” McGonigle said. “She’s still in danger, but she’s not in an acute danger period any more. Usually, I really get scared about seven days after we start refeeding them, because you lose a lot of them at that point because it taxes the organs a lot. But so far, so good.”

She expects both animals to be fully rehabilitated and eventually adopted, though it may take up to a year before the weaker of the two is healthy enough.

The HAHS regularly takes in horses suffering from starvation and is currently caring for 58 horses, McGonigle said. She estimates that food and basic veterinary care for each horse costs $3,292 annually. Those costs are why the HAHS has seen an increase in the number of cases since the recession began.

“The hay prices, people who may not know how to properly care for horses, the economy, people losing jobs and not being able to afford horses, all of these contribute,” McGonigle said. “I am purchasing hay right now for $7 a bale, and a horse eats a bale a day. The average cost of caring for a horse is $737 a year, and that’s just the basics—trimming their hooves every six to eight weeks, worming and deworming them, etc. That doesn’t include the cost of food.”

The HAHS accepts donations to help fund their care of abandoned and rescued horses. Anyone interested in donating, volunteering at their facility or adopting a rescued horse can visit www.hahs.org for more information.

MP Police Dept. awarded for Special Olympics fundraising

Photo: Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta makes a new friend during the Special Olympics Kick-off event on Feb. 1. The Maple Park Police Department raised $40,078.81 for the Special Olympics—the fifth-highest total in Illinois—and received a Law Enforcement Torch Run Gold Award for the effort.
Courtesy Photo

by Dave Woehrle
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta on Feb. 5 presented the Village Board with the Police Department’s Law Enforcement Torch Run Gold Award.

The MP Police Department received the award for raising $40,000 for Special Olympics of Illinois in 2012. The amount ranked fifth state-wide among 281 other police departments.

This was the Police Department’s third year of participation in Special Olympic fundraising.

“That’s a lot of effort on behalf of the police and the community at large. It’s good to know we’re a part of this,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Over 20 donations were given from local businesses located in Maple Park, Geneva, St. Charles, Elburn, Carol Stream and Aurora. Cabela’s and Monnett Prescision Grinding pitched in as co-sponsors for the Police Department’s skeet shooting event last May.

The winter games were held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, 2012. The 2012 Illinois games were held June 15-17 at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

Acosta is already looking forward to new fundraising efforts for 2013, with the hope of raising $50,000.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work. We’ll be putting on the same events but trying to get more participants this time around,” he said. “What’s great about giving for this cause is knowing the participants do not pay a dime to participate in any event or coaching. It’s a cause we’re proud of.”

Photos: Sunday morning pancakes

The Maple Park Lions Club hosted a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at the American Legion Hall.  Proceeds from the event went to support the Maple Park community. Sisters Emily, 13, and Gabrielle Selenis, 11, enjoy their pancakes.
The Maple Park Lions Club hosted a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning at the American Legion Hall.
Proceeds from the event went to support the Maple Park community. Sisters Emily, 13, and Gabrielle Selenis, 11, enjoy their pancakes.
Maple Park Lions member Trevor Clark tries to keep up on the supply of pancakes at the breakfast.
Maple Park Lions member Trevor Clark tries to keep up on the supply of pancakes at the breakfast.

Sycamore siblings Colette, Barbara and Toby (below) have lived in Maple Park most of their lives.  They try not to miss a  Lions pancake breakfast.
Sycamore siblings Colette, Barbara and Toby (below) have lived in Maple Park most of their lives.
They try not to miss a
Lions pancake breakfast.

Photos by John DiDonna

Hintzsche 2013 Scholarship for Agriculture

MAPLE PARK—Do you have a high school senior who is planning on pursuing a career in the field of agriculture? If so, be sure to check out www.hintzsche.com to access an overview and application for the Hintzsche Scholarship for Agriculture. The Hintzsche Companies will present $1,000 scholarships for up to eight qualified seniors who attend high schools in the Hintzsche and Burroughs’ trade areas. Applications are due by Feb. 18.

Agriculture today is far more complex and requires more advanced technical skills than what previous generations needed in order to succeed. The industry must maintain a steady source of trained and qualified personnel in order to provide adequate succession for the job vacancies of the future. This scholarship is just one small way the Hintzsche Companies give back to this cause.

Scholarship winners are selected by an impartial panel of judges and are evaluated based on academics, leadership skills and a two-page essay. The essay is an important part of the evaluation process as it identifies the student’s heart and soul exemplified by a description of an experience or event that caused his or her desire to pursue a particular area of agriculture studies.

In addition to www.hintzsche.com, your student may also check with his or her school counselor or vocational ag teacher for the materials.

For more information, contact Joanne Hueber via email at jhueber@hintzsche.com or by phone at (800) 446-3378.

Maple Park announces election candidates

MAPLE PARK—The following candidates submitted nomination petitions for the April 9 election:
• Village President – Kathleen Curtis
• Village Trustee (four-year term) – Gregory Cutsinger, Lucas Goucher, Brian Kinane, Terry E. Borg
• Village Trustee (two-year term) – Stephan D. Nowak, Debra M. Armstrong, Christopher Higgins

MP village president looks back on 2012, sets sights on 2013

by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis’ thoughts on the village’s 2012 accomplishments are short and to the point.

“(We) had another good year,” she said. “Maple Park operates on limited resources, but thanks to the village staff and creative thinking, we were able to accomplish a lot with little.”

Creativity was indeed king in Maple Park in 2012. According to Curtis, village employees remodeled the Maple Park Civic Center in order to make it a more organized, professional and a technology-enhanced work space. The village also purchased a snow plow from Virgil Township, and contracted a new building inspector who has “improved operational standards” during his short time in Maple Park.

The Village Code book was made available on Maple Park’s website in 2012, and is now more accessible to local residents. In addition, Curtis said the village Police Department continues to provide a variety of programs for children and young adults.

According to Curtis, the village’s greatest achievement in 2012 ties in closely to its biggest shortcoming.

“Maple Park implemented a TIF district and completed a water main update project in the original sections of town. The water main project upgraded all remaining 4-inch lines (to improve) water pressure and fire flows,” she said. “It is unfortunate that the TIF District has not had projects. We implemented the district with hope of generating new revenue streams to be re-invested in our infrastructure.”

Despite disappointment with lack of activity in the TIF District, Curtis said she doesn’t have any real regrets regarding the events of 2012.

“The Village Board works collaboratively, and we challenge each other,” she said. “The decisions we make are well reviewed before action is taken; that helps minimize the hindsight.”

Maple Park’s chief goal in 2013 is to be sustainable, provide quality service on a tight budget and plan maintenance projects to avoid emergency situations, Curtis said, adding that she constantly worries about the village’s “vintage infrastructure.”

“We maintain a frugal budget. In 2011, we tapped into our cash reserves to match funds we received from grants to complete a variety of projects, (including a) new roof on the Civic Center, the paving of the Civic Center parking lot that extends to Green Street, and a water main project in the northeast corridor of town,” she said.

“It will take us at least two years to rebuild our funds. The reserves we have now, we need to preserve in the event of emergency.”

Curtis will run unopposed for re-election in April, and said she hopes to see increased activity in the village’s TIF District.

“In this economy, it is in our best interest to move forward in that area cautiously,” she said.

Make and Take in Maple Park


The Maple Park Fun Fest committee sponsored a Kids’ Holiday Make and Take on Nov. 28 at the Maple Park American Legion. Different craft stations were set up to give children the opportunity to explore their crafting side this holiday season. Here, Joshua Stover
creates some candy cane art. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

MP teen killed in multi-car collision

CAMPTON HILLS—A two-car collision in Campton Hills has claimed the life of a Maple Park teen.

Zachary Bingham, 18, of the 49W800 block of Peterson Road in Maple Park, was traveling eastbound on Route 38 at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday when his 2002 Pontiac Grand Am was struck head-on by a westbound 2003 Nissan Altima traveling at a high rate of speed and passing numerous vehicles.

The driver of the Altima, Jennifer Liston, 30, of the 3100 block of Old Gate Road in Madison, Wisc., was pronounced dead at the scene by the Elburn and Countryside Fire Department. Bingham was transported to Delnor Hospital in Geneva and later Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., where he was pronounced dead.

The Altima driven by Liston was reported stolen out of Wheaton, Ill. Prior to the accident, Liston was involved in a minor hit-and-run incident in Geneva. Kane County Sheriff’s deputies spotted the Altima traveling westbound and attempted to perform a traffic stop, but Liston fled at a high rate of speed. Deputies then briefly gave pursuit before they were eluded.

According to a Campton Hills Police Department press release, numerous witnesses reported that the Altima driven by Liston was traveling recklessly, passing numerous vehicles on Route 38 at speeds reported over 100 mph.

Immediately following the collision, Liston’s

vehicle proceeded westbound on Route 38, rear-ending a vehicle driven by Kevin Kull of Sugar Grove. Kull’s vehicle was then pushed into the eastbound lane, where it was struck by an eastbound vehicle driven by Ryan Anderson of Sycamore.

The passenger in Bingham’s vehicle, Erin Pazin, 19, of Elburn, and the passenger in Kull’s vehicle, Nadia Kull, 48, of Sugar Grove, were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The accident is currently under investigation by the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team.

Photos: A good cause, a good time

Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park hosted its annual Turkey Drop on Sunday. The church, working in partnership with St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Maple Park, collected donated turkeys, hams and canned goods for families in the area. Over 150 turkeys were collected. Volunteers (right) fill bags with food to go along with the turkeys.


The event also included refreshments, and live music was provided by the band Back Country Roads.


The event had some serious coloring done by sisters Kathryn and Lauren Kleckner.

Photos by John DiDonna

HorsePower Therapeutic Riding Volunteer Orientation

MAPLE PARK—HorsePower Therapeutic Riding in Maple Park will hold a Volunteer Orientation on Thursday, Nov. 29, for individuals interested in joining their growing organization.

HorsePower Therapeutic Riding strives to keep costs at a minimum for students, and is working toward a goal of being able to create scholarships so that no student is ever turned away for inability to pay.

HorsePower relies on a large group of volunteers to get ever closer to this goal.

All volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Program (hands on) volunteers must have two years of experience with horses, and comfortable with catching, grooming, tacking and handling horses. Program volunteers both lead horses and walk beside students during lessons. Support volunteers assist with a variety of tasks; however, they do not handle horses in lessons. There is room for all who wish to participate.

If you’re interested in learning more about HorsePower, becoming a volunteer, or would like to make a donation, e-mail Info@HorsePowerTR.com for an application.

For more information, visit www.HorsePowerTR.com or call (815) 508-0804. Carrie Capes, director, will contact you to conduct a phone interview.

Two spirits

Photo: 11-year-old Madison Tegtman, a sixth-grader at Kaneland Harter Middle School, with her horse, Preston, navigates over an obstacle during one of their rides. She has been riding horses since she was only three years old. Courtesy Photo

Sixth-grader and derby horse both get life experience
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Located on Lees Road in Maple Park, Silver Spur Farm houses a youngster diligently working toward doing the very best in competition—and that’s just the sixth-grade student from Kaneland Harter Middle School.

11-year old Madison Tegtman doesn’t pick up a ball or racket. Her idea of unwinding is working in tandem with a 10-year old Oldenburg horse named Preston.

Tegtman has six first-place events under her cap, and most recently competed in Gurnee, Ill.

With an attentive and solid support group like her mother and horse owner Gina, grandparents Ed and Polly Ruzic, and trainer Tasha Lasiowski, Tegtman—who’s been a rider since she was 3—can focus on equestrian events and caring for Preston.

“I come here to spend time with him,” Tegtman said. “When we come here and get ready for everything, we have to clean all our stuff, clean the horse, practice, take lessons, and get ready to have competitions on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Preston just got back into the fold in early September after recovering from a damaged femur, the result of getting kicked by a fellow horse.

“That was my favorite place to compete at (Crosswinds in Marengo, Ill.), because it was his first show with me after his injury,” Tegtman said.

Specifically, Preston competes a hunter jumper horse, similar to obstacle courses that have walls, gates and fences, and has had quite the long road back. The recovery process took 18 months, and the injury occurred six weeks after Preston was acquired from Michigan.

“It’s a long wait, but I was patient and I was happy for everyone else, and they finally let me ride,” Tegtman said.

It was Madison’s patience that helped Preston recover, because Preston’s prognosis was not good.

“Every day, Madison was out there working with him. The vet would check him out and say it was doubtful he would be able to get back to where he was, but they kept at it,” Gina said.

Preston is the first Oldenberg horse owned by the family after owning two ponies previously.

It takes not just a level of commitment, but temperament, to take on the task of loving and caring for a prize animal.

“You definitely have to be patient. The horses are so good for the kids. It teaches them patience and responsibility, and you’re caring for a live animal,” Lasiowski said.

Lasiowski also owns and operates Escapar Farms within the grounds of Silver Spur, and has dealt with her share of local animals.

“It’s a big animal, and it’s got a mind of its own. It’s about learning to read your horse. Going forward in life, I think it teaches you how to read people,” Lasiowski said.

Tegtman and crew are enjoying what they do, and eventually would like to ease into different events.

“There’s higher jumps; more derbies in the future, I think,” Ed said. “All around the Midwest, you have an opportunity to see terrific horses and terrific riders.”

“I want to take him to hunter derbies, so he can get recognized more,” Tegtman said.

Hunter derbies, now moving on to an international stage, involve larger courses that are inclined with the horse’s natural way of moving about, and measures overall brilliance.

Brilliance is what Tegtman seems to strive for, along with her 10-year-old partner.

“When you go to compete, you hope you have a good horse to go with, and I do.”

Grace UMC and St. Mary’s of Maple Park to host Turkey Drop 2012

MAPLE PARK—Turkey Drop 2012 will take place at Grace United Methodist Church, 506 Willow St., Maple Park, on Sunday, Nov. 18, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event features donation of turkeys, hams, and canned goods to families in Maple Park and other local charities in the Kaneland community.

Special guest Back Country Roads will perform an acoustic set from noon to 2 p.m. Remember, you must bring a ham and/or turkey to get into the Turkey Drop.

For more information, email kariruh@gmail.com.

MP water main project nears completion

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Village Engineer Jeremy Lin on Tuesday updated the Village Board on the status of the current water main project.

“The project is going really well,” Lin said.

Other than one minor scope change, which the board approved later in the meeting, the construction on the project has gone according to plan.

“The schedule has gone fast and relatively smooth,” Lin said. “The majority is finished, and we have no other foreseeable changes.”

Construction on Pearl, Center, and Elm streets has finished, and work on Willow Street is due to finish up by the end of the week.

“The one change in our plan would come at the end of Elm Street,” Lin said. “We would extend the main further to the end of the property in case of future development.”

After completion of the work, Lin assured the board their contractor would repair and clean the areas they worked on.

“After they’re done, they will come back for a final clean up. They will also replace any asphalt they disturbed, and come back in the spring to re-seed grass,” Lin said.

In addition to the project itself, Lin was also working to update the village’s map of its water lines, as there are discrepancies of the size and location on the current map.

MP Class of ‘52 celebrates 60-year reunion


Maple Park High School’s Class of 1952 celebrated its 60-year reunion on Oct. 13 at Sorrento’s in Maple Park. Classmates that attended were Bernard Ziegler (top row, left to right), Stuart Burgess, Roger King, Wendell Dienst and Orval Peterson; (bottom row) Inez (Keneway) Pearson, Charlotte (Clark) Needham and Alice (Hintzsche) Lindblom. Courtesy Photo

Report of suspicious incident near Maple Park

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies on Tuesday afternoon were dispatched to the 46W400 block of Beith Road near Maple Park on a report of a suspicious vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle pulled into a driveway and asked an 8-year-old boy if he wanted a ride. The boy ran into his house. His mother, who heard the vehicle stop, looked outside and saw the vehicle, described as a maroon 1990s model four-door—possibly a hatchback—with a loud muffler. The driver was described as an older male with white hair, glasses and a “wrinkly” face.

Sheriff’s Deputies checked the area but were unable to locate the vehicle. There were no additional reports of this nature in the area.

Photos: Halloween in Kaneland

Horrifying House (right)
If you are in Maple Park this week, see if you can find this Halloween decorated house. It has monsters, ghouls, devils, graves, severed bodies and even a giant spider crawling down the front. Photo by John DiDonna

 

Halloween fun at the community center

Creative Beginnings Preschool held its Halloween parties in the gym at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center on Tuesday. Kids had a good time playing games and winning prizes. Gianna, 3, (right) is dressed as “Foofa” from the show Yo Gabba Gabba. Ben Wituk, 3,  (left) shows off his costume and gets a prize. Photos by John DiDonna

 

 

Scary audience

Sugar Grove trick or treaters  (below)went to the Sugar Grove Public Library on Saturday to get treats, do crafts and watch the reptile show. Here a bunch of costumed kids wait for the show to start. Photo by Patti Wilk

Zumba classes a hit in Maple Park

Photo: Certified Zumba instructor April Espe leading a class in Maple Park. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Zumba Classes
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, 8 to 9 a.m.
Maple Park Civic Center, 302 Willow St.
Schedule may vary, so call (815) 827-3286

by Susan O’Neill
MAPLE PARK—Twice a week, a core group of about 10 Maple Park women get together at the Maple Park Civic Center and dance to a mix of salsa, merengue, as well as other Latin music and current hits.

This, folks, is Zumba class.

Maple Park resident Terry Thorne, who has been a dedicated Zumba participant since April Espe began teaching the class last March, said she joined gyms when she was younger, but it just “never took.”

“I’ve been taking the (Zumba) classes for eight months, and I’ve never been committed to anything this long, except my husband,” Thorne said.

According to Maple Park resident Jamie DeStefano, one of the reasons the women keep coming back is the fact that participants laugh and have fun during the class.

Another reason is the way the class makes them feel.

Thorne, 55, said Zumba keeps her joints loosened up, and that she can bend over and touch the ground—something she was previously unable to do.

“One week off makes a difference,” she said. “I don’t want to stop doing it now.”

Espe, a Sycamore resident, had been teaching dance classes for girls, ages 3 to 12th grade, when she decided to teach their mothers some dance routines. She held the classes for the moms without telling the children. During the next student show, the parents surprised them with their own performance.

Espe saw how much fun the adults had, so when Maple Park resident Beth Miller posted on the village’s Facebook page that she was looking for a Zumba class, Espe put two and two together. She was already a dance teacher operating a school—“Just for Kix,” in DeKalb—so she obtained a certification in January to teach Zumba and started to get the word out about the class.

Espe participated in all kinds of sports while growing up. She did gymnastics for 15 years, ran track and played volleyball. She also has five years of dance experience.

According to Espe, Zumba class is aerobic, but participants really don’t think too much about their workout.

“It’s fun and you’re moving,” Espe said. “You’re dancing yourself into shape.”

Through the village’s Facebook page, flyers and word of mouth, Espe has developed a following in the area. In addition to the classes in Maple Park, she also teaches a Zumba class in DeKalb.

Espe makes sure that the dance steps are simple enough so that people can easily follow them. She also talks beginners through the steps and repeats them often.

“A lot of people are scared off because they think dance skills are required,” Espe said. “As long as you’re moving, that’s what counts.”

She said the class appeals to all ages, and that she even has a few people over the age of 70 in her classes.

DeStefano said she has lost 40 pounds with Weight Watchers, and the class has helped her with her weight loss.

“This gets my day going,” she said.

For more information about Zumba classes in Maple Park, call (815) 827-3286.

MP to move foward on 2012 Watermain Project

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Village Board members on Oct. 2 reviewed the proposed 2012 Watermain Project with Village Engineer Jeremy Lin.

“We are waiting for village approval on the loan, which would replace watermain pipes on Elm, Willow, Center and Pearl (streets),” Lin said.

The goal of the review was to better understand if the project is necessary, as it would result in a rate increase on residents’ water bills.

“The existing 4-inch pipes are aged, and are deteriorating,” Lin said. “These pipes were selected as a priority to replace.”

In addition to preventing any potential problems with the aging pipe, the village would also benefit from the project by way of increased flow capabilities and circulation, Lin said.

“Not just in the areas the pipes will be replaced, but within the whole system,” he said.

After hearing Lin’s report, the board agreed to move on with the project.

“It was good to revisit these questions the board had,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “The user charge will need to be implemented immediately.

The rate increase will add about $12 per water bill, and is meant to provide the village with funds to repay the loans taken out for this project.

“Now that we’ve heard the report, it makes more sense now to go forward with the project,” trustee Terry Borg said.

After multiple discussions on whether or not the project needed to be downsized or started at all, the project can now begin as originally planned.

“After this project is completed, there won’t need to be any more improvements made until the time the village sees substantial growth,” Lin said.

Maple Park mayhem

The Maple Park Fire Department held its annual dance/raffle at the Maple Park Fire Station on Saturday evening. Line dancing was a big hit throughout the night.


Cricket and Cathy Lay (above) from Maple Park dance to a slow tune by the band Back Country Roads (below), who provided the music for the dance.

Photos by John DiDonna

School Board approves IGA with Maple Park

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Sept. 10 voted 6-0 to approve an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Maple Park in regard to land-cash and school impact payments.

Trustee Ken Carter was absent from the meeting.

The vote came two-and-a-half months after the School Board approved an IGA with Elburn. According to a document from Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, Kaneland and Elburn at that time agreed to approach other municipalities previously included in the IGA, with the intention to “again develop a common agreement among all municipalities served by the School District.”

Maple Park Village Board members on Sept. 4 approved the IGA with Kaneland.

“We are pleased with the IGA recently established with Maple Park. The conversation with Maple Park was very similar to the conversation with Elburn,” Schuler said. “The terms of the agreement had already been established, so there was not really a negotiation involved. Instead, Maple Park simply needed some time and information to determine if a common agreement served the interest of their community and the school district. We are pleased that they approved the agreement.

According to Schuler, Kaneland is currently in IGA talks with Cortland, Kaneville and Montgomery.

Maple Park passes Kaneland IGA

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday voted 4-2 to approve a intergovernmental agreement with the Kaneland School District for developmental impact fees.

“This agreement deals with any developer who is developing on newly annexed land within the village,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

This is the same agreement Elburn and other surrounding municipalities have agreed to, and will institute the tables and fees Kaneland will receive from new development.

“By instituting this, it sticks with our philosophy of development paying for itself,” trustee Terry Borg said.

By adopting this agreement, the village believes it will be better for all future development in the district.

“This is the right thing to do. It places us on a level playing field with all other municipalities when it comes to development,” Borg said.

The agreement will go into effect in October and continue for 10 years, ending in December 2022.

The board also voted 5-1 to raise water/sewer rates for an infrastructure improvement that includes four segments of new water main.

According to Borg, the impact of this improvement on minimum water and sewer users is nearly a 30 percent rate increase in their bi-monthly bills, approximately $12 per billing period or $72 per year.

Borg said that, while the improvements on the north side of Maple Park—roughly half the job—make sense, the impact on the south side makes little sense today since the larger pipe will be bottlenecked by its smaller feeder main. “The five trustees voted for a Cadillac solution when it is neither immediately needed nor affordable by many of the Maple Park residents,” Borg said. “While I supported the north side improvement, I could not support the entire project and thus voted no. Hence, this vote has made me realize that, without my voice, no one else would have raised question. While I had been considering not running for re-election, perhaps my board participation is still needed to ensure (that) critical thinking, evaluation and discussion occur.”

Prairie Parkway funding pulled

Money diverted to widen Route 47
by Susan O’Neill
ILLINOIS—Citizens Against the Sprawlway members recently gathered at their 11th annual picnic and rally, this time to celebrate the demise of the Prairie Parkway.

For the past 10 years, the group opposing the proposed Prairie Parkway has held the event on the last Sunday in August at Big Rock resident Marvel Davis’ farm. This year, after 11 years of waging their fight against the proposed highway, the grassroots organization said they were finally able to declare victory.

The Federal Highway Administration on Aug. 22 rescinded its 2008 decision to approve and fund the Prairie Parkway, a proposed 37-mile expressway that was to connect Interstate 80 with Interstate 88. Funding earmarked for the highway has been diverted to pay for widening and other improvements to Illinois Route 47, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) spokesperson Josh Kauffman said.

According to IDOT District III engineer Dave Brobiak, the stretch of Route 47 beginning .6 miles north of I-80 in Morris and ending at Cross Street in Sugar Grove is in some stage of construction or study to widen and improve it.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Jan Strasma, Chairman of Citizens Against the Sprawlway. Strasma and his group, in conjunction with a number of other organizations, had continued to voice their opposition to the highway. They told IDOT that, rather than build a new road, the money should instead be spent on improving the current roads, especially Route 47. Then-U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert in 2001 had reintroduced the idea of the north-south highway between I-80 and I-88. He said that the highway would relieve congestion on local and state roads, as well as absorb the additional future traffic he said was inevitable due to an anticipated increase in growth in western Kane County, as well as Kendall and Grundy counties.

But Strasma and other opponents said that the outer belt expressway would act as a stimulant for rapid growth, eating up acres of precious farmland in the process.

IDOT in 2002 moved forward with plans for the highway, and identified a corridor through which it could be built. IDOT marked the deeds of landowners along the corridor, which meant that if owners wished to make an improvement to their property, they had to notify the state first. The state would then have the option to purchase the property.

Opposition to the parkway became more widespread as farmers and other landowners realized the impact the road would have on their property. Davis, whose farm helped people visualize what would be lost in building the highway, said her property would be divided in two by the proposed road.

Big Rock and Kaneville residents voted overwhelmingly against the parkway in non-binding referendums.

Not everyone was opposed to the highway, however. Village officials interested in growth, such as Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels, said they saw the highway as a stimulus for commercial and other development in their towns and beyond. Michels did not see the choice as either the parkway or the improvements to local roads. Sugar Grove officials supported both the highway and the widening of Route 47.

Meanwhile, Hastert hastened progress on the Parkway when he obtained a $207 million earmark for the highway in the federal government’s 2005 transportation bill.

The Federal Highway Administration issued its record of decision approving the Prairie Parkway project and the final environmental impact statement in 2008, making the project eligible for federal funding. Hastert resigned from Congress later that year.

Citizens Against the Sprawlway, in conjunction with Friends of the Fox River, filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the FHWA, stating that IDOT had preselected the route prior to conducting the environmental study of its impacts. Attorneys from the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC), a Chicago public interest group, represented the group.

With the flagging economy and a slowdown of development, as well as the state of Illinois’ financial woes, funding for the highway stalled. Beginning in 2010, IDOT cut the Prairie Parkway from its six-year Highway Improvement Program and continued to omit it from subsequent annual updates.

In addition, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning did not give the Parkway a high funding priority in its “Go to 2040” land use and transportation plan for the seven-county area.

This paved the way for the FHWA’s action to rescind its record of decision for the highway. Staff attorney Andrew Armstrong said that, when the state rescinded its record of decision, his organization filed to dismiss the lawsuit.

According to the Citizens Against the Sprawlway website, about $70 million in federal and state funds has been spent so far on the Prairie Parkway on studies of the need for the highway, environment and engineering, including $21.5 million for the acquisition of about 300 acres of land along the corridor. No actual construction has taken place.

Although the federal action effectively cancels plans for the Prairie Parkway, Kaneville Planning Commission Chair and IDOT Prairie Parkway Citizens Advisory Committee member Joe White emphasized that it doesn’t really change anything unless the state decides to lift the marks off of people’s deeds.

IDOT continues to protect the 400-foot-wide corridor between the two interstates. The corridor protection, filed in 2007, restricts affected property owners from making improvements to their property without state review and approval.
White said he doesn’t believe it was public opinion that put the brakes on the parkway. He believes that if IDOT had an open checkbook, the parkway would still be on the table.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson would agree with that. He said that with the center line already designated, he believes that plans for the highway will resume if funding comes back. He supports the highway and said it is important in alleviating traffic on Route 47 and diverting north-bound truck traffic. He thinks it should be built, not just from I-80 to I-88, but all the way to I-90.

In the meantime, he said he supports keeping the funding local, and that Route 47 can use the improvements. He said he also supports a full interchange at Route 47 and I-88, something that Sugar Grove officials have been pushing for some time.

Michels said that he has already been in touch with Rep. Randy Hultgren to ensure that the funding stays local and remains focused on Route 47.

“We need to move fast and we need to be vocal,” Michels said. “I’m afraid things could be re-allocated.”