Category Archives: Local News

What is going on in your town

Thank you from the Kaneland Arts Initiative

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative
The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) will conclude its 2013-14 season with the fifth annual summer theatre production, “Once Upon A Mattress.” Throughout the year, KAI has been pleased to present the Magic of Garry Carson, the Fox Valley Concert Band Halloween Concert, Lee Murdock’s Annual Hometown Concert, “The Laramie Project,” the 14th Annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, the Cavern Beat, and Dreams Dance Studio Recital. In addition to the amazing performances, KAI was thrilled to provide the second annual KAI Artist in Residence program, the private music lesson program, and the third annual KAI Fine Arts Scholarship.
The Kaneland Arts Initiative opportunities are made possible by grants from the Dunham Fund and the Kaneland Foundation. Parent teacher organizations from Harter Middle School and John Stewart Elementary School donated funds, as well as over 100 individual arts patrons. KAI would also like to extend a huge thank you to the following local businesses whose donations have led to the successful KAI 2013-2014 season:
• Premiere Sponsors ($1,000 and up)—Elburn Herald, Midwest Window and Supply, Open Range Southwest Grill
• Masterpiece Sponsors ($500-$999)—Elburn Chiropractic and Acupuncture, Ross Electric, Inc., Vons Electric, Inc., Waubonsee Community College
• Visionary Sponsors ($250-$499)—Engineering Enterprises, Inc.; Michael J. Greenan, CPA; Harry F. Krauspe, D.D.S.; Maple Park American Legion Post 312; National Bank and Trust; Ottosen, Britz, Kelly, Cooper, Gilbert and DiNolfo, Ltd.; Weiland Excavating, Inc.
• Portfolio Sponsors ($100-$249)—Behm Plumbing, Builders Asphalt, LLC, Conley Outreach Community Services, Cortland Animal Hospital, Hair Directors, Hampton Inn and Suites Aurora, P & M Sewer & Water, Inc., Peg’s on Main, Sally Jane Photography, SignFX, T & A Contractors, Inc., Village Bible Church
• KCFAF Friend ($1-$99)—Amazing Grace Antiques, Franklin’s Frames and Art
You are all invited to attend “Once Upon A Mattress,” presented July 11-13 and July 18-20 in the Kaneland High School auditorium. Friday and Saturday performances will begin at 7 p.m., and Sunday performances will begin at 2 p.m. The show is appropriate for all ages and runs 2 hours long, including one 15-minute intermission.
Tickets are currently on sale on the Kaneland School District webstore, The prices are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students, and $25 for the popular Family Ticket. The Family Ticket admits all family members currently living in one household for the singular price of $25. As always, preschoolers can attend for free. Seating is reserved. Groups interested in seeing the show should call (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, for group-rate pricing. For more information, visit the KAI website,

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Elburn Idol accepting applications

ELBURN—The Elburn Days Community Stage is currently accepting applications for the Elburn Idol singing competition. The contest is open to anyone age 9 and older.

There are four different age groups: Junior (9-12), Teen (13-15), Senior (16-18) and Adult (19 and up). Each age division will have a winner that receives a $50 cash prize and an invitation to sing on the Main Stage later that weekend.

An application and instructions can be found at Questions can be sent to

School Board approves energy conservation commitment

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday came together, despite severe thunderstorms in the area, to approve a conservation commitment.

The School Board agreed to a commitment with Cenergistic Energy, an energy conservation company that has experience working with school districts, including Batavia, to conserve energy.

Expected areas of savings include water, electric and gas bills.

Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for business, on Tuesday explained why it was important for the board to approve the conservation commitment.

“It was important for the board to show their commitment in writing, through that commitment that the district provided for us, so that all staff and community would know that the board is committed to energy savings and the program,” she said.

Fuchs said that some energy savings the company could provide include turning off computer monitors and lights. She added that many “behavioral changes” that will take place with Cenergistic Energy will occur during off hours, including holidays and breaks.

An energy specialist is yet to be hired. The specialist will provide more specific ways for the district to save money by conserving energy.

The board had previously agreed to have a five-year contract with the conservation company, which would last from May 1 until April 30, 2019. The cost to the district is $9,000 per month. The expectation was that there would be energy savings expected to exceed all costs during this time period.

All board members, with the exception of Pedro Rivas, voted yes to the agreement at the April 28 School Board meeting.

“There’s nothing that holds this company (Cenergistic) liable past five years,” Rivas said during the April meeting. “I’m concerned with that.”

Fuchs has an expectation concerning the partnership between the district and Cenergistic Energy.

“We’re very excited to be working with Cenergistic,” Fuchs said. “They have a great program that has proven results in other school districts. And we’re expecting that it will work well in Kaneland, too.”

Elburn Days booths available

ELBURN—There are still vendor booths available on the Elburn Community Congregational Church parking lot (north side of the church) for Elburn Days, Aug. 15, 16 and 17.

The church during the festival will host an indoor rummage sale, crafts for sale and a sloppy Joe lunch.

Booths are 10 feet by 10 feet. All spaces are asphalt. Canopies may be used, but must not hang over the allotted space, and cannot be grounded to the asphalt. No electrical outlets are available. All vendors are responsible for providing everything they need for their display. The hours for the outdoor venue are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Booth spaces are $30 per day, or $75 If the space is rented all three days. Non-profit organizations may rent a booth for $25 per day or $60 for all three days.

Spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All renters must fill out an application and pre-pay for their space. Once your application is submitted and your payment is received in full, your space will be reserved. All applications and checks must be received by Friday, Aug. 1. No refunds unless the day of rental is rained out.

For more information or to receive an application, contact Karen Diesel at (630) 308-5397.

Letter: Thank you for continued blood drive support

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Elburn blood drive on June 26 was shut down early for the safety of all participants. We apologize for the inconvenience to those affected. For those who were unable to get the gift card premium, call Kay Swift at (630) 365-6088 to arrange the receipt of your card.

We sincerely thank all who were able to donate or who planned to give at another site when we stopped taking donations in Elburn. If anyone needs to discuss this issue further, call Kay or Heartland representative Sheri Ranaford at (630) 723-2550.

Again, thank you for your continued support of the blood donor program for the Elburn area. The next drive will be on Thursday, Oct. 2, at the American Legion hall, 2 to 6:30 p.m. Have an enjoyable summer.

Kay Swift
Blood drive coordinator, Elburn Post 630 American Legion Auxiliary


Elburn business not compliant with state requirements

ELBURN—During a recent compliance visit to a massage business in town, Elburn police found that the business’ personnel did not have the proper licensing from the state in order to offer massages at the site.

According to Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith, a license from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations is required in order to perform massages.

Elburn Building Commissioner Tom Brennan said he accompanied a police officer to the Asian Spa Massage business at 151 E. Route 38, Suite E, on May 27, and found the business to be in compliance with Elburn zoning laws.

However, according to Smith, the police made a subsequent visit to the business on May 28 to inform them that they may not offer massages until they possess the appropriate state licensing.

Smith said that the department has had “plenty of complaints” and “several inquiries” over the past several months regarding the business.

According to Smith, the police can’t tell the business that it has to close, only that it can’t offer massages.

Although there is an illuminated open sign on the business, Smith said when the police conduct their regular rounds, there is either no one there or the doors have been locked.

Smith said the building owner came into the department several weeks ago to find out more about what the business needed in order to operate legally.

Sugar Grove discusses road improvement funding options

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed options regarding how the village should fund future road improvements.

“There is a desire to have more road improvement,” Eichelberger said. “This topic comes up all the time. We have to get back to the age-old discussion of either relocating or cutting out other services or raising new revenue. We have a potentially viable option of having a vehicle registration or we can have a referendum that will have a low chance of success.”

According to Eichelberger, Yorkville charges an $8 fee in its utility bill for residents. The $8 is a flat fee per month per every household, and the money is designated for road improvement. Eichelberger mentioned that one of the benefits of collecting this fee is that it would allow the village to fix roads before it has to repave the entire road, and in return the village would save a substantial amount of money.

The board discussed the possibility of implementing a similar fee for the village of Sugar Grove. It discussed that if resident had a household without ownership of a car, their would be a method to opt of the program.

Board members during the meeting brought up how the new fee could be poorly received by residents.

“I think the board has been wise with difficult tax issues, but I think the $8 is too much,” village trustee Kevin Geary said. “I think there are residents who are going to say enough. I think we need to be creative.”

Eichelberger mentioned where the village is at with different solutions for funding road improvements in the village.

“At this point, there is no creative solution,” Eichelberger said. “The community needs to understand that if you want better roads, you have to pay for it.”

Village trustee Rick Montalto brought up ideas on how the village might educate the public if and when it decides to implement the tax.

“I think we need a major education program for residents,” Montalto said. “First thing that will happen if someone sees someone else’s street get fixed, they will be mad that their road isn’t getting fixed. We need a long range plan for a normal rotation for all streets so not to favor certain neighborhoods.”

Village President Sean Michels weighed in on the new option for funding road improvement.

“This is just an option,” Michels said. “We’re not in dire straits right now. I think this is important, and we’ll see where we end up at the end of the year. It’s good information that the board can digest.”

Michels suggested revisiting the funding item in January and February during budget time and discuss where the village is at with the roads.

“We would be taxing residents $100, but it goes a long way,” he said.

Letter: Thank you from Elburn Fire Protection District

The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District would like to extend a special thank you to Mike Clesen of L&M Greenhouses for his generous donation of flowering plants. We are very grateful for the flowers and the opportunity to make our grounds more beautiful for all to enjoy. Your thoughtfulness is sincerely appreciated.

Kelly Callaghan
Elburn and Countryside
Fire Protection District


Hopkins-Hubbard reaches Maple Park during cross-country journey

Photo: Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard (seated atop horse) is traveling across the United States on horseback to preach and promote a message of oneness between the citizens of the United States. His travels brought him to Maple Park on June 25, and he spent some time resting up at Promise Equestrian Center. Hopkins-Hubbard began his journey in Oregon, and he hopes to reach northern Virginia and the Atlantic Ocean by September. Photo by Natalie Juns

MAPLE PARK—Samuel Hopkins-Hubbard is traveling across the nation to preach and promote a message of oneness between the citizens of the United States.

Hopkins-Hubbard began his journey in eastern Oregon on April 5, and traveled through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa prior to reaching Promise Equestrian Center in Maple Park. Hopkins-Hubbard didn’t know anyone at Promise Equestrian, but the people there gladly welcomed him.

“We are honored to have him (Hopkins-Hubbard) here,” said Jerry Paulsen, co-founder and president of Boots and Hooves. “It’s nice that he’ll take the time to hang out with us. This really is the magic ranch for veterans.”

Hopkins-Hubbard is making his way to the Atlantic Ocean, on the north side of Virginia, by September to inspire and give hope to the people in this nation. He is traveling with two horses, a tool pack, a collapsible water bucket, cell phone holster, a Thunderbird saddle pack, one American flag in hand, among other essentials throughout his journey.

On his cowboy hat, he wears several pins that were given to him as gifts to wear on his ride across the country. A couple of them are an Afghanistan pin and paratrooper pin to remember the people who have served and are serving our country, and a feather from a rancher in Nebraska who feels under attack from the federal government, according to Hopkins-Hubbard.

“People are discouraged about the state of this country,” Hopkins-Hubbard said. “This is a time where we need hope and inspiration. We need to drop all the labels and remember who we are. We’re the strongest when we’re not fighting. That’s what I’m preaching.”

In order to reach the Atlantic Ocean by September, Hopkins-Hubbard travels 14 to 20 miles on horseback each day. He has stayed at fairgrounds, rodeos and pastures, and has always had permission to stay wherever he’s at.

Hopkins-Hubbard said that he is living every day by faith as he gets the American flag to the Atlantic Ocean. He doesn’t know where he will stay at night on a regular basis. Hopkins-Hubbard happened upon Promise Equestrian Center by chance and was offered the opportunity to stay with one of the Promise Equestrian volunteer’s family members for a few days last week while he rested up for the rest of his journey.

“This journey has been very honoring and humbling,” Hopkins-Hubbard said. “I received a lot of gifts and witnessed a lot of communities treat one another like family. It’s heartwarming to see the country work together. I’m fortunate to see the country and carry the flag.”


Recent Kaneland grad finds success on a different track

ELBURN—Elburn resident Michael Geringer is finding a whole new way to get around—really well.

Geringer, a recent member of the Kaneland High School Class of 2014, is finding he can burn rubber on the go-kart circuit.

The 17-year-old talent, who turned pro in September, won his first national race as part of the US Pro Kart Series. Geringer, as part of Praga North America, took the field at Michiana Raceway Park in North Liberty, Ind., back on June 24.

Geringer, showing his skills in the Leopard 125 Pro class, and previously taking to tracks as an amateur, still keeps his capacity for awe.

“I was a little surprised at how well I did,” Geringer said. “It was a 40-car field, and at regionals the week before, I did good, but I expected a top-five.”

Having competed in national races in North Carolina, and sticking closer to home as part of regionals racing like the Route 66 Spring Series, Geringer is out on an island on the track, relying only on his kart and training.

“I try not to think about it too much, you just try to get up there. I won a Route 66 Regional championship last year, and I’m glad to be with the new team. They help out a lot,” Geringer said.

Elburn resident Michael Geringer won the 125 Pro category at Michiana Raceway Park in North Liberty, Ind. Photo submitted by Pranga North America to
Elburn resident Michael Geringer won the 125 Pro category at Michiana Raceway Park in North Liberty, Ind.
Photo submitted by Pranga North America to

Having raced and gotten into the circuit with the help of his father, Michael, Geringer’s accomplishments speak for themselves, but he’s also aware that goes for the rest of the field.

“The last race had the top karts separated by .05 seconds, and everybody there brings the best,” Geringer said.

Geringer has his eyes on bigger tracks as the year progresses.

“There’s three more regionals near here, and two more nationals, and I really want to go to Supernationals (USA Supernationals XVIII in late-Nov.) which are at the Rio in Las Vegas,” Geringer said.

Geringer is attending Waubonsee Community College in the fall with eyes on transferring to a four-year institution for mechanical engineering.

Michael Geringer, 17, is a recent Kaneland High School graduate, and will attend Waubonsee Community College in the fall. The Elburn native is sponsored by Pranga North America. Photos submitted by Pranga North America to
Michael Geringer, 17, is a recent Kaneland High School graduate, and will attend Waubonsee Community College in the fall. The Elburn native is sponsored by Pranga North America.
Photos submitted by Pranga North America to

Corn Boil vendor booths available

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Corn Boil announced there are still vendor booths available for the festival, which takes place July 25-27. Booths are 10×10 feet.

Corn Boil representatives reserves the right to place vendors wherever they deem appropriate, in the best interest of the Corn Boil. However, requests to be placed on asphalt or lawn can be made.

All spaces are outdoors. Canopies may be used but they must be contained within the allotted space and cannot be grounded into the asphalt or concrete. Each vendor is responsible for providing all of their equipment and supplies for their display.

Business booths are $275. Crafter Booths are available at $150. Independent home party consultant booths are available at $150, after July 15, booths are $170 and accepted as space allows. Non-for-profit booths are available at $85.

Contact Audrey at (630) 363-2113, call the Sugar Grove Events Line at (630) 466-5166, or visit for information.

Exchange students seeking host families in Elburn

ELBURN—Visiting students ages 15-18 from around the world, including Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand, are seeking host families in and around Elburn for the 2014-15 academic school year. Host families are needed for the fall semester and full school year.

Host families (traditional families, singles, empty nesters, etc.) serve as mentors and a home base for their student. Visiting students participate as active members of the family and integrate into their host’s daily routines and traditions just like any other family member. Hosting an international student is a great way to explore a new culture and promote a sense of lifelong learning and adventure.

“Every year, Illinois plays host to hundreds of talented, top-of-their-class students with the lifelong dream of studying in America,” said Joseph Bissell, iE-USA’s regional director. “Our state’s hospitality and prominent focus on academic enrichment makes it an ideal environment to develop cultural exchange and promote international diplomacy on a local level.”

iE-USA, the sponsoring program, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and understanding through intercultural and academic exchange. iE-USA is certified by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel and strictly adheres to all U.S. Department of State Student Exchange Program regulations and guidelines.

Exchange student participants undergo an extensive application and orientation process in their home country prior to being accepted into iE-USA’s program. Each student is responsible for his/her own spending money and full health insurance coverage.

To learn more about how to make the dream come true for an international high school exchange student, contact Illinois representative Emily Rolin at or (269) 625-4662. Host families may review prospective student profiles online at Families interested in hosting this year must apply by Friday, Aug. 15.

east command fAGEL

Fagel book recognized by peers

SUGAR GROVE—Without even knowing his book was under consideration, Sugar Grove resident Mike Fagel has been recognized for writing the book of the year by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS).

“I’m shocked, happy, flabbergasted—pick an emotion,” Fagel said. “I’m thoroughly excited. To be recognized by my peers is pretty nifty.”

The book, “Crisis Management & Emergency Planning,” is the first recipient of the ASIS Security Book of the Year award.

“I’m just the editor. The rest of it is me pulling my colleagues together,” Fagel said.

He said he did write several chapters either individually or in collaboration with colleagues in the field of emergency services.

An instructor at several area universities and a public speaker who travels worldwide, Fagel has a great deal of practical, hands-on knowledge with his background in emergency services and work with Homeland Security.
Fagel_   NCBRT Photo
Fagel was among the thousands of men and women who worked at Ground Zero in New York City after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He served as the incident command safety officer under FDNY Logistics Chief Charles Blaich.

“My life revolves around teaching people to be able to cope with whatever life throws at them,” Fagel said.

He described the book as an extension of early works, and said it contains what he teaches. Although the list of topics is lengthy, some of the chapters include policy on emergency management, stress management, facility vulnerability, two chapters on active shooters, volunteer management, legal considerations, sports venue emergency planning, pandemics, exercises and exercise design, testing your plan, chapter on vulnerability assessments, nuclear and radiological incidents and agricultural terrorism.

“That’s possibly why the committee picked this book for the award—we cover a whole lot of different elements,” Fagel said. “As a teacher, instructor, you hope you give your audience what they need, what they’re looking for.”

Fagel said he won’t get rich from writing a book, but the bottom line is, it’s all about saving lives.

“Maybe if someone reads this book and heeds what’s inside, we can save a life or two with the knowledge we’ve gained.”


Maple Park Police Department continues Special Olympics fundraising success

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Police Department is not only interested in upholding the safety of the citizens of Maple Park, it’s also volunteering for and funding the Special Olympics.

In fact, already this year, and with only two fundraising events under its belt, the Maple Park Police Department has raised a total of $50,000 for the Special Olympics.

On May 18 of this year, the Maple Park Police Department and Colleen MacRunnels, a former assistant warden with the Illinois Department of Corrections, hosted the seventh annual “Pulling for Special Olympics” event at the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club in Elburn. The event was held to raise money for The Law Enforcement Torch Run—the single largest year-round fundraising event for Special Olympics Illinois. The day resulted in the Police Department’s most successful event yet, with $45,000 going to the Special Olympics.

The Maple Park Police Department’s second fundraising event of 2014 took place on May 30. Police Chief Mike Acosta participated in the “Cop on a Rooftop” fundraising event at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Sycamore. Cop on a Rooftop is a fundraising program in which Illinois police officers stake out on Dunkin’ Donuts’ rooftops in an effort to raise money for the Torch Run. Every person who visited a Cop on a Rooftop store and made a donation received a free donut. If someone donated at least $10, they received a Torch Run travel mug and a coupon for a Dunkin’ Donuts medium coffee.

These two events together raised $50,000 for Special Olympics—already half of the Police Department’s $100,000 goal for this year. If the department reaches its goal, it will have raised the single-most amount of money ever in the state of Illinois for the Special Olympics.

As a reward for all of his hard work, Chief Acosta on the weekend of June 13 attended and volunteered at the Special Olympics Summer Games in Bloomington, Ill. Chief Acosta presented participants with ribbons and other awards.

“This was the best two-day event I’ve ever been to as a police chief in uniform”, Acosta said, “I’ll tell you, it is one of the greatest things you can do.”

Beyond the fundraising events, Chief Acosta and the Maple Park Police Department set up a booth at the Kane County Flea Market every month to raise money for the Special Olympics. They sell T-shirts and raffle tickets to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

“The Special Olympics and law enforcement have a special relationship; it actually dates back to the 1960s.”

There are many more fundraising events to come. The next one, known as the “Wheel of Meat,” will take place on Saturday, July 19, at the Maple Park Pub & Grill. The event will kick off with a 100-yard marathon from Bootleggers Bar, Grill and Pizza to H.D. Rockers, and will finish at the Maple Park Pub & Grill for the Wheel of Meat event. There is a $25 admission fee that will include a T-shirt and three drink tickets—one for each establishment. All of the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics.

For more information, visit or the Maple Park Police Department for Special Olympics Facebook page.


Avenue J Studios, Peak for Kids move to North Aurora

Photo: Monday night saw performers from Avenue J Studios rehearsing for the upcoming show “Willy Wonka, Jr.” Sugar Grove resident Lexi Holt, 12, will play Mrs. Bucket.
Photo by Lynn Logan

SUGAR GROVE—Avenue J Studios and Peak for Kids are teaming up to create a studio for students.

The studio would offer kids a variety of activities on a regular basis. Jennifer Madziarczyk of Avenue J Studios and Renee Dee of Peak for Kids are Sugar Grove residents who have lived on the same street for the last 12 years, but they only met within the past year.

Both Dee and Madziarczyk have kids who attend Kaneland schools. They are passionate about serving the Kaneland School District through their organizations. After meeting, they realized that it would be perfect for them to work together, according to Dee.

“Jennifer empowers youth through performing arts, and I empower youth through a variety of healthy community programming and events,” Dee said. “It made perfect sense for us to create an alliance. It was a natural evolution.”

Initially, they had hopes of staying in Sugar Grove. According to Dee, the duo presented their first formal proposal to the Sugar Grove Village Board in April. After receiving no formal answer, they decided to search for an alternate location that could house their organization.

“We really wanted to be located here,” said Dee. “Our heart was in Sugar Grove. We were never able to secure a good and easily accessible location since we never received a formal response from the Sugar Grove board.”

After some thorough investigation, Dee and Madziarczyk discovered a building that would work well for them, located on the west side of North Aurora at the Orchard Road and Gateway corridor. Their new building is located in a shopping center next to State Farm and Carmax, located at 208-210 Genesis Drive. The new location is around 2,600 square feet and will provide adequate space for Avenue J Studios and Peak for Kids as they continue to grow and expand the programs they offer. Their expected move-in date is Friday, Aug. 1.

“This new location in North Aurora will be an amazing space for us,” Dee said.

Madziarczyk commented on how the new space will provide them with the opportunity to offer more to the community.

“We will have an office by day and activities by night,” Madziarczyk said. “We are thinking of offering a preschool, yoga for moms during the day, theatre camps, music and voice lessons, strings and guitar lessons, birthday parties, and more in the evening.”

There will be a reception area, a large studio, an open activity room, and three music rooms in the new location, according to Madziarczyk.

“We will also have what we call ‘Epic Friday Night Lights’ at this location that will be geared toward artsy activities,” Dee said. “It will have a creative twist. This new location will attract people from all over, but our main focus is the Kaneland area.”


Kaneland Madrigals travel to Ireland

Singers perform, see sights
KANELAND—Kaneland High School’s chamber choir, otherwise known as the Madrigals, traveled to Ireland earlier this month. The trip gave 29 students the chance to sing, check out sites and take in the culture.

According to a report by Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler, the Dunham Fund donated $8,000 to support the singers’ performance tour to Ireland, which took place June 5-13.

Bryan Kunstman, Fine Arts Department chair and choir director at Kaneland High School, said that the Dunham Fund money, as well as fundraisers the students held throughout last school year, were used to offset the cost of the trip. According to Kunstman, the choir’s concert earlier this month at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Charles raised over $1,000 for the trip.

Kunstman said that the Ireland trip was important on a lot of levels.

“Anytime you’re able to go overseas or travel and experience things in person, it makes a longer impact,” Kunstman said. “Learning through experiencing goes a lot further than by word of mouth; and even experiencing it through the music when you can put it in the spaces where the music was written for. You get to meet other people, sing in other cultures, get to experience communicating with others.”
Students on the Ireland trip traveled to various churches and sang 16 choral selections. The places they performed included St. Columba’s Church in Ennis, St. Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church in Galway and St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork.

The choir sang mostly sacred songs. They also sang spiritual, contemporary, an Irish landscape poem. They even sang a choral piece Dolly Parton had performed, called “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” In addition, the Madrigals sang a varied version of the song “Eatnemen Vuelie” from the hit film “Frozen.”

When not performing, the students took in landscapes like the Cliffs of Moher along the Atlantic coast, and places like Bunratty Castle.

They also saw Irish dancing complete with lots of hopping and footwork and heard duet music from a harpist and violinist.

Sugar Grove resident Kayla Hedgren, a recent Kaneland High School graduate, went on the Ireland trip. She recalled what it was like to sing in some cathedrals with the Madrigals.

“The acoustics, the sound was angelic,” Hedgren said. “I don’t think that we realized—maybe we didn’t realize—how well we sounded as a group. I don’t think that we fully understand that until, to hear the sound echo in the cathedral and to hear yourself sing back, it really (is) such a moving thing. And to know that you’re in Ireland (is) just a cloud nine experience.”


Photos: Offseason holiday cheer

The Holiday in the Grove committee held a 5B’s Pork Chop dinner fundraiser June 19 in the Sugar Grove Walgreens parking lot. Employees of Walgreens assisted in the serving of food and directing traffic. Volunteer Joe Rubo (right) of Sugar Grove preps a meal for a guest.

Max Ledone, 14, of Sugar Grove, bags meals to go.
Max Ledone, 14, of Sugar Grove, bags meals to go.
Volunteer and Sugar Grove resident Jan Backus serves costumers Elijah Grabowski (driver) and Madison Taylor (passenger).
Volunteer and Sugar Grove resident Jan Backus serves costumers Elijah Grabowski (driver) and Madison Taylor (passenger).
Sugar Grove resident Jim Baker sells dinner tickets to customers as they drive up to receive their meals.
Sugar Grove resident Jim Baker sells dinner tickets to customers as they drive up to receive their meals.

Kaneville looks into implementing severe weather siren

KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville is still gathering information on how to implement a severe weather siren in town. Kaneville Village President Pat Hill on June 19 updated the board with her findings regarding the implementation.

“This whole time I thought we could piggyback off the county, but the county does not have a siren or run a siren,” Hill said.

Hill said she would continue her research process until she finds a solution to the matter.

Police Chief views video of teen train death

Operation Lifesaver
Wednesday, July 9, 6 p.m.
Village Board Room, Maple Park Civic Center
302 Willow Street, Maple Park

For questions, contact Josh Salisbury or Kevin Brown at the
Maple Park Police Department, (815) 827-3286.
You may also e-mail them at

Village and Union Pacific to hold safety seminar
MAPLE PARK—When Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta viewed the Union Pacific’s video footage taken the night of May 31 at the Liberty Street train crossing in Maple Park, it confirmed the accounts of witnesses present at the time of Maple Park teenager Parker Wolfsmith’s death.

The 14-year-old Kaneland Harter Middle School student had been engaging in a practice called “breezing” when he was struck and killed by the westbound Union Pacific train.

Acosta viewed the video on June 18 with representatives from the Union Pacific Railroad and the Kane County Coroner’s Office.

Acosta said that according to Union Pacific representatives, the term “breezing” refers to when an individual gets close enough to a fast-moving train to feel the breeze. The video showed that Wolfsmith was initially near a tree in a neighboring yard near the tracks, and as the train approached, he ran up close to it, where Union Pacific representatives say he was struck by the train’s “cowcatcher,” a piece of equipment attached to the front of the train used to deflect objects on the track.

There were two other teens with Wolfsmith that night, but they were out of sight from the train’s camera.

Viewing the video was part of the investigation of the incident. During his investigation, Acosta said he learned that this was not the first time Wolfsmith had engaged in this activity. It had been a topic of conversation on the school bus, Acosta said.

“It’s been a very trying few weeks for the community,” Acosta said.

He explained that Wolfsmith’s death and the way that he died has affected a lot of people in the community—from the boy’s family and friends to the police officers and firefighters who arrived at the scene, as well as other parents, neighbors and the train operators who were working that night.

“It affects the entire community,” Acosta said.

There have been several memorial services, including a candle light service at the scene, as well as one at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn.

Acosta said that getting people to talk about it is the best way to deal with it, and the drop-in center at the Maple Park Community Center has provided one outlet for young people to do that.

In addition, the Maple Police Department, together with the Union Pacific Railroad Police, will hold a seminar on Wednesday, July 9 to discuss railway safety. Geared towards all youth and their parents, the seminar Operation Lifesaver will be presented by Union Pacific Railroad police officer Jim Magner.

“We strongly encourage our teen youth and their parents to attend,” Acosta said.

The biggest message Acosta would like to send young people in the area is to stay away from the trains.

“There is no winning against the train,” he said. “The train will win every time.”


Community gets in on the fun run

Photo: Kamryn Madsen, 3, of Cortland, runs the Kids 400m Friday night at Kaneland High School. Photo by Patti Wilk

KANELAND—Kaneland mom Sonya Hwang, a Sugar Grove resident, ran the 5k at last Friday’s third annual Kaneland Foundation Knight Run at Kaneland High School. And notched a personal record in the process.

“This was my best record so far,” Hwang said with a laugh.

Hwang placed third in the women’s category with a time of 28 minutes, 8 seconds. Her award was a blue-painted rock affixed to the Knight Run logo.

“(The Fun Run) is truly a family event,” she said.

Participants ranged from a grandmother to children. Hwang said she saw a boy toddler running a bit around the school’s track.

Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler is the executive director of Kaneland Foundation. He said that about 150 Kaneland students, family and employees attended the event.

“I think the event certainly was a success,” Schuler said. “Obviously, we would have loved to have had more people there.”

Money raised from the event will go to the Kaneland School District. Staff will be able to apply for grant money to use in the classroom for things like technology or fine arts activities.

The Knight Fun Run offered different racing course options, including a 5k cross country race, 1-mile cross country race, and quarter-mile track race for children ages 6 and under.

The 5k had participants running next to cornfields and circling the soccer and baseball fields and actual track. Runners had the opportunity to grab bananas, granola bars and bottled water after crossing the finish line.

Schuler explained that the race planning included being sure to have water and electronic timing. Other tasks included organizing T-shirts, planning registration and trying to get sponsorship and advertising.

Elburn resident Ruth Vostal went to the event with her family and labeled herself as the picture taker and cheerleader. All of her children, twins Brennan and Lilly, 6, and son Hayden, 8, and husband, Reed, ran in the races.

Brennan and Lilly ran a lap around the track. Lilly ran faster than her brother this year. Meanwhile, Reed ran the 5k and came in sixth place with a time of 22 minutes, 50 seconds.

As for Hayden, he had his first experience of running the 1-mile cross country and came in third place with a time of 7 minutes.

“I felt like I was older than my age,” Hayden said.

Letter: Church to host Elburn Days lot vendors

The Community Congregational Church is making a fun change for Elburn Days. We are happy to announce that after several years we are bringing back having our parking lot filled with all types of vendors. The church is also having our usual indoor rummage sale, along with our own craft table and famous sloppy Joe lunch.

We will be open Thursday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, contact Karen Diesel at (630) 308-5397.

Karen Diesel

Editorial: Hit the links this Friday in Sugar Grove

Looking for an alternative to your usual Friday afternoon plans? Consider donning your best golf attire and heading over to Bliss Creek Golf Course for the Sugar Grove 2014 Community Golf Outing.

Hosted by the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this year’s golf outing will kickoff at 11 a.m. on June 27 with a nice buffet lunch, followed by a shotgun start at approximately 12:15 p.m. The event is open to the public, and is intended to bring together Sugar Grove residents and local civic and business leaders for a day of golf, fellowship and friendly competition, with the goal of raising funds for the Chamber Scholarship program and various chamber projects. So even if your short game needs a lot of work (or is flat-out terrible), at least you’ll be able to enjoy an afternoon of golf with friends. Better yet, you’ll be supporting the village of Sugar Grove. That’s pretty much the equivalent of shooting under par, as far as we’re concerned.

Not familiar with Bliss Creek Golf Course? You should be! It offers beautiful, tree-lined fairways, well-placed water hazards and a challenging 18 holes of golf that can most often be played in less than four hours.

For more information about the Sugar Grove 2014 Community Golf Outing, or the Chamber of Commerce Scholarships, contact Chamber Executive Director Shari Baum at (630) 466-7895 or visit the chamber website at And don’t forget to go easy on your pitching wedge.

Kaneville culverts near completion

KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville has recently done a considerable amount of roadwork, including the repair and upkeep of culverts and ditches within village limits.

Trustee Carl Hauser at the Village Board’s June 19 meeting said that the culverts should be completed sometime this week by their contracted construction company. Volunteers completed much of the work beforehand.

“Thank you everyone for your help with the culverts and ditches. I just can’t say it enough,” Village President Pat Hill said.


Sugar Grove to move Village Hall

Photo: This building, 140 S. Municipal Drive, will soon serve as the new Sugar Grove Village Hall. Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale

Relocation will allow for Police Dept. expansion
SUGAR GROVE—The village of Sugar Grove last week purchased two new buildings. The plan is to move Village Hall into the recently acquired location by fall, giving the Police Department room to expand, and starting up a small business incubator.

“The police have been in a space crunch for more than 10 years,” Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said. “On the administration and finance side, we have adequate room, but the police don’t. And with the jail cells and other functions they have set up, it’s much easier for us to move than for the police to move.”

The buildings, located at 140 S. Municipal Drive and 160 S. Municipal Drive, were originally part of a planned five-building professional office park that developers never finished. Only two were built before the economy collapsed in 2008.

It’s a far cry from the original plans the village had made to construct a new police station on the northwest corner of Route 30 and Municipal Drive. Architectural plans were drawn up and the land purchased in 2006, but the station itself was never built because of the recession, a decision that Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins said was the fiscally responsible one.

Though the village still owns the land, building a new police station isn’t financially feasible at this point, Rollins said. When the two professional office buildings became available, Sugar Grove purchased them, along with the land, the parking lot and pads for three more buildings, for $975,000.

The location is ideal, Eichelberger said, because the buildings are directly across from the Sugar Grove Library, close to the current Village Hall, as well as the police and fire departments.

Each building is 6,000 square feet, but only 3,000 square feet of the interior in each building is finished. The remainder is roughed out space—still with gravel floors and without plumbing or drywall—that the village plans to use as storage now and finish later, as Sugar Grove grows.

“We don’t need all the space right now, but it was kind of a package deal—the buildings and the parking lot,” Eichelberger said.

The building at 140 S. Municipal Drive will be the new Village Hall. Both the administration and finance departments will move into it, and Community Development, which is currently housed at 601 Heartland Drive, will eventually move into the building to unite all the village functions. Community Development was once housed in Village Hall, but got pushed out several years ago as the Police Department expanded.

Space has been so tight within the Police Department that the police no longer have interview rooms where they can speak with victims or question suspects, Rollins said, and have been doing interviews in the Village Board room. The garage that used to hold squad cars has been turned into office space. Even the holding area, where prisoners are kept before they can be moved to the Kane County Correctional Center, is currently doubling as storage.

New interview rooms are high on the priority list, Rollins said.

“State law is now requiring that when bringing somebody into custody, the statements have to be audio and videotaped, and more statutes have been added,” he said. “We need to make sure we have interview rooms set up so that we can follow the mandate of the state.”

Space restrictions have also hampered the department’s ability to host investigations alongside the Kane County Major Crimes Taskforce, Rollins said.

“Now, when something happens in Sugar Grove, we’ll be able to handle it here, and we can bring the investigators here to work because we have the space,” he said.

The new Village Hall at 140 S. Municipal Drive will need some remodeling before the administration can move in, Eichelberger said, because the building is currently designed to hold medical offices. The building at 160 S. Municipal Drive will become a small-business incubator.

“We hope to make quite a bit of it available for lease for small, growing start-up businesses,” Eichelberger said. “The village is not doing this to be in competition with private landlords for customers. We want to create customers for them. Especially in those initial growth stages, if someone started a business out of their house and are at the point they could use a professional office space, the goal is to provide a less expensive space for them, and after a couple of years, it’s time for them to move out and open that space up for somebody else.”

Small businesses that lease office space will have access to a shared conference room, kitchenette and restroom. Sharing them among several businesses reduces the cost, Eichelberger said. Since the village envisions leasing space to start-ups, most of the offices available will be single offices and some office suites, which would have room for an administrative assistant outside a private office.

The space will be leased out at below-market rates, Eichelberger said, and businesses will need to meet several requirements.

“If we’re going to provide slightly below market space, we want to make sure these businesses have the best chance of success,” Eichelberger said. “So we’re working with the Waubonsee Small Business Development Center to make sure the businesses are working with them, to make sure they have a viable business plan. The concept would be that one of the conditions of leasing here is that you need to work with the Waubonsee center, to increase the odds of success.”

Eichelberger said that the incubator was such a perfect opportunity for small businesses that he “expects the phone to be ringing off the hook.”

The unfinished areas of both buildings—a total of 6,000 square feet—will serve as storage, since Community Development has large quantities of files that need to be kept accessible. Whether it’s more cost-effective to finish out the space now or later is under investigation, Eichelberger said.

“What we need to say in the long run is, how should that space be finished out to meet the needs of the village? What is the most cost effective way to finish it out? One phase? Two phases?” Eichelberger said. “Ultimately, we’d like to have the board room in that building, but we have a perfectly functional board room right now. Could the police expand into that board room? Or can we wait a year or two? At some point, we anticipate bringing Community Development back in. But does that need to be done now?”

The new Village Hall should be ready to move into in four to six months, Eichelberger said, and then the Police Department will be able to start its renovations afterward.

“I think this is going to bring us even further into the 21st century,” Rollins said.


Kaneland student earns prestigious journalism honor

KANELAND—Kaneland High School student Nick Boose earned a prestigious journalism honor this past school year.

Boose, a Sugar Grove resident who will be a KHS senior this fall, is editor-in-chief for the Kaneland Krier, the school’s newsmagazine. He’s also one of 12 Illinois students named to the Illinois All-State Journalism Team.

“It’s a really big honor to receive,” Boose said. “I wouldn’t say we are necessarily the best. It’s just journalists that put in the most time and effort behind the scenes.”

Recently, Boose and the other All-State team members headed to Springfield to dine at the Executive Mansion. He also received an award for his accomplishment.

Boose’s editor-in-chief responsibilities at the Krier include overseeing “day-to-day operations,” approving PDFs and story ideas, copy editing stories and seeing that deadlines are followed.

“I just kind of oversee the Krier as a whole,” Boose said.

Kimberly Reese, journalism teacher at Kaneland High School and advisor for the Kaneland Krier, nominated Boose to be on the state team.

“Nick is one of those students who has a real, true passion for journalism,” Reese said. “He has a passion for finding news and sharing it with his readership.”

She noted that the article he co-wrote about bullying, published in 2012, was a “quintessential piece” for Boose.

Boose’s article, “Marks of forgotten memories,” took readers inside the tough world of a student who had experienced bullying, and it showed feedback from Kaneland staff on what steps the Kaneland School District would take to deal with bullying.

Nick’s mom, Penny Boose, has some ideas on what makes Nick special.

“Well, for me, it’s (that) he’s got a big heart,” Penny said. “He sees the good in people. And he’s a real go-getter.”

Nick has been interested in writing since he was in elementary school. He would create made-up stories and always kept a “little notebook” by his bed. And as a high school student, he would write story ideas in his notebook.

Boose will attend a seven-day conference next month with other American top journalists at George Mason University and learn from journalists from publications including the New York Times and Washington Post.

The accolades for Kaneland journalism don’t end there, either, as the Krier recently received a bronze certificate for Excellence in Journalism from the Northern Illinois School Press Association.

As for Boose, he plans on studying at University of Iowa, where he will double major in journalism and education. His career aspiration is to become a high school journalism teacher.

He said that he has been in contact with four journalism advisors.

“The motivation that they instill in me and just their passion and the way that they come across being has had a huge affect,” Boose said. “And I want to take what they’ve given me and my passion and pass it on to a new generation of journalists.”


In the name of the father

Photo: Elburn Hill Church pastor Gary Augustine teaches a Malachi Dads course at Stateville Correntional Center in Joliet, Ill., which aims to teach inmates a Christian approach to fathering, and fathering from a distance. Photo submitted by Gary Augustine to

Augustine teaches parenting course to prison inmates

ELBURN—Gary Augustine has entered Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Ill., weekly for the past three years with a single purpose: transforming prisoners into good fathers.

Augustine, the pastor of Elburn Hill Church, works with New Life Corrections Ministry in Aurora to teach Malachi Dads courses at Stateville on Wednesday mornings. The course focuses on teaching a Christian approach to fathering and teaching inmates how to father their children from a distance.

“It is an attempt to help fathers in prison parent their children from prison, and to try and build a relationship that will prevent them from following their father’s footsteps and ending up in prison,” Augustine said. “The goal is to help parents parent from a distance, such as reading a book for a kid and recording it, so that a child, especially a young child, can hear their father’s voice.”

He noted that more than 2 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated father—and statistically, those children are seven times more likely to end up in prison themselves. They are also more likely to drop out of school, run away from home, and have a host of other problems.

Augustine teaches the Malachi Dads program with Tom Beatty, the director of New Life Corrections Ministry. The program includes 10 weeks of Christian-based parenting classes, followed by another 10 weeks of character development classes.

“The goal is to develop some of the kinds of character qualities they need to be good role models to their kids,” Augustine said. “So the first thing is to be a disciple of Christ, but there’s all kinds of things: controlling anger, learning to be generous and hospitable, making sure your yes is your yes and your no is your no, doing what you say you’re going to do, getting control over drugs and alcohol.”

He emphasizes that being a good father takes courage.

“In order to be a father, you have to be willing to live courageously, and that’s a very difficult thing to do. Let’s suppose you have a situation where you need to honestly confront something. That could ruin a friendship; it could affect your career. But integrity is a huge thing,” Augustine said. “It can’t just be something I teach my kids. I have to actually model it. They have to see me be honest even when I’m going to lose something big, because the truth is the truth, even if it is going to hurt me.”

Though the program is scheduled to last 20 weeks, Augustine allots 26 weeks for each one, since frequent lockdowns at Stateville cause classes to be cancelled. He often drives to Joliet only to be turned away at the gate house due to a sudden lockdown.

“The thing about the prison system is that you never know,” Augustine said. “You might show up and they say, ‘No class today.’ Things come up, and so you go back the next week and pick up where you left off.”

Augustine said that a passage in the Bible, Matthew 25:35-40, prompted him to begin ministering to men in prison.

“Matthew talks about five things Jesus says. He says, ‘When I was hungry and thirsty, you gave me something to drink,’ and he ends with, ‘When I was in prison, you visited me.’ And (the disciples) say, ‘When did we do all that?’ And Jesus said, ‘Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me.’ So we decided as a church to be involved in all five of those things.”

Some have been easy, Augustine said, like working with a food pantry to serve the hungry and providing clothing to those in need. It took him longer to discover a way to minister to prisoners, but he says that it is among his most fulfilling work.

Nearly all of the men he works with in prison, he said, have never had fathers themselves and have had few positive role models in their own lives.

“Most of the prisoners have never really been taught a lot of these things,” Augustine said. “They grew up without fathers and surrounded by gangs. And the men say to me, ‘Man, I wish I would’ve known these things at 16.’ And I say, ‘At 16, you wouldn’t have believed it, because you were already in gangs. You needed to hear it at 12.’ And that’s why family breakdown is so devastating.”

The stories of the men are heartbreaking, he said. One was an alcoholic at age 7. Another had a mother running a gambling ring who would disappear for days. Few were proficient readers before they were arrested, though many have become strong readers through prison education programs.

“They don’t have any information about what it means to be an adult. What they understood was that you have to take what you can get,” he said. “The common scenario is that none of them had fathers, so we’re trying to teach them what it is to be a father.”

Stateville has nearly 4,000 inmates, but Augustine has had only 130 in his courses thus far. The seminar is voluntary, and the warden restricts the number of participants in Augustine’s weekly classes to 20 for security reasons.

The men that he has met, though, are very motivated to learn, he said.

“There’s a humility there because they know that they have no answers and that they have screwed up their lives in major ways,” Augustine said. “You recognize that you yourself have failed and that society has concurred with that by putting you in prison, and you think to yourself, ‘Oh, man, I need a different approach.’”

Though not everyone appreciates Augustine’s efforts, he said, most of the men thank him and see the program as valuable. Some participants have long sentences and are unlikely to ever see their children outside prison again.

Augustine described one convicted murderer—“a tough-looking dude”—as one example of a changed man.

“He said to me, ‘I realize I didn’t understand how to deal with my daughter, and this has given me more tools. Now that I’m seeing it from a different point of view, I’m able to see it better,’” Augustine said.

New Life Corrections offers programs at several prisons throughout Illinois. Malachi Dads is also taught at the Kane County, DuPage County and DeKalb County jails, and the group also offers a condensed two-day version in prisons downstate. Augustine taught the condensed version at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro, Ill., in October, and he is seeking approval to teach the two-day condensed version at Stateville in order to reach more men.

What drives him, he said, are the children and the hope that he can break the cycle of incarceration—or, as the Bible puts it, that the sins of the father will not be visited onto the sons unto the third and fourth generations.

“The problem that these guys are having, for the most part, is the fact that they either had no fathering or poor fathering,” Augustine said. “You would solve crime in this country with one thing: teaching fathers to be real fathers.”

Geneva man killed in Sugar Grove collision

SUGAR GROVE—A Geneva man died on June 12 as a result of injuries sustained from a two-vehicle collision in Sugar Grove.

According to a press release from Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins, Michael Buffington, 64, was traveling eastbound on I-88 in his Ford Taurus shortly after 9 p.m. and exited onto the Route 47 ramp. Initial indications are that Buffington didn’t stop at the stop sign located at the top of the ramp, and crossed over the roadway, turning left to head northbound on Route 47. Buffington’s driver-side door was then struck by a Chevy Trailblazer heading southbound on Route 47.

Buffington, who was Geneva’s electric superintendent at the time of the incident, was pronounced dead at the scene. The three occupants in the Trailblazer, a Sugar Grove woman, 46, and her two sons, 14 and 12, were transported to Delnor-Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Sugar Grove Police Department initiated a Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team (KCART) activation to assist with the investigation. The crash remains under investigation by Sugar Grove Police.

Sirens not just for tornadoes anymore

ELBURN—The next time you hear a siren in Elburn, it may not be a tornado warning.

Earlier this year, village trustee Dave Gualdoni, who works with the village’s Community Emergency Response Team, and Police Chief Steve Smith, revised the village’s outdoor warning siren policy to include the siren’s use for severe thunderstorm warnings issued by the National Weather Service, with winds of at least 70 miles per hour or golf-ball-sized hail.

Gualdoni, who had come to Village Hall to set off the siren during a recent severe weather event, told Village Board members that he wanted to get the word out to residents about the change, as well as to answer any questions or concerns they had about the policy. Some residents had been confused about the use of the siren, when there had not been the possibility of a tornado.

Gualdoni said he was not only concerned about residents’ safety in the case of a tornado, but also that strong storms, especially those with lightening, high winds, and large hail, could pose a danger, especially for those out in an open ball field.

Board members were in general agreement about the policy change. Trustee Bill Grabarek asked if the siren might also be used for other emergencies, such as a derailed train and possible hazardous material spill.

Trustee Pat Schuberg said that, just as every family should have a plan for what to do and where to go in case of an emergency, it would also behoove the village to have a plan.

The siren is tested on the first Tuesday at 10 a.m. of each month to ensure that it continues to work properly.

updated Monday, June 30, 2014 @ 1:00 p.m.

Public Works presents roundabout landscaping plan

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Public Works Director Tony Speciale on Tuesday presented the landscape concept plan for the Granart Road realignment and roundabout to the Village Board.

Speciale highlighted the department’s plans for landscaping and lighting along the medians and in the center of the roundabout.

“We are planning on having grass medians with trees and light poles,” Speciale said. “The decorative street lighting is a main component. In the center of the roundabout, we want to have grasses and perennials.”

The Public Works Department’s plans included three different light poles. The first light pole consisted of one decorative single head with a concrete pole, the second light pole had a decorative double head with concrete pole and dual brackets that the village could hang planters or banners from, and the third light pole consisted of a standard 24-foot concrete pole with a 4-foot arm and “cobra head.”

A few of the perennials and trees mentioned in the plans included Emerald Queen Norway Maple, Skyline Honeylocust, Bur Oak, Red Oak, and for the perennials, Knock Out Rose bushes, Obsidian Coralbells, Autumn Joy Sedum, Blue Oat Grass and Prairie Dropseed. There were more trees and perennials included on the list, as well.

Board members brought up the importance of including a sign for advertisement purposes in the middle of the roundabout. Village Board trustee Mari Johnson discussed the possibility of including signage.

“It would be nice to have electronic signage,” she said. “They have one at Route 47 and Cross Street, and it might be something to consider. Even if it couldn’t be done at the time of construction, we could consider it down the road.”

Speciale mentioned that they are planning on completing the offline construction this year, which would include everything that is not on the road.

“Next year, depending on the phases of construction, Dugan Road could be closed for a short period of time,” Speciale said. “There will be an advanced warning, and we will work with trucking companies to make sure they can have access to their properties.”

Sugar Grove discusses possible Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the possibility of changing the name of Route 47 to a more localized name.

“This would be a great way to market,” said Village Board trustee Mari Johnson. “It’s not an issue with IDOT, and (the idea) was accepted by EDC members. They’re suggestion was ‘Sugar Grove Parkway.’ It goes along with our plans to have a sense of community.”

The name change is directly related to the village’s goals of creating a deeper sense of community, according to Johnson. It was brought up that this name change should happen sooner rather than later, because there are currently not many addresses on Route 47 at the moment.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger brought up some possible concerns for the name change.

“It’s not necessarily a slam dunk. It might cause issues and confusions,” he said.
Route 30 is an example of this project, as it has a local name of Veterans Memorial Parkway, according to Eichelberger.

“We need to identify all the properties on Route 47 and if addresses would have to change,” Village President Sean Michels said. “This project would be more for marketing purposes.”

Village clarifies parkway maintenance responsibilities

ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board on Monday approved an ordinance that would require property owners to maintain village parkways adjacent to their property. This would include mowing the grass, keeping driveways in good repair, as well as keeping the frontage parkway free from weeds, rubbish and debris.

Building Commissioner Tom Brennan told board members at the June 2 Committee of the Whole meeting that the ordinance was necessary to clear up any ambiguity.

The maintenance of parkway trees is an exception to these requirements, and trustee Pat Schuberg asked that a cross reference be included to clarify that.