Category Archives: Local News

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Crafts, vendors galore

by Susan O’Neill
This year’s Fun Fest craft show promises variety and volume.

According to organizer Cathy Lay, between 45 and 50 crafters and vendors will attend, with crafts from embroidered towels, jewelry, crocheted items, wood crafts and ceramics, to vendors with products from companies such as Tastefully Simple and many others.

“There are a lot more people from Maple Park (this year),” Lay said.

Lay started out participating in the show several years ago, selling Tupperware, before she took over coordinating the event.

She said the word-of-mouth has spread to crafty people everywhere, and crafters are also coming from places such as Crystal Lake, Genoa, Hinckley and Huntley.

The show will take place on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Main and Pleasant streets.

Pressure is on for The Terdminators

by Susan O’Neill
The pressure is on this year for The Terdminators to win the Maple Park Toilet Bowl Challenge race. According to organizer Pat Mundinger, The Terdminators have the fastest-looking, meanest-looking racer, with a black toilet bowl, a yellow frame and even a big fin spoiler on the back.

“Every year, they look like they’re going to wipe out everybody (no pun intended),” Mundinger said.

But they have yet to win a race. Last year, the honors went to Da Bears, who wore hard hats and Bears jerseys as they handily defeated The Terdminators.

The race will take place on Saturday, Sept. 5, beginning at 1 p.m. in front of the American Legion building on Main Street. Participants will race their toilets east down Main Street, maneuvering around plastic traffic pylons.

Racers consist of a toilet and a no larger than three-foot-by-three-foot platform. Teams must include three members, two people pushing and one atop the commode.

A prize is given for the top three winners of the race, as well as for the most original commode or costumes, American Legion Postmaster Mundinger said. The first-place racer wins a $100 cash award, with second and third receiving $50 and $25, respectively. The most creative group wins a $100 cash prize.

The winners will also lead the Fun Fest parade, behind the Legion color guard.

There are only a few rules associated with the race. No motorized racers of any type are allowed, and no profanity will be allowed, as this is a family event.

Other than that, Mundinger said people should let their imaginations run wild. A low-end toilet can be found at a store for $60, but sometimes just driving down the street on garbage day can net you a treasure from someone’s front yard. One team in recent years used a stainless steel toilet they obtained from a prison in Lombard. Plumbers are another good source.

Charles Thalman, the originator of the Maple Park Toilet Bowl Challenge, said he heard of the idea from friends who had a similar race at their church in Effingham, Ill.

The race has been such a success, that it is back for the fifth year in a row. For a look at footage of past races, Mundinger has put together a video on YouTube. However, the Elburn Herald cautions that the lyrics of the accompanying music may not be suitable for children (or sensitive adults).

Participants may sign up at www.post312

For more information, call (630) 774-9288.

Big breakfast spread slated at Legion

by Martha Quetsch
If you have a healthy appetite, you might want to stop by the Maple Park American Legion during Fun Fest Sunday and Monday, where almost any breakfast fare you would like will be laid out in buffet fashion, thanks to the organization’s volunteers.

“We have the whole nine yards,” Legion member Keith Nickels said.

Among the breakfast’s many offerings are fruit, scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage, and biscuits and gravy.

Nickels said the event usually has a strong attendance, particularly between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., during the softball tournament at the Community Center.

It takes about 30 Legion members to host the breakfast, some cooking, some serving.

The cost is $8, and $6 for those 10 and younger. The Legion hall is located at 203 Main St., Maple Park.

Fest-goers can ‘Touch A Truck’

There’s no chance of muddling up what this particular exhibit means.

Kids will get a chance to “Touch A Truck” at the fire station as part of the Maple Park Fun Fest on Labor Day weekend.

“This is a chance to get up close to a helicopter or maybe a cannon. It’s something you don’t get a chance to do every day,” said Fire Chief Kevin Peterson of the Maple Park Fire Department.

Scheduled to take place from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, area fest-goers can see what makes a local fire truck or ambulance tick.

Fun Fest planners are also looking to secure a National Guard vehicle and a Lifeline helicopter, used to airlift patients to hospitals.

Peterson said the exhibit will kick off before the Saturday parade.

Four days of music at Fun Fest

by Mike Slodki
Fun Fest-goers are already primed to enjoy the four-day weekend with food and parades, but cool bands will be on hand to bring the excitement level to even higher levels.

Bands like CAOZZ, Red Woody, Methodist Church praise band, Back Country Roads, Miller Hometown Band, and Hi Infidelity will light up the stage in Maple Park from Friday, Sept. 4, through Sunday, Sept. 6.

CAOZZ, featuring Brian Stover, takes the stage on Friday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

The five-person unit will come off a pre-game performance on Aug. 1 at U.S. Cellular Field before the White Sox game. Based in St. Charles, the band features anything from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Lenny Kravitz.

Local act Red Woody takes control on Friday at 8:30 p.m. Now in its 10th year, “Red Woody is a high energy cover band specializing in ’70s, ’80s,’90s and ’00s radio rock hits,” according to

Playing anywhere from MVP’s Street Dance in Sycamore to Starbuster’s in DeKalb, Red Woody is made up of Matt Miller on vocals, Keith Beebe on guitar, Ron McConkey on drums, Doug Wielert on bass, John Stephenson on guitar, Stan Dembowski on guitar and Cyril Wochok on guitar.

The group is fresh off a performance at Elburn Days.

On Saturday, the Methodist Church praise band will offer its musical stylings.

On Saturday at 3 p.m., Back Country Roads takes hold of the stage with its co-ed brand of acoustic country. Based out of DeKalb, Mary Noren, Kyle Miller and Brian Miller look to sing the tunes from acts like Dierks Bentley to Miranda Lambert.

From Linda Ronstadt to Eric Clapton, Miller’s Hometown Band continues to thrill audiences with its old-fashioned harmonies and multi-layered vocals.

Taking the stage at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Pat Miller on keyboard and vocals, Miller’s Hometown Band is comprised of Kevin Miller on drums, harmonica and vocals, Mary Ann Miller on percussion and vocals, Brien Prenevost on guitar and vocals, Ernie Uebel on saxophones, percussion and vocals, and Dave Miller on bass guitar and vocals. 

Virgil Neace, Brad Hollands, Gary Scofield, Jim Warren, Dave Mikulskis and Bobby Scumaci make up the Chicago staple Hi Infidelity, bellowing out the tunes at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Available at, the band plays numerous festivals and hits venues like Walter Payton’s Roundhouse.

Fun Fest offers good eatin’

by Martha Quetsch
Fun Fest visitors can please their palates while supporting the community by purchasing food and beverages at booths operated by area clubs, churches and businesses.

Booth coordinator Roger Kahl said he makes sure that the Fun Fest’s food is from local providers, and that each offers something different.

“That way, everybody makes a buck,” Kahl said.

Food and beverages will be available at three different places during the festival: at the Community Center, at booths on Main Street, and at the American Legion Hall.

At the Community Center, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the Maple Park Boy Scouts Venture Crew will sell bratwurst, bratwurst patties, hamburgers, chips and candy; and from noon to late afternoon, the Methodist Church will sell baked potatoes stuffed with the patron’s choices among chili, cheese, bacon and broccoli.

Throughout the event at the booths set up on Main Street, festival goers may buy pizza slices from Bootlegger’s Pizza; rib-eye sandwiches, butterflied pork chop sandwiches, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches from Sycamore Country Store; Polish sausage and sauerkraut from St. Mary Catholic Church; pie from St. Vincent DePaul; Culver’s frozen custard from the Maple Park Lions Club; and pulled-pork sandwiches, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and bratwurst from the American Legion.

The American Legion will offer the same food selections at the beer garden in the parking lot next to the Legion Hall. Pat Mundinger and other Legion volunteers will roast two hogs for the event.

Also at the beer garden, Miller and Miller Lite beer will be on tap. Children are welcome in the beer garden if they are accompanied by a parent, Mundinger said. Attendees must show an I.D. and obtain a bracelet before purchasing alcohol in the beer gardens.

The beer gardens will be open from 4 to about 11:30 p.m. Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday.

Everybody loves a parade

Festival lineup includes traditional, new entries
by Martha Quetsch
The 2009 Maple Park Fun Fest parade will have a few newcomers in the mix of club and business entries that make up the popular, rural-themed event.

The parade will step off at 6 p.m., traveling from the lineup area on Ashton Drive east to Broadway Street, north to Main Street, west to County Line Road, and north to Ashton.

Check-in for parade participants is at 5 p.m.

Parade co-coordinator Brittany Altepeter said the event will have more than 60 entries this year. Sign-up will continue until the day before the parade, with applications available at A & P Grain System, 410 S. County Line Road, Maple Park.

Among this year’s parade participants are new businesses Honest Automotive and Zobie’s Artworks. Returning to the event are many familiar entrants, including a spectator favorite, KC Corn Growers.

“They are always a big crowd pleaser. They have go-carts modified to look like ears of corn,” Altepepter said.

Other popular entries that will be featured again include Marlyn’s Majorettes.

The Maple Park Lions Club, whose representatives typically drive golf carts in the parade, is doing something different for this year’s event. Members will ride in a hayrack pulled by an antique John Deere tractor owned by Ed Weydert.

Altepeter is organizing the parade with Melissa Brady. The pair stepped in to assume the responsibility that Marianne Delaney held for many years, until she passed away in 2008.

Letter: Festival Performance Series begins Sept. 12

Each year, over 3,000 people gather for a full day of encouraging young people’s involvement in arts endeavors and challenging youth to develop their abilities.

Free to the public, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will take place on Sunday, April 18, 2010. It has been my joy to watch our community continue to embrace this wonderful event year after year.

I would like to thank our 2009 Corporate Sponsors for their commitment at last year’s festival: Midwest Window & Supply, Ottosen Britz Kelly Cooper & Gilbert, Ltd., Casey’s General Store, Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co., M.A.C. Excavating, Inc & Steel Buildings, The National Bank & Trust, Ross Electric, Inc., Waubonsee Community College, Elburn Chiropractic & Acupuncture, LePrinte Express, Maple Park Supply, Inc., Paisano’s Pizza & Grill, Co., Quinlan & Fabish Music Co., Sen. Chris Lauzen, State Street Dance Studio, Valley West Sandblasting & Painting, Inc., Village Bible Church, Vons Electric, Inc, Builder’s Asphalt, LLC, Campbell Concrete Construction, Inc, Castle Bank, Country Automotive and Harry F. Krauspe, DDS. Without this very special continuing commitment, our festival would not be the success it is today.

A new and exciting addition to the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, is the Festival Performance Series, which brings full-length quality performances to the Kaneland High School Auditorium at a fraction of the cost patrons pay in nearby Chicago suburbs.

Tickets are now on sale for our very first performance. We hope that you will join us on Saturday, Sept. 12, to see The Magic of the Spellbinder. This is a performance appropriate for ages 5 to 105, and all who attend will be amazed at the skill of this illusionist.

Ticket order forms can be found on the Kaneland website, as well as in all of the Kaneland School District buildings.

I look forward to seeing you all at this wonderful community event.

Maria Y. Dripps-Paulson
Executive Director of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

Letter: A tacky display by the village

During the week of the Solheim Cup, did anyone else notice how very tacky and unprofessional the village of Sugar Grove displayed our American flag?

Our beautiful flag was displayed around the stem of the water tower, just under the ball, and didn’t even wrap all the way around.

The flag should have been displayed off a pole, instead of wrapping it like wrapping paper and then realizing you ran out.

Tom Scales
Sugar Grove

Letter: Gambling law a gateway to self-destruction

Thanks to Gov. Quinn and our state lawmakers, Illinois has a new gambling law which allows up to five video gambling machines in local establishments where liquor is served. We will soon have mini-casinos in our favorite restaurants throughout Illinois.

There are good reasons why dozens of local municipalities are considering banning this type of gambling—also known as the crack cocaine of gambling. A leading study from Australia in 2000 concluded that for every 80 video gambling machines, $2 million was drained from and “damaged the local economy” each year.

Numerous machines make it hard to regulate, and almost impossible to monitor, to prevent underage gambling. Experts estimate between 7 to 11 percent of the teen population are already compulsive gamblers.

The average adult compulsive gambler is one year of salary in debt before they seek help. At a time when Illinois’ unemployment rate exceeds 10 percent, can we afford to exploit the citizens of this state by creating more gambling addicts?

Moreover, video gambling machines turn recreational gamblers into compulsive ones within a year, compared to nearly four years for other kinds of gambling.

There is no skill required. With the help of prepaid cards, gamblers are no longer required to put money into the machines with each play. Now, hundreds of bets are placed within an hour simply by lifting a finger.

Like a slowly spreading cancer, poker machines will sweep into the culture of Illinois. This is a recipe for human disaster.

Our state government is looking for extra revenue to cover the shortage, in part due to the out-of-control spending that continues without restraint. Maybe there is a way to do it quickly and fairly; maybe there isn’t. But one thing is for sure: Depending on the losing fortunes of the citizens of Illinois is not the answer.

David E. Smith
Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute

Letter: KHS looking for garden-fresh fruits and veggies

Kaneland High School’s Family and Consumer Science Department is looking for garden fresh vegetables and fruits. If you have any garden vegetables or fruits that you are not going to use, please keep us in mind.

If you are tired of your fresh fruits and veggies, please drop them off at the high school for room B100, or send them with your children and we will put them to good use.

We are also looking for pumpkins. We are going to make fresh salsa, pizza sauce and other goodies.

Judy W. Fabrizius
Kaneland High School

Letter: In support of Fox Valley Driving School

We wanted our son to have the best experience learning to drive. We homeschool so we chose to send him to a private driving school. There were two options in town, so we contacted both of them. Fox Valley Driving responded to our inquiry immediately.

The other one never got back to us. We decided to go with Fox Valley Driving and were pleased to find out all of the teachers and driving instructors are active or ex-police officers. Who better to teach our children to drive.

A bonus was that we were supporting an Elburn family with a new business. It is hard to start a business and have the competition come into town. We encourage you to support a local family.

John and Mary Soto

Letter: Thank you for supporting Ellen’s Excellent Sale

The sixth annual Ellen’s Excellent Sale to benefit Lazarus House was held on Aug. 7 and 8. The mega-sale actually began when I was nine, and was inspired by a church trip to the local St. Charles shelter. It has been such a rewarding experience to see the sale grow from a 9-year-old girl with a pan of brownies in her driveway, to a street-wide spectacular with nearly 50 volunteers.

That being said, there is no way on earth that we could have accomplished the sale without the support of our amazing community.

We would like to give a big thank you to our sponsors and supporters that made Ellen’s Excellent Sale a success: 7-Eleven, Ace Hardware, Advantax, Allied Waste Management, Aldi, Amazing Grace Antiques, the city of Geneva, Competitive Edge Graphics and Promotions, First Baptist Church of Geneva, GFX International, Ken’s Autobody, the Law Offices of Timothy Dwyer and Royal Family Kids Camp Fox Valley. Thank you so much for everything.

In just two days, truly miraculous things happened in our street. Such acts of support and generosity are too rare in our community. These wonderful outpourings of love included:

• A plethora of volunteers who helped price and organize a week before the sale, including Kristin, a wonderful girl who we had never met before, who tirelessly helped to price and organize before and during the sale.

• Our wonderful friends who helped to tarp and disassemble the sale in a torrential downpour. We didn’t hear one complaint, and actually had fun doing it.

• Many shoppers overpaid. A $10 bill for a $2 purchase was not uncommon.

• One lovely woman came to shop and rummage though all the stuff. She proclaimed proudly she had come every year and bought a few bags full of things. She was so gracious and lifted everyone’s spirits.

• One woman came to help us pack everything up in the rain. She even got a babysitter just so she could help us.

• A special thanks to Ace Hardware for providing tents and manpower to set them up during the rain. Also a huge thank you to Allied Waste Management for providing garbage pickup for the over 10 yards of water-damaged goods and garbage.

Despite the rain, we were able to raise $7,500 for Lazarus House.

None of this could have happened without our friends and neighbors who eagerly gave their time, energy, talents and money. The super local press coverage also raised awareness of the sale and the cause behind it.

As said by John Wesely: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

I believe we took a giant leap toward this goal during the sale. It lifts our spirits to see the excellent generosity and support of our community.

Ellen Wildman

Geneva women join TriCity Family Services board of directors

GENEVA–TriCity Family Services announced the election of two new members to the agency’s governing Board of Directors. Susan Shivers, attorney at law, and Kelly Jackson, data analyst for the Chicago Business Intelligence Group, were voted into office at the July Board Meeting.

Both women are Geneva residents and are excited to help the 43-year-old agency continue to successfully grow and serve area children and families with quality, affordable mental health services.

TriCity Family Services is a private, nonprofit, human service agency serving the community members and organizations of central Kane County. The agency is dedicated to strengthening people and building community through the provision of quality, affordable counseling, youth crisis intervention, prevention and early intervention services that promote sound mental health and effective family functioning. As a community-based agency, it promotes service excellence, honesty, hopefulness, personal responsibility and respect for others.

United Way set to raise $500,000 in 2009-10 campaign

ST. CHARLES—The United Way of Central Kane County and its volunteers announced their $500,000 goal for this year, to support 27 local agencies and its 41 programs.

The annual campaign kick-off is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 15, with a continental breakfast, complements of the Colonial Cafe, Target, and Costco.

This year’s event will be hosted by Riverwoods Christian Center, 35W701 Riverwoods Lane, St. Charles, from 8 to 9 a.m., with 99 percent of the dollars raised in the community remaining in the community.

“We are determined to make our ambitious goal so United Way can continue to create a better tomorrow for people who live and work in the communities we serve. Your United Way contribution is an investment in the quality of life in the Central Kane County area and is greatly appreciated,” said Vice President of Campaign Matt Richardson.

For more information about the United Way of Central Kane County 2009-10 campaign, volunteer opportunities, or becoming a member of the local Board of Directors, contact Paula Yensen at (630) 377-1930 or e-mail

Donations can be made on the United Way of Central Kane County’s web page, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Discover cards are also accepted.

2009 Elburn Days raffle winners list

ELBURN—The following are winners from the various 2009 Elburn Days raffles.

• Eco Water Systems
Reverse Osmosis System
Will Frederickson, Wheaton, Ill.

• Elburn Chamber of Commerce
$100 Elburn Dollars
Carol Herra, Elburn
$75 Elburn Dollars
Roland Thomas, Elburn
$50 Elburn Dollars
Martha Thomas, Elburn
$25 Elburn Dollars
Mary Wheeler, Maple Park

• Elson Financial Services

“Guess the Candy Jar”
Allessandra West, Geneva

• Elburn Basketball JVC 32” LCD T.V.
Kyle Pollastrini, Elburn

• Friends of Jason Gould—
For Leukemia & Lymphoma Research
Vizio, Wii, American Girl Doll
and Trk Bike
Winner to be drawn Sept. 12
at St. Charles Moose

• Jmc3 Foods week of lunches
Candy Mitchell, Shabbona, Ill.

• Kane County Cheifs of Police
Association Harley-Davidson Super
Glider Custom and five HS T.V.s
Winners to be drawn Oct. 16
in Bloomington, Ill.

• National Bank & Trust
ornamental baseballs
Bruce Poulter
“Fourth of July”
Judy Graney
“Fun in the Sun”
Dr. Ken Baumruck
“Go Cubs Co”
Bob Hodge
Laurie Strausberger
“American Pride”
Karen Gholson
“Childhood Memories”
Steve Woods
“Ice Cream Dream”
Sheri Baumann
“Fly Ball”
Kurt Wachter
“Your World Discovered”
Mary Soto
“A Season of Hope”
Karen Lyon
“A Round Town”
Arlene Patton
“Getting Outdoors”
“Piggy Bank”
Larry Majksyall
“World Champion Chicago Cubs”
Colton Lee
“Grand Slam”
Karen Beeson
“Summer Fun”
Theresa Biddle
“Green Ball”
B. Armstrong

• Old Second $100 Menards Gift Card
Joe Sikon, Elburn

• Tastefully Simple—
Judy Graney $25 Gift Certificate
Mary Kahl, Maple Park

• Wounded Soldiers Fundraiser
Lake Geneva Fishing Trip,
56” Toshiba T.V., $500 Home Depot Gift
Card, Kalahari Water Park Excursion,
Leather Jacket and Sweetheart Night Out
Winners to be drawn Sept. 19
at Hughes Creek Golf Club

• American Legion Auxiliary Post 630
Rich Hall, Maple Park
Nintendo DS
Ethel Reynolds, Elburn
iPod Touch
Martin Drendl, Elburn

• Elburn Lions Club 50/50 Raffle—
$2,160 pot; winner receives $1,080
Mike Schramer, Elburn

• Elburn Lions Club
2010 Camaro 2LT/RS or $25,000
Roger and Vicki Wurtz, Hinckley, Ill.

Financial aid applications available for NIU

DEKALB—Financial aid applications for the fall semester of the NIU Community School of the Arts are now available online and in the Music Building at Northern Illinois University.

Students 18-years-old and younger who want to pursue their study of the arts, but who cannot afford the cost, are invited to apply for help through the program. Students may apply for scholarships for private music lessons, classes, and ensembles, as well as for art and theatre classes. The fall semester begins in September.

The deadline for financial aid applications is August 31.

The NIU Community School of the Arts is sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University. There are approximately 80 teachers offering lessons on most musical instruments, as well as in art and theatre. More than 500 community people from nearly 50 towns and cities travel to DeKalb each semester for lessons and classes.

Application forms are available by calling the office at (815) 753-1450 or online at The NIU Community School of the Arts is located in Room 132 of the Music Building.

Editorial: Kaneville Fest—a celebration of community

Residents of the village of Kaneville have long considered themselves a community, long before the village was recognized as such by the state, complete with official borders and a government entity.

We recall that for years before the village’s incorporation in 2006, we would often receive news items, letters to the editor, and other communications signed by residents, complete with “of the village of Kaneville.”

They are a perfect example of how a community does not need official designation to be one. They have long recognized that the word community means far more than what can be defined by a unit of government.

In fact, nine years ago and for several years before that, the community of Kaneville held a festival each summer to create an opportunity for residents to get together and have fun.

However, for the past eight years, there has been no summer community event that has drawn community members together. And yet their sense of community continued and even strengthened; culminating with their decision to pursue incorporation as an official village.

And now that they are a community in both spirit and law, members of the community are bringing back that annual summer festival.

Kaneville Fest will run from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 28-30, complete with book sales, volleyball games, picnics, an outdoor movie, and much more.

If you have lived in Kaneville for long, you know about the strong sense of community that thrives there. For you, this event will be a celebration of that.

If you are new to Kaneville or live in a different village, then you are invited to visit the festival and become a part of that community.

The long-term residents of the village of Kaneville and the pre-2006 community of Kaneville are proof that borders do not define communities, people do.

Therefore, if you are reading this, you are a member of the community, and we hope to see you there.

Photo Gallery: We all scream for ice cream

What says happy kids more than ice cream? The ice cream eating contest held Thursday at Alice’s Place in Elburn brought out kids of all ages. Siara Boughton won first place in the 4-6 age group, Noah Treadway got to the bottom of things in the 7-9 age group and Blake Feiza took a comanding lead in the 10-12 age group.
Photos by Leslie Flint

Board grapples with construction decisions

by Susan O’Neill
With the completion of the new Kaneland middle school and renovations on the current middle school nearing completion, the School Board on Monday discussed the status of additional potential projects. The ability to pursue these projects was made possible due to construction estimates that came in at $10 million under the original estimates.

A portion of the money, $50,000, was set aside to replace one of the two well pumps that serve the Meredith Road campus. The pump was 26 years old and running at 15 to 20 percent capacity. The district spent $57,000 to resurface the Kaneland High School track, which will extend its use for another eight to 10 years.

This year, the district spent $500,000 to repave and repair some of the schools’ parking lots. The board will decide soon whether or not to allocate more funding for additional paving.

One project the board decided not to pursue was the renovation of the public restrooms below the press box at the Kaneland Peterson Field football stadium Although the initial project was for a more minor remodel, once new construction began, the school would have had to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements by widening bathroom stall doors and installing hand rails. This would have created a net loss of one stall in each bathroom.

During the summer, the bathrooms were given a fresh coat of paint, and board member Ken Carter said he thought they looked fine for now.

Based on safety concerns, all board members present (Deborah Grant was absent) agreed that the $1.4 million to extend Esker Road to Wheeler Road would be money well spent. The extension provides for multiple exits to the new Harter Middle School, which will relieve traffic at the beginning and end of the school day.

An estimate of $1 million to build a storage facility at the Harter Middle School caused the board to decide to re-evaluate the need, use and design of the facility. The plan for the facility, which began as a storage facility to keep athletic and other equipment, was expanded to include a concession stand and bathrooms for athletic events.

“It’s being called the $1 million shed,” Board President Lisa Wiet said.

The board decided at Monday’s meeting to establish a subcommittee to study the need for the facility and its uses. Two board members, Bob Myers and Ken Carter, volunteered to work with members of the Facilities Planning Committee, (a citizens group that makes recommendations), potential users of the facility, as well as the administration to come up with a solution.

Although district adminstrators recommended another bond sale this fall, several board members suggested having further discussions about the remaining projects before another bond sale takes place. The next scheduled bond sale for $10 million is currently set for spring 2010.

“Before we have another bond sale, I really think we need to discuss what our priorities are and what we want to spend our money on,” Meyers said.

Planning Commission recommends wayside horns

Installation at crossings could allow for train whistle reduction
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Wayside horns are the way to go in Maple Park to reduce train whistle noise, according to the village’s Planning Commission. The Commission on Aug. 21 recommended that the Village Board approve pursuing the project.

The Planning Commission’s proposal is to install wayside horns at the County Line Road and the Liberty Street rail crossings. With the stationary horns, the crossings could meet federal safety requirements for a semi-quiet zone.

Wayside horns emit their sound only in the area of the crossing, producing less noise than train whistles, whose blares can be heard throughout the community. Train whistles would only sound if the wayside horns were not functioning or engineers saw potential hazards on or near the tracks.

If the Village Board approves of the proposal in September, the next step for the village will be to apply to the Illinois Commerce Commission for approval of the wayside horns as a safety measure allowing for a semi-quiet zone in Maple Park, Planning Commissioner Dale Weir said.

The plan as proposed could involve reducing the number of crossings in the village to two, by closing the Pleasant Road crossing.

Elburn recently installed wayside horns at its First Street and its Main Street rail crossings. Several months earlier, DeKalb acquired wayside horns for its downtown crossings.

Wayside horns are planned for crossings in La Fox, funded by state money Kane County Board member Drew Frasz successfully sought for the county.

Weir and Frasz are expected to present more information on the proposal during the Sept. 21 Committee of the Whole meeting, answering questions and outlining funding options.

“Maple Park still has a lot homework to do,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

At the Sept. 21 meeting, Weir and Curtis plan to ask trustees whether they want the village to proceed with a cost/benefit analysis of the project.

The cost for each crossing is approximately $100,000. Maple Park could receive state financial assistance to pay for the wayside horns under a county project, spearheaded by Frasz, to install stationary horns at crossings westward from La Fox to just beyond Maple Park if the county obtains enough state funding.

Tractor show proceeds to help students attend college

MAPLE PARK—On Sunday, Sept. 6, Kuipers Family Farm in Maple Park will host an “Antiques and Apples” Tractor Show to benefit the Kane County Farm Bureau (KCFB) Foundation.

“We’re going to raise funds for the KCFB Foundation through a number of activities at the event and we’re going to make sure folks have a great time in the process,” said Wade Kuipers, who owns and operates the farm with wife Kim. “This is a great way for farmers and tractor enthusiasts to show off their tractors, and at the same time show their support of the KCFB Foundation and everything it does for young people in our community.”

The farm and the Orchard Shop and Bakery will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with music, food and fun activities for all ages. The Antique Tractor Show will run from noon to 4 p.m. Other activities at the event will include a petting zoo, pedal tractor raceway, rides on the Johnny Popper Grain Train and live music.

“We hope folks come out to the farm to have a good time, enjoy and learn about the antique tractors, and contribute to a worthwhile cause,” Kuipers said.

To register a tractor for the event, call Bev at (815) 827-5200.The $10 tractor entry fee will go entirely to the Kane County Farm Bureau Foundation. In addition, the farm will donate a portion of the proceeds from each visitor to the U-pick Apple Orchard to the Foundation.

Kuipers Family Farm is located at 1N318 Watson Rd in Maple Park.
For more information on the Apples and Antiques Tractor Show, contact Kuipers Family Farm at (815) 827-5200.
For information on sponsorship opportunities for this or similar events to benefits the Kane County Farm Bureau Foundation, contact Steve Arnold at (630) 584-8660.

2009 Elburn Days livestock sale

ELBURN—Grand Champion Steer was won by Megan Fidler of Burlington Ag. 4-H Club, and was purchased by the Elburn Coop at $1.65 per pound.

Reserve Grand Champion Steer was won by Sarah Carson of Lincoln Highway 4-H Club, and was purchased by Blackberry Station Country Store for $2.20 per pound.

Senior Showmanship Beef was won by Sarah Carson of Lincoln Highway 4-H Club, and Junior Showman Beef was won by Trace Fidler of Burlington Ag. 4-H Club.

Grand Champion Market Hog was won by Michael Long of Big Rock Cowhands 4-H Club, and was purchased by LeLand Farmers Elevator for $3.05 per pound.

Long also won Champion Class C Market Hog.

Reserve Grand Champion Market How was won by Victoria Krueger of Burlington Ag. 4-H Club, and was purchased by Elburn Coop for $1.75 per pound.

Krueger also won Champion Class A Market Hog and Champion Class B Market Hog.

Elena Halverson of Lincoln Highway 4-H Club won the Champion Class D Market Hog, as well as Junior Showmanship Swine.

Brittney Hankes of the Sugar Grove 4-H Club won Champion Class E Market Hog.

Jenna Halverson of Lincoln Highway 4-H Club won Senior Showmanship Swine.

Grand Champion Market Lamb was won by Buddy Haas of Burlington Ag. 4-H Club, and was purchased by Blackberry Station Country Store for $300.

Reserve Grand Champion Lamb was also won by Haas, and was purchased by Closet Works & More for $260. Haas also won Senior Showmanship Sheep.

Junior Showmanship Sheep was won by Claude Lenz of Burlington Ag. 4-H.

Former SG man charged with damage to cars

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove police arrested former Sugar Grove resident Stephen Dale Matthews on Aug. 19 for criminal damage to property, after he reportedly damaged 29 vehicles in the Sugar Grove area on the morning of Aug. 6.

The majority of the damage was in the form of scratches from a stone or other sharp object to vehicles parked on Arbor Avenue, Calkins Drive, Bristol Court, Chelsea Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Cross Street and Rolling Oaks Drive. There was also a smashed mailbox.

Profanities and derogatory descriptions of individuals were scratched into the hoods, trunks and sides of the cars. Some of the scratches were fairly deep, and will require the replacement of the automobile panels. Damage done to the cars ranges from $400 to $3,100 per car, for a total of about $20,000.

Matthews, 18, currently lives in the 200 block of West North Street in Dwight, Ill., where police there are investigating similar damage done to vehicles. He was charged with criminal damage to property, a class 4 felony, for the vehicle with more than $3,000 in damage, and criminal damage to government-supported property, a class 3 felony, for damage done to a vehicle owned by Kane County and driven by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez.

There was also one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property for the mailbox. Additional charges are pending as the department receives estimates from other victims whose cars were damaged. Citizens are encouraged to get an estimate for damages and file a police report with the Sugar Grove Police Department if they believe their cars may have been involved in this incident.

Matthews is currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond. His first court date is Friday, Aug. 28.

Elburn soldier returns from Afghanistan

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn resident Joe Kasper, a specialist with 333rd Military Police Unit of the Illinois Army National Guard, returned Wednesday from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Kasper’s parents, Kim and Tim, welcomed him back in Freeport, Ill., during a ceremony at the Illinois Masonic Temple, during which Go. Pat Quinn was scheduled to speak. The Kaspers were thrilled at the return of their son and his unit, which was engaged in combat while in Afghanistan.

“It’s been a long year of praying and worrying, and we’re glad that they made it home without casualties,” Kim said.

Approximately 170 men and women making up the 333rd unit combat brigade team that included Kasper departed from the Illinois Masonic Temple in Freeport, Ill., Aug. 30, 2008, for Fort Bragg, N.C. From there, they headed to the war in Afghanistan, where they took part in Operation Enduring Freedom for nearly a year.

The deployment nearly a year ago that included Kasper’s unit was part of one of the largest military deployments in Illinois since World War II, with approximately 2,700 soldiers taking part.

A 2004 Kaneland High School graduate resident, Joe Kasper enlisted in the Illinois National Guard in December 2002. He did his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The Kaspers communicated with their son by e-mail and on Facebook while he was in Afghanistan. The family is planning an open house in September to celebrate his return.

Joe Kasper will enroll at Northern Illinois University in January, Kim said.

Photo: Soldiers from the 333rd Military Police Unit of the Illinois Army National Guard, including Joe Kasper of Elburn, were awarded the Combat Action Badge for their actions during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit returned to the U.S. Wednesday after nearly a year in Afghanistan.
Courtesy Photo

A big pile of problems

School Board reconsiders option for ‘Dirt Mountain’ at high school
The cost of dealing with the mountain of dirt at Kaneland High School is turning out to be more than the School Board bargained for. A study recently conducted by Manhard Consulting explored two options for removing the pile of dirt left from the construction of the school auditorium: re-spreading the soil around the school property or hauling it away.

The cost to spread the stockpile of dirt on-site would be $374,357 versus $319,770 to pay someone to take it away.

Board members expressed concern over the amounts, especially when the district would be paying interest on the money spent.

“There’s not a huge difference in cost for (option) one or two,” board member Cheryl Krauspe said. “They’re both costing us significant money.”

“I have a problem with purchasing bonds for things that are not capital projects,” Board President Lisa Wiet said.

Board member Bob Myer suggested that a third option would be to do nothing.

However, Superintendent Charlie McCormick said that the dirt would have to be removed at some point.

“If not now, when?” McCormick asked. “It’s not cost-free to keep it. There isn’t $300,000 in our operating budget to deal with it.”

He said that unless the district takes care of it now, it may be another 10 years before the district has the funds to fix it.

The pile of dirt, located near the high school, was left over when the high school auditorium was built. The plan then was to use the soil during the construction of the Harter Middle School.

However, the dirt turned out not to be suitable on which to build a structure. For the past several years, the mountain of dirt has remained on the high school grounds.

When the estimates for the costs for the construction of the middle school came in at about $9 million less than anticipated this spring, the board began to prioritize a list of potential site and construction projects, should they decide to go ahead with the full bond sale amount.

The removal of the dirt pile was one item on the list of potential projects. Board members said on Monday that, other than the unsightly look of the pile, they do not have a good understanding of the potential impact that removing the dirt pile would have on drainage issues on the property.

“We’re just not educated on this issue,” Wiet said. “It’s been out there for two years, and the only reason we’re considering it is, the list of projects we put together because of the extra money.”

School District fills in administrative gaps

by Susan O’Neill
Interim Kaneland High School Principal Greg Fantozzi is allowed to work only 120 days during a given school year, due to his retirement contract, so district administrators addressed the ripple effect this will have by assigning additional administrative responsibilities to current staff and filling in the gaps as needed.

With Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke picking up some additional administrative responsibilities, middle school teacher Pattie Patterman will assist Jaffke with the supervision of athletic programs and contests.

District Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler emphasized that this is a temporary seasonal assignment, and the need for the position on a permanent basis, will be evaluated at the end of the school year. The stipend for the position for the fall season is $5,200.

Interviews will be conducted for the winter and spring season once the fall season is under way, Schuler said. Patterman will continue to teach eighth grade at the middle school.

Brian Kuntsman will temporarily assist the Dean’s Office with the overflow of disciplinary issues on a part-time basis. Kuntsman will continue to teach the first section of concert choir and the Madrigals, with Brandon Staker taking over his remaining concert choir section. Staker will be paid $11,822 for the part-time position.

Kaneland High School Special Education Department Chairman Jill Maras will become the District Special Education Coordinator, a new position in which she will perform staff evaluations, attend all individual special education meetings and assist in the supervision of school activities. Maras’ salary for the 2009-10 school year will be $72,000.

Fantozzi will work full-time at the beginning of the school year, tapering down to a two or three day per-week schedule. Fantozzi will be paid a daily rate of $600 for 120 days, for a total of $72,000.

Party like it’s 2009 in Kaneville

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—After an eight-year hiatus from a summer festival, Kaneville is ready to party again. This weekend, Friday, Aug. 28, to Sunday, Aug. 30, Kaneville residents and anyone who wants to join them will gather in the downtown area around Harter and Main Street roads.

The festivities begin with a library book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, with the evening closing with a free movie shown on the outside wall of Hill’s Country Store, complete with free popcorn and pizza. The movie will be appropriate for children.

A variety of crafters will sell their creations on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., while business owners demonstrate their products and services.

Check out the Underground Railroad quilt, made by Karen Heinberg, which is being raffled off to support the Kaneville Historical Society. Listen to the story behind the symbols and colors of the quilt while purchasing a ticket. The winner will be chosen at the Kaneville winter festival in December.

Youngsters may pet the Angora fur of Mary Stough’s rabbits.

Activities for the youngsters take place on Saturday, and include all kinds of races and contests with small prizes. Kids of all ages can participate in the water fights with the Kaneville fire-fighters’ supervision.

Volleyball begins at 10 a.m., and anyone can join in the fun. Sign up for the bags tournament, which starts at 2 p.m.

Local food vendors will sell a variety of food, including hot dogs and brats, and Food for Thought will offer pulled pork from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Back Country Roads will perform from 7 to 9 p.m., and Maple Park resident Roger Kahl will set off the fireworks beginning at 9 p.m.

Sunday morning begins with an outdoor church service at the Kaneville United Methodist Church, and a community picnic begins at noon (bring your own blanket and food). The car show lasts from noon to 3 p.m, when the awards presentation will take place.

Softball games are at 2 and 4 p.m.

Kaneville Fest
Friday, Aug. 28 • 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29 • 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30 • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Weather fails to dampen Elburn Days

Based on the numbers, Elburn Days 2009 proves successful
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Elburn Lions Club treasurer Alan Lee has been running the Elburn Days beer gardens, a big money-maker for the club, since 2003, and also has been the organization’s treasurer for several years. Lee said he is confident that this year’s Elburn Days was profitable.

Although it rained Friday evening, the entire event was not affected by storms as some past festivals have been, with fair weather reigning the remainder of the weekend.

“All in all, it turned out a lot better than we expected,” Lee said.

Lee said sales overall were good from tickets to vendors, but the Lions have yet “crunch the numbers” and determine costs for the event.

Lee said the car raffle had an exceptional year; all tickets were sold before Friday of Elburn Days. In addition, the Lions Beef Stand had its best year ever, and the Beer Garden sales eclipsed the record year of 2005.

Lions volunteer Pam Hall helped to raise donations in a financially difficult year and was able to secure new businesses reflecting an increase of 11 percent in sponsorships from the prior year, Lee said.

The Lions donate most of the festival profits to organizations benefiting seeing and hearing-impaired individuals, and to other charities.

“We are very fortune the community supports our charities,” Lee said. “It is a compliment to all our volunteers.”

Profits from an event held during the festival, the St. Gall’s rummage sale, were high, sale coordinator Annette Theobald said. The rummage sale made about $9,000, which is better than what it has brought in the last few years, she said.

The St. Gall’s rummage sale proceeds support church programs and projects.