Category Archives: Local News

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Woman dies at Elburn sidewalk sale

Victim was vendor, daughter of former SG village trustee
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Jennifer Weber, 49, was pronounced dead after being transported to Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva following an apparent seizure during the sidewalk sale Friday on the 500 block of Main Street in Elburn.

Weber’s cousin, Paula Keiner of Elburn, said they set up their Elburn Days booth at 5:15 a.m. that day, for the Tastefully Simple franchise they own. At about 10 a.m., they were sitting at the booth in front of Dave’s Barbershop when Weber put her head down on the table. Keiner thought her cousin was just resting, since they had gotten up early that day. However, Weber then appeared to be having a seizure and was struggling to breathe, Keiner said.

Keiner said after she called 911, Elburn paramedics arrived immediately, conducted lifesaving measures and transported the victim to Delnor.

Weber, a resident of Aurora, was married to Armin Weber and had two children, Jessica, 25, and Dean, 22. She was the daughter of former Sugar Grove trustee Mary Fraley.

Letter: Tired of Democrat’s lies

I am so tired of the lies that we are hearing from Obama and the Democratic party concerning the so-called Health Care bill. When you hear them talk, they constantly deny what the bill actually says. If this bill passes, it will interfere with your entire way of life. It is so socialistic that we will not recognize the freedom that we now have.

Why do we not have our representatives here having town meetings? Why do we have a Senator from Ohio appearing here trying to convince us that this is a great bill? We can read what is in the bill for ourselves and as we have found out, the bill does not match the words they say. I wonder why my representative, Bill Foster (D), phone (630) 406-1114, e-mail, will not hold a town hall meeting to explain why he thinks this bill is so good for us? For instance, on page 16 of the health bill, is a provision that makes individual private medical illegal. Or why on page 30 does the bill say a government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you will get—and unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process.

Page 425 of the bill states that the government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time. Apparently when you die.

One more page of the 1,018-page bill is page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (Read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN). Health care for all illegals in this country is also a part of this bill. You need to get a copy of this bill for yourself. Go to and get yourself a copy of the main points of each of the 1,018 pages, or print out the whole bill for yourself.

Folks, this is not my America. this is not the America many of us served and are proud of. You need to educate yourself. This so-called “health care” bill will make you think we are living in a socialistic country. You need to call your representatives to make your opinion known. Here are a few phone numbers and e-mails: Obama’s White House, (202) 456-1111, and and Biden’s number is (202) 224-8391. Senator Richard Durbin’s (D) phone number is (202) 224-2152 or (312) 353-4952 and e-mail is

Once again, all of you need to get involved because the final bill that will probably come out of this mess will affect everything about you for the rest of your life. The people in Congress have forgotten that they work for us, and we need to get them back on track.
Remember, we have a primary election coming up in February 2010, and a November election in 2010. All the people responsible for creating such a boondoggle need to be replaced.

Richard H. Sharp

Letter: Thank you, Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market

Thank you so much to the Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market for letting me sponsor and participate in the Farmer’s Market Dog Days of Summer event on Aug. 15. We had a fantastic turnout and hope everyone had as much fun as my husband, Russ, and I did. We met so many incredibly wonderful people, as well as people we already know, and enjoyed seeing everyone.

We are so proud to live in a community that is filled with such warm, friendly people; the community truly has a big heart and shows it.
A sincere thank you to Tina Cella, Pat Graceffa, Mari Johnson and all the volunteers for making us feel so welcome from the minute we arrived. We are so impressed with how well the Market is organized and all the vendors in attendance.

A special thanks to Cody, Finnegan, Dugan, Moose, Bella, Horseshoe, Indy, Bo and all the dogs that came out in the hot weather with their humans to be with us.

As a side note, after the Farmer’s Market we stopped for a quick lunch at the Book Nook Cafe and wow! The food was outstanding, to say the least. If you haven’t been yet, make it a point to. You won’t be disappointed in the Book Nook Cafe or our new, beautiful library!

Millie Molitor
Millie’s Pet Sitting & More

Letter: Letter to Congressman Foster

I have watched the continuing debate over health care. In my view, the overarching issue is access to health care for the uninsured. I would suggest three simple solutions:

One, find a method and the means to pay for insurance for this group inside our existing structure.

Two, reform the tort laws that add to the overall cost of health care.

Three, change the law to let individuals buy high-deductible coverage with health savings accounts to facilitate and encourage improved individual choice on health matters.

I am sorry, but the current proposals, to the extent they can be comprehended, are a mess.

If you exercise poor judgement on this matter and vote for this proposal, I will vote against you in the next election, I will contribute to your opponent in the next election and I will work actively against you in the next election. Regardless of the opponent, I will continue to do so until you are defeated and removed from office.

Donald P. Danner

Tornadoes strike north of Elburn

Landscape scathed, but no one hurt
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Nancy Nelson was in her laundry room next to the kitchen at about 6 p.m. on Aug. 19. Elburn’s emergency sirens had sounded earlier and heavy rain was coming down, so she shut all the windows in the house except one in the kitchen. Suddenly she felt as though all the air was being sucked out of the room.

“I just headed straight for the basement,” said Nelson, who lives about a mile north of Route 38 on Route 47.

Right after going into the basement, Nelson heard a loud crack and crunch.

“I thought the house would be gone, for sure,” she said.

What she heard was a 30-year-old locust tree trunk breaking and falling on the roof of the house, caused by a 105-mph tornado.

When she came upstairs after the storm subsided, she was relieved the damage was not worse.

“I feel like we had a guardian angel,” Nelson said.

In the Nelson’s yard, many tree tops were gone, branches and leaves covered the grass and several 30- to 40-foot spruce trees were uprooted.

“It amazed me, because they have roots that are six or seven feet long,” Nelson said.

Nelson’s husband, Randy, was driving home from playing golf just after 6 p.m. and did not know a tornado had struck until just before he arrived at his house and saw a tree on the side of Route 47 that was “twisted like a pretzel.” When he turned into his driveway, downed trees and branches blocked his access.

Despite the extensive tree damage at the Nelson’s, flowers still flourished in a garden that was untouched by the tornado, even though it was right next to a tree that was destroyed by the storm.

“It was kind of freaky,” Nancy said.

Cornfields in the tornadoes’ paths looked as though a herd of buffalo had tromped through them. Just north of the Nelson’s house, a vehicle parked in a driveway at 3N498 Route 47 was destroyed and two others were severely damaged, struck by debris during the tornado. Their owner, Frank Hudkins, said he had to have the vehicles towed from his property. He noted that all that was left of a farmer’s wagon next door were the wheels.

Hudkins said he was inside at 6 p.m. when he saw a huge tree trunk and debris fly south past his front window. When he looked out the back window, branches were blowing in the opposite direction. He said the event was so brief he did not have time to worry.
“It didn’t last more than two or three minutes,” Hudkins said.

Hudkins said he feels lucky, too.

“Nobody got hurt, and with all the trees falling, nothing hit the house.”

At the house across the street from Hudkins’, a fallen tree left a huge, gaping hole in the roof. The Nelsons’ roof was intact other than shingle damage, but the couple still does not know the extent of destruction to trees on their 10-acre property, since some areas of the lot are densely wooded. The Nelsons’ property is for sale, and the property damage likely will be a major setback in trying to sell it, they said.

Assistant Fire Chief Tate Haley said the Elburn & Countryside Fire Department received an alert from the Kane County emergency dispatch center of a possible circular storm coming through Elburn just before 6 p.m. So, he got in his truck and started heading north from downtown Elburn on Route 47; about a mile past Route 38 he began to see debris and downed trees from the tornado that had just struck.

“I must have been right behind it,” Haley said.

A falling tree brought electrical wires to the ground during the storm at one home; firefighters monitored the site for safety until ComEd arrived to conduct repairs, Haley said.

National Weather Service
meteorologists confirmed that a
tornado occurred at about
6 p.m. on Aug. 19,
approximately one mile north of Elburn. The tornado was 40 yards wide at its widest point, with a
one-mile-long path. The peak wind associated with the tornado was
105 mph.

The National Weather Service also reported that a second tornado occurred two to three miles north
of Elburn in Lily Lake at about
the same time. The path of this
tornado was estimated at
1.5 miles long
30 yards wide.

Letter: Tollways need to go

With the latest corruption coming out of Downers Grove there could not be a more opportune time for Gov. Quinn and our legislators to support legislation that would get rid of Illinois’ biggest embarrassment—the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

Our past governors and state legislators have not kept the word of their 1950s colleagues when they said that once the financial bonds were paid off the roads would become freeways. From day one we have not seen anything but corruption come out of the toll authority Taj Mahal headquarters in Downers Grove. A few headliners included shady land deals where the director went to jail; employees were caught stealing tollbooth coins and motorist fines; a consultant was paid $100,000 to study if their top executives were underpaid; raises of 10 to 95 percent were given for 40 top executives while Illinois citizens are losing their jobs and the country’s economy is going to pot. There was even a time when the executive director used the toll authority’s helicopter to go see his girlfriend, and in 2006 over $40 million of tollbooth collections was fed to the state treasury to be used for non-road expenditures. The list goes on and on and on.

A toll/tax is the least efficient way to pay for roads. Paying a toll/tax is unfair to the citizens living in the northern part of our state. While northern citizens are being double taxed to use their highways, tax money that they pay at the fuel pump is being used to pay for highways in mid and southern Illinois.

Another public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9. I ask you for what? How many public hearings do we have to have about toll authority corruption before our legislators take their heads out of the sand? This public hearing, as were the others, is nothing more than window dressing. They already know that the toll authority breeds corruption and they should know by now that the only way to correct the problem is to get rid of the source—the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. We don’t need or want this embarrassment for Illinois.

There is a new website with a “Get rid of the tolls” petition for Illinois drivers to let their legislators know that it is time for the toll authority to go—along with their unfair toll/tax:
Russell Johnson
Sugar Grove

Letter: Frustrated with Foster

I became quite frustrated with Congressman Bill Foster and his staff when I attended his “Neighborhood Office Hours” at the DeKalb Public Library on Aug. 11. Though I realize the staff was in DeKalb to assist local residents with federal benefits such as Social Security and Medicare, the congressman was nowhere to be found!

With healthcare reform, the struggling economy, and other hot-button issues at the forefront, I would have expected him to be there to hear concerns and answer any questions constituents may have. Yet those of us that attended the meeting to discuss federal legislation were left to express our concerns with a sheet of paper. Supposedly, it will reach Foster’s eyes.

In addition, his Regional Outreach Coordinator couldn’t tell me the last time Foster was in the DeKalb and Sycamore area for a meeting with the public. The staff member, however, did explain Foster will be hosting a tele-town hall discussion in the coming weeks. Judging by the number of people that showed up at the “Neighborhood Office Hours” to question him on pressing topics, I can see why Foster would want to hide behind a phone and be selective about the few constituents among thousands who will be allowed to speak during the conversation.

Clearly the 14th Congressional District deserves a representative that is forthcoming about his stance on issues which affect the country and doesn’t send his staff to give vague answers to important questions. In short, we deserve someone that doesn’t hide out when issues get heated.

Tara Shane

American Girls

Rich Harvest Farms site of 16-12 win for U.S. over Europe at Solheim Cup
by Mike Slodki
SUGAR GROVE—Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, will have a tough road ahead if it wants to compare to the extravaganza put on in Sugar Grove this past week.

However, the site of the 2011 Solheim Cup has plenty to jump off from after an entertaining 16-12 win by the U.S. over Europe in Sugar Grove.

An estimated 120,000 visitors over the four-day period of play saw noteworthy golfers like Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel up close, and witnessed pride for country by a red, white and blue-clad United States squad that successfully retained the Solheim Cup title at Rich Harvest Farms.

After beginning with fourball and foursomes on Friday, Sunday was down to singles competition.

Pressel retained the Solheim Cup for the U.S. Team with a 3-up victory over Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist to clinch the week. Pressel chipped to two feet and had her par putt conceded to give the Americans a 14-11 lead to clinch the 2009 Solheim Cup.

The high level of competition and skill was apparent throughout the clash, and U.S. golfers Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Christina Kim, Brittany Lang, Pressel and Wie finished undefeated in head-to-head play, while Diana Luna and Janice Moodie did so for Europe.

For many fans throughout the week, it was a chance to see Europe’s best up close, and for those across the Atlantic, it was a similar opportunity to hit the local links.

Spain’s Tania Elosegui (1-2 in singles) tried to put it in perspective on Thursday.

“I think everyone is going to be nervous tomorrow, even the Americans. I think, I don’t know, I think everyone is going to be nervous on the first tee. But that’s something that we have to manage to handle.”

With the Junior Solheim Cup taking place at Aurora Country Club the same weekend, Europe coaching staff member Jonas Lilja of Sweden relished the experience.

“It’s a chance to be able to play great courses and well-arranged tournaments. Definitely a great experience,” Lilja said.

After Ireland, the Solheim Cup returns to the U.S. to Parker, Colo., in 2013.

Photo: U.S. team captain Beth Daniel raises the Stars and Stripes after successfully defending the Solheim Cup title with a 16-12 team win that concluded on Sunday.
Getty Images

Knights soccer opens 1-0 against Marengo

MAPLE PARK—Against the always physical Marengo Indians, the host Knights soccer squad held its own, enough to open 2009 with a win.

The 4-2 win on Tuesday started off with a 1-1 tie after the first 40 minutes, but Jordan Escobedo’s goal six minutes into the second half gave Kaneland a 2-1 lead.

“I called for the ball and Kevin (Szatkowski) gave me a nice pass. I’m excited, it was the first goal in high school,” Escobedo said.

Kevin Szatkowski had three assists. Derek White had two goals with Alex Gil adding another goal. Joe Garlinsky had an assist.

The Knights host Wheaton Academy on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Photo: Mark Breon of Kaneland goes all out to protect the net in Kaneland’s season-opening 4-2 win over Marengo on Tuesday. Photo by Mike Slodki

Just in time

Harter Middle School walk-through completed day before school opening
by Susan O’Neill
The final walk-through of the Harter Middle School took place on Tuesday, just in time for the first day of school on Wednesday.

“It’s been tight, but we’ve made it,” former Superintendent of Business Tom Runty said.

After Runty retired, he was hired back by the district to supervise the completion of the new school, as well as renovations of the current middle school and Blackberry Creek Elementary School.

“A lot of progress was made in a very short time,” he said.

Runty and Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie-Ann Fuchs credited the custodial and technology staff for working quickly and efficiently to get things done The final concerns had been to complete the roadway and to get the exits cleared for students to enter the grounds. Runty said that everything is finished on Harter Road except for some work on the road shoulders.

New students and their parents visited the school for the first time last Thursday, to orient themselves and find their way around.

“There were a lot of ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs,’” Runty said.

Adopting a rescue pet

Woman frustrated by process, organization wants good matches
by Martha Quetsch
County—Kathy Easter thought she would be doing the right thing if she adopted a rescue pet for her children, who desperately wanted a puppy. But she found the adoption application process overwhelming.

“I didn’t think it would be that difficult. I just wanted to get a dog for my kids,” said Easter, of Elgin.

Easter recently tried to adopt a border collie mix puppy from Help for Lost and Endangered Pets (H.E.L.P.) of St. Charles. She found the puppy, which was the kind she wanted, on the H.E.L.P. website. It was part of a litter that a “foster parent” in Elburn was taking care of for H.E.L.P., after the organization rescued the puppies’ mother.

Easter was shocked at how stringent the application process was, she said. First, she had to fill out what she called a lengthy application. Then, every member of her household, including her children and her parents, who live with her, had to go to the foster parent’s house in Elburn to meet her and the puppies. Her children fell in love with one of the animals, but the foster parent in a subsequent phone call to Easter said she did not think the family was a good match for the puppy, because the grandfather did not seem interested, Easter said.

Easter said she persuaded the foster parent to let her family adopt the puppy, but the foster parent later changed her mind and let another family adopt the pet.

“My children were very upset; they cried,” Easter said.

A frustrated Easter ended up purchasing a puppy of another breed after seeing a local sign along the road that advertised puppies for $100. The animal is not exactly the type Easter wanted, but she said at least her children now have a dog.

Marcia Teckenbrock, president of the H.E.L.P board of directors, said it is unfortunate when applicants do not receive the rescue pet they want but that she trusts the foster parents to make the right decision.

“They (the foster parents) are the ones who are familiar with the animal’s personality, and what type of environment they would be most comfortable in,” Teckenbrock said.

Teckenbrock said families who are turned down for one pet can still seek another one from H.E.L.P.

“We just want to make the right match,” Teckenbrock said.

Pets that the all-volunteer H.E.L.P. organization places among its 40 area foster homes range from those whose owners no longer can afford to keep their animals, to others that are abandoned. Because of the trauma many of these animals have experienced, H.E.L.P. wants to make sure that their next home is a permanent one and that the animal is not displaced again.

“If it is not a good match, it is bad for everyone,” Teckenbrock said.

Teckenbrock said the requirements H.E.L.P. foster parents place on adoptive families, whether having a fenced yard or a quiet household or room for the pet to run, depend on the individual animal’s unique needs.

“Each situation is different,” she said.

Volunteer training begins at hospice

GENEVA—Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice will hold its fall patient care training, beginning with orientation at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 200 Whitfield Drive, Geneva. For those who have already attended FVVH’s Orientation, Patient Care Training starts on Sept. 16. Registration is required by Aug. 28.

“As the hectic summer winds down and we move into fall, this is a great opportunity for anyone who’s been thinking about wanting to make a difference in someone’s life, or giving back,” said Elise C. Wall, FVVH’s Manager of Volunteer Services. “Patient Care Training prepares a volunteer to work with a client who is nearing the end of their life, which to some may sound sad. But time and time again, our volunteers tell us that the time they spend with their client is among the most meaningful and uplifting experiences of their lives.”

Mark Alleman, who has been volunteering with FVVH for many years, agreed and says that the patients enrich his life in many ways.

“These are courageous people. Many of them are more alive than the rest of us; they appreciate their days and make each day count. They lift me up,” he said.

Patient Care Training is a nine-week program for those interested in one-on-one hospice patient care or FVVH’s Hands of Hope program, which assists patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. In addition, to ensure the best patient/volunteer relationship, FVVH offers ongoing volunteer training, like Personal Boundaries, which teaches volunteers to best serve their client while maintaining a sense of personal balance.

“For those who aren’t sure whether patient care is for them, we have many other opportunities at FVVH,” Wall said. “One alternative is one-on-one bereavement support, where a volunteer is assigned to a client who has lost a loved one and needs help with the grieving process. Coming to the Orientation session on Sept. 9 is the best way for someone to find out how they might fit into our agency.”

Attending Orientation is required before becoming an active FVVH volunteer, and there is a general information session which includes an overview of the agency, its history, mission and vision, and volunteer opportunities available.

An in-take interview is required before attending Volunteer Orientation, and registration is required by Aug. 28 by calling (630) 232-2233.

Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice is a community-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those with life-threatening illnesses and those who have lost loved ones. In addition to one-on-one support, the agency also offers medical equipment loans, adult and children’s grief support groups, community education on end-of-life care and grief, and a community lending library. The agency serves all of Kane and Kendall counties, and parts of DuPage, Cook and McHenry counties.

All services are provided free of charge. Spanish interpretation for all programs is available, as well as printed materials in Spanish.

For more information, see, email, or call (630) 232-2233.

Delnor Men’s Foundation to raffle Mercedes SUV

Proceeds benefit LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva
GENEVA—The Delnor Men’s Foundation’s fourth annual Drive for Cancer Wellness raffle event is revving up as it crosses the halfway point and heads for the finish line. The raffle offers participants a chance to win their choice of a new Mercedes 2010 Mercedes Benz GLK350, the company’s new sport utility vehicle, or $30,000. The grand prize drawing will take place Oct. 11 at the Scarecrow Fest in St. Charles. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold for $100 each.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva. LivingWell offers a range of free cancer wellness programs, education, support groups and exercise classes to those living with cancer and their families.

To purchase a ticket, visit or call (630) 208-3352.

Editorial: Have a ‘totally rad’ Elburn Days weekend

Get out your hair spray and acid-washed jeans, the 1980s’-themes Elburn Days festival is upon us.

The theme of the entire event is “Celebrating 80 Years of Family Fun in the Community,” but we all know that the place to be when it kicks off is along Route 47 in Elburn for the annual parade. This year, the parade theme is “Celebrating 80 Years of Fun, 80’s Style.”

Following the parade is a full weekend of fun events and opportunities to get out and meet your follow community members. Read through either of our Elburn Days special sections, and it becomes clear that there is more than enough to entertain people of all ages and interests.

Community events like Elburn Days, Sugar Grove’s Corn Boil, and the upcoming, new Kaneville Fest set for the following week, are examples of opportunities to connect with your community—whether that is to strengthen bonds that already exist, reconnect with those you may have lost touch with, or create new friendships.

The strength of a community lies in its people and their relationships with each other. It is these relationships that help turn a place where people live into their hometown, and it is a strong hometown that gives people security and improves their quality of life.

Knowing that a neighbor will be there when you find yourself facing a difficult time (and you know this because you would be there for them), knowing the people you see around town by name, knowing the people behind the organizations trying to help out others in need—these are what some may call “little things,” but it is these “little things” that can make all the difference in someone’s daily life.

In general, times may be hard, finances are tight, stress may be on the rise, but more and more, people are finding out that it is the strength of their communities that make those difficulties easier to handle.

With that in mind, we hope to see you at Elburn Days, at Kaneville Fest, and at as many of the other smaller community events that occur throughout the year. You may find that they are just what you need.

Majority of board says no to video gambling

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A majority of trustees want to ban video gambling in Elburn. So although a new state law would allow the activity, it will not be coming to Elburn while the current board is in place, unless one of the opposing trustees changes his, or her, mind.

Following its second discussion in a week about whether to allow video gambling in Elburn, the Village Board on Monday voted against it. The board then directed the village attorney to draft an ordinance banning video gambling in the village.

Only one trustee, Jerry Schmidt, voted in favor of allowing video gambling in the village, saying it would be a pro-growth measure.

“If we ban it in Elburn and they have it in other towns, people are going to go there instead,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said video gambling also would boost the village budget through tax revenue it would produce.

Voting to ban video gambling were trustees Patricia Romke, Bill Grabarek, Jeff Walter and Ken Anderson. Trustee Gordon Dierschow abstained from voting, saying the village should take more time to decide.

Grabarek said he wanted to ban video gambling now, as a “pre-emptive measure,” before the state adopts regulations he worries might prevent the village from banning it later. He said state estimates of tax revenue that video gambling could generate are way overstated. He added that most of the money from video gambling would go to bar owners.

“To me, that keeps the money within too small a circle,” Grabarek said.

The reason Romke voted for the ban was that she wants family-oriented businesses in Elburn, and if she had small children, she would not want to take them into an establishment with gambling. She said she finds the possibility of Elburn being a gambling destination, “scary.”

“It does not, in my opinion, fit the village of Elburn,” Romke said.

Trustee Ken Anderson is opposed to having video gambling in the village, because it could promote addiction to the activity, which he said can cause serious problems for gamblers and their families, he said.

Trustee Walter said most of the residents he has talked to about the issue are against having video gambling in Elburn. Like Grabarek, he said unless the village places a moratorium now on video gambling, he is concerned that it could lose the opportunity for that control.

Village President Dave Anderson said he understands the fear of not being able to opt out later, but is concerned that future regulations also might prevent the village from reversing a ban on video gambling.

When the ordinance banning video gambling is ready for the Village Board to vote on, he would not participate unless his vote was required to break a tie.

Voicing opposition

by Martha Quetsch
Darlene Marcusson, executive director of Lazarus House homeless shelter in St. Charles, spoke out against allowing video gambling in Elburn during Monday’s Village Board meeting.

“I have concerns about putting in video gambling here,” said Marcusson, who lives in Elburn.

She cited the risk of gambling addiction.

“I have worked with many people in the addictions field. Wonderful human beings can end up with a big problem,” Marcusson said. “Of all the addictions, and that includes ones as horrible as heroin, gambling has the highest suicide rate of all … I don’t think that is want we want in our town.”

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law July 13 allowing video gambling in Illinois for establishments with liquor licenses, with up to five gaming machines in each.

Mary Baumstark, 123 S. First St., Elburn, also attended the Village Board meeting to object to video gambling in Elburn.

“I don’t feel that it is a good fit in our community,” Baumstark said.

She added that the state “taking out the smoking and putting in the gambling” in restaurants and bars is “bizarre.”

Kane County Board member Drew Frasz was at the Village Board meeting to hear the discussion on video gambling Monday. He is a member of a recently formed county task force studying how video gambling could affect the county and its businesses.

Talk to resume about train-whistle noise reduction

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Like its neighbors to the east and west, Maple Park wants to reduce train-whistle blares in the village.

“The noise level is disturbing to the community,” Planning Commmissioner Dale Weir said.

To meet federal safety requirements to rid Maple Park, for the most part, of train whistles, village officials are considering the installation of wayside horns at the rail crossings on County Line Road and on Liberty Street.

Weir and other planning commissioners will talk about that option during their meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, at the Community Center in Maple Park.

Elburn recently installed wayside horns at its First Street and its Main Street crossings. The horns emit their sound only in the area of the crossing, producing less noise than train whistles, whose blares could be heard throughout the village.

Maple Park could receive financial assistance to pay for the wayside horns from the county, under a project proposed by Kane County Board member Drew Frasz. The cost for each crossing is approximately $100,000.

Wayside horns are planned for crossings in La Fox, funded by state money Frasz recently helped to obtain for the county for that purpose.

Frasz is spearheading the county project to install wayside horns at crossings from LaFox westward if the county obtains more state funding. Illinois’ budget this year includes funding for wayside horns at two crossings in LaFox, and Frasz hopes the county will obtain additional state funding in the future for more. Frasz said he wants the entire western part of Kane County to be a semi-quiet zone to improve residents’ quality of life.

Even with the safety measure of wayside horns, the area cannot be a completely quiet zone; trains still will blow their whistles if the wayside horns are not functioning or if locomotive engineers see hazards.

On Thursday, Weir will talk about Frasz’ proposal, and explain how wayside horns work. He also will play videos of the wayside horns in DeKalb, so that residents can see them and hear how they sound.

Weir said that Maple Park, in the past, considered installing another safety device that would have allowed for the reduction of train whistles in the village. That device was a center road median extending from the tracks on County Line and on Liberty, to prevent drivers from scooting around the lowered gates at the crossings. However, that option would not have been practical, he said.

“The reason that won’t work in this community is that we have a lot of big farm equipment that is more than two lanes wide,” Weir said.

Kaneville talks priorities

Draft of village plan addresses top concerns: Prairie Parkway, encroaching growth
by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Prairie Parkway, a proposed and partially funded highway intended to connect Interstates 80 and 88, and the growth of the neighboring villages remain two of the biggest concerns Kaneville residents have about the village’s future.

During an open house last Thursday set up for residents to view the Kaneville comprehensive draft plan, a number of the approximately 40 people who attended ranked what happens with the Prairie Parkway as their highest priority for the future.

Lynette Werdin said she feels it is vital that the Prairie Parkway does not cut the village off from other destinations, such as Aurora and other nearby towns. She thought the plan addressed her concerns, in that it included overpasses to keep access open.

She said she realizes that plans for the Prairie Parkway will not be based on Kaneville’s feedback alone, but now that it is an incorporated village, its officials at least have a seat at the table.

She and her husband Dave live outside of the village limits but within Kaneville’s planning area. Werdin said she thought the plan commissioners who worked on the plan did a good job of representing the desires of the residents for slow and planned change.

“They know we like things the way they are,” she said.

She said she was somewhat surprised by the commissioners’ attention to detail in the plan, including a plan to upgrade the sidewalks.

“I roller-skated those sidewalks when I was a girl,” she said. “And they were bumpy then.”

Plan Commissioner Joe White said he and the other commissioners tried to address as many of the issues that people had raised as possible. The two-year process has involved a number of meetings with local landowners and a survey of the residents to ask for their input.

Among the 15 areas included in the plan are land use, natural resources, transportation, economic development, housing, historic preservation and community facilities.

Residents were asked to place stickers on six items, to identify their top six priorities.

White said Julie Ann Fuchs, a Kaneland School District official and Kaneville resident, asked where a school site might be located. He said that Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick told him that 600 homes would be needed before a school would be built in town.

With only approximately 435 residents within the village, that would be a number of years down the road, he said.

Jody Springsteen, who lives near the corner of Dauberman and Harter roads, said that one of her biggest concerns was that village officials keep residents informed of what their neighboring communities, such as Elburn and Sugar Grove, are doing.

The village has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Sept. 24, which will be the time for formal feedback on the plan. White said he does not anticipate any major changes in the text. The plan will then come before the Village Board for approval, likely on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Once the plan has been approved, one of the next priorities will be to engage in boundary agreements with officials from neighboring villages, such as Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Big Rock. The current maps show some overlap in the villages’ planning areas that will have to be addressed.

Young golfers a focus at Solheim Cup

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Members of the Northern Illinois University Golf Team helped golf professionals teach nearly 200 young golfer hopefuls how to perfect their swings at Tuesday’s Ronald McDonald House Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour Junior Clinic. The clinic took place on the driving range of Rich Harvest Farms, the site of the 2009 Solheim Cup.

Damilola Oyeyipo, a student from the Latin School in Chicago, said she received some tips during the afternoon that will help her game. Oyeyipo said she recently began to play golf, and participated in a caddy program this summer at the Park Ridge Country Club.

“It’s really fun,” she said.

NIU Assistant Coach Ashley Anast said the young golfers came to the clinic from all over the country, as well as Canada. For three hours, they worked with golf pros and the NIU “Husky Helpers” at the driving range.

“You could tell they were all having a blast,” Anast said.

NIU women’s golf coach Pam Tyska, an LPGA golf professional for more than 30 years, said that Rich Harvest Farms is home to the NIU team, courtesy of owner Jerry Rich, an NIU alumnus.

“He’s been kind enough to let us practice here,” Tyska said.

In return, the team members help with the Kids Golf Foundation in November and February, during their off season. The Kids Golf Foundation, established in 1998 by Rich and Don Springer, introduces children between the ages of 5 and 15 to the sport of golf, its fundamentals, rules, history and etiquette.

However, Holly Alcala of the Hook-A-Kid-On-Golf Foundation of Illinois said the intangibles are the most important things the program can offer.

Alcala said that often, the youngsters walk away with other benefits such as patience, a boost in their self-confidence, an increase in their ability to concentrate and an understanding of the rules of good sportsmanship.

“If they come away with these other things, we’re just as happy,” she said.

Tyska said Rich places a high priority on introducing young people to the sport, and that to her knowledge, no other Solheim site has had a program of this magnitude for young people.

NIU team members will work as ball spotters later in the week, when the tournament begins, she added.

3rd-graders strike out for stroke

Awareness, early intervention key in childhood stroke
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove third-graders Alex and Amanda Malawski threw out the first pitch at the Schaumburg Flyers baseball game on Thursday, Aug. 13, as a part of a Strike out for Stroke event. The activity was a fundraiser and awareness event connected with the Alexian Brothers Hospital’s support group for stroke supporters.

Alex and Amanda, born 11 weeks premature, both suffered strokes when they were born. Due to the strokes, each has a mild case of cerebral palsy. Alex’s muscles on his left side were affected, as were Amanda’s muscles on her left side.

“They’ve been in therapy since they were born,” said Lori, their mom.

Lori said she joined a support group for parents dealing with childhood stroke when she found out about it from a flyer on a doctor’s office desk. The group, Childhood Stroke and Hemiplegia Connections of Illinois, has been a tremendous help to her.

Lori said that although some parents are afraid to find out what might be wrong with their child, the biggest thing that she and her husband have learned in speaking with other parents is the importance of early intervention.

She said some parents are afraid to find out what might be wrong with their child.

Her husband went to Washington, D.C. in 2006 to lobby Congress and to Springfield this year regarding raising the awareness of childhood strokes and the importance of hospital guidelines for what signs to look for to recognize a stroke in a child.

Lori said that Kaneland John Shields Elementary School has been wonderful in working with her to obtain what she needs for her children, but that other people might not be that lucky.

She encourages parents to join a support group, because it is easy to feel lost when they encounter this problem.

“People are not alone,” she said. “My husband and I feel seasoned in all of this. You need to ask for what you need for your kids.”

Through the Fox Valley Special Education Program and the Kaneland School District, Alex and Amanda are involved in a number of physical activities that have also helped them, including as Sunshine through Golf, a tennis camp, a swimming team and adaptive sports, such as water skiing.

They both got the ball across the plate, Lori said of the baseball event. Alex’ pitch was very dramatic, as he began with a big wind-up.

“It was really exciting and nervous,” Amanda said. “My whole family was there cheering for me.”

“She’s very competitive,” Lori said of Amanda. “She won’t let this get in her way.”

Photo: Alex and Amanda Malawski of Sugar Grove, accompanied by pitcher, Carmen Pignatiello of the Schaumburg Flyers, threw out ceremonail first pitches before the game on Aug. 13 at Alexian Field. Photo by Mike Slodki

Risk factors for pediatric stroke include:
• Sickle-cell disease
• Congenital or acquired heart disease
• Head and neck infections
• Head trauma
• Dehydration
• Maternal history of infertility
• Maternal preeclampsia
For more information about pediatric strokes and support groups, visit

Teen ready to rock in American Miss contest

Elburn youth will compete in local pageant
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Ashley Taylor of Elburn wants to act when she grows up, and she already has performed in two school theatrical productions. Next weekend, the 12-year-old will take the stage again, as a contestant in the National American Miss Pageant Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6 at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

The state-level contest winner will receive $1,000 and a trip to Hollywood and Disneyland, and go on to compete in the national pageant. Although Ashley finds those prizes enticing, what really interested her was the contest’s opportunity to practice poise in front of an audience, a must for any actor, she said.

Unlike other pageants, contestants do not model swimsuits or wear make-up, although the competition does feature a formalwear category. Its main focus is on personality and presentation, which appeals to Ashley.

“I like that it is not just about what is on the outside but what is on the inside, which is what really matters,” Ashley said. “It’s about being confident and knowing you are a valuable person.”

Other contest categories are a personal introduction and an interview.

Ashley also chose to take part in an optional category, acting. She will deliver several lines of a commercial for Target teen wear, starting, “Girls, are you ready to rock?”

Ashley already has raised the $440 in pledges required to participate in the pageant, from sponsors including local businesses Harry Krausbe DDS, Bob Jass Chevrolet, Party Animals, J & R Herra, Papa G’s, the Shipping Place, and Xsport fitness, and family members, said her mother, Maria Taylor.

Now, Ashley is looking for a full-length gown to wear, one that expresses her personality but is not too expensive, she said.

During the next two weeks, she also will be polishing her commercial segment lines and responses to interview questions such as, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She already knows the answer to that question.

“I’ve always wanted to be an actress,” said Ashley, who was in the cast of “Oklahoma” and “Much Ado About Coconuts” at Kaneland Middle School.

Elburn Days offers fun for kids of all ages

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—This year’s Elburn Days offers activities and entertainment for kids as young as pre-schoolers, with a Pretty in Pink dance exhibition by students from the M&M Dance Studio. A free dance lesson with Miss Maggie on Saturday afternoon at the Community Stage.

Teens hoping for their chance at local fame in this year’s Teen Elburn Idol contest can pick up some pointers from 2008 winner Alyssa Parma, when she opens for Catfight on the Main Stage on Friday night. This year’s contenders will show their stuff during the finalist competition on Saturday.

The Talent Contest set for Sunday afternoon offers young people with talents other than singing an opportunity to show what they can do. Previous contestants have included dancers, local garage bands, an accordion player and bagpipe players.

New this year to Elburn Days is a teen dance band, The Public, who will take the stage on Saturday evening. The local group, together for one-and-a-half years, features rock and alternative rock music. The band plays original and cover music such as Sublime and Metallica.

A dance party on Sunday afternoon offers 7- to 10-year-olds the chance to hop on stage and learn a hip hop dance.

Contests for kids and adults alike include a hula hoop contest and an all-you-can-eat ice cream contest, sponsored by Colonial Ice Cream.

For more information about these and other dance and gymnastic events, visit the Elburn Lions website at

Trained volunteers will boost safety

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—A few Kane County Sheriff’s officers usually help with traffic control and safety during Elburn Days events, but they will be busy this year with those tasks at the Solheim Cup in Sugar Grove. However, Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith is not concerned, because he has a new source of assistance, the village’s Citizen Emergency Response Team.

“I think we’ll be fine,” Smith said.

The village held its C.E.R.T. training program in March for residents who want to help local authorities with emergencies and disasters. The free classes taught skills including first aid, disaster-victim psychology, and parking and traffic control.

Smith also is seeking help from other local communities C.E.R.T. programs, to help the village with public safety during Elburn Days, Aug. 21-23.

“We’re just going to have to be a little creative this year as far as where our assistance will come from,” Smith said.

Smith said the C.E.R.T. volunteers will help mostly with parking, for the parade Friday evening and at Lions Park during the weekend festival.

Solheim rookies excited to be here

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—U.S. Solheim Cup team member Kristy McPherson said they haven’t had a chance to see much of the area since they arrived earlier this week, but she’s not complaining.

“They’ve been keeping us here, but it’s not a bad place to be,” she said.

McPherson was referring to the spacious grounds of Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove, where later this week the team will play the European women’s team.

“I really wanted to go to Lollapalooza, but oh well,” Michelle Wie said.

The Solheim Cup, a prestigious international team event in women’s golf, features the best women professionals from the United States against the top European-born players from the Ladies European Tour (LET).

McPherson said the last time some of the team members came to practice at Rich Harvest Farms, they went to a Cubs game, but not this time.

“They’ve been keeping us pretty busy,” she said.

When they are not practicing, McPherson said the team members have been spending their time horseback riding, fishing, visiting owner Jerry Rich’s car museum, biking around the property or engaging each other in putting contests and table games, such as ping pong.

The three rookies, Brittany Lang, McPherson and Michelle Wie, said they were excited to have the chance to play in this tournament with the other, more seasoned players for whom they have much respect.

“She (Captain Beth Daniels) was always my idol,” McPherson said. “I always looked up to her, and when I found out she was going to be the captain, that just gave me more motivation to want to be on this team.”

Growing up in South Carolina, McPherson said that she grew up watching Daniels play.

“It’s a dream come true,” McPherson said. “The coolest thing is just hanging out with 11 cool girls that are just good friends, and for one week every two years, we get to play with each other, pull for each other and have each other’s backs and play for our country together.”

At 19, Wie is the youngest member of the U.S. team. She has set multiple records during her junior and amateur careers, beginning at age 10, when she became the youngest to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2000.

Chosen as a captain’s pick, Wie said she was honored and thankful that Captain Beth Daniels picked her for the team.

“I’ll do my best not to let her down,” she said.

Photo: Fellow Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Solheim Cup team player Kristy McPherson (left) listens as Michelle Wie responds to a question during a press conference at the Solheim Cup event on Tuesday at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Elburn woman arrested on forgery charges

The Kane County Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation into an incident where a homeowner had received two counterfeit twenty dollar bills at a garage sale. The sale occurred at the victim’s residence on Willow Creek Drive in unincorporated Kane County over the weekend on July 24 and 25.

Sheriff’s Detectives reviewed the case with the Kane County States’ Attorney’s Office, who authorized one count of forgery against Doris Adamson, of the 500 Block of Main St., Elburn. On Aug. 14, Adamson was arrested while at the Kane County Judicial Center.

It does appear that this case was connected with a similar incident in Sugar Grove.

The charge against Adamson is not a proof of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

8/20 Police blotter

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Oscar Eduaredo Diaz, 19, of the 100 block of Lorlyn Circle in Batavia, was arrested at 6:05 a.m. for driving without a valid license or insurance. Police stopped him as he was eastbound on Route 38 in Elburn, after he failed to stop at the stop sign before turning from First Street.

• Someone dropped off an aged, yellow Labrador, mixed-breed dog at the Elburn Police Station. An officer found the dog in the fenced K-9 holding area behind the station at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 14. Police called the Kane County Animal Control Center to pick up the animal. The center will hold the animal for one week and if no one claims it, the dog will be euthanized.

• Bradley K. Green, 35, of the 600 block of North Edgelawn Drive, Aurora, was arrested at 11:45 p.m. Aug. 13 for driving while his license was revoked. Police stopped him for speeding, on Route 47 south of Capes Drive in Elburn.

Letter: Thanks to AJ from Rosatis

Recently, my husband and I ordered from Rosatis, which we have done for a number of years. Not only was our order delivered quickly, but about five minutes after we sat down to eat the doorbell rang again and AJ (the owner) was at our door with a blank check, which I had inadvertently torn off when I wrote a check for our food. He could have called and asked me to come and pick it up, but he drove over and personally delivered it. There has been some negative publicity about Elburn lately on these pages, and I thought it only fitting that someone who possesses both honesty and integrity should be recognized. Thanks AJ, and continued success to you!
Patricia and Richard Romke

Letter: Lauzen releases constituent survey results

In early May, I sent a survey to my constituents, both Democrats and Republicans, to get their final advice before we voted on many issues in June and early July. More than 4,000 citizens in our area replied!

My assistant and I have made the conscious decision to save the state postage expense and to report the most interesting 12 findings through this channel of a letter to the local editor.

1. “What do you believe the state’s legislative top priority should be?” (asked to check one box only):
46.5% Budget
16.5% Jobs
14.0% Ethics
5.6% Health care
5.4% Education

2. “Do you favor (Gov. Pat Quinn’s) 50% increase in the income tax rates?”
72% No (3,071 replies)
17% Yes (745 replies)
11% Undecided (459 replies)

3. “In order to pay for a road and infrastructure construction plan, which do you prefer?”
56% Cut services (2,391 replies)
24% New gambling (1,024 replies)
15% Tax hike (628 replies)
5% Undecided (232 replies)

4. “On a scale of 1-10 (important), indicate how strongly you believe each factor has contributed to there being the same level of academic achievement over time despite increased funding?”
Lack of focus on basic, demanding curriculum (7.5 index level)
Social problems at home (7.1 index level)
Apathetic parents (7.5 index level)
Teacher’s Union influence (6.9 index level)
Ineffective expensive administration (8.2 index level)

5. “Do you believe that shifting funding for public education from local property taxes to higher state taxes will improve student academic achievement?”
73% No (3,117 replies)
12% Yes (491 replies)
15% Undecided (655 replies)

6. Should medical marijuana be legalized?
47.5% Yes (2,030 replies)
37.9% No (1,619 replies)
14.6% Undecided (624 replies)

7. “Do you support the State of Illinois requiring/providing state-run health care for all Illinois, even those who have private insurance now?”
71% No (3,050 replies)
14% Yes (606 replies)
15% Undecided (618 replies)

8. “Should voters in Republican primaries be allowed to vote for the equivalent of the board of directors for the Illinois Republican party?”
59% Yes (2,516 replies)
10% No (413 replies)
31% Undecided (1,345 replies)

9. “Should homosexual marriage be legalized?”
75% No (3,185 replies)
17% Yes (723 replies)
9% Undecided (366 replies) (note-slight rounding error)

10. “Should homosexual civil unions be legalized?”
46% No (1,983 replies)
41% Yes (1,740 replies)
13% Undecided (550 replies)

11. “On a scale of 1-10 (important), how important to you is someone’s Democrat or Republican affiliation?”
4.95 Index Level (4,187 replies)

12. “Should it be illegal for any family member of a legislator to function as a lobbyist?”
83% Yes (3,560 replies)
9% No (400 replies)
7% Undecided (316 replies) (note-slight rounding error)

I personally read each one of your responses and am deeply grateful for the time you took to guide me to serve you better.

Christopher J. Lauzen
Illinois State Senator

Letter: Elburn unfairly criticized

This is in regards to a Letter to the Editor titled “Please return money lost at Elburn Jewel,” that was run on Aug. 6, 2009. In that letter, a Campton Hills woman had left a blue bank bag full of checks and $3,400 in the Jewel on Aug. 4. The money she explained, was for treatment for her dog who had lymphoma. She was looking to get her money back, and rightfully so, pleading with the person who took it to return it to any bank in Elburn without prosecution. First, I hope her dog gets well. Second, I hope she gets her money back, because it was wrong for someone to take the money, period.

However, what she said in her letter was disturbing to me. She said, “I thought a little town like Elburn still had very honest and proud residents, but I was very wrong and hurt by this little town.” So, I get this from that statement—She feels that there are no honest and proud residents in Elburn currently, and that our little town hurt her and that it absolutely had to be someone from Elburn. So there are no dishonest people in Campton Hills or St. Charles? Ugh. There are unfortunately bad people everywhere. And let me get this straight, no one from anywhere else but Elburn shops at that Jewel-Osco, right? That’s funny because she was from Campton Hills shopping there. And now the general residents of Elburn are dishonest and not proud? Well, I still hope she still gets her money back, and I really do hope her dog gets treatment and gets well (I have dogs myself) but I hope she really thinks about what she said. Lumping a whole community as dishonest, especially the community I love, does not sit well with me. I think it was a pretty ignorant statement and, well, I am very sorry we didn’t live up to your expectations—it could have happened anywhere, even Campton Hills, believe or not.

Melissa Mullany