Category Archives: Local News

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Local vendors hope to capture additional business during Solheim Cup

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday wrestled with the requests of several Sugar Grove businesses that have approached the village about temporarily locating on private property during the Solheim Cup to provide their services to thousands of potential additional customers.

Catering Gourmets owner Janet Lagerloef, who attended the meeting, obtained the permission of Sign Effects, a business located at Dugan and Granart roads, to temporarily set up the business’ outdoor grill on Sign Effects’ property during the week of the Solheim Cup.

Lagerloef said she would like to provide coffee in the morning and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch as people approach the event, located farther south on Dugan Road at Rich Harvest Farms.

Village trustees were anxious to accommodate Lagerloef, but expressed concerns about the impact on the already-increased traffic the Solheim Cup will bring.

“I don’t have a problem with the concept, but I’m a little bit concerned with the location, due to the traffic issues and its proximity to the (traffic) light,” trustee Tom Renk said. “I envision people trying to turn into the intersection and then trying to get out.”

Village President Sean Michels said he was concerned about how the traffic would likely begin stacking up on Route 30.

Trustee Rick Montalto said he was interested in finding a good compromise that would allow businesses in town to benefit from the event.

“There aren’t enough places in town to eat as it is,” he said. “I would rather see them (Solheim Cup visitors) spend their money in town.”

Trustee Mari Johnson suggested that perhaps Catering Gourmets and other food vendors could set up for business in the Village Hall parking lot, where the Farmer’s Market takes place on Saturday mornings. She said with people being able to pull in off of Route 30 and parking available across Municipal Drive at the fire station, the safety issues would be alleviated.

Lagerloef said that she had received the permission of Rich Harvest Farms to temporarily locate at the spot, although she had not consulted with the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Board members said they would like to discuss the situation with LPGA planners before making a final decision.

The board will make a final decision at the next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 4. The Solheim Cup takes place the week of Aug. 17-23.

MP Village withholds sidewalk project payment

Maple Park officials want to make sure all work finished
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park has better, and more, sidewalks since a two-year improvement project costing more than $300,000 was finished recently, village officials said. However, they decided to postpone final payment to the contractor, Strada Construction Company, after hearing a resident’s complaint.

The village temporarily will withhold the last payment, $9,970, to the Addison, Ill., contractor, “so areas of concern can be addressed first,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Kent Signorella, 109 State St., said the contractor poured cement over a water main valve under the sidewalk along his property and left a trip hazard, and left another segment of sidewalk “sticking up half an inch.”

“I suggest we don’t make final payment,” Signorella said.

The Village Board tabled a motion July 7 to approve final payment to Strada under the $96,315 contract trustees approved in April for Phase II of the sidewalk improvements.

“I still want us to pay (Strada) in a timely manner, but not until the work is done,” trustee Mark Delaney said.

Strada also did Phase I of the sidewalk project, completing it last November; the village paid the company $194,378 for that work in February.

Both phases included replacing sidewalks in the village that were cracked or broken by tree roots, and installing them in areas where sidewalks had not previously been, trustee Cheryl Aldridge said.

Building department staff cut to combat revenue crunch

Despite other cuts, Elburn budget still in red
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The village of Elburn will have to dip into its reserves to cover spending for its fiscal year 2009-10, even though it has trimmed total staff salaries.

The Village Board on Monday approved an annual budget appropriating spending up to $7.1 million, while revenues are expected to be $4.6 million.

Under the budget appropriation, the village may spend up to $1.7 million on salaries. Village Administrator Erin Willrett said salaries likely would be less than that amount, however, because the village will try to limit part-time and overtime hours.

“We expect the departments to come in below what was requested/appropriated,” Willrett said.

Assistant Village Administrator Dave Morrison said the $7.1 million in expenditures is the appropriated budget amount, which the village could spend but likely won’t.

Staff reductions from the village’s last fiscal year include eliminating the three building department salaries, a $73,000 commissioner job and two building inspector positions that paid $62,000 each. The village will hire a building and zoning code officer for up to $62,000.

“We decided to do away with the Building Department because of economic issues,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

Anderson said with the building decline, the department was overstaffed. The total savings from eliminating the department is approximately $135,000. The village allocated approximately $84,000 for two new public works employees, however.

Another salary reduction is from a lower Police Chief pay. Chief Steve Smith will receive an annual salary of $81,000, compared to former Chief Jim Linane’s salary of $93,000.

As administrator, Willrett will receive a salary of $97,000 compared to the $79,000 she earned last fiscal year in her former position of community development director; Assistant Village Administrator Dave Morrison will receive an annual salary of $93,343 compared to his previous yearly pay of $113,000 as village administrator. The total salary reduction for these top two administrative positions was $2,000.

The village also cut back on Police Department staff, deciding not to fill two recently vacated police positions, the commander’s job formerly held by Smith, and a part-time community service officer position.

Village President Anderson said he regrets that the village could not afford to increase its police staffing this year as Smith requested.

“The money is just not there,” he said.

Village officials attribute the deficit to declining revenue from building fees. To make up the shortage of revenue, the village may have to reduce its reserves from $5 million to approximately $3 million.

Staff pay comprises nearly 25 percent of the budget.

The salaries total this year will include $40,000 the village will remit to former Police Chief Jim Linane, which Morrison said it owes him for compensation time.

New director’s goal: Attract more people to library

Martin wants patrons to know about facility’s fresh looks, new books
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Library has a new look, new offerings and a new director.

Kim Martin became the library’s head June 1, and since then has overseen a reorganization of the library designed to make it more user friendly.

She saw the job posting last spring and decided to apply.

“I love the library and I thought I could bring something more to it than someone just looking for a paycheck,” she said.

Martin graduated from Kaneland High School in 1995. With five children, she spent the past 12 years as a stay-at-home mom. She is not a certified librarian. However, she plans to take Library Technical Assistant (LTA) courses online through College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. Next June, she will attend the week-long Small Public Library Management Institute in Bradley, Ill.

Before becoming library director, Martin trained for seven weeks with Sukey Blake.

The library is located in the Community Center in a four-room space in the building’s basement. It was closed for 2-1/2 weeks in June for the reorganization project.

The project included expanding a reading and computer room by removing old cabinets that used to occupy half its space.

Also new at the library will be eight computers the library purchased in May with a grant.

“Every area has been reorganized,” Martin said.

Patrons now can see that the library has books on tape along one wall that was not easily visible before. Several new shelves are featured throughout the library, donated by the Library Friends.

In her new role, Martin is working to add and promote new programs such as a book club and materials including more books for young adults, such as the “Bone” series, “Hunger Game” and the “Twilight” series.

“We want to bring patrons back in here who maybe haven’t been here in awhile who don’t know that we have new materials,” Martin said.

Hometown hire
Twenty people applied for the 30-hour-per-week Maple Park Public Library position vacated by former Library Director Sukey Blake, who retired. Of those, the Library Board was most impressed with Kim Martin (nee Signorella), a lifelong resident of the village.

Library Board President Beth Miller particularly liked that Martin was informed and concerned about handicapped accessibility issues.

“Kim is really passionate about that,” Miller said.

The library is working to upgrade its accessibility for people with disabilities.

Photo: New Maple Park Library Director Kim Martin assists Jane Ostrom in checking out a book. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Kaneville ends summer with fun-filled fest

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Kaneville residents are gearing up for an end-of-summer weekend of fun, music, food, contests and activities for all ages.

Kaneville Fest 2009, from Friday, Aug. 27 to Sunday, Aug. 29, will begin with a used book sale at the Kaneville Library on Friday and end with a softball game on Sunday afternoon.

Activities planned include a bags tournament, a walk-run through Kaneville, bingo, a junior firefighter’s water fight, and other contests and races. Everyone is invited to a free movie on Friday night, shown on the side of the Hill’s County Store, weather permitting. On Saturday, visit the craft show and find out about the local businesses at the Kaneville Community Center, then check for deals at a number of neighborhood garage sales and enjoy a pulled pork sandwich prepared by Food for Thought.

Saturday evening ends with a bang, with Maple Park resident and pyrotechnics expert Roger Kahl providing the fireworks show.

Sunday morning starts out with a community church service held at the Kaneville United Methodist Church outdoor sanctuary, and continues with a car show, a town potluck picnic (hotdogs provided), and softball game.

Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill said there are a number of other activities in the works. If there is enough interest, she hopes to have a volleyball tournament, and a petting zoo is another possibility, given enough animals and fencing. The Kaneville Historical Society may hold a few demonstrations, such as making butter and spinning yarn.

Hill said it is an ambitious list of activities, but that anything is possible with enough volunteers. She said she, co-planner Karen Flamand and others on the committee welcome any and all help.

WCC offers TV News Camp for Kids

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Students from sixth to eighth grade have an opportunity this summer to make their own television show at Waubonsee Community College. For two weeks, beginning Monday, July 27, students will find a story to tell, shoot their own footage, learn the important skill of computer editing, and even find themselves in front of the camera.

Everyone will have a chance to be a producer, editor and anchor, said Chris Mohr, Waubonsee’s public access production technician. The newscast will then be scheduled to air on Fox Valley Television Channel 17, with plenty of time to tell their family and friends the time slot for their program.

The class structure, which meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week, gives students the chance to go out and collect their news stories in between class times.

They will be trained how to use the equipment, including studio-quality television cameras, how to write a good story and how to get good shots. The studio work will be done in the television studio on Waubsonsee’s Sugar Grove campus, under the direction of Public Access Programming Manager Mike Rennels, an experienced television industry professional.

Rennels is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcasting. A video professional with more than 20 years experience, he also taught video production at Columbia College and the Illinois Center for Broadcasting for a number of years. He is responsible for the overall operation of FVTV, as well as teaching the Access training class.

The community college has more than 200 registered users, who use the equipment to produce shows with a wide variety of content, including history, church-related, cooking shows, and more.

This is the first time the program will be offered to young people.

“It’s a nice way to fuel that interest young,” Mohr said.

Village officials study wind power

by Susan O’Neill
Village trustee Rick Montalto and Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young attended a recent Sandwich Village Board meeting where wind energy was a topic for discussion.

With the board’s decision to enact a six-month moratorium on wind-energy solutions, village officials are using this time to conduct research on the subject.

Montalto brought back copies of a guidebook for state and local governments published by the American Wind Energy Association so that other board members could get up-to-speed on the issue.

The board will create a committee or task force to study the pros and cons of the alternate power sources.

Editorial: Kaneville adds community festival to summer calendar

We are glad to see residents in the village of Kaneville planning for a community festival for the end of this summer.

According to Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill’s story on page 1A, Kaneville Fest will run from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 27-29, and include a variety of activities ranging from a used book sale at the library on Friday to a softball game on Sunday.

These are the kinds of events that bring communities together, that help turn people who happen to live next to each other into true neighbors.

Kaneville has long had a history of viewing itself as a distinct community, even before the legal designation of being a “village” was made in 2007. In our communications with many then-unincorporated Kaneville Township people, they often referred to themselves as residents of the village of Kaneville.

So, their decision to incorporate merely added a legal designation and official boundary to an area within which the residents already felt that sense of belonging to the community.

Therefore, it is no surprise that the community is now coming together to celebrate that identity. We hope to see residents of Kaneville, as well as residents of the broader Kaneland community, at the event to show their support and celebrate community.

Letter: What we need in this area is jobs

I believe in America. I believe we can overcome almost anything, if we’re given an even playing field. I was a Republican for all but the last nine years of my life. Now I’m a Democrat. Nine years ago America voted in a team to the White House who took out our fair playing field, and tipped it to the Communist Chinese.

They put in incentives for businesses to invest money and jobs to lower the prices of goods sold here. The Communist Chinese have subsidized the manufacturing of all goods. All while the other countries in the world put tariffs in place, we did not. The tariffs put a tax on the Communist Chinese product that forces its price to be even with the lowest price for the same product made in the European Common Market or the South American Market Association. If there are no comparable products made, then the Communist Chinese are allowed to sell at whatever the market will bear. They do.

The Communist Chinese have a plan. If they eliminate all the manufacturing ability of a product, they will multiply the price to whatever they can still sell it at. That means when we have lost our ability to produce a product, they will multiply the price to sell it at whatever they can. Do you know what percentage of bullets that we are currently forced to buy from the Communist Chinese? I believe in the right to bear arms. I refuse to buy ammunition that states “made in China.”

The second thing that happened to change my mind about the Grand Old Party’s new administration was its dependence on the rich oil ministers to dictate policy here. We went to two wars, with no plans but to fight. These wars were fields filled with reservists, national guardsmen and active duty personnel dying for an oil industry filled with tribesmen seeking to conquer each other. We were whipsawed into wondering who were the good guys. Sunni-Shia-Kurds? All the while the administration was signing non-competitive contracts with their backers. Hundreds of billions of our taxpayers’ money spent with contractors in the war zone. Using contractors instead of our own troops led to a weakened American armed force. This further caused the war to seem like the lawless wild west.

Do you know that Haliburton cannot account for over $18 billion of our taxpayers money? How do you lose that much money? While this is going on, we’re going bankrupt—but, rich oil ministers saw the price of their oil triple. Remember $1.25/gallon gas? That was just before the last administration.

So I believe in a fair playing field—jobs for Americans; and no more corruption.

With that in mind, I am giving consideration to running for the Illinois House seat in the 50th District. I have brought 200 jobs to Aurora. I will continue to try to bring jobs to my district. I will fight against corruption. And I will probably be the poorest state congressperson you have ever had, because the lobbyists don’t fund an honest politician.

I have supported, and been supported, by my friend and cohort in manufacturing, the honorable Congressman Bill Foster. I also claim my friendship, support and respect for my fellow reservist, the honorable Congresswomen Linda Chapa LaVia. I also supported and worked to get re-elected my fellow survivor, the honorable Mayor Tom Weisner. With their support and the support of my family and friends, I hope to become the first majority party state representative from this district. I feel with the input from each and every one of my constituents, and the support of the majority party, I can bring jobs to the district, and will not let corruption in.

Ed Nendick
Aurora, Ill.

Letter: So many people “looking out for us”

We are so fortunate to have so many people looking out for our best interests these days.

Ethan Hastert has decided we need a change. He wants to fill the seat his dad walked away from, forcing us to pay for a special election after he decided to not honor his commitment.

Bill Foster has been a refreshing change. He actually takes the time to listen to his constituents and so far, he seems thoughtful and committed. Dennis Hastert didn’t listen to anyone when he conspired with the pharmaceutical companies to force taxpayers to pay premium non-negotiable drug prices for Medicare recipients and covered up the real cost to taxpayers and his colleagues when he twisted arms to ram the bill through Congress.

Kay Hatcher has saved us all from a tax increase. We wouldn’t want to fund any of the state’s responsibilities or debt. Let’s balance the budget on the backs of the poor and disabled even though this won’t make a dent. We would all prefer to pay unlimited property taxes to fund the schools so the state doesn’t have to carry this burden. All the people about to be laid off because of unfunded state programs shouldn’t be a burden on any of the struggling taxpayers. Thank you so much Kay.

And Chris Lauzen—thanks for the “bridge” budget. Why bother to do the job right the first time when you can come up with a mediocre partial solution that really doesn’t solve anything? When you, Kay, and the rest of the do-nothing politicos are called back for yet another special session because you won’t do your jobs, I hope you’ll all fondly remember the folks you have all shafted when you get your extra check. I hope you are all at the front of the line when the state is paying its bills, because I’d hate to think that someone who really needs or deserves the money might actually get it.

Last of all, I’d like to thank Pastor Augustine and Dr. Kim for warning us about the satanic event held at the Elburn Community Center. “A Day With Your Angels” certainly sounds like a scary event. I guess it didn’t occur to either of you that if people were really concerned, they might just—uh—stay home. Occult practitioners might rob people of their time and savings, but I’ve seen churches do the same. I hope the human sacrifices were kept to a minimum at this event. We certainly wouldn’t want to attract the attention of the national media.

Robert B. Morgan

Letter: Union warns Kane County citizens of the impact of Sheriff’s Deputy staffing cuts

The Kane County Board is scheduled to permanently jeopardize the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to provide sufficient police services to the citizens of Kane County, especially those living in unincorporated areas, by reducing the number of sworn deputies that provide essential and required police services.

The Sheriff’s Office current staffing level set by the County Board is 96 sworn deputies to carry out the law enforcement and other legal requirements of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office has been operating well below that number for several months to meet budget restrictions imposed by the County Board and compounded by an increase in deputies out of service due to injuries. The County Board’s desire to further cut Sheriff’s Deputy staffing doesn’t take these issues into consideration. Staffing studies have shown consistently that the Sheriff’s staffing level should be 112 sworn deputies, 25 short of what the County Board is proposing to cut.

The voluntary reduction in staff by the Sheriff from 96 to 90 deputies has placed a significant burden on the deputies policing this county by reducing the number of deputies patrolling and responding to calls for service, increasing response times to calls for service and causing deputies to have to travel farther and faster to get to emergency calls at an increased risk to themselves and others on the roadways.

The citizens of Kane County, especially those in unincorporated areas who rely upon the Sheriff’s Office for their primary police service, are paying more in taxes and getting less service in return. Sadly, the County Board may also be placing citizen’s lives at risk by reducing the number of available deputies to respond to emergency calls for help.

The Policeman’s Benevolent Labor Committee—Kane County Sheriff’s Office (PBLC KCSO) recognizes the seriousness of the economic times and has been enduring the reduction of staff to 90 which has been difficult at best.

The Sheriff’s Office is currently awaiting the results of a federal grant for the retention and hiring of up to eight deputies. Recipients of that grant are expected to be notified in September of this year. An award of any number of additional deputies would provide much needed relief to the staffing and budget issues for the Sheriff’s law enforcement.

In the event that the County Board continues its plan to reduce the number of sworn deputies to a maximum of 87 from 96, and the Sheriff’s Office receives the federal grant for eight deputies, then it appears that it is the County Board’s intention to take the federal money for retaining and hiring new officers but to do neither? This would not be the intention of the federal government and would not be ethical and certainly not responsible to the citizens of Kane County.

The County Board’s insistence to exacerbate the problems at the Sheriff’s Office by further reducing the Sheriff’s sworn staffing is essentially a layoff of police officers. If we are in financial dire straits in this county, then we must examine the fiscal actions of this County Board and their failure to act in a timely and responsible manner to a crisis that they admittedly had early warning signs of.

The PBLC has made recommendations to the Sheriff and Board members on ways to save county dollars and not jeopardizing public safety. The Sheriff has proposed other funding sources and cost-cutting measures to the County Board in lieu of layoffs but the County Board has not acted upon the recommendations. The PBLC KCSO questions why it is only Kane County of all the other metropolitan counties that is in such a position that they would entertain reducing police officers, instead of other available budget cuts, program changes and potential revenue sources such as the RTA sales tax allocation that could support Sheriff’s operations and staffing rather than hindering them.

The PBLC KCSO warns the County Board, and all of the citizens of Kane County, especially the 70,000 or more people living in unincorporated areas, that the Sheriff’s Office cannot sufficiently provide police services with a staffing level of 25 deputies less than it should have. We implore the citizens of Kane County to contact their County Board members and demand that alternatives to jeopardizing public safety be acted upon.

Dennis Carroll
PBLC KCSO Union President

Letter: Lazarus house is here to help those in need

The staff at Lazarus House was very saddened by the recent death of someone known to us who lived down the street from Lazarus House. In situations such as this, we are sometimes asked why we didn’t help. Lazarus House is here to help all our neighbors in need, but we are unable to help those who will not seek or accept appropriate help.

I’m writing this letter as an appeal to anyone who is making choices today that aren’t in their best interest. There are three ways these life choices usually end: jail, death, or clean and sober. Of those three, it would seem that the last choice, the choice of being clean and sober, is the only one that gives folks the good life they deserve. If you need help, or if you know someone who does, please reach out today. Call Lazarus House at (630) 587-2144 if you need to know where you can go for help. We answer our phone 24/7 and we really want to help. It’s important for everyone to understand that help is available for everyone, regardless of their financial status.

Recent events make it clear that no one is immune to death if their lifestyle choices are not healthy. If you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol, reach out for help today; tomorrow may be too late.

Darlene Marcusson
Executive Director
Lazarus House

Letter: County cuts hinder mandated services

I recognize that Kane County is experiencing significant drops in revenue. At the same time, I have had concerns on delivering services mandated by law. Every individual County Board member received my concerns.

Asking for counsel was portrayed as a desire to sue the County.

Rather, it was an attempt to have a serious discussion with the board as my efforts to do so without representation have not resulted in meaningful discussions.

County government should be open and transparent, and those in charge of budget appropriation decisions should talk to those in charge of performing the county’s business. With regard to the proposed budget cuts, there were no budget hearings and no budget process involving the officials, appointed or elected. My concern is that there has been no consideration of what services are mandated by law and what services in the county are discretionary, and whether a 5.5 percent cut was appropriate for any given office in light of the type of service being performed.

The board announced that development revenue was down over 80 percent; it would therefore seem to be a logical conclusion that there would be a workload reduction in that entire segment of services in a correlating percentage. In contrast, the workload for the court system and the Circuit Clerk’s office, among other departments, has risen in response to the current economic situation, with increased demand for services. It does not seem to be a good business decision to dictate an equal cut across all offices and departments when non-mandated service demands are down and mandated services are up.

Transparency demonstrates confidence that one is governing fairly. My office’s transactions are open to the county. Even though I have no requirement to submit a line-item budget, I choose to do so for all five budgets.

There are no discretionary programs in my office; county funds are for mandated services. As an elected official I have statutory duties that have time mandates for performance imposed by either Illinois statutes or the Illinois Supreme Court. Every action taken by my office affects the lives or livelihood of our customer citizens.

For example, a disposition on a criminal case affects the criminal history records used by law enforcement nationwide or for job verifications. A time delay could potentially allow a criminal to obtain a prohibited position, such as with a school, or affect the severity of charges that should be filed upon a later arrest. A delay in correcting an error could keep a person from getting a job. A traffic ticket not reported to the Secretary of State could allow a driver that should be suspended to continue to drive, putting others at risk. A delay in correcting a ticket reported inaccurately could cause a suspension of a driver’s license or cause increased insurance costs.

The Circuit Clerk’s Office is central to the judicial system and critical to the workings of public safety. Our entry of filings, sentencing, process papers (warrants, summons, attachments), and so on is relied upon by Court Services, the Judiciary, and the State’s Attorney to perform their own duties; delays in my office will increase costs throughout the judicial system. Arresting agencies rely on our records, rely on our ability to get the warrants and warrant recalls to them. Daily research requests with short deadlines are received from Homeland Security, FBI, Immigration, Department of Corrections and others. Accuracy is critical. Timeliness is mandated.

In 2006, the County Board spent thousands of dollars on a consultant to compile the revenue sources and match them to the services performed. Called the Service Inventory Matrix, the survey included identifying which services were mandated, and while it failed to identify which fund covered the mandated services, it would have been a good place to have started budget hearings.

For the 2009 budget year (starting Dec. 1, 2008) there was an across-the-board budget cut of 1.5 percent from the amount funded in the previous 2008 fiscal year budget. That 1.5-percent budget cut was actually a 16.88-percent cut for our office in order to meet union contractual obligations. As a result we experienced a reduction in staff by eight people. For the mid-year cut of 5.5 percent, we cut another 3.5 percent, including dropping two more people, which is the maximum reduction that I believe we are capable of providing.

Staff was at 108 people when I took office in 1996. Thirteen years later, with caseloads that have grown significantly, we are now at 112, only 82 of which are funded by the county’s general fund. The mid-year figures for court cases filed overall is up 17 percent from June of last year, and we have dropped 8 percent of our staff in an effort to meet the county’s budget cuts.

There is an assumption that the county funds the entire budget of the Clerk’s Office. In fact, there are four other funds, called Special Funds, which are funded by user fees and reduce the burden on the county. The funds are established by law for a special purpose, and expenditures are limited to the purpose for which the funds were established. For the expenditures to be for personnel, the staff must be performing functions established under the specified purpose.

Another example is the assumption that my office receives funding from the county to cover the projects that help bring technology to the courts. Instead, those projects are funded from the Court Automation and the Document Storage funds. The resulting financial savings from these projects can show direct benefits in costs to the county’s General Fund as there is then need for less staff to perform mandated services despite increased workloads. We continue to work toward implementing more technology that will have the same results.

The board’s stated top goal is to “reduce balances in special funds.” In working with the board this year and in previous years, I have pushed the limits of what is qualified to be funded by the Special Funds to the point of vulnerability.

There are non-mandated services and expenditures currently being made by the county. Even though these discretionary expenditures may be desirable for various reasons, the county’s financial situation may require the county to cut those optional or discretionary costs by more than 5.5 percent in order to make sure statutorily required services in other offices are continued.

I look forward to a constructive dialog with representatives of the county in order to reach a solution that achieves both the delivery of legally mandated services and lowers the county’s overall costs.

Deborah Seyller
Kane County Circuit Court Clerk

Letter: Open letter to Reps and Senators

Please, please, please do not vote for this health-care bill. Vote against it. Multiple times if necessary.

The American people are extremely tired of the taxes we already pay, and the stupid waste of our taxes. If our taxes were used for good and right purposes there would be plenty for all to have health care. There would be enough money for all programs that are good and just.

The American people are extremely tired of the giveaway programs to those who insist on not working, but feel it’s okay to collect money from those who do.

The American people are extremely tired of our taxes being used to give those who do nothing “free” cars. Research for smelly pigs. In fact, we are extremely tired of bailouts of any kind, pork of any kind, printing money when the country is already in much too much debt. The American people are extremely tired of those we vote for being more interested in the power and greed than in what is good for America and the American people.

We are extremely tired of the huge salaries and perks awarded to all of you, and those in the White House.

The American people are extremely tired of those who have life terms in their jobs. We want only two terms for each and all. Even that is too much for some in important positions.

Representatives and Senators—get back to basics. Tell us the truth. Do what you promise. Give us reasons to admire and respect you rather than wish we had not voted for you. Give yourselves the same reasons to admire and respect yourselves.

Americans, please copy this and send to your Reps and Senators if you do not have to compose your own letter. Do it now. This should have been done before the first bailout. Do it now. So something for this wonderful America. Do it now. Do it for yourselves.

Jacquelyn Dibble

Letter: Here we go again

On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed HR-2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (also known as the Waxman-Markey Energy Bill, or the Cap and Trade Bill, or the Global Warming Bill, or whatever you wish to call it).

This bill will dramatically raise taxes on oil, gasoline and electricity. It will also prevent us from selling our homes unless we comply with Federal Energy standards on appliances and windows to ensure that our old homes are energy efficient.

As a small business owner, the extra taxes this bill will bring at a time when we are hurting could be devastating to my business.

This was yet another 1,200-page bill that no one had time to read. It passed by only seven votes. Eight of those votes were cast by Republicans. Only one Republican was from Illinois—Mark Kirk.

Mark Kirk is from the US 10th Congressional District in Lake County. Though he is not my congressman, he has recently started to ask me via e-mail for campaign contributors. That is very odd. I suspect he is planning a run for the Senate in 2010.

In Illinois, we have a history of trying to choose between two candidates from two political parties who think the same on most issues. I for one am very tired of this. I would like a discernable choice for the U.S. Senate in November 2010. How about you?

Dick Hourigan
Rochelle, Ill.

Letter: Help make suicide prevention a national priority

Approximately every 16 minutes, a suicide occurs in the United States.

This number has increased since 2003, when it was every 18 minutes. One in two teens will attempt suicide. An attempt of suicide is made every minute of every day.

Those statistics are terrifying to me as a teen, and my mom as a parent.

That is why I prepared to participate in the “Out of the Darkness” walk. This walk is to make suicide prevention a national priority.

Along the 20-mile walk that started at dusk and ended at dawn, I raised money. The funds I raise will further the mission of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

AFSP is the leading nonprofit organization essentially dedicated to understanding and restraining suicide through research and education. It also reached out to people with mood disorder and those strongly impacted by suicide.

Although I hardly knew him, Andie Christoffel’s suicide really upsets me. It pains me to know that he could still be with us now. This might not be the last suicide I have to deal with in my life, but I am praying it is. I wanted to do this walk to show people with thoughts of suicide that it is not the only way out.

My mom did the walk with me. Please consider helping us raise awareness of this tragedy so others can be spared the pain of suicide. Please visit and type in Riley or Michelle Phillips as participant name, and any donation you can make can help prevent another’s family or friends from experiencing this sort of loss.

We thank you for your time in reading this and your support in our efforts.

Riley Phillips

Meadowridge developers default on obligations

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Meadowridge Villas developers are not the only ones not living up to their obligations for further improvements in their subdivision, but they are the only ones who are not responding to the village’s attempts to reach them.

The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved a resolution establishing that Meadowridge Villas LLC has defaulted on their obligations, clearing the way for village staff to complete the work. The main work yet to be done involves the public streets within the subdivision.

Sugar Grove attorney Steve Andersson will contact the bond company associated with the development to demand reimbursement for the work completed.

“They will be fighting us on this,” Andersson said.

The subdivision, an age-restricted duplex development in Prestbury, was brought before the board in 2004 by John Claire, Ltd. Work on the subdivision, located on 34.5 acres between Illinois Route 56 on the east and Norris Road on the west, from Beta Drive to the Walnut Woods Subdivision, came to a halt with the housing slow-down.

7/23 Elburn notes

by Martha Quetsch

Shop’s sidewalk sign may be posted at 6 a.m.
Party Animals, 301 E. North St., Elburn, may place a sandwich board sign on the sidewalk in front of the shop starting at 6 a.m., since the Village Board approved a variance to the sign code.

The sign ordinance states that such signs may only be posted between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Owner Cindy Thul asked for the variance because the coffee shop at her business does most of its business before 10 a.m.

Wastewater pumps replaced, payment authorized
The village of Elburn will pay Gaskill & Walton Construction Company $80,400 for the recent installation of three new lift-station pumps at the wastewater treatment plant.

The pumps replaced three aging pumps that were not functioning well, Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said.

The Village Board authorized the payment Monday after the village engineers, Rempe-Sharp, submitted a certificate of completion of the project.

The village replaced one of the wastewater treatment plant’s four pumps last year, paying Mississippi Valley Pump $17,291 for the project.

The village replaced the pumps to make sure none of them failed during heavy rains, when stormwater has infilitrated the sewer system. Nevehnoven said normally, the wastewater treatment plant pumps approximately 700,000 gallons per day, but during heavy rainfall, the flow has jumped to 3.4 million gallons per day.

Public works staff are investigating the cause of the stormwater infiltration.

7/23 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.

Kane County
• The Kane County Sheriff’s Department is continuing the investigation into the death of Matthew Brockman who was found unresponsive in a holding cell at the Kane County Courthouse on Route 38 in St Charles. An autopsy was performed on July 16 by the Kane County Coroner’s Office. Based on the autopsy and initial facts uncovered in the investigation, it appears that Brockman’s death will be ruled a suicide.

• A brown purse containing keys, nail polishes and a black apron with the tag, “Miriam,” was found at Route 47 and Walker Street in Elburn at 4:40 p.m. July 21.

• Juan Alanis-Cervantes, 25, was arrested for driving while his licence was suspended, at 6:28 p.m. July 18. Police stopped him near Route 47 and Nebraska Street for improper passing at the intersection.

• Police picked up a stray dog at 9:45 a.m. July 15 in the 1300 block of Indepencence Avenue in Elburn. The small, old, nearly blind, beagle-type dog was then collected by Kane County Animal Control.

• Someone left a dog in a cage in front of Elburn Animal Hospital early in the morning on July 14. The black and tan terrier-mix animal was picked up by Kane County Animal Control.

• Police have a set of keys found recently on the baseball field at John Stewart Elementary School on Prairie Valley Street in Elburn. The keys are on a ring labeled with “Power Bitters” and “No Smoking.”

Sugar Grove
• Esequiel M. Hernandez, 31, of the 500 block of Grand Avenue, Aurora, was charged with driving under the influence, improper lane usage and alcohol blood content of .08 or more at 10:13 p.m. on July 20. He was driving eastbound on Galena Boulevard at St. James Parkway.

• Armando M. Holguin, age unknown, of the 1900 block of Whispering Oaks Lane, Sugar Grove, was charged with DUI, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and leaving the scene of an accident with vehicle damage at 11:06 p.m. on July 15. His truck was found at Fay’s Lane and Dugan Road.

• Vera S. Nila, 50, of the 1500 bock of Southland, Aurora, was charged with DUI and illegal transportation of alcohol at 7:51 p.m. on July 15. She was in the parking lot of the Jewel Food Store at Route 47 and Galena Boulevard.

• Rebecca A. Reed, 28, of the 4000 block of E. State 67, Beloit, Wis., was taken into custody on an active warrant from DeKalb County at 8:33 p.m. on July 20 at the Phillips 66 Gas Mart on Route 47 and Galena Boulevard.

• Ricardo M. Aguila, 18, of the 1500 block of Superior Street, Aurora, was taken into custody at 11:20 p.m. on July 19 on two warrants for driving while his license was suspended at the Phillips 66 Gas Mart on Route 47 and Galena Boulevard.

• Roberto M. Delgado, 42, of the 1900 block of Westfield Drive, Aurora, was arrested at 2:03 a.m. on July 17 for operating an uninsured vehicle, driving while license suspended and improper lane usage. He was driving westbound on Route 30 at Municipal Drive.

Part of Virgil Gilman Trail to temporarily close July 27-29

SUGAR GROVE—A section of the Virgil Gilman Trail in Sugar Grove will temporarily close July 27-29 due to bridge work.

Decking for the bridge over Blackberry Creek will be replaced during the project.
Signs will be posted to alert trail users to the closure. There will be no access through that section of trail, nor will there be an alternate route during that time.

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County asks regular users of the Virgil Gilman Trail to watch for closure signs and be mindful of the possibility of construction traffic and workers on or around the trail.

For more information, call (630) 232-5980.

Delnor’s Memory & Behavior Clinic opens

GENEVA—Delnor’s approach to memory care is a collaborative effort between Delnor Psychological Services and Suburban Neurology Group, LLC. It allows the patient with memory-related symptoms and behaviors to receive a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary team of specialists in one convenient location. Test results are available in a timely manner, which enables the team to develop an individualized plan of high-quality care for the patient.

On clinic days, patients and their families or caregivers can schedule appointments with a team of specialists that include a board-certified neurologist, a clinical neuropsychologist, a physician’s assistant and a nurse navigator. The need for additional testing (i.e. blood work, CT scan, MRI, neuropsychological testing) is determined at that time and scheduled accordingly. When all testing is complete, the patient and family meet with the team to discuss findings, recommendations and treatment options.

The Memory & Behavior Clinic is located at 302 Randall Road, Lower Level suite 30, Geneva.

Express strives to be area’s team

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—When any travel baseball or softball team does well, word tends to get out.

When a team like the Elburn Express wants to be something more than a team with a high winning percentage, it helps to get the word out, as well.

With the season coming to a close with this week’s area tournament in Geneva, the time is now for spreading the word about a team that wishes to be something for everyone.

“The girls program is relatively young and we are trying to build a reputation for the program based on this years success,” U14 coach Dan Kolzow said. “We’re just trying to get the word out, for everyone that would like to volunteer. They don’t even need to have a child that’s trying out.”

A program that had 22 girls try out for the U14 level, the Express, which plays its game at a donated Lions Park West, wants to increase its numbers.

“We lost some really good girls to other travel softball teams, and we’d really like to get the community involved,” Kolzow said.

The season goes from May to July and already has a U16 and U12 team.

The U14 crew had nine girls return to this year’s team and were 19-12 as of last week.

“We have tournament fees, equipment and gym rental, we’d like the community to get involved and there are sponsorship opportunities. We want this program to be a viable option for softball and for parents to get involved and for sponsors to be active,” coach Scott Boan said.

The Elburn Express is open to players in the Kaneland School District. For tryout and volunteer information, look at the inside page of Sports and consult

Why not Wasco?

Wasco’s 12U baseball team recently took home the 1st Place trophy from the June 28 Rockford Round Robin Tournament.  Pictured are:  Austin Wheatley, Gunnar Stanke, Trevor Dunne, Cole Nelson, Ryan Walsh, DJ Walsh, Stephen Kleefisch, Jake Esp, Jacob Lindstedt, Matt Krajewski, Steven de la Torriente, Mikey Malawski.  Coaches:  Mike Stanke, Bruce Krajewski, Mike Malawski and Ken Walsh. Courtesy Photo

Community will benefit from Solheim Cup event

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The village of Sugar Grove is well-positioned to meet visitors attending the Solheim Cup, village trustee Melisa Taylor said on Tuesday. Taylor told the other board members that the village’s expo tent is in a good location on the grounds of Rich Harvest Farms, where the Solheim Cup will be held.

Taylor said that every person who enters Rich Harvest Farms to attend the event will have to walk past the Sugar Grove tent. Locally based water garden company Aquascape, Inc. has agreed to build a water feature in front of the tent, to capture people’s attention.

The Solheim Golf Tournament, which features the best female players from the United States and Europe, will be held at the Sugar Grove golf course the week of Aug. 17-23. Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) planners estimate that thousands of national and international travelers will attend the prestigious event.

Taylor, one of the village’s liaisons to the planners of the Solheim Cup, said that during the planning process, the LPGA has been very gracious with those in the community.

To assist the newly formed Sugar Grove food pantry, she said LPGA organizers agreed to let visitors into the first practice day on Monday, Aug. 17 at no charge, if they bring at least four canned food items for the food pantry.

The Kaneland golf team will raise funds for the team by parking cars during the event, and the culinary class at Kaneland High School will have the chance to work along with the Solheim Cup’s executive chef.

“The (LPGA) has been extremely good to our entire community,” Taylor said.

In an effort to assist the newly formed Sugar Grove food pantry, LPGA organizers agreed to let visitors into the first practice day on Monday, Aug. 17 at no charge, if they bring at least 4 canned food items for the food pantry.

2009 Corn Boil—schedule of events

Friday, July 24

3:30 pm Opening ceremonies, ribbon cutting, flag raising

4-11 pm Park opens

4 pm Arts and crafts/business booths, food vendors, beer tent sponsored by the SG Fire Fighters Association

4-7 pm Pork chop dinner Sponsored by SG Fire Fighters Assoc. Auxiliary

4-11 pm SG Library Friends used book sale

4-11 pm Bingo Sponsored by Kaneland McDole Elementary PTO

4-11 pm Carnival rides and games open

6:30-7 pm Citizen of the Year Award

7-9 pm Scramble (‘50s-’70s music) performs on stage

9:30-11 pm Tin Horse (country rock) on stage

Saturday, July 25

10 am-11 pm Park opens

7:30 am 5k run (community house)

10 am Arts and crafts/business booths, food vendors

10am-9:30pm SG Library Friends ued book sale

10 am-4 pm Bingo sponsored by Kaneland Music Boosters

11 am-4 pm Clowns, Castle Bank/childrens ID

Noon-2 pm Waubonsee Steel Drum Band
Noon Beer tent sponsored by SG Fire Fighters Association

Noon-11 pm Carnival rides and games

2-2:45 pm Jazzersize demo (main stage)

2:45-3 pm M&M Dance demo (main stage)

4-9:30 pm Bingo sponsored by Kaneland Middle School PTO

4:15-5 pm Rocky’s DoJo demo (main stage)

6-8 pm 7th Heaven (rock) performing on stage

8:30-11 pm “Hair Bangers Ball” (rock) on stage

9:30 pm Fireworks Sponsored by the SG Lions Club

Sunday, July 26

11 am-6 pm Park opens

11 am-2 pm Children’s contests

11 am-6 pm SG Library Friends used book sale

11 am-6 pm Arts and crafts/business booths, food vendors

11 am-6 pm Bingo Sponsored by Kaneland Peer Leadership Group

Noon-6 pm Beer tent Sponsored by SG Fire Fighters Association

1 pm Fire Fighters Association water fights

2-4 pm The Duke Band (‘60s to present day rock)

Noon-6 pm Carnival rides and games open

6 pm Park closes

Corn Boil caters to the public

The 2009 Sugar Grove Corn Boil is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 24-26, and its goal is to be public-friendly.

To that end, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil seeks to be a community event where friends and family come together to have fun.

The Corn Boil opens at 4 p.m. on July 24, as does the beer tent. The corn, always the Corn Boil highlight, can become even more exciting with lemon pepper spice, garlic spice or seasoned salt available for flavoring.

A variety of food is available at the food court. Many of our vendors have returned year after year to offer their unique foods. Favorites include Annabell’s pork chop on a stick, corn dogs and curly fries from Crusin’ Concessions, the Genoa foot-long Italian sausage, and lemon shakeups. Consumers are reminded to follow the “no alcohol on school property” law and keep the drinks on the north side of the sidewalk and snow fence. Everyone is invited to pick up the park. Trash barrels are located throughout the park, and event organizers appreciate your effort to help be good neighbors as well. Please toss your trash before you leave the park.

Handicapped parking is available on Main Street in front of the school. In addition, a special shuttle will be made available by J&S Construction to pick riders up at this parking location and transport them to the event. For people parking west of the event in Village Hall or the Sugar Grove Library parking lots, an on-street shuttle service will pick up passengers along the route between Municipal Drive and the south end of Corn Boil at Grove and Snow streets. J&S Construction is making available its brightly decorated hay wagon to shuttle visitors into the Corn Boil from the Sugar Grove Village Hall and Sugar Grove Library parking areas.

The pre-sale ticket advantage continues for any of the carnival unlimited ride times. This is a discount for the same ticket, good for one rider, during one unlimited ride time, which will be available in the park for the cost of $20. Discounted unlimited ride tickets are available at Castle Bank—Sugar Grove, American Heartland Bank & Trust, and Old Second Bank—Sugar Grove until 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23.

There are three Corn Boil carnival unlimited ride times: Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. Carnival goers may purchase a $20 unlimited ride ticket for use, by one rider, during an unlimited ride time. The ticket is sold at a ticket booth in the carnival area.

In the interest of safety, “no parking” signs will be posted by directive of the Sugar Grove Police Department and Sugar Grove fire chief; they will indicate that no parking is allowed on the hydrant side of the street. Bicycles, skate boards or roller blades are not allowed at the Corn Boil. Dogs, other than service dogs, are not allowed.

Corn Boil has a cooling station with First Aid facilities. The bingo tent offers a shady space to sit and relax. The tent will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday; noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Free, live entertainment is a staple of Corn Boil. This year, the event features a lineup of music ranging from the Waubonsee Steel Drum Band, rock, country-rock and ‘50s-’70s rock. Free demos are scheduled from local dance studios, do-jo’s and exercise groups.

The Corn Boil Committee owes a debt of thanks to the Corn Boil’s current sponsors, who so graciously help each year. This event has free admission, thanks to the support of the event’s sponsors.

Following is a list of sponsors.
Stage sponsor: The Solheim Cup
Platinum sponsors: Castle Bank; The Daily Herald; Engineering Enterprises, Inc.; The Elburn Herald; Genoa Pizza; Harris Golf Carts; Hinds Trucking; J&S Construction; The Chronicle; Metrolift, Inc.; Old Second National Bank; Provena Mercy Medical Center; Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Sugar Grove Firefighters Association; Sugar Grove Lions Club; Sugar Grove Fire District; Sugar Grove Police Department; Sugar Grove Public Library; Village of Sugar Grove;; Waste Management, Inc.; and WSPY TV/Radio
Gold sponsors: Advanced Realty Consultants; Baker, Diana; Born, Lisa; Carroll, Bob; D&S Painting; John Shields Elementary School—District 302; Lindsay & Associates, Inc.—structural engineers; Lisa Cavalier Ameriprise Financial Advisor; Markus, Donna and Al; Mid America Financial Group—TM; Attorney Steven B. Ekker—Momkus McCluskey, LLC; Paluch, David and Deborah; Plumb, Kim; Quist, Jim; River Front Chrysler Jeep, North Aurora; Scimeca, Ross & Linda; SIGNFx, LLC; Sugar Grove Park District; Sugar Grove Public Library Friends; Swatek, Gerald
Silver sponsors: Healy Chapel; Law Office of William T. King, Jr.; Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson; Waubonsee Community College
Entertainment sponsors: Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; Blue Peak Tents; Quik Impressions Group; Volkman Insurance Agency, Inc.
Special Friends: Hollywood Casino; Sugar Grove Animal Hospital.
Friends: Spring Bluff Nursery, Inc.; William F. Keck CPA, Kane County Auditor

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is held in Volunteer Park, west of Route 47, just off Main Street in downtown Sugar Grove behind Kaneland John Shields Elementary School. For more information about the Corn Boil, call the Sugar Grove Events Hotline at (630) 466-5166, listen to WSPY 1480 AM and 107.1 FM or visit
Courtesy of
Beverly Holmes Hughes
Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee

Photo: Two Sugar Grove brothers with the 2007 Corn Boil medallion. File photo

Get up and dance!

WCC Steel Drum Band brings party music to Saturday of festival
by Martha Quetsch
The soothing sound and syncopation of steel pan music is intoxicating, said Waubonsee Community College Steel Drum Band coordinator Gibby Monokoski.

“It has a heavy-base back beat that makes people want to dance,” said Monokoski, who is WCC’s music department director.

“Even if you’re in a bad mood, it just cheers you up,” he said. “It’s fun party music.”

The WCC Steel Drum Band plays a lot of Caribbean- and African-influenced music, including selections from Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album and other covers.

But Monokoski said the band’s sound is not limited to traditional tropical styles.

“For steel pan music, there’s a broad repertoire that includes everything that exists now, including classical, rock and jazz,” Monokoski said.

What really makes listeners want to get up and move to the music are bosonova and reggae numbers, he said.

The band’s 10 members play drums of various sizes. Different sized drums produce different sounds, Monokowski said.

Performing at many local festivals and parades, the WCC Steel Drum Band is an entertainment fixture at the annual Corn Boil.

“We’ve played there for 15 years,” Monokoski said.

The WCC Steel Drum Band will take the stage from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at the Corn Boil.

The instrument
The steel drum, or steel pan, originated in the Caribbean island of Trinidad in the 1940s. It is usually played in ensembles called steel bands.
A traditional steel drum is made from the end, and part of the wall, of an oil barrel. The barrel’s end surface is hammered into a concave shape, and several areas are outlined by chiseled grooves. It is heated and tempered, and domes are hammered into the outlined areas; the depth, curvature, and size of each dome determines its pitch.
Melodies, complex accompaniments, and counterpoint can be played with rubber-tipped mallets on a single drum.
Source: Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Photo: The Waubonsee Steel Drum Band will perform from noon to 2 p.m. Sat., July 25 at the Corn Boil. File Photo

Keep the pace

Corn Boil 5K takes off Saturday
by Mike Slodki
The 2009 edition of the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 5K run/walk gives local runners a chance to celebrate the weekend with some sweat.

With the race headquarters now changed from the Sugar Grove Community House to the Sugar Grove Park District office at 61 Main St., the race fesitivities begin at 6:15 a.m. Saturday with packet pickup and registration.

At 7:15 a.m., stretch and warmup takes place. The runners are scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. with the walkers (not timed) at 7:35 a.m.

The awards ceremony kicks off at 8:30 a.m.

The race will have splits announced at the one- and two-mile marks, and is a flat, fast, two-lap course through a quiet residential area.

The race will have commemorative T-shirts at the end and refreshments as well to go with the awards ceremony. Results will be posted on race day with results cards available to all finishers.

Results will be posted within 12 hours to and

For more information, call (630) 466-7436, ext. 12, or e-mail

Photo: Dany Saldana (226) of Aurora, Ed Saloga (288) of Sugar Grove and Anne Schuette (309) of Sugar Grove battle to the finish at the 2007 Corn Boil 5K. Race day signup begins at 6:15 a.m. at 61 Main St., Sugar Grove. File Photo

Photo gallery: Kernel enjoys the Corn Boil; All about: Corn

Kernel had a great time at the 2008 Corn Boil—and can’t wait for the 2009 edition.
Illustrations by Ben Draper

All about: Corn

• The average ear of corn has 800 kernels, arranged in 16 rows.
• There is one piece of silk for each kernel.
• A bushel of corn contains about 27,000 kernels.
• Each tassel on a corn plant releases as many as 5 million grains of pollen.
• Corn is an ingredient in more than 3,000 grocery products.
• One bushel of corn can make 33 pounds of sweetener,
32 pounds of starch, or 2.5 gallons of ethanol fuel.
more facts after the gallery >>

Corn is used in the production of alcohol and distilled spirits, corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, synthetic fibers such as nylon, certain plastics, in the manufacture of wood resin, lubricating oils and synthetic rubber, as an abrasive, corn cob pipes, corn oil, margarine, saccharin, paints, soaps, linoleum and gasohol.

Corn is the third most important food crop of the world measured by production volume, behind wheat and rice. In terms of acreage planted, it is second only to wheat.

Washington, Mo., is known as the Corn Cob Pipe Capital of the World.

Mexico’s per-capita corn consumption is almost 400 pounds, while in the United States it is about 160 pounds and in India only about 15 pounds.

World corn (for grain) production for 2005 was 686 million metric tons. U.S. production for 2005 was 282 million metric tons.

In 2005, 52 percent of the U.S. corn acreage was planted with genetically modified seed.

China produces about 19 percent of the world’s corn crop, about 4.5 billion bushels. (2004)

According to the Agricultural Council of America, U.S. farmers account for 41 percent of the world’s corn production. (2007)

In 2002, about 9 billion bushels of corn were produced in the U.S., and the largest-producing states were Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana.

In the 1930s, before the machines were available, a farmer could harvest an average of 100 bushels of corn by hand in a nine-hour day. Today’s combines can harvest 900 bushels of corn per hour—or 100 bushels of corn in under seven minutes.

Fresh corn on the cob will lose up to 40 percent of its sugar content after six hours of room temperature storage. The sugar is converted to starch.

Corn was domesticated about 10,000 years ago, most likely from a lost ancestor from the highlands of central Mexico. The oldest remains of corn found at archeological sites in Mexico resemble popcorn-type corn.

Corn is not only an important food for man; more than 50 percent of U.S. production is used for livestock feed.

The official grain of Wisconsin is corn.

Nebraska is the ‘Cornhusker State.’

The world record for eating corn on the cob is 33 1/2 ears in 12 minutes, held by Cookie Jarvis.

Corn always has an even number of rows on each ear.
A corn ear is actually an inflorescence that produces nearly 1,000 female flowers.

These flowers, or potential kernels, are arranged in an even number of rows (usually from 8 to about 22 rows). Row number is always an even number because corn spikelets are borne in pairs, and each spikelet produces two florets: one fertile and one sterile.

Most things in nature have an even number of rows or lines. Watermelon has an even number of stripes as does, cantaloupe, etc. Think of it this way. One cell divides into two—as cell division continues, there is always an even number.

courtesy of

Severe weather can create stressful situations for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease

More than 500,000 Illinois citizens impacted by Alzheimer’s disease
STATE—Recent severe weather conditions in Illinois have prompted the Alzheimer’s Association—Greater Illinois Chapter to remind the public that loved ones with dementia will need extra help in the event of a weather related emergency.

Weather conditions during the summer months in Illinois can include tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding and many other extremes. All of these situations can significantly add to stress levels and cause confusion for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. For people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, stress and confusion can lead to risky and distressing behaviors, such as wandering off, agitation and surprising emotional outbursts.

“Currently in Illinois there are nearly 350,000 Alzheimer’s/dementia Caregivers,” said Erna Colborn, president and CEO of the Greater Illinois Chapter. “It is imperative that your caregiving plan include what to do in the event of a weather related emergency. It is also important that you register your loved one with MedicAlert+Safe Return, a national database that will help reunite lost loved ones with their family and friends, available through our association.”

For more information call the Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or visit

Prepare an Alzheimer’s-specific ‘emergency kit’
• Sturdy footwear
with Velcro
• Incontinence
• Something familiar to
hug (pillow, toy)
• Extra medications,
• A copy of the person’s
medical history,
insurance, Social
Security card, power
of attorney
• Contact information
for physicians
• The Alzheimer’s
Association 24-hour
Helpline number
(800) 272-3900
• Favorite items
or foods
• Recent photograph of
the person

If you know a disastrous situation is about to occur
• Get yourself and the person with Alzheimer’s to a safe place.
• Alert others (family, friends and medical team) you are
relocating; give them contact information.
• Give the person’s medical history, medications and
physician information to someone other than the
primary caregiver.
• Purchase extra medications.

SG Chamber recognizes 2 local achievers with scholarships

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—High School senior Jessica White has always loved math, so it makes sense that she will major in actuarial science at the University of Illinois this fall. She also hopes to minor in French, which will probably not land her a job, but she finds learning another language interesting, she said.

Her time at school just got a bit easier, at least the funding of it, due to a scholarship granted to her by the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Hers was one of two scholarships presented on Friday at the Chamber’s annual Golf Outing.

Each year, the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry offers scholarships to students who live in Sugar Grove, based on their academic achievements and their service to the community.

White, a 2009 graduate of Rosary High School in Aurora, was awarded the $1,000 Scholarship for Graduating Female High School Senior. Andrew Wood, a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois, won the $500 Scholarship for Adult Continuing Education.

White, a Rosary St. Catherine of Sienna Scholar, National Merit Finalist and Illinois State Scholar, placed second in her graduating class.

“She only got one B in high school, and that was because the teacher made a mistake,” her father, James White, said with a laugh.

In addition to her academic successes, White has contributed many hours of service to her community, at Hesed House, through her church and for “Feed My Starving Children.”

She said that community service was an important part of her life during high school, and she wants to carry it with her into the next stage of her life. She said she is very appreciative of the chamber.

“It’s always nice to get recognition for all my hard work in academics and all the extra-curricular activities I participated in, in high school,” she said.

Her dad, a Sugar Grove attorney, said his daughter has been blessed with her gifts, but that she is successful because she has applied them with hard work and discipline.

“She goes above and beyond what other people would only think about,” he said. “How proud can you be of somebody?”

Wood majored in integrative honors biology and chemistry and received high distinction for his honor’s thesis. He volunteered on Saturdays at an extended living facility and weekdays at Dr. Howard Elementary School, and he instituted a weekly science assembly for the enrichment students at South Side Elementary School in Champaign.

He also helped with the sandbagging effort during the Mississippi flooding of 2008. He plans to attend Rush University Medical School in the fall.

No applications were received for the $1,000 Scholarship for Graduating Male High School Senior.