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Fire experts make case for greater fire protection

Live fire demonstration shows need for home fire sprinklers
CHICAGO—The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held a live demonstration of the need for home fire sprinklers as part of the 2009 NFPA Annual Conference Expo at McCormick Place recently. The side-by-side room burn highlighted the speed and effectiveness of sprinklers in controlling a residential fire and reinforced NFPA’s new campaign promoting sprinkler advocacy, Fire Sprinkler Initiative, Bringing Safety Home, which was launched earlier this year.

“Home fire sprinklers save lives and this demonstration shows how important they are to keep people safe at home,” Jim Shannon, president of NFPA said. “NFPA is a vocal advocate for home fire sprinklers because too many of the residential fire deaths across this country could have been prevented by this proven technology.”

Approximately 80 percent of all fire deaths occur in homes and nearly 3,000 people died in house fires in 2007—or nearly eight Americans every day. The chances of dying in a fire decrease by about 80 percent when home fire sprinklers are present. When a house is protected by home fire sprinklers, the fire is contained by the activation of just one sprinkler roughly 90 percent of the time. In homes where sprinklers are not present, the fire can burn for minutes, raging out of control, filling the home with toxic smoke and resulting in far greater losses. A recent report from NFPA, on www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/ossprinklers.pdf, shows sprinklers can reduce the average property loss by 71 percent per fire.

The live fire demonstration in Chicago, hosted by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, ROC Exhibitions and the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, included a side-by-side display with identically furnished rooms. One side of the display had home fire sprinklers installed; the other side of the display did not. One at a time, both rooms were set on fire. As the room without sprinkler protection was set on fire, thick black smoke quickly filled the enclosure. The fire burned out of control, to the point of flashover, until the Chicago Fire Department stepped in to extinguish the fire. The room with home fire sprinklers was then set on fire. As the heat built up in the display, the sprinklers activated. In stark contrast to the first room, the fire in the second room was quickly controlled by the overhead sprinklers. Home fire sprinklers are designed to activate when a certain temperature increase is reached and can effectively control smoke, heat and flames. The fire and smoke damage in the sprinklered room was significantly less than in the room without sprinklers. Currently, all model building codes call for sprinklers in new construction of one- and two-family homes. There are approximately 50 communities in the Chicago area that have such a requirement.

“The Chicago area is one of our national models for providing greater fire protection to its residents and the fire service by requiring sprinklers,” Shannon said. “Communities here are showing the rest of the country how to spare their residents from the devastating effects of fire.”

More information on home fire sprinklers is available at www.firesprinklerinitiative.org and www.homefiresprinkler.org.

About the Fire Sprinkler Initiative: Bringing Safety Home
The Fire Sprinkler Initiative, a project of the National Fire Protection Association, is a nationwide effort to encourage the use of home fire sprinklers and the adoption of fire sprinkler requirements for new construction.

Get to your July 4th destination safely

Know how to avoid drunk drivers
STATE—With millions of drivers hitting the road this Fourth of July holiday, playing it safe when behind the wheel takes on even greater importance.

Unfortunately, the Independence Day holiday period is one of the deadliest times for being on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that every 40 minutes and nearly 40 times a day, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol impaired traffic crash.

“Despite the best efforts of police departments and law enforcement agencies, people who shouldn’t be driving are still on the road,” said Linda Moynihan, Regional Sales Leader for the Midwest Region of Allstate Insurance. “Even when you’re not on the road, you can help save lives by being a responsible party host, preventing friends and acquaintances from driving drunk and reporting suspicious drivers.”

To protect families from drunk drivers over the July 4th holiday period, here are some life-saving tips from Allstate and the National Safety Council:
• Don’t ever drink and drive. If you know you will be drinking alcohol, use a designated driver or public transportation
• If you spot an impaired driver on the highway, maintain a safe following distance and don’t attempt to pass.
• Report a suspected drunk driver immediately to area law enforcement from your car phone or a pay phone. Give police as much information (i.e., license plate number, make, model and color of vehicle, direction vehicle is traveling, physical description of driver) as possible. Do not try to stop the vehicle.
• Make sure children are properly fastened in seatbelts or child safety seats in the back seat every time they ride in a car. Six out of ten children killed in crashes are not restrained. Children age 12 and younger should always ride in the back seat, especially in vehicles with air bags.
• Allow enough travel time for frequent breaks on longer trips. Drowsiness can reduce reaction time almost as much as drinking.

Whether you plan to hit the open road or stay close to home, celebrate America’s independence safely by knowing how to diffuse a potentially dangerous driving situation. Don’t remember the Fourth of July for all the wrong reasons.

Fourth of July driving facts

• In 2007, 34 percent of all drivers
involved in traffic related crashes
during the July 4th holiday period
had a blood alcohol concentra-
tion (BAC) of .08 or higher.

• Of the 200 traffic related fatalities
that occurred during the July 4th
holiday period of 2007, 44 percent
involved a driver or motorcyclist
with a BAC of .08 or higher.

The national organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) lists the following warning signs for spotting a drunk driver on the road

• Straddling lanes or driving
on the center line

• Drifting or moving in a straight line
at a slight angle to the roadway

• Driving with headlights off at night

• Erratic braking or stopping
without cause

• Driving below the speed limit

• Slow response to traffic signals
(sudden stop, delayed start)

• Nearly striking an object, curb, etc

• Weaving or zigzagging
across the road

• Driving on the wrong side of the
road or off the roadway

• Tailgating

Editorial: Hitting home—Illinois budget cuts would affect local families, agencies

Last week, this space was devoted to Gov. Pat Quinn’s “Doomsday Budget”—which will include cutting human-service funding between 50 and 100 percent if the state fails to increase taxes to cover its massive deficit.

These cuts in funding will eliminate or vastly reduce the services received by victims of domestic violence, children in need and individuals with developmental disabilities

We lambasted the governor last week, stating that to use the Illinois citizens most in need of aid as political pawns was a most despicable act.

But amid our jabs at Quinn, we did not address the situation locally.

Many e-mails have been sent to us from Carrie Capes of Maple Park, whose son, Max, was born with a genetic mitochondrial disorder and a hearing impairment, and requires very close care (see Martha Quetsch’s story). Capes has joined what can only be called a grass-roots effort to make sure these cuts are not made—contacting newspapers and politicians in an effort to garner support against Quinn’s budget cuts.

Currently, Capes is eligible to hire people to assit her son for up to $1,152 per month from a state social service program called the Children’s Home-based Support Services Waiver.

If Quinn’s funding cuts go through on July 1, Capes said her family stands to lose in-home assistance which she claims saved her family (see Capes’ Letter to the Editor).

The Hoyda family of Sugar Grove also stands to lose the $1,000 per month from the state waiver program.

“It’s extremely hard,” Cathy Hoyda told Elburn Herald reporter Martha Quetsch. “We have no family in the area; my husband travels a lot. My job is 24-7 when he is gone.”

Without the assistance, both families, which have multiple children, will be forced to take on the full brunt of care for their special-needs child by themselves—which could lead to lack of attention to other siblings, financial hardship, and strained relationships.

“Some days we are all just in tears when we don’t have relief,” said Hoyda.

Further, those hired by families like the Capes and Hoydas will likely find themselves with smaller paychecks to support their own families.

So essentially, instead of working for its consituents, the budget and the Illinois government would be working against them.

When you add in all the corruption, pork expenditures, patronage jobs and waste that could be cut instead of the social services proposed, it is enough to make your blood boil.

“(It’s) such a vunerable population that cannot survive without help,” said Hoyda.

This doesn’t even scratch the surface of local agencies that will be affected by the budget cuts.

The “Doomsday” cuts are supposedly going into effect July 1, so there is still time for the public to stand up and refuse the false choice that unless its citizens pay 50 percent more in income taxes, the failures of the state government should be paid for on the backs of our citizens most in need and most at risk.

Contact our local representatives and demand they be part of the solution. Our state Senator is Chris Lauzen (25th District) and can be reached by phone at (630) 264-2334 or e-mail at admin@lauzen.com. Our state Representative is Kay Hatcher (50th District), and she can be reached by phone at (630) 553-3223 or e-mail at kay@kayhatcher.us.

New Stewart principal starts July 1

Former principal leaves for new position
by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Brian Graber takes over as principal for the Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School for the 2009-10 school year beginning Wednesday, July 1. Former principal Rebecca Dahn left the district to become principal of Fremont Middle School in Mundelein, Ill.

Dahn had been with the Kaneland District for six years, the last five as principal at John Stewart. During her tenure as principal, she said her accomplishments included increasing student achievement at the school by 10 percent and hiring a number of good staff members.

According to Associate Superintendent for Kaneland School District Jeff Schuler, Graber emerged as the top candidate after an extensive interviewing process. Graber accepted the offer last Friday.

“He brings a great wealth of experience to us,” Schuler said.

Graber was an assistant principal in the Elmhurst School District prior to coming to Kaneland, and was an elementary education teacher in Western Springs, Ill., before that.

D-302 to hire interim HS principal

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—School District officials will hire an interim high school principal for the 2009-2010 school-year.

According to Associate District Superintendent Jeff Schuler, this will give the district the additional time it needs to find an appropriate long-term candidate.

Former high school principal Tony Valente left the district two weeks ago to accept a position at Hall High School in Spring Valley, Ill. His contract with the Hall Board of Education begins July 1.

Schuler said that a search for a high school principal is at least a month-long process to do it right. In addition, most school contracts begin on July 1 and go through June 30, so attractive candidates would already have signed their contracts for the upcoming school year.

Interim candidates are typically retired administrators, and Kaneland will look for those with strong experience as a high school principal. Schuler said he had a short list of candidates to interview.

Fearing for the future

Families with special-needs children worried about possible state budget cuts
by Martha Quetsch
REGIONAL—Local families with developmentally disabled children will be among those whose lives will be drastically affected if the state slashes social services funding to reduce its budget deficit.

Maple Park resident Carrie Capes’ family is one of them.

Capes’ 9-year-old son, Max, was born with a genetic disorder making him hearing and cognitively impaired, and limiting his gross and fine motor skills.

“He needs to be watched very closely, all the time,” Capes said.

For the past two years, he has received special assistance from outside caregivers and therapists who visit regularly. Because of that help, the family has been able to keep their son at home instead of in an institution.

The Capes family currently is eligible to hire people to assist them for up to $1,152 per month, through a state social service program called the Children’s Home-Based Support Services Waiver.

That is one of the social services programs that could be suspended if Illinois lawmakers do not approve an income tax increase before the end of the month.

“The threat is that home support will be eliminated,” Capes said.

Cathy Hoyda, of Sugar Grove, also employs part-time caregivers for her special-needs son, Matthew, 15, through the waiver program. Without the program, the family will have to care for Matthew on its own, because it cannot afford to hire people to help without state aid.

“We would have to go back to the way we were before. It would just be me taking care of him all the time, me tired, me crabby,” said Hoyda.

Matthew has autism and a rare seizure disorder and must be watched around the clock. Matthew often becomes frustrated and aggressive because he cannot communicate his feelings verbally, Hoyda said.

Currently, Hoyda gets a break from caregiving from two college students with skills in special education that also make Matthew’s life easier.

“He does very well with them,” Hoyda said. “They know how to handle him and communicate with him.”

This type of care, which the family has been able to afford with a stipend of up to $1,000 per month from the state waiver program, has been invaluable, Hoyda said.

Losing financial assistance that allows for that special care will affect not only the parents of these families, but their non-special-needs children, too.

Capes is worried that without in-home help for her son, she will not be able to spend any quality time with her 11-year-old son, Reilly.

“Everything has to revolve around your special-needs child,” Capes said.

Hoyda has similar concerns about her daughter, Julie, 12.

“She already does not get enough attention,” Hoyda said.

Social-services funding threat

Without extra revenue from an income-tax increase, state funding to social services including child and adult care, developmental disability funding and drug- and alcohol-treatment program funding could be cut by 50 percent, causing some to be eliminated, according to Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quinn has proposed raising the state’s 3-percent flat-rate income tax to 4.5 percent for two years to address the state’s $9.2 billion projected budget deficit for the fiscal year starting June 30.

Facing possible cuts
• Mutual Ground, a battered women’s shelter in Aurora, Batavia, and Geneva, which provides shelter, advocacy, a hotline, sexual assault counseling and treatment. A loss of state funding would force Mutual Ground to close its shelter and its 24-hour emergency hotline.

• Kane County Child Advocacy Center, which investigates and prosecutes cases of sexual abuse and serious physical abuse against children

• Senior Services Associates, Inc., which aids in the investigation and prosecution of criminals who target senior citizens

• Gateway Foundation of Aurora, which provides counseling services for children and adolescents, in- and out-patient substance abuse counseling for adults and mental health counseling

• Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC), a treatment-based rehabilitation program and sentencing alternative to prison for substance-abusers with a limited criminal history

• Treatment Alternative Court (TAC), a mental-heath treatment program and sentencing alternative to prison

• Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, Kids Hope United, Aunt Martha’s, Evangelical Social Services

• Local police departments and their teen outreach programs, community service centers, veteran services and mental health services

• Nine local health departments of the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium (NIPHC) provide public health and human services programs such as Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Family Case Management, Domestic Violence and Teen Pregnancy Prevention service to more than eight million people.

• Agencies such as World Relief—Aurora, Gateway Foundation, Hope for Tomorrow, Aunt Martha’s Youth Services, Prairie State Legal Services and the Association for Individual Development are all reporting that the pending cuts will significantly reduce services to the community.

• Hesed House, an agency serving homeless families and individuals, already has people sleeping in chairs every single night because it is out of beds.

• Association for Individual Development (AID) in Aurora serving people with developmental disabilities and mental health issues will have to cut offerings such as respite care, supported living services, psychiatric services, alcohol and substance abuse programs and early intervention to more 1,100 clients

PHOTO: Max Capes Courtesy Photo

District adds paraprofessionals’ dependents to health care coverage

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, the Kaneland School District will pay 50 percent of the cost of insurance premiums for dependents of full-time educational support staff (paraprofessionals). Currently, the district pays for 95 percent of the paraprofessionals’ premiums, but does not contribute to the premium for their spouses or children.

The School Board approved the change on Monday night, with a 4-1 vote. Ken Carter, whose wife works for the district, abstained, and Diane Piazza voted against the measure. Robert Myers was absent.

Piazza said she did not have a problem with the concept of contributing to the premiums for the dependents of paraprofessionals. The school district currently pays 50 percent of the premium for the teachers’ dependents. However, she said no one knows how much this additional coverage will cost the district, and the budget already has a $1 million deficit despite the cuts the district has made.

“I’m concerned with adding this expense at this time,” she said.

After the meeting, Piazza explained that her concerns are related to the salary increases the board approved earlier this year for the teachers. After the raises were enacted, the district then laid off a number of teachers to reduce the budget deficit. She said she did not want to see that happen with the paraprofessionals.

Several paraprofessionals attended the board meeting to hear the outcome of the vote. They had come forward as a group to ask for the additional benefit. They said they thought it was only fair that they receive the same benefits as the teachers. The teachers’ union does not represent them.

Medical and dental coverage for district employees costs $435 for single coverage and $1,087 for family coverage through Blue Cross and Blue Shield. On a monthly basis, the district picks up $412 of the single coverage premium, and the employee pays $20. The district pays $900 for family coverage, with the employee paying $180.
Board President Lisa Wiet said the paraprofessionals are a class of employees that has not received this additional benefit in the past, something that is out of line with neighboring school districts.
“It’s hard to predict how many will take advantage of the new benefit,” she said.

Noise level in village expected to drop in July

Directional horns at crossings will reduce train-whistle blares
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Wayside horn installation is expected to begin at Elburn’s two downtown freight train crossings Monday, June 29, village officials said.

The project is the result of village officials’ multi-year quest for a way to rid the village of train whistles.

Village trustees agreed in April 2008 to pursue the wayside horn project and later received Federal Railroad Administration approval of the safety measure allowing the village to be a whistle-free zone.

The wayside horns will direct their sound only toward the immediate area of pedestrian and vehicular traffic near the crossings. Trains still will blow their whistles if the wayside horn lights are not functioning, or if the locomotive engineer sees a safety hazard.

The village agreed in April to pay the company Railroad Controls Limited $124,125 for the horns and installation at the First Street and Main Street crossings, and then obtained Illinois Commerce Commission approval for the project with the crossings’ owner, Union Pacific railroad.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said she did not know whether vehicular traffic would be affected by the horn installation project.

Among the many safety measures village officials studied as ways to comply with federal regulations allowing for a whistle-free zone, the wayside horns was the least expensive, village officials said.

Another measure they considered was installing a center barrier of pylons at the First Street crossing, but they found the potential cost of $400,000 to be prohibitive.

Village-hired engineer will monitor horn project
The village’s Public Works Committee on Monday recommended that the village pay Hanson Engineering $7,995 to manage and monitor the wayside horn construction and installation project performed by the company Railroad Controls Limited.

The committee also reviewed the scope of the company’s role in the 10-day project and agreed that if construction takes longer than 10 days, the village should pay Hanson an additional $550 per additional day for construction monitoring.

Village officials said Hanson will provide daily construction management of work performed by RCL and its subcontractors to make sure it conforms to plans and specifications. Hanson also will monitor and witness the testing and start-up procedures with the Union Pacific (UP) railroad.

The contract with Hanson will require Village Board approval.

Psychic fair faces opposition in Elburn

Others say ‘A Day With Your Angels’ OK
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Some village residents, including a minister, are disturbed about an event that will bring psychics and mediums to the Elburn & Countryside Community Center Saturday, saying its focus is dangerous.

However, Denise Vanvliet, who is organizing the event, said “A Day With Your Angels” will be entirely positive.

“No devil worship, nothing like that,” said Vanvliet, massage therapist and owner of Intuition Institute, a community center business tenant.

“A Day With Your Angels” will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Community Center, 525 N. Main St. Vendors and exhibitors will include people offering aura readings, palm readings and Reiki mini-sessions to enhance a person’s energy flow, Vanvliet said.

Gary Augustine, pastor of the Evangelical Fellowship Church in Elburn, does not want children who might be at the community center to be exposed to “the dark side of spiritism and the demonic.” He and other church representatives have gathered together for community-wide prayer meetings since hearing about the event, and they will hold one on Friday at 8 p.m. in the Community Center gymnasium to pray for protection against the dangers they believe it will present.

On Saturday, a group of parents will be at the event representing Parents Advocating 4 Kids (PAK) to suggest with signs and literature that the community center where children congregate might not be the best place for a psychic fair, just as you might not want a shark exhibit in a water slide pool for kids, Augustine said.

The children who will be at the Community Center that day include those attending martial arts and dance classes, which are held in other areas of the building, Community Center Board member Jack Hansen said.

Hansen said he does not see anything wrong with allowing the event to take place at the Community Center, since nothing the vendors and exhibitors plan to do is illegal. The Community Center will receive a rental fee for ”A Day With Your Angels” and for the prayer meeting on Friday.

“We welcome both of these kind of events. They bring people to the community center,” Hansen said.

“Day With Your Angels” also will feature clothing and handbag vendors, and Paisano’s pizza.

Therapy pool a wish come true for Kasey

by Susan O’Neill
BIG ROCK—The majority of wishes Make-A-Wish grants are for travel, with half of these to Disney World. But when the foundation contacted the McCannon family, they decided a therapy pool would do their granddaughter the most good, and it could help others like her in the future.

Kasey Morgan McCannon was born with was originally thought to be developmental disabilities. Her grandparents, Ted and Susan McCannon, have raised her since she was a baby at their home in rural Big Rock.

Last year, however, Kasey was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder causing mental and physical deterioration and behavioral problems. She became nonverbal and screamed for days at a time, a symptom not uncommon with the disorder. She lost her ability to sleep, and at one point, Kasey was awake for eight days straight.

She stopped eating and the doctors surgically implanted a feeding tube to keep her alive. She was at Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago for 37 days, and by that time, the McCannons were unable to care for her needs.

Kasey was 15 years old at the time. She moved into Alden Village in Bloomingdale, Ill., in June, an intermediate-care facility for developmentally disabled adolescents. She would come home on weekends to spend time with her family.

Although she did not seem to be improving, in September her family decided to bring her home. Eventually, her grandmother was able to get her to eat, and she started back at school. The thing that really seemed to make her happy was the therapy pool at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora.

Kasey started swimming when she was 18 months old. Mary Schutte, a swimming instructor with the Fox Valley Special Recreation program, had worked with her for nearly seven years. Three years ago, however, she simply stopped going into the pool.

Last fall, the family took her back to the Vaughan Center pool. When she entered the water, she began to smile and play. She has begun walking again and she is talking.

“It’s just amazing how children react to these things,” Ted said. “It’s made a big difference.”

So when the Make-A-Wish people called the McCannons to see what Kasey might want, the decision was easy.

Through Farm Friends—a nonprofit organization the McCannons created to raise money for housing for developmentally disabled adults—the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Endless Pools, a pool company in Pennsylvania, the McCannons received an oversized pool complete with hydrotherapy jets.

Set up in May, the pool will eventually become just part of the McCannons’ dream of providing housing for developmentally disabled adults on their property. In the meantime, they plan to allow other children with disabilities to use the pool for their therapy.

There is no cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome and the average life expectancy for children with the disorder is between 14 and 20 years. But for now, Kasey is prospering and progressing, something that is not supposed to happen with Sanfilippo Syndrome.

“It (the pool) has made one little girl very happy,” Ted said.

For more information about
Sanfilippo Syndrome, visit the website at www.mpssociety.org

For more information about Farm Friends, visit the website at
www.farmfriendsnfp.org

Photo: Fox Valley Special Recreation program swimming instructor Mary Schutte works with Kasey Morgan McCannon in Kasey’s therapy pool at her grandfather Ted McCannon’s home. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Break-in is attempted at purple store

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The peaceful environment of Kaneville was shattered on Friday morning, along with the front window at the purple store. Sometime about 3 a.m., someone took the large antique milk jug on the side of the store and broke the large pane.

“Glass was everywhere,” Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill said. “I had to throw all the ice cream away.”

Hill said she couldn’t tell whether the person was able to enter the store. She said it didn’t look like they took anything.

She said whoever it was cut the screen in the back of the store, in an attempt to enter there, but was prevented by bars across the door.

She ran down to the store as soon as she heard what had happened.

The Kane County Sheriffs were there within 10 minutes, Hill said.

“Three squads responded,” she said. “I was impressed.”

The officers took fingerprints off of the milk jug and are going to investigate.

“They said it looked like someone was really mad,” she said.

Hill said she doesn’t understand how someone could do what they did.

“I’m always so nice to people,” she said. “I give the kids free Slushies when I empty the machine and free pizza. I feel personally violated.”

She said the upstairs tenants heard the noise, but were too afraid to do anything. The neighbor across the street told the police she saw two figures in hoodies running down Main Street.

She said the neighborhood customers who frequent the store are upset, as well. The community has come to feel a certain ownership of the store, which has evolved into a gathering place in the middle of town.

She said one of the residents wanted to put a smiley face on the boarded-up window, with the word “Why” written on it.

Katie Holloman, who works at the store, said the incident has made her somewhat nervous. She said Hill has been sending someone to the store to be with her when she is ready to close up for the night.

Hill said she was looking into a security system and possibly a camera.

“It isn’t Mayberry anymore,” she said.

Photo: A window shattered during an attempted break-in at Hill’s Country Store in Kaneville is boarded up and awaiting replacement. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Couple gets taste of ‘reel’ life

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove residents Amy and Andrew Manion live a fairly normal life in their Prestbury neighborhood. They hold responsible jobs at Aurora University, where Andrew serves as the chief academic officer and Amy is a campus librarian.

For a few weeks this spring, however, the pair traveled back in time to the 1930s with Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and 500 other extras to shoot “Public Enemies,” a movie about the gangster John Dillinger. The movie will be in theaters on Wednesday, July 1.

Andrew and Amy enjoy swing dancing as a hobby, and saw the call for extras on a website. Although it turned out the need was for ballroom dancers, both of them were still chosen to play in the scene.

On the second day of shooting, Amy was seated at a table next to Johnny Depp’s. Although the extras were cautioned not to bother the principal actors, Amy said Depp was very gracious to her and the others.

Andrew was chosen to play in six different scenes, and had more of a chance for interaction with the popular actor.

“He was very laid back and made a point of talking to the people on the set,” Andrew said.

Each scene took days to film. The extras arrived at about 3 p.m. for make-up and hairdos, and filming began about 9 or 9:30 p.m. They would often be there for 14 or 15 hours at a time, wrapping up well after sunrise.

“We were really exhausted,” Amy said.

She said she could not believe the level of attention the producers gave to each detail. It took the hairdresser an hour to fix her hair in finger waves. The dress she wore was vintage 1930s and was tailored to fit her perfectly. The shoes were all extremely narrow, to match the style of the day.

She said by the time it was over, she was glad she did not have to dance.
At the end of the first day, someone on the set would take a picture of each table, so they could replicate it perfectly for the next day’s shooting, down to the food on each plate and how full each drink was.

Although both Amy and Andrew said it was quite an experience, neither one is planning a career change.

“I know where my talents lie,” Andrew said with a laugh.

‘U Learning

Kaneland Middle School student Allison Dunlop uses acrylics to paint a landscape she drew earlier in the Kid’s College “Paint like a Famous Artist” class at Waubonsee Community College. These and other classes geared toward young people who have completed grades four through seven are offered throughout the summer at Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove campus. Photo by Susan O’Neill

System will ‘blast’ households about important MP events

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park officials want to keep residents aware of what is happening in the village, from special events to disasters. To do that, they plan to connect households to an automated notification system this summer.

Through the automated notification system, the village will be able to send announcements to every household, by their land phones, cell phones, e-mail and phone text.

“We can do unlimited ‘blasts,’ or contacts,” Trustee Terry Borg said.

However, Borg said the village will be selective about what announcements to send via the notification system, so that households are not inundated with messages.

The service will be provided by Connect CTY, the company that Kaneland School District uses for its automated notification system.

Residents will be able to provide their contact information to the Connect CTY portal linked from the village website, www.villageofmaplepark.com.

Borg looked into acquiring the service for the village after some residents were disappointed that they were not informed about the risk of residential flooding during heavy rainstorms last September.

“The village needs to be in a better communicative posture with its residents,” Borg said.

The village will pay $1.91 per household for the service annually, at a total cost of less than $1,000.

A rose by any other name …

Robin Larson of Maple Park hosted a ‘Passion for Petal Gardens: Look and Discover Workshop’ on Saturday at her home on County Line Road. Larson talked about hardy flowers, roses, arbors, roots, creating new beds and a variety of other topics useful in starting and maintaining gardens in northern Illinois. The next workshop ‘Hardy Flowers and Roses in Northern Illinois’ is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29. Larson can be reached at (815) 762-7784. Photo by Leslie Flint

Saving lives on the rails

Community officials from area villages, including Maple Park village president Kathy Curtis and Planning Commissioner Dale Weir, boarded a special train Tuesday in Elburn, as part of Operation Lifesaver. The goal of the trip, which went all the way to Sterling, Ill., was to educate those onboard about crossing safety by giving a first-hand look at what crew members experience while traveling down the rails.
Photo by Ben Draper

2,391
The number of collisions in the
United States in 2008.

147
Illinois ranks No. two in the United States
in highway-rail grade crossing
collisions in 2008 with 147.
Only Texas, with 228, ranks higher.

26
Of those 147 collisions, 26 resulted
in fatalities—the highest in the country.

60
Of the 147 collisions, 60 resulted in injuries,
ranking Illinois fourth in the country.

Source: Operation Lifesaver website

Public works director wants more staff, other new expenditures

Village Board will consider requests during budget process
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board should allocate money for new public works staff, storm sewer repairs, a dump truck and a salt dome, among other expenditures when it establishes its 2009-10 budget, said Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven.

Nevenhoven presented the Public Works Committee on Monday with a list of new items he recommended the board include in the next budget.

“Everything on this list is a need, not a desire or a wish,” Nevenhoven said.
Among those needs are $100,000 for storm sewer repairs on Read, Reader, Pierce and North streets; $40,000 for a one-ton dump truck; and a dome to cover the village’s road-salt stores, Nevenhoven said.

The new 4-by-4 dump truck equipped with a salt spreader would replace two older, smaller vehicles. The salt dome would allow the village to store more salt so it would be available if market shortages occurred; in addition, the stored salt would be protected from the effects of the weather: Currently, the salt store is covered with tarps secured with tires and is not fully protected.

“It turns into a solid rock and takes a lot of effort to make it usable each year,” Nevenhoven said.

Nevenhoven also wants the village to spend $83,692 for two new laborers. The public works department has one foreman and five laborers for landscaping and for keeping up village streets, sidewalks, and sewers, which are in need of significant maintenance.

“They are working their tails off. They are doing the job very well, but they need help,” Nevenhoven said.

The Village Board will approve a new budget by the end of July. Meantime, village committees are reviewing lists of proposed new expenditures from department heads.

Another new expenditure on the public works proposed budget is $10,000 to paint and restore the Prairie Park pavilion, which trustee Gordon Dierschow said he will support.

“It’s good that we allocate money for that,” Dierschow said.

He said the 10-year old structure needs improvement.

Township workers have one less job

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—Township Supervisor Leon Gramley and Township trustee Dan Ebert are currently holding only one township position as of June 10.

In addition to their elected township board positions, Gramley had been chosen as the Kaneville Township Cemetery treasurer and Ebert as a Kaneville Township Fire District Board member by a public vote at the township’s recent annual town meeting.

However, a letter sent to the township from the State’s Attorney’s office in April stated that it had come to their attention that the men held both positions, something not allowed under state statute. Gramley said neither he nor Ebert realized there was anything wrong with holding both positions.

Since the Township Supervisor position pays $8,000 a year and the cemetery position is strictly voluntary, Gramley said choosing which one to keep was a no-brainer. Township trustees are paid about $100 a month and the Fire District positions are volunteer positions.

“Now that it’s come to our attention, it will be done correctly,” Township clerk Kim Wendling said.

The proper way to fill the two positions is through a vote by the Township Board. At its June 10 meeting, the board appointed Paul Dunaway for the Fire trustee spot. Gramley said he will continue his cemetery responsibilities until the board confirms a candidate.

School Board approves plans for storage building

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday approved plans for a 6,200 square-foot storage facility at the Harter Road Middle School site. The cost for the facility, which will include restrooms and a concession area for outdoor athletic events, in addition to space to house maintenance and athletic equipment, is approximately $1.2 million.

The vote was 5-1, with Board President Lisa Wiet voting no. Wiet’s concerns were, in part, based on the fact that the board had not been involved in the design process, and did not have a chance to evaluate the alternatives.

“We went from ‘Where am I going to store my stuff,’ to a $1.2 million building,” she said.

Other board members, however, were pleased with the plan. Deborah Grant said that other school districts are building similar facilities to service the community.

Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick said the money to pay for the building is in the budget, part of excess funds not used from the referendum money due to some cost savings.

Although Wiet said that the building was not part of the original referendum package, and therefore an oversight, Grant said she thought it should be assumed that a new school would need a place to store equipment and other things.

The board approved putting the project, plus some additional parking space, out to bid.

Charges dismissed in fatal Rt. 47 crash

ELBURN—The Kane County State’s Attorney last week petitioned the court to dismiss a minor traffic charge against a motorist involved in a May fatal crash on Route 47. The motion, which was granted by Associate Judge Ronald G. Matekaitis, thereby dismissing the charge, was sought while authorities continue to review evidence.

The crash occurred at about 8:20 a.m. May 23, 2009, at the intersection of Route 47 and Smith Road in Blackberry Township south of Elburn. A vehicle in the southbound lane on Route 47 had stopped to turn left onto Smith Road, waiting for several northbound motorcycles to pass. A second southbound vehicle had stopped behind it. A third southbound vehicle, a 1999 Toyota Solara, approached and struck the second vehicle in the rear, pushing it into the path of the oncoming motorcycles. A 2000 Harley-Davidson Softtail was struck, and the driver, Wade Thomas, 44, of St. Charles, and the passenger, his wife, Denise Thomas, 45, also of St. Charles, were killed.

The driver of the Solara was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The charge has been dropped while authorities await the results of toxicology tests, which could take several months to be returned, and seek additional evidence. The decision to petition to dismiss avoids the potential for double jeopardy in the future.

The case remains under investigation. Authorities have the discretion to reinstate the original charge and authorize additional charges pending the results of the tests and review of evidence.

Letter: Thanks for making blood drive a success

Thank you Elburn community for supporting our recent blood drive. Forty five people came out to donate and we collected 36 pints of blood. We would like to give a special thanks to the following American Legion Auxiliary members who volunteer faithfully to make sure the drives go off without and glitches: Carrie Petrie, Cecelia Lund, Kay Swift, Ann Lambert and Helen Johnson. Of course, a gracious thank you to Heartland Blood Centers for making this service available for us. Lastly, we want to thank Paisano’s Pizza for providing pizza for the donors and staff at the drive.

Out next drive will be Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009 at the Elburn Legion hall. Please mark your calendars. We are always looking for new donors. From registration to refreshments, it only takes about an hour to give a pint of life-saving blood. Hope to see you there.

Kay Swift
President
Elburn American Legion Auxiliary

Letter: Quinn is out of line with cuts

Why is Gov. Quinn balancing the state budget on the backs of the homeless, mentally ill and disabled?

Illinois is on the edge of crisis. Our legislature must pass a balanced budget, putting people before politics. The Senate passed a tax increase but the House failed to do so. And now, DHS (Department of Human Services) has told human service providers that they have only been funded at 47.3 percent of their total annual budget. On a local level the social service system support network will be decimated. People in our local community will lose their housing, employment, employment support, day support, etc. This will effect young and old, families of and those with disabilities, people in substance abuse programs and children in foster care. This is a small sample as the list goes on and on.

Cutting these programs will not save the state money. People will be put out on the street and will fill the courts, jails and emergency rooms. The state prisons and institutions will become flooded with people. Illinois will be blasted back into the dark ages.

It is immoral to do this, and I request that our legislators cut the fat and corruption in our state to achieve a balanced budget in Illinois. Please tell the leaders to stop putting politics before people. We elected them to represent us and make hard decisions. Now is the time to act.

Tens of thousands of people who work in the social services industry will be left unemployed. In the middle of a recession to lay off this many people is irresponsible and will cost the state even more in lost tax revenue and more welfare support.

Why do I care so much about this issue? First, I am one of the founders of Parents As Advocates, an Elburn-based support group for special needs families. More importantly, I am raising two wonderful sons. The youngest is 9 years old and was born with a genetic mitochondrial disorder and hearing impairment. This boy can light up a room and melt anyone’s heart. Parenting and loving him has changed me for the better and while I would not change a thing about him I do strive each day to make his life easier and more independent. His daily care, while rewarding, is stressful and exhausting on a good day. Although in the past we tried our very best to meet his needs, we knew we were failing him and each other. Our home life was extremely stressful and Max’s sibling often was denied the attention he needed. After a two-year application and appeal process, our family was finally accepted into the state’s Home Based Support Program in 2007. We receive funding to employ skilled workers to assist us in our home. They help my son with physical therapy, speech therapy, homework, self care skills, community integration, social skills, and toilet training. They absolutely saved our family and today I can honestly say we are able to meet the needs of our sons, enjoy one another, and I finally sleep well at night.

Thanks to Gov. Quinn and our corrupt state government, our program will be cut on July 1, and our family and thousands like us will be at risk once again. Additionally, our home support funding is matched by the federal government. So, by cutting this program, Illinois will lose the exact amount in federal dollars. This makes no sense to me to cut a worthy program that in the end is free to Illinois taxpayers.

Please help by visiting http://capwiz.com/anixter/home to assist you in identifying your legislators and composing a letter to them explaining why these cuts to human services are unjust. It will take less than 10 minutes of your time.

Carrie Capes
Maple Park
Parents As Advocates

Letter: Thanks from the Homuths

Dear Elburnites,
Arvid and I would like to thank the people of Elburn for their well-wishes at our farewell gathering at the Elburn Herald office, as well as the gifts.

We want you to know that Elburn will always be our “home.”

All of you have been wonderful and your gift of yourselves in assisting us when it came to transportation during winter-time, and helping getting groceries, etc.—we wanted to let you know we appreciate your concerns.

We will have happy memories of Elburn!

Many thanks and wishing everyone the best.

Arvid and Mary Homuth
St. Charles, Ill.

Letter: More funding needed for ALS research

How much is a human life worth? According to the United States government, mine is not valued very highly.

In 2003, I began experiencing symptoms later diagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that weakens and destroys motor neurons, causing paralysis and death. There is no cure or effective treatment. In the 150 years we have known about ALS, science has unveiled few answers as to its cause or progression.

Approximately 35,000 people in the U.S. live with ALS at any given time, including an alarming number of recent veterans. As ALS is relatively rare, I was disappointed, but not surprised to find pharmaceutical companies uninterested in funding research, but was shocked how government supports ALS research compared to other conditions.

I found the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends billions of dollars for research—the vast majority targeting preventable, treatable, and non-life threatening diseases. The sample below provides perspective of how much money the NIH is willing to spend to prevent each death in the following diseases (2008): HIV/AIDS: $198,263; substance abuse: $162,353; sexually transmitted diseases: $40,833; ALS: $7,167.

I shared my statistical analysis with Rep. Bill Foster. He was impressed by the manner in which these statistics highlight inequities in NIH grant allocations and believes hard statistics help legislators make good decisions about how and where to direct federal funding.

Don’t misunderstand me. The targets of NIH research dollars are deserving. However, I believe government’s main role in health research should focus on basic research and on areas deemed unprofitable by private industry.

July 4 marks the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech and many ALS awareness activities are planned to commemorate this occasion. Please help raise awareness of ALS by sharing this information with their elected federal officials and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Steven Heronemus
Batavia, Ill.

Letter: Connecting with dead not harmless

A local business called the Inner Harmony Massage Therapy & Bodywork is putting on a seminar event they’re calling “Spend A Day with Your Angels.” The advertisement said the seminar will teach people how to “connect to their own intuition” and “experience this incredible alignment through energy readings, connecting with the spirits of loved ones and by participating in classes focused on developing your psychic skills, Mediumship (sic), meditation, intuition training, and using other tools such as a pendulum.”

In an era of religious tolerance, it could be said that such activity is at worst silly but essentially harmless. And it might help someone who has nothing else.

But anything with power (think: chain saw) is never harmless, especially where children are involved. Connecting with spirits of the dead is often nothing more than connecting with the demonic. Even the medical community is beginning to acknowledge effects of dark spiritual powers.

To site one example, Gene Abel, M.D. and David Barlow, Ph.D. and Edward Blanchard’s medical article entitled, “Gender Identity Change in a Transsexual” published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, no. 5 (1977) tell about a patient who suffered from a psychological disorder that normally resists all treatment. After testing the patient thoroughly, they decided to encourage him to have the sex change operation he desired. Just before the operation, though, a friend of the patient asked him to see another doctor who suggested that his real problem might be possession by “evil spirits.” Abel and Barlow’s article go on to say that the man submitted to a deliverance session in which 22 evil spirits “purportedly left him.” After the session, the patient felt so affirmed in his masculine identity, he discarded his female clothing and canceled the operation. The doctors then followed the patient for another two-and-a-half years and were amazed to see a clear reversal of gender identity, something they had never seen before or heard about in psychological literature.

Their conclusion: “What cannot be denied however, is that a patient who was very clearly a transsexual by the most conservative criteria assumed a long-lasting masculine gender identity in a remarkably short period of time following an apparent exorcism.”

Whether we use the term, “ask an angel,” a harmless sounding phrase or use the more insider term, “seek your spirit guide,” to deal with spiritual forces apart from considering evil and good can have undesirable consequences. I believe in a larger world outside the five senses in which spiritual forces interact with creation. The people at Inner Harmony Massage also believe this but think that any spiritual energy is good. Doctors and psychiatrists are warming to prayer for healing but are also discovering that there’s an evil side as well.

Putting psychic phenomena at the Elburn Community Center, where children regularly congregate, is something townspeople might want to consider carefully. Even if some good can be shown, it only takes a small amount of arsenic in the coffee to kill. This stuff isn’t harmless.

Gary Augustine
Pastor, Evangelical Fellowship
Elburn

Dempsey honored at Marmion benefit

ELBURN—The 47th-annual Salute to Youth Dinner, Marmion Academy’s annual black-tie benefit, recently brought together friends of Marmion to honor the students of the Class of 2009.

This year’s benefit, April 25 at Drury Lane in Oak Brook, Ill., raised more than $180,000, which will benefit the educational programs of the Academy’s college-preparatory curriculum.

Besides honoring the Class of 2009, the evening was dedicated to Gerard Dempsey of Elburn, Dr. Edward Garrity of Aurora and Jerry Hammes of South Bend, Ind., recipients of Abbey Affiliate Membership.

Affiliate Membership is a special sharing in the mission, good works and prayers of the monks of Marmion. First conferred in 1980, just 22 men have been so honored with this unique recognition.

For more information on this event, as well as next year’s Salute to Youth Dinner, call (630) 897-6936, ext. 244.

KHS announces senior award winners

Valedictorian
Christopher Ott
Salutatorian
Kalaine Patterson
KHS Memorial Scholarship
Kathryn Bergman, Jordan Herra and
Nicole Prusinski.
Sylvia Flint/KEA Grant
Samantha Hauser
Rebekah Comton Otto Award
Lauren Whittaker
Chuck Conley Scholarship
Joanna Ziclinski
Evar Erickson Memorial Scholarship
Jessica Arnold
Margaret Gliddon Memorial
Jennifer Hola
William Callaghan Memorial
Jordan Herra and Chassidy Mangers
Robert Domena Memorial
Kimberly Anderson and Benjamin Bradford
Jennifer Flaherty Memorial
Albert J. Wagner
Andy Rogers Memorial
Alyssa Galvin
Mary Beth Striedl Memorial Scholarship
Kathleen Kuhar
WCC Lucille Gustafson
Sarah Harant and Brianna Hurst
Dr. John & Elaine Johansen Scholarship
Emily “Bessie” Tockstein
Elburn Scholarship
Benjamin Bradford, Kelsey Fletcher, Adrian
Hernandez, Alexa Hill, Jacqueline Ream
and Lauren Whittaker
Louise Cooper Community Service Award
Alexa Hill
Arnold & Mildred Erickson
Samantha Dixon, Alexa Hill, Krista Johnson
and Christopher Ott
Donald J Fee DDS. Scholarship
Christopher Ott
PJ Fleck Scholarship
Chassidy Mangers and Christopher Ott
Elburn Chamber of Commerce
Chassidy Mangers and Jacqueline Ream
Maple Park Lions Club
Alyssa Galvin
Donald L. Watson
Kathleen Kuhar
Elburn Lions Club
Alexa Hill, Chassidy Mangers and
Christopher Ott
Community Foundation of the Fox Valley
Kathryn Bergman, Samantha Eichelberger
and Christopher Ott
Women of Distinction YWCA
Chassidy Mangers
Kane County Farm Bureau Foundation
Sally Gorenz
Elburn American Legion
Chassidy Mangers
Fox Valley Region, Model A Restorers Club
Jesus Calzontzin
Resource Bank
Alexa Hill
Official Army National Scholar/Athlete
Chassidy Mangers and Curtis Lubic
Science Award
Christopher Ott
Physical Education Award
Chassidy Mangers
Art Award
Leina Kameyama
Business Leader Award
Kyle T. Slamans
Computer Science Award
Krista Johnson
Family Consumer Science Award
Katie Weiss
Heart and Soul Award
Nicole Pursinski, Emily “Bessie” Tockstein
and Bryan Renaud
Theatre Award
Nicole Prusinski, Emily “Bessie” Tockstein
and Bryan Renaud
English Award
Kathleen Kuhar
Foreign Language Student Award
Sarah R. Otterness
Newspaper and Journalism Award
Ben K. Brown, Lindsay Douglas, Kathleen
Kuhar, Paul Meuer and Joe Ruppel
Fox Valley Student of the Year
Emily Curran
National Honor Society
Emma Anderson, Jessica Arnold, Kathryn Bergman, Emily Curran, Alyssa Galvin, Sally Gorenz, Jordan Herra, Brianna Hurst, Emily Kenkel, Meghan Krajewski, Anna Limbrick, Lauren Whittaker, Christopher Ott, Parren Palpant, Michael Pritchard, Jacqueline Ream, Lucas Ross, Joe Ruppel, Meghan Schiber, Emily Tockstein, Santiago Tovar, Jennifer Zmrhal, Kimberly Anderson, Lindsay Bartel, Samantha Dixon, Samantha Eichelberger, Ashley Girard, Devin Mae Heath, Rebecca Holloman, Michael Jenny, Casey Komel, Kathleen Kuhar, Curtis Lubic, Kathleen Moravick, Sarah Otterness, Troy Pritchard, Sara Rose, Anna Rossi, Kristen Sanecki, Jeff Smith, Zach Tolan, Dan Spence, Victoria Robinson, Lindsay Douglas, Alexandra Olson and Sarah Harant.
Illinois State Scholars
Emma Anderson, Daniel Arnold, Jessica Arnold, Lindsay Bartel, Kevin Durrenberger, Samantha Eichelberger, Ashley Girard, Sally Gorenz, Devin Mae Heath, Rebecca Holloman, Michael Jenny, Emily Kenkel, William King, Casey Komel, Meghan Krajewski, Anna Limbrick, Jeff Malewig,, Christopher Ott, Sarah Otterness, Kelaine Patterson, Michael Pritchard, Scott Proctor, Jacqueline Ream, Anna Rossi, John Rotella, Kristen Sanecki, Jonathon Shaddelee, Megan Schiber, Daniel Spence, Emily Tockstein, Zachary Tolan, Santiago Tovar and Colin Zagel.
Knights of Distinction
Emma Anderson, Kimberly Anderson, Jessica Arnold, Jacob Astin, Lindsay Bartel, Kathryn Bergman, Joeseph Delgado, Jr., Lindsay Douglas, Samantha Eichelberger, Alyssa Galvin, Ashley Girard, Sally Gorenz, Lauren Gould, Kristen Hamer, Sarah Harant, Rebecca Holloman, Mallory Huml, Michael Jenny, Emily Kenkel, Kathleen, Kuhar, Casey Komel, Anna Limbrick, William King, Chassidy Mangers, Charlie Miles, Grant Mooney, Christopher Ott, Sarah Otterness, Parren Palpant, Kelaine Patterson, Emiliano Ponce, Michael Pritchard, Troy Pritchard, Anna Rossi, John Rotella, Kristen Sanecki, Megahn Schiber, Jeffery Smith, Katherine Smith, Daniel Spence, Emily Tockstein, Zachary Tolan, Santiago Tovar, Colin Zagel and Jennifer Zmrhal.

The following award winners were omitted from the listing published on page 3B of the June 25 edition.
Margaret Ann Flott Memorial Scholarship
Lauren Whittaker
Eddington Memorial Scholarship
Lucas Ross
Robert Johnson Memorial Scholarship
Jordan Herra
Math Award
Jacqueline Ream

Consumers warned of possible cookie dough contamination

From press release
The Kane County Health Department is warning consumers not to eat any varieties of prepackaged Nestle Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to the risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7 (a bacterium that causes food borne illness).

Consumers are advised that if they have any prepackaged, refrigerated Nestle Toll House cookie dough products in their home to throw them away. Cooking the dough is not recommended because consumers might get the bacteria on their hands and on other cooking surfaces. Retailers, restaurateurs, and personnel at other food-service operations should not sell or serve any Nestle Toll House prepackaged, refrigerated cookie dough products subject to the recall.

Nestle USA, which manufactures and markets the Toll House cookie dough, is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation by the FDA and CDC. The warning is based on an ongoing epidemiological study conducted by the CDC and several state and local health departments. Since March 2009 there have been 66 reports of illness across the nation. Twenty-five persons were hospitalized; seven with a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). No one has died. No cases have been reported in Kane County.

E. coli O157:H7 causes a diarrheal illness often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for developing HUS, which can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.

Individuals who have recently eaten prepackaged, refrigerated Toll House cookie dough and have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately. Any such illnesses should be reported to state or local health authorities.

Consumers who have additional questions about these products should contact Nestle consumer services at 1-800-559-5025 and/or visit their website at www.verybestbaking.com .

For a complete listing of the recalled products click here.

H1N1 flu’s best defense is prevention

On the heels of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a Phase 6 Pandemic in connection with the H1N1 flu, the Kane County Health Department wants members of the public to know that the basic message of preventing the spread of the flu has not changed.

“The declaration does not come as a surprise,” said Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert. “The declaration is based on the spread of the disease, not its severity. But it does emphasize it is here to stay. What we don’t know is how serious or severe this novel H1N1 pandemic will be. That is why our prevention message is more important than ever: Cover your cough, wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick.”

People with an increased risk of severe illness include pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes and other metabolic diseases, heart or lung disease, kidney disease, weakened immune systems, and persons with neurologic or neuromuscular disease. These people should seek prompt medical attention from their doctors if they begin to show symptoms of influenza-like illness, fever with cough and/or sore throat.

The health department continues to investigate new reports of illness in Kane County.

There are currently 58 cases of H1N1 influenza identified which includes one death and eight individuals who required hospitalization. The average age is 15 with a range from 3 months to 58. Over the summer, the Kane County Health Department will continue to work with community partners to respond to this public health emergency.

For more information visit www.kanehealth.com or www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.

Open enrollment for the fall Citizens Police Academy

COUNTY—The Kane County Sheriff’s Department is currently taking applications for the fall session of its Citizens Police Academy. The academy starts September 2, 2009 and meets every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. for 10 weeks at the Sheriff’s Department located on Route 38 in St Charles.

At the academy, participants will have the opportunity to get a unique perspective of the operations of the Kane County Sheriff’s Department through presentations, a ride along with a patrol deputy, tours of the jail and some unique hands-on experiences.

Class size is limited to 20 people. There is no cost associated with this experience.

Applications can be found online at www.kanesheriff.com or by contacting the CPA Coordinator Sergeant John Grimes at (630) 444-1137.

Second Annual Unlimited Performance 5K Run/Walk

On June 20, runners and walkers of all ages and abilities are invited to get out and get moving at the 2nd Annual Unlimited Performance 5K Run/Walk, a 3.1 mile run/walk presented by Unlimited Performance Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, Sycamore. The run/walk begins at the KishHealth Resource Center at 8 a.m.

Awards are presented in 16 different age groups, both male and female. And a variety of raffle prizes will be given away. Online registration is available at www.signmeup.com and www.unlimitedperformance.org, or by calling (815) 748-8900, x6064.

Community center receives great day of service

Church helps Elburn center with repairs it can’t afford
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—When Christ Community Church members asked whether they could send a team to fix up the Elburn & Countyside Community Center on the congregation’s Great Day of Serving, Center Board member Jack Hansen welcomed the offer.

Twenty-five people from the church spent Saturday improving the building at 525 N. Main St., inside and out.

“It was really remarkable how everybody pitched in and got so much done,” Hansen said.

The St. Charles church contacted the Community Center board in April to see what work was needed at the building, which houses Blackberry School of Dance and other recreation programs.

Hansen mailed the church a wish list of nearly 20 major and small repairs and maintenance projects for which the center has no available funds.

On the Great Day of Serving, church members of all ages did many of the projects on the list, as well as others. Hansen said when volunteers were finished with one task, they went to him right away to ask what else they could do.

Elburn village trustee Ken Anderson participated in the event, along with his daughter, Savannah, 8.

Anderson said he was glad the church chose the Community Center to be among the recipients of this year’s Great Day of Serving, seeing the building as an asset to the community.

“It has businesses and organizations located within its walls, and residents continue to utilize the facility for a variety of uses and benefits,” Anderson said.

The Andersons were among 1,500 members of Christ Community who volunteered various services to people and organizations countywide on the Day of Serving.

At the Community Center, they painted the community room, a scuffed wall, a stairway and railings; disinfected railings and door knobs; and cleaned mirrors and chalkboards.

In addition, the team volunteers planted flowers, pulled weeds and spread new mulch outside; replaced plywood covering old gym windows on the back of the building; cleaned the dance studio and gym floors; and patched a ceiling hole.

The church paid for all the materials used in the improvements except for the mulch, which was donated by Kane County Landscape Material and Supply of Elburn. In addition, it spent more than $12,000 for a new hot water heater, which was installed by Good Call Plumbing in Elburn.

Christ Community intends to go back to the Community Center on one of its monthly service Saturdays to paint ceiling spots, after obtaining a lift truck or scaffolding for the job.

“We got more done than we expected (on the Day of Serving), but we’re not finished yet,” church member Michelle Nielsen said.

Remaining building needs
The Elburn & Countryside Community Center’s goal is to be a recreational and social hub in the village. Unfortunately, the 80-year-old building needs many repairs that its nonprofit board, which relies mostly on donations, cannot afford.

The building has undergone several improvements lately, thanks to the manpower and materials offered by Christ Community Church on its Day of Serving June 13, as well as from a recent grant for a parking drainage project from Community Center of the Fox River Valley.

However, several projects remain to be done at the building that once was a high school, said Community Center Board member Jack Hansen, including the following:

• Buy, install new locks on entry doors
• Obtain funding for new windows
• Evaluate cost and fundraising for new boiler system
• Tuckpoint outside walls
• Stain and seal auditorium cement floors
• Update alarm system
• Install sound system
• Buy, install new printer/ scanner/copier/computer

Photo: Jack Hansen by Martha Quetsch