Category Archives: Regional

IEMA highlights winter storm preparedness in November

Snow, ice, frigid temperatures create hazardous conditions
SPRINGFIELD—Winter weather, with its frigid temperatures, snow and ice, can be extremely dangerous, even deadly. To help Illinoisans handle winter’s hazards, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will highlight winter storm preparedness throughout November as part of its 12-Month Preparedness Campaign.

“We’ve enjoyed beautiful weather this fall, but the snow, ice and frigid temperatures of an Illinois winter are just around the corner,” said IEMA Interim Director Joe Klinger. “Many injuries and deaths related to winter weather could be prevented if people take a few minutes today to prepare.”

Klinger said while many people recognize other weather hazards, such as tornadoes, lightning, and floods, more people in Illinois are killed each year by exposure to cold temperatures. Since 1997, 109 cold-related deaths have been reported in the state. During the same period, 30 tornado/thunderstorm-related deaths, 20 deaths as a result of flooding and 12 lightning-related deaths were reported.

To help people prepare for winter hazards, IEMA joined with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Red Cross to develop a Winter Storm Preparedness Guide, which contains information about winter weather terms and tips for staying safe at home, in the car and at work or school. The guide is available at or by calling (217) 785-9888.

IEMA recommends that every home have a disaster preparedness kit that will help residents stay safe for at least three days. The kits should include a battery-powered NOAA weather radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable food, water, a first-aid kit, extra medications and special items needed for babies, disabled or elderly family members.

“The ‘super storm’ that recently impacted the Midwest reminds us that winter is not far away,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service Office (NWS) office in Lincoln. “In the past five years, Illinois has experienced blizzards, major ice storms and bone-chilling temperatures. Being prepared has made the difference for many people surviving the elements.”

Holiday feast at Lazarus House

ST. CHARLES—Lazarus House invites the community to its annual Thanksgiving Feast.

The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25, at the Tri Cities Salvation Army, 1710 S. 7th Ave., St. Charles. Dining will begin at noon.

“The feast has become a tradition for the community to sit alongside our guests and clients to share fellowship and a meal,” executive director Darlene Marcusson said. “The feast was established for folks who are homeless or alone for Thanksgiving as well as those who simply want to add more meaning to their holiday.”

For those able to cook, a dish to pass is welcome. Food should arrive between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m. in a disposable container and ready to serve. Potato and vegetable dishes and supplies are desirable. Details are posted at Let the shelter know what dish you are bringing in a courtesy e-mail to

Registration for the dinner is not required, but the shelter would appreciate a call in advance at (630) 587-2144, so that it can plan appropriately.

Lazarus House is a nonprofit
organization in downtown St. Charles.
It offers safe shelter, food, and
support services to men, women and children connected to the
Tri-Cities and western rural Kane County who are homeless or at risk
of becoming homeless.
Currently about 60 people daily are making their home at the shelter and about 55 households monthly are receiving rental assistance.
Call (630) 587-2144.

Device that captures solar power is new teaching tool at Waubonsee

Photo: With the mid-day sun shining, workers install a photovoltaic array near Weigel Hall on Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus. The array, which will consist of 24 solar panels when completed, was paid for by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Waubonsee will offer its first Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems course this spring. Courtesy Photo

Sugar Grove—With daylight savings time now at an end, sunlight is more valuable than ever. And Waubonsee Community College is poised to discover another value of it with the completion of its photovoltaic array, which consists of a series of panels used to capture solar power.

While primarily designed and installed as a teaching tool for students in the college’s new photovoltaic certificate programs, the array has the added benefit of providing supplementary electricity to the campus.

Installed on the north side of the college’s Sugar Grove Campus, the ground-mounted array’s physical footprint measures 33 feet wide by 10 feet tall, but its environmental and economic benefits loom even larger.

“A photovoltaic system generates clean, renewable energy and electricity,” said Gregg Erickson, Waubonsee’s renewable energy technologies instructor. “Not only do these systems help save the environment, they can help property owners save money on their electric bills and see a full return on their investment in 15 to 20 years.”

Waubonsee’s photovoltaic system was funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. In addition to the outdoor array, the grant is also being used to fund 12 indoor lab stations and a mock-up of a roof-mounted array system.

While the system will produce supplementary electricity to help power the campus’ Weigel Hall, the real benefit is having a local workforce trained for increasingly popular “green” jobs.

The college’s three-semester-hour Photovoltaic Basics Certificate of Achievement will teach students the basic principles of photovoltaic energy and industry safety practices, preparing them for entry-level careers in the field. The more advanced Photovoltaic Certificate of Achievement teaches students to install and maintain photovoltaic systems.

Two sections of the “Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems” course will be offered for the first time this spring semester. One will meet on Tuesday afternoons, 2 to 5:30 p.m., with the other meeting on Thursday nights, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. All of Waubonsee’s photovoltaic coursework is aligned with the standards of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

NABCEP Certified Photovoltaic Installer Tom DeBates, owner of Habi-Tek Renewable Energy Systems in Geneva, is working on the installation for the college. Since starting renewable energy work in 2001, Habi-Tek has installed photovoltaic systems for a variety of facilities, including the Chicago Botanical Gardens, Wheaton high schools and a number of private residences.

For more information on Waubonsee’s photovoltaic program and other renewable energy technologies courses, visit or call (630) 466-7900, ext. 2319.

Tom DeBates (right), owner of Habi-Tek Renewable Energy Systems in Geneva, places a solar panel with the help of another worker. Habi-Tek installs a photovoltaic array on the north side of Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus. The array will be used both as a teaching tool in new photovoltaic coursework debuting this spring as well as a way to help power the campus’ Weigel Hall.     						 Courtesy Photo

Tapping the storehouse of joy

‘Healing Memories ’author reflects on his life
by Lynn Meredith
Geneva—In his career in the senior living industry, Dick Hattan hears seniors talking daily, all day long, about their memories. They wonder why they have lived this long, and what the purpose of it all is. He himself has discovered a way to ponder these “big” questions and come up with his own answers. He has written and published a book of poems on the topic of healing.

“Let these poetic pieces heal your memories and give memories to your healing,” Hattan, a Geneva resident, wrote. “By this I mean that we have a storehouse of joy in our memories from childhood to adolescence, and adulthood that we can reflect on.”

“Healing Memories” is a book of 30 poems that follow Hattan’s life from his Catholic school childhood on the southwest side of Chicago to his military service in Vietnam. The poems were all written in the last year or so, but have given Hattan a way to deal with the feelings of over 30 years ago.

“They helped me get in touch with feelings I had, and some that I didn’t even know that I had,” Hattan said. “The idea of healing became very important to me. Writing poetry dredged up feelings from 30 years ago. I’ve been healed, and it doesn’t bother me anymore.”

A portion of one poem on returning home from Vietnam expresses the feeling he had at how Vietnam vets were greeted:

“For the parade that never was,
Welcome home.
For the returning warrior’s missing mantle,
Welcome home.
For the burning flag’s empty flame,
Welcome home.
For the wounds that never healed,
Welcome home. (p. 33)”

Although Hattan has written poetry for 20 years, this last year as a graduate student in theology at the Chicago Theological Seminary inspired him to write and publish a book.

“There are things I needed to do, and one of those was to write poetry and publish a book,” Hattan said. “Poetry allows me to express emotions much more forcefully than say a journal or short story or a paper.”

Besides his childhood and military service, Hattan also writes about his religious background, family life and hobbies. He includes black-and-white family photos with each poem.

“It’s very personal. The poetry reads almost like a story. I choose things from ordinary life,” Hattan said. “I can’t think of a greater legacy to my child than by sharing with them the memories in this book.

“Healing Memories” is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Town House Books in St. Charles.

R Kids Closet expands into larger space

SG resident’s new store makes consignment fashionable
by Keith Beebe
Batavia—The need for a new career inspired Vicki Ryan to open the upscale consignment boutique R Kids Closet in Batavia in October 2009.

The need for more space to satisfy public demand and further develop her new business led Ryan to move the boutique into a bigger location next door just 13 months later.

“I was in the mortgage business forever, did really well and had a good run before I lost my job,” she said. “So I took about a year, year-and-a-half off and decided I wanted to work with families and give back to the community and the people. I had a couple of people suggest to me that I should look into doing (a consignment store), and I love kids and love people, so this is how I can (give back) and get my husband and my family all involved.”

Ryan, a resident of Sugar Grove, established a boutique featuring just about everything, from infant and women’s clothing, shoes and outerwear to children’s jewelry and hair bows. And though the majority of the store’s inventory is gently used, Ryan said she is extremely picky about what items she’ll take into the store. After all, R Kids Boutique is meant to be a fashionable and contemporary store, not a place to find casual hand-me-down clothing. And once a particular item sells, the original owner receives 40 percent of the sale, with the other 60 percent going to the boutique.

“Right now, I have a waiting list of people who want to drop (items) off, and I put new stuff out daily,” she said. “We get a lot of regular shoppers, and now we’re getting new shoppers through word of mouth. And the boutique doesn’t look like your average retail shop at all. I mean, why would someone pay $60 for Abercrombie jeans when I have them for $10?”

Ryan had never owned a business prior to establishing R Kids Closet, but her sales background and ability to communicate effectively with clients has adequately made up for any lack of management experience.

“I’ve been a sales rep my whole life, so it’s been hard to learn the (management) aspect of things,” she said. “Now I have a staff, and I have to manage that staff. I have to make sure that staff is treating everyone who walks through the door like I treat those people. And I’ve learned that I have to have tank tops out in February because that’s when people shop for them. It can be such an obstacle, because I’ve never (managed) before.”

Ryan must be doing all right in her new position, since public reception to the boutique has been overwhelmingly positive over the last 13 months. In fact, R Kids Closet was originally located in a space measuring 1,500 square feet, but the store was doing so much business that Ryan decided to move the boutique next door into a space measuring 3,500 square feet in order to add new sections for knick-knacks and home goods.

“I didn’t think I would be expanding after just one year, but we moved two weeks ago to our new location at 69 N. Randall Road, and it pretty much doubled my space,” she said. “In my original business plan, my goal was to gradually expand to the level I am currently at and then eventually open up multiple locations. Overall, I’d say the (boutique’s) first year definitely exceeded my initial expectations, and the store has really become a home away from home for my family.”

R Kids Closet
one-year celebration

Thursday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m to 8 p.m.
69 N. Randall Road, Batavia
(630) 879-7543
or visit their Facebook page

County cites agencies that will offer services

Kane County—As of Nov. 9, the direct mother-child health service programs for individuals and families that have been provided by the Kane County Health Department were transferred to community clinics because of county budget cuts.

For clients living north of Route 64, Family Case Management services will be provided by Greater Elgin Family Care Center, Aunt Martha’s Youth Services Center, and the Visiting Nurse Association of the Fox Valley. The Women, Infants and Children nutrition program will continue to be provided by Well Child Center as in the past.

For clients living south of Route 64, Family Case Management services will be provided by Aunt Martha’s Youth Services Center and the Visiting Nurse Association of the Fox Valley. In addition, the WIC Nutrition Program also will be provided by Aunt Martha’s Youth Services Center and the Visiting Nurse Association of the Fox Valley.

Countywide, Teen Parent Services has been transferred to Aunt Martha’s, and Health Works Services for foster children are now being provided by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and will soon be transferred to Aunt Martha’s.

In addition, the Kane County Health Department will continue to provide services to Kane County’s most at-risk families through its Kane Kares and High Risk Infant Follow-Up programs.

For more information, call (630) 723-5414, or visit

Anderson extension bidding expected next fall

Bike path will be part of project
by Martha Quetsch
KANE COUNTY—Kane County officials plan to seek construction bids late next year for the extension of Anderson Road in Elburn and a bicycle and pedestrian path on that route.

“We’re targeting November of 2011,” said Mike Sullivan, of the Kane County Division of Transportation.

“Right now, if everything goes as planned, the project will be completed in 2013,” Sullivan said.

The $30 million Anderson extension between Route 38 and Keslinger Road, including a railway overpass, is a priority county project designed to reduce traffic on Main Street in downtown Elburn and improve traffic flow in the area in general.

The state and federally funded project will facilitate the development of a housing and commercial project that Geneva developer Sho-Deen Inc. intends to build on Elburn’s far east side.

Sullivan said that as part of the road extension project, the county will build an off-road bicycle and pedestrian path that will be parallel to the extended Anderson Road, between Route 38 and Keslinger Road.

The state awarded Kane County a grant of $505,000 for this transportation enhancement project, Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig announced Oct. 29.

“This grant will help fund the path that will go along that road,” Sullivan said.

Eventually, county officials wants to connect the Anderson Road path to the Great Western Trail, said Sullivan, who is the county transportation division’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. However, that connection will require more funds, Sullivan added.

The county proposed the pedestrian and bike path between Route 38 and Keslinger to provide an alternative, direct and safe travel route to schools, neighborhoods and the Elburn Metra Station.

Fab Lab demos, lecture at Fermilab Nov. 12

Batavia—The Fermilab Lecture Series, the University of Illinois and the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms will present Fab Lab demonstrations in the Fermilab Wilson Hall lobby from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.

The demonstrations will be followed by a lecture in Ramsey Auditorium entitled “How to Make (Almost) Anything” by Fab Lab originator Dr. Neil Gershenfeld of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Bits and Atoms.

A Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop with computer controlled tools that enable individuals to make “almost anything.” Prof. Neil Gershenfeld’s revolutionary laboratory is breaking down boundaries between the digital and physical worlds, from creating molecular quantum computers to virtuosic musical instruments.

Technology from fab labs has been seen and used in settings including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and rural Indian villages, the White House and the World Economic Forum, inner-city community centers and automobile safety systems, Las Vegas shows and Sami herds.

Gershenfeld is also the originator of the growing global network of field fab labs that provide widespread access to prototype tools for personal fabrication, and directs the Fab Academy, the associated program for distributed research and education in the principle and practices of digital fabrication.

Gershenfeld is also the author of numerous technical publications, patents and books including Fab, When Things Start To Think, The Nature of Mathematical Modeling, and The Physics of Information Technology.

Individuals and small groups that would like to see the demonstrations can come at any time from 1 to 8 p.m., but groups larger than 10 should contact the Lederman Science Center at (630) 840-8258.

Admission to the lecture is $7. Reserve tickets or obtain further information by phoning (630) 840-2787.

Ramsey Auditorium is located in Wilson Hall, the hi-rise building on the Fermilab campus. Fermilab is accessible by turning east on Pine Street from Kirk Road, just north of I-88. For more information on this and all Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series offerings, go to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) is operated by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Waubonsee to celebrate Plano campus opening

PLANO—Waubonsee Community College will celebrate the grand opening of its Plano Campus at Route 34 and Waubonsee Drive, with events on Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13.

The formal grand opening will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, and will feature a short program, ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours and refreshments. Saturday’s community open house, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be family-oriented with tours, hands-on activities, prize drawings and food. To RSVP for events on either day, visit or call (630) 466-7900, ext. 2411.

Waubonsee will offer full transfer and occupational associate degrees at the Plano campus, as well as certificates in a variety of in-demand fields, including business, computers, health care, criminal justice and fire science. Other offerings will include developmental education, adult education, GED classes, English as a second language classes, community education programming, and workforce and professional development.

The $13 million main building on the new campus has 15 classrooms, including two science labs, two computer labs, an interactive television classroom and a certified nurse assistant lab.

Horse rescue farm seeks volunteers

ST. CHARLES—Would you or someone you know want to make a difference in the lives of horses?

Field of Dreams Horse Rescue & Adoption will host a volunteer orientation at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, at its barn in St. Charles. 

To participate, visit and look under volunteer program. Then click on the message box that says waiting list and fill out an application and e-mail it back to Field of Dreams. After the organization receives your application, it will send event details and directions to the facility. 

On Nov. 6, volunteers will tour the barn, meet the horses and learn about the daily schedules. Field of Dreams representatives will answer questions.

Field of Dreams is nonprofit organization that cares for horses with special needs due to injuries, age, abuse or neglect.

For more information, contact Kim Baldyga, volunteer coordinator, at, or call (630) 853-9620.

Open house will focus on Route 47

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Local residents can learn more about the Route 47 improvement study during an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) open house on Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House.

Attendees will have the opportunity to comment and ask questions regarding the study, which will research the need to improve and widen portion of Route 47 stretching from Cross Street in Sugar Grove to Kennedy Road in Yorkville. The study will also consider improvements for a portion of Route 30.

“A lot of times during these (public forums), people will bring up property line issues or right-of-way issues that they’ve had, and they can ask questions about what exactly will be done,” Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said. “This open house is meant to pass out information and let people know what’s being worked on, but it’s also an opportunity (for IDOT) to collect information that local residents might have.”

Michels said preliminary design of the Route 47 improvements is under way. IDOT District 3 will fund the second phase —final design, project bidding and acquisition of right-of-way—for the Kendall County section of the project. Sugar Grove officials hope IDOT District 1 will fund the project’s second phase for the Kane County section of Route 47.

“If we don’t get the funding for a phase two or a commitment from (IDOT) District 1 to do the second phase of the project, then phase one will be done for naught,” Michels said.

Michels believes the Route 47 improvement is both necessary and overdue.

“Anyone who’s had to go south on Route 47 during a weekday can attest that the road needs to be widened,” he said.

If IDOT District 1 does fund the Kane portion of the project, the village faces the issue of the road improvements interfering with the two railroad bridges located on the stretch of Route 47 between Cross Street and Kennedy Road. Village officials said train traffic may be affected.

The Route 47 improvements will take a minimum of five years for IDOT to complete, including at least two years of preliminary design, two years of actual design and then at least a year for construction.

Graceffa receives community service award from Sheriff

Story corrected Nov. 4 @ 9:18 a.m.

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Sheriff Patrick Perez on Wednesday presented three local citizens with the Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year Award.

Among the winners was Pat Graceffa of Sugar Grove, whom the sheriff recognized for her volunteer efforts in the community.

“Pat volunteers for almost every event held in the village and her tireless efforts to give back to her hometown often go unnoticed,” Perez stated in a press release.

The other Ebey Award winners were Dawn Vogelsberg of Geneva and Emily Laughead of North Aurora.

Vogelsburg is the executive director of the Paul Ruby Foundation for Parkinson research. The foundation has raised over $300,000 in its first four years of existence. Information on the Paul Ruby Foundation can be found at Vogelsburg also is active in fundraising efforts for the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.

Emily Laughead, 12, has raised more than $40,000 during the past eight years in hopes of finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Emily was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 4. More information about her efforts is on her website

According to Perez, all of the recipients have given back to the community.

Court: Seyller must cover shortfall with special funds

by Martha Quetsch
KANE COUNTY—Kane County Circuit Clerk Deborah Seyller’s attorney Dean Frieders said his client will seek guidance from the court about how to carry out a recent court order.

Kane County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Sullivan on Oct. 15 ruled that Seyller must use special Circuit Clerk’s funds to cover more than $500,000 in unbudgeted expenses she said are required to keep the office operating for the remainder of the year.

Seyller had petitioned the court to require the county to pay for the Circuit Clerk’s office budget overages from the county’s general fund. Frieders said the reason Seyller has not used the special funds to cover her budget overages is because of state restrictions on their use. Those special funds, from fees Seyller’s office charges to the public for certain services, include the document storage fund, the court automation fund and the administrative fund.

Seyller already has used the special funds to pay for one third of her personnel budget, Frieders said.

“She didn’t think it was permissible to allocate more,” Frieders said.

Sullivan said Seyller has not exhausted her office’s special funds and should use the substantial balances in those funds to satisfy the budget shortfall.

“The order of the court will be that the Circuit Clerk is enjoined … to transfer funds to charge a sufficient amount of at least $520,000 to (those) special funds … and to pay the compensation of (deputy clerks) from those funds,” Sullivan stated.

The County Board approved a Circuit Clerk annual budget of $4.5 million in November 2009, but since then Seyller hired additional personnel including deputy clerks whose wages, salaries and benefits were not included in that budget. The County Board on Sept. 14 denied Seyller’s office more than $500,000 from the general fund to cover the additional expenditures. On Sept. 15, Seyller filed a lawsuit against the county and the County Board seeking a court order for the supplemental budget appropriation.

In his Oct. 15 ruling, Sullivan noted that the County Board appropriated more than $1 million more for the Circuit Clerk’s 2009-10 budget than in fiscal year 2008-09.

“Nonetheless, after the adoption of this budget ordinance, the Circuit Clerk determined that she was unable to meet her required mandates for operation of that office … therefore hired additional staff,” Sullivan stated.

Sullivan said that under state statute, it is the County Board’s role to determine how much money is necessary to operate the Circuit Clerk’s office.

Sullivan concluded that Seyller’s hiring of the additional staff worsened the expenditure problems that the clerk’s office was facing during fiscal year 2010.

Wind leads to thousands of power outages

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Galeforce winds on Tuesday led to power outages in more than 60,000 households and businesses in Northern Illinois including the Kaneland area, ComEd spokesman Alicia Zatkowski said.

Zatkowksi said at 10 a.m. Tuesday that the power outages began occurring at approximately 2 a.m. and were expected to continue through the day. The wind, in some areas as strong as 70 mph, knocked trees onto power lines, which was the main reason for the outages, she said.

Between 7 and 10 a.m., the number of power outages increased threefold, she said.

ComEd was prepared for the outages, Zatkowski said.

“We did know this was coming,” she said.

ComEd increased the number of employees on Tuesday’s shifts to deal with the expected power-line damage.

“Currently, we have 340 crews mobilized and ready to go into the field to restore downed power lines,” Zatkowski said Tuesday morning.

Although local homes and businesses were without power until Tuesday afternoon, Elburn Village Hall was able to remain in operation all day because it has a backup generator, Village Administrator Erin Willret said.

WCC announces new-campus opening

Sugar Grove/Aurora—Waubonsee Community College announced that its new downtown Aurora campus, located at 18 S. River St. on the west bank of the Fox River, will open to the public June 1, 2011.

The college’s current Aurora campus, located one block away at Stolp Avenue and Galena Boulevard, will close at the end of the business day May 26, 2011, so that college personnel can move to the new campus. Students will be able to access student services online or at the college’s Sugar Grove Campus during the brief period when the Aurora Campus is closed.

When the new campus opens June 1, student services including Admissions, Counseling, Financial Aid and Registration, will be available to students. The first classes will begin June 6 with the start of the regular summer session.

The 132,000-square-foot new downtown Aurora campus will be comprehensive so that students can start and finish an associate degree entirely at the campus. Students will learn in a state-of-the-art educational environment with 52 classrooms including two science labs, 11 computer classrooms, and other specialized instructional spaces. The educational programming at the new campus will expand to include additional transfer programs, career education degrees and certificates, developmental education, community education classes, as well as the workforce development and adult education programs offered at the current Aurora campus.

In order to meet the June 1 open date, Waubonsee expects to remove the construction barricades and fencing by early November. The college will work through the winter and spring to complete the interior finishing and technology installation necessary for the operation of the new campus. The current 88,000-square-foot Aurora Campus, housed in two historic buildings on Stolp Island, is available for sale.

Local Girl Scouts learn with fall product program

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ Fall Product Program gives girls the opportunity to offer gourmet food items and magazines to their family, friends, and favorite Girl Scout cookie customers. The 2010 Fall Product Program continues until Oct. 24, with items delivered after Nov. 15.

The Fall Product Program is instrumental in helping girls:
• Learn financial literacy
• Set and reach personal goals
• Develop customer service skills
• Take action to fund troop activities and service projects

While the Fall Product Program is not as well known as the Girl Scout Cookie Program, it is just as important to Girl Scouts. Both programs teach girls important skills and help them earn money for troop activities. The proceeds from the Fall Products Program help troops to fund activities and service projects that begin long before the Winter Girl Scout Cookie Program. Girl Scout Product Programs differ from traditional fundraisers by encouraging girls to work together to decide how to spend troop funds rather than dictating what the money will be used towards.

For more information
To learn how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, call 1-800-242-5591 or visit

Farm Bureau awards grants to FFA Chapters

Kane County—The KCFB Foundation recently awarded a $500 grant to each of three local FFA Chapters to recognize the continued contributions of students from Kane County FFA Chapters in the success of Farm Bureau programs and encourage these and other community service efforts.

For 2010, the foundation selected three programs to help promote leadership development skills in FFA members. FFA Chapters from Central (Burlington), Hinckley-Big Rock and Kaneland high schools provided volunteers for the Farm Bureau’s Ag Days at Mooseheart, Touch-A-Tractor event, and activities at the Kane County Fair. Each of the three chapters in Kane County qualified for the full grant amount of $500.

Participation in two or more of the selected programs earned FFA Chapters a minimum $250 Chapter Grant. Participation in all three earned $400, and they received $100 for completing and reporting a community service activity by July 31, 2010.

The Kaneland FFA Chapter helped feed their neighbors in need with a community service project. The chapter has a corn test plot just east of Kaneland High School to test the characteristics of different varieties of corn hybrids. It has pledged the proceeds from an acre of the harvest from that field to KCFB’s Harvest for ALL hunger relief effort and named Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove as the beneficiary.

‘Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.’ features local actors

ELGIN—Young thespians from Elburn and Maple Park are among the nearly 100 youths who will bring “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” to the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, when the Children’s Theatre of Elgin brings its newest production to the stage Friday through Sunday, Oct. 22-24.

Local cast members are Tracey Suppes of Elburn, and Amanda and Tristan Schulz of Maple Park.

Based on a 1970s television series, “Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” tells the story of a new teacher facing his first day at his job and the fear and uncertainty he experiences. The musical follows Tom Mizer on his first day of teaching, as his thoughts come to life in the form of songs about math, language, art, science and history.

The show includes nearly a dozen songs including “A Noun is a Person, Place or Thing” and “Three is a Magic Number.”

“Along with being a high-energy, enticing show, it’s educational as well,” co-director Allison Cherry said. “Facts are easily retained when put to music, and this show gives a lot of information through song.”

Cherry added that “Schoolhouse Rock! Jr.” is a wonderful experience for the actors onstage as well as the audience.

“The kids are having so much fun while performing that it’s impossible not to get into it as well,” she said.

While the children have been rehearsing on stage in recent weeks, parents have been busy behind the scenes sewing costumes, building sets, doing publicity, making baked goods for the concession stands and handling ticket sales.

“Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” is produced and presented by the Children’s Theatre of Elgin (CTE), a nonprofit organization and an in-residence ensemble at the Elgin Community College Arts Center.

Friday, Saturday, Oct. 22-23, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 for adults
and $8 for students and seniors
Call the Hemmens Box Office
at (847) 931-5900

Rental assistance available in KC

Kane County—Low-income renters in Kane County who are struggling to make their monthly rent payment are encouraged to check with area nonprofit organizations to see if they qualify for rental assistance.

Lazarus House administers a program, in conjunction with other area non-profits, to provide a limited number of subsidized apartments through a program funded by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

“No one should be embarrassed or afraid to seek help,” said Lazarus House Outreach Manager Liz Eakins. “We know how tough times are. We are here to serve. Applicants should be assured that all appointments are kept confidential. If an applicant doesn’t qualify for the rental program, we may still be able to refer them to other helpful services. No one knows until they ask.”

Along with Lazarus House, the Association for Individual Development, Aurora Public Action to Deliver Shelter (Hesed) and Ecker Center for Mental Health are accepting applications. If a rental unit is not immediately available for a qualifying household, the applicant’s name may be placed on a wait list. A few additional units will become available soon in the north and central portions of Kane County.

To qualify for the program, households must fall within extremely or severely low income limits as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These annual income limits range from $15,840 for a household of one person to $29,850 for a household of eight. Households must have a stable income to pay a portion of the rent, satisfactorily complete the application process and abide by lease rules and riders. Other conditions apply.

More detail may be found in the brochure, “Rental Support Program for Kane County,” posted online at,,, and


People wishing to apply for a unit
are encouraged to contact the agency
in their area for an application.

Contact numbers are:
Northern Kane County:
Association for Individual Development, (847) 931-6283 or
Ecker Center for Mental Health,
(847) 695-0484

Central Kane County:
Lazarus House, (630) 587-5872

Southern Kane County:
Association for Individual Development, (847) 931-6283 or Public Action to
Deliver Shelter (Hesed House),
(630) 897-2165, ext. 511 or ext. 512

KC voter info for Nov. 2 election

Kane County—If you failed to register to vote prior to Tuesday’s deadline, do not fret, you can still take part in the election by taking advantage of the county’s grace period registration.

According to the Kane County Clerk’s Office, people who did not register to vote by Oct. 5 may register to vote in the clerk’s office from Oct. 6 through Tuesday, Oct. 26.

If you register to vote during the grace period and wish to vote in the Tuesday, Nov. 2, election, you must vote at the time of registration.

The Kane County Clerk’s Office is located at 719 S. Batavia Ave., Building B, North Entrance, in Geneva.

The office is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Early voting

If you are a Kane County registered voter, excluding the city of Aurora, you may vote at any of the following locations during in-person Early Voting for the 2010 General Election, beginning on Monday, Oct. 11, through Thursday, Oct. 28.

To vote early, you must present an Illinois driver’s license, a non-driver ID card issued by the Illinois Secretary of State, or another government-issued photo ID.

Jewel Osco
465 N State Route 47, Sugar Grove
• Wednesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jewel Osco

800 Main St., Elburn
• Wednesday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sugar Grove Library
125 S. Municipal St., Sugar Grove
• Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 13, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 14, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 19, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 20, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 21, 1 to 8 p.m. 
• Friday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, 1 to 8 p.m.

Town & Country Library
320 E North St, Elburn
• Monday, Oct. 25, 1 to 8 p.m.
• Tuesday, Oct. 26, 1 to 8 p.m.

For a more complete list of early voting locations and times, visit

Absentee voter information
Persons registered to vote in Kane County excluding the city of Aurora are eligible to cast an absentee ballot with the Kane County Clerk’s Office.

In addition, the following unregistered voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot:
1. Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine and their spouses and dependents whether serving in the United States or abroad;
2. U.S. citizens and their spouses or dependents, whose permanent residence is in Kane County but who will be temporarily residing abroad on election day;
3. U.S. citizens (not their spouses or dependents) who maintained a residence in Kane County immediately prior to their departure from the United States.

The last day the Kane County Clerk’s Office can mail you a ballot is five days prior to the election.

To request an absentee ballot, e-mail or call (630) 232-5990. The ballot needs to be postmarked by the day before the election and must be in at the Clerk’s Office within two weeks after the election.

In addition, you may vote absentee in person at the County Clerk’s office beginning 40 days prior to an election until the day before the election. If you are unable to come to the office to vote and would rather not vote by mail, you may vote early at locations spread throughout the county. Early voting begins 22 days prior to the election through four days prior to the election.

For any additional voter information, please visit

Delnor, CDH announce planned merger

Hospital officials say combining would improve services
GENEVA—Delnor Health System (Delnor) in Geneva and Central DuPage Health (CDH) announced Tuesday that they desire to come together and create a single, integrated health system to improve services at both hospitals.

Officials from both hospitals signed a memorandum of understanding expressing that intent. They have not established a timeline for the merger, but over the next several months, management teams from Delnor and CDH will establish a formal agreement and refine their vision for the new health system.

Delnor spokesman Brian Griffin said Wednesday that patients will benefit from the joining of the two organizations through access to a greater depth and breadth of care, expanded local access to services and improved quality at a lower cost.

“One of the overall goals is the expansion of services at both hospital campuses with continued investment in state-of-the-art facilities, technology and clinical capabilities to meet the growing healthcare needs of the communities served,” Griffin said.

CDH is the parent company of Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Ill., a surgical hospital and center for medical technology that is affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hospital for pediatric care and the Cleveland Clinic for cardiac surgery, among other healthcare organizations.

“Together, Delnor and CDH would provide exceptional healthcare by working with top-notch physicians in an integrated system made stronger by the expertise of affiliations with Children’s Memorial Hospital and the nationally renowned Cleveland Clinic,” Griffin said.

Griffin said it is too soon to know exactly what, if any, staffing changes will come from the affiliation, but the new organization will pursue a growth strategy.

“As is the case with both hospitals today, the new health system will manage expenses and staffing levels to keep the organization financially strong while continuing to deliver the best healthcare for the community,” Griffin said.

Delnor’s and CDH’s names and identifies will remain the same under the new health system, Griffin said. He added that officials of the new health system will develop a name for the system in the future.

The memorandum of understanding names CDH President Luke McGuinness as CEO of the new health system. Delnor President and CEO Thomas L. Wright will continue as both president of Delnor and as an executive leader of the new health system.

Also under the memorandum of understanding, the new health system would be governed by a board of directors with equal representation from Delnor’s and CDH’s current boards.

When Delnor and CDH officials reach an agreement, it will require approval by both hospitals’ boards of directors. Certain regulatory approvals also are required from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board and the Federal Trade Commission.

In a press release that Delnor and CDH released on Tuesday, Wright said, “Combining the two organizations holds great potential for making healthcare even better for our patients, physicians and staff at a time of unprecedented change in the industry.”

County and circuit clerk budget battle heats up

Board responds to Seyller’s lawsuit with counterclaim
by Martha Quetsch
Kane County—The budget dispute between Kane County Circuit Clerk Deb Seyller and the Kane County Board continues to escalate, with lawsuits now going both ways.

Seyller sued the board Sept. 15, and the county and the Kane County Board responded with a counterclaim on Sept. 28.

Seyller’s lawsuit seeks court-mandated approval of a $550,000 supplemental budget request, a request previously denied by the County Board. Seyller alleged that the County Board’s failure to approve the additional funding will prevent her office from providing mandated services including, but not limited to, the processing of court orders related to child support payments and orders identifying registered sex offenders.

In the lawsuit, Seyller said that without the amended budget approval, all Circuit Clerk services will be affected. The lawsuit also states that “if the County Board does not approve the Circuit Clerk’s budget amendment, the Circuit Clerk will not have adequate funding for proper rooms, offices, suitable furnishings and other items for which she is entitled funding, and the County Board will be violating its state mandate.”

“The lawsuit is intended to ensure that both the County and the Circuit Clerk’s office fulfill their respective duties under the law,” Seyller said in a Sept. 28 press release.

The Sept. 14 County Board resolution denying the additional funding stated that since the board approved the Circuit Clerk’s $4.5 annual budget in November 2009, she hired additional personnel whose wages, salaries and benefits were not included in that budget. It also states that Seyller did not obtain the consent of the County Board or notify any of its committees prior to hiring such additional personnel.

The county’s Sept. 28 counterclaim seeks restitution from Seyller for any budget overage experienced by the Circuit Clerk’s Office, as well as the court costs accrued from the lawsuits. The claim asserts that Seyller should have used the statutory remedy of appealing to the Kane County Court with a request for more staff rather than making the unilateral decision to hire unbudgeted employees.

According to Kane County Board attorney Ken Shepro, while Seyller’s office has not yet spent money exceeding the budgeted amount, it is on pace to exceed appropriated funding based on the County Clerk’s current level of spending.

If the county’s counterclaim succeeds, Seyller could be personally responsible for the restitution, Shepro said.

“The County Chair has now responded to my legitimate attempt to seek judicial clarification by filing a counterclaim against me personally; to attempt to take my family’s personal assets to pay for the services that the County refuses to provide,” Seyller said in her statement. “This is completely inappropriate and without legal justification.”

Seyller compared the action to a corporation attempting to silence protestors by filing lawsuits against them.

“That is called a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation) lawsuit,” Seyller said in her statement. “Such lawsuits have been declared by the state of Illinois Legislature to be illegal and yet, that is exactly what the County is now doing to me.”

Both sides are scheduled to appear in court again on Friday, Oct. 15.

Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay did not respond to phone calls as of press time.

Former youth center guard pleads guilty to fatal DUI crash

Kane County—A former state corrections officer pleaded guilty Sept. 23 for his role in a 2008 fatal two-vehicle crash that occurred while he was on his way to work.

Reginald Hearon, 50, of the 3500 block of Boyer Lane, Plano, Ill., pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony, and one count of reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony.

Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagher set Hearon’s next court appearance for Oct. 8 in Courtroom 305 for status, and Hearon’s sentencing date for Nov. 17 in Courtroom 305. Hearon faces a sentence of probation or between three and 14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

At about 5:30 a.m. Oct. 2, 2008, Hearon was driving a 1997 Ford Econoline van east on Fabyan Parkway in Blackberry Township when he attempted to pass vehicles in a posted no-passing zone, a two-lane stretch between Hughes Road and Main Street. Hearon’s eastbound van entered the lane for westbound traffic and struck head-on a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer driven by 53-year-old Craig Smith of St. Charles. The Blazer was westbound on Fabyan Parkway. Smith died at the scene. 

A subsequent blood test revealed that Hearon’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.069, as well as the presence of codeine and morphine. A reconstruction of the crash determined that Hearon’s van was traveling at least 55 mph in a 45-mph zone at the time the van’s brakes were depressed. The van skidded 92 feet before it struck Smith’s Trailblazer.

The guilty plea was based on the charge that Hearon was under the influence of alcohol, having consumed any amount of alcohol prior to driving a motor vehicle.

At the time of the crash, Hearon worked as a guard at the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles. Hearon no longer works for the IYC facility.

Hearon remains free on $7,000 bond.

Geneva man sent to prison for third DUI conviction

Offender has extensive history of criminal acts
Geneva—A Geneva man with an extensive criminal history has been sent to prison for his third DUI, which he acquired with two minors in the car.

James E. Hughes, 44, of the 100 block of Kane Street, Geneva, was sentenced by Associate Judge Allen M. Anderson to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Hughes, who waived his right to a jury trial, was convicted Aug. 4 by Anderson of two counts of aggravated DUI, each a Class 2 felony, and one count of driving on a suspended/revoked license, a Class 4 felony.

At about 1:30 a.m. May 23, 2009, Geneva police officers were conducting a traffic stop in the vicinity of East State Street (Route 38) and Briar Lane, when they observed Hughes drive his vehicle onto the curb. Officers pursued Hughes a short distance east on East State Street and stopped him. The officers reported that Hughes’ speech was slurred, that he had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, that he had trouble walking and swayed while attempting to stand. Hughes refused to submit to field sobriety tests and a breath test. In the vehicle with Hughes were two minors, one 17 years old and one 14 years old.

During sentencing, Anderson cited Hughes’ extensive criminal history, which includes numerous burglaries, a 1995 battery conviction and a 2001 aggravated battery conviction in which he stabbed the victim four times, and a 2008 conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, in which Hughes threw an underage drinking party at his place of work. In addition, Hughes has convictions for a 1985 DUI and a 1990 DUI, both in Kane County.

Illinois law states that because of the two prior DUI convictions, the DUI in the case was a Class 2 felony. In addition, because Hughes had two prior Class 2 felony convictions, he faced a minimum of six years in IDOC.

In addition to the prison sentence, because a minor was in the car with Hughes at the time of the DUI stop, Hughes must pay a mandatory $25,000 fine and upon completion of his prison term, Hughes must complete 25 days of community service with an organization that benefits youths.

Anderson recommended that Hughes seek substance abuse treatment while in the custody of IDOC.

Based on Illinois law, Hughes was given day-for-day sentencing. Hughes also was given credit for 489 days served in the Kane County jail.

Campton celebrates 175 years

Campton Township—Families and friends can step back in time and discover life before modern technology at Garfield Farm Museum’s annual Harvest Days, where the 175th anniversary of Campton Township’s founding will be celebrated.

The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3.

In 1835, John Beatty from Pennsylvania was the first settler to lay claim to land in what became Campton Township. Then known as Fairfield, Beatty first claimed land along present-day Brundige Road in the southeast corner of Campton. Because of a lack of water and timber, two months later, Beatty moved his claim to the present day intersection of Route 38 and LaFox Road. Still this did not meet his needs, and within two years, he moved his claim just north of the present day intersection of Campton Hills and LaFox roads, where his farmhouse survives.

Within 12 months of his arrival, other families came to Campton, and a special display and observation of early settlement will be held at Harvest Days.

Donations are $6 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

The 374-acre Garfield Farm Museum is an historically intact former 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored by donors and volunteers from 2,800 households in 37 states. Garfield Farm Museum is located five miles west of Geneva on Garfield Road. For information, call (630) 584-8485 or e-mail

Waubonsee seeks traffic signal to improve entrance safety

Sugar Grove—Waubonsee Community College is pursuing the installation of a traffic signal at its north entrance following a review of the final report of the April 14 traffic accident that claimed the life of two students.

The college received the final report from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) stemming from the accident at the college’s Route 47 north entrance. The report outlined the safety measures enacted since the accident, reviewed possible safety enhancements, and ultimately determined a traffic signal is permissible at the college’s Sugar Grove Campus north entrance.

“With the assistance and permission of IDOT, we are now able to pursue the installation of a traffic signal at the college’s north entrance,” Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek said. “We believe, and IDOT concurs, that this will significantly increase the safety of the entrance for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

Since the accident, IDOT has installed intersection warning signs with flashing beacons for both northbound and southbound traffic.

The traffic signal project is eligible for federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) funds, and Waubonsee is working with IDOT to finalize this source to fund the majority of the project expenses.

County requires additional testing to combat DUIs

Kane County—Some offenders convicted in Kane County of drunken driving now must submit to additional testing to prove they have not violated court orders in a new initiative of the Kane County State’s Attorney.

The new Holiday Alcohol Testing program will take place during holidays and other times that statistically have been associated with high or increased alcohol consumption.

The objective of the program is to provide additional incentive for certain offenders who are prohibited from drinking to avoid alcohol at specific times when they might be tempted to do otherwise. Repeat or high-risk DUI offenders typically are ordered by the court not to consume alcohol during their sentence and to submit to periodic testing to prove they are not consuming alcohol.

In the future, offenders will be tested before, during and after Halloween, Thanksgiving weekend, New Year’s, Super Bowl weekend, St. Patrick’s Day, the weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Memorial Day weekend and Independence Day, as well as Labor Day.

TriCity Family Services is seeking William D. Barth Award nominations

Geneva—TriCity Family Services is seeking nominations for the 26th Annual William D. Barth Award.

Established in 1985, the Barth Award recognizes one individual who has made a significant and positive impact, through community service, on the central Kane County area.

Nominees must be individuals whose investment in the community, and concern for those living here, is shown by an ongoing involvement in community life. The award recipient will exemplify the legacy of William D. Barth, a founder of TriCity Family Services and a dedicated community leader.

The award will be presented at the annual Barth Award Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Riverside Reception and Conference Center in Geneva.

Nominations must be submitted in writing by Oct. 1. A William D. Barth Award Nomination Form is available, but not required if equivalent information is submitted. Nomination form and a list of prior awardees is available at

Send nominations to Miranda Barfuss, TriCity Family Services, 1120 Randall Court, Geneva, IL 60134, send by fax to (630) 232-1471, or e-mail to

Call (630) 232-1070 for more information.

Bee-stings lead to crash, serious injury

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Tuesday, July 13, 2010, should have been just another work day for Sandwich resident Pete Moore. Instead, it was the day when the 33-year-old father of two almost lost his life.

Moore was working a side job that morning on a home in Montgomery when he was attacked by a swarm of bees that were living beneath a piece of siding he had just removed. Moore was stung several times but chose to try and work through the pain he was in. It was moments later when he discovered that he had a rash and was beginning to swell.

“It became hard for him to breathe, (so) he decided to take himself to the emergency room at Rush-Copley (hospital in Aurora),” said Moore’s mother, Michele McCarthy. “He was on Route 30 and had to pull over (because) he thought he was going to pass out.”

Moore tried to park his truck on the side of the road but passed out while shifting, leaving the vehicle in reverse, McCarthy said. To make matters worse, while Moore was unconscious his foot hit the gas pedal and his truck spun through four lanes of traffic. Moore’s truck avoided contact with all other vehicles on Route 30 but went airborne after crossing the highway and landed in a K-Mart parking lot before colliding into the store’s wall.

Paramedics soon arrived and took Moore to Rush-Copley.

Suffering a serious spinal injury, Moore spent the next seven days in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit before moving on to Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton for six weeks. According to his mother, Moore remains in a wheelchair because his mobility is still limited. He is also suffering from depression as a result of the accident, and will not know his prognosis for at least six months.

“Pete has (run) his own career for the past 15 years and now has no income (as a result of his injuries),” McCarthy said.

Benefit in Sugar Grove
A fundraiser for Pete Moore
will be held
Saturday, Sept. 18,
2 to 10 p.m.
Fraternal Order of Police
building in Sugar Grove.
Open to the public, the event will have a carnival theme and feature games for kids, a dunk tank and a bean bag tournament for adults.

There will also be several raffles to raise money for both Pete and his family.

KC State’s Attorney appointed to circuit court

Kane County—The Illinois Supreme Court on Sept. 2 appointed Kane County State’s Attorney John A. Barsanti as a Circuit Court Judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Michael J. Colwell.

The appointment is effective Dec. 1, 2010, and terminates Dec. 3, 2012.

Barsanti, elected as state’s attorney in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, has a total of 27 years as a prosecutor dating to 1979, when he first joined the office.

Barsanti received his bachelor of science degree from Carroll College and his juris doctorate from Kent College of Law in Chicago in 1977. He worked for two years in the Illinois Department of Labor before joining the state’s attorney’s office.

He also worked for the Illinois Appellate Prosecutor’s Office from 2000 to 2004.

Barsanti is a member of the Capital Litigation Bar—qualified to try death penalty cases—and was appointed to the Capital Litigation Screening Committee by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. He is a member of the Kane County Bar Association, has been a criminal law instructor at Waubonsee Community College, and has served as a faculty member at training seminars for the State Appellate Prosecutor’s Office.

He was born and raised in Cicero, Ill., and has been a resident of Kane County since 1972. He is married, and the couple has four children.

The Kane County Board will appoint an interim state’s attorney to serve the duration of Barsanti’s term, which expires Nov. 30, 2012. Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay said she plans to create a panel of members of the judicial and legal community to identify and interview candidates, and that the board would act with the advice and consent of the panel. McConnaughay said she expects to announce the members of the panel early next week.

Mosquito pool at Lions Park tests positive for West Nile

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Kane County Health Department on Aug. 30 collected a mosquito pool from a trap in Lions Park in Elburn that tested positive for West Nile virus.

Tom Schlueter, Health Department public information officer, said the department recently has found positive batches in all parts of the county.

“The activity is higher this year than last because of the hot temperatures, not only in Kane but in other parts of the state,” Schlueter said.

Schlueter advised residents to take steps to avoid the spread of the virus.

“It (West Nile) is in our community and the tips for preventing its spread are simple but important: Remove standing water, cover your arms and legs when mosquito activity is at its highest in the early morning and evening, and use insect repellant.”

Area high schoolers learn leadership skills

Aurora—Thirty-five students and 15 teachers from 15 area high schools attended Aurora University’s (AU) annual Future Educators Association (FEA) leadership and officer training conference Aug. 12 in the University Banquet Hall.

Sponsored by AU’s College of Education, the conference was designed to teach students classroom-management skills, activities and responsibilities of teachers, and how to effectively lead FEA chapters at their home schools. The first part of the two-part workshop was held in June.

Co-instructors were Pam Ferdinand and Judy Maxwell, AU FEA coordinators.

The guest speaker was Sugar Grove resident Walt Duy, a retired Kaneland School District principal, who presented his “Cool Carl” anti-bullying program.

Since 1998, AU’s College of Education has helped establish and maintain FEA chapters serving about 300 students at 15 area high schools. They are Batavia, East Aurora, Geneva, Hinckley-Big Rock, Kaneland, Neuqua Valley, Oswego, Oswego East, Plano, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Sandwich, Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora and Yorkville.

Students and advisors who attended Aug. 12 included Sarah Kitz of Kaneland High School.