Category Archives: Sugar Grove


Tips to prepare now for severe winter weather ahead

CHICAGO—Cold temperatures, heavy snow, and treacherous ice storms are all risks of the impending winter season.

“Severe winter weather can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people who don’t take the proper precautions,” said FEMA Region V acting administrator Janet Odeshoo. “Preparedness begins with knowing your risks, making a communications plan with your family and having an emergency supply kit with essentials such as water, food, flashlights and medications.”

Once you’ve taken these steps, consider going beyond the basics of disaster preparedness with the following tips to stay safe this cold season.

Before winter approaches, add the following items to your supply kit:
Winterize your winter supply kit
• Rock salt or other environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
• Sand to improve traction
• Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
• Sufficient heating fuel and/or a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove
• Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.

Stay fire safe
Keep flammable items at least 3 feet from heat sources like radiators, space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. Plug only one heat-producing appliance (such as a space heater) into an electrical outlet at a time.

Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. Check it on a monthly basis. Keep warm, even when it’s cold outside:
If you have a furnace, have it inspected now to ensure it’s in good working condition.

If your home heating requires propane gas, stock up on your propane supply and ensure you have enough to last an entire winter. Many homeowners faced shortages due to the record freezing winter weather last year, and this season there’s the possibility of lower than normal temperatures again. Don’t be caught unprepared.

Avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide by installing battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors.

Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

Prevent frozen pipes
If your pipes are vulnerable to freezing, i.e., they run through an unheated or unprotected space, consider keeping your faucet at a slow drip when extremely cold temperatures are predicted.

If you’re planning a trip this winter, avoid setting your heat too low. If temperatures dip dangerously low while you’re away, that could cause pipes to freeze. Consider draining your home’s water system before leaving as another way to avoid frozen pipes.

You can always find valuable information to help you prepare for winter emergencies at Bookmark FEMA’s mobile site,, or download the FEMA app today to have vital information just one click away.

Christmas Kettles to Kaneland area

KANELAND—Look for the familiar red Salvation Army kettles this November and December throughout the Kaneland/Big Rock area.

Conley Outreach (the local Salvation Army Service Extension representative) together with local Scout troops, businesses, 4-H clubs, church groups and Community Care Team volunteers will collect donations on Saturdays and the days just prior to Christmas outside various local businesses. The community needs your help.

Every year, Conley Outreach receives about $2,500 from the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division to help needy families pay for rent, heat, food, clothing or other necessities. Because of the current economic conditions, this money is depleted quickly. The Christmas Kettles enable Conley Outreach to raise additional money and replenish this fund. Approximately 90 percent of all the money donated in our area kettles will stay in our local Salvation Army fund.

All local kettles have a sign stating that the money will stay in the Kaneland/Big Rock area. This past year, the fund helped more than 100 of our neighbors. As winter approaches, many more will need help.

Consider making a donation when you are out shopping this month. Donations can also be sent to Conley Outreach/Salvation Army Fund, PO Box 931 Elburn IL 60119. If you have a group that would like to staff the kettles on a Saturday or Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 23-24, in either Sugar Grove or Elburn, contact Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880.


Sugar Grove business offers therapeutic massage

Photo: A Time of Knead is located at 40 Terry Drive, Sugar Grove. Photo by Lynn Logan

SUGAR GROVE—A Time of Knead, a professional therapeutic massage business located at 40 Terry Drive in Sugar Grove, opened its doors on Oct. 1. The business shares a location in the same building as Rocky’s Dojo, across the street from Fireside Grille on Route 47.

Kari Meloun, owner of A Time of Knead, is a 2012 graduate of the Therapeutic Massage Degree Program at Waubonsee Community College, where she also earned an associate degree in applied science for therapeutic massage in August 2012.

Meloun worked as an independent contractor at Emily Kay Salon in Sugar Grove prior to starting up her own massage business.

“I was working for a year as an independent contractor at Emily Kay Salon in Sugar Grove, and was contemplating starting my own business for a while,” Meloun said. “The opportunity of renting space became available, and I opened my office Oct. 1.”

A number of massage packages are offered on A Time of Knead’s website,, including therapeutic massages of different time lengths, hot stone massage, chair massage, on-site chair massage, prenatal massage. Outcalls are also available by request.

“I offer custom massages, and when I offer a 60-minute massage, it’s the full 60 minutes,” Meloun said. “I also offer 30 minutes and 90 minutes. I like to make sure my clients are not rushed and get the maximum benefit of each session they come to see me for. I incorporate different techniques to tailor (the experience) and help each individual client meet their goal. It’s not just Swedish massage techniques, but also perhaps deep tissue, reflexology, stretching, etc.”

Meloun’s passion for therapeutic messages stems from her desire to help people.
“What makes me so passionate about massage therapy is that I love helping people,” Meloun said. “This is such a rewarding career. I get to work directly with people, and they look forward to coming to see me. It’s so rewarding when you see the progress that your clients make, whether it be decreasing pain or frequency of headaches, managed stress or increased range of motion. I really love it.”

Educating her clients and the community about the benefits of message is another one of her passions. Meloun enjoys teaching people about the positive impacts of therapeutic massage and how it can help them with their own life.

Meloun’s parents are a big part of the reason behind her decision to open up her own business. Their motivation and inspiration gave her the determination she needed to create A Time of Knead.

“Both my parents are my main inspiration for starting my business,” Meloun said. “My dad has been a small business owner for the last 27 years. My mom, I hadn’t realized at the time before she passed, how much she inspired me. But she was always there for me, always supportive. She bragged about me and was so proud when I graduated high school, went to college, got my first associate degree in science, went into the massage program and got licensed. She would always brag about my accomplishments, and after she passed, I realized all of this. I still feel her looking down on me with a smile and her pride and approval.”

Meloun will be at the Kaneland Special Needs PTA event on Saturday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Harter Middle School, where she will offer free chair messages and a special promotion for everyone who books an appointment there. A Time of Knead’s holiday specials will also be revealed at the PTA event.

For more information, check out a A Time of Knead’s Facebook page.

Veterans Day 2014 Salute Colors

Waubonsee hosts Veterans Day observance

Photo: Members of the Sugar Grove American Legion Post 1271 post the flags of the United States and of the Sugar Grove Legion Post, during a Veterans Day observance Tuesday at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove. Photo submitted by Jonathan Bilyk to

Honors WWII veteran Arthur Sheridan
SUGAR GROVE—Arthur Sheridan regrets not stepping forward sooner.

For decades, Sheridan, an Aurora resident and U.S. Army veteran of World War II, chose to live his life after returning home from combat in Europe in the 1940s, working his job and raising his family.

However, at the age of 80, he said, he was encouraged to get involved in his community and tell the tales of his service.

Sheridan’s story begins with his decision to enlist at 17 years old, and ends with a race across Europe as a member of the 20th Armored Division, culminating in the attack on Munich, Germany, and liberation of the infamous Dachau concentration camp.

Tuesday, Sheridan, who now serves on the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council, shared his story during keynote remarks of the Veterans Day observance ceremony at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.

While recounting his story, Sheridan also encouraged fellow veterans to engage in public service and encouraged those in the community to welcome veterans back into the fabric of civilian life on the homefront.

“Our veterans need advocates,” Sheridan said. “Not just so they can secure the benefits they should receive, but so we can all be remembered during our years.

“Every able-bodied veteran is ready, willing and equipped to serve his community,” Sheridan said.

The event also included parading of colors and a placement of a wreath by representatives of American Legion Post 1271 of Sugar Grove, a reading of President Obama’s Veterans Day Proclamation by Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek, and performance of patriotic musical selections, including The Star-Spangled Banner, directed by Dr. Mark Lathan, Waubonsee assistant professor of Music.


Camiliere impresses behind center

Former Knights QB thriving as Elmhurst College senior
ELMHURST, Ill.—Down 14-0 at halftime, the Elmhurst Bluejays offense needed to get their team back on track. The quarterback, a senior and second-year starter, capped off drives of 83 and 99 yards with touchdown passes. However, the team just ran out of time, losing to Millikin 21-14.

Kaneland football fans should be familiar with who’s lining up at the quarterback position for Elmhurst.

Sugar Grove native and Class of 2011 Knight Joe Camiliere, starter for three Knight gridiron playoff teams, earned College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week honors after a win over North Park University, and has had a career year in his second season of starting responsibilities.

Camiliere, an All-State signal-caller for the 2010 Kaneland squad that earned a Class 5A semifinalist spot, and a starting outfielder for the 2011 Class 3A champion baseball team, feels he’s at a high after some initial bumps and injuries last year.

The quarterback who had to adjust to the play of high school football as a sophomore six years ago has picked up differences on the Division III level.

“The level of competitiveness is a little different,” Camiliere said. “Everybody on a college team was ‘that guy’ on their high school team and the one to go to. I think as you come in as a freshman, it’s a lot of accepting that and learning.”

First-year head coach Ron Planz is glad to have Camiliere carry out the plans, resulting in a year when adjustments can be excused.

“We look for leadership, and someone who can get into the huddle and be somebody that leads by example and who does things right. That’s number one for someone who’s our quarterback,” Planz said.
Working with Camiliere has also been fruitful for members of the coaching staff who work even more intensely on the offensive side.

“You’re going to need a guy that’s going to want the ball in his hands in the pressure situations,” offensive coordinator Kyle Derickson said. “We have someone right now that will get it done.”

The Bluejays senior has passed for 1,329 yards through seven contests with
Camiliere continued on page 3BCamiliere
continued from page 1B
eight touchdowns to boot, in a better position than the early 1-2 stretch.
‘We’ve got athletic guys up front and at skill positons that we like to use. We didn’t start out the year well at all. There was a tough loss to Lewis, a tough win the next week and then a loss to University of Chicago. At the bye week, we just kind of sat down as a group. Nobody panicked or needed to change this or that and the coaches didn’t change anything up. We knew we needed to correct,” Camiliere said.
“We looked for ways that were easier for Joe to get things and worked on that. That’s where you’re seeing the success now through conference. We’ve done a really good job of making sure we’re utilizing his skill set,” Planz said.

Throwing for a season-high 262 yards in a 28-0 shutout of the NPU Vikings back on Oct. 18, Camiliere knows his skills can help the Bluejays attack in the pivotal last third of the 2014 regular season.

“It’s a similar system, and it changes up a little bit, and we do some different things up front and use our speed,” Camiliere said.

In his second year of starting and fourth year of seeing action in the CCIW and around the Midwest, Camiliere has his favorite venues to sling the ball besides his own Langhorst Field.

“As of right now, it’s Illinois Wesleyan (in Bloomington, Ill.). Being able to go down there and walk on that field is something. The 2.5 hour bus ride after a win was great. Carthage (in Kenosha, Wis.) is great, too,” Camiliere said.

With no set plans to play on at any level, the talent that tossed such memorable touchdowns, like the quarterfinal winner to Tyler Callaghan against Vernon Hills in Nov. 2010, is enjoying this final three-game regular season stretch.

“I think this last month will be the last for playing football,” Camiliere said. “Coaching would definitely be something I would enjoy, but I don’t know if it’s something I would get into right away. The game of football has definitely been a big part of my life.”

Earlier in the season, the Bluejays football squad enjoyed a four-game win streak, rallying from early troubles for a current 5-4 overall record. Elmhurst closes out the regular season at home against North Central Nov. 15.
Photos courtesy of Elmhurst College Sports Information director Kevin Juday


Halloween fundraiser gets a visit from Hughes family

Photos: Guest of honor and former Sugar Grove library director Beverly Holmes-Hughes (above, left) converses with new Sugar Grove Library Director Shannon Halikias of Naperville, Ill. Photos by Lynn Logan

Halloween fundraiser gets a visit from Hughes family
SUGAR GROVE—Along with unexpected donations and more volunteers than they knew what to do with, organizers of a Halloween fundraiser on Saturday got a visit from the beneficiary herself: Beverly Holmes Hughes.

The event, organized by Sugar Grove resident Debbie DeBoer and her family, gave kids one last chance to wear their Halloween costumes while playing games to win prizes. The single fee of $10 per child benefited Hughes’ ongoing battle with brain cancer.

“It was a crazy, busy day,” DeBoer said of the fundraiser event. “We were a little overwhelmed at first, getting everything set up.”

DeBoer said Harter Middle School teacher/coach Adam Wickness had promised 15 of his Kaneland basketball players as volunteers, but arrived with 20.

“We had about 45 children (attend), and we did really well on the raffles,” DeBoer said. “We had people without children show up with donations.”

DeBoer was delighted when one boy told her it was “way more fun” than another recent school fun fair.

“And then his friend piped up and said, ‘Way, way more fun,’” DeBoer said.

She was thrilled, also, that Hughes attended with her family to play the games and thank the volunteers.

“She (Hughes) tells me all the time she can’t believe how kind people are,” said Pat Graceffa, Sugar Grove Library Board trustee and longtime friend of Hughes’. “She looked good, and she was just thrilled. Beverly is one of the smartest people I know, but she isn’t obvious about it. She helps you figure things out, and you don’t realize until later that she’s the one who figured it out and let you believe you did it.”

Graceffa expressed her gratitude to the DeBoer family for organizing and running the event.

“It was really well-thought out. They had plans for everything,” Graceffa said. “And the kids got so excited over the small gifts they won.”

Graceffa also had a few nice words for the teen volunteers.

“The Kaneland basketball players were just terrific. They were so patient with the kids and even if the kids didn’t win, they made sure they did win,” Graceffa said with a laugh.

All proceeds from the event were deposited into the “Beverly’s Battle with Brain Cancer” fund at Castle Bank. Further donations to the fund are welcome, as well.

Sugar Grove proposes property tax levy

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday announced a proposed property tax levy increase for 2014.

Sugar Grove Finance Director Pat Chamberlin said during the meeting that the board is considering a 2.2 percent increase for real estate taxes in 2014. The estimated property tax extension amount for 2014 is $1,548,835.74, which would be a $33,574.62 increase from the 2013 extension amount.

The CPI (Consumer Price Index) for the 2014 Tax Levy is 1.5 percent. Under the Property Tax Limitation Act, a state statute, the levy increase cannot exceed the CPI increase for the prior year.

A public hearing will be conducted on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Sugar Grove Village Hall, 10 S. Municipal Drive. The Sugar Grove Village Board is scheduled to vote on the tax levy on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Levy and tax ordinances will be filed with the county clerk on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

Halloween party to raise funds for Beverly’s battle

SUGAR GROVE—Debbie DeBoer has a couple of good reasons for hosting a Halloween party that benefits Beverly Holmes Hughes’ battle against brain cancer.

The party fundraiser is set for 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Sugar Grove Community House. For the entry fee of $10 per child, kids can play as many games as they like, and win or lose, a prize is collected. Coloring pages and other craft projects will be available, as well.

“We moved here 12 years ago when my oldest son was 1,” DeBoer said. “The first thing I did was find the library and get involved.”

Hughes was the library director at that time. The two women worked together on a variety of projects, including the library referendum, and became friends.

“Bev has always worked so hard; she would help out anybody in need. Even now, being sick, she’s inspiring us,” DeBoer said. “People die every day without warning; she has time to spend with her family and tell them she loves them.

“We’re coming together to show her how much she means to us, and she feels blessed seeing how much she’s loved.”

DeBoer said that when her sons were younger—they are now 10 and 13—the Community House hosted a Halloween party. One of her son’s friends recently mentioned the party, remembering it as a great time.

That single comment spurred DeBoer into action, using games and prizes her family already had at home. Pat Graceffa, Sugar Grove Public Library trustee, rented the Community House, and all fundraiser proceeds will be deposited into Beverly’s Battle with Brain Cancer account at Castle Bank.

Games run the gamut from Bozo Buckets to darts to break balloons. Graceffa said Usborne Books will be available, as well.

“I know the kids will have a blast, and they have one more chance to wear their Halloween costumes,” DeBoer said.

Along with the games, crafts and prizes, Klicks by Katee will provide a photo booth for strips of pictures throughout the event.

Volunteers will be provided by Harter Middle School Social Studies teacher Adam Wickness—he’ll bring 15 basketball players to help with the games.

Helping others is something the DeBoer family—Debbie, her husband, Chris, and sons, Daniel and Brian—does on a regular basis.

“We are doing this because we can help,” DeBoer said. “I like showing our sons what just four people can do. If you don’t see the action, you don’t really know.”

For updates on Holmes’ ongoing battle, donation locations and information on events, visit the Beverly’s Battle with Brain Cancer page on Facebook.


Sugar Grove Ace Hardware celebrates grand opening

Photo: Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels (left to right), Sugar Grove Ace Hardware owner Mark Driscoll, Laure Driscoll, Danielle Driscoll, Sugar Grove Chamber President Steve Ekker and trustee Mari Johnson celebrate the opening of the village’s Ace Hardware Oct. 16. Photo by Natalie Juns

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Ace Hardware owner Mark Driscoll celebrated the grand opening of his store on Thursday, Oct. 16, surrounded by his family, members of the Sugar Grove Village Board and Chamber of Commerce, and members of the community. Panera doughnuts and coffee were offered to everyone in attendance during the opening.

Driscoll thanked the village of Sugar Grove for its help and assistance during the process of building and opening his Ace Hardware Store.

“The village has been absolutely outstanding with the process, aligning meetings and everything,” Driscoll said. “I certainly wouldn’t be here today without their support.”

The new Sugar Grove Ace Hardware store is located off of Route 47, next to Jewel-Osco, and features a separate section designated for the sale of premium cat, dog and bird food.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels welcomed Driscoll and Ace Hardware to the community.

“You can tell that this is a retailer getting into the hardware business,” Michels said. “This is a beautiful building, and it is well-stocked and organized inside. Welcome to the community.”

Sugar Grove Chamber President Steve Ekker noted the convenience of having an Ace Hardware in Sugar Grove.

“People in the community know what its like to travel 15 to 20 minutes to get a smoke detector,” Ekker said. “I’m thrilled there’s one in town, and we can spend our money locally.”

Architects propose Sugar Grove senior living apartment

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday heard from Thad Gleason, owner of Gleason Architects P.C., as he presented a senior living development plan for Senescent Healthcare, LLC of Lincolnshire.

Gleason Architects P.C., an architectural company located in Sugar Grove, has extensive experience in services for health care facilities.

Gleason explained the details surrounding the new proposed Sugar Grove senior living apartment, which will be located at the southwest corner of Division Drive and Park Avenue.

“This will be a assisted living care facility with a memory care component,” Gleason said. “It’s not a nursing home. There are 71 units on 74,000 square feet on a 23-acre lot. Residents will receive three meals a day and will have access to exercise programs, laundry services, social activities, transportation services, a hair salon, clinic/medical office and more. Bathing, dressing, and 24-hour security are included.”

According to Gleason, there are a number of rooms included within the facility, such as a dining room, bistro and coffee shop area, commercial kitchen, laundry service room, movie theater, spa, activity room, multi-purpose room and more.

The parking lot of the senior living apartment and its number of parking spots was a topic of discussion during the board meeting.

“Parking is generally for guests and employees since residents don’t drive,” Gleason said.

Village Board trustee Rick Montalto brought up his concern about limited parking at the facility.

“I’m concerned about the parking situation,” Montalto said. “I can see people needing cars. With visitors on holidays, getting service people and ambulance people in and out, I’m concerned there isn’t enough parking spots when you go down to 40 spots.”

Community Development Director Walter Magdziarz explained the reasoning behind what could be a limited amount of parking spots.

“There is significant reduction with parking spots with what see others are doing,” Magdziarz said. “The parking need is lower than our requirement. There is some reluctance with accepting that residents won’t be driving, but the reality is that these residents won’t drive. The seven parking spots that they are missing they can’t fit in the parking lot, but there is a large parking lot on the south side of this building that could potentially be shared during a high traffic time.”

Gleason explained that the proposed senior living apartment would potentially have 18 employees, with 8 to 10 employees working per shift. Gleason said he would like to begin construction in the spring, and also noted that the plan is to have all the vital information to the village by Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The board on Tuesday, Nov. 4, will decide on a final action regarding the senior living apartment.


Sugar Grove readies new library director

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Public Library will welcome Naperville resident Shannon Halikias as its new library director when she officially begins her duties on Monday, Oct. 20. Halikias is eager to start in her new position as director.

“I’m thrilled about the Sugar Grove library director position,” Halikias said. “I’m looking forward to stepping in and getting to be in different roles as a director. When I saw the Sugar Grove position was open, I was very excited. I hope to serve Sugar Grove for a number of years.”

Halikias brings 15 years of library experience to her new position. She has served as a children’s librarian and a branch coordinator at Aurora Public Library, a director for Lisle Library District, and has also taught library-related topics at College of DuPage and Waubonsee Community College, including Readers Advisory, Adult Programming and Library Work Place Skills. Halikias received her master’s in library science from North Carolina Central University.

Halikias believes her new role as library director will be a great fit for her, and she will be able to serve the library in a variety of different roles. And since the library director position isn’t full time, it will provide Halikias with a flexible schedule and allow her to continue teaching on the side at College of DuPage and Waubonsee.

The Sugar Grove Library Board will soon meet with Halikias to discuss its different goals for the library and for her position.

“I have found the members of the Library Board to be friendly, dedicated to quality resources and services, and unified in their desire for supporting the value of the library,” Halikias said. “I look forward to working with a supportive board that is understanding of the role and mission we play in the lives of citizens.”

Halikias would also like to shift focus off of the library’s current finances and draw attention to the what the library contributes to the community.

“Residents need to know what they’re supporting,” Halikias said. “For every $1 that residents give to the library through taxes, they get a $4 return in the form of programs, activities, technology and more.”

Even though Halikias lives in Naperville, she’s no stranger to the Sugar Grove area.

“I’m familiar with Sugar Grove, and I feel that there is a sense of togetherness where neighbors know neighbors,” she said. “The community also has access to great jobs, being in a prime area west of Chicago. I think this is an area we’ll see explode growth-wise.”

Halikias said she looks forward to serving the Sugar Grove sommunity as the library’s director, and feels she can make a positive impact.

“I want to be very accessible to patrons,” Halikias said. “I want them to feel comfortable (and) bring their ideas and thoughts to me.”

Former pastor’s wife charged with attempted murder

MONTGOMERY—Pamela J. Christensen, 47, of Montgomery, has been charged with six counts of attempted first degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint, stemming from an incident that took place in late September.

A Montgomery Police press release states that police responded to a home in the 2300 block of Patron Lane on Sept. 25 after receiving two 911 hang-up calls. According to police, responding officers determined that Christensen tried to poison her three daughters, ages 12, 16 and 19, with a mixture of household chemicals. The daughters reportedly refused to drink the poison.

The press release also states that Christensen stabbed two of her daughters. All three daughters were transported to Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, where they were treated and released to a grandparent.

Christensen was transported to Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora for self-inflicted stab wounds.

Christensen is the estranged wife of Vaughn Christensen, who is the former pastor of the Heritage of Faith Church in Sugar Grove. The church’s website is currently unavailable; calls to the church’s phone number went unreturned.

According to Montgomery Police, Pamela said she was sending the girls “home to meet Jesus Christ” because she had received text messages from her estranged husband stating that the world was ending and she needed to prepare the family to meet Jesus.

Just a month prior to the Sept. 25 incident, Pamela served Vaughn with a restraining order, stating that he had become increasingly violent toward her and their children.

Filed on Aug. 29 in Kendall County, the order stated that Vaughn had threatened to harm himself and the children. Police confirmed they had responded to the home several times.

The couple filed for divorce on Sept. 10 in DuPage County.

Pamela on Oct. 8 was released from the hospital to the custody of Montgomery Police and transported to Kendall County Adult Corrections.

Pamela appeared during bond call on Oct. 9 and was held on $1 million bond. She is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Oct. 16. During that court date, the judge will explain to Pamela the charges against her, and her rights.

Community plans fundraiser event for Holmes Hughes

SUGAR GROVE—Friends of Beverly Holmes Hughes, Sugar Grove’s former library director, will host a Halloween “Fund-Fair” on Nov. 2 to raise money for the Hughes family.

The event is one more opportunity for children to don their Halloween costumes and have some fun. It’s also an opportunity for community members to help raise money for Hughes, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, in May 2014.

Hughes, who was named Sugar Grove’s Citizen of the Year in 2010 for her extensive contributions to the community, will receive chemotherapy for the rest of her life.

Though the tumor has stripped her of her ability to walk, and the chemo leaves her exhausted, she is continuing to work as DeVry University’s director of Library Services in Addison, Ill., because she is the sole support for seven people: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still living at home.

The fundraising event, which will be held at the Sugar Grove Community House from 1-3 p.m., features a variety of Halloween games and crafts designed for children 10 and under.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come together in the community,” event organizer Debbie DeBoer said. “The kids are going to have a great time, and we’re doing something for a great cause. Everything we raise is going straight to Bev.”

For a $10 entry fee, children can play as many games as they like, and win or lose, each child collects a prize at each game. The games are designed so that children as young as age 1 can participate, DeBoer said.

The DeBoer family is providing all of the games and prizes, and Sugar Grove Library trustee Pat Graceffa has rented the space at the Community Center, so 100 percent of all proceeds will go directly to the Hughes family.

Activities include balloon darts, a duck pond, guessing games based on touch, a zombie toss, a shooting game, skeleton bowling, a spider ring-toss, and a milk pin throw. Klicks by Katee, a Kaneville photography business run by Katee Werrline, has also donated a photo booth where children and families can take unlimited free photos of themselves for the first two hours of the event.

DeBoer is hoping that at least 200 children will turn out for the fundraiser, but the Community Center can hold up to 600, so she’s buying more prizes just to be sure.

“They win a prize for each game they play, and when they win something, it’s very fun and motivating,” DeBoer said. “They win stretchy skeletons at one game, a sheet of stickers at another, a spider ring at another. It’s fun collecting the prizes, and they want to get them all.”

Like many who know Hughes, DeBoer first met her through the library, where DeBoer volunteered in the used bookstore.

“(Beverly) lives life the way I wish I could. She just takes care of so many people—she’s taken in those children; she takes care of the community. How can you not help her? Knowing what she’s done for the community, I couldn’t turn my back to this,” DeBoer said. “To me, she’s an important person in our community, and as I like to teach my sons, if we can make a little bit of difference and make one month less stressful for this family, we should.”

An ongoing fundraiser, “Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer,” is continuing to collect funds to help the Hughes family through an account at Castle Bank. Monetary donations can be made to the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund at any Castle Bank location, including the local branch at 36 E. Galena Blvd. in Sugar Grove.

Sugar Grove trustee Mari Johnson is urging community members to donate to the Hughes fund.

“Why do you donate to anything?” Johnson asked. “Because you feel an affiliation or an affinity toward that cause. Personally, I’ve known Beverly for over 20 years, and I think that through what she did at the library, all those years, she touched a lot of people’s lives.”

DeBoer was one of those people Hughes touched through her work at the library.

“I just really enjoyed taking my boys (to the library) and teaching them about literature and books, and (Beverly) tried so hard when we had the (old) little library, and she tried so hard to get the new building up and running,” DeBoer said. “I just appreciate her efforts.”

Donations of money, gift cards for groceries and gas, disinfecting supplies, clothes and school supplies for the family’s four children, and other items can be dropped off at the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce Office, 141 Main St., on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; at 923 Spruce St., Sugar Grove; at 1916 Annettes Circle, Sugar Grove; or at 865 Boyce Road, Sugar Grove.

For updates and more information, follow the Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer page on Facebook.

Sugar Grove denies BP consumption, gambling license

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-1 to deny a request for a liquor license that would allow on-site alcohol consumption and facilitate video gaming at the BP Gas Station located on Route 47 in Sugar Grove.

Village Board trustee Robert Bohler was not present.

Village trustee Kevin Geary was the sole board trustee for the on-site consumption and gambling license. Other board trustees spoke about their concerns and the potential problems the license could cause for the community.

“As much as I love the BP, and I’m there for coffee everyday, I’m opposed to (the license),” Village Board trustee Rick Montalto said. “I did a poll about it, and everyone I talked to was opposed to it.”

Village President Sean Michels expressed his concern of on-site consumption taking place at BP Gas Station with John Shields Elementary School located nearby.

“I don’t see it being a great thought,” Michels said. “It’s just the thought that someone could come in and have a couple of drinks and drive off and be so close to the school. Personally, I’m opposed to it. This disagreement won’t set us apart. The BP is great for the community.”

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger also voiced his apprehension regarding on-site consumption in gas stations.

“We have some concerns with consumption-on-site with gas stations, like we have brought up (previously),” Eichelberger said. “At some point, the village will hit a saturation level.”

There are currently three locations in Sugar Grove that have video gaming machines on premise, bringing in a combined total of $700 a month. Of that total, $100 goes toward the village.

Geary reasserted his support of the on-site consumption and gambling license.

“This is exactly what I argued about,” Geary said. “The public said that this is what they wanted. I promote business, and the public said yes to it.”

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 12.21.15 PM

Piece of the Rock

Photo: Ivan Bohorquez celebrates scoring his unassisted first-half goal against Sycamore Tuesday. Photo by Tiffany Kufer

Second-place effort at Quad Cities gathering has smooth finish
KANELAND—This past weekend had the Kaneland soccer roster heading two hours west, and gain a little footing on an up-and-down 2014 campaign.

On Friday and Saturday, KHS headed to the Rock Island Tournament and went 3-1 overall, finishing second. On Tuesday, Kaneland went to Sycamore for a Northern Illinois Big XII conference skirmish and shut out the Spartans 3-0.

Kaneland sits at 9-7-2, with a 3-2-1 mark in NIB-12 play, and roughly a week and a half left in regular season play.

To begin the Rock Island festivities, the Knights used two penalty kick conversions from Angel Escontrias to take a 2-0 win from Homewood-Flossmoor, and finished Friday with a 2-0 win over Washington. Escontrias’ first-half goal and Mark Dhom’s second-half try sealed the deal.

Facing the host Rocks, a 3-1 win was propelled by Felipe Speraggi’s goal off an Escontrias feed in the first half, the Speraggi-Escontrias connection in the second half, and an Escontrias goal off a feed from Andrew Mathys with 11 minutes left.

In the title match, East Moline United Township beat KHS 2-1, as Escontrias’ penalty try was the lone goal with 12 minutes to go. Kaneland was playing two men short due to red cards.

Against Sycamore, Escontrias and Ivan Bohorquez each had a goal and an assist. Andres Tovar supplied a second-half goal, as well.

Kaneland hosts Morris on Thursday.


Local farm features pumpkins, corn maze, decorations

SUGAR GROVE—John Nichols is transforming his family’s century-old dairy barn into a new fall destination for families, surrounded by fields of pumpkins and a recently completed corn maze.

The Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm, located at the corner of Route 47 and Merrill Road in Sugar Grove, is a down-home affair on a working grain farm. Many of the pumpkin patch employees are Nichols’ relatives, and his cousin, aunt and uncle are all helping out through the busy fall season.

“It’s a really good family experience,” said Eli Puffenbarger, Nichols’ cousin and a farm employee. “There’s kids running around, and a lot of families come here because there’s no entry fee. There’s lots of things for kids to do, and we have people of all ages coming to enjoy the sights.”

In addition to the pumpkins, the farm features a corn maze, a picnic area, play areas for children, and a variety of harvest items for sale inside the barn. If customers arrive when no one’s around, there’s a pay wagon where customers can pay for their pumpkins using the honor system.

Eli Puffenbarger of Maple Park shows off an oversized pumpkin, which can be found at the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm on the corner of Route 47 and Merrill Road. Puffenbarger is the cousin of SG Pumpkin Farm owner John Nichols. 						            Photo by Lynn Logan
Eli Puffenbarger of Maple Park shows off an oversized pumpkin, which can be found at the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm on the corner of Route 47 and Merrill Road. Puffenbarger is the cousin of SG Pumpkin Farm owner John Nichols. Photo by Lynn Logan

“You just put your cash in the box if no one’s there,” said Pete Filipos, Nichols’ uncle and a farm employee. “That’s not something you see very much anymore. You may see a little pumpkin patch here and there on the side of the road, but that’s how John got his start. He was the guy on the side of the road.”

Though the Nichols family has been farming the same plot of land since the 1940s, John is in his early 20s and is one of the youngest farmers in the area. He took over the farm five years ago, when his parents, Phil and Sara Nichols, and his younger siblings moved to Tanzania to become missionaries and run an orphanage.

As a teenager, he set up a farmstand to sell sweet corn along Route 47, and his interest in retailing produce has grown from there.

“John started selling sweet corn when he was a young boy, when his dad was running the farm,” Filipos said. “It was a little extra money for him to make, and he got the idea for doing more retail sales from that. It started with sweet corn, then tomatoes, squash, zucchini and stuff like that. Then he decided to try pumpkins and see what happened, and it’s doing great.”

When John took over the grain farm, in addition to growing the corn, soybeans and wheat that are the farm’s main source of income, he began growing a small patch of pumpkins and selling them wholesale to other retailers. Three years ago, he decided to start offering them retail and opened up a harvest store in his dairy barn.

Nichols spends most of each day out in the fields, and Filipos describes him as ambitious.

“John’s industrious. He’s a hard worker. He’s a smart man, and he’s ambitious,” Filipos said. “I think that shows with what he’s trying to do.”

The antique dairy barn was expanded in the 1950s to add more space. And more recently, the family removed its hayloft and gave it a fresh sandblasting, which gives it an airy feel. Inside, the farm sells several varieties of pumpkins, including giant pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, Cinderella pumpkins and green-and-whites, as well as gourds, bales of straw, corn stalks, Indian corn, popcorn, vegetables grown on the farm, and Halloween decorations and craft items.

This self-serve, honor-system wagon is stocked with a variety of pumpkins and gourds located off Route 47 on Merrill Road. The arrow points to the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm where guests can shop at the farmstand. Photo by Lynn Logan
This self-serve, honor-system wagon is stocked with a variety of pumpkins and gourds located off Route 47 on Merrill Road. The arrow points to the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm where guests can shop at the farmstand.
Photo by Lynn Logan

“We basically have everything to make a wonderful display outside your house,” Puffenbarger said.

There are a few other area vendors selling goods inside the barn, including Burgin’s Meat of Maple Park, which will sell locally raised meat products there each weekend in October, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Burgin and Nichols families are old friends, Filipos said, and have worked together on farming projects in the past. Now that the Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market has closed for the season, the Burgin stand will move over to the pumpkin farm.

“We have a line of customers who are waiting out there in the morning for him to arrive and sell meat out of his truck,” Filipos said. “We’ve had so many customers who’ve asked if we were going to have more vendors or offer more things, and this is one of the new things that we are offering this year.”

Though not as well-known as other local harvest destinations, the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm has been seeing about 1,000 visitors a week throughout September, and Filipos expects that it will be even busier as Halloween approaches

The goal, Filipos said, is to develop the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm into one of the area’s largest.

“Every year, it’s just getting a little bigger and bigger. Business is good. The early season, people aren’t quite in the fall mood yet. But as the weather starts to cool and we get closer to Halloween, business is brisk,” Filipos said.

The Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though outside vendors are only there on weekends. Pumpkins can be purchased on the honor system between sunrise and sunset.


‘Purple Store’ collecting funds, goods for Hughes

KANEVILLE—Hill’s Country Store, aka the “Purple Store,” in Kaneville, is currently collecting funds and goods for Beverly Holmes Hughes and her family.

Hughes was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, last summer.

Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill knows Beverly personally and wants to help her and her family during this time.

Hughes is the sole financial support for seven people in her home: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

“I knew Beverly a long time ago,” Hill said. “I want to try and help her out and bring her a meal. I hope that people give from their heart. You never know when you’ll be in that situation.”

The donation box at Hill’s Country Store is an ongoing collection where people can donate a monetary gift in any amount, along with gas cards and gift cards. Hill also hopes to soon receive information about coordinating meals for Beverly and her family.

Photo by Lynn Logan


In the company of family, friends

Community rallies around Hughes
SUGAR GROVE—Everyone’s life ends at some point, but hearing a doctor say it is hard to handle, said Beverly Holmes Hughes, Sugar Grove’s former library director.

Hughes has been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme—an aggressive brain tumor with a dire prognosis. It’s especially hard for Hughes to handle because she is the sole support for seven people: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

That’s why several of Hughes’ friends—and after more than two decades of service to Sugar Grove, she has a lot of them—have banded together to host a fundraiser for her and her family, called “Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer.”

“She is just a huge part of this community, and to have her be stricken with this terrible kind of cancer all of a sudden has really hit a lot of us very hard,” said Louise Coffman, Sugar Grove Library Board Treasurer. “She really has been the person in her family who has supported everybody all these years. She and her sister co-parented dozens of foster kids, and she supports her sister and her adopted special-needs kids. These people are giving back to society in manifold ways, and it just seems right that we would help her.”

Organizers have set up an account at Castle Bank at 36 E. Galena Blvd. in Sugar Grove, and they are asking area families to drop off checks made out to the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund. Donations can also be dropped off at a number of locations throughout Sugar Grove.

“It’s an ongoing fundraiser, so donations don’t have to be one large amount at one time. If someone can do $10 a week, that would be wonderful,” said Pat Graceffa, a Sugar Grove Library trustee and longtime friend of Hughes.

“Beverly would always be the first one there to help them if they were in need,” she said. “She worked in our community for 19 years, and she was involved in everything—the library, the Corn Boil, the Chamber of Commerce, the Farmer’s Market. She did all of those things so that people would know that the library was the living room of the community—someplace where you could come (visit); someplace that would bring the community together.”

Hughes’ work in the community has been so extensive that she was named Sugar Grove’s Citizen of the Year in 2010, even though she lives in North Aurora.

Hughes discovered she had a brain tumor following a spring break trip last May, when she started having trouble with her right leg and fell.

When she wound up in the emergency room, doctors told her that her leg was not the problem and that she had a Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive cancer that sends tentacles throughout the brain. Though she’s had brain surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor, it’s impossible to remove it all without removing parts of Hughes’ brain.

“With brain surgery, the margin of safety is that they have to leave a little of it,” Hughes said.

Chemotherapy and radiation can hold the cancer cells in check for awhile, but not forever. Glioblastoma patients have a median survival time of 14.6 months, a statistic that is difficult for Hughes to face.

“It’s stopped us in our tracks and made us think about a bitter reality that it’s not easy to think about,” Hughes said. “There are times I’ve said to the kids that everybody comes through it in a different way. And they say, ‘But you’re going to die.’ And I say, ‘Yes, but there’s so much we can do in the meantime.’”

It doesn’t surprise Hughes’ friends that she would try to stay positive even about cancer. Graceffa said that Hughes is truly selfless.

“Her whole life has never been about her,” Graceffa said. “She’s truly a remarkable person. I’ve just never met anyone like her in my whole life.”

Hughes and her sister, Janet Holmes, lived together when they were young and began taking in dozens of foster children in their home in North Aurora.

“They always took children who were the least adoptable,” Graceffa said. “Children born to moms addicted to cocaine, children who couldn’t hear—and so (Beverly and Janet) needed to learn sign language—and children who had physical or mental challenges.”

Some of those children eventually returned to their biological families, but Holmes adopted seven of the foster children, and “Aunt Beverly” lived with them and helped raise them. When Hughes married, her husband Chuck agreed to join the family and help raise those children, as well. Though three of the children are now grown and living independently, four teenagers remain at home.

Since Hughes is the only one in the family with a job that provides health insurance, she must continue working, even though the tumor is affecting her ability to walk and the chemo has sapped her strength, Coffman said. Hughes is working as the director of library services for DeVry University in Addison, Ill., and though the library has allowed her to do some of that work from home, she must still go in regularly.

“She’s working 30 hours a week now in order to maintain her health insurance and benefits, and I can’t imagine anything harder than basically having a terminal illness where you have to slog through a regular workweek and not have the luxury of being ill (and just resting and recovering),” Coffman said.

The goal of the fundraiser, Coffman said, is to take some of the burden off of Hughes. Though raising money to help pay Hughes’ mounting medical bills and household bills is the main goal, organizers are also seeking other kinds of donations, including gas cards to help pay for frequent trips to the hospital and to visit Ed, the family’s 14-year-old son who lives at a school for the deaf on weekdays, and Lydia, an older daughter who lives independently.

Grocery cards and easy meals would also be helpful, Coffman said, since it is a large family, and back-to-school supplies and clothes for the four children—twins Hannah and Elizabeth, age 13; Ed; and George, age 17—would be welcome. Since Hughes’ immune system has been compromised by the chemotherapy, donations of paper towels, liquid soap, Lysol wipes, trash bags and hand sanitizer are also being accepted.

Hughes’ tumor is affecting her ability to walk and drive, and so volunteers willing to transport her to and from her job in Addison are also needed. Chuck had heart surgery earlier this week and is currently not well enough to drive her.

Gifts of fun family activities are also welcome, as Hughes is trying to spend quality time with the children while she can.

“We want the kids to have as normal and carefree a childhood as possible,” Hughes said.”

Sugar Grove trustee Mari Johnson, who is also sponsoring the fundraiser, is hoping that the citizens of Sugar Grove—all the families who brought their children into library storytime over the years; all the students who needed research assistance; all the adults who just wanted a good book—will donate to help Hughes in her hour of need.

The two met when Johnson brought her son, who was then 2 years old, into the library for storytime. Her son is now 26, and Hughes and Johnson have been friends for more than two decades.

“When I think of how many families brought their children for storytime over those 20 years, if each one of those families donated just a small amount, it could make such a difference in her life,” Johnson said. “I think it’s just really important that people are aware. Some of the reasons that we’re here and we do these sorts of things is that we’re still a small town, and people care about each other. One way to show that you care is to donate, even if it’s just as little as $1.”

There won’t be any fancy fundraising events for Hughes, either. Instead of holding a $40 dinner where $30 of that goes to pay for the food, venue and entertainment, the community is instead planning a simpler fundraiser where every single dollar donated goes straight to help Hughes.

Coffman, who helps plan the Corn Boil and a number of other community events, said they thought something simple might be best.

“It was a matter of, ‘Is the community kind of tapped out in terms of partying?’ Okay, you don’t have to stand in a buffet line or buy raffle tickets. Every dollar you give goes straight to that family,” Coffman said.

Though they’ve been publicizing the fundraiser with flyers, organizers haven’t had the response they hope for yet.

“We’ve had some response so far, but not as much as I would have hoped,” Coffman said. “We’d like to get more. We have a Facebook page with 400 followers. If 400 people actually sent in $10, that would be awesome and that would really, really help. That kind of bulk contribution—you can’t really have 400 people at a banquet hall and get that kind of money to go to the person in need.”

Coffman said that she understands times are tough for many families, but that most people can afford to send something.

“We’re asking for a little bit of help from a lot of people,” she said. “I know that Beverly is loved by this community from the outpouring of support she got from the library. I know we can do this. If a lot of us gave even a little, that would be the best outcome.”

The effort has to be ongoing, Coffman emphasized.

“The problem with this kind of cancer, and I am not sure that people are really aware of it, but this is not a curable disease. Beverly will be receiving chemo treatments for the rest of her life, until the chemo doesn’t work anymore. This has to be an ongoing effort, because she’s going to need our help. Someone needs to make sure people understand this,” Coffman said.

Monetary donations can be made to
the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund
at any Castle Bank, or mailed to the Sugar Grove location,
36 E. Galena Blvd.,
Sugar Grove, IL 60554.

Donations of money, gas cards, grocery cards, disinfecting supplies, clothes, school supplies and other items can be dropped off at the following locations:

Downtown Sugar Grove
• 201 Calkins Dr., Sugar Grove

• Sugar Grove Chamber of
Commerce Office, Sugar Grove
Community House on Main
Street, Tuesdays and Thursdays,
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Advanced Realty Consultants,
91 Sugar Lane, Unit 2, weekdays,
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Windsor Point subdivision
• 287 E. Park Ave., Sugar Grove

Dugan Woods subdivision
• 1916 Annettes Circle,
Sugar Grove

Lakes of Bliss Woods subdivision
• 923 Spruce St., Sugar Grove

Walnut Woods subdivision
• Debbie DeBoer,
865 Boyce Road, Sugar Grove

Hannaford Farm subdivision
• Rachel Rockwell,
1731 Hannaford Drive,
Sugar Grove

Sugar Grove discusses Rt. 30, Dugan Road improvement project

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday heard from HR Green consultant Jack Melhuish. The representative presented an advanced improvement project for the Route 30 and Dugan Road intersection, which will involve the addition of several turn lanes, improvement of the railroad signal and crossing on Dugan Road, and full-depth shoulders from Dugan Road to Municipal Drive.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will begin the project in spring 2015, according to Melhuish.

“There will be three different projects as far as construction,” Melhuish said. “The west leg of U.S. Route 30 will have additional turn lanes; the east leg of U.S. Route 30 will have duel left lanes, which will be the biggest part of the project; the south part of Dugan will have two right turn lanes; the north leg of Dugan will basically have no changes; and full- depth shoulders will be added from Dugan Road to Municipal Drive.”

Traffic patterns and accidents were analyzed to determine the specifics of this project. Around 700 vehicles travel through the east part of U.S. 30 during peak hours, and on the south part of Dugan, there are 1,000 vehicles traveling from the north to the east during high traffic times, according to Melhuish.

The project is expected to reduce accidents and congestion in the corridor of U.S. Route 30 and Dugan Road. Final plans will be submitted Thursday morning to IDOT in Springfield. The project contractor’s identity will be disclosed to the Village Board in November, according to Melhuish.

“This has to be built in 2015. If this starts in April, they will have no excuse to not have this done past Oct. 31,” Melhuish said. “If there is bad weather, it could linger into November. There will be a project website. They have to be in touch with police, fire, and ambulance.”

U.S. Route 30 won’t be closed during the project, but a detour will be set up for 20 calendar days, or three weeks. The village has signed off on it, according to Melhuish.

Sugar Grove police warn of phone scam

From the Sugar Grove Police Department:
Beware of fake phone calls from the Village-designated phone numbers. The police department responded to a residence last evening where someone portrayed themselves as a Police Officer of Sugar Grove demanding money from the resident or the Police Department would come and arrest them.

The caller id on the residents phone showed the Village assigned phone number but the call did not generate from the Village. This unethical/fraudulent “phone spoofing” permits the originating caller to spoof someone else’s or a business’s phone number and name to display on the incoming caller id. A number of service companies are providing this product to individuals to make fraudulent attempts to solicit, swindle innocent victims out of money or services.

In this incident the resident had good common sense to recognize that the person on the other end of the phone line was not from Sugar Grove or a Police Officer even though they identified themselves as an officer. The resident hung up with the caller and dialed 911 to report the activity.

The Sugar Grove Police Department does not call residents and demand them to pay someone or drop money in an envelope, or wire funds to another location.

If anyone calls your phone and it doesn’t seem right, call 911 to report the activity.

Sugar Grove library director accepts Zion position

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Public Library Director Carol Dolin will move on from her current position and take on a new role at the Zion-Benton Public Library District in October as its new director.

Dolin was hired as the director at the Sugar Grove Library District in 2012 and has worked diligently to bring reading programs and activities to the youth of Sugar Grove.

“I worked hard to get the education and experience required to do this job well,” Dolin said. “As much as Sugar Grove Library trustees want to provide for staff, and I have enjoyed being there, the voters have said ‘no’ over and over again to supporting a public library that has full-time staff with benefits and enough money to operate and maintain the facility. Zion-Benton Library is a shorter commute for me, and its community supports the library, even though they face difficult financial challenges. That is important to me.”

Dolin previously worked at her home library, Indian Trails, in Wheeling, Ill., as a shelver when she was raising her children. Dolin had different roles at Indian Trails while going to school on and off for close to 10 years. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Dolin worked at a business office at Deerfield Public Library for four years, and also at a library in Itasca as reference librarian. Dolin completed her library degree before becoming the director of the Sugar Grove Library.


Sugar Grove’s Morton wins PGA golf contest

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove resident, Jimmy Morton. a freshman at Marmion Academy, won the Boys 14-15 year old Midwest Regional PGA sponsored Drive-Chip-Putt contest at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., on Sept 6. He advances to the finals that will be held April 5, 2015, at the kickoff event of the Masters next year.

Morton is on the varsity golf team at Marmion.

Last year’s event at the Masters featured live coverage on the Golf Channel. Morton was interviewed and photographed by the Golf Channel for airing during the event next year.

For more information on the contest, visit

Sugar Grove Chamber to offer scholarship, grant information

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce will offer its Scholarship Fair, free to the public, on Thursday, Sept. 18, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Township Community Building, 141 S. Main St., Sugar Grove.

Representatives from organizations and colleges will be present to offer assistance in obtaining financial assistance to those planning to attend college. Additionally, there will be expert speakers giving information and help on How to Fill Out a FAFSA Form (6:30 p.m.); Internet Scholarship Search (7 p.m.); How to Complete a Scholarship Application and Essay (7:30 p.m.); and How to Fill Out a FAFSA Form (8 p.m.) In addition, the chamber will hand out a scholarship list providing specific local scholarships, in addition to the organizations attending the fair, and a compilation of Internet links for scholarships.

There will be multiple organizations and school on hand to provide information on their respective scholarships.

The event is sponsored by White & Ekker, attorneys; Waubonsee Community College; DeVry University, Java Plus; Castle Bank; and Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
Interested parties with questions may contact Sugar Gr
ove Chamber Executive Director Shari Baum at (630) 466-7895.

Sugar Grove discusses I-88 corridor land use

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed general long-range plans for land use near the future I-88 corridor. The topic of where agricultural land and development would be placed was the center of the board’s discussion.

The question of whether or not to limit the amount of land labeled as agricultural land use was brought up during the meeting. Village Board trustee Kevin Geary discussed the option of not predetermining the use of the land.

“We could not predetermine it, but we could wait (until) a user came along,” Geary said. “It’s like a holding place. North of the golf course, we’ve always seen it as residential; north and east corridor was going to be residential. As we push to our edges, I have a problem identifying it as agricultural when it could be more of a office/retail/industrial.”

Development Director Walter Magdziarz, explained a couple of problems with labeling land for office/retail/industrial use.

“There hasn’t been any office development in the suburbs lately,” Magdziarz said. “It’s only in Chicago where the labor force is. It’s more business park rather than industrial. Industrial has a negative connotation to it.”

Several board members, including Geary, mentioned that they liked the term “business park” rather than “industrial.”

“I would support using the term business park and not industrial,” Geary said. “I think we’re looking for a more general term, and I think business park is fitting.”

Magdziarz mentioned the process and research that they will use to determine different land uses.

“We will look at natural conditions, landscape and condition of the roads, and after that, some lines might move or disappear,” he said. “I would like to have one or two meetings before a public hearing. I think it’s still conceivable that we could have a public hearing by the end of the year. If not December, I think we could have it in January.”

Sugar Grove man killed in crash

See also: Rodger Adhemar Lambert

SUGAR GROVE—Rodger Lambert, 73, of the 300 block of Maple Avenue in a Sugar Grove, was killed Friday when his truck left the roadway and struck a utility pole.

Kane County deputies responded to the area of Densmore south of Hankes Road on Friday, Aug. 22 at approximately 5:15 p.m. Lambert was the sole occupant of a pickup truck driving southbound on Densmore Road when his truck left the roadway for an unknown reason and hit the pole.

The Sugar Grove Fire Department responded and an Emergency Medical Services helicopter was dispatched to the scene, but Lambert was pronounced deceased at the scene. According to Kane County Sheriff Department spokesperson Christopher Collins, there did not appear to be any other vehicles involved in the collision.

As of press time, there was not an official determination on a cause. However, according to Collins, through a process of elimination, investigators said it looks as though Lambert might have suffered a medical event prior to the crash.


Plane makes emergency landing at Aurora Airport

SUGAR GROVE—An airplane traveling from Michigan on Aug. 13 was forced to make an emergency landing at Aurora Municipal Airport, 43W636 Route 30 in Sugar Grove. The plane’s landing gear had malfunctioned and would not deploy.

The plane was originally headed to a residential estate in Naperville, Ill. according to Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins.

“The pilot did a remarkable job landing the plane,” Rollins said. “Everyone came away unscathed, and there was no damage done to the plane or airport.”

Photos submitted by Walt Zimmer

Sugar Grove approves Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved changing the name of the stretch of Route 47 that runs through Sugar Grove to “Sugar Grove Parkway.”

Following discussions at previous meetings, the Village Board stated that it would be in the best interest of the village to change the name of Route 47 in Sugar Grove for reasons such as marketing purposes and “bringing a more familiar name for Sugar Grove.”

The name change was a suggestion from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) earlier in the year. The cost of the name change will be very low, according to Development Director Walter Magdziarz.

“We haven’t received any emails or phone calls about the name change since it was in the paper,” Village President Sean Michels said. “I think that’s a good sign.”

Residents that currently have a Route 47 address in Sugar Grove will have the option to change their address to include the Sugar Grove Parkway title. To do so, residents will need to notify the Sugar Grove Post Office and indicate their address title preference.

Amanda Malawski

Malawski excels on international track

Time in UK more precious than medals

SUGAR GROVE—Team USA’s youngest athlete, Amanda Malawski, brought home two medals from the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation’s (IWAS) World Junior Games, held in England from Aug. 2-8.

The 13-year-old Sugar Grove resident won a silver medal in the 4x100m relay, with a time of 1:10.45, with her teammates, Jessica Heims, Lauren Gates and Aubrey Headon.

She took home a bronze medal in the long jump, with a distance of 2.28 meters.

Amanda also set personal records in the 400m dash, with a time of 1:27, and in the javelin. She improved her time in the 200m dash from 38.75 at the National Junior Games in July to 36.73 and in the 400m from 1:28.53 to 1:27.72—times that will make her a contender for the 2016 US Paralympic team.

The 2014 IWAS World Junior Games were held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury, England, and hosted teams from 32 countries. To participate, athletes must first qualify at the regional level, then qualify at the national level.

Amanda qualified at the Great Lakes Regional Games in Lake Forest, Ill., this year, then competed against more than 200 regional champions at the National Junior Games in Ames, Iowa, to earn her spot on Team USA.

“It’s a huge accomplishment, absolutely huge,” said Cindy Housner, the executive director of the Great Lakes Adaptive Sport Association (GLASA). “Amanda is an extremely talented and gifted athlete, and she’s worked really hard. She is competing against others in the same ability level and age group, and she rises to the top.”

In the games, Amanda competes in a class known as T36, for athletes whose disability affects only one side of their body. Amanda, who was born with cerebral palsy, is affected on her right side. Her twin, Alex, is affected on his left side.

Both Amanda and Alex train at the GLASA facility in Lake Forest on a weekly basis, working with specialized coaches. GLASA offers recreational and competitive activities for athletes with physical and visual disabilities throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Housner praised Amanda as a particularly hard-working athlete.

“One thing that stands out in my mind is that Amanda is a good athlete, but what makes her really outstanding is her work ethic,” Housner said. “If you came out on a Saturday practice and watched her, she is just tireless. She goes on and on. Not many athletes are doing both track and field. She is just working hard and has a really positive attitude. She’s always looking for feedback, so she’s very coachable.”

The IWAS World Junior Games are a proving ground for the Paralympics, and though Amanda was the youngest member of Team U.S.A., she is already being scouted for the U.S. Paralympic team.

“We’ve talked to the Paralympics coach, and it’s amazing thinking that the Paralympic team is looking at our daughter,” said Lori Malawski, Amanda’s mother. “Never when you have a child with special needs do you think something like this is in their future.”

Amanda hopes to qualify for the IWAS World Junior Games again next year, in Amsterdam, and then be chosen to represent the US in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janerio.

To qualify for the Paralympics, she will need to compete at several events sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee over the next year. The committee will select 40 men and 40 women to compete in the 2016 games; a number of spots are reserved for injured military veterans.

“If she does get selected, the next big event will be next August in Toronto, and then the one after that is in Qatar,” Matt Malawski, Amanda’s father, said. “The end of next year is when they start selecting athletes to represent the US in Rio.”

Despite Amanda’s achievements, few of her classmates at Harter Middle School realize just how fast she is.

“When I was on the track team for my school, I was considered slow,” she said. “Because I’m affected on one side of my body, I’m slower than able-bodied people because they’re not affected. It was kind of discouraging on my track team because I was always the last.”

That’s partly why competing in GLASA and the IWAS World Junior Games is so important to her, she said.

“There’s not a lot of programs for kids with disabilities,” Amanda said. “We are practicing, but we have to travel far. It’s worth it because we can talk to people with the same disabilities, and it’s a lot of fun.”

She qualified for the World Junior Games last year, but she was too young to participate.

“You have to be 14 the year of the games, so I was underage,” Amanda said. “They sent an email saying that I made the team, and then a week and a half later, I got another email saying that I was too young to participate. It was a little disappointing, but it kind of wasn’t, because it meant that I am faster than people who are 16 or 17.”

Going to the 2014 World Junior Games was a great experience for her.

“I was the youngest on the team, so it was kind of a good experience being with other people who have been competing for awhile and are older than me,” she said. “I just started competing internationally, and I liked competing against people with tons of experience.”

It was also a valuable lesson, she said.

“It taught me not to let my disability get in the way of things. If I did, I wouldn’t be where I am and able to compete,” Amanda said. “The people I made friends with (at the games) don’t let their disability stop them. They are normal when they compete, and that’s how I like it.”

Those interactions were more precious than the medals to her parents.

“It was an amazing week. Yes, she worked really hard, but the interaction with the teammates is what will stay with her forever. It made it all worth it,” Lori said.

Amanda Malawski Photo submitted by Jennifer Drews/GLASA to


Waubonsee’s Wu elected to Fox Valley United Way

SUGAR GROVE—John Wu, director of Emergency Management and Safety at Waubonsee Community College, has been selected to serve as chairman of the board of directors for the Fox Valley United Way.

Wu, of Naperville, was pre-elected to the position a year ago, when the board selected him as its vice-chairman for 2013-14.

He will serve a one-year term as chairman.

In that role, Wu will work with the organization’s chief executive officer to set strategic direction for the Fox Valley United Way and coordinate the board’s activities and the organization’s public events.

Fox Valley United Way exists to support communities in the Aurora area by measurably improving lives of area residents working in partnership with dozens of other area agencies.

Wu said he is looking forward to the opportunity to serve in leadership on the board.

“It’s another opportunity to contribute to the area,” Wu said.

Sugar Grove considering Route 47 name change

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the process of changing the name of the stretch of Route 47 in Sugar Grove to “Sugar Grove Parkway.”

The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Sugar Grove originally recommended renaming Route 47 to Sugar Grove Parkway for marketing purposes.

“All agencies and property owners will be notified to change all their records,” said Development Director Walter Magdziarz. “The postal service will continue to get their mail delivered to their address because it’s a state highway. The cost will be very low as well.”

The concept of change was the chief concern brought up in regard to the potential name change.

“I think it’s a burden for the people living there to have to change everything,” said Village Board trustee Rick Montalto. “I don’t think it will generate any business.”

Other members of the board brought up a different way to look at the potential name change.

“I think we were more rural in nature, so (the name change could be) more familiar,” said Village Board trustee, Mari Johnson. “I don’t think we should put (the name change) off.”

Village President Sean Michels referenced a local highway as an example of how the name change could be successful.

“People out east refer to Route 38 as Lincoln Highway,” Michels said. “I think Sugar Grove Parkway will catch on. I think now would be a better time since it would affect less people. Five years from now, I don’t think people will question it.”

The Village Board will vote on the Route 47 name change at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Needham elected co-president of Aurora Noon Lions

SUGAR GROVE—Michele Needham, executive director of Human Resources at Waubonsee Community College, was recently selected to serve as co-president of the Aurora Noon Lions Club.

Needham, of Plainfield, Ill., will share the presidency with Aurora lawyer Herbert Steinmetz for the 2014-15 year.

Needham’s responsibilities will include helping oversee the club’s events and philanthropic efforts, including raising funds and materials in support of the Lions’ efforts to assist those with impaired vision, impaired hearing and diabetes, as well as helping local schoolchildren obtain eye exams and eyeglasses.

The Aurora Noon Lions Club is marking its 90th year.

Needham has been a member of the Aurora Lions since 1993. She previously served as president of the club in 2000.

Rambish to serve on Mutual Ground Board

SUGAR GROVE—Dr. Medea Rambish, Dean for Developmental Education and College Readiness at Waubonsee Community College, has been selected to serve on the board of directors for Mutual Ground in Aurora.

Rambish, a North Aurora resident, will serve a two-year term on the board. This will mark her first term on the board. In that role, she will serve on the board’s Finance Committee and will help oversee Mutual Ground’s annual Walk for Hope fundraiser.

Rambish said she applied to serve on Mutual Ground’s board because she strongly supports and agrees with the organization’s purpose and mission.

“I wanted to help any way I can,” Rambish said.

Founded in 1975, Mutual Ground provides shelter and other services, free of charge, to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Greater Aurora, Southern Kane and Kendall counties. It stands as one of the largest and oldest domestic violence shelters in Illinois.