Category Archives: Sugar Grove

Sugar Grove purchases new police cars

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on July 2 approved the purchase of three new police vehicles.

Three 2014 Inceptor Sedans, two unmarked and one marked, will be purchased from Currie Motors at the cost of $24,249 each. After appropriate modifications including lights, radios, laptop computer, radar and partition, the total cost is $89,920.

The proposal was in accordance to the fiscal year 2013-14 budget. The vehicles are replacing others which have suffered maintenance problems. The “retiring” vehicles each have over 120,000 miles.

Trustee Robert Bohler questioned the motion, as he said he noticed many squad cars are often unused and sitting in the parking lot.

“I just want to make sure the rotation is ample and necessary,” Bohler said.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger explained the decision.

“These new vehicles will have a much longer life cycle due to the low mileage we anticipate,” Eichelberger said. “We talked it through, and we thought about going with other vehicles, but the same basic vehicle was the best. Since it has the same equipment, it’s easier to repair.”

Former Sugar Grove Police Chief Richard Moser explained the rotation of the vehicles.

“For patrol, it’s two officers to one car. Each car runs two out of three shifts, so it runs for 16 hours a day, then the car rests,” Moser said. “It works out pretty well, but the wear and tear does add up.”

Sugar Grove patrolman saves life while on vacation

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village Board trustees on July 16 were told of the heroic actions of Sugar Grove patrolman Brett Thoele, who saved the life of a drowning man in Branson, Mo.

Newly appointed Police Chief Patrick Rollins explained Thoele’s heroic actions to the Village Board.

Last June, while vacationing with his family at Moonshine Beach on Tablerock Lake in Missouri, Thoele and his father-in-law heard calls for help on the beach. Thoele spotted a young man 150 yards out, struggling to stay afloat.

“The beach was full, about 200 people stood by, but Brett, a good swimmer, decided to actually help,” Rollins said. “He and his father-in-law saw a third party swim out to help, but that third party was pushed under by the panicking swimmer.”

The third party “changed his mind” about helping the swimmer after being submerged, but did get a raft to help the rescue operation.

Thoele swam to the struggling swimmer and was submerged three times before giving the victim “a helpful elbow to the face,” a common practice for lifeguards to stun and subdue a panicking swimmer. Thoele brought the victim to shore with the help of the raft.

The victim regained his breath again on shore as other emergency staff arrived.

“Even though he was on vacation, he fulfilled the role of hero,” Rollins said. “That really says a lot about him as a man and a police officer. This is the positive image that people should associate with our police force.”

Thoele, who has served on the Sugar Grove Police Department since May 2006, was on hand at the meeting with his wife and three children, and received a Police Meritorious Award for his actions.

Waubonsee art exhibit explores cultural identity

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College will host “Cultural Evolution?: Migra- tion, Hybridity and Multiculturalism,” an exhibit curated by Art Coordinator Cecilia Vargas, from now through Friday, July 26, in the Dickson Center’s Arrowhead Room on the Sugar Grove campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Fri- day, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Local residents honored at National SkillsUSA Championships for Skilled Workforce

KANSAS CITY, MO.—Fox Valley Career Center student Josh Worley of Elburn and Waubonsee Community College student Dustin VonEyser of Sugar Grove were recently awarded a Skill Point Certificate in electrical construction wiring and automotive refinishing technology, respectively, at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

July 27: Habitat restoration workday at Bliss Woods

SUGAR GROVE—A habitat restoration work- day will take place on Saturday, July 27, 9 a.m. to noon at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.

Work will include weed control such as pulling or cutting invasive species and any other needed task. Dress appropriately with long pants, sturdy shoes and work gloves. Refreshments will be offered at the break. Children under the age of 14 should be accompanied by an adult. Bliss Woods is located on Bliss Road, a short distance north of Route 47, in Sugar Grove. Meet at the inner parking lot.

For more information, email Mary at mary-, or call Rob Cleave at the Kane County Forest Preserve, (630) 232-5980.

PatrickRollins (2)

Rollins takes over as SG police chief

SUGAR GROVE—Interim Police Chief Ron Moser on Monday handed over the reins of the Sugar Grove Police Department to his successor, Patrick Rollins, who took over as the department’s new chief of police.

Rollins has spent the last 23 years working for the Lombard Police Department, working his way up from a probationary police officer to deputy chief of police, a position he has held for the last 12 years—nine of those years as deputy chief of administration and three as deputy chief of operations, supervising 68 officers.

He’ll spend his first week working alongside Moser to transfer information about the internal workings of Sugar Grove’s department.

“I’ll be making introductions, going over policies and procedures and the budget, and other department heads will talk to him too,” Moser said. “The county functions, the sheriff’s office, the state’s attorney’s office, our record system, how we store evidence—all the things he’ll need to know to manage the department.”

Rollins, who was selected from over 130 applicants in a multistage interview process, has extensive credentials. Moser described him as “very knowledgeable.”

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of New Mexico, Rollins has trained at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Center of Public Safety Executive Management Program. He has worked extensively alongside fire departments to determine the causes of fires.

He received the Director’s Award for his performance at the Command Officer’s Southern Police Institute, launched the Violent Intruder Program in DuPage and Cook counties to increase awareness of school and community protection, and has command experience with community and sporting events, including the 2012 PGA Ryder Cup.

“I’ve been able to assist Lombard with many projects on the technological side, and we’ve been able to push out so that what the officers can do in the car is the same that they can do in the station. That’s a huge accomplishment,” Rollins said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my career. I’ve had plenty of strong highlights, but also some sad times with the types of cases I’ve ended up working. There have been some tragic ones. So I am bringing a lot of experience to Sugar Grove.”

Village President Sean Michels said that Rollins had impressed him in interviews.

“The thing I really liked was his commitment to getting out and working with community groups, like the churches and the Park District,” Michels said. “He really seems to be the type of guy who wants to get out and get to know people and get involved. He’s a personable guy.”

That willingness to work with the community was essential, Michels said, because the village wants to continue its community-oriented policing approach.

Rollins said that he wants to begin getting to know residents immediately.

“I’m going to be meeting internally with the department and the village department head, board, civic groups and schools, so you’ll see me out and about and available,” Rollins said. “I’ll be listening to their needs as well as their concerns.”

Rollins lives in Naperville with his wife and two sons, ages 15 and 4, but said he is looking forward to getting to know more about Sugar Grove.

“It has great potential,” he said. “I know it has a great opportunity for continued growth as the economy rebounds. I’m from a background of working at a family-owned grocery store, and I understand it’s not the size of the community, it’s how you deliver the service.”

Although Rollins said he has several goals for the department, he declined to share them, saying that he wants to tell the officers and staff first. He described his management philosophy as “flexible and adaptable,” and said that he wants to “make sure we’re visible out there in the community and provide great customer service.”

Michels said that expanding the emergency management program, which prepares the department to deal with a natural disaster, and using technology to maximize the department’s resources, are current priorities.

Moser, who came out of retirement to serve as Sugar Grove’s interim police chief, said that while he will miss Sugar Grove, he plans to keep teaching online criminal justice courses for Columbia College in Missouri and working as a consultant. He and his wife plan to spend their winters in Las Vegas, and he said he is looking forward to warm weather and palm trees.

“Although I hate to leave, I came here with the understanding that it was an interim position,” he said. “We’ve made some progress here. We’ve moved to a centralized dispatch system, increased our fleet (and) improved our training. I like to think that I did some good things here, and I have a really good feeling about leaving.”

Michels said that the village was grateful for Moser’s service and felt confident it had found the right replacement.

“We wish Chief Moser all the best in his retirement, and we thank him for his exemplary work over the past year. We are confident that Chief Rollins will continue and expand on the strides that Chief Moser made, and that Chief Rollins will more than live up to his reputation as an outstanding, committed law enforcement officer who leads by example and with professionalism,” Michels said in a statement. “We look forward to having Pat as our chief and ask the community to welcome him.”

Sugar Grove recognized for financial reporting

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board at its July 16 meeting received a Certificate of Achievement in Excellence for Financial Report from the Government Finance Officers Association.

This is the 12th year Sugar Grove has received the award.

The award represents achievements of the Village Board and staff for its governmental accounting and presentation skills. Sugar Grove satisfied nationally recognized guidelines in its last fiscal statement.

The village remained in the black in its last fiscal year, creating a small surplus.

Finance Director Justin VanVooren was the person primarily responsible for the award. Village President Sean Michels thanked VanVooren for his diligent work in number crunching.

“It’s difficult to go through the budget line by line like we do, but it’s good to exercise transparency and be recognized for that,” Michels said.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. announces promotion of Dennison

SUGAR GROVE—Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) is proud to announce the promotion of Stephen T. Dennison, P.E., to project manager.

Steve has been with EEI a little under nine years. Through his time at EEI, he has demonstrated his excellent technical knowledge and communication skills and his willingness to go the extra mile for EEI’s clients.

Steve has presented several technical presentations, including four times at the Illinois Water Environment Association (IWEA) and/or the Illinois Section of American Water Works Association (ISAWWA) annual conferences. He was a co-recipient, along with Tim Farrell, P.E., of the annual conference’s 2008 best paper (presentation) award.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is a consulting engineering firm which provides planning, design and construction services for water, wastewater, transportation, stormwater and GIS to municipalities, counties and state agencies throughout Northern Illinois. For additional information, visit


Sugar Grove soldier comes home

SUGAR GROVE—The first thing Sgt. Melissa Castrovillo did on her return from Afghanistan earlier this month was pamper herself.

She’d spent the last nine months stationed as a military police officer somewhere in Afghanistan—exactly where is classified—and relaxation was hard to come by.

So she got a pedicure. She got her hair done. She bought a new car. She spent some time with her family. And she enjoyed a little bit of alone time.

“The most difficult part was being away from home,” Melissa said. “You start to appreciate all the privileges you have when you are home, like just getting in your car and going for a drive or having a cookout outside. You can’t do those simple things over there at all. It’s different when someone will do your hair for you and you can get pampered.”
Though she can’t talk much about what she did overseas—she’s been ordered not to reveal details of her deployment to civilians—she was part of the 933rd MP Company and assigned to Guard Force, a security team in charge of protecting the camp from insurgent attacks. She frequently pulled tower duty, stationed in one of the towers over the camp and scanning the area for potential threats.

“It’s trying to maintain your composure, but for the most part, it was okay,” she said.

One of the hardest things, she said, was being a woman in a mostly male camp.
“For the most part, my company was very supportive of women in the military, but you have other people you have to deal with when you arrive who treat you as if you are inferior,” she said. “They don’t believe you can do everything that a male can do. At times, you have to deal with the men looking at your physical attributes, but my company was very good about it.”

Melissa signed up for the National Guard during her sophomore year at Aurora University and has over two years remaining in her six-year commitment. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Aurora University in 2012, just before she was deployed.

“I wanted to do something to feel as though I was actually doing something for others,” she said. “I don’t regret it for a single day.”

Now that she’s back, she’s applying to graduate programs in forensic psychology. She said she hopes to attend the Chicago School of Psychology and eventually become a profiler for the FBI or another law enforcement agency.

It’s possible she’ll be called up again, but she thinks it’s unlikely.

“As it’s looking right now, we’re probably going to stay home. They try not to redeploy the same unit continuously,” she said. “They try to switch it up, and they are trying to withdraw from Afghanistan right now.”
That’s a relief to her parents, Mark and Debra Castrovillo, who have spent the last two years worried about Melissa and her brother, Matthew, who returned from his deployment in Afghanistan on Sept. 17 last year, one day before Melissa left to begin her tour of duty.

For the Castrovillos, that meant two years of sleepless nights spent worrying about one of their children.

“It was a long time not sleeping. When we went to bed at night, we knew our children were working in Afghanistan,” Mark said. “You were never in a deep sleep. You always knew that when you were in bed they were working.”

Though Mark is very proud of both his children—“You can’t be any more proud of the military,” he said—their deployment was tough on the family.

“When we look at the soldiers leaving, it’s very difficult for them,” he said. “But even for us as parents, it’s tumultuous. When I was up, Debbie was down; when I was down, Debbie was up. We never let ourselves get down together.”

Holidays were especially hard, Debra said.

“It was difficult to put up the Christmas tree without Melissa,” she said. “There was an emptiness you feel. There’s good moments, and then there are moments where you are thinking about them and are down. Even now that she’s home, it’s emotional to talk about.”

It was the support from the community that kept the family going.

There were people in Elburn who donated lotion to help soothe soldiers’ chapped hands, Girl Scouts who wrote letters and sent cookies to Melissa, and a little boy who saved all his Halloween candy and sent it to her. In Afghanistan, Melissa had a bulletin board covered in letters from Kaneland elementary students that she looked at every day.

“I had a few that were funny, and we looked for the funny ones to kind of cheer you up,” Melissa said. “It was nice to have a package in general. You’d hope it was from your family, and when you got one from the Girl Scouts or a grade school, it was nice to know that there were people at home waiting for you and wishing you a safe return.”

And there were the people who visited her parents, working to keep their spirits up as first Matthew and then Melissa went into a combat zone.

“The people who help you out behind the scenes are just amazing people,” Mark said.

That support was so important to the Castrovillos that they urge others to remember the soldiers who are still deployed.

“The one thing that will get you through your deployment is knowing that there’s people that care,” Melissa said. “It’s the one thing that will get you home. So if you do support the military, please show it.”


SG Bike Parade to take place despite absence of Jo-Jo the Clown

[colored_box color=”blue”]Residents are invited to march, walk, or ride in the parade, which will begin at John Shields Elementary School, 85 Main St. in Sugar Grove. Line up is at 12:30 p.m., and the parade will begin at 1 p.m.[/colored_box]

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Independence Day Bike Parade will miss Jo-Jo the Clown (Karen McCannon) this year, but backing her up will be a fellow clown who is no stranger to the annual Bike Parade and celebration: Calico Rose.

McCannon will miss the gala due to a personal issue.

Cruising around in the “Clown Victoria,” a modified golf cart accessorized with a rubber nose and eye lashes, Calico Rose anticipates the range in age of participants. From small children to “big kids” in their 80s, the bike parade is always a fiesta of fun.

“The bike parade is Sugar Grove at its finest,” Rose said. “I am always so excited to see the reaction of the kids when we first arrive. We have small children to women in their 80s riding bikes out there.”

In addition to kicking off the 4th of July festivities, Jo-Jo is asking participants of the parade to bring a jar of peanut butter, spaghetti sauce or one dollar to donate to the Sugar Grove Between Friends Food Pantry. A member of the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Between Friends Food Pantry helps support hungry neighbors by way of food, sundries and household items. Partnering with food manufacturers, farmers and businesses to aid network partners like the Sugar Grove Food Pantry, the Northern Illinois Food Bank is committed to solving the hunger problem for the last 30 years.

Besides raising food for Between Friends Food Pantry, Jo-Jo formed HOPE (Humor Opens Possibilities Everywhere) Clown Ministry with fellow clown friends Calico Rose, Tiny T. and Mr. Mumbles at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

“The parade has a little bit of everything for everybody,” Rose said. “We all need a little fun and to celebrate our patriotism.”

Residents are invited to march, walk, or ride in the parade, which will begin at John Shields Elementary School, 85 Main St. in Sugar Grove. Line up is at 12:30 p.m., and the parade will begin at 1 p.m.

Photos: Sugar Grove tees off

The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce annual golf outing took place Friday at Bliss Creek Golf Club. Dave Burroughs of Engineering Enterprises, Inc. and guest Bob Miller watch teammate Rich Young, Sugar Grove Director of Community Development, chip on the 9th hole
The Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce annual golf outing took place Friday at Bliss Creek Golf Club. Dave Burroughs of Engineering Enterprises, Inc. and guest Bob Miller watch teammate Rich Young, Sugar Grove Director of Community Development, chip on the 9th hole

Sugar Grove Corn Boil Medallion found

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Medallion has been found.

Sugar Grove resident Shirlee Guddendorf found the medallion last week in the prairie patch located behind the Sugar Grove Park District and Volunteer Park pavilion.

Several clues regarding the medallion’s whereabout were printed in the Elburn Herald. According to Guddendorf, the second clue, which featured the word “lace,” helped her identify the location of the medallion.

“I thought that, since it’s hidden outside, they weren’t really talking about lace. And then I figured that they were talking about Queen Anne’s lace (a wildflower/weed),” she said. “The ‘biodiversity’ part of the clue told me it was in a place with a lot of plantlife. The first clue told me that it was near the Corn Boil site.”

Guddendorf took a trip over to the site with her husband, John, and found the medallion sitting on a sign post.

“I was a little surprised. If it hadn’t been on that post, I hadn’t really thought beyond that,” Shirlee said. “And I wasn’t going to go further into that patch.”

This was the sixth annual medallion hunt. As the person who located the medallion, Guddendorf will be recognized during the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 2013 opening ceremonies, scheduled to take place on Friday, July 26. She will also receive a cash prize of $50.

Somonauk resident named WCC student trustee

SUGAR GROVE—Mekenah Merrill of Somonauk was recently elected to serve as Waubonsee Community College’s student trustee for the 2013-14 academic year. Merrill was seated at the college’s Board of Trustees meeting on June 19.

The student trustee serves as the liaison between the Waubonsee Board of Trustees and the college’s students, representing students’ interests at the board level.

Merrill is a 2012 graduate of Somonauk High School, where she was active in student government before becoming a student senator at Waubonsee last year. A member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Merrill has maintained a 3.92 grade-point average while studying political science and foreign languages at the college.

SG board honors 2 residents

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday gave proclamations of appreciation to residents Stan Schumacher and Lil Adams for their community service.

President Sean Michels read the proclamations, which gave an overview of their volunteer work.

Schumacher served 28 years at the Sugar Grove Community House, spearheading youth sports programs such as the Northern Illinois Thunder Softball Team. He’s known for his love of nature and his work to outfit the Community House with ample trees and landscaping features.

Adams served at the Sugar Grove Community House for 36 years, and oversaw numerous projects and Community House improvements. Michels noted during the proclamation that Adams shoveled snow and maintained the building so it was always open for use with scout meetings, weddings, and luncheons.

“Adams is a true example of the spirit of voluneteering,” Michels said.

Schumacher and Adams received standing ovations from those at the meeting.

Schumacher said he was honored for the recognition.

“I appreciate all the years I’ve spent working at the community house,” he said. “The young adults group has especially been rewarding. We’ve got some good people on the board who will continue to think of it as their home, as we always did.”

Board trustee Robert Bohler said Schumacher and Adams put forth the most efforts on behalf of local youth.

“You guys really created the Park District programs for all these years,” Bohler said. “A lot of memories were created. The community appreciates those memories.”

SG officer rescues terrified ‘hitchhiker’

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Police Officer Kevin Forest thought he was just going to stop a semi truck to warn the driver about using a cell phone in a construction zone.

He ended up saving the life of a kitten that had unknowingly “hitchhiked” from Wisconsin to Illinois.

Officer Forest on May 25 stopped a southbound semi truck near Route 47 and Chelsea Avenue. The truck had already travelled 284 miles from its point of origin in Tomah, Wis. Officer Forest heard the sound of a kitten while speaking with the truck driver, but the driver said that he did not have a cat onboard, leading Forest to investigate further. Upon opening the engine compartment, Forest and the driver found a kitten clinging to the truck’s air cleaner.

Officer Forest cared for the kitten until it could be turned over to Kane County Animal Control.


Rich Harvest Farms to host 2015 Palmer Cup

SUGAR GROVE—Rich Harvest Farms recently announced that it will host the Palmer Cup tournament in June 2015. Named after golfing legend Arnold Palmer, the Palmer Cup is an annual 10-man team golf competition between American college golfers and European college/university golfers.

This event is played in the same style and a similar format to the Ryder Cup, arguably the premier team event in professional golf.

Mark your calendars for June 2015. Local collegiate golf fans are encouraged to attend this free event and witness the talent of these remarkable athletes. To stay updated on the latest event news, visit or

“The Palmer Cup continues to be played at great venues,” Palmer said. “I’m aware of the great success of the Solheim Cup recently played at Rich Harvest Farms, and the most recent Ryder Cup Captain’s Challenge. I am pleased and grateful that Jerry Rich has agreed to host the event there. It should be another great Palmer Cup.”


Sugar Grove Corn Boil Medallion found

Press Release:
Shirlee Guddendorf is the winner of the 6th Annual Corn Boil Medallion Hunt! This year’s Medallion was hidden within Sugar Grove Township. Shirlee said the second clue and the word “lace” in the clue helped her find the location. As person who found the Medallion, she will be recognized during the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 2013 opening ceremonies that will take place on Friday, July 26, 2013. A cash prize of $50 will be awarded.

We invite you to partner with us to help make the 2013 Corn Boil an even bigger success. As a Corn Boil Sponsor, you will be showing your support for the community as well as promoting your business. Visit
our website for the details needed to choose your sponsorship level and receive the corresponding benefits. The sooner you make your commitment, the greater your benefit. For more information about the Corn Boil, please visit

Sugar Grove Corn Boil where friends and family come together to have fun!
The upcoming Sugar Grove Corn Boil on July 26 th, 27 th and 28th will mark the 46th anniversary of this annual event. Please support your community by helping to plan this special event in 2013. The Corn Boil is a volunteer-run, community event, featuring three family friendly and fun filled days. For more information about the 2013 Corn Boil, please visit or like us on Facebook.

Multiple car burglaries in Sugar Grove

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Police on Friday took reports from five Windsor Pointe subdivision residents who stated that their vehicles had been entered.

The first report came in at 2:05 a.m. Victims reported that cash and electronics, including computers, cell phones, MP3 players, were taken from the vehicles. Several victims stated that they had locked their vehicles. One victim told police that he observed two individuals wearing dark clothing who were in the area at the time the incident occurred. They were said to have fled on foot when the victim yelled at them.

It is not unusual for these types of incidents to occur at this time of the year. Residents are cautioned to remove anything of value from their vehicles and to keep their vehicles locked. These are considered crimes of opportunity that can be easily avoided by taking a few steps to secure your vehicles and property.

Anyone with information that may help the police are asked to call Sugar Grove Police Investigations at (630) 466-4526, ext. 37.

SG welcomes new chief of police

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels and the Village Board on June 4 entered into an agreement with Patrick Rollins, who will become Sugar Grove’s next chief of police. Rollins will officially begin his duties on July 8.

Rollins comes to Sugar Grove with over 23 years of experience in law enforcement. He served the past 12 years of his career as deputy chief of police for the village of Lombard. Based on his professional track record, Rollins was selected by the FBI National Academy to be trained at their headquarters in Quantico, Va., and was a member of the Academy’s 248th graduating class of 2012.

Rollins led his former department to be accredited and consistently recognized nationally by CALEA. Most recently, he launched the Violent Intruder Program in DuPage, Cook and surrounding counties to increase awareness of school and community protection. Rollins also has extensive command experience with community and sporting events, including the 2012 PGA Ryder Cup.

“Sugar Grove is a special community and I am excited to work with such a great team of law enforcement professionals to serve its residents,” Rollins said. “Having participated in the growth of Lombard, I learned that successful policing takes teamwork between our officers, the Sugar Grove board, residents, neighboring communities and partnerships with other agencies. I feel honored to have this opportunity to help the Village Board insure an impressive future for Sugar Grove.”

Rollins will replace current interim Police Chief Ron Moser.

“We wish Chief Moser all the best in his retirement, and we thank him for his exemplary work over the past year,” Michels said. “We are confident that Chief Rollins will continue and expand on the strides that Chief Moser made, and that Chief Rollins will more than live up to his reputation as an outstanding committed law enforcement officer who leads by example and with professionalism. We look forward to having Pat as our chief, and ask the community to welcome him.”

Follow-up investigation leads to arrest of hit-and-run driver

SUGAR GROVE—Jay L. Pavey, 57, of Lincoln, Neb., has been charged by Sugar Grove Police with unlawful use or damage of a highway, failure to provide information following a traffic crash, over height, and violation of an oversize permit.

The charges stem from a hit-and-run crash on March 19 in which the oversize load driven by Pavey struck the underside of Route 30/Route 56 overpass over Route 47. The underside of the bridge structure sustained serious damage as a result of the collision.

Sugar Grove Police Investigator Steve Kurzawa began tracking the offender with only a vague description of the truck and the oversize load. A photograph was found on an Illinois State Police dash cam, and was found to be a large piece of mining equipment. Kurzawa located the manufacturer and tracked down the trucking company and driver.

Pavey is scheduled to appear in court on June 26 at the Aurora Branch Court.

Sugar Grove awarded $400k grant

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Park District was recently awarded a $400k grant via the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant to create a project which will provide recreational opportunities for the Sugar Grove community.

A cooperative recreational project started by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in 1986, the OSLAD grant has been an integral part of maintaining and restoring worn recreational facilities and creating new opportunities like the space set aside for development at Kaneland Harter Middle School. The development and need for open space was anticipated as the School District set aside land years ago, just ready to one day be transformed into Harter Community Park.

“The Park District has been saving our operating surplus over the years, and the OSLAD grant is a great support to aid our community in this cooperative project,” said Greg Repede, executive director at Sugar Grove Park District, of the matching grant program set up by the Department of Natural Resources.

The OSLAD grant is a competitive process based on written applications and is awarding the Sugar Grove Park District funds to create three ball fields, multi-sports courts, inline hockey area, a small playground and a baggo court.

In addition to the recreation-specific space, the park will include a paved pathway for residents to use, the appropriate signage for the park and natural upgrades.

“The partnership between the School District, the Park District and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is working together to provide our community with recreational opportunities that we have never been able to offer before,” Repede said.

The OSLAD grant, received on May 22, will be put to use as the Sugar Grove Park District breaks ground on the project Nov. 1 of this year. But first, development specifications have to be finalized and the project bid out to area contractors. The anticipated date of completion of the park is October 2014. In addition to community members taking advantage of the park, Kaneland Harter Middle School students can look forward to future outdoor fun.


Sugar Grove Medallion has been hidden

SUGAR GROVE—The sixth annual Corn Boil Medallion Hunt is on. This year’s medallion has been hidden within Sugar Grove Township. The person who finds the medallion will be recognized during the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 2013 opening ceremonies, scheduled to take place on Friday, July 26. The victor will also receive a $50 cash prize.

Clues as to the medallion’s whereabouts will be available in the Elburn Herald between Thursday, June 6, Thursday, July 26 (or until the medallion is found). Clues will also be posted weekly on Thursdays, beginning June 6, on the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Website,

The medallion is not hidden on private residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural property. It is not hidden on a golf course, in a cemetery or on church property. It is not buried. It is not located under water or in a building. It is not located in a hazardous area, and tools will not be required to locate it.

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee requests that participants respect all property as they look for the medallion. If you find the medallion, make contact with the designated person as directed in the information found with the medallion. Have a happy medallion hunt.

You are also invited to partner with the Corn Boil Committee to help make the 2013 Corn Boil an even bigger success. As a Corn Boil sponsor, you will show your support for the community as well as promote your business. Visit for the details needed to choose your sponsorship level and receive the corresponding benefits. The sooner you make your commitment, the greater your benefit.

Sugar Grove Corn Boil: where friends and family come together to have fun. The upcoming Corn Boil will mark the 46th anniversary of this annual event. The Corn Boil is a volunteer-run community event featuring three family-friendly and fun-filled days.

SG approves survey contract

by Dave Woehrle
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved a contract with the National Research Center to conduct a survey this fall. The total cost of the survey is $13,800, which is $1,200 under budget expectations.

Village Clerk Cynthia Galbreath briefed the board on the survey process.

“We had our last survey in 2007,” she said. “Many of the same questions will be used, as the survey was well-received by the citizens and the board. It’s been a good tool in helping us serve the community.”

Key Driver Analysis (KDA) is a new feature in the upcoming survey. KDA is tool borrowed from the private sector, where purchasing choices often are motivated by services that are neither the most obvious nor chosen by the consumer.

In other words, the KDA is a way to prioritize municipal amenities based on citizen consumption.

Survey questions concerning local issues such as overnight parking policy, garbage removal fees and storm water improvement funding will also be included in the survey process.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said the survey will include three open-ended questions for residents to give more specific feedback to the city. There will also be an online option for the survey.

Trustee Robert Bohler questioned the specific wording of Question No. 2, which reads: “If the village were to reduce services due to financial constraints, to what extent do you support the following changes?” Bohler said that no such reduction of services was being discussed in the budget, so it was a non-issue. He also said the survey should include citizen communication preference with the village of Sugar Grove.

Galbreath and Eichelberger noted Bohler’s suggestions.

Trustee Kevin Geary raised questions about the quantifiable aspects of the survey.

“What exactly are we doing with the data?” Geary asked. “I’d like to refresh the survey from 2007 so we can see if we’re meeting local needs in the community.”

Eichelberger agreed, but noted the bulk of the questions are standardized from state and federal levels.

Galbreath added that the survey is a four-month process.

“Nationally, the response rate is only 20 percent. In our last survey, however, we had 34 percent,” she said “We know people want to share their thoughts, so this survey is necessary.”

The board’s feedback will be taken into consideration, and the survey will be revised again before it is sent to the public.

Sinkholes brought to SG’s attention

by Dave Woehrle
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday was informed of the presence of several sinkholes in the Windsor Point subdivision.

Resident Gayle Deja-Schultz said there are six sink holes in her neighborhood.

“Some are almost 6 feet deep,” Deja-Schultz said. “What is the repair status here? Since school’s been out, they’ve been a new attraction for kids. I saw one kid climb into one, and he almost disappeared. That’s how deep they are.”

Public Works Director Tony Speciale commented on the sinkholes.

“We have repaired some in that subdivision. We put up barricades. This goes back to certain infrastructure issues,” Speciale said. “I didn’t know we had that many (sinkholes).”

Deja-Schultz said some neighbors were taking matters into their own hands, using wood palettes to cover the holes. She said the improvised barricades were attracting even more kids.

“I’m surprised you guys didn’t know about this,” she said.

Village Attorney Steve Andersson encouraged immediate action.

“I would say that short-term solutions, such as using plywood and palettes to cover the holes, are the wrong way to go,” he said. “This gives a false sense of safety. We need a long-term solution.”

Deja-Schultz said all of the sinkholes were on the parkway, many near fire hydrants and sewer drainages. She said police caution tape was around many of the sink holes, but that more could be done.

“There are many barricades in place already,” Speciale said. “The storm sewers could be the problem due to recent heavy rains. We will certainly follow up on it.”

Durrenberger earns Chartered Financial Consultant designation

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove native Mark Durrenberger has earned the financial planning industry’s highest qualification: the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) professional designation.

Candidates for the ChFC® designation must complete a minimum of eight courses and 16 hours of supervised examinations. They must also fulfill stringent experience and ethics requirements.

The ChFC® program of The American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn., prepares professionals to meet the advanced financial needs of individuals, professionals and small-business owners. ChFC® professionals can identify and establish specific goals and then formulate, implement and monitor a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. They provide expert advice on a broad range of financial topics, including financial planning, wealth accumulation, estate planning, individual income taxation, life and health insurance, business taxation and planning, investments and retirement planning.

Durrenberger was raised in Sugar Grove, where he continues to be involved in his local community. He graduated from Kaneland High School and then attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where he received a degree in mathematics and economics. He is currently working as a financial advisor with New England Financial, a MetLife company that focuses on relationshipbased financial planning. Durrenberger hopes to build a financial planning practice that will allow him to build lifelong relationships with his clients and other financial professionals in the community.

SG opts for more artistic barrier wall

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on May 21 approved a change order to provide the community with a decorative barrier wall at the intersection of Route 47 and Cross Street.

Public Works Director Tony Speciale updated the board on the construction and proposed change.

“We’re planning to add a decorative aspect to the project instead of plain concrete wall,” Speciale said. “I think it’s worth the cost and would provide something the community could be proud of.”

The change would increase the contract with Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) cost by $33,086.

EEI on April 16 provided information on the decorative options for the barrier wall, including decorative treatments, an estimate of costs, and the procedure for changing the design. Items discussed included a decorative form for the concrete to give the appearance of stone, and staining the finished project for color and visual impact.

Speciale stated that the concrete will be poured and held together with form-liners. Painting will follow.

“I think it would be a nice addition,” village trustee Kevin Geary said. “I drove down to Mill Creek recently and saw what they’ve done, and I think it would be a nice touch.”

“It’s moving along out there,” Speciale said. “The plan was to do it all in the shortest amount of time possible to not interfere with traffic, so we’re busy.”

Board trustee David Paluch suggested community landscaping in the area, as well, which will be considered after the project’s completion in late June.

WCC awards degrees to 2013 graduates

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College awarded degrees to 1,128 graduates at its 2013 commencement ceremony on May 23. The class of 2013 is the college’s largest ever and an increase of 9 percent over last year.

The degrees awarded include 793 transfer-oriented associate degrees, 274 Associate in Applied Science degrees (in 32 different career areas) and 61 Associate in General Studies degrees.

Delivering the commencement address was Dr. Harry Berman, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Since its first graduating class in 1968, Waubonsee has conferred 19,612 degrees to local students.


Michels delivers State of SG speech

by Dave Woehrle
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels on May 12 delivered his annual State of Sugar Grove speech to the village.

The 30-minute address—the first of Michels’ new term after he was re-elected last month—was held during the monthly Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Michels during his speech said the new Rush-Copley Convenient Care, which opened in February, is a great asset to Sugar Grove. Rush-Copley provides across-the-board medical services, from diagnostics to school and sports physicals.

“I talked mostly all the growth that’s been happening in our town in the last year,” Michels said.

The Route 47 and I-88 interchange project, currently in Phase I, also has Michels smiling.

“We’ve gotten almost $5 million from the state to help fund the project, and it’s really taking off,” he said.

Other economic gains touched on in Michels’ speech included the addition of Walgreens, Jimmy John’s and other businesses to the village of Sugar Grove. Michels said 90 new local business employees have been added in the last year. Eight new building permits were also given out to local contractors.

Michels also discussed future goals in his speech, such as adding new doctors’ offices, a 60-unit apartment complex, and improving local roads.

“The response from the community has been very positive,” Michels said. “I’m looking forward to the future, to completing the interchange, adding new construction and new businesses. Everyone is upbeat about the future.”

WCC to offer summer programs for kids

SUGAR GROVE—Whether they want to make a movie, create a video game or cook up delicious meals, children ages 4 to 14 are invited to explore their interests this summer with Waubonsee Community College’s Xcelerate enrichment program.

The program will feature 20 different week-long classes that range from $69 to $179. Most classes run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. at one of five locations: Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove, Aurora and Plano Campuses, West Aurora High School and Hun- toon Stables in North Aurora.

The Lego Robotics session is back again this year, and is a highlight of the science and technology lineup, which also includes a computer camp where students will explore office software, web design and flash animation.

Gaming and digital arts courses focus on the creation of video games or movies, while children can create a delicious meal or the next clothing trend in the cooking and fashion design camps, respectively. New this year are oppor- tunities for children to learn how to ride a horse, play the ukulele or practice the art of Kung Fu. In their camps, preschoolers can dig for dinosaurs, learn how things work, explore space or create paintings and sculptures based on the work of famous artists.

For a complete schedule or to register, visit or call Commu- nity Education at (630) 466-2360.

WCC names Kiefer Outstanding Faculty Member for 2013

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College Associate Professor of Political Science and History Richard Kiefer knew fairly early on that he wanted to teach—he just didn’t think he’d be doing it at the college level.

Now, after 20 years of teaching in the Illinois community college system, he has been named Waubonsee’s Outstanding Faculty Member for 2013.

As a freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Kiefer was a business major, but he soon decided that wasn’t for him.

“I tried to think about what I liked and could make a living at,” Kiefer said.

A quick stop in the education department determined his path.

“After deciding to be a secondary education teacher, everything clicked,” Kiefer said. “Every step reaffirmed my decision, including student teaching at both the middle school and high school levels.”

He graduated with his bachelor’s degree and his Ohio teaching license—a license that was not transferable to Illinois. While he waited to take his home state’s teaching test, he found a job in academic advising at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Ill.

“Being at a community college really opened my eyes,” Kiefer said. “I thought it would be such a fantastic place to teach.”

Kiefer’s hunch was confirmed when he began teaching a night class at the college, and so he soon enrolled at Governors State University to earn his master’s degree and a chance to teach full time.

That chance came in the fall of 2000 when a political science/history position opened at Waubonsee.

“It was really my dream job,” Kiefer said.

And the 2000 presidential election, with George W. Bush winning the electoral vote and Al Gore winning the popular vote, proved to be a dream for political science instructors everywhere.

“It was really unprecedented,” Kiefer said. “It was a great chance to talk to students about the electoral college and how it works.”

A year later, there was another unprecedented event that Kiefer chose to address with students: the attacks of Sept. 11.

“I helped organize a teach-in the day after the attacks, and I was impressed by how many students and faculty showed up and participated,” Kiefer said. “That is what college should be about: when these events happen, we should gather to learn and discuss.”

Political discussions are a daily occurrence in Kiefer’s classroom, but their tone tends to be markedly different from the political discourse seen in the media.

“I keep my political views to myself in the classroom,” Kiefer said. “I tell my students at the beginning that it’s fine if they disagree with each other, but we are in an academic setting and will keep things civil. There have been some heated debates over the years, but things have never boiled over.”

While Kiefer works to ensure his classroom discussions don’t boil over, he also has to make sure he doesn’t burn out as the only full-time political science faculty at the college. While this means he is always on, it also means he gets to develop and teach a wide array of classes. He developed the curricula for both Introduction to International Relations and Introduction to Political Philosophy, which he teaches each fall—he follows up those classes with Comparative Government and State and Local Government each spring to keep things fresh. Plus, the students and ever-changing political landscape help, too.

“Every semester is a new beginning,” Kiefer said. “Even if I’ve covered the material before, my students always have a fresh take on it. Plus, we’re always in the midst of an election cycle, so there are always new examples around you.”

Kiefer makes sure students don’t just have examples and case studies to work with, but actual politicians, as well. He has facilitated the Hastert Leadership Seminar for the past four years, where former U.S. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert and other special guests meet with Waubonsee students to discuss local, state and federal government. This year’s guests included Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, village of Elburn trustee and Mayer Brown Partner Ethan Hastert, and former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh.

Kiefer has also coordinated Waubonsee’s participation in the national Congress to Campus program that brings former Democratic and Republican representatives to college campuses to share their experiences with students. Waubonsee took part in the program in both 2009 and 2012.

“Both activities provided unique learning experiences for our students interested in political science,” said Dr. Bill Marzano, Waubonsee’s dean for Social Science and Education. “I trust the students will remember and cherish these activities in years to come.”

Kiefer witnessed first-hand the impact these programs have on his students.

“Students realize politicians are real people, and that anybody can do this,” Kiefer said.

Waubonsee students get a chance to do the work of a politician as part of the annual Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation in Springfield. Kiefer serves as the advisor for Waubonsee’s MIG club.

Whether they participate in MIG or just take one of his classes, Kiefer has the same goal for all of his students.

“I hope they leave with a better understanding of the world we live in, what’s going on around them and how governments work,” he said.


New SG Twp Board members sworn in

Sugar Grove’s new Township Board includes Lee Drendel (left to right), Tom Rowe, Scott Hester, Phil Silagi, Laurie Geary and Greg Huggins. Courtesy Photo

by Chris Paulus
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Township Board members were sworn in on Monday, with Lee Drendel, Scott Hester, Laurie Geary and Mike Fagel as trustees, Phil Silagi as township clerk, and Greg Huggins as highway commissioner. Tom Rowe was sworn in as the new township supervisor.

Geary has worked in banking for about 30 years, and has also contributed to the Corn Boil and the Holiday in the Grove event. She said she is excited to begin her work in municipal politics.

“I want to help grow the senior center. I was an auditor for the center in the past. I also worked at the Sugar Grove Library doing some training for the seniors,” she said.

Geary, a write-in candidate, ran a minimal campaign through the use of business cards, Facebook and ads in the Elburn Herald. She won 105 votes.

“We have to win back the trust of the people. We have to show them that (the platforms) that we ran on will actually happen,” she said.

The township will soon begin discussion of its general budget for the fiscal year, with the proposed date of the public hearing set for Monday, June 24. Board members on Monday took time to look over the budget spreadsheet and discuss details of some of its funds.

“The supervisor desperately needs a new computer,” Rowe said. “It’s a very old computer that I think was donated to the Township.”

Rowe said the Township also put some funds into the senior center.

“One thing that we want to move towards with the monthly lunch is more of a catered situation. We’d still like to offer it free to the seniors,” he said.

According to Rowe, the Township is also trying to compensate for the loss of mental health funding from the state and national level.

The new-look Township Board on Monday passed an ordinance requiring signatories on checks. This will require two signatures on checks written by the township—one from the supervisor, and another from a trustee or clerk.

Rowe said this proposal was based on a suggested made by the township’s law firm.

“About a year ago, the Township Board made a decision and passed a resolution to require two signatures on checks,” Rowe said. “Talking to our law firm, they were a little bit surprised by that. Normally the supervisor just signs the checks. The law firm suggested that one signature be from the supervisor and the other be from another board member or the clerk,”