CMT says: They can duet

by Lynn Meredith
When singing duo Mary Noren and Kyle Miller of Maple Park heard that Country Music Television (CMT) was holding auditions for its American Idol-type show, “Can You Duet?” they decided to take a shot. Noren and Miller not only went to the audition, but they showed that they can duet (do it). They made it to round two before being cut from the competition.

“We heard about the auditions on the website and thought, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,'” Kaneland alumnus Miller said. “It was last minute.”

The two Northern Illinois students had enough encouragement from friends and family who had heard them sing together to make the eight-and-a-half hour drive to Nashville. The auditions were held by CMT and the producers of “American Idol” to find the next great country music duo.

“It was the possibility of getting it,” Noren said. “Everybody told us we had a good sound and were unique.”
A month before, they had submitted a video of themselves performing, but the pair is almost sure no one saw it before the audition.

“We got to the Wild Horse Saloon at 7:30 (a.m.), and there were 2,000 people in line ahead of us,” Miller said.

In total, there were close to 5,000 people who came to Nashville that morning to get noticed by the judges. Miller and Noren beat out all but 150 by the time they were selected for the second round.

The crowd was divided into groups of 12 couples, sent to different rooms where judges from CMT gave each duet just 30 seconds to make the grade. The Noren and Miller duet was the only one from their group to be selected for the second round.

“I was soaring after making it past the first round,” Noren said.

As the pair waited out in the hallway for the start of the second round, they could hear other duets singing.

“Nobody really told us what we were doing (next). We didn’t know until we went into the booth,” Miller said.

They were ushered into a curtained-off booth where they saw one judge, two production engineers, and two other people sitting at a table. This round, the pair was asked to sing a song from start to finish. They sang “Looking for a Good Time” by Lady Antebellum. Then they were asked to sing another.

“You’re in line all day and then you just have 30 seconds. To make it to the second round made it feel worth it. We got to sing a couple more songs,” Miller said.

Noren was asked by the judges to sing a Carrie Underwood song.

“They heard us for our harmony. Then they were interested in hearing what range I had. I had put on the paperwork that one of my strengths as a musician was my range, and they wanted to hear more of that,” Noren said.

The pair was unique in a couple of ways. First off, most of the couples they encountered were from the Nashville area or surrounding states. Most were surprised that Noren and Miller had driven so far. Also, most of the couples had one partner who played the guitar.

“We did ours completely a cappella,” Miller said.

The performance was videotaped by CMT. The producers said they would review the tape and notify the duo by phone if they made it to the third round held the following weekend.

“I think it was narrowed down to 50 for round three,” Miller said. “They have two days of workshops with 12 pairs on the first day and 13 on the second.”

Even though the pair did not make it to the third round, they don’t regret anything.

“It was a lot of fun doing it. Everybody was really nice,” Miller said.

Now that they have a taste of performing, they plan to continue. They are working with a guitarist, and plan to expand into a band and look for bookings in the DeKalb area. They intend to stick with the country rock sound.

When they reflect on the experience of going to Nashville and putting their talents forward, they see how far they came.

“We said it would be okay if we didn’t make it past 30 seconds,” Noren said. “But after going through it, we would have been really bummed (if we didn’t make it to round two).”

WSC, team honors dished at Winter Sports Awards

Last week saw Kaneland High School dole out its winter athletic awards with four sports being recognized on various levels.

In varsity girls basketball, Mallory Huml was given defensive player of the year, and Mallory Carlson was named most improved player. Katie Hatch and Sarah Rose were named co-MVP’s. Cece Anderson won the Kaneland Knight Award, and Rose was also recognized as a member of the all-Western Sun Conference team. Rose, Anderson, Hatch, Huml, Brianna Hurst, Chassidy Mangers and Alyssa Galvan were also recognized as captains.

In sophomore basketball, Jessica Stouffer and Liz Hylland took the Kaneland Knight awards, while Sydney Bilotta won defensive player. Andrea Dimmig-Potts and Katie Taylor were named co-offensive player of the year. Keara Palpant was given MVP honors.

For the freshman level, Anna Olson took the hustle award, and Katie Tolan won most improved. Christina Janes was named Queen of the Boards, while McKinzie Mangers was given the Dedication award. Kylie Siebert won the Lady Knight award.

For boys basketball, Dave Dudzinski was honored for making the All-WSC team, and was also named as the team’s offensive player of the year.

The Most Improved Player award went to the tandem of Christian Dillon and Sean Paulick. Dudzinski took the team MVP honors, and Curtis Lubic earned the defensive player of the year nod.

Brody Root, Dillon, Mike Prtichard, Lubic, Chris Ott and Joe Spitzzeri were also recognized as captains.

On the freshman level, Eric Eichelberger and Brandon Stahl earned most improved honors, while Jake Razo took home outstanding defensive player, and Jordan Jones was outatanding offensive player.

For the Lady Knights bowling team, Jessica Stebbins was given kudos for high game, high series, and high average.

Danielle Rose earned the most improved award. Emily Curran took home the coaches award and Stebbins, Curran, Kathleen Moravcik and Cassie Wilson were recognized as captains.

For wrestling, Jay Levita was named most valuable wrestler, as well as getting the Bob Domena Memorial Award for hardest worker, and was also given accolades for making the All-WSC team and State.

Jimmy Boyle took the most improved award, while Devon Scholl won the Dave Osman Award for most dedicated. Boyle was given the Russel Anderson Memorial Award, and Matt Weaver took the Heart and Soul Award.

Levita, Weaver and Scholl were also recognized as captains.

Enjoy the good stuff close to home

by Gwen Allen
The next time you’re in the mood for a concert, play or sporting event, rather than going to Chicago, take a look to the west. Often overlooked, the Dekalb Convocation Center is not only home for over 200 sporting and entertainment events annually, but is only a short distance away. Though built to serve Northern Illinois University, it has served people from the entire region since it opened in August 2002, said the center’s director, John Gordon.

With an estimated 300,000 people visiting the center each year, the $36 million multipurpose facility has easily earned its keep by offering a wide variety of events that cater to a broad audience, he said.

“Since it opened it has always had revenues over expenses, and that’s a directive we continue to set every year,” Gordon said. “We have a marketing department that goes to a lot of concerts and trade shows; our name is out there, we just are working at keeping it out there.”

He said many annual events visitors have come to expect add to the center’s success.

“We have a lot of staple events, such as six job fairs (annually), an annual farm show, the high school playoffs, a dog show, and then of course the commencement ceremonies for the university,” Gordon said. “We also try to do between seven to 11 concerts a year, but with the economic times the way they are, a lot of facilities are down in concerts. We are just spoiled by Chicago because a lot of bands go through here; there is a lot of traffic.”

Though they attract their fair share of “B” events, he said the center has consistently hosted many “A” list concerts.

“We definitely have had our Carrie Underwoods; we sold out on John Mayer, Dave Chappelle and Rascal Flatts,” Gordon said. “We do well at selling out the larger events, but they generally (still) do well everywhere.”

With 10,000 seats in the center, it isn’t difficult to host the larger events. Rather, it’s more difficult knowing what large events will fill all or most of those seats. To do that, Gordon said there is an open line of communication among himself, the students and community as a whole.

“I try to keep a pulse on the students and the people in the community to see what they are interested in,” Gordon said. “Sometimes I get e-mails, other times they leave a message. I have even had people stop me at the grocery store or while I’m getting my hair cut to share their ideas.”

Though entering its slow season, the center still has a lot on its plate for future events.

“We are working on a pretty big country show that we hope to announce in April, and we are working on some rock shows for April too,” Gordon said. “There is a possibility for a Motown show in the future too.”
The center offers “All Access,” a free online membership that allows users to get new event notifications and discounts at

The Dekalb Convocation Center is located at 1525 Lincoln Highway, Dekalb. Call the ticket office at (815) 752-6800 or call Ticketmaster at (312) 559-1212. Athletic tickets are available through NIU Athletics at 1-800-332-HOWL or at the Convocation Center box office.

Photo: The DeKalb Convocation Center is a $36 million multipurpose facility that opened in August 2002. The center offers a wide variety of sports and entertainment events and attracts about 300,000 people each year. Courtesy Photo

VALEES conference gives teachers chance to learn

by Susan O’Neill
Teachers from area school districts and gathered at Waubsonsee Community College in Sugar Grove on Feb. 27 to learn new ideas to help them become better educators.

Valley Education for Employment System (VALEES) hosted the day-long conference, bringing together presenters on topics such as classroom strategies for improving students’ reading; technology and techniques for helping students explore career options; and factors important to career success, personal accounts by Waubonsee alumni.

An afternoon business advisory meetings connected teachers with business representatives to talk about current and future employability demands and how they might work together to make the educational experience more relevant.

Kaneland High School teacher Christina Kenkel said the Career and Technical Education conference is a great opportunity to network and collaborate with teachers from other schools. Kenkel teaches foods and culinary arts in the Family and Consumer Science curriculum at Kaneland.

One of the sessions Kenkel attended was on digital storytelling. Business education teacher Lisa Woods, health teacher Carol Navarro and Superintendent Pauline Berggren of the Newark Community High School District shared their experiences with helping students discover who they are, their career interests and their personal values through creating their own digital stories or slide shows.

Another session on student career exploration featured a demonstration by Career Cruising representative Steve Yaun of an interactive technology program that helps students define their career interests. With the technology, studenta are able to access additional useful information about their choices, such as in-depth occupation profiles, multimedia informational interviews with workers in each field and college and financial aid information.

Northern Illinois University Professor of Counseling and Presidential Teaching Professor Dr. Toni Tollerud challenged the teachers to begin fostering career readiness at the kindergarten and first-grade level. Tollerud said that by using readily available resources, teachers can begin by using the careers of students’ parents as examples of various options.

Tollerud said things are changing so rapidly in the world of work that teachers need to prepare students for a very different career landscape than exists today.

“The jobs that are being lost now may never come back,” she said. “About 50 percent of the careers our kids will be doing don’t exist yet.”

The health care interpreter is an example of a new and growing profession. The interpreter helps patients who do not speak English fluently to communicate effectively with their doctors and other health care providers. Without health care interpreters, patients can be misdiagnosed or receive incorrect treatment.

Waubonsee currently offers the first Associate in Applied Science Degree in Health Care Interpreting in Illinois. Faculty member Cynthia Perez, who teaches in both the degree and certificate program, brings her experience as the lead interpreter at Provena Mercy Center in Aurora to her students at Waubonsee.

This program is one example of a collaboration that created an academic solution to fill an emerging business need.

For more information about VALEES, call Director Bernie Looney at (630) 466-2905, e-mail or visit

Kaneland Middle School Wrapup—Part I

by Mike Slodki

Cross country
Coach Steve Fredrickson’s program continues to see an increase in numbers from year to year, with this past fall season showing about 50 girls and 40 boys.

“It has really been nice to see the numbers grow each year,” Fredrickson said. “We have a lot of good young runners coming back next year and wish all the eighth-graders continued success at the high school level.

The biggest thrill for the middle schoolers was the 14-team Oswego Tiger Trails Invitational. The sixth graders took first, led by individual champion Victoria Clinton. The sixth grade boys took sixth, while the seventh grade girls finished first, thanks to champ Sydney Strang.

The seventh grade boys finished third, while the eighth grade girls finished first. The eighth grade boys also finished fourth. Kaneland, meanwhile, took the overall team championship.

Fredrickson gave a special thanks to the high school coaches and athletes, along with parents for supporting the Middle School cross country program.

The 8th-graders under coach Pat Sheetz and assistant coach Barney Callaghan went 6-5 in the 2008 fall season.

The wins featured a 36-0 game over Yorkville, a 26-16 affair over Geneva South, a 12-6 win over Aurora Herget, a 33-6 triumph over Sycamore, an 8-6 edging of DeKalb Huntley and a 28-0 solving of St. Charles Haines. The win over Haines came after a 36-0 loss to the same school in the early part of the season.

7th Grade Volleyball
Coach Tom Huels kept more girls on than in the past, which “should provide a nice boost to the high school program when they arrive in 2010.”

The A and B levels won a total of 15 matches combined, which is an improvement over past years. Huels pointed at three-game wins over Aurora Jewel, Aurora Herget and Geneva North as highlights, showing the girls could compete with anyone anytime.

8th Grade Girls Basketball
Despite injuries to pivotal players, KMS saw a 13-3 record for the “A” squad and 11-4 on the “B” side. One of the “A” losses came to Geneva North, which was later avenged. The “B” team had an impressive outing at the Yorkville B Invitational and finished second.

“This group of talented athletes will potentially accomplish many things at KHS if they stay together and continue to work hard to improve,” Huels said.

8th Grade volleyball
In the level which adds more offensive and defensive strategies to the game, coach Sadie Stark looked to do more than win every time out.

“We try to transition the girls to the high school game fairly quickly,” Stark said.

The “A” (8-7) and “B” (10-5) levels went a combined 18-12 on the fall season, but Stark was looking for something more from her squads of 20 combined girls.

“I never gage my teams on win-loss records. I gage it by where we started the season and where we ended up. We ended where we needed to and made the progress, and the girls saw that,” Stark said.

Matches vs. Batavia and St. Charles Thompson were mentioned as particular highlights.

Read Part II of the Kaneland Middle School wrapup in the March 26 Elburn Herald.

Sugar Grove police blotter

The following reports were obtained from the Sugar Grove Police Department. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Joe W. Peaches, Jr., 32, of 224 Maple Street, Sugar Grove, was arrested at 7:39 p.m. on Feb. 18 for driving with a suspended license and resisting and obstructing a peace officer.

• Sheri H. Mazzocchi, 42, of the 900 block of Jennifer Court, Sugar Grove, reported the theft of a hockey goal net with value of $170 on Feb. 24.

• Katherine J. Painter, 53, of the first block of Heaton Court, Aurora, reported the theft of a handicapped placard from her car parked in the Jewel parking lot at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 26. The rear passenger door was not locked.

• Cheryl M. Murillo, 50, of the 700 block of Brighton Drive, Sugar Grove, at 3:10 p.m., reported the theft of a Sony Digital camcorder with value of $1,099 on Feb. 26.

• Kathleen A. Buckley, 55, of the 100 block of Meadows Drive, Sugar Grove, was arrested at 10:22 p.m. on Feb. 27 for driving under the influence, improper turning, disobeying a stop sign, and operating an uninsured vehicle.

• Gerald W. Scull, 53, of the 1300 block of Douglas Road, Montgomery, was arrested at Harter Road and Route 47 for illegal transport of alcohol. Scull was driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license due to a previous driving under the influence citation.

• Carlos M. Delgado, 34, of the 100 block of Meadows Drive, Sugar Grove, was found at 7:28 p.m. on March 2 with two outstanding warrants, one from Aurora and one from Yorkville.

Letters: Leaders who help local nonprofit organizations

Elburn is a village that does not have a park district or village department to help local youth organizations. Elburn Baseball & Softball is one of these organizations that relies on agreements with many different groups to secure use of the ball fields. Dave Anderson understands that is important for local government to do what they can to help these organizations.

As Blackberry Township Supervisor, Dave Anderson was instrumental in helping to get the “Field of Dreams” baseball field at McNair Park. He understands what is needed to help out local organizations. Please vote for someone that can help local organizations—vote for Dave Anderson for Village President on April 7, 2009.

John Van Bogaert
Mike Kuefler
Past board members
Elburn Baseball, Softball

Letter: Thank you, Dave Anderson

We would like to say “thank you” to Dave Anderson, who will be leaving the township in a month to pursue other interests.

All of us have been influenced by Dave’s input on issues pertaining to the township and our individual areas. Dave has always been there when we needed him.

One of the qualifications that impressed all of us was that Dave never micro-managed. His forte is that he knows how to pick or endorse good people to get the job done.

Dave has always been forward-thinking. He has been the initiator for increased services, like the “Ride for Kane” program, which provides transportation for folks in our area that have no driver’s license and rely on this option. We will miss working with him.

Good Luck, Dave.

Lisa Hodge, Township Clerk
Rod Feece, Township Road Commissioner
Uwe Rotter, Township Assessor

Letter: There is no better assessor than Rotter

As a Realtor with over 25 years of experience, I have come to know and respect Uwe Rotter, our incumbent Blackberry Township Assessor, as a true professional.

Uwe has worked in Blackberry Township for seven years and has seen it grow from 4,923 to 6,600 parcels during that period of time, and he has seen the staff grow accordingly.

As a Realtor and resident within Blackberry Township, I rely on information provided by Uwe, which is accurate and up to date. There is no better assessor in Kane County.

Carole A. Michels

Letter: Be careful of campaign promises, support Rotter in Blackbery Township

In the upcoming election on April 7, voters will be deciding who will hold the important office of township assessor. I currently hold that office in Kaneville Township.

I am running unopposed, but there are contested races in several of the townships in Kane County. This is my concern, and one that I would like to share with the voters.

Please be careful not to be duped into believing that a candidate’s promise to lower the assessment on your property will translate into a lower tax bill. I know that it sounds like it should, and we would like to believe it, but it’s simply not true.

The assessor’s most important job is to make sure that the tax burden is fairly distributed, according to value, over all of the property in your township. That tax burden is not determined by the assessor. It is the total of all the monies required to run our local schools, fire districts, libraries, forest preserves, cemeteries, road districts, local government offices, etc.

Property taxes are an unpleasant reality for those of us who live here and enjoy all of the services that are provided. They are just a little bit easier to swallow if we feel like we have been treated fairly, that we’re not paying more than our fair share.

When you are considering your choice for Assessor on April 7, please consider Uwe Rotter for Blackberrry Township Assessor. He currently holds that office, and I have greatly benefitted from working with him over the years. His ability and dedication to the taxpayers is unsurpassed in our field. The office of assessor in an important one, so make sure you go out to vote on April 7 and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Margaret Mangers
Kaneville Township Assessor

Letter: Romke is someone who listens to residents

I met Patricia Romke when she was going around the neighborhood with her campaign signs. We got into a lengthy discussion about Elburn and the directions it’s going to have to choose in the future.

We disagreed on a lot of things, but we listened to each other and were generally working toward a consensus when time constraints forced us to discontinue until a later date. What a novelty. A politician that actually listens to a taxpayers’ opinion instead of acting like they are under divine guidance.

An example is easy. We discussed the flooding problems in parts of town, and she was surprised to learn that about three million gallons of water run through (both) my neighbor’s and my own yard during heavy rains. Actually, it is close to four million gallons from the last one, but I had to review the gallons in an acre foot of water, as my memory was rusty. Within a few days, a couple guys from the village were here to follow up. Perhaps something will finally get done. We’ll see.

Now for the best one. We are in total agreement that the people who earn money have the right to decide how to spend it. It is the government’s job to provide the environment for citizens to prosper; it is not their job to tell us what to pay for to foster their projects and influence or enrich their pals. I think we need referendums on these things so the people express their will, not some proclamation that it has been decided by a half a dozen board members because they know best.

It is for these reasons that I ask you to join me in supporting Patricia Romke for mayor of the village of Elburn.

Wayne Whiteside

Letter: Looking forward

During the last 15 years, Elburn has experienced tremendous growth. One of the consequences of that growth has been the virtual division of the village into three distinct areas, each with their own distinct culture and needs.

Prior to 1980, if you said you lived in Elburn, you likely lived within three or four blocks on either side of the rail line and three blocks east or west of Route 47. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, the Prairie Valley, Prairie Highlands and the Theis Property annexations created substantial development within the village’s newly expanded northern border. The continued build out of the Blackberry Creek subdivision, though temporarily slowed, will drive our population growth in our southern area for many years.

As your village president, I promise to work to unify our village by providing greater transparency in government. This will be accomplished through improved communication on our website, through the newspapers and inserts in water bills; it is important to provide a clear message about what the village is working on and, when fitting, obtain feedback.

Our residents should have a more user-friendly website. We will provide more information to include, but not be limited to, proposed new developments, infrastructure needs within the various areas of our village, compliance with new legislative mandates, changes to local ordinances and upcoming events.

By enhancing Internet accessibility, I would like to encourage more participation in the process. Most of our younger residents go to the web to get news and information, and while we have used our village website as a communication tool, it could be enhanced to provide more up-to-date information about ongoing projects and more timely posting of minutes from our meetings.

I would like to see a more prominent link on the website for the Town and Country Library, the Elburn Chamber of Commerce and the Community Center. The Friends of the Library are planning several activities, including a plant sale in May, and they are also working on a community cookbook. Our police department has established a CERT (citizens emergency response team) through grant money from FEMA. Participation in this program is voluntary, and what better way to get to know your neighbors and become prepared for an emergency in the process? You can go online to sign up for these sessions.

When a town grows as fast as Elburn did during the last 10 years, it is a given that there will be some pain associated with that growth. The needs of our newest residents are decidedly different than those of our more seasoned residents. We should be sensitive to both of those sectors.

While the economy has impacted almost everyone, it has now presented us with an opportunity to come together as a village. Many residents have expressed interest in a park district; there are many young families who are looking for such amenities, and I will pledge my support to those residents and work with interested citizens to promote such a referendum during the next term. While it may be several years before we have an Elburn Park District, there is nothing to prohibit a park board composed of volunteers to study the needs of our citizens by gathering input from the entire community. We may be able, at some future date, to be annexed into an adjoining park district through future development.

During the interim, I will continue to encourage participation and support for those amenities that we have now—always looking forward, never back.

Patricia Romke
Elburn Village President

Letter: Understanding the facts is vital to informed vote

Getting the facts is important to the informed voter. Offering facts about the library is one of the responsibilities we have as library trustees.

We hope to clear up some critical misconceptions about the Sugar Grove Public Library referendum. Here are three essential points that we hope will help.

First, the 2004 building referendum was successful. It established a separate fund of money to pay for the new building, not to operate it. Our new library is currently under construction and will open in August 2009. The board is required to spend money from the bond on the construction of that library only. Those funds cannot be used to operate the new building. The new building will have meeting rooms available for groups of all ages, and a cafe and coffee bar housed internally. Voters should also know that this new building has seen many reductions in order to be fiscally sound.

Secondly, the current referendum seeks a rate increase in order to operate the new building. The library has not had a rate increase since being established in 1963. With approved funds, we will provide more hours of service, expand programs, increase our collection, provide more Internet service and access to information and create jobs in our community.

Finally, the money available to operate the new building is the same amount of money available to run the current building. This amount barely covers our current needs. The difficulty is shrinking funds and a larger building.

Join us March 21 and “Get the Facts” at the Sugar Grove Public Library. Trustees and our director will be on hand between 2 and 4 p.m. at the library, 54 Snow St., to answer questions about the upcoming referendum. We look forward to helping you become an informed voter for the upcoming election.

Robert Bergman
Art Morrical
Sabrina Malano
Sheree Novotny
Carol Olsen
Jim Raht
Julie Wilson
Sugar Grove Public Library Trustees

Maple Park hosts organ concert

The public is invited to an organ concert St. Mary of the Assumption Church on Saturday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m., following the 4:15 p.m. Mass.

James R. Brown will be the organist and perform on the organ built in 1899 and purchased by St. Mary in 1923.
At the end of the concert there will be a free-will offering to support the church’s conference of St. Vincent de Paul Society in Maple Park.

WIU names fall graduates, honors students

A group of Sugar Grove students received Departmental Scholar distinction after the 2008 fall semester at Western Illinois University.

According to the university, Departmental Scholars are the outstanding degree candidates in an academic major as determined by the faculty in the major department.

Those earning the distinction are Matthew S. Blohm, Bachelor of Science, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration; Jeffery Ryan Morrical, Bachelor of Science, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration; and John Micheal Stralka, Bachelor of Science, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration.

Letter: Experience is the best teacher

I have learned through experience that basic issues never really change for a municipality of any size.

Storm water removal, sewers, streets, residential and commercial development/growth, water system infrastructure, public safety and finances were as much of a concern 10, 20, 30 years ago as they are today. These issues may move up or down as priorities, but they will always be issues.

I believe now, as I did when I served on the Elburn Village Board, actions must be taken expeditiously to rectify problems as they arise, to plan accordingly and, to the best of our abilities, anticipate future “what if” scenarios to avoid issues before they become problems.

During my service with the village of Elburn, we built a new wastewater treatment plant, installed new storm sewers and water mains and established, under my motion, the first village of Elburn Planning Commission from which the Prairie Valley development was begun, as was the subdivision west of Lion’s Park and the industrial development on east North Street.

During my service with the Kane County Regional Planning Commission, we established the 2020 Land Use Plan, which has been updated to the 2030 Land Use Plan.

During my service as a member and president of Kaneland’s (District 302) School Board, we were faced with a number of difficult and controversial situations, including the closure and consolidation of four elementary schools because of declining enrollment and budgetary constraints.

During my service as a member of Delnor Hospital’s Board of Directors, we merged two hospitals into one healthcare system, constructed and ultimately expanded a new hospital, built the Health & Wellness Center, built the Cancer Center, re-developed the original Delnor site into an assisted living community and constructed the Delnor Medical building in Elburn.

During my service as Blackberry Township Supervisor, we expanded the Town Hall, established a tuition reimbursement program for those students of Blackberry Township enrolled in Fox Valley Recreation programs, took over ownership and responsibility for Blackberry Township Cemetary, joined the Ride in Kane program, providing transportation to those who are unable to secure an Illinois drivers license, and we constantly adapted and incorporated an ever-growing road district, with the number of township miles more than doubling, and the number of assessed land parcels more than tripling.

And during my years as a small business owner in downtown Elburn, I managed budgets, a building, suppliers, vendors, employees and customers.

Experience is the best teacher, and I will draw upon these experiences to best support, promote and guide the village of Elburn. But it is also from experiences that I developed a number of relationships with an extensive network of local citizens, county officials and state leaders. I won’t pretend to have all of the answers, but experience has taught me where to go when I don’t.

Tuesday, April 7, is Election Day, and I seek the support of all village of Elburn residents. More importantly however, I ask that you vote. The right to vote is one of the most precious rights we, as American citizens, have, and I urge everyone to show up at the polls and make their choices known.

Dave Anderson
Elburn Village President

Letter: Thank you, Lions

I would like to thank the Elburn Lion’s Club for hosting the Elburn campaign forum on Sunday, March 1.

The community is fortunate to have so many qualified and civic-minded individuals willing to serve the village.

I would like to personally endorse Ken Anderson for the position of trustee. I have known Ken for many years and he is an honest, professional family man who is active in his church and community. As a full-time employee of Kane County, Ken’s background and education in environmental and water management issues, as well as his experience in working with the public, would make him an ideal village trustee.

Drew Frasz
Kane County Board
District 26

Letter: Dave Anderson offers decades of service

On April 7 we will support Dave Anderson for the position of President of the Elburn Village Board.

Dave has been a long-time ambassador for Elburn and the entire Kaneland community. He is a life-long resident and graduate of Kaneland High School.

Having operated Gliddon’s Drug Store for over 25 years—just across the street from Dave and his father’s grocery store—we have had the opportunity to see first-hand his enthusiasm and support for our village.

Dave brings decades of retail business experience, community service and government involvement with him in his run for office. He has been an active member of St. Gall’s Parish and the Elburn Lions Club.

As past President and three-term member of the Kaneland School Board, he volunteered his time to prepare meals for the children of Kaneland grade schools at the end-of-the-year picnics at Lion’s Park in Elburn. Dave has experience in local and county politics. He is a former Elburn trustee and past chairman of the Elburn Zoning Board of Appeals, and has also served on the Kane County Regional Planning Commission and the Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals.

For the past 27 years, he has been on the board of Delnor-Community Hospital, holding the positions of Chairman of the Hospital Board of Directors for two terms and Chairman of the Delnor Health System Board of Directors for two terms. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Delcom Board of Directors. Dave has been a long-term Supervisor of Blackberry Township, a position from which he will step down to run for village office.

In conclusion, we urge your support of Dave Anderson for the next Village President of Elburn. We believe he has the common sense, business and governmental experience to lead Elburn responsibly into the future.

Ken and Mary E. Gustafson

Letter: For Dave Anderson, it is about public service

I have been a life-long resident of Blackberry Township and currently serve as the Highway Commissioner in Blackberry Township. I have never had the need to write a letter to the editor prior to the experience I had last week while in Elburn.

As I was leaving a local gas station, I was asked, “Why would Dave Anderson leave the position of Blackberry Township Supervisor and run for Mayor of the Village of Elburn—a position that would pay about half of what he is currently making?”

My response was simple, having worked with David for the past 12 years. I said, “It has never been about the money with Dave. It is about public service.”

Working with Dave has truly been enjoyable and I will miss his leadership and forward thinking. The village of Elburn’s gain is the township’s loss.

Rodney Feece

Letter: Wilcox is a great neighbor, friend

Bonnie Wilcox is a great neighbor; she’s lived in Blackberry Township for 10 years. Bonnie Wilcox is a great friend; she’s there when you need her. Bonnie Wilcox has the experience and knowledge to assess fairly; she has more than 20 years experience.

Bonnie Wilcox is running for Blackberry Township Assessor. We encourage residents to join us and vote for Bonnie on April 7.

Bill and Laurie Ferry

Letter: Dave Anderson truly cares

I am writing to support Dave Anderson for mayor of Elburn. When I first ran for office in 1992, everyone said that Dave Anderson was the person to know in Elburn. I found out that Dave was Mr. Elburn—he knew everyone in town and the surrounding area; he was well-informed about local and state issues; and he truly cared about the village and its residents.

Through my 16 years in the legislature, I worked with Dave in his capacity as Blackberry Township Supervisor, and found him to be a man of great integrity. Dave listens carefully to people and also is open to the ideas and opinions of others. All of these attributes clearly demonstrate why Dave is the best person to lead Elburn. Please vote for Dave Anderson for Elburn Mayor.

Patricia Reid Lindner
Former State Representative

Letter: Thank you for tax assessment seminar

I want to thank the Blackberry Township Assessor Uwe Rotter for hosting his monthly seminar on tax assessments and how it affects your real estate bill.

Assessor Rotter explained how the state of Illinois requires all township assessors to value your home based on the sales of simular homes during the previous three years. The law does not allow him to consider foreclosure and short sales. Therefore, the real estate crash in 2008 will not affect your assessments until next year.

I was surprised to find out next year, even if all assessments are lowered, your tax bill will not decrease unless the taxing bodies (schools, county, city, etc.) lowers the amount of money they request.

Assessor Rotter explained when he was appointed assessor two years ago, the previous administration implemented an office policy that assumed all Mill Creek residents had finished basements. Therefore all of Mill Creek residents tax bills increased. Assessor Rotter reversed this office policy which had resulted in lower tax bills for the homeowners without finished basements.

Assessor Rotter holds these seminars at the Blackberry Township office, located on Main Street. The seminars are on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of these seminars in order to better understand your assessments and tax bills.

Dave Richmond

Letter: Thank you, Lions, for meet the candidate forum

I want to publicly thank the Elburn Lions Club for hosting the “Meet The Candidates” forum and luncheon held recently.

What an outstanding opportunity for the community to come out and meet the candidates who want to be the next generation of Elburn leaders. The spaghetti was excellent, as were the five-minute presentations given by all of the candidates. A democratic form of government allows its citizens, actually requires its citizens, to be involved, and more importantly, to be heard. Without citizen input and participation, a democracy fails. It was exciting to hear the other candidates and their thoughts on the future of our village.

Equally as stimulating and challenging were the questions that were brought to each of the candidates during the question-and-answer session. Overall, a great experience. And I think all who attended will remember the three questions: Is it good for Elburn, is it good for Elburn and is it good for Elburn? Thanks again to the Lions Club for doing something that truly is good for Elburn.

Jeff Walter
Candidate, Elburn Village Trustee

Let our Hometown Heroes inspire

If you read page 1A of this week’s Elburn Herald, you will learn about two Elburn residents named Hometown Heroes by the Fox River Chapter of the Red Cross. These are two oustanding individuals who performed significant feats in the face of danger (Cpl. Kevin Lamb) and a medical emergency (Dr. Laura Lemke).

As proud as everyone in our communities must be of these two individuals, we hope their stories inspire others to engage in their communities and serve as everyday “hometown heroes.”

One way is to take part in an upcoming training series called the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.), held in Elburn on Thursdays from March 26 to April 30 at Village Hall, 301 E. North St., Elburn.

For emergency responders, such as police, firefighters and EMTs, there may be no bigger fear than the idea of an incident so severe that they are unable to meet the demand of a public in need.

Whether it is due to the sheer magnitude of the incident and victims, or due to reasons like blocked roadways or failing communications, emergency providers have learned from past disasters regular citizens are often more than willing to help when emergency responders are unable to.

With that in mind, emergency responders throughout the nation offer a series of training events to help citizens learn how to prepare for, and react to, such a disaster. This series takes citizens through a variety of topics, ranging from preparing for disasters to fire suppression to emergency medical activities.

Having just a little bit of training can help citizens help each other in those critical moments right after disaster strikes.

We urge everyone in the Elburn community who is available during those training hours to attend, and we hope that you will never need to put the information into practice.

To register for the C.E.R.T. training, visit, click on Police, and then click on Cert. For more information, call Sgt. Ron Brandenburg, (630) 387-8743 or e-mail him at

Farm Bureau earns national recognition

Kane County Farm Bureau (KCFB) has been recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for its “Discover the Bounty of Kane” program, which was a part of the Federation’s “County Activities of Excellence” program.

KCFB worked with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), area farmer’s markets and direct farm marketers to develop a website,, where consumers can find local farm products. The website includes an interactive map that takes visitors to the website or e-mail of each producer with just a click of the mouse.

KCFB also printed and distributed 50,000 post cards with the website address and a list of farmer’s market dates and locations. A brochure that lists the farmer’s markets, along with 36 different producers in Kane County, is also available, and includes a map and list of product offerings.

“This award is an honor, not only for Kane County, but for Illinois agriculture as a whole,” IDOA Director Tom Jennings said. “It proves once again, that our great state is setting the pace in innovation and forward thinking in this rapidly changing industry.”

The project was supported by the Illinois Farmers’ Market Advertising Grant Program, which provides farmers markets up to $7,500 to help with advertising and promotional expenses. The funds are awarded to the Illinois Department of Agriculture through the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

The Farm Bureau shared its successful effort in an exhibit at American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 90th Annual Meeting in San Antonio in January. KCFB’s project was recognized along with 14 others submitted by county farm bureaus across the nation. This year marks the third consecutive year the local group was singled out for national recognition for its program efforts.

“These programs represent the best and the brightest ideas of Farm Bureau,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Annual meeting is a great time for county Farm Bureau leaders to learn about programs that really shine in education, member services, policy implementation and public relations.”

The Discover the Bounty of Kane postcards and brochures are available at the Kane County Farm Bureau at 2N710 Randall Road in St. Charles or online at

Field of Dreams Bunco Night

Bunco Night is Friday, March 20, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Campton Township Community Center, 5N082 Old LaFox Road, Campton Hills. Bring a friend or team, or come and meet some new friends. Tickets are now available.

Cost is $25 per person, or $100 for a team of four.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (847) 431-6302

Students of the Month

Kaneland High School students Jonathan Ostland (Web Development) and Kyle Straughn (Fire Science I) were recognized as Students of the Month by the Fox Valley Career Center for the month of February 2009.

In order to receive this honor, students are selected by their program instructors because they have demonstrated the ability to do excellent work and accomplish their goals for their particular training program.

Chiefs baseball gets started

The Waubonsee Community College Chiefs picked up their first win of the season by splitting a doubleheader against Dakota County Technical College from Minnesota at the brand new Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. A Chiefs’ rally fell short in a 5-3 loss in the opener before Waubonsee held on for an 8-6 victory over the Blue Knights, ranked 10th nationally in the NJCAA’s Division III pre-season poll.

The first game was knotted at two until Dakota County erupted for three runs in the fifth inning. Waubonsee (1-7), which left nine runners on base for the game, loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with only one out and a run in. However, the Chiefs potential rally was thwarted with a strike out and a ground out to end the game. Jared Emmons (Fr./LaPorte, Ind.) took the loss in relief of starter Ryan Wagner (So./Marmion). Mike Ray (So./Sycamore) went 2 for 3, with a double and run-scoring single in the first inning. Jerry Hernandez (So./Aurora West) also went 2 for 3 with a run scored and two stolen bases. Mitch Vella (So./Aurora Christian) earned his first collegiate victory by scattering five hits over four and a third innings. The left-hander was charged with five runs, of which only two were earned. In the seventh Dakota County then staged a late rally, pushing across a run and loading the bases after two were out and none on. Camden Decker (Fr./Waubonsie Valley) came on in relief of Hernandez and coaxed a groundout to short to end the threat and earn his first save.

Public gun safety, target shooting classes

The St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club announces its spring and summer schedule of free firearms safety and introductory shooting classes. The classes will cover basic gun safety instruction and introduce students to the sport of clay target shooting.

The first two-hour class session will be held Saturday, March 21, at 1 p.m. Additional sessions continue the third Saturday of each month through the summer and fall. Remaining dates include April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19 and Oct. 17.

The classes, held at the club’s grounds on Keslinger Road, one-quarter mile west of Route 47 on the south edge of Elburn, are open to the public. A classroom style seminar covering firearms safety and basic shooting instruction will be followed by target shooting instruction on the shooting range.

Children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult, and all students interested in the shooting portion of the class should possess an Illinois FOID card and provide their own shotgun. Students may bring their own target grade ammunition or purchase it at the club. There will be a charge for the clay targets thrown during the shooting portion of the class.

Admission to the classes is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information and to sign up for these classes, visit

Field of Dreams hosts Bunco tournament

Field of Dreams Horse Rescue & Adoption, a local nonprofit, all-volunteer horse rescue barn in Elburn, is hosting a Bunco Tournament on Friday, March 20, from 7 to 10 p.m. at Campton Township Community Center.

The community center is located at 5N082 Old LaFox Road In Campton Hills, near the intersection of Route 64 and Old La Fox Road. Organizers are looking for teams and individual players to compete for cash and raffle prizes. Registration is $25 per player.

To register, call Chris Biederer at (847) 431-6302.