SG budget shows deficit

Other cuts possible; police increases off-limits
by Susan O’Neill
The Sugar Grove Village Board on April 21 approved the coming fiscal year’s $4.3 million budget that includes a $37,000 deficit despite staff cuts.

The board and other village officials have made substantial cuts to expenses in an attempt to balance the general fund budget, including letting three village employees go and freezing any raises for non-union employees this year.

The village has also asked the Sugar Grove police union to waive the two raises it negotiated for officers at the beginning of this year. The first annual raise, to take effect Friday, May 1, is a 3.25 percent increase for the 12 covered patrol officers. A second increase, set to go into effect on Aug. 1, is for $2,589 for each individual, which will vary by percent based on the current annual salary of the officer.

The union contract was the first between the police officers and the village.

The two increases will total approximately 8 percent per officer, said Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger. The total amount comes to the approximate amount of the deficit, $37,000. According to Eichelberger, at the time the village was still holding out hope that it would receive the concession from the union.

As of press time, the village had not received a response.

“We’re here at April 29, and it’s fair to say they’re not interested in that proposition,” Eichelberger said.

Keith Karlson, the attorney for the Metropolitan Association of Police, the union representing the Sugar Grove police officers, pointed out that Village President Sean Michels said during his campaign for re-election that the village was running at a surplus, and was doing well.

“The MAP expects the village to uphold its end of the bargain that it negotiated less than six months ago,” Karlson said.

The board has tentatively scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, May 12, to discuss further potential cuts in order to balance the budget. Eichelberger said it will be up to the board to decide whether or not to balance the budget, and if so, what cuts will be made to accomplish it.

He said that so far, the village has not come up with options that do not involve some impact on other personnel. This may or may not include additional layoffs, he said.

Outgoing Elburn officials praised for work

New trustees, village president to take office May 4
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn Village President Jim Willey and trustees Tom Burgholzer, Jeff Humm and Craig Swan received thanks Monday from other village officials for the work on behalf of the village during their terms of office.

Among those expressing appreciation during the Committee of the Whole meeting was 14-year Village Attorney Bob Britz.

“I have had the opportunity to work with all of you and I am a better person for having served under you,” Britz said.

Eight-year trustee Burgholzer and six-year trustee Jeff Humm sought re-election unsuccessfully April 4; and 14-year trustee Craig Swan and 12-year Village President Willey did not run for another term.

Trustee Bill Grabarek complimented Willey for his “intelligence, insightfulness and ability to take complex issues and make them understandable.”

“It’s been an honor. Elburn is an infinitely better village, better run and managed-90 percent due to you,” Grabarek told Willey.

Willey said before he took office in 1997, the board was “contentious and divided.” He thanked the outgoing trustees for helping to make the Village Board a consensus-building body. He recognized Humm’s useful expertise in infrastructure matters, Burgholzer’s comittment to providing more recreation for residents, and Swan for being the “conscience of the board” and for running for trustee when no one else would.

The last day in office for the outgoing board members is Monday, May 4, when Elburn’s three new trustees, Jeff Walter, Jerry Schmidt and Ken Anderson, and the new village president, Dave Anderson, will be sworn into office at 7 p.m. during the Village Board meeting at Lions Park clubhouse.

Rainforest assembly delights, educates students

View Slideshow >>

by Susan O’Neill
A Macaw that plays jokes on its caretaker; a python that rests quietly across seven pairs of arms; two baby alligators that seem to enjoy being petted—these are just a few of the animals Kaneland John Shields Elementary School students experienced during last Thursday’s rainforest assembly.

“I think it’s safe to say I have seven of the bravest people in the room up here,” Mike Kohlrieser said as the children held the python.

The Macaw flew over the crowd and swoops down to grab a dollar bill out of an audience member’s mouth. The python playfully pokes his tail out from behind the leg of his assistant to wave to the audience.

“He’s so charismatic and so good with the kids,” Parent Teacher Organization member Carolynn Abruzzo said of Kohlrieser.

Abruzzo, who arranged for the traveling show to perform at the school, said the rainforest assembly was probably the most well-attended family night the school has had. She estimated that about 700 children and parents came to the two showings.

“I think everybody had a blast,” she said.

But more importantly, she said the message made an impact on the children. Abruzzo said that ever since the assembly, her 5-year-old daughter Sammie has been reminding family members to turn off the lights when they leave a room.

She said Sammie recently learned about conserving energy in her kindergarten class. But when Kohlrieser spoke about conservation in relation to the future of the animals, the connection hit home.

Kolhrieser’s Ohio-based company, Understanding Wildlife, books assemblies in schools across the country, bringing his menagerie to delight and educate the students and their parents about the vanishing rainforest.

He alternated his antics with the animals with facts about the rainforests and how cutting them down is hurting the animals that call them home, depleting the medicines found there, the ozone, the air and the water supply of the earth.

“It’s really up to you and me and how we live our lives as to how much longer these animals will be around,” he told the students. “Together we are going to make a difference.”

For more information about Understanding Wildlife, visit

Photo: Isabella Gartside, of Elburn, called this python a ‘good snake.’ She held it with help from her father during the Understanding Wildlife assembly at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School in Sugar Grove. Photo by Mary Herra

Guide to help people bike safely on streets

Village wants, but cannot afford, more bicycle paths
by Martha Quetsch
Until Elburn can afford additional bicycle paths in the village, commuters who bike to the Metra station must use the streets, a practice the village encourages but wants to make safe.

Toward that goal, the village is working with the League of Illinois Bicyclists on a grant-funded brochure of the safest and most practical routes to and from the station.

Included in the guide will be a map of those routes, which the League recently developed and presented to the Planning Commission last week.

“We tried to include routes from every area of the village, so it should be easy for any resident to find the best route to the Elburn station,” League project planner Jessica Thompson said.

bigmap The guide is expected to be finished in May. Residents will be able to view it on the village website,, or obtain a copy from Village Hall.

The guide will contain safety tips and a map with preferred bicycle routes within a five-mile radius of the Metra station in Elburn.

Village officials wish those routes included additional bike paths, but Elburn cannot afford to install them, Community Development Director Erin Willrett said.

Planning Commissioner John Krukoff wants more paths connecting to Metra and to area trails, because he is concerned about people who bike along Keslinger Road.

Willrett said the only way Elburn could build more paths is through developer contributions or a surplus in the village budget, neither of which is expected soon.

During pre-annexation talks several years ago for the Blackberry Creek development, village officials successfully negotiated for developer-contributed bike paths in the subdivision.

In an emergency, be self-sufficient

by Susan O’Neill
The village of Sugar Grove has a plan to protect its citizens from tornadoes and other emergency situations.

But Sugar Grove resident Michael Fagel, who has more than 30 years experience in public safety, law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire rescue and emergency management and helped create the plan, said people need to be responsible for their own actions first in a disaster.

“People can’t depend on the government in the time immediately following a disaster,” Fagel said. “They need to be prepared to handle emergency situations in their homes.”

Tornado season began in March and officially runs through July. But Sugar Grove Police Chief Brad Sauer said they can and do happen during any month of the year. Both Sauer and Fagel said that each household should have its own weather radio.

“If a tornado is sighted in the area, the emergency sirens are activated,” Sauer said. “But outdoor sirens are for people who are outside. You can’t hear it in your house.”

Sauer said the first thing an individual or family should do in the case of a tornado is to seek shelter.

“If they are already inside, they should go to the lowest level of the structure they’re in,” he said.

Family members should also have a plan for how they will contact each other during an emergency, Fagel said.

“Cell phones will collapse in a disaster,” he said. “If 30 people are in the same parking lot, 28 people will get a busy signal.”

Other preparations an individual or family can make ahead of time include answering the question, “If you had five minutes to leave your house, what would you need to be resilient and pick up the pieces?” said Fagel.

After spending time helping out in other locations during disasters, Fagel said he would be gratified to offer his assistance should it ever be needed in Sugar Grove.

“My goal is to make people as safe and informed as possible,” he said.

Ride in Kane begins May 1 in Sugar Grove

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove’s participation in the Ride in Kane program begins Friday, May 1. The program will provide inexpensive curb-to-curb transportation to work, health care visits and daycare for eligible elderly and disabled residents.

“Without it, these people are trapped at home,” said former trustee Joe Wolf, the Sugar Grove representative on the Paratransit Council. “It’s a growing problem. By and large, it’s something every community needs.”

Sugar Grove joins the county-wide transit program in operation since February 2008 in municipalities such as Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Hampshire, St. Charles and Aurora, Batavia, Elgin, Geneva and Dundee townships.

To schedule a ride, participants contact a centralized call center that dispatches taxis, Pace lift-equipped buses or other service providers to the individual’s home. Riders will pay $3 for the first 10 miles of their trip and $1.50 for each additional mile.

Residents who wish to access the service are asked to complete an application through the Sugar Grove Library District, which will determine their eligibility for the program.

Ride in Kane began with approximately $2.4 million in New Freedom Initiative and Job Access Reverse Commute federal funding awarded from the Regional Transportation Authority, plus $1.7 million in a local match from the participating entities.

Sugar Grove has committed $4,000 in funding for its first year in conjunction with the Sugar Grove Park District, Public Library District and Township. If the allotted $4,000 is used up before the end of the year, the entities can decide not to contribute additional funding and withdraw from Ride in Kane.

Qualifications for eligibility
• Inability to obtain a
driver’s license due to
age or disability
• Low income residents
with no other available
• Riders pay $3 for first 10
miles and $1.50 for each
additional mile

Used for
• Work
• Health care visits
• Dialysis
• Rehabilitation
• Adult or child daycare
Call (630) 466-4507,
ext. 24.

Utility bill increases in June

by Susan O’Neill
The village increased its water and sewer rates for the first time in six years in 2008. At that time, Sugar Grove Finance Director Justin VanVooren said additional increases of that size would be necessary this year and next year.

According to VanVooren, fixed costs, money owed for capital projects such as wells number 8 and number 9, and the water treatment system to eliminate radium from the water supply, is the primary reason for the need for the increases.

The village is currently repaying low-interest loans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for these projects, as well as money borrowed when the village hooked on with the Fox Metro system in 1998.

The village’s refuse contract will experience a higher-than-expected annual increase this fiscal year of 3.8 percent versus the budgeted 3 percent. According to VanVooren, even with the increase, the residents’ rates will still be less than the village actually pays per household.

The board also approved several increases in the water meter permit and inspection fees and to a number of fines for compliance tickets.

Heads up
Sugar Grove residents will see increases in their utility rates with their June 1 bill from the village. The rates go into effect with the beginning of the new fiscal year on May 1.

Resident utility rates
Current fee New Fee
Water rates
$6.92 $7.40
+$2.57 per +$2.75 per
1,000 gals 1,000 gals

Sewer rates
$7.57 $8.10
+$2.58 per +$2.76 per
1,000 gals 1,000 gals

Refuse rates
$17.75 $18.75

Conley committed to helping people with grief

by Martha Quetsch
Conley Funeral Home director Bruce Conley became involved in grief support in the late 1970s, carrying on a family tradition he realized was crucial.

“I saw a need, especially with children,” Conley said.

During the past three decades, Conley has helped many local youths understand and cope with the loss of loved ones. In 1983, Conley started the Children’s Center on the lower level of the funeral home he owns in downtown Elburn.

In the Children’s Center, young funeral attendees can gather and have their questions answered, so that the event is not an ordeal but “first aid,” Conley said.

“A funeral should be a fully family integrated thing, an experience that helps everybody, not just the adults,” Conley said. “There is lots of research that shows traumatic childhood bereavement affects people all of their lives.”

In addition to the Children’s Center, Bruce Conley also developed the Community Care Team and founded Conley Outreach Community Services in Elburn, offering bereavement and family nurturing programs.

Among the many people Conley has deal with the death of loved ones is Tim Siebens of Maple Park, who was among volunteers Saturday at the annual Conley Outreach Farm work day in Kaneville.

Siebens was 14 when his grandfather died, and he remembers how Conley helped him understand the funeral process.

“If anyone has any type of question or is wondering about anything, he takes you through it, telling you and showing you what they are doing,” Siebens said. “You’re never left on your own.”

Conley said his father and grandfather, who also were funeral directors, worked with children on grief issues, too.

“This is three generations deep. I talked to a man in his 80s who was making pre-arrangements with me (at Conley Funeral Home). He told me how my grandfather helped him when his mother took her life, by restoring her body so that he could see her,” Conley said. “My grandpa sat him down before he went in to see his mom, and helped him through that time. He said he never forgot it.”

Recipient of community service award
Bruce Conley received the 2009 Lyle E. Oncken community service award on Saturday from Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, Inc.

“It’s the highest honor I could get. I also am thrilled that this year it is a dual award,” Conley said.

The other 2009 Oncken Community Service Award recipient recipient is Conley’s good friend, Stephanie Weber, founder of Suicide Prevention Services.

The award is given annually to a resident or residents of southern Kane County for exemplary service in the fields of mental health, developmental disabilities or substance abuse.

Photo: Bruce Conley thanked his wife, Kris, for helping him pursue community service, during the award ceremony Saturday at Conley Farm. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Pay now, not later

Lower costs free up money from referendum
by Lynn Meredith
With a referendum in 2008 that approved $65 million to use in building construction projects and construction costs running lower than expected, the Kaneland School District finds itself with between $9.2 million and $11.6 million to use for other expenses.

The issue is how to prioritize the projects allowable under the referendum. At its meeting on Monday, the board approved a list of 15 projects that it would either like to gather more specific information on or obtain bids for, before it approves the spending.

At the top of the list are four items totaling $3,774,720, for Harter Middle School. One large ticket item is a storage shed to house not only athletic and maintenance equipment, but also provide concession and restroom space. The proposed structure would be 6,500 square feet with a large overhead door. Near it would be spaces to park 10 buses. The cost is estimated at $1,543,000.

An extension of Esker Drive to Wheeler Drive is estimated at $1,400,000. Tractors and maintenance equipment would run $111,000, and 110 additional parking spaces would cost $720,000.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie-Ann Fuchs said these costs have contingencies built in. They are likely higher than the actual costs.

“They are the most you would spend, instead of us coming back and asking for more because we underestimated them,” Fuchs said.

Other projects will be considered by the board when it gets more information, including replacing the roof on the high school and re-structuring and re-paving the driveways and parking areas as needed around the campus. These expenses are estimated at $3,797,000.

District officials said that due to the magnitude of costs from these projects, it would be nearly impossible to find money from the operational fund to pay for them.

“If we don’t use referendum money now, how will we pay for these projects (in the future)?” Fuchs asked.

Unleash your inner comic at Zanies

Try a stand-up class, but don’t quit your day job
by Lynn Meredith
Even lying on the road on the verge of death after a serious car accident, with a broken sternum and jaw, Dobie Maxwell, known as “Mr. Lucky,” was able to ask himself, “What’s funny about this?” In stand-up comedy classes at Zanies in Pheasant Run, the comedian helps students ask themselves that same question.

While Maxwell doesn’t believe comedy can be taught, he does believe that with practice and preparation, a performer can get better.

“Just like nobody thinks they’re a bad driver, nobody thinks they’re not funny. (The class) is not a diesel truck driving school. Comedy is a very gray area. But usually there’s a little scoop of potato to work with,” Maxwell said.

Comedy is a gift in the same way musical talent is a gift; you can see and hear when someone has talent. Like music, it’s all about rhythm, he said.

“You can teach people to find the rhythm unique to themselves. You can find the rhythms of well-known comics and almost imitate it without words. Think of Cosby and his sound,” Maxwell said.

Comedians see things in a different way. Maxwell said that most comics don’t take their premise far enough to get the most from the humor. He has his students reveal one thing about themselves and then come up with not one but three jokes about it.

Comedy is not just a class; it’s a way of life and one that can become a positive addiction.

“I’ve been doing it for 25 years and I’m just scratching the surface. It’s a cruel business. Most comedians are dented cans. We need that stage and we need that laughter,” Maxwell said. “More people need to laugh now more than ever.”

Senior living, care facility proposed for SG

by Susan O’Neill
Village Board members reacted favorably to a plan for a senior living facility Prism Health Care Management Group would like to build in Sugar Grove.

The one-story facility would be built on a 19-acre site on the west side of Route 47 north of Wheeler Road, with separate wings for a physical and occupational rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and a skilled nursing facility.

Acreage with frontage on Route 47 will be set aside for a possible urgent care center and medical offices, retail and restaurant space.

“There’s a tremendous need for something like this out here,” trustee Mary Heineman said. “This is the first one west of Randall Road.”

Prism Health-Care Management Group Chief Executive Officer Lewis Borsellino said that the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board has determined the need for 339 skilled nursing beds in the Kane County Planning Area.

The facility would be for private pay patients, which he said is supported by Sugar Grove’s median income level.

“You’ve done a great job here,” Village President Sean Michels said. “It seems like a good fit.”

Among its other projects, the developer of senior long-term care facilities recently completed a 58-unit senior living facility in Morris, Ill., with a 152-bed skilled nursing facility scheduled for completion in March 2010.

Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young this week said the nursing home approval process is lengthy, and he does not know yet when the project would move forward.

The proposal
92,000-square-foot facility to include:
• 60-bed assisted living facility
• 120-bed skilled nursing facility
• Wing for physical and
occupation rehabilitation
• Located on 19 acres on west side
of Route 47 north of
Wheeler Road

Elburn Lions recycle for sight

As spring cleaning gets under way, the Elburn Lions are asking people to look through dresser drawers and closets for used eyeglasses and donate them to the Lions Recycle For Sight program.

During May and throughout the year, the Elburn Lions Club collects used prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses and used hearing aids, as part of a unique recycling program. The collected glasses are prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible.

“We need everyone to donate their used eyeglasses,” said Nick Carter, Elburn Eyeglasses Collection Chairman. “In most developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages, and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.”

The donated glasses will be shipped to a regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, where they will be cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups.

To donate used glasses (including sunglasses and reading glasses) or hearing aids, place them in the specially marked Lions Recycle For Sight collection boxes at the Elburn Town and Country Library, Dave’s Barbershop, Eyes on Elburn optometrist, Elburn Eye Care optometrist, Old Second Bank, Fifth Third Bank and our newest site, John Stewart Elementary School. Glasses and hearing aids also can be dropped off at Elburn Lions Park.

For more information or to get involved with the Elburn Lions Club, contact Tim Klomhaus at or visit

Crosby rides Whitecaps wave

Knights grad adjusting to pro baseball grind for Tigers’ affiliate
by Mike Slodki

If you happen to visit Fifth Third Ballpark just north of Grand Rapids, Mich., and see a 6-foot-5 blonde-haired lefthander who looks vaguely familiar, signing autographs for young fans on the concourse during a rain delay, you’re not going crazy.

For you’ve just located what Casey Crosby is up to these days.

Now fully recovered from Tommy John surgery 17 months ago, the 2007 two-sport athlete from Kaneland High School is the No. 1 starting pitcher for the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League.

Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fifth round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft, Crosby is 2-0 with a 2.08 earned run average after four starts, picking up his second win of the season on Sunday afternoon vs. the visiting Lansing Lugnuts.

“My first start here, my adrenalin was pumping, and the last few starts, I’ve been more relaxed,” Crosby said. “I felt comfortable in my first start because my whole family was here and it was better weather. I love pitching here; the fans back you up really well.”

The first baseball player to be drafted out of Kaneland, Crosby is now one of the many young athletes with a shot at eventually throwing to major league hitters. So far, he’s acclimating well in his current situation.

To Whitecaps play-by-play man Steve Lloyd-Jones, Crosby’s laundry list of gifts brought to the Tigers system are obvious from a broadcaster’s point of view.

“It’s obvious that it’s an overpowering arm. His velocity’s just tremendous. He hits the low-to-mid-90s on his fastball with regularity and has shown a good offspeed pitch,” Lloyd-Jones said.

Crosby, with 22 Ks, joins personnel like Mauricio Robles and Matt Hoffman, adding to a rotation capable of big things. The Whitecaps are 13-4 thus far.

“The Tigers’ whole philosophy is to draft power arms. You see it throughout their system. Now we’re on the lower end of that, but they’ve blown away most lineups,” Lloyd-Jones said.

“We’re doing real well. We’re hitting the ball. It’s just cool to see how good this team is and how much talent the organization has. It’s nice going out there knowing that your hitters will come up with a couple of runs.”

* * * * *
During Sunday’s game one of a rain makeup doubleheader, Crosby walks to the mound and gets ready for work. After allowing a single to Lansing’s leadoff man Kenny Wilson, he promptly picks him off. He gets Tyler Pastornicky to fly out to left, but walks Brian Van Kirk. Crosby then treats Yohermyn Chavez like he did any number of Western Sun Conference hitters during his 6-2, 0.88 ERA campaign in 2007 by striking him out to end the top of the first.

* * * * *
“After our games we’ve got to go right on the road. We left Fort Wayne last night and got back to Grand Rapids at 2 in the morning. You have good with bad.

There’s a lot of fun stuff about minor league baseball. I like traveling around, going to the different places, and I like the team chemistry,” said Crosby, who rooms with reliever Erik Crichton while on the road.

In the top of the second, Crosby allows a leadoff single to Mark Sobolewski, but induces Mike McDade to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.

* * * * *
“Obviously, I want to stay healthy. That’s the main one. Also, I want to keep the walks down and throw less pitches and throw into the sixth or seventh inning (Crosby is on a 75-pitch count) and just go from there.”

* * * * *
An inning later, the southpaw notches his second strikeout and fans A.J. Jimenez during his first 1-2-3 inning.

* * * * *
“Any pitcher that spends time away or on the DL, it’s a time to look at your whole surroundings. Crosby did a good job of, when he wasn’t throwing, of learning still and not just shutting down. That’s one thing to carry on once you start throwing again. He’s a great listener, great competitor and he has a great arm,” pitching coach Mark Johnson said.

* * * * *
“During the game, my catcher and I talk about what the hitters did last time against me. He’ll come to settle me down if I’m not throwing a lot of strikes,” Crosby said.

* * * * *
The fourth inning proves Crosby’s roughest yet. Pastornicky walks and Crosby commits a throwing error while attempting a pickoff. The next two batters ground out, but Crosby allows a single to Sobolewski before causing McDade to fly out to right field.

* * * * *
“I think they knew that we would have a high strikeout total because we have great arms. They just want us to get the walks down,” Crosby said.

* * * * *
To cap his winning outing, Crosby retires the side by fanning Bryan Kervin. The former Knight’s day ends with five innings, one unearned run, two walks and three strikeouts.

* * * * *
His win on Sunday served as a microcosm of his pro baseball career, facing early setbacks head on and powering out of them. Lloyd-Jones has seen many arms like Crosby’s show their stuff at the West Michigan stop.

“The one guy that immediately jumps to my mind is Joel Zumaya. At this level, he was a flamethrower. I remember watching in May of ’03, he faced the Beloit Snappers with Prince Fielder, and he racked up 14 strikeouts. Casey’s been one of the more pure strikeout pitchers we’ve seen,” Lloyd-Jones said.

Crosby’s odyssey to the big leagues could have a long way to go. For now, his journey took him to a concourse signing baseballs and hurling fastballs on a Sunday in western Michigan.

Photos by Mike and Erika Slodki

Pleading the fifth third: W. Michigan burger something to behold

New concession item getting national attention
by Mike Slodki
Think of traditional ballpark food and hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack.

Introducing the tradition-smasher: the Fifth Third Burger.

Housed at the home of Fifth Third Burger, the home of the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps, the burger was unveiled at the start of the 2009 baseball season earlier this month.

Receiving local newspaper coverage and national television coverage, the Fifth Third Burger (weighing “five-thirds of a pound”, or 1.66 pounds) has been the most-talked about addition to the Whitecaps other than former Kaneland lefty Casey Crosby.

Housed within an eight-inch sesame seed bun, the Fifth Third burger consists of five 1/3 pound patties with one cup of chili, five slices of American cheese, salsa, nacho cheese, Fritos, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.

Ordered 153 times since the April 9 opener, it has been finished only 20 times.

That’s a batting average of .131.

Ordered four times on Sunday, the burger was successfully conquered by ballpark patron Greg Teasley of Spring Lake, Mich.

“The bread was the most intimidating part, but I got through it in 50 minutes,” Teasley said.

The burger costs $20.

Yorkville woman charge for making false report of robbery by police imposter

Sugar Grove Police Department press release
Danielle L. Hechenbach, 32, of Honeysuckle Ln. Yorkville was charged by police on Thursday April 30th with Disorderly Conduct, a Class 4 Felony, for making a false police report.

On Monday, April 27, Hechenbach reported to Sugar Grove Police that she was a victim of a robbery committed by a man posing as a police officer who had stopped her on Bliss Road. During the course of the investigation, inconsistencies were found in her story. When confronted with these inconsistencies in a follow up interview conducted on Wednesday, she admitted that the incident never occurred. On Thursday the Kane County States Attorneys office authorized the felony complaint.

Hechenbach turned herself into the police on April 30, 2009 where she was booked and released after posting $200.00 bond and with a court date of May 15, 2009

Reports such as this are taken seriously and pursued. When it turns out that they are false, the consequences can be serious. Police appreciate the assistance received from numerous other law enforcement agencies and the overwhelming public response regarding this investigation. Dozens of tips were received and followed up on.

Knights take Peterson Prep crown, stop challengers in DeKalb

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland wasted no time impressing faithful fans at the Peterson Prep on Saturday, and continued the top-notch effort on Tuesday in familiar territory.

The Knights pulled out a close .5 win in the annual Peterson Prep with 83 points, compared to 82.5 for West Aurora.

Geneva (80), Dundee-Crown (73) and Sycamore (45.5) rounded out the top five while Rich Central finished sixth in the 15-team invite (33).

Logan Markuson schooled the field and became 110 meter high hurdles champ with a 14.74 second effort in the finals. Markuson came back in the 300m hurdles with a 40.34 time and took first.

The 4x100m relay foursome of Lucas Ross, Colin Zagel, Brendan McCarthy and Blake Serpa finished third at 45.18.

Those same four entries finished the 4x200m course in 1:35.51, good for second.

On Tuesday, Ross felt that as good as that even is, there’s more work to be done at this stage of the season.

“4x200m is the one I’d like to improve on, for sure,” Ross said. “We’d like to get our times down for that one. We’re working on our handoffs and getting the kinks out.”

Hayden Johnson, Derek Bus, Edgar Valle, Logan Markuson took second in the 4x400m relay at 3:31.02

High jumper Nick Sinon’s 6 feet, four inch effort was a second-place entry, while Markuson (13-0) and Josh Bloome (12-6) cleaned up the pole vault.

On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to DeKalb to face off against the Barbs and Geneva Vikings, winning the event with 85 points. Geneva (67) and DeKalb (34) brought up the rear.

Kaneland’s roster nabbed nine first places. The honors went to the 4×800 relay (9:04.8), Paul Davies in the 3200m run (10:30.5), Taylor Andrews in the 110m hurdles (15.14), Ross in the 100m dash (11.48), the 4x200m relay (1:35.9), Markuson in the 400m dash (52.79), Andrews in the 300m hurdles (42.14), Sinon in the high jump (5-10), Markuson in the vault (13-6) and the 4x400m relay team (3:34.89).

The Knights try to continue their good fortune with a trip to Sycamore’s Seegers Invite on Friday, May 1, and go with the Spartans to Yorkville on Tuesday, May 5.

Photo: Hayden Johnson tries to separate himself from the field during Saturday’s 4x400m relay. The foursome of Johnson, Derek Bus, Edgar Valle and Logan Markuson finished second at Kaneland’s Peterson Prep. Courtesy Photo

KHS shows talent at Dixon, Glenbard S.

by Mike Slodki
With the temperature finally rising in the area, Kaneland High School girls track seems to be taking that as a cue.

The first-place honors are becoming more frequent, and the Lady Knights have a bit of momentum entering the prestigious Kane County Meet on Friday in Batavia.

Last Wednesday had the Lady Knights edged by just one point in a 72-71 loss to Glenbard South.

Friday saw Kaneland compete at its usual late-April stop, the Dixon Relays.

Against the host Raiders, Lauren Whittaker’s discus effort of 97 feet was good enough for first.

Teammate Kelli Patterson enjoyed three firsts on the day. The senior hit a 4-8 in the high jump, a 15-3 in the long jump and a 33-3.5 in the triple jump.

Jordan Pinkston was tops in the pole vault thanks to a 9-6 effort.

The Lady Knights also took first in the 4×800 relay thanks to a 11 minute, 5.7 seconds effort from their foursome.

s 15.4 second 100m high hurdles time was good for first place, as was her 48.7 second 300m intermediate hurdles time.

Kelly Evers, who ran a 5:53 1600m run, won the event.

In the 10-team Dixon Relays, the Lady Knights were fourth-best on the evening with 64 points. Machesney Park’s Harlem High School was first with 86, followed by Western Sun Conference mainstay Rochelle (73) and Moline (65).

First places by Kaneland were achieved in the pole vault, thanks to the efforts of Pinkston, Sara Wallace and Katie Bergman, and the varsity 3200m relay.

The vaulters hit a combined 27 feet, while the long-distance foursome of Lisa Roberson, Andie Strang, Laney Deligianis and Evers finished in 10:11.

Kaneland’s frosh/soph 400m relay took third in 54.04 seconds, and the F/S 3200m relay finished in 10:49, good for second.

“As of today this was the first time I didn’t hit 9 feet on my first attempt this season, so that kind of upset me, but I was hoping for a top finish because some of the girls here went to indoor State,” Pinkson said.

KHS coach Pat Sheetz saw the 3200m first-place finish in the works already, which happened as Strang pulled away in the anchor leg.

“They were posting great times, their best of the year, and it was a matter of continuing to work,” Sheetz said. “They’ll get better and better as we head toward Sectionals.”

“I just go out and try to get a lead for the rest of my team; if need be they have the lead to fall back on,” Roberson said.

Strang felt no added pressure being the last hope for the Lady Knights in the event.

“I don’t think I had any more pressure than any of the other girls; we ran what we needed to,” Strang said. “I just did what I had to do to catch up to the Geneseo girl.”

In the mile team race, Kaneland finished second with a cumulative time of 20 minutes.

In the unique throwers relay, Kaneland’s 58.66 time was enough for second place.

After the Kane County meet this Friday, the girls travel along with Yorkville to Sycamore on Tuesday, May 5.

Soccer pouring the offense on

Lady Knights soccer (6-4-1, 0-2 Western Sun Conference) hasn’t seen this much early success in quite a while, but it’ll take it.

Kaneland bested the visiting T-Wolves of Indian Creek on Thursday by a score of 2-0.

KHS weapon Emily Heimerdinger once again showed an affinity for the net by scoring one goal in each half.

In less than ideal weather, the Lady Knights peppered 30 shots on goal compared to just three for ICHS.

Meanwhile, Coach Kevin Bickley’s JV roster is not only unbeaten in six matches, but has yet to score a goal.

On Thursday, the JV Lady Knights beat visiting Hampshire 4-0, behind two goals by Katie Taylor and two by Abby Bend.

On Friday, Kaneland varsity used a prolific second half to squash Morris, 5-0.

Braving strong wind gusts, Heimerdinger scored three goals and Haley Johnson contributed with a goal and assist. Colleen Gebauer had two assists, while Andi Bruce added a goal. Megan Gil also notched an assist.

On Tuesday, KHS fell victim to the visiting Geneva Lady Vikings 6-0.

Soccer faces host Glenbard South on Thursday, April 30, and goes to Mendota on Monday, May 4.

Photo: Bridget Crosby gets a header in the second half of Kaneland soccer’s home game against Indian Creek on Thursday. Kaneland won 2-0 with both goals scored by Emily Heimerdinger. Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights (14-5) bring the bats

Lady Knights softball saw contributions from both ends this past week.

Pitching and hitting proved key in a week that had Kaneland take four out of five contests and improve to 14-5 with a 5-2 record in the Western Sun Conference, tied with Batavia.

Sycamore got the best of the host Lady Knights last Wednesday afternoon by a 2-0 final.

Delani Vest was tagged with her second loss of the season (6-2) despite seven strikeouts. The Lady Spartans plated one run in the top of the first and one in the third.

Jessica Lubic went 2-for-4 with a double and triple, and Andrea Potts also added a triple.

On the lower-class end, Kaneland sophomore softball came away with a win at Sycamore by a 10-3 clip.

Beth Smith improved to 6-0, and Nikky Rymarz went 3-for-3 with a home run.

On Thursday, the Lady Knights handed the host Rochelle Lady Hubs a 5-0 loss.

Vest took care of the purple-clad lineup with eight strikeouts and allowed just two hits.

Kaneland’s scoring output consisted of a single run in the second and four in the seventh.

Brianna Hurst led the way at the plate with a 3-for-4 evening along with a double. Potts went 2-for-4 with two driven in and Rilee Vest went 2-for-2 with an RBI.

On Saturday, the Lady Knights provided some hurt to host Woodstock by sweeping a doubleheader, 3-0 and 3-1.

In game one, Vest earned the win and fanned 12 batters, scattering just two hits.

The offense was led by Jessica Lubic (2-for-3, triple, RBI) and Huml (3-for-3).

Game two had the Lady Knights break open a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth.

Potts went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Huml struck out 10 on the day.

On Tuesday, Kaneland took the aluminum to the visiting Batavia Bulldogs 9-0, thanks to homers from Potts and Rilee Vest. Vest’s grand slam was the third hit by Kaneland since 2004.

KHS visits Glenbard South on Thursday, April 30, and hosts Geneva on Tuesday, May 5.

Baseball runs into tough week

by Mike Slodki
Through 20 games, Knights baseball has seen more of its share of steady performances.

However, this week provided more difficulty than most.

The Knights (14-6, 6-4 Western Sun Conference) went 1-3 in a week that had them lose to Plainfield South, Rochelle and Batavia.

Kaneland’s lone win was vs. the rival Hubs.

Tuesday saw Batavia beat the visiting Knights 3-2. The Bulldogs scored one in the third, sixth and the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

Joe Gura was tagged with the loss, and went 2-for-3.

On a Saturday visit to the Plainfield South Cougars, Kaneland fell 8-3.

Ty Hamer (1-1) went six innings in the loss and strick out two batters.

Three singles in the bottom of the first led to an early 1-0 deficit. A sac fly and a double in the fourth inning sent the Knights down 3-0. Plainfield South added one more in the fifth and four in the sixth before the Knights finally crossed the plate three times in the seventh inning. Curtis Lubic had two RBI in the losing effort.

On Friday, the Knights defeated Rochelle in Maple Park by a 5-2 score, thanks to a winning effort from Troy Pritchard (3-1) and a bullpen outing by Joe Gura (fourth save).

An RBI double by Gura in the third inning tied the score at 1-1. Two more runs came home in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead.

Two more came home to pad the final margin. Hamer had two RBI on the day.

Last Wednesday vs. Rochelle, Jay Levita’s double gave Kaneland a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Rochelle scored two to knot it up in the bottom of the first inning. Rochelle then scored three runs in the top of the third. Levita’s RBI single in the top of the sixth brought it to 5-3 before Rochelle scored an insurance run in the sixth.

Jake Tickle scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to close within two runs, but KHS stranded runners at first and second when the game ended.

“We can’t make errors like we did in the field today,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “Rochelle took advantage. They hit a couple balls at us and that should have been it, but the inning would keep going. (Steve) Colombe took the loss (3-1), but I think he’ll be alright.”

The Knights travel to Batavia on Thursday, April 30.

Elburn police blotter

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

• Michael W. Rose, 33, of the 700 block of Ridge Circle in Streamwood, was arrested at 11:24 p.m. April 18 for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while his license was revoked for DUI, and possessing marijuana. Police stopped him on Route 38 east of Pouley Road, for not having a front license plate. He also was cited for not having vehicle insurance and for having an unauthorized vehicle registration.

• Jason M. Ryndak, 28, of the 1000 block of Hanover Road in Batavia, was arrested at 3:48 a.m. April 18 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped him as he was westbound on Keslinger Road near Liberty Drive in Elburn, for speeding.

Burglaries to motor vehicles
• A radar detector was stolen from a vehicle parked in a driveway in the 900 block of Griffith Avenue in Elburn sometime between 7 p.m. April 20 and 1 p.m. April 21.

• Someone stole a GPS unit from a vehicle parked in the 1000 block of Robinson Street in Elburn. The burglary took place sometime between 2 p.m. April 20 and 9 a.m. April 22.

Vehicle stolen, recovered
• A white 2006 Chevrolet Cargo van parked in the 400 block of Richmond Avenue in Elburn was stolen sometime between 10:30 p.m. April 19 and 9 a.m. April 20. Glen Ellyn police found the van parked in a residential area of their community at 2 p.m. April 23.

Trespassing, outstanding warrants
• Joseph James, 52, of the 1800 block of Gravier Street in New Orleans, La., was arrested at 2:40 p.m. April 25 for trespassing on railroad property in Elburn. He also had three outstanding warrants from DuPage County for previous offenses including being intoxicated on railroad property, resisting arrest and obstructing justice, and trespassing on railroad property. Police arrested James has he was walking with a bicycle along the railroad tracks near the Metra station.

Driving while license suspended
• Randy C. Longstreet, 23, of the 1900 block of Birchwood Lane in Arlington Heights, Ill., was arrested at 5:41 p.m. April 24 for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him for improper lane use as he was northbound on Route 47 near South Street.

Elburn village notes

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn officials to be sworn in at Lions Park
Elburn’s three new trustees, Jeff Walter, Jerry Schmidt and Ken Anderson, and the new village president, Dave Anderson, will be sworn into office during the Elburn Village Board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, May 4.

The meeting will take place at the Lions Park clubhouse in Elburn.

Elected April 4, the three new board members will replace two-term trustee Tom Burgholzer and one-term trustee Jeff Humm, who ran unsuccessfully, and 14-year trustee Craig Swan, who did not seek re-election.

Dave Anderson will fill the village president position held for the past 12 years by Jim Willey, who did not seek re-election.

Dental office receives grant
Elburn Dentist Richard Stewart thanked village officials for providing a façade improvement grant to help pay for exterior renovations to his office at 135 S. Main St., Elburn.

During the Village Board meeting April 20, Stewart said the redesign is nearly finished and will include awnings and outdoor plantings.

Stewart received the maximum grant available-$10,000-from the façade grant program the village started a few years ago to help improve the downtown.

Express Evaluations also availed themselves of the grant program, in 2007, to enhance the outside of the building at 17 S. Main St.

The grant program requires businesses to provide matching funds for façade projects.

Rep. Foster accepts Congressional page applications

Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) is accepting applications from high school juniors interested in participating becoming a Congressional Page.

“The Congressional Page Program is a tremendous learning opportunity for our future leaders,” Foster said. “Many successful and accomplished people have gotten their start from the Page Program, from Bill Gates to President Lyndon B. Johnson.”

Foster will nominate one high school junior to the second session of the summer program in Washington, D.C., which runs from July 5 through Aug. 1. Pages assist members of Congress with their legislative duties, deliver correspondence and small packages within the congressional complex, answer phones in the member cloakrooms and prepare the House Floor for sessions.

Interested high school juniors must live in the 14th Congressional District of Illinois, and must be at least 16 years of age. Applicants must submit a completed application via fax or hand delivery to either Foster’s Dixon or Batavia office by the close of business on May 1.

Applications may be downloaded at Applicants will be asked to provide their Social Security number, a parental consent form, official transcript of high school grades, a written essay, a resume of extracurricular activities and letters of recommendation.

Members of Congress take turns nominating students for the Congressional Page Program, meaning that the opportunity to nominate a page is a rare occurrence.

For more information about the Congressional Page Program, visit

Park District hosts youth pitch, hit, run competition

The Sugar Grove Park District will host a free Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run Competition for area youth at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, at the Sugar Grove Sports Complex.

The free program provides children an opportunity to take part in a competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball skills.

Competitors are divided into four age divisions, ranging from 7 to 14, and have the chance to advance, including Team Championships at Major League ballparks and the National Finals at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game.

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and fill out a registration/waiver form prior to the start of the competition. Call (630) 466-7436.

Wildlife Center seeks barn sale donations

The Fox Valley Wildlife Center will host a barn sale on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and May 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wildlife Center, located in the Elburn Woods Forest Preserve.

The wildlife center is seeking donations of household and kitchen items, decor, collectibles, antiques, DVDs, CDs, books, baby and toddler clothing, toys, games, pet items, bird feeders, garden items and yard art in good and gently used condition.

Items that will not be accepted include most electronics, large appliances, computers, televisions, large furniture including mattresses and box springs, adult clothing including shoes and purses, child car seats, text and reference books, large shop tools and automotive items including tires.

Drop-off dates for donations are Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, from noon to 4 p.m.; Friday, May 8, from 2 to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, May 9, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Fox Valley Wildlife Center, 46W061 Route 38, Elburn.

Town & Country Public Library plant fundraiser

320 E. North St., Elburn • (630) 365-2244
Plant fundraiser
The Friends of the Town and Country Public Library annual plant fundraiser will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 9. Geraniums, gerbera daisies and tuberous begonias will be available for a donation of $3.75 each, or three for $11.

The plant sale will be indoors at the library. Pre-orders of flowers can be made at the library or by calling Joan Hansen at (630) 365-9217.

The Friends are also holding a Gardener’s “Green Thumb” raffle through May 9. The deluxe garden cart on display was donated by Vicki McGuire of Elburn. Additional gardener’s items donated by the Friends include a combo pack of garden tools, large planter pots, rainbow straw hat, garden pad for potting plants indoors/outdoors, garden note cards, selected gardening books and much more.

Tickets are $1 each, or six for $5. The drawing will be held May 9 at noon at the library.

Kaneland musical instrument donation drive

The Kaneland Musical Instrument Donation Drive will run through Friday, May 1. Drop-off locations are at Kaneland elementary schools between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

A qualified instrument technician will appraise the instruments and donation letters will be provided for the assessed value. Low student rental fees will cover repair and maintenance of the instruments. Eligibility to rent will be determined through confidential free and reduced lunch program criteria. Only brass or woodwind instruments will be accepted (no percussion or electronic instruments).

For more information, contact Suzanne Satterfield at (630) 365-8170, ext. 246 or

Sugar Grove Public Library event

54 Snow St., Sugar Grove
(630) 466-4686
Super-couponing returns
The Sugar Grove Library Friends will welcome Jill Cataldo to teach people how to maximize their grocery savings and purchase hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for just pennies.

Cataldo will share her insights on Wednesday, May 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St., Sugar Grove.

Registration is required and seating is limited. Call (630) 466-4686.

KHS offers summer driver’s ed

Kaneland High School will offer a summer driver’s education program for Kaneland and non-Kaneland students who will turn 15 by June and reside in the Kaneland School District.

Mandatory attendance will be necessary to meet the required classroom hours as set forth by the state of Illinois. There are only 30 seats available.

Classes are from June 22 to July 24, and will be held Mondays through Fridays, 7 to 9 a.m. Behind-the-wheel times will be determined once class begins. Before class, after class, afternoons and Saturdays will be used to complete the behind-the-wheel portion of the class.

The cost of the class is $250. To reserve a seat, call Mary Albrecht at (630) 365-5100, ext. 210, before May 1.

WCC earns environmental award

Waubonsee Community College recently received an Outstanding Project Award from Trees Forever, a nonprofit organization dedicated to tree planting, prairie restoration and watershed management.

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Trees Forever, the organization chose 20 outstanding environmental projects to honor. Waubonsee was honored for the wetland restoration efforts it has undertaken at its Sugar Grove campus. These efforts are part of the college’s involvement with the Illinois Buffer Partnership, a program aimed at improving water quality by creating buffers of trees, shrubs and grasses along streams and in wetlands.

The college received a grant as part of this program in 2002. With the help of faculty, staff, students and other volunteers, the college has been able to grow the number of native plant species found in the wetlands from 56 in 2001 to 79 in 2005.