Dee Barney

Dee Barney, 49, of Sugar Grove, passed away Thursday, April 9, 2009, at Hillside Rehabilitation Center in Yorkville, Ill., after a long and courageous battle with multiple sclerosis.

She was born Feb. 10, 1960, in Aurora, to Robert W. and Jessie M. (Lubbs) Bennett. She was united in marriage to Thomas W. Barney on Aug. 13, 1983, in Aurora.

She graduated from East Aurora High School in 1978. Dee was active in Thespians, Speech Club and Student Council. She ran track and was voted All-Conference in volleyball. Dee attended Wheaton College, where she played volleyball on the varsity team as a freshman and graduated in 1982. She was head volleyball coach at Wheaton College in 1985. Dee was later inducted into the Hall of Honor at Wheaton College for volleyball on Sept. 27, 2003.

Dee worked many years as office manager at her husband’s chiropractic clinic in Plano. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. She battled hard for many years and refused to let the illness slow her down. Dee took great pleasure in being involved in her daughters’ many sports activities. She was definitely being the ultimate “Soccer Mom” and was referred to as “Mom’s Taxi” until her health failed. She then had to be content to hear about Jessica’s own volleyball accomplishments, envisioning the play as she watched on tapes.

The light came into her eyes at the sight of her granddaughter, Elizabeth. She will be fondly remembered for the smile that came to her face when she saw her little baby granddaughter.

Dee leaves to cherish her memory, her husband, Tom Barney; twin daughters, Pvt. First Class Jessica E. Barney (special friend Ryan Beery) and Jenna M. Barney; 16-month-old granddaughter, Elizabeth; mother, Jessie M. Bennett of Aurora; brother, Dennis (Diane) Bennett of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.; sister, Doreen (Jeff) Johnson of Aurora; sister-in-law, Linda Phillips of Portsmouth, Ohio; close family friend, Robin Bennett of Naperville; nieces and nephews, Daniel Bennett of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., Paul, Devin and Shelby Johnson of Aurora and Kiana and Quinn Bennett of Naperville.

She was preceded in death by her father, Robert W. Bennett, and her father and mother-in-law, Mary and William Barney of Columbus, Ohio.

Visitation was held on Monday, April 13, from 10 a.m. until time of service, noon at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove, with Pastor Stan Motley of Plano Christian Church officiating. Burial took place at Lincoln Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter, 525 W. Monroe St., Ste. 900, Chicago, IL 60661.

For more information, please call (630) 466-1330 or visit to sign the online guestbook.

Donald L. Adkins

Donald L. Adkins, 85, passed away peacefully in his home on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, cared for by his loving family during his final weeks.

Don was born Aug. 6, 1923, in Elgin, the only child of Ruth Hollingsworth and Donald Adkins. He was raised by his lovely and loving grandmother, Tena Hollingsworth. Don was preceded in death by his parents and his grandmother; his son, Gerard Joseph, in 1954, and by his stepmother of 64 years, Loretta Adkins, in 2001.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara; his children, Catherine (Rick) Ruehe of Virginia Beach, Va., Charles Donald (Marianne Linn) of San Francisco, Calif., William Francis (Mary Ellen) of Geneva; and his grandchildren, Emily (Andrew) Ruehe Puckett and Eric Ruehe.

During WWII, Don served as a meteorologist and studied at the University of Iowa, Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago. Wherever he was stationed, he was called upon each week to play his saxophone and clarinet wherever music was needed, as he had done up and down the Fox Valley during his high school years.

When he was discharged after the war ended, he attended Illinois State University, where he continued with his music as a member of the Blackfriars. He graduated from ISU in June 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and did graduate work at the University of Chicago and Northern Illinois University, where he earned advanced degrees in administration and in guidance. Don also served in several leadership roles in the Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity.

Don spent his career in education at Mooseheart, starting as a fifth-grade teacher in 1951 and retiring as the director of education 40 years later. He was respected and loved by his colleagues and students. He was a kindhearted and generous man who invested himself in people and their education. He was a counselor, mentor and friend. During his lifetime, he guided and counseled many, many people, both children and adults, in their educational and life choices. He had an immeasurable impact upon all whom he met.

He was a kind and compassionate man. He could quell anger with a few words. He would skillfully redirect misunderstandings toward a quiet path of reflection, leading to peaceful resolution of the problem. He was always able to suggest a new thought, adding an element of peaceful contemplation to any tumbling cauldron of unrest.

One of Don’s most memorable qualities was his humor. He loved to be around people. No matter when or where you met him, he always had a smile and a genuine interest in you. He brought people together. He enjoyed conversation, often displaying his quick wit, good humor and memorable laugh. He made others happy and always left a lasting impression, and he certainly left one on all of us. We will miss him dearly.

Visitation was held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, at Healy Chapel, 370 W. Division Drive, Sugar Grove. A funeral mass was held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, April 13, 2009, at St. Rita of Cascia Catholic Church, 750 W. Old Indian Trail, Aurora. Gifts may be sent to Mooseheart Alumni or to Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Chicago. Interment will take place at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.

For more information please call (630) 466-1330 or visit our website to leave a condolence at

Elburn voters pick Anderson

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn voters elected the first new village president in more than 12 years on Tuesday, Dave Anderson. Anderson defeated his opponent, Village Trustee Patricia Romke, 666 to 167.

“Plain old support” is what brought about his victory, Anderson said.

“People know me and, I believe, respect some of the things I have done, and they made their voices heard,” Anderson said.

A lifelong Elburn resident and former owner of The Grocery Store downtown, Anderson will replace three-term Village President Jim Willey. Willey announced last fall that he would not seek re-election.

Romke, an Elburn trustee whose term ends in 2011, called Anderson last night to congratulate him. She is looking forward to working with him on the Village Board.

“I will fully support him for the next two years, and as a team, I hope we can get a lot accomplished,” she said.

Running for village president was “hard work but a great experience,” particularly being able to meet and talk to so many residents during her campaign, said Romke, a Realtor who has lived in Elburn for nine years.

Anderson said as soon as he is sworn in later this month, he will start working on “a lot of little things that will add up to major changes.” He declined to say what those changes will be.

He also plans to put a board committee structure in place, and said that pursuing the construction of the Anderson Road bridge and extension, and addressing stormwater issues, will be his top priorities after taking office.

Voters also elected three new Village Board trustees, Jeff Walter, Jerry Schmidt and Ken Anderson. The three new board members will replace trustees Tom Burgholzer and Jeff Humm, who ran unsuccessfully, and trustee Craig Swan, who did not seek re-election.

Anderson has been Blackberry Township Supervisor for more than 10 years, a seat that will be filled by Dave Richmond. Richmond was the only candidate for the position.

Anderson has been on the Village Board before, as a trustee in the 1970s when the Village Board established a land-use plan, built the wastewater treatment plant, and hired its first village administrator.

His public service also has included being the past president of the Kaneland School Board and a three-term member of that board; a member of the former Kane County Criminal Justice Commission; and a member of the Kane County Regional Planning Commission and the Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals.

Curtis wins in Maple Park by 18 votes

by Lynn Meredith
Eighteen votes decided the race for village president of Maple Park. Kathleen Curtis edged out incumbent Ross Dueringer in a 176 to 158 vote.

Dueringer won the Kane County side of the village 107 to 84, but lost on the DeKalb County side, 92 to 51. He called it “one of those things.”

“I did the best I could. I have no regrets. I was honest,” Dueringer said.

Dueringer served as president for four years and in other capacities on committees for a total of 19 years.

“I’m done. I’ve been doing it for 19 years. That’s long enough. I’ll let somebody else have a chance,” Dueringer said.

He said it was a close race, but one that was conducted with decency. Curtis agreed.

“Ross and I both worked at it and kept it clean,” Curtis said.

Curtis has served as chairman of the Financial Committee for the last four years. She looks forward to taking on the role as president and working with the newly elected trustees, Debra Armstrong and Suzanne Fahnestock.

“The talent of the trustees is phenomenal. It’s a great group,” Curtis said.

She said that her first order of business will be to call the trustees together and appoint them to committees.

SG voters help Michels keep seat

Michels defeats Clark in village president race, 957-514
by Susan O’Neill
Incumbent Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels emerged the winner by a large margin on Tuesday, with 63 percent of the vote. Challenger Perry Clark received 34 percent of the vote.

“It’s a big relief,” Michels said on Wednesday. “You just never know. I didn’t want to get over-confident.”

Michels said he and his family had worked hard on his campaign, walking door-to-door and making phone calls. This is the first time that Michels has been challenged for his position as village president. He said he also received a lot of support from friends old and new during the campaign, and called it a “humbling” experience.

Michels said he sees the results as confirmation from the residents that they like what he and the board have been doing for the village.

“I hope performance is a big indicator,” he said.

He said he thinks the residents are happy with how the town is growing in a controlled way. He also thinks the village needs to keep bringing in a variety of housing, not just “affordable” housing.

“We do need starter homes, but we also need higher-end homes,” he said. “Settler’s Ridge is a good example of that mix.”

He added that Sugar Grove wisely decided not to reduce its developer fees simply to bring in more housing. Michels said the village has always based its impact fees on professional studies of growth.

“I don’t know how to prove to people that the market dictates what type of housing will sell,” he said. “If impact fees alone sold housing, more developments would be full.”

Michels said that with the current housing slow-down, it is a good time for the village to re-evaluate its previous projections for growth and re-adjust fees based on what is needed for the future.

He said he realizes that the lack of infrastructure has been a weakness for Sugar Grove in drawing more commercial development. He said there will be a lot going on in Sugar Grove in the near future, with major resurfacing of roads such as Route 47, 56 and 30. He is excited about HondaJet coming to the Aurora Airport, and he thinks the Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard extension will put the village in a good position to attract new businesses.

“We just need to get out and sell Sugar Grove over the next four years,” he said.

Although Clark was disappointed with the outcome, he said he was glad he ran and was able to bring his issues before the people of Sugar Grove.

“The results showed me that the community is looking for more of a slow growth-type mode,” Clark said.

Clark called Michels on Tuesday night to congratulate him. He said he backs him and wishes him and the new board well.

“I told him, ‘You’re my village president now,’” he said. “I’m part of a community, not the community,” he said. “I have to support that.”

Kaneland Fine Arts Festival set for April 19

When the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival opens its doors on Sunday, April 19, at Kaneland High School, visitors will be invited to look, touch, hear, see, smell, taste and participate fully in an amazing choice of arts experiences.

The Fine Arts Festival was created as a way to expose all people in the community to the fine arts in as many forms as possible. Admission is free. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Student work will be presented along with a juried fine art show. Performances will take place in the new fine arts theater on campus, and the cafeteria will be transformed into the less-formal Arts Pavilion setting for additional performances, workshops and refreshments for purchase from the high school’s culinary arts kitchen. Workshops in glass fusing, drum making, Aztec dancing and etching are only a few of the hands-on activities offered. Face painting, caricatures and a “Spontaneous Folk Ensemble” (bring your instrument, or just sing along) are other activities that welcome participation by attendees of all ages and experience levels.

“We are very proud to be able to include a number of Kaneland High School graduates in our professional artist lineup again this year,” said Bonnie Whildin, Art Specialist at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School. “Christine Marie Heath, a vocalist working in musical theatre and on opera stages from Broadway to international, will appear at the Fine Arts Festival on Sunday. And playwright Nic Wehrwein, another Kaneland graduate whose work has won national acclaim, will present a new work performed in readers’ theater format featuring Kaneland alumni.”

For more information on the festival, contact Maria Dripps-Paulson, Community Liaison for the festival, at (630) 365-5100 ext. 180 or e-mail maria.drippspaulson@

Kaneland Community
Fine Arts Festival
Sunday, April 19
11 am to 6 pm
Kaneland High School
47W623 Keslinger Road
Maple Park
Admission is free
Look, touch, hear, see, smell, taste and participate fully
in an amazing choice
of arts experiences.
For more information, contact Maria Dripps-Paulson
(630) 365-5100 ext. 180 or e-mail

Village Board addresses declining revenue issue

Board cuts expenses, considers increase in water, sewer, refuse rates
by Susan O’Neill
Village officials have taken several actions to make up for a loss of revenue due to the slow-down of the housing market and general economy, as well as a decrease in sales tax projections.

The decrease in the sales tax projections includes a drop in sales tax revenue from current stores and lower gasoline taxes with the recent drop in the price per gallon. In addition, the opening of new stores projected for the second half of 2008 did not take place.

The village let go two full-time employees and one part-time employee earlier this year. According to Sugar Grove Finance Director Justin VanVooren, the elimination of the three positions—a building inspector, a permits clerk and a part-time office associate—will save the village approximately $150,000 in salaries and benefits.

During three recent budget workshops, the Village Board discussed other cost-saving measures that will reduce expenditures across the board in both the general fund and the water and sewer fund, two of the village’s largest funds.

The additional cost saving measures include items such as eliminating the cost-of-living and market adjustment salary increases for nonunion village employees and delaying the replacement or purchase of vehicles and other equipment for the streets division and police department.

The 3.25 percent adjustment and step increases included in the Police Patrol contract will remain intact.

According to VanVooren, water and sewer use has trended downward over the past two years, due to conservation awareness and education, cooler and wetter summers and the current economy. However, fixed costs, primarily debt for capital projects including wells number 8 and number 9, and the water treatment system to eliminate radium from the water supply, have remained constant.

The village is repaying low-interest loans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for these projects, as well as money borrowed to decommission the old wastewater treatment plant and the necessary infrastructure to hook on with the Fox Metro system in 1998.

Although the village will experience a tightening of its budget, village staff expects that there will be minimal impacts on service levels to residents.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said that after attending meetings with other municipalities, the village of Sugar Grove is in better shape than many others.

Board members discussed increasing water and sewer rates again this year. The village increased its water and sewer rates for the first time in six years in 2008. At that time, VanVooren said additional increases of that size would be necessary this year and next year.

The village’s refuse contract will experience a higher-than-expected annual increase, of 3.8 percent versus the budgeted 3 percent. According to VanVooren, an increase to the residents’ rates from $17.75 to $18.75 is necessary. With the increase, the cost to residents is still less than the village actually pays per household, he said.

These increases and the other items related to the budget will be decided upon when the Village Board approves the next fiscal year’s budget. According to VanVooren, this will take place at one of the two regularly scheduled board meetings in April, either Tuesday, April 7, or Tuesday, April 21. The fiscal year begins on May 1, 2009, and runs to April 30, 2010.

Village obtains lower price for wayside horns

by Martha Quetsch
The price tag for wayside horns in Elburn went down when village officials negotiated a new contractor bid and persuaded railroad officials to waive an insurance requirement.

“In a couple of weeks, we saved about $125,000,” Village Administrator David Morrison said Monday.

Village officials previously knew of just one company that could install the wayside horns to reduce train whistles in town, Railroad Controls Limited (RCL). RCL’s first bid was $195,277, to install the horns at both downtown rail crossings.

However, several weeks ago, Campbell Technology Corporation (CTC), approach-ed the village with a bid of $173,500.

Because of that competition, village officials were able to obtain a lower price from RCL, $124,125. The Village Board on Monday approved RCL’s new bid.

The insurance savings resulted when Union Pacific Railroad (UP) agreed to waive the requirement that the contractor obtain pollution liability coverage for the horn project, which would have been an additional $50,000 expense for the village.

Horn installation, at the First Street and Main Street crossings, cannot begin until the Illinois Commerce Commission approves the village contract for the project with the crossings’ owner, UP; that approval, and obtaining the equipment, could take several months, village officials said.

Morrison is uncertain exactly when the horns will be installed, but said, “It will be done this year.”

Both Railroad Controls Limited and Campbell Technology Corporation are Texas-based, but RCL is the only company that has installed wayside horns in Illinois.

In addition to the installation cost, the village will have to pay $54,000 for project engineering and $34,000 for liability insurance for the wayside horns. Another expense will be approximately $2,500 for UP flaggers during the installation.

The Federal Railroad Administration approved the wayside horns as a safety requirement to allow Elburn to be a whistle-free zone. The wayside horns will direct their sound only toward the immediate area of pedestrian and vehicular traffic near the crossings. Trains still will blow their whistles if the wayside horn lights are not functioning, or if the locomotive engineer sees a safety hazard.

‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ to open at Steel Beam

All-male cast directed by R. Aaron Thomann of Elburn
by Martha Quetsch
R. Aaron Thomann was a perfect choice to direct Steel Beam Theatre’s latest production, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” for which the timing was just as ideal, said Donna Steele.

Steele, founder and artistic director of Steel Beam, said Thomann is a great director for any show, and has selected him for more than 15 previous productions; but he is especially suited to plays that he chooses, she added.

“Aaron likes David Mamet a lot and really wanted us to do “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Steele said.

Thomann said he particularly likes Mamet’s realistic dialogue.

“He writes how people actually speak. They talk over each other; they interrupt each other,” Thomann said.

Thomann, a technology manager for a major Chicago corporation, also brings a knowledge of the business world depicted in the Windy City-based play by David Mamet, Steele said.

Steele thought the play, about an office of Chicago Realtors and their intense competition, was a timely production to present this year.

“Even though it was first produced in the 1980s, we thought it was amazingly relevant now,” Steele said.

She hopes audiences will be able to escape their own economic woes by getting involved with the show’s characters’ troubles and the dark humor of their situations.

Steele said the sets are minimalist, including a basic depiction of the Chinese restaurant where the salesmen try to close deals. The reason for the stage’s simplicity, she said, is so that audiences focus on the show’s characters.

Bringing those characters to life is a cast that Thomann is proud to have directed. He said it was difficult to choose the actors,because there was an unusually high turnout for auditions. But because “Glengarry Glen Ross” offers such great roles for men, Steel Beam’s auditions for the production attracted more than 40 actors.

Even though he regretted having to exclude some of those auditoners from the show, Thomann said he was excited by the interest.

“Getting male actors can often be a challenge,” Thomann said.

He said working with the cast he assembled has been rewarding, and believes their talent will make the production a success.
“It’s really the actors that make the show,” Thomann said.

His cast includes Sean Hargadon, founder of Janus Theatre Company of Elgin; David Prentiss of St. Charles; Patrick Able of Geneva; Ed Pierce of Geneva; Trevor Luce of Chicago; and Jim Pierce of South Elgin.

The play contains strong language.

Photo: R. Aaron Thomann of Elburn (left) is the director of the Steel Beam Theatre’s production of ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ by David Mamet. Here, Thomann sets up the first scene during rehearsal on Monday. Also pictured, from left to right, Donna Steele, owner of the theater, and actors David Prentiss and Jim Pierce. Photo by John DiDonna

Grant will help district green up the fleet

by Lynn Meredith
Heads were nodding in support of the efforts of Kaneland Transportation Director Jim Ogle when he announced at Monday’s School Board meeting the receipt of a grant to improve the air quality from the buses’ diesel emissions, and save the district money.

Kaneland’s bus fleet will benefit from a $110,740 grant called the “Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program” from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). It will allow the district to install diesel particulate filters and closed crankcase ventilation systems on 15 buses.

“We have nine buses now that we purchased new, three in 2008 and six in 2009, that have these systems on them. By putting the system on the 15 buses in addition to what we have, 43 percent of our fleet will be green,” Ogle said.

The grant covers both the parts and the labor. The work will be done this summer when the buses are down.

Ogle is applying for another IEPA grant to green up an additional 15 buses and install 44 Wabasto heaters.

“The heaters would eliminate us having to idle the buses while we’re at the schools waiting for children. It would eliminate our having to start the buses an hour early in the morning and get them warmed up,” Ogle said. “The furnace runs for five hours on one gallon of diesel, so we’re not only saving diesel, we’re saving fumes sent out into the atmosphere. We’ll save money because we won’t have to start those buses so early.”

Library seeking public feedback on hours

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove Public Library staff have created a survey looking for feedback on what library patrons and district residents would like to see in the new library. A major focus of the survey is which hours patrons would prefer to have the library open.

When the operating expenses referendum did not pass in November 2006, library hours were cut from 58 to 47 hours per week. The library is currently closed Monday morning, Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon. Some of the children’s programs and all of the adult programs were suspended.

The referendum voters were asked to consider on April 7 was for a tax rate increase that Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes and the Library Board said is needed to adequately operate the new facility.

Prior to the April 7 failure of the referendum, Hughes said that if it did not pass, the same dollars available to operate the current 6,000-square-foot building will be available to operate the new 27,430-square-foot building. This means that further cuts in the hours will be necessary when the new building opens in August.

Hughes added that even if the referendum had passed in April, the library would not have seen the additional level of funding until July 2010, and residents would not see the increase on their tax bill until June 2010.

Given that a reduction in hours is likely later this year, library staff would like to know what schedule works best for the most people. The Library District includes the village of Sugar Grove, unincorporated Sugar Grove Township, unincorporated Aurora in Blackberry Township and Montgomery residents who reside in Sugar Grove Township. It serves about 15,000 residents.

Residents may access the survey through links provided at the library’s website at

Hughes said she is available to answer questions about the survey and library services. Residents may stop by at the library at 54 Snow St., e-mail her at director@ or call her at (630) 466-4686.

Visiting artists teach WCC workshop

Class kicked off celebration of outdoor kiln yard renovation
by Susan O’Neill
Waubsonsee Community College art and ceramics professor Doug Jeppesen celebrated the completion of the college’s outdoor kiln yard renovation by inviting two artists to conduct a weeklong workshop from March 13-21. Studio potter Tara Wilson from Helena, Mont. and assistant professor Ben Krupka from Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Mass. spent the week demonstrating their techniques and working with students on the wheels to create their own pottery.

Jeppesen brings in an artist each semester to work with students. He said it is important to expose his students to other artists so they learn different techniques. Jeppesen said the interaction with other artists inspires him, as well.

“There are as many ways to do things as there are people,” he said.

In addition, being a studio artist is a different way of working than teaching others, he explained. Making a living with her pottery gives Wilson a different perspective and lifestyle that she can share with the students.

Both potters were impressed with Jeppesen’s facilities. The renovation of the outdoor kiln yard began in May 2008. The yard houses four wood kilns, including the Anagama kiln he recently built. Jeppesen said the kiln is modeled after a 5th century Asian-style climbing kiln. While an Anagama kiln is normally built into a hill, he dug this one 42 inches deep into the ground.

According to Jeppesen, firing with wood gives the finished pieces a different look than when they are fired with a natural gas or electric kiln. The temperature in a wood kiln reaches about 2,400 degrees. The wood ash blends with the material to form different effects. Loading and stacking the pieces inside the kiln in varying ways also varies the results.

“The fire is like a river,” he said. “It will find its path of least resistance.”

Wood-worker and home-builder Arnie Kalnins said he became interested in ceramics through his friends, Sugar Grove residents Tim and Sue Norris. They own and operate Spring Bluff Nursery in Sugar Grove, where Sue sells some of her pottery.

Kalnins said his interest led him to take a ceramics class at Waubonsee Community College with Jeppesen. During his first class, he learned about clay and how to work on the wheel. After making bowls and other simpler objects, he is currently taking his third class, where the students work on larger and more complicated pieces.

“Doug’s got a wealth of knowledge,” Kalnins said.

He said that if Jeppesen doesn’t know the answer to a question, he can tell you where to find it.

“It’s a pretty impressive program,” Kalnins said. “It’s one of the premier studios in the state. It’s so well-equipped.”

In addition to the kiln yard, the indoor studio has 10,000 square feet of working space, with work tables, potter’s wheels (both kick and electric), two separate kiln rooms, a separate glaze room and plenty of storage for student work.

Kalnins, whose goal is to eventually learn how to make mosaic tiles, said that he enjoyed working with the two master artists.

“Each individual artist has their own vision that gets translated into their work.”

School starting times adjusted for 2009-10

by Lynn Meredith
Efficiency is the name of the game as Kaneland School District officials look at transporting students next year when Kaneland Harter Middle School opens. Middle school students aren’t the only ones who will be affected. Both the high school and the middle school will start 15 minutes earlier. Elementary start times will remain the same.

School officials said without these adjustments, a third tier of transportation would need to be added. The savings of not having to run a third run is significant.

“We have 47 routes for next year. We would have to have 53 routes and seven new buses (if we ran a third tier). That would be $300,000 in routes and $600,000 in new buses,” Transportation Director Jim Ogle said.

The student day at the high school will start at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:40 p.m. At the middle school, the day will begin at 7:25 a.m. and end at 2:25 p.m. The activity bus will leave at 5:10 p.m.

Elementary school times will remain from 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Morning kindergarten will be from 8:50 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Afternoon kindergarten will be from 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Crosby suits up for Whitecaps, scheduled for Opening Day

The West Michigan Whitecaps, in conjunction with the Detroit Tigers, announced their 2009 Opening Day roster today. The roster features top pitching prospects as well as many familiar faces.

Eight of the 25 players on the roster spent time with the Whitecaps last season including up-and-coming prospects Brandon Douglas and Mauricio Robles. Douglas played nine games with the Whitecaps last season. He hit .328 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 68 games throughout the minors in 2008. Robles spent the entire 2008 season with West Michigan, going 5-3 with a 2.66 ERA and 79 strikeouts. Robles also had a 45.1 inning scoreless streak at Fifth Third Ballpark.

Other players returning for another stint with the Whitecaps are catchers Jordan Newton and Joe Bowen, first baseman Ronnie Bourquin, and pitchers Brandon Hamilton, Matt Hoffman and Brayan Villarreal.

Hamilton and Hoffman will help anchor a pitching staff filled with high draft picks and top prospects. 2007 fifth round pick Casey Crosby joins the Whitecaps after missing most of 2008 with Tommy John surgery. Baseball America currently ranks Crosby as the No. 4 prospect in the Tigers’ system. The Whitecaps’ staff also includes 2007 third round pick Luke Putkonen, 2008 sixth round pick Tyler Stohr and ninth rounder Anthony Shawler.

The Whitecaps will also welcome their first player from the Pacific Rim, outfielder Chao-Ting Tang of Taiwan. Tang spent the 2008 season with the GCL Tigers hitting .222 with a home run and 15 RBI in 38 games.

The 2009 Whitecaps baseball season begins April 9 at home against South Bend at 6:35 p.m. Season, group, and individual tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or visiting

(courtesy of the West Michigan Whitecaps)

Kane County Cougars set opening roster

The Kane County Cougars, in conjunction with the Oakland Athletics, have announced the squad’s official 2009 Opening Day roster. The 19th season of Major League-affiliated Cougars baseball kicks off this Thursday, April 9 when the team opens in Peoria to start a three-game series before returning home on Monday, April 13 for the Elfstrom Stadium opener at 3 p.m. against the Burlington Bees.

The Cougars christen the ’09 campaign with two former Chicago-area prep stars, a 2nd round pick who hit for the Triple Crown as a collegian, and the Northwest League’s leader in saves last season – all under the leadership of a former Major Leaguer who continues his coaching career after a six-year hiatus.

From a local perspective, the arrival of two players in Kenny Smalley and Dusty Napoleon will generate a buzz around the Chicagoland region. Smalley (24th Rd, 2008), who played at nearby Batavia High School before transferring to St. Charles North, has already worn a baseball uniform at Elfstrom Stadium as a prep athlete and becomes the first “Tri-Cities” Cougar in franchise history. At Short-A Vancouver last season, Smalley worked relief in 20 games and posted a 5-1 record and 3.07 ERA. The announcement of Napoleon (19th Rd, 2007) adds another touch of local flavor to this year’s Opening Day roster. Napoleon, an All-State quarterback at New Trier High School in Wilmette, played collegiately at the University of Iowa before beginning his professional career in the A’s system. Napoleon got a brief taste of Kane County last season, appearing in 16 games before ending the season with Vancouver.

Smalley and the rest of the Cougars’ bullpen might very well be setting the stage in tight games for righty Jose Guzman (Non-drafted FA, 2005), who is the lead candidate for Kane County’s closer position. Guzman led the Northwest League in saves (15-for-18) and appearances (30) for the Canadians in ’08, yielding one run or fewer in 28 of his 30 appearances.

New faces to Kane County include pitcher Shawn Haviland (33rd Rd, 2008), who was drafted by the A’s after a four-year career at Harvard, and outfielder Grant Desme (2nd Rd, 2007), who hit for the Triple Crown in 2007 for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A total of 13 players on the Cougars’ active roster return to Geneva, including pitcher Jamie Richmond. Richmond spent all of ’08 in a Cougars uniform, leading Midwest League hurlers in innings pitched (163.1) and started for the Cougars at Wrigley Field against the Peoria Chiefs last July. After missing all of ’08 with an injury, infielder Steve Kleen comes back to Kane County. Cougars fans will remember Kleen as being a key component of the ’06 Cougars team that advanced to the League Championship Series that fall.

As the 12th field general in Cougars franchise history, Steve Scarsone moves into a managerial role for the first time since the 2002 season when he managed the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League. Scarsone played in 350 games over seven seasons in the Major Leagues as an infielder before retiring after the ’99 season. Scarsone takes over for former Cougars skipper Aaron Nieckula (2006-08), who assumes the managerial post with the Stockton Ports in ‘09.

Scarsone’s field staff includes newcomer Jimmy Escalante as pitching coach and returnees Haas Pratt (hitting coach) and Nate Brooks (athletic trainer). Strength and conditioning coordinator Rob Shooks completes the Cougars’ field staff.

In addition to the 25-player active roster, a 26th player — catcher Petey Paramore — breaks camp with the Cougars but will open the ’09 season on the team’s disabled list.

The 2009 campaign will be the Cougars’ 19th season of Major League affiliated baseball in the Chicagoland area. More than 100 former Cougars have played at or are currently playing at the Major League level, including notable Cougars alumni such as Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Cabrera.

The 2009 Kane County Cougars make their Elfstrom Stadium debut next Monday, April 13 at 3 p.m. as the team hosts the defending Midwest League champion Burlington Bees. The first 2,000 fans through the gates receive a limited-edition Opening Day cap, courtesy of Provena Mercy Medical Center. Fans, who will be able to view the newly-renovated Elfstrom Stadium for the first time that day, are also invited to run the bases following the game – a long-standing Cougars tradition that takes place after every home game this season. Fans can order tickets for Opening Day by calling the Cougars at (630) 232-8811 or visiting

Knights have great road trip, fall at Geneva

Knights baseball played the part of road warriors this week.

For the most part, it was a successful venture.

The Knights sit at 5-2 in the opening part of the season, after having done a road trip through downstate Illinois and Missouri and losing to Geneva on Tuesday 5-3.

Last year’s planned spring break baseball road trip was washed out due to downpours, making the undefeated 2009 road trip a worthwhile venture.

On Thursday, Kaneland thwarted Springfield High School in five innings, 16-4. Friday saw the Knights defeat their Black Knight opponents 7-1, while the JV troops took home a 14-2 win.

On Saturday, the Knights got past St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis by a final of 8-0, while the JV team won by a 15-5 clip.

In the loss against the host Vikings under windy conditions on Tuesday afternoon, Kaneland was fanned 13 times and Viking Riley Perry earned the win (3-0). Kaneland lefty Jeff Smith took the loss to fall to 1-1.

Joe Camaliere scored on a wild pitch in the first inning to go up 1-0. Geneva later took a 2-1 lead. However in the fifth inning, Joe Gura drew a bases loaded walk to tie the score, and catcher Mike Pritchard beat out an infield hit to have Kaneland take a 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Geneva slugger Cory Hofstetter slammed a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning for the 5-3 lead which stuck.

Kaneland baseball was set to host Geneva on Wednesday at press time and travel to Geneva on Thursday, April 9.

Photo: Joe Camaliere successfully slides into home for the first run of the game during the Knights’ 5-3 loss at Geneva on Tuesday. Camaliere scored on a wild pitch. Photo by Ben Draper

Softball enjoys 3-game win streak

by Mike Slodki
On a windswept sunny Saturday, Kaneland softball kept Oswego’s head spinning.

A steady sweep, 17-0 in a six-inning game one, and 3-1 in game two. An additional 5-4 victory in eight innings over Glenbard South on Tuesday elevated Kaneland’s mark to 4-1 (1-0 Western Sun Conference).

In the first game, freshman hurler Delani Vest improved to 2-0 while striking out four batters.

Vest also went 3-for-4 while Brittany Davis went 2-for-3.

The Lady Knights scored one run in the first inning and one in the third inning. A five-run fourth inning made it 7-0. Up 8-0, Kaneland poured on the offense and put up nine runs to send the game into retirement early.

In game two, Kaneland put up a three-spot in the third inning and freshmen Katy Dudzinski gave up only one run in her first varsity start en route to a 3-1 win.

Vest went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Tara Groen went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

The two freshmen pitchers did their part in place of pitching staff anchor Mallory Huml, away in Texas as part of a choir competition.

“They both did well,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “Usually, we’re fighting to find pitchers. We didn’t hit as well in the second game, but we got what we needed.”

The three-run rally in the top of the second inning began with a leadoff double by Andrea Potts and a single by Vest. Rightfielder Kristen Stralka drove Potts home with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. After a passed ball put runners at second and third, centerfielder Groen knocked a single to bring the other two runs in.

The Lady Knights were supposed to battle Sandwich on Monday, but the game was postponed due to weather.

Against the visiting Raiders, Kaneland found itself down 4-0 until scoring two runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the eighth for the win.

Huml earned her first win of the season on the mound and struck out three. Sara Rose went 2-for-5 with a double and RBI. Potts went 1-for-4 with a two run double.

Kaneland was set to visit the Hoffman Estates Hawks on Wednesday before heading to Geneva for a Western Sun Conference clash on Thursday, April 9.

Photo: Delani Vest, seen throwing in the first game of a Saturday softball doubleheader at Oswego High School, delivers a winning effort in the 17-0 rout. Photo by Mary Herra

This week in sports 4/9-4/16

V AT GENEVA, 4:30 P.M.
S/F VS. GENEVA, 4:30 P.M.
V AT GENEVA, 4:30 P.M.
S/F VS. GENEVA, 4:30 P.M.
V VS. DEKALB, 4:30 P.M.

Kaneland School District notes

by Lynn Meredith

Garland hired as Stewart assistant principal
The Kaneland School Board approved the hiring of Laura Garland for the position of assistant principal at John Stewart Elementary. Garland has served as a kindergarten and first grade teacher at John Shields and Blackberry Creek. She is currently a reading specialist at John Shields Elementary.

District reduces benefit funds to meet recommended balance
The Kaneland Employee Benefit Trust Fund will be reduced by $1.2 million dollars to bring it down to the recommended fund balance. Currently it has a balance of more than $2.5 million dollars or 10 to 12 months of claims. The industry standard is four months.

“That’s too much money to tie up. It’s restricted and unavailable for use for anything else,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Tom Runty said.

The School Board voted to move the money into Wellness Committee activities, such as the blood draw analysis and flu shots, and to provide seed money for others. In addition, it will provide a month holiday from paying premiums which saves employees a total of $53,308. The money will also be used to offset increases in premiums for staff and the board.

District’s bond rating improves
The district’s long-term financial rating on its bonds has been elevated from an “A” to an “AA” by Standard and Poor Rating Services. The rating reflects Standard and Poor’s opinion that the district has very strong income and extremely strong wealth levels and that it is improving financial operations and has good reserve levels.

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.

• Jimmie R. Bear, 39, of the 500 block of Coster Place in Hinckley, was arrested at 10:55 p.m. March 24 for driving under the influence of alcohol, fleeing and eluding police, and speeding. Police stopped him on Route 38 near Pouley Road in Elburn.
• James Dunovsky, 41, of the 1400 block of Plaintain Drive in Minooka, was arrested at 3:46 a.m. March 21 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped him for speeding, in the 900 block of Main Street in Elburn.

• A man approximately 50 to 60 years old took an Elburn trustee election campaign sign from a yard in the 800 block of Liberty Street in Elburn, a witness reported at 8:30 a.m. March 26. The suspect is white, and fled in a white car when the witness asked what he was doing.

Driving while license suspended
• Darius B. Bell, 20, of the 6000 block of South Hermitage in Chicago, was arrested at 1:35 a.m. March 28 for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him on Route 47 near Stetzer Drive in Elburn for passing another vehicle while his bright lights were on.

Making a dream come true

One of the many dreams Bruce Conley has for the Conley Farm in Kaneville is the creation of a three-season pavilion in the existing shed. This structure would be used for Conley Outreach grief programs as well as other community events. The first step in making this dream come true is to move the timber and barn beams from the shed to the corn crib.

A work day has been scheduled for Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Conley Farm, 47w085 Main Street Road, just west of Kaneville. The group will also begin getting the Conley Outreach Children’s Prayer Garden, creek beds and grounds ready for spring. This will include raking, mulching, planting and cleaning debris out of the creek.

Many hands will be needed. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gardening tools, including shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows if possible. Clean mulch is also needed.

Future summer projects include roughing in a washroom in the pavilion and painting the exterior of the horse barn. Please call Conley Outreach at (630) 365-2880 or go to to volunteer.

Naked rummage sale

The Elburn and Countryside Community Center is looking for items for its “Naked” Rummage Sale, set for Saturday, April 18. Naked means no clothing will be for sale.

If you are spring cleaning and have items that you would like to donate, they can be dropped off at the center, beginning Monday, April 13. Please call the center office at (630) 365-6655 to make arrangements. The center cannot accept televisions or computers, all other items that are in good working condition will be appreciated.

Sugar Grove Public Library events

54 Snow St., Sugar Grove
(630) 466-4686

Library Friends invite public to donate to used book sale
As you do your spring cleaning, the Sugar Grove Library Friends would like you to think of the environment, while also helping the library with donations of current hardcover and paperback books to sell in its 2009 April Used Book Sale.

During National Library Week, the friends will sell hard-covered and paperback books, children’s books and materials, books on tape, music cassettes, videos, CDs/DVDs and more. The Friends cannot accept older text books or mildewed materials of any sort.

The used book sale starts Saturday, April 11, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and continues Monday, April 13, through Wednesday, April 15.

For more information, visit

The Sugar Grove Library Friends will hold its annual meeting on Monday, April 6, 2009, at 7 p.m. in the Sugar Grove Community House located on Main Street in Sugar Grove.

American Legion Auxiliary hosts spaghetti supper

The public is invited to the Elburn American Legion Auxiliary spaghetti supper Thursday, April 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 112. N. Main St., Elburn.

All-you-can-eat spaghetti with homemade meat sauce, green salad, garlic bread, lots of desserts, coffee and punch will be served. Eat in or carry out. Cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under the age of 5 eat free. Proceeds will support community and auxiliary programs. Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 630.

Town & Country Public Library events

320 E. North St., Elburn
(6300 365-2244

National Library Week Celebration set for April 13 -19
The 5th annual Dewey Dash 5k run and 1-mile walk will be held on Sunday, April 19. This year’s Dewey Dash will be dedicated to the memory of Kim Urquizu. Proceeds will be used to fund computers in the public computer room. Events start at 8:30 a.m.

The 5k course is USATF certified. Runners may register at the library. Online registration is also available through the library’s website at Race day registration is available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. All entrants will receive a pedometer, goody bag and snacks.

Jane Addams Lincoln
Jane Addams Lincoln will appear on Monday, April 13, at 1 p.m. This is an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar presentation by Janet Cornelius. Janet has taught and published books on Illinois history, the history of slavery, literacy and religion. She is also co-author of “Women of Conscience: Social Reform in Danville, Illinois.” Reservations are not required for this free program which is open to the public.

Mr. Nicky Concert
Mr. Nicky will return to the library on Monday, April 13, to give a concert for families. Mr. Nicky is the composer of the Watson theme song. You can listen to it online at Everyone present will receive a National Library Week book bag and a Watson chocolate candy bar. Please register at the library.

Babysitter training workshop
The American Red Cross will conduct a babysitter training workshop on Monday, April 13, from 9:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. This workshop is for young people ages 11 to 15. Students must have celebrated their 11th birthday by the date of the workshop in order to participate. This is a free program, but the library requires a $25 deposit to hold a place in this popular workshop. There are only eight openings for this workshop, so register soon at the Library.

Donations for pets and wildlife during National Library Week
The library will take donations from patrons for Anderson Animal Shelter and Fox Valley Wildlife Center. Everyone who donates at least one item will receive a National Library Week book bag, a Watson chocolate candy bar, a $5 Petco coupon, and have his or her name entered in a drawing (one chance per person) for one of three $10 gift cards from Petco.

Memorial Day Committee seeks public’s help

The Kaneville Memorial Day Committee would like to know of any Kaneville veterans that have passed away in the past year (not necessarily buried in Kaneville) or anyone from Kaneville that is currently serving in the military. Please contact Leanne Gramley at (630) 557-2530 with any information.

The Kaneville Memorial Day Committee is holding its organizational meeting on Thursday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the David Werdin Community Center. All interested community members are invited to attend.

Elburn village notes

by Martha Quetsch
Officials asked to pay for plow damage
The Elburn Village Board will decide whether to reimburse a resident the cost to repair her vehicle for damage she says was caused by pieces of asphalt flung onto it from a municipal plow, Public Works Director John Nevenhoven told the Village Board on Monday.

Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane said when the plow went by, the resident’s car was parked in the parkway next to her house at the southwest corner of First and Kansas streets. Linane said that type of damage can occur from the normal operation of a snow plow, if a vehicle is parked along the street instead of in a driveway.

Nevenhoven asked the vehicle owner to obtain three estimates for the repairs, but the Village Board has not decided whether to pay the bill.

Nevenhoven said that after he submitted a claim for the vehicle repair cost to the village’s insurance company, the company informed him it would not cover the repair cost. Village Attorney Bob Britz said he will look into the matter of liability and report back to the Village Board.

Public can learn about Bike-to-Metra guide
The village of Elburn will hold a public meeting to obtain comments from residents on its Bike-to-Metra guide. A draft of the guide will be available for public viewing at the meeting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, at Village Hall, 301 E. North St., Elburn.

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

The village is developing the guide with help from the League of Illinois Bicyclists to promote biking, especially to the commuter station.

The village will pay for the $4,000 project with a grant it received from the Public Education and Enforcement Research Study that Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane obtained from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Village makes trash, leaf ordinance more lenient
The Elburn Village Board approved a less restrictive garbage ordinance on March 16, allowing residents to put their trash cans out starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday and bring them in from the curb by 9 a.m. Thursday.

Another change in the ordinance is that residents may place bags of leaves (but not grass) on the parkway at any time during October and November.

The board’s decision voids the ordinance approved in May 2008, allowing garbage and recycling bins and leaf bags to be placed on the parkway no earlier than 6 p.m. on Tuesday and to be removed no later than 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

New ordinance regulates event signs
A new ordinance in Elburn allows people to place a garage sale or open house signs in a parkway without first obtaining consent of the owner of the property along the parkway.

In addition, the ordinance approved March 16 by the Elburn Village Board requires that garage sale and real estate open house signs be placed in the parkway no earlier than the first day of the event and moved immediately after the event ends.

Also under the new ordinance, all such signs also must bear the sign owner’s name, address and telephone number; and, if residents object to signs that are in the parkway along their property, the signs’ owners must remove them.

Village allows team to use fields
The Elburn Village Board recently approved a license agreement with the youth baseball team the Illinois Diamond Owlz for the use of the village-owned Blackberry Creek Subdivision south playing fields in 2009.

The agreement authorized the Owlz to use the fields during its season April 7 through July 19, every weekday evening except Monday, and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Under the agreement, the team will pay the village $10 for the season and maintain the two fields during their periods of use. Village officials are considering raising the license fee in the future.

The Owlz are among several youth baseball teams that have agreements with the village for the use of Blackberry Creek playing fields.

WCC hosts job fair

Waubonsee Community College will hold its Job Fair 2009 on Thursday, April 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Event Room in the Academic and Professional Building on the college’s Sugar Grove campus. The campus is on Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive.

More than 50 local employers in accounting, banking, communications, construction, health care, manufacturing, retail/sales, secretarial/office technology, management, retail/sales, secretarial/office technology and more will be available at Job Fair 2009 to discuss your career goals and their job openings in the hope of finding a good match.

Job seekers are encouraged to bring plenty of resumes, and to dress for success.

Job Fair 2009 is free and open to the public. Visit for a list of participating employers and job opportunities. Check back for updates.

For more information about attending Job Fair 2009, call Waubonsee’s Career Services Center at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2368 or email

Elburn raffle winners

The following people were winners in the Lions Park Calendar Raffle for April 2009: Kristen Damolaris, Jean Abner, Randy Smith, Kyle and Marcia McKittrick, all of Elburn, $25; Stacy Reever of Elburn, $50; Bob Motta and Karen Stanek of Sugar Grove, $25; Stacy Jaeger and James Dolewski of St. Charles, $25; Tina/Sue Shobat of Thornton, Ill., $50; Bon/Gino of Batavia, $25; Pat Kell of North Aurora, $25; Jerry Kons of Crystal Lake, $25; Ken Johnson of Yorkville, $25; Ron McConkey and Dena Eder of Sycamore, $25; Jackie Hendrix of Cary, Ill., $500; Bill Wecker and Jennie Lienau of Geneva, $25; Tessa/Lillie/McMains of Geneva, $50; Tom Nawa of Clarendon Hills, Ill., $25; Joh Healy of Mt. Prospect, Ill., $25; Bev Gerard of Roscoe, $25; Floyd and Bernie, $25; JoAnn Lee, $25; R. Randall Norris of Elkorn, Wis., $50; Cayla Jackson of DeWitt, Iowa, $25; Edgar Barona of Bloomingdale, Ill., $25; Tom Stawicki of Maple Park, $25; and Rob Christopher of Elgin, $25.

Letter: Thank you to local voters

The voters have spoken and I am thankful for all of you who cast your ballot for me. You may rest assured that I shall continue to strive to do what is best for Elburn. To my family, words alone can’t express the love and support I have received from all of you: Janet, Michael, Joel and Chris, Ryan and Kim. I have been blessed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

David Anderson