Health and Wellness Center hosts kids triathlon May 24

Multisport Madness Triathlon Team will hold its 9th Annual Kids Triathlon Sunday, May 24, at Delnor Health and Wellness Center in Geneva.

In addition to offering normal distances for kids aged 7-16, the triathlon includes an “elite” wave in order to give some of the 12-to-15-year-old athletes on team, and other participants with racing experience, the opportunity to compete in a draft-legal race similar to the national competitions in which the team competes.

This is one of the only draft-legal races for youth athletes in our region. Kids can register for the triathlon at

Applications available for rental assistance program

Very low-income households in Kane County needing a place to live and help with their rent are encouraged to apply for a county-wide rental assistance program.

Lazarus House Associate Director and Outreach Manager Liz Eakins said Lazarus House, in partnership with other Kane County agencies, jointly administers the Rental Housing Support Program funded by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Through the program, households receive a monthly rental subsidy.

“Currently there are 22 rental units-nine in Aurora, four in St. Charles and nine in Elgin-in the program. If a rental unit is not immediately available, qualified applicants may be placed on a wait list,” Eakins said. “New grants are being awarded, and it is possible more units will become available. Anyone with low, but steady income is encouraged to complete an application as soon as possible.”

Applications are being taken at the following locations. People wishing to apply for a unit are encouraged to contact the agency in their area:

• Northern Kane County (Elgin): The Association for Individual Development (AID), 1135 Bowes Rd., Elgin, IL 60123 Phone: (847) 931-6283.
• Central Kane County (St. Charles): Lazarus House, 308 Walnut St., St. Charles, IL 60174, Phone: (630) 587-5872.
• Southern Kane County (Aurora): The Association for Individual Development (AID), 1230 N. Highland Ave, Aurora, IL 60506, Phone: (630) 966-4449; or Public Action to Deliver Shelter, Inc. (Hesed House), 659 South River St., Aurora, IL 60506, Phone: (630) 897-2165.

To qualify, households must fall within extremely or severely low income limits as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These annual income limits range from $15,840 for a household of one person to $29,850 for a household of eight. Households must have a stable income to pay a portion of the rent, satisfactorily complete the application process and abide by lease rules and riders. Other conditions apply. More detail are in the brochure, “Rental Support Program for Kane County,” posted on the following websites:, and

‘Bischof Law’ plan takes effect in Kane County

On May 1, the Kane County Circuit Court, launched a GPS-based offender tracking system in accordance with the Cindy Bischof Law, in a coordinated effort with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Kane County Circuit Clerk of Courts and Kane County Adult Court Services.

The complex law, which took effect Jan. 1, 2009, is designed to provide an early warning to domestic violence victims who might be at risk for serious physical harm or worse.

The law, introduced in the Illinois Senate in April 2008 and signed into law in August 2008, was an unfunded mandate from the state that had specific demands but offered limited guidance for implementation. The burden was placed on local courts and law enforcement to create and fund a workable plan.

To develop a workable plan, Judge F. Keith Brown, chief judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit, called upon Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti and Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Accardi, First Chair of the office’s Domestic Violence Division; Deb Seyller, the 16th Judicial Circuit Court Clerk; Jim Mueller, Director of Kane County Adult Court Services, and John Owens and Mary Hyatt of Kane County Adult Court Services, to collaborate.

After a cost was determined, Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay was asked for $6.45 per GPS unit per day not to exceed $100,000 annually to fund the program. McConnaughay and the board approved the allocation.

The Bischof Law modified the bail bond statute. It dictates that any person charged with violation of an order of protection must complete a risk assessment, also known as a lethality assessment, to determine risk of recidivism, among other things.

Here’s how the process works in Kane County:

The offender
An offender charged with violating an order of protection-a court order that prohibits the defendant from having contact with the person or persons named in the order-will be ordered at bond call to undergo the risk assessment, which will be administered by the Kane County Diagnostic Center. The court will use the results of the risk assessment and a further court hearing to determine whether the offender should be ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor as a condition of bond.

The technology
The GPS unit is active 24 hours a day. It sends a constant signal to a third party, Alpharette, Ga.-based Omnilink Systems,, meaning the offender’s location is monitored 24 hours a day. The court will also order that as a condition of bond, the offender must adhere to the original order of protection and avoid any contact with the victim or protected individuals under the order of protection. The court also can set exclusion zones, such as the victim’s residence or place of employment, daycare, etc., and order that the offender remain at least 1,000 feet away from those zones. The court also can set an additional 500-foot buffer zone around the exclusion zone, meaning the offender cannot be within 1,500 feet of any protected address as listed on the conditions of bond. Further, the offender cannot have any contact, direct or indirect, with the victim as a condition of the GPS bond terms.

The breach
If an offender breaches the protected zone, Omnilink will receive real-time notification in its monitoring center. Omnilink monitoring personnel will be able to view a map of the offender’s exact location, as well as the details of the offender’s conditions of bond, such as the exclusion zones, buffer zones, protected addresses and individuals, etc.
Omnilink then will contact Kane County emergency dispatch centers in the area of the victim and the offender. The victim also will be notified of the breach. The dispatch centers then will relay this information to police officers, who will respond to the call.
In addition, the officers and police departments can access the same map to show the offender’s location and movements in real time, as well as the buffer and exclusion zone information, victim information, and a photo of the offender. The officers will be directed to the area of the breach.

The consequences
Upon making contact with an offender once a breach has occurred, the offender can be subject to a number of criminal charges. Depending on the terms of the order of protection, an offender may be charged with a new offense of violation of an order of protection. He or she also can be charged with violation of bail bond with a family or household member, a Class A misdemeanor that requires the offender to appear before a judge for setting of bond. If an offender tampers with the GPS unit in an attempt to damage or remove it, he or she may be charged with criminal damage to state supported property, a Class 4 felony.

Auto tech students learn the old way

The Model A Restorers Club, Fox Valley Region, based in Geneva, recently took some of its 1928-31 Model A cars with the Auto Tech class at the Fox Valley Career Center at Kaneland High School.

The purpose of the visit was to inform the students about the availability of scholarships for graduating seniors who will be continuing their auto tech education at the community college level. Another reason for the visit was to demonstrate to the students the simplicity of the Model A Ford. The morning was spent with a hands-on seminar that detailed the car’s various systems and parts.

The Fox Valley Club sought to instill an appreciation of Henry Ford’s sensational little car in “the next generation.”

By the end of the day, more than 65 students and Career Center Auto Tech instructors, Clayton Hansen and Paul Potvin, had the opportunity to climb in and under several examples of the Model A Ford. They were able to look inside a sliding gear manual transmission and understand the simplicity of mechanical brakes. Other principles of the internal combustion engine were also clearly explained.

To cap each learning block experience, the kids enjoyed a ride around the parking lot. The “new” concept of the rumble seat was an immediate favorite. The Fox Valley Club was very appreciative of the opportunity to get their scholarship message to the students and to show off their cars.

Photo: Fox Valley Career Center auto tech students learned about the Model A Ford during a visit from The Model A Restorers Club. Courtesy Photo

MP Legion hosts fish fry buffet

The American Legion Post 312 all-you-can-eat fish fry is Friday, May 15, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The menu includes baked tilapia, fried perch, curley fries, fried chicken, steak fries, shrimp, fried cod, baked beans, smelt and cole slaw

The fish fry is at the Legion, 203 Main St., Maple Park. Cost is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for children. Carry-outs are $9

Conley Outreach Grief Support events scheduled for May

Conley Outreach offers Planting Seeds of Hope, its May GTO (Good Time Out/Grief Time Out) event for families.

Join Conley Outreach on Sunday, May 16, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Serenity Falls in Elburn for this springtime memorial celebration of loved ones. Flowers will be provided; participants are encouraged to bring garden gloves and hand tools. This event is free and family-friendly, but registration is requested. Serenity Falls is located on Main Street, two blocks north of the train tracks. Parking is available in the Conley Funeral Home parking lot at 116 W. Pierce Street.

Friendship Night, a self-help group for grieving adults, will meet Thursday, May 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 Main St. in Elburn. This month’s topic will be “The Stages of Grief … Will It Ever End?” Light refreshments and a time for informal sharing follow the group discussion.

Mourning After, the free self-help group for young widows and widowers (including all with children still living at home) is on break until next fall.

For more information, call Conley Outreach at (630) 365-2880.

Ditching the diaper … a group effort

by Gwen Allen
Any parent will agree that potty training one child is difficult, but try to imagine what it would be like to potty train 14, 15 or even 16 children all at once. That is exactly what happens in daycare centers.

Most centers introduce the concept to the toddlers and encourage the children to participate.

Jennifer Pierce the Director for Kinder Care in St. Charles said when there are so many children learning at once the key is consistency.

“Starting in the 2 year-old room, we just always offer it to them and if they refuse that is fine,” Pierce said.

Every two hours she said her two teachers gently remind the students to go potty. With constant reminders and a group setting, she said a lot of the children potty train easily.

“The kids get excited about being successful and especially when their friends are successful, so it helps,” Pierce said. “But each child is different and so the process is very individualized.”

Without charts, stickers or candy, she said almost all of the children who come through the daycare train easily without a lot of fuss.

“Again, I think it’s important to be consistent, but we also try to work with the parents and do an extension of what they are doing at home,” Pierce said. “So if they use a chart we will too, but most of the time it isn’t needed. Sometimes a child needs a reminder every hour, so we will do that. Whatever helps them, because in the end it makes everyone happier.”

She said another tool used by the teachers is patience.

“Accidents are a part of potty training and our teachers know that and expect it,” Pierce said. “So they are really patient. The kids get really upset when they have an accident, so the teachers just try to encourage them and stay positive.”

Though challenging at times, she says the children always seem to come around, when they are ready, as long as a consistent routine is in place along with positive reinforcement.

“Ultimately I think it is up to the kid, you know some are just to busy playing to be bothered,” Pierce said. “While others can’t stand to be in a dirty diaper. I think it has to be individualized to their personality.”

“Accidents are a part of potty training and our teachers know that and expect it … The kids get really upset when they have an accident, so the teachers just try to encourage them and stay positive,” said Jennifer Pierce, the Director for Kinder Care in St. Charles.

Potty Training Tips

1. Consistency is key; constant reminders help a child at an early age when they are preoccupied with play.

2. Give plenty of positive reinforcement. Even if they just sit on the toilet, celebrate their accomplishments.

3. Find a peer who is also learning to potty train and have potty training play dates.

4. Encourage with words or actions by creating a potty dance or song.

5. Place a training potty in the bathroom by the big toilet. Children learn best from imitation.

6. Try pull ups or real underwear and limit clothing. This will make it easier for your preschooler to get on the toilet before an accident happens. Real underwear will also help him/her feel when it is time to go.

7. Let them choose their own big boy or girl underwear at the store. This will get them even more excited about the process.

8. Consider storing a portable “potty” in the car. It is hard to “hold it” at this age and an accident can be discouraging.

Letter: Fireworks, celebrations and community character

On July 5, Elburn will share in what has become a delightful summer tradition at Lions Park: The Day in the Park Fireworks Event. That day, along with the Elburn Days Parade, draws all Elburn together in community like little else. It is one of those celebrations that reminds me I’m proud to live in Elburn. But community isn’t about events; it’s about people sharing responsibility together to provide for the things that make life worth living: good schools, safe streets, family and cultural heritage. Those attitudes need to be encouraged to maintain a deep sense of community.

In 1920, while prohibition was on, a railroad car was left in Elburn on the tracks for repair. It was carrying 750 gallons of port wine authorized by the government for medical purposes in Pennsylvania. Some townspeople who knew about it tapped into the wine and brought some home. Word got around about the treasure and before long, Elburnites were lining up with buckets, pails, jugs and bottles to stock up. It wasn’t a high point in Elburn community participation, but at least they did it together! This dark moment stained an otherwise stellar reputation.

The Day in the Park Fireworks Display has been provided for by Elburn Chamber of Commerce and local businesses that support it. They have been glad to do it. But in the present economic climate, these businesses have had to cut back drastically on their donations. Instead of thousands of dollars, this year they can only donate hundreds. They need your help. If each home in Elburn would shoulder just five dollars of the responsibility, one of the most delightful days in the summer will be able to continue. Most of us spend more than that on a single trip to Starbucks.

There are two ways you can help. First, around town in the stores and businesses are containers marked for donations to help fund the fireworks. Look for one and drop $5 in it. Second, on Thursday, May 28, there will be a Pork Chop Dinner provided at Elburn Lions Park. You get two pork chops, baked beans, cole slaw, roll and butter, and apple sauce for $13 each or two for $25, and you can pick up the dinner between 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at Elburn businesses or you can call the Elburn Chamber of Commerce at (630) 365-2295 to buy one. Make your reservation by Monday, May 18. Not only will you get a great dinner, you will support your community.

Character is defined by what one does when no one is looking. In 1920, townspeople may have figured the company who owned the wine could afford the loss and it wasn’t their responsibility anyway. Some of us may feel that events like the Day in the Park aren’t our responsibility either. Both thoughts lead away from strong community and strong character. Buy a ticket for dinner and look for a container for fireworks donations and drop in $5 to contribute. It will add to your personal character and make you feel good about your community, especially if no one is looking.

Gary Augustine

Letter: FOP No. 14 wants to help make sure calls are legit

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 14 is a fraternal, nonprofit, charitable organization that is made up of members of the Kane County Sheriff’s Department.

We have been in existence and chartered with the state of Illinois since 1966. Lodge No. 14 solicits by phone calls year round. Our callers request donations to support our lodge’s charities and programs. The calls are made by personnel we hire, and not by a police or corrections officer.

Our primary program each year, and over the last 20 years, has been the “Shop-with-a-Cop” Program. Each year, officers have taken needy families shopping at Christmas time. We also have other groups and organizations that we have helped support, or continue to support, through your donations. Some of these are, but not limited to, American Red Cross Salvation Army, Hesed House, Lazarus House, local youth sports teams, Boy Scouts of America, Child ID, car seat programs, elder abuse prevention, elderly Easter food baskets, FOP Easter egg hunts, Easter Seals, Thanksgiving ham and turkey giveaway and the Association of Individual Development.

Should you receive a telephone solicitation that seems unusual or that you have questions about, you may call our lodge at (630) 466-0671. If our staff is not there, please leave us a message and you will receive a return call. You may contact the Sheriff’s Department at (630) 232-6840 and ask to speak with an FOP lodge officer. Check your caller ID if available and the name of the person who called you as that will help us determine if the call was from us or someone else. Always ask if all monies go to Lodge No. 14. If not, it may be a fraudulent call.

We want you to call if there are any questions, as we depend on you for our ability to help the community, through your donations.

Tom Bumgarner
FOP No. 14

Re-creating ancient art

Artist Pam Vovolo reproduces archeological works
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn artist Pam Vovolo recently went to Egypt where she enjoyed riding a camel, standing between the paws of the Sphinx, and visiting the Valley of the Golden Mummies. The real reason she was there, however, was to gather materials, information and inspiration for her art.

Vovola’s artistic aim is to create exact reproductions of archeological art from ancient tombs and temples.

“I’m trying to preserve those images to enjoy after the originals are too faded or destroyed,” Vovola said.

Archeological art reproductions can take people back in time, thousands of years, she said.

“You almost feel like you’re there, touching the real thing.”

Vovola became interested in archeological art when she was 10 years old. For the past 30 years, she has studied three forms extensively, Aboriginal, Mayan and Egyptian.

“I like that it is sacred and always has a story behind it. It was their language in the past,” Vovola said. “The images reflect their life and the afterlife.”

The Egyptian trip was the last of her research needed before applying her art-a three-dimensional medium of sculpture, painting, drawing and carving.

While in Egypt, Vovolo visited many ancient tombs and temples down the Nile River from Nubia to Cairo, and went to remote attractions as the Temple of Osiris in Abydos.

She took more than 2,000 photographs of cartouches, base reliefs, hieroglyphs and temple scenes, as part of her research.

A four-wheel drive expedition into the Great Western Desert was a highlight of her trip, she said. While in the desert, Vovolo collected geological specimens, ochre and minerals used in ancient art pigments. She will pound down some of her finds, making her own pigment to use as an authentic element in her archeological art.

Vovolo is particularly interested in pigments used in the tombs, as colors used in Egyptian art reinforce each object’s function, she said. She watched local stone masons and painters as they worked on restoring newly excavated tombs.

Vovola already has created Australian Aboriginal art, which can be seen on her website at:

Photo: Elburn artist Pam Vovolo toured many ancient temples during her recent trip to Egypt, seeing art such as these hieroglyphics for the goddess Isis. The hieroglyphics were recovered from former Philae Island, long-submerged under the waters of Lake Nasser. In the scene, Isis is holding an ankh in her left hand, symbolizing eternal life. Vovolo’s passion is ancient art, which she re-creates to preserve its images and stories for future generations. Courtesy Photo

Doris Seyller celebrates 95 years

A 95th birthday celebration for Doris J. Seyller (aka Doris J. Merwin and Doris J. Beierlotzer) is Sunday, May 31, 2009, noon to 3 p.m. at Southmoor Estates Club House, 1032 S. Seventh St., DeKalb. Your presence and cards are requested. No gifts, please. Bring photos if possible. Doris is scheduled to be there from 1 to 2 p.m. If you are not handicapped, please park on the street.

SG residents takes part in Marmion art exhibit

“The Astronaut”
drawing by J.C. Nelson of St. Charles
Marmion Exhibit

Marmion Academy will host a student art exhibit opening with a reception on Thursday, May 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit is open to the public and will be held in the Dr. Scholl’s Exhibit Mezzanine in the Academy at 1000 Butterfield Road, Aurora. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through May 22.

The show will feature artwork in a variety of media including drawing, painting, watercolor, colored pencil, mixed media, Photoshop and Illustrator, selected from pieces done by the digital design and studio art classes. Featured artists include Alex Karas of Sugar Grove.

For more information on Marmion Academy visit

Bouzein completes degree

Lena Bouzein of Elburn, completed her Ashland University degree requirements in May 2009. She received a bachelor of arts degree with a major in business administration.

Ashland University is a private, comprehensive institution located in north central Ohio between Cleveland and Columbus.

SG resident earns honors at Marmion writing competition

Sugar Grove resident Brendan Bakala was among one of 18 Marmion Academy students who were selected to have their work published in the English department’s annual The Reverend Father Peter Enderlin OSB Writing Competition Literary Magazine.

All Marmion students were eligible to submit manuscripts to the competition in the categories of poetry, fiction and essay.

Bakala earned an honorable mention in the essay category, for a work titled “An Unbiased Observation of Capital Punishment.”

The competition is named for the late Father Peter Enderlin OSB who dedicated his life to the students of Marmion. In his sophomore honors English class he stressed writing above all.

To order a copy of the contest Literary Magazine, contact Dr. Alex George at (630) 897-6936, ext. 234.

Alice Penegar

Alice B. Pinegar 84, of Canton, Iowa, died at 4:45 a.m. Sunday May 10, 2009, at Trinity Pathway Hospice in Bettendorf, Iowa, where she was a resident for two days.

She was born on Dec. 5, 1924, in Wasco, Ill., to Carl E. and Clara (Magnuson) Swanson. She married Roy E. Pinegar on April 6, 1946, in Geneva, Ill. He preceded her in death on July 26, 2008.

Survivors include two daughters Sharyn (Dr. John) Baker of Moline, Ill., Sandra (Dan) Ihnes of Canton; one sister, Esther Shelton of Canton; four grandchildren, Douglas (Jennifer) Baker of Highland, Ill., Theodore (Melissa) Baker of Davenport, Iowa, Kristine (Fred) Kunchick of Bellingham, Wash., Nathan (Pamela) Ihnes of Canton; and four great-grandchildren, Azriel and Solea Kunchick, and Dillon and Aaron Baker.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two brothers, Hilding and Carl Swanson; three sisters, including her twin sister Ethel, Ruth Swanson, and Mildred Taber; two brothers-in-law, who also preceded her in death Jack Shelton and Leland Taber.

She attended grade school in Lily Lake, and graduated from Elburn High School in 1943. She was confirmed in Lily Lake Grace Lutheran Church in 1937.

She first worked in the defense factory in Geneva while she was waiting for the love of her life to return from WWII.

She moved to Canton one day after her marriage and lived there until the past few months, when she moved in with her daughter Sharyn.

While Alice lived in Canton she worked at Kamlager Gifts and Electric for 25 years. She was a member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Canton.

She was a kind and generous woman and loved her family, neighbors and friends.

She enjoyed sewing and gardening but loved her flowers the most. She also enjoyed going on walks with her husband.

Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Canton. Visitation will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be at White Chapel Memory gardens in Canton.

Memorials may be made to the Grace Lutheran Church, Graham Hospice or Trinity Hospice in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Online condolences are available at

Earl Clement Sr.

Earl Clement Sr., 83, of Elburn, passed away Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at Provena Mercy Center Hospital in Aurora.

He was born July 7, 1925, in Geneva, the son of Neil and Viola (Evarts) Clement.

Earl had worked for 50 years as an auto mechanic for many area businesses, including Lou’s Jeep in Geneva. Most recently, he had been employed by Napa Auto Parts in Elburn.

He grew up with a love for auto racing, and along with his lifelong friend Arnie Gardner, traveled around the country competing at various tracks with Arnie doing the driving and Earl working on the car. He also had a love for antique cars. His greatest enjoyment in life, however, was being with his family. He will be dearly missed.

He is survived by his three sons, Earl Jr. (Fran Clement) of Maple Park, Steve (Connie) of Elburn and Ron (Marla) of Geneva; six grandchildren, Matt, Brandon, Emily, Andy, Brian and Diana; and brother, Carl (Rae) Clement of Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Donna; son, Larry; and his wife, Dorothy.

Funeral service will be held Friday, May 15, at 10 a.m. at the Malone Funeral Home, 324 E. State St. (Route 38), Geneva. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Geneva.

Visitation will be held Thursday, May 14, from 4 to 8 p .m. at the Malone Funeral Home, Geneva.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the American Cancer Society, 143 First St., Batavia, Ill., 60510 would be appreciated.

For information, call (630) 232-8233.

Sugar Grove UMC invites public to dedication

The public is invited to the dedication of a new open-air steel pavilion at the future site of Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, 4S633 Harter Road, on Sunday, May 17, at noon. The site is part of the church’s 40-acre campus, located west of Route 47 and Waubonsee Community College.

The pavilion will be dedicated in memory of Cathy Brouch Kroe.

Everyone is also invited to a “planting party” on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. The group will plant native flowers and grasses around the pavilion, in memory of Richard and Margaret Raymond, and at the church’s nearby three-acre native prairie.

For more information, call (630) 466-4501.

Church offers event to provide help

Join the Kaneville United Methodist Church, 46W764 Main St., for “Finding Security in an Insecure World,” on Saturday, May 30, from 5 to 7 p.m., for an evening of hope, help, and healing.

Light supper, music, prayer and information about area financial and employment resources will be provided. Agency representatives will also be available to talk one on one with people about their situations.

If you have questions or would like more information, call (630) 557-2353 or e-mail

Former Emma’s owner sentenced to 4 years

Michael Alvarez pleaded guilty to gambling charge
An Elgin man has been sent to prison for running Super Bowl gambling pools at taverns in Elburn and St. Charles owned by his wife.

Michael A. Alvarez Sr., 53, of the 39W block of Hogan Hill, Elgin, was sentenced Tuesday by Associate Judge James C. Hallock to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

On March 17, 2009, Alvarez pleaded guilty to one count of keeping a gambling place, a Class 4 felony in this case because of a prior conviction on the same charge.

Between Sept. 1, 2006, and Feb. 28, 2007, Alvarez ran a Super Bowl pool at Emma’s Pub and Cantina in the 1100 block of Main Street, Elburn, and at Miguel’s on the Fox, in the 100 block of West Main Street, St. Charles. The pool had a total value of $60,000 at $600 per square. Alvarez also was running smaller pools at the taverns.

The sentence includes an extended term based on Alvarez’s prior state and federal convictions on gambling offenses and has served sentences in Illinois prisons and the federal penitentiary.

Illinois law dictates that Alvarez must serve at least 50 percent of the sentence. He had been free on $10,000 bond.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Greg Sams and Adam Katz prosecuted the case.

Editorial: Robbery hoax led to cooperative effort

When we first learned of the report that a woman was pulled over on Bliss Road in Sugar Grove by someone impersonating a cop, robbed and threatened, we felt we needed to act fast to inform our readers and web viewers.

We put up preliminary info on our website and Twitter feed quickly, hoping that either people traveling along that roadway would find out about it quickly and report what they saw to the police; as well as to let other drivers know of what went on so they could be prepared if they felt something similar was happening to them.

The police moved even more quickly, informing us and other media outlets as soon as humanly possible, and passing out flyers and soliciting information from the public; again, both in order to find the perpetrator as well as to protect members of the public from a future similar incident.

Furthermore, the public acted quickly as well. According to Sugar Grove police investigator John Sizer (see story, page 1A), “The public response was overwhelming. We had calls from all over the place. Virtually everyone we talked to was aware of it.”

The public heard about it, informed their fellow community members, and those who felt they had possibly useful information relayed it to the public.

We appreciate the speed with which the police and the public acted after the alleged incident.

Fortunately, the crime never took place—it was a hoax perpetrated by the “victim,” Danielle L. Hechenbach, 32, of Yorkville. Based on the circumstances described in Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill’s story, it is pretty obvious that one of two things occurred: Either she did not think the truth would be discovered, or she did not realize the damage that her false report could cause.

In addition to the general fear and concern that spread throughout the community, one must factor in the time and money spent looking for someone that does not exist. In addition, that time and money could have been spent on other things, looking for other criminals or preventing other crimes. Finally, the hoax also risks lessening the impact should something similar—and real—happen in the future, as people may be more likely to view such a report with a measure of cynicism.

Obviously, the bright side is that the robbery never occurred; and the department, local media and public were able to see how well they can work together when a perceived safety-related issue occurs.

Anderson reinstates board committees

by Martha Quetsch
After former Illinois Supreme Court Justice John Nickels swore in Village President Dave Anderson on Monday, Anderson said he wants to establish a committee structure for the board.

Committees were in place when Anderson was on the Village Board in the 1970s.

The committees will be made up of trustees and staff members who will research and discuss village issues and bring their findings to the board. The Village Board unanimously approved the committees and members Anderson assigned: Finance, chaired by trustee Jeff Walter; Public Works, chaired by trustee Jerry Schmidt; Development, chaired by trustee Ken Anderson; and Public Safety, chaired by trustee Bill Grabarek.

The committees will meet regularly, with dates and times to be announced.

Before the committees can be formally established, the Village Board must approve an ordinance allowing for them. Trustees are expected to vote on the ordinance on Monday, May 18.

Village Board Committees

Trustee Jeff Walter, Chairman
Trustee Bill Grabarek
Trustee Patricia Romke
Village Treasurer Mike Greenen
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Public Works
Trustee Jerry Schmidt, Chairman
Trustee Gordon Dierschow
Trustee Ken Anderson
Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Trustee Ken Anderson, Chairman
Trustee Jeff Walter
Trustee Gordon Dierschow
Planning Commissioner Jeff Metcalf
Fire district representative
Community Development Director David Morrison
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Public Safety
Trustee Bill Grabarek, Chairman
Trustee Patricia Romke
Trustee Jerry Schmidt
Fire district representative
Police Chief Steve Smith
Village Administrator Erin Willrett

Elburn officials name new police chief

Former Cmdr. Steve Smith replaces Jim Linane
by Martha Quetsch
Right after being sworn into office Monday, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson appointed a new police chief, Steve Smith, with the consent of the village trustees in a 4-2 vote.

Smith replaces Jim Linane, who was police chief since 2001. Smith’s appointment is for the village’s fiscal year, May 1, 2009, through April 30, 2010.

After his appointment during the Village Board meeting, Smith said he did not know he would be hired that evening, but that Anderson recently approached him about the position.

“He asked if I would consider the job and I said I would,” Smith said. “You’re always sorry to see people go, but it is the Village President’s and Village Board’s choice.”

Smith, of Geneva, said he is looking at his hiring as an opportunity.

“I think I have a lot to offer,” Smith said.

Smith has been the Elburn Police Department commander since 2005. He worked for the St. Charles Police Department for 23 years and previously was with the Geneva Police Department.

Smith said he does not plan any “knee-jerk changes” in the Elburn Police Department, but said he will evaulate its operations.

“I want to make sure we’re doing everything correctly and to the benefit of the village,” Smith said.

He said among his first tasks will be to work with other village officials on the budgeting process starting soon.

Anderson said the reason he did not re-appoint Linane was because of differences in their general philosophy.

“I’m trying to get the right fit for everybody and implement what I heard in the community,” Anderson said. “I guess I’m just looking for a friendlier attitude.”

Linane, who did not return phone calls from the Elburn Herald, said in February that before he became police chief, the department had some inexperienced, overly aggressive officers who generated a lot of complaints from residents. To restore residents’ faith in the Police Department, Linane hired a group of officers including Smith, with an average of 21 years experience.

As a result, the Police Department in recent years has received very few citizen complaints regarding village law enforcement, Linane said.

Linane was chief of the Carol Stream Police Department, where he worked for 29 years. He is a past president of the Kane County Chiefs of Police Association and a resident of Blackberry Creek in Elburn.

St. Charles Police Chief James Lamkin, the association’s current president, said Linane served the organization well when he led it in 2006 and served as its liaison to a county’s New Jail Committee.

“He took his responsibilities very seriously,” Lamkin said.

More residents seek flooding solutions

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove residents along Maple and Snow streets are among the latest group looking to the village to resolve flooding and drainage issues in their neighborhood.

Cliff Dryer was among about a dozen residents who attended Tuesday night’s board meeting to ask for the board’s help.

Dwyer said he has raised his basement two inches to help prevent flooding in his home, yet he still has three sump pumps operating non-stop.

“My electric bill is almost double,” he said. “We need some action from the village.”

Residents noted that their problems have gotten worse since the Prairie Glen development broke ground.

When grading began for the Prairie Glen Subdivision and commercial property along Route 30, the Windham Group removed a berm and a temporary pond to the west of Dwyer’s neighborhood. Residents on Tuesday said these actions coincided with their flooding problems.

Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young said the village has been working with Engineering Enterprises, Inc. to determine what Prairie Glen can do to improve the situation.

EEI’s Dave Burroughs said that his company will work with the Windham Group to remove ponding surface water on its property, which will likely help. However, he said the residents’ problems are more a result of the unusually high water table, which is a separate issue.

According to local weather reports, this has been the wettest spring in the area in more than 80 years, Burroughs said.

“This is not just an isolated situation,” Young said. “The water table is just extremely high everywhere. We get three to four calls a day.”

Mallard Point residents also have sought village help with flooding issues.

Anderson appoints 3 new dept. heads

Two staffers’ roles switched
by Martha Quetsch
Elburn Village President Dave Anderson made some of the changes he hinted about during his campaign, just minutes after being sworn into office Monday at Lions Park clubhouse.

He appointed a new police chief, former Elburn Commander Steve Smith, to replace Jim Linane. He also switched the roles of staffers David Morrison and Erin Willrett, making Willrett the village administrator and giving Morrison the community development director job.

Anderson said he did not re-hire Jim Linane, police chief for the past eight years, because they have different philosophies (see related story). Regarding his decision to make Willrett the administrator and Morrison the community development director, he said they are better suited to those positions than their previous jobs.

“They are both good people. Erin is self-motivated, intelligent and loves the village. Dave (Morrison) is a bright guy and an asset to the village, with expertise in community development,” Anderson said.

Morrison was village administrator for 10 years; Willrett was hired as community development director in 2008, having previously worked for the Kane County Development Department.

Anderson also re-appointed the current public works director, John Nevenhoven.

The village president selects department heads for one-year appointments each May, with the consent of the Village Board. The board that voted 4-2 in favor of the appointments includes three new members who were sworn in Monday: Ken Anderson, Jerry Schmidt and Jeff Walter. They, and trustee Gordon Dierschow, voted yes, and trustees Patricia Romke and Bill Grabarek dissented.

Grabarek said he did not feel comfortable voting in favor of the appointments without having discussed them during a Village Board closed session first.

“I was concerned about losing Morrison. He has been here 10 years and is very knowledgable,” Grabarek said. “I worked with him when I was on the Planning Commission and for the past six years as a trustee, and I have always appreciated his professionalism and his care in managing the village.”

Shortly after being elected April 7, Anderson told the village’s four department heads that he would interview them to determine whether to re-hire them for the next fiscal year.

Since then, he talked with each department head for a minimum of two hours, and made his decisions.

Bill Coughlin, 509 Cambridge Ave., said he is glad John Nevenhoven, public works superitendent for the past year, was not replaced.

“We’ve got problems in public works, and people have to be given a chance to do their job,” said Coughlin, who was among those seated in the packed clubhouse.

Help! It’s quicksand!

Pipe-laying halted at Harter Road site
by Lynn Meredith
It was all going so well at the Harter Road construction site, until workers encountered quicksand at 1,000 feet when trying to lay the sanitary sewer line.

Sand permeated by water has made it impossible to continue until a process called “dewatering” is accomplished.

“The site has been so kind to us up to this point,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Tom Runty said. “All the rain hasn’t helped.”

Dewatering consists of placing well points at intervals on either side of the trench. Ground water is pumped out of the area, lowering the water table between well points. Then the pipe can be laid and back-filled with gravel. Once the pipes are in place, the water doesn’t affect them anymore.

The same process was done on Foxmoor Drive while McDole Elementary was being built.

The situation is considered an emergency because it is crucial to being able to get other parts of the construction done on time. The total cost for the month-long process is $283,002.

Village formalizes ID theft policy

by Susan O’Neill
The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved an identity theft prevention policy, but Sugar Grove Finance Director Justin VanVooren said it simply puts in writing what the village has already been doing.

The “red flag” rules, outline a number of requirements for monitoring accounts for personal or household goods or services.

Since Sugar Grove residents pay for water already used, these accounts are covered by the policy. As a precaution against identity theft, village staff would follow up with a customer when a red flag showed up on their account.

Valve needed to move water tower project forward

by Lynn Meredith
The Maple Park water tower project hit an obstacle when workers discovered that a shut-off valve was needed to allow them to drain the tank and proceed with the work.

The Village Board approved an emergency funding not to exceed $15,000 to install the shut-off valve on the water main between the water tank and the water system.

Engineers from Baxter & Woodmen said the tank must be thoroughly dry in order to paint it. It cannot be drained without shutting down the wells and cutting off water to the village. The valve would allow the tanks to be shut off and still provide water for use by residents.

“It’s important to deal with right now. There seems to be no other way that’s safe. Something has to be done sooner or later,” Water and Sewer Committee chairman Terry Borg said.