Village Board approves final phase of Mallard Point study

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board approved the final phase of a study conducted by Trotter & Associates that will outline improvements required to alleviate the majority of existing drainage concerns within the Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks subdivisions. (see related story).

The project will include an evaluation and recommendations regarding the existing wetland facility, a maintenance plan for the storm water management facility, and a summary of findings combining all of the recommendations into one comprehensive plan.

The village hired Trotter & Associates in February 2009 to conduct a comprehensive study of the issues affecting drainage within the two neighborhoods. A final draft report of the findings is expected by mid-November.

The total cost of the study conducted so far, plus what was approved on Tuesday night, will total slightly more than $40,000, Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said. So far, the village has paid for the entire cost of the studies.

Volleyball begins 2009 at 2-4

While the Lady Knights volleyball squad got some wins under its belt, the aim is to remedy the initial 2-4 start to 2009.

Kaneland began the season schedule at the Wheaton North Tournament on Wednesday, Aug. 26, going 2-1, but lost both matches on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Tuesday had Kaneland lose a 25-19, 25-20 matchup with host Burlington Central.

In DuPage County, Kaneland lost to host Wheaton North by a 25-21, 25-19 margin. KHS came back to beat St. Joseph’s of Westchester, Ill., in a 25-19, 25-15 skirmish, before closing out the first night against Oak Forest, winning 25-21, 17-25, 15-10.

Abby VanDerHeyden supplied 20 digs and 14 kills on the first night, while Jessica Lubic had 39 assists, 123 kills, five blocks and six aces.

Alyssa Snyder added 12 kills and four blocks.

On the tougher Saturday slate, St. Viator of Arlington Heights took care of the Lady Knights 25-15, 16-24, and Glenbard West topped Kaneland 25-18, 25-20.

Kylie Siebert had 17 digs while Katy Dudzinski had 12 kills of her own.

Against the Lady Rockets, Lubic had 12 assists, while Snyder had three kills to her credit.

Varsity volleyball’s first serve for the final season of Western Sun Conference play begins on Tuesday, Sept. 8 vs. Rochelle.

Students receive break on hot lunch

by Susan O’Neill
Students at the middle school and high school saw a decrease in their cost for a hot lunch from $2.50 to $2 when school started. This benefit comes from an overage in the net cash reserves for the food service program, according to guidelines in the federally-funded program.

The school food service account is required to limit its net cash resources to an amount that does not exceed three months’ average expenditures for its nonprofit school food service.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Julie-Ann Fuchs, one significant advantage of this change is that the hot lunch program is a well-balanced and nutritional meal consistent with the district’s wellness policy. By reducing the price, students may be encouraged to select a healthier choice for their lunch, she wrote in a memo to the board.

Firefighters hope residents ‘Fill the Boot’

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Local communities have a long history of supporting the Elburn Fire Department, which is asking for help again this month with its Fill the Boot campaign, firefighter Matt Hansen said.

On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11-12, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians will stand in traffic at three local intersections, conducting a Fill the Boot campaign to raise money for the Elburn and Countryside Fire Department.

Fire Department employees will be stationed at the intersections of Route 47 and Route 38, and at North and South Millcreek and Fabyan Parkway with their uniform boots in hand, accepting donations.

The department will hold the Fill the Boot campaign this year instead of the Elburn Days raffle it has conducted annually for many years. The raffle helped the department purchase new technology, such as thermal imaging cameras, as well as enhance its training program, Hansen said. The department did not hold the raffle this year because with the state of the economy, it was not able to obtain enough donated prizes from local businesses.

Hansen said he hopes the Fill the Boot campaign will make up for the lack of a raffle this year. The proceeds could help the department buy automatic-lift cots for its ambulances in the future, at a cost of about $10,000 each. Hansen said that with the cots, firefighters would reduce their risk of back injuries. He said the most common injury firefighters sustain on the job is to their backs, from having to lift beds with patients into the ambulance.

The department participated in the national Fill the Boot campaign a few years ago, and residents were extremely supportive, Hansen said. The department donated the proceeds to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Elburn Food Pantry, Fox Valley Hospice and other charitable causes. The department will use some of the money it raises from Fill the Boot this year for charitable donations as well, Hansen said.

Weeds grow problem in Elburn

Village Development Committee recommends more enforcement
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—With property foreclosures rising and home construction declining, many lots in Elburn have been left vacant, untended and taken over by weeds, village officials said.

“We’re noticing more and more complaints about weeds,” Assistant Village Administrator David Morrison said during the Aug. 24 Development Committee meeting.

The village has been lenient about enforcing its weed ordinance in the past. Since the problem has gotten worse, particularly in Blackberry Creek, Elburn officials are considering boosting enforcement.

“I think we are going to have to step in … vacant lots look like nobody owns them,” said committee member Gordon Dierschow, a village trustee.

Committee member Jeff Metcalf, a Planning Commissioner, also wants the village to start enforcing its weed ordinance, since the problem could worsen in Blackberry Creek as property foreclosures continue there, which he expects.

Without enforcement, the spread of weeds could destroy the environment, committee member Jeff Walter, a trustee, said.

“We’ve got to do something,” Walter said.

The village ordinance prohibits grass and weeds that are a foot high or more. It allows police to notify violators that they must cut the grass or weeds within 10 days. If the violator does not comply, the village may mow the property and charge its owner for the cost. If the violator does not pay the bill within 60 days, the village may place a lien on the property.

“Eventually, a lot, hopefully, would sell and you can collect the lien,” Morrison said.

Walter said that although the village is reluctant to file a lien, it must hold property owners responsible.

“It’s a burden to other homeowners because some property owners choose to ignore village ordinances,” Walter said.

Another measure the village could utilize is to take the owners of neglected properties to court for violating village ordinances and recover village mowing expenses, Morrison said.

“You need to be able to recoup the costs,” he said.

The Village Board will discuss the proposal to boost ordinance enforcement at a future meeting.

Cross country complete double-win at home

Lady Knights run over W. Chicago, W. Academy

ELBURN—Kaneland girls cross country found a surefire way to get some of those opening-race jitters out of the way.

Just win.

At Elburn Woods on Tuesday, the Lady Knights’ 31-point total out-performed West Chicago (34) and Wheaton Academy (77).

While West Chicago’s Kelsey Sauner won the course with a 15 minute, 25 second effort, Lady Knight Andie Strang finished second at 16:12. Teammate Kris Bowen finished fourth at 16:36, while Maggie Brundige was fifth at 16:43.

Abby Dodis of KHS finished eighth at 17:03, while Shelby Koester took 12th at 17:29. Ashley Castellanos rounded out the top six for Kaneland with a time of 18:35.

Upcoming challenges for the Lady Knights include the Oregon Invite on Saturday, Sept. 5, and a trip back to Elburn Woods on Tuesday, Sept. 8, against East Aurora.

Photo: Lady Knight Kris Bowen (16:36) provided support for the winning effort on Tuesday against West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.
Photo by Ben Draper

Boys XC handles visiting rosters

ELBURN—Ask Matt Reusche what kind of day he had on Tuesday at Elburn Woods.

Better yet, ask West Chicago and Wheaton Academy.

Reusche’s course-winning effort was key for Kaneland’s victory at the boys cross country race hosted by Kaneland on Tuesday.

Reusche’s 16 minute, 42 second effort was paramount in helping Kaneland (27) beat the Wildcats (34) and the Warriors (77) and get the season off to a favorable start.

Following Reusche for KHS was Logan Markuson, who took third with a time of 17:06. In sixth place was Edgar Valle at 17:27.

Joe Levita finished eighth at 17:46, and teammate Grant Alef took ninth at 18:22.

Tyler Howland rounded out the top six Knights finishers with a 18:59 effort, good for 13th overall.

The frosh-soph troops beat West Chicago on Tuesday, as well, by a 15-68 score.

The top three finishers were Clayton Brundige (14:15), Nate Rehkopf (14:22) and Jake Ginther (14:31).

Coming up for the cross country crew is a home matchup with East Aurora on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Abandoned, stray pets a public expense

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Paying for a pet’s care is becoming increasingly more difficult for some people to afford. As a result, the number of abandoned animals is rising, which results in increasing costs for communities.

“Some people just can’t keep them (their pets),” Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said. “People are cutting expenses and that unfortunately is sometimes one of them.”

Every time police pick up a stray pet, Elburn must pay approximately $150 to have it transported to and housed at the Kane County Animal Control Center, unless the owner claims it from the center, Smith said. In that case, the owner pays the costs charged by the center.

The center’s director, Mary Lawrie, said the facility is housing more stray pets lately whose owners do not claim them. One factor in this increase is that lately, many people can no longer keep their pets because they have been evicted or their houses have been foreclosed on, Lawrie said.

Aging pets are sometimes abandoned because their owners cannot pay for the animal’s needed medical care or cover the expense to have a veterinarian put down the animal.

Some people do not claim their lost animals because their household budgets are too strained by the cost of pet food and routine vet bills.

When Elburn police find a lost or abandoned pet, they first check to see if it has an ID chip, using a chip reader at the police station. If it does not, they place the animal in an outside holding area at the police station for the day so that the owner has an opportunity to recover the animal. If no one picks up the pet, the animal is impounded by the Kane County Animal Control Center, which keeps them in its shelter until they are adopted or accepted by a rescue agency, Lawrie said.

For people who do not want to give up their animals but cannot afford their care, the center helps them find sources of donated pet food and supplies.

“We want people to be able to keep their pets,” Lawrie said.

Animals found recently in Elburn
Within one month this summer in Elburn, police reported three stray or abandoned pets that were not claimed:
• An aged, yellow Labrador mixed-breed dog was found abandoned in a cage next to the fenced K-9 holding area behind the Elburn police station at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 14.

• Police picked up a stray, small, old, nearly blind, beagle-type dog at 9:45 a.m. July 15 in the 1300 block of Independence Avenue in Elburn.

• Someone left a black and tan terrier-mix dog in a cage in front of Elburn Animal Hospital early in the morning on July 14.

Macy’s Museum Adventure Pass program at the Kaneville Library

KANEVILLE—Venture into an aardvark den and master a mythical maze. Come face to face with a human-headed winged bull and sit peacefully in a Japanese garden.

The pass to these adventures, and many more, is already in your hands. Kaneville Public Library card holders can receive free admission to 17 museums and cultural institutions throughout the Chicagoland area. The passes will be available for the whole year.

This opportunity is made possible by a generous contribution from Macy’s, in partnership with the DuPage Library System.

Visit the library to pick up a one-week pass for the museum of your choice. Each museum is contributing four weekly passes, for two or four free admissions, depending on location. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Patrons can only check out passes from their home library. One Museum Adventure Pass may be checked out per adult patron, per loan period.

For a full listing of participating institutions and for check-out guidelines, go to, or call the library at (630) 557-2441 for more information.

Board approves additional work on I-88, Route 47 study

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Village Board on Tuesday authorized an addendum to the feasibility study for the potential Interstate 88 and Route 47 interchange. The addendum increases the scope of work to include an analysis of the various configuration alternatives. The cost to complete the additional work is $12,500.

“The project turned out to be much more complicated than anybody thought or expected,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Village officials began discussions on the project with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Kane County Division of Transportation and the larger landowners near the interchange in March 2007, and the actual study was approved in March 2008.

The initial contract was for $196,000, with the village paying $50,000 toward the study. The other funding came from additional sources, including Crown Development and other developers eager to develop the surrounding property.

Crown Development, one of the landowners, agreed to front the additional $12,500 in an effort to keep the project going, with the assumption that if the property is annexed into the village, the developer will receive financial consideration from the village.

Underground Railroad quilt speaks volumes

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The Underground Railroad quilt Karen Heinberg made for a community raffle is steeped in history, the Kaneville resident said.

During the mid-1800s, the Underground Railroad was a network of free blacks and sympathetic whites who cooperated to help fugitive slaves escape to freedom.

Runaway slaves would often travel as much as 10 miles a day for as long as four or five months. Their journey to freedom went through wilderness areas and hostile territory.

The network of individuals used a series of “safe houses” in which fugitives could hide on their way to the northern states. Heinberg said that historians have found former safe rooms during excavations of old homes in St. Charles and other parts of the Fox Valley.

She said there were often ships docked in Cleveland that would take the runaways across Lake Erie into Canada, where they would be assured their freedom.

Because these escapes had to be planned and executed in secrecy, there was little open discussion within the network. The Underground Railroad relied on secret communication methods that had been developed over generations.

According to legend, Underground Railroad quilts were made with various symbols and patterns that, when hung in someone’s back yard, would signal which homes were safe, what direction people should travel in, and other critical information for their dangerous endeavor.

Since it was common for quilts to be aired out frequently, no one would be suspicious when they saw the quilts displayed this way.

Symbols included such things as a bear’s paw, which communicated that the fugitive should take a mountain trail, following the path made by bear tracks. These trails would lead them to water and food. A bowtie meant that they should dress in disguise, or put on a change of clothes.

A picture of the quilt and the raffle tickets are available at the Hill’s Country Store. Proceeds from the sale of the tickets will be given to the Kaneville Historical Society to paint the Benton House. The Benton House, which is located across the road from the Kaneville Fire Station, represents the many Benton family descendants who remain in the area.

The winner of the quilt will be chosen at the Kaneville Christmas celebration in December.

Quilt raffle
Raffle tickets for a chance to win the Underground Railway quilt are for sale at Hill’s Country Store on Main Street Road in Kaneville.

Tickets are $3 apiece or two for $5.

The winner will be chosen at the Christmas in Kaneville celebration in December.

Proceeds to go to the Kaneville Historical Society.

Assessment changes published for Sugar Grove and Virgil townships

From the Kane County Board of Review

The 2009 assessment changes for Sugar Grove and Virgil Townships were published today, Sept. 3, 2009 in the Elburn Herald.

To obtain information about a Sugar Grove Township property, call (630) 466-5255 or visit

To obtain information about a Virgil Township property, call (815) 827-3383 or visit

To obtain complaint forms and a copy of the Rules and Procedures of the Kane County Board of Review, call (630) 208-3818 or visit

Pursuant to state law, the deadline to file 2009 assessment complaints for properties within St. Charles, Sugar Grove, or Virgil Townships is Oct. 5, 2009. No 2009 complaint for property in these three townships can be accepted after that date.

KHS suffers winless week on soccer pitch

Soccer fell to 1-2-1 in a week that pitted the Knights against highly formidable competition.

Wheaton Academy came into Maple Park on Thursday and handled the Knights in a 6-0 match. The Warriors scored five times in the first 40 minutes.

On Saturday, the host Rockets sped past Kaneland at the Burlington Central Tourney by a 5-4 final.

The Knights, playing a man down for nearly 60 minutes, found the net thanks to Derek White’s goal and two goals by Marcos Dorado for a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

White’s next goal made it 4-2, but Kaneland gave up three goals in the last 15 minutes.

The Knights also tied Genoa-Kingston out at Burlington in a 2-2 battle.

White got on the board in the first half, while teammate Gennaro Garcia found the goal in the second half. Anders Winquist-Bailey had an assist for the Knights.

JV action saw Sycamore best Kaneland in a 3-2 Tuesday match.

Women show warmth for U.S. soldiers

Knitters make helmet liners for troops in Afghanistan
by Martha Quetsch
Maple Park—When Karen Dowd learned to knit two years ago, she realized she had a talent for it. Since then, she has parlayed that skill into a patriotic pursuit.

At the suggestion of her husband, Maple Park American Legion Adjutant Tom Dowd, she formed a group last year to knit helmet liners for U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan.

“He always teased me about my knitting and said this would be a worthwhile way to spend my time,” Karen said.

She has found the project more than worthwhile.

“It has been extremely rewarding,” Karen said.

The helmet liners are designed to keep soldiers warm in the bitter-cold climate in the Afghanistan mountains.

“They put them on under their helmets so their heads stay warm, and they do not lose as much body heat,” Karen said.

To start up the project, she first found several knitters willing to pitch in and an affordable yarn supplier in Indiana. Then she found someone to make sure the helmet liners reached soldiers in Afghanistan: Maple Park Legion member Dennis Andersen.

Andersen, a former U.S. military reservist, currently is serving in Afghanistan, having signed up again for six years of active duty.

“He and I communicated online, and he said he knew a unit that could use the helmet liners,” Karen said. “We sent them to him, and he distributed them.”

Last year, the group knitted 70 helmet liners and sent them to Andersen. The soldiers who received them were so grateful, they sent the knitters a certificate of thanks and a flag that had flown over one of their missions.

Karen obtained the pattern and yarn specifications from the U.S. government. She said the liners must be made of a certain type of wool yarn. The yarn cost for the first batch of 70 liners was $300, which the Maple Park Legion covered. The group since then has raised money for yarn through donations at the Legion’s Friday fish fries. With those contributions, the knitters recently were able to buy enough yarn for 36 more helmet liners.

The government also requires the liners to be only certain colors—black, gray or tan.

In addition to Karen Dowd, the knitters include Norma Reynolds, Kay Dawn Towers, Rosie Krups and Rachel Neviell.

The Legion has paid the cost for mailing the helmet liners to Afghanistan.

Photo: Karen Dowd (left) and Norma Reynolds knit wool helmet liners at the Maple Park American Legion Tuesday. Monetary donations for more yarn for the local project will be accepted during Fun Fest at the Legion Hall. Photo by Martha Quetsch

Sept. 3 Elburn village notes

by Martha Quetsch
Board OKs off-road vehicle sales, display
The village of Elburn will allow Kane County Landscape Material & Supply owner Bruce Vajgert to sell amphibious, off-road vehicles and display them outdoors on his business property, 817 E. Route 38, Elburn.

The Village Board on Aug. 17 approved Vajgert’s request for a special-use variance required for the vehicle sales on the property under the village zoning code.

“I think it’s a good fit for Elburn. It’s good for business, and they keep up the property well,” trustee Jerry Schmidt said.

Vajgert said it is unlikely that he will display more than one or two at a time of these specialty vehicles, which have four to eight wheels and cost up to $32,000.

The Elburn Planning Commission recently recommended that the Village Board approve the variance for Vajgert’s business.

Village struggles with blocked storm sewer
The Elburn Public Works Department and outside companies hired recently by the village tried to clear tree roots and debris from a storm sewer pipe in the Cambridge subdivision, but so far they have met with little success.

The roots and debris impede stormwater flow in the subdivision on the southwest side of the village, leading to residential property flooding during heavy rain.

So far, crews have used various methods to resolve the problem, including placing chemical solutions into the pipe. Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said the substance is “an organic chemical” that is supposed to break up material blocking the flow.

“I did not see any noticeable improvements,” Nevenhoven said during the Aug. 24 Public Works Committee meeting. He added that there is flow in the pipe, but it is tremendously slow.

Nevenhoven said if the pipe cannot be cleared, the village will have to open it up, which would involve digging into residents backyards.

Village to buy spare parts for wayside horns
The village of Elburn will spend $13,841 on spare parts for its new wayside horn system.

The Public Works Committee approved the expenditure on Aug. 24. The company that provided the wayside horns, RCL Controls, recommended having the spare parts, Assistant Village Administrator Dave Morrison said.

“The advantage is that you have the parts on hand if something goes wrong,” Morrison said. “The disadvantage is the cost.”

The village owns, operates and maintains the wayside horn system. It includes stationary horns at the railway crossings on First Street and on Main Street in downtown Elburn. The system was installed this summer as a safety measure allowing for the reduction of train whistles in the village.

Area Police Blotter for Sept. 3

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Eric J. Grozavescu, 19, of the 300 block of High Street in Wauconda, Ill, was arrested at 4:50 a.m. on Aug. 29 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped Grozavescu as he pulled into the Jewel-Osco parking lot in the 800 block of Main Street in Elburn, after seeing that his rear plate light was out and observing that he stopped at the green light at Route 38 and Route 47. Grozavescue also was cited for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.

• Someone stole a dark green, Free Spirit bicycle from outside a residence in the 900 block of Kendall Street in Elburn, between 5 and 6 p.m. Aug. 26. The bike is valued at $50.

• Items valued at $550 were stolen from an unlocked vehicle parked in a driveway in the 700 block of West Highland Drive in Elburn, sometime between midnight and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 27. The burglar took a Garmin GPS device, an iPod and power chargers.

• Timothy A. Wright, 31, of the 400 block of North Third Street in Elburn, was arrested at 12:21 a.m. Aug. 25 on two outstanding warrants. Police responded to a domestic dispute at Wright’s residence, and the dispatcher informed the officers of the warrants, one from Aurora for a DUI offense and another from Kane County for retail theft.

• On the morning of Aug. 28, a two-car crash occurred when the driver of one of the vehicles failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Meredith Road and Route 38, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Department. A 2004 Toyota Sienna, driven by Jan Dabrowski, 77, of Florence, Colo., was westbound on Route 38 approaching Meredith Road. A 2009 Chevrolet Prizm was being driven by Susan Phillips, 60, of Sycamore, southbound on Meredith Road. Philips entered the intersection to continue south and was struck by Dabrowski, who failed to stop at the stop sign. No one was injured and no citations were issued. Both cars were towed from the scene.

• Aidan J. Gonzales, 18, of the 1300 block of Indian Trail in Aurora, was arrested at 4:38 a.m. Aug. 22 for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor and driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him on Shepherd Lane near Prairie Valley in Elburn for failing to signal 100 feet before turning.
n Sugar Grove

• Someone picked all of the apples off of a tree at a home in the 200 block of Exeter Lane sometime between 11 p.m. on Aug. 21 and 10 a.m. on Aug. 22.

• Someone took items, including an outdoor rug, a bench and several flower pots off of the porch of a burned out unit in the 200 block of Capital Drive sometime between 6 p.m. on Aug. 19 and 8 p.m. on Aug. 20.

• Joon M. Lee, 20, of the 700 block of Fairfield Way, North Aurora, Victor M. Ortiz, 19, of the 400 block of Farm Trail, Woodstock, and Juan A. Villalva, 19, of the 500 block of McHenry Avenue, Woodstock, were arrested at 10:35 p.m. on Aug. 13 for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor in the parking lot of the Sugar Grove Community Center, 163 N. Main St., Sugar Grove.

• Someone damaged a decorative block on the Sugar Grove Park District building sometime between Aug. 24 and 25, leaving damaged, displaced or broken marks consistent with skateboards using it as a side rail. The estimated amount of the damage is $500.

• Gabriela Mendoza, 20, of the 500 block of Terry Avenue, Aurora, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of alcohol by a minor at 10:18 a.m. on Aug. 27.

• Someone used a credit card on Aug. 30 belonging to a Sugar Grove resident in the 0-100 block of Rolling Oaks Road, totaling up purchases of $266.99.

• Robert B. Lloyd, 58, of the 800 block of Longview Court, Sugar Grove, was charged with reckless driving at 10:48 a.m. on Aug. 31. He was driving northbound on Route 47 south of Rolling Oaks Road.

• Someone drew anti-Semitic and other graffiti on a traffic sign at Green Heron Lane and New Bond Road. The graffiti, consisting of a swastika and a phallic symbol, was reported on Sept. 1.

Maple Park
• Jonathan Judge, 17, and James Thorne, 19, of Maple Park, have been in the Kane County Jail for more than a week, having failed to post bond on charges related to incidents of criminal damage to property. Maple Park Police Officer Chuck Slater said Judge and Thorne were arrested during the third week of July after an investigation determined they caused $1,700 in damage May 5 to five vehicles parked in front of a house in the 200 block of Kane Street, a Class 4 felony. Slater said the offenders mixed cooking oil, green peas and other kitchen ingredients and poured the substance into the vehicles’ gasoline tanks. They also slashed the vehicles’ tires. Judge also was arrested for three crimes in July: throwing a rock through a front window of the same house in the 200 block of Kane Street, through front windows of a residence and a camper in the 300 block of Main Street, and through a window of a home in the 900 block of Main Street. Judge lives on County Line Road in unincorporated Maple Park, and Thorne is a resident of the 200 block of Center Street in Maple Park. Thorne was 18 at the time of his offense.

Editorial: Close out the summer festival season in Maple Park

School has begun, the days are getting shorter, and we have reached the final week of local festivals.

Summer is a busy time for community volunteers, since each town has its own summer festival. The Sugar Grove Corn Boil was in July, Elburn Days and Kaneville Fest were in August, and now Maple Park’s Fun Fest is set to run from Friday through Monday, Sept. 4-7 (see Maple Park Fun Fest coverage in this week’s edition).

The festival that began as a Labor Day weekend softball tournament has evolved, grown, shrunk, and regrown over the years, and this year is promising to be more than worth attending.

The Maple Park Fun Fest begins Friday evening with performances on the main stage from a pair of area bands, CAOZZ and Red Woody. Saturday features a run/walk, the beginning of the softball tournament, a craft show, the annual toilet bowl races, parade, and more live performances from area bands. Sunday features a buffet breakfast and day two of the softball tournament, and concludes with fireworks at night.

Sunday closes out the festival with a breakfast and the culmination of the softball tournament.

As we have stated throughout the summer, our local community festivals are perfect ways to either connect, or re-connect, with your fellow community members.

The summer festival circuit is nearly over, and soon there will be no more chances to get outside, gather with your neighbors, and take part in a community-wide, multi-day festival. We hope you take this last opportunity of the year.

9/3 Editorial Cartoon

2009 Maple Park Fun Fest

Friday, Sept. 4
• 6:30 p.m. CAOZZ, featuring Brian Stover performs on the main stage on Main Street
• 8:30 p.m. Red Woody performs on the main stage on Main Street
Saturday, Sept. 5
• 7 a.m. Romp in the Park Run/Walk
• 8 a.m. Baseball at the Civic Center
• 9 a.m. Crafters
• 1 p.m. Toilet bowl race
• 2 p.m. Methodist Church praise band
• 3:30 p.m. Back Country Roads performs on the main stage on Main Street
• 5 p.m. Miller Hometown Band performs on the main stage on Main Street
• 6 p.m. Fun Fest parade
• 9 p.m. Hi Infidelity performs on the main stage on Main Street
Sunday, Sept. 6
• 7 a.m. Legion buffet breakfast
• 8 a.m. Baseball at the Civic Center
• 8:30 p.m. Fireworks
Monday, Sept. 7
• 7 a.m. Legion buffet breakfast
• 8 a.m. Baseball at the Civic Center

Fireworks highlight Fun Fest skies

by Susan O’Neill
This year marks the beginning of a second decade of fireworks at the Maple Park Fun Fest.

Maple Park resident Roger Kahl, who is in charge of the fireworks show on Sunday night, is a Department of Natural Resources licensed explosives expert. Kahl sets off the fireworks displays for other festivals in the area, including his most recent gig at Kaneville Fest the weekend of Aug. 29-30.

Kahl and his crew, including Allen Kahl and John Grommes, took the safety class 11 years ago through their employer, S&N Display Fireworks.

Some of their wives have taken the class as well, and they assist with unwrapping and loading shells, as well as clean-up.

The fireworks show is staged at Squire’s Crossing subdivision on County Line Road. It takes place Sunday night, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Looking good for 34

All ages can enjoy Maple Park Fun Fest on Labor Day weekend, although the most action might be had by something in its mid-30s, the annual softball tournament.

Back again at Fun Fest on Labor Day weekend is the Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball tournament at the Civic Center fields.

The games begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5. Sunday’s games start at 8 a.m. on Sept. 6, while the finals begin at 8 a.m. on Labor Day.

The tournament is double-elimination, with 14 teams signed up so far. First prize in the tournament is set for $350 dollars, with second place nabbing $250 and third place getting $150.

The 2008 version of the tournament was taken by AM Lumber over Those Guys.

Fun(fest) run

Romp in the Park early Saturday
by Ben Draper
It’s been a cool summer—not ideal for backyard swimmers, but great for summer running.

The 11th annual Romp in the Park will likely feature cool temperatures for a second-straight year, with a high temperature only projected to reach 75 degrees.

The annual event, which takes place during the Maple Park Fun Fest on Saturday, Sept. 5, features two races.

At 8 a.m., the 5K kicks off at the corner of Washington and Kane streets. Last year’s 5K winner was Scott Peterson with a time of 19:46.

The 5K features seven age groups: under 15, 15-18, 19-25, 26-35, 36-50, 51-60, and 61 and over.

The two-mile walk/run gets going right after the 5K, at 8:10 a.m.

The two-mile walk/run has four age groups: under 14, under 30, under 60, and 60 and over.

The 5K entry fee is $10, or $13 on race day. The 2-mile walk/run is $7, or $10 on race day.

Race-day signup runs from 7 to 7:50 a.m.

The first 100 registrants will get a free Romp in the Park T-shirt. All participants receive a ribbon.

For more information on the event or to register, visit in_the_park.pdf. A signature from a parent or guardian is needed for anyone under 18.

Crafts, vendors galore

by Susan O’Neill
This year’s Fun Fest craft show promises variety and volume.

According to organizer Cathy Lay, between 45 and 50 crafters and vendors will attend, with crafts from embroidered towels, jewelry, crocheted items, wood crafts and ceramics, to vendors with products from companies such as Tastefully Simple and many others.

“There are a lot more people from Maple Park (this year),” Lay said.

Lay started out participating in the show several years ago, selling Tupperware, before she took over coordinating the event.

She said the word-of-mouth has spread to crafty people everywhere, and crafters are also coming from places such as Crystal Lake, Genoa, Hinckley and Huntley.

The show will take place on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Main and Pleasant streets.

Pressure is on for The Terdminators

by Susan O’Neill
The pressure is on this year for The Terdminators to win the Maple Park Toilet Bowl Challenge race. According to organizer Pat Mundinger, The Terdminators have the fastest-looking, meanest-looking racer, with a black toilet bowl, a yellow frame and even a big fin spoiler on the back.

“Every year, they look like they’re going to wipe out everybody (no pun intended),” Mundinger said.

But they have yet to win a race. Last year, the honors went to Da Bears, who wore hard hats and Bears jerseys as they handily defeated The Terdminators.

The race will take place on Saturday, Sept. 5, beginning at 1 p.m. in front of the American Legion building on Main Street. Participants will race their toilets east down Main Street, maneuvering around plastic traffic pylons.

Racers consist of a toilet and a no larger than three-foot-by-three-foot platform. Teams must include three members, two people pushing and one atop the commode.

A prize is given for the top three winners of the race, as well as for the most original commode or costumes, American Legion Postmaster Mundinger said. The first-place racer wins a $100 cash award, with second and third receiving $50 and $25, respectively. The most creative group wins a $100 cash prize.

The winners will also lead the Fun Fest parade, behind the Legion color guard.

There are only a few rules associated with the race. No motorized racers of any type are allowed, and no profanity will be allowed, as this is a family event.

Other than that, Mundinger said people should let their imaginations run wild. A low-end toilet can be found at a store for $60, but sometimes just driving down the street on garbage day can net you a treasure from someone’s front yard. One team in recent years used a stainless steel toilet they obtained from a prison in Lombard. Plumbers are another good source.

Charles Thalman, the originator of the Maple Park Toilet Bowl Challenge, said he heard of the idea from friends who had a similar race at their church in Effingham, Ill.

The race has been such a success, that it is back for the fifth year in a row. For a look at footage of past races, Mundinger has put together a video on YouTube. However, the Elburn Herald cautions that the lyrics of the accompanying music may not be suitable for children (or sensitive adults).

Participants may sign up at www.post312

For more information, call (630) 774-9288.

Big breakfast spread slated at Legion

by Martha Quetsch
If you have a healthy appetite, you might want to stop by the Maple Park American Legion during Fun Fest Sunday and Monday, where almost any breakfast fare you would like will be laid out in buffet fashion, thanks to the organization’s volunteers.

“We have the whole nine yards,” Legion member Keith Nickels said.

Among the breakfast’s many offerings are fruit, scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage, and biscuits and gravy.

Nickels said the event usually has a strong attendance, particularly between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., during the softball tournament at the Community Center.

It takes about 30 Legion members to host the breakfast, some cooking, some serving.

The cost is $8, and $6 for those 10 and younger. The Legion hall is located at 203 Main St., Maple Park.

Fest-goers can ‘Touch A Truck’

There’s no chance of muddling up what this particular exhibit means.

Kids will get a chance to “Touch A Truck” at the fire station as part of the Maple Park Fun Fest on Labor Day weekend.

“This is a chance to get up close to a helicopter or maybe a cannon. It’s something you don’t get a chance to do every day,” said Fire Chief Kevin Peterson of the Maple Park Fire Department.

Scheduled to take place from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, area fest-goers can see what makes a local fire truck or ambulance tick.

Fun Fest planners are also looking to secure a National Guard vehicle and a Lifeline helicopter, used to airlift patients to hospitals.

Peterson said the exhibit will kick off before the Saturday parade.

Four days of music at Fun Fest

by Mike Slodki
Fun Fest-goers are already primed to enjoy the four-day weekend with food and parades, but cool bands will be on hand to bring the excitement level to even higher levels.

Bands like CAOZZ, Red Woody, Methodist Church praise band, Back Country Roads, Miller Hometown Band, and Hi Infidelity will light up the stage in Maple Park from Friday, Sept. 4, through Sunday, Sept. 6.

CAOZZ, featuring Brian Stover, takes the stage on Friday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

The five-person unit will come off a pre-game performance on Aug. 1 at U.S. Cellular Field before the White Sox game. Based in St. Charles, the band features anything from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Lenny Kravitz.

Local act Red Woody takes control on Friday at 8:30 p.m. Now in its 10th year, “Red Woody is a high energy cover band specializing in ’70s, ’80s,’90s and ’00s radio rock hits,” according to

Playing anywhere from MVP’s Street Dance in Sycamore to Starbuster’s in DeKalb, Red Woody is made up of Matt Miller on vocals, Keith Beebe on guitar, Ron McConkey on drums, Doug Wielert on bass, John Stephenson on guitar, Stan Dembowski on guitar and Cyril Wochok on guitar.

The group is fresh off a performance at Elburn Days.

On Saturday, the Methodist Church praise band will offer its musical stylings.

On Saturday at 3 p.m., Back Country Roads takes hold of the stage with its co-ed brand of acoustic country. Based out of DeKalb, Mary Noren, Kyle Miller and Brian Miller look to sing the tunes from acts like Dierks Bentley to Miranda Lambert.

From Linda Ronstadt to Eric Clapton, Miller’s Hometown Band continues to thrill audiences with its old-fashioned harmonies and multi-layered vocals.

Taking the stage at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Pat Miller on keyboard and vocals, Miller’s Hometown Band is comprised of Kevin Miller on drums, harmonica and vocals, Mary Ann Miller on percussion and vocals, Brien Prenevost on guitar and vocals, Ernie Uebel on saxophones, percussion and vocals, and Dave Miller on bass guitar and vocals. 

Virgil Neace, Brad Hollands, Gary Scofield, Jim Warren, Dave Mikulskis and Bobby Scumaci make up the Chicago staple Hi Infidelity, bellowing out the tunes at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Available at, the band plays numerous festivals and hits venues like Walter Payton’s Roundhouse.

Fun Fest offers good eatin’

by Martha Quetsch
Fun Fest visitors can please their palates while supporting the community by purchasing food and beverages at booths operated by area clubs, churches and businesses.

Booth coordinator Roger Kahl said he makes sure that the Fun Fest’s food is from local providers, and that each offers something different.

“That way, everybody makes a buck,” Kahl said.

Food and beverages will be available at three different places during the festival: at the Community Center, at booths on Main Street, and at the American Legion Hall.

At the Community Center, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the Maple Park Boy Scouts Venture Crew will sell bratwurst, bratwurst patties, hamburgers, chips and candy; and from noon to late afternoon, the Methodist Church will sell baked potatoes stuffed with the patron’s choices among chili, cheese, bacon and broccoli.

Throughout the event at the booths set up on Main Street, festival goers may buy pizza slices from Bootlegger’s Pizza; rib-eye sandwiches, butterflied pork chop sandwiches, hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches from Sycamore Country Store; Polish sausage and sauerkraut from St. Mary Catholic Church; pie from St. Vincent DePaul; Culver’s frozen custard from the Maple Park Lions Club; and pulled-pork sandwiches, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs and bratwurst from the American Legion.

The American Legion will offer the same food selections at the beer garden in the parking lot next to the Legion Hall. Pat Mundinger and other Legion volunteers will roast two hogs for the event.

Also at the beer garden, Miller and Miller Lite beer will be on tap. Children are welcome in the beer garden if they are accompanied by a parent, Mundinger said. Attendees must show an I.D. and obtain a bracelet before purchasing alcohol in the beer gardens.

The beer gardens will be open from 4 to about 11:30 p.m. Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday.

Everybody loves a parade

Festival lineup includes traditional, new entries
by Martha Quetsch
The 2009 Maple Park Fun Fest parade will have a few newcomers in the mix of club and business entries that make up the popular, rural-themed event.

The parade will step off at 6 p.m., traveling from the lineup area on Ashton Drive east to Broadway Street, north to Main Street, west to County Line Road, and north to Ashton.

Check-in for parade participants is at 5 p.m.

Parade co-coordinator Brittany Altepeter said the event will have more than 60 entries this year. Sign-up will continue until the day before the parade, with applications available at A & P Grain System, 410 S. County Line Road, Maple Park.

Among this year’s parade participants are new businesses Honest Automotive and Zobie’s Artworks. Returning to the event are many familiar entrants, including a spectator favorite, KC Corn Growers.

“They are always a big crowd pleaser. They have go-carts modified to look like ears of corn,” Altepepter said.

Other popular entries that will be featured again include Marlyn’s Majorettes.

The Maple Park Lions Club, whose representatives typically drive golf carts in the parade, is doing something different for this year’s event. Members will ride in a hayrack pulled by an antique John Deere tractor owned by Ed Weydert.

Altepeter is organizing the parade with Melissa Brady. The pair stepped in to assume the responsibility that Marianne Delaney held for many years, until she passed away in 2008.

Letter: Festival Performance Series begins Sept. 12

Each year, over 3,000 people gather for a full day of encouraging young people’s involvement in arts endeavors and challenging youth to develop their abilities.

Free to the public, the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will take place on Sunday, April 18, 2010. It has been my joy to watch our community continue to embrace this wonderful event year after year.

I would like to thank our 2009 Corporate Sponsors for their commitment at last year’s festival: Midwest Window & Supply, Ottosen Britz Kelly Cooper & Gilbert, Ltd., Casey’s General Store, Elmhurst Chicago Stone Co., M.A.C. Excavating, Inc & Steel Buildings, The National Bank & Trust, Ross Electric, Inc., Waubonsee Community College, Elburn Chiropractic & Acupuncture, LePrinte Express, Maple Park Supply, Inc., Paisano’s Pizza & Grill, Co., Quinlan & Fabish Music Co., Sen. Chris Lauzen, State Street Dance Studio, Valley West Sandblasting & Painting, Inc., Village Bible Church, Vons Electric, Inc, Builder’s Asphalt, LLC, Campbell Concrete Construction, Inc, Castle Bank, Country Automotive and Harry F. Krauspe, DDS. Without this very special continuing commitment, our festival would not be the success it is today.

A new and exciting addition to the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, is the Festival Performance Series, which brings full-length quality performances to the Kaneland High School Auditorium at a fraction of the cost patrons pay in nearby Chicago suburbs.

Tickets are now on sale for our very first performance. We hope that you will join us on Saturday, Sept. 12, to see The Magic of the Spellbinder. This is a performance appropriate for ages 5 to 105, and all who attend will be amazed at the skill of this illusionist.

Ticket order forms can be found on the Kaneland website, as well as in all of the Kaneland School District buildings.

I look forward to seeing you all at this wonderful community event.

Maria Y. Dripps-Paulson
Executive Director of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

Letter: A tacky display by the village

During the week of the Solheim Cup, did anyone else notice how very tacky and unprofessional the village of Sugar Grove displayed our American flag?

Our beautiful flag was displayed around the stem of the water tower, just under the ball, and didn’t even wrap all the way around.

The flag should have been displayed off a pole, instead of wrapping it like wrapping paper and then realizing you ran out.

Tom Scales
Sugar Grove

Letter: Gambling law a gateway to self-destruction

Thanks to Gov. Quinn and our state lawmakers, Illinois has a new gambling law which allows up to five video gambling machines in local establishments where liquor is served. We will soon have mini-casinos in our favorite restaurants throughout Illinois.

There are good reasons why dozens of local municipalities are considering banning this type of gambling—also known as the crack cocaine of gambling. A leading study from Australia in 2000 concluded that for every 80 video gambling machines, $2 million was drained from and “damaged the local economy” each year.

Numerous machines make it hard to regulate, and almost impossible to monitor, to prevent underage gambling. Experts estimate between 7 to 11 percent of the teen population are already compulsive gamblers.

The average adult compulsive gambler is one year of salary in debt before they seek help. At a time when Illinois’ unemployment rate exceeds 10 percent, can we afford to exploit the citizens of this state by creating more gambling addicts?

Moreover, video gambling machines turn recreational gamblers into compulsive ones within a year, compared to nearly four years for other kinds of gambling.

There is no skill required. With the help of prepaid cards, gamblers are no longer required to put money into the machines with each play. Now, hundreds of bets are placed within an hour simply by lifting a finger.

Like a slowly spreading cancer, poker machines will sweep into the culture of Illinois. This is a recipe for human disaster.

Our state government is looking for extra revenue to cover the shortage, in part due to the out-of-control spending that continues without restraint. Maybe there is a way to do it quickly and fairly; maybe there isn’t. But one thing is for sure: Depending on the losing fortunes of the citizens of Illinois is not the answer.

David E. Smith
Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute