Elburn man charged with sexual abuse

15 others arrested on drinking-related charges
ELBURN—Christopher Runde, 24, of Elburn, was arrested on Nov. 4 for criminal sexual abuse, following an investigation of an underage drinking party Oct. 30 in the 200 block of Conley Drive in Elburn.

After his arrest, Elburn police transported Runde to the Kane County Jail to await bond call.

The Elburn police investigation revealed that during the party, Runde, of the 500 block of Maple Avenue, placed his hand inside the underwear of a female victim while she was passed out and unaware of what was happening to her.

Police also discovered that Runde used his video camera to record this act. Other people at the party confronted Runde and a physical altercation ensued, during which Runde dropped his camera. Other attendees at the party retrieved the camera and the video tape was turned over to Elburn police.

Police responded to a call at 2:20 a.m. Oct. 30 that a fight was in progress at the party. The fight had ended before police arrived. Officers arrested eight people for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor, and eight adults were arrested for unlawfully permitting a minor to become intoxicated.

The adults arrested were Jeremy Borciaardt, 21, of the 300 block of Guy Lane in Cortland; James Kluck, 21, of the 300 block of West DeKalb Drive in Maple Park; Steven Ortiz, 21, of the 100 block of Cross Street in Sugar Grove; Jonathan Ramirez, 23, of the 300 block of West DeKalb Drive in Maple Park; Andrew Serafin, 24, of the 4000 block of Guy Lane in Cortland; Jeffrey Stralka, 19, of the 1900 block of Annette Circle in Sugar Grove, and Joshua Walsh, 21, of the 100 block of Arbor Avenue in Sugar Grove.

Solving stormwater issues a top priority

MP village officials seek funding for expensive project
by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Hiring a police chief, applying for grants and mitigating stormwater drainage problems still are the village officials’ top goals, Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis said.

The Village Board held a special meeting Saturday to prioritize village projects and plan for the expenditures.

Curtis said various areas of the village have stormwater challenges of different origins, and that the board has yet to determine resolutions for the expensive project.

“The preliminary cost estimate by Baxter & Woodman (the village’s engineering firm) to fix all … was $4 million,” Curtis said.

The village will need to develop a strategy for a phased approach to the repair, she said.

Money does not exist in the village coffer to address stormwater issues, so funding will have to come from government grants, which are difficult to obtain, village officials said.

“Maple Park needs every penny it can get; we are applying for every bit of money out there that we can find,” Curtis said. “Unfortunately, Maple Park has been turned down twice now for requests for the Police Department.”

Curtis said when the village applied for a police officer payroll grant, the state awarded the funds to Rockford, Ill., instead. When the village applied for an equipment grant for police radios, Kane County was awarded the money, she added.

“Monies were awarded to communities with higher crime rates than Maple Park’s,” Curtis said.

Village officials plan to submit applications for Riverboat and Community Block grants, due in January, but they have not determined specific projects yet that would be tied to those applications, Curtis said.

The board already allocated funding for the police chief salary of $48,000 in this year’s fiscal budget. The village expects to hire a chief in December.

Turkey Drop-off brings meals to local families

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Two Maple Park churches want to make sure as many local people as possible can celebrate Thanksgiving, even those who cannot afford to put a turkey on the table this year.

Two years ago, Grace Methodist and St. Mary churches started their Turkey Drop-off, a food drive for families in need during the fall holiday.

“We wanted to do something so every family that could, would celebrate Thanksgiving with a special meal,” Grace Methodist Pastor Mark Meyers said.

This year’s Turkey Drop-off will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22. Anyone who would like to contribute a turkey, ham or canned goods may drop the items off during those hours at Grace Methodist, 506 Willow St., Maple Park.

Meyers said that last year, people dropped off 100 turkeys that were delivered by church volunteers to local food pantries, the Salvation Army, the Maple Park Family Fund and Kaneland schools.

“We had places for every one of them,” Meyers said.

Volunteers also take some of the food directly to families that the churches know are in need. The Family Fund and the schools are aware of other families that would appreciate the food and distribute it to them.

Turkey Drop-off
Thanksgiving food drive

10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Grace Methodist Church
506 Willow St., Maple Park
Donations of turkeys, hams and canned goods welcome.
Collection will benefit needy families
To inquire about receiving food items, call the Rev. Mark Meyers,
(815) 827-3559.
Privacy will be respected

Committee wants senior tax rebates restored

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board eliminated municipal utility tax rebates for seniors, less than two months ago. Since then, some residents have asked that the program be reinstated, village officials said.

In response, the Elburn Finance Committee recommended Monday that the board restore the rebate program, with some changes.

The committee recommended reinstating the program only for seniors age 65 and older with annual household incomes of no more than $55,000.

“We want to help the people who really need it,” committee member and trustee Bill Grabarek said.

The committee also recommended allowing the rebates only for gas and electric bill taxes, not for telephone service.

Village President Dave Anderson, who attended the meeting, agreed with making the changes before restoring the program, saying the rebates should apply only to necessary services.

“You need heat, you need light,” Anderson said.

Village officials said the reason for the changes is that some individuals abused the program in the past by requesting refunds for several different phones, and that people who could afford the utility taxes obtained rebates.

Finance Committee members, who voted unanimously Monday to recommend the board’s reinstatement of the senior utility tax rebate program, were trustees Patricia Romke, Jeff Walter and Bill Grabarek, as well as Village Treasurer Mike Greenen.

On Sept. 21, trustees Patricia Romke, Bill Grabarek, Ken Anderson and Jerry Schmidt voted to eliminate the program 4-0. Trustees Gordon Dierschow and Jeff Walter were absent from the board meeting. Village officials at that time said doing away with the program for 2009 could save more than $10,000.

Village staff will estimate what the program will cost after the eligibility changes are made, Village Administrator David Morrison said. Then, the Village Board will decide whether to approve the committee’s recommendations.

Kaneville bans video gambling

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville at its October board meeting followed suit with Elburn in voting to ban video gambling within the village limits. The vote was unanimous.

“It’s not the proper instrument within a village to raise revenues,” Village President Bob Rodney said. “We’re not making moral decisions for anyone, but we don’t wish to encourage gambling within the village—video or otherwise.”

Elburn was the first local municipality to ban the activity in September, in response to the state’s legalization of video gambling this summer.

Under the state law enacted in July, it is now legal for bars, restaurants and clubs with liquor licenses to install up to five video poker and blackjack machines for gambling, unless a municipality votes to ban it.

The state imposes a 30 percent tax on the net income from each video gambling machine within a business. One-sixth of that tax goes to the municipality.

The villages of Sugar Grove and Maple Park have not yet addressed the issue. A Kane County task force on video gambling has recommended that the County Executive Board vote on allowing video gambling in unincorporated areas within the county.

Frasz wants video gambling ban in unincorporated Kane

[quote]by Martha Quetsch
KANE COUNTY—Two local towns, Elburn and Kaneville, have banned video gambling since the state enacted a law in July allowing the activity. Now, county officials are considering whether they want to allow it in unincorporated areas.

In places without a ban, restaurants and bars that serve liquor will be able to install gambling machines as soon as the state establishes formal regulations governing the new law.

A Kane County task force recently studied the issue and recommended against enacting a ban, in a 2-1 vote. Voting against the video gambling ban were task force Chairman Jesse Vazquez of Aurora and member Bob Kudlicki of Hampshire. The other task force member present, Drew Frasz of Elburn, voted in favor of the ban.

The three were the only task force members attending their meeting at which they voted. The group appointed by Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay included County Board member John Hoscheit of St. Charles, as well as Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti and Sheriff Pat Perez, who declined to to participate in task force meetings, Frasz said.

The county’s Executive Board will review the task force recommendation before the issue goes to the County Board for a final decision.

“There will be plenty of opportunity for further debate at (future) Executive Committee and County Board meetings, and I intend to speak against video gambling,” Frasz said.

The task force met three times plus had two public hearings, one attended mainly by business and labor interests and one geared toward citizens, and social groups such as homeless shelters, churches and law enforcement, Frasz said.

The state will impose a 30 percent tax on the net income from each video gambling terminal, featuring poker, blackjack or other games. Part of that revenue will go to the municipality, or in unincorporated areas, to the county.

His reasons
Kane County Board member Drew Frasz (Dist.26-Elburn), a member of the county’s Video Gambling Task Force, is in favor of a ban on video gambling now allowed by the state. He explained his reasons as follows:

• The opposition voiced to me by people in my district was 100 percent against expanded gambling, and I received no comments from businesses in my district, asking me to support it.

• I am concerned that the Illinois Gaming Commission has stated repeatedly that they are not in a position to oversee this, and that there is no way to keep organized crime out of it.

• I am concerned that a person that has had a few drinks and whose judgment may not be at its best will end up gambling away money that would otherwise go for groceries, gas, etc., resulting in local businesses losing revenue and sales tax to the local government.

• I have said that gambling does not make money, it redistributes it. I believe that any tax benefits gained by video gambling will be negated by lost local sales tax revenue and increased costs for social programs.

• It is clear to me the overwhelming majority of the residents of my district want to preserve the small-town, wholesome, and safe quality of life that they have fostered or have moved here to share in.

Village cuts budget deficits through employee furlough days

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Residents looking for service at Sugar Grove Village Hall on Wednesday would not have found employees working – and not because it was a paid holiday for village workers.

In a move to reduce the village’s $114,000 budget deficit, the board instituted a number of furlough days for its non-union personnel, including the Veteran’s Day federal holiday, Nov. 11, and Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said that furlough days will also be used by employees during the week between Christmas and the new year, Dec. 28-31.

They will be allowed to use vacation days during this period, or to take the days without pay.

A staff person will be assigned to each facility during the furlough week to answer the phone for emergency responses only. According to Eichelberger, the village typically does not have a high demand for services during that week, so closing Village Hall should not greatly impact the residents.

“It is regrettable that this decision had to be made; however, it is in the best interest of the village at this time,” Eichelberger said.

According to Eichelberger, the village took steps earlier this year to reduce the budget, including laying off four full-time employees and one part-time employee, eliminating three additional positions through attrition, and instituting a hiring freeze across all departments.

In addition, the village shifted more of the cost of health care premiums to its employees and cut a number of other budget line items, including some programs and supplies.

Given the uncertain economic future of the village, the board targeted a $100,000 maximum deficit for fiscal year 2009 – 10. With the implementation of the furlough days, the deficit is currently projected at $98,674.

“It should be noted that the projected deficit can change at any time,” Finance Director VanVooren said. “A change in state-shared revenues, reductions in utility taxes, or a bad winter are examples of items beyond the village’s control that could have a major impact on the budget. Staff will continue to monitor the budget and keep the board informed.”

The village has also taken advantage of an offer made by one of the village staff members to voluntarily work reduced hours for a three-month period during the winter when that individual’s workload is typically reduced.

Furlough days would, not include Police Department employees who are represented by the Metropolitan Alliance of Police.

Kaneville seeks new village treasurer

by Susan O’Neill
KANEVILLE—The village of Kaneville is looking for someone to replace its treasurer, Ron Ingraham, who will step down from the position at the end of the year.

Village officials are working on a description of the responsibilities of the job, which will be posted this week at the Kaneville Public Library, the village’s website, www.villageofkaneville.com, and other locations around town.

Village President Bob Rodney said the candidate should be a resident of Kaneville and have a background in finance or accounting.

According to Rodney, the pay for the position will be approximately $20 per hour, for 10 to 20 hours per month.

“It’s more of a stipend than anything,” he said. “Nobody will get rich doing the job.”

Police blotter for Nov. 13

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.

Elburn
• Jesseka S. Wachholder, 20, of the 100 block of Delaware Street in Crystal Lake, Ill., was arrested at 11:50 p.m. Nov. 8 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped her on Route 47 south of Swain Street in Elburn for speeding.

• Ivan Hernandez, 21, of the 800 block of Ridge Drive in Elburn, was arrested at 12 p.m. Nov. 7 for driving without having a valid license. Police stopped him in the 900 block of North Main Street in Elburn for making an illegal left turn. Hernandez also was cited for lacking vehicle insurance and registration.

• Victor Manuel Contreras-Oliva, 51, of the 1000 block of Rollview Drive in Aurora, was arrested at 8:06 p.m. Nov. 7 for driving without a valid license. Police stopped him in the 700 block of East North Street in Elburn for speeding.

• Someone found two laptop computers at 5:21 p.m. Oct. 31 the Elburn Car Wash, 120 W. Nebraska St.

• Dana Moreno-DeAlcanta, 26, was arrested at 11:43 p.m. Oct. 31 for operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Police stopped her for swerving across the fog line as she was southbound on Route 47 near Stetzer Street in Elburn.

• Laura L. Beese, 29, of Locust Lane in West Chicago, Ill., was arrested for driving more than 40 mph over the speed limit. Police stopped her on Keslinger Road near Anderson Road in Elburn. She had been traveling on Keslinger Road at 92 mph.

• A resident of the 800 block of Conley Court in Elburn reported at 1:21 p.m. Oct. 22 that someone shot bb’s through her home’s window sometime during the previous few days. Police said the offender shot from the bushes outside. A tail light also was shot out on a van parked at the residence.

Sugar Grove
• Someone broke a window out of a vehicle parked in the 500 block of Brookhaven Circle on Nov. 7 between 11:30 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.

• Stewart F. Johnsen, 63, of the 300 block of Hilltop Drive, North Aurora, was arrested for driving while under the influence, improper lane usage, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, at 9 p.m. on Oct. 26. He was eastbound on Route 30 at Municipal Drive.

• Someone gave an employee at the Gas Mart on Route 47 a counterfeit $20 bill in the early morning on Oct. 29.

• Jesus Perez, 20, of the 100 block of Hill Avenue, Aurora, was charged with failure to wear a seatbelt, and driving without a seat belt at 10:28 a.m. on Oct. 29.

• Daniel O. Martinez, 29, of the 800 block of S. Kendall, Aurora, was arrested for failure to appear on a warrant for a DUI arrest. He was westbound on Park Avenue.

• Jessica D. Sucilla, 24, of the 300 block of Meadows Drive, Sugar Grove, had an outstanding warrant for driving while her license was suspended.

Maple Park’s Hallowinners

Maple Park—More than 200 participants gathered at the Maple Park Civic Center for the annual community costume contest on Halloween.

The event was sponsored by the Maple Park Recreation Council, Old Second Bank in Maple Park, Maple Park Lions Club and Lincoln Highway 4-H Club.

The winners in each category are under each photo. All are courtesy photos.

Infants to 3-year-olds
1st place, Brynn Humm (cupcake); 2nd place, Ryan Needham (wolf); 3rd place, Jackson and Connor McPhartlin

4 years old-kindergarten
1st place, Bella Humm (Mary Poppins); 2nd place, Victoria Alvaravo (witch); 3rd place, Parket Violett (Woody), Brandan O’Shea (Buzz)

First and second grade
1st place, Jack Miller (Einstein); 2nd place, Ava Olsen (pirate); 3rd place, Jenny Linden (ladybug)

Third and fourth grade
1st place, Jacob Baumgarten (Darth Vader); 2nd place, Tim Fillipp (Indiana Jones); 3rd place, Michael Finnan and John Paschal (gangsters)

Fifth and sixth grade
1st place, Bryan Prado (nerd); 2nd place, Mace Jendruczek (Spartan); 3rd place, Nicole Williams (spider)

Seventh and eighth grade
1st place, Brett Dienst (Michael Jackson); 2nd place, Abby Needham (Sailor); 3rd place, Ashley Larson (Army girl)

TiggerNinth grade and above
1st place, Brittany Larson (Fairy); 2nd place, Amber Pauly (Raggedy Ann); 3rd place, Tyler Fabrizius (Tigger)

4 percent more in total taxes expected for Elburn

Village portion of individual property bills could drop
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Because of minimal expected property growth, Elburn’s total 2009 property taxes likely will be less than the village is requesting in its proposed levy.

The village of Elburn is proposing a levy of $742,317. That amount is 18.12 percent higher than the total 2008 Elburn property taxes.

“The village intentionally sets its annual levy requests on the high side to make sure it captures all new property growth,” Assistant Village Administrator David Morrison said during Monday’s Finance Committee meeting.

Because of the state’s tax cap, if the village did not propose a levy high enough to capture all new construction, the growth would not be added to the tax rolls.

“We have to ask for the max to cover ourselves,” Village President Dave Anderson said.

Currently, the village’s equalized assessed valuation with growth from new construction is uncertain. The final levy approved this spring by the county will be based on actual new growth and total EAV. Last year’s EAV growth was 7.62 percent, and village officials said it likely will be lower for 2009.

“We will probably get about $654,000 (as a final levy amount),” Morrison said.

That sum is about 4 percent more than total village taxes in 2008.

Under that scenario, village’s tax rate would drop to .30 from .31, Morrison said. The lower rate would result in a $9 reduction in village property taxes for the owner of home with an EAV of $83,250 (from $261 to $252).

The Village Board will discuss the levy request at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, and hold a public hearing on the proposed levy at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7.

Following the hearing, the board will forward the levy request to county.

Lack of new growth adds to school deficit

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Kaneland School District officials expect a substantial decrease in new property taxes due to the virtual standstill of residential development within the district. That decrease in revenue growth adds to the district’s budget deficit and will also translate into a higher tax bill for current district residents.

Julie-Ann Fuchs, Assistant Superintendent for Business, said that a recent estimate from the Kane County assessor puts the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of new construction at approximately $8.5 million for 2009, down from $21 million in 2008.

Fuchs said the district has typically received millions more in new money in recent years. In 2006, more than $65 million was added to the district’s EAV from new growth. This year’s projected new growth EAV of $8.5 million represents a smaller increase from last year.

Each taxing body must file its tax levy for the upcoming year prior to the last Tuesday of the calendar year. The School District is considering raising the levy to $4.12 per every $100 of EAV for their 2009 taxes, an increase of 14 cents per $100 of EAV.

This will increase the levy to a little more than $38 million, and the School District can expect to collect an additional $386,000 more in 2010 than in 2009.

For a homeowner of a $250,000 home, this will translate to an additional $116 in property taxes.

A truth-in-taxation levy hearing will take place on Monday, Dec. 14, with filing scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Donations put to good use at Kaneland

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—The Kaneland Foundation received a record total of close to $80,000 in grant requests and had less money to fund them than in the past.

“I wish we could’ve funded all of the projects,” Kaneland Superintendent Charlie McCormick said.

The foundation directors had some tough decisions to make, and allocated $20,941 to projects submitted by most of the district schools, including a District Choral Festival for Kaneland John Stewart, recycled plastic picnic tables for Kaneland John Shields, scientific family fun night at the middle school and a physics demonstration board for the high school.

The Kaneland High School Boosters organization donated $25,000 to support the Kaneland athletic programs, including the purchase of soccer goals, dugouts for softball and baseball, and new balls for all sports.

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee donated $800 to the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School in appreciation for the use of its building as a cooling center.

Board passes bond resolution

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board passed a resolution on Tuesday, authorizing the district to issue general obligation capital appreciation and school building bonds, as well as to levy the property tax to pay it back. These bonds represent the remaining $10 million of bonding authority granted the district through the 2008 referendum.

According to Kaneland Assistant Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, the downturn in the economy impacts the district’s ability to keep the tax rate constant. As more information becomes available, Fuchs said the administration will work with the district’s bond advisor to determine the appropriate time and amount of bonds that will need to be restructured in order to maintain the tax rate pledge.

The formal recommendation will be given to the board in January or February. Although the tax rate will go up, no matter how the debt is restructured, bond advisor Linda Matkowski said she does not recommend a panic restructuring.

“Eventually the equalized assessed value will start to recover,” she said. “The slow-down in building gives you some breathing room.”

One thing that will help is that the district will retain the AA rating it received by Standard & Poor’s in 2008.

Veterans Day salute

(Right) Veterans from the Elburn American Legion Post 630 marched to Memorial Park on North Street in Elburn. Waubonsee Community College hosted a Veterans Day Observance (below) that featured the East Aurora High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps and a placing of a wreath by Aurora Armed Forces recruiters.
WCC_vetday_1_4CWCC_vetday_2_4C
Photos by
Martha Quetsch and Ben Draper

KC Health Department receives vaccine shipment

Kane County—The Kane County Health Department received a shipment of the H1N1 vaccine Nov. 5, clearing the way for the department to begin scheduling appointments again. The department suspended appointments scheduling last week when the supply was depleted.

Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert said, “We still are in the midst of a nationwide shortage, but the vaccine deliveries are beginning to trickle in to the providers and agencies that ordered it. As we move forward, the vaccine will be available to everybody who needs it.”

The Health Department has been able to administer nearly 13,000 doses in its clinics, plus push out 4,500 doses to hospitals and emergency services providers. The latest shipment of 5,000 doses has allowed the department to fill appointments through the end of December.

Once the department receives additional shipments, it will schedule additional clinics, including those earmarked to provide boosters to children who need the second dose. Further, with additional supplies, the Health Department will push vaccine to private providers that will be able to vaccinate their at-risk patients, assuring that the vaccine is available throughout Kane County.

In addition to getting the vaccine, residents can take other steps on their own to prevent the flu, such as covering your cough, washing your hands frequently and staying home if you are sick. More information on preventing the flu is available at www.kanehealth.com. To schedule an appointment, residents may call our call center (630) 723-5414, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Family Fund Committee offers help for the holidays

Maple Park—The Maple Park Family Fund Committee is accepting families that will not be able to provide for their families this Christmas season. If your family needs assistance or you know of a family, please call Julie Little at (815) 827-3572 after 6 p.m.

The committee will provide you with a Holiday Assistance Application to fill out. All names and information are strictly confidential. Families seeking assistance cannot receive assistance from any other agency or organizations and must fill out the application form.

Deadline for the return of application forms will be Friday, Nov. 20. Late names and forms will not be processed.

This year, the Maple Park Family Fund Raffle will be held at the Maple Park Pub and Grill on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m.

A lively Sugar Grove open house

animals_2_4CA cockatoo and macaw (left) were among the more colorful visitors at the Sugar Grove Animal Hospital’s open house event at its new facility on Saturday. Approximately 600 guests attended the event that featured free nail clipping, professional photos of pets, pet-friendly goody-bags and door prizes. A bulldog smiled his approval of the new facility. Photos by Susan O’Neill

Conley offers Handling the Holidays event

Elburn—Conley Outreach Community Services, together with Conley Funeral Home, will offer special support during the upcoming holiday season.

Handling the Holidays, featuring speaker Bruce Conley, will be held Sunday, Nov. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 Main St., Elburn. This family event will include children’s activities and refreshments. Child care will be provided for infants and toddlers. Please call (630) 365-2880 to register by Friday, Nov. 13.

Conley Outreach will offer a second support opportunity, “Surviving the Holidays,” a GriefShare event, on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. This event is designed for grieving adults and features video instruction and insights as well as group discussion. Surviving the Holidays will be held at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, 176 Main St. in Sugar Grove.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, Friendship Night will meet on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Great Lakes Leadership Campus, 526 N. Main St. in Elburn. Friendship Night is a free, self-help group for grieving adults. This month’s topic is: “I’m Not Ready for the Holidays.” Light refreshments and a time for informal sharing will follow the group discussion.

Photo: Carol Alfrey (left to right) of Conley Outreach Services; and Kaneland W.I.N.S. board members, Barbara Nielsen, Doris Covey, Michelle Brokop, Colleen Weinberg and Sarah Mumm, gather together after the group delivers items from its October collection. The donations helped fill the needs of the Good Samaritan Fund through Conley Outreach Community Service in Elburn. Courtesy Photo

Editorial: Time for Kaneland to make the tough decisions

Our page 1A story about Kaneland School District’s decision to ask the teacher’s union to renegotiate its contract should not come as a surprise to anyone.

The district faces a $3 million deficit in next year’s budget; $1.2 million of that based on the teacher’s raises agreed to in last-minute negotiations in October 2008 to avert a threatened strike. After receiving 4.86 percent raises last year and 6.21 percent raises this year, Kaneland Education Association (KEA) members are scheduled to receive 5.6 percent next year.

Even if the teacher’s union agreed to a total salary freeze for the next two years, Kaneland would still face an approximate $1.8 million deficit. According to Associate Superintendent of Schools Jeff Schuler, the “easy cuts” were made when the district cut $750,000 from the current year’s budget.

Therefore, all that remains are the kinds of cuts that negatively impact students; whether that be in actual teaching positions, programs, extracurricular activities, etc. These are the types of cuts that could increase class sizes, reduce or eliminate non-core, elective classes, and reduce or eliminate extracurricular activities—clubs and athletics.

Following the conclusion of last year’s contract negotiation, KEA Chief Negotiator Lynn McHenry said, “We recognize the economic times, but we would like to be competitive with our neighbors.”

If it is true that KEA members recognize the current economic times, then we hope they also recognize that they are among the vast minority of workers who were guaranteed a raise this year and next year. In fact, the majority of workers would love to know that their jobs will simply exist next year without some form of a cut—whether that be in salary, hours or benefits.

We recognize that it is important for Kaneland teachers to receive equitable pay to districts surrounding us—but we also recognize that each district is unique and must have its own salary structure, especially in the current economic environment. Each neighboring district has a unique situation, in terms of population, student growth, tax base, facilities, programming, etc. Given that, then each district should expect to have a unique salary structure, and if the ultimate goal is to educate students to the best of their abilities, we hope to see the KEA at the bargaining table in the very near future. We also hope to see every employee of the district willing to share whatever sacrifice necessary to ensure that the students experience the least sacrifice of all.

Kurian recognized as student laureate

Sarah Kurian of Elburn, a student at Knox College, was recognized as a Student Laureate by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois during a special convocation Nov. 7 at the Old State Capitol State Historic in Springfield.

Presenting the honor was (left to right) Lincoln Academy Chancellor John B. Simon; Sarah Kurian; Knox College President Dr. Roger Taylor; and the Honorable Richard Mills, Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois.

David G. Compton

David G. Compton, 84, of rural Elburn, passed away peacefully at his home, late Saturday evening, Nov. 7, 2009.

Having battled aggressive congestive heart failure for many months, he claimed at last his heavenly home and a reunion there with his beloved daughter, Rebekah.

He was born Nov. 20, 1924, in Chicago, the son of Gove and Martha Mott Compton. He spent his early years in Chicago until 1934, when the family moved to a farm two miles west of Wayne on Dunham Road. Then, in January of 1937, they moved to the present family farm on Pouley Road. Dave attended some country schools in Wayne and St. Charles and later Riverside Military School in Gainesville, Ga.

World War II interrupted his education when he joined the Marine Corps. Shipping out to Iwo Jima, his convoy stopped in the Hawaiian islands, where it dropped off about 100 men, including Dave, at Pearl Harbor. Dave was among the few in his unit who returned.

After the war, Dave came back to the farm in 1946 and graduated from Elburn High School. Unlike many students, Dave was a lifelong learner, and a significant part of his education soon followed when he went to work on farms in Australia and New Zealand in 1950.

Throughout the rest of his life, David would take opportunities to travel whenever he could. Whether he traveled across the country to the mountains and the oceans or simply took a local train ride, David was a keen observer of the landscape, one who loved and appreciated people (Dave could make friends with a fence post), history and the fingerprint of God’s hand in every life.

He came back to the family farm, inspired to apply some of the unique farming methods he had learned. In the process, he discovered that Sally Bangs, daughter of long time family friends, would be the perfect “farm-wife,” someone who could be married to the “man and the land” and love them both. So it was that Dave and Sally were wed on Aug. 16, 1952, in Geneva, in the back yard of Sally’s uncle.

They moved into Dave’s one-room house on Pouley Road, where they lived for a year before moving to the present family farm on the Compton homestead. True to form, the two were inseparable from each other or from the farm.

An area leader in soil conservation, Dave began strip farming long before others and strove to leave every field better than he found it. He and Sally worked hard and raised their children to follow in that ethic. “Leave it on the track” David would say; his admonishment to always give your all.

Speaking of his life and passion, David said: “I have farmed this land as religiously and as faithfully as I could; trying as best I could, for no soil or water or nutrients to leave the land, irregardless of my financial bottom line. To me this has been my whole life.”

Though the farm was his life, David shared that life with his community in a number of ways. Many people knew David as the quiet Good Samaritan who helped them in their hour of need. He was also a long time member of the Community Congregational Church of Elburn, where he served for many years as chairman of the Memorial Committee, the Music Committee, the Board of Deacons, sang in the choir, worked long hours in the Elburn Days food tent and single-handedly kept the church’s recycling program active and functioning.

He was also a member of the Kane County Farm Bureau, Kane-DuPage Soil Conservation Board and a former Blackberry Township Trustee.

He is survived by his wife, Sally of Elburn; three children, David Mark ( Patty ) Compton of Oneida, Ill., Katharine “Kit” Compton of Batavia, Robin Urich of Elburn; five grandchildren, Krista (Greg) Peck of Galva, Ill., Kelly Compton of Oneida, Ill., Craig David Compton of Oneida, Ill., Amber and Rachel Urich, both of Elburn; former son-in-law and dear friend, Daniel Otto of Elburn; as well as several nieces and nephews.

David is preceded in death by his parents, Gove and Martha Compton; his daughter, Rebekah “Becky” Otto (1986); one son in infancy, Timothy Compton; two nephews, David and John Bates; and their parents, Linda and Samauel Bates.

A memorial open house will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Following cremation, David will be laid to rest on the family farm with generations of loved ones gone before him.

A memorial has been established to perpetuate his memory and the Elburn Town and Country Public Library, where David constantly sought answers for his searching mind. Checks may be made to the David Compton Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL. 60119.

Delores ‘Dee’ Hunley

Delores “Dee” Hunley, 79, of Aurora, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, at home. She was born on April 12, 1930 in Aurora, the daughter of the late Melburn R. and Irene (Bruce) Hupach.

Dee has been a compassionate caregiver since 1988 with Copley Home Care and Comfort Keepers. One of her favorite past times was playing the organ. She played a “mean” Beer Barrel Polka.

She is survived by her children, Nancy (Joseph) Myers III, Gary (Connie) Hunley and Marsha (Delvin) Noss Jr.; grandchildren, Lindsay and Kimberly Hunley and David, Ryan, Brianne McCoy; sister, Charleen Gray; niece, Janeen Pienkos; nephew, Scott (Diane) Gray; and special friend, Norma Hester.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her grandson, Joey Myers IV.

Visitation was held on Monday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 1 p.m. at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Dr., Sugar Grove, IL, 60554. Burial took place at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Sandwich.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

For further information, please call (630) 466-1330 or visit www.healychapel.com to sign the online guestbook.

Dee was a sweet and loving mother, grandmother and friend, and will be deeply missed.

John ‘Jack’ G. Herra

John “Jack” G. Herra, 74, of Elburn, passed away at his home Monday, Nov. 9, 2009. Jack was surrounded by his loving family.

He was born July 31, 1935, the son of George and Mary (Kessel) Herra in Ottawa, Ill.

While he was still young, the family moved to Elburn, where he would attend local schools and graduate from Elburn High School in 1953. Following graduation, he worked for his family at Herra Grocery and Market until his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps on April 29, 1954.

Jack faithfully served his country and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, until his honorable discharge on April 28, 1956. Upon his return to civilian life, Jack began working for A&P Food as a butcher in St. Charles.

Jack was united in marriage to Florence Altepeter on June 13, 1959. They were blessed with four children, Steve, Phil, Mary and Pattie. He later worked for his father-in-law, who owned a plumbing and heating business, H & L Altepeter.

Florence passed away on Feb. 10, 1973. Jack continued to work and raise his family in Elburn. In June of 1974, Jack and his brother Rich had the opportunity to buy the business and renamed it J & R Herra Inc.

Jack met Janet Sue Allen at the local bowling alley, and before long they were married on Nov. 23, 1974, at Kaneville United Methodist Church. They continued to live in Elburn and were blessed with two more children, Alan and Brian.

Jack poured his heart and soul into his business and not only watched it grow, but watched his sons walk in his footsteps and was blessed to be able to work side by side with them for many years.

Jack was a life member of the American Legion, Elburn Post 630. He also served as Captain of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District and was known as “Capt. Jack” by his fellow fire fighters.

Jack was dedicated to all he put his mind to, whether it was serving his community on the Fire Department for more than 32 years, working to keep his friends and neighbors warm and dry though his business, or the hours spent hunting, camping and fishing with family and friends.

Jack hunted for many years in Lee and Bureau counties for deer and pheasant. Jack loved to go on his annual fishing trips beginning in the late 1960s with friends Stafford Meek, Marty Strausberger and Henry Swift in Shelbyville, Ill. In later years, more friends joined the gang, and the location moved to Kentucky Lake. In 2002, a dream was fulfilled when he finally made it to Canada with his son, Phil.

He also loved to travel with Jan all over the globe, and they especially enjoyed cruises with good friends Marty and Elverna Strausberger.

With every mile they made a memory on each trip and cruise. Destinations included the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Bahamas, London, Australia, Alaska and more. One of his best memories was made on his trip to Alaska, when Jack was reunited with Archie, a Marine he served with in Okinawa.

Jack also loved to dance, and if Jan wasn’t his partner, he found other willing souls regardless of their experience. Above all, his family was the most important, and he was very proud of all his children’s athletic and academic accomplishments. He will live on in his children and grandchildren, who will remember him always.

He now leaves his loving wife, Jan; six children, Steve (Carol) Herra and their children, Jordan, Megan and Shannon of Elburn; Phil (Linda) Herra and their children, John, Lindsay, Steve and Mary of Belvidere, Ill.; Mary (Chris) Heineman and their children, Dan and Jacob of Sugar Grove; Pattie (Randy) Pattermann and their children, Will, Justin and Kylen of Elburn; Alan (Dana) Herra and their children, Charlene Walker, Tasha Capes and Jackson Herra of Elburn; and Brian (Laura) Herra with one on the way in early 2010, of Elburn; four brothers, Richard (Mary) Herra, D. Larry “Bucky”(Maxine) Herra, Leroy (Carol) Herra and Dean “Yogi” Herra, all of Elburn; one sister, Darlene (Terry) Terrill of Knox, Ind.; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.

He now joins his parents; two sisters, Marie Fraunberg, and Janet Kay, who died in infancy; and his first wife, Florence, who preceded him in death.

Visitation will be Sunday, Nov. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m., at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore Drive, Elburn. Private family burial will occur following cremation at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Jack Herra Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.

Church news: Nov. 12

St. Peter offers Nativity exhibition
Geneva—St. Peter Church in Geneva will host its annual Nativity exhibition on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15. The public is invited to stroll through a large collection of Nativity sets. More than 100 sets are loaned to the church by parishioners and community members. Last year, 1,000 people visited the exhibit over the two days.

During the event, visitors have an opportunity to support two charitable causes. Items that make lovely gifts, as well as practical products for the home, are available in a mini bazaar from a Catholic Relief program, The Work of Human Hands. All products are made by the poor of developing nations. One hundred percent of these proceeds will be returned to them.

The church will also accept a free-will donation, and this money will be given to the St. Peter Community Food Pantry. The pantry feeds more than 300 families from the Fox Valley twice a month. For the convenience of visitors who like to have Advent reminders in their home, new Nativity sets, Advent calendars, prayer books and candles will be available for purchase. Net proceeds from these sales will be also be given to the Food Pantry.

The event hours are Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

St. Peter is located at 1891 Kaneville Road, Geneva. For information, call (630) 232-0124.

St. Gall hosts Da Capo Duo
Elburn—With its blend of contemporary and classical styles, The Da Capo Duo will present an afternoon of music on Sunday, Nov. 15, at St. Gall Catholic Church, 120 W. Shannon St., Elburn.

Much of the program will feature Ben Westfall’s original arrangements for flute and guitar. A set of American film music includes the Forrest Gump Suite and selections from The Hours soundtrack composed by Phillip Glass. Concert goers will also hear two premier performances: Westfall’s arrangements of Claude Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1, and Frederic Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu.

For information, call (630) 365-6030.

St. Mary, Grace UMC, pair up for Turkey Drop
Maple Park—St. Mary Catholic Church and Grace United Methodist Church, both in Maple Park, will hold the annual turkey drop on Sunday, Nov. 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stop by Grace UMC, 506 Willow St., and drop off a turkey, ham or any other items to complete a holiday meal for an area family that is experiencing financial difficulties this year. Please enter through the south doors at the back of the church.

Full holiday meals will be delivered to families in the Maple Park area and Kaneland School District. Any items received above and beyond the needs of these families will be delivered to area food pantries.

Coffee, hot chocolate and desserts will be offered to all those who stop by to donate.

Elburn community offers Thanksgiving worship service
Elburn—The Community Ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship Service will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 25, at St. Gall Catholic Church at 7 p.m.

Calvary Episcopal offers day of folk music
BATAVIA—Pete Norman of the Fox Valley Folk Music Society will perform at Calvary Episcopal Church on Sunday, Nov. 15.

The afternoon of food, fellowship and folk music will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. in an informal setting. The public is invited and there is no admission fee, but a freewill offering will be taken.

Calvary is located at 222 S. Batavia Ave. Call (630) 879-3378 or visit www.calvary-episcopal.org.

Hosanna! Lutheran works with Operation Christmas Child
St. Charles—Hosanna! Lutheran Church will be a regional drop-off site this year for “Operation Christmas Child.”

This ministry project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse has collected and hand-delivered more than 68 million shoe box gifts to hurting kids in over 130 countries since 1993. This ministry helps to spread the word about the hope and brings joy to millions of needy boys and girls throughout the world during the holiday season.

Shoe boxes filled with small gifts can be dropped off at Hosanna! through Monday, Nov. 23. Hours for the drop-off are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. On Monday, Nov. 23, drop-off hours are from 10 a.m. to noon.

Gift selections to put in the shoe boxes include small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, hard candy and gum (double bagged) and a special note of encouragement. A donation of $7 would also be appreciated to help cover the shipping cost.

For more information, call (630) 584-6434, e-mail Welcome@HosannaChurch.com or visit www.HosannaChurch.com. Hosanna! is located at 36W925 Red Gate Road (entrance just east of Randall Road) in St. Charles.

Under the Western Sun

Two WSC teams remain in the 2009 IHSA football playoffs
Kaneland’s round-one foe Sycamore (8-3) easily dispatched Wheaton Academy 42-0 in Sycamore. The No. 9 Spartans now face No. 12 Montini at home Saturday at 1 p.m.

No. 3 Glenbard South (9-2) also faired well in 5A, defeating No. 6 Vernon Hills 33-27 in Glen Ellyn. The Raiders will now take to the road to face No. 7 Woodstock Saturday at 7 p.m.

In class 7A, No. 3 Geneva fell to No. 2 Wheaton-Warrenville South 30-16 in Wheaton. The Vikings finish the year 9-2.

Henningson contributes at next level

Kaneland class of 2008 Knight Jody Henningson (10), shown here catching a hail-mary touchdown pass in Bemidji State University’s 35-34 loss to Minnesota-Duluth on Oct. 24, is getting some increased playing time for the Beavers.
The former Kaneland WR/QB had 15 catches for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns. Bemidji State football is 8-3 for the season.
Courtesy of BSU Sports Dept.

Maple Park Basketball

The Maple Park Winter Youth Basketball Program for boys grades three through eight runs from mid-January through mid-March, with games on Saturday.

Registration is open and ends Saturday, Nov.14. Forms will be available at Casey’s General Store and the Maple Park Library.

For more information on sign-up, call Scott Willis at (630) 621-0736.

Hamer commits to U of I

Ty Hamer, a senior at Kaneland High School has verbally committed to pitch for the University of Illinois baseball program. Although the other Division I Big Ten programs of the University of Michigan and Indiana University had also expressed interest in the 6′ 4” right handed pitcher, Hamer selected the University of Illinois following his official visit to the school.

The Illinois baseball team finished this last season with a 34-20 record, placing them in fourth place in the Big Ten, and were ranked as high as 19th in the nation. At the end of the season four players were drafted into the Major League system.

Hamer was a part of theKaneland Varsity baseball team of 2009 which recorded the highest number of wins in Kaneland history.

Ty Hamer came up through the Elburn youth baseball program and the Bulls/White Sox Academy.

Letter: Everyone should pay more attention to bullying

In every high school, students feel that they have to impress or be different to fit in while dealing with drama and rumors.

Whether they like the same sex, wear too much makeup, play on the football team, enjoy art, are a part of the cheerleading team, listen to rap, wear skinny jeans, talk differently, or even state their own beliefs, they will get judged for it. No matter how many clubs and organizations are developed at Kaneland High School to make you feel like you belong somewhere, nothing will prevent things being said about someone.

In reality, we all attend the same school and we should all get along. Though it may seem like what happens in high school won’t matter when you’re older, it will affect who you are and how you will act as you get older. Throughout the rest of your life, we are bound to experience social issues and social causes; this isn’t just made for high school. High school is giving us insight to how we can prepare ourselves for the future and how we should be able to act when we face these problems.

Teens may feel the need to bully because of their home life or past experiences. I may not know everything about everyone at Kaneland, but I’m positive a portion of the students at Kaneland have some sort of issues in their life. Students may feel that when they have to deal with issues at home, they have to somehow take their anger or their emotions out on someone at school. They may also have suicidal thoughts built up inside of them, so they feel the need to bully others.

Researchers at Yale University looked into 13 different countries about bullying. “When we see kids who are targets of bullying, we should ask them if they’re thinking about hurting themselves,” a researcher said. It is said that out of all the studies that researchers from Yale observed between the countries, it showed connections between being bullied and suicidal thoughts among children. According to studies, bullying is common and can affect anywhere from nine percent to 54 percent of children. Not only should this information be directed toward students, but adults should also be paying attention to bullying and their children.

No one wants to be the nerd who gets shoved into the locker because he’s on the chess team or the girl who gets excluded from lunch, because no one will let her sit at their table. Every day at Kaneland I see bullying affecting other students. If students are bullying others, they should realize how much it could affect the other person, not about how cool he/she looks doing it.

Kaneland provides counselors for every student, where they are able to go in and talk to get advice, help or ideas. By visiting a counselor, they may be able to guide you through what you’re feeling and be able to help and prevent you from bullying.

Students in the entire Kaneland School District should take serious thought into what bullying really is. Ask yourself: is it worth bullying other students because you have your own problems? Is it worth taking the time of day to bother someone else because you want your popularity level to go up? Everyone attends school to learn, not to be picked on because of who they are.

Katherine Lucarelli, KHS student
Sugar Grove

Letter: Fire department collects for food pantry

The Elburn Fire Department will be collecting food for the Elburn Food Pantry this holiday season.

We would encourage anyone that is able to help us stock our local food pantry, to drop food at either Station No. 1 at 210 E. North St., or Station No. 2 at 39W950 Hughes Road.

Our local food pantry is in particular need of items such as macaroni and cheese, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, canned pasta meals, bar soap, and things of this nature.

If you are unable to stop by the station and wish to help out, give us a call and we’ll gladly drop by and pick up your donation. Thanks in advance for your help.

Matt Hanson
Elburn Fire Department