Police witness fatal crash

Kane County—Kane County Sheriff’s deputies witnessed a fatal traffic accident on Sunday at 11:50 p.m. while responding to a report of a different accident.

According to a release from the Sheriff’s Department, Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies were responding to assist the Campton Hills Police Department with a traffic crash with injuries near Route 47 and Silver Glen roads.

While enroute to the crash, a Sheriff’s deputy witnessed a 2005 Chevrolet van traveling west on Route 64 near Wasco. The van was weaving across the two lanes of traffic. As the van approached Anderson Road, it began to skid.

The van struck a guardrail on the north side of Route 64, re-entered the roadway, crossed both lanes of traffic and left the roadway on the south side of Route 64, striking a concrete culvert and rolling onto the driver’s side of the vehicle. The driver, Jack A. Falzone, 55, of Campton Hills, was located inside the vehicle and was not wearing a seatbelt.

Elburn EMS arrived on the scene and pronounced the subject deceased. The driver was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

Route 64 was closed between Anderson Road and Hansen Road for approximately four hours while the crash was investigated.

Dec. 18 Kaneland notes

Committee struggles with attendance, changes meeting time
Although the Finance Advisory Committee met regularly this year, the committee struggled to meet the quorum requirements of 60 percent attendance. The committee set a meeting schedule that it hopes will increase attendance for a majority of members.

However, five of the members resigned because the new schedule, which is the first Tuesday of the month, does not work for them. The FAC accepted resignations from Karen Glad, Sean Michels, Steve Pitstick, Shana Sparber and Melisa Taylor.

With the membership number reduced to 17 from 22, only 10 members must be present to establish a quorum.

According to the Kaneland.org website, the goals of the FAC are to deliberate financial problems, issues and questions, advise the board and administration regarding district finances, and to facilitate cooperation and communication between the schools, the district and the community.

District to put Esker Drive extension to bid
The Kaneland School District will ask for bids for the Esker Drive extension in January. The road extension, part of the Kaneland Harter Middle School construction project, will provide two entrances to the school campus, from Harter Road and Wheeler Road.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. estimated the cost of the road extension at approximately $1.5 million. The actual cost will be determined once the district receives the bids.

School officials said they anticipate approval of a construction contract by March or April, with completion of the project set for July.

Elburn Animal Hospital aids TAILS for Christmas

Elburn—With homeless pets on their minds, the staff of Elburn Animal Hospital (EAH) is collecting items from the public to donate to TAILS Humane Society in DeKalb. People can leave items in the lobby of EAH at 403 E. North St. in Elburn.

“We chose TAILS because we like to help pets in the area,” said Darlene Adams, manager of EAH. “TAILS has a good reputation, and we know many people in Elburn go to TAILS.”

“With the state of the national economy, this has been a tough year for nonprofits, including TAILS,” said Beth Drake, TAILS’ Executive Director. “We always need and appreciate monetary donations as well as donations of new and used pet supplies, but these donations are even more critical this year because we’ve provided care to almost 30 percent more animals this year than in the past. As a result, our expenses are higher than anticipated. We are deeply grateful to Elburn Animal Hospital for their help.”

Items on TAILS Wish List includes cat and dog toys (washable) and treats, rawhides, Kongs, cat beds (new or used), towels and blankets (new or used), dog/cat carriers (new and used), cat litter (unscented, non-scoopable), hand sanitizer, paper towels, postage stamps (first-class and postcard), gift cards to Pet-Smart and PetCo, and other items listed on TAILS website at www.tailshumanesociety.org.

TAILS is located at 2250 Barber Greene Road in DeKalb, just west of Peace Road. TAILS adopts out dogs, cats and little critters. All dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, have up-to-date vaccinations, have microchips and come with one free veterinarian visit and one-month free pet insurance. Dogs have been behavior assessed and tested for heartworms. Cats have been tested for feline aids and feline leukemia.

TAILS is open everyday except Wednesday and has extended adoption hours during the month of December. For hours or for more information about available pets, visit the TAILS website at www.tailshumanesociety.org.

Dollhouse’s home will be in the White House

Hobbyist’s creations benefit public since 1978
by Martha Quetsch
CORTLAND—Local resident Lee Newtson has built nearly 40 dollhouses since 1978, donating many of them to local organizations for fundraisers. This year, he decided to build two, including one that will make its home farther away, at the White House.

A duplicate dollhouse will be raffled in the future by the DeKalb Veterans Assistance Commission. Proceeds will benefit the Fisher House in Maywood, where families of Hines Veterans Hospital patients can stay.

First Lady Michelle Obama might even help choose decorating features for the dollhouse destined for Washington D.C.

“I have been in contact with the White House scheduling department to hopefully meet with First Lady Obama (on a return trip to Chicago) and two ladies from the VA Commission,” Newston said. “Then we all can go to Lolly’s Miniatures in Elgin so she can pick out the interior wallpaper, carpet-tile-hardwood flooring, bathroom fixtures and electrical lighting.”

The dollhouse is not a replica of the White House. Newtson customized a Victorian-style dollhouse kit, adding electricity, operating windows and a doorbell.

The DeKalb Veterans Assistance Commission agreed in February to pay $800 for the dollhouses’ materials. Newston is donating the more than 350 hours it takes to build the houses, which are nearly finished.

In the past, Newtson donated another dollhouse to a DeKalb group that raffled it for Children’s Memorial Hospital, raising $15,000. Newtson also has built dollhouses for area libraries, hospices and the American Legion Post 630 in Elburn, of which he is a lifetime member. Newston, of Cortland, is a U.S. veteran and former Elburn resident who plans to move back to the village next year.

If you can’t give money or food, please give your time

by Diana Baker
Between Friends Food Pantry volunteer

Ask most of us to describe our Thanksgiving weekend and we would probably use at least four of the following words: “Faith, family, friends and food.” Our local Sugar Grove food pantry is working hard to gear up for the holidays and the cold winter months ahead, and they could use your help with all those words, especially the last one—food.

A donation to the Sugar Grove Between Friends Food Pantry is a valuable gift in whatever form it may take. There are many ways the supporters of the food pantry can help. Consider these easy ways to help: Donate food, donate your time or make a monetary donation to Between Friends Food Pantry.

Donate money by contributing as an individual or an organization or by becoming a food-pantry sponsor. Donate food, either as a corporate donor, a neighborhood subdivision, a charitable organization activity or as a family or individual. If financially you are unable to help with money or food, donate time by exploring volunteer opportunities at a special event or at the food pantry facility. They can use some of your time to help unload, organize, pack and help serve the families who come for assistance.

The holidays are upon us—join in the spirit of giving and help your neighbors. The individuals, families, single parents and children you choose to help can be people with disabilities, the elderly living on fixed incomes, people who have lost their jobs and are out of work temporarily. They are people in our neighborhoods. They are people like us.

If you need assistance of the food pantry or would like to help us, please go to our website at: www.sugargrovefoodpantry.org or contact Melisa Taylor at (630) 466-0345 or e-mail her at taylormmt@yahoo.com. Monetary donations can be made out to Between Friends Food Pantry and mailed to P.O. Box 509, Sugar Grove, IL 60554.

Dec. 17 Police blotter

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

Elburn
• A 19-year-old woman on Dec. 5 reported to Elburn police that $489 was stolen from her purse while she was visiting with friends in the 400 block of Willow Street in Elburn. She believes that the theft occurred on Dec 4. An investigation is pending.

• John A. Wolff, 37, of the 1100 block of Corrigan Street in Elburn, was arrested by Elburn Police at 1 a.m. Dec. 10 after an officer observed Wolff lose control of his vehicle while attempting to turn onto Blackberry Creek Drive from Keslinger Road. Wolff refused to take any sobriety tests offered to him. Wolff was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving too fast for conditions and improper lane usage.

• On Dec. 11, the owner of the former Little Knights Daycare Center, 153 Wright St., Elburn, reported to police that someone, without authority to do so, had removed the thermostat from one of three furnaces located inside the building. The result was that the fire sprinkler system pipes froze and burst, causing an undetermined amount of damage to the interior of the building. The building is currently in foreclosure and is owned by American Charter Bank. An investigation is pending.

Sugar Grove
• Florencio Hernandez, 31, of the 700 block of Tinley Drive, Aurora, was arrested for driving without a valid driver’s license and without a front license plate at 4:17 p.m. on Dec. 6. He was eastbound on Galena Boulevard at Regency Drive.

• Isaias A. Garcia, 45, of the 700 block of East Downer Place, Aurora, was arrested for driving on a suspended driver’s license at 5:55 p.m. on Dec. 6. He was eastbound on Prairie Street at Gordon Road.

• Magaly A. Valtierra, 23, of the 200 block of Jefferson Street, Aurora, was charged with operating an uninsured vehicle at 4:50 p.m. on Dec. 5. He was eastbound on Galena Boulevard at St. James Parkway.

• Ramiro Lopez-Ortiz, 39, of the 400 block of Blair Street, West Chicago, Ill., was arrested for driving without a valid driver’s license and without a valid safety sticker at 4:34 p.m. on Dec. 4. He was northbound on Route 47 at KaDeKa Road.

• Oscar F. Meraz, 30, of the 800 block of North Aurora, was arrested for driving without a license at 9:34 a.m. on Dec. 3. He was eastbound on Galena Boulevard from Route 47, going 35 mph in a 55 mph zone.

• Rosario Aca, 29, of the 4200 block of Klatt Street, Plano, was arrested for driving on a cancelled driver’s license at 1:35 a.m. on Dec. 3. He was southbound on Route 47 from Cross Street.

• Antionio Zepeda-Nunez, 43, of the 900 block of Heartland Drive, Yorkville, was arrested on a 2001 in-state warrant at 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 3. The warrant was for failure to appear on a charge of driving without a valid driver’s license. He was westbound on Park Avenue at Route 47.

• Someone cut the cord on holiday lights strung in a yard in the 100 block of Cobbler Lane between Dec. 1 and Dec. 2. The value of the lights was about $10.

• Someone in the United Kingdom made three fraudulent charges totaling $488 on a Harris Bank account belonging to a Sugar Grove resident on Nov. 22.

Grapplers take care of DeKalb, Glenbard S.

by Mike Slodki
Just call them Kaneland’s 11.

While not quite on the same scale of the ensemble movie that was released eight years ago this month, the Knights wrestling squad has shown a penchant for boosting victories— 11 of them in fact—as opposed to zero dual losses.

The Knights went into DeKalb and solved the Barbs 28-16 on Friday, and took care of visiting Glenbard South 53-18.

On Friday, 103-pounder Esai Ponce earned a 56-second pin, and 112-pound entry Dan Goress won a technical fall in six minutes. Deven Scholl, at 125, won an 8-6 decision. Mark Southern at 140 won an 8-7 decision. Chris Sabal, at 145, took a 3-2 decision. 160-pounder JT Webb stuck a pin at 1:26. 171-pounder Nick Michels won an 8-4 decision, and Ben Kovalick took a 7-1 decision at 215.

Against the Raiders on Tuesday, Michels took a pin with 57 seconds left in regulation, and Kovalick won 3-1 in his match. Goress won 11-4. Tyler Esposito managed a pin in the 119-pound matchup.

Dennis Brettman was down 5-2 in the 130-pound match and managed to leave regulation tied at 7 until executing a takedown in overtime for a 9-7 win.

“I really started out dead but saw opportunities and got a lot of points and tied it up. It was just not letting him score and doing a takedown,” Brettman said.

Joe Levita took an 11-5 win in 135-pound action. Sabal earned a pin, and Kyle Davidson won on a technical fall in a 15-0 affair at 152. Webb also earned a pin.

It all leads to a WSC showdown vs. Yorkville on Thursday, Dec. 17. KHS is ranked 10th in 2A according to Illinoismatmen.com, and Yorkville is ranked fifth.

Photo: 160-pounder JT Webb is a main reason for the hot undefeated start for Kaneland wrestling. Webb earned two pinfalls in this past week of competition. File Photo

Boys hoops improves to 4-2 with win vs. YHS

Four players in double figures lead to 55-50 win
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—It took a quarter for the Knights boys basketball team to gain their footing on Thursday evening, but they righted themselves for the final three frames and held off a charging Yorkville squad to win 55-50.

The Knights improved to 4-2 with a 2-1 record in Western Sun Conference play.

The Foxes stormed out to a 13-6 lead ,which found Kaneland playing catch-up, but the Knights outscored Yorkville 15-4 in the second and 22-19 in the third, before Yorkville closed the deficit by two.

Chaon Denlinger of Kaneland supplied a team-high 13 points, while Donovan Williams had 12 points, all in the second half. Ryley Bailey added 12 (three three-pointers) and man-in-the-middle Dave Dudzinski had 10.

The Knights went 12-for-19 from the free throw line, while the Foxes went 14-for-16. Tavis Gibson of Yorkville had 18 points.

After falling behind by seven in the first, Kaneland stormed back to take a 16-15 lead with 4:44 remaining in the half and went up 21-17 at the break.

A Denlinger basket with 5:05 gave Kaneland its biggest lead of the game to that point at 29-20. Denlinger later hit a three-point play to go up 32-23 with 3:55 to go, but a mini-Fox rally closed within 34-32 with 2:14 left.

Bailey’s five-point barrage at the end of the third gave the Knights a 43-36 lead.

Yorkville failed to go away and got the lead at 43-42 with 5:20 to go, but a Denlinger shot and two foul shots by Williams gave some breathing room at 47-42.

Williams would hit two more important free throws down the stretch to help secure the win.

“The last games I haven’t been much of a scoring threat,” Williams said. “I’ve been told I should step up and score some points, so I just tried to do that.”

With the score at 52-50, Dudzinski took the ball and made a reverse layup to give the Knights a 54-50 lead with 16.5 left to ice the game.

“Yorkville had that zone, and they made us work for every bucket,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “They competed and played hard, and you’ve got to give it to Yorkville.”

The boys now get an extended break until their entry into the historic Plano Christmas Classic on Saturday, Dec. 26.

Lady Knights victim of poor shooting against Yorkville

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland girls basketball had a tough task ahead of it on Friday night in Maple Park with an improved Yorkville squad.

The fact that the Lady Knights went 17-for-52 from the field didn’t help matters, either.

A tough shooting night that saw Kaneland make just four of 23 shot attempts in the first half and all seven foul shot attempts paved the way for a 49-40 loss to the visiting Lady Foxes.

KHS drops to 2-9 on the season and 0-4 in Western Sun Conference play.

“You’re not going to beat many teams when you’re (4-for-23) to start,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “Against Rochelle we were 5-for-31 in the first half. We’re not going to beat anybody shooting the ball like that, and that’s where it starts. We played hard all night, and we did a good job on defense, but some of the shots we missed were two-foot shots and point-blank shots at the basket, so we have to do a better job at that.”

Lone senior Mallory Carlson had a productive night with a game-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

A Nicki Ott basket with 13.9 seconds to go in the first quarter closed the deficit to 7-4.

Life got more difficult for the Lady Knights in the second quarter. Kelly Evers and Emma Bradford supplied the only field goals, and Yorkville increased its lead to 19-9 by the end of the first half.

Down 25-11 in the second quarter, Kaneland made a run and hit five consecutive shots, thanks to Carlson, Emily Heimerdinger and Tesa Alderman, to close within 28-20 with 4:20 to go.

After the Lady Foxes went back out to a 34-22 lead with 1:54 left, Carlson made good on a putback, Bradford put back Carlson’s ensuing foul shot attempt, and Bradford then converted a three-point play to close within 34-29 as the teams went into the final quarter.

A Carlson free throw 71 seconds into the fourth quarter closed within 34-30, but the Lady Knights would get no further as Yorkville upped its tempo and went out to a 46-36 lead. They’d hold Kaneland at bay for the duration.

The varsity troops take an extended break until picking up the action on Saturday, Dec. 26, at the usual Oswego East Holiday Classic stop. The Lady Knights’ first contest will be the host Lady Wolves at 6:30 p.m.

Bowlers run into WSC juggernaut schools

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland bowlers will need to pick up their game in order to navigate through a tough Western Sun Conference season.

KHS bowling fell hard to Western Sun Conference rival Sycamore on Thursday by a final of 2,886-2,141, and followed that up with a 2,948-2,125 loss to DeKalb in an “away” meet at Mardi Gras Lanes.

KHS now sits at 2-3 with a 1-2 record in conference action.

Junior Holly Thomas was the top series bowler for the Lady Knights with a 510 output, followed by Amy Kuryliw at 443 and Jessie McHenry at 418.

Thomas bowled a 202 game for the high KHS mark, and a 168 as well. McHenry bowled a 163 game.

Tops for Sycamore was area standout Chelsea Royalty with a 648 series and 234 game. Kelsey Colness also supplied a 234.

Meanwhile, the JV crew lost to Sycamore by a final of 2,125-1,621. The top series for KHS was had by Angela Charhut at 340.

Against the Lady Barbs, Thomas supplied the brunt of the offense with a 551 series and the top three games for the KHS outfit (193, 178, 180). McHenry had 445 for a series and Molly Lambert had 417.

Thomas knows she’s being counted on and uses that to drive her and the team through a tough conference stretch.

“I always have room to improve,” Thomas said. “I can be more consistent, but it gives me more confidence to be a leader, and I feel like I can bowl better.”

The Lady Knight bowlers now gear up for the Lisle Invite on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m.

Photo: Seleana Isaacs takes to the lines vs. IMSA on Dec. 7. The sophomore bowled a 354 series against DeKalb on Tuesday and a 337 at Sycamore on Thursday. Photo by Ben Draper

Budding artists honored

Seven Kaneland elementary students had artwork selected for the Illinois Art Education Association’s annual student art show. They were honored on Nov. 7 at the IAEA’s state conference in Lisle, Ill. This year, over 400 works were submitted and only 40 were selected. This is an excellent and distinguished opportunity for students in grades K-12 to display their work, and also demonstrate to the public and administrators the breadth of experience young people in Illinois are receiving in their art programs. Congratulations to the following artists and their teachers: Anders Magnuson, Shields Elementary (art teacher Colleen Grigg); Meghan Andrews, Stewart Elementary (art teacher: Heidi Gilkey); Gianna Villanueva, McDole Elementary (art teacher: Erin Livermore); Haley Penkala, Stewart Elementary (art teacher: Gilkey); Noah Treadway, Stewart Elementary (art teacher: Bonnie Whildin); Madison Steddick, Stewart Elementary (art teacher: Whildin); Dalton Askew, Stewart Elementary (art teacher: Gilkey). Courtesy Photo

Judith ‘Judy’ K. Watters

Judith “Judy” K. Watters, 69, of Elburn, passed away at Provena Mercy Center Hospital, Aurora, on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009.

She was born April 8, 1940, the daughter of Charles and Katherine (Roper) Cronk in Chicago.

Judy grew up in Franklin Park and attended local schools. After graduating in 1958, she met James Coakley, and they were married soon after. They were blessed with five children, Gayle, Bryan, Roy, Michael and Patricia.

Judy and Jim and their growing family made their home in Melrose Park, Ill. Judy and Jim parted ways in 1979. Love found Judy once again, this time with a childhood friend named Boyd Watters after a serendipitous Christmas card found its way into her hands. His heart followed soon after, and they were united in marriage on June 20, 1981, on Boyd’s boat in Burnham Park Harbor, Chicago.

Boyd brought with him two blessings from his previous marriage, Jacqueline and Richard. Just as the number in the family multiplied, so did the blessings and memories during the next 28 years. The memories began where they made their home in Melrose Park until they moved to Bristol, Ill., in 1983. They left for the west coast in 1986 to be near Judy’s mom in California before returning to be near family in 2002, settling in Elburn.

Judy put her heart and soul into her family, which left little room for additional jobs outside the home.

Judy’s kitchen was a wonderland of delicious baked sweets, especially fudge, which was a family favorite. She was a great friend to those in need, and the friendships made spanned across the country and across generations. Judy was a very patient and kind person. She was an angel to many, but none more so than her husband, Boyd, who regularly told her that she made him want to be a better man. A loving wife, adoring mother and a favorite among the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Judy will be missed by many for a long time to come.

She now leaves her loving husband, Boyd; seven children, Gayle (Curtis) Miller of Mendota, Ill., Bryan (Maggie) of Coakley of Palatine, Ill., Roy (Becky) Coakley of North Lake, Ill., Michael (Tracy) Coakley of St. Charles, Patricia Strayer of Aurora, Jacquelilne (Eric) Rothfone of Mokena, Ill., and Richard (Carol) Watters of Tinley Park, Ill.; 15 grandchildren, Melissa (Brian) Bembenek and their daughter, Angela of Downers Grove, Ill., Shelby Miller of Mendota, Ill., Leah Griffen of Palatine, Ill., Paige Coakley of Palatine, Ill., Maddy Coakly of North Lake, Ill., Jacqueline Coakley of North Lake, Ill., Jesse Coakley of North Lake, Ill., Lexia Coakley of St. Charles, Logan Coakley of St. Charles, Kalyn Strayer of Hebron, Ind., Stephanie Strayer of Hebron, Ind., Wendy (Shawn) Gamble and her children, Sara and Gage, of Bryan, Texas, Paul Armenia of Bourbonnais, Ill., Lauren Watters of Tinley Park, Ill., and Brian Watters of Tinley Park, Ill.; other extended family, and a family of friends.

She now joins her parents, who preceded her in death.

Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Following cremation, a memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Kaneville United Methodist Church, 724 Main Street Road, Kaneville, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Lonnie Caha, pastor of the Parkview Christian Church of Orland Park, Ill., and Rev. Jason Turner, Pastor of Kaneville United Methodist Church, will officiate with private family interment to follow at a later date.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Judy Watters 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 for Dec. 17

St. Mary’s of Maple Park hosts annual Christmas cookie sale
Maple Park—The St. Mary’s of Maple Park annual Christmas cookie sale will be held on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Novak Center on County Line Road in Maple Park. Homemade cookies will be sold for $6 per pound.

Advance orders may be placed until Thursday, Dec. 17. For more information or advance orders, call (815) 827-3302.

St. Gall announces Christmas schedule
Elburn—In order to accommodate the large number of families attending Mass on Christmas eve, Thursday, Dec. 24, St. Gall Church in Elburn will provide two 4 p.m. Masses, one in the church and one in the parish hall.

The pastor, Fr. Karl Ganss, will preside at the hall Mass, and Fr. William Etheredge, a priest from Aurora Central Catholic High School, Aurora, will officiate in the church. Children from the parish will present a Christmas pageant at each of the 4 p.m. Masses.

Other Christmas Eve Masses include a 6 p.m. Mass, preceded at 5:30 p.m. by carols, and a 10 p.m. Mass with music provided by the combined choir. The 10 p.m. Mass will be preceded by Christmas carols, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Masses for Christmas Day are at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Masses for Saturday, Dec. 26, and Sunday, Dec. 27, follow the regular weekend schedule.

For information, call (630) 365-6030.

Elburn Hill Church announces Christmas Eve service
Elburn—Elburn Hill Church, 506 N. Main St., announced that its Christmas Eve service will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24.

Pastor Gary Augustine said the family-style celebration will focused on stories of hope.

“Down through the years both in the Bible and in the lives of people, God has met the needs of struggling people,” Augustine said. “Take an hour Christmas Eve to reignite your hope. Christmas is not about the past, but the future. The stories of Christmas have the power to turn this season into a lens that sees life in a truly hopeful way.”

For information, call (630) 365-9064 or visit www.ElburnHillChurch.org.

Bethany Lutheran announces Julotta Service
Batavia—Bethany Lutheran Church, 8 S. Lincoln St., Batavia, will host its annual Julotta (Swedish/English) service in the sanctuary on Christmas day at 8 a.m.

Magnus Hilbo of Northpark, Ill., will officiate the service in Swedish and English. In addition, Holy Communion will be served.

This traditional Swedish service has been a part of Bethany’s history for more than 100 years. There will be a Swedish breakfast following the service.

For more information, call (630) 879-3444.

Think fire safety this holiday season

For most of us, the holidays represent a treasured time of year, and we work hard to make it special for the people we care about most. But as we do these things, fire safety is rarely a thought.

It may seem that the holidays and home fires are two completely different topics, but they’re not; national statistics show that the holiday season turns sorrowful, and sometimes even fatal, for many households each year as the result of home fires. Cooking, Christmas trees, candles and holiday lights—all key parts of the holiday season—are significant causes of fires that occur this time of year.

While it’s quite a somber perspective on the holiday season, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With just one or two minor changes, often taking a few minutes, or even seconds, of time, the holidays can stay festive and safe for everybody. It’s important for people to take basic but vital fire safety precautions as they plan and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. These simple steps can greatly reduce the risk of fire and its potentially devastating impact on homes and families:

Cooking: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics show that unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries. Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food. Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking. Create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.

Candles: Candles are widely used throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. More than half of all candle fires start because the candle was too close to things that could catch fire. Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where two of five U.S. candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep. Lastly, never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.

Christmas trees: U.S. fire departments annually respond to 250 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems, and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree. Here are some guidelines for picking, placing and lighting a tree:

If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.

Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.

Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

The holidays are a truly special time of year. Following these fire safety precautions and measures will ensure it remains one. For more tips, advice and information about holiday fire safety, please visit www.nfpa.org/holiday.

Larson named to leadership group

Tyler Larson of Maple Park was recently recognized as a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda, National Leadership and Honors Organization at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

Sigma Alpha Lambda is a national leadership and honors organization dedicated to promoting and rewarding academic achievement and providing members with opportunities for community service, personal development and lifelong professional fulfillment.

Sorensens celebrate 70 years of wedded bliss

Roy and Berdena Sorensen of Hinckley are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009.

An open house is being planned for Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the Big Rock Congregational Church from 2 to 5 p.m.

They have two children, Terry (Sherry) Sorensen of Big Rock and Lavon (Alan) Nehring of Sycamore; also, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Please omit gifts.

Letter: Seeking info on former KHS students

I am a teacher at Kaneland High School, and one of the projects I have my students participate in is the writing of a five-year letter. The students write about themselves, their families, their goals and their present thoughts of their lives.

I take the letters, put them away for five years, and mail them back to the students to show them how much their lives have changed and developed.

I mailed off the letters for the sixth time this past November. Unfortunately, I have received some letters back.

The names of the students that I am looking for are: Alysa Barry, Melissa Henderson, Dayna Sepuheda, Stephanie Howard, P.J. Ruff, Jeffrey Chiang, Alex Tomhaue, Charlene Walker, Rebecca Rissman, Kevin Phillips, Laura Rittenbery, Megan Lane, Angelica Demind.

If any of these people would still like their five-year letter or know where these people are, they can contact Judy W. Fabrizius at Kaneland High School at jfabrizi@kaneland.org or (630) 365-5100, ext. 340.

Judy W. Fabrizius
Kaneland High School

Letter: Unsure why school was not cancelled due to cold

Negative twenty degrees. That’s cold, no matter who you are, and it seems even colder when you’re outside waiting for that yellow bus to take you to school.

On Dec. 10, that’s exactly what Kaneland students had to deal with. The air was cold itself, but when that wind blew; it made you really think why we had school.

And why should we? I know that the school says that at 40° below zero is when they can cancel school, but isn’t that just a little too cold?

The students at my bus stop were outside with me that day, waiting to get out of the frigid air. There were moans and groans, but those were drowned out by the sound of teeth chattering uncontrollably. To make matters worse, the buses were late because they were driving slow and cautiously because of the bad road conditions. The main roads, like Route 47 and Keslinger, may have not looked bad, but back roads, like Harter and Watson, were badly plowed and made driving harder than they were already. Some streets in subdivisions hadn’t even been plowed that morning.

It also had to be hard on the bus drivers that are capable of getting kids to school safely in that type of weather. My bus driver rarely looked back at us to see what we were doing, because he was too preoccupied in keeping his eyes on the road. He ended up getting us to school safely, but other people didn’t get where they needed to be quite as safely as we did. I remembered seeing at least two cars stuck in snow or in a ditch, and I heard over the radios that the bus drivers use that there was an accident on Route 47, and that it looked bad.

So that brings me back to the main question in my article, why was school in session? At 20° below zero, liquids can freeze over very quickly. Ice covered my driveway, my sidewalk and my road, and I’m certain that other roads were just the same. The ice made driving conditions very dangerous, and it was just flat out freezing out there. I also wonder whether our school sends teachers out to drive to test the roads to make sure that they aren’t dangerous, because if they do, I really want to know what they thought of the roads that morning.

I guess I just really want to know why. Why did we have school that day? Why were we made to wait for our bus in sub-zero temperature?

But who knows. Maybe, to our district employees who make the decisions, it wasn’t that bad out. Maybe everything the students say are merely exaggerations. I don’t think that those are true, and neither will the other students that had to wait outside for their buses.

Ryan Noel
Kaneland High School student
Sugar Grove

Letter: Hope and change

I am scared. I have a job, but for how long? My country has freedom, but for how long? Businesses as a whole have been under assault for more than a year now.

We were sold an idea from a so-called charismatic man—hope and change. The definition of hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. The definition of change: to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.

Let us now look at these two ideas more closely.

Those on the left (progressives, liberals, blue dogs, or whatever they call themselves now) had hoped that Barak Obama would get us out of Iraq and close down Guantanamo Bay. They hoped that, unlike past presidents, Obama would keep all of his over 200 campaign promises. They hoped that by passing Obama’s “stimulus” package, supposedly created to foster job growth, that unemployment would not get above eight percent.

We are still in Iraq, and Obama has continued George W. Bush’s plan since entering office and has even introduced his own surge in Afghanistan—no change. Gitmo is still open, as it should be—no change. Over 90 percent of Obama’s campaign promises have not been met and several already discarded—no change, which is a good thing.

There was no stimulative effect from the bill Obama pushed, a majority of the money has not even been utilized, and the unemployment rate has reached as high as 10.2 percent—negative change.

During the election, we had two foreign wars that were controversial. We also, toward the end of an election cycle that seems to get longer every presidential election, had a deteriorating economy that showed signs that it was going to get worse before it got better. Amazingly, our healthcare system was working—as well as more Americans. We now hope that the economy and employment don’t get worse and want the government to change its focus to jobs and away from taking away our freedoms.

Charisma means a spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people. I want a leader for the greatest nation on Earth that influences the people by his actions and accomplishments, not by how he gives a speech.

David Selenis
Maple Park

Snowflake Shuffle 5K sees more than 300 participants

Geneva—More than 300 runners and walkers joined TriCity Family Services for their first Snowflake Shuffle 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Mill Creek Subdivision in Geneva.

Holiday spirit was abounding as runners and walkers of all ages enjoyed the crisp morning cold and showed their support for TriCity Family Services, a local leader in community-based counseling and supportive services for those in need. The runners were led by a holiday-decorated fire truck belonging to Mike and Ann Worthington of Geneva, and Santa Claus himself surprised everyone at the Mill Creek Clubhouse following the race.

Miranda Barfuss, Director of Development for TriCity, estimated that the first-time event netted about $8,000, which is a tidy sum for a first-time fundraising run.

“The real triumph is in the sheer number of people we had come out in the cold, with their families and friends, to support TriCity Family Services,” Barfuss said. “This community is what our agency is all about.”

The first-place overall male winner was 15-year-old Dan Runzel of Elgin. Carrie Day, 35, of Geneva took first-place overall female honors. The entire list of Snowflake Shuffle results is available at www.tricityfamilyservices.org.

Photo: Girl Scout Troop 4478 of Elburn sported antlers and walked the 5K together in support of TriCity Family Services. Courtesy Photo

Vital Chiropractic kicks off holiday fundraiser

Elburn—Vital Chiropractic announces its Christmas Dreams fundraiser, which is ongoing through Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Vital will collect monetary funds to donate directly to the Elburn Food Pantry. The company’s goal is to raise $1,000.

Funds collected will be used to buy food and clothing for Elburn and surrounding area families. In addition, Vital Chiropractic is offering $20 new-patient exams, and all fees from the offering will be donated to the drive.

Vital’s Christmas Dreams Tree is on display, and once the tree is completely lit, the company’s goal has been met.

Vital Chiropractic is located at 108 Valley Drive, Suite F, Elburn IL 60119. For information, call (630) 365-9887 or e-mail vitalchiropractic@sbcglobal.net.

Census taker training slated

ELBURN—The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for people to work in temporary jobs across Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The jobs involve going door to door to interview residents. Job applicants are required to take a skills test and undergo a background check. Most jobs require U.S. citizenship, a driver’s license and use of a vehicle.

The Census Bureau is also looking for people who are bilingual. Testing is currently scheduled in Elburn at the Town & Country Library, 320 E. North St., on Monday, Dec. 21, at 3 and 6 p.m.; and on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

If you wish to fill out an application in advance to bring with you to the testing site, go to 2010censusjobs.gov to print it out. Also, be sure to bring two forms of federal identification with you, including a photo ID. Testing will take two to three hours. If you cannot make these test dates, but wish to know about other test locations, call 1-866-861-2010.

UPS funds green projects for Lazarus House

St. Charles—Earlier in the fall, Lazarus House received a $16,841 environmental sustainability grant from the UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS.

Funds will be used to insulate the Lazarus House Women and Children’s Day Center exterior walls, add ceiling fans in sleeping and office areas to reduce heating/cooling costs and install hand dryers to reduce paper waste.

Lazarus House Executive Director Darlene Marcusson said, “I am so pleased about this grant. Given the current economy, there is no way we would be taking on these projects without special funds. Every dollar is going to essential needs like utilities so the homeless in our community have a safe place to stay. This grant should help us reduce our utility costs, which is not only good for the environment, but also good for our budget.”

Lazarus House serves people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and are connected to mid-Kane County.

Shelter services, available at (630) 587-2144, include case management and employment assistance, in addition to everyday essential needs such as food, shelter, showers and laundry. Outreach services, available at (630) 587-5872, include grant-funded rent and utility assistance, as well as case management for qualifying households.

Company recalls Slim-Fast ready-to-drink products due to health risk

Kane County—The Kane County Health Department is advising residents that Unilever United States, Inc., is conducting a nationwide voluntary recall of all Slim-Fast ready-to-drink (RTD) products in cans, due to the possibility of contamination with Bacillus cereus, a micro-organism, which may cause diarrhea and possibly nausea and/or vomiting. The probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote, and there have been no reports of any illness.

The products were sold in stores nationwide and packaged in paperboard cartons and contain four, six or 12 steel cans that are 11 ounces each. Individual cans are also sold in certain retail outlets. The recall involves all Slim-Fast RTD products in cans, regardless of flavor, Best-By date, lot code or UPC number.

No other Slim-Fast products are affected by this recall. No Slim-Fast powdered shakes, meal bars or snack bars are affected by this recall.

“We are urging residents to check their supplies of these products and, if they find them on their shelves, to throw them away. By calling the company, they can get their money back,” said Paul Kuehnert, Executive Director of the Health Department.

The recall was initiated after the company conducted quality testing on Slim-Fast RTD products in cans. The company is recalling all RTD products in cans that are currently in distribution centers, on-shelf or in back rooms in retail outlets or in consumers’ homes. The company is in the process of identifying and correcting the production issue, and will resume production and shipment of the product when the issue has been addressed and corrected.

Consumers who have purchased Slim-Fast RTD products in cans are urged to discard them immediately and contact the company at 1-800-896-9479 for a full refund. The company’s Consumer Services Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. A recorded message is available 24/7.

Castle Bank announces fall coloring contest winners

Sugar Grove—Nine winners were chosen in November from a record 200 entries to the Sugar Grove Castle Bank’s annual fall coloring contest.

The coloring contest party, on Nov. 14, was for students at Sugar Grove’s Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, as well as the children who participated in the Sugar Grove Farmers Market.

Winners are: Preschool—Aaron Sullivan; Kindergarten—Gina Kocmoud; 1st Grade—Zeke Pyle; 2nd Grade—Emma Heims; 3rd Grade—Brynn Angeletti; 4th Grade—Brennan Hare; 5th Grade—Noah Smith-Lenert; Farmers Market (0-6)—Susan Snider; Farmers Market (7-12)—Kristin Staub.