Area police blotter

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.

• A gun was discharged Wednesday evening on North Street just east of Main Street in Elburn.

Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said no one was injured in the incident, which police are investigating.

Smith said so far no one has been arrested, and he could not provide the time of the incident or any other details at this time.

• Kyle H. Jankowski, 20, of 0N300 Route 47, Elburn, was arrested at 1:03 a.m. Nov. 20 for driving while his license was suspended and lacking proof of vehicle insurance. Police stopped him at Route 47 and North Street in Elburn for not having a functioning rear plate light.

• Three people were arrested for possession of illegal drug paraphernalia and possessing less than 2.5 grams of marijuana, at 2:35 a.m. Nov. 21. They were Raul A. Andrade, 26, 380W East Ave. Berwyn, Ill., Carly J. Cooper, 20, 2676 Prairie View Lane, Aurora, and Joshua M. Gullang, 21, 75485 Green Acres Drive, Naperville, Ill.

The three individuals were in a car traveling south on Route 47 in Elburn. Police stopped the vehicle at North Street because the driver, Andrade, was speeding. Police found a marijuana pipe and marijuana residue in the vehicle.

Andrade also was cited for driving while his license was suspended and for lacking vehicle insurance. Cooper also was arrested for unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor.

• Jeffrey S. Gunther, 47, 807 Oak St., DeKalb, was arrested at 11:58 p.m. Nov. 22 for driving under the influence of alcohol. Police stopped him on Route 38 west of Route 47 in Elburn, for speeding.

• Steven M. Rauchenecker, 49, 24530S. Tonka St., Channahon, Ill., was arrested at 7:16 p.m. Nov. 22, for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him on Main Street at Capes Drive in Elburn, for speeding.

• A 17-year-old juvenile male from Elburn was arrested at 9:41 a.m. Nov. 22, for resisting police when they took him into custody for questioning in a Kane County Sheriff’s Department investigation. Police stopped him as he was riding his bicycle in Elburn.

Sugar Grove
• Someone stole a laptop worth $1,000 and a money bag containing $75 from the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School gymnasium during an open gym session at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Nov. 22.

• Someone stole a cell phone from the Sugar Grove Jewel parking lot at 4 p.m. on Nov. 14.

• Someone stole a cell phone from a locked truck in the 500 block of Heartland Drive, Sugar Grove at 4:14 p.m. on Nov. 11. The cell phone was worth $100 and the cost to repair the truck was approximately $700.

Elburn village notes

Village tractor sold on e-Bay
ELBURN—Someone purchased a used John Deere tractor from the village of Elburn on e-Bay for $6,025. The opening bid for the tractor was $1,050.

The village is selling various surplus equipment online and through silent auctions, including old squad cars, trucks and bicycles.

Tree removal begins
ELBURN—Elburn Public Works staff removed 44 dead and dying tress from village parkways this fall.

Additional trees will be removed this spring as the village budget allows. Most of the diseased trees are maple and ash, which have been infected by the emerald ash borer.

Kane County Cougars tickets on sale for 2010 season

20th season of Class A baseball hits Elfstrom
GENEVA—Both single-game and group tickets are now on sale for the Kane County Cougars’ 2010 season. The organization’s annual ticket-on sale event, held Saturday morning at Elfstrom Stadium, was the formal kickoff for single-game ticket sales.

Open to all Cougars fans, the event was the first opportunity to purchase individual tickets and secure prime seats for home dates that are consistently popular among Cougars faithful. Fans were also treated to an all you-can-eat breakfast buffet inside the Cougars’ new upstairs Super Suite and were greeted at the door by Ozzie T. Cougar and Cougars staff.

Numerous fans arrived before the first ray of sunshine emerged in west suburban Chicago, including Geneva resident Jay Carroll. Carroll was officially No.1, arriving at midnight to stake his place in line. Carroll was soon joined by Hoffman Estates resident Bill Taylor at 1 a.m. Taylor and Carroll, like many fans this morning, hoped to secure their favorite seats for popular dates such as Saturday evenings, Opening Day and holiday games. Fans both young and old continued to arrive in the pre-dawn hours and throughout the morning to make Elfstrom Stadium a bustling place on a sunny November morning.

Saturday’s event was the formal ticket on-sale kickoff for the 2010 season as fans can now purchase single-game tickets for the 2010 season in a variety of options, ordering online at, by phone at (630) 232-8811 or in-person at the Cougars’ box office during normal business hours.

Season tickets and ticket packages starting at five games are also on sale. All ticket packages include popular fireworks and entertainment nights, along with a complimentary picnic held during the summer. Season ticket holders receive some great perks as well, such as exclusive picnics and access to VIP parties. A new 20-game ticket plan gives fans the ultimate choice in selecting 20 of their favorite dates, to literally customize their entire ticket package.

Group tickets are also on sale for the 2010 season—perfect for all types of groups including businesses, social organizations and family gatherings. Parties ranging from 15 to 2,000 people can reserve their block of seats or picnic area today with a deposit. Groups are encouraged to reserve their outing early as the anticipation of the ’10 season will lead to dates filling up quickly.

Picnic options include fully-catered events for groups of 35 or more while groups of 75 or more can reserve one of the Cougars’ exclusive outfield decks. Cougars staff takes care of the preparation, set-up and clean-up as picnic groups can focus on the most important part: enjoying a memorable, affordable and entertaining event from start to finish.

Groups of any size and type can also enjoy the new upstairs areas of Elfstrom Stadium in 2010, including nightly suite rentals, a Super Suite that accommodates up to 200 people and is sub-dividable for smaller groups, and outdoor rooftop patios for groups in the 75-150 person range.

Theme nights in 2010 include recognition for youth baseball and softball, business, church, scout and union groups, among others. Discounted group tickets are available in limited quantities for these groups on select dates. Groups interested in reserving their outing or obtaining more information can contact the Cougars ticket office at (630) 232-8811.

Library receives memorial donation

Kaneville—The Kaneville Public Library announced that it received a significant memorial donation from the family and friends of the late Audrey Ledbetter.

At the request of her husband, Jerry Ledbetter, a collection of Bible-related books and media items for both adults and children were purchased and added to the library’s collections.

Other area residents interested in making memorial donations or establishing a legacy gift for the library are asked to contact Ray Christiansen, the Library Director, or Karen Kneller, President of the library’s Board of Trustees.

For additional information about the Kaneville Public Library, contact Ray Christiansen at (630) 557-2441.

Library serves as drop site for troop collection

Sugar Grove—The Sugar Grove Library has joined forces with the Sugar Grove American Legion Post 1271 Women’s Auxiliary to collect items to send to members of the military. The Auxiliary is planning a mailing for our troops in time for the holidays. Useful items include :
• Zip Lock Bags—must have zip closure
• Jelly—plastic jars only
• Peanut butter
• Beef jerky sticks
• Mints—Tic Tacs, Altoids, Life Savers, etc
• Snack cups—non-refrigerated
• Fabric softener sheets
• Febreze spray
• AT&T international calling cards
• Batteries—AA & AAA
• Disposable cameras
• Books and magazines
• Puzzle books
• Foot powder
• Hand lotion
• Eye drops
• Pain relievers
• Mouthwash strips
• Toothbrushes
• Bug spray
• Sun block
• Band-aids
• Disposable razors
• Shaving cream

Please contact the Legion (630) 466-4747 if you have questions about the collection.

The Sugar Grove Library is located in Sugar Grove at the corner of Municipal and Snow streets.

Lady Knights drop matchups with E. Aurora, Westmont

Lady Knights basketball is hoping that the next couple of contests go better than their three opening games.

After losing their opener at Rosary on Nov. 17, the KHS troops went to East Aurora on Thursday only to drop a 48-41 affair.

The girls also opened action at the Immaculate Conception Thanksgiving tournament in Elmhurst with a 54-41 setback at the hands of Westmont on Monday.

Coach Ernie Colombe’s squad is 0-3 as it continues at Immaculate Conception. Kaneland had won four straight meetings since losing a regional opener in February, 2006, to the Lady Tomcats.

Senior Mallory Carlson paced the Lady Knights with a team-high 13 points. Tesa Alderman followed with seven.

The Lady Knights fell behind early after the first quarter by a 12-5 count, but closed to within 26-24 at the halftime break. East Aurora took control in the third frame with a 14-7 edge and a 40-31 lead.

Kaneland outscored the Lady Tomcats 10-8 in the fourth quarter to no avail.

Against the Sentinels, a former conference mate in the Suburban Prairie Conference, the Lady Knights fell behind 18-8 after one quarter and 34-15 after two.

Kaneland came back in the third quarter to close within 40-29 until Westmont held its ground.

The Lady Knights were 14-for-37 from the field and 3-for-11 from three-point land. Andie Strang had a team-high 14 points, followed by Emily Heimerdinger with nine.

In other Kaneland-East Aurora action, the freshmen “B” team handled its task with a 21-8 win and the “A” squad won 43-32 thanks to 14 points from Ashley Prost. The sophomores lost 44-41 despite 18 from Kylie Siebert.

On Nov. 17, the freshmen “B” won 15-13 over Rosary, while the “A” won 32-16.

On Saturday, the sophomores were defeated by visiting Rochelle by a 39-22 final.

Next up for the Lady Knights is another IC Thanksgiving game vs. the hosts on Friday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m., and the tourney finale vs. Plainfield South on Saturday, Nov. 28, at 1 p.m.

Kaneland Knights football recognized for talent, smarts

by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Kaneland High School learned of five football players that were not just exceptional on the field, but in the classroom as well.

Linemen Brett Ketza and Eric Dratnol, cornerback Taylor Andrews, linebacker Tyler Callaghan and quarterback Joe Camaliere were named to the Class 5A All-Academic All-State team last week.

“That’s what we really strive for,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “To achieve in the classroom and to be leaders on the field is great.”

Not only did those five get recognized for classwork and ability, they also joined lineman Jimmy Boyle, linebacker Blake Serpa and wideout Ryley Bailey for the final version of the All-Western Sun Conference team.

The offensive co-MVP’s of the conference were Glenbard South QB Trace Wanless and Sycamore RB Marckie Hayes.

The defensive co-MVP’s of the conference were Glenbard South DL Austin Teitsma and Geneva DL Frank Boenzi.

On the same page

School District begins fee discussions with municipal leaders
by Susan O’Neill
Kaneland School District officials began discussions with municipal leaders regarding an intergovernmental agreement for standardized developer fees in support of the schools. The agreement will expire at the end of 2010.

The meeting, which included village presidents of all municipalities in the district except for Virgil, took place on Monday, Nov. 16.

“From past experience, we all realize it’s best to work together,” Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said.

Sugar Grove led the way several years ago in the creation of an intergovernmental agreement between the School District, and its municipalities that defined formulas for fees associated with residential development across the district.

“We all agreed we have to renew the agreement,” Maple Park Village President Cathy Curtis said.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said that all the Kaneland villages are in the same boat financially, from a development standpoint.

“We didn’t talk about money, we talked about philosophy,” Anderson said. “We’re all in agreement that we need to be united in terms of impact and transitional fees and in aiding the School District in any way we could.”

Anderson stressed the importance of having a single voice in terms of talking to developers about School District fees. He said that although he was not in office when the agreement was created, he wholeheartedly supports it.

“Whoever’s idea this was, it was an excellent thought,” he said. “Because they’re all our kids.”

Another meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2010.

Budget cuts leads to worry

by Brittany Larse
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—News of budget cuts are leaving students and staff wondering what’s going to be cut and what’s going to change.

One of the first cuts to be made is the National Honor Society and Future Educator’s Association-run peer tutoring program, said Cynthia Violett, director of guidance.

“It’s kind of a bummer,” said senior Kelsey Lenhardt , FEA president.

Peer tutoring is a system where students who need a little extra help with homework and studying can go and get help from teachers and students, Lenhardt said.

Since the 4 p.m. activity bus was cancelled, these clubs tried to move the peer tutoring to STEN, but they were unsuccessful due to lack of space and supervision, Violett said.

“It was a good thing for students. A lot of freshmen don’t have the feel of high school yet, and it was good for them to get help, especially from seniors who have been through it before,” sophomore Julianne Miller said.

“It will hurt the students who needed the extra help and a quiet place to study, which they might not get at home,” Violett said.

If students still wish to seek tutoring help, the Elburn library offers free homework help after school. Learning centers like Sylvan, Appletree and Kumon may also help, though these all cost money. Student services also has a list of adult tutors, which cost money as well, Violett said.

Nov. 25 Kaneland notes

District to add content to staff development program
The district has added several topics to its staff development program, including educator ethics and appropriate teacher-student relationships, as well as conduct and issues related to young people who are parents or expectant parents, or victims of domestic or sexual violence. In addition, teachers and other personnel working with students in grades seven through 12 will receive training in the identification of the warning signs of suicidal behavior in adolescents and teens, as well as appropriate intervention and referral techniques.

School Board adopts tentative levy
The Kaneland School Board on Monday unanimously passed a adopting a tentative levy of $38 million for the coming tax year. The tax rate for homeowners will be raised to $4.12 per every $100 of EAV for their 2009 taxes, an increase of 14 cents per $100 of EAV. 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. 29.

Pamela Hope Williams

Pamela Hope Williams, 60, of Gerton, N.C., died Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) at Hendersonville Health and Rehabilitation.

Originally from Elburn, she was the daughter of the late June and Benjamin Waskow.

She was a vibrant person and a wonderful mother of two before PSP took her.

Surviving are a daughter, Kelley J. Stefka, of Greenville, S.C.; and a son, Kent D. Williams and wife, Lacey, of Charleston, S.C.; her best friend of 25 years, Linda Straughan; a sister, Penny Meyer of Big Rock; and a brother, Craig Waskow and his wife, Patty. She had the chance to be a part of her only granddaughter’s new life, Callie Hope Williams, of Charleston.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Executive Plaza III, 11350 McCormick Road, Suite 906, Hunt Valley, MD 21031 or online at

Visitation was from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home, 44 S. Mill St, Naperville, Ill. A private family interment was at Mount Emblem Cemetery, Elmhurst, Ill.

To read more and sign an online register book, please visit www.shulerfuneralhome .com. Shuler Funeral Home will assist the family with arrangements in North Carolina.

Winifred ‘Winnie’ Zimmer

Winifred “Winnie” Zimmer, 85, of Virgil, passed away Saturday morning, Nov. 21, 2009, at Meadowbrook Care Center, Naperville, Ill., where she had recently become a resident and was battling cancer.

She was born April 25, 1924, near Steward, Ill., the daughter of Marguerite (O’Donnell) and Irvin Herrmann.

She grew up on the family farm the fourth of 11 children.

Following graduation from Shabbona Community High School, Winnie went on to become a registered nurse, graduating from St. Charles Hospital School of Nursing in Aurora with the class of 1947.

On June 19, 1948, she was united in marriage to Joseph G. “Jeff” Zimmer in Columbus, Ohio. They made their home in Virgil, where they were blessed with six children.

Winnie was employed at Sycamore Hospital for many years until the late ‘60s, when her nursing “ministry” became more focused on home and community nursing. In many ways, Winnie was the Virgil community “health department.” Whenever the misfortune of accident or illness occurred, the first person people called was Winnie. Her demeanor was always straightforward, but her heart was filled with love and never was there a road too long or a hill too high when you called her name.

For many years, she helped Conley Ambulance in countless ways and was highly respected among area physicians. In spite of her many responsibilities, somehow dinner was always on the table, even if she was headed out the door to help someone else before her family could sit down to enjoy the meal.

She is survived by six children, their children and families, Larry (Susan) Zimmer of Maple Park, and their family, Bart Zimmer and his children, Corey, Haley and Tyler, Sarah (Rob) Orth and Jeremy Zimmer; Patricia Zimmer of Miami, Fla.; Virginia (Ken) Stewart of Glendale Heights, Ill., and their family, Elizabeth Stewart and her son, Ethan, Rebecca (Mark Morozink) Stewart; Janet (Joel) Beck of Sandwich, Ill., and their family, Aaron (Teresa) Calhoon (and his two sons, Logan and Brandon) Lynn Calhoon; Diane LaFan of Aurora, and her family, Kendra Flowers and Jared Flowers (and his son, Bryce); Dann (Kathy) Zimmer of St. Charles, and their family, Robby and Margaret; six siblings, Leon Herrmann of Lincoln, Neb., Joyce Clinton of San Diego, Calif., Paul Herrmann of Shabbona, Ill., Thomas Herrmann of DeKalb, Ill., William (Linda) Herrmann of DeKalb, Ill., Irvin (Janie) Herrmann of Dayton, Ohio; one sister-in-law, Margaret Seisser of Jefferson, Wis., as well as many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Joseph, she is preceded in death by two sisters, Madaline Barnes and Helen Inskeep; and two brothers, Joseph and Chester Herrmann.

Visitation will be held at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, on Sunday, Nov. 29, from noon to 3:30 p.m., with funeral services to follow at 4 p.m. Winnie’s long time friend and pastor, the Rev. George Williamson, will officiate. Following cremation, interment will conclude at S.S. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Virgil.

A memorial in her name has been established to benefit diabetes research, among others. Memorials in her memory may be mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through

Church news for Nov. 25

Calvary Episcopal offers wreath, roping sale, bazaar and vendor show
Batavia—Following a more than 10-year tradition, Calvary Episcopal Church in Batavia offers affordable, high-quality, locally grown Christmas wreaths and roping for sale this holiday season.

The sale takes place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 27-29, and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6.

In addition, the church will offer a bazaar and vendor show on Friday, Nov. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shop from more than 25 crafters and vendors for such products as jewelry, health and beauty, fashion and accessories, home decor, gourmet food and drink, crafts and holiday items, professional services, stationery, florals, kitchen and cooking tools, fine linens and more. 

Proceeds from both events benefit the church’s outreach ministries. Calvary is located at 222 S. Batavia Ave., at the corner of Route 31 and Main Street. For information, call (630) 879-3378.

Two Guys and Free Spaghetti
St. Charles—Two Guys and Free Spaghetti will be held for the eighth time on Sunday, Nov. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Charles’ Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave. in St. Charles.

The event is hosted by Joe Ryan and Matt Rhead, who supply a free spaghetti dinner to anyone who wants to attend. Spaghetti, meatballs, salad, garlic bread and dessert are free, supplied by Ryan and Rhead and their friends, who also cook and serve the meal.

The “Two Guys” recognize that many families would enjoy a free night out, good food and fellowship, especially in these difficult times. Everyone is welcome.

Immanuel Lutheran Church presents St. Nicholas Day program
BATAVIA—Christmas music, a puppet show and skit will be presented at a St. Nicholas Day program from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. It will be at the Peg Bond Center on Batavia’s Riverwalk. The program will be presented by members of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Dec. 6 is celebrated as St. Nicholas Day in many parts of the world. St. Nicholas, a bishop in the 4th century, ministered to people in Myra, which is now in modern-day Turkey. He was known for his generosity and outreach to the poor and children, especially during difficult times. Today in the United States, people know him as Santa Claus.

St. Nicholas was known for putting gifts in the shoes of poor people. Those attending the program are asked to bring used, but still useable, shoes that will be donated to various agencies, and non-perishable food for the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.

Music will be by the church’s Third Voice contemporary choir, the traditional Christus Choir, and Immanuel Lutheran School students. Instrumental music will include dulcimer music by Mary Cook. There will be a puppet show by Immanuel’s Hands Alive Children’s Puppet Ministry, and a skit presented by adults to tell the story of St. Nicholas. The program will end with community singing.

Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

For information, call the church, (630) 879-7163.

Local student receives national degree

INDIANAPOLIS—Sarah Carson received the American FFA Degree at the 82nd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on Saturday, Oct. 24. It is the highest degree awarded by the National FFA organization and recognizes Carsons’s demonstrated leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing and service programs.

Less than one in 154 FFA members advance through their local chapter and state FFA degree programs to earn this national degree. Carson, the daughter of Dan and Anne Carson of Maple Park, is currently pursuing a degree in Agricultural Education at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

She is a member of the Kaneland FFA Chapter, and her agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor is Laura Widhalm.

AU honors employees for years of service

Aurora—Local residents are among Aurora University employees recently honored for five to 35 years of service.

Employees were recognized at a third annual Fall Founders Convocation in Crimi Auditorium. Local employees recognized were Beverly Taylor of Elburn and Judith Maxwell, both with five years of service.

New features at the Marmion Christmas Tree Farm

Aurora—Marmion Abbey Farm opens Saturday, Nov. 21, daily from 9 a.m. to dusk, for those who enjoy the tradition of hunting through the pines and spruces to cut down their own Christmas tree.

The Abbey Farm has more than 120 acres of trees available for $30 to $40 each.

The Marmion Abbey Farm is located on Butterfield Road about five miles west of the routes 59 and 56 junction. Visit to download a flyer and map of the tree farm, or for more information call (630) 897-6936.

Those who have made the Marmion tree hunt a family tradition will notice some new features at the farm, including sleds for kids, a tree bailer for easy transport, as well as warming fires and free hot chocolate on the weekends. This year, the farm also offers a selection of pre-cut Michigan Fir trees and handmade wreaths.

The Abbey Farm, which began raising trees in 1957, has played a key role with Marmion Abbey and Academy. The successful business of selling Christmas trees has enabled the monks of Marmion Abbey to continue their ministries throughout our community and grow the San Jose Priory in Guatemala. The farm has also been, and will continue to be, an educational resource for the young men of Marmion Academy. Through a close partnership, the farm teaches the students of Marmion Academy about stewardship of land and the ecology of running a tree farm.

Guest Editorial: Give thanks for what we have, not what we may have lost

Guest Editorial
by Darlene Marcusson
Executive Director
Lazarus House

Lazarus House is always thankful for God’s grace and for the generous support of this incredible community, but never more so than at Thanksgiving this year. So many people are suffering in this tough economic climate, yet despite that, the community continues to rally to help their neighbors in need.

I was recently honored with the Roscoe Ebey award for humanitarian services, and I said at the awards ceremony that the award doesn’t belong to me, but rather to everyone in the community who reaches out to care for their neighbors in need. I mean that with my whole heart. There are many, many heroes in our community, from the retired volunteer bell ringer at the Salvation Army kettle to the toddler who puts their coins in the kettle rather than buying themselves a candy bar.

We are so blessed to live in a community that holds up as its core value caring for others, and Lazarus House is thankful every day to be part of that care. Please know we are blessed to have an additional rental/utility subsidy grant that can be of significant help to those who are affected by this economic downturn. Please call our Outreach Department at (630) 587-5872 to find out if this grant may be helpful for you or someone you know. Helping our neighbors stay in housing is a gift to all of us.

This Thanksgiving, let us all stop and give thanks to God for what we have left, not grumble about what we may have lost, and let us strengthen our resolve to work together as a community to care for our neighbors in need. May God bless you and your Thanksgiving.

Letter: Don’t confuse belief, opinion with fact

After reading the letter from Mr. Florian from last week’s Elburn Herald (Nov. 19), I felt the need to respond.

Mr. Florian is indeed entitled to his own opinion—but let us make sure we don’t confuse the opinions in his letter with fact. First, Mr. Florian clearly states that homosexuality is a “personal choice.” Unless there is some earth-shattering news that I am not yet aware of, there has not been a definitive answer reached in the debate of genetics versus environment in the role of homosexuality. There have been several studies done with various outcomes, but again—nothing definitive.

Mr. Florian also mentions those that are able to “revert from homosexuality through religious conversion.” It is interesting to me that in August of this year, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution that mental health professionals should avoid telling patients that their sexual orientation can be altered through therapy or other types of treatment.

Next, let us tackle the topic of the use of the word “gay” that has been “hijacked,” as Mr. Florian put it, by the homosexual community. As early as 1890, the word gay was equated with promiscuity—a “gay house” was another name for a brothel. Also, in the 1938 movie “Bringing Up Baby,” Cary Grant (while dressed in a feathery robe) speaks the line, “Because I just went gay … all of a sudden.” I would say there has been more of a pop-culture shift in the use of the word rather than a “hijacking” by any specific group.

Although it is true that young homosexual males are up to 13 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts, it has also been found that those young homosexual or bisexual males are disproportionally subject to anti-gay attitudes. This, in conjunction with the self-esteem issues suffered by many teens, would certainly help explain this trend. The highest suicide rates in the United States are actually attributed to adults over the age of 65.

Mr. Florian was correct in stating that blood banks do refuse donations from males who have had even one homosexual encounter since 1977. However, they also refuse donations from any individual that has taken a form of payment for sex since 1977, has used needles to take drugs not prescribed by a doctor, was born in or has lived in any number of Central African countries since 1977, has had sex with anyone in any of these groups since 1977. Guess what—these are all risk factors for HIV. Yes, the homosexual community is one of several groups that have higher risk of HIV.

I just want to close out this letter by stating that I am not trying to start a debate with Mr. Florian or anyone else that wishes to express their beliefs on the subject of homosexuality. I can respect the fact that we are all entitled to a point of view—that is one of the things that makes our country great. However, let’s make sure that we don’t confuse belief and opinion with fact.

Andrea S. Williams

Letter: Care packages to troops continues

The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary of Sugar Grove Post #1271 has been sending boxes to the troops overseas for many years now.

Recently, on Nov. 10, we packed up yet another mailing for them; about 25 boxes were prepared by the Auxiliary volunteers and will be mailed this week.

We try to send three or four mailings per year, particularly around the Christmas holiday time. Our money for these mailings comes mostly from an event we run in tandem to the Sugar Grove Corn Boil, our annual car show. We also accept personal donations of both material goods and money; we have drop bins in the American Legion Post at 65 First St., Sugar Grove.

We take pride in the work that we are doing and have received many thank-yous from across the seas.

Beth E. Johnson
Women’s Auxiliary
American Legion Post #1271
Sugar Grove

Letter: Differences between groups need to be based on fact

Robert Florian’s letter about homosexuality references name-calling of anyone who composes a factual letter shedding a negative light on the gay lifestyle being branded homophobic.

There are certainly worse things to be called than homophobic. It’s hardly unusual to be afraid or confused about things we don’t understand. Mr. Florian should really concern himself with how we refer to people who mix facts with half truths and pure fiction.

Clearly, Mr. Florian has a unique perspective and selects his “facts” carefully. Homosexuality may, perhaps, be a choice for some, but for the majority it is not. This is indeed a fact.

The example Mr. Florian uses of a middle-aged person waking up one morning and choosing to be gay defies logic or reality. It would seem more likely than not that a middle-aged person “comes out” after having tried to conform to the societal norm of how he (or she) was raised—to be heterosexual. After years of guilt, confusion, torment, unhappiness, they decide they no longer wish to live a lie. I don’t think there’s a very long line of true homosexuals cured by religion, but those few who claim to be are certainly getting some attention. Perhaps the secondary gain will keep them straight. More likely, they’re just confused and pressured.

“Historically it (homosexuality) has proven to be a lifestyle destructive to the human race.”

I would love to see a list of legitimate citations for this “fact.” It would make an interesting thesis. The human race isn’t quite yet destroyed, but we’re working on it through overpopulation and environmental destruction.

Sorry, but neither of those are really gay-related. Of all the social problems in the world, homosexuality ranks pretty low on the list. I understand the religious condemnation, because people always rail against things they practice in secret.

How many religious or political leaders have condemned the behavior of others while disgracing themselves in private? Were the Great Depression or any of the wars throughout history caused by homosexuality? Did a gay person invent the atomic bomb? Was Hitler gay? How about the leaders of Iran or North Korea or Bin Laden? Is this where we’re supposed to jump to the conclusion that God allowed 9/11 or H1N1 because of homosexuality?

The incidence of suicide is higher for homosexuals. It is estimated that 1 in 3 teen suicides are gay or lesbian. There is a nine-fold increase in teen suicide where the teen is rejected by family. It would be no stretch to realize that being gay is stressful and being openly gay results in being subjected to all forms of abuse. Why would anyone choose to be the object of ridicule when you could choose to fit in, follow the herd and be straight? Is being gay really just the result of bad decision-making?

We heterosexuals win for the most serial murderers. There might be a higher percentage ratio of homosexual serial killers given their percentage in the population, but we win for outright numbers. The reality is that the absolute percentage of serial killers in the general population is so small that this is statistically insignificant. Forty-three percent of serial killers have had at least one homosexual experience, but not all of these were living a homosexual lifestyle (translation—not gay).

Blood banks do not exclude males who have had one homosexual contact from being blood donors. This is a pure fabrication. That would also exclude a number of heterosexual males who likely wouldn’t even admit to such a thing. I’ve been a Red Cross volunteer. There are certain patterns of behavior or circumstances (promiscuity, unprotected sex, drug use/abuse, certain chronic illnesses and prescribed drugs, recent travel out of the country) that may exclude anyone, with hepatitis being one of the greatest concerns.

It appears to me that Mr. Rosko and the GSA have avoided the trap that Mr. Florian chooses to live in. Rather than living in fear and uncertainty and believing in myths and half truths, these kids are trying to right a wrong. Young people sometimes can teach us a great deal about life if we choose to listen instead of judge.

Sadly for some, wisdom doesn’t always come with age and experience. I have been married for 24 years and am the proud parent of two teens. I am not afraid of homosexuals, and my marriage will not be diminished or have less significance because of gay marriage. I choose to be educated and informed rather than accepting what people like Mr. Florian choose to believe.

Robert B. Morgan

Letter: Don’t drop the ball on Iraq

We cannot afford to take our eyes off of Iraq as we focus more on Afghanistan. If we leave before a stable, functioning government and society have developed, we risk losing not only Iraq but all of the Middle East, including Afghanistan, to extremist and anti-U.S. forces.

Our team first traveled to Iraq in 2006 on a C-130 military aircraft, wearing personal body armor and helmets, and using an aggressive landing approach to avoid potential small arms fire.

Any movement outside the safe area, or “green zone,” required a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) convoy, with each vehicle carrying three military personnel for every two civilians. The Iraqi soldiers appeared lethargic and wore mismatched uniforms; and of their six HMMWVs, four were broken and none were fully armored.

Three years later, our team was flying to Iraq on a commercial airline. While getting around is not the same as traveling down Interstate 90, and still requires an armed security escort in bullet-proof suburbans, the improvement in security is obvious. Throughout Baghdad, we saw Iraqi checkpoints manned by HMMWVs nearly every mile. The soldiers and police were dressed in new, pressed uniforms and their equipment appeared to be well-maintained.

Overall, the security situation on the ground has greatly improved over the course of my 11 trips into Iraq. However, there continues to be random acts of violence throughout the country—acts intended to destabilize the Iraqi government—and are not necessarily targeted at Coalition forces.

Clearly, only time will tell if the government and security forces of Iraq are up to the challenge of providing for the safety and security of their own citizens.

After spending so much time on the ground in Iraq, I am able to do little more than raise a few issues and share my personal impressions. But I believe my observations are consistent with the current overall assessment of the situation in Iraq. Those observations suggest a couple of general policy prescriptions.

First, U.S. and Coalition forces have hundreds of projects underway throughout Iraq, including governance assistance efforts, economic and educational programs, and agricultural and industrial support, just to name a few. These programs must be seen to conclusion or handed off responsibly to the Iraqi government or to international non-governmental organizations. Our assistance to the people of Iraq must not be left to atrophy.

Second, how we continue to support Iraq is being, and will continue to be, watched by the world. While it is up to the Iraqi people to govern themselves, we have a moral (and very practical) obligation to continue to assist in the development of that country. How we do this will give our allies confidence in, or reason to question, our commitments to them.

The hard work of U.S. and Coalition forces has put us in a position to move forward positively in Iraq. Our nation’s interests still most definitely remain at stake; we cannot drop the ball now.

Mark Vargas
St. Charles
14th Congressional District

2009 H1N1 Flu and the Holidays

State public health director offers holiday health tips to avoid the flu
SPRINGFIELD—Millions of people travel every year during the holiday season to spend time with friends and family.

With the 2009 H1N1 flu still circulating widely in Illinois and most of the country, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, is urging people to remember four things when traveling during the holiday season:
• Travel only when feeling well
• Wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
• Get flu vaccinations as soon as available (both seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu for priority groups)
“As we enter the holiday season, we know the H1N1 flu is a concern for many people, especially those traveling,” Arnold said. “Taking some basic preventive measures, including staying home if you’re sick, washing your hands often, covering your cough and sneeze, and getting vaccinated when possible, can greatly reduce your chances of becoming ill. Don’t let the flu ruin your holidays.”

The flu is spread mainly through person-to-person contact when an infected person does not properly cover a cough or sneeze. Holiday travel and gatherings increase the opportunity for person-to-person contact, making it an ideal way for illness to spread.

For more information about 2009 H1N1 flu and information on vaccine sites in your area, log onto Or, for non-medical questions about the H1N1 virus, call the Illinois Flu Hotline at (866) 848-2094 or (866) 241-2138 (Spanish).

Middle school hosts book fair

Kaneland—Anderson’s Bookfair Company will bring a book store to the Kaneland Harter Middle School Library Tuesday through Monday, Dec. 1-7.

The book fair will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on school days, and noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, during the choir and band concerts. The book fair will extend its hours until 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.

The middle school’s student council will provide gift wrapping for any sales during the concerts for a donation.

Call Mary Miller at (630) 466-8400, ext. 77602, or e-mail

Black belt demonstration will benefit Community Center

Elburn—Midtown Martial Arts Elburn Academy will conduct a black belt demonstration at the Elburn Countryside Community Center on Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m.

The demonstration is a fundraiser to offset past utility and operational bills that the community center has accumulated over the years.

The Elburn Countryside Community Center is a nonprofit business. All Midtown Martial Arts black belts that are participating will donate at least $25 each for the cause.

Grand Master Richard Temmerman has operated his businesses in the Community Center since February 1993.

“The Community Center is the heart and soul of Elburn,” he said. “I feel it is appropriate to be conducting this fundraising demonstration in connection with the Elburn Christmas Walk. My business, as well as myself personally, will be making $100 donations for this good cause.”

Temmerman said he has already received many donations from his black belts, including one of $100.

“I am proud to be a business member in the Community Center,” he said. “I am even more proud of the board members and officers who operate the Community Center for the love for our community without being paid. We would like to present President Pay Leyden with the checks at the conclusion of the Demo at around 8:15 p.m.”

If anyone would like to make contributions for this cause, please send checks written out to ECCC, and send to Midtown Martial Arts, 525 N. Main St., Elburn, IL, 60119, or you may hand them in at the demonstration.

SG Chamber members step up to offer help

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sometimes people just need to be made aware of the need.

Carol Alfrey, West Towns Human Services and Conley Outreach Community Services coordinator, attended a recent Sugar Grove Chamber meeting to talk to members about the needs that residents in their community are experiencing.

“I saw a lot of interest immediately,” Chamber Executive Director Shari Baum said.

Alfrey said she used to receive one or two calls a month from people who needed help in one way or another. In the past year, the number of those calls has multiplied to one or two people a day.

“For the most part, those receiving assistance are the ‘working poor,’”unable to make ends meet despite holding down one or two jobs,” Alfrey said. “Some have experienced medical problems and do not qualify for workman’s compensation. Others are living on disability and need help with large utility bills … Others have one-time situations, such as illness, fire or loss of job for which they need assistance.”

Conley Outreach Community Services, of Elburn, is a nonprofit organization that provides and coordinates community mental health and human service programs in rural western Kane County. The organization, while small, expands its reach through understanding community needs, creating systems of support and collaborating with other community and faith-based partners.

“I’m just one part-time person, trying to spread myself around,” Alfrey said.

Alfrey said she said she wanted to encourage each business person to think about his or her company’s unique products and services, and how those can lend themselves to helping people in a specific way.

She recounted some of the stories of people in the area who have already been helped by Sugar Grove business owners: Nick Bumba, owner of Nick’s Custom Furniture in Sugar Grove, donated brand new beds and a dresser to a woman leaving an abusive relationship; Russ Wendling, owner of Rich’s Auto Repair in Sugar Grove, finds and fixes cars that he donates to people in need of transportation; and Scarpacci’s Pizza in Sugar Grove donated dinners for a time to a family whose home had been destroyed by a fire.

Alfrey said that six or seven business people came up to her after her presentation with ideas of how they and their businesses could help. The manager of a nearby hotel with kitchenettes offered to help with temporary housing, in the case of someone being displaced from their home.

A professional fundraiser offered her expertise to Alfrey in the area of raising funds for the organization. A medical insurance broker offered to donate a percentage of his previous year’s proceeds.

All of these actions and others will be part of a Chamber Cares Program, in which the chamber, in partnership with West Towns and Conley Outreach, offers opportunities for its members to work together to take an active role in supporting the community, Baum said.

‘Kane Kares’ earns national accolades

Nurse-Family Partnership program outpacesnational averages
Kane County—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s leading health care philanthropy, has recognized Kane Kares as a Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program that outpaces the national average for Nurse Family Partnership outcomes. Kane Kares is featured in an NFP video produced by the foundation and is highlighted on the foundation’s website.

Started eight years ago in Kane County, the NFP is a national, evidence-based program designed to change the lives of vulnerable first-time mothers and their babies through ongoing home visits from registered nurses. The NFP program is proven to reduce emergency room visits for accidents and injuries, reduce language delays among toddlers, and increased economic self-sufficiency.

“It is gratifying to receive this recognition from such a prestigious foundation,” said Gerry Jones, Chairman of the Public Health Committee. “The Kane County Board has made a significant investment in Kane Kares over the past eight years, and we can see the return—both in terms of dollars and in the health of these youngsters and their families.”

Kane Kares is achieving measurable results that exceed the NFP national averages:

• Only 8.6 percent of Kane Kares infants are born premature. The NFP national average is 9.7 percent and for all Kane County births the average is 10.7 percent.

• Only 7.3 percent of Kane Kares infants are born with low birth weights, compared to 10.6 percent for the NFP national average and 9.3 percent for all births in Kane County.

• Only 13.9 percent of Kane Kares toddlers 12-24 months had emergency room visits or hospitalizations, compared to 15.1 percent for the NFP national average.

The RWJF Kane Kares video can be viewed at

Garfield Farm offers Homespun Holiday Market

CAMPTON HILLS—Garfield Farm Museum will hold its annual Candlelight Reception from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 5 and 6.

Visitors can step back in time and tour the historic 1846 brick tavern. There is no charge for the candlelight event, but donations will be accepted.

The museum will also hold its Homespun Holiday Market and a bake sale both days from noon to 7 p.m. For additional information, contact the museum at (630) 584-8485 or Garfield Farm Museum is located five miles west of Geneva off Route 38 on Garfield Road.

Delnor celebrates home health milestone

Hospital commemorates 40 years of providing home health services
Geneva—November is Home Health Care Month, and Delnor Home Health is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The program was founded in 1969 with one nurse. Today, it has grown to a staff of nearly 40, and includes 16 registered nurses, eight of whom are case managers; 15 licensed therapists; two intake specialists; a patient care coordinator; a hospital liaison; and a director.

“Home Health has seen many changes since receiving certification 40 years ago,” said Kathy Tedesco, executive director of patient care services.

Perhaps the most significant of those is the expansion of services.

“Regulations have changed, services have expanded, technology has helped improve care, and our team has grown,” Tedesco said. “Throughout all of this change, the one constant is that we have always kept the needs of our patients at the forefront.”

Home Health Care provides a personalized approach to the recovery process.

“A home health case manager coordinates a multidisciplinary team of professionals as they follow an individualized plan of care,” said Liz Wiggins, occupational therapist in the Delnor Home Health Care program.

Some of the benefits of home health care in the long-term recovery and rehabilitation process include:
• Evaluations of home safety and functional living skills can be done in the environment that the person will need to perform in.
• Persons with poor endurance may be better able to participate in treatments or exercise when they haven’t tired themselves traveling to and from a clinic for care.
• Persons who are confused may perform better in the familiar surroundings of home.
• Monitoring of vital signs and progress by licensed professionals may enable early detection of problems that could require re-hospitalization. Telehealth technologies may be used to enhance home monitoring capabilities.

Home Health can provide a cost-effective way to administer infusion therapy (IV antibiotics, pain management medications, total parenatel nutrition, etc.), with a minimal disruption of daily life. Delnor’s Home Health conducts home visits, for a variety of needs, to monitor a patient’s health and assist in the recovery process. Education is given to patients and their families to help patients stay at home, where they are often most comfortable.

“Our Home Health program is an asset to Delnor,” Tedesco said. “These services allow us to extend our care past inpatient treatment, so that the road to recovery is smooth and patients can enjoy healing at home.”

Delnor Home Health is committed to providing quality, skilled medical services to homebound patients in Kane, Kendall, Western DuPage and DeKalb counties. Services include skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, home health aide and medical social work. Delnor’s Home Health Care program is accredited by The Joint Commission, a nationally recognized symbol of quality, and has been nationally recognized as a Magnet designated nursing hospital. For more information about Delnor Home Health Care, call (630) 513-0370.

Delnor Home Health is located at 964 N. Fifth Ave. in St. Charles. With nearly 40 dedicated employees, they provide skilled nursing and therapy services to more than 1,000 patients per year in the central Fox Valley.

Township transfer

The Sugar Grove Township is transitioning this month to its new quarters in the old Sugar Grove Public Library building. West Towns Human Services recently relocated there, with the Sugar Grove Assessor’s office soon to follow. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Elburn Chamber of Commerce announces 2009 Christmas Stroll

Elburn—The Elburn Chamber of Commerce will host the 15th annual Elburn Christmas Stroll from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, throughout Elburn.

The Christmas Stroll will begin with the arrival of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the village.

This year’s Christmas Stroll offers a variety of activities for all ages. Visit and have your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Town & Country Public Library beginning at 5 p.m. Play life-sized Kandyland at the Elburn Herald. At the north end of Main Street, enjoy a host of activities sure to delight at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, including a train ride, wine tasting hosted by the Elburn Jewel-Osco, a silent auction and raffle, cookie decorating, a Midtown Martial Arts demonstration, in addition to visiting businesses on site.

The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District will host an open house with orientations on fire equipment and hazard avoidance, which are sure to entertain and to educate.

As in years past, Village Hall will be open: stop in to visit with the staff and officials who serve you and the community throughout the year. Don’t forget to stop by Great Lakes Leadership Campus to take a tour of the mansion with all of its vintage charm. Many of the downtown stores and businesses, along with Elburn’s fine eating establishments, will be open late on Dec. 4 to share refreshments and cuisine: quench the thirst and satisfy the hunger from exploring the many wonders the Christmas Stroll offers.

Free continuous heated shuttle service will be available to the Christmas Stroll events throughout Elburn, with stops at the Town and Country Public Library, on the west side of Main Street near the Elburn Herald office, on the west side of Main Street at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, and the Jewel-Osco parking lot. Maps depicting the various Christmas Stroll activities will be published in the Thursday, Dec. 3, edition of the Elburn Herald, as well as on the Elburn Chamber of Commerce website.

Make the Elburn Christmas Stroll a family tradition. For more information on the Christmas Stroll, visit

The Christmas Stroll will take place regardless of snow or cold: Santa and Mrs. Claus are quite accustomed to both.

Photo: Strollers of all ages have an opportunity to stop by the Town and County Public Library to meet Santa and tell him their Christmas wishes. This year’s stroll takes place on Friday, Dec. 4. File Photo