Soccer buff gives Kaneland kids winter workout

Elburn resident offers free skills coaching
ELBURN—When Brad Simmons of Sugar Grove offered Kaneland students ages 7 to 9 soccer lessons at no charge, parent Aaron Mayhan didn’t hesitate to sign up his son Casey, 8.

“I thought, what a great way for him to put the (Nintendo) DS down and the Wii on a Monday night and go enhance his soccer skills and have some fun—for free,” said Mayhan, of Elburn.

Casey is among about 20 youths taking part in the four-week program Simmons is conducting at Elburn & Countryside Community Center. Not only did Simmons volunteer his time to teach the children soccer skills, he paid the Community Center’s $180 fee to use the gym for the program on Mondays, Feb. 8 through March 1.

A 39-year-old banker, Simmons started playing at age 8 and went on to participate in competitive traveling teams. While studying business at Western Illinois University, he played pickup games whenever he had a chance.

“I just have a passion for the sport,” Simmons said.

Simmons decided to offer the free lessons to teach the youngest soccer players skills they haven’t learned and help them refine those they have.

He said soccer is an extremely physical game, and an excellent way for children to expend energy and stay in shape.

“You use every aspect of your body, and it requires a lot of feet and eye coordination,” Simmons said.

Unlike most sports including baseball, which have a lot of breaks in between action, soccer is “non-stop,” he said.

Mayhan is glad his son has a chance to take part in an active sports program during the winter. Casey plays baseball in spring and summer, and soccer in the fall.

“With the weather being the way it is, when kids can get some gym time in, it’s a great opportunity,” Mayhan said.

Simmons has coached for the Kaneland Youth Soccer Organization and Sugar Grove Park District youth soccer, and currently coaches for a traveling team outside the area. He distributed flyers at Kaneland elementary schools last month to let parents know about the program.

Simmons hopes the program boosts community support for soccer, with his long-term goal being to start up more local traveling teams in the Kaneland area.

Photo: Brad Simmons, of Sugar Grove, coached local 7- to 9-year-olds in soccer skills on Monday at the Elburn & Countryside Community Center. He rented the gym space for the free weekly program, to teach nearly 20 children. Simmons is a licensed coach who wants to enhance soccer programs locally. Photo by Martha Quetsch

District takes 1st step to cut 112 teachers

State funding shortfall requires flexibility, district says
by Susan O’Neill
Kaneland—More than 100 teachers will receive pink slips next month, but not all will lose their jobs.

The School Board on Monday directed the administration to prepare a resolution to lay off first-, second- and third-year teachers, as well as all part-timers, for a total of 112 teachers. According to Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler, this move was necessary to give the district the flexibility it needs to respond to a financial shortfall from the state.

District officials learned two weeks ago that funding from the state will likely be drastically reduced for the school year 2010-11 by a range of $800,000 to $2.2 million. While Schuler said that the $2.2 million figure is unlikely, he said the district needs to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Using Schuler’s formula, which calculates the cost of each teacher at $50,000 (salary plus benefits), the actual number of teachers that would need to be let go to match the maximum potential shortfall from the state would be closer to 50. However, Schuler said the cuts in positions that he is recommending are not driven by how much money will need to be saved.

“It’s a matter of flexibility,” he said.

Schuler explained that in order to make the cuts necessary to balance the budget given the reduction in funding from the state, the district needs the flexibility of being able to evaluate all of the positions included in the first to the third year.

The district must release any staff 45 days prior to the end of the school year, Schuler said. Given that the district is not likely to have any definitive answer from the state on funding to the schools possibly by mid-summer; this means that the board must approve the release of the 112 teachers at its March 22 meeting.

The board will vote on the resolution for the reduction in force on March 22.

School Board revisits budget cuts

Original $2.6 million deficit considered Phase 1 of cuts
by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—In light of the news of the additional possible $2.2 million shortfall due to a reduction in state funding, (see related story) School Board members let go of some of the programs they sought to keep during last week’s meeting. The board Monday revisited the budget cuts proposed to eliminate the $2.6 million deficit for 2010-11.

Gone by the wayside is the eighth-grade competitive sports program and back is the elimination of 11 clubs at the high school level.

“There’s no way I can see keeping eighth-grade sports and losing 50 teachers,” board member Diane Piazza said.

The administration asked board members to go back to the original proposal to cut all middle school interscholastic sports in exchange for an intramural program.

“I hate to be the bad guy, but you can’t put faith in the state,” board member Bob Myers said. “Our first charge is to educate. Class size is a huge factor. Nobody wants it to creep over 25. I have a hard time reinstating anything. Our key focus is to educate the kids. Everything else is gravy and fluff.”

This plan included more cuts than the original plan presented several weeks ago, such as the administrative personnel salary freeze and the elimination of the budget for new technology. The overall reduction number including these adjustments is currently at $2.9 million, beyond the initial target number of $2.6 million.

According to Schuler, the additional reductions will be moved over to the phase two plan as the administration works to develop that plan to address the potential $2.2 million shortfall from the state.

Although the board was not asked to vote on the cuts on Monday, Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler told board members it was important that they come to consensus on the phase one, $2.6-million cost reduction plan that will be presented for their approval on Monday, March 8.

The straw poll taken on the plan was 6-0.

A vote on whether or not to increase athletics and activities fees was tabled until March. Assistant Superintendent for Business Julie-Ann Fuchs told board members that the Facilities Advisory Committee would support a modest increase in the fees.

“I’d be in favor of having this discussion after we have a better sense of what phase two will look like,” Piazza said.

KHS sophomore Erin Arndt starts Bits and Stirrups, a photography business

by Madi Bluml
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—Distance or up-close? A quick shutter or a normal-speed shutter? How is the lighting?

These are a few of the many questions sophomore Erin Arndt asks herself when she prepares for a photo shoot for her photography business, Bits and Stirrups.

Arndt has been riding horses since age 8. As an avid rider, Arndt has a wall in her room camouflaged by awards she has won. She became interested in photography when she received her first digital camera around age 10. Two years ago, in 2008, she decided to start her own business.

The name Bits and Stirrups comes from horse terms, Arndt said. A bit is a metal piece that goes into the horse’s mouth, and stirrups are the metal loops on the saddle for the rider’s feet.

“I was interested in photography, and I had a friend who was a professional photographer,” Arndt said.

Her friend, Violetta Jackowski, was Arndt’s inspiration to become a photographer.

Arndt primarily photographs horses and riders. Sophomore Ally Bumbar is a rider Arndt has photographed.

“She’s gone to my horse shows, and she takes pictures while I’m riding and of lessons,” Bumbar said. “I think she’s really good.”

The aspiring photographer has regular clients; she will go to different shows for the same people.

Horses and their riders aren’t the only things Arndt photographs. She does individual portraits and family shots, too.

Fifth-grader Devon Buri, a student at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School, has had family and individual portraits done by Arndt.

“She was fun because she did poses I’ve never done. It was great,” Buri said. “(The pictures) were good because of the shadowing.”

Junior Linnea Scherer has also had portraits done by Arndt.

“She gives good directions. She’s really easy to work with,” Scherer said.

Arndt said she enjoys editing some photos for fun in her free time. She continues to ride horses and competes in dressage and eventing. Dressage is a test that has to be memorized and then performed in front of a judge. Eventing is a series of three events that includes dressage, cross-country jumping and stadium jumping.

“I (want to) go far with riding horses, and I love bonding with the horses that I ride,” Arndt said, adding that horse-riding has made her learn responsibility to take care of horses.

Arndt has advice for aspiring riders.

“Find a place to ride and keep going for it,” she said. “Even if you fall, just get back on and try again.”

Village officials: Higher water, sewer charges needed

Rate hikes, customer fee among options
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Senior resident Joanne Gordon is concerned about the impact that a proposed $20 water and sewer fee would have on her household budget and those of others. Village officials are considering the new fee to boost revenue they said is necessary to ensure efficient water and sewer services.

“I understand the need, but it is going to be a hardship on many people,” said Gordon, who lives in the 300 block of West Nebraska Street.

The $20 customer fee per household would increase water and sewer revenue by $463,200 per year, Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven said.

During Monday’s Village Board meeting, Gordon asked the board to consider an alternative that would have a smaller impact on the pocketbooks of those with fixed or limited incomes.

“Is there something that can be proposed that would be in the middle, that would be less hard on people?” Gordon said.

Village trustees discussed other options Monday, such as charging senior households and those who use the least water either a lower customer fee or no fee. They also talked about raising the rates that the village charges for usage in the future. Those rates have not changed for many years—$2.69 per 100 cubic feet for water and $2 per 100 cubic feet for sewer.

“We are going to have to look at a higher price for water,” Trustee Bill Grabarek said.

The Village Board is expected to make a decision about charging more for water and sewer services during their 2010-11 budget planning within the next three months.

By the end of the fiscal year this summer, the village’s water and sewer fund will have about $53,000 available for capital improvements, compared to $543,000 five years ago, Nevenhoven said.

The existing water and sewer fund falls far short of what is necessary to pay for operations and several major water and sewer improvements Nevenhoven said are needed this year to keep the system operating smoothly (see below).

“This (the $20 customer fee) is one of the quickest ways to get that fund re-built,” Nevenhoven said. “I realize it’s going to be hard on people, but we need to push the water from the well to the user and we need to treat it.”

The reason the fund has dwindled is because water and sewer connection fees collected by the village for new homes have dropped dramatically with the residential building decline, Nevenhoven said. The water and sewer fund, under state law, must be self-sustaining and cannot include property tax revenue, he said.

Trustee Ken Anderson suggested implementing the customer service fee and when it builds up the water and sewer capital fund enough to pay for needed improvements and emergency projects, then the village could transition out of the customer fee and into a higher usage rates.

Trustee Patricia Romke and Village President Dave Anderson said the $20 fee is not an unreasonable amount for households to pay.

“I just think that this is so minimal,” Romke said.

The minimum monthly household water and sewer bill of $24.69 for water and sewer, including the $20 proposed customer fee, would be less than a dollar a day, Village President Dave Anderson said.

“I believe the water I use in a day is worth $1, fixed income and all,” he added.

New revenue needed
for improvements

The village of Elburn proposed a $20 monthly customer fee for water and sewer services to provide revenue for system improvements this year including the following:
• removing and replacing sections of
sewer that have collapsed in the
Cambridge subdivision, $20,000;
• extending the Main Street Alley
west-side alley water line to
eliminate a dead-end causing
stagnant water odor, $20,000;
• sequestering iron at wells No. 3 and
No. 4 for $27,000;
• installing a Third Street water main
extension from the library to
Shannon Street, $40,000;
• inspecting and repairing well No. 3
pump, $10,000; inspecting the north
water tower, $3,000;
• inspecting and cleaning the
Blackberry Creek water tower,
• rebuilding a wasting pump at
the treatment plant, $8,000.
Elburn Public Works Superintendent John Nevenhoven presented these project proposals to the Village Board on Monday and said they need to be done as soon as possible, hopefully this summer.

Village goal: Pare down projected $2 mill. deficit

Official expects ‘tough decisions’ on expenses
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Budget planning continued during Monday’s Village Board meeting, a process that started early this year so the village officials can find ways to pare down an expected deficit of nearly $2 million.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said the first draft of the 2010-11 budget shows projected revenue to be $4.1 million, compared to expenses totaling $5.9 million.

Even if the village limits expenses to those absolutely required—providing water and sewer services, police protection and street and sidewalk maintenance—the budget still will have a shortfall, Village President Dave Anderson said.

“The bottom line is, there is very little budge in this budget,” Anderson said.

The village has about $5 million in reserve funds, but village officials do not want to deplete those monies by continuing to use them to cover budget deficits.

The village already dipped into its reserves to cover a nearly $2 million shortfall in the 2009-10 budget. A deficit in the water and sewer fund was a significant part of the deficit in the village’s total $7 million budget.

Elburn officials are considering raising residents’ sewer and water charges to reduce this year’s expected budget deficit, which will include a shortfall of more than $500,000 in the water and sewer fund (see related story).

Department heads submitted budget request forms for expenses they determine are absolutely necessary, and the Village Board is reviewing them. From among the requests, the board will decide during the coming weeks what proposed expenses to include in the budget this June.

“We need to determine what is important to residents,” Willrett said.

Officials also will be looking at different staff salary options to reduce expenses.

“There are some tough decisions that are going to have to be made in the next few weeks,” Willrett said.

The next budget will not include raises for village employees, whose salaries comprise one third of the budget.

Helping out Haiti

Elburn Boy Scout Troop 7 participated in the preparation of 50,000 food packets for the victims of the Haiti earthquake on Saturday at the Village Bible Church in Sugar Grove. Seventeen Scouts, leaders and family members participated. Sugar Grove resident and troop committee member Bob Carroll (not pictured) learned of the opportunity to help while attending a Sugar Grove Board meeting several weeks ago. Courtesy Photo

Ebert appointed Kaneville Township Supervisor

Kaneville—The Kaneville Township Board appointed Dan Ebert to finish Leon Gramley’s current term as the Township Supervisor at its Feb. 8 meeting. The term will last another three years, at which time an election will be held for a new supervisor.

Gramley, who was elected as a trustee to the Township Board in 1993, was elected as supervisor in 1997. During Gramley’s last term, he took the leadership role in the incorporation of the village of Kaneville, which became official in November 2006.

Ebert, who grew up in Lily Lake. has lived in Kaneville for the past 15 years. He has been a township trustee for close to nine years. Trained in the military as an aircraft electrician in the United States Navy, Ebert is an electrician by trade.

Elburn man indicted for criminal sexual abuse

Crime allegedly took place during local party last fall
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Christopher Runde, 24, of Elburn, could face up to three years in prison for criminal sexual abuse, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.

A Kane County Grand Jury indicted Runde Feb. 16 for the crime committed during a local party last fall.

Runde was arrested Nov. 4 and has been free since posting $2,500 of his $25,000 bond.

The arrest took place following an Elburn Police Department investigation of an underage drinking party Oct. 30, 2009, in the 200 block of Conley Drive in Elburn.

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

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

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

Runde’s next court date is at 9 a.m. April 8 at the Kane County Judicial Center.

Local artists exhibit works at Hauser-Ross Eye Institute

Sycamore—Hauser-Ross Eye Institute will host a reception for three local artists, Dave Zoberis, Steve Tritt and Michelle Bringas, at 2240 Gateway Drive, Sycamore, on Thursday, Feb. 25, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Each artist has a unique interpretation that highlights the beauty of local surroundings. The public is invited to view the new installation and meet the artists during the reception. Light refreshments will be provided.

The subject matter of Zoberis’ watercolors include the common scenes you may pass by every day as you go to work, school or take care of errands. He translates these images in watercolors that have a deeper meaning of life and existence. He refers to his style as “representative impressionism.” Dave said he feels it is important to preserve the meaning of our “everyday.”

The local landscape also inspires Tritt. He builds his work with layers of paint to create abstract works of art that are inspired by rural landscapes. Each painting is built up by the materials he chooses, which add to the depth and texture of he finished image.

“In my paintings, I try to put an acre of paint on a small surface. With each composition I create areas of color and texture using the Illinois landscape as my model,” Tritt said.

His current installation at Hauser-Ross is a reflection of winter and solitude with glimpses of color reflected from the sky.

Bringas’ vision is expressed from behind the lens of her camera. This is a medium she enjoys because it gives her the opportunity to capture local vignettes she discovers on her travels each day.

“Photography causes me to be regularly in touch with the beauty that lies in everyday encounters,” she said.

She will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of her pieces sold at Hauser-Ross to the Brandon T. Bringas memorial fund.

The exhibit will be open at Hauser-Ross Eye Institute from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and will run until May 25. For more information, contact Jennifer Bennett at

Progress made on Ravlin stormwater management

by Susan O’Neill
Kaneville—Significant progress is being made with the stormwater management of the Ravlin Subdivision, thanks to the efforts of three residents. Once the contractor, Tree Service Co., removed the 10 trees from the ditch in the subdivision, Dale Pierson, Don Angell and Gary Koehring volunteered their time and Pierson his equipment to clear the brush and other debris that had been causing the subdivision’s drainage problems.

“It’s made a big difference,” Village President Bob Rodney said. “They did one heck of a job.”

JULIE will survey the entire drainage route before the tree service comes back to grind down the tree trunks and clear the trees away.

It’s been a major endeavor that has not cost the residents additional money in taxes, Rodney said.

Congress on Your Corner

U.S. Congressman Bill Foster met individually with residents from District 14 attending his Congress on Your Corner event at Elburn Village Hall on Saturday afternoon. (R-Dist. 14), hearing their concerns and answering questions. Among those who talked with Foster was former Elburn trustee Claude Henderson.
Photo by Martha Quetsch

2000-09: Looking back at the decade that changed Kaneland

by Jessica Corbett and Zach Brown
Kaneland Krier Editors

Kaneland—Over 3,300 students have graced the halls of Kaneland High School in the last decade. They have witnessed skyrocketing class sizes, resulting in a sudden increase in cultural diversity.

They have heard the pounding of hammers and nail guns as the high school made the transition from an 800-student capacity to a 1,600-student capacity building.

Classes have been cut, expanded upon and added to the curriculum. Teachers and principals have come and gone. New clubs have been formed, and various sports teams have experienced successful seasons.

A lot has happened in 10 years, and a lot has changed.

“Change, no matter what kind of change, is hard for everyone,” history teacher Scott Parillo said.
Looking back on the last 10 years at Kaneland High School, some may not even recognize what it once was.

New principals

Dr. Dan Bertrand, Mike Davis, Tony Valente and Dr. Greg Fantozzi: four principals in 10 years.
These four men have all served as KHS principals in the last decade.

Bertrand, Davis and Valente have all moved on to administrative positions at other districts, and Fantozzi has just joined KHS for the 2009-10 school year, as well as being the interim principal continuing through the 2010-11 school year.

Bertrand served as principal from 1995 to 2005, and went on to become superintendent of Marengo School District.

“He had advanced his degree and wanted a superintendent position,” Sayasane said.

Following Bertrand was Davis, who served as principal from 2005 to 2007, after which he “moved to a place where he had deep family roots,” McCormick said.

In 2007, Valente entered the scene, but only served as principal from 2007-09, resigning to become the principal at Springhill High School in Roselle, Ill.

“Mr. Valente decided to resign later in the year, when he was offered the position,” McCormick said.

His place was filled by the newest principal, Fantozzi.

Although this is Fantozzi’s first year at Kaneland, he did have a special connection to the school before accepting the position as interim principal.

“Dr. Fantozzi had been Mr. Valente’s mentor,” McCormick said.

Typically, interim principals only stay for one year, but not in Kaneland’s case.

“With the budget situation that we’re in, we felt that stability in the staffing pattern was important,” McCormick said. “So Dr. Fantozzi decided to stay another year.”

It is the plan that, next year, a new principal will be hired for the 2011-12 school year.

Steininger said that changing principals definitely impacts the high school.

The principals have “different views on how things should be done,” she said.

Steininger said that, as principals change, there are also changes made within the school.

“There haven’t been drastic changes,” she said. “They’re smaller, but they add up.”

There is some concern among the administration with frequent changes in administrators.

“The length of time an administrative system is in the district is usually correlative with test scores,” McCormick said. “So it is difficult to get a consistent improvement effort at the high school.”

But McCormick was optimistic, and expressed hope of “building things back up” with the incoming principal.

Size and diversity
The high school enrollment has grown by leaps and bounds, from 803 students enrolled in 2000 to 1,300 students for the 2009-10 school year.

“I think we’re starting to see more cultures coming into the School District,” Parillo said. “As any growth happens, there’s always going to be diversity.”

Diversity impacts schools in different ways.

“In theory, it ought to bring a broader perspective to a setting,” McCormick said.

Sayasane and Parillo said that increased diversity has not affected their classrooms, but it may impact how students interact with each other.

“Increased diversity can sometimes lead to racial jokes or slurs, but for the most part, students at Kaneland seem to get along,” junior Michael Caballero said. “People are more accepting of other cultures (when diversity is increased).”

Students can also learn from their classmates’ varied cultural backgrounds.

“Learning about other cultures and their belief systems is very good for everybody,” Parillo said.

Also, as growth and diversity increase, classes and the curriculum have more options.

“The bigger population helps us offer a broader curriculum,” McCormick said. “We can offer more sections of a class.”

As growth continues, the school may become even more diversified.

“We have become a more diverse school district,” McCormick said. “(But) compared to other schools, our number of students with diverse ethnic backgrounds is still relatively small.”

Sports teams
From memorable games to some teams competing at state, Kaneland sports has had quite a decade.

With the exception of 2007, Kaneland varsity football qualified for the playoffs every year in the last decade.

In 2006, with All-State players like Casey Crosby and Boone Thorgesen, the team won conference.

In the last 10 years, wrestling became a AA school in the 2000-01 season, which former wrestling coach Gary Baum described as the “big school class.”

In 2006, Kaneland wrestlers reset the record for most wins in dual matches and had both conference champions and regional champions, as well as three additional state qualifiers.

Baum gives most of this credit to the fact that most Kaneland wrestling coaches were former Kaneland graduates.

In basketball, senior David Dudzinski recently scored his 1,000th point in a game against Burlington.

Last year, the boys’ varsity basketball team won a tournament in Plano, against 16 other teams.

A variety of teams at the high school have achieved great success in their seasons over the last 10 years.

As of 1997, District 302 consisted of only two buildings on one campus. The district has since grown to seven buildings spanning the 140-square-mile district.

Up until that point, elementary and middle school students attended school at the former
middle school, and high school students were taught at the current high school.

The Kaneland School District expanded in 1998, with a total of four schools in the district. Two identical elementary schools were opened, located in Elburn and Sugar Grove. The new elementary schools were named Kaneland North and Kaneland South.

The district has expanded even more in the last decade, constructing two more elementary schools, one in Elburn and another in Montgomery. This year marked the opening of a new middle school, which is located on Harter Road in Sugar Grove. This building took the place of the former middle school, which is located on the same campus as the high school.

KHS has also experienced building changes in the last 10 years. Due to extensive additions and reconstruction, the high school has doubled in size, McCormick said.

Such expansions include the auditorium and the current cafeteria, as well as the music wing, which houses the band and choir rooms.

Junior Kendall Renaud, who is involved in band and the school plays, has personally experienced the effects of the additions.

“I think (the additions) are helping the arts programs, now that we have new band and choir rooms,” Renaud said.

The fitness and wrestling rooms were also added, and the library was gutted and renovated, McCormick said.

Since the library was renovated, the book collection has doubled in size, librarian Lorna Code said.

“It looks like a college library,” she said. “You almost had to see it before to know how lucky we are.”

Discipline and rules
The frequent administrative staffing changes have impacted a particular aspect of the high school: rules.

Senior Matt Larsen said that, as Kaneland has transitioned from principals Davis to Valente to Fantozzi, things seem to have gotten much stricter.

Superintendent Dr. Charles McCormick said that it’s more the enforcement of certain rules that changes, rather than altering the rules or policies.

“Principals vary on how things are interpreted and how things are emphasized,” McCormick said.

“If a rule is not communicated enough to students or parents, then it will be changed or altered,” McCormick said. “But I don’t think there has been a huge change in topics.”

He said that changes are often due to changes in state or federal laws, or specific circumstances.

“Look at the way cell phones have changed in the last 10 years,” McCormick said.

“We’ve been all over the map on the cell phone policy,” English teacher Jennifer Sayasane said.

In an effort to remove the distraction posed by cell phones, the current policy states that students must leave cellular phones off and in lockers while school is in session, McCormick said.

The ID policy, which requires all students and staff to wear IDs, has also been implemented.

“I don’t think it’s a huge deal, having to wear IDs,” junior Charlene Steininger said. “But I don’t think students like wearing them.”

Walgreens may sell beer, wine

Elburn—Village officials have agreed to grant Walgreens a liquor license for its Elburn store, allowing for packaged beer and wine sales. The store applied for the license in January.

Under the agreement the Village Board approved on Monday, Walgreens must conduct video surveillance of the store’s premises during all of its business hours; must secure displays and coolers of beer and wine to prevent customer access during hours that the village prohibits packaged liquor sales; and must program all cash registers to not allow liquor sales except during the hours permitted by the village.

Walgreens opened last September on the north side of Route 38 at Route 47 in Elburn.
Other stores in Elburn that sell packaged liquor hold village licenses to sell beer, wine and spirits. Those are Elburn Liquors, 319 S. Main St., Valley Liquors, 151 E. Route 38, and Jewel Osco, 800 N. Main St.

Patient, dentist partner to help Hesed House

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—Karen McCannon, a member of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, will once again partner with Dr. Donald Fee, a Sugar Grove dentist, to provide toothbrushes and toothpaste for residents of Hesed House. The drive, initiated by McCannon several years ago and endorsed by Fee, promotes the National Dental Health Month of February.

According to Fee’s practice manager Laura Bickhaus, for every dollar up to $500 collected by members of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, Fee will match that amount with dental supplies purchased at cost from his vendors. The end result will be $1,000 worth of dental supplies, or 3,000 toothbrushes and travel-size toothpaste containers for the people of Hesed House.

Hesed House Director and Sugar Grove resident Ryan Dowd said he is grateful for the dental supplies donated for his clients.

“In my 10 years of experience, when people get evicted, they grab their clothes and their wallets, but most people forget to grab a tooth brush,” Dowd said. “It’s difficult to get a job or even just to maintain your basic dignity if you can’t brush your teeth.”

Bickhaus said she understands that Hesed House is at capacity, and the practice is happy to help in this way. She said that McCannon, one of Fee’s patients, has two sets of wings—her angel wings and her tooth fairy wings.

Lions announce calendar raffle winners

Elburn—The Elburn Lions announced the February winners of their year-long calendar raffle.

Winners include Larry Breon of Batavia, $25; “Tar and Fish” of Elburn, $25; “Rob and Tom” of Elburn, $25; Steve Sturseth of Elgin, $25; Carol Herra of Elburn, $50; John Healy of Mt. Prospect, Ill., $25; Steve Lillie of Geneva, $25; Kennedy Barshinger of Lee, Ill., $25; David Gould of Maple Park, $25; Frank and Fran Modelski of Darien, Ill., $25; “Butch and Jan C.” (no town listed), $25; Michelle Zwiezen of Elburn, $50; Ken Hall of Maple Park, $25; R. Randall Norris of Elkorn, Wis., $100; Lisa Graham of Elburn, $25; Jody Sartain of Bristol, Ill., $25; Chad Cotti of Appleton, Wis., $25; Roger Vernon of Aurora, Ill., $25; Rachel and Brady Myers of Pierre (no state listed), $50; Joe Medernach of Sycamore, $25; John Regner of Hales Corners, Wis., $25; Janet Edson of Plainfield, Ill., $25; “Rob and Tom” of Elburn, $25; Art Swanson of Elburn, $25; Eric Marks of Crystal Lake, Ill., $25; Pam Hall and Tom Reynolds of Maple Park, $50; Tabitha Miller of Batavia, $25; and Richard Kozlowski of Batavia, $25.

Foster announces $7.5 mil funds for NIU health IT

Funding will create jobs, improve health care system, he says
Rep. Bill Foster (IL-14) joined NIU President John Peters, NIU project team members and local health care providers on Monday to announce that Northern Illinois University (NIU) will receive a Regional Extension Center award worth $7.5 million over two years from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The funds will help advance the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (health IT). This funding is made possible by the federal stimulus, which Foster voted for.

“Advancements in health IT significantly improve our health care system by reducing the costs of maintaining and tracking medical records, increasing efficiency and reducing medical errors and duplicative tests,” Foster said. “I am pleased that the stimulus will allow NIU to take a leading role in the use of health IT by our area health care providers, as it will greatly benefit doctors and patients alike.”

The award will allow NIU to create a Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) that will assist doctors to adopt health information technology. NIU estimates that this project will directly create or retain 105 jobs, and will indirectly create or retain an additional 35 jobs. HHS granted a total of $375 million in stimulus funds that will go to an initial 32 nonprofit organizations to support the development of regional extension centers (RECs). The regional extension centers are expected to provide outreach and support services to at least 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals nationwide within two years.

“We are excited to play a role in advancing this important health care initiative,” said NIU President John Peters, who noted that it fits well with other initiatives being spearheaded by the university.

The REC will work primarily with priority care providers—family practitioners, doctors of internal medicine, pediatricians and obstetricians who serve Medicare /Medicaid patients and other underserved populations. Those physicians provide about 80 percent of the nation’s health care, but only about 20 percent of them currently utilize electronic health records systems.

William D. Paulson

William D. Paulson, 64, of North Aurora and formerly of Elburn, passed away Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, at his residence surrounded by his loving family.

He was born May 30, 1945, in Aurora, the son of Ture and Marion (nee Kiefer) Paulson.

On Feb. 13, 1970, he was united in marriage to Robin Bartholomew at the Union Congregational Church; they just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

During the late 1950s until 1965, William and his father owned and operated Paulson’s Pure Oil, located at the corner of Prairie Street and Wilson Street in Batavia. William then worked at Par Gas in Batavia; it was there he met his loving wife, Robin. He later purchased his own truck and formed Paulson Trucking, where he leased to several different companies. In 1999, due to health issues, he took employment part-time with United Express. He was a member of the Union Congregational Church in North Aurora.

He is survived by his wife, Robin; two daughters, Kathryn (Gary) Stover and Melody (Jeff) Sexton; one son, Charlie (Julie) Paulson; six grandchildren, Aimee (Matt) Lewis, William Stover, Brett, Jacqui and Ture Paulson, and Jeffrey Sexton; five great-grandchildren, Dylan, Aaron and Paige Lewis; and Alexzis and Kloey Stover; and a special pal, Buddy.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Swan.

Visitation will be held 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, at Moss Family Funeral Home, 209 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia, IL.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at Union Congregational Church, 405 W. State St., North Aurora, Ill., where he will lie in state from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. Rev. Mark Alvis will officiate. Interment will be in River Hills Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family, where a memorial gift will be designated at a later time.

For additional information, contact Moss Family Funeral Home at (630) 879-7900 or at

Church news for Feb. 25

KUMC Men’s Club
Chili Supper set
for Feb. 27

Kaneville—The Kaneville United Methodist Church will host its annual Men’s Club chili supper from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, in the church’s basement.

Music will be provided, and hot dogs will also be available. There will be a free-will offering.
The church is located at 46W764 Main St., Kaneville. Call (630) 557-2353 for more information.

Benefit for Haiti
Earthquake Relief

Batavia—I Heart Haiti—an afternoon of shopping, drawings, prizes and more—will take place on Sunday, Feb. 28, to benefit earthquake relief efforts.

The event takes place at Lincoln Inn, 1345 S. Batavia Ave. (Route 31), from 1 to 7 p.m.

Proceeds from I Heart Haiti will go to Lutheran Church Charities (LCC), an Illinois-based agency that has become a leader in disaster response. LCC utilizes its long-established network of Lutheran supporters and congregations to serve well beyond that faith community, and its unique pass-through Dollar-In, Dollar-Out program guarantees that 100 percent of donations to Haiti go directly to that cause.

For further information, contact Stephans at (630) 901-7031 or For further information on Lutheran Church Charities, visit

Battle of the praise bands
The Burlington United Methodist Church will host the annual Battle of the Praise Bands on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m.

Four groups will perform at this fundraiser, benefiting the Burlington UMC mission trip to help repair homes in Appalachia. The New Sound band of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Elgin, along with Beacon of Epworth UMC, Elgin, Joyful Noise from Kaneville UMC, Kaneville, and the old time gospel acoustic sounds of The Good Ol’ Boys, hailing from the Country Covenant Church in Plato Center.

Free popcorn will be served. Tickets are $10 at the door of the Burlington United Methodist Church, 195 W Center St., Burlington. All proceeds will go toward the mission trip to the Appalachia Service Project in Kentucky to help repair people’s homes. For more information about the Appalachia Service Project, visit For more information, call (847) 683-3535 or visit

St. Charles Episcopal
offers Two Guys
and Free Spaghetti event

St. Charles—Two Guys and Free Spaghetti will provide a homemade spaghetti and meatballs dinner, beverage, salad, Italian garlic bread and homemade dessert on Sunday, Feb. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. The monthly event is held at St. Charles’ Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave.,(Route 25) in St. Charles.

For information, call Joe at (630) 890-6586.

United They Fall

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland High School boys basketball got yet another look at the bright lights of the United Center on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately, they also got the wrong look at the result against rival Geneva.

Despite leading the game with under five minutes left, Geneva closed the contest with a 14-4 run en-route to handing KHS a 49-40 setback.

The game marked the last Kaneland-Geneva boys contest for the foreseeable future with both teams leaving the expiring Western Sun conference.

The last time Kaneland met Geneva at the home of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and the boys was back on Dec. 31, 2008, which resulted in a 58-39 loss.

The Knights also found time to defeat host Marengo on Feb. 17 by a 45-25 clip.

Kaneland now sits at 15-9 (6-7 Western Sun Conference), with one game remaining in the regular season before Class 3A Regional action begins.

Knight Dave Dudzinski (55) goes sky-high on the United Center floor during Saturday’s 49-40 loss to Geneva. The senior had 20 points. Photo by Ben Draper
Knights center Dave Dudzinski had little problem adjusting to the NBA-regulation court and bright lights at the beginning. The Holy Cross-bound senior sank two three-pointers and scored the first eight KHS points to lead Geneva 8-1 three minutes, one second into the affair.

“Dave still got his (20) points and nothing really changed on the floor,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said. “He’ll be playing on the big stage in the future.”

“We got used to it pretty good,” Dudzinski said. “The flow of the game didn’t really affect us being on the court. It was exciting for us, but our main goal is to get to NIU (Class 3 Super Sectional).

Geneva hit two trifectas to close within 8-7, but Kaneland’s Matt Spitzzeri hit a shot to make it 10-7 with 1:05 to go. Geneva hit a coast-to-coast layup at the buzzer to close within 10-9.

With Kaneland employing two Donovan Williams buckets sandwiched around a Dudzinski field goal to go up 19-14 with 4:09 left, the Vikings used four consecutive foul shots to close the game to one with 2:41 remaining in the half.

Steve Colombe (21) shoots a baseline jumper during Saturday afternoon’s 49-40 setback to Geneva in Chicago. Photo by Ben Draper
The two squads missed six combined shots to go into the locker rooms at the same score.

Geneva got hot right on the heels of Kaneland converting a foul shot and three consecutive shots for a 26-24 Knights lead with 4:39 left in the third quarter.

Geneva then scored the next eight points to take a 32-26 lead with 1:59 to go.

The Knights came back furiously led by a two-handed dunk by Dudzinski, an underneath basket by Steve Colombe and a drive by Taylor Andrews that tied matters at 32.

In the fourth, Williams got a feed from Ryley Bailey on a layup with 6:15 remaining for a 36-35 lead, which would mark the Knights’ last of the afternoon.

The Vikings scored eight unanswered to take a 43-36 lead with 3:39 remaining.

Dudzinski hit a basket and two free throws to close within 43-40 with 2:50 remaining, but Geneva’s aggressive offense led to five trips to the charity stripe that added the last six points.

“We hit highs and lows in the second half,” Johnson said. “Geneva forced us to play a little quicker.”

In the win over Marengo, Chaon Denlinger had a game-high 15 points, while Colombe had 11.

Kaneland led 16-3 after one and maintained a 24-12 lead going into the locker room.

The Knights opened the floodgates by routes 23 and 20 with a 13-4 third quarter to go up 37-16.

Kaneland has rival Batavia at the home of the Bulldogs for the final time as WSC rivals on Friday, Feb. 26.

On Wednesday, March 3, the Knights face the winner of the Hampshire-Rochelle matchup in the Kaneland Regional’s semifinal at 7:30 p.m.

Alef headed to State swim meet

Kaneland High School junior Grant Alef, as an individual swimmer, has one destination during the winter.

For the third season in a row, he’s making good once again.

Alef, of Maple Park, finished second in the 500 yard freestyle event with a time of 4 minutes, 43.68 seconds, and third in the 100 yard backstroke at 52.97 at the St. Charles East Sectional.

“I want to get into finals,” Alef said on Tuesday. “I came so close last year, and it could come down to a slip here or a flipturn there. I want to get good times.”

Alef hopes to make it out of the meet in Evanston this weekend with a goal.

“I want to have my name on the group of State qualifiers for Kaneland and be the first swimmer,” Alef said.

Silver Stardom

Quickly getting used to the idea of tournament wins, the 8th Grade Kaneland Silver Stars are shown here after conquering the Storm Chasers Classic Tournament at South Elgin High School on Saturday and Sunday. The unblemished tourney champs dusted off feeder teams from Willowbrook, Schaumburg, Palatine and Glenbard West. The Silver Stars also took the championship mantle at the President’s Day Shootout at Elk Grove High School Feb. 13-14. Shown here are: front row, left to right: Amber Winquist-Bailey, Caroline Heimerdinger, Jessica Jablonski, Jennifer Alderman, Sydney Strang. Back row (left to right): Coach Mark Hotwagner, Marina Shaefer, Alyssa Andersen, Brittany Kemp, Sarah Childers, Maddie Hester, Coach Jeff Heimerdinger. Courtesy Photo

Heiss honored by W. Aurora

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College’s long-time head men’s basketball coach Dave Heiss was recently honored by his alma mater, West Aurora High School.

Heiss was inducted into the Blackhawks’ Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior to their varsity boys’ basketball game against Glenbard East on Saturday, Feb. 20. Heiss, currently in his 24th season leading the Chiefs’ basketball program, was one of five people selected to the 2010 class of inductees. Among those joining Heiss was Carol Bell, wife of Waubonsee cross country and men’s tennis coach, John Bell.

In 1980, Heiss was an All-Upstate Eight Conference performer for the Blackhawks when his team finished third in the state. He went on to play at Eastern Wyoming Junior College, where he led the NJCAA Region IX in scoring as a sophomore. Heiss then transferred to Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where he was All-Northern Sun Conference his final two years. Heiss was invited to the Utah Jazz rookie and free agent camp in 1986 and played for the Jazz’ rookie team in the Pro-Am League that summer.

Heiss began coaching the Chiefs in 1986 and has built the program into a perennial power. He led Waubonsee to 480 victories in his coaching career, including this season’s squad, which is currently 21-8 overall heading into the post-season. Under his guidance, the Chiefs have won 20 or more games a dozen times, and tallied 19 wins on four other occasions. His squads have won nine Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) titles with 55 of his players being named All-Conference, including eight league MVP Awards. Heiss is also the ISCC’s all-time record holder for career wins with 216 and counting.

Off the court, Heiss earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Bemidji State and his master’s degree from Chicago State University in 1992. Heiss has been a full-time faculty member in Waubonsee’s Physical Education Department since 1992. He was instrumental in the establishment of Waubonsee’s S.T.A.R. program, an academic monitoring and tutoring program for student/athletes. The S.T.A.R. program was the first of its kind in Illinois at the community college level when it was begun in 1991, and has since served as the model for similar programs at colleges around the country. Additionally, Heiss has guided the Chiefs’ golf program for the last 18 years, orchestrating two Skyway Conference title winners and a Region IV crown, while helping 31 golfers reach All-Conference status. A life-long resident of Aurora, Heiss has three children, D.J., Danielle and Demi.

Wrestlers Boyle, Davidson nab one win each at State meet

The Kaneland High School wrestling program can be pleased that they not only sent two wrestlers to the Class 2A State meet at Assembly Hall in Champaign, but also had those grapplers get a win on the Illini mat.

With Kyle Davidson competing at 145 points after finishing third at Sterling High School’s sectional, and Knight Jimmy Boyle also having finished third at the sectional, the Knight duo had opening round matches this Friday and Saturday.

Both Davidson and Boyle both achieved opening round wins before losing quarterfinal matches.

Davidson, who finished the 2009-10 season with a 37-11 record, defeated Rich Central’s Ishmael Rempson in a 7-2 matchup before losing to Triad’s Josh Ballard in a 13-1 major decision. Ballard ended up finishing fourth place overall in the bracket.

For Boyle, who finishes with a sizable 41-win total, got the best of Riverside-Brookfield’s John Schraidt by pinfall in 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Boyle then was defeated by Sprinfgield’s Dave Casper in a 1:48 fall.

In 2009, Kaneland’s Jay Levita was the lone Knight rep down at State, and lost to Springfield’s Dane Atwood, 9-3.

With the season at a conclusion, the grapplers say goodbye to graduating seniors Dennis Brettman, Ben Gust, Joe Levita, Alex Mollohan, Deven Scholl and JT Webb.

Elite VanBogaert

Elburn native and Rosary graduate Elyse VanBogaert recently became the 20th player in Loyola women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000 point plateau, achieved on Feb. 4 against Youngstown St. VanBogaert is now 19th on the Lady Ramblers all-time list with 1,054 points.
Courtesy of Loyola Sports Information

Feb. 25 local 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.

• Antonio J. Alcala, 19, of the 500 block of Carriage Drive in West Chicago, was arrested at 1:43 a.m. Feb. 21 for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him on Blackberry Creek Drive at Beed Avenue in Elburn for having a loud exhaust system.

• Juan Jesus Moreno, 40, of the 1000 block of Demmond Street in Elgin, was arrested at 9:56 a.m. Feb. 21 for driving without having a valid license. Police stopped him in the 500 block of Main Street in Elburn because a wire was dragging from his trailer. He also was cited for lacking trailer brakes and vehicle insurance.

• Jose Adrian Arrendondo-Gonzale, 30, of the 500 block of Wellington Avenue in Elgin, was arrested at 1:50 a.m. Feb. 20 for driving under the influence of alcohol while his license was suspended for a previous DUI offense. Police stopped him for improper lane use.

Sugar Grove
• Vanessa L. Young, 44, of the 6800 block of S. Langdon, Chicago, was charged with speeding at 63 mph in a 55 mph zone, driving with an unrestrained child under 8 years old and driving with a suspended license, at 8:14 a.m. on Jan. 21. She was eastbound on Route 56 from Route 47.

• Daniel J. McCarthy, 44, of the 2300 block of Wynwood Lane, Aurora, was found with an in-state warrant for failure to appear in court at 10:17 p.m. on Jan. 22. He was at 10 Municipal Drive.

• Jesus F. Caltzontzin, 20, of 38W400 block of Prairie Street, Aurora, was charged with driving without a valid driver’s license and driving with an obstructed windshield at 6:13 p.m. on Jan. 26. He was northbound on Route 47 at Bliss Road.

• Eleazar Perez, 33, of the 1300 block of Monomay Street, Aurora, was charged with driving without a valid driver’s license at 9:22 p.m. on Jan. 27. She was eastbound on Galena Boulevard from Route 47.

• Someone stole 13 plastic food bins from 201 Route 47 (Gas Mart) sometime between Jan. 26 to Jan. 30.

• Anton R. Ayyad, 24, of the 1800 block of North Farnsworth Avenue, Aurora, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of cannibis (10-30 gms), unlawful use of a weapon (a knife) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia at 6:48 p.m. on Feb. 3. He was northbound on Route 47 from Cross Street.

• Debra N. Lerma, 21, of the first block of S. View Street, Aurora, was charged with driving with a suspended license at 11:37 p.m. on Feb. 8. She was eastbound on Galena Boulevard at Route 47.

SG resident inducted into National Leadership Honor Society at Augustana College

Tara Czepiel, an Augustana College senior from Sugar Grove majoring in biology and Spanish, was one of 33 students inducted into the Augustana circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.

The 17 seniors and 16 juniors are considered top leaders within the classroom and extracurricular achievements, a privilege afforded to just 3 percent of the total population of students at Augustana.

Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes and promotes accomplishments in the areas of academics, athletics, service, social and religious activities, campus government, journalism, speech, mass media, and creative and performing arts.

WIU announces local fall 2009 graduates

Western Illinois University announced the local graduates who earned their degrees following the fall 2009 semester.

Elburn resident Andrew Drendel received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education—K-12. Sugar Grove resident Jeffery Morrical received a Bachelor of Business—Accountancy degree. Maple Park resident Lee Schramer received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural science.

Rylen Joseph Boughton

Chad and Valerie Boughton announce the birth of their son, Rylen Joseph Boughton.

He was born at 8:38 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2010, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. He weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 18 1/2 inches long.

His grandparents are LaVerne and Josephine (deceased) Weiland, and Robert and Cherye Boughton.

Rylen was welcomed home by his big brother Drake, 7, big sister Siara, 5, and big brother Logan, 2.