Jobs, most programs reinstated by school board

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday adopted a resolution to hire back the first, second, third, fourth-year and part-time teachers let go in a cost-cutting measure taken last month. The plan would have eliminated as many as 30 certified teaching and professional positions.

The jobs were saved when the Kaneland Education Association (KEA) agreed to put off until the following year a salary increase for 2010-11 that had been negotiated in its contract, saving the district $1.1 million. With this salary freeze, the teachers now join the rest of the district personnel, whose salaries had already been frozen for the coming school year in an attempt to address the deficit.

Although fifth-grade band will still be eliminated, the district reinstated cuts made to the middle school and high school athletics and clubs. The Loredo Taft field trip will also still be eliminated.

While the second phase of cuts will not be implemented, the first phase of reductions will go forward, including 23 positions to be lost through attrition, a reduction in spending for supplies and professional development, as well as the elimination of the after-practice bus service.

According to Associate Superintendent of Human Resources Jeff Schuler, the total of all budget reductions for 2010-11 is $4.3 million.

Elburn mission statement emphasizes ‘small-town values’

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Although a proposed mission statement for the village of Elburn emphasizes small-town values, it does not mean that the village’s philosophy is anti-growth, Village President Dave Anderson said.

Trustee Jerry Schmidt said during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting that he was concerned that “small-town” indicates that Elburn does not want to grow. But Anderson said it means that as growth occurs, the village will retain its small-town values.

“When we get to 15,000 people, hopefully we will have those same values,” Anderson said.

Anderson said small-town values “encompasses a lot of things … it’s like ‘Cheers’—everybody knows your name. To me that’s a small-town value, when you recognize people and say hello on the street.”

Trustee Jeff Walter said “everything in the mission statement should be definable.” He wants the board to talk further about what is meant by “small-town values” in the mission statement.

Walter said Wednesday that he interprets small-town values to mean “conservative, family-oriented, Christian, open and friendly.”

“That really is what we are,” said Walter.

However, he added that other people might not define small-town values in the same way.

The mission statement will be the philosophy behind every decision that village officials make in the future, said Anderson, who composed the statement with feedback from the Planning Commission.

The mission statement will be on the Village Board agenda on Monday, May 3, for further discussion and possible board approval.

Proposed mission statement for Elburn:
“We are and shall be an innovative community that maintains
small-town values while working to enhance the quality of life of our
residents; promote and support our businesses; and welcome
new opportunities which enable the Village of Elburn to be the ideal place
to live, work, worship and play.”

Pastor returns to help in post-quake Haiti

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—The Rev. Steve Good was a college student in 1982 the first time he went to Haiti. His immersion in the Haitian history and culture, and the connection he felt with its people, was an experience so powerful that he said the best way to describe it is, “the Haiti bug bit me.”

“Haiti gets under your skin,” the pastor of the Sugar Grove Methodist Church said. “Your heart is connected to it in more than a temporary way.”

Since the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, Good said his heart has stirred once again with compassion, and he feels a strong pull to use what he has already learned of the Haitian people and their Creole language to be of service.

As a minister, Good has led other mission groups to serve in Haiti, the last of which was seven years ago. He has helped take care of babies and children in a hospital ward and an orphanage, and interacted with boys at St. Joseph’s Boy’s Home, where the young men learned skills, experienced self-worth and love, and were encouraged to contribute to society in a positive way.

He had to cancel a more recent trip several years ago, due to the level of street violence at the time.

This time, he will join an existing group, called The Haiti Partnership, a United Methodist organization out of New York and Pennsylvania. The Haiti Partnership is connected to the greater organization within the United Methodist Church, UMCOR, or United Methodist Committee on Relief.

He leaves for Haiti on May 19 and will travel to Melliee, a rural village 80 miles west of Port-au-Prince. While there, he will help with deconstruction, as well as with the group’s children’s ministry programs.

“I always tell my congregation that God has blessed you with different gifts and abilities, and that they should use them for God’s purposes,” he said. “I feel compelled to put myself in the midst of some recovery efforts.”

He said that it has been wonderful to see local support for the people of Haiti, and although the flow of aid has not been as strong as it was in the month following the earthquake, he is still receiving calls from churches and other organizations that continue to want to be involved.

Members of his church have donated health kits, as well as birthing and layette kits, and help continues to reach places such as Grace Children’s Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

Although most of the hospital buildings have been destroyed, the hospital uses military-supplied tents to continue to provide medical care for children and adults with tuberculosis, malnutrition and AIDS.

Since so many waterborne diseases lead to death in children, hospital employees work with other organizations to provide clean water, using methods and technology that will be sustainable for the local community.

“I’m very grateful that people want to contribute,” he said.

To assist with his fundraising, the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church held an all-you-can-eat chili supper at the Sugar Grove Community Center on April 24, where good-will donations were accepted. These funds will help to pay for his trip expenses, as well as for the supplies he will take with him.

Good said that he knows when people make a contribution, they feel more comfortable when there is a personal and local connection. He is happy to provide people with that connection, to allow them to say to themselves, “Here’s a way I can help.”

Donations are still being accepted for Good’s mission to Melliee, Haiti. For more information or to contribute, individuals may call the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church at (630) 466-4501. For more information about UMCOR, visit the website at www.umcor.org.

Want to help?
For more information, call the
Sugar Grove
United Methodist Church
(630) 466-4501
speak to Rev. Steven Good.
For more information about
UMCOR
and its work in Haiti and other
places, visit the website at
www.umcor.org

courtesy photos

Plan Commission considers renewable-energy ordinance

Township turbine may not fit ordinance guidelines
by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Township wants to put up a wind turbine at its road and bridge building on Main Street, but a proposed Sugar Grove village ordinance may not allow it.

The village last July placed a moratorium on windmills, wind turbines and other electricity-generating wind devices, to give staff time to research the issue. The moratorium, which was to last six months, was extended in December, to allow further study on how to properly regulate such devices.

The Sugar Grove Plan Commission is currently reviewing a draft zoning ordinance created by Sugar Grove Community Development Director Rich Young and other village staff that would regulate wind energy devices.

Although it has not submitted an official request, the township would like to install a 100-foot wind turbine unit on its south Main Street property, and has been exploring sources for a potential grant that would pay half of the $100,000 to install it.

The township not only uses electricity for its own buildings’ uses, but also powers the intersection lights throughout the township. According to Township Supervisor Dan Nagel, the township would receive credits on its electric bill for each kilowatt of electricity that the wind turbine would generate.

Nagel said the 100-foot tower would allow the township to gain the most efficiency from the wind turbine, generating a payback for its cost within seven to 12 years.

The draft ordinance would effectively prohibit such a tall tower, both within village limits, as well as anywhere within the village’s future planning area outlined in the comprehensive plan.

Village Board members, citing safety and aesthetics, said that they would not be in favor of the 100-foot towers, especially in the more residential areas. Safety concerns would dictate set-backs large enough so that if the wind turbine were to fall over, it would be completely contained on the lot on which it stands.

However, the 100-foot tower is the size that would most efficiently generate electricity.

“The lower the towers, the longer it takes to get the payback,” Nagel said.

Young said the intent of the ordinance is to encourage small-scale applications of renewable energy, allowing both businesses and residents the ability to generate their own electricity. He said he would eventually like to expand the ordinance to include guidelines for solar, geo-thermal and other sources of energy generation.

He likened resistance to the technology to the concerns that people raised when satellite dishes were initially introduced. The first dishes were large and unwieldy, but as technology improved, the size decreased and people’s comfort level with the technology went up.

“I’d like to see us come up with a reasonable solution for small applications,” he said.

According to Young, the extension on the moratorium will end on June 1, and he would like to have an ordinance in place by then. He said the Plan Commission will likely consider the specifics of the proposed ordinance at a special meeting set for May 6.

Accurate census makes sense for villages

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN, MP—Elburn and Maple Park officials want residents to stand up and be counted, by completing their 2010 U.S. Census forms.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said that the census is important locally for several reasons. One is that the village head count could require changes in village operations. Under state law, if Elburn has more than 5,000 residents, it will have to have an elected village clerk and establish a police commission.

In the past, the village president has appointed the village clerk annually, with the advice and consent of the board. For the past several years, Diane McQuilkin has held the position.

The three-member police commission would be appointed by the village president, with the advice and consent of the Village Board. The police commission would be responsible for hiring, promoting, disciplining and dismissing police officers. Currently, the Village Board makes those decisions.

The number of residents also determines state and federal government representation, Anderson said.

“Legislative districts (both federal and state) are set up, basically, by population,” he said.

An accurate count of village residents also is important to the village financially. Income- and sales-tax revenue that the village receives from the state is determined through an equation that factors in population established by the U.S. Census, Anderson said.

Accurate data reflecting changes in municipalities’ populations are crucial in deciding how more than $400 billion per year is allocated by the federal government for community projects such as roads and schools, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The last time a head count took place in Elburn was in 2006, when a U.S. special census determined the village’s population was 4,696. Anderson believes the census may show that the village has grown to nearly 5,000.

“I think we will be very close,” Anderson said.

Maple Park had a special census done in 2007, showing that the village’s population was approximately 1,100, Village President Kathy Curtis said.

Curtis said each person counted represents approximately $100 in revenue per year for the village. She said it is crucial for Maple Park that its residents complete their census forms, because of the financial impact of a head count that is too low.

She said, for example, if Maple Park’s “population comes in at 1,000 with the 2010 census that is about $10,000 of lost revenue for the village.”

“We already know our population is marginally lower due to foreclosures in town,” Curtis said. “We can’t afford to forfeit revenue by not responding.”

On May 1, U.S. Census takers will begin going door-to-door to households that did not mail back their 2010 Census forms. They also will verify that housing units indicated as unoccupied by the postal service or other sources are indeed unoccupied and vacant.
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census every 10 years.
Source: www.2010census.gov

Tree City USA status renewed

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—The village of Elburn recently qualified again as a Tree City USA. To be eligible for this national honor, which Elburn has received for the past 11 years, the village hosts an annual Arbor Day Celebration, but that is not the only reason for this community event.

“We have a responsibility as stewards of God’s creation to recognize the importance of trees and to share that importance with our children,” Trustee Ken Anderson said.

Anderson said the celebration brings recognition to the value of trees and the role they play in our lives.

“They purify our air by removing CO2 and creating oxygen. They supply shade and reduce energy needs. They give us aesthetically pleasing views in our yards and parks,” said Anderson, who is a special projects manager with the Kane County Department of Environmental Management.

Anderson said trees also protect the soil and put nutrients back into it, and they enhance property values via the landscape.

After the Arbor Day Celebration Saturday morning at Liberty Park, Anderson will give a presentation on prairie and wetland plants at Prairie Park for village officials and the public. Prairie Park is located on East North Street in Elburn.

Anderson said his presentation will focus on the importance of prairie and wetland plants and how best to manage and maintain these natural systems.

Lions announce calendar raffle winners

Elburn—The Elburn Lions Club announced the winners for its calendar raffle for the month of April.

Winners are Bob Edwards, Sycamore, $25; “Tar & Fish,” Elburn, $50; Sue Helfers, Elburn, $25; Nick Britz, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, $500; Richard Miller, Batavia, $25; Steve Helfers, Elburn, $25; Susan Anderson, Elburn, $25; Becky Thompson, Fairbanks, Ala., $25; Lori Brewer, Rochelle, $50; Jim Gillett, Elburn, $25; George Jackson, Elburn, $25; Chris Cornell, Hinckley, $25; Mark Hougas, Sugar Grove, $25; Chris Jones, Maple Park, $25; Jerry Parisek, Elburn, $25; Carmen Rivera-Moore, North Aurora, $50; Rascal Klomhaus, Elburn, $25; Angie Watson, Montgomery, $25; Living Well Health Center, $25; Jerry Schie, Geneva, $25; Sharon Leifheit, Shabbona, Ill., $25; Stan Andrie, Muskegon, Mich., $25; Hailey Gladd, Batavia, $50; Pat Schultze, West Chicago, $25; Jerry Schie, Geneva, $25; Jeff Haug, Sycamore, $25; Diane Poss, Sugar Grove, $25; Bob McQuillan, Geneva, $25; Pete Dwyer, Park Ridge, Ill., $25; Karen Medernach, Norcross, Ga., $50.

Friday Knightlife ‘too cool’

Community Center will bring youth program back in fall
Story and photo gallery by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Friday Knightlife, a youth recreation program that started last fall at the Elburn & Countryside Community Center, was so popular that its organizers plan to offer it again.

The twice-monthly program for fourth- and fifth-graders started in early November and concluded April 23.

About 50 children signed up initially, and gradually, the program has gained many additional participants.

“As the word got out, more kids would sign up. Kids found out they had a good time, so more kids would come the next time,” said coordinator Bill Brauer. “There have been a lot more new faces in the last few months.”

“It’s kind of a fun night and we’d like to make it bigger,” Brauer said. “We’ll bring it back in October.

Last fall, he distributed flyers through the two Elburn elementary schools, John Stewart and Blackberry Creek, announcing the program that would meet every other Friday for six months, from 6 to 8:50 p.m., in the community center gymnasium.

“This is three hours of fun, do what you want,” he said. “It is an opportunity for them to get out and just be kids.”

Brauer is on the Community Center’s board of directors. He started the Friday Knightlife program because it would be good for the kids and would benefit the community center.

“When we were looking at things to do to keep the community center going, I noticed Friday night was a night when the gym sat vacant,” Brauer said.

He noted that other communities offer similar programs, such as North Aurora, where he lives.

“So I kicked it around at one of our board meetings, and said what if we do kind of a (pre)teen night, and everybody loved the idea,” he said.

Brauer said the program gives children something to do during the months when often the weather outside isn’t good, and it’s dark in early evening.

From the beginning, he and other program organizers made sure to offer recreation that participants were interested in.

“We kind of tailored it to what they want,” he said. “In the beginning they wanted to play a lot of Nerf touch football in the gym, so we let them do that.”

He said that early on, he held a couple of “pow-wows” with participants and asked them, ‘What do you guys like doing? What do you not want to do, because I’m not going to tell you what to do-you’re the ones that will be playing for three hours.’”

He did steer clear of offering many video games, because children can play those at home.

“We wanted to offer them something different,” Brauer said.

The fee was $45, or about $3 per program, which helped pay for games and other recreation-related expenses. Program activities have included floor hockey, basketball, Frisbee tosses, obstacle courses, air hockey, and the Guitar Hero game.

Refreshments also are part of every evening, such as Paisano’s pizza for a dollar a slice, plus soda or water.

James Leyden, 10, was at the Community Center every night the program was offered. He likes the chance to eat pizza and to play air hockey, pool and Guitar Hero, but most of all, to socialize.

“My favorite part is hanging with my friends,” said James, who attends John Stewart Elementary.

On Friday night, Alina O’Connor was sitting at a table making bracelets with her friends, one of the crafts she has enjoyed on program nights. She does not have any siblings at home, so the program is a chance for her to be with other kids after school.

Alina, a John Stewart student, has had so much fun that she hopes to join the program again this fall.

“It’s just too cool,” Alina said.

April 30 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.

Elburn
• A 16-year-old male from Georgia led police on a high-speed chase Saturday after he stole a local resident’s vehicle parked in front of a business in Elburn at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday. The owner left his 2007 Saturn Ion running outside of the Mobil gas station at 213 S. Main St. when the theft occurred. Elburn police were able to follow the offender because the vehicle had a GPS device. He was apprehended after going north on Route 47 to Route 20 in Elgin and hitting a median. The offender was wanted in several states, including Georgia and Iowa.

• A 2008 H & H tilt-flatbed trailer was stolen on April 19 from a loading dock outside of Correct Direction, 801 Paul St., Elburn, where its owner stored it. The trailer is valued at $5,600.

• Robert Grant Headly, 30, of Riverton, Utah, was arrested at 11:28 p.m. April 25 for driving while his license was suspended. Police stopped him for speeding on Route 47 at Shannon Street in Elburn.

• Barbara J. Kujawa, 46, of the 400 block of Conley Drive in Elburn, was arrested at 12:57 a.m. on April 24 for driving under the influence of alcohol after the vehicle she was driving struck the car ahead of it on Route 38 near Anderson Road in Elburn. She also was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash. No one was injured in the accident.
n Sugar Grove

• Cheryl L. Bartle, 53, of the first block of Sugar Lane, Aurora, was arrested at 2:32 p.m. on April 26 on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a charge from the Aurora Police Department of driving without a license. She was at the Police Department at the time of arrest.

• Someone punctured the tires on a car parked at The Fireside Grille Restaurant between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on April 24.

• Jeremy T. Migonis, 32, of the 15000 block of McGirr Road, Hinckley, was arrested at 7 p.m. on April 21 on an in-state warrant from DuPage County Sheriff’s Department for driving on a suspended license. He was northbound on Route 47 at KaDeKa Road.

• Mitchell J. Wagner, 25, of the 1900 block of Annette Circle, Sugar Grove, was arrested for driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle at 6:42 p.m. on April 19. He was southbound on Route 47 from Galena Boulevard.

• Marcelino Garcia, 31, of the 800 block of Kramer Avenue, Elgin, was arrested for driving with an obstructed windshield and no valid driver’s license at 4:27 p.m. on April 19. He was northbound on Route 47 at KaDeKa Road.

Kane County

Defendant faces additional charges for murder for hire
The attempted murder trial of an Elgin man was postponed April 26 when the defendant was accused of attempting to hire someone to kill a witness in the trial.

Bernardino Hernandez Jr., 22, of the 800 block of South Liberty Avenue, Elgin, was charged with one count of solicitation for murder and one count of solicitation for murder for hire, each a Class X felony.

Authorities allege that Hernandez, while in custody at the Kane County jail on charges in two separate cases—attempted murder (2008) and unlawful use of a weapon (2009)—had sought to have someone kill a witness in the attempted murder case.

In 2008, Hernandez was charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, each a Class X felony, for the June 2008 shooting of an acquaintance. On Sept. 9, 2009, Hernandez posted $15,000 bond and was released from jail. A short time later, authorities obtained evidence that Hernandez, while out of jail on bond, had been in possession of a firearm, which is a violation of his conditions of bond. Hernandez was taken into custody in late December 2009 and charged with three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, each a Class 4 felony, and other charges. His bail in that case was set at $1 million, and he has been held in the Kane County jail since.

Hernandez’s trial in the 2008 case was set to begin April 26. When Hernandez appeared for his trial in front of Circuit Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon, the new charges were read to Hernandez. Judge Sheldon set Hernandez’s bail in the new case at $2 million and set his next court appearance for 9 a.m. May 13, in Courtroom 319. In addition, Judge Sheldon rescheduled the trial to begin Aug. 30.

If convicted of the most serious charges in each case, Hernandez would face a combined sentence of between 52 and 118 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Montgomery man returns to prison
for burglary of VNA office

A Montgomery man will return to prison for burglarizing the Visiting Nurses Association office in Aurora.

Cornell Vinegar, 51, most recently of the 2200 block of Gallant Fox Circle, Montgomery, was sentenced April 22 to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for his conviction on one count of burglary, a Class 2 felony.

Vinegar pleaded guilty Feb. 25, 2010, in front of Judge Golden.

At about 3 a.m. March 14, 2009, Vinegar broke through a window at the entrance of the Visiting Nurses Association office in the 400 block of North Highland Avenue, Aurora, and attempted to steal an ATM machine and place it in his SUV. While in the process of loading the machine into his vehicle, a private security guard who had been alerted to the crime arrived and Vinegar fled. A short time later, Aurora police, having been subsequently alerted, witnessed Vinegar’s vehicle driving away from the scene with the tailgate open.

During sentencing, Judge Golden cited Vinegar’s extensive criminal past, which began with a 1976 robbery in Cook County. In all, Vinegar has been convicted of 13 felonies and three misdemeanors, and has had 10 prior terms in IDOC in the last 34 years. During that time, he has been free from custody for about eight years.

Because of his criminal past, Vinegar was subject to enhanced sentencing guidelines.

In addition, Judge Golden ruled that this sentence is to be served consecutive to a six-year sentence for a Feb. 2, 2009, burglary in Kendall County. In December 2009, Vinegar was sentenced to six years for that crime. Judge Golden said the consecutive sentence was necessary to protect society.

Based on Illinois law, Vinegar was given day-for-day sentencing. Vinegar was given credit for 406 days served in the Kane County jail.

Aurora man sent to prison
for slashing ex-neighbor with machete

An Aurora man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for severely injuring his former neighbor by using a machete-type knife in July 2009.

Nicholas A. Worley, 26, last known address of the 1-99 block of Madison Street, Aurora, was sentenced April 22 by Circuit Judge Thomas E. Mueller to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. In addition to the 15-year sentence, Worley must pay $3,600 in restitution to the victim.

Worley was convicted March 2, 2010, by a Kane County jury of one count of armed violence, a Class X felony.

At about 4:50 a.m. July 6, 2009, Worley pounded on the apartment door of the victim in the 1000 block of Fifth Avenue, Aurora. The victim awoke, recognized Worley’s voice as a former neighbor and let him into his apartment.

An argument ensued, and Worley then attempted to slash the victim in the face or neck with a 15-inch machete-type knife that Worley brought with him. The victim was able to block the slash with his left arm, but was left with a deep laceration to his left forearm that required multiple stitches and staples to close.

Because Judge Mueller determined that the victim suffered great bodily harm, Worley is required to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.

Worley was given credit for 248 days served in the Kane County jail.

Worley had been held in the Kane County jail on $20,000 bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.

Sports bar proposed for Sugar Grove

by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—If all goes well with village approvals, Sugar Grove could have a sports bar by this fall.

Local businessman Jim Ratos, whose family owns The Fireside Grille, purchased land at the northwest corner of Route 47 and Waubonsee Drive, and has been working with the owner of an established sports bar in Yorkville, who wants to expand into Sugar Grove.

“I really like the location,” Ratos said. “It’s close to the college.”

He added that the location could even potentially draw customers from Elburn.

Ratos said that, based on the set-up the owner has in Yorkville, he envisions a family menu and a beer garden outside, with a young crowd frequenting the establishment in the evening.

“We need it,” he said. “We’ve been the only game in town for a long time. We’re excited.”

In addition to the 4,900-square-foot sports bar with outdoor seating, the 4-acre site Ratos wants to develop would include a 4,700-square-foot gas station and a fast food drive-through restaurant. North of the gas station, a 9,600-square-foot retail building would include eight tenant spaces.

According to Sugar Grove planner Mike Ferencak, a restaurant or two could potentially locate in this building and take advantage of the outdoor seating at the north end of the building. In addition, north of the sports bar, along Heartland Drive, an 8,800-square-foot office and retail building would house another eight tenant spaces.

According to Ferencak, the gas station, fast-food restaurant and sports bar would like to start construction as soon as possible this summer, for possible fall openings. The other buildings would be built out in later phases.

Ratos is slated to begin meeting with the Plan Commission this month.

Photo Gallery: Pack 41 plants a tree

Former Boy Scout Roger Storck supervises a group of scouts from Sugar Grove Boy Scout Troop 41, as they plant a tree he donated on the future site of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church on Harter Road. The boys were the first group to camp on the property. Photos by Susan O’Neill

Parents helped make it successful

by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Four to eight parents typically volunteered to help during each of the twice-monthly Friday Knightlife programs held at Elburn & Countryside Community Center since last fall.

“One of the requirements when we set up the program was that if you signed up your child you had to donate one week to volunteer,” program coordinator and Community Center Board member Bill Brauer said.

“Some parents have done three or four weeks, which has been very helpful,” he added.

On the last night of the program, parent Chris O’Connor was a volunteer. Her daughter Alina, a John Stewart student, participates in the Friday Knightlife regularly.

O’Connor’s role that evening was to check in the children and make sure the Community Center had an emergency contact number for them, then “send mom and dad off and let the kids have fun,” while she and other parents made sure everybody stayed safe.

She said the program has been a great opportunity for Alina.

“She’s really enjoyed it, so I hope it takes off,” O’Connor said.

Making the grade

One Krier editor worries that GPAs may suffer for students who just don’t get it
by Mel Mazuc
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor

Sculptures. Murals. Pottery. Collages. Beading. Painting. Drawing. Art.

Everything about it goes over my head. I could slave all day and night over the kiln, trying to fashion something that even slightly resembled a pot, or spend the entirety of my free time staring at a blank canvas, but the truth is, I’m never going to be good at it. My “pots” in middle school always ended up looking like a big vat of melting, ugly clay. My “paintings” could have been completed by my 8-year-old cousin. My “collages” may have been pieced together by a turtle.

No matter how much effort I put into making my middle school art projects, they look like something worthy of any grade; always stunk. No matter how hard I tried to put the gluey pieces of tissue paper on that collage and coordinate the colors I painted onto the canvas, I always struggled—and I always got a B or worse.

Once I reached high school, I never took another art class. It was simply bringing me down.

Word on the street is that grades may become more based on our mastery of skills, like math and grammar, instead of on participation and extra credit.

“When you ask teachers what they’re grading for or what grades should reflect, they say some pretty sophisticated things,” Superintendent Dr. Charles McCormick said. “We say we grade for academic skill, but what we really grade for is student compliance.”

In a recent grading scale study, Kaneland was handing out more A’s and B’s than almost any other school in the Western Sun Conference, yet our ACT scores were some of the worst. This doesn’t add up … our grades are the best, but our ACT scores are the worst?

“If we’re being told we’re better by what the grades reflect, then we really are having grade inflation,” McCormick said.

He suggested that the administration needs to begin having a conversation with the academic advisory committee about how to ensure there is no more grade inflation going on, which means all classes being based on academic achievement instead of participation and effort.

In theory, this is a great idea. What if we all worked until we knew how to write proofs, solve a problem on the differentiation of inverse trigonometric functions, and find the spot where that last little comma goes, just by offhandedly scanning our English papers?

“Someone that puts a lot of effort into something but it doesn’t turn out good will get a bad grade, but someone who puts in a little effort and it turns out good will get a better grade than they should,” senior Maddie Jarka said.

“I think for homework, you should be graded on effort and how much you tried,” freshman Alyssa Nolte said. “For tests and quizzes, it should be how much you know.”

Nolte said she thinks it would be harder for students to get good grades because it takes longer to learn the material, and it’s more challenging.

With harder grading, “I think it would be easier to see exactly what the student knows,” she said.

But sometimes this doesn’t work. While mastery of skills is important, especially for core classes like math and English, some students will never be good at some things. For example, I can’t cook. Luckily for my GPA and the safety of others, I never took any of the food-related classes here at school.

Other students type slowly or are bad at art. Remember back in elementary and middle school when art class and “learn how to use a computer” class were required? Remember the kids who tried so hard, but always failed to accomplish any of their goals?

One project we did in art class was a collage based on a play, and I worked so hard on that collage, I nearly died. I looked forward to art every day because I could work on my collage and make it even better than before. Still, though, because it was my work and my poor skill level, I only received a B.

“If someone tries on something and it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted, they still tried,” Jarka said. “It should be based off of how much effort you put into it.”

Some will argue that skill mastery is the most important, because learning how to do something is the reason we’re all in school. And I agree.

Partially.

I agree that it’s necessary to get good grades in English and math and science, because those are going to help us be able to function for the rest of our lives. Understanding and mastering subjects like that is important, and to that end, I have no problem or argument with dwindling down participation to a minimal percentage of our grades.

But what about the classes that are required, but are really just electives? Effort and participation should be almost the entire grade for classes like that, because some students will never pass classes about art or cooking or typing fast.

There are two options to remedy this: either leave the should-be-elective classes with participation and effort as a great percentage, or don’t make the classes mandatory.

Some students’ grades suffer because of this, and they get no benefit out of it. I want to be a journalist; how is my sixth-grade collage going to help me in my future?

It isn’t.

ISA offers Arbor Day tree planting advice

Champaign—Illinois Arbor Day is on Friday, April 30, coinciding with the observance of Arbor Day throughout much of the nation.

Before planting a tree, make sure you know how to do it correctly, advised the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). How a tree is planted and initially maintained makes all the difference in the world. Too many people are content to simply plant a tree and don’t ensure that the tree has the chance to go on to live for many years.

“Planting a tree is making an investment in the future,” said Sharon Lilly, ISA Educational Director. “You must care for and nurture your young tree so that it will pay dividends for years to come.”

Tree planting tips
There are a few simple tips to remember when planting your tree this Arbor Day:

Prepare the perfect hole for planting
• Dig the hole two to three times the width of the root ball. Do not dig deeper than root ball depth. Make the sides of the hole slant gradually outward.
• For bareroot trees, neatly cut away any broken or damaged roots. Soak the roots for a few hours prior to planting to allow them to absorb water.
• Container-grown trees should have the plastic or metal containers completely removed. Carefully cut through any circling roots. Remove the top half of pressed peat/paper containers.
• Balled and burlapped trees should have all of the ropes cut. Pull the burlap at least one third of the way down; slit remaining burlap to encourage root growth. If in a wire basket, cut away the top of the basket.

Plant the tree
• Gently place the tree in the hole.
• Partially backfill with the soil from the hole.
• Water to settle the soil.
• Finish back-filling the hole.
• Tap the soil gently, but do not step on the root ball.

A few more pointers
While you may have finished planting, Arbor Day aficionados should remember these final touches:

• Remove tags and labels.
• Do not stake unless the tree has a large crown or if the planting is situated on a site where wind or people may push the tree over. Stake for a maximum of one year.
• Prune only the damaged branches.
• Soak the soil well, making sure no air pockets form between roots. Wait until next year to fertilize.
• Spread two to three inches of mulch over the planting area, but do not place it up against the trunk.
• Be sure the root ball has plenty of water throughout the year.

Anyone with questions regarding choosing the right tree or proper planting and maintenance is advised to contact an ISA-Certified Arborist.

For additional information on planting and other tree care topics and to find a local ISA-Certified Arborist, visit www.treesaregood.org.

The International Society of Arboriculture, headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a nonprofit organization supporting tree care research and education around the world. As part of ISA’s dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry. For more information, contact a local ISA Certified Arborist or visit www.isa-arbor.com.

Marie Grace Pickering

Marie Grace Pickering, 1915-2010; wife to Leonard Pickering; mother of Lezlie B. Lopez; grandmother of Jennifer Lopez and Sunshine Colannino; and great-grandmother of Jaden Colannino.

Marie was born in Spokane, Wash. She attended Sacred Heart School of Nursing as well as University of Washington. She worked at Sharp Memorial Hospital and retired from Doctor’s Hospital in San Diego. She was an avid traveler and a longtime member of Trinity Methodist Church. Her kindness, wit and wisdom will be greatly missed.

Church news for April 30

Swedish children’s choir performs May 15
Batavia—”Simply Swedish … Simply Good” is the theme of the annual benefit Swedish pancake breakfast, presented by the Swedish American Children’s Choir on Saturday, May 15, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Bethany Lutheran Church, 8 S. Lincoln St. in Batavia.

The breakfast will feature Swedish pancakes, sausage, Swedish cardamon coffee cake, lingonberries, juice, milk and coffee.

Also available will be a bake sale, Scandinavian gift items for sale and live Swedish music, including a brief performance by the Swedish American Children’s Choir. All proceeds from the event will be used to defray expenses for the choir’s upcoming tour to Door County, Wis.

The choir is the largest of its kind in the Midwest and composed of children 4 through 18 from the Fox Valley and surrounding suburbs. They present performances of Swedish songs and Scandinavian dances throughout the area.

Breakfast tickets are by reservation only, and carry out orders are available.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 4 through 10 years old, and children under 4 eat free.

Call (630) 414-9700 for reservations.

Sugar Grove UMC hosts benefit luncheon
Sugar Grove—There will be a benefit spaghetti luncheon hosted at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St., on Sunday, May 23, from noon to 1 pm.

Free will donations will be directed towards the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church’s mission efforts to work for peace, love, and compassion for God’s children everywhere. The entire community is invited to share in a meal of spaghetti, garlic bread, salads, and desserts.

Call (630) 466-4501 for information.

Miranda Sue Schramer

Brad and Laura (Chyllo) Schramer of Virgil announce the birth of their daughter, Miranda Sue, on March 9, 2010, at Delnor Hospital in Geneva.

She weighed 7 pounds and was 19 inches long.

Her maternal grandparents are Linda Duff of DeKalb, Ill., and John and Debra Chyllo of Elk Grove, Ill. Her paternal grandparents are Mark and Linda Schramer of Maple Park.

Great-grandparents are Jim and Barbara Duff of Maple Park, John and Marie Chyllo of Wooddale, Ill., Charles and Nadine Flint of Kaneville and the late Fritz and Sue Schramer of Virgil.

This is the couple’s first child.

Zoe Francis Johnson

Chad and Missy (Schramer) Johnson of Sycamore announce the birth of their daughter, Zoe Francis, on Jan. 16, 2010, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital in Sycamore, Ill.

She weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and was 18-1/2 inches long.

Her maternal grandparents are Mark and Linda Schramer of Maple Park. Her paternal grandparents are Roger Johnson and Jamie Johnson, both of Shabbona, Ill.

Great-grandparents are Charles and Nadine Flint of Kaneville, the late Fritz and Sue Schramer of Virgil, Jim and Kay Carson of DeKalb and Bea Johnson of Shabbona.

This is the couple’s first child.

Nadine Flint celebrates 80 years

The family of Charles and Nadine Flint invite friends to an 80th birthday open house to honor Nadine Flint.

The open house will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 at Kaneville United Methodist Church, 46W764 Main Street Road, Kaneville.

Nadine is the mother of Mike and Tigger Kainz, Roger and Kris Flint, Bob and Rhonda Flint, Dick Samuelson, Mark and Linda Schramer, Frank and Julie Kearns and Ronnie and Rhonda Flint. Nadine is also grandmother and great-grandmother to many.

A light lunch, desserts and coffee will be served. Guests are asked to omit gifts, but please bring a photo of Nadine to share.

Boys track excels at Peterson Prep 2010

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Knights boys track is performing at a high level at this season’s juncture, judging by Saturday’s home meeting and Tuesday conference action.

Kaneland took the annual Peterson Prep Invitation held in Maple Park this past Saturday with a showing of 100 points. Geneva came in second at 86 points, followed by West Aurora (77 points), Dundee-Crown (52) and Lincoln-Way Central (36).

KHS saw exceptional finishes throughout the afternoon. Derek Bus, with a run of 1 minute, 56.83 seconds, finished second in the 800 meter run, while teammate Edgar Valle took fifth with a time of 1:58.31.

In the 1600m run, Matt Reusche of Kaneland finished sixth at 4:38.68.

In the 3200m run, Trevor Holm ran the track in 10:03.77, good for sixth in the finals.

The hurdles yielded big gains for the Knights, with Taylor Andrews and Logan Markuson having a productive afternoon.

Andrews and Markuson finished in the top three of the 110m hurdles semifinals, before Andrews finished first at 14.55 second, and Markuson finished .06 behind to cinch the top two spots.

In the 300m hurdles, Markuson finished second (39.53) and Andrews finished third (40.25).

Relay action saw the foursome of Tommy Whittaker, Bus, Valle and Markuson win the 4x400m relay at 3:22.55, a new meet record.

Kaneland also had a fifth-place finish in 4x800m relay competition thanks to Sean Paulick, Joe Levita, Dominic Furco and Clayton Brundige running in 8:23.64.

Nick Sinon finished with an effort of six feet, six inches in the high jump for second place.

Marksuon vaulted to a 14 foot pole vault effort, good enough for the top spot at the invite, while Jemmar Parrenas finished second at 13 feet.

Sinon was at it again with a second-place long jump try at 21-09, followed by teammate Paulick at 21-05 for fourth place.

“It was a tremendous effort by Sean and Nick today,” coach Eric Baron said. “Sean is talented, but that was a huge jump, and the long jump is Nick’s best event.”

Paulick, who jumped a foot farther than his usual effort in the prelims, was pleased with the outcome.

“I did the same thing that I always do after warming up,” Paulick said. “I thought it was just a typical jump and it ended up being a foot farther. This season is starting out great, you couldn’t ask for anything more, and the whole team is clicking.”

Brock Dyer had an encouraging third-place showing in the discus at 135-02.

Tuesday saw the boys travel to Geneva and score 75 points to beat the Vikings’ 62 point total and DeKalb’s 46.

KHS Knights play Batmen, put up 11 runs vs. Batavia

KANELAND—After a bump in the road, Knights baseball broke out the bats to get it on the right track once again.

Kaneland (13-9, 6-4 Western Sun Conference) trounced visiting Batavia on Tuesday in six innings, 11-1.

The Knights lost 6-5 on Saturday afternoon to visiting Westminster Christian High School of Elgin by a 6-5 result. The setback ended Kaneland’s five-game winning streak.

The Knights amassed 59 runs during the streak.

After allowing a first-inning run to the Bulldogs, KHS scored one in the second, three in the fifth and seven in the sixth, capped by a Dave Dudzinski (7 RBI) walk-off grand slam.

With a single, Jake Tickle increased his hitting streak to 16 games.

Against WC, KHS was up 5-0 after the second inning, but six runs in the top of the fourth, with five scoring off of errors, spelled doom for the Knights.

Sam Komel took the loss on Saturday, despite giving up only one earned run. Komel (2-2) struck out eight batters on the afternoon.

Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Bobby Thorson went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI.

Kaneland pounded Rochelle on Thursday by a 12-5 score. Steve Colombe, with six innings on the mound, improved to 2-2 and struck out five Hubs.

Bobby Thorson went 2-for-4 with a double and three runs scored and 2 RBI.

Catcher Tyler Callaghan went 4-for-5 with a home run and 4 RBI.

Kaneland scored five runs in the first, three in the second and three in the third to hold the host Hubs at bay.

Rochelle, with seven errors in the field, tallied 16 miscues on the three-game series.

On April 21, Kaneland hosted Rochelle and won 10-3. Thorson went the distance and struck out nine while scattering four hits.

Dudzinski went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a HR, while Callaghan went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. Kaneland scored three in the first and three in the sixth to support the winning effort.

Softball takes two in WSC play vs. Batavia, Rochelle

KANELAND—Lady Knights had two come-from-behind wins in a week that saw their record elevated to 9-5 (4-3 Western Sun Conference play).

Kaneland softball made use of the four-run inning as part of its winning formula once again on Thursday in Maple Park against the Hubs. The 4-1 win saw Delani Vest strike out seven and allow just one unearned run in the complete-game effort.

Vest is 6-3 with a 1.82 earned-run average thus far.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, KHS scored 10 runs in the final two innings to upend host Batavia 13-8.

Facing the Hubs, Katy Dudzinski had a two-RBI hit in the go-ahead sixth inning, while Allyson O’Herron went 2-for-3.

The sophomores went on the offensive in their clash with the Hubs in Rochelle, scoring 13 runs in the fourth en route to a 14-4, five-inning win.

Aly Harner had a three-run double and Sara Kitz went 3-for-4.

Vest started against the Bulldogs and was replaced by Dudzinski in the sixth before coming back in the seventh to earn the save.

McKinzie Mangers went 2-for-4 with a HR and three RBI. Vest also hit a bases-loaded triple. Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Batavia scored four in the second, but KHS scored one in the third and two in the fourth, before the hosts scored three in their half of the fourth to make it 7-3. After putting one up in the bottom of the fifth, KHS scored seven in the sixth and three in the seventh to clinch matters.

Soccer now 10-1-2

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s been an unfamiliar feeling for the Kaneland soccer squad this year.

For the first time this season, despite a close match, KHS lost to host Geneva (9-5-1, 3-0-0 WSC) on Monday in Western Sun Conference play by a 2-1 tally.

“It’s not unfamiliar, just this year,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

“We’ll practice and go. We had a couple players not here, and the players did well with that adversity and we’ll move on.”

Geneva broke a 1-1 tie on a goal with 13:29 to play in regulation by Amanda Lulek.

Earlier in the week, Kaneland completed its 12th straight match without a loss in a 4-3 win at Morris.

Currently, the Lady Knights are 10-1-2 (1-1-1 WSC).

The Lady Knights fell behind early against the Vikings six minutes, nine seconds into the game on a double penalty kick, a first seen by Parillo.

Geneva’s first attempt at the penalty kick was high over the crossbar, but the officials ruled a KHS player had stepped into the goal box, allowing another try, which was converted by Sammi Hill. The kick went off of the post and off of goalkeeper Jordan Ginther (12 saves) into the net for the lead.

“I’ve never had it happen to me in nine years of coaching,” Parillo said.

With 10:04 remaining in the first half, Colleen Gebauer converted on a penalty kick to the right of goalie Jenny Lienau to tie matters after getting tripped up in the box.

Against the Lady Redskins, Kaneland and Morris were tied at one after the first 40 minutes before pulling away.

Sophie Blank had two goals, while Katie Taylor and Gebauer had the others.

Emily Heimerdinger had two assists, and Gebauer added one.

Lady Knights track travels to Dixon

KANELAND—With Kaneland and Dixon suiting up as Northern Illinois Big 12 conference mates next season, what better way for Lady Knights girls track to get their name out in that territory than at the annual Dixon Relays.

Friday afternoon saw KHS finish seventh in a talented 10-team field by President Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home, with a total of 54.5 points. Kaneland finished 2.5 points behind Dixon and 4.5 points behind Rochelle.

Harlem (118), Geneseo (88) and Sterling (84) took the top three spots.

In the unusual weight events 4x100m relay, Mel Mazuc, Keara Palpant, Nicole Ketza and Briana Stark took a first place with 57.03 seconds.

The pole vault event also went to Kaneland, thanks to the efforts of Brooke Patterson, Hillary Luse and Sara Wallace, who hit 25 feet in the finals.

Patterson, still a rookie to the track ranks, has now become a true asset to KHS girls track in events like the triple jump and vault.

“I think it’s a good start,” Patterson said on Tuesday. “I try to have fun because it’s my first year doing it.”

Patterson is not as far behind the curve as most, with a gymnastics background.

“It definitely helped in pole vault, I knew how to turn upside down when I had to,” Patterson said.

Kaneland also brought home a couple of third-place finishes, as Lisa Roberson, Jessica Stouffer, Kris Bowen and Andie Strang ran 10:05.11 in the varsity 4x800m relay. Harlem won the event with a time of 9:58.

On the frosh/soph end of that event, Maggie Brundige, Abby Dodis, Savanah Miles and Kelly Evers ran a 10:51.90 to clinch third.

Tuesday had some Western Sun Conference action in store for the Lady Knights in DeKalb against the host Lady Barbs and Geneva.

Kristen’s crusin’

Kristen Heckert (Kaneland Class of ‘05) is one of the UIC Flames women’s track members gearing up for the Horizon League Championships in Lisle on Friday, April 30. A transfer in 2008 from Murray State University, Heckert won the steeplechase at the Eagle Invite in Lisle on April 17 at 11:47.8. Courtesy of UIC Sports Info

Dudzinski’s basketball crusade stays on track

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—College-hunting for Kaneland’s Dave Dudzinski is finished.

This, after almost having to stop and start again.

Already having committed to Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. in November 2009, Dudzinski was weighing his options after the Crusaders fired coach Sean Kearney after one season and a 9-22 record.

After meeting with recent hire Milan Brown, Holy Cross’ third coach in three years, on Monday at his home, Dudzinski likes what he was presented.

“I’m going to stay at Holy Cross,” Dudzinski said. “He really cares and it felt good to come all the way out here. He’s invested in the program and invested in me.”

Dudzinski is looking forward to Brown’s coaching tenure.

“He’s a fiery coach and an emotional guy, and we talked about what we wanted for Holy Cross,” Dudzinski said.

Brown, 39, was hired from Mount St. Mary’s, which won 16 games in 2009-10 and went to the NCAA Tournament in 2008.

Now for Dudzinski: getting entrenched in Patriot League basketball.

“I’m going out there from June 7-28 and it’s like preseason practice and activities. We’ll hit the gym and start training,” Dudzinski said.

Guest Editorial: Celebrate Arbor Day April 30

Guest Editorial
by John Rosenow
Arbor Day Foundation
Founder, chief executive

We might think about majestic trees, precious wildlife, and clean, fresh air. We probably don’t think about the water we drink.

We should.

When you turn on your faucet this Arbor Day, take a moment and think about the important role trees play to make sure what comes out of the tap is healthy and clean.

Most people know that trees produce oxygen that we breathe and clean the air by acting as giant filters, removing harmful particles and pollutants. But you may not be aware that trees work just as hard to protect and purify our water sources, including those that provide drinking water for millions of Americans every day.

Trees improve water quality by slowing rain as it falls to the earth, and helping it soak into the soil. They also prevent soil from eroding into our waterways, reduce stormwater runoff, and lessen flood damage. They serve as natural filters to protect our streams, rivers, and lakes.

Forests in the United States are the source of drinking water for more than 180 million people, 59 percent of the U.S. population. Forests help protect vital water sources such as sparkling mountain streams filled with melting snow, healthy reservoirs and lakes, and our nation’s vast web of rivers.

Our forested areas are shrinking at an alarming rate. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that more than 40 million acres of private forest could be lost in the next 40 years.

Why is that important to us? As U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “While most Americans live in urban areas, most of us depend on rural lands, particularly forest lands, for clean water and a healthy climate.”

One example of an urban area that depends on forested land for water is New York City. In the late 1990s, New York City leaders balked at a $6 billion water treatment system and instead opted to go with natural landscape management to clean the water it receives from the Catskill/Delaware watershed in upstate New York. The focus is on creating conservation easements along streams and reservoirs, and protecting forest lands to keep sediment and runoff from entering the water supply.

The watershed provides most of New York City’s daily supply of drinking water, more than 1 billion gallons each day. New Yorkers enjoy some of the cleanest, healthiest drinking water in the world.

Millions of Californians rely on crystal-clear water flowing from Plumas and other National Forests to quench their thirst. Melting snow and rain water flow from the Plumas into the Feather River and eventually winds up in the Sacramento River. Water from the Plumas relies on the entire ecosystem, which includes trees, to keep it pristine until it reaches taps throughout central and northern California. This is just one example of how our national forests help clean the water.

These solutions are an alternative to manufactured water treatment systems, and are beneficial in so many ways. Unfortunately, the conventional response is too often to pay for expensive artificial treatment systems rather than rely on natural resources.

One way to protect and clean our water supply is to plant trees, and the need to replant our nation’s forests is vitally important. The U.S. Forest Service has identified a backlog of 1 million acres in national forests alone that are in need of replanting because of damage from recent wildfires, insects and disease.

There is no substitute for clean water. Water is a vital resource that we rely on every day. We can’t create something else to take its place.

But we can plant trees.

We enjoy trees for many reasons—their shade on a warm day, the energy they save when they’re planted around our homes, the bountiful food they provide, the songbirds they bring close by.

Remember the role trees play in keeping our drinking water clean. As you celebrate Arbor Day this year, don’t take your clean drinking water for granted when you turn on the tap. America’s trees worked hard to help deliver that refreshing glass of water.

Letter: Auxiliary spaghetti supper a success

The Elburn American Legion Auxiliary No. 630 would like to thank everyone that made the April 22 spaghetti supper a success again.

We appreciate the community that came out to support our fundraiser. Many thanks go out to the members who worked and/or donated desserts.

We also thank the Elburn American Legion members that helped us, as well. We appreciate the community and our loyal members for their participation in our moneymaking events. Without your help, we could not make our donations to the important programs that help so many.

We hope to see everyone again in the fall.

Cara Bartel, Treasurer
Elburn American Legion
Auxiliary No. 630

Letter: Sharing fond memories of Wayne Stevens

I enjoyed the article about Wayne Stevens. I have a lot of fond memories over the years of working with Wayne on various projects. He is truly a credit to the emergency services. I am writing to amplify certain aspects of his career, of which a lot of people might not be aware.

Emergency medical providers in the Elburn Herald area answer to an entity concerning medical care issues. That entity is called Southern Fox Valley Emergency Medical System based out of Delnor Hospital.

Wayne has been an integral part of that system for years. I cannot remember him holding an official leadership position with the system; he might at some point have. But Wayne has provided significant informal leadership and influences over the system and their policies for years. In lots of organizations, there are those people that just make the organization work, and that was Wayne. For years, he was instrumental in making Southern Fox an effective system. He has been a big part in keeping the system current and progressive. I share this information for a reason.

While it is true that the people served by the Elburn Fire Protection District should be very thankful for his service, so should others. Because of Wayne’s involvement in the system, and his constant desire to improve emergency medical care by all providers in the Southern Fox System, other people in our area, served by other agencies have received the benefits of his efforts. Wayne probably does not realize himself the impact that he has had on providers throughout the area.

Congratulations on your retirement, old friend. A good job, well done.

William T. King, Jr.
Sugar Grove

Eugene ‘Gene’ A. Waldschmidt

Eugene “Gene” A. Waldschmidt, 81, of Maple Park, formerly of Wheaton, Ill., passed away suddenly following heart complications Sunday, April 25, 2010.

He was born Oct. 8, 1928, in Minonk, Ill., the son of Peter and Edith Waldschmidt.

Gene grew up in Blackstone and attended St. Paul School in Odell, Ill., where he graduated with the class of 1946.

Gene faithfully served in the Illinois National Guard before defending his country during the Korean War.

There was only one woman for Gene, and her name was Dorothy Dutko, whom he met on a blind date. Fate joined them in marriage when they were married at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Bloomington, Ill., in 1954.

They began their new life together in Streator, Ill., and later moved to Wheaton. Following Gene’s retirement, they moved to Morton, Ill., before returning to Maple Park to be closer to their family.

Gene’s first job was tending to the fields as a farmer with his father for a time. He also was a truck driver until he left for Korea. Upon his return, he worked again as a truck driver and later was a salesman for both Doenges Stationary in Wheaton and J.A. Sexauer Plumbing and Heating Supply.

Gene was a faithful member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Maple Park and was proud to ride as a member of the Streator Motorcycle Club, as well as the infamous “Blackstone Cowboys” that was made up of Gene and three of his brothers.

Gene also seemed to be busy and his mind always working. He loved working puzzles, playing Scrabble and reading his favorite mystery authors such as Jack Higgins and Robert Ludlum. He also loved to garden and work with wood, creating one of-a kind birdhouses and Christmas decorations for family and friends. His faith was his bedrock, and no time was more treasured than those times he was surrounded by family.

He is survived by his wife Dorothy, seven children, Aline Waldschmidt of Geneva, Kevin (Ella) Waldschmidt of Las Vegas, Mark (Lori) Waldschmidt of Winfield, Ill., Melanie (Robert) of Wheaton, David (Donelle) Waldschmidt of Aurora, Joseph (Stephanie) Waldschmidt of Batavia, and Neil (Melanie) Waldschmidt of Geneva; 16 grandchildren, Brian, Lisa, Jessica, Joshua, Stephen, Michael, Matthew, Robyn, Thomas, Alicia, Katie, Brandon, Ethan, Nathaniel, Claire and Matison; four great-grandchildren, Kayla, Madeleine, Jayden and Caleb; three sisters, Lorraine (Bob) Simpson of Largo, Fla., Mary Lou Bedeker of Blackstone, Ill., and Edith (Harvey) Grieff of Odell, Ill.; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, John, Richard, James and Bernard; and two sisters, Norma and Mary Margaret.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, April 29, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Rosary will be said at 5:30 p.m. with a wake service to follow at 6 p.m. A mass to celebrate his life will be Friday, April 30, at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Maple Park. Fr. Joachim Tyrtania, pastor of the church, will officiate. Private family interment will occur at a later date following cremation.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit St. Mary of the Assumption, Maple Park Maintenance Fund. Checks may be made to the “Eugene Waldschmidt Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.