Library’s native prairie garden inspires book

by Tammy Swanson
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Public Library has had a well-kept secret, one that is growing and ever changing. But now the library wants everyone to know its secret—a garden of native prairie plants.

Located on the west side of the new library, the garden showcases the types of flowers and other plants that graced Illinois’ open land hundreds of years ago. Library officials chose a native prairie design for the grounds to enhance the new building’s architecture.

“When we were making the building design plan, we wanted to incorporate landscape around the building that was complementary to the designs that we had that were sort of a barn and farmyard atmosphere,” Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes said. “We wanted to use native plantings as much as possible and incorporate some trees that are not as common in someone’s backyard.”

The garden is a combination of native Illinois grasses, shrubs, trees and wild flowers. Bachelor buttons, shrub roses, corn poppies, larkspur and showy goldeneye are just a few of the wild flowers patrons can see as they walk or drive past the garden.

Holmes Hughes describes the garden as an evolving ecosystem.

“It just really changes its aspect day to day, as different flowers come into different growth stages,” she said. “It’s gone through almost a color wave.”

Patrons and other visitors to the library can enjoy the garden in every season.

“With the native growth area, the intent being that the taller grasses are visible as a winter landscape as they catch or hold the snow,” Holmes Hughes said. “It is really a year-round event.”

Karen Benesch, a library volunteer with a horticultural degree, helped identify and photograph the wild flowers in the garden.

“It was starting to grow, and we weren’t really certain what were weeds, what would grow into plants,” Holmes Hughes said. “We were looking for some expert opinion on that. Karen volunteered to come out and take photographs and identify them for us.”

The result was a book available for patrons to view anytime at the Adult Ask Me Desk. The book has increased patrons’ awareness of the garden.

“It has been popular,” Holmes Hughes said. “People who enjoy gardening and maybe don’t have the space to garden anymore really enjoy coming to see the flowers.”

July 2 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.

• Elizabeth S. Diaz-Ramirez, 21, of the 300 block of John Street in Aurora, was arrested at 11:35 p.m. June 24 on two DuPage County warrants. Police arrested her outside McDonald’s in Elburn when she called them for assistance after locking herself out of her vehicle.

• Someone smashed the passenger-side window of a Jeep parked at a business in the 800 block of Hicks Drive sometime in the afternoon on June 28.

Sugar Grove
• An air conditioning unit was taken from a property on the 100 block of Neil Road sometime between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. on June 21. A neighbor reported seeing a small gray truck in front of the property during that time. The value of the unit was estimated at $800.

Sugar Grove Corn Boil carnival tickets presale going on now

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Corn Boil committee announced it will partner with Great American Carnival for carnival rides and amusements for the 2010 Corn Boil.

Under the arrangement, residents can save money by purchasing carnival tickets in advance. Sold between now and Wednesday, July 21, the $20 value unlimited ride tickets will be sold for $15. Saturday unlimited ride tickets will be sold only at the park and only for $20.

Discounted unlimited ride tickets will be available at Castle Bank, American Heartland Bank & Trust, Chase and Old Second National Bank until 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 21.

Volunteers needed
The Corn Boil is still looking for volunteers to set up, work during the event, and clean up.

If you would like to volunteer, call (466) 5166 or (630) 466-3785 . The Sugar Grove Corn Boil is held in Volunteer Park, west of Route 47, just off Main Street in downtown Sugar Grove behind the Kaneland John Shields Elementary School.

For more information about the Corn Boil call the Sugar Grove Events Hotline at (630) 466-5166 or (630) 466-3785, or visit

Local July 4th fireworks shows

St. Charles, Batavia—The cities of St. Charles and Batavia will offer fireworks and festivities to celebrate the Fourth of July.

St. Charles
The annual St. Charles July 4th celebration is a time for friends and family to get together for picnics, leisure, entertainment, and most of all, to commemorate our nation’s birthday.

The fireworks extravaganza, which is held on Sunday, July 4, can be best viewed at Pottawatomie Park or Ferson Creek Park.

The event is free thanks to the support of numerous local businesses. Main sponsors include the St. Charles Park District, city of St. Charles, Valley Community Bank and the St. Charles Breakfast Rotary.

Pottawatomie Park opens at 8 a.m. and offers something for everyone. Picnic tables will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. It is strongly suggested that patrons bring their own tables, blankets and lawn chairs.

Settle in early to enjoy picnic-style offerings (hot dogs, bratwurst, ice cream, popcorn, and soft drinks) at reasonable rates from the River View Miniature Golf concessions, which will remain open until 9:15 p.m.

Pottawatomie Pool opens to residents at 10 a.m. and to non-residents at 2 p.m. Daily admission fee for resident adults (16+) is $5.50 and resident children is $4.50. Fee for non-resident adults is $11 and non-resident children is $9. Pottawatomie Pool will close at 6 p.m. Only bathing suits may be worn for swimming, no cutoffs or street clothing will be permitted in the pools.

Get the family together for a bit of competition at River View Miniature Golf Course, which opens at 9 a.m. This 18-hole, par 42 challenging course offers a great atmosphere of playable greens, interactive babbling brook, waterfall, sand traps, windmill, lighthouse, bridges, and scenic view of the Fox River. The last tee off is at 7 p.m. Adults (16+) pay only $5 per 18 holes of golf. The cost for children is $4. There will not be any canoe or pedal boat rentals.

Beginning at 6 p.m., listen to live music from Red Woody in the large pavilion at Pottawatomie Park. Over the past several years, Red Woody has become one of the best cover bands in the western suburbs. As a Fox Valley favorite rock & roll band, they play a wide variety of music including classic rock & roll, contemporary favorites and great alternative hits. With songs from Journey, Sublime, Green Day, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Goo Goo Dolls and many more, Red Woody is sure to entertain everyone.

In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks will be scheduled for the next clear evening. For more information, call the Park District at (630) 513-6200 or visit

A few reminders
• Come early. Spectators are strongly encouraged to park downtown and walk to Pottawatomie Park.
• Do not activate your car alarm because they have a tendency to go off during the fireworks.
• Spectators are asked to leave the grounds after the fireworks display has ended. Vehicle headlights are distracting to other viewers.
• Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on park property at all times.
• Fireworks are prohibited in the park, including sparklers.
• There will be no canoe or pedal boat rentals on July 4 at River View Miniature Golf.
• Boy Scout Island boat launch will be closed on July 4.
• For emergency assistance, go to the Main Gate or Pottawatomie Pool during the day and the main entrance of River View Miniature Golf Course during the evening.

The city of Batavia will host one of the most celebrated Fourth of July fireworks productions in the area, called the “Sky Concert.”

It has a more than 50-year history of being produced and paid for by local citizens. It is now provided under the auspices of the Batavia ACCESS Committee, and is paid for with private donations and fundraisers.

The pyrotechnics are placed on the Mooseheart field, and the audience observes from Engstrom Park at the corner of Millview Drive and West Main Street. There is also space for observers on the Batavia High School athletic fields on West Main Street.

The event begins with Savor-the-Flavor food venders at 5 p.m. The band Automatic Fixx will perform from 7 to 9:15 p.m. Following announcements and a message from the mayor of Batavia, the Sky Concert will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Rail will not stop the show, although dangerous conditions could cause it to be delayed until the following evening.

No parking will be allowed on Wilson or Main streets between Van Nortwick Avenue and Randall Road. No parking will be allowed on Randall Road from Main Street to McKee Street.

Public parking will be permitted at both high school partking lots, the Ace Hardware parking lot, and at the Wilson Business Center on West Wilson Street. Parking will also be available at several of the major retail lots along Randall Road.

A $5 donation per car will be requested at each lot, with all proceeds going to support the fireworks show.

No one in the audience will be allowed to bring alcoholic beverages to Engstrom Park or the school grounds; use sparklers, firecrackers or other handheld explosive devices; bring dogs or other pets; ride bikes, scooters or mopeds on the school grounds; or enter any portion of the Moosehead property.

Lost and found will be coordinated near the ESDA trailer located at Engstrom Park.

Letter: Sugar Grove storm damage removal information

This past week has brought many rounds of severe weather to the area. As the summer season progresses, there is always the possibility of additional storms.

In the event of threatening weather, the most important thing to do is seek shelter immediately and to stay informed. When there is a storm watch or warning issued, listen to the radio, TV or a weather alert radio. If you haven’t yet done so, you are encouraged to sign up for CodeRED®, Kane County’s emergency alert system. For more information on how to sign up for CodeRED®, please visit

Luckily, Sugar Grove was not hit hard by the recent storms; however, there was some damage that occurred. Whenever a storm causes damage, the Public Works crews will clear streets of debris. After the passing of the storm, the Public Works crews will then return to remove storm damage debris. Due to a decrease in staffing levels, the cleanup process could take several days and will be performed during regular working hours, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Public Works crews cannot come on private property to retrieve or remove any debris, and debris from private property will not be picked up by the village. Private property debris will be picked up by Waste Management as part of the regular refuse/landscape waste pickup.

When cleaning up storm damage, please follow the guidelines for yard waste pickup. The guidelines are: all limbs must be bundled in lengths of no more than four feet long and weigh no more than 50 pounds and be tied with biodegradable string or twine. Smaller landscape debris should be placed in a yard waste bag. If an entire tree has been uprooted or branches are damaged but still attached, a professional tree service will need to be contacted for disposal.
For additional information, call the Sugar Grove Public Works Department at (630) 466-7508 or email

Cynthia L. Galbreath
Village Clerk/Administrative Assistant
Village of Sugar Grove

Letter: Privatizing tollway not the answer

Gov. Quinn’s announcement of teaming up with Indiana to build a new toll/tax highway in Illinois is unconscionable.

With the approval of our state legislature, they and the governor were not thinking of the well-being of citizens of Illinois, only the easiest way out for themselves. Paying a toll/tax is the least efficient way to pay for roads, and by passing the operating responsibility on to a private profit-making company it is not good government and is inexcusable.

With a profit-making company, it will be easier to hide the corruption that they will be sure to have, corruption similar to what we have been seeing for almost 60 years. Even if there were to be no corruption, the toll/tax for Illinois citizens to use this new highway will have to be double or even higher than what we are paying now for the existing tollway roads. After all, we are talking about a profit-first organization, an organization not caring about Illinois citizens—just how much money they can make.

We need to tell our legislators to rescind the bill that gave Gov. Quinn the go-ahead to team up with Indiana and pay for this new highway by increasing the fuel tax by a few cents at the fuel pump. While we are at it, let’s increase the fuel tax right now and make our existing tollway roads freeways as promised by their legislative colleagues during the 1950s.

Close down the Downers Grove toll authority headquarters, saving millions of dollars, and pass on the road management to I-DOT; they can do a much better job at a much lower cost for Illinois citizens.

Russell Johnson
Sugar Grove

IDOT stresses safety as motorists hit the road for holiday

Illinois—Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Gary Hannig urged Illinois drivers to buckle up and stay sober as they get ready to hit the roadways for the Fourth of July weekend.

Hannig also announced that IDOT will make sure roads are open wherever possible, but some projects will continue, resulting in lane closures during the holiday weekend.

“While we want everyone to enjoy their holiday weekend, we must put safety first and remind motorists to not drink and drive and to be conscious of work zones,” Hannig said. “We will limit lane closures where possible to provide some relief to those travelling over the holiday weekend, but some areas will still have workers present, so please obey the posted speed limits and drive cautiously.”

IDOT will suspend construction-related lane closures starting at 3 p.m. Friday, July 2, until 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, July 6. Motorists are advised to comply with the posted speed limit of 45 mph while driving through a work zone at all times.

Wherever a road is closed, a detour will be posted. In some areas, there will be lane restrictions. Because of the nature of some projects, there will be a number of work zones that will continue to have lane closures. Motorists are advised to slow down and be alert in those work zones, and are reminded that work zone speed limits are still in effect. For more information about ongoing construction projects, motorists can check IDOT’s traveler website,

Interstate road information is also available at 1-800-452 IDOT (4368).

Closures in Kane County include the following:
• Keslinger twin precast concrete box culvert over Welch Creek in Elburn. Road closed and has a posted detour.
• South Municipal Drive and Galena Boulevard reconstruction in Sugar Grove. One lane in each direction.
• Route 56 bridge deck replacement over Blackberry Creek in Sugar Grove. One lane open in each direction.

Bob Jass goes to bat for Elburn Baseball, Softball

Elburn—This summer, Bob Jass Chevrolet in Elburn invested support in Elburn through a partnership with the Elburn Baseball & Softball organization.

Bob Jass Chevrolet provided baseball equipment, instructional clinics, a monetary donation, and an opportunity to raise an additional $10,000 in funds through a Chevy vehicle giveaway-fundraiser. The effort by Bob Jass Chevrolet is part of the Chevy Youth Baseball initiative occurring throughout the nation from March through July 2010.

“Chevrolet has a long history with baseball at the national level. We wanted to bring that excitement and commitment to youth baseball, in the communities where our customers and their families live,” said Bob Jass, owner of Bob Jass Chevrolet. “Youth baseball has always played an important role in Elburn, so we are thrilled to support our kids in a meaningful way.”

Bob Jass Chevrolet presented each team with equipment kits complete with equipment bags, baseball buckets, dry-erase coach’s clipboards and Chevy Youth Baseball T-shirts. The sponsorship includes clinics with experienced instructors from former MLB/MiLB players and coaches, or the Ripken Baseball professional staff.

In addition, Jass presented monetary donation checks totaling $750 to Peter LaSalle, Elburn Baseball & Softball board member. The league also will have the opportunity to raise additional funds for their use as part of a Chevy Youth Baseball Fundraiser.

Sponsored leagues across the country have each received 2,000 fundraiser entry tickets to distribute for a suggested donation, and the league will keep 100 percent of the proceeds raised. At the end of the fundraiser, there will be five winners of a Chevy Equinox or Chevy Malibu vehicle of choice (up to $30,000 in value), and in each participating market there will be a secondary prize of a home entertainment center valued at $1,000.

Waubonsee curricula, facilities go green

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College is expanding its “green” program offerings with the addition of both a photovoltaic training laboratory and a geothermal heating/cooling system on its Sugar Grove Campus. Both systems are being funded through grants.

A $120,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation will help get the college’s two new photovoltaic career certificates off the ground. Photovoltaic systems generate electricity from sunlight and are becoming more popular in commercial and residential buildings.

The money will be used to purchase a ground-mounted photovoltaic array, which is a series of panels used to capture solar power. The array should be installed on the Sugar Grove Campus sometime this summer. Along with the array, the college will also outfit a student lab with 12 technician stations and a mock-up of a roof-mounted array system.

In addition to preparing area residents for jobs in this emerging field, the photovoltaic system has the added benefit of supplying supplemental electricity to a few of the college’s buildings.

Also making both the college’s curricula and facilities greener is the recently installed geothermal system. Geothermal systems take advantage of the constant, moderate temperatures found underground to heat and cool buildings using a system of buried water pipes called a loop. Waubonsee’s system consists of 800 feet of pipe that is buried near Akerlow Hall on the north side of the Sugar Grove Campus, along with a heat pump and water furnace located in the college’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) lab.

Funded by the Perkins Grant for Career and Technical Education, the system will be incorporated into the college’s existing Residential Comfort Systems course and serve as the focus of a Geothermal Systems course in the new Renewable Energy Technologies discipline. The system is also capable of providing supplemental heating and cooling to the HVAC lab.

Justin’s just Grand

2007 Kaneland High School graduate Justin Patterman is making a name for himself in swimming circles. A student at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, Patterman earned six All-American honors at the 2010 NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving Championships in Canton, Ohio. in March thanks to top-8 finishes in the 200 IM, 100 Fly, 200 Fly and 200 Medley Relay. Courtesy Photo

No rest for Lady Knights hoops

Colombe’s crew uses summer to its advantage
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a tough exit for the Lady Knights basketball squad nearly five months ago, Kaneland isn’t worrying about what might have been.

Instead, through Summer League girls basketball action at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora, KHS is active at improving its fortunes for the future.

On Tuesday, Kaneland beat Plainfield East by a final of 34-28, which improved its record to 8-1 on the summer season.

Kaneland has both varsity and JV play during the summer, with most games scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The nine-team league also features West Aurora, Plano, Sandwich, Aurora Christian, Hinckley-Big Rock, Oswego East and Rosary, along with Plainfield East.

KHS coach Ernie Colombe continues to work, and is pleased with the Lady Knights’ summer output.

“Emily Heimerdiner and Andie Strang led a balanced attack,” Colombe said. “We have been getting key contributions from several players.”

Colombe singled out Heimerdinger, Strang, Tesa Alderman and Nicki Ott as players leading the way offensively, and returnees Kris Bowen and Katie Taylor as sparkplugs defensively.

“Kelly Evers has really improved and has been progressing throughout the summer. She is leading our team in blocked shots and rebounding. Emma Bradford has also stepped up her game on both ends of the floor and is finishing well for us,” Colombe said.

Kaneland lost only one senior to graduation after 2009-10, that being Mallory Carlson.

The Lady Knights face Hinckley-Big Rock at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, for their next challenge.

Maple Park Outlaws

The Maple Park Outlaws 12U Travel team placed second in the DC Lightning Travel tournament on the weekend of June 12 in Cortland. (Front, left to right): Coach Andy Franklin, Justin Peterson, Zach Hurst, Adam Mish, Will Ring, Jack Coyle, Nick Mish and Drew Franklin. (Back) Coach Jim VanHorn, Jacob Violett, Jason Edwards, Coach Jeff Violett, Joe Laudont, Tanner VanHorn, Coach Tom O’Shea and Sean O’Shea. Courtesy Photo

Batter up

The Pythons’ Patrick Milton takes his swings during Saturday morning’s Instructional League Championship against the Shamrocks at the Elburn Community Center fields. The teams consisted of 7-8 year olds, with the Shamrocks claiming the crown after a 12-8 win. Photo by Mike Slodki

Faivre, Peterson to wed

Vince and Jerilyn Faivre of DeKalb announce the engagement of their daughter, Heidi Faivre, to Ted Peterson, son of Jim and Linda Peterson.

The bride-to-be is a 2002 graduate of DeKalb High School, graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in education, and graduated in 2010 from Aurora University with a master’s degree in education administration.

She is employed by the Burlington Central School District as a middle school teacher.

The future groom is a 2003 graduate of Kaneland High School and completed the 2008 Kishwaukee College paramedic program.

He is employed as a contract medic for the Batavia Fire Department.

The wedding ceremony will be Aug. 14, 2010, at Salem Lutheran Church in Sycamore.