Contemporary Health offers Kaneland student inside view

by Brandon Bishop
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—Cindy Miller’s Contemporary Health class at Kaneland High School offers juniors and seniors an inside look at issues such as drug addiction and violence through a combination of guest speakers and field trips.

“The kids that take my class are 17 and 18 years old, and bringing in other people to talk to them is beneficial,” Miller said.

Guest speakers include a deputy from the Kane County Sherriff’s Office about drug dogs, a visit from Dwight Correctional Center inmates who have been convicted for drug offenses, Ben Conley from Conley Funeral Home, and students from Kaneland’s Gay-Straight Alliance. On Nov. 10, officer Keith Smith from Cook County will come in to talk to students about gangs, drugs and homicide.

The speakers talk about their life experiences associated with the lessons being taught in the class.

“These people’s stories are real, and real stories are what really influence the student,” Miller said.

The course also includes a field trip to the Kane County Jail.

Seeing what the inside of an actual jail is like is a rare experience for students, Miller said, and students get the opportunity to see the terrors of the life on the inside.

“I learned how it would suck to have to live in the jail,” senior Blake Serpa said.

Graduation plan set for NIU Convo Center June 4

Kaneland—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve budget allocation for 2011 graduation, which will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb. DeKalb High School will hold its graduation ceremony at the Convocation Center earlier that day.

Total cost for use of the Convocation Center is $7,500 and includes video service and all equipment. The 2010 KHS Graduation Ceremony, held in the high school gymnasium, cost $1,400. However, the Convocation Center is air conditioned and has actual seats, as opposed to gymnasium bleachers.

Snowflake Shuffle 5K set for Dec. 4

Geneva—TriCity Family Services will present the annual Snowflake Shuffle 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Dec. 4, in the Mill Creek Subdivision in Geneva. More than 300 people participated in the Snowflake Shuffle last year, and with this year’s additional Youth Mile event, even more are expected.

The course is USATF certified. Split times will be given at every mile, and finish line management and timing services will be provided by Race Time. Awards will be presented to the top three males and females in each five-year age division.

Event check-in begins at 7 a.m., with the Youth Mile event starting things off at 8 a.m. The 5K race and walk will begin at 9 a.m. Check-in is located at the Mill Creek Clubhouse, 39W525 Herrington Drive, Geneva. Pre-registration fees are $25 for adults, $15 for children and teens, and free for children age 5 and younger. The fee for the Youth Mile, for children age 14 and younger, is $10. Participants will receive a goody bag and Snowflake Shuffle long-sleeve T-shirt. Day-of-registration fees are $5 more, and shirts are not guaranteed. All proceeds benefit TriCity Family Services.

For information, visit or call (630) 232-1070.

PODA seeks to prevent drug, alcohol use at Kaneland

by Cheryl Gaston
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—Drugs and alcohol can consume some high school students, but Prevention of Dangerous Actions (PODA) is working to raise awareness and reduce substance abuse among Kaneland High School students.

“PODA members are working hard to make Kaneland a safer place for everyone,” said Anna Lamica, the club’s sponsor. “The members are part of the solution to major issues at Kaneland, instead of being part of the problem.”

The club, which also works to prevent suicide, bullying, school violence, texting and drinking while driving, and tobacco use, meets every Tuesday at 7:40 a.m. Members plan educational events that they hope will be eye-opening, Lamica said. Last year, PODA held a health fair about tobacco usage with various booths, and the club also sponsors Drug Prevention Week and Alcohol Awareness Week. Members perform skits and have a leadership retreat both in the fall and spring.

Junior Alex Hornback said he joined the club to make other students realize not only how much drugs and alcohol can harm the user, but how it can put others in danger too.

“The assemblies are my favorite part of PODA,” Hornback said. “They show the student body what happens in situations about drinking and driving and what it could do to you.”

One of the year’s largest assemblies, “Please Return on Monday,” will be held immediately before prom and focuses on the dangers of drinking while driving, and of drug abuse. Hornback said members take planning the assembly very seriously because drugs and alcohol are at a higher risk of being used at that time.

Students interested in joining PODA can contact Lamica in the Student Services Office for more information.

Board approves pest management plan

Kaneland—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan to address all issues regarding pest control. The plan is in compliance with the Structural Pest Control Act, which makes it mandatory for all school districts to carry an integrated pest management plan.

An IPM plan requires interaction between school staff and pest control specialists to successfully administer both pesticides and nonchemical strategies to regulate pest infestation levels and prevent child exposure to chemicals.

Kane County Cougars now have a Royal feel

by Nick Philips
Kaneland Krier Reporter

Kaneland—A two-year player development contract has been agreed to by the former Oakland Athletics Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars and Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals.

By switching its Class A affiliate to the Cougars, the Royals ended their 10-year relationship with the Burlington Bees. All of the prospects that the Royals will be putting at the Class A level will play for Kane County, while the Bees’ Class A prospects now will belong to the Oakland Athletics. The teams essentially switched players and affiliations.

Shawn Touney, a spokesperson for the Cougars, said that the team will be an affiliate of Kansas City for at least the next two seasons. At the MLB level, Kansas City has struggled for some time. The Cougars new feature a new selection of prospects to be drafted by the Royals.

“Kansas City has a competitive farm system, so it should be a nice mix for future stars. Kansas City is also nice because of geographic reasons,” Touney said.

This affiliation change makes Kansas City the third affiliate in the Cougar’s history. In 1991, when the team was established, the Cougars were a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, a relationship that lasted only until 1992. During that stretch, the team had a below-average record of 129-143-1.

The next season, they became an affiliate of the Florida Marlins. During a stretch from 1993-2002, the Cougars compiled a 723-655 record and had star players that included Josh Beckett, Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis and Ryan Dempster. From 2003-2010, the Cougars were affiliated with Oakland Athletics, compiling a 591-520 record. Pitchers Joe Blanton and Dallas Braden spent time with Kane County during that timeframe.

“Our affiliation with Oakland went real well,” Touney said. “We were competitive over the years. We were together eight years, and I believe we made the playoffs six times, which in itself is impressive.”

Touney said that many things will stay the same off the diamond.

“We still plan on doing promotions. Our front office will stay intact. The players coming our way start playing in April,” he said.

The process begins

Elburn Village Board begins difficult budget process
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board took a first look at what will be a series of reviews of its 2012 budget at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday. The process of reviewing line items and weighing cuts will continue until April.

Trustees were asked by village administrators to go through the recommended budget line by line, ask questions and make suggestions. They will see the budget for each department at least two times before making decisions.

“This is the first time you will see this budget. It won’t be the last,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “There is time to make changes through April. We will go through each department two rounds. You will see the entire village budget as a whole four times.”

With concerns of lowered revenues at the top of their minds, board members expressed concern that the budget stay in line with what money is coming into the village. The state income tax payments are currently four months behind and down 13 percent from this time last year.

“My concern is that the state will decide it’s too far behind and will start from scratch, and we’ll lose the four months’ payments,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “We should have $91.08 per person returned back to us from the income tax. The actual return is $79.78 per person.”

Trustee Ken Anderson said that it was vital that the budget start from where the 2011 revenues are and not simply create a wish list.

“Are we saying to our department heads that that’s where we start and that this is what we have? If it can’t be run with that amount of money, then we know we have a problem,” Anderson said. “We’re not going to keep going in debt to make ends meet.”

Willrett described the process as one of coming to consensus about which projects get priority.

“We need everyone to buy in on what projects we’re dealing with. If we have five projects, we’re not leaving the table until you all agree. We have more projects than we do money. You have some tough decisions,” she said. “In the second round, I will be proposing cuts. They may not be popular, but there will be cuts. We need to get down to the bare bones.”

Almburg earns national recognition

Photo: Adam Almburg (far right) of Lincoln Highway 4-H Club received Reserve Champion Steer during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisvile, Ken. Courtesy Photo

Maple Park—Adam Almburg, a member of the Lincoln Highway 4-H Club in Maple Park, raised a steer that was named Reserve Champion Steer during the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisvile, Ken., on Nov. 14.

The judge evaluated 64 steers at this year’s competition. Exhibitors ages 8 to 21 vied for a coveted position in the Sale of Champions Nov. 18. Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers, wethers and hogs are included in the sale. Last year’s Grand and Reserve Champion Steers brought $26,500 and $22,000 respectively.

Steers of many breeds competed against one another in the North American Junior Steer Show. Steers are castrated beef cows and are judged on musculature, structural soundness and overall balanced eye-appeal. The judge looked for the highest quality, market-ready animal.

The Junior Steer Show at the NAILE is the final show of the season for many exhibitors. Steers are fed specific feed mixes to increase muscle mass while maintaining the proper muscle-to-fat ratio. Some fat content in the meat keeps steaks tender and juicy. Exhibitors spend months improving their steers’ quality and training them for the show ring.

Almburg is from Malta, Ill.

St. Charles parade honors community leaders

Elburn resident, Lazarus House founder, named parade Co-Grand Marshal
ST. CHARLES—Darlene Marcusson, Elburn resident, founder and executive director of Lazarus House, as well as Alderwoman Betsy Penny, were named by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership (DSCP) as Co-Grand Marshals for the 2010 Electric Christmas Parade. The parade takes place on Main Street in downtown St. Charles on Saturday, Nov. 27, at 5:30 p.m.

“Both women, who recently announced plans to retire from their respective positions, have made a positive and lasting impact on the St. Charles community,” said Jennifer Faivre, Executive Director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, the group responsible for organizing the parade. “It seems very fitting that they are honored at this event, the purpose of which is to create the sense of community spirit that both women so deeply embody.”

Marcusson founded Lazarus House in 1997 in response to the need she saw for a shelter in her own community. While serving on the Board of Directors for Hesed House, she discovered that there were people from the St. Charles community travelling to either Aurora or Elgin to seek shelter during the winter months. In addition, those facilities would close in the summer, forcing people to come back to St. Charles and sleep on public benches.

At that point, Marcusson made it her mission to create a place within the community where people could seek safe shelter. At first, she wasn’t sure that she could garner the community support to make her vision a reality, but soon came to realize that her fears were unwarranted.

“I have never seen such kindness and generosity,” Marcusson said of the people of St. Charles. “This community has been amazing in embracing our mission.”

When asked about being Co-Grand Marshal with Betsy Penny, Marcusson said, “I am pleased and honored to be serving in this capacity with my dear friend Betsy Penny.”

Penny, who is no stranger to community service, met Marcusson while she was working to open Lazarus House and became a founding member. Today, Penny not only sits on the board of Lazarus House, but she volunteers several days a week providing tutoring services to individuals working toward their GED.

Penny will retire as Alderwoman at the end of her current term, a position that she has held for over 15 years. She says that she took on this role because she feels a calling to serve her community, which she does in many capacities. In addition to Lazarus House, Penny volunteers her time with St. John Neumann’s Eucharistic Ministries, Kiwanis Club and Kane County Relay for Life. Penny has also been an integral part of the Electric Christmas Parade for the last 13 years by serving on the parade committee.

“My motto is ‘Faith, Family and Friends,’” said Penny of what drives her. “I believe that people are the most important commodity in our world.”

Marcusson and Penny will ride together in the parade, the culmination of the Holiday Homecoming festivities that start at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, with Lighting of the Lights in Lincoln Park. The events kick-off on Saturday, Nov. 27, with a free holiday movie and concert. Afternoon events include horse-drawn sleigh rides in Lincoln Park and visits with Santa at his house on the 1st Street Plaza.

Clock continues to tick

Kaneland reviews Intergovernmental Agreement as Jan. 1expiration approaches
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Tuesday reviewed its current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), which allows Kaneland to collect consistent land cash payments, capital-impact and transition fees from the nine municipalities within the School District.

The Kaneland School District offered a three-year IGA extension to all nine municipalities, but Sugar Grove recently stated that it would like a significant reduction in its capital-impact and transition fees. Sugar Grove’s response forced the School District to take a step back and reopen IGA talks in the hope of reaching a unanimous agreement with all nine municipalities before the current IGA expires on Jan. 1, 2011.

Kaneland School Superintendent Jeff Schuler led the discussion and stressed that the cost to educate a student in the Kaneland School District should remain the same regardless of the municipality that student resides in.

“We want to make sure that we are consistent with our municipalities. The School District wants to make sure we are not potentially caught in a position between competing municipalities,” he said. “(And) that’s why we’ve fought to maintain a consistent model.”

Schuler also touched upon the notion that residential growth should pay some of its own way.

“When you don’t have impact payments in place, the cost of growth, when it comes to educating new students, will fall squarely on existing taxpayers,” he said. “There are very direct measurable costs with growth when it comes to building buildings; when it comes to building classrooms; when it comes to doing necessary (school) renovation; as well as when it comes to educating students.”

Schuler’s presentation, which KSB Secretary Lisa Wiet referred to as a “re-education of the board as well as a reaffirmation of our goals,” essentially echoed his statement made at the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Nov. 16.

But can re-education and reaffirmation fix the district’s IGA logjam before Jan.1?

“We continue to have conversations with the municipalities, and the municipalities are having conversations between themselves. We feel that we should be able to get something in place (by January),” Wiet said.

• The current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Kaneland School District and the municipalities within it sets a fee table, based on home type, number of bedrooms and home value.

• The table remains consistent, regardless of the municipality within which a new development is constructed.

• The fees are designed to offset the cost of new growth, in effect requiring that new growth pay its own way.

• The IGA is designed to extend to all municipalities that extend into the Kaneland School District boundary. Its function is to eliminate impact and transition fees from being a negotiation tool between individual municipalities and developers.

• The current IGA will expire Jan. 1, 2011

Holiday Homecoming plans underway in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES—The Downtown St. Charles Partnership recently announced plans for its 2010 Holiday Homecoming festivities, including the much-anticipated Electric Christmas Parade. This annual tradition in downtown St. Charles is held the weekend after Thanksgiving, and for 15 years, has marked the official kick-off to the holiday season for residents and visitors.

The festivities begin on Friday, Nov. 26, at 5 p.m. with Lighting of the Lights in Lincoln Park. With the help of some children from the crowd, Mayor DeWitte will flip the switch that illuminates both Lincoln Park and Main Street, as holiday music is performed by the St. Charles North and St. Charles East Chorale groups. Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to make a special appearance, as well.

The events begin on Saturday at 10 a.m. with a free holiday movie and concert at the Arcada Theatre. The family-friendly movie is followed by the concert at 2 p.m., which features young, local performers who take the stage to showcase their talent.

On Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m., families can enjoy free horse-drawn sleigh rides in downtown St. Charles. Also, children can stop and visit Santa’s House on the 1st Street Plaza from noon to 4 p.m. Santa will be available to children every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 19.

The culmination of the festivities occurs at 5:30 p.m. with the Electric Christmas Parade. The procession takes place on Main Street between 6th Street and 4th Avenue. Entrants consist of floats, large inflatable balloon characters and other decorated vehicles, in addition to music and, of course, a lot of lights.

“We are delighted to continue this beloved holiday tradition on Main Street,” said Jennifer Faivre, Executive Director of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership. “This two-day Holiday Homecoming event is a celebration of the holiday season in our home or community. Events like this one create wonderful memories and a sense of place for people.”

Don’t forget the stuffing!

Ansley Ruh helps sort the food at Grace United Methodist church in Maple Park on Nov. 21. She is the daughter of Kari and Ryan Ruh, who coordinated the turkey food drop. Grace United Methodist and St. Mary’s Catholic church teamed up to gather turkeys, hams and other food items to help families in need. The food will help families in need in local communities. Photo by John DiDonna

No State Trip for Knights

Remarkable season for KHS ends in 27-14 loss to Montini
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Too many big plays, not enough time to come back from a large deficit, or facing a daunting program looking for a repeat State championship.

Whatever the main reason, it resulted in Kaneland’s season-ending loss at the hands of Lombard’s Montini Catholic High School in a 27-14 affair on Saturday evening.

The loss marked the Knights’ first loss since Oc. 31, 2009, and ended their 2010 campaign at 12-1.

Montini (11-2) now goes to Memorial Stadium in Champaign to face Chatham’s Glenwood High School in the 5A title game at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27.

“I told these kids they have nothing to be mad about,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said on Saturday. “They played hard. It was a good team that we lost to, but we had a tremendous season.”

The Broncos amassed 405 total yards, compared to the Knights’ 356.

Montini’s Matt Westerkamp, a premier area quarterback, went 21-for-29 for 276 yards with a touchdown pass and no interceptions. Westerkamp also was the game-high rusher in an otherwise pass-happy game with 43 yards and two scoring rushes. Westerkamp’s cousin, Jordan, had a state semifinal-worthy night, catching 10 passes for 186 yards and a score.

Knight Quinn Buschbacher (22) echoes many a feeling in Maple Park after Saturday’s Class 5A State semifinal loss at the hands of Montini Catholic High School, 27-14.

For Kaneland’s final effort of the season, senior Joe Camiliere was 26-for-43 for 293 yards and a touchdown, but was knocked out of the game on a third-down hit with 5:28 remaining. Teammate Blake Serpa served as quarterback for the remainder of the contest out of the “wildcat” formation.

Camiliere also rushed 10 times for 38 yards.

Out of five targets in the spread offense, Kaneland’s Tyler Callaghan was the leading receiver with nine catches for 66 yards, while Quinn Buschbacher was close behind with seven catches for 65 yards.

Kaneland’s first drive ended on downs at the Montini 37-yard line. Two drives later, Montini was forced to start at its’ own nine-yard line on a down punt. On a 15-play, 91-yard drive that went into the second quarter, the Broncos’ Anthony Taylor knifed through the secondary for a 15-yard touchdown with 7:28 remaining in the half.

On Kaneland’s next drive, a fourth-and-three from the Montini 43 had a bad snap on a punt, with Serpa’s desperation pass to Kyle Davidson going incomplete. The Broncos turned that into a seven-play drive that ended on a four-yard TD run by Matt Westerkamp. KHS went into the break down 14-0 after a 37-yard field goal try with 1:22 to go was no good.

After a Knights drive to open the second half turned up empty, Montini started at its own 43 and scored three plays later on a 26-yard catch by Jordan Westerkamp. The jump ball snag with 8:35 left in the third gave the Broncos a 21-0 edge.

Using a balanced drive, however, KHS finally got on the board at the 5:56 mark with a 33-yard touchdown catch by Sean Carter, closing the deficit to 21-7.

On the ensuing drive, Montini used a one-yard sneak by Matt Westerkamp with 3:35 to go to go up 27-7.

Kaneland came up short on downs twice in the fourth quarter, the second time saw a bubble screen to Buschbacher from the 10 end a 15-play drive.

Soon after, Kaneland would convert a three-play drive that ended on Serpa’s one-yard run with 2:25 to go to cut the margin to 13.

Unfortunately, Kaneland’s onside kick try fell into the visitors’ hands, effectively ending the season.

The loss didn’t make the 2010 season any less memorable for fourth-year coach Fedderly, or his group of departing seniors.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how much those kids mean to me. They’re almost like little brothers. We’ve been around each other for so long, I just think the world of them. No matter what the outcome of this game, these are great kids,” Fedderly said.

Play of the Knight

Kaneland’s program was so good in 2010 that it wasn’t used to coming back from large deficits.
Jordan Westerkamp of Montini cared little about that fact. His jump ball catch in the third quarter, despite the best efforts of Kyle Davidson and Quinn Buschbacher, gave Montini a 21-0 lead.

Kaneland’s history in State Semifinal matchups:
(5A)Montini Catholic 27, Kaneland 14—November 20, 2010
(5A)Marian Central Catholic 22, Kaneland 7—November 19, 2006
(3A)Kaneland 40, Hall 21—November 21, 1998
(3A)Kaneland 41, Marengo 7—November 22, 1997 

2010 NIB-12 All Conference:
NIB-12 East Offensive MVP: Joe Camiliere
NIB-12 East Defensive MVP: Blake Serpa
OL: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel; WR: Quinn Buschbacher, Sean Carter; QB: Joe Camiliere; DL: Jimmy Boyle, Blake Serpa; DB: Kyle Davidson, Jacob
Razo; LB: Tyler Callaghan, Taylor Andrews

Lady Knights (2-1) show grit in IMSA tourney

Photo: Knight Tesa Alderman converts on a steal and layup during Friday’s 46-37 triumph over host Aurora Christian during Hoop Happenings. Photo by Ben Draper

Thanksgiving Tournament Lady Knights at Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Slow starts might not be ideal if you’re with Lady Knights basketball, they’ll live with it if it leaves room for mid-game rallies and competent fourth quarters.

Down 16-5 in the second quarter to host Aurora Christian on Friday night, the Lady Knights rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and cut down on mistakes in the second half to swipe a 46-37 result on Friday. At night three of the IMSA Hoop Happenings the next afternoon, Kaneland beat Earlville 62-34 to take the consolation championship.

The Lady Knights, under fifth-year coach Ernie Colombe, are 2-1 in the early outset of the season.

In the night two win over the Lady Eagles, Emily Heimerdinger had a game-high 17 points, followed by Tesa Alderman with six.

The Knights were 13-for-47 from the field and 19-for-29 from the free throw line.

Alderman, on the floor for stretches in which KHS was behind, rallying, and holding the lead, feels the formula for Friday’s win could be the way to go.

“Certain people got on fire and we worked as a team,” Alderman said. “Some of the drills we do in practice really help us in how to handle crunch time.”

After trailing 9-5 to AC at the end of the first frame, things got worse for Kaneland, as the Lady Eagles took their 16-5 lead with 3:17 to go in the half.

Heimerdinger hit two foul shots and a lay-up a minute later. Nicki Ott followed with a basket, and Heimerdinger hit two free throws to close within 16-13 with 1:23 remaining. After Alderman hit a free throw to close within two, Kelly Evers sunk both her foul shots to tie, and Alderman stole the ball and finished with a layup with 18.7 seconds to go to take a two-point lead. KHS eventually went into the break leading 18-17.

Up 26-24 in the third quarter, Lexie Guerra hit a layup, followed soon after by an Andie Strang shot to go up 30-25 with 1:48 to go in the frame. Heimerdinger hit a three-pointer with 1:04 left to go up 33-25, before AC scored the final five points of the quarter.

After an Emma Bradford putback with 7:08 to go in the game gave KHS a 35-30 lead, the Lady Eagles put two baskets and two foul shots together to go up 36-35 with 5:09 remaining.

Bradford then hit a shot to go ahead for good with 4:51 left, and Alderman hit a baseline jumper to go up 39-36 with 3:46 to play.

Heimerdinger, Strang and Alderman hit seven out of eight foul shot attempts to end the game up nine.

“The whole game you have to hit free throws, especially in the fourth quarter, and we took care of the ball. We didn’t turn it over too many times. There’s some stuff we want to clean up but we did a good job handling the ball,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said.

Facing Earlville in the consolation title game, Evers led the Lady Knights with 14 points while Cory Harrison had 12 points. Ott and Heimerdinger added eight points apiece.

Kaneland was 25-for-61 from the field and 12-for-23 from the charity stripe.

Kaneland stormed out to a 21-8 lead after one and was up 39-12 at the break before going up 52-23 after three.

Meanwhile, the sophomore crew has leapt out to a 2-0 start with a 36-35 Monday win over Geneva, led by Ashley Prost’s 11 points, and a 42-18 handling of Marengo. Prost led the balanced scoring column with nine points.

The Lady Knights try and improve on their early success with a matchup against Thanksgiving Tournament host Immaculate Conception in Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.

KYSO registration open

Kaneland—Soccer enthusiasts between the ages of 4 and 17 years old can register online to play in the KYSO Spring Season, which will run from April 16 through May 21, 2011.

The Spring Registration Deadline is Jan. 31, 2011. The fee (which includes a jersey, shorts and socks) is $65 for the first player and $60 for any additional players from the same family. There is a volunteer fee of $20 payable at the time of registration. Your fee will be refunded to you once your volunteer activity is completed.

Please visit the website for more information about the Top Soccer program for special needs players from 5-16 ($35/player), as well as the Crusader Soccer Club Travel Teams.

All KYSO practices and games are held at the fields located just to the east of Kaneland High School (47W326 Keslinger Road., Maple Park). To register online or for more information, visit the KYSO website at

Best of NIB-12 XC recognized

KANELAND—Earlier this month, the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference released its girls and boys list for premier All-Conference runners.

The boys and girls side had 21 runners each, based on October’s NIB-12 race in Elburn.

The Lady Knight contingent included junior Jen Howland, senior Andie Strang and sophomore Ashley Castellanos.

Conference champ Dixon was represented by Haley Thorpe, Chelsea Sondgeroth, Brittany Schwarz, Brooke Bailey and Megan Burger.

DeKalb was represented by Kelsey Schrader and Desa Diedrich. Geneseo had Emily Ford and Paige Gatter. Yorkville brought Ali Hester, Casey Kramer, Esther Bell, Bree Steupfert and Leena Palmer.

Sycamore was represented by Tessa Strack, Maggie Lalowski and Morgan Morreale. Rochelle’s lone rep was Hannah Gille.

For the boys’ side, Kaneland’s one representative was senior Trevor Holm.

Conference champions Yorkville added Eric Baker, Zak Arcara, Chris Kellogg, Scott King, Kyle Dhuse and Karl Bomba.

Sterling was highlighted by Jacob Landis and Dylan Harkness.

Dixon had Simon Thorpe, Roy Hummell and Aaron Grady.

DeKalb was repped by Marc Dubrik.

Morris had Heath Hougas as part of the list, while Sycamore had Mark Stice, and Geneseo added Jordan Starkey, Kyle Reiling Jr. and Thomas Sigwalt. Rochelle had Kevin Smith Jr.,and Tyler Rivera.

Editorial: Community leaders need to agree on a school fee structure

Residents within the Kaneland community may face additional financial pressures once the struggling economy begins to ease up if our local leaders fail to reach a consensus by Jan. 1, 2011.

That is the date the existing intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between Kaneland and the nine municipalities within it—Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park, Kaneville, Montgomery, Aurora, North Aurora, Virgil and Cortland—is set to expire.

The IGA establishes a fee schedule of impact, transition, and land-cash fees that the municipalities agree to charge developers when new growth comes into the School District.

The idea behind the fees is to develop a way for residential growth to pay for itself.

Because Illinois school districts are funded primarily with local property taxes, and because Illinois property taxes are paid in arrears (at the end of the tax year, as opposed to the beginning), there is a significant delay between when new growth occurs and when the property taxes from that new growth make it to the School District.

The impact, transition and land-cash fees are designed to provide the funding to fill in that gap, without asking the current residents to subsidize the incoming ones.

With Kaneland being among the geographically largest school districts in Illinois, and much of that land being undeveloped farmland, there is potential for high volumes of growth as the economy begins to improve. Our area already experienced this in the 1990s and early 2000s, when our population doubled multiple times and our region was among the fastest-growing in the nation.

If no mechanism is in place for growth to pay for its own way, current Kaneland residents will be hit with higher-tax pressures to pay for new growth at the very moment that the light at the end of the tunnel is upon us.

The IGA was on the verge of being extended for another three years until last week. Prior to that, Kaneland had reached agreement with all municipalities except for Sugar Grove. At the Nov. 16 Sugar Grove Village Board meeting, Sugar Grove released a revised version of the IGA, which essentially cut the impact fees in half and reduced the transition fees to zero. Sugar Grove’s trustees decided to hold off on a decision on the IGA until a consensus could be built.

The difficult thing for those not in Sugar Grove to understand, us being included in that list, is that the only thing that prevented a consensus on the originally proposed IGA was the village of Sugar Grove.

Clearly, Sugar Grove’s leadership seeks residential growth as a way to draw in commercial growth, which would strengthen the community’s tax base and ultimately reduce the property tax pressures on its residents. With the economy struggling, they feel there is a need to provide incentives to prospective developers, and among those incentives would be a reduced school fee table.

While there are elements to Sugar Grove’s philosophy that may appear logically sound, the element its leadership is either not recognizing or disregarding is that if the school fees are significantly reduced or eliminated, current residents will feel more fiscal pressure. In effect, they would be subsidizing new residential growth until enough of it occurs to draw in suitable commercial growth, which is designed to ease the very fiscal pressure made worse by the plan.

In other words, the cure is potentially worse than the disease.

No one expects everyone to blindly sign off on every proposed agreement for the sake of solidarity. However, our community should be able to expect its leaders to work together and find a way to prevent current residents from being forced to subsidize new ones.

The deadline is Jan. 1. We urge our community leaders to make something happen before then.

Letter: Dr. Rob used ‘Hogfan’ funds for new treatment

I just wanted to let you know that we went to Ohio to give the check to Dr. Rob this weekend.

We found out that with only $2,800 of last year’s donation, he and another research scientist were able to combine some drugs that they thought might work to destroy tumors caused by PTLD, which is caused by the virus Jason had, and it worked in eight patients so far. They all only had a couple of months to live, and the new treatment worked in all of them, and they are all cured; no sign of recurring tumors—they are totally cancer free.

Dr. Rob told us that they were able to submit this as a new treatment for PTLD of the brain, and it will be in all the medical/oncology journals around the world, and he put that this was the result of a donation by The Friends of Jason Gould Foundation of Illinois.

So if you donated, you just saved eight lives this year, with many more to follow. This is just amazing to think that even though we are not major donators, as an independent foundation, he is able to use our money to create treatments that would not otherwise have been done because of cancer-funding cutbacks. In other words, this is beyond our wildest dreams. We are saving lives that are someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, wife, husband, etc.

All four of us that went were simply awestruck by the brilliance of these researchers. They have created so many new cancer treatment protocols at Ohio, and Dr. Rob has a brilliant future—and we helped.

Every single dollar that we raised went to him, and he has already discovered some other new treatments in addition to the PTLD (lymphoma) vaccine going to clinical trials soon.

We need to do this for him. I had no idea how directly and immediately our donations were saving people’s lives. We need to continue on. We need more people to come forward to help, to donate, whatever, this year. Please consider helping on any level. Join the committee, be a volunteer at the Hogfan Party on Sept. 10, donate $10, $20 or any amount this year. We need you.

Jason would be thrilled.

Sandy Gould
Friends of Jason Gould Foundation

Letter: Elburn Leos invite community to fight hunger

The Elburn Leo Club is inviting all community residents to participate in a food drive on
Sunday, Dec. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon at Elburn Lions Community Park, 500 Filmore St., in conjunction with their annual Breakfast with Santa.

This event is part of the Relieving the Hunger Campaign, a Leo Club global campaign taking place during the months of December and January that focuses on hunger and malnutrition.

Leos everywhere share a common belief: community is what we make it. During the Relieving the Hunger campaign, Leos are fighting hunger in their communities, while raising awareness of this global problem. Over one billion people do not get enough food to be healthy. Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger, and many hunger relief organizations are finding it difficult to keep up with demand.

For the Elburn Leos, organizing this project gives us a chance to help families in our community who don’t have enough to eat or can’t afford to buy nutritious food giving us the opportunity to build a stronger, healthier community.

The Elburn Leos challenge you to help your community by collecting non-perishable food items, paper and personal hygiene products from now until the date of the food drive. From Nov. 27 through Dec. 5, a drop box will be available for your convenience at Jewel Osco in Elburn. You can purchase an item at Jewel and leave it in the drop box labeled for the Elburn Leo Club Food Drive.

You could also consider organizing your neighbors, family and friends or ask your employer if you can place a box out at work, label it for donations for the Leo Club Food Drive and drop off all you have collected on Dec. 5 at Elburn Lions Park. All items donated will benefit the Elburn Food Pantry.

In addition to the club’s upcoming Relieving the Hunger service event, the club will host a Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves will be mingling with the guests and chatting with the children about their Christmas wishes. Bring your camera and take home a memory.

All-you-can-eat pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, orange juice, coffee and milk will be available. Cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and younger.

The proceeds from this event will benefit Elburn Leos Charities.

Leo clubs are groups of boys and girls ranging in age from 12 years to 18 years old who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Elburn Leo Club, please contact Pam Hall at (630) 365-2620 or

Check out our website at and get involved in helping your community.

Pam Hall
Elburn Leo Club Advisor

Letter: Thank you for supporting Blackberry Creek Fun Fair

We would like to thank all the people who attended and helped make our third annual Blackberry Creek Fun Fair and raffle a success.

The Fun Fair and raffle came about because we wanted to combine our fundraising efforts with a community-wide event that families and kids would enjoy. We want to thank our numerous volunteers; parents, grandparents, teachers, school staff, all the middle school helpers, Girl and Boy Scouts.

We also want to express our sincere appreciation to our local businesses who donated prizes and goods: Paisano’s Pizza, Bryan Cicchon DDS of Randall Ridge Dental, Cici’s, Delnor Health and Wellness, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fresh Market, Froots, Hair Cuttery, Hill’s Country Store, Jewel-Osco, McDonalds, Meijer, Sam’s Club, Sandy’s Air Conditioning and Heat, Shady Hill, Subway, Target, Town and Country Library, Vertical Endeavors and Walgreens. We hope you will support these businesses as they have supported us.

Thanks for bringing the community together,
Tracy Healy, Robynn Pawlak,
and Cindy Stair

Letter: Thank you, Kaneland community

I would like to take this opportunity to thank friends throughout the Kaneland community for answering the call to help the Between Friends Food Pantry.

After hearing of the ever-expanding need that the pantry has been experiencing, I posed a “Thanksgiving Meal Mail-in Challenge.” The response was tremendous.

Between various Facebook and e-mail friends, we were able to generate over $1,500 in two weeks time. Congrats to all.

I cannot list everyone in this note, but please know how important your contributions have been. When turning in the funds, I became aware that the Thanksgiving Meal needs had increased to nearly 60. I hope that everyone will continue to assist the local food pantries with donations of non-perishable food items, household items such as toilet paper, diapers, shampoo, etc., and most of all, cash donations. The cash donations allow them greater spending capacity at the food bank.

I will continue to accept any donations that are mailed to me, and they will be reserved for Christmas dinners for the families. We have crossed the first hurdle of the holidays with the Thanksgiving Meal, let’s continue to support our families throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Mari Johnson
Sugar Grove

Community center sponsors holiday raffle

ELBURN—The Elburn and Countryside Community Center will sponsor a Holiday Raffle. Tickets are $5 each, with the first-place winner receiving 25 percent of money taken in. Second-place winner will receive 15 percent and the third-place winner will receive 10 percent.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center office Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are also available at the American Bank and Trust and the Old Second Bank.

All proceeds will benefit the Elburn and Countryside Community Center a nonprofit organization that provides activities, classes, meeting space and practice space for various sports groups in the Elburn and surrounding area.

The drawing will take place Friday, Dec. 10, at noon. Winner does not need to be present to win.

IEMA highlights winter storm preparedness in November

Snow, ice, frigid temperatures create hazardous conditions
SPRINGFIELD—Winter weather, with its frigid temperatures, snow and ice, can be extremely dangerous, even deadly. To help Illinoisans handle winter’s hazards, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will highlight winter storm preparedness throughout November as part of its 12-Month Preparedness Campaign.

“We’ve enjoyed beautiful weather this fall, but the snow, ice and frigid temperatures of an Illinois winter are just around the corner,” said IEMA Interim Director Joe Klinger. “Many injuries and deaths related to winter weather could be prevented if people take a few minutes today to prepare.”

Klinger said while many people recognize other weather hazards, such as tornadoes, lightning, and floods, more people in Illinois are killed each year by exposure to cold temperatures. Since 1997, 109 cold-related deaths have been reported in the state. During the same period, 30 tornado/thunderstorm-related deaths, 20 deaths as a result of flooding and 12 lightning-related deaths were reported.

To help people prepare for winter hazards, IEMA joined with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the American Red Cross to develop a Winter Storm Preparedness Guide, which contains information about winter weather terms and tips for staying safe at home, in the car and at work or school. The guide is available at or by calling (217) 785-9888.

IEMA recommends that every home have a disaster preparedness kit that will help residents stay safe for at least three days. The kits should include a battery-powered NOAA weather radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable food, water, a first-aid kit, extra medications and special items needed for babies, disabled or elderly family members.

“The ‘super storm’ that recently impacted the Midwest reminds us that winter is not far away,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service Office (NWS) office in Lincoln. “In the past five years, Illinois has experienced blizzards, major ice storms and bone-chilling temperatures. Being prepared has made the difference for many people surviving the elements.”

Holiday worship service seeks to create unity

by Keith Beebe
Sugar Grove—Mention the upcoming holiday season to anyone and you’ll likely hear a few groans. After all, the holidays have come to represent long department store lines, ruthless “Black Friday” crowds and credit cards practically smoldering from overuse.

However, hidden amongst all the rat race activity is the fact that the holidays are meant to celebrate life, family, friends and goodwill. The Sugar Grove Methodist Church understands this true meaning of the holiday season and will proudly put it on display during the Kaneland Area Thanksgiving Eve Worship on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend this ecumenical service, which will include at least six congregations from Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville.

People from all congregations are welcome to attend the service, and are invited even if they do not belong to any congregation.

“These are people who are sometimes neighbors and know each other but go to different churches on Sundays,” said Steve Good, pastor at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. “So this is one of those rare opportunities where they can all worship with each other. We live in the same communities, and it’s wonderful to actually come together in the same place of worship, sing the songs together and hear the scriptures together.”

Good said the Thanksgiving worship service is held at a different location each year, which means the head pastor of the hosting church must organize and publicize the service. Good assigned various scripture-reading assignments to several pastors in the area, and also asked the pastor of Elburn’s Community Congregational Church to preach a sermon during the Thanksgiving eve worship

“My job is to sort of set up the service and welcome everyone to come in and worship with us and with each other,” Good said. “It’s a rare opportunity for everyone to pray together, and there’s a sense of unity that we all have something to be thankful for as we consider the ways God has blessed us in the past year. It’s a great feeling.”

Good said the Thanksgiving eve offering will be shared with the Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove and the Elburn Food Pantry.

“We want to let them benefit from the offering and help our neighbors, who might need a little extra help making ends meet this year,” he said. “It’s certainly a real need in our community, and I think people will feel good about helping both of those food pantries.”

People can also bring a nonperishable food item to the Thanksgiving eve service for donation to the food pantries.

With sky-high college dropout rates, more students need to prepare

by Jessica Corbett
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor

KANELAND—Here’s a shocking fact: 73 percent of current Illinois high school seniors are unprepared for college-level science classes.

What does that mean?

It’s all in the ACT scores: Each subject has a benchmark, or a minimum score a student needs to achieve to be successful in college. A student who meets the benchmark score has about a 75 percent chance of passing first-year, college-level courses with a C, and about a 50 percent chance of passing the courses with a B, according to the College Board.

The science benchmark, set at 24, is the most difficult to achieve—only 27 percent of Illinois students met the benchmark. At Kaneland, only 24 percent of seniors who took the ACT in April met the science benchmark.

The mathematics benchmark is slightly lower—a score of 22 indicates college readiness—but only 40 percent of Illinois students met the benchmark score. In reading, the benchmark is set at 21, and 48 percent of Illinois students met it. In English, the benchmark is 18, and with 64 percent of Illinois students meeting the benchmark, the level of preparedness in the subject was the highest.

These statistics may be scary, but seniors Danielle Thomas and Bobby Thorson weren’t surprised.

Thomas, who took the ACT twice, said students have to prepare themselves to meet benchmarks. Thomas said she prepares for college-level work by taking the advanced classes at KHS.

“The people that take those classes are thinking about college,” she said. “I took AP Chemistry and AP Calculus.”
Thorson, who is enrolled in Honors Accounting, AP French V and AP Statistics, also said he’s making sure he’s prepared for college by taking challenging classes.

“Pick classes that will teach you to think at a higher level, because in college they’re not going to sugarcoat any of the information they’re giving you,” Thorson said. “You’re going to have to analyze the information all by yourself.”

What happens when students don’t challenge themselves enough in high school?

Often, when they reach college, they struggle. The dirty little secret about college is that nearly half of students never graduate—they drop out either because the courses were too difficult or the tuition was too costly. The other shocker? That 60 percent of two–year college students need to take remedial coursework, gaining no college credit and paying as much as $350 per class, according Michael Kirst, a Stanford University professor.

SG plans Dec. 7 vote on McDonald’s plan

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed whether to consider a final Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a McDonald’s franchise at the southeast corner of Route 47 and Park Avenue.

The Plan Commission reviewed the issue during its meeting on Nov. 10 and voted 5-2 in favor of approval, but made several recommendations for the PUD, including more evergreen trees, signs meeting structure and face dimensions of the Sugar Grove Center PUD plan, and the removal of a right-in along Park Avenue until a stop light is installed at the intersection.

The McDonald’s PUD will be considered for approval at the Village Board’s meeting on Dec. 7.

Holiday Spirit needs your help

ELBURN—Holiday Spirit, a joint program between the Kaneland schools and Conley Outreach/West Towns, is in need of organizations, businesses, churches and other groups to adopt local families in need this holiday season.

Last year, Holiday Spirit provided assistance to 132 children in 63 families through the generous donations from the community. Unfortunately, program organizers anticipate the need will be just as great this year.

Individuals or groups interested in adopting a family can call Nicole Pryor (social worker at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School) at (630) 466-8500, ext. 108, or Carol Alfrey (West Towns Coordinator) at (630) 365-2880. Monetary donations are also needed to purchase last minute gifts and for gas gift cards. Checks payable to Holiday Spirit can be sent c/o Conley Outreach, P.O. Box 931, Elburn IL 60119.