MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve a 2010-11 budget amendment.
According to Superintendent Jeff Schuler, auditors recommended that the district do budget amendments for this year to account for payments made by the state into pension systems on behalf of Kaneland employees.
“The more significant amendment was the adjustment in revenue for mandated categorical,” Schuler said. “Those are reimbursements for services we are required by law to provide, such as transportation and special education. Unfortunately the delay by the state of Illinois in releasing those numbers means that we don’t have accurate budget numbers at the time the budget is approved.”
Schuler said the budget amendment allowed the district to update the revenue numbers so that they reflect the amount Kaneland expects to receive from the state.
“To date, only one of the four payments for the 2010-11 school year have been received,” he said.
Board member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.
MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve the tentative 2011-12 budget.
According to a document from Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for business, Illinois School Code requires boards of education to adopt an annual budget within the first quarter of each fiscal year, followed by the budget being put into tentative form and put up for public inspection for a duration of at least 30 days before the budget is adopted.
A public hearing and adoption of the District 302 2011-12 budget will take place on Sept. 12.
by Keith Beebe
OSWEGO—The Sugar Grove Fire Protection District on Monday morning was initially dispatched to the Aurora Airport after receiving a report that a B17 airplane was coming in on fire.
The World War II plane departed from the airport sometime around 9:30 a.m. and was forced to land in a field five miles southeast after reporting that one of the plane’s engines was on fire.
“We started to respond to the airport, and we were then notified via the FAA tower that the plane had to land in a field because of the fire,” Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkel said. “We didn’t know where (the field) was at, so I told our dispatch center to advise Bristol-Kendall and Oswego that (the plane) could possibly be in their district.”
Kunkel was notified by Oswego that the plane was indeed in its district, as it had landed near Minkler Road and Route 71. The matter was then turned over to Oswego, though the district did request the aid of two SGFD units to help extinguish the fire.
All seven of the passengers on the aircraft escaped unharmed, but Kunkel said the plane itself could not be saved, as wet field conditions made it difficult to get near the plane and extinguish the fire in time.
“It was very difficult to get to the plane because of the field conditions, (as well as) the location of the fire on the plane,” he said.
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.
• Brett Alan Kristensen, 37, of the 800 block of Midway Drive, Batavia, was stopped on June 2 for not displaying a valid safety test sticker. He was charged with that offence and for driving on a revoked license.
• Jonathan D. Hedrick, 19, of the 400 block of Willow Street, Elburn, was stopped for speeding at midnight on June 5. He was charged with speeding, driving with a suspended license and possession of cannabis under 2.5 grams.
• James H. Stewart, 19, of the 200 block of Read Street in Elburn, received an ordinance violation ticket for unlawful possession of cannabis, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor on June 10. Police observed a vehicle parked with its lights blacked out in the Walnut Woods parking lot. After approaching the vehicle, police detected an odor of burnt cannabis and requested identification from the driver, as well as three passengers, including Stewart. The four subjects then collected and turned over four glass pipes with burnt cannabis residue in the bowl, a glass pipe with cannabis in the bowl, a red diamond grinder containing a small amount of cannabis, a clear container containing cannabis, an open case of beer with nine cans remaining, and a half-empty bottle of Jeremiah Weed (a sweet tea that contains vodka) to police.
• Sugar Grove Police on June 14 were investigating a stray dog when they made contact with Dana Grezak, 32, of the 40W600 block of Wheeler Road in Sugar Grove. Police then discovered there was a warrant for Grezak’s arrest out of DeKalb County for failing to appear in court. Grezak and her fiance were unable to find bond for the warrant, at which time police had the Montgomery Dispatch contact the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. Grezak was released into the custody of a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
• Sugar Grove Police on June 2 performed a traffic stop on a Mack truck that was towing a shipping container southbound on Route 47.
Police observed that the spacing between the last axle of the tractor and the first axle of the trailer was measured at eighteen feet, one inch which is short of the required 18’6,” making the vehicle subject to standard overweight enforcement action. The truck weighed in at 69,120 pounds, though trucks with four axles and 27” spacing typically measure in at 60,000 pounds. Police also discovered that the vehicle’s driver, Kevin B. Dixon, 51, of the 1300 block of Demond Ave. in Joliet, had a suspended driver’s license. He was then taken into custody and issued traffic citations for overweight on bridging axles (designated highway), driving while license suspended, as well as two citations for unsafe tire.
• A two-car crash occurred on June 7, after the driver of a Honda Pilot, traveling southbound on Route 47, made a sharp right turn onto Prairie Road and struck a Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Kevin J. Rogers, 25, of the 600 block of Elm Street in Sugar Grove, which was stopped at the Prairie Road stop sign.
The driver of the Pilot, Elaine M. Cannell, 18, of the 800 block of Drover Street in Elburn, stated that her GPS unit had told her to make the right turn onto Prairie Road.
Helping victims of the Joplin, Mo. tornado
St. Charles—Hosanna! Lutheran Church of St. Charles invites the community to help collect needed items to support the families of Joplin, Mo., who were devastated by the massive tornado there on May 22. All collected donations will be delivered for direct distribution to those affected through Immanuel Lutheran Church right there in Joplin. This effort is being undertaken as part of the Joplin Renaissance Project started through St. Luke Lutheran Church in Chicago.
On Thursday and Friday, June 16-17, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., a collection will take place at Hosanna! of only these requested listed relief supplies (no clothing please):
• Coffee (ground or instant, no whole beans)
• Sugar and/or sweetener
• Empty plastic storage containers
• Safety goggles
• Powdered drinks
• Heavy plastic sheeting
• Staple guns and staples
• Weather stripping (furring strips)
• Individually bottled drinks
• Between 8-10 compatible walkie-talkies
with ear pieces and which recharge on a
Two opportunities to assist in packing and loading the donated items are also available on June 18 and 19. To find out how your family, Scout troop, sports team, business, church, neighborhood, or other group can support the Joplin Renaissance Project, contact Frank Christensen through the Hosanna! Lutheran Church office at (630) 585-6434 or e-mail Welcome@HosannaChurch.com. Ongoing updates and details will be published through the Hosanna! website—click the “serve” link on the homepage.
Hosanna! is located at 36W925 Red Gate Road (entrance just east of Randall Road) in St. Charles.
UCC Couples’ Night Out
NORTH AURORA—Union Congregational Church (UCC) will host a Couples’ Night Out on Saturday, June 18.
This is an open invitation to all couples in the community. Free child care will be provided.
This event is from 5 to 8 p.m. (4:45 p.m. if using child care).
UCC is located at 405 W. State St., North Aurora. Contact Pastor Matt Gruel at (630) 897-0013 for more details or register at www.unioncong.com.
St. Katharine Drexel
Catholic to break ground
on new church
Sugar Grove—Nearly three years after its founding Mass, St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, June 19, at 1:30 p.m. The groundbreaking will initiate what will be an 18-month build-out for the new facility, to be located on Dugan Road in Sugar Grove. The land was donated to the parish by the Rich Family.
St. Katharine pastor, Rev. Robert Jones, is celebrating the growing parish’s milestone.
Currently, St. Katharine Drexel worships at John Shields Elementary School. The new church, to be located just south of Rich Harvest Farms on Dugan Road, will offer worship space for 350 parishioners and guests and will also feature 11 multipurpose rooms for religious education, parish meetings and funeral luncheons. It is anticipated that the new facility will be ready for services by the fall of 2012.
St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church currently has 460 registered parishioners and offers Saturday evening and Sunday services. For more information, visit www.stkatharinedrexel-sugargrove.org.
Vacation bible school
at Faith Baptist Church
GENEVA—Children 3 years old through fifth grade are invited to attend Vacation Bible School at Faith Baptist Church from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, June 19-24.
Faith Baptist Church, 1S455 S. Mill Creek Drive, will be transformed into an adventure where kids will learn how their lives can be changed by God’s awesome love for them. This year’s event, Hero Headquarters, will focus on heroes in the Bible.
A free-will offering will be collected each day. The estimated cost per child for the week is $10, or $30 per family. For more information, feel free to contact the church office at (630) 845-2532 weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 4-0 to approve a health insurance renewal that will allow the board to eschew its grandfathered status within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 in order to eliminate any unnecessary financial burden.
Board Members Gale Pavlak and Joe Oberweis chose to state “present” during the vote. Board Member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.
With the health insurance renewal, the School Board of Education approved renewal rates for 2011-12, including life insurance, medical and dental. The board will also implement a four-tier structure for health insurance premiums that will go into effect on Nov. 1, which will allow employees to have rates from the two-tier system for a third of the upcoming year. The four-tier system would be implemented for the latter two thirds of the year.
“Health insurance costs continue to challenge the School District,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “The amount of money allocated to health insurance benefits is something we will need to carefully monitor in the coming years, as it will impact our ability to allocate resources to other areas of our educational program.”
The reason for retaining the two-tier structure for one third of the year is to ease the financial impact that staff in the Family tier for health coverage will experience in a four-tier system (18.2 percent, or an increase of $567.60 per year).
Staff members included in the Employee and Spouse, and Employee and Children tiers will see a decrease of 52.3 percent ($1,629.84 a year) and 59.4 percent ($1,849.44 a year) in the four-tier system.
“The committee worked hard this year to explore cost containment strategies,” Schuler said. “That will need to continue as we look to future years.”
Photo: Joe Camiliere shows what it’s all about after Saturday’s 11-3 State Championship-clinching win as he and teammate Bobby Thorson receive their Class 3A medals. The two seniors supplied offense and defense during the weekend, and Thorson picked up the win over Waterloo on Friday. A photo gallery can be found at the bottom of this page. Photo by Mike Slodki
KHS baseball wins 1st State championship with 11-3 win vs. Oak Forest by Mike Slodki
JOLIET—In high school baseball postseason, only one team can follow through on its aim to run the table and win its last game.
For 2011, that team was your Class 3A State Champion Kaneland Knights.
With an 8-2 win over the Waterloo Bulldogs on Friday afternoon at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill., the Knights earned the right to play Oak Forest and slayed the Bengals in an 11-3 result.
For KHS, this marks the first State Championship in a head-to-head sport since coach Joe Thorgesen’s second Class 3A Championship in a row back in 1998.
Kaneland (26-10) finished the season with a 13-game winning streak, on the heels of a slump that saw it lose six of seven contests to Yorkville, Sycamore, Oswego East and Morris. The Knights’ last loss of the season occured back on May 10 against the Redskins.
“We opened with Plainfield North and had a couple cancellations, faced Cary-Grove, faced Warren, and I told our guys we were going to take some lumps,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “We started 2-4, and it was going to prepare us for the end of the season.”
Winning pitcher Drew Peters helped keep the Bengals in check, combining with the defense to stop Oak Forest (27-8-1) on two occasions when they had two runners on base.
On the offensive end, the Knights got a two-out double from centerfielder Joe Camiliere, and he was driven home by third baseman Bobby Thorson for the first run of the contest on an RBI single.
It remained that way until the top of the fourth inning, when with two runners on and two outs, Oak Forest reaped the benefits of a ball to the outfield just out of the reach of Jake Razo for a 2-1 lead.
Powering through that pivotal moment, Kaneland got Camiliere on with a single, and the Elmhurst College-bound baserunner stole second. With two outs, a balk moved Camiliere to third, and DH Drew French walked to put runners at the corners. Razo’s single to left tied the game, and it was followed by second baseman Brian Dixon’s go-ahead single. As French beat the throw home, Dixon took second base.
The floodgates opened in a six-run fifth inning, which increased the lead to 9-2. RBIs in the inning were laced by Thorson, Sam Komel (2 RBI), Razo, Dixon and catcher Tyler Heinle.
“We did a good job at the plate today,” Camiliere said. “We got a run early, and that’s always big. Once we get in the rhythm of a game, that’s when the bats get going.”
The bottom of the sixth inning saw Razo come through again with a two-run double, which closed out the scoring for the season.
Kyle Davidson came on in relief for the last three innings, and allowed three straight singles with one out leading to a run.
However, Davidson induced Bengal shortstop Bobby Sheppard into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play. Davidson and catcher Heinle began the pileup on the field, and the celebration was on.
“We were happy to be here. We were a little worried on how we’d stack up against these teams with 30 wins,” Aversa said.
Camiliere believed all facets of the game played at peak level.
“We played our best game of the year today. Defensively, we gave up some hits, but the plays we needed to make, we made them. That double play was awesome at the end,” Camiliere said.
In the State semifinal against a Waterloo (32-4) team that featured Cubs ninth-round pick Garrett Schlecht, the Knights surrendered single runs in the second and third innings, but Thorson held firm the rest of the afternoon in a complete-game outing.
“My hands were dry today, and I was able to throw more breaking stuff,” Thorson said. “It wasn’t as hot, and I felt great out there.”
The fourth inning yielded huge returns with four runs. Thorson led off with a triple. After one out was recorded, French walked and Razo’s single made it a 2-1 game. Dixon tied the game with another single.
Heinle dropped a suicide squeeze but Waterloo made a bad throw to first to give KHS a 3-2 lead.
“I love bunting,” Heinle said. “It comes easy to me, and I got excited when the sign came for the suicide squeeze.”
Corey Landers smacked a grounder that went off a shortstop mitt to bring the fourth run of the inning home.
Four more runs came home in the sixth, thanks to RBI singles from Landers and Thorson, and a two-run single from Komel.
The KHS unit was also coached by Jim Smedley, Ernie Colombe, Dan Hallahan, Kevin Boltz and Norm Welker.
Team captains were departing seniors Davidson, French, Landers, Camiliere, Komel, Thorson and Dixon.
2011 Class 3A
June 10-11, 2011
Oak Forest 3
Nazareth Academy 1
• Third place
Nazareth Academy 1
Oak Forest 3
Wish to relive the Knights’ quest?
Both State Final games are available for viewing at www.IHSA.tv.
DVD copies will also be available online for purchase at www.PrepFilms.com.
KHS vs. Waterloo
R H E
Knights 000 404 0 8 11 1
Bulldogs 011 000 0 2 4 4
1. Davidson SS 6. French 3B
2. Landers LF 7. Razo RF
3. Camiliere CF 8. Dixon 2B
4. Thorson P 9. Ty. Heinle C
5. Komel 1B
1. Aycock CF 6. Steppig LF
2. B. Dillenberger SS 7. Wittenauer 2B
3. Schlecht 1B 8. Snodgrass DH
4. Wetzler C 9. Schaab 3B
5. Hopkins RF 10. Crutchfield P
• Bottom of 2nd
Hopkins walked. Steppig grounded out
to 3b, SAC. Hopkins advanced to second. Wittenauer singled up the middle, RBI. Hopkins scored. Wittenauer stole second. Snodgrass flied out to cf. Schaab walked. Wittenauer out at third c to 3b, caught stealing. Kaneland 0, Waterloo 1.
• Bottom of 3rd
Aycock walked. B.Dillenberger reached on a fielder’s choice; Aycock out at second ss to 2b. B.Dillenberger stole second. Schlecht grounded out to 2b. B.Dillenberger advanced to third. Wetzler singled to left center, RBI. B.Dillenberger scored. Klein pinch ran for Wetzler. Hopkins grounded out to 2b. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Kaneland 0, Waterloo 2.
• Top of 4th
Thorson tripled to right center. Barry pinch ran for Thorson. Komel struck out. French walked. Razo singled to shortstop, RBI. French advanced to second; Barry scored. Dixon singled through the right side, RBI; Razo advanced to third; French scored. Ty.Heinle singled, bunt, RBI; Dixon advanced to second, advanced to third on a throwing error by p; Razo scored. B.Dillenberger to p. Wittenauer to ss. Snodgrass to 2b. Crutchfield. Davidson struck out looking. Landers reached on an error by ss. Ty.Heinle advanced to third. Dixon scored, unearned. Camiliere grounded out to ss. Kaneland 4, Waterloo 2.
• Top of 6th
Dixon grounded out to 2b. Ty.Heinle flied out to cf. Davidson doubled to right center. Landers singled up the middle, RBI; Davidson scored. Camiliere walked. Landers advanced to second. Thorson singled to right center, RBI; Camiliere advanced to third; Landers scored. Barry pinch ran for Thorson. Barry stole second. Komel singled to left center, 2 RBI; Barry scored. Camiliere scored. Komel advanced to second on a wild pitch. French flied out to rf.
Kaneland 8, Waterloo 2.
KHS vs. Oak Forest
R H E
Bengals 000 200 1 3 10 2
Knights 100 262 0 11 13 0
1. Zubek C 6. Jester 2B
2. Richard RF 7. Linares P
3. Barry LF 8. Hine DH
4. Sheppard SS 9. Sleeman 3B
5. Murray CF
1. Davidson SS 6. French DH
2. Landers LF 7. Razo RF
3. Camiliere CF 8. Dixon 2B
4. Thorson 3B 9. Ty. Heinle C
5. Komel 1B 10. Peters P
• Bottom of 1st
Davidson struck out looking. Landers grounded out to ss. Camiliere doubled down the rf line. Thorson singled up the middle, RBI; Camiliere scored. Komel struck out.
Oak Forest 0, Kaneland 1.
• Top of 4th
Sheppard singled to right center. Murray popped up to p. Jester hit by pitch. Sheppard advanced to second. Linares grounded out to p. Jester advanced to second; Sheppard advanced to third. Hine singled to right field, 2 RBI; Jester scored; Sheppard scored. Sleeman singled; Hine advanced to third. Zubek grounded out to p.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 1.
• Bottom of 4th
Camiliere singled to first base. Thorson struck out. Camiliere stole second. Komel struck out. Camiliere advanced to third on a balk. French walked. Razo singled, RBI. French advanced to second; Camiliere scored. Dixon singled down the lf line, advanced to second on the throw, RBI; Razo advanced to second, advanced to third on the throw; French scored. Ty.Heinle grounded out to ss.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 3.
• Bottom of 5th
Davidson struck out looking. Landers singled to center field. Camiliere singled to pitcher; Landers advanced to second. Thorson doubled down the rf line, RBI. Camiliere advanced to third. Landers scored. Komel singled, advanced to second on a throwing error by lf, 2 RBI; Thorson scored; Camiliere scored. Johnson to p for Linares. French flied out to rf. Razo doubled down the lf line, RBI; Komel scored. Dixon singled to right field, advanced to second on the throw, RBI. Razo scored. Ty.Heinle singled down the lf line, advanced to second on the throw, RBI; Dixon scored. Tattoni pinch ran for Ty.Heine. Davidson walked. Barry pinch ran for Davidson. Zale to p for Johnson. Barry advanced to second on a wild
pitch; Tattoni advanced to third on a wild pitch. Landers walked. Camiliere grounded out to 2b.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 9.
• Bottom of 6th
Thorson walked. Fergus pinch ran for Thorson. Komel flied out to rf. French walked; Fergus advanced to second. Fergus advanced to third on an error by c. Razo walked; French advanced to second. Dixon doubled to left center, 2 RBI. Razo advanced to third; French scored; Fergus scored. Jester to p. Blake to 2b for Zale. Ty.Heinle struck out looking. Davidson struck out.
Oak Forest 2, Kaneland 11.
•Top of 7th
Sleeman struck out. Zubek singled up the middle. Richard singled to center field. Zubek advanced to second. Barry singled to right center, RBI; Richard advanced to second; Zubek scored. Sheppard grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b; Barry out on the play.
Oak Forest 3, Kaneland 11.
SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College recently honored its top student/athletes for 2010-2011 at the school’s annual Athletic Awards Banquet. Individual achievements as well as team accomplishments were recognized during the festive evening in the college’s Academic and Professional Center. Student/athletes from throughout the Fox Valley area and beyond were among those honored during the evening. In addition, the fifth class of inductees to Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame were formally enshrined at the beginning of the evening’s festivities.
Basketball player Markus Cocroft was named the Male Athlete of the Year after earning Second Team NJCAA Division II All-American status and leading the Chiefs to a second straight appearance at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. The Aurora West High School graduate was the heart and soul of the Chiefs’ squad the last two years, earning All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) First Team and All-Region IV First Team honors this season. Cocroft, a five-foot-eight point guard, averaged 9.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals per contest while running Waubonsee’s offense and spearheading their nationally ranked defense. A Physical Education major, Cocroft elevated his game late in the season while leading the Chiefs to the Region IV Championship, where he was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Alexa Schofield was chosen the Female Athlete of the Year, after excelling on the tennis court and softball diamond for the Lady Chiefs’ the last two seasons. A Secondary Education major, Schofield went undefeated at number-one singles during the regular season the last two years. She was the ISCC Player of the Year both times, winning the ISCC and Region IV titles each year and participating in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. Schofield also teamed up with Taylor Dahlstrom at number-one doubles to win the Region IV crown, qualifying for the NJCAA National Tournament in Arizona the last two years. The Lady Chiefs’ shortstop also smacked 53 hits, including 15 doubles en route to earning All-ISCC First Team honors.
Baseball player Brandon Lawrence was named Waubonsee’s Most Improved Male Athlete. The Liberal Arts major from Aurora West High School eventually became the Chiefs’ starting first baseman midway through his freshman season despite batting just .235 overall. The right-hander collected 43 hits, including a dozen doubles and 23 runs batted in. The six-foot-four first baseman posted a .991 fielding percentage to place him 10th in the nation defensively among NJCAA Division III players. Lawrence made only three errors in 321 chances, tying him for fourth all-time in Waubonsee history for Chiefs’ first basemen.
Kaneland High School graduate Danni Garcia was chosen as the Most Improved Female Athlete. She participated in both soccer and cross country simultaneously last fall. After playing sparingly as a freshman, Garcia was an integral part of the Lady Chiefs’ dominating defense in soccer, earning All-ISCC Second Team honors. She also scored six goals and registered three assists in helping the Lady Chiefs post an 18-4-1 record. Despite not participating in cross country as a freshman, Garcia literally ran to the front of the pack last fall. An Athletic Training major, she finished second overall at the ISCC Meet to earn All-ISCC status. Due to a conflict with a playoff soccer game, she did not participate in the Region IV Meet. However, based on her previous times she qualified for the NJCAA National Meet, where she placed in the top third among all participants.
Alexis Ford, an Elementary Education major from Dekalb High School, was the recipient of the Vermilion and Gold Award. This award is given annually to the Waubonsee student/athlete who best exemplifies the true ‘heart and soul’ of Chiefs’ athletics.
“Essentially someone who helps others and gets involved on campus,” Athletic Manager Dave Randall said. Ford was that person at Waubonsee the last year, doing whatever it took to help the softball team succeed and participating in numerous activities on campus. An infielder on the softball team, she batted .250 with seven doubles and 19 runs scored for the Lady Chiefs.
Men’s basketball player Dexter Turner was selected as the S.T.A.R. Award recipient, given to the student/athlete that displayed a good work ethic, dedication to academics and achieved perfect attendance in Waubonsee’s athletic monitoring program. Turner demonstrated these attributes and more while helping lead the Chiefs’ to a second consecutive Region IV Division II Tournament title. A six-foot-two sophomore forward from Beloit, Wisconsin’s Memorial High School, Turner tallied a team-leading 9.8 points-per-game in the Chiefs’ ball control offense. The Liberal Arts major also pulled down 5.2 rebounds per contest, while shooting 42 percent from the field and 71 percent from the charity stripe on the way to being named to the All-ISCC Second Team. Turner led Waubonsee in scoring in the Region IV title game en route to earning Region IV All-Tournament honors for the second straight year.
Former athletes David L. Bacon, Carlos H. Gil, and Graham Hill, along with administrator Dr. John J. Swalec and the 1975 Chiefs’ Baseball team, made up Waubonsee’s Athletic Hall of Fame class for 2011.
A 5-foot-10 shooting guard from West Aurora High School, Bacon was the marquee performer on a pair of nationally ranked Waubonsee teams, leading them to the Skyway Conference title each of his two years. He earned All-Region and All-Skyway Conference First Team honors as a freshman in 1989-1990 before being named an NJCAA First Team All-American his sophomore year. On the way to Waubonsee’s first-ever Region IV basketball championship in 1990-1991, Bacon was named the Most Valuable Player of both the Skyway Conference and Region IV, as well as Waubonsee’s Male Athlete of the Year. He now serves as the assistant pastor at Grace Deliverance Outreach Ministry in Aurora, while also working for the Weyerhaeuser Company.
After learning the game of soccer at Aurora West High School, Gil brought his talents to Waubonsee in 1982. His freshman year, Gil recorded 23 goals and 21 assists to help Waubonsee break into the NJCAA national rankings, earning All-Skyway Conference and All-Region IV First Team honors along the way. As a sophomore, Gil netted 43 goals, and more awards followed, including NJCAA Second Team All-American status, and both the Skyway Conference and Region IV Player of the Year honors. After his Waubonsee playing days were over, Gil took over as the Chiefs head coach, guiding Waubonsee to the Region IV finals for the third consecutive year before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside on a full soccer scholarship. He has worked for AIM Engineering and Surveying in Florida the last eight years.
Tennis player Graham Hill played just one year for the Chiefs, but what a year it was. Undefeated at number one singles, he earned the Skyway Conference and Region IV titles in that category and at number one doubles with partner Ryan Brazas, ultimately leading the entire Chiefs squad to the two crowns. Not surprisingly, Hill was named the Player of the Year for both the Skyway and Region IV and went on to a 12th place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament—the highest finish ever for a Waubonsee tennis player. After his outstanding season for the Chiefs, Hill played tennis at the University of Arizona until an injury cut short his collegiate career. He then spent time as a coach before eventually returning to the court to play professionally in New Zealand.
Today, Hill works as an Energy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., while pursuing a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of Denver and giving tennis lessons at the Lakeshore Athletic Club in Denver.
Waubonsee Hall of Fame inductee and President Emeritus Dr. John J. Swalec had a longer tenure in which to make a lasting impact on Waubonsee athletics, guiding the college from 1981 to 2001. During his two decades as president, Waubonsee grew by more than 50 percent, and he was labeled a “pacesetter” by the American Association of Community Colleges for establishing landmark initiatives such as the Athletic Department’s Student-Athletes Taking Academic Responsibility (S.T.A.R.) Program. He served on the NJCAA’s Board of Directors, the NJCAA’s Executive Committee, the State of Illinois Athletic Board, and as the Chairman of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. Dr. Swalec’s passion for athletics began during his time as a standout wrestler at Illinois State University (ISU) and grew as he coached the sport in later years. He has been inducted into ISU’s Wrestling Hall of Fame, the NJCAA National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Hall of Fame, and the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame.
The first whole team inducted into Waubonsee’s Hall of Fame, the 1975 baseball team helped put the college on the athletic map. Coach Bill Prince’s squad advanced all the way to the NJCAA Region IV Tournament Championship game at a time when all 45 schools in Illinois participated in one division. Undefeated in league play, the team captured Waubonsee’s first Skyway Conference title in baseball before going on to win a Region IV Sectional crown and finishing as the Region IV State Runner-up. They had a school-record 10-game winning streak, which stood until 2010. The pitching staff had a team earned-run-average (ERA) of 3.48, the fourth best in school history, and three of their pitchers are still in the top 15 for strikeouts per game. Their team fielding average of .942 still stands as the fifth best mark in Chiefs’ history.
Individuals achieving All-Conference, All-Region, All-American and Academic honors during the school year were recognized throughout the evening. Long-time head baseball coach Dave Randall was also recognized for being named the ISCC Baseball Coach of the Year after leading the Chiefs to back-to-back league titles for the first time ever. Men’s basketball coach Dave Heiss was acknowledged for his 500th career coaching victory. Several team accomplishments were also recognized throughout the evening, including the Men’s Cross Country team advancing to the NJCAA National Meet for the fourth consecutive year, the Women’s Soccer team winning the Region IV title for the second time in the last three years, and the Men’s Basketball team reaching the National Tournament for the third time in the last four years.
Once a year, newspapers from throughout the state submit their best advertisements and special sections to be judged by their peers at the annual Illinois Press Association contest.
The awards banquet occurred earlier this month, and we are proud to say that we came away with a significant amount of recognition for the quality of our ad design and the special sections we offer throughout the year.
We are most proud of our first-place award in General Advertising Excellence, because the category takes into account our overall performance; sort of a big-picture look at the quality of our design. Here is what the judges said: “Nice, clean designs. They have a modern feel to them, as does the paper as a whole. Good flow, keeps eyes moving. Beautiful.”
We also won first-place honors for Best Annual Special Section for our Elburn Days 2010 section.
“Tremendous advertiser support. Nice layout—easy-to-find information, informative stories. Good use of color throughout section,” the judges said.
While we are proud of those words as a group, we are most proud of our Design Director, Leslie Flint, who single-handedly designed every one of our ads—not to mention designing and/or overseeing our weekly paper and all special sections—throughout the year. Her work on an individual basis was noticed at the awards ceremony as well, as she brought home a second-place price in the Best Ad Designer category.
“No matter the size or look of her ads, Leslie designs what works best within those parameters. Clean copy and simple designs pack a punch,” the judges said.
She also won second-place honors for Best Full Color Ad (Shady Hill Gardens), Best Classified Section, and Best Niche Publication (TriCity Insight).
She added third-place recognition for Best Small Ad (Sweet Dream Desserts), and an Honorable Mention for Best Ad Less Than a Full Page (Ream’s Elburn Market).
As a group, we also earned an Honorable Mention for Best Community Focus Special Section, for Kaneland Guide 2010. As a local, community paper focused on the communities within the Kaneland School District, being recognized for those efforts means much to us.
“Great school coverage, statistics, photos and information. Overall look is pretty pleasing to the eye. Great use of color,” the judges said.
While it is a good feeling to be recognized for our efforts made to serve our readers throughout the year, that is not why we do what we do. We do not put extra effort into our Elburn Days section to win an award, and Leslie does not make sure each client’s ad exceeds their expectations in the hopes that her peers will recognize that during that one-day banquet each year.
We do it to give our readers the best, most attractive content we can each and every week, and she does it so that each of our advertising clients can be proud of their individual ad as well as the product in which their ad is placed.
In other words, we do it to serve you, and the state recognition is the icing on the cake that is appreciated, but not central, to the motivation to do our jobs to the best of our abilities.
On May 26, at the Kaneland High School awards night, I was granted the honor of presenting two Elburn Chamber of Commerce scholarships of $1,000 each to students who identified areas of concern to the Kaneland community and proposed viable solutions for addressing them.
Scholarship winner Grant Alef will attend the University of Minnesota and major in engineering, and scholarship winner Brock Feece will attend Millikin University and major in music education.
The Elburn Chamber of Commerce raises money each year through a Winter Dinner complete with silent auctions and raffles for the sole purpose of providing these scholarships. There is no fund generating interest. The dinner is open to the public, but it is mostly attended by chamber members themselves who dig into their own pockets for the auctions.
Even though these last few years have been rough on small businesses, the chamber has made it one of its highest priorities to contribute to the education of students. It has been said that human beings are often at their best when things are worst, and yet, I am always delightfully surprised to see it—and in this case, to be part of it.
We try each year to get our word out about the importance of this day, remembering our veterans that are gone, and also supporting the veterans that are here and in need of aid. Our poppy drive was sanctioned by our Chamber of Commerce—thank you for your support.
We had collection cans at various businesses around the area: Sugar Grove Library, Genoa’s Pizza, Sugar Grove Cleaners, Calamity Jane’s, Sugar Grove Veterinary Clinic, BP Gas Station and, of course, our Legion Hall. People were very generous, especially during our breakfast. One hundred percent of our poppy donations go to our Veterans Hospital. Thank you to all who donated, and we will see you next year.
Our Memorial Day breakfast was a huge hit and also could not have been done without the cooperation of a long list of volunteers. We hope that the public enjoyed our celebration as much as we did. We hope that we are able to do it again next year.
This year, we were also privileged to have the company of the Sugar Grove Fire Department, Sugar Grove Police and Kane County Sheriff to aid us in our parade honoring our fallen soldiers, as we did our cemetery tour this past Memorial Day. Our parade consisted of motorcycles bearing flags—one for each brand of the military—with our United States flag in the lead, followed by our POW flag. Following that was a train of cars carrying supporters. We traveled to two cemeteries, where the color guard presented our flags and memorial ceremonies were performed. We had a wonderful bugler at our first stop to play Taps, and a great turnout by the Boy Scouts.
Your support was greatly appreciated, and we hope to be able to enlist your aid next year.
Sugar Grove American Legion
Mark Francis Geisen, 38, of Maple Park, passed away suddenly Monday afternoon, June 6, 2011.
He was born July 17, 1972, the son of Francis “Butch” and Barbara (Meyer) Geisen.
Mark grew up in Maple Park and attended elementary school at St. Mary in Sycamore, St. Charles Borromeo in Hampshire, Ill., and St. Mary in DeKalb. He graduated from Marmion Military Academy in Aurora in 1991, at the top of his class and as Bravo Company Commander.
Tragedy struck within a few years of graduation when Mark was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis, a debilitating spinal virus that paralyzed him from the waist down. For two years, Mark fought the disease at local hospitals, as well as in Chicago and Rochester, Minn., where the doctors at Mayo Clinic told him that he would never walk again. That never deterred Mark or his family, who spent thousands of hours in physical therapy to beat the odds, defy the doctors and amaze all those who had written his diagnosis as a lost cause. After two years of grueling work, many tears and daily prayers, Mark walked again in 1996.
No one ever doubted Mark’s work ethic, so it was no surprise that he began working with his father in the family concrete business, Geisen Concrete Construction, as well as the family mink ranch. Mark was a “jack of all trades” and had a great analytical mind. He was mechanical or technological, so even when he was done working for his father, he never really stopped working. In his younger years, Mark and his brothers were prized for their hay bailing skills, and many local farms sought out “the Geisen Boys” when it came time for work. Mark also worked for the Fabrizius family from age 13 until his diagnosis at age 20, at the local race track, Sycamore Speedway, as a member of the safety crew, as well as the Fabrizius’ family dairies.
Mark was a lifelong member of S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil.
Mark was a friend to everyone and loved to talk to anyone. He was so generous of his time and his heart. Mark was happiest when surrounded by friends and family. He loved vehicles, any make and model, as he went through numerous ones. Mark loved to fish locally, as well as in Canada, and also enjoyed hunting.
Growing up, Mark made a name for himself by playing baseball from little league on through the travelling league. Travelling was another of Mark’s pastimes, visiting Hawaii, Mexico and the Las Vegas strip. Although he was never very lucky in Vegas, he had better luck playing cards with family and friends, especially when there was money involved.
One of Mark’s greatest passions was bike riding. It was nothing for him to ride 30 to 40 miles in a single day. He especially loved biking to visit friends and riding along the Fox River.
An avid reader, Mark was knowledgeable on many subjects. He also loved the challenge of math and puzzles. Mark’s imagination had no limits, and he was always full of new ideas and plans for the future. No one knew how short that future would be. Mark was taken too soon, but not before making a million memories to fill the hearts of all who knew and loved him. His determined spirit, generous nature, and the infectious smile will always be remembered.
He is survived by his parents, Butch and Barbara Geisen of Maple Park; his siblings, Ann Geisen of Brainerd, Minn., Scott Geisen of Centersville, Ga., and David and Mary Geisen of Maple Park; several aunts, uncles and cousins, and a countryside full of friends who will miss him dearly.
He is preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, and two uncles.
Visitation was held on Monday, June 13, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A Mass to celebrate his life was held at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil on Tuesday, June 14, at 11 a.m. Fr. Perfecto Vasquez, pastor of the church, and Fr. Bryan Grady, Mark’s high school friend, co-celebrated. Cremation and private family burial will occur at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Mark Geisen 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 where you can also find Mark’s full life story.
GENEVA–Finding the right physician can be challenging. There are so many important questions and factors to consider, such as whether the doctor has specialized experience, whether the physician has a comfortable bedside manner, and whether the medical practice accepts your insurance.
“The first step is knowing what questions to ask,” says Lisa Walker, a physician referral specialist for Delnor Hospital. “One of the most important questions relates to professional qualifications. This includes asking about the physician’s educational background, board certifications, fellowships, memberships in professional associations, and hospital affiliations.”
Other critical factors, according to Walker, include a convenient location, compatible hours and timely and professional responses to phone calls. Determine in advance what the costs are for office visits and phone consultations and who covers for the doctor when he is unavailable. It’s also important to find a doctor who accepts your health plan.
There are a number of ways to find a physician. Many people ask family and friends. There also are online and telephone-based physician referral services available, such as Delnor’s Physician Finder.
“We offer a very personalized way to help individuals find a physician,” Walker said. “We take the time with callers to help them make informed decisions by providing a wide range of information about the more than 400 doctors on the medical staff at Delnor. Based on the individual’s needs, we help them find the physician who matches up with what they’re looking for.”
Walker said Physician Finder can provide detailed information about doctors’ medical specialty, educational background, special credentials, medical practice philosophy, locations and office hours. The service even has up-to-date information about the insurance and managed care plans they accept.
For more information or a physician referral, please call the hospital’s Physician Finder and Information Service at (630) 208-3993 or visit www.delnor.com.
Photo: The Krier staff shows off its awards outside the College of DuPage, where the NISPA conference was held. Front row: Editors Elaine Cannell, Julia Angelotti, Jessica Corbett, Kylie Siebert, Amanda Schiff, and Rachael Clinton. Second row: Krier adviser Cheryl Borrowdale, reporters Emily Gulanczyk, Emily Ferrell, Alex Vickery, Sara Laurie, Kaprice Sanchez, Taylor Phillips, Casey Jacobson, Heather Shelton, Kaley Martens, and Kelsy Goodwin. Back row: Reporters Lexi Roach, Lanie Callaghan, Jake Razo, Tyler Keenum, Matt Wahlgren, Shane Fergus, Brittany Larsen, Kate Anderson, Ryan Noel, Morgan Buerke, Nick Phillips, and Nick Stollard. Courtesy Photo
by Kaneland Krier staff
Kaneland—The Kaneland Krier took home the Golden Eagle, a trophy for best student newspaper in its class, for the second year in a row at the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conference.
The NISPA conference represents high school journalism programs located north of I-80 in Illinois, including all Chicago-area schools, and is the most competitive region in the state.
“We’re very proud to have won the Golden Eagle again this year,” said Cheryl Borrowdale, journalism teacher at Kaneland High School. “We had some stiff competition, and the judges looked at seven consecutive issues from this year, which was virtually everything the staff had written thus far this year when we entered in February. To win two years in a row is an indication that the Krier staff is doing consistently excellent work.”
The staff scored 370 out of 400 possible points, the highest of any newspaper in its division, and received a perfect score in the advertising category.
The judges praised the publication for having “lots of good reporting and research in your cover stories, where the quotes went beyond just a one-sentence response to a question, which is great reporting,” for its use of documentary photography, and for the appearance of the paper. “You obviously spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into making every page look good,” one judge wrote. “Really great use of graphics and alternative story forms. The design of your publication has personality.”
Krier staff members also took home individual awards in several categories.
Individual winners were sophomore Maggie Brundige in news writing; freshman Morgan Buerke in news writing; senior Maria Kernychny in editorial writing; sophomore Heather Shelton in editorial cartooning; senior Jessica Corbett in column writing; sophomore Julia Angelotti in feature writing; junior Kylie Siebert in feature photography; freshman Casey Jacobson in individual in-depth; senior Jessica Corbett and freshmen Kelsy Goodwin, Kaley Martens, Morgan Buerke and Sara Laurie in team in-depth; freshman Alexis Roach in sports writing; senior Amanda Schiff in graphics; and senior Megan Nauert in advertising.
“The Krier did well in many different categories, from the writing ones to the photography, graphics, and cartooning ones. It shows that the Krier is a well-rounded publication and that the students on staff have a wide variety of talents,” Borrowdale said.
When the Golden Eagle was announced, the Krier staff let out a huge cheer at NISPA, which was held at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
“We’re number one,” junior Ryan Noel, a reporter, shouted as he high-fived those around him.
by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—Theo Mirkut, a Maple Park resident and junior at the Illinois Math and Science Academy, was recently selected by the National Rifle Association (NRA) as one of 45 students in the country who will partake in its National Youth Education Summit (YES) in Washington, D.C. in late June.
The trip is solely for outstanding high school sophomores and juniors. And while Mirkut is indeed an outstanding student, he also happens to be an experienced marksman, which probably didn’t hurt his cause much when it came to the NRA selecting participants for the seven-day event in the nation’s capitol.
Mirkut has been involved in shooting sports since he was in the seventh grade, beginning with small-bore Olympic rifle shooting and eventually graduating to both trap and pistol shooting. He currently holds a Bar 3 Sharpshooter qualification for small-bore rifle shooting, and a Marksman qualification in trap shooting. He also recently received certification to be an NRA apprentice rifle instructor.
“One of the things that the NRA looks for in the application are more well-rounded individuals. Part of the application was to write an essay on the Second Amendment, (and) part of the grand scholarship following the program is to conduct an educational program that teaches younger kids about firearm safety,” Mikrut said. “I can’t exactly speak on how my experiences have related directly to my selection to partake in the summit, (but) I can say, however, that my involvement in shooting sports, as well as shooting sports education, (has) contributed to what I believe was an extremely strong, well-rounded application.
Mirkut learned about the summit through his father’s involvement in the NRA, and said that IMSA stresses to its students that college isn’t just an option. Because the colleges Theo is interested in attending are rather expensive, he’s been consciously looking for any and all scholarship opportunities.
“The original e-mail about the summit was sent to my father, who forwarded it to me,” Mirkut said. “I was intrigued about the potential for scholarship money, as well as the experiences that the summit could offer me, which is why I chose to apply.”
Mirkut learned of his acceptance into the YES in April. Students who participate in the summit will each give a speech to NRA representatives, form groups to debate assigned topics, and take a tour of both Washington, D.C., and the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va.
“This summit is a huge opportunity for me,” Mirkut said. “I am excited about my acceptance, but more importantly about the experiences that I will be provided with that would not be possible normally. How many high school students get to visit Quantico on a typical vacation?”
Mirkut also knows that the summit will be as much about hard work as it will be about sightseeing.
“Overall, I think that the debates, speeches and events that have been planned out for the week are more than I ever could have bargained for,” he said. “I am proud to say that I am one of the 45 students from across the nation that will be attending the summit.”
The NRA Youth Education Summit will take place June 20-26.
by David Maas
Maple Park—While being the Maple Park Police Chief is a full time job, Mike Acosta still finds time to help raise thousands of dollars for the Special Olympics.
“In the month of May, the Police Department held two fundraisers for the Special Olympics,” Acosta said.
On May 20, Acosta spent six hours on the roof of a Dunkin Donuts in Elgin, for the “Cop on Top” fundraiser, which raised over $1,400 for the athletes. On May 22, with the help of the St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, they held “Pulling For Special Olympics,” in which 164 clay shooters helped raise more than $13,000.
“I would like to thank Honest Auto, Casey’s General Stores, Vacation Land RV, and The Foster & Buick Law Group for their sponsorship,” Acosta said.
With another event coming up July 9, the Police Department is close to meeting its original $15,000 goal.
“The Wheel of Meat and More event is to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics,” Acosta said, “ We will be raffling off turkeys, hams, pork loins, steaks, sports jerseys and much more.”
Acosta also announced that the Maple Park Police Department would be listed on next year’s Special Olympics shirts due to its hard work.
“We hope everyone will come out and support us, and have fun, as we continue to raise money for the Special Olympics,” Acosta said.
Sugar Grove—Waubonsee Community College will host a Renewable Energy Open House on Wednesday, June 15, from 5 to 8 p.m. in Weigel Hall on the college’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the college’s Center for Sustainability and Workforce Development Department.
On display will be the college’s solar panel array and geothermal system components. In addition to providing supplementary electricity and heating/cooling to Weigel Hall, these systems are used to train students for jobs in the green economy.
Cookies and beverages will be provided, but participants are asked to bring their own mugs.
For more information, call Waubonsee’s Center for Sustainability at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2270.
Krafft attends 1,980 consecutive days of school, and counting by Kaneland Krier
Kaneland—Steven Krafft has never missed a day of school in his life. He’s never even been tardy to a class. The Kaneland High School junior has 1,980 days of perfect attendance so far, and he plans to keep it that way.
“He hasn’t missed a day of school ever,” Dr. Greg Fantozzi, Kaneland’s principal, confirmed. “That takes a lot of dedication.”
Krafft is the only student at Kaneland High School with a perfect record. Yet a mix-up last year almost spoiled it.
As a musician in the school’s jazz band, Krafft has his physical education class and his jazz band class on alternate “A” and “B” days at Kaneland. His P.E. teacher accidentally marked him tardy on a day that Krafft was scheduled to be in jazz band, not in physical education.
That black mark was something that Kraftt simply couldn’t handle.
“It was heartbreaking,” Krafft said.
When he went home, he said, his father was so upset that he actually shed a few tears.
The next day, Krafft went to Assistant Principal Ian Smith, who straightened the record out.
Yet even though he cared about his spotless record, Krafft never told his classmates about it, he said, until he got a letter from Kaneland High School congratulating him for it last week. Then, he posted about it on his Facebook wall, letting his friends know about his lifelong perfect attendance.
What did they say?
“Thirty people ‘liked’ it,” Krafft said. “My dad said ‘good job.’”
Krafft hadn’t been going for a record until he reached sixth grade and suddenly realized that he had never missed a day.
“I was just never sick,” Krafft said. “But then I realized what I had. I realized that I had something no one else does. It’s unusual. It’s cool.
“Plus,” he added, “I just don’t like doing make-up work.”
Photo: Sophomore Brett Evola helps himself to some pancakes, sausage and fruit salad at the perfect attendance breakfast. Courtesy Photo
They never missed a day of school; and their numbers are increasing. by Kaneland Krier staff
Kaneland—Kaneland High School honored 42 students with perfect attendance on May 24 with a pancake breakfast and awards ceremony. The number of students with perfect attendance is on the rise, attendance secretary Cathy Mathews said, and is up nearly one-third from the 33 students who achieved it last year.
The students received a certificate of perfect attendance from Counselor Andrew Franklin, and administrators spoke about the students’ achievements.
“You’re every teacher’s dream,” Principal Greg Fantozzi told the assembled students. “To have someone in class every day, not missing tests or homework, that’s the ideal educational experience.”
He pointed out that future employers would appreciate people who showed up to work every day, on time, like clockwork.
“It’s a really important attribute that your boss will appreciate,” Fantozzi said.
And, occasionally, employers do check someone’s attendance with the high school, Mathews said.
“One of the most interesting calls I ever got was from Wal-Mart, asking about the high school attendance of an 82-year-old woman,” Mathews recalled. “It was such a long time ago, but they still wanted to know whether she was someone with a good attendance record. And I went through the old records and told them.”
Mathews particularly praised the Kaneland freshmen class, which had the largest number of students with perfect attendance: 18.
“The freshmen are working on their attendance,” Mathews said.
Freshman Jordan Thelander, who was among those students with a perfect record, said she was proud of her accomplishment.
“I think it’s pretty great because I’ve missed a day of school every year except this year,” Thelander said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to do that. I guess the freshmen class is very determined not to miss school, maybe because it’s really annoying to do the make-up work.”
The sophomore class also had high numbers of students with perfect attendance, with 13 students who had never missed a day. Among them are siblings Brett and Breanna Evola, both sophomores.
The siblings said they were surprised to learn they had both had perfect attendance.
“I knew I had it,” Breanna Evola said. “But I wasn’t trying to get anything, so it was kind of shocking. I didn’t know Brett had it to until he told me he got the letter.”
Brett said the two had not coordinated their accomplishment.
“After third term, I noticed I had perfect attendance and thought I’d keep it going,” he said. “I’ve only gotten perfect attendance one other time, in eighth grade. It’s ironic because we weren’t really trying, and I wasn’t really paying attention until we both got the letter.”
The Evola siblings said that their father had inspired them to strive in school.
“My dad, he’s always impressed with our accomplishments, and he pushes us,” Brett said. “He says, ‘Don’t stay home unless you need to, not unless you’re absolutely dying sick.’ And because he strives, I push and strive too.”
Nine juniors had perfect attendance, including Steven Krafft, who has never missed a day of school in his life, and three seniors had achieved perfect attendance.
Senior Kari Pitstick joked about being one of the only seniors with perfect attendance.
“Even senior skip day, I just came because it was so late in the year, and I didn’t want to ruin it,” she said with a laugh.
Pitstick said she wanted to do it for herself.
“For me personally, it’s all myself. If I wanted to miss a day of school, my parents would let me,” she said. “But I don’t want to miss.”
At the banquet, 37 of the 42 students received a certificate and a $25 gift certificate to Geneva Commons, as well as a pancake breakfast served by the culinary arts students.
The other five students?
They did not want to attend the banquet, which was held during second block, and miss time in class, Mathews said.
“I told them it was okay, but they didn’t want to miss anything,” she said. “I’ll bring their certificates to them.”
Students with perfect attendance at Kaneland High School this year are freshmen Anna Bateman, Steven Becker, Melissa Cherry, Megan Franklin, Mattie Garrison, Lauren Grim, Bailey Harvell, Mara Hernandez, Tyler Hill, Brandon Lewkowich, Joseph Mendoza, Alec Pope, Eileen Ruppel, Rachel Steinmiller, Jordan Thelander, Cynthia Vasquez, Zachary Wielgos and Nathan Zitko. Sophomores were Sarah Briggs, Zachary Eckhardt, Breanna Evola, Brett Evola, David Hernandez, Zachary Jones, Alec Koczka, Matthew Limbrunner, Joseph Pollastrini, Kaitlyn Wendling, Christopher Wido and Nicholas Yankula. Juniors were Bridget Hankes, Steven Krafft, Adam Olderr, William Osbourne, Alexa Reger, Josias Rodriguez, Stephan Rosenwinkle, Margaret Ruppel and Marissa Villafuerte. Seniors were Patrick Bratschun, Kari Pitstick and Amanda Whiteside.
SPRINGFIELD—Weeks of rain and flooding in southern Illinois have made conditions ripe for mosquitoes. Floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans and other species) typically appear approximately two weeks after heavy rains and flooding. While floodwater mosquitoes can be a nuisance, they are rarely infected with West Nile virus (WNV). However, as floodwaters recede into ditches, catch basins or other areas where water sits stagnant, house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens) will typically start to appear. House mosquitoes, in areas that have seen WNV in recent years, are often infected with the virus.
“With the floodwaters and increasing temperatures, we’re going to start seeing increased mosquito activity,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold. “It is important to protect yourself against mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent and taking other precautions.”
Last year, 30 of the state’s 102 counties were found to have a West Nile positive bird, mosquito, horse or human case. The first positive bird was collected on May 8, 2010, in Carroll County, and the first positive mosquito batches were collected on June 8, 2010, in Tazewell County. A total of 61 human cases of West Nile disease were reported in Illinois last year, the first reported on Aug. 31.
There have been no confirmed cases of West Nile virus so far this year.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. The first human case in Illinois is not usually reported until July or later.
Only about two people in 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis, meningitis and death are possible.
Persons older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:
• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
• When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
• Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.
In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
Public health officials believe that a hot summer could increase mosquito activity and the risk of disease from West Nile virus.
ELBURN—The Public Works Department received four bids in response to a request for proposals for the wastewater treatment plant roof construction. The project is funded for $235,000 by the Kane County Recovery Bond.
So far, $123,912 was spent for an automatic transfer switch at the plant and $9,910 for a six-inch pump. The balance of $101,177 is available for the roof replacement.
The flat roof on the plant costs the village more than $2,000 yearly due to damage from water on the bricks. The proposal asked for bids to construct a truss roof and to relocate the HVAC system. Alternate bids were requested for putting on a metal roof as opposed to asphalt shingles.
Public Works Director John Nevenhoven recommended the proposal made by Cole Enterprises of Elburn for $105,100. He cited the desire to use Elburn businesses for the project.
The remaining balance of the project is $3,922, and can be funded from the building fund.
SUGAR GROVE—This tax season, Waubonsee Community College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program was able to return more than $1.3 million to the local economy. That total came in the form of tax refunds and credits for the more than 700 low- to moderate-income clients the program served. In total, more than 1,500 returns were filed, including 2010 federal and state returns, as well as returns from past years and amended returns.
The college hosted free tax assistance sessions at its Aurora Campus on Wednesdays and Saturdays from January to April. The site was staffed by more than 40 community volunteers, along with 13 students from the college’s “VITA Program: Tax Procedure and Practice” accounting class.
Student tax preparers included Jesus Corral-Moreno and Glenn Long, of Aurora; Karen Downey and Beth Snyder, of Elburn; Patricia Eldridge, of Naperville; Mary Howe, Mei Yi Lam, and Jerri Powell, of Oswego; Susan Malmborg, of DeKalb; Monica Mathiasen, of Sycamore; Brian Pircon, of Batavia; Edith Turner, of Plainfield; and Amy Tweet, of Plano.
Waubonsee partners with the Center for Economic Progress as part of that organization’s Tax Counseling Project. Waubonsee Associate Professor of Accounting and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Dan Gibbons, of Sycamore, supervised the site and has provided leadership and direction for the VITA program since the college began participating in 2004.
JOLIET, Ill—Kaneland’s Bobby Thorson (right) pitched a complete game, while also getting two hits (including a triple) as the Knights rolled Waterloo 8-2 at Joliet’s Silver Cross Field Friday. Kaneland will now play Oak Forest (27-7-1) for the state championship. The game is set for approximately 11 a.m. Saturday at Silver Cross Field (the 3rd place game starts at 9 a.m., and the championship game will follow).
Mayors visit capitol to keep state from cutting village funds by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—With Local Government Distributive Funds (LGDF) in jeopardy of elimination, a group of mayors and village presidents made a show of force in Springfield to urge lawmakers not to eliminate the distribution of that money to municipalities. They succeeded in that the issue was never brought up to the Senate in this session.
The money in these funds is income tax collected from residents of each municipality, a portion of which is sent back to the towns to be used to pay for crucial services like snow removal, police protection, and other daily services. According to Village President Dave Anderson, the LGDF monies make up 30 percent of Elburn’s budget.
Two weeks ago, Anderson and three other village presidents from the Metro West Council of Government, from Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties, drove to Springfield for a press conference at the Capitol. They met with 35 other mayors and village presidents in the Illinois Municipal League office before going before the cameras and reporters.
“A potential cut in LGDF would affect every municipality in the state of Illinois,” Anderson said. “There were (mayors and village presidents) from Springfield, Rock Island—from all over the state.”
The idea to eliminate LGDF was first brought up last summer, and the group wanted to let legislators and the public know what could happen if it was eliminated. Anderson wrote letters to both state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-25) and state Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-50) to get their support.
Minutes before the press conference began, Anderson said the chairman of the group of municipal leaders that set up the press conference tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he would speak.
“She said, ‘You’re not from a home-rule community, so why don’t you get up and speak?’” Anderson said.
A home-rule community is one with a population of at least 25,000 that thereby has the authority to establish additional taxes to help make up for the loss of funds like LGDF. A community like Elburn cannot establish additional taxes without an election.
“It would be a double whammy for communities that are not home-ruled. If this goes through, we lose 30 percent of our operating funds. And we have no way of making that up,” Anderson told the press in Springfield. “We have already made our cuts.”
Both the police and fire unions stood side by side with the group of municipal leaders. Their departments would be some of the first to be cut if the funds weren’t available.
Ultimately, the issue never came to a vote because it never was brought up. But the victory for municipalities is tenuous.
“What I’m scared of is that this is ‘for now,’” Anderson said.
Photo: Dan Gierke, inventor of the Nexpump, stands next to a Nexpump Ai Series, their top-of-the-line sump pump. Photo by Ben Draper
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Sometimes, necessity forces us to use what we know to create something completely new.
That’s exactly what happened to Elburn resident Dan Gierke during the torrential rains of 1996, which flooded thousands of basements and destroyed many homeowner’s properties. It was during that crisis, when he knew his basement was going to flood, that he created Nexpump, a sump pump with a brain.
As Chief Engineer at Arthur Andersen, Gierke had worked with computers and electronics since they first came on the scene. For 10 years he had set up electronics, designed programs and solved networking issues for thousands of Arthur Andersen employees. All this experience came together when he invented Nexpump.
“My whole background linked up to this product and this job,” Gierke said. “I was refinishing the basement (in 1996) and heard the sump pump beeping. The lights were flickering, and we were about ready to lose electricity. We were going to flood. I knew we’d need two pumps, so I thought, ‘I’ll just make something.’”
Nexpump is a sump pump system that uses artificial intelligence to detect when the pump stops working. It then fixes the problem. Finally, it notifies the homeowner that there is a problem. All this happens before the rain begins to fall, so that the property is not in jeopardy when it does rain.
“With most sump pumps, the first notification you get (that something is wrong with the pump) is squish, squish under your feet. We are the first company to have a fully-integrated notification system. When something goes wrong, you get an e-mail and/or phone calls,” Gierke said.
Nexpump’s motto is “Perceive. Prevent. Inform.” There are not one, but two pumps and not one, but two sensors that test in real time. If the float goes bad or a clog in the vapor lock happens, the sensors immediately detect the problem. The system also runs tests twice a day, every 12 hours, to check the pumps and battery.
“Most of the time, the pump has stopped working in December. Then when the first big rain comes in spring, the homeowner realizes the pump is not working. In winter, things will freeze or rust, or parts just go bad,” Gierke explained. “If the float goes bad, then you’re in trouble. When errors occur, the system turns on the pumps, so if there is water it will get pumped.”
Once the system has detected the error and prevented it from causing an overflow into the basement, the next step is to notify the homeowner that something is wrong. Even if they choose not to handle the problem at that moment, at least they know about it.
It’s also the first system in the world that has Internet connectivity that will allow people without landlines to connect to the computer system.
“A lot of people, when it rains, get the chair and sit next to the sump pump to make sure it’s working. One lady used to sleep with her phone. This takes the load off their shoulders now that (they) know. We protect them ( from damage to their property),” Gierke said.
The product has been successful since the first unit was sold in 2003. After creating the pump in 1996, Gierke said it literally sat on the floor for five or more years as he added to it. He tested it through friends and family. Now, instead of selling out of his basement, he has a full assembly shop and corporate headquarters on Stover Drive in Elburn. The business has grown 200 to 300 percent in just the last four months. His wife Chris and son Ryan are the main employees.
“It seems like I do about everything here,” quips Chris, when asked what her role is. “(Actually), I help if they need me with accounting and office work.”
Ryan, a recent graduate of Elmhurst College in marketing and a football coach at Kaneland, contributes his time and is learning the business.
Gierke attributes his time at Arthur Andersen to his success with this business.
“Arthur Andersen gave us so much rope. I learned so much from that. I always say to people that you can take knowledge with you. And sometimes that’s priceless,” he said.
SUGAR GROVE—The Kane County Division of Transportation (KDOT) has given the village notification that Dauberman Road, from Main Street to Harter Road, will be closed due to bridge repairs. The closure will last through July 8.
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove residents in attendance during the village Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday night wanted to make it clear that they very much enjoy their open burning rights.
The village chose to hold the discussion after receiving several comments from residents who have respiratory issues and cannot be around an excessive amount of smoke, as well as those who believe the village isn’t doing enough to prevent residents from reckless burning practices (allowing their fires to smolder, burning items that are not permitted by the village, etc.).
According to a village document, Sugar Grove’s waste hauler now offers a curbside pickup service, which means the village has the option to ban open burning in the villages. However, the document states that discussions regarding a total ban were poorly received.
“I don’t think we should ban the burning,” Village Trustee Mari Johnson said during the meeting. “I do think we should be more responsible … enforcing the ordinance we already have.”
According to the village document, some of the suggested code amendments include adding the word “dry” to the definition of debris (wet debris is an inappropriate burn item); the addition of “sunny day,” which will prevent residents from burning during wet weather conditions that can cause a fire to smolder; and the mandatory presence of an extinguisher, hose or water source while burning.
“When I was out campaigning, the issue of open burning (was) the second-most popular concern people had,” Village Trustee David Paluch said. “And I just wanted to bring it to the board, and to the public, to have that discussion. I’m not looking at banning (burning) at all. I think we should look at maybe being a little bit more responsible when it comes to (open burning).”
Village President Sean Michels said he thinks the board will take a look at the language in the current code and possibly amend a few areas to add some things.
“As a collective group, if we could sort of police each other and our neighbors, and tell them that we’re not trying to be a bad guy (by) telling them to keep the smoke down or knock it down a little bit, I think we’re all looking out for the best interests of the community,” he said.
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 6-0 to approve a resolution that would allow the village to opt out of the Complete Streets portion of its Route 47 and Cross Street Intersection Improvement STP project.
According to a document from Director of Public Works Anthony Speciale and Streets and Property Supervisor Geoff Payton, the village is in the early stages of a study regarding the improvement of the intersection at Route 47 and Cross Street. However, part of the project requires that bicycle and pedestrian ways also be established. The document states that the bicycle and pedestrian ways would be met with significant obstacles at the north and south ends of the project, and because of the costly nature involved with overcoming such obstacles, the village has requested a waiver to opt out of the Complete Streets portion.
by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—There is a rich history behind the stretch of Lincoln Highway that travels through Maple Park, and that history is currently represented on an interpretive mural that was installed in the heart of downtown Maple Park on May 24.
The interpretive mural, which is affixed to the west side of Village Hall, is part of the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition (ILHC)’s series commemorating several of the communities located along the Lincoln Highway’s 179 miles. All of the community murals were designed and painted by artist Jay Allen, president of ShawCraft Sign Co.
The Maple Park mural depicts a service station employee flanked by old-time gas pumps, a restroom sign and an ad for tires, indicative of the time period between 1913 and 1928, when three gas stations were located in the village.
“The subject of this mural is pertinent to the history of the Lincoln Highway for many reasons. As the highway developed from dirt and mud to pavement, automobile travel became a way of life,” ILHC Planning Director Sue Hronik said. “Service stations and garages along the Lincoln Highway made it their goal to accommodate motorists’ every need; not just fuel, but all the elements included in the painting.”
The multiple interpretive murals were made possible by grants from the Federal Highway Administration and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Maple Park interpretive mural, which Hronik said was painted from a photo provided by the village, is the 17th of 20 murals that have been installed since January 2010. Murals have also been installed in Aurora, Geneva, St. Charles, DeKalb and Rochelle, just to name a few. Another set of murals will be installed later this month.
“It looks amazing,” Hronik said of the Maple Park mural. “As always, the talent in the artwork and detail are a true gift of Jay and his staff. Each time an ILHC mural goes up, it is such a wonderful thing for the history of the byway and the community that has accepted the gift. Maple Park’s mural is a tribute to the roadside industry of the service station, the Lincoln Highway, as well as how each of those things forever changed the American landscape.”
The murals are valued at $10,000 each, and, according to Hronik, have been well received by their respective towns.
“Some communities actually have had true unveilings, with a tarp covering the mural until an official ceremony takes place,” she said. “Public reaction is always favorable, to say the least. Every town loves their mural—it evokes considerable community pride.”
by Keith Beebe
KANE COUNTY—It was less than a month ago when Old Second Bank was ordered by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of Currency to raise its capital ratio to 8.75 percent by Sept. 30, but Old Second Bancorp President and CEO Bill Skoglund thinks things are already looking better for the largest bank in Kane County.
“They’re asking us to raise our regulatory capital ratio. As of March 31, our total capital was at 11.97 percent, and our leverage ratio was at 8.64 percent, after being at 8.1 percent at the end of (last) year, so we’re almost at the (8.97) ratio, and we think we can get to that in a very short time,” he said. “I think we’ll be there before Sept. 30.”
A capital ratio of 8.75 is what federal regulators want to see, and Skoglund said the bank was first notified about its capital ratio in December 2009.
“We, as a public company, made a public announcement of it in June 2010, when we were looking to get some capital,” he said.
The FDIC website defines any total risk-based capital ratio equal to or greater than 8 percent as “adequately capitalized.” According to the website, the standing of “well capitalized” is reserved for any total risk-based capital ratio equal to or greater than 10 percent.
Despite Old Second’s slightly sub-par capital ratio, Skoglund maintains that their leverage ratio is far better than the ratios found in banks that are forced to close.
“They don’t close banks with these kinds of ratios. Banks that get closed, they have ratios of 2 percent or less,” he said. “We’re a long way from that, but this is an agreement that they want us to raise these ratios.
Skoglund said some of Old Second Bank’s losses were due to construction and development loans.
“We’re through that now,” he said. “The economy’s seeming to get a little bit better. We’re starting to see some businesses start to make money now, and they’re starting to hire people. We’re starting to see commercial real estate value stabilize, which is big for us.”