Geraldine ‘Gerry’ Tenta

Geraldine “Gerry” Tenta, 81, of Elburn, passed away at Delnor Community Hospital in Geneva surrounded by the love and prayers of her family.

She was born on Feb. 26, 1930, in Chicago, the daughter of Richard J. and Clara (Helgersen) Martinson.

Gerry grew up on the south side of Chicago and attended local schools. Following her graduation from Fenger High School in 1948, she worked for several local businesses.

Gerry was united in marriage to Joseph F. Tenta in Chicago.

They were blessed with three daughters, Dianna, Carol and Theresa, who were the pride and joy of their mother. Gerry was blessed with an independent spirit, strong work ethic and dedication that was second to none. She needed every ounce of her blessings to raise her daughters on her own, making sure they had what they needed and all the love they could take.

While raising her girls, Gerry worked as head cashier at Zayre for many years and later worked as bookkeeper for Tuthill Corporation, a local pump and pipe manufacturer who named NASA as one of its customers.

Gerry was a proud member of the Elburn and Batavia Seniors as well as the Scarlet Fox Chapter of the Red Hat Society. She loved to participate in all the activities alongside her friends at the Meadows Apartments, where she made her home. Day trips to the casino always brought a smile to her face.

Gerry had an artistic eye and hands built for crafts making ceramics and jewelry that have now become “priceless.” Gerry also had a “love affair” with food. Although she was diabetic, she rose above it all and made masterpieces in the kitchen culled from all the “cut out” recipes and the myriad of cookbooks that lined her shelves.

Gerry also was an avid reader, escaping into other worlds until the story’s end at which time she opened yet another and escaped once again. When she wasn’t reading, she kept her mind agile playing Sudoku and reliving her travels with her family and friends.

Gerry always bragged about her children and grandchildren, the latter numbering eight.
She also adored her 15 great-grandchildren. Gerry was very proud of her inner strength and the obstacles she overcame during her life. Although cancer ultimately won the war, it was Gerry who won 20 years of battles, and that was a badge of honor that she wore with immense pride. The memories she made become the legacy she leaves and although now gone, she lives on in the hearts of all she loved.

She is survived by her three daughters, Dianna Tenta of Thayer, Ind., Carol (John) Blank of Frankfort, Ill., and Theresa (Mark) Shoup of Elburn; eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, Dawn (Glen) Mongold and their children, Erin, Michael and Matthew, of Stephens City, Va.; Michelle (Dave) Laurinaitis and their daughter, Lucy, of Mokena, Ill.; Crystal (Chris) Bryan of Unionville, Tenn.; Daniel (Dianna) Schramm and their children, Daniel Jr., Jake, Breanna, Kole, Carly, and Lilli of Odenville, Ala.; Robert (Stevi) Schramm and their children, Mason, Chloe, and Eva, of Connorsville, Ind.; Lisa Petersen and her children, Kaleb and Rylie of Frankfort, Ill.; Kirsten Shoup and Tyler Shoup, both of Elburn; two siblings, Marlene Sojka of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and James (Irene) Martinson of Tinley Park, Ill.; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation will be from 1 to 3p.m., with a memorial service to celebrate her life to follow on Saturday, July 16, at the Meadows Apartments in their Common Room, 318 Dempsy Drive, Elburn. Private family interment will follow at a later date.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit the American Cancer Society. Checks may be made to the “Geraldine Tenta 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

A passion for hope:

raising awareness about the dangers of substance abuse
by Lynn Meredith
BATAVIA—Chris’ Walk began four years ago after Vicki Altepeter Foley lost her son Chris to a heroin overdose. She and the members of her extended family created a walk against substance abuse to raise awareness of the dangers of addiction. The walk raises money for Hearts of Hope, a non-profit in Geneva. In the aftermath of Chris’s death, Foley found her life’s passion.

“I learned so much since he has been gone,” Foley said. “It really is a disease. Some people smoke. Some people drink. Some people gamble. It alters the brain and is one of the hardest drugs to get off.”

Chris Foley began his journey to addiction with marijuana. The use of drugs progressed until he took up heroin at age 17. He was introduced to the drug at a party with friends from high school in St. Charles. For so many people who succumb to addiction, the reasons are not clear and the process’s out of the user’s control.

“I asked him why he used the drugs, and he never could answer. The act of taking the drug alters the brain. He was never the same. He said to me once, “Mom, do you know how many times a day I have to say ‘no?’ It can happen to anybody,” Foley said.

The stigma of drug addiction often keeps people from dealing with the problems, Foley said. Unlike the common myth that drug addicts are on the streets of a large city, the issue is quite serious in the suburbs. Whereas Chicago used to be the hub for distribution, now the drugs are being sold in the Fox Valley.

“You can get it for ten dollars,” she said. “It’s a cheap way to feel numb and have all your worries go away. It’s a way for kids to cope who don’t have the skills to cope with life. There have been a number of deaths in our area.”

Foley is passionate in her pursuit to help families and save lives. She goes every Tuesday into jails to teach life skills to inmates, many of whom are there because of theft or other crimes related to addiction. She sees inmates with no place to live after they are released, no job, and a record. Without rehabilitation, it can be a continuing cycle. She tries to help them deal with their emotions and even abusive relationships.

“I believe addiction can only be overcome with a Christ-centered approach. We try to give them hope,” she said. “If it wasn’t for my faith, I would never have gotten through Chris’s death. I don’t want people to go through what my family went through.”

Foley said she has changed through her experience with an addiction in her family. She was not outspoken before, but now is passionate about talking to everyone she can.

“Now, I get on my soapbox. Once something like this hits, you have to do something. I’m trying to save one life at a time, she said. “I will do this until the day I die.”

Chris’ Walk Against
Substance Abuse

The 4th Annual Chris’ Walk Against Substance Abuse will be held on Saturday, July 16, at the Batavia Riverwalk, 155 Houston St., Batavia. Registration for the one-mile family-friendly walk starts at 8:30 a.m., the walk is at 9 a.m. and a rally featuring Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez starts at 10 a.m. There is no cost to participate; however, pledges are encouraged. Activities include face painting, a balloon launch, chair massages and more. Register at Call Vicki Altepeter Foley for informatoin (630) 802-1868.

Remove sources of standing water to prevent West Nile Virus

KANE COUNTY—The recent wet spring is sure to breed a good crop of mosquitoes, but while they may be annoying, they are not the kind that spread West Nile virus. The mosquitoes we typically see in late spring and early summer are called, appropriately, “nuisance” or floodwater mosquitoes.

West Nile virus is most commonly associated with the Culex mosquito. Hot, dry weather and stagnant water are the two main ingredients prized by the Culex. As temperatures rise, we usually begin to see our first human cases in July or August.

“Now is a good time to get out and inspect your yard for items such as old tires and clogged gutters where stagnant water can accumulate. These are the types of areas that provide the ideal breeding spots for the Culex mosquito,” said Paul Kuehnert, executive director of the Kane County Health Department. “By identifying problem areas now, you will be able to protect yourself later in the summer.”

Last year there were five cases reported in people in Kane County. In 2009, an unusually mild summer with cool temperatures, there were no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Kane County. There were three cases of the virus reported in 2008. In 2007 there were 13, four in 2006, 17 in 2005, two in 2004, none in 2003 and nine in 2002.

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 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Only about two out of 10 people 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 and 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. Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are present.
• When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus 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.
• Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with 16-mesh wire screen. 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.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Kane County Health Department’s website at, the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at People also can call the IDPH West Nile Virus Hotline at 866-369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2011 KCFB Foundation Scholarship recipients announced

Photo: Joe White (left) of the Kane County Farm Bureau presents the 2011 Kane County Farm Bureau President’s Scholarship to winner William Haas. Courtesy Photo

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Farm Bureau Foundation Board has announced that it will award nearly $21,000 in scholarships for the 2011-12 school year. Seventeen students have been selected to receive $1,000 KCFB Foundation General Scholarships, and one high school senior was chosen to receive the $1,500 President’s Scholarship.

The foundation also administers the $1,000 John Buck Memorial Scholarship award and the $1,250 Chuck Swanson Memorial Scholarship.

The 2011 KCFB Foundation Scholarship recipients are: William Haas (President’s Scholarship) and Trent Pierson of Elburn; Kate St. John (Chuck Swanson Memorial Scholarship) and Charlene Steininger of Sugar Grove; and Ben Fabrizius, Olivia Fabrizius, Karissa Pitstick and Kristin Pitstick, all of Maple Park.

University of Wisconsin—Madison names dean’s list

MADISON, WIS.—Elburn resident Nikki Smith was named to the dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin—Madison for the spring semester of the 2010-11 academic year. To be eligible for the dean’s list, students must complete a minimum of 12 graded degree credits in that semester. Each university school or college sets its own GPA requirements for students to be eligible to receive the honor.

Bradley University announces dean’s list

PEORIA, Ill.—The following local students have received recognition on the dean’s list for the spring semester at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.: Haley Euting, Vincent Micek, Perren Palpant, Andrew Raver, Jeffrey Smith and Daniel Taylor, all of Elburn.

To be eligible for the dean’s list, a student must achieve a minimum 3.5 grade point average for the semester on a 4.0 scale.

Augustana College announces graduate of the class of 2011

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., announced that the following local residents were among the 580 students who graduated as the class of 2011: Samuel Blazey, who majored in geology; Danielle Kilberry, who majored in biology and pre-medicine; Rolf Koos, who majored in anthropology; Amanda Lindoo, who majored in geology; Mary Rhoades, who majored in biology; and Samantha Stewart, who majored in biology. All are Elburn residents.

Western announces local dean’s list

MACOMB, Ill.—Sugar Grove resident Cody Stults, a sophomore at Western Illinois University, was named to the 2011 spring dean’s list at the college. To receive this award, an undergraduate student must earn at least a 3.6 grade point average on a scale of 4.0 equals an A in 12 credit hours of graded courses; pass-fail hours are not counted (i.e. student teaching, internships).

Forest Preserve makes first 2011 referendum investment

GENEVA—The Forest Preserve District of Kane County expanded Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve last week, adding approximately 350 acres to the preserve.

The property, in Plato and Campton townships, is the first to be purchased with 2011 referendum funds. In April, Kane County voters approved a $30 million referendum for land acquisition and preserve improvements.

“We are happy to be able to make this investment,” Forest Preserve District Executive Director Monica Meyers said. “The new property borders Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve to the west and south, creating a 616-acre preserve. In addition to the expansion, the acquisition gives the district a chance to enhance the protection of high-quality natural areas that already exist at the original preserve.”

Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve contains a wetland with more than 50 native species, including some extremely rare wildflowers, lilies and orchids. The new acquisition will help provide a buffer for this botanically significant area.

“When this purchase is viewed with existing Forest Preserve holdings and Campton Open Space property, we are creating an approximately 860-acre complex of open space,” said Ben Haberthur, restoration ecologist for the Forest Preserve District.

“This acquisition places a buffer around the high-quality Russell Prairie remnant, currently in the process of being dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. Plus, due to the previously linear shape of Meissner-Corron, much of the wildlife habitat occurred on the edges of the preserve. This preserve addition accommodates the potential creation of larger blocks of habitat,” Haberthur said.

In addition to the natural resources benefits, Forest Preserve President John J. Hoscheit highlighted potential tax savings.

“The district appreciates the cooperation of the city of Elgin in this acquisition. As we gave our public presentations in advance of the referendum, this was one of the parcels mentioned most often. It was originally zoned and annexed by Elgin with the prospect of hundreds of homes to be built. That would have required the construction of additional schools and other supporting infrastructure. Now that the property will be preserved forever as open space, those costs will be avoided,” Hoscheit said. “For these reasons and because the acreage was adjacent to Meissner-Corron, this property was at the top of our list,” he said.

Local storm chaser debunks tornado myths

Photo: Severe storms passed through Elburn June 21 favorable for tornados. The storms ended up producing tornados in the Mount Prospect and Downers Grove area.
Courtesy Photo

By Keith Beebe
ELBURN—True or false: Tornados do not typically strike valleys, and therefore are not a threat to Elburn and the surrounding area.

If you answered “true,” you might be surprised to learn that tornados can indeed hit valleys and cities, travel aross rivers, and hit just about any place thought to be off limits from severe weather activity. Some of these tornados can reach a height of 60,000 feet, so it really doesn’t matter if there is a river or a city building in its way.

Local storm chaser Brad Hruza, an Illinois resident for the last 26 years, believes these tornado myths have caused some residents of towns such as Elburn and Rockford to virtually disregard tornado sirens whenever they sound—a mistake that could turn out to be fatal.

“Elburn has had two tornados hit in the last two years (August 2009 and October 2010); not only that, but also [June 21) there were two tornados that hit Downers Grove, as well as Mount Prospect, which proves another myth wrong that tornados don’t hit cities,” Hruza said. “I think most people have forgotten the Plainfield tornado 20 years ago. That was an F-5 tornado and was very devastating, so they can happen anywhere at any time.”

Hruza was one of several storm chasers who witnessed the harsh storms’ that rolled through the Elburn area on June 21. He said the severe storm was a close call for local residents.

“Elburn seems to be the tornado alley of the Fox Valley. We were lucky they stayed just barely west and north and didn’t rip through downtown,” said Hruza, who pointed to the tornados in Joplin, Mo., and Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., as proof that tornados don’t discriminate when it comes to valleys and cities.

Those areas down South experienced total devastation and damage in the billions of dollars, and many lives were lost, he said. So we were very lucky two weeks ago that no one was seriously injured here.

When it comes to residents not taking severe weather seriously, Hruza highlights the Rockford area as one of his biggest concerns, and said many residents there believe the Rock River can actually dissipate any incoming tornados.

“(Rockford residents) have become complacent and don’t heed warnings anymore. They believe the Rock River has a big role in storms fizzling out before they get there every time,” he said. “That’s another myth. They call it the Rock River Split.”

Hruza said he’s met with people who have actually seen tornados cross the Mississippi River. And for those who believe tornados are exclusive to flatlands, there’s the tornado that struck Salt Lake City, Utah, in August 1999.

Tornado myths actually go far beyond that of where these storms can and cannot strike. Hruza said many people believe opening the windows of their home during a storm will prevent the house from becoming pressurized and keep the tornado away.

“The last thing you want is the wind to get inside your home. That’s why some houses are left untouched and the neighbors destroyed,” he said. “If a tornado is coming at a home, it does not care if the windows are open or closed. The tornado will take the house if it wants to.”

Hruza recommends that all residents seek shelter immediately upon notice of a tornado warning, even if the sirens haven’t sounded yet. And if you seek shelter in your basement, it’s not safer to stay in the southwest portion of the room. Instead, you want to try and get under the staircase and protect your head and neck. And if a basement is unavailable, use a closet or a bathroom without windows.

Hruza also said residents should avoid taking refuge underneath highway overpasses, which can turn into a wind tunnel for debris during a severe storm.

“Tornados can, will, and have hit our valley areas recently and it is likely to happen again,” he said. “Next time it may be downtown, (so) please be prepared.”

Built from the ground up: Wiltse Farm

by Lynn Meredith
MAPLE PARK—Farmers markets are flourishing around the country as more and more consumers are heeding the advice of health experts to eat foods that are locally grown. This advice is nothing new to the Wiltse family of Maple Park, who have been growing and selling produce since 1914.

This Sunday, the public is invited to an open house and a chance to learn about the history of the farm and see how fresh produce is grown.

For three generations, the family has planted, tended and harvested its own produce and sold it to people of the area. Kate Wiltse grew up going to farmers markets and working in the family produce business. It all started when her grandmother decided to raise vegetables on a farm near Batavia. Her mom, Marie Wiltse, continued the tradition, selling at a stand on the farm in Maple Park. Today Marie, along with Kate, her brother Joe, and sisters Patty, Deb and Mary, all run the business. You may even say it runs in their blood.

“We say to each other that it has to (be in our blood),” Kate quipped. “Because who would do this?”

Starting in February, they begin planting seeds under greenhouse protection. The season gets busier and busier as asparagus, then strawberries, and then more and more vegetables reach maturity and are harvested. The season begins to peak around the third week in July, when the sweet corn starts rolling in. It winds down with pumpkins in the fall and ends at Halloween.

The open house will give the family a chance to talk with customers before it gets too busy with sweet corn.

“It’s a chance for people to ask questions and actually talk to us. We get so busy with sweet corn that we’re not always available,” Kate said. “All the family will come out. We can show people where (produce) comes from.”

Wiltse’s will display the equipment they use in planting and tending the plants, such as the transplanter for vegetables and the junior planter that is hand-pushed. They will explain the stages of plant growth, so that the public can begin to understand how food is grown from seed to harvest. There will also be pictures from the farm’s history.

This year the farm is adding more opportunities to pick your own vegetables. They just finished pick-your-own strawberries. They will now add U-pick tomatoes and U-pick flowers. The zinnias and snapdragons need a good rain and a couple more weeks and they will be fully ready for cutting. In the fall, pumpkins can be selected from the field also.

With the sweet corn tasseling, the 40 acres planted with sweet corn will start coming in, just a little behind schedule this year.

“Everything (in this business) depends on the weather. Last year, the sweet corn was ready on the 18th. We’re about a week behind. We had a cool spring,” Kate said.

Since putting in greenhouses 10 years ago, Wiltse’s has done more and more bedding plants, field produce and even landscaping, run by Kate’s husband, Troy Misch. They continue to learn through networking and cooperation with other growers and classes at Kishwaukee, trade shows and conferences held by the Illinois Specialty Growers Association.

After a season of growing flowers, lettuce, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, snow peas, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, onions, asparagus, strawberries, pumpkins, sweet corn and more, how does the family spend its downtime each winter?

“Clean house, clean house, clean house,” Kate joked (or maybe not). “I do family stuff and paperwork. I go to trade shows to buy seeds and see new varieties.”

Now picking:
Sweet red candy onions,
walla walla sweet onions,
yellow sweet candy onions,
cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas,
red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce,
bibb lettuce, romaine lettuce,
beets, green onions, radishes
and more

Wiltse’s Farm Produce Open House
Sunday, July 10
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
50W379 Route 38, Maple Park.
Customers and friends are welcome to stop by and meet with the
Wiltse families and share stories
and conversation of the
past, present and future.
Refreshments will be available.
For more information,
call (815) 739-6179 or visit

Emerald Ash Borer infects Maple Park trees

by David Maas
Maple Park—After the discovery that some of Maple Park’s ash trees were infected by Emerald Ash Borers, Maple Park Public Works Manager Mike Miller met with Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Scott Schirmer to discuss the situation.

“In almost all cases, there is nothing that can be done to save these trees,” Miller said. “It’s too bad, because they are some beautiful trees.”

The borer is an invasive species to North America, and has been blamed with the destruction of over 50 million ash trees in over 14 states.

“If we try to cut the trees down now, they will just move to other locations,” Miller said. “We have to wait until November or December before we can remove the trees; in cold weather the beetles become less active.”

Once removed, the trees will be burned within Maple Park. The trees can’t be moved out of the area, as a precaution to avoid spreading the beetle.

“These are some really big trees,” Miller said, “Some of them are over 100 years old; it’s a shame.”

The Village Board will look into how they will replace the trees, and which type would be best to avoid a situation like this again.

“Schirmer instructed me on how to handle the infected trees,” Miller said, “If we want him to, he would also come out and give a presentation to the board.”

Village Board approves Accessory and Temporary Use amendments

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 6-0 to update the Temporary and Accessory Use portions of the village’s zoning ordinance.

A document from Community Development Director Richard Young and Village Planner Mike Ferencak states that the Accessory and Temporary Use amendments were proposed as part of the effort to improve the village’s zoning ordinance.

The document also states that the portion of the zoning ordinance in question was cited by staff as lacking the text necessary for it to be as comprehensive as other sections in the zoning ordinance. Therefore, the amendments will improve continuity and eliminate excessive jargon that may be difficult to understand.

“Our staff’s been going through our ordinances and updating them to be current with building additions and make it a little more streamlined and self-explanatory, as opposed to having somewhat of a ‘government speakeasy,’ if you will,” Village President Sean Michels said. “They’re trying to just clean it up so people can understand (the ordinances) when they read them.”

The document from Young and Ferencak states that changes such as additional definitions, added parking requirements for accessory uses, and appropriate additional wording are also expected to be made

Church news for July 8

Hosanna! Lutheran
Church Vacation
Bible School

St. Charles—During the week of July 25-29, Hosanna! Lutheran Church will hold its annual Vacation Bible School, “God’s Wild Ride,” from 9 to 11:45 a.m. each day. This free event is open to all children who will be 4 years of age by Sept. 1, up to and through students entering fifth grade. Registration forms are available at the church office or at For more information, call (630) 584-6434 or e-mail to
Hosanna! is located at 36W925 Red Gate Road (entrance just east of Randall Road) in St. Charles.

Bethany Lutheran
Church holds VBS 2011

BATAVIA—Bethany Lutheran Church will hold its Vacation Bible School, “Jesus Chooses Us!” from Monday through Friday, Aug. 8-12, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The VBS is for children from 3 years old to fifth grade. To register, call the church office at (630) 879-3444 to have a packet mailed or sign up online at Bethany Lutheran Church is located at 8 S. Lincoln St. in Batavia.

St. Peter Church
concludes centennial year

Geneva—St. Peter Church in Geneva will conclude its year-long celebration of 100 years as a parish on Sunday, July 10. St. Peter was founded on July 5, 1911. The church and rectory were originally located at 5th and James Street in Geneva. The rectory building still stands and is now occupied by the Child Advocacy Center.
“It has been a year of celebration and thanksgiving. We commemorated through worship, play, learning and connecting with our past. I feel great about the way parishioners came together to honor God and all those who came before us. I found it a great and unique opportunity for parishioners to recommit to building and keeping St. Peter Catholic Church on the path of love, faith, and service to God and neighbor,” said the St. Peter pastor, Rev. Martins C. Emeh.
A centennial committee, chaired by church members Phil Page (Chair) and Mary Jaeger (co-chair), was formed in late 2009. The group focused on ways to celebrate and honor the grand milestone in simplicity, reminiscent of by-gone years. The congregation kicked off their celebration on July 10 last year. Myriad festivities and ways to honor the milestone were planned.
St. Peter Church celebrations continue through July 10 this year, culminating in a Mass of Thanksgiving and a Memory Lane Brunch for the whole parish. Former priests have been invited back to Mass, and former parishioners are welcome to participate in the finale as well.

Vacation Bible Study
ELBURN—Vacation Bible Study will take place July 11-15, from 9 a.m. to noon at Community Congregational Church, 100 E. Shannon St. in Elburn.
Children, ages 4 through fifth grade, are welcome. The cost for the week is $10 per child.
For registration information, call (630) 365-6544 or visit

Sugar Grove UMC offers
vacation Bible school

Sugar Grove—Sugar Grove United Methodist Church invites all children, ages 3 through fifth grade, to Island Odyssey Vacation Bible School.
The fun begins Monday, July 11, and ends Friday, July 15, from 6:15 to 8 p.m. at Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, 176 Main St. in Sugar Grove.
Each island attendees visit includes a Bible story, music, art projects, games and a snack.
To be a part of all the excitement at Island Odyssey, call the church office at (630) 466-4501 or visit

Lord of Life holds VBS
LA FOX—Vacation Bible School at Lord of Life is scheduled for Monday through Saturday, July 25-30, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The theme is Hometown Nazareth. For more information or to sign up, visit

Photo gallery: St. Gall honors the departed

St. Gall Parish held a special Veterans Mass at St. Gall Cemetery on Sunday. The mass was offered in remembrance of those deceased (a number of whom are buried in the parish cemetery). Names of all parishioners known to have served in the military were read in a special prayer. American Legion, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts also participated. Photo by John DiDonna

July 8 police blotter

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• Scott William Kopis, 22, of the 42W700 block of Keslinger Road, Elburn, was charged on June 25 with driving under the influence of alcohol, operating an uninsured vehicle, and operating a vehicle without rear tail lights.
• Roxana Garcia, 26, of Plano, was stopped by police on July 3 after failing to stop at a stop sign at Kansas Street and Route 47. Garcia was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, disobeying a stop sign and operating a vehicle without a valid registration.
• Barry Lee Hodge, 46, of the 1S700 block Deerpath Road, Batavia, was charged on July 2 with not having a valid safety test and driving on a suspended license. Hodge posted bond and was released with a court date of August 5.
• Police responded to a complaint of two individuals urinating on the street in the 600 block of Independence Avenue on June 25. Alexander Haas, 20, of the 0N200 block of Route 47, Elburn, was charged with unlawful consumption by a minor and given an August 5 court date.

Sugar Grove
• Sugar Grove Police on June 30 arrested Steve M. Montega, 34, of the 9000 block of Lamb Drive in Oak Lawn, Ill., after discovering that Montega had two active warrants out of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office for home repair fraud and driving while license suspended. There was also a non-servable warrant for Montega out of Virginia. Montega was taken into custody and transported to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
He had been a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic offense.
• Sugar Grove Police on July 1 were dispatched to Volunteer Park on a report of criminal damage to property.
• A Sugar Grove Park District employee told police that someone during the night had pushed over a port-a-john and peeled a large portion of bark off of a tree. The tree is not expected to survive, and is estimated at a worth of about $2,000. A smaller replacement tree would cost somewhere around $450. An investigation is pending.
• Sugar Grove Police on July 3 were dispatched to the 100 block of East Park Avenue on a report of criminal defacement of property. Police observed color graffiti on the front window and the glass on the front door. The victim also stated that there was an unknown person on her property right outside her window while she was sleeping. An investigation is pending.
• Sugar Grove Police on July 3 observed another house on the 100 block of East Park Avenue that had graffiti of the glass on the front door. The victim was unaware of the graffiti at the time of police arrival. An investigation is pending.
• Sugar Grove Police on July 3 observed graffiti on a “stop ahead” sign at the intersection of St. James Parkway and Whitfield Drive. The sign was spray painted to read, “Don’t stop ahead thanks.” An investigation is pending.
• Sugar Grove Police on July 3 observed a stop sign on St. James Parkway that had been defaced with graffiti. The sign was spray painted to read, “Don’t stop believing.” An investigation is pending.

Corn Boil Teen Rock deadline extended to July 8

by Sandy Kaczmarski
Sugar Grove—There’s still time for teen musicians to get their Teen Rock applications in to perform at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil Friday through Sunday, July 29, 30 and 31.

The application deadline has been extended through Friday, July 8, to turn in applications. The forms can be found on the Sugar Grove Corn Boil website at under Entertainment and Events. Applicants are advised to disregard the original June 18 deadline marked on the applications.

“This is an opportunity for teens from anywhere in the area that have an ensemble or solo act to perform on the main stage,” committee member Beverly Holmes Hughes said.

She said the music helps the Corn Boil and shows that the committee is fostering the idea that music is important. Hughes said it gives the young musicians a chance to perform on the main stage with their friends and family in the audience.

The applications can be dropped off at the Sugar Grove Library, 125 S. Municipal Drive, and after-hours in the drop box marked “media.” The event is not restricted to Sugar Grove, and musicians can be from anywhere in the area.

Applications will be accepted through the opening of the library Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Teen Rock is sponsored by Hix Bros. Music located in Batavia and Aurora.

KHS football schedule has one new wrinkle

Photo: Quinn Buschbacher, shown here in Class 5A playoff action at Vernon Hills, is one of the returning Knights ready for year two of Northern Illinois Big XII East Division action. File Photo

Knights football opens with 2 home games, faces Chicago’s Brooks
KANELAND—With the Illinois High School Association’s official release of the 2011 football schedules, Kaneland High School now has an official idea of who it will clash with, en route to building upon its 12-1 season of a year ago.

The usual Northern Illinois Big XII East Division foes will travel to Maple Park in the form of Rochelle and Yorkville, while the Knights hit DeKalb, Sycamore and Morris in the road caravan.

In terms of NIB-12 conference opponents, the Knights once again face the Dixon Dukes and LaSalle-Peru Cavaliers, this time on the road.

Knight football deals with the Huntley Red Raiders for the third year in a row in a home battle, after taking the fight to the Fox Valley Conference school last year.

The Red Raiders had a good time of it in 2009, edging KHS, 17-14.

The one significant change is the end of the Kaneland-Burlington Central opening night duel, and the beginning of a meeting between the Knights and fellow Class 5A school Brooks College Prep of Chicago (250 E. 111th St., Chicago).

The Eagles, coached by James Brown, look to rebound from a 3-6 season. Kaneland and Rock Island, whom the Eagles play on Sept. 9, are the non-city opponents this year for Brooks. The Eagles, located in the Chicago Public League’s Illini Conference Heartland Division, last qualified for the playoffs in 2009.

The State semifinalist Knights, under fifth-year coach Tom Fedderly, begin their version of Friday Night Lights against Brooks on Friday, Aug. 26. Huntley comes into town on Sept. 2. Kaneland travels to Dixon for a crossover affair on Sept. 9, and goes south to LaSalle-Peru for the second crossover tussle on Sept. 16.

The conference season begins in earnest on Sept. 23, when KHS hosts Rochelle, and the Knights travel to DeKalb’s new facility off of Dresser Road on Sept. 30. The Knights host the Foxes of Yorkville on Oct. 7 for their fourth and final home game, before finishing in Sycamore on Oct. 14, and Morris on Oct. 21.

Northern Illinois Big XII Schools—Week 1 opponents
Friday, Aug. 26
• DeKalb vs. Ottawa • Kaneland vs. Brooks
• Morris vs. Minooka • Yorkville vs. Streator
• Sycamore vs. North Lawndale Charter
• Dixon at E. Moline U. • Geneseo vs. E. Peoria
• LP vs. Rock Island Alleman • Sterling vs. Moline
Saturday, Aug. 27
• Rochelle at Corliss

Knights 11U go north

Kaneland Knights 11U Baseball team claimed second place in the Father’s Day weekend Slip and Slide Tournament at Wisconsin Dells. Team members include: Brennan Hare, Trevor Jones, CJ Girolamo, Logan Piercy, Mac Doherty, Jimmy Fidler, Austin Berens, Dylan Baker, Colin Noel, Michael Rivas-Vera, Jake Romas (absent). Courtesy Photo

Wasco Fastpitch ready for Fall

WASCO—Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball has begun registration for the 2011 Fall Ball season. Teams will be made by Saturday, Aug. 6, practices will start after Monday, Aug. 8, and games start approximately Saturday, Aug. 20. The season will conclude in October with playoffs for 10U-HS. Games will be played on Saturdays at either Verhaeghe Field or Poyner Park in St. Charles/Campton Township, allowing plenty of time for school and other activities.

A registration form can be downloaded and mailed or register online at or call (630) 513-1200.

Kaneland hoops golf outing rescheduled

KANELAND—Kaneland boys basketball’s second annual golf outing has been changed to Friday, July 29.

There are still plenty of openings for foursomes and sponsorship opportunities. The golf outing will be held at Bliss Creek in Sugar Grove. The outing brings together Kaneland community members, athletes, parents, alumni and businesses.

This fundraiser will raise money for uniforms, equipment and fees for summer leagues and shootouts.

Prizes will also be available in a raffle, along with a silent auction with prizes. The golf outing will be a scramble and cost $400 a foursome, and $35 if you just attend the dinner.

If interested in playing, sponsorship or to make a donation, contact Brian Johnson at (630) 365-5100, ext. 347, or

Letter: Pride of the Fox thanks the public

On behalf of Pride of the Fox, Inc.—and the event committee specifically—we would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s 29th Annual Pride of the Fox RiverFest such a rousing success. Notable among those responsible were:
• The 72 sponsors and businesses that made a commitment to our community and made this event possible
• The 100-plus dedicated volunteers who donated thousands of hours to ensure RiverFest occurs for everyone. They are truly incredible people
• The city of St. Charles—the aldermen, Mayor Don DeWitte and City Administrator Brian Townsend—for their continuing support of the festival
• Comcast and their marketing team for teaming up with RiverFest—at the carnival, the sand sculpture and “RiverFest Documentary” that will soon be featured on the local section of “On Demand”
• Erik Mahan, commander of traffic and special events, Chief of Police James Lamkin and the entire St Charles Police and Fire Departments for their help, advice and support
• David Wagner, Chief Deputy at Kane County Sheriff’s Department, and the entire Kane County Swat Team, who performed an incredible demonstration at this year’s festival
• The staff of the St. Charles Park District for the continued support
• The public works, zoning, electric cnd Community Restitution departments for the hard work and support of the event
• The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5036 and the Fox Valley Troop support groups for supporting the “Salute our Troops” venue and the Letters to the Troops Booth. We had over 80 letters written to the soldiers overseas by our attendees
• And certainly, the thousands of residents who turned out to experience the festival in St. Charles

Without the support and participation of everyone mentioned above, Pride of the Fox RiverFest would not be the memorable, annual event that it has become.

Thank you again to everyone involved, and mark your calendars for June 8-10, 2012, for our 30th Birthday Bash. We hope to see you there.

Julie Farris, Jon Olson
Executive Director
Board Chairman

Letter: Field of Dreams rescues 21-year-old horse

Willie, a sweet and handsome 21-year-old thoroughbred gelding, was recently rescued by Field of Dreams (FOD), a horse rescue and adoption organization in Batavia.

Willie was found severely emaciated with a dull, patchy hair coat and no recent veterinary care. He had been neglected and was in great need of a safe haven.

Syd Marcus, a strong supporter and volunteer at FOD, was an instrumental part in finding Willie and taking the initiative to rescue him. She contacted FOD out of great concern for Willie’s well-being, and has worked closely with FOD for over a month taking the proper steps to save him.

Marcus has also offered financial support in this effort, as well as for other horses that have been rescued by FOD.

Willie arrived safe and sound at the Field of Dreams barn on May 12, and has been adjusting well. Since arriving at FOD, he has been vaccinated, dewormed and his diet is being carefully regulated to allow him to gain weight safely.

He is very gentle and loving to all the volunteers that work so hard to care for him and his stable mates. Once Willie is rehabilitated, he will be looking for his forever home.

Updates on Willie’s progress can be viewed on the new Field of Dreams website, when it is activated in the next few weeks at

If you would like to help contribute to Willie’s care, or to other horses in our rescue, please contact us at We have beautiful, loving horses that are currently looking for a devoted family they can call their own. The best way to get in touch with us would be to send us an e-mail.

Field of Dreams provides a safe haven for abused and neglected horses, as well as horses coming from loving homes whose owners can no longer care for them. We promote volunteering before anyone adds an equine companion to their home so people can see what the true responsibilities of horse ownership are all about.

Animals are not supposed to be a throw-away commodity—they are a family member and should be respected as such.

Laurie Marsiglio
Field of Dreams

Guest editorial: Cooking the goose: Illinois pension crisis (part two of a two-part series)

by State Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-25)
I love teachers, respect state employees, appreciate local public employee unions’ accommodations, but fear that state worker union leadership is driving us off the cliff.

Victor Gotbaum, head of the New York based District 37 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, summarized the dilemma nicely 36 years ago; “We (state employee union members) have the ability, in a sense, to elect our own boss.”

Pat Quinn proved this statement in Illinois when he took his taxpayer-paid budget director to meet with the state employee unions in August 2010 (three months before the election), promised them that he would not layoff anyone, agreed to protect 12.25 percent raises over a 20-month period, received their endorsement, got millions in campaign contribution commitments, secured hundreds of volunteer-campaign workers, and won the governor’s race by less than 20,000 votes (less than 1 percent of total).

In the final analysis, if Illinois voters don’t check the single-minded political and fiscal influence of state public employee union leadership, it will be the bankers who will first drive up the cost of riskier, deficit-driven borrowing (already 2.5 percent higher in Illinois than the national norm) and eventually cut us off. This will come after enough employers-with-jobs, seniors-with-assets, and regular families simply leave our state because of ever-escalating property, income and sales tax increases.

It is merely stating the obvious that every dollar paid to a public employee must come from a local, state or federal taxpayer. This certainly does not make any public employee “bad,” and of course these folks pay their taxes, too. However, there is an important difference of perspective on taxation between people who pay 25 to 30 percent of their earnings for income, sales and property taxes and receive 100 percent of their pay from a government agency and those who do not.

No public employee needs to get angry or scared by what I’m saying, because nothing is going to change in Illinois as long as downtown Chicago politicians are in direct control of the Governor’s Office (Quinn), the House (Madigan), the Senate (Cullerton), and as long as the powerful state unions continue to favor one party over the other so completely. But, we should still be able to talk about the challenges facing all of us.

Government is the last monopoly. The biggest chunk of government spending is salaries, pensions and healthcare for current and retired workers. Unless these expenses are under control, government spending is out-of-control. If you wonder why your property value is going down but property taxes are going up, it’s because government spending is inexorably going up.

Some folks argue that public employees in Illinois have a guaranteed right to pensions, cost-of-living increases, healthcare benefits, etc. because of the 1970 Illinois Constitution. However, these same people usually don’t mention all of the increases to these benefits that occurred after that constitution was ratified. Here are only a few of many …

• Pension maximum raised from 60 to 75 percent (1971); that increase didn’t take long
• Annual cost-of-living increase raised 33 percent from 1.5 percent to 2 percent (1971)
• 85 sick days (1/2 year service) allowed for early retirement (1972)
• Cost-of-living increase raised 50 percent more from 2 percent to 3 percent (1978)
• Sick-leave credit doubled from 85 days to 170 (1984)
• Retiree healthcare premiums 75 percent subsidy (1991)

My point is, if some are going to insist on keeping the 1970 commitment (which I certainly understand), then let’s be sure to keep the entire commitment at the levels when the commitment was originally made. This would have a dramatic effect on reducing our staggering unfunded liabilities.

According to Barron’s Financial News, private employment today is 2 percent and millions of jobs below where it stood 10 years ago —a job loss over a 10-year period that is unprecedented since these statistics were first tallied in 1890. Despite more than $800 billion (more than 25 times the annual budget of Illinois) in “stimulus” spending and trillions more in national debt, we have regained just 1.8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession and its aftermath, or about one in five.

Yet, in Illinois the governor, ruling majorities, and their local enablers have raised taxes by 67 percent on individuals (where will any of us find an extra $1,200 to send Springfield next April?) and 46 percent on employers. The corporate income tax has brought in approximately $300 million, but Quinn has already doled out $250 million to a favorite few big companies which he hopes won’t bail out. In Motorola Mobility’s case, they can lay off 800 people out of their 3,300 and still receive $110 million of your money in a tax incentive.

It is government spending and tax policies like these that are cooking the goose laying the golden eggs to pay for Illinois government spending.

Make a movie, explore careers at WCC

Aurora—This summer Waubonsee Community College is offering “miDream,” a unique course in which students ages 13 and up can discover who they are through the making of their own digital story, which can then be used as part of a college application. Students will also explore career choices that may be a good fit for them.

Co-taught by a Kaneland High School counselor and business teacher, the course meets on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from July 11 to 20 at Waubonsee’s Aurora Campus, 18 S. River St. The cost is $15.

For more information or to register, call (630) 466-7900, ext. 2360 or visit and use the Programs for Youth registration form.

Tips to Care for Storm-Damaged Trees from Illinois Arborist Association

Recent storms remind that simple steps taken now can have a lasting positive impact
ANTIOCH, Ill.—Devastating tornados and storms ravaged much of the Midwest in recent days. The trail of destruction included thousands of trees either severely damaged or at least impacted by Mother Nature. Unprotected trees that are damaged may appear to have fatal wounds. However, though major branches may be broken, or the bark may be torn and gouged, trees have an amazing ability to recover from even the most severe cases.

First aid for damaged trees after a major storm can help trees recover, urges the Illinois Arborist Association (IAA), the local chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Residents are encouraged to follow a few simple tree first aid procedures:

1. Do not try to do it all yourself. If large limbs are broken or hanging, or if ladder or overhead chain saw work is needed, it is a job for an ISA-Certified Arborist.

2. Take safety precautions. Look up and look down. Be on the alert and stay away from downed utility lines and dangerous hanging branches which look ready to fall.

3. Assess the damages. Evaluate your trees carefully by asking: Other than the wind damage, is the tree basically healthy and vigorous? Are major limbs still remaining? Is at least 50 percent of the tree’s crown (branches and leaves) still intact? Are there remaining branches that can form a new branch structure? If you answered “yes” to the majority of these questions, there is a good chance for complete recovery. Contact an ISA Certified Arborist to determine the tree’s exact condition.

4. Remove any broken branches or stubs still attached to the tree. Remove the jagged remains of smaller sized broken limbs to minimize the risk of decay. Prune smaller branches at the point where they join larger ones. For larger broken branches, a professional arborist who has the necessary equipment and knowledge should cut them back to the trunk or a main limb.

5. Resist the urge to over-prune. Do not worry if the tree’s appearance is not perfect. With branches gone, your trees may look unbalanced or naked. You will be surprised at how fast they will heal, grow new foliage, and return to their natural beauty.

6. Do not top your trees. Professional arborists say that “topping,” the cutting of main branches back to stubs, is extremely harmful and unhealthy for trees. Stubs often grow back many weakly attached branches that are higher and are more likely to break when a storm strikes. Also, topping reduces the amount of foliage, on which the tree depends for the food and nourishment needed for re-growth. A topped tree that has already sustained major storm damage is more likely to die than repair itself.

A qualified tree care professional can assist you with the damages and will perform the job safely. To locate a certified arborist in your area, contact the IAA at (877) 617-8887 or visit

Illinois Arborist
Association background

The Illinois Arborist Association is a non-profit organization that educates members and the general public in proper tree care. IAA supports research on trees and is based on the mission to “Foster interest, establish standards, exchange professional ideas and pursue scientific research in Arboriculture.”