Letter: Library director firing explained

At its July 14, 2011 meeting, the Sugar Grove Public Library Board of Trustees, by a 4 to 2 vote, terminated the employment of Director Beverly Holmes Hughes. I was one of the two trustees voting against this termination. I have refrained from commenting out of respect for my fellow trustees, but with the expectation that an explanation would be provided.

The public is entitled to the explanation that they have demanded. This is not a minor personnel issue; what the board has done is equivalent to the nuns kicking Mother Teresa out of the convent. An explanation is also required to protect a good person’s reputation.

I have heard comments concerning the reasons for the board’s actions, many of which are vicious, ugly rumors. I can no longer sit idly by while my friend is hurt by these absurd remarks. I feel forced at this time to provide the explanation that the four trustees should be providing, as I have promised the community I would do.

It is my understanding that my four fellow trustees had reasons that fall into three general categories. First of all, these trustees would like different/additional programming that Mrs. Hughes was not providing despite their suggestions that she do so. For example, Board President Joan Roth has stated at several meetings that she would like to see more reading programs for first- through sixth-grade children. I have been told that on one occasion a volunteer wanted to initiate a particular program at the library, which program the trustees wanted but Mrs. Hughes would not allow.

Second, it is my understanding that the four trustees felt that they had had difficulty in the past getting Mrs. Hughes to provide them with certain financial and other information that they were requesting, in a timely manner or in the form requested by the trustees.

Third, the four trustees apparently feel that on an occasion or two, Mrs. Hughes made substantial expenditures or transfers of library funds without adequately informing the board in advance or properly explaining the matter to the board after the fact. If I am understanding my fellow trustees correctly, they are not saying that Mrs. Hughes’s actions were illegal or improper in any way; their complaint is that Mrs. Hughes did not fully explain or discuss the matter with them.

There are, of course, two sides to every story. In the three preceding paragraphs I am telling only one side—the side of the four trustees voting for termination—because that is my primary reason for making this statement—to speak for them because they refuse to speak for themselves. I am not going to go beyond that at this point in time, because to do so would make this statement unduly lengthy.

I have tried very hard in this statement to accurately state the reasons that I believe caused my four fellow trustees to terminate the employment of Mrs. Hughes. Of course, anytime one person speaks for another, there is a good possibility that something will not be complete or accurate. In this situation, to the extent that any of my four fellow trustees objects to anything in this statement, they have absolutely no reason to do so. They could have—and should have—spoken for themselves by now and if they had done so, then I would not be issuing this statement.

I want to make one point very clear: nothing in this statement should be interpreted as suggesting that the board has done anything illegal in terminating the employment of Mrs. Hughes. I certainly don’t believe that to be the case. Mrs. Hughes was an “at will” employee, and the board had the right to terminate her for any reason or for no reason at all. I understand that that is the law. And I also understand that these decisions are made by majority vote and that the number 4 is higher than the number 2.

But as my friend Jerry Murphy so wisely stated in his public comment at our July 28 board meeting, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should. In terminating the employment of Beverly Holmes Hughes the Sugar Grove Public Library Board of Trustees has, in my opinion, made a monumental mistake. Mrs. Hughes ran this library like a well-oiled, finely-tuned piece of precision machinery, and now she is gone.

We will see what the future holds, but at present, particularly in light of developments at the last night’s board meeting (Aug. 11, 2011), things do not look rosy.

Bill Durrenberger
Sugar Grove Public Library District

Letter: Library director firing ‘explained’ but not justified

As tax-paying citizens of Sugar Grove and library patrons, we’d like to thank Trustee Bill Durrenberger for finally providing some explanation for the Sugar Grove Public Library Board of Trustees’ (SGPLBT) July 14 firing of long-time Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes. Mr. Durrenberger’s letter is no doubt well intentioned and provides some sorely needed “inside” perspective for the board’s actions, but it provides no inkling of the “new direction” that the board reportedly has envisioned. And while Mr. Durrenberger’s letter may be an accurate look at the apparent reasons four trustees engineered Mrs. Hughes’ firing, the reasons he cites don’t accurately reflect reality as captured for the public record in the minutes of the board meetings during the last year.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, we are writing a long letter here because we don’t have time to write a short one. So, please bear with us as we examine the facts.

So, if the board trustees’ who ousted Mrs. Hughes “rationale” doesn’t wash with the facts, what’s the reality?

The March 24, 2011 SGPLBT meeting minutes show that President Roth did indeed discuss more first- through sixth-grade children’s programming during the school year. However, Director Hughes clearly cited several reasons for not scheduling such programming: today’s staff and funding limitations; overlap with Park District programming; poor past participation in such programs due to conflicts with busy after-school and extra-curricular schedules of school children today. In fact, the library does offer extensive programming for primary and secondary school children during school breaks and in the summer.

The point here is that President Roth did not at any time propose a formal motion for board vote to require Director Hughes to develop such programming, nor has President Roth formally proposed any actions to provide staffing and funding for such programming. Understandably, without clear board direction, Director Hughes did not pursue additional programming and continued to provide the programming that she knew worked for our community’s children.

As to the program suggested by a “volunteer”: Kaelynn Wilson-Bennet, Trustee Julie Wilson’s daughter, proposed the program in question. According to the minutes for the March 11, 2011 SGPLBT meeting, Director Hughes stated that such a program “would be complementary and embellish any current programs for the youth.” Following this comment, Trustee Sabrina Malano made a motion to support the program and “appropriate internal funding of $150.” Although this was the only program ever to be proposed directly to the SGPLBT—effectively circumventing standard procedure of proposing such programming to Youth Services Manager Sarah Barbel—Director Hughes certainly “allowed” Mrs. Wilson-Bennet to develop the program. In fact, it could be argued that Trustee Julie Wilson’s family relationship with Kaelynn Wilson-Bennet constitutes a conflict of interest and inappropriately added to friction between some trustees and Director Hughes.

Now let’s follow the money:

Trustee Durrenberger writes that the board felt they had trouble getting financial reporting from Director Hughes in a “timely manner or in the form requested.” Although there certainly had been problems and disagreements about accounting software and report formatting over the years, the recent dispute about financial reporting came about because Director Hughes combined several months of financial reports into a single document in her attempt to satisfy the board’s requirements despite her part-time work schedule while recovering from a six-week medical leave of absence due to a serious illness. As Trustee Durrenberger himself stated at the May 12, 2011, meeting in question: “I am saying that the woman has been seriously ill and everything else falls behind that. I’m not saying (the reports) are not important. She is our library lirector and we need to work around it. It’s that simple.” For those who have either been on the board over the years or have attended board meetings, trustees Roth and Morrical’s ability to actually read the financial reports seems to be a more serious problem.

Finally, Trustee Durrenberger says that the four trustees felt that Director Hughes made expenditures or fund transfers without “adequately informing the board in advance or explaining the matter after the fact.” This claim seems to most recently refer to a discussion at the June 2011 board meeting about expenditures and transfers of funds—and the meeting minutes clearly state: “Several Board members had various requests for explanations of several items in the financial report, which explanations were satisfactorily provide by Beverly (Director Hughes).” Following Director Hughes’ explanations, the board voted unanimously to “approve the financial report.” Clearly, the board has the power to not approve a financial report if there are serious questions about the reporting, but again, the board did not act or provide new direction.

If you’re still with us here, the more important point is one that Trustee Durrenberger’s letter does not address: the board’s undefined “new direction.” As taxpayers, we still are owed a detailed description of that new direction and a well-reasoned, business-like rationale for why that new direction could not include our director of over 20 years.

As Trustee Durrenberger himself concludes: the SGPLBT has “made a monumental mistake” in firing Director Hughes. As of this writing, the board is scrambling to cope with the latest fallout of this debacle: the resignation after less than a month of the new interim director.

And we taxpayers are still left worrying … about where the money will come from to replace the recently disbanded (in protest) Friends of the Library support—nearly $100,000.00 per year … about paying an Interim Director $80 per hour—reportedly twice Director Hughes’ hourly rate … about how we’ll pay for the board’s mounting legal fees at $180 per hour … about how we’ll pay for a search firm at over $10,000 … about the future of our library—a future that four Trustees have put in serious jeopardy without a single word of explanation that makes sense.

Jim Quinlivan
Sugar Grove

William “Bill” Guth

William “Bill” Guth, 89, of Drummond, Wis., and formerly of the Aurora/Chicago area, died on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011, at the Ashland Health and Rehabilitation Center in Ashland, Wis.

He was born Aug. 20, 1921, in Aurora, to William T. and Eugenie (Schneiter) Guth. On May 2, 1942, he was united in marriage to Louise Peterson in Aurora.

Bill proudly served as a Bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the 7th Air Force, 11th Bomb Group, and 42nd Squadron in the Pacific arena from September 1944 to January 1946, retiring from the Air Force Reserves as a Captain. Prior to his service during WWII, Bill was employed by the Electromotive Division of General Motors as engineer of tests, and resumed his position once honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1958, he went to work for the Ashland Oil & Refining Company as a sales manager in the Railway Sales Department, retiring in 1986.

Bill and Louise lived in the Chicago/Aurora area until 1965, when they moved to Elburn, and finally to Drummond, Wis., in 1986. Bill was active in the Lions Club in Elburn, as well as the American Legion in both Elburn and Cable, Wis. He was also an active member of the United Church of Christ in Cable. He liked to hunt and fish, and enjoyed watching sports on TV, especially his beloved Packers.

Bill is survived by his two sons, Kenneth of South Elgin, Ill., and Charles (Barbara) of Richmond, Ill.; grandchildren, James of Hebron, Ill. and Laura (Eric) Hanson of Waukee, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews. He was not only a father to his sons, but was a “father” and mentor to many others as well.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Louise, in 2010; and a brother, Samuel.

A memorial service for Bill will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Cable, Wis., with pastors Lynn Larson and Deb Pyne officiating. A time of gathering with family and friends will be held after the service. Interment will be at a later date in the River Hill Cemetery in Batavia, Ill.

Online condolences may be left at www.andersonnathan.com

Allan Scott

Allan Scott, 61, of Elgin, formerly of St. Charles and Elburn, passed away Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, at Sherman Hospital in Elgin following a fierce battle with cancer. Released from his body, he is now whole and at peace in Heaven.

He was born June 14, 1950, in Dodgeville, Wis., the son of Ambrose and Lois (Needham) Scott.

Allan’s family moved to Iowa in 1955. His education came from several sources, beginning at a country school in Hurstville, New Castle and East Iron, before finishing his education in Baldwin and Maquoketa, Iowa. After school, he found work as a laborer on the railroad. In later years, Al lived with and farmed with Melvin Lipski on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. He also worked on local farms in Iowa before entering the service.

Allan enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1969 and faithfully fought for his country during Vietnam. Upon his honorable discharge in 1971, he returned to Iowa, living in both Emeline and Canton. He continued working on the railroad, first becoming a gang foreman and later a section foreman. He then moved to St. Charles, working on the Milwaukee Road. Later, he found work with Metra, where he was a track inspector, machine operator and finally a crane operator, which culminated a 41-year career with the railroad before his retirement in February of 2011.

Allan and Barbara Bermer met at a local dance, and before the night was through, Barb had danced away with his heart. They were united in marriage on Nov. 15, 1980.

They followed Allan’s work to South Elgin, where they made their home in an apartment for a time. Soon they welcomed their son, Chad, in 1982. As the family grew, more room was needed, and in 1985 they moved to St. Charles. Their daughter Amy was welcomed into the family in 1988, and Megan made their family complete in 1994. Six years later, they made their way to the Elburn area, living off Campton Hills Road. In 2003, Allan and Barb went their separate ways, but love is the tie that binds, and in February 2011 they were wed once again.

Allan was past local chairman of The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, where he worked hard using all the passion for the railroad to help his fellow co-workers. He was also a proud member of the Elgin American Legion, Post No. 57.

Allan made time to go fishing in the Fox River for anything that would take his bait, and sleeping under the stars while camping also brought a thrill. He also loved to golf, making a golden memory when he made a hole in one.

Allan was very proud of his “green thumb” and enjoyed tending to his garden, especially his prized tomatoes. Country music made his heart smile, while the sight of a horse brought a smile to his face. Allan didn’t know much about technology, but it never kept him from buying the latest toy, even though he rarely knew how to use it. He did, however, know how to shuffle a deck and play a mean game of cards. Allan was an extremely hard worker who gave everything to every task at hand. Whether it was big or small, at work or at home, Allan gave his all. He had a lot of love to share, was a friend to many and was often generous to a fault; but above all, he loved his family the most. The legacy he leaves are the memories he made. Allan was one-of-a-kind and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; three children, Chad (Aalia) Scott of Brookfield, Ill.; Amy Scott and her son, Ayden of Elburn, and Megan Scott, also of Elburn; two brothers, David (Susan) Scott of Maquoketa, Iowa, and Kerry Scott of Baldwin, Iowa; two sisters, Suzanne Scott of Beloit, Wis., and Patricia (Terry) Cahill of Delmar, Iowa; several nieces, nephews and a family of friends. He is preceded in death by his father, mother and older sister, Judy Putman.

Visitation was Saturday, Aug. 13, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate Allan’s life began at 4:30 p.m. Rev. Michael Deblois, pastor of the Plano Bible Church officiated. Private family interment will follow cremation 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 “Allan Scott 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.

Thomas A. Varetoni

Thomas A. “Tom” Varetoni, 79, of St. Charles, formerly of New Jersey, passed away Friday, Aug.12, 2011, at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, following a valiant struggle with cancer that eventually took his body but never his spirit.

He was born Oct. 14, 1931, in Clifton, N.J., the son of Thomas and Mary (Menagus) Varetoni. Tragedy struck early, as his mother didn’t survive his birth. Love came calling quickly, as his father married Olga, the mother he would know for the rest of his life.

Tom grew up in Clifton among a neighborhood of family. He attended local schools and graduated high school in 1949. A few years later, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951 and served on the USS Wisconsin BB64 in Korea from 1951-1954, after which he did a Mediterranean tour on the USS Juneau Claa-119.

Initially, Tom began in the radar group, but an opportunity to attend Electronic Technician School presented itself. Not knowing it at the time, this opportunity would help to shape the rest of his life. He studied at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Great Lakes, Ill., and upon his honorable discharge, Tom returned to civilian life in Clifton, where he attended Newark College of Engineering, graduating in 1959. Tom began working at Illinois Bell and later at AT&T, concentrating on both telecommunications and teaching, the latter a passion that resurfaced in later years. While working at Illinois Bell, he studied at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he received his masters degree.

Tom had his heart stolen at a USO dance while learning radar at the Great Lakes Naval Base, and he couldn’t have been happier. Eileen Seymour spent no time giving hers in return, and soon a relationship bloomed into marriage as they were wed on Sept. 11, 1954, in Dundee, Ill.

They began their new life together back in Clifton, N.J., living with his parents until he returned from the service. When he returned, they continued to live in Clifton while Tom finished his schooling. The next many years were full of cross-country moves between New Jersey and Illinois, with memories made with each move and mile.

They began a family while living in Carpentersville, Ill. The family grew to include four children: Kathleen, Carole, Michael and Robert. Eventually, they settled in St. Charles and watched their children grow and have children of their own.

After a career in telecommunications, Tom was offered early retirement. It was an offer he accepted, but he never lived up to the traditional definition of the word. Instead, Tom did private consulting work for a time before he began teaching at Elgin Community College, where he helped to develop their electronics technician program. His defiance of the word “retirement” continued when he accepted a teaching position at The Devry Institute and loved every semester of it until his “final retirement” in 2008.

Tom was a member and president of IEEE. He also was a member of the Dundee Lions Club.

Tom was a man whose heart matched his stature, and his effortless wit matched his grace on the dance floor. He and Eileen kicked up their heels at many ballrooms over the years, including the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Big band music and Broadway shows were a favorite, but musicals were his favorite form of cinema, especially any featuring Frank Sinatra or Gene Kelly. His appreciation for “Anchors Aweigh,” “Singin’ In The Rain,” “Oliver” and “Annie” were passed on to his children and grandchildren.

When the children were young, Tom took pride in taking his family all across the country, showing them nearly every national park, monument or historical sight in 40 states. He did this with the patience of a saint, traveling with a pop-up camper, his wife, four children and a dog.

In later years, after the children were grown, Tom and Eileen traveled the world, visiting England, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, France and especially Cortina, Italy, where his family originated.

Tom loved to garden and see his vegetables grace the table after each harvest, especially his famous tomatoes and pickled cucumbers. His prized Japanese Peony, with exquisite huge pink flowers, was also a source of pride, often giving its blooms to his granddaughters. It was often said that Tom was “the sweetest man I know,” and the proof could be found in the countless friends he made over the years, bridging both geographical and generational gaps.

Tom knew how to tell a story. He loved to regale friends and family with tales of his youth, his years in the Navy, early years with Eileen and his travels that brought smiles and laughter to both the young and the old. Tom was larger than life, and the mark he left on the hearts of all he knew will never fill in the void left by his absence. He will be missed and never forgotten.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen; four children, Kathleen (Chris) Varetoni-Turk of Maple Park, Carole Varetoni of South Elgin, Ill., Michael Varetoni of Florida and Robert (Beth) Varetoni of Cave Creek, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Collin, Lyndsey, Sedona Rose and Selah Rae; one brother, Jim Varetoni of New Jersey; many nieces, nephews, a special cousin, Mary Lou Weaver, and a brotherhood of friends made and kept through his years in the service, including Mike “Ziggy” Marzigliano.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas, Mary and Olga.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., with a wake service at 7 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, Thursday, Aug. 18. A Mass to celebrate his life will be held Friday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m., at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil. Father Perfecto Vasquez, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at Ohio Grove Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Thomas Varetoni 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 find his full life story.

Kishwaukee College to offer aviation programs at Aurora Airport

SUGAR GROVE—The Kishwaukee College Aviation Flight Program is collaborating with Waubonsee Community College’s Aviation Program to offer classes at the Aurora Municipal Airport. The classes will be available in the fall 2011 semester.

The program helps local aviation education programs address an increasingly urgent need within the field: a shortage of pilots. The aviation industry estimates that nearly 5,600 pilots will be needed over each of the next 20 years in this country alone.

The Kishwaukee College program offers ground school classes on the school’s Malta campus and flight training at several nearby airports, including DeKalb’s Taylor Municipal Airport. The addition of Aurora Municipal Airport to the program increases student options.

Aurora Airport offers several opportunities for pilots-in-training in both schools’ aviation programs: face-to-face ground school classes, state-of-the-art flight simulators and multi-faceted training platforms allowing students to have a broader selection of style and cost of available pilot training programs.

For students who begin their aviation education at Kishwaukee or Waubonsee with plans to explore other careers in aviation—air traffic controller or airport management—the degrees are fully transferable to Lewis University, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Embry-Riddle.

Call Steve Durin at Kishwaukee College at (815) 825-2086, ext. 2850 or e-mail steved@kishwaukeecollege.edu. For information about the Waubonsee Aviation Pilot Associate of Science degree, contact Dr. Paul Hummel at (630) 466-2319.

Construction on Main Street over Seavey Road Run

KANE COUNTY—Construction on the culvert carrying Main Street over Seavey Road Run will continue through Friday, Aug. 19, weather permitting. Improvements include the construction of steel sheet pile wing walls and stone riprap protection, aggregate shoulders and the vertical adjustment of existing guardrail.

Main Street will be closed from Bunker Road to Route 47 during this timeframe. This section will only be open to local traffic. Posted detours will be in place to direct traffic around the closure using Bunker and Hughes roads. The public is advised to exercise caution while traveling in and around the area, and to expect increased travel times.

Questions or concerns may be directed to Ken Mielke at (630) 406-7172.

Property tax due date reminder

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Treasurer David J. Rickert would like to remind taxpayers that the second installment of property taxes is due Sept. 1. If you are a new or existing homeowner and need a copy of the bill to remit payment, you may print off a bill from the Internet by visiting the following WEB site: KaneCountyTreasurer.org or contact the Treasurer’s Office at (630) 232-3565.

Taxpayers can make payment by:
• Mailing the payment to the Treasurer’s Office. Mail postmarked by Sept. 1 is considered on time.
• Dropping the payment off in the property tax drop box, this is available 24 hours a day. The drop box is located behind Building (A) at the Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave. in Geneva
• Make payment at a participating Kane County Bank.
• Pay over the Internet by credit card or E-check
(please note there is a convenience fee for this service)

School Board discusses upcoming TIF district public hearing

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board spent the first half-hour of its meeting on Monday discussing the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district public hearing that will take place during Sugar Grove’s regular board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.

Kaneland plans to speak out against the proposed TIF district at the meeting. Superintendent Jeff Schuler previously stated that he is concerned with the the length of the TIF district (23 years), which he said could push local taxing bodies too far.

“I think it would be beneficial for the Village Board to see both district staff and members of the Board of Education (at the public hearing),” he said. “I think our best opportunity to at least have (the village) rethink it is to hear from lots of folks.”

Schuler cited other taxing bodies that are opposed to the TIF district, including the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, Kane County Board and about 20 percent of the properties in Hinckley-Big Rock.

A TIF district is an economic tool which seeks to stimulate economic development by taking the incremental tax the village receives for improving a projected area, and then using those dollars to fund the development costs. Simply put, businesses within the boundaries of the TIF district are provided with added municipal support and infrastructure. The TIF district proposed by Sugar Grove is projected to cover the area that stretches from Route 47 (north) to an area near the Burlington Northern Railroad (south), and Aurora Municipal Airport (east) to village limits (west).

“The rationale for the TIF (district) is that any type of commercial development shifts the burden of tax dollars and increases that commercial (and) that industrial tax base,” Schuler said. “There’s a logic to that argument to some point, but when residential owners aren’t going to see that impact for 23 years? And when it’s not a contained area where you can say, ‘Well, gee, if we can at least get something going here, then all the area around it will develop outside of the TIF.’ When (the district is) 1,800 acres, there’s really no other real estate that’s going to develop outside of it … residential owners aren’t going to feel that impact.”

The Village Board meeting on Tuesday will begin at 6 p.m.

TriCity Family Services recruiting volunteers

GENEVA—Did you know that approximately 1 out of 5 Americans is struggling with a mental health problem?

TriCity Family Services (TCFS), a private, not-for-profit human service agency serving the community members and organizations of central Kane County, is looking for volunteers. TriCity Family Services is dedicated to strengthening people and building community through promoting family-centered mental health and wellness. The agency provides quality, affordable counseling, youth crisis intervention, prevention and early intervention services that promote sound mental health and effective family functioning.

TriCity Family Services recognizes that volunteers are a valuable resource, and opportunities to volunteer are available. The agency is currently recruiting board members, board committee volunteers, and Friends of TCFS.

Board members establish sources of funding, an adequate pool of volunteers and a superior professional staff to help TCFS meet achieve its mission of service in the community. The agency is particularly in need of board members with skills in the areas of accounting and finance, marketing and public relations, human resources and computer technology.

Become a Board Committee Volunteer and join the Finance, Audit, Resource Development, Personnel, Behavioral Health or Major and Planned Gift Committee.

TCFS is also seeking new Friends of TriCity Family Services, the agency’s volunteer auxiliary. The Friends have a strong commitment to the annual budget through major fundraising events—including an Annual Benefit and Auction and the Lobster Fly-in. In addition, the Friends step forward to fill individual client needs and provide occasional office assistance.

To learn more about the different volunteer opportunities, call (630) 232-1070 or visit www.tricityfamilyservices.org/help.

Cole named state finalist for National Miss Illinois

ELBURN—A 16-year-old from Elburn will compete for the title of National American Miss Illinois after being chosen as a state finalist.

Madeline Grace Cole will compete in the Junior Teen division at the pageant held on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 4 and 5, at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. The winner receives $1,000 cash, the official crown and banner, a trophy, roses, and an all-expense paid trip to California for the national pageant.

Pheasant Run is at 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles.

Rep. Hatcher named to New Youth Development Council

YORKVILLE—State Representative Kay Hatcher has been named to a new state council that will oversee funding and program recommendations for after-school activities for youth.

The Illinois Youth Development Council was created by a new state law last year to oversee the use of state funds and set goals and policies to promote positive youth development programs and activities.

Rep. Hatcher (R-Yorkville) was named to serve as the House Republicans’ representative on the council by House Republican Leader Tom Cross.

“Representative Hatcher’s background in recreational programs through her involvement with local park districts and the Kendall County Forest Preserve make her a perfect fit for this council,” Cross said.

“Participating in after-school activities makes children more likely to succeed in their schoolwork, and later, in the workforce. It also encourages them to get more involved in their community,” Hatcher said. “I’m very pleased to have a seat on a council created to help facilitate quality after-school programs.”

Illinois Youth Development Council responsibilities will include establishing an annual plan that sets goals for after-school funding, advising other state agencies, constitutional officers and the General Assembly on after-school related activities and awarding grants to “demonstration projects” that promote academic support, arts, music, sports, health promotion or life skills and career development activities.

Hatcher noted that the legislation creating the commission is subject to appropriation. However, the state Department of Human Services will be permitted to accept private funding or private resources at any time to help promote and fund after-school activities.

Special kids dance the night away at volunteer event

Photo: Joanna Duesler of Lily Lake is happy with the results after getting her hair curled before a dance for children with special needs at the Blackberry Township offices on Main Street Road Friday. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Several girls nervously waited for their turn to get their hair and nails done at a special dance for some very special youngsters.

For the second year, Chassidy Mangers of Elburn organized a dance for kids from the Fox Valley Special Education Center. Held at the Blackberry Township offices on Main Street, Mangers relies on word-of-mouth from the parents to publicize the dance.

She got the idea from a comparable event at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., where she is a junior majoring in speech and language pathology.

“I like working with children with disabilities,” she said. “I thought they deserved a special night for themselves and to have an event centered around them.”

The dance has grown to about 20 kids ranging in age from 8 to 18, with disabilities including Down Syndrome and autism. Mangers said she gets calls from parents who want their kids to attend, too.

The dance is completely run by volunteers, many from Kaneland High School (Mangers is a 2009 graduate) that include some of her friends, parents and Blackberry Township officials such as Township Supervisor Dave Richmond.

“One of the nice things about being in a small community is there’s always a lot of volunteers stepping up to the plate and doing good things,” Richmond said.

The girls attending arrive early and are treated to getting their hair and nails done before donning a corsage; there are boutonnieres for the boys. Formal pictures are taken for the dance by professional photographers from First Street Photo of Elburn. This year’s theme was a luau, complete with the limbo.

Animal Bingo is one of the favorite games played before dinner, which was provided by Elburn Subway, and then there’s dancing and doing the Chicken Dance.

Mangers said many parents drop their kids off, giving them some needed time for themselves.

Local sponsors included the Blackberry Township Youth Committee, First Street Photo of Elburn, Elburn Subway, Fred and Mary Dornback, and hairdresser Yvonne Bailey.

Keeping it in the family: Richwrap tradition continues

by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—When Richwrap owners Dick and Beth Brubaker held their annual Christmas wrapping paper sale last December and said it was the last, they heard about it. The sale had become a tradition in which Beth would get rid of left-over stock, held at the Richwrap building on the Thursday and Friday after Thanksgiving. The event drew crowds year after year. When Beth decided 2010 was her last year, what she didn’t know at the time was that her daughter Liz planned to keep it going.

“Once people found out (that the sale would no longer be held), they were begging me to keep it going,” said Liz Ruh, the Brubaker’s daughter and current owner. “I was shocked. I had no idea it meant so much.”

Ruh bought out her father’s business in March 2011. Dick had decided that it was time to slow down and started walking her through how things were done.

“It was a natural progression. I didn’t have the intention of staying. I was never groomed for it, but here I am. I stayed,” she said.

Ruh began her career as a municipal bonds broker for Smith Barney in Chicago. She, along with her five other brothers and sisters, worked in the family business from time to time. When Ruh married farmer Steve Ruh from Big Rock, she started working on a seasonal basis.

“I was doing it to help my dad out. I was helping the family out. Then when I had my daughter, I went part-time (year-round). When my dad said, ‘OK. I’m ready to be done,’ we thought about. We didn’t take the decision lightly,” Ruh said. “We knew we wanted to keep it in Elburn. We knew we wanted to keep it in the family.”

Dick started the business in 1970 out of his basement in Park Ridge, Ill. The family moved to Elburn in 1976, and continued to grow it out of the basement and then the garage. The building was constructed in the new business park on North Street in 1985. Beth has been holding the annual sale of left-over stock of wrapping paper every year in those locations.

The business rolls all its own wrapping paper and makes all its own bows. Starting in April each year, it turns out 80,000-100,000 units. Between 80 and 90 percent of that stock is sent out the week before, the week of, and the week after Thanksgiving. The week after coincides with the annual sale.

Ruh is continuing to learn the business from her father and has come to really enjoy it.

“Dad is still around (the building) here and there. He’s been doing this for 45 years. He has a wealth of knowledge. I’m glad to have him walk me through things,” she said. “I love it. I love the business. I love the job. I love the product. I get a lot out of it.”

Her belief in the product, the general concept and gift wrap ensembles developed by her father, is based on the fact that it has worked for all these years. The business has a high number of repeat customers, many from the first days of the company. One thing that will change, however, is how the product will be marketed.

“We’ve never had an online presence. We had a website, but it was not interactive. Soon, you can go online and order from all over the world,” Ruh said.

As for the sale this year, Ruh has to figure out how to make that happen.

“I’m going to keep it going. I don’t know how exactly,” she said. “I appreciate all the people who said to keep it going. I will.”

Sugar Grove family overcomes misinformation, rough terrain to find Corn Boil Medallion

Photo: The Wallaces made it a family affair in searching for the 2011 Sugar Grove Corn Boil Medallion, which they found in a Bliss Woods tree stump. “It was a lot of fun and helped get together the whole family,” Sophie Wallace said. Courtesy Photo

by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—The search for the 2011 Corn Boil Medallion came to a conclusion on July 28 when Sugar Grove resident Sophie Wallace discovered the medallion hidden inside a large tree stump located in Bliss Woods.

Luckily for Sophie, she didn’t travel to the longitude given as a final clue to the medallion search. Otherwise, she might’ve ended up in China.

“The last clue was supposed to give it away, but fortunately for us, the latitude given as a clue was incorrect,” she said. “It said the medallion was somewhere located with a latitude of 46 north and longitude of 88 west. My dad’s really good with numbers, so he went to Mapquest and typed in the latitude and longitude but it sent him to China.”

Sophie’s father quickly figured out that the latitude was 41, not 46, and entered the coordinates into an Earth map on Google. According to Sophie, the resulting image showed two bridges in Bliss Woods, with the marked location of the medallion nearby.

Sophie and her father, Dana, weren’t the only Wallaces in on the medallion hunt, either.

“My family had been looking for (the medallion) for about three weeks,” said Sophie’s mother, Janet. “The more we read the clues, it seemed the harder it was because we kept finding double meanings and second guessing our first choice. The first few clues were vague but they got more detailed as time went on.”

The Wallaces have been Sugar Grove residents for about seven years, and actually live no more than two miles from the site where the medallion was hidden, though the family certainly didn’t feel like it had much of an advantage after learning of the medallion’s proper geographic coordinates. In fact, the Wallaces experienced rival competition upon arriving at Bliss Woods.

“When (my mom and two younger sisters Stacy and Summer) got out of the car, we spotted another car with a man and woman,” Sophie said. “The man raced towards the same area to which we were going. We saw a small embankment with a stone wall and stream. My mom said, ‘I bet it’s down there, because you have to climb, crawl and stretch, according to one of the clues.’”

Sophie and her mom immediately jumped into the stream, at which point Sophie reached up into the tree stump and found the medallion in a crack hidden behind a large rock.

“We all screamed, ‘we found it, we found it,’” Sophie said.

As winners of the 2011 Corn Boil Medallion Hunt, the Wallaces were awarded $50 and a crystal medallion with Bob Carroll’s likeness etched into it. Carroll introduced the Medallion Hunt event to the Corn Boil and was known at the “Medallion King.” He passed away in December 2010 at the age of 71.

“(Finding the medallion) was cool because we got to ride in the parade at the Corn Boil,” Sophie said. “After meeting Bob Carroll’s family, we realized just how much this event meant to him, and what a caring person he was.”

According to Sophie, there’s much more to the Medallion Hunt than money and crystal medallion prizes.

“It was really a lot of fun and helped get together the whole family,” she said.

Elburn couple still waiting to resolve lawsuit over broken ankle

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—An Elburn woman is still waiting after three years to resolve a lawsuit to pay for medical costs after she stepped in a hole and broke her ankle.

Colleen MacRunnels and her husband Jim said they were on their way to volunteer at the 2009 RiverFest in St. Charles at Pottawatomie Park when she stepped on a mat that had been placed over a hole. She fell and broke her left ankle.

“I was down on the ground, my glasses flew off,” she said. “I didn’t know what happened.”

She said she was assured by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, which hosts the event, that the medical costs would be covered.

“When you break something and you’re told by the people, ‘we have insurance, we’re gonna take care of it for you,’ and it doesn’t get paid,” Colleen MacRunnels said, “my insurance company wants to be reimbursed.”

She said she requested the necessary forms from the organization to turn in to her insurance company, but never got a response.

“After six weeks, I called the lady in charge and she told me she thought it was all resolved,” Jim MacRunnels said.

Joy Meierhans, events coordinator for River Fest, said she did offer to pay for the hospital expenses and that “we’re insured.”

“The lawyers have taken over. Nothing has been resolved,” she said.

Meierhans said the necessary forms were handed over, and that she had gotten approval from the insurers when the MacRunnels wanted to switch to a different orthopaedic practice. She said they are suing for medical expenses and also “loss of services,” a legal term referring to the loss of familial contributions.

Initially, Colleen MacRunnels said she just wanted reimbursement for medical bills after getting hurt on the event property. After getting frustrated over what she said was no response, the matter was turned over to Aurora attorney Douglas Sullivan, who could not be reached.

The lawsuit was filed last year in Cook County, but Jim MacRunnels, who is also a plaintiff in the suit, said the judge determined the case should be heard in Kane County, a decision he and his wife accept.

In addition to the Downtown St. Charles Partnership, other defendants include Frontier Management, the St. Charles Festival Committee and Harris Bank. The parties involved will be back in court Thursday, Aug. 18.

Training clinic closes, Heartland Counseling gets a new address

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—After 11 years, the training clinic at Heartland Counseling in Elburn closed its doors, and two of the licensed therapists there have formed a new corporation to continue providing services in the area.

The new Heartland Counseling Center opened its offices in Campton Crossings in the Wasco/Campton Hills area on Aug. 1. President Dawn Zappitelli, LCSW, and Andi Reffett, Psy.D, are in the process of hiring another therapist to be able to serve the needs of the community.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Zappitelli said. “I’m a local in the Wasco area. We’ve taken advantage of being able to keep the clients in Elburn, which is an important part of our business.”

Heartland Counseling was originally a training clinic for graduate students wanting to go into the field of rural psychology. Heartland opened in 2000, along with the Center for Rural Psychology, by Drs. Michael Mangis and Don Preussler, and Bruce Conley, who saw a need for services in the area.

The Center for Rural Psychology is still owned and run by the Mangis family and continues as a nonprofit with its mission of doing research and advocacy.

“It’s (the closing) very bittersweet,” Mangis said. “It was a vision of mine and Bruce Conley’s, so it’s sad to see it go. “

Mangis said he is glad the new Heartland will continue to provide services in the area, even though it won’t provide a sliding scale anymore like CRP. He will continue to assist Zappitelli and Reffett during the next year.

“We want to use his vast experience running the agency,” Zappitelli said. “We’re really appreciative to the Conley family, who have been very supportive to our business.”

Zappitelli said Heartland Counseling Center will still be run as a Christian organization.

“Those values and ethics are very important to us, and our clients can still expect that,” she said.

The new office is at 40W131 Campton Crossings Drive, Unit A, at the corner of La Fox Road and Route 64. Phone is (630) 443-9100.

Editorial: Sugar Grove needs to rethink its TIF District proposal

For the past month or so, various taxing bodies from the area have been considering the implications of a proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in Sugar Grove.

A TIF District is designed to spur economic development by drawing a boundary, and the additional tax revenue generated from within the boundary remains inside that boundary, earmarked to help continue the economic boundary.

So while it may be good for the village of Sugar Grove to build momentum for economic development, the flip side to that coin is that other taxing bodies—which also rely on the tax revenue from economic development within various village boundaries—would be frozen out of receiving any benefits from the development for a period of time. In the case of the TIF District currently proposed by Sugar Grove, that would be for 23 years.

This means that taxing bodies like the Kaneland School District, Sugar Grove Fire Protection District and others would receive no benefit from development within the TIF boundary for the life of the district, which in this case is proposed to be 23 years. In addition, the size of the currently proposed TIF District is massive, comprising approximately 1,800 acres.

It is not surprising that during various meetings over the past month, multiple representatives from multiple taxing bodies that would be impacted—the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, Sugar Grove Township, Kaneland School District—have expressed their concerns with either the size of the district or the length of time.

According to Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler, who discussed the issue at the School Board meeting on Monday, the opposition to the scale and scope of the TIF District also includes the Kane County Board and approximately 20 percent of the properties in the Hinckley-Big Rock School District.

He said the district intends to speak out against the proposal at the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16, and suggested that both district staff and School Board members also attend the meeting.

We support the district’s position, which is that while there is merit to trying to spur economic development by using a TIF District as a tool, the current proposal includes too large of an area for too long of a time to be beneficial to the broader community.

The village of Sugar Grove does not exist in an island, and the circumstances that exist today will not be frozen in place for a full generation to come.

Each taxing body and each neighboring community is impacted by the decisions of each other, and to ignore the negative impacts created for everyone else in order benefit oneself seems to fly in the face of a true community spirit.

In addition, what may be a sound decision given today’s economic environment could create significant problems just a few years from now, let alone 23. For evidence, look at the economy 23 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even five years ago. Now imagine that today’s communities are bound by economic decisions made by a group of people taking actions based on the specific situations at those times.

If you think that one generation making economic decisions that a future generation will be bound by is a good idea, there is a United States Congress facing its lowest approval numbers ever that might shed light on how wise that type of thinking actually is.

We are glad to see our communities looking at ways to spur local economic growth, and we hope that they succeed in bringing new business and industry to the area. However, we hope that can occur without taking away potentially significant amounts of tax revenue for the various other districts for decades to come.

We have said it before, and we will continue to repeat the message every time it is relevant to the situation: We are a community of communities, and we must communicate effectively and work together so that all will benefit; and avoid situations where one entity is played off another, or one benefits at the expense of another.

We hope the village of Sugar Grove takes the concerns raised by the various other taxing bodies seriously and rethinks their current proposal, because while the overall concept is sound, the specific details leave much to be desired.

Elburn Co-op closes Blackberry Station

The Elburn Cooperative website states that Blackberry Station was closed July 6 and 7 for remodeling and inventory purposes, and re-opened as the Elburn Cooperative Feed store on July 8. File Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

Re-opened as Elburn Cooperative Feed store
by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—The Elburn Co-op’s Blackberry Station retail store is no more.

It’s now known as the Elburn Cooperative Feed store.

The Elburn Cooperative website states that Blackberry Station was closed July 6 and 7 for remodeling and inventory purposes, and re-opened as the Elburn Cooperative Feed store on July 8. Other changes made to the company’s retail operations include remodeling of its Elburn building space in order to relocate Elburn and Meredith Road employees.

Despite the name change, the store will still sell feed and some pet food, as well.

“We’re getting back to basics; getting back to what’s worked the last 80 years … putting a new face on it,” said Mike Kinsella, location manager of Elburn Cooperative’s Morris Terminal. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience and, hopefully, we can do the best we can do to help serve our customers.”

According to Elburn Cooperative’s website, all livestock supply deliveries will now be handled by the company’s Midland Crossing store on Highway 71 in Newark, Ill.

2011 Kane County Fair, 4-H Results

The following local residents were among the winners at the Kane County Fair. Winners are listed by category, name, 4-H Club and city of residence.

Grand Champion Beginner II—Catherine Gorenz, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Reserve Grand Champion Beginner II—Mike Gorenz, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Grand Champion Jr. Showmanship—Catherine Gorenz, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Reserve Grand Champion Sr. Showmanship—Sarah Frew, Fox Valley Saddle N Spur, Maple Park

State Fair Delegates—Natural Resources
Audrina Lamore, Kaneville Classics, Elburn

State Fair Delegates—Floriculture
Matheu Poust, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park

Reserve Grand Champion Crops—Scott Dienst, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
State Fair Delegates—Crops
Chase Bornemann, Big Rock Cowhands, Sugar Grove
Scott Dienst, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
State Fair Alternates
Joe Gorenz, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park

Grand Champion Consumer Education—Audrina Lamore, Kaneville Classics, Elburn
Grand Champion Theatre Arts—Audrina Lamore, Kaneville Classics, Elburn

State Fair Delegates—Consumer Education
Audrina Lamore, Kaneville Classics, Elburn

State Fair Delegates—Performing Arts
Audrina Lamore, Kaneville Classics, Elburn

Visual Arts
Grand Champion Visual Arts—Demi Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove
Grand Champion Visual Arts—Ian Armesy, Kaneville Classics, Sugar Grove
Reserve Grand Champion Visual Arts—Demi Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove
Reserve Grand Champion Visual Arts—Sage Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove
State Fair Delegates—Visual Arts
Demi Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove
Ian Armesy, Kaneville Classics, Sugar Grove
State Fair Alternates—Visual Arts
Sage Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove

Food & Nutrition
Reserve Grand Champion 4-H Cooking 301—Samantha Lederman, Kaneville Classics, Sugar Grove
State Fair Alternates—Food & Nutrition
Samantha Lederman, Kaneville Classics, Sugar Grove

Champion Crossbreed Production Gilt Over All Weights—Tyler Fabrizius, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Grand Champion Pair of Production Gilts—Tyler Fabrizius, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Heavy Weight Reserve Champion Market Gilt—Cody Pitstick, Burlington Ag, Maple Park
Reserve Grand Champion Pen of 2 Market Gilts, Overall—Cody Pitstick, Burlington Ag, Maple Park
Reserve Champion Pen of Gilts—Cody Pitstick, Burlington Ag, Maple Park
Sr. Swine Showmanship—Tyler Fabrizius, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park

Reserve Grand Champion Ram—Claude Lenz, Burlington Ag, Maple Park
Grand Champion Market Lamb—Buddy Haas, Burlington Ag, Elburn
Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb—Buddy Haas, Burlington Ag, Elburn
Grand Champion Pen of Market Lambs—Catherine Gorenz, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Reserve Grand Champion Pen of Market Lambs—Buddy Haas, Burlington Ag, Elburn
Jr. Sheep Showmanship—Brad Gorenz, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park

Reserve Grand Champion Standard Cock—Joshua Childress, Kaneville Classics, Sugar Grove
Grand Champion Standard Hen—Jacob Childress, Kaneville Classics, Sugar Grove
Reserve Grand Champion Goose—Matheu Poust, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park

Jr. Showmanship—Jessica Poust, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park
Sr. Showmanship—Matheu Poust, Lincoln Highway, Maple Park

Grand Champion Grade—Audrina Lamore, Kaneville Classics, Elburn

Grand Champion Steer—Buddy Haas, Burlington Ag, Elburn
Champion Crossbred Steer—Buddy Haas, Burlington Ag, Elburn

Horse & Pony
Grand Champion Speed Pony—Sage Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove
Grand Champion Speed Horse—Sage Schlehofer, A Bit More, Sugar Grove

Elburn, Direct Energy power the community

ELBURN—The village of Elburn partnered with Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers, to supply electricity to residents and small businesses in the community at the price of 5.99 cents per kWh (exclusive of utility charges and taxes) for the November 2011 through October 2012 billing cycles. This is a savings of 23 percent below ComEd’s electricity price-to-compare through May 2012.

Senior citizens, age 65 or older, are eligible for a discounted price of 5.89 cents per kWh. For those interested in renewable energy, Direct Energy also offers its Renewable Wind Product at a price of 6.49 cents per kWh. All residents will automatically be enrolled into the standard price. Senior citizens or residents who are interested in the Renewable Wind Product must call Direct Energy at 1-866-760-6040 to enroll.

Elburn has established an “opt-out” aggregation program with Direct Energy that will automatically enroll residents and small businesses to receive the standard price unless they choose to opt-out. All customers enrolled in the aggregation will continue to receive and pay their monthly electricity bill through ComEd. ComEd will also continue to provide service for any emergency and/or maintenance issues.

Customers who have questions about the Opt-Out Aggregation Program or who want to opt out should call toll-free 1-866-760-6040, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Aug. 12 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.

• Richard Zifko, 59, of St. Charles, was charged July 30 with improper lane usage, speeding and driving under the influence after his blue Honda Civic was clocked at 67 mph. Zifko told police he was racing at Sycamore Speedway.
• John Kiep, 20, of Warrenville, Ill., was charged with illegal consumption by a minor on July 31 after he fell asleep on the train and didn’t get up.
• Elburn Police received a report of criminal damage to a parked car at 820 N. First St. on July 29. When the owner returned to the vehicle on July 31, the gas tank door was damaged. When the owner ran out of gas after driving one block, mechanics found the gas tank mostly filled with water.
• On Aug. 1, police receive a report of a burglary from a GMC Jimmy that was parked at 100 Gates. The owner reported three iPods, with a value of $225 each; $10 in change; 86 CDs; and a Samsung Smartphone valued at $600 were missing from the car. The owner told police a spare key was missing and the car was locked when the items were discovered missing.
• Thomas M. Bluett, 25, of Maple Park, was charged on Aug. 6 for driving under the influence, driving an uninsured vehicle and improper lane usage. Police stopped his westbound vehicle on Route 38 near Anderson Road after weaving on the roadway and being clocked at 67 miles an hour.
• Miguel A. Ibarra-Montes, 30, of Aurora, was charged Aug. 8 with blocking an intersection and driving without a valid driver’s license. Ibarra-Montes posted bond and has a court date on September 2.

Sugar Grove
• Sugar Grove police on July 31 received a report of an intoxicated male offering a ride home to a female subject on the 100 block of Main Street. Upon arriving at the scene, police observed a vehicle matching the description in the original report, and followed the vehicle onto Route 47. Police performed a traffic stop on the vehicle after witnessing the driver drive onto the fog line, weave in his own lane and also cross over the center line at one point. The driver, William J. Peterson, 54, of the 200 block of Braeburn Circle in Sugar Grove, told police that he consumed several beers at the Corn Boil, and was slurring his speech. Police noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from Peterson and had him perform field sobriety tests, in which Peterson was repeatedly unable to keep his balance. Peterson was then taken into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol. Peterson refused to take a breath test while at the Sugar Grove Police Station and was charged with improper lane use and DUI.
• Sugar Grove police on Aug. 3 were dispatched to the 300 block of Maple Street on a report of slashed tires on a vehicle. The owner of the vehicle told police that someone had punctured both driver’s side tires sometime between 5:30 p.m. Aug. 2 and 7:30 a.m. Aug. 3. The tires are worth approximately $200 each. An investigation is pending.
• Sugar Grove police on Aug. 3 observed a vehicle with slashed tires on the 200 block of Maple Street. The owner of the vehicle was unaware of the damage to their vehicle. The tires are worth approximately $200 each. An investigation is pending.
• Sugar Grove Police on Aug. 3 were dispatched to the 100 block of Monna Street on a report of slashed tires on three vehicles. The owner of the three vehicles told police that the damage occurred between 11 p.m. Aug. 2 and 6:30 a.m. Aug. 3. Two of the vehicles had only one damaged tire, while the third vehicle had two damaged tires. The total cost of the damaged tires is estimated at $800.
• Sugar Grove Police on Aug. 7 were tipped off that marijuana plants were being grown in a ditch on the north side of where Prairie Street meets Mallard Lane. Upon arrival, police observed several marijuana plants of various sizes growing in the right-of-way. All 40 of the marijuana plants were then pulled and placed in an evidence locker.

Kaneland says no adequate resources for non-resident students

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-0 to approve a resolution stating that no District 302 school has the adequate resources, capacity and staffing to qualify as a candidate for accepting non-resident choice students from non-district schools without doing harm to educational programs in the district.

Board member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.

According to a memorandum from Superintendent Jeff Schuler, West Aurora School District 129 inquired last week as to whether or not the Kaneland Board of Education would consider an intergovernmental agreement that would allow students attending “choice schools” in District 129 to attend higher performing schools in District 302.

The document also states that Kaneland would need to accept the financial responsibility for all staff and material expenses associated with educating “school choice” students.

Church news for Aug. 11

UMC Rummage Sale
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, located at 176 Main St. in Sugar Grove, will hold a rummage sale on Friday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to noon.
Items for sale will include books, toys, games, clothing, DVDs, CDs, sporting goods, linens, furniture, tools, lawn and garden items, art, home decor, jewelry, household items, kitchen accessories, small appliances and more.
For more information, call (630) 466-4501.

Volunteers, donations
needed for giveaway

ST. CHARLES—Hosanna! Lutheran Church will host its school supply and clothing giveaway Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12 and 13, with the help of other area churches Bethlehem Lutheran and St. John Neumann Catholic.
Volunteers are needed to help with clothing sorting at various times through Friday, Aug. 12.
Help is also needed at the giveaway on Friday, Aug. 12, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Donations can include new and gently used backpacks, coats and jackets for any age, clothing in sizes infant through high school, various school supplies including No. 2 pencils, folders, and notebooks. Cash donations are always accepted. All donations can be dropped off at any of the participating churches on Thursday, Aug. 11.
For information, e-mail Welcome@HosannaChurch.com, call (630) 584-6434, or visit www.HosannaChurch.com Hosanna! is located at 36W925 Red Gate Road, St. Charles.

Don Beebe to be
featured at Elburn Days
Worship in the Park

ELBURN—Former NFL star wide receiver and current motivational speaker Don Beebe will be featured during the Elburn Days 2011 Worship in the Park on Sunday, Aug. 21.