Better Business Bureau warns of job-hunting scams

CHICAGO—If you’re looking for a job, you may see ads for staffing agencies that promise results. Many of these services may be legitimate and helpful, but others may misrepresent their services, promote outdated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high fees in advance for services that may not lead to a job. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) advises job seekers to take precaution when using staffing agencies to find a job.

“Staffing agencies can be an excellent source for finding contract, temporary and full-time positions,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “But be sure to research the agency you are working with before you hand them money or confidential information. This can filter out illegitimate companies and scams from the job search.”

If an agency has something to hide, it will use vague language and fail to clearly indicate specific details about the job. Fortunately, people are using the BBB for free referrals and to research companies before selecting a staffing agency. There has been a 27 percent increase in inquiries about placement services in the past 12 months, or 9,748 inquiries, compared to 7,634 inquiries for the previous 12 months.

The BBB recommends job seekers take these steps:

• Be cautious of any company that promises to get you a job or offers an exceptionally high salary. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Phony employers might brag about exceptionally high salary potential and excellent benefits for little experience in order to lure unsuspecting job hunters into their scam.
• Be skeptical of any employment-service firm that charges first, even if it guarantees refunds.
• Get a copy of the agency’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money. Understand the terms and conditions of the agency’s refund policy. Make sure you understand what services they will provide and what you’ll be responsible for doing. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity.
• Be cautious about purchasing services or products from a firm that’s reluctant to answer your questions.
• Be aware that some listings sound like they are jobs when they’re selling general information about getting a job.
• Research the company or organization mentioned in an ad or an interview by an employment service to find out more details on the type of company where you may be placed.

For more information on businesses you can trust, visit www.bbb.org.

Maple Park Youth basketball holds sign-up

The Maple Park Youth Basketball Program for third-through-eighth grade boys runs from mid-January through mid-March. Registration is open through Saturday, Nov. 12. Forms are available at the Maple Park Library and are also posted on the village of Maple Park’s website.

For more information on signup, call Scott Willis at (630) 621-0736.

Waiting game

Photo: Cassie Stanley and her dog Murphy. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

Elburn woman puts life on hold while waiting for second lung transplant
by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Like many college graduates who still live at home, Cassie Stanley is looking forward to the day when she can get out on her own and move out of her parents’ Blackberry Creek home.

“I want to move out of my parents house,” she said. “I’m stable right now, waiting for that call so I can move on with my life.”

What she means by that statement is despite her body rejecting a lung transplant from four years ago, her condition is stable as she waits for a call from doctors for a second lung transplant.

The 26-year old was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis a week after she was born. With two uncles on her father’s side and a cousin on her mother’s side affected by the disease, it was no surprise that her mother, Rhonda May, was a carrier.

Cystic Fibrosis is hereditary. A defective gene causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs, making it one of the most common lung diseases in children and young people. Other areas of the body can be affected as well, particularly the pancreas. It is a life-threatening disease.

Cassie said because it was detected so early, she was fairly healthy growing up, but admits there were a few more doctor visits than the other kids. She would get treatments to loosen the congestion using a nebulizer, allowing a medicated mist to be inhaled deep into the lungs for relief.

Her disease makes it more difficult for her body to absorb calories, so she has to take five enzymes before she eats. That’s why a lot of CF patients have trouble gaining weight. She’s also on a regimen of antibiotics and goes in for chest physical therapy, which involves therapists “beating up on me pretty much” to loosen the mucus buildup.

“I didn’t really show symptoms when I was little, usually coughing a lot,” she said. “I was on the dance team all four years in high school, and that helped me out a lot. It kept me out of the hospital.”

As soon as she graduated, though, she stopped dancing and ended up with more hospital stays or “tune-ups.” She’d spend about two weeks on intravenous antibiotics and get the chest percussion treatments.

Following graduation, her health worsened and she started testing for a possible lung transplant while she attended college at Aurora University.

“My lung function was declining a lot,” Cassie said. “Once they noticed the constant decline which they can’t fix, they work you up for a lung transplant.”

Her health deteriorated in 2007 to the point where she couldn’t breathe, and doctors kept increasing her oxygen levels.

“I remember being in the hospital for two weeks,” she said. “The next ting I knew I was in ICU (intensive care) at Lutheran General.”

A tube was inserted so she could breathe. She was transferred to Loyola University Hospital in Maywood and immediately put on a donor list.

“The next day I got lungs. I was almost dead,” Cassie said.

She graduated college in 2009 with a degree in English and minor in psychology. She had plans to teach, but hasn’t been able to work yet. Her plans include returning to school for a dental hygiene license.

“I want to be healthy enough to go back to school and not have to worry about oxygen,” she said. “Right now, I worry about walking to my car, and getting dressed in the morning is so hard for me.”

And to make matters worse, she suffered a setback a few weeks ago in a car accident. A friend was driving, the car flipped and she was tossed out. She recently had surgery on a broken shoulder, and her fractured pelvis is a lot better.

Doctors aren’t sure why her body is rejecting the lungs. She’s been on a waiting list for a second transplant since 2009.

Like many young women her age, she likes to shop. She looks forward to finding a job and said she’d like to run in a 5K race eventually.

In the meantime, she waits for that phone call from her doctors.

“Hopefully, I’ll get those lungs soon,” she said.

Information on donating to help support those waiting for organ transplants can be found at donatelife.net.

Board recognizes commended students through National Merit Scholarship Program

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday recognized Kaneland High School seniors Brandon Stahl and Kayley McPhee for being commended students in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

A document from Superintendent Jeff Schuler states that commended students place in the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who enter the competition by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

McPhee has applied early decision to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Stahl has applied to Wheaton College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

No-Refusal Halloween weekend

KANE COUNTY—Halloween is best known for spooky costumes and scary pranks. Unfortunately, Halloween also is becoming is one of the deadliest times of the year on roads because of drunken driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To combat the deadly problem of drunken driving, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office will collaborate with Kane County police departments as part of its ongoing effort to make Kane County’s roads the safest in the state.

The seventh ‘No Refusal’ operation conducted in Kane County will be the second conducted on Halloween. In that operation, 11 Fox Valley municipalities, the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois State Police netted 14 drunken drivers the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2009.

This year, the Halloween ‘No Refusal’ operation will be conducted late Friday, Oct. 28, through early Saturday, Oct. 29, and late Saturday, Oct. 29, through early Sunday, Oct. 30. The operation will be conducted in multiple Kane County jurisdictions.

“This office has a responsibility to prosecute DUI offenders, and to educate the public not to drive when they drink.” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “With that in mind, I am only announcing when we will have the No-Refusal operation. I will not say which municipalities will be participating. We want people to enjoy themselves on Halloween weekend, but we want everyone to be able to do it safely. Historically, people tend to ramp up the partying on the weekend nearest Halloween, and that has had deadly consequences. By announcing now that we plan to enhance DUI enforcement the weekend before Halloween, we can help people to plan ahead and make responsible decisions.”

According to NHSTA’s 2009 data—the most recent available—48 percent of all highway fatalities nationwide on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31, to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) in 2009 involved a motorist with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

Halloween that year was during the weekend, and the enhanced enforcement this year also will be during the weekend because Halloween this year falls on a Monday.

The initiative is designed to thwart suspected drunken drivers who refuse to submit to a breath test after an arrest on DUI charges. Through the No-Refusal strategy, law-enforcement officers are able to expedite the DUI booking process. With guidance from an assistant state’s attorney, police officers can quickly obtain a search warrant to compel a DUI suspect to submit to a lawfully requested blood or breath test as required by Illinois’ Implied Consent statute.

Illinois courts have consistently held that there is no right to refuse chemical testing when probable cause exists. Anyone who fails to submit to chemical testing after a search warrant has been obtained could face additional sanctions.

According to NHTSA data, in 2009 nationally, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, including 753 in December. The agency’s trend data has consistently shown an increase in DUI-related fatalities during the holiday season.

“We are less motivated by the opportunity to make DUI arrests than we are by the opportunity to make Kane County’s roads safer,” McMahon said. “Publicity of past No-Refusal operations has been successful in reducing the number of drunken drivers on our roadways. We hope that trend continues. Think, ‘No Refusal, No Fatalities.’”

KHS sets parent/teacher conference times

KANELAND—Kaneland High School set the following times for fall-semester parent/teacher conferences:

Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 3 to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 3, from noon to 4 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m.

Conferences will be scheduled in 15-minute intervals and scheduled in the order in which calls are received.

To set up a conference, call (630) 365-5100, ext. 202.

For Fox Valley Career Center classes, call (630) 365-5113, ext. 170.

Board approves data report, school improvement

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve the first reading of data report and 2011-13 School Improvement Plan for both Kaneland High School and Harter Middle School.

A document from Erika Schlichter, director of educational services 6-12, states that the Kaneland School District is continuing its implementation of a vigorous school improvement process for the 2011-12 school year, and will include two-year goals and an internal peer review structure. In alignment with this process, the high school has created a new school improvement plan with revised goals and strategies to begin the next two-year cycle.

According to the document, data sources accessed for these goals include traditional state-mandated standardized testing, as well as standardized assessments that are used locally to track college readiness progress in students grades 8-11.

WCC expands green programs with grant


SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College will expand one of its most innovative “green” programs with a $375,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Education. The money will be used to move WCC’s innovative automotive recycling curricula online, making the program accessible for students.

Launched this past summer, Waubonsee’s automotive recycling program is the first of its kind in the nation. The coursework focuses on the environmental regulations for disposal of common substances found in automotive repair shops, as well as proper procedure when dismantling cars and repurposing parts.

Waubonsee qualified for a gold participation, which allows more money to be used toward “green” programs aimed at creating or expanding green job training programs to assist economically dislocated workers.

Keep yourself (and your belongings) safe in the forest preserves

GENEVA—The Forest Preserve District of Kane County reminds preserve users to keep safety in mind when visiting forest preserves, parks and other large public areas, in the wake of recent vehicle burglaries in Kane and surrounding counties.

Several forest preserves including Big Rock, Fitchie Creek in Elgin, Ill., Fox River Bluff West in St. Charles, Jon J. Duerr in South Elgin, Ill., and Raceway Woods in Carpentersville, Ill., have all seen an increase in vehicle burglaries over the past two months.

The district’s Public Safety Department said approximately 20 vehicle burglaries have taken place in the Kane County forest preserves since late August. In most cases, women have left purses inside vehicles in plain view or casually hidden. After preserve users leave their vehicles and enter the preserve, the thieves have then opened unlocked doors or smashed windows to access and take valuables. In each of the cases, the victims were away from their vehicles for less than an hour. Vehicle burglaries have also taken place at park district lots. So far, preserves and parks in Kane, DuPage, Lake, McHenry and Cook Counties have been targeted.

As a result, Kane County Forest Preserve District police officers have increased surveillance. New safety advisory signage will be added to all forest preserve kiosks. Additional signage will be posted at the aforementioned preserves, as well.

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County is also strongly advising preserve users to follow these safety tips when visiting the forest preserves, parks and other large public areas:
• Do not leave wallets, purses, cash or other valuables in plain sight.
• Avoid bringing valuables to a preserve, or if possible, lock them securely in your trunk before arriving.
• Lock your vehicle.
• Be alert to your surroundings—do not wear earbuds or headphones.
• Remain on designated trails and paths.
• Walk or run with a companion.
• Carry a cell phone to report problems or request assistance.
• In cases of emergency, call 911 immediately.

“We don’t want to discourage people from enjoying the forest preserves, but we do want to make them aware of these incidents, so that they are more careful and take preventative measures,” said Director of Public Safety Mike Gilloffo.

More information on public safety is available at www.kaneforest.com/publications/ brochures/publicSafety.pdf.

Fore a cause

Steve Shupe
memorial benefit

Saturday, Oct. 29,
1 to 6 p.m.
Lakes of Bliss Woods, Sugar Grove
All proceeds will go
to Steve Shupe’s family

Benefit will feature
neighborhood miniature golf course,
raffle prizes and food
Golf ball, score card and pencil
will be provided at first hole
(909 Elm St.)

Subdivision residents hold memorial benefit for neighbor’s family
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Converting a neighborhood subdivision into a 16-hole miniature golf course sounds like a good idea. Using the makeshift golf course to help raise proceeds for a family that has recently lost a loved one sounds like an even better idea.

Dave Dhom and his neighbors in the Lakes of Bliss Woods subdivision of Sugar Grove have put together a memorial benefit to help the family of Steve Shupe, who passed away on Sept. 18, 2011, after a 17-month-long battle with stage four brain cancer. He was 42 years old.

“The doctor gave Steve six-to-nine months to live back in March 2010, and he did everything he could to fight … went through different treatments with different oncologists,” Dhom said. “A few days right before he died, my wife Laura, my neighbor and I talked about doing a fundraiser for Steve, because we knew medical bills were mounting. We decided to still do the fundraiser after he passed away, because those bills are still there and we want to help his family with medical costs.”

The memorial benefit for Shupe, who was survived by his wife Victoria and two boys, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Lakes of Bliss Woods subdivision. Sixteen of the homes in the subdivision will have a miniature golf-course hole in the front yard, with the course beginning at the Dhom residence (909 Elm St.). Other homes in the neighborhood will offer raffles prizes and refreshments (624 Birch St.), bowls of chili (623 Birch St.), wings and hot dogs (624 Hickory St.), and then snacks and drinks at the Dhom residence, which will serve as the final “hole”.

Dhom said that once the idea for a neighborhood miniature golf course was in place, he e-mailed the neighbors whom he thought knew Steve well enough to be interested in hosting a course hole in their yard.

“Knowing Steve as well as I did, having played softball with him for a number of years … he had two boys just like I do, so it really hits home,” Dhom said. “You kind of think of what things would be like if you had to face something like what Steve and his family went through. And what this memorial benefit means, for me, is it kind of pulls the community together, and we’ve had a great response from a lot of neighbors who are either hosting a hole or donating to the raffle.”

Raffle tickets are $1 each, $3 for five tickets and $10 for 15 tickets. Items that will be raffled include a Bacardi and Coke Coleman cooler, FireFly Cocktails Coleman cooler, Alvarez acoustic guitar and stand, Weber Go-Anywhere Smokey Joe grill, Rosenblum Cellars Game Day portable gas grill for tailgating, Salvador’s folding three-seat chair unit, Animal Planet portable pet bed and basket accessories, and two autumn gift baskets. More items are slated to be included.

There is a minimum donation of $1 per hole, which will be collected at the first hole of the course. Kids can play for free if accompanied by a donating adult. Clubs will be provided at each hole of the course, but participants are welcome to bring a putter and wedge to use if they feel more comfortable with their own clubs.

For more information about the Steve Shupe memorial benefit, e-mail Dave Dhom at Davedhom@sbcglobal.net.

Bid dispute delays Well No. 3 repairs

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—The Elburn Committee of the Whole on Monday tabled a recommendation to award a public works contract to the lowest bidder after objections from a labor management organization and questions from the board on the vast difference in the bids.

“There’s too much disparity (in the bid amounts),” Trustee Jeff Walter said. “It sends a red flag.”

The Public Works Department went out for bids for work needed on Well No. 3 that includes pulling the existing pump and motor, bailing the well and testing and chlorination of the well. An alternate bid included replacing the pump or rebuilding the motor, depending on the amount of deterioration workers find.

Rempe-Sharpe & Associates, Inc., the Geneva consulting firm that helped coordinate the bids and will monitor the project, estimated the project would cost $80,660, and $44,580 for the alternate bid. After reviewing the bids, the firm recommended awarding the contract to Municipal Well & Pump, a Wisconsin company it has worked with before, saying it found no reason not to recommend them.

Municipal bid $43,364.88 for the job with $26,600 for the alternate work. Water Well Solutions of Elburn bid $49,809 and $47,339 for the alternate. Layne Christensen Co. of Kansas bid $53,879 with $64,655 for the alternate. Representatives from all three bidders were at the meeting.

But Michael Lingl, a field supervisor for Indiana/Illinois/Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, did find a reason to disagree with that recommendation. Lingl handed each of the trustees a packet containing letters from recent decisions reportedly made by other area municipalities, showing contracts went to the second lowest bidder instead of to Municipal, which came in as the lowest.

Lingl also referred to letters of complaint that allegedly were filed against Municipal for failure to pay prevailing wages in 2006 and 2008, saying the company is under investigation by the Department of Labor.

“We’re contending there’s a non-responsible bidder among the people (bidding),” Lingl said.

Municipal’s project manager, Craig Allen, responded to the allegations, saying the answers to all of the questions pertaining to any violation issues already were sent to Rempe-Sharpe.

Mayor Dave Anderson said he would much rather work with a local business such as Water Well Solutions, but saving money has to be considered.

“We’re spending taxpayer dollars,” Anderson said. “We are responsible for every penny of taxpayer dollars that come to us.

“I would love to do it here in town, but I can’t advocate that.”

With that, Anderson called for a motion to put the recommendation on the next Village Board consent agenda to award the bid to Municipal as the low bidder. But Walter again questioned the disparity in the figures.

“I’m still not getting my head around some of these figures,” Walter said. “Some of these numbers are way out of line for me.”

Trustee Bill Grabarek agreed, and said with the dispute presented to the board, no one has had a chance to examine the information.

“I sure don’t want to spend taxpayer money until I get my head wrapped around what is an objection on what was the low bid,” he said.

With that, the board voted to put the item on the agenda at the next Village Board meeting on Monday, Nov. 7, for further discussion and a final decision, so work can begin without any further delay.

MP Board continues TIF discussion

by David Maas
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Oct. 20 discussed the proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District map with the village’s TIF lawyer, Herb Klein.

A TIF District is a tool used by villages to spur economic development by taking the incremental tax the village receives for improving a pre-defined area. The additional tax money received is then used to further fund development costs within the TIF District.

The Oct. 20 meeting was meant to inform the trustees, as well as give them time to ask questions about the proposed map.

“This is the final map for the proposed TIF District,” Klein said, “While it is smaller than previous maps, it does go farther north than any of them, and still has the important areas.”

The important areas included in the map are those that are in need of infrastructure repairs, which can use the funds produced by the TIF.

“That is the reason for the TIF,” Village Board President Kathy Curtis said. “We are trying to implement this TIF because we are in need of major infrastructure repairs, not because we’ve made deals with developers.”

While developers did come to the board and suggest they implement a TIF to give them incentive to develop in Maple Park, Curtis said she was adamant about making sure residents of the village were aware of this.

“Some residents think we are doing this for developers,” Curtis said. “I want to make it very clear that we have not negotiated with developers. We are doing this so we can improve the infrastructure for our town. If a developer comes in and needs to plug into our infrastructure, they still have to pay for their part of it; that is their responsibility.”

“A lot of vacant lots have been included in the map for that reason,” Klein said. “There is a reason, that with incentive, the land could be developed that might not be otherwise.”

If the vacant lots were developed, that would help generate the TIF funds needed for the infrastructure needs.

“We really need to get the basics done,” Curtis said. “We really need to do road repairs, and if we are going to grow, we need to improve the sewer and water systems, too.”

The village will hold its final public hearing on Nov. 22, after which the TIF District can be passed as early as Dec. 6.

Kaneville to commemorate KHS baseball state champs

by David Maas
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Village Board on Oct. 20 passed a resolution to purchase signs commemorating the Kaneland High School’s Boy’s Baseball State Championship.

“It’s very important that we, as a village, celebrate this,” Trustee Pat Hill said.

The village will purchase two small signs, and two larger ones.

“We will also be updating the older signs, located on the way into the village, in order to keep those current,” Hill said.

While there is no schedule as to when the signs will be installed, the village hopes to get them up as soon as possible.

“Winning the State Championship is a huge event, and we want to show everyone we’re proud of our team,” Hill said.

Sugar Grove Corn Boil brings in donations

SUGAR GROVE—Last week, Corn Boil President Steve Ekker presented $9,400 in donations to a variety of community organizations.

According to the event organizers, Corn Boil 2011 was a success. All the bills have been paid, the seed money for the 2012 event is banked, and the committee is able to share the proceeds with local organizations.

The Corn Boil committee recognized the Big Rock Park District, Sugar Grove Clown Ministry, Boy Scout Troop No. 7, Kane County Sheriff Department and the Fox Valley Career Center First Responders. They were each recognized for their activities, which ranged from time and effort of its members in husking corn for two full days, cooking and selling corn, and cleaning up the park.

Kaneland John Shields Elementary School, Sugar Grove Community House and Sugar Grove Park District were recognized for sharing their facilities for the days of set-up and then throughout the event. The committee previously made a $3,000 donation to the Sugar Grove Lion Club Fireworks.

West Town Human Services Network, Between Friends Food Pantry and the Sugar Grove Historical Society were recognized for the value they add to the community.

In recognition of the volunteer efforts from the memberships of the following, as individuals and as friendly groups, donations are being made to the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, Calvary West Church, Village Bible Church and St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church.

The Sugar Grove American Legion Post #127 and the Sugar Grove Veterans Park Committee will receive donations in recognition of their participation in the 2011 Corn Boil, as well as to support their ongoing missions.

The next Sugar Grove Corn Boil will mark the 45th anniversary of this annual event. Beginning in January, the Corn Boil meetings will be held the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Library, 125 S. Municipal Drive in Sugar Grove. The dates for the next event are July 27, 28 and 29.

Visit www.sugargrovecornboil.org, follow the event on Twitter, like it on Facebook, or call the Sugar Grove Events Hotline at (630) 466-5166.

Lead Poisoning Prevention Week through Saturday

SPRINGFIELD—Illinois has one of the highest numbers of lead poisoning cases in the nation, with the Illinois Department of Public Health reporting about 3,300 children last year with elevated blood lead levels.

During Lead Poisoning Prevention Week through this Saturday, the IDPH hopes to raise awareness of the importance of testing children and homes for lead, which can result in serious health effects.

“Even at low levels, lead poisoning can affect almost every system in the body, causing learning disabilities, shortened attention span and behavioral problems,” IDPH Acting Director Dr. Craig Conover said.

Major sources of lead exposure among Illinois children are lead-based paint and lead- contaminated dust found in homes built before lead-based paint was banned in 1978.

Children 6 months through 6 years of age must be assessed for risk of lead exposure or tested before entering day care, preschool or kindergarten. The only way to know if a child has lead poisoning is by testing their blood. Blood tests are recommended at ages 12 months and 24 months.

For more information, visit idph.state.il.us/envhealth/ehpublications.htm#lead.

Oct. 28 Elburn 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.

Elburn
• Police responded on Oct. 17 to a report of criminal damage to a vehicle parked in front of a residence in the 400 block of Branbury in Elburn. The victim reported the car was parked about 3 a.m., and upon returning later the next day, an unknown white substance had been thrown on the car. A McDonald’s cup was found alongside the vehicle, and the victim suggested the material on the auto could be a milkshake.

• Police responded on Oct. 18 to a report of criminal damage to a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Reader St. in Elburn. The victim reported hearing a loud noise from the front of the house and the dogs started barking. The victim discovered the driver’s side window broken out. Nothing was reported missing from the vehicle.

• On Oct. 21, Jewel/Osco at north Main Street reported to police an attempted theft. Reports show this incident appears related to a previous retail theft reported on Oct. 15 at the same location. Two black males with a shopping cart filled with merchandise, including baby formula and diapers, were being watched at checkout. The cart was left by the doors as the suspects left, leaving the area in a silver over black Dodge Caravan with tinted windows heading north on Route 47. The suspects match the description of that given in the previous report: two black males, aged 25 to 30 years old; one with a large build, about 200 pounds walking with a limp; and the other with a light complexion, hair in corn rows, about 170 pounds with a slim build.

• On Oct. 23, Thomas Shoaf, 22, of Batavia, was ticketed for following too closely, operating an uninsured vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol. He posted bond and was released.

KHS implements standard concussion policy

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland High School will implement a student athlete injury policy for concussions.

The School Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve a concussion policy, including protocol for dealing with head injuries, while Kaneland High School waits for a formal policy to be provided by Policy Research Educational Subscription Service (PRESS).

According to a document from Superintendent Jeff Schuler, Public Act 97-0204 added language to the Illinois School Code regarding student athletes and concussions that will require students who have potentially sustained a concussion during athletic play to be checked out by a licensed physician or certified athletic trainer before they are permitted to return to the game.

According to the document provided by Schuler, athletic trainers are trained in the assessments of concussions and are able to determine whether or not a student is suffering from a concussion. The document also outlines the concept of baseline cognitive testing known as ImPACT Testing, which is done at the beginning of the season for all high-impact sports. ImPACT Testing is done for all student athletes, and gauges their attention span, problem solving, response variability, memory and reaction time. In the event a student athlete suffers a potential concussion, the ImPACT Test will be re-taken to measure cognitive capability. Participation in the high-impact sport is then prohibited until the student athlete’s ImPACT Test score returns to its original value.

Schuler’s document states that athletic trainers can also look for signs of a concussion through the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), Romberg’s, and neurological tests to identify if the head or neck has sustained an injury.

Students who re-enter athletic events too early after suffering a potential concussion will run the risk of suffering Second Impact Syndrome, which can cause permanent damage to the brain and even death in some instances.

“Keeping our children safe is the highest priority,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said. “An athletic trainer can’t be everywhere to make the judgment calls, so it’s important to have a standard policy in place.”

Concussion
A concussion occurs when forceful contact to the head jars the brain. A person who suffers a concussion typically experiences headaches, disorientation, confusion, and in some instances, nausea, ringing in the ears, memory loss and loss of consciousness.
Concussions are prevalent in sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer and cheerleading, and are broken down into three grades. Grade 1 concussions involve some form of disorientation and symptoms that do not persist more than 15 minutes. Grade 2 concussions involve similar disorientation and symptoms that do persist longer than 15 minutes. Grade 3 concussions involve a loss of consciousness, regardless of the duration.

School Board recognizes Kaneland Krier staff

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday recognized Kaneland Krier staff for receiving the George H. Gallup Award from Quill and Scroll, the international honor society for high school journalists, for last year’s student newspaper.

A document from Kaneland journalism teacher Cheryl Borrowdale states that the Gallup Award is the highest honor given out by Quill and Scroll, and is given to “publications that have achieved and sustained excellence.” The award is given to the top 25 student newspapers in the nation each year.

Fall festival fun

Fox Valley Wildlife Center hosted a Fall Festival to raise money for injured and orphaned animals The event took place at Elburn Woods on Sunday. Courtney Boborci (right) watches her daughters Madigan, 10, and Fiona, 7, decorate a pumpkin.

There were also games, food and raffles at the event. Many other children showed to decorate pumpkins, tour the facility and enjoy the day. The wildlife center, located in the Elburn Woods Forest Preserve off Route 38 in Elburn, is a private, nonprofit organization that provides care for wild animals that are in need of help. Photos by Mary Herra


Conference chase complete

Photo: Dylan Nauert chases Morris QB Austin Feeney during Kaneland’s 31-28 victory. Kaneland’s 9-0 mark brings forth a conference title and a date with visiting Belvidere on Friday, Oct. 28. Photo by John DiDonna

Early lead holds up for NIB-12 East champs in 31-28 win in Morris
by Mike Slodki
MORRIS—All that stood between a second consecutive Northern Illinois Big XII East division championship for undefeated Kaneland was fellow undefeated juggernaut Morris.

On Friday in Grundy County, only one undefeated football outfit stood tall: the Knights.

Storming out to a 24-0 halftime lead in a first half that saw the Redskins gather just 30 yards, the Knights clung to the lead after Morris scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

But an emphasis on the run and two key interceptions had the Knights emerge the 31-28 victor.

The Knights finished the 2011 regular season campaign with a 9-0 mark and a 5-0 NIB-12 slate, cinching their second straight conference crown and the No. 1 overall team on the IHSA Playoff Points scale in Class 5A.

“It’s huge, and I’m so proud of our kids,” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said. “Coming into the season and losing all the kids that we had, we didn’t know what we had, but we knew we had a lot of talent.”

Morris finished 8-1 with a 4-1 mark in NIB-12 play.

Kaneland continues to roll on the Maple Park grass, finshing their second straight undefeated season.

The Knights have now won 19 regular season games in a row, and 22 of their last 25 contests in regular and post season.

Kaneland found out Saturday that with the No. 1 seed, it’ll host 16th-seeded Belvidere High School on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. at Peterson Field.

Morris, meanwhile, hosts Morton High School on the same night in the upper half of the 5A bracket.

In sophomore action, Morris defeated Kaneland by a 12-6 final.

The varsity Knights outgained the host Redkins by a 328-288 margin, while being almost even in passing yardage, 232-219.

KHS quarterback Drew David was 16-for-32 on the day, with four TD throws, while counterpart Austin Feeney was 20-for-30 for 219 yards and three touchdowns, but had four picks.

David also rushed for a game-high 54 yards.

Sean Carter had 161 yards on five catches, and three touchdowns to go along with an interception.

“We knew Morris was a good team,” Carter said. “They are a hard-hitting team, but once we had that first quarter, we just got on a roll.”

Any second-half score against the Redskins would have been nice, but in Sean Carter’s case, it was the difference. His sideline catch-and-run in the fourth quarter gave KHS a 31-14 edge. Carter led the Knights with 161 yards on the evening.

Morris struggled to get things going in a friendly atmosphere, and Kaneland’s second drive yielded a 22-yard field goal by kicker Matt Rodriguez for a 3-0 edge.

One of the most significant halves of football for Kaneland this season continued in the second quarter and led to three touchdowns. David found Zack Martinelli for 13 yards, as well as Carter from 53 and 3 yards out, to take a 24-0 lead by the end of the half.

Morris finally got into the contest and on the board when on the opening drive of the second half, the Redskins drove 77 yards in 16 plays. Anthonee Monson caught a fourth-down, 19-yard TD pass with 4:10 to go to make it 24-7.

Morris amped up the attack and scored on its next drive, thanks to Feeney’s six-yard touchdown with 9:51 remaining to make it 31-21.

Kaneland struck again when Carter caught a 63-yard TD pass to end a four-play drive with 7:39 remaining to make it 31-14.

Morris answered three plays later when Feeney found Jake Ruettiger for a 33-yard touchdown to set matters at 31-21 with 6:37 to go.

Blake Bradford came up with a key interception after Morris recovered an onside kick, but KHS was forced to punt. Morris closed out the scoring with 2:18 to go on a 20-yard TD pass to Danny Friend.

Knight Jake Razo recovered the Redskin onside kick attempt, leading to a drive that saw David lose the ball on the grass, but the officiating crew ruled him down before the fumble.

A couple of additional runs set the result in stone and a jovial Kaneland crew celebrated, for one week anyway.

The playoff landscape is plentiful for the Northern Illinois Big XII this weekend, as Rochelle and Sycamore have action this weekend.

The Hubs, as a 13th seed, travel to Gately Stadium in Chicago to face Urban Prep Charter on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m.

12th-seeded Sycamore plays at Lane Stadium in Chicago at the same time against King High School, the Knights’ first-round opponent a year ago.

The winner of the KHS-Belvidere clash is slated to face either (8) St. Francis of Wheaton, or (9) Burlington Central.

Kaneland’s State-going tennis duo ends 2011 campaign

KANELAND—It matters little that a team like Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Jurcenko were ousted after one match at this past weekend’s State tennis gathering in District 214 territory.

It matters for the second year in a row, however that KHS tennis has had a State presence, proving that, by definition, the Lady Knights are able to produce some of the most elite talent in the State.

On Thursday at Elk Grove High School, the duo lost a 6-3, 6-0 affair to the Benet Academy tandem of Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes.

Marika Cusick and Caroline Lorenzini, of Hinsdale Central took the State doubles crown. Jerricka Boone of Chicago’s Morgan Park Academy won the singles title.

With the ending of the State tourney, the Lady Knights bid best wishes to seniors Leeza Corrirossi, Kelly Kovacic, Madi Limbrick, Napiorkowski, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Sam Williams and Jordyn Withey.

Soccer ousted by Cadets

by Mike Slodki
DeKALB—There would be no last-minute magic for Kaneland soccer on Saturday evening.

After the down-to-the-wire heroics of Alex Gil on Oct. 18, to put the Knights in view of their second straight regional crown, Marmion Academy’s lone goal in the first half was enough to put the Knights’ 2011 season to rest with a 1-0 defeat.

Kaneland eclipsed last year’s win total, however, and finished at 12-7-1.

The Cadets beat East Moline United, 3-0 during Tuesday’s sectional in Freeport, Ill., and will head to the sectional final.

Mick Maley’s goal with 11 minutes, 31 seconds before the halftime buzzer proved to be the final margin.

“We got out-possessed, but (Marmion’s) a good team,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “We had our chances early, and who knows?
If we make one of those in the first couple of minutes, it’s a whole different ball game.”

Although he allowed the lone goal, Kaneland goalkeeper Marshall Farthing also swatted away another potential gimme on a penalty kick with 26 minutes remaining.

Volleyball falls in regional to Glenbard S. in three games

Photo: Katy Dudzinski (left) and teammate Keri Groen show their blocking skills during the annual Spikefest on Saturday, in which KHS took third place. The Lady Knights’ season concluded on Tuesday. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In coach Todd Weimer’s regime, the fact that Kaneland was one point away from a regional match victory shows the significant progress KHS has made on the court.

However, it remained at one point on Tuesday, as third-seeded Glenbard South staged a four-point rally on its way to a 19-25, 25-17, 26-24 thriller at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill.

The Lady Raiders face regional host St. Francis on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Kaneland finished the season at 19-15, matching last year’s total, with a 6-4 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

After a 15-4 start to 2011, KHS dropped 11 of its last 15 contests against a stacked schedule.

Kaneland fell behind in game one 14-9 before closing to 17-14. KHS then scored 10 in a row and closed it on a Katy Dudzinski kill for game point.

The Lady Knights fell behind as GS rallied in game two, down 24-15 before the Raiders cinched it.

An even third game saw good front line play, but Glenbard South made good on its service time. Kaneland was down 19-14, but rallied to tie it at 21 and take a 24-22 lead, but could score no more.

“We just couldn’t get out of it, and we’re very disappointed,” Weimer said. “We had a bunch of curveballs thrown at us, some injuries and mismatches. I’m upset that we lost, we really wanted to play St. Francis. It’s hard.”

Kaneland also hosted the annual Spikefest on Saturday out at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove, finishing in fourth place out of eight squads with a 2-3 record.

Weimer’s Lady Knights took care of Aurora Christian 25-20, 25-10, and Hampshire 26-24, 25-7, before losing to tournament champ Metea Valley 25-19, 22-25, 15-9, and then Oswego East 25-20, 25-16. KHS fell to Geneva in the third-place game by a final of 26-24, 25-6.

Metea Valley beat Oswego East in the championship match 25-18, 25-23.

Kylie Siebert and Katy Dudzinski were named to the 2011 All-Tournament team.

Siebert had 80 digs during the tournament, giving her 1,100 digs throughout her KHS career with 12 assists and 10 aces. Katy Dudzinski had 32 kills, giving her 839 for her KHS tenure, and 14 digs, while Ashley Prost added 38 assists and 26 digs.

Against Yorkville on Thursday in the East gym, Kaneland suffered a 25-17, 17-25, 25-22 loss.

KHS says goodbye to seniors Siebert, Dudzinski, Kourtni Bingley, Malory Groen and Fabrizius.

Fifth place at own regional good for boys XC

Photo courtesy YorkvilleCrossCountry.com

by Mike Slodki
ELBURN—When you deal with boys cross-country rosters like Yorkville and Crystal Lake Central, the squeeze for sectionals can be a bit crowded.

Luckily, Kaneland’s crew can worry about Sectionals as an active participant.

The Knights, thanks to a 127-point output, took fifth place at the 2A regional at Elburn Woods on Saturday morning and are headed to Belvidere’s sectional.

The Foxes had 36 points, followed by CLC with 71, DeKalb with 117 and Burlington Central with 118.

Other teams advancing to this weekend were Aurora Central Catholic (138) and Sycamore (142).

Crystal Lake Central entry Alex Baker, a junior, was tops on the traditionally hilly course with a time of 15 minutes, 47 seconds, ahead of Rocket Clint Kliem by 3.3 seconds.

For the Knights, sophomore Kyle Carter came through again with a time of 16:33.1, good for ninth overall.

Junior John Meisinger was next in 16th place with a time of 16:55.2.

Knight junior Brandon Huber was 22nd with a time of 17:08.7.

Conor Johnson of KHS took 34th with a time of 17:25.4.

Knights coach Chad Clarey would like to see more of an effective punch lineup-wide. “We qualified as a team for the Sectional, obviously the most important factor of the day. We’ll go back to work this week, freshen up and make a run for the top five (Saturday) in Belvidere.”

The Saturday, Oct. 29, race begins at 11 a.m., and also features schools like Grayslake Central, Richmond-Burton, and other Northern Illinois Big XII schools like Dixon, Sterling and Rochelle.

Lady Knights XC sees season continue with third place

Photo: The KHS girls XC team practices Tuesday in preparation for the Belvidere Sectional this Saturday. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It would take a team effort to make it out of one of the premier girls cross-country regionals in Illinois.

For Kaneland, that effort was solid enough to garner third place in Saturday’s Elburn Woods clash.

Kaneland’s 84 points was behind champ Yorkville’s 39 and Crystal Lake Central’s 84.

Other advancing teams are DeKalb at 99, Sycamore at 144, Woodstock at 189 and Hampshire at 203.

DeKalb sophomore Kelsey Schrader took the Regional mantle at 18 minutes, 14.9 seconds, which was 10.5 seconds ahead of the closest competitor.

Freshman Victoria Clinton of Kaneland continued to make leaps and bounds of progress with an eighth-place finish of 19:16.7.

Teammate Maggie Brundige had a 14th-place day with a time of 19:35.5.

Aislinn Lodwig, another of Kaneland’s talented freshmen, finished 20th at 19:51.8.

“(We) had several girls under the weather, but they still managed a third-place finish in the toughest 2A regional in the State,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said.

The Saturday, Oct. 29, gathering hosted by Belvidere kicks off at 10 a.m.

Church news for Oct. 27

Traveling Pastor
Sugar Grove Pastor Rev. Steve Good (center), greets worshippers after guest preaching at Fourth Street United Methodist Church in Aurora on Sunday. From left are Laurel Gilbert, Aurora, Fourth Street UMC lay leader; Rev. Good, pastor, Sugar Grove UMC; and Marlis Hutchinson, Aurora. Rev. Good visited Aurora in an annual pulpit exchange by local UMC pastors. Courtesy Photo

______________________________

Hosanna! Lutheran Church
hosts discussion
on global persecution

ST.CHARLES—Hosanna! Lutheran Church is partnering with international organization Voice of the Martyrs for a special evening of information sharing and background on the injustices suffered by the global persecuted church.
“What, Persecution?” will take place on Friday, Oct. 28, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Hosanna!’s worship space. This free event is open to the public.
For additional information, contact Dr. Stults at (918) 338-8488, e-mail vomclassroom@ vom-usa.org, or visit www.vommeetings.com. For questions and directions, contact Rick DeVries at Hosanna! Church at (630) 584-6434, e-mail Welcome@HosannaChurch.com or visit www.HosannaChurch.com. Hosanna! is located at 36W925 Red Gate Road (just east of Randall Road) in St. Charles.

Community Congregational offers Harvest Dinner

ELBURN—The Community Congregational Church will hold its annual Harvest Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Carry-outs will also be available. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, K-6th grade, and free for preschoolers.
The dinner is a fundraising event to benefit church-supported missions such as Lazarus House, Hesed House, Mutual Ground, Emmaus House and UCC Outdoor Ministries.
In addition to the dinner, the Church Crafty Crafters will offer hand-made gift items and a holiday white elephant sale. Proceeds from these sales will be used toward local and area missions. For more information, contact the church office at (630) 365-6544.

Union Congregational
offers turkey supper

NORTH AURORA—Union Congregational Church will have its annual Turkey Supper and Bake Sale on Saturday, Oct. 29. Dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children under 5.
Your dinner will include a beverage and dessert. Carry-outs are available. You may get your tickets at the door, or you can get advance tickets or more information by calling the church office at (630) 897-0013.
UCC is located at 405 W. State St. in North Aurora.

Organ concert series begins at Bethany Lutheran
BATAVIA—Bethany Lutheran Church announces an Organ Concert Series beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, with other concerts throughout the season.
Renovation and refurbishing of Bethany’s Aeolian Skinner pipe organ is complete, and the community is invited to its dedicatory concerts. The Oct. 30 concert features the organ builder, Dean Christian, and principal organist Alan Spear and Director of Music Beth Lawniczak.
Visit bethanybatavia.org or call (630) 879-3444. Bethany Lutheran Church is at the corner of Wilson and Lincoln streets in Batavia.

Revive! Christian
Fellowship Church
to host bake sale

GENEVA—Revive! Christian Fellowship Church will host a bake sale on Sunday, Nov. 6, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the American Legion, 22 S. 2nd St. in Geneva. All proceeds will go to the Winter Clothing Drive to purchase and distribute new winter clothing items for those in need in the Fox Valley Area.

Chad Ryan Johnson

Chad Ryan Johnson, 32, of Elburn, now rests in his faith and the arms of his Savior after passing away unexpectedly at home, leaving this earth too soon on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011.

He is survived by his parents, Ken (Gina) Johnson and Vicki (Larry) Linden; one brother, Greg (Kate) Johnson; five step-brothers and sisters, Nicki Graham, Bob Graham, Michael (Kayla) Linden, Mathew (Monica) Linden, Michele (Kyle) Breyne; several aunts, uncles, cousins and his faithful four-legged feline friends, Carla, L.B. and Mischief, will all miss him dearly.

He is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Melvin and Erma Johnson; and his maternal grandparents, Harry and Violet Johnson.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, at Grace Lutheran Church, 5N600 Hansen Road, Lily Lake. A funeral to celebrate his life will be at the church, on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. The Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit Grace Lutheran Church and other favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Chad Johnson 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. His giving did not end with his death but gave life to others through Gift of Hope, an organ transplant and donation organization.

Wassil Wituk

Wassil Wituk, 88, of Batavia, formerly of Elburn, passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 25, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.

He is survived by seven children, Helmut (Carole) Wituk, Mark (Cathy) Wituk, Judy (Jim) Woods, Fran (John) Joyner, Kathy McIlnay, Betty Wituk and Heidi (Joe) Jakubaitis; 19 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren with another on the way.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Katherine; one son, Jim Wituk; and a grandson, Randy Joyner.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m., with a funeral service to follow at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Fr. Karl Ganss, pastor of St. Gall Catholic Church, will officiate with private family interment following cremation.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Wassil Wituk 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. The family wishes to thank a special care giver, Regina Rimaviciene of the Aurora Rehabilitation Center, where Wassil recently made his home, and especially Hospice Passages for their outstanding care for Wassil and the rest of the family, as well.

Guest Editorial: What do our children see, and how do they perceive it?

by Vicki Wright, CEO
Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

What did we see today? And more importantly, what did our children see today?

Kids today spend upwards of 10 hours a day engaged in recreational media, and with the advent of laptops, smart phones, tablet computers and online learning, there is a growing, urgent need to examine what they think about what they see. And that’s exactly what Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois has partnered with the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) to do.

Reality TV has become staple entertainment for young people and adults alike. According to Real to Me: Girls and Reality TV, a national survey recently released by GSRI, the vast majority of girls think reality shows “often pit girls against each other to make the shows more exciting” (86 percent). In a survey of more than 1,100 girls around the country, GSRI found that the most popular genres of reality TV are competition (“American Idol,” “Project Runway,” etc.) and real life (“Jersey Shore,” “The Hills,” etc.). Many girls think these programs reflect reality, with 75 percent saying that competition shows and 50 percent saying that real-life shows are “mainly real and unscripted.”

While many in society might view reality TV as a relatively benign phenomenon, GSRI’s research shows significant differences between those girls who consume reality TV on a regular basis and those who do not. Of girls surveyed, regular reality TV viewers differ dramatically from their non-viewing peers in their expectations of peer relationships, their overall self-image, and their understanding of how the world works. GSRI’s findings also suggest that reality TV can function in the lives of girls as a learning tool and as inspiration for getting involved in social causes.

Girl Scouting uses this research to impact programming and advocacy efforts. For example, Girl Scouts addresses media literacy through the new leadership journey series, It’s Your Story—Tell It! by encouraging girls to examine the images they see and reminding them that “Healthy MEdia” begins with ME. And Girl Scouts has crafted the “Healthy Media for Youth Act” to encourage policy makers to support media literacy efforts.

For 100 years, Girl Scouts of the USA has been leading the charge to serve girls across the world. As our girls, and our world, have changed, so too has our organization, tackling complex issues that impact girls’ healthy growth and development. Today, our girls’ lives are increasingly lived in tandem with a robust media presence.

By encouraging our girls to understand the media images they see, we can assist them in understanding and building relationships with their peers, have high self-esteem, learn about health and safety, have fun and discover the world around them.

Letter: Civic Committee’s match questioned

For years now, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a small but very wealthy group, has been railing against public pensions. Last spring, they tried to pass a plan that would cut the pension benefits for teachers, firefighters and other public employees on the promise the plan would save taxpayer dollars.

However, the math of the Civic Committee’s plan is flawed, and the committee knows it. SB512 would have cost taxpayers more than $34 billion in additional money over the next 15 years. And it would have killed the state’s pension systems, leaving hundreds of thousands of teachers and retired teachers in a lurch.

Teachers don’t earn social security. For most, their pension is their life savings. And, they’ve paid for it—9.4 percent of every one of their paychecks has gone toward their retirement plan, a plan they believe is guaranteed by the state’s constitution.

As much as the Civic Committee, a group of Chicago-area millionaires, wants to blame the problems the pension systems are facing on public employees, the committee is wrong.

No, it wasn’t the employees who siphoned money from the pension system. It was lawmakers. In their zeal to end the pension system, has the Civic Committee thought about the future? If the pension system is killed off, what will happen to the hundreds of thousands of teachers who do now or will rely on it for retirement income? They have no social security to fall back on.

Then what? Then what will the Civic Committee do? They act as if public employees are the enemy of this state. We are not. We are representatives of the majority of working people in Illinois. We are the middle class.

We are in every community working diligently to improve our schools and to help our students. We care about the future of our students and their families, and taking away our earned retirement security sets a wrong example. We should all be working to build up the economic status of families, not tear it down.

We are not the enemy. We are Illinois.

Cinda Klickna
President
Illinois Education Association