Letter: A thank you to CCC’s DeKalb Campus

Thank you to Christ Community Church’s DeKalb Campus for coming to HorsePower in Maple Park for their Super Second Saturday Volunteer Days on June 9 and July 14. You came to us with your hearts in your hands and a willingness to work, and work you did.

With your monetary donation, skills and time, we now have large mounting blocks and a ramp to accommodate our physically disabled students, as well as colorful barrels and posts for our sensory therapy games. Without your assistance, these tasks may have still been on our “to-do” list.

Besides all of that, we greatly enjoyed your company. Everyone that came those two days was energetic and thoughtful, even with the high temperatures. We have no doubt that your actions those two days will have an even larger impact than what any of us can currently imagine. We appreciate your commitment to service and being the recipients of that commitment.

Thank you again for everything you’ve done for us.

Carrie Capes
Director, HorsePower Therapeutic Riding
Maple Park

Local residents named to Aurora University dean’s list

AURORA—The following local students were named to the Aurora University dean’s list for the spring 2012 semester: Brian Claesson, Joshua Gould, Shelby Stammet, Stephanie Claesson, Samantha Dixon, Lindsay Hansen, Alexa Hill and Charlene Walker, all of Elburn; Rian Woods, Magdalena Bonczak, Melissa Castrovillo, Linnea Favela, Riley Hayman, Catherine Pauls and Samantha Vesely, all of Sugar Grove; and Kathryn Banbury, Ariana Espino and Ashley Girard, all of Maple Park.

Local residents named to North Central College dean’s list

NAPERVILLE—The following students were named to the North Central College dean’s list for the spring 2012 spring term: Elaine Cannell, Elizabeth Korth, Ryan Stasell and Ashley Swanson, all of Elburn; and Jessica Arnold, Drew French, Joseph Garlinsky, Christine Gebauer, Dylan Good, Brooke Patterson and Bryan Renaud, all of Sugar Grove.

To be eligible for the dean’s list, undergraduate students must maintain a grade-point average of 3.6 for the term and be enrolled as full-time students.

Local residents named to Benedictine University dean’s list

LISLE, ILL.—The following residents were named to the dean’s list for the spring 2012 semester at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.:
Jacqueline Mueller, Kevin Webster and Amanda Anderson, all of Elburn; Leah Kennetz of Sugar Grove; and Kristine Stover of Maple Park.

The Benedictine University dean’s list recognizes full-time students who achieve a 3.5 grade point average or above.

Anderson and Kennetz were also named to the university’s dean’s recognition list.

Local residents named to Olivet Nazarene dean’s list

BOURBONNAIS, ILL.—Sugar Grove residents Joseph Blaney, Joss Nicholson, Nicholas Rogers and Emily Wood were named to the Olivet Nazarene University dean’s list for the spring 2012 semester.

To qualify for inclusion on the dean’s list, a student must have been enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and must have attained a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 grading scale.

Elburn owner renovates downtown Batavia bar

Photo: Wilson Street Tavern, 105 E. Wilson Street in Batavia, is a clean, cozy tavern with a great wine list and pictures on the wall by local artists. Photo by Lynn Meredith

by Lynn Meredith
BATAVIA—Elburn resident Mark Hogan knows the right time and the right place when he sees it: he’s been doing it in the restaurant business for years.

After a break of 20 years, Hogan says it’s time to get back into owning a bar. Eight weeks ago, he opened The Wilson Street Tavern in downtown Batavia. The process involved completely renovating the space and turning it into one that will attract neighborhood patrons of all ages.

“I always loved being in the business. I wanted to be my own boss again,” Hogan said. “Before wasn’t the right time, but now it’s time. I want a little neighborhood bar, so that when it’s slow, you don’t worry. I opened the bar not to be a millionaire, but to have a job and make a little money.”

Hogan purchased the bar, formerly the Stop Lite Inn for many years, and immediately began renovating with himself as general contractor. He hired out contractors to replace the floors, walls, put in all-new dry wall and electrical. The bathrooms were completely renovated.

He also had the art deco bar, which had been built in the 1940s and brought out from Chicago refinished.

During the process, Hogan said the city of Batavia was helpful and patient.

“The city was unbelievable to work with. I can’t say enough about them. They took time to answer all my silly questions and walked me through the process of getting economic development money,” Hogan said.

The result is a clean, cozy tavern with a great wine list and pictures on the wall by local artists.

“We want to rotate the art on the walls from local artists. Next, we’re going to have an artist’s work from Water Street Gallery,” Hogan said.

In the next six-to-eight weeks, Hogan plans to put in a 12-draft beer system that would serve craft and local beers.

“That’s a whole new crowd. It’s a huge segment now. It’s a market where those who are interested will search it out,” he said.

He also plans to have a limited menu of paninis, salads and flatbread pizza. For now, patrons can order from nearby restaurants like El Taco Grande, who will deliver to the bar.

With a state-of-the-art juke box that plays virtually any song you can name, the tavern will occasionally have live music.

“We’re experimenting with it. It’s hard to do in a small place,” he said.

In planning this venture, Hogan went out to coffee shops and talked to people to get a feel for the community. He discovered that Batavia residents support their local businesses.

“I found out that the people of Batavia are very loyal to their town. They want the town to do well. We will survive on local business,” Hogan said. “Right now we’re getting 21-year olds and 81-year olds. It’s a good mix of people. It’s a neighborhood feel. Everybody should feel comfortable.”

Wine shop proposes opening in Sugar Grove

by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—A new wine shop may be coming to Sugar Grove, following the Sugar Grove Village Board’s 5-0 approval of a special use permit, a liquor license and several zoning variances for 34 Terry Drive.

Wine in the Grove, a business proposed by Sugar Grove residents Gayle Deja-Schultz and Carl Schultz, would sell wine and other specialty food items, offer wine and beer service in the store and on its patio, and host wine tastings and other events. Deja-Schultz said the patio would likely have six tables with umbrellas for shade.

The board hammered out the variances and permits with Deja-Schultz for nearly an hour, issuing a liquor license and discussing requirements for parking, patio size, fencing and landscaping.

The shop, which will be located in the same building as Rocky’s Dojo and Gym, will have a 20-foot patio that faces the entrance ramp to Route 56, equipped with an ADA-accessible ramp. In order to accommodate the ramp and maximize patio space, the board granted Deja-Schultz a setback variance that allows the shop to have a three-foot setback from the property line instead of the standard five-foot setback. They also specified the types of landscaping and fencing board members thought were necessary to make the high-visibility area attractive.

Parking was the largest concern for some members of the board, who noted that the 48-person capacity of Wine in the Grove called for an additional 19-20 parking spots in the attached lot according to zoning regulations, but that Deja-Schultz was requesting to have zero additional parking spaces.

“The common sense of it is, there really is enough parking there,” Deja-Schultz said. “I think the parking on that building is more than adequate.”

Although the nearby Old Second Bank agreed to allow Wine in the Grove to use 10 spaces when necessary, Deja-Schultz said that paying for the liability insurance for those spaces was a “deal breaker.”

“I would love to bankroll a $100,000 business, but it’s getting to the point where a small business owner (can’t make it),” Deja-Schultz said.

Ron Troutman, owner of the building, said that he thought the additional spaces were unnecessary because in nearly 30 years, he has never seen the parking lot full.

“I’ve got other people wanting that unit there. I’ve got an astrologer, two psychics. I’d rather have the wine shop. You know, Jesus comes back and he likes wine, he turned water into wine,” Troutman told the board. “I’ve been retired for 12 years, and I’m there every day, and parking has never been a problem.”

Trustee Thomas Renk said that he was reluctant to grant a zero parking space variance because the board’s responsibility is to protect all involved, including the property owner.

“I don’t want to handicap you in terms of what you would be able to bring in with future businesses,” Renk told Troutman.

“We’re also trying to protect the tenants and anyone else who would move into that vacant storefront,” Village President Sean Michels said.

Trustee Mari Johnson proposed writing a contingency plan into the parking variance that would allow the village to require Deja-Schultz to expand parking capacity or enter into the agreement with Old Second Bank at anytime, if the village determines that additional parking is needed.

Board members voted 5-0 to approve the parking variance with the contingency plan.

Light years ahead

Photo: Waubonsee Community College’s first Photovoltaic Systems class has completed its certification requirements. Brian Rozel (back, left to right), Jeff Armesy, Wade Wessels, Matt Grant, Chris Johnson, John O’Connell, Joe Smith, Mark Labedz, Alex Valerio and Jose L. Tovar. Richard Andrzejewski (front, left to right), Ken Darby, Andy Steimel and Instuctor Gregg Erickson. Courtesy Photo

WCC graduates first solar energy technologies class
by Lynn Meredith
SUGAR GROVE—With fuel costs rising, it’s comforting to know that the cost of one form of energy is actually going down.

Photovoltaic systems, or solar panels, have dropped in price from $15 per watt to $4 per watt. According to Waubonsee Community College’s Renewable Energy Technologies Instructor Gregg Erickson, the cost could soon get down to $1-$2 per watt.

That’s just one of the reasons 13 people ranging in age from 20 to 60 enrolled in WCC’s first Photovoltaic Systems class.

“WCC was attuned to the growing need for renewable energy. This became one good option to get the work force exposed and trained. It’s a versatile program. Some students are individuals looking to get to know and understand, so they can install their own panels, or there are those that this is a new avenue of career,“ Erickson said. “Within the program, the focus for most students was installation, but there’s quite a market to design or sell the systems.”

Elburn resident Rich Andrzejewski was drawn to the class from an article he read in the Elburn Herald. As a former media developer, he was looking for a new career. Andrzejewski found the three classes leading toward the certificate to be challenging, but necessary for the future.

“Personally, I feel that it’s the way we should go. We’re going to run out of oil. We’re going to run out of gas,” he said. “The one thing I discovered in the class is that it required me to use all my knowledge from my past schooling: electricity, astronomy, algebra, geometry. It’s a combination of all those when you’re setting up a solar panel.”

The students study how to site the panels and how change of season affects productivity. They need to be aware of how the sun rotates on its axis and how ambient temperatures affect the force of the sun.

“As far as the Midwest, our location is ideal for solar panels. Snow and solar panels are great because of the brightness of the snow and for keeping the cables cool. A sunny place like Texas is actually too hot,” Andrzejewski said.

WCC installed solar panels in 2010, a wind turbine last April, and an underground geothermal system, all at the college’s Sugar Grove campus. In addition to photovoltaic systems, the college offers small wind technology and geothermal (heating and air conditioning) certificate programs.

“We use the systems on campus as examples for the training and exposure to show season changes. We can gather information and keep records to see what the production is,” Erickson said.

The HVAC lab on campus is cooled and heated by the geothermal tubing. Erickson is available to give tours of the lab to anyone who is interested.

Erickson worked as an electrician for 40 years, and took training in photovoltaic systems, which he went on to teach to journeymen.

He is enthusiastic about the renewable energy programs and the benefits for the future. He says new panels are being developed that are made of a film that goes over glass, making them an integral part of the structure.

“You don’t have to look very far to see the benefits of renewable energy. Just look at Europe. They have incentives and a commitment to solar power. They are way ahead of us in the use in homes. Germany, Italy, the U.K. are very much ahead of us having systems in their homes. Jimmy Carter, when he was president, realized that oil is too valuable to burn, yet today most of our power comes from coal. And they are still making money off drilling,” Erickson said.

For more information, visit www.waubonsee.edu and Renewable Energy Technologies.

Local author’s grandchildren are her inspiration

Photo: Hatcher McMichael, 2, from Elburn likes something in Linda Brodine‘s book, “Gramma, Tell Me A Story!” Author and quilter, Linda participated in a book signing at the Elburn Town and Country Public Library on July 11. Photo by John DiDonna

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Linda Brodine began telling stories as a way to entertain her grandchildren.

“They would ask me, ‘Grandma, tell me a story,’” she said. “It turned out to be a wonderful gift I didn’t know I had.”

Brodine’s stories are mainly inspired by the adventures and interests of her nine grandchildren. “Dinosaurs in the Caveman Graveyard” is the result of a request from one of her grandsons for a story about dinosaurs and zombies. The inspiration for “The Amazing Campout,” an adventure story set in Africa, began with her granddaughter’s love of zoo animals.

Brodine said that she begins with an idea, and then the story takes on a life of its own.

“It presents itself to me, and I just have to sit down and write it,” she said.

That doesn’t mean Brodine doesn’t do her research. So far, she has written three stories about Africa, and in addition to doing her own research, she asked a neighbor—also a teacher—to check the accuracy of what she wrote. She said she feels that she had better have her facts straight, even though the story itself might not be true.

Brodine’s mother, Blanch Labedz, did the illustrations for her initial stories. Blanch was living with her at the time, and Brodine said it was a wonderful process for both of them.

While she was writing the stories, Brodine was also quilting. She said she had an “A-ha” moment one day, and decided to make a quilt for each of her stories. She copied her mom’s illustrations onto fabric, and they became part of each quilt.

After her mom passed away, Brodine decided to self-publish a collection of her first eight stories. The book is titled, “Gramma, Please Tell Us A Story!”

Brodine has been getting the word out about her book in a variety of venues. During the school year, she visited a couple of classes at Ferson Creek Elementary School in St. Charles. During the art class, she introduced the children to the craft of quilting. The students made their own design and used pieces of fabric she had pre-cut to make their own quilts.

Brodine introduced her book to students in the English class and had them write their own story, as well as draw pictures to go with it. She said she loves to show children that you’re never too young to write a story.

“Kids need to stretch their imagination, and they need to have the confidence that they can actually create something,” she said.

She likes to surprise children with her stories, creating unpredictable scenarios and leaving them wide-eyed. However, there is one thing about which she is adamant.

“All my stories have a happy ending,” she said. “Kids need to know there is joy in the world and that there is hope in the world.”

Brodine, a resident within the Elburn Town and Country Library District, participated in a Blackberry Creek Elementary School event at the library on July 11. She shared her book with many children and their parents.

Elburn resident Shawn Friede, who moved to the area two months ago, brought her three children to the event. Brodine’s exhibit included copies of her book, as well as several quilts that went along with the stories.

Friede bought a copy of the book for her mom, who lives in Michigan.

“I’m not a quilter, but my mom is,” Friede said. “That’s how we spell ‘gramma,’ too.”

Brodine will participate in the Batavia Quilt & Textile Show, sponsored by Prairie Shop Quilts in Batavia, the weekend of July 20-22. The event will take place at the Eastside Community Center, 14 N. Van Buren St. in Batavia.

Children’s book author and Sugar Grove
resident Jeannette C. Kielp (left) talks about her book,
“Bigger Than The Boogie Man,” to 8-
year-old Teagan Andrews.
Photos by John DiDonna

Public speaks at annexation hearing

by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—A small crowd at the Elburn Village Board meeting on Monday voiced their concerns about the annexation and planned development agreement between the village and Elburn Station.

The hearing has been open for two months, and prior to Monday, only one person has contributed their opinion. The hearing will remain open and will be continued at the Aug. 6 meeting.

“We’re doing the best we can, but we need your input,” Village President Dave Anderson told the crowd. “The responsibility is on all of us.”

Four people spoke and asked questions of the board. All were opposed to the development. Their concerns centered on the idea that, with businesses missing in downtown, foreclosures abounding in Blackberry Creek and a good portion of the Blackberry Creek subdivision still undeveloped, there was no value in bringing in a large development.

“Do we want to do it again (bring in a development) with fresh property that hasn’t been touched?” one speaker asked.

Others emphasized that the plan to essentially double the population of Elburn and bring in 400 apartment units doesn’t fit with the rural character of the community.

“Is it really in the best interest of the community? There’ll be more people, more traffic, more pedestrians. Where does it add up? I would plead with the board to consider what the people of Elburn want. If it were put to a vote, (it wouldn’t pass),” Elburn resident Ron Rosecky said.

While it is close to being too late to put the question of the development on the ballot in November, board members expressed their frustration that, even though a copy of the plan is available at Village Hall and at the public library, they have received very little feedback.

“In an Elburn Herald poll, the largest response to the question (of whether the public approved of the Elburn Station development) is 52 people,” Anderson said.

Another concern expressed was the $400,000 fee that the village must pay if the Anderson Road extension is approved.

“Do we have that budgeted for next year?” Elburn resident Jim Peterson asked. “It’s asking a lot of citizens to come up with that.”

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said that the money is there. It was collected in a transportation impact fee from the Blackberry Creek subdivision.

Some asked for clarification about the connection between the Anderson Road project and Elburn Station. Anderson explained that Anderson Road is a county project, not a village project. Kane County must first secure a right of way from ShoDeen in order to build the bridge. Whether ShoDeen will do that is not known because, Anderson said, the developer is in negotiations with the county at this time.

“I feel we need this bridge in the village of Elburn more than we need anything. Not everyone is negative,” trustee Jerry Schmidt said. “Are we postponing this project (by not approving the annexation agreement now)? I’m worried we’re going to lose the bridge. Without the bridge, I don’t see how we can get more development.”

Anderson replied that the village has no influence over whether the bridge is built. Trustee Bill Graberek said that the county could take the land by eminent domain. He also said that Dave Patzelt of ShoDeen said in a public meeting that ShoDeen was not going to sign over the land unless there was an annexation agreement.

“I personally won’t vote just to get the land without feeling totally comfortable with the development,” Grabarek said.

Trustee Jeff Walter agreed that the board can only do what’s right for the village.

“If it takes longer, then that’s what it takes,” Walter said.

Anderson encouraged the public to call or email him or Willrett with any questions they might have concerning the proposed plan.

“Everybody on this board has spent hours and hours busting our stones to protect this village,” Anderson said. “What better time to look at this when we’re not under the gun. We’re setting up ordinances and policies for future development.”

More mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

KANE COUNTY—Three more batches (or pools) of mosquitoes collected recently have tested positive for West Nile Virus. The mosquito batches were collected in Kane County Health Department traps in Aurora, Montgomery and Carpentersville, Ill. This brings the total to five positive batches this year; the second from Carpentersville. These positive mosquito batches usually are the first indicators of West Nile activity.

With this year’s hot, dry weather, these results come as no surprise. First evidence of West Nile typically begins in July or August. And although it has been extraordinarily dry, the few intermittent showers experienced in the area are enough to leave small pools of stagnant water where the Culex mosquito, the species associated with the disease, can breed. Now is a good time to inspect your yard for areas that can collect water and remove it.

The Health Department monitors for WNV activity in your area. You can visit www.kanehealth.com/wnv_surveillance.htm to view a map of the trap locations throughout the county. Also as part of its West Nile program, the Health Department is collecting dead birds to be sent to the state lab for testing. Call (630) 444-3040 to report the presence of freshly-dead birds (such as crows or blue jays) to determine if WNV testing is recommended. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma.

In 2011, Kane reported one human case and five cases in 2010. In 2009, an unusually mild summer with cool temperatures, there were no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Kane County. There were three cases of the virus reported in 2008, 13 in 2007, four in 2006, 17 in 2005, two in 2004, none in 2003 and nine in 2002. You can view more detailed monitoring results from previous years by visiting http://kanehealth.com/west_nile.htm.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three-to-14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Only about two people out of 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness. Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis, meningitis and death, are possible. People older than 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:

Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn. Use prevention methods whenever mosquitoes are present.

When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that, according to label instructions, includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with 16-mesh wire screen. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Kane County Health Department’s website, www.kanehealth.com/west_ nile.htm, or the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Web site, www.idph.state.il.us/ envhealth/wnv.htm. People also can call the IDPH West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-866-369-9710, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q&A with legal experts

ILLINOIS—Illinois Law Now is an ongoing series of short answers to common legal questions distributed monthly by the Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Press Association.

Question: My neighbor recently burned a worn American flag.
Isn’t that unlawful?
Answer: According to federal law, incinerating a worn-out flag is the proper way to retire it and show honor and respect for your country. Some communities, like Chicago, host an annual flag-burning ceremony and burn thousands of used-up flags at one time.

Question: I offer unpaid internships at my company. Should I ask each intern to sign a contract?
Answer: Because of the jobs crisis, more people are willing to work for free as a way to gain experience. To help prevent a lawsuit, we suggest you have your attorney create a contract, which clearly spells out certain terms. These may include the fact that the intern will not receive wages or the guarantee of a paying job if there is an opening.

Question: What options are
available to me if I cannot
repay my student loan?
Answer: A student loan lender usually requires the borrower to start repaying the loan within several months to a year, even if the student did not graduate. If you cannot begin repaying the loan within the time frame stipulated in your loan contract, you should contact your lender for a deferment or forbearance agreement. Under some instances, like a medical condition, you may qualify to have the entire loan cancelled. You may also want to check out a relatively new federal program, the Income Based Repayment plan, which can make it easier for borrowers to meet monthly debt payments even if they are earning low wages or having problems finding a job.
Failure to repay a student loan can result in stiff penalties including a steep fine, seizure of assets, a lawsuit, and a drop in your credit score.

Question: I am a senior and am embarrassed to admit that I was the victim of a financial scam. Should I go after my predators?
Answer: Americans over age 60 lost at least $2.9 billion in 2010 to financial exploitation such as home repair scams and insurance swindles. Victims of these types of crimes, whose numbers have increased as the economy struggles, are often reluctant to fight back. Abusers know this and often take advantage. Talk to a trusted advisor, such as your lawyer, to help you identify your options.

Question: I have been selected as a juror for a trial. Will I be able
to question the witnesses?
Answer: Yes. Under a new rule adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court, jurors will be permitted to submit written questions for witnesses for the court to consider. The new rule went into effect on July 1, 2012. Proponents of the new law say it will help jurors better understand the case and stay engaged in the proceedings.

Question: Under what
circumstances can my health care provider disclose confidential health information?
Answer: Your health care provider has the right to disclose your confidential information for treatment, payment, and health care operations, such as quality assessment and improvement activities. For other health care disclosure information, check out the Illinois State Bar Association’s free brochure on its Website at http://bit.ly/LNi333.

Question: My ex-husband has not been making timely child care
payments. How can I ensure that he follows the terms of the
divorce decree?
Answer: If one of the parties does not adhere to the terms of judgment, the other person may have to go back to court and ask that the non-compliant party be held in contempt of court. If held in contempt, he or she may be required to: a) do what he or she failed to do, or b) pay for the attorney’s fees for the other person, and/or c) pay a fine or be imprisoned.

Question: Can I lose my home if
I file for personal bankruptcy?
Answer: The answer to that question depends on many factors, such as the equity in your home and whether you are seriously delinquent in your mortgage payments at the time you file bankruptcy. You should consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney to answer this question based on your circumstances. However, in most bankruptcy cases, individuals do not lose their homes in the bankruptcy. In general, a debtor has a greater ability to protect assets in Chapter 13 than in Chapter 7.

Question: If I use alternative
dispute resolution (ADR), such as
a mediator to resolve my dispute, do I still need an attorney?
Answer: Mediators and arbitrators do not provide legal advice and do not act as a lawyer for any party. A party to any method of ADR should consider retaining the services of a lawyer in order to obtain the necessary legal advice to understand the full nature, scope and potential consequences of the dispute in which they are involved.
A lawyer can also assist a party to a dispute in choosing the most appropriate ADR method.
A lawyer will understand the procedure and preparation necessary to mediate or arbitrate a dispute, and can guide and represent you through any method of ADR.

Question: I understand the
importance of using an attorney to BUY a home, but do I really need one when I SELL my home?
Answer: When and how you sell your home may be the largest and most important investment decision of your life. Working with a knowledgeable real estate attorney will help ensure that you protect your investment and ensure that the process of selling your home goes smoothly.
For example, did you know that every sale of a home must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and may be subject to a capital gains tax? However, if you have owned and occupied your principal residence for more than two years you may not have to pay this tax. An experienced real estate attorney can help you understand tax problems that may occur if your home is sold at the wrong time. They will also make sure you understand all legal aspects of the sale.

Question: What is the best way
to find a qualified lawyer to
handle my case?
Answer: The most common way to find an attorney is through word of mouth. Talk to your friends and business associates, and ask them for referrals.

Another way is through the Illinois Lawyer Referral Service operated by the Illinois State Bar Association for the convenience of the public. The telephone number is (877) 290-7802, or you can visit their website at www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. Some local city or county bar associations also operate their own lawyer referral systems.

For more information about Illinois law, visit www.illinoislawyerfinder.com. If you have a legal question, send it to illinoislawcolumn@isba.org.

Updated: Body found on side of Meredith Road identified

Updated July 19, 2012: The deceased person was identified as Joyce David, 57, of Elburn.

From the July 19, 2012 paper editon of the Elburn Herald: KANE COUNTY—Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies on Wednesday located a deceased person near a vehicle on the side of Meredith Road, north of Keslinger Road and Kaneland High School property.

The deceased person is an adult female and is not a student at Kaneland High School. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. The initial investigation does not indicate any suspicion of foul play. The cause of death will not be available until the completion of the autopsy by the Kane County Coroner’s Office. The case remains under investigation. No additional details are being released until the completion of the investigation.

Kindness of strangers and friends saves a little girl’s sight

Photo: Maple Park resident Bri Erickson, diagnosed with infantile glaucoma soon after birth, underwent surgery on June 4 to help improve her condition. The procedure was made possible by donations from
the community and strangers who donated through
www.youcaring.com. Courtesy Photo

MP family receives support for infant daughter’s eye surgery
by Susan O’Neill
Maple Park—Katie Sexton noticed some things about her daughter Bridget (or Bri) just a few days after she was born, but it would take her four months to convince her family doctor that there was something wrong.

Katie, a Maple Park resident, said that Bri never babbled or smiled like other babies. She wouldn’t make eye contact, and she was very sensitive to light.

“She was so quiet,” Katie said.

When she brought her concerns to her doctor, he told her that it was too early to tell if something was wrong. It was the nurse practitioner who finally observed that Bridget’s eyes were very large.

They were referred to an opthamologist, who did an eye exam with Bri under anesthesia. The opthamologist told Katie her daughter needed surgery right away. Her diagnosis was infantile glaucoma, which means a build-up of fluid behind her eyes.

The surgery relieved a lot of the pressure from the fluid, but there was already some damage to her cornea. Normal pressure in the eyes from fluid is in the single digits, and Bridget’s was over 40. In addition to the painful pressure on the eyes, the opthamologist told her that infantile glaucoma can cause major damage to the eyes, and could lead to blindness.

The doctor wasn’t sure what had caused the glaucoma, and Bri also had some developmental delays. She was referred to a geneticist and a neurologist, and began physical and vision therapy.

Within two weeks, she started rolling over, Katie said.

However, treating infantile glaucoma is much more difficult than it is in adults, Sexton said. Infants’ eyes heal differently. The incisions made in the eyes to relieve the pressure heal quickly and the pressure begins to build again.

She can’t tell them when she is hurting, and crying makes the pressure rise.

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, her doctor told Katie that there was a specific surgery that held a lot of promise for improvement. However, he did not have the skills to do the surgery, nor did any other doctor in the state of Illinois.

They found a doctor in Pittsburgh that could do the surgery, but their insurance company would not cover the procedure because it was an out-of-state provider. The surgery would cost a total of $15,000 to $20,000 out of pocket. They would also have to provide a down payment of $9,000 by the hospital’s deadline or they would take Bri off the surgical list.

“I just didn’t know how to live in a world where my daughter was blind,” Katie said.

Katie knew she had to find the money to pay for Bri’s surgery.

Katie’s family has held two fundraisers so far. They received donations for raffle drawings, including trees from a landscaper and mountain bikes from a bike shop. During the first event, they raised $1,400 in four hours.

Katie and her husband emptied their savings account, and Katie found a website called youcaring.com for online fundraisers.

Through Facebook, word of mouth, newspaper articles and family telling friends, people came forward in a major way, Katie said. They received more than 100 donations from the website, with a large percentage coming from people the Sextons did not know. People gave their money and their words of support and prayer.

“We were in tears almost every single day, watching the donations come in on the website,” she said. “It’s great to know that all of these people have helped and have opened their hearts to us, and especially to Bri.”

They raised enough for the hospital’s down payment, and Bri had the surgery on June 4. Since then, she has made major strides. She crawls, she feeds herself, and she is developing her fine motor skills.

“She’s almost where she should be for her age,” Katie said. “She’s very, very brave, and she definitely works very hard. She’s come so, so far.”

Bri turned one year old on July 1, and the family is having a combination birthday and thank-you party on Sunday, July 22, for the family and friends who have done so much to help. They decided to wait so that Sexton’s two sisters from out of town could be here.

“Without everyone who donated, we would not have been able to have the surgery,” Katie said.

With the surgery behind them, they are back in fundraising mode, as the remaining bills have started to arrive from the hospital. They are planning to hold additional fundraisers, and they hope to pay off the rest of the hospital bills by the end of the year.

In the meantime, Bri will get glasses in a couple of weeks, and for now is wearing an eye patch. She’s getting additional vision therapy and speech therapy and will continue to have pressure tests every six weeks. Their hope is that she won’t need additional surgery.

If she does, however, Dr. Wingard, who was trained by the doctor who did Bri’s surgery in Pittsburgh, will soon be in practice at their opthamologist’s office in Wheaton, Ill. This time, if she does need surgery, the family’s insurance will cover it.

For more information or to make a donation and offer your support, visit the website at youcaring.com/babybrineedstosee.

Village green lights Mallard Point drainage improvements

by Cheryl Borrowdale
SUGAR GROVE—After three years of planning and negotiations, the Mallard Point/Rolling Oaks drainage project received a green light on Tuesday, when the village received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and hired contractors to begin construction.

Village Board members voted 5-0 to approve a contract with Neslund Construction to perform the drainage improvements for $1,142,184.09, the lowest bid. The engineering firm of Trotter and Associates was also contracted to oversee the construction on the village’s behalf.

“It’s exciting to finally have the green light to go forward and to be able to solve some things for those residents,” Village President Sean Michels said.

The contract was the final step in a long process that has included approval of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Rob Roy Drainage District, an easement agreement, a special assessment, project bid approval, pond/wetland proposal approval and an SSA levy. The village applied for the permit from the Army Corps in January, but the approval depended partially on an orchid survey by US Fish and Wildlife Service that could only be done between June 28 and July 11. Three visits on non-consecutive days confirmed that wild orchids are not growing in the wetland area, Mark Bushnell, project engineer for Trotter and Associates, said.

Construction on the drainage project—which will install a pipe 30 inches in diameter and 8,800 feet long to convey groundwater from the two subdivisions to the Drainage District ditch near Jericho Road and Route 30—will begin in approximately one month, Bushnell told the aoard on Tuesday night.

The project will lower high groundwater levels in Mallard Point and Rolling Oaks, resolving the drainage problems that have plagued some residents for years, causing some houses to have flooded basements, sump pumps that ran continuously and mold issues. Many of the houses experiencing problems are along Brookhaven Drive or within a block or two of it, although houses scattered throughout both subdivisions have experienced drainage issues, Bushnell said.

Trustee Kevin Geary urged the contractors to begin work quickly.

“The greatest fear I have is that we have some of the best possible weather to get this pipe in, and my fear is that we will miss it and get rain in a month,” he said. “This project has been years in the making, and I can tell you that the residents are very tired out there and want it done. Anything we can do to expedite that (should be done).”

The project is moving forward as quickly as possible, Bushnell said, but before the construction can begin the area must first be dewatered. Work will then start on the south end and move toward Jericho Road up north, and the project will be substantially completed within 150 days, and finally completed within 180 calendar days from the start date.

“Right now we have a contractor who has indicated that those completion dates are not an issue, but we haven’t received final confirmation,” Bushnell said. “It’s in their best interest to get it done before snow flies. The 150 to 180 days is just to allow the contractor enough time.”

Bushnell said that the village, the county and other agencies deserved credit for their collaborative efforts to move the project forward.

“At the completion of the project, we hope it alleviates the drainage concerns that initiated the project three years ago,” Bushnell said.

Wielding the hammer: Dyer goes National

Photo: Kaneland junior Nate Dyer brandishes the medals from recent competition under the USA Track and Field banner. Dyer is bringing talent in four events to the National Junior Olympics in Baltimore. Courtesy Photo

State and Regional totals pay off for junior Olympic-bound athlete
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—One would think that a summer full of footballs and pads would be enough for an ordinary student.

With incoming KHS junior Nate Dyer, there are qualifying factors, however.

Dyer is also dealing in hammers, javelins, shots and discs, and he’s putting up an effort that is extraordinary.

Dyer, who as an impressive aside, qualified for the IHSA Class 2A Track and Field meet in shot and discus, is set to compete at the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.

The week-long fest occurs from Tuesday, July 23, through Monday, July 29.

Dyer’s showing at Franklin University’s Regional Junior Olympics in Franklin, Ind., (July 7-8), that included first places in both the hammer throw and shot put, and second places in the discus and javelin, allowed him to make plans to travel with his family to the athletic showcase on the east coast.

Dyer won’t be intimidated.

“Once you get there, it’s more doing what you’re comfortable with,” Dyer said. “You don’t want to try and change up stuff.”

Dyer, who first qualified for the National stage in 2010, made headway in the State Junior Olympics held in Kankakee, Ill., back on June 22-24.

All he did there was take first in the javelin and shot put, plus set the state record in the hammer throw by 19 feet.

That high trajectory of performance is not just sheer talent, as Dyer knows the value of taking mentors advice to heart.

“I listen to all the coaches in every sport and what they tell me,” Dyer said. “A big influence is usually my dad, and he researches a lot. He never played, what I played but he’s organized and looks into details, and that helps. I never have to worry.”

Dyer’s numbers in regionals took place against other elite athletes from Illinois and Indiana in Region 7. He was sponsored by DeKalb Huskies track.

The Knight athlete can expect big things against competitors from the other 49 states if he can duplicate a similar outcome in an event like the shot put, which saw him ace the grouping by three-and-a-half feet.

“There is kind of a lot of pressure. The first year that I did this, I didn’t really know much about it, but I ended up throwing almost 160 with the little disc and placed third two years ago, and we have expectations,” Dyer said.

Next year’s USATF elite national gathering is set for Greensboro, NC, on the campus of North Carolina A&T University, but Dyer elects to attack what’s in front of him at the moment.

For now, that’s javelin marks, followed by Northern Illinois Big XII ball-carriers.

“Once I get through State and Regionals, there’s more competition,” Dyer said. “I just try to qualify and get the job done.”

KHS baseball in regional semi

Photo: Joe Komel, handling first base duties for Kaneland High School’s summer league squadron, is shown moving toward home with the ball in play during last week’s action in Batavia.The summer homestretch began on Monday with a 6-1 win over Harlem High School on Monday. File Photo

KANELAND—It’s not the spring athletic season, but there’s still things to play for if your Kaneland High School baseball.

The Knight boys played a 26-game summer season before entering regional action, hosted by St. Charles East High School.

Things are looking up for the KHS lineup, as the ninth-seeded local outfit earned a 6-1 win over Machesney Park’s Harlem Huskies on Monday—a win over the eighth seed.

Kaneland followed that up with a 6-5, nine-inning win over the the top seed Rock Island Rocks on Tuesday afternoon.

It was set to lead to a battle in the summer regional semifinal at St. Charles East High School on Wednesday against the host Saints.

St. Charles East is the fifth seed and had victories over Marmion Academy and Geneva as notches in the belt.

Matt Limbrunner and Blake Sowell earned the wins this week.

Big Rock area gathering baseball talent

BIG ROCK—Cobras 11U Baseball Team is an independent organization from the Hinckley-Big Rock area and surrounding communities. The 2013 11U team is looking to add players for the 2013 season. The team plays in three or four tournaments (35-game schedule) in 2013. Tryouts are on Saturday, July 28, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Plowman’s Park, 48W508 Hinckley Road, Big Rock.

Contact Scott Swanson at (630) 768-3009 or Dennis Flanagan at (630) 391-8413.

Kaneland Travel Baseball gearing up in 2013

KANELAND—The Kaneland Travel Baseball Program, which will start in the summer of 2013, has released its tryout dates and information for the 11U, 12U, and 13U travel baseball teams that will compete in the KCBL next year, with a birthday cut-off day of May 1. Beginning with the summer of 2014, the KTB will incorporate 10U and 14U for a total of five levels of travel baseball.

The following information is for those tryouts:
Friday, July 27: 11U—4:30 to 6:30 p.m., 12U—5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 13U—6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
(all at Wheeler Park in Sugar Grove)
Friday, Aug. 3: 11U—5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 12U 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
(at Wheeler Park)
Saturday, Aug. 4: 13U—9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
(at McNair Field in Elburn)
Sunday, Aug.12: 11U, 12U, 13U 1 to 3 p.m.
(at McNair Field)

This is for anyone at any of the age levels that couldn’t make the other tryout dates. All the participants are run through the same tryout. There will be a pre-registration form posted on the Kaneland Travel Baseball website, www.kanelandtravelbaseball.com that can be printed and filled out and brought to tryouts, or a parent will need to fill one out once you arrive. These tryouts are only open to those students who will go to Kaneland High School and reside in the district. If you have any questions, contact coach Brian Aversa at Brian.Aversa@kaneland.org.

Non-wood bats still no-no

INDIANAPOLIS—New language has been added to the high school baseball rules to re-emphasize that non-wood bats cannot be altered.

This additional note in Rule 1-3-2 was one of four rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Baseball Rules Committee at its June 3-5 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The new note in Rule 1-3-2 is as follows: “The NFHS has been advised that certain manufacturers consider alteration, modification and ‘doctoring’ of their bats to be unlawful and subject to civil and, under certain circumstances, criminal action.”

“Not only is it a violation of NFHS baseball rules to alter a non-wood bat, this new language emphasizes that an individual could be subjected to a civil or criminal lawsuit for tampering with a bat,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and educational services and staff liaison to the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee.

Two other changes deal with the use of new technology. Rule 3-3-1f prohibits the use of video monitoring equipment for coaching purposes during the game, and Rule 3-3-1i prohibits the use of any electronic devices in the coach’s box.

“Technology has improved to the level that mobile devices can accurately video different aspects of the game, which provides an unfair advantage to a coach by replaying the footage in the dugout during the contest,” Hopkins said.

The final change approved by the Baseball Rules Committee deals with the warm-up criteria for a pitcher who replaces an ejected player during an inning. If a pitcher is ejected, an incoming pitcher will be afforded the same warm-up criteria as a replacement for an injured player.

Under normal circumstances, a relief pitcher is allowed eight warm-up throws; however, the umpire may allow additional pitches because of an injury, ejection or inclement weather.

A complete listing of all rules changes approved by the committee is available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.

Xplosion 96 goes 6-3

LEMONT, Ill.—The Kane County Xplosion competed in the recent Chicago Metro’s Tournament, held this past weekend in Lemont, Ill., earning a top-10 finish in the 48-team field with a 6-3 overall record.

Madeline Avery hit four home runs, while Paige Kuefler, Samantha Phelps and Emma Spagnola each added a home run. Amanda Lack added two triples, and Allison Miller batted .389. Lauren Zick accounted for nine runs. Denise Gombar and McKenzie Bretag added key hits. Kaylee Hayton and Stephanie Prentice pitched for the Xplosion.

This week the girls will be back in Lemont for the Jim Dede Memorial Tournament.

Editorial: A change in leadership; an affirmation of our foundational principles

Anytime there is a change in leadership inside an organization, questions soon follow: How will the organization’s culture change? Will the group’s core philosophy evolve? Will the group continue to care about the same things they cared about before?

We at the Elburn Herald are entering into just such a transition—as of this edition, the new Elburn Herald Editor is Keith Beebe—and we can assure you that not only will the core mission, vision and values of the paper remain the same, Keith will add his talents and enthusiasm to ensure that the Elburn Herald will add even more to its community-service focus.

Keith is a textbook example of someone “working their way up from the bottom.” He began his tenure here as an unpaid intern in 2008, and we brought him on in a paid capacity the first moment we were able to do so. He immediately demonstrated that “special something” that cannot be taught; that care for the community and a desire to both pursue journalism in the right way and to constantly improve.

Over and over, Keith demonstrated his focus on constant improvement, and in doing so, inspired each of us to improve as well.

His natural leadership ability quickly moved him from freelance reporter to staff reporter, and then to Assistant Editor.

Keith had not even had the opportunity to fully settle into his new leadership role when he found himself in a situation in which he had to take on even more responsibilities. When former editor and current owner/publisher Ryan Wells went on a month-long medical leave in late May, Keith embraced the challenge of managing a newsroom while navigating the transition into his then-new role.

He juggled the responsibilities of being acting Editor so well during that time that it only makes sense that he continue in the role officially.

We are excited to give Keith this opportunity, simply because he has earned it.

And while it is understandable that the questions referenced above may exist, we know that they will be answered quickly in each and every issue, if they haven’t been already: The Elburn Herald’s philosophy of serving the Kaneland community through the pursuit of seeking and reporting the truth about the community and its members will only be strengthened by this change. The core philosophy of holding firm to the ideals of journalism—of being straightforward and honest, never sensationalizing a situation for a short-term boost in readership, never allowing the news product to take a side in a situation—will continue as always. And finally, the group, under Keith’s leadership, will always care more about serving the Kaneland communities than any other media outlet that exists.

The Elburn Herald has served the area for more than 100 years, and each owner, publisher and editor has ensured that everything they do serves that foundational set of principles. Going back to day one, in April 1908, each leader in the organization has acted as a steward of this set of mission, vision and values, and has passed that foundation along to each future set of leaders.

Keith has inherently understood those principles from his first day here as an unpaid intern, and he is focused on ensuring that the foundation continues to strengthen in the future.

Letter: Save the fireworks—UPDATED

The highlight of the Sugar Grove Corn Boil is the Saturday night fireworks presented by the Sugar Grove Lions Club.

So far, the Lions Club has only raised half of the funds necessary to put on the fireworks show. If we do not have all the funds necessary for the fireworks by Thursday, July 26, the fireworks will be cancelled.

If you can help with a donation to the Sugar Grove Lions Club, please contact Lion President Keith Koester at (630) 358-7298.

William F. Keck
Charter member
Sugar Grove Lions Club