Power in Peoria

Photo: Kaneland junior Kyle Carter (1296) and senior Conor Johnson (1298) battle a Yorkville runner shortly after the 2-mile mark at Saturday’s IHSA State Cross Country meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Johnson finished a team-best 15 minutes, 18 seconds, good enough for 36th place, while Carter was just behind in 15:22 (48th place). The Knights placed 13th in the meet. Photo by Justin Vacha

Knights’ 13th-best program in State after Detweiller Park run
by Mike Slodki
Peoria, Ill.—The Kaneland High School boys cross country team set a number of personal and team records at the State Finals in Peoria on Saturday.

The Knights finished 13th overall, improving upon last year’s 15th place finish at State.

Yet, even more important than inching up the team final totals, the Knights set an all-time school record for team time of scoring runners, 78:34. Kaneland’s previous best mark of 78:43 was set by the 1987 State Championship team.

KHS head coach Chad Clarey said the team came to Peoria with a gameplan consisting of a list of goals, both on a personal and team level.

“The team executed our race plan flawlessly, in the deepest and fastest (Class) 2A field ever,” Clarey said. “We averaged 15:42 for our scoring runners, and even that wasn’t fast enough to make the top 10 of this class.”

Keyed by top-40 finishes from leaders Conor Johnson and Kyle Carter, Kaneland finished 13th overall with a team score of 351 points, 20 better than in 2011.

With an 85-point total, Chicago’s Jones High School took the top team trophy, followed by Belvidere North at 126 and Knight conference rival Yorkville at 129.

Former conference-mate Glenbard South was fifth overall at 190, while fellow Northern Illinois Big XII outfit Dixon was 10th.

Kaneland finished 10 points behind East Moline United, and ahead of Fenton’s 376.

“The team has worked so hard through summer heat, cold ice baths, intense intervals and exhausting races,” Clarey said. “We are so proud, and even more blessed to have had this opportunity come and then be answered by seven courageous young men and their teammates.”

John Wold of Glenbard South ran the course in 14 minutes, 16 seconds for the individual title, followed by Crystal Lake Central’s Alex Baker at 14:21, and Riley McInerney of Charleston rounded out the top three at 14:33.

The top-seven of the Knights proved itself formidable in chilly conditions, with the senior Johnson running his final high school race at a 36th-place clip of 15:18, good for a 5:06 pace, shaving 42 seconds off his state run the year prior.

“His (Johnson) senior leadership has been a major reason why we made it this far,” Clarey said. “We are very proud of his character, as well as his running talents.”

Carter was next for the KHS lineup at 15:22, completing his junior season in 48th place in the state. Carter’s time shaved 23 seconds off last year’s appearance at the State Finals.

“We are so proud of Kyle, and all he has managed these past four weeks with an IT band injury,” Clarey said. “He’s overcome a lot, and certainly been a leader on the course and in practices.”

Junior Nathaniel Kucera was 103rd overall at 15:51.

“Nathaniel Kucera didn’t even make our state roster last fall. He turned that disappointment into fuel for a fire that allowed him to post an incredible 15:51 PR,” Clarey said. “His story from 2011 to 2012 will be long remembered, and cherished.”

Senior teammate John Meisinger took 111th at 15:53.

“Seeing seniors like Meisinger leave the course smiling and fulfilled is probably the best part of our day, as coaches,” Clarey said.

Junior Luis Acosta was fifth-best on the team and 139th overall with an effort of 16:12. Kaneland senior Brandon Huber was 157th overall at 16:22, while junior Ryan Bower finished the State lineup at 16:32 for 165th place.

“There isn’t a trophy for what this team achieved, but there’s great satisfaction in knowing that their group set the new standard over another that was Coach Eddington’s greatest cross country team,” Clarey said. “Granted, we are twice the size of a school now than when Larry’s crew won in ‘87.”

Editorial: Kaneland District, community make strides toward bully-free environment

At the Kaneland School Board meeting on Sept. 24, Kaneland parent and Elburn resident Leigh Ann Reusche read a letter on behalf of Knights Against Bullying (KAB), a self-described “group of concerned parents, teachers, former students, and community members coming together for the purpose of addressing the issue of bullying in our schools, and in our communities.”

In the letter, Reusche asked the School Board to implement five recommendations: make bullying prevention a priority; assign a prevention coordinator; form a task force; develop or adopt a comprehensive, multi-faceted district-wide plan; and implement, maintain and evaluate the plan.

It appears Kaneland was listening.

After meeting with KAB on Oct. 9, the school administration on Oct. 29 unveiled a district-distributed work update and response identifying bullying prevention as a goal in the Superintendent Plan of Work.

The plan also designates assignment of a prevention coordinator and gathering of a task force. Dr. Sarah Mumm, director of educational services K-5, and Erika Schlichter, director of educational services 6-12, will coordinate the work group revising the district’s current bullying prevention plan. Once revisions are finalized, focus will move to student services.

We applaud KAB and community members for having the courage to stand up and speaking out against a difficult issue like school bullying. Likewise, we applaud the Kaneland administration for having the good sense to listen to the community and work with KAB in order to move forward and hopefully put an end to the bullying issue in District 302. As School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said following the Sept. 24 meeting, “One bullied child is too many.”

We also ask that School Board members stick together, communicate with the administration and realize that board unity is absolutely essential when taking on a stubborn issue such as school bullying. After all, it’s probably counterproductive to point fingers and stare down members of the administration in attendance—tactics that could be considered bullying in their own right—while working to make the School District a safer institution for students.

Emotions can run high when it comes to troubling topics like bullying, but if School Board trustees and administration can stay the course and continue to work with the community, Kaneland School District will be a better place for students and parents alike.

Letter: Corn Boil Committee shares proceeds with local organizations

All the bills have been paid, the seed money for the 2012 event is banked, and the committee is pleased to share the proceeds with local organizations.

The Sugar Grove Corn Boil Committee is proud to be able to give back $13,700 into the community after a successful event this summer. On Oct. 18, 2012, Corn Boil President Jean Lindsey presented the donations to a variety of community organizations. The Corn Boil meeting and presentation ceremony was held at the Sugar Grove Senior Center on Snow Street in Sugar Grove.

This year, we’re pleased to recognize and present a financial donation to the following organizations: Between Friends Food Pantry Big Rock Park District, Calvary West Church, Clown Ministry, Elburn Boy Scouts Troop No. 7, John Shields Elementary School, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Kaneland Drum Core, Kaneland First Responders, St. Katharine Drexel Church, Sugar Grove American Legion No. 127, Sugar Grove Community House, Sugar Grove Historical Society, Sugar Grove Lion Club Fireworks, Sugar Grove Park District, Sugar Grove Township Senior Center, Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, Sugar Grove Veteran’s Park, Village Bible Church of Sugar Grove and West Town Human Services Network.

The next Sugar Grove Corn Boil will mark the 46th anniversary of this annual event. Please support your community by helping to plan this special event in 2013. Beginning in January, the Sugar Grove Corn Boil meetings will be held the third Thursday of every month. The Corn Boil is a volunteer-run community event, featuring three family-friendly and fun-filled days.

For more information about the 2012 Corn Boil, visit www.sugargrovecornboil.org, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

Fairel Rank
Fairel Anne Design, Ltd.

Boys basketball spaghetti dinner

Kaneland—The Kaneland boys basketball program will offer its fourth annual spaghetti dinner for the Kaneland community on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

The price per person is $5. Enjoy food that will be served by the boys in the basketball program.

RSVP to Brian Johnson by email, brian.johnson@kaneland.org, or by phone at (630) 365-5100, ext. 347.

Fred ‘Phred’ Hendershot Jr.

Fred “Phred” Hendershot Jr. , 89, of Elburn, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.

Fred was born Aug. 18, 1923, in Tecumseh, Mich., the son of Fred Sr. and Corinne Hendershot.

When Fred was a young child, his family moved to Oak Park, Ill., where he attended local schools. Around the age of 8, he took on his first job selling newspapers. Fred went on to graduate from Oak Park High School, where he was a member of the Oak Park-River Forest football team.

After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he proudly served his country stateside during World War II. He went to officer school and earned the rank of Second Lieutenant. Fred continued his education upon his return to civilian life by enrolling in the University of Michigan, where he studied business.

On June 14, 1947, Fred married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Ann Swikard, and they were happily married for the next 52 years before Barbara Ann’s passing in 1999.

In 1948 they welcomed their first child, Susan. Over time, their family grew to include Kurt, Mark, Karla, Janet and Lance. In the 1950s, after spending some time finding a place to call home, they settled in Mt. Prospect for the next 25 years.

In March of 1981, Fred and his family moved to Elburn, where they created many more memories.

Over the years, Fred worked as a salesman for Ware Aluminum Windows and Frama Building Products.

Fred was a long time member of St. Charles Moose Lodge No. 1368. He also spent time volunteering with the Salvation Army and Golden Diners.

He is survived by his children, Kurt (Sandy) Hendershot, Mark (Christine) Hendershot, Karla (Mike) Teafoe, Janet Hendershot and Lance (Courtney) Hendershot; grandchildren, Derek, Kendra, Bekki, Kyle, Taryn, Mitchel, Haley, Wyatt and Landon; five great-granchildren, with 2 on the way; and sister, Barbara Jean Hendershot

He is preceded by his loving wife of 52 years, Barbara Ann; and his daughter, Susan Reed.

Visitation was held Saturday at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. Elburn. A memorial service celebrating Fred’s life was held at the funeral home. Pastor Lisa Kruse-Stafford of Cornerstone United Methodist Church officiated.

A special message from Fred:
“In lieu of flowers or donations I ask you take a friend to lunch or dinner and tell him or her the things we think of only after someone is gone.”

Tributes and condolences may be mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. You can read Fred’s full life story on the web at www.conleycare.com.

Dole Fresh Vegetables recalls salad product

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department is announcing that Dole Fresh Vegetables will voluntarily recall a limited number of cases of Dole American Blend salad in 12-ounce bags, coded A275208A or B, with Use-by date of Oct. 17, and UPC 7143000933, due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. Consumers who have any remaining product with these product codes should not consume it, but rather discard it.

The product code and use-by date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in 10 U.S. states (Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin).

This precautionary recall notification is being issued after a sample of Dole American Blend salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random test.

No other salads are included in the recall. Retailers and consumers with questions may call the Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center at (800) 356-3111.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The illness primarily impacts pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems. Most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill after exposure to Listeria monocytogenes.

2012 local election results

Local Election Results
Winners in bold
Kane County Circuit Clerk
Thomas M. (“Tom”) Hartwell 92,514
Edmund James Nendick 70,692
Kane County Recorder
Sandy Wegman 93122
Brenda Rogers 70898
Kane County Coroner
L. Robert (Rob) Russell 92093
Tao Martinez 71195
Kane County Board Chairman
Chris Lauzen 93730
Sue Klinkhamer 72147
Kane County Board District 5
Melisa Taylor 6244
Norman D. Martin 3244
Kane County Board District 18
Andrew E. “Drew” Frasz 6353
Kerri A. Branson 3433

November is National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month

CHICAGO—November is National Pet Diabetes Month, and BluePearl Veterinary Partners encourages pet owners to become more aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes.

Diabetes is a relatively common disease in which the body doesn’t use glucose properly. If left untreated, diabetes is life threatening. It is manageable, and if detected early enough, pets with diabetes can live a normal life when treated and medicated properly. In some cases with cats, diabetes can actually be reversed.

Signs and symptoms of diabetes that owners should be aware of include the following:
• Increase in water consumption
• Increase in urination
• Increase in appetite
• Weight loss
• Cataracts may be present if diabetes has been existent for a longer period of time

Certain steps can be taken to prevent diabetes. For example, obesity is a risk factor that can be controlled.

In cats, diabetes is similar to the human version of diabetes and can often be managed with a change of diet recommended and supervised by a veterinarian. In dogs, diabetes must be managed with insulin.

“If you notice any of these symptoms, we highly recommend seeing your family veterinarian as soon as possible,” said Dr. Neil Shaw, chief medical officer of BluePearl.

Rabies registration for unaltered pets to increase Dec. 1

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Health Department is sending a reminder that fees for rabies registration for pets that are not spayed or neutered will increase on Saturday, Dec. 1. The County Board adopted the new fees at its Sept. 11 meeting.

The cost of the annual rabies registration for unaltered pets will increase to $25, up from $10. The cost of a three-year registration for unaltered pets will increase to $62.50, up from $25.

Registration for pets that have been spayed or neutered will remain at $10 for the annual registration and $25 for a three-year rabies registration.

County pet owners who are age 65 or older are exempt from the new fees.

MP Class of ‘52 celebrates 60-year reunion

Maple Park High School’s Class of 1952 celebrated its 60-year reunion on Oct. 13 at Sorrento’s in Maple Park. Classmates that attended were Bernard Ziegler (top row, left to right), Stuart Burgess, Roger King, Wendell Dienst and Orval Peterson; (bottom row) Inez (Keneway) Pearson, Charlotte (Clark) Needham and Alice (Hintzsche) Lindblom. Courtesy Photo

FitMama opens new Elburn location

A group of FitMama supporters, Erin Schaefer (center), village officials and Elburn Chamber of Commerce members joined to welcome FitMama to the Village of Elburn on Oct. 19. FitMama is located at 707 Herra Drive in Elburn, and is a new women-only fitness facility. Courtesy Photo

School Board approves 2013 tentative tax levy

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Monday voted 5-1 to approve the 2013 tentative tax levy.

Board member Tony Valente voted against the tentative levy.

The total tentative tax levy is $50,790,145, with an estimated total Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) of $754,311,757 ($745,311,757 in existing EAV and $9,200,000 in new construction). This estimate represents a 7 percent decrease from last year’s existing EAV of $797,495,995—and a 5.85 percent decrease from last year’s total EAV of $801,195,438—and also sets the limiting rate for 2012 at 5.3459 percent, revealing a total estimated operating tax extension of $40,324,572.

According to a document from Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for business, it has been the custom of the board to ensure that the School District receive the maximum property taxes allowable under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (or “tax cap”).

“With unstable federal and state tax revenue streams, our local tax levy is essential to our School District. Without it, the $6 million in cost reduction over the last three years would have been much higher,” Schuler said. “In a time of declining EAV, tax rates will increase to provide the dollars needed for the levy. However, the School District would not be able to provide the educational services our community expects without the levy.”

As for impact on Kaneland taxpayers, the approximate tax bill for the district in 2012 would be $4,443 (increase of $469 from 2011) for a home valued at $200,000, $6,664 (increase of $702) on a home valued at $300,000, $8,885 (increase of $936) on a home valued at $400,000, and $11,107 (increase of $1,170) on a home valued at $500,000.

The School Board is slated to review changes to the tentative tax levy and finalize fund distribution at the meeting on Monday, Nov. 26, and hold a hearing and final approval at the meeting on Monday, Dec. 10. Filing would then take place on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Kaneville residents protest shortened hours at post office

by Chris Paulus
KANEVILLE—The Kaneville Post Office on Thursday, Nov. 1, at noon will host a meeting at its location, 2S101 Harter Road in Kaneville, to finalize a decision to shorten the post office’s hours from seven window hours a day to four window hours a day.

According to Pat Hill, village trustee and owner of Hill’s Country Store, most of the local community is very unhappy about the proposed reduction in post office hours.

“Our post office is unique in that we don’t have to pay high rent because we don’t own it,” she said. “We pay lower taxes to our township compared to those that pay real estate taxes, because they own the building. We should have the money to keep these hours. If we change these hours, we might wind up with somebody who doesn’t know the job.”

Hill organized a petition at her store that has managed to gather about 180 signatures protesting the measure. She said she is also expecting a large turnout of community members to object the reduction at the meeting on Thursday.

Kaneville resident Joann Murdock said that these hours will pose a significant inconvenience to the community, local business owners, and post office employees.

“It takes a couple of hours to sort through the mail. We have unique and peculiar addresses, and it takes time to sort through,” she said. “Local businesses, like Record Information Services, who services clients in the Chicago area, will not be able to send mail out on the same day.”

Both Hill and Murdock confirmed that there were surveys sent out regarding this decision, but both claimed that they were not sent to the full extent of the community.

“They sent out about 170 surveys, which isn’t near the amount of the approximately 400 families that use this office,” Murdock said.

Murdock is concerned that these shorter window hours will hurt the profitability of the post office, and that it’s a poor, long-term decision that could reflect poorly on future budget reviews.

“We incorporated Kaneville about three years ago. If they wind up taking out the post office due to poor profitability, then no one will have a Kaneville address, and we feel like that will take a bit of our identity away from us,” Murdock said.

Election 2012: State Rep. 50th District

Long-term public official faces challenge from newcomer
Incumbent Kay Hatcher will face a challenge for her seat representing the 50th District in the Illinois House from Andrew Bernard, who wants to bring a fresh perspective to the office.

Kay Hatcher
Kay Hatcher has spent decades serving the public through various elected offices at the local and state level, starting with her time on the Oswego School Board in 1991, through her time on the Kendall County Board and Kendall County Forest Preserve President, and including her current tenure as Representative of the 50th District in the Illinois House of Representatives. Those years also include an even more vast list of community volunteer activities.

All of her service activity comes from one thing—her love of the area.

“I originally ran for office quite simply because I love the Fox Valley,” Hatcher said. “I have the strategic skills needed to do the job, and the incumbent legislator was going to retire after 18 years of service. This is where my children and grandchildren live, and I want to ensure it remains the best place in the world to work and raise a family.”

She said the state is facing significant problems, and she feels her track record is proof that she knows what it takes to help solve them.

“The challenge is enormous,” she said. “Because of the actions of legislators and governors in previous decades, our state is nearing the brink of economic Armageddon. In the past three years of service I have been able to carry and support legislation that shines a brighter light on state actions, demands a more responsible budget and creates a higher ethical standard. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve, and want to continue rebuilding an Illinois that pays its bills and treats people with dignity.”

If given the opportunity to continue her service in the 50th District, she plans to focus on ensuring fiscal responsibility in the state. She said the issues are complex and intertwined, and must be dealt with across the board. She would work to eliminate the recent state income tax increase and address state pension and Medicaid funding issues. She would also continue to assess state programs in terms of their effectiveness, to help improve the state’s bottom line.

Hatcher said the state needs to create a stable environment that encourages businesses to remain in the state, so they can invest in both in people and products. She would also work to rebuild trust in state government.

“It (trust) takes a lifetime to earn and a moment to lose,” she said. “ My first vote impeached a governor now in prison; my last vote removed a member of the General Assembly for questionable actions.”

She said to help rebuild that trust, she would continue to remain entirely transparent, making her daily calendar publicly available, as well as regularly communicating with residents.

“I meet constantly with individuals and organizations to learn more about their needs,” she said. “The more interaction I have with the people of the Fox Valley, the better legislator I become.”

Andrew Bernard
Andrew Bernard said if elected, he would bring a fresh perspective to the Illinois legislature.

“I will bring a new perspective to restoring Illinois,” he said. ”I bring forth a new platform giving tax relief to low and middle income families, while at the same time, bringing in the needed revenue. As a legislator, I will also work to cut the unnecessary waste in Illinois.”

Currently, he serves as the Democratic Chairman of Geneva Township, and is also a Precinct Committeeman in Geneva. His interest in politics and policy, as well as his experience in local politics, has led him to believe that the state needs to change.

“The financial disaster and poor reputation of Illinois government prompted me to seek this position,” he said.

Bernard said the state’s tax code needs to be overhauled. He said that Illinois’ tax structure is regressive, explaining that the state is one of only seven in the nation that maintain a flat rate income tax.

“This type of taxation system is the primary cause for Illinois having to raise taxes on all workers in Illinois; therefore, hurting small businesses and halting new job opportunities,” he said. “I strongly believe that raising taxes on the middle class is harmful to the economy and stunts job creation. The best solution for Illinois is to adopt a progressive income tax system and lower the tax rate for middle class residents.”

He said that a progressive tax structure would have allowed the General Assembly to retain the previous income tax rates for the middle class while still generating additional state revenue from the higher tax brackets.

“When the middle-class residents pay less in taxes, they will spend more, and stimulate the economy,” he said. “In other words, Illinois businesses will need more employees when businesses are growing stronger.”

To further help job creation, Bernard said the state should invest in new infrastructure. This will create new job opportunities, improve current public systems and raise the economic value of the state, he explained.

“Part of this plan will include supporting state grants to local governments in order for them to invest and fix their existing infrastructure; thus, creating new job opportunities,” he said. “Investing in new infrastructure will also attract new businesses to Illinois, which, in return, will create new revenue and jobs.”

He would also work to reform state welfare programs. He supports a plan that would require recipients of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to pass a drug screening to receive funding.

“This will help ensure that those receiving cash are using public funds wisely and not abusing the system,” he said.

The plans are more than mere tweaks to the existing system, and Bernard said he knows what it would take to take those plans and make them a reality.

“I will achieve my goals by working in a bipartisan manner with all legislators, while keeping direct communication with my constituents,” he said.

Election 2012: Kane County Circuit Clerk

Challengers vie for KC Circuit Clerk Office

Both Ed Nendick and Thomas Hartwell seek to bring greater efficiency standards to the office of Kane County Circuit Clerk.

Ed Nendick
Ed Nendick is looking to use his experience from serving 24 years as a veteran in both the U.S. Navy and Air Force, as well as his time spent as Vice President of Sales and Administration in his company, O’Connor & Nendick Inc., in the role of Kane County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

He plans to apply that experience to improving the office and how it functions.

“I have served my country. I have raised my children. I have built my business and put plans in place to keep it going until I return,” Nendick said. “I see the opportunity to turn this governmental body around to a lean, high quality,efficient unit that cooperates with the other four Clerk of the Circuit Courts offices in this state. Together we can accomplish what individually we cannot.”

The spirit of togetherness is vital to his plans, he said. While listing his top three priorities, he noted that his third priority could actually double as his number-one priority.

“Third, and maybe first, would be to bring a spirit of cooperation and integrity to the office through outstanding leadership, example and a hands-on approach,” Nendick said.

Building on that spirit of cooperation, Nendick would work to integrate the computer program developed at the Clerk of DuPage County Office.

“I would request the Clerk of DuPage County share the program that they developed on Illinois government time using Illinois government money. Local citizens of Illinois paid the computer programmer wages in DuPage County. Credit goes to their brilliance in developing a program that works so well when others have stumbled,” he said.

From that point, Nendick wants to conduct a thorough audit of all systems and programs that exist in the office. He would establish clear personnel goals and training standards, redevelop job descriptions and clearly articulate personnel expectations.

Nendick said that all specific plans will flow from the audit process, as that will determine the areas that need improvement, thereby creating both short- and long-term goals. From there, he said, it is all about leadership.

“Leadership requires good communication. I plan to have great communication with my employees; I believe in an open door policy and am open to all suggestions and possible ways to improve the system I would like to implement,” Nendick said.

Tom Hartwell
Tom Hartwell said that after 27 years as an attorney, regularly interacting with the Circuit Clerk’s Office, in addition to his time serving on the Kane County Board, he knows what it takes to make the office run more efficiently and effectively.

“My 27 years (of) experience as an attorney using the Circuit Clerk’s Office in Kane and other counties (as well as federal courts), give me a unique understanding of what excellent service means,” Hartwell said. “My service as a member of the Kane County Board has given me insight regarding the budget process and promoting cooperation and communication.”

Because the nature of the office is largely managerial, Hartwell said he has learned through his past experiences how to organize an office such as that of the Kane County Circuit Clerk.

“I am an attorney with an MBA. I served on the Kane County Board from 1996 to 2000. I have personal experience using the circuit clerk’s office. I have management experience. I have government experience,” Hartwell said. “While experience often dictates what we do, leadership allows us to do it. I have both the experience and leadership qualities to manage the circuit clerk’s office in an efficient and effective manner.”

He said he would use that range of experience and knowledge to streamilne the office, focusing his efforts on reducing waste and inefficient practices. He would connect those efforts to increasing transparency within the department, as well.

Financial efficiency goes hand-in-hand with transparency and accountability,” he said. “Given the changes that will occur with the upcoming election, this is one of our best opportunities to improve the relationship between elected officials.”

Better communication, increased effiencies and reduced waste will translate into the ability for the office’s employees to take on other additional responsibilities.

“(This will) create an create an atmosphere organized around timely and cost-efficient customer service,” he said.

Overall, service is Hartwell’s goal, and all other efforts would be designed to increase and improve services to the public.

“My goal as the circuit clerk is to serve the citizens of Kane County in a timely, efficient and ethical manner,” Hartwell said. “As an outsider, I bring a fresh prospective to the office not being entangled by policies of the past. It is important that the Circuit Clerk’s Office is well run and cost effective. Government must operate with its means.”

Election 2012: Kane County Board District 18

County incumbent faces challenge
What was once known as the 26th District on the Kane County Board is now folded into the 18th District. Incumbent Drew Frasz faces a challenge from Kerri Branson.

Drew Frasz
After 12 years volunteering on various community projects—including the steering community that helped develop La Fox and the La Fox Community Park—Drew Frasz joined the County Board to represent District 26. Now that area is drawn into District 18, and Frasz points to his continued community involvement as the reason he believes he deserves your vote.

“I am a life-long resident with the civic and elected experience mentioned above,” Frasz said. ”I am an active and engaged County Board member who responds to constituent’s needs. The position requires attending over 200 meetings per year both days and evenings. I have the best attendance record on the County Board, and have delivered on every campaign promise made in 2008.”

His goals for this term are clear-cut: 1) Hold or reduce the county’s portion of property tax bills and encourage other taxing bodies to do the same; 2) break ground on the Anderson Road bridge and road corridor in spring 2013; and 3) Continue to move forward with the Interstate 88/Route 47 interchange.

While the goals are clear-cut, the path to accomplishing these goals is not easy and will require the work ethic he has already exhibited during his time in office, he said.

To address the tax issue, Frasz said he would continue to pursue the conservative fiscal policies the County Board has been following. He would explore reducing non-mandated county services that the public may not deem affordable, and would look into potential new sources of revenue to reduce reliance on the county portion of property tax bills.

The Anderson Road bridge and road corridor project is more complex, and Frasz said he would encourage continued talks between the project developers and the village of Elburn, which recently voted to table the project.

“The county is ready to get bids on this project, and federal funding is in place but may be in jeopardy if not used soon,” he said.

Similarly, the Interstate 88/Route 47 interchange project will also require strong communication among various entities.

“This will be an active partnership between several governmental agencies including Sugar Grove, Elburn, Kane County, the Tollway Authority, and state/federal funding agencies,” he said.

His efforts are based on a simple premise, which serves as the foundation for his efforts both during his time on the County Board and previously.

“I am very proud of our area and want to see it grow in a positive way,” Frasz said.

Kerri Branson
After spending years volunteering in the community, Kerri Branson said she wants to run for County Board because she can identify with the challenges and successes that everyday citizens face.

“I am running as an average resident of Kane County who has experienced the same struggles as the people of our county and want to make a difference by raising questions to the board that our community has been asking,” she said.

She plans to continue coordinating efforts and communicating within the community, and as a County Board member she can make sure those voices get heard.

“As a public servant, it is my duty to listen to my constituents and bring their concerns before the board,” she said. “I believe in coming together as board members and making decisions about our county to make it a better place to live, work and be proud of.”

She would focus her efforts on cutting wasteful spending and allocating funds fairly and ethically. She would promote community health and education, including the preservation of farmland and forests. And to address an issue she has lived with first-hand, she would help those who are with exceptional needs.

“My biggest accomplishment in life are my four children, who have taught me the basics in life I can use towards solving any problem,” Branson said. “My two oldest twins are severely affected by cerebral palsy, which threw me in headfirst to an array of medical, insurance and organizational stresses.”

She said her family’s experience has taught her a lot about how people with special needs are treated in society.

“I have been a strong advocate for my sons and people who are at a disadvantage by relentlessly continuing to fight for their rights,” she said. “This will be my job for the rest of my life, and I feel honored God has given me this responsibility.”

She said her “everyday citizen” perspective is exactly what is needed on the Kane County Board.

“Inexperience can sometimes be a positive addition to an equation that needs solving,” Branson said. “If people are looking for change in our county, more of the same and requiring experience is not going to bring that. Fresh eyes to an old problem can help look at things creatively and logically without the influence of what has already taken place. I am not a politician, and have no desire to strive to be one. My interest is in relaying what I hear from our community to the County Board and advocating for those who cannot advocate for themselves.”

Election 2012: State Senate—25th District

Challengers Pierog, Oberweis seek State Senate seat

A pair of challengers will face off to win the seat representing the 25th District in the Illinois State Senate.

Corinne Pierog
With a background in education, as well as being a small-business owner and community volunteer, Corinne Pierog regularly sees first-hand the struggles of the middle class in Illinois. She said she is running for office to help ease those struggles.

“People in my community are struggling. I am from and support the middle class, and I can be the advocate who understands their problems and can be their voice in Springfield,” she said.

With time spent on the St. Charles School Board, as well as the City Council, Pierog has experienced working with groups of all sizes and people of all means, facing a variety of challenges.

“All of our residents must be able to succeed. I want our kids to achieve their dreams,” she said.”I don’t want families to have to choose between funding their 401K and paying their child’s college tuition. And I want our seniors to enjoy their retirement with dignity. I want to make sure our economic and social policies reflect the needs of our businesses, our residents and our social service agencies.”

If elected, Pierog said she would focus on three areas: jobs, education, and property tax relief.

Economic growth is vital to secure a more stable future for the state’s residents, she said, and focusing on certain areas of the economy are important to the state’s economic turn-around.

“We need to reinvigorate our state as a hub of transportation, agriculture, education and innovation. And our entrepreneurs and small businesses must be given the tools and training they need to succeed and create jobs,” she said.

Pierog explained that unemployment and underemployment are best overcome through education. With technology and innovation driving the economy and what it continues to evolve into, the workforce must learn the skills it needs to meet the demands of change.

“We need to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education for our children and job retraining opportunities for displaced workers,” she said.

While all of that goes on, which can take time to occur, Pierog said work needs to be done to provide economic relief sooner.

“Supposedly, there are two things in life we can’t avoid—death and taxes,” she said. “But just because we can’t avoid taxes doesn’t mean we can’t have some relief from too heavy tax burdens. People today are struggling to find jobs, to pay bills, to keep their homes. When they are hit with an annual high real estate tax, it can put them under water. Many residents in District 25 are faced with just this dilemma. They need relief.”

Pierog also wants to address an underlying issue statewide that she feels negatively impacts the entire system. She explained than Illinois contains nearly 7,000 governmental entities, and the volume of different political bodies creates the opportunity for corruption and lack of transparency, making any efforts to improve the state difficult, if not impossible.

“Obviously there appears to be no shortage of news about Illinois’ storied history of political corruption, and equally an enormous amount of ideas presented on how to make our government more ethical and transparent,” she said. “What seems to be missing, however, is the mandate from the voters to engage the change, by demanding through their voice and their vote a responsible and ethical government. I will be a candidate to champion that voice.”

Jim Oberweis
A lifelong entrepreneur, Jim Oberweis wants to see the trajectory change for the state of Illinois.

“I decided to run for this office because I want the future of Illinois to be better than the past,” he said. “I want my children and grandchildren to have the same opportunities with which I was blessed as a lifelong Aurora area resident. I see a decline in public safety, education, fiscal responsibility, employment opportunities and infrastructure. Illinois can and must improve in all aspects.”

Oberweis started Oberweis Asset Management from nothing, and helped build Oberweis Dairy from 50 employees to the more-than-1,000 employees it has today. He said that real-world business experience is what is required to turn the state around.

“I know what it takes to bring successful companies to Illinois, as well as to prevent companies from wanting to leave our state. I’ve had first-hand experience in dealing with government over-regulation, negotiating union contracts, providing health coverage to employees, and overcoming a variety of hurdles to build a successful business,” he said. “I want to take that knowledge to Springfield to get our state working again.”

Oberweis said he wants to make the state more “business friendly,” thereby securing more jobs and opportunities for Illinois residents. He intends to help solve the state’s underfunded pension issue, calling it a “mess,” and wants to make the state’s Workman’s Comp laws more like the surrounding states. Additionally, Oberweis wants to ensure that the temporary income tax increase is truly temporary, if not repealed outright.

“I will also work for term limits for state legislators. Eight years in any office is long enough,” Oberweis said. “We need to return to citizen legislators instead of career politicians.”

When addressing the state’s struggling economy, he said the first thing that needs to happen is to repeal the 67 percent increase in the state income tax.

“This was promised to be a temporary increase, and I plan on making sure it will be temporary.”

He said the economy will continue to stagnate until the state’s unfunded pension liability of over $80 billion is resolved. He suggested that the state consider changing the current defined benefits plan to a defined contribution plan for new state employees.

“This would begin to put us on the path of fiscal responsibility,” Oberweis said.

The key to accomplishing these goals is for a change in approach from state legislators. Instead of focusing on winning their next election, they should focus on solving problems.

“My focus will be on improving the future for Illinois, not on getting re-elected,” he said.”I will work with Republicans and Democrats to do the right things to solve our problems. I’ve been pretty good at getting people to work together in the past, and I believe I can do that in Springfield.”

Election 2012: U.S. House—14th District

Both incumbent, challenger focus on the economy
In the race for the representative from the 14th District of the U.S. House of Representatives, one-term incumbent Randy Hultgren faces challenger Dennis Anderson.

Randy Hultgren
Randy Hultgren is looking to a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives to continue his work focusing on the nation’s struggling economy.

“We’ve got to get our nation’s spending under control and get the economy back on a road to growth,” Hultgren said. As a father of four, I’m truly concerned for the future of our nation.”

His level of concern has not changed during the past two years of his freshman term.

“My first vote as a Congressman was to repeal the president’s massive health care law in full, and I still believe the law must be repealed,” he said.

With unemployment still too high and federal spending still too high, he said much work remains to be done beyond the federal health care law.
“Unemployment is still far too high. We were promised an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent if the stimulus was passed. Instead, millions of Americans are still unemployed or underemployed (working part time when they would rather be working full time),” he said. “Federal spending is also far too high. Washington would like to treat the economy as a cash tree—a new tax for every program, chopping off as much as it wants, whenever it wants. What Washington doesn’t understand is that the best way to allow the tree to grow more jobs and tax revenue organically is to simply leave it alone.”

Unemployment must be addressed by working with small businesses, he said, explaining that two of every three new jobs is created by a small business. Hultgren has met more than 100 small business owners and job creators in his district in the past year alone, and he always asks the business owner the same question:

“During each storefront visit and factory tour, I ask what it would take for that employer to create just one more job,” he said. “There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and 23 million people who are under employed. If every small business could create just one job, we would have overemployment.”

He personally introduced a regulatory sunset bill that would address outdated rules and regulations that he feels stifle business growth.

Debt needs a comprehensive approach, he said. The only way he feels the federal government can control its spending is with a Balanced Budget Amendment.

“We absolutely need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Hultgren said. “Without structural change, it will be near impossible to reign in Washington spending. A constitutional amendment would force the government to spend only what it takes in.”

He said such an amendment is necessary because the scale of the problem is so large.

“If the U.S. were to eliminate all discretionary spending—all defense spending, all highway repair money, all federal courts and government operations, even the money spent taking care of our returning veterans—the budget would almost be balanced for a single year. What this tells me is that we can take nothing—not even defense or entitlements—off the table when it comes to cuts. It took years to reach this point, and it will take years to balance our budget again, but I believe it can be done.”

Dennis Anderson
Dennis Anderson has spent a lifetime in community service, volunteering on the boards of directors for a number of service organizations, ranging from humane societies to food banks.

He wants to continue serving the public, but now he wants to do so by changing what he calls the dysfunctional state of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The House has been frozen by partisan gridlock, and the people of this district, of Illinois and of the nation as a whole are not being served,” Anderson said. “Honesty and truth no longer seem to be held to be of any value by too many in Congress, and the people deserve thoughtful, honest representation, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent.”

He said Congress needs non-career politicians in office.

“I am not a career politician,” Anderson said. “I owe no debts to party or to special interests and, at the age of 61, I am not planning on starting a new career. I am running because we need change in Washington.”

All aspects of that change relate to the economy, he said. He will focus on bringing jobs to the district, increasing access to education and serving the historically under-represented.

“Recovery from the economic downturn requires the cooperative efforts of both parties in Washington, and between the public and the private sectors,” Anderson said. “That the government has a role in the recovery is accepted by both parties, as demonstrated by the ‘jobs bills’ that each have introduced.”

He said that one of the best things the federal government can do to improve the economy is to repair and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, specifically pointing to schools, bridges and water systems.

“To do so will not only create good paying jobs, jobs that will result in a revived customer base for small business, but will also save future generations from having to bear the cost of our neglect, a cost that rose by roughly half a trillion dollars between 2004 and 2009, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers,” Anderson said.

Like Hultgren, Anderson believes there should be a new plan to address the nation’s health care system. However, Anderson’s plan goes in the opposite direction as Hultgren’s. He said the cost of health care is out of control, and pointed to health indicator world rankings—specifically relating to infant mortality, maternal mortality and deaths due to care not obtained because of cost—that he said “are terrible.”

“If we truly had the world’s best health care system, as some often claim, our health status indicators would reflect that,” Anderson said.

He also pointed to the rising costs of health care as a drag on the economy. If he had his way, he would pass one piece of legislation to address the problem.

“If I had one chance to pass and implement any law, with no opposition, it would be the creation of a single-payer health care insurance system in the U.S.,” Anderson said.

However, Anderson said he knows that when addressing problems in Washington, no one gets their own way and all sides must work together.

“I am committed to engaging in fact-based, honest exchanges with other members of Congress and with the people of the 14th District,” Anderson said. “I also believe my many years in the public sector and as a volunteer have been helpful in training me to work with highly diverse parties to gain consensus.”

WCC experiences democracy from former congressman

SUGAR GROVE—On Oct. 22 and 23, Waubonsee Community College students had the chance to learn about representative democracy from a former U.S. representative as part of a special “Congress to Campus” visit.

The Honorable Barry Morris Goldwater, Jr. (R-Calif., 1969-1983) visited WCC’s Sugar Grove Campus to share his experiences with students, faculty and staff. Although scheduled to participate, former U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows (D-Miss., 1998-2003) was unable to attend due to a family emergency.

“As a community college, we encourage our students to get involved in their communities,” said WCC President Dr. Christine Sobek. “We are excited to be a part of this unique program that communicates the importance of democracy and demonstrates the value of civic engagement.”

In addition to participating in panel discussions about current political topics, Rep. Goldwater also met with the college’s Student Senate and student club participants to talk about careers in public service.

The Congress to Campus Program was founded in 1976 by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC) with the goal of introducing members of college communities to individuals with firsthand knowledge of representative democracy and a life dedicated to public service. In 1996, the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership partnered with the USAFMC to manage the program, and since that time, more than 170 visits have been planned to campuses throughout the United States. This is the second time Waubonsee has hosted the Congress to Campus Program.

Zumba fundraiser at the Elburn Community Center

ELBURN–A Zumba fundraiser to benefit the Elburn Countryside Food Pantry will take place Saturday, Nov. 3, 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Elburn Community Center, 525 N. Main St., Elburn.

The fundraiser class will be taught by Jennifer Olsem, who lived in Blackberry Creek subdivision for over four years and now lives in Georgia.

The cost to participate in the Zumba fundraiser is $10. For more information, email loco4motion@me.com

Report of suspicious incident near Maple Park

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies on Tuesday afternoon were dispatched to the 46W400 block of Beith Road near Maple Park on a report of a suspicious vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle pulled into a driveway and asked an 8-year-old boy if he wanted a ride. The boy ran into his house. His mother, who heard the vehicle stop, looked outside and saw the vehicle, described as a maroon 1990s model four-door—possibly a hatchback—with a loud muffler. The driver was described as an older male with white hair, glasses and a “wrinkly” face.

Sheriff’s Deputies checked the area but were unable to locate the vehicle. There were no additional reports of this nature in the area.

Photos: Halloween in Kaneland

Horrifying House (right)
If you are in Maple Park this week, see if you can find this Halloween decorated house. It has monsters, ghouls, devils, graves, severed bodies and even a giant spider crawling down the front. Photo by John DiDonna


Halloween fun at the community center

Creative Beginnings Preschool held its Halloween parties in the gym at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center on Tuesday. Kids had a good time playing games and winning prizes. Gianna, 3, (right) is dressed as “Foofa” from the show Yo Gabba Gabba. Ben Wituk, 3,  (left) shows off his costume and gets a prize. Photos by John DiDonna



Scary audience

Sugar Grove trick or treaters  (below)went to the Sugar Grove Public Library on Saturday to get treats, do crafts and watch the reptile show. Here a bunch of costumed kids wait for the show to start. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland collaborates with anti-bullying group

School Board discusses bullying prevention plan recommendations
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—A month after a mass group of Kaneland parents attended a School Board meeting and forum to voice concerns with bullying issues in the district, School Board members on Monday discussed recommendations, made by members of the group Knights Against Bullying (KAB), for the district’s bullying prevention plan.

A district-distributed work update and response states that the School Board has set bullying prevention as a goal in the Superintendent Plan of Work, and that it is “under the strand of support systems and has a reporting date of April for the Board of Education.”

The plan also designates assignment of a prevention coordinator and gathering of a task force. Dr. Sarah Mumm, director of educational services K-5, and Erika Schlichter, director of educational services 6-12, will coordinate the work group revising the district’s current bullying prevention plan. Once revisions are finalized, focus will move to student services.

In terms of the task force, the work update and response guide states that the work group will consist of administrators, teachers, related service staff, transportation staff and a community member. The group will target goals identified this fall and discussed at the forum on Sept. 24, and “will receive feedback and input as appropriate from a variety of advisory groups,” such as the administrative team, Citizens Advisory Committee, student and community advisory groups.

Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said a prevention coordinator has yet to be identified, but Mumm and Schlichter will faciliate the task force’s work.

“The Board of Education and Administration remain committed to providing a safe and respectful school environment,” he said. “The discussion last night affirmed the plan and process to improve upon our current bullying prevention efforts.”

Schuler said that a heavy emphasis was placed on intervention strategies during the 2011-12 school year. This year, the task force will focus attention on prevention efforts, community and staff engagement, and K-12 alignment.

Kaneland administrators previously met with KAB members on Oct. 9. Schuler called the meeting “very productive.”

“(We discussed) current bullying prevention efforts and specific ways we could partner together in our efforts to address a topic that is clearly very important to all of us,” he said. “One area in particular that we spoke about was community engagement and how the KAB group can play an integral role in that area.”

A few members of KAB, including Leigh Ann Reusche, attended the meeting on Monday. Reusche read a prepared statement to the School Board and administration during public comment.

“Our main reason for addressing you tonight is to thank you and encourage you to continue to reach out to our Kaneland community as you move forward with the task force,” Reusche said. “Thank you for hearing our message and taking it seriously. It’s hard to hear about people’s anger and frustration. It took a lot of courage and strength for people to come forward with their own experiences. We are not always the most popular crowd in the room.”

Reusche said it also took a lot of courage for district administration to put together the task force, open the bullying discussion and talk about ways to improve the climate of Kaneland schools.

“It was the right thing to do, and we applaud you for taking this important first step,” she said.

Board member Tony Valente during the meeting said he is standing up for bullied students, and that he feels the perception out there is that Kaneland is doing nothing in regard to bullying prevention.

Valente also said he’s “holding people accountable” in regard to fixing bullying issues in the Kaneland District, directing his words toward members of administration in attendance.

Dreams Dance classes offer confidence, friendship

Photo: Eight-year-old Sara from St. Charles practices a high kick during her Jazz 1 lesson at the Dreams Dance Academy in Elburn. Photo by John DiDonna

Dreams Dance Academy
Classes on Tuesdays
Elburn Community Center
525 N. Main St., Elburn
(630) 975-3032

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Elburn mom Angela Sobel said her 3-year-old daughter Evelyn loves her ballet and tap class at the Elburn Community Center.

Evelyn is one of the students in the new Dreams Dance Academy (DDA) class for 3 to 5-year-olds. The class is one of four that DDA owner and instructor Jenny O’Brien teaches at the Community Center on Tuesday afternoons and evenings. O’Brien also offers ballet, jazz and hip-hop dance classes for children ages 6 years old and up.

Dreams Dance is a “traveling” dance studio started by O’Brien earlier this year. Her concept is to bring a children’s dance program to existing businesses, such as community centers, fitness studios and daycare centers, where such programs are not currently offered.

O’Brien has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and said that, as a young girl, her dance classes gave her self-confidence. She wants to provide that same opportunity to her students through her classes, to help them to feel good about themselves, and to use their creativity.

“I want to make classes convenient and affordable for parents. But, more importantly, a fun, positive and educational experience for kids,” O’Brien said. “Making a difference in the life of a child is priceless.”

Throughout her childhood, O’Brien took dance classes at park districts, dance studios, and joined the dance team and orchesis in high school. She participated in a traveling ballet troupe and performed in musicals and plays, including “The Nutcracker” and “Nightmare Before Christmas.

She describes the classes she teaches as recreational dancing—for fun, as opposed to dancing competitively. She said she works to create a positive learning environment for her students so that they walk out of her class smiling.

The sessions are once a week for 15 weeks, and cost between $125 and $140 per session.

Dreams Dance is 4-year-old Audrey Noring’s first dancing experience. Her mom, Brook, said that Audrey is building new friendships, as well as learning new things. She is also excited about preparing for the Winter Showcase that will take place in December.

Angela said that her daughter is learning not only about dance, but also about interacting with others in a group activity. Evelyn goes to a Montessori pre-school, but Angela said that the dance class is more social.

“She looks forward to the class,” Angela said. “When we get home on Tuesday nights, she asks me, ‘How long is it til Tuesday?’”

Erin, 8 from St. Charles glances at the teacher to make sure she’s doing it right during her dance lesson at Dreams Dance Academy. Photo by John DiDonna

Fedderly recognized by Chicago Bears

Sixth-year coach gets Coach of the Week award after Morris win
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—In the midst of playoff preparations for a first-round rematch with Belvidere on Oct. 23, KHS coach Tom Fedderly checked his voicemail messages.

“It was Pat McCaskey of the Bears telling me that I’d been named Bears Coach of the Week for Week 9 after our win against Morris,” Fedderly said. “I couldn’t believe it, I thought someone was pranking me.”

The Bears selected a High School Coach of the Week after every regular season game, with Fedderly selected after the last-minute win over Morris to secure Kaneland’s third consecutive Northern Illinois Big XII Conference title and undefeated regular season.

The Coach of the Week program is in its 17th season and also has some nice perks for the winning coaches.

Fedderly and the winning coaches will be invited to attend a “chalk-talk” with Bears coach Lovie Smith and have lunch with the ninth-year coach. That leads up to the Sunday, Dec. 2, contest against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field.

The Bears also make a $1,500 donation to the winning school’s football program.

Honors aside, Fedderly is not just happy for himself.

“This isn’t about me, this really is about the whole staff, who work so hard. It’s nice to see this, we really have young, hard-working coaches that do such a great job,” Fedderly said.

The weekly honor winners are not the only ones that are scheduled to be introduced at halftime, but also the eight state championship winning coaches.

Fedderly hopes there’s a bit of overlap when it comes to his honor.

“We hope we’re in there, but I’m lucky to have this, and it’s about what the staff has been able to do,” Fedderly said.

The Knights travel to Lincoln-Way West High School for their second-round matchup on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m.

First things first

Photo: Kaneland’s Kory Harner takes down the Belvidere receiver in the third quarter of the Knight’s 48-0 home playoff romp on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

Knight attack
sends Belvidere Bucs
reeling in 48-0 win

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Saturday night seemed familiar.

No. 1 Kaneland and No. 16 Belvidere once again brought in 9-0 and 5-4 records, respectively, to their second consecutive Class 5A first-round meeting.

The obviously similar occurrence to last year would be the Knights football squad emerging as the victor, which was about the only thing the same.

Instead of a 51-45 shootout from a year ago, the Knights jumped out early and stifled whatever Belvidere’s offense could muster in a 48-0 shellacking of the NIC-10 representative Bucs.

Kaneland (10-0) begins a playoff win streak anew after losing in the Class 5A State semifinals to visiting Montini Catholic to close out the 2011 season.

KHS is now 35-3 in its last 38 contests, dating back to the 2009 campaign.

Belvidere finishes at 5-5 after putting up 74 total yards and three first downs, despite the vast talents of quarterback Troy Vandenbroek and wide out Kane Steger.

Running back Jesse Balluff had 110 yards rushing and two scores, while quarterback Drew David continued to work his way back from a nagging hand injury with 128 yards passing and a rushing TD.

On the defensive end, Dylan Nauert picked off three passes and very nearly ran them in for scores before being stopped.

Balluff got things started early, with shades of Quinn Buschbacher’s first play from scrimmage in 2011, taking a direct snap out of wildcat formation all the way to the end zone for a 41-yard touchdown just 81 seconds into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

After a Blake Bradford fumble recovery deep into Bucs’ territory, Balluff scored from the 1 four plays later for a 14-0 edge.

“We knew their defense was the weaker part of their team,” Balluff said. “We scored 51 last year and we knew that was coming, but still, we were worried about their offense.”

The Knights’ next drive had a key third-down pass to Zach Martinelli for 19 yards, and two plays later, David called his own number for a one-yard touchdown sneak for a 21-0 lead with 10:43 left in the second quarter.

Kaneland employed Balluff to gain ground on its next drive, and Matt Rodriguez nailed a 35-yard field goal try with 3:18 remaining in the first half for a 24-0 lead.

A Nauert interception on the first play of the Bucs’ ensuing drive gave the ball back to KHS at the 13-yard line, where Rodriguez hit his second field goal, a 25-yarder, for a 27-0 advantage with 1:30 left in the first half.

Belvidere began the second half with a three-and-out, allowing David to find Kyle Pollastrini after one play for a 56-yard TD strike after the receiver deftly followed a block and galloped down the sideline with 10:49 left in the third for a 34-0 edge.

Nauert had interceptions on the next two Belvidere drives, the final one putting Kaneland at the visitors’ 21.

Fullback Nate Dyer ran the ball six consecutive times before plunging in from the 1-yard line for a 41-0 lead with 3:10 to go in the third to trigger the running clock.

Backup QB Tyler Carlson scampered for a 30-yard TD run with 5:12 to go for the final 48-point margin.

KHS coach Tom Fedderly made sure the Knights were not caught off guard by their foes from the north again.

“We really wanted to make sure we gave them our best effort tonight,” Fedderly said. “I’m really happy with the results. You look at some of the teams they play, and they’re great, like Rockford Boylan, Harlem and Hononegah. We’re just not taking anyone for granted.”

Saturday, Nov. 3, at 1 p.m. brings the second-round challenge for the Knights, in the form of a road jaunt to New Lenox, Ill., to face the host No. 9 Lincoln-Way West (LW-W) Warriors. The Warriors, coached by Todd Ernst, finished 6-3 in the regular season and ousted No. 8 Rochelle on Friday night in a 35-0 drubbing of the Hubs in Ogle County.

The Warriors, members of the Southwest Suburban Conference Red Division, outscored its opponents by an average of 24-13 through the regular season, and also made it to the second round a year ago.

LW-W gave up a season-high 19 points back on opening night, Aug. 24, against Kaneland rival Sycamore in a 19-13 setback.

The Knights-Warriors battle marks the first time KHS has been on the road for a second-round matchup since a meeting with the North Chicago Warhawks back in 2006.

Offsetting Rochelle’s loss, the Northern Illinois Big XII saw wins from Sycamore with a 35-13 win over Chicago’s King, and Morris, which beat Rich East 44-0.

KHS clears regional net, subdued at sectionals

Photo: Three Kaneland volleyball captains receive the Regional Plaque at Hampshire on Oct. 25: Jenny Lubic (left to right), Ashley Prost and Lauren Banbury.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Lady Knights dethrone Sycamore, defeated by R-B on Tuesday
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Volleyball came to its end for Kaneland High School on Tuesday night in Woodstock, Ill., but not before the postseason run had its share of highlights.

While KHS was ousted in the Marian Central Catholic Sectional by fellow Class 2A unit Richmond-Burton, the Kaneland program achieved a monumental Hampshire Regional championship win last Thursday against Sycamore.

The Knights had their work cut out for them on Thursday, battling not just Sycamore, but the ghosts of regionals past.

What occurred was an exorcizing and subsequwnt nabbing of the school’s first regional championship since 1991.

“I think we put everything we had out there and outhustled them as much as we could,” sophomore Ellie Dunn (four kills) said. “We ran for balls that I didn’t even think we could get sometimes.”

Midway through the first set saw the Lady Knights work out to a 15-9 lead, but the Debbie Klock-coached Lady Spartans closed within 15-12. Side outs were exchanged until a Lauren Banbury kill made it 18-14.

After Sycamore closed within 18-17, Side outs and errors played into the match with kill attempts often finding their way out of bounds. The Lady Spartans closed within 21-19, but kills by Lyndi Scholl (seven kills, six digs) and Banbury increased the lead to four. After a spike attempt went over the line, it was a Banbury kill that served as game point with the final six-point margin.

A tight second game saw a lead as big as six for KHS. A Keri Groen kill set the score at 19-17, with a Scholl kill increasing the lead to three.

The Lady Spartan lineup rallied to tie with an ace at 20-20, but a set into the net gave the Lady Knights the lead for good at 21-20. It was an exchange of Side outs that led to game point, with a bump that trailed off, serving as game point for the final two-point margin.

“They are a really good team, so I was expecting just craziness to come,” Banbury said. “I was giving everything I had on the court, and I think the team was, too.”

KHS coach Todd Weimer’s first regional title in his eighth season at the helm came as part of team play that was par for the course.

“I think it’s been a pretty terrific season. We’ve had some really good matches. I don’t know if this was our best match or not, and there’s always room for improvement. But this is the best effort I’ve seen from these girls,” Weimer said.

In Tuesday’s other sectional semi, Marian Central Catholic defeated Grayslake Central, 25-17, 25-9.

The Lady Knight program says goodbye to seniors Tucek, Rachael Clinton, Scholl, Groen, Banbury and Ashley Prost.

Soccer’s sectional dream stopped

Photo: Tyler Siebert put the Knights ahead 1-0 in the first half during the Class 2A Sterling sectional championship against East Moline United on Friday. Kaneland hung on for two overtimes but lost 3-2. File Photo

Knight’s furthest road ever blocked by East Moline U. after 2 OT
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Kaneland High School soccer was in definite unchartered territory this postseason.

The further out you go in unchartered territory, however, the more threats can cut you down.

Such was the case on Friday evening at the Class 2A Sterling Sectional, where the Knight attack was defeated in two overtimes by East Moline United, 3-2.

The Knights’ journey ended with a record of 16-4-2, thanks to the setback at the hands of the Panthers.

Kaneland had reached its first ever Sectional title match with a 1-0 win over Freeport on Oct. 24.

The Panthers met Arlington Heights, Ill., outfit St. Viator in the Hampshire Super-Sectional meeting on Tuesday.

Kaneland made it to the DeKalb Regional championship in 2011 before being eliminated by Marmion Academy, and was defeated in overtime by semifinal opponent Sterling in the Belvidere Sectional in 2010.

A Panther goal 93 seconds into the first overtime provided the final margin, and Kaneland was unable to match the output in the following 10-minute overtime.

The regulation scoring all occurred in the first half, as Tyler Siebert put one on the board five minutes, 24 seconds into action.

After EMU scored two goals, Alec Koczka scored with 5:01 remaining.

The Knights’ win over the Pretzel lineup was highlighted by a second-half goal from Alex Gil with 20:20 remaining in the contest.

“We had a very good run, and it was a shame it ended, but the boys worked hard all year,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “It is amazing we were able to accomplish all we did when we didn’t have a Saturday practice because of players having to work. That is the way it is; the economy has had an effect on us. I am so very proud of what we accomplished.”

With the loss, Kaneland says goodbye to a handful of seniors instrumental in the success garnered in 2012: Ryan Straughn, Cullen MacKenzie, Sam Kilgore, Marshall Farthing, Kushstrim Ismaili, Gil, Jason Biddle, Sam Rymarz, Ben Longson, Alonzo Dominguez, Diego Ochoa and Koczka.

The toughest path to State

Loaded Sectional tests successful Lady Knight cross country team
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—It seems like old times for the Lady Knight cross county squad, which is just fine.

Dealing with what many consider the toughest Class 2A Sectionals in the entire state, in the form of the Belvidere gathering, Kaneland’s roster qualified for the Class 2A State meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill. This is the second straight year the Lady Knights advanced to the State Finals.

The three-mile course in Boone County had Marengo take the ultimate crown with a 57-point total, followed by Crystal Lake Central at 76, Kaneland at 131, Vernon Hills at 166 and Grayslake Central at 173, to round out the qualifying teams. Prairie Ridge of Crystal Lake, Ill., missed the cut at 203 in the 21-team clash.

Marengo senior Katie Adams outran the field with a stellar time of 17 minutes, 23.2 seconds, but was followed closely by Kaneland’s own Victoria Clinton at 17:38.6.

Crystal Lake Central’s area standout Sami Staples took third at 17:49.5.

Kaneland’s top seven finished within a two minute, 27.4 second split, led by Clinton’s time.

Freshman Brianna Bower was second-best for the Lady Knights (10th place) with a time of 18:35.7.

Clinton and Bower took home all-Sectional honors with their efforts, and the freshman felt good in the new postseason setting.

“I just ran it the same way I always do,” Bower said. “I was a little nervous at first, but once the race started it was OK.”

Following nearby was senior Abby Dodis (33rd) at 19:20.4.

Sydney Strang (41st) ran the course in 19:30.6 for fourth-best on the squad, followed by Amanda Lesak (45th) at 19:37.2.

“Abby Dodis, Sydney Strang and Amanda Lesak ran their usual strong races to round out the top five,” KHS head coach Doug Ecker said.

Senior Maggie Brundige (50th) ran her last-ever sectional at 19:45.7, while Aislinn Lodwig (57th) rounded out the top seven at 20:06.

“Finishing third in the toughest 2A sectional in the state capped off a great year that saw the girls win the regional, finish second in the conference, and win two invitational championships,” Ecker said.

Kaneland will run at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill.

BXC’s big day in Belvidere

Boys running crew clinches 16th trip to State in 26 years
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Chilly weather and northern Illinois powerhouses did their collective best to stop Kaneland boys cross country.

But the Knight collective powered through to earn a State berth.

In the loaded Belvidere Sectional on Saturday, the Knights finished fifth overall with a point total of 174.

The Knights outlasted sixth-place Grayslake Central by 11 points for the final qualifying spot.

Belvidere North was crowned sectional champ with a 47 point output, while Dixon had 95 for second place. Deerfield had 108 for third, while Crystal Lake Central had 109 to fill out the top five spots in the 21-team gathering.

In 2011, the Knights took fourth at sectionals, while it was lone Knight Trevor Holm that qualified in 2010. KHS finished fifth in 2009.

The is the 16th time the Knights have qualified for State since 1986, and they have made the trip in four of the last five years.

Belvidere North speedster Garrett Lee finished first overall in his final sectional, completing the three-mile course in 14 minutes, 49 seconds.

Kaneland junior Kyle Carter was tops for his team with a time of 15:42.2 for 16th place, followed by senior counterpart Conor Johnson at 15:51.1 for 17th place.

“Our 1-2 punch of Carter and Johnson was great,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said. “We knew we needed to beat Vernon Hills and Grayslake Central, and they beat other top runners. Our three, four and five runners made a huge impact.”

Senior John Meisinger (39) was third for the KHS lineup at 16:20.3, followed by Luis Acosta (48) at 16:32.0.

“Senior John Meisenger saved his best race of the season for a course he races well on last fall,” Clarey said. “John beat important scoring runners from teams we needed to defeat in such a talented and loaded field.”

Junior Nathaniel Kucera (54) was fifth for the Knights with an effort of 16:41.9, and fellow senior Brandon Huber (56) took sixth at 16:43.6. In seventh for the Knights was Ryan Paulson (70) at 16:53.4.

“Luis Acosta and Nathaniel Kucera looked exceptionally strong through the mid-race checkpoints,” Clarey said. “Kucera cramped up a bit, fell back, then finished strong to complete our scoring.”

Clarey said it was his team’s pack-running mentality that led to the strong team finish.

“Our pack made the difference for us today, running right at 60 seconds,” he said. “Having our third to seventh runners just 33 seconds apart was an advantage for us; being able to see your own teammates throughout the race is such a big key for us.”

The State race takes place on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Ill.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to race without the burden of pressure (from having to qualify), set some new PR’s at Detweiller (Park),” and give ourselves a shot at bettering our 2011 finish,” Clarey said, referring to the team’s 15th-place mark in Class 2A last season.