Knights take care of Yorkville, BC

Photo: Kaneland’s Tyler Carlson passes as a Burlington player goes down during Kaneland’s home contest on Saturday. The Knights defeated the Rockets 38-30. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—The silver-and-black-clad Knights are making good on committing to excellence in 2013.

After splitting the last competition of 2012 in the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, Kaneland got off to a nice start with the new year.

Kaneland handily solved a visiting Yorkville squad on Friday evening by a final of 51-30 and stifled a lineup from Burlington Central in Maple Park on Saturday by a final of 38-30.

KHS sits at 8-6 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big XII) on the year, having won seven of its last nine.

In NIB-12 action against the Foxes, the Knights were paced by John Pruett’s 14 points, Matt Limbrunner’s 10 and Tyler Carlson’s 10.

After taking a 12-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play, YHS hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 12-11 23 seconds into the second quarter.

Limbrunner then hit two baskets, including one on a crisp pass down low from guard Drew David, to take a 16-11 lead with 6:10 to go.

Baskets by Dan Miller and Cole Carlson and two foul shots from Tyler Carlson gave KHS a 22-18 edge with two minutes to play in the half, the Foxes’ basket with 1:19 left closed the first-half scoring out at 22-20.

The third quarter saw the scales tip even more in the Knights’ favor as a mid-quarter flurry of baskets from Tyler Carlson, Limbrunner and a three-pointer from Pruett made it 31-22 with 2:28 to go. Yorkville missed six straight shots in the quarter at one point, while Limbrunner converted on two baskets and David hit a shot, giving KHS a 37-28 lead with 1:02 to go that closed out the scoring.

Yorkville hit just one of four shots in the fourth quarter, while Pruett hit the first three baskets of the quarter for KHS to give the hosts a 14-point lead.

“We know they ran their 2-2-1 press, and we were pretty much game planning that all week,” Pruett said. “Yorkville is good at getting pressure and turnovers, and we were just getting the ball down the floor.”

The lead grew to 21 on a three by freshman Dylan Vava with 1:26 to go, while Yorkville scored just two points in the frame.

“(Yorkville) did a good job early on at causing us to make some mistakes and not necessarily take care of the basketball, but it was nice to get a little bit of breathing space in the fourth quarter,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said.

Limbrunner led the Knights with 16 in the comeback win over visiting BC, but the visitors enjoyed an 8-6 lead after one quarter. Kaneland powered through for a 19-16 lead at halftime before BC emerged with a 25-24 lead after three. KHS went on a 14-5 run encompassing the fourth quarter for the win.

Kaneland hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Photos by John DiDonna:





KC Cougars, Cubs host ‘Hot Stove’ events in February

Geneva—The Kane County Cougars will host a pair of events in February as anticipation for the 2013 season grows and the organization prepares for its first season of affiliation with the Chicago Cubs.

The Cougars will host a “Meet the Cubs” hot stove event on Friday, Feb. 1, and a free coaches clinic on Saturday, Feb. 2. Information on both events is currently available at

The Meet the Cubs party, to take place inside the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark Super Suite from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, will provide fans a proper introduction to Kane County’s affiliation with the Chicago Cubs. Scheduled speakers include Cubs Senior VP of Scouting & Player Development Jason McLeod, Cubs Director of Player Development Brandon Hyde, and Cougars manager Mark Johnson. Johnson was named the 15th manager in Cougars history last month.

Admission is $60 and includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, draft beer and a question-and-answer session with the evening’s guest speakers. A portion of proceeds will be donated to JDRF, in honor of the late Cubs Hall-of-Famer Ron Santo.

Seating will be extremely limited, and fans are encouraged to order their tickets early. Tickets can be purchased by calling (630) 232-8811 or by visiting

The following morning, the Cougars will hold a free Coaches Clinic that will feature professional instructors from the Cougars and Cubs organizations. The clinic will take place from 9 a.m. until noon inside the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark upper deck level. Attendees are asked to RSVP by calling the Cougars at (630) 232-8811 or by emailing The clinic is provided free-of-charge to participants as a community service from the Cougars and Cubs organizations.

Donuts and coffee will be provided for attendees.

Season tickets, ticket packages, catered event group outings and single-game tickets are on sale for the 2013 season. Opening Night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark is set for Thursday, April 4, when the Cougars host Quad Cities at 6:30 p.m. Fans can learn more about the 2013 season at

Letter: Sugar Grove Lions Club seeks new members

“You can’t get very far until you start doing something for someone else.” That’s what Melvin Jones said 100 years ago, and it still applies today. Melvin Jones founded Lions Clubs in 1917. He was an insurance executive who decided to give back to the community that helped him become successful.

It’s about going home after a fundraiser with that warm feeling, knowing you made a positive difference in peoples’ lives. You’ll realize as you get older how important it is to help those in need … but why wait until you get older? You can start right now by joining the Sugar Grove Lions Club. We’re going to meet at the end of January, and you are invited if you are 18 or older. Stay tuned for the date, time and location of the meeting.

Chris Halsey
International Association of Lions Clubs

Letter: Public reaction to latest Sandy Hook shooting tragically wrong

Public reaction to the latest mass shooting is, as usual, tragically wrong. People refuse to accept the fact that the men committing these crimes care nothing for our laws.

Legislation restricting firearm ownership based on “military” appearance, caliber or magazine capacity are a fraud and a delusion, and will not prevent another Newtown, Aurora or Columbine. In fact, Columbine occurred in the middle of the 10-year federal assault-weapons ban, which demonstrably had no impact on violent crime at all.

A determined lunatic willing to murder his own mother for her guns will not be deterred by our laws.

There are only two pieces of gun-related legislation that can make the public safer and protect citizens from mass shootings by violent psychotics: first, “shall issue” concealed carry for sane, law-abiding citizens has been shown to reduce violent crime in every state that has implemented it; and second, eliminate the “gun-free” zones that criminals repeatedly target and turn into killing zones. The reality is that the delusional idealism behind the establishment of “gun free” zones by our legislators invites the bloodshed.

Tom Spry
Sugar Grove

Church news for Jan. 10

SGUMC to host Bread, Soup and Salad Luncheon
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove United Methodist Church will host a benefit Bread, Soup, and Salad Luncheon on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St., Sugar Grove.
The community is invited to come and share in the food, fun, and fellowship with a meal of homemade soups, salads, breads, desserts and beverages. A free-will offering will be collected to support Hurricane Sandy victims through UMCOR. For more information, call the church office at (630) 466-4501. Reservations are not required.

Taize Worship at St. Charles Episcopal Church
ST. CHARLES—St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave. (Route 25) in St. Charles invites the community to experience Taize Worship on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 7:30 p.m.
Worship in the style of Taize, a monastic community in central France, is a service of light and shadows, chant and silence, readings and quiet prayer.
For more information on this and other worship services, the outdoor labyrinth, education classes and outreach opportunities, visit or call (630) 584-2596.

Snowball Dance at S.S. Peter & Paul Church
VIRGIL—S.S. Peter and Paul Catholic Church will host its Snowball Dance (one of Kane County’s oldest dances) on Saturday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. to midnight at the church, 5N939 Meridith Road in Virgil.
Admission to the dance is $10 per person, and is limited to those 21 years of age and older. Music will be provided by Hometown Band, with sandwiches and chips available at approximately 10:30 p.m. Beverages will be available for purchase.

SGUMC to hold blanket drive for Hesed House
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove United Methodist Church will hold a blanket drive for Hesed House from now until Sunday, Jan. 20, at the church, 176 Main. St., Sugar Grove.
SGUMC will accept any new or gently used non-electric blankets for the people of Hesed House in Aurora. Donors are asked to think in terms of easily-washed materials. For example, large comforters are warm but difficult to wash in regular washers.
For more information, contact Jen Stoll at

Chicken Soup Lunch Sale
AURORA—The Sisterhood of Temple B’nai Israel’s third annual Chicken Soup Lunch Sale will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3, at the synagogue, 400 N. Edgelawn, Aurora. Homemade chicken soup with matzo balls and/or noodles will be served.
The meal is $8 per person and is available for dine-in or take-out. Lunch includes soup, salad and dessert.
For more information, call (630) 892-2450.

Paddy J. Barrett

Paddy J. Barrett, 64, passed away suddenly on Thursday Dec. 27, 2012, at his home.

Paddy was born in Aurora on Aug. 9, 1948, the son of John and Arlene (Pettinger) Barrett.

He attended Kaneland schools, until his sophomore year, before transferring to West Aurora High School. After graduating high school in 1966, Paddy attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout, in Menomonee, Wis. He was a member of the Sigma Pi Fraternity and the Veterans Association.

In June 1969, Paddy was drafted into the United States Army, where he proudly served his country until September 1970.

In December 1972, Paddy went to a sorority party. While at the party, a young lady by the name of Debra Rodencal caught his eye. After two years of courtship, Paddy and Debra were wed on June 15, 1974. They made their home in Kaneville for most of the 38 years they were married.

For over 30 years, Paddy did what he loved. He was a union member and was a “jack of all trades.” He did everything from operating heavy machinery to specialized trade work.

He was a life time member of Harley Owners Group (HOG).

Paddy, strong willed and hard working, was the quintessential Irish man. He loved to spend time “tinkering” around. If you had something that stopped working, Paddy was the person who could fix it for you. Some of his hobbies included building a motorcycle, and stock car racing. He enjoyed watching his Green Bay Packers and especially picking on his buddies when they beat the Bears.

Paddy had a passion like no other when it came to motorcycles. “The Mad Hatter” could be found riding the open road on his ‘Old 95’ any chance he had. Although his passion for motorcycles was strong, there was nothing more important than his family. He was devoted to his children and his grandchildren. They are his greatest legacy that he leaves behind.

He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Deb Barrett; son, Casey (Abbie) Barrett; daughter, Kiara Barrett; two grandchildren, Grace and Gunner Barrett; mother, Arlene Barrett; sister, Nancy Barrett; brother, Tracy Barrett; and a host of family and friends.

He is preceded in death by his father, John; sister, Kathy; and brother, Larry.

Visitation was held Dec. 29 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. The family hosted a remembrance service following visitation. Private family interment was held at a later date following cremation.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Paddy’s name to benefit the DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Checks may be made to DAV and mailed to P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH, 45250, or through their website, Tributes may also be forwarded to: P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL, 60119, or through the website

Burton W. Von Ohlen

Burton W. Von Ohlen, 92 of Elburn, passed away Friday Dec. 28, 2012, at his home. He was born Dec. 10, 1920, in Hinckley.

Burton is survived by his wife, Lucille Von Ohlen of Elburn; sons, Lawrence (Judy) Von Ohlen and William (Sharon) Von Ohlen; daughter, Linda (William) Blatner; six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Burt was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Jean Duy; and his brother, Bill Von Ohlen.

A memorial service, co-officiated by Rev. Laura Crites and Rev. Daniel Sullivan, was held Jan. 3 at Hinckley First United Methodist Church, 801 N. Sycamore St., Hinckley. In lieu of flowers, Burt’s family requests that memorials be made to HFUMC and mailed directly to the church. Interment was held privately at Greenwood Cemetery.

Ralph R. Umbdenstock

Ralph R. Umbdenstock of Kerrville, Texas, passed away on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas, where he had been briefly hospitalized with pneumonia.

The son of Anthony & Elvira (Klemm) Umbdenstock, he was born at home on Nov. 1, 1951, with his twin sister Rita.

On Oct. 16, 1999, he married Judi Kruzel. They made their home in Warrenville, Ill., until Ralph’s retirement, when they moved to Kerrville.

Ralph spent his early years on the farm near Maple Park, helping with chores and working with his father building grain bins. Ralph graduated from Kaneland High School with the class of 1970.

Ralph was a Vietnam veteran and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1972. He graduated from Waubonsee Community College in 1975.

Ralph loved to travel, and had the opportunity to do so when he worked for Barber Greene for a number of years and then Lucent Technologies for 13 years. He spent two years in Barcelona, Spain, helping set up a new phone system prior to the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Ralph enjoyed skiing and scuba diving on his vacations. He could always tell a story or joke and always remembered the punch line. Every person he met became his friend, and those people never forgot Ralph.

Ralph continued to live on the family farm after his parents moved to Maple Park. He maintained the family farm pond, where many swimming parties were enjoyed with family and friends.

He was a 41-year member and Past Commander of Maple Park American Legion Post 312, involved with the Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and La Society des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux Locale No. 592.

Ralph is survived by his wife, Judi; step-daughters, Shawna Lee and Rachele Gatherings; one brother, Anthony; seven sisters, Sheryl Montavon, Mary (Joseph) Walter, Kathryn Belsches, Nancy Walter, Josephine Sprovieri, Rita (David) Campbell and Helen Umbdenstock; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and a world full of friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Elvira; one sister, Carol (Henry) Kohley; and three brothers-in-law, John Montavon, Henry Kohley and David Belsches.

Funeral services were held at Grimes Funeral Chapel in Kerrville on Saturday. Internment with military honors will take place at a date to be determined at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

A memorial gathering in Maple Park will take place at a future date.

Memorial contributions in his name may be made to the American Legion Post 312, P.O. Box 97, Maple Park, IL 60151.

Guest Editorial: Savvy entrepreneurs play by different rules in uncertain times

by Ginny Grimsley
National Print Campaign Manager, News and Experts

As we pass the five-year anniversary of the start of the economic recession in December 2007, many observers focus on what was lost:

• 8 million jobs
• 146,000 employer businesses
• 17.5 percent average individual earnings

But the businesses that survived the “Great Recession” and are thriving today didn’t focus on losses then, and they aren’t now, said Donna Every, a financial expert who has published three non-fiction business books and recently released her first novel, “The Merger Mogul.”

“The entrepreneurs who are successful during times of uncertainty are so because they don’t rely on the standard approaches they’d use in predictable times, and they look for opportunities—the positives—in situations that would have been considered negatives five years ago,” Every said. “It’s similar to how we deal with the weather. In places where it’s sunny most of the summer, we wouldn’t leave our house each morning packing coats and umbrellas just in case. The weather’s predictable. But in the winter and other seasons when the weather can quickly change, we head out with a different mindset.”

For businesses, switching gears to deal with inclement economic conditions involves adopting new perspectives and practices, she said.
What are some of those strategies?

• Build on what you have, not toward what you want. Instead of setting goals and then seeking out the resources you’ll need to meet them, assess what you have available and decide what you can achieve with that. This not only saves you the time and expense of pulling together resources you may not have, it also gives you the advantage of working from your business’ individual and unique strengths.

• Follow the “Las Vegas rule.” Tourists planning a weekend in Las Vegas will often set aside the amount of money they’re willing to gamble—and lose—on cards or the slots. That way, they won’t lose more than they can afford. During an uncertain economy, entrepreneurs should calculate their risks the same way. Rather than going for the biggest opportunities as you would in prosperous times, look for the opportunities that won’t require as much of your resources. Calculate how much you can afford to lose, and always consider the worst-case scenario.

• Join hands and hearts. Competition is fine when things are going well, but when times are tough, you need allies. Explore forming partnerships with other entrepreneurs so you can strategize to create opportunities together. With what your partners bring to the table, you’ll have more strength and new options to work with.

• Capitalize on the unexpected. Surprises can have positive outcomes if you handle them nimbly by finding ways to use them to your advantage. Instead of planning damage control for the next unexpected contingency, look at it as an opportunity. Get creative as you look for the positives it presents.

• When life is unpredictable, don’t try to forecast: Focus on what you can do and create now rather than what you can expect based on what happened in the past. In good times, that information can be a helpful and reliable way to make predictions, but savvy entrepreneurs don’t count on that in uncertain times.

“While the U.S. economy certainly is improving, there’s still too much uncertainty both here and abroad to go back to the old ways of doing business just yet,” Every said. “If you’ve survived the past five years, you’ve probably been relying on many of these strategies, maybe without even realizing it. Don’t abandon them yet. And if there are some here you aren’t using, work toward incorporating them, too.”

Hintzsche 2013 Scholarship for Agriculture

MAPLE PARK—Do you have a high school senior who is planning on pursuing a career in the field of agriculture? If so, be sure to check out to access an overview and application for the Hintzsche Scholarship for Agriculture. The Hintzsche Companies will present $1,000 scholarships for up to eight qualified seniors who attend high schools in the Hintzsche and Burroughs’ trade areas. Applications are due by Feb. 18.

Agriculture today is far more complex and requires more advanced technical skills than what previous generations needed in order to succeed. The industry must maintain a steady source of trained and qualified personnel in order to provide adequate succession for the job vacancies of the future. This scholarship is just one small way the Hintzsche Companies give back to this cause.

Scholarship winners are selected by an impartial panel of judges and are evaluated based on academics, leadership skills and a two-page essay. The essay is an important part of the evaluation process as it identifies the student’s heart and soul exemplified by a description of an experience or event that caused his or her desire to pursue a particular area of agriculture studies.

In addition to, your student may also check with his or her school counselor or vocational ag teacher for the materials.

For more information, contact Joanne Hueber via email at or by phone at (800) 446-3378.

Federal government takes action on radon gas to prevent lung cancer in 2013

ILLINOIS—January is Radon Action Month, according to the Surgeon General. Health agencies throughout the United States have joined forces to promote awareness of the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The American Lung Association, Centers for Disease Control and National Cancer Institute all agree that radon is a national health problem, and encourage radon testing during the January awareness drive.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless gas. One in 15 American homes contains high levels of radon. Millions of Americans are unknowingly exposed to this dangerous gas. In fact, a recent Harvard University study ranks radon as America’s No. 1 in-home hazard. By taking simple steps to test your home for radon and fix it if necessary, this health hazard can be avoid.

Radon gas is not isolated to certain geographical areas or home types. Radon problems have been detected in homes in every county of the U.S. It caused more American fatalities last year than carbon monoxide, fires and handguns combined. If a home hasn’t been tested for radon in the past two years, EPA and the Surgeon General urge you to take action. Contact your state radon office for information on location qualified test kits or qualified radon testers.

The federal commitment made by EPA, the General Services Administration and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Veterans Affairs will focus efforts on radon reduction and mitigation in homes, especially those of low-income families, many of whom do not have the resources to make the simple fixes necessary to protect their homes and loved ones.

Learn more about the Federal Radon Action Plan at

Maple Park announces election candidates

MAPLE PARK—The following candidates submitted nomination petitions for the April 9 election:
• Village President – Kathleen Curtis
• Village Trustee (four-year term) – Gregory Cutsinger, Lucas Goucher, Brian Kinane, Terry E. Borg
• Village Trustee (two-year term) – Stephan D. Nowak, Debra M. Armstrong, Christopher Higgins

FVCC announces its Students of the Month for November 2012

KANELAND—The following Kaneland students were recently recognized by Fox Valley Career Center as Students of the Month for November 2012: Jack Childress, Auto Technology I; Alec Koczka, Electrician II; Nick Sharp, Fire Science II; Jack VanGemert, Welding I; Bridgett Ausbury, Health Occupations – EMC; Jay Markuson, Auto Technology I; Reid Peters, Small Engines I.

In order to receive this honor, students must demonstrate the ability to do excellent work and accomplish the goals for their particular career training program. These students must also exhibit a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and work with others.

Dudzinski named Patriot League Player of the Week

WORCESTER, Mass.—Holy Cross junior forward Dave Dudzinski, an Elburn resident and Kaneland High School alum, was named the Patriot League/Anaconda Player of the Week, for competition from Dec. 17-23. This marks the first time Dudzinski has won Patriot League Player of the Week honors during his collegiate career.

In two contests that week, Dudzinski averaged 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game, while hitting 69.2 percent (18 of 26) of his field goal attempts, 80.0 percent of his three-pointers (four of five) and 92.9 percent (13 of 14) of his free throws. He opened the week with a career-high 31 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the 73-63 victory at San Francisco on Dec. 18. Dudzinski then totaled 22 points, two assists, two blocks and two steals in the 72-65 loss at Harvard on Dec. 22.

On the year, Dudzinski has averaged a team-best 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game. Over the course of his collegiate career, he has totaled 577 points, 336 rebounds and 53 blocked shots, while connecting on 50.2 percent (211 of 421) of his field goals and 80.6 percent (133 of 165) of his free throws.

SG village trustees look ahead to 2013

by Chris Paulus
SUGAR GROVE—The year 2013 could be a fruitful one for the village of Sugar Grove.

Several village trustees expressed their strong interest in creating an interchange to Interstate 88 off of Route 47 near Waubonsee. The trustees are working with the state to get a grant to begin the project.

Village President Sean Michels and trustee David Paluch were excited to get started with an internet connection over fiber project.

“Hopefully 2013 will be the year where we bring in high speed internet over fiber, so we can attract bigger businesses that need the faster data speeds,” Paluch said. “It would also be great for our residents to take advantage of the fastest data speeds available.”

The village is currently working with MediaCom to get that project started.

Trustee Kevin Geary said he hopes to expand Route 47 to four lanes all the way to Kendall County, and would like to utilize the newly constructed road by Walgreen’s to bring in more commercial business.

“I would like to expand and bring in a greater balance with commercial real estate,” Geary said.

Village trustees also acknowledged that there are some older neighborhoods that need care in terms of streets and other infrastructure repairs. Michels that that the village could use the surplus that came in from the commercial real estate taxes to help make these repairs: “We got approximately a $200,000 surplus in the year 2012, and we were able to put a lot of that money in the local roads.”

Sean mentioned that one of his hopes is the construction of a Metra station in Sugar Grove. He is working with the chairman of Metra this week and hopes to begin laying the groundwork for that.

The new year will arrive with some concerns, as well. Paluch expressed his concern about the country’s economic situation.

“With the economic situation in the state and the country, we have no idea what will happen,” Paluch said. “But great moments come from great opportunity, and no matter what happens,

Paluch said the past couple of years have been tough for the village, as well as millions of Americans.

“We managed to make it through these tough times and make improvements in our village,” he said. “Hopefully the next year will be a little better for everyone.”

Photos: Scout’s honor

A Court of Honor ceremony was held for Eagle Scout Michael John Aderman on Saturday at St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn. The ceremony was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Aderman. Mike received his Eagle Scout certificate with friends, family and community members congratulating him. Mike is a member of BSA Troop 7 in Elburn. New Eagle Scouts present a total of three Mentor Pins to three individuals that helped mentor them through the ranks of Scouting. Mike gave the first pin to his dad, Bruce Aderman, the second pin to former Elburn Troop 7 Scoutmaster Bob Michek and the third pin to his Grandpa Aderman. Photos by Patti Wilk



Elburn looks ahead to the new year

In this article (also found on Page 1A of the Jan. 3 edition of the Elburn Herald), the North Side Pub was incorrectly listed as sold. The sale has yet to be finalized.
The Elburn Herald wants its news reports to be fair and accurate. If you know of an error, please contact:
Keith Beebe, Editor
123 N. Main St., Elburn, IL 60119
phone (630) 365-6446

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Coming to a resolution on the Elburn Station development next year is high on the priority list for a number of Village Board members.

Trustee Jeff Walter said that he and other board members have suggestions for ways to improve the plan, which will turn it into something that they can approve.

“We should do everything we possibly can to get that bridge completed,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “It would be an atrocity for this board to watch as those federal dollars dry up and not work with the county to expedite the bridge. Those federal dollars will never come back.”

Anderson said that the importance of the bridge is not to Elburn alone, but to central Kane County. Calling it a safety issue, Anderson said the freight trains that come through town are not getting any shorter. And while it is an inconvenience to the average motorist, it becomes a safety issue when emergency vehicles are trying to get from one side of town to the other.

Another thing board members agree on is that the village will need to continue keeping expenses down.

“It’s all about money,” trustee Ethan Hastert said. “I don’t see money flowing into our coffers, and it will still be lean times in the next few years and for the foreseeable future. I’m glad that we have folks on the board that recognize that.”

Walter said that the board will have to continue to work on making more targeted investments in order to pay for future predictable expenses, such as the cleaning of the water tower. Walter said that it hasn’t been fun, but the board has been able to cut expenses in order to avoid having to dip into the village’s savings.

“We’ve had to make a lot of hard decisions, and it will continue to be a challenge,” Walter said.

Anderson remains optimistic about the future, however. He sees the economy beginning to turn around, and building permits are starting to increase. The village has also seen several instances of commercial growth in the past year or so. Schmidt’s Towne Tap has added a new kitchen and the North Side Pub has been sold, with the new owner planning to turn it into a full-service restaurant. A new pancake house will soon open, and Bob Jass Chevrolet has expanded their operation.

“These are all positives for the village,” Anderson said. “Businesses have indicated they like it here, and they believe Elburn is headed in the right direction. They’re an integral part of it.”

Anderson said that the village needs to look 30 and 40 years down the road, and to have the foresight to make solid plans for the future.

“There’s a reason that the rear view mirror is only 1/25 the size of the windshield,” he said. “You’ve got to keep looking ahead.”

Photos: Friday night Bingo in Elburn

The Elburn Lions host Bingo every Friday night at the clubhouse, 500 Filmore Ave. Proceeds go toward Elburn Lions Charities for the sight and hearing impaired. There was a large turnout on Friday for the ugly sweater contest and white elephant exchange, including Shelley Lemons of North Aurora (right), Judy Emmons of Elburn, and Georgiana V. from Batavia. Paul and Mary Diehl (below) of Elburn were happy to be playing Bingo Friday night. They have been participating since its inception at the Lion’s Club. Photos by Kimberly Anderson

Book by book

Photo: The Elburn Lions Club recently implemented a Reading Action Campaign program to promote
literacy in the Kaneland community. Here, Dr. Sarah Mumm, director of Educational Services K-5 in the Kaneland District, shows off a handful of books intended for distribution to children in the community. Photo by Elizabeth Rago

Elburn Lions Club rallies to bridge gaps in literacy
by Elizabeth Rago
ELBURN—Immersed in communities since 1917, the Lions Club International Foundation is the world’s largest community service organization with an emphasis on supporting the blind and visually impaired. Most recently, the Foundation challenged members to join in on the fight against illiteracy in their communities.

Through the help of local service organizations, school districts and area libraries, the Elburn chapter of the Lions Club is diving headfirst into implementing a Reading Action Campaign program for the Kaneland community.

“Our goal is to get books into the hands of kids who do not have the resources to obtain them,” said Joe Kryszak, Elburn Lion’s Club representative.

But how does one obtain and start distributing books to local children? Who should receive the books? What kind of literature should be purchased for a particular age and gender?

To provide answers to these questions, a planning committee was built of volunteers, community agencies, educators and school administrators.

“We needed experts, so we naturally reached out to leaders and organizations who daily interact with children in the Kaneland community,” Kryszak said.

Without reluctance, Maple Park’s Family Fund in Maple Park, Conley Outreach Community Services in Elburn and Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove agreed to serve as the first three sources for needy recipients. Each community outreach program gathered an anonymous list of local children grouped by gender and age.

After the list of recipients was gathered, the Elburn Lions went straight to the masters of pairing literature and children: local library directors.

“We are always happy to help with any literacy projects,” said Lynn Alms, director of Elburn’s Town and Country Public Library. “A library is a natural partner for any type of effort involving reading and literacy. The distribution planned by the Lions involving several area groups will help books reach a wide audience in the area.”

Young adult books like “Theodore Boone” by John Grisham and “The Case of the Mistaken Identity” by Mac Barnett were among the books distributed to help bridge the gap in literacy.

“We hope this will help children develop a life-long love of reading,” Kryszak and Alms both said of the Lions’ Reading Action program.

For more information about supporting the Reading Action Campaign Program, visit, call (630) 365-6315 or email

MP village president looks back on 2012, sets sights on 2013

by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis’ thoughts on the village’s 2012 accomplishments are short and to the point.

“(We) had another good year,” she said. “Maple Park operates on limited resources, but thanks to the village staff and creative thinking, we were able to accomplish a lot with little.”

Creativity was indeed king in Maple Park in 2012. According to Curtis, village employees remodeled the Maple Park Civic Center in order to make it a more organized, professional and a technology-enhanced work space. The village also purchased a snow plow from Virgil Township, and contracted a new building inspector who has “improved operational standards” during his short time in Maple Park.

The Village Code book was made available on Maple Park’s website in 2012, and is now more accessible to local residents. In addition, Curtis said the village Police Department continues to provide a variety of programs for children and young adults.

According to Curtis, the village’s greatest achievement in 2012 ties in closely to its biggest shortcoming.

“Maple Park implemented a TIF district and completed a water main update project in the original sections of town. The water main project upgraded all remaining 4-inch lines (to improve) water pressure and fire flows,” she said. “It is unfortunate that the TIF District has not had projects. We implemented the district with hope of generating new revenue streams to be re-invested in our infrastructure.”

Despite disappointment with lack of activity in the TIF District, Curtis said she doesn’t have any real regrets regarding the events of 2012.

“The Village Board works collaboratively, and we challenge each other,” she said. “The decisions we make are well reviewed before action is taken; that helps minimize the hindsight.”

Maple Park’s chief goal in 2013 is to be sustainable, provide quality service on a tight budget and plan maintenance projects to avoid emergency situations, Curtis said, adding that she constantly worries about the village’s “vintage infrastructure.”

“We maintain a frugal budget. In 2011, we tapped into our cash reserves to match funds we received from grants to complete a variety of projects, (including a) new roof on the Civic Center, the paving of the Civic Center parking lot that extends to Green Street, and a water main project in the northeast corridor of town,” she said.

“It will take us at least two years to rebuild our funds. The reserves we have now, we need to preserve in the event of emergency.”

Curtis will run unopposed for re-election in April, and said she hopes to see increased activity in the village’s TIF District.

“In this economy, it is in our best interest to move forward in that area cautiously,” she said.

Top-tier finish in Plano for boys hoops

Photo: Kaneland boys varsity beat Newark 54-35 on Dec. 27 at the Plano 50th annual Christmas Classic tournament. No. 22 Dan Miller goes up and over his opponents for a score. Photo by Patti Wilk

by Mike Slodki
PLANO—Kaneland boys basketball is slowly but surely gelling again.

At the 50th running of the Plano Christmas Classic, that reality stood as an ominous warning to some teams and a statement of fact to the teams that bested the Knights.

Kaneland finished in fourth place, one spot worse than in 2011, but still continues to make strides with a healthy lineup and new faces.

Coupled with a win back on Dec. 22 against Sandwich, the Knights returned to action with a handy 47-29 win on Dec. 26, against sixth-seed Lisle. On Thursday, they handed Newark a 54-35 loss before losing to Ottawa on Friday, 60-50. Saturday’s third-place game saw Aurora Christian hand Kaneland a 54-46 loss.

Ottawa, a 10th seed, won the entire tournament with a 55-53 win over top-seed Belvidere on Saturday night.

With the 3-2 showing at the tourney, Kaneland’s record is now 6-6.

Against the Lisle Lions, Kaneland was led by Matt Limbrunner’s 23, Tyler Carlson’s 11 and John Pruett’s 10.

Two Limbrunner hoops gave KHS a 10-5 lead with under a minute left, but a technical foul on the Kaneland bench gave Lisle four foul shot attempts, only to convert on one of the tries. Kaneland led 10-8 at the first-quarter horn.

It was once again the Limbrunner show in the second quarter, with four of the five team baskets.

The senior was able to power down low to make it 19-12 with 3:02 to go in the half. After Lisle’s hoop 19 seconds later, Limbrunner went low for a 21-14 edge with 2:21 to play, closing out the first-half scoring.

KHS then went on a 13-4 run, taking care of the entire third frame. Back-to-back three pointers by Carlson grew the lead to 14 points with 29.1 left, and two Pruett foul shots with 15.8 to go made it 34-18 as the quarter wound down.

Baskets by Pruett and Limbrunner within the fourth quarter’s first minute made the lead 38-18, while free throws from Limbrunner, Dan Miller and Connor Fedderly iced the game.

Limbrunner and crew persevered against a higher seed and an up-tempo style of play for a handy win.

“It was nice; we knew they wanted to play fast,” Limbrunner said. “So we wanted to play our game, slow it down, and it worked out really well.”

KHS coach Brian Johnson was wary of the No. 6 seed in the Classic.

“We wanted to make sure we could control the tempo,” Johnson said. “Lisle is pretty athletic and big, and they want to get out and run.”

In the win over the Norsemen, Carlson paced the Knights with 16. Kaneland was ahead 15-3 after one frame and 26-18 at the halftime buzzer before leading 41-26 after three. KHS shot 17-for-38 in the win and 17-for-22 from the foul line.

In the loss against the eventual champ Pirates, Miller had a team-high 12, while Ottawa’s JD Bryant had 16 of his own.

Kaneland was plagued by a 19-for-53 day from the field. Ottawa was ahead 15-12 after one and 30-18 at the half before the Knights closed to within 39-33 after three.

Miller had a team-high 15 in the loss to the local rival Eagles in the tourney conclusion. Cory Windle had a game-high 16.

Kaneland was plagued by a 19-for-50 night from the field.

AC went up 22-9 after one frame and 36-24 after the first 16 minutes of play before the Knights closed to within 45-36, but a 10-9 fourth in favor of Kaneland wasn’t impactful enough.

Kaneland continues Northern Illinois Big XII action on Friday, Jan. 4, against visiting Yorkville.

KHS earns split at usual Flavin stop

Photo: Kaneland sophomore Adam Mish puts an arm lock on his Burlington rival during the DeKalb Invitational on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

DeKalb gathering lifts KHS; sees dual mark at 10-11
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A usual late-December stop offered a glimpse as to what caliber the Knight wrestling squad is at right now.

Friday and Saturday marked the familiar Don Flavin Invite, hosted by DeKalb High School.

The event was ultimately won by Hononegah High School over Naperville North, and the Knights went 2-2 in the weekend. Hononegah improved on its second-place finish of a year ago.

Kaneland finished eighth in 2011 and sixth in 2010.

After a 41-30 win over Burlington Central, a 54-24 win over Stagg, a 44-32 loss to 2011 champ Neuqua Valley and a 40-26 loss to Glenbard West—plus a loss to Pewaukee of Wisconsin—the Knights sit at 10-11 in head-to-head competition.

In the win over the rival Rockets along Dresser Road, the Knights saw a 7-0 decision from 106-pounder Adam Mish and a 2-0 decision for 120-pounder Connor Williams. Teammate Dane Goodenough managed a pin in the 126-pound outing in two minutes, 31 seconds.

Kaneland 138-pounder Sonny Horn won a 2:32 pinfall, and 145-pound teammate Dan Goress took a technical fall by 20-4 count.

BC found wins in the 152-through-182 classes, but the twin towers of Nick Sharp and Zach Theis took pins home to secure a win.

Sharp won in 1:27 for 220-pound glory, and Theis managed a 1:53 pin in the heavyweight category.

In the win over the Stagg group, Mish’s 8-5 win paved the way for pins from Williams, Goodenough, 132-pound Esai Ponce, Horn and 152-pound Austin Parks. Goress also nabbed a 24-9 technical fall, as well.

Sharp won his match in 3:53, while Theis scored a 12-2 major decision.

In the 12-point team loss to the Naperville, Ill.-based outfit, Mish (:43) and Williams (2:32) took pins, while Stephen Gust won a 7-6 squeaker.

Horn won a pinfall in 1:36, while Goress won a third technical fall of the competition in 18-3 fashion.

In the 14-point loss to the Hilltoppers, decision wins came by Gust (2-0), Williams (6-3), Ponce (9-8), Horn (6-5) and Sharp (6-1).

Goress earned a fourth technical fall win by 21-6 count, while Sharp took the lone team pinfall by 3:14 time.

KHS head coach Monty Jahns said Goress has served as a spark plug for the team.

“He got the ball rolling and was fun to watch,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “As a senior, he sets the tone for us.”

GW’s winning trail through 152-195 country was the difference.

Kaneland gets back into the Northern Illinois Big XII swing of things on Thursday, Jan. 3, against the visiting Rochelle Hubs.

Wasco softball began registration on Tuesday

Wasco—Wasco Girls Fastpitch Softball (WGFSL) began registration on Tuesday.

WGFSL is a recreational softball league open to all area girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. Games are played in the evenings and some Saturdays so parents can attend and readily participate.

Practice starts in April, and most games conclude late June/early July. Players may register online at, download a mail-in registration form or call (630) 513-1200 for a form.

Registration concludes at the end of February. After that date, players will be put on a wait list.

For more information, visit

Editorial: Local municipalities look to build on 2012 achievements in new year

What do Elburn Station, Internet over fiber and TIF District activity have in common?

All three are projects that could very well determine whether 2013 is a successful year for the villages of Elburn, Sugar Grove and Maple Park, respectively.

In Elburn Herald reporter Susan O’Neill’s 2013 preview for Elburn, village trustee Jeff Walter states that he and other board members have suggestions that can improve the Elburn Station plan, which could lead to the board eventually approving the item. Village President Dave Anderson added that the village should do everything possible to get the Anderson Road bridge completed.

In Sugar Grove, high-speed Internet is the holy grail, and the village is hoping to bring in an Internet over fiber connection that would put lightning-fast connection speeds at the fingertips of village residents. In Elburn Herald reporter Chris Paulus’ 2013 village preview, Sugar Grove board member Dave Paluch states the faster data speeds would help the village attract bigger businesses.

“It would also be great for our residents to take advantage of the fastest data speeds available,” Paluch said.

In Maple Park, a successful 2012 could give way to an even more fulfilling 2013 if the village sees some activity in its newly implemented TIF District. Village President Kathy Curtis cited the TIF District as an achievement for Maple Park, but said she was disappointed in the lack of activity within the TIF District.

“It is unfortunate that the TIF District has not had projects. We implemented the district with hope of generating new revenue streams to be re-invested in our infrastructure,” she said.

That inactivity could of course change in 2013. Still, Curtis said the state of the economy means that the village should move forward cautiously with the TIF District.

As for Kaneville, interim Village President Rick Peck was unavailable as of press time. A 2012 retrospective and 2013 preview for the village is currently in the works.

Here’s to a happy and successful 2013 for the villages of Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville. We’ll be here to document their progress every step of the way.

Letter: Newtown tragedy highlights two issues

The recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., while all the details are not yet known, has highlighted two issues nationwide. The first would be the need to limit access to high-power, large capacity automatic weapons. These weapons belong in the hands of trained military or law enforcement personnel, not the average citizen, no matter how patriotic.

The same rules that apply to weapons of mass destruction should apply to assault rifles and other such weapons. The NRA’s solution to place armed guards in every school is simplistic, impractical and self-serving. There have been shootings in theaters, shopping malls and beauty salons. Should we mandate armed guards at these and every other public building? Is that the vision of the world you wish to live in? I would hope not. This is a public health issue and should be treated as such.

The second issue is mental illness and how we deal with it in our society. The stigma around mental illness keeps two out of every three persons afflicted with this disorder from seeking treatment. Until we start thinking of mental illness as a biological disorder of the brain that it is, and until we get serious about prevention and early intervention, our society will not change for the better. While the great majority of the mentally ill are not dangerous (and much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators), the notorious few that are will garner all the headlines and attention.

After decades of reducing funding for community mental health services, closing mental health clinics and incarcerating the mentally ill instead of treating them, it is time to get serious about funding mental health services as we do other health issues like cancer, diabetes or obesity. The real solution to the issue should be limiting access to weapons that can kill dozens of innocent people in a short time, as well as treating mental illness as the physical disorder it is through prevention, early detection and intervention efforts.

Jerry Murphy
Sugar Grove

Letter: SG Lions Club to hold organizational meeting

There will be an organizational meeting of the Sugar Grove Lions Club at the end of January. Any men or women interested in joining the International Association of Lions Club—the largest service organization in the world—should contact a local member. The Sugar Grove community should easily have a 50-member Lions Club.

Keep watching for further information on the date, time and location of this meeting.

Chris Halsey
Sugar Grove Lions Club

Letter: Legislation needs to put an end to gun madness

What a shame that 20 little ones—mostly 5- and 6-year-olds—and six adults had to lose their lives so that a few macho men can have guns to play cops and robbers and play soldier, sneaking up on some harmless animal.

These guns are the same guns that macho men use to commit hideous crimes like the one in Newtown, Conn. These guns are the guns that children find from hiding places in their homes to accidentally kill their friends. These are the same guns that young and old alike use in taking their own lives.

The United States is known throughout the world as having one gun for almost every man, women and child in the country—315 million. Can you imagine what the world would think if we were to put one or two policemen with loaded guns at every school in the U.S., as the macho men at National Rifle Association advocate? These macho men don’t care how many people are killed or what others think as long as they have their guns.

We must have legislation to put an end to this madness.

Russell Johnson
Sugar Grove

Letter: Knights Wrestling Club news

Knights Wrestling Club kicked off a tremendous trio of tournaments once the green flag was dropped on this year’s wrestling season. They threw open the doors to Kaneland High School to host the Knights Open on Dec. 9, with over 20 members participating, many for the very first time. Out of such a strong showing, they had many place, including first-place finishes by Cayden Parks (Tots), Jack Certa (Intermediate) and Preston Havis (Senior).

The Knights then marched their way to a first-time appearance in the Hinsdale Red Devil Rumble on Dec.16. With a smaller travel group, they still made quite a splash out east, with first-place finishes by Parks and Cooper Christman (Bantam); fourth-place finishes by Certa (Intermediate) and Sam Girolamo (Intermediate); fifth-place finishes by Jack Parker (Tots), Caden Grabowski (Bantam) and Brenden Parks (Novice).

Not taking time to rest, the next stop on the list was Belvidere Bandits Holiday Brawl. Once again, being a first-time visitor to the Bandits home, Knights showed what they were about with first-place finishes by Chase Brennan (Tots), Cayden Parks and Jace Black (Intermediate); second-place finishes by Parker, Christman and Certa; Third-place finishes for Evan Ross (Tots) and Brenden Parks. Every Knight who showed placed at this tournament.

The Knights will spend the holidays in Sycamore at the Good Guy Tournament on Monday, Dec. 30. The new year will have them splitting into two to make duel appearances at Waubonsees Braves Rookie Tournament and Machesney Park’s Mid-Season Preview on Sunday, Jan. 6.

Michelle Parks
Maple Park

Snowball Dance at S.S. Peter & Paul Church

VIRGIL—S.S. Peter and Paul Catholic Church will host its Snowball Dance (one of Kane County’s oldest dances) on Saturday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. to midnight at the church, 5N939 Meridith Road in Virgil.

Admission to the dance is $10 per person, and is limited to those 21 years of age and older. Music will be provided by Hometown Band, with sandwiches and chips available at approximately 10:30 p.m. Beverages will be available for purchase.

Batavia Park District announces two department head changes

BATAVIA—The Batavia Park District recently ended an extensive search for its new director of finance after the position was vacated in November. The position is crucial to the park district due to its role with budgeting, tax levies and payroll; therefore, the task of finding a replacement was not taken lightly.

Last week, Executive Director Allison Niemela announced that Rita Kruse-Hankes of Aurora had accepted the position.

Kruse-Hankes was previously the assistant finance director for the village of Addison. Prior to that, she held a position as an accounting manager with the village of Downers Grove.

Government experience was crucial in the selection of a new director of finance for the park district. With nearly 10 years of experience in government finance and a strong financial background, Kruse-Hankes was an ideal fit.

“I look forward to the new challenges of leading a finance department in a forward progressing organization,” Kruse-Hankes said. “Having been born and raised in the Tri-Cities area, I feel my knowledge, work experiences and passion will inspire a better district for the future.”

Kruse-Hankes is a Certified Public Accountant and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University. Wednesday was her first day with the Batavia Park District. She can be reached at or (630) 879-5235 ext. 2021.

Kari Miller has recently been promoted from marketing and public relations manager to director of marketing and public relations. She will oversee the marketing and public relations department consisting of seven employees. Additional responsibilities include being the webmaster for the district and developing and maintaining comprehensive marketing plans and promotions for all recreation programs, special events, the Depot Museum and the Hall Quarry Beach. She will be in charge of the district’s communications, including publications, email blasts, video productions, social media and public relations campaigns.

Miller joined the Batavia Park District in 2008 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Bradley University. She has eight years of public relations experience.

Miller was promoted by Allison Niemela, the former director of marketing and public relations who recently was promoted to executive director. The promotion will be a smooth transition for the district.

“Kari is one of the fastest rising stars I’ve encountered, always looking out for the best interest of the district,” Niemela said. “She is very talented and deserving of this promotion.”

During her tenure with the district, Miller was instrumental in managing the district’s social media accounts, which include Facebook, Twitter and texting promotions. She continues to look for new ways to improve communication channels with residents.

Miller also implemented a flipbook feature to the website,which replaces PDF files and allows for added features such as video and photographs to be linked throughout the fun guide to the website. Miller is currently building a new website for the district based on feedback from surveys and focus groups, and is always welcoming new challenges.

“This is definitely a very exciting time for me,” she said. “A lot of my work is behind the scenes so I’m honored the executive director has the confidence in me to take on this position.”

Miller has demonstrated her leadership skills in several capacities. This year she is the director of the Communications and Marketing section for the Illinois Park and Recreation Association. Last year Miller was the recipient of the district’s most prestigious honor: the Bruce the Spruce Award. Miller received the award as a result of the respect her co-workers have for her and for her work ethic.

“Being nominated by my peers was a huge compliment, and one that I’m incredibly proud of during my time at the Batavia Park District,” Miller said.

Miller can be reached by email at or by phone at (630) 879-5235, ext. 2022.