KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Tuesday announced the appointment of Mr. Michael Rice as assistant principal for Curriculum and Instruction at Kaneland High School. His position will begin July 1, 2013. Rice is transferring from Sycamore High School, where he has a long history in education.
Also announced was Mrs. Julia Cloat, as assistant principal of John Stewart Elementary School, beginning July 1, 2013. Cloat has worked for Kaneland in various positions over the past 16 years.
by Mary Parrilli
KANELAND—The Kaneland School board on Tuesday heard a presentation regarding the future Kaneland District communications plan. Megan Jacobs, a communications consultant, worked with Superintendent Jeff Schuler, to establish a plan and to identify key areas of improvement.
The main focus and presentation to the board was regarding a new social media strategy developed by Jacobs and Schuler. The presentation cited the benefits of social media as fast information sharing, free to use, which instantly increases readership of district-generated materials and provides more external media coverage. Social media pertains to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogger.
The board shared their support, but also their concerns.
“I know that there are a lot of already existing social media pages for Kaneland groups, such as the PTO, or the music groups, sport groups, etc.,” board member Veronica Bruhl said. “How will we integrate the existing communications? My concern is that there will be too many pages and it will be confusing to the reader.”
Schuler assured the board that they would take some more time this summer to iron out the details and provide the board with secure data.
Kaneland High School wrestlers last year earned their way to camp by giving back to the community. They not only met their goal of donating 200 volunteer hours to the community but blew past it to achieve 293 hours. Through donations to their cause, the wrestlers attended Malecek Wrestling Camp in Wisconsin Dells free of charge.
Our boys are back at it again this year. They have raised the ante and changed their goal to 400 volunteer hours given to the community. They are achieving this through helping senior citizens with their yard, as well as volunteer time at Conley’s and Northern Illinois Food Bank and have already reached 293 hours.
They leave for the same camp in a few weeks with a goal of free of charge again. They are going to be doing a donation collection to help pave the way for them on Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both Sugar Grove and Elburn Jewel locations.
It is getting to be crunch time for them and they work so hard within in the community, so it would be great to see them meet all their goals. These boys work every Wednesday and Saturday somewhere doing something simply to help someone.
SUGAR GROVE—Covenant of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church will be begin meeting for worship at the John Shields Elementary School on Sunday, June 2. Covenant of Grace is a Christ-centered, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching Presbyterian Church with reverent worship. The church will hold Sunday worship services at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Nursery is available for the morning service.
Sunday school classes for all ages meet at 11:15 a.m. Covenant of Grace will also hold a Nature Camp program for children ages 5-11 the week of June 24.
4x800m Relay nabs State title, boys track takes sixth in Class 2A
KANELAND—Kaneland boys track has a long and storied history, and the 2013 team added to it this weekend.
The 4x800m relay team of Conor Johnson, Kyle Carter, Luis Acosta and Nathaniel Kucera set a school record and won the Class 2A State title for the 4x800m Relay event on Saturday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.
The 7:50.26 time beat Normal University’s effort by 1.32 seconds and put the KHS foursome into school immortality.
The State nod helped the Knights capture sixth overall in Class 2A with 24 team points. Cahokia (99.5), East St. Louis (40), Bloomington (37), Lakes (29) and Thornridge (26) rounded out the top five.
Recent history had the 4x400m Relay win first in 2010, Taylor Andrews win the 110m High Hurdles in 2011, Logan Markuson win the 300m Intermediate Hurdles in 2009 and Nick Sinon take the High Jump in 2010.
Friday saw the State kings take their Friday challenge with a time of 8:06.45.
“Conor, Kyle, Luis and Nathaniel are all great leaders, and they ran their legs,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “They did great and ran outstanding.”
The State-winning challenge was accented by a topple of an opposing runner during a baton switch between Johnson and Carter, forcing Johnson to leap over a pile, and Carter to stop for the baton.
“I saw what was happening and it was a little bit of ‘Oh my God,’ but I recovered quick,” Carter said.
The Knight effort saw plenty of finalists competing on the EIU track on the final day of the track and field season.
The 4x400m group of Johnson, Carter, Kucera and Dylan Nauert, with a time of 3:20.06, took second and a State medal nod, just :1.02 behind East St. Louis. The four won their Friday heat at 3:23.22.
Tanner Andrews closed his career out with a sixth-place effort and a medal in the Triple Jump after a 44-1.5. The senior jumped 44-1.5 in Friday action to qualify.
Junior Nate Dyer took ninth in the Shot Put with a mark of 51-10, after clearing that mark in prelims.
Kucera took ninth overall in the 400m Dash (50.76), after topping his prelim heat at 50.01.
Senior Kory Harner finished 10th overall in the Pole Vault thanks to a 13-06.
Senior Marshall Farthing finished 14th overall in the High Jump with a mark of 6-2, after clearing 6-3 in the prelims.
Friday action also saw the 4x100m Relay squad of Brandon Bishop, Brandon Cottier, Nauert and Ben Barnes take fifth in their heat with a time of 43.95.
Nauert finished sixth in his 110m High Hurdles prelim heat with a mark of 15.52, and second in his 300m Hurdles event prelim heat at 40.05.
In the 200m Dash, Cottier took sixth in his prelim heat with a time of 22.74, while Bishop took sixth in his prelim heat at 22.80.
The Pole Vault prelims saw Dylan Kuipers go 11th at 13 feet, while Harner tied for first in the prelims at 13-09.
A productive year highlighted by an astounding weekend won’t soon be forgotten by the winners.
‘We were down there to compete, and we knew it was possible,” Carter said.
“People forget this was a young group of kids, and the relays are loaded with juniors,” KHS coach Eric Baron said. “You had guys like Andrews and Harner and Farthing close out their careers in great ways, and we got to see what’s ahead.”
Softball eliminated despite six-run flurry in seventh inning
AURORA—The end of Saturday’s Class 3A Rosary Regional final is something Kaneland fans will remember for quite awhile.
Kaneland softball wishes there was more to the season than mere memories, however.
Falling behind 7-0 to No. 2 seed Rosary on Saturday morning, the top seed Lady Knights put together an exciting six-run rally before falling just short in a 7-6 loss.
Kaneland finished the season at 24-4, while Rosary improved to 13-18. The Lady Royals were scheduled to face perennial powerhouse Marengo at Wednesday’s Rochelle Sectional semifinal.
The Lady Knights captured a regional title last year at IMSA against Yorkville before being dethroned by Sterling at the Belvidere North Sectional, and seemed to have odds in its favor after a recent doubleheader sweep of Rosary, as well as a five-inning rout of Sandwich in the regional semi last week.
Rosary put up one run in the top of the second for a 1-0 lead, and KHS had a two-out opportunity with two runners in scoring position, but came up empty.
After Rosary put up two more runs in the top of the fourth for a 3-0 lead, the Lady Knights had the bases loaded with one out, but a fielder’s choice and groundout were induced by Rosary to extinguish the threat.
The Lady Royals tallied three in the fifth and one more in the sixth for a sizable lead, setting the drama for the last frame.
With one out, Lexi Roach and Aly O’Herron both singled before Lanie Callaghan drove home a run with a single to finally get on the board.
Catcher Paige Kuefler proceeded to smack a three-run homer to right field to close the deficit to 7-4, and was followed by Sarah Grams’ solo shot in her final Kaneland at-bat to make it 7-5.
Meg Cohrs doubled, and Allie Miller lined out to right. Haley Contorno hit a double to the wall to drive Cohrs home, cutting the lead to one. With the tying run in scoring position, Caroline Heimerdinger grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.
Ellissa Eckert took the loss in the pitchers’ circle.
“You have to take advantage of every opportunity, both offensively and defensively,” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “We didn’t do it early in the game. Until the last inning, it seemed every ball we hit hard went right at them.”
With the elimination, the Kaneland program bids farewell to the season with a core of seniors Grams, O’Herron, Morgan Newhouse, Taylor Krawczyk, Kristin Gabrielson and Eckert.
“I’m proud of the way they did win two back-to-back conference championships and a lot of victories,” Willis said. “They’ve only lost 11 games in two years. This is a painful one to lose, but Rosary gets credit today.”
Knights nab first postseason win in 2 years, but loses in regional final
KANELAND—After getting upended by DeKalb in the regional semifinal in 2012, to play for a regional plaque in 2013 was a welcome sight for Kaneland baseball.
But the sight of a regional plaque is all that can be afforded, rather than grasping it.
The Knights took a day-long break before getting to the field due to rain in the area, ultimately beating Sandwich on Friday by a final of 6-0. They followed that up with a tough 3-2 loss to St. Francis of Wheaton on Saturday morning.
Kaneland finished the season with a 13-18 record, its first losing campaign since 2006, which ended in a regional loss to Batavia at Oswego High School.
Kaneland has hosted regionals three of the last four years in Class 3A, and been bounced by Hampshire, DeKalb and now St. Francis at the home location.
Before the end of the season, Kaneland was able to tame the Interstate Eight Conference stalwart Indians and Ohio University-bound pitcher Jake Roehn on Friday.
Roehn managed to mow down 10 Knights, but the KHS lineup supported winning hurler Curtis Thorson with five second-inning runs.
Thorson, Zack Martinelli, Ty Bellock, Dan Miller and Matt Limbrunner with a triple all had run-scoring hits in the frame. Tyler Carlson’s RBI single cemented the margin in the fifth inning.
Against the top-seeded Spartans, scheduled to face Burlington Central at the Sycamore Sectional on Wednesday, Kaneland found two runs in the top of the first thanks to a Joe Komel single and a Josh Cohrs fielder’s choice.
St. Francis managed to plate three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off losing pitcher John Hopkins, and held off Kaneland threats the rest of the way.
With the loss, Kaneland says goodbye to seniors Josh Sitterly, Kyle Pollastrini, Martinelli, Limbrunner, Bellock, Matt Kucera, Hopkins, Cohrs, Miller, Lane Davis, Blake Sowell, Austen Davis, Jake Parry, Joe Pollastrini and Nick Albano.
Lois J. Slaughter-O’Brochta, 81, of Montgomery, passed away Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at Presence Mercy Center. She was born Aug. 7, 1931, in Mendota, Ill., the daughter of the late George and Myrtle “May” (Sperrey) Duffey.
Lois is survived by her four children, Kenneth (Jeanine Lehnert) Slaughter, Marilyn (Donald) Holmes, Rodney (Jacqueline) Slaughter and Steven Slaughter; 10 grandchildren, Carolyn Slaughter, Sarah (Jason) Stauffenberg, Scott Slaughter, Andrea (Michael) Jarot, Tracy (Eric) Smith, Theo Calvert, Theron Greene, Johnathon Slaughter, Noah Slaughter and Marcus Slaughter. Survivors also include eight grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Lois was preceded in death by her two husbands, Theron “Pete” Slaughter and Frances “Frank” O’Brochta; two sisters, Beverly Contreras and Dorothy Johnson; as well as a brother, Howard Duffey.
Funeral services were held on Saturday at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove, with Pastor Jeff Moore officiating. Visitation was held prior to the funeral hour. Interment followed at Lincoln Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the American Cancer Society.
For further information, call (630) 466-1330 or visit www.healychapel.com to leave an online condolence.
The Elburn Memorial Day Ceremony was held inside at the Elburn American Legion, due to wet conditions at Blackberry Cemetery. Since the event was held indoors, some of the traditional activities, such as the arade, cannon fire, rifle salute and placing of the wreath, were not held.
The Elburn Memorial Day Ceremony was held inside at the Elburn American Legion, due to wet conditions at Blackberry Cemetery. Here, the Elburn BSA Troop 7 Colorguard carry in the flags.
Photo by Patti Wilk
SUGAR GROVE—Whether they want to make a movie, create a video game or cook up delicious meals, children ages 4 to 14 are invited to explore their interests this summer with Waubonsee Community College’s Xcelerate enrichment program.
The program will feature 20 different week-long classes that range from $69 to $179. Most classes run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. at one of five locations: Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove, Aurora and Plano Campuses, West Aurora High School and Hun- toon Stables in North Aurora.
The Lego Robotics session is back again this year, and is a highlight of the science and technology lineup, which also includes a computer camp where students will explore office software, web design and flash animation.
Gaming and digital arts courses focus on the creation of video games or movies, while children can create a delicious meal or the next clothing trend in the cooking and fashion design camps, respectively. New this year are oppor- tunities for children to learn how to ride a horse, play the ukulele or practice the art of Kung Fu. In their camps, preschoolers can dig for dinosaurs, learn how things work, explore space or create paintings and sculptures based on the work of famous artists.
SYCAMORE, ILL.—Elburn Cooperative Co. recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of Newark Seed on Highway 52 in Newark, Ill.
Elburn Cooperative completed the transaction, which began in 2007 when Elburn Cooperative took over the Pioneer Seed Agency, operated by Steve Scalf, on Highway 52 south of Newark.
“We’re extremely pleased with the growth of our seed sales at Newark, and with the help of our partners at Pioneer, we look forward to growing the business further,” said Dave Myers, Agronomy Division Manager for Elburn Cooperative. “We have a great team at Newark, and they are an important part of our agronomy offering in the southern part of our territory.”
Scalf in 2007 became an employee of Elburn and manager of the Newark location, and he continued to own and operate the bulk seed and treatment facilities. With the purchase’s completion, Elburn Cooperative will own and operate the bulk seed and treatment facilities. Scalf will continue to manage the location.
The site also employs two sales people, Fred Blue and Nate Rink, and a seasonal employee, Jake Scalf, who handles seed treatment.
NEW YORK CITY—Members of the Fox Valley Festival Chorus will perform at Carnegie Hall on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, at 8 p.m. One year ago, Naperville resident and IMSA Instrumental Music Director Mary Beth McCarthy, the director of the Chorus, received a formal invitation to perform John Rutter’s Requiem under the direction of Rutter himself. Even McCarthy will have the opportunity to step aside from her traditional role of conducting the Chorus and sing as a member.
The group will join seven other groups from throughout the country and the New England Symphonic Ensemble on the Perelman Stage in the Isaac Stern Auditorium.
In preparation for the concert, the Chorus starting rehearsing in September 2012, in addition to presenting two local performances in April 2013. Once they arrive in New York City, the singers will rehearse for three days in order to be ready for their big Carnegie Hall debut.
When they are not rehearsing, members will have the opportunity to attend Broadway plays and sightsee. But once they return to Illinois, they will put the finishing touches on the aptly named spring pops concert, “From Broadway to the Big Screen,” which will feature Broadway show tunes that started out as stage musicals and ended up as movies.
AURORA—For more than two decades, Waubonsee Community College educated thousands of Aurorans at its downtown campus on Stolp Island. In June 2011, Waubonsee moved its downtown Aurora operations to a new 132,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art campus across the Fox River at 18 S. River St. Thanks to a purchase agreement in the amount of $1.5 million with developer Gorman & Company, downtown Aurora will continue its renaissance with the introduction of a mixed-use residential/retail development at the historic former campus.
At their May meeting, Waubonsee’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase agreement for the two buildings that comprised the former campus. Gorman & Company, a leader in downtown revitalization projects, plans to redevelop the former campus into apartments and retail. The closing is expected in January 2014.
Waubonsee opened its former Aurora Campus on Stolp Island in August 1986 and expanded the campus a year later. The college initially invested more than $6.4 million to turn the historic buildings into 88,000 square feet of educational spaces that included 41 classrooms and labs, as well as a bookstore and library.
Waubonsee’s new downtown Aurora Campus features comprehensive student services and 52 classrooms, labs and other specialized instructional spaces that allow students to earn complete associate degrees and certificates in downtown Aurora.
GENEVA—Beginning this week, FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSATs) will be in Kane County to provide information and provide residents affected by last month’s flooding with an opportunity to register for federal disaster assistance.
These teams will be visiting homes, businesses and high-traffic locations in the affected areas providing support to disaster survivors directly in the communities where they live and work.
DSAT members may offer residents the opportunity to use a tablet computer to register for assistance. Residents will not be required to share personal information unless they wish a DSAT team member to enter the data for them. Residents are reminded to ask for federal identification before providing personal information.
Don Bryant, director of the Kane County Office of Emergency Management, said that the DSAT teams will give residents the opportunity to ask a FEMA representative directly about the disaster assistance process and register for the program.
If residents prefer to use their own personal computer or telephone to register for FEMA assistance, they can do so by calling 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585) or by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College Associate Professor of Political Science and History Richard Kiefer knew fairly early on that he wanted to teach—he just didn’t think he’d be doing it at the college level.
Now, after 20 years of teaching in the Illinois community college system, he has been named Waubonsee’s Outstanding Faculty Member for 2013.
As a freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Kiefer was a business major, but he soon decided that wasn’t for him.
“I tried to think about what I liked and could make a living at,” Kiefer said.
A quick stop in the education department determined his path.
“After deciding to be a secondary education teacher, everything clicked,” Kiefer said. “Every step reaffirmed my decision, including student teaching at both the middle school and high school levels.”
He graduated with his bachelor’s degree and his Ohio teaching license—a license that was not transferable to Illinois. While he waited to take his home state’s teaching test, he found a job in academic advising at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Ill.
“Being at a community college really opened my eyes,” Kiefer said. “I thought it would be such a fantastic place to teach.”
Kiefer’s hunch was confirmed when he began teaching a night class at the college, and so he soon enrolled at Governors State University to earn his master’s degree and a chance to teach full time.
That chance came in the fall of 2000 when a political science/history position opened at Waubonsee.
“It was really my dream job,” Kiefer said.
And the 2000 presidential election, with George W. Bush winning the electoral vote and Al Gore winning the popular vote, proved to be a dream for political science instructors everywhere.
“It was really unprecedented,” Kiefer said. “It was a great chance to talk to students about the electoral college and how it works.”
A year later, there was another unprecedented event that Kiefer chose to address with students: the attacks of Sept. 11.
“I helped organize a teach-in the day after the attacks, and I was impressed by how many students and faculty showed up and participated,” Kiefer said. “That is what college should be about: when these events happen, we should gather to learn and discuss.”
Political discussions are a daily occurrence in Kiefer’s classroom, but their tone tends to be markedly different from the political discourse seen in the media.
“I keep my political views to myself in the classroom,” Kiefer said. “I tell my students at the beginning that it’s fine if they disagree with each other, but we are in an academic setting and will keep things civil. There have been some heated debates over the years, but things have never boiled over.”
While Kiefer works to ensure his classroom discussions don’t boil over, he also has to make sure he doesn’t burn out as the only full-time political science faculty at the college. While this means he is always on, it also means he gets to develop and teach a wide array of classes. He developed the curricula for both Introduction to International Relations and Introduction to Political Philosophy, which he teaches each fall—he follows up those classes with Comparative Government and State and Local Government each spring to keep things fresh. Plus, the students and ever-changing political landscape help, too.
“Every semester is a new beginning,” Kiefer said. “Even if I’ve covered the material before, my students always have a fresh take on it. Plus, we’re always in the midst of an election cycle, so there are always new examples around you.”
Kiefer makes sure students don’t just have examples and case studies to work with, but actual politicians, as well. He has facilitated the Hastert Leadership Seminar for the past four years, where former U.S. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert and other special guests meet with Waubonsee students to discuss local, state and federal government. This year’s guests included Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, village of Elburn trustee and Mayer Brown Partner Ethan Hastert, and former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh.
Kiefer has also coordinated Waubonsee’s participation in the national Congress to Campus program that brings former Democratic and Republican representatives to college campuses to share their experiences with students. Waubonsee took part in the program in both 2009 and 2012.
“Both activities provided unique learning experiences for our students interested in political science,” said Dr. Bill Marzano, Waubonsee’s dean for Social Science and Education. “I trust the students will remember and cherish these activities in years to come.”
Kiefer witnessed first-hand the impact these programs have on his students.
“Students realize politicians are real people, and that anybody can do this,” Kiefer said.
Waubonsee students get a chance to do the work of a politician as part of the annual Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation in Springfield. Kiefer serves as the advisor for Waubonsee’s MIG club.
Whether they participate in MIG or just take one of his classes, Kiefer has the same goal for all of his students.
“I hope they leave with a better understanding of the world we live in, what’s going on around them and how governments work,” he said.
CHICAGO—Andrew Wood, a 2005 graduate of Kaneland High School and a 2009 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will graduate from Rush University Medical College on May 23. He will continue his education with a residency program at Rose Medical Center in Denver, to study family medicine.
RIPON, WIS.—Elburn residents Nathaniel Davidson and Paul Meuer were named to the Ripon College dean’s list for the spring 2013 semester.
Davidson, a junior majoring in history, is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Robert B. Davidson of Elburn. Meuer, a senior majoring in environmental studies, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael A. Meuer of Elburn.
BATON ROUGE, LA.—Kelsey Borg of Maple Park was recently initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Borg is pursuing a degree in communication disorders at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Borg is among approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as well as faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.
MAPLE PARK—Colleen MacRunnels aims for the Maple Park Police Department to be in first place in this year’s Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run, a competition among police departments to raise the most money for Special Olympics.
The $37,000 the department raised at Sunday’s sixth annual Pulling for Special Olympics Sporting Clay Shoot event will go a long way toward that goal, which the MPPD hopes to achieve by raising $50,000 total.
Last year, the department raised a total of $40,071.83—the largest chunk of which, $32,000, came from last year’s clay shoot—and that was enough to put the MPPD in fifth place statewide, right between the two heavyweights of Illinois law enforcement: the Illinois State Police, which took fourth place, and the Chicago Police Department, which took sixth. Crestwood’s police department took first place.
It was an impressive showing for such a small department—Maple Park has only one full-time officer, Chief Mike Acosta, and five part-time officers.
“It shocks the other police departments who are huge, and they ask, ‘How many people do you have?’ And they’re just amazed. They want to know, ‘How did you do that?’ And I basically tell them it’s the coordinators working for us,” Acosta said. “(Colleen and Jim MacRunnels) are out there shaking bushes and looking for donations, and they are giving from their heart to the Special Olympics.”
Colleen, who lives in Elburn and worked for the Illinois Department of Corrections, had been organizing Law Enforcement Torch Run events for several years. When she retired, she approached Acosta about organizing the fundraisers for the MPPD instead, and she created the Pulling for Special Olympics event.
In its first year, the clay shoot raised only $2,400, but it’s been growing every year, Colleen said. This year’s event, which took place at the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club in Elburn, had nearly 300 shooters participating. Participants paid $75 if they preregistered or $90 at the door.
The clay shoot featured three different courses, each with five stations. Participants chose a course and then got to shoot at the five stations, each of which was set up differently.
“At each station, the sporting clay shells went off in different directions,” Colleen said. “They mimicked birds and different animals.”
In addition to the clay shoot, the event included trap shooting, shooting games, lunch, door prizes and a silent auction. Sponsors donated dozens of prizes for the silent auction, including a Cruzin Cooler, guns, gun accessories, jewelry and wine baskets. Door prizes included a variety of different guns, as well as scopes, ammunition, clays and shells, gun vaults, deep fryers, time on the target range, a pheasant hunt, rounds of golf, sunglasses, games and restaurant gift certificates.
In addition to the money raised through the shooting course, raffles and auction, many local companies and individuals sponsored the event, providing products for the raffles and auction or cash donations. Monnett Precision Grinding in Addison donated all the guns used as prizes, and Berkeley Finer Foods in Batavia sponsored the lunch.
Other sponsors included the Maple Park Pub and Grill; the Kane County Flea Market; Dan Murphy—Edward Jones of Elburn; Cabela’s, a sporting goods store in Hoffman Estates, Ill.; and the Wal-Mart in DeKalb.
Several Special Olympics athletes were present at the event, as well, including Sugar Grove resident Dustin Dickens, who won a gold medal in powerlifting at the 2007 Special Olympics world summer games in China. Dustin, a former Elburn resident, has Down syndrome and works at the Jewel in Elburn.
“They were there kind of like public relations,” said Rick Dickens, who is Dustin’s father. “They helped with various small things, but they’re there schmoozing, not shooting. They wear their medals, sell raffle tickets (and) thank all the shooters for coming.”
Dustin, who has won 80 gold medals, 35 silver medals and 27 bronze medals throughout his career as a Special Olympian, only wore a few medals from his collection because “the medals get heavy,” Rick said.
“The shooters got to see the athletes out there with their medals, (and) they got a chance to meet the athletes, and it’s really impactful,” Colleen said.
According to Colleen, the clay shoot is a successful fundraiser partly because of the uniqueness of the event.
“My husband (Jim) and a couple of his friends made the suggestion (to have a clay shooting event) because, for the Special Olympics, a lot of the police departments do golf outings and we wanted to do something different,” Colleen said. “It’s been a real positive event, and it’s been growing by word-of-mouth. People come and have fun, and then they tell a friend and their neighbor.”
Even if the department doesn’t take first place this year, Colleen said she plans to keep trying.
“Our goal for this year is No. 1. I’m not going to quit until we do,” she said.
Acosta said he thinks the department has a good shot at winning this year—they were only $7,000 behind Crestwood, the first-place winner last year—and he is hoping to be able to display the first-place trophy.
“You get this really huge trophy, and I didn’t know that until this year until I went down to Crestwood and I saw that they had one,” he said. “We received the gold award last year for raising over $20,000 a year. But next year? How do you top No. 1? I guess you just continue to be top.”
Though the clay shoot was the biggest Special Olympics fundraiser the MPPD will do this year, there are at least two more fundraisers planned to help the department reach its $50,000 goal.
The first, Cop on Top, will be on May 31, and Maple Park’s police officers will sit on the roof of the Dunkin’ Donuts at 80 Tyler Creek Plaza in Elgin, asking people to make a $10 donation to Special Olympics in return for a free Special Olympics coffee mug, a donut and a coffee refill.
“All the officers go up on the rooftops of Dunkin’ Donuts, and people give money to get us off the roof,” Acosta said. “You know—a cop and a donut. It goes together.”
The family-friendly event will also feature either Mr. McGruff, the crime dog mascot, or an ambulance for children to look at, Colleen said.
The department will also host the Wheel of Meat Extravaganza at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at the Maple Park Pub, 221 Main St., Maple Park. The event, which is also organized by the MacRunnels, will raffle off 125 prizes, including meat from Inboden’s Meat Market in DeKalb, sporting goods and various other prizes. Last year, the Wheel of Meat event raised $6,800 for the Special Olympics.
If the department hasn’t reached its total fundraising goal of $50,000 after that, Colleen may plan additional events to raise more before the December deadline. Last year, Bootlegger’s in Maple Park did a last-minute raffle to help the Police Department meet its goal.
Acosta said the department will find out which department was ranked No. 1 at the kickoff for next year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run competition in February.
“It’s amazing, because when you think about Maple Park, it’s a small little town. But when you look in general at the top fundraisers, they are small towns,” Rick said. “When you have a small town like Elburn that embraced our son, everybody knows everybody. And the small towns really support their own and their causes.”
ELBURN—Elburn police are investigating a string of more than 20 automobile burglaries that took place between Sunday night and Monday morning in several neighborhoods in the Blackberry Creek subdivision.
Calling it “a crime of opportunity,” Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith said that all of the vehicles entered had been left unlocked, and they were all parked either on the street, or in the driveways of the owners of the vehicles.
In addition to cash, items taken from the vehicles include iPads, computers and jewelry, which Smith said could easily be sold to a third party.
Elburn Police Department detectives have begun an investigation, working with officers in several nearby communities that have experienced similar burglaries in recent weeks. Maple Park and Campton Hills recently had a series of similar burglaries.
“That’s standard procedure to touch base with other Police Departments in the area,” Smith said. “Maybe we’re looking at the same people or same group of people. We all share information on these things.”
Smith said that the most important thing people can do to avoid this type of burglary is to lock their vehicles, and not to leave anything of value in the car, especially in plain sight. In addition, they should never leave the keys to their car inside the car.
“It’s a crime of opportunity,” he said. “They’ll try the door handle and rummage around in the car. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it’s the car that’s unlocked that gets hit.”
Anyone who thinks that they might have any information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to contact Detective Brad Ferguson at (630) 746-0046. Also, anyone who thinks that one of their vehicles was a target of the burglars, even if nothing was taken, are encouraged to call 9-1-1, so that an officer can conduct an initial investigation.
by Elizabeth Rago
MAPLE PARK—May 2013 ends a brief interlude in the Moon Dance Diner and Grill’s history, as George and Elizabeth Georgiou will soon re-open the Maple Park classic American eatery with select hours.
Located at 309 Main St., the Moon Dance Diner and Grill will be open for Classic Car Cruise night on Wednesdays, from 4 to 9 p.m., and breakfast on the weekends from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the future, George looks to run lunch Thursday and Fridays, in addition to Friday Night fish frys and shrimp boils.
“We are going to open the diner and serve on the days which thrived in the past,” George said.
Raised amid the bustle of his father’s restaurant business as a young child, it was only natural that George would create a concept like the Maple Park establishment. After securing the 100-year-old building in 2011, which once housed Sanders’ Barber Shop, George and his wife Elizabeth were excited to meet older residents who visited the diner to share stories about getting their first haircut in the historic building.
Serving classic American fare like breakfast, burgers and sandwiches, George has streamlined the existing menu, but assures patrons he has not forgotten about their favorites.
“Our homemade chicken salad, rueben sandwich and turkey panini are still on the menu,” he said.
So what would George like the Moon Dance Diner and Grill to be known for?
“We would like to be known as the coolest diner in the Fox River Valley for our atmosphere, good service and good food,” he said. “We like this location because we love the small community of Maple Park, and there are no other restaurants in town.”
Ready your utensils, Maple Park. A tentative opening for Memorial Day weekend is on the horizon, so keep your eye on the Moon Dance Diner Facebook page for grand re-opening specifics.
“We are very happy to be back, and want Moon Dance Diner and Grill to be a positive addition to Maple Park and its citizens again,” George said.
For more information about the Moon Dance Diner, check out www.moondancedinerandgrill.com or visit the “Maple Park Moon Dance Diner and Grill” page on Facebook.
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board on Monday voted to approve an additional license that would allow Chico’s Tacos to serve liquor.
The license falls into a category that allows liquor to be dispensed in a non-bar establishment. This is the second license of its kind in Elburn; Pappa G’s also holds the non-bar liquor license.
Chico’s Tacos owners Felipe and Juanita Lopez and their family moved their restaurant to Elburn in March 2012, after operating for almost two years at a location south of town. The restaurant is located on Valley Drive in the Prairie Valley Center.
Sugar Grove’s new Township Board includes Lee Drendel (left to right), Tom Rowe, Scott Hester, Phil Silagi, Laurie Geary and Greg Huggins. Courtesy Photo
by Chris Paulus
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Township Board members were sworn in on Monday, with Lee Drendel, Scott Hester, Laurie Geary and Mike Fagel as trustees, Phil Silagi as township clerk, and Greg Huggins as highway commissioner. Tom Rowe was sworn in as the new township supervisor.
Geary has worked in banking for about 30 years, and has also contributed to the Corn Boil and the Holiday in the Grove event. She said she is excited to begin her work in municipal politics.
“I want to help grow the senior center. I was an auditor for the center in the past. I also worked at the Sugar Grove Library doing some training for the seniors,” she said.
Geary, a write-in candidate, ran a minimal campaign through the use of business cards, Facebook and ads in the Elburn Herald. She won 105 votes.
“We have to win back the trust of the people. We have to show them that (the platforms) that we ran on will actually happen,” she said.
The township will soon begin discussion of its general budget for the fiscal year, with the proposed date of the public hearing set for Monday, June 24. Board members on Monday took time to look over the budget spreadsheet and discuss details of some of its funds.
“The supervisor desperately needs a new computer,” Rowe said. “It’s a very old computer that I think was donated to the Township.”
Rowe said the Township also put some funds into the senior center.
“One thing that we want to move towards with the monthly lunch is more of a catered situation. We’d still like to offer it free to the seniors,” he said.
According to Rowe, the Township is also trying to compensate for the loss of mental health funding from the state and national level.
The new-look Township Board on Monday passed an ordinance requiring signatories on checks. This will require two signatures on checks written by the township—one from the supervisor, and another from a trustee or clerk.
Rowe said this proposal was based on a suggested made by the township’s law firm.
“About a year ago, the Township Board made a decision and passed a resolution to require two signatures on checks,” Rowe said. “Talking to our law firm, they were a little bit surprised by that. Normally the supervisor just signs the checks. The law firm suggested that one signature be from the supervisor and the other be from another board member or the clerk,”
by David Woehrle
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove interim Police Chief Ronald Moser on Tuesday informed the Village Board that an intergovernmental agreement is in the works between the Police Department and Kaneland School District 302.
“The Kaneland School District will enter in a reporting agreement with the Police Department,” Moser said. “If we proceed, then there are guidelines. In summary, it helps the School District provide the Police Department of criminal activity of students. Also, we inform the School District of such matters if we feel it would help.”
Moser pointed out that the deal is not final. Village attorney Steve Andersson is currently reviewing the language of the agreement and collaborating with Kaneland school officials.
Village trustee Robert Bohler raised questions about specific guidelines.
“Will every little violation of a juvenile be discussed, such as local ordinance violations?” he asked.
Moser said the guidelines clearly state that if the matter is not a threat to the school or community, then the information is not disclosed.
“This measure is only to inform police and school officials of any vandalism, gang activity, violence or drug activity,” Moser said.
Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said more clarification would be needed to move forward in any substanstial way.
“It’s my understanding that the Kaneland rules in extracurricular activities, in sports and other matters, are quite strict,” he said. “If a student is caught with a cigarette or a beer one night, will it take away from their future endeavors?”
Bohler agreed with that concern, claiming that a student’s permanent record shouldn’t be gambled with on minor offenses.
Village trustee Kevin Geary also voiced his concern with the pending agreement.
“It shouldn’t be a matter of mere tattle-telling. It should be about safety and only that,” he said.
Andersson then clarified the mission of the deal.
“This is not designed for getting students in trouble, or ruining futures. It’s about two entities, the school and the police department—the good guys—having a clear, concise conversation on dangerous crime,” Andersson said. “Most of it won’t be recorded. We will have professionals using good judgment.”
The proposal will be finalized and officially brought to the board sometime within the next month.
The Maple Park garage sales held last weekend brought out sunny weather and streets full of anxious shoppers ready for bargains. Those shopping could find anything from weightlifting equipment to fresh-made slushies. Parents were on the lookout for good deals on clothing and accessories for their kids.
KANELAND—The Kaneland Knights GIVE program has been set up to recognize and acknowledge students who gave back to the school and community through voluntary service. GIVE stands for “Generosity Involves Volunteer Effort.”
The guidelines are as follows:
• The volunteer service hours may be in conjunction with organized service projects sponsored by church, scouts, etc.
• The volunteer service hours may be earned for work at school, such as filing, cleaning, working concessions, tutoring, helping others in need or at the discretion of the school staff.
• The student must log all hours of volunteer service and have a supervising adult, class sponsor or class president sign off on the hours recorded on the log sheet.
• Students will submit a completed log sheet to the high school office.
Levels of recognition:
• Level 1: Forty hours of volunteer work will result in certificate, T-shirt, and name recognized in a press release and on announcements
• Level 2: Eighty hours of volunteer work will result in certificate, T-shirt, movie gift card, and name recognized in a press release and on announcements
Kaneland High School would like to recognize the following students for at least 40 hours of volunteer service this year: Amanda Felella, Spencer Good, Brooke Harner, Kevin Healy, Amelia Likeum, Kellyn McMullan, Cody Pitstick, Spencer Serwin and Taylor Spooner.
KHS would like to recognize the following students for at least 80 hours of volunteer service this school year: David Barnhart, Hailey Boyd, Jaemee Cordero, Melyssa Cordero, Marshall Farthing, Shannon Gilkey, Tyler Hill, Ryan Koeppen, Alexander Kovach, Stephen McCracken, Nicholas Messina and Aaron Steenwyck.
Girls track concludes season at state finals
KANELAND—It was a weekend well spent in Charleston, Ill.
With a select few events able to go down to Eastern Illinois University for the Class 2A girls track State meet, Kaneland made the most of it.
Seven events saw Kaneland garb grace the track, and the Kaneland’s four team points in the finals earned it 52nd place in the entire Class 2A landscape.
Six events, with the exception of the long jump, made PRs.
Lauren Zick still managed to finish 11th overall in the long jump with a mark of 16 feet, 11.25 inches, despite no PR and battling an illness.
Christina Delach took a 10th place tie in the pole vault with a 10-foot effort, same as in her prelim group.
Amanda Lesak, Aislinn Lodwig, Jessica Kucera and Sydney Strang took ninth in a crowded 4x800m relay field with a time of 9:40.76. They raced a 9:39.47 in prelims.
In the 3200m run, Brianna Bower broke the school record held for 26 years by Amy Eddington, with a time of 11:19.33, good for seventh overall.
Ashley Castellanos concluded a productive career in the triple jump by hitting a 35-06 in her Friday effort.
Victoria Clinton raced a 5:18.32 in her 1600m run effort on Friday, while the 4x400m relay unit of Lesak, Castellanos, Allie Heinzer and Zick raced a 4:04.11 on Friday.
“I think the consistent effort you see each year from the girls is a combination of learning from older girls, the work ethic and the fact we get quality girls to come out for track and field at KHS,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “Girls like Clinton and Bower show up with a great work ethic. But it’s much easier to keep the ball rolling than to start from scratch each year.”
The team sweepstakes was taken by Springfield Southeast, with 66 points.