Photos: Crafting in Maple Park

Photo: Participants gathered Dec. 4 at the Maple Park American Legion for the third annual Make and Take holiday crafting event. There were several craft stations designed for ages 3 and up. Lemonade and cookies were served. Donations were also accepted. Guests got a chance to make homemade ornaments and gifts to use as Christmas items.

D302 tax levy increases

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board agreed to increase the tax levy at the Monday meeting.

This means that the tentative tax levy that had been approved at the October meeting will go into effect.

The requested amount is $52,210,825 and includes operating levy amounts and bond and interest amounts.

According to a report by Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for Business for the Kaneland School District, money received will provide programs, services, operating costs and other expenditures for 2014-15.

The only two board members who have consistently voted against the tax increase are Tony Valente and Pedro Rivas.

“I’m not going to compare us to other districts,” Rivas said. “We’re us. This is a hard time. At home we’ve had to tighten our belts. That’s what we need to continue to do here.”

Area residents and taxpayers packed the meeting room and many stood up to express their opposition to the home tax increases before the board voted.

Denise Zabelle, Elburn resident, voiced her concerns.

“How much can you grab from us now?” Zabelle asked. “You’re taking more money from us.”
She pointed out that Sugar Grove is asking for $6.50 and the village of Elburn, $27 a year.

“This ‘it’s only’ is adding up,” Zabelle said. “I would like an explanation.”

Her husband Dave Filipski said that the private sector has taken a beating since 2006 and added that the federal and state government is “after us.”

“Everyone’s killing us,” Filipski said. “Enough is enough.”

Sugar Grove resident Jason Mann has spoken in favor of a tax levy increase. He noted the idea that the the district is working on “more with less.” He said that spending, not including Chicago public schools, is less per pupil on instruction than the state average.

“That is sad,” Mann said.

Gale Paviak, board secretary, said that there had been more than $7 million cut from the budget in the last four years. She said that teachers and administrators had not received increases.

“Do we provide our teachers with benefits?” Paviak asked. “Yes. We are not going into this blindfolded. But we have to look at the big picture.”

At the last meeting, Valente had questioned Fuchs about the special education fund in regards to July 31 through currently. He had asked what has changed to warrant doubling the special education fund amount.

Fuchs had explained that the education fund has maxed its tax rate and EAV has dropped.
“To me, robbing Peter to pay Paul—if that’s not a backdoor referendum, I don’t know what is,” Valente said Monday.

School board approves hiring of two interim athletic directors

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board agreed to hire two interim athletic directors for the the school year on Monday.

The two directors are Rudy Keller and Ralph Drendel.

Board member Tony Valente was the only member to vote no.

“You can go without this position for half a year,” Valente said.

The original plan had been to hire a trio of retirees, including Ross Truemper, Keller and Drendel.

Truemper and Keller worked at West Aurora High School as co-interim principal for two years and have experience in athletics and activities.

Drendel is a former Kaneland High School assistant athletic director, coach, teacher and student.

“It just turned out that Ross had some conflicts in his schedule that made it difficult for him to support us,” said Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler after the meeting. “It just didn’t work out.”

According to a memorandum, Keller will receive $500 per day not to exceed 70 days. That totals up to $35,000. Drendel will receive $250 per day not to exceed 100 days. That totals up to $25,000.

“(That’s) something you can live without for six months,” Valente said. “That’s the issue in my eyes—exorbitant spending.”

Schuler spoke favorably of Keller and Drendel.

“Nothing has changed,” Schuler said. “We’re still providing the same level of support we anticipated. It’s more than just an athletics activities position. It really has a key operational focus for the entire building.”


KHS’ Madrigal Feaste: a 36-year tradition

Photo: KHS senior Kayla Hedgren performs a solo during the KHS Madrigal performance at the Sugar Grove Library Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk

MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland High School Madrigal Feaste performances are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. All performances will be held in the Kaneland High School cafeteria, 47W326 Keslinger Road in Maple Park, where a meal will be served.

The Madrigal production involves nearly 100 Kaneland students who combine their talents in music and drama to celebrate the holiday season. Ticket orders for this reenactment of a 10th century English madrigal feaste are currently being accepted. To order tickets online, visit the Kaneland District 302 website, www.kaneland.org.

Madrigal singing came to England from Italy in the late 16th century, and was used as private entertainment at the castles and country homes of English nobility. The Kaneland Madrigals replicate this tradition by dressing in authentic looking costumes and singing Old English and traditional Christmas carols. In addition to the four dinner performances, the Kaneland Madrigals make numerous appearances in the Fox Valley area throughout the holiday season.

The Kaneland Madrigal Singers is under the direction of Bryan Kunstman. The group is composed of students who were selected from the award-winning Kaneland High School Chorus, and many were also chosen to sing with the IMEA District IX Chorus.

For more information, contact Kaneland High School at (630) 365-5100, or visit www.kaneland.org.

FVCC honors October Students of the Month

MAPLE PARK—The Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) announced its Students of the Month for October.

Kaneland students earning the honor included Jacob Aguilar (Welding I), Kathryn Leonhard (Graphics II), Joseph Mendoza (Electrician II), Alexander Ochoa (Fire Science I), Blake Schultz (Graphics II) and Arielle Theis (Early Childhood II).

The FVCC recognizes Students of the Month throughout the school year. In order to receive this honor, students are selected by their program instructors because they have demonstrated the ability to do excellent work and to accomplish goals for their particular career training program during this past month. Further, these students have also exhibited a positive attitude, willingness to work with others and willingness to learn.


Tickets still on sale for United Center matchup with Geneva Jan. 4

The Kaneland boys basketball team will be playing Geneva at the United Center, before the Bulls game against the Atlanta Hawks, on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $65 and will get you admission into the Kaneland vs. Geneva game as well as the Bulls vs. Hawks game at 6 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at Kaneland High School’s Debbie Theis at deborah.theis@kaneland.org, and will be on sale until Dec. 20.


Close encounter

Photo: Senior John Pruett went 3/4 at the foul line, and finished with seven points against Sycamore Friday night. Photo by Mary Paulson

Sycamore bests KHS boys to complete Friday sweep
KANELAND—Knight boys basketball dropped to 2-2 in the still early time-frame of the 2013-14 hoops season, thanks to an old foe.

After the initial trek to the Windmill Classic in Batavia yielded a satisfactory 2-1 record, Kaneland began Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play on Friday along Spartan Trail, only to lose the conference opener by a 41-38 result and begin its quest for three conference crowns in four years in dubious fashion.

Facing Sycamore on their home court, senior backcourt asset Drew David was the only Knight to reach double figures with 13 points that included three three-pointers.

Fellow senior Tyler Carlson had eight points in the losing effort.

Sycamore led after the first quarter by a score of 15-13 and led 22-19 after the halftime buzzer, before holding firm in the second half and leading 31-28 after three. The squads exchanged 10 points apiece in the final frame.

The Spartans’ effort was amplified by seven successful trifectas.

Kaneland immerses itself in conference play yet again with a matchup against Rochelle on Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.

Road warriors
Friday’s home game against Rochelle will be the final time the Knights boys basketball team will play on their home court in 2013, with the total road span of 27 days away, reaching the second week of January. With trips to Hinckley-Big Rock and the Plano Christmas Classic filling out the remainder of December, a matchup with Geneva at the United Center in Chicago on Jan. 4, 2014 will kick off the new year before they finally host Morris Jan. 10.


Stuck at Sycamore

Photo: Sophomore Camri Conley attempts a free throw Friday night at Sycamore. Photo by Mary Paulson

Kaneland girls basketball drops conference outing
KANELAND—Lady Knights basketball is always up for a conference battle with rival Sycamore.

On Friday evening, however, the KHS attack was knocked down.

Using a high degree of back door passes and converting in the paint, the Lady Knights fell victim to host Sycamore in a Northern Illinois Big XII opener by the final of 50-37.

Kaneland is now 4-4 (1-1) after its first games in seven days, while also dropping a 50-46 decision to visiting Antioch on Saturday afternoon.

In the conference tipoff, Ally Van Bogaert led the Lady Knights with 10 points, with KHS just 14-of-44 from the field and 8-of-18 from the charity stripe. Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert managed a game-high 23.

Kaneland never led against the host Lady Spartans, only tying it on its first basket by Brittany Kemp 1:43 into the game. A basket by Amber Winquist-Bailey with 3:11 to go closed within 9-7, but Sycamore used two free throws and a three from Gilbert to close the first quarter scoring at 14-7.

A basket and two foul shots from Sycamore completed a 9-1 run before a Kemp bucket and Winquist-Bailey hoop closed it within 18-12 with 5:12 remaining in the half.

Toward the end of the quarter, a Bailey Crimmins baseline shot closed the margin to 21-16 with 1:57 to play before two more Sycamore buckets ended the first half at 26-16.
In the third quarter, a Van Bogaert basket with 6:29 left, making it 28-20, was as close as the Lady Knights would get, with Sycamore riding its hot hands and closing the frame out with an 11-7 run.

Kaneland converted on four-of-six foul shots in the fourth but could only cut it to 43-33 with 5:28 to go, thanks to a Van Bogaert hoop. Sycamore saw its lead balloon to 15 with 4:45 to go at 48-33.

“(Sycamore’s) a good team and Bailey Gilbert’s a good player,” KHS coach Ernie Colombe said. “We tried to key on her, and she made shots. She had 23 tonight, and she didn’t miss much. We’ve been trying to work on our defense.”

In the weekend clash with the Sequoits, the Lady Knights saw a team-high 11 from Van Bogaert, and Kelly Wallner was one point away from a double double with nine points and 10 rebounds. KHS led matters 21-15 after one before Antioch rallied to tie the game at the half, 26 all. The visitors took a 35-34 lead after the third frame before icing the contest in the fourth.

On Tuesday against Rochelle, the Lady Knights defeated the visiting Hubs 44-38. KHS was paced by Wallner’s 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Van Bogaert supplied 11 rebounds and seven points, while Caroline Heimerdinger had seven points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Kaneland has a 10-day break before keying up for the Ottawa Holiday Tournament beginning on Friday, Dec. 20.

Junior Adam Mish pinned his Sycamore opponent in 1:38 Thursday at NIU.

Wrestlers go Huskie-size over Sycamore, beat Lemont

Photo: Junior Adam Mish pinned his Sycamore opponent in 1:38 Thursday at NIU. Sophomore Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—Venues may change, but victories are still as sweet anywhere.

Kaneland traveled to NIU’s Convocation Center last Thursday to battle rival Sycamore before the college-age Huskies took the mat that evening, and got things off on the right foot with a slim 33-29 win.

Saturday saw a trip to Lemont, where the Knights handed the Indians a 49-18 shellacking.

Kaneland is now 5-1 on the season (1-0 in the Northern Illinois Big XII).

After a forfeit win for Kaneland, 113-pounder Adam Mish had his hand raised against the Spartans after a 1:38 pin. Sycamore would win the next bout before the 126-pound match went Matthew Redman’s way by 3-2 count.

Dane Goodenough took his 138-pound challenge with a 10-1 major decision over Jesus Renteria. Two Sycamore wins closed the Kaneland margin just before Austin Parks won a 16-0 technical fall at 160-pounds.

Sophomore Austin Parks won by technical fall, beating his Sycamore opponent 16-0 Thursday at NIU. <em><figcaption class=Photo by Ben Draper” width=”300″ height=”250″ class=”size-medium wp-image-32911″ /> Sophomore Austin Parks won by technical fall, beating his Sycamore opponent 16-0 Thursday at NIU. Photo by Ben Draper

Sycamore would rally for three consecutive match wins before KHS retook the lead for good on a forfeit and a heavyweight win for powerhouse Justin Diddell by 7-2 decision.

Facing Lemont in a Saturday affair, wins were plenty for the Kaneland attack. At 106 pounds, Austin Kedzie won a major decision in 11-2 fashion, while Mish earned a pin in 1:47. Jacob Shearer won his 120-pound outing by virtue of a 5:20 pin, as well.

At 132 pounds, Luke Eggenberger won his challenge by 14-12 decision, followed by 152-pounder George Strang winning his match, 3-2.

Parks won his 160-pound encounter by 2:32 pin, followed by 170-pound teammate Tom Price’s pin in 2:32. The remaining wins, besides two forfeits, went to Zach Parker at 182 pounds by 4-3 decision.

Kaneland was set to trek to Crystal Lake Central to take on the hosts and Cary-Grove on Wednesday, and Thursday, Dec. 12, sees a conference tussle with the DeKalb Barbs outfit in Maple Park.


Bowlers beat IMSA, lose close matches

Photo: Junior Katie Hill (above) bowled a 405 series for the Lady Knights Thursday. Photo by Ben Draper

KANELAND—Margins are relatively close, but the Lady Knight bowlers housed at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb would like to pick up a few more wins sooner rather than later.

After opening up last week with a loss to Sterling, the Lady Knights faced Lisle High School on Dec. 4, and lost 1,993-1,927 in a Northern Illinois Big XII-Interstate Eight Conference meeting in DeKalb. Kaneland then lost to visiting Dixon in the last meeting between the two squads as conference mates by a 2,826-2,362 total.

After competing in the Dundee-Crown tourney on Saturday, Kaneland broke into the win column Monday against Illinois Math and Science Academy, where it won 2,251 to 1,970.

Kaneland sits at 1-3 after Monday’s matchup.

Against the Lady Lions, Christie Crews was team-best with a 427 series, while Dominique Lee had a 393 series herself. High game was bowled by Crews at 153.

Facing off against the rival Duchesses, the high series for the Lady Knights was accomplished by senior Michelle Bohanek at 429, followed by Lee at 422. High game was Bohanek’s at 168. Dixon’s Maggie Thomas had a meet-best 546 series.

At the Dundee-Crown tourney KHS took sixth out of 12 teams with a day-long total of 2,572, with D-C winning the day at 3,182.

KHS coach Jim McKnight recognizes challenges ahead, but feels the girls could be able to meet what’s on the horizon.

“We have some tough matches coming up against Streator and Morris, so it’s nice to go into that kind of competition on the upswing,” McKnight said. “Even though our numbers are small, we’ve proven to ourselves that we can be competitive on any given day. What we need now are some consistently high games and series from three or four of the girls on the same outing.”

McKnight got his wish for more consistency against IMSA Monday, where the Lady Knights won all three games to post a convincing win over the visiting Titans. Crews led the way with a high game of 190 and a high series of 482. Bohanek (465) and Rena Wojciechowski (461) and Lee (443) all bowled series over 400, while Katie Hill (375) and Grace Lindgren (351) also competed for KHS.

Wednesday had Kaneland battle Streator in a NIB-12 crossover before a trek to Morris on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

Dec. 12 sports recap

Girls JV Bowling
Dec. 5 vs. Dixon—Freshman Grace Lindgren led the way for the Lady Knights against visiting Dixon with a 321 series at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Freshmen Kayla McDuffee and Natalie Barnhart bowled a 265 and 257 respectively, while Amber Spaetzel bowled a 254. Dixon defeated the KHS 2,257-1,637.

Soph. Boys Basketball
Dec. 5 at Sycamore—The Knights defeated host Sycamore 51-43 behind Jake Marczuk’s 13 points. Joe Laudont had 11 points, Mark Lilly had 10, Tanner Robertsen eight, Jacob Violett six and Mitchel Groen three. The Knights improved to 3-1, 1-0 in NIB-12 play.

Soph. Girls Basketball
Dec. 7 vs. Antioch—The Lady Knights dismantled visiting Antioch 43-10. Morgan Weber led all scorers with 10 points, Kiandra Powell had eight, Meg Cohrs had six and Kylie Modaff had four for KHS.
Dec. 10 vs. Rochelle—On Tuesday, KHS dispatched NIB-12 foe Rochelle 63-38. Cohrs led the Lady Knights with 16 points. Bailey Crimmins had 12 points, while Weber had 11 points. Kristen Siebert had eight points and Powell had four points. The team is now 5-2 overall, 1-1 in NIB-12 play.

Donald J. ‘Don’ Mulligan

Donald J. “Don” Mulligan, 79, of Elburn, formerly of Maggie Valley, N.C., passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, at Delnor Community Hospital.

He was born in Evergreen Park, Ill., on Oct. 30, 1934, the son of Raymond and Charlotte (Reuss) Mulligan.

Don grew up in Chicago and attended local schools. He was proud of his “south-side” heritage, where he graduated from Leo High School with the class of 1952.

Don faithfully served his country as a United States Marine until his honorable discharge in 1954.

Don met his wife on the dance floor at St. Sabina’s, and it didn’t take long for Joan Marie Callender to catch not only his eye, but his heart. They were married in February of 1955 and spent the next 52 years making unbelievable memories together.

They began their new life on the south side of Chicago until they moved to Park Forest, Ill., with their daughters, Jean and Barbara.

Don’s career took him through the world of auto financing, and he was employed most recently by Don McCue’s in St. Charles.

Don was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Margaret Catholic Church, both in Maggie Valley.

Don was a man among men and had a heart bigger than most. Don left a legacy of unforgettable memories for his family and friends to treasure for generations.

He is survived by his two loving daughters, Jean (David) Schilling of Naperville, Ill., and Barbara (Chris) Hahn of Virginia; four grandsons, Maj. Erik D. Schilling, Matthew J. Schilling, Jeffrey A. (Rachel) Hahn and Bryan W. Hahn; one great-grandson, Truitt D. Hahn and a family of friends stretching from the “south-side” to North Carolina.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Charlotte Mulligan; his loving wife, Joan Marie Mulligan; one brother Raymond Mulligan Jr.; and one sister, Norma Jean Mulligan.

Private family services will be held in Maggie Valley at a later date.

Memorials can be made in his name and sent to S. S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Virgil, IL. Remembrances can be sent at www.conleycare.com.

Vicki Zerby Frew

“Well, folks, apparently I have accomplished my purpose in life and have moved on. Sorry to report, I still have no idea what my mission was.

“However, I am grateful for all the blessings of this life, starting with my parents, Robert N. and Martha Johnson Zerby of Kaneville. They provided my brothers and me with a solid foundation to build our lives on. I know my brothers Robert K. Zerby and Michael (Cyndi) Zerby will agree. Into that mix I have a son, Jordan (Sara), who I not only admire and respect, but actually like quite a lot. And a nephew, Zak (Kelly) and children (Sully and Mallory), all of whom are an absolute delight. I am also fortunate enough to still have an aunt, an uncle, and nine cousins in this world.

“Besides my family and friends, the core of my life has been shared by four incredible women: Russetta Flander Rauch (cradle friend), Monica Payden (roommate), Deborah Naramore (work mate) and Bakula Sheth (work mate). Our paths have crossed, intertwined, bolstered, and paralleled each other throughout the years. I’ve known Russetta literally my entire life and have known the others each for at least four decades. They each, in their own way, helped me grow into the person I became.

“In lieu of flowers, please practice random acts of kindness.”

Vicki passed away in the early hours of Dec. 1. She was surrounded by love throughout her lifetime and was in the presence of loved ones at the time of her passing. She touched many lives during her 67-year journey in this world.

Vicki’s family and friends are spread far and wide, making a traditional memorial service difficult—therefore, in lieu of a memorial service, please visit VickisCloud.com to share memories, photos, experiences and kind words. Through this tribute of sharing our combined love, memories and experiences of Vicki and her influence on our lives, it’s our hope we can remember—as she believed and reminded us of, in both word and deed:

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Taize service Dec. 12

ST. CHARLES—St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Avenue (Rt. 25), St. Charles, invites the community to experience Taize Worship on Thursday, Dec. 12, 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.

Information is available from www.stcharlesepiscopal.org or (630) 584-2596.

Letter: Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters contribute to tornado relief fund

The Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters on Dec. 4 sent a check to the Washington Community High School Tornado Relief Fund for the band and drama departments. The Boosters thank the Kaneland performing arts community for its generous donations for the students who have suffered such great loss.

In addition, the Boosters will donate our proceeds from the 50/50 raffles held at the December holiday concerts to the WCHS Tornado Relief Fund. It is my privilege to be a part of this organization.

Denise Blaszynski
President, Kaneland Performing Arts Boosters

Editorial: Thank you for supporting local Christmas events

No one does a Christmas celebration quite like the Kaneland community, and last weekend gave us a chance to experience holiday excitement and cheer via Elburn’s Christmas Stroll, Sugar Grove’s Holiday in the Grove, Kaneville’s Christmas in Kaneville and Maple Park’s Make and Take event.

All four events were spectacular (as usual), but what really continues to impress us is the Kaneland community’s high level of support and turnout in regard to local Christmas events. Friday’s Elburn Christmas Stroll was a well-attended event throughout the village, despite frigid temperatures. And Saturday’s Christmas in Kaneville and Holiday in the Grove festivities brought out local residents of all ages for some holiday fun, including breakfast with Santa Claus, and the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts.

Just another successful year for local Christmas events we’ve come to know and love.

Each of the four Christmas-themed events represent local groups putting in countless hours of planning and development in order to pull off a one-of-a-kind Christmas spectacle that appeals to everyone while embodying the uniqueness of the village it calls home. The work that goes into putting on Elburn Christmas Stroll, Holiday in the Grove, Christmas in Kaneville and Maple Park Make and Take, is staggering, and that’s why it’s so important to get out there and show support by attending these local events. We want to give out a big thank you to everyone who took time out this weekend to attend at least one or two of our local Christmas spectacles. And if you managed to attend all of them, give yourself a pat on the back—you represent your community well.

On our end, it’s truly a joy to cover and photograph each event every year. And we’re already looking forward to next year’s festivities. For us, it isn’t officially Christmas season until the local Christmas spectacles are underway. And with that, we’re now on the fast track to Christmas and the end of the year.

Thank you again for making this year’s local Christmas events so memorable.

Conley Outreach, Salvation Army bring Christmas Kettles to Kaneland area

ELBURN—Look for the familiar red Salvation Army kettles this November and December throughout the Kaneland and Big Rock area. Conley Outreach (the local Salvation Army Service Extension representative), together with local Scout troops, businesses, 4-H clubs, church groups and Community Care Team volunteers, will collect donations on Saturdays and the days just before Christmas outside various local businesses.

Every year, Conley Outreach receives about $3,500 from the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division to help needy families pay for rent, heat, food, clothing or other necessities. Because of the current economic conditions, this money is depleted quickly. The Christmas Kettles enable Conley Outreach to raise additional money and replenish this fund. 90 percent of all the money donated in our area kettles will stay in our local Salvation Army fund. This past year over 50 families received assistance from this fund. Many more need help.

Donations can also be sent to Conley Outreach/Salvation Army Fund, PO Box 931 Elburn IL 60119. If you have a group that would like to staff the kettles one Saturday or on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23-24, in either Sugar Grove or Elburn, contact Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880.

Family Bingo, Auction Night at Blackberry Creek

Elburn—The Kaneland Blackberry Creek PTO will host a Family Bingo and Auction Night on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Blackberry Creek Elementary School.

The PTO is currently looking for donations from families and businesses to use in its silent auction. Also, if you would like to provide any promotional items or coupons; they will be included in gift bags that will be given out to all attendees.

Your generous donation will certainly help to make this a successful event. If you have any questions, call (630) 205-5810 or email njohn1975@yahoo.com. All donations can be sent to KBC-PTO c/o Nicole Fleshman, PO Box 746, Elburn, IL 60119.

Kaneland preschool screening Dec. 13

Aurora—Kaneland School District Special Services will conduct a preschool screening on Friday, Dec. 13, at MorningStar Church in Aurora, for students who may qualify for special education services.

If you reside within the Kaneland School District, and suspect that your child, ages 3-5, has any delays in developmental milestones, then you are encouraged to attend.

This is not a kindergarten screening. In addition, Child and Family Connections will be available, upon request, to screen children from birth to age 3 for suspected developmental delays.

If you have any questions regarding Kaneland’s Early Childhood Services, or you would like to schedule an appointment for a screening, call Stacy Krisch at the Kaneland Special Services Office, (630) 365-5100, ext. 158.

SG seeking applicants for Board of Police Commissioners

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove’s Board of Police Commissioners consists of three members that are appointed by the village president with the consent of the Board of Trustees. The powers and duties of this board are limited to making recommendations on the hiring, firing and discipline of sworn law enforcement officers for the village.

This committee meets on an as-needed basis. Meetings are typically held in the evening at the Municipal Center, 10 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove.

For information, call Village Clerk Cynthia Galbreath at (630) 466-4507, ext. 24. Applications will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 13.

Holiday Spirit needs your help

ELBURN—Holiday Spirit, a joint program between the Kaneland Schools and Conley Outreach/West Towns, is in need of groups to adopt local families in need this holiday season. Last year, Holiday Spirit provided assistance to 160 children in 63 families through the donations. The program anticipates that the need will be just as great this year.

Those interested in adopting a family can contact Kaneland John Shields Elementary social worker Nicole Pryor at (630) 466-8500, ext. 108, or nicole.pryor@kaneland.org or West Towns Coordinator Carol Alfrey at (630) 365-2880 or conleyor@conleyoutreach.org. Visit www.conleyoutreach.org to download the donation form. Monetary donations are also needed to purchase last minute gifts and for gas gift cards. Checks payable to Holiday Spirit can be sent c/o Conley Outreach, P.O. Box 931, Elburn IL 60119.

Phyllis Liss

Phyllis Liss, 76, went home to Heaven, Wednesday, December 4, 2013 in Fountain Hills, AZ. She was born November 23, 1937.

If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

Survivors include her husband, Charles Liss; brother, Rocco Crudele (Vonni); children, Joanne (Dan) Schwerdtmann, Francine (Mark) Leuer, James (Kris) Liss and Charles (Mary) Liss II; grandchildren, Bryan (Michelle), Stephanie (Andy), Patrick (Jenn), Samantha, Mackenzie, Andrew, Kimberly, Jimmy, Allison, and Chucky; great-grandchildren, Leanna, Leland, Kinley, Finn, and Gavin.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents James and Anna Crudele.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 8, 2013 from 1-6 P.M. at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Dr., Sugar Grove 60554. Her funeral service will be held on Monday, December 9, 2013 at 10:30 A.M. at The Healy Chapel, Sugar Grove. Interment will be at Blackberry Township Cemetery.

For further information please call 630-466-1330 or visit www.healychapel.com to leave an online condolence.

SG Village Board approves 2013 proposed tax levy

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday passed the proposed 2.4 percent increase for the 2013 Tax Levy with five yes votes, and two no votes from trustees Sean Herron and Kevin Geary.

Sugar Grove will collect $6.50 more from each property owner in the village. Board members participated in a discussion regarding the benefits and disadvantages of passing the proposed tax levy.

Geary said he wasn’t in favor of increasing the property taxes this year.

“I would like to see us hold the line on the tax levy. I think we need to tighten our belts,”
he said. “I want to send the message to residents that we can live in our means.”

Village President Sean Michels noted Geary’s comment, and then stated why he thought the board wouldn’t be able to keep the taxes flat this year.

“I would like nice streets and sidewalks and good quality of employees like we have,” Michels said. “In order to have that, we need to get out of the recession completely to get ahead. For this year, it’s going to require an increase; but in years to come, an increase in property taxes might not be required.”

Sugar Grove resident Joe Wolf added his two cents to the discussion.

“I understand how taxes affect us. The long-term effect on the village will deter us from not passing the tax levy,” Wolf said. “The quality of life is more important than lowering taxes. I hope you continue to use the money wisely. The $6.50 is worth taking.”

Herron then explained why he was not in favor of the proposed tax levy.

“As the newest member of the board, I walked on every single doorstep of the village,” he said. “Although, I didn’t talk to every village resident, I did speak to a lot of people. An overwhelming majority of the people said they weren’t interested in a 2.4 percent increase.”

Trustee Rick Montalto reiterated that the small tax increase wouldn’t affect residents negatively, but would help to increase the quality of life in Sugar Grove.

“The $6.50 doesn’t mean a lot. I’m afraid if we don’t levy it, people would notice the streets not being salted or new trees not being planted where other trees had died,” Montalto said. “I think the taxpayers would much rather see us taking care of the village than saving them $6.50. The problem is they look at the 2.4 percent increase and don’t realize how small of an amount that is delegated to the village board.”

Elburn VB passes 2013 levy

ELBURN—The Village Board on Monday unanimously approved a 2013 tax levy of $824,000, following a public hearing with no comment.

Village President Dave Anderson said that, dividing the property tax amount residents pay to the village, the amount would come out to about $8 per week. For this, the village provides police protection, snow removal, street and sidewalk repair, and tree maintenance.

Although the amount levied, or requested—$824,000—is the same amount Elburn has requested the previous two years, the village expects that Kane County will approve a smaller amount, based on previous experience.

The board also approved levies for residents within the village’s Special Assessment Areas, which will pay for water management facilities, including the maintenance of storm water basin areas within those specific boundaries.

MP Village Board approves 2013 tax levy

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve the village’s tax levy for the fiscal year commencing May 1, 2013, and ending April 30, 2014.

The total extension of the 2013 levy is $203,518, with a tax rate of 0.8096. Last year’s levy was $199,696, with a tax rate of 0.7131. According to a village document, the largest factor of the increase in rate is the decrease in Equalized Assessed Value (EAV).

The document states that the assessed valuations last year decreased from $31 million to $28 million (a decrease of 10.4 percent). This year, assessed valuations decreased from $28 million to $25 million, or a decrease of 10.23 percent.

“The village of Maple Park’s budget is frugal; the village relies on property taxes,” said Maple Park Village President Kathy Curtis. “The annual tax levy provides the revenue needed to provide services. The tax levy is formula based on assessed values. The village is only requesting of residents what it needs to operate.”

Per the village document, a home with an assessed value of $64,500 (EAV of $193,500) last year would pay approximately $9 more in village property taxes this year.

Sugar Grove Village Board hosts road improvement open house

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday hosted an informal road improvement open house at the Sugar Grove Public Library.

The open house was in regard to the village’s road improvement research for Dugan Road and Route 30, as well as a two-lane roundabout that would connect Route 30, Granart Road and Bucktail Lane. Map displays for the roundabout and a video that explained the proper usage of a roundabout were available during the open house.

Sugar Grove Village Board members and employees from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) were available to answer questions from the public during the open house event.

“Right now we are performing studies on Dugan and US Route 30 intersection to find out where to resurface, reconstruct and add lanes,” said Marty Marsey, IDOT project manager for Dugan and Route 30. “We are also performing a study on Route 47 to Route 30 to foresee the construction needs depending on the future traffic flow.”

Village residents in attendance milled around the room and commented on the construction plans.

“I live on Granart Road, so these plans are of interest to me. I think if the roundabout will help, than they should go for it,” village resident Karen Forsell said. “Some days, I have to allow myself twice as much time when traveling to work, because I usually have to sit through three-to-four traffic lights right now.”

Village trustee Bob Bohler mentioned resident concerns regarding the train crossing near the would-be roundabout.

“I informed (the residents) that we haven’t seen the final plans, but we know that the progress in the roundabout will stop when a train comes through on the tracks,” Bohler said. “I think the roundabout is being accepted really well. I didn’t hear a negative comment.”

Village trustee Kevin Geary mentioned that other residents had ideas about creating an overpass over the train tracks.

“A couple of residents suggested that we could put in a bridge over the train tracks if the funds are available,” Geary said. “They didn’t think the roundabout would be a long term solution and that we needed an overpass.”

Elburn residents save money on electric bills

Village negotiates on their behalf with competitive bidders
ELBURN—Elburn residents who took advantage of an electricity savings program the village initiated in 2011 have saved an average of about $40 per month on their electricity bill during the last two years.

Elburn had been one of the first communities in the area to initiate an aggregation savings program in the spring of 2011. The village saved residents $435,000 in the first year.

When the village went out to bid again a year later and selected a two-year-term with FirstEnergy, the rate was even lower than the first year. The fixed rate of 4.72 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) is a significant savings versus the Commonwealth Edison rate, which as of November 2013, was 6.005 cents per kWh, a 21 percent reduction.

With approximately 2,200 of the 2,500 households participating in the plan, the total savings the village realized since its inception is $864,000.

Village President Dave Anderson said that residents have Village Administrator Erin Willrett to thank for their lower bills.

Willrett said in a release that all residents are welcome to join at any time by calling FirstEnergy at 1-888-651-5200, and request the Elburn fixed rate of 4.72 cents. There is no fee to join or to leave the program.

According to Willrett, those enrolled with other suppliers should check with their current supplier to determine if they are subject to an early termination fee before joining the village’s program.

The ComEd supply rate is expected to rise in June 2014 due to increased capacity charges. The Elburn rate will remain fixed through August 2014, at which time the village may again go out for bid for competitive rates.

Q: How can I confirm who my electric supplier is?
A: Look at your ComEd bill under “Electricity Supply Services.” If you are in the village’s aggregation program, your bill will state “FirstEnergy” and a rate of $0.04720. If not, you are either enrolled with another supplier or receiving the ComEd “default” rate.

Q: How will my electricity delivery service change if I sign up for the aggregate program?
A: Residents will continue to receive delivery services from ComEd, and will receive one monthly bill generated by ComEd. Outages should still be reported to ComEd.

WCC CAD Program awarded grants to expand partnership, outreach

SUGAR GROVE—The Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) program at Waubonsee Community College has been awarded two grants to help the college improve its partnership with a local high school and to improve efforts to market the program to women.

On Oct. 11, the Illinois Community College Board awarded the Waubonsee Business and Career Technologies Division a $10,000 grant to support the college’s efforts to enhance the development of dual credit CAD courses through a partnership with West Aurora High School.

Ne’Keisha Stepney, assistant dean for Business and Career Technologies, said the grant would be used to support work to align the curriculum at Waubonsee and West Aurora and to offer professional development and networking opportunities to CAD instructors at West Aurora.

The college began partnering with the high school on the dual credit offerings this fall.
The Business and Career Technologies Division also was awarded a $2,000 grant through the 2014 New Look Project at the Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support.

Stepney said that grant award would be used to step up marketing efforts aimed at recruiting women into CAD programs and drafting fields.

Currently, just two women are enrolled in Waubonsee CAD courses.

Among other uses, the college will put the grant to work by empaneling focus groups to learn more about what could make CAD more attractive to female students. The grant could also be used to set up opportunities for women to hear from other women working in fields that use CAD, so women can see how CAD training might boost their careers.