Boys hoops’ journey ends at Spartans’ hand

Photo: Guard Drew David is fouled while trying to get to the hoop during the fourth quarter of Kaneland’s 43-32 loss to St. Francis at the Class 3A IMSA Regional Feb. 27.
Photo by Patti Wilk

Fourth quarter sees fortune upended in 11-point regional loss
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—If it weren’t for a tough fourth quarter, Kaneland boys basketball could be talking about a regional final in Aurora.

An evenly matched game at Illinois Math and Science Academy against the No. 2 seed St. Francis was a tight affair, until the Spartans made a run and stopped the Knights 43-32 on Feb. 27.

The game was rescheduled due to less-than-stellar travel conditions and snowfall on Feb. 26.

Kaneland’s road stops with a 16-12 record for 2012-13, after garnering 17 victories in each of coach Brian Johnson’s first three seasons.

In 2011-12, the Knights powered through to the sectional semifinal in Sycamore before losing to Rockford East.

Aurora Central Catholic pulled an upset over Wheaton Academy, 41-37, in the first game of the evening, while the 3A Regional final on Friday featured St. Francis taking the plaque over ACC by a 46-43 tally.

St. Francis was scheduled to face Sycamore in the Freeport Sectional on Wednesday.

Senior Dan Miller paced the Knights with 10 points, while fellow senior Matt Limbrunner added nine.

It was fitting that the last challenge was buoyed by the two lone seniors in coach Johnson’s program this year.

“Those two came from a sophomore team that went 24-1; you look forward to getting that group. They stick with it and everyone else kind of disappears. They stuck with the program and gave me all they had, and they were my first freshman class,” Johnson said.

Senior Tim Zettinger had a game-high 21 for St. Francis.

In the first frame, Tyler Carlson’s bucket and a later free throw gave KHS a 7-2 lead with 3:17 left, but the Spartans scored the last six points of the quarter, including a buzzer-beating arc from Zettinger to fall behind 8-7.

Kaneland’s shooting touch disappeared the last half of the second quarter, with Limbrunner’s two foul shots breaking a 4:21 drought to close within 15-14. The Spartans’ bucket with 45.9 left extended the lead to 17-14 before halftime.

The Knights’ shooting touch picked up to give the lower seed a lift in the third quarter. Limbrunner hit a shot, followed by two from Miller and a baseline jumper from John Pruett that tied the score at 22-22 with 4:45 to go.

A feed from Limbrunner found Pruett to take the lead for KHS at 24-22 with 2:59. After a foul shot and steal and follow-through from St. Francis, a Limbrunner contested shot gave the Knights a 26-25 edge with 37.2 to go in the third quarter.

With both squads looking for their edge, Miller’s two free throws closed it to 29-28 after St. Francis took a lead.

Kaneland took its last lead of the game on a Limbrunner three with 4:15 to go for a 31-29 lead before St. Francis went on a 14-1 run to close the game. The Spartans went 7-for-8 from the foul line to help their cause. The final point of the season for KHS was a Drew David free throw with 1:16 remaining to close within 37-32.

“We didn’t hit shots down the stretch,” Johnson said. “We didn’t take care of the ball; there were a few times in the third quarter that hurt. Matt (Limbrunner) hit that three, and we got a lead. It could have went either way, and unfortunately it went against us.”

Community Corner: The story of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

by Maria Dripps-Paulson,
Executive director, Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival

Once upon a time, a little girl grew up on a farm in rural Illinois. She loved the arts, but was never given the opportunity to go to an art museum or meet a “real” artist in person.

When the little girl grew up, she became an art teacher in the Kaneland School District. Realizing that Kaneland was similar to the rural setting in which she grew up, the teacher began envisioning an event where students, family, and community, far removed from the art culture scene of Chicago, could experience the arts.

She dreamed of the Kaneland Community experiencing the arts in an interactive setting, absolutely free, and the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival was born.

Bonnie Whildin, the little girl turned art teacher, began teaching at Kaneland full time in 1985 with the idea of a Fine Arts Festival fresh in her mind. However, it was not until May 1998, with the collaborative help of another art teacher, that the first Festival actually became reality.

The first annual Kaneland Fine Arts Festival was a two-hour event at Kaneland South Elementary School (now Kaneland John Shields Elementary). Attendance was approximately 200 people, and the presenters were made up of local artists and musicians.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the KCFAF has grown beyond Mrs. Whildin’s vision. Now expanded to its seven-hour celebration of the arts, the Festival saw a need to utilize the Kaneland High School auditorium for performance events held throughout the year. Beginning officially in the fall of 2009, KCFAF began the Festival Performance Series, which brings professional, quality performances to the Kaneland auditorium at affordable prices.

In July 2010, the first annual Kaneland Community Summer Theatre production was performed on the Kaneland High School stage, and will continue this summer with the production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

This year’s Festival will take place on Sunday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found on or

Publisher’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Letter: A message from Rev. Mark Harkness

This past Sunday during church, the announcement was made that I have been appointed to serve Walnut United Methodist Church beginning July 1.

Although I have a hopeful excitement for what this new appointment will bring, I will miss those of you in the Kaneville church and the Kaneville community. I look forward to our next few months together and the ministry that is still to be done.

As part of the appointment process, the district superintendent, during the next few weeks, will meet and converse with the Staff-Parish Relations Committee as she and the rest of the cabinet work with our bishop to prayerfully discern and appoint your next pastor.

Please pray for SPRC, Rev. Facemeyer and Bishop Dyck, as they do this work to which they’ve been called.

Rev. Mark Harkness, OSL

Guest Editorial: Sunshine Week 2013 to launch with new website, renewed partnerships

by David Porter, director of Communications and Marketing, Illinois Press Association

Sunshine Week is set for March 10-16, and already there are plans across the country for events spotlighting open government, for special news reporting and for the release of freedom of information studies.

The Illinois Press Association has renewed its partnership with the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to promote awareness of open government efforts in Illinois. ASNE and the RCFP oversee the national coordination of resources and provide support for participants. Sunshine Week 2013 is made possible by a continuing endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has funded Sunshine Week since its 2005 launch, and by a 2013 donation from Bloomberg LP.

“The Reporters Committee is pleased to again be a co-sponsor of Sunshine Week. Our ongoing mission is to ensure that government at all levels remains transparent for the public and for reporters in all platforms. This is a great opportunity to engage many different partners in open government education and discussions,” said Reporters Committee Chairman Tony Mauro, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Journal.

Since the nationwide Sunshine Week was launched by ASNE, participants have included print, broadcast and digital media outlets; government officials at all levels; schools and universities; non-profit and civic organizations; libraries and archivists; and interested individuals. Everyone is welcome to participate and may use the resources provided on the website to mark their open-government efforts that week. The Reporters Committee has been a national co-sponsor since 2012.

“Of course open government is important to journalists. But even more, open government is really at the heart of democracy by giving citizens the information we all need,” said ASNE President Susan Goldberg, executive editor of Bloomberg News in Washington. “ASNE is proud of the work our members have done in creating and launching Sunshine Week over the years. It’s among the most important work we do.”

St. Gall to host 130th annual St. Patrick’s Day Turkey Dinner

ELBURN—St. Gall announced that its annual St. Patrick’s Day Turkey Dinner will be held on Sunday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is a sit-down, home-cooked dinner that includes turkey, real mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, rolls, cranberry, cole slaw and lots of pies to choose from for dessert.

The dinner will be served at the Parish Hall, 120 W. Shannon St., Elburn. Cost of the dinner is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $4 for children ages 6-12. There is no charge for children ages 5 and under.

Carry-outs are available for $8 at the American Legion Hall in downtown Elburn. For more information, contact the Parish Office at (630) 365-6030.

Taize Worship at St. Charles Episcopal Church

ST. CHARLES—St. Charles Episcopal Church, 994 N. 5th Ave. (Route 25), St. Charles, invites the community to experience Taize Worship on Sunday, March 10, 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 on other worship services, the outdoor labyrinth, youth and adult education classes, and outreach opportunities, is available from or by calling (630) 584-2596.

Rita Mary Allen

The Mass of Christian Burial for Rita Mary Allen (nee Rice), 89, recently of Alpharetta, Ga., was held on Saturday, March 2, at St. Anne Church, Barrington. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery, Barrington, Ill.

Born Feb. 28, 1923, in Ottawa to the late Richard and Mary (nee Mooney) Rice, Rita passed away Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at Ivy Hall at St. Ives in Alpharetta.

Mrs. Allen was a long-time employee at the Jewel Tea Company in Barrington, and while living in Fort Myers, Fla., worked as a greeter at Southwest Florida International Airport. Most
importantly, Mrs. Allen was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who enjoyed spending time with her family.

Survivors include her children, Barbara (Barry) Tippey of Lexington, Ken., Brian (Mary) Allen of Maple Park, Donald (Sheila) Allen of Berkeley Lake, Ga., and Janet (Paul) Lebiecz of Cary, N.C.; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and brother, Donald (Ruth) Rice of Charlotte, N.C.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; and siblings, Richard (Mary Lou) Rice and Dorothy Jean (William) McDonald.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mrs. Allen’s name may be made to Agape Hospice Foundation, 5825 Glenridge Dr. Northeast, Bldg. 4, Ste. 200, Atlanta, GA 30328.

You may leave online condolences for the family at For more information, call (847) 381-3411.

Lorraine Francis Stanek Dunteman

Lorraine Francis Stanek Dunteman of South Barrington, Ill., devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed peacefully of natural causes on Friday, Feb. 15, at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva. Lorraine was born on July 24, 1928, in Chicago.

Lorraine grew up in the Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago and loved dancing, playing games with her girlfriends, visiting and working on her grandparent’s farm in Cloverdale, Ill., and on the family ranch in Nebraska. After graduation from high school, Lorraine worked for the Department of Agriculture in downtown Chicago.

She married Marvin Dunteman on Sept. 24, 1950, and moved to the suburbs of Chicago to begin their family and help maintain the family’s farm.

Lorraine loved socializing, supporting her husband and children on the farm. She served
as a Girl Scout leader, 4-H volunteer, and as President of the Cook County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee. Lorraine enjoyed watching the activities of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and cheering on the Chicago Bears.

Lorraine is survived by her sister, Irene Karlzen; children, Susan (Bruce) Rucks, Judy (Jim)

Bodnar, Jean (Arland) Prestidge, Karen Dunteman, William (Kari) Dunteman, and Robert (Kelley) Dunteman; 17 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a dear friend, Hank Gooday.
Lorraine was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin; her parents, Albina and Edward Stanek; and her brother, Edward Stanek.

Visitation was held on Feb. 17 at Yurs Funeral Home, 405 East Main St. (corner of Route 64 & Route 25), St. Charles, IL 60174. Funeral services took place on Feb. 18 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 720 Dundee Ave., Barrington. A visitation preceded the service. Burial took place at Lakewood Memorial Park, Elgin, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Diabetes Association, 30 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 2015 Chicago, IL 60602, or a charity of donor’s choice.

To leave an online condolence or remembrance to the family, visit For more information, call (630) 584-0060.

WCC soccer player recognized as Featured Student for February

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College sophomore Justin Salazar, an Elburn resident, is the consummate student-athlete, accomplishing extraordinary things both on and off the soccer field. In honor of these accomplishments, Waubonsee has named Salazar the college’s Featured Student for February.

Most of Salazar’s recent press clippings center on the season that he and his teammates had this past fall, winning the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title for the first time in Waubonsee’s history.

“We beat Oakton (Community College) to win the conference championship, and our whole team ran out on the field,” Salazar said.

“It’s definitely one of my greatest soccer memories.”

Salazar also lists it as his greatest athletic accomplishment this year.

“Bringing home the first championship in the college’s history is something I’m very proud of,” he said. “Plus, it’s a team award, so that’s always great.”

While the success was truly a team effort, Salazar has been singled out for his outstanding performance as the Chiefs’ goalkeeper. His individual honors include being named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Third Team All-American and the top keeper of the All-Region IV Champions Group.

Statistically speaking, Salazar’s 125 saves ranked him eighth in the nation among NJCAA Division I keepers, while his save percentage of .856 placed him 14th.

Salazar, who owns a 4.0 grade point average, said his plans for the future are not quite set, but he has some ideas. He will graduate from Waubonsee this summer and then possibly transfer on to Aurora University to play soccer.

“I’d like to keep playing soccer and see if that takes me anywhere, maybe play professionally,” Salazar said. “If not, I may go to medical school.”

WCC earns Tree Campus USA status

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee CommunityCollege for the third consecutive year has earned Tree Campus USA recognition for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship.

Given by the Arbor Day Foundation, this designation is based on five core standards of tree care and community engagement, including establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.

In honor of Arbor Day, the college planted a ginko tree on the Sugar Grove Campus in April 2012. And over the past several years, students have used handheld global positioning system (GPS) data collection devices to help create a campus tree inventory as part of the college’s ongoing service-learning project.

SG crime rate down 30 percent in 2012

SUGAR GROVE—Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) submitted to the FBI by Sugar Grove Police reveal a significant reduction in crime in 2012.

The FBI collects UCR data from over 17,000 law enforcement agencies in order to study and monitor crime trends. Of the eight designated Part I Crimes that make up the UCR, Sugar Grove saw the greatest reduction in theft, trending down from 56 cases in 2011 to 35 cases in 2012.

SG Police receive DUI enforcement grant

SUGAR GROVE—The Kane County DUI Task Force on Feb. 14 awarded the Sugar Grove Police Department $8,200 for DUI enforcement. This funding will be used to pay officers on special DUI patrols scheduled at dates and times when the village experiences a greater likelihood of impaired drivers on the roadways. The special enforcement dates include, but may not be limited to the following:

• NCAA Basketball Championship
(Final Four)
• Independence Day (4th of July)
• Labor Day
• Thanksgiving eve
• New Year’s Eve
• Super Bowl Sunday
• St. Patrick’s Day

These DUI patrols may not have been possible without the assistance of the Kane County DUI Task Force.

“With over 32 percent of traffic accidents that involve fatalities, it was found that the offending driver was impaired, (so) it is vital that our officers remove and deter intoxicated motorists,” Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said. “Therefore this funding assists our officers in completing this important goal.”

Elburn Station vote set for March 18

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Negotiations on the Elburn Station development are down to the details, and a new date of Monday, March 18, has been set for a Village Board vote regarding the final agreement.

The board will meet on Monday, March 4, but trustee Jerry Schmidt will be absent.

The board came back on Monday with a few modifications to the agreements Village President Dave Anderson, ShoDeen developer Dave Patzelt and attorneys hammered out on Friday.

At trustee Jeff Walter’s suggestion, Village Attorney Bob Britz added the requirement that the single-family housing would be the first to be built.

“My fear is that the apartments will get built first, and apartments cost (the village) more than single-family housing,” Walter said.

Trustee Bill Grabarek said the pedestrian bridge will cost significantly more than the $900,000 estimate Patzelt used to determine his share of the cost, because in order to obtain grant money, it will need to be Americans with Disabilities Act-approved. Although several other trustees agreed with that assessment, Anderson said that was the number they had been using, and the board had agreed to it.

Grabarek also said he was still uncomfortable with sharing any grant money for the pedestrian bridge with the developer, but Anderson said that the way it was set up was a better deal than giving up the village’s share of the recapture fees from future developers, and the $200 per housing unit impact fee.

“I think, your way, the village loses,” Anderson said. “Any grant money over $900,000 goes to pay for the bridge. I’m on that bandwagon.”

Trustee Ethan Hastert said he agreed with Anderson.

“We share everything above $900,000. That’s a better deal,” he said.

Other board members went along with Grabarek’s suggestion of changing the requirement that the pedestrian bridge be finished within three years of completion of the commercial part of the development or the money would go back to ShoDeen. Grabarek said that he would be more comfortable with three years to obtain the contract for the bridge.

However, since the pedestrian bridge will link the new development to the current downtown area, board members said it was in everybody’s best interest to get the bridge built as soon as possible. Anderson and Kane County Board member Drew Frasz have each reached out to local legislators for assistance in obtaining funding for the bridge.

The final total number of housing units for the ShoDeen development around the Elburn train station is set at 2,215, a reduction of 60 from the most recent number of 2,275. The board set a limit on multi-family and/or rental units at 400, with up to an additional 200 allowed, as long those were targeted for residents 55 years and older. The plan will also include mixed use and commercial development.

The Village Board had tabled discussions on the development in October 2012, when several trustees said they were not happy with some parts of the plan. Construction on the Anderson Road bridge has also been on hold since then, as ShoDeen owns the land needed for the bridge’s right of way, and the annexation agreement for the Elburn Station is tied to ShoDeen’s negotiations with Kane County for the bridge.

Frasz, who attended the meeting, said that a few more weeks likely wouldn’t put the federal funding for the bridge in jeopardy.

“Weeks, no. Months, yes,” he said.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Elburn resident Walter Geisler made a plea to the board to put the brakes on the approval process.

“I love Elburn. I just don’t want it to get out of control,” Geisler said. “It’s a massive project and we can’t even plow our streets. I’m afraid for my kids. They’ll be taxed out of living in Elburn.”

Geisler said that he wanted to bring back the idea of having a public referendum in which the residents could vote on whether or not they want the Elburn Station.

Anderson said he would be happy to have a referendum, but only if everyone who voted had read all of the documents that he and the board members have read. He pointed to the large pile of papers in front of him.

“You have to be educated to make an educated decision,” he said. “We’ll make our decision based on the facts. Everybody here (on the board) is a taxpayer. We were elected to make these decisions.”

Fred Houdek, the next citizen to speak said that he had a great deal of faith in the leaders of the village to make good decisions.

“Let’s get ‘er done,” Houdek said. “You’re down to getting your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed.”

Britz reminded the board that it needs a two-thirds vote, or a total of five board members, to approve the annexation agreement.

“I’ll be there, if they have to carry me here on a stretcher,” Schmidt said.

Village Board to vote on video gaming March 4

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board is working out the details of the video gaming ordinance that would allow video gambling machines in places that serve liquor within the village of Elburn. Trustee Ken Anderson said he is still opposed to it.

“I’ve been pretty clear about my opinion about this ordinance,” Anderson said. “I’m not in agreement with bringing these machines into our town.”

Anderson said he does not believe that allowing this type of activity in town is conducive to the kind of community he wants Elburn to continue to be—family
oriented and community-minded.

Anderson said he understands there is a bill being considered in Springfield, House Bill HB 1306, that would keep the public from knowing the amount of money local residents lose in each establishment providing gambling in their community. Currently, video gambling reports are published each month and posted on the Illinois Gaming Board’s website.

“What they’re proposing is that you would know the county total, and not each establishment,” he said. “Somebody wants to make it so you can’t see what’s going on.”

According to the General Assembly website, HF 1306 “amends the Freedom of Information Act and the Video Gaming Act. (It) prohibits the Illinois Gaming Board from disseminating information relating to video gaming that is specific to individual licensed locations, but allows the dissemination of information that is aggregated based on municipality or county.”

The bill was scheduled for a State Government Administration Committee Hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

When the Village Board considered video gambling in 2009, trustees implemented a ban on it in the village of Elburn, with a 4-2 vote. Trustees Anderson, Jeff Walter, Bill Grabarek and former trustee Patricia Romke voted for the ban. Trustee Jerry Schmidt and former trustee Gordon Dierschow voted against it.

Although Grabarek said he does not like the act of gambling itself, he does not want to “injure the businesses in town.” He said the amount of money there is to be made is greater than he had anticipated. Because Kane County allows the machines, the Blackberry Bar & Grill, located on Main Street Road and Route 47 in unincorporated Kane County south of Elburn, was able to install three machines last fall, and put another two in last week.

“Last night (Friday) was a big night for us,” Blackberry Bar & Grill bartender Bob Regan said at lunchtime on Saturday.

According to Regan, people begin coming in to play around 2 p.m. He said he wasn’t surprised that Elburn and other communities were currently considering allowing the machines in their establishments.

“Gotta keep a level playing field,” he said.

The bartender said some people from the Sugar Grove Legion had come in recently to check out the machines. When Regan found out that Sugar Grove was holding a referendum to ask the residents whether or not they wanted video gambling in town, he said he didn’t think it would pass.

“A lot of people don’t want their husbands or wives down here playing,” Regan said. “I know I wouldn’t.”

Schmidt’s Towne Tap owner Kevin Schmidt and Knucklehead’s Tavern owner Betsy Brizek have both said they would put the machines in their bars.

Walter said that when he first voted for the ban, the state didn’t have its act together, the rules weren’t published, and there was too much of a gray area.

“It seems like it’s the right time,” Walter said. “I don’t want to penalize our businesses.”

The revenue gained from video gaming is split between the bar owner, the gaming terminal provider and the state, with the bar owner and the terminal provider each receiving 35 percent of the revenues. The state of Illinois receives 30 percent, and the municipality receives one-sixth of the state’s share, or 5 percent of the total revenues, from the state.

The board will vote on the video gaming ordinance on Monday, March 4. Trustee Jerry Schmidt will not be present.

Laurene Geary to run for SG Township Board as write-in candidate

by Elizabeth Rago
SUGAR GROVE—At a young age, Laurene Geary learned from her parents the importance of giving back to your community.

A resident of the Sugar Grove community since 1996, Laurene is rather familiar with area politics, and that’s a big reason why she’s running for Sugar Grove Township Board as a write-in candidate. Her husband, Village Board trustee Kevin Geary, has provided a considerable amount of inspiration.

“Kevin always gives 110 percent to everything he does, be it family, being a trustee and being a friend,” Laurene said. “I couldn’t let him have all the fun.”

With two open vacancies on the SG Township Board, Laurene felt compelled to step in. Due to the combination of being immersed in the community by positive exposure from her husband, and the fact that her parents raised her to give back and participate within the area in which she lives, it was only natural that Laurene have the urge to fill one of the vacancies.

“My parents raised us to be proud of the work you do and community you live in,” Laurene said. “I love being involved with the residents, from working at the Sugar Grove Library to being involved with Holiday in the Grove.”

In the role of township trustee, Laurene sees her service and support of area seniors and the Senior Center to be of the upmost importance. Located at 54 Snow St., the Senior Center offers information about adult-oriented recreational opportunities, and allows residents to receive social service assistance. Seniors regularly enjoy fellowship in the form of cards, board games, bingo, fitness activities and crafts.

Believing in smaller, more effective government, Laurene wants to create a Share-A-Ride or a possible Pace transportation for residents around town, and sees the role of township trustee as being part of a team, just as the township residents are part of the team.

Listening to township residents and being readily available to inquire about services or address concerns about the township, Laurene hopes to make Sugar Grove village offices more available to those they serve.

“This role of being a Sugar Grove Township trustee will be another way for me to be involved with the wonderful residents who like to give their time to the community,” she said. “I especially love serving the town and the township by participating in annual events like the Sugar Grove Corn Boil and Holiday in the Grove.”

Editorial: Think like an optimist

by Mark Underwood, neuroscience researcher, president and co-founder, Quincy Bioscience
Have you ever wondered how some people manage to be in a good mood all the time? What is it that they know that you don’t about seeing the glass as “half full” instead of “half empty?”

Many people work at getting physically fit, but not everyone practices “mental fitness.” Many don’t consciously know how to keep a positive attitude going in spite of problems we all come up against.

So what are these happy thinkers doing that many people are not? Let’s start with lifestyle. No matter where you live or what chapter of your life you’re in, it’s easy to get the doldrums from time to time. In some parts of the country winter blahs are blamed while others lead an overly scheduled lifestyle which brings on daily challenges.

Research has found that the difference between people who remain cheery when faced with challenges that life doles out and those who can’t switch off negative thoughts, is the difference in mindsets.

David Snowdon, a professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky, has said that when optimists face problems they are able to “switch off” negative thoughts and “switch on” a happy state of mind.

Health benefits for optimists
Optimism is good for you health; pessimism is not. Stress can be harmful, yet it is nearly impossible to avoid. As we age, the effects of stress take a greater toll on our health, from increasing cholesterol to disrupting sleep.

Individuals that turn a difficult situation into a workable solution may actually be protecting themselves from the harmful effects of stress and other health problems.

A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health study found a significant increase of risk for various health problems including heart disease in people with negative outlooks.

Studies have also shown that people who can see humor in difficult situations where others see only anxiety and failure benefit from keeping a light-hearted outlook.

Living life like the way you want
There are various degrees and forms of negative thinking, but results are often the same. It can destroy motivation and energy, concentration skills, and feelings of self-worth. For some people, they’ve lived for years with a constant lack of positive thoughts. Instead, they have replaced them with continual negativity.

Living like this is difficult especially if you do so every day of the week. Negative thoughts may make you want to avoid deadlines and responsibilities. You put off daily tasks like cooking and cleaning and feel like not going to school and work.

Tips for ramping up positive thinking
It’s one thing to say to say you want a positive attitude, but it’s another thing to practice optimistic thinking when times are tough. How do you go from complaining to having a sunny disposition?

Like most things, the more you practice the better at it you get. Open the door to being more enthusiastic about life. The more you consciously put positive thoughts in your head, the more intuitive it will get.

Positivity may be easier than you think because you can practice it anywhere, anytime without any special equipment or training.

Use these tips to start being a new you.
• Listen for negativity. Find one place in your daily routine where you often run into negativity. Listen for your internal voice emerging that is looking at troubling news as failure. Ignore it. Change the channel and find a new internal voice that says, “I will get through this and in the meantime, I’m grateful for what I have.” Do this daily.

• Learn to laugh. Laugher is one of the most enjoyable ways to let the day’s stressors melt away. Humor has been studied extensively for its major effect on our well-being. As social beings we thrive with positive contact with others. Make sure you have people in your life that make you laugh and can help you lighten the day. Positive people are contagious.

• Do something nice (and unexpected) for someone. Research studies have found that five good deeds a day can make you happier. Look for ways to go out of your way to be kind to someone. It could be something simple like opening a door for a shopper whose hands are full or signing up to be a volunteer at a local organization that gives back to the community.

• Exercise for mind and body. If you feel fit and healthy, you’re much more likely to want to feel up beat less and less likely to wallow in everyday problems. Exercise has a profound effect on our ability to cope with stress. Exercise elevates our moods and helps fuel positive thinking.

Positive thinking is about placing your mind in readiness to find the good and upbeat in negative situations. It is not just window dressing for a problem—it is a technique as well as a lifestyle that can potentially change your life for the better.

An introduction to Kaneville’s Fire Protection District

by Brett Gobeli,
Firefighter, Kaneville Fire Protection District

What happens when multiple ethnicities, country boys and city slickers, men and women, the handicapped, retirees, college graduates and high-school-age children band together?

You get an elite group willing to face danger rather than shy away from it; willing to give their lives for someone else that they don’t even know. Our group expects no compensation, gratitude or accolades. We do it for various internal reasons. Day or night, every day of the year without exception, without hesitation, we arrive to serve a higher purpose then ourselves.

So when the big red trucks pass you by, or a car with a blue light is flashing behind you, just move over and give a smile or a wave. Not only does it give us a little boost, someday we might be headed to help you or your family members.

Oh, and the answer to the initial question is not the United Nations; it is your Kaneville Fire Department—an elite brotherhood that exemplifies expectations of all firefighters: duty, honor, and self-sacrifice.

In future papers we will write about various things going on in the department and the community, as well as what it means to be a part of a brotherhood that transcends time, countries, gender, race and cultures.

Thank you all, and be safe.

Publisher’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.

Up in flames

Photo: A fire on Tuesday evening resulted in the loss of Hintzsche Fertilizer’s maintenance building at its Troxel location. Firefighters combated the blaze for nearly four hours. Photo by John DiDonna

Hintzsche loses maintenance building in fire
TROXEL—Kaneville Fire Protection District firefighters on Tuesday evening were dispatched to Hintzsche Fertilizer, 2S181 County Line Road, on a report of a possible structure fire.

According to Hintzsche Fertilizer President Dave Hintzsche, a semi-truck parked inside a maintenance shop on the property caught fire around 5:45 p.m. The blaze then extended to the actual maintenance building.

“We suspect it was due to an electrical fire with the semi-truck,” he said.

Kaneville firefighters arrived at the scene at approximately 5:50 p.m. Additional aid was provided from local fire departments, including Elburn, Maple Park, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Hinckley, De Kalb, Burlington, Hampshire, Pingree Grove, Shabbona, Little Rock-Fox and Bristol-Kendall.

According to Tate Haley, assistant chief of fire operations for the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District, firefighters remained on the scene for just under four hours.

Hintzsche said the entire maintenance building was lost in the fire, as were some pieces of equipment.

Coyote sightings in Sugar Grove

SUGAR GROVE—Coyotes have been seen in the Sugar Grove area. More sightings are reported at this time of the year because coyotes typically mate in February or early spring. During mating season, coyotes—especially males—may be more visible. Coyotes generally are seen at night; however, they can also be seen at daytime during the summer months.

While some may enjoy the chance to see wildlife, most people would prefer that this type of wildlife remain in the wild and not in their neighborhoods. To help keep your neighborhood wildlife-free, the best thing you can do is to take precautions and not encourage coyotes and other wildlife to come near your home.

A coyote’s diet consists mainly of small rodents, deer, rabbits and fruit. However, they will take advantage of other available food sources. They can be attracted to garbage and pet food. Coyotes can also be attracted to birdfeeders because the birdfeeders attract rodents and squirrels. Coyotes may attack outdoor domestic cats for food or because they are viewed as a competing predator. It is less common for coyotes to attack small dogs or medium- to large-sized dogs. Dogs are usually attacked when they are not accompanied by people. Attacks on larger dogs may occur during mating season, which usually occurs in February through April.

Take precautions to help keep coyotes at in the wild and out your neighborhood:
• Don’t feed any wild animals such as raccoons or deer, as this encourages coyotes, too.
• Don’t leave food outside for stray animals.
• Keep cats and small dogs in the house, or always accompany them when they are outside.
• When walking your pets, keep them on a leash.
• Secure your garbage
• Keep your yard clear of debris and brush

While some residents may call for the removal of all coyotes in the area, research has shown that once coyotes are removed, others quickly replace them.

However, if there is a nuisance coyote on your property that you would like removed, the following individuals are licensed through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide residential trapping/removal services for coyotes:
• Brad Lundsteen – Suburban Wildlife Control, (630) 443-4500
• Gary Zirves – Illinois Wildlife Control, (815) 337-2719

Note that trapping and removing a coyote is illegal in Illinois without the proper permits. A property owner or tenant must obtain a Nuisance Animal Removal Permit to trap and remove most species of wildlife.

‘Mr. Kaneland’ cause a personal one for 2013 winner

Photo: KHS senior Mike Karakourtis poses with his grandmother, Orla, and grandfather, Mike, after winning the Mr. Kaneland 2013 competition. His faux boy band, Alex Carillo, Dalvell Triplett, Karakourtis, Chad Swieca and Diego Ochoa, helped make it happen. Courtesy Photos

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Who knew tuxedos, pink fannie packs and stonewashed jeans could play a part in such an important cause?

Kaneland High School senior Mike Karakourtis entered the 2013 Mr. Kaneland event with the intention of raising money for Delnor’s Center for Breast Health. He proceeded to do just that, raising nearly $1,500 for the center and earning the right to be called “Mr. Kaneland,” thanks to a sprawling dance routine that featured Karakourtis and his friends in some eye-catching boy band outfits.

For Karakourtis, the cause behind the Mr. Kaneland event, which was held on Feb. 15 in the KHS auditorium, is a personal one.

“My nannie survived breast cancer in 2002,” he said. “She’s such an important person in my life, and is one of the sweetest people I know. I feel very fortunate to still have her in my life, as many people lose loved ones to this terrible disease.”

Karakourtis, a North Aurora resident, said he wanted to do the Mr. Kaneland fundraiser and raise as much money as he could as a tribute to his nannie and the fight that she had won against breast cancer.

“My nannie is like an angel in my life, and one of the sweetest people I know,” he said. “I am so lucky she survived, as many women do not.”

Karakourtis’ fundraising consisted of selling $5 bracelets and receiving donations. He was also auctioned off for over $300 during the Mr. Kaneland event.

“One of my favorite parts of the night, aside from knowing my nannie was watching in the audience, was being told our principal, Chip Hickman, bid $70 on me during the auction to be fun and show support of the event,” Karakourtis said. “We have a really great school, with teachers and staff that go out of there way for you, have great school spirit and remember that although they are teachers and administration, they can still let loose and be fun..”

Karakourtis showed up to the event dressed to the nines in a tuxedo, but the sophistocated garb eventually gave way to a wardrobe consisting of sleaveless shirts and pink hats, fannie packs, fingerless gloves and stonewashed jeans for the song and dance routine he performed with friends Chad Swieca, Diego Ochoa, Alex Carrillo and Dalvell Triplett.

Songs featured during the performance were Flo-Rida’s “Right Round,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Enya’s “Only Time” and MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”

“Part of the event is coming up with a talent. Chad, Diego, Alex and Dalvell offered to donate their time and skills and be my back-up dancers,” Karakourtis said. “They were willing to do anything and wear anything to ensure the audience laughed and had a good time. (They were) asking off work to rehearse, missing plans of their own to practice, and even stayed with me sometimes till midnight practicing moves, creating new choreography, cutting music, etc., all to show support of this great cause.”

Needless to say, the 2013 Mr. Kaneland event was a memorable one for the resourceful teen.

“No one really knows the hours that are put into these events,” he said. “This was a true testament of (the group’s) friendship, integrity and character, and something I will never forget.”

The group’s performance can be found on YouTube under the title “Mr. Kaneland 2013.”

His faux boy band (left to right), Alex Carillo, Dalvell Triplett, Karakourtis, Chad Swieca and Diego Ochoa, helped make it happen.
His faux boy band (left to right), Alex Carillo, Dalvell Triplett, Karakourtis, Chad Swieca and Diego Ochoa, helped make it happen.
Mike Karakourtis
Mike Karakourtis
KHS senior Mike Karakourtis (above, center) poses with his grandmother, Orla, and grandfather, Mike, after winning the Mr. Kaneland 2013 competition.
KHS senior Mike Karakourtis (above, center) poses with his grandmother, Orla, and grandfather, Mike, after winning the Mr. Kaneland 2013 competition.

School Board reviews current state of KJS, KSS roofs

by Mary Parrilli
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday was given a review by Studio GC regarding their findings on the current state of the roofs located at Kaneland John Shields and John Stewart elementary schools.

Studio GC was hired last fall by Kaneland administration to provide the board with an investigative review of the roofing designs, installation and needed repairs for both schools’ roofs. The findings indicate that the roof on John Shields Elementary will need to be removed and replaced, while only minor repairs will need to be done at John Stewart.

District Superintendent Jeff Schuler recommended that the board adopt a new policy that will allow the district to maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors in a locked, secure location, available for use when necessary. Schuler recommended the measure due to the district’s remote school locations, especially KHS

Tim Wolf, director of technology, presented his proposed technology upgrades to the board, including a proposal for the purchasing of 335 new laptops for teachers, which will free up 335 newer computers for student use. The School Board approved the upgrade by a vote of 7-0.

Kaneville Post Office to reduce hours

by Dave Woehrle
KANEVILLE—An announcement calling for reduced hours at the Kaneville Post Office was made during the Kaneville Village Board meeting on Feb. 21.

The post office, located 2S101 Harter Road, officially reduced its working hours on Saturday. The office’s revised hours are 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Village trustee Pat Hill informed the board of the United State Postal Services’ decision to move forward with hour reduction.

“For now, we’ll see reduced hours. But we’ll see what we can do to change this,” she said.

Roger Fronek, Kaneville Post Office’s officer in charge, who began working in Kaneville in March 2012, will keep his job. However, the loss of hours, he said, is a disservice to the community. Fronek on Monday noted that the mail will now be a day behind.

“People have protested, made their points, but we’re getting the short end of the stick here,” he said.

Kaneville resident and business person Joann Murdoch spent the last few months attending local meetings and writing letters to the editor in regard to the reduction in post office hours.

“I’m down there at the post office two or three times a day because I run my business from home,” she said. “Like most people, I only have a P.O. box, so I have to go in to get my mail. I’m stymied as to why they are closing, as I spend a lot of money down there.”

Kaneville residents last fall received a letter notifying them of a town meeting to discuss post office budget issues. A public forum, hosted by Huntley Postmaster Derek Strissel on Nov. 1, was held with the intention of hearing comments from residents. The comments, Murdoch said, fell on deaf ears.

“There are no reports of what we said. And I think the argument about budget cuts is artificial,” she said. “When they cut hours, the revenue will be reduced. With less revenue, they’ll cut more hours. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Kaneville Interim Village President Rick Peck said he was disappointed in the decision.

“It just feels like no one is held responsible,” he said. “We’re a small town, and our post office is a part of our identity.”

One issue Murdoch brought up was online postage. When a resident purchases postage materials online for larger packages, only 10 percent of that revenue goes to Kaneville.

“I spend $500 online a month for postage and only $50 goes to our post office here. It’s not fair,” she said.

Murdoch wrote a letter to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin expressing her postal concerns. In his response, Senator Durbin stated the USPS has reduced operating costs by $9 million over

the last three years. Durbin said the Senate has passed bipartisan legislation to give the Postal Service proper resources, and that it’s on the House of Representatives to initiate proper USPS reform.

Hill said she will meet with Congressman Randy Hultgren in the coming week to work toward finding solutions for the reduced hours.

Letter: Concerns with the present day actions of the Kaneland School Board and administration

I could not help being disappointed to read the Kaneland School Board minutes of Jan. 14, 2013. I see administration recommended no significant cost containment measures would be needed in the 2013-14 budget development. Also was stated, no large scale manpower reductions were needed. Basis for both the above statements are in guidance of the PMA Financial Plan presentation of Dec. 10, 2012.

As the above statements are true, I really see little need for the FAC group to spend time making budget recommendations to the board. Looks like they have total confidence in PMA financial planning process. My concern with this position by the board is variations that exist from the PMA plan and the existing financial environment within our community.

Some variations from the PMA plan generating additional costs to the district:
1. Manpower: PMA projection 326.1 certified staff vs. actual 347. Manpower not presented in the plan is an additional 274-plus employees.
2. General State Aid foundation level currently $6,119 and funded at 85 percent allocation. The Aurora Beacon News on Feb. 13 reported 2012-13 GSA funding loss to Kaneland School District of $231,661 and $427,810 loss for 2013-14.
3. Salaries: PMA Assumption of FY14-18 at no annual salary increases except for teachers and retirement employees. KEA contract states teachers salary increase of 2.7% for 2013-14 plus open negotiations for 2014-15 are not presented in the PMA Plan.
4. Teachers Retirement System obligation is not included in the plan. ($223,000 per 1 percent). Michael Frances stated 1 to 9 percent could be transferred from a state responsibility to the School District’s responsibility. The School District is at 9 percent risk for $2,007,000 and unaccounted for in the PMA budget process. The state of Illinois could allocate the entire $22.3 million per year District 302 obligation to this local districts budget as rating agency pressures mount on politicians.
5. Kaneland School District cash reserves were not published by PMA Plan. Year-ending of fund balance of $8,820,167 for 2013 was presented. If this total fund balance or cash reserve is actual, why did the School Board raise our District 302 property taxes 3.83 percent when “no significant cost containment measures would be needed in the 2013-14 budget development”? Taxation-to-the-maximum culture is alive and well at our School District.

Existing financial environment within our community:
1. State of Illinois enacted General Fund Budget Plan for July 12, 2013, is appropriating $5.1 billion to Pension Contribution toward the $93 billion needed and $1.6 billion to Pension Obligation Bond Debt Service. The fiscal year ending plan is for the state to end with $3.97 billion overall budget deficit.
2. General Obligation Bond Credit Rating agencies downgraded state of Illinois to A- (one level above junk bonds). According to FITCH, “There is an irrevocable and continuing appropriation for all General Obligation debt service, and continuing authority and direction to the state treasurer and conptroller to make all necessary transfers from any and all revenues and funds of the state.” According to S & P, “The downgrade reflects what we view as the state’s weakened pension funded ratios and lack of action on reform measures intended to improve funding levels and diminish cost pressures associated with annual contributions.” According to MOODY’S, “Any meaningful pension reforms enacted in coming months are likely to be challenged in court, given the state constitution’s pension clause. This litigation threat and accompanying political pressures may once again deter action altogether or lead to reforms with little effect.”
3. Personal Savings Rate. State of Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability Edward Boss, Jr., Chief Economist January 2013. Mr. Boss states, “Savings as a percent of disposable household income, that is money that households have available for spending and saving after income tax payments, has reached the lowest levels in the past 60 years with no improvement expected in the next few years.”

Now that I have shared my concerns with the present day actions of the Kaneland School Board and administration, I find myself searching for some logical and participative path to make some positive difference toward reducing financial risks. It is becoming more clear, the School District will not attempt cost containment programs as an example of fiduciary responsibility. On the contrary, please interpret the act of forced taxation investment into the School District is at least equal to the resultant lack of savings for tax payers who are scraping for disposable income.

Jerry Elliott

Kaneville village president candidates square off

by Dave Woehrle
KANEVILLE—Two Kaneville trustees will compete for the village president position in this April’s General Election, as Patricia Hill and Rick Peck both are seeking the seat vacated by former village president Bob Rodney, who passed away in July 2012.

Peck has served as Kaneville’s interim village president the past six months, and was a village trustee for three-and-a-half years prior to that. He said his record to the community speaks for itself.

“I was nominated to serve as Interim president by our Village Board,” he said. “I feel that some of the things we have been working on the last six months have begun to gain some momentum, and I want to follow through.”

Peck said he helped save Kaneville taxpayers nearly $100,000 by negotiating a single-waste hauler service for the area. Peck also worked with the Kane County Department of Transportation to reduce speeding and other traffic issues.

“My family and I have lived here for almost nine years. We are very involved in town,” he said. “I want to continue serving Kaneville to keep it a great community.”

Peck said the main message of his campaign is to serve the community and maintain a rural and family character in Kaneville.

Hill has served as a village trustee since the incorporation of Kaneville in 2006. She said she’s running to keep Kaneville a small, quaint country town.

“We have faced many challenges as a board,” she said. “I believe I can take over the leadership Bob provided to the Village Board and make Kaneville a great little town.”

Hill said one main challenge that faces Kaneville is the proposed plan to reduce hours and funds to the local post office. Current condition of roads and subdivision cul-del-sacs are in need of repair, as well. She said the Prairie Parkway project, which is currently on hold due to lack of funds, is also a concern.

Hill said her main message for Kaneville is that she’s here for Kaneville residents.

“I will listen to the needs and wants of the residents,” she said.

Hill has served on the Kaneville Cemetery Board and the Memorial Day Committee, and is also a member of Kaneville Historical Society. During her free time, Hill volunteers and organizes local events, such as the Kaneville Fest and the village’s 175th Birthday Celebration. She also helped raise money for remodeling the local library and rejuvenating the village’s Dean Downen baseball fields.

Hill emphasized that the future of Kaneville is not synonymous with change.

“Some things just need to be preserved and maintained,” she said.

Hill said Rodney was a very meticulous man in regard to village issues. He kept himself very informed on all aspects of the village.

Peck agreed with Hill’s sentiment.

“Bob was great. He had a servant’s heart and willfully gave a lot of his own personal time to begin our Village Board. We will all miss him,” he said.

Hill and Peck also agree that procuring funds to replace downtown’s sidewalks is a priority, preferably without raising taxes to residents.

Peck is an engineering manager for a telecommunications business. Hill runs Hill’s Country Store, aka the “Purple Store,” with her husband, Cliff.

Sen. Oberweis comments on Gov. Quinn’s ‘State of the State’ speech

SPRINGFIELD—State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) issued a statement regarding Gov. Pat Quinn’s “State of the State” speech, presented to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers Feb. 6 in the chambers of the House of Representatives.

“I was very pleased that the governor took time to talk about the very, very serious financial situation that our state is facing,” Oberweis said. “Unfortunately, his speech did nothing to improve the ‘business unfriendly’ status of Illinois. His support of Senate Bill 1, the public pension reform bill, doesn’t go nearly far enough. Senate Bill 1 only solves a small part of our problem. If that is all we do, we’ll be back here facing the problem again in another year or two. We ought to do the right things now to fix this problem on a long-term basis.

Oberweis said all new employees should have a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit plan so that the problem does not recur.

“I don’t believe that Senate Bill 1 will solve our problems, but at least it is a step in the right direction,” he said. “I am delighted that the governor was willing to at least call attention to the serious problem that we have.”

The 25th District senator said he is willing to work with Gov. Quinn and his fellow lawmakers to right Illinois’ budget wrongs.

Jeffers named KCHD executive director

KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Board on Feb. 13 appointed Barbara Jeffers, MPH, the permanent executive director of the Health Department. Jeffers had been serving as interim executive director since June 2012, when she was appointed to the fill the position of former executive director Paul Kuehnert, who left for another position.

Jeffers said she will sustain the momentum of the department in terms of protecting the community, maintaining its partnerships and continuing the department’s strategic planning. Her commitment to partnerships is stronger than ever, for only by working together can the Health Department achieve its vision of having the healthiest residents in Illinois by 2030.

The commitment to strategic planning continues to be firm as the first implementation projects of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) are now being felt throughout the county.

“The CHIP needs the support of everyone if we are to successfully attack the threats to community health and well being and meet our health priorities,” Jeffers said. “This is not just a Health Department document; it is a blueprint for the entire community to follow for a better quality of life for all of us.”

For over seven years, Barbara Jeffers has held several positions at the Health Department. Prior to county government, she was employed by the state of Illinois for 14 years—her last appointment being the director of Training and Development for the Department of Human Services.

Jeffers has a Masters of Public Health degree from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

School Board approves superintendent pay raise

by Mary Parrilli
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 6-1 to amend Jeff Schuler’s contract of employment in order to give him a raise in pay, a one-time market correction.

Board member Tony Valente was the lone vote against the measure.

The amendment will set up Schuler’s pay at $175,000 for the period of July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.

Schuler’s base salary for the current fiscal year is $158,525.

The vote also included a provision that will give Schuler salary increases between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, and again between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, that will be over the prior year’s base salary “no less than the lesser of the annual consumer price index, or 3 percent.

“Even with this increase, Dr. Schuler remains the second-to-lowest-paid superintendent in the nine surrounding school districts,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said.

Most board members were in favor of the pay increase.

“I’m happy with Schuler. We are lucky to have him and we need to keep him,” School Board Vice President Elmer Gramley said.

Valente wasn’t as enthusiastic about Schuler’s pay raise.

“This is an astronomical raise, and I would like to see this money given back to our children,” he said.

KHS Scholastic Bowl team takes NIB-12 Conference Championship

KANELAND—The Kaneland High School Scholastic Bowl team participated in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference Championship on Saturday, defeating Western Division Champion Streator by a score of 310-200 to take home the NIB-12 Conference Championship for the second time in three years.

The Scholastic Bowl team consisted of captain Cameron Carlson, Ethan Witt, Chris Farrell, Beau Ott, Nic Likeum, Morgan Buerke, Anna Piazza and Matt Kalinowski.

Next up for the KHS Scholastic Bowl team is the IHSA Regional competition scheduled to take place at Kaneland High School on Monday, March 4.

Margaret ‘Peggy’ Gallegos

Margaret “Peggy” Gallegos, 83, of Elburn, passed from this life to eternal life on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, surrounded by the love and prayers of her devoted family.

She is survived by her three children, Michael (Barbara) Gallegos, Madelyn (Gregory) Harmon and Sandra (Bob) Wicklund; her grandchildren, Katherine (Andy), Shelly (Chris), Nikki (Pete), Kelly (Matt), Steve, Eric (Courtney), David and Greg; and her great-grandchildren, Olivia, Piper, Ben, Reilly, Brady, Kelsey, Nola, Molly and Quinn.

Visitation was held Wednesday at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn. A funeral service to celebrate her life followed visitation. Pastor Phillip Miller of Christ Community Church officiated.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in her name to benefit TAILS Humane Society in DeKalb: Checks may be made to the TAILS Humane Society and mailed in care of the Margaret Gallegos Memorial at P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Conference Champs

Photo: Tyler Carlson (right) stretches for a score in the second quarter against Rochelle last Friday. The varsity boys came back to pull out a 69-66 win.

KHS comes from behind for conference championship; passes IMSA in regional action
by Mike Slodki
AURORA—Kaneland closed out the regular season Friday with a big come-from-behind win over Rochelle to lock up the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Championship. The Knights followed that by opening the post season with a huge 39-point victory over host Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA).

A site of many entertaining and tight battles, the Knights traveled to Rochelle on Friday to conclude the regular season with a close 69-66 victory.

John Pruett led the charge with 19 points, followed by Matt Limbrunner with 16 and Drew David with 10.

Rochelle jumped atop Kaneland’s hopes with an 18-9 lead after one and maintained a 38-26 lead at halftime.

Kaneland righted the game with a 20-9 run spanning the entire third quarter to close within 47-46 before a 23-19 fourth tipped the scales the Knights’ way.

Kaneland engineered dramatic victories to clinch its first conference championship in three decades two years ago, and mustered a comeback win over the Hubs in the Rochelle Regional final a year ago.

Kaneland’s 16th win of the season (16-11) came in the opening round of the Illinois Math and Science Academy Regional on Monday night in Aurora. Kaneland, the No. 3 seed, pounded the No. 6 host Titans by a 79-40 score, and were set to meet No. 2 St. Francis of Wheaton on Tuesday before inclement weather and travel conditions postponed the clash until Wednesday night. Results were unavailable for press time.

“We’re going to have to come with our best game,” KHS coach Brian Johnson said before Wednesday’s tip. “They’re (St. Francis) a very strong and solid team. They work really well together, and their defense is outstanding.”

Earlier action on Monday had the Aurora Central Catholic Chargers edge the Marmion Academy Cadets 53-51. ACC will tip-off against No. 1 Wheaton Academy before the Knights-Spartans meeting.

Four Knights found their way to the double-figures zone on Monday: Dylan Vaca with a game-high 19 points behind four three-pointers, Pruett with 15, Limbrunner with 15 and Dan Miller with 10.

For IMSA, junior Isiah Butler connected on five treys for a team-high 18 points.

In a high-tempo first quarter, Kaneland saw opportunities pay off in either putbacks or trips to the foul line. Miller hit the front end of a pair with 3:40 left in the frame for a 12-3 Knight lead. After Butler hit a three to make it 12-6, Limbrunner’s shot made it 14-6 with 3:01 to play. After another IMSA bucket made it 14-8 with 1:57 to play, Limbrunner sunk a trifecta 36 ticks later to make it 17-8 before a Butler three with 52.8 left closed the first frame scoring at 17-11.

Kaneland then put up a 24-spot in the second quarter and looked at a 41-24 lead going into the halftime break.

A Butler basket five seconds into the quarter closed the deficit to 17-13, with KHS going on a gigantic 13-0 run. Tyler Carlson’s three, Miller’s basket, a Pruett putback, a Limbrunner putback, a Cole Carlson bucket and a Pruett baseliner within a 2:54 span made it 30-13 and had Kaneland sailing.

David, Limbrunner and Pruett put up multiple baskets in the third quarter, and the Knights saw their lead balloon to 27 points, 58-31, after three.

Kaneland’s basket with 22.5 left put the lead at 40 before IMSA inched closer by the end.

Miller and the gang took note of what IMSA was trying to accomplish and after a period of adjustment, was able to execute their desired gameplan.

“It was really good to get a victory tonight,” Miller said. “You’d prefer to make your first baskets, but we focused in practice on getting to the offensive glass. That’s a big part of our game.”

If the Knights defeated Wheaton St. Francis Wednesday night (results were unavailable as of press time), they would face the winner of Wheaton Academy and Aurora Central Catholic on Friday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. at IMSA.

Dan Miller goes up for a shot and gets fouled in the first quarter of Kaneland's come-from-behind 69-66 victory at Rochelle Friday.  Photo by John DiDonna
Dan Miller goes up for a shot and gets fouled in the first quarter of Kaneland’s come-from-behind 69-66 victory at Rochelle Friday.
Photo by John DiDonna
Tom VanBogaert and Dan Miller fight for a loose ball in the first quarter at Rochelle on Friday. Kaneland pulled out a late victory, winning 69-66. Photo by John DiDonna
Tom VanBogaert and Dan Miller fight for a loose ball in the first quarter at Rochelle on Friday. Kaneland pulled out a late victory, winning 69-66.
Photo by John DiDonna
Tyler Carlson stretches for a score in the second quarter against Rochelle last Friday. The varsity boys came back to pull out a 69-66 win. Photo by John DiDonna
Tyler Carlson stretches for a score in the second quarter against Rochelle last Friday. The varsity boys came back to pull out a 69-66 win.
Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's John Pruett (5) loses control and goes down while Tyler Carlson (10) comes to help in the third quarter of the varsity boy's 69-66 win at Rochelle on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s John Pruett (5) loses control and goes down while Tyler Carlson (10) comes to help in the third quarter of the varsity boy’s 69-66 win at Rochelle on Friday.
Photo by John DiDonna
Drew David gets a pass under a Rochelle defender in the third quarter during Kaneland's comeback win. Photo by John DiDonna
Drew David gets a pass under a Rochelle defender in the third quarter during Kaneland’s comeback win.
Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland's Matt Limbrunner maintains ball control to kill some time in the fourth quarter against Rochelle on Friday. The boys came from behind to win 69-66. Photo by John DiDonna
Kaneland’s Matt Limbrunner maintains ball control to kill some time in the fourth quarter against Rochelle on Friday. The boys came from behind to win 69-66.
Photo by John DiDonna