Elburn passes resolution opposing Fire District disconnection

Fox River Fire District reps attend meeting to object
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board on Monday passed a resolution opposing the disconnection of a portion of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District (ECFPD), despite objection from Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District representatives in attendance.

A referendum question that asks whether the territory in question should be annexed into the Fox River Fire District will come before voters in the proposed disconnection area on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

Fox River District Board President Jim Gaffney and Fire Chief Greg Benson, along with attorney Ken Shepro, attended the Village Board meeting to protest board approval of the resolution.

Shepro told the Village Board that a governmental body should not expend funds on any public question. According to Shepro, the board’s passage of the resolution amounts to the board attempting to influence citizens to vote against the referendum.

“Clearly the purpose of this resolution is to influence the outcome of the referendum,” Shepro said. “Otherwise, why would you pass it?”

Village President Dave Anderson said that people will read the resolution and form their own opinion on the issue. He said that the resolution simply states that the board opposes the de-annexation, that it doesn’t get into politics and it doesn’t urge voters to vote in a particular way.

According to Gaffney, a group of citizens from the area in question, which is bound by LaFox Road to the east, Anderson Road to the west, Campton Hills Road to the south and Empire Road to the north, came to them saying that they weren’t comfortable with the service they were getting from the Elburn department. In response, he said, district officials helped them with a petition to detach themselves from the ECFPD.

The petition was signed by 128 residents in the area this summer, and a Kane County judge determined that the question should be put to the voters. Approximately 3,000 residents live in the area that would be affected.

Gaffney said the Fox River District can provide the same services to these residents, and at a lower rate. He said he thought the board was doing its residents a disservice by telling them to spend more money than necessary for fire protection services.

Elburn Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan attended a Village Board meeting last month to let village trustees know about the situation and to ask for their endorsement.

Callaghan told the board that the disconnection would mean a significant loss of revenue for the Elburn Fire District—the area in question is 10 percent of its square miles and 21 percent of its assessed value. The Elburn Fire District’s expenses would stay the same, and Callaghan said the disconnection would place a financial hardship on the district.

After listening to Fox River officials’ objections on Monday, village trustee Bill Grabarek said that he thought the disconnection could diminish Elburn’s ability to fulfill its obligations to protect the health, safety and welfare of Elburn residents. He asked that wording to that effect be added to the resolution.

The board then unanimously voted to approve the resolution. Trustees Ethan Hastert and Ken Anderson were absent, but Dave Anderson said they had participated in the decision to create such a resolution.

The Elburn Fire District is in the process of building a new station at Route 38 and Anderson Road. The district also opened a temporary station in the Lily Lake area on Oct. 1, while it continues to look for property for a permanent spot. Elburn Fire District officials say the Lily Lake station will allow them to respond more quickly to residents in that area.

Sugar Grove denies BP consumption, gambling license

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday voted 5-1 to deny a request for a liquor license that would allow on-site alcohol consumption and facilitate video gaming at the BP Gas Station located on Route 47 in Sugar Grove.

Village Board trustee Robert Bohler was not present.

Village trustee Kevin Geary was the sole board trustee for the on-site consumption and gambling license. Other board trustees spoke about their concerns and the potential problems the license could cause for the community.

“As much as I love the BP, and I’m there for coffee everyday, I’m opposed to (the license),” Village Board trustee Rick Montalto said. “I did a poll about it, and everyone I talked to was opposed to it.”

Village President Sean Michels expressed his concern of on-site consumption taking place at BP Gas Station with John Shields Elementary School located nearby.

“I don’t see it being a great thought,” Michels said. “It’s just the thought that someone could come in and have a couple of drinks and drive off and be so close to the school. Personally, I’m opposed to it. This disagreement won’t set us apart. The BP is great for the community.”

Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger also voiced his apprehension regarding on-site consumption in gas stations.

“We have some concerns with consumption-on-site with gas stations, like we have brought up (previously),” Eichelberger said. “At some point, the village will hit a saturation level.”

There are currently three locations in Sugar Grove that have video gaming machines on premise, bringing in a combined total of $700 a month. Of that total, $100 goes toward the village.

Geary reasserted his support of the on-site consumption and gambling license.

“This is exactly what I argued about,” Geary said. “The public said that this is what they wanted. I promote business, and the public said yes to it.”


An honest gesture in Maple Park

Photo: The Honest Boot Golf Outing proceeds were presented to Maple Park Library Director Kimberly Anne Martin (second from left) on Friday. Presenting the check were Dennis Lexa (from left) of Honest Automotive, Bootlegger’s Pizza, Grill and Bar owner Tony Harrington, and coordinator Rich Ferdinand. Photo submitted by Dennis Lexa to ads@elburnherald.com

Maple Park—Proceeds from the Sept. 13 Honest Boot Golf Outing were presented to Maple Park Library Director Kimberly Anne Martin on Friday. Also in attendance for the check presentation were Dennis Lexa of Honest Automotive, Bootlegger’s Pizza, Grill and Bar owner Tony Harrington, and Honest Boot coordinator Rich Ferdinand.

The 2015 golf outing will have a new name: Honest Boot Custom Golf Outing, as Ray Lynch of County Line Customs in Maple Park has joined as a sponsor. The event will benefit the Boots and Hooves (Wounded Warrior) program on Beith Road.

Everyone involved with the Honest Boot Golf Outing would like to thank the golf hole sponsors, those who donated raffle prizes, Tony and Donna Harrington and Dennis Lexa for the food donations, as well as the golfers, for making this year’s fundraiser a success.

Elburn Lions October calendar raffle winners

ELBURN—The following people won $25 in the Elburn Lions Park October 2014 Calendar Raffle: Phil Van Bogaert, Chris Mondi, AAM and TFR, Denise Goode and Marilyn Long, all of Elburn; Brian Breen and Chris and Cindy Halsey, all of Sugar Grove; Elburn Seniors of Maple Park; Holly Zoch of La Fox; K.M. Kresse of Virgil; Nora J. Fisher and Bryce Breon of Batavia; Bob Geiken and Judy Ridgeway of Geneva; Dally Johnson of St. Charles; Carmen Rivera of North Aurora; Ron Burklow of Genoa, Ill.; Tim Johnson of Waterman, Ill.; Ken Hougas of Naperville, Ill.; Gary Lungren of Elgin, Ill.; Colleen Zbilski of Wheaton, Ill.; Sam Palumbo of Hillside, Ill.; Frank and Fran Modelski of Darien, Ill.; Andy Patellaro of Earlville, Ill.; Jack McNulty of Green Island, N.Y.; and Cari Pickerel.

The $50 winners were Karna Gladd and Pat Dallesasse of Elburn, Liam Cornell of Hinckley, and Tricia and Camilo Reynoso of Palatine, Ill. The $100 winner was Jesse and Jan Halsey of Elburn.

Maple Park withholds action on circus amendment

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday withheld action regarding a vote to regulate carnivals within the village.

The original purpose of the amendment was to regulate carnivals and circuses as to prevent animal cruelty that is often seen in the circus environment. Village Attorney Kevin Buick advised the board to use other routes for regulating circuses specifically.

“If animal abuse is the main concern, there are nationwide model ordinances you could use as an alternative to simply banning all circuses or carnivals,” Buick said.

The issue will be further discussed at the Maple Park Committee of the Whole meeting later this month.


Maple Park names October ‘Big Read’ month

MAPLE PARK—Maple Park Village President Kathleen Curtis on Tuesday officially recognized October as “The Big Read” month in the village of Maple Park.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, and is designed to restore reading and encourage reading for pleasure and learning. The book chosen for this year’s Big Read is “A Wizard of Earthsea” from the Earthsea fantasy novels by Ursula K. Le Guin.

According to DeKalb Public Library, the book was written for ages 10-12, but is deep enough for adults to enjoy.

Kaneland forum updates community on superintendent search

KANELAND—The Kaneland School District on Oct. 2 held a series of forums regarding its ongoing search for a new superintedent of schools. A general community forum was held that night at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove.

The forum was hosted by BWP & Associates, the educational search firm hired by the School District to locate and identify Kaneland’s next superintendent. The previous superintendent, Dr. Jeff Schuler, accepted an offer in early August to become superintendent of schools for the Wheaton-Warrenville School District.

Kaneland parent Ryan Kerry, of Elburn, attended the community forum because he was “just curious (about) what was going on.” Kerry was one of 10 community members who showed up at Harter Middle School for the forum. School Board President Cheryl Krauspe, Vice President Teresa Witt and trustee Pedro Rivas sat in the back of the audience.

Four BWP & Associates representatives—all of them former superintendents—listened to feedback provided by the members of the public in attendance.

“We get good information from the people that attend,” said Steve Griesbach, associate for BWP & Associates.

Sugar Grove resident Dan Nagel during the forum expressed his concern about a tax burden on homeowners. He pointed out that he would want the next superintendent to have “wide-open eyes.”

“We sure don’t want someone to turn around and not be aware,” Nagel said.

Nagel also had a question about the next superintendent of schools in Kaneland.

“Does the person—he or she—understand the rules and rights to the taxpayer, the student body, the whole gamut?” Nagel said. “We’re not going to fool around this go-around.”

Nagel called the Kaneland School District a “$60 million business,” and listed the order of his areas of focus regarding the next superintendent: financial, transparency, safety and education.

“We want our kids and grandkids educated,” Nagel said.

Renee Dee, a Kaneland mom, founder of PEAK for Kids, Inc. and co-organizer of the Kindness Campaign, pointed out during the forum that Kaneland has nine different communities that are “all under one roof.”

“That is one of our biggest challenges,” Dee said. “Some of these communities are very solid. Some of them are new.”

Dee pointed out that income, beliefs and values are among the things that get magnified within the Kaneland School District. Dee requested that the next superintendent be able to work with community leaders and have a “respected track record.”

Elburn resident Marie Gatz during the forum recalled an event in which she had invited her neighbor to attend a Kaneland School Board meeting along with her, to which the neighbor replied, “It’s a waste of my time; they don’t listen.”

“I think it’s an issue,” Gatz said.

Dr. Patricia Wernet, associate for BWP & Associates, commented on Gatz’s neighbor’s sentiment.

“Something has to happen from the top to filter out one,” Wernet said. “There needs to be a community fire.”

Kaneland mom Susan Buerke spoke about information not getting out to the different communities via the Kaneland School District. She called it “atrocious.”

“I don’t think our district has found a way it works,” Buerke said. “There’s got to be something to get the information.”

Dr. Mark Friedman, president of BWP & Associates, said that he had heard comments similar to Buerke’s “time and time again” about improved communications.

“You’re far from alone,” Friedman said.

Gatz further commented on Buerke’s statement.

“Somebody thinks somebody else is doing the job,” Gatz said.

Montgomery resident Melissa Anderson weighed in on the concern.

“Whose job is it to do XYZ?” she said. “It’s just Bad News Bears.”

Anderson talked about the idea of doing what is best for kids first.

“It’s not always a no-brainer,” Anderson said. “I’d ask that you look beyond the accolades.”

Maple Park resident Brenda Johnson requested that the next superintendent be someone who “will discipline.”

“I lost trust in my superintendent,” Johnson said. “The safety of my child was put at risk.”

She explained an instance in which a student wasn’t suspended, and questioned if it was to save the School District money.

“I still have a problem,” Johnson said. “I had a big trust issue.”

Those who did not attend the forum can still provide feedback via an online survey that contains seven questions and takes a short time to complete. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, Oct. 17. The survey is available at www.kaneland.org.

Information gathered from the community forum, focus groups and survey will help BWP & Associates create a superintendent profile of the characteristics the Kaneland community wants to see in its next superintendent.

Other focus groups throughout the day included School Board members in a one-on-one setting, Kaneland staff, Kaneland Education Association representatives and Kaneland High School students.

The next superintendent possibly could potentially be announced at the School Board meeting on Monday, Dec. 15.

“We really have a sense of the kind of superintendent you want,” Friedman said. “We don’t know who it will be. There will be a lot of interest.”

Elburn Lions October Kaneland Kolor Fun Run/Walk

KANELAND—The Kaneland Kolor Fun Run/Walk will take place Sunday, Oct. 19, at noon at the Kaneland Harter Middle School (KHMS) campus, 1601 Esker Drive, Sugar Grove.

The event will consist of two laps, or approximately 2 miles. Entry is $35 per person and includes a white Kolor Fun Run shirt. A family price of $100 (immediate family) includes two Kolor Fun Run shirts. Additional shirts may be purchased for $10 each.

The event is less about your running time and more about having a blast with friends and family. This is an un-timed course where participants are doused in different powdered colors at many points along the course. The concept is easy: register, wear your white Kolor Run T-shirt, have fun and finish decorated in colorful hues.

The fun doesn’t end there, either. At the finish, there will be a Festival of Kolor with music, more color throws, food and ice cream. Food will be available at the festival.

To register, visit www.KHMSpto.org. All proceeds benefit KHMS PTO.

Kaneland Theatre seeks items for performances

KANELAND—The Kaneland High School (KHS) Theatre Department is looking for a few items to help with its fall play and upcoming spring musical. The following items are needed: lamps with lamp shades and working bulbs, area rugs of varying sizes, framed paintings/wall decor, variety of brown/wood-toned paint, jewel-toned paint (dark reds, greens, and blues), painters tape, rollers (not the handles), paint trays and liners, paint brushes of all sizes (larger brushes to detail brushes), clothing items (long dresses, aprons, suit jackets for men and women, etc.).

If you are able to donate any of these items, bring them to KHS and let the office know they are for Mrs. Staker.

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Kaneland removes softball coach

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Sept. 29 voted 7-0 to release Kaneland High School softball coach Brian Willis from his duties as head coach.

Willis had spent the last five years as head coach for Kaneland varsity girls softball. He also teaches drivers education, physical education and adaptive physical education at the high school.

Willis at the Sept. 29 School Board meeting said that he had been asked to resign from his coaching position, but declined to do so. He also read a prepared statement prior to the School Board’s vote

“I am writing this letter to ask the Kaneland School Board and the high school administration to reconsider the decision to release me from the head coaching position of varsity softball,” Willis read from his statement.

Willis’ letter continued, noting his 25 years of teaching experience—13 of them at Kaneland—and 10 years of coaching with the Lady Knights.

“(I’ve) never had an accusation made against me for something I have done illegal or immoral,” Willis read from his statement. “This continues to be the case this evening.”

He said that a harassment charge had been filed against him in May 2014.

“After an investigation, it was found to have no basis,” Willis read from his statement. “The root of the complaint was because an athlete was not playing as many innings as the parents thought she should. And they had to come up with something, thus the harassment charge.”

In his statement, Willis said the reason he was informed of the decision to release him from coaching was “vague.”

“When I asked for the reason, I was told of concerns administration had about the program,” Willis read from his statement. “Those concerns were also documented in the harassment charge, and again possessed no evidence of wrongdoing—only the opinion of people who disagree with my softball philosophy.”

Willis said that he had been told any information gathered had to remain confidential and that it could not be shared with him. He noted that a person usually loses a job because of illegal activity, immoral judgment or poor performance.

Willis also acknowledged that his coaching performance last season was not equivalent to years past and by his own standards.

“The reality was, I couldn’t perform at the same mental or physical level I am accustomed to because of my ongoing battle with cancer,” Willis read from his statement. “I did my best in the classroom and on the field with tremendous support from everybody. I was not told by high school administration my performance was substandard.”

The KHS girls varsity softball team went 20-12 last season, after going 24-4 in 2013.
Regarding his release, Willis had just one question: why?

“I think that is a fair question,” Willis read from his statement. “And out of respect for my commitment towards Kaneland High School the past 13 years, I have earned the right to have that answered honestly.”

Willis said that both he and his staff worked hard to create a “winning program” on and off of the field. He said that tough decisions had been made that some didn’t agree with or like, but mentioned that he always has tried to teach his students and his athletes to be accountable for their actions.

“If you have done something out of favor, face the consequences,” Willis read from his statement. “If not, stand on the highest mountain and declare your innocence. Tonight, I stand on the mountain.”

Community members stood up to offer supporting words for Willis. Molly Cohrs, whose daughter plays for the Lady Knights, spoke of Willis putting together fundraisers for field improvements and returning Kaneland’s softball program to both a respected and winning program.

“Having recently waged a winning battle against cancer, he practiced until he could no longer stand, and then sat on a bucket so practice could continue,” Cohrs said.

She also spoke about what was expected of the Lady Knights softball team.

“Expectation is high, effort is required, and you have to be able to produce—defensively and offensively on the field, and in the classroom,” Cohrs said. “And yes, if a coach believes you are not giving 110 percent all the time; if he believes you are playing below your potential; he’s going to let you know it.”

Cohrs called student playing time the “most sensitive topic” in any high school sport played.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that if you look back at the families and players who have complained about any Kaneland coach, their history of playtime at Kaneland will likely show that they were either cut from a program or they did not play as much as other players,” Cohrs said.

Paige Kuefler, senior Lady Knights player, wore a Team Willis gray T-shirt during the School Board meeting. She also spoke on behalf of the team about the one she calls “Coach Willis.”

“He wants the best for us,” Kuefler said. “Does he get frustrated with us? At times, yes. Because he knows we can do better; he knows how we play. He’s seen our 100 percent, and if he doesn’t, he will push us until he sees it.”

Kuefler mentioned that positions on the Lady Knights softball team had to be earned.
“Our positions were never handed to us,” she said. “Each and every athlete of the softball team had to earn a position.”

Following the meeting, Willis reflected on the support he received at the meeting.

“I’m very happy with the support I got tonight,” he said. “And the fact that even if I’m not reinstated as coach, I can lay my head on my pillow knowing that I had a positive effect on these young ladies’ lives.”


In full swing

KHS one stroke away from team advancement, also take fourth at NIB-12

KANELAND—While it won’t quite be to the heights of the 2012 stellar team finish, the Knight golfers still can claim some postseason greens.

Kaneland’s 347 team score at the Mendota Regional was just one shot away from earning a team advancement to the Grayslake Central Sectional. Wheaton Academy’s 333 earned first place, followed by St. Francis’s 336 and Aurora Central Catholic’s 346. Kaneland outlasted Sandwich (366) and LaSalle-Peru (375).

The Knights were third at last year’s Aurora Central Catholic Regional.

Kaneland was able to corner the market on advancing individuals, as five of the 10 slots were Knights. While Wheaton Academy’s Grant Gosden was medalist with a 74 and Sandwich’s Blake Andrew took a 74, the trio of Jake Hed, Jeremy Faletto and Brett Glennon took on 85, 86 and 86, respectively, for the two-through-four slots. Jesse Denton also advanced with a 90, and Jeff VanGemert was able to maintain qualifier status with a 91.

“One of our team goals was to get to sectionals, so it was a little disappointing and bittersweet. But, you get over that when you see that five of our guys qualified,” KHS coach Mark Meyer said.

Hed, Glennon and VanGemert provide a nice sophomore slant to the sectional proceedings, an encouraging program development.

“It’s really big for the sophomores here,” Meyer said. “They can feel what this is like and feel a bit of nerves, and see if they can get to sectionals or even State.”

Out at Senica’s Oak Ridge on Oct. 1, for the L-P hosted Northern Illinois Big XII meet, Kaneland’s 336 was good for fourth ahead of Ottawa (342). DeKalb was conference king with a 322 team score, while Geneseo was king of the West at 332, and Sycamore managed a 333.

Hed was tops for the Knights at an 82 for ninth place, while Denton, with 84, was 13th. Faletto’s 85 took 14th on the day.


Kaneland volleyball falls short to Sterling

Photo: Seniors Rachel Kintz, Riley Hannula and Anna Senese make a wall against Sterling Oct. 2. “Our blocking has been a huge development for us, and reading the hitters,” head coach Cyndi Violett said. Photo by Laura Gampfer

KANELAND—It hasn’t been a common occurrence in 2014, but the Kaneland Lady Knights volleyball team had to deal with a little losing streak.

Beginning with a loss at the beginning of last week against Yorkville, Kaneland hosted Sterling on Thursday in a Northern Illinois Big XII crossover and fell 16-25, 25-13, 28-26.

On Tuesday in Ottawa, Kaneland won 25-23, 25-22 in a close match with the Lady Pirates.

Overall, Kaneland sits at 15-9, with a 3-2 mark in NIB-12 competition.

On the Kaneland side, Ellie Dunn had four service points, 12 kills, two blocks and eight digs. Teammate Riley Hannula added seven service points, three kills, eight blocks and two digs. Anna Senese had 10 service points, four kills, 13 digs and a block.

Head coach Cyndi Violett knew some things had to be adjusted, while there was still a good stretch of time before regionals begin at the end of this month.

“After our loss to Sterling, I realized that we needed to come back together as a team and family. There wasn’t a specific skill or game play to focus on, but to re-energize ourselves for the love of the game and our teammates,” Violett said.

Still, there has been plenty of intangibles to be proud of.

“Our blocking has been a huge development for us, and reading the hitters,” Violett said.

Against Ottawa, Dunn had 11 kills and 15 digs in the two-game sweep. Hannula added four service points, six kills and two blocks, while Senese had five kills and 11 digs, and Hollie Fedderly had 13 assists and six service points.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, the KHS crew heads to conference foe DeKalb.


Kaneland girls cross thirst for Pretzel Invite

Photo: Sophomore Grace Dodis accepts Kaneland’s second-place trophy at Saturday’s Pretzel Invite. Photo submitted by Patti Wilk to photos@elburnherald.com

FREEPORT, ILL.—For the best girls cross country talent the northern half of the state has to offer on an October Saturday, one need not look farther than the Pretzel Invite.

On Saturday, Kaneland girls cross country took second place with 53 points, meaning the talent is doing nicely after the season’s health and lineup concerns. More local outfit Boylan Catholic of Rockford, Ill., nabbed first with 34 points.

Dixon (59), Freeport (102) and Winnebago (122) filled out the top half of the afternoon in the 10-team invite.

Three top-10 finishers donning Lady Knight garb were Victoria Clinton in fourth with an 18:53, fifth-place Andrea Wells in 18:60 and Brianna Bower with a 19:28, good for seventh.

Senior cornerstone Jessica Kucera paced to a 14th-place finish at 20:06, and Grace Dodis took 23rd at 20:53.

Other KHS varsity runners included Sarah Daley (30th, 21:12) and Carly Bartholomew (39th, 21:53).

The Boylan trio of Delaney Appino (18:01), Erica Lowry (18:40) and Grace McLaughlin (18:44) took the top three spots.

KHS coach Doug Ecker is a fan of the Freeport setup.

“It is nice to run against some different teams and see Boylan before the sectional. We like it because it is a smaller meet and it gives the JV girls a chance to run in a meet where they can be successful. All meets are important in preparing for the end of the season, but we value the entire season as important. We do not just point to the state series as the only thing that determines a successful season,” Ecker said.

Wednesday had the Byron Handicap come the Lady Knights’ way, and Saturday, Oct. 11, has the 65th annual Sterling Invite in Northern Illinois Big XII West territory.


KHS boys Pretzel Invite trip part of process

Photo: The KHS boys varsity cross country team earned second overall at Saturday’s Freeport Pretzel Invite. Photo submitted by Patii WIlk to photos@elburnherald.com

FREEPORT, ILL.—The Knights cross country team saw encouraging signs and cooler weather at the annual Pretzel Invitational.

The cool morning—which even featured early snow flurries—saw Kaneland nab a steady second-place finish, thanks to a 52-point output—just 12 behind Winnebago—five Knights in the the top 16 runners.

After Winnebago and Kaneland, it was Dixon (87), Boylan Catholic (95) and Rockford Guilford (154) securing the top five spots in the 10-team gathering.

While Winnebago’s Nathan Smith won the three-mile challenge with an effort of 15:32, KHS had plenty to be proud about.

On a day some 40 degrees cooler than the previous weekend’s Charger Classic, the Knights’ Austin Kintz grabbed fifth overall in 15:48, while Brandon Park was seventh at 16:01 in the talented field. Park managed a PR on the course by 44 seconds.

Eleventh-place Mitch Reger (16:40), 13th-place Will Kuipers (16:46) and 16th-place James Walker (16:55) were 15 seconds apart and sealed a 67-second pack split.

“We know that in order to finish in the top two today, it would be important to get good production from 3-7,” KHS coach Chad Clarey said.

Clarey and company also liked what the Freeport setting had to offer.

“We enjoy the different terrain Freeport provides us each year. Not a typical flat course—the rolling hills offer some challenge early on before flattening out and running down at the finish. Our kids love it,” Clarey said.

Other Kaneland athletes in the varsity race were Sean Spaetzel (23rd, 17:16), Andrew Lesak (24th, 17:20), Aaron French (34th, 17:44), Zach Kurz (38th, 18:15), Ben Smith (46th, 18:45), Nick Moses (68th, 19:58), Josh Kasap (76th, 20:29), Grant Gingrich (82nd, 21:35), Jacob Wolfe (83rd, 21:48) and Kyle Osborne (88th, 23:28).

Wednesday saw a trip to the Byron Handicap, with results not available for press, and the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference race.

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Piece of the Rock

Photo: Ivan Bohorquez celebrates scoring his unassisted first-half goal against Sycamore Tuesday. Photo by Tiffany Kufer

Second-place effort at Quad Cities gathering has smooth finish
KANELAND—This past weekend had the Kaneland soccer roster heading two hours west, and gain a little footing on an up-and-down 2014 campaign.

On Friday and Saturday, KHS headed to the Rock Island Tournament and went 3-1 overall, finishing second. On Tuesday, Kaneland went to Sycamore for a Northern Illinois Big XII conference skirmish and shut out the Spartans 3-0.

Kaneland sits at 9-7-2, with a 3-2-1 mark in NIB-12 play, and roughly a week and a half left in regular season play.

To begin the Rock Island festivities, the Knights used two penalty kick conversions from Angel Escontrias to take a 2-0 win from Homewood-Flossmoor, and finished Friday with a 2-0 win over Washington. Escontrias’ first-half goal and Mark Dhom’s second-half try sealed the deal.

Facing the host Rocks, a 3-1 win was propelled by Felipe Speraggi’s goal off an Escontrias feed in the first half, the Speraggi-Escontrias connection in the second half, and an Escontrias goal off a feed from Andrew Mathys with 11 minutes left.

In the title match, East Moline United Township beat KHS 2-1, as Escontrias’ penalty try was the lone goal with 12 minutes to go. Kaneland was playing two men short due to red cards.

Against Sycamore, Escontrias and Ivan Bohorquez each had a goal and an assist. Andres Tovar supplied a second-half goal, as well.

Kaneland hosts Morris on Thursday.

Oct. 9 sports recap

Boys Freshman Soccer
Oct. 1 @ Burlington Central—The Knights won 1-0. Michael Minoque had 16 saves, and Javier Correa had the goal on a Devin Pieczynski assist.
Oct. 6 @ DeKalb—Pieczynski’s goal and Minoque’s five saves helped the Knights to a 1-1 tie on the road against the Barbs.

Girls JV Tennis
Oct. 1 @ Yorkville—The JV tennis team fell 4-1 against the Lady Foxes. The Lady Knights are 3-1 in conference play.

Boys Sophomore Soccer
Oct. 1 vs. Hinckley-Big Rock—The Knights won 2-0. Diego Ruiz (Brian Bartholomew assist) and Tim Wachter (Brandon Luebke) each had goals.
Oct. 7 vs. Sycamore—The Knights rolled 6-2 over the Spartans. John McCaffrey had three goals and an assist, while Bartholomew also had two goals. Ruiz had a goal and an assist, while Robbie Nachreiner and Christian Medrano each had assists. The Knights are 9-1-2 overall, and 6-0-1 in conference play.

Freshman Volleyball
Oct. 2 vs. Sterling—The A team won 25-21, 25-19, while the B team also won 25-12, 25-8.
Oct. 7 vs. Ottawa—The A team lost 15-25, 25-19, 19-25, while the B team lost 25-23, 20-25, 11-15. The A team is 9-4, 5-1 in conference play, while the B team is 2-9, 1-5.

Sophomore Volleyball
Oct. 2 vs. Sterling—The Lady Knights won 25-21, 25-19.
Oct. 7 vs. Ottawa—KHS won 25-19, 25-15.

Sophomore Football
Oct. 3 @ Sycamore—The Knights won 20-0 over the Spartans.

Girls JV Cross Country
Oct. 4 @ Freeport Invitational—The Lady Knights won the eight-team meet with 40 points. Boylan was a close second with 46.
3 O. Galor, 21:09; 6. K. Huber, 21:55; 8 G. Drake, 22:12; 9 L. Klingensmith, 22:13; 15 S. Sommerville, 23:27; 18 M. Garcia, 23:38; 26. M. Dries, 24:26; 29 H. Penkala, 24:30.

Boys Fr/So Cross Country
Oct. 4 @ Freeport Invitational—The Knights won the seven-team meet with 37 points, far ahead of runner-up Rockford East’s 66.
2 A. Kantola, 16:50; 3 A. Messina, 17:13; 5 S. Webster, 17:18; 13 H. Nosek, 18:17; 24 P. Heiser, 19:05; 25 D. Wojak, 19:08; 27 T. Nance, 19:14; 29. K. Wells, 19:17; 32. C. Girolamo, 19:29; 35. G. Wilk, 19:34; 38 J. O’Sullivan, 19:50; 80 C. Rutter, 25:22.


That was Sparta

Photo: Junior Steven VanHorn breaks up a 3rd-down pass to a Sycamore wide receiver Friday. “Both defenses played really well,” KHS head coach Tom Fedderly said. Photo by Mary Paulson

Urgency increases after 14-7 loss at Sycamore
SYCAMORE—Kaneland football has yet to pull off a three-game win streak in 2014. It’ll have to in order to be considered for postseason play for the seventh consecutive season.

With a chance to at least tie the Sycamore Spartans during the Spartans’ homecoming week on Friday, Kaneland’s offense put together a sustained drive until an interception in the endzone with 14 seconds remaining cemented a 14-7 loss to Sycamore.

For KHS, its season sits at 2-4 (0-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) for the first time since 2007. The four-game skid notes the longest in-season losing streak since 1993.

The competitive-yet-hard-luck streak means the Knights are 3-6 in their last nine overall contests, playoffs included.

Kaneland and Sycamore’s meeting on Friday was a tad more low-scoring than last season’s 31-21 road loss, and a stark difference from Kaneland’s 30-point per game output.

Juniors Jacob Gomes (below, No. 53) and Andrew Kray (No. 75) hold the Sycamore offense on a 3rd down Friday.
Juniors Jacob Gomes (below, No. 53) and Andrew Kray (No. 75) hold the Sycamore offense on a 3rd down Friday.

Despite just 81 yards passing during the defensive struggle, Knights quarterback Jake Marczuk was the game’s leading rusher with 129 yards on the ground.

After battling through an early stalemate that involved Knights receiver Mitchell Groen recovering a fumble out of the air—to no avail—on offense, the Spartans converted on a one-yard touchdown run by Brett Weaver to make it 7-0 with 2:05 left in the second quarter.

Marczuk’s 4th-down attempt to Connor Fedderly from the Spartans’ 42 was a no-go, ending the final first-half drive.

In the third quarter, Marczuk’s grasp on the ball was loosened during a scamper and Sycamore recovered on its on 29. Three plays later, Spartan Dion Hooker ran for a 63-yard score to take a 14-0 lead with 8:38 to go.

Marczuk finally brought the Knights to the scoring column with 7:09 to go in the fourth on a nine-yard run to make it 14-7. After forcing Sycamore to punt, a forced fumble during Fedderly’s return went to Sycamore. KHS was able to dig deep and block a 32-yard field goal attempt and take over at its own 29. Using the strength of a 21-yard run by Marczuk, the Knights found themselves in Sycamore territory.

On 2nd and 10 from the 32, Marczuk was sacked, but gained 21 yards on a run to the 16. After a pass attempt to the middle of the end zone to Fedderly went incomplete, a slant to Fedderly in the end zone was snagged by Sycamore’s Bryce Hansen to end it the Knight hope.

“(Coach Joe Ryan) does a great job with his kids, and it was just a hard-fought game. I think we did some things to kind of hurt ourselves. They did a tremendous job. We had to put drives together, and Sycamore stepped up and did a good job. Both defenses played really well.” KHS coach Tom Fedderly said.

Kaneland has a date with the 2-4 Morris Redskins on Friday, Oct. 10. Morris has ceased to beat Kaneland since rejoining the conference landscape together in 2010.

NIB-12 tennis tournament moves to DeKalb

KANELAND—Kaneland will still host this year’s Northern Illinois Big 12 conference tournament—it’ll just be at DeKalb High School.

The two-day tournament, beginning Friday morning at 10 a.m. at 501 W. Dresser Road, DeKalb, and resuming Saturday at 8 a.m., was moved early this week from KHS. An email to head coach Tim Larsen asking the reason was not returned in time for press.

A seeding meeting took place at DHS Wednesday evening, but the results were not available prior to press. Head coach Tim Larsen’s crew is the defending conference champion.

“We’re going to be very competitive going in,” he said. “I’ll know more after tonight’s seeding meeting.”

Although the forecast looks clear, in the event of rain, the tournament will be moved to Monday.

Bergman photo

Patricia LeBaron Bergman

Patricia LeBaron Bergman, 79, passed away Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in her home in Sugar Grove, where she lived since 1991.

She was born Dec. 14, 1934, in Waukegan, Ill., the daughter of the late Patricia Helene (Lingus) and Alexander Gross.

She lived in Waukegan until June 10, 1956, when she married Robert Scribner Bergman and moved to Palo Alto, Calif., until 1961, when the couple relocated to Aurora.

Patricia graduated as a registered nurse from Saint Luke’s Hospital in Chicago and worked in nursing. She enjoyed design and mechanics and took a position drafting at Arrow Welding and was a purchasing agent. She later became COO at Lektro-Vend in Aurora.

Her family cheered her 2008 graduation (magna cum laude) as she received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University.

Always exceedingly generous with her talents to her political causes and many charitable causes, she worked for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and as chair for SLC Illinois for AARP. She volunteered for the Visiting Nurses Association in Aurora. She also served on the Consumer Relations Board of Ford Motor Company.

Her love for the north woods of Wisconsin grew from the many summers she spent in Hazlehurst, Wis., in her youth, and later at her family cabin near Minocqua, Wis. She especially enjoyed cross country skiing in the winters. She competed in the American Birkebeiner five times, and in cross country ski races in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy.

Patricia enjoyed her role as grandmother, indulging her grandchildren with fun-filled trips to Chicago and across the globe to Disneyland, Disneyworld, Colorado, Washington, D.C., New Zealand and Africa

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Robert S. Bergman; son, David C. Bergman and his wife, Amy, children, Wyatt and Hannah, and her children, Keaton and Ariella, of Duluth, Ga.; daughter, Lynne Bergman Potter and her husband, Jeffrey; their children, Mallory and Matthew; son, Joseph R. Bergman, and his wife, Lisa, and their children, Michael and Daniel; sisters, Joyce Johnson, Rosemary LeBaron, Diane Shaughnessy, Barbara Flynn and Pamela “Suzy” LeBaron; and brother, Richard LeBaron.

In addition to her parents, Patricia was preceded in death by her brother, Michael LeBaron.

A memorial service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1, at The Healy Chapel, 370 Division Drive, Sugar Grove, with Rev. Gary McCann officiating. The family will greet friends from 10 a.m. until the start of the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to USO, Department WS, P.O. Box 96860, Washington, D.C. 20090 are appreciated.

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

Editorial: Celebrate with some Class in a Glass

Declining temperatures notwithstanding, October is typically an excellent month for local weekend activities and fundraisers. So if you’re looking for something fun to do on Saturday, Oct. 11, consider “classing” things up with a trip to the inaugural Class in a Glass wine-tasting event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St. The event is presented by the Community Center and Elburn Liquors.

During the event, you’ll have an opportunity to relax, learn about wines, sample food on hand, and place orders that will be ready for Halloween.

Tickets to the event are $20 each, and available at the door. Tickets are also available at Elburn Liquors, 319 S. Main St.; the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St.; and the Elburn Herald office, 525 N. Main St.

You must be 21 years of age and have your ticket present to enter the Class in a Glass event.

Fall might’ve just arrived, but with colder temperatures on the horizon, now is certainly the time to get out and enjoy local events and fundraisers while you can still go outdoors without donning a parka. Get some friends together and put some additional class in your Saturday afternoon. It’s bound to be a great event.

Letter: Vote against Fire District disconnection referendum

I’m writing this letter to ask for your support to vote against the referendum to disconnect from the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District.

We have a dedicated, highly-trained Fire Department that has been servicing our area for 133 years. Our personnel and the Board of Trustees have worked hard to make sure we have the best equipment available to service our residents. As of Oct. 1, we have three stations and are building a new station No. 1 to better serve our district.

The most important thing is, we have no debt. We don’t buy or build anything unless we have the money in the bank. Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District is well over $4 million in debt. You should not assume that you will continue to enjoy lower taxes for long by transferring to their Fire District. In fact, by disconnecting from Elburn, you are agreeing to take on your proportionate share of that debt, as stated in the question on the ballot.

The trustees and the chiefs work very hard to keep our tax rate level, and are always working to get them down. With the equalized assessed valuation going down the last few years, this is very difficult to achieve, but we will continue to work hard to remain fiscally responsible with the tax dollars our taxpayers have entrusted to us.

Thank you for supporting the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District over the years. We appreciate it very much, and it is our hope that you will continue to do so in the future.

Vote against the referendum to disconnect.

Thomas Reynolds
President, Elburn and Countryside
Fire Protection District Board of Trustees

Letter: Just say no to disconnection referendum

There will be a referendum question on the Nov. 4 ballot about whether to disconnect and transfer territory from the Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District to the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District. I felt it was critically important for effected residents to really understand the issue. What I found out alarmed me, so I felt it important to share my thoughts and urge you to vote against this referendum.

Elburn & Countryside Fire Protection District has served our area for 133 years. Fox River has been in existence for three years. Elburn carries no debt; Fox River carries well over four million dollars in debt. While Fox River would have you believe they are well-trained professional firefighters and EMTs, I am very concerned with the fact they are private sector employees in a for-profit environment. They also charge additional fees per call. With the kind of debt this department is carrying, how long will it be before they either close their doors or ask for more money from the taxpayers?

I also discovered that they don’t have even close to the level of equipment that Elburn possesses. Elburn’s engines are certified as paramedic engines and carry large amounts of water. Fox River’s are not certified as paramedic engines. Fox River’s water tenders are not standard. Elburn is also equipped with heavy rescue equipment and a hazmat trailer. Fox River has none of this. The EMT-Bs in Elburn have expanded scope training and can perform advanced functions.

This is not an apples-to-apples comparison; this is the critical point. You are being asked to take your home and family out of the hands of a qualified professional fire department and put them in the hands of what is truly an unqualified department. As a 30-years-plus member of the fire service, I have been blessed to have worked and trained with firefighters all over the country, and I can tell you that the members and officers of the ECFPD are a dedicated, hardworking group that bring their heart and soul to the job with them. This is not just a job for them—it is their passion to take care of their neighbors. I am proud to work with these men and women.

It is not in the best interest of the residents of any area to disconnect from a debt-free, well-trained and well-equipped fire district, and assume the debt and lower level of service of a three-year-old fire district. I urge you to vote against the referendum to disconnect.

Tim Lyons
Lieutenant, Batavia Fire Department


Kindness Campaign celebrates one-year anniversary

Photo: Renee Dee and Kaneland parent Sarah Ziemba at the Kindness in Kaneland booth Friday. Photo submitted by Renee Dee to LLogan@elburnherald.com

KANELAND—What started as groups organized to combat bullying has turned into a collaboration within the Kaneland School District and community known as the Kindness Campaign. And its organizers are celebrating the campaign’s first anniversary this month.

Rather than create an anti-bullying campaign, Kindness Campaign co-organizer Renee Dee said it’s more of a reminder to make good choices each day.

“It’s better to send a positive message,” Dee said. “People have started to embrace the message, and hopefully, it’s making some kind of change.”

While most of the Kaneland community is involved in some way, Dee and Leigh Ann Reusche were the impetus behind the movement.

Dee said the true purpose of the campaign is to assist with the social emotional issues of not only the School District’s students, but also the parents.

“No other organization is doing that in the Kaneland area,” Dee said.

KHS Assistant Principal Mike Rice agreed that it’s good to get the message out to remind people how important the little things are and the positive impact they can have on others.

“I wouldn’t say we never have trouble here (with bullying), but we have policies to work with students to get to the core of the problem,” Rice said.

Rather than just punish students for bad behavior, Rice said school administrators prefer to work with students to make positive behavioral modifications.

“We try to talk about with them about how their actions impact other people,” Rice said.

Along with assisting students one-on-one as needs arise, the district provides speakers. Dee has helped find speakers who can make a positive impact.

“I find resources and speakers, and act as a funnel to bring resources in to discuss things like Internet safety, healthy friendships, that kind of stuff,” Dee said.

For example, Jeff Dean, a policeman who specializes in Internet and personal safety, has spoken with students several times over the past year.

“A lot of issues are technology-related, and that brings bullying to a whole new level,” Dee said. “Jeff helps parents understand how to manage kids’ daily phone usage, raises awareness and teaches about having difficult conversations.”

Another speaker is Amy Logan, author of the book “A Girl with a Cape: The True Story About the Superhero in All of Us,” seeks to empower girls to be super.

Dee said organizers have worked with the Lions Clubs, and the Sugar Grove Library is sponsoring a writing contest during October. The event will focus on healthy friendships and being a good friend.

The most recent Kindness Campaign kicked off with a happy dance at the Sugar Grove Corn Boil last July, Dee said.

October is national bullying correction month, providing the perfect time for the start of the new campaign to raise awareness. Dee said Harter Middle School has a new program, “Project KC.”

“Last year’s theme was ‘be nice, be happy.’ This year’s theme is ‘be kind,’ and next year’s theme will be ‘be good to each other,’” Dee said.

Rice said the campaign has just gotten underway for the year with appearances at volleyball and football games last week. Various groups wore lime green in support of the campaign, and the volleyball team members presented their opponents with gift bags. The pom pon squad entertained with a special performance.

Rice said Kaneland administration and staff support the campaign, but it’s really on the student organizations to make things happen.

“It’s kind of on them to take it over, and it has gained momentum,” Rice said. “It’s nice to celebrate the good things.”

“All of these kids are good, nice kids; they just need to be reminded,” Dee said.

She said it’s important to remind kids to focus on following their own heart and their own inner voice, not the crowd.

“This campaign belongs to the community,” Dee said. “And it has taken on a life of its own. “It’s nothing we could have imagined when we started it.”


Local farm features pumpkins, corn maze, decorations

SUGAR GROVE—John Nichols is transforming his family’s century-old dairy barn into a new fall destination for families, surrounded by fields of pumpkins and a recently completed corn maze.

The Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm, located at the corner of Route 47 and Merrill Road in Sugar Grove, is a down-home affair on a working grain farm. Many of the pumpkin patch employees are Nichols’ relatives, and his cousin, aunt and uncle are all helping out through the busy fall season.

“It’s a really good family experience,” said Eli Puffenbarger, Nichols’ cousin and a farm employee. “There’s kids running around, and a lot of families come here because there’s no entry fee. There’s lots of things for kids to do, and we have people of all ages coming to enjoy the sights.”

In addition to the pumpkins, the farm features a corn maze, a picnic area, play areas for children, and a variety of harvest items for sale inside the barn. If customers arrive when no one’s around, there’s a pay wagon where customers can pay for their pumpkins using the honor system.

Eli Puffenbarger of Maple Park shows off an oversized pumpkin, which can be found at the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm on the corner of Route 47 and Merrill Road. Puffenbarger is the cousin of SG Pumpkin Farm owner John Nichols. 						            Photo by Lynn Logan
Eli Puffenbarger of Maple Park shows off an oversized pumpkin, which can be found at the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm on the corner of Route 47 and Merrill Road. Puffenbarger is the cousin of SG Pumpkin Farm owner John Nichols. Photo by Lynn Logan

“You just put your cash in the box if no one’s there,” said Pete Filipos, Nichols’ uncle and a farm employee. “That’s not something you see very much anymore. You may see a little pumpkin patch here and there on the side of the road, but that’s how John got his start. He was the guy on the side of the road.”

Though the Nichols family has been farming the same plot of land since the 1940s, John is in his early 20s and is one of the youngest farmers in the area. He took over the farm five years ago, when his parents, Phil and Sara Nichols, and his younger siblings moved to Tanzania to become missionaries and run an orphanage.

As a teenager, he set up a farmstand to sell sweet corn along Route 47, and his interest in retailing produce has grown from there.

“John started selling sweet corn when he was a young boy, when his dad was running the farm,” Filipos said. “It was a little extra money for him to make, and he got the idea for doing more retail sales from that. It started with sweet corn, then tomatoes, squash, zucchini and stuff like that. Then he decided to try pumpkins and see what happened, and it’s doing great.”

When John took over the grain farm, in addition to growing the corn, soybeans and wheat that are the farm’s main source of income, he began growing a small patch of pumpkins and selling them wholesale to other retailers. Three years ago, he decided to start offering them retail and opened up a harvest store in his dairy barn.

Nichols spends most of each day out in the fields, and Filipos describes him as ambitious.

“John’s industrious. He’s a hard worker. He’s a smart man, and he’s ambitious,” Filipos said. “I think that shows with what he’s trying to do.”

The antique dairy barn was expanded in the 1950s to add more space. And more recently, the family removed its hayloft and gave it a fresh sandblasting, which gives it an airy feel. Inside, the farm sells several varieties of pumpkins, including giant pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, Cinderella pumpkins and green-and-whites, as well as gourds, bales of straw, corn stalks, Indian corn, popcorn, vegetables grown on the farm, and Halloween decorations and craft items.

This self-serve, honor-system wagon is stocked with a variety of pumpkins and gourds located off Route 47 on Merrill Road. The arrow points to the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm where guests can shop at the farmstand. Photo by Lynn Logan
This self-serve, honor-system wagon is stocked with a variety of pumpkins and gourds located off Route 47 on Merrill Road. The arrow points to the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm where guests can shop at the farmstand.
Photo by Lynn Logan

“We basically have everything to make a wonderful display outside your house,” Puffenbarger said.

There are a few other area vendors selling goods inside the barn, including Burgin’s Meat of Maple Park, which will sell locally raised meat products there each weekend in October, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Burgin and Nichols families are old friends, Filipos said, and have worked together on farming projects in the past. Now that the Sugar Grove Farmer’s Market has closed for the season, the Burgin stand will move over to the pumpkin farm.

“We have a line of customers who are waiting out there in the morning for him to arrive and sell meat out of his truck,” Filipos said. “We’ve had so many customers who’ve asked if we were going to have more vendors or offer more things, and this is one of the new things that we are offering this year.”

Though not as well-known as other local harvest destinations, the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm has been seeing about 1,000 visitors a week throughout September, and Filipos expects that it will be even busier as Halloween approaches

The goal, Filipos said, is to develop the Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm into one of the area’s largest.

“Every year, it’s just getting a little bigger and bigger. Business is good. The early season, people aren’t quite in the fall mood yet. But as the weather starts to cool and we get closer to Halloween, business is brisk,” Filipos said.

The Sugar Grove Pumpkin Farm is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., though outside vendors are only there on weekends. Pumpkins can be purchased on the honor system between sunrise and sunset.

Bakery Truck front

Bakery truck to make Elburn Car Show appearance

ELBURN—Red (Charles) Singleton of Elgin, Ill., plans to feature his antique bakery truck, which he purchased in Elburn, in the Elburn Car Show this Sunday at Lions Park, 500 Filmore St.

Singleton was introduced to the vehicle, a Helms Bakery truck, when he saw it for sale on the corner of Route 38 and Route 47 in 1986.

“I first saw the bakery truck with a telephone number from a guy named Shuck,” Singleton said. “I believed he lived a couple of blocks east of the old (Elburn) school. This truck was used for a house-to-house delivery bakery truck. It was a Helms Bakery truck. Helms Bakery was a prominent bakery in California, and they used trucks like mine in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s.”

When Singleton went to buy the bakery delivery truck, it was behind the old Elburn High School building (now the Elburn and Countryside Community Center) on Route 47 in Elburn. The truck had been vandalized and wasn’t running at the time of purchase.

“I paid $2,500 for it, and they were asking $4,500,” Singleton said. “Today, it’s worth $40,000 to $50,000.”

After purchasing the truck, Singleton completely restored it back to running condition, along with a new coat of paint and new lettering. Singleton’s bakery truck is a 1933 model, and boasts a Hercules four-cylinder engine with a clutch and break combination, along with an aluminum body and hydraulic brakes. It was made by a bus company called Twin Coach, according to Singleton.

Helms Bakery’s motto was “Daily at Your Door,” Singleton said. The truck was used for daily deliveries on residential roads, and the delivery man would use an air whistle to alert the customer that they were outside of their home with their order. Singleton’s truck also has an air whistle, and is now one of only four or five Helms Bakery Trucks still in existence, according to Singleton.

The Elburn Lions’ 21st annual Fall Classic All Wheel Show will take place Sunday, Oct. 5, at Elburn Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn.


‘Purple Store’ collecting funds, goods for Hughes

KANEVILLE—Hill’s Country Store, aka the “Purple Store,” in Kaneville, is currently collecting funds and goods for Beverly Holmes Hughes and her family.

Hughes was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, last summer.

Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill knows Beverly personally and wants to help her and her family during this time.

Hughes is the sole financial support for seven people in her home: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

“I knew Beverly a long time ago,” Hill said. “I want to try and help her out and bring her a meal. I hope that people give from their heart. You never know when you’ll be in that situation.”

The donation box at Hill’s Country Store is an ongoing collection where people can donate a monetary gift in any amount, along with gas cards and gift cards. Hill also hopes to soon receive information about coordinating meals for Beverly and her family.

Photo by Lynn Logan

School Board approves teacher salary increase

KANELAND—The Kaneland Education Association (KEA) and Board of Education have reached an agreement to increase teacher salaries for the 2014-15 school year.

All Kaneland School Board members on Monday agreed to the salary increase, with the exception of Tony Valente.

Valente later spoke further regarding his “no” vote.

“I think there are teachers that deserve a raise and deserve to get paid what they’re worth, which is a lot,” Valente said. “The issue that I have is it’s hard to explain an additional million dollars almost to the levy next year. So we’re going to be looking at paying down our funds in our reserves. And we’re going to have issues with (the) levy if EAVs (equalized assessed value) continue to stay where their at.”

Valente said that there is no plan to pay for the increase.

“We have to have a plan,” he said. “That plan is not presented. And I think the plan is just to raise the tax levy. And I’m not for that.”

The agreement between the School Board and KEA ensures that teachers will receive a salary increase of 3.99 percent. Both sides negotiated using interest-based bargaining to work out salaries for year three of the current teacher contract period, which will conclude on June 30, 2015.

The negotiations had been in effect since December 2013.

School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said that in the last five years, Kaneland teachers have taken two salary freezes. The average salary increase during those five years was 2.6 percent.

Krauspe also confirmed that the current salaries are not competitive with other area schools.

“In terms of our beginning salary, our beginning teaching salary is ranking still near the bottom of our comparative districts,” Krauspe said. “And not just those to the east of us, but also some to the west of us. And that does concern us. We don’t want to lose our teachers.”

Krauspe spoke about there being an investment in the Kaneland staff.

“We value our staff,” Krauspe said. “And we don’t want it to be a training ground for people. Similarly, we talk about the superintendent. We don’t want our teachers to come and go through professional development and mentoring and become part of Kaneland and then not feel that they are compensated appropriately.”

The district’s Education Fund currently has a projected deficit of $2.7 million. However, Krauspe noted that the district has had four years of positive fund balance growth.

She compared Kaneland’s negotiations to those that other school districts have had.

“As in most negotiations, neither side feels that they have wanted or asked for,” Krauspe said. “Do I think it’s reasonable? I do believe that this community values its educators and wants them to remain rather than fleeing.”

KEA President Lori Shroka spoke during public comment at the meeting.

“As we move forward as a district, I want you to know that KEA is committed to fostering a strong partnership with the community, the administration and the School Board to ensure the best possible education and experiences for your children,” Shoka said.

Community can weigh in on superintendent search

KANELAND—The Kaneland community today will have an opportunity to weigh in on the qualities it wants to see in the next district superintendent of schools.

The educational search firm BWP & Associates will host focus groups consisting of stakeholders within the Kaneland School District.

“We value the voices of all of our stakeholders,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said. “About three-fifths of the adults that live in the Kaneland community don’t have kids in the school, so it’s important that we hear their voice, as well.”

According to Dr. Mark Friedman, president of BWP & Associates, the information gathered from the Kaneland stakeholders will help BWP form a superintendent profile for the next superintendent of schools. The profile is meant to identify characteristics the public wants to see in the superintendent.

“It’s going to be talking points,” Friedman said. “It’s going to be us listening to all these different subgroups that make up the Kaneland school community and the greater community, such as people who aren’t effectively in the schools but have an interest.”

There will be four search firm consultants on hand to conduct interviews of small groups. Kaneland School Board members will have the chance to be interviewed one-on-one to get their feedback.

Those who cannot attend the focus groups can visit web.kaneland.org beginning Friday, Oct. 3, to fill out a quick survey. The deadline to fill out the survey is Friday, Oct. 17.

All of the feedback from the face-to-face dialogues and online surveys will help BWP & Associates figure out the makeup of the superintendent profile.

“It’s not a checklist,” Friedman said. “So, it’s not like a laundry list (where) you can say, ‘Candidate A, OK, here’s the profile. Everything on the profile.’ It’s not quite like that. It’s a bigger picture.”

Friedman provided an example of someone meeting the profile, yet who lacked chemistry during their interview.

“That would be foolish if the board chose somebody just because they were the profile match but they weren’t the chemistry match,” Friedman said. “So you have to bring all of those pieces together. That chemistry is very important.”

Today’s focus group schedule is as follows:
• 2 p.m. Kaneland District Office—Kaneland High School students, Kaneland Education Association leadership and School Board member
• 3:15 p.m. Kaneland Harter Middle School— Harter Middle School, Kaneland High School teachers, middle school and high school support staff, and School Board member
• 4:15 p.m. Harter Middle School—elementary teachers, elementary support staff and School Board member
• 7:15 p.m. Harter Middle School—open forum for all, including parents, CAC, FAC, FPC, PTO’s, Kaneland Foundation and taxpayers
The next Kaneland superintendent could potentially be announced at the rescheduled School Board meeting on Monday, Dec. 15.

Blackberry Creek Run for Fund-1-4

Photos: Fun and fundraising

Kaneland John Shields and Blackberry Creek elementary students last week participated in a Run for Fund to help raise money for their respective school. All grade levels ran and/or walked outside to get in on the fundraising and the fun. John Shields Elementary fourth-graders (below) participated in the Run for Fund on Sept. 25. Blackberry Creek Elementary did its run on Sept. 26, with two kindergarten pals (above, right) showing that the event was also a great time for friendship.
John Shields Run for Fund-1-4

Elburn welcomes Station No. 3

The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District on Wednesday opened it’s Fire Station No. 3 in Lily Lake. The station is functional 24 hours a day and features an advanced life support (ALS) engine, which means the station is equipped to handle both fire emergencies and medical needs. According to the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District, the presence of Fire Station No. 3 will reduce rescue response times to Campton Hills, Lily Lake, Virgil, Wasco, The Windings and the northern portion of the district.


Keep on moving

Photo: A group of local ladies have exercised together at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center three times a week for over a dozen years. Their workouts include light dumbbell work, as well as exercises done with toner bands and dowel rods. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Group has exercised at Community Center for more than 12 years
ELBURN—With a firm belief that it’s important to keep moving, a group of ladies has been meeting at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center three times a week for more than a dozen years to exercise together.

One of the women, Helen Palello, 84, said that when the group was first formed, they had a leader, Betty Holcomb, who led them through the exercises. She worked through Central DuPage Hospital, which donated toner bands and dowel rods to the group. When Holcomb left to take a full-time job, she made cassette tapes for the women to follow.

With one of the dozen or so tapes playing on a boom box, the women stretch, lift weights and lift dowels over their heads, and use them to bend sideways. They use chairs for some of the exercises, and the women set up the room themselves and put it back when they’re done.

“We vary the tapes,” group member Helen Gossman said. “It’s never dull.”

Rich DeCarlo, facility manager and physical therapist for Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers in Elburn, recently came to observe one of the group’s classes, and donated a set of new toner bands to the group.

Pallelo said that the group exercise is not competitive, and there is no one there to judge or to criticize.

“As long as we are moving, that’s the important thing,” Gossman said.

Palello said she believes the exercise has kept her healthy. She said she has more energy, she’s more limber and is better able to do things. She’s able to maintain her own home, and she sleeps better.

“Plus, there’s the social aspect of it, she said. “We’re a very congenial group.”

“I find that we’re getting as much out of sharing with each other as we do from the exercise,” Gossman said.

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