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Knights baseball makes diamond rough

Photo: Senior Curtis Thorson pitching for the Knights at the Pack the Park Special Event. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—On Thursday, Kaneland went to the Northern Illinois Big XII well once again for a trip to Morris, but lost 4-1. On Saturday, KHS hosted non-conference rival St. Charles East in Maple Park and lost 4-2.

Kaneland also traveled to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark for its Senior Night in Geneva, and faced Batavia only to lose 10-1. On Tuesday at Cary-Grove High School, the Knights earned a 6-4 win behind junior Nick Stratman’s five-inning effort and Anthony Holubecki’s four strikeouts in relief.

Kaneland sits at 15-14, with a 9-6 record in NIB-12 play, and just one regular season challenge left.

Facing the Redskins, Jacob Bachio went 1-for-2 with a run scored, while sophomore Holubecki was belted with the loss despite six strikeouts.

Against the Saints, Danny Hammermeister had an RBI groundout, and Stratman belted a solo homer in the seventh inning. Colton Fellows was tagged with the loss.

Sean Dunphy went 1-for-2 with an RBI against the Bulldogs, as Nick Henne suffered the loss on the mound.

The honorees before the varsity contest at the home of the Kane County Cougars were Harter Middle School student Drew Hahn, son of Geneva baseball coach Matt Hahn, and dealing with Anaplastic Large-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Phil Kassinger—father of Knight baseball player Kevin Kassinger—who is battling Stage 4 lung cancer; and KHS softball coach Brian Willis, battling colon cancer. All proceeds collected were donated to the families.

Tuesday saw Stratman also score two runs and go 2-4 at the plate. Tyler Carlson was 2-4 with a run and an RBI while Hammermeister was 1-4 with a double, run scored and two RBI.

On Friday, the Knights travel to Aurora Central Catholic for the regular season ender.

Village Board approves senior living PUD agreement

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement for the future Senior Living Development that will be located on the north side of Galena Boulevard, just west of Division Drive.

Representatives from PIRHL development shared a follow-up presentation of the details and specifics of how the senior living development will proceed.

PIRHL’s presentation included the addition of trees on the north side of the building, tentative plans for a berm, among other significant details. Vinyl siding was removed from the architectural design after that particular siding raised concerns during the May 7 Village Board meeting.

Several residents from the Windsor Point community brought up additional concerns for the senior living development, including how a senior living development that also includes Section 8 housing could increase crime and decrease the value of the current homes located near the future property.

Todd Robie, a representative from PIRHL development, explained that this senior development will not have an overwhelming number of Section 8 housing. He said that there will only be up to 12 units out of the 60 total that will have Section 8 housing. That number will not increase over time.

“This is not increasingly Section 8, and there won’t be increased crime … ” Robie said. “It’s a portion of the development. The intent is to present a range of incomes within the community. There’s some folks with higher than average, average income, and less than average.”

James White, attorney at White & Ekker, P.C., further explained the trend that people will find about the average person living at the senior living development.

“They have an IRA or a 401k and also have a limited income,” White said. “They choose to take out little funds from those accounts. The trend will be older women between the age of 75 to 80. Some people are worried about the Section 8 housing that is included. It’s doesn’t carry the same statement it would somewhere else.”

White also explained that this type of senior living development has been done successfully throughout the country, and that they are fulfilling an inherit need in the community for seniors.

“It’s an opportunity for seniors to congregate and socialize,” White said. “There are a lot of amenities in the area, and they can go for a walk and take care of their business.”

Board supports Elburn coffeehouse facade upgrade

ELBURN—The new coffeehouse in town will soon get a face lift, thanks in part to a $5,000 facade grant from the village of Elburn.

Tony and Ann Cobb of Elburn, owners of The Corner Grind, on Monday presented their plan to revamp the front of their new venture at 2 S. Main St.

The Cobbs recently bought the building at the corner of Main Street and First Street and had planned to open the coffeehouse in May. However, when the temperatures plummeted to double digits below zero this past winter, the pipes in the empty apartment upstairs froze and broke, flooding the first floor.

Tony said the damage to the storefront was mostly cosmetic, but has taken a lot of time to repair. The water damage did not reach as far back as the kitchen, he said.

The Cobbs, who also own Riverside Banquets in Batavia, plan to have the commercial kitchen serve a dual purpose to expand Riverview’s catering business farther west, as well as to support the Elburn location.

In addition to a full menu of coffee and specialty coffee drinks, The Corner Grind will also serve a variety of baked goods, sandwiches and snacks. Due to local popular demand, the pair said they will also serve donuts.

Plans for the facade upgrade include replacing the two front doors with vintage-style wooden doors with windows. White and yellow lettering spelling out the name “Corner Grind” will provide a contrast for four black awnings made from a cloth similar to the other businesses on Main Street. Iron window box planters for flowers will be placed beneath the store window.

The Cobbs estimate that the total cost of the project will be between $10,000 and $15,000. The Village Board agreed on Monday to reimburse the Cobbs for a maximum of $5,000 toward the project. The vote to approve the Cobb’s grant application will take place at the next board meeting on Monday, June 2.

The village’s Facade Improvement Program has funding set aside to assist business owners with storefront improvements along Main Street in downtown Elburn. Village Board approval is required for a reimbursement of up to one-half of the cost of improvements up to a maximum of $5,000.

The Cobbs plan to open The Corner Grind on Aug. 1.

“We’re tickled pink that you’re here,” Village President Dave Anderson said to the Cobbs.

Friends donate $5,000 to library

The Friends of the Town & Country Public Library on May 15 donated $5,000 to the library for its Summer Reading program, “Paws to Read,” which will take place from June 2 to Aug. 8. The money was raised from the annual flower/plant sale, Spring Garden raffle and ongoing Book Nook sale. Joan Hansen, executive vice-president of Friends, presents the check to Kathy Semrick, Adult Circulation supervisor. Other Friends directors include Jack Shallberg (left to right), JoAnn Vanthournout, Friends President Lori Crimmins and Treasurer Bill Grabarek.
Courtesy Photo submitted by Joan Hansen to info@elburnherald.com


Eagle Scout project benefits local wildlife center

ELBURN—After volunteering at the Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Elburn, Joshua Yeggy, a Boy Scout of Elburn Troop 7, decided that he wanted his Eagle Scout Service Project to help beautify the garbage and waste disposal area at the Elburn Forest Preserve, where the center is located.

Yeggy will be a senior at Kaneland High School this fall, and has been involved with the Boy Scouts since he was a Tiger Cub in grade school.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to lead my fellow Scouts in creating this project,” Yeggy said. “This experience has greatly helped my leadership skills develop.”

Yeggy also felt that the Fox Valley Wildlife Center was very deserving of this project. Teresa Yeggy, Joshua’s mother, explained why her son felt passionate about choosing the center for his service project.

“Joshua had volunteered there in the past and felt they deserved something for all the work they do rehabilitating wildlife,” Teresa said. “They’ve rescued and helped many animals that would otherwise have no place to go.”

Josh had to accomplish a good amount of planning and organizing in order to make his service project a reality. He had to first identify the project, draft a proposal that had to be approved by the Boy Scout council, and conduct a fundraiser to cover all of the expenses, and coordinate the work at the construction site.

The Eagle Scout Service Project is meant to grow and develop the Scout’s leadership skills. Yeggy didn’t have experience designing different projects, but that wasn’t the point. He developed leadership skills that he otherwise wouldn’t have without completing his project.

As a part of Yeggy’s project, he was assigned an Eagle councilor and a technical advisor. The Eagle councilor helped him develop the leadership skills he needed, and advised him on how to stay on track with the project. The technical advisor instructed Yeggy on the specific steps he needed to know in order to design the dumpster corral and the design for the recycling part of it.

On the day they built the dumpster corral and the recycling section, Kane County Landscaping Material & Supply, Inc., donated a total of 3 tons of gravel at no charge, and Paisano’s Pizza and Grill in Elburn donated pizza for the entire crew.

“As Joshua’s mother, I really appreciate all of the work that Elburn Troop 7 does for the boys and the community,” Teresa. “Kane County Landscaping not only donated two tons of gravel, but they came through with an additional ton when it was needed at the last minute.

“Paisanos donated close to $100 in pizza for all the workers, which was no small feat. Thank you to all of the family, Troop, and community members that helped Joshua make this a successful project.”


Michels presents ‘new frontier’ with village address

Photo: Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels addressed attendees at “The New Frontier,” Sugar Grove State of the Village Address May 7 at Waubonsee Community College. Photo by Patti Wilk

SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels on May 7 gave his State of the Village Address, “The New Frontier,” at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.

According to Michels, the village of Sugar Grove recently annexed 900 acres of land north and south of I-88 with Crown Development. The land will be utilized for distribution, retail and as a highway corridor (on and off the highway).

“They will start planning for water, sewer and zoning,” Michels said. “Not many communities are annexing that amount of land.”

Michels also spoke about the new 60-unit senior living development that will be located off of Galena Boulevard and west of Division Drive. The living development will be available for seniors who are 55 years of age and older. The location will be in walking distance to Rush Copley Urgent Care, Walgreens and Cadence Health Office, which will be convenient for residents. PIRHL is the leading developer for the project.

Rent in the senior living development will be determined by an individual’s income and then priced accordingly.

The Cadence Health Office opened in February of this year and held its ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 1. The office, located at 414 Division Drive, provides both primary care and physical therapy. The office is experiencing growth in the amount of staff members it has on its team in order to accommodate residents and community members alike.

“Their office started with one part-time physical therapist, and now they have two full-time and one part-time physical therapist,” Michels said.

Michels noted that because Cadence and Northwestern are in talks of a merger, there might be an opportunity for the office to expand in the future.

In addition to the Cadence Health Office, CrossFit and Great Clips also opened up in Sugar Grove in 2014. CrossFit has experienced great success, according to Michels. The business started in a 2,000-square-foot facility, and recently moved into a 4,000-square-foot facility to accommodate its customers.

“CrossFit has a Facebook page where they post “WOD”—workouts of the day,” Michels said. “They provide an alternative to working out. They also have morning and night sessions.”

Two other notable projects for the year are centered on the new Ace Hardware that will be located on the south side of Jewel in Sugar Grove, and the new Dunkin’ Donuts that will be located north of Phillip’s 66, near Castle Bank in Sugar Grove.

The Ace Hardware, expected to open this summer, will feature a 12,000-square-foot area for the hardware store and a 4,000-square-foot space intended for pets and featuring premium pet food and supplies. Dunkin’ Donuts will also be a very welcomed addition to the community, Michels said.

“This Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t your typical Dunkin’ Donuts,” he said. “There’s only one other Dunkin Donuts with a similar floor plan, (and) that is located in Glenview (Ill.). There will be soft seating where people can enjoy bringing in their laptops to work. It’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing the architectural plan on that. They want to open before December.”

American Heartland Bank is also on the agenda for this year. The new bank will be located at Route 47 and Wheeler Road.

Michels during his village address mentioned that construction for the new roundabout at Dugan and Granart roads in Sugar Grove will begin this fall, and will hopefully be completed in the fall, as well.

As an ending note, Michels said that Sugar Grove is honored that Rich Harvest Farms, located on Dugan Road, will serve as host to the International Crown LPGA tournament in 2016. The tourney will feature teams from eight countries competing for the crown that will signify the world’s best golf nation. Each of the eight countries will be represented by four players.

Rich Harvest Farms and Sugar Grove previously hosted the LPGA’s Solheim Cup in 2009.

Kaneland approves new special education bussing

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted to move on with a new bus company for special education transportation for the upcoming school year.

Currently the Kaneland School District uses Spare Wheels Transportation. This coming school year the district will use the company Illinois Central School Bus on a one-year contract.

According to a report by Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for Business, the estimated annual cost for Illinois Central School Bus is $911,111.78.

“The costs for special education transportation have continued to increase incrementally over the past several years, and by putting the service out to bid, we are hopeful that the district will see some savings,” Fuchs wrote in the report.

Fuchs added that there could be an estimated savings of $200,000 for the next school year.

All board members voted yes on the new bussing system.

Kaneland parent Karol Peters is a Virgil resident. She expressed her concern about the bussing switch during public comment.

Peters’ daughter is a 15-year-old freshman and has special needs.

“I can’t get her out of the house to go to school,” Peters said.
However, Spare Wheels has been able to get Peters’ daughter to a private placement school site in Wheaton, Ill. She said her daughter has used that bus successfully for about 18 months.

“She’s been able to get to school everyday,” Peters said.

Peters spoke further about the possibility of a bus change.

“I know this is a huge issue and not to be taken lightly,” she said.

Judy DeVoe, president of Spare Wheels Transportation, stood up during the meeting to share the company’s view relating to bidding.

“We went as low as we could on the bid,” DeVoe said.

The School District had a total of three vendors who submitted bids, including Illinois Central School Bus, First Student and Spare Wheels.

Fuchs’ report noted that the estimated total cost for First Student was $1,059,028.08. The estimated cost for Spare Wheels was $1,048,168.

After the meeting, Peters shared how the current bus system has been able to go inside her home and motivate her daughter to get on the bus.

“It’s music, playing games, just having an upbeat attitude, making it a positive experience,” Peters said. “Giving her the safety of being able to leave the home and go into an environment that she feels like she can have fun.”

Peters plans to talk with representatives of the new contracted bussing company.

“It sounds like we’re going to sit down and have a meeting,” Peters said. “And we’ll discuss what her needs are and if they’re able to address those and meet those.”

Fuchs explained what made Illinois Central School Bus a responsible choice for the district.

“This company offers the best price with a reputation that does not prohibit us from selecting them,” Fuchs said. “We verified their references and found them to be an acceptable vendor in which to work with.”


Library’s plant sale most successful to date

The 11th annual Elburn Town and Country Public Library’s Plant Fundraiser was held Mothers Day weekend May 9-10. The fundraiser helps fund the youth reading programs. Aiden Goecker (right), 5, of Elburn, helps his mother pick out flowers. Joan Hanson (below, left) helps visitors select plants. Photos by Lynn Logan

Funds go to support Summer Reading program
ELBURN—The Elburn Town and Country Public Library’s annual plant sale is Library Friend Joan Hansen’s favorite fundraiser.

“Everybody loves flowers,” she said. “And since (the fundraiser is) always on Mother’s Day weekend, people either buy them for their mothers or for themselves.”

The Friends’ latest plant sale took place last weekend. Hansen, who has coordinated the spring plant sale for the past 11 years, said this was the first year that people had the opportunity to pre-order on the website.

“We’re trying to keep up with the technology,” she said.
According to Hansen, the library sold 1,449 plants this year, more than they’ve sold in any previous year. Last year was the next highest number of plants sold, at 102 dozen, compared to the more than 120 dozen this year.

Although the fundraiser has been taking place for a number of years, Hansen thinks the combination of the publicity and word of mouth has helped to increase community awareness. She said the cold winter might have had something to do with it, as well.

In addition to the sale of geraniums, Gerbera daisies, begonias and more, people also had the chance to win one of three donated prizes when they purchased raffle tickets.

Prizes included a large garden bucket, filled with gardening related items, a quilt made by librarian Liz Graves, and window art by local artist Val Pieroni.

The Library Friends purchased the plants from G&E Greenhouse, a wholesale plant business located on Route 38 in Elburn. Hansen said that in addition to G&E’s tradition of quality product, she likes the idea of supporting the local businesses.

The more than $2,000 net proceeds from the sale and the $2,500 from the raffle will go to support the library’s Summer Reading program for children, youth and adults. The money will be used to purchase incentives and prizes, as well as for the end-of-summer event to acknowledge the participants.

The theme for this year’s program, which begins June 2 and runs for eight weeks, is Paws to Read. There will be books about animals, as well as prizes related to animals.

Hansen said that typically about 1,000 children and 400 adults participate in the Summer Reading program.


Play on at McNair Field

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Mya McIntire’s team, the Blue Sox, played their first game of the season at McNair Field on Sunday, thanks to the efforts of Blackberry Township to renew the lease on the field.

Mya and her father, Steve McIntire, vice president of the Elburn Youth Baseball and Softball League (EYBSL), and other league representatives attended Tuesday’s township meeting to thank township trustees for their support of the league.

The previous lease, negotiated 10 years ago between Blackberry Township and the landowner Transmission Relay Corporation, had granted local athletic leagues the use of five of the corporation’s 20 acres south and east of the intersection of Bateman and Rowe roads in exchange for a fee of $1 a year. According to township officials, the checks were never cashed.

Elburn Youth Baseball volunteers during the past 10 years had made a number of improvements to the property. Last year, they had begun the process of expanding the field’s parking lot when they received a call telling them to hold off on the expansion. It was then that the baseball organization members realized the lease had expired on April 30, 2013.

Since November of last year, township trustees have been attempting to renegotiate the lease with TRC so that the youth organization could continue using the field. The meetings were cordial, and according to Township Road Commissioner Rod Feece, landowner Lynn Limanowski was receptive to the baseball organization continuing to use the field. However, he said she was not open to the property being used for football activities.

Township Commissioner Jim Michels said they were finally able to come to terms on a one-year lease, which will expire at the end of November 2014. The agreement allows for baseball and softball, but not football, and requires the township to pay $2,600 for the use of the field for this year, which includes attorney’s fees.

Michels said that the township will begin negotiations this summer for future use of the field.


Elburn Fire District celebrates groundbreaking for new station

The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District on Monday afternoon held the groundbreaking ceremony for its new fire station, located at the northeast corner of Route 38 and First Street in Elburn. Those wielding shovels include FGM Architects of Oak Brook Jason Estes (left to right), Assistant Fire Chief Tate Haley, Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan and Board of Trustees President Thomas Reynolds. Photo by Lynn Logan

ELBURN—Kelly Callaghan, chief of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District, presided over a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the district’s new station, which will be built north of Route 38 and east of First Street in Elburn. Callaghan said the new station will open in August 2015.

The three-story building will be 41,930 square feet, more than twice as large as the current building on North Street. Fire officials have said the cost of the station is estimated to be between $8 million and $10 million. The cost will be fully funded by the department without any additional taxes, as the department has anticipated the need for the new station for some time.

The North Street station will be sold, and the satellite station located at 39W950 Hughes Road, immediately outside the Mill Creek subdivision, will remain at that location.

Elburn Assistant Fire Chief Tate Haley said that the construction fence for the new building will go up next week.

Haley said the first floor will house the administration, and will also serve as a “museum” where artifacts and photos of the history of the 133-year-old district will be on display for the public to view.

The basement will include a training and meeting room that will be available to the public for its use, if necessary, as well as a fitness room.
All operations, including the ambulance station, will be centralized at the new location, with everything under one roof.

The second floor will be the residence area, with a kitchen and bunks for firefighters on duty. The department currently has six full-time firefighters during the day at Station 1 on North Street. Although there are no current plans to add people, the residence area will have the potential to house up to 15 firefighters.

Barring any unforeseen problems, the new station should have full occupancy by Sept. 15, 2015, with an open house set for Fire Protection Week in October.

Haley said the new location is more centrally located, allowing the department to better serve the municipalities in the 75-square-mile district, which includes Virgil, Lily Lake, Wasco, Campton Hills and almost all of Mill Creek, in addition to the Elburn area.

Fire equipment and vehicles will exit out onto Route 38 and return on First Street.

Editorial: Honoring the veterans through the Healing Field

We ran a story last week detailing the upcoming Healing Field events that will take place at Kaneland High School over Memorial Day Weekend. We’d like to use this space to elaborate a little bit on next weekend’s Healing Field activities.

In the days leading up to Memorial Day Weekend, the field to the east of KHS will become a Healing Field, boasting over a thousand American flags sitting upon 8-foot-tall flagstaffs.

And that’s where the public comes in, as it will have an opportunity to sponsor a flag in the Healing Field. Individuals and businesses can purchase a single flag for $35. A small business sponsorship is five flags for $500. A corporate sponsorship is 10 flags for $1,000. All proceeds will go to local American Legions in Maple Park, Elburn and Sugar Grove.

The flags honor the veterans and military who have sacrificed their time and talents—and even their very lives—in defense of this country’s freedom. Also, each sponsored flag has a story and honors a hero who is identified by an attached name tag. And once the Healing Field display has concluded, the sponsored flags may be taken home and displayed as a continuing reminder of service to this nation.

Flag tagging will take place during the Healing Field opening ceremony on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. The Memorial Day ceremony will take place Monday, May 26, at noon.

The Healing Field itself will take place from Friday, May 23, to Tuesday, May 27.

This Memorial Day Weekend, consider becoming a sponsor for the greatest of causes. If you’re interested in sponsoring a Healing Field flag or helping with next weekend’s ceremonies, contact rudy.keller@kaneland.org or visit healingfield.org/kaneland14/. Remember, when it comes to honoring those who have served this country, every little contribution counts.


Softball ups and downs

Split week sees big cancer benefit
KANELAND—Kaneland softball continued its late-season stretch with some run explosions, and some community help on the side, as well.

Monday saw a trip to Ogle County and a 12-0 win in five innings over Rochelle. Saturday saw a twinbill split against the Naperville North Huskies, first losing 13-7, and coming back with a 10-7 win. Friday in Yorkville saw a 4-3 walkoff loss to the Foxes, while last Thursday had a 21-1 win over Rochelle to begin the season sweep.

In the Monday win over Rochelle, the Lady Knights (14-11, 5-3 Northern Illinois Big XII), KHS scored four in the second and five in the fourth to cinch matters. Against the DuPage Valley Conference rep Huskies, Courtney Davis got the loss in the first game, but Morgan Weber had two homers in her doubleheader time, and Lanie Callaghan also went yard.

On Friday, the Lady Knights fell behind 2-0 before coming back to take a 3-2 lead. Yorkville’s Rachael Owens tied the game with a sixth-inning homer, while Corrine Rowe ended the game in the seventh off losing pitcher Angie Morrow. Weber had two doubles, while Paige Kuefler also added a double.

Before the massive double-digit win over Rochelle, the Lady Knights and Hubs came together for their usual charity proceedings and their cancer awareness game. After collecting money all season for its “Change for Cancer” promotion throughout the 2014 season, a $200 check was provided to Dr. Perry Menini of Oncology at Cadence Cancer Center in Geneva. $200 was also donated to the family of Julia Pratte, a Kaneland softball player battling Ewing Sarcoma, as well as an additional $100 to the MadiStrong Foundation, benefiting the treatment of Madi Bettham, a Yorkville fourth-grader who’s battling cancer.

For KHS coach Brian Willis, going through his own colon cancer battle, the impact was certainly not lost.

“The day was awesome and emotional at the same time,” Willis said. “Being able to give back to others in need the same way people have given to me is an emotion that is hard to put in to words. I know the struggles people go through on a personal basis physically, emotionally, and financially during this process.”

Kaneland next heads to DeKalb on Thursday, May 15.


Rivals come together in Cougar-land

Photo: KHS softball coach Brian Willis, who is battling colon cancer, will be honored at Monday’s Pack the Park event at Fifth Third Bank Park in Geneva. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland-Batavia clash to benefit great causes
KANELAND—Area baseball teams aren’t only mindful of the postseason task ahead. They’re also willing and able to help out their fellow man.

“This annual tradition has given us an avenue to do something bigger than baseball and has allowed each of the programs involved to give back to the community,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said.

On Monday, May 19, at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, home of the Midwest League’s Kane County Cougars, Kaneland and Batavia will do battle for a Senior Night game that will benefit three honorees.

The honorees are Harter Middle School student Drew Hahn, son of Geneva baseball coach Matt Hahn, and dealing with Anaplastic Large-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Phil Kassinger, father of Knight baseball player Kevin Kassinger, who is battling Stage 4 lung cancer; and KHS softball coach Brian Willis, battling colon cancer.

“This year, we’ve found multiple needs in our community, and it is unfortunate that we can’t reach all the families that have been touched by this dreaded disease,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said.

Willis, who is scheduled for his last chemotherapy treatment the day of the game, is thankful of the proceedings.

“Thankfully I am almost done and hope I am cleared of any cancer cells left in my body,” Willis said. “Every day a new struggle starts or continues and that is who we fight for.”

Admission is $5 for adults and students, with kids under 6 able to be admitted for free. All proceeds collected will be donated to the honorees and their families.

The game is also slated to be broadcast on BATV, highschoolcube.com and the radio. Shirts will be available for purchase and multiple silent auctions will be going toward the benefit of the families, as well.

“This will be a very special night for the seniors, their parents, both baseball programs, and the people that we will be honoring,” Aversa said.

First pitch for the sophomore game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., while the varsity is slated to begin at 7 p.m. under the lights.

Visit khs.kaneland.org/content/pack-park for more details.


Not lonely near the top

Photo: Elle Tattoni had a big day in the throws, placing second in the shot put and third in discus at the NIB-12 Conference Championship in Dixon, Ill. Photo by Mary Paulson

Girls track takes second at conference
KANELAND—KHS girls track did about at as well as it could have, when the Yorkville adversary had a day like it had.

Kaneland’s 104.5 point total at the fourth-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet in Dixon, Ill., was second only to Yorkville’s 152.

Geneseo (70), Sycamore (52) and Sterling (50) rounded out the top five. DeKalb at 48, Dixon at 37 and LaSalle-Peru at 22.5 took the sixth through eighth spots, and Morris (20) and Ottawa (1) rounded out the scoring schools. Rochelle and Streator failed to register points.

“I was happy with their effort as usual,” KHS coach Doug Ecker said. “I thought we were the second-best team coming in and thats how it finished. The sprinters and throwers at the varsity level performed very well.”

Friday also marked the final NIB-12 girls track gathering to feature Dixon and Streator, with both schools vacating the conference at the end of the current school year.

In the 100m dash, the sprints held their own, with Lauren Zick taking second at 12.57, followed by Nicole Sreenan in third just .02 behind.

Sreenan became NIB-12 champ in the 200m dash with a time of 26.22, while Zick was overcome with a leg injury during the race and was unable to finish.

“From what I saw, Lauren was into the straight away after a fantastic curve and appeared to lose her balance because her legs were moving so fast and just fell down mid stride,” KHS assistant track coach Keith Snyder said. “She got X-rays Monday at Fox Valley Ortho, which showed no fracture, but that it is a high ankle sprain. She and our trainer have been diligent and aggressive in her rehab. She’ll go back to Fox Valley on Monday for a follow-up, and they’ll let her know whether they think she can run at State or not.”

Nothing fundamentally changes, according to Zick’s event coach.

“Luckily, we have more depth than we are accustomed to this season and are able to put in great runners into the relays for her,” Snyder said. “This group of girls is accustomed to success with and without her; we’re going to put together our best relays and see where that puts us. For these young girls, it’s an opportunity to go out and make a name for themselves just like Lauren did when she was an underclassman.”

Sreenan continued her productive evening by finishing second in the 400m dash at 58.53, ahead of teammate Allie Heinzer’s third and 1:01.37.

Hurdle happenings saw Kyla Goodine take sixth in the finals of the 100m at 17.26.

In the relay section, the foursome of Lexie Guerra, Heinzer, Sreeenan and Carly Elliott claimed the 4x100m event at 50.58. The 4x200m also won at 1:47.57, thanks to the efforts of Olivia Galor, Zick, Becca Richtman and Elliott. In the 4x400m, Kaneland’s Galor, Richtman, Sydney Strang and Heinzer took fourth at 4:10.24. The unit of Richtman, Aislinn Lodwig, Jessica Kucera and Strang managed a fourth at 10:03.82.

Field events also had a degree of success, with Maddie Keifer taking fourth in the high jump at 5 feet. Zick’s 17-07 in the long jump secured second place for Kaneland, while pole vault benefitted from Christina Delach’s win (10-6) and Guerra’s sixth place (8 feet).

Throwing competition saw Elle Tattoni take second in the shot put at 35-09.75, 3-9.75 behind YHS standout MacKenzie Lee, while Kaneland’s Brittany Kemp took sixth at 32-11. Tattoni also took a third in the discus at 105-02.

On Friday, May 16, the postseason charge begins for the Lady Knights roster at the Class 2A Freeport Sectional. KHS rivals also slated to appear in the 16-team event are Burlington Central, Dixon, Rochelle, Sterling and Sycamore.


May days going OK for baseball

Photo: Senior catcher Sean Dunphy (above) catches a pop-up foul in the first inning against Oswego Saturday. Photos by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—Dealing with some rivalries and non-conference foes this past week, the Knights were tripped up after a close win.

On Monday, Kaneland traveled to Morris and lost 6-3. Tuesday saw the Knights lose again to Morris 4-2.

On Saturday in Maple Park against the Southwest Prairie Conference’s Oswego Panthers, the Knights fell victim to an 8-7 edging. That game was preceded by a trip to Sycamore and a 2-1 win.

Kaneland baseball now sits at a steady 14-11 clip, with a 9-5 mark in the Northern Illinois Big XII.

Facing Morris Monday, it was Nate Hopkins suffering the loss against the Redskins. On Tuesday, Curtis Thorson took the loss, but had nine strikeouts. Hammermeister went 1-1 with two RBI, while Hopkins went 1-1 with a double.

Against the visiting Panthers on Saturday, Thorson was tagged with the loss in the extra eighth inning after surrendering a run in relief.

Kaneland scored two runs in its half of the sixth to go up 7-5 before an unfortunate rally in the top of the seventh sent the game to an extra frame.

For the Knights, Tyler Carlson went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a double, while teammate Austin Wheatley went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Both Danny Hammermeister and Jacob Bachio went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

Against the familiar black-and-gold adversaries last Thursday, KHS benefited from plating a run in the top of the seventh for the difference, thanks to a Joe Panico RBI. Sean Dunphy went 2-for-3 with a double. Nick Henne earned the win to improve to 4-0, thanks to retiring four batters. Nick Stahl earned his seventh save by stifling the final two hitters for Sycamore.

“Our staff has done a nice job of keeping us in games. We have to continue to get better defensively and offensively,” KHS coach Brian Aversa said. “We can hang with anyone in the state if we limit the errors and the extra outs that we give teams. ”

Kaneland treks to Morris for more NIB-12 action on Thursday. On Monday, May 19, Kaneland and Batavia celebrate Senior Night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, benefitting honorees whose families are battling cancer.

“I think we have a great community of former players and their families, and the connection to the community that we always make is a big draw,” Aversa said. “Plus I would like to think that Kaneland and Batavia are a couple of pretty good baseball programs, and we will both put on a good show with some good baseball. ”










Soccer holds steady

Photo: Senior captain Delaney Stryczek (13) defends the ball early in the first period against DeKalb Monday. Photo by Mary Paulson

KANELAND—Your Lady Knights soccer team, while enjoying a wildly successful 2014 regular season, has shown it can bounce back from what adversity it has faced to keep rolling along.

On Tuesday in Sycamore, the Lady Knights fell to the Lady Spartans 2-0. That was preceded by a physical 0-0 stalemate with visiting DeKalb on Monday. On Saturday, the Lady Knights fell victim to a 3-0 defeat to host St. Charles East for just the second loss of the year and ending their 13-match unbeaten streak. Last Thursday saw a 3-0 win over rival Yorkville, and May 7 had a 6-0 win at Hinckley-Big Rock.

KHS is now 13-3-2 on the season, and clinched at least a share of the Northern Illinois Big XII title at 7-1-2.

Against Sycamore, KHS suffered its first in-conference loss. Sycamore scored once in each half.

Facing the visiting Barbs, opportunities were far between in the first half of play, as sophomore keeper Emily Chapman was able to stop a free kick with roughly 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

Chapman was able to stop a scoring attempt with 35 minutes to go, and a Kaneland opportunity from Courtney Diddell curled away from the goal with traffic swallowing the ball near the box.

A rocket from Michelle Ortiz was stopped for the last good opportunity, while Chapman was able to ground a DeKalb attempt with two minutes left.

“Coach (Scott Parillo) pumped us up at halftime and got us to shoot more. I think we possessed the ball more in the second half,” Chapman said.

Being asked to do quite a bit in her first full year as starting keeper, Chapman feels there still remains a bit of work for her.

“I need to work on one-on-ones with other people. Those are kind of hard to stop,” Chapman said.

Assistant coach Kevin Bickley, who handled postgame for Parillo, knew the matchup with DeKalb would be challenging.

“It’s going to be a tough match,” Bickley said. “In past years, they were always the better team. I think we’re starting to catch them.”

Against the Saints of St. Charles East, Kaneland surrendered one goal in the first half and two in the second to experience defeat for the first time since the season opener in March to Normal West.

Facing Yorkville, Brittany Olson and Heather Ortiz found goals within 10 minutes of each other in the first half, while Holly Collingbourne iced it with 27:22 to go in the match.

In the rout of the Royals last week, Olson scored twice and Taylor Zitkus capped the first half for a 3-0 edge going into the break, while Heather Ortiz, Diddell and Paige Guyton found the net in the second half.

Ahead for the Lady Knights with the regular season concluded: filling a top-seed role in the Class 2A Rosary Regional against No. 4 Rochelle on Tuesday, May 20, at 4:30 p.m.


Solving Streamwood

Photo: Dylan Kuipers reacts after clearing 15-3.5 in the pole vault. Photo by Marshall Farthing

Knights battle through Kane Co. field for first
KANELAND—Judging by Friday evening’s Kane County Boys Track Meet held at Millennium Field in Streamwood, Ill., the Knights continued to put their stamp on this current Millennium.

The Knights, with 128 team points, were runaway winners, as Batavia’s 77 was the next closest team.

St. Charles East’s 68, West Aurora’s 67 and Burlington Central’s 67 rounded out the top five.

Geneva (60.5), St. Charles North (57), Marmion (43.5), Dundee-Crown (40) and South Elgin’s 35 completed the top 10 of the 15 point-grabbing schools.

Sprints saw a KHS presence, thanks to Dylan Nauert’s 23.30-second time and Isaac Swithers’ 24.38 effort for sixth and eighth, respectively, in the 200m dash finals.

In the 400m dash, Andrew Lesak was able to nab a sixth-place finish with a time of 52.15.

Austin Kintz was able to have a presence on distance with a 4:37.05 effort in the 1,600m run event, for eighth place.

Hurdles happenings had Nauert take second overall with a 15.27 time in the finals of the 110m challenge, followed closely by Brock Robertson’s 15.37 for fourth. Meanwhile, Robertson was able to take second at 40.54 in the 300m low hurdles, followed by Nauert’s third at 41.63.

Relay action saw the KHS group manage a second in the 4x100m event with a time of 43.67. KHS also achieved a third in the 4x200m tussle at 1:32.02.

The 4x400m foursome of Robertson, Brandon Bishop, Nathaniel Kucera, Kyle Carter were kings of their lane with a time of 3:23.47, while the 4x800m unit of Carter, Lesak, Luis Acosta and Kucera also won their race with a clip of 8:00.64.

Bishop knew the relay roster had it in them for a memorable night.

“In the 4×100, we were in lane 7 and kind of a low rank,” Bishop said. “For three of us, it’s our senior year and we just said, ‘let’s do something special.’”

Field events also saw their share of success with Dylan Kuipers dominating the pole vault festivities at 15 feet, 3.5 inches. Teammate Dan Evers took fifth at 13-06.

Knight Ben Barnes continued his positive trajectory by becoming county champ in the long jump by mastering a 22-9.25 try.

The triple jump saw Knight Dalvell Triplett earn sixth at 42-8.25, while Barnes was close behind at 42-05 for seventh.

Kaneland’s Nate Dyer became a double champ, first by acing the shot put at 55-02, and taking discus at 153-11.

Other KHS finishers in throwing events were Alex Snyder taking second at 51-9.5 in the shot, and Shane Jorgensen taking seventh in the discus in 134-07.

KHS coach Eric Baron had his standout highlights in Upstate Eight Conference territory.

“(I thought) the pole vault, not because (Kuipers) he won, but because 15-3.5 is a big PR. Barnes in long jump broke his own school record, and the biggest surprise was Snyder getting second in shot,” Baron said.

The way the Kane County meet lands on the schedule holds importance and strategy for Kaneland.

“The way our coaches approach the season and approach May, we know it’s the most important time of the year,” Bishop said.

Ahead for the Knights: a chance to host the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference meet on Friday, May 16, beginning at 3 p.m.


Supporting one of their own

Photo: Allen Swan said he’s grateful that though his cancer has ravaged his body, it hasn’t touched his mind. “I am quite fortunate in that my mind has stayed pretty good,” he said. “There might be 58 steps you gotta go through (to repair a vehicle), and I can still go over and do all 58 on the car.” Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale

Lions Club, community come together for longtime Elburn resident
ELBURN—Allen and Lynette Swan have a file folder in which to stash incoming medical bills, since they can no longer pay them.

Lynette estimates they have $20,000 in unpaid medical bills, and more arrive every day.
“It’s very expensive to be sick,” she said. “You don’t realize it.”

Allen, who owns Valley West Automotive in Elburn, was diagnosed with stage four cancer of the lungs, liver and pancreas in January. It’s been five months since his doctor gave him an estimated six months to live, and he wants just two things: to see his oldest grandson graduate from high school in a month, and to leave his wife something.

“He’s never really complained,” Lynette said. “It is what it is, and you do what you do. We’ve just gotten to the point where we put (the bills) in a folder, and we just worry about the essential bills.”

That file folder is why the Elburn Lions Club will host a fundraiser for Allen on May 18. The benefit will be held at Elburn Lions Park, 500 Filmore St., from noon to 5 p.m., and will feature a pork roast luncheon, draft beer, a silent auction and a live auction. The duo Drift Away will perform live music, including a variety of popular rock, oldies and country songs.

Auction items include a 40-inch television donated by Country Automotive, a three-piece wrought iron patio set donated by Valley West Sandblasting, Blackhawks tickets for next season, gift certificates to Ream’s Meat Market, and many more.

Ken Gilkey, who has known Allen all his life, is co-chairing the event. He decided to approach the Lions Club about hosting a benefit when he heard from his father, Lee, that the Swans were having trouble paying their bills.

“Every moment I have with her is very precious,” Allen said of his wife, Lynette. Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale
“Every moment I have with her is very precious,” Allen said of his wife, Lynette.
Photo by Cheryl Borrowdale

“He’s done so much for the community,” Gilkey said. “The Swan family has been in town his whole life, and he’s always been one to pitch in and help the community. I don’t know what we can do as far as the bills go, but the goal is to leave something for Lynette after he’s gone.”

Tickets are $25 each, and while the Lions Club will sell a limited number of tickets at the door, the group is asking the public to buy tickets by Wednesday, May 14.

“We hope that people will buy their tickets by (May) 14 so that we have an idea of how much meat to cook,” said Kevin Poust, owner of Valley West Sandblasting and one of the event’s organizers. “There will be some fudge room for people who walk in, but we wouldn’t be able to accommodate 100 extra people.”

Tickets are for sale at Dave’s Barbershop, 132 N. Main St., Elburn; Old Second Bank, 749 N. Main St., Elburn; Hill’s Country Store, better known as the “Purple Store,” at 2S133 Harter Road, Kaneville; or by calling Cindy at Elburn Lions Park at (630) 365-6315.

Gilkey urged residents to come out and support the family.

“It’s a time to come together to support Allen financially, but more importantly, it’s a chance to pay your respects to him while he’s still here,” Gilkey said. “He’s been a fixture in the community for many years.”

Allen lived in Kaneville as a boy, then moved to Elburn with his parents in 1951, when he was in fifth grade. He’s lived in Elburn ever since—he was part of Kaneland High School’s first graduating class in 1959—and has been a Lions Club member for over 40 years.

His parents owned Swan Ford, a car dealership that served Elburn for nearly 40 years, and after it closed, Allen decided to open up his own automotive business.

Working on cars was all he ever wanted to do, he said, so much so that he was frequently sent to the principal’s office as a high school student for reading car magazines in class. That principal, Dr. John Johansen, made Allen promise to become the absolute best mechanic that Elburn had.

When Valley West Automotive opened in 1966, Johansen brought his car in for work and congratulated him.

“He came in for me to fix his car, and he said, ‘You’ve fulfilled your promise. You did what I asked.’ He was a good man,” Allen remembered. “I never forgot. That was an educator who pushed me to be the best I could be, but didn’t push me to get my Cs up to Bs. He said, ‘You know what you want to do.’”

After a lifetime of working on cars, Allen said he still loves his work.

“I’ve never woken up in the morning and said, ‘I don’t want to work,’” he said.

Though the cancer has spread into his bones and leaves him so exhausted he can hardly walk by the afternoon, Allen’s still coming into work at Valley West every morning to work on customer’s cars.

“What else am I going to do?” he laughed. “I’m going to give it a good fight. I’m doing what I can with what I’ve got.”

It’s just part of who Allen is, Gilkey said.

“Even now, knowing that he’s not going to be around, he’s got a pretty positive attitude. He’s not the type to just sit back and feel sorry for himself,” Gilkey said. “To still keep a good outlook, that’s pretty impressive.”

Allen says he’s not afraid to die—he is a devout Christian who attends Grace Fellowship Church in Troxel, and he says he knows where he’s going—but he does mind the side effects of the chemotherapy.

His medical team put him on the strongest chemotherapy drugs available, which gave him a heart attack and landed him in intensive care. The drugs have also caused him to lose his sense of taste.

“I can’t taste a pickle,” he said. “You eat to keep moving, but you don’t get to enjoy a meatloaf and mashed potatoes. It’s a bummer, it really is a bummer.”

Perhaps the hardest thing is the idea that he can’t do the things he used to.

“Pride is another hard thing to swallow. They say you got to have your walker with you all the time. I just can’t accept that. But I have to. I’m pretty good, I fumble around a little in the morning, but the afternoons, I better sit down and look out the window, because my legs won’t push me any further,” Allen said.
He’s experienced hard times before. His first wife, Dorothy, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and died from complications from the disease. A flood in 1998 left his business under 3 feet of water, causing significant damage both to the business and to the nine customer cars he had in the shop at the time. The housing market crash in 2008 hurt his business, since many of his clients were in the construction trade, and so the last several years have been lean ones.

“Half my business is supported by construction, and when the housing market went south, my big accounts went south, too,” he said. “The plumbers, the builders, they didn’t need me to fix their trucks because they weren’t using their trucks.”

And Lynette has had her own health difficulties, including a heart attack and diabetes. She always thought she’d be the first to go, she said.

Yet despite everything, Allen says he’s had a good life.

“I’ve been really fortunate,” he said. “I’ve had what I consider a good life. I have no questions that I’ve had a wonderful life, but I did not expect this to happen this quick.”

The support of friends and family has meant everything to them, Lynette said. Every day, she gets three or four phone calls from people asking how Allen is, and visitors have been dropping by the shop to see him every morning.

Some are people he’d expect—his 93-year-old mother, his brother, his old friends—and some aren’t. The outpouring of support from his customers has been especially surprising and heartening, he said.

“The support I’ve gotten, from friends I’ve had a long time and from my customers, it’s amazing,” he said. “You know, you think you know people on only a customer basis, but when they’ve been customers for 30, 40 years, you form relationships. The support has been wonderful. You could not ask for better.”

Lynette said that Elburn has been good to them.

“When he got the cancer, I’m telling you, that’s when you find out how much people love you,” she said. “We love Elburn. There is not a day that goes by that people, local people, don’t stop to see him. (Village President) Dave Anderson stops two, three times a week. We had one friend who came and shoveled our driveway all winter so we could get out and go to chemo. Boy, when you need people, and they’re there, it’s wonderful.”

People are there, Allen’s friends say, because he’s always been there for them. Gilkey said that Allen’s been like a second father to him.

“I’ve known him my whole life,” he said. “I always thought of him as a great family man. He takes care of his family, and you don’t see that all the time in today’s world. He has integrity. He’s been in business forever, and to do that, you have to keep clients forever.”

Larry Erickson, who has been friends with Allen since they played football together in high school, agreed.

“He’s a good guy,” Erickson said. “He’s a good businessman, he’s a good guy, he’s never sarcastic or nothing, and his dad was the same way.”

Erickson described Allen as a “good traveling buddy” whom he traveled with around the country, checking out stock car races and the Daytona 500, as well as a prankster who once hotwired his car for a joke.

The friends were in Milwaukee for stock car racing, and Erickson had brought his Ford Bronco.

“He came over and said it was running and was going to be out of gas,” Erickson recalled. “I was like, ‘I have the key in my hand.’ But he showed it to me, and it was running. Turns out he hotwired it for a laugh.”

But while Allen knows how to have fun, Erickson said, he has always been a family man at heart.

“(Allen’s) daughter, she’s at the top of the list,” Erickson said.

Allen has two children, Mark Swan, a salesman who lives in Chicago, and Stacey (Swan) Roach, who now lives in DeKalb, Ill., and has four sons of her own.

Those four grandsons are “the biggest part of our hearts,” Lynette said.

Alex, the oldest grandson, will graduate from DeKalb High School on June 8, and Allen has promised that he’ll be there.

“I made him a promise a couple of months ago, and I want to keep it,” he said. “My daughter said, ‘Dad, you’ve gotta keep kicking and see him graduate.’ So that’s my goal, to defy the odds and see him graduate.”

Poust urged residents to come out and support the fundraising efforts.

“Allen Swan is a past Lions Club president and a lifetime member of our club,” Poust said. “The money is to help them pay his medical expenses, and the more the merrier. I mean, he’s been a businessman in the community for his whole life, and it would be nice to see the community support him in his time of need.”


Sugar Grove bids farewell to Chief Kunkel

Photo: Sugar Grove Fire Protection District Chief Marty Kunkel (right) poses with brother David, the assistant chief of the Aurora Twp. Fire Department. Photo by Natalie Juns

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Fire Department on April 30 held an open house retirement party for Chief Marty Kunkel. Members from all ranks of the Fire Department, as well as Sugar Grove Village Board trustees and community members, congratulated Chief Kunkel on his achievements and wished him a happy retirement.

Kunkel had worked at the Aurora Fire Station for 27 years when he was transferred to the Sugar Grove Fire Department in February of 2005. He transferred from the Aurora Fire Station as an assistant chief and began his career at the Sugar Grove Fire Department as the chief.

During his time with the Sugar Grove Fire Department, Kunkel witnessed many changes and was instrumental in developing a full-time staff.

“(The fire department) was mostly all volunteer when I started, and was still developing,” Kunkel said. “I was given the directive to hire full-time people, and the station was under construction, too.”

In 2006, Kunkel hired 12 full-time people in what was a very developmental time for the station. Today, Sugar Grove Fire Department features 17 full-time employees and 28 paid-on-call members.

After 38 total years of working at different fire stations, Chief Kunkel said that now is the best time for his retirement.

“I’ll be 62, and it’s time for me to retire,” he said. “I don’t have any big plans for my retirement.”

Kunkel said he has some hobbies he enjoys, including woodworking, golfing and muscle cars. He has a ‘64 Chevelle.

Bill Perkins will take over Kunkel’s responsibilities as chief. Perkins previously served as deputy chief since November of 2012. Prior to that, he was the assistant chief at the Oswego Fire Department for 17 years. He’s spent the past 18 months preparing to take on the chief position.

“I’ve learned a lot from Chief (Kunkel),” Perkins said. “It’s a constant learning experience. It’s a sad day for Sugar Grove. (Chief Kunkel is) a huge value to the community, and he will be greatly missed.”

Mike Warner, battalion chief of the Sugar Grove Fire Department, spoke about Chief Kunkel’s instrumental role at the Fire Department.

“He built this station from the ground up,” Warner said. “Chief brought policies and a full-time mentality to the station.”

Wayne Parson, Fire Marshall for the Sugar Grove Fire Department, started his career at a similar time as Kunkel.

“I started in ’73, and Chief started in ’76 at the Aurora Fire Station,” Parson said. “We worked on several projects and knew each other before he came to the Sugar Grove Fire Department. We have also compared stories since we started around the same time.”

Chief Kunkel’s brother, David Kunkel, was in attendance to wish his brother a good retirement.

“At one point, my dad, my brother and I were all serving on a fire department,” David said.
“Once it’s in your family, it’s in your family. I’m happy for (Marty). He’s been liked everywhere he’s been.”

Board gives cautious ‘thumbs up’ on development proposal

ELBURN—Elburn Village Board members on Monday gave a general nod of agreement on a pre-annexation proposal for a 137-acre plot of land west of Route 47 south of Hughes Road, and north of Kenmar Drive, although they did express some concerns about the property.

Developer Art Zwemke of Robert Arthur Land Company presented a general plan for the property, which would include approximately 150 single family homes, 120 townhomes, 10 acres of commercial property adjacent to Route 47, and 55 acres of open space, for an average density of two units per acre. He asked for more flexibility in keeping the plan looser, and letting the market help to determine the specifics.

“This recovery has been excruciatingly slow,” he said. “But it is coming back.”

The main concerns, which Zwemke acknowledged, were the cost of providing water and sewer services to the property, as well as its proximity to the St. Charles Sportsmen Club. Zwemke presented information based on a study conducted on the site, which he said showed that it is feasible, both physically and fiscally, to put in water and sewer services.

Zwemke addressed the shared border with the gun club by saying that no homes would be located directly along the border, and that language disclosing the existence and operation of the club would be included in each purchase contract and deed, to ensure that prospective buyers would be fully aware of the facility.

Village President Dave Anderson also brought up his concern about the existence of wetlands on the property.

“Since I was a kid, that land has always been wet,” Anderson said. “Once you start putting impermeable surfaces on it …”

Trustee Ken Anderson suggested that Zwemke create for the board a diagram of the property that would show all of the unbuildable space, and then draw in a bubble plan that would demonstrate the usability of the property.

Trustee Pat Schuberg said that she would like to see the 40 percent open space exclusive of the detention and retention areas and flood plains, so that the space could actually be used.

Although the board members had concerns about the property, they were interested in seeing it go forward.

“It’s an opportunity for us,” Dave Anderson said.

PHOTO, WA Healing Field

Kaneland High School to host Healing Field

KANELAND—Kaneland High School will soon feature a field of American flags.

The concept is called the Healing Field, and it will requre sale of 1,000 flags. The Healing Field will take place Friday, May 23, until Tuesday, May 27, on the field directly east of KHS.

Rudy Keller, interim co-athletic director at Kaneland High School, is the chair of the Kaneland Healing Field Committee. He said that the Healing Field is important.

“It represents patriotism and it honors servicemen and servicewomen who fight to defend our country and our freedom,” Keller said.

Don Grillo, a Campton Hills resident, is a commander for the Maple Park American Legion. Having served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, he reflected on what the Healing Field means to him.

“I think it’s a wonderful, beautiful tribute to those who have served,” Grillo said. “And just our country in general—it’s just a beautiful, amazing site when you’re amongst all those flags and they’re all waving and flapping in the wind.”

Individuals and businesses can purchase flags for the Healing Field. A single flag costs $35. A small business sponsorship is five flags for $500. A corporate sponsorship is 10 flags for $1,000. All proceeds will go to local American Legions in Maple Park, Elburn and Sugar Grove, Keller said.

People purchasing flags can also write personalized messages on tags attached to flagpoles. Markers will be provided to those seeking to personalize their purchased flags.

Although flags ideally represent veterans and those who have died while serving, Keller said they can also represent first responders, family members, neighbors and friends.

“Predominantly, people write their message on the tag in honor of somebody who has served,” he said.

Flag tagging will take place during the Healing Field opening ceremony on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. Select Kaneland High School students will play patriotic music on their instruments during the ceremony. Songs will include “America the Beautiful,” “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “National Anthem.”

In addition, three planes will do a flyover after the anthem is sung.

John Magill, a bagpiper, will perform songs including “Going Home” and “Amazing Grace.” CW4 Ty Simmons will be the keynote speaker during the event. Legacy Girls will perform at 1 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to help with the Healing Field ceremony. Tasks include greeting people, answering questions and collecting flag payments. Those interested in volunteering, purchasing flags or obtaining more information can contact Keller at rudy.keller@kaneland.org or visit healingfield.org/kaneland14/.

Herschel Luckinbill, a Montgomery resident, served in the Navy from 1964 to 1968, and had been aboard the first American ship that received direct fire during the Vietnam War.

“I think (the Healing Field) is a great way to show patriotism, honor, respect for all of our fallen heros,” Luckinbill said. “We can’t do enough for our veterans, and we can’t honor our World War II and Korean veterans and Vietnam veterans enough, and all of our current veterans, (as well).”

Courtesy photo


Kaneland honors its own

The first round of Kaneland 2014 Hall of Fame inductions took place Monday at Kaneland High School. Christine Heath (right) was honored for Personal Achievement and presented with her award by Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler. Gary Nickels (left) was recognized for Personal Achievement following an introduction by presenter Ralph Drendel. Rick Schairer (below) was honored in the category of Commitment, and was presented by 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Don Watson.


Rawers honors veterans with Eagle Scout project

SUGAR GROVE—Philip Rawers, a Kaneland High School junior and a Troop 7 Senior Scout, completed his Eagle Scout Service Project the weekend of April 26. After reading about the Sugar Grove Veteran’s Park in the the Sugar Grove Informer, Rawers decided he wanted to help beautify and improve the park in honor of the veterans.

“The park was created as a way to honor all who served, and Philip’s Eagle Scout project is a further extension of that sentiment,” said Dan Rawers, who is Philip’s father.

Philip worked on planning and organizing his service project for the past two and a half years. Both Philip and his dad joined the Sugar Grove Veteran’s Park Committee to help plan and create a beautiful environment at the park that would honor the veterans and allow for others to reflect on the sacrifices they made.

Philip coordinated the organization of the materials for the project through donations, designed the “L” shaped construction of the flower beds, obtained the permits and approvals needed from the Boy Scouts, the fillage of Sugar Grove, Veteran’s Park and the volunteers.

And around 40 volunteers helped Philip with his project and worked to complete the majority of it on April 26. Boy Scouts from Philip’s troop, as well as his family and friends, helped with the construction of the flower beds, made of flagstone, that now adorn Veteran’s Park. The duration of the project lasted all day Saturday and into Sunday.

Over the course of two and a half years, Philip worked on his Eagle Scout Service Project for a total of several hundred hours. The volunteers for the project worked over 250 hours to help complete it.

The Eagle Scout Service Project is a testament to the dedication a Scout has for their Troop, and embodies the concept of the Eagle Scout—a rank that is earned, not given.

“The Eagle Scout Service Project requirement is one of the most difficult things a boy of his age will ever do,” Dan said. “The project is a culmination of all the experiences a Scout learns in his years working up through the ranks. It’s a test of character, as well as leadership, organization, flexibility and planning.”

Sugar Grove talks senior living development

SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Village Board on Tuesday discussed the details regarding construction of the senior living development that will be located on the north side of Galena Boulevard, just west of Division Drive.

David Burg, Principal of PIRHL, was in attendance during the meeting to introduce their development company and explain the architectural design and style of the senior living development.

The board brought up the topic of tax credits that would help to finance this development. Burg explained the details of the tax credits available.

“There are other developers that compete for an affordable housing tax credit that work with IDOT,” Burg said. “It is an incredibly hard tax credit to receive, and one-in-four applications receive it. We can build to the quality you expect and keep rent low for seniors on fixed incomes.”

There were several design boards that PIRHL brought to the meeting to show the layout of the development and the architectural style of the building. The representatives from PIRHL explained that the building will be an “L” shaped, three-story building with elevators. There is a drive close to the building that would provide for drop-offs and emergency occurrences.

The three-story senior living development is designed to appear like a home, according to the representatives from PIRHL. They have tried to de-emphasize the height of the building with featured trim on the exterior of the building between floors, and there is a brick exterior to highlight the first floor.

The board asked about a large section of the plan that was sectioned off. According to the representatives in attendance, the area in question is a large section of land that has a higher moisture content and cannot be impacted, only maintained.

“This area will be mowed and will look like a lawn,” Burg said. “There will be grasses planted to make it more consistent and aesthetically pleasing.”

It was also mentioned during the meeting that there will be a community area, or “great room,” available to the residents of the senior living development, providing them with a place to gather with friends or family.

The Village Board inquired about storage room available to the residents for items such as bikes during the winter. The representatives said that there will be a mechanical room, and that they will take another look to find out if that storage room could include bikes. Each room will have adequate storage space with several closets.

There will be six fully accessible units equipped with grab bars (and other necessary items for the elderly), and the rest of the units would be considered “fully adaptable,” meaning that they could become fully accessible.

The representatives from PIRH explained that early in the project, a hot line will be set up, and they will determine at what point they can begin a wait list, which usually occurs six months before people are able to move into the development.

Maple Park discusses water service rates, charges

MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday discussed the need for an increase in village water service rates and charges.

“We should have been increasing the rates every year, but we haven’t. And now we have no reserves for emergencies,” Village President Kathleen Curtis said.

Village Accountant Cheryl Aldridge proposed an increase that would raise the average household’s water and sewer bill by 14 percent. The proposal also includes a 3 percent increase per year after the initial 14 percent bump.

The board did not take a vote on the proposed increases. It will, however, vote on the proposal at its June board meeting.

“Public health and safety are the two most important things that we do as a village, but I also understand that people have fixed incomes,” village trustee Terry Borg said. “I think we should think about this.”


KHS soccer still working between posts

Sophomore Kiandra Powell works around Morris defenders on her way to her second goal of the game.
Photo by Patti Wilk

DeKalb, Morris contests highlight week
KANELAND—While the win streak may have stopped, the unbeaten streak still rages on for Lady Knights soccer.

The nine-match win streak officially ended on April 30 in DeKalb, as the Lady Knights and host Barbs battled to a scoreless stalemate. On the flipside, the Lady Knights took care of business in Maple Park against Morris by a final of 4-0 on May 1.

On Tuesday, KHS dispatched Rochelle 5-0.

Kaneland has gone unbeaten for 12 straight matches and sits at 11-1-1 with a 6-0-1 record in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference play.

After the tie in Barbville, the Lady Knights were able to get a first-half goal on the Redskins rival, thanks to a goal with 20:12 left, courtesy of Kiandra Powell with an assist from Collingbourne.

The hosts poured it on in the second half of play, beginning with Powell’s second goal of an unassisted variety with 18:36 remaining. Powell completed the hat trick with 15:50 left, thanks to a Madi Jurcenko assist.

Delaney Stryczek capped the day on a feed from Collingbourne with 13:04 to ice it.

On Tuesday against Rochelle, Collingbourne had three goals while Heather Ortiz and Brittany Olson each had one. Courtney Diddell had two assists and Olson had one.

Wednesday had scheduled action in Hinckley, Ill., against the Hinckley-Big Rock Royals, while Thursday had a home matchup scheduled with Yorkville.


Chief celebration

Past, present and future celebrate Randall’s WCC diamond tenure
SUGAR GROVE—Area collegiate baseball has seen its share of great players and institutions.

Dave Randall, of Waubonsee Community College, has seen his share of area collegiate baseball.

On Friday in Sugar Grove, it was appropriate that Randall and the program’s products got to share all they’ve seen in 37 seasons of action.

Randall, who is stepping down at the end of the current baseball campaign to concentrate on athletic manager duties, was honored with appearances from family and alumni during Friday’s regular season home finale against Highland Community College. Randall, WCC personnel and guests eventually made their way to the Open Range Grill at Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove for some more story swapping and celebration.

After nearly 1,850 games at the helm of the Chiefs’ program, there was plenty to reminisce about for the Kaneland High School grad and Yorkville resident.

“There were a couple of small events a couple of weeks ago to celebrate before the games, and that’s when it kind of hit me,” Randall said. “This was a complete surprise, and it was how you’d like something like this to be, and you’re surrounded by friends and family.”

The Chiefs (32-23) were able to sweep the Highland visitors by a final of 11-4 and 4-2, putting the stamp on the day that saw dozens of former WCC players come out to honor Randall.

“I wish I had more time to talk to every one of the players that came out. It was fun being able to introduce players from different eras to each other,” Randall said.

Noteworthy personnel like first-ever Waubonsee coach and former Randall skipper Bill Prince, and players from as far as Phoenix, made it to the festivities.

The occasion gave Randall a moment to reflect on how the local game has changed.

“The size of the players is the biggest thing,” Randall said. “I’m ordering double XL for players. But the style of play will change every couple of years. Right now, it’s less on power, and we do a lot on the basepaths.”

Dana Wagner, another former KHS grad and former womens’ basketball coach at WCC, enjoyed seeing the span of her co-worker’s career come to life.

“I see on a daily basis how much Dave impacts our student-athletes lives. The neatest thing about the event on Friday was hearing all of the different stories being told by his former players. I heard many, many times during the event “he changed my life” or “he gave me a chance,” Wagner said.

Sports Information Specialist Steve Moga has the baseball program under Randall’s eye showing obvious changes in the 37 seasons.

“Dave has elevated Waubonsee’s baseball program to a national level in junior college athletics,” Moga said. “Despite competing as a non-scholarship NJCAA Division III program, his teams often more than hold their own against many scholarship clubs, which usually make up 75 percent of the Chiefs’ schedule. Waubonsee’s six Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference titles and three trips to the NJCAA Division III World Series under his leadership are proof of that.”

There is much to remember for Randall and his time in the Chiefs’ dugout, and he was glad to have some of that crystalized this past week.

“It was a good time, and we shared a lot of memories, to talk to everybody and see everybody, to have family come in and my old coach (Prince) from 1973. It was so great,’ Randall said.

Waubonsee, which is slated to be coached by former Chief Brad Unger in 2015, heads to the Region IV Division III Sectional beginning this weekend.

Knights relay runs well at DyestatIL DMR

ELMHURST, Ill.—On April 30, the Knights sent Nathaniel Kucera (center), Brock Robertson (right), Luis Acosta and Kyle Carter (left) to York High School in Elmhurst, Ill., for the inaugural DyestatIL.com Distance Medley Relay. The unique event, at least for Illinois teams, features the following distances: 1200m, 400m, 800m and 1600m. In the elite field that was invited to compete, the KHS quartet placed seventh with a time of 10 minutes, 28.80 seconds. Kucera kicked things off with a 3:12.4 in the 1200m, and Robertson blazed to a :51.5 in the 800m. Acosta notched one of the fastest 800m splits of the day with a 1:58.9, while Carter anchored the 1600m in a speedy 4:26.1. The team’s overall time ranks the Knights No. 8 in the state and No. 62 in the nation, regardless of school size. Photos by Ben Draper

Talent is Central for KHS boys track

KANELAND—Opposing boys track outfits not only had to deal with threatening weather and a power outage that created a stoppage in action, but also the Kaneland Knights.

With 160.5 points, KHS was well ahead of Burlington Central’s 91, CLC’s 69.5, Vernon Hills’ 68.5 and Dundee-Crown’s 53.5. Machesney Park’s Harlem (49), Antioch (47), South Elgin (44), Belvidere North (38) and Yorkville (29.5) rounded out the top 10 of the 14 schools that were able to register points.

At CLC, KHS had a first-place effort in the 4x800m relay, thanks to Andrew Lesak, Luis Acosta, Kyle Carter and Nathaniel Kucera’s 8:02.98 effort.

The foursome of Brandon Bishop, Isaac Swithers, Dylan Nauert and Ben Barnes took the 4x100m relay by acing a speedster time of 44.10. That unit also won the 4x200m relay at 1:31.38. Robertson, Bishop, Acosta and Nauert managed second place in the 4x400m event with a time of 3:27.65.

“Honestly, it wasn’t that long of a (power outage) delay,” KHS coach Eric Baron said, “It really didn’t affect (us) as much as the cold did. The boys performed well. We tried some different lineups out and still won. Isaac Swithers had a really good night.”

Hurdles events featured Robertson’s 15.81 effort in the 110m high hurdles for second place.
Lesak acclimated well in the 400m dash with a 52.32 effort, and Robertson took second place in the 300m low hurdles with a time of 40.73.

Carter’s 4:27.32 effort was good for second in the 1600m run.

Field events had Kaneland leaping to first, thanks to a 21-08 chance by Barnes in the long jump. Teammate Dalvell Triplett took third in the triple jump with a mark of 41-02. Nate Dyer threw a 54-07 in the shot put for second place. In the pole vault, Dylan Kuipers’ 14-06 was sky high enough for a first place.

Friday, May 9, sees the Kane Count Boys Track Invite, held at Millenium Field in Streamwood, Ill.