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April 5, 2011 Election Results

in April 5, 2011/Featured by

Updated April 6, 2011 @ 1:25 p.m.

Elburn Village Board
Richard C. Garcia 165
Audrey Symowicz 262
William C. Grabarek 387
David J. Gualdoni 275
Ethan Hastert 410
Sugar Grove Village Board
David Paluch 634
Kevin Geary 551
Mari Johnson 526
Mark Buschbacher 467
Kaneland School Board
Tony Valente 1,056
Joe Oberweis 1,298
Teresa Witt 1,235
Deborah L. Grant 945
Patrick M. Denlinger 863
Gale E. Pavlak 1,235
Pedro Rivas 591
Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District
James R. Feece 569
Christopher Garon 209
Brian Schopp 770
Sugar Grove Fire Protection District
Michael J. Fagel 830
John J. Guddendorf Jr. 410
John Shea Lehman Jr. 610
Ronald C. Hain 332
Shall the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, Illinois, borrow money and issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $30,000,000.00 … all in accordance with the purposes authorized by the Downstate Forest Preserve District Act of the State of Illinois, as amended?
Yes 17,090
No 14,849
Shall the Village of Elburn have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
Yes 415
No 161
Shall the Village of Sugar Grove have the Authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?
Yes 523
No 342
Shall the debt service extension base under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for the Village of Maple Park … for payment of principal and interest on limited bonds be established at $91,100 for the 2011 levy year and all subsequent levy years, such debt service extension base to be increased each year by the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the consumer Price Index during the 12-month calendar year preceding the levy year?
Yes 60
No 97

‘Trivia King’ takes a shot on ‘Jeopardy’

in Elburn/Featured by

See Elburn resident Andrew Fuller compete on “Jeopardy” on April 18, at 3:30 p.m., Channel 7 ABC

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—In the game-playing Fuller family, Andrew Fuller was known as the Trivia King. His family would line up to play Trivial Pursuit or other games with him, but they wanted to make sure they were on his team. He was that good.

Fuller grew up watching “Jeopardy,” playing along with the show and finding that he did pretty well. When he married, his wife Teri noticed the same thing.

“He always beat me,” she said. “He remembers everything. He reads trivia every day. I finally said you either need to try out for the show or try something different.”

So, the seventh-grade special education teacher, whose job is to know a little bit about all subjects, did just that.

The first step was to register to take an online test. The test is live, and participants have 10 to 15 seconds to answer each question. Fuller registered, but failed to get a call. He didn’t let that slow him down. He took the test a second time, and this time he got called for an audition in Chicago.

“I was really excited,” Fuller said. “There were people from all over the Midwest and as far south as Texas. I met a lot of nice people.”

The audition took about two hours and included pictures, mock games with other auditioners, another 80-question timed test and an interview. Fuller was impressed with the variety of people who were trying out for the show.

“There was a librarian from Iowa who was hard-core. I’m sure glad she was not on the show with me,” he said.

That was at the end of the summer, and Fuller said he sort of forgot all about it. Then one day in December, he checked an unfamiliar number on his phone and played the message while in class. It was a call from the casting director letting him know that he had been selected to tape a show.

“The students overheard and started asking, ‘Are you going to be on “Jeopardy?”’ Of course, it took about five minutes for the news to make it down the hall,” he said.

In early January, Fuller flew to Los Angeles to tape the show. He again was impressed with the kindness and encouragement he received, not only from his casting director Maggie, but also from fellow contestants.

“There were people from all walks of life: a veterinary student, accountants, a lawyer, a stay-at-home mom. It was a sportsmanlike atmosphere. No one was out to win at all costs,” Fuller said. “It was fun watching people be on (the show). It was a great competition.”

Fuller emphasized how fair the competition really is. Everyone is well-rounded and smart, but part of succeeding is getting the timing right with the signaling device (the button you press to give your answer) and the luck of the categories.

“So much happens that you’re not thinking about things. Sometimes it’s just an educated guess. A lot of answers you don’t know 100 percent. Sometimes, it’s just 60 percent. But you try anyway,” he said.

He also said that Alex Trebek, the show’s host, is a regular guy who fills the time during commercial breaks with anecdotes about his dogs, humurous quips, and questions from audience members. Everything during the taping was about the competitors having fun and being themselves.

Since his return, his students, understandably, keep asking him when the show will air. Since he cannot disclose the outcome or any of the details of the taping, everyone has to wait until April 18 at 3:30 p.m. to watch and see. His fellow teachers will gather to watch it with him right after school lets out for the day. Friends and family will celebrate with a Jeopardy party the next weekend.

Fuller is encouraging to others who may share his passion.

“If you feel you’d be good at it, or just want to try it, it’s worth giving it a shot,” he said. “Just go online to Sonipictures Entertainment to register to take the test. Anybody can do it.”

Committee readies for 2011 Fine Arts Festival

in Featured/Kaneland by

Kaneland Fine Arts Festival
Sunday, April 10
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
High School

Photo: Handmade arts and crafts will be on display at the 12th annual Kaneland Fine Arts Festival, set for Sunday, April 10, at Kaneland High School. File Photo

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—All things artistic will be on display during the 12th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival (KCFAF) on Sunday, April 10. And this year’s festivities will include dance, glass and painting workshops, caricature artists, various music ensembles, a live performance of School of Rock, and an art experience for pre-Kindergarten children.

To say there will be something for everyone at this festival might be a bit of an understatement.

“The Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival will provide another year of spectacular opportunities to immerse oneself in the arts, (and) people of all ages will be able to participate in watching the amazing artists present their work throughout the day,” KCFAF Executive Director Maria Dripps-Paulson said. “We will have another year of our Pre-K Art Experience offered throughout the entire day in the Fox Valley Career Center Child Care Center, with interactions with the KHS Art Club as well as puppets and storytelling.”

The 2011 Fine Arts Festival, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Kaneland High School, typically draws close to 3,000 people each year and is a main attraction during the arts-oriented month of April in the Kaneland School District. In addition to the festival, the KCFAF will present its third-annual Juried Art Show at the Sugar Grove Public Library throughout the month of April. The show will feature 18 artists and over 50 works of art on display. A reception and awards show will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at the library.

Dripps-Paulson said the Sugar Grove Public Library is an outstanding place in which to showcase art, citing it as one way to try and unite the many communities of Kaneland, working with public and visual entities within the school’s boundary.

“We understand that the Kaneland District boundary covers many municipalities, and the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival tries to have as much representation from the different communities as possible,” she said.

Visual art styles such as pencil art, acrylic and oil painting, watercolors and calligraphy will also be well represented during the festival. However, boasting a wealth of performing and visual artists as well as a healthy crowd turnout each year isn’t about to cause anyone on the KCFAF committee to forget about the tight festival budget.

“We’re expecting upwards of 3,000 people again this year, and even though (all of the planning) is coming together quite nicely, we have to really keep track of our finances to make sure we’re all in check,” said Kara Berth, a KCFAF committee member. “But it hasn’t really been a problem because we’ve worked really well together and we’ve done a few fundraising efforts that turned out nicely for us. People are still out there supporting the arts, which is great.”

According to Berth, those fundraiser efforts include a few mailers to businesses, and a feast that took place on Feb. 19.

With the festival coming up in just over a week, the committee’s focus has been on making sure all of the festival’s small details are accounted for.

“The festival is so close, (and) with spring break this week, it makes it a little more difficult to tie up all the loose ends,” said Bonnie Whildin, a KCFAF committee member and an art teacher at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School.

KCFAF Committee member Colleen Grigg said she believes some of the festival’s appeal comes from the city-caliber artistic talent it draws out to the Kaneland community.

“The feedback is so positive from anyone who goes, and it’s just a good time with a variety of stuff to do,” she said. “The festival can hold the interest of my 2-year-old daughter and also my parents, who are in their sixties. It’s really just wide appealing to all groups of people.”

KHS Lady Knight soccer scoring goals in bunches

in Featured/Girls Soccer by

Photo: Katie Taylor of Kaneland High School girls soccer made good on a goal against Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent Ottawa on Thursday. Taylor will be one of the Lady Knights counted on against Indian Creek
and in the tourney at West Aurora in mid-April. File Photo

KANELAND—With a mostly new lineup, one could be wary of how the offensive skills would come together for the KHS soccer group.

In two games this week, the Lady Knights lost to visiting Rosary in a regional rematch, but earned a shutout win over Northern Illinois Big XII crossover foe Ottawa.

After the March 23 loss and the Thursday win, KHS sees its record sit at 2-2 (1-1 NIB-12).

After getting shut out 4-0 in temperatures struggling to hit 35 on the thermometer, Kaneland rallied to hand the Ottawa Lady Pirtates a 6-0 drubbing on Thursday in Maple Park.

Senior leader Emily Heimerdinger got the Lady Knights on the board first with a goal after being fed by Jessica Coia. That gave Kaneland a 1-0 lead with 10:43 remaining in the first half.

Anne Marie Giese scored the first second-half goal with 17:11 to go, giving KHS a 2-0 edge.

Taylor White made the most of her scoring opportunity and found the net with 13:38 to play for a 3-0 edge.

Heimerdinger, Katie Taylor and Sophie Blank each scored within the last 10:46 to take the win over their West Division foe.

Ahead for KHS is a Monday, April 4 clash at Indian Creek.

Emily Heimerdinger 4 goals
Sophie Blank 2 goals
Abby Bend 1 goal
Anne Marie Giese 1 goal
Katie Taylor 1 goal

Kaneland staff members recognized by state arts group

in Featured/Kaneland by

KANELAND—March 17 was a joyous celebration of the arts—not only for the state of Illinois, but arts in the Kaneland School District.

March 17 was the Annual Illinois Alliance for Arts Education (IAAE) Awards and Recognition Ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. The IAAE chooses recipients from a list of nominees submitted by various people in the fine arts. Dr. Charles McCormick, former Kaneland School District superintendent, and Bonnie Whildin, art specialist at John Stewart Elementary School, both received recognition awards.

McCormick received the recognition award for School Administration and attended the ceremony with his wife, Jennifer. Whildin was originally nominated in the category of Arts Educator, but was honored as an Art Exemplar instead. Art Exemplar is a new category created by the IAAE for recipients who exemplify art excellence in various fields.

Whildin attended the ceremony with her husband, Mike, and received a round of applause after her first sentence, “I love telling people that I am an art teacher.”

The Kaneland honorees were presented their awards by Maria Dripps-Paulson, executive director of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival (KCFAF). Also in the audience supporting the honorees were Kaneland High School Assistant Principal and KCFAF committee member Diane McFarlin, and Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School Principal Laura Garland. Both recipients were further honored by receiving a certificate of congratulations by state Rep. Kay Hatcher.”

Cops read to the kids

in Elburn/Featured/Maple Park by

Sergeant “Buz” Hodges and Chief Mike Acosta came to the class to read the book “The Little Engine That Could.” Along with the reading of the book, the officers brought stickers and coloring books and candy to the children. “This is a great program and we look forward to numerous visits to schools in our community,” said Chief Mike F. Acosta. “We, as well as the children, enjoyed the visit.” Courtesy Photo

Waubonsee earns Tree Campus USA status

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

Photo: Student volunteers used hand-held GPS technology and GIS mapping software to identify and plot the locations of 400 trees on the college’s 243-acre main campus. Courtesy Photo

SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College earned Tree Campus USA recognition for its dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. Waubonsee is one of 113 colleges and universities nationwide and just 12 Illinois colleges to receive this designation from the Arbor Day Foundation for 2010.

The status is awarded based on five core standards of tree care and community engagement, which include: establishment of a campus tree advisory committee; evidence of a campus tree-care plan; verification of dedicated annual expenditures on the campus tree-care plan; involvement in an Arbor Day observance; and the institution of a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.

Waubonsee held its first Arbor Day tree planting event last April and plans to repeat it again this year. Also ongoing is the service-learning project, which took the form of a Sugar Grove Campus tree inventory.

This past fall, student volunteers used hand-held GPS technology and GIS mapping software to identify and plot the locations of 400 trees on the college’s 243-acre main campus. Remaining trees will be inventoried in upcoming semesters, and the resulting interactive map will serve as an invaluable tool to Campus Operations staff as they manage the college’s natural resources.

The Arbor Day Foundation launched Tree Campus USA in the fall of 2008, with the planting of trees at nine college campuses throughout the United States. Twenty-nine schools were named a Tree Campus USA in 2008, and in three years, the number of schools has more than tripled.

Investigation leads to pair of drug arrests

in Featured/Regional by

Photo: Ronnie McLarrin (left) and Thomas Skowronski (right).

MONTGOMERY—On March 17, the North Central Narcotics Task Force (NCNTF) concluded a two-month undercover investigation into illegal drug distribution with the arrests of Ronne McLarrin, 37, and Thomas Skowronski, 19, both of Montgomery.

At approximately 7:30 a.m., NCNTF Agents executed a search warrant in the 300 block of Webster St. in Montgomery at the residence of both McLarrin and Skowronski.

McLarrin was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 3 Felony, 1 count), Unlawful Possession of a Cannabis with the intent to Deliver (Class 4 Felony), Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (Class A Felony), and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Class A Misdemeanor). Skowronski was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Weapon (Class 2 Felony), Unlawful Use of a Weapon without FOID (Class A Misdemeanor), and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Class A Misdemeanor).

Agents located and seized approximately an ounce of cannabis and one rifle, which had been reported stolen. The recovered weapon located by agents aided the Montgomery Police to charge Skowronski with a recent unsolved residential burglary. NCNTF agents were assisted in this investigation by the Montgomery Police Department, as well as the Illinois State Police. McLarrin and Skowronki were transported to the Kane County Jail, where they were incarcerated, awaiting a bond hearing.

“While this investigation did not involve a large amount of illegal drugs, the activity was causing concern and issues in the surrounding neighborhood,” NCNTF Director Bill Backus said. “The quality of life for the residents in the area is definitely improved with these arrests.”

If anybody has any information regarding illegal narcotic activity, please call the NCNTF at (630) 264-4335 or visit

The charges against McLarrin and Skowronski are not a proof of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the State’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ecker’s crew has young, old as formula for success

in Featured/Girls Track by

Photo: Andie Strang has established herself as a threat at any distance and looks to finish her Kaneland tenure with a flourish. Photo by Linda Bell

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Here comes Lady Knights track.

If the early practice sessions and indoor season were any indicator, many a girl in KHS garb will be finishing quite well in 2011 races.

Second-year head coach Doug Ecker is eager to see what the large roster can do, with a mostly healthy lineup.

“The indoor season was encouraging,” Ecker said. “The most encouraging thing is all the distance runners are healthy and we’ve been consistent,” Ecker said. “When we get outside, we’ll have to have a little more depth.”

So far, the three big names to pop up are senior Andie Strang in the distance and relay events, senior Brooke Patterson in pole vault and triple jump and freshman Lauren Zick in sprints and long jump.

“We knew Lauren was fast, she has the temperament and she’ll do what the coaches ask her to do. She listens well,” Ecker said.

Sophomore and state qualifier Ashley Castellanos has excelled in the jumps, as well.

Gabby Aguirre returns and looks to make a mark in the jumps.

With a Division II career ahead of her, Strang is ready to go for the distance events, but Ecker believes a challenge lays ahead.

“This conference is going to be brutal for distance. She can run extremely well one meet and get fifth in the mile. You have so many good distance runners,” Ecker said.

Sydney Strang and Kris Bowen also look to add to the distance ranks for Kaneland.

For relays, the 4x800m team could be in store for big finishes. The Strang sisters, Bowen and Castellanos, will all see time in that event along with Jessica Stouffer. The 4x200m has Sydney Bilotta and Ariana Espino ready to go with Patterson.

Kaneland looks to continue the pole vault excellence.

“Brooke is very good and works very hard, and Sydney Luse has worked very hard, and Shannon Wallace will give us some depth, too,” Ecker said.

Junior Nicole Ketza looks to rise in the weight events after a good late-season run.

Kaneland is still looking for young hurdlers to take the reins in that event.

The stronger each event is, the better for the Lady Knights in the new Northern Illinois Big XII scheme.

“Our conference is maybe one of the better conferences in the state. You throw in every event, we are really solid,” Ecker said.

Knights baseball hit field fully depth-charged

in Baseball/Featured by

Photo: Knights baseball has the luxury of Kyle Davidson for work in the infield. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Some talented players at key positions and the last-ever Western Sun Conference regular season title made for some good memories for Kaneland baseball in 2010.

It was the regional opening loss to Hampshire that ended the season at 23-13 that left a bad taste in fifth-year coach Brian Aversa’s mouth .

“We’re definitely using that last game from last year as some incentive,” Aversa said. “We want to get moving into this season and use that as a driving force. On days when the weather isn’t cooperating and the field’s wet, the guys are really focused on what’s at stake this year.”

KHS baseball will have to be focused on competition in the Northern Illinois Big XII, after five seasons in the defunct Western Sun Conference.

“With football and basketball, it’s kind of our turn to get to that point where we are one of the top teams in this new conference,” Aversa said. “Sycamore is going to be strong, DeKalb was right there at the end, anything can happen.”

Kaneland looks to do itself favors at the plate, and although former Knight Jake Tickle’s 19-game hit streak won’t be available, Aversa likes his options.

“Drew French looks like he’s going to take Jake’s spot this year, and you have other solid people like Bobby Thorson and Joe Camaliere who can also get big hits,” Aversa said.

The Knights look for big things from their rotation, capable of eating up many an inning.

Thorson, a senior, will see time on the hill, as will junior Drew Peters and the senior French. Senior Sam Komel also provides an arm, as does junior Bryan Van Bogaert (pitcher of a perfect game in summer league action). Look for the Knights to lean on junior Tom Fox and senior Kyle Davidson in a pinch on the mound, as well.

Elsewhere around the Maple Park diamond, juniors Jordan Jones and Tyler Heinle are looking for an angle to the catcher’s spot.

Komel and Thorson stake the claim at first, while senior Brian Dixon mans second base. Davidson looks to patrol shortstop, with Trever Heinle also seeing innings at that spot, with French, Fox or Komel at third.

Senior Corey Landers takes care of leftfield, and Camaliere patrols center. Personnel like Jake Razo and John Kintz look to see innings at the rightfield corner.

Kaneland’s first conference action takes place against Dixon on Saturday, April 9. The regular season concludes on Monday, May 23, at St. Charles East.

Talent, effort goes the distance for Knights

in Boys Track/Featured by

Photo: Trevor Holm remains a key component of the Kaneland High School boys track success the last several years, especially in the 1600m run. Photo by Linda Bell

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a high ceiling for Kaneland High School boys track in 2010, and by the end of the season in Charleston, Ill., it turned into a celebration.

A second-place finish in the Class 2A State meet and a State championship in two events were reason to party, and Kaneland hopes to extend it.

But, it’ll have to come with a lot of preparation, which fifth-year coach Eric Baron has already started on.

“It started at track camp in June, and we took a look at what we have coming back,” Baron said. “We looked at areas we need to strengthen. It’s a reloading program. We lost a lot of good seniors. I think the group of freshmen that’s coming in might be better than the group that just left, talent-wise.”

In terms of sprints, Tommy Whittaker’s name will come up early and often.

“Tommy is not only going to win a lot of races, he is just a tremendous leader,” Baron said. “It’s a senior class of seven. Their leadership is outstanding.”

Whittaker, Taylor Andrews, Matt Spitzzeri and Trevor Holm will be counted on to give that frosh-soph class some leadership.

“It’s gone on since before I was coach. You listen to the upperclassmen because they’ve been through the wringer,” Baron said.

Sprints and hurdlers will see an Andrews presence, who competed side-by-side with new Golden Gopher Logan Marcusson.

The entire 4×100 and 4×200 meter relays return to give KHS an added boost, fresh off a Charleston trip last year.

Brandon Cottier, Andrew Essex, Curtis Secrest and Quinn Buschbacher also look to contribute. Sophomore Dylan Pennington is also expected to make the most of his time on the track.

Holm takes care of the distance question.

“Trevor could be an All-Stater in pretty much any event we decide to go with,” Baron said.

Baron touted freshmen Luis Acosta and Kyle Carter as pleasant surprises in the early goings, especially in relays.

In the field, Frankie Furco has high jumped over six feet in indoor competition.

A young jumper looking to help the Knights is Marshall Farthing, also excelling in indoor action.

Spitzzeri in triple jump looks to make the State meet after missing by 1.5 inches last year.

“Matt Cowans is coming in in great shape off of basketball and is jumping real well,” Baron said.

Kaneland remains quite young in the throws and looks to several underclassmen to step in to spots previously held by personnel like Phil Christensen.

“There’s the potential for several Phil Christensens in our throwing crew right now, like Alex Snyder and Nate Dyer and Tom King,” Baron said.

On Saturday, April 9, the Knights begin the outdoor season at East Moline United. The Peterson Prep is hosted at KHS on Saturday, April 23.

Softball hopes ‘young guns’ are consistent

in Featured/Softball by

Photo: Senior Rilee Vest will be an offensive leader for the 2011 Lady Knights softball team. Vest will also see more time behind the plate, catching for a pitching staff that head coach Brian Willis hopes will find some consistency. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Looks like the younger core of softball players will get a chance to get some more playing time in 2011.

Kaneland looks to avenge a regional championship loss to Sycamore and get back to the heights of a 20-11 season of a year ago.

They’ll have to replace three valuable seniors of a year ago, and 13 wins from former pitcher Delani Vest.

“We are still young, and only two seniors here,” said second-year coach Brian Willis. “This team will be a lot like last year’s team. Hopefully somebody will surprise with pitching. Offensively, we’ll be fine, defensively we’re a work in progress.”

Luckily, the two seniors on the team are noted contributors: Rilee Vest and Andrea Potts, whom Willis regarded as quality catchers who supply offense.

“We have pitchers that can throw the ball well, but we are looking for some consistency,” Willis said.

In the mix for the pitchers’ circle is junior Alexis Villarreal, junior Katy Dudzinski and sophomore Taylor Velazquez.

McKinzie Mangers plays the third baseman role as a junior, highly touted sophomore Allyson O’Herron is at shortstop, freshman Allison Miller debuts at second, and Potts at first.

The outfield shows the returning Samantha Hansen, a junior, while freshman Lanie Callaghan takes the centerfield slot and junior Brittney Miller in right.

Shoring up the infield is junior Sarah Kitz and freshman Lexi Roach.

Willis mentioned Miller and Hansen as players that eased into varsity roles last year and will make the most of their opportunities in 2011.

Kaneland hopes the lineup comes together in the midst of the new Northern Illinois Big XII arrangement.

“It gives us a lot to live up to, and I hope softball can play up to the level of the other sports who have done well in conference,” Willis said. “We’ve simplified a lot of things offensively and defensively, where they might have been too complicated a year ago. I think that’s going to help us.”

New-look Lady Knights try to start 2011 on right foot

in Featured/Girls Soccer by

Photo: Sam Wantuch participates in preseason ball drills for the Lady Knights. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a season to remember, and an ending to forget.

Kaneland would love to have the regional championship loss to Rosary High School back. The season which ended at 15-3-5 under soccer coach Scott Parillo and a cohesive senior unit had a chance for redemption in 2011.

However, it will have to come with quite the new look.

With last year’s celebrated senior core gone, as well as last year’s freshman sensation in goal Jordan Ginther (playing club soccer in Naperville, Ill.), the Lady Knights break ranks as fluid as can be.

“Jordan was classy enough to tell us in advance and we had time to cry and get that out of the way,” Parillo joked. “Hopefully, she’ll be back next year. We need to replace seven starters. They’re working hard out here, and it should be exciting.”

But, the solid strengths begin with team captain and senior Emily Heimerdinger at midfield/forward, who will go down as having one of the most prolific careers in KHS girls soccer history.

“She’s not a secret anymore. She was no longer a secret at the end of her freshman year. She’s going to be similar to a point guard out there. What she may not get in goals, she’ll maybe contribute in assists and she’ll be a real leader,” Parillo said.

Returnees joining Heimerdinger that are no stranger to big-game soccer include Amy Fabrizius at goalie/defender and Sophie Blank at goalie/midfield.

Returning to a bigger role after a 2010 with limited varsity action include the likes of Abby Bend (mid/forward), Sam Wantuch (defense/mid).

Also providing a spark are returning mid/fwd Katie Taylor, def/mid Anna Heinrichs and mid/foward Taylor White.

“The girls are up to the task, the coaches are up to the task, and we hope the girls gel as quickly as last year,” Parillo said.

New on the varsity ranks for Kaneland are def/mid Amber Winquist-Bailey, mid/forward Brittany Olson, mid/fwd Jessica Coia, mid/fwd Delaney Stryzek, midfielder Delaney Stryzek, goalie/midfielder Michelle Ortiz, midfielder/forward Shelby Fredricksen, def/mid Valerie Tockstein and defender Anne Marie Giese.

With two matches already under their belt, the Lady Knights begin the Northern Illinois Big XII East Division slate on Wednesday, April 6, against Sycamore. The regular season concludes on Tuesday, May 10, in Rochelle.

Making ‘em laugh at McDole

in Featured/Kaneland by

First-grader Cameron Neis (below, left) tells jokes during the dress rehearsal of the School Talent Show at Kaneland McDole Elementary School. The rehearsal took place on Saturday. The show will be held on Friday in the main gym. Directed by Melissa Becker, it will include about 40 acts.

Above right, the first through fifth grade talent waits to get on stage during the dress rehearsal. Fourth-grader Brendan Neis (right) sings “Me And My Shadow.” It is the third year for the talent show, and proceeds will be donated to the McDole Reading Lounge (through the student council). The lounge is a place where kids can come before and after school and read in a comfortable environment.
Photos by John DiDonna

Local artist enjoys sharing her work with others

in Featured/Sugar Grove by

Photo: Local artist Deann Alleman works on a painting during her oil pastel class at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Solo exhibition of Deann Alleman’s oil pastel paintings
Pheasant Run Resort’s
Bourbon Street Gallery
4051 East Main Street, St. Charles
March 5 – May 2
Opening reception:
Friday, March 18 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Meet her Friday at Pheasant Run show
by Susan O’Neill
Sugar Grove—Local artist Deann Alleman’s backyard is often her muse, where she draws inspiration. She said she is especially affected by the changing seasons.

“I love the spring time, when the trees just start to turn lacey and the corn pops up in the fields,” she said. “Of course, the fall colors … not just the trees, but all the foliage of the fields of beans and corn.”

Alleman, who lives in the Prestbury Subdivision in Sugar Grove, began painting with oil pastels after taking a class in 2005 at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles. Alleman’s work is the subject of a solo exhibition currently at the Pheasant Run Resort through May 2.

Originally created in 1949 for painter Pablo Picasso, oil pastels look like crayons, but have a creamy consistency and a range of brilliant colors. With the pastels, Alleman is able to access the vivid colors which are a hallmark of her work.

In addition to her backyard, Alleman often paints from the scenes she experiences while walking or driving through the area. Her work begins with a photo or a visual memory of a landscape or setting, but she said she is more interested in expressing the feelings and emotional reaction to what she sees.

“Hopefully that also evokes something in the viewer, as well,” she said. “That’s what art is all about.”

Alleman, a retired teacher with the West Aurora School District, experimented with art during her 20s, and picked up on her interest again when she retired in 2003.

She and several other students from her 2005 class with George Shipperly held a show of their work during the 2007 St. Charles Fine Arts Show. She said the show was successful and such fun that the fellow artists formed the Yellow House Artists, named after the setting of their first exhibition.

The group, currently at 40 members, holds a couple of shows each year in the area, with the next at the Geneva History Center on May 6-7, in conjunction with the First Friday Gallery Walk.

Alleman said that she hopes to continue to have opportunities to show her work in the area. She said her work is good for her soul.

“When you enjoy something, you want to share it,” she said.

in Featured/Wrestling by

Three Kaneland High School wrestlers qualified to travel this past weekend to Springfield, Ill. to compete in the Team Illinois Freshman/Sophomore State Championships.

Dan Goress (center) was crowned champion in the 130-pound category, while Esai Ponce
(second from right) placed second in the 125-pound category. Fellow grappler Zachary Theis (far left) took fourth at 215 pounds. All three competitors represented the Knights Wrestling Club. Coaches were: Quinn Jahns (second from left), Troy Jorgenson (back, third from left) and Ben Kovalick (right). Courtesy Photo

Signs of spring

in Elburn/Featured by

Photos: Gayle Riley of Erehwon Farm boils the maple sap to make syrup on Tuesday. The farm specializes in locally grown food with no pesticides or herbicides. They will be opening a new farm stand in April. Grower Jeremiah Baranauskas (below) checks the new protected crops at Erehwon Farm on Tuesday. The farm also grows peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, just to name a few.
Photo by John DiDonna

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Tiny green cabbages, Asian greens, cilantro and other edibles are up and growing this early March at the Erehwon Farm on Hughes Road. The seedlings have taken root under the warming embrace of hoop houses and tender care of owner Tim Fuller.

A visit to the farm at this time of year is an opportunity to see these fresh sprouts, but it’s also a time to see maple sugaring in process. The sap from the trees is rising and dripping into pails hung on maple trees. Fuller and his staff collect the clear sap that looks like water, strain it and boil it down to syrup on an open-air fire. They strain it once more and then hand over a delicately sweet, maple-flavored concoction that rivals any syrup you might buy in the store.

Rivaling what we purchase in the store is the reason Erehwon Farm exists. Its mission is to grow healthy food in a sustainable way. The produce that is grown on the six acres they moved to last October from their Campton Hills location is grown organically.

“We want to produce healthful, sustainable food that is affordable for all people in the area,” Fuller said. “This (location) is a whole new start-up to take advantage of all we’ve learned.”

Fuller has been farming for 10 years. His business has grown from two shareholders to start, then to 15 and now to over one hundred supporters. The Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) is a way that community members can purchase produce raised on the farm and help support its costs.

“CSA’s are the heart of our business,” said Gayle Riley, marketing director and neighbor of Fuller. “For $600, a family will get 20 weeks of produce. Each week they will get a brown grocery bag full of 10 to 12 (types of produce) that they can pick up at the farm, or we have delivery points. It starts in June and goes to late October. In fall, they get a ton of stuff that has come ripe.”

Erehwon is also a major presence at the Geneva Green Market, held at the Inglenook Pantry site. Fuller’s goal is to become a year-round presence.

“The other important thing for us is that we want to harvest 12 months of the year. We can do it. We came close the year before last,” Fuller said. “The constraint here (in the Midwest) is heat. There’s a short growing season.”

That’s where the plastic-covered hoop houses come in. Lettuce grown outside can’t be planted until May 1. In the hoop house, it can be planted April 1. Add a dual layer to the plastic, and seedlings can be planted February 1, Fuller explained. If he fills the hoop house with plants in September and they are full-grown by November, he can keep harvesting them over the winter.

Volunteers are welcomed at Erehwon Farm. A couple of girls that Fuller met through friends live in Chicago. They came out to see the farm and decided they wanted to keep coming. They come out every week. Once they rode their bikes to the Metra in the city and then rode to the farm from Elburn station.

Fuller envisions an educational component to his enterprise. He’s already had groups out to tour the place.

“Kids don’t know where their food comes from,” he said. “Once we had a group of 15 Girl Scouts, and I had a big bed of turnips. Not one knew what they were.”

Fuller himself is always learning. Maple sugaring is a perfect example.

“Ten days ago I didn’t know anything about maple sugaring,” he said. “I drilled a couple of holes in some trees and forgot about it. A week ago I looked out and saw sap running out.”

Riley quipped that that’s when Fuller got the fever.

“The sap is in the roots. It’s warmer down there. During the day the tree heats up to 40 degrees, and the sap starts rising. Then at night when it gets cold, it drains back down. When it’s going up and down is when it’s the best,” he said.

Riley collects the sap. She found an 18-ounce cup that had filled with the drips from the trees in less than an hour.

With a proper stove on order, Fuller has improvised a stove to boil the sap using cement blocks and wide tiles stacked with a stick fire at the base. A pot of sap sits on top.

Jeremiah Baranauskas of Geneva was one of many who have come to learn from Fuller. These days, he tends the seedlings that have already sprouted.

“We have Asian greens, Kohlabi, turnips, broccoli, radishes, onions, cabbage, Bok Choy, basil, tomatoes,” Baranauskas said, as just a sample of the early plants.

The farm plans to add a farm stand on site this spring, along with its CSA, its stand at the Farmer’s Market, and its business with restaurants in Geneva and Chicago that buy from them.

“There are obvious benefits to eating food without pesticides,” Riley said. “There’s a high demand, and the quality is amazing. We still have shares available for summer. If you register by March 15, you get a discount.”

‘Knights of Destiny’

in Featured/Kaneland by

Student Conductor Aaron Steenwyk leads the the 8th Grade Concert Band to the tune of “Overture Galactica” during the Kaneland Harter Middle School Band concert on Tuesday, March 8.

The Kaneland Harter Middle School Bands held a concert on Tuesday evening. Here the 7th-grade, 9th Hour Symphonic Band plays Knights of Destiny.
Photos by John DiDonna

Last call for Girl Scout cookies

in Elburn/Featured by

Elburn troop will be at Jewel-Osco Mar. 12
by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Do you need one last fix of Girl Scout cookies before the drive is over? Don’t wait for a flyer to come out; look to your phone to keep you updated. Cookie lovers will soon be able to find the nearest cookie booth and a list of dates and times on a smart phone app.

Angelia Harris, 8, of Elburn, is one of the first to take part in this pilot program through the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois. This council has been chosen as one of only 20 councils nationwide to pilot the new cookie locator smart phone app. She said the app can provide different kinds of information.

“It’s a cookie app where you can type in your zip code, and you go on and click on a cookie, and it tells you about it, the flavor,” Harris said. “You can also sell cookies on it.”

The app can also tell you about yourself based on your taste in cookies through a fun, interactive quiz.

“It tells you your cookie personality,” Harris said. “I’m strong and confidant. I like Thin Mints.”

The free application is available for iPhone and Android devices. It uses either GPS or manually entered zip codes, cities or states to find cookie booths and will map those locations and add the sale information to the calendar. In addition to locating the booths, customers can learn about their favorite cookies, including nutritional value and ingredients.

Harris’ mom is one of the troop moms and said that many of the girls have the app on their phones.

The troop will be at Jewel Foods in Elburn on Saturday, March 12. The drive wraps up March 20.

And they’re off

in Elburn/Featured/Kaneland by

5th-grade teacher David Argabright trains with members of the Runners Club at John Stewart
Elementary school on Tuesday. The runners are training for the 7th Annual Dewey Dash on Sunday, April 10. The runners club meets every Tuesday and Thursday and is instructed by Mrs. Lynn Ogden.

4th-grader Gunner Bergmann (left) is way ahead of the pack during the Runners Club practice.

Photos by John DiDonna

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