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Regional

State Rep. Pritchard comments on Bill 3763

in Regional by
Pritchard1

SPRINGFIELD—Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed House Bill 3763, making appropriations for education funding and the teachers retirement system. State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) commented on the signing of the bill.

“I want to commend the governor on his willingness to work with the majority party in developing a responsible budget. I’m glad to see that the governor has made education an important part of his agenda. By signing this bill increasing the education proration rate, we’re seeing that in action,” Pritchard said “With the budget battle going on in Springfield, I am glad that this investment in our children’s future will be out of the crossfire and that our schools will open on time.

Pritchard said now is the time for Speaker Madigan and his fellow Democrats to come back to the table and help break the current stalemate.

“I’m confident if both sides continue to be willing to negotiate and meet each other halfway, we can find a solution that protects our most vulnerable while keeping in mind the fiscal realities of this state,” Pritchard said.

IDOT suspends road work for July 4 weekend

in Montgomery/Regional/Sugar Grove by
Paving Road

Lanes opened where possible to improve traffic flow
SPRINGFIELD—To improve traffic flow and reduce congestion for Fourth of July holiday travelers, the Illinois Department of Transportation today announced that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended, where possible, from 3 p.m., Thursday, July 2, until 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 6.

One of the lane closures that will remain in place this weekend is located at Jericho Road over Blackberry Creek. Nearby motorists are asked to use detour signs.

Motorists should also slow down, eliminate distractions and use extra caution while driving through all work zones.

2015 Fourth of July Fireworks Displays

in Regional by
Fireworks exploding in a night sky

Friday, July 3

Aurora
When: At Dusk
Where: RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway St.

Oswego
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Prairie Point Park, 313 East Washington St.

Saturday, July 4

Batavia
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Watch from Engstrom Park, Millview Drive and West Main Street

DeKalb
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road, DeKalb

Elgin
When: 9:15 p.m.
Where: Festival Park and Riverside Drive Promenade, 132 S. Grove Ave.

St. Charles
When: At Dusk
Where: Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave.

Sycamore
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Sycamore Speedway, 50W086 Route 64, Maple Park

Yorkville
When: At Dusk
Where: Just south of Menards, Route 47 and Countryside Parkway.

Sunday, July 5

Sandwich
When: At Dusk
Where: Sandwich Fairgrounds, 1401 Suydam Rd.

Work on wayside horns at LaFox, Brundidge roads begins this week

in Regional by
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It was the longest project I’ve been involved with.Drew Frasz, Kane County Board member, Transportation Committee chair
LA FOX/BLACKBERRY TWP—Installation of railroad wayside warning horns at the Union Pacific Railroad crossings at LaFox Road and Brundidge Road began this week.

The project, which is estimated to take about two months, has been a long time in the making, said Kane County Board member and Transportation Committee Chair Drew Frasz.

When Frasz first ran for his County Board seat in 2007, he said he heard from many of the residents in the nearby Mill Creek Subdivision that noise from the train horns was upsetting the peace of their rural neighborhood.

Since his election, Frasz has been working to make the wayside horns happen.

“It was the longest project I’ve been involved with,” Frasz said.

Federal safety regulations issued in 2005 require locomotives to sound their horns at public grade crossings. Beginning within 15 seconds of the crossing, train horns must sound in a pattern of two long, one short and one long blast, and repeated or prolonged until the train is in the crossing.

With new commuter stations built in Elburn and LaFox in 2006, as well as the addition of more Union Pacific freight trains, local train traffic has grown almost exponentially within the last decade.

Currently, the tracks carry more than 100 trains a day, with each train sounding its locomotive horn at all hours of the day and night.

With the increased train traffic, communities along the UP line have attempted to find a safe alternative that did not create a disturbance for the surrounding neighborhoods.

The village of Elburn implemented wayside horns at its First Street and Main Street crossings in 2009.
“(The horns) serve their purpose very well,” said Elburn Finance Director Doug Elder, whose office in Village Hall is adjacent to the crossing.

Elder said the horns direct the sound of the signal right to cars and pedestrians approaching on both sides of the track, alerting them to the oncoming train without the whistle blasting over a much broader range.

Elburn-based Leyden Electric is the firm working on the project, which will cost a total of $283,500, said Steve Coffinbarger, assistant director of Transportation for the Kane County Division of Transportation.

The project will be funded primarily through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity via a $199,000 grant, with the local share being picked up by Kane County and Blackberry Township.

Coffinbarger said that there have been a lot of hoops to jump through, and complimented Frasz on his tenacity.

“He’s been a champion of this project,” Coffinbarger said.

Each intersection is expected to take approximately 30 days to complete, weather permitting. Construction work hours will be from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

According to a press release, the majority of this work will be done outside of the public right of way. At various stages of the installation, temporary daily lane closures may be required to complete the work.

Motorists should expect minor delays and possible increased travel times during the installation of the warning horns. Questions and concerns may be directed to John Guddendorf at (630) 816-9671.

Electric aggregation letters hitting mailboxes this week

in Regional by
ElectricMeterHC1507_M_150_C_R

KANE COUNTY—Residents and small businesses in unincorporated Kane County, excluding Aurora and Dundee Townships, should expect to receive detailed information about the new electric aggregation program in their mailboxes this week. Letters will be sent by Dynegy Energy Services and include the Kane County seal on the envelope, so residents should be on the lookout for this information.

Kane County entered an agreement with Dynegy Energy Services, LLC on June 3 to secure lower electric rates for qualifying residents and small businesses in unincorporated Kane County. The program will go into effect in August 2015. Residents and small businesses will not need to do anything to be automatically enrolled in the program. There is no enrollment fee, no switching fee and no early termination fee. Participants will continue to receive their monthly electric bills from ComEd throughout the course of the two-year contract, but will notice that their rates are lower.

Residents may choose to opt out of the electric aggregation program, but will need to do so by July 10 by returning the Opt-Out Card they receive in the mail or calling Dynegy at (844) 351-7691. Ratepayers already receiving electricity from an alternative supplier will receive a different letter in the mail in June that will inform them of how to opt in to Kane County’s program.

Residents should also be aware that it is not uncommon for solicitors to visit areas newly enrolled in an electric aggregation program. Kane County or Dynegy Energy Services will never call or visit door-to-door to solicit enrollment for the electric aggregation program, and will never ask for a resident’s ComEd account number. Residents are advised to not give out their ComEd account number to any caller or door-to-door solicitor unless they have carefully reviewed the contract terms and have made a decision to switch from ComEd to that supplier.

If a solicitor does claim to be representing Kane County and requests a ComEd account number, residents are encouraged to file a complaint with the Illinois Commerce Commission Consumer Services Division by calling 800-524-0795 or visiting www.icc.illinois.gov/consumer/complaint.

For more information about the Kane County’s electric aggregation program, visit www.dynegyenergyservices.com/community/kane-county.php, call the DES Customer Care line, 866-694-1262, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email DESCustCare@Dynegy.com.

Fireworks pose safety hazard

in Health & Wellness/Regional by
GirlSparklerHC1507_M_150_C_R

SPRINGFIELD—With the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, the Office of the State Fire Marshal reminds Illinois residents to leave fireworks to the experts. Many injuries and fires occur each year from these devices and therefore should be used only by trained professionals.

Fireworks pose a danger to users and bystanders of all ages. As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) explains, fireworks were responsible for an estimated 11,400 injuries and eight deaths in 2013. Injuries typically result from the user playing with lit fireworks or igniting fireworks while holding the device. Injuries can also be sustained from device malfunctions, such as errant flight paths, devices that tip over and blowouts.

Those at the greatest risk of injury are young children under the age of 9. Children often come in contact with devices that are perceived to be less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. However, all fireworks have the potential for causing damage and injury. Sparklers, for instance, burn at temperatures of above 1,200 degrees—temperatures hot enough to melt glass.

Fireworks are also responsible for extensive property damage every year due to inexperienced handlers and a lack of safety precautions. They are volatile devices that are hard to predict before, during and after use. Illegal and homemade fireworks meet no safety standards and extreme caution should be taken if these items are found.

Under the Illinois Fireworks Act (425ILCS 35/1), it is illegal to possess, purchase or use consumer fireworks without a consumer display permit obtained from local authorities. Help prevent accidents for you and your family by avoiding explosives and leaving fireworks to trained professionals.

For more information about fireworks safety, visit www.sfm.illinois.gov.

Aurora resident named Waubonsee Student Trustee

in Regional/Sugar Grove by
WCCGarner

SUGAR GROVE—Jesse Garner of Aurora was recently elected to serve as Waubonsee Community College’s Student Trustee for the 2015-16 academic year. Garner was seated at the college’s board of trustees meeting June 17. The student trustee serves as the liaison between the Waubonsee Board of Trustees and the college’s students, representing students’ interests at the board level.

A political science major, Garner served as president of Waubonsee’s Student Senate and participated in Model Illinois Government in the spring 2015 semester. He works as an intern in Congressman Bill Foster’s Aurora District Office.

Kendall County clerk/recorder named Waubonsee Featured Alumnus

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

Kendall County Clerk and Recorder Debbie Gillette of Yorkville doesn’t necessarily consider herself a politician. Rather, she sees herself as an elected official, chosen to serve the people of the county. For the way she has served the area’s growing population through her oversight of county records and elections, Waubonsee Community College recently named Gillette the college’s Student Success: Featured Alumnus for June.

Gillette actually grew up in Kane County—Aurora specifically—and attended Aurora Central Catholic High School. Upon graduation, she found herself wanting to go to college without going far away.

“I was not quite ready for a big university,” Gillette said. “Waubonsee was a close, affordable, small school, and I could live at home.”

Gillette knew she wanted to major in accounting and took several accounting classes while at Waubonsee, earning her Associate in Science degree from the college in 1990. She was then ready to transfer to Aurora University.

“Waubonsee was really helpful in working with me to make the transition and transfer my credits to AU,” Gillette said.

Gillette’s post-college life has been marked by more transitions. She first started her accounting career at the firm of Newkirk and Associates in Plano, before transitioning into life as a stay-at-home mom to two sons, Nick and Jack.

“I’ve always been active in the community, volunteering for schools and sports, running a family, and just doing the best job I can do,” Gillette said.

So in 2008, when a vacancy opened up in the Kendall County Clerk and Recorder’s office, a friend noted Gillette’s involvement and encouraged her to run.

“I didn’t want to always ask ‘what if,’ so I knew I at least had to try,” Gillette said.

She won that election and served out the remaining two years of that term. She has since been re-elected to two additional four-year terms in 2010 and in 2014.

As the recorder and clerk of the county, she oversees a staff of 11 people and is responsible for local property records, birth and death records, marriage licenses, County Board documents and local elections.

“I really rely on my organizational and prioritization skills,” Gillette said. “Plus, we focus on customer service, being responsive to the needs of the citizens of the county and helping them get what they need.”

She is also quick to credit her staff, especially in light of the county’s explosive growth over the past decade.

“The staff has really kicked it up,” Gillette said. “They know that it’s on them and on me, so we all pitch in and work hard every day.”

And, of course, there’s the support of her kids and her husband Garrick.

“I really couldn’t do what I do without their support,” Gillette said.

And while it’s still early in her third term, it sounds like she wants to keep doing what she’s been doing for a while to come.

“I’m up again in 2018, and I really love what I do,” Gillette said.

NWS, emergency management seek to save lives

in Health & Wellness/Regional by
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SPRINGFIELD—Recent thunderstorms have produced spectacular lightning shows, but the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies urge people to stay safe by heading indoors during storms as part of Lightning Safety Awareness Week this week.

“There’s no safe place outdoors when lightning is in the area,” IEMA Director James K. Joseph said. “If you’re close enough to hear thunder, you’re close enough to be struck by lightning. That first clap of thunder is your cue to get into a substantial building or hard-topped vehicle.”

Joseph said remembering the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors,” can help you stay safe this summer while you’re enjoying outdoor activities. The phrase is intended to remind people that hearing thunder means you’re close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Once inside a structure or hard-topped vehicle, stay there until 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder.

According to the NWS, there were no lightning-related fatalities in Illinois in 2014. Nationwide, 26 people were killed by lightning. Most of those fatalities occurred outdoors, including people in open areas, under trees, working, in water or participating in other outdoor activities.

“While lightning fatalities have decreased significantly nationwide over the past two decades, far too many people still take unnecessary risks when thunderstorms are in the area,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS in Lincoln. “Every year, hundreds of people survive lightning strikes. However, many of these people are forced to cope with life-long neurological problems from their injuries.

While less than 10 percent of people who are struck by lightning are killed, many lightning strike survivors suffer various degrees of disability. Only a few lightning strike victims actually suffer burns, and these are usually minor. However, many lightning strike survivors are left with debilitating life-long effects, including memory loss, personality changes, fatigue, irreparable nerve damage, chronic pain and/or headaches, difficulty sleeping and dizziness.

IEMA and the NWS offer the following tips for staying safe when thunderstorms approach.

Outdoor lightning safety tips
• No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area
• If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you
• When you hear thunder, immediately move to a safe shelter
• Safe shelter is a substantial building or inside an enclosed, hard-topped vehicle
• Stay in the safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder

If there is no safe shelter
anywhere nearby
• Seek lower elevation areas
• Never use a tree for shelter
• Immediately get out and away from pools, lakes and other bodies of water
• Stay away from all metallic objects (fences, power lines, poles, etc.)
• Do not raise umbrellas or golf clubs above you.

People shouldn’t hesitate to help someone who has been struck by lightning since victims do not carry an electrical charge. The surge of electricity through a lightning victim’s body causes cardiac arrest in most fatalities, so immediate medical attention is critical. If the victim doesn’t have a pulse and isn’t breathing, CPR should be administered immediately.

For additional tips on lightning safety, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov or contact IEMA at (217) 785-9925.

Sugar Grove native writes from experience

in Kaneland/Regional/Sugar Grove by
View More: http://livingartphotographer.pass.us/tammy-schmidt-boudoir
I believe the best and most honest writing comes from writing what you know. If you try to reach beyond that, it can come off as artificial.Tammy Schmidt, Sugar Grove author

LAKE GENEVA, WIS.—Tammy Schmidt believes in writing what she knows. And her sixth book, “Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome,” is based on a very real experience.

“I’ve been writing since I was 14, and my work has changed drastically over the years,” said Schmidt, who publishes under her maiden name, Tamara Lyon. “My early work was more literary and serious. Now I focus on what’s funny in life.

“There are just too many horrible things happening in the world. My goal is to tell a fun story with a little heart and a lot of laughter.”

A graduate of Kaneland High School and Northern Illinois University, Schmidt said Kaneland didn’t offer creative writing when she was a student. So to get some writing experience, Schmidt, a Sugar Grove native, wrote for the school newspaper and later freelanced for several area papers, including the Elburn Herald.

She found work in the corporate world after college graduation, but benefits and a good salary weren’t enough to quell her need to write or her desire to be a novelist. She started writing her first book in a tiny closet-turned-office, and started a cleaning business to support her husband’s dream of becoming a doctor.

While her husband slaved away in medical school, Schmidt scrubbed floors and toilets, cared for their son and wrote and wrote and wrote some more.

Schmidt said all her work is set in the Midwest, and all her characters are based on people she knows

“People who know me believe it; people who don’t know me wouldn’t believe,” she said. “The older I get, the more inspiration I get from my own life.”

The title for Schmidt’s latest tome came to her as she commiserated with a girlfriend over a bottle of wine and bag of frozen peas to ease the sting after getting a Brazilian wax.

“I believe the best and most honest writing comes from writing what you know,” she said. “If you try to reach beyond that, it can come off as artificial.”

When she’s working and feeling disciplined, Schmidt said she sets a word goal of 5,000 words a week. She can have a novel done in three or four months if she’s focused.

“I’m trying to get at least one book out a year,” Schmidt said. “It’s one thing to write, but the revising and editing takes a long time.”

With what she calls an army of friends, family and acquaintances willing to read her work, she hires a professional editor to make her writing “clean and tight.”

Although she started with a traditional publisher, Schmidt said she still had to do all her own promotional work and received a tiny percentage of the profit.

“There was no benefit to that. Why let someone else take 93 percent of the profit from my work?” she said.

Now she does all her own marketing via a website, Facebook, Twitter and any other platform she can use to put her name and titles in front of readers.

Schmidt said she has settled into the “chick lit” genre, and can market her works to girls as young as 15.

“You see more inappropriate things on the evening news,” she said. “So pick up a copy of my book and strap yourself in for a roller coaster ride and just have fun.

“Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome” is currently available in Kindle format for only $2.99.

“It’s cheaper than a latte and lasts longer,” Schmidt said with a laugh.

For more information on Schmidt’s work, visit www.tamaralyon.com or find her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/authortamaralyon.

Forest Preserve purchase of Patten property moving forward

in Elburn/Regional by

ELBURN—Elburn Village Board trustees on Monday were more receptive to the Kane County Forest Preserve’s request to purchase commercial property on Route 47 after Kane County Board member Drew Frasz came back with a few incentives to sweeten the deal.

Village Board members were less than enthusiastic about the request during a discussion at a previous meeting two weeks ago, when Frasz and Director of Planning and Development Jerry Culp approached the board regarding the Forest Preserve’s desire to purchase the 18-acre former Patten rental facility to house its Natural Resources Department. As a County Board member, Frasz also represents the Forest Preserve District.

The northern 9.1-acre parcel is annexed into the village. The southern 9.1-acre parcel is in unincorporated Kane County. When the Forest Preserve wishes to acquire property within the boundaries of a municipality, the municipality must sign off on the request.

Board members were initially reluctant to give up the prime commercial property at 1001 S. Main St., located on the east side of Route 47, just south of Keslinger Road. In addition to the sales tax the property could potentially generate, property taxes are currently $31,000.

Although only $1,300 of the property taxes goes to the village, the Kaneland School District would end up taking a bigger hit. The schools would stand to lose $20,000 in property taxes if the tax-exempt Forest Preserve purchased the parcels.

However, the Patten buildings have been shuttered for the past five years, and the Forest Preserve representatives this time offered to work with the village on connecting trail systems between the various preserves in the area, as well as participating in funding for a pedestrian bridge the village wants to build.

“All that is doable with patience,” Frasz said. “It just takes time and money.”

The northern parcel would house the district’s 16 employees, as well as a number of seasonal employees and hundreds of volunteers. The southern 9 acres would be used for a temporary nursery, after which it could be put back on the market for commercial development.

In addition, the Forest Preserve would keep open the possibility of selling the northern parcel back to commercial use, should that become a viable option.

“I hate to lose the commercial availability of that (property),” trustee Bill Grabarek said. “However, given possible greater participation in our pedestrian bridge, that’s a big thing. And connecting our forest preserves through some sort of walking/biking trail is a big plus, as well.”

Although trustee Ken Anderson recused himself from voting on the matter because he is an employee of Kane County, he said he thought the nursery would be a nice amenity for the village.

“Driving up Route 47 and seeing a nursery is a nice transition from the corn fields,” he said.

The agreement will be placed on a future Village Board meeting agenda for approval.

“We’re in,” Frasz said. “We’re ready to go. Getting the lights on down there will be a good thing for the village.”

Discover the 1840s at Garfield Farm Museum Camps

in Regional by
Ox

CAMPTON HILLS—Children ages 8 to 15 will have a chance to discover what life was like in the 1840s at Garfield Farm during two three-day camps this summer. The first session will take place July 7-9, and the second session is July 14-16. Both sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon each day. The cost is $75 per session. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting the museum at (630) 584-8485 or info@garfieldfarm.org.

In the mid-1800s, most Americans lived on farms, and everyone was needed to help with the daily chores and farm operations. Children were considered a valuable source of labor and were expected to help out whenever needed.

Farming was hard work, and families had to make do without many of the simple things taken for granted today, like electricity and running water.

This year, attendees can experience firsthand some of the daily life activities that are highlighted in the newly published book, “Angie of Garfield Farm.” This fictional account of Angeline Garfield, who was 9 years old in 1847 and lived on the farm, details what daily life was like at that time. The camp experience can be an extension of the reader’s book experience.

During the camps, children will experience farm life through guided tours of the museum’s historic barns and 1846 brick inn. They will begin each day by helping feed the museum’s farm animals, including rare heritage breeds of chickens, turkeys, geese, sheep, hogs and oxen.

The children will also take part in hands-on activities and witness demonstrations of everyday activities from the mid-19th century. Possible demonstrations include: blacksmithing, butter churning, candle dipping, carding wool, contra dancing, cooking demonstrations, corn shelling, cutting hay, flailing wheat, vegetable gardening, gathering eggs, old fashioned games, ox driving, scrubbing laundry, shelling beans and spinning wool.

Garfield Farm Museum is a 375-acre, historically intact, former 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn that volunteers and donors have preserved as an 1840’s living history museum. The museum on Garfield Road, five miles west of Geneva. Guided tours are given on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons, June through September, from 1 to 4 p.m. All other times are by appointment.

Kane County 4-H Foundation names 2015 scholarship recipients

in Regional by

ST. CHARLES—The Kane County 4-H Foundation recently selected its scholarship recipients for 2015, awarding $1,000 each to local 4-H members Brittany McCullough of St. Charles and Blake Sunderlage of Genoa, Ill.

Scholarship recipients were selected on the basis of 4-H Youth Development program involvement, 4-H achievements, community service, school involvement and future plans in 4-H. High school seniors, and post-high school students enrolled full-time in an educational program, were encouraged to apply.

McCullough received a $1,000 educational scholarship from the Kane County 4-H Foundation. Sunderlage was selected for a $500 educational scholarship from the Foundation and the Bob Konen Memorial Scholarship, which is a $500 award.

McCullough is a six-year 4-H’er and a member of A Bit More 4-H Club. This fall, she will be attending the University of Findlay in Ohio. McCullough hopes to puruse a career utilizing the knowledge she has gained from particpating in 4-H horse bowl. She is considering being a vet or doing nutritional research with animals.

Sunderlage is a 10-year 4-H’er and a member of Burlington Ag 4-H Club. This fall, he will attend Kishwaukee College in Malta, Ill. Blake will pursue a diesel power technology degree and a welding certificate. His goal is to join the Local 150 Operator Union with a career in diesel mechanics or welding. Blake enjoys working with his hands and operating/repairing machines.

Monies for these scholarships are made available through fundraising efforts and private donations to the Kane County 4-H Foundation. The Bob Konen Memorial Scholarship was first available in 2010, made possible through memorial donations from family and friends. Mr. Konen was a 50-year 4-H supporter who served as a member, club leader and volunteer.

Donations and monies raised by the Kane County 4-H Foundation support many countywide events and activities, including volunteer support, training, and recognition; government day; fair activities and fair awards; clean barn awards; educational scholarships; and general 4-H and University of Illinois Extension office support.

If you are interested in learning more about 4-H, contact University of Illinois Extension in Kane County at 535 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, or call (630)584-6166. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/.

USMC Captain Lauzen to compete in World Championships

in Regional by

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.—USMC Captain Ted Lauzen of Aurora won his division and placed seventh overall at the Modern Pentathlon National Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 6.

As an elite athlete for the United States Marine Corps, Captain Lauzen competes in the Modern Pentathlon, which is an Olympic sport that consists of five different disciplines completed across one day: fencing, swimming, horseback riding, shooting and running.

Lauzen has earned the opportunity to represent the United States, Team USA, and the Marine Corps at the 2015 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, at the end of June. Earlier this year he competed in the Modern Pentathlon World Cups in Sarasota, Fla., and Cairo, Egypt.

Ted currently lives near the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs with his wife, Sarah, and 8-month-old daughter, Caroline. Ted is the son of Kane County Board Chairman Chris and Sarah Lauzen of Aurora.

Waubonsee signs school psychology agreement

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

CHICAGO—The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) a nonprofit university that is one of the leading institutions devoted to psychology and related behavioral and health sciences, and Waubonsee Community College signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which allows all active Waubonsee students who meet admissions requirements to transfer to The Chicago School’s online Bachelor of Arts in psychology completion program. Eligible Waubonsee students transferring to The Chicago School are guaranteed general admission and will receive a 10 percent tuition discount. This is The Chicago School’s first transfer agreement with a community college in Illinois.

“We partnered with Waubonsee because its mission and vision align with ours,” said TCSPP President Michele Nealon-Woods, Psy.D. “Both our institutions strive to offer students a top-notch education, one that will help them be successful in today’s high-pressured, extremely competitive world. With its excellent academic programs and the value it places on diversity and accessibility, WCC makes a perfect partner.”

“We are dedicated to helping our students not only complete their associate degrees but also to transition to a four-year program,” said Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek. “Psychology continues to be a very popular undergraduate major, so we’re excited to enter into this new agreement with an institution like The Chicago School.”

Waubonsee Community College students who transfer to The Chicago School can receive up to 78 transfers of credit from The Chicago School. Students must have completed a minimum of 60 transferable semester units, or possess a conferred Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree in a traditional academic area of study from a regionally accredited college or university, or possess a conferred Associate in Applied Science in human services from Waubonsee.

The MOU between The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Waubonsee Community College will terminate in August 2017, but may be extended if agreed upon by both institutions.

For more information on the agreement, visit www.waubonsee.edu/psy or call Waubonsee’s Counseling Department at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2361.

Volunteers needed as Adult Literacy tutors

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AURORA—Waubonsee Community College’s Adult Literacy Project seeks volunteers to tutor adult students in reading, writing and speaking English. All training and materials are free.

An online volunteer tutor training program will be available throughout the month of June. The flexible, individually paced curriculum includes readings and responses, and takes approximately eight to 10 hours to complete.

Participants will also attend an in-person training session at the college’s Aurora campus, 18 S. River St. A session is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., although alternative dates will be available.

Prospective tutors must complete all training before working with adult learners individually or in a classroom environment.

Tutor applications are available online at www.waubonsee.edu/adultliteracy or by calling (630) 801-7900, ext. 4221.

Rich Harvest Farms hosts the Palmer Cup

in Golf/Regional/Sugar Grove by

Arnold Palmer on hand for opening ceremonies
SUGAR GROVE—Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove last week hosted the world’s 20 best collegiate players to play in the Palmer Cup, the 18th annual Ryder Cup-style amateur tournament named in honor of the legendary Arnold Palmer. Adding to the excitement of the event, Palmer attended the opening ceremonies evening of June 11.

Palmer, a former collegiate player himself, has been called America’s greatest ambassador for the game of golf.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be on the same stage with ‘the King,’” Palmer Cup U.S. Coach Bruce Heppler said of Palmer. “Thank you for your character and the way you support the game.”

Heppler, who just completed his 20th season coaching the Yellow Jackets at Georgia Tech, was serving as head coach of the USA team for the second time. He introduced his players individually, saying that there are future Ryder Cup players among this group of the best players from the best collegiate teams in the country.

The Palmer Cup, started by the Golf Coaches Association of America in 1997, includes in its mission the preparation of the players for careers in professional golf.

The tournament, which ran from Friday through Sunday, June 12-14, also included a Junior Clinic for participants of the Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois, headquartered at Rich Harvest Farms. More than 130 young people participated in Wednesday’s Junior Clinic, which the 20 players and their coaches conducted.

“It was a tremendous experience for the participants to learn from the PGA Tour stars of tomorrow” Rich Harvest Farms’ Tournament Director Vicky McGowan said in a release.
The Kids Golf Foundation is a statewide junior golf association that offers and supports several golf programs and events designed to introduce children between the ages of 5 and 17 to the sport of golf, its fundamentals, rules, history, etiquette and life lessons.

The 20 players also competed in a college-am on June 11, which is similar to a pro-am on the PGA Tour. They were required to sign numerous autographs throughout the week, something that made Palmer one of the most popular athletes in the country.

“One of Arnold Palmer’s big things is to make sure people can read your autograph,” Heppler said. “That way, you can look at it later and know who signed it. It’s about taking care of people.”

Palmer concluded his remarks during the tournament’s opening ceremony with these words.

“If you ever find 20 young men that look any better, act any better than these young men, watch them play, and you will see something that will put a feather in everyone’s cap,” Palmer said. “Let’s have a great tournament.”

Team USA wins the 2015 Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms
SUGAR GROVE—Despite Europe winning five matches on Sunday, the United States reclaimed the Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms by defeating Europe 18-12. The United States leads the all-time Palmer Cup series, 10-8-1.

Going into Sunday, the Americans needed just 2 points to win the Palmer Cup. Europe’s Clement Sordet earned and kept a lead early. After a birdie on 11 and par on 13, Sordet went 3-up and would go on to take the match 2 and 1, keeping Europe’s hopes alive for a short time.

USA’s Hunter Stewart went 1-up on the first hole, and Europe’s Thomas Detry battled back to go 1-up through five. After a birdie on 8, Stewart continued to win holes and went on to take it 4 and 3.

Europe’s Pep Angles led early in his match with USA’s Beau Hossler. However after a few lost balls, Angles found himself in trouble on 11 and 16, which allowed Hossler to finish 2 and 1 on 17 to clinch the Palmer Cup for USA. Ollie Schniederjans claimed his match against Europe’s Max Rottluff around the same time.

During the Closing Ceremonies, Maverick McNealy received an exemption into the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard. The honor was voted on by his teammates before play began. McNealy’s Palmer Cup caddie Zach Urwiler, a freshman at Mooseheart Academy and second-year caddie at Rich Harvest Farms, will accompany McNealy as his caddie at the 2016 event at Bay Hill. This is the first time the Palmer Cup has awarded this honor to a player.

Stewart and Robby Shelton of Team USA became the 15th and 16th players to post a 4-0 record at a Palmer Cup and the first since Andrew Yun of the United States in 2012. It was the first time that multiple players went undefeated and untied since Europe accomplished the same feat in 2006.

Matthias Schwab of Austria and Stewart of Lexington, Ken., were named recipients of the Michael Carter Award, which is presented to the Palmer Cup participant that best represents the qualities and ideals of sportsmanship, integrity and upholding of the game.

Photos by Laura Gampfer

Hultgren named to Congressional- Executive Commission on China

in Regional by
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) was recently appointed to the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).

The commission was created by Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China; to establish and maintain a list of victims of human rights abuses in China; and to submit an annual report to the president and the congress. The commission consists of nine senators, nine members of the House of Representatives, and five senior administration officials appointed by the president.

“Congressman Hultgren is a great addition to the CECC; I welcome his appointment by Speaker Boehner. At this critical period in U.S-China relations, we need more members of congress who understand the crucial importance of advancing human rights and the rule-of-law in U.S-China relations,” said Rep. Chris Smith, chairman of the CECC. “Congressman Hultgren understands that issues like human trafficking, religious freedom, free speech, an end to torture in detention and the promotion of independent courts and a free press are critically linked to the advance of U.S. security and economic interests in China and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.”

“Our nation’s economic and political relationship with China only grows in daily importance. Ensuring China respects the rule of law and human rights should remain a top priority of the United States. Illinois is a top trading partner with China. Yet when prisoners of conscience like Zhu Yufu remain behind bars for promoting democracy, it is clear there remains much work to do to advance the unambiguous rule of law in China,” Hultgren said. “I am honored by this appointment and welcome the new opportunity to engage this key nation in opening up real economic and political opportunities for Chinese citizens.”

Through Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’s (TLHRC) Defending Freedoms Project, Rep. Hultgren has “adopted” Zhu Yufu, a Chinese Christian dissident, to highlight his plight and the plight of prisoners of conscience around the world. Zhu has spent several hundred days behind the walls of the overcrowded Zhejiang Prison No. 4 in China for his pro-democracy activities. Hultgren was recently appointed to the executive committee of the bipartisan TLHRC, which promotes, defends and advocates internationally recognized human rights norms.

Rep. Hultgren also cosponsored H.R. 1159 to make sure the United States reaffirms its commitment to advance universal suffrage, full democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

“The United States supports the advance of democracy and autonomy in Hong Kong, but China has been steadily backsliding on its promises to the people of Hong Kong and the international community,” Hultgren said. “The U.S. must reaffirm its commitment to democracy throughout China.”

H.R. 1159 amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 by:
• Directing the secretary of state to reinstate an annual report to congress on conditions in Hong Kong that are of U.S. interest, and annually thereafter for 10 years or until the secretary certifies that Hong Kong has held free and fair elections.
• Directs the secretary to certify annually to congress whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify separate treatment different from that accorded to China in any new laws, agreements, treaties, or arrangements entered into between the United States and Hong Kong.
• Encourages support for human rights, rule of law or democracy in Hong Kong by exempting new agreements in these areas from the annual certification requirement.
• Authorizes the secretary to waive the certification requirement if in U.S. national interests, and with congressional notification.

Payton Foundation walk to honor Kaneville’s Hill

in Kaneville/Regional by
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KANEVILLE—Pat Hill has touched the lives of many during her time as a Kaneville resident, village president and owner of Hill’s Country Store. Known for her generous and caring demeanor, Hill last year was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. The community immediately sprang into action in an attempt to help Hill during her battle.

The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation have recently decided that it, too, would like to help Hill. As a result, the foundation will hold its Sweetness Walk in honor of Hill on Saturday, June 6, at 8 a.m. at Yorkville Grade School, 201 W. Somonauk St., Yorkville.

“This is the 10th year that (the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation) has done this walk,” Payton Foundation member Nancy Hewlett said. “It’s a fundraiser we do in Yorkville each year where normally 100 percent of the proceeds go back to the foundation for our other events. Last year, we held the walk in honor of (Yorkville resident) Madi Beetham, a young girl fighting cancer.

“Right now, we have about 500 runners (signed up), but not everyone is signed up under (Team Pat). We are hoping to get around 600 to 650 runners this year.”

For the Payton Foundation, it was an easy choice to honor Hill at this year’s walk. After everything Hill has done for the foundation and the community, it only felt natural to give back.

“We love Pat. Pat has been doing volunteer work for us for years,” Hewlett said. “We just love getting out in the community and helping people—that’s what we do. We enjoy helping people locally, especially Pat. She gives back to so many organizations and has such a big heart, we really wanted to help her.”

Hill’s daughter, Alexa, said their family every Christmas season does a Payton Foundation toy drive at Hill’s Country Store.

To sign up for Team Pat, pick up a form at Hill’s Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road, or register online at www.payton34.com and enter ‘Pat Hill’ under team name. Pat will have her own table set up at the walk in order to meet and talk with people in attendance.

“I thought it was awesome (that the Walter and Connie Foundation) was doing this for my mom,” Alexa said. “I was overwhelmed. People have been so kind to us. It’s really cool that they would do this.”

file photo

The difference a year can make

in Regional/Sugar Grove by
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One year following brain cancer diagnosis, former Sugar Grove Library director Holmes feels better than expected
SUGAR GROVE—It’s been a little more than a year since former Sugar Grove Public Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme—an aggressive brain tumor—but she is doing better than might have been expected.

Following her surgery in May 2014—during which the doctors removed as much of the tumor as they could—and six weeks of radiation, she underwent chemotherapy treatment. This week, she began her 11th round of chemo pills, which she takes one week of each month.

An MRI of Hughes’ brain in April 2015 showed no new growth, leading her doctor to define her condition as stable.

“He reminds me that we’re in uncharted and undocumented waters,” Hughes said.

She said he and her other health care providers caution her about reading too much about her disease on the Internet.

“The research talks about survival rates, and at this point, the doctors wonder about the impacts of the radiation,” Holmes said. “But, if enough of us live long enough, hopefully we can change the statistics.”

In the meantime, she walks with the assistance of a walker, saying her balance and her stability are not exactly right. She also fatigues easily, part of which is due to her chemo treatment.

Out of necessity, Hughes works 30 hours a week as the director of Library Services for DeVry University. She is the sole financial provider for her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and her sister’s adopted children, four of whom still live at home.

Beverly’s doctor has told her that she needs to get more rest.

“I have to listen to my body,” she said.

Because of her compromised immune system, she works from home. This also allows her to rest when she needs to, and to schedule her hours to work when she will be the most productive.

Beverly and her family do simple things for fun. They drive through Morton Arboretum, watch movies at home, and she sits with the children and talks to them when they come home from school.

“We’ll just keep making more memories,” she said. “The alternative would be dismal and dreary, and I’d be no fun to be around.”

Beverly said that she could worry about what is going to happen, but that won’t change anything. She is able to compartmentalize her illness and put it aside enough to allow her to enjoy the time that she has with her family.

“We have honest conversations,” she said. “But I like to look at the rainbow instead of the clouds.”

Beverly said she doesn’t feel that she has the key to how to cope with her cancer—this is just the way that she copes best.

Beverly joined an online group of individuals in situations similar to hers. She said they celebrate every piece of good news and get teary at times of loss.

She said that all of the love and prayers, support and encouragement she has received from people within the community has meant a great deal to her.

“It’s been one of those silver linings,” she said. “I can’t quantify it, but it certainly makes a difference.”

Beverly communicates with people mostly through Sugar Grove residents Pat Graceffa and Louise Coffman, both of whom have been steadfast friends.

Graceffa, who once served as president of the Sugar Grove Friends of the Library, has shared her love of the library with Beverly over the years, volunteering and contributing to much of what the Sugar Grove Public Library is today.

Coffman said she first met Hughes upon joining the Corn Boil Committee years ago. She also volunteers at the library.

Coffman has held a couple of fundraisers for Beverly to help her out with her medical bills and other expenses. During the holidays last year, Coffman held an event where she provided the materials for people to assemble their own snowman earrings at a charge of $10 per person.

Coffman said that people ended up giving her an extra $10 or $20, and others who couldn’t make it to the party gave her a $20 bill anyway.

By Christmas, she had raised $1,000.

“All the money went to Bev,” Coffman said. “I love that. This community is so giving.”
Coffman held an open house fundraiser at the end of April. Forty-five people showed up for another chance to show their support for Beverly, who was able to join them for a time. Attendees enjoyed champagne and appetizers and purchased the angel jewelry made by Coffman. She raised another $1,600.

“People were just thrilled to see Beverly,” Coffman said.

Coffman plans to do more following late July’s Sugar Grove Corn Boil.

“I’m just trying to do little stuff just to keep it in people’s minds that Beverly still needs our help, and she’ll always need our help,” Coffman said.

“(Beverly’s) a bright light,” Sugar Grove Library Director Shannon Halikias said. “She’s amazing, both for what she’s dealing with as well as what she’s accomplished in her life.”

Halikias said she originally met Beverly a number of years ago, when Halikias was at the Aurora Public Library.

“Her gentle and ready smile was well known,” Halikias said.

Halikias said that since she has been with the Sugar Grove Library, Beverly has provided her with her decades of historical knowledge about the library. She said that with such a long-term body of service, Beverly has much knowledge not necessarily captured in notes—of the development of policy, what works for the community, what has been successful, as well as what has failed.

“I’ve been able to call her with questions, and she’s always been very positive,” Halikias said. “She’s been so helpful for charting our future.”

The two women recently met for lunch. Beverly said it is gratifying to see Halikias moving the library forward in such a positive direction, building on what she and Graceffa and the Library Friends envisioned years ago.

“To see it in action is a good experience,” Beverly said.

An ongoing fundraiser, “Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer,” is continuing to collect funds to help the Hughes family through an account at Castle Bank. Monetary donations can be made to the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund at any Castle Bank location, including the Sugar Grove branch located at 36 E. Galena Blvd.

To keep up with Beverly’s progress, as well as to find out more about how you can help her battle, visit the Beverly’s Battle with Brain Cancer page on Facebook.

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