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Regional - page 10

Unincorporated St. Charles man killed in vehicle crash

in Elburn/Regional by

BLACKBERRY TWP.—The Kane County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a single-vehicle fatal traffic crash that occurred on June 26 near the intersection of Route 47 and Rowe Road in unincorporated Blackberry Township.

The initial investigation indicates that a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban was traveling south on Route 47 at a high rate of speed. For reasons unknown, the vehicle crossed the center line of the road and went off onto the northbound shoulder of the roadway and the back onto the roadway. The vehicle then began to roll and the driver was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle, Mark Detoni, 54, of the 39W700 block of Gunpowder Lane in unincorporated St. Charles, was transported to Delnor Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Route 47 was closed between Rowe Road and Kenmar Drive for approximately two hours while the crash was investigated. Investigators have not determined if drugs or alcohol played a role in this crash. It does not appear that Detoni was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Disaster assistance may be available for HVAC systems

in Regional by

AURORA—The summer cooling season has arrived in Illinois, and those in areas affected by the April 16 to May 5 storms may be eligible for repair or replacement of heating, ventilation and cooling systems (HVAC) if they were damaged or destroyed by flooding and were not covered by insurance.

“FEMA’s mission includes ensuring that all homes affected by the flooding are habitable,” said W. Michael Moore, federal coordinating officer for the disaster. “In order for homes to be habitable, furnaces and central air conditioning systems must be in good working order.”

Federal disaster assistance may cover the cleaning and testing of a flood-damaged HVAC system and replacement if the unit was destroyed because of storms during the incident period. To be considered, Illinois residents must first register for assistance from FEMA by the Tuesday, July 9 deadline.

Those who discover their HVAC system needs repair or replacement after they already received a FEMA grant for this disaster that did not include money to repair their HVAC system can file an appeal for additional disaster funds. However, the appeal must be made within 60 days of the date of the original grant or determination letter.

When filing an appeal, survivors must submit a letter requesting additional funds and a verifiable estimate or an itemized receipt by a contractor that states that the estimate or actual cost paid is not an upgrade, that the repair was necessary to make the home habitable and is disaster related.

Applicants may be eligible for costs related to the repair or replacement of the furnaces, including the cost for labor. If the furnace is located on the ground-level floor or basement, FEMA encourages the applicant to elevate the unit.

Low interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also cover repairs to HVAC systems. Disaster survivors with insurance should not wait for an insurance settlement before applying to the SBA. If survivors do not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, the SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.

It is important that anyone receiving an SBA disaster loan application complete and return it. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan; however, it is a necessary step to be considered for other additional forms of federal disaster assistance.

It is unnecessary to visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to register with FEMA. Individuals can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. People who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS) can call 800-621-3362. For more information visit www.fema.gov/disaster/4116.

Lockyer of Canada’s TRIUMF lab named Fermilab director

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BATAVIA—Nigel Lockyer, director of Canada’s TRIUMF laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of British Columbia, was recently selected to become the next director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. A suite of new projects awaits Lockyer at Fermilab, which is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics research.

An experimental particle physicist, Lockyer, 60, has directed TRIUMF since May 2007. Under his leadership, TRIUMF formulated a vision for ascending the world stage in nuclear physics using rare-isotope beams to address some of the most fundamental questions in science.

The flagship of the plan is the $100 million Advanced Rare IsotopE Laboratory (ARIEL), built around a world-class electron accelerator that employs next-generation superconducting radio frequency technology.

Lockyer has become well acquainted with Fermilab while serving in a variety of capacities dating back more than 25 years. He performed research for many years at the Collider Detector at Fermilab experiment at Fermilab’s Tevatron, serving as the experiment’s co-spokesperson from 2002 through 2004. He also was a Fermilab guest scientist from 2002 until 2005, co-head of CDF operations and guest scientist in 2001 and 2002, and a visiting scientist during the summers of 1987 and 1988.

He was an early leader of efforts to construct a test facility at Fermilab for advanced particle accelerator technology that would be used to power the International Linear Collider. Such a test facility for high-gradient superconducting cavities has since been built at Fermilab in partnership with national and international institutions.

As Fermilab director, Lockyer also will oversee operations of a powerful complex of newly upgraded particle accelerators and sophisticated experiments to study the nature of matter, energy, space and time. Thousands of scientists from around the world use Fermilab facilities for their research. The largest of Fermilab’s new projects is the NOvA Neutrino Experiment under construction at Fermilab and in Ash River, Minn. NOvA will investigate neutrino oscillations, a phenomenon that could hold important clues to the evolution of the early universe. Fermilab is also the U.S. hub for research into the Higgs boson and other phenomena using the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

Lockyer’s medical-physics background meshes well with a new R&D center that Fermilab is building in partnership with the State of Illinois. This center will be dedicated to accelerating the transfer of technologies developed for particle physics research to other sectors of society, including medicine, manufacturing and energy.

Lockyer’s term as Fermilab director will begin Tuesday, Sept. 3. Fermilab Chief Operating Officer Jack Anderson will serve as interim director starting Monday, July 1.

Somonauk resident named WCC student trustee

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

SUGAR GROVE—Mekenah Merrill of Somonauk was recently elected to serve as Waubonsee Community College’s student trustee for the 2013-14 academic year. Merrill was seated at the college’s Board of Trustees meeting on June 19.

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.

Merrill is a 2012 graduate of Somonauk High School, where she was active in student government before becoming a student senator at Waubonsee last year. A member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Merrill has maintained a 3.92 grade-point average while studying political science and foreign languages at the college.

‘Icarus’ Mother’ at Steel Beam Theatre

in Events/Regional by

ST. CHARLES—Steel Beam Theatre will present Sam Shepard’s one-act play “Icarus’ Mother” on Friday and Saturday, July 12-13, at the theatre, 111 W. Main St. in St. Charles.

The play is about a picnic, so the audience will “picnic” on food donated by Noodles and Company and The Spice House, both of Geneva, with complimentary beer and wine included. Food service will begin at 7 p.m., with curtain at 8:15 p.m.

Tickets for this special fundraising event are $45 per person and may be purchased online at www.SteelBeamTheatre.com or by phone at (630) 945-0052.

Art Therapy for Movement Disorders available at Rush-Copley

in Events/Regional by

AURORA—Movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor affect more than 40 million Americans. More than motor symptoms, these diseases also have an impact on an individual’s mental and emotional health. To help individuals and families living with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders achieve the highest quality of life, Rush-Copley will to offer Art Therapy for Movement Disorders.

Art therapy sessions are held the second and fourth Monday of each month, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Rush-Copley Heart Institute, 2088 Ogden Ave. in Aurora. There is no cost to attend, and family members or care partners are welcome.

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses master’s level art therapists and the creative process of art making to encourage growth, healing and connections to self and others. Art therapy can help individuals cope with symptoms and stress and has been shown to enhance cognitive abilities and stimulate neurological pathways.

For more information, visit rushcopley.com or call 866-4COPLEY (1-866-426-7539).

Aurora Senior Services to host Senior Fair

in Events/Regional by

AURORA—The Aurora Senior Services Associates will host a Senior Fair on Monday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to noon at its office, 900 N. Lake St., Aurora.

Approximately 25 senior providers will have informational tables and displays. Seniors will be able to win a variety of door prizes. A continental breakfast will be available, as well as blood pressure and pulse ox screenings.

Mark your calendars and join Aurora Senior Services for a healthy kickoff to the summer season.

Open house at historic Campton Town Hall

in Events/Regional by
Photo courtesy camptontownship.com

CAMPTON TWP.—Campton Township will host an open house on Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Town Hall, located on the southwest corner of Route 64 and Town Hall Road in Wasco.

Volunteers have put together several exhibits on township government, Campton Township, and the Open Space Program. Residents are encouraged to stop by to read about some of the original settlers in Campton Township and learn about the importance of township government. Light refreshments will be served.

The town hall building, which was built by the residents of Campton Township in 1874, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and on the Kane County Register of Historic Places in 1997. Town Hall is open for tours by appointment by contacting the Campton Township office at www.campton- township.com or (630) 387-1016.

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois to present ‘My Best Elf Self’ Day Camp

in Events/Regional by

ST. CHARLES—From running through rain drops and splashing in a swimming pool to cruising in a canoe, little girls love water. Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois is giving all local girls, grades two through four, the chance to discover the wonders of water during “My Best Elf Self” Day Camp.

The camp will take place the week of June 24–28, from noon to 5:30 p.m. at Baker Com- munity Center, 101 S. 2nd St. in downtown St. Charles. The fee is $35 per girl and includes a “WOW! Journey” book, snacks, field trips and awards. This camp is made possible through a grant from Cadence Health.

Register at www.girlscoutsni.org. For information, contact Brooke Radford-Knight at (630) 897-1565, ext. 7147, or email bknight@girlscoutsni.org.

Newtson lends a helping hand

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Sycamore resident travels to Oklahoma to aid with tornado disaster relief relief
Sycamore—A powerful tornado tore through Moore, Okla., just 11 miles south of Oklahoma City on May 20, between 2:56 and 3:36 p.m. The tornado, which destroyed two elementary schools, a middle school, the Moore Medical Center and a movie theater, was ranked between an EF4 and EF5, two of the most disastrous ranks on the “Enhanced Fujita Scale,” established in February 2007.

Sycamore resident Lee Newtson recently took it upon himself to go and help with the disaster relief in Oklahoma.

“I was in the Shawnee rural area at a subdivision by a pond of 85 home sites that were destroyed by the first tornado,” he said.

Newtson’s trip lasted just over a week. He described the scene of his first night there.

“On Friday, we got a tornado warning and had to get out of there and seek shelter. I was a few miles away in a motel room when the storm hit. I was seriously planning on getting into the bathroom and in the tub,” he said. “The storm was fierce with very dark clouds, wind, rain and a lot of lightning. The electrical system of my car door locks was triggered and it unlocked my car and opened the trunk lid. When I went out, I found five to six inches of water in my trunk.”

Newtson also went into detail about how he and others helped the victims.

“We were able to get a big tent from a local veteran post to use for a central drop-off and pick-up point. Then we got a hold of a company that brought in port-o-potties,” he said. “We contacted Lake View Church and survival supplies starting rolling in. Then we called a pump repair company to assist with the use of a generator to get the battered up water system working so people could have water to drink. Many coolers with ice and beverages are now available with some food. We started to get the residents some relief, sanitation, food, water and compassion. We were a shoulder to lean on and a sounding board to listen.”

Newtson is no stranger to helping with disasters such as this—he’s assisted with disaster relief in Joplin, Missouri; Harrisburg, Ill.; and Ridgeway, Ill. Newtson says he has a lot of support from the Grace Fellowship Church in Maple Park and from his prayer group comprised of churches in the area.

On top of many other family, friends, and acquaintances, he also personally acknowledged Pat Hill, Kaneville Village Board President and owner of Hill’s Country Store.

“(Pat) has gone above and beyond in doing fundraisers, raffles and collecting money for my trips,” Newtson said. “She even packed a cooler full of sandwiches, snacks, and beverages for me to use during my drive to Oklahoma.

Newtson took the trip—totaling 1,946 miles—alone in his Mercury Grand Marquis.

“I could not find a place to stay overnight, so I slept in my car at a truck stop the first night,” he said.

Newtson said that he had a plan of action put together, but he wound up making a wrong turn the next night and found Lake View Church, a distribution and shelter for victims, which directed him to the area in which he volunteered.

“Many of the volunteers told me of the area just a few miles away that had 85 homes in it that were destroyed, and no one was there with any assistance for them,” he said.

Newtson said that he relies on donors to enable his trips to these disaster areas.

“When they came out of the storm shelters, they only had clothes on their back and nothing else. No home. No car. Everything was gone,” he said. “I hope that we were able to lighten the load and be of help and support to those who endured such devastating hardship.”

Elburn hosts Rep. Hatcher’s traveling office hours

in Events/Regional by

Yorkville, Ill.—State Representative Kay Hatcher is again this summer taking her office on the road to meet with local residents in communities throughout the 50th District.

Elburn will host Rep. Hatcher’s traveling office hours on Tuesday, June 25, 9 a.m. to noon at Elburn Village Hall, 301 E. North St.

“Our traveling office hours schedule is a good way for me to keep in touch with constituents in all corners of our district. It enables me to bring my district office to residents who may find it difficult or inconvenient to travel to my Yorkville location,” Rep. Hatcher said. “I hope everyone in the Elburn area who would like to speak with me about a problem or idea, or just wants to say hello, will stop by Village Hall on June 25.”

No appointments are necessary; walk-ins are welcome.

Constituents can always reach Rep. Hatcher’s Yorkville office, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (630) 553- 3223 or emailing info@kayhatcher.us.

Steel Beam Theatre, Girls Scouts of Northern Illinois, to offer summer camps

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ST. CHARLES—Steel Beam Theatre, in partnership with Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, will offer summer camps for girls through July and August. The theatre is located at 111 W. Main St. in downtown St. Charles, and has been offering programs for Girl Scouts since its inception in 2001. These newly created camps coincide with the newly restructured scouting program.

All classes held Monday through Friday will go from 10 a.m. to noon. Saturday performances will take place at 4 p.m. Classes are a minimum of six participants and a maximum of 20. Cost is $150 per student.

Girl Scouts Brownie Acting Camp
The Girl Scouts Brownie Acting Camp will take place the week July 15-20. The girls will spend a week exploring their connection to each other and friendship and super powers within. Instructed by Lori Holm.

Girl Scouts Junior Acting Camp
The Girl Scouts Junior Acting Camp will take place the week of July 29-Aug 3. The girls will spend a week exploring the various “roles” played in life, and in support of one another with a touch of Hollywood glamor. Instructed by Lori Holm.

For more information or to register, visit www.SteelBeamtheatre.com or phone the the- atre at (630) 587-8521. Girls do not need to be a Scout in order to participate in the camps.

KC to perform resurfacing on Keslinger Road

in Elburn/Kaneville/Maple Park/Regional by

KANE COUNTY—Pavement resurfacing work for Kane County’s 2013 Resurfacing Program is scheduled to take place from now until Friday, July 19, weather permitting, on the portion of Keslinger Road stretching from West County Line Road to Route 47.

The resurfacing process typically includes grinding and removal of 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches of the top wearing surface of pavement; placement of a fresh oil application over the ground pavement; and placement of 2.25 inches of an asphalt layer over the oil application to provide a new, smooth riding surface.

Temporary daily lane closures, Monday through Saturday, will be required to accomplish this work. Watch out for fresh oil signs and flaggers, and reduce speed while traveling through the construction zone. Motorists should expect delays, increased travel times during the resurfacing process, and are advised to consider alternate routes during the afforementioned work.

Questions or concerns may be directed to John Guddendorf at (630) 816-9671, or Bryan Schramer at (630) 762-2744. For all Kane County traffic advisories, see www.co.kane.il.us/dot/trafficalerts.

Kane County Bar Foundation now accepting grant applications

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KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Bar Foundation (KCBF) recently announced that it is accepting grants from non-profit organizations seeking to meet the unfilled legal needs of local citizens.

Since 1996, the Foundation has been proud to offer funds to encourage and reward cooperation and creativity to develop new and innovative programs and resources to better meet the legal needs of the community.

Last year, four grants totaling $12,500 were awarded by the Foundation to local organizations and agencies in their quest to assist members of the community with their legal issues.

This is a competitive process. Only one application will be accepted per agency per funding year. Applications are due no later than July 1, and may be obtained on the Kane County Bar Association website, www.kanecountybar.org/kcbf-grants, or by emailing the Foundation’s Executive Director Jan Wade at director@kanecountybar.org.

Batavia Farmers’ Market moves to new location

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BATAVIA—The Batavia Farmers’ Market will soon relocate to the rejuvenated area of North River Street, between Wilson and State streets.

“The decision to relocate was based on many factors, including the ability to expand the market for a larger variety of vendors, amenities such as electric outlets, the beautiful aesthetics of a pedestrian friendly plaza in the center of our vibrant downtown and positive feedback and support from surrounding businesses,” said Jennifer Echert, a member of the MainStreet Board of Directors.

Opening day for the Batavia Farmers’ Market is Saturday, June 8, with the season running for 19 weeks, plus BatFest on Saturday, Oct. 19. Market hours for the public are 8 a.m. to noon.

For more information, visit www.downtownbatavia.com or call (630) 761-3528.

Accidental firearm discharge at St. Charles Sportsman’s Club injures 10

in Elburn/Regional by

BLACKBERRY TWP.—Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies, as well as Elburn Police, Firefighters and EMS, on Tuesday evening were dispatched to the St. Charles Sportsman’s Club, 44W471 Keslinger Road in unincorporated Blackberry Township, on a report of a gun that had accidentally discharged and injured several people.

An initial investigation indicates that a member of the club was preparing to put his 12-gauge shotgun away and put what he thought was a snap cap into the gun. A snap cap is used to save the firing pin of the gun while it is being stored.

The member pulled the trigger while he had the gun pointed at the floor, causing the shotgun to discharge, as he had put a live shotgun round into the gun instead of the snap cap. The buckshot from the live shotgun round went into the floor and bounced up and out and struck several people who were in the clubhouse.

Three people, including a 31-year-old male from West Chicago, Ill., a 60-year-old male from Somonauk, Ill., and a 14-year-old male from Geneva, were transported to Delnor-Community Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Seven people were treated at the scene and released, including the 69-year-old male from St. Charles who discharged the shotgun.

An initial investigation suggests that the incident was accidental in nature. As a result, it’s unlikely that any charges will be sought in relation to the incident.

Garfield Farm Museum begins summer hours

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CAMPTON HILLS—June is officially the start of the summer tour season at Garfield Farm Museum. Walk-in tours are available from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays through September.

Visitors to the farm can escape the complexities of modern life and travel back to a time before television, the Internet and smart phones. During the tour, interpreters in period clothing will show visitors what life was like back in the 1840s. Highlights include rare breed farm animals, historic barns and the 1846 brick tavern.

Tours are $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and under. For more information, contact the museum at (630) 584-8485 or info@garfieldfarm.org. Garfield Farm Museum is located on Garfield Road in Campton Hills.

Better Business Bureau: Don’t get scammed when donating to tornado victims

in Health & Wellness/Regional by

CHICAGO—In the wake of a tragedy, scammers like to rise and take advantage of kind, giving people. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) is alerting consumers of the possibility of phony charity scams related to the Oklahoma tornado.

“Tragedies bring people together and inspire many to help out by giving,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Unfortunately, the aftermath of natural disasters is also a time when scammers find ways to take money from good people.”

The BBB recommends asking the following questions before choosing to donate to a specific charity:

• Is this a charity I can trust? Look at the appeal carefully—some charities have similar sounding names. Don’t be fooled by names that look impressive or that closely resemble the name of a well-known organization. Check with your appropriate state government authorities (this is usually a division of the state’s office of the attorney general) to verify the charity is registered to solicit in your state. Also, visit the website of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance (www.bbb.org/charity) to find out whether a national charity meets the 20 BBB charity standards that address charity governance, finances, fund raising, donor privacy, and other accountability issues.
• How will the charity use my donation? Ask questions about how your donation will be used. Beware of appeals that bring tears to your eyes but give few details of what the charity is doing about the problem it describes so well. For example, if the charity says it’s helping the homeless, do they explain how (shelter, food, medical care) and where this is taking place?
• Watch out for statements such as “all proceeds will go to the charity.” This can mean that only the money left after expenses, such as the cost of written materials and fundraising efforts, will go to the charity. These expenses can sometimes be high, so check carefully.
• Is my donation tax deductible? If you want to take a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes, make sure the organization is tax exempt as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A charity appeal will usually include a reference to this. To verify a charity’s tax status, access an IRS database of organizations by viewing Publication 78 on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. Consult your tax advisor for details.
• Can the charity actually use what I’m donating? All charities welcome the receipt of monetary donations, but some also solicit in-kind donations such as clothing, food and toys. If you’re planning to donate items to a worthy cause, make sure you know the in-kind contributions your charity prefers. For example, a food bank may prefer food items that are not perishable such as canned goods.
• Am I feeling pressured to give? Don’t succumb to pressure to give money on the spot, either immediately over the phone via credit card or by allowing a “runner” to pick up a contribution. Take the time to research the charity fully—the charity that needs your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.

The BBB is asking anyone who receives a suspicious charitable solicitation to report it to BBB Report a Scam. For more advice on giving and to view reports on charities visit www.bbb.org/charity.
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More Illinois counties added to disaster declaration

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CHICAGO—Illinois residents in 14 additional counties affected by April’s severe storms and flooding are now eligible to register for federal disaster assistance, state and federal officials recently announced.

The Federal Emergency Management approved Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s request to add Bureau, Crawford, Henderson, Knox, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, Peoria, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties to the major disaster declaration issued May 10. This brings the total to 25 counties in the Illinois disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding between April 16 and May 5. Previous counties designated under the declaration are Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Fulton, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry and Will.

Illinois Emergency Management Teams and FEMA continue to assess damage and help residents begin their recovery.

Individual assistance for homeowners and renters can include grants to help pay for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses not met by insurance or other assistance programs. Also, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.

Individuals can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 to register.

SBA low-interest disaster loans may be available for homeowners, renters, businesses and private non-profit organizations of all sizes to repair or replace real estate, contents and/or personal property damaged in the severe storms and flooding. Information and assistance from SBA is available at 1-800-659-2955, (TTY) 1-800-877-8339 or online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

FEMA’s mission is to support its citizens and first responders to ensure that the nation, as a whole, works together to build, sustain and improve its capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Kane County Treasurer’s Office to host I-Cash Kiosk during tax season

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GENEVA—Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is encouraging Kane County residents to stop by his I-Cash kiosk at the Kane County Treasurer’s Office before June 10 to see if they have any unclaimed cash or property.

“These kiosks are designed to help more people find their own money, and I thank Kane County Treasurer David Rickert for allowing me to place a kiosk here,” said Rutherford. “In Kane County, 172,184 owners have $36,216,632 in unclaimed property.”

“This kiosk is up and running, and will be at the Kane County Treasurer’s Office, at 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva, until June 10. Please remember that the first installment of property taxes is due June 3,” said Rickert.

Rutherford said that people are thrilled to find out they have money just waiting for them through I-Cash.

“I encourage area residents to come visit me at local I-Cash events for assistance in locating their money or property,” he said. “Plus everyone should make an attempt to review our online database annually so they don’t miss out on money or valuable assets the state is holding for them.”

The recent rebranding and marketing campaign has dramatically increased the number of searches on the I-Cash (formerly Cash Dash) website and the number of claims filed. In the first month after the launch of I-Cash, the number of web visits increased by 140 percent (69,087 to 165,683), and the number of claims increased by 322 percent (7,506 to 31,703) as compared to the month before the switch to I-Cash.

The treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division’s costs, including staff, computers and travel, are paid for through the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, and not by tax dollars.

The I-Cash program helps reunite owners with their unclaimed property. The Unclaimed Property Division has $1.7 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years. During Rutherford’s first year in office, the program marked the first time in history that the treasurer’s office returned more than $100 million to the people who owned those assets. The total returned for 2012 was $129 million, a 27 percent increase over the previous year. In past administrations, the I-Cash program returned about $80 million annually to owners.

It’s common for people to lose track of their assets when they move or when loved ones pass away. Businesses and banks are required to turn over unclaimed accounts to the treasurer’s office. Some examples of unclaimed property currently held by the treasurer’s office include the following:

• Money from inactive savings and checking accounts
• Unpaid wages or commissions
• Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
• Money orders and bill overpayments
• Paid-up life insurance policies
• Safe deposit box contents

To find out if you have unclaimed property through I-Cash, you can visit the treasurer’s website at www.Treasurer.Il.Gov and follow the I-Cash link. The website is updated weekly to reflect new properties remitted to the office. Additionally, I-Cash teams conduct regular outreach across the state, place twice-annual notices in newspapers and send direct mail to new single-owner claimants with property worth more than $100. You can contact the Unclaimed Property Division by calling (217) 785-6998 or emailing info@Icash.Illinois.gov, although searches cannot be completed by telephone.

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