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Regional - page 22

Illinois Recycling Association alerts residents to new Electronics Recycling Law effective Jan. 1

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Variety of electronics banned from landfills
OAK PARK, Ill.—The Illinois Recycling Association announces a ban on the disposal of electronics in Illinois landfills as of Jan. 1.

This is in accordance with a new Illinois State Law SB2106 (P.A. 97-0287), signed by Governor Pat Quinn in August 2011, that has drastically limited the types of items that can be disposed in landfills.

The Illinois Recycling Association (IRA) worked with the Environmental Law and Policy Center to ensure that this new law did not result in extra costs to consumers, while addressing the increasing amount of electronics in the waste stream. USEPA estimates that 85 percent of electronics are currently not recycled; these items contain mined materials that can be reclaimed, reused and recycled. Recycling rather than dumping these items saves resources and creates jobs, many of them in the U.S.

“Many members of the Illinois Recycling Association are electronic recyclers, and since 2010, they have been working with electronic manufacturers to fund the recycling of residential items. With the passage of the 2011 law, more items are included, and the goals for recycling are higher. This ensures recycling opportunities throughout the state of Illinois,” said Paul Jaquet, President of IRA.

The law requires manufacturers to pay the cost of recycling; therefore, residents using drop-off sites will not be charged.

“The glass in televisions and monitors is expensive to handle, and some of the plastics are difficult to separate. There is a cost to recover these items, but the environmental benefits far outweigh any disadvantages,” explained Mike Mitchell, Executive Director of IRA.

IRA wis part of a statewide task force that worked to improve the law passed in 2009, originally setting the Jan. 1, 2012 disposal ban. The new law, signed this past summer, bans 17 specific items although most electronic recycling programs accept more than what is listed here.

• Televisions
• Electronic Keyboards
• Video Game Consoles
• Digital Converter Boxes
• Monitors
• Facsimile Machines
• Electronic Mice
• Videocassette Recorders
• Printers
• Scanners
• Small Scale Servers
• Portable Digital Music Players
• Cable Receivers
• Satellite Receivers
• Computers (including
desktop /laptop/tablet)
• Digital Video Disc Recorders & Players

For information on recycling locations, check the Illinois Recycling Association website at www.illinoisrecycles.org.

Aurora Funders Consortium funding application

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AURORA—The Aurora Funders Consortium, consisting of Aurora Township, the INC Board, NFP and the United Way of the Fox Valley, has posted its 2012-13 funding application online at http://www.incboard.org/ApplReport.htm. All applications are due no later than 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012.

All community agencies and/or organizations interested in applying for funding must access the application online. All organizations should carefully read the funding criteria. The criteria is different for each of the funders.

For more information, call Jerry Murphy or Marti Cross at the INC Board, (630) 892-5456.

Kane County Animal Control needs volunteers

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GENEVA—If you love animals and have two hours a week to spare, you might consider a volunteer program developed by Kane County Animal Control.

The program consists of three levels, allowing volunteers to work their way up to various tasks. Some of the tasks volunteers may do for include folding laundry, washing dishes, data entry, grooming animals, walking animals, participating in rabies clinics and supporting staff at educational events.

Volunteers are asked to make a two-hour-per-week commitment to remain active in the program, must be over 18 years of age and pass a criminal history background check. Anyone interested in volunteer opportunities may visit www.co.kane.il.us/animalControl/ to download information or call (630) 232-3555.

Serendipity brings healing and relaxation

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by Lynn Meredith
SYCAMORE—Whether you’re looking for a candle, gem stones and jewelry, or a healing herbal treatment, you will find a calming and peaceful environment at Serendipity, a holistic wellness and gift space in Sycamore at 1325 E. State St. Owner and practitioner Laurie Lipscomb has created a space that welcomes and comforts both customers and clients alike.

Lipscomb, a Northern Illinois University public health graduate, has been studying and practicing alternative therapies for over a decade. Through her own health issues, she found her way past traditional western medicine to Ayurvedic, the Indian version of Chinese medicine. Ayurvedic approaches health and wellness with nutritional, herbal and relaxation therapies.

“Things were going on with my health, and I wasn’t finding alleviation with western medicine. It was pills on top of pills. I started my own self-study. I eventually wanted to help people understand how emotions play into health, especially nutrition, which is not emphasized by most doctors,” Lipscomb said.

Her study took her to Kanyakumary in Milwaukee, a school that trains Ayurvedic practitioners. She studied the Ayurvedic system, herbs to treat pathologies and techniques such as Shirodara, a relaxing, full-body treatment where a steady stream of oil is poured over the forehead.

Interested in many different areas of health and healing, Lipscomb created a retail space where she can promote the things that helped her. The building on the east edge of Sycamore is deceptively small. Inside there is room for a retail store, a consulting room, treatment room and kitchen. There’s even a garden with fire pit where groups often meet. Serendipity offers workshops and classes such as a monthly Henna painting night with a local artist, chakra classes and healing with gem stones.

“I want to create a relaxing, not intimidating, atmosphere here. Most healing spaces try to mimic western medicine offices. It’s what our model is. I’ve found a huge key to (the client) having success is to feel safe. If you feel nervous, it hinders the process,” Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb said her clients first come to her as customers and come back to try her treatments. The store displays cases with jewelry that Lipscomb will custom bead, baskets of healing gemstones, books and aromatherapy.

“The stones are the biggest thing people come in for. There’s nowhere in the area where you can get these. People come in looking for gems to help with emotional and mental tension and to get rid of negativity,” she said.

Her treatment layers in different approaches using Ayurvedic herbs and bodywork that can help someone with issues other treatments have not helped. They can help with digestive upsets, hormonal imbalances, skin problems, pain and emotional issues. By looking at the client’s tongue, checking their pulse and even doing an Indian astrological chart, she can find where the symptoms are coming from.

“I always want to get to the root of it,” she said. “What I most strongly end up doing though is counseling. The classes have created a community of people. It’s surprising how many people are looking for that community.”

For more information, visit serendipity.holistic.com or call (815) 895-5500.

Photo: Laura Lipscomb of West Chicago stands in front of her unique business in Sycamore. Serendipity is a wellness and education center that specializes in ayurvedic (eastern/herbal) medicine and offers a wide array of treatments and services. Photo by John DiDonna

Aurora woman could face prison time for role in fatal 2009 motorcycle crash

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ST. CHARLES—An Aurora woman awaits sentencing that could include prison time for her role in a deadly crash on Route 47 that killed two area motorcyclists and injured several others nearly three years ago.

Alia N. Bernard, 27, pleaded guilty and will return to court Feb. 8, 2012, to learn if she is sentenced to probation or between six and 28 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. She remains free on a $5,000 bond.

On May 23, 2009, Bernard was driving southbound on Route 47 when she allegedly struck a vehicle stopped behind two others setting off a chain reaction that pushed the first vehicle into the path of a group of oncoming motorcycles. Wade Thomas, 44, and his passenger and wife Denise Thomas, 45, were both killed when Wade’s Harley Davidson motorcycle struck a vehicle that was pushed into his path.

Toxicology tests show that Bernard had cannabis in her system when the crash occurred.

Get ready for a colder and wetter winter

in Health & Wellness/Regional by

See also: Local resident warns of potentially severe winter weather

CHICAGO—The National Weather Service is forecasting that this winter will be “colder and wetter than average.”

Long range weather forecasts from AccuWeather show the Chicago area could see 50 to 58 inches of snow this winter, compared to the 56 inches of snow received last winter. This is all due to a persistent La Nina weather pattern.

With these predictions in mind, the Kane County Office of Emergency Management has enhanced the County’s severe winter storm plans to include new technologies and procedures to better coordinate a county-wide response while improving communication with the public.

To provide effective planning coordination prior to the onset of a severe winter storm the OEM will conduct county wide briefings with municipalities to share pre-storm related information from the National Weather Service and collaborate on a county-wide response.

During the storm, the OEM will use an emergency management program that will serve as a central depository for up-to-date, real-time information that can be shared among County and municipal officials. This will help to improve the decision making process and better coordinate resources in response to the storm.

The OEM will use a number of new tools to inform the public including utilization of the “emergency alerts” and “road closures” feature on the County’s new website and the use of social media such as Twitter (@KaneCountyOEM). Informational releases to the media will also be used to keep the public informed.

Send holiday video greeting to the deployed

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AURORA—Senator Chris Lauzen invites local military families with active servicemen and women to record and send a free personalized holiday season video greeting to their deployed family members.

Through the generosity of the Illinois Center for Broadcasting in Lombard, Ill., military families can record a free professional digital message that will be transmitted via Facebook to their loved ones during this Christmas season.

For more information, call Senator Lauzen at (630) 264-2334. Recording appointments can be scheduled with Illinois Center for Broadcast through Friday, Dec. 16.

Chris and Sarah Lauzen are the proud parents of two sons serving in the United States military. USMC Capt. Ted Lauzen is a pilot stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Their third son, US Navy Ensign Hans Lauzen, is currently deployed onboard the USS Kidd in the Western Pacific Ocean.

“As a parent of a deployed serviceman, I know how excited our son will be to see and hear his family at what can often be a very lonely time for soldiers far from home,” said Senator Lauzen. “We will tell Hans how much we love him, how much his service is appreciated and that there’s a package with his favorite Christmas cookies on its way.”

Senator Lauzen sends his heartfelt thanks to the Illinois Center for Broadcasting for their generous offer to our military families.

Audit Commission to accept applications for auditor general post

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Illinois—The Legislative Audit Commission announced this week that it is accepting applications from people interested in appointment as Auditor General of the State of Illinois.

“We encourage anyone who is qualified for this important position to apply,” said Commission Co-chairs, state Sen. Chris Lauzen and state Rep. Frank Mautino. “We intend to conduct a thorough search for the best person or persons to recommend for appointment.”

State law declares that the Auditor General must be “qualified under the Constitution and determined by the General Assembly to be experienced and competent in governmental auditing, financial management, or government operation and knowledge in the subject of state government.”

At the completion of the search, the commission will name several finalists to be interviewed. At least one candidate will then be recommended to the General Assembly for appointment. An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members of each House is required for appointment. The General Assembly is not required to appoint a candidate recommended by the commission, although it has always relied on the commission’s recommendations.

The auditor general is a constitutional officer charged with the audit of public funds of the state. Currently, the auditor general oversees a staff of 92 and administers a $26.8 million budget. State law requires that each state agency be audited at least biennially. In addition, the auditor general performs investigations and efficiency management or program audits at the direction of the Legislature or the Audit Commission. The current salary is $149,004. State law permits, and the incumbent is seeking, reappointment.

Persons interested in being considered for the appointment should submit resumes to the Legislative Audit Commission, Room 622, Strattor Building, Springfield, Ill., 62706, or via e-mail at AuditCommission@ilga.gov, and postmarked no later than Jan. 31, 2012.

IDOT program helps emergency responders

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CHICAGO—A new program by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will provide first responders with critical information to improve emergency care for anyone involved in a car crash.

The Illinois Yellow Dot program is a life-saving, traffic safety initiative with other state departments working together to increase awareness of the voluntary, federally funded program, and provide distribution centers and information for interested residents.

All motorists are encouraged to participate in this unique and effective program which could make the difference between life and death for individuals involved in crashes.

Yellow Dot participants are supplied with a simple, bright yellow decal for their car and a corresponding yellow folder. The decal is placed in a conspicuous and consistent place—in the lower left-hand corner of the rear window, driver’s side. The yellow dot means there is a folder in the glove compartment with important medical information about the motorists. Having access to this information allows first responders to make important decisions regarding emergency treatment and can better prepare emergency hospital staff in the receiving room. Because the first hour following an injury is the most crucial, the Yellow Dot program provides essential personal health information to emergency responders in order to promptly care for a crash victim.
Older drivers are encouraged to update their medical information and have a voice in their emergency treatment in the event of an accident.

The Yellow Dot program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, was originally introduced in Connecticut in 2002. For more information and to find a distribution center near you, visit yellowdotillinois.org.

“Ice and Snow—Take It Slow” campaign starts on Illinois roads

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CHICAGO—Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials stress safety by urging motorists to prepare for unfavorable winter driving conditions. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois Tollway and the Illinois State Police have partnered to roll out the state’s frontline winter crews and ensure that emergency equipment is ready for the upcoming snow and ice season.

“The historic snowfall amounts last year tested IDOT’s relentless 24/7 operation, in which staff and partners worked tirelessly, safely and effectively to remove heavy amounts of snow and ice from roadways in the most treacherous conditions,” said acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider.

During the 2011-12 winter season, more than 3,690 employees and 1,732 pieces of equipment will be available for deployment as needed by IDOT to keep state routes clear and passable. Last year, the agency spent $84.6 million on snow removal and spread 562,220 tons of salt.

Drivers needing assistance are reminded to dial *999 if they need H.E.L.P truck assistance on the Illinois Tollway.

Other safety tips include:
• Don’t crowd the plow.
• Watch out for black ice roads that appear clear but can be treacherous.
• Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.
• Do not travel unless absolutely necessary—if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route.
• Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.
• Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance.
• Always wear a safety belt.

Motorists are urged to check travel conditions before any trip by calling (800)-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling (800) TOLL-FYI or online at gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.

Wayne resident appointed to state board for disabilities advocacy group

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WAYNE—Robert J. Molitor of Wayne was sworn in as a member of the Board of Directors for The Center for Developmental Disabilities Advocacy and Community Supports. Molitor is the chief operating officer at Alden Management Services in Chicago.

As COO, Molitor is responsible for oversight of nearly 40 sites of care, which include rehabilitation and health care centers, memory care centers, assisted living communities and health facilities for the developmentally disabled.

Molitor and his wife Michele live in Wayne with their teenage son and daughter.

The center is a nonprofit association comprised of more than 200 community-based residential programs that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout Illinois.

Sugar Grove teen receives 2011 Roscoe Ebey Award

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Photo: On Nov. 17, Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez (right) presented Cole Rutter, 13, of Sugar Grove with the Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year Award. The event took place at the Sheriff’s Office in Geneva. Richard Ebey (left) was also in attendance. Photo by Keith Beebe

by Keith Beebe
KANE COUNTY—The Kane County Sheriff’s Office presented its Roscoe Ebey Award to three nominees each of the last two years. This year, however, Sheriff Pat Perez knew that one nominee truly stood out from the rest of the field.

That nominee was 13-year-old Cole Rutter of Sugar Grove.

“The last two years we’ve presented this award, the choices that I had were so difficult … that there were three winners in each year, because there were so many people doing so many good things,” Perez said. “This year, (Cole) stood out so much that there was only going to be one winner.”

Rutter was presented the 2011 Roscoe Ebey Award by Sheriff Perez and Richard Ebey, son of the late Roscoe Ebey, on Nov. 17 in a surprise ceremony at the Sheriff’s Office in St. Charles.

Rutter, a seventh-grade student at Kaneland Harter Middle School, suffers from the rare genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis. He and his family have helped raise close to $100,000 for The Children’s Tumor Foundation to fund research in hopes of finding a cure for NF—a disease in which tumors grow on tissue in the nervous system, causing symptoms that range from cognitive deficiency and problems with eyesight to bone deformity, nerve pain, and in some cases, hearing loss.

Neurofibromatosis is currently incurable.

“(Fundraising) has exposed him to a lot more kids and adults that have the disease, and it’s kind of making him aware of what’s going on,” said Cole’s father Dan, who spoke for his shy son during most of the awards ceremony. “We’re very proud of him. He does a lot; he goes door-to-door, (and) we have a lot of support from the community.”

Cole’s father said neither he nor Cole, prior to the award ceremony, had any idea why the Kane County Sheriff’s Office wanted to present Cole with the Roscoe Ebey Award.

“We had no idea. We went on the (web)site and saw what it was all about, but we had no reason to understand why (Cole would receive the award). I work at an elementary school, and the phone rang and said, ‘Sheriff’s Department’ on it,” he said. “I kind of freaked out, and they said (the call was) about Cole. (The administrative assistant) said it was a good thing and they wanted to speak to him and offer him this award. So it was kind of nerve wracking; I wasn’t going to pick (the phone) up, but we did.”

Pat Graceffa, a past recipient of the Roscoe Ebey Award, nominated Cole for this year’s award after following his story on his parents’ Facebook account.

“When I received the award (in 2010), I thought of all the people in Sugar Grove who did so much more than I did,” Graceffa said. “Families like the Rutters were the first ones I thought of who deserved the award more than me. It was wonderful to win the award, but it made you think about what everyone else in the community is doing and how hard they are working.”

The award was created four years ago by the Kane County Sheriff’s Department in honor of World War II veteran Roscoe Ebey, a resident of Aurora who was murdered in his home by a burglar in May 2007. Ebey’s assailant, Hector Mauricio, was arrested at the scene after a neighbor captured him and held him down until police arrived. Mauricio pleaded guilty in September 2010 to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison in June 2011.

Richard Ebey said that, from day one to the final court date for Mauricio, Sheriff Perez was there to answer his questions or simply just to talk to him. Ebey then personally nominated Perez for the 2011 Roscoe Ebey Award.

“My family and myself would like to nominate Sheriff Perez and his department for all the help and kindness he has shown me, my family, neighbors and friends over the last four years. I am sure there are many who will share this nomination with me,” Ebey said.

Ebey said his father Roscoe was just an everyday person who loved people and life.

“When this happened to you and your family, it happened to us,” Perez said to Ebey during the presentation. “We’re friends for life.”

Perez then said he hopes Cole understands how big of an award this is and how much he means to people.

“It’s a big award for a little guy, and we’re proud of you,” Ebey said to Cole. “My dad would be proud of you.”

Fall prescribed burns in area forest preserves

in Elburn/Maple Park/Regional/Sugar Grove by

GENEVA—Conditions are once again almost right for the Forest Preserve District to perform prescribed burns in various natural areas throughout Kane County.

Each fall and spring, the district conducts prescribed burns across prairies, woodlands and wetlands to improve or maintain the ecological health of a site. These carefully controlled burns release nutrients from burned plant materials; encourage seed growth; open the woodland floor to sunlight so native wildflowers and plants can flourish, and they reduce an abundance of non-native brush such as buckthorn.

“Fire is a natural and essential ingredient of healthy native ecosystems,” said Drew Ullberg, director of natural resources.

Fires perform a house-cleaning function for nature and woodlands. Prairies are adapted to fire, and depend on it to maintain their unique character.

Sites targeted for the fall burn season include portions of the following properties:

• Big Rock Forest Preserve in Big Rock
• Blackberry Maples Forest Preserve in Elburn
• Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove
• Bolcum Road Wetlands in St. Charles
• Brunner Family Forest Preserve in West Dundee
• Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin
• Fabyan Forest Preserve (East) in Geneva
• Fitchie Creek Forest Preserve in Elgin
• Hannaford Woods/Nickels Farm in Sugar Grove
• Johnson’s Mound in Elburn
• LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles
• Lone Grove Forest Preserve in Maple Park
• Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve in Hampshire
• Pingree Grove Forest Preserve in Hampshire
• Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve in West Dundee

Before a burn, trained staff survey the preserve and create a detailed plan of action. They then carefully monitor the weather and wait until conditions are right, to minimize the chance of smoke blowing toward homes and roads. Staff also notify residents via mail, so that those with health concerns can avoid the smoke.

For more information on prescribed burns, call (630) 232-5980 or visit kaneforest.com.

Winter storm preparedness week

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CHICAGO—Although winter officially arrives in five weeks, winter weather in Illinois could arrive much sooner. Therefore the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is encouraging residents to use Nov. 13-19—Winter Storm Preparedness Week in Illinois—to begin preparing for the extreme cold, wind, ice and snow that often accompanies Illinois winters.

“For the last century, at least one severe winter storm has impacted Illinois each year,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Craig Conover. “It’s critical to be proactive and take the time now during Winter Storm Preparedness Week in Illinois to prepare your family, home and vehicles in advance of severe winter weather.”

IDPH is urging residents to take simple precautions and follow these tips to protect themselves from severe winter weather:

• Create an emergency preparedness kit for homes and vehicles, including a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, non-perishable food, blankets, water, a first-aid kit, extra medication and special items for infants, the disabled, elderly and pets.
• Keep an extra supply of heating fuel for homes.
• “Winterize” homes by insulating walls, attics, doors and windows.
• Make sure vehicles are in good operating condition and keep gas tanks full.
• Never leave motors running in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, like garages.
•If traveling, provide travel itineraries to relatives, friends or co-workers.

To further prepare residents for winter hazards, IDPH developed a guide called Weathering Winter with additional information about winter weather tips for staying safe and warm in homes or vehicles. This guide is available on the IDPH website at http://www.idph.state. il.us/public/books/WeathWinter10.pdf or by calling (217) 782-5750.

For more information, visit our website at www.idph.state.il.us/Bioterrorism/default.htm and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/IDPHOPR.

Hultgren accepts applications for Spring interns

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GENEVA—U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) is now accepting applications for spring semester internships in both his Washington, DC and Geneva offices. The position is unpaid and would run approximately from January to May, 2012. Full-time students or applicants with Illinois ties are preferred. Academic credit is available.

Interns in the Washington, D.C. office will be responsible for greeting visitors, answering phones, giving tours of the U.S. Capitol and assisting staff with policy-related projects.

Interns in the Geneva office may be asked to help with administrative functions, and conduct casework on behalf of constituents.

Resumes and writing samples should be sent to hultgrenresumes@gmail.com by Wednesday, Nov. 23. Candidates will be contacted in December for phone interviews. Candidates from Illinois and candidates who can work at least two full days a week will be given preference. When applying, please specify interest in the spring 2012 internship. For more information, call (202) 225-2976.

KC Sheriff’s Office to begin prescription drug drop-off program

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by Keith Beebe
KANE COUNTY—Do you have any unused prescription medication in your home? If so, there’s something you can do with that medication instead of flushing it down the toilet or letting it sit idly on the counter.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office asks that people dispose of their unused prescription medication in the drug drop-off box located in the lobby of the sheriff’s office, 38W755 Route 38 in St. Charles.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s website, abuse of prescription medication is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health suggests that teenagers who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began with prescription medication. Prescription drug use is popular among teens who view the medication to be safer than synthetic drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

The drug drop-off box is also a safer alternative to simply throwing prescription medication in the trash or flushing it down the toilet.

“The issue of prescription drug abuse is something that is catching national attention, and one of the ways people obtain these drugs are from unused meds that people have around their house,” said Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler. “These drop boxes provide citizens a safe and easy way to dispose of their unused meds. It also prevents them from making their way into our waterways from people flushing them down the drain because they do not know what else to do with them.”

The drop-off box is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All prescription medication will be accepted, but syringes are not to be placed in the disposal container.

Nov. 11 Police blotter

in Elburn/Kaneville/Regional/Sugar Grove by

The following reports were obtained from local police departments. The individuals charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

• American Bank and Trust, located at 8 S. Main St., reported an incident on Sep. 16 of identity theft. Reports say a black female with an Arizona drivers license withdrew $4,000 and $2,000 from the savings account of the individual. The woman was able to give the correct social security number of the victim. The actual holder of the account filed a police report on Sep. 20 after her wallet was stolen from a Chicago bar on July 3. The money has been redeposited by the bank. Police are investigating.

• A complaint of “malicious mischief” was reported Nov. 5 by a resident in the 300 block of Shannon Street when six male juveniles picked up a pumpkin from the property and smashed it in the driveway.

• The BP Amoco at 940 N. Main St. reported a retail theft on Nov. 6 when a man entered the store and took an unknown quantity of nacho cheese chips, “Naked” Juice, and Starbuck’s Vanilla Frappuccino drinks and left without paying. The owner followed the man, who made an obscene gesture. Reports say he drove off in a silver 2004 Nissan Carryall with another individual. Police are investigating.

• The Elburn Car Wash, at 120 W. Nebraska St., on Nov. 2 reported $500 worth of damage to a vacuum that was apparently struck by a vehicle and broken from its concrete mounting slab. Police found blue paint on the base mount believed to be from the vehicle.

• St. Charles police arrested Robert A. Pruett, 18, of the 1100 block of Motz St., Elburn, in connection with a strong-arm robbery of a custodian at a Munhall Elementary School in St. Charles on Sep. 29. Reports say Pruett was taken into custody Oct. 26 by members of the North Central Narcotics Task force while trying to leave the state. According to reports, the custodian was attacked in the cafeteria after he heard voices. He reportedly was punched and thrown to the ground by two men who then took his wallet. Police say a third man waited inside the school. Reports say Pruett is also charged with forgery after trying to cash an allegedly forged check on Oct. 26. A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information can call the St. Charles Police at (630) 377-4435.

Sugar Grove
• Juan C. Espinoza, 31, of the 500 block of Spencer Street in Aurora, was charged with with two counts of driving under the influence (Class 4 felonies A1 and A2), and was also issued citations for operating an uninsured motor vehicle and not having a valid driver’s license, after police stopped him while traveling north on Route 47 on Oct. 30. Upon making contact with the driver of the vehicle, police detected an odor of alcohol emitting from the vehicle and asked Espinoza if he had been drinking. Espinoza told police he’d “had a few too many,” and was asked to exit the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. Espinoza failed all three tests and was placed under arrest.

• Israel Gonzalez Corral, 28, of the 900 block of Austin Avenue in Aurora, was taken into custody and issued an ordinance violation for possession of cannabis, less than 2.5 grams, as well as citations for over-length vehicle violation and not having a valid driver’s license on Nov. 2 after police performed a traffic stop on a tractor trailer traveling on Galena Boulevard. While making contact with Corral, police detected an odor of burnt cannabis emitting from the vehicle. Corral denied having any cannabis in the vehicle, at which time a drug-sniffing K9 dog was requested by police and brought to the scene. The K9 alerted police to cannabis that was on the floor of the vehicle and in the ashtray.

• The Kane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a traffic crash that occurred at approximately 3:50 p.m. on Nov. 5 near Main Street and County Line roads in unincorporated Kaneville Township. The crash involved an empty semi tractor and a Chevrolet Impala.
The driver and sole occupant of the Chevy, Ryan Siebenbrodt, 30, of Des Monies, Iowa, was airlifted from the scene with apparent non life-threatening injuries. The driver of the semi, Walter Seilheimer, 66, of Sandwich, Ill., was uninjured.

Kane County
• A suspect initially charged with burglary to a motor vehicle in a Kane County forest preserve on Oct. 31 has now been charged with 16 additional counts related to motor vehicle burglaries.
Miguel A. Gonzalez, 28, of the 400 block of Franklin Boulevard in Elgin, remains in the Kane County Jail on nine felony counts of burglary to a motor vehicle and eight misdemeanor counts of theft.
Forest Preserve District of Kane County police arrested Gonzalez in Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve on Oct. 31, with assistance from South Elgin police.
More than 20 “smash and grab” burglaries have taken place in the Kane County forest preserves over the past few months, prompting district police to increase surveillance, add safety advisory signage to all preserve kiosks, and post additional safety advisory signs at frequently targeted preserves. Forest Preserve District police are now cooperating with other local agencies to see if Gonzalez may be involved in additional vehicle burglaries outside the Kane County area.

Illinois vehicle crashes involving deer continue to decline

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SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced that collisions between vehicles and deer declined in 2010, and reminded motorists to once again be alert for deer along roadways during one of their most active periods of the year.

“Deer crashes can be especially difficult to avoid. The best measures to avoid accidents and injuries are to slow down, wear a safety belt and remain alert this fall (while) driving through areas where deer are likely to be seen,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said. “The encouraging news is that collisions with deer in Illinois continue to decline. We remind all motorists to take the proper steps so the trend continues.”

The number of deer-vehicle accidents dropped to 17,135 in 2010—a decrease from 18,849 in 2009 and the lowest total since 1999, according to the latest IDOT statistics released. Approximately 77 percent of the crashes occurred on rural roadways and 67 percent during periods of darkness.

Accidents involving deer were responsible for 10 fatalities in 2010, an increase from six in 2009. Injuries because of an accident involving a deer decreased from 708 in 2009 to 634 in 2010.

The top 10 counties for collisions involving deer in 2010 were:
1. Cook—562 2. Madison—475
3. Peoria—458 4. Sangamon—411
5. Will—396 6. LaSalle—364
7. Fulton—357 8. Pike—355
9. Kane—325 10. Lake—320

“It’s always a good idea to get yourself in a defensive driving frame of mind at this time of year when deer are most active,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said. “Deer move about frequently at dawn and dusk, so it’s important that motorists are aware of their surroundings during their morning and evening commutes, especially in forested or open areas.”

Suggestions for motorists to avoid colliding with deer include:

• Be particularly cautious at dusk and dawn, when deer are most active.
• Keep track of locations where deer have been spotted in the past to avoid being surprised.
• Reduce speed and be prepared to stop, especially near water, farm fields and wooded areas.
• Deer will cross the road and double back. Make sure deer have moved away before proceeding.
• Be mindful that deer will follow each other. One deer can mean others are nearby or close behind.
• Avoid swerving into traffic or off the road if deer are on the roadway. Instead, slow to a stop and wait for the deer to move along.
• Flashing the headlights and honking the car horn will encourage deer to move off the road.
• Alert other motorists to the presence of deer by tapping the brakes.

If an accident with a deer does occur, drivers and passengers should provide assistance to anyone injured. Contact local, county or state law enforcement to report the incident. Do not attempt to remove a dead or injured deer from a busy roadway. Illinois law requires that all accidents resulting in damage of at least $1,500 to be reported to police.

The driver involved in the accident may take possession of the animal. If the driver does not want it, any Illinois resident can claim the deer. Those taking possession of the deer are not required to phone in a report and obtain a registration number for the deer, unless the deer is taken to a taxidermist or tannery. If the deer is to be taken to a taxidermist or tannery, please call the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement at (217) 782-6431 to obtain a tag before delivering the deer.

Anyone possessing the deer must keep a personal record of the date the deer was claimed, the sex of the animal, the location of the accident and the place where the deer or deer parts are stored. This information must be kept until the deer is consumed or no longer in the possession of any person. This information also must be provided to any law enforcement officer investigating the death and possession of the deer.

First 2011 West Nile case reported in Kane County

in Health & Wellness/Regional by

ST. CHARLES—Kane County reported its first human case of West Nile virus for 2011 this past week, a 63-year-old woman from St. Charles. Across the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting West Nile activity in people in nine other counties.

The St. Charles woman reported feeling ill in the middle of September, but she did not require hospitalization. Last year, Kane County had five reported cases, in 2009 there were none, three in 2008 and 13 in 2007. Typically, about two people in 10 who are bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any illness.

Illness from West Nile is usually mild and includes fever, headache and body aches, but serious illness, such as encephalitis, meningitis and death are possible. Most people with the virus have no clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including:

• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
• When outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions.
• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
• Change water in birdbaths weekly. Properly maintain wading pools and stock ornamental ponds with fish. Cover rain barrels with 16-mesh wire screen.

Contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. Go to the Kane County Health Department website at kanehealth.com or idph.state.il.us/env health/wnv.htm. More information is available on the IDPH West Nile Virus Hotline at (866) 369-9710 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hatcher goes door to door

in Elburn/Featured/Regional by

State Representative Kay Hatcher (left) visited Schmidt’s Towne Tap in Elburn on Wednesday to collect signed petitions from constituents helping get her name on the ballot for a re-election bid in the 50th District. Viki Delmer, a registered Republican and bartender at Schmidt’s, signs one of Hatcher’s petitions. Photo by Sandy Kaczmarski

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