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Former pastor’s wife charged with attempted murder

in Montgomery/Regional/Sugar Grove by

MONTGOMERY—Pamela J. Christensen, 47, of Montgomery, has been charged with six counts of attempted first degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery and three counts of aggravated unlawful restraint, stemming from an incident that took place in late September.

A Montgomery Police press release states that police responded to a home in the 2300 block of Patron Lane on Sept. 25 after receiving two 911 hang-up calls. According to police, responding officers determined that Christensen tried to poison her three daughters, ages 12, 16 and 19, with a mixture of household chemicals. The daughters reportedly refused to drink the poison.

The press release also states that Christensen stabbed two of her daughters. All three daughters were transported to Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, where they were treated and released to a grandparent.

Christensen was transported to Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora for self-inflicted stab wounds.

Christensen is the estranged wife of Vaughn Christensen, who is the former pastor of the Heritage of Faith Church in Sugar Grove. The church’s website is currently unavailable; calls to the church’s phone number went unreturned.

According to Montgomery Police, Pamela said she was sending the girls “home to meet Jesus Christ” because she had received text messages from her estranged husband stating that the world was ending and she needed to prepare the family to meet Jesus.

Just a month prior to the Sept. 25 incident, Pamela served Vaughn with a restraining order, stating that he had become increasingly violent toward her and their children.

Filed on Aug. 29 in Kendall County, the order stated that Vaughn had threatened to harm himself and the children. Police confirmed they had responded to the home several times.

The couple filed for divorce on Sept. 10 in DuPage County.

Pamela on Oct. 8 was released from the hospital to the custody of Montgomery Police and transported to Kendall County Adult Corrections.

Pamela appeared during bond call on Oct. 9 and was held on $1 million bond. She is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Oct. 16. During that court date, the judge will explain to Pamela the charges against her, and her rights.

Dancers against cancer

in Regional by
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Photo: Dreams Dance Academy in La Fox this month will offer a cancer fundraiser raffle to coincide with October’s standing as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All academy visitors are invited to purchase raffle tickets for one of several gift baskets available, donate loose change in the school’s collection jar, and recognize loved ones affected by cancer on the pink ribbon wall.
Photo submitted by Jenny O’Brien to dbehrends@elburnherald.com

La Fox dance company holds cancer fundraiser
LA FOX—Students and staff at Dreams Dance Academy give back to the community on a regular basis, but October’s give-back is near and dear to Jenny O’Brien’s heart.

The dance school owner and director has been touched by cancer twice, and she believes most people have been at some time.

“My mother Geralyn was diagnosed with breast cancer about 16 years ago, and then again in January of 2013,” Jenny said. “She’s doing great now.”

But because Jenny knows the difficulties of the battle against cancer, she was thrilled when three of the dance moms suggested a cancer-related fundraising raffle during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Through the entire month, Jenny is inviting all visitors to the dance school to purchase raffle tickets for one of several gift baskets, to drop their loose change in a collection jar at the front desk, and to recognize loved ones affected by cancer on the pink ribbon wall.

“All these things are open to the public; they aren’t just for my students and their families,” Jenny said.

All proceeds will be donated to the Living Well Cancer Research Center in Geneva, where Geralyn, an esthetician, runs the skincare program, providing facials and advice, as well as training others.

“Stress shows up first on your face,” Geralyn said. “We try to simplify what patients are using during treatment, and then work with them after treatment to repair and restore the skin.”

She said the center is a great resource providing body, mind and spirit support for patients and caregivers alike.

“A lot of doctors are now connected with the center, but it doesn’t look like a hospital or a medical facility,” Geralyn said.

Because she and her dancers give back to the community, Jenny is hoping the community will help Dreams Dance Academy win a $150,000 grant from the Chase Mission Main Street Grant program. She said only about 45 more votes are needed to move to the next level of competition.

“This grant would help me create my dream facility for my quickly growing studio, and be able to do more giving back to the community,” Jenny said.

To vote for Dreams Dance Academy, visit www.dreamsdance.com, and click the link on the home page just under the words in the news. More information on the fundraiser and classes can be found on the website as well, or you can call (630) 262-5051.

Community plans fundraiser event for Holmes Hughes

in Regional/Sugar Grove by

SUGAR GROVE—Friends of Beverly Holmes Hughes, Sugar Grove’s former library director, will host a Halloween “Fund-Fair” on Nov. 2 to raise money for the Hughes family.

The event is one more opportunity for children to don their Halloween costumes and have some fun. It’s also an opportunity for community members to help raise money for Hughes, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, in May 2014.

Hughes, who was named Sugar Grove’s Citizen of the Year in 2010 for her extensive contributions to the community, will receive chemotherapy for the rest of her life.

Though the tumor has stripped her of her ability to walk, and the chemo leaves her exhausted, she is continuing to work as DeVry University’s director of Library Services in Addison, Ill., because she is the sole support for seven people: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still living at home.

The fundraising event, which will be held at the Sugar Grove Community House from 1-3 p.m., features a variety of Halloween games and crafts designed for children 10 and under.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come together in the community,” event organizer Debbie DeBoer said. “The kids are going to have a great time, and we’re doing something for a great cause. Everything we raise is going straight to Bev.”

For a $10 entry fee, children can play as many games as they like, and win or lose, each child collects a prize at each game. The games are designed so that children as young as age 1 can participate, DeBoer said.

The DeBoer family is providing all of the games and prizes, and Sugar Grove Library trustee Pat Graceffa has rented the space at the Community Center, so 100 percent of all proceeds will go directly to the Hughes family.

Activities include balloon darts, a duck pond, guessing games based on touch, a zombie toss, a shooting game, skeleton bowling, a spider ring-toss, and a milk pin throw. Klicks by Katee, a Kaneville photography business run by Katee Werrline, has also donated a photo booth where children and families can take unlimited free photos of themselves for the first two hours of the event.

DeBoer is hoping that at least 200 children will turn out for the fundraiser, but the Community Center can hold up to 600, so she’s buying more prizes just to be sure.

“They win a prize for each game they play, and when they win something, it’s very fun and motivating,” DeBoer said. “They win stretchy skeletons at one game, a sheet of stickers at another, a spider ring at another. It’s fun collecting the prizes, and they want to get them all.”

Like many who know Hughes, DeBoer first met her through the library, where DeBoer volunteered in the used bookstore.

“(Beverly) lives life the way I wish I could. She just takes care of so many people—she’s taken in those children; she takes care of the community. How can you not help her? Knowing what she’s done for the community, I couldn’t turn my back to this,” DeBoer said. “To me, she’s an important person in our community, and as I like to teach my sons, if we can make a little bit of difference and make one month less stressful for this family, we should.”

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 local branch at 36 E. Galena Blvd. in Sugar Grove.

Sugar Grove trustee Mari Johnson is urging community members to donate to the Hughes fund.

“Why do you donate to anything?” Johnson asked. “Because you feel an affiliation or an affinity toward that cause. Personally, I’ve known Beverly for over 20 years, and I think that through what she did at the library, all those years, she touched a lot of people’s lives.”

DeBoer was one of those people Hughes touched through her work at the library.

“I just really enjoyed taking my boys (to the library) and teaching them about literature and books, and (Beverly) tried so hard when we had the (old) little library, and she tried so hard to get the new building up and running,” DeBoer said. “I just appreciate her efforts.”

Donations of money, gift cards for groceries and gas, disinfecting supplies, clothes and school supplies for the family’s four children, and other items can be dropped off at the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce Office, 141 Main St., on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; at 923 Spruce St., Sugar Grove; at 1916 Annettes Circle, Sugar Grove; or at 865 Boyce Road, Sugar Grove.

For updates and more information, follow the Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer page on Facebook.

Elburn passes resolution opposing Fire District disconnection

in Elburn/Lily Lake/Regional/Virgil & Virgil Twp. by

Fox River Fire District reps attend meeting to object
ELBURN—The Elburn Village Board on Monday passed a resolution opposing the disconnection of a portion of the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District (ECFPD), despite objection from Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District representatives in attendance.

A referendum question that asks whether the territory in question should be annexed into the Fox River Fire District will come before voters in the proposed disconnection area on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

Fox River District Board President Jim Gaffney and Fire Chief Greg Benson, along with attorney Ken Shepro, attended the Village Board meeting to protest board approval of the resolution.

Shepro told the Village Board that a governmental body should not expend funds on any public question. According to Shepro, the board’s passage of the resolution amounts to the board attempting to influence citizens to vote against the referendum.

“Clearly the purpose of this resolution is to influence the outcome of the referendum,” Shepro said. “Otherwise, why would you pass it?”

Village President Dave Anderson said that people will read the resolution and form their own opinion on the issue. He said that the resolution simply states that the board opposes the de-annexation, that it doesn’t get into politics and it doesn’t urge voters to vote in a particular way.

According to Gaffney, a group of citizens from the area in question, which is bound by LaFox Road to the east, Anderson Road to the west, Campton Hills Road to the south and Empire Road to the north, came to them saying that they weren’t comfortable with the service they were getting from the Elburn department. In response, he said, district officials helped them with a petition to detach themselves from the ECFPD.

The petition was signed by 128 residents in the area this summer, and a Kane County judge determined that the question should be put to the voters. Approximately 3,000 residents live in the area that would be affected.

Gaffney said the Fox River District can provide the same services to these residents, and at a lower rate. He said he thought the board was doing its residents a disservice by telling them to spend more money than necessary for fire protection services.

Elburn Fire Chief Kelly Callaghan attended a Village Board meeting last month to let village trustees know about the situation and to ask for their endorsement.

Callaghan told the board that the disconnection would mean a significant loss of revenue for the Elburn Fire District—the area in question is 10 percent of its square miles and 21 percent of its assessed value. The Elburn Fire District’s expenses would stay the same, and Callaghan said the disconnection would place a financial hardship on the district.

After listening to Fox River officials’ objections on Monday, village trustee Bill Grabarek said that he thought the disconnection could diminish Elburn’s ability to fulfill its obligations to protect the health, safety and welfare of Elburn residents. He asked that wording to that effect be added to the resolution.

The board then unanimously voted to approve the resolution. Trustees Ethan Hastert and Ken Anderson were absent, but Dave Anderson said they had participated in the decision to create such a resolution.

The Elburn Fire District is in the process of building a new station at Route 38 and Anderson Road. The district also opened a temporary station in the Lily Lake area on Oct. 1, while it continues to look for property for a permanent spot. Elburn Fire District officials say the Lily Lake station will allow them to respond more quickly to residents in that area.

‘Purple Store’ collecting funds, goods for Hughes

in Kaneville/Regional/Sugar Grove by
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KANEVILLE—Hill’s Country Store, aka the “Purple Store,” in Kaneville, is currently collecting funds and goods for Beverly Holmes Hughes and her family.

Hughes was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor, last summer.

Hill’s Country Store owner Pat Hill knows Beverly personally and wants to help her and her family during this time.

Hughes is the sole financial support for seven people in her home: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

“I knew Beverly a long time ago,” Hill said. “I want to try and help her out and bring her a meal. I hope that people give from their heart. You never know when you’ll be in that situation.”

The donation box at Hill’s Country Store is an ongoing collection where people can donate a monetary gift in any amount, along with gas cards and gift cards. Hill also hopes to soon receive information about coordinating meals for Beverly and her family.

Photo by Lynn Logan

Elburn welcomes Station No. 3

in Elburn/Lily Lake/Regional/Virgil & Virgil Twp. by

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The Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District on Wednesday opened it’s Fire Station No. 3 in Lily Lake. The station is functional 24 hours a day and features an advanced life support (ALS) engine, which means the station is equipped to handle both fire emergencies and medical needs. According to the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District, the presence of Fire Station No. 3 will reduce rescue response times to Campton Hills, Lily Lake, Virgil, Wasco, The Windings and the northern portion of the district.

Photos: Training day

in Regional by
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The grand opening ceremony for the Kane County Regional Training Center in St. Charles was held Sept. 25. Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen and retired lieutenant Ronald Grommas welcomed guests and led them on a tour of the new state-of-the-art facility. Undersheriff Pat Gengler (right) explains how the firearm training simulators are used.

Hultgren votes to counter Islamic State group with military training

in Regional by

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) recently supported H. J. Res. 124, a continuing resolution to fund the government at its current levels for three months, which includes an amendment to provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition as they struggle against the Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) expansion.

“ISIL continues to grow in numbers and ferocity, and the Iraqi and Syrian peoples and religious minorities are threatened by its bloody rampage,” Hultgren said. “We need our allies to come together to deal with the threat. Until then, our Commander-in-Chief and our generals have developed this plan as the best course of action without involving our ground troops in another conflict overseas, and I support their decision.

Hultgren said the hope is that ISIL will be stopped in its tracks, and that conditions in Syria will promote an end to the conflict.

“I still have concerns about the risks associated with arming rebel groups, but to do nothing allows ISIL to become further entrenched, expand its control and continue its atrocities,” Hultgren said. “We must be vigilant to ensure these weapons are not turned against us in the future.”

According to Hultgren, extending government funding at current levels, with no net increase in spending, opens up the opportunity for real deliberations about the need to reverse the current trend of spending more than we take in.

“Among other provisions, the continuing resolution maintains the ban on taxing internet access, permits agency transfer of funds to carry out the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, provides an additional $59M to help reduce the veterans disability claims backlog and maintains our border security staffing levels,” Hultgren said.

Photos: Cop’s best friend

in Regional by
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The Spirit of Blue Foundation and the Planet Dog Foundation donated $10,000 to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office Monday. The funds will be used to replace the soon-to-be-retired K9 Gino, who was rewarded with his favorite tug toy after sniffing out the planted handgun outside the Sheriff’s Office. Gino is a male German Shepherd who is a dual-purpose patrol K9, certified in explosive detection, tracking suspects and lost people, building searches, evidence recovery, apprehensions and handler protection.

Perez seeking nominations for 2014 Citizen of the Year award

in Regional by

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez is currently seeking nominations for the 2014 Roscoe Ebey Citizen of the Year award.

Sheriff Perez encourages members of the community to recognize those among them who demonstrate the spirit of selfless giving. Anyone wishing to nominate someone should send their nominations via email to ArdelanJanet@co.kane.il.us or by mail to Kane County Sheriff’s Office 37W755 IL Rt 38 Suite A St. Charles IL 60175. Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 10. The award will be presented in November.

A listing of past award recipients and a history of the award can be found at www.kanesheriff.com.

Perez created the Citizen of the Year award in 2007 to honor Ebey, who was murdered in his Aurora Township home. Roscoe was a selfless member of the community and a military veteran. It is through the award that Sheriff Perez and the Ebey family can keep his memory alive by recognizing other selfless citizens who are always there to help their “neighbors.”

In the company of family, friends

in Regional/Sugar Grove by
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Community rallies around Hughes
SUGAR GROVE—Everyone’s life ends at some point, but hearing a doctor say it is hard to handle, said Beverly Holmes Hughes, Sugar Grove’s former library director.

Hughes has been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme—an aggressive brain tumor with a dire prognosis. It’s especially hard for Hughes to handle because she is the sole support for seven people: her husband, Chuck, who has congestive heart failure; her sister, Janet, who has diabetes; and several special-needs children the three have adopted and co-parented—four of whom are still minors living at home.

That’s why several of Hughes’ friends—and after more than two decades of service to Sugar Grove, she has a lot of them—have banded together to host a fundraiser for her and her family, called “Beverly’s Battle Against Brain Cancer.”

“She is just a huge part of this community, and to have her be stricken with this terrible kind of cancer all of a sudden has really hit a lot of us very hard,” said Louise Coffman, Sugar Grove Library Board Treasurer. “She really has been the person in her family who has supported everybody all these years. She and her sister co-parented dozens of foster kids, and she supports her sister and her adopted special-needs kids. These people are giving back to society in manifold ways, and it just seems right that we would help her.”

Organizers have set up an account at Castle Bank at 36 E. Galena Blvd. in Sugar Grove, and they are asking area families to drop off checks made out to the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund. Donations can also be dropped off at a number of locations throughout Sugar Grove.

“It’s an ongoing fundraiser, so donations don’t have to be one large amount at one time. If someone can do $10 a week, that would be wonderful,” said Pat Graceffa, a Sugar Grove Library trustee and longtime friend of Hughes.

“Beverly would always be the first one there to help them if they were in need,” she said. “She worked in our community for 19 years, and she was involved in everything—the library, the Corn Boil, the Chamber of Commerce, the Farmer’s Market. She did all of those things so that people would know that the library was the living room of the community—someplace where you could come (visit); someplace that would bring the community together.”

Hughes’ work in the community has been so extensive that she was named Sugar Grove’s Citizen of the Year in 2010, even though she lives in North Aurora.

Hughes discovered she had a brain tumor following a spring break trip last May, when she started having trouble with her right leg and fell.

When she wound up in the emergency room, doctors told her that her leg was not the problem and that she had a Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive cancer that sends tentacles throughout the brain. Though she’s had brain surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor, it’s impossible to remove it all without removing parts of Hughes’ brain.

“With brain surgery, the margin of safety is that they have to leave a little of it,” Hughes said.

Chemotherapy and radiation can hold the cancer cells in check for awhile, but not forever. Glioblastoma patients have a median survival time of 14.6 months, a statistic that is difficult for Hughes to face.

“It’s stopped us in our tracks and made us think about a bitter reality that it’s not easy to think about,” Hughes said. “There are times I’ve said to the kids that everybody comes through it in a different way. And they say, ‘But you’re going to die.’ And I say, ‘Yes, but there’s so much we can do in the meantime.’”

It doesn’t surprise Hughes’ friends that she would try to stay positive even about cancer. Graceffa said that Hughes is truly selfless.

“Her whole life has never been about her,” Graceffa said. “She’s truly a remarkable person. I’ve just never met anyone like her in my whole life.”

Hughes and her sister, Janet Holmes, lived together when they were young and began taking in dozens of foster children in their home in North Aurora.

“They always took children who were the least adoptable,” Graceffa said. “Children born to moms addicted to cocaine, children who couldn’t hear—and so (Beverly and Janet) needed to learn sign language—and children who had physical or mental challenges.”

Some of those children eventually returned to their biological families, but Holmes adopted seven of the foster children, and “Aunt Beverly” lived with them and helped raise them. When Hughes married, her husband Chuck agreed to join the family and help raise those children, as well. Though three of the children are now grown and living independently, four teenagers remain at home.

Since Hughes is the only one in the family with a job that provides health insurance, she must continue working, even though the tumor is affecting her ability to walk and the chemo has sapped her strength, Coffman said. Hughes is working as the director of library services for DeVry University in Addison, Ill., and though the library has allowed her to do some of that work from home, she must still go in regularly.

“She’s working 30 hours a week now in order to maintain her health insurance and benefits, and I can’t imagine anything harder than basically having a terminal illness where you have to slog through a regular workweek and not have the luxury of being ill (and just resting and recovering),” Coffman said.

The goal of the fundraiser, Coffman said, is to take some of the burden off of Hughes. Though raising money to help pay Hughes’ mounting medical bills and household bills is the main goal, organizers are also seeking other kinds of donations, including gas cards to help pay for frequent trips to the hospital and to visit Ed, the family’s 14-year-old son who lives at a school for the deaf on weekdays, and Lydia, an older daughter who lives independently.

Grocery cards and easy meals would also be helpful, Coffman said, since it is a large family, and back-to-school supplies and clothes for the four children—twins Hannah and Elizabeth, age 13; Ed; and George, age 17—would be welcome. Since Hughes’ immune system has been compromised by the chemotherapy, donations of paper towels, liquid soap, Lysol wipes, trash bags and hand sanitizer are also being accepted.

Hughes’ tumor is affecting her ability to walk and drive, and so volunteers willing to transport her to and from her job in Addison are also needed. Chuck had heart surgery earlier this week and is currently not well enough to drive her.

Gifts of fun family activities are also welcome, as Hughes is trying to spend quality time with the children while she can.

“We want the kids to have as normal and carefree a childhood as possible,” Hughes said.”

Sugar Grove trustee Mari Johnson, who is also sponsoring the fundraiser, is hoping that the citizens of Sugar Grove—all the families who brought their children into library storytime over the years; all the students who needed research assistance; all the adults who just wanted a good book—will donate to help Hughes in her hour of need.

The two met when Johnson brought her son, who was then 2 years old, into the library for storytime. Her son is now 26, and Hughes and Johnson have been friends for more than two decades.

“When I think of how many families brought their children for storytime over those 20 years, if each one of those families donated just a small amount, it could make such a difference in her life,” Johnson said. “I think it’s just really important that people are aware. Some of the reasons that we’re here and we do these sorts of things is that we’re still a small town, and people care about each other. One way to show that you care is to donate, even if it’s just as little as $1.”

There won’t be any fancy fundraising events for Hughes, either. Instead of holding a $40 dinner where $30 of that goes to pay for the food, venue and entertainment, the community is instead planning a simpler fundraiser where every single dollar donated goes straight to help Hughes.

Coffman, who helps plan the Corn Boil and a number of other community events, said they thought something simple might be best.

“It was a matter of, ‘Is the community kind of tapped out in terms of partying?’ Okay, you don’t have to stand in a buffet line or buy raffle tickets. Every dollar you give goes straight to that family,” Coffman said.

Though they’ve been publicizing the fundraiser with flyers, organizers haven’t had the response they hope for yet.

“We’ve had some response so far, but not as much as I would have hoped,” Coffman said. “We’d like to get more. We have a Facebook page with 400 followers. If 400 people actually sent in $10, that would be awesome and that would really, really help. That kind of bulk contribution—you can’t really have 400 people at a banquet hall and get that kind of money to go to the person in need.”

Coffman said that she understands times are tough for many families, but that most people can afford to send something.

“We’re asking for a little bit of help from a lot of people,” she said. “I know that Beverly is loved by this community from the outpouring of support she got from the library. I know we can do this. If a lot of us gave even a little, that would be the best outcome.”

The effort has to be ongoing, Coffman emphasized.

“The problem with this kind of cancer, and I am not sure that people are really aware of it, but this is not a curable disease. Beverly will be receiving chemo treatments for the rest of her life, until the chemo doesn’t work anymore. This has to be an ongoing effort, because she’s going to need our help. Someone needs to make sure people understand this,” Coffman said.

Monetary donations can be made to
the Beverly Holmes Hughes Fund
at any Castle Bank, or mailed to the Sugar Grove location,
36 E. Galena Blvd.,
Sugar Grove, IL 60554.

Donations of money, gas cards, grocery cards, disinfecting supplies, clothes, school supplies and other items can be dropped off at the following locations:

Downtown Sugar Grove
• 201 Calkins Dr., Sugar Grove

• Sugar Grove Chamber of
Commerce Office, Sugar Grove
Community House on Main
Street, Tuesdays and Thursdays,
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Advanced Realty Consultants,
91 Sugar Lane, Unit 2, weekdays,
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Windsor Point subdivision
• 287 E. Park Ave., Sugar Grove

Dugan Woods subdivision
• 1916 Annettes Circle,
Sugar Grove

Lakes of Bliss Woods subdivision
• 923 Spruce St., Sugar Grove

Walnut Woods subdivision
• Debbie DeBoer,
865 Boyce Road, Sugar Grove

Hannaford Farm subdivision
• Rachel Rockwell,
1731 Hannaford Drive,
Sugar Grove

Garbage truck, vehicle collide in Big Rock

in Regional by

BIG ROCK—Kane County Sheriff’s Deputies on Sept. 12 were dispatched to Route 30, west of Dugan Road, in Big Rock on a report of a traffic crash with injuries involving a garbage truck and a passenger vehicle.

An initial investigation indicates that a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander was traveling east on Route 30 when it, for an unknown reason, began to enter the westbound lane of traffic. A Waste Management garbage truck was traveling west on Route 30, and in an attempt to avoid a head-on collision with the Chevrolet, he entered the eastbound lane of traffic. The Chevy and garbage truck then collided in the eastbound lane of traffic.

The driver and sole occupant of the Chevrolet, Brandy Roberts, 44, of the 300 block of Cardinal Lane, Somonauk, was flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., with serious injuries. The driver and sole occupant of the garbage truck, Milton Mishler 59, of the 100 block of East Meadow Drive, Cortland, was transported to Mercy Center Hospital in Aurora with minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation by Sheriff’s Detectives and members of the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team. No tickets have been issued. The stretch of Route 30 between Dugan Road and Dauberman Road was closed for approximately three hours while the crash was investigated.

Saying goodbye to Conley Farm

in Elburn/Kaneville/Regional by
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For over 15 years, the Conley family, Conley Funeral Home and Conley Outreach Community Services have partnered to purchase, develop and maintain the Conley Farm in Kaneville. The farm has seen countless visitors to its Children’s Prayer Garden, grief events, weddings and family celebrations. It has been a place of healing, hope and celebration.

As the Kaneland community transitions from summer to fall, the Conley Farm is also in transition, as Conley finds it has become necessary to sell the property.

This was an extremely difficult, but necessary business decision, and one that was not made lightly. The farm is privately owned by the Conley family, who has graciously given Conley Outreach a license agreement to use the property at no cost since its purchase. While the sale of the farm may impact some of Conley’s grief events, Conley Outreach’s support groups and all of its community-based programs and the West Towns offices will not be affected.

Conley Outreach will invite the public to one last event at the Conley Farm—a “Farewell to the Farm”—on Sunday, Sept. 28, from 3 to 6 p.m. If you have been one of Conley Farm’s dedicated volunteers, have attended an event or wedding here, or have always meant to visit, Conley would love to see you that day. Come walk the gardens and grounds, enjoy a bonfire, make s’mores and spend a little time on the bridge to give thanks for all the ways this farm has blessed the local community.

For more information about the Farm Farewell or Conley Outreach’s programs, call (630) 365-2880.

Tennessee-based company acquires Hintzsche Fertilizer

in Regional by

TROXEL—Hintzsche Fertilizer Inc., a second-generation, family-owned business established in 1962, has reached an agreement to sell its agronomy business, including subsidiaries Burroughs Ag Services and Walter Seed and Fertilizer, to Helena Chemical Company, based in Collierville, Tenn.

A press release from Hintzsche states: “After many thoughtful discussions by the ownership regarding how to perpetuate the business, it was decided a sale of the business was in the best interest of all stakeholders.”

Company president and CEO David Hintzsche declined to comment further.

In a Sept. 3 letter to customers, Hintzsche wrote, “We ultimately made the decision to go with Helena because they are a successful, leading-edge and stable company with experience in ag retail on a national scale. They can bring resources to our business that will help our team to continue to provide a high level of service and innovation to your operation. Helena has been a long-term supplier to our organization, so we know many of their people and how they do business. Our agronomy management team will continue to lead the business and Helena has made a commitment to bring the entire employee team onboard. You will be working with the same sales and service team that has served you well in the past.”

Hintzsche’s Illinois operations include Troxel, DeKalb, Kirkland, Scarboro, Minooka, Peru, Toluca, Dana, Lostant, Minonk, Sparland, Varna, Washburn, Wyoming, Grand Ridge, Sheridan and Amboy.

Along with the letter from Hintzsche, customers received a letter from Helena’s Midwest Division Manager John McKinney. He reiterated that employees will be retained, allowing customers to work with professionals they know and trust. He added, “We sincerely believe the people inside the building are more important than the sign on the door.”

Randy Parman, vice president of Helena’s northern business unit, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, said the parties are working toward an October deal-closing date.

Lauzen addresses Elburn Chamber

in Elburn/Regional by
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Photo: Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen (right) and Elburn
Village President Dave Anderson share a laugh prior to Lauzen’s State of the
County address on Sept. 4. Photo by Susan O’Neill

Kane County Chairman issues State of the County address
ELBURN—Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen took an opportunity at the Sept. 4 Elburn Chamber of Commerce meeting to tell chamber members about his accomplishments during his first two years as chairman.

Lauzen, who had been the 25th district state senator before his successful run for the board chairmanship, began his state of the county address by saying that his position with the county is “so much better” than his tenure as an Illinois state senator.

“You can actually do something here,” he said. “And if there’s something wrong, it’s not somebody else’s fault. If there’s something wrong, it’s my fault and I need to fix it.”

Lauzen began his list of accomplishments for his first two years by pointing out that Kane County’s property tax levy has been frozen since 2011, and although this has been a tough year, he hopes to continue that practice. Acknowledging that people would prefer to have their taxes go down, he said his goal for the county is to “just don’t make it worse.”

He said that the county recently created Kane County Connects, an online social media initiative that is meant to inform people within the county about issues and events of interest to them. Lauzen said that former newspaper reporter and editor Rick Nagel has taken this initiative from an audience of zero six months ago to a reach of 13,200. He encouraged the audience members to make use of it to get the word out about various events.

Also on the list of accomplishments was the groundbreaking this year for a new shooting range for the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, which Lauzen said was an important tool for deputies to keep up their skills.

“If there’s a problem, you want them to shoot straight, and to do that, you’ve got to practice,” he said.

Lauzen said that other law enforcement departments in the area are welcome to use the range, as well.

He also mentioned the Longmeadow Parkway, a $120 million transportation project in the north of the county, and said that the county was able to bring $45 million of state money here to help pay for the project.

Lauzen had some ideas for pension reform at the state level, including capping the abuses, raising the retirement age from 55 to 62 years, and scaling back the cost of living increases (COLA), which are currently at a rate of 3 percent every year.

However, he said that fixing the problem takes political will, and it takes at least a two-party system. He encouraged the business leaders in the audience to get out and vote in November, as well as using their influence to get others to do the same.

“We’re smart enough to understand that it’s time for a change,” he said. “Spread your influence; get your neighbors out to vote.”

Photos: Saturdays of thunder

in Elburn/Regional by
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The eighth annual Car and Motorcycle Show was presented by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez, Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall and Dekalb County Sheriff Roger Scott on Saturday at The Martin family farm in Elburn. Proceeds from the event went to the Make a Wish Foundation. Jim and Tori Yurachek (right) of Elburn stop to take a look at Sheriff Perez’s Ford Torino. The car lineup during the show (below).
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Photos by Lynn Logan

Oberweis will seek override of governor’s speed-limit veto

in Regional by

SPRINGFIELD—State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) says he will seek an override this fall of a gubernatorial veto of legislation he sponsored to raise the speed limit on Illinois toll highways to 70 miles-per-hour.

Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed Oberweis’ Senate Bill 2015 on Aug. 26, citing evidence that tollway drivers already exceed the speed limit in many cases, which can lead to serious accidents.

“The governor says he vetoed my legislation because data shows that drivers on the tollways are already exceeding the speed limits, which is the same argument opponents used for our original law that now allows the 70 mph limit on other Illinois highways,” Oberweis said. “It is an argument we have already addressed in the original law. Those who exceed the 70 mph limit now face tougher penalties.”

Oberweis said the original law, which took effect Jan. 1, provides public safety enhancements in the form of a lowered threshold upon which the penalty for speeding is increased from a petty offense to a misdemeanor. Speeding in excess of 26 miles per hour but less than 35 mph (currently 31-40 mph) will be a Class B misdemeanor. Speeding in excess of 35 mph (currently 40 mph) will be a Class A misdemeanor.

Senate Bill 2015 was passed by a 111-4 vote of the House of Representatives on May 29 and by a 48-6 vote of the Senate on May 21.

“One of the Governor’s favorite catch-phrases is ‘Let the will of the people be the law of the land,’ yet when he disagrees with the will of the people, he vetoes popular legislation. Senate Bill 2015 was sponsored by 39 lawmakers from both political parties in both the Senate and the House, representing Chicago, suburban and downstate areas of Illinois,” Oberweis said. “It appears that most of lawmakers do not agree with Quinn, and I will be asking them to join me in the fall session to override the governor’s veto.”

Grace period registration extended through Election Day

in Regional by

KANE COUNTY—Kane County Clerk John A. Cunningham would like to inform Kane County residents that the grace period registration has been extended through Election Day. This extension of grace period registration applies only to the November 2014 General Election.

Illinois state law states that “During the 2014 general election, an unregistered qualified elector may register to vote, and a registered voter may submit a change of address form, in person at any permanent polling place for early voting established under Section 19A-10 through election day.”

The state law also states that registered, grace-period voters wishing to vote must do so by grace period voting. Grace period registration will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Kane County Clerk’s Office. Grace period registration will be extended until the polls close on Tuesday, Nov. 4, for the General Election only. Two forms of current identification are required. Voters must vote after their voter registration is processed.

The Kane County Clerk’s Office is located in Building B at the Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave. (Route 31), Geneva.

To register, a person must be a United States citizen, 18 years old on or before the date of the General Election, a resident of the precinct for 30 days prior to the election, and provide two forms of identification, one of which shows their current name and address.

Kane County residents may check their registration online by going to www.kanecountyelections.org—click on the “Are you registered?” link and follow the directions on the page.

For additional information call the Elections Office at (630) 232-5990.

Plane makes emergency landing at Aurora Airport

in Regional/Sugar Grove by
WZ08142014-5

SUGAR GROVE—An airplane traveling from Michigan on Aug. 13 was forced to make an emergency landing at Aurora Municipal Airport, 43W636 Route 30 in Sugar Grove. The plane’s landing gear had malfunctioned and would not deploy.

The plane was originally headed to a residential estate in Naperville, Ill. according to Sugar Grove Police Chief Pat Rollins.

“The pilot did a remarkable job landing the plane,” Rollins said. “Everyone came away unscathed, and there was no damage done to the plane or airport.”

Photos submitted by Walt Zimmer

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