DeKalb County News Briefs

Chronicle Media Staff

Shannon Marbutt leads children in a DeKalb Park District karate class. He will be inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame later this month.



Park district plan is to have plants, power lines co-exist

The DeKalb Park District has released its plan to replace invasive plants along the 1.3-mile DeKalb Nature Trail with native species that will not threaten nearby power lines. Park commissioners will discuss the plan at their upcoming Sept. 21 board meeting. Also, the public is invited to comment on the plan, which can be found on the park district’s website,

According to the 59-page plan, the removal of undesirable and invasive species coupled with the introduction of high-quality native species will improve the overall quality and ecological function of the plant communities on the 15.75-acre area.

DeKalb-based Encap Inc., an ecological consulting firm, wrote the plan for park district officials who want to revitalize the heavily traveled pedestrian trail. The trail winds its way from near the intersection of Sycamore Road and Greenwood Acres Drive northwest to North First Street at Timber Trail. In 2012, ComEd was criticized for clear-cutting trees and vegetation beneath and near the lines.

The meeting will be held in the Ellwood House Visitor Center, 509 N. First St. Questions, comments or concerns can be directed to Executive Director Amy Doll by calling (815) 758-6663, ext. 7265, or emailing adoll@dekalbparkdistrict.


Karate instructor named to hall of fame

Shannon Marbutt, owner and sensei of S.A.M.A Karate of DeKalb, is being inducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame this month. He also will be receiving the Silver Lifetime Achievement Award. He was nominated by one of his former students and current assistant instructors, Sensei Ryan McGee.

Sensei Marbutt has been practicing martial arts for 25 years and has partnered with the DeKalb Park District for nearly 10 years. DeKalb Park District offers numerous martial arts programs for children to adults. For more information, visit


Christian classes are based Montessori principles

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in DeKalb will begin Christian formation classes at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 17. The church will be using the “Godly Play” curriculum for children preschool to intermediate age.

This curriculum is based on Montessori teaching principles – supporting, nourishing and guiding each child’s spiritual journey. It was born out of the philosophy that children come to us with an inner knowledge of God. Its purpose is to offer children the opportunity to express and nurture what they already sense and to “name” it. There are two adults trained in Safeguarding God’s Children present in the classroom each Sunday – the greeter and the storyteller.

Visitors will have an opportunity to meet St. Paul’s child care staff and tour the nursery. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is at 900 Normal Road, DeKalb. Call (815) 756-4888 for information.


Medicare explained at library session

A free Medicare workshop will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 13 at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St., DeKalb. A licensed sales representative will explain multiple Medicare options to meet individual needs. Registration is not required. For additional information, email or call (815) 756-9568, ext. 1701.




Eagle Scout project benefits school

Southeast Elementary School in Sycamore has three new benches, the result of a former student’s efforts. Collin Good, a Boy Scout from Troop 2810 chartered out of Sycamore Lutheran Church, installed the benches, called Buddy Benches, as his Eagle project.

The idea of the Buddy Benches began in Pennsylvania in 2013, when a first-grader wanted a place for children to sit if they don’t know what to do or feel left out on the playground. When

other students see a child sitting on the bench, they are encouraged to talk with the child and invite the child to join their group.

Good presented the idea to Southeast Principal Mark Ekstrom, who asked for three benches, one for each playground. At Ekstrom’s request, Good co-chaired the school’s annual fall pie fundraiser, which raises money for playground improvement.

The benches were ordered from Doty and Sons. The Doty family has ties with Southeast School, and discounted the price of the benches. The back slats on each bench are engraved with the words “Southeast School,” “Buddy Bench,” and “Do a Good Turn Daily,” the motto of scouting. Good organized volunteers to install the benches. Then, Good and other scouts showed a PowerPoint presentation and acted out skits about how to use the benches.




Horticulture students donate their harvest

The Kishwaukee College Sustainable Horticulture class donated bushels of fresh vegetables to the needy. The classes are offered in spring, summer and fall, and give students hands-on experience with the campus vegetable garden, beehives and bluebird nesting boxes. The vegetable harvest is donated to local charities with this year’s bounty going to N.I.C.E., a 15-church multi-denomination consortium in Lee. The group’s food pantry has Wednesday and Saturday. For exact times and more information about N.I.C.E., visit

–DeKalb County News Briefs–