DeKalb County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


Effort to raise smoking age to 21 fails

Teenagers can continue to buy cigarettes and tobacco products in Illinois, if they are at least 18 years old. Efforts to raise the age to 21 to legally buy tobacco failed in the Illinois House last week.

The House fell nine votes short of the 71 votes needed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the legislation known as Tobacco 21.

The bill would have required someone to be 21 to legally purchase tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and electronic cigarettes.

The failure to override the veto was not unexpected. The bill passed the House in May with only 61 votes, and supporters knew it would be difficult to find an additional 10 votes for an override. Supporters said they will try again next year.


Issues with LED lights topic of public forum

The city of DeKalb Citizens’ Environmental Commission will hold a public forum at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 to discuss health and safety issues associated with LED lights which are replacing compact fluorescent lights and all other types of bulbs used in internal as well as external settings.

The guest speaker will be William Mills, assistant professor of engineering technology at Northern Illinois University, a lighting expert who has focused on the impact of lighting technologies for the past 16 years. The forum will be held in the City Council Chambers on the second floor of the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St.

LED lights present economic and safety benefits as well as potential health and environmental risks. The forum will examine the complex issues regarding LED lighting while providing opportunities for public input, comments and questions.

For more information, contact Tim Holdeman at

Crazy actions onstage lead to Christmas chaos

What if a renowned theater company scheduled to perform “A Christmas Carol” doesn’t show up for the performance? That might make things hilariously chaotic.

Stage Coach Players is presenting its holiday production, “A Christmas Chaos” by Michael Wehrli, through Dec. 8 at Stage Coach Theatre, 126 S. Fifth St., DeKalb. The show is directed by Gloria Dennison.

The story follows members of the astute Royal Shakespeare Company who do not arrive as promised to put on their “stirring” version of the popular Christmas play, “A Christmas Carol.” So the hapless actors and crew people must put together their own production. And they only have seven hours to do it.

The dedicated thespians do their best as chaos ensues. The director is over his head while two kids begin fighting over who gets to play Tiny Tim and an actor believes she’s in another show. Then one actor is tasked with playing both Bob and Mrs. Cratchit. Props and costumes must get thrown together in a hurry while the scenery seems more than a little out of place.

Performances will be given at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 7. Tickets cost $15 each or $13 for seniors and children age 13 and younger. To buy tickets, visit or call the Stage Coach box office at 815-758-1940.

Hospital honored for its stroke center

Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb has been awarded an advanced certification for its Primary Stroke Center. The hospital recently earned the Joint Commissions’ Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for an Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers. Both awards afford Kish Hospital a designation of quality within the industry.

Heather Du Vall


Pay-It-Forward House names new executive director

The Pay-It-Forward House in Sycamore has hired a new executive director, following the retirement of one of its co-founders.

Effective Jan. 1, Heather Du Vall will succeed retiring executive director Joyce Mathey as leader of the organization, which provides a place for the family to stay near their loved ones receiving medical treatment in DeKalb County.

Du Vall, 26, is a DeKalb resident who moved to the area from Minnesota. Her career began in the nonprofit sector working for the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis as a relief manager and administrative assistant to the executive director. Most recently, Du Vall was a professional development coordinator at the Illinois Association of School Business Officials planning seminars and professional development training to assist school business officials across Illinois.

Mathey has served in her current role since April 2014, and prior to that, served as the president of the Pay-It-Forward House board of directors, and co-founder of the organization since its formation in March 2005. The Pay-It-Forward House is at 719 Somonauk St., Sycamore.

Red Cross lifeguarding course offered at YMCA

A course that will train future lifeguards will be offered at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA, 2500 Bethany Road, Sycamore. Red Cross instruction will be given for three days, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 27-Dec. 29.

Upon completion of the course, the Red Cross will certify participants in lifeguarding, first aid and CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer. Students must be 15 years of age before the end of the course. Learn More at Class fees are $225 for YMCA members and $300 for the general public.

All participants need to pass the swimming requirements before taking the class. In order to complete the prerequisite skills, participants must contact the Kishwaukee YMCA’s Lifeguard Coordinator Brendan Williams at or 815-375-5379.



–DeKalb County News Briefs–