DeKalb County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

A farmer uses a tractor equipped with new technology. The growth of farming is one of the topics explored in a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” coming to Sycamore in 2019.


Annual farm show opens Jan. 10

The Northern Illinois Farm Show will be held at the NIU Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb. Show times are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 10 and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 11. Admission is free; parking costs $5.

Topics include protecting against volatility and building good native habitats for pollinators. Candice King, chief meteorologist for WTVO TV in Rockford, will give the 2018 spring weather outlook for Northern Illinois. Nate Taylor of Aeroptic, LLC, will talk about imagery for decision agriculture. And, Lynda Gould, a member of the Illinois Agricultural Leadership Foundation Class of 2014, will speak.

More than 100 vendors will exhibit farming materials and services. For more information, go to


Holiday lights accepted for recycling

The DeKalb County Health Department is partnering with DeKalb Iron and Metal Company for the 7th annual Holiday Lights Recycling Program. Last year, the program collected almost 2,000 pounds of lights.

The recycling program is running through Feb. 2, and is accepting all string lights and extension cords. Year after year residents find themselves testing bulbs and replacing fuses. When that does not work, the lights often end up in the garbage. With this program, DeKalb County can divert all holiday lights from the landfill, as recycled goods. One strand of lights may seem as though it does not help, but even these small contributions help reduce waste going into the landfill.

Residents can drop off their old lights at any of the following locations during regular operating hours:

  • DeKalb County Health Department, 2550 N. Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb
  • DeKalb Park District Sports and Rec Center, 1765 S. Fourth St., DeKalb
  • City of DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St., DeKalb
  • DeKalb County Farm Bureau, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore
  • Sycamore Centre, 308 W. State St., Sycamore
  • DeKalb County Legislative Center, 200 North Main St., Sycamore
  • Kishwaukee Family YMCA, 2500 Bethany Road, Sycamore
  • Sandwich Public Library, 925 S. Main St., Sandwich
  • City of Sandwich, 144 E. Railroad, Sandwich
  • Village Hall of Waterman, 215 W. Adams St., Waterman

For more information about the Holiday Lights Recycling Program, call Michelle Gibson at (815) 748-2408 or send an email to


Museum to prepare for Smithsonian exhibit

A Smithsonian exhibit will set up shop in Sycamore in 2019. The Sycamore History Museum, along with five other locations in Illinois, have been selected to host “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, later this year and in 2019.

Sycamore will be its final destination in Illinois. The museum, 1730 N. Main St., will host the display from May 11 to June 22, 2019. Before that, the exhibit will stop in Chester, Winchester, Shelbyville in 2018, and Atlanta and Marshall in 2019.

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America” tells the story of rural America and offers small towns a chance to look at their own paths to highlight the changes that affected their fortunes over the past century. The exhibition is designed to prompt discussions about what happened when America’s rural population – once as high as 40 percent of the country’s population –  became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred.

Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these changes, exhibit researchers say that America’s small towns continue to creatively focus on new opportunities for growth and development. Economic innovation and a focus on the cultural facets that make small towns unique, comfortable, and desirable have helped many communities create their own renaissance. The exhibit will show that the future is bright for much of rural America as small towns embrace the notion that their citizens and their cultural uniqueness are important assets.

Homeowners won’t see property tax increase

Good news for tax-paying homeowners: The Sycamore City Council has passed the corporate tax levy, and Sycamore homeowners will be paying about the same as last year. 

The $2.9 million levy is up about $85,000 from 2016, for the owner of a $200,000 home, the city portion of the tax bill would be $494.15, or 3 cents less than 2016.

The Sycamore Public Library District portion of that same homeowner’s tax bill will be about $4.56 more than in 2016. The council had discussed the tax levy at two previous meetings.

City Manager Brian Gregory told the council that residents will see really no change in the property taxes paid to the city. The tax rate was decreased the same percentage as equalized assessed valuation increased, about 5 percent.


–DeKalb County News Briefs–