Kane County News Briefs

Residents, merchants, and stakeholders are invited to help shape the future of Geneva by attending the City’s Strategic Plan Advisory Committee’s upcoming community forum on Sept. 20.


K-9 helps in arrest of 22-year-old suspect

An Aurora Police Department K-9 put his training to the test recently, ending in the arrest of a 22-year-old Aurora man.

Beny and his handler located Luis Rodriguez, 900 block of Solfisburg Ave., hiding in some bushes after he fled the scene of a crash around 2 a.m. on September 4. 

The  incident began when an Aurora Police Officer saw a Hyundai Elantra roll a stop sign near Spencer Street and New York Street. As the car turned westbound on New York Street, the officer activated his lights and attempted to pull the driver over. 

Aurora Police Department spokesman Dan Ferrelli said Rodriguez, who was later identified as the Elantra’s driver, never stopped for police. Instead, he sped off toward the area of Anderson Street and Benton Street where he struck a parked car. 

Police said Rodriguez got out of his vehicle and fled on foot through several backyards. The officer eventually lost track of his suspect and called K-9 Beny and his handler to the scene. They set up a perimeter and Beny tracked officers to the 0-99 block of S. Anderson Street where Rodriguez was found hiding in some bushes.

Beny was then sent on an article search along the path that Rodriguez had used to flee. In a backyard in the 500 block of Benton Street Beny located a 9mm handgun that police were able to tie back to Rodriguez.

He was charged with three counts of armed violence, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a gang member, and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and parolee. 

He was also cited for disobeying a stop sign, speeding, and driving on a suspended license. An 18-year-old Montgomery woman who was with Rodriguez in the Elantra was released without being charged. 


Aurora man gets life in 2016 social club murder

An Aurora man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting someone to death inside a social club on the city’s near east side two years ago.

A Kane County jury on Aug. 27, 2018, convicted 50-year-old Alfredo Soto of first-degree murder in the Aug. 1, 2016, shooting death of 31-year-old Martiniano Alvarez of North Aurora.

In addition, the jury found that Soto personally fired the gun that killed Alvarez.

Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Lori Anderson, David Belshan and Vincent Coyle presented evidence during the five-day trial that the evening of Aug. 1, 2016, Soto and two other patrons were drinking at the bar at an establishment in the 1300 block of Dearborn Avenue. At some point Alvarez joined them and the group carried on what witnesses described as a normal conversation.

At 6:40 p.m. Soto got up and walked toward the door, then asked Alvarez to come with him. Soto then pulled out a Beretta semi-automatic handgun, pointed it at Alvarez and fired four shots, with one of them striking Alvarez in the left temple. No one else was injured.

Soto immediately fled the scene driving a white pickup truck. Alvarez died later that day at a local hospital as a result of the gunshot wound.

The shooting was recorded on surveillance video.

Soto remains in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $5 million bail. Judge Hull revoked bond upon conviction.


Plainfield man found dead in Pheasant Run parking lot

St. Charles police are conducting a death investigation after a 61-year-old man was found dead Thursday night in the parking lot of Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St.

According to a St. Charles Police Department news release, police and fire units were dispatched at around 9:20 p.m. on Sept. 6 to the Pheasant Run parking lot for the report of an unconscious, unresponsive person.

Upon arrival, an adult male later identified as Earl K. Hagen, 61, of Plainfield was found in the parking lot.

“Hagen was found to be deceased with some apparent injuries to his upper body, indicating that Hagen may have been struck by a vehicle,” St. Charles Police Department Deputy Chief E. Mahan said in the news release.

The DuPage County Coroner’s Office was notified and responded. The St. Charles Police Department is working with the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office and the DuPage County Coroner’s Office to investigate the circumstances of this death.

Mahan said updated information will be provided as the investigation progresses.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the St. Charles Police Department at 630-377-4435 or contact the St. Charles Police Drug & Crime Tip Line anonymously at 1-866-378-4267.


City looks for input for strategic plan

Residents, merchants, and stakeholders are invited to help shape the future of Geneva by attending the City’s Strategic Plan Advisory Committee’s upcoming community forum.

The forum will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Geneva Public Works Department, 1800 South St. The forum will begin with a brief presentation on the strategic planning process followed by an opportunity for attendees to meet with the committee to discuss the draft plan.

The forum is one of the final stages of a year-long process to gather community feedback and develop a guide for Geneva’s future. Public input will help the committee finalize the plan before presenting it to the City Council in October.

The new strategic plan was created with assistance from a broad cross-section of community stakeholders and focuses on five unique areas:

  • Economic vitality;
  • Strong governance;
  • Environmental stewardship;
  • Excellent municipal services; and
  • Quality of life.

A strategic plan is a valuable tool used by City leaders to identify goals and prioritize resources. The City Council and City staff rely on the visions presented within the plan to guide development and design programs to ensure Geneva remains a vibrant and prosperous community.

For more information about the forum, call Geneva City Hall at 630-232-7494.


Saam honored with Chambers top honor

Jamie Saam has been named winner of a top award from the Batavia Chamber of Commerce.

From her lead role as mother to her supporting role as business owner, to alderman, to MainStreet Executive Director, Saam has always worn her love for Batavia on her sleeve.

Each year at the Harvest Celebration the Batavia Chamber of Commerce honors a member with the Donna Dallesasse Award.

Dallesasse was the first full-time Executive Director of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce and served the business community for over 16 years. The award is presented to a Chamber member in recognition of their outstanding commitment and dedication to the Chamber’s mission, vision, and values.

Nominations are submitted by Chamber members and the recipient is selected by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. This year, the Batavia Chamber of Commerce is proud to honor Jamie Saam as the 2018 Donna Dallesasse Award winner.

From her lead role as mother to her supporting role as business owner, to alderman, to MainStreet Executive Director, Saam has always worn her love for Batavia on her sleeve.

The event is set for Oct. 3 at Marmion’s Abbey Farms.


Sheriff’s Police seek info on shooting in township

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in finding information related to a recent shooting incident in unincorporated Aurora Township.

According to a Sheriff’s Office news release, deputies responded at around 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, to a call of shots fired in the 1300 block of Summit Avenue in unincorporated Aurora Township.

Upon arrival, deputies learned that a 21-year-old male had exited a residence in the 1300 block of Summit Avenue and was shot one time by an unknown subject.

The victim was transported by an acquaintance to an Aurora-area hospital and was treated for a non-life-threatening injury.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office has no suspect information at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call KCSO detectives at 630-444-1103.


33rd Scarecrow Fest set for Oct. 5-7

The 33rd Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Fest will take place Oct. 5-7 in downtown St. Charles.  The festival has once again been named one of Country Living Magazine’s “Top 22 Fall Festivals to Celebrate the Season”.

Attendees can look forward to festival favorites, including the Autumn on the Fox Arts & Crafts Show in Pottawatomie Park, carnival rides by Windy City Amusements, Make-Your-Own Scarecrow, live entertainment and, of course, the signature event, the Scarecrow Contest.

Some of the newer events from recent years are back by popular demand including pony rides and Taste of St. Charles. In addition, entertainment will be expanded to three locations this year including Q Center’s Main Stage in the Meijer Zone at Lincoln Park, the Arcada Theatre Stage on the north side of the Municipal Building, and the parking lot north of the Filling Station restaurant.

More details about Scarecrow Fest and the W.A.R. on Wheels Scarecrow Ride can be found at www.scarecrowfest.com.


Dispose of unwanted medication at GreenFest

On Sept. 22, Fox Metro Water Reclamation District’s Pretreatment Department will be collecting expired/ unwanted medication as part of the annual Aurora Greenfest.

The event will be held at the Prisco Center, 150 W Illinois Ave, Aurora, and is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fox Metro WRD’s wastewater plant serves approximately 300,000 residents of Aurora, North Aurora, Oswego, Montgomery, Sugar Grove, and portions of Batavia and Yorkville.

The medication disposal program began in 2008. Fox Metro WRD accepts all medications except sharps, IV bags, controlled medications, and thermometers. Fox Metro WRD provides this service of proper medication disposal in an effort to eliminate the environmental and public health hazard of these substances in our waterways.


Art League’s show presents wide-ranging styles of work

About 120 artists will display their work, representing 14 mediums, in one of DuPage County’s premium art shows: Naperville Art League’s 33nd annual Riverwalk Fine Art Fair, Sept. 15-Sept. 16.

The work – that will include 2-D and 3-D mixed media, acrylic/oil, ceramics, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal/sculpture, painting mixed media, photography, watercolor and wood – will be displayed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jackson Avenue between Main and Eagle Streets and along Naperville’s Riverwalk.

Artists will vie for cash prizes in the juried fair. Hired judges evaluate the art based on originality, technique and display, and give 15 awards. Winning artists receive cash prizes and an invitation to return next year.

To foster an interest in art in youngsters, the DuPage Children’s Museum will have a children’s tent in the parking lot near the food booth at Jackson and Main Streets.

The Naperville Art League will have a booth with information about the league’s class offerings, memberships, exhibits and special events. The fair has become the league’s main source of income, which fosters interest in public art, provide classes for adults and children, and present gallery shows.


Aquarium free this month for Illinois residents

Admission to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is free this month for all Illinois residents.

The free entrance will allow visitors to explore the aquarium’s new special exhibit, Underwater Beauty, and visit the main galleries and take in an aquatic presentation.

Attendees will need to show proof of state residence for the offer.

The aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, will extend the free days with special night events on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Attendees who can’t visit the museum during the day or on weekends will be able to go and listen to live music while looking at the aquarium.

Here’s a schedule for the evening events:

  • Caribbean Flavors and Flair (Sept. 17, Sept. 24): There will be Caribbean-inspired food for attendees.
  • Live Latin Rhythms (Sept. 12, 19, 26 and Oct. 3, 10): There will be Latin jazz performances, as well as Latin-inspired food and drinks. Attendance to the two October nights will be free.
  • House Party (Sept. 20, Sept. 27): The event will feature house music from DJs Jesse Saunders, Terry Hunter and Farley Jackmaster Funk.

Admission to the evening events will be free; food and drinks can be purchased.

The aquarium recommends those who want to attend to reserve tickets online due to the popularity of the aquarium’s free days. Tickets can be reserved at sheddaquarium.org for a $3 transaction fee.



–Kane County News Briefs–