Kane County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Benjamin Mendoza, 6, a first-grader at Boulder Hill Elementary School and Alaria Selmon, 8, a third-grader at Allen Elementary School were named Little Mr. Aurora and Little Miss Aurora, respectively, last week. They will serve for the next year as youth ambassadors for the city. (City of Aurora photo)


New 2-1-1 human services, government hotline active

Kane County residents can now dial 2-1-1 and get connected with a live specialist who will assist them with their human service and government resource needs.

The United Way organizations in Kane County, Kane County school districts, Kane County government, and local community organizations have joined forces to fund a free, centralized resource for people who need help. 2-1-1 can connect callers to local resources such as food pantries, medical services, counseling, employment support, legal assistance, and other support services.

2-1-1 is an anonymous place to start with a specialist on hand to help sort out the options.

Support is available 24/7 and no computer or Internet is required. Translation is available in more than 150 languages and callers of all ages can use the service as often as needed.

Comcast, AT&T, Mediacom, Verizon, and others went live on Nov. 1, but there are more than 100 phone carriers in Illinois. If your carrier does not allow access, contact the 211 call center using the toll-free number: 888-865-9903. PATH will contact your carrier and you can still ask your human resource and social service questions in the same call.


Kendall, Kane mayor’s group launches bike, pedestrian app

Kane Kendall Council of Mayors has launched a web-based application, the KKCOM Bike and Pedestrian App that will provide residents with maps of bike trails, public transportation routes, and public infrastructure.

KKCOM staff hopes that this app will assist in offering directions, recreational experiences, and commuting habits of the residents and visitors of Kane and Kendall counties.

Specifically, the maps within the app display locations of bike routes and trails, restrooms, bike shops, parking, popular destinations, public parks and recreational facilities, and emergency assistance facilities  such as police, fire, and hospitals.

The app will also include a map of Metra train and Pace bus stations/shelters and lines throughout the two-county region. Up-to-date information on closures and construction throughout the trail system will also be reported within the app.

The app was launched on Nov. 1, 2018. It can be accessed at http://bit.ly/kkcomapp.

The app can also be accessed via mobile devices. The app is free to use and does not require a membership to access.


Holiday Express special needs night

Special needs kids and families can enjoy all the fun of Holiday Express at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora, in a low-sensory environment on Nov. 30 from 5-8 p.m.

There will be no waiting in lines. Instead, guests will experience a setup that’s sensitive to special needs families, with reduced lighting and music. Blackberry Farm is ADA compliant, but note that the hay wagon is non-handicap accessible.

Food and drinks available for purchase and pre-registration is required.

Visitors will see Lake Gregory and Blackberry Farm in all its holiday glory amid the twinkling lights and songs of Christmas. Back in the village, enjoy storytelling of the classics, festive decorations, reindeer food bar, hay wagon rides and a visit with Santa.

Admission is $7 per person (children under 2 are free).


Pop culture fans invited to show, sale

Pop culture will be celebrated again this year at the annual Chicago Pop Culture Con, Nov. 24-Nov. 25 at the Pheasant Run Mega Center and Ballroom, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, Pop Culture Con is a multi-genre convention of comics, toys, gaming, sci-fi, Legos, TV/movie memorabilia, superheroes, Steampunk, action figures, animé, cosplay, fantasy, horror, sports memorabilia, vintage music, publishers and artists. Thousands of pop culture items will be for sale.

Special guests will make appearances throughout the weekend. The guest list includes  professional wrestler Steve Michaels, retired Chicago Bulls player Craig Hodges and former Chicago Bears linebacker Jim Morrissey, and actor Butch Patrick, former child star who is perhaps best known for his role as child werewolf Eddie Munster on the CBS comedy television series The Munsters from 1964 to 1966 and in the 1966 feature film Munster, Go Home, and as Mark on the ABC Saturday morning series, Lidsville,” from 1971 to 1973.

Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 24, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 2.5 Admission is $12, and is good for both days. Children 12 and under will be admitted free with an adult. Tickets will be available at the door and online at chicagopopculturecon.com.


Cluster of Legionnaires’ disease found at residence for seniors

The Illinois Department of Public Health, working with the McHenry County Health Department, has confirmed three cases of Legionnaires’ disease at McHenry Villa, an independent senior living community.

“Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from person to person,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah. “IDPH is investigating possible sources, identifying individuals who may have been exposed, and recommending remediation and prevention measures.”

Public health officials confirmed the third case on Nov. 15. McHenry Villa is notifying residents, the residents’ identified contact, and staff. All three cases had outside exposures, and two of the cases had potential exposures at Centegra Hospital-McHenry.

Public health officials will continue to investigate any other potential sources.

Separately, the Warren Barr South Loop nursing home in Chicago is reporting a third Legionnaires’ disease case. The most recent case became ill in October.  This resident is thought to have been exposed before the facility implemented public health recommendations to switch to bottled water while environmental assessments are being completed.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, like hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships.


Dems hold seminar for potential candidates

Coming off key victories in the midterm election, the DuPage County Democratic organization will hold a training session about how to run for the next offices up for election in April 2019. The training will be held 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville, in the basement of the municipal building.  

The topics to be covered will be petitions, campaign plans, roles in campaigns, voter files to target certain populations, opposition research, fundraising, social media, messaging and communication, voter contact, and the future for local party planning. Current and former public officials will speak about what they do.

Interested people should register at goo.gl/forms/DA0iQ3bAk48HRCv22. Breakfast snacks and lunch will be served. 


Exclusive exhibition of works by Frida Kahlo coming to COD

College of DuPage, in partnership with its McAninch Arts Center and Cleve Carney Art Gallery, has announced that an exhibition of the largest private collection of works by Frida Kahlo is coming to the Glen Ellyn campus in summer 2020.

The 26-piece collection, on loan from the Museo Dolores Olmedo, will feature an array of sketches and paintings spanning the career of Kahlo, who is considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists. Best known for self-portraits highlighting themes of identity, politics, sexuality and death, Kahlo channeled her childhood and personal struggles into her art and became an icon of feminism, activism and Mexican heritage.

The last area showing of Kahlo’s works was in 1978 at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art in an exhibit that included pieces from the Museo Dolores Olmedo. The new immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit, featuring a more diverse collection of works, will transform the Cleve Carney Art Gallery, as well as the McAninch Arts Center Lobby and Belushi Performance Hall spaces. This will allow guests to experience more fully Kahlo and her continued worldwide influence.

The exhibition will run from June 2020 to August 2020. A number of programs and events tied to the exhibition will kick off September 2019.


Actor Sean Hayes to talk about new book

Sean Hayes is known for his many television and Broadway roles. In the area, he is also known as a graduate of Glenbard West high School grad. He is returning to DuPage County to talk about his latest project, a picture book, “Plum,” written with co-author and husband, Scott Icenogle.

Hayes, a star of TV’s “Will & Grace,” will appear at Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 to talk and sign copies of the book, inspired by “The Nutcracker,” about how the Sugar Plum Fairy got her wings.

Anderson’s is at 123 W. Jefferson Ave. The format will be a photo and book-signing line only. Tickets are required and available exclusively at PlumAndersons.brownpapertickets.com. Books will be sold at the event.

For as long as she can remember, according to the story, Plum has lived at the Mary Fitzgerald Orphanage, wishing and hoping for a family. When a sudden snowfall threatens a delivery of presents on Christmas Eve, Plum is determined to save Christmas—even for the kids who laugh at her.

Scott Icenogle is a composer and producer who is currently creating music for NBC’s “Will & Grace” and CNN’s “The History of Comedy.” “Plum” is the first picture book for both Hayes and Icenogle.



–Kane County News Briefs–