Kane County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Aurora resident Susan Herring, right, was among patrons who said “Joe sent me” to enter a 1920s-style speakeasy in downtown Aurora Friday night as part of a fundraiser for the Aurora Historical Society. (Al Benson photo)


State championship caps historic Vikings season

The Geneva High School girls basketball team completed a historic season this month with their Class 4A state championship.

It was the first basketball title for the school and only the third by a traditional sports team in Geneva history.

The Vikings completed a 29-4 season with a 41-40 victory over previously unbeaten Edwardsville on March 4 at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena. Geneva won 14 straight en route to the championship.

Grace Loberg scored 17 points in the title game while Stephanie Hart added 11, including a game-winning jumper with 5 seconds left in the game.

The Vikings have never had a losing season under sixth-year head coach Sarah Meadows and had a fourth place state finish in 2014. Geneva also finished fourth in its only other state appearance under head coach Gina Nolan in 2009.

Geneva also owns three state championships in a newer, emerging sport. The Vikings’ competitive dance team is state powerhouse with four consecutive state championships and counting. 

Geneva won its first Class 2A competitive dance crown in 2013-14 and has repeated yearly since.


Calls from ‘police’ demanding payments are a scam

The Aurora Police Department took a report last week where a citizen received a phone call allegedly from Aurora police — and the department’s non-emergency number (630-256-5000) and “Aurora Police Department” came up on his caller ID.

When the Aurora resident answered, a female on the other end identified herself as “Kelly Smith” from the Aurora Police Department “Law Enforcement Division.” She stated that the man had a warrant out for his arrest for an unpaid loan and that he would be taken to jail tomorrow unless he paid $2,120 to U.S. Legal Support Services.

The woman gave the victim a number to call, which he did. A male answered the second call and reiterated the info given to the victim by “Kelly.” The victim refused to pay, hung up, and phoned the Aurora Police Department to make a report.

“This is the first instance where we are aware that scammers have used our phone number to try and soak money out of our citizens,” said Aurora Police Department spokesman Dan Ferrelli on the APD Facebook page. “Please realize this is a fraud. The Aurora Police Department would never call you demanding money for an outstanding warrant — or any other reason for that matter.

“Also understand that these types of crimes are incredibly difficult to investigate because the crooks are many times located out of the country. The software they use is called ‘spoofing,’ which allows them to use what ever name and number they want, to appear on caller IDs.”

If you receive a similar call, the Aurora Police Department suggestions that simply hang up, then call the Police Department so investigators can keep track of the scope of the incidents.


Red Oak offers taste of spring at Maple Fest

Red Oak Nature Center will be offering an early, sweet taste of spring at Saturday’s annual Maple Fest.

The free event offers  tours running every hour beginning at 9 a.m. (final tour at 1 p.m.).

Naturalists from Red Oak will lead visitors to various stations in the woods to view demonstrations of how maple sap is harvested and turned into maple syrup.

Each group will tap a maple tree, then witness the process of how sap is boiled and converted into syrup. Group taste-tests will follow.

Maple-themed treats and hot beverages will be available for a small fee (cash or check). Also, the event will feature items for sale from Vermont – the maple syrup-producing capital of the world – that include small bottles of maple syrup, candy and beef jerky. Dimple Donuts is providing maple doughnuts while supplies last.

Groups of 10 or more must pre-register by calling 630-897-1808.

Red Oak Nature Center is located on Route 25, one mile north of Route 56 (Butterfield Rd.). For more information, visit the District’s website at www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org and the Red Oak Facebook page.


Forest district sets prescribed burns

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And this time of year, “where there’s fire” is often at a forest preserve in Kane County.

With the onset of warmer weather, conditions are once again right for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County to perform prescribed burns in various natural areas.

Each spring and fall, the Forest Preserve District conducts prescribed burns across prairies, woodlands and wetlands in an effort to improve or maintain the ecological health of a site.

These carefully controlled burns release nutrients from burned plant materials, encourage seed growth, and open the woodland floor to sunlight so native wildflowers and plants can flourish. Prescribed burns also reduce the abundance of non-native brush such as buckthorn.

For more information on prescribed burns, contact the Forest Preserve District of Kane County at 630-232-5980.


Anti-gambling advocacy night at Aurora church

Wesley United Methodist Church , 14 N. May St. in Aurora, will hold an anti-gambling advocacy night at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23.

The public is invited said Rev. John Bell, Wesley UMC pastor.

Anita Bidell, executive director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems, will speak. 

She has been a strong voice in Springfield representing churches across the state, testifying at committee meetings, preparing position papers and meeting with representatives on how gambling expansion is not going to fix government financial woes.  

A gambling bill being considered (SB 7) would legalize 10 more casinos, a winery, and allow slot machines at Chicago’s two airports.  The governor and legislators are considering this measure to address the state’s budget crisis.

Opponents say gambling interests have consistently overestimated the amount of revenue from casinos and do not consider any of the costs—addiction, bankruptcy, crime, child neglect, divorce, and suicide. 

Financial, the impact on communities is $3 for every $1 of gambling revenue when factoring criminal justice, regulatory and social costs.


Entertaining ‘Wonders of Science’ at Fermilab

A team of science teachers calling themselves Weird Science takes the stage of Ramsey Auditorium at Fermilab on Sunday for an entertaining and educational show called Wonders of Science.

This show is recommended for families with children ages 7 to 12, and  features experiments and demonstrations, and leaving with a science kit for their own experiments at home.

The event runs from 1-5 p.m.  Registration is $5.

Wonders of Science is an annual program provided by the Education Office at Fermilab.

For more information contact Maureen His at (630) 840-5588 or viaemail at edreg@fnal.gov.

African-American heath fair this Saturday

The Aurora African American Health Coalition will host its 12th annual community Health Fair from 8 a.m-1 p.m. Saturday at  Aurora Christian School, 2255 Sullivan Road Aurora.

The event will offer free wellness screening provided by Empower Health Services, designed specifically to identify early warning signs of disease.

In addition to the 36 tests included in the package, men requesting a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) who are at least age 45 or have a hereditary prostate cancer risk will receive the test at no cost.

The vision of the organization is to eliminate health care disparities in the Aurora African American community by using a holistic approach, promoting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

For more information call (866) 367-6974.

Legion post launches membership drive

The Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 conducting a membership drive daily during the hours of 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The post is partnering with the American Legion Department of Illinois, the 2nd Division and District 11 with the help of the American Legion National HQ to contact veterans’ families in the Aurora area regarding membership in the local American Legion Family.

The American Legion is the nation’s largest and most powerful organization of U.S. wartime veterans and their families. The Legion has brought into existence dozens of health-care benefits for veterans and programs designed to provide civilian careers after discharge. The American Legion works every day on behalf of U.S. servicemen and women.

The Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 was founded in 1919, and is one of the oldest posts in the State of Illinois.

The name is in memory of Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was killed in WWI in aerial combat over France in 1918. The group has a membership of over 300 and currently meet on the second Friday of every month at 8 a.m. at Colonial Café in West Plaza, Aurora.


‘Chair-ity’ public art events returns for summer

The Downtown St. Charles Partnership will bring back a “Chair-ity” event  during the summer of 2017, inviting community members to decorate Adirondack style chairs which are then placed throughout downtown St. Charles. 

Interested participants are encouraged to create imaginative and unique works of art appropriate for public display. 

Any individual, group or business can participate, with the option of donating the chair for auction at the conclusion of the event.  Participants can supply their own Adirondack chair or purchase one. 

The DSCP is again working with ACE Hardware of St. Charles, who will provide a discounted price for “Chair-ity” participants who wish to purchase a chair from for $39.99.

All proceeds for the auction will go back into downtown beatification efforts and will be announced at the conclusion of the event.

For more information or to sign up to participate in the event, go to the DSCP’s web page at www.downtownstcharles.org/events/chair-ity/. 

–Kane County News Briefs–