Kane County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Sarah Tesch, left, presents a ceremonial house key to Juan and Maria Martinez of Aurora at the Martinez’ Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity’s recent home dedication at 564 Spruce St. in Aurora. Tesch is a volunteer Habitat board member. The Martinez home is Habitat’s 60th new or rehab project in Aurora, Montgomery and North Aurora since the group’s inception in 1989. (Al Benson photo).


Emergency services chief  announces retirement

Don Bryant, a leader in county, state and national emergency management efforts, announced his retirement this week as director of the Kane County Office of Emergency Management.

Bryant was honored last week the Kane County Board for his 23 years of service.

His accomplishments are many.

Bryant was one of the first accredited professional emergency managers, in the state of Illinois, a program that established a professional development standard that requires training and real-life experiences in the field of emergency management.

He has served as a member of several statewide and national planning teams including the Illinois-Wisconsin-Indiana Regional Catastrophic Planning Group and the 2012 NATO Summit planning group and represented Kane County as a voting member on the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.

Since he was named OEM director in 1995, Bryant coordinated the county’s response and recovery efforts to eight federally declared disasters.

In the fall of 2004, Bryant was asked to serve as a member of FEMA’s coordination team during the first ever nationwide Citizen Corps deployment in response to successive hurricanes impacting the United States.

In 2015, Bryant and his team were instrumental in the response and recovery efforts related to the Fairdale tornado disaster.

Bryant has been especially effective in building the volunteer force that is essential to emergency management efforts. Kane County volunteers are perennial winners of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.


IDOT announces funding for three projects

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced a nearly $36 million investment to expand travel options and enhance the quality of life in communities throughout the state — including projects in Algonquin, Huntley and the Fox Valley Park District.

The 53 projects approved through IDOT’s Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification work and other projects designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level.

The Kane County-area projects include the following:

  • Village of Algonquin: Main Street Protected Bike Lane — $1,196,800
  • Village of Huntley: Huntley-Reed Road Multi-Use Path — $192,000
  • Fox Valley Park District: Prairie Path, Aurora — $610,000

Made possible by federal funds administered by IDOT, ITEP awards are focused on improving bike and pedestrian travel, as well as other surface transportation improvements that promote alternative options for getting around your community.

To be eligible, applicants must commit a local match of at least 20 percent to their project and demonstrate a plan to have their awards spent within four years.

For the latest funding cycle, IDOT received 218 applications for projects worth an estimated $252 million. The next call for projects will be during fall 2019 followed by a spring 2020 award announcement.


Montgomery woman killed in crash

A 54-year-old Montgomery woman was killed on May 6 in a crash on Illinois Route 47 south of Beith Road in unincorporated Campton Township.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office Accident Reconstruction Team is continuing to investigate the cause of the crash, which took place at around 11:30 p.m.

The initial investigation indicates that a Honda Civic driven by Linda Clark, 54, of Montgomery was traveling south on Route 47 and for an unknown reason crossed the center line and struck a northbound Toyota Highlander driven by Kristin Chomenko, 29, of Hampshire.

Clark was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chomenko and her 1-year-old son, who was a passenger in the Toyota, were taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

No tickets have been issued.

Route 47 was closed between Beith Road and IL Route 38 until about 4:45 a.m., while the crash was being investigated.


April was second coldest in state history

The statewide average temperature in April was 44.7 degrees, 7.9 degrees below normal, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel at the Illinois State Water Survey. It was the second coldest April on record, back to 1895, beaten only by 43.1 degrees set in April 1907.

The lowest temperature reported in Illinois for April was -1 at both Avon and Lincoln on April 2. At the other extreme, temperatures reached into the 80s at times during the month. The warmest reading was 86 degrees at Kaskaskia on April 13.

The statewide average precipitation for April in Illinois was 2.46 inches, 1.32 inches below normal. In general, areas in the north and west had lower precipitation totals and were part of a larger area of below-normal precipitation that extended into Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and beyond. Precipitation is the combination of both rainfall and the water content of snow.

The largest monthly total precipitation was reported in Metropolis with 6.73 inches. On the other extreme, the Quincy Airport reported only 0.63 inches for the month, which reflects the other low totals in the area.

Snowfall was widespread across Illinois in April, which is highly unusual. Parts of central Illinois received more snow than northwest Minnesota. Snowfall was above normal across most of the Midwest. The largest reported monthly total in Illinois was 12.0 inches at Augusta, IL, in Hancock County.


New portal provides access to mental health services

Kane County Behavioral Health Council developed a new feature for its website (www.wesupportmentalhealth.org).

The site now has an interactive portal that is designed to connect residents with Kane County behavioral health agencies.

On the home page, the “Find Services” tab (found in the drop-down of the header in the upper right) will open up the Service Directory, a searchable database of both private and public providers that is categorized by geography, target age group, services needed, even the type of insurance accepted and the preferred language spoken.

These filters will narrow down the search to the agency or agencies that provide the needed service(s) at locations near the client’s home.

Supported by the Behavioral Health Council, the site itself was recently upgraded with both new graphics and content.

The “Message of the Month” archives are still available, as is the “Layman’s Guide to Mental Health” PowerPoint and the Events Calendar. Other features include a jobs page that lists numerous open positions in county agencies.

A training and resources page that lists the opportunities for education, such Mental Health First Aid, is available. Also new to the site is a special “Youth” tab that has a host of topics of special interest to young people.

The site will continue to evolve as current features are updated and new ones added in trying to reach the goal of improving mental health services in Kane County.


Work on Ryan, Eisenhower to affect downtown driving

The Illinois Department of Transportation warns  drivers who regularly travel to and from Chicago that extended ramp closures will take place on the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway (southbound Interstate 90/94) beginning this week.

The ramp closures are necessary to construct new pavement and drainage along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway (eastbound Interstate 290), as part of the ongoing Jane Byrne Interchange Project.

Beginning May 15, the ramp from outbound Congress Parkway to the outbound Dan Ryan Expressway (southbound Interstate 90/94) will be closed. A posted detour will direct traffic to go northbound on the Kennedy Expressway, exit at Augusta Boulevard and reenter southbound Interstate 90/94.

The ramp from the outbound Dan Ryan to Taylor Street/Roosevelt Road also will be closed. The posted detour will direct traffic to exit at 18th Street, reenter northbound Interstate 90/94 and exit at Roosevelt Road/Taylor Street. The ramp will be accessible to traffic traveling from the inbound Eisenhower to outbound Dan Ryan.

Expected to reopen late August 2018, the ramp closures will allow for improvements on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway.


–Kane County News Briefs–