McHenry County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Wendy Lauen, of McHenry, was named this year’s winner of the McHenry County Historical Society Heritage Quilters’ “Forever Poppies” raffle quilt.

McHenry County

Becker nets MCC Spirit Award scholarship

McHenry County College (MCC) recently named Matt Becker, of Crystal Lake, as the recipient of the fall 2018 Joseph A. Blanco Spirit Award, a $600 scholarship given to a student who displays the ability to work toward completion of a degree or certificate while overcoming a disability and maintaining a positive attitude. The award applies toward tuition and books for the spring 2019 semester. Becker was selected by the MCC Access and Disability Services Department (ADS) for exemplifying the can-do attitude and determination that the Spirit Award recognizes. He began at MCC in fall 2017 and is working toward an associate degree, and currently holds a 3.46-grade-point average. He also works at the front desk in the college’s Sage Learning Center and serves as a Student Orientation leader. Becker is involved in several organizations as well, including Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Social Science Club, Oasis Christian Student Club and Writer’s Block, a creative writing club. The Spirit Award was founded in 2009 by Joe Blanco, a longtime MCC tutor who passed away in 2011, as a way to honor students who inspire others every day. For more information, call 815-455-3700 or visit

McHenry County

Conservation Dist. nets grant for discovery room 

The McHenry County Conservation District announced that the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Heartland Region recently awarded a $500 grant to the Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake, to fund new equipment for its Exploration Station, a children’s discovery room within the building. A new shelving unit and a science discovery table were purchased and are now available for public use. The science discovery table features built-in magnifying glasses and mirrors, and is designed at a height intended for toddlers. In addition to the new items, the Exploration Station features a variety of puzzles, puppets, games, coloring books and other educational materials for families with young children interested in learning about the environment. The Exploration Station is open during building hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday). For more information, call 815-338-6223 or visit


Lauen wins Historical Society’s raffle quilt

The McHenry County Historical Society announced that Wendy Lauen, of McHenry, was named this year’s winner of the Heritage Quilters’ “Forever Poppies” raffle quilt. The quilt, based on a “rolling stone” pattern originated in 1780s New England, features a nine-patch with cream, several greens, and a showy black and red poppy fabric at the center. The hand-sewn quilt was dedicated to World War I veterans Harold and Ethel (Jansen) McConnell, of Woodstock. Harold McConnell enlisted in the U.S. National Guard as a private and departed for France, in May 1918, aboard the USS Mount Vernon. He then served in the trenches in France and was subjected to gas attacks. McConnell recovered, survived the worldwide Spanish flu epidemic and married Ethel Jansen in 1920. Jansen served in the  Army Nurse Corps, in 1918, before marrying McConnell. She died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1932. Harold McConnell eventually remarried. He passed away in 1975. For more information, call 815-923-2267 or visit


Local robotics team to host program at library

The Cary Area Public Library, 1606 Three Oaks Road, will host Golden Ratio Robotics: Watch, Play & Learn, a special all-ages program, from 1-3:30 p.m. Dec. 1. The Golden Ratio, a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge Robotics Team, based in Cary, will present its robot for this year’s FIRST competition, the Rover Ruckus. Team members will give a 20-minute presentation, followed by instruction on robot construction, programming and driving, as well as a booth to teach the ins and outs of FIRST. Registration is required. To sign up, and for more information, call 847-639-4210 or visit 


Repair work at Souwanas Creek set to begin

The village announced that it has hired Applied Ecological Services to perform repairs at Souwanas Creek. Specifically, work will be conducted in the area directly north of Souwanas Trail, and will involve correcting stormwater retention and drainage issues. A natural grade control structure of rocks will be placed in lieu of pipe, and portions of eroded stream bank will be reinforced with rip rap, a rocky material used to armor shorelines against water and ice erosion. This work will require some minor shrub and tree removal along the banks of the creek in order to pull back the grade and place the material. Work is expected to be completed in December, weather permitting. For more information, call the Public Works Department at 847-658-2700 or visit


Annual Ladies Night Out event on tap

The village announced that Ladies Night Out: Holiday Edition will be held from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6 in downtown Huntley. The event — intended for moms, daughters, sisters and girlfriends — features an evening of food, “pampering,” special promotions and more at a variety of retail and non-retail businesses. Participants should check in at the American Legion Hall, 11712 Coral St., to receive a Ladies Night Out game board and map of participating businesses. The event will conclude with free drawings and other activities at Legion Hall. Participants who pre-register by Dec. 3 will receive extra goodies at check-in. Register by email (, fax (847-515-5206) or in person at Village Hall, 10987 Main St. For more information, call 847-515-5200 or visit     



–McHenry County News Briefs–