DeKalb County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


Fundraiser will pay homage to positive relationships

A celebration of good personal relationships will raise money to help those in bad relationships. Kicking off the fundraiser’s inaugural year, Safe Passage, DeKalb County’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center will host LOVE: Love Over Violence Event, a Valentine’s Day-themed fundraiser Feb. 15 at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edwards St., Sycamore.

The new LOVE event will replace the organization’s longstanding Evening of Chocolate fundraiser.

The evening will feature substantial appetizers, drinks, a date-themed basket raffle, a florist on hand to design bouquets for partners and a dance instructor to teach couples dancing.  Tickets are $50 a person and include a signature drink. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 815-758-1225 or from 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays at the Egyptian Theatre box office, 135 N. Second St., DeKalb.


Tyler, Founders receive grants for students’ breakfast

Two DeKalb School District 428 elementary schools are providing breakfast for students, funded by the Breakfast After the Bell program.

Tyler and Founders elementary schools each are sharing a portion of more than $37,000 in grant money from Rise and Shine Illinois and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Each school is receiving up to $5,000 toward the 2018-19 school year.

The Breakfast After the Bell program is an initiative meant to ensure all students have access to a healthy breakfast at the start of each school day. Studies have shown that students perform better in school if they have breakfast.

POLARpalooza celebrates winter

Family-oriented winter activities are planned from 12-4 p.m. Feb. 10 as part of DeKalb Park District’s annual POLARpalooza Winter Festival in Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road, DeKalb.

The free activities include ice skating, snow shoe scavenger hunt, snow sculpting by Lyn Bute, photos with the POLARpalooza mascots, snowman building contest, winter crafts and
hockey, figure skating demonstrations and curling demonstrations.

Hot chocolate and s’mores will be served. Each activity has its own starting and ending time. For more information, go to

NIU prof gets NASA grant to look for life on other planets

A Northern Illinois University microbiology professor will lead a team of scientists for a space exploration project, fueled by a $340,000 grant from NASA. Professor Wesley Swingley’s project could help determine which distant planets observed by future space telescopes might show signs of complex life, like there is on Earth.

The study will derive clues from microorganisms found on Earth, blue-green bacterial algae known as cyanobacteria. Liquid water is considered the key prerequisite ingredient for life, but cyanobacteria play a role in the evolution of life as we know it by producing oxygen, 

The research team will include Niki Parenteau of the NASA Ames Research Center in California, Nancy Kiang of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, Robert Blankenship of Washington University in St. Louis and Min Chen of the University of Sydney in Australia. Two NIU graduate students and several undergrads also will be involved in the project.


Bears’ McCaskey to speak at chamber dinner

George H. McCaskey, chairman of the Chicago Bears, will be the keynote speaker for the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce’s 62nd annual dinner and meeting. McCaskey became the fourth Chairman in Chicago Bears team history on May 5, 2011, following in the footsteps of grandfather, George Halas, father, Edward W. McCaskey and brother, Michael.

The event is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20. Tickets cost $40 a person or $300 for a table of eight, and will include a catered meal by Faranda’s Banquet Center and an open bar sponsored by the Kishwaukee Valley Wanderers. Tickets can be bought online at or by emailing the chamber at

The following awards will be presented:

  • The Excellence Award, which honors any chamber business for an outstanding achievement that enhances the Genoa business community through its efforts in major business renovation, expansion, most improved, new business, etc. This year’s recipients are Camelot Northwest Center for Autism, Herron & Co. Barbers, Custom Aluminum Products and Genoa Motors Auto Repair.
  • The Ambassador Award, which honors an individual or group of individuals who through activities enhance both the community and the image of the city of Genoa in accordance with the principles and philosophies of the Genoa Ambassador Club. This year’s recipients are the Kishwaukee Valley Heritage Society, the Genoa-Kingston Education Foundation and the Genoa Police Auxiliary.

Two other award winners will be announced at the event. The Outstanding Chamber Ambassador Award will be presented to a member of the committee for outstanding performance. It is based on meeting attendance and involvement. Also, the Dave Tobinson Outstanding Chamber Member of the Year Award will be given to an individual chamber member who has done great things throughout the year.

Several businesses marking anniversaries will be honored, such as Slater-Butala Funeral Home, which has been in business for 130 years.



–DeKalb County News Briefs–