DeKalb County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Yard signs from past DeKalb County elections are part of a new exhibit at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center. The exhibit examines how the county fits into the nationwide interest in women running for elected office. Women on the Ballot: DeKalb County Yard Signs can be viewed for free from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays through April 26, or by emailing to make an appointment.


Hospital offers aid for health care study

The Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Auxiliary is offering scholarships for DeKalb County residents pursuing health care studies.

Applicants must live in DeKalb County, be related to a Kish Hospital employee or be a hospital volunteer who has contributed at least 20 hours.

Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, academic merits and career goals, the release said.

Applications and information are available at and the Volunteer Services office at the hospital, 1 Kish Hospital Drive, or by calling 815-756-1521, ext. 153372. Applications are due at 4:30 p.m. May 6, and recipients will be notified by May 27.


Special needs advocate earns national honor

A Sandwich caseworker has earned national recognition for her work focusing on special needs clients and as an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities.

Darlene Lauzon has earned the 2019 Spotlight Award from the National Association of Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals. She works at the Open Door Rehabilitation Center.

The association praised Lauzon for her dedication, innovation, and positive attitude, and for being a team leader.

Lauzon coordinates activities for an annual special-needs prom, and is involved in developing a creativity room for Open Door’s senior clients.

Open Door, 405 Wells St., is a nonprofit organization focused on providing and developing opportunities for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in DeKalb, Kendall and LaSalle counties.


New scholarship will honor Sycamore High alum

A new scholarship will be awarded to a Sycamore High School graduate in honor of one of the school’s alums.

The DeKalb County Community Foundation recently announced the Chuck Criswell Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a Sycamore High graduate with a track record of service to the community, and who plans to continue his or her education at a trade school, college or university. The scholarship will also go to the applicant with the highest financial need.

A lifelong Sycamore resident and business owner, Criswell participated in District 427’s Diversified Occupations program during his high school career, and was mentored by his coach and teacher Pete Johnson.

In 1990, he opened Chuck’s Auto Center, formerly at 1625 DeKalb Avenue, and throughout his career looked for ways to give back to Sycamore.

Criswell died in 2016 from lung cancer, and in 2018 was inducted posthumously into the Sycamore High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

Donations to the Criswell fund and any fund of the community foundation can be made online at or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore.


Hospital has volunteer positions for teens

High school students, 16 and 17 years of age, who have an interest in the health field, are invited to apply for Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital’s Teen Age Group Service.

The TAGS program provides teens with volunteer opportunities at the hospital. The hospital is accepting applications for the positions.

The deadline to submit applications is May 1. Interviews are scheduled with the future TAGS volunteer and a parent/guardian. Orientation and two training sessions are required. Applications are available in the hospital’s Volunteer Services office, by calling 815-756-1521, ext. 153372, or by emailing

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Northwestern Medicine, visit

Female candidates subject of exhibit at Women’s Center

The DeKalb Area Women’s Center newest exhibit examines how the county fits into the nationwide interest in women running for elected office. The exhibit, Women on the Ballot: DeKalb County Yard Signs, can be viewed for free from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays through April 26, or by emailing to make an appointment.

The exhibit features yard signs for women candidates at the federal, state, county, township and municipal levels, which have been grouped to show decades of signage design. If yard signs were not available for a campaign, then buttons are shown.

The exhibit also features surprises from the 1920s in DeKalb County, before yard signs were used.

The gallery is at1021 State St., DeKalb. Parking is available in the lot a half-block south on 11th Street.


Learn about ecosystems, land management in training

The University of Illinois Extension invites adults of all ages to enroll in the 2019 Illinois Master Naturalist training program.

The classes will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays, starting March 18 and ending May 20, at the Russell Woods Forest Preserve in Genoa. The training will feature instructors from local natural resource agencies and organizations as well as state Extension experts, and will highlight and provide instruction about the area’s rich natural heritage by hosting classes in different locations.

Participants will learn about ecosystems and interrelationships of plants and animals that make up the natural world. They also will learn how to assist with land management and to share their knowledge with others in the community. The goal is to encourage participants to seek out lifelong learning opportunities to further their development as a naturalist.

Master Naturalist participants agree to serve 60 hours of volunteer service within the first two years of their initial classroom experience. Volunteers can then continue their certification with 30 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours annually. Volunteer opportunities are extremely flexible and tailored to fit personal interests, abilities and time restraints.

For more information and to apply to become a certified Illinois Master Naturalist, visit or call the DeKalb County Extension program coordinator at 815-758-8194.

Maple Park

Village board candidates to meet the public

Four Maple Park Village Board candidates will meet the public at 7 p.m. March 20, at the Civic Center, 302 Willow St.

The candidates vying for three four-year seats are JP Dries, Patricia Lunardon, Christian Rebone and Jennifer Ward. They have been invited, as has Suzanne Fahnestock, who’s running for a two-year term.

A moderator will preside over the meet-and-greet event. For more details, call 815-827-3309 or send an email to



–DeKalb County News Briefs–