DeKalb County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The NIU Steelband, which has performed around the world, returns April 14 to the DeKalb Public Library for its third annual concert there.


Local invention is voted part of state’s history

Barbed wire continues to make history, 144 years after its creation.

The product that put DeKalb on the map has been recognized as one of the top 10 Illinois inventions and innovations in the Illinois Top 200 project. The project is part of the ongoing celebration of the state’s bicentennial.

Illinois residents are invited to vote every two weeks on the greatest leaders, books, businesses and more. By the state’s 200th birthday, Dec. 30, voters will have selected a top 10 list in 20 categories to create the Illinois Top 200.

Other inventions that made the cut include the steel plow, cellphone, birth control, skyscraper, blood bank, mail order, silo, meatpacking and computer-assisted education.

Voting in the next category, top buildings, is underway until April 13 on the project’s website, The public may choose what they think are the five most noteworthy buildings in Illinois history from a list of 18 nominees.  

Fire hydrants are being turned into works of art

Anything can be a canvas for art, including a fire hydrant. Local artists are invited to submit applications to “adopt” a DeKalb fire hydrant and turn it into a one-of-a-kind work of art through the Paint-A-Plug program organized by the Citizens’ Community Enhancement Commission.

There is no theme for fire hydrant designs but artists are encouraged to incorporate elements of the community or their neighborhood. Although there is no cost to adopt a hydrant, artists who are awarded one must provide their own painting materials.

Artists have until Nov. 1 to paint their hydrant. After it is painted, artists have the option to take pictures of their work, email them to the city and share them on social media using #ProudlyDeKalb.

Applications, which are open to all, are available at Questions may be emailed to The Citizens’ Community Enhancement Commission will review all applications.

Steelband to give free concert at library

The NIU Steelband will return April 14 to the DeKalb Public Library for its third annual concert there. The world-renowned group, directed by Liam Teague and Clifford Alexis, will perform from 6:30-8 p.m.

Created in 1973 by G. Allan O’Connor, the group was the first active steel band formed in an American university, and has performed throughout the United States and around the world. Northern Illinois University is one of the few institutions in the world at which students may pursue music degrees with the steelpan as the major instrument of choice. Over the years, the NIU Steelband has broadened the repertoire and performance for the steelpan. Highlights include a performance for 18,000 soccer fans in Yankee Stadium, two successful tours of Taiwan, concerts with symphony orchestras, and performances at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions.

NIU Steelband is a 35-member group and mainly comprises steelpan and percussion majors. The band has four recordings to its credit; including the most recent, “Dangerous,” featuring an eclectic blend of styles.

The concert is family-friendly and requires no registration. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. For more information, send an email to or call 815-756-9568, ext. 1701.


Kishwaukee opens college registration

Registration for summer and fall semesters at Kishwaukee College are now open, both online and in person.

In-person registration is being held at the Student Services office in Room C21000 of the Kishwaukee College’s student center. Students should come with a photo ID, a list of courses they are requesting and a list of alternates in case the first choices are full or closed. New students must also have filled out a student information form before they can register.

Go to to register online.

Tuition for the summer semester is due by the close of business May 21, and fall tuition is due by the close of business July 31. Students must have paid tuition or submitted all required financial aid materials by then to get their schedules.

For more information on enrollment, contact the student outreach office at (815) 825-9460 or For information on registration, contact student services at 815-825-9375 or at


Seminar to explore how to retire on Social Security

Increasing numbers of Americans of all ages say that they’ll rely more on Social Security payouts when they retire, according to a 2017 Gallup poll. If you’re relying on Social Security to be a meaningful source of income in retirement, it’s important to understand how the program works, how benefits are determined and what to expect in the future. Baird Senior Financial Planner Brian Ellenbecker will discusses Social Security benefits and how they might fit into a retirement planning strategy 11:30 a.m. April 19 at a Social Security Lunch and Learn at the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore. Registration is requested, and a light lunch will be provided. Send an email to or call 815-636-5221.


–DeKalb County News Briefs–