IDNR orders Fox River boating restrictions
Due to the high levels from the recent spring rain, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has implemented a restricted boating area on the Fox River in Kane County until further notice.
The state’s closure, which took effect at 5 p.m. May 29, pertains to boating and other water-related recreational activities on the Fox River.
According to the National Weather Service, there is a flood warning for the Fox River from St. Charles downstream to Montgomery.
The Geneva Fire Department also strongly discourages people from being out on the water given the swift current, floating debris, submerged structures and piers have created conditions significantly hazardous to navigate.
The higher-than-normal water level also presents challenges for emergency service personnel called upon to rescue people involved in boating mishaps.
Mid-Am canoe race cancelled for second year
For the safety of all participants and volunteers, the Fox Valley Park District has canceled the 2019 Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race, which was scheduled for Sunday, June 2.
Historically fast water flow rates on the Fox River were on Tuesday measured in excess of 5,500 cubic feet per second. Acceptable, safe race conditions call for measurements of 2,100 cubic feet per second or less.
Additionally, a river flood warning remains in effect for the Fox River until Monday, June 3.
The FVPD monitors water levels annually to ensure safety, and has been forced to cancel three times in the last 16 years, including 2018, due to similar conditions.
“Despite possible drops in levels by Sunday, we can’t assume a safe range will be reached,” said Dan Leahy, the FVPD’s director of marketing and communications. “Two years in a row, we’re as disappointed as the race participants, but safety is paramount to every decision we make.
“We do have a number of experienced, competitive paddlers, but the majority of participants enjoy a more leisurely pace with friends and family, many of whom are children. A swollen, fast river is nothing to mess with.”
A full refund will be issued to all pre-registered participants. Staff are working through phones, email, social media and website to notify all parties, including vendors and volunteers. No action is required on the part of participants.
“Canceling an event, especially one as popular as the Mid-Am, is never a fun exercise,” said Krista Mulready, race director and Prisco Center facility manager at the FVPD. “Hopefully, Mother Nature won’t be so harsh on us next year. We simply had no choice but to cancel this race.”
Historic Arcada Building has new ownership
The Arcada Building in St. Charles has come under new ownership, as St. Charles-based Frontier Development, LLC purchased the historic building, closing the deal on May 3.
Downtown St. Charles Partnership officials said the “gem of the Fox Valley” caught the eyes of the owners of Frontier Development, father-son duo Curt and Conrad Hurst, with its “history and relevance.”
“I’ve lived here most of my adult life, and the Arcada has always been an interesting building to me because it’s the culmination of art and history,” Conrad Hurst said.
In a news release last week, Downtown St. Charles Partnership officials said plans for the building will be a team effort involving the city of St. Charles, building tenant Onesti Entertainment and Frontier.
Ron Onesti, president of Onesti Entertainment, said he is eager to see the building reach its fullest potential.
“It’s a refreshing change of environment,” Onesti said. “They share my passion for entertainment and St. Charles itself. It’s going to be a great partnership.”
Frontier Development has also purchased the former Chord on Blues building and are constructing a building on the lot located at the corner of Illinois and Route 31, with a vision of creating a vibrant entertainment district for residents and visitors to enjoy.
For more information about the Arcada, visit http://www.arcadalive.com.
First mosquitoes test positive for West Nile
The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Illinois for 2019.
DuPage County Health Department staff collected the positive mosquitoes on May 21, 2019 in Wayne. No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported so far this year.
“The recent rains are leaving many pools of water behind, not only in sewer systems under streets and drainage ditches along roads, but in our own back yards,” said Acting IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“As we start to see higher temperatures, we will start to see more West Nile virus activity. While we see West Nile virus in Illinois every year, it is important not to become complacent. It’s easy to take precautions to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around your home.”
Monitoring for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.
People who see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.
Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis, encephalitis, or even death, can occur.
People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk.
Hinckley man killed in Memorial Day accident
A 54-year-old Hinckley man was killed in the early hours of Memorial Day when his Volkswagen Jetta crashed for unknown reasons on Main Street in Blackberry Township.
According to a Kane County Sheriff’s Office report, a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Scott C. Doyens of the 300 block of E. McKinley in Hinckley was traveling west on Main Street just west of IL Route 47 shortly before 1:10 a.m. Monday, May 27 when it went off the road, striking a tree and then rolling over.
Doyens, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, was transported to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where he was pronounced deceased.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by Kane County sheriff’s detectives.
Hispanic Heritage groups hosts annual breakfast
The Advisory Board (AHHAB) will host its 17th Annual Community Breakfast at 7 a.m. on June 6 at Gaslite Manor, 2485 Church Road.
The annual ceremony – with the theme Reaching for the Stars – will bring the community together to celebrate excellence in Aurora’s Hispanic community by honoring students and recognizing community leaders for their commitment to the City of Lights.
This year, AHHAB will award $15,000 in college scholarships to local high school seniors and college students.
The keynote speaker for the breakfast is State Representative Karina Villa.
Born and raised in West Chicago Villa is a lifelong resident of Illinois’ 49th district. She earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Aurora University and is a former school social worker and previously served as an elected school board member of West Chicago School District 33.
In November 2018, she made history when she was elected as State Representative of the 49th district – the first Latina to serve in this capacity.
In January 2019, she was sworn in and named member of the General Assembly’s Appropriation Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education, Health Care Availability and Access Committee and Mental Health Committee, among others.
Groundbreaking set for Wolf’s Crossing Park
The community is invited to celebrate the groundbreaking of Wolf’s Crossing Community Park, formerly known as Southwest Community Park, on Wednesday, June 19 at 4:30 p.m.
The ceremony will take place in the northeast corner of the Wolf’s Crossing Community Park property, located on Trumpet Avenue between Wolf’s Crossing Road and Empress Drive (see map for approximate location). Street parking is available on Empress Drive and Birch Lane (south of Trumpet Avenue).
Parking is not permitted on Trumpet Avenue.
Development of this 33-acre community park will bring a variety of recreational elements to southwest Naperville, the fastest growing residential area in the city. The park features were chosen based on extensive community input through a series of meetings, online surveys and email communication in 2018, with more than 2,000 people participating. The park will include a 1.4-mile trail, a splash pad, a playground, athletic fields, basketball, tennis, volleyball and pickleball courts, a multi-purpose hill, a pavilion, the District’s first challenge course, restrooms and parking.
The project will be funded, in part, by an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.