Kane County news briefs

A sign showing prices for Valley Maid Ice Cream from 1949. The “Signs of the Times” exhibit at the Aurora Historical Society at the Pierce Art and History Center will conclude on June 29 with an ice cream party and prices from that period.


Illinois, Kane officials warn 2019

mosquito season could he bad


The state of Illinois and the Kane County Health Department are warning residents that summer 2019 shaping up to be one awful mosquito season if and when it finally dries out and gets a little warmer.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the months of rain and flooding have created conditions ripe for floodwater mosquitoes, Aedes vexans.

The good news is that floodwater mosquitoes, often called nuisance mosquitoes, are not known to carry disease.

Many counties in Illinois are experiencing flooding conditions. Water that stands in flooded areas for more than 10 days has the potential to produce large numbers of floodwater mosquitoes.

Floodwater mosquitoes can travel up to 10 miles from where they breed.

Health officials say if Kane County starts to see drier weather with higher temperatures, we will start to see more mosquitoes, often referred to as house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), that can carry West Nile virus.


Nine counties have already reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus, including a trap in Wayne.

House mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins, ditches, empty flower pots, tires, and any container that holds water that is not changed weekly. In stagnant water, house mosquitoes can multiply rapidly.


Enforcement effort focuses on impaired drivers, seat belt use

Kane County and area law enforcers have announced plans for Fourth of July traffic enforcement with a focus on impaired and unbuckled drivers.

The safety campaign runs from June 17 through July 8 to encompass three summer weekends leading up to and after Independence Day.


“We’re asking all of our residents and visitors to celebrate Independence Day safely,” said St. Charles Police Department Cmdr. Eric Majewski. “It’s simple: If you’re driving, don’t drink or use drugs. Our officers will be out in full force to keep impaired drivers off the road.”

St. Charles police will join the Illinois State Police and more than 160 local police and sheriff’s departments for the increased statewide enforcement effort.

“This Fourth of July designate a sober driver and don’t let friends or family members drive under the influence,” Majewski said.

Other important tips include:

  • Give your designated driver your keys before you go out.
  • If you are drunk or impaired by marijuana or other drugs, call a taxi, take mass transit, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
  • Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. Not only is it the law, it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns are made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.


Transportation Department plans to stripe 233 miles

More than 80 stretches of road covering 233 miles of county highways will get urethane and paint pavement makings, with work starting this week, weather permitting.

The Kane County Division of Transportation announced this week that the annual Kane County Pavement Marking Program work will take place from Monday, June 24, through the end of October and will include temporary daily lane closures from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in each area delineated in the maps below.

The county’s typical process is to apply paint pavement markings annually on the majority of the county’s rural highways and the more durable urethane pavement marking to the high-volume county highways.

The pavement marking project will improve the visibility of the lane markings for the motoring public.

Lane closures are scheduled to start in the north end of the county, working their way south until all necessary lane lines have been restriped. The north to south progression may change as weather impacts may dictate alternate striping sequences.

Temporary flagger control of intersections will be required along the entire route in order to safely accomplish the required work. Please watch for workers, equipment on the roadway and shoulders, anticipate increased travel times and exercise caution while traveling in freshly painted areas.

Questions or concerns may be directed to Matt Schumacher at 630-762-2744.


Exhibit to conclude with ice cream party

An ice cream party with prices from 1949 will close out the “Signs of the Times” exhibit at the Aurora Historical Society at the Pierce Art and History Center on June 29 from noon-4 p.m.

Drawing inspiration from a hand-lettered sign for Valley Maid ice cream from 1949 —  which is part of the exhibit —  the historical society will charge 8 cents for a cone, 6 cents for a fudgesicle  and 10 cents for an ice cream bar during the last day of the exhibit.

The exhibit displays one hundred signs dating back as far as the 1880s, and includes signs from train stations, restaurants and bakeries, street corners, Phillips Park, political campaigns, schools and other aspects of Aurora history.

They are electric, neon, painted, printed, and even sewn.  There is a faded hand-printed sign announcing the appearance of John F. Kennedy in Aurora, put up just days before he won election to the presidency, and taken down only after his assassination three years later.

“You forget how the streetscape changes over time,” said long-time volunteer Bill Walsh,  who helped mount the exhibit.   “Signs come and go, and we don’t remember them very long.  But I’ll tell you what, for me the prices on that Valley Maid sign really brought back memories.”  It was Walsh’s idea to sell the ice cream during the closing reception.

The exhibit is open Wednesdays-Saturdays from noon-4 .pm.  June 29 is the last day.  The Pierce Center is at 20 E. Downer Place.  Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.


Summer concert series

hampered by bad weather

Organizers of a  popular summer concert series in downtown Aurora will try again this week after two mid-week events were affected by the rain this June.

Wednesdays at the Plaza was supposed to start on June 12 with Blues on the Fox Preservation Band performing and Harvey’s Fire Box feeding the crowd. The posters were up, the Facebook invite was promoted, and organizers were ready. The weather had different plans, and the series kickoff for Blues Week was cancelled.

“We’ve had to cancel due to rain in the past, but never the first two dates of the season,” she said.

Amoni remains optimistic about upcoming dates, however.

“We still have a handful of concerts scheduled, and we hope to reschedule the ones that were rained out,” she said.

Mirabelle Skipworth and Olivia Ports perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 26. Don Pez Fish Tacos will serve food in the lawn.

The second week was to feature AKA Dance students performing and offering a free dance class. Grumpy Gaucho was set to park on Stolp Avenue with hot empanadas. No dice. More rain.

“It’s been a bit frustrating since the series has been planned since the late winter months, and we were looking forward to warm summer days listening to music in the gazebo,” said Marissa Amoni, manager of Aurora Downtown.

Aurora Downtown hosts the free concert series at the Millennium Plaza gazebo at 21 S. Stolp Ave. It’s a sponsored series, Amoni said, which adds to her eagerness to get it going.

Future dates include Empty Can Band on July 10, Ron Porter Trio on July 17, Zen Loft Night on July 24, Lisa G and the Lucky Ones on July 31, Etha and Friends on August 7, and The Heavy Lifting on August 14.

All concerts start at 6 p.m. and feature a visiting food truck.

For more information, visit www.auroradowntown.org, or Aurora Downtown on Facebook.


West Chicago man found guilty of sexual abuse of minor

A West Chicago man has been found guilty of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl whom he coached in a private athletic club.

Jon Miki, 51, appeared in court recently where, following a bench trial, Judge Jeffrey MacKay found him guilty of two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, a Class 2 Felony.

The verdict stems from allegations that from March 24-31, 2018, Miki sexually abused his victim on two occasions at his home in West Chicago. The girl’s parents grew suspicious of her relationship with Miki and contacted authorities. On Dec. 12, 2018, Miki appeared in Bond Court where bond was set at $75,000 with 10 percent to apply.

“This afternoon, Judge MacKay found Jon Miki guilty of using his position of trust and authority over a seventeen-year-old girl to satisfy his sexual desires,” said State’s Attorney Robert Berlin. “Not only did Mr. Miki abuse his victim, he also abused the trust placed in him by the victim’s parents as well as the athletic community in which he was involved.t.”
Miki’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 1 for sentencing.



 ‘Big Boy’ steam train coming through Kane County in July

Union Pacific’s historic Big Boy steam locomotive No. 4014 is touring the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 to commemorate the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary — and will come through Kane County in July.

The train will be in nearby West Chicago from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27, through Monday, July 29, at the Union Pacific Larry S. Provo Training Center, 335 Spencer St., where visitors will be able to experience the Union Pacific Rail Car.

The “experience” is a brand new, multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading. Through sound, images and interactive technology, rail fans will see how Union Pacific is building America in their communities and throughout the world.

People will be able to see the train as it travels through Kane County, as well.

The Big Boy’s return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team. No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive.

Hunt dominates en route to Western Junior title

Piercen Hunt, of Hartland, Wisconsin, shot 72-70 over the final two rounds at Rich Harvest Farms to finish 10 under and win the 102nd Western Junior by seven strokes last week.

Hunt was the lone player to shoot par or better in each of the four rounds as the tournament produced a stroke average of 76.43.

“I felt like I was in control of my game but not necessarily the tournament because I can’t control what anyone else does,” he said. “It was a matter of me hitting fairways and greens and making a few putts. I’m thankful that’s what happened.”

Scotty Kennon, of Bandon, Oregon, finished solo second at 3 under after shooting 68 in the final round. A highlight included chipping in for birdie at the par-4 17th from above the hazard line below the green.

Kennon, who will be a junior at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, earned an exemption into the 117th Western Amateur at Point O’ Woods in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The top three and ties all receive invitations to the tournament, which runs July 29 through Aug. 3.


IDNR lifts Fox boating, recreational restrictions

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently lifted the restrictions on boating and recreational activities on the Fox River in Kane County as of June 11 after water levels receded below flood stage, according.

Due to the high levels from the recent spring rain, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources had implemented a restricted boating area on the Fox River in Kane County since 5 p.m. May 29.

The state’s closure pertained to boating and other water-related recreational activities on the Fox River.

Water levels on the Fox River remain high, and windy weather Friday combine to make for some danger to watercraft. Officials ask resident to be careful, even though the restrictions were lifted.


Plainfield man charged with weapons offense

A Plainfield man was charged with a weapons offense over the weekend after he was found carrying a loaded pistol.

Patrick Allen, of the 2200 block of Stonehaven Drive, Plainfield was charged with (1) count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon during the overnight hours on June 16.

At just after 2 a.m., June 16, an Aurora Police patrol sergeant was stopped in his patrol car at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and East New York Street, when he noticed a vehicle approach the same intersection, driving on just the rim of one of its wheels.

The sergeant stopped the driver, a 34-year-old Plainfield woman, who explained that she and her husband were leaving a party elsewhere in Aurora and were trying to get to a friend’s house to repair the vehicle.

The driver’s husband and front-seat-passenger, Patrick Allen, eventually exited the car to examine the damage at which time backup officers noticed a handgun protruding from Allen’s waistband.

The handgun, a loaded Ruger LCP .380 was retrieved from Allen, and he was taken into custody once it was determined that although Allen possessed a valid FOID card, he did not have a Concealed Carry Permit.

Allen explained to the officers that he “Had forgotten that [he] went shooting earlier in the day.”

Allen was charged with (1) count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon (Class 4 Felony). He was transported to the Kane County Jail for arraignment and will be assigned a future court date.