Kane County news briefs

Discover how to turn tree sap into syrup on March 7 -8, from 12-3 p.m., when the Forest Preserve District of Kane County hosts Maple Sugaring Days. 
(Photo courtesy of Kane County Forest District)


Shooting leaves youth with life threatening injuries

The Aurora Police Department has taken multiple people into custody after a shooting on the city’s near east side that left a 16-year-old suffering from life-threatening injuries on Feb. 18.

Just after 4:15 p.m., Aurora Police officers responded to the 600 block of Second Avenue for reports of a person shot and found a 16-year-old youth suffering from gunshot wounds.

Aurora Fire Department paramedics transported the 16-year-old to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Detectives interviewed potential witnesses, canvassed the area and investigated the specific circumstances of the incident, police said.

During the course of the initial investigation, officers attempted to pull over a vehicle that was believed to be involved in the shooting. The vehicle refused to stop and led officers on a pursuit which lasted approximately four minutes and ended near Summerhill and Jericho in Aurora Township and multiple people were taken into custody, according to police.

Detectives are still investigating and anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the Aurora Police Department Investigations Division at 630-256-5500.


Pier 1 file for bankruptcy, closing several west suburban outlets

Several west suburban outlets are in line to be shut down as Pier I Imports filed for Chapter !! bankruptcy this month.

Sixteen stories in Illinois are closing, including:

Algonquin: 718 S. Randall Road

Aurora: 4362 E. New York St.

Batavia: 481 N. Randall Road

Bloomingdale: 360 W. Army Trail Road

Bolingbrook: 1116 W. Boughton Road

DeKalb: 2371 Sycamore Road

South Elgin: 358 Randall Road

Stores remaining open for now, included: Joliet, Wheaton, Oswego, McHenry and Rockford.

“In recent months, we have taken significant steps forward in our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives. We have worked to establish an appropriately sized and profitable store footprint, operating structure and merchandise assortment that will enable Pier 1 to better serve our customers across store and online channels. Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement.


Dental Associates collecting winter gear for Hesed residents

North Aurora Dental Associates, 100 N. Lincolnway, is collecting winter gear for residents of Hesed House homeless shelter in Aurora,

The public is invited to donate new or gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves and socks.

Donors will receive treatment discounts. A coat donation will earn a five percent discount, accessories will earn one percent discounts. The maximum discount is 15 percent.

Feb. 29 is the deadline to donate, Office hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays.

Call 630-896-3939 for more information.


Conservation District promotes water safety with testing program

The Kane-DuPage Soil and Water Conservation District is promoting groundwater safety by sponsoring a testing program for nitrates, various pesticides and metals in private-well water.

A $45 test kit checks water samples for nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, chloride, sulfate, soluble phosphorus, silica and specific conductivity.

A pesticide screen for $80 will indicate the presence of triazine herbicides and Lasso, Dual or Harness. The metals test is $95 and tests for 23 metals.

Water test kits are available from Feb. 24 through March 6 at the Soil and Water Conservation District, 2315 Dean St., Suite 100, St. Charles or Kane County Farm Bureau, 2N710 Randall Road, St. Charles. Kits must be purchased upon pick-up.

Water samples must be returned March 9.

Heidelburg College Water Quality Laboratory in Tiffin, OH, will perform the water testing. Results are mailed directly to participants in four to six weeks. All results are confidential.

Call the Soil & Water District office at 630-584-7960, Ext. 3 for more information.


Police seek puppy stolen from Fox Valley Mall store

The Aurora Police Department continues to seek information to assist in an on-going investigation into a stolen puppy from a store.

On Feb. 12 at approximately 7:55 p.m., Aurora Police officers were called to Furry Babies in the Fox Valley Mall for a report that a brown and white Shih Tzu had been stolen from its cage. The store told responding officers that the dog was approximately one-month old and valued at $3,400.

Employees reported that the store was busy in the evening and they noticed the puppy was missing between 7- 7:30 p.m. and then contacted police. The employees said the dog is not much bigger than the size of a hand and only weighs a few pounds.

Aurora Police detectives are currently investigating and anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the Aurora Police Department Investigations Division at 630-256- 5500.


Forest District hosts  Maple Sugaring Days

Discover the sweet secret of how to turn tree sap into syrup and enjoy samples in the Maple Café on March 7 and 8, from 12-3 p.m., when the Forest Preserve District of Kane County hosts Maple Sugaring Days.
The event will be held at the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles.

Forest Preserve naturalists will show how to tap a maple tree, simmer sap over an open fire as it thickens to syrup.

Creek Bend Nature Center will be open where visitors can enjoy the interactive exhibits available, and make a craft to take home.

No registration is required for this family-friendly program. For more information, call 630-444-3190, or visit www.kaneforest.com.


Grams to leave ESO post at end of 2020-21 season

Following seven years with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Grams will leave his post as Music Director and Conductor at the end of the 2020/21 season.

“After enjoying the privilege of being the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director for seven extraordinary seasons of music-making, I make this decision proud of the work we’ve done to raise the level of the orchestra and all we have achieved in making the connection to the community it serves even stronger, Grams said in a statement.

Grams joined the Elgin Symphony in 2014 after an extensive international search. His charismatic conducting and easy accessibility have made him a favorite of Elgin Symphony audiences.

Throughout his seven-season tenure, audiences have seen Grams lead everything from traditional masterworks to holiday concert sing-alongs and the best of John Williams.

“We are deeply grateful for the considerable time, artistry and enthusiasm that Maestro Grams has devoted to the ESO and to our community of supporters,” said Erik Malmquist, Director of Artistic Planning & Operations. “His vibrant energy and positive spirit will be missed by musicians and audiences alike. The process to identify a worthy successor to this legacy, no easy task, is already underway in the hands of a committee comprised of musicians, board members, ESO staff and members of the greater Elgin community.


Waubonsee hosts new Business Growth Academy

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College is hosting a Business Growth Academy. This is an 8-week program designed to help businesses chart their growth path. It is based on the Kauffman Foundation’s award-winning FastTrac curriculum.

This is an exciting opportunity for business owners to build a strategic growth plan for their company with guidance from experienced consultants. In addition, several local entrepreneurs will come to the sessions to share their experiences, a great chance to learn from each other.

For a limited-time, this program is being offered for free thanks to a successful partnership between the SBDC, Fox Valley Entrepreneurship Center, Waubonsee Community College, and our lead-sponsor, The Dunham Fund.

Applications are now being accepted for the Spring Session. Ideal candidates are owners of businesses that have been in operation for two years or more, have between $50,000 and $250,000 in annual revenue, and are located in Kane County. Sessions will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 5, March 19, April 9, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18, and June 25.  All sessions will be at Wabaunsee’s Aurora Downtown Campus. Call (630) 906-4143 to learn more about this program and to reserve a spot. Visit www.waubonsee.edu/sbdc to learn more about the SBDC.


Park District hosts free Welcome Tour

Get to know the St. Charles Park District better during a free Welcome Tour from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25. Whether you’re new in town or have never attended a park district program or event, you’ll learn about the many different recreational opportunities in your community.

Boasting more than 10 facilities, 60-plus parks and 20 miles of trails, this Welcome Tour will take the legwork and time out of navigating the park district on your own, as you visit four facilities in one night.

“Attendees will experience first-hand what our facilities offer and see our programs in action,” said Sabrina Killeen, Pottawatomie Community Center Supervisor. “We hope they leave with a better understanding of the recreational opportunities that best fit their family’s needs and begin to take advantage of the many park district programs and events.”

Killeen said she plans to offer the Welcome Tour throughout the year with different themes and tours each time, but for the March tour, you’ll visit Pottawatomie Community Center, Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, Sportsplex and Norris Recreation Center. At each location, you’ll be introduced to managing staff who will not only discuss, but show you the many ways each facility is unique.

The tour is for ages 11 and older. For more information, contact Sabrina Killeen at 630-513-4329.