Kendall County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


Police offer tips to stay safe while shopping

Does your weekend include Christmas shopping? If so, keep in mind that criminals love the holiday season in that they are looking for easy targets.

How do you keep from being victimized? Take away their opportunity from committing crimes in the first place. Here’s some tips:

  • Don’t shop alone at night.
  • When the sun goes down, it’s best to have someone with you. If you must shop at night, park as close to the store as you can and in a well-lit area.
  • Put the packages in the trunk of the car.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.

Don’t be distracted, for example, by doing things like digging around your purse for keys or texting while you’re walking to and from your vehicle. Criminals look for any sign of distracted people to capitalize on the element of surprise.

  • Try not to use ATM’s or carry lots of cash.

It’s not uncommon for criminals to walk up to people or their vehicles when they’re getting cash from an ATM and force them to hand over their money. Conversely, every time you check out in a store, it’s easy for bad guys to see the amount of cash you have. Using debit or credit cards is safer. Just remember to shield the keypad if you have to input a PIN number. If you absolutely must have cash, use your bank’s drive through.

  • Never leave your purse in the front of a cart.

There are many thieves who are adept at grabbing wallets from purses without the target realizing it. They can also grab the entire purse and bolt. The solution? Close your purse and then put the child seatbelt through the straps. Thieves don’t want to deal with someone who makes it hard for them to steal something.

  • No wearing expensive jewelry when you’re shopping.
  • Lock your car doors as soon as you’re inside.

As soon as you’re inside, before you put on your seatbelt or start your engine, lock the car doors


Oswego man found guilty of sexual abuse

An Oswego man was found guilty last week of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and battery for exposing himself to a child.

Matthew J. Barkley, 52, 4600 block of McLaren Drive, was found guilty following a two-day jury trial in Kendall County.

The victim, a minor child, and witnesses testified that Barkely, an employee of the Meijer Store in Oswego, approached the minor child and touched her buttocks while exposing himself back in June 2016.

Prosecutors also presented evidence to the jury of Barkley’s prior conviction for public indecency from DuPage County, where he was convicted of masturbating outside of a girl’s athletic facility.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Shilfka and Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Dore prosecuted the case. Attorney Victoria Chuffo represented Barkely.

Barkley is being held in Will County custody on unrelated stalking and

residential burglary charges. He is scheduled to be sentence on Feb. 19, 2019.

Barkley could be sentenced up to seven years in prison and will have to register as a child sex offender for life.

Weis commended the teams of prosecutors who handled these jury trials.

“My hope is that the citizens of this county, via their jury service, witness firsthand the professionalism and dedication this office has to seek justice in every case we prosecute on behalf of Kendall County,” he said.

County hosts training to handle sex abuse cases

Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis, in conjunction with the Kendall

County Children’s Advocacy Center and Edwards Hospital’s Care Center, recently hosted a training for Kendall County law enforcement members, Department of Children and Family Services, Mutual Ground, and other agencies at the Kendall County Courthouse house.

The training focused on the unique medical issues that police officers and other agencies face when dealing with crimes against children who have been sexually abused or assaulted.

Dr. Sangita Rangala of Edward’s Hospital Care Center was the guest speaker for the training. Rangala discussed specialized examinations and techniques used by trained medical professionals in cases involving sex crimes against children. This training was provided to nearly 50 attendees at no cost.

Weis stated, “These types of trainings are vital to the successful investigations of certain sex crimes against children. This collaboration is another example of how Kendall County works together to address important issues facing our community in the criminal justice system.”

The Kendall County Forest Preserve District is offering a winter break camp from Jan. 2 to Jan. 4., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hoover Forest Preserve in Yorkville. (Photo courtesy of Kendall Co. Forest Preserve Dist.)

Winter Break nature camp spots still open

Registration is now open for the Kendall County Forest Preserve District’s Winter Break Camps. Our nature themed camps are wildly popular, introducing children to nature, wildlife, and outdoor recreational activities.

Come and learn how animals have adapted to survive the snow and cold of winter. Campers will search for animal tracks, perform winter experiments, and celebrate all things winter.

Be prepared to head outside, so dress for the weather.

The program is for ages 4-10 and runs from Jan. 2 to Jan. 4., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hoover Forest Preserve in Yorkville. Cost is $110 per participant. Each fun-filled camp session features nature hikes, games, crafts, exploration and discovery. Camps are offered at Hoover Forest Preserve in Yorkville. Go to

Forest foundation recycling old Christmas lights

Do you have holiday lights that have lost their twinkle? The Forest Foundation of Kendall County is collecting holiday lights and is partnering with Elgin Recycling to repurpose the lights.

Drop off sites are the Yorkville Public Library at 902 Game Farm Road and the historic Kendall County Courthouse, located at 110 West Madison St. in Yorkville. The program will run December 4 through Saturday, Feb. 23.

Grace Cooper, a junior at Oswego East High School, recently competed at the USA Swimming National Championships in North Carolina. (Photo courtesy of D308)


OEHS swimmer qualifies for Olympic trials

Oswego East High School’s Grace Cooper, junior, recently competed at the USA Swimming National Championships in North Carolina where she qualified to swim in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle. 

Cooper is currently the IHSA State Champion in the 50-yard Freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle events, which were held in November.

At the USA Swimming National Championships, Grace finished the prelims of the 100-meter freestyle seeded eighth and finished the finals in eighth overall.  She is the 18 and under National Champion, and qualified for the Olympic Trials in this event. 

In the 50-meter freestyle event, Cooper finished fifth overall, is the 18 and under National Champion, and qualified for the Olympic Trials.

She swam the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter freestyle prelims, but did not qualify for finals in either of these two events.

Cooper is coached by Deryl Leubner during the high school swimming season as well as with her club team Delta Aquatics.

Coach Leubner led the SD 308 Co-op Girls Swim and Dive Team to the IHSA State Finals in November, where they placed eighth. The team includes athletes from both Oswego and Oswego East High School.



–Kendall County News Briefs–