McHenry County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

McHenry County College and the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation recently named James Nienhuis, Ph.D., as the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. (Photo courtesy of McHenry County College)

McHenry County

Nienhuis winner of MCC Distinguished Alumni Award  

McHenry County College and the Friends of McHenry County College Foundation recently named James Nienhuis, Ph.D., as the winner of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. A longtime professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nienhuis is known across the globe for his contributions in the field of plant breeding and genetics. Nienhuis grew up on a vegetable farm in rural Woodstock and attended MCC before joining the Peace Corps and serving as an agriculture extension agent to rural Guancaste, Costa Rica. After leaving the Peace Corps, he attended the University of Illinois in Urbana and majored in agricultural science. Nienhuis attended graduate school at North Carolina State University to study statistics and genetics, and then returned to the University of Wisconsin to complete his Ph.D. In 1988, he joined the faculty at Wisconsin as an assistant professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, and then advanced to the positions of associate professor and full professor. Nienhuis was honored at the MCC President’s Dinner, held in November. For more information, call 815-455-7529 or visit


Library waives fines for furloughed fed workers

In response to the federal government shutdown, the Woodstock Public Library, 414 W. Judd Street, will waive overdue fines on library materials for furloughed federal employees and their immediate families until further notice. Affected patrons can visit the library and provide a valid federal employee ID or pay stub to have their Woodstock fines waived. The waiver does not include billed or damaged materials. The library also offers free meeting rooms, public computers, comfortable seating and study space for those unable to access their regular office space. For more information, call 815-338-0542, send an email to or visit

Crystal Lake

Dist. 47 opens new center to aid special ed students 

Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 reported that students in the Adjusted Learning program at Richard Bernotas Middle School, 170 N. Oak Street, now have an opportunity to learn and practice essential life skills such as cooking, laundry and personal care in the school’s new Life Skills Development Center. Funded through a $1.3 million Individuals with Disabilities Act grant, the new center includes a full kitchen and bathroom, washer and dryer, flexible area for group activities, private office and patio/rain garden. In addition, the center is fully ADA-accessible. The Adjusted Learning program provides individualized educational opportunities for students in grades K-8 whose needs cannot be met within a general education environment. Students in the program have mild to moderate cognitive/intellectual and adaptive delays and require modifications in instruction and programming. One of the goals of the program is to ensure that these students learn practical life skills, which combines academics, daily living, and occupational and interpersonal skills with the ultimate goal of teaching students how to live and work in the community. For more information, call 815-788-5000 or visit 


Village’s FY19 Operating and Capital Budget approved

The village announced that its 2019 (FY19) Annual Operating and Capital Budget recently was approved, in accordance with Illinois State Statute and direction received from the Huntley Board of Trustees. As part of the budget preparation and review process, operational and capital projects goals were identified for completion in 2019. The goals were approved in support of the mission, vision and values statements of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan. The FY19 budget totals nearly $23.9 million in expenditures for all funds. Major projects in the budget include the resurfacing of streets in Georgian Place; water main replacements; completion of a two-year process to replace financial management software; and the extension of the Reed Road multi-use path in Talamore from Vine Street to Route 47. In accordance with village financial and budget policies, the budget for the General Operating Fund is balanced with just over $11.9 million in revenues and expenditures. For more information, call 847-515-5200 or visit


Winter Wine Tasting Fundraiser to aid Dist. 12 schools

The Johnsburg Educational Partnership Foundation will host its second annual Winter Wine Tasting Fundraiser from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Johnsburg Community Club, 2315 W. Church Street. The event includes wine tasting and appetizers (provided by International House of Wine & Cheese, in Richmond), raffle baskets, a 50/50 cash drawing and a drop raffle. A full cash bar will be available. The cost is $35 per person. All proceeds will support the purchase of Chromebooks for Johnsburg School District 12 classrooms. To register, visit For more information, call 815-900-3366.

Lake in the Hills

Winners of Business Achievement Awards announced

The village recently announced the winners of the 2018 Gordon Larsen Business Achievement Awards. The winners are: Compassionate Dental Care (Best Community Service); Ira’s Bagels (Best Customer Service); and ABC School of Cosmetology, Esthetics & Nail Technology (Employer of Choice). The village received 134 nominations for 21 different Lake in the Hills businesses. The winning businesses will receive recognition throughout 2019 in various village publications, including ad space, social media campaigns and more. Applications for the 2019 Gordon Larsen Business Achievement Awards program will be accepted throughout the year. To nominate a business or apply for a 2019 award, visit For more information, call 847-960-7400 or visit    



–McHenry County News Briefs–