McHenry County News Briefs

Chronicle Media
Bernotas teacher and CLETA co-president Jean Bowman presented a check on March 22 in the amount of $4,735 to Bill Eich, president of the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, on behalf of the Crystal Lake Elementary Teachers Association.

Bernotas teacher and CLETA co-president Jean Bowman presented a check on March 22 in the amount of $4,735 to Bill Eich, president of the Crystal Lake Food Pantry, on behalf of the Crystal Lake Elementary Teachers Association.

Fox Lake

Village seeks volunteers for roadside clean-up event

The village is offering an opportunity for area residents to participate in the 2016 Roadside Litter Clean-Up event, beginning at 7:30 a.m. April 17 at the Jewel parking lot, located at Route 12 and Route 134. Adults, and children (ages 10 and up) accompanied by an adult, can help with roadside litter removal on Route 12, from Hartigan Road (near Home Depot) to Moretti’s Restaurant, 164 S. Route 12, and at various village parks. Younger groups of children and volunteers will be assigned to a park location. For more information, contact Amy Serafin at (847) 587-3944 or via email at — or visit

Crystal Lake

School Dist. 47 raises funds for food pantry

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 reported that during its Fall Jeans Day fundraiser, held in November, the Crystal Lake Elementary Teachers Association (CLETA) raised $4,735 to benefit the Crystal Lake Food Pantry in an effort to combat hunger in McHenry County. Each year, District 47 teachers, staff members and administrators wear jeans to work on a selected day in November in exchange for a monetary donation to the food pantry. Through a partnership with the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the food pantry is allowed to purchase items at a significantly reduced cost, with each dollar donated equivalent to $8 worth of food at a grocery store. For more information, call (815) 788-5014 or visit

All-day Steelpan Festival to be held at middle school

The Great Lakes Steelpan Festival will be held on April 9, beginning at 9 a.m., at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, 515 E. Crystal Lake Ave. The festival, specializing in the steelpan, a Caribbean instrument commonly known as the steel drum, will include performances throughout the day, as well as various educational workshops. Guest artists include Ellie Mannette and Chanler Bailey, Kurry Seymour, Gary Gibson, and the Potts & Pan Steelband. The fest concludes with an evening concert, beginning at 8 p.m. Admission at the door is $25 (adults), $20 (seniors), $10 (students with ID), and free (children ages 10 and under). Workshops are $10 each, and $5 (students with ID). For tickets, and more information, visit — or call (815) 245-2624 or send an email to


Historical Society offers program on Mexican railroad workers

The McHenry County Historical Society & Museum, 6422 Main St., will present, “The History of Mexican Railroad Boxcar Communities in the Chicago Area and the Midwest” at 3 p.m. April 18. Presented by Antonio Delgado, the program will examine a time (between 1910 and the 1950s) when railroads employed a large number of Mexican immigrants to lay track. During that time, the workers and their families lived on railroad property, in railroad boxcars, and in “section houses” year-round. Admission is $5 (adults), $3 (seniors and students) and free (Historical Society members). A $12 family rate (two adult family members and two or more children) also is available. For more information, call (815) 923-2267, send an email to or visit

McHenry County

McHenry County College to host 2016 Gardenfest

The 2016 McHenry County Gardenfest will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. April 9 at McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake. Presented by University of Illinois Extension, McHenry County Master Gardeners, and the college, the event will feature dozens of exhibitors offering books, seeds, tools and other garden-related products, as well as live demonstrations. In addition, Kerry Ann Mendez, a professional garden consultant and author who has written three garden books and numerous magazine articles, and earned a Massachusetts Horticulture Society Gold Medal, will be the 2016 keynote speaker. Fourteen other presenters, including industry experts, will cover a total of 19 different garden-related topics in 45-minute segments. The event includes lunch. Door prizes will be available as well. Admission is $50, and registration will only be accepted on-site. For more information, call (815) 455-8764, send an email to or visit


Village offers Spring Clean-Up program

The village announced that it will co-sponsor (with Groot Industries) a village-wide Spring Clean-Up program for single-family residences and townhomes that currently receive residential refuse and recycling services, on April 16 and 23. The program is intended to encourage residents to reduce fire hazards in their homes and to “spruce up” their neighborhoods. Typical items to be discarded include toys, old clothes, couches, beds, dressers, grills and patio furniture. Items that will not be collected include automobile parts, landscape waste, electronics, construction materials such as broken concrete, and large amounts of lumber and brick. All discarded items must be placed at curbside by 7 a.m. on either April 16 or 23. To view a map detailing pick-up days for each neighborhood, visit For more information, call (847) 658-2700.


Village continues backflow preventer testing program

The village reported that it is continuing to offer its Residential Backflow Preventer Testing Program, which began in 2011. A residential backflow preventer is a device designed to stop water flow from a home’s fire suppression or lawn irrigation line from entering a home’s drinkable water supply. Without a backflow preventer, a loss of water pressure could result in dangerous materials being siphoned into the drinking water. Annual testing of backflow devices is required by the village, the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The village’s testing program allows residents to have their backflow preventers tested by Huntley’s Development Services Department for a cost of $65 for one, and $85 for both fire and lawn irrigation devices, at the same address on the same day. It is not mandatory to use the Village of Huntley’s program to perform the annual test, as any Illinois Cross Connection Control device Inspector registered with the village can do so. For more information, call (847) 515-5200 or visit

–McHenry County News Briefs–