First National Bank taking grant requests

First National Bank is accepting proposals for its upcoming Community Development grant cycle, focused on programs related to educated workforce initiatives.

The second 2019 grant cycle opened June 3 for educated workforce programs, which are dedicated to strengthening individual core competencies that will improve personal economic self-sufficiency, including adult basic education and vocational and employability training.

Programs must be implemented for the benefit of low- or moderate-income individuals, families and/or communities within the First National Bank footprint.

The bank operates in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

First National Bank will accept applications from eligible nonprofit community organizations until July 8. For more information and to apply, visit www.fnbo.com/community. 

Body found in Genoa identified as missing teen

GENOA – A man’s body found Friday in a farm field west of Ellwood Greens has been identified as a Genoa teenager missing since March 8, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Joseph A. Maynard, 19, of the 31000 block of Daniels Drive was found by a farmer Friday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene by sheriff’s deputies.

When reached for comment, Maynard’s mother, Nancy Maynard, declined.

Maynard’s body was located a half mile from his residence on Daniels Drive, according to the release.

The coroner conducted an autopsy Monday, which revealed the cause of death was exposure. DeKalb County Coroner Denny Miller said Monday the case still is under investigation.

Further toxicology testing will be done, the report said. There were no visible signs of injury to Maynard’s body, and sheriff’s deputies do not suspect foul play.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan said Monday that it’s a sad day for all involved.

He said although Maynard’s body was located half a mile from his residence, multiple searches made when he went missing did not uncover his body.

“We did search the area, but this place was not accessible to us at the time,” Sullivan said Monday. “At the time, we had a lot of rain and a lot of melting, so at that point we weren’t able to search this area specifically. There were multiple searches done with K-9s, drone devices, and on foot.”

Sullivan said there’s no indication that Maynard was at any point with anyone else.

More than 150 volunteers joined firefighters and sheriff’s deputies in a search for Maynard on March 10. The Illinois Conservation Police, a police dog from the sheriff’s office and DuPage County Sheriff’s Office bloodhounds also looked for him.

In March, Nancy Maynard told the Daily Chronicle that Maynard’s brother, Tim, last saw him walking away from their parents’ house in the 31000 block of Daniels Drive in Genoa about 11 a.m. March 8.

She called her son “a quiet kid, kind-hearted, a good worker.”

Nancy Maynard said in March that her son had not been taking his daily medications for mental illness and his phone was turned off.

She said search dogs were able to track him from their residence on Daniels Drive to a nearby golf course, but the scent stopped there.

BREAKING: Body found in Genoa identified as missing teen

GENOA – A Genoa man found in a farm field west of Ellwood Greens Friday has been identified by the DeKalb County Coroner, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

Joseph A. Maynard, 19, of the 31000 block of Daniels Drive, who was reported missing since March 8, was found by a farmer Friday morning, and was pronounced dead on the scene by sheriff's deputies.

Maynard's body was located a half mile from his residence on Daniels Drive, the release states.

The coroner conducted an autopsy Monday, which revealed the cause of death was due to exposure. Further toxicology testing will be done, the report states. There were no visible signs of injury to Maynard's body, and Sheriff's deputies suspect no foul play.

This story will be updated.

Sycamore Park District planning to assess city pool

SYCAMORE – Renovations could be on the horizon for Sycamore Park District Community Pool, pending the results of an assessment at the end of the summer.

The Park District is seeking proposals to assess the condition of the 35-year-old swimming pool and bathhouses.

Dan Gibble, executive director of the district, said he does not think inspectors will find major maintenance problems with the aging pool, but he wants to make sure the wiring around the deck and pipes behind the pool walls are not causing damage or unsafe conditions.

“There are things that can’t be seen by just looking around,” Gibble said. “We want to get a sense of its condition and what items might need some more significant attention.”

With an estimated budget of $35 million going into next fiscal year, Gibble said he wants to have a good idea of which district projects need attention, and the assessment will be a part of that process.

The district is seeking firms that have experience in assessing the existing structural, mechanical, functional, operational and infrastructural components of public swimming pools and bathhouses, according to a public notice. Gibble said he has not received bids from firms as of Thursday, but with a deadline of June 28, it still is early in the process.

“We want an unbiased, qualified and experienced opinion from those who are used to using the equipment necessary to assess the conditions of the facility,” Gibble said.

The assessment will require workers to dig up land around the deck and run cameras through the pipes behind the pool walls. The latter project will take place after the pool has closed for the summer, Gibble said.

The assessment will not interfere with swimmers; however, he said he does not plan on closing the pool for any reason during the summer.

The pool has undergone other repairs in recent years.

The last time the pool was renovated was in 2017. Construction wrapped up in April of that year to bring the pool and bathhouses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Capacity was lowered from 433 to 300 people to make the improvements more affordable. The project ended up costing more than double what was expected.

The district ran additional tests that cost $10,000 before the June 9, 2017, opening to make sure the water was safe after the renovations. Wiring used to ground equipment near the pool needed to be replaced after the bonding of the deck was weakened.

BREAKING: NIU police arrest man on campus after high-speed chase

DeKALB – A man was arrested on the Northern Illinois University campus Friday afternoon following a high-speed chase during which police reported he drove 90 miles-per-hour and ended with his car in a creek by Larusso Lagoon, police said.

Around 2:45 p.m. DeKalb County Sheriff's deputies noticed a white sedan on the side of the road at the corner of Bethany Road and Annie Glidden Road with the car's hood up. Andy Sullivan, deputy chief with the sheriff's office, said deputies thought the man was a stranded motorist.

"The deputy turned around to help, and the person put the hood down and drove off," Sullivan said.

He said deputies ran the license plate and discovered they were expired, and then pulled the driver over in the same area of Bethany and Annie Glidden roads.

"While they were talking with the driver, during that conversation the driver put the vehicle in drive and drove away," Sullivan said.

Deputies pursued the driver, but once the car accelerated to 90 miles-per-hour on Glidden Road, they stopped the chase, Sullivan said. The speed limit on the road through campus is 30 miles per hour.

Sullivan said shortly after, deputies were flagged down by pedestrians who reported a vehicle matching the description of the white sedan stuck in a creek behind New Residence Hall on NIU campus, near Larusso Lagoon.

Police arrived to find the vehicle in the creek, and NIU police reported someone matching the description of the driver was seen running into New Residence Hall.

Sullivan said NIU police found and arrested the driver shortly after 3 p.m. He was later transferred to the custody of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office.

No injuries were reported, Sullivan said.

Body found in farm field Friday morning in Genoa

GENOA – A body was found in a farm field Friday morning in Genoa, DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputies said.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan confirmed Friday that a farmer discovered a body in his field west of the Ellwood Greens subdivision in Genoa about 8:50 a.m. Friday and called police.

Upon arrival, deputies confirmed the person was dead. They did not release any identifying information.

The sheriff’s office said it has no reason to believe there is any threat to the public.

Sullivan said the DeKalb County Coroner’s Office has scheduled an autopsy for Monday, after which more information will be available.

Deputies also are in the process of notifying family members, and the investigation is ongoing.

Body found in farm field in Genoa

GENOA – A body was found in a farm field in Genoa Friday morning, DeKalb County Sheriff's officials report.

Andy Sullivan, deputy chief of the Sheriff's Department confirmed Friday that a farmer discovered an individual in his farm field west of the Ellwood Greens subdivision in Genoa around 8:50 a.m. Friday and reported it to authorities.

Upon arrival, sheriff's deputies confirmed the person was deceased, but could not release any identifying information.

The sheriff's office said they have no reason to believe there is any threat to the public.

Sullivan said the DeKalb County Coroner's Office has scheduled an autopsy for Monday, after which more information will be available.

Deputies are also in the process of notifying family members, and the case is ongoing.

Barb Food Mart awarded $14K for ‘Greatest Impact’

DeKALB – Barb Food Mart has been recognized for its effect in the community by the DeKalb Chapter of Women Who Care.

The food mart was awarded the Greatest Impact Award and a $14,000 check from the 100+ Women Who Care foundation at their May meeting, and presented with a check June 6, according to a press release.

The Greatest Impact Award is given to the charity that receives the most votes from the foundation, the release shows.

The Barb Food Mart is a food pantry that serves families in DeKalb School District 428, and is open year-round on Thursdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St.

The DeKalb Chapter of 100+ Women Who Care was founded in 2014 by Mary Beth Van Buer and has 141 members, according to the release.

Solar power talk coming to DeKalb history museum

SYCAMORE – Have you ever wondered how solar panels work, how reliable they are or if you can put them on your property?

Representatives from Independence Renewable Energy in Sandwich will answer these questions and more during their talk at 7 p.m. June 19 at the DeKalb County History Center at 1730 N. Main St., Sycamore.

“Solar power is not new, but people have a lot a questions of how it might work here in Illinois,” said Michelle Donahoe, executive director of the DeKalb County History Center. “Solar power and wind power at two topics explored in our current exhibit ‘Crossroads.’ This theme easily connects to our local history and provides a great opportunity to discuss solar power in DeKalb County.”

Visitors are encouraged to bring their questions.

The event is free and open to the public.

For information call 815-895-5762 or visit dekalbcounthistory.org.

Officials may close NIU voter registration center

SYCAMORE – County officials are rethinking the cost-effectiveness of an election day voter registration center at Northern Illinois University for the 2020 election year.

Douglas Johnson, DeKalb County clerk and recorder, said Tuesday during an election information meeting that he may not implement a voter registration center in the NIU Holmes Student Center for the upcoming election year. A voter registration center was set up at the Holmes Student Center during the primary elections in March 2016 and has remained since for students who were registered to vote in Illinois, but had not yet updated their registration to vote in DeKalb County.

Johnson said he does not believe a voter registration center is a cost-effective avenue for students to vote when they are able to register online before election day or at their individual polling places on election day. The polling place for most students who live on or near campus is Barsema Alumni Visitors Center, 231 N. Annie Glidden Road.

“What I look at is if 700 people registered to vote and what is the cost to the taxpayers and is it paying off when they can still go to their polling places and still register early,” Johnson said.

Many people who attended the meeting, some themselves elected officials, were concerned that closing the voter registration center would congest polling places on a day when wait times are already long.

Sycamore resident Douglas Moore, who worked as an poll watcher in the Student Holmes Center during the November 2018 election, said the average wait time for registration and voting is one hour and worries about how this time will increase without the registration center.

“If you’re taking all those people and move them into Barsema, you’re going to be going from like an hour to four hours,” Moore said.

The wait could also lead to issues such as students queuing up for the wrong polling place or with insufficient identification and not knowing until it is too late, said Carolyn Morris, DeKalb City Council 1st Ward alderman.

“The line was so long that there was no way a student could get anywhere near an election judge to even ask the question,” Morris said.

Ellingsworth Webb, a DeKalb County election judge and deputy registrar, said he has a simple answer to long lines on election day: register and vote early.

“There are a million ways you can vote prior to the day of an election,” Webb said. “That day, we will do cartwheels to try to help them find out whatever information they need possible so they can get registered.”