Sycamore School District 427 Board honors choir students

On December 11th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE – Sycamore School Board President Jim Dombek awarded medals to four of the Sycamore Middle School students who will participate in an honors choir in March. Lilly Faulhaber, Shelly Hinojosa-Maymi, Gabriel Jovanovich and Kaitlyn Ryder stood in front of the Sycamore District 427 School Board while Dombek placed a medal around each one of them Tuesday night at Sycamore School District’s school board meeting at Sycamore Middle School. They looked excited to be on stage, just as, Brian Kowalski, choir director for Sycamore Middle School, was excited for them to be picked from about 3,000 students in the Midwest – from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio – to participate in the American Choral Directors Association Central-North Central Division Honors Choir at its biennial conference in Milwaukee. Kowalski gushed about the students and the dedication they showed in earning the trip to Milwaukee. “They’re talented singers,” he said. “A lot of this audition is prepared independently. While I supported them, they did a lot of the work on their own. It was quite an undertaking and I’m proud of their extra work and their accomplishment.” Nicole Stuckert raised the topic of a dump truck for the school board, which the board voted, 7-0, to approve. The only board discussion was a question if the winning bid, Kunes Country – out of Delavan, Wis. – was local enough to be used if the truck needed to be serviced. “The next piece I have...

Annual DeKalb basketball game helps to donate toys for community children

On December 11th, 2019 by admin

DeKALB – DeKalb fire department and police officials force faced off against the DeKalb school district faculty in the fifth annual Guns and Hoses versus DeKalb Faculty basketball game to raise toys and money for local kids. All monetary donations will be put toward more gifts, all of which will be distributed to local families of children in need during the holidays. “The principal of Huntley Middle School at the time, Tom Kim – he wanted to do something for Toys for Tots,” said Kathy Davis, who serves as DeKalb County’s coordinator for Toys for Tots. “So the fire department donates tons of toys, and the police donate tons of toys, and the public comes in and donates toys.” The event began at 7 p.m. at Dekalb’s Huntley Middle School. It was coordinated as part of DeKalb County’s Toys for Tots program. Admission to the game was $5 in cash, or a toy worth $5 or more. Students were admitted for $2 or a $2 toy. To encourage both donations and spectator attendance, Papa John’s pizza was offered for purchase, alongside free magnets, pencils, pens, bracelets and candy. Huntley Middle School’s poms team also put on a halftime show of choreography set to music. “We have competition this Saturday, so we thought it’d be good to perform in front of a crowd, get a feel for it,” said Katie Baraglia, poms coach at Huntley Middle School. “It’s a good way to get toys and money for the community. A lot...

Objections filed against 14th, 16th Congressional District candidates

On December 11th, 2019 by admin

Objections were filed Monday against the candidacy paperwork of 14th Congressional District candidate Catalina Lauf of Woodstock and 16th Congressional District candidate Benjamin Baer of Coal City. The objections against Lauf, 26, were filed by Greg Nichols of Plainfield and Justin Robert Nudo of Pingree Grove. Nichols and Nudo could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening. Chris Duffy, political director for Lauf's campaign, said the committee stands by its "1,219 valid, verified signatures" and referred to the objections as "old school Illinois politics simply grasping at straws to get the best candidate off of the ballot." Republican candidates running for the 14th Congressional District – which includes parts of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties – in the 2020 primary were required to submit 961 signatures, or 0.5% of qualified party primary voters in the district. Lauf faces state Rep. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove; state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris; financial futures trader Ted Gradel of Naperville; Kendall County Republicans Chairman James Marter; Jerry Evans of Warrenville; and Anthony Catella of St. Charles in the primary election. All seven are running to unseat freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, who is running unopposed as a Democrat in the primary. Baer is running as a Democrat in the 16th Congressional District to unseat Congressman Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon. He faces Dani Przozowski of LaSalle in the primary. The objection to Baer's filing was lodged by John Fisher-Dann of Utica. Kinzinger is seeking his sixth term representing the 16th...

City of DeKalb seeks community development applications for grants

On December 11th, 2019 by admin

DeKALB – DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith announced Monday that the city is once again accepting applications from area nonprofits for its 2020 Community Development Block Grant, according to a city news release. The grant funding is federal community development assistance dollars provided to the city annually by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. To fill out an application, visit www.cityofdekalb.com, click on the Community Development Department tab, then the community services page to find the tab on the Community Development Block Grant. Organizations wishing to submit a grant proposal must first submit a Letter of Intent to the community development department by 5 p.m. Jan. 10. Programs that receive grant funding are for organizations that provide new public services or for a documented increase in existing public services provided to target resident populations, the release shows. Organizations applying for the grant must provide public services to City of DeKalb residents whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income, and must obtain documentation of household income for all program participants verify that they will provide services in a limited geographic area where more than 51% of the total population is low-to-moderate income, the release states. Projects must be designed to increase public services that promote independent living and self-sufficient for homeless individuals and familiar, the elderly, people of low income and people with disabilities. All projects are also required to met at least one Consolidated Plan Objective and one HUD National Objective. A list...

Numbers show 20% of NIU residential halls vacant; building master plan in the works

On December 11th, 2019 by admin

DeKALB – Fall enrollment at Northern Illinois University is at its lowest in 50 years, and as a result, 20% of residential spaces on campus are vacant, records show. According to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, 18% fewer students are living in the six NIU residential halls being used as of the 2019 fall semester. However, as with the Strategic Enrollment Master Plan to get enrollment to 18,000 students by 2023, another option is in the works: a campuswide building master plan to better assess space, capacity, use and future purposes of academic and residential halls on campus. NIU is closing out the first semester of its lowest fall enrollment in 50 years. Despite the dip, freshmen enrollment has increased by 2% and a $20.9 million renovation of the Holmes Student Center unveiled in October showed new spaces for recreation, dining and socializing and studying. And a $23 million Northern Illinois Center for Sustainability was announced by former Gov. Bruce Rauner as part of the Illinois Innovation Network. In some areas, underused spaces are being given new life, such as the former computer lab in the first floor of Neptune residence hall’s north wing, which now is used by the 111-member Esports Club, a competitive group of video gamers. Conner Vagle, 21, of Roscoe, was one of those students to plug in and compete against other schools around the nation in video games. Vagle recently was hired as the full-time esports general manager upon graduation. “It allowed...

Sycamore zoning commission to consider townhome permit request at demolished St. Albans Greens site

On December 9th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a special use permit for a future apartment building at the site of the now demolished St. Albans Greens apartments. Jim Mason of Mason Properties, owner of the land at 711 S. Main St. in Sycamore, has been working with the city to replace the apartment units that a fire destroyed July 27. The apartment complex’s Building A burned but Building B did not. There will be a public hearing to discuss the special use permit during the meeting, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Sycamore City Center, 308 W. State St. The agenda states a favorable recommendation to the City Council is requested. The new proposal, arrived at after what City Manager Brian Gregory said has been a “give and take” process, would allow for 27 three-bedroom units and a single one-bedroom unit that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the commission’s agenda. The unit configuration would bring the total number of bedrooms to 82, which matches the number of bedrooms that were lost in the fire. Mason will also upgrade the fire alarm system in Building B, according to the agenda. The current manual system – requiring someone to pull the fire alarm – is operable. Building B’s manual system is older technology than what was in Building A, according to the agenda. The new system likely played a role in allowing the 120 residents to leave the building unscathed, the agenda states. The...

DeKalb man charged with intimidating Kirkland woman

On December 7th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE – A DeKalb man who police said harassed and intimidated a Kirkland woman by telephone for hours on Thursday is out on his signature. Demetric D. Starling, 33, of the 900 block of Ridge Drive, was arrested about 9:30 a.m. Thursday by Kirkland police after he called her more than 20 times within a couple hours Thursday, according to court documents. He was charged with intimidation and harassment by telephone. If convicted of the more serious crime of intimidation, Starling could face up to five years in prison. According to court documents, the victim, who lives in Kirkland, made contact with Kirkland police after Starling called 28 times over the course of a couple of hours in an attempt to force her to answer. While on the phone with police, Starling called and the victim conferenced Starling in to the conversation so the officer could overhear, according to court records. The officer reported Starling saying he was going to beat the victim if she did not pay to repair damage to a 2003 Jaguar, according to court documents. Starling also told the victim that he had her Social Security number and that he was going to “run her credit up,” according to court records. Starling told the victim that he was going to send his sister to beat the victim and her mother if the victim did not give him $800, according to court records. Judge Phillip Montgomery Friday ordered Starling to be released on his signature, have...

Sycamore police report multiple cars stolen, burglarized

On December 6th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE — Sycamore police are reporting a spate of car thefts and burglaries in the Foxpointe neighborhood. Police responded to a report at 3:16 a.m. Thursday to a report of a stolen car in the neighborhood, according to a news release. While they were there, officers learned two other cars had previously been stolen and five other cars had been burglarized. The incidents were reported from the 900 block of Constance Lane, Yorkshire Drive, Bristol Drive and Mary Wood Court, according to the release. In at least two of the burglaries, the victims had personal property stolen, including IDs and credit cards, according to the release. One of the credit cards was used later in Flossmoor, as well as nearby fast food restaurants and a gas station. Police believe all burglarized vehicles were left open and each of the three stolen cars had the keys left inside the vehicle. One of the stolen cars was parked inside an open garage, according to the release, and the owners found out it was being stolen as someone was driving it out of the garage. The stolen cars have not been found and Sycamore Police detectives are still investigating the car thefts, the release states. Sycamore Police urge area residents to check and make sure their cars are locked by double-checking their doors. Police also want residents to further protect their cars by removing valuables from their cars. ...

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