Sycamore High school's FFA students plant splashes of color

On October 15th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE – Farming can be tough, but one Sycamore high school student truly enjoys it and cannot wait to see the fruits of his labor. Jared Clausen, a junior at Sycamore High School, spent Monday morning with four of his horticulture classmates and fellow Future Farmers of America members planting 200 yellow daffodil bulbs in front of the green “Sycamore Welcomes You” sign near the intersection of Route 64 and Airport Road. “It’s going to make the sign look more beautiful, and it will have a positive outlook on Sycamore,” Clausen said. Clausen’s job was to measure and provide a diagram of where the bulbs were planted, so in the spring when they plant again, they know where the bulbs are and don’t plant on top of the existing bulbs. It gives the flowers a better chance to grow. He said he joined FFA because it’s a family tradition. “The animals and crops just fascinate me,” Clausen said. “It’s something I can’t live without.” Karen Lang worked alongside the students and was looking forward to seeing the flowers in the spring. “We’ll see how it looks next year,” Karen Lang said. She said the idea for the project came from her and her husband, Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang. The students joining in to help was all the better. “We were really excited that the kids wanted to do this,” Karen Lang said. By all accounts, the students were happy to help dig and place the bulbs...

'I will not comply': DeKalb City Clerk promises legal action against city for approving clerk changes

On October 15th, 2019 by admin

DeKALB ­ City Clerk Lynn Fazekas said she won't comply with the ordinance approved Monday night which gives some clerk responsibilities to the executive assistant to the city manager, and said she plans to seek legal action against the city. Fazekas said the 5-2 vote to approve the ordinance on second reading – with Ward 1 Alderman Carolyn Morris and Ward 5 Alderman Scott McAdams voting no – was not unexpected. "The ordinance and the matter of the seal particularly is illegal and specifically unconstitutional," Fazekas said when asked if she would follow the approved policy. "And I will not comply with that illegal ordinance." The measure passed with relatively little fanfare compared to past meetings over the last few months, with sparce council discussion and two residents, former city clerk Steve Kapitan and former mayor Bessie Chronopoulos, echoing their past comments in opposition to the vote. The ordinance eliminates the deputy clerk position and the duties are instead designated to whoever fulfills the role of executive assistant to the city manager, currently Ruth Scott. The clerk will remain a part-time elected role, and will designate the City Seal, used to approve documents, to both the clerk and the executive assistant, who would be allowed to use it in the clerk's absence, acccording to the new ordinance. "I'm just looking forward to moving forward and doing the best work I can for the city," Scott said after the meeting. Chronopoulos called the ordinance "unacceptable." "This whole thing is about the will...

No, DeKalb's River Heights Golf Course isn't closing. At least, not yet.

On October 14th, 2019 by admin

DeKALB – A message displayed on a whiteboard at River Heights Golf Course this weekend saying the course was to be closed is not true, DeKalb Park District officials say. Amy Doll, the park district's executive director, said that there is no immediate plan to close the course, despite what the message in the course's clubhouse said. "I'm not sure who wrote it," Doll said, "but it wasn't anybody who had authority to write it because it's misinformation." The sign in the in the golf course's clubhouse stated that the "objective of director/board is to close River Heights Golf Course for all following seasons. If you would like this course to remain open for your use please attend meeting to have your voice heard." Although there's no immediate plan to close the course, as it stands, the DeKalb Park District's golf operations do face an uncertain future. Revenue at River Heights, 1020 Sharon Drive, and Buena Vista, the district's nine-hole course at 131 Buena Vista Drive, has steadily declined, and after adding in overhead maintenance costs the park district is losing money on golf operations. With the state's minimum wage expected to increase steadily increase until reaching $15 an hour in 2025, there is a serious risk a course could close in the future, Doll said. Longtime DeKalb resident Chad Stewart, 43, has been playing the 18-hole course at River Heights at least once every other week because he lives only three blocks away. He said he'd be sad to see...

Blood drive set for Oct. 16 at Sandwich clinic

On October 14th, 2019 by admin

Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists will host a blood drive from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sandwich clinic, 523 E. Railroad St. in Sandwich. The Versiti Blood Center of Illinois (formerly Heartland Blood Center) Mobile Coach will be at this location. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule a donation appointment, register online at donate.illinois.versiti.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/5579612, at Northern Rehab’s website, northernrehabpt.com/blood-drive-at-our-sandwich-clinic or call Northern Rehab’s Sandwich office at 815-786-1888. ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA-ILA Fighting the Bloomberg Money In Virginia 2019 Elections

On October 14th, 2019 by admin

The Nov. 5th election may be the most consequential ever for our Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth. That’s because every seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate is up for grabs and gun control advocates, bankrolled by an out of state New York billionaire, are trying to buy the election.  In contrast, the NRA is focused on our tried and true grassroots model of educating our supporters on candidates’ positions on the Second Amendment, and working to ensure they turn out to vote on Election Day....

Hunter education course scheduled in Genoa

On October 12th, 2019 by admin

Learn the basic principles of safe hunting at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hunter education class. The next class will be at the Genoa Fire Station, 317 E. Railroad Ave. in Genoa. Classes will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 24 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26. The free class covers wildlife management, firearm safety, hunter ethics, game identification, first aid, survival techniques and regulations. State law requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1980, to complete a hunter education course before they can receive their first hunting license. For information and to register, call 815-784-2132. Seats are limited. ...

Private donors help build inclusive playground at Sycamore school

On October 12th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE — All schools have playgrounds, but South Prairie Elementary School in Sycamore has one made just a little bit smaller to keep knees unscathed and play time fun. The playground, designed for both developmentally disabled children and small children 3 to 5 years old, has swings with locking mechanisms to hold children safely in the seats, a merry-go-round and a jungle gym with shorter and narrower steps to make for easier climbing. “He really enjoys it,” said Kathy Sloniker, who takes her grandson to the park. Sloniker likes how the playground allows for her grandson, whom she babysits once a week, and his friends to stay safe. “There’s a gate so you don’t have to worry about them running off and it has a spongy surface. There are no wood chips.” Sloniker, said her grandson, Walter, lights up when he goes to the inclusive playground, which sits behind the school at 820 Borden Ave. and is only 100 feet or so from the playground for larger children. The project cost $160,000, said Mike Cullen, president of First Midwest Bank, and was an idea hatched by Marijo Schwartz, early development coordinator for South Prairie Elementary School. Cullen said Schwartz has been working on the project and getting its necessary funding for the past five years. Schwartz said the cost was well worth it and that Cullen was very generous with his time. The support of private and anonymous donors was greatly appreciated, she said, adding that Cullen and First Midwest...

DeKalb police department receives top state accreditation

On October 12th, 2019 by admin

DeKALB – The DeKalb Police Department is officially accredited by the state standards, and the report shows no complaints alleging biased-based policing were filed against the department in 2018 or thus far in 2019, despite a high-profile arrest in August that led to an officer being placed on desk duty. For two years, the department has been working with the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police to pursue what is known as a Tier II accreditation. According to the report, which will be presented at Monday’s City Council meeting, the department was found to operate as a “proactive and professional law enforcement agency.” “One significant improvement that we were able to make in order to be much suited was our new building,” police Cmdr. Jason Leverton said. “At our old facility, things were really cramped and not an ideal setup. So when we designed this building we literally did certain aspects with all the accreditation standards in mind.” Leverton served as the accreditation liaison during the nearly decade-long process, and said the designation provides the department with another layer of accountability. He said the new police station, at 700 W. Lincoln Highway, fit into the process. The accreditation process included an assessment of the department’s policies, procedures and operations, and an on-site review which occurred May 15 and 16. During the review, a team from the enforcement program did a department tour, inspected vehicles, interviewed staff, conducted ride-alongs and inspected the station’s records, evidence, patrol,...

1 man stabbed, 3 others arrested in DeKalb parking lot fight

On October 12th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE – Three men have been charged after a fight in a DeKalb parking lot in which police said the victim was stabbed in the back. Corey Campbell, 21, of the 300 block of Sioux Street, Park Forest, Jonte L. Johnson, 21, of the 12800 block of Ada Street, Calumet Park, and Tobharri M. Jones, 20, of the first block of 109th Place, Chicago, all were charged with aggravated battery and mob action after DeKalb police responded to a report of a fight in the 800 block of Pappas Drive at 2:39 p.m. Wednesday, according to court documents. If convicted of the most serious charge of aggravated battery, they could face up to five years in prison. Police officers said that they saw Campbell and Johnson hitting someone when they arrived, according to court documents. Campbell told police he was defending Johnson, his cousin. After viewing video, police said that the victim took a swing at Johnson, missed and fell on the ground, and Johnson fell on top of him, according to court records. The video also showed Campbell make contact with the victim with a motion “consistent with stabbing,” according to court documents. The victim was later found to have two stab wounds and a box cutter was found on Campbell, according to court documents. Police said Jones was seen attacking Campbell and, when police told him to stop, he ran away, according to court records. He was caught at the University Village apartments across the street from the parking...

Police: 20-year-old man sold ecstasy pills to cops

On October 12th, 2019 by admin

SYCAMORE – A DeKalb man faces drug charges after police said he sold ecstasy to an undercover police informant and, later, to an undercover police officer. Jacob D. Reed, 20, of the 1400 block of Twombly Drive, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and unlawful possession of a controlled substance after DeKalb police said he sold ecstasy to an undercover police officer at 5:35 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of West Lincoln Highway, according to court documents. If convicted of the most serious crime of unlawful possession with intent to deliver, Reed could face up to 30 years in prison. Reed sold more than 15 pills to an undercover police officer, according to court records. He also told police during an interview that he was there to sell ecstasy, according to court records. Reed was also charged in a Feb. 20 incident in which he sold one ecstasy pill to a police informant, according to court documents. The informant had told police Reed was selling ecstasy in the DeKalb area about 3:40 p.m. Feb. 20. Police watched the transaction between Reed and the informant in the 800 block of West Hillcrest Drive, according to court records. Judge Phillip Montgomery of the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court ordered Reed released on his signature Friday, and also that he be under pre-trial supervision. His next court date is 9 a.m. Dec. 6 for a preliminary hearing. ...

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