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Kane County resident wants everyone to take a long look at cell-phone bills

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If you live in unincorporated Kane County, you might want to check your cell phone bill extra carefully. John Fenlaciki, a resident of Fox River Estates in St. Charles Township, noticed a municipal MTT tax on each bill he received from Verizon, and decided to …

Aurora YWCA making impressive comeback

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Over the course of so many years working in this newsroom, I’ve written plenty of stories about the local YWCA, including its extensive Week Without Violence campaign held each October since 1995, as well as its prestigious Women of Distinction luncheon that annually honored the …

New mentoring program offers rebirth to troubled youth

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Don’t know about you, but every time I drive past the Illinois Youth Center on Route 38 in St. Charles, I think about the boys inside, and what their lives must have been like to lead to this prison environment at such a young age. …

Arts community colleagues remember Ray Shepardson: ‘He loved the Paramount’

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Tim Rater is still in shock. Ray Shepardson’s apparent suicide in downtown Aurora on Monday evening has left the Paramount Theatre president struggling with emotions … and for answers. “He was a friend and a mentor,” said Rater of the 70-year-old Wheaton man who police …

Bullying claims not just for middle school

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When 94-year-old ladies call the newsroom asking for help, we always sit up and pay attention. Especially when the complaint is as serious as what Lorene Barnes claimed. A man in her apartment complex was harassing and threatening her, she insisted, even making fun of …

Plenty of talking points in Kane animal abuse case

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Not that I’m an expert at writing about animal neglect cases, but this one does seem to be getting a bit hairier than normal. The story made big headlines at the end of February when Kane County authorities said they discovered dead and emaciated animals …

Sins, and love, of father provide lesson

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Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when the young man walked through the doors of the fast food restaurant. Would he be sullen? Angry? Bitter? It’s not like Ahmed Isaacs had no reason to be carrying a chip on his shoulders the size of …

This week a game changer at East Aurora

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You could almost feel the whoosh as the power on the East Aurora School Board suddenly — with one surprise vote — shifted from the right side of the table to the left. After announcing on Monday evening it was likely she’d stay on the …

Media overdose? Heroin headlines keep coming

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The email was polite but insistent. The reader was tired of hearing about heroin and asked that I stop taking up valuable real estate in the newspaper by continually writing about this issue that’s recently been getting so much national exposure. There are many other …

Time moves on, but commitment to community is always needed

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How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? — Dr. Seuss Twenty years. It’s a long time. Almost a …

Father David bids heartfelt final goodbye

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It’s known as the “widow-maker” …and it can kill within a few hours, even minutes. The attack began as Rev. David Engbarth finished giving communion during a city-wide mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Joseph Church in Aurora on the morning of Dec. …

East Aurora pride swells as Boatright appearance in Final Four approaches

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There was definitely a buzz in the halls of East Aurora High School all week. And head basketball coach Wendell Jeffries was getting hit up with the same question again and again. Will he be heading to Dallas this weekend to watch Ryan Boatright when …

Hultgren: Heroin prevention plan’s ‘working draft’ ready for next stage

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I’m not in the habit of saying glowing things about politicians — who is these days? — but kudos to Randy Hultgren, our Congressional representative from the 14th District, for doing it the right way. I have no idea how much the congressman is thinking …

Long-time pastor leaving Aurora for health reasons

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The Rev. David Engbarth, long-time pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church and one Aurora’s most passionate anti-violence activists, is leaving his parish and the state after suffering a heart attack in December. Engbarth notified the Rockford Diocese on Monday that he is …

Grounds for concern: Will spring weather ever come?

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Ball players, tired of indoor batting, don’t believe it. The farmers, optimistic by nature in order to maintain sanity, are having doubts. Despite Sunday’s tease and Monday’s promise of (egads!) another spring-like day, more snow and frost are predicted this week. “Could this possibly be …