Beacon News Latest news from Beacon News Online en-us (Editor) Beacon News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ State grant to help finish Aurora’s GAR Hall restoration project ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — With help from a state of Illinois grant, Aurora’s Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum should be open to the public in 2016. Gov. Pat Quinn recently announced the state awarded a $750,000 grant to the city’s GAR Museum. The GAR Hall and 46 other Illinois museums will share $20 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits, state officials announced. “Museums play a vital role in telling us about our world and who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going,” Quinn said. “These investments will help museums attract even … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:03:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Group helping with Aurora’s upcoming Blues Week ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — When the Paramount Arts Centre took over running Blues on the Fox here two years ago, it left the old volunteer Blues on the Fox organization seeking a new identity. “We tried to figure out what to do, how to stay relevant,” said Steve Warrenfeltz, a Blues on the Fox board member and co-owner of Kiss the Sky music store in downtown Batavia. “We thought, let’s start a foundation, which had long been a dream of mine anyway.” So the Fox Valley Music Foundation arose, dedicated to education, preservation, protection and promotion of music and musicians in the … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:05:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Summer Solstice time again in Yorkville ]]> Lead story image

YORKVILLE – Music, beer and food will be the order of business during the Summer Solstice festival downtown here this weekend. The Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce’s River Night and the Summer Solstice Indie Music and Craft Beer Festival, sponsored by Three Angels Brewery, will take place together Friday and Saturday at Riverfront Park downtown. The weekend starts at 5 p.m. Friday with the traditional River Night sponsored by the Chamber. Music starts at 6 p.m. The night is free to the public. On Saturday, the festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. for free. After 5 p.m., a $5 … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:51:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ St. Charles family charged with running marijuana scheme ]]>

Members of a St. Charles family have been charged with running a cross-country marijuana delivery and money-laundering scheme out of their home. Between Feb. 19 and April 2, Nicholas A. Salemi, 24; and Maryhelen Kwiatkowski, 32, shipped marijuana from California to Salemi’s parents in Kane County through the U.S. Postal Service, according to a statement from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office. Anthony W. Salemi, 56; and Gina T. Salemi, 52, then sent the money from the sale of the marijuana back to their son in California, according to the statement. On June 11, authorities executed a search warrant at … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:29:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Former Raging Waves employee sues over zip line fall ]]>

Nearly two years after she fell from a platform on the Raging Waves’ Cowabunga zip line, a former employee is suing the Yorkville park for allowing her to work without a safety harness. Raging Waves, along with Mid America Zip Line, LLC and several other defendants are named in the lawsuit, filed recently in Kendall County by former Raging Waves employee Courtney Duran. According to the suit, Duran was helping run the attraction at the Yorkville water park on Aug. 3, 2012, when she fell from a platform and seriously injured herself. Duran alleged that she was trained to use … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:57:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Local victim discovered during Plano child porn investigation ]]>

Investigators looking for child pornography on a Plano man’s computer ended up charging the man with creating pornographic images with a local child. Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said Keith Hirsch, 51, is facing more than 30 charges stemming from a joint investigation by Plano police and the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Weis said Hirsch appeared on investigators’ radar when they developed a lead that he might be in possession of child pornography. A search warrant was executed at Hirsch’s home in Plano, and Hirsch was charged with 30 counts of possession of child pornography. … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:40:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Longtime West Aurora educator Williams dies ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — Longtime West Aurora teacher and community servant Donna Williams died Tuesday morning following a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, family confirmed. A lifelong Auroran, Williams, 75, taught at Nicholson Elementary School in the West Aurora School District for 34 years and was principal for five years at the Quad County Urban League’s alternative school for East and West Aurora middle school students. Williams was the last surviving founder of the Aurora Actionnaires, a women’s group that worked to help African-American students, and served as one of Main Baptist Church’s most senior leaders. At church, Williams was a trustee emeritus, … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:30:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Video helps reconstruct how Maple Park teen was killed ]]>

Maple Park police have determined that a young boy killed by a freight train last month likely walked up to the train to feel the power of the wind rushing past him. Police Chief Mike Acosta said he reviewed the video surveillance of the freight train that killed 14-year old Parker Wolfsmith, a student at Kaneland Harter Middle School, on May 31. “You see Parker approach the train, pause a moment and get closer. Unfortunately, I think he miscalculated how close he was,” Acosta said. He said the video verifies the teen was not pushed, did not trip and that … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:30:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rollover crash injures Plano man in Aurora ]]>

An early morning crash closed Ogden Avenue in Aurora for several hours, and injured a 59-year-old Plano man Thursday, Aurora police said. The crash occurred at the intersection of Ogden Avenue and 75th Street around 4:40 a.m. Police said the Plano man was eastbound on Ogden Avenue and attempted to turn right onto 75th Street when he went off the roadway. The vehicle struck a curb and a traffic light, and rolled over. Police said the traffic light then fell and landed on the vehicle. The driver was extricated from the vehicle, a 2014 Kia R-10, and taken to an … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 10:42:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ New event at Swedish Days  focuses on kids ]]> Lead story image

The first-ever Fair on the Square program at Swedish Days in Geneva rated better than fair with the children and parents who attended. The festival continues in downtown Geneva through Sunday. “This is great,” enthused St. Charles resident Jessica Naylor, who brought her three preschoolers as well as several of their friends Tuesday. “The kids had so much fun dancing with the band. The music is good, they have free face painting and balloon animals, and my son and daughter got to go up on stage and sing. I hope they do this again next year.” While Friday is the … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:24:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ With less spending, amended budget is OK’d in Oswego 308 ]]>

OSWEGO — After reducing spending in key areas such as teacher salaries, employee benefits, food services and special education tuition, Oswego School District 308’s amended budget is leaving the district with about $1.3 million more in its coffers than anticipated earlier this school year. Associate Superintendent Paul O’Malley, who oversees the district’s finances, said Wednesday that those reductions were made through a combination of cost cutting, working with contracted vendors to find savings and prioritizing the use of existing district staff over hiring more. The Oswego District 308 School Board approved the amended budget for the most recent school year … ]]> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:04:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mariano’s opens in Aurora to packed store ]]> Lead story image

AURORA – Fox Valley Mariano’s fans won’t have to make the trek to Wheaton or other suburban locales any longer. At the grand opening Tuesday, there were few empty parking spots in the lot outside of Mariano’s newest location at 3025 E. New York St. in Aurora. The 72,000-square-foot store on the city’s Far East Side, formerly home to a Dominick’s grocery store, opened to the public at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Victor Karlson, store director of the Aurora Mariano’s, said that residents grew accustomed to half-hour or longer trips to Wheaton, Elmhurst or even Chicago to get their Mariano’s fix. … ]]> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 02:23:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Health insurance issues have Kendall eyeing part-time hours ]]>

YORKVILLE — Kendall County will measure just how many hours its part-time employees work. County officials hope to limit the number of part-timers and seasonal workers they might have to offer health insurance to, under looming deadlines in the Affordable Care Act. By measuring part-time and seasonal hours over a six-month period, the county can get a definite hold on how many employees work less than 30 hours a week — the threshold between what is considered part-time and full-time. “This is a one-time measurement period for six months to see if those part-time or seasonal employees are eligible for … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 02:25:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Two bicyclists hit by car in Aurora ]]>

A man and his daughter were injured Saturday afternoon while riding their bicycles in Aurora, police said. According to reports, Ruben Tello and his daughter were riding near the shoulder of the road near Melrose Avenue and Jackson Street around 3:53 p.m. when they were struck by a vehicle. Witnesses told police that the driver appeared to be a black man, who was driving a small, green, four-door vehicle. According to police reports, the driver made a wide turn onto the shoulder of the road, striking Tello and his daughter. They were both taken to area hospitals for treatment. The … ]]> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:34:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Two teens hurt in Kane County in ATV-motorcycle crash ]]>

LILY LAKE — Two teens were hurt when a motorcycle and an ATV crashed in western Kane County on Tuesday. The crash happened about 2:30 p.m. as three boys in their mid-teens rode off-road vehicles in the 45W700 block of Read Road near Lily Lake, Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Collins said. One of the teens was on a motorcycle that stopped suddenly, Collins said. He was struck from behind by an ATV driven by another teen, he said. Both suffered head injuries, and the ATV came to rest on one of the boys, police said. Both were airlifted to … ]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:33:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Battery charges vs. teen ]]>

A 17-year-old St. Charles teen, already facing a series of armed robbery charges, was in court again Tuesday morning to face new charges for allegedly beating two deputies while in custody. According to prosecutors, deputies and employees of the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center responded to the teen’s cell around 4:30 a.m. on June 15 where they found the teen with a shirt tied around his neck. Judge Thomas Mueller said that the teen told deputies that he didn’t want to be alive. When deputies tried to intervene, Mueller said the teen became combative, and kicked and struck two deputies. … ]]> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 02:23:13 -0500