Beacon News Latest news from Beacon News Online en-us (Editor) Beacon News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Tradition reigns on Aurora’s East Side in Good Friday procession ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — Diana Hernandez has attended processions on Good Friday all 37 years of her life. As a little girl growing up in Mexico, she remembers watching the Living Stations of the Cross, a traditional re-enactment put on by churches of Jesus Christ carrying the cross to his death. At first she didn’t understand what was going on, she said, but as she got older, she came to understand the sacrifice he had made. Since she moved to Aurora 14 years ago, Hernandez has taken her own family to see the East Side’s version of the stations, including her two … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 19:21:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Aurora to welcome home NCAA hoops champion Boatright ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — The city will welcome home Aurora’s own NCAA basketball champion Ryan Boatright this Saturday with a celebration at the Paramount Theatre. The celebration begins at 1:11 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the celebration is open to the public, with free admission and first-come, first-served seating. Boatright, who wears number 11 on his basketball jersey, will be available for a brief time to take photos at the conclusion of the program. An East Aurora High School graduate and a junior at the University of Connecticut, Boatright helped lead the … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:29:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Second historic mural uncovered at old West Aurora High School ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — A second historical mural has been found at the vacant West Aurora/Aurora Christian building on the city’s West Side. Three city employees discovered the mural while examining the block-long property at 14 W. Blackhawk St., city spokesman Dan Ferrelli said Thursday. According to Alderman Mike Saville, 6th Ward, the mural was completely covered by white latex paint. Saville said officials knew the second mural existed, but couldn’t find it at first. Because of the painted condition of the wall, Ferrelli said it is impossible to tell what the mural depicts. Saville said he believes the mural depicts the … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:31:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Aurora man indicted on sex abuse charges ]]>

An Aurora man has been indicted on charges that he sexually abused a child under the age of 13, and failed to register as a sex offender in December, Kendall County Court records show. Bail for Tod Butts, 35, 600 block of Sheridan Avenue, Aurora, was set at $300,000 on April 10. Court records show that Butts has a previous Kane County conviction for a predatory criminal sexual assault that occurred in 1999. Butts was convicted in 2001, and sentenced to probation. His probation was later revoked after he committed an additional offense, court records show. In 2011, Butts was … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:32:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ex-PTA treasurer picked up on warrant ]]>

A former PTA treasurer, accused of taking $4,000 from an account for a Montgomery elementary school, was taken into custody at her Plainfield home recently, according to Kendall County Sheriff Deputy Bryan Harl. Meredith Henry, 36, was taken into custody at 7 a.m. April 8 at her home, Harl said. In March, Henry was charged with felony theft. A Kendall County judge issued a $7,500 warrant for her arrest. Henry was not immediately taken into custody. In April, that changed. When newspaper articles about Kendall County’s search for Henry caught the eyes of Plainfield police, they decided to pay Henry … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:32:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Montgomery man objects to concealed carry denial ]]>

A Montgomery man believes he was wrongly denied a concealed carry permit for a gun, and has requested a Kendall County judge review the case. In his petition for judicial review, filed earlier this month in Kendall County, James Starck said he was sent a notification of denial for his concealed carry permit application on March 19, and believes the determination of his ineligibility is “erroneous.” The petition states that Starck is over 21 years old, has a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID), has not been convicted of a violent crime or had DUI violations in the last five … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:32:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ On a mission to replace trees in Yorkville ]]> Lead story image

YORKVILLE — If Jennifer Slepicka has her way, Earth Day will be a big day for trees here. Slepicka, organizer of I Speak for the Trees, has planned special events for that day, which is April 22, and for other days near it, dedicated to raising money to plant trees in Yorkville to help deal with losses created by the Emerald Ash Borer. According to the state Department of Agriculture, the emerald ash borer is a small, metallic green pest whose larvae feed under the bark of ash trees, cutting off nutrient flow essential for a healthy tree. It has … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:30:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ St. Charles East teen performs with Poi Dog Pondering ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — Sixteen-year-old Draven Hutcheson is excited to take violin out of the “classical confines” Friday night. That’s when Draven, a St. Charles East junior, will perform live with fusion-folk band Poi Dog Pondering at the Paramount Theatre. Susan Volez, Poi Dog’s founding violinist, will give her six young string students the opportunity to perform live for a crowd of 1,700. Hutcheson has been playing the violin since third grade, when he came home and told his mom that the instrument “made his heart sing,” his mother Linda Hutcheson said. “I don’t know where that came from in the third … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:31:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oswego School District approves  $3.6 million in maintenance projects ]]>

OSWEGO — The Oswego District 308 School Board unanimously approved about $3.6 million in maintenance projects planned for this summer, which will include improving both high school tracks, repairing pavement surfaces and fixing Oswego High’s tennis courts. About $2.3 million of that sum will be dedicated to maintenance projects, while about $1.4 million is slated for safety repairs, such as fixing chillers, boilers, roofing, flooring and fire alarms. As required by law, most of the individual projects will need to be approved a second time by the school board after they go out for bid because they are expected to … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:36:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Arts community colleagues remember Ray Shepardson: ‘He loved the Paramount’ ]]> Lead story image

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 say jumped to his death from the roof of the parking garage at the Hollywood Casino. “He loved the Paramount, for sure. But we were also close personal friends.” The two men met a decade ago when Rater was executive director of the Metropolis Theatre in Arlington Heights, and Shepardson, who built an impressive resume … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:30:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Attorney general wants Aurora man classified as sexually violent person ]]>

Two decades ago, former Aurora resident Joseph Gonzalez sexually assaulted a number of women before he was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1998. As his release date quickly approaches, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office has filed a petition asking that Gonzalez, 49, doesn’t get the chance to re-offend. Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is seeking to have Gonzalez classified as a sexually violent person, which means he could be detained for the rest of his life by Illinois’ Department of Human Services. Illinois law requires that anyone convicted of certain types of sex offenses be evaluated before the … ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:31:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sandwich sex offender charged ]]>

A Sandwich man has been charged with failing to register as a sex offender after an anonymous tip came in that he wasn’t living at his registered address. Robert Farmer, 42, listed his address on the 1000 block of East Third Street in Sandwich. However, the address he put down belongs to a business, police said. Sandwich police took Farmer into custody earlier this week. Aurora Someone stole two laptop computers, an iPod, stereo equipment, video games and jewelry, worth more than $1,400, sometime between 8:50 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. Wednesday from a home in the 700 block of Fifth … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:47:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oswego board considers school staffing plan ]]> Lead story image

If the Oswego District 308 School Board approves the staffing plan put forward this week by the district, fewer than five new positions would be added next year to accommodate more than 540 new students, and no extra money would be spent on staff. District officials were tasked with developing a more efficient staffing plan without exceeding the current budget. To do that, the district moved around existing staffers, took advantage of resignations and retirements and cut back on “overloads” in the older grades. Overloads happen when teachers take on an extra class beyond what’s stipulated in their contract, resulting … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:29:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Shark Tank’ puts Sugar Grove men on fast track ]]> Lead story image

Sugar Grove business partners Stan Krozel and Kevin Ullery landed a deal on the national television show “Shark Tank” to bring their trackless train amusement rides to malls across the country. “We are going to bring a trackless train in every mall in America!” Krozel exclaimed on the program that aired at 8 p.m. Friday on ABC. “Shark Tank” involves a group of businesspeople looking to invest in businesses and products around the country. The investors are called “the sharks” and include billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks; real estate … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:29:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Loaded gun in school locker; teen charged ]]>

A 13-year-old boy has been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after a loaded handgun was found inside his locker at an Aurora middle school Monday afternoon. The gun was discovered at around 2:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School, 231 Constitution Drive, after a teacher at the school apparently saw a group of students milling around the boy’s locker. After telling them to move along, she and another administrator searched the locker based on the students’ suspicious behavior and discovered the gun inside of a book bag. The preliminary investigation indicates that the student, who is in eighth … ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:28:53 -0500