Beacon News Latest news from Beacon News Online en-us (Editor) Beacon News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Rookie robotics team from Yorkville takes programming award ]]> Lead story image

ELGIN — Twenty-five teams of middle-school students from DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties displayed their technical, creative and teamwork skills March 22 during the 4-H Robotics Box Bot Showcase. Throughout the afternoon, 4-H’ers showcased their Lego Mindstorm robots in creativity, table performance and technical categories. They also completed a teamwork challenge without their Bots. The event was led by 4-H Robotics Team “got robot?,” which competes at the FIRST Tech Challenge level, and was hosted by University of Illinois Extension at Abbott Middle School in Elgin. The 2014 4-H Robotics Box Bot Showcase Championship went home with Trinity Trailblazers Team … ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:33:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ East Aurora Middle students show off spelling skills ]]> Lead story image

Put this story down. Hand the newspaper (or iPhone or laptop) to a friend. OK, now have your friend read these words so you can try to spell them: Disarray. Vivacious. Monochrome. Armistice. Rosin. Bulbous. How’d you do? Not to rub it in, but if you missed any, just know these were a few of the words spelled correctly by East Aurora students during the recent Middle School Spelling Bee. For some people, spelling is easy. For the rest of us, geting wurds exactlee write can bee sew harde. For the District’s brightest sixth, seventh and eighth grade students, the … ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:12:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Batavia school girls raise funds to fight muscular dystrophy ]]> Lead story image

On March 23, more than 100 people came out to Bethany Lutheran for an afternoon of bingo and fun and community kinship all motivated by a common cause — to help a local girl named Alice raise money and awareness to fight a terrible disease. ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:34:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ ]]>

Trivia Night: Tommy’s Gift and the Plano Building Community host Trivia Night on Saturday, April 26, at the Plano American Legion, 510 E. Dearborn Street in Plano. Trivia Night will benefit the Jared Knispel Extreme Home Makeover project May 23–26, 2014. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. Come out for a night of family fun and fundraising. $10 at the door for two hours of trivia fun, silent auctions, raffles, and giveaways for all who attend. If you would like more information on the makeover project or make a donation, please visit at … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:23:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Faith Briefs: Churches plan community events ]]>

Aurora ‘The Living Last Supper’ Wesley United Methodist Church will host a production of “The Living Last Supper,” based on Earnest K. Emurian’s script and Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper. This free event is at 7 p.m. April 18 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 14 N. May St., Aurora. The 12 disciples asking that important question “Is it I?” in reference to the betrayal of Jesus. Refreshments will be served after the performance. Babysitting will be available. Tickets are available at or from Wesley UMC. Visit or, call the church office at 630-896-1033, Jim … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:06:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sandwich farmers emphasize food safety ]]> Lead story image

Home cooks know there is nothing like fresh-from-the-farm produce. However, food-borne illnesses have made the headlines several times in recent years, with recalls of spinach, lettuce and other produce, which cause concern. Unlike food processing facilities, there are few laws in place for farmers. ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:33:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ In Our Towns ]]>

Aurora Lions Club pancake breakfast The Aurora Noon Lions club will hold its sixth annual Pancakes with the Easter Bunny breakfast fundraiser from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at Luigi’s Pizza and Fun Center, 732 Prairie St. in Aurora. The menu includes all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausages, mini donuts, orange juice and coffee or milk. Seconds on pancakes are free. Free color photos with the Easter Bunny will be taken and available in minutes. Photographers are invited to take their own photos with the bunny. Easter holiday photo frames will be available for a nominal fee. Tickets are $5 for … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:29:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Extension offers workshop on making landscape plan ]]>

Join University of Illinois Extension for a three-hour workshop May 14 to learn how to plan a landscape you can enjoy and maintain. Horticulture educator Richard Hentschel will share the basics of landscape design for the home gardener. “The landscape plan puts ideas on paper for your property,” Hentschel said. “Your property features, budget, skill level, project timeline and level of commitment to yard work, all should factor in to your landscape choices. No matter what the design, success starts with a plan.” This workshop will be at 9 a.m. to noon May 14 at the Kane County Extension office, … ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:19:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fox Valley Park District issues call for bluebird monitors ]]> Lead story image

With the valuable help of community volunteers, the Fox Valley Park District has instituted a Bluebird Boxes Monitoring Program to help facilitate the recovery of bluebird populations and increase their presence in our parks and public places. ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:31:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kendall County Animal Control: Pet needs identification ]]>

National Pet ID Week, April 20 through 26, is the perfect time of year to focus on identification for pets. The number of animals running loose typically increases during spring and summer because people are more likely to be outside, kids are home from school and may accidently leave gates or doors open, fireworks can startle pets, as well as a variety of other reasons. During this time, there is an increased number of animals that come into Animal Control. One of the main goals of Animal Control is to reunite lost pets with their owners. We use every resource … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:49:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Tabletop strategy games still popular, create sense of community ]]> Lead story image

While the term “gaming culture” invokes images of solitary teens playing video games, playing tabletop strategy games often results in the opposite. Some long-time players say they create a sense of community. Roger Mills, of Geneva, has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1986, and still plays with the same group every Sunday night. “At work I talk to people I work with, at home I talk to my family, so gaming gives me that opportunity to talk with others outside of my day-to-day world,” Mills said. Dungeons and Dragons is often noted as the father of role-playing games and … ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:44:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Master Gardeners: Reasons to mulch plentiful ]]> Lead story image

Spring is the prime time to be out in the yard spreading mulch in garden beds and around trees. If you are considering this for your home for the first time or even if you have spread mulch in the past, it’s helpful to have an understanding of what mulching accomplishes. Organic mulches, those made of plant materials, perform a double duty in the garden. First, they improve the growing conditions of plants and trees by helping soil retain moisture and greatly reduce the amount of watering needed. Mulches ease soil temperature fluctuations, keeping them cooler in the summer and … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:19:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ The Sports Doctor: Pros and cons of running barefoot ]]> Lead story image

I’ve had many questions and inquiries about those minimalist running shoes and about the trend of the less shoe the better, as well as the hoopla about the barefoot running trend. Since the running boom really got started more than 35 years ago, there have been lots of studies on the role of running shoes, and tremendous advances in materials and components of shoes. All the major brands have poured millions of dollars and countless hours of research into what would best protect runners and running/jumping athletes from all sorts of foot and lower leg problems. For the most part, … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:55:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fundraising run at Danada will benefit respiratory health research ]]> Lead story image

On Saturday, April 19, the run/walk event Miles To Go will kick off at Danada in Wheaton. The fundraiser will benefit respiratory research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:51:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Aurora Police Department participates in drug take-back ]]>

The Aurora Police Department will join law enforcement agencies nationwide as they partner with the Drug Enforcement Administration in collecting expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at the front desk of the department’s headquarters, 1200 E. Indian Trail. The National Take-Back Initiative is the fifth in which Aurora Police have participated. According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined. That … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:34:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Good Cause: Yorkville native runs for Boston Marathon victims ]]> Lead story image

Growing up, Yorkville native and Aurora Christian High School graduate Melissa Steve’s sport of choice was basketball. Playing basketball at Aurora University, Steve also participated in cross country, but only when it didn’t interfere with basketball. As an adult, Steve said, running has become her passion. “I always have enjoyed distance running and competing,” she said. “It has been such a joy to me.” After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing April 15, Steve and the other members of the Cleveland, Tenn.,-based runners group the Half Warriors brainstormed about what they could do to show support for Boston and its running … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:31:51 -0500