Beacon News Latest news from Beacon News Online en-us (Editor) Beacon News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Boatright’s mom talks about struggles, triumphs of raising her gifted son ]]> Lead story image

AURORA— Bringing up Boatright wasn’t easy. In an impassioned speech at her son’s hometown celebration over the weekend, Tanesha Boatright touched on her journey as teen mother to NCAA basketball champion Ryan Boatright. With a hoarse voice from cheering on the UConn guard, the single mother of four said raising the basketball star presented a number of obstacles. In high school, Tanesha gave up her own dreams as a track-star standout to give birth to a son. “(After) getting pregnant ... and not knowing why God chose me and not knowing why I didn’t get to continue my journey of … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:11:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oberweis apologizes as GOP leaders urge action on immigration ]]> Lead story image

Before a standing-room-only crowd of immigration reform activists, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Oberweis on Tuesday offered a mea culpa for a track record of taking harsh stances on illegal immigrants. Speaking at the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition alongside a Mount Rushmore of Illinois Republicans, Oberweis admitted he was known as a “hawk” on immigration reform but said he has evolved on the issue over the last decade. Oberweis was among a slew of GOP political heavyweights attending the event aimed at urging Illinois’ U.S. House delegation to vote on a measure to reform immigration. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, former … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:32:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Credit card glitch zaps Verizon customer’s balance ]]> Lead story image

Richard Cooper, of Park Ridge, called on Help Squad to ask for our assistance on a problem with his cell phone carrier, Verizon. Cooper explained that he is on an automatic payment plan with the company. For $15 per month, which gets deducted from his credit card, he is charged per minute for his phone usage. He said the rate plan had been working out well, but thanks to the identity breach Target, his old card was considered at risk, and his credit card company issued a new card. Cooper realized he had to change his credit card information with … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:18:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Woman charged with fraud at Aurora casino ]]>

When security officers at Hollywood Casino in Aurora noticed a young woman withdrawing thousands of dollars in cash advances in a very short period of time on Tuesday evening, their suspicions grew. Employees contacted an Illinois Gaming Board special agent who was in the casino to help investigate the situation. The agent approached the woman, Natasha Stritesky, of Sycamore, near the casino restrooms. He asked to see her credit cards, and discovered she had numerous cards in her purse, along with thousands of dollars in cash. Stritesky was escorted to an office for a more extensive interview, and what the … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:30:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oak Park Elementary students in Aurora safe after gas smell detected ]]>

AURORA — East Aurora School District is working to fix a boiler that caused a natural gas odor at Oak Park Elementary on Wednesday. School staff smelled natural gas near the kindergarten and preschool classes in the morning before students arrived at school. School staff called district officials at 7:15 a.m. and 15 minutes later a building and grounds official was on site investigating the issue. Building and grounds staff and a contractor turned off a boiler that was emitting excess gas and opened the windows, which caused the smell to dissipate, according to district spokesman Matt Hanley. After ventilating … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:43:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Yorkville lowers senior garbage subsidy ]]>

YORKVILLE – Aldermen here this week officially reduced the garbage collection subsidy for senior citizens. It’s a cut the City Council agreed to last year, but was unable to get enacted until now. It will go into effect in May, which is the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year. “Our rates are low compared to other communities,” said Alderman Chris Funkhouser, 3rd Ward. “Most cities don’t even have a senior rate.” The rate for all senior households has been 50 cents a month, compared to $17.61 a month for everyone else. That subsidy cost the city $143,000 this budget year. … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:52:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sewer project to disrupt traffic on Aurora’s Southwest Side ]]>

AURORA — A sewer replacement project on the city’s near Southwest Side will affect traffic beginning next week at the intersection of River and Prairie streets. Aurora officials expect intermittent lane closures, and at times, complete closure of the intersection, said Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli. The sewer replacement project is expected to be completed three weeks after work starts, he said. Traffic will be detoured when complete closures are necessary. When part of River Street is closed, traffic will detour to Second Avenue, to Lake Street, to Gale Street, and back to River for northbound traffic; and Gale, to Lake, … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:36:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oswego eyes app to help report concerns ]]> Lead story image

The village of Oswego will launch a new initiative that will provide a way for residents to report non-emergency concerns any time of day from a mobile device or home computer. The citizen engagement mobile application is designed to encourage citizens to be proactive about such common occurrences as vandalism or a broken streetlight without having to call Village Hall. “Residents can download the application and by using either a smart phone or home computer (ideally with a photo) report the problem,” said Mark Horton, village finance director. Horton said the report would be routed to the appropriate department. Horton … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:57:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ East Aurora officials recommend buses for kindergarten center ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — East Aurora School District administrators are recommending that the district provide buses for kindergarten students who will attend school at the new East Indian Trail facility in August. At the earliest, the school board could vote on whether or not to provide transportation on May 19. “If we don’t have transportation we’re concerned that the neediest of those students then will opt out,” Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Beatrice Reyes Childress told the school board on Monday. “We want to make sure that all students have an equal opportunity to go, regardless of whether or not their parents … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:10:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Aurora City Council OKs outlet mall development deal ]]> Lead story image

AURORA – The city approved a final plan and development agreement that will make way for a much bigger outlet mall next year. Aldermen voted 11-0 Tuesday night to kick $21.5 million to $24 million in tax increment financing funds to offset the cost of the expansion of the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. The actual TIF funding will depend on the build-out of the mall, which is estimated to cost $110 million. TIF dollars from the newly-created TIF District 8 will be distributed to Simon Property Group after the expansion is built and as property tax dollars are available … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:18:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Push on to improve dam in Batavia on Fox River ]]> Lead story image

Batavia Alderman Dan Chanzit thinks it is high time something is done to improve the North Batavia Dam on the Fox River. “If we don’t do anything to the dam, it will continue to fall apart. It has already been breached and Mother Nature will make the decision for us,” the 3rd Ward alderman said. Chanzit received support from the City Council Monday night to direct staff to prepare a plan for reviving discussions about the crumbling structure located north of the Batavia Government Center. Dams along the Fox River have been in the news lately, after a 26-year old … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:29:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Yorkville OKs increase in water, sewer rates ]]>

YORKVILLE — The City Council Tuesday night raised water and sewer rates here beginning in May. The water increase will be about 45 cents a month for minimal users, which is about 10 percent of households, and about $5 a month for the average user, or about 65 percent of households, according to city staff. The rate will increase by another $5 a month for average users in each of the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, too. It will increase by 50 cents a month for minimal users in 2016, and by $1 a month in 2017. The rate increase … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:52:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Car burglaries reported at Kendall apartments ]]>

Kendall County Sheriff’s deputies are reminding residents to keep their vehicles locked after four vehicle owners reported having their cars damaged or burglarized on the same block Saturday night. Police said the cars were parked in the Harbor Drive apartment complex, near Route 52 and Ridge Road, and were damaged sometime overnight Saturday, into Sunday morning. Items taken from the vehicles ranged from stereo equipment to loose change, deputies said. Aurora Two lawn aerators, worth $5,000, were stolen from a trailer parked in a lot in the 1000 block of Rural Street sometime between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:28:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Two evening trains on BNSF line canceled ]]>

Metra officials are adjusting service on the BNSF line for Tuesday’s evening rush after a mechanical problem forced the cancellation of two west suburban trains. Inbound train No. 1270, which was scheduled to leave Aurora and arrive downtown at 4:44 p.m., experienced a mechanical problem leaving the Aurora yard and will not run, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said. The same train usually turns around to provide outbound service as train No. 1261, scheduled to arrive at Route 59 at 6:09 p.m., Gillis said. That run will also be canceled. To accommodate some of the passengers, outbound train No. 1263, leaving … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:42:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Former East Board president loses finance committee post ]]> Lead story image

AURORA — Former East Aurora School Board president Annette Johnson will no longer chair the group’s personnel and finance committee, a leadership position she had held for five years. Newly-elected East Aurora School Board President Raymond Hull announced the new chairs of the school board’s four committees on Monday night. The new personnel and finance committee chair will be Mary Lou Peryea. The other chair assignments remained the same: Stella Gonzalez will chair the curriculum committee, Richard Leonard will chair the buildings and grounds committee and Kirsten Strand will chair the student-parent enrichment committee. Hull, who has the authority to … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:28:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Man accused of damaging church property ]]>

An Elgin man has been charged with causing more than $4,000 in damage at an Aurora church property, including damaging items stored to help displaced families. He also threatened that he planted bombs on the property, police said. Aurora police said a church employee showed up at the farm house property owned by Crossroads Community Church around 9:20 a.m. Sunday and noticed a man wearing a hard hat and covered in paint standing in the parking lot of the property in the 3000 block of Lundquist Drive. The witness said that scattered around the man were several items that had … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:28:01 -0500