Beacon News Latest news from Beacon News Online en-us (Editor) Beacon News 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![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[ Aurora man convicted of molesting child for two years ]]>

An Aurora man faces up to seven years in prison after being convicted of repeatedly molesting a child under 13 over a period of two years. Joe H. Alvarez, 32, of the 0-99 block of Jackson Place in Aurora, was convicted Thursday of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony, according to a statement from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office. A jury deliberated for about four hours before reaching its verdict, and Judge Susan Clancy Boles set motions and sentencing for Aug. 27, when Alvarez will face three to seven years in prison, prosecutors said. … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:14:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ East must rebid food contract ]]>

AURORA — East Aurora School District must rebid its food services contract after state officials found an “irregularity” with paperwork submitted by a vendor in the original bid, district officials said. After approving a $4.5 million bid from food services provider Sodexo late last month, the East Aurora School Board voted unanimously earlier this week to reject all five bids it had received and to redo its bidding process. The state requested that East Aurora rebid its contract, the district said. Bernard Weiler, an attorney for the district, said as part of the bid prep process Sodexo, which already held … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:30:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kendall County jail revenue down a bit ]]>

Revenue Kendall County gets for housing inmates from other counties at its jail has decreased. The amount should dip below the $1 million mark by the end of the fiscal year, although housing inmates from other counties still should bring in $800,000 to $900,000 this year, Sheriff Richard Randall said. Randall said there is no particular reason for the decrease, except that “inmate housing in Illinois is down” in general. “Emergency response is emergency response,” Randall said. “The situation is unpredictable. In a heartbeat, things can change.” The Kendall County jail has a capacity of 205 inmates and averages about … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:42:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ After 10,000 autopsies, well-known suburban Chicago pathologist retiring to work with young ]]> Lead story image

GENEVA — After exploring dead bodies for 34 years, Dr. Larry Blum is leaving his career working with the dead so he can work with young people, as a 69-year-old dad and teacher. Blum, a freelance forensic pathologist who lives in Rockford, has done many of the autopsies in the collar counties around Chicago since the 1980s. Three days a week, he could be found in the morgue of the Kane County Coroner’s Office in Geneva, using his scientific skills to unearth the truth behind another mystery death. But he said he plans to retire from most of his jobs, … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:35:54 -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[ Roskam falls short in bid for GOP leadership post ]]> Lead story image

WASHINGTON — Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, a former aide elected to Congress in his own right less than eight years ago, won election as House majority leader Thursday as fellow Republicans shuffled their leadership in the wake of Rep. Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, 48, was elected to replace McCarthy as whip as the rank and file opted to put a red-state Republican at the leadership table. Scalise defeated Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana to win his race. He campaigned as head of the Republican Study Conference, a group … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:34:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rep. Hatcher’s traveling office coming to North Aurora ]]>

State Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) will bring her traveling office to North Aurora’s Village Hall, 25 E. State St., from 9 a.m. to noon June 24 to talk about issues in the 50th District. Walk-ins are welcome. Constituents are welcome at Hatcher’s Yorkville office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 630-553-3223 or by email at … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:58:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wandering bear draws crowds in west Ill. ]]> Lead story image

MOUNT MORRIS, Ill. — A young black bear which has been roaming northwestern Illinois this spring drew dozens of curious onlookers when he took refuge in an oak tree after ambling through the small Ogle County town, prompting fresh pleas from wildlife officials to leave the youngster alone. The latest sighting was on Wednesday, when the bear — which has inspired his own Facebook page — climbed a tree on Suzanne Felker’s farm outside of Mount Morris to take a snooze. Felker, who lives in nearby Rochelle and leases her property, said she hurried over after receiving a call from … ]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 02:34:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ New principals hired for Indian Prairie schools ]]>

A handful of new administrators were appointed to fill vacancies in Indian Prairie School District 204. At her first School Board meeting as superintendent on Monday night, Karen Sullivan called for the hiring of two middle school principals, an elementary principal and the director of support services. The School Board approved the hire of Autumn Desiderio, who will move from one end of the school district to the other. Desiderio, who has been assistant principal at Crone Middle School in Naperville since 2011 will move over to Granger Middle School in Aurora to take over as principal. She started her … ]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:59:57 -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[ 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[ 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[ 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[ 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