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Article updated: 2/17/2013 5:38 PM

Kane County crime down, child support collection up

By Harry Hitzeman

The Kane County state's Attorney's office is expected next month to complete its 2012 annual report, but some early figures are in.

Two trends so far: Criminal prosecutions are down and child support collections are up.

Last year, prosecutors filed 2,620 felony cases, 5,584 misdemeanor cases, 1,585 DUI cases, 1,221 misdemeanor battery cases, and 747 juvenile delinquency petitions.

State's Attorney Joe McMahon said the 2012 figures were down in all five categories from 2011.

Kane officials helped collect $21.9 million in unpaid child support in 2012, which is a 23 percent increase from two years ago when $17.7 million was collected. In 2011, $19.3 million was collected.

Sugar Grove lands DUI grant: The Kane County DUI Task Force last week awarded Sugar Grove police an $8,200 grant for DUI enforcement during holiday weekends and special events this year and a couple of dates in 2014.

The money will help pay for special patrols during key events in which more impaired drivers are likely to be on the road.

According to police, some of these events/dates for the coming year are: The NCAA Final Four, July Fourth, Labor Day, Thanksgiving eve and New Year's Eve. Next year, key dates are Super Bowl Sunday and St. Patrick's Day.

"With over 32 percent of traffic accidents that involve fatalities it was found that the offending driver was impaired, it is vital that our officers remove and deter intoxicated motorists. Therefore this funding assists our officers in completing this important goal," Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said.

Scholarship winners: CASA Kane County has announced Judy Gilbert and Christine Peterson as the two winners of the Dottie Lowe Scholarship.

They will attend National CASA's annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., in April.

Gilbert, a Maple Park resident, has been a CASA volunteer for the last 10 years. Peterson, of Geneva, has volunteered at CASA for nine years.

The Dottie Lowe Scholarship originated with a startup grant from the Hanson/Furnas Electric Foundation, which made a donation in 1999 to CASA Kane County in memory of Lowe, an elementary school principal in Batavia.

Court appointed special advocates, or CASA, are specially trained volunteers that are appointed by the juvenile court judge to be a child's guardian ad litem, or GAL, for children up to 21 years old.

Last year, 264 active CASA volunteers helped 556 children. For more information, visit casakanecounty.org or call (630) 232-4484.

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