Articles filed under North Aurora

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  • Author Sam Weller Shares Work at College of DuPage Writers Read Series Mar 23, 2015 5:43 PM
    Acclaimed author and authorized Ray Bradbury biographer Sam Weller recently read and discussed his work as part of the “Writers Read” series sponsored by the Creative Writing Committee, Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club and the Liberal Arts division at College of DuPage. Click to view more images or a video from the event. Weller is the authorized biographer of Ray Bradbury. His book “The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury” was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and winner of the 2005 Society of Midland Authors Award for Best Biography and a Bram stoker award finalist. (Press Photography Network/ Special to College of DuPage)

  • College of DuPage Offers New Game Animation and Design Degree Mar 23, 2015 5:36 PM
    College of DuPage is offering a new Game Animation and Design degree that will give students the skills to design video and computer games across multiple platforms. Recently approved by the Illinois Community College Board, the associate in applied science degree will provide the knowledge for students to gain entry-level positions as a designer and animator in such fields as game development and design, broadcast design, and television effects. “The digital revolution has created jobs that never existed before, while other jobs continue to evolve because of the rapid advancement of technology,” said Erin Birt, Chair of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees. “Students earning this degree will find work creating everything from mobile applications to corporate videos.” John Kronenburger, Associate Dean of Technology, said the degree is a collaborative effort between the Computer Information System and Animation programs at COD. The new degree consists of 68 credit hours and combines existing courses from both programs in a new way. “We are taking both design and development skills that have been taught separately and integrating them together for the first time,” he said. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for software publishers, including game development, is expected to increase 30 percent through 2018. Tony Venezia, Professor of Motion Picture/Television and Animation, said Illinois is the sixth highest state in the nation for game development. More than 49 game development companies and 48 animation companies are located in the Chicago region, as well as one of the fastest-growing independent game development markets in the country. “This is a unique degree because we are combining classic animation techniques with video game skills and integrating animation into two- and three-dimensional programming,” he said. “It’s exciting to bring these areas together because of the tremendous potential for student success in the workplace.” For more information, call (630) 942-2020, (630) 942-2599 or email

  • COD physics professor gets nailed in class Mar 23, 2015 6:35 PM
    College of DuPage physics professor David Fazzini lies on a bed of nails as physics professor Tom Carter smashes a cinder block on top of him. The demonstration in Fazzini’s Physics 1100 class was part of a lecture on the principles of energy.

  • Teen art contest winner donates prize money to Haley’s Playground Mar 23, 2015 5:49 PM
    The awesome things teenagers do never cease to amaze me. After the winners of the Aurora Public Library’s Art of Technology contest were announced at the March First Friday event in downtown Aurora, I made my way through the crowd at If These Walls Could Talk to chat with some of the winners. Sisters Natalia and Karolina Hrehorowicz were two winners in the high school division. Karolina, 15, won the second prize of $250, and Natalia, 14, won $125 for third place. “What are you going to do with the money?” I asked. Karolina said she wasn’t quite sure, but her eyes lit up when I asked her if she might buy art supplies. Natalia didn’t hesitate before answering, “I am donating my prize money to Haley’s Playground.” Both girls volunteer at Haley’s Playground, a nonprofit organization that provides a safe environment for individuals with physical, cognitive and social disabilities. Its mission is to improve quality of life through play, exercise, activity and health education. Haley’s Playground began in the North Aurora Activity Center four years ago, but now is located at Keeler Center at 409 New Indian Trail Court next to Hope Wall School on Aurora’s west side. Haley’s Playground founder and president Jackie Olson hopes to soon move into a larger space that will be in a more central location. Both Hrehorowicz girls are involved in a fundraiser for Haley’s Playground on May 2 and 3. In fact, they are more that just involved. They are organizing it (with help from their mom, Aneta Cop). I spoke with Aneta when I visited Haley’s Playground on Saturday, March 14. “I was looking for some community service opportunities for my girls to do,” Aneta said. “Natalia had mentioned she would like to be an elementary school teacher. When I found the Haley’s Playground website, I called and asked if they were accepting volunteers.” Of course, Olson, mom of the playground’s namesake, Haley, said yes. “High school students have to have community service hours, so they call me all the time,” Jackie said. She has accepted volunteers from East and West Aurora high schools as well as Metea, the school the Hrehorowicz girls attend, and many others. The help is welcome, Jackie said, because kids who come to Haley’s Playground need one-on-one attention. She added that today’s volunteers may become tomorrow’s teachers, doctors, social workers and perhaps even parents of special needs children. The indoor playground is full of fun things to do, including two inflatable jumping houses, a swing, musical instruments, exercise equipment, a climbing wall and more. There also is a low-lit, quiet room for children who need to take a break from the activity. Jackie said some children ask for volunteers Karolina and Natalia, which shows her how well they are able to connect with them. She also said the girls are committed and enthusiastic. “They bring a lot of energy into the room, and I can tell they are there because they want to be… not just for the community service hours,” Jackie said. “They’re dedicated, their hearts are in it and it motivates them to continue and strive further. When people see the need and the difference we are making and they see that every little bit helps the program grow, they support it.” Because Haley’s Playground is a 501(c) 3 organization, donations and fundraisers are its only source of income. There is no charge for anyone to use Haley’s Playground, and it offers programs for those ages 2 to 30. That is why the May 2 and 3 fundraiser that the Hrehorowicz girls are organizing is so important. “Ace it for Autism” is set for 7 8 p.m. May 2 and 3 at Great Lakes Volleyball Center, 579 N. Oakhurst Drive on Aurora’s far east side. There will be games, raffles and a silent auction. To make a donation or learn more about the fundraiser, call 630-777-5045 or 630-450-0763. Dave Hendrix of North Aurora brings his son, Ryan, 8, to Haley’s Playground on Saturday mornings. “It’s really nice to have a place for him to play,” Hendrix said. “He’s much more social now between the therapies he has and coming here. But this is a chance for him to not only socialize, but in the winter, to let off some steam.” Nico Ocon, 11, was having a blast jumping in a bounce house and mugging for the camera. His dad, Junior, said Haley’s Playground is good for his son because his older brothers, 22 and 19, don’t have a lot of time to hang out with him. “He doesn’t get to play much with other kids,” Junior said. “It’s a little different to play with him. But to bring him here on Saturdays is great. At home, we have dogs, but he gets bored. He wants to interact with other kids.” Dance, gymnastics, swimming and soccer all are part of the fun. Upcoming programs will include yoga, cooking and fine arts. Self-care skills including tooth-brushing and face-washing, also will be taught, all by volunteers. (Olson, an occupational therapist, teaches, but she takes no salary for the work she does.) There are also birthday party and field trip opportunities. Teens have their own night and adults have their own time as well. Natalia is the volleyball player of the two Hrehorowicz sisters (hence the connection to Great Lakes Volleyball Center), while Karolina is the “true artist,” according to them both. “I was born with the artistic ability,” Karolina said. (She designed the Ace it for Autism logo for the fundraiser.) Her entry in the art contest was a computer graphics project for school titled “Chandelier.” Natalia’s entry was a black-and-white photograph titled, “Changed my Life.” While Natalia is donating her winnings to Haley’s Playground, Karolina purchased an art desk with half of the money and put the rest into a college account. She hopes to study art and become a cartoonist/animator, but she also loves her genetics class and may give some thought to a career as a geneticist. Natalia is still mulling becoming a teacher, or, perhaps a lawyer. Olson was surprised to hear that Natalia would donate her winnings to Haley’s Playground. But it also made sense to her. “When people can see the positive outcomes from Haley’s Playground, they want to donate and make it even better,” she said. For more information about Haley’s Playground, check out their website:

  • Local Girl Scouts attend United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Mar 23, 2015 6:59 PM
    Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois recently sent Girl Scouts Emily Bettler, 16, of South Elgin, Lindsay Schwartz, 18, of Kildeer, and Stefany Veldhuizen, 17, of Sycamore to participate as delegates in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

  • HCE, U of I Extension present ‘Eating Well as You Age’ Mar 23, 2015 7:57 PM
    Eating well does not mean dieting. It is part of a healthy lifestyle, and may be best achieved in small steps. However, as we age, our nutritional needs change and we should focus on nutrient dense choices. “Eating Well as You Age” is a University of Illinois Extension educational program designed to help participants explore the benefits of healthy eating habits at any age.

  • Fittest Loser candidates soldier on with support Mar 24, 2015 2:33 PM
    Like any journey, it's always better to go through it with the support of others. Contestants in the Fittest Loser Challenge, organized by the Daily Herald and Push Fitness in Schaumburg, are discovering that support is coming out of the woodwork. "If I didn't have her support, I would have been off the wagon a long time ago,” Robert Patterson said of his wife, Mary.

  • Enjoy Arcada organ concert Sunday Mar 18, 2015 6:48 PM
    The Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts will host a free organ concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at the Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles. Due to the upcoming restoration of the 3/16 Marr Colton/Geneva organ, it could be a while before you get a chance to hear the organ again.

  • Get ready to ‘LOL’ for good cause at new Girl Scout event Mar 17, 2015 3:35 PM
    Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois is proud to present, for the first time ever, “LOL with GSNI!” This fundraising event on Friday, April 10, will feature performers from the Second City Conservatory, The Annoyance Theatre and One Group Mind, as well as dinner, a silent auction, and cash bar.

  • Kiwanis member involved 65 years in Aurora Pancake Day Mar 18, 2015 9:29 PM
    Ninety-seven year-old G. William “Bill” Moore has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Aurora since 1950. And each year he has been involved with the annual Kiwanis Pancake Day fundraiser. He remembers the early years when pancake legend “Aunt Jemima” (Etta Johnson) flew-in by helicopter or came by train. In 1957, Aurora held a parade with Aunt Jemima. On Saturday, March 21, the community is invited to the 65th Kiwanis Pancake Day from 7 a.m. to noon at Aurora Central Catholic High School.

  • Health Insurance for People 65 + Years Mar 17, 2015 3:12 PM
    This lesson will explore the options and tools necessary for health insurance decisions by people approaching or whom are already on Medicare.

  • Sweet spring: Nature center to host MapleFest Mar 16, 2015 4:30 PM
    Red Oak Nature Center will offer an early, sweet taste of spring Saturday, March 21, when the annual MapleFest takes place. The event is free and open to the public; however, registration is requested for groups of 10 or more.

  • Easter egg hunt for adults by moonlight and flashlight Mar 16, 2015 7:42 PM
    With flashlight in hand, adults, age 18 and older, are invited to search for Easter eggs from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 27, and Saturday, March 28, at Boy Scout Camp Big Timber in Elgin. The first-ever Three Fires Council Adult Flashlight Egg Hunt includes 6,000 numbered plastic Easter eggs scattered over 10 acres of wooded campground. Select eggs will be redeemable for prizes. The grand prize (each night) is a 42-inch flat screen television.

  • Home Show returns to St. Charles this weekend Mar 16, 2015 9:18 PM
    Back for their 56th season of doing shows in the Chicago area, The Home Shows, Inc. will hold their annual gala of exhibitors at St. Charles’ Kane County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22. Residents in the Fox Valley suburbs are invited to attend this free exposition with free parking. They will see the latest in home remodeling and repair products and services.

  • Tanner Road in North Aurora reopens after crash Mar 15, 2015 3:49 PM
    North Aurora police have reopened Tanner Road between Western Drive and Meade Boulevard after it was closed this morning while they investigated a traffic crash in the area.

  • Geneva church “Commits to Knit” to help women, children in distress Mar 13, 2015 11:43 PM
    More than 30 members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva are using their knitting and crocheting skills to make a difference in the world. The church’s Commit to Knit group creates one-of-a-kind handcrafted items — scarves, shawls, baby blankets, clothing, dolls and more — which are donated to women and children in need locally and globally.

  • Candidate puts heart into all Mar 13, 2015 12:01 AM
    A North Aurora letter to the editor: After serving with North Aurora Village Trustee Mark Guethle, I will be voting to retain Mark on April 7.

  • Display your skills for collegiate coaches at JUCO Spring Hoops Showcase Mar 13, 2015 11:49 PM
    High school and junior college men’s and women’s basketball players with collegiate aspirations are invited to display their talents for coaches at the JUCO 2015 Spring Showcase. The event takes place on Saturday, April 25, at Judson University in Elgin.

  • Tri-Cities police reports Mar 16, 2015 5:36 PM
    Carl L. Waver, 50, of Batavia, was charged with disobeying stop signs and fleeing the police at 9:06 p.m. Sunday on Wagner Road, according to a police report.

  • Bring your items to Kane County Recycles event Mar 12, 2015 1:31 PM
    The Kane County Recycles event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 14, behind the Kane County Circuit Clerk’s Office at 540 S. Randall in St. Charles. This month’s event will feature document shredding.

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