Friday, October 24, 2014

K.Hollis to welcome Congressman Hultgren



K.Hollis to welcome Congressman Hultgren
Our friends at K.Hollis Jewelers will host a gathering with Congressman Randy Hultgren at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30. The event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. K.Hollis Jewelers is located at 147 S. Randall Road, Batavia. For more information, call 630-879-8003.

Cantigny Park to host Veterans Day 5K run, pancake breakfast
Cantigny Park will conduct its annual Veterans Day 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m. Nov. 1. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton. In conjunction with the event, American Legion Cantigny Post 556 will host a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the park’s visitors center. The breakfast will include eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. For more information, call 630-260-8167.

Football we'll be following
Here are some of the football games we’ll be following this weekend. Enjoy the fun.

Oct. 25:
Minnesota at Illinois
Rutgers at Nebraska
NIU at Eastern Michigan
Missouri State at Illinois State

Oct. 26
Bears at Patriots
Green Bay at New Orleans

Oct. 27
Washington at Dallas

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Redbirds' success worthy of more attention

Brock Spack, Illinois State University football coach.

Illinois State University’s football team is 6-0 (3-0) as of Oct. 18, but many in Illinois, including many football fans, are not aware of the Redbirds’ success.

That’s too bad. Success should be applauded and studied, I think, and Brock Spack, ISU’s head coach, has the school’s football program on a winning path. Spack, a Rockford native, took over the ISU program in 2009. In 2012, Spack’s Redbirds posted a 9-4 record and their fourth consecutive winning season. ISU stumbled in 2013, finishing 5-6 overall. However, 2014 sees the Redbirds back to their winning ways.

ISU is ranked No. 9 in the nation in the FCS Coaches’ Poll and is tied with undefeated North Dakota State at the top of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. 

The Redbirds’ stats are impressive. The team posts points in every quarter of every game, and has outscored opponents 253 total points to 83. The Redbirds have a red-zone scoring average of 86% (61% touchdowns). ISU averages 42.2 points per game, mostly through rushing. 

I think it’s important to note Spack also recruits heavily in the state. Illinois residents make up nearly half of the team's player roster. Fox Valley residents might be interested to know the ISU team includes Barry Brannon of St. Charles, Christian Gibbs and Scott Kuehn of Aurora, Bryce Holm of Oswego, and Matt Biegalski of Winfield.

The Redbirds will host Missouri State, 4-3 (1-2) at 6 p.m. Oct. 25. It’s one of the games we will be following this weekend. Win or lose Saturday, we plan to follow the Redbirds through the remainder of the season.

We hope Spack and his Redbirds keep posting wins, and we hope the team receives the support and attention it deserves.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Waterline Writers to feature local columnist


Early October at West Main Community Park in Batavia.
Kevin Botterman photo

Waterline Writers event to feature KC Chronicle columnist
The Kane County Chronicle’s Jennifer DuBose will be the featured speaker Oct. 19 at the Waterline Writers literature event at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St. in downtown Batavia. The gathering also will feature other local writers, including Dolores Becker and Angela Ogburn. A $5 donation is suggested. 

Mothers Club to host annual crafts show
The Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation will conduct its 29th annual Arts & Crafts Show Oct. 25 at Batavia High School, 1201 Main St., Batavia. The show will include seasonal decor, jewelry and items for all ages. The event also will include a bake sale and raffle. The sale will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes a raffle ticket. 

Cantigny to host catapult contest
Cantigny Park will host a catapult contest at 10 a.m. Oct. 25. Contestants can compete in three categories — distance, shot group, and accuracy. Awards will be presented for 1st and 2nd place finishers in each category. The park is located at 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. For more information, call 630-688-5161.

Games we'll be following this weekend
We follow a variety of collegiate athletics, particularly football. However, we also make time to watch some NFL games. Here's a list of some of the games we'll be following this weekend. We always welcome suggestions and comments. If there's an upcoming contest you think we should watch, or a team we should follow, send us a note at kbotterman@gmail.com.

Oct. 18
Notre Dame at Florida State
Miami (Ohio) at NIU
Iowa State at Texas
Missouri at Florida
Georgia at Arkansas
Nebraska at Northwestern
Purdue at Minnesota

Oct. 19
Miami at Bears
Giants at Dallas
49s at Denver


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Monday, October 13, 2014

Elburn Lions to host book drive


Our friends at the Elburn Lions Club will conduct a book drive from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 18 at Lions Community Park, 500 Filmore St., Elburn. Books can be dropped off at the park’s south garage on Stetzer Avenue. The club is collecting new and gently used books for ages 1 to 18. 

Arts center sets reception for faculty show
The Fine Line Creative Arts Center, 37W570 Bolcum Road, St. Charles, will host a reception Oct. 17 to celebrate the opening of the 2014 Faculty Show. The reception will be conducted from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission is free. For more information about the event and gallery hours, call 630-584-9443. 

Haunted Quarry opens Oct. 17
The Batavia Park District’s Haunted Quarry opens Oct. 17 for the Halloween fright season at Hall Quarry Beach, 400 S. River St., Batavia. The Haunted Quarry will be open 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25. Admission is $8. 

Ride the rails with trolley museum's Ghost Story Train
The Fox Valley Trolley Museum will conduct its Ghost Story Train Oct. 18 and Oct. 25. The train will travel from the museum to the John Duerr Forest Preserve, where guests will hear ghost stories and enjoy treats around a campfire. The program is suitable for all ages, and guests are encouraged to attend in costume. Tickets are $13.50 for all ages and reservations are required. Trains will depart the museum at 5 p.m, 6:15  and 7:45. The museum is located at 365 S. LaFox St., (Route 31) in South Elgin. For more information, call 847-697-4676.

St. Charles church to host annual craft show
The St. Charles Episcopal Church will conduct its annual arts and craft show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18. The juried show will include autumn and holiday decorations, jewelry, toys and more. Admission is free. The church is located at 994 N. Fifth Ave., St. Charles. 

Lions club offers up annual German dinner
The Elburn Lions Club will host its annual German Dinner from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18. The buffet dinner will include bratwurst, pork loins, red cabbage, sauerkraut, spaetzel, German potato salad, pretzel rolls, dessert and coffee. A cash bar will offer German beer and wines. Tickets for the dinner are $13.50 for adults, $12.50 seniors age 65 and older, $9 for children ages 4 to 11. Children ages 3 and younger are admitted free. The club is located at 500 Filmore St., Elburn. For more information, call 630-365-6315.

St. Charles Park District, Steel Beam Theatre partner for Zombie 5K
The St. Charles Park District and the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles will partner to present Zombie Run, a 5K run and walk, at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Road, St. Charles. On-site registration will begin at 4 p.m. The registration fee is $25 for St. Charles Park District residents and $38 for nonresidents. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume, prizes will be awarded. For more information, go to www.stcparks.org.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Plenty of Fall activities set for October's first weekend



Batavia Vikings set annual Chili Cook-off

Batavia’s Viking Ring Lodge 18 will conduct its fourth annual Chili Cook-off at 1 p.m. Oct. 4 at the lodge, 104 N. Van Nortwick Ave., Batavia. The event is open to the public. Tickets for sampling the chili are $5 and can be purchased at the event. Lori and I always enjoy attending the event and sampling the many varieties of chili. I hope to see you there. The cook-off benefits the Batavia United Way and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp.  For more information, call 630-502-8335.

Cantigny Park to host Civil War Reenactment

Cantigny Park will host a Civil War Reenactment Oct 4. and Oct. 5. The event will include a Civil War cannon fire, living history portrayals, and educational activities for all ages. Visitors can watch portrayals of Civil War soldiers, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln and others. The event is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. There is a $5 per vehicle parking fee. The park is located at 1S151 S. Winfield Road, Wheaton. For more information, call 630-668-5161

Holmstad's annual bazaar features crafts and more

The Holmstad will conduct its 37th annual bazaar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 4. Shoppers will find hand-made crafts, gently used furniture and other items for the home. For more information, call 630-879-4000.

Elburn Lions Club plans Fall Classic All Wheel Show

The Elburn Lions Club will host its 21st annual Fall Classic All Wheel Show Oct. 5 at Lions Park, 500 S. Fillmore St., Elburn. The show will open at 8 a.m. and will feature 40 classes for cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The event also includes a craft show and children’s activities. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission is free for spectators. 

St. Mark's to offer annual Blessing of the Animals
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Geneva will conduct its annual Blessing of the Animals at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5 on the lawn of the old courthouse on Third Street in downtown Geneva. The public is invited to bring animals of all sizes, including dogs, cats, horses, cows, birds, pigs, turtles, snakes, and lizards. The church conducts the blessing in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
Garfield Farm’s celebrates Harvest Days
Garfield Farm Museum continues its Harvest Days celebration Oct. 5 with continuous demonstrations of 19th century farm skills. The day’s activities begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m. The event also will include period music and food. The museum is located on Garfield Road, north of Illinois Route 38 in Campton Hills. For more information, call 630-584-8485.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Batavia's annual Art In Your Eye Fest opens Sept. 19


The 10th annual Art In Your Eye Festival will open at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 in downtown Batavia and will continue through Sept. 21, offering exhibits, live music, and attractions for all ages.

The festival will be open 10 a.m. to 10: 30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For a schedule of events, click hereAdmission and parking are free.

The festival features a fine arts show, an exhibit at Batavia’s City Hall, the Avenue of the Arts, and children’s art activities. The festival also includes a beer and wine tent, and activities at the Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave. Food will be available for purchase.

Friday’s schedule includes musical entertainment by Noah’s Arcade at 6 p.m. and Libido Funk Circus at 8 p.m. 

Saturday’s musical entertainment schedule features performances by Spectators at 6 p.m. and Modern Day Romeos at 8 p.m. 

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rustic Road Farm offers quality foods

A trio of goats greets visitors to Rustic Road Farm in Elburn.  
                                                                                 (Kevin Botterman photo)

If you are in the market for quality meats, eggs and produce, be sure to visit Rustic Road Farm at 1N292 Brundige Road, Elburn. Lori and I enjoyed our recent outing to the farm and later thoroughly enjoyed ham steak and veggies we purchased. Rustic Road is a GMO-free farm offering pasture-raised pork and sustainably raised fruit and vegetables. The farm also sells terrific raw honey. If you visit the farm, be sure to have a camera at hand. The goats, pigs and chickens provide plenty of photo opportunities. Shoppers can find Rustic Road Farm products at the Batavia Farmers’ Market, which is open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 18.

Peaceful Parlour to host Twilight on Terrace Sept. 19
Peaceful Parlour in Geneva will host the final session of its Twilights on the Terrace music series from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 19. Peaceful Parlour is located at 212 S. Third St. in downtown Geneva. Guitarist Bruce Hecksel and vocalist Julie Patchouli will entertain. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for the free event. Food will be available for purchase.

NIU touts Ron Modell, jazz program
The Fall 2014 edition of Northern Now, an NIU Alumni Association publication, features an interesting article about Ron Modell, founder of NIU’s jazz program. Under Modell’s leadership, NIU’s jazz band became one of the finest in the nation. Readers, even those not particularly interested in jazz, will enjoy the article.

Brianna's Pancake Cafe serves up hearty meals
I recommend visiting Brianna’s Pancake Cafe, 151 Illinois Route 38, Elburn. Diners can enjoy some pancakes, as I did, or a steak omelet, which I also sampled. Lori and I visited Brianna’s on a recent Saturday afternoon. We selected items from the breakfast menu, but Brianna's also offers sandwiches, burgers and entrees. We enjoyed the meal, liked the service, and look forward to our next opportunity to dine at Briana’s.

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