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‘TALENTED TEAM’ Warren Blue Devils end strong season PAGE 5 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2013 | FREE | GURNEESUBURBANLIFE.COM

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Editor’sNote

GURNEE

Suburban Life Gurnee Suburban Life is the successor publication to the Gurnee Life. It is published weekly on Thursdays by Shaw Media.

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Special report examines energy for the future In a special report on coal-powered energy in this week’s edition, we examine whether coal could be the energy of the future for Lake County residents, indeed Illinois residents. At one time, nuclear power provided energy for Lake County. The Zion nuclear power plant, however, was decommissioned, and is no longer running. But we still have coal. Is that the wave of the future? Despite protests that coal is unclean, we still need this important energy resource. It’s the cheapest way to provide what we need, for now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t clean it up – and that’s where the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency comes in. The IEPA will be issuing a new water permit to Midwest Generation, which runs the coal plant in Waukeg-

Sheryl DeVore

an. As new techniques to eliminate the inevitable pollution that comes from burning coal are developed, the IEPA and coal power plants need to embrace these. While wind power is being touted as the energy of the future, we need to take a step back or we’ll end up fighting some of the same problems we face with coal power, namely, pollution and destruction to wildlife. Wind turbines can cause noise pollution and scar the landscape as well as kill native wildlife in certain situations.

The future of energy is to use it wisely and sparingly, for no matter how electricity gets to our homes, it’s going to use up resources, including land and coal. Find our special report on

COMMUNITY CORNER: PHYSICAL EDUCATION, SPAULDING ELEMENTARY Len Wojciechowicz, physical education teacher at Spaulding Elementary, used to be a runner. So he takes joy in watching his students develop a love of the sport in the school’s new recess running club. Wojciechowicz and his teaching partner Erik Sator Photo provided teach Spaulding Elementary Len Wojciechowicz is a physical School District 56 students so education teacher at Spaulding much more than gym class by Elementary. reinforcing classroom lessons like math and word association, in team sports, but this is a nice he said. niche for them.’ It’s a win-win Wojciechowicz shared what’s for everybody. coming up at Spaulding this I’m amazed at how many kids holiday season with Gurnee come off the playground to run. Suburban Life reporter Jesse I’m hoping that running times Carpender. for the [Mile Run] will improve. I’ve been asked to take photos What are the results of and send them to Michelle Obama, because she’s really the new running club? into making kids active. I think During morning recess time, I will. every third day the kids have the option to run laps and get What’s Spaulding’s PALS a card to get running tokens during gym class [which they program? can use to get prizes]. We’ve It’s a cool collaboration to had probably 90 percent of build home and school relationall the students in the school ships with monthly activities attend at least once and close for parents to get involved and to 50 percent of each grade make students more successful. level participate regularly. They Our first meeting will be Nov. 14. get to exercise before class so [For more information on how to they’re more attentive and eas- get involved, call 847-662-370.] ier to teach. Parents have told me, ‘My student doesn’t shine What other events are

coming up? For our music program, one of our goals is to increase math literacy for second graders. At 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, parents and the public are welcome to attend a concert where the second graders will sing about numbers and math. We’re having a Thanksgiving Feast for kindergartners at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 25. Kids will dress up like pilgrims and Native Americans and make their own food.

Why do you love your job? We have so many people in our building that are deserving of praise. Classroom teachers are the heroes. They work tirelessly to try to reach our students, they handle parents, paperwork, time-constraints, and an ever-increasing level of expected test outcomes. Our administration, school board, custodians, secretaries, and support staff make our school great. Our music program, art and library instruction, and technology are all taught with passion and caring for students. I work with the best co-worker anyone could ever have. Erik Sator is an exceptional teacher, but also a great friend.

page 12.

Sheryl DeVore is the editor of Gurnee Suburban Life. She can be reached at 847-231-7522 or sdevore@shawmedia.com.

VISIT US ONLINE Visit our website, gurneesuburbanlife.com. Visit us there for breaking news, updated features and event coverage. You also can like us on Facebook at www.facebook. com/GurneeSuburbanLife.

LETTERS Gurnee Suburban Life welcomes original letters to the editor on public issues. Letters must include the author’s full name, home address and telephone number for veriication. Email your letters to editorial@gurneesubur banlifecom.

WHAT’S INSIDE Lead Story.....................................4 Sports.............................................5 PlanitLake....................................10 Special report..............................12 Schools.........................................17

ON THE COVER Warren’s Daniel Rockingham out runs Barrington’s Evan Struck as he carries the ball in the second quarter during the Class 8A second round playoff game Nov. 9 at Warren Township High School.

(Photo by Candace H. Johnson) See more photos on page 5.


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War stories recorded on Veterans Day for posterity By YADIRA SANCHEZ OLSON yolson@shawmedia.com Court rooms usually reserved for cases and juries at the Lake County Courthouse were instead used to record the history of war from 26 World War II veterans who shared their memories of battles and warfare on Veterans Day. The event, which began with a reception and breakfast for the veterans and their families, is the second year the Lake County Courthouse has partnered with the Library of Congress Veterans Project, which collects and preserves the stories of American wars for generations to come.

It’s the history of our country, and no one knows it like these men do. – Marie Normoyle,

wife of a World War II veteran

Volunteer court reporter Caren Rapinchuck was one of many who fought back tears as she listened and typed the words of veterans who were interviewed. “[Their stories are] something we take for granted – it was just an honor to be a part of this,” Rapinchuck said. U.S. Army, Navy Korean War veteran Frank Normoyle, 84, of Gurnee, began his story by saying he enlisted when he was 21 years old and lived in Olympia, Wash. “My parents couldn’t afford to send me to college. My dad and my brother had enlisted so I was the next in line,” Normoyle said. He was a hospital corpsman but as a Marine, “they gave me a rifle and they showed me how to use it, just in case,” Normoyle said. Many times he saw bodies on the battleground of both friends and foes, he said. On Sept. 15, 1950, he recalled going from Japan to Korea by sea. It probably took two days, he said, and it was a rough ride because they caught the tail end of a typhoon. At that time, Normoyle said he didn’t even know where he was headed. He chuckled a bit remembering how some of the men would go from rail to rail on the boat getting sick from the smell of fish and the choppy waters. Some of the anecdotes that were not humorous were of the times he saved comrades-in-arms. Many times Normoyle pulled men to safety after they had been shot.

Yadira Sanchez Olson photos – yolson@shawmedia.com

“I pulled them by the coat collar,” Normoyle said. Some of those men made it out of that battle alive, but others didn’t, despite his aid, he said. The chaos Normoyle and the other veterans described was one that resembled a script of a hollywood war movie, with bloodshed and surprise attacks from the enemy. One reoccurring line that kept coming up with the veterans was “I was just doing my job.” Normoyle’s wife, Marie Normoyle, said her husband never spoke about the war before. They read about the Lake County Veterans History Project and Frank decided to do it. The Normoyles have been married 43 years and it wasn’t until about 40 years ago, Marie said, that she found a box with his medals and paperwork. He didn’t bring up talk of the war and she didn’t ask him to do so, but she put the medals in a shadowbox and kept it on their bookcase. Recently, their 10-year-old grandson, Nicholas Palmieri, of Gurnee

asked if someday he could have the medals. “I think that made him think about speaking about [the war],” Marie said. “I think he thinks it’s time. It’s the history of our country and no one knows it like these men do.” Marie said she and their two daughters and their grandchildren are very proud of what Frank has done. “He’s a quiet person and a humble man. When he had mentioned that he got shot and he had to go out in the fields and pull others back to safety who were wounded and at such a young age, it’s incredible that he is a gentle man and a wonderful husband, father and grandfather,” Marie said. She added that his positive attitude toward life is what has helped him through so many life events, including when at war a bullet ricocheted and pierced his left cheek and his tongue. “I lost 10 teeth,” Frank said. Those teeth were replaced, but not until

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Thomas L. Sbertoli interviews World War II veteran Frank Normoyle, of Gurnee, for records that will go to the Library of Congress; Memorabilia of the war along with medals and papers were shared with veterans’ families; Twenty-six World War II veterans met at the Lake County Courthouse Nov. 11 to have their stories recorded for the Library of Congress Veterans Project. two years later, he said. Moments after being shot, he pulled a man to safety, he said. It wasn’t until he became weak from blood loss that he stopped aiding wounded Marines and was ordered to go to the hospital. That act of valor earned him a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. He went on to win a Bronze star, too. “These are the men who won the wars,” Judge John J. Scully said. “It was their blood, sweat and tears that made our history.” The stories of the 26 local veterans will be cataloged at Library of Congress in Washington D.C. To learn more, visit loc.gov/vets/


Life

Warren loses to Barrington, despite lead at halftime Coach Mohapp: ‘We had opportunities. We just couldn’t convert them’ By BILL PEMSTEIN editorial@gurneesuburbanlife.com

Candace H. Johnson photos – editorial@gurneesuburbanlife.com

ABOVE: Warren freshman Joseph Nikel plays the cymbals for the marching band at halftime during the Class 8A second round playoff football game Nov. 9 against Barrington at Warren Township High School. LEFT: Warren’s Daniel Rockingham gets tackled by Barrington’s Evan Struck and Mike Nachtsheim in the second quarter during the Class 8A second round playoff game at Warren Township High School. Warren lost 21-13.

victory. The first drive of the game found the Devils at the Barrington eight-yard line. An interception closed that drive. Still, Max Sorby’s 15yard touchdown run gave Warren a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Warren’s opening drive of

the second quarter was highlighted by quarterback Andrew Nickell’s 55-yard pass play to Danny Rockingham. That set up Warren deep in Barrington territory. Still, the drive stalled. Griffin Rosuck’s 28-yard field goal gave Warren a 10-7 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Mike Brierton’s interception set Warren up at the Barrington 23-yard line. Again, the offense fell short. “We had opportunities,’’ Mohapp said. “We just couldn’t convert them. Barrington was very good, but

we had practiced well. We just needed to finish.” Nickell threw for 175 yards. Sorby ran for 114 yards. Warren’s final score of the season came on a 30-yard field goal by Rosuck. It came with eight minutes to play in the final quarter. Warren’s dynamite offense scored 42 or more points on five different occasions. The high of the season was the 61 points the Devils scored against North Chicago. The four losses came against teams that have posted a combined record of 36-7. Three of those teams –Stevenson, Barrington and Lake Zurich – are still playing in the state playoffs. Warren does have some good-byes to make. Those seniors include quarterback Nickell, running back Sorby, receivers Zach Rappel and

Continued on page 6

• Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bryson Eppinger is a dedicated football player. The kind that sacrifices his body for the good of the team and never gives up. Eppinger, senior at Warren Township High School, missed a few games this year in his final season of Warren football. But, he had a good excuse. “I had two concussions,’’ Eppinger said. Despite past injuries, Eppinger played in the final Warren football game of the season Nov. 9. Saturday’s game pitted the second-seeded Barrington Broncos against the 10th-seeded Warren Blue Devils. In other words, it wasn’t supposed to be close. This was no ordinary Warren team. It may have been one of the most exciting teams in the Northwest suburbs. Warren stayed within a single point of Barrington into the final quarter before falling 21-13. Warren finished 7-4. Eppinger was credited with 10 tackles. His biggest play on Saturday night in Gurnee came with Barrington knocking on the goal line. He picked up a fumble at the goal line and raced down field. The officials credited Eppinger with the fumble recovery, but didn’t allow his score. “We all grew a lot this year,’’ Eppinger said. “We gelled really well. We worked so hard.” Warren coach Dave Mohapp had no complaints about this team. “This was a very coachable team,’’ Mohapp said. “It was very talented. It had outstanding characters with great work ethic. That’s the kind of foundation you want in a program.” The Devils’ explosive offense had several scoring opportunities that didn’t pan out and that cost them a

Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

Sports

5


SPORTS Continued from page 5 Javon Charleston, and Rockingham. Eppinger joins fellow defenders who are graduating like Ravel Spruill, Lucas Fulton, Kyle Whitmer and Roderick Pompey. Also playing their final game at Warren were: Kevin Richter, Nick Kokotos, James Quartey, Josh Schroeder, Justin Viola, Mason McIntosh, Arian Simmons, Zach Rosenbaum, Cedric Sanders, Deonteja Sims, Tom Steen, Austin Stevens, Andrew Herbst, Matt Doljanin, Jon Stigall, Jermayne Myrick, Matt Bloom, Kyle Whitmer, Tommy Riggin and Darren Wiley.

Candace H. Johnson – editorial@gurneesuburbanlife.com

Warren’s Javon Charleston carries the ball against Barrington in the Candace H. Johnson – editorial@gurneesuburbanlife.com second quarter during the Class Warren’s Nick Kokotas sits beside 8A second round playoff game at the goal post after his team’s loss Warren Township High School. to Barrington 21-13.

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| Gurnee Suburban Life

8

Operation Christmas Child: A gift that keeps on giving By JESSE CARPENDER

Lake County donation drop-off locations

jcarpender@shawmedia.com While many children in America will be opening new presents this Christmas, Connie Pfeifer, North Suburban Chicago team coordinator and head of volunteers for Operation Christmas Child in Lake County, said for children in orphanages and hospitals all over the world a toothbrush or washcloth could be the most meaningful gift they ever receive. “Imagine sharing a towel with 12 other children in an orphanage,” Pfeifer said. That was the real experience of Ted Foreman, who lived in an orphanage in Russia when he received a special shoebox filled with gifts from Operation Christmas Child. “We think toys will make an impact, but what really mattered to him was having his own washcloth, which he called a towel,” Pfeifer said. Foreman was adopted by an American family and is now a speaker for Operation Christ-

Photo provided

Connie Pfeifer stands with thousands of gifts that were sent to children in need in 130 countries. mas Child, she said. Gurnee residents will be packing shoeboxes with gifts for children of 130 countries at a packing party from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Immanuel Church, 2300 Dilleys Road, Gurnee. The packing party averages 800 to 1,000 volunteers each year, Pfeifer said. Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s

Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is part of Christian International Relief Organization. The project packs shoeboxes and sends them worldwide to children ages 2 to 14 who have endured much in their lives, either a natural disaster, war, poverty, or abandonment, she said. “It is our hope that children will experience joy and know they are loved by God and by

If you go Gurnee residents will be packing shoeboxes with gifts for children of 130 countries at a packing party from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Immanuel Church, 2300 Dilleys Road, Gurnee.

•Crossroads Church 1350 IL Rte 137 Grayslake, IL 60030 •Christ Church 100 N. Waukegan Road Lake Forest, IL 60045 •Harvest Bible Chapel 255 N. Quentin Road Lake Zurich, IL 60047 •Meadowridge Baptist Church 4500 IL St. Rte. 173 Zion, IL 60099 These drop-off locations have different hours of operation. Those hours can be checked by visiting www.samaritanspurse.org/occ from Nov. 18-25.

and toothpaste. All of these items can be donated at Crossroads Church, 1350 Route 137, between Monday, Nov. 18 and Monday, Nov. 25 or brought to the packing party at Immanuel Church on Saturday, Nov. 16. “Our goal is to create 5,000 boxes [on Nov. 16.] They can bring donations to the party,” Pfeifer said. Volunteers can write notes or include Christmas cards, she said. “The children want to know who packed the boxes,” she said. “There are lots of translators there [when the gifts are distributed].” Susan Schmidt, church relations coordinator and area team

those who send these gifts,” Pfeifer said. The organization has been around since 1993 and sent 100 million shoeboxes in 2012, she said. Each shoebox includes a bar of soap, washcloth, crayons, pencils, pens, paper, a bag of candy, a Beanie Baby or small stuffed animal, toothbrush

Continued on page 19

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Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

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• Thursday, November 14, 2013

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GurneeSuburbanLife.com • Thursday, November 14, 2013

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EVENTS

E: V I F T I AN THE PL ’S K E E W THIS KS TOP PIC ND U O R A IN & NTY U O C E LAK

1

CLC JAZZ BAND

WHERE: James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, College of Lake County, 19351 W. WashWash ington St., Grayslake WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 COST & INFO: Well-known trumpeter Carl Saunders will perform with the CLC Monday Night Jazz Band group. Saunders has performed with legendary artists including Ella Fitzgerald tzgerald and Tony Bennett. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and teens. Children ages 12 and under are free. For more information, call the box ofice at 847-543-2300 or visit www.clcillinois.edu.

FAMILY DROP-IN STORYTIME WHERE: Warren-Newport Public Library, 224 N. O’Plaine Road, Gurnee WHEN: 10 to 10:30 a.m.,Saturday, Nov. 16 COST & INFO: Promote a lifelong love of reading with this storytime for ages 2 through

pre-kindergarten with an adult. No registration is required. For more information on other storytimes at the library, visit www.wnpl.info and go to the calendar.

2

TURKEY TROT

ARTIST RECEPTION AND CRITIQUE

4

WHERE: Jack Bennyy Center for the

Arts Arts, 39 Jack Bennyy Drive, Wauke Waukegan WHEN: 7 to 9 pm. Monday, Nov. 18

The public is invited to the culmination of the Lake County Art League’s annual fall show. Paula Palmer, a retired teacher from Grayslake High School, will critique the works. A light snack and coffee will be served during a break. For more information, call 847360-4741 or visit www.lcal.org. COST & INFO:

3

WHERE: Belvidere Park, 412 S. Lewis Ave., Waukegan WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 COST & INFO: Run, trot or gobble your way to winning a turkey. Registration fee is two cans of non-perishable food items. Races are organized by gender and age groups from toddlers up to 100+. Event registration takes place 9 to 9:45 a.m. Races start at 10 a.m. For more information, call 847-360-4700 or visit www. waukeganparks.org.

FORGIVING THE UNFORGIVABLE WHERE: Lifetree Cafe, 749 S. Hunt Club

5

Road, Gurnee WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 COST & INFO: The story of Louis Barrios, who publicly forgave his mother’s murderer, will be explored at Lifetree Café. “Forgiving the Unforgivable” includes an exclusive ilmed interview with Barrios. His mother, Viola Barrios, was killed in her home in San Antonio, Tex. She was a well-known restaurateur, often featured on nationally televised cooking shows. Her violent murder shocked the community. The Lifetree experience will also offer help for anyone dealing with forgiveness issues. Admission to the 60-minute event is free. Snacks and beverages are available. For more information , visit www.lifetreecafe.com.


Jesse Carpender – jcarpender@shawmedia.com

By JESSE CARPENDER

LEFT: Jay Brosten stands in front of a vehicle having its fluids drained for recycling at Auto Parts City.

jcarpender@shawmedia.com

value of whatever it sells for,” he said. Mary Ellen Saunders of ElderCARE said, “Although we haven’t had anyone donate a vehicle yet, ElderCARE can receive the proceeds from the sale of a donated vehicle through them. Auto Parts City in Gurnee does some amazing things with auto recycling.” The Brostens started auto recy cling in 1938, when Jay and Larry Brosten’s grandfather owned Midwest Tire in Chicago. Eventually it became HyWay Auto, operating in unincorporated Lake County. In 1961, the business moved to Park City. In 1976, they were operating a “state-ofthe-art yard, as the pre-dismantling foreign auto specialists in the midwest,” Jay said. As a kid, Jay would cut and remove car parts for the family business. He has a scar on his face from doing that when he was about 10 years old. “One of my first cars was a wrecked cadillac,” he said. He fixed it up with the Hy-Way crew. In 1984, another business, City Auto Parts, became avail-

able. They bought it, but it was grandfathered in that they couldn’t expand or build up the business, Jay said. In 2004, Ford Motor Company bought Hy-Way Auto Parts Inc. “Ford was diversifying and buying out old yards,” he said. The result was that “Our old operation became our biggest competi-

tor,” Jay said. But the Brostens’ new business, Auto Parts City, was in a different industry than the Fordowned Hy-Way Auto Parts. “We do more retail now. Hy-Way Auto catered to insurance companies and dealerships. Here we’re buying cars by weight,” he said. It took Auto Parts City four years under contract before they were able to open in their current location in Gurnee. Jay and Larry’s father, Hy Brosten. died before the grand opening at 94 years old, but was able to see the soft opening, Jay said. “He was a very easy-going, soft-spoken person. He could be very stubborn. He was our PR man. Everyone in Lake County knew him, there wasn’t a place we’d go that someone wouldn’t talk to him,” Jay said. Hy is memorialized on a stone looking out over a lot of cars that will be recycled. Engraved are his famous words, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be alright.’ For more information, visit www. apcity.com.

• Thursday, November 14, 2013

Auto Parts City Inc.’s offices, yard and retail stores in Gurnee are heated by waste oil the business drains from vehicles. The trucks are fueled by recycled gasoline and the picnic tables outside are made from recycled tires. “We’re trying to change the junk yard image of auto recycling,” said Jay Brosten, who runs the business with his brother Larry Brosten. “It’s not the old image of cars strewn all over. It’s a systematic process.” Auto Parts City is the cleanest operation in the state, said Jay, of Lincolnshire area. When a car comes to Auto Parts City at 3455 Washington St., brought in by towing companies in Lake or Cook County or sold by an individual, it is put in a lot to await disassembly. About 1,200 cars fill the two lots. Personal belongings left in the car like sweaters or CDs are placed in bins for the Salvation Army, Jay said. Then the vehicle is hoisted up, and the draining process begins. “We were the first U.S. operation to install the English system, Crow Environmental, that we use to drain all of the fluids from a vehicle,” he said. “Basically, it’s the simplicity of the draining apparatus that makes it unique. It vacuum-drains to separate out brake fluid, oil, anti-freeze. The nice thing about it is that it has a gas tank purge system.” Recycled fluids are sold at Auto Parts City’s retail store. A glass company removes glass for recycling. Other salvageable parts are organized and stored or sold. Pointing to piles of about 1,000 tires, Jay said that’s the most expensive and difficult part to recycle. “My nephew is working on developing a process to melt them down,” Jay said. Jay said hybrid electric cars present more of a challenge to recycle, because they are more dangerous to disassemble and require special gloves and equipment. “We have a better way of recycling late models,” he said. A car in the garage on Oct. 24 had been sitting in the previous owner’s garage for 30 years, Jay said. “The plates are from 1985. But we charged the battery and fluids, put some air in the tires and it started up.” Customers can donate a car’s value to charity, such as ElderCARE or the Make A Wish Foundation, through Auto Parts City. “We take a vehicle in, determine if it’s worth fixing and then the charity gets the

11

Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

Auto Parts City brings junk yards into the recycling future


GurneeSuburbanLife.com • Thursday, November 14, 2013

| Gurnee Suburban Life

12

SPECIAL REPORT

Coal today, coal tomorrow? Residents question future of Waukegan power plant By CASSANDRA DOWELL cdowell@shawmedia.com Artist David Dallison has painted two different views of Waukegan Beach. One includes the coal plant on the shoreline. Another shows the same landscape without the coal plant. Dallison wants that coal plant gone. He, his wife and a dozen Lake County residents gathered two months ago at Waukegan City Hall holding signs with the words “I [heart] clean air” and “We want a coal-free future in Waukegan.” Residents from Grayslake, Highland Park and other Lake County towns presented more than 2,000 postcards with residents’ signatures asking plant-owner Midwest Generation to set a date to close it. These residents believe the Waukegan coal plant harms residents’ health and Lake Michigan by releasing air and water pollution. The petitions also ask the company to ensure a just transition plan for the 120 workers employed at the coal plant, built in 1923, and to engage local community members regarding the future reuse of the site. Activists also blame the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for not going far enough in their regulations to ensure the health of humans and wildlife living near the Waukegan coal plant. Officials from Midwest Generation, owned by Edison Mission Energy, say they have no plants to shut down the plant. They say they have statistics to prove they are meeting or exceeding IEPA regulations. The plant expects to receive a new water permit from the IEPA in the coming months.

Releasing sulfur When a power plant burns coal in its electricity-making process, it releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its smokestacks. When these pollutants

Photo provided

Local residents voice concerns about the Waukegan coal plant’s effect on Lake Michigan while standing on Waukegan Municipal Beach. hit the atmosphere, they create fine particles that can be inhaled by humans, said Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental health programs at the Respiratory Health Association in Chicago. Inhaling the pollutants irritates lung tissue and cells causing coughing and difficulty breathing as well as increasing the chance for an attack for those with asthma, Urbaszewski said. Because they are so small – usually about 800 times smaller than the average human hair – these particles can also cross from the lungs into the blood stream, increasing the risk for heart problems, he said. According to the Sierra Club, the Waukegan plant’s air emissions violate the EPA’s one-hour sulfur dioxide limits. Maria Race, director of environmental services for Edison Mission Energy, said

a lawsuit regarding the matter is in litigation and declined to comment further. Station director Mark Nagel points out that the plant’s coal comes from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. That coal has less than 90 percent sulfur than the coal the plant was designed to process, Nagel said. “By burning [Powder River Basin] coal we are below our SO2 [sulfur dioxide] regulations from the state,” he said. Susan Olavarria, spokeswoman with Midwest Generation, said in the past 14 years, the Waukegan plant has reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by 60 percent. Since Midwest Generation purchased the 90-year old plant from Commonwealth Edison in 1999, it has invested about $50 million to make improvements on that and five other plants it owns in Illinois, said Olavarria.

See COAL, page 13

NRG may soon own Waukegan plant NRG Energy, Inc. announced Oct. 18 its plans to purchase Edison Mission Energy, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012. Edison Mission Energy is the parent company of Midwest Generation and, should the transaction be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court as well as regulatory agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, NRG would acquire the assets of Edison Mission Energy, including the Waukegan plant. Some local residents and the Sierra Club have said if the purchase occurs, they will continue to fight to close down the plant, presenting their concerns to NRG Energy Inc. Susan Olavarria, spokeswoman with Midwest Generation, said NRG believes the sale will be closed in the first quarter of 2014. Edison Mission Energy has until Dec. 6 to solicit alternative transaction proposals, she said. A new water permit expected by Midwest Generation would be transferred to the new owners of the plant as long as federal requirements are met, an IEPA spokesman said. Until then, Olavarria said, “We are continuing to operate our facilities in the normal course with emphasis on safe, reliable operations and regulatory compliance, and will do so until a transition to NRG is completed.”

– Cassandra Dowell, cdowell@shawmedia.com


SPECIAL REPORT

13

Continued from page 12

Graphic provided by Brittany Breaux

HOW A COAL PLANT WORKS The Waukegan coal plant processes 6,000 to 8,000 tons of coal daily, said Mark Nagel, station director of the coal plant. Here is how a coal plant works. Coal is burned The coal is crushed until it becomes a powder. Jets of air blow the coal powder into a furnace, where it burns at high temperatures. Water circulating through pipes near the furnace is heated and changes into steam.

ers and manage the disease. But parents say, ‘What do we do about air pollution?’ The truth is, you can do everything you can in the home, but once that child walks outside, the parent is pretty much powerless. That’s why a transition to cleaner energy sources is so important.”

The mercury connection Air pollution also harms fish, according to the USEPA. Contaminated fish, when eaten, can also harm humans, the agency said. Coal naturally has mercury, and when it is burned to generate electricity, mercury is released into the air through the plant’s smokestacks. The mercury then falls to the earth and dissolves in water. Mercury accumulates in fish tissue, said Cindy Skrukrud, clean water advocate of the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club. “As you move up [the food chain] pollutants like mercu-

Steam spins the turbines The steam rapidly spins large turbines, which turn a generator. A high-speed rotor spinning inside the generator creates electricity.

transmission organization, plant station director Nagel said. PJM coordinates the movement of electricity in parts of the east coast and northern Illinois. In Illinois, PJM sells that power to Commonwealth Edison.

Transferring electricity The electricity flows to transformers, which increase its voltage before transmitting it to the power grid for distribution to households and industries. The Waukegan plant sells its power to PJM Interconnection, a regional

• Additional information provided by “World Commodities Coal” by Garry Chapman and Gary Hodges.

ry stay in fish tissue and top predator fish can have high [mercury] concentrations,” Skrukrud said, adding that Lake Michigan has fish advisories regulating how much of a species of fish is safe to eat in a given period of time because of such toxins. Water pollution is another concern. In June 2012, the IEPA issued a notice of violation to the Waukegan plant for having too high of levels of contaminants near its ash ponds. The IEPA concluded that the violations had been caused by waste leaking from the ash ponds. An ash pond is designed for the disposal of coal ash – the by-product of coal after it is burned. Four months after the IEPA issued its notice of violation, the Environmental Law and Policy Center filed a lawsuit against Midwest Generation for groundwater contamination linked to coal ash ponds at four of the company’s coal plants, including

the Waukegan site. Midwest Generation’s environmental specialist Maria Race said the company manages its ash ponds “in accordance with the water permit – all are lined and maintained.”

Stricter permit regulations? Jessica Dexter, staff attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, has examined the draft water permit Midwest Generation will likely receive from the IEPA. She said the permit does not go far enough to prevent coal ash contamination. Coal ash can contain arsenic and other toxic heavy metals, according to the Sierra Club. If consumed, arsenic’s effects can include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea and partial paralysis. Arsenic has also been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney and other or-

– Cassandra Dowell cdowell@shawmedia.com gans, according to the EPA. The Waukegan plant uses 588 million gallons of Lake Michigan water daily to cool machinery off. The plant uses a once-through cooling system, which the Sierra Club says harms wildlife. During the once-through cooling water process, Lake Michigan water goes over thousands of stainless steel tubes and is returned to the lake after it is treated, Nagel said. When water is returned to Lake Michigan from the Waukegan plant, it is typically about 10 degrees warmer than when it comes in, he said. The point at which the expelled water from the plant mixes with the lake water is known as the “mixing zone,” Nagel said. After the water exits the mixing zone – which is about 100 feet from where the water is expelled – the water returns to its original temperature, he said.

See COAL, page 14

• Thursday, November 14, 2013

Those five plants were also purchased from ComEd. Of those, two in the Chicago area have been shuttered. Further new state regulations will require Midwest Generation to reduce emissions by even more, Olavarria said. “The important thing to us is to follow all regulations,” she said. Even so, Sonia Ocampo, 51, who has asthma believes that her proximity to the coal plant triggers flare ups. She has lived in Waukegan for 20 years and was diagnosed about seven years ago – but Ocampo said she has had difficulty breathing since she moved to the area. Ocampo’s daughter, Dulce Ortiz, said she worries about her mother’s health. While Ortiz, also a resident of Waukegan, admits she can’t prove the link between the plant and the health of her mother, who does not smoke, it’s one of the reasons she wants to see the plant close. “I’m hoping for a healthy, clean future,” Ortiz said. Mark Pfister, director of population health services for the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center, said a 2012 study conducted by the department found that communities with lower incomes, which includes Waukegan, have higher percentages of hospitalizations and emergency room visits for asthma. Waukegan topped the list, with Zion and then Round Lake having the most hospitalizations and ER visits respectively, he said. “Could air pollution be a possible trigger for asthmatics? The answer is yes. Is it the only trigger? These are things we don’t know without studying each individual case,” he said. Other asthma triggers include secondhand smoke, dust, dust mites, cockroaches and other environmental factors, he said, adding that lack of access to appropriate medication can also exacerbate asthma symptoms. Urbaszewski, with Respiratory Health Association, said, “We’re trying to educate kids about [asthma] triggers – getting them to use inhal-

Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

• COAL


SPECIAL REPORT

GurneeSuburbanLife.com • Thursday, November 14, 2013

| Gurnee Suburban Life

14

If not coal, what? In 2012, United States coal mines produced more than one billion tons of coal, and more than 81 percent of this coal was used by U.S. power plants to generate electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Coal is the most common fuel for generating electricity in the United States, according to the EIA. Activists argue that there are other, more environmentally friendly ways to produce energy – including through wind farms with turbines that use the power of moving air to generate electricity, or solar farms that use the energy from sunlight. But those in support of coal-generated power say the energy alternatives are too expensive to implement or unreliable. For example, wind power cannot be generated on still days. In addition, birds and bats can get killed when flying near wind turbines. Here are some pros and cons related to using other sources of energy besides coal:

Susan Olavarria Spokeswoman with Midwest Generation

Cassandra Dowell – cdowell@shawmedia.com

Jim Bland, a clean water advocate and former specialist in the USEPA water division, describes how aquatic life can become trapped or sucked through the coal plant’s water intake pipes.

• COAL

Mark Nagel Station director of the Waukegan coal plant “Coal is still the lowest cost” compared with other forms of energy sources.

Continued from page 13 Skrukrud, clean water advocate for the Sierra Club, said the oncethrough cooling process has been banned by the USEPA in new facilities because of its effect on aquatic life and water temperature. Fish and other aquatic life can become trapped or sucked through water intake pipes, Skrukrud said. Releasing the water back into the lake 10 degrees hotter than when it comes in negatively affects fish populations, said Jim Bland, a clean water advocate and former specialist in the USEPA water division. “The near shore environment of Lake Michigan is a nursery grounds for a wide variety of species [including perch, alewives, emerald shiner and spottail shiner],” Bland said. “You may be setting off spawning prematurely. As fish eggs mature you get larva that’s not going to be able to find types of things they need to have to survive.” Bland said more studies should be done on the plant’s impact on

“Renewable energy is three times more expensive than coal. You would need to replace the entire town of Waukegan with a wind farm to replace the power created by the coal plant.”

Brian Urbaszewski Director of environmental health programs at the Respiratory Health Association “There’s many cleaner ways to make electricity than a coal plant, such as wind. Illinois added more wind turbines than any other state in 2011.”

Wayne Motley Mayor of Waukegan Sheryl DeVore – sdevore@shawmedia.com

Station director Mark Nagel describes how lake water is used to create energy. aquatic life to provide up-to-date data and understand what best technologies can be put in place to diminish loss of aquatic life before the IEPA reissues the water permit to Midwest Generation. “We don’t have anything that’s recent or current to take a look at what’s been happening there, and that’s the problem,” Bland said, adding that the latest study of the plant’s effect on Lake Michigan was published in 1979. Skrukrud said the plant should

use closed-cycle cooling, which recycles cooling water rather than releasing it back into the lake, and that process is considered best available technology. In other states, some older power plants are making the switch. For now, Midwest Generation is operating under an old water permit and meeting regulations, according to officials. When the new water permit comes, Race said, the company will comply with those regulations.

“The plant contributes huge amounts of [tax] dollars. If we were to lose that coal plant it would be almost impossible to recoup those taxes. The city of Waukegan is a business and [the plant] is one of our business contributors. If we were to lose them and the taxes they provide to our community it would be devastating. What options do we have? What is the alternative? The problem with wind-generated power plants is who owns the property? Where are they going to put it – on the lake? Who’s going to pay for it?”

– Cassandra Dowell cdowell@shawmedia.com


15

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yolson@shawmedia.com During a recent family trip to Wyoming, Lizzie Twardock, 14, of Grayslake, showed an interest in photography. Her dad noticed immediately. “She kept borrowing my camera to take pictures of the scenery and the family,” Rob Twardock said. Twardock, dean of the engineering division at the College of Lake County, bought his daughter a camera. Then he enrolled them both in a CLC class called Beginning with a Digital Camera. It’s an intergenerational class, one of many that for the first time, are being offered at the college through the Center for Personal Enrichment Programs for Youth. “We’ve had an intergenerational class on and off for the past three years but this is the first semester we’ve had a list,” said Tammie Johnson, CLC program coordinator for the Xplorer! and intergenerational classes. This semester’s classes included introduction to drawing, 2D wall art, wellness for pets and how to adopt a dog or a cat. They’re open to adults and children. Johnson said the classes are trendy. Students ask

for them in evaluations they take at the completion of each course, she said. She thinks there’s a benefit to this type of education, other than what they get from the instructor. “It’s giving parents and their children an opportunity to have a one-on-one time exploring something new together,” Johnson said. “They’re finding out how each generation thinks.” Rob Twardock said it’s been nice to share with his daughter an interest he’s had for a long time. He added she might not have taken a photography class by herself, but with him, she felt less intimidated. “If I don’t understand something, he can help me,” Lizzie Twardock said. In class, the two took pictures of olive oil bubbles in water and flowers through a glass, for an abstract effect. The two also do their homework together. The father and daughter took 30-minute walks, with cameras in hand, ready to capture three photos that instructor, Lou Nettelhorst required for homework, so he could share them and offer constructive criticism, along with photos taken by 14 other students he taught this semester.

Continued on page 18

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Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

School

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GurneeSuburbanLife.com • Thursday, November 14, 2013

| Gurnee Suburban Life

18

LEARN

Seeing Is Believing...

Continued from page 17 In the final session, Lizzie presented photos of the night sky, a house with a white picket fence and a black and white photo of a field. In class, she turned and smiled at her dad, who sat next to her, when praised by Nettelhorst for her work. “We have an amateur here who’s been producing some really good stuff,” Nettelhorst said. Dad also got praised for taking a photo of a stable with good lighting and a cat as the subject. The three-hour photography class met Tuesdays for five weeks. The Twardocks said they’re thinking about taking the next photography class in spring or summer. Nettelhorst said there’s no difference in the way he teaches students who are related in class but he does enjoy watching them interact. “I do think it’s better to take a class with a partner because you can talk about the work and help each other out,” Nettelhorst said. Dave Hagan and wife Lynne Hagan of Island Lake also took Nettelhorst’s class. For them, too, it was a vacation that instilled the bug of learning photography. “We took a photo tour in Hawaii and were inspired to learn how to take better pic-

tures,” Dave Hagan said. Lynne Hagan said she and her husband went out together to take photos and then helped each other pick out the ones they used for homework. Johnson said in the spring, the college will offer a variety of intergenerational classes, including cartooning for adults and children in grades 5 through 12; companionable art for grades 3 to 12 - where partners work in tandem on art projects; beginning genealogy and antiques and collectibles. Some classes start at $59 for an adult and $20 less for the accompanying child. Intergenerational tours with names such as Chicago’s Swedish Treasures and Southeast Asia Cultural Culinary Tour will also be offered in the spring, Johnson said. She added the college will also consider providing classes based on requests. “We want to offer what people want. If there’s a class they’re interested in and we know about it, we’ll try to set that up for them,” Johnson said. Those with teaching experience who want to instruct a class can contact the college’s Center for Personal Enrichment Programs for Youth at 847-543-2022 or email CPEInfo@clcillinois.edu.

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Rob Twardock shared his photo during an intergenerational class at CLC. He enrolled in the class with his daughter, Lizzie Twardock.

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Continued from page 8 where local people direct them to where they are most needed, Pfeifer said. Pfeifer, Libertyville resident, got involved packing shoeboxes in 1993, and let her love of bargain hunting and compassion for children guide her to become the coordinator for the program. In 2010, Pfeifer traveled to Ecuador to help distribute Operation Christmas Child gifts. “I got to be part of a distribution at a women’s prison,” she said. “The women were granted a special day with their children. When you treat their children with love, it has deep meaning for the parents. When you have cracked concrete walls and dusty floors, it was a very lonely place. But to see the mothers with their children going through the boxes was so touching.” For more information, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/ occ.

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leader for Operation Christmas Child, said she was inspired by the project’s work when Pfeifer showed her a video about a little girl whose shoes were held together with wire because her parents couldn’t afford new ones. “When Operation Christmas Child came, she didn’t get in line because she thought she wouldn’t need a shoebox,” Schmidt, Gurnee resident, said. “A volunteer said, ‘I have a special gift from America’ and in the box were brand new shoes in her size.” Schmidt said boxes are not made for specific individuals, but the girl received the right box as “part of God’s plan.” “Her story touched my heart and I felt this was something I really needed to do,” Schmidt said. After being packed with necessities and items of comfort, the boxes journey to processing centers around the world

Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

CHRISTMAS


GurneeSuburbanLife.com • Thursday, November 14, 2013

| Gurnee Suburban Life

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MORE BEARS COVERAGE AT HUBARKUSH.COM

Bears must protect McCown to beat Ravens Hub Arkush

There is good news and bad news for the Bears in their matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, and it’s a little tricky figuring out which will override the other. The Ravens will bring one of the NFL’s worst offenses to Soldier Field on Sunday. They struggle on the ground and through the air, but particularly with the running game. That could offer some tonic to a Bears’ defense that is one of the worst in the league, particularly against the run. On the flip side is the reality that the defending Super Bowl-champion Ravens still are one of the best defenses in the NFL. And, in only his second start of the season, Josh McCown will face the best pass rush the Bears have seen so far this year. That is especially unsettling realiz-

ing the Bears’ offensive line probably had its worst outing of the season Sunday against the Lions. Joe Flacco is among the NFL’s wealthiest players after signing a new contract following the Ravens’ Super Bowl win. He also is one of the least productive quarterbacks in the game with a 77.3 passer rating, 25th in the NFL behind such stalwarts as Mike Glennon and Christian Ponder. Flacco’s managed only 6.7 yards per pass, and his 12 touchdown passes are offset by 11 interceptions. Part of his problem throwing the ball may be caused by the fact the Ravens are only 30th in the NFL rushing the football and dead last in average gain per rush. That’s hard to believe of a club with Ray Rice as its feature back, but he has only 115 carries through nine games for 289 yards – a 2.5 average. Bernard Pierce was supposed to be a great compliment to Rice this season, but he’s averaged only 2.5 yards a pop on 93 carries. The suspicion the Ravens would miss Aquan Boldin is borne out in No.

1 receiver Torrey Smith’s numbers. While he’s caught 41 passes for 753 yards, an outstanding 18.4 average, Smith’s been targeted 84 times. No. 1 receivers who convert less than half their targets don’t stay No. 1s for long. Perhaps the Ravens’ biggest problem has been the offensive line, which is puzzling since it started the season with four starters off the Super Bowl team and top backup Gino Gradkowski stepping in at center for the retired Matt Birk. The line has been so bad that the Ravens dealt for Eugene Monroe from Jacksonville before the trade deadline and then dealt left tackle Bryant McKinnie to the Dolphins. Defensively, the Ravens have reloaded nicely after losing Paul Kruger, Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed and Cary Williams off the Super Bowl team. The additions of Chris Canty, Daryl Smith, Elvis Dumervil and rookie Matt Elam have made the rebuilding of that unit somewhat seamless. The key matchups in this ballgame will feature the game’s best nose tackle, Haloti Ngata, on the inside shoul-

ders of Kyle Long and Matt Slauson at different times, and Terrell Suggs and Dumervil rushing off the edges on Jordan Mills and Jermon Bushrod. The Ravens have 32 sacks, paced by Suggs’ nine and Dumervil’s eight. Jimmy Smith has nice size on one corner at 6-2, but Lardarius Webb is smallish at 5-10. That will create mismatches for either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery. The key matchup on the other side of the ball has to be Rice against the Bears’ two rookie linebackers. As badly as Rice has struggled this year, Mel Tucker has to be sure Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene aren’t the antidote he’s been looking for. One other matchup to watch is John Harbaugh, one of the most successful coaches in the history of the NFL through his first five seasons, and the rookie for the Bears, Marc Trestman. Harbaugh is sure to have some custom pressures designed for McCown. How Trestman counters could be the difference in the game.

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TAKE 2 Hub Arkush and Tom Musick face off it’s faster than Jay Cutler could move Sunday. I think he topped out at about onetenth of a knot. Why in the world did Cap’n Tresty leave him in the game for so long? Arkush: You know, I’ve often wondered how to convert knots to ... something, but all I know is it makes a heck of a bang and crash when big things collide at that speed. Kind of like the thud Trestman heard when he offered his explanation to the media after the game. All I know is there’s something more at work here than trying to win a football game because too many people who don’t know anywhere near as

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much about the game as Marc know it was a mistake. There is a part two to this story. I’m just not sure how long it will take to become clear. Musick: OK, Hub, you’ve got me intrigued. Besides, it’s more fun to try to figure out part two of this story than it is to discuss Charles Tillman’s season-ending injury or Cutler’s winter catalogue of health problems. Do you think Cutler and his inner circle (which includes Brandon Marshall) pressured the coaching staff to let him start ahead of the original timetable? Who wears the spandex in the

coach-QB relationship? Arkush: That’s certainly the question everyone wants an answer to, and, unfortunately, I don’t have it. There is no question that Marshall created public pressure by predicting and pushing for Cutler’s return well ahead of what Trestman, Phil Emery and the team indicated they expected. It seemed him coming back sooner than four weeks was not what they wanted, and I think we’ve now all seen why. But don’t forget Cutler did say Tuesday before the game that he might have to wait another week, so he certainly opened the door for Trestman to make his own choice. My guess would be if the coach is frustrated with anyone for pressuring him it might be his All-Pro wide receiver more than “Punky QB II.” Musick: Is it safe to pull the curtain on this Bears

season? Or do the Bears still have a legitimate shot at the playoffs because weirdness happens in the NFL, and winning without key players qualifies as weirdness? Arkush: Start puling plugs now, and you’re liable to blow fuses all over the league and screw up the whole season. The Bears are very much alive in the playoff chase and actually still in better shape than they were eight days ago. McCown has shown he can win with this team, and, while the loss of Charles Tillman definitely hurts, the Bears weren’t going to beat anybody with their defense anyway. They still have a chance to win some shootouts, and the only club left on the schedule with a winning record is the Packers. I’m not predicting the playoffs, but there’s no way I’m ready to bet against them yet either.

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• Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Bears’ record dropped to 5-4 after a narrow loss Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Hub Arkush and Tom Musick discuss: Musick: Hub, I’m thinking of going shopping today for a giant foam finger. If I find one, where can I point the blame for the Bears’ brutal loss? Arkush: I’d say smack dab at head coach Marc Trestman, but nobody likes being at the back of the line. After an outstanding start at the helm of the Bears’ ship, Tresty ran it right into the dock at 30 knots Sunday. Certainly there’s plenty of blame to go around, but it has to start with the man in charge when you have the wrong people on the field in the biggest game of the year. Musick: How fast is 30 knots? Is it equivalent to 30 lumps or maybe 30 knobs? Regardless, I’m sure that

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Gurnee Suburban Life | GurneeSuburbanLife.com

Bears, Trestman crash and burn against Lions


GurneeSuburbanLife.com • Thursday, November 14, 2013

| Gurnee Suburban Life

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Flower arranging class celebrates local prairie plants Photos by Candace H. Johnson

ABOVE: Sarah Fick, 28, of Ingleside talks with Stacy Iwanicki, natural resources education coordinator, about flowers. BELOW: Ellen Dennee, of Wauconda holds her prairie plant bouquet.

Ellen Dennee, of Wauconda takes the floss out of a milkweed plant for her bouquet of dried prairie plants Nov. 9 during the Dried Prairie Flower Arranging class at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside.

Sarah Fick, 28, of Ingleside works on her dried flower bouquet Nov. 9 during the Dried Prairie Flower Arranging class at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside.

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