COVID-19 — CONNECTIONS: Kane County's Chicago Steel Named 2019-20 Anderson Cup Champions!

COVID-19 — CONNECTIONS: Kane County’s Chicago Steel Named 2019-20 Anderson Cup Champions!

  • A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: This page is designed to keep you updated on Kane County Connects coverage of the COVID-19 emergency as well as to share observations and make a personal connection during the days and weeks ahead. Please tune in often.

Kane County Connects Daily Updates

  • COVID-19 OVERVIEW — A roundup of national and international updates.
  • COVID-19 STATE — State of Illinois and Illlinois Department of Public Health updates (Includes daily updates from Gov. JB Pritzker’s news conferences and Kane County COVID-19 alerts from the IDPH.)
  • COVID-19 KANE COUNTY — Kane County updates, including information from the Kane County Health Department, courts, Sheriff’s Office, and all units of county government. (Note:  IDPH provides breaking information on the numbers of cases or deaths in Kane County.)
  • COVID-19 COMMUNITIES — A roundup of information from municipalities, park districts, libraries, as well as local human interest stories.
  • COVID-19 SCHOOLS — Updates on school closings or openings, meals and online learning.
  • COVID-19 HOSPITALS — Vital links to local hospital websites and additional trusted information on COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS —Business news, what’s open and closed, where to find stuff you need, and updates from local chambers of commerce.
  • COVID-19 CONNECTIONS — Personal observations, photos, miscellaneous news, quirky and fun stuff related to the days of COVID in Kane.
  • COVID-19 HOW TO HELP — Volunteer opportunities, donation sites and other local efforts to help people during the COVID-19 emergency.

9:30AM WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1

Steel Named 2019-20 Anderson Cup Champions!

In the absence of sports news during the COVID-19 emergency, here’s a little consolation: After a historic regular season, the Chicago Steel (41-7-1-0, 83 pts) were named the 2019-20 Anderson Cup champions, the United States Hockey League announced Wednesday.

This is the first time in the team’s 20-season history that the Steel have won the Anderson Cup, awarded to the regular season champion.

The Steel set franchise records in wins (41) and points (83) during the regular season, holding league records in win percentage (.847) and goals per game (4.94) through 49 games played, prior to the league-wide cancellation of the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

“We are proud to accept the Anderson Cup for the first time in team history,” said Steel President Dan Lehv.  “This title represents the hard work of our players and staff and the outstanding support we receive from our fans and billet families.  At a time where we can all use some good news, this is worth celebrating.”

The Anderson Cup was named after Harold Anderson who was influential in the formation of the Midwest Junior Hockey League, the predecessor to the USHL, and has been awarded every season since 1973.

At the time the USHL canceled its season, the Steel were the only team with a Clark Cup Playoffs berth secured. Chicago registered a franchise-record 13-game win streak twice this season, becoming the first club in league history to record multiple double-digit win streaks in a single season.

The team’s longest losing streak was just two games and only occurred once during the 49-game season.

Amazing Accomplishments

Chicago was on pace to threaten several USHL all-time team records.  The Steel needed seven wins and 16 points in its last 13 games to set USHL records for wins and points and were 54 goals shy of the most goals scored in league history.  No team had ever finished with a win percentage over .900 on the road, and the Steel held a .913 mark at the time of stoppage.

Five of the top six scorers in the league this season were Steel players, paced by Mathieu De St. Phalle’s 60 points (30G, 30A) while Sean Farrell’s 41 assists were tied for the league lead.  The Steel were the first team in league history to boast the leading overall scorer, rookie scorer and scoring defenseman.

Steel Goalie Victor Ostman tied a franchise record with 25 wins this season to go along with a franchise-best 2.34 goals against average.

Brendan Brisson’s 59 points (24G, 35A) were the most by a Steel rookie and Gunnarwolfe Fontaine’s 46 career goals are tied for second in team history.  Defenseman John Spetz became the top scoring defenseman in Steel history with 78 career points (24G, 54A).

After winning the 2018-2019 Eastern Conference Championship and advancing to the Clark Cup Final, this season began with Head Greg Moore entering his second season behind the Steel bench.  On December 1, the Steel announced that Moore was leaving the team to ascend to the American Hockey League as Head Coach of the Toronto Marlies.  He was replaced by Brock Sheahan who compiled a dazzling 26-3-0-0 record following Moore’s departure.

The Anderson Cup title continues an impressive run by the Steel over the past four seasons which included the team’s first and only Clark Cup Championship in 2016-2017.

Season tickets are available now for the 2020-2021 season at Fox Valley Ice Arena starting at just 5 games for $45. Full season tickets are available starting at just $8 per game.  In addition to affordable ticket prices, the Steel offer free parking, themed promotions and family-friendly entertainment.

For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.

10:30AM MONDAY, MARCH 30

‘COVID CAMERA’ — Spring Is In The Air

After a dark and stormy weekend, it’s good to get outside for a walk — so long as you maintain your distancing.

Here are a few images from my recent “Out & Around” on the east side of Geneva / west side of St. Charles.

I’m calling this silly feature “COVID Camera.” If you’d like to share your own “COVID Camera” experience, email the photo along with your name, location and brief description to kanecountyconnects@gmail.com.

Daffodils in bloom along the Fox River bike trail in Geneva.

The sign in the door reads, “THANK YOU, HEALTH CARE WORKERS!”

Love to see the wildflowers coming up.

Flowers are reaching for the sky along the bike path between Good Templar Park and Oak Hill Cemetery.

12:50PM SUNDAY, MARCH 29

No Adoptions at Animal Control, But Pets Doing Fine

Just a quick note to say our adorable, adoptable pets at Kane County Animal Control are doing just fine at the KCAC facility.

KCAC has closed the facility and temporarily suspended all public adoptions until the Corona-19 virus is no longer a threat to the public.

Stay tuned to KaneCountyPets.com, the KCAC Facebook page and Kane County Connects for updates as we all go through this shutdown together.

COVID CAMERA: The History of Jigsaw Puzzles

A lot of folks are doing jigsaw puzzles during the COVID-19 Stay At Home, including ours.

Mo Rocca had a great piece on the history of jigsaw puzzles on CBS Sunday Morning, as you can see.

8:30AM FRIDAY, MARCH 27

What You CAN Do If You Can’t Give Grandma a Hug

Photo courtesy of Kane County Board member Chris Kious

Got an inspiring, fun or poignant image you’d like to share? Please email the image and a caption, including your name, hometown and location of the photo to kanecountyconnects@gmail.com.

10AM THURSDAY, MARCH 26

You know all those wonderful, inspiring images we see on the news and social media of young people getting together to sing in groups — even while they’re separated socially?

Well, Paramount Theatre in Aurora is doing something very special in that regard.

Paramount Theatre announced Wednesday the launch of “Connection: A Social Media Concert Series,” an all-new online campaign to find new ways for artists and audiences to connect with each other while the public is asked to shelter in place.

Connection is a multi-week virtual music theater series meant to encourage both emerging and veteran songwriters and playwrights to use this time to create new work and keep patrons entertained in an innovative new way.

“In the few days we have all been advised to socially distance ourselves, it’s become clear that we need to find ways to stay in touch now more than ever,” said Paramount Theatre New Works Development Director Amber Mak.

“While we may not be able to bring you live theater right now, Paramount’s New Works Department has conceived this social media concert series to keep people connected until we can all see each other again at the theater.”

Every Wednesday for the next three weeks, Paramount’s New Works Department will unveil a new theme for the series and post guidelines for submissions for that week’s topic.

Paramount announced the first weekly theme for the series: student work. Student songwriters, whether in high school, college, or any student who has learned their school won’t be in session for the foreseeable future, are encouraged to write, perform and submit an original song on video about their connection to their school.

The deadline to submit is Wednesday, April 1, at midnight.

To submit a video, email a downloadable link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to Paramount’s New Works Department at newworks@paramountarts.com. (Note: If filming with a cell phone, horizontal orientation is preferred but not required.)

The next day, Paramount’s New Works and Marketing departments will start working together to edit a video reel that assembles the featured musical entries.

Then, at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at 8 p.m., the first Connection series compilation video will “drop” on Paramount’s website, ParamountAurora.com, and on Paramount’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages for free public viewing.

On Wednesday, April 1, Paramount will also unveil the following week’s theme. Similarly, submissions will be accepted until the following Wednesday, April 8 at midnight. The second Connection compilation video will be posted for free viewing at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

And so on.

The series is currently slated to run for three weeks, through April 18, but may continue until stay at home orders are lifted. Each week’s Connection social media concert will run approximately 30 minutes.

Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to email Paramount’s New Works Department with their questions at newworks@paramountarts.com.

 

4:20PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25

FlagSource Is Making a Patriotic Contribution

We posted this on the COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS landing page, but it’s a bit buried by other breaking business news today.

So I’m making it the lead in today’s COVID-19 CONNECTIONS because it’s inspiring and, frankly, very cool.

Kane County Business FlagSource Is Making Masks

Is this cool, or what?

Made in Kane AND Kane County Strong!

Here’s the Made in Kane:

Below is the BUSINESS/CONSUMERS story:

10:30AM TUESDAY, MARCH 24

Gabriella Figliozzi and family pre-social distancing.

  • Editor’s Note: How are folks in Kane County coping with the COVID-19 “Stay at Home” order? We’ve enlisted Kane County Recording Secretary Gabriella Figliozzi to share her thoughts.

Kane County Board Recording Secretary Gabriella Figliozzi is kind of an “everywoman” for local parents adjusting to the daily challenges of “Stay at Home” in Illinois.

She’s a single mom with two kids at school, working remotely and full time in a challenging job. She’s in that Sandwich Generation of people who are supporting their children but also have concerns about their parents’ health and well-being.

And along with all that, she’s been asked by a hard-nosed Kane County Connects editor to document her story. Hopefully, we’ll be able to share her photos and thoughts in a continuing series here.

Figliozzi’s “kiddos” Dante and Gia attend Wredling Middle School in St. Charles School District 303.

Q: So, What’s That Been Like?

Dante and Gia hard at work, e-learning thanks to the “exceptional teachers” at School District 303.

“Homeschooling — which is basically what life has turned into — has a multitude of room for distraction,” Figliozzi said. “But the ‘E-Learning’ created by their school has been phenomenal. I cannot praise these exceptional teachers enough.”

Figliozzi’s kids are in sixth and seventh grade — challenging years all by themselves. The kids are instructed to log into their google classroom by 9 a.m. Some teacher provide their assignments and are available to chat/live or email and include the classmates.

Other teachers do videos and full “live chats” so the classmates can interact with the teacher as if they are in class together.

“This has been exceptional for the kids!” she said.

Q: How Do You Balance The Home Schooling And Work?

“Now, being a single mother, handling the kids at home with homeschooling and trying to decide if I am indeed an essential worker has been challenging, to put it lightly,” she said. “My job has times that require me to be present as I record meetings, but I am fully equipped to work from home, as well.”

Q: What Are Your Worries, And How Are you Coping Emotionally?

“At the office, I fear of getting sick. Who will take care of the kids if I am down? Who will take care of the kids while I am at work or at lunch?

“I am more than blessed to have my parents who help out as much as possible. But I fear exposing my mother who is in her late 60s and is asthmatic and my father who is healthy, but also turning 75.

“The strains of trying to do all the right things we are told to do — social distancing, stay at home, and meeting the demands at work — has been stressful.

“Like everyone else, I am tackling it one day at a time and reminding myself and the kids that we will persevere. We’re doing our part for our community and our family by staying healthy and listening to our health advisers.”

4:24PM MONDAY, MARCH 23

9:30AM MONDAY, MARCH 23

Have Some Fun, Despite COVID-19 … And Weather

Darn that Pam Otto!

Here I am all geared up for “All COVID-19, All The Time,” when she comes along and delivers such a great “Good Natured” column that I can’t help but take a few minutes to post it.

We’ve been running Pam’s excellent “Good Natured” columns weekly for several years now, and her usual post time slot is 8 a.m. Fridays.

That’s where and when you’ll find “Good Natured” once the “new normal” starts looking a little more like the normal normal.

(“Call the Squad Squad!” as the great “On Language” columnist William Safire used to say when chastising redundancy. … And, of course, “Chastising Redundancy” would be an OK name for a rock band. … But I digress.)

Kane County Connects will be focusing on the most important information during this COVID-19 emergency, but we’ll try to take a few minutes each day to have some fun or look at other issues. This will be the landing page for those posts.

Pam’s “Good Natured” columns are a perfect escape from the COVID emergency — fun and well-written and interesting. And, of course, practical news you can use. Getting outside — so long as you maintain social distancing — is a good and healthy way to deal with some of the stress of these strange days.

Weather I’m Right, Weather I’m Wrong

Earllier today (Monday, March 23, 2020), we posted some snow photos on the Kane County Connects Facebook page, courtesy of me and Kane County Board member Chris Kious, who lives in the northern part of our most-excellent county. We’re presenting a screenshot above.

Here are some Fast Facts on the “late season snow event,” courtesy of the NWS Chicago:

  • A late season moderate to at times heavy wet snow fell across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana on the afternoon and night of Sunday, March 22. Most of the snow stuck on grass with little (mainly under an inch) sticking on pavement.
  • Through 1 a.m., official snowfall for Chicago (O’Hare) was 2.2″ and for Rockford was 1.4″. Other totals include 4.3″ at the NWS Chicago in Romeoville and 3.0″ observed 3 miles southwest of Midway Airport.
  • The heaviest snow of 4 – 5.5″ fell generally 15 miles north/south of I-80, and was a focus area for more persistent banding of snow. This was a key attribute of this system, along with high moisture and instability (allows for more rapid upward motion of air and in turn heavier precipitation rates).
  • While more snow fell than the forecast of “1-2 inches with isolated higher”, the forecast impacts of little to road travel was the case thanks to pavement temperatures well above freezing at onset and air temperatures at or above freezing the entire snowfall duration.

Snow Totals

Geneva 4WSW (Kane)............................4.5
  Crete 3E (Will)...............................4.5
  Romeoville (Will).............................4.5
  Downers Grove 0.4NNE (Du Page)................4.4
  Park Forest 1NNE (Cook).......................4.2
  Homer Glen 1ENE (Will)........................4.2
  Lockport 1SE (Will)...........................4.2
  Oak Lawn (Cook)...............................4.0
  Chicago Ridge (Cook)..........................4.0
  Homewood (Cook)...............................4.0
  Roselle 1ESE (Du Page)........................4.0
  Sugar Grove 1NE (Kane)........................4.0
  St. Charles (Kane)............................4.0
  Manhattan 5ENE (Will).........................4.0
  Brandon Road Lock & Dam (Will)................4.0
  Kankakee (Kankakee)...........................4.0
  Manhattan (Will)..............................4.0
  Morris (Grundy)...............................4.0
  Paw Paw (Lee).................................4.0
  Hoffman Estates 2SE (Cook)....................3.9
  Hoffman Estates 5W (Cook).....................3.8
  Palos Park 1SW (Cook).........................3.8
  Aurora 4SE (Du Page)..........................3.8
  Batavia 2WNW (Kane)...........................3.8
  St. Charles 6NW (Kane)........................3.8
  Highwood 1S (Lake)............................3.8
  Lake Zurich (Lake)............................3.8
  Elgin (Kane)..................................3.6
  Elgin 1S (Kane)...............................3.6
  Midway Coop (Cook)............................3.6
  Earlville 3S (La Salle).......................3.5
  Palatine 1NNE (Cook)..........................3.5
  Cortland (De Kalb)............................3.5
  Montgomery 1SSE (Kendall).....................3.5
  Herscher 3E (Kankakee)........................3.5
  North Aurora 2NE (Kane).......................3.5
  Elgin 2W (Kane)...............................3.5

3:30 PM SUNDAY, MARCH 22

How We’re Organizing Coronavirus Content

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 information we’ve posted the past two weeks has been Kane County Connects’ “finest hour.”

Page views — as high as 105,000 a day — indicate that we have been a valued information resource during this emergency for folks throughout Kane County.

Moving forward, probably the best thing Kane County Connects can do is to make it easy for you to find the information that’s most important to you.

In order to do that, we’ve organized the content into six “landing pages,” based on subject matter. You’ll see the outline at the top of each landing page, including this one.

It’s important to note that “Kane County Connects” is just one person. I’ll do my best to keep these posts updated several times each day and to add other content as time allows.

The best ways for your to keep up with Kane County Connects content is to subscribe to the Kane County Connects e-newsletter and visit kanecountyconnects.com.

Take care, stay safe and tune to the Kane County Health Department website page for more information and updates.

— Rick Nagel, Kane County Connects editor and outreach coordinator for Kane County, IL

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