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BataviaPlus Regional

Batavia Plus Regional 

No community operates in a void. That's why documenting regional economic and environmental activity is key to understanding Batavia's position in the greater Chicago area. The Batavia Plus Regional blog will interview community leaders, organizations and companies that impact the lives of Batavians.  

Jun 28

Tri-Com is ready when you call 9-1-1

Posted on June 28, 2017 at 9:33 AM by Christopher Cudworth

IMG_6813The world is now so full of amazing technologies and connected services it is almost impossible to imagine how it all works. When your phone seems to know that you’re going home before you do, and your car can park itself, what else is there for us to do but go along?

Yet sometimes life turns itself inside out. Real life emergencies can come about in an instance. That’s when we need the services we depend upon to be simple-to-use, reliable and accessible.

In America, we’re trained from an early age to call 9-1-1 in emergencies. That education works: there are an estimated 240 million calls made to 9-1-1 each year.  Across the country there are systems are set up to connect dispatchers to emergency services providers such as police, ambulance and emergency responders. The communities of Geneva, Batavia, St. Charles, South Elgin, Elburn, North Aurora, Sugar Grove and the Waubonsee Community College campus are all served by Tri-Com, an organization (1) dedicated to handling and dispatching calls to emergency services.

In good hands

Tri-Com handles approximately 130,000 calls and  98,000 dispatches each year. That’s an average of 365 calls per day, and 268 dispatches in the five communities it serves. Just as important as fielding those calls is the manner in which services can be coordinated between police, fire and medical teams.

As such, Tri-Com leverages technologies and systems designed specifically for regions where towns share borders. Tri-Com is a member of an organization called the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. The Tri-Com website states, “There are currently 48 divisions throughout Illinois and 4 divisions in Wisconsin. MABAS allows Tri-Com to communicate with and receive assistance from many non-Tri-Com fire agencies during major incidents.”

Heading up this organization requires deep experience and insight into how emergency systems are managed. Recently Tri-Com promoted Nicole Lamela to Director of Tri-Com Central Dispatch. She has spent 22 years of her career at Tri-Com in numerous positions of increasing responsibility. These include telecommunicator, supervisor, CAD administrator, deputy director and interim director.

Growing responsibility

As population has grown in the Fox Valley area served by Tri-Com, the volume of calls to 9-1-1 has continued to increase. But some of the effectiveness of Tri-Com depends upon everyday citizens to know how and when to make a beneficial 9-1-1 call.

It starts with learning how to be a good witness. The Tri-Com website shares insights on how and what to observe when making a 9-1-1 call whether the situation is about someone you know or a complete stranger. 
Their Be A Good Witness page is therefore a good primer for anyone to know.

Tri-Com was formed in 1976 and has ably served the Tri-Cities for more than 40 years and likely more than 40M calls to 9-1-1. We might take such technology and convenience for granted. But we shouldn’t. The number of lives saved may be countless, and when you’re the person who needs 9-1-1 assistance it is good to know there are Tri-Com professionals ready to help.

(1)    Tri-Com is a cooperative arrangement voluntarily established* by its Original Members (Cities of St Charles, Geneva and Batavia) pursuant to an Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) authorized by Article VII, Section 1, of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, 1970, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, 5 ILCS 220/2 (1) 5 ILCS 220/2 (1) et seq. of the Illinois Compiled Statutes for the purpose of providing communication services for police, fire, ambulance and other emergency communication systems for the mutual benefit of the members of the venture; to provide such services on a contract basis to other public agencies; and to provide a forum for discussion, study, development and implementation of recommendations of mutual interests regarding communications, information systems, statistical matters and criminal justice, fire safety, emergency medical and telephone emergency request systems, public safety information communication and data processing within portions of Kane, DuPage and Kendall Counties, Illinois.


Jun 22

Fox River Trail initiatives needs paddlers to collect data

Posted on June 22, 2017 at 3:33 PM by Christopher Cudworth

Fox River FabyanThe Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative is seeking to improve how people engage with and enjoy the Fox River along its entire length. The group is issuing an invitation to participate in data collection to better identify needs and opportunities associated with this effort. Here is the message from Karen Ann Miller, AICP, Executive Planner, Kane County Development Department and Co-Chair, of the Trail Initiative. 

Hello Fox River Stakeholders!

You may have heard of a little project going on in and around your community. It’s a project that will enhance recreational opportunities, garner national recognition and be an economic development driver for municipalities and counties along the Fox River. The Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative began when individuals attending the Fox River Summit in 2014 learned about the National Park Service (NPS) Water Trail System.  In the summer of 2015 these individuals met to discuss their interest in working together to develop a water trail for the Fox River that may someday be designated as part of the NPS Water Trail System.  The benefits of such a designation include national recognition, a listing on the National Park Service website with interactive maps and other information for paddlers, support for conservation and other efforts to protect the trail.

The group, the Core Development Team, applied for and is receiving technical assistance from the NPS’ Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program to develop the Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative.

The Core Development Team has been busy collecting existing data regarding canoe/kayak access points including signage, parking, and amenities on land at the access location. Data collection on river segments regarding the journey experience such as time expected to travel a segment, hazards, dams and portages, and experience level is also needed. This data will be used to develop maps of the Fox River, a public website and plan for suggested future improvements.

We need your help to collect data in Illinois during this paddling season!  Collection forms that can be accessed electronically through Google Drive or as paper forms have been developed, along with instructions for data collection volunteers.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this exciting initiative to develop a water trail for the Fox River please see the instructions attached to this email and contact Karen Ann Miller at with any questions.

Please sign-up to receive updates on the Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative through the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership monthly Downstream newsletter at

We hope you will join us on this exciting venture!


Karen Ann Miller, AICP

Executive Planner

Kane County Development Dept.

Illinois Co-Chair

Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative

719 S. Batavia Ave.

Geneva, IL 60134


Jun 06

On eve of 50th year, Fermi digs deeper into matter

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 9:04 AM by Christopher Cudworth

The Muon g-2 experiment has begun the search for phantom particles using a powerful electromagnet.

What do you get when you revive a beautiful 20-year-old physics machine, carefully transport it 3,200 miles over land and sea to its new home, and then use it to probe strange happenings in a magnetic field? Hopefully you get new insights into the elementary particles that make up everything.

Muon-2017-1 (1)The Muon g-2 experiment, located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, has begun its quest for those insights. On May 31, the 50-foot-wide superconducting electromagnet at the center of the experiment saw its first beam of muon particles from Fermilab’s accelerators, kicking off a three-year effort to measure just what happens to those particles when placed in a stunningly precise magnetic field. The answer could rewrite scientists’ picture of the universe and how it works.

“The Muon g-2 experiment’s first beam truly signals the start of an important new research program at Fermilab, one that uses muon particles to look for rare and fascinating anomalies in nature,” said Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer. “After years of preparation, I’m excited to see this experiment begin its search in earnest.”

Getting to this point was a long road for Muon g-2, both figuratively and literally. The first generation of this experiment took place at the U.S. DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The goal of the experiment was to precisely measure one property of the muon – the particles’ precession, or wobble, in a magnetic field. The final results were surprising, hinting at the presence of previously unknown phantom particles or forces affecting the muon’s properties.


The new experiment at Fermilab will make use of the laboratory’s intense beam of muons to definitively answer the questions the Brookhaven experiment raised. And since it would have cost 10 times more to build a completely new machine at Brookhaven rather than move the magnet to Fermilab, the Muon g-2 team transported that large, fragile superconducting magnet in one piece from Long Island to the suburbs of Chicago in the summer of 2013.

The magnet took a barge south around Florida, up the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway and the Illinois River, and was then driven on a specially designed truck over three nights to Fermilab. And thanks to a GPS-powered map online, it collected thousands of fans over its journey, making it one of the most well-known electromagnets in the world.

“Getting the magnet here was only half the battle,” said Chris Polly, project manager of the Muon g-2 experiment. “Since it arrived, the team here at Fermilab has been working around the clock installing detectors, building a control room and, for the past year, adjusting the uniformity of the magnetic field, which must be precisely known to an unprecedented level to obtain any new physics. It’s been a lot of work, but we’re ready now to really get started.”


That work has included the creation of a new beamline to deliver a pure beam of muons to the ring, the installation of a host of instrumentation to measure both the magnetic field and the muons as they circulate within it, and a year-long process of “shimming” the magnet, inserting tiny pieces of metal by hand to shape the magnetic field. The field created by the magnet is now three times more uniform than the one it created at Brookhaven.

Over the next few weeks the Muon g-2 team will test the equipment installed around the magnet, which will be storing and measuring muons for the first time in 16 years. Later this year, they will start taking science-quality data, and if their results confirm the anomaly first seen at Brookhaven, it will mean that the elegant picture of the universe that scientists have been working on for decades is incomplete and that new particles or forces may be out there, waiting to be discovered.

“It’s an exciting time for the whole team, and for physics,” said David Hertzog of the University of Washington, co-spokesperson of the Muon g-2 collaboration. “The magnet has been working, and working fantastically well. It won’t be long until we have our first results and a better view through the window that the Brookhaven experiment opened for us.”

The Muon g-2 collaboration includes more than 150 scientists and engineers from more than 30 institutions in nine countries.

Learn more about the Muon g-2 experiment.

The Muon g-2 experiment is supported by DOE’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation.

Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC. Visit Fermilab’s website at and follow us on Twitter @Fermilab.

The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit