At the Monday, March 4, 2019 meeting, West Chicago Police Chief Mike Uplegger presented a Citizen Award to eleven-year old Sadie Whetstone. When she got off the bus December 7, Whetstone noticed a strange man driving a van. As she sat on her porch waiting for her mother, who was picking up siblings from school, the stranger approached her and asker her to give some papers to her parents. She was scared and took off walking. She called 911 and her mother. She reached a place, where she was able to observe the van and noticed the stranger was not in the car. She got his license number. The police were able to apprehend the stranger, who turned out to be an over-zealous sales person. The Chief. said, “She reacted correctly to the situation and her parents taught her well. We felt she deserved recognition.”
AROUND AND ABOUT
Early voting for the 2019 Consolidated Election is now open through Monday, April 1, 2019 at DuPage County Clerk’s Election Division, 421 North County Farm Road, second floor cafeteria. Other temporary and permanent locations are available; this is the closest to West Chicago. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday.
The League of Women Voters of Wheaton and Leman Middle School Student Council host a Candidate Meet and Greet from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in the cafetorium, 238 East Hazel Street. Invited are candidates running in the Tuesday, April 2, 2019, consolidated election, which includes City Council, Park District, Library District, West Chicago Elementary School District 33 and Community High School District 94. Each candidate is provided an assigned table to answer questions one on one with the constituents.There are contested seats in both school districts and the library district.
In the West Chicago Public Library District, there are four four-year positions open for the Board of Trustees. Candidates are Nancy Conradt, Frank J. Fokta and Patricia Weninger and Thomas Tawney, incumbents, and Corrine Jakacki-Dattomo.
In West Chicago Elementary School District 33, there are three four-year seats open for the Board of Education. Candidates are Phoebe Balzer, incumbent, and Rita Belgeman, Tom Doyle, Christian Rivera and Carl G. Meyer.
In Community High School District 94, there are three four-year positions and one two-year unexpired position open for the Board of Education. Candidates for the four-year terms are Kathe Doremus, Lauren Alexis Scanlan, both incumbents, and Lynn Casey-Maher, Jennifer Shilakais Wiesner and Bob Brown. Candidate for the two-year term is Dean Klapatch.
City of West Chicago positions open are four-year terms for one alderman in each of the City’s seven wards, plus three unexpired two-year terms. Candidates are Ward 1, Jim Beifuss, incumbent; Ward 2, Jayme Sheahan for the four-year term, incumbent, and Heather Brown for the two-year term, incumbent; Ward 3, Al Hallett, incumbent; Ward 4, Melissa Ferguson, incumbent; Ward 5, Matt Garling for the four-year term, incumbent, and Chris Swiatek for the two-year term, incumbent, Ward 6, Becky Stout for the four-year term, incumbent, and Jeanne Short for the two-year term, incumbent; and Ward 7, Noreen M. Ligino-Kubinski, incumbent.
The West Chicago Park District has two six-year terms and one three-year unexpired term open for the Board of Commissioners. Candidates for the six year terms are Frank Lenertz and Reggie Bass, both incumbents. Maria Dalianis is running as a write-in candidate for this seat. No one filed for the unexpired term.
A forum for Elgin Area School District U-46 Board of Education candidates, sponsored by the U-46 Citizens Advisory Committee, is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2019, in the auditorium of the Dream Academy, 355 East Chicago Street in Elgin. There are eight candidates running for the four 4-year term seats. Incumbents are John Devereux, Susan Kerr, and West Chicago resident Jeanette Ward. Newcomers are Daniel Hancock, Eva Porter, Tina Rio, Silva-Sobolewski and Kathleen Thomas.
Benjamin Theater Club presents “Newsies” in the large gym at Benjamin Middle School, 28W250 St. Charles Road. Performances are at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, and at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2019. Tickets are $8.
Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Services offers hour-long computer classes for senior citizens at Wayne Township, 27W031 North Avenue. Not only do seniors learn basic skills, but also have the opportunity to socialize. The fee is $2. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (630) 231-7166. Beginner classes are at 3:00 p.m. Fridays. “Texting on Smart Phones” class is at 4:00 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2019.
The Winter Choral Concert at West Chicago Community High School is at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Weyrauch Auditorium, 326 Joliet Street. Brandon Fantozzi is the director.
Chamber Choir performs “The Oak and the Ash” and “God Bless America.” Mixed Chorus performs “Turn the World Around” and “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Women’s Chorale performs “Lark In the Clear Air” and “A-Tisket A-Tasket.” Concert Choir performs “Dixit Dominus” and “Goin’ Up to Glory.”
WeGo Wildcat Boosters Club holds its Fifth Annual Spaghetti Dinner from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in the high school Commons, 326 Joliet Street, entrance H. The menu is unlimited spaghetti, a serving of salad, bread, cookie and cold beverage. Ticket price is $8 for adults and $6 for children age 11 and under.
In addition to 50/50 raffle, there also are many raffle baskets. These include golf packages, overnight stays and gift certificates for restaurants. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago Public Library holds a one hour Microsoft Word-Level 2 class at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in the small conference room, 118 West Washington Street. In this class, students learn more advanced formatting techniques, page set up, lists, sorting and symbols. To make a reservation, call adult services at (630) 231-1552, extension 4.
The West Chicago Park District holds a Watercolors class from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.Thursday, starting March 21 and ending May 2, 2019, at the ARC, 201 West National Street in Reed-Keppler Park. Guided instruction and practice is provided for beginners with focused instruction and support for those who have some experience. Aspects covered include color, compositions and value. The teacher is Pat Helbig from the Community School of Arts in Wheaton. Supplies are included in the cost of $12 for residents and $15 for non-residents. To register, stop in at the ARC or online at www.we-goparks.org.
The Brush for Art classes are made possible through a grant from the JCS Fund of the DuPage Community Foundation. It is for individuals 55 years and older and allows the district to offer different art programs at a reduced rate.
West Chicago City Museum Historiography program, a non-fiction book reading group, resumes in at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2019, at the Museum, 132 Main Street. Guests can bring a lunch, dessert and a beverage are provided. The book to be discussed is “Leonardo Da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson. Copies of the book are available at the Museum and Library.
Isaacson researched thousands of pages from Leonardo’s notebooks and new discoveries of his life and work. He connects Leonardo’s art to his science. Other biographies by Isaacson are Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.
The League of Women Voters of Wheaton and Cantigny Park sponsor three upcoming programs focusing on themes of civic awareness and encourage local participation in the democratic process. “Illinois Politics Today” takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2019, in the Cantigny Park Visitor Center Theater, 1S151 Winfield Road. The speaker is Rick Peterson, chief political reporter of “Chicago Tribune’ and host of “Sunday Spin” on WGN Radio. Programs are free, including parking, but advance registration is required due to limited seating. To make a reservation visit the website www.cantigny.org, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (630) 260.-8162.
The League of Women Voters of Wheaton includes West Chicago, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton and Carol Stream. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate, but whose purpose is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.
U.S. Hockey League Chicago Steel host a special fundraiser for Community High School District 94 Education Foundation at 3:05 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2019, at the Fox Valley Ice Arena, 1996 South Kirk Road in Geneva. Ticket cost is for White Zone ticket section 202 at $15.The afternoon event features the Steel’s Daddy Daughter Princess Day plus a Post-Game Skate with the Steel. To order tickets. Visit www.steelgroups.com, enter password D94. (www.merleburl.com)
Catholic Daughters of Americas Court 432, St. Mary’s parish, hosts its Fifth Annual Spring Luncheon from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2018, at the ARC Center in Reed-Keppler Park, 201 West National Street. On the menu are salads, rolls, dessert, coffee and lemonade. There also are gift basket raffles and 50/50 raffle. The ticket price is $8 for adults and $6 for children under the age of 10. For tickets, call Sylvia Mosier at (630) 231-0603.
The proceeds benefit various charities to which CDA contributes and other in-kind and monetary donations. These include layettes for Catholic Charities, sponsoring a Mission child, helping with funding for Habitat and supporting the St. Vincent De Paul Society Conference. Donations include Neighborhood Food Pantries located in West Chicago, religious education classes at St. Mary’s and families in need at Christmas.
At the West Chicago Public Library, 118 West Washington Street, during the month of March, the Creative Corner wall features the exhibit, “Animals That Touch Our Lives,” with artwork by Gallery 200 artists. The display case features a Humanitarian Service Project display. There is a donation box to collect tissues for seniors in need. (www.merleburl.com)
Spreading our Wings 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk, sponsored by the Illinois Association of Latino Administrators, is Saturday, April 13, 2019. The course is on the Prairie Path through the City of West Chicago and into the DuPage Forest Preserve. Packet pick up and registration is at 7:30 a.m. The race begins at 8:00 a.m.
Age groups are 10 and under, 11 to 14, 15 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69 and 70 and over. The top three overall male and female participants receive awards, plus the top three males and females in each age category receive awards.
Participants can choose from either a Short Sleeve Race Shirt or a Long Sleeve Race Shirt during the registration process. Must register by March 15, 2019, to be guaranteed preferred t-shirt size. To register visit https://raceroster.com/events/2019/21445/spreading-our-wings-5k-1-mile-runwalk. Proceeds benefit the IALAS Scholarship Program.
West Chicago Police Department offers free Active Shooter/Workplace Training workshops to businesses, churches and organizations. Providing the training are police officers Mike Rosenwinkel and Waylon Potts, who also is a former SWAT officer. The workshops are either hour long presentations or a full day of training.
The goal is to provide information for persons finding themselves in an active shooter event. Rosenwinkel said, “ We also talk about how to recognize signs of potential violence around you, and what to expect after an active shooter incident takes place. This training and information provided have become the preferred response, versus the traditional ‘lockdown’ approach.”
The Police Department is holding a class for the public at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the West Chicago Firefighters Training Academy, 320 Kress Road.
For more information about this training or class, call Rosenwinkel at (630) 293-2751 or email email@example.com.
The class of 1999 at West Chicago Community High School is having a 20-year class reunion Saturday, September 21, 2019, at Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 West Hawthorne Lane. Information, as it becomes available, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/37785337191/?ref=share is o. (www.merleburl.com)
West Chicago Community High School finished in first place in the 23rd annual Illinois LifeSmarts competition Tuesday, February 26, 2019. Members of the team are Manav Patel (Captain), David Fatheree, Jeremy Grant, Alex Hey, and Max Kazmer. LifeSmarts tests students’ knowledge in the areas of personal finance, consumer rights and responsibilities, technology, health and safety, and the environment.
The team, along with their coach Don Zabelin, will now compete at the LifeSmarts National Competition taking placeSaturday through Tuesday, April 13 to 16, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. The national competition features several rounds of competition including individual tests, creating a public service announcement, and solving challenges in 10 different LifeSmarts topic areas. The top 16 teams will then compete in a single elimination quiz bowl competition to determine the national champion.
WCCHS also had a second team compete in the state competition. Team members were Eric Briggs (Captain), Caleb O’Neil, Nathan Rutledge, and Emma Tully. LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. (www.merleburl.com)
At the Monday, March 4, 2019 meeting, City Council passed a resolution for Final Plan Approval to Norix for the construction of its 204,849 square-foot global headquarters on 22 acres in the DuPage Business Center. The item summary states, “The new ‘state of the art’ headquarters will consolidate under one roof many of the manufacturing operations currently outsourced outside of Illinois and the United States. The energy-efficient building features passive sustainable design, a two-story, full-glass lobby and an upper-level, cantilevered board room.” (www.merleburl.com)
Support our local businesses as they not only contribute to the community through taxes, but also generously contribute through monetary and in-kind donations to clubs, churches, organizations and schools.
Contributing to the West Chicago Lions Club Pancake Breakfast Sunday, March 3, 2019, were Aperion Care West Chicago, Williams-Woodward Funeral Home, Edward Jones-John F. Cahill, Bob’s Auto Body, Marziani Enterprises, Daniel And Associates Real Estate, Precision Lube & Auto, Republic Bank, Rebecca C. Hall Consulting, The UPS Store, Mary Ann Manna-Re/Max Suburban, Murphy Ace Hardware, T. S. Specialties, Extra Value Liquors, Sonny Acres, Haggerty Ford, Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli and Grill and Norris-Segert Funeral Home & Cremation Services.
Dr. Charles Johns, Superintendent of West Chicago Elementary School District 33, has accepted a position in another district for the 2019-20. Due to the timing of this transition, the District 33 Board of Education intends to appoint an Interim Superintendent this spring.
After the upcoming board election Tuesday, April 2, 2019 and the seating of the new board members, there will likely be a decision made to conduct a full superintendent search utilizing a search firm to begin in the fall of 2019.
The Board has sought feedback from key district leaders, Parent Teachers Organization Council and Elementary Teachers Association of West Chicago in these preliminary plans. The Board is committed to continuing to seek stakeholder feedback through the fall when the formal search process is underway. “Our goal in each step of this transition is to find the best candidate to continue the progress already taking place in our district.”
Illinois Directors of Student Activities named Jim Holtrop of Wheaton Academy as Outstanding Activity Director. (www.merleburl.com)
In March of 2018 a group of West Chicago Police Officers volunteered to wear and field test body cameras while working on patrol. After a yearlong trial period, the West Chicago Police Department has purchased additional body cameras and beginning Friday, March 8, 2019, all police officers are equipped with and will be wearing them.
Since their inception, there have been numerous studies on the effectiveness of body-worn cameras. Information from these studies shows body-worn cameras decrease external and false complaints, police use of force, court overtime, and response to resistance.
Chief Mike Uplegger, who was instrumental in getting the cameras, believes strongly in the technology. “I believe the cameras will enhance the community’s trust in the West Chicago Police Department and will help us create a safer West Chicago.”
Axon provided training to the West Chicago Police Department to ensure the officers adhere to Illinois law to both enhance its transparency and properly safeguard the privacy of people captured on camera, including children, witnesses, and bystanders. (www.merleburl.com)
St. Michael’s United Church of Christ held its Sixth annual Souper Bowl of Caring for the Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, 2019. Members chose the football team they thought would win with the donation of a can of soup or money. The final vote was 38 cans of soup and $50 donation for the Los Angeles Rams, 12 cans of soup for the New England Patriots, and 8 cans of soup and $12 for the third option of giving. Thus the total donation was 58 cans of soup and $62 to Neighborhood Food Pantry at the Real Life Church location. The donations from the members of the church did not reflect the actual winner of the Super Bowl. The final score was New England Patriots-13, and the Los Angeles Rams-3.
West Chicago Lions Club had a successful Pancake Breakfast Sunday, March 3, 2019. They received $1,245 from pancake breakfast tickets. The 60/40 raffle total was $453. Phil Smith was the lucky winner. Lion Club member Frank Lenertz said, “We collected $1,245.00 from PB tickets Them 60/40 raffle generated a total $453.00 We thank all that attended the WC Lions pancake breakfast. It was the our largest turnout in the past ten years.”
The West Chicago Police Department again participated in the Coolest Event of the Year—the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, where law enforcement officers took a flying leap into the frigid water of an Illinois lake to support Special Olympics Illinois athletes. Twenty-three brave souls represented the WC Police Department and took the plunge at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, March 3, 2019, at Loon Lake in Silver Springs State Park in Yorkville. The temperature was 20 degrees. There was 17 inches of ice on the lake. Participants raise money from donations by friends, family and co-workers. The goal was $2,500, but that was surpassed with donations totaling $5,690. Detective Robbi Peterson, who captains the event, said, “This is the best start to our annual Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising. I am looking for a record setting year this year and we are well on the way.”
Persons can still make donations until Monday, March 25.To make a pledge persons can do so onlinehttps://soill.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=9886. Other ways to donate are to drop off or mail the donation to the West Chicago Police Department, Attn: Robbi Peterson, 325 Spenser Street, West Chicago, IL 60185. Make checks payable to Special Olympics Illinois. (www.merleburl.com)
Recently elected members of West Chicago Sister Cities board are President, Becky Hall; Vice President, Don Smith; Treasurer, Bill Birch; Secretary, Melissa Ferguson; Liaison, Uwe Gsedl; and Members at Large, Jeff Handel and David Sabathne.
Jordan Wilkins, a senior and a member of the West Chicago Community High School basketball team, advanced to sectional completion for the Illinois High School Association 3-point shooting contest.
West Chicago Community High School wrestlers Ryan Hannah and Pierre Baldwin advanced to the Fresh/Soph State Wrestling Tournament. Hannah placed first and Baldwin fourth at sectionals.
Asia Smith, Natalie Hatch and Maya Gomez also qualified for the Female State Wrestling Tournament. At sectionals Smith placed first, Hatch third and Gomez fourth.
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