Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. It is one of my favorite holidays, very little pressure just a time to gather, eat and enjoy being together., whether a small or large gathering. The dining experience may be the traditional Thanksgiving meal, ham, pork or beef roast or a cultural combination. Take time to feel thankful;, whether it be a small thing or something large. Happy Thanksgiving!
AROUND AND ABOUT
- Sonny Acres, 29 W310 North Ave., is open for the holidays ending Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022. Activities include Holiday Lights, Visits from Santa, Fresh Cut Christmas Trees, Handmade Wreaths, Roping, Sweet Shop Delights, and Specialty Gifts. To view days and hours, visit, https://sonnyacres.com/. (https://merleburl.com)
- Southbound, a country rock band, performs from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 2022, at American Legion Post 300, 123 Main St. The members are from the Fox Valley area. Note date correction/
- The alebrije sculptures of art students at West Chicago Community High School are on display through December in the display case at the West Chicago Pubic Library, 118 W. Washington St.. The sculptures were created by the 3D art class students s of teacher Dave Exner. At this time, there are eight sculptures, but more will be added. (https://merleburl.com)
- Free leaf pick up ends Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, on regular scheduled garbage day. Leaves must be in “Kraft” bags; stickers are not required.
- With the holiday season upon us, the onset of decorating begins in earnest, which includes the discovery of strands of incandescent and LED holiday lights that no longer work and finding a way of ecological disposal. The City provides the “green” answer with the offer of free recycling for the holiday lights and extension cords from Friday, November 25, 2022, through Friday, January 19, 2023. The offer is open to residents, businesses, clubs, churches and organizations. Drop-off locations are City Hall, 475 Main St.; First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, by exterior door at 643 E. Washington St. Murphy Ace Hardware, 319 S. Neltnor Blvd; Water Treatment Plant, 1400 W. Hawthorne Lane; West Chicago Public Library District, 118 W. Washington St.; and the ARC Center, 201 W. National St. The West Chicago Environmental Commission coordinates the program with Groot Industries. The amount collected in 2020 was 688 pounds.Since the programs tarted in 2013, the amount collected is 9,383 pounds. . (https://merleburl.com)
- Yard waste collection for 2022 ends the week of November 28 on regularly scheduled garbage [ick up days.
- To gather community input regarding the community park development at the Kerr-McGee property, the City of West Chicago and its consultant, Upland Design, host a community input meeting at City Hall, 475 Main St. The meeting is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 30, During the meeting, residents can provide their input on different ideas and images presented by the City’s consultant as well as vote on their favorite park elements. For more information about the Kerr-McGee property, visit the City’s website, https://westchicago.org/.
- The City of West Chicago holds a Public Information Meeting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at City Hall, 475 Main S. It concerns proposed improvements to the section of Town Road between Roosevelt Road and Washington Street. City representatives also address topics such as the need for the project, the design alternatives under consideration, right-of-way acquisition, and the tentative construction schedule. Preliminary reports, drawings, maps, and aerial photography, are available for inspection and viewing during the entire time of the public meeting.
- The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park presents its Date with History series program at 7 p.m.Thursday Dec. 1,, 2022, via Zoom or in person. Registration is not required for in person attendees. Online viewers must register in advance at org to receive a Zoom link.
The program is “Chicago’s Arsenal of Democracy,” a presentation by historian Jerome M. O’Connor. He discusses the mobilization of our region’s factories to support the U.S. military during World War II. More than 1,400 Chicago companies converted almost overnight from peace time to war production in the early-to-mid 1940s. It was the first major introduction of women into the labor force and ranks as the most successful mobilization of brains and muscles in American history. The presentation features rare images from the era, including the factories as they were and as they are now, plus the largest war factory ever built.
Jerome M. O’Connor, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the author of “The Hidden Places of World War II: The Extraordinary Sites Where History Was Made During the War That Saved Civilization,” published in 2019. He has been a professional journalist since his twenties while simultaneously building a firm specializing in international travel and study programs for professional associations. In 2001, O’Connor received the U.S Naval Institute’s “Author of the Year” award for revealing the near-intact existence of Nazi Germany’s five massive U-boat bunker bases along the French Atlantic coast. (https://merleburl.com)
- West Chicago Public lLibrary has a Grinch-themed evening planned for its Holiday Open House from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, There are activities and entertainment for adults and children.
- “Small Gifts of Art” is the exhibit at Gallery 200, 103 West Washington Street, for the month of December. The artwork of 13 featured artists is perfect for holiday gifts, plus reasonably priced. The artists’ reception is from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2022
- First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington St., hosts Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and #3 for children age 12 and under./for families the 2 adults and two or more children age 12 and under, the price is $20.
- Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, celebrates an 1890s Christmas from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Soday, Dec. 3 and 4, 2022. Attendees help decorate the farm by stringing popcorn and twisting greenery, and join staff and volunteers around the fire to mull cider and enjoy some sweet treats. At the visitors center, there is the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. The event is free, registration is not required. (https://merleburl.com)
- Frosty Fest takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in the historic downtown district. It features the Procession and Tree Lighting Ceremony along with food, live music, and activities for all ages. Guests can also enjoy some hot chocolate as they welcome the event’s special guests, Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with some of their furry friends. For full information of activities, view https://westchicago.org/frosty-fest/. (https://merleburl.com)
- The West Chicago Park District monthly social gathering for senior citizens is the Holiday Celebration at noon Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, at the ARC, 201 West National St. The charge is $15. Reservations are due by Friday, Dec. 2, and may be made at we-goparks.org/adult-programs, To add to the holiday fun, guests bring a wrapped gift worth no more than $5.
- National Honor Society at West Chicago Community High School hosts Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.
- We Grow Dreams Greenhouse & Garden Center, 1055 W. Washington St., hosts a Holiday Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. (https://merleburl.com)
- West Chicago Park District hosts the North Pole Adventure Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, 2022. Train departures are from the Metra station 608 Main St. Train 1 departs at 1:15 p.m and Train 2 departs at 5:15 p.m., The cost per person is $22 for residents and $26 for non residents. A parent or guardian myst accompany children. Pre-registration is required.. Activities on the train include music, stories, snacks and some surprises, plus Santa visits, giving each child a special gift. To register, visit https://www.we-goparks.org/special-events,(https://merleburl.com)
- Although the general election os over, another election looms—the April 4, 2023, consolidated election for officials in the City of West Chicago, West Chicago Public Library District, West Chicago Elementary School District 33, Community High School District 94, and Benjamin School District 25. The candidate election packets are available at the respective taxing body locations. School board candidates must either pick up packets at the DuPage County Election Commission, 421 North County Farm Road in Wheaton, or go the commission website http://www.dupageco.org/election to obtain the forms. Packets include information sheets, nominating petitions, statement of candidacy, loyalty oath (optional), and a statement of economic interest to be filed with the DuPage County Clerk. All candidates must be 18 years and older, a registered voter and a resident of the respective taxing body. Candidate filing begins Monday, Dec, 12, and ends at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19.
City of West Chicago positions open are for seven Aldermen for four-year terms on City Council. .Packets are available from 8 arm to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall, 475 Main St.
In the West Chicago Public Library District, there are five positions open for the Board of Trustees. West Chicago Park District has three position for the Board of Commissioners.
In West Chicago Elementary School District 33, there are three four-year seats open for the Board of Education. In Community High School District 94, there are three four-year positions open for the Board of Education.
In St. Charles Community Unit School District 303, there are three four-year positions open for the Board of Education. In Benjamin School District 25, there are three four-year terms open. In School District U-46, there are four seats open for four-year terms.
There are three positions opened for College of DuPage Board of Trustees. There are two seats available for DuPage County Regional Board of School Trustees. Currently serving in these positions are Mary Aherne Upping and Mary Ann Manna.
- The West Chicago Public Library Saturday Crafternoon program is at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec.. 10, 2022, in the main program room, 118 W. Washington St. Participants make holiday party favors or small tokens of appreciation for carolers and neighbors To make a reservation,
- American Legion Post 300 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791 host the Holiday Celebration for the Community Saturday, Dec. 10, 2021, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6791, 431 N. Neltnor Blvd
SUPPORT OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES
- Ciantro Taco Grill, 280 E. North Ave., recently opened.
- Hawthorne’s Backyard Bar & Grill, 1200 W. Hawthorne Lane, has its winter lunch special menu available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m Tuesdays through Fridays. One of my favorite items is Lou’s Lasagna.
The DuPage County Health Department developed a dashboard to provide information on the total number of people, in DuPage County, who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the dashboard includes a map which shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality and is updated at 4:00 p.m. daily. DuPage County's "COVID-19 Dashboard" is a one-stop-shop for all the information it offers including a town-by-town breakdown of cases. As of Monday, Nov. 21 2022, there were 10,924 cases and 65 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Diane (Miller) Baram, who passed away Monday, Nov. 14, 2022.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Kristin Rae (Babcock) Strayve, who at the age of 58 passed away Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.
- Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Sue Ann Harvard, who at the age of 66 passed away Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022.
- Deepest sympathy is expressed to the family of Tina Marie “Teen” Wilson, who at the age of 56 passed away Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.
- Ximena Valenciano Serna, a senior at West Chicago Community High School, is the Student of the Month for October. She was selected for her high academics and outstanding extracurricular activities.She has been on the High Honor Roll every semester, earning a cumulative weighted Grade Point Average of 5.075. She is the Service Officer of National Honor Society and a member of the French Honor Society.
Serna has been involved in WeGo Global International Club, Interact Club, Girls Who Code and Ola’. she is a Student Ambassador and Caucus Leader for her Government class. She is also on the Executive Board for Women’s Leadership, organizing events and fundraisers. She is the Senior Service Officer in National Honor Society. Last year, Sema earned the United Nations Ambassador Award for more than 100 hours of community service. She created cards for students in the hospital and painted inspirational messages on rocks and left them at Reed Keppler Park to brighten people's day.
After graduation, Serna plans to major in either Biomedical Engineering, influenced by her Human Anatomy class or Neuroscience and Psychiatry, due to her interest in scientific and behavioral functions of the brain. (https://merleburl.com)
- West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Board of Education recognized Miguel Boney, a student at Leman Middle School, for his exceptional performance in cross country, Boney was undefeated at the dual and triangular meets, coming in first place in every single one of those races. At the end of the season, his accomplishments included a new Leman Middle School record on the 2-mile course of 11:16, first place in the 8th-grade boys’ race at the IPAC conference, third place n the Sectionals meet and 22nd place out of 233 runners at the State meet, with a time of 11:07, earning him All State honors, (https://merleburl.com)
- Penny Munoz is the new West Chicago Elementary School District 33 Interim Community School Administrator for the 22/23 school year. She most recently served as a Family Liaison at Pioneer School, Munoz is actively engaged in community leadership through her service as a board member on the Community High School District 94D Board of Education. (https://merleburl.com)
- Private Armando Ramirez, a recent graduate of the U..S. Marine Corps recruit training in San Diego, Cal., visited with third graders at Currier School. He shared t his military training experience. Students engaged in a question and answer session with him. Pvt. Ramirez took some handmade cards from Currier students back to Camp Pendleton in California to share with his fellow Marines just in time for the Marine Corps birthday on Nov. 10 and Veterans Day, 11. (https://merleburl.com)
COMMUNITY MEMBERS HIGHLIGHTS
- The wedding of retired West Chicago Community High School Patti Kozlowski and Michael Charles Turner takes place Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.
- West Chicago residents Mike Fortner and Becky Hall, members of Acappellago, perform in two Christmas concerts. One is in Villa Park and the second one at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 4, 2022, at the Congregational Church of Batavia, 21 S Batavia Ave, Acappellago’s special appearances include Chicago Composer’s Forum’s first John Cage’s “Musicircus” in September 2005, and singing the Star Spangled Banner for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bandits, Chicago Fire, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Steel, Kane County Cougars and Schaumburg Boomers. (merleburl.com)
- Director, Catie Early and actors: Dean Gallagher, Carolyn Pizzato, Zach Gibson, Allison Fradkin, and April Noel read "Time Capsules Don't Lie” Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at the Steal Beam Theater in St. Charles. This is the first play by West Chicago resident and author Susan Wells.
- SCARCE, West Chicago Environmental Commission and First United Methodist Church of West Chicago co-hosted a pumpkin composting drop off Saturday, Nov.5, 2022, at the church. The collection of pumpkins weighed 4.36 The pumpkins then were delivered to Willow Ranch Composting Facility in Romeoville. Composting pumpkins keeps waste out of the landfills, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates a natural fertilizer.
- Cantigny Park, part of the Robert R McCormick Foundation, presented a check for $16,000 to the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton. The donation represents net proceeds from the 18th annual Cantigny 5K Run/Walk held Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022
The Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans opened its doors in 2007. It provides vets and their families with housing and supportive services that lead to self-sufficiency. MSHV’s operations include three facilities in downtown Wheaton.
WEST CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The West Chicago Police Department is once again participating in the Toys for Tots program sponsored by the DuPage County U.S. Marines. The department is collecting new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children within DuPage County who may not otherwise receive a Christmas gift. There is a drop of box for donations in the front lobby. Donations are accepted through Wednesday, Dec. 22. (https://merleburl.com)
- Due to the extremely cold weather, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2022, the West Chicago Police Department cancelled the volunteer leaf raking for senior citizens. However, the seniors who registered to have leaves raked will have the task performed as the City of West Chicago contracted with Amezquita Landscaping Service to do the clean up.(https://merleburl.com)
- Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, Chief Colin Fleury. administered the Oath of Office to Matthew Lukaszeki. He was with the Maywook Police Department . Since he already is certified, Lukaszeki has started his in house training. (https://merleburl.com)
- DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin announced Emilio Guillen, 31, formerly of Rockford, was sentenced to fifty years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the killing of twenty-six-year-old West Chicago resident Alexander Nicolas in November, 2018. The sentence follows a three-day double-jury trial against Guillen and his co-defendant Juan Calderon, 25, formerly of Aurora, held in September of this year. Both men have been held in custody at the DuPage County Jail since the murder on bonds of $4 million with 10 percent to apply for Calderon and $2 million with 10 percent to apply for Guillen. The bonds for both men were revoked following the guilty verdicts.
On November 9, 2018, at approximately 7:34 a.m., West Chicago police responded to a 911 call of a man found lying on the ground in the 600 block of E. Forest Avenue. Upon their arrival, officers found the victim, Nicolas, lying face up with blood coming from the back of his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The West Chicago Police Department, with assistance from the Major Crimes Task Force, immediately initiated an investigation. Through their investigation, authorities learned that at approximately 11:19 p.m., the previous night, Nicolas was near his vehicle on E. Forest Avenue when he was approached by Calderon and Guillen. The two men physically attacked and ultimately shot Nicolas in the head with Guillen giving the order to shoot Nicolas and that upon receiving the order, Calderon shot Nicolas in the head. After killing Nicolas, the men got into Guillen’s car and fled the scene. The investigation led to Guillen and Calderon as the men responsible for the murder.
Guillen will be required to serve 100 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. Calderon’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 3, 2023.
- For the last 10 months, West Chicago Police Commander Adam Reavley attended School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University. The studies included examinations, projects, presentations and quizzes, plus a staff study paper. Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, the Police Department celebrated his graduation as a member of Class #531. (https://merleburl.com)
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