TribLocal - Elmhurst /elmhurst TribLocal – Chicagoland's local news community Fri, 11 Jan 2013 16:26:39 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Some Illinois state parks could close without new revenue /elmhurst/2012/06/18/some-illinois-state-parks-could-close-without-new-revenue/ /elmhurst/2012/06/18/some-illinois-state-parks-could-close-without-new-revenue/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 15:13:00 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /naperville/?p=81821 One of Gov. Pat Quinn‘sfirst acts after assuming office in 2009 was reopening seven state parks that predecessor Rod Blagojevich shuttered in a cost-saving move.

At the time, Quinn argued that closing the parks cost Illinois more in lost tourism dollars than the move saved.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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Hot, but high temperature falls short of hottest day of year /elmhurst/2012/06/18/monday-could-be-hottest-day-so-far-this-year/ /elmhurst/2012/06/18/monday-could-be-hottest-day-so-far-this-year/#comments Mon, 18 Jun 2012 15:09:03 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /naperville/?p=81819 Temperatures today at O’Hare International Airport hit 94 degrees briefly, three degrees shy of tying the warmest day of the year so far. Tuesday and Wednesday could be hotter than today, but it’s unlikely we’ll reach record highs.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday /elmhurst/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/ /elmhurst/2012/06/15/fans-could-see-the-next-pujols-or-maddux-as-cougars-host-midwest-all-star-game-tuesday/#comments Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:53:27 +0000 Jeff Vorva /geneva/?p=30557

Time will tell if fans will be watching future Major League impact players such as Albert Pujols or Greg Maddux play Tuesday, June 19 in Geneva.
The Kane County Cougars host the Midwest League All-Star game at 6 p.m. at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark and more than 65 players have been invited. In the past, stars such as Maddux, Pujols, Prince Fielder and several other major league stars played in the game.
When the Cougars last hosted the game in 2007, Clayton Kershaw was on one of the rosters and worked his way to the majors and won the Cy Young Award in 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This year’s marquee players include Cleveland Indians’ top prospect Francisco Lindor and Minnesota Twins minor league standout Miguel Sano.
Kane County’s coaching staff, led by manager Brian Buchanan, will lead the Eastern Division team.
Cougars invited to the game are outfielders Lane Adams, Jorge Bonifacio, infielder Danny Mateo and pitcher Matt Ridings.
The Cougars will host a Fan Fest at 11:30 a.m. leading up to the game.
The event will feature a variety of fun including music, food and drink, and opportunities to take batting practice and play catch on the field from noon to 2 p.m. A rock-climbing wall, trackless train and plenty of kid-friendly attractions such as face painters, jugglers, magicians and balloon artists will all be part of the event. The first 1,500 fans through the gates that day will receive a commemorative All-Star Game aluminum sports bottle.
Before the game, there will be an autograph session from 5:10 to 5:40 p.m. and will feature both All-Star rosters.
Entertainment that will be featured during the game includes in-game performances by the Zooperstars, live organ music during the game by former Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust, music by the Chicago Cubs Dixieland Band, a post-game performance by the Jesse White Tumblers, and a fireworks show. Wayne Messmer will perform the National Anthem before the game. Fans may run the bases after the game.
Tickets for the Midwest League All-Star Game includes admission to that day’s Fan Fest. A limited number of tickets remain for the contest. Fans may call 630-232-8811 or visit kccougars.com for more information.

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Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest /elmhurst/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/ /elmhurst/2012/06/14/study-cougars-again-spreading-across-midwest/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:34:58 +0000 Pat /joliet/?p=35990

Cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according to a new study billed as the first rigorous statistical look at the issue.

The findings, detailed in The Journal of Wildlife Management, showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest and as far south as Texas between 1990 and 2008. While confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple, that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008, the study shows.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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Illinois foreclosures rise 29 percent in May /elmhurst/2012/06/14/illinois-foreclosures-rise-29-percent-in-may/ /elmhurst/2012/06/14/illinois-foreclosures-rise-29-percent-in-may/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:19:32 +0000 Mary Rakoczy /elmhurst/?p=48781 Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 29 percent in May compared to the previous month and is 54 percent higher than May of 2011.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 16,318 foreclosure filings last month. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

Read more on Chicago Tribune.

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Elmhurst reviewing use of city cars /elmhurst/2012/06/14/elmhurst-reviewing-use-of-city-cars/ /elmhurst/2012/06/14/elmhurst-reviewing-use-of-city-cars/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2012 13:06:54 +0000 Annemarie Mannion /elmhurst/?p=48769 The city of Elmhurst is looking at its policy regulating which employees have access to cars they take to and from work and use for city business in an effort to reduce costs.

City Council members Diane Gutenkauf, Michael Bram, and Paula Pezza sought the review that could lead to a reduction in the number of take-home and pool cars, and possibly a cost savings to the city.

The city is one of several communities that have looked at reducing the number of take-home cars assigned to employees. Elmhurst currently has 23 take-home cars assigned to specific employees and about 20 pool cars.

Although the city has not previously had a written policy, finance director Marilyn Gaston said there is an unwritten policy that employees are aware of and required to follow. She said she is not aware of any misuse of the city-owned vehicles.

The first step, according to Gaston, is to survey employees to ask them about their usage of the cars -how often they use them and for what purpose. They city also will look at the roles of the employees who use them and how often they are needed for emergencies or other city business.

“I saw a handful that might not be needed,” said Bramm about a list of take-home cars currently in use.

In Naperville, the city has reduced the number of take-home cars from 40 to 16 over the last few years. The cars that remain are assigned to high-level police and fire staff, and to employees of the water department.

“The number of take-home cars is at the bare minimum now,” said acting human resources director Patti Magnus.

Magnus said the move to reduce the number of take-home cars in Naperville was made to save money. She said, however, that the city has no plans to move to mileage reimbursement for its employees.

Hinsdale also decided earlier this year to reduce the number of take-home cars from 12 to five. To compensate those employees who lost use of a take-home car, it provides a $350 a month vehicle stipend.

Village Manager David Cook said the reduction was not motivated by anyone misusing the cars, but by the minor cost savings the village has seen, and by a greater goal of limiting its liability.

He said the village also has four pool cars that employees can use.

Police Chief Bradley Bloom said the number of take-home cars in his department went from 3 to 2. Now, only he and one deputy chief on-call have take cars home.

“It’s something that’s associated with a police job because of the time constraints of the job and 24-hour nature of the job,” he said.

Police cars also come with equipment that is needed to handle emergencies, he said.

Gaston said Elmhurst also will look at whether it should move toward a policy of providing mileage reimbursement to employees who use their own cars for city business.

“The trend (in general among communities) is from take-home cars to paying mileage,” she said.

As part of the review, Ald. Scott Levin of Elmhurst said the city also needs to look at how take-home cars are part of a salary package that is used to attract high-level employees.

“It kind of goes with some of the jobs,” he said. “It’s a compensation component.”

Because it has substituted the stipend, Cook said he does not think Hinsdale is hampered in attracting employees by limiting take home cars.

Bloom said residents seem to appreciate it when a community strictly controls the use of take-home cars.

“It’s a hot button issue. They don’t see it as a necessity and I understand that,” he said.

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Area sophomore basketball teams get a summer workout at USF shootout /elmhurst/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/ /elmhurst/2012/06/13/area-sophomore-basketball-teams-get-a-summer-workout-at-usf-shootout/#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 15:31:10 +0000 Jeff Vorva /lincolnshire/?p=18795

The first tipoff was at 8 a.m., and 13 hours later a champion was crowned.
And in the middle was nonstop basketball featuring several TribLocal-area sophomore boys basketball teams with players trying to hone their skills for next November.
The University of St. Francis hosted a 16-team shootout for high school sophomores. Thornton beat out Neuqua Valley for the title with Stevenson and Providence Catholic making it to the semifinals and Marist claiming fifth.
Other TribLocal-area teams that participated were Aurora West, Hinsdale Central, Joliet West, Hoffman Estates, Marian Central Catholic and Niles West.

Niles West's Nick Kanjou lets a 3-pointer fly against South Elgin in the sophomore shootout in Joliet. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Teams played five or six games on the day but the format featured 12-minute halves with a running clock. During the regular season, sophomores play seven-minute quarters with a stopped clock during fouls, turnover, free throws and out-of-bounds plays.
USF coaches and players helped run the tournament. The Saints came off a 15-16 campaign in 2011-12 a year after one of its best recent campaigns – 21-10 in 2010-11.
Coach John Baines enters his third year at the helm and nine players are eligible to return including Andrew Lerg, who averaged 10.2 points per game. The Saints are also welcoming St. Xavier University transfer Mark Peters of Aurora, Plainfield’s Edvinas Presniakovas, Joliet’s Brian Edwards and Florida’s Logan Timmons.

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Proposal would prohibit dual elected offices /elmhurst/2012/06/12/proposal-would-prohibit-dual-elected-offices/ /elmhurst/2012/06/12/proposal-would-prohibit-dual-elected-offices/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:13:15 +0000 Annemarie Mannion /elmhurst/?p=48699 In response to Mayor Pete DiCianni’s plan to continue to serve as Mayor of Elmhurst if he is elected to the DuPage County Board, an Elmhurst alderman is pitching a proposal that would keep any elected city official from holding more than one elected office at a time.

Ald. Mark Mulliner presented the proposal at Monday’s finance and public affairs committee. It would prohibit an elected city official from serving in a city post if he or she is elected and sworn into another city, county or state office.

Though the city has not yet received a legal opinion on whether it can keep an elected official from holding dual offices, Mulliner said he wanted to keep the process moving forward by presenting the proposal. The City Council decided about a month ago to hire an independent attorney to provide an opinion on the options.

“We need to make a decision on whether or not we want elected officials to hold two offices,” Mulliner said. “It (the proposal) could be tweaked by the attorney, I’m sure, if we decide to go in that direction.”

City Manager Jim Grabowski said he expects the legal opinion to be ready for consideration by the June 25 finance and public affairs committee meeting.

Several residents on Monday urged committee members to keep deadlines in mind.  If the city decides it wants to put forward a November ballot question asking voters if they want to prohibit elected officials from serving in dual offices, it would need to meet an Aug. 20 deadline.

Resident Tony Meneses of Elmhurst said the idea of letting an elected official hold two elected offices at once is important and would affect more than just Elmhurst residents.

“It’s about a fundamental change in government that would affect all our neighbors,” he said.

DiCianni, who did not attend the committee meeting, is a Republican candidate on the November ballot for a District 2 seat on the DuPage County Board. He has said he plans to continue as mayor if he wins the county board seat.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin issued an opinion in March stating that DuPage County Board members should not hold elected office on another governmental body with contractual obligations to the County Board. The opinion, based on current law, was requested by DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.

DiCianni is not the only person seeking to hold two offices. Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso is running for a seat representing District 3 on the County Board.

DiCianni has said if he is elected, he would return his $6,000 a year mayoral stipend to the city. As a county board member, he would be paid $50,000 a year and be eligible for pension benefits if he opts to participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. DiCianni also serves on the DuPage County Stormwater Commission.

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Arrogance ‘in a good way’ helps Oak Park win first state baseball title since ’81 /elmhurst/2012/06/11/arrogance-in-a-good-way-helps-oak-park-win-first-state-baseball-title-since-81/ /elmhurst/2012/06/11/arrogance-in-a-good-way-helps-oak-park-win-first-state-baseball-title-since-81/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 20:08:25 +0000 Jeff Vorva /oak-park-river-forest/?p=59573

Oak Park River Forest High School’s baseball team needed a seventh-inning single from Mike Brennan to score Jack Picchiotti to set off a wild celebration as the Huskies won the Illinois High School Association Class 4A title Saturday night.
The Huskies nipped defending state champion Lyons Township, 4-3, at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. Lyons was denied the opportunity to become the first team since Maine in 1958 and 1959 to win back-to-back baseball titles.
The Huskies have a rich baseball history but only won titles in 1942 and 1981.

Oak Park fans had a lot to cheer about over the weekend as the Huskies won the Class 4A state baseball title. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Still, they came into the 2012 postseason ready for a title.
While many strong programs were upset in regional and sectional action, the Huskies won three wild postseason games heading into the state semifinals including a 2-1 win over Evanston, an 8-7 win over New Trier, a 10-8 slugfest over Maine South and a 2-0 pitcher’s dual win over Highland Park.
“They were very confident and arrogant in a good way not in a negative way,” Huskies coach Chris Ledbetter said. “They knew they couldn’t overlook anybody. They were mature week in and week out about it.”
The Huskies finished the season at 30-9-1.
Other members on the Huskies roster include seniors Jack Belcaster, Dan Shinsako, Joe Romoro, Jack Johanesson, Zach Weigel, Max Guzzetta, Colin O’Brien, Joe McKune, Matt McCormack and Mike Adams plus juniors Charlie Fencik, Henry Pine, Dain Mrozek, Henry Cappel, Patrick Clifford, Ryan Nelson, Nick Kowalczuk and Sam Munno.

Matt McCormack, 21, kicks up a load of dust on a play at the plate against Grant. He was ruled out but the Huskies still won the game and the state tournament. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Sophomores Sam Cottingham-Beard and Alex Rice were also on the roster.
Lyons was a fifth seed in its sectional and wasn’t expected to return to the final four. But the Lions made it to the title game and played even with the Huskies for six innings.
Evan Booth, pitcher Steve Heilenbach and Brad Taylor each had two hits for the Lions in the title game.
Grant finished third thanks to a 7-1 victory over Minooka to finish 26-12 and to bring home the baseball program’s first state trophy. Tino Torres had two hits in a six-run fourth inning to help the Bulldogs to the victory.
In Class 3A, Nazareth Academy claimed third place with a 2-1 victory over Troy Triad.
Ryan Marske homered for the Roadrunners (31-10) and Dominic Purpura pitched the victory. Last year, the Roadrunners finished fourth.
Marian Catholic won the state title in 3A with a 10-2 victory over LaSalle Peru.

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Robber suspected in 2nd suburban bank heist /elmhurst/2012/06/11/robber-suspected-in-2nd-suburban-bank-heist/ /elmhurst/2012/06/11/robber-suspected-in-2nd-suburban-bank-heist/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 19:27:30 +0000 Pat /elmhurst/?p=48680 A man suspected of robbing a Bensenville bank this spring robbed an Elmhurst branch bank this morning, according to the FBI.

A man went into the Inland Bank and Trust branch, 530 S. Spring St. in the west suburb, about 10:10 a.m., went up to a teller and handed over a note demanding money, said FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde, a spokeswoman for the agency in Chicago.

Although the note stated the man had a gun, he didn’t show one to the teller, Hyde said. The man fled the bank after he was given cash.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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