Former state representative arrested for alleged retail theft
Sandra Pihos released after posting $1,500 bond
By Dee Longfellow FOR THE LOMBARDIAN
Former state representative Sandra Pihos, a Republican from Glen Ellyn, was arrested by the Lombard Police Department for alleged retail theft on Tuesday, Sept. 26. According to circuit court files, Pihos stands accused of stealing three items of women’s clothing valued at $571 from the Von Maur store located at Yorktown Center, a shopping mall in Lombard. Pihos was released after posting a $1,500 bond, according to court files. After serving in the General Assembly from 2003 to 2015, Pihos, 71, lost a bid for re-election in the Republican primary. After that, she ran for the Board of Trustees at College of DuPage (C.O.D.), but lost to Elmhurst resident Deanne Mazzochi as well as Frank Napolitano and Charles Bernstein, who had formed the “clean slate candidates,” running jointly for three seats. According to the Election Commission, Pihos lost by less than 1 percentage point—fewer than 2,000 votes. During her time in office, Pihos was appointed to serve on several committees, including the Consumer Protection Committee. Additionally, Pihos was named Illinois Legislator of the Year four times by the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. Pihos is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Nov. 3 at the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton.
Police offer tips for safe Halloween fun
Lombard Police Chief Roy Newton is reminding residents to prioritize child safety this Halloween. In efforts to help minimize unsafe situations, parents are requested to limit trick-or-treating on Tuesday, Oct. 31, from 3 p.m., to no later than 7 p.m., and are encouraged to plan for a safe Halloween with the following tips: • Costumes should be fireproof. • If facemasks are used, make sure your children can see well enough through them. Consider using makeup instead. • Costumes should be made of white or very light colored materials. You can decorate your child’s costume and trick-or-treat bags with reflective tape or patches to make them highly visible to motorists. • Toy weapons and other props, i.e., swords, broomsticks, hatchets, wands, etc. should be made of cardboard or Styrofoam. Sharp instruments are dangerous. • Children should wear their regular shoes instead of costume shoes. • Trick-or-treating should be done during daylight hours. If out after dark, provide each of your children with a flashlight to prevent falls on porch steps and on sidewalks. Do not use jack-o-lanterns or candles. • A responsible adult or teenager should accompany each group of children. Never let your children travel down a street by themselves. Walk with them to each house and wait in the driveway and/or by the door until the children return. • Instruct your children that they should never enter the home of a stranger or accept rides. • Watch for traffic and always walk while trick-or-treating. Never run. • Try, if possible, to limit the size of each group of children to four or five. • Adults can help by keeping their front yards well lighted. • Parents should check all “treats” before allowing children to eat them. Only give or accept wrapped or packaged candy. • Stay in your own neighborhood and go to houses that have porch lights on. • Parents should know exactly the route their children are taking and should set a time limit for trick-ortreating. • To help trick-or-treaters who come to your house, remove all obstacles from the steps, porch, sidewalk and lawns. • Trick-or-treating should be for young children only. “If anything unusual occurs or you suspect candy tampering, the Lombard Police, 9-1-1, should be called immediately,” said Newton. Residents may reference the above information at www.villageoflombard. org/halloween. For additional questions, call the Lombard Police Department at 630- 873-4400.
‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ on Halloween
This Halloween, the Lombard Police Department is cracking down on impaired drivers with an aggressive Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement effort and is giving a fair warning to holiday revelers: Keep the party off the road. “On Halloween, we urge you to beware of impaired driving,” said Sgt. Joe Grage. “Driving impaired by alcohol or drugs is deadly, it is illegal and it will get you pulled over and arrested this Halloween.” According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates, more than 300 people were killed in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes in each of the last three years in Illinois. In 2014, 302 people lost their lives in crashes involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above. In 2015, that number rose slightly to 315 and remained the same in 2016. Just one DUI arrest could cost an estimated $18,000 or more and result in revoked driving privileges for up to a year. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign urges everyone to follow these simple tips to help keep our roads safe during Halloween: • Plan a safe way to get home before you attend a party. • Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get home. • Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as driving impaired. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement as soon as it is safe to do so. • If you see an impaired person about to drive, take his or her keys and help the person get home safely. The Halloween enforcement effort is made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. For more information, contact Grage at 630-873-4667.
Legislators propose limits on taxpayer-funded abortions
State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) and state Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) last week filed the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would prohibit units of government in Illinois from using taxpayer funds for elective abortions, reversing key provisions of the recently enacted House Bill 40. Breen and McConchie are pressing for full debate and a floor vote on the measure during the upcoming fall veto session later this month, before HB 40 goes into effect in 2018. “With the signing of HB 40, Illinoisans will be put on the hook for roughly 75 percent of the state’s 40,000 annual elective abortions,” said Breen. “Strong majorities of Illinoisans, especially folks in the suburbs and downstate, oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act will respect both their pocketbooks and their consciences. Considering the average cost of $1,000 per Medicaid abortion, we don’t have the $30 million required to cover 30,000 abortions every year.” “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is a critical piece of legislation that respects the moral and fiscal concerns of our residents,” said McConchie. “In states that have legalized Medicaid abortions, over 50 percent of all abortions become taxpayer-funded. The residents in my suburban district are overwhelmingly opposed to this new spending scheme.” The legislators are relying on data from the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, about income levels of those seeking abortions and payment data from other states that provide elective abortion funding. Guttmacher indicates that 75 percent of women seeking abortions are below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level, and that, in states with elective abortion, over 50 percent of all abortions are paid for by Medicaid. See, https://www. guttmacher.org/report/characteristics- us-abortion-patients-2014. Because Illinois’ Medicaid system extends eligibility to pregnant women up to at least 213 percent Federal Poverty Level, those who will be eligible for taxpayer-funded abortions may be even higher than 75 percent. The legislators also received information from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services showing that the average cost, over the past five years, for a Medicaid abortion and ancillary services is approximately $1,000 per procedure. Breen drafted the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act on the model of the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, other than for abortions sought in connection with pregnancies that result from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Abortions under these circumstances constitute roughly 1 percent of all abortions. Federal law already requires states to provide Medicaid abortions under these three conditions, and the proposed Act recognizes those federal provisions. While the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act reverses the substantive provisions of HB 40 and prevents taxpayer funding for abortion at all levels of government, it adds new public policy language on abortion, not including controversial “trigger language” about Roe v. Wade that was at issue in HB 40. “The ‘trigger language’ in HB 40 had no legal effect, and there’s no need to reopen a theoretical debate about language from over 40 years ago. Instead, we wanted to start fresh with updated language and concepts that reflect the majority position of Illinoisans, especially folks in the suburbs and downstate, who care very deeply about this issue,” Breen added. “This controversial and culturally divisive act should not be one that taxpayers should be forced to fund,” said McConchie. “Likewise, there is no good reason for taxpayers to be on the hook for someone else’s personal decision.” Additionally, while the federal government typically matches a state’s Medicaid expenses, it will not do so for elective abortions. Breen has stated previously that, based on the estimated direct cost to the state of $30 million for abortions, the true impact to the Medicaid system is actually double that, $60 million in lost medical services. Within an hour of the filing of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, numerous legislators from across Illinois joined the bill as cosponsors. The bills are pending as HB 4114 & SB 2241. Legislators are also considering legal action in the coming weeks to challenge whether HB 40 can be effective before June 1, 2018, due to it being held beyond the May 31 deadline set by the state constitution for the passage of bills. The current effective date is set at Jan. 1, 2018, and legislators estimate the five-month difference in effective dates could prevent taxpayer funding of 10,000 abortions or more.
Nybo named Senate Republican Whip
Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) has announced that state Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) will be joining his leadership team as a Senate Republican Whip. “It’s my privilege to have Sen. Nybo on my leadership team,” said Brady. “Sen. Nybo has continually stood up for both his constituents and for the caucus—and he never shies away from a challenge. I look forward to working with him closely in the weeks and months ahead.” Nybo has represented the 24st District in the Illinois Senate since August 2014 and previously served in the House of Representatives from 2011 through 2013. “I want to thank Leader Brady for choosing me to serve on his leadership team and for putting his faith in my ability to help Senate Republicans be an advocate for Illinois families,” said Nybo. “By combining efforts with Leader Brady’s Senate Republican leadership team, the Republican caucus and our colleagues from across the aisle, we can face the state’s challenges head-on and put Illinois on the right path moving forward.” In the Senate, Nybo serves as the Minority Spokesperson for the Executive Committee and the Financial Institutions Committee, and he also serves on the Commerce and Development Committee, Energy and Public Utilities Committee, and Gaming Committee. Additionally, Nybo serves on the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, Committee of the Whole, Special Committee on Oversight of Medicaid Managed Care, and the Modes of Transportation for Elementary and Secondary Education Task Force. This appointment takes effect immediately.
Police encourage residents to follow ‘9 p.m.’ route to prevent thefts inside vehicles
The Lombard Police Department is reminding residents to ensure that their valuables are removed from vehicles, that their vehicles and homes are locked, and that they turn on exterior lights, as part of a “9 p.m. routine” every night. These precautions have been shown to help deter thefts. Car burglaries have been on the rise in recent months, with the majority of these crimes focusing on unlocked cars. The Lombard Police Department is encouraging residents to never leave valuables in cars and to never leave cars unlocked. The simple behaviors of ensuring that these steps are taken each night may help decrease the chance of criminals gaining access to vehicles. To help minimize the risk of theft associated with automobile break-ins, the Lombard Police Department would like to remind residents of some important safety information. • Do not leave valuables such as cell phones, wallets, purses, cash or change, lap tops, cameras, etc., in your car. • Ensure that windows have been rolled all the way up and that your sunroof is securely closed. • Always lock your car doors and never leave your keys in your vehicle. • Be sure to conceal any garage door openers, as these devices allow entrance into your home and can lead to home break-ins. • Do not leave items out including personal information such as checks, bank statements or tax information • Avoid moving important items to your trunk while in public view. • Turn on exterior lighting including porch, garage, and driveway lights. If you spot any suspicious activity, dial 911 and do not approach or confront suspicious individuals. For more information, contact the Lombard Police Department at (630)873-4400.
Free leaf collection begins Oct. 23 and ends Dec. 1
Lombard’s annual six-week free leaf pick-up for residents begins Monday, Oct. 23 and will end Friday, Dec. 1. During this time, an unlimited amount of paper bags containing only leaves may be placed at a resident’s own curbside, on their normal Waste Management collection day, without need of stickers. Yard waste stickers are required on any cans and also for nonresidential properties. Stickers cost $1.97 each and are available at local stores and Village Hall. Cans and bags filled with grass, twigs, branches and plant materials must have stickers. Yard waste stickers are required on any cans and also for nonresidential properties. Lombard’s free leaf collection program schedule was adjusted in 2016 to occur later in the year, in order to better accommodate leaf fall and available yard work time over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Waste Management collects the leaves and delivers them to local farms for composting. Properly bundled brush does not require a sticker at any time of the year. Each bundle of brush must be securely tied and not exceed 6 feet in length, 18 inches in diameter, nor 50 pounds. Individual limbs and branches must be less than 6 inches in diameter. Leaves must not be blown or raked into the streets since they can block the storm drains and also raise phosphorus levels in ponds and streams, thereby contributing to algae growth in warm weather. The same is true for grass clippings placed onto streets. Mulching leaves and grass into lawns provides useful nutrients with no harm off-site. Visit www.villageoflombard.org/ yardwaste for more information. Questions may be directed to the Village of Lombard’s Department of Public Works at publicworks@villageoflombard. org or (630)620-5740.
Cullerton bill to offer public education on opioid abuse
DuPage parents will soon have easily found educational information to prevent heroin and opioid addiction, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, state Sen. Tom Cullerton. Cullerton’s measure, House Bill 3161, which will require the Department of Human Services to create and maintain a website to educate the public on heroin and prescription opioid abuse, was signed into law recently. “We need to equip every single person who touches the life of a young person with the necessary resources to combat the heroin epidemic,” Cullerton said. “This is a simple step the state can take to make sure DuPage parents have a place to turn to help their children kick this deadly addiction.” The website will include items such as the warning signs of heroin and prescription opioid addiction, helpful hints for parents on how to discuss the dangers of these addictions with their children, available treatment options and services, and other related information. This new law comes in light of a request made by the federal government to DHS. Without the passage of House Bill 3161 the state risks losing federal funds to fight substance addiction. The DuPage County Coroner’s Office’s reports showed a total of 78 opiate-related deaths in 2016, a 78 percent increase from last year. “We need to make sure people know there is help out there,” Cullerton said. “We need to make sure those suffering from opioid addiction and their loved ones know where to find it.” Cullerton is urging DuPage County residents to give his Villa Park Office a call at 630-903-6662 with any question regarding where to receive help fighting opioid addiction. House Bill 3161 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.