Do you know someone who is committed to historic preservation? A group, organization or individual who has worked to keep old stories and traditions alive by sharing them with others? Do you love an old building that’s been restored or an existing historic building that has always been beautiful due to the dedicated work of its owner or caretaker? The Lombard Historic Preservation Commission is seeking nominations for the William J. Mueller Heritage Award. The award recognizes individuals, organizations, projects and programs that demonstrate a commitment to historic preservation. In doing so, the Historical Commission hopes to inspire others to preserve, protect and promote Lombard’s historic heritage. There are six possible award categories that cover historic building restoration, education, lifetime achievement, leadership, advocacy, maintenance, even new construction. Nomination forms and complete instructions are available at Village Hall and on the Village of Lombard Web site, www.villageoflombard.org Nominations are due no later than June 2.
Breen files bill to stop airlines from improperly removing passengers from their confirmed seats
In response to the recent incident at O’Hare International Airport when a ticketed and seated passenger was forcibly removed by government officials from a flight, State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has taken steps to prohibit that type of scenario from ever playing out again at Illinois airports. The self-proclaimed head of the “Frequent Flyer Caucus,” Breen is one of the most seasoned travelers in the General Assembly, logging tens of thousands of airline miles annually. “When passengers take their seat on an airplane, they are entrusting our nation’s commercial airlines to deliver them safely to their destination,” said Breen. “That trust was broken last week when a private commercial airline used government personnel to drag a peaceful passenger out of his seat. “While this treatment should never happen anywhere in the country, we can’t let this happen at Illinois’ most prominent passenger hub, O’Hare airport. Passengers traveling to or through Illinois should be confident they will be protected during their time in the Land of Lincoln.” HB 4034 filed Monday in Springfield, would create the Airline Passenger Protection Act. The Act would prohibit Illinois government officials from participating in the involuntary removal by force of any properly ticketed and seated airline passenger, except in certain safety situations. The Act would also forbid any Illinois government from doing business with an airline that allows a paid seated passenger to be removed to give that seat to a non-paying airline employee. The bill directly protects passengers from criminal charges for refusing to yield their properly occupied seats, and allows attorney’s fees for passengers who win civil lawsuits against airlines for improperly removing them from their seats. “The treatment of the passenger in last week’s incident at O’Hare is inexcusable and must be stopped,” Breen said. “It reflected badly on the airline, the city of Chicago, and the state of Illinois.”
Meet Lilac Princess Liana Pavese
By Jane Charmelo LOMBARDIAN-VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER
This is the fourth in a series of five profiles of the 2017 Lilac Court. Liana Rose Pavese is a Bradley University (Peoria) sophomore who has her sights set on becoming an early childhood education teacher. In fact, the Lilac Princess said she enjoys children so much, the one thing she looks forward to as a member of the 2017 Lilac Court is attending the Little Princess Ball, “to see their eyes light up.” The 2015 Willowbrook High School graduate said she didn’t get to know much about the princess program in part because she didn’t spend her whole childhood in Lombard and also because she was in the marching band during the Lilac Parade. And, as a member of the high school varsity badminton team, her schedule prevented her from applying earlier. Now, though, Princess Liana has learned what it means to be a Lilac Princess, and after getting a chance to try on the original silver crown, “It was kind of eye-opening to see what a tradition it is in Lombard.” “You can definitely tell the tradition is being handed down,” she added. The princess knows that as a Lilac Princess, she will have younger children looking up to her. “I’d like to be a good role model to them,” Princess Liana said, “one who’s always [there] to help guide and be a mentor.” She said being a role model is about “demonstrating by doing,” meaning not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. And, at Bradley, she is doing just that. Besides making the Dean’s List and being a member of Pi Lambda Theta Education Honor Society, Princess Liana has participated in the Bradley Student Education Association and during her freshman year, got involved with the National Society of Leadership and Success. She also got involved, during her freshman year, as a volunteer trainer with the non-profit Paws Giving Independence in Peoria, which has a “Wags for Mags” branch at the university. The Lilac Princess explained that the organization trains service dogs, and in addition, she now fosters dogs, taking them “anywhere we go” to acclimate the animals to a variety of situations. The princess, whose hobbies include photography and graphic design, looks forward to meeting the children of Lombard at the events she attends, and plans to encourage them to “be anything you want to.” And, she wants to spread the message of trying “not to follow everyone else. Don’t get lost in the shuffle. You’re unique. Someone will notice that.” Princess Liana is the daughter of Phyllis Pavese.
Juvenile suspects allegedly rob North American Firearms
A burglary at North American Firearms, 315 S. Main St., occurred early Saturday morning, April 8, according to Lombard Police. Police said an alarm went off at the facility at around 4:20 a.m. Officers arrived at the scene, and one of the officers observed four juvenile suspects between the ages of 11 and 15. Officers apprehended three of the suspects. According to police, the suspects stole handguns, but police said they don’t know the exact number of handguns stolen until they conduct a complete inventory. Three of the suspects were charged with burglary by the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office and transported to the Kane County Youth Detention Center. A fourth suspect remains at large. Police Chief Ray Byrne said the police department is following up with leads in order to apprehend this suspect. Byrne said he believes this is the second time that North American Firearms has been robbed.
Bond set for man charged with sending threatening email to DuPage County officials
Lombard police chief one of the officials allegedly threatened
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced recently that a Morton, Ill. man has been accused of sending a threatening email to several DuPage County officials including Judge Daniel Guerin, Lombard Chief of Police Ray Byrne and a State’s Attorney investigator. Judge Richard Russo issued a $300,000 arrest warrant for James Brasfield, 44. Brasfield has been charged with three counts of threatening a public official, a Class 3 felony. In addition, Brasfield faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and harassment through electronic communications. Officials with the Morton Police Department took Brasfield into custody. He was subsequently transported to DuPage County where he appeared in Bond Court. Judge Osling set Brasfield’s bond at $300,000 with 10 percent to apply in accordance with the previously issued arrest warrant. It is alleged that on April 7 at approximately 4:45 a.m., Brasfield sent an email containing a death threat directed at the three DuPage County officials as well as a private citizen. An investigation conducted by the State’s Attorney’s Office resulted in the charges. Reached by the Lombardian, Byrne said of the case, “Because this is a pending criminal matter, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on it at all.” “Any threatening or harassing contact with an officer of the court will be thoroughly investigated and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Berlin said. “For our judicial system to operate properly, it is imperative that members of the judiciary or any other officer of the court be allowed to perform their duties free from harassment or fear of retribution. “I would like to thank the Morton Police Department for their cooperation and quick apprehension of Mr. Brasfield. I would also like to thank investigators from my office as well as Assistant State’s Attorney Bethany Jackson for her work on this case.” Brasfield’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, May 8.
Conroy proposing tax relief package
Every homeowner in the state would keep more money in their pockets under a comprehensive tax relief package passed by state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, increasing the value of key property tax credits for families, seniors and veterans. While Gov. Bruce Rauner has discussed freezing property taxes, Conroy’s action goes further to actually cut property taxes and reduce the burden on local homeowners. “It’s heartbreaking to hear stories from working parents, veterans returning home from service and seniors who face being forced out of our community because of skyrocketing property taxes,” Conroy said. “This measure would bring savings to all homeowners in the state while providing additional relief for those who need it most.” Conroy co-sponsored House Bill 156, a comprehensive package of property tax relief measures that was approved by the House on Thursday, April 7. This measure provides homeowners with relief above and beyond the freeze discussed by the governor by increasing the value of key property tax exemptions that help homeowners reduce the taxable value of their homes and cut their tax bills. Beginning in 2018: •All homeowners would be eligible for an annual $8,000 exemption on their primary residence. •Seniors on fixed incomes would see lower property tax bills, as an exemption for homeowners over the age of 65 would increase from $5,000 to $6,000 annually. •More veterans would be able to receive property tax relief, as returning service members certified 20-30 percent disabled who are currently ineligible for property tax relief would be provided a $2,500 annual exemption. All veterans over the age of 75 would be able to receive a $2,500 exemption as well. This bill also creates a new property tax freeze for disabled homeowners receiving Supplemental Security Income from the federal government and expands tax credits provided to long-term homeowners. “Property taxes are the number one issue for residents in my community, and it is long past time for Democrats and Republicans alike to come together and provide the relief that local families need,” Conroy said. “As more and more families are choosing to leave Illinois in search of a lower cost of living, this bill is a necessary step to ensure our community is affordable for those who want to live here.” The property tax relief package received bipartisan support in the House, and now awaits consideration in the Senate.
Sen. Cullerton awarded for efforts to protect mental health funding
The Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois (ACMHAI) presented an award to Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) for his efforts to protect mental health funding. Cullerton advanced legislation last year to push for greater local government consolidation. During negotiations, he learned that local health boards could be caught in the crossfire of potential government consolidation plans. He worked diligently to ensure local mental health dollars were protected by removing community mental health authorities from potentially disastrous effects. Cullerton, chief architect of the government consolidation models used in Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 4501, worked with ACMHAI to make sure DuPage County’s vulnerable populations were protected from unintentional consequences. “The purpose of government consolidation is to streamline processes to make sure government is working in step with the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “Government should be efficient and effective. But when we eliminate services for our most vulnerable residents, our efforts become counterproductive. I simply cannot stand for that.” ACMHAI plans to continue working with Cullerton to advocate for state mental health funding. “Sen. Cullerton has shown great leadership in his commitment to protect the $75 million in local mental health grant funding resources generated in local counties, townships and municipalities throughout the state of Illinois,” Debbie Humphrey, ACMHAI President said. “At a time when demand for mental health and substance abuse services is dramatically increasing while funding sources are shrinking, these valuable local funds serve as an important lifeline to those seeking access to treatment.”