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Nominations sought for heritage award

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
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
•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
“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
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.”