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District 88’s 3-on-3 tournament takes place March 4

The District 88 Foundation will
hold the Dennis Doyle 3-on-3 Classic
Basketball Tournament on Saturday,
March 4, at Addison Trail High
School, 213 N. Lombard Road, Addison.
Check-in and registration begins
at 8:30 a.m., with games beginning at
9:30 a.m. The tournament will include
boys and girls divisions in four levels:
Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, Grades 11-
12 and Adult (18 and older).
Teams will play in a double-elimination
event that will allow participants
to play at least three games.
Each team may consist of three to
four players of similar age and gender.
Teams will be placed in their
oldest player’s division. Teams may
be moved to a different division.
Transportation will be provided from
Willowbrook High School to Addison
Team fees are $30 for the gradeschool
and high-school levels, and
$60 for the adult level. Registration
must be received by Feb. 27. Walk-in
registration will also be accepted.
The fundraising event is named in
honor of the late Dennis Doyle, a former
boys varsity basketball coach at
Willowbrook High School.
For more information about the
tournament, call Dani Brink at 630-
530-3989, or go online and visit
The District 88 Foundation is a
member of the Partnership for Inspired
Education (PIE) Foundation,
a 501(c)(3) charitable organization
serving public school students in District
88 and other area districts, including
District 45 and Salt Creek District
48. For more information about PIE,
visit www.piefoundation.org.
Funds raised by the PIE and District
88 foundations have supported
students through several initiatives,
which include: providing computers
and Internet access, subsidizing Advanced
Placement (AP) college-level
tests and offering mini-grants for staff
members to develop instructional enhancements
for students.

Villa Park briefs

Friday waste pickup shifts
to Thursdays beginning
March 2
Villa Park residents who receive
refuse collection on Fridays will have
their waste collection day change to
Thursdays, starting March 2. The final
Friday collection will take place
Feb. 24.
According to information provided
by the Village of Villa Park, affected
residents will receive a notice
in the mail, as well as reminder stickers,
informing them of the schedule
Collection material should be
curbside by 6 a.m. on Thursdays. For
more information, call Roy Strom
Refuse Removal Service at 708-344-

ComEd performs tree
trimming in Villa Park
during February

ComEd will perform village-wide
tree trimming and vegetation management
in Villa Park this year. The
maintenance program, which begins
in February, will help to ensure the
reliability of the electrical system.
According to ComEd, vegetation
contact with ComEd equipment is a
leading cause of outages.
Large trees and branches can
cause extended power outages when
they come into contact with overhead
power lines, states ComEd, which
has notified affected property owners
of its maintenance program.
ComEd noted that vegetation
management can cause concern for
residents because trees located near
electrical wires are trimmed significantly
and can occasionally require
removal. ComEd has contracted with
qualified in-line clearance workers to
perform the tree pruning. Supervisors
and general foremen will be in
close contact with the crews to ensure
the work is performed properly.
Call 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-
334-7661) for more information.

District 45 kindergarten
registration for 2017-18
begins in March

School District 45 will hold kindergarten
registration for the 2017-
18 school year in March. Parents of
children who will be 5 years old on
or before Sept. 1, 2017, should contact
their local school regarding kindergarten
for the 2017-school year.
Registration will be conducted at
five District 45 schools, including
two Villa Park schools, in March.
Registration at Ardmore School
(225 S. Harvard Ave.; 630-516-
7370) will take place Wednesday,
March 15, at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
North School (150 W. Sunset
Drive, 630-516-7790) will hold kindergarten
registration from 3–7 p.m.
on March 15, and each school day
during the week of March 13 from 8
a.m. until 3:15 p.m.
According to District 45, kindergarten
registration may also be completed
during normal school hours
from March 13–17. Contact the
school office for more information.

Photo exhibit at Park Art
Center continues through
April 1

Park Art Center in Villa Park will
display the work of Chicago-based
photographer Marc Hauser in “A
Blink of the Eye” from Feb. 10
through April 1. The center, located
at 9 E. Park Blvd., is open Tuesday
through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5
p.m. All events are free and open the
Hauser has earned more than 100
awards for his photography, which
has included images of prominent
figures including Woody Allen, Aaron
Copland, Mariel Hemingway,
Michael Jordan, Dr. Timothy Leary,
Sophia Loren, Julia Roberts and John
For more information, call Park
Art Center at 630-501-1455, or visit
its website at www.parkartcenter.org.
For more information about Hauser,
visit www.hauserportraits.com, or
his entry on Facebook—marchauserportraits.

Pioneer Garden to hold
free seed-starting seminar
on Saturday

Pioneer Garden and Feed will
hold its second annual seed-starting
seminar on Saturday, Feb. 18. Call
630-832-0815 to make a reservation
for the free seminar. Spaces are limited
for the two sessions, which will
take place at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pioneer
Garden and Feed is located at
118 S. Villa Ave., Villa Park.
Bill Karges, a longtime staff botanist
at Pioneer Garden and Feed, will
lead the seminar.

Lack of funding threatens community
services for disabled

Federal court monitor spotlights low wages to DSPs

By Dee Longfellow

According to the offices of Ray
Graham Association, a federal monitor
has stepped up to say that the state
of Illinois is failing to comply with
a legal consent decree requiring adequate
funding to pay for community
services for persons with disabilities.
In a recent report, monitor Ronnie
Cohn spotlighted the harm that
can be caused by paying insufficient
wages to direct-support professionals
(DSPs) who help disabled individuals
with day-to-day activities, such as
bathing and dressing, as well as skill
development and behavioral support.
Low DSP wages can result in high
staff turnover and poor quality care
that is less individualized for the person.
Cohn noted that Gov. Bruce Rauner
had recently vetoed a bill that
would set a $15 per hour minimum
wage for DSPs.
“DHS has not provided … any
indication of how the agency will be
addressing the shortage of DSPs due
to inadequate wages,” Cohn said.
A group of community service
providers, statewide advocacy organizations,
families and unions are
collaborating to reintroduce legislation
to raise wages for DSPs.
“It’s been nine years since the
state provided for a DSP wage increase,”
said Kim Zoeller, president
of Ray Graham Association. “Our
workers and the individuals they support
can’t wait another year.”
“DSPs are the most valuable staff
we have – they are closest to the individuals
CCAR serves and the true
difference makers,” said Lyla Mc-
Guire, executive director with CCAR
Industries in Charleston, Ill. “If we
can’t recruit and retain DSPs, we
can’t meet the needs of those we are
asked to serve.”
Cohn is court-appointed monitor
for the Ligas consent decree entered
by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon
Johnson Coleman in 2011. Her report
includes five pages of evidence gathered
from families and providers.
Key excerpts follow:
“For the roughly 34,000 DSPs
working across Illinois, the major
issue is that their average hourly
wage is $9.35 or about $19,488.00
per year. This is less than the federal
poverty level for a family of three
which has led to over half of the
DSPs utilizing public benefits even
though they work full time. Without
a living wage, there has been and
continues to be high turnover among
these caregivers, which leads to instability.”
(p. 23)
“My daughter has experienced
five trips to the Emergency Room
over the past eighteen months, is
not being provided with the opportunities
included in her [service
plan], has only one staff member on
most shifts to meet the needs of all
four women who live together and
have significantly differing levels of
need, and isn’t always provided with
healthy food.” (p. 17)
“We have experienced several
times when staffing has dropped so
low that we were unable to staff all of
our [group] homes for the weekends
and have had to close some of them
to keep proper staffing ratios. Consumers
then have to be relocated to
another home for the weekend.”
“DSP turnover rate in our [group]
homes is 70.32 percent over the past
12 months. Due to the large amounts
of overtime, we have staff that are
tired and not at the top of their performance

Knit or crochet a hat for ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’

By Jane Charmelo

To celebrate American Heart
Month, the American Heart
Association, in connection with
the Children’s Heart Foundation, is
raising infant heart health awareness
through “Little Hats, Big Hearts.”
Craft enthusiasts who knit and/
or crochet are invited to make an
infant-size red hat to commemorate
the month, to donate to Elmhurst
Memorial Hospital, which is
participating in the “Little Hat, Big
Hearts” program during February.
Heather Rodriguez, assistant
manager for the Family Birthing
Center, said she believes about 50
have already been distributed—one
for every baby born in February.
The hats come in various sizes
for infants and in different shades
of red, she continued, saying that
the staff hands out a hat and also
information from the Children’s
Heart Foundation about infant heart
“We screen every baby for a
potential heart defect,” Rodriguez
mentioned, adding that the test
measures oxygen levels in the
hands and feet. She said research
has shown that the larger the gap
in numbers between the two, “the
higher potential for a heart issue.”
“Families are so receptive,” she
said of the hats and literature on
children’s heart issues, adding that
the hats also initiate conversation.
After all—rather than being pink
or blue—the red hats, the manager
added, “will potentially stand out.”
At the same time, she concluded,
seeing the red hats “also reminds
the clinicians as well” about infants’
heart health.
According to the foundation,
congenital heart defects affect
roughly one of every 100 babies
(40,000) each year. The nonprofit
foundation raises money
for research and is an advocate
for children’s heart issues.
For more information on how
to donate a red hat, visit http://
There is also information on
what types of yarn to use and the
site has links to sample patterns
for knit and crochet infant hats.

Bond set at $2 million for man
accused of murdering ex-wife

DuPage County State’s Attorney
Robert B. Berlin and Wheaton Chief
of Police James Volpe announced
last week that bond has been set for a
man accused of killing his ex-wife in
her home in early late January.
Lee Leinweber, 56, appeared in
Bond Court where Judge Richard
Russo set bond at $2 million with
10 percent to apply. Leinweber has
been charged with one count of first
degree murder.
On Feb. 4 at approximately 6:45
p.m., Wheaton police officers responded
to a call of a deceased female
at 1321 Woodcutter Lane, Unit
A, the home of Leinweber’s ex-wife,
56-year-old Erin. Once inside the
home, officers discovered Erin deceased.
An autopsy conducted by the
DuPage County Coroner’s Office revealed
that Erin had suffered numerous
injuries including multiple stab
wounds about the neck, broken ribs
and injuries consistent with a beating
about her face.
Additionally, Erin was found with
a plastic garbage bag in her mouth
and her head covered by two plastic
garbage bags. An investigation led
by the Wheaton Police Department
led authorities to Leinweber.
It is alleged that on Monday, Jan.
30, Leinweber was at his ex-wife’s
home. It is alleged that at some point
in time a verbal argument between
the two turned violent. It is further
alleged that Leinweber attacked Erin,
beating her about the face and neck,
and choked her until she fell to the
floor. He then allegedly dropped his
body onto hers, breaking her ribs.
It is alleged that Leinweber then
forced a plastic garbage bag into her
mouth and placed two plastic garbage
bags over her head. It is further
alleged that Leinweber then retrieved
a knife from the kitchen and repeatedly
stabbed Erin. It is further alleged
that after murdering Erin, Leinweber
stole her money, credit cards and car
and fled the scene. On Sunday, Feb.
5, Leinweber was located in Ottawa,
Ill., and taken into custody.
“The sheer brutality alleged in this
case is extremely disturbing,” Berlin
said. “I offer my sincerest condolences
to Erin’s family and friends
as they grieve their loss. While nothing
can be done to bring Erin back
to those who loved her, thanks to the
outstanding work of the Wheaton
Police Department we will be able to
bring a strong prosecution against the
man who allegedly took her life.”
“The men and women of the
Wheaton Police Department are
committed to protecting and serving
our community” Deputy Chief
Bill Murphy said. “Our detectives,
officers, and support staff worked feverishly
to ensure Erin Leinweber’s
killer was identified and brought to
justice in an expeditious manner.”
Leinweber’s next court appearance
is scheduled for Feb. 21 in front
of Judge Robert Miller.

Durbin, Duckworth announce more than
$1 million in federal funding for sexual
assault prevention and education

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin
(D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth
(D-IL) recently announced
$1,141,194.00 in federal funding
to help prevent rape and sexual
assault in Illinois.
The Illinois Department
of Public Health will use
today’s funding to support
rape prevention and education
programs, as well as to increase
support for counseling services,
24-hour crisis hotlines and
criminal justice assistance.
“This federal funding will
help prevent rape and sexual
assault in Illinois and improve
support for victims of sexual
violence throughout our state.
Preventing sexual violence
is a daunting challenge and
I am pleased Illinois will be
receiving critical CDC support
to strengthen prevention and
education initiatives,” said
“Funding education and
building awareness in our
schools and communities will
help prevent sexual assault in
Illinois,” said Durbin. “We must
do everything within our power
to protect women and men from
sexual violence and these federal
investments will help do just
The funding comes through
the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention’s
(CDC) Rape Prevention and
Education Program, which aims
to strengthen sexual violence
prevention systems in all 50