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 Student creations on display at Willowbrook’s annual art show

By Chris Fox

More than 250 pieces of artwork were on display during Willowbrook High School’s annual student art show, which took place at the school last week.
The reception on May 10 featured the announcement of 48 inductees into the school’s art honor society.
To receive that honor, students must maintain a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher in art classes, be enrolled in an art class during the current school year and demonstrate the Warrior Code.
Senior Jacob Leazott was recognized as the art department’s outstanding senior of the 2016-17 school year. Leazott will attend Valparaiso University, where he will study mechanical engineering. He hopes to one day work in aerospace engineering.
“I still want to pursue art, but more from a freelance standpoint,” said Leazott at last week’s reception. He also noted that his interest in engineering and computer work are reflected in his art creations.
The pieces in last week’s show were judged, and two Best in Show honors were presented. The Best in Show 3-D ribbon went to senior Lisa Wallace for her ceramics piece. The Best in Show 2-D award went to junior Stephanie Quaiver for her photographic piece.
Senior Kaitlyn Mainz received the Geri Greenman Art Scholarship, which is named in honor of the retired Willowbrook art teacher. Greenman attended last week’s show to view the pieces on display.
Mainz will attend the Art Institute of Chicago next year. In addition to receiving the Greenman Scholarship, Mainz earned another scholarship to attend the institute.
Seniors Nicole Nitti and Kevin Lobdell joined Leazott in receiving the District 88 Art Scholarship.
Last week’s reception also included a release party for the school’s “Mindprints,” a magazine displaying pieces of art and literary works created by students.

20-year-old man charged in Addison shooting

Bail set at $4 million for suspect

By Dee Longfellow

Last week, Jorge Vargas, 20, of Addison, was charged in connection with a shooting that took place in Addison on Saturday, May 6.
A judge had set Vargas’ bail at $4 million.
The suspect was charged with what law enforcement officials are referring to as a “targeted” shooting that resulted in the deaths of two men and an attempt at the life of a third. Vargas had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
According to a report from the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, Addison resident Kevin Bustos, 17, Villa Park resident Alberto Rios, 20, and a third person had parked outside an apartment building on Elizabeth Drive in Addison with the intent of visiting Rios’ children.
Vargas reportedly fired eight rounds with a handgun from a third-story window of Rios’ ex-girlfriend’s apartment, where she lived with Rios’ two children.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin’s office reported that Bustos apparently tried to drive away but crashed his vehicle into a tree. When officials arrived, Bustos and Rios were inside the vehicle both unresponsive with gunshot wounds. Both were pronounced dead at area hospitals where they were taken.
Authorities have not yet named the third man who reportedly told police he ran away when the gunfire started. He also told police that Rios fired one shot back at Vargas.
Vargas was taken into custody on Sunday evening after police tracked him to Fairmont City, just outside East St. Louis, where he was reportedly staying with relatives.
Officials brought Vargas back to DuPage County; on Monday, he reportedly gave a videotaped confession.
The relatives told police Vargas had arrived unexpectedly at their residence. Vargas told his relatives he was planning to leave for Mexico on Monday morning; in fact, he had already purchased a bus ticket under a false name.
Vargas’ next court appearance is scheduled for May 22 in front of Judge George Bakalis. If convicted on both counts, Vargas faces a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison.

Villa Park’s Senior of the Year

Villa Park resident William Nolden recently received the Villa Park Senior Concerns Commission’s Senior of the Year award for 2017. Nolden, who was nominated for the honor, has been a crossing guard for about nine years. He started at North Elementary School and now works at Ardmore Elementary School. Villa Park Village Clerk Hosanna Korynecky visited Nolden on the job—outside of Ardmore School on Friday afternoon—to inform him that he’d won this year’s award. In addition to working as a crossing guard, Nolden participates in the Villa Park Police Department’s drug take-back program, which allows citizens to safely dispose of prescription drugs twice per year. Nolden has been on the village’s fire pension commission for about 10 years. He is also a member of the police department’s Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT), and he volunteers for several village activities, including the Sunday movie matinee at the Villa Park Library.

Vineet Patel represents Willowbrook’s Class of 2017

Class president will speak during Sunday’s ceremony

By Chris Fox

Senior Vineet Patel will be the graduation speaker during Willowbrook High School’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21. The Class of 2017’s graduation service will begin at 1 p.m. in the school’s main gymnasium. This year’s graduating class includes about 450 students.
In addition to serving as the class president, Patel holds the top academic ranking in Willowbrook’s Class of 2017.
“Obviously it’s an honor,” said Patel of speaking to his fellow graduates. “I think it’s a great way to end my high school career.”
Patel’s speech is entitled “Moving Forward with Finesse.” He plans to begin his speech by looking to the past before focusing on the future.
“I’m going to talk about how we should make the best of life, and how we should move forward,” said Patel, who is the son of Chhaya and Rajesh Patel.
“You should try out anything,” added Patel in previewing his remarks. “Don’t be afraid to test the boundaries, and don’t set limits for yourself.”
Prior to attending Willowbrook, Patel attended Westmore Elementary School and Jackson Middle School.
Patel will continue his education the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he plans to major in computer science.
He intends to pursue a career in software development. Patel said he became interested in computer science while taking related classes at Willowbrook.
Patel completed 12 Advanced Placement (AP) college-level courses during his high school career. He is an AP Scholar with Distinction and has been named to Willowbrook’s Distinct Honor Roll in each of his semesters at the school.
He is a member of the math team, chess club, Key Club, student council and boys tennis team. Patel is also one of five Willowbrook students who attended last week’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Villa Park briefs

Easter Seals run/walk raises over $65,000
Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley’s recent Run for the Kids: Superhero Hustle run/walk raised over $65,000 for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The 14th annual run/walk took place May 6 outside of the Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley facility, which is located at 830 S. Addison Ave., Villa Park. More than 600 people participated in this year’s event. One of the country’s largest pediatric outpatient rehabilitation centers, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley serves about 3,200 infants, children and adults with therapy and audiology services each year. For more information, visit eastersealsdfvr.org.

Passport to Adventure is under way
at the Historical Museum and the Park Art Center
The 2017 Passport to Adventure Program—for children ages 4 and up—began May 1 and runs through Aug. 31 at the Villa Park Historical Museum and the Park Art Center. The museum is located at 220 S. Villa Ave. The art center is at 9 E. Park Blvd. Admission is free to both Villa Park facilities. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The art center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by the Kane-DuPage Regional Museum Association (KDRMA), the Passport to Adventure program is a guide to museums and nature centers in Kane and DuPage counties. Similar to a real passport, children have their passport stamped when they visit a participating site. After visiting six locations, they can send their completed entry form (located inside the passport) to be entered into a drawing to win a $20 gift cards. Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 18. Visit kdrma.org for more information.

Village collecting submissions for May photo contest
The Village of Villa Park is holding its inaugural photo contest this month. The theme is “May Flowers,” and photos can be submitted by tagging the village on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Photos can also be submitted by e-mail to Kylie Cerk, the village’s public information officer, at kcerk@invillapark.com. The deadline for May submissions is the end of the day on Wednesday, May 31. The photo must be of something in Villa Park. The photographer must be from Villa Park. Submissions of obscene content are not allowed.

Pool passes on sale now
Villa Park pool passes for the 2017 season went on sale at early-bird rates on May 1. Passes may be used to attend both Jefferson Pool (341 N. Harvard Ave.) and Lufkin Pool (1000 S. Ardmore Ave.) throughout the 2017 season. The passes will be on sale at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave., and at the Community Recreation Building, 320 E. Wildwood Ave. The early-bird rates, which run through June 10, offer the same prices as last year; resident passes for ages 3 to 59 are $53. The pass rate for senior residents 60 and older is $48. For more information, call the Villa Park Parks and Recreation Department at 630-834-8970. Jefferson Pool opens for the season on June 3. Lufkin Pool opens for the season on June 10.

Pools are available for evening rental
Villa Park Recreation has announced that Jefferson and Lufkin pools are available for private rentals for parties, fundraisers and other occasions. Both pools are available on evenings when special events aren’t scheduled, from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, or 8:15 to 9:45 p.m. on weeknights. To reserve a date, contact Jefferson Pool at 630-832-5632, or Lufkin Pool at 630-279-6286.

VP Recreation accepting preschool registration
Villa Park Recreation is accepting registration for preschool for the 2017-18 school year. Preschool is held at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa Ave. Class options include morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3-year-olds (must be 3 by Sept. 1, 2017) and Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 4-year-olds (must be 4 by Sept. 1). The preschool classes will help children discover the fascinating world of learning and play as they gain the skills needed for kindergarten. Call 630-834-8970 for more information.