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 Trail. 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 http://tinyurl.com/zxdfbty. 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 beginningMarch 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 change. Collection material should be curbside by 6 a.m. on Thursdays. For more information, call Roy Strom Refuse Removal Service at 708-344- 5000.
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 public. 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 Waters. 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 FOR THE LOMBARDIAN/VILLA PARK REVIEW
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 abilities.”
Knit or crochet a hat for ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’
By Jane Charmelo LOMBARDIAN-VILLA PARK REVIEW STAFF REPORTER
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 health. “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:// www.heart.org/HEARTORG/ General/Little-Hats-Big-Hearts_ UCM_487734_SubHomePage. jsp. 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 Duckworth. “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 that.” 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 states.