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  • Images: The Week in Pictures Dec 22, 2014 1:01 AM
    This edition of The Week in Pictures features Daily Herald staff photos of people wrapping gifts for donation, and people receiving donated gifts, Santa Claus meeting with kids young and old, and rooms full of poinsettas.

     
  • JUST of DuPage brings holiday cheer to children of DuPage inmates Dec 20, 2014 7:53 PM
    Hundreds of kids whose parents will spend the holidays in DuPage County jail were treated to a party Saturday at a Carol Stream church, where they took home donated toys and a "little light," organizers said. "Their children won’t miss an opportunity to experience love, and that’s what it really is — it’s all about the love of somebody giving back," said Carla Perry, whose daughter volunteered at the festivities.

     
  • Handwritten notes prove it’s the thought that counts Dec 19, 2014 11:43 AM
    Our Stephanie Penick rediscovers the joy of sending -- and receiving -- Christmas cards.

     
  • Suburban schools changing how they discuss heroin Dec 19, 2014 11:58 AM
    In response to the rise in local heroin use, educators say classroom scare tactics about the perils of drugs in general are evolving into lessons that take a science-based look at addiction and opioids, including heroin. “Our kids are so sophisticated today,” says DuPage County Regional Superintendent Darlene Ruscitti. “It's a whole different type of learning going on.”

     
  • College of DuPage Fastest-Growing Community College in Nation Outside California Dec 19, 2014 5:28 PM
    College of DuPage is the fastest-growing community college in the nation outside of California among colleges with enrollments greater than 10,000 students, according to a recent report by Community College Week magazine. Based upon total headcount enrollment figures from fall 2012 to fall 2013, College of DuPage grew 9.4 percent, from 26,156 students to 28,627 students. This ranks College of DuPage sixth nationally behind five California schools. Click here to see a detailed chart (scroll down to “Enrollments 10,000 or Higher”). Community College Week used data gathered by the U.S. Department of Education through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). “This is a reflection of the excellent work happening at College of DuPage,” said COD President Dr. Robert L. Breuder. “Our students recognize the high quality education they are receiving from us while understanding the economic value of attending a community college.” The Community College Week report comes on the heels of five-year numbers released by the Illinois Community College Board. Of the 39 community college districts in Illinois, the report shows that College of DuPage is the only college district to grow Full Time Equivalent Student (FTES) enrollment over the past five years. Between fall 2010 and fall 2014, COD grew FTES enrollment by 6 percent. During that same period, the state’s 39 community college districts were down a total of 13.1 percent. The ICCB report also shows growth at College of DuPage between fall 2013 and fall 2014. During this time, no other Illinois community college district added more headcount than College of DuPage, which increased by 849 students, a gain of 3 percent. The state (aggregate of all 39 community college districts) was down in credit headcount by 4 percent. During this same period, College of DuPage had the largest FTES growth of any Illinois community college district, up 293 FTES or 1.8 percent. The state (aggregate of all 39 community college districts) was down 4.8 percent in FTES. “College of DuPage is clearly headed in the right direction,” said Erin Birt, Chair of the COD Board of Trustees. “Through careful listening and strategic planning, we understand what our students and community need, and we continue to work hard to provide a top quality educational experience.” For more information, please contact Joe Moore, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, at (630) 942-2371 or moorej7718@cod.edu

     
  • Governor’s Office Announces Early Childhood Grants, Illinois to Receive $80 Million Over Four Years Dec 19, 2014 5:26 PM
    The grants—Preschool Development Grant-Expansion Grants—are awarded to school districts throughout the country and are intended to help build, develop and expand high-quality preschool programs for low to moderate-income families. In just the first year, the Preschool Development Grants will serve more than 33,000 additional children across the United States. School districts in DuPage that received a portion of the award include Addison School District 4, West Chicago School District 33 and Wheaton/Warrenville Community Unit School District (CUSD) 200. The DuPage Community Foundation has been partnering with Addison and Wheaton/Warrenville through its Bright & Early DuPage initiative to help them establish and build collaborations aimed at ensuring kindergarten readiness for children birth to five. “Expanding access to full-day preschool means a richer day of learning that helps prepare children for success in kindergarten and beyond,” said Theresa Nihill, executive director of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage. “We are excited to partner with a great team of organizations to keep building a strong foundation for children in our community.” Metropolitan Family Services DuPage serves as the fiscal agent for both the Addison and Wheaton/Warrenville early childhood collaboratives. Metropolitan Family Services DuPage will launch and oversee three new classrooms in the Wheaton/Warrenville area, and serve as the federal grant’s fiscal agent. Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, along with each of the communities benefiting from the grant, are committed to developing a “pipeline” of services for children from birth through third grade, supporting the most vulnerable children and their families throughout the early childhood years. “The receipt of this award will allow us to expand early education to some of our youngest, at-risk learners who would not otherwise have the opportunity for a high-quality preschool experience,” said Dr. Joanne Panopoulos, assistant superintendent for student services for CUSD 200. “The District works together with the Wheaton/Warrenville collaborative to improve kindergarten readiness by developing a coordinated delivery system for early childhood services in the community with a focus on increasing access to services for those in under-resourced areas of the community. By leveraging these community resources and working together to coordinate support and services in preparing these students for kindergarten we are offering a much more comprehensive approach than ever before for students in District 200.” Jefferson Early Childhood Center is home to CUSD 200’s youngest learners and plays a critical role in the collaborative by providing developmental screenings for children, staff development for partner organizations and parent education and family support through common messaging, materials and community connections. “We are thrilled to be able to expand those services,” added Panopoulos. The mission of the Addison Early Childhood Collaborative is to ensure that coordinated and comprehensive quality early learning experiences are available, accessible, and most importantly, utilized by the diverse families and young children of Addison so that they can achieve their maximum potential. “The grant from The DuPage Community Foundation has been so instrumental in continuing and enhancing the work of the Addison Early Childhood Collaborative,” said Chuck Wartman, assistant superintendent for Addison School District 4. “The DuPage Community Foundation has provided an opportunity to our collaborative to have a central focus which is to educate and communicate to all community partners, service providers, and families about the importance of kindergarten readiness and early intervention.” “Through the support of the Foundation, we have been able to seed collaboratives in areas where they are needed most,” said Barb Szczepaniak, Foundation director of programs. “These collaboratives have been able to put systems in place to help families learn, understand and prepare their children for success when they enter kindergarten. The announcement of the grants to school districts in Illinois and especially DuPage will greatly support our collaborative efforts and is particularly exciting because it’s confirmation that the Foundation’s initial investments helped position these communities to be eligible to apply for and receive this funding.” About Bright & Early DuPage: Bright & Early DuPage is piloted and funded by The DuPage Community Foundation. The Board of Trustees of The DuPage Community Foundation believes that Bright & Early DuPage is an opportunity for the Foundation to work with a variety of funders (i.e., individuals, organizations, foundations, etc.) to address a fundamental quality of life issue that will create a better future for DuPage County citizens for generations to come. To date, the Foundation has established an endowment of more than $5.5 million from which income will be used to address early childhood care and education and workforce development issues in perpetuity. The Foundation expects to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bright & Early DuPage projects over the next several years and will actively seek additional funds to extend the scope and impact of this critical Initiative. For every dollar invested in early childhood education, it has been estimated that $7 to $10 is saved on remedial education, health and criminal justice expenditures. For more information about the Foundation’s Bright & Early Initiative, visit www.dcfdn.org/be. About The DuPage Community Foundation: The DuPage Community Foundation seeks to raise the quality of life throughout DuPage County by fostering philanthropy, connecting donors to area needs and building community partnerships. Based on the American virtues of volunteerism and philanthropy, the Foundation fosters a legacy of support for the people of DuPage County by making grants to not-for-profit organizations working in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health, and human services. Since its inception, the Foundation has built its endowment to more than $60 million and awarded more than $20 million in grants to not-for-profit agencies serving the residents of DuPage County and beyond. Established in 1986, The DuPage Community Foundation is a publicly-supported 501(c)(3) organization to which contributions are tax deductible. It was created to benefit the people of DuPage County and receives contributions and bequests into a permanent endowment from individuals, corporations, organizations and foundations wishing to make lasting contributions to the people of DuPage. The earnings on these funds are then used, in accordance with donor wishes, for the Foundation’s grantmaking and community leadership activities. For more information about the Foundation, or to arrange future media opportunities, please contact Joelyn Kott, marketing & communications officer, at (630) 665-5556, extension 19, or jkott@dcfdn.org.

     
  • COD Board of Trustees Approves Tax Abatement Dec 19, 2014 5:23 PM
    The COD Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday night to approve a tax abatement in District #502, essentially declining a $1 million dollar increase in next year’s operating budget. Prior to voting, members of the board expressed confusion about the proposal presented to the board by the College’s Chief Financial Officer, Tom Glaser. In brief remarks, he explained the measure would freeze the property tax levy for the school district in the coming year. The nearly five hour meeting included a lengthy closed session, and board members continued to squabble about the Trustee’s policies for public comments. Board vice chair Kathy Hamilton reiterated her objections to assigning agenda-related comments to the start of the meeting and general comments to the end of the meeting, stating “It is a sad commentary on the Board’s regard for First Amendment Rights.” The administration also reported on a survey project outsourced to Comiskey Research, which compared District #502 community perceptions about the College of DuPage to survey results from a previous study. Comiskey reported on results from 400 respondents, including their views about four year bachelor’s degrees at COD. After the presentation, Trustee Hamilton questioned the survey methods and how its questions were framed. Hamilton stated that she rejected the results and Comiskey’s conclusions. The Board also approved a contract with the Scott Marquardt group for lobbying services, and discussed and approved in a 6 to 1 vote an audit of WDCB, the campus radio station (Hamilton voted no). During the meeting, more than a dozen community members and college employees spoke during public comments, based on concerns about expenditures, transparency, and the size of the boardroom and seating provided for the public. Several speakers responded to a November speech by Trustee Dianne McGuire in which she defended the COD Board of Trustees and read a poem by Martin Niemoller. Matthew Tyrmand, Deputy Director of American Transparency, stated that he visited from New York in order to address her comments. He said, “McGuire used rhetoric evoking Nazi Tyranny in a comparison with those who would demand honesty and integrity in government. Those that invoke Nazis in a spending debate have no place IN government and especially in a position of trust in a public educational institution.”

     
  • Edward Hospital’s nurses awarded top ‘magnet’ status Dec 19, 2014 4:19 PM
    The 1,200 nurses at Edward Hospital in Naperville got some big news Friday. Their hospital received magnet status for the third time from the American Nurses Credentialing Center — a major honor in the nursing world, said Patti Ludwig-Beymer, vice president and chief nursing officer. “To be magnet once is exciting, twice is quite an honor and three times — it’s beyond our wildest dreams,” Ludwig-Beymer said.

     
  • 5 things to do in the suburbs this weekend Dec 19, 2014 1:04 PM
    Unless you’ve gone all Grinch on the holidays, you can still enjoy a number of seasonal shows this weekend designed to get you in the Christmas spirit. Options include an alternative take on “A Christmas Carol” in Naperville, a multimedia Christmas concert in Rosemont and a Irish-themed musical celebration in Grayslake.

     
  • Trapshooting to resume Sunday at Sportsman’s Park in Naperville Dec 19, 2014 4:05 PM
    Members of Naperville Sportsman’s Club are getting their shooting range back Sunday after it was shuttered for six months for renovations. That means clay targets will be flying as people such as Sportsman’s Club President Jim Monk get back to the hobby they love in the park at 735 S. West St. “We’re extremely excited,” Monk said. “It’s been a while since we’ve been out there.”

     
  • Images: Photo Contest Finalists Dec 19, 2014 1:01 AM
    Each week, you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of them and select the finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of December 15.

     
  • Naperville doctor charged with sexually assaulting patients Dec 19, 2014 9:11 AM
    A Naperville doctor has been charged with sexually assaulting and abusing three patients at his Yorkville office. Dr. Haohua Yang, 50, was arrested after Kendall County prosecutors charged him Tuesday with three counts of criminal sexual assault and five counts of criminal sexual abuse.

     
  • Naperville man, brother plead guilty to $6.1M tax fraud Dec 18, 2014 11:39 AM
    Two Illinois brothers have pleaded guilty in what federal authorities say was a $6.1 million tax fraud scheme. U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis said Wednesday that 50-year-old Shaher Mizyed of Naperville and 46-year-old Mohammad Mizyed of Peoria will be sentenced in April for crimes including conspiracy to defraud the United States. Authorities say the brothers who formerly owned and operated a Fast Stop service station in Peoria admitted to conspiring to file false federal corporate income tax returns from 2006 through 2010. Mohammad Mizyed also pleaded guilty to mail fraud and says he fraudulently received about $160,000 in state medical benefits. Conspiracy to defraud the U.S. carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and mail fraud crimes carry a penalty of up to 20 years.

     
  • Naperville debating future of north downtown Dec 18, 2014 5:30 AM
    Discussions have begun in Naperville about the future of the few blocks immediately north of downtown, which could remain largely residential or take on a more commercial feel. "The basic point is what's going to happen with that part of the world," Council member Joseph McElroy said. "What I believe this part of the world should be is medium density residential development, not high-intensity commercial."

     
  • Peace pole coming to Naperville’s Veterans Park Dec 18, 2014 4:30 PM
    An 8-foot-tall peace pole will be installed next spring at Veterans Park in Naperville as a gathering point to celebrate peace near and far. The ThinkGlobal Arts Foundation commissioned the pole designed by an Ohio artist to promote peace as a value in the community, said Revati Natesan, the group’s founder. “We think every moment is peaceful, every day is peace, so we’re just going to celebrate,” she said.

     
  • Donation to help build a Naperville Agricultural Interpretive Center Dec 18, 2014 1:14 PM
    A Naperville couple from West Side Tractor Sales Co. has donated $50,000 to the Naperville Heritage Society toward the construction of a future Agricultural Interpretative Center at Naper Settlement.

     
  • Ebuzz: Outlet allows Wi-Fi to give you a smarter home Dec 18, 2014 4:43 PM
    Kukec's eBuzz column features Naperville-based Grid Connect, which now offers the ConnectSense Smart Outlet that plugs into your wall outlet and has two Internet-connected electrical sockets. You can then plug in household devices and control them with an iPhone app or even voice command from Siri.

     
  • Walgreens can sell liquor in Naperville, but not downtown Dec 17, 2014 11:52 AM
    Nine Walgreens and one CVS in Naperville now can apply for a new type of liquor license the city council created Tuesday. But the Walgreens on Main Street in downtown Naperville is not one of them. "I’m not assuming Walgreens would behave in any bad way at all,” council member Judith Brodhead said. “I’m more worried about the people who are consuming the alcohol and their behavior and this particular behavior of pregaming.”

     
  • Naperville theater owner released on $25,000 bail Dec 17, 2014 6:50 PM
    The owner of Hollywood Palms movie theater in Naperville, accused of owing the state more than $1.37 million in underreported taxes, was released from DuPage County Jail Wednesday afternoon. Edwin C. “Ted” Bulthaup III, 57, is charged in two multicounty indictments with more than 100 felony counts related to the tax fraud scheme. If convicted, Bulthaup faces between four and 15 years in prison.

     
  • Naperville man recieves presidential pardon Dec 17, 2014 9:26 PM
    A Naperville man convicted in 1989 of commodities fraud and wire fraud received one of the 12 pardons issued Wednesday by President Barack Obama. Brian E. Sledz, now 54, was a trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange when he pleaded guilty to the charges.

     
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