Good News Sunday: District 211 bus driver helps save man in drive-through lane

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

A veteran school bus driver who'd just finished her morning shift for Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 recently helped resuscitate a man suffering a medical emergency in a McDonald's drive-through lane in Hoffman Estates.

"I just thank God I was in the right place at the right time," Marietta Schild of Itasca said Monday.

Schild, who's been a bus driver for 23 years and with District 211 for the last five, was in her own vehicle about 8:15 a.m. when she stopped at the McDonald's at 1070 Roselle Road.

She had just placed her order when she saw that the van just ahead of her in line had rear-ended a construction vehicle in front of it.

Schild saw the driver of the van appear to lose consciousness. She approached and determined that the man, who appeared to be in his 40s, had no pulse.

After yelling for someone to call 911, she was joined by at least two men, who she believes were likely the driver of the construction vehicle and the passenger of the van, in getting the unresponsive man out and onto the grass next to the lane.

Schild began delivering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while instructing one of the men on how to give the van driver chest compressions. She said she there was an overwhelming sense of relief when, after what seemed an unmeasurable amount of time, she felt a pulse.

On Monday, District 211 officials learned from Hoffman Estates first responders that the man had survived. Schild's actions will be recognized at an upcoming board of education meeting.

For the full story, click here.

  Bobbi Higham, a member of the Geneva Garden Club, sits near the Japanese Garden tea house at Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva. Higham and other garden members have been working on restoration at the site. Paul Valade/

Geneva club revives commitment to Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden in the Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva has been a tranquil oasis for 112 years.

There's a pond, a teahouse and a miniature Mount Fuji, complete with a band of foliage that turns red in the fall, depicting lava flow. It's a popular spot for people to take wedding, engagement, prom and homecoming photos.

But as any experienced gardener knows, it doesn't take much for a garden to lose its good looks.

"We felt that the garden had really languished," said Bobbi Higham, a member of the Geneva Garden Club. The Kane County Forest Preserve District kept up with mowing and pond maintenance. But the garden needed nitty-gritty, labor-intensive work, such as hand-weeding.

So this year, the club revved up its long-standing commitment to the garden.

Every Friday morning from April through September, members have been out there.

They have hauled out cart after cart after cart of weeds. They cleaned and decorated the teahouse. Members with an eye for design joined in, redesigning some beds, adding a bed, and restoring an original dry bed, adding color and texture to the garden.

"We are doing this for future generations," Higham said. "We want people to be as proud of this as we are."

For the full story, click here.

College of Lake County culinary alum Vlad Briantsev will show off his cooking skills on the upcoming season of "Hell's Kitchen." Courtesy of College of Lake County

College of Lake County alum to compete on 'Hell's Kitchen'

College of Lake County culinary alum Vlad Briantsev will show off his cooking skills on the upcoming season of "Hell's Kitchen."

As a teenager, Briantsev fell in love with food. A self-proclaimed "watchaholic" of the Food Network, he enjoyed watching shows during which the chefs explained their process.

It wasn't long before he started making culinary classes a focus in his education. After taking home economics classes in middle school, he enrolled in dual credit courses at CLC while in high school. This helped with his decision to attend CLC after graduation.

"I saw what CLC had to offer," he said. "The instructors I had in high school were the same ones I had in college, and I formed great connections with them."

Everything Briantsev was taught at CLC is what he said he wanted to learn for his career. The hands-on experiences he had, including working for CLC's student-run Prairie Restaurant, helped prepare him to work in a restaurant before he even graduated.

Briantsev graduated from CLC in 2016. He is currently working as an executive sous chef at Park View Restaurant at Ravinia in Highland Park.

For the full story, click here.

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