Heroic cabbie, oil change guys and COD

  • Police investigate the scene of a car and motorcycle crash Friday morning at the intersection of routes 72 and 31 in West Dundee.

    Police investigate the scene of a car and motorcycle crash Friday morning at the intersection of routes 72 and 31 in West Dundee. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Updated 7/21/2014 3:38 PM

Some opinions require lots of words and elaboration. This is my Sunday Soapbox, not-so-briefly-stated commentary from one Daily Herald editor, shamelessly stolen from the Saturday feature with almost the same name.

Cool, calm and collected: That's how Elgin cabbie Aaron Dunbar comes across on the Rick West video that accompanied Madhu Krishnamurthy's Friday story. That's also how he behaved under pressure, when cops staged an eight-hour manhunt for a prisoner accused of escaping from Elgin Mental Health Center. Dunbar recognized the suspect from a police photo released earlier, but chose to pick up the man hailing a cab. He stalled for time, called in the fare, and in about 10 minutes, police put two and two together and arrested Vega without incident. Like many who do heroic things, Dunbar deflected any such label. "Anybody in the same position, I'm pretty sure, would react the same way." Uh, I think I might have called 911. But good for Dunbar.


Speaking of video: Some fast action by the aforementioned Rick West resulted in our coverage of yet another heroic deed in our midst. West hustled Friday to an accident at Routes 31 and 72 in West Dundee. Police couldn't talk, so West started asking employees of a Jiffy Lube business on the corner if they'd seen anything. Turns out technician Mackenzy Krogh, 22, of Elgin, saw the collision of a car and motorcycle. While store manager Pat Prochazk called 911, Krogh ran to attend to the motorcyclist, borrowed a belt from a bystander to create a makeshift tourniquet for the man's injured leg. West did quick video interviews with the Jiffy Lube employees, came back to the office where he and Fox Valley Editor Mike Smith fashioned an account for our website, updated by staff writer Elena Ferrarin. Good for the Jiffy Lube guys.

OMG, COD: I guess one could see this coming. It started with a July 8 letter to the Daily Herald from Kathy Hamilton, a College of DuPage trustee, detailing her vote against a $50 million teaching and learning center. That was followed by a rebuttal letter from COD Vice President Joseph Collins with an "accurate representation of the facts." This came on the heels of our publishing an email COD President Robert Breuder sent to the college board, outlining how he planned to put Gov. Pat Quinn on the spot at the school's commencement by thanking him for a $20 million grant that was promised, but not delivered. The money, though, was supposed to be for the college's already-completed Homeland Security project. Instead, Breuder suggested a "politically attractive" teaching and learning center, lest the college not be able to demonstrate a need for the funds.

All of this came to a head at Thursday night's COD board meeting. Residents complained about Breuder's email, his salary, tuition. Glenn Hansen, president of the COD faculty association, called on the trustees to "investigate and respond publicly" to Breuder's comments. Hamilton came to the meeting with an attorney. Another trustee, Erin Birt, criticized Hamilton for her "misstatements" about the learning center. Hamilton called out Breuder for leaving the table to talk to another administrator. Breuder pointed out the need for more classroom space has been known for a year.

Oh, and the college also announced a reduction in tuition.

Stay tuned.


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