Lester: Why one suburban school is stocking heroin antidote
Schools across the suburbs soon will be able to treat heroin and prescription drug overdoses the same way they treat severe allergic reactions, but one suburban district in recent days decided to jump ahead of the curve.
Stevenson High School spokesman Jim Conrey tells me school officials last week approved for use on the Lincolnshire campus opioid antidotes like naloxone, which can be injected into the hip, thigh or upper arm using a device like an EpiPen.
Conrey said nurses will be trained this month to use the Evzio auto injectors, which the school will get through the Arlington Heights-based nonprofit Live4Lali, founded in the name of a Stevenson graduate who died of a heroin overdose in 2008.
Following staff training, four of the auto injectors will be kept on campus in two nurses offices, with the campus police officer and in the office of the school's substance abuse prevention coordinator.
Principal Troy Gobble signed off on the change last week after being approached by the district's substance abuse coordinator.
"I think this is a recognition of the reality that heroin is much more of a factor in teens' lives than it was 20 years ago," Conrey said. "We see this as a precautionary measure."
In his 22 years with the district, he said, there has not been one heroin overdose that has occurred on campus.
Last week, the state board of education approved rules that allow -- but don't force -- schools to administer the antidote in emergencies. It's part of Skokie state Rep. Lou Lang's omnibus heroin legislation that became law in September.
Jim Peterson Jr. of Mount Prospect's Peterson Roofing tells me his business, founded by dad Jim Sr. in 1978, is giving a free roof to Iraq War veteran and teacher Brian Maresco of Mount Prospect.
Maresco says less than a month after he and his family moved into their home the roof began leaking, causing significant water damage. Peterson has scheduled the roof replacement for Nov. 7, weather permitting. As part of the process, they're inviting neighbors to join them in an "installation celebration" as the work begins.
Chris Zwiercan, a former St. Viator classmate of mine who happens to be team dentist for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, proudly tells me his wife, Nicole, has launched an anti-bullying nonprofit called "Be Kind. Make a Difference." Nicole, this year's Mrs. Chicago International, says the effort was prompted after she experienced bullying as a child and then bullying in the workplace as a new dental hygienist, an experience which made her second guess herself and her abilities. Part of her work includes spreading her message to local schools. One of her stops was Thursday at Edgewood Elementary School in Woodridge.
Speaking of St. Viator, President Corey Brost tells me he and nine students recently returned from the Parliament of World Religions, an international, interfaith conference in Salt Lake City.
Band of brothers
You might have read that federal Judge Thomas Durkin, who's presiding over the case of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Plano, is the brother of Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs.
What you might not know is of the Durkin family of eight boys, five turned out to be attorneys. Kevin is a partner specializing in personal injury and aviation accidents at Chicago-based Clifford Law Offices, Terry is licensed as a sole practitioner in Inverness and Mike heads Chicago firm Pedersen & Houpt's wealth preservation practice group.
Take a look at the vintage photo, complete with bad 1970s fashions, he shared. I teased him that late mom Colette, with that many boys, should be nominated for sainthood. He agreed.
Wondering why ousted College of DuPage President Robert Breuder filed a lawsuit against the college's board and four trustees in federal court, instead of DuPage County?
Breuder attorney Marty Dolan tells me it's because a number of claims "met the criteria for federal and state court" so he believed it was the most proper venue. Breuder says he was improperly fired and alleges conspiracy, breach of contract and defamation, among other claims.
Here's Grayslake Fire Commissioner and Lake County Farm Bureau Executive Director Greg Koeppen with new U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan after they ran into one another at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Friday, less than 24 hours after Ryan was elected to the leadership post. Koeppen says he discovered Ryan, whose hometown is in Janesville, Wisconsin, was just one seat over on his Southwest Airlines flight to Milwaukee. Koeppen says he was kicking himself a bit for taking his suit jacket off before heading to the airport.