Lester: Elvis paczki? Mount Prospect bakers get creative
There are doughnuts, and then there are these.
Central Continental Bakery's annual "paczki fest" featuring the filled Polish pastries has grown so large that the Mount Prospect bakery will open at 6 a.m. today and won't close until 7 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, marked as the last day of feasting before the austerity of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The bakery will produce thousands of the sweet treats in that time.
Along with custard- and crème-filled doughnuts, Central offers the "Elvis" paczki filled with bacon, peanut butter and banana, the mocha latte paczki with mousse and Kahlua cream, and a Chicago Blackhawks paczki with fresh red and black raspberries.
"They're just exhausted" by Tuesday evening, 27-year bakery manager Linda Spinelli says of her staff. Despite the extended hours and online preorders, a long line inevitably forms out the door and down Prospect Avenue. "The store is wall-to-wall people," she says. "We appreciate customers having as much patience as possible."
Planned Parenthood controversy
State Rep. Peter Breen, a Lombard Republican and lawyer for the St. Thomas More Society, has been representing David Daleiden, the activist behind undercover videos accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal body parts.
Daleiden was charged with tampering with government documents, a felony, but prosecutors have offered him probation if he pleads guilty. Breen says that won't be happening.
The man likely to pick the tiebreaking seventh member of the College of DuPage board is a COD graduate himself.
Northwest Suburban High School District 214 Assistant Superintendent Lazaro Lopez got his associate degree from COD years ago before earning a bachelor's from Illinois State University, a master's from Roosevelt University and a Ph.D. from Aurora University.
Lopez was part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's transition team in 2014, now heads the Illinois Community College Board and will have the job of picking former COD board Chairman Kathy Hamilton's replacement if the divided board can't do so by Thursday.
What he doesn't miss
I got a blast from the past this week when I saw former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger's name pop up on a news release.
The Elgin Republican is president of the Schaumburg-based Technology and Manufacturing Association and says he misses "some of the people down there (in Springfield) but I don't miss the process."
Rauschenberger was in the Senate from 1993 to 2007 and made an unsuccessful bid for the post again in 2010 against state Sen. Mike Noland of Elgin.
Working for a budget
Did you know Rauner's budget director Tim Nuding worked under Rauschenberger for a decade in the Illinois legislature? Rauschenberger calls Nuding a "class act" but added, "I just wish he had more of the governor's ear."
In the spotlight
Congratulations to Hannah Perryman, a Streamwood native who's been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association's National Player of the Year watch list.
The senior criminology major at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, has shattered a number of records for the Tritons, including being a leader for the school in career shutouts, wins and strikeouts.
You might also remember Hannah as the force behind the state's Stalking No Contact Act, signed into law by former Gov. Pat Quinn in 2010. Perryman successfully pushed to strengthen state laws after finding she could not get a court order to keep a teenage neighbor from stalking her.
The law helps people get orders of protection against people even if they are not romantically or domestically involved.
Deb Perryman, Hannah Perryman's mother, is a former Illinois Teacher of the Year. Here she is, from left, with Elgin High School student teacher Brittney Mallen, science teacher Brigid Trimble, Elgin Area School District U-46 Director of Information Services Craig Williams, and EHS librarian Katie Hauser during a recent webinar.