WBEZ | Elgin http://www.wbez.org/tags/elgin Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 3 suburban Chicago schools to reopen after Legionella found http://www.wbez.org/news/3-suburban-chicago-schools-reopen-after-legionella-found-113078 <p><p>ELGIN, Ill. &mdash; Three suburban&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;schools are reopening Monday after they were evacuated last week when <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ceo-high-legionella-bacteria-levels-only-cooling-systems-113046" target="_blank">elevated levels of Legionella bacteria were discovered.</a></p><p>The <a href="http://trib.in/1iEqy7l" target="_blank">Elgin-Courier News reports</a> that the Elgin schools will reopen Monday &mdash; a day after an infectious disease specialist said he was confident that there was almost no risk of infection. Legionella bacteria found in cooling towers forced school district officials to close the school buildings last week.</p><p>The schools include Eastview Middle School in Bartlett, Larkin High School in Elgin and the Educational Services Center that houses two alternative secondary programs in Elgin.</p><p>The 3,000 students and 350 staffers were evacuated from those schools last Wednesday after elevated levels of Legionella bacteria were discovered during the annual air quality testing.</p><p>&mdash; <em>via the Associated Press</em></p></p> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 09:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/3-suburban-chicago-schools-reopen-after-legionella-found-113078 CEO: High Legionella bacteria levels only in cooling systems http://www.wbez.org/news/ceo-high-legionella-bacteria-levels-only-cooling-systems-113046 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_272354943990_0.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 212px; width: 340px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="In this September 10, 2015 photo, contractors assemble pipes to flush out a fire hydrant beneath the water tower at the state veterans home in Quincy, Ill. The home’s drinking water system was disinfected with chlorine to help fight a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that has killed twelve residents so far and sickened at least 45 other people at the home, including five workers. (AP Photo/Alan Scher Zagier)" />ELGIN, Ill. &mdash; The CEO of a suburban&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;school district says elevated levels of Legionella bacteria discovered at three schools were limited to the buildings&#39; cooling systems.</p><div><p><a href="http://bit.ly/1FuR6T5" target="_blank">The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports</a> District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said at a news briefing that none of the approximately 3,000 students evacuated from Eastview Middle School and Larkin and Gifford high schools in Elgin have reported becoming ill.</p><p>The schools and the district offices located at Gifford were evacuated and closed for the day Wednesday morning after the elevated levels were discovered during annual air quality testing.</p><p>Sanders said a decision would be made later Wednesday on whether the schools will remain closed.</p><p>The bacteria were found as western Illinois deals with a Legionnaires&#39; disease outbreak that has killed 13 people.</p><p>&mdash;<em> The Associated Press</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 23 Sep 2015 15:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ceo-high-legionella-bacteria-levels-only-cooling-systems-113046 Imam sex abuse charges prompt calls for greater transparency http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/imam-sex-abuse-charges-prompt-calls-greater-transparency-111676 <p><p dir="ltr"><em>Updated March 16, 2015 regarding the role of Abdul Malik Mujahid.</em></p><p dir="ltr">As the criminal trial gets underway for a prominent Islamic scholar charged with sexual assault, some Chicago-area Muslims are calling for an investigation into what community leaders may have known about prior allegations of misconduct.</p><p dir="ltr">Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, 75, has been criminally charged with assaulting a female employee at the Institute for Islamic Education, a religious school he founded in west suburban Elgin, Ill.</p><p dir="ltr">Additionally, Saleem has also been accused in a civil lawsuit of assaulting three other females who were students at the school.</p><blockquote><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related: <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez-worldview/the-culture-around-silence?in=wbez-worldview/sets/worldview-march-10-2015"><em>Worldview&#39;s</em>&nbsp;conversation on the culture of silence around abuse</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;A lot of people depended upon his advice,&rdquo; Dr. Mohammed Kaiseruddin said of Saleem. Kaiseruddin is chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the largest coalition of Muslim institutions in Illinois. &ldquo;So right now we are dealing with a dilemma that this person who is teaching the Quran to everybody was violating (the) Quran himself.&rdquo;</p><p>When the allegations first surfaced in early December, a number of people both inside and outside the leadership ranks, called on the Council to act. After much back and forth between members of its House of Representatives, a body made up of leaders of its member organizations and former Council chairmen, it issued a <a href="http://freepdfhosting.com/1394ef2106.pdf">statement</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;My thinking on this thing is that any sexual abuse, criminal abuse like this, cannot be kept secret, cannot be kept covered up,&rdquo; Kaiseruddin said. &ldquo;Justice has to be served.&rdquo;</p><p>But the statement prompted a furor of debate on social media. Critics said it wasn&rsquo;t strong enough in voicing unequivocal support for any victims of sexual violence. Others said it perhaps struck an overly-deferential tone toward Saleem. In the wake of that early statement, many have been heartened to see the Council adopt a firmer tone of support for <a href="http://www.ciogc.org/index.php/communications/articles-and-statements/653-2-17-15-ciogc-chairman-applauds-the-courage-of-sexual-abuse-victims">victims</a> and <a href="http://www.ciogc.org/index.php/communications/articles-and-statements/676-3-3-15-effective-steps-in-dealing-with-sexual-abuse">victims&rsquo; advocates</a>.</p><p>Yet some have accused the Council of sidestepping a potentially embarrassing and painful investigation of what its own leadership, and religious figures in the community, might have known about misconduct in the past.</p><p>&ldquo;The other component is to understand who within the community knew about this, and how we can address their understanding of what to do in these circumstances so we can prevent other victims from having to carry the burden into adulthood,&rdquo; said Humaira Basith, co-founder of the Mohammed Webb Foundation and a member of the CIOGC House of Representatives.</p><p>Basith pointed to the revelation that a member of the Council&#39;s House of Representatives, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, claimed to have heard about allegations against Saleem nearly ten years ago. In statements posted to Facebook and on the Council leadership listserv, Mujahid asserted that two religious leaders had quietly mediated a previous case involving a girl, that led to banning Saleem from offering Friday prayers at the mosque for two years. While Mujahid claimed to have heard this from one of those imams, he declined to identify them publicly.</p><p>&ldquo;And ultimately, that is really how the community came to know that this is a known issue with Abdullah Saleem,&rdquo; said Basith.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, a religious scholar and former Principal of the Islamic Institute of Education in Elgin, is charged with allegedly assaulting a female employee. (AP)" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IIE%20%28insert%29.jpg" style="float: right; height: 444px; width: 300px;" title="Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, a religious scholar and former Principal of the Islamic Institute of Education in Elgin, is charged with allegedly assaulting a female employee. " /></div><p>Mujahid, a former Council chairman, was unavailable for an interview. But in a written e-mail he stated:</p><p>&quot;I have championed the cause of opposing violence against women all my life. Many non-Muslim women have informed me of their ordeal. However, no Muslim victim has ever told me about a sexual crime nor have I been a part of any mediation.&nbsp;I have informed Elgin police about hearsay knowledge of a mediation dealing with Abdullah Salim. I believe, however, that only the victim or her chosen mediator can disclose it to (the) public. Filing a report with police is the best option in my view for any criminal activity rather than mediation.&quot;</p><p><em>(Editor&#39;s Note:&nbsp;We&#39;ve clarified Mujahid&#39;s role, the fact that he was unavailable for an interview and updated the paragraph above to include his full written statement.)</em></p><p>Basith said she has called on Council leadership to push harder to find out which imams may have known of cases of misconduct by Saleem. &ldquo;Those people need to be better trained in order to handle this so that the community has more transparency when these issues arise,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And that&rsquo;s really the core of it, is that we have no transparency in order to rectify it for the future.&rdquo;</p><p>So far, other Council leaders have not taken up her call. &ldquo;Briefly, at this time the council does not feel the need to investigate and identify the imams,&rdquo; wrote Kaiseruddin in response to a query from WBEZ.</p><p>&ldquo;My guess is that these are answers they may not want to have,&rdquo; said Basith.</p><p>Still, Kaiseruddin, and many others, said the Council deserves credit for other steps it has taken. The Council is developing guidelines on sound bylaws for its member organizations, in order to avoid another situation where an administrator has unquestioned authority like Saleem did at IIE.</p><p>It&rsquo;s also reviewing sexual abuse policies at Islamic schools throughout the area.</p><p>&ldquo;Everybody came to the conclusion they need to upgrade their policies, and they wanted CIOGC to play a role,&rdquo; said Kaiseruddin.</p><p>Eman Aly said the Council&rsquo;s involvement has done a lot of good in cracking open the taboo topic of sexual violence in the Muslim community.</p><p>&ldquo;People are talking about it, and that&rsquo;s what we wanted,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Friends of mine who are parents have been asking, &lsquo;how do we talk to our kids about this?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Aly, a social worker, helped persuade the only victim to file criminal charges against Saleem. She said she believes the Council should investigate whether leaders in Chicago&rsquo;s religious community know about other cases of misconduct &mdash; so that if there are more victims, they get help.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 05:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/imam-sex-abuse-charges-prompt-calls-greater-transparency-111676 Morning Shift: Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-05-09/morning-shift-dont-follow-leaders-watch-parkin-meters <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/MorningShift_CMS_tile_1200x900_19_1.png" alt="" /><p><p>The above Bob Dylan quote is apt as the City Council follows Rahm further down the parking meter rabbit hole. Plus WWACIED (what would a church in Elgin do), and your musical memories of mom.<script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/don-t-follow-leaders-watch-the-parkin-meters.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/don-t-follow-leaders-watch-the-parkin-meters" target="_blank">View the story "Don't follow leaders, Watch the parkin' meters" on Storify</a>]<h1>Don't follow leaders, Watch the parkin' meters</h1><h2>The above Bob Dylan quote is apt as the City Council follows Rahm further down the parking meter rabbit hole. Plus WWACIED (what would a church in Elgin do), and your musical memories of mom.</h2><p>Storified by <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ"></a>&middot; Wed, May 08 2013 14:33:59</p><div><b>City Hall </b>-&nbsp;Aldermen received a copy of the new parking meter plan shortly before Wednesday’s City Council meeting leaving little time to dissect the details. Alex Keefe explains what they did talk about instead. <br></div><div><b>The Elgin/Joplin connection</b> - &nbsp;A Church in Elgin is building a new home for a woman whose life was upended by the Joplin, MO, tornado that struck in May 2011. Keith Duncan explains how they’ve been constructing the home in the Church basement. &nbsp;<br></div><div><b>Beckett</b> -&nbsp;Chicago-born actor and playwright Rick Cluchey met Samuel Beckett while imprisoned at San Quentin, and he brings their relationship to the stage in a new performance at Stage 773. <br></div><div><b>Music Thursday Mother's Day</b> - What song reminds you of your mom? &nbsp;Something she listened to when you were a kid? &nbsp;Something you listened to together? Celebrate the woman who made it all happen, and call and tweet us with your mother-music-memories.&nbsp;</div></noscript></p></p> Thu, 09 May 2013 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-05-09/morning-shift-dont-follow-leaders-watch-parkin-meters Elgin Latinos: Big in number but not in representation http://www.wbez.org/series/race-out-loud/elgin-latinos-big-number-not-representation-100379 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Gil Feliciano.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The latest census numbers tell a surprising story of how the racial makeup of Chicago&rsquo;s suburbs has changed over the past 20 years. In many places, Latinos now outnumber whites. West suburban Elgin is one of those places.&nbsp; But as the population in Elgin has taken off, Latino representation at all levels of local government has not kept up.</p><p>&ldquo;Just look at this stuff, the ethnicities represented here,&rdquo; said Gil Feliciano, standing in the lobby of Elgin&rsquo;s Gail Borden Library. On a summer afternoon, the lobby is filled with children of all backgrounds: white, black, Hispanic, Asian. It&rsquo;s common to see them dragging their parents across the main floor to the children&rsquo;s room in the back.</p><p>Feliciano was born and raised here in Elgin. His parents came from Puerto Rico. Feliciano was also Elgin&rsquo;s Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for ten years. He was the glue that connected Elgin&rsquo;s Latinos with city functions.</p><p>&ldquo;A gentleman one time came to see me,&rdquo; recounted Feliciano. &ldquo;When I approached him at the counter, he throws down two photographs, both of his porch. One where his porch is a disaster, and one where his porch looks gorgeous.&rdquo; The renovation had been the man&rsquo;s own handiwork, Feliciano said. &ldquo;I go, &lsquo;Well, that&rsquo;s wonderful work.&rsquo; And he goes, &lsquo;Well, not according to you guys.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The man showed Feliciano a letter he had received from Elgin&rsquo;s Historic Preservation Department. It said all his work either had to be undone or changed because it didn&rsquo;t comply with department guidelines.&nbsp; Feliciano says he had to walk lots of immigrant residents, like this man,&nbsp; through those kinds of confusions.&nbsp; Often, they didn&rsquo;t know the rules, or they didn&rsquo;t understand them. Feliciano was the one who&rsquo;d explain to them that even if they owned the house, the city still had a say in whether, or how, they could modify and occupy it.</p><p>One thing that could have helped? Having Latinos help to craft those policies in Elgin. Feliciano said when he started his job in 1997, Latinos weren&rsquo;t in elected positions, they weren&rsquo;t in upper management, and they weren&rsquo;t on most city boards and commissions.</p><p>&ldquo;We knew that things needed to change,&rdquo; said Feliciano, &ldquo;especially if we were interested in having a reasonable reflection of the community.&rdquo;</p><p>Behind the library, across the river, the Metra train shuttles people between this suburb of stately Victorian homes and Chicago. More than two centuries ago, it was railroad labor opportunities that brought the earliest Mexican immigrants to western suburbs like Elgin. Puerto Rican women came, too, to work as housemaids.</p><p>But the numbers really started climbing about 20 years ago. In 1990, Elgin&rsquo;s population was 19 percent Latino. In 2010 , that had grown to nearly 44 percent. That was a huge change over just 20 years, but during that span, Elgin managed to gain only one Latino city council member: Juan Figueroa.</p><p>&ldquo;We were lacking representation in the school boards, library, township, city council,&rdquo; recalls Figueroa.</p><p>Figueroa took office just a couple of years into Gil Feliciano&rsquo;s time at city hall. And slowly the two of them started doing what they could to draw Latinos into the city&rsquo;s affairs. Figueroa put Latinos on boards and commissions. They formed a political action team to register Latino voters. Figueroa says they were building momentum in the community, but then it started falling apart.</p><p>&ldquo;There was a small group of people that thought it was time perhaps to have a city council (member) from a different ethnic group,&rdquo; said Figueroa, &ldquo;in this case the Mexican community.&rdquo;</p><p>Figueroa is Puerto Rican in a city where most Latinos are of Mexican origin. In 2008, that was suddenly a problem for Figueroa. He found himself running for reelection along with two Latinas of Mexican descent. None of them won.</p><p>Even though they weren&rsquo;t all running for the same office, Figueroa believes the three Latino candidates split the vote. He says rivalry among Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latin Americans is one reason that, though they make up nearly half of Elgin&rsquo;s population, Latinos today have zero seats on the city council.</p><p>Figueroa believes what they need is one charismatic leader. &ldquo;It will take a person that can unite the community again, that can bring the groups together,&rdquo; Figueroa said, &ldquo;that can heal some of the bad experiences, the issues, the conflict. All those things that have not allowed us just to be together, as we used to.&rdquo;</p><p>Allert Brown-Gort has studied Latino political involvement in Chicago&rsquo;s suburbs. He says there may be another reason Elgin&rsquo;s Latinos haven&rsquo;t organized behind candidates and causes - and ironically, it&rsquo;s the same reason they moved there in the first place.</p><p>&ldquo;The Chicago metropolitan region is really quite friendly to immigrants,&rdquo; said Brown-Gort, &ldquo;so as immigrants don&rsquo;t feel particularly threatened maybe that does not mobilize them.&rdquo;</p><p>For the most part, this has been true throughout Chicago&rsquo;s suburbs, and Brown-Gort says you can see that from an important switch in immigration patterns that started a few years ago. It used to be that immigrants would first come to Chicago, then move to suburbs when they were more established. Brown-Gort says in 2005 that changed. Now, Chicago&rsquo;s suburbs have become the first stops - the gateway communities for immigrants.</p><p>That&rsquo;s been true for Elgin, and as old-time residents observed the changes over the last two decades, some were uncomfortable with the city&rsquo;s new demographics. Dianha Ortega-Ehreth felt that tension when she was house-shopping there in 2004.</p><p>&ldquo;Our realtor told us that we should be careful moving to the Elgin area because of all the Hispanics that are taking over the city,&rdquo; recalled Ortega-Ehreth. &ldquo;To which I responded, &lsquo;That&rsquo;s great, I want to be around more people like me.&rsquo; And I don&rsquo;t think he knew I was Hispanic.&rdquo;</p><p>But on the whole, Ortega-Ehreth and many other Latinos say they feel welcome in Elgin. They mutter thanks that things haven&rsquo;t gone the way of their neighbor to the north. Carpentersville, 50 percent Latino, created tensions years ago when it considered policies to drive undocumented immigrants away.</p><p>Instead, many in Elgin hope their city will turn out more like Aurora, to the south. There, Latinos make up 40 percent of the population and hold positions across local government. They focus on the same issues that matter to Latinos in Elgin - and that matter to most people: jobs, education, public safety.</p><p>Elgin&rsquo;s city elections come in 2013. That&rsquo;s the next chance to see whether Latinos will be at the table, helping to shape Elgin&rsquo;s&nbsp; future.</p><p><a name="map"></a></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="700" scrolling="no" src="https://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=MAP&amp;q=select+col2+from+1b76OZbv2awt3RiX2hHNTibPT5YLBAiveCS30XhM&amp;h=false&amp;lat=42.13344418738396&amp;lng=-88.1201595&amp;z=9&amp;t=1&amp;l=col2" width="650"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 26 Jun 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/race-out-loud/elgin-latinos-big-number-not-representation-100379 ICE nabs 29 in Chicago-area sweep for gang members http://www.wbez.org/news/ice-nabs-29-chicago-area-sweep-gang-members-98557 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ICE_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is talking up 29 Chicago-area arrests that were part of a national operation targeting transnational gangs.</p><p>Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of ICE’s Chicago-area Homeland Security Investigations, said the operation began April 9 and lasted three days. He said police in Wheeling, Waukegan, Joliet and Elgin took part.</p><p>“I don’t have the time and resources to just go round up everybody who happens to be in the country illegally,” Hartwig said. “Our job is to focus our resources on criminal gangs and criminal organizations — in this case, transnational gangs — who are operating in our communities and making our streets unsafe.”</p><p>As a result of the Chicago-area arrests, ICE says, a 26-year-old U.S. citizen and two foreign nationals face criminal charges. Officials say the other 26 detainees are in deportation proceedings.</p><p>An ICE statement says the operation, dubbed Project Nefarious, led to more than 600 arrrests nationwide. The statement says the operation spanned 150 U.S. cities and reached Honduras. The operation’s impetus, the agency adds, was a 2011 federal report that identified gangs tied to human smuggling and trafficking.</p><p>The victims of those crimes include foreign nationals in the United States, but some immigrant advocates are withholding praise for the operation.</p><p>“We support ICE’s efforts to target criminal enterprises rather than immigrants whose only crime is working to support their families,” said Chuck Roth, litigation director of the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center. “But past ICE actions have usually turned out to involve more arrests of bystanders and family members than of individuals actively engaged in wrongdoing.”</p></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ice-nabs-29-chicago-area-sweep-gang-members-98557 Aurora combats gang violence with a new special prosecutor http://www.wbez.org/story/aurora-combats-gang-violence-new-special-prosecutor-91056 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-25/latin kings_flickr_nvaughn.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The city of Aurora, Illinois has gotten a new $60,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to help pay for a special prosecutor who will go after street gangs. He or she will file civil lawsuits against Aurora's known gang members to stop them from gathering or wearing certain colors.</p><p>Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said the position will help the police department use new methods to combat gang violence. "They have the ability to make an on-scene arrest, which then can lead to the removal of weapons or illegal street drugs, as opposed to waiting for the gang member to use that weapon or to deal that drug," said McMahon.</p><p>McMahon believes the city has done a good job preventing gang activity, but this hire is "another step we can take."&nbsp;</p><p>Aurora doesn't track gang related activity, however, <a href="http://www.aurora-il.org/detail_news.php?newsDateID=823">crime records</a> for 2010 show an 11 percent decrease in overall crime from the year before.</p><p>"This is certainly not a one-year project. This is a step in a long-term approach to getting gangs to stop expanding in and around the city of Aurora," said McMahon, citing the nearby city of Elgin, which has received a similar grant.</p><p>According to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-17/news/ct-met-street-gang-lawsuits-0118-20110117_1_gang-members-gang-activity-satan-disciples">the Chicago Tribune</a>, since <a href="http://law.justia.com/codes/illinois/2005/chapter57/2052.html">a 1993 law</a> passed allowing injunctions against against gang members, suits have increased in Illinois, and in the greater Chicago area. The <a href="http://www.aclunc.org/issues/criminal_justice/facts_about_recent_gang_injunctions.shtml">popularity of injunctions in California</a> has prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to become heavily involved in combatting what they see as a racially targeted and ineffective method of reducing gang violence. Ed Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy for&nbsp;the ACLU-IL, said that the issue was not one that had yet been heavily targeted by his branch.</p></p> Thu, 25 Aug 2011 18:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/aurora-combats-gang-violence-new-special-prosecutor-91056 Incumbents rule the day in suburban mayoral elections http://www.wbez.org/story/incumbents-rule-day-suburban-mayoral-elections-dnp-84794 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/Naperville Riverwalk.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated on 4/7/11 at 11:06am</em></p><p>Voters throughout Chicago's suburbs cast ballots in more than two dozen races for mayor or village president.&nbsp; But amidst budget pressures and uncertain economic times, the response from voters in most communities was: stay the course.</p><p>That wasn't true in every community, of course. Several of the state's largest cities will see new leadership this year - the result of both ballot box rebukes and voluntary retirements.</p><p>In the latter case, Joliet's incumbent mayor Arthur Schultz is retiring after 20 years in office.&nbsp; He'll be succeeded by Tom Giarrante, a retired firefighter and incumbent city councilman.&nbsp; Giarrante defeated eight other candidates on Tuesday to become mayor of Illinois' fourth largest city.</p><p>But in northwest suburban Elgin, longtime mayor Ed Schock lost his bid for a fourth-term in office, as tallies showed challenger Dave Kaptain winning 54 percent of the vote.&nbsp;</p><p>Residents of west suburban Wood Dale also will have a new mayor soon.&nbsp; Voters denied incumbent Ken Johnson's bid for a fourth term, giving the nod instead to Annunziato Pulice.&nbsp; Pulice won a close two-way contest, capturing 51 percent of the vote, following revelations that Johnson owed the village thousands of dollars in unpaid health premiums.</p><p>CPA David Gonzalez won election to an open seat in Chicago Heights over Alderman Joe Faso.&nbsp; The south suburban community has had an interim mayor since the death of then-mayor Alex Lopez in August 2010.</p><p>Challenger Gopal Lalmalani defeated incumbent John W. Craig in the race for Oak Brook Village President, and in the open mayoral seat in Rolling Meadows, former city councilman Tom Rooney sailed to victory against Jonathan Trapani.</p><p>In a battle of ballot nicknames in Prospect Heights, Nichaolas "Nick" Helmes handily defeated incumbent Dolores "Dolly" Vole with better than 70 percent of the vote.</p><p>But elsewhere, it was business as usual for many other communities as incumbents cruised to re-election in races for mayor and village president, many of whom ran unopposed.</p><p><strong>Schaumburg</strong></p><p>In Schaumburg, long-time incumbent village president Al Larson faced his first challenge in more than 15 years but emerged victorious over 31-year-old challenger Brian Costin.&nbsp;</p><p>Much of the campaign focused on the village's recently instituted property tax, as well as the village's ownerhip of the Schaumburg Flyer's baseball stadium and the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.&nbsp; Costin criticized the village property tax, and he argued that the stadium and convention complex should be privatized.</p><p>Larson, 72, has led Schaumburg for 24 years and his victory on Tuesday returns him to office for another four-year term.</p><p><strong>West Suburbs</strong></p><p>Tuesday night also proved to be a big one for Naperville's four-term incumbent mayor George Pradel.&nbsp; He defeated two other challengers to win a fifth term in office, which Pradel says will be his last.&nbsp;</p><p>In nearby Wheaton, Mayor Michael Gresk defeated Councilman John Prendiville in his bid for re-election.&nbsp; Gresk garnered 53 percent of the vote to Prendiville's 47 percent.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>South Suburbs</strong></p><p>While voters in Joliet selected a new mayor, incumbents won the day in several other south suburban communities, including Country Club Hills, where voters elected Mayor Dwight Welch to a seventh term in office.</p><p>In Harvey, Eric Kellogg also won re-election, though he failed to win a majority of the vote in a five-person contest.&nbsp; A recent controversy over a vote that made Kellogg superintendent of Harvey's public schools and allegations of corruption swirled during his most recent term in office.</p><p>Meanwhile, John Ostenberg cruised to a record fourth-term as mayor of Park Forest by a two-to-one margin, but the race for mayor of University Park was much closer.&nbsp; With absentee ballots not yet counted, Vivian Covington holds onto a razor-thin lead over Joseph Roudez.</p><p><em>Correction:&nbsp; An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Gopal Lalmalani as the incumbent in the race for Oak Brook Village President.&nbsp; He was the challenger.</em></p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 14:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/incumbents-rule-day-suburban-mayoral-elections-dnp-84794 Elgin's ROPE program puts police officers on patrol where they live http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/elgins-rope-program-puts-police-officers-patrol-where-they-live <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Elgin police station.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some local communities have gone as far as embedding their police officers into troubled neighborhoods in an effort to curb crime. Northwest suburban Elgin is one of those areas. In 1991, the local police department started the Resident Officer Program of Elgin, or <a href="http://www.cityofelgin.org/index.aspx?NID=297" target="_blank">ROPE</a>. Today, five officers patrol the communities in which they live. In 2003, WBEZ&rsquo;s Steve Edwards visited Officer Pete Almeida, now retired from the program. He gave us a peek into his daily work.</p></p> Mon, 06 Dec 2010 15:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/elgins-rope-program-puts-police-officers-patrol-where-they-live