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Aggregation aggravation

  • Written by Kelly White

 Hickory may be starting trend in return to ComEd

Hickory Hills is thinking of turning backfront-color-2-col-truckComEd was the victim of aggregation in some suburbs but Hickory Hills is considering going back to the utility giant. Photo by Jeff Vorva. to an old friend. 

 Maligned ComEd hasn’t been a name commonly spoken in favorable terms in area suburbs over the past few years -- especially with the hype of electrical aggregation and the promise of lower rates.

But ComEd could be on the verge of a comeback and Hickory Hills could be leading the way.
“A lot of municipalities are choosing to go back to ComEd for the entire upcoming year, simply because it’s less confusing for residents,” Howley told residents at last Thursday’s city council meeting. “This very well could be the case for us.”
With the council’s one-year electrical agreement with Integris expiring in May and not being able to go out for new bids again until August for another contract, the village will go back to ComEd for June and July and make a long-term decision in the coming months.
The mayor said Integris would not be able to carry on with its current rate of 5.39 cents per kilowatt hour and would be attaining a market-based rate for the village instead.
“The market rates they have been providing us are very high, and ComEd has a much lower rate,” Howley said.
Integris’ market-based summer rate stood at 8 cents per kilowatt hour. The village decided to terminate its agreement with Integris and return back to ComEd for June and July.
The ComEd rate for June through July is 7.6 cents and it will be 7.42 cents per kilowatt hour for the remaining ten months. ComEd is also planning to reset rates again in the fall.
The rates offered by ComEd are for the 12-month period beginning June 1.
Be warned -- whether the village choses in July to go with an aggregator or remain with ComEd, rates are going up.
“Rates are much higher than they have been in the past,” Jim Zelic said on behalf of Integris at the April 10 city council meeting.
“Residents have already received letters from ComEd informing them that they are now being serviced by ComEd,” Howley said, “I do understand how this can be confusing when just a month ago, residents were receiving letters from Integris.”
The village is debating avoiding continual confusion among residents by remaining with ComEd through June, 2015.
Howley explained there is more risk in back end of an electrical agreement contract now than there was in the past.
“If we signed on to a three-year electrical agreement contract, during the first year of the contract, we may be slightly paying a lower rate than what ComEd is offering,” he said. “However, in years two and three, we could very well be paying much more than ComEd’s rate at that time.”
Hickory is in a two-month window where the council members have time to debate whether or not to go back to electrical aggregation or remain with ComEd.
During the three one-year aggregation agreements, Hickory Hills residents saved an estimated $30 a year Howley said.
“It’s really not as significant of a savings as people may think it is.” he said.

Record numbers of attend walk to fight breast cancer

  On Mother’s Day, May 11, more than 13,000 men, page-7-3-col-walkWalkers came out in record numbers on Mother’s Day to fight cancer. Submitted photo.women and children gathered together to walk the 15th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk.
  Bright pink BBCW logo t-shirts could be seen in abundance as walkers embarked the three-mile route through the historic Beverly Hills and Morgan Park neighborhood. The record-breaking turnout was in support of Little Company of Mary’s Nationally Accredited and award winning Comprehensive Breast Health Center.
  “It’s truly remarkable to look back and see how far this family-centered historic walk has come. It began with three pioneering women [Carol Moriarty, Nancy Mulcahy and Lisa O’Brien] who believed in fighting breast cancer with one step at a time on one of the most memorable days of the year-Mother’s Day,” said Brian Lepacek, MDiv, Executive Director of the LCMH Foundation. “Fast-forward 15 years later, three walkers grew to more than 13,000 supporters that all have joined in the fight against breast cancer taking one step at a time.’
  More than two decades ago, Chicago area resident, Moriarty, one of the three original BBCW founders, found herself at Little Company of Mary’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center receiving treatments to aid in her battle with breast cancer. After a successful plan of treatments, Carol found herself cancer-free and with a new profound vision for life.
  Today, hundreds of women like Carol have found compassionate and state-of-the-art treatment at Little Company of Mary’s Nationally Accredited Comprehensive Breast Health Center.
  “The Breast Health Center at Little Company of Mary has been recognized as one of the top in the nation due, in huge part, because of each of you and this community, who have supported us for the last 15 years,” said Dr. Nancy Taft, board-certified breast surgeon for Little Company of Mary Hospital. “I hope you never have to see us, but, if you do face breast cancer, we are here to provide ease, comfort, care and state-of-the-art technology through an expert team and a holistic approach to the healing process.”
  This year’s walk raised more than $400,000 and all proceeds of the event will go towards Little Company of Mary’s Comprehensive Breast Health Center that is located in the Women’s Center for Life and Health. The Center continues to address women’s health and wellness and provide forward-thinking, gender-sensitive healthcare for women of all ages.
  This NAPBC accreditation is only given to a select few centers across the country that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care. The center also offers an array of integrative therapy services, such as acupuncture, massage therapy and post-treatment esthetic care.
  In addition to the Breast Center’s re-accreditation by the NAPBC, The Center was recognized as an Imaging Center of Excellence due to its excellent service, good quality and state-of-the-art imaging technology. The Center has also been recently awarded with the “Women’s Choice Award” for being one of nations best breast centers.
  The Beverly Breast Cancer Walk is still taking donations, please visit beverlybreastcancerwalk.org to donate, view the photo gallery or to find out more information about the walk.
— Submitted by Beverly Breast Cancer Walk

Unguarded criminals in hospital have OL bosses talking

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Two Oak Lawn trustees are calling on the village to re-examine its policies with Christ Medical Center regarding the release of patients who have been charged with a crime.
The concern comes following televised reports that a Lake Station, Ind., man facing murder and attempted murder charges left Christ Medical Center, 4440 W. 95th St., in February where he was being treated for gunshot wounds.
“The system failed us,” Trustee Robert Streit said.
Streit asked that the village board to consider an ordinance requiring the hospital to notify Oak Lawn police any time a criminal is admitted to the hospital. Trustees are expected to discuss an ordinance at their next committee meeting.
Police Chief Mike Murray said it’s the responsibility of the law enforcement agency in charge of a case to keep track of a suspect or to alert local police and seek assistance.
Police are notified when a shooting victim is brought to the hospital and family or gang members might show up seeking revenge, Murray said.
Streit brought the issue up at the May 13 village board meeting, saying he heard about Mark Cherry’s departure from the hospital on NBC5 Chicago News. He did not mention that Cherry’s departure from the hospital occurred in February, a clarification made by Village Manager Larry Deetjen.
“The incident we’re talking about tonight took place months ago,” Deetjen said. “In this particular case, there was no safety issue.”
Trustee Alex Olejniczak said the village should meet with hospital officials to ensure a similar incident will not happen.
“We still have to be concerned about how this happened,” Olejniczak said. “It’s going to happen again.”
Streit agreed.
He added that a suspected murder that leaves the hospital likely requires two things: money and transportation—needs that make him dangerous to the surrounding community.
“I think we’re all in danger when something like this happens,” he said. “There were no alerts. There were no emails. He was the subject of a nationwide manhunt.”
Trustee Mike Carberry chastised Streit for using the issue to blindside the board.
“There was a moment there when I thought you were bringing it up as a constructive action. Now I realize what you’re selling (and) it isn’t going to work,” Carberry said. “If you’re going to blindside your own people, Bob, that’s not good.”
Streit attempted to respond, but Mayor Sandra Bury halted the debate.
Cherry surrendered at the Lake County Jail on May 12. He is charged with murder in the shooting death of Rolando Correa, 22, and wounding two others during a drug-related incident in Gary.
Cherry was not held under police guard. Gary officers don’t typically guard prisoners outside Indiana where they have no jurisdiction, Gary police spokeswoman Cpl. Gabrielle King said earlier.
Michael Kaufmann, Oak Lawn police division chief, said that Gary police did not inform his department about Cherry’s status as a criminal defendant in a murder case.
Christ Medical Center spokesman Mike Maggio refused to comment on this story, but in a previous statement said that the medical center “cannot legally detain a patient against his or her will. Without prior written consent from a patient, the hospital cannot alert another person or agency about a patient’s pending discharge.”

Chicago Ridge officials ‘bite the bullet’ on new security cameras

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Chicago Ridge will spend $55,000 to install security cameras outside village hall, the police station and the Metra station and parking lot.

Trustees on Tuesday approved Phase 1 of the program, which also includes a $4,000 audio component.
Mayor Chuck Tokar said the village had analog security cameras several years ago but they eventually fell into disrepair and became obsolete.
Four companies responded to the village’s request for proposals, and Griffon Systems of Elmhurst was chosen for the project.
The cameras will cost $51,000 and the audio system an additional $4,000, Tokar said. Twenty-five cameras will be install as part of the first phase of the project, he said.
Tokar said the cost, which is part of the village’s capital improvements budget, is well worth it.
“I think it’s high time that we bite the bullet on this,” he said.
The cameras will be installed around the perimeter of village hall and the police station as well as at the Metra station, parking lot and pay box, Tokar said.
The live camera feeds will be monitored at the police station. The cameras will be connected to a server that will store the images.
Installation of the cameras is scheduled for the end of June.
The Chicago Ridge Public Library also considering installing security cameras, but they would not be part of the village’s proposal, the mayor said. However, the cameras images would be fed to the police station.
Cameras at the fire station would be included in the second phase of the project, Tokar said.
In other business, the board approved the installation of two motivation posters in the village trustees’ offices, leading Trustee John Lind to quip to Tokar, “I was hoping we’d hang a poster of you.”

Police News from 5-22-14

Chicago Ridge

  Javier Hernandez, 31, of Cicero, was charged with driving without a valid license, using a cell phone while driving and no insurance May 12 after being stopped in the 6600 block of 95th Street, police said.
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  Pedro Valle, 27, of Midlothian, was charged with delivery and possession of marijuana May 12 after police observed him sell marijuana at 111th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, police said.
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  Christopher Manson, 25, of Harwood Heights, was charged with driving on a suspended license May 12 after a stop at 111th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, police said.
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  Norma A. Medina, 24, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft May 15 after allegedly stealing merchandise from Kohl’s at Chicago Ridge Mall, police said.
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  Beyania Hernandez, 23, of Chicago, was charged May 15 with retail theft after reportedly stealing goods from Kohl’s at Chicago Ridge Mall, police said.
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  Valencia Jackson, 25, of Arlington Heights, was charged with driving on a suspended license and blocking an intersection May 16 after a stop at 96th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, police said.
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  Donald F. Macak, 56, of Chicago Ridge, was charged with drunken driving and improper lane use May 18 after being stopped at 95th Street and Ridgeland Avenue, police said.
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  Laura A. Przbylski, 37, of Alsip, was charged with retail theft May 18 after allegedly stealing merchandise from Kohl’s at Chicago Ridge Mall, police said.

Evergreen Park

  Lemar White, 23, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft May 9 after allegedly stealing goods from Wal-Mart, 2500 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Gregory H. Tallent, 44, of Evergreen Park, was charged with aggravated assault and resisting and obstructing a police officer May 9 after a disturbance at 96th Street and Kedzie Avenue, police said.
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  Richard A. Jeschke II, 20, of Evergreen Park, was charged with resisting a police officer May 10 following an incident in the 8800 block of Sacramento Avenue.
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  Francisco A. Guzman, 25, of Oak Forest, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and driving without a valid license after a May 13 stop in the 3800 block of 87th Street, police said.
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  Porsha T. Pate, 20, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft May 13 after reportedly stealing items from Wal-Mart, 2500 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Ticonnaa Cammon, 31, Burbank, was charged May 13 with retail theft after allegedly stealing items from Wal-Mart, 2500 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Sandra Oluchi Amanze, 32, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft, May 14 after reportedly stealing items from Wal-Mart, 2500 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Michelle L. Debella, 54, of Chicago, was charged May 14 with possession of a controlled substance and drug equipment following a May 14 stop at 3999 W. 99th St., police said.
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  Amanda L. Sieracki, 28, of Evergreen Park, and Matthew R. Brown, 38, of Chicago, were charged with possession of a controlled substance May 14 after a stop in the 3900 W. 91st Street, police said.

Hickory Hills

  Nina M. Williams, 35, of Hickory Hills, was charged with possession of marijuana following a May 16 stop in the 8600 block of 85th Court, police said.
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  Keasha T. Williams, 24, of Joliet, was charged with driving on an expired license and registration May 17 after a stop in the 8200 block of 87th Street, police said.
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  Isra Erbas, 23, of Worth, was charged with driving on a suspended license, speeding and no insurance after a May 19 stop in the 8800 block of Roberts Road, police said.

Oak Lawn

  Glenn E. Schallmo, 52, of Tinley Park, was charged with drunken driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, no insurance and driving without a valid license April 25 after he struck a squad car at 101st Street and Cicero Avenue, police said.
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  A push-button ignition valued at $1,000, was reported stolen sometime between April 26 and May 9 from a car at Carmax, 6540 W. 95th St.
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  The catalytic convertor was reported stolen between May 3-10 from a car in the 4700 block of 101st Street.

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  An air compressor was reportedly stolen sometime between May 5-9 from outside a building in the 9100 block of Mayfield Avenue.
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  Irene Guzman, 31, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft May 10 after allegedly stealing merchandise from Target, 4120 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Dominique L. Dailey, 19, of Chicago, was charged with retail theft May 10 after reportedly stealing items from Kmart, 4101 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Tywanna K. McCoy, 45, of Evergreen Park, was charged with retail theft May 10 after she allegedly stole items from Kmart, 4101 W. 95th St., police said.
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  Mark Janik, 38, of Oak Lawn, was charged with obstructing justice May 10 following a disturbance at Centennial Park, 9299 S. Nashville Ave., police said.
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  Jillian M. Eppenstein, 28, of Merrionette Park, was charged with drunken driving, transportation of open alcohol, driving without a valid license and improper lane use May 10 after he was stopped at 103rd Street and Komensky Avenue, police said.
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  Joseph T. Burkhead, 20, of Oak Lawn, was charged with possession of a controlled substance May 11 after a stop in the 4200 block of 100th Street, police said.
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  Phillip M. Kwak, 26, of Hickory Hills, was charged with drunken driving, speeding and improper lane use May 14 after a stop at 95th Street and Harlem Avenue, police said.
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  Lori A. Kenny, 49, of Alsip, was charged with theft May 15 after reportedly stealing items from Kmart, 4101 W. 95th St., police said.

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  Tamiko L. Jones, 38, of Chicago, was charged with disorderly conduct May 15 after a reported disturbance at Hobo, 8716 S. Cicero Ave., police said.

Palos Hills

  Alexander Mrowca, 18, of Palos Hills, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug equipment May 14 after police reportedly spotted him smoking marijuana in the a parking lot near Cinnamon Creek Court, they said.

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  Three hundred and twenty six dollars was reported stolen May 15 from a car in the 10600 block of Vicky Lane, police said.

Worth

  Michael J. Symons, 50, of Joliet, was charged with damage to property May 12 after a disturbance in the 6500 block of 111th Street, police said.
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  Brett L. Toovey, 18, of Worth, was charged with domestic assault May 12 following a disturbance in the 11100 block of Columbus Drive, police said.
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  Dana Williams, 24, of Chicago Heights, was charged with driving on a suspended license, speeding and no insurance May 15 after a stop in the 6600 block of 111th Street, police said.
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  Mohammad D. Jaber, 25, of Chicago, was charged with domestic battery May 15 after a disturbance at Palos Motel, 10600 S. Harlem Ave., police said.