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Referendum Passing; Video Gaming, Cannabis In Palatine Get Green Light In 2022

Palatine Dist. 15 Board President Lisa Beth Szczupaj looks on as election numbers start rolling in. (Photo by Shawn Clisham/Journal)

Palatine schools took center stage in 2022 from dissent among Dist. 211 board members extending the contract for their superintendent, to a property tax increase referendum in Dist. 15. The village also made news by approving recreational cannabis and video gaming. 

Here are the Journal’s top stories of the year from Palatine (in no particular order):

Busing System

On Feb. 23, Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 moved to a three-tiered bus system in order to continue transporting all 10,000 district students during a nationwide bus driver shortage.

The district needed to move from a two-tiered to three-tiered system due to a critical nationwide driver shortage across many industries and the country, which has resulted in Dist. 15 facing a significant and growing bus driver shortage since the start of the school year. As a result, changes to school start times ranged from 10-35 minutes.

New Deputy Village Manager

At the beginning of the year, Hadley Skeffington-Vos left the village of Niles as deputy village manager to take the same position in Palatine. She replaced Mike Jacobs, who moved on to head the village’s community development department. Village Manager Reid Ottesen said Skeffington-Vos’ time as acting village manager in Niles was one of the factors that made her stand out, as someone who would understand the manager’s position “being in the manager’s chair” herself.

Dist. 211 Extension

In January, Township High School Dist. 211 board members approved a one-year contract extension for  Supt. Lisa Small, but not all board members gave their stamp of approval. Small, who took over for Dan Cates on July 1, 2020, stated in 2021 she planned to retire either at the end of the 2024 or 2025 school year. Her initial contract was set to expire June 30, 2024. Over the summer of 2021, the board decided to hold off approving a one-year extension so they could see the results of student achievement once everyone returned to school in the fall of 2021.  

Her contract was extended in January through June 30, 2025 because the majority of the board believed her previous goals set forth in the contract had been met and new ones were established.

Board member Peter Dombrowski, who was the lone dissenting vote in January, stated he didn’t see much improvement from Small since the previous June, and would have liked to have seen a new teacher’s contract signed first before extending Small’s contract another year. The board will start looking for Small’s replacement sometime around the summer of 2024, and will determine if a search firm is needed to find the next superintendent or if a pool of internal candidates will be considered.

Video Gaming

Palatine councilmen in April voted to allow video gambling machines at establishments that serve liquor, in addition to changing closing times for bars. Councilman Tim Millar (Dist. 1) was the lone dissenting vote because he believed residents would not support video gambling. 

At a meeting in April, the council agreed to close most bars at 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday and 1 a.m. every other day of the week. 

In regard to video gambling, each establishment can have a maximum of six video gaming terminals as long as there is a barrier separating itself from the rest of the business. One month later, the council approved the first nine applications for the liquor license that allows bars to install video gaming machines.

In August, councilmen imposed an eight-month moratorium on any new video gaming machine license applications in order for the village to catch up on a backlog of applications.

Dobosz Family.

Dist. 15 Mourns

A wrong-way crash on the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) July 31 claimed the lives of seven people, including five from one Rolling Meadows family, whose children attended Dist. 15 schools. Thirty-two-year-old Tom Dobosz, initially fought to survive, but succumbed to his injuries. His wife, Lauren Dobosz, 31, died in the crash alongside their children 5-year-old Ella, 7-year-old Nicky (Nicholas), 8-year-old Lucas, and 13-year-old Emma. A friend who was in their van, 13-year-old Katriona Koziara ​​(Kat), also died.

At approximately 2:11 a.m. Sunday, July 31 the family was driving west on I-90 in McHenry County, heading to Minnesota for vacation when a wrong-way driver, traveling east in the westbound lanes of the expressway, collided with their van head on. The children attended Willow Bend Elementary, Central Road Elementary, and Carl Sandburg Junior High.

A little over a month later on Sept. 11, the district mourned again after 10-year-old Austin Chang died with his father, 41-year-old Woo. According to Inverness police, at approximately 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, officers responded to the 2200 block of Palatine Road for an unknown problem. Upon arrival, they met with the mother of the children. She indicated the father did not return the children at the scheduled time after visitation, and inside the home, she located her estranged husband and the children unconscious.

Woo and Austin were pronounced dead at the scene and the 6-year-old daughter was transported to a hospital. Police said it appeared the father poisoned them from a generator inside the home. Austin attended Frank C. Whiteley School.

Right before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 23, two Palatine boys died after falling into an icy retention pond while visiting their grandmother for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to police, at approximately 3:31 p.m., police and fire responded to the 800 block of W. Panorama Drive for a report of a group of juveniles who had fallen into the pond. Upon arrival, Palatine Fire Dept. personnel pulled two male juveniles from the water. Both juveniles were transported to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. Four-year-old Ro’Siah Brooks, of the 700 block of E. Rand Grove Lane in Palatine, was pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. His brother, 6-year-old Romalice Brooks, was pronounced dead at 3:54 a.m. the next day. Both were ruled as accidental drowning. Police said the boys were under water for approximately 20 minutes before they were rescued.

Teachers Ink 2-Year Deal

By a vote of 5-2, Township High School Dist. 211 board members in late April approved a new two-year contract with the teachers union, preventing a strike that the unionized educators were planning if a deal was not reached. 

The agreement went into effect July 1 with 1,300-plus union members including certified teachers, psychologists, nurses, social workers, teacher assistants, sign language interpreters, occupational therapists, physical therapists, non-licensed nurses, head athletic trainers, and collaborative pianists, follows six months of negotiations with a federal mediator.

The contract provided for 3% base salary increases for each of the two years, and aligns final pre-retirement earning limitations at a 6% threshold within legislation enacted by the state. The contract also calls for increased health care premiums. 

Board members Mark Cramer and Pete Dombrowski voted against the contract citing concerns of pension changes that will impact the district in the future. Board member Kim Cavill stated issues with pension changes should be addressed in Springfield and not by local school board members. The new contract will expire June 30, 2024.

Green Light For Cannabis

Palatine village councilmen in early May approved the village’s first recreational cannabis dispensary at 325 E. Lake Cook Rd. The business is a joint venture between Botavi Wellness and the Justice Cannabis Company. Councilman Kollin Kozlowski (5th) voted against the plan, believing only medicinal dispensaries should be able to sell recreational cannabis. Councilman Tim Millar (1st) expressed concerns about the effects cannabis has on young adults.


Palatine village councilmen in early June approved a new council district map. The purpose of remapping was to ensure all districts in the village had an equal population. Despite redistricting, each district relatively remained the same. District 1 on the north end of town changed the most and gained Palatine Prairie nature preserve and Riemer Reservoir. 

Dist. 15 Referendum Passes

Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 voters in November, by almost a two-thirds margin, supported a $93 million tax increase that will cover half of $186 million in building improvements. Under its “Moving 15 Forward” plan, the district will change school boundaries that will be implemented for the 2024-25 school year, and take on several capital improvement projects to accommodate several changes. The funds will help repair and restore facilities, update learning spaces, provide full-day kindergarten, and give more students a chance to learn at near-neighborhood schools.

Students from one elementary school will attend one middle school and stay on a “path” through middle school to one high school, whether it be Fremd, Palatine or Rolling Meadows high schools they attend. Additionally, the funds will allow for full-day kindergarten and provide more centralized locations for special education or gifted students, eliminating bilingual “overlay” to create neighborhood schools for students that speak other languages.

Sticker Program Now History

During the Aug. 1 village council meeting, elected officials reviewed a mid-year financial presentation from staff, including an update on the vehicle sticker program.

After two years of enhanced enforcement of vehicle sticker compliance, staff recommended — and the mayor and council agreed — to discontinue the village vehicle sticker program. 

Due to organic growth in general fund revenues resulting from the village’s economic development activities and increased revenues from sales tax, staff reported that the village can sustain losing the revenue source from vehicle stickers.

Barber Shop Shut Down

A Palatine barber shop is no longer in business after its license was revoked in October by Village Manager Reid Ottesen.

Police in September conducted an investigation at Cutz Barber Lounge, 403 N. Northwest Hwy. When they entered the business, which had customers inside, they reportedly found open bottles of beer, marijuana, cocaine, hydrocodone, and Xanax at various locations on the main floor, as well in the basement of the establishment. Additionally, the village claimed the business was making false statements on its business license application as to the owner and operator.

Officers searched the establishment and found alcohol and narcotics on the main level as well as in the basement, along with a digital scale and clear plastic bags that police believed was intended for distribution. 

Participants in the Pilgrimage for Peace carry the replica of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima on Illinois Avenue to Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Palatine. (Photos by Patrick Jasionowski/Special to the Journal)

Honorable Mentions

After 12 years of serving, State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) decided to not run for reelection in 2022…Protesters marched outside Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Palatine in March praying for peace during the first few days of the war between Russia and the Ukraine…Journeys the Road Home, a Palatine-based nonprofit that provides housing and supportive services for homeless invidiously, broke ground on a new facility…Palatine Rural Fire Protection District dropped “Palatine Rural” from its name and now is referred to as Inverness Fire Protection District.


Schedule Shuffles Because Of Impending Storm

With a winter storm set to hit the area Thursday, Dec. 22 and last until Saturday morning on Christmas Eve, a number of area sporting events have taken a hit.

Here’s a look at the changes as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 for the next few days:

Boys Basketball:

Rolling Meadows home game against Elk Grove was shifted from Thursday, Dec. 22 to Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m.

Schaumburg was scheduled to play at Buffalo Grove Thursday, but the game was canceled. Buffalo Grove was going to have its “Silent Night” event, but that will be pushed to a January game now.

Palatine’s away game for Thursday at Highland Park was canceled.

Niles West was supposed to play North Chicago Friday, Dec. 23, but that game was postponed.

The Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic had to change up its schedule because of the storm. The tournament was to start Friday, Dec. 23, but the first day of action will now be Monday, Dec. 26. The tournament will now run Dec. 26-29. Maine South and Stevenson will compete in the tournament.

Northridge was scheduled to play IC Catholic Thursday, Dec. 22, but that game has been moved to Saturday, Jan. 28 at Immaculate Conception.

Niles Notre Dame’s game they are hosting against Loyola Academy has moved up its start time Thursday, Dec. 22 to 3 p.m. for varsity and 5:15 for the sophomore game. The freshman games have been postponed.

Girls Basketball:

Glenbrook South was scheduled to travel to Hersey Thursday, but that game was postponed to Jan. 30, 2023.

Maine South is set to play at Fremd Thursday, Dec. 22, but the game was moved up to 1:45 p.m.

Rolling Meadows game against Warren was scheduled for Thursday, but was shifted to a 4:30 p.m. start Wednesday in Gurnee.

Boys Wrestling:

Conant’s quad that includes Glenbrook South, Stevenson and Neuqua Valley scheduled for Thursday was canceled.

Prospect was scheduled to visit Hersey Friday, Dec. 23, but that match was postponed. 

Girls Wrestling

Palatine was set to compete in a girls wrestling invite at Riverside-Brookfield Friday, Dec. 23, but the event was postponed to Jan. 11, 2023.

Boys Swimming:

Maine West was supposed to face Highland Park on the road Thursday, but the meet was canceled.

Girls Gymnastics:

The annual A Star is Born meet at Niles West scheduled for Friday, Dec. 23 is postponed.

Video Game Nostalgia Hits Arlington Heights Memorial Library For Holidays

A cluster of arcade games attracts an Arlington Heights Memorial Library patron on Dec. 6 (Noah Festenstein/Journal Photo)

With an ode to nostalgia for the holidays, Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML) has partnered with a Long Island, NY, museum to temporarily display 12 original arcade video game machines for free play until Jan. 15.

Most of the biggest amusement-based companies during the early 1900s were stationed in Chicago — amongst them was Gottlieb and Co. In 1931, David Gottlieb created the first successful coin-operated game called Baffle Ball. So it can be said that Chicago played a prominent role in the start of video games.

This fact led the Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center in Long Island to want to send over 12 of their widely-recognized video games to a Chicago-area library. The library showing immediate interest was the Arlington Heights Library.

According to AHML Programs & Exhibits Specialist Emily Muszynski, the library initially reached out to the Long Island museum in 2019. But then the pandemic happened and stalled plans to receive the video games until now. Representatives from the Cradle of Aviation Museum went to AHML Nov. 14, and took until Nov. 17 to set everything up. After a dance party and video game initiation events, the make-shift arcade will be packed back up Jan. 15.

The temporary arcade in Arlington Heights Memorial Library sparks the interest of all ages. (Noah Festenstein/Journal Photo)

“Opening night we had 450 families of all ages,” Muszynski said. “The success of it for that whole first weekend was astronomical. The games were constantly being played Saturday and Sunday. There is always one person playing a game.” The arcade is set up in the middle of the library near the first-floor information desk. The exhibit also features encased video game artifacts and video game history facts.

The video game machines at AHML are Donkey Kong Jr., Pac Man, Arkanoid, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter Two, Tetris, Joust, Defender, Froger, QBert, Asteroids and Space Invaders.

“You don’t normally hear these particular noises or music coming from video games today,” Muszynski said. “Every video game has a distinct noise, and has distinct music. You can’t really get the QBert noises on a Nintendo Switch. It’s also nostalgic to keep pressing the buttons and moving the joysticks, and being able to do it with someone else. It really brings people together that really traditional video games nowadays don’t necessarily do.”

“I’ve been hearing a lot of ‘back in my day we had to go other places to play video games,’ that’s something people don’t necessarily see all of the time anymore… This is a little bit more of community-based gaming that a lot of the older visitors and a lot of the younger visitors don’t get. So they are really excited to get this, it’s really nostalgic.”

More events and tournaments are planned near the end of December, including game tournaments scattered from Dec. 21 to Jan. 7. Mortal Kombat will be on Wednesday, Dec. 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Pac-Man is on Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tetris on Wednesday Dec. 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Then, Space Invaders on Saturday, Jan. 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sign-ups for each occur 15 minutes prior to start times. Each player will have a 10-minute run in each arcade tournament.

Otherwise, no one needs a library card to come and play the games as they are free to the public. As long as the games are functional and not occupied, anyone can come and immerse themselves in avoiding the Pac-Man ghosts, setting up a classic Ryu vs. Ken matchup in Street Fighter 2, or even just simply destroying giant space rocks in Asteroids.

“Our patrons and visitors are just always up for anything,” Muszynski said. “Which is something that I really like about working here. They’re up for surprises, they’re up for big things. They want to see fun in their library, and this is a way for us to do that.”

History Repeats For Loyola Football, Ramblers Win 4th State Championship

History has a way of repeating itself and Loyola Academy football knows that all too well.

Due to COVID-19, there were no football state finals in 2020, so the last IHSA state championship game hosted by University of Illinois was in 2018.

That year, Loyola defeated previously undefeated No. 1 Brother Rice 13-3 to win the Class 8A state championship.

Four years and two days later, No. 6 Loyola Academy (13-1) defeated previously undefeated No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 13-3 to win the Class 8A state championship Saturday, Nov. 26.

Loyola Academy players have some fun celebrating winning the state championship.

It was a great return home for University of Illinois football legend and Loyola Academy head coach John Holecek (185-36 record), who was all smiles along with his players after the game. Under Holecek, Loyola has won state in 2015, 2018 and 2022, along with runner-up state honors in 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017, making Holecek one of the most accomplished coaches in the state.

The game was played on a chilly, but clear, Saturday evening. It started 1 hour, 14 minutes behind the scheduled 7 p.m. start time, but the late start didn’t dampen the spirits for the Ramblers and their loud fan section behind them.

Lincoln-Way East (13-1) started with the ball and went 42 yards on six plays, before punting the ball out for a touchback, giving Loyola the ball at the 20.

Loyola’s first play on offense saw All-State QB Jake Stearney hand off to Johnny McGuire who went about a yard and turned back and tossed the ball to Stearney for a flea flicker. Stearney found an open Declan Forde wide open down the right side of the field and Stearney hit him perfectly. Forde went untouched 80 yards for a touchdown to stun Lincoln-Way East and the crowd.

Stearney (14-of-19 passing, 174 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT) was more than willing to spice things up to start the game and he went back to the schoolyard with Forde.

“Declan and I went to grade school together and that was our first play before every single game,” Stearney said. 

The Ramblers QB was happy to use a trick play to start the game.

“I mean, you only live once,” Stearney said. “State championship game, why not?”

Forde (3 catches, 110 yards, 2 TD) was just hoping to not mess things up as he was wide open down the field.

“It was one of the scariest moments of my life,” Forde said with a chuckle. “Seeing the ball in the air felt like forever. It was a fantastic feeling (making the catch and scoring). Like Jake said, we used to run that play all the time. It was nothing new. Coach (Tyler) Vradenburg came up to me in the walkthrough before the game and was like, ‘do you want this to be the first play.’ I was like, of course I want that to be the first play. We executed it and it was fantastic.”

Loyola Academy assistant coach Tyler Vradenburg celebrates with Jake Stearney after winning state.

While the offense did a great job on the opening play, it was the Ramblers defense that shined at state.

Loyola held East’s honorable mention All-State running back James Kwiecinski to 56 yards on 17 carries and no scores. Kwiecinski ended the season with 1,554 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns, but he couldn’t get past the defensive line of Loyola that included University of Michigan-bound Brooks Bahr, along with Mickey Konovalov, Joe Kelly, Ethan Hogg, Jimmy McGovern and others. 

Loyola led 7-0 after one quarter, despite Lincoln-Way East running 19 plays in the opening quarter compared to the Ramblers seven. The Griffins had a 19-play drive that spanned 9 minutes over the first and second quarter, but the long drive didn’t result in a touchdown.

Loyola’s defense held the Griffins to a 30-yard field goal by Carter Nair with 4:20 left in the first half. The Ramblers maintained the 7-3 lead at half, which is impressive given the fact that East had the ball for 17:45 of the 24-minute first half.

Holecek said it was huge to have the lead at halftime, especially knowing they would get the ball to start the third quarter.

Loyola started the second half with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Stearney to Forde to make it 13-3 with 5:46 left in the third. Michael Baker, who is usually pretty automatic, missed the PAT kick to keep the score at 13.

Forde was the top target for Colgate-bound Stearney this season, making 43 catches for 876 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns. Stearney showed why he deserved All-State honors this year by going 176-of-258 passing for 2,323 yards with 36 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

It doesn’t get much better than going out a champion. 

“It is crazy, I think I can speak for all of us, we grew up watching Loyola football,” Stearney said. “I remember going to all these games and hoping to be out there one day. I mean, having a chance to win something like this comes like once in a lifetime.” 

Loyola’s Jake Stearney takes the situation in before a TV interview.

Playing a grueling schedule each year really helps get the Ramblers ready for big games like this and it should be no surprise they have reached the IHSA state finals for the seventh time since 2011. That doesn’t include a Prep Bowl championship in 2014. 

“The Catholic League prepares you,” Holecek said. “You can ask these guys about league play, it is physical, nasty and every week is tough. You don’t really have a week off.”

Loyola head coach John Holecek smiles as he addresses the team after winning the championship.

Loyola beat the No. 1 (Lincoln-Way East) and No. 2 (York) seeds over the last two weeks, handing both squads their only losses this season.

The Ramblers are an unbelievable 48-13 in 16 IHSA playoff appearances under Holecek.

Northwestern football head coach Pat Fitzgerald had to run the full gamut of emotions Saturday, losing to Illinois 41-3 earlier in the day as a coach, but ending the night as a parent with his son Jack Fitzgerald ending his playing career at Loyola with a state championship at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium.

Loyola’s Jack Fitzgerald smiles after receiving his state championship medal.

Fitzgerald, Stearney, Forde and McGuire were playing in their final game for Loyola as part of the large class of seniors (67 players) who went out as state champions. 

Loyola football players hoist the state championship trophy up.

Loyola almost pulled off another perfect season this year, only falling to eventual Class 7A state champion Mount Carmel 42-37 in the regular season final Saturday, Oct. 22.  

“I was telling the guys we are a really good team that was a couple plays away from being undefeated,” Holecek said. “The leadership at this table (Stearney, Brooks Bahr, McGuire, Forde) is amazing, along with our other captain Jack Fitzgerald. Every time I walked out for a coin flip (with them) I was just inspired by these guys.” 

Loyola Academy players have some fun celebrating winning the state championship.

In the playoffs, Loyola knocked off Plainfield South (42-7 score), Edwardsville (49-21), Lyons (30-17) and York (30-3). 

Loyola lost 23-14 to Lincoln-Way East in the 2017 state championship game, but the Ramblers have now won the last three meetings in the playoffs following the win Saturday. Loyola won 24-16 over the Griffins in the 2018 semifinals and 3-0 over East in the 2021 quarterfinals. Lincoln-Way East has become a powerhouse program in recent years, going 19-3 in the playoffs since 2017, with all three losses coming to the Ramblers.


Scoring by Quarter:

Loyola Academy: 7-0-6-0 — 13

Lincoln-Way East: 0-3-0-0 — 3



First Quarter:

8:55 – Loyola Academy 80-yard TD pass from Jake Stearney to Declan Forde, PAT kick good by Michael Baker; Loyola Academy 7, Lincoln-Way East 0

Second Quarter:

4:20 – Lincoln-Way East 30-yard field goal by Cater Nair; Loyola Academy 7, Lincoln-Way East 3

Third Quarter

5:46 – Loyola Academy 17-yard TD pass from Jake Stearney to Declan Forde, PAT kick no good by Michael Baker; Loyola Academy 13, Lincoln-Way East 3

Exhibition Opening – Chim: Between Devastation and Resurrection

David Seymour – better known as “Chim” — is widely remembered as the first human rights photographer. One of the cofounders of photojournalism’s famous cooperative Magnum Photos, Chim’s work was poignant and emphatic – transcending generations, making him one of the 20th century’s quintessential photographers.

Join Illinois Holocaust Museum for a special presentation by Carole Naggar and Ben Shneiderman to celebrate the opening of our latest exhibition, “Chim: Between Devastation and Resurrection,” which focuses on Seymour’s photographs of post-World War II reconstruction in Europe, European elections, the effect of the war on children, and the birth of the new State of Israel. Naggar is an author and photography historian who has studied Chim’s life and work for decades. Her long-awaited biography, David ‘Chim’ Seymour: Searching for the Light, 1911-1956, will be released this fall. Shneiderman, a distinguished university professor, and Chim’s nephew, will open the program with a monologue about his uncle’s life and work.

On-site guests are invited to come to the Museum prior to our start time to explore the new exhibition.

Reservations required:

Palatine Adds Parking, Traffic Restrictions Near Elementary Schools

Palatine Village Council unanimously approved several traffic code changes designed to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow around Paddock and Lincoln elementary schools.

The village July 11 banned parking on the east side of the section of Rose Street between Kenilworth Avenue and Salt Creek while school is in session. Further north, the village banned left turns from Johnson Street onto Washington Court during weekday mornings. Finally, the village tweaked the timing of the “no left turn” restrictions at Farm Gate Lane due to school day start time changes at Lincoln Elementary School, which were put in place by Dist. 15 this past February.

Washington Circle approaches Paddock from the north and curves eastward in front of Paddock Elementary. Rose Street splits off Washington Circle at the west end of the school building and dead-ends near Salt Creek, but it resumes on the other side of the creek.

Village Manager Reid Ottesen told the council that, south of the creek, “parents discovered it was a convenient place to park and socialize, and pick up kids, and prevent people from coming through.”

The new left turn restriction was put in place in response to a growing number of parents dropping kids off at school. According to the staff report, this has caused back-ups as far west as Cedar Street. It also caused school bus back-ups on Johnson and Rose streets, and, on a few occasions, even as far north as Palatine Road.

After discussing the issue with Dist. 15, the village agreed to restrict left turns from Johnson Street onto Washington Court for school buses only.

With Lincoln Elementary, Palatine already had left turn restrictions for Farm Gate Lane, which is located south of the school. Ottesen explained that, in February, all schools went to a three-tier start time system, which put the existing restriction out of sync. The “no left turn” restriction was extended for 30 minutes, from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The restriction starting time is still 8 a.m.

The village council approved all three changes without discussion.

Top Runners Show Up At Distance Night

Natalia Plewa from Hersey takes the lead in the 800-meter undercard run at Palatine’s Distance Night on Saturday. (Patrick Jasionowski/Special to the Journal)

Some of the best runners in the state headed to Palatine’s Chic Anderson Stadium Saturday night for the highly anticipated Distance Night event on a rare day without rain.

A total of 24 runners made the boys 800-meter run main event and they all finished within 12 seconds of each other, with the top four finishing 1.07 of a second apart. Hinsdale Central’s Daniel Watcke won in 1:52.91. Glenbrook South’s Brian Hiltebrand finished seventh in 1:56.32 to lead the Journal-area.

Palatine’s Riley Beasley finished 13th (2:00.65) in the undercard boys 800-meter race.

The girls 800-meter run main event featured 26 runners, but none from the Journal-area.

In the girls 800-meter run undercard, Hersey’s Natalie Plewa finished second in 2:21.15, trailing only DePaul Prep’s Gabrielle Walker (2:19.6). Hersey’s Mackenzie Ginder finished seventh (2:25.2).

In the boys 1600-meter run main event, St. Viator star Michael Schumacher finished 13th in 4:23.41. 

The undercard 1600-meter was much better for the boys runners, with Fremd’s Theodore Cunningham (4:28.23) winning a thriller over Deerfield’s Lucas Moskovitz (4:28.58). Also coming in third was Maine South’s Luke Pravecek (4:28.69), with Warren’s David Lara (4:28.73) in fourth. Maine South’s Luca Arcuri finished seventh in 4:30.05. Maine East’s Lukasz Iwanowski snuck into the final top 10 spot in 4:30.84. Host Palatine saw Jack Casaccio (4:32.25) and Mason Krieg (4:32.49) place 12th and 13th overall.

In the 1600-meter run for freshmen, two Journal-area runners finished in the top 10. Palatine’s Carter Hayes (4:39.47) and Fremd’s Rory Gaan (4:40.23) finished sixth and seventh respectively.

The girls 1600-meter run main event was also tough for Journal-area runners, with Loyola’s Morgan Mackie leading area runners in 20th place (5:09.07). Loyola also ran Jane Lynch, Ellie Grammas and Maeve Norman in the race.

In the undercard 1600-meter girls, two Journal-area runners finished in the top five. Wheeling’s Brenda Torres (5:12.8) took fourth, with Maine South’s Maria Marcucci (5:14.99) right behind in fifth. 

The girls 3200-meter main event saw some great times, with Hersey’s Anna Harden leading the Journal-area in sixth place (10:59.58). Maine South’s Sofia Arcuri took 12th in 11:06.01, but she won her heat.

Glenbrook South’s Maggie Jortberg finished ninth (11:56.96) in the 3200-meter undercard.

In the boys 3200-meter run main event, Hersey’s Connor Oiler (9:27.49) finished 18th to pace the area runners. 

The undercard 3200-meter was won by Oak Park-River Forest’s Liam Newhart (9:32.23). Maine South’s Joey Karlesky (9:36.37) finished fourth to lead the Journal-area. Hersey’s Liam Naughton took 10th in 9:45.53.

Besides high school heats, there were also 1600-meter runs for boys and girls in middle school (6th-8th grade), along with an open 1600-meter run and a youth 800-meter run (3rd-5th grade game, included boys and girls). A special olympics 800-meter race was also a part of the festivities.

This was the sixth edition of the Distance Night event (2016, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘21).

The undercard races ran from 5:30 p.m. to about 7:30 p.m., with the main event races having start times from 8 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. The middle school races preceded the undercard races and started at 4:30 p.m.

Luke Pravecek of Maine South finishes first in the 1600-meter undercard run at Palatine’s Distance Night. (Patrick Jasionowski/Special to the Journal)

Theodore Cunningham of Fremd finishes first in the 1600-meter undercard second heat at Distance Night. (Patrick Jasionowski/Special to the Journal)

Michael Schumacher of St. Viator runs for the 1600-meter main event at Distance Night. (Patrick Jasionowski/Special to the Journal)

Village OKs Restaurants Serving Alcohol Earlier On Sundays

Village Hall as seen from Sigwalt Street and Arlington Heights Road. (Journal photo)

Breakfast and brunch spots in Arlington Heights will soon be able to serve mimosa a few hours earlier on Sunday as the village looks to move up the start time when alcohol sales are allowed to 8 a.m.

Currently, restaurants are allowed to start serving alcohol at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday, but must wait until 10 or 11 a.m. on Sundays, depending on which liquor license classification they hold. The change would create a common start time for the entire week and bring Arlington Heights in line with neighboring communities. A survey of 21 municipalities in the area found that 12 allow a start time for liquor sales of 8 a.m. or earlier.

Many Arlington Heights brunch hot spots, including Egg Harbor Café, Scratch Board Kitchen, and Hey Nonny, requested the change to be more competitive with other eateries in the area and to give them more flexibility to host special events on Sunday mornings.

The board was unanimous in its support of the change, believing that earlier liquor sales would not pose a risk to the community. “I look at it as what is the difference between Monday through Saturday and Sunday?” Trustee John Scaletta said. “This isn’t stopping anything other than it’s setting up our businesses and other facilities on an unlevel playing field. I think the best way to level the playing field is to allow these businesses and organizations to have the same time frame they have Monday through Thursday.”

“To me, it makes more sense to allow the people who live in our town to not have to go to a neighboring town just to have a nice brunch with a mimosa or bloody mary,” Trustee Jim Tinaglia said. “So I’m all in for that.”

The only venues being excluded from the 8 a.m. start time for now are coffee shops and breweries. Coffee shops were left out because there currently are none in the village with a liquor license, and while one brewery has been approved in the village, Arlington Heights Beer Co., it is not yet open. Trustees decided to wait and see what the needs for those types of businesses are before changing the liquor sales start time for their corresponding liquor licenses.

Dist. 15 Finalizing Start Time Changes

Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 continues to prepare for the implementation of a three-tiered bus route system from the current two-tiered system that will result in changing school start times beginning Feb. 23 due to a bus driver shortage.

During the Jan. 19 school board meeting, staff provided an update on what has occurred since the last board meeting in early December. 

Meetings have been held with district-level administrators to discuss the impact on special education programs, second language programs, curricular programs, and
extracurricular activities.

Additionally, meetings have been held with building principals to discuss the impact of the change in bell schedules and how it will affect staff shared among buildings and daily schedules. Meetings have also been held with local police agencies to discuss impacts on traffic and crossing guard schedules, and local park districts and daycare centers to discuss changes in hours of care.

Many of the schools’ start times will be impacted by 10-35 minute changes.

By the end of January, the district anticipates having 98 active drivers available. While the district would like 120 active drivers on the roster, they do have enough drivers to cover all of the routes in the three-tier system and substitute drivers to cover for absent drivers.

Dist. 15 will proceed with a three-tier bell schedule for the upcoming school year and beyond as the bus driver shortage is expected to last into the foreseeable future.

The district is currently in the process of developing a three-tier bell schedule for the 2022-23 school year. A number of schools will remain on the same tier once it goes into effect Feb. 23.

Due to changes in bus schedules for the parochial schools, the district will be able to make a few adjustments to a few schools and move them to an earlier start and end time. 

Staff will provide the school board with a three-tier bell schedule for the 2022-23 school year this spring after the district has compiled registration data and program location data for the upcoming school year.

The transportation department is working on finalizing all of the routes in the new three-tier schedule and will send out communications to all families regarding new pick up and drop-off times.

Director of Transportation Tom Bramley noted that bus route locations will not change come Feb. 23.

Deputy Supt. Claire Kowalczyk told board members the district continues to hold job fairs and is attempting to recruit more drivers. 

Bramley said his hope is to have at least 120 drivers by the time the new system goes into effect next month. 

“We are at a point where the current system is no longer sustainable,” Kowalczyk said. 

“We have to do this to sustain the ability to transport students and that is why we are doing this without the requirement of a board vote,” Supt. Laurie Heinz said. 


Dist. 15 Rolls Out New Three-Tiered Busing System Feb. 23

Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 23, Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 will move to a three-tiered bus system in order to continue transporting all 10,000 district students during a nationwide bus driver shortage.

As previously reported by the Journal & Topics, the district needs to move from a two-tiered to three-tiered system due to a critical nationwide driver shortage across many industries and the country, which has resulted in Dist. 15 facing a significant and growing bus driver shortage since the start of the school year.

“We know this is a hardship,” Deputy Supt. Claire Kowalczyk and Director of Transportation Tom Bramley told parents in a Dec. 22 letter. “We truly understand the impact a mid-year change in daily school schedule will have on many of our staff and families and have made every effort to minimize the impact, but the problem cannot be solved without changes being made. We have done everything we can to work within this shortage, but there are no easy long-term solutions, which would maintain the current start times.”

Changes to school start times range from 10-35 minutes. The transportation department will send out new pick up/drop off times in February.

According to Kowalczyk and Bramley, the district has reached out to the local park districts that currently operate before and after school daycare programs in district schools. They have agreed to change their hours of operation to accommodate the new bell schedules at each elementary school.

In cases where no before school program has been needed based on low enrollment at Jane Addams and Stuart R. Paddock, the Palatine Park District is working to hire staff to launch a program should there be enough interest.

Dist. 15 will remain a three-tiered transportation system for the foreseeable future, officials said, adding that administration will communicate the 2022-23 start times to staff and parents before spring break, so that families and staff are able to plan for their daycare needs.

They added they will continue to update the school board in the coming months at the regular board meetings.


Palatine: Year In Review

During a September press conference in Chicago , attorneys Michael J. Schostok (center) and Brian Salvi (second from right) discuss why they were filing a lawsuit against the village of Palatine following a dog attack that occurred in Elmwood Park. They were joined by previous dog bite victims and Palatine residents Chase Braun (far left), Amanda Ingram (far right) along with Steve Heinz (second from left) whose wife Aneta was the most recent victim. (Journal photo)

The past year in Palatine saw local election winners to Dist. 15 starting talks about boundary changes to a high school student saving the life of another and more. Here are the Palatine Journal’s top stories in 2021 in no particular order:

Body Found Inside Business

The village conducted a business license revocation hearing in February after a man was found dead inside a trucking facility Jan. 24. Officers found 49-year-old Sergei Barkhatov unconscious and not breathing inside a makeshift bedroom at Star Way Lines, Inc. at 300 S. Hicks Rd. shortly after 4 p.m. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital a short time later. The company was ordered to pay a fine and agreed no living quarters would be permitted on the property going forward.

Local Elections

Even though the village council race was uncontested this past April, there were several other races that voters decided on when they went to the polls. Harper College saw all three incumbents secure another term, Dist. 211 saw two new board members and one incumbent earn three open seats, and a Palatine resident took the one open seat on the library board. Additionally, Palatine Rural Fire Protection District voters supported a bond referendum that provided the district with $2.2 million for capital improvements to the 20-year-old fire station and new apparatus.

Feeding Ban

Village councilmen in April prohibited residents from feeding wild animals. Elected officials decided to implement the ban following residents complaining that feeding wild animals resulted in animals entering private yards. The council did permit bird feeders, but homeowners are required to pick up bird seeds that fall on the ground. The purpose of the ban, according to village officials, is  to keep coyotes and other wild animals away from homes.

Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 board members hear recommendations about proposed boundary changes Apr. 21. (Journal photo)

Dist. 15 Boundaries

In April, Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 staff first presented board members with proposed changes to school boundaries that would start for the 2024-25 school year. The purpose of the changes would be to allow students to attend their neighborhood schools, allow for full-day kindergarten, and to provide upgrades to facilities. The board earlier this year talked about various ways to finance work to accommodate boundary changes such as using reserves, borrowing money, or even going out for referendum. The plans continue to be revised and further community input will be needed prior to the board making a final decision in 2022.

Alleged Assault Through 2 Counties

Palatine resident Ryan Storm, who remains in custody, was arrested and charged in May with allegedly kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend starting in Palatine and eventually ending in Lake Barrington where he worked. He allegedly strangled her and struck her in addition to alleged sexually assault at his workplace before someone entered the building. He fled and police located him a short time later and took him into custody. The court case will continue in 2022.

Village Sued Following Dog Bite

Two separate dog bites in two separate towns resulted in a civil lawsuit filed in September against the village of Palatine seeking in excess of $50,000 for compensatory and punitive damages. A Chicago law firm filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Aneta Heinz, who was bitten by two dogs near her Elmwood Park home in August. The dogs were the same two that bit Palatine residents Amanda Ingram and Chase Braun in May, killing Ingram’s dog during the attack.

In June, the village ruled that the two dogs, an Akita and a pit bull, would not be euthanized, but had to relocate to a different community. Since Heinz was bit, the village was blamed for not euthanizing the two dogs involved in the May incident. Ingram lost her West Highland white terrier Casper in the May 25 attack in the 200 block of W. Washington in Palatine. Braun also suffered injuries when he tried to help Ingram. His terrier mix Kona was said to have been attacked, but survived.

Additionally, two civil lawsuits, both seeking over $50,000, were filed July 7 in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of Ingram and Braun, seeking financial compensation from dog owner Meleina Teodoro and dog handler Julia Paulino for damages from the May attack.

The dogs were eventually euthanized.

Fired Teacher Files Lawsuit

Judicial Watch, an American conservative activist group that files Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to investigate misconduct by government officials, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in July on behalf of Jeanne Hedgepeth, a social studies teacher at Palatine High School who was fired in July 2020 after she allegedly posted racial comments on her social media page.

The termination came after she reportedly criticized others protesting the death of George Floyd, but she claimed the postings were on her own private social media page, and the firing violated her First Amendment rights.

Emma Zach (right) is grateful she was able to help pull Cailean Walker (left) out of the pool when she had a seizure, but also credits many others who assisted her. (Journal photo)

High School Hero

Emma Zach, a 16-year-old Palatine High School junior, was hailed a hero in September after she helped rescue fellow student, 17-year-old Cailean Walker, who suffered a seizure in the school’s swimming pool.

Zach was a peer leader who helped in the special education class and acted quickly when Walker suffered a seizure in the pool.

She kept Walker’s head above water until staff came to assist and pulled her out of the pool. Walker, who suffers from Dravet syndrome, was at school the following day and was even in the pool 24 hours after being rescued.

TIF Extension

Village councilmen in October approved an intergovernmental agreement with Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 and Township High School Dist. 211 regarding extending the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District. 

The TIF is scheduled to expire in 2022, but the village requested the Illinois General Assembly to extend the TIF two more years to complete projects that were postponed during the 2008 recession and needed support from local taxing bodies. 

Both school districts agreed and the village in return will give all of the TIF funding to the taxing bodies, including the two school districts, after the two-year extension expires. The General Assembly won’t take up the extension until the spring.

Bus Driver Shortage Changes Start Times

In early December, Dist. 15 determined that school start times will need to change this February due to a bus driver shortage, resulting in a three-tiered transportation system so students are not arriving late to school or coming home well after school ends for the day.

The district transports over 10,000 students on 602 routes using 125 buses. The district in October started offering a $50 per pay period incentive bonus to encourage drivers to attend work when they are healthy. In total, the average time change from the current two-tier system to the three-tier system would be anywhere from 10-35 minutes depending on the school.

Dist. 15 Supt. Laurie Heinz addresses the media Sept. 21 during an special announcement that Sundling Jr. High was named a 2021 Blue Ribbon School. (Journal photo)

Honorable Mentions

Journeys: The Road Home, a nonprofit that helps homeless individuals find stable housing won approval for a new facility and held a groundbreaking ceremony…Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Gratzianna took over leading the department after Chief Scott Anderson retired in May…Palatine Rural Fire Protection Chief Rich May retired after 26 years with the district…Winston Campus Jr. High Principal Martin Da Costa was selected a winner of the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Leadership for 2021…Dist. 211 Supt. Lisa Small announced she will retire no later than June 30, 2025…Walter R. Sundling School was named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon winner and had U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visit the school in September.


Dist. 15 Busing Issues Could Change School Start Times

Due to a bus driver shortage, Palatine Elementary School Dist. 15 is working on final plans for a three-tiered transportation system starting in February so students are not arriving late to school or coming home well after school ends for the day.

The district has been facing significant challenges in its transportation program since the start of the current school year, and according to Deputy Supt. Claire Kowalczyk and Director of Transportation Thomas Bramley, the district has worked to expedite its pickup and drop-off routines, while also hiring and training more drivers to help successfully transport over 10,000 students on 602 routes using 125 buses.

Despite efforts including job fairs and recruitment of new drivers, the district continues to experience a bus driver shortage.

Administration believes it is necessary to move the district to a 3-Tier Transportation System as early as February.

By Dec. 22, Kowalczyk and Bramley told the school board Dec. 8, the district will have a shortfall of 29 drivers. A total of 127 are needed to cover daily current routes and the district is operating with 98 drivers.

The district is offering a $50 per pay period incentive bonus to encourage drivers to attend work when they are healthy. In spite of this, an average of 15 bus drivers have been absent per day from Oct. 6-Nov. 30.

The district began the school year by selectively “doubling up” two routes from a school to cover the driver shortage.

Kowalczyk and Bramley stated the district has doubled up routes that are in close proximity to the school and with limited stops. Instead of a driver being assigned one pickup/drop-off route to a school, the driver picks up students on the route, drops them off to the school, and then goes back out to pick up another group of students who attend the same school and drop them off at the school.

The district currently has 22 double routes for 11 of their buses. The original doubled routes continue to impact Carl Sandburg, Jane Addams, Plum Grove, and Willow Bend. Additionally, the district occasionally has to double routes at Frank C. Whiteley, Gray M. Sanborn, Lake Louise, Stuart R. Paddock, and Thomas Jefferson.

According to Kowalczyk and Bramley, doubling routes has had several impacts on students such as loss of instructional time for students between 5-10 minutes daily; some students arrive at school earlier than the typical drop-off time, which creates morning supervision issues for school staff; some students wait for the bus to return at the end of the day (after dropping off the first bus load of students to come back to school to pick them up and drive them home), which creates supervision issues and impacts after school activities for some students; and some buses run late.
If the district is unable to recruit and hire additional drivers, the three-tiered system would provide the district with the flexibility they need to operate buses efficiently given the ongoing driver shortage without impacting student instructional time. 

By moving to a three-tier system, the district could cover routes with 94 drivers and would still have additional sub drivers to cover absences.
Some of the benefits of implementing a three-tier system, according to Kowalczyk and Bramley, include no double routes; students will no longer lose instructional time; and administrative employees who have had to cover routes will be able to resume their full duties without the additional expense of overtime or lack of productivity around their normal workload.
A secondary benefit will be some cost savings to the district. By requiring fewer drivers to cover routes in a three-tier system, that means the district will need to operate fewer buses. Estimated cost savings are between $650,000-$700,000 annually if the district has 25 fewer drivers.

If the district reduces its bus fleet by 25 vehicles, that will save on maintenance and fuel expenses, which could potentially total $1 million annually for the first three years. 

Also, the district could possibly sell those 25 buses to help offset future purchases of newer models and possibly reduce the number of mechanics working on the fleet by one position.

The district continues to look at implementing this system in February or at the beginning of next school year.

By making a change in February, this would result in changing school day hours for some students for the remainder of the year; causing some families to have to rearrange daycare for their children as drop off and pick up times could be different; may require impact bargaining with some or all of the five unions; potentially impact some employees and their personal family schedules; and would require the district to work with three park districts that run before and after school programs in the elementary schools to ensure they can accommodate the change of schedule and associated staffing implications.

Both Kowalczyk and Bramley stated that if the district does not make this change during the second half of this year, the district will move forward in planning a three-tier system for the 2022-23 school year because the nationwide driver shortage is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

With the proposed three-tier system, school hours for Carl Sandburg, Plum Grove, Sundling, Winston Campus, and Winston Campus Elementary along with parochial schools would be from 7:35 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. School hours for Central Road, Hunting Ridge, Jane Addams, Marion Jordan, Pleasant Hill, Paddock, Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Lake, and Willow Bend would be from 8:25 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. Lastly, school hours for Conyers Learning Academy, Frank C. Whiteley, Sanborn, Kimball Hill, Lake Louise, Lincoln, and ECDEC would be from 9:15 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. 

In total, the average time change from the current two-tier system to the three-tier system would be anywhere from 10-35 minutes depending on the school. 

“The people suffering are students and parents,” Bramley told the board, adding that a handful of people that have applied to be a bus driver have gone through training and many of them do not realize how intense the training is to be a school bus driver. 

“This is a tough decision with potentially no real good solution,” board member James Taylor said. 

“This type of work environment is not conducive to the rest of the year or in the foreseeable future,” Supt. Laurie Heinz said. “This is the solution. If we could figure something out that doesn’t result in changing start times, we would.”

“We are desperate for drivers and we are not doing any favors to our kids who are arriving late or walking into the classroom after class has started every day,” board President Lisa Beth Szczupaj said. “It’s terrible emotionally for kids who want to start on time and not have others stare at them when they are walking in.”

“This is not sustainable,” Heinz said. “The hope is that the community does not complain with nasty emails and calls about the late transportation. To solve the problem, we are proposing three tiers and if not, it won’t get better and potentially worse if other drivers resign or leave. Compound that with winter weather, and people should then strap in for a rough ride for the remainder of the year. We will not deliver quality transportation services. We are at an impossible point. These are the choices.”

“This was an exceedingly hard decision as I have never been a fan of this concept and know that it has an impact on all parties involved,” Szczupaj said. “We found ourselves in desperate times and have exhausted all options to rectify the crisis caused by the driver shortage.”

Szczupaj noted the plan is not finalized, adding that transportation and department heads are reviewing the latest plan.


Morgan Park Too Much For BG In Bison Classic

Morgan Park made the 50-mile drive, depending on the route taken, to Buffalo Grove High School for the Bison Classic boys basketball tournament Wednesday, Nov. 24.

The game was supposed to start at 1 p.m., but Morgan Park didn’t hit the court until 2 minutes after the regularly scheduled start time.

Once they settled down, they pulled away to knock off the host Bison 77-60 in one of the early games across the state the day before Thanksgiving.

Morgan Park’s Michael Brown (top) tries to steal the ball from Buffalo Grove’s David Van Hoy (10).

Buffalo Grove started strong and jumped out to a 4-1 lead early, before Morgan Park went on a 5-0 run to grab a 6-4 lead. The teams swapped the lead six times in the first quarter with Morgan Park’s Michael Brown (10 points) scoring the final points of the quarter to give the Mustangs a 16-14 lead entering the second quarter. 

Buffalo Grove’s David Van Hoy (10) dishes a pass to a teammate.

Morgan Park, 5-time state champions, showed why they’re one of the best teams in the state, especially in recent years. The Mustangs went 301-70 over the 12 seasons before the shortened season earlier this year. 

Fontain Thomas (17 pts.), Orlando James (13 pts.) and Lidell Miller (12 pts.) were the top three scorers for Morgan Park, while Brown gave the team four double-digit scorers.

Morgan Park started the second quarter on a 6-0 run to give the Mustangs an 8-0 overall run to turn a 14-14 tie into a 22-14 lead. The Bison bounced between 5-12 points behind the rest of the quarter. 

Buffalo Grove’s Adidas Davis (25) dribbles around a Morgan Park player.

Morgan Park led 38-28 after Buffalo Grove’s Adidas Davis (21 points) hit two free throws with 4.9 seconds left in the half. Davis scored 7 of the Bison’s 14 points in the second quarter.

Buffalo Grove hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter, but Morgan Park still outscored the Bison 21-15 in the third.

Jacob Heinrich (12 pts.), Connor Woodin (10 pts.) and Josh Grote (10 pts.) also scored in double figures for the Bison as they tried to make a comeback. Buffalo Grove also received contributions from Ross Tsevis (5 pts.) and Alex Beihoffer (2 pts.).

Buffalo Grove’s Connor Woodin (2) guards Morgan Park’s Orlando James (1).

Morgan Park had runs of 8-0, 7-0 and 9-1 in the second half as they pulled away.  

Buffalo Grove came back Friday, Nov. 26 and beat Crete-Monee 62-54 to finish the tournament 1-2. The Bison were led by Heinrich (20 points), Davis (18 pts.), Josh Grote (11 pts.), Woodin (9 pts.) and Beihoffer (4 pts.).

The Bison Classic displayed the new look Bison after All-State player Kam Craft, the program’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer, left the team over the summer.

Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson talks to his team.

Mt. Carmel won the Bison Classic championship Friday in double overtime over Morgan Park, 76-71.

The 25th Bison Classic all-tournament team consisted of Adidas Davis (Buffalo Grove), Johnny Evans (Crete-Monee), Michael Brown (Morgan Park), Fontain Thomas (Morgan Park), Angelo Ciaravino (Mt. Carmel), DeAndre Craig (Mt. Carmel; MVP).

Editor’s Note: Buffalo Grove returned to the court Tuesday, Nov. 30 and picked up a 59-51 win over Grant to improve to 2-2 on the season. Adidas Davis (19 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) and Jacob Heinrich (15 pts.) led the way for the Bison. Buffalo Grove led 30-18 at half after holding Grant to 1 point in the second quarter and the Bison extended the lead to 49-29 entering the fourth, before letting off the gas a little in the fourth quarter. Grant outscored BG 22-10 in the fourth quarter. Buffalo Grove hit 10 3-pointers in the win. Josh Grote scored 7 points as well and five other players scored 5 points or under.

Leyden Scores First, Willowbrook Scores 36

After losing two straight shutouts, Leyden’s Eagles opened their Homecoming football game last Friday, jumping on visiting Willowbrook defensively after the opening kickoff, picking off a Warriors’ pass and returning it to the WB 41-yard line, and then scoring when quarterback Leo Latiker completed three straight passes, the last a 30-yard touchdown toss to Damian Salazar for a 7-0 lead just five minutes into the game.

But then they had to play the rest of the game, Willowbrook scoring 36 points in the last three quarters to drop the Eagles to a 1-4 record, 0-3 in the West Suburban Gold division.

The starting time for the game had been advanced from 7 to 6 p.m. because of an impending storm front predicted for the area for late evening. The two teams took the field for the opening kickoff and rain immediately began to fall. By 7 p.m. the front had passed and the sky cleared, a strong wind from the northwest all that remained for the balance of the evening. Leyden lost the coin toss and kicked off to Willowbrook but profited from the first quarter dampness.

After their touchdown, Leyden’s defense went after the Warriors’ main rushing threat, 6-0, 200-lb. running back Evan Stubblefield, stopping him for losses in four of his first five carries, forcing a punt fair-caught at the Leyden 11-yard line. This time, Latiker completed two short passes but not enough to prevent an Eagles punt, downed at the WB 44. The disaster to follow was predicted when Warrior Nick Mabutes broke away for a 54-yard run to the Eagles’ end zone only to have it nullified by a WB holding penalty. The Warriors recovered to advance to the Leyden 45 as the second session started.

But Leyden clung to hope as Colin O’Neill intercepted another Warrior pass at midfield and returned it to the WB 40. A rushing loss and two Latiker incomplete passes forced a punt and on their first play, Willowbrook running back Joe Tumilty broke free for a 73-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7-7. The Leyden Homecoming spirit collapsed from there as Tumilty, playing on defense, intercepted a Latiker pass on the WB 30, returned it to their 42-

yard line and then advance to the Leyden 43 on a 15-yard facemask penalty. From there, Stubblefield made 5-yards and then finally broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors a 14-7 lead.

The Eagles then made one last challenge when the Willowbrook kickoff went out of bounds at the Leyden 45-yard line. Latiker completed three more passes on an 11-play drive that picked up three first downs, supported by five running plays by Diego Mendoza. The Eagles reached the WB 9-yard line before Latiker’s incomplete pass on fourth down ended the drive with just 10 seconds left in the half. A success on that play would have tied the score heading into the second half.

With a second chance to right the boat, Leyden received the second half opening kickoff, Salazar returning it to the Leyden 16. Latiker’s complete pass on the first play lost six yards and his second was intercepted by Patrick Michael and returned for a 20-yard touchdown and a 21-0 Willowbrook lead in the first minute of the third period. The Eagles following possession survived solely on a Willowbrook 15-yard penalty first down, but a punt was soon forced, downed at the WB 29. Tumilty and Stubblefield needed only five plays to cover the 71 yards, Tumilty’s 39 yard dash covering most of the distance and his 6-yard run getting the touchdown. A PAT run made the score 29-7 at 6:36 of the third.

The Warriors closed out the Eagles’ collapse to open the final frame, when Tumilty broke loose again, dashing 63-yards for the final points. Reserves from both teams then finished out the game. The Warriors rolled up 257 yards rushing for the game on 27 carries, Tumilty making 195 of them on just 10 runs. The Eagles had only nine (9) net yards on the ground but Latiker gained 105 yards on 12 of 24 pass attempts, however 101 of those yards came on 9 of 14 throws in the first half, the Warrior defense chasing him off the field throughout the last two periods.

Leyden is back on the road this Friday, although a short road, to Maywood to meet Proviso East in an exhibition game. The Pirates also have a 1-4 record, losing their first two games by scores of 52-0 and 51-0 before edging Addison Trail 34-26 for their only win. They lost to Willowbrook by a similar 41-14 score to the Leyden/WB meeting and last week they lost to Downers Grove South 37-14. The Eagles still have meetings with Downers South and Addison Trail in the final few weeks of this season.

Morton QB Butts’ Lightning Burns Leyden 38-0

Leyden’s gridiron Eagles survived an extended lightning-strike lockdown in Berwyn last Friday night but when it was over they failed to escape a ground-level second half lightning-strike by Morton’s Mustangs in their West Suburban Gold division meeting. In a contest start that was delayed for 2-1/2 hours because of repeated severe thunderstorm warnings, Leyden trailed by a manageable 12-0 score at halftime, only to have the Mustangs thunder to four scores in the first six minutes of the third quarter and race on to a depressing 38-0 blowout.

Leyden won the long-delayed pre-game coin toss and Morton’s opening kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Eagles the ball at their 35-yard line. Three plays gained only six yards, Julius Sanchez’s punt going out at the Morton 18-yard line. From there, the Mustangs demonstrated the problems Leyden would face all night as they marched for 12 straight rushing plays without a loss, cover the 82 yards and gathering six first downs, with quarterback Jovan Butts breaking free for the final 12-yard touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

The Eagles’ Mario Reyes returned the Morton kickoff to the Leyden 32-yard line from where quarterback Leo Latiker took the aerial route, completing four of six passes for 44 yards and three first downs. But his incomplete toss to open the second session lost the ball on downs at the Morton 24 yard-line. The Mustangs then didn’t waste time as two runs made it to their 39 before Butts broke free on a 61-yard TD dash and a 12-0 lead. Again Reyes returned the kickoff, this time to the Leyden 31 and that began a penalty-strewn Leyden drive that used up 6:40 and ended at the Morton 28 when Latiker’s incomplete toss once more turned the ball over on downs.

Then came the disaster after the abbreviated Morton halftime Homecoming celebration. Leyden kicked off to open the third period and barely stopped the return run just short of midfield. That was just temporary, Butts breaking free on the first play for a 52-yard touchdown dash and they finally added a PAT kick to make the count 19-0 only 16 seconds into the second half. Reyes then fumbled the kickoff at the Leyden 12-yard line. The Eagles stopped three runs only to have kicker Marco Salcedo boot a 23-yard field goal to run the score to 22-0 at 9:24. Reyes this time took the kickoff all the way back to the Leyden 45 where three plays gained nothing and a punt back to Morton was downed at their 30-yard line.

This time Butts broke free on a 47-yard dash on the first play and then finally passed the ball to his tight end for a 23-yard touchdown on the next try. The extra-point kick failed leaving the score 28-0 with 6:48 still left in the period.

And it got worse, as Sanchez returned the kickoff 25-yards only to fumble it when tackled, Morton recovering on the Leyden 38-yard line. It only took 39 seconds for Butts to blow through for a 22-yard gain and David Arana to rip off a 16-yard touchdown run. The PAT made the count 35-0 with exactly six minutes left in the third. Once more the Eagles went 3-and-out and a 9-yard shanked punt gave the Mustangs the ball on the Leyden 31. Sub quarterback Julian Hernandez broke free for a 17-yard first down-dash but there it finally ended with kicker Salcedo adding a 31-yard field goal at 1:57 for the final 38-0 rout.

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles went on two extended rushing drives using up nearly nine minutes as Julio Rodriguez came in the game at tailback and ran the ball 13 times for 74 yards rushing against the Morton reserves. However, his fumble at the Morton 20-yard line ended the first march and the game clock ended the second. His yardage, plus 50 yards on 15 carries by Diego Mendoza, led the Eagles to 129 yards rushing for the game and Latiker completed 7 of 17 passes for 55 yards. The Mustangs rolled up 316 yards rushing, led by Butts who amassed 228 yards on just nine runs (25.33 yards per carry). He also threw five passes, completing two for 50 yards. This Friday it’s the Eagles turn to celebrate Homecoming at the West Leyden campus, hosting Willowbrook in what threatens to be an equally difficult task, but before a more friendly crowd. And hopefully without lightning (of any kind).

Thunder Storm & Lightning Threats Trigger IHSA Sheltering Rules

But to open the evening, the Leyden player buses arrived at the Berwyn stadium at 6 p.m. to get ready for a 7 p.m. start time (with no preliminary game) but already ominous storm clouds were forming in the north sky. On the fancy Morton field scoreboard, the 30-minute pre-game time began to wind down, both teams were on the field warming up, and the dramatic loud-speaker announcer began naming the Mustangs’ huge list of Homecoming kings, queens and princesses. Suddenly at 10 minutes before 7:00, the scoreboard flashed a huge thunderstorm picture and warning, warm-ups came to a halt and, with the sighting of lightning overhead, the announcer ordered all people to evacuate the stadium and take shelter in the school’s huge fieldhouse behind the tennis courts pavilion and visiting grandstands.

The crowd of probably more than 1,500 home fans, plus marching band members, football players and workers slowly filed off the field toward the building’s protection. When the initial storm threat subsided a bit, the scoreboard posted the required 30-minute shelter wait period. As the clock ran down, each subsequent sighting of lightning caused them to reset the clock back to 30 minutes and start over. This occurred at least four times as the actual time passed 8 o’clock and then 8:30. Just before 9 p.m. heavy rain began to fall intermittently, even as the coaches and officials met on field as the last resetting of the lightning warning clock ran out. The weather front finally passed, the teams returned to the field for a brief 10-minute warm-up, the coin toss was held midfield, and the Mustangs’ opening kickoff to the Eagles came at 9:31 p.m. By the end of the first quarter, the sky had cleared and a bright nearly full moon was visible.

Palatine Approves Halloween Hustle Races — Sans Earlier Sound Waiver Hours

Previous Halloween Hustle event.

Palatine Village Council voted unanimously on Tuesday (Sept. 7) to allow the Halloween Hustle 5K & Kids Dash to take place in downtown Palatine while denying a request to allow it to start playing music earlier than it was allowed to for the past few years.

The Oct. 30 event will mark the 17th annual Halloween Hustle overall and the first Halloween Hustle since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2017, Adrenaline Special Events, the Palatine-based management company that organizes the race, got into trouble for using speakers at 6:44 a.m., over an hour before they were officially allowed, as well as for putting up racecourse decorations over village sidewalks and parkways without council approval. Since then, the council insisted on keeping the sound amplification start time at 8 a.m., and the 2018 and 2019 events went on without incident.

This year, Adrenaline Events asked to be allowed to use sound amplification from 7 a.m. to noon. Company owner Aaron Del Mar said that they wanted to be able to play music for ambiance as runners pick up their packets. But the councilmen agreed that, while they supported Halloween Hustle’s return, playing any kind of music close to residential areas before 8 a.m. was too disruptive.

Similar to the previous years, this year’s race will kick off in front of Adrenaline Events’ offices at 345 N. Eric Dr. near the intersection of Eric Drive and Cornell Avenue. While the buildings south and west of it are largely commercial, the properties directly east and north of it are residential.

Del Mar formerly served as District 1 councilman and currently serves as Palatine Township Republican committeeman. He said that, due to COVID-19 restrictions in place in the fall of 2020, they wound up doing a virtual event that around 500 people participated in. But he said that, before the pandemic, the race has been a major driver for downtown Palatine restaurants, which don’t usually get much business in late mornings.

According to a village staff report, Adrenaline Events agreed to abide by whatever COVID-19 related restrictions may be in place when the race happens.

Throughout Tuesday’s meeting, Del Mar emphasized that, while he would like to be allowed to play music before 8 a.m., he wouldn’t object to the council deciding to keep the limits as is.

“If you want to go to 8 o’clock, no problem, we want to be good neighbors,” he said.

Del Mar said that they wanted to start playing music at 7:30 a.m. because that’s when the runners usually start picking up packets. Since this was when construction equipment was allowed to make noise, he felt that it wouldn’t be too disruptive.

“We may be willing to keep [the sound] at a very low amount, not even a full PA system,” Del Mar said. “We just want to have the ambience.”

Councilman Brad Helms (District 6), whose district includes the entire Halloween Hustle race route, said that he was concerned that, given the fact that the starting line is near the Adrenaline Events space, the noise would be too close to residential areas. The other councilmen agreed, voting to keep the sound amplification hours consistent with 2019: 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Family-Friendly Events (Virtual And In-Person)

 The following virtual family-friendly events are hosted by libraries in the Journal & Topics coverage area. Register when requested. Libraries and park districts offering a free or nominal fee event can e-mail event details to



Des Plaines Park District Fall Fest

Friday, Sept. 17 – 6 to 11 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 18 – noon to 11 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 19 – noon to 7 p.m.

The annual three-day, family-friendly festival is held at Lake Park and hosted by the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, Des Plaines History Center and Des Plaines Park District. Carnival rides stay open until 8 p.m. Sunday. Free admission, parking and concerts.



Rosemont Park District Fall Fest

Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18

Lange Park

Enjoy small art projects, inflatables, face painting, games, magic and more on the park grounds.



Niles Community-Wide Garage Sale

Sept. 10-12

Times will vary per home: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All are welcome to shop during the community wide-garage sale. There is a fee for a resident garage sale permit.


Niles Senior Center

Community Rummage Sale

999 Civic Center Dr.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23

Over 40 vendors will be selling their items at this rummage sale. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Bring canned goods for the senior food drive to benefit the Niles Food Pantry. This is an indoor event so wear masks.



Mount Prospect Park District

RecPlex 30th Anniversary

420 W. Dempster St.

Take a walk down memory lane at the RecPlex. View the displays and memorabilia celebrating the ‘90s. Enjoy giveaways at the front desk and Culver’s custard coupons.



Park Ridge Park District

Shout Out concert at Hodges Park

101 Courtland Ave.

8 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10

This is the rescheduled concert from August. Bring a blanket and your picnic basket and enjoy this last Friday night concert in Hodges Park with your family and friends.



Glenview Park District

Bees Please!

The Grove

Resident and non-resident fees

11 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 26

Children 8 to 13 years old will discover why bees are so important to the life cycle of many fruits and vegetables. Learn what they eat, where they live, and how they help people.



Arlington Heights Park District

For mom and dad

Tasting Through Time

7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18

General admission for historical society members fees. Pre-registration is required. No at the door tickets sold. This adults-only event presents regional cuisine and drinks at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum. Move from building to building to sample sweet and savory delights paired with a featured cocktail, beer or wine while exploring the history of the buildings and grounds of the museum. Must be 21 to attend. Photo ID required.



Elk Grove Village Park District

Parents Night Out

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17

There is a fee, register on the park district’s special event page.

Parents can drop off their kids so they can have a little time for themselves. The children will spend the evening at the Pavilion Aquatics Center enjoying games, crafts and swimming in the pool. Masks to be worn indoors.



Palatine Park District

Fall Festival at Palatine Stables, 1510 N. Northwest Hwy.

10:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9

There is a fee.

The Fall Festival is for children ages 2-11 and their parents. Activities include: pony rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, fall-themed crafts and a photo ops area. Registration deadline: Thursday, Oct. 7. Register your family of four for one of the 75-minute time blocks.



Wheeling Park District


Free admission

1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19

Heritage Park Performance Pavilion, 201 Community Blvd.

Includes live music by Jennifer Fletcher & the Reckoning, petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables and airbrush tattoos. Food and refreshments for purchase. Mario’s Cart and Chicago Lunchbox food trucks are participating.



Prospect Heights Park District

Scarecrow Row Competition

All day, Oct. 23

Friends, neighbors, scout groups, businesses and local organizations compete against each other to create “the Best Scarecrow Display.” The scarecrows will be displayed throughout the Haunted Hayride during Spookfest from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 23.



Rolling Meadows Park District

Pumpkin Carving

6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 

Community Center Auditorium

The park district will supply the pumpkins and you the creativity. Each registrant receives a pumpkin to carve and decorate. A parent or guardian must attend to assist their child. Spots are limited, so register early on the park district calendar. Check in begins 10 minutes prior to event start time.

Highland Park, Weather Spoils Leyden Opener, 26-3

The Leyden varsity football team storms the field to start season. (Photo by Peter Skylakos)

Leyden’s return to a normal football season was spoiled last Friday when Highland Park quickly overcame an early Eagles 3-0 lead to win the first ever meeting between the two schools, 26-3. The Little Giants from up on the North Shore made their way down to West campus in Northlake, using just four long plays to defeat the brutal heat of the day, delays in the game start, missing game officials and the Leyden defense, before a large crowd of Leyden fans estimated at about 2,300.

In the sweltering 90-plus degree heat, the varsity game was scheduled to start early at 7 p.m. with an unusual freshman game as the opener. But that game dragged on for more than two hours, the fourth quarter barely getting started by 7 o’clock. Finally the varsity teams got on the field near the usual 7:30 start time but no game officials had yet shown up. The 20-minute pregame warm-up time was nearly gone, the band brought out the U.S. flag and played the anthem before the striped-shirts finally arrived, forcing the midfield coin-toss to be held just before the kickoff after 7:45.

The Eagles won the toss, returned the kickoff to their 36-yard line, and used just six plays to drive to the Giants 5-yard line behind quarterback Leo Latiker’s two complete passes and the running of junior tailback Diego Mendoza. But there, two losses forced coach Tom Cerasani to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Julius Sanchez at 6:40 of the first period. The Giants, not wasting any time, struck back 58 seconds later on the 50-yard run by Shameer Wilkie. Their 2-point conversion failed, leaving the score at 6-3.

From there, Leyden continued to dominate the game clock and the play count, running 59 plays for the game to just 27 for Highland Park and possessing the ball for nearly 31 minutes to just 15:30 for the visitors. However, the Eagles were forced to give up the ball occasionally, and when they did, that resulted in an 82-yard touchdown dash by fullback Evan Bloom to make it 14-3 in the second session. The count went to 20-3 in the third frame when Jason Gleyser picked up a fumble by substitute quarterback James Falco, returning it 71 yards for the next score. Late in the third, Bloom struck again with a 46-yard TD on the second play of a 25-second drive for the final score of 26-3.

Leyden made it into H.P. territory twice more on several first down drives before halftime. They kicked off the second half, stopped the Giants to force a punt, and then again drove to the HP 24 before that fumble and TD.

They again drove into Giants’ territory to the HP 36 before another fumble gave the ball back at that point. Two plays later, Bloom’s 46-yard dash ended the scoring but not Leyden’s control of the ball. In the fourth frame, the Eagles used Mendoza’s 37-yard dash to reach the HP 18 before losing it on downs. They again lost possession at the HP 7 on an interception, and finally were back to the Giants’ 44 before time finally ran out near 11 p.m.

For the game, Leyden rushed for 136 yards on 45 runs, Mendoza gaining 120 of them on an exhausting 28 carries. The Eagles added 93 aerial yards when their several quarterbacks connect on seven of their 14 tosses, Damian Salazar grabbing three of them for 57 total yards. Highland Park amassed 254 yards on the ground on just 22 runs, 178 of them on those three TD sprints, but they connected on only one of five passes thrown, and that one lost one yard. Bloom made 134 yards on just four carries and Wilkie added 101 yards on nine tries to lead the Giants.

Both teams suffered many of what might be termed heat-related injuries, with sideline medical crews on the field as much as the players, to tend to those on the ground. Leyden’s most costly of these may be the loss of quarterback Latiker late in the second quarter, and he never returned to the game. Those on-field treatment delays lengthened the game considerably, in addition to both teams using all six of their allotted timeouts and the officials calling rest and water timeouts midway through each of the four periods.

The Eagles will be on the road this Friday for game #2 of the season, traveling to Hillside to meet the Proviso West Panthers. West suffered an opening season disaster last Friday when they traveled to Wauconda High School to suffer a terrible 69-0 loss. Leyden last met Proviso West in 2009, losing 25-11 in Hillside, and then dropping a home game in 2010 by a 23-6 score. In overall history the two teams have a 5-5 record in meetings dating back to 1959, Leyden losing the first two and then winning five of the next six.

Family-Friendly Events (Virtual and In-Person)

The following virtual family-friendly events are hosted by libraries in the Journal & Topics coverage area. Register when requested. Libraries and park districts offering a free or nominal fee event can e-mail event details to


Des Plaines Public Library

In-person: Summer Reading Book Discussions with Maine West – “The Firekeeper’s Daughter”

6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5 in the Peace Garden

The library and Maine West High School are inviting students, their families, and the public to join in three community book discussions.


Des Plaines Public Library

Back to School Summer Concert – Third Step on the Moon

2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7

Des Plaines Library Plaza

Teens are invited to this end-of-summer concert.



Niles-Maine District Library

In-person: Little Construction (PM) for ages 2-5 with an adult

Culver Elementary School parking lot

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29

Check out the construction vehicles from Niles Public Works.


Niles-Maine District Library

In-person: Babies in the Park for 0-18 months, with a caregiver

10 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4

Nico Park located at Keeney and New England

Join other parents and their little ones for stories, songs and some play time.



Mount Prospect Public Library

Virtual Summer Fun Family Dance Party

10 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14

For children of all ages and their families.

Children are invited to a dance party via Zoom to celebrate all things summer. The party will feature songs about adventures. Participants must register and provide a working email address to receive the login information.


PARK RIDGE                 

Park Ridge Public Library

Kickstart Kindergarten – Entering Kindergarten

10 to 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 2

Children starting kindergarten will practice cutting, tracing, pattern recognition and more during this Zoom four-week program.


Park Ridge Public Library

Cookin’ with Books for grades 6-12

5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11

Teens will discuss their experience with this month’s cookbook “Magnolia Table” by Joanna Gaines.



Glenview Public Library

Author Adventures: Stacy McAnulty for grades PreK-2

11 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 29 (other times 3 and 6:30 p.m.)

Students who live in Glenview or attend a Glenview school are invited to pick up a free paperback copy of one of Stacey McAnulty’s books before the presentation while supplies last. During the program, learn about the “Our Universe” series.” The program is presented in partnership with Glenview School District 34.



Arlington Heights Memorial Library

In-person: Miss Jamie Live in Concert

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3

North School Park, 410 N. Arlington Heights Rd.

Jamie on the Farm will entertain families with a little rock and a little country. Don’t forget safety measures in place. Registration is recommended. The program is presented in partnership with Arlington Heights Memorial Library and the Arlington Heights Park District.



Elk Grove Village Public Library

World Elephant Day Craft and More for ages 2-grade 5

3 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12

Create a fun elephant craft, listen to a story and participate in an activity. Registration is required and limited to library card holders.



Palatine Public Library District

In-person: Preschool Storytime, North Hoffman Branch, for 2-5 year olds

3600 Lexington Dr., Hoffman Estates

12:30 to 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2



Indian Trails Public Library District

Virtual: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): What’s it All About?

6 to 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3

During this live Zoom program learn about DACA which protects young people, who came to the U.S. as children — from deportation and provides for work authorization, and better life opportunities. Presenters address the history and current status of DACA, along with eligibility for initial and renewal applications. The program will be followed by Q&A. Registration with a valid e-mail address is required.



Prospect Heights Public Library

In-person: Enchanted Forest Painting Party for 3d graders to high school

3 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6

Release your creative muse to create an enchanted forest painting. Dress appropriately. Doors will open at the scheduled time. Those on the waiting list may be admitted to the program 10 minutes after the start time if space is available.



Rolling Meadows Library

Dinosaur Dig

Ends Saturday, Aug. 7

For first-eighth graders

Dig into an exciting summer project and discover your own little dinosaur fossil. Dinosaur excavation kits are available while supplies last.