SCENIC OVERLOOK AT GREENE VALLEY OPENS FOR SEASON MAY 1

Forest Preserve District of DuPage

Great views at highest public ground in DuPage County

(April 20, 2021) — DuPage Forest Preserve District’s scenic overlook at Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville opens on weekends starting May 1, providing a bird’s-eye view of DuPage County and the Chicago skyline from 190 feet above the ground.

The overlook will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31, weather permitting, although Illinois Environmental Protection Agency activities may cause it to close without notice. The access drive is off Greene Road south of 79th Street. Visitors can park at the summit, and are encouraged to bring binoculars or spotting scopes for views of far-off vistas and migrating birds. District staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Visitors must wear facemasks that cover the nose and mouth and must practice safe social distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from other people.

Visitors with valid District permits can launch nonpowered model gliders and sailplanes from a designated area of the overlook; permits are available online 24/7 or through Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 weekdays 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more down-to-earth exploration, hikers and bikers can use the 1.9-mile Hawk Trail, which circles the hill’s base and is open only during the scenic overlook operating hours.

The District periodically opens the scenic overlook for special viewings of the sunrise, sunset, or a lunar eclipse. Follow @dupageforest on Facebook for notices about these occasions.

The overlook rests on top of a closed landfill, which operated from 1974 to 1996. A gas-to-energy plant converts methane from the landfill into energy, which powers thousands of area homes. Revenue from the landfill’s former disposal operations and the gas-to-energy plants — not tax dollars — funded construction of the recreational improvements and continue to fund maintenance of the overlook.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage

METRA EXTENDS $10 ALL-DAY PASS THROUGH JUNE

(April 15, 2021) –

Metra has extended the availability its flexible and affordable $10 All-Day Pass  through June 30, 2021.

The All-Day Pass is good for unlimited rides on any and all Metra lines all day until 3 a.m. the next morning. For most trips, the All-Day Pass costs less than two one-way fares. The pass was introduced on June 1, 2020 and is currently used by about a third of Metra riders.

For all fare purchases, Metra riders are strongly encouraged to use the Ventra app. Using the app and the $10 All-Day Pass doesn’t simply save money – it provides an added measure of safety by reducing close interaction between Metra customers and crew members, allowing them to “Touch Less, Pay Less.”

All-Day Passes purchased in the app expire after seven days. Customers can also buy the pass with cash or credit from an agent or with cash on the train. However, if a customer boards at a station where they could have purchased the pass from an agent, the conductor will charge an extra $5 fee. Paper passes are good only for the day they are sold.

Metra reminds all riders that face coverings, covering both the mouth and nose, must be worn on board trains during the pandemic by state and federal mandates. Customers should also try to observe physical distancing guidelines; no more than one person per seat, please, unless you are part of a group traveling together. Let’s all work together to keep each other safe.

Metra

21 MEN ARRESTED IN COOK COUNTY SHERIFF’S POLICE “JOHN” STING TARGETING SEX BUYERS

Cook County Sheriff’s Office

April 9th, 2021

COOK COUNTY, IL  – Officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Victims Unit issued citations to 21 men and towed 17 vehicles after the men responded to online prostitution advertisements, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

On Thursday, SVU officers set up meetings at a hotel in Northwest Cook County between the buyers who arranged meetings over the internet and an officer posing as a person selling sex.

After the buyer agreed to exchange money for sex, SVU members waiting outside entered the room and took the individual into custody.

All 21 men were issued a $1,000 citation for violation of the Cook County public morals nuisance ordinance, and 17 vehicles were towed under the ordinance, requiring the vehicle owner to pay $500 to reclaim possession.

Sheriff’s Police aggressively pursues sex purchasers and offers services and support to individuals who are trapped in the sex trade.

“Sex trafficking leaves a trail of trauma in its wake,” Sheriff Dart said. “Too many victims, most of whom are women, experience violence and abuse, and we are committed to pursuing those who perpetuate this trauma by seeking to purchase sex.”

Cook County Sheriff’s Office

THE NAPERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZES DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH WITH A REMINDER FOR MOTORISTS: Drop It and Drive

City of Naperville

NAPERVILLE, April 7, 2021 – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month across the nation, and the Naperville Police Department is urging drivers to drop their phones and focus on the road with a not-so-subtle reminder: “Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 26,004 people died in U.S. crashes involving a distracted driver between 2012 and 2019.

In support of this effort, the Naperville Police Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies around Illinois to enhance enforcement of distracted driving laws during the entire month of April.

“It has become all too common to see people driving down the road while looking at their phones,” said Naperville Police Sergeant Ricky Krakow. “People know texting and driving is both dangerous and illegal, but they do it anyway, putting themselves and others at risk. During April, you will see increased law enforcement efforts as officers stop and ticket anyone who violates distracted driving and other Illinois motor vehicle laws.”

This distracted driving campaign is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation with federal traffic safety funds.

City of Naperville

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCES EXPANDED SUNDAY HOURS, THE OPENING OF ALTGELD BRANCH LIBRARY AND ONE SUMMER CHICAGO APPLICATIONS IN HONOR OF NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK

MAYOR LIGHTFOOT ANNOUNCES EXPANDED SUNDAY HOURS, THE OPENING OF ALTGELD BRANCH LIBRARY AND ONE SUMMER CHICAGO APPLICATIONS IN HONOR OF NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK

City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor

April 7, 2021

CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, joined by 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, Chicago Public Library (CPL) Commissioner Chris Brown, Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) CEO Tracey Scott, and Department of Family Support and Services (DFSS) Acting Commissioner Brandie Knazze convened at the Altgeld Branch of Chicago Public Library today to celebrate the opening of the new branch, announce the expansion of Sunday hours to ten more CPL branches, and announce the One Summer Chicago (OSC) applications have opened for another year.

The new, 14,164-square-foot library branch, located at 955 E 131st St on Chicago’s Far South Side, is a $7.5 million project first announced in 2016 that replaced the previous library within the Altgeld Gardens/Murray Homes community. The joint announcements build on Mayor Lightfoot’s aligned work to expand equitable services and remove barriers to access in Chicago’s most vulnerable neighborhoods alongside the City’s partners. This will be the fourth partnership between CPL and CHA and the One Summer Chicago program will provide youth with employment and enrichment opportunities during the summer months. One Summer Chicago offers summer employment to youth between the ages of 14 and 24. Most programs are between 20 and 25 hours per week. 

Last year, more than 20,000 young people across the city had summer jobs directly from this program. This upcoming summer, young people will be compensated for participating in career exploration opportunities in fields such as coding and tech, healthcare, media and more. 

“As someone who is passionate about libraries and expanding opportunities for our young people to thrive, I am thrilled to formally celebrate the opening of the Altgeld branch, the expansion of Sunday hours and the opening of applications for One Summer Chicago,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Taken together, these efforts will empower for residents of all ages to skill up, achieve upward mobility, and above all, chase after their dreams without being burdened by a lack of access to knowledge and resources.” 

All CPL branches will expand to include Sunday hours – through a phased rollout plan – by the end of 2021. Beginning April 18, CPL’s Altgeld, Mt Greenwood, South Shore, Back of the Yards, Chinatown, Merlo, Edgewater, Independence, Richard M. Daley, and Austin Branch Libraries will add an additional day of service to the public, opening from 1:00-5:00 p.m. on Sundays. This expansion of services makes CPL more accessible, by allowing Chicagoans with work or religious restrictions to utilize in-person essential library services on their schedule.

Mayor Lightfoot first announced the planned Sunday hours expansion in June 2019 as part of CPL and Mayor Lightfoot’s ongoing effort to ensure that library services are more equitable and accessible for all Chicagoans. The first nine branches opened on Sundays in December 2019, in addition to the Harold Washington Library Center, and CPL’s three regional libraries—Sulzer, Legler, and Woodson Regional— which are open 68 hours per week, including Sundays. 

“The Library’s core mission is to provide free and equitable access to ideas and knowledge, books, materials, inspiring spaces, and technology– things Chicagoans need and deserve everyday—seven days a week,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown. “Whether it’s this partnering with the Chicago Housing Authority to design and revitalize our libraries, the elimination of overdue fines, or reestablishing a West Side Regional Library in partnership with the Mayor’s Invest South/West initiative, the Library is constantly seeking to remove barriers and bring comprehensive, equitable library services and learning opportunities to our communities.”

The new Altgeld Branch Library project marks the fourth collaboration in recent years between the CHA and CPL. In 2019, the Library and CHA opened three co-located buildings that combined public library branches with affordable and mixed-income housing in Chicago’s Little Italy, Northtown, and Independence neighborhoods. The Altgeld Branch was built to serve the community of Altgeld Gardens and will also house a Centers for New Horizons childcare facility. In addition, the new building includes a fully independent YOUmedia teen space with a student recording studio, a Maker Lab for patrons of all ages, dedicated early learning space for children five years old and under, and private community and meeting rooms for collaborative use. 

“The Chicago Housing Authority is proud of the investments we have made for the residents of the historic Altgeld Gardens community. The Altgeld Library and Family Resource Center provides a place where everyone, especially children, can learn and grow,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott. “This successful effort was the result of a unique collaboration that included residents, special financing tools, nonprofits, and government all working together to deliver much-needed resources to Chicago’s Far South Side.” 

The Altgeld renovation closely aligns with Mayor Lightfoot’s Invest South/West initiative, which seeks to increase access to investment and public facilities on Chicago’s South and West Sides where there are acute disparities. Altgeld Garden’s geographic isolation from other areas of the city has created barriers to access for residents in the past, and the state-of-the-art library building seeks to address those gaps. More than 75% of Altgeld Gardens residents live below the federal poverty line, and nearly all residents, 98% are Black, according to CHA data. 

The Altgeld Branch will offer job search and computer skill training, as well as homework help and traditional library programs like book clubs, film screenings, and story time. Altgeld is one of multiple South and West Side capital projects CPL has focused on in recent years. 

“These are important tools which help create new opportunities that enhance people’s lives and transform under-resourced neighborhoods into strong, sustainable communities,” said 9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale. “Today’s announcements demonstrate what can be accomplished when the city and community encouraged by a shared commitment to improving a neighborhood’s quality of life work together.” 

Modern libraries are hubs in healthy communities, keeping residents, especially young people, connected to rich, engaging, and safe environments where they are empowered to explore their passions and potential. This new Altgeld Branch Library, and rollout of Sunday hours, concretely furthers the Mayor’s vision to revitalize Chicago neighborhoods.

One Summer Chicago will run from July 5 to August 13 and will include remote and socially distanced, in-person job and life-skills training for youth ages 14 to 24. The application deadline is Friday, June 11, and it can be found at OneSummerChicago.org. More than 21,000 slots are available for youth this summer. Returning this year under the OSC portfolio is the Chicago Youth Service Corps (CYSC), Everyone Can Code, Photography for All programs and more. One Summer Chicago is an integral part of “My CHI. My Future.”(MCMF), Mayor Lightfoot’s signature youth-focused initiative designed to connect youth across Chicago to meaningful out-of-school experiences. 

“One Summer Chicago provides more than a summer job, it helps young people build life skills they will carry with them long after the program has ended,” said Department of Family Support and Services Acting Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “One Summer Chicago teaches youth the essential skills that they need to succeed in career and in life.”

Altgeld Branch Library will be open to the public in coming weeks. Chicago Public Library remains open to circulate materials and provide resources to Chicagoans as the city weathers the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing and hygiene standards are in place, per public health guidelines. CPL continues to encourage patrons to stay connected with both online programming and in-branch offerings. A full list of digital programs and additional information are available online at chipublib.org.

City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor