Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Proviso West Plays Morton For Tournament Championship!!!

Proviso West High School Panthers will play the Morton Mustangs in the Championship game of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament. Both teams are surprising stories this year. Game starts at 8pm. It promises to be fun.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Proviso West Holiday Tournament Begins

PTHS District 209 Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch and the Board of Education invites everyone out to the Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament which begins Friday, December 26, 2008. Games will be played December 26, 27, 29 and 30. Catch some good high school basketball where basketball is best. Local favorites Proviso West, Proviso East and St. Joseph are in the tournament as well as state contenders Whitney Young and Zion Benton. It promises to be fun.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sun Times Names Notable Proviso West Alumni...

The Chicago Sun-Times has named a number of individuals as notable alumni of Proviso West High School. On page 50 of the December 24, 2008 edition, among those listed were:

1. Flozell Adams, Offensive Lineman with the Dallas Cowboys
2. Ray McElroy, Former NFL player with the Bears, Colts and Lions,
3. Famous Hulbert, current varsity football coach at PW High School,
4. Joseph Spagnolo, former Director of PW Holiday Tournament; and
5. Emanuel "Chris" Welch, current President of the PTHS Board of Education.

Kudos to all of the notable PW alumni.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rev. Dwayne Black Has Died...

The Rev. Dwayne Black from Freedom Baptist Church has died. Black died early December 23, 2008 from a bout of intestinal cancer.

Maywood Settles Grocery Store Lawsuit For $490,000

The Village of Maywood has settled a lawsuit with the Springbrook Grocery chain for reneging on a contract to develop the old Rite Way Grocery store at 5th Avenue and Washington. The suit cost the village $490,000, and they still don't have a grocery store.

Forest Park Pays $350,000 to settle lawsuit!!!

The Village of Forest Park has settled it's lawsuit with former Forest Park police sargeant Dan Harder for $350,000.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Theresa Kelly Travels On Taxpayer Dime!!!

Sources report that Proviso SD209 Board member Theresa L. Kelly is circulating petitions for Township Supervisor. Say it aint so. Theresa Kelly wants to be the head of the Township. Ohhhh nooooo!!!! She wants to spend the township's tax money and hurt our seniors. As a school board member, Kelly has used our money to fly all over the country. Look at where she has been at our expense:

1. Orlando, Florida, November 7, 2006-November 12, 2006 $1,114.29
2. Chicago, Illinois, April 8, 2006-April 11, 2006 $1,023.56
3. Detroit, Michigan, November 15, 2005-November 20, 2005 $1,199.25
4. San Diego, California, April 16th-19th, 2005 $1,540.66
5. Dallas, Texas, November 16th-21st, 2004 $1,205.00
6. Reno, Nevada, November 18th023rd, 2003 $1,500.00
7. San Francisco, CA, April 9th-13th, 2003 $2,106.55
8. Springfield, IL, March 22, 2003 $822.36
9. Chicago, Il, November 22-24th, 2002 $1,000.00
10. Atlanta, GA, November 12th-17th, 2002 $1,310.00
11. Seattle, Washington, October 2nd-6th, 2002 $994.00
12. New York, NY, June 20th-24th, 2002 $1,270.00
13. Washington, D.C., May 14th-16th, 2002 $1,000.00
14. New Orleans, LA, April 5th-9th, 2002 $1,000.00
15. Los Angeles, CA, November 13th-18th, 2001 $2,311.47
16. San Diego, CA, May 24th-27th, 2001 $1,461.44
17. Philadelphia, PA, November 14th-19th, 2000 $1,261.00
18. Jackson, MS, November 2, 2000 $1,500.00
19. Chicago, Illinois, May 14, 1999 $1,000.00

Total: $24,619.58

2007 and 2008 trips are not yet listed. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SD209 Board Member Theresa Kelly Goes On Junket And Recommends Company For Hire!!!

Proviso SD209 Board Member Theresa L. Kelly was recently flown on an all expenses paid junket to Arizona by ENI School Consultants. Since returning from the trip, Kelly has been an advocate for hiring the company as a consultant in Proviso. At the December 15, 2008 board meeting, ENI consultants were on the agenda for hire for over $500,000. Kelly voted in favor of hiring the company, but the motion failed. Kelly is the same SD209 Board member who has used tax payer money to fly to over 30 different cities across the country. To date, taxpayers have spent over $30,000 for Kelly to fly across the country.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rock Of Ages Baptist Church Continues To Make Improvements In Maywood!!!

The Rock of Ages Baptist Church, under the leadership of their Pastor Marvin E. Wiley, continues to make tremendous improvement in the Village of Maywood. Wiley recently announced plans to build a Senior Housing Complex between 11th and 13th Avenues on Madison Street, directly across the street from the church. A development such as this will help an aging community maintain some of its older residents. Seniors are also helpful to a communities tax base. Kudos to the Rock of Ages Baptist Church and its pastor!!!

Village Administrator In Forest Park Resigns!!!

The Village Administrator in Forest Park, Mike Sturino, has resigned his $125,000 year position to become a lobbyist for the Illinois Road and Transportaion Association. Sturino will reportedly leave the post in mid January. Sturino's departure is a big loss for the Village of Forest Park. Under his day to day handling of the Village, Sturino has overseen numerous changes in the Village. He's also been a dependable ally for Mayor Calderone. You'll be missed Mike!!!

Maywoodian Replaced By Oak Parker!!!

The Village of Maywood has tapped an Oak Parker to be head of economic development. The former assistant village planner in Oak Park is Maywood's new director of community development.

Lori Sommers, who started Dec. 1, has responsibilities that include overseeing the code enforcement, housing, economic development, grant administration, land acquisition and zoning issues. Sommers replaced a born and raised Maywoodian.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stone Park To Host Holiday Parade and Toy Give Away...

Stone Park's annual Christmas celebration will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13, 2008 with a visit from Santa, chocolate-marshmallow treats and mugs of hot chocolate from 1:30-3:30 at John Paul Park, Division Street and 44th Avenue.

At 4 p.m., participants will begin lining up for the parade that begins at 5 p.m. and makes its way through every street in the village.

The village also will be distributing bags of candy and toys.

Call (708) 345-5550 for more information.

Bellwood SD88 To Help Feed the Needy For Holidays!!!

Bellwood School District is sponsoring its 1st Annual Festival of Lights on
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at Wilson Elementary. In these trying times, the District is experiencing several homeless and needy families within the school district. During the festival of lights, food baskets will be given away to these families to help them through the holidays. Kudos District 88!

Memorial Park Spartans Playing In National Championship Game!!!

The Memorial Park Spartans Pee Wee team is playing the National Championship Game in Orlando, Florida on Friday, December 12, 2008. The Spartans won 26-0 on Tuesday to earn their way to the Championship. Kudos to our small ones from Bellwood.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Governor Should Resign; State Should Call For Special Election!!!

Illinois Governor Rod Blagoyevich has brought shame on our State; and although innocent until proven guilty, there is no way the Governor can govern effectively. He should step down now, and the state should call for special elections. The power to appoint a U.S. Senator should never be placed in the hands of one person. Rod Must Go!

Friday, December 05, 2008

West Suburban Mayors and Other Elected Officials Support Danny K. Davis For Senate!

Congressman Danny K. Davis, Mayor Frank Pasquale, Bellwood, Mayor Joseph T. Tamburino, Hillside, Illinois and other proviso Mayors and Village Presidents and community residents and elected officials will gather on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:15am at the Best Western Hotel. The West Suburban Officials plan to emphatically endorse Danny Davis for Senate.

Supporters of Congressman Davis say that he is uniquely qualified to hold the position. Davis worked as a postal clerk, taught in the Chicago Public Schools, worked as a community organizer, Executive Director of the Greater Lawndale Conservation Commission, worked as a Community Health Planner, worked in Health Clinics and ultimately became the President of the National Association of Community Health Centers, an organization of great distinction.

Congressman Davis has been an elected official for 29 years beginning as Alderman where he served for eleven years in the Chicago City Council becoming Chairman of the Health Substance Abuse and Zoning Committees and was President Pro-Temp of the Chicago City Council.

He was a member of the Cook County Board for 6 years and has been a member of Congress for the past twelve years where he currently serves as Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia.

Davis said, “In every legislative body in which I have served, I have sponsored and passed meaningful public policy initiatives. I am a coalition builder and work well with all communities.”

Congratulations Memorial Park Spartans!!! Now, Let's Help Them...

The Memorial Park Spartans Pee Wee' are making history! They are a Division 2 football Team made up of 29 players ages 9, 10 and 11 with a lot of heart and 8 coaches with a lot of drive.

This team has persevered winning at the neighborhood level all this season. They advanced thru their Division and captured the Illinois State Conference Championship, Semi Finals Title, Sub Regional Title and now hold title of MidAmerican Regional Champions after competing with teams from Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.

The Spartans have never achieved this before! These children have earned a chance of a lifetime persevering from Neighborhood to the Nationals!

At this point they are advancing to the National Championship Level which takes place in Orlando Florida, the week of December 7th thru the 13th 2008. They have just 80 minutes of Football (2 games) left before they will become the Pop Warner National Champions!

BUT NOW, THEY NEED YOUR HELP. Without the ability to cover the cost of travel and lodging to this Championship, they could miss this once in a lifetime opportunity! Without money, they will not be able to attend the National Conference thus forfeiting their earned dream of a lifetime. Please help our Team travel.

Please help us send our team to Florida to compete. In the Spirit of helping others, please consider granting a gift for this Championship. Of course, we will appreciate any gift that you can make as our goal is $30,000.00. All donations are appreciated and if not given in person, make checks payable to: Wiley, Vaughan-Davis, Gardley c/o Memorial Park Spartans

Submit what you can to:

Hythaniel Marks
708-516-0125 cell
Pop Warner Little Scholars Inc.
23-1582287, Federal Group Tax Exemption # is 9183

T. Gardley
Po Box 765
Hillside, Illinois 60162

Thank you in advance on behalf the Mighty Spartans!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bellwood Breaks Ground On New Train Station!!!

The Village of Bellwood, led by Mayor Frank Pasquale and the Village Board, recently broke ground for a new Metra train station on 25th Avenue. The new train station will be the centerpeice of a major development in the area. Kudos to the Village of Bellwood.

Hillside Gives Money Back To Residents!!!

The Landfill in the Village of Hillside is closed due to the work of the Village President Joe Tamburino and the Village Board. Now, residents call all receive up to $438.00 in checks from the closure.

Applications for residents to apply for landfill "host" fee reimbursement checks will be in Hillside residents' mailboxes this week.

Homeowners who fill out the application can send in or drop off the completed application at Hillside Municipal Complex, 425 Hillside Ave. Residents who meet the requirements will receive $438.

Hillside Village Administrator Russell Wajda said the applications have been sent out and the sooner people return the completed applications the better. He said he hopes to get as many checks cut as possible before the Dec. 23, but checks will be disbursed monthly. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 30, 2009.

Proviso School Board Approves District Busing Program To Boost Attendance!!!

Proviso Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch and the Proviso School Board recently approved a $3.6 million dollar contract with First Student Bus Company to create the first ever district run busing program. The goal of the busing program is to boost attendance by getting kids to school. According to Board President Welch, "PACE has just not serviced us properly."

Proviso East students will be the first to receive free bus transportation to and from school through Proviso High School District 209.

Bus routes and stops are being worked out, but school bus service is scheduled to start Jan. 20, 2009 for Proviso East students. The plan sets Feb. 17, 2009 as the start date for Proviso West bus service.

Service was announced at the Nov. 17 School Board meeting. Trustees approved a transportation contract with First Student for $3.76 million per year for two years. Security cameras for each bus were included in the contract.

The district pursued bus service for nearly all its students after receiving approval July 9 from the Illinois Department of Transportation to classify certain areas around the school district as safety hazards.

That qualified the district for state transportation reimbursement for busing students who live within a 1 1/2-mile radius of the school. Without the safety-hazard waiver, there is no reimbursement of transportation expenses for students within that distance.

The state will cover about 80 percent of the transportation costs, said District 209 Finance and Operations Assistant Superintendent Nikita Johnson. The district is responsible for the remaining costs, which will not be billed to parents, Johnson said.

School officials expect 95 percent of the approximately 5,000 students in the district will be eligible for free transportation, said Proviso East Assistant Principal Dan Johnson, who has been working on the transportation issue.

Prior to the waiver, about 70 percent of students from Proviso West and 45 percent from East were eligible for free transportation, Johnson said.

Bus service was offered a year ago for 400 to 500 Proviso West students who secured seats on eight buses on a first-come, first-served sign-up basis. There was no bus service for Proviso East students.

No bus service is scheduled at this time for the approximately 600 students attending Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy in Forest Park.

"It would be more difficult to start a bus service for those students in the midst of start up for East and West," said TaQuoya Kennedy, spokesperson for District 209. "Logistically, we cannot coordinate that at this time. But it is something that we hope to look at in the future."

There is hope among district administrators that bus service for Proviso East and West will help attendance and reduce truancy.

"This is an effort to improve the quality of life for our students, to ensure that they get to school safely and on time, and ultimately improve (the district's) truancy rates," Nikita Johnson said.

"With district-wide transportation, we eliminate some of the hazards or obstacles that may keep students from getting to school and getting the education they need."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Proviso!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Proviso Township. Even in difficult economic times, we all have much to be thankful for each and every day. Take a moment to say what you're thankful for today.

As a reminder, the Proviso East Marching Band will be the star attraction in the McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Don't forget to tune in and catch the Pirates.

Also, Congressman Danny K. Davis will provide free Thanksgiving Day dinner at Wallace's Catfish Corner, 2800 W. Madison, Chicago, Illinois from Noon to 3pm on Thanksgiving Day.

If you have something of important happening on Thanksgiving Day or just want to give thanks, post it here.

Village of Bellwood and Mayor Frank Pasquale Open Second Computer Center!!!

Bellwood's second Community Resource Center opened recently offering residents free computer access.

The new center is located at 145 Eastern Ave. and will house about 40 computers. The cost of the building and the computers was about $130,000 with the majority of the funds coming through grants from the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, and Tax Increment Finance funds, because job training will take place at the center.

Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale said the new center is a way of investing in the village's youth. Good Job Bellwood!!!

Congressman Danny K. Davis, 7th District for Senate!!!

Congressman Danny K. Davis, from the 7th District, is garnering support for the US Senate seat that has been vacated by President-Elect Barack Obama. Most recently, State Representative Eddie Washington, 60th District representing Waukegan, North Chicago and Park City, and Lake County Residents announced their support and urged Governor Blagojavich to appoint Congressman Danny K. Davis to replace President-Elect Obama as U. S. Senator. A few weeks ago more than a dozen elected officials and hundreds of Illinois residents urged Gov. Blagojavich to appoint Cong. Davis.
Davis continues to build momentum around the State of Illinois. Here's to Congressman Davis and hoping he gets the nod! If Davis gets the nod for Senate, a number of people are rumored as possible successors to his Congressional seat. Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr. is a possiblity. State Representative Karen Yarbrough, and former Davis Chief of Staff Richard R. Boykin are also possibilities. If Rogers and/or Yarbrough get the nod for Congressman, it is rumored Proviso School Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch could replace Rogers and/or Yarbrough. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bellwood SD88 Students Become Tomorrow's Promise!!!

Fifth Third Bank, Concordia University Chicago, Bellwood SD88 and Proviso Township High Schools Disrict 209 launched Tomorrow's Promise: Vision 20/20, an innovative program that gives 22 academically talented 6th graders the opportunity to go to college six years from now for free. The 22 students, who were introduced at a news conference on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at Concordia University, must attend the Roosevelt Middle School, the Proviso Math and Science Academy, and Concordia University Chicago, and they must maintain all As and Bs from now through college to complete the program successfully. If so, all college expenses will be paid by Fifth Third Bank and Concordia University. On hand for the announcement were Dr. John Johnson, President of Concordia University, Chip Reeves, Marketing President of Fifth Third Bank, Dr. Tom Jandris, Dean at Concordia, Barbara Burnett, Director of Research, Assessment and Evaluation at Bellwood SD88, Althea Busby, Board Member in SD88, Emanuel "Chris" Welch, Board President from PTHSD209, and former SD209 Superintendent Robert Libka. The event was covered by Channels 2,5,7 and CLTV and was entirely run by the students.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Grady Rivers, Jr. Running For Mayor of Maywood...Change We Can Believe In???

Sources close to the Proviso Insider report that Maywood SD89 Board President and Proviso Township Clerk, Grady Rivers, Jr. is running for Mayor of the Village of Maywood. Rivers, a lifelong Maywoodian, has reportedly formed a slate called the Maywood Alliance Party (MAP). The MAP slate is rumored to be a list of Maywood heavy weights led by Rivers. Peggy Moore-Alexander is slated for Clerk, Cederick L. Fuller, Melvin L. Lightford, Sr., and Pedro A. Villarreal are all slated for Village Trustees. Moore-Alexander is the cousin of Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene "Gene" Moore, the former Village Manager, former Village Trustee and former candidate for Mayor. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the ticket. Lightford is the hardworking father of State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford and will bring tremendous muscle. MAP's opponents will be the incumbent party currently running the Village, the Maywood United Party (MUP). MUP is led by Mayor Henderson Yarbrough and a group of incumbents or former incumbents running for re-election. Can the MAP party beat MUP? Is the MAP slate Change We Can Believe In?

Happy Veterans Day!!!

The Proviso Insider would like to thank all of our nation's veterans for their service and dedication our country!

Congratulations President-Elect Barack Obama

The Proviso Insider would like to Congratulate President-Elect Barack Obama. His implausible journey to become the nation's first African-American president began on a cold February day in 2007, and the Insider was there. The son of an African father and a white woman from Kansas truly represents "Change We Can Believe In."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Proviso Math & Science Academy Ranks Among Illinois' Top 50

The Chicago Tribune reported on Friday, October 31, 2008 that the Proviso Math and Science Academy in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 ranks in the top 50 of Illinois High Schools. The Proviso Math and Science Academy opened in August 2005 after Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch led the Board in the development of the school. In July 2004, the Chicago Sun-Times gave the Board critical acclaim and praised Welch and the Board for their vision. Congratulations Proviso!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Election Endorsements!!!

Barack Obama President
Joe Biden Vice President
Dick Durbin U.S. Senator
Danny K. Davis Congressman, 7th District
Dan Cronin Senator, 21st District
Eugene "Gene" Moore Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Anita Alvarez Cook County State's Attorney

Vote YES for a State of Illinois Constitutional Convention. Help Illinois mandate better funding for our schools. Currently, Illinois ranks 49th out of 50 in how we fund our schools. This can change by changing the Illinois Constitution.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Congratulations to the Proviso East Pirate Football Team!!!

Congratulations to the Proviso East Pirate Football team. They finished the 2008 season with a win over Proviso West on Saturday, and a 7-2 record. Wow! The Pirates are headed for the IHSA playoffs, and will host Steinmetz on Saturday, November 1, 2008 at 1:00pm at Pirate Stadium in Maywood.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Free Money Available To Proviso Township Residents!!!

According to the Proviso Herald, free money is available to area residents. West suburban residents have until 5 p.m. Friday to apply for disaster food stamps at the Illinois Department of Human Services office, 2701 W. Lake St., Melrose Park.

The aid is available to any resident affected by the September flooding.

Applicants must reside in one of the following towns to apply at the Melrose Park site: Bellwood, Broadview, Brookfield, Lyons, Maywood, North Riverside, Oak Park, River Grove, River Forest, Riverside, Schiller Park and Willow Springs.

The one-time food stamp amount is usually between $300 and $600, said IDHS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus.

Applicants must be the head of household and bring identification, documentation of other family members living in the household and proof of flood damage, such as a letter from an insurance company or from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sainvilus said.

IDHS is focusing on the seven-county area hardest hit by the flood and declared by President George Bush to be a federal disaster area, according to an IDHS press release.

The aid was first offered between Oct. 9 to Oct. 17, then extended to Oct. 22 before the most recent extension to Friday.

The extension was due to the extremely high demand, Sainvilus said.

At the Melrose Park location, the line often stretched one to two blocks long. Applicants waited several hours before they were able to enter the building.

As of Oct. 21, the state had accepted applications from more than 11,000 households, representing more than 43,000 individuals, Sainvilus said.

The turn-out, Sainvilus said, "is a testament to the current state of the economy we're in, coupled with a natural disaster."

For more information, call (708) 338-7600.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Proviso East Marching Band To Lead Thanksgiving Day Parade!!!

The Proviso East Marching Pirates, one of the top bands in the state of Illinois, has been chosen to lead Chicago's McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2008.

After a five month long search, McDonald's Owners of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and the Chicago Festival Association announced that Proviso East High School's marching band will be the official McDonald's® Thanksgiving Parade Band.

The band was surprised with a visit and presentation from world-famous Ronald McDonald during halftime at Proviso East's homecoming football game on October 11th. Proviso East is only the second high school band to ever be selected as the official McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Band.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maywood Mayor Has Heart Surgery!!!

According to the West Surburban Journal News, Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough had double bypass heart surgery recently. Specifically, L. Nicole Trottie writes in her weekly paper that Mayor Henderson Yarbrough underwent double-bypass
heart surgery at Loyola Medical Center last Thursday, Village Manager
Jason Ervin confirmed.

Yarbrough, who is in his 60s, is listed in stable condition, according to a brief
press release by village officials. “Resting comfortably and on the mend,
Mayor Yarbrough is expected to be released early this week,” Ervin said.

The procedure was scheduled in advance and was not as a result of a
medical emergency. No further details were provided.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Early Voting Starts For Presidential Race With Record Turnout!!!

According to the Pioneer Press, early voting has started with a record turnout. Pioneer Press reporter Liza Roche writes that Record voter turnout is predicted on Nov. 4 and Cook County Clerk David Orr said his office is ready for it.

Orr's office tallied more than 1.4 million registered voters in suburban Cook County, with still more new voter applications to process.

"We're clearly breaking records," he said.

That was the case on Monday, the first day of early voting. Orr's office reported a total of 7,689 votes cast on Monday, compared to 1,591 on the first day of early voting before the Feb. 5 primary.

The previous one-day record was 7,497, set on Jan. 31, the last day of early voting before the primary. The office also reported that in the first 90 minutes of early voting on Monday, 1,086 suburban Cook voters cast ballots.

More and more voters are showing a support for touchscreen voting terminals, Orr said. Waiting lines for the touchscreen devices could result at times, but Orr noted that voters can always use the more traditional paper ballots.

And the county clerk noted that thanks to an investigation and subsequent improvements, the slow uploading of voter returns that the public endured in 2006 should be history. Expect to see most returns reported around 7:30 p.m. or 7:45 p.m., he said.

Of course, polling places can't run themselves. Orr said so far his office is happy with the amount of volunteers it has trained for Nov. 4. In the past, some volunteers have fallen away from their duties a week or so before election day, but Orr said the office is working to mitigate those sort of problems by keeping some volunteers for the sheer purpose of heading to under-staffed polling places.

Special attention has been paid to training volunteers as equipment managers, or "EMs" as they are called at polling places. The office's idea is that by having more people trained to trouble-shoot the machines, Nov. 4 should go relatively smoothly.

The easiest way to avoid Election Day worries is to vote early. This spring's election brought a record number of early voters in suburban Cook County, and those numbers are only expected to grow this month.

Sites are typically open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Some sites offer early voting hours on Sundays, as well. A complete list can be found at: www.voterinfonet.com

For those voting on Election Day, Orr suggests heading to the polls between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

"The bigger lines tend to be after 4 p.m. when people come after work," he said.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

SD88 Superintendent Rosemary Hendricks Resigns, Interim Named...

According to David Pollard of the Proviso Herald, Bellwood SD88 has a new superintendent. Bellwood School District 88 named an interim superintendent Monday after accepting Superintendent Rosemary Hendricks' resignation.

The school board voted unanimously in accepting Hendricks' resignation. School board member Daphne Walker was absent.

Kyle R. Hastings, acting superintendent was named interim superintendent Monday. He will serve as interim superintendent until the search for a new superintendent is completed.

Hastings has served as acting superintendent since mid-August. Hendricks was on family medical leave since June.

Hendricks was supposed to return to work Sept. 22, but the School Board called a special meeting Sept. 19, the weekend before she was to return to work, and voted to put her on paid administrative leave.

Hendricks said she wishes the district well. She said her goal as superintendent was to do what was in the best interest of the children.

"Hopefully the board can come together and do what's best for the children," she said. "I wish them (the board) good luck and much success and I hope they find a superintendent who will meet their needs."

Prior to her resignation an investigation into Hendricks performance was being conducted by Arlington Heights-based law firm Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer Rodick and Kohn. She was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

When asked if the law firm's findings were the result of Hendricks' resignation School Board President Tommy Miller said the board accepted her resignation Oct. 6 and there is no longer an investigation. He would not elaborate as to what the firm was investigating, saying it was a personnel matter.

The school district has paid the law firm $18,000 since July when the investigation began.

Prior to the board's vote, Hastings was paid $744 a day to come into the office a few times a week to sign off on district materials. Now he will work full time and receive the equivalent of Hendricks' annual salary of $140,000, until the search for a new superintendent is completed. Hastings will be responsible for organizing the search of a new superintendent.

The board voted 4-2 in favor of making Hastings interim superintendent. Board members Althea Busby and Ronald Anderson voted against it. Board President Tommy Miller, Maria Casterjon, Yvette Ramirez and Marilyn Thurman voted in favor.

Busby said she voted against making Hastings interim superintendent because there are employees currently working in the school district with a superintendent certification who could step in. "We have people in the district who know the district and are not learning it," she said.

Hastings said he plans to bring the district into compliance with the Regional Office of Education in the areas of technology, finance and district policy and procedures.

Miller said the regional office did their audit of the district in 2007. "They found that there were things in the district that were in compliance and there were things that were not in compliance and we had to correct them," he said.

He said there policies and procedures in the district that were either outdated or needed to be revised. Miller said there are various deadlines to bring things into compliance, but he wants the superintendent to work toward compliance.

"All we have to do is show them that we are moving in the right direction to bring these things up to date," he said.

Hastings said as interim superintendent he hopes make improvements in the district.

"We're going to do a lot of great things this school year," he said. "We're going to bring the district into the new century. A lot of things will be new and improved."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Rock Is Staying! The Rock Is Staying!

The Proviso Insider weblog has received an email at provisoinsider@hotmail.com which indicates that the Rock of Ages Baptist Church will be staying in Maywood after all. The had announced two weeks ago plans to relocate to another City due to problems frequently encountered with Maywood Village officials. However, sources report that the church's longtime pastor, Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, announced plans to stay. The church's new plan involves relocating its 9:30am service to Bolingbrook, but will continue to serve the community with worship services at 7:30am and 11:30am in Sundays. This is good news for the Maywood community!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

$700 Billion Bailout Facts...

Did you know the USA has spent close to $700 Billion in Iraq since 2003? Could the money spent in Iraq been better used here at home? Did you that $700 billion is $175Billion more than what was spent on all levels of education last year? Where are the priorities of the Republicans?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Updated...Proviso East Classes Scheduled To Resume Wednesday At East!!!

Proviso East High School will re-open tomorrow, Wednesday (Sept. 24).

Proviso East will be following the "First Day of the Week Schedule." Teachers and staff are to report as regularly scheduled. Students are to arrive by 9:00 am.

There will be no breakfast served on Wednesday (Sept. 24).

"Today we received the certificate of occupancy that allows us to re-open our school," said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. "I would like to thank the Proviso East administrative team for their strong leadership during this very challenging time. Our parents, students, and community have been very supportive and patient during this process, and the teamwork displayed by Proviso West and PMSA has been phenomenal. The faculty and staff are prepared, and we are excited to get our students back into the classroom."

Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch commended all of the administrators and staff who have worked tirelessly to get Proviso East back on track. "We are greatful to have such hardworking, dedicated staff on our team."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rock of Ages Baptist Church Leaving Maywood!!!

Sources tell the Proviso Insider web log that the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood is preparing to leave Maywood after 58 years in the community. Sources say the Rev. Marvin E. Wiley announced at the Sunday services on September 21, 2008, that the church is looking for 25 acres of land and will leave Maywood asap. According to sources, the church announced last year that it desires to expand the church and build additional parking lots. However, the Maywood Village leadership has continued to block the church's development plans unnecessarily. With the Rock of Ages Baptist Church being one of the bright spots in Maywood, violence in that town remain at an all time high. Gangs, drugs, prostitution, and corruption are rampant! The Maywood Village officials need to get there acts together! If not, Maywood's voters should throw them out in April 2009!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Early Childhood Center To Open In Bellwood...

Due to the leadership of Board President Tommie Miller and the SD88 Board of Education, the Proviso Herald reports that a school that has been closed for seven years will reopen next week to house Bellwood School District 88's growing preschool population.

Lincoln Primary Early Childhood Center, 3519 Wilcox St., Bellwood, will open Sept. 22. The school was closed in 2001 due to a termite infestation.

The school will house about 130 students ranging in age from three to five-years-old along with 25 faculty and staff members.

Gwen Frasier, director of personnel and day-to-day business at School District 88, said the school never reopened because the district's preschool population was spread out among the districts other schools, but now things have changed.

"We've had steady growth to the point where we can offer the same early childhood program throughout the district," she said. "The need was to have a site in Bellwood."

The termite problem at the school was corrected, but Frasier said other repairs had to be done to open it up to students due to the lengthy closing. "We did the flooring, put in new carpeting, painted, put in new windows," she said.

The district also put up new fencing, landscaped the property and paved the parking lot, Frasier said.

Prior to opening up the school to the public a short program will take place at 10 a.m. Parents and students will have an opportunity to take a tour of the school and meet the teachers and administrators following the short program.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Proviso East To Remain Closed For the Week...

Proviso East High School will remain closed for this week (Sept. 15, 2008- Friday, Sept. 19, 2008) due to damage caused by flooding.

"We are working to get our students back in class as soon as humanly possible," said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. "The environmental team has come into Proviso East and begun to work on making the building operational. As much as we want to resume education for our students, it is not safe to have students in the building until the area is decontaminated and the boiler room is repaired. "

We are anticipating that parents will receive updated information regarding when classes will resume no later than Friday, Sept. 19, 2008. More information regarding this will be distributed as it becomes available.

Two major occurrences during the storm are affecting school operations. The boiler room was flooded with over 10 feet of water-- which affects the hot water supply in the building and a diesel tank containing approximately 500 gallons of fuel was overturned when water rushed through pipes underground. The environmental team has begun assessing, cleaning, and decontaminating the flooded areas.

"This is a large job," said a representative from the team of specialists working on the project. "We will coordinate any and all repairs and work around the clock to get the kids in school as soon as possible."

PTHS 209 administrators are working diligently on alternative plans to continue with school while clean-up is in progress.

Proviso East's Bring Your Parent to School Day will be rescheduled. The September Board of Education meeting scheduled for September 22, 2008 at Proviso East will be relocated to Proviso Math and Science Academy at 7 p.m..

We ask that parents and staff who have not received information this week to please call your respective building with up to date contact information, including a telephone number and email address. You can also email this information to pr@pths209.org.

Information on school closings can be obtained from the District's website (www.pths209.org), from the emergency closing center at www.emergencyclosingcenter.com or 847-238-1234.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Proviso East Remains Closed, Proviso West and PMSA to Reopen

Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy will re-open tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008). However, Proviso East will remain closed due to flooding. Proviso East maintenance and 12 month administrators are to report as scheduled. Again, PROVISO EAST will remain closed. PMSA and PROVISO WEST will re-open to students and staff as regularly scheduled.

New Blog In Proviso Township...

Check out this new blog in Proviso Township:


Monday, September 15, 2008

Proviso Communities Hit Hard By Rain

The Proviso Township communities were all hit hard by the weekend rain. Severe flooding has been reported in Melrose Park, Maywood, Bellwood, Hillside, and Forest Park. The rains have caused at least one district to cancel Monday classes.

Flooding Closes Proviso High Schools

All PTHS 209 schools will be closed Monday (Monday, Sept. 15, 2008) and Tuesday (September 16, 2008) due to issues caused by flooding. Proviso East, Proviso West, and Proviso's Math and Science Academy will be closed to students and staff. Maintenance crews are cleaning up after three days of rain and flooding.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Proviso Math And Science Academy Tests Scores Exceed State Standards!!!

The Proviso Math & Science Academy's test scores not only meet but exceed testing standards for the state of Illinois, according to their Adequate Yearly Progress Report (AYP).

Under the accountability provisions in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, all public school campuses, school districts, and the state are evaluated for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Districts, campuses, and the state are required to meet AYP criteria on three measures: Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics.

Out of 100 percent of students who were tested in reading and math at PMSA, 77 percent meet or exceed state standards in reading, and 66 percent meet or exceed the standards in math.

"There will be those who say that this great accomplishment should be expected because we are a selective enrollment school," said PMSA Principal Ed Moyer. "But given that this is a brand new school and this is the first year that we've had our kids go through this testing process, for us this is a strong indicator of the quality of our program."

Moyer says that even though the percentages are above average PMSA will continue to strive to have 100 percent of students exceeding the state average.

"We are going to continue to make progress," said Moyer. "Higher scores in math is one of our top priorities. I am so proud of our students and faculty. This is really good--but we want to be great."

PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart said, "This is a great accomplishment for Proviso Township High Schools. I believe that we have the potential to be among the highest performing schools in the state. We are very proud of PMSA and look forward to celebrating this same success throughout the district."

Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch who led the District in the development of the new high school said, "These scores validate the decision made by the Board of Education in 2003 to move forward witha third high school. Proviso is Rising."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Proviso High Schools Say: Bring Your Parents to School on September 18th!

On Sept 18, 2008, Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch, Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart, the Proviso School Board, and the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will host "Bring Your Parent to School Day." On Sept 25th PTHS 209 will have Back to School Night, which is an abbreviated version of "Bring Your Parent to School Day."

During these events parents are encouraged to come to school with their child and spend the day as a Proviso student.

"This is a great way for parents to become more actively involved in their child's education and to see a school day through the eyes of a student," said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. "This event will encourage teachers and parents to develop positive relationships. It will also be encouraging for students to see how invested their parents are in their education."

According to a summary written by Johns Hopkins University when parents participate in "Bring Your Parent to School Day," students' behavior and production improves. PTHS 209's "Bring Your Parent to School Day" and "Back to School Night" is designed to provide parents with the insight and tools they need to help their child become a better student. "Bring Your Parents To School Day" was the thought of by current Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch six years ago, and it has now been emulated across the country.

Parents who cannot attend "Bring Your Parent to School Day" are encouraged to attend "Back to School Night" on Sept. 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Village of Bellwood Hosts 9/11 Ceremony

The Village of Bellwood hosted a 9/11 ceremony on Thursday, commemorating the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attack on our country. The ceremony was attended by village and school officials. Various local ministers addressed the standing room only crowd.

Did you attend the ceremony? What did you think of it? Were there any other ceremonies of this kind in the area?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale Has Reason To Worry

Sources report that Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale has real reason to worry. A telephone poll conducted from August 28th through September 1st of 500 registered voters in bellwood indicate that Bellwood Police Officer Jeannette Johnson has name recognition and would win a head to head election 70% to 30%. Most people polled gave Johnson a 90% name recognition and 90% favorable rating. Pasquale has name recognition but extremely low favorable ratings. With poll numbers like this, and support from numerous elected and financial backers, it looks like Johnson is a serious candidate.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Is Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale Too Old and Out of Touch?

Sources report that incumbent Bellwood Mayor Frank Pasquale is preparing to run for re-election in April 2009. These sources report that he will face a formidable opponent in Bellwood Police Officer Jeanette Johnson. Johnson has lived in Bellwood for years, has raised a family there, and will be well funded. Sources say one of the issues that Johnson will push is whether current Mayor Frank Pasquale is too old and out of touch. Pasquale is reportedly close to the same age as Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, and has faced health concerns in the past. Is this an issue that Johnson can make hay with in the race? Why or why not?

Proviso School Board Approves District Transportation Program

Under the leadership of Proviso School Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch and the Proviso School Board, PTHS 209 is taking the next step toward providing free district wide transportation as part of the Proviso East and West School Improvement Plans.

Over the Summer, District 209 received approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation to classify certain areas around the school district as safety hazards.

This approval allows PTHS 209 to be reimbursed by the Illinois State Board of Education for transportation expenses for students who live within a 1 1/2 mile radius of their home school building.

Now, the district is taking the next step by soliciting transportation bid proposals.

"This is an effort improve the quality of life for our students, to ensure that they get to school safely and on time and ultimately improve PTHS 209's truancy rates," said Dr. Nikita Johnson, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations. "We are dedicated to improving student achievement and we understand that a big part of that is improving student attendance. With district-wide transportation we eliminate some of the hazards or obstacles that may keep students from getting to school and getting the education they need."

In March, PTHS 209 submitted a transportation hazard waiver that analyzes various hazards that Proviso students face when traveling to and from school. The Illinois Department of Transportation approved the waiver recognizing the need to overcome such obstacles.

The PTHS 209 Board of Education approved a transportation bid at the August meeting.

PTHS 209 will begin the process of establishing bus routes and notifying applicable parents of transportation options once the bids are approved.

Administrators are hopeful that this process will begin no later than the start of second semester.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Proviso School Board Provides Breakfast Program for Students

Under the leadership of Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch and the Proviso School Board, PTHS 209 is now serving breakfast! Over the summer, the PTHS 209 Board of Education voted to approve a new food service contract that offers students quality breakfast and lunch meals.

PTHS 209 has not offered breakfast programs in the past.

Studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in school. According to the Kaiser Permanente Health Group and various health studies children who don’t have breakfast get sleepy at school, have a harder time paying attention, and tend to eat more junk food later in the day.

PTHS 209 currently provides free and reduced lunch to students at Proviso East, Proviso West, and PMSA.

Parents who meet eligibility guidelines are encouraged to apply for this option during the registration process and throughout the school year.

The regular breakfast price is $1.70. Students have the option to use the WINSNAP system, which is similar to a debit card where parents can have money loaded to the student’s account to pay for breakfast and lunch. The card can be replenished regularly. The WINSNAP option also reduces time spent in the cafeteria line and parents can have the comfort of knowing that their students have funds to pay for meals while at school.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jeannette Johnson Lining Up Support For Bellwood Mayors Race

Sources report that Bellwood Police Officer Jeannette Johnson is lining up support for an April 2009 race against incumbent Mayor Frank Pasquale. Sources report Johnson has been seen meeting with former school board colleagues Tommie Miller and Marilyn Thurman. Miller and Thurman have reportedly signed on to chair her campaign. Is this a good or bad move for Johnson?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Glenn "Doc" Rivers Honored By Proviso and Maywood

Boston Celtics Head Coach, Glenn "Doc" Rivers, was honored this past weekend by the Proviso Township community and Maywood. Rivers, a lifelong Maywood resident and graduate of Proviso East High School, won the NBA World Championship in June 2008. In honor of the hometown hero, a parade was held in his honor on Saturday, August 16, 2008, and a jersey hanging ceremony was held in the Proviso East Fieldhouse following the parade. Both the parade and jersey ceremony were attended by throngs of dignitaries and children. On Sunday, August 17, 2008, Doc Rivers was honored by the Second Baptist Church of Maywood during their 104th Church Anniversary celebration. Following the church service, Maywood officials named 11th Avenue, between Madison Avenue and Washington Blvd., Glenn "Doc" Rivers Drive. Congratulations Doc!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Proviso Township Leaders Meet To Develop Plan To Combat Violence

Leaders from across Proviso Township and the Maywood community came together recently to discuss ways to combat recent violence in the Proviso community. Bishop Claude Porter and Rev. Reginald Saffo from the Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance led a meeting that reportedly took place at PLCCA's headquarters in Maywood. Also present at the meeting were high school officials including Proviso School Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch, Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart, Director of Security Brandon Gale, Principal Milton Patch, Maywood Trustees Audrey Jaycox and Kim Johnson, and a host of area ministers and police officers. The group reportedly committed to working together across political lines for the good of the community. Let's see what happens from the this point. What do you think needs to be done to combat violence in the community?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Three Teenagers Shot and Killed In Maywood

Accorinding to the Proviso Herald, three 18-year-old Maywood men were shot and killed early Saturday.

The shooting happened at 1900 W. Harrison St. in Maywood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

The three were identified as Kent Flowers, Oscar Pritchett and Devin Stokes, according to the medical examiner's office. Their home addresses were unknown, but all three were residents of Maywood, according to a medical examiner's office spokesman.

Flowers was pronounced dead at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood at 12:29 a.m., Pritchett was pronounced dead at Loyola at 2:20 a.m. and Stokes was pronounced dead at Loyola at 1:41 a.m.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Nichelle Rivers Leaving Town...

Nichelle Rivers, the former Superintendent of Bellwood SD88, and reported relative of State Representative Karen Yarbrough, has reportedly resigned her role at the Cook County Regional Superintendent's Office. Rivers has reportedly found a new opportunity in a new state.

Bellwood SD88 Closes Wilson School

The Bellwood School District 88 Board of Education has reportedly voted to close Wilson School off 25th Avenue and the Expressway. The school reportedly has problems with its roof, and it is in need of extensive repairs. The students from Wilson will reportedly be bused to Thurgood Marshall School.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Glenn "Doc" Rivers To Be Honored

Eugene "Gene" Moore, Grady Rivers, Jr, Emanuel "Chris" Welch, the Proviso Township High School Board of Education, and Maywood Old Timers will be honoring Proviso East Alumnus Glenn "Doc" Rivers, the head Coach of the NBA 2008 World Championship Boston Celtics, on Saturday, August 16, 2008 with a parade. The parade kicks off at 10am from Winfield Scott Park and will end at Proviso East High School where a jersey hanging ceremony will take place in the Field House. After the long over do honor takes place, residents can enjoy Eugene Moore's Annual Back to School Picnic at the Van Buren Family Center Park on 13th and Harrison or the Maywood Old Timers Picnic at 5th Avenue and Oak Street. Come on out and enjoy the excitement.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bellwood Police Officer Jeannette Johnson Set To Run For Mayor of Bellwood?

Sources report that popular Bellwood police officer Jeannette Johnson is set to run for Mayor of Bellwood against incumbent Frank Pasquale. The election is set for April 2009 and Johnson would be a formidable opponent. A long time Bellwood resident, long time Bellwood police officer and former school board President, Johnson has the support of former police chief Greg Moore, the FOP, many in the African-American community, and financial backing from a local millionaire businessman. Johnson could also self-finance her campaign with cash from her NBA basketball player son Awvee Storey or from the money she won in a big lawsuit against the village last year. Is this the beginning of a new era in Bellwood? Is the end near for the current administration? If so, why? Where did they go wrong?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Annual Bellwood Picnic Set For Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Annual Bellwood Picnic is set to take place on Saturday, August 2, 2008. The picnic will be held in the park across from the Village Hall which is located at 3200Washington Blvd, Bellwood, Illinois. Come on out and enjoy the food, fun and games.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tony Peraica Took Donations From Convicted Criminals

According to the Chicago Sun-Times and Daily Southtown, the man who wants to be the County's top prosecutor, Commissioner Tony Peraica, took campaign donations from four convicted criminals between the years 2001 and 2006. The criminals were all convicted of fraud, a felony. Now, after the discovery, Peraica says he will return the cash. Click this link to read more details on this developing story: http://www.southtownstar.com/news/1081130,073008peraica.article

What do you think of this development? Is Peraica truly a reformer? Is Tony a phony?

New Leadership At Proviso Township Mental Health Commission

The Proviso Township Mental Health Commission has new leadership. The board recently accepted Lisa Denunzio-Devivo's resignation and named Jesse D. Rosas as Executive Director of the Proviso Township Mental Health Commission. Also Lisa Loster was appointed Director of Grants of the Proviso Township Mental Health Commission replacing Jesse D. Rosas.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Proviso Math and Science Academy To Host 2nd Annual Family & Senior Citizen Health Fair!!!

Proviso School Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch, the Proviso Township High School Board of Education, the Proviso Township Board of Commissioners, and the Proviso Township Mental Health Board are teaming up to host the 2nd Annual Family & Senior Citizen Health Fair at the Proviso Math and Science Academy on Saturday, August 2, 2008 from 9am to 1pm. The event will offer FREE back to school physicals, FREE health screens, FREE snacks, FREE senior bingo, and FREE admission. Please call to book your free screening appointment in advance: 708.449.4310. All PTHS 209 students must have current physicals and immunizations before the first day of school. Don't miss this opportunity for a free physical and health screening! Physicals are being offered courtesy of Loyola Pediatrics.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SD88 Employee Joe Burdi Accused of Violating Policies!!!

David Pollard of the Proviso Herald did a two part story recently that revealed Bellwood SD88 employee Joe Burdi is being accused of violating policies and steering contracts. Click this link to read more: http://www.pioneerlocal.com/maywood/news/1069135,ma-burdi-072308-s1.article

Do you know anything about this? Who is Joe Burdi? Would he knowingly violate school policies?

H. McNelty School Closing...

John Huston of the Proviso Herald recently reported that the H. McNelty School in Melrose Park is closing. Click this link to read more: http://www.pioneerlocal.com/maywood/news/1070857,ma-mcnelty-072308-s1.article

The McNelty's did a lot for the Proviso community, and the school was their lasting legacy. How will this impact the community?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Proviso Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch and Board Majority Saves Jobs For Those In Most Need!!!

The Proviso Insider web log has learned that Proviso Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch and the board majority of Sue Henry, Dan Adams, Brian Cross, Robin Foreman and Robert "Bob" Cox, recently saved the jobs of numerous support staff members at Proviso Township High School District 209. The Board majority members, along with new Superintendent Nettie Collins-Hart, are reportedly dedicated to balancing the district's budget, but they did not want to do it on the backs of the Support Staff after hearing pleas from Support Staff Union President Ida Chester. At the board meeting on July 21, 2008, a list of at least 20 support staff members was presented to the board for termination, but after a lengthy closed session, Superintendent Collins-Hart withdrew the recommendation and saved jobs and families in this tough economy. The Board will reportedly look to find the revenue with cuts in other areas.

What do you think of this move by the Proviso board majority and the new superintendent? What do you think the Board can cut to help balance their budget?

Carl Nyberg Fails To Honor Country!!!

Infamous web blogger, Carl Nyberg, publisher of the filthy, trashy weblog provisoprobe.blogspot.com, was recently seen at a Proviso High School District 209 Board meeting failing to honor our country. Sources who attended the board meeting on Monday, July 21, 2008 say that Nyberg refused to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag. At least 50 people attended the meeting, and Nyberg was the only one in attendance who did not stand to honor his country. Nyberg, who is reportedly a Navy veteran, also claims to be an advocate of the U.S. Constitution and public participation. Yet, he refused to stand for the Pledge.

Nyberg, an active member of State Representative Karen Yarbrough's political organization, is also close friends with former Proviso Board member Charles Flowers and current Proviso board member Theresa Kelly. Flowers also refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance on numerous occasions when he was a board member.

What do you think of Carl Nyberg? Did he dishonor America? What's his problem? She voters pay attention to anyone who can't respect our Country's symbols?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Case Taking Shape for SD89 Board Member Ric Cervone and Other Melrose Park Police...

Last summer, several Melrose Park Police officers were indicted for alleged criminal wrong doing. Among those indicted were SD89 Board member Ric Cervone and the Chief of Police Vito Scavo. However, instrumental to those indictments were sworn statements and testimony from investigator Scott J. Fitts. Fitts now finds himself indicted for wire fraud, false statements, obstruction of justice, and income tax evasion to name just a few of the charges. If Fitts is the star witness in the case against the Melrose Park Police officers, it certainly looks like the seven Melrose Park officers are in the clear.

Have you heard anything about this indictment? How does it affect Fitts' testimony against the Melrose Park police officers?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Proviso School Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch Sues Blogger Carl Nyberg and Wins Restraining Order!!!

Proviso School Board President Emanuel "Chris" Welch has sued blogger Carl Nyberg, publisher of the filthy, trashy weblog provisoprobe.blogspot.com, for defamation of character. Nyberg seems to dedicate his blog to trashing the Proviso Board President, and he recently posted a story on his blog accusing the school board president of being involved in criminal wrong doing. Welch responded with a lawsuit and sought a restraining order in Cook County Circuit Court before Judge Martin Agran. At a hearing held on Wednesday, Judge Agran agreed that the post written by Nyberg appeared defamatory. Specifically, Judge Agran stated that 1) Welch has a protectable right to his reputation, 2) Welch will suffer irreparable injury to his reputation if the post is allowed to stand, 3) Welch demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits, and 4) that there is no adequate remedy at law. After making his findings, Judge Agran ordered Nyberg to take the defamatory statements off his blog by Midnight on Wednesday, July 16, 2008. The case against Nyberg will continue in court, and now Nyberg faces the possibility of a preliminary injunction, a trial, and awarding Welch money damages for the injuries that he has caused Welch.

Nyberg even admitted in open court that he uses his blog to diminish Welch's reputation in Proviso Township. However, shortly after 5pm, Nyberg had already taken the defamatory post down. His failure to do so could have resulted in Welch seeking contempt charges against him.

Prior to the hearing, Nyberg reportedly sent an email to Welch's attorneys indicating that he would take the post down if Welch paid him $25,000. Wow!

Nyberg is an active member of a political organization headed by State Representative Karen Yarbrough, Larry Shapiro, Charles Flowers, Theresa Kelly, and Della Patterson. They vocally oppose and defame Chris Welch, Eugene "Gene" Moore, Ronald Serpico, Grady Rivers and Anthony Calderone on a regular basis.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Executive Director Resigns From Proviso Township Mental Health!!!

The Insider has learned that the Executive Director of Proviso Township Mental Health, Lisa Denuzio-Devivo, has resigned effective August 1, 2008. Devivo's contract was not renewed back in May, and since that time, her future had been in doubt. Instead of waiting and wondering, sources say she has found a new job that starts August 4, 2008.

Do you know anything about this move at the Mental Health Board? Is it good or bad? Was Devivo effective in her role as Executive Director or not? Let us know.

Friday, July 11, 2008

County Bails Out Charles Flowers!!!

Angela Caputo of the Daily Southtown continues to watch the county's education watchdog. Today, she wrote about the County's recent bailout of the patronage plagued office. Here's what she wrote at www.dailysouthtown.com:

There should be no shortage of teachers in suburban classrooms come fall -at least not because they couldn't get certified on time - thanks to a taxpayer-backed loan from one cash-strapped, patronage-stacked branch of Cook County government to another.

The Cook County Board in late June loaned $190,000 to the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education - which acts as a liaison between suburban school districts and the state on matters such as teacher certifications.

Regional education officials had told county commissioners that if the board did come up with the cash - and fast - some suburban schools would face a teacher shortage come fall because the office wouldn't have the money to process all of the necessary teacher applications, County Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) said.

There are no stipulations on how the loan can be spent. On Thursday, Regional Supt. Charles Flowers said, via e-mail, that it will provide a "safety net" to "ensure that the services and assurances of the (regional office) will not be interrupted due to the delay in funding by the state."

Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman (R-Orland Park), who cast the sole "no" vote on the loan, said she wasn't buying the plea from the regional superintendent's office, which came on the heels of a spate of patronage hires by Flowers.

"How could we justify this?" Gorman said. "We're raising taxes to bail out another friends-and-family organization?"

Commissioners apparently felt the matter was so urgent that they voted to suspend the rule that requires giving public notice so they could adopt the measure on the spot. A caveat to their approval was that the money must be paid back by June.

In his e-mail, Flowers said his office plans to repay the loan using operations and certification fees. He declined to take phone calls on the issue.

Shaky ground

When Flowers took control of the office in July 2007 it had $413,434 in net assets but was already on shaky financial ground. His administration managed to boost revenue slightly through homeless education outreach and universal preschool grants. For months, Flowers has also pledged to turn things around by tapping into the Cook County government for additional resources.

Still, financial troubles persist for the agency, which does background checks, processes certification and conducts school safety inspections, among other things. In fact, the office's financial outlook is so bleak that for years the state's Auditor General has warned that, based on historic revenue growth and spending, officials soon won't have enough money to operate in full capacity.

That hasn't prompted Flowers - a former special education director in Tinley Park-based Kirby School District 140 and Park Forest School District 163 - to cut any corners.

Top-tier administrators now earn more than double in some cases than people who held the same positions under former Regional Supt. Bob Ingraffia - with salaries ranging between $75,244 and $100,325. Flowers also has hired three relatives on his payroll: two administrative assistants and a $15 an-hour floater.

Despite the hires, service from the regional office remain tough to come by, Forest Ridge School District 142 Supt. Margaret Longo said. It's not uncommon for phone lines at the Westchester-based office to register a busy signal or ring unanswered throughout an entire day. After getting the runaround, staffers in Longo's Oak Forest district went straight to the state Board of Education to get their certification and background checks worked out this spring.

"It takes that kind of maneuvering to get it done," Longo said.

Given the office's track record and financial outlook, Gorman is less than confident that the loan will do much for schools in her district. She's even more leery of Flowers' office's ability to repay the $190,000.

"The way that this office is run, I don't see us getting it back," she said. "I hope I'm wrong."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

State Rep Karen Yarbrough Has Turned Her Back On Us...Again!!!

The Insider has learned that State Representative Karen A. Yarbrough, D-7th, has turned her back on her constituents again. Legislators, including the governor, recently gave themselves 3.8% pay raises while people here at home suffer from high gas prices, foreclosures and poorly funded schools. The pay raises passed by a vote of 94-8-6. Six people decided not to vote. Yarbrough was one of them. She was there, but she decided to abstain which is a frequent practice of the State Representiative. What are we paying her for? When will she stand up for her community? She won't fight for us, but she took a stand on these issues:

1. She supported Charles Flowers for Regional Superintendent of Schools; and shortly after taking office, he loaded the staff with his unqualified friends and family. Flowers has overspent the budget so much he had to beg the county board for more money.

2. She helped her husband get a county job with the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

3. She helped her self to free office space at the expense of Broadview taxpayers.

What has Yarbrough done for our community other than help herself and her cronies? Is it time to support a new candidate for state representative?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Forest Park Police Officer Sentenced to 1 Year In Jail!!!

Sources tell the Proviso Insider that former Forest Park Police Sargeant Michael Murphy has been sentenced to one year in a federal jail for his conviction on violating an individuals civil rights.

Have you heard anything about this?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!!

Celebrate America's Independence. Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Maywood Resident Organizes March!!!

According to the Proviso Herald's Chuck Fieldman, a major march against violence took place on Monday. Here's what Fieldman wrote:

Isiah Brandon had quite a bit of help Monday evening when he tried to get his message out in Maywood.

The 20-year-old 2006 Proviso East grad wasn't sure what to expect when he organized Monday's 5:15 p.m. "A Cry to Save Our Youth March" through the streets of Maywood.

But with the Proviso East band leading the way and creating sounds that drew more than 100 people out of their homes to watch along the way, Brandon also had the support of another 100 people who took part in the march. Some of the marchers held up signs denouncing the violence that has plagued Maywood.

"I wanted to have this march to wake up the community and show the criminals out there that we, as a community, will not accept the violence anymore," Brandon said. "I really believe we can get rid of the violence in Maywood. What we're missing is unity. We all need to work together to do this. This (march) is only the beginning."

With four homicides already on the books for the first six months of 2008 and other non-fatal shooting seemingly becoming almost commonplace, it's time for a big change, Brandon said.

"People have gotten to the point where they're used to hearing about shootings in Maywood, and that's very scary," he said.

Cheryl Coleman, 42, has lived in Maywood since she was a young girl. She came out for Monday's march to show support for the youth who live in the village.

"We want to let people know that we're out here for the kids," she said. "The kids need places here they can go for recreational activities, and the parents need to be more involved with their kids."

Right behind the Proviso East band was LaDana Ford, mother of 17-year-old Tawanna Ford, who was shot and killed June 2 at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Ninth Avenue.

The march procession stopped for a few minutes at that corner while some participants stopped for prayer. It was an especially emotional time for LaDana Ford.

"I thought about not coming (to the march), but I came in remembrance of my daughter," Ford said. "I know she'd want me to do this."

The march started at the Maywood Public Library (121 S. Fifth Ave.) and went north on Fifth Avenue to St. Charles Road, west on St. Charles to Ninth Avenue, south on Ninth Avenue to Washington Boulevard, east on Washington Boulevard to Fifth Avenue and then south on Fifth Avenue back to the library.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Proviso Board President Chris Welch Sues Former Proviso Lawyers Burt Odelson and Mark Sterk. Welch Also Sues Former Employer James J. Roche!!!

Proviso School Board President Chris Welch has sued the District's former lawyers, Burt Odelson and Mark Sterk, of Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. He has also sued his former employer, James J. Roche, of James J. Roche & Associates. Here is the text of Welch's complaint against them:


1. Welch is an attorney currently working as a Partner in the law firm of Sanchez, Daniels and Hoffman LLP in Chicago.
2. From June 16, 2003, to May 21, 2007, Welch worked as an employee for Third-Party Defendant James Roche (“Roche”) at his law firm, James J. Roche & Associates. (collectively “Third Party Defendants”)
3. In addition to his legal duties, from November 7, 2001 to the present, Welch has been a member of the Proviso High School District 209 ("District 209") Board of Education. Since April 1, 2003, Welch has served as the Board's president.
4. Counter-Defendants Burton S. Odelson (“Odelson”), Mark Sterk (“Sterk”) are attorneys who manage and control the law firm of Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. (collectively “Counter-Defendants”)
5. At all times relevant to this Complaint through July 12, 2007, and May 21, 2007, respectively, Odelson & Sterk, Ltd., did legal work for Maywood School District 89 (“District 89”) and District 209.
6. Beginning December 13, 2006, and monthly thereafter, officials at District 209 began questioning Odelson & Sterk’s legal bills.
7. Shortly after District 209 challenged Odelson & Sterk’s legal bills, Roche called Welch into his office to complain about the problems that Odelson & Sterk were having getting their legal bills approved by District 209.
8. On information and belief, on or about May 21, 2007, Odelson & Sterk called James Roche, blaming Welch for their impending dismissal as attorneys for District 209, and requested that Welch be fired in retaliation for his role in uncovering Odelson & Sterk’s alleged overbilling and unauthorized charging.
9. On May 21, 2007, after Odelson & Sterk called James Roche, Roche called Welch and left a message for him to report to Roche’s office to discuss his employment status.
10. On May 21, 2007, Roche told Welch that, if District 209 fires Odelson & Sterk, not to report to work ever again.
11. On information and belief, on May 21, 2007, District 209 fired Odelson & Sterk for allegedly billing the district for legal work that was either not done or not authorized.
12. On May 22, 2007, Roche fired Welch in retaliation for Odelson & Sterk’s firing as counsel for District 209.
13. As a result of his illegal termination, Welch suffered a loss of income.
14. On information and belief, Odelson, Sterk and Roche agreed to try to use Welch’s employment position as leverage to try to coerce him to use his position as Board President of District 209 to get the District to continue to use Odelson & Sterk, despite the fact that Odelson & Sterk were overbilling the District and, when that did not happen, agreed to have Welch terminated at Roche’s firm.
15. It is against pubic policy in Illinois for an individual or group to condition a person’s employment on his approval, in a role unconnected to his employment, of fraudulent billing of a government entity.
WHEREFORE, for all of the foregoing reasons, Counter-Plaintiff Emanuel C. Welch respectfully request that the Court find that Roche and James Roche and Associates discharged Welch solely for his failure to allow Odelson & Sterk to overbill District 209, and prays that judgment be entered against Third Party Defendants, James Roche, and James Roche and Associates, in a sum to be determined at trial, that the Court assess punitive damages against Third Party Defendants, and for other and further relief that this court deems just.


1-14. Counter-Plaintiff realleges paragraphs 1-14 of Count I as paragraphs 1-14 of this Count II as if they were set forth herein.
15. Counter-Defendants and Third Party Defendants conspired with each other to have Roche terminate Welch from his employment in retaliation for Welch’s failure to support Counter-Defendants in their scheme to overbill District 209.
WHEREFORE, for all of the foregoing reasons, Counter Plaintiff Emanuel C. Welch prays that judgment be entered against Counter Defendants, Odelson, Sterk and Odelson & Sterk and Third Party Defendants, James Roche, and James Roche and Associates, on this Count II, that compensatory damages be assessed in a sum to be determined at trial, that the Court assess punitive damages against all defendants, and for other and further relief that this court deems just.


1-14. Counter-Plaintiff realleges paragraphs 1-14 of Count I as paragraphs 1-14 of this Count III as if they were set forth herein.
15. On July 11, 2007, in retaliation for their firing in District 209 and their impending firing in District 89, Odelson & Sterk wrote a memorandum to the School Board of District 89, the Regional Superintendent of Schools, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Attorney, the State’s Attorney, the Daily Southtown, the Forest Park Review, and the Pioneer Press. (Attached hereto as Exhibit 1)
16. In his July 11, 2007 memorandum, Mr. Odelson states, in pertinent part, as follows:

the Sanchez firm, although a noted and experienced defense firm as well as real estate and commercial experience (sic) has zero experience in school law. Mr. Welch will claim that he is the ‘experience’, which stems from his short tenure as attorney for School District 88 until his dismissal and then his rehiring by School District 88 after the last School Board election in April when the majority of the Board changed in Mr. Welch’s favor.

Further, he says:

I cannot now, legally, morally or professionally stand by and watch from the sideline as Mr. Serpico rewards Mr. Welch by handing him the legal representation of School District 89 after Mr. Welch conveniently accommodated Mr. Serpico’s desire to hire Mr. Delgado in School District 209.

Finally, he states:

I feel legally obligated to inform the proper authorities as well as the media, and most importantly the Regional Superintendent of Schools of the actions about to take place at the July 12, meeting of School District 89. . . If nothing else, the public will be aware and should monitor the legal bills of Morton College, School District 209, School District 88 and School District 89 as the dust settles and the political muscle that has been flexed is now extended to reap the benefits of years of political work.
17. On information and belief, on or about May 22, 2007 or at some time better known to Defendants, Odelson called three of Welch’s clients, Hoover-Schrum School District 157, Posen-Roberts District 143 ½ and Community High School District 218 and made similar disparaging comments imputing Mr. Welch’s lack of integrity in the performance of his professional services and duties.
18. The statements made by Odelson in his July 11, 2007 memo to District 89 accuse Welch of criminality and acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity in the performance of his professional services and duties.
19. On information and belief, the statements made by Odelson on or about May 22, 2007 or on dates better known to Defendants (noted in paragraph 17, above) to three of Welch’s clients accuse Welch of criminality and acting in a way that shows a lack of integrity in the performance of his professional services and duties.
20. Because of the disparaging statements made by Odelson to Welch’s clients, Welch was injured in that two of the three clients, Hoover-Schrum School District 157, Posen-Roberts District 143 ½ , terminated their relationship with Welch costing him substantial revenue.
21. The statements published by Odelson regarding Welch were false and were made knowing they were false or with reckless disregard for whether they were true or false and without reasonable grounds for believing they were true.
22. The statements made by Odelson regarding Welch were made with actual malice, evil motive and with an intent to injure Welch without just cause and were defamatory per se for which Welch is entitled to compensatory damages.
23. Alternatively, the statements made by Odelson regarding Welch were made with actual malice, evil motive and with an intent to injure Welch without just cause and were defamatory per quod for which Welch is entitled to special damages including the revenue lost from his former clients.
WHEREFORE, for all of the foregoing reasons, Counter Plaintiff Emanuel C. Welch prays that judgment be entered against Counter Defendants, Odelson, Sterk and Odelson & Sterk on this Count III, that compensatory damages be assessed in a sum to be determined at trial, that the Court assess punitive damages against all defendants, and for other and further relief that this court deems just.


1-21. Counter-Plaintiff realleges paragraphs 1-21 of Count III as paragraphs 1-21 of this Count IV as if they were set forth herein.
22. On or before May 22, 2007, Welch had an expectation of a continuing business relationship with Hoover-Schrum School District 157, and Posen-Roberts District 143 ½.
23. Counter-Defendants knew of Welch’s expectation of the continuing business relationship with Hoover-Schrum School District 157, and Posen-Roberts District 143 ½.
24. On information and belief, Counter Defendants deliberately disparaged Welch to his clients with the intention of interfering with his expectation of a continued business relationship with Hoover-Schrum School District 157, and Posen-Roberts District 143 ½.
25. On information and belief, because of Defendants’ deliberate and false disparagement of Welch, Welch lost his business relationship with Hoover-Schrum School District 157, and Posen-Roberts District 143 ½, suffering a loss of income.
WHEREFORE, for all of the foregoing reasons, Counter Plaintiff Emanuel C. Welch prays that judgment be entered against Counter Defendants, Odelson, Sterk and Odelson & Sterk, on this Count IV, that compensatory damages be assessed in a sum to be determined at trial, that the Court assess punitive damages against all defendants, and for other and further relief that this court deems just.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Did SD209 Board Member Theresa Kelly Go On A Junket???

At the most recent Proviso School Board meeting, a presentation was given to the Board of Education by a sales lady from ENI consulting company. The consulting company reportedly was selling career coaches, coaches who would help teachers do their jobs better. The sales lady was reportedly invited to speak to the Board by Proviso Board member Theresa Kelly just six months after the company allegedly paid for Theresa Kelly's airfare to Scottsdale, Arizona for a junket. Kelly attended the junket with one of the district's principals, an English teacher and a former employee of the district who now works for the Regional Superintendent.

Did the consulting company pay for Theresa Kelly's trip to Scottsdale, Arizona? Is Theresa Kelly now pushing the district to hire the company in exchange for the trip?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is Cook County Regional Superintendent of Schools Abusing Authority???

The Insider has learned that Cook County Regional Superintendent of Schools, Charles Flowers, is possibly abusing his authority in school districts across Cook County. Schools in Proviso Township are being specifically targeted. The Regional Superintendent, who is primarily responsible for ensuring teachers and administrators have certificates up to date and schools comply with life safety laws, has been harassing school districts for credit card statements, legal invoices, employment contracts, etc. Flowers has also developed a pattern of sending former, disgruntled employees who now work for his office back to their former jobs to conduct inspections in their old districts. Districts across Cook County have responded by lodging complaints at the State Board of Education.

Has Charles Flowers lost his mind again? Is he abusing his authority as Regional Superintendent of Schools? Should he be tossed out?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Proviso Hires New, Award Winning Superintendent!!!

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 has ended its superintendent search by placing Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, an award winning superintendent and noted school reformer, in the top spot.

At Monday night's board meeting the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education unanimously accepted the recommendation of the search firm and welcomed Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart with a three year contract.

This decision was made after a thorough search, which included considerable community input.

"We were fortunate to have a number of highly qualified candidates who shared our vision for the education of our young people and the development of our schools," said PTHS 209 Board President Chris Welch. "After an exhaustive review process, we were convinced that Dr. Collins-Hart was the best person for the job. We are excited to bring her talent, dedication and vision to the service of our Proviso students and families."

Dr. Collins-Hart was selected from a field of four exceptional finalists, all of whom underwent a rigorous review process by the PTHS 209 search committee, said Welch.

Collins-Hart most recently served as Superintendent for the Bertie County Schools in North Carolina. There, she was credited with helping move the county schools forward with innovative curriculum and grant funding.

Among other awards, Collins-Hart received the 2006 Superintendent of the Year award from the American Cancer Society for the South Atlantic Region 4 and a Leadership Award in 2005 from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Alliance of Black School Educators. She's also been cited for her work in closing the achievement gap in equity education by author Glenn Singleton in his 2005 book Courageous Conversations about Race: a Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools.

Most of Collins-Hart's work has involved raising the standards of classroom instruction, closing achievement gaps between various student demographics, and improving curriculum development, alignment, and implementation. She also possesses a noteworthy track record of sound fiscal management and accountability at both primary and secondary levels of education.

Dr. Collins-Hart received her Bachelor's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, two Master's degrees from East Carolina University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Collins-Hart's contract as PTHS 209 Superintendent begins July 1, 2008.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Proviso East Student Killed In Maywood!!!

According to reports in the Proviso Herald, Maywood police had no suspects or motive Tuesday morning in the Monday night fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Bellwood resident.

Tawanna Ford was shot once in the head around 8 p.m. Monday while sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle traveling near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Ninth Avenue, police said.

"A couple of guys were standing near Ninth and Washington, and one of them fired a gun at the car," said Sgt. Tim Curry said.

"When (the driver) realized that (Ford) had been hit, he rushed her to Westlake (Hospital in Melrose Park). (The injury) was too serious for Westlake, so they transported (Ford) to Loyola (University Medical Center in Maywood), where she was pronounced dead (at 10:29 p.m.)."

Curry said he didn't know how many shots were fired.

"The bullet that struck (Ford) in the head apparently entered the car through the driver's side rear window," he said. "The motive is unknown; there doesn't appear to be one. But we don't believe it was gang- or drug-related."

Ford, who just completed her third year at Proviso East High School, was on target to graduate a semester early, in December 2008, according to Principal Milton Patch.

"It is truly a very sad day for the Proviso East community, and I only hope that someday decision makers will rise up and take a positive stand to eradicate the violence that consumes our community," Patch said in a statement to Proviso East staff.

Patch said he previously had been Ford's principal at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Bellwood.

"I was her principal since she was in second grade and had known her and her mother most of her life," he said.

"She always had a smile on her face. She was a hard worker, and there's nothing she wouldn't do for anyone."

Patch said Ford planned to attend Triton College in River Grove from January until August 2009 and then transfer to a college in Florida.

The Proviso East principal said a memorial service for Ford is scheduled for June 14, but he had no further details Tuesday morning.

A social worker is available at Proviso East for any students in need of counseling, Patch said.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Proviso West and Proviso East Celebrate Graduations!!!

The Insider has learned that Proviso West and Proviso East High Schools will celebrate their respective graduations at the UIC Pavilion on Sunday, May 25, 2008. The Proviso West graduation will begin at 1pm and the Proviso East graduation will begin at 6pm. Sources say both schools are graduating record numbers and students at both schools have received in excess of $3 million in scholarships. Congratulations Proviso High Schools!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Walt "Coach" Sawosko, Sr. Has Died...

Walt Sawosko, Sr., the founder of the Proviso West Holiday Basketball tournament, has died. Insider sources say the Proviso legend passed away on Saturday, May 10, 2008 with family members by his side. Services are planned for Thursday and Friday with Visitation occurring at Conroy Funeral Home on Cermak Road in Westchester from 3pm-9pm on Thursday. Funeral services will be held on Friday at Sawosko's beloved Grace Lutheran Church in Westchester.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out To Don Sloan & Family!!!

The Insider has learned that the mother of Proviso Township Trustee Don Sloan passed away recently. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Sloan and his family.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Maywood Hit Hard By Foreclosures!!!

Chuck Feldman of the Proviso Herald reports on foreclosures in Proviso Township. According to Feldman, a few communities in Proviso Township had some of the highest rates of new foreclosure cases in the Chicago area in 2007, according to the National Training and Information Center.

NTIC, a Chicago non-profit group that has been working to reduce foreclosures since 1998, released a list in March of the foreclosure rates of 263 Chicagoland communities. The rankings are based on the number of new foreclosure cases per square mile in each community for 2007.

Although its increase in new foreclosure cases between 2006 and 2007 was 7.7 percent, compared to 251 percent in 2007 from 233 percent in 2006, Maywood ranked first for 2007 with 93 new foreclosure cases per square mile.

Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough said he is unsure why the village heads the list.

"I don't know -- unless our community has been targeted because we're a majority minority community," he said. "Maywood is not really a really poor community; our median income is around $38,000. We've tried to educate our residents (about foreclosures) where we can with forums, but often that's after the horses have gotten out of the barn."

High rates of new foreclosures are common throughout the region, and Yarbrough said he believes that's often because those seeking a first-time mortgage or refinancing a home are misled by financial lenders.

"A lot of people get into these deals based on whatever the lender tells them," he said. "Once you get to the closing table, it's hard to get up and walk away. People can be very vulnerable in these situations, and they often are taken advantage of."

Few concerns
In Hillside, foreclosure cases have not been a big problem, Village Administrator Russ Wajda said. Hillside had 38 new foreclosure cases in 2006 and 52 new cases in 2007, according to NTIC.

One reason Hillside has not been hit as hard as other communities is its older population, Wajda said.

"Perhaps most of the homes are paid off," he said. "If there's no mortgage, there's no foreclosure."

In Melrose Park, Mayor Ron Serpico isn't overly concerned that foreclosures in the village increased from 75 in 2006 to 136 in 2007.

"It's a trying time, but we haven't found it to be a tremendous problem for us," Serpico said, adding that Melrose Park may be faring better than some communities because of a low number of home sales.

"There is little the village can do to address foreclosures, he said. "It's up to the state and federal government. That's not part of what we do. Can you imagine if we had any funds, how many people could we save? It's a virtual impossibility."

While the federal government has been concerned with foreclosures, its focus has not been on homeowners, Andrea Frye, NTIC spokeswoman, said.

"Up 'til now, it has to do with how we fix the financial markets and help Wall Street," she said. "We've been screaming for a long time that homeowners need relief."

Foreclosure causes
One of the reasons foreclosures have increased is structural. Mortgage brokers work on commission and get paid up front. The mortgages are then sold to investment companies, and the brokers have no more responsibility.

"Because the commitment to that loan was very short term, what we found was that people were placed into loans that were not going to be permanently affordable," Frye said.

An example is adjustable rate loans. A mortgage with a 30-year payback, for example, would start off with a lower or "teaser" interest rate for the first two years. The loan then increases to the full interest rate. For homeowners who are barely making their loan payments at the lower rate, an increase can be deadly.

Jim Shilling, a professor of finance at DePaul University's Center for Real Estate Research, said a number of economic factors have exacerbated the problem.

First, housing prices are down. If housing prices were rising, a homeowner at risk of foreclosure could merely sell their property. In a sinking market, selling would leave the homeowner still owing money.

Second, employment is down, especially higher-paid manufacturing jobs. At the same time, the cost of gasoline is at a record high, leaving homeowners with less money to pay their mortgage.

No one wins when a property is foreclosed upon, Shilling said. The homeowner loses their home and has their credit rating damaged. The neighborhood or community is disrupted.

Also, while foreclosures have been occurring more with lower end homes, the overall real estate market is negatively impacted. It's a bit like climbing a ladder, Shilling said.

"Purchasers of starter homes hope for significant property value gains," he said. "They then trade up to the next rung on the ladder. That increases housing prices. The middle (of the market) trades up, too. If the lower end experiences capital losses, it means less demand for the middle and the high."

District 209 Looking For Input On Superintendent Search...

Chuck Feldman of the Proviso Herald reported recently on the search for a new Superintendent. According to Feldman, seeking public input online and through a series of community meetings are part of the planned process as Proviso High School District 209 seaches for a new superintendent.

The Board of District 209 has hired School Exec Connect, a Highland Park firm with a history of conducting searches for school superintendents and other academic administrators, to coordinate its search. The decision for a superintendent's search was made by the Board in March, after members decided not to extend the one-year contract of Bob Libka.

"We want input from the community on this (search)," said Board President Chris Welch, who added he hopes to have a new superintendent selected by the end of June.

Starting this week, District 209 residents should be able to use the district's Web site, www.pths209.org, to provide feedback to be used in the search for a new superintendent.

Representatives of School Exec Connect are planning some community meetings, but have not yet set dates for those gatherings.

The plan, Welch said, is for School Exec Connect to choose four to six candidates from those who apply for the superintendent's position. After conducting interviews, the Board then will narrow the field to two or three and visit the current home districts of the final candidates before making a choice.

District 209's new superintendent will be the district's fourth since the 2005-06 school year and seventh since the 1998-99 year.

Some believe the high turnover in the job could hinder potential candidates from applying; other don't believe it will be a problem.

"Our job is to go out and find someone," said Ed Olds, one of the two School Exec Connect principals working on the District 209 superintendent search. "Everything has its challenges, but this definitely can be done."

Tom Madden, the other principal from the search firm involved with District 209, said the high turnover of superintendents "will be a flag" to those looking into the position. However, he also said he believes there are good candidates who will be attracted by the challenge of working, and staying, in District 209.

Welch said he doesn't expect the high turnover of past superintendents to be a problem in finding a strong replacement for Libka.

"(School Exec Connect) already has had a lot of interest in the position just from posting it on their Web site," he said. "Proviso is a very attractive place to work. After some short-term (superintendents) who followed Greg Jackson, who was here for a long time (2000 to 2005), I'd say we're now ripe to have someone in here again for a long time. I know if I was looking for a job as a superintendent I'd love to work here in Proviso."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cook County Fire Suit Costs Taxpayers One Hundred Million!!!

Victims of the fatal 2003 fire at the Cook County Administration Building have settled lawsuits for a combined $100 million, their attorneys announced Monday afternoon.

The final three defendants, including the City of Chicago, averted a trial by agreeing to settle for about $75 million. Last week, Cook County and six other defendants settled for about an additional $25 million.

Jury selection was to begin Monday in the courtroom of Cook County Circuit Judge William Maddux. But lawyers instead spent much of the day meeting with Maddux behind closed doors.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Former Maywood Police Officer Wade Cleared!!!

According to Chuck Feldman of the Proviso Herald, a former Maywood police officer was acquitted April 14 by a jury in Cook County Circuit Court on charges of criminal drug conspiracy.

Arian Wade, 36, was charged in January 2005 in connection with a narcotics investigation aimed at individuals who sought to bribe police officers to not interfere with drug trafficking in Maywood. Wade worked for the Maywood police department for eight years.

Operation Pocket Change was initiated in August 2004 and conducted by investigators from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, Maywood Police and the Cook County Sheriff's Police. The operation was prompted by a man approaching a Maywood police officer about taking a weekly bribe to protect various street corners on which transactions were taking place, prosecutors said. That exchange led to three officers posing as crooked cops who accepted approximately $1,200 a week to ignore drug operations in the area, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Wade was charged after phone taps used in the operation allegedly caught him tipping off an individual who was under investigation.

Wade's attorney, James Kogut, said the person allegedly tipped off by his client -- Hosie Thurman, a leader of the Gangster Disciples -- was used by Wade as "a street contact."

"Police officers are trained to use street contacts to get information," Kogut said. "(Wade) used (Thurman) to get information, but they turned that against him."

Kogut said there was no real evidence against Wade.

"(Less than four hours) is a short time for a jury to deliberate on a case like this one," Kogut said. "The fact that the jury was able to (acquit Wade) in that short of a time shows the failure of the state's case to support the allegations." The trial started March 31.

Wade was placed on paid administrative leave after the January 2005 criminal charges were filed against him, but was fired Aug. 1, 2005 for theft, official misconduct and lying to superior officers, among other charges brought forth by then-Police Chief James Collier to the five-member Maywood Fire and Police Commission.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Threatening Message Closes Schools In SD88!!!

According to a report in the Proviso Herald, a Bellwood elementary school and middle school will be closed Tuesday after a threatening message was found Monday afternoon on a bathroom stall.

Bellwood police received a call from school officials at 2 p.m. Monday who reported a message was found written in the bathroom at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, 2501 Oak St. The message, written in marker, read "Prepare to die 4/22/08," according to police.

School District 88 Superintendent Rosemary Hendricks took the advice of the police department and closed the school until further notice. Roosevelt Middle School, 2500 Oak St., will also be closed Tuesday as a precaution.

Bellwood Deputy Police Chief Richard Blass said bomb dogs from the Cook County Sheriff's Emergency Service Unit did a sweep of the building and found nothing. He said he hopes to have school back in session Wednesday.

Bellwood Police Commander Kevin Davis said the closing of the schools was a precautionary measure.

"In this day and age you have to be safe than sorry, especially after this incident at Northern Illinois University," he said. "You have to take precautions in this day and age."

As of Monday afternoon, Davis said there had been no arrests and police had no leads.

Anyone with information regarding the threatening message is asked to contact the Bellwood Police Department at (708) 547-3528.