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Wheaton Wants to Make a Differenceposted October 24th, 2014
Communities all over the country will recognize “Make a Difference Day” Saturday. USA Today and the Points of Light Foundation started the public service campaign 24 years ago. The city of Wheaton is among those coordinating public service projects tomorrow. Laurie Swanson is on Wheaton’s Community Relations Commission. She tells WDCB News the city has made it annual tradition. Wheaton’s Make a Difference Day programs include collecting food for the Peoples Resource Center, collecting supplies for members of the city’s adopted Army battalion and cleaning up Adams Park.
CDH Plans To Expand Pediatric and Neonatal ICU Servicesposted October 24th, 2014
Central DuPage Hospital wants state regulators to approve a more than $14-million expansion project. The Winfield based hospital would expand its capacity to treat pediatric and neonatal intensive care patients. The Health Facilities Planning Board is set to discuss the proposal at its December meeting. CDH’s Christopher King says the expansion will build on the partnership Cadence Health struck with Northwestern Medicine earlier this year. King tells WDCB News there is clear demand for the additional services. He says the hospital has seen significant need within the Central DuPage and Delnor markets. King says on an annual basis CDH has to turn down a significant number of pediatric patients because it's at or near capacity a majority of the time. If regulators approve the plan in December, King says construction will begin early next year with completion expected in early 2016. He says the project won’t disrupt any of the service CDH current offers.
DuPage Launches Public Safety Task Forceposted October 23rd, 2014
Wednesday, President Barack Obama expressed cautious optimism about U.S. efforts to contain Ebola. Closer to home, Governor Pat Quinn announced the creation of a state task force to ensure public health systems across Illinois are prepared. And DuPage County officials have launched a public safety preparedness task force that will work to ensure local stakeholders are ready should a potential Ebola situation arise. The DuPage Health Department’s Dave Hass tells WDCB News the fact that no new cases have been reported in the U.S. is an encouraging sign. Chicago's infectious disease network mobilized for the first time this week, two sick travelers from Liberia were transferred to city hospitals for monitoring. Both patients are in stable condition, neither has been diagnosed with Ebola.
Online Classified Site Linked To Suspected Serial Killerposted October 23rd, 2014
The classified ad website backpage.com includes listings for escorts and other “adult” services. Indiana police say suspected serial killer Darren Vann met his most recent victim through one of those ads. Chicago Kent College of Law Dean, Harold Krent says this isn’t the first time the site has been linked to illegal activity. A case pending before the Supreme Court in Washington state says backpage facilitated human trafficking. Krent tells WDCB News prosecutors will have a hard time proving their case. He says they have to show intent. Krent says that means proving the owners of backpage.com knew listings weren't for legal services, but instead that trafficking of children and adults for prostitution was involved. Backpage.com says its ads are protected by the First Amendment. Krent says anyone can claim Freedom of Speech protection, but that doesn’t mean it will hold up in court.
Home Sales Down But Prices Are UPposted October 22nd, 2014
Numbers are down, but prices are up. That’s what the latest data from the Illinois Association of Realtors says about the Chicago metro area. Aurora based realtor Mike Drews is President-Elect of the professional organization. The Association’s numbers show a nearly nine percent drop in sales, but the median price jumped nearly eleven percent compared to September 2013. Drews tells WDCB News despite the regional numbers the Fox Valley market is still going strong. He says the housing industry is still stronger than it was in the last three or four years. Drews says there are still a lot of first time buyers in the market and realtors are seeing the inventory of foreclosurers and short-sales starting to shrink as well. He says the Chicago Metro data doesn’t reflect what’s happening in the various communities throughout the six county area. Drews says real estate is a truly local industry, and the regional, state, and national numbers often don’t reflect that fact.
Illinois' 11th Congressional Race Difficult to Predictposted October 21st, 2014
The battle for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District was expected to be among the most competitive races in the state. And with just two weeks to go before Election Day, it’s still unclear whether incumbent U-S Representative Bill Foster or Republican challenger Darlene Senger has the advantage. Benedictine University political science professor Dr. Phil Hardy says it will be interesting to see what impact the governor’s race has on other races. He tells WDCB News there could be a number of split-ticket voters this election. Hardy believes Foster has a slight advantage two weeks before Election Day. But he says there are number of factors in play in the 11th District, which used to be a Republican stronghold until Democrats redrew its boundaries three years ago.
Fall Colors Ready to Peakposted October 21st, 2014
If you’re hoping to enjoy some fall color before winter weather becomes a reality, this week might be your best opportunity. Ed Hedborn is the plant records manager at the Morton Arboretum and official color scout for the Lisle-based property. He says weather plays a big role in determining what colors will emerge and when they’ll show up. Hedborn tells WDCB News given the area’s recent weather, this week could be the peak period for color. Hedborn says Illinois’ fall color season traditionally lasts until mid-November.
DuPage Health Dept Coordinates Bigger Basket Brigade Programposted October 20th, 2014
An annual DuPage County health department program designed to train volunteers and first responders what to do in a public health emergency is taking on added significance this year. Emergency response procedures are getting a lot of attention these days as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention re-evaluates the country’s Ebola guidelines. DuPage Emergency response coordinator John Miller tells WDCB News the county’s Basket Brigade initiative serves as a training exercise for medicine distribution, while also providing Thanksgiving meals to local families in need. The Basket Brigade program has been recognized by FEMA as an innovative practice and is now being adopted by other communities around the country.
Oakbrook Man Donates $50,000 To Fund Narcan Programposted October 17th, 2014
DuPage County’s program to train police and other first responders on how to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose is getting a financial boost. Oakbrook’s Ed Heil donated $50,000 to the county’s “Narcan”program. Heil’s grandson, Connor Kelly died from a heroin overdose. DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin allocated $100,000 in the current budget to combat the county’s growing heroin problem. He tells WDCB News this donation is an important part of the community’s response. Cronin says the county's committed to do whatever it takes and getting the community involved with respect to this particular problem is the most effective way to combat it. The county’s “Narcan” program has a total price tag of about $25,000. Heil’s donation will fund it for the next two years, and Cronin plans to seek additional donations to insure it continues in the future.
Crime Commission Targets Illicit Video Gamingposted October 17th, 2014
The Chicago Crime Commission’s efforts to combat organized crime date back to Al Capone and the prohibition era. The anti-crime group’s latest target is a high-tech incarnation of an age old problem, gambling. Commission Vice President Art Bilek says investigators have seen a growth in illegal video gambling machines throughout Cook County. He tells WDCB News the Crime Commission thinks there are mob ties to the “sweepstakes” machines. Bilek says there's no investigation into who puts the machines in a business. He says the Commission certainly thinks behind the curtain there lurks organized crime, just like there has always been in gambling devices dating back to the 1920s. Bilek says the illegal machines work just like those that ARE state regulated. But he says the machine owner and the owner of the business where it’s located split the take and don’t pay any state or local tax.