Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Orland Fire Protection District responded to a fire reported in a home located on the 108th block of West Scarlet Drive in Orland Park early Wednesday morning.
The fire was reported at about 2:46 am on Wednesday July 29, 2015 and initial arriving fire companies found heavy fire had spread through the attic and roof areas of the 5,000 square foot residential home. Firefighters reported that heat radiating from the blaze was extensive.
OFPD Chief Ken Brucki said that firefighters immediately went into a defensive position to get the fire under control preventing any injuries.
“This fire had a tremendous amount of heat and it concerned us,” Brucki said. “We were concerned about structures around the property and took appropriate precautions to keep nearby properties safe.”
Brucki said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
“Crews were able to conduct a rapid primary search to confirm there were no occupants in the property at the time, and we were able to verify that the family was vacationing,” Brucki said.
The alarm was elevated to a full still to bring in additional companies. A total of two aerial master streams and five large diameter hand-lines were required to extinguish the fire.
The structure suffered major fire damage to the entire roof and extensive damage to the interior of the structure from fire, smoke, and water.
It took approximately an hour to bring the fire under control.
Brucki said one possible cause of the fire may be lightning noting “there was a tremendous amount of lightning in the area at approximately the same time of the fire.”
Brucki also said that the fire department was able to deploy a drone to assist in quickly identifying the fire location on the home.
“It was a very large home and the drone helped give us an immediate, aerial view of the property and the fire,” Brucki said. “The aerial view assisted the Battalion Chief to direct suppression efforts to bring the fire under control.”
Drone Video Link
Drone still Pic’s Links
Village of Orland Park to Host 12th Annual Taste of Orland Park - July 31 to August 2, 2015
A Village of Orland Park summer favorite, the Taste of Orland Park, will return July 31 to August 2, 2015 at the Orland Park Village Center, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue.
Now in its twelfth year, the Taste of Orland Park showcases Orland Park eateries, community organizations, event sponsors, and offers a number of activities, including Kids’ Day, a car show and live entertainment on two stages.
The Taste of Orland Park will be held Friday, July 31 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, August 1 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, August 2 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission and parking are free with participating restaurants selling tastes of signature dishes at individual food booths.
“We look forward to the Taste of Orland Park every year,” said Mayor Dan McLaughlin. “It is a summer favorite for everyone and this year will be no exception. This is a great way to learn more about and taste the different dishes from Orland Park restaurants, learn about our wonderful community groups and enjoy a great entertainment-filled weekend,” the mayor said.
Participating Orland Park eateries include 94 West Grille and Tavern, Beggars Pizza, Blissful Banana Café, The Brass Tap, Café Gaston, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, El Famous Burrito, El Pueblito, Granite City Food & Brewery, Mo’s Chinese Kitchen, Oberweis Dairy, Orland Park Bakery, Palermo’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Papa Joe’s Italian Restaurant, Q Restaurant, Riviera Country Club, RoccoVino’s Italian Restaurant, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Square Celt Ale House and Grill, and Wooden Paddle Pizza.
A number of food items food items will be sold including, fried goat cheese and gluten free gelato from Wooden Paddle Pizza and fish and chips and candied beer bacon from Square Celt Ale House and Grill. Select restaurants are alcohol vendors with soft drinks and water being available for purchase from all participating restaurants.
“There are so many great things about the Taste of Orland Park,” said Trustee Patricia Gira, chair of the village’s Recreation and Parks Committee. “The food, the activities, the people and the entertainment, among other things, are what make it such a great weekend for everyone to enjoy.”
A variety of musical talents will perform on two stages throughout the weekend. The main stage will have Nick Lynch of American Idol and Trippin’ Billies perform on Friday, July 31, Dr. Rock, The Chicago Kingsnakes and 7th Heaven perform on Saturday, August 1 and The Lowdown Brass Band, Tumbling Dice and American English perform on Sunday, August 2.
Kid’s Day will be held at the adjacent John Humphrey Sports Complex Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A number of free games, activities and programs will be held for kids of all ages. The Annual Taste of Orland Park Car Show will be held at the Humphrey Complex on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Orland Park’s Got Talent live finals will be held on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Stage.
The Orland Park Lions Club will host Bingo inside the Civic Center on Saturday and the Orland Park Kiwanis Club will do the same on Sunday, with both events starting at 1 p.m.
Taste of Orland Park sponsors include The University of Chicago Medicine, The Orland Park Prairie, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., Mercedes Benz of Orland Park, JamesHardie, Brannigan Chiropractic Center, Bear Home Improvements, Inc., ComEd, Illinois Energy Windows & Siding, Inc., Saint Xavier University, Moraine Valley Community College and Xfinity.
For more information, visit the Taste page on the village's website or call the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department at 708/403-7275.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Gorman leaves Cook County office at top of her public service
Popular Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman shocked the public Wednesday when she resigned her county board seat to take a position with a major Fortune 100 Chicago corporation as director of Government Affairs. The District’s GOP Committeemen will meet to select a successor but the leading candidate is Gorman’s closest political ally, Palos Township Committeeman Sean Morrison. Gorman’s announcement came after announcing she would not criticize but could not support Preckwinkle’s 1 Percent Sales Tax increase, which passed 9 of 17 votes
By Ray Hanania
Here are Gorman’s prepared remarks that she presented to the Cook County Board this morning:
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Support the Orland Park LibraryThey have been targeted by out-of-town extremists who want to impose their views on the library and the Orland Park community.
The critics exaggerated claims about pornography cost the taxpayers a lot of wasted money. If they want to change this country's and state's laws regarding censorship and free speech, they should take their fight to the State and the Federal Government and change the laws. But they can't, so the critics bully people.
Keep up the GREAT WORK Orland Park Library. The MAJORITY of Orland residents support what you are doing and recognize the extremists for what they really are.
LIKE the Orland Park Library today https://www.facebook.com/orlandparklibrary
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Fire District puzzled by Orland Mayor’s criticism of fighting drug abuse
Orland Fire District rebuffs criticism from Orland Park Mayor McLaughlin and urges government agencies to work together to fight rising drug use
The Orland Fire Prevention District is puzzled and surprised that Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin would criticize the Fire District for hosting a program to raise awareness among parents about drug and substance abuse in the suburban region.
The program was held on Tuesday night (July 15) and has been hosted annually for the past four years. It was widely publicized, showcasing student role models and parents whose children and families have experienced the tragedy of drugs and substance abuse.
McLaughlin issued a press release Friday that falsely accused the Fire District of disseminating “inaccurate information” about drug use. It implies there is no heroin or substance abuse problem in Orland Park or the immediate suburbs and contradicts public statements made only four weeks earlier by Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy.
“We are deeply disappointed McLaughlin would issue his criticism without even contacting us to discuss the issue, or even attending the event which was widely publicized in the media,” Orland Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey said.
“The mayor’s press release was filled with inaccurate and irresponsible statements. I am deeply disappointed when public officials show more concern for their public images rather than for the safety and well-being of our citizens.”
Hickey said the information disseminated at the Fire District’s public meeting was accurate and correctly defined the threat of heroin and substance abuse as serious concerns that must be addressed by an educated community.
“It would be shameful to believe public officials would bury their heads in the sand and pretend there is no drug abuse problem in our region. The data shows a frightening increase in heroin and opiate abuse in this region and it needs to be addressed,” Hickey said. “That’s the only conclusion I can make from the mayor’s actions.”
Hickey said McLaughlin overreacted to a newspaper article which may have unfairly characterized the school district as being unresponsive, but the fact is there hasn’t been a concerted effort to address the rising drug problems.
“Drug use isn’t a problem that plagues ‘bad neighborhoods’ or ‘poor communities.’ It’s a problem everywhere and responsible public officials should do everything they can to educate and inform the public. That’s what the Fire District has and will continue to do,” Hickey said.
The Fire District is more than willing to meet with Mayor McLaughlin, Police Supt. McCarthy and officials from the local schools, Hickey said, to work together and develop a unified stand against drug abuse in a more appropriate manner rather than through public criticism from officials who didn’t even attend the meeting.
The Fire District program was not funded by taxpayer dollars and was conducted by volunteers who included three current and former Sandburg students, Michael Schofield, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos, Olympic Ice Hockey Silver Medalist Kendall Coyne, and Patrick Brucki a current Sandburg student athlete. The three students reached out to the more than 100 parents and students who attended the two hour long seminar.
Their message was clear: “Drugs are not fun. They are dangerous. And students must resist the temptation to hang around other kinds who are using drugs.”
The meeting included the experiences of two parents whose children were involved in drugs and substance abuse, including the father of a high school senior who died of heroin use. They related how their children made the “wrong choices,” destroying their lives and their families. Tami O’Brien and Brian Kirk represented the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) and The Hero Foundation.
The program, cohosted by In the Blink of an Eye Foundation headed by OFPD Battalion Chief Michael Schofield, was widely publicized for six weeks. It attracted many community leaders including Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman, and Village of Orland Park Trustee Dan Calandriello.
The information reflected firsthand data as experienced by emergency medical personnel and first responders from the Fire District.
“Firefighters are oftentimes the first people at the scene of a drug or substance abuse incident. We are called to save their lives,” said Fire Chief Ken Brucki.
“Helping parents understand what is involved and what can be done can help save more lives. That’s why we continue to host this program and will host it again next year.”
Data clearly shows an alarming increase in heroin use in Orland Park, in the Fire District, and in the suburban region.
During the presentation, Brucki said he spoke about drug use among elementary school children “throughout the region,” not specifically or just in School District 135 or with respect to the local schools.
“At no time did we criticize the Village, the Police or the school districts. We noted the drug problem is growing not just in Orland Park but in neighboring suburban communities,” Brucki said.
Brucki cited an article in the local media on Friday July 18th that highlighted the success of the HELPS program started in Will County which has created "a phenomenal downturn in heroin related deaths" and which works to combine efforts from various branches of community leadership.
“We have most recently had a great relationship with the leadership of local school districts, including District 135, on education and prevention and we want that to continue,” Brucki said.
Hickey said that last month, Police Supt. McCarthy told local media that heroin use was a problem. He announced police will carry Narcan (Naxalon) in their vehicles to respond to drug abuse issues. Narcan can reverse the effects of opiate and heroin overdoses.
McCarthy’ was quoted as saying he “first noticed” an increase in heroin use in 2009, noting last year “Orland Park had 13 drug overdoses and six deaths, including five that involved heroin.” This year, McCarthy said, the department has seen eight overdoses and one death.
Hickey said McCarthy’s observations only reinforce the need to bring government officials together to address this growing problem.
Orland Park is only one community in the Orland Fire Protection District, which serves 75,000 residents in 33 square miles, including in Orland Hills and areas of unincorporated Orland Township.
The Fire District released the following incident report which shows a steady increase in heroin and opiate use since 2009. The figures do not include substance abuse incidents where Narcan was not administered.
“The incidents involved patients who displayed extreme drug seizures, were visibly unconscious, or were facing an extreme danger to life, such as experiencing a Heroin or opiate-like overdose,” Hickey said.
2009: administered Narcan 47 times, with 22 positive results.
2010: administered Narcan 49 times, with 23 positive results.
2011: administered Narcan 49 times, with 33 positive results.
2012: administered Narcan 63 times, with 32 positive results.
2013: administered Narcan 59 times, with 30 positive results.
(Photos courtesy of the Orland Fire Protection District.)
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Rauner beat rivals with smart politics, and backing of Cook County's most influential Republican
By Ray Hanania
Bruce Rauner won the Republican Party Primary despite a strong effort by Democrats to sidetrack him and the persistent personal attacks made against him by his Republican Party rivals.
Everyone wanted to stop Rauner, except the voters of Illinois who elected him with a whopping plurality in a field of four candidates. Rauner received 40 percent of the Republican votes cast, leading his nearest rival, Sen. Kirk Dillard by more than 23,000 votes. Rauner received 327,289 votes, Dillard received 304,094 (37 percent), Bill Brady received 123,109 votes (15 percent), and Dan Rutherford the only one of the four candidates to actually have won a statewide election as Illinois Treasurer, received only 61,609 votes (8 percent).
In the Democratic primary, incumbent Pat Quinn won with a healthy 72 percent margin. But it says something about Quinn’s weaknesses that more than 28 percent of Democrats chose Tio Hardiman, a man accused of domestic violence against his wife, as their candidate choice over Quinn. (Despite the May 2013 domestic violence complaint by his wife, his wife set aside the rancor to support him when he announced for Governor. Read more.) Quinn received 316,746 votes while Hardiman received 123,918 votes. That is not just an unhappy 123,918 Democratic voters. That is a solid core of voters who will clearly vote for the Republican candidate over Quinn in November.
Quinn only beat Brady, the least popular behind Dillard and Rauner in this race, by only 32,000 votes in 2010. You do the math.
Why did Rauner beat three well-established Republicans? Some argue that Rauner only received 40 percent of the vote and if it were a contest between two candidates, he might have lost. That’s a stretch, however. Even if Dillard received the majority of the votes of the other two candidates, Rauner would have only had to take 40 percent of the 184,718 votes that went to Brady and Rutherford to win.
The key component in Rauner’s victory was the endorsement he received from the Suburban Chicagoland Republican organizations rallied behind Rauner by Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman. Gorman is the Orland Township Republican Committeeman and previously served as the Chairman of the Cook County Republican organization. She has the experience and the respect of mainstream, moderate Republicans. Rauner had the backing of Sean Morrison, the Republican committeeman from Palos Township, and other key leaders of the Suburban Republicans who helped him deliver his message to voters in the region of the state that counted most.
Gorman won her own race with a whopping margin over her challenger, Barbara Bellar, a darling of the Tea Party extremists and took, for the first time in four elections, every Township including beating Bellar in her own community.
Democrats feared Rauner. Some Democracts dislike Quinn. Those two factors prompted at least 40,000 Democratic voters, analysts predict, to have crossed over to take Republican Ballots on March 18.
Democrats believe that if Dillard had won the 2010 Republican nomination rather than Brady, Dillard would have defeated Quinn feeding the myth in 2014 that Dillard might be the stronger candidate to defeat Quinn in the Nov. 4 General elections.
Rauner’s strategy was strategic. He concentrated his wealthy campaign fund on northern Illinois, knowing that the fight is in the six county region, not downstate where Brady pulled most of his votes.
That made the suburban Chicagoland Republicans and Gorman critical to Rauner’s victory.
In November, despite the rancor of the Republican Primary, the Republicans who voted for Brady, Dillard and Rutherford will vote for Rauner rather than for Quinn.
Gorman supported Rauner because of his centrist views, but also because Rauner was smart enough to reach out to her and show her the respect she has earned as being one of the most popular Republicans in Northern Illinois, built on her successful campaign to eliminate the 1 cent sales tax imposed by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
It is a fact that had Dillard received Gorman’s support, he might have won the Republican Primary.
But Dillard instead turned to a few Republican freaks in the north suburbs, and snubbed mainstream Suburban Republican leaders like Gorman and Morrison. Dillard played to his personal allegiances rather than to strategic political thinking.
And that is the amazing story of Rauner. Her are three seasoned Republican Professionals, two state senators, Dillard and Brady, and one of only two Republicans to hold statewide office, Rutherford. And none of these seasoned politicians thought it smart to reach out to the traditional Suburban Republican leadership or Republicans like Gorman whose record of election victories is sweeping.
Rauner also won because he distinguished himself from Dillard, Brady and Rutherford.
Dillard had hired several former newspaper reporters who advised him, wrongly, to launch a vicious personal campaign of attacks against Rauner. Dillard also launched attacks against Rutherford. The accusations of sexual misconduct came across as a Dillard assault against Gay Rights and the ugliness of the attacks against Rutherford turned off many voters.
Rutherford is one of the nicest, most courteous politicians in the state and what they did to him was disturbing and below the belt.
But while Dillard tried to turn Rauner into a punching bag, his attacks seemed to over-reach logic. Accusing Rauner of owning senior care centers where seniors have allegedly died of abuse was so out on the limb that it was just too mean and too hard to believe.
To further make the point, Rauner followed Gorman’s strategy to focus on positive messages and to ignore the mudslinging from their critics. That strategy helped voters see a clear message of what Rauner would do if he is elected Governor, as many expect to happen in November.
Instead of making a case as to why he should be elected governor, Dillard reminded voters about how vicious and dirty Illinois politics really is. And his attacks reinforced Rauner’s message that his critics were insiders who were responsible for the tragic economic crisis that has handicapped Illinois and put many taxpayers into debt.
Quinn’s increase of the income tax is also not forgotten, and Rauner was the only candidate with a clear message tapping into that solid base of voter unhappiness with Quinn’s administration.
While it is admirable that Quinn has so closely associated himself with veterans, including on election night when he was falling all over war veteran Tammy Duckworth, the fact is that every politician loves the military and its veterans. They are not the deciding factor in an election.
Increasing taxes is a killer issue. Quinn never defended what he did. The increase has not eased the economic burden on Illinois taxpayers and many believe the state continues to be in decline. Rauner’s message targeted that dissatisfied voter majority and it resonated with their sense of the state failing to improve economically. They want someone to run Illinois like a businessman and Rauner played that card well.
The concern that Rauner will defeat him was reflected so strikingly on election night when it was announced that Quinn was not taking a break in the election but would start launching more attack ads against Rauner even before Rauner was declared the victor of the Republican Primary. It’s unheard of and it sent a chilling message that Quinn is afraid of Rauner, a message that voters heard loud and clear.
And in a telling moment on election night during the 10 pm news, WLS Channel 7 news is the highest rated program on television. Few people were watching the mumblings of analyst Chris Robling on WGN TV, for example, or the biased reporting of Carol Marin on WMAQ TV which trails WLS by a wide margin.
Viewers were watching two of the most respected journalists on television, Ron Magers and Cheryl Burton on WLS TV News, one of the most authoritative and accurate news organizations in Illinois. WLS was covering Quinn live when he came out to announce his victory over Hardiman. But as soon as word got out that Rauner was coming out, WLS dropped Quinn and turned to the news, covering Rauner who gave an emotion charged speech that was not his best but that clearly was more newsworthy than Quinn’s practiced, and recited talking points.
Rauner came across as interesting. Human. Like a regular person. Quinn sounded like he was reading cue cards, reciting statistics and boring facts that honestly didn’t speak to the economic pain many Illinois residents continue to face.
Gorman and Rauner both won because they ignored the attacks, and focused on their message, something not every politician knows how to do.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist and editor of the Illinois News Network news website at www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)