Thursday, July 28, 2016

Morton High school receives National Honors as District of the Year

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Morton High school receives National Honors as District of the Year

J. Sterling Morton High School named District of the Year for Advanced Placement by the National College Board in a recent evaluation of more than 6,000 campuses. Morton was selected from more than 450 schools that were credited with AP achievements.

J. Sterling Morton High school District 201 in west suburban Chicago was named “District of the Year” by College Board Advanced Placement, a national education association representing more than 6,000 educational institutions around the country.

Morton was selected from all school districts across the nation that participate in the AP program. More than 21,000 high schools take part in Advanced Placement testing.

Morton High school, which has two campuses in Cicero and in Berwyn, Illinois, has 2,350 students who are currently enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes through the collaboration between College Board and Morton.

“We are very proud of our students and staff and this achievement which once again proves that Morton High school is one of the best educational institutions in the Midwest and Illinois,” said the Jeff Pesek, president of the Morton High School Board.

“This award is a reflection of all of their hard work and dedication. District leadership will continue to work hard to ensure that every student continues to succeed.”

Morton High school District 201 named District of the Year by College Board, 2016
Morton High school District 201 named District of the Year by College Board, 2016

Trevor Packer, senior vice president of AP and instruction at the College Board, said the award is an important educational achievement.

“This award shows that the teachers and administrators at Morton are challenging students to achieve at the highest levels,” Packer said.

“They are succeeding in helping students attain the benefits of the AP Program — to gain confidence, learn to craft effective arguments, earn credit for college, and eventually graduate from college on time. The College Board applauds the district’s leadership to ensure that a more diverse population of students is prepared to succeed in college.”

College Board is an American private non-profit organization that was formed in December 1899 as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) to expand access to higher education. It runs a membership association of institutions, including over 6,000 schools, colleges, universities and other educational organizations. College Board develops and administers standardized tests and curricula used by K–12 and post-secondary education institutions to promote college-readiness and as part of the college admissions process.

Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

Morton High school students
Morton High school students

The competition for placement was intense, Pesek said, but added, “Our students academically are up to the challenge and are proud to showcase their educational abilities.”

Of 21,000 high schools that participated in the AP Program this year, Morton was one of 425 school districts across the U.S. and Canada that achieved placement on the annual AP District Honor Roll. From this list, three AP Districts of the Year — one for each category of district population size: small, medium, and large — were selected based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data.

From 2013 to 2015, J. Sterling Morton School District:

Simultaneously and continuously increased the number of students taking AP classes while improving successful outcomes (a score of 3 or higher out of 5 points) on AP Exams, with 33 percent of all AP students scoring a 3 or higher in 2015;

Increased student participation in AP by 19 percent annually and the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam by 7 percent annually; and

Increased the percentage of traditionally underrepresented minority AP students earning a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam by 9 percent annually — an increase of 266 students since 2013. (80 percent or more of the AP students in J. Sterling Morton School District is American Indian, African American, or Hispanic/Latino. In addition, over 90 percent or more of the AP students in the district qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.)
MortonHighschoolstudent2

Increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher out of 5 points is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program, indicating that the district is successfully preparing a larger array of its students for the rigor of AP and college studies.

Participating in AP course work can also lead to college savings for families because the typical student who scores a 3 or higher on two AP Exams has the potential to save, on average, $1,779 at a public four-year college and over $6,000 at a private institution.

Morton High school was presented with the honor in Anaheim, California during the 2016 AP Annual Conference held this month.

In 2015, more than 3,900 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, and/or consideration in the admission process, with many colleges and universities in the U.S. offering credit in one or more subjects for qualifying AP scores.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Attempted Bank Robbery: Threat but no weapon visible

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Attempted Bank Robbery: Threat but no weapon visible

A suspected attempted to rob a Bank of America branch in the Town of Cicero at 2337 South Cicero Avenue this morning (Thursday July 7, 2016) at around 10 am.

The suspect did not display a weapon or imply he had a weapon but he did hand the cashier a threatening note.

The suspect fled without getting any funds from the clerk who immediately notified police. The FBI and the Cicero Police have released three photos of the suspect, an African American Male, taken during the attempted robbery.

 Police are asking anyone who recognizes the suspect to contact either the Cicero Police at 708-652-2130 or the FBI at 312-421-6700.

Cicero Attempted BankRobbery Suspect July 7, 2016,
Bank of America, 10:17 am, 2337 S. Cicero Avenue, Illinois

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

ComEd Restores 99 Percent of Customers Affected by Wednesday’s Storm

ComEd Restores 99 Percent of Customers Affected by Wednesday’s Storm 

More than 53,000 customers restored since the start of the storm 

CHICAGO (July 6, 2016) - Following storms that brought strong winds and lightning that swept through northern Illinois Wednesday, ComEd has restored power to 99 percent of the 54,000 customers affected.

The damaging winds and lightning snapped power lines and brought down heavy trees onto electrical lines.

More than 600 ComEd and contractor crews worked around-the-clock in challenging working conditions to restore power to the majority of impacted customers in less than 24 hours.

The remaining outages are those where the power infrastructure sustained significant damage. ComEd and contractor crews continue to work on restoring power to the remaining pockets of customers.

“We recognize that power outages disrupt the lives and businesses of our customers,” said Terence R. Donnelly, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ComEd.

“With the heat coming into the area, our restoration crews are focused on safely and quickly restoring power to every single impacted customer. We appreciate our customers’ patience and thank our employees as we complete the repairs to our system following this damaging storm.”

ComEd urges customers to contact the utility immediately if they are experiencing a power outage. Customers can text OUT to 26633 (COMED) to report their outage and receive restoration information.

ComEd also offers a mobile app for smart phones that gives customers the ability to report power outages and manage their accounts. In addition, customers can report outages through the website at ComEd.com or on ComEd’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ComEd or by calling 1-800 EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).

Public safety is paramount during storms and ComEd encourages the public to remember to take the following precautions: If a downed wire is on your vehicle, stay in your vehicle and wait for help. Never approach a downed power line. Always assume a power line is energized and extremely dangerous.

If you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 35 feet away and immediately call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) or access our website at ComEd.com and report the location.

Spanish-speaking customers should call 1-800-95-LUCES (1-800-955-8237).

In the event of an outage, please do not approach ComEd crews working to restore power to ask about restoration times.

Crews may be working on live electrical equipment and the perimeter of the work zone may be hazardous.

 # # #

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lyons Approves Ordinance to safeguard public in gun sales


Lyons Approves Ordinance to safeguard public in gun sales

(See supporting documents, ordinance, settlement agreement and key points at end of story.)

Lyons, Illinois – Village Mayor Christopher Getty today announced that the village has approved an ordinance that spells out procedures to help crackdown on the sale of guns to “straw purchasers.”

The ordinance responds to a lawsuit filed last July by Chicago activists who alleged three suburban Chicago communities including Lyons are responsible for guns sold legally at a village-based gun shop that later made their way into the hands of criminals.
Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty (2nd from right) is joined by Cook COunty Sheriff's representative Michael Anton, Lyons Deputy Police Chief Matthew Buckley and attorney Burton S. Odelson
Lyons Mayor Christopher Getty (2nd from left) is joined by Cook County Sheriff's representative Michael Anton, Lyons Deputy Police Chief Matthew Buckley and attorney Burton S. Odelson
Getty said he is confident Lyons would have been dismissed from the lawsuit, but said taking action to increase the safety and security of residents is a priority. In response, the plaintiffs have agreed to remove the Village of Lyons from their lawsuit.

“The new ordinance approved today spells out a strategy to help prevent straw buyers from purchasing guns that end up in the hands of criminals,” Getty said.

“Working with the Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, the plaintiffs, the Lyons Police and the gun shop in Lyons, we believe that through this partnership we can significantly reduce the likelihood of legally purchased guns ending up in the hands of people who use them in the commission of a crime.”

The ordinance calls for close cooperation between the Village of Lyons and the gun shop, Midwest Sporting Goods, 8565 Plainfield Rd, which is the only gun retailer in Lyons.

A few components would include the gun shop sharing the same information with the Village of Lyons Police that they provide to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, random inspections by the local officials as well as providing proper training to gun shop employees to better detect straw purchases.

“Some guns that are sold legally do fall into the hands of the wrong people. But the gun dealer, who cooperated with us, and the Village of Lyons have no control over that, we can only aim to work together to continue to make policies better” Getty said.

“This is about being practical to prevent the sale of guns to the wrong people.”

The ordinance was approved unanimously at a special board meeting held on Tuesday afternoon (October 27, 2015) and becomes law immediately.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS:

KEY POINTS IN ORDINANCE

1.    Information on legal FOID card holders who are denied purchase of a gun will be transmitted within 48 hours of the denial to the Lyons Police Department (potential legal purchasers who appear to be straw buyers).

2.    All “trace” information received from ATF or the Illinois State Police regarding prospective illegal gun purchasers will be transmitted to the Lyons Police Department.

3.    At least two random inspections of the gun shop will be made by Lyons Police and the Sheriff of Cook County, collectively, and will include inspection and approval of an anti-theft safety plan which includes:
a.    exterior lighting;
b.    surveillance video cameras, including point-of-sale;
c.    alarm systems; and
d.    safe storage of weapons and ammunition.
4.    Inspection and approval of internal record keeping procedures and inventory audits.
5.    Employee background checks and training.
6.    Maintain a “DO NOT SELL” list.
7.    Record all persons who purchase multiple guns within a 12-month period.
8.    An Intergovernmental Agreement between Lyons and the Sheriff of Cook County to work collectively in doing inspections and sharing documents.
9.    Enforcement of the Ordinance through the Mayor’s office whereby if there are more than two violations of the business regulations, the Mayor may suspend or revoke the business license of the gun shop.
Click here to view the lawsuit Settlement Agreement (PDF)

Click here to view the Village of Lyons Ordinance (PDF)
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall fun at Children's Museum in Oak Lawn

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Children came out in force for the Fall Fest at the Oak Lawn Children's Museum. Photographer Steve Neuhaus captures a lot of the fun in this photo array

By Steve Neuhaus

Super heroes, a pirate, Cinderella and of course that cape crusader Batman were on hand at Sunday's annual Fall Fun Fest at The Oak Lawn Children's Museum, 5100 Museum Dr. at the Patriot Station.

Families and children of all ages enjoyed many activities including train rides, face painting, children's garage sale and even free pumpkins handed out to the first 500 children.

"We expect this years crowd to be well over last years attendance of 2000" said Kevin Mathers museum board president.


Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus


Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Oak Lawn Children's Museum opens Sept. 28, 2015. Photos by Stephen Neuhaus
Oak Lawn Children's Museum opens Sept. 28, 2015. Photos by Stephen Neuhaus

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

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Female jogger assaulted by knife wielding attacker in Bridgeview, suspect sought by police

Bridgeview Police seek suspect in knife attack against female jogger

On Sept. 22 at approximately 9 pm, the Bridgeview Police Department responded to an emergency call involving an armed assault of a female jogger at Founders Park, located at 8200 S. 78th Avenue.
Upon arrival, officers learned that a 26-year-old woman and resident of Bridgeview had been jogging on the Park’s walk/run path and was attacked from behind by an unknown male assailant.
The male suspect grabbed the victim, tearing her clothing and slashing at her with a knife, cutting the victim on her legs and upper torso.
Founders Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
Founders Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
The male suspect is described as being about 40 years old, approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall with a stocky build, gray beard and hairy arms, and White.
Bridgeview Police immediately responded conducting a search of the area, with assistance from neighboring police agencies, and using a Police K-9 unit and helicopter provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Police.
Bridgeview officials also immediately issued an alarm notice to nearby residents and homeowners (using the Everbridge System, reverse 911).
Bridgeview Police are continuing the manhunt for the suspect and are urging residents to take caution and be on alert. Anyone with any information about this incident or the suspect is urged to immediately contact the Bridgeview Police by calling 708-458-2131.
“We take this very seriously and we are out in full force looking for the suspect,” said Bridgeview Police Chief Walter Klimek.
“We also urge residents that if they are walking or jogging on the park path and in park areas to always be vigilant and observant of their surroundings for their safety.”
The victim is reportedly recovering from non-life threatening injuries, and is in stable condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

The excitement of opening a baseball pack and finding an autographed card

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The excitement of opening a baseball pack and finding an autographed card

By Aaron Hanania

The suspense of waiting to open a box or packet of baseball cards is like being a little kid trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. You hope that you get a legendary card and imagine the future when you strike gold.
But, when you don't get the million dollar card, you want to go buy another box. This happens like an endless life cycle. When you are the Baseball Card King, this cycle is your livelihood. Collectors flee to your store and hope to get a big card.
When you buy baseball cards or video games, or almost anything, your brain releases more of a special chemical called Dopamine than it normally would. This causes your brain to have the emotion of being excited or eager for something. In this case you become excited to open your cards. Another thing dopamine can cause is addiction. That is why so many people buy and buy cards and eventually have no money. It is really amazing how much your brain works without you realizing it.
Then I come along and test my luck like so many others! I like to film when I open my baseball cards only because it is fun and if I do get a great card I want to relive the time again. I recommend you try to film when you open your box because if you get a 1/1 card, other people can enjoy it like you did.
Autographed baseball cards from the Bowman and Topps baseball card boxes
Autographed baseball cards from the Bowman and Topps baseball card boxes
All I know is that The Baseball Card King stores in the Chicagoland area have all of the most popular card boxes and staff who can help you decide which ones are best. Whenever I go to one of their many stores, the service is always amazing. I have never pulled a legendary card, but I don't expect to. I collect because I enjoy having to organize and record each card I get. Some people make collecting a living, but I would not want to.
This time when I went to the Oak Lawn store Saturday September 19th, I was not planning to leave the store empty handed. Like always, I buy the box that has the most autographs in it for a reasonable price. Some boxes can run upward of $400.00 each, but I stay away from those.
Today I decided to buy two boxes, the Topps Chrome 2015 jumbo box with 5 autographs in it, and the Bowman Inception 2015 premium baseball cards, also with 5 autographs.
The whole way back to my house I was held in suspense at the possibility of unearthing a rare find, valuable card. It is just like trying to figure out a magic trick someone showed you that you cannot figure out.
I of course filmed the Box Breaks, because when you watch people opening a box of cards you still have the feeling of suspense. The only downside to watching box breaks is when someone gets a really rare card and then I go out and buy the same box and do not get a rare card.
Bowman baseball card box
Bowman baseball card box
When I finally got home, I had to do a few things before I could open the boxes. When I finally started to open them I was hoping that I got a card worth more that $20.00. I did get a few good cards, but not any cards that caused me to go crazy.
I definitely would recommend collecting cards, because it is fun and enjoyable. Don't be devastated when you don't get a million dollar card, because that’s the industry of baseball card companies. Our luck is their entire industry fortune. I think of it as being the little fish eating a worm and then being caught by the fisherman. When the fisherman is the card company, and the worm is like knowing that a thousand dollar card is only one pack away. But it is often not.
I would recommend bringing your kids, or just yourself out to one of the Baseball Card King stores because trust me, you cannot walk out of that place without getting something good. I know I cannot not buy something, because some of the things you can buy there are so cool.
Topps Chrome baseball card box
Topps Chrome baseball card box
Even though I only collect baseball memorabilia, the Baseball Card King sells boxes for all sports. They have literally hundreds of different boxes for each sport. They can get you any card box, even if they don't have it in stock, they will go out of their way to get you what you want.
You can see my box opening video from Saturday September 19th in the links below. You can also see more of my writing and videos on my various websites.
Click here to visit Aaron's Youtube Channel.
Click here to visit Aaron's website at www.AaronHanania.com.
(Make sure to check my Youtube channel for the video report on opening the Bowman and Topps baseball card boxes.)