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Lilac Parade Committee looking for volunteers to help plan parade
by Bonnie MacKay                                      
The Lombard Lilac Festival Parade Committee is seeking volunteers to help plan the 2015 Lilac Parade, scheduled for Sunday, May 17.
According to Erica Fisette, who has been a committee member for eight years and has served as parade chairman for three years, the committee is looking for a lot of committee members.
Although the committee secured several new volunteers last year, Fisette said there is still a need–a desperate need–to find more members for the parade committee.
“The committee is a great way to meet new friends, serve the community and be a part of a time-honored village tradition,” said Fisette, adding that although the committee meets once a month throughout most of the year, the committee meetings require only a one- to two-hour time commitment.
“Every meeting we want to make some type of progress,” she outlined.
The committee is seeking members of the community willing to serve on the parade committee or to fill a position on the Lilac Parade  Committee Board to ensure the parade is viable for years to come.
This is not the first time Fisette has expressed concern and turned to the community asking for volunteers to step forward.
In December 2013, Fisette voiced her concern that the number of volunteers on the Lilac Parade Committee was dwindling.
At that time, just as she had done earlier, Fisette turned to the community and asked people to volunteer for the parade committee.
She related that a few people stepped up and that she “roped them into a lot more than they anticipated.”
“I appreciate that,” Fisette said, adding that she is actively searching for volunteers to help plan the parade throughout the entire year.
“We need younger people with fresh ideas,” she related. “They can take it, run with it and change it if they want. It doesn’t have to be the way it has been.”
The parade chair said that if people have ideas about how the parade should be changed,  this is the time to step forward and share those ideas with the committee.
“It’s nice to have some newer folks, fresh eyes and new perspectives,” Fisette said.
Lombard Police Lt. Scott Watkins, who previously served as the committee’s liaison from the police department, said last year that although it was part of his job, he enjoyed his work on the committee.
“It’s a good way to get involved in the community and help out at the most important time of the year,” the lieutenant said in December.
Fisette said she is looking for residents–both young and old–who could help with some of the committee work. In addition to resident volunteers, committee members could include interested high school students or a representative(s) from Lombard service organizations.
There are a number of vacant positions on the committee’s board including chair, secretary and treasurer. In addition, the committee is looking to fill spots on sub-committees which include the marshal committee, as well as the fundraising and marketing, and communication/public relations committees.
Responsibilities for the committees are as follows:
•Marshal committee–responsible for organizing all communication and logistic activities which happen on parade day.
•Fundraising and marketing–responsible for raising funds and gaining sponsors to help fund the parade. Also works with the treasurer in the grant application process.
•Communication/public relations (Web site and social media)–promotes the parade, updates the Web site, designs and distributes communication fliers, works with the village newspaper and village publications to communicate Lombard Lilac Parade Committee events and news about parade day.
People who volunteer can expect to gain experience in different types of business- related fields such as marketing, sales, event planning, the Web, public relations and graphic design. 
Fisette recently announced that she will be stepping down from the chair position this year and hopes that new committee members will step forward and help revitalize the committee.
“I personally feel that I am letting the town down,” Fisette said last week after announcing that she will be stepping down due to changes in her responsibilities at work.
Last year, when he heard the parade committee may be in trouble, Craig Kueltzo, owner of Lombard HealthMart Pharmacy and grand marshal in 2012, related that the parade was one of the most awesome experiences of his life.
“It was like having my wake when I was alive,” he quipped, adding that he was surprised to see how much effort and how many people were involved behind the scenes.
Karen Blucher, certified pharmacy technician, added that she lives in Addison which no longer has a community parade.
“It changed the community by not having it,” she said.
Anyone who would like to contribute their time and volunteer on the parade committee is asked to contact the committee at 630-415-2079 or by e-mail at LilacParade@yahoo.com.
The committee meets on the second Thursday, September through May, but does not meet in December. The next meeting is Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. at the COP Center, 32 Yorktown Convenience Center.
“I love going down the parade route and seeing all the people,” Fisette said. “It means so much to the village.”

Lombard police to hold child safety seat check
Lombard Police Department has announced it will conduct a National Seat Check Saturday event from 1-5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at Target, 60 Yorktown Mall Drive, Lombard.
Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand to check car seats for proper installation. Technicians will advise parents and caregivers on how to choose the proper car seats and how to install them properly in their vehicles. 
The event is part of the department’s participation in National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept.14-20), and is free to the public. This event is one of 78 events in Illinois sponsored by AAA, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“Car seats, booster seats and seat belts are often used incorrectly,” said Lombard Police Officer Brad Bichel, a member of the department’s Traffic Safety Unit. “No parent wants to ever get it wrong when it comes to their child’s safety. Even if kids are in the right seat, sometimes they are not buckled in properly.” 
By attending Lombard’s car seat event on Saturday, Sept. 20, parents and caregivers can be sure their children are riding as safely as possible in their vehicle.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats.
Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing their car seats, children should be placed in booster seats.  The law in Illinois states a child must be in an appropriate car seat or booster seat until their 8th birthday. However, some children are not tall enough at age 8 for the seat belt to fit them like an adult so they need to stay in a booster seat longer. 
Remember: All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat. As of Jan. 1, 2012, seat belt use is required in all seating positions. For more information on child passenger safety visit http://www.nhtsa.gov or www.buckleupillinois.org.

County hosts public hearings on 2015 budget
DuPage County invites residents to share their opinions on the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget during two hearings scheduled in Lombard and Roselle.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin has proposed a $447.2 million spending plan, which includes $55.3 million in capital projects. The budget also holds the line on property taxes, keeping the rate flat at $66.6 million.
“The proposed FY15 budget continues our very prudent fiscal strategy, yet funds essential services such as highway improvements, flood mitigation projects and human services,” said Cronin.
Finance Committee Chairman Paul Fichtner said the hearings provide residents with a chance to learn more about the proposed budget.
“The budget hearings provide a great opportunity for residents to meet with the county board and provide input on the spending plan for the upcoming year,” Fichtner said.
The final budget must be approved by the county board before the new fiscal year begins on Dec. 1.
The budget hearings will be held at:
•6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Village of Roselle, 31 S. Prospect St., Roselle;
•6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Village of Lombard, 255 E. Wilson Ave., Lombard.
To view the full budget proposal, visit www.dupageco.org/finance.

Metra delays during rail replacement project
Metra Union Pacific West Line riders will see alterations to midday and weekend train schedules when a major rail replacement project gets under way.
From now through Oct. 15, Union Pacific forces will replace the rail on nearly 13 miles of track between Kress Road in West Chicago and Elburn (milepost 32.1 to milepost 45). The work will take place on Track Number 1, which regular UP West Line riders would know as the northernmost or “inbound” track. This rail was originally laid in 1980 and has reached the end of its useful life. Changing the rail will avoid slow orders in the future and ensure the continuation of reliable service for passengers from Elburn, La Fox and Geneva.
“Our goal with our partners at UP is to minimize the inconvenience to our customers; however, replacing rail that is more than 30 years old is essential to our ability to continue to provide safe and reliable service now and into the future,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno.
A construction schedule will be in effect throughout the project with delays of 10 minutes expected for midday trains on weekdays and 15 minutes for trains on weekends. These schedules are posted on Metra’s Web site, www.metrarail.com. However, due to the nature of the project and the amount of rail traffic in this corridor, trains operating during peak construction periods may experience additional delays.
To minimize the impact on UP West riders and shorten the project’s time frame, workers will be deployed seven days a week and plan to limit single-track operations to the weekends. UP will also divert as much freight traffic as possible away from the corridor to reduce interference with passenger service.
Throughout the project, riders who board at Elburn, La Fox, Geneva and West Chicago should pay close attention to platform announcements, especially on weekends when trains may be operating on a single track, to ensure that they are on the correct platform. Customers are also advised to check Metra’s Web site www.metrarail.com, for updated service information throughout the project.

Naturalization program under way at basins
The Village of Lombard’s Department of Public Works will undertake a pilot program this fall to post no-mow signs around low-lying areas in certain village-owned stormwater detention basins.
According to Assistant Director of Public Works Dave Gorman, the goals are to dissuade geese, clean stormwater runoff, halt erosion and reduce mowing costs. On occasion, the village’s mowing contractor has had equipment become mired in some of these areas.
The five locations in the program are at Main Street and Wilson Avenue, Grace Street and Central Avenue, the north side of Morris Pond west of Main Street, the shoreline of Vista Pond, and the shoreline of the Municipal Complex’s pond at 255 E. Wilson.
The vegetation in many of these basins has included cattails, which will be allowed to expand to larger areas inside a delineation of signs.
Questions may be directed to publicworks@villageoflombard.org or 630-620-5740.

Lombard man flees after driving vehicle into store
DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba announced Sunday, Sept. 14, the arrest of a man who drove through a local 7-Eleven store in unincorporated Lombard.
The 32-year-old Lombard man is facing multiple charges after reportedly driving his vehicle into the front of the 7-Eleven store, located at Butterfield Road and Lloyd, Sunday morning.
The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office received calls at approximately 9 a.m. for a vehicle that had crashed through the front glass window of the store.
When deputies arrived, they found a 2004 Acura, running, in the middle of the convenience store. The clerk reported that a male subject drove through the front of the store, left the vehicle running and fled the store on foot.
Sheriff’s deputies started checking the area and located a man fitting the description of the suspect who reportedly fled the vehicle. Deputies spoke to the Lombard man, who said he was going to purchase a gallon of milk, when the brake pedal stuck on his vehicle while he was pulling up to the front of the store.
“Thankfully no one was injured during this incident,” said Zaruba, who was at the scene.
Further investigation showed that the driver did not have a valid driver’s license and will also be charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to give information to the owner of the property.

Former Ray Graham Association employee accused of theft from residents
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced last week that charges have been filed against a Chicago woman accused of stealing Illinois Link cards from two disabled residents of the Ray Graham Association.
Nakarria L. Bell, 31, worked as an administrator for the association at the corporate offices in Lisle. On Monday, Sept. 8, she appeared in bond court charged with eight counts of aggravated identity theft, Class 2 and 3 felonies, and two counts of financial exploitation of a person with a disability, a Class 4 felony. Bond has been set in the amount of $75,000.
On Nov. 5, 2013, officers with the Naperville Police Department met with authorities of the Ray Graham Association. Officers were advised that on Oct. 27, 2013, it was discovered that an Illinois Link Card was missing from a safe in the Naperville location.
Several weeks later, on Nov. 27, 2013, officers with the Downers Grove Police Department met with authorities of the Ray Graham Association regarding the theft of an Illinois Link Card from the Downers Grove location.
An investigation into the thefts led authorities to Bell. It is alleged that in her capacity as an administrator for the association, Bell had access to the safes at the association’s satellite homes.
It is further alleged that at some point in time prior to Oct. 27, 2013, Bell opened the safe at the Naperville location and took an Illinois Link Card. It is alleged that between Nov. 24 and Nov. 27, 2013, Bell opened the safe at the Downers Grove location and took an Illinois Link Card. It is alleged that Bell used the Link cards for personal purchases such as groceries and gasoline. In all, Bell is accused of spending nearly $300 on each of the Link cards.
“For thousands of disabled individuals, the Ray Graham Association provides safety, comfort, support and a sense of independence,” Berlin said. “They provide a tremendous service for their residents and their families and the very idea that anyone, let alone an employee, would steal from these individuals is revolting. I would like to thank the Naperville and Downers Grove Police Departments for their efforts on this case. I would like to thank authorities at the Ray Graham Association for bringing this matter to the attention of law enforcement and for their complete cooperation throughout the investigation. I would also like to thank assistant state’s attorney Diane Michalak for her work on this case.”
Bell’s next court appearance is scheduled for arraignment on Oct. 20 in front of Judge Robert Kleeman.