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Village swears in two police sergeants, four new officers

By Jane Charmelo

The Village of Lombard on Thursday, Dec. 1, swore in four new police officers and promoted two others, just prior to the village board meeting.
Village President Keith Giagnorio and Lombard Police Chief Ray Byrne welcomed family and friends to the ceremony, thanking them for their part as a support system for the officers.
Benny Ranallo was sworn in as a sergeant with the police department. He was first a Lombard community service officer (CSO) in 1997; he earned an associate degree in criminal justice and in May 1999 became a Lombard police officer.
Among his other career accomplishments include being an accreditation manager, detective, gang and juvenile officers, recruitment team member, class supervisor at the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA) and a federal task force officer.
Also promoted to sergeant was Mike Clark, an 18-year veteran of the Lombard Police Department. He also holds an associate degree in criminal justice and during his career was with the Traffic Safety Unit, and served as a firearms instructor. He has been a detective, and has served with FIAT SWAT, or Felony Investigations Assistance Team.
He also is an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and served a one-year deployment in Cuba.
Officer Adam Bruce, 32, was among the new officers sworn in. He grew up in Lombard, where he still resides, and has an associate degree in criminal justice. His background includes loss prevention and he is a certified physical fitness trainer.
Officer Alex Robles, 23, was sworn in as well. He has a B.A. degree in criminal justice, magna cum laude, from St. Xavier University, Chicago. He has some background in law enforcement, held an internship with the Loves Park Police Department and worked in the emergency management agency with the Oak Lawn Police Department. He also worked for Staples Corp.
Officer Andrew Boccassini, 25, served in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was an infantry team leader and received nine commendations/ medals for his service. He holds an associate degree in criminal justice and is working on a B.A. degree from Aurora University.
Officer Jeff Calhoun, 31, is a Michigan native who served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including two deployments to Iraq. He was a corporal who received 10 service awards/medals. He is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington, with a B.A. degree in criminal justice and has a background as a certified law enforcement officer. He was a deputy sheriff with the New Hanover County, N.C., Sheriff’s Department.
According to a village press release, all the newly-sworn-in officers are in their ninth week of the 12-week SLEA at College of DuPage. They are scheduled to graduate on Dec. 23.
The chief noted that the promotions and hirings were made possible due to “recent retirements and filling some previously-existing vacancies.”


The village board approved a measure to start the Thursday night board meetings at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m., after passage on first reading at the Nov. 17 meeting.
Village Manager Scott Niehaus said it was “relatively recently” that the idea of starting the board meeting a half hour earlier was initiated, as the meetings had traditionally begun at 7:30 p.m. for many years.
He further noted that the board looked at number of meeting times—6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m.—and added, “Suffice it to say, no one was really interested in the 6 or 6:30 [time].”
Niehaus said that there was a strong consensus in the 7 p.m. starting time, calling it a “nod” to the public who might attend the board meetings.
He emphasized that “This has to be a village board ordinance,” as advised by the village’s attorney, which is why the item was placed on the board agenda.
The change in time becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.
District 3 Trustee Reid Foltyniewicz, chair of the Finance and Administration Committee, related to the board that the committee is beginning to work in the 2018 budget, on the heels of the passage of the 2017 budget of $96,967,764.

Keep the Wreath Red Program reminds residents of fire safety

Along with other fire departments in the area, The Lombard Fire Department will be participating in the “Keep the Wreath Red Program”.
The “Keep the Wreath Red Program” is intended to be a visual way to remind residents to take additional safety measures this holiday season. As the holiday season begins, the fire department will display a holiday wreath on the outside of both fire stations. The wreaths will be decorated with red light bulbs.
If a fire occurs in Lombard that is attributed to holiday decorations, one red bulb will be replaced with a white bulb. The village’s goal is to “Keep the Wreaths Red.” This year’s program began on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, and will end on Jan. 1.
The Lombard Fire Department offers these safety tips to help keep your homes safer during the holiday season.
• Consider an artificial tree.
• When using a live tree, select a tree that is dark green in color and one that does not lose its needles readily.
• Keep live trees away from heat sources.
• Keep live trees well-watered.
• Do not overload lighting circuits or utilize damaged or worn holiday lighting.
• Extinguish candles when you leave the room or go to sleep for the night.
• Keep candles in containers that prevent the candle from tipping over or falling.
• Keep candles away from combustible materials.
• Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are operable.
Also, residents are encouraged to call regarding any home safety concerns or questions at (630) 620-5736.

Lombard firefighters present check to Good Samaritan from pink T-shirt fundraiser

Lombard firefighters recently presented a check with money raised by proceeds from the sale of pink T-shirts, to the new Bhorade Cancer Center at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. The $2,005 raised will be used for patient care and will help provide comforts to those undergoing cancer treatments.
Lombard’s pink shirt campaign allowed firefighters to voluntarily purchase and wear custom designed pink T-shirts throughout October, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The shirts were also available for public purchase and a community photo was taken of residents and firefighters wearing their pink shirts at Lombard Fire Department’s Open House on Oct. 12. The fundraiser was a combined effort with the Lombard Fire Fighters Union IAFF Local 3009 and the Village of Lombard.
“These T-shirts not only raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of screenings, but the sales of these shirts also positively impact our residents and neighbors who are undergoing treatment,” said firefighter Bob Hopper, who organizes the annual fundraiser. “We chose to give back to Bhorade Cancer Center at Good Samaritan because we know that these donations will directly benefit Lombard residents.”
Good Samaritan Hospital provides services to Lombard residents and works closely with the Lombard Fire Department. The Bhorade Cancer Center offers a comprehensive and integrated cancer program, which includes state of the art medical treatment as well as the treatment as the person’s overall well-being.
Pink shirts will be available for order throughout September of 2017. Residents wishing to participate should email communications@villageoflombard.org to be notified when shirts become available for purchase. For more information contact Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Howell at (630) 620-5761.

DuPage HSP serving area residents in need

The Humanitarian Service Project (HSP) of DuPage County is seeking community support to provide for those living in poverty in DuPage and Kane counties this holiday season.
For the 38th consecutive Christmas, HSP will be providing groceries and gifts to local families, children, and seniors in need. This year, HSP is projected to serve 500 families with nutritious groceries as well as provide over 2,000 children and 134 seniors with Christmas gifts.
Donations of monetary support and non-perishable food are needed to alleviate the burden of hunger for 500 local, low-income families served by this program. Community members can “sponsor” a needy family to provide them with nutritious groceries. A $70 sponsorship helps provide over 200 pounds of groceries to families including fresh produce, frozen meat, bread, and non-perishables.
Every day, local families struggling with poverty are calling HSP in hopes of receiving Christmas gifts for their children. Donations of gifts for children between the ages of 8-15 are critically needed by HSP.
HSP’s Executive Director Kristin Senne said of the project, “Parents continue to call us daily hoping to receive a gift for their child through our Christmas Offering. I hear firsthand from our families and our seniors how thankful they are when they receive groceries and gifts through our programs. Quite frankly, this would not be possible without all the loving people in our community that come forward to help us serve.”
Contact the Humanitarian Service Project at hsp@humanitarianservice.org or visit www.humanitarianservice.org.

Basket brigade in need of volunteers

The DuPage Basket Brigade (DBB) has been able to reach to about 500 people this year delivering 103 Family Baskets and 96 Homeless Bags for Thanksgiving. DBB worked with various organizations to reach families and individuals that need a little help, hoping to make their Thanksgiving dinner special this year.
The towns it has delivered to were: Lombard, Villa Park, Addison, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Carol Stream. Not only did the DuPage Basket Brigade help nominated individuals with a focus on family with children, but also contributed to York Township’s food pantry, DuPage PADS
and the Salvation Army.
DSS had help from multiple companies and businesses (that can be found on the “Supporters” page of the Web site) along with about 50 local volunteers. The volunteers on Assembly Day (the day everything gets organized and placed into baskets and bags) were focused and worked hard which ran very smoothly. Thanks again to all
of them.
DSS will be planning for 2017 soon and increasing its goal for baskets and bags. It was discovered quickly that the need is much greater than initially thought, so DSS are looking for committed volunteers to be involved with planning 2017. Help is needed with: marketing, needs, drop-off locations, assembly day and/or delivery.
The DBB office is located at: 450 E. 22nd St., Suite 150, Lombard, IL 60148. For more information, contact David Segatti at 630-873-4177, or Mike Fleck at 630-461-1982. You can also visit www.dupagebasketbrigade.com.

Sen. Nybo honored for senior care efforts

State Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) has received the Voice of Senior Care Award from the Illinois Health Care Association for his support of senior citizens and issues that affect them.
Nybo accepted the award Nov. 22 while visiting with the residents at Burgess Square Healthcare and Rehab Centre in Westmont.
“As lawmakers, it is our duty to insist our laws ensure quality care for seniors. I am pleased we were able to pass various legislation for the benefit of seniors, and I will continue to advocate for our older residents through appropriate and responsible legislation in our state,” Nybo said. “It is fitting to receive this honor at Burgess Square, a place devoted to senior care. John Vrba and his staff provide lots of personal attention for patients to help them regain their health in a home-like setting.”
Nybo was recognized for his efforts to ensure quality care for seniors, especially through his efforts to gain passage of important legislation relating to dispute resolutions involving nursing homes.
“Due to his hard work on the bill and past support of the long-term care profession, Illinois Health Care Association’s Public Policy committee has honored Sen. Nybo with our 2016 ‘Voice of Senior Care,’ award,” said Matt Hartman, vice president of public policy.
“It is especially gratifying to earn this recognition as ‘an avid spokesperson for quality care and seniors’ from the Illinois Health Care Association, a respected longstanding non-profit organization, comprised of more than 500 licensed and certified long-term care facilities and programs throughout Illinois, whose mission is to ensure accessible quality health care,” Nybo said.

Rep. Conroy holds open house, seeks cell phone donations

State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, will host her annual Holiday Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 6-7 p.m. at Rep. Conroy’s constituent services office located at 28 S. Villa Ave. in Villa Park.
“In the spirit of the holiday season, I want to invite residents for a holiday open house at my district office,” Conroy said. “We will have hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy and staff will be available to assist with any questions or concerns regarding state issues.”
Conroy will accept donations of old cell phones during the Holiday Open House. Collected cell phones are donated to Cell Phone for Soldiers so that our armed forces can call their loved ones of the holidays. Hot chocolate and cookies from the locally owned businesses Funky Java and Kuppie’s Bakery will be served.
“I always look forward to having this holiday open house as a time to come together during this busy time of year,” Conroy said. “I encourage residents to stop in for some good conversation with neighbors and some holiday treats.”
Conroy’s Holiday Open House is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP for the Holiday Open House, contact Conroy’s full-time constituent services office at 630-415-3520 or RepDebConroy@gmail.com.