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Kotowski helps secure Park Ridge Park District grant

Published: Tuesday, October 07, 2014 12:00 AM

kotowski-pq-parksPARK RIDGE – Governor Pat Quinn along with Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) and Representative Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines), announced a $1.6 million Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) grant for the Maine Park Leisure Center in Park Ridge last week.

“I want to thank Governor Quinn for supporting this very important investment in our community,” Kotowski said. “This project will create approximately 135 short and long-term jobs. It will also greatly impact the health and education of our children and families through additional programming in a modern facility, such as early childhood, after school classes, dance and nature programs and music lessons.”

The Park Ridge Park District’s Executive Director Gayle Mountcastle praised Kotowski and Moylan’s efforts in helping to obtain the grant.

“I would like to thank Senator Kotowski and Representative Moylan for their efforts in securing this PARC grant and for their continued support of the Park Ridge Park District,” Mountcastle said.

The project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2015.

Kotowski’s efforts to secure this PARC grant are a continuation of his work to stimulate the local economy and safeguard the public health of his district’s residents and all Illinoisans.

Delgado visits district schools to assess needs

Published: Monday, October 06, 2014 12:00 AM

delgado-prosser-400State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago), Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee, is touring schools located in the 2nd Legislative district. So far, Senator Delgado has been at Northwest Middle School and Prosser Career School.

“I want to assess first hand what are the challenges students, teachers and administrators face regularly. The best way to learn how to help them to accomplish their goals is if we listen to their concerns with a straightforward approach,” Delgado said.

Senator Delgado has championed initiatives to improve the quality of education across Illinois during his tenure in the Senate, and before as a State Representative. “As the Chairman of the Education Committee in the Illinois Senate, I have a great opportunity to bring the voices of concerned parents and good teachers to Springfield,” said Senator Delgado.  

These school tours will provide a unique opportunity to learn about the priorities that need to be address on education through legislation. “ We should offer the means and the tools to achieve a world-quality education to our daughters and sons. Because our kids should remain academically competitive, while they learn in a safe and healthy environment,” said Delgado.

Senator William Delgado will continue touring schools within his legislative district in the following weeks to learn more about the needs and accomplishments of students, teachers and administrators.

McGuire marks 'Celebrate College Week' with Bolingbrook fifth graders

Published: Monday, October 06, 2014 12:00 AM

mcguire-tibbottBOLINGBROOK - State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) gave three classes of fifth graders at Tibbott Elementary School in Bolingbrook an inside look at his education and career October 1. McGuire was a guest during the school's Celebrate College Week.

McGuire, a former high school English teacher, told the students he uses the skills taught to him at the University of St. Francis in his work as a legislator. He also noted that he graduated from USF at age 35. McGuire referenced a Greek-born friend who lived in Australia before immigrating to the United States and told him, "America is where you get a second chance."

"The students were polite, listened well and asked insightful questions," McGuire said. "My time with them and the Tibbott Elementary staff left me genuinely optimistic about our state and country's future."

McGuire is in the midst of a four-year term representing the 43rd District, which stretches along Rt. 53 from Elwood to Woodridge. Bolingbrook is the second most populous city in the district.

Haine presents widow husband’s 68 year-old medals

Published: Thursday, October 02, 2014 12:35 PM

White Smith HaineWOOD RIVER, Ill. – Lonnie Smith was honorably discharged from the Marines when he was 23 years old. Like any other veteran, there was lots of paperwork.

Somewhere, somehow something got lost in the shuffle and Lonnie never received three awards he earned during his service in the Pacific theater in World War II.

Lonnie Smith went on to work as a welder. He married Fern Smith and they had a son.

Lonnie died April 2013 at the age of 90, having never received his medals.

On Thursday, state Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) presented Fern with her husband’s three missing medals during a ceremony at the Fox Grove Supportive Living Community.

"We have a humble duty to remember the veterans who have served and sacrificed for this country. Sadly, we couldn't give these to Lonnie while he was alive, but I hope that they can be a comfort to Fern and remind us of our obligation to every veteran," Haine said.

“I didn't know what to expect. I’m thrilled – this was unbelievable,” Fern said

The process of getting the medals began when Fern talked to Fred Smith, a family friend, about Lonnie's medals. Fred is a member of the Illinois Patriot Guard – a group of motorcycle riders who support the families of fallen veterans and first responders through honor missions and by shielding funeral services from unwanted protesters.

“Lonnie was a tough old boy and his wife is a sweetheart. I want his family to have something to remember – what we do is all about the families. If what we do gives them a memory to hold onto we’ve done our job,” Fred said.

Fred turned to Haine’s office for help. During the presentation, Haine praised the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs for getting Lonnie's military records released.

“All the men and women who have served: Let’s not forget them and their service to our nation," Earl White Southern Division Field Supervisor for the department said. White, Veterans’ Service Officer Ed Barnes and Field Services Manager Harry Sawyer procured the medals.

During the event White also presented Fern with an Illinois State Flag.

Haine had the honor of presenting Fern with The Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, China Service Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal that her husband earned serving our country.

The Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal is awarded to Marines who land on foreign territory, engage in operations against armed opposition or operate under circumstances that earn special recognition and when no other campaign medal has been awarded. This medal was first issued in 1919 and is still awarded today.

The China Service Medal was awarded to members of the Navy and Marine Corps who served in China or its territorial waters in either the lead up or aftermath of World War II.

The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded to members of the armed forces who served in the Pacific theater of World War II.

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