The Berwyn News is Taking a Break

The Berwyn News is taking a break; look for more news here later in 2017.

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Winter Warming Centers Now Open in Berwyn

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A couple bundles up to face Chicago’s cold winter this year. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.

By Melissa Rohman

Now that the weather becomes frightful and the temperature has steadily dropped, five warming centers are open in Berwyn and are welcoming residents and the homeless to come in and escape the freezing cold.

According to the Cook County government, over thirty warming centers are now open across the city of Chicago for the winter season. Those who need a safe place to get warm from the freezing temperatures are encouraged to step inside these centers. Continue reading

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Brookfield Zoo does its part in giraffe conservation

 

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Photo courtesy of Amy Roberts

By Jocelyn Cano

As of Dec. 8, 2016, The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has officially declared giraffes vulnerable for extinction, with their population declining 40 percent in the last 30 years. This decline is due to loss of habitats and illegal hunting. The Brookfield Zoo is doing their part to make sure these animals stay off of the endangered list.

“We all know about the big, mega vertebrates like rhinos and the elephants,” Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal programs for the Chicago Zoological Society, said, “where there’s international trade in ivory and rhino horn, but you don’t look at much international trade in giraffes, so it hasn’t been on the big radar as far as the general public is aware, but the fact is they’re suffering a greater decline than the rhinos and the elephants, because of poaching for meat as well as loss of habitat.” Continue reading

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Will Berwyn Reap Benefits of Trump, Price Healthcare Changes?

By Rich Bodee

In 2010, the House passed the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and President Obama signed it as a law. The goals were simple: to provide more Americans with health insurance, to provide better care, and to reduce the costs of care.

But since 2010, there have been many critics of the program, mainly Republicans. Their criticisms include that the more people insurance companies cover, the more the actual rates will rise. In addition, under Obamacare, Medicaid became a state decision. Therefore, states that have not expanded Medicaid inevitably increased the number of people who are uninsured. Continue reading

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Lucky Berwyn Resident Wins $11 Million in Illinois Lotto

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By Nayah James

One lucky Berwyn resident “struck it rich”, winning the Illinois Lottery on October 29.

The winning ticket was purchased at a BP gas station in Berwyn located at 3845 S. Harlem Ave. Continue reading

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16th Street Theater Celebrating 10 Years

By Christopher Sich

Lights, Camera, Action. Director Ann Filmer enters stage right to the applause of the crowd. A spotlight shines on Filmer as she adjusts her microphone and prepares to speak. This moment marks the beginning of the history making tenth season of 16th Street Theater, a new personal achievement that Filmer will always cherish.

It all began in 2007 as a simple dream, and with help from Joe Vallez, executive director of the North Berwyn Park District, Filmer’s dream became a reality and the 16th Street Theater was opened in the basement of the Berwyn Cultural Center.

Ten years and 48 plays later, Filmer’s vision continues as strong as ever. Continue reading

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Drug Dealing in Berwyn Raises Questions about Public Safety

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Photo courtesy of Berwyn.com

By Melinda Czifrak

Leaving one’s child at school shouldn’t be cause for fear. Unfortunately for Guadalupe Garcia, a mother of two, fear has become as much a part of her life as a daily cup of coffee after drug activity was reported a block away from her children’s school.

“We moved to Berwyn over five years ago,” Garcia said. “Back then, the city felt like the perfect place to raise a family.”

Recently, however, Garcia’s feelings toward Berwyn started to change.
“How can I stay at home and not worry when I keep reading about narcotics dealing so close to my children’s school?” Continue reading

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‘Know Your Rights’ Forum this Saturday for Berwyn Immigrant Community

By Jocelyn Cano

President-elect Donald Trump’s often harsh rhetoric on immigration has some Berwyn leaders worried, and they’re taking action to make sure residents are protected.

They’ve put together a “Know Your Rights” forum for Berwyn residents this Saturday, Dec. 17 from 9:30 a.m.­­­–1 p.m. at Sokol Tabor Hall at 1602 Clarence Ave.

Elizabeth O. Jiménez, the first Latina to serve on the Board of Education for Berwyn’s South School District 100, and Cynthia Gutierrez, who is running for Berwyn city treasurer, have been the main force behind making this event happen.

“As a teacher and a school board member I feel obligated to ease the community and our student’s anxiety,” Jiménez said, “[Cynthia and I] started going to different workshops that other communities similar to ours were doing in reference to immigration rights and DACA students. We thought that we needed to respond to our community [and] the fears of our community.” Continue reading

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Berwyn Man to Honor Veterans and Keep the Memory of Pearl Harbor Alive

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By Rachael Stewart

Wednesday, Dec. 7 marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, and Tony Ward of Berwyn has decided to give the surviving veterans of the attack “one last hoorah” to thank them for their service to their country.

At 7 a.m. Wednesday, veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack will board a bus at Berwyn City Hall and head to Navy Pier where at 7:50 a.m. they will place a wreath to float in Lake Michigan to honor those who perished in the bombing.

After returning to Berwyn there will be a public service at 11 a.m. at Berwyn City Hall. The American flag will be lowered to half-staff, a bugler will play and a volley will be fired. Ward will honor each veteran individually with a certificate of honor for their service. Continue reading

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Canadian Visa Change for Mexican Citizens Gives Hope to Undocumented Student

By Natalie Rodriguez

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Rosario Hernandez

Former Berwyn local, Rosario Hernandez, lived in limbo since she was 7 years old. She lived as a Mexican undocumented immigrant. All of that has changed. She now has legal status and new hope as an immigrant.

Canada made that change possible.

Canada has made life easier for Mexican citizens. As of Dec. 1, 2016, Mexican citizens are able to visit Canada without a visa.

“The lifting of the visa requirement for Mexican citizens will strengthen Canada-Mexico ties and build momentum to expand trade, investment and tourism, strengthening people-to-people ties that will provide lasting benefits for both countries,” according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Hernandez moved to the small city of Saskatoon in the province of Saskatchewan in July. She believes that the lifting of the visa  requirement has been beneficial. Continue reading

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County Wage Changes Affect Berwyn

By Jonathan De Leon

An increase in the minimum wage for Cook County workers has employees in Berwyn happy and business leaders shaken.

Almost half a million workers in suburbs and unincorporated areas would be affected.  Every July the minimum wage will increase progressively from $8.25 now to $13 in 2020. Starting July 1, 2017, the wage will increase to $10 an hour and then by $1 each year after. Continue reading

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Morton Students Unhappy with Change

By Natalie Rodriguez

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Morton College Library

A library remodeling project has created conflict at Morton College.

After a September announcement that the college would build a new student center that would take over study space on the second floor of the Morton College library, both students and faculty resisted.

Liliana Carrizales, a first-year nursing student at Morton, uses the study area along with other nursing students.

“I do find myself using it so I hope they don’t take it away,” she said. “And most of the students are really concerned.” Continue reading

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Morton High School AP Program Building Off Success

Morton East High School gave Esmeralda Mariscal an opportunity to grow academically and get a jump on college by taking Advanced Placement courses, and the Cicero teen ran with it.

“I took AP courses because I wanted a challenge, but also because the idea of being able to get college credit if I did well on the AP exams really appealed to me. I think that they did fairly well in preparing me for college, especially in relation with the work load and in getting a sense of just how important time management was going to be,” Mariscal said.

Mariscal was just one of the students who helped the J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 to be named a College Board Advanced Placement District of the Year among medium-sized school districts.

The district was given this national award for expanding access to AP classes  while simultaneously  increasing AP Exam scores of three or higher (three or higher is eligible for college credit) over a three-year period.  Continue reading

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City Helps Residents Test for Lead

By Melinda Czifrak

More than a year after testing showed lead in Berwyn residents’ water, the city is continuing to waive tap fees for people concerned about lead in the water.

According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, lead can enter drinking water when service pipes that contain lead corrode, particularly where the water has “high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures.” Corrosion is a dissolving or wearing away of metal caused by a chemical reaction between water and plumbing.

In other words, the lead is not in the water, but in pipes and fixtures. Continue reading

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Berwyn’s Buona Beef Celebrates 35 Years

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The hometown favorite, Buona Beef is celebrating 35 delicious years in business. The famous Italian Beef restaurant serves up more than just its signature Italian Beef. It is home to a long list of other delicious foods like pizza, salads, burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, panini’s, soups and desserts.

The top three Buona Beef locations near you are Oak Park, Hillside and the original located at 6745 Roosevelt Road in Berwyn.

The deliciousness doesn’t stop there, Buona Beef is popping up in various locations all across Illinois, having 18 locations already according to the business’ website, buona.com.

Through a simple google search, other hotspots for the restaurant include Beverly, Montgomery, Bolingbrook, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Orland Park, Hoffman Estates and Rosemont. Continue reading

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Public Art in Berwyn is Changing

By Melissa Rohman

Public painting in Berwyn is changing as the amount of general and gang graffiti is decreasing and authorized public art is increasing.

Gang graffiti has decreased over the past five years because of the Berwyn Police Department’s proactive Tactical Unit and police work regarding gang activity in the city, according to Berwyn’s Acting Police Chief Michael Cimaglia.

Division Commander Joe Santangelo is in charge of graffiti removal; graffiti is searched and removed Monday through Friday and on the weekends, designated graffiti removers are called in. Most graffiti ] that has been found in the city is gang “tagging” with an identifying symbol or nickname to mark one or more specific areas.

“It’s generally reported in alleys on garages, however we have located it on street signs and playground equipment in parks,” Cimaglia said. Continue reading

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The Funding Standstill is Over for Berwyn Park District

By Emily Lapinski

After a four-month delay, the Berwyn Park District is back on track and moving forward with plans to expand and improve the park system.

Berwyn parks lost close to $400,000 in grants earlier this year due to budget cuts made by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The grant suspension put a delay on two major projects. The first was an $87,500 grant for land acquisition for a new park and the second was a $306,600 grant for renovation and redevelopment of existing parks, specifically their water drainage systems.

“The first thing that we can take away from this is that you always hear people talking about going for grants but you have to keep in mind that grants can dry up, be suspended or even cancelled out,” said Jeffery Janda, executive director of the Berwyn Park District. “As a result, the project or program you are moving forward with suddenly comes to a standstill.” Continue reading

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Berwyn Bars and Restaurants Bask in Cubs Championship Run

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By Marty Carlino

Tickets for World Series games at Wrigley Field topped $3,000, but fans at Fitzgerald’s got the bleachers, the atmosphere and a very big screen for the price of a beer.

After a 71-year drought, the Chicago Cubs returned to play in Major League Baseball’s fall classic, the World Series. Cubs fans throughout the state of Illinois have come out in large crowds to support their team at their favorite establishments.

In Berwyn, bars and restaurants throughout the city have cherished the Cubs successful postseason run. Several have even pulled out all the stops to accommodate Cubs fans and large crowds.

One of Berwyn’s most popular establishments, Fitzgerald’s, typically a music venue, set up a unique atmosphere for fans to take in the Cubs playoff games. Continue reading

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District 201 Schools Rally for Funding

By Rich Bodee

On the morning of Oct. 6, before school even began at both Morton East and West high schools, students, parents, and faculty rallied in support of three things: K-12 and college education funding, a call to end standardized testing, and education funding equality.

“The rallies were sponsored by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), which is a national coalition between labor unions, mainly the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association,” Robert Bartlett, a teacher at Morton West said. Continue reading

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Has the Big Hurt Struck Out?

 

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By Jonathan De Leon

Two years ago, The Big Hurt Brewhouse opened in September of 2014 on the corner of Cermak and Oak Park with boosters claiming it was the next great sports mecca and tourist attraction.

Now it stands quiet, with the sign “closed for remodeling” taped on the doors outside.

Neither restaurant management nor owner Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox legend, could be reached.

Berwyn officials had no answers as well about the sudden closing. Continue reading

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