New fire alarms coming to three SD 103 schools
By Steve Metsch
New fire alarm systems will be installed at Edison, Home and Lincoln
schools after a rare unanimous approval by the Lyons School District 103 board.
The board approved the idea at its meeting held April 28 at Washington
Middle School in Lyons.
Supt. Kristopher Rivera said after the board meeting that it is simply
time to upgrade the fire alarm systems.
Interim Chief Financial Officer Marty McConahay said May 1 that the work
will be done by Johnson Controls.
“They do most fire alarm systems for commercial buildings, they do a lot
of things,” McConahay said. “They put in the original systems.”
“I was able to get some competitive pricing,” McConahay said. “It’s going
to work out pretty well.”
And, with students out of the school buildings because of the coronavirus
pandemic, work can begin as soon as possible, McConahay said.
“We wouldn’t be testing alarms when the kids are in session,” he said.
Changes are needed because of new code requirements.
The district will pay $47,879 for work at Edison, $49,925 for work at Home
and $51,246 for work at Lincoln.
Those costs were defrayed as the district received $50,000, the maximum
available, in a School Maintenance Project grant from the state.
“Each one is about $50 grand, so, basically we’re getting three systems
for the cost of two,” McConahay said.
Other upcoming projects may see installing of new roofs at several
buildings this summer, he said. Bids are being reviewed.
“The nice thing about the ones we’re doing is we don’t have to use any
operating funds,” he said. “The roofs and three (fire) alarm systems are being
paid for with Health Life Safety funds, not out of the operating capital for
He noted that the district is still working on slashing its deficit of
$1.5 million with “a goal of eliminating that by June 2022.”
During the meeting, board member Marge Hubacek, who attended by phone,
questioned if the six custodians who were fired in a cost-cutting move at the
April 22 meeting, would indeed be hired back.
The plan is for those custodians to be hired back if the need is evident
after students return to school, Rivera said.
The six jobs were eliminated because there’s a lack of need for their work
with students attending school at home.
She also asked about the three administration office workers also let go.
Remaining employees have assumed the duties of the three, Rivera said.
In other action, the board unanimously approved a contract to pay Midland
Paper $106,513 for copier back during the 2020-21 academic years.
It’s the same company that provide paper for the current school year,
During the public comment of the meeting, board secretary Charline
Latronica read a letter from Valerie Fahselt, president of the parents/teacher
organization at Washington Middle School.
Fahselt is disappointed six custodians were dismissed, but is “happy” that
Johnson Controls, a union company, was hired. “They have a reputation of doing
quality work at reasonable costs,” she wrote.
At the April 22 meeting, the board approved a settlement with Blades of
Glory, a landscaping company that had been hired to work outside schools in the
There were several months of debate on whether the work had actually been
done, with Board President Jorge Torres spearheading opposition to paying the
The settlement was for 10 percent less than what Blades of Glory said was
owed. The district agreed to pay the company $34,367.50.
Asked if Blades of Glory would be hired again, Rivera said “no.”
Kantas wins bid for 4th Subcircuit vacancy
By Carol McGowan Nick Kantas came out on top in the Democratic primary for Cook County judge in the 4th Subcircuit. He won over Amanda Moira Pillsbury in the race to fill the Gavin vacancy. Kantas had 12,652 votes to 10,393 for Pillsbury with 99 percent the vote in (218 of 221 precincts), according to…
Terry Carr elected as Lyons Township Republican Committeeperson
By Carol McGowan It was quite a celebration at JC’s Pub in McCook Tuesday night as the results came in for the race for Lyons Township Republican Committeeperson. McCook Mayor Terrance “Terry” Carr claimed victory in the race against GOP incumbent Catherine (Katie) Justak, by a 56-44% ratio (3,008-2,352) with all 69 precincts reporting. At…
Cardenas ousts Wendt in Dem primary for Board of Review
By Bob Bong Palos Heights attorney and Realtor Tammy Wendt was denied a second term Tuesday night when she was defeated by Chicago Ald. George Cardenas in the Democratic primary for the Board of Review 1st District. Wendt said the party had been out to get her since she surprisingly prevailed in 2020 over endorsed…
Aguilar wins nomination in 16th Cook County District
By Bob Bong Incumbent Frank Aguilar held off a tough challenge from Letty Garcia in the Democratic primary for the 16th Cook County Board District Tuesday night. With all but one precinct reporting, Aguilar held a 1,326 vote lead over Garcia. His 8,615-7,289 win was tantamount to re-election as no Republicans filed to run in…
Morrison knocks off former ally for 17th District GOP nomination
By Jeff Vorva In the first head-to-head election battle between the two people who have owned the Cook County 17th District seat for the past 20 years, Sean Morrison beat out former ally Liz Gorman for the Republican nomination Tuesday. Orland Park’s Gorman had the job as 17th District commissioner from 2002-2015 but gave it…
Calandriello wins Democratic nod in Cook County’s 17th District
By Steve Metsch In a race between two men with village board experience, Dan Calandriello defeated Lou Gale in the Democratic primary Tuesday for 17th District Commissioner on the Cook County Board. According to unofficial results from the Cook County Clerk’s Office with 211 of 217 precincts reporting, Calandriello received 10,467 votes (54 percent) to…
Pekau vs. Casten ready to rumble in 6th Distict
By Jeff Vorva The preliminaries are over in the newly aligned 6th Congressional District. Now it’s time for the main event. Pekau vs. Casten. After Tuesday’s primary election, Keith Pekau, the mayor of Orland Park, had a huge lead over five opponents on the Republican side and is ready to take on Democratic survivor Sean…
Casten rolls to decisive victory over Newman in 6th Congressional Dem battle
By Joe Boyle U.S. Rep. Sean Casten emerged as the decisive victor in the Democratic primary race for the newly drawn 6th Congressional District Tuesday night. With 97 percent of the vote registered and 221 of 227 precincts reporting, Casten had an unofficial tally of 13,440 votes for 53.90%. Newman had 10,545 votes for 42.29% percent as…
Rashid surprises Zalewski in 21st District Dem primary
By Steve Metsch Abdelnasser Rashid beat incumbent state Rep. Michael Zalewski in the 21st District’s Democratic primary Tuesday, with strong support from suburban Cook County residents. According to unofficial totals, Rashid received 3,893 votes (52 percent) to 3,637 for Zalewski (48 percent). Rashid had just 215 votes (31 percent) to Zalewski’s 480 votes (69 percent)…
Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars will miss three big guns during World Cup qualifying
By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Having world-class players on your team is a blessing. But during times like these, it can also be a curse. World-class players help NWSL teams win games. They also miss chunks of time during the season because of their commitments to playing in international competitions. For much of July, the…
UPDATED Bailey wins GOP nomination to challenge Pritzker
By JERRY NOWICKI & PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] State Sen. Darren Bailey, who gained statewide notoriety challenging Gov. JB Pritzker’s pandemic executive order authority in court, will be the incumbent’s challenger in the November general election. As of about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Bailey had carried over 55 percent of the GOP vote from…
CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion overturning…
6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker
By PETER HANCOCK & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republican voters in Illinois will choose from six candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the upcoming June 28 primary. The field includes a conservative farmer and state lawmakers who is the recent polling frontrunner, the mayor of Illinois’ second largest…
Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Illinois voters might know Alexi Giannoulias as the state’s treasurer from 2007 to 2011, or they might know him as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010. He’s now looking to get back into public life as he runs for secretary…
Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released…
Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago City Clerk…
Republicans see opening in secretary of state race
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, there is an open race for the office of Illinois secretary of state as incumbent Democrat Jesse White prepares to retire, and Republicans hope that will give them an opportunity to pick up a statewide elected office.…
Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to all of the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago…
Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago handed down a one-year prison sentence Tuesday for a former state senator who once chaired the Senate Labor Committee. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzlement for receiving salary and benefits from…
CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – In a 4-3 decision with a blistering dissent from the Republican minority, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to rule on a question of whether Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional. It was the second time the case of the People v. Vivian Brown came before the court and…