INGALLS ST MAM AD 728x90px 03 30 21

Oak Lawn among first communities to apply for and get COVID-19 relief funds

sandra bury photo 9 10 scaledPhoto by Dermot Connolly
Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury addresses a press conference held in Oak Lawn on Tuesday at which Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle discussed how the county government is distributing the federal CARES Act funding to local communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Behind her (from left) are Oak Lawn Village Clerk Jane Quinlan, Finance Director Brian Hanigan, EMA Director Captain Art Clark, 911 Communications Director Diana Tousignant, Trustee Bud Stalker (5th), Fire Chief Zackary Riddle, Preckwinkle, state Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36th), and Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller (D-6th).
By Dermot Connolly
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined other state and local officials at a press conference in Oak Lawn on Tuesday to encourage local communities that haven’t done so already to apply for COVID-19 relief funds available through the federal CARES Act.
She said Oak Lawn has already received $680,000 in funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act because the village was among the first municipalities to apply for the money. ViIlage Manager Randy Palmer noted later that Oak Lawn was actually the first municipality to receive the funds, which arrived by check in early August.
Preckwinkle explained that the money came out of about $429 million that the county received in late April from the federal government. According to the CARES Act, government entities with more than 500,000 people are required to distribute the money to the smaller communities within its boundaries.
She stressed that there is a Sept. 30 deadline for municipalities to at least inform the county that they are applying for the funds. She added that if the paperwork is not completed by then, County officials will work with them to get it done before Dec. 30, which she said is the absolute deadline for distribution of the funds.
“ It is a use it or lose it proposition,” she said, explaining that any funds left over after Dec. 30 have to be returned to the federal government.
“ Oak Lawn is a shining example of how this can work. I am encouraging officials in local governments to fill out the paperwork quickly. We will help you,” said Preckwinkle.
Many local communities, such as Palos Hills, Palos Heights and Orland Park have at least applied for the funding, and some have received it. But Ammar Rizki, the Cook County chief financial officer, said that as of last Friday, just 41 of more than 130 municipalities outside Chicago have applied. “But the pace is picking up,” he said.
Orland Park has received just under $500,000 in CARE funds, which Mayor Keith Pekau and other members of the village board has said is less than the village deserves on a per capita basis.
Preckwinkle said on Tuesday that the county worked with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning “to create a consistent, thorough, equitable and legal distribution process.”
“ I am proud of the result,” she said, adding that the National Association of Counties has praised it as well.
Preckwinkle said the funding formula is based on one-third of the population, and two-thirds on the effect COVID-19 has had on the community, and socio-economic factors.
“ I urge anyone who is unhappy to come and talk to me,” she said.
“ Oak Lawn was hit with a double-whammy,” said Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury. “Like homeowners, we have lost revenue and increased expenses,” she said, resulting in layoffs.
“ Forty percent of it was already used before we got it on the preliminary expenses, such as extra cleaning and setting up technology to allow for working remotely,” she said.
Bury said the money can only be used on pandemic-related expenses, including personal protective equipment for first responders. But having it means the village does not have to take from other areas to pay for those necessities.
“ What it means we can maintain critical operations, It goes a long way to helping us,” she said. “We don’t know what is coming next so we have to be ready.”
Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller (D-6 th ) has had about 1,500 COVID-19 cases, which does not include those at Advocate Christ Medical Center in the village. Village Manager Randy Palmer, the retired police chief, said about 20 first-responders in the village were among that number who became ill.
“ None of us ever had to handle something like this,” said Palmer, thanking Preckwinkle for getting the funds distributed quickly.
“ Get your documents together. Go online. The county will work with you,” Palmer advised other communities.
State Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36 th ) thanked Oak Lawn for “leading by example,” and the county for “doing a timely job and really stepping up and helping the communities apply. Hopefully, all municipalities that qualify will follow suit.”
“ The 6th District ha been allocated over $13 million and we want to make sure it is distributed in an equitable fashion,” said Miller.

Local News

Kendall Coyne, shown at a past celebration at Sandburg High School, is the 2021 IBAM Person of the Year. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Coyne Schofield to be honored as IBAM’s Person of the Year

By Jeff Vorva Palos Heights hockey legend Kendall Coyne Schofield is picking up a huge award Friday night and it doesn’t have much to do with hockey. Schofield was named the Irish Books, Art and Music Person of the Year and will be honored at the group’s 13th Awards Gala Oct. 22 at the American…

Jim Sexton, the former Evergreen Park mayor, shows his sign for the drive given in honor at the grand opening of the new baseball and softball fields. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Evergreen Park welcomes own fields of dreams and honors Sexton

By Jeff Vorva Brand new fields and a retired mayor were the stars of the show on Oct. 14. Evergreen Park High School had a grand opening of its new turfed baseball and softball fields. The fields were used in late spring, but this event was to celebrate the fields and show them off to…

Chicago 3-year-old Tyler Myslinski, (left) and his 5-year-old brother Jason fight for the ball during an open house at the Wintrust Sports Complex Saturday in Bedford Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Bedford Park’s Wintrust Sports Complex is a ‘one-stop’ monster

By Jeff Vorva The Wintrust Sports Complex has not even held its grand opening yet in Bedford Park, but it’s already bringing ESPN to town in July. The facility’s general manager, Wade Walsh, said the American Cornhole League will host its Final Chase at the new site and ESPN will be broadcasting the finals on…

Rev. Edward Stockus

Rev. Edward Stockus dies, pastor emeritus at St. Hugh Parish, served Oak Lawn parishes

Rev. Edward S. Stockus, pastor emeritus of St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, passed away Saturday, Oct. 9. He was 90 years old. Fr. Stockus was born on Jan. 21, 1931, in Chicago. He attended St. Rita High School, the University of Illinois, University of Dayton, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Loyola University and pursued…

Mr. Vondrak

A ‘businessman with a heart’

Colleagues pay tribute to Jim Vondrak By Joan Hadac In a business world frequently competitive to the point of being harsh and even cruel, James C. “Jim” Vondrak stood out as a businessman with a heart. The scion of a Southwest Side newspaper family, Mr. Vondrak owned and operated a chain of community newspapers led…

Officer Maureen O’Neill in her final days on the job at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Station. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Lorena Paredes

She bleeds blue

Officer Maureen O’Neill retires after 38 years By Tim Hadac If things appear a little unglued in the commander’s office at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Station, it’s because Officer Maureen O’Neill recently retired after serving in the district for 38 years, 7 months and 1 day. “It’s fair to say that in some…

GSWNH_PurpleForAPuurpose_102221

Purple for a purpose

Taking a momentary break from tying purple ribbons around trees and fenceposts at West Lawn Park last Saturday are CPD Officers Sarai Trevino, Maria DeLaTorre, Raymond Tracy and Jose Supulveda, and Shari Grassmuck and Nancy Arroyo. The group made the park go purple in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. DVAM has been a national…

GSWNH_HoubyParade_102221

Scouts march in Houby Parade

  Members of Boy Scout Troop 1441, sponsored by St. Mary Star of the Sea Holy Name Society, participated in the annual Houby (Czech word for mushroom) Parade, held in suburban Cicero earlier this month. Scouts enjoyed food vendors, live music, games and a carnival. Any boys ages 11 to 17 from any school interested…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st)

Rush wants lower phone rates for inmates

From staff reports U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) this month continued his push for his Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice Act (H.R. 2489) in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The bill would ban the commissions that prisons and other confinement facilities receive from communications providers, which are the primary cause…

pancakes110721

Scouts set pancake breakfast fundraiser

From staff reports Boy Scout Troop 465 and Cub Scout Pack 3465 will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 at Five Holy Martyrs Church’s Abramowicz Hall, 4327 S. Richmond. Meals will consist of pancakes, sausages, eggs, orange juice, milk, coffee and tea. Meals are priced at $8…

Neighbors

CRR NH Airport Heating Cooling
DVN Damar Kaminski Funeral Home House Ad
Kendall Coyne, shown at a past celebration at Sandburg High School, is the 2021 IBAM Person of the Year. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Coyne Schofield to be honored as IBAM’s Person of the Year

By Jeff Vorva Palos Heights hockey legend Kendall Coyne Schofield is picking up a huge award Friday night and it doesn’t have much to do with hockey. Schofield was named the Irish Books, Art and Music Person of the Year and will be honored at the group’s 13th Awards Gala Oct. 22 at the American…

Jim Sexton, the former Evergreen Park mayor, shows his sign for the drive given in honor at the grand opening of the new baseball and softball fields. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Evergreen Park welcomes own fields of dreams and honors Sexton

By Jeff Vorva Brand new fields and a retired mayor were the stars of the show on Oct. 14. Evergreen Park High School had a grand opening of its new turfed baseball and softball fields. The fields were used in late spring, but this event was to celebrate the fields and show them off to…

Chicago 3-year-old Tyler Myslinski, (left) and his 5-year-old brother Jason fight for the ball during an open house at the Wintrust Sports Complex Saturday in Bedford Park. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Bedford Park’s Wintrust Sports Complex is a ‘one-stop’ monster

By Jeff Vorva The Wintrust Sports Complex has not even held its grand opening yet in Bedford Park, but it’s already bringing ESPN to town in July. The facility’s general manager, Wade Walsh, said the American Cornhole League will host its Final Chase at the new site and ESPN will be broadcasting the finals on…

Rev. Edward Stockus

Rev. Edward Stockus dies, pastor emeritus at St. Hugh Parish, served Oak Lawn parishes

Rev. Edward S. Stockus, pastor emeritus of St. Hugh Parish in Lyons, passed away Saturday, Oct. 9. He was 90 years old. Fr. Stockus was born on Jan. 21, 1931, in Chicago. He attended St. Rita High School, the University of Illinois, University of Dayton, the Illinois Institute of Technology and Loyola University and pursued…

Mr. Vondrak

A ‘businessman with a heart’

Colleagues pay tribute to Jim Vondrak By Joan Hadac In a business world frequently competitive to the point of being harsh and even cruel, James C. “Jim” Vondrak stood out as a businessman with a heart. The scion of a Southwest Side newspaper family, Mr. Vondrak owned and operated a chain of community newspapers led…

Officer Maureen O’Neill in her final days on the job at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Station. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Lorena Paredes

She bleeds blue

Officer Maureen O’Neill retires after 38 years By Tim Hadac If things appear a little unglued in the commander’s office at the Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Station, it’s because Officer Maureen O’Neill recently retired after serving in the district for 38 years, 7 months and 1 day. “It’s fair to say that in some…

GSWNH_PurpleForAPuurpose_102221

Purple for a purpose

Taking a momentary break from tying purple ribbons around trees and fenceposts at West Lawn Park last Saturday are CPD Officers Sarai Trevino, Maria DeLaTorre, Raymond Tracy and Jose Supulveda, and Shari Grassmuck and Nancy Arroyo. The group made the park go purple in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. DVAM has been a national…

GSWNH_HoubyParade_102221

Scouts march in Houby Parade

  Members of Boy Scout Troop 1441, sponsored by St. Mary Star of the Sea Holy Name Society, participated in the annual Houby (Czech word for mushroom) Parade, held in suburban Cicero earlier this month. Scouts enjoyed food vendors, live music, games and a carnival. Any boys ages 11 to 17 from any school interested…

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st)

Rush wants lower phone rates for inmates

From staff reports U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-1st) this month continued his push for his Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice Act (H.R. 2489) in the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The bill would ban the commissions that prisons and other confinement facilities receive from communications providers, which are the primary cause…

pancakes110721

Scouts set pancake breakfast fundraiser

From staff reports Boy Scout Troop 465 and Cub Scout Pack 3465 will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 at Five Holy Martyrs Church’s Abramowicz Hall, 4327 S. Richmond. Meals will consist of pancakes, sausages, eggs, orange juice, milk, coffee and tea. Meals are priced at $8…

CRR NH Harmony Restaurant House Ad
CRR NH Evergreen Window Door House Ad