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Demonstrators hold signs along Harnish Road Tuesday during a rally for the reopening for in-person learning at the Algonquin-based Community Community Unit District 300 Central Office in Algqonquin. (Matthew Apgar/Shaw Media)

Saying that remote learning has not been successful, a group of concerned parents and students from Algonquin-based Community Community Unit District 300 rallied outside the Center Office asking district officials to reopen to in-person learning.

District 300 has been remote since the beginning of the year because of COVID-19.

Several speakers at the rally said they were worried for children’s mental health and the social isolation they might feel from not seeing their friends.

One Algonquin resident, Sharon Vandermeir, said her grandchild, in kindergarten, is not learning anything.

“She gets distracted easily, she’s bored, she doesn’t like to sit in front of a computer for six hours a day,” Vandermeir said. “The kids need an education, and Zoom is not an education.”

Read more here.

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Students lined the front row at a rally at Memorial Park in Wheaton Tuesday to demand in-person schooling be allowed.

As students across the Western suburbs begin the school year with remote learning, hundreds of parents rallied in a downtown Wheaton park Tuesday night to demand that students be allowed to return to classrooms and youth sports.

Parents of student-athletes in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 organized the demonstration to increase pressure on school systems to make the leap to in-person instruction even as coronavirus case counts continue to climb in much of the region, particularly among young people. DuPage County has registered more than 1,300 new infections within the past 14 days.

The gathering in Wheaton’s Memorial Park drew participants from as far away as Mokena and Orland Park, Western Springs and Huntley.

Along with students, some teachers and coaches, parents at the rally made the case for reopening classrooms, arguing that the loss of social interaction in schools hurts their children’s emotional, mental and social well-being.

“Any parent could tell you that it’s not good for kids to be staring at a screen for 25 hours a week,” said Eric Brown, a parent of five children learning from home in District 200. “It’s not good for the kids. It’s not good for the teachers and what they do best.”

Read more here.

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In this last month of live horse racing for the year at Arlington International, the racecourse got approval to allow spectators inside starting Thursday and tickets are now on sale.

Officials from the Arlington Heights Department of Health and Human Services, Cook County Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health approved a plan Aug. 27 that had been submitted by Arlington International Racecourse, located in Arlington Heights, to allow a limited number of spectators into the outdoor areas of the facility on race days, according to a news release from the racecourse.

The plan will be in full operation Thursday, just in time for watching the Kentucky Derby Saturday, officials said in the release.

There are some special provisions in light of the pandemic: All tickets must be purchased online at least 24 hours in advance and access is limited to adults age 18 and older only. Children 17 and younger will not be allowed in the facility.

Tickets will be sold in sets of four. The release explains that a full set of health and safety guidelines and facility restrictions can be viewed on Arlington’s website at arlingtonpark.com/tickets/policies-restrictions/.

Read more here.

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The 8th annual Hills Are Alive Fall Festival is three weeks from today

The Village mailed their Summer newsletter to residents earlier this month. Some of the topics covered included:

  • The upcoming Hills are Alive Fall Festival
  • Voting information and critical dates
  • BACOG’s annual well water testing event
  • Updates from the Police Department
  • Village roads speed limit enforcement
  • Words of prevention on theft or burglary, and
  • A pop Village knowledge quiz

If you did not receive your copy of the newsletter, you can find it here.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants you to trust him. He and his fellow Democrats are pushing their “fair tax” proposal on the November ballot. And they promise that if you vote “yes,” they’ll only take from the rich, not the middle class.

They’re spinning the story on video ads that Pritzker is paying for, and in the media. And here’s the spin: If you vote for Pritzker’s “fair tax” amendment, and change the state constitution to abolish the current flat tax, there’s no way they’ll use their new “progressive” tax to reach down into the middle class and grab middle-class money.

No way. They promise. Trust them.

Who wouldn’t trust Pritzker? And just look at House Speaker Michael Madigan, the Democratic Party boss of Illinois, smiling impishly, even with all that federal heat on him and the FBI’s big federal bus rolling back and forth between Springfield and Chicago. Who wouldn’t trust Boss Madigan? Isn’t trust everything?

Some of you want to trust them. I get it. They’re powerful people, and Illinoisans have been trained to bow and scrape before their lords. Besides, I bet that some who believe they’ll only tax the rich also want to believe that someday, they might have tiny purple unicorns as pets.

But the problem is reality — and a series of excellent Chicago Tribune editorials on broken promises from the political class in Springfield.

Read more of John Kass’ column here.

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Students form three lines to have their temperature checked Monday at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

Symptom checks and temperature scans joined new classes and meetups with old friends as essential elements of the first day of school Monday at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights.

Nearly all of the school’s 837 students chose in-person learning this fall as Saint Viator became one of just a handful of Northwest suburban schools — most of them private — to offer that option.

Students also have the choice to attend remotely, but only a few chose, in addition to 56 international students, picked that option.

Before entering the building each day, students must complete a symptom checker through an emailed link. Their temperature then is checked at the door and movement through hallways is controlled through directional markings.

Everyone in the building must wear a mask at all times, except when eating lunch. Students are assigned a seat in all classes and in the lunchroom, where preordered box lunches are provided.

Read more here.

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Our Village Board of Trustees meets tonight at 6:30 PM. A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

Social distancing and masks are required to attend the meeting. Those wishing to listen in can dial 508-924-1464.

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(Click on image to enlarge)

The first woman to vote in Illinois lived in Lombard.

The leader of a pioneering 1910 auto tour across northern Illinois to stump for suffrage lived in Oak Park.

The architect of the law that let Illinois women vote for municipal and presidential elections after 1913 hailed from Evanston. So did the longtime president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a group that led a major push for the suffrage cause.

The suburbs were fertile ground for the decadeslong movement that eventually allowed women the vote nationwide 100 years ago with the ratification on Aug. 26, 1920, of the 19th Amendment.

Nearby in Chicago, women like Ida B. Wells and Jane Addams also pushed the needle forward by forming a suffrage club among African American women and taking a leadership role in the National American Woman Suffrage Association. With these efforts, adding in the actions of women across the suburbs, historical experts say, the region took on a strong importance in the push to secure “Votes for Women,” as suffragists’ campaign signs often read.

“It’s the whole Chicago area that is influencing the movement,” said Lori Osborne, director of the Evanston Women’s History Project.

Read more of the Daily Herald article here.

Further references cited in this article can be found at Evanston Women’s History Project, Lombard Historical Society, DuPage County Historical Museum, Illinois Humanities Road Scholar and the Naper Settlement.

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With concerns rising over the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to handle a crush of mail ballots this fall, suburban counties are installing dozens of secure drop boxes across the region. This one is outside the McHenry County administration building in Woodstock. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

With concerns about U.S. mail service and election tampering growing, Lake County officials this week said people will be able to deposit vote-by-mail ballots in more than a dozen secure boxes throughout the county ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

They aren’t alone in trying to boost confidence in the voting process.

More than 50 drop boxes for mail-in ballots will be installed throughout suburban Cook County. Sites will include the village halls in Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Elk Grove Village, Glenview, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Northbrook and Streamwood, as well as libraries in Des Plaines and Wheeling.

Two drop boxes will be securely installed at the DuPage County complex in Wheaton — one in the parking lot and one inside, Chief Deputy Clerk Adam Johnson said. Additionally, nearly 300 drop boxes will be placed at all early voting locations and Election Day polling places in the county, Johnson said.

Read more here.

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Hundreds of thousands of suburban children are resuming schoolwork within the next few weeks, but this year fewer than 6,200 of them will go back to their classrooms full time.

Only 9 of 105 suburban districts are offering “in-person” learning, the Illinois State Board of Education reports.

Another 30 of the suburban school districts will open with a “blended” model, where students are split into two groups and alternate between remote learning and in-class sessions.

The remaining 66 suburban school districts will have full-time remote learning, with kids having classes exclusively online.

Those opening for in-person learning are:

  • Butler Elementary District 53 in Oak Brook
  • Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89
  • Grass Lake Elementary District 36 in Antioch
  • Itasca Elementary District 10
  • Medinah Elementary District 11
  • Rondout Elementary District 72 in Lake Forest
  • Roselle Elementary District 12
  • Rosemont Elementary District 78, and
  • West Northfield Elementary District 31 in Northbrook

Read more from the Daily Herald here,

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