Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Illinois State Police Announces Initiative to Up Enforcement of “Move Over” Law

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

The Illinois law, which requires motorists to change lanes when they see a parked first-responder vehicle on the side of a multi-lane highway with moving traffic, is obeyed by most motorists. Some drivers continue to zoom by parked police cars, even when they see their lights flashing. The Illinois State Police (ISP) reports that ten of their squad cars have been hit by motorists so far in 2019. A January 12, 2019 incident on a stretch of the Chicago-area I-294 led to the on-duty death of State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert.

The State Police, in cooperation with local law enforcement, have initiated a crackdown intended to increase enforcement of the “Move Over” law. Also known as “Scott’s Law,” this is a mandate on drivers to change lanes away from a parked roadside first-responder motor vehicle whenever this can be done safely and in line with traffic conditions. If the driver cannot change lanes, the driver must slow down in order to pass the first responder at a safe rate of speed. In this crackdown, a second police vehicle may park near, and just in front of, the first parked police vehicle. If someone disobeys the law and zooms through the lane, they can expect to be pulled over.

A violation of the “Move Over” law requires a mandatory court appearance, at which time the offender may face license suspension and a fine of up to $10,000. “Scott’s Law” is a tribute to Chicago Fire Dept. Lt. Scott Gillen, who was killed in December 2000 on the Bishop Ford Expressway while on duty. Fallen Illinois first responders are remembered at the Illinois Police Memorial and at the Illinois Fire Memorial on the grounds of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. In addition, a foundation closely affiliated with the Illinois State Police is in the final stages of completing a memorial garden for State Police officers on South Sixth Street in Springfield, adjacent to the ISP headquarters building.

In Memoriam: Mayor Thomas J. Weisner

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

It was with sadness and mourning that we learned last week of former Mayor Thomas J. Weisner’s passing. The 57thmayor of Aurora, Weisner succumbed after a long-fought battle with cancer. His wife of 46 years, Marilyn, and his family were at his side.

Born and raised in Batavia, he attended Marmion Academy. It was at this time that he had stated he began to appreciate the many opportunities Aurora offered. He eventually chose Aurora as his home.

He and Marilyn served a number of years in the Solomon Islands with the Peace Corps.

After serving various roles in the City of Aurora, he began his first of three terms as mayor in 2005.

“I met Mayor Weisner when I began at the Chamber in July 2005,” explains Joseph B. Henning, IOM, CAE, and president and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It was an honor to have worked with him and his team throughout the years on such beneficial projects for the city.”

“From Pathways to Prosperity to business recruitment and retention,” Henning continues, “Mayor Weisner was committed to making Aurora better and better. His ability to work with state and national leaders as well as local business and community representatives was a great example of collaborative work.”

“It is without a doubt,” Henning states, “Mayor Weisner left his mark on the community. History will forever appreciate his foresight while enjoying RiverEdge Park and other community amenities as well as his intense focus on infrastructure and public safety.”

“On behalf of the Aurora Chamber Board of Directors, members, and staff, our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to Marilyn and his family,” Henning concludes.

In addition to Marilyn, Mayor Weisner is survived by their son Tony (Allison) and granddaughters Olivia and Zoe. He was preceded in death by his son Thaddeus, who died from complications of cerebral palsy in 2006.

A public wake will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, and again on Friday, Jan. 11, at New England Congregational Church, 406 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora.

A public memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. A private burial will take place at Marywood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Weisner Foundation or the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. Contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 2602, Aurora, IL 60507-2602.


On America Recycles Day, Are You Recycling Correctly?

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

On America Recycles Day, local government leaders, multiple organizations and the waste industry, are asking consumers if they are recycling right.  Based on audits performed by the recycling industry, one in four items placed in the recycling cart is not recyclable which has led to increased contamination.

To tackle the issue of recycling contamination, the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) formed a state-wide task force to bring the recycling industry – haulers and sorting facility operators – together with government and business to develop simple, cohesive recycling education materials to help residents better understand what items should and should not be placed in recycling carts.

“Recycling is more highly contaminated with non-recyclable garbage than ever before,” said Walter Willis, SWALCO executive director and co-chair of the NWRA – SWANA task force.  “The non-recyclable items weigh down sorting facilities, reduce commodity prices, and affect the re-manufacturing markets,” continued Willis.

“Recycling facilities report contamination from 25% to over 35% in some of the recycling streams,” said Lisa Disbrow, vice chair of the Illinois Chapter of NWRA and co-chair of the NWRA and SWANA task force. “As recycling facilities add labor to help remove contamination and slow lines to improve recovery, these additional costs are passed along which may increase costs for local governments, and ultimately residents,” commented Disbrow.

The task force identified the most common items placed in the recycling cart that are not recyclable including plastic bags, tanglers (i.e. garden hoses, wire, cords, clothing), food waste, medical waste including syringes, and batteries.  As a result of the task force discussions, guidelines were developed to represent the common recycling denominators of all programs throughout the state, and the goal is to have them as go-to guidelines for all programs, all haulers, and all educators throughout the state. Participating in the discussions at the task force, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency developed and launched a new webpage this month to answer recycling questions for Illinois residents:

“Plastics are the most commonly misunderstood items,” explained Jennifer Jarland, Kane County Recycling Program Coordinator and member of the Task Force. “The resin identification code number in the triangle does not mean that a plastic object is recyclable!  Plastic containers – bottles, tubs, jugs and jars – are the only plastic items recyclable in your curbside carts. Please keep all flexible plastic packaging, pouches, bags, and wraps out of your recycling!”

In addition to representatives of NWRA, SWANA, IEPA, the task force participants include: USEPA, City of Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Madison County, Will County, Solid Waste Agencies of Cook County, Lake County and West Cook County, and multiple organizations including the Illinois County Solid Waste Management Association, Illinois Recycling Association, and the Steel Recycling Institute.

W-2 Wage Earners Should Do a Paycheck Checkup ASAP

Monday, September 17th, 2018

The IRS urges everyone who works as an employee and has income from other sources to perform a Paycheck Checkup. This includes income from sharing economy activities, interest, dividends, self-employment, capital gains, or prizes and awards.

A Paycheck Checkup can help you avoid receiving a lower refund, an unexpected tax bill or underpayment penalty when you file your tax return next year.

You can do a checkup using the IRS Withholding Calculator or Publication 505. This is especially important in 2018 due to tax changes taking effect this year.

You can pay taxes throughout the year anytime.

Free Fall Leaf Collection Begins Next Month

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Fall is soon to arrive and Aurora residents will be able to dispose of their leaves for free as part of the City of Aurora’s Annual Leaf Collection Program.

The free Fall Leaf Collection Program begins on Monday, Oct. 15, and ends on Friday, Dec. 7.

Leaves must be put into a 30-gallon Kraft paper yard waste bag and placed at the curb on the regular garbage pickup day by 6 a.m. No waste sticker is needed.


Yard waste collection will also take place through Friday, Dec. 7 as well. On the regular garbage pickup day, yard waste must be placed in a 30-gallon Kraft paper yard waste bag not to exceed 50 pounds. Each bag must have a waste sticker attached. The stickers used for yard waste are the same as the stickers used for excess garbage. Yard waste mixed with trash or yard waste in a trash can or plastic bag will not be collected.


Residents are also being reminded that brush must be bundled for collection. Unlimited bundled brush collection is in process and will end on Friday, Nov. 2. Branches and limbs 1/2 inch to 4 inches in diameter and 2 feet to 4 feet in length must be bundled. Each bundle must weigh less than 50 pounds. Bundled brush does not need a waste sticker. Brush less than 1/2 inch in diameter is considered yard waste and must be packaged as previously described.

Our Website, Email Addresses Have Changed

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

Our online presence (website) is now (with the hyphen separating the two words. In addition, the staff emails have changed to the domain. We are beginning the rebranding and awareness of the new domain and will continue rolling out as appropriate.

Before 2005, an individual obtained the domain and, for years, offered it to the Chamber at no cost. However, each year we would experience anywhere from a day to a week without a website presence as the renewal was due and we waited for its renewal. This year, on or about Thursday, Feb. 15, the site went down when the renewal was not paid. After several attempts to contact him via email and phone (disconnected), we obtained other (similar) domains to transfer the files and move forward without continuing to have this issue. Last Thursday, within hours, Weblinx (our designer and host) migrated the site, updated the pages and navigation, changed the email addresses, and submitted changes and site map to Google for searches. Membership directory, events, and everything else are now functioning properly.

If you notice any broken links or glitches, please let me know so we can get them fixed. Also, if you have sent an email to anyone on the team and not received a response, please let us know at the address and we’ll get back to you. Some emails have gone through with the down website – but a number of them have been lost.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: VNA Health Care Offers Screening

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

In recognition that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, VNA Health Care wants women to know that cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable cancer, but only if women take the steps to get screened and vaccinated. In 2018, an estimated 13,240 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 4,170 will die from the disease.

The current recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding cervical cancer screening are having a pap smear every 3 years for women age 21-65. Women age 30 to 65 years who want to lengthen the screening interval may opt to have a pap smear with human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years. Vaccinations can protect people from getting the types of HPV that most often cause cancer and genital warts. Vaccines that protect against the types of HPV that cause 90% of cervical cancers, as well as several other diseases and cancers, are recommended to be given to girls and boys ages 11 to 12 years of age.

About 80% of women will get HPV at some point in their life, but in the vast majority of women these virus will not cause any symptoms or problems. HPV infections that don’t go away can cause changes in the cervix cells, and those changes can lead to cervical cancer. This happens over 10 to 20 years. Many women younger than 30 will have HPV, but these infections are more likely to go away.

Pre-invasive cervical lesions often have no symptoms. Once abnormal cells become cancerous and invade nearby tissue, the most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding, which may start and stop between regular menstrual periods or cause menstrual bleeding to last longer or be heavier than usual. Women who experience any of these symptoms should discuss them with their primary care provider.

While there are no medicines to treat HPV, there are treatments for the cell changes in the cervix that HPV can cause. If your Pap test shows cervix cell changes, your doctor or nurse will talk to you about treatments, if you need them. The good news is that cervical cancer is rare in women who get regular screening tests.

To make an appointment for a women’s wellness exam at VNA, which includes cervical cancer screening, call (630)892-4355.  VNA accepts Blue Cross Community, Harmony, and Meridian Medicaid Managed Care Plans, Medicare, and some private insurance. Uninsured patients can qualify for a discount based on household income. VNA is the lead agency for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer program (IBCCP) in Kane, Kendall, Will, and Kankakee counties.  IBCCP provides screenings at no cost to uninsured women who qualify.

VNA Health Care operates 10 clinics in suburban Chicago and serves over 65,000 people a year. VNA is nationally ranked as a top performing health center as a result of patient outcomes such as prenatal care, adolescent weight screening and counseling, vascular disease treatment, blood pressure control, healthy birthweights, and asthma care. VNA’s combination of convenience (by appointment or walk-in), patient-centered technology and expert care delivered with respect and compassion have led to these results. VNA is accredited by The Joint Commission.

Illinois Winter Transportation

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

 “Winter Weather – Get It Together” winter driving preparation push begins. The Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Illinois Tollway have opened a joint initiative to help concerned drivers and families prepare for winter driving conditions. Called “Winter Weather – Get it Together”, the effort includes videos and a checkoff sheet for motorists to view and get ready.

Helpful tips include the desirability of having an emergency car care kit for cold conditions. The kit could contain jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. Many drivers will already have one of the most important items of all: a fully charged cell phone and car charger.

Illinois drivers are preparing for snow and ice conditions by watching out for road ice, especially on bridges, ramps, and shaded areas. Standard warnings concerning seat belt usage, no driving while using a handheld device, and avoiding stopped first-responder and construction vehicles are repeated and intensified for winter driving conditions.

Illinois Bicentennial

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Rep. Tim Butler leads countdown to Illinois bicentennial in December 2018. The twelve-month period to observe Illinois’ 200th birthday as a state begins on December 3, 2017, when Illinois turns 199. Bicentennial commission member Tim Butler calls for celebrating historic U.S. Route 66, the “Mother Road” that ties together Chicago and Downstate. The Illinois Bicentennial will commemorate the technologies that have helped to create the modern state, including Route 66, Illinois railroads, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

The Illinois Bicentennial Commission is coordinating a program of events in locations throughout Illinois to celebrate the milestone. More events are expected to be added as Illinois approaches the actual birthday on December 3, 2018. This birthday commemorates passage by Congress of the law that admitted Illinois to the Union as the 21st state. Illinois was one of the states planned by President Thomas Jefferson as his proposal for the future of what had been the frontier “Northwest Territory.” By 1818 Jefferson had left office, but his friend and successor President James Monroe led the actual admission of Illinois into the national union of states.

Protection from Discrimination

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

The City of Aurora has a Human Relations Commission with a goal to further understanding within our community and to preserve recognized rights of residents of the City particularly in the areas of equal employment, housing, and access to public services and facilities. The Commission can investigate claims of discrimination, mediate conflict, and act when our human relations ordinance is violated. The Commission also works to educate people about their rights under the ordinance and to help promote harmonious relations within our community.

The City of Aurora’s Human Relations Ordinance prohibits discrimination based on race, nationality, color, ancestry, religion or creed, national origin, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or military status.

If you believe you are the victim of discrimination in employment, housing, education, public services and facilities, public accommodations, financial institutions, insurance companies, or labor organizations, you may file a complaint with the Commission.

Please visit the Human Relations Commission web page to learn more, contact us via email to, or call us at (630) 256-3007.