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Push for Cops to get Heroin OD Cure

March 13, 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015
Daily Southtown
by Mike Nolan

A Cook County commissioner from the Southland wants to see more police officers equipped with a drug that can prevent heroin overdoses. 

Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman, R-Orland Park, introduced a resolution that was adopted by the county board Wednesday, calling for police and other first responders to be trained in the use of Naloxone, also known as Narcan, when they encounter a person exhibiting signs of an overdose of opioids, such as heroin.

Fire department paramedics have long had access to Narcan, but police officers cannot, by law, carry the drug or administer it without training and approval from qualified medical personnel.

Will County last summer approved a program to train police officers in using Narcan, which is a nasal spray, and Orland Park police are also being equipped and trained in using it.

In 2013, opioid abuse led to 383 deaths in Cook County, and 234 were related to heroin overdoses, according to Gorman’s office.

Paramedics with the Orland Fire Protection District have used Narcan on “numerous occasions,” with an annual peak of 50-plus doses reached a couple of years ago, Fire Chief Ken Brucki said.
“We have seen a reduction in the number of cases” in recent years, but that number “is still staggering,” he said.

Having police able to administer the drug would be a benefit because they’re on the streets and often “can get there (a medical call) ahead of us,” Brucki said.

He said that a delay of even a minute or two in administering the drug can make the difference in saving a life.

Sled hill closed for now, but changes coming to Swallow Cliff

January 12, 2015

By Lauren Zumbach
Chicago Tribune 
contact the reporter

Sledding enthusiasts won’t be able to zoom down the 100-foot slope at Swallow Cliff Woods nearPalos Park this winter, but officials of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County said they’re working to build a “new and improved” recreation area there. Winter events offer alternative to hibernation“It’s a site that’s being heavily used for recreation and fitness, so we’re trying to enhance that and keep it one of our premier recreation sites,” said Chris Slattery, the forest preserves director of planning and development.

Changes will include making the sledding area less steep, adding another set of stairs and constructing a new warming shelter.

The new shelter is under construction and should be completed by June, Slattery said. At about 3,000 square feet, it will be larger than the old shelter with a fireplace, concessions, meeting room, bathrooms and an outdoor patio and fire pit, he said.
For the fitness enthusiasts who climb the preserve’s 125 stairs year-round, district officials plan to add a second set of stairs on the right side of the hill, creating a loop that should eliminate some of the up-and-down traffic, Slattery said.

“Especially on the weekends during the summer, it’s so packed it’s ridiculous,” said Kevin McGreal, of Orland Park, who was finishing a 45-minute stair session Monday evening and said he hits the Swallow Cliff stairs a couple times a week, often with family. “I think it’s a great idea.”

But some of the changes will tame the thrills of Swallow Cliff, which currently has a steeper grade than other forest preserve sledding hills, and may disappoint sledding enthusiasts with a need for speed.

Swallow Cliff Woods, at 11918 S. La Grange Rd., used to feature toboggan runs that ran from the bluff’s peak to base, but they were “a bit of a hazard” and closed in 2004, at least in part due to safety concerns, Slattery said.

Until this winter, people could still sled on the hill, though only from a little more than halfway up. But once the toboggan chutes and their supports were removed, the hill began eroding, Slattery said.

To stabilize it, the district needs to regrade the slope to a gentler incline, Slattery said. The district also will add a platform marking the official starting line, still midway up the hill. The hill likely will be closed for sledding next winter too.

“I know that’s part of the thrill, but since the chutes were removed, it just isn’t stable. Making it a little less steep will help keep it from eroding,” Slattery said, explaining the changes weren’t just about safety.

The hill is in bad enough shape that the district closed it to sledding this winter, even though construction on the hill and new stairs likely won’t start until spring, Slattery said.

When the district sought input on the upgrades in 2013, there was talk of eventually adding an alpine slide that would allow year-round riding. Slattery said they’ve put that idea — floated after a few mild winters when there was rarely enough snow for sledding — on hold because it would require getting rid of the sledding hill.

“We want to see how popular the renovated hill is before we go there and see what happens to the climate,” he said.

All of the preserves features, including the new stairs and sledding hill, should be ready to open in 2016, Slattery said.

In the meantime, officials are directing sledding enthusiasts to nearby Pioneer Woods, at 9966 W. 107th St. in Willow Springs, with a sledding hill that opened Jan. 4.

Gorman Endorsed for Re-election by the Chicago Tribune

October 28, 2014

17th District (southwest, west and northwest suburbs): Republican incumbent Elizabeth Doody Gorman has only a gentle challenge from Democrat Jim Hickey (no survey), who heads the Orland Fire Protection District. Hickey didn’t complete our election questionnaire, and we weren’t able to reach him.

We endorse Gorman with undying gratitude for her persistence in gradually killing the Stroger tax. And we applaud her work in making county government more active in three areas: her attention to animal protection issues (dogfighting remains alarmingly common), environmental concerns (flooding plagues many homeowners), and the need for expanded mental health services.

Gorman is the prime mover on an advisory referendum in which county voters will be asked whether Illinois should devote more funding to these services. One reason that’s important: Sheriff Tom Dart has written on our opinion pages that one-third of Cook County’s jail inmates suffer from serious mental illnesses; they rotate between the jail and the streets, receiving inadequate mental health treatment and running up criminal justice costs for taxpayers.

Commissioner Gorman sponsors resolution to place referendum on county ballot regarding mental health funding in Illinois

July 21, 2014

0 CommentsChicago, IL – Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman has sponsored a resolution asking to place a referendum on the Cook County ballot regarding mental health funding in Illinois. The resolution will be presented for approval at the upcoming Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting to be held this week on Wednesday, July 23.  If passed, the referendum question will appear before Cook County voters on the November 4, 2014 ballot.

The resolution calls for the following question to be placed before Cook County voters in November, and it reads:  “Shall the General Assembly of the State of Illinois appropriate additional funds to provide necessary mental health services for the people of the State of Illinois?”

One in five Illinois residents experiences a diagnosable mental disorder every year. Mental illness affects people regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or economic status.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness, Illinois ranked fourth in the nation in terms of cutting mental health programs, with $187 million in cuts between 2009 and 2012.  Half of Chicago’s 12 mental health care facilities have been closed by the state.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart estimates that 25%-30% of the Cook County Jail population is suffering from mental illness and Cook County Jail is viewed as the largest mental health facility in the United States. Also, a study conducted by the University of Chicago suggests that the majority of youth involved with the criminal justice system experience at least one psychiatric disorder. 

“Mental health is an issue that touches across all spectrums of our community.  It’s important that we not lose sight of the significant impact state funding cuts have had at the local levels.  It’s time for Springfield to get its financial priorities in order but not at the expense of those people who are most in need, especially in the area of mental health care,” said Commissioner Gorman.

The resolution has the support of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (as a co-sponsor) as well as the bipartisan support of eight fellow commissioners who have also signed on as co-sponsors. In addition, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez have submitted letters of support for the resolution.

President Preckwinkle and members of the Board of Commissioners recognize the significance of mental illness in Cook County and believe that more needs to be done to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and additional resources to heighten awareness of and treatment for mental illness should be provided.

Commissioner Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, Republican from Orland Park, represents Cook County’s suburban 17th District. She has been a strong advocate for tax reform, fiscal responsibility, and budget and operational efficiencies. Commissioner Gorman has also worked hard for greater transparency throughout Cook County government and for making the Forest Preserve District a national leader in the areas of recreation, restoration and conservation.

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Completely unacceptable. We must do much better for those who are the most vulnerable. ... See MoreSee Less

Completely unacceptable. We must do much better for those who are the most vulnerable.

Comment on Facebook

Breaks my heart, many of our older clients 80’s can’t get the vaccine. They wait on hold, signed up numerous locations etc etc. Any suggestions? One even went to Indiana and received. Illinois needs to do better.

Illinois vaccine program is screwed up as is everything else in the state. My cousin in Florida said 73% of people are vaccinated in her county (St. Augustine) and this was weeks ago.

VIDEO: Watch as a wellness check by police turns violent in a split second. Fortunately, the police officer responded quickly to avoid the point blank gun fire. This is an example of how dangerous a seemingly routine call can be for police officers. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Thanks for sharing. I am angry how the Democrats want to defund the police. They want to replace with social workers?

INDOOR CAPACITY LIMITS INCREASED FOR COOK COUNTY

In alignment with the City of Chicago, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is planning to increase capacity limits for several sectors in our suburban Cook County jurisdiction. Our metrics continue to trend in the right direction, allowing for us to make this change.

The new mitigation order CCDPH will be issuing allows for an increase in capacity from the lesser of 40% of capacity or 50 people, to the lesser of 50% capacity or 50 people in restaurants, bars, and event spaces. Performance venues, movie theaters and personal services and health and fitness centers can also increase to 50% capacity (increase from 40%) with no more than 50 people within any one space. Health and fitness centers can also increase capacity to 20 people in indoor fitness classes (up from 15), as long as six feet of spacing can be maintained.
... See MoreSee Less

INDOOR CAPACITY LIMITS INCREASED FOR COOK COUNTY

In alignment with the City of Chicago, the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is planning to increase capacity limits for several sectors in our suburban Cook County jurisdiction. Our metrics continue to trend in the right direction, allowing for us to make this change.    

The new mitigation order CCDPH will be issuing allows for an increase in capacity from the lesser of 40% of capacity or 50 people, to the lesser of 50% capacity or 50 people in restaurants, bars, and event spaces. Performance venues, movie theaters and personal services and health and fitness centers can also increase to 50% capacity (increase from 40%) with no more than 50 people within any one space.  Health and fitness centers can also increase capacity to 20 people in indoor fitness classes (up from 15), as long as six feet of spacing can be maintained.

Comment on Facebook

Not just Cook County. Kankakee County is bad too. Illinois has to get their act together. I have been trying to get the vaccine for my husband and myself but with no luck.

The public health system seems a “Lilttle jazzed up” as to the vaccination sites with no vaccines. Why did they not come up with a plan til the last minute.

Kinda venting because I went to a site at Thornton Fractional yesterday with a appointment and was turned down. Sign read CCH VACCINATION SITE. Someone leaked a school district only site. Can we get some organizational skills and put together a less stressful situation to get the vaccine?? This is nuts even for Cook County

The president says there will be enough vaccines but not enough places to deliver.

COOK COUNTY BOARD APPROVES FUNDING FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS THROUGHOUT COMMUNITY

Last week, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved funding for engineering services and construction activities for projects across the County led by the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) as well as intergovernmental partnerships with several local agencies. These vital projects will boost economic development, build up regional transportation and improve quality of life throughout Cook County.

Most of these projects are funded by 'Invest in Cook' grants, which help municipalities further their transportation projects by covering the cost of planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local governments and private partners.

VILLAGE OF TINLEY PARK
The Board approved funding for construction and construction management for the bi-County 80th Avenue roadway reconstruction in the Village of Tinley Park from approximately 191st Street to 183rd Street. Cook County will pay $8.5 million for costs associated with portions of the project under the County’s jurisdiction. Construction improvements on 80th Avenue consist of reconstruction, roadway widening, additional turn lanes, upgraded street lighting, reconstruction of the structures over the Union drainage ditch and Interstate 80, traffic signal modernization at the intersections of 80th Avenue and 191st Street and 80th Avenue and 183rd Street, installation of new traffic signals at the intersection of 80th Avenue and 185th Street and installation of pedestrian facilities and landscaping.

VILLAGE OF JUSTICE
DoTH awarded the Village of Justice a $400,000 Invest in Cook grant that will fund the reconstruction of 82nd Place from 88th/Cork Avenue going east to the end of the cul-de-sac. Improvements include the complete removal of existing pavement, base layers as well as curb and gutter, removal and replacement of driveways on the north side of 82nd Place between the proposed curb and gutter, drainage upgrades and freshly sodded parkways. 82nd Place is a busy roadway that supports the movement of over 200 freight trucks daily.

Applications for 2021 Invest in Cook grants are currently open and will be accepted through March 12. For more information and how to apply, visit www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook.
... See MoreSee Less

COOK COUNTY BOARD APPROVES FUNDING FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS THROUGHOUT COMMUNITY

Last week, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved funding for engineering services and construction activities for projects across the County led by the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) as well as intergovernmental partnerships with several local agencies. These vital projects will boost economic development, build up regional transportation and improve quality of life throughout Cook County.

Most of these projects are funded by Invest in Cook grants, which help municipalities further their transportation projects by covering the cost of planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local governments and private partners.

VILLAGE OF TINLEY PARK
The Board approved funding for construction and construction management for the bi-County 80th Avenue roadway reconstruction in the Village of Tinley Park from approximately 191st Street to 183rd Street. Cook County will pay $8.5 million for costs associated with portions of the project under the County’s jurisdiction. Construction improvements on 80th Avenue consist of reconstruction, roadway widening, additional turn lanes, upgraded street lighting, reconstruction of the structures over the Union drainage ditch and Interstate 80, traffic signal modernization at the intersections of 80th Avenue and 191st Street and 80th Avenue and 183rd Street, installation of new traffic signals at the intersection of 80th Avenue and 185th Street and installation of pedestrian facilities and landscaping.

VILLAGE OF JUSTICE
DoTH awarded the Village of Justice a $400,000 Invest in Cook grant that will fund the reconstruction of 82nd Place from 88th/Cork Avenue going east to the end of the cul-de-sac. Improvements include the complete removal of existing pavement, base layers as well as curb and gutter, removal and replacement of driveways on the north side of 82nd Place between the proposed curb and gutter, drainage upgrades and freshly sodded parkways. 82nd Place is a busy roadway that supports the movement of over 200 freight trucks daily.

Applications for 2021 Invest in Cook grants are currently open and will be accepted through March 12. For more information and how to apply, visit https://www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook.

Comment on Facebook

143rd between Wolf Rd and Will Cook Rd in Orland is always flooded. This need attention please.

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