At Home with Merle Burleigh
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At Home with Merle Burleigh

Aug 11, 2023

August 30, 2023 By City of West Chicago


Although the end of the summer season is coming to a close, mosquitos are still in season. The predominant variety now is the culex mosquito. The West Nile virus is spread to humans via common culex mosquito bites, which have fed from infected birds. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Cook County resident was the first human West Nile virus-related death of 2023. According to the agency another 11 individuals were infected. Last year the first West Nile Virus-related death also occurred in August. There were seven deaths from the virus in 2022 and 26 nonfatal cases; a 26-year old was the youngest to die. Common symptoms include headache, nausea, fever and muscle aches. The virus can include brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis and paralysis or even death. There is no specific treatment of vaccine for West Nile virus.

West Chicago Mosquito Abatement District was founded more than 60 years ago, with Clark Environmental Mosquito Management as the professional services contractor for more than 25 years. Its goal is to protect public health from nuisance-biting mosquitos and risk of mosquito borne disease transmission , primarily West Nile virus. Since 2002, 292 cases have occurred in DuPage County. The key is to concentrate on larval control within the district boundary, scientifically assess the adult population, and perform adulticide only on an as needed basis. During the week of July 30, 34 percent of Culex mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus in DuPage County. This is a higher percentage than the 21.9 percent in the 2012 VNW outbreak year when 56 human cases were diagnosed in DuPage County.

The five members of the District are West Chicago residents, who care that the ULV applications used are safe to human, animal and the environment. The U.S. EPA evaluates the products thoroughly to be sure there is a “ reasonable certainty of no harm.” The ULV equipment that applies the insecticide as a fine aerosol mist of 17 to20 micron droplets at less than one fluid ounce per acre.. A human hair is about 50 microns in diameter. There is no Duet residual activity because it rapidly breaks down overnight. In tests conducted by the Department of Entomology at Louisiana ‘State University, the honeybees were largely unaffected by the low rate mosquito adulticides. The mosquitos are wee insects compared to the honeybees. Additionally, the applications are performed after dusk when bees are in their hives and the mosquitos are up and abaout. (


Visual artist Cruz, originally from San Cristóbal De Las Casas, began her artistic journey at the University of Sciences and Arts of Chiapas, where she learned the art of printmaking. With a background in biology and a deep interest in scientific illustration, she found her way to the world of visual arts. Having conducted art workshops, specializing in watercolor and bookbinding, among others, her recent exhibitions have included "Expo Quetzales, gallery for the environment," and "Encuentro y Reflexión" organized by Portales del Arte in Chiapas.

The James Webb Space Telescope, launched almost two years ago, has now set to work. Its large mirror, orbiting a million miles from the earth, is designed to give astronomers superb capabilities for exploring the infrared universe. New data is flown down constantly from JWST in the form of images. The discussion focuses on a selection of recent scientific results, viewing phenomena associated with planets, stars and galaxies JWST examined. (

CERT training courses are designed to provide basic training to citizens in disaster preparedness. This training is intended to increase the ability of citizens to survive until responders or other assistance arrives in the event of a disaster. The training covers a range of subjects, including Weather Safety, Fire and Life Safety, Medical assistance, Light Search and Rescue, CERT Organization, CPR and AED utilization, Psychology, and Terrorism.



The DuPage County Health Department developed a dashboard to provide information on the total number of people, in DuPage County, who have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the dashboard includes a map which shows the distribution of reported cases by municipality and is updated at 4:00 p.m. daily. DuPage County's "COVID-19 Dashboard" is a one-stop-shop for all the information it offers including a town-by-town breakdown of cases. As of Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, there were 12,040 cases and 67 deaths; this is the number from the beginning of track recording.



Omar Espinosa, Lions Club president, was moderator for the program. Leading the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance was Lion Clubs member Sterling Price, owner of the UPS Store. Lions Club member Reverend Avani Christian, pastor at New Hope United Methodist Church, gave the invocation. Mayor Ruben Pineda said he attended Turner, the junior high and the high school,Teachers help prepare the youth for life’s challenges.” He added, “We appreciate all you do…You mold the future of West Chicago.”The community has many amenities, parks, prairie paths trails and library. “Welcome to our community.” Lori Chassee, Multi District Lions Club Council Chair, told about the Lions Club on the international level, district level and local level. The West Chicago Lions Club provides vision screens, makes donation to the food pantry, library and offer scholarships to name a few, Other speakers were Kristina Davis, District 33 Superintendent; Tom Tawney, Mexican Cultural Center DuPage board member; and Kate Monteleone, Executive Director of Neighborhood Food Pantries.

New administrative staff are Kellie Barros, Director of Multilingual Learners; Julie Odom, Assistant Director of Athletics and Activities; Jennifer Rutkas, Assistant Director of Preschool Programming; Matthew Ryan, Assistant Director of Technology and Infrastructure; Amy Martensen, Assistant Principal at Leman Middle School; Megan Bartlett Dean of Students at LMS; Kelly Reinmann Dean of Students LMS; Anthony Hugelier, Principal at Currier School; and Carmla Getz, Assistant Principal at Currier.

Currier Principal Hugelier, introduced the new staff. They are Amber Astroth, 3rd Grade Teacher; and Mario Garcia, 3rd grade Dual Language teacher.

Indian Knoll School principal Jacqueline Campos introduced the new staff. They are Jenna Spaniol, Self-Contained Learning Behavioral Specialist; Denisse Murillo, Social Worker; Guadalupe Calderon, Dual Language; Ines Erickson, Speech Language Pathologist; Jessica Ascencion, 5th grade Dual Language; Michelle Peterson, Self-Contained LBS1; and Tanaya Harrington, LBS1.

Leman Middle School principal Maggie Lay introduced the new staff. They are Sierra Jacobs, Health Teacher; Christian Rivera Rivera, Advanced Spanish Teacher; Karoline Giza, Language Arts; Yvette Hernandez, Social Worker; Viviana Flores, LBS1; Kaitlin Gaynor, Band Teacher; Jennifer Thueson, Enriched Social Studies; Bonnie Ryan, Art Teacher; Meghan Lange, Language Arts Teacher; Katharyn Mattern, Language Arts; and Christy Perez Language Arts. Others are Lauren Kroscher, English Language Arts; Charles Klapp, Orchestra Teacher; Daniella Fox, English Second Language/Newcomer; Marjhe Mason, choir teacher; Joseph Ruddy, English Language Arts teacher; Catalina Carnana, Advanced Spanish; Stephanie Jaskiewicz, Instructional Technology Coach; Ashley Samata, English Language Arts; Jose Rivera, English Second Language/Newcomer; Macormick Thom, Enriched SS/Science; and Taylor Bassett, Science Enrichment.

Pioneer School principal Kathy Grogan introduced new staff. They are Laurel Lebo, LBS1; Joelle Nelson, Library Media Specialist; Olesia Mohline, 5th grade Dual Language; John Hilliard, Physical Education; and Perla Benitez, Prekindergarten teacher.

Turner School principal Maurice McDavid introduced new staff. They are Aranza Sparks-Muñoz, kindergarten dual language, and Paul Rivera, 3rd grade dual language teacher.

Wegner School principal is Jamee Kenney. New staff are Sara Gillmar, Individual Education Program Specialist, and Deirdre Jakabcsin, 5th Grade Teacher.

Preschool principal. BrendaVishanoff introduced new staff. They are Maria Vargas Rangel, Bilingual Preschool Teacher; Carol Fisher, Self-Contained LBS1; Sarah Schrandt LBS1 Prekindergarten teacher; Gisel Espinoza, Bilingual Preschool Teacher; Jaqueline Desiderio, LBS1; Kristina Paruolo, Psychologist; and Carrie Gerry, Teacher on Special Assignment.


During the tour participants learn four key shopping skills. These are identifying whole grains, reading food labels, buying fruits and vegetables on a budget and comparing unit prices. The tour ends with a $10 grocery challenge. Each participant will receives a $10 grocery gift card and is challenged to purchase healthy meal ingredients for under $10. (



At approximately 1:03 a.m. Saturday, August 19, 2023, a Chicago police officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Sharpe for traveling 62 mph in a 45-mph-zone. During the traffic stop the officer learned that Sharpe had an active failure to appear warrant out of Kane County. Then Sharpe fled the scene onto North Avenue. The officer pursued Sharpe onto North Avenue and ultimately onto St. Charles Road, where the pursuit came to an end after Sharpe struck a curb and damaged his vehicle. Sharpe was taken into custody at that time. During the pursuit, Sharpe reached speeds of approximately 80 mph in a 35-mph zone. At the time of his arrest, Sharpe was in possession of approximately .5 grams of cocaine.


Also approved was a contract for the amount of $622,932.62 with Alliance Contractors, Inc. of Woodstock for the Klein Road Culvert Replacement Project.

Council approved a Special Use Permit for an Adult Educational Facility, Ruler CDL School. Inc. at 1280 Powis Road.The Item Summary states. The Illinois Secretary of State previously used the property as a DMV facility, which moved in 2021.No major site improvements are propose. “The existing paved area and existing parking lot will be repaved and restrained.”

Also approved were the appointments of David J. Sabathne, Omar Espinosa, Joe Ventimiglia, Sarah harms, Mark Myron and Steve Beles to the Economic Development Commission for terms ending April 2026.This is a newly formed commission


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