Cook County briefs

Published: 2/27/2009 12:05 AM | Updated: 2/27/2009 11:45 AM

Evidence ruled admissible

Evidence from a separate pending disorderly conduct case can be used against the man accused of taking lewd photos of a 10-year-old boy at a Schaumburg restaurant, Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Scotillo ruled Thursday. Prosecutors say Alexander Lewis Cortez, 26, took photos of young boys at a baseball game in DeKalb last summer and carried a backpack containing cameras and pornography, similar to what authorities assert happened in the Schaumburg incident on July 17, 2008. Cortez's next court appearance is March 18 and a jury trial is tentatively scheduled for April 20.

City hosts cop tax sessions

Prospect Heights officials will conduct several town hall meetings to inform residents about the proposed police protection tax on the April 7 ballot. The first of these sessions will be held this Saturday, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by Alderman Dolly Vole at City Hall, 8 N. Elmhurst Road. Future town hall meetings are scheduled as follows: 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, hosted by Vole and Acting Mayor Pat Ludvigsen at St. Alphonsus Dining Hall, 411 N. Wheeling Road; 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, hosted by Alderman Bree Higgins at Willow Heights Condo Clubhouse; 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 19, hosted by Vole at City Hall; and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 21, hosted by Alderman James Armbruster at Gary Morava Recreation Center, 110 W. Camp McDonald Road.

UPS store open after crash

After an SUV crashed through the front of his UPS Store at 309 Rand Road in Arlington Heights Monday afternoon, owner Ron Levin jumped into action and reopened by 11 a.m. Tuesday. His speed hasn't been rewarded, however. Since the accident, he's had virtually no business, something he's attributing to the news coverage of the accident and the fact that the front of the store is boarded up. "I'm the owner; it's not a company store," he said, saying his livelihood depends on overcoming the image the store is still closed. Police blamed the accident on a driver hitting the gas instead of the brake.

St. Theresa gala is Saturday

St. Theresa School in Palatine will host its 18th annual Green & Gold Gala, the school's major fundraiser, at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadow Saturday, Feb. 28. The event begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner and live auction at 7:45 p.m. Some of the live auction items are golf for six at the Inverness Golf Club with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tom Zbikowski; four box-seat tickets for the White Sox-Cubs Cross-Town Classic; four courtside tickets for Bulls vs. Nets; and six tickets for the Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field. All auction items can be viewed on the school's Web site, For tickets, call the school at (847) 359-1820.

Polar Plungers still wanted

The organizers of Sunday's Polar Plunge in Palatine are still seeking participants who are willing to dive into the frigid waters of Twin Lakes for charity - or to support those who do. The event raises money for Special Olympics Illinois, and participants are required to collect a minimum of $75 in donations. For further information, directions or to register online, go to You can also register by calling Ethan Bontly at (847) 392-2842 or in person before the event. Check-in runs from noon to 12:45 p.m. Sunday, March 1, with the plunge starting at 1 p.m. Lunch, which is free for participants and $7 for spectators, will follow.