Early voting begins today
Early voting for the April 7 election runs from today through Thursday, April 2. There are 42 early voting sites throughout suburban Cook County, 12 in DuPage County, 17 in Lake County, 15 in Kane County and 7 in McHenry County. Voters can check the Web sites of the county election coordinators for days and hours of operation for the early voting sites. Visit cookctyclerk.com for suburban Cook County voting information; dupageelections is the DuPage County site; lakecountyil.com will assist Lake County voters; kanecountyelections is the site for Kane County voting details; and McHenry County voters should visit co.mchenry.il.us. Many suburban election officials reported more than 20 percent of the ballots cast in the November 2008 election came from early voting.
Reba honors Maine W. coach
Country music star Reba McEntire will perform with her mentor, Red Steagall, at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. The concert honors retired Maine West High School wrestling coach Richard Carlini, a mentor to hundreds of student athletes. The Teachers, Coaches and Students Foundation nonprofit was formed to help support the former Des Plaines mentor. Concert proceeds will help pay for Carlini's medical expenses and help other educators facing financial difficulties due to illness. Carlini suffers from Arteriovenous Malformation. Ticket prices range from $60 to $200 for some front row seats. To purchase tickets visit ticketmaster.com or call (800) 745-3000.
Candidate forums upcoming
Two upcoming forums will feature Palatine-area candidates running in the April 7 local election. On Thursday, March 19, the League of Women Voters hosts a forum candidates invited for Palatine mayor, Palatine Village Council District 1, Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and the local library and park boards. That takes place at 7 p.m. at Palatine High School's Altergott Auditorium, 1111 N. Rohlwing Road. On Wednesday, April 1, the Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a meet-the-candidates debate with the four Palatine mayoral candidates. That's scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Palatine Public Library, 700 N. North Court. Both are free and open to the public. For the chamber, event, RSVP by calling (847) 359-7200 or at palatinechamber.org/events.html, then click on "Meet the Candidates."
Food work pays dividends
Mount Prospect resident Courtney Erickson has won a $10,000 grant for the Greater Chicago Food Depository from Exelon by her volunteer work for the group. Erickson, an Exelon accountant, helped launch the Exelon Finance Department's "People Team," an employee-led initiative that inspired her colleagues to donate more than 1,650 hours of community service last year, mostly with the depository. She also organized fundraising campaigns and multiday food packaging and distribution service projects. She helped establish "Nourish for Knowledge," a food program with 28 Chicago Public Schools that distributes 4,600 bags of nutritious snacks weekly on Fridays that students can eat throughout the weekend when they are not in school. "Understanding the hunger issue and who goes hungry was a huge motivation for our group to assist the Greater Chicago Food Depository," Erickson said in a news release. She was honored at a luncheon last Thursday.