DuPage County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

The allure of chocolate will be strong with two upcoming area events to tempt chocolate lovers to the Morton Arboretum and downtown Naperville.


Lisa Madigan speaks at Women’s March

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan spoke Jan. 20 at a rally before the second Women’s March in Chicago kicked off. Picking up the chant and a theme at the rally and parade, “This is what democracy looks like,” Madigan told the audience, “You are powerful …,” “Use your power for good …” and “We are more powerful together.”

The worldwide march, started last year after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, was attended by an estimated 300,000 people, surpassing last year’s attendance of 250,000.


Coroner releases opioid statistics

The DuPage County Coroner’s Office has completed its review of all suspected opioid related deaths from 2017. The numbers, when compared to the previous wo years, show that the county continues to have a serious problem of addiction and death related to legal and illegal opioids. The trend towards the mixture of the opioid fentanyl into the heroin and the emergence of fentanyl analogues in the Chicagoland area continues as a serious problem.

The number of people dying from using fentanyl alone is also on the rise in DuPage. Eight died from the substance in 2015. By 2017 it was 17, numbers show.

Prescription drug overdose deaths has also escalated, with 17 reported in 2016, and 23 last year.

Interestingly, the number of deaths attributed to heroin alone has declined, going from 36 in 2015 and 2016 to 23 in 2017. A breakdown, by year, follows.

Number of deaths in 2015: 51 

  • Heroin alone, 36       
  • Heroin/Fentanyl mixture, 7  
  • Fentanyl alone, 8

Number of deaths in 2016: 95  

  • Heroin alone, 36
  • Heroin/Fentanyl mixture, 26      
  • Fentanyl alone, 16
  • Prescription medications, 17

Number of deaths in 2017: 95  

  • Heroin alone, 23
  • Heroin/Fentanyl mixture, 32         
  • Fentanyl alone, 17
  • Prescription medications, 23

These numbers do not reflect the lives who have been saved by or police, fire and medical personnel using the opioid antidote naloxone. Without the antidote, county officials say the number of deaths would be much higher. 

County, village to share GIS services

The DuPage County Board has approved an intergovernmental agreement with the village of Lisle that will save more than $60,000 in taxes per year. The agreement calls for the county to share expertise and provide specific information technology services for the village.

Under the plan, one DuPage County staff person with expertise in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) will dedicate two days a week working to maintain Lisle’s GIS system. This includes providing data compilation, data analysis and map creation services.

The village’s GIS Coordinator left last fall to pursue an opportunity in another community. Through the intergovernmental agreement with DuPage County, the village estimates savings to be approximately $62,000 on an annualized basis, which includes personnel and related support costs.


Two events for area chocolate fanatics

The allure, mystery and straight out temptation of chocolate will undoubtedly attract chocolate lovers to two upcoming events.

The Morton Arboretum champions all trees, and this winter the arboretum is celebrating a giving tree, the cacao tree, which gives the delight of chocolate. Chocolate’s deeply rooted tree history will be celebrated at the arboretum’s Chocolate Weekend, Feb. 10-Feb. 11. The public is invited to sample an array of chocolates and unique items with a chocolate twist, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. with payment of regular admission.

A private event will be held 5-9 p.m. Feb. 9, for those who are members of the arboretum.

Participating vendors include Chocolate Twist, GrownUp KidStuff, Katherine Anne Confections, Lucila’s Homemade, Mamie’s Toffee & Treats, Nothing Bundt Cakes and The Spice Merchant and Tea Shoppe. Additional vendors are expected to be announced later.

Featuring a host of specially-made treats and confections, Naperville’s third annual Chocolate Walk will be held 12-5 p.m. Feb. 10.

The walk is a joint effort of Downtown Naperville Alliance and 360 Youth Services, a local non-profit offering counseling and mentoring services related to substance abuse as well as housing for youth and their families. 

Currently, 22 stops are scheduled on the tour, with a few more expected to be added. Tickets may be purchased at 360youthservices.org/2018-choc-walk-tickets/. Cost is $30, and includes a commemorative tin container to carry treats and a map of all Chocolate Walk locations. Raffles tickets good for a variety of things, including jewelry and a special meal, are also available for $20 at the website.

Both events are timed to coincide with the Valentine’s Day weekend.


Park district to introduce podcasts

The Naperville Park District will use the latest popular form of communication to reach out to residents when it debuts its new internet podcast in February.

The podcast, called ParkTalk, will be available through the SoundCloud application. Similar to a radio program, a podcast is a prerecorded package of audio content that can be accessed on a website but also downloaded to a device for future use.

An introductory podcast can be found on the park district website, and the first full episode of ParkTalk will be made available some time in February.

The first presentation will be the State of the Park District, something that in previous years was delivered in front of a live audience. Future podcast topics will include golf fitness, a new park district maintenance initiative to use organic products and new events and partnerships.

ParkTalk will be available at the park district’s website, napervilleparks.org, and the district’s smartphone app, which can be downloaded for free. The district also recently redesigned and upgraded its website.


–DuPage County News Briefs–