DuPage County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

“Laughing Lincoln,” a bronze sculpture in Central Park, 104 E. Benton Ave., Naperville, shows a smiling, jovial Lincoln and is the city’s newest addition to its public art collection.


Effort to raise smoking age to 21 fails

Teenagers can continue to buy cigarettes and tobacco products in Illinois, if they are at least 18 years old. Efforts to raise the age to 21 to legally buy tobacco failed in the Illinois House last week.

The House fell nine votes short of the 71 votes needed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the legislation known as Tobacco 21.

The bill would have required someone to be 21 to legally purchase tobacco products, alternative nicotine products and electronic cigarettes.

The failure to override the veto was not unexpected. The bill passed the House in May with only 61 votes, and supporters knew it would be difficult to find an additional 10 votes for an override. Supporters said they will try again next year.


Watercolors to be displayed at sports club

Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge will host a solo show of watercolors by award-winning artist Anne Nordhaus-Bike. The show, “Implied Horizons: Watercolors by Anne Nordhaus-Bike,” will begin with a Dec. 7, free reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The show will be free through Jan. 5. Five Seasons Family Sports Club is at 6901 S. Madison St., Burr Ridge.

Nordhaus-Bike also will give an artist’s talk on the exhibition, with refreshments, at the club at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 and 10 a.m. Dec. 22.

The exhibition will display 19 of Nordhaus-Bike’s watercolors, which she said she created by combining contrasting colors, and even quite bold ones, and still evoking a feeling of peace. It can be viewed during regular club hours, which are Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Nordhaus-Bike studies the value of art for relaxation and stress relief. She is a frequent guest on the Frank Fontana Show on WGN-Radio 720, and is the author of the book, “Follow the Sun,” which features several of her paintings. For more information about Nordhaus-Bike, log on to artistanne.com/, or call 312-622-6029.


Statute of a smiling Lincoln dedicated

Most images of America’s 16th president shows a solemn Abraham Lincoln. He had little to smile about as he tried to keep the country together during the Civil War.

A new bronze sculpture in Central Park, 104 E. Benton Ave., Naperville, shows a smiling, jovial Lincoln is a striking departure of those images. Named “Laughing Lincoln,” the sculpture features a beardless Lincoln leaning back into a laugh and appearing to slap his knee. It was dedicated under the aegis of Century Walk, the city’s public art program Dec. 2, in time for the Dec. 3 celebration of the state’s bicentennial.

The sculpture had been in the works since 2015, after the death of former Naperville City Council member and Central Park advocate Don Wehrli. It portrays Lincoln around 1839, when he 30 years old, at the time DuPage County was being carved out.

In 1839, Naperville town founder Joseph Naper, then a state legislator along with Lincoln, was pushing to create DuPage County out of nine townships in Cook County, and 30-year-old Lincoln voted against his party to help make that happen. Three years earlier, Naper had voted against his party to support Lincoln’s initiative to move the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield, so some say the votes were a negotiated swap.

The sculpture stands on a base of limestone that symbolizes the original DuPage County Courthouse.


Film classic to be shown at COD

WDCB and its “Those Were the Days” radio program will present a special showing of “Miracle on 34th Street.” “Those Were the Days” host Steve Darnall will talk about the 1947 movie before the showing at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at of the College of DuPage Jack H. Turner Conference Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Student Resource Center (SRC) Room 2000, Glen Ellyn.

Edmund Gwenn, in an Oscar-winning portrayal, is an elderly man going by the name of Kris Kringle who fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain’s main store in midtown Manhattan. When Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus, it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity. Natalie Wood, Maureen O’Hara and John Payne also star in the movie.

Admission is $10. For tickets and more info, go to https://wdcb.org/event/ballroom/52322!


‘Christmas Story’ actor to appear

The actor who had an iconic role in the movie, “A Christmas Story,” will make a stop at Hollywood Blvd. Cinema in Woodridge Dec. 8 for a special meet-and-greet event. 

As a young actor, Scott Schwartz famously stuck his tongue to an icy pole in his role as Flick in the movie, which has become a Christmas classic. Schwartz will answer questions, sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans for a fee. He will be the lobby from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. with breaks for questions and answers. To meet Schwartz, all guests are required to purchase a movie ticket. Other pricing is $25 for a photo, $25 for an autograph and $30 for photo and autograph. Get tickets online at hollywoodblvdcinema.com.


Frosty Fest slated for Dec. 8

Town Square Wheaton will be the site for the city’s annual Frosty Fest planned for 1-4 p.m. Dec. 8. The festivities will include professional face painting and balloon twisting. Live entertainment will be provided by strolling magicians, and a toy soldier will walk around on stilts. Children can tell their Christmas wishes to Santa and Mrs. Claus and visit with real reindeer. Town Square Wheaton is on Naperville Road north of Butterfield Road.


Youngsters raise money for clean water project

Clean water will be a little more plentiful, thanks to the generosity of a group of third graders in Elmhurst. A class at Hawthorne Elementary School recently raised a total of $1,838.38 for the Ryan’s Well project in a two-week donation drive.

Ryan’s Well is a charitable organization which digs wells to bring clean water to towns in Uganda. The third grade LA Reach class at Hawthorne, taught by Geri Sorrentino, nearly doubled its original goal. The final tally included more than $200 from a student, who asked guests at her birthday party to bring cash donations for Ryan’s Well instead of presents.


Old Town Park decorated for holidays

The village of Bloomingdale’s holiday tree, along with lights strung across Old Town Park, have been lighting up the night sky since last week, when Mayor Franco Coladipietro and park district President Buzz Puccio flipped the switch. The tree, which was more than 50 years old, was donated by Woodland Windows & Doors and the Mariotti family.

The event opened the village’s sixth annual Festival of Lights, a celebration presented by the village, park district and Bloomingdale Chamber of Commerce. It’s the third year the lights are in Old Town Park, 111 Third St. The display will continue through the holiday season.



–DuPage County News Briefs–