DuPage County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Kirk Muspratt directs the New Philharmonic. The orchestra will perform three New Year’s Eve concerts at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.


U of I begins major push into autonomous technology

Research into autonomous technology such as self-driving cars and robotic assistants will be the focus of a new center announced by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The university has allocated $2.1 million for the Center for Autonomy. The College of Engineering is providing another $2.1 million to recruit new robotics faculty.

The new center will play a role in designing systems that function without human intervention and will provide increased experimental space for autonomy and robotics research.

Pritzker will foot the bill for his inauguration

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker has formed an inaugural committee that will plan events surrounding the Jan. 14 swearing-in ceremony of himself and Lt. Gov.-elect Juliana Stratton, and the state will not have to pay for it. Pritzker said he will pay the costs. 

Events will begin Jan. 12. The committee will be led by future Illinois first lady M.K. Pritzker and Bryan Echols, who serves as senior adviser to the Illinois treasurer. The executive director will be Mary Urbina-McCarthy, who was operations director for Pritzker’s campaign. The committee is made up of more than two dozen political and civic leaders. They include former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar and his wife Brenda and Chicago artist and professor Theaster Gates.

Details of the inaugural events will be put on the inauguration committee’s website: www.ilinauguration19.com. It will include a schedule of events and a ticket portal.

Because Pritzker will cover the cost of the inauguration, there will be no outside fundraising to underwrite costs of inauguration events.


Clothing drive continues to Jan. 12 

Elmhurst Public Library staff is collecting winter clothing for the needy through Jan. 12. Donations are being accepted in the library’s lobby, 125 S. Prospect Ave. Most needed items are new or gently used thick scarves, waterproof/ski gloves, and winter coats in extra-large sizes. Also, needed are new hats and undergarments for men and women in extra-large sizes.

The library is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.


Park district job fair planned

The Naperville Park District is looking for people with the skills, knowledge and talent to serve the recreation needs of the Naperville community. Individuals who are passionate about the outdoors, staying active, having fun and encouraging others to do the same, are invited to learn about part-time and full-time jobs at the park district’s job fair, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Fort Hill Activity Center, 20 Fort Hill Drive. For more information, go to napervilleparks.org/employment.


Winter coat drive to aid families

Officials in Downers Grove are holding a coat drive to help keep families in need warm this holiday season. Residents can drop off new or clean and gently used coats at several locations throughout the village through Jan. 11. 

Coat drive collection boxes are located at: 

  • Downers Grove Police Station, 825 Burlington Ave.
  • Downers Grove Public Works, 5101 Walnut Ave. 
  • Downers Grove Village Hall, 801 Burlington Ave. 

The coats will be donated to help Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, Sharing Connections and other charitable organizations.


Orchestra will perform New Year’s Eve concerts

New Philharmonic, the only professional orchestra based in DuPage County, will celebrate the upcoming year of 2019 and the glory of music with three holiday concerts called “New Year’s Eve Spectacular.” They will take place at 2 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Dec. 31, at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn. Music Director and Conductor Kirk Muspratt will lead New Philharmonic in a celebratory program featuring classical and pop works and a champagne toast. 

Soprano Alisa Jordheim and baritone Corey Crider will return to perform after giving well-received performances in the New Year’s Eve program last year.

The orchestra is led by Music Director and Conductor Kirk Muspratt, who is the recipient of the 2018 Illinois Council of Orchestras’ Conductor of the Year award.

For tickets and information, call 630-942-4000 or visit atthemac.org/events/new-years-eve/. Immediately following the performance the audience is invited to attend the Cookies with Kirk reception in the lobby, sponsored by Brookdale Glen Ellyn, a company which provides independent living and personalized assisted living options for senior citizens.


Answers to be given to questions about genealogy

The public can get answers to questions about genealogy when a representative from the DuPage Genealogical Society visits the Wheaton Public Library. The representative will be available in the Genealogy area of the library, 225 N. Cross St., from 7-9 pm. Dec. 20. For more information, send an email to askref@wheatonlibrary.org or call 630-868-7520.



–DuPage County News Briefs–