Department of Aging calling attention to elder abuse
June is World Elder Abuse Awareness Month in Illinois, and the state’s Department on Aging (IDoA) is encouraging “Building Strong Support for Elders.” That’s the theme of this year’s recognition, which emphasizes the importance of strengthening communities and preventing elder abuse.
Jean Bohnhoff, director of IDoA, calls elder abuse “a silent epidemic,” and one that has to end.
In 2017, Adult Protective Services at IDoA responded to more than 16,000 reports of suspected abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of adults with disabilities and adults 60 years of age and older. Financial exploitation represents 54 percent of elder abuse cases, and victims generally experience more than one type of abuse, i.e., financial abuse is highly associated with emotional abuse at 43 percent.
To report suspected abuse, call the 24-hour elder abuse hotline at 866-800-1409.
Justin Blandford named Governor’s Mansion curator
The newly renovated Illinois Governor’s Mansion has a new curator. He is Justin A. Blandford, who will be responsible for creating and implementing the mansion’s new strategic vision, which includes a greater focus on history, education, creative arts and visitor experiences. As curator, he will be the Mansion’s liaison with the Springfield historical community and ensure the mansion’s place among the city’s historic sites.
Blandford will lead the development of events and marketing programs to attract visitors to the mansion, which is the third oldest governor’s mansion in use today. In addition, he will manage day-to-day operations, oversee maintenance of the grounds and the facility, and manage the mansion’s workforce and volunteers.
The mansion is now being promoted as The People’s House, encouraging the public to enjoy the building and learn state history from it.
Blandford has been a historic site superintendent in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) since 2004. Most recently he directed operations at six nationally significant state-owned historic sites: Lincoln Tomb, Veterans Memorials, Old State Capitol, Lincoln Law Office, Vachel Lindsay Home and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana House. The sites attract 325,000 visitors each year.
The new curator began his career in public service as a Dunn Fellow/Policy Assistant in 1999 following his graduation from Webster University in St. Louis. He worked at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency before joining DNR. He obtained his master’s degree in history this year from the University of Illinois in Springfield.
Creepy family hits the stage in ‘The Addams Family’
College of DuPage’s College Theater celebrates a creepy, kooky, tight-knit family in a production of Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s “The Addams Family — A New Musical” July 5-15.
Performances are at 7 p.m. in the McAninch Arts Center’s Playhouse Theatre on the Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd. There is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. July 15, and no performance July 13.
The play centers on Wednesday Addams, who has fallen in love with a sweet, smart boy from a respectable family. When her unique family meets his for the first time, a hilarious night ensues, where secrets are disclosed and relationships are tested.
Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors.
For details, call the MAC Box Office at 630-942-4000 or visit atthemac.org.
Department veteran promoted to police chief
Wheaton officially will have a new police chief July 2. That is when Deputy Chief Bill Murphy will be sworn in to replace Chief Jim Volpe, who stepped down earlier this month to pursue a job at College of DuPage.
Murphy started his career with the Wheaton Police Department nearly three decades ago when he got his start as a patrol officer. Since then, he’s served as a detective, field training officer and lieutenant.
Murphy will be sworn in as police chief at the Wheaton City Council Meeting at 7 p.m.
Online golf ball design voting ends July 5
The Wheaton’s Fine and Cultural Arts Commission is leading a community art project celebrating the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, which will take place in Wheaton July 12-15. Thirteen 3-foot diameter golf balls are on display in Wheaton through Aug. 31.
The public may vote for its favorite design through midnight July 5 by going to surveymonkey.com/r/M8RPBRX.
Protest against detention of children at border to continue
A June 30 protest against the Trump administration’s recent detention of children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border will be held as planned, despite the administration’s executive order to change some of the recent practices.
A national effort will hold protests throughout the country, including Downers Grove. Protesters will assemble at the Downers Grove North High School parking lot at 4 p.m. to rally against what the Families Belong Together organizers call “the gut-wrenching forced separation of children from their families.”
The Families Belong Together movement has been catalyzed by the Trump administration’s recent separation of immigrant children from their families at the border.
To participate in the protest, RSVP at act.moveon.org.
–DuPage County News Briefs–