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Hillcrest students take college science classes and more


Hillcrest students head to NIU for anatomy class

A group of 20 science students at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills got their first college course experience last week in an anatomy program put together by professors and graduate students at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb.

The one-day course, designed for high school students, was intense, fast-paced and typical of college-level science laboratory courses, according to a news release from School District 228. Students had been preparing for the university short course since November 2023. They received their long-awaited invitation to the program.

Offered once a year, the Northern Illinois University program offers students the chance to receive up to six hours of gross anatomy training in the NIU cadaver laboratory. Hillcrest was one of 15 schools selected from hundreds of schools that applied to participate, making it only the second public high school in the south suburbs to be selected since the program’s inception in 2000. The other was Andrew High School in Tinley Park.

The day-long event included prospective cadaver study, organ study, bone study and model study sessions staffed by NIU faculty or Human Anatomical Sciences graduate students.

Led by teacher Cordina Tate-Jackson, Hillcrest students made an impression on instructors, according to the release.

“Never before have we seen a group of high school students coming to us with as much knowledge and desire to learn as we do today,” NIU professor Karen Samonds said in the release.

Volunteers fight aggressive invaders, have fun in Orland Grassland

Orland Grassland Volunteers gather for hot drinks and food at the group’s annual Brats and Burn event Feb. 24 at Orland Grassland Land and Water Reservation in Orland Park. (Marnie Baker)

Orland Grassland Volunteers pushed back encroaching dogwoods late last month at their annual Brats and Burn event at the Orland Grassland Land and Water Preserve, part of the Cook County Forest Preserve. They invited new volunteers to help with significant pruning and burning of unwanted “trees,” non-native, aggressive shrubs and trees that were invading the meadows.

“We are shortening and taking breaks from our usual three-hour field day by combining critical prairie restoration work with on-site entertainment and meals,” said field superintendent Pat Hayes. “As baked potatoes heat in the pot, brats, green peppers and onions sizzle over the fire. Others bring delicious treats. “An excellent way to make new friends.”

This work helped protect native vegetation of the highest conservation concern, according to a news release by the group. Hoary puccoon, scurfy pea, skullcap frog, meadow drop seed and many more species live in the environment. Volunteers were able to push the invasive dogwood tree way back.

“It’s amazing what helping hands can accomplish in just two hours,” Hayes said. “Volunteers look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them what the plan for the day is, but when it’s done they’re amazed.”

You can contact Marnie Baker at Marnie.baker@gmail.com or https://www.orlandgrassland.org for more information about future volunteer days.

Palos Park police mourn the loss of longtime volunteers

Palos Park police mourn the passing of former Palos Park police volunteer and Citizen on Patrol member Bob Burns.  (Palos Park police)
Palos Park police mourn the passing of former Palos Park police volunteer and Citizen on Patrol member Bob Burns. (Palos Park police)

Palos Park police mourn the passing of former Palos Park police volunteer and Citizen on Patrol member Bob Burns.

“Bob Burns and his wealth of knowledge have been an important part of our Volunteers in Police Service program for several years,” said Dan Polk, Palos Park’s police commissioner.

Burns was “always willing to roll up his sleeves and get to work, no matter the task,” according to a statement from the department.

Burns, a former Chicago Police Department captain, also offered a perspective that Palos Park police Chief Joe Miller said he “values ​​and respects.”

“Often, Bob’s insight and understanding of policing issues were acted upon and incorporated into Palos Park’s crime prevention and deterrence-based policing philosophy,” Miller said. “Bob was part of the Palos Park family, a colleague, leader and friend; He left behind a legacy of warmth, wisdom and endlessly precious memories.

Homewood Metra station will close April 1

Homewood Station, currently undergoing a $20.7 million reconstruction, will be temporarily closed from April 1 to May 20 to replace the single staircase leading to the Metra platform, according to a statement from the transit agency. There was no indication that access to the Homewood Amtrak platform would be affected.

The Homewood Metra station was open to customers during reconstruction that began in May 2023, but since there is only one staircase leading from the pedestrian tunnel to the platform, there is no alternative route for customers while the stairs are demolished and replaced. . The elevator between the tunnel and the platform will also be closed and replaced starting the same day for 90 days, meaning there will be no ADA access to the station for approximately three months.

While Homewood is closed, customers can alternatively use the nearby Calumet Station near 175th Street and Dixie Highway, which has ample parking, is ADA accessible and is in a cheaper fare zone. Flossmoor Station, which is also ADA accessible, is also an alternative, officials said.

During the closure, incoming trains that normally run express to Homewood will instead run express to Calumet, and outbound trains that normally run express to Homewood will instead run express to Calumet.

The reconstruction project is about half complete and is expected to be completed in summer 2025. The work includes construction of a new ADA-accessible east headquarters, including a ramp; renovation of the platform, windbreaks, warming house and gatehouse; installation of new drainage, ventilation, lighting and interior linings in the existing tunnel; Replacement of elevators and stairs connecting the tunnel to the platform. Also included is the construction of a new Pace bus facility, including three bus bays, a covered waiting area and driver assistance facilities.

Orland Park Rotary holds scholarship raffle

Orland Park Rotary’s scholarship raffle continues with tickets available through May 6 or until 500 tickets are sold. The winner will be drawn at Silver Lake Country Club on May 16 at 8 p.m., but the winner does not need to be present.

According to the statement made by the organization, in the 52-year-old raffle, the Orland Park Rotary Club has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to students at 10 public and private high schools in the region, as well as providing funds to students who want to receive technical education. Moraine Valley Community College.

This year, the club is offering an early bird raffle where tickets sold by April 15 are eligible for a $500 prize. You can get raffle tickets via Debi Ross at insidelooksbydebiross@gmail.com.

Send the news to: communityhaberleri@southtownstar.com.


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