Barrington sues fire district for $1.2 million in pension funds
Barrington sues fire district for $1.2 million
A lawsuit filed by Barrington Wednesday charges the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is refusing to pay at least $1.2 million owed to a formerly joint firefighters pension fund.
But the fire district, in an audit, claims it has no liability for the pension fund.
The suit states that when the fire district split from the village-run fire department on Dec. 31, 2013, the pension fund was short $1.9 million. Village officials argue the fire district's leaders in 2005 agreed to pay 64.25 percent of "fire services costs," which includes pension obligations. That amounted to more than $1.2 million at the time of the split, according to the lawsuit. The village is also seeking more than $800,000 from the district in long-term disability insurance costs.
"I think the agreement was pretty straightforward," said Village President Karen Darch. "I hope they will recognize that and we can avoid an extensive discussion in the judicial system."
Tom Long, the president of the fire district's board, said he hadn't seen the lawsuit, but called the allegations "half-truths and falsehoods."
The final price tag might actually be higher, though. The suit also contends fire district officials asked the village to recalculate the outstanding pension liabilities based on a state pension-funding formula. That calculation increased the district's costs to more than $2 million. A judge will not only have to determine whether the fire district owes the village anything, but if so, whether it's $1.2 million or the new $2 million figure.
The two sides met in an attempt to resolve the dispute in September 2014, but could not agree, village officials said.
Village Manager Jeff Lawler said the village was left with no recourse but to sue.
Illinois Daily Herald
Norwood Park deputy fire chief hangs up the hose
The last day of Deputy Chief John Kovalcik's 28-year career at the Norwood Park Fire Department was marked by a farewell from the people of Norridge and Harwood Heights, who gathered at the fire station on Lawrence Avenue on May 8 for his retirement party.
Although the guests who stopped by Friday afternoon to share cake, coffee and stories with Kovalcik attended the party to celebrate his retirement, Kovalcik — who started his career as a firefighter in 1987 at the Norwood Park Fire Department — said he's not quite ready to hang up his fire hat just yet.
On May 26, Kovalcik will start a new job as an administrative analyst for the Des Plaines Fire Department — a position he took, he said, because he was ready for a new challenge.
"Being here for almost 30 years and living in this town for my whole life — it's hard to leave my comfort zone — but it's also fun to be able to do something different and take on new challenges," Kovalcik said. "The intriguing part is that Des Plaines is three times the size of Norwood Park, so when the offer came up I decided it could be a good fit for me."
The father of three daughters — Katie, 19, Ashley, 21, and Amy, 23 — has deep roots in Norwood Park Township. He went to Ridgewood High School, where he met his wife Laurie, and volunteered on the Pennoyer School Board for four years from 2007 to 2011.
Between the long hours spent at the fire house, Kovalcik stayed engaged in his community by volunteering as a mentor at Pennoyer and Ridgewood schools, he said.
Naperville buys drone, eyes policy issues
perville plans to put drones into use soon, although it's unclear so far exactly how, when or where it will be done.
The city last month spent $1,200 on a drone – a remote-controlled, unmanned and camera-equipped aircraft – for the Fire Department. But policy issues need to be considered before drones are activated by the city, longtime city resident Todd Peterson and Mayor Steve Chirico both said this week. Peterson, who said he's been studying drones extensively, supports the devices' use for public safety purposes. He worries, however, about other ways they could be used.
"There are also bad people out there that will case construction zones with droids, or drones, to find out when (crews) show up, when they leave, where the electric cables are, copper piping, that type of thing," he said, alluding to materials that frequently are stolen for their resale value.
Bad people, and the potential unintended consequences of allowing anyone to have a drone, brought Peterson before the City Council Tuesday to weigh in on the matter.
Chicago: Woman stabbed, house set on fire during argument in West Pullman neighborhood
A woman was stabbed and her house set on fire during a domestic incident Wednesday morning in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side.
The 25-year-old woman was stabbed in the chest and both arms by a 27-year-old man during a dispute in the 11700 block of South Justine about 11 a.m., police said.
The victim then left the house with a family member, but as they were leaving, they noticed the house was on fire, police said.
A police source said the suspect is the woman's ex-boyfriend, who followed her home, stabbed her, attacked her grandfather and set the house on fire.
The blaze was quickly extinguished, police said. The grandfather received only minor injuries.
A firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.
WFLD-TV MyFox 32 Chicago
Hancock County EMTs show passion for work
When there is a medical emergency near Nauvoo, the Gallaher family is ready to help. Dan and Vicki Gallaher, their son, Kendall and his wife, Joanne, are all volunteers of the Nauvoo EMS service. Son Robert and his wife, Makayla, are in EMT training.
“It is interesting,” said Vicki, about the family being EMTs. “We can cover for each other if one person is going to be out of town,” said Vicki who is a critical care flight paramedic as well as serving Nauvoo EMS chief. Dan is Nauvoo Fire Chief and Kendall is fire department captain.
“Sometimes with a family gathering, someone has to leave in the middle. But we are all able to relate to each other. We have a good support system.”
This is not unusual, according to Hancock County EMS interim coordinator, Tyler Wilson, from Warsaw, whose mother and sister are also EMTs.
“Our mom did it as we were growing up. It just becomes a natural part of what we do. That takes away the fear of helping in a medical emergency,” Wilson said, obviously proud of all the men and women who stand ready to help in Hancock County.
Wilson is coordinator for EMS services in the southern two-thirds of Hancock County. Nauvoo and LaHarpe communities each voted to fund ambulance services in their areas. Dallas City and several townships in the north central part of the county are served by Lomax Ambulance Service from Henderson County.
Hancock County Journal-Pilot