Thursday, July 29, 2010

Housing assistance available for those in need

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The Cicero Housing Authority was notified by the Housing Authority of Cook County about information regarding immediate assistance to families who are in need of paying their rent. This assistance is for ANY family residing within Cook County. The information our office was provided with is as follows:
  • Cook County has received over 4 million dollars for people that are currently behind in rent due to lack of work, or illness. Students may also be eligible for assistance. If you or someone you know is having problems paying rent due to loss of job, or illness, or who have become homeless, please contact Gloria Mullins at 312-603-1006, or, call 847-866-2952.
Please use this information for any residents, which may possibly need rental assistance. This funding is not only for Section 8 families, but rather, for any resident of Cook County. If you have any questions, please call me at (708) 212-4205. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cicero collects $43 million in home loss damages: prepares to file lawsuit against Water Reclamation District

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Cicero collects $43 million in home loss damages: prepares to file lawsuit against Water Reclamation District

The Town of Cicero board this morning (Tuesday July 27, 2010) officially approved a resolution declaring the Town of Cicero a Disaster Area, one of 18 suburban communities seeking FEMA assistance.

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick said the town collected information from families representing more than 5,000 properties that reported flooding from the July 24 rain and storm. Dominick said an estimated 100 businesses in the Town also reported flood water damage.

"We understand collecting this estimate is the first step in appealing for federal relief and we appreciate the support we have received from the Cook County Board and President Todd Stroger, and from the Illinois Legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn," Dominick said at Tuesday morning's regularly scheduled board meeting. Both Quinn and Stroger have approved declarations designating Cook County communities as disaster areas.

Dominick also announced the town law department is exploring a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, expressing outrage and anger that when residents call MWRDGC employees, instead of offering support and help, those MWRDGC employees pointed fingers of blame at the 18 suburban communities.

"One of the responsibilities of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is to manage stormwater. They did a very poor job. To make it worse, and so cowardly, the Water Reclamation District spent all its time responding to the cries of help from community residents not by offering them help and support but by telling them it's not their fault and they have nothing to do with it. They instead pointed fingers of blame at the 18 suburban communities and municipalities who share in this disaster."

Dominick said that the town witnessed the water filling up and shooting upwards from several manholes flooding mainstreets such as Austin Blvsd. When the Water Reclamation District opened the flood gates, the water started to immediately reverse and recede "as if someone pulled a plug from a bathtub. The Water Reclamation District owes all of the people of Cook County an explanation as to what happened, instead of shirking their responsibilities."

State Sen. Martin Sandoval, a former member of the Reclamation District board, expressed his outrage at the district's comments to residents and joined in condemning the failure of the MWRDGC to respond to resident needs.

"That is their job. Their job is to manage stormwater run-off. They brag about how they prevent flooding on their web site and in their mission statement. I support the Town of Cicero's decision to pursue legal action against the Metropolitical Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The public needs answers," Sandoval told the board.

Town Assessor Emilio Cundari reported to the board that the town was also organizing a clothing and food drive to help residents who lost their possessions during the flood. A collection drive is being held in the Town of Cicero Friday July 30 at the Public Safety Building, from 9 am until 3 pm Friday located at 5410 W. 34th Street.

"We had several families including with little children who lost their homes and we have been working with them to find them temporary shelter," Cundari said.

"We have even more families who lost much or all of their possessions and we want to help them recover as best we can."

Three town officials were among those whose properties were severely damaged by flooding.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Flooding Update: 1 pm Monday July 26, 2010: $12 million damages identified during first day of tabulation

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We totaled the data collected from Sunday's effort to identify individuals and properties damaged by flooding this past weekend, and the estimate of the damage that was provided by home and property owners.

More than 3,000 people came to town hall between 12 noon and 8 pm on Sunday. That represented about 2,000 actual properties.

The total damage for the properties is $12 million.

I anticipate that this number will steadily climb as we continue to collect more information from residents who are coming to Town Hall (4949 W. 22nd Street) through this evening at 8 pm.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cicero Town President declares Cicero a flood disaster area

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Cicero Town President declares Cicero a flood disaster area 

UPDATE 5:20 pm 7-24-10: Cicero employees and officials will be at Town Hall Sunday and Monday to help fill out an INITIAL DAMAGE ESTIMATE FORM for each resident so that the Town can meet requirements to get an official Disaster Area designation. The detailed forms with photographs of the damage can be provided at a later date if and when a Disaster Area status is declared.

Watch for updated new on when the forms will be available at town hall. If you fill out the form online, provide as much information as possible. The MOST IMPORTANT information we need besides your complete identification (name, address, and contect information) is the estimate of damage that you suffered. That estimate will be compiled and used to justify a county and state designation of a Disaster Area to possibly qualify for funding.

Once the County and State Official declare Cicero a Disaster Area, then we will need each employee to detail the damage their suffered and [IMPORTANT] include photographs of the damage. PLEASE TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS of that damage and keep them ready for when the detailed form needs to be completed.

7-24-10 11 am: Town President Larry Dominick has declared areas of Cicero Disaster Areas as a result of intense flooding caused by last night's and this morning's heavy storms. Like many suburban communities, homes and properties have experienced serious flooding, the second time in four weeks as a result of heavy rain storms.

This time, most of the damage has been caused by flooding and we have not experienced the same level of tree damage that we experienced June 23.

Cicero officials are meeting with county and state officials to identify assistance that might be available to assist homeowners and residents.

The Town of Cicero has posted "Flood Damage" forms online asking every resident who experienced flood damage to document that damage and return the forms to Town Hall (with photographs) so that they can be collectively presented to officials in Cook County and the State of Illinois to support our request for grant funding and low-interest loans to flood victims.

Several Town officials also experienced flooding. While some residents are concerned the problem is the sewer and water lines, Cicero's problems reflect problems that have swept through the West Suburbs and the Chicagoland area during this storm damage.

Resident can obtain copies of the form from the Town's Web Sites. The forms are being placed online as of this notice. Residents can return the forms to Town Hall at the Reception Desk (4949 W. Cermak Road). Make sure the forms are completed in their entirety:

The forms with instructions are now available at:

The forms with instructions will soon be available at:

(Spanish language instructions -- form is in English)

The town's response to last month;s storm ├žost the Town of Cicero $250,000. It included the rmeoval of two dozen trees that had uprooted and collapsed on homes causing extensive damage, emergency relief efforts to rescue individuals from flooded homes, and overseeing efforts to expedite the removal of rainwater from town streets.

Crews were on the street whent he storm began late last night and continue to work streets and assist homeowners.



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The Town of Cicero and President Larry Dominick have declared Cicero a disaster area suffering from major and serious flooding damage twice in the past four weeks.

We are asking every resident to fill out the form below and return it to the Town of Cicero Reception Desk beginning Monday morning. (First Floor, main entrance, 4949 W. Cermak Road 22nd Street).

These forms will be used to help the Town of Cicero apply for funding assistance to provide to homeowners who suffered damage. It is very important that every property owner who suffered any property damage or flooding fill out the forms. Please also carefully read the instructions before doing so and return one copy to the Town of Cicero Reception Desk.

Here are the instructions followed by the form that must be filled out.

Draft Form and Instructions Created 01/2008, Revised 01/2009
 County/City – Include the county and the city or unincorporated area where damage is being assessed.
 Date – Date of Event
 Type of Event – Flash flood, Riverine flooding
 Completed by – Name of the person performing damage assessment.
 Phone Number – Phone number of person performing damage assessment
 Date(s) of Assessment Start ____ End ____
 Page ___ of ___
 Use a separate line for each dwelling number and street.
 If damage to individual apartments can be determined, apartments should be listed on separate lines. If all apartments in a building have similar damage, record them as a group on the same line and indicate the number of apartments.
 If there is a business in the home, record the home and business on separate lines and note in comments.
#2 - SF/MF/MH/B
 Indicate if damaged dwelling is:
SF – Single Family Home
MF – Multi Family Structure (Apartment Building, Duplex, 2-Flat, etc.)
MH – Mobile Home
 If damaged building is a business, indicate with B.
 Indicate if the occupant owns or rents the dwelling by recording O or R. If unknown record UNK.
 Record depth of water in the basement in feet (‘) or inches (“).
 If no water in basement, record 0.
 If no basement, record NA (Not Applicable). (The dwelling may be on a slab or in an upper apartment.)
 Record depth of water in the first floor of the dwelling in feet (‘) or inches (“).
 If no water in first floor, record 0.
 If apartment is in the basement or an upper floor, record NA.
 Determine, if possible, if the basement is used as an essential living area, such as space that is used as a required (verses an optional) bedroom and record Y, N or NA.
 Family rooms are not considered essential living areas. A finished basement does not necessarily make it an essential living area. A basement apartment or garden apartment is considered an essential living area.
#7 - INS – H/R/F ?
 Determine, if possible, if the occupant has Home Owners, Renters and/or Flood insurance.
 If they do not have any insurance, record N (for No).
 If they have Home Owners insurance, record H.
 If they have Renters insurance, record R.
 If they have Flood insurance, record F.
 If it can’t be determined, record UNK (for Unknown).
 If there is obvious/visible structural damage to the dwelling, record Y (for Yes) and briefly describe the damage in the Comments Column. If no obvious/visible structural damage, record N (for No).
 If there is structural damage, briefly describe it here. Examples of brief descriptions are: basement wall collapsed, house off foundation, foundation cracks.
 Other types of common information to be recorded in this column using the corresponding letter are:
A – No one living in dwelling at time of flood
B – Dwelling was not a primary residence
C – Water in crawl space only
D – Damage caused by sewer back up only
E – No one home during damage assessment, cannot determine damage
F – No one home during damage assessment, information obtained by observation
(waterline on house, for example) or from another source (neighbor, local

SF - Single Family INS - Insurance
MF - Multi Family H - Home Owners
MH - Mobile Home R - Renters
B - Business F - Flood
A – No one living in dwelling at time of flood
B – Dwelling was not a primary residence
C – Water in crawl space only
D – Damage caused by sewer back up only
E – No one home during damage assessment, cannot determine damage
F – No one home during damage assessment, information obtained by observation (waterline on house, for example) or from
another source (neighbor, local official)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

5 Suspects held in kidnapping of Cicero businesswoman

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Aggravated kidnapping information
Ray Hanania

Kidnap location:      4902 W Cermak,     Salon Impresiones

Date & Time: 14 July 2010,  2143

Kidnap Victim:         Paniagua, Zita   F/WH/06-14-65  5’3/145/brn/brn/ wearing pink shirt, beige or tan  capris and Carrying black Coach purse. Beauty shop owner …

Vehicles used:    Possible: red Ford Aerostar (or similar), beater condition with roof rack and ladder on top, wide side molding, missing right rear hubcap

Kidnap for ransom.  Demanding $200, 000

Held her for 21 hours

Charges:   The following 5 offenders have been charged with 1 count each of AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING.  The kidnapping took place on 14 JUL 10 in the 4900 Block of Cermak Rd., Cicero IL:

Personnel Assigned:            Sgt Greg Dybas, Dets E.Acevez, Laslie, Jimenez, Wojtowicz, M. Ramirez, DS Harrison

Narrative:      Victim exited her place of business and approached her parked vehicle at which time she was dragged into, or made to enter above vehicle which then fled West Bound to 50 ave and then North Bound.  Phone calls were made to husband demanding $200,000 ransom.  Cicero police were notified and Cicero police then notified the FBI.

The following 5 offenders have been charged with aggravated kidnapping.  The kidnapping took place on 14 JUL 10 in the 4900 Block of Cermak Rd., Cicero IL:
In Custody:

1)CADENAS, Marco     DOB 06-01-1975  of 3968 S. Emerson, Schiller Park IL
2)SOLIS, Blanca      DOB 09-17-1971  of 3968 S. Emerson, Schiller Park IL
3)MORENO, Gerardo    DOB 01-02-1971  of 5147 S. Homan, Chicago IL
4)MENDOZA, Victor    DOB 03-19-1976  of 4638 S. Mozart, Chicago IL
5)LOPEZ, Rigoberto   DOB 01-04-1984  of 4046 S. Montgomery, Chicago

All being held in Cicero Lock-up  … anticipate bond hearing maybe Monday – because they didn’t cross state lines, the fed’s helped but it remains in local jurisdiction

The feds surveilled the money drop … the kidnappers wanted the husband to drop off the money … the husband drove around on a wild goose chase as the kidnappers had him drive around … feds were at 2 other locations … they went in to the house and recovered the victims …

Cicero Police Chief Lori Lelis: “I am very proud of the persistence of the detectives. They worked countless hours on this. They never dropped this and have the victim’s family staying with them at the station. We contacted the Federal Authorities and we worked together hand in hand. The federal authorities went in to this full steam .”

Victim recovered Thursday at around 4:30 pm

Two vehicles involved …

10 am Bond hearing in Maybrook, 

Blanca Solis

Gerardo Moreno

Marco Cadenas

Rigoberto Lopez

Victor Mendoza