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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sep. 12, 2023
Laura L. Scarry
(630) 690-2800 ext. 102
Village of Crestwood agrees to pay $1.8 million
to five former police officers
The Village of Crestwood Board of Trustees at its Thursday board meeting approved a $1.8 million settlement in a civil rights lawsuit filed by five former Village of Crestwood police officers against the village, former mayor, the chief of police and several other high-ranking village police officials.
Former part-time officers Don Preston, Joseph Cortesi, Gilbert Hueramo III and Eric Chmura; and full-time officer Robert Hoselton, filed a federal lawsuit alleging they were fired or not reappointed, forced to resign, or brought up on disciplinary charges within days of each other in October 2019 because of their efforts to unionize the village’s police officers. They filed suit against the village Chief of Police David Weigand, Deputy Chief David Alexander, Lt. Rich Wyman, Lt. Chris Spencer, Sgt. Michael Coutre, former Village of Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta, the Village Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, and current or former Commissioners Rob Lyons, Frank Caldario, Joseph Zangara and James Fowler.
In 2019 members of the village’s police department sought to unionize the part-time and full-time officers. On Aug. 1, 2019, the Illinois Labor Relations Board certified the Illinois Council of Police (ICOPS) as the exclusive bargaining unit for the part-time officers.
The lawsuit alleges the village and the other defendants engaged in a campaign of intimidation, threats and coercion against Preston, Cortesi, Hueramo, Chmura, Hoselton, and other village police officers in an effort to “bust” the union and intimidate officers who supported the union. Three months after the union was certified, Preston, Cortesi, Hueramo and Chmura were either terminated, forced to resign or not re-appointed, and Hoselton was brought up on disciplinary charges and later terminated by the Village’s Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.
The lawsuit, Don Preston et al. v. David Weigand et al., Case No. 20-CV-4272, was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois. At the time of settlement, no trial date had been scheduled. Preston, Cortesi, Hueramo, Chmura and Hoselton were represented by Laura L. Scarry of DeAno & Scarry, LLC, Chicago, Illinois.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 31, 2023
Claire Craig Evans, author
Peoria author releases new humorous travel memoir
Evans' debut book explores the comic side of moving to the UK
PEORIA — Claire Craig Evans, a former journalist and lawyer turned virtual presenter on UK culture, food, and history for libraries nationwide, will be launching High Tea and the Low Down: An American’s Unfiltered Life in the UK on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023.
Evans’ book chronicles the story of how she meets her English husband in Peoria, Illinois, and their move to the UK. She anticipates “a green and pleasant adventure” on an “enchanted island where somewhat mysterious women with dewy complexions made jam in thatched cottages.” But moving transatlantic proved easy compared to the unexpected yet amusing culture clash that awaited her.
“Now that we don’t have new episodes of 'Ted Lasso' to look forward to, someone has to fill the void of laughable Americans confused by British culture,” Evans says. “I wrote the book I wanted to read on my first flight to Heathrow.”
A lively transcontinental adventure teeming with clever humor and cross-cultural insights… Evans’ prose is breezy, lighthearted, and affably chatty, which elevates her account of her British adventures above the typical cross-cultural narrative. Her generous personal anecdotes will bring joy and solidarity to readers who have experienced the same bewilderment after relocating to a new country. The narrative includes amusing stories of losing her luggage on her way to meet Ben’s parents; passing the infamous 24-question “Life in the UK” immigration exam; navigating the language barrier (despite speaking English); and surviving a hilarious UK driving test. – Kirkus Reviews
"[A] hilarious and heartwarming read." – Midwest Book Review
"High Tea and the Low Down" will be available in ebook and paperback formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most other online print and ebook retailers. During its presale, it has been ranked the #1 New Release in England Travel on Amazon and is currently the #1 selling Great Britain Travel paperback carried by its distributor, IngramSpark. It is also available for order from independent bookstores. The audiobook will be available on Sept. 5, 2023.
For more information on Claire:
Since starting her speaking business five years ago, Claire Craig Evans has given more than 300 presentations inspired by her life in the UK to libraries and civic groups throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK. She grew up in Springfield, Illinois, and has also lived in Normal and Urbana. Aside from her UK years, she’s spent a majority of the past 20 years in Peoria. Visit www.teawithclaire.com for more details.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2023
Illinois Pharmacists Association
National Community Pharmacists Association
IPhA, NCPA Cheer Illinois law reining in PBM retaliation
HB3631 protects freedom of speech and promotes transparency into PBM business practices
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Pharmacists Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association are applauding a new law in Illinois that prohibits retaliation by pharmacy benefit managers against pharmacists and pharmacies for disclosing information to courts, hearings, legislative commissions, law enforcement or other government agencies if there is reasonable cause to believe the disclosed information is evidence of violation of a state or federal law, rule, or regulation. HB3631, which was led by Rep. Hoan Huynh (D) and Sen. Mike Simmons (D), was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker (D) on Aug. 4, 2023. It has an effective date of July 1, 2023.
The top three PBMs control 80 percent of the market, and decide what medicines patients can take, where they must get them, and how much they pay. In recent years, they have leveraged their market power to implement abusive policies and practices that pad their profits at the expense of patients and pharmacies. Pharmacists who speak out oftentimes experience retaliation measures from PBMs that can include an exponential increase in audits, refusal to access future contracts and removal from preferred provider networks, among other punishments.
“PBMs for too long have been weaponizing contracting and auditing tactics to essentially force pharmacists into silence,” says Garth Reynolds, RPh, executive director of IPhA. “There’s more work to do to truly rein in these middlemen, but with HB3631, we can more freely share with government representatives how PBM policies harm pharmacy practice and our patients. IPhA is grateful to Rep. Huynh and Sen. Simmons for their leadership and support, and to Gov. Pritzker for signing this important bill into law.”
“For a marketplace to be free and healthy, there must be competition and transparency. PBMinsurers are fighting against both, even as policymakers at all levels of government look to crack down on business practices that stifle patient choice and disadvantage independent pharmacies,” says Joel Kurzman, director of state government affairs at NCPA. “This legislation is a great step forward in Illinois. Further PBM reforms and aggressive enforcement of policies like this one will be crucial if patients and taxpayers are to see the difference.”
The Illinois Pharmacists Association is dedicated to enhancing the professional competency of pharmacists, advancing the standards of pharmacy practice, improving pharmacists’ effectiveness in assuring rational drug use in society, and leading in the resolution of public policy issues affecting pharmacists. IPhA was founded in 1880. To learn more, visit ipha.org |@ILPharmacists.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 19,400 pharmacies that employ nearly 240,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2023
MedGenyx enhances pharmacists' role as medication experts
URBANA - MedGenyx, a leading provider of pharmacogenomic test interpretation in Illinois, announces the launch of its services. MedGenyx pharmacists provide comprehensive medication review services and pharmacogenomic (PGx) test analysis. PGx tests help determine the safest and most effective medications based on a person’s DNA.
MedGenyx can facilitate these services in a variety of settings, including implementing PGx testing programs for prescribers, long term care facilities, and direct-to-consumer PGx testing for the individual client seeking answers to their medication concerns.
MedGenyx can cater to the needs of busy prescribing health care professionals that want to implement PGx testing to enhance their clinical decision-making processes. Pharmacists, certified in pharmacogenomics, walk patients through the testing process, from education, to a simple buccal swab, to making medication recommendations, to follow-up consultations.
The launch of MedGenyx comes at a crucial time when the demand for reliable medical information has never been greater. With the rapid development of medical treatments and technologies, the need for accessible and trustworthy medical resources has become even more critical. Pharmacists, as medication experts, are poised to step into this space and collaborate with prescribers to offer the latest in PGx capabilities.
"MedGenyx was developed to address the growing need to get medications, strengths and dosages right the first time, utilizing PGx testing. These tests can ultimately save time and money, both of which are in short supply in healthcare settings today,” said Theresa Johnson, Founder and CEO of MedGenyx. “MedGenyx pharmacists want to collaborate with prescribers to improve patient treatment outcomes in all types of health care settings.”
MedGenyx is committed to delivering accurate and reliable medication recommendations based on the cutting-edge science of pharmacogenomics.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2023
Biplanes and balloons over Greenville, Illinois
Greenville Airport will have its Airstravaganza event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16. Plans include: open house with pancake breakfast, biplane rides in a Waco UPF-7 or Stearman, as well as rides in Cessna 172. Weather permitting, Brad Haege, balloonist from Nashville, Illinois, plans to be in attendance with his hot air balloon. Static displays will include Wings of Hope from Spirit of St Louis Airport with info on its mission of providing aircraft for medical and mission assistance worldwide. Also, medical evacuation helicopters from Air Evac and Air Methods will be on the ramp as well as equipment from local volunteer fire departments.
Kevin Kegin's American Warbird will be flying biplane rides of 20 minutes in a Waco for $250. You can also contact Kevin to schedule a flight in a North American T-6, $500 for 30 minutes or longer flights if desired. For additional info and schedule: email@example.com, www.americanwarbird.com, 314-809-7101.
For info on hot air balloon rides call Brad Haege, balloonist from Nashville, Illinois, at 618-410-6030.
For info on Stearman and Cessna 172 rides, call 618-322-3532.
Pilots flying in will receive one free pancake breakfast per aircraft and be eligible for a $20 discount on fuel purchased on the day of event in addition to being entered in a drawing for $250 of free fuel to be awarded on the day of the event.
For additional info, contact Craig Baumberger at 618-322-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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