Metra Adds BNSF Trains | Blood Drive in Memory of Astroworld Victims | Plexiglass Along Downtown Construction

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Metra Adding BNSF Trains

Beginning on Monday, March 28, Metra will expand weekday service on the BNSF line from 86 to 91 trains. Not only should the change reduce crowding on trains, but it will return service on the line to near pre-pandemic levels. Three trains that were removed from the schedule in November will resume service, four new trains will be added, and two late morning rush hour trains will no longer run. According to Metra, the BNSF line currently averages about 19,000 passenger trips each weekday, which is down 70% from before the pandemic.

Blood Drive in Honor of Astroworld Victims

There will be a blood drive held at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center on April 10 in honor of Jacob Jurinek and Franco Patino. The two Neuqua Valley High School graduates died during a crowd surge at the Astroworld Festival in Houston on November 5, 2021. Walk-ins will be welcome, but appointments are preferred and can be scheduled on the Versiti Blood Center of Illinois website. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the center’s Community Room.

Petition Challenge Against 11th District Candidate

A Republican primary candidate for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District has had his petition signatures challenged, a charge that if upheld would knock him off the ballot. Naperville native Juan “Johnny” Ramos faces a formal objection by St. Charles resident, Jessica Bridges, who claims his nominating petition contains less than the 400 signatures required for the race. A panel selected by the Illinois State Board of Elections will hear the case. Ramos is one of seven Republicans vying to face incumbent Democrat Bill Foster who is running for reelection.

Plexiglass Installed Along Downtown Construction

Today the Downtown Naperville Alliance had plexiglass partitions installed in some sections of Downtown Naperville so that passing pedestrians, particularly children, can stop and catch a glimpse of the ongoing renovations. The multi-phase streetscape improvement project is scheduled to be completed by September. Downtown businesses remain open despite the construction, and strategies to lure shoppers and diners downtown include hopscotch game decals on sidewalks and extra business signs and banners.

Longtime North Central Basketball Coach Departs

After eighteen seasons, North Central head men’s basketball coach Todd Raridon has stepped down to return to Hastings College, his alma mater, in Hastings, Nebraska. Raridon is the team’s all time leader in coaching victories with 312. He coached six All-American, 25 all-region and 43 all-conference players. Raridon led the Cardinals to the Division III national semifinals in 2013 and the round of sixteen in 2020, in addition to winning five College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournaments. No successor was immediately named, and the school said in a press release that they will begin the search for a replacement.