New North Central President | Council approves Block 59 | Ramadan begins

News Update text for 3/22/23. North Central College sign in front of old main.
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Dr. Anita Thomas to become the next North Central College President

North Central College announced its 11th president yesterday.  Dr. Anita Thomas, will be the college’s first woman and person of color to serve in the top leadership position. Find out more about Dr. Thomas and her journey to North Central College.

Council approves Block 59 Business District plan

Naperville City Council approved the Block 59 Business District, proposed by Brixmor Property Group Inc, at its meeting Tuesday night. It also gave approval for the company to redevelop that area.

The new district is proposed for what Brixmor is calling its Block 59 property, which includes the Heritage Square shopping center at the northeast corner of Route 59. Brixmor had originally asked for its full property holdings in that area, which stretch up to Jefferson Avenue, to be included in the district. But council requested that they adjust the boundaries to exclude the northern portion.

All properties within the business district will have a 1% sales tax, meant to fund $13.4 million in required expenses for infrastructure improvements over 23 years. Brixmor plans to redevelop the area, tearing down most of the buildings to create a new entertainment and restaurant district, which would include a community lawn.

Most on council approved of the redevelopment plan itself, with an 8-1 vote, but fewer agreed with the business district proposal, which passed 6-3.

Council passes responsible bidder ordinance

Also at last night’s meeting, the Naperville City Council bypassed the first reading and voted 7-2 in favor of a revised responsible bidder ordinance. The original ordinance failed in September of 2022 because the council vote was split 4-4.

The revised ordinance requires that all bidders and contractors participate in training and apprenticeship programs registered and approved with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

Responsible bidder ordinances have been approved by the forest preserve districts and county boards for both DuPage and Will counties.

Start of Ramadan

Tonight marks the beginning of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and gathering for the Muslim community. Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Muslim year, celebrating the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. The Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, and at the end of the fast is the day of Eid al-Fitr.

Ramadan starts and ends with a crescent moon in the night sky. With the Muslim calendar shorter than the Gregorian calendar, Ramadan begins 10-12 days earlier each year, allowing it to fall in every season throughout a 33-year period.

American Legion Post 43 announces the return of the citizen of the year award

American Legion Post 43 is looking for nominations for its 2023 Citizen of the Year Award. The award began in 1986 and has been handed out every year besides 2021.

Nominees must be from the Naperville area or its bordering communities and any service for which they are being commended has to be in a volunteer capacity.

Anyone can nominate a candidate by letter or email, and endorsements are encouraged to strengthen the nomination. The award will be presented at the American Legion’s Awards and Recognition Banquet on April 15.

Bunny the dog loses Cadbury Bunny bid to one-eyed cat

Nine-year-old Naperville rescue Chihuahua “Bunny” lost her bid for the 2023 Cadbury Bunny “spokesperson” role to a one-eyed cat from Idaho.

Bunny was the only Chicago-area animal to make it to the top 10 list of contenders. The public voted on the final winner, selecting Crash the cat as the new Cadbury representative. The rescue cat won the heart of voters with his grit, having broken his leg and jaw, and lost an eye after being hit by a car. He also does tricks such as performing a high five and ‘sit pretty.’