SciTech Museum Closing | Naper Settlement Budget Adjustment | Chat With the Chief

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SciTech Hands-On Museum Closing

After 34 years, the SciTech Hands-On Museum announced it is closing its location at 18 W. Benton Street in Aurora. The award-winning museum, which has worked to inspire STEM-focused learning through interactive exhibits and activities, plans to reorganize as an educational resource that can retain some of its resources such as the Starlab portable planetarium to continue to provide learning opportunities. The museum will hold a “First Share” event for area schools and nonprofits on May 20 and 21, to give away new and gently used supplies from the museum to benefit local educators. This will be followed by a public “Last Chance” event June 6 through 10, where remaining items will be available for purchase.

City Budget Adjusted to Support Naper Settlement

On Tuesday, the Naperville City Council retroactively adjusted its fiscal year 2021 budget by $1 million to cover a financial shortfall at Naper Settlement. Shutdowns due to COVID-19 put extreme pressures on the museum’s bottom line and created a larger than expected structural budget deficit. Naper Settlement’s budget has fluctuated between $2.7 and $2.9 million over the last 13 years, but the past two years saw a significant increase in incidental expenses. Council decided that amending the budget was preferred to using federal pandemic relief funds, as the necessary cash was available.

Local Mobil May Become a Casey’s

The Bucky’s Mobil convenience store at 1420 E. Ogden Avenue might soon become a Casey’s following a recommendation from the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday. Commissioners voted to further a conditional use permit, but with the caveat that Casey’s must pay to construct a larger fence than the one currently on the perimeter of the property from six to eight feet tall. Casey’s acquired the Bucky’s chain of stations last year for $580 million, and has already begun changing the branding in some locations. The recommendation now moves to the City Council for a final vote later this month.

Chat With the Chief

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres, along with the Naperville Police Department (NPD), hosted a ‘Chat With the Chief’ last night at the Starbucks at 1979 McDowell Road. The event, part of a series held several times each year, provided a relaxed atmosphere with complimentary coffee for residents to get to know and ask questions of the police chief as well as other members of the NPD. Concerns raised last night primarily centered around traffic issues, including excessive speeding and loud vehicles in neighborhoods. This was Arres’ first ‘Chat With the Chief’ since taking over the department’s top job in October of last year.

May the 4th Be With You

In celebration of the biggest day of the year for Star Wars superfans, the 501st Midwest Garrison created a meet-and-greet for Jedis of all ages at Downtown Naperville’s ‘May the 4th Be With You’ event.. The Garrison, which was “formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity,” had volunteers dress as a variety of Star Wars characters and pose for photos along Main Street. The intergalactic celebration was a partnership with the Downtown Naperville Alliance, who held the event in part to let the public know downtown businesses continue to be open and accessible despite ongoing construction.