Category: Corrections

Corrections: February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014 || By Michael Romain

In a February 12, 2014, article entitled “A Proviso East Cheerleading Coach’s Dismissal Prompts Outrage, Cries Of Unfairness,” I incorrectly implied an association between two things that, upon further clarification, were not connected in the way I depicted them to be. According to the article, in the wake of head cheerleading coach Launa Mobley’s suspension/termination, members of the administration:

informed her that she was suspended; that by 2pm that same day, despite having been informed that she was only suspended, her job was posted on the district’s employment website–effectively signaling her termination; and that by the end of that school day, her cheerleaders had received letters that stated the following:

“To the parents of our cheerleading athletes. The Proviso East Administration regrets to inform you our [sic] Head Cheerleading Coach is no longer at the high school. Our decision is to continue without disruption of games, competitions and any efforts regarding fundraisers. We want to ensure that your child has a positive experience. We are currently searching for the best qualified candidate for the position. In the meantime, Administration will ensure that practices, performances and competitions will continue as scheduled. Should there be any changes, we will alert you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience as we move forward with this transition.”

That letter was accompanied by another letter that the girls received not long after the first one. It was to inform them about a special mentoring visit from State Senator Kimberly Lightford on February 13th. “This activity is only for the cheerleaders and the coach,” the letter reads. “It is imperative that the cheerleader attends.” But after many parents complained, the visit was cancelled.

After communicating with Senator Lightford, we were informed that what we referred to as “a special mentoring visit” had been in the works between the Senator and the school administration since at least December of last year–well before the incident happened–and that the meeting was subsequently cancelled by the Senator herself, not as a direct result of parental backlash.

“My initial communications with Proviso began in December. Every year, we mentor girls in the Spring at one school and in the Fall at another, alternating between schools in Chicago and those in the suburbs.” Senator Lightford said. The mentoring program is just an aspect of her overall focus on education and community-building, and is in line with other programming she sponsors, such as Saturday University.

She said that it was her decision to select the Proviso East cheerleaders as the focus of her next mentoring session and that a date for the first session had been originally scheduled for January, a few days after Martin Luther King Day. Due to scheduling conflicts, however, that date was changed to February 13th.

“When I was notified that there were issues involving their coach, I declined,” she said. “I decided to postpone the meeting until they took care of things.”

Senator Lightford emphasized that her decision to conduct the mentoring session with the cheerleaders was, in part, due to her support for Mrs. Mobley.

“I have never had a problem with the coach or the parents,” she said. “I just wanted to support Mrs. Mobley and whatever she was doing at the school, period. This had nothing to do with politics, the administration or anything else–this is just apart of what we do.”

In Quoting A Parent’s Testimony, I Mistakenly Referred To Mr. Crespo As Mr. Valente

In that same February 12th article, I incorrectly recounted the testimony of a parent. According to that erroneous section of the article, in which a parent, Jennifer Johnson, recalled an instance of perceived misconduct:

“First, they put the kids on a bus with a security guard, not with someone who was supposed to be over the cheerleaders,” said Jennifer Johnson, another cheerleading parent.

“Second, not all of the cheerleaders were on the bus. By the time they got back to West, they put my daughter in a room with no parent. They were in a room with only a male principal. All females! That should never have happened. That’s the second time that’s happened,” Johnson said.

“The other time, the girls were having practice and Mr. Valente was the only one supervising them. Just him, a male, no adult females. And he had his camera phone out. There were young ladies practicing in just sports bras. When some of us called him on that, he said, ‘Well, there are cameras everywhere in the school.’ That’s not good enough. If you’re going to discipline teachers for misbehaving, then he needs to be disciplined, too.”

Although Ms. Johnson’s testimony was corroborated by several other parents at a February 11th District 209 school board meeting, the administrative figure to whom she was referring was, in fact, Proviso East Vice President Anthony Crespo, not Principal Tony Valente.

I apologize for these hastily committed mistakes. That article has since been emended. VFP

Correction: January 6, 2014

In an article posted today, “$1.5M Prairie Style, Jens Jensen-Designed Maywood Home Still On Market, Featured In Chicago Magazine,” the headline incorrectly states that the home was designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. The home was, in fact, designed by renowned architect John S. Van Bergen. Thanks to the careful attention of Vicki Haas (see her insightful comment underneath the above article), this article has since been emended.

VFP<<INTEGRITY FIRST

Corrections: December 22, 2013

In the December 16, 2013, article “Quick News: Maywood Housing Authority to Remain Open Throughout 2014, SEIU Local 73 Expresses Lack of Confidence in Village HR Dept. and More…” we mistakenly implied that the Local 73 SEIU was the exclusive union of the Maywood Fire Department. A Village employee clarified that this is not the case. The union also represents the Village of Maywood union staff, not just the Fire Department. This article has since been emended.

VFP>INTEGRITY FIRST

Corrections: December 4, 2013

In the December 3, 2013, article “With Filing Deadline Past, Both of Maywood’s Representatives Face Challenges,” and the December 4, 2013 article, “Illinois House and Senate Pass ‘Unhappy’ Pension Reform Bill, Maywood Public School Teachers May Be Smiling Least,” we misstated the political party of Rep. Kathleen Willis, who is a Democrat, not a Republican, as was previously written. Both those articles have since been emended. We’d like to extend our sincerest apologies to Rep. Willis and to the public for the confusion this may have caused.

VFP>INTEGRITY FIRST

Corrections: August 15 – 26

In the August 15, posting “Maywood Entryway Signs Unveiling, August 17,” we misspelled the names of Charles Divers, writing Charles Drivers, instead; and John S. Van Bergen, writing John S. Van Beyer.” This post has since been amended.

In the August 21, posting “The Weekend in Review,” we mispelled the names of Walter William and Pete Bozeous (this is the closest we’ve come to a correct spelling. If anyone has information either verifying this spelling or providing a more accurate spelling of Pete’s last name, please let us know). This article has since been amended.

In the August 26, posting, “Hinsdale Community Bank Hoping to Build Branch in Maywood,” we incorrectly referred to Hugh Franklin as the director of community lending for InTel development. Mr. Franklin is the senior executive vice president and community development officer for Proviso Community Bank. This article has since been amended.

 

 

VFP<INTEGRITY FIRST

 

 

Corrections: July 10 – August 7

A July 24, posting, “Area Nonprofit Wears Its Growth On Its Sleeves,” indicated that Dr. Tanesha D.H. Pittman was currently employed as the Executive Director for Benedictine University’s Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies. This is incorrect, as Dr. Pittman no longer works for Benedictine University. This article has since been amended.

 

VFP<INTEGRITY FIRST

Corrections: June 10 – July 10

A June 18, 2013, posting was mistakenly entitled, “Two Maywood Men Arrested for River Forest Burglaries.” This inaccurately implied that the men arrested (one from Bellwood and the other from Lombard) were from Maywood, instead of being merely arrested in the Village. That posting has since been emended.

A July 3, 2013, posting, “Once Upon A Time: Visiting the West Town Historical Museum,” mistakenly referred to Mrs. Jeri Stenson as the former president of the Maywood Historical Society. This was inaccurate, as she still currently serves in this role. This posting has since been emended.

A July 10, 2013, posting, “Maywood May Get Office of Independent Inspector General, but Board Vote Stands in the Way,” mistakenly places Cheryl Ealey-Cross’s employment at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Mrs. Cross worked for Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw. She obtained the services of Kirkland & Ellis, at no cost to the plaintiffs or the Village, through a watchdog group. This posting has since been emended. Mrs. Ealey-Cross included in a statement notifying us of the error: “I would also like to make it known that the Court [sic] awarded fines to the plaintiffs’ [sic] as a result of the Village’s blatant disregard for the law. Kirkland & Ellis represented us at no cost to either us or the Village. However, any citizen can certainly find out on their own how much was paid out to the law firm of Klein,Thorpe & Jenkins for their representation of the Village, it was very early in the case that the Village was not in compliance of the Freedom of Information Act and this case could have been avoided altogether had they complied with the law.” This posting has since been emended.

The same posting also incorrectly referred to village attorney Michael Jurusik’s law firm, Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, as Klein & Thorpe. This posting has since been emended.

VFP<INTEGRITY FIRST