Last Wednesday afternoon nine Oak Park police officers, a Fire Department ladder truck and an evidence technician truck could be seen at the condo building across the street from where robbery/sexual assault suspect Fabian Patillo fatally shot himself June 5. Curious residents were told the authorities were “looking to inspect the roof,” although that hardly requires the services of numerous tactical officers.

They were, in fact, looking for the 9 mm bullet that killed Patillo?#34;which they found lodged between two pieces of wood behind a gutter on the portico above the building’s entrance.

Police, who recovered a gun and a shell casing at the scene of the shooting, originally thought the bullet had fragmented and lodged in Patillo’s brain. However, an autopsy last Tuesday indicated otherwise.

“The head wound to Patillo was a through-and-through wound,” said Scianna, who characterized the search as an effort to “tidy up” the investigation, which is still ongoing.

However, as a result of Wednesday’s discovery, police can now conduct ballistic tests on the bullet and gun, thus allowing them to possibly trace the weapon back to any previous incidents.

“We’re asking the [State Police] crime lab to see if they can raise the serial number of the gun [which had been filed off],” said Scianna.

That may in turn help explain how a convicted felon like Patillo managed to possess a lethal firearm.

What about the personalized bricks at Maze?

Following our coverage last week of the reopening of the Maze Branch Library [Coming home to the Maze Branch, News, June 7], we received a letter from Karen Kelly who wanted to know about one lapsed detail:

“First, thanks for the really nice picture of my grandson, Ben, on your cover this week in the context of the Maze re-opening. He’s the little guy striding with such eagerness up the steps to the children’s section in the foreground of the photo. I agree that boosting Oak Park is always good, but I think you missed an important story along the way … the bricks, sold to make the restoration/renovation financially easier, were not in place as promised, and I had to explain to Ben, and his mom (whose birthday present this was last year) that the brick I had told them about was not on exhibit, as promised. Why not? What happened to the bricks (not just ours, of course, but everyone’s) that were to be installed and when can we expect to see the bricks at Maze?#34;at last?”

Well, here’s what happened:

Assistant Library Director Jim Madigan said the bricks were all finished and ready to install as they intended in the southeast corner of the property when they discovered the tree there was half dead. They brought in an arborist and their landscape architect, Carol Yetken, who had a conversation with the architect, Alan Armbrust, and they decided to move the brick plaza to the southwest corner.

That “hiccup,” Madigan said, forced them to hold off on the plaza project. A tree needs to be removed and a few others trimmed. Those who bought bricks will be notified of the plaza’s grand opening, which Madigan now expects to take place in September. Which means people still have time to buy bricks if they missed the first go-round.

Doper calls on Doopers to do the right thing (we think)

At last week’s Oak Park village board meeting, Mary Lyman of Wilmette stood up to speak about the proposed smoking ban (later approved by the board).

She first introduced herself as a “Doper,” then explained that “older generations will know what that means.”

We’re pretty sure she meant “Dooper” (for “Dear Old Oak Parker”) and we trust that if it had been pronounced “Doper” (for Dear Oak Parker), the acronym never would have stuck.

“Doper?” the old dears would have said. “I barely know her!”

Anyway, Lyman went on to, we think, endorse passage of the ban, although her prose was lovingly laced with nicotine cravings.

Saying she learned to smoke in Oak Park and all its old smoke-filled haunts, she recalled, “A Marlboro, fries and a Coke is a great combination after a hard day at school.”

She added that spanakopita (the Greek spinach pie found locally at Papaspiros) and a cigarette is “a pretty good combination, too.”

Oak Park, Berwyn leaders to discuss Roosevelt Road

Oak Park residents are invited to attend a joint session of the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees and the Berwyn City Council tomorrow, Thursday, in the Veterans Room of the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St. Leaders of the two communities will be discussing the implementation of recommendations from a planning study for the 1.5-mile corridor that they share on Roosevelt Road. They will also discuss coordination of efforts in areas such as zoning and capital improvement funding.

According to Oak Park officials, the study, by Chicago planning consultant Farr Associates, identified Roosevelt Road’s assets and challenges, and provided a range of ideas on how the corridor can be improved in terms of pedestrian useability, increased traffic flow, and retail and residential development.

The study can be viewed at Go past the Departments tab, click on Planning and look for the link along the right margin.

Oak Park may lose CDBG funds

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the Bush administration wants to shift funding under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the largest federal urban grant program, to the neediest areas. Oak Park would lose the most money of any community in Illinois because under the proposed changes, housing built before 1940 would no longer be a major criterion to get more money.

“I’m stunned,” Janis Akerstrom, grants manager for the Village of Oak Park, was quoted as saying. The village’s grant would be cut from nearly $2 million this year to only $353,000, well below the minimum of $518,000. The village currently uses the money to maintain water lines, streets, and programs for low-income and moderate-income families like childrens’s dental clinics and job training. The grant changes are far from a done deal, however, as it may be hard to push them through Congress in an election year.

Gore movie coming to the Lake

Al Gore’s global warming movie, An Inconvenient Truth, will open at the Lake Theatre this Friday, June 16. The film contains the best of Al Gore’s 400-slide traveling environmental show, which he’s delivered about a thousand times since his defeat in the 2000 election. Mark Mazrimas, marketing director for the Lake, said that the film is not as political as some might fear and does not point fingers or support either party. Seems tailor-made for the Oak Park audience.

In other movie news, Mazrimas said, Akeelah and the Bee did remarkably well here, drawing 20 school groups to the Lake, totalling some 2,500 students. Meanwhile, the theater’s annual summer Wednesday morning movie series is starting up today with the Wallace and Gromit film, Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The series, which will continue through Aug. 9, features movies at the kid-friendly price of a dollar.

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