The bells tolled for us last Wednesday

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The sounds of 17th century Europe chimed along Lake Street in Oak Park last Wednesday afternoon. One of only two traveling carillons in the Western Hemisphere made a stop in downtown Oak Park.

A truck and custom semi-trailer hauled the 48 bronze bells-26,000 pounds’ worth-just east of the main branch of the library. That’s where Mobile Millennium Carillon, a company from Ohio with instruments from Holland, performed from 3 to 6 p.m. on June 4. Around 20 people gathered to listen to the University of Chicago Carillonneurs, Joan Krenzer and Wylie Crawford, before getting the opportunity to ask questions of the two.

Former president of Oak Park Chamber of Commerce Steve Berggren did all the legwork to bring the Mobile Millennium Carillon to Oak Park. Berggren was quite pleased with the event, saying, “The village did a really nice job; I didn’t realize how intense it was going to be.”

The Mobile Millennium Carillon was in the Chicago area for a rededication ceremony at University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Because the University of Chicago had already paid $3,000 for the carillon to be in Chicago, Oak Park was able to take advantage of an open day in the schedule and bring the carillon to the village for free.

Can’t get enough of the McCain POW story?

At Oak Park and River Forest High School’s commencement ceremony Sunday, some graduating commencement speakers offered a humorous take on the recent controversy involving Supt. Attila Weninger and the “story” he told about a Vietnam War veteran at the school’s Memorial Day assembly last month. It was John McCain’s story, not from the superintendent’s brother, as Weninger mistakenly and now famously attributed it during the assembly.

One senior on Sunday drew laughs by referencing the incident, saying even John McCain knows where Oak Park is now. Another speaker chimed in on the incident, making a reference in his speech to a story told to him by his brother.

Gotta love those crazy grads.

Malatesta pleads not guilty

Former District 97 buildings and grounds director Jerry Malatesta pleaded not guilty last Friday at his arraignment at the Cook County Criminal Court Building at 26th and California in Chicago.

Malatesta, 61, entered his plea Friday morning in front of judge Diane Cannon. The former Dist. 97 employee is accused of stealing $750,000 from the district from 2004 to early 2007 in a fraud scheme involving two contractors. Malatesta’s criminal trial date is July 15 at the 26th and California.

Dist. 97 filed a separate civil suit against Malatesta and contractors George Coventry, owner of Palos Park-based Mech-Tech Inc., and Terry Karitsiotis, owner of Advance Hydronics Inc. of Riverside.

14 hours on the roof? Priceless

Beye Elementary School Principal Jonathan Ellwanger braved the rain last Wednesday, spending the night on top of the school’s roof to make good on a wager he made with students last fall. For every good behavior slip students received during the year, Ellwanger promised to spend a minute on the roof of the school. The students clocked in at approximately 14 hours’ worth of goof behavior, so Ellwanger began his trek to the roof around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon and didn’t come down till Thursday morning around 8:30, just in time for the school’s end-of-the-year assembly. Though the Beye community got a hoot out of his stunt, Ellwanger said the focus was really on the students and all their hard work this school year.

Ellwanger should get his own good behavior slip.

Correct that

In the June 4 Wednesday Journal article titled, “R. Kelly song featured at Beye graduation,” the song featured was different from the one we erroneously cited. The actual song was “The World’s Greatest.”

Wednesday Journal regrets the error.

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