'I'll Rent to You If You're the Right Color'
An Orland landlord said as much, in the Justice Department's eyes, and that'll cost him 35 grand. Two big vacancies at the IPO. A Tinley doc is accused of forcing a patient into sex. And Kanye West's Fatburger closes. Miss a week on Patch, miss a lot.
This Monday morning hangover is killing us. After all that partying Sunday, we don't even have an NFC Championship and a Super Bowl berth to comfort us. With all the hype last week leading up to the Bears-Packers showdown, we understand if you tuned out the news last week. But what a newsy week it was.
An Orland Park landlord found that his discriminating taste in tenants will cost him $35,000 thanks to an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. In an exclusive interview with Patch, the executive director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra explained why he's leaving the Southland. A Tinley Park doctor was accused of forcing himself on a patient. Meanwhile, heartfelt tales of need spilled out at a Cook County hearing on the fate of Oak Forest Hospital. In more upbeat hospital news, Little Company of Mary Hospital is one of first medical center's in the region to offer midwife services.
And if you can't wait 'til St. Patrick's Day, then you'll be pleased to know an Oak Lawn girl and a Frankfort woman were dubbed Irish queens on Sunday.
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A Black and White Issue: When Terence Flanagan told a white woman that he wouldn't rent his house to blacks, the Orland Park property owner set in motion an investigation by the South Suburban Housing Center and the Justice Department. Two lawsuits were filed, claiming he violated the Fair Housing Act. Flanagan recently settled, admitting to comments he made to two white women, one sent from the SSHC and the other from the U.S. Department of Justice, that he prefers to not rent to black people. His actions will cost him $35,000.
The story, one of the most viewed on Patch, has elicited several comments.
Alexandra Spears: Once upon a time, to be "discriminating" meant to be "discerning." To use sound judgment. Now it's a dirty word. ... You should be able to rent to whoever you want—it's YOUR property. But then again, certain people (such as those of the Communist/Marxist persuasion) don't like property rights.
The Song Doesn't Remain the Same: Edmund Feingold, executive director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, is headed to California's Monterey Symphony.
“Their orchestra has an approximately $2 million budget, larger than the IPO’s, and they have an endowment which is something I would love for the IPO. ... I felt their needs (in Monterey) fit well with my skills and this move would be the logical next step for me. Although I was torn about the prospect of leaving the IPO, I realized opportunity comes when it comes and not necessarily when it’s convenient.”
After more than four years with the IPO, Feingold decided it was time to leave. His final day at the IPO is Feb. 15. Music director Carmon DeLeone, 68, announced last year that the 2010-11 season would be his last. DeLeone’s successor will be named after the 2011-12 performance season, according to an IPO press release.
Doc Accused of Forcing Patient into Sex: Cook County prosecutors charged Dr. Robert Eizinga, 66, of Tinley Park, with sexual misconduct with a person with a disability and official misconduct, claiming he vowed to keep a patient in the Tinley Park Mental Health Center or transfer her to Chicago-Read Mental Health Center unless she performed sex acts on him. Eizinga did not actually have the authority to keep or transfer the 45-year-old woman, who admitted herself to the Tinley Park Mental Health Center in April 2010 for depression, prosecutors said. A few days after the woman checked out, he showed up at her house with $100 in a bank envelope to get the woman to "keep her mouth shut," according to court records.
Oak Forest Hospital May Lose Emergency and Inpatient Services: Traci Knapp of Oak Forest was one of many who spilled out her tale of medical necessity to Cook County officials who've all but made up their mind to eliminate inpatient services and emergency treatment at Oak Forest Hospital to save $25 million in the county's health budget. "If it weren't for this hospital, I wouldn't get my prescriptions, wouldn't be able to see the doctors that are there," said the 38-year-old Knapp, who suffered severe injuries in a 2005 car accident. "This hospital means a lot to me." The hearing, conducted by the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, lasted more than two hours at Oak Forest City Hall. William Foley, CEO of Cook County's Health & Hospitals System, explained that his plan calls for "shifting the resources" at Oak Forest Hospital to create an outpatient center. Expanding outpatient services and cutting the inpatient offerings will result in the hospital being able to serve "four times the number of patients that we currently see," Foley said.
IT'S A CRIME-N-SHAME
The Wet One: Maybe this woman should've been driving a Port-a-Potty instead of a car. Linita L. Coney, 40, of Chicago, was stopped on LaGrange Road in Orland Park around 3:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, according to police, who found the driver and her seat soaked in urine. At the station, Coney was hostile one minute and polite the next, police said, and dropped her drawers in the station. She was charged with driving under the influence, driving with expired registration, unlawful display of registration sticker, no proof of insurance, no front registration plate, driving on an expired license and improper lane use, police said.
Hating on the Prosecutors: Two southwest suburban men charged with hate crime and robbery accused the Cook County state's attorney's office of spreading lies. "It's propaganda," said Mohammad Shaban, 35, of Hickory Hills. He and Akram Alshoweat, 22, of Oak Lawn, are accused of beating a woman they believed to be a lesbian outside a Hickory Hills restaurant on June 28, 2010. Alshoweat is also accused of taking the woman's cell phone, keys and wallet after lashing her with a belt. The woman, according to a source close to the investigation, lives in Palos Hills.
- Don't want to miss other misbegotten antics? Look for Good Read's Crime-N-Shame edition, best of the blotter, on Wednesday.
Orland's a Little Less Fat: I guess folks in Orland don't have a taste for Kanye West's local business venture. The first Illinois Fatburger closed its doors on Jan. 20. So much for those honored on the "wall of glutton," where folks who managed to down a triple-decker were feted with a Fatburger T-shirt, medallion and a spot on the wall. West's KW Foods LLC was behind the venture.
Having a Baby? Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park is one of the first Southland hospital's to offer midwife services to expectant mothers. The hospital recently brought on Mary Kay Burke, a certified nurse midwife at Women’s Healthcare Affiliates. “Most of the programs are up north and a lot of the moms from here go up there,” hospital spokeswoman Elida Solis said.
DINKs on Film: A Frankfort filmmaker has made his first comedy, a film about a couple with no kids. Many of the scenes were filmed in Orland Park.
HOT OFF THE PRESSES: LINKS TO OUR NEWS-ON-PAPER PALS
Irish Eyes are Smiling: We've got our South Side Irish Queen, and she comes from the far, far, far South Side. Mary Kate Monahan, 21, of Frankfort, will be the 2011 South Side Irish Queen. The lovely redhead was encouraged to compete in the pageant by her father. A wee lass from Oak Lawn, Grania McKirdie, 8, was named the winner of the Wee category. She learned her favorite song, Golden Rose, from her Irish granny. Read more about these lasses from our friends at the Southtown.
- Got your eye on the weekend? Check out SouthScene, our entertainment guide, every Friday.
Dennis Robaugh is editor of Patch's south suburban region. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.