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Repairs underway as Dixmoor reports 3 more water main breaks in 24-hour span

Families preparing for Easter celebrations in south suburban Dixmoor were disrupted by the village’s latest round of water troubles on Saturday. Work was underway in the afternoon to repair two water main breaks that occurred overnight. Just hours prior, another water main break was reported. In mid-January, residents dealt with a series of breaks after temperatures rose above freezing. The latest one wasn’t caused by a freeze-thaw cycle. Rather, it served as a reminder of the village’s aging water system, which consists of 125-year-old lead pipes. “So it’s not just a matter of the integrity of those pipes. It’s a matter of what’s inside of those pipes, leeching into water for these residents,” explained Kenny Valentino with International Pure Water. The most recent water main break occurred nearby a village Easter event, where free water filters were handed out to neighbors. Dixmoor Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts said as of Saturday night, no boil order was in place. According to the mayor, the south suburban village is in need of $50 million to fix the decay beneath. “This infrastructure is crumbling very quickly,” he said. In July 2023, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced Dixmoor would receive $10 million to rehabilitate its water distribution system through Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. An additional $4 million was allocated for lead service line replacement through the Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund program.

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Residents displaced by Bensenville apartment building fire

Multiple residents of a Bensenville apartment building were temporarily forced from their homes on Saturday after a fire tore through the structure. The fire was reported at around 2 p.m. in the 200 block of Sonny Lane. According to the Bensenville Fire Protection District, a battalion chief responded to the scene and determined smoke was coming from the third floor and that everyone had exited the building. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which was contained to one unit. No one was inside at the time, and no injuries were reported, authorities said. Due to the extent of the damage, the building was deemed uninhabitable. While the entire building was displaced, it wasn’t immediately known how many residents were affected. The village was working on relocating all those impacted, authorities said. An investigation was underway on Saturday evening.

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No jury would believe Angela Rayner’s account of her controversial property dealings, leading…

A top barrister last night said a jury would be unlikely to believe Angela Rayner’s account of her controversial property dealings. Rebecca Butler, a specialist in family and criminal law, said evidence shows ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Labour’s Deputy Leader was not living at her council house in Stockport – despite being registered there on the electoral roll. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Ms Butler, a barrister at Great James Street Chambers in London, warned that Ms Rayner could have broken electoral law if her property on Vicarage Road was not her primary address. Knowingly providing false information on an electoral registration form is an offence, which can carry a six-month jail sentence or unlimited fine. Ms Rayner has said the house in Vicarage Road, which she bought under the right-to-buy policy in 2007, was her ‘principal property’ from 2009 to 2015, but would ‘spend time’ at her husband Mark’s home about a mile away in Lowndes Lane. But neighbours at both properties insist she lived at Lowndes Lane throughout. ‘The media does need to pursue this,’ Ms Butler said. ‘On the balance of probabilities she was living with her husband. Beyond reasonable doubt? ‘She’s living with her husband and her brother was her tenant. Why would the neighbours lie? ‘It would be beyond the bounds of credibility for people to believe she wasn’t living with her husband and father of her children. A jury would take a hell of a lot of convincing.

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Feeling down? Slapping on the lipstick really can give you a lift… and beauty writer INGE VAN…

Coco Chanel may have been right when she said: ‘If you’re sad, add more lipstick.’ A study has found that wearing make-up can have a marked effect on improving women’s mood and even helps with maintaining good mental health. Researchers recruited 240 volunteers who did not normally wear make-up, asking half to slap it on three or more times a week while the rest went without. They found those wearing make-up saw symptoms of depression drop significantly, stress levels halve and self-esteem soar. One theory they put forward is the ‘camouflage effect’ of make-up helps the wearer with self-image worries by changing their appearance while stimulating feelings of attractiveness which elevates their mood. ‘Our results show that the frequent use of make-up can contribute to effective and sustainable improvement in wellbeing and mental health,’ the research team reported in the scientific journal Dermatology And Therapy. ‘Make-up has the potential to contribute to the improvement of depressive symptoms, mood swings and low self-esteem.’ Half of the women in the study were given a make-up kit with 16 items, including lipstick, eye shadow, blusher, eyebrow pencil and foundation, and given expert advice on its application. All the recruits completed a psychological test for depression – the Zung scale, which measures 20 different feelings and emotions – before and after the experiment. The women who wore make-up recorded an average 8.3 per cent drop in scores for symptoms of depression. There was also a 25 per cent increase in feelings of self-regard among make-up users. Wearing make-up also led to a 55 per cent drop in levels of the hormone cortisol in saliva. Cortisol is a marker of stress levels and a trigger for episodes of depression. ‘Regular use of make-up was associated with lower incidence of mild depression and lower intensity of depressive symptoms,’ said the research team from Sao Paulo in Brazil and Queensland and Curtin Universities in Australia. Professor Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry and King’s College London, said: ‘Make-up is a type of self-care and, as shown in this study, helps with depression. The benefit is clinically significant, as shown by using the Zung scale.’ The scientists are right… I rejoice in its two-minute transformative powers by INGE VAN LOTRINGEN BY INGE VAN LOTRINGEN It’s no surprise that make-up works as an antidepressant. For the majority of women, a blemish-obliterating concealer or complexion-brightening lipstick is the difference between a brilliant day and a disastrous day – and that isn’t proof the world has succumbed to vacuous vanity. The very marvel of make-up is that it allows us to put on the face we want to present to the world. Feeling right in your skin means confidence – and confidence is the root of much of our achievements in life, as well as our joy. I rejoice in the two-minute transformative power of my mascara and eyebrow pencil. It’s not about trying to achieve perfection or some beauty ideal, it’s about temporarily wiping the exhaustion off your face. Or projecting fierceness with bold eyeliner and innocence with rosy cheeks. As women, we’ve used (and to an extent, have felt obliged to use) this tool for centuries, so we understand its power. Just ask beauty entrepreneur Maxine Laceby, who, as part of a ‘dare to go bare’ project for her fine art degree, went without make-up for four months. She suffered crashing results and her mood hit the floor to such an extent that it prompted her to begin her own line in collagen products. Proof that, for many of us, the magic of make-up is among the most powerful, yet entirely innocuous, depression-busters we have.

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Council whose social workers made a string of errors before tragic Finley Boden was murdered by his…

The council whose social workers made a string of errors before tragic Finley Boden was murdered by his parents praised itself for keeping children safe days before his death. Ten-month old Finley died on Christmas Day 2020 just 39 days after he was returned to the care of his parents Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden. He suffered 130 separate injuries, including 71 bruises and 57 fractures that left almost every bone in his body broken. Marsden and Boden, from Old Whittington in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, were found guilty of his murder and were handed life sentences in May last year. A review into his death earlier this week revealed that little Finley had been allowed to return home against expert advice and despite knowing his parents were addicted to cannabis and his father had been violent. But just days before his murder the council’s staff were praised for keeping children safe, the Sunday People reports. Michelina Racioppi, assistant director of child safe-guarding, said: ‘Everyone has been working very hard to keep children safe and there has been really good evidence of partners working effectively.’ Slides from a conference showboasted of their ‘rapid response approach’ and ‘strong partnership working’. Of the six checks that should have taken place in the weeks before the tragic tot died, only four were attempted and there was no response at these. At the three visits where the social workers could make contact, despite issues that needed further enquiry they did not take necessary action. The council’s claims were branded as ‘reckless and insensitive’ by foster carer and children’s campaigner Martin Barrow. ‘Anybody who works in child protection will be aware there are children suffering harm,’ he told the Sunday People. ‘We all do what we can to reduce the risk but we can never guarantee all children are safe, no matter how vigilant we are.’ Steve Atkinson, independent chair of Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership told the paper: ‘I apologise on behalf of the partnership for what happened. ‘Agencies took early steps to improve systems and practices, responding quickly to an immediate review of Finley’s death and the circumstances in which it took place.’ At a crucial hearing before magistrates on 1 October 2020 the local authority argued that Finley should return gradually to his parents’ care through a ‘transition plan’ over four months, during which time he would be monitored for his safety. They also demanded that the parents be tested regularly for drugs and warned against the dangers of sending him back ‘too soon.’ But the couple both wanted the youngster back more quickly with Bowden claiming in a statement: ‘Shannon and I have worked really hard to make changes.’ The review revealed that the hearing took place between Covid lockdowns when courts were still working remotely and that all parties argued their case over the phone. Marsden and Boden did not speak at all. The review by Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership also names the key figures involved that decided Finley’s fate. A report was submitted to the court by Amanda O’Rourke, Finley’s guardian from Cafcass, the independent Children and Families Court Advisory Service, which was appointed to represent his best interests. Despite acknowledging his parents drug use and domestic violence, she argued that he should be handed over to them within six to eight weeks because they had ‘clearly made and sustained positive changes.’ The final decision was made by two magistrates, Kathy Gallimore and Susan Burns, who were assisted by a legal adviser. They ruled that Finley should be handed back to his parents over an eight-week transition period which they deemed to be a ‘reasonable and proportionate’ length of time that would protect his welfare. They also ruled that Marsden and Boden did not pose an ‘unmanageable risk’ to their son. The magistrates also did not order any further drug tests of his parents, despite requests from the local authority, and he came into their care on 17 November. Social worker Lynn Williams was assigned to oversee meetings between Finley and his parents which were taking place during the summer of 2020 when some Covid restrictions had been eased. She was also tasked with the duty of improving their parenting skills. In a report submitted by her for the crucial 1 October hearing, she noted on one occasion when the weather was warm: ‘Shannon Marsden ensured Finley was in the shade.’ She also wrote Marsden had held her hand when he was in a pushchair, which she described as a ‘natural response from a caring parent.’ In one report, Ms Williams noted that Boden had interreacted with his son ‘by talking to him and making him smile.’ During a home visit in August 2020, she noted that the fridge was well stocked and the bathroom clean. After a follow up visit she observed that the house was still tidy and that the parents were keen to keep it that way. But at the same time reports revealed that both parents tested positive for cannabis right up until August 2020, despite both claiming that they had given it up. Finley had been removed from his parents’ care immediately after he was born in February 2020 after social workers raised concerns about the state of the family home and their drug use. The review revealed that the couple managed to use the 2020 Covid lockdown to dupe officials into believing they were fit enough to look after their son. Due to limited physical interaction, social workers were unable to routinely attend people’s homes. Instead, Marsden sent photos of her home looking clean and tidy to underline that they had made positive changes. By the summer of that year, with restrictions eased, they started meeting Finley in person again, leading the couple to mount a legal challenge to get custody of him permanently.

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Bill for public sector pensions hits £2.6TRILLION as ex-minister says it will be ‘painful to pay…

The public sector pensions bill has hit a record £2.6trillion, Treasury figures show – making it more than the entire size of the UK economy. The retirement pot for more than five million workers including doctors, civil servants and teachers had risen by £333 billion to £2.64 trillion by the 2021-2022 financial year, the Treasury said. Pension liabilities for the NHS scheme alone – which has 1.5million members – now stand at more than £1 trillion. Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb described the total figure as ‘eye-watering’, The Telegraph reported. He added: ‘If the economy is growing more sluggishly, then the future wealth of the nation is going to be smaller than you thought. So it’s going to be more painful to pay these promises.’ One reason for the bill is that the public sector has far more gold-plated final salary pension schemes than private firms. A Government spokesman said: ‘We have reformed public service pensions, saving £400 billion. ‘They are an important part of remuneration for hard-working public sector workers and the reforms strike the right balance between rewarding Crown servants and being fair to the taxpayer.

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‘New level’ of terror threat to England fans at Euro 2024 in Germany following appalling ISIS attack…

The terror threat in the heart of Europe has reached new heights following the Moscow attack, officials have warned, with additional security measures being taken as England football fans prepare to fly to Germany for Euro 2024 this summer. Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), an offshoot of ISIS, last week claimed responsibility for the deadly assault on the Crocus City Hall entertainment complex in Russia’s capital, which saw nearly 140 slaughtered and hundreds more injured. In the wake of the attack, Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has issued a stark warning about the threat posed to her country, saying it has raised ‘dangers to a new level’. It comes ahead of the UEFA European Football Championship, which is kicking off in just 75 days, with British police set to be deployed to Germany to help keep fans safe. Germany will be on high alert for the major international event, Ms Faeser said this week, with temporary border controls to be introduced ‘to prevent possible perpetrators of violence from entering the country.’ ‘One thing can be said for sure – the dangers have reached a new level,’ Nancy Faeser reportedly said, adding that Germany is ‘arming itself even more strongly against all current threats.’ She explained that the country is facing threats from Islamist terrorists, as well as other -potential violent criminals. She said authorities will be keeping ‘a particular eye on current threats’, including terror groups, extremists, hooligans and criminal groups, and added that ‘the security of our networks against cyber attacks’ is also a risk factor. Neil Doyle, an expert in counter-terrorism, told The Sun: ‘Euro 2024 represents a major target for groups looking to mount mass casualty attacks for revenge and global headlines.’ He added that the country, as a major backer of Ukraine, could be a target for Russia, with another expert highlighting the dangers posed by Kremlin cyber attacks. Colonel Richard Kemp, who has worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and national crisis group Cobra, said: ‘Russia would like to disrupt this event in some way, such as a cyber attack, and they would hope to embarrass the German government.’ With more than half a million Brits planning to fly to Germany for the tournament in June, Ms Faesar sought to assure fans and players from across the continent that their safety is the host nation’s priority. She said: ‘We are pooling the forces of the security authorities even more strongly for the Euros and are preparing for all possible dangers. ‘This is necessary to protect this major international event in the best possible way. ‘The security of the tournament is paramount.’ A UK government spokesman said: ‘Football fans all over the country will be looking forward to a summer of football. ‘We are working with the German police to support a safe and trouble-free tournament. ‘A UK police delegation will be deployed to Germany during the event and we will also be offering support and advice on how to engage with fans attending from the UK.’ Concerns over security in Germany come as France pushed its security alert system to its highest level last Sunday in the wake of the Moscow massacre. Macron held an emergency meeting to discuss the already tense security situation in the country, as it prepares to host the 2024 Olympic Games. He revealed that ISIS-K, the ultra-brutal ISIS offshoot that Western intelligence believes carried out the attack in Moscow, has ‘attempted several times to hit France.’ France’s prime minister Gabriel Attal took to X to say: ‘Given the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the attack and the threats weighing on our country, we have decided to raise the Vigipirate posture to its highest level: emergency attack.’ Speaking the following day, he told reporters: ‘The terrorist threat is real, it’s strong. He said that two plots by suspected Islamic extremists had already been thwarted this year. France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, seemingly referred to the alleged plots in an interview with France 2, telling the broadcaster: ‘We have never foiled so many attacks in France.’ He added: ‘The Islamic State is the author of the last eight foiled attacks in France. We foil a lot of attacks, one every two months.

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ALEXANDRA SHULMAN’S NOTEBOOK: The perfect phrase for a weekend in cougar town

Nadine Dorries’s confession that, at 66, she is frequently hit on by men was particularly timely since I had been thinking a bit about middle-aged sexual attraction after a weekend away with two girlfriends. Not that anyone hit on me this time – but I did get a handy tip for the future. Because during one of many meals, our young waiter was of the heart-throbbing appearance that middle-aged women shouldn’t even be noticing, let alone fancying. Prudish me hadn’t paid much attention to him but my companions were less reserved Americans and ogled him, giggling like schoolgirls as he approached. It might have been embarrassing but truth be told he seemed to enjoy it, hovering around the table more than was entirely necessary – no doubt with an eye on a tip rather than sex. But it encouraged one quasi-jokingly to say to the other: ‘You should leave your phone number on the table!’ There was some debate over the appeal of this ruse before it was rejected. But the episode taught me that on the cougar scene, a universally understood approach is: ‘Where do you go for fun in this town?’ Perfect! Surely one for every phrase book. Outfits even the rich can’t afford Something very odd is going on with the prices of designer fashion and, yes, I am aware that as an ex-editor of Vogue this might sound the ultimate poacher-turned-gamekeeper observation. But never before have such clothes been so expensive. For sure there were always the very, very costly labels such as Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, but alongside them were many other brands whose extremely pricey clothes, although well out of most people’s budgets, were something that a well-paid professional woman might consider splashing out on very occasionally – names such as Ralph Lauren, Prada, Jil Sander and Gucci. Now, though, these same brands are selling clothes at prices that aren’t even in the reach of much of that one per cent. Ralph Lauren offers an embroidered bomber jacket for £5,870, while Prada, once a standby of fashion journalists, is selling a poplin shirt for £3,500 and a translucent dress at £5,100. Phoebe Philo, previously known as the designer who created with real women in mind, has launched her eponymous label with prices that aren’t going to include anyone but the most wealthy: a £6,000 leather jacket, cargo pants at £1,700. It makes a new Burberry trench coat, inspired by the King’s gardens at Highgrove, look a relative snip at £2,500. For many of these brands, the ready-to-wear was never their biggest revenue driver. Instead, that would be accessories or perfume. But even so, the prices were not so high that cost became the desirable factor. By which I mean that simply showing you can afford a piece becomes as much, if not more, of a justification of the spend than the actual object. After all, as nice as a cashmere coat from The Row might be, you can hardly argue that at £9,140 you couldn’t find an equally appealing one for half that money. Having spent more than a quarter of a century working in luxury fashion, I understand how glorious it is to step out with a beautiful leather bag on your arm or a dress with exquisite hand embroidery that will be a forever piece in your wardrobe. But this is something different. This appears to be a deliberate policy to drive customers away in an effort to make the product, for those who buy it, more desirable. The appeal lies in the high price, which demonstrates that, yes, you can afford something only accessible for the fewest of the few, who will all recognise the extravagance of the spend. The Diet Prada Instagram recently posted about a Hermes wicker bag on sale for $10,400 (£8,200) and any buyer can’t even specify their colour of choice. Does that make the luxury consumer wildly privileged, or possibly a little dumb? The time Taylor didn’t turn heads Not all good deeds get repaid but I’m the lucky recipient of a couple of tickets for a June concert by Taylor Swift. I put the megastar songstress on the cover of Vogue in 2015, and a kind person in her publicity team remembered me. Back then, we met in London’s Wolseley for lunch, and as we sat in the crowded restaurant, not a single head turned despite Swift performing that night at the 02. I doubt the same non-reaction would occur now. You can almost feel sorry for Andrew Gillian Anderson and Billie Piper play the main roles in the forthcoming Netflix drama Scoop, but the really fascinating performance is Rufus Sewell’s Prince Andrew. With his saturnine good looks, Sewell would not seem an obvious choice as Andrew, but along with a brilliant job by the make-up team to give him Andrew’s greying, Hanoverian porkiness, he brings to his portrayal the combination of hauteur and dimness of the real man. As Anderson, playing interviewer Emily Maitlis, calmly turns her well honed-stiletto blade, you almost feel sorry for the Prince for being such a chump. Hired… the right man for a top job The big job in the museum world has just gone to Nicholas Cullinan, who leaves the National Portrait Gallery for the British Museum, the world’s third most visited museum. The role is seen as a poisoned chalice because the institution is under attack from all angles – its continuing partnership with oil giant BP, the controversy over the Parthenon marbles and the discovery of the alleged theft of around 2,000 objects from its Greek and Roman collections. But after a period of unalloyed bad news, there is light through the clouds. More than 350 of these gems, mainly jewellery, have been returned by the Danish specialist Ittai Gradel, who had bought them in good faith a decade ago. They are now back home and will soon be in the hands of Cullinan, who is an example of the right candidate in the right job at the right time.

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Zelenskyy vows drone strikes on Russia despite U.S. dissent

Ukraine will keep targeting Russian oil-refining facilities despite U.S. discontent with its campaign, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who warned that Kyiv’s forces may be forced to retreat ‘step by step” without more military aid from allies. The drone attacks are in retaliation against Kremlin strikes on Ukraine’s energy grid and part of an effort to compel Moscow to stop them, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius wrote in a column, citing an interview with Zelenskyy done Thursday in Kyiv. Ukrainian forces have attacked more than a dozen refineries inside Russia with explosive-laden drones over the past month, slashing fuel production. But the strikes irked Kyiv’s allies in U.S. who are concerned about rising domestic fuel prices in an election year, the Financial Times reported last week, citing people familiar with the issue.

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North Carolina restaurant fulfills woman’s dying wish

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (WAVY) — It’s an act of kindness that cleared away a cloud of grief, crossing state lines. A North Carolina restaurant owner drove six hours to deliver what ended up being the last meal for a woman on her death bed. Heather Bowers was a loving wife, mother of two, and devoted friend. Her best friend, Mary Simmons, told 10 On Your Side that in late February, Bowers was at the end of her life after a long battle with cancer. “Right out of the gate it was Stage 4,” Simmons said. “What she went through in three-and-a-half-years would’ve brought down the strongest man.” She went on to say the chemotherapy, devastatingly, worked a little too well. As it was killing the tumor, it was destroying the rest of Bowers’ cells. On her deathbed, Bowers had one last wish, a pork plate from Outer Banks restaurant Mama Kwans. But Simmons wondered how they could make it happen. After all, they lived six hours away in West Virginia. “I knew it was a long shot, and she calls me by about 5 and she said Kevin already has it packed up,” Simmons said, referring to Mama Kwans owner Kevin Cherry. “He’s in the car and he’s on his way there. I said, ‘What?’ And she said he’s on his way to the house.” Cherry said he didn’t think twice before making the long drive for a customer in need, saying anyone in his position would’ve done the same thing. However, he told 10 On Your Side it was hard on him emotionally. “About halfway up, I had to turn the radio off and had to talk to myself, saying, ‘You can’t walk in here like this,’” Cherry said. “You’ve got to walk in with a little bit of sunshine from the Outer Banks.” He made it, but tragically, Bowers died the very next night. Simmons said what Cherry and his staff did for her friend of 30 years showed her there are still genuine, kind people in this world. Cherry said he plans to make a $1,000 donation to the West Virginia hospice care center that took care of Bowers during her final moments. “I just think maybe, if people see that kind of kindness, it’ll start spreading,” Simmons said. “That’s the hope. He made her smile — one of the final smiles of her life.”

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