Out Here: 'At least Burke took responsibility'

The other day, we ran a story that Coloma Township Supervisor Debra Burke paid a $3,200 fine assessed by the state comptroller for 4 years of late financial reports. In doing so, she took the blame for the delays.

One reader gave her credit for doing so.

"At least Burke took responsibility, including paying the fine, ... and that seems sufficient penance (at least from her)," the reader wrote in an online posting. "I'm guessing at this point we aren't going to hear anything from the trustees who were in office during that time."

We'll never hear from two of the trustees who were there at the time because they died in recent years. The other was Bob Sondgeroth, who resigned last year and is the superintendent of the Whiteside County Regional Office of Education.

The fourth is Gene Jacoby, who has served as a trustee for more than 35 years. He has minced few words in criticizing Burke during recent meetings, though he has refused to answer our calls about the township's troubles.

We talked with Sondgeroth about Coloma's issues a few months ago. The reader is right, though: We won't be hearing from half of the longtime trustees.

Sterling doctor comes to rescue

When a 16-year-old boy collapsed during a basketball tournament in Chicago on May 3, an off-duty doctor and nurse rushed to his aid.

The doctor was Maurice Binns, an emergency room doctor at CGH Medical Center in Sterling. His name has appeared in the Chicago Tribune's story about the incident.

Binns, a parent of a player in the Chicago tournament, was at the concession area when the boy collapsed. Notified, he ran into the gym. The assistance of Binns and the nurse were the reason the boy, Jermaine Cullen, is "alive today," an official told the Tribune.

Binns went along in the ambulance and waited in the hospital until the parents arrived.

"They were very appreciative that we were there, but most importantly, they were just completely shocked, as you can imagine," Binns told the Tribune. "They did not expect anything like this to happen because he's a healthy, very vigorous boy."

Unfortunately, Cullum lost all brain activity, so his mother decided to take her son off of life support last week, according to Chicago's ABC affiliate.

A director with local connections

Scott Bishop, a 1994 graduate of Newman Central Catholic High School, is directing the play, "Principal Principle," which is showing until May 18 at Theater Wit in Chicago.

Bishop, who grew up in Dixon, is a member of Stage Left Theatre Ensemble in Chicago. He has directed "Here Where It's Safe," "Open Book," "Witches Vanish," among other productions.

Bishop, who has a master of arts from Northwestern University, is married and has two kids.

Call (773) 975-8150 for more information on "Principal Principle."

David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at dgiuliani@saukvalley.com or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on Twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.