Wilmette, News

News Briefs: Centennial-Elder plans submitted to Village; Highland Park Awards revealed; Junior high band recognized

The Winnetka Park District has submitted a permit to the Village for its long-debated plan to enhance Centennial and Elder park beaches.

The submission marks a significant step for the project, which now faces a Village review — including the newly added bluff regulations — to achieve a special-use permit.

The park district’s project, previously covered by The Record, would create a renovated swimming beach, viewing pier, breakwaters, boardwalk, landscaping and off-leash dog park.

According to a district press release, the park district submitted its application on April 3, a couple of weeks later than it originally hoped, March 18, according to previous Record reporting.

Specifically, with its request, the park district is seeking a permit to allow the construction of its proposed improvements to the beaches, a variance to permit development in the setback from the ordinary high water mark, an exception to allow development in the steep slope zone, and an exception to approve construction of retaining walls in the steep slope zone. 

If the park district follows the standard review process, the project would need to be reviewed by Winnetka’s Design Review Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and Plan Commission in addition to the Village Council. 

Highland Park announced annual award winners

The city of Highland Park has announced the recipients of the 2024 Highland Park Awards, which recognize individuals who have made positive contributions to the community.

The awards, which are presented annually, include the Arts Award, the Environmental Award, the Humanitarian Award, and the Character Counts Pillar Awards. The city, in collaboration with the Park District of Highlnd Park, North Shore School District 112 and Highland Park High School, will recognize the winners during the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, in the Highland Park High School auditorium.

The Arts Award winner is Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts; Environmental Award: Donnie Dann; and Humanitarian Award: Betsy Brint.

The Character Counts Pillar Award recipients are HPHS students: Alexander Aburto, Doug Anderson, Carlos Angelina, Jagger Barnes, Imaan Bokhari, Jace Brown, Leah Brajer, Benen Cahill, Roark Cooper, Isabel Davis, Linnea Davis, Jen Deutch, Neena Edison, Deborah Finn, Grayson K. Figenholtz, Dan Gross, David & Nami Goldenberg, Roxanne Hejnowski, Scarlett Helfand, Madison Hintermeister, Renee Kahn, Kaiya Kumlien, Ryder Lamberti, Alexandra Lopez, Stephanie Luger, Elias Pinto Mejia, Yael Mirelman, Evelyn Muelver, Anna Neblo, Allison Nemirow, Danielle Pearl, Naidelin Perez, Tristan Perkes, Emerson Raynor, Lili Richter, Logan Rotter, Rabbi Michael Schwab, Valentina Sequeira, Chari Shifrin, Jorie Sigesmund, Cole Stein, Charlotte Udani, Riley Waxman, Karen Weiss and Richard Zelin.

WJH symphonic band invited to prestigious event

The Wilmette Junior High School symphonic band has been selected to perform at the Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival on May 3-4 at the world-renowned Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“What a wonderful accomplishment for our symphonic band to be chosen to perform at this festival,” Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli said in a press release. “Being recognized as one of the top junior high bands in the state is a testament to the hard work of both our students and our music educators and it is great to see them rewarded with this opportunity.”

The WJHS symphonic band, which comprises 48 seventh- and eighth-grade students, is one of just seven middle school/junior high ensembles invited to participate in this festival, the release says. The band earned Division I recognition (the highest possible mark) last month from the Illinois Grade School Music Association.

“Our young musicians have shown incredible dedication in growing as an ensemble this year,” band director Ann Dufek said in the release. “They earned this opportunity through their collective hard work. I am so proud of their accomplishment and I know that they will continue to prepare and grow ahead of this festival.”

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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