Wilmette, Community

News Briefs: Regina sisters are Evans Scholars; Police warn of Nerf-gun game; Renowned poet coming to Highland Park; Park district works on invasive species

Two Regina Dominican High School seniors and sisters have received college scholarships via the Evans Scholars program.

Ella Grillo will be attending Michigan State and Lily Grillo will be attending the University of Illinois. The sisters are both three-sport athletes at Regina, with Ella competing on the volleyball, bowling and softball teams, while Lily on the golf, bowling and softball teams. They also participate as crew members on the school’s theater productions.

Along with Nora, the Grillos are triplets. Nora Grillo also attends Regina and has played volleyball, soccer and softball for the Panthers.

The Evans Scholarship is awarded to students who are nominated by the country club where they caddie. Applicants are selected based on a strong academic record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. The Western Golf Association has been overseeing the Evans Scholars Program for more than 90 years.

“Lily and Ella Grillo showed that hard work and academic success pays off by winning one of the most prestigious private scholarships available to students,” Regina Dominican’s college counselor Christine Beeftink in a news release. “It’s been incredible to see how they have gained admission, with full scholarships to two of the finest Big 10 universities.”

The scholarships include funds for tuition and housing. Evans Scholars also have the opportunity to live together in a campus house owned by the foundation.

Local police departments add warnings about Paranoia/Senior Assassin

Winnetka, Glencoe and Highland Park are among suburban police departments warning residents and a popular teenage game involving Nerf or water guns.

While the game — commonly called Paranoia or Assassins — is meant to be recreational, police are concerned that students are putting themselves and others in unsafe situations.

In recent weeks, there have been several reported incidents in the Winnetka area, including a rollover vehicle crash in Itasca while students were attempting to chase their intended target, and a frightening incident in Gurnee when a group of students wearing ski masks entered a restaurant with water pistols, which looked like guns.

Police warn that some players modify their “weapons” to make them look more realistic, which police say is extremely dangerous.

The Winnetka Police Department said in a statement that it “strongly discourages participation in this game due to the risks of dangerous behavior and the potential for toy guns to be mistaken for real guns. Please speak to your children/students/pays you know who may be involved in this game and encourage them to use caution and good judgment if they cannot be dissuaded from participating.”

Read more about Paranoia and its impact on the community in previous Record reporting.

Natasha Trethewey

Former national poet laureate event on April 30

The City of Highland Park Cultural Arts Advisory Group will welcome former National Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey on Tuesday, April 30.

The event, titled “Celebrating Poetry,” will feature Tretheway, a Pulitzer Prizew winner, and Highland Park Poet Laureate Laura Joyce-Hubbard in a conversation about poetry and its role in the modern world.

Both Joyce-Hubbard and Trethewey have made public engagement a centerpiece of their work, and this event is a testament to that commitment.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 425 Lauren Ave., Highland Park.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

Invasive species being removed from Keay Nature Center

The Wilmette Park District has removed an abundance of invasive species from the Keay Nature Center, according to information from the district.

The invasive species being removed include buckthorn, honeysuckle, lesser celandine, and common reed grass.

The plants are aggressive and nonnative to the area. They quickly spread and overtake space for native species.

The removal of the invasive species will create more light for the natural growth to have a chance to return and flourish. The district also plans to plant more native trees, shrubs and perennials to restore the ecosystem.

The park district said the work is a multi-year and multi-phase project.

“Our invasive species improvements will promote biodiversity, preserve wildlife habitats and support the park, which will ultimately require minimal human intervention,” according to the park district.

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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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