Trial from 2006 arrest delayed

The criminal trial for a man charged with resisting arrest following a traffic stop in November 2006 has been delayed, according to the defendant’s attorney, and is expected to resume next month.

Clarence Davis Jr. denies allegations that he was combative and refused to comply with the officer’s commands. A trial on the complaint was set to occur last week, but a witness for the defense failed to appear and cannot be located, according to attorney Nick Albukerk.

The outcome of this case will likely impact whether Davis files suit against the officer for using an electronic stun gun during the arrest. Davis, who was 31 at the time of his arrest, has said it’s an option he’s considering.

Earlier this year, the judge presiding over Davis’ trial at the circuit court in Maywood quashed several subpoenas issued by defense attorney Albukerk intended to bolster the argument that officers are routinely allowed to improperly document their activities.

Officer Robert Biel was disciplined following the Nov. 2, 2006, arrest for failing to operate a dash-mounted video camera in his squad car.

Davis’ trial is scheduled to pickup on Jan. 9, according to Albukerk.

Wrapping party for non-profit effort

A volunteer effort to bring gifts and companionship to area seniors this holiday season is looking for additional volunteers to help wrap up this year’s event. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, the Be a Santa to a Senior program will host a wrapping party at United Lutheran Church, 409 Greenfield St. in Oak Park. More than 250 socially isolated and lonely seniors in Bellwood, Maywood and Oak Park will benefit, but additional help is needed to wrap and deliver all the gifts.

Anyone interested in wrapping gifts or adopting a senior in the program can contact Tia Harrison, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office at (708) 524-9814.

Merged operation to retain directors

In preparing for a merger that will occur at the start of the New Year, a budget was approved by a committee of Main Street and Chamber of Commerce members and includes funding for two directors. Laurie Kokenes, executive director of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce, will become the full-time director of the new Forest Park Chamber of Commerce and Development. Kathleen Hanrahan, assistant director of Main Street, will be given a part-time position.

“Laurie’s responsibilities will expand,” Chamber President Mark Hosty said. “It’s just going to require more day-to-day management.”

The merger of the two business groups was announced late last month and is an effort to more effectively manage the pool of resources available in the community and reduce the amount of overlap that has existed between the Chamber and Main Street.

-Josh Adams