Pulse: Banana Joe not the only top banana
February 17, 2013 10:10PM
Updated: March 19, 2013 6:17AM
“Banana” Joe Babich was recently elected president of the Will County Forest Preserve District after many years of waiting for a leadership position in the board’s Democratic minority. But he’s not the only top dog to bear the nickname now. At last week’s Westminster Kennel Club Show an Affenpinscher named Banana Joe won best in show.
Babich got the nickname when he brought a banana to school every day as a kid.
Babich, D-Joliet, said he was inundated with comments about the canine’s victory at Wednesday night’s fish fry in St. Joe’s Park. But things took a serious turn when Babich started having trouble with his heart rhythm later that night. But after one night in the hospital and a minor procedure, Babich was back at his barber shop on Friday cracking wise.
He said his brother has a picture of Banana Joe — the dog — in the barber shop now.
“He’s got the head of a monkey and a skinny body, but he looks good,” Babich said. “He must have a good barber.”
Video gambling rewind
The Will County Board may have inadvertently approved video gambling in unincorporated areas by not opting out, Republican Caucus Chairman Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort Township, said last week.
The county board’s legislative committee postponed making a recommendation last year until the state fleshed out its video gambling rules. But now it may be too late. State rules are out and licenses are being issued. On Thursday, the executive committee referred the issue to the legislative committee — again — for more discussion.
Moustis said he doesn’t mind destination gambling at casinos or racetracks, but he’s opposed to gambling machines being in corner bars.
“A guy goes in to get a hamburger and walks out losing his paycheck,” Moustis said.
Walsh no mind reader
Will County Executive Larry Walsh has found himself in the awkward position of having to nominate his son, Shawn Walsh, to fill a Will County Regional Superintendent of School’s vacancy.
Shawn, who has served as assistant regional superintendent for five years, was the only candidate to apply who fit all of the job requirements.
If Shawn is approved by the county board on Thurday, he would only serve the remainder of former Superintendent Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant’s term. The position would be up in the November 2014 election and Larry Walsh urged candidates to run.
“The water’s fine, come on in,” he said.
As to why more people didn’t apply for the vacancy, the senior Walsh said, “I gave up mind reading back in the fifth grade.”
While the Joliet Police Narcotics Unit members were honored as Exchange Police Officers of the Year during a luncheon Tuesday, Officer Brian Prochaska made a tactical error. By kindly offering the open seats at his reserved table, his family was joined by Police Chaplain Chris Groh and The Herald-News’ Brian Stanley.
“I got the priest and the reporter. I couldn’t tell a single joke,” Prochaska lamented after receiving his award.
Quote of the Week
“Can I have a bigger room?” — Will County Board Legislative Committee Chairman Bob Howard, D-Beecher, commenting on the number of people who crammed into his committee’s tiny meeting room last week for a discussion on a concealed carry resolution.
Herald-News reporters Cindy Wojdyla Cain and Brian Stanley contributed to Pulse.