What We Cover
Comprehensive local coverage of Des Plaines, IL. Featuring local news and events, business listings, discussions, announcements, photos and videos. Stay in the know and join the conversation by signing up for our free, daily newsletter.
Meet Your Local Patch Team
George Slefo, Contributor, Editor
Phone: Your work number.(847) 331-4596
Birthday: May 1, 1983
Bio: I grew up in Skokie and originally wanted to be a foreign correspondent. Now, I'm covering my hometown. I served in the United States Army, worked for then Senator Obama, covered the military for the Killeen Daily Herald and graduated from Columbia College Chicago, among other things.
How would you describe your political beliefs?
I grew up in a home where I voted for Obama, my mother voted for McCain, my sister voted for Ralph Nader and my oldest brother was undecided. As you can imagine, politics at the dinner table was usually pretty fierce. In the end, however, I vote for best man/woman for the job.
Are you registered with a certain party?
I am not registered with any political party.
How religious would you consider yourself? (Ie, casual, observant, devout, non-religious).
I'm Catholic and go to church on the holidays. In the future, I plan on going to church a little more, but right now life is hectic.
Do you identify with a certain religion? If so, which one?
LOCAL HOT-BUTTON ISSUES
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
After attending a town hall meeting on June 24th, 2010, it was clear that Section 8 housing is the most controversial topic in town. Park safety and home burglaries are tied for second, in my opinion.
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I haven't been able to investigate the issues to come to my own conclusion yet. Will update in the near future.
Pam DeFiglio, Contributor, Editor
I've worked in journalism for almost 20 years, including writing editorials for a major daily Chicago-area newspaper for 12 years, reporting and writing feature stories for seven years, and finally writing education stories for the largest Chicago daily newspaper. I'm excited to join Patch and enter the world of online journalism. My two kids go to school in the Niles area, so I have a great affection for the town and its people.
Morgan Delack, Contributor, Editor
Morgan Delack is very excited to work in this beautiful village as the Editor of Barrington Patch. She has an extensive television news background, and her had work behind the camera has earned her two Emmy Awards. Morgan came to Barrington Patch from CBS Newspath in Chicago. Before working at CBS, she produced for CLTV, WIFR-TV, and worked as an assignment desk assistant for WBBM-TV. She spent four wonderful years in Happy Valley, and earned her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Penn State University. Morgan is also a certified personal trainer, and enjoys exercise, reading, and being with her husband and family.
Marcia Sagendorph, Contributor, Editor
Patch brings you the news and information that you can't live without. Join the conversation!
Collin Czarnecki, Contributor, Editor
Collin's interest in journalism sparked after he wrote his first article for his high school newspaper. From there, he studied journalism at Colorado State University. During his time at Colorado State, he gained insight on the workings of a major media publication while interning for TIME Magazine. The opportunity allowed him to meet legendary journalists like Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw. Collin was also a political writer for CollegeNews.com, a Boston Hannah publication.
After college, he packed up his things and headed for sunnier pastures in Florida where he worked as a beat reporter for a local weekly newspaper. Before joining Naperville Patch he was a guest editor for Morton Grove Patch as well as a freelancer for Des Plaines Patch in 2010.
He also launched an award-winning online magazine, The Lead, which he developed, designed and maintained. The Lead featured coverage of global current events such as the Arab Spring as well as lifestyle stories.
Collin is now happy to be here in Naperville working as the Local Editor.
In his free time, Collin likes playing with his dog Moose, photography, James Bond movies, politics and traveling (27 states, eight countries and counting!). He also enjoys screenwriting as he recently completed a comedy screenplay.
Bridgette Outten, Guest Editor
A Chicago native, Bridgette has been a journalist since she first wrote for her seventh-grade newsletter. Today, that passion is just as strong. She holds a B.A. in journalism from Texas Southern University and has written for several newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Defender, the Marshall News-Messenger (Texas) and the Springfield News-Sun (Ohio). After all that traveling, Bridgette couldn't be more pleased to be back at home, writing for Patch and covering issues important to the community.
Mariann Devlin, Contributor
What is Patch?
Simply put, Patch is an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what's going on near you.
We're a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation.
We want to be the most trusted, comprehensive, and relevant news and information resource in your community. What can you do on Patch?
- Keep up with news and events
- Check out photos and videos from around town
- Learn more about local businesses and the people behind them
- Participate in discussions
- Share your perspectives via our Local Voices blogging platform
- Submit your own announcements, photos, and reviews
Who's Behind Patch?
Patch is run by professional editors, photographers, videographers, and salespeople who live in the regions they serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters. Patch also gets advice from our Advisory Board and from many members of the community.
We look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories. If you see us around town, don't be afraid to say hi and tell us what you want to see on Patch!
Where You Come In
We hope that our sites will strengthen communities and improve the lives of their residents, but we can't do it without you. We've built Patch so that you have plenty of opportunities to comment on stories, share your opinions, post photos and announcements, and add events to the community calendar. So get to it! And if you're a business owner who wants to be listed, just let us know.
You can't truly serve a community unless you provide the help it needs most, which is why giving back is so important to us. We do it as part of our coverage — in a dedicated space that lets local charities and volunteers find each other — and with a program called "Give 5," through which we donate advertising space to charitable organizations and contribute our own time as volunteers. Want to know more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Meyer is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was inducted into the North Carolina Hall of Fame in Journalism in the spring of 2008. He joined the Journalism School in 1981 and served as Knight Chair in Journalism Professor from 1993-2008. Prior to joining the school, he held a number of reporter and research positions at various media outlets.
He has won numerous awards including the 2005 Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for Research About Journalism (with Scott Maier). He was named a Fellow of Society of Professional Journalists in 2005. In 2004, the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication gave him its Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award. And in 2000 he received the American Association for Public Opinion Research Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement.
Meyer is the author of several books including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age and Precision Journalism: A Reporter’s Introduction to Social Science Methods. Journalism Quarterly in 2000 listed this book as one of the 35 significant books of the 20th century in journalism and mass communication; and the American Association for Public Opinion Research, observing its 50th anniversary in 1996, listed it as one of 50 significant books on public opinion research.
He received his B.S. in technical journalism from Kansas State University and his M.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina.
Steven Berlin Johnson is a pioneer in the web world, as a co-founder of FEED, Plastic.com, and Outside.in, which was acquired by Patch in March of 2011. He also co-created Findings.com, which launched in late 2011. Steven was the 2009 Hearst New Media Professional-in-Residence at The Journalism School at Columbia University, and served for several years as a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU’s Journalism School. He is a bestselling author of seven books, and won acclaim and a Newhouse School Mirror Award for his 2010 Time Magazine cover story, "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."
Speaking of Steven's editorial prowess, check out this video based on Steven's book, Where Good Ideas Come From, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Economist.
Brian Farnham, Founding Editor-in-Chief
Brian was Editor-in-Chief of Time Out New York magazine before coming to Patch. Before that he worked for a variety of publications both online and off, including Details magazine, New York Magazine, and the old, dearly departed Sidewalk.com. He has written for numerous publications, from the New York Times magazine to Harper's Bazaar. He graduated from Bowdoin College and got an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University so he could put his novel in a drawer with distinction. He lives in Manhattan with his beautiful wife, adorable son, angelic daughter and the world's most dog-like cat. He’s proud as hell of what the Patch team has built.
Ken Paulson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the First Amendment Center
Ken Paulson is president and chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, D.C.
Previously, Paulson served as the editor and senior vice president/news of USA Today. He is now a columnist on USA Today’s board of contributors, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.
Throughout his career, Paulson has drawn on his background as both a journalist and lawyer, serving as the editor or managing editor of newspapers in five different states.
He also is past-president of the American Society of News Editors, the nation’s largest organization of news media leaders.
Paulson also was the host of the Emmy-honored television program “Speaking Freely,” seen in more than 60 PBS markets nationwide over five seasons, and the author of "Freedom Sings," a multimedia stage show celebrating the First Amendment that continues to tour the nation's campuses.
He was an early advocate of making newspaper content available online, launching online newspapers in both Florida and New York in 1993.
For 12 years, Paulson was a regular guest lecturer at the American Press Institute, speaking to more than 5,000 journalists about First Amendment issues. He was honored with the API Lifetime Service Award. In 2010 and 2011, he served as chair of the PBS Editorial Standards Review Committee.
In 2007, Paulson was named fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, “the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a journalist for extraordinary contributions to the profession.” In 2008, he received the Robert S. Abbott Memorial Award for Meritorious Service in Mass Communications from the Southern Regional Press Institute. He has also been elected to the Illini Publishing Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from American University.