State Rep. John Cavaletto, the former basketball coach who took his Breese Mater Dei Basketball Team to the Illinois finals tournament in 1974, welcomed the Loyola University Ramblers Basketball Coach Porter Moser, Team Chaplain Sister Jean and some of the players to the Illinois House Chamber this week.

"I remember well the excitement and hard work of taking an underdog team all the way to the finals," said State Representative 'Coach' John Cavaletto. Cavaletto's colleagues in the Illinois Legislature call him 'Coach' as a respectful acknowledgement of his past work as a basketball coach at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, Illinois. "These young men and Coach Moser will remember this season for the rest of their lives, and I join our entire state in congratulating them on a job well done!"

Coach Porter Moser just completed his seventh season, one of the most historic in Loyola history, as the Ramblers' head coach and has guided the team to a pair of postseason appearances in his tenure in Rogers Park, along with a No. 7 ranking in the final 2017-18 USA Today Coaches Poll. In 2015, Moser piloted Loyola to the College Basketball Invitational title in the program's first postseason berth of any kind in 30 years before steering this year's squad to the Final Four, the first time it had advanced that deep into the NCAA tournament since winning the national championship in 1963.

Also 98-year-old nun, Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt, who acts as the chaplain for the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers, became one the most recognizable figures in U.S. sports following the team’s back-to-back upset wins in the NCAA Tournament this year. Sister Jean, who has fond memories of celebrating Loyola’s last championship win in 1963, was a cult figure in Chicago sports even before she became the team’s chaplain in 1994. But she’s no mere mascot and she offers more than just thoughts and prayers. The former player and coach herself provides scouting reports, pregame speeches and post-game analysis by email, along with more spiritual guidance. Learn more about Sister Jean by clicking here to read an article by The Guardian.
State Representative John Cavaletto discusses his legislation to address the teacher shortage in Illinois schools.
Click here for the interview.
Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz is urging Illinois firearms owners to file paperwork early as the first wave of the 10-year Firearm Owners Identification cards come due for renewal.

"We expect tens of thousands of renewal applications to come in over the next few months," Schmitz said. "We recommend gun owners get their renewal applications in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card out before expiration."

More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and Aug. 1. The General Assembly amended state law in 2008, allowing FOID cards to be valid for 10 years. The timing of the law change creates a glut of renewals this summer.

FOID card applications involve state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm that applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years. The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are needed to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition.

State Police already have sent renewal notices to people whose cards will expire June 1.

Applicants can visit the ISP's Firearm Services Bureau website at ispfsb.com to renew online. The cost of the card is $10. Applicants must be Illinois residents and include their Illinois Drivers License or State ID card number. Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parents' signature on the application.

Anyone who needs assistance with FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, can call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.

Applicants should make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State's Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed.

To read the full article by Doug Wilson at the Herald-Whig, click here.
State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) announced that ten libraries in the 107th District are receiving grants through the Illinois Secretary of State ‘Per Capita’ Grant program totaling $97,912.50. Per Capita Grant funding can be used for a variety of expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.

“Congratulations to all of the libraries in our area who applied and are being awarded these grants,” said Rep. John Cavaletto, a member of the Appropriations – Elementary & Secondary Education Committee. “The interesting and adventurous world of literature exposes children to science, nature, history and poetry. Parents and experts agree that reading makes a big difference in the development of a child’s intellect, artistic skills and imagination.”

The libraries receiving grants are:

Altamont Public Library for $2,898.75 

Centralia Regional Library District for $36,415.00 

Effingham Public Library for $15,410.00 

Greenville Public Library for $8,750.00

Kinmundy Public Library for $995.00

Patoka Public Library for $730.00

Ramsey Public Library for $1,296.25

Saint Elmo Public Library District for $7,710.00

Bryan-Bennett Library for $9,356.25

Evans Public Library District for $14,351.25


The Public Library Per Capita Grants Program was established to assist public libraries to improve and increase library services within their service areas. Grant amounts of up to $1.25 per person served are available, on an annual basis, to all Illinois, local public libraries.

Applications for the Public Library Per Capita Grant program must be submitted via email to Percap-grant@ilsos.neton or before January 15th each year.
State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) announced that one of the schools in his district, Centralia Junior High School (grades 5-8), applied and was granted a biodiversity field trip grant for $1,765.42 in 2018. This privately funded program will assist more than 9,800 students from 35 counties around the state in learning about Illinois’ natural heritage.

“I am pleased to know that students from Centralia Junior High will get a chance to visit Touch of Nature Environmental Center in the Shawnee National Forest to learn about nature and conservation,” commented Rep. John Cavaletto, a member of the Environment Committee. “I was fortunate to spend some summers in that area in high school and college and have very fond memories,” Cavaletto added.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced $107,000 in Biodiversity Field Trip Grants for this year to be coordinated by the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF). The grants will pay for 148 field trips in 2018 and offer Illinois students more opportunities to learn about the wealth of species and habitats in our state.

"We are pleased to be able to support learning outside the classroom with these grants. This program allows students to visit locations throughout the state to see firsthand what they've been learning about in the classroom," IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal said. "Our future conservation leaders need the opportunity to experience Illinois' natural resources in-person."

The United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected that through the next few years there will be increasing job growth in environmental occupations and renewable natural resources. Field trip experiences like these can interest students in potential career paths with high employment opportunities.

The competitive grant program allows Illinois teachers to apply for funds to take students on field trips to study Illinois' biodiversity. Learning activities must directly relate to the school's curriculum. The annual application deadline is January 31. Funding administered by the ICF covers expenses such as the costs of transportation and substitute teachers.

For more information about the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program, contact the IDNR Division of Education at dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov or 217-524-4126. Visit www.ilcf.org for additional information. The 2019 application form is available at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/GrantsIBFTG.aspx.