PCC Community Wellness Center’s Oak Park location suffered a small electrical fire Tuesday and has been temporarily closed.

No one was injured in the early-morning fire that occurred just before 9 on the roof of PCC’s Lake Street Family Health Center, located in Oak Park, 14 W. Lake St. Patients and staff were evacuated. The Chicago Fire Department arrived shortly after 9 and put out the fire before it could spread. The fire did not reach the clinic area. The building is temporarily closed to patients and an alternative location has been set up at West Suburban Medical Center at Erie and Austin.

Patients with previous appointments will be serviced at West Sub and PCC’s Austin center. The Oak Park location is one of six community health centers established by PCC in the Chicago area, including Austin. The Oak Park center employs 75 people, but only 40 staff were present during Tuesday’s fire. For patient information, call 708/383-0113.

Carothers wants federal help on ex-offender recidvisim

Ald. Isaac Carothers of the 29th Ward has introduced a resolution to the City Council, calling for increased assistance from the federal government for ex-offenders returning to their communities.

Austin, the city’s largest community with more than 117,000 residents, receives more ex-offenders released from prison than any other community in the state, according to various studies. More than half of the ex-offenders released in Illinois return to the Chicago area. Carothers’ resolution, which went before the council yesterday, calls for a “federal legislative effort” to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and help states and local governments with their growing ex-offender populations.

Second West Side movie theater planned for Austin area

National movie theater chain operator Kerasotes has set its sights on the West Side for a multiscreen theater complex. Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres LLC, which is based in Chicago, will construct a 13-screen theater complex on the West Side along Central Avenue. The theater chain will also build a 15-screen complex on 79th Street at Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. Construction on both complexes is expected to begin by this summer. Kerasotes is the sixth largest movie operator in the United States with 685 screens in 81 theaters across the country. The only other theater complex on the West Side is the Lawndale 10 Theater at Roosevelt and Kedzie in North Lawndale.

26th and California courthouse gets ‘high-speed makeover’

The drab, grey, 77-year-old courthouse at 26th Street and California Avenue with its heavy columns and imposing structure is finally jumping on the cyberspace bandwagon. And this one is moving at high speed.

Contractors recently completed upgrading the Cook County Criminal Courthouse with high-speed Internet access via a local area network and wireless technology.

Under the directive of Cook County Chief Information Office and the Department of Capital Planning, the four-year-long project to connect the building is nearing completion. But some attorneys and judges remain hesitant to fully embrace the technology’s capabilities, according to officials.

Courthouse Internet access for private lawyers still needs to be sorted out, officials said, and policies need to be developed because the Internet portal is going through the county’s servers, potentially creating a security liability. Still, the criminal courthouse is the last one in Cook County to be fully wired.

-Compiled by Terry Dean