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Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

Madelyn and Zachary Rodrigues are proud to hold an annual toy drive benefiting patients at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. (Supplied photos)

Teen helps others despite brittle bone disease

Family toy drive benefits Comer Children’s Hospital By Kelly White Early on in her life, Madelyn Rodrigues was diagnosed with Osteogeneis Imperfects, a brittle bone disease that has already resulted in more than 70 bone fractures in her 14 years of life. As a freshman at Illinois Lutheran High School in Crete, Madelyn’s inner strength…

The late CPD Officer Ella French.

‘They tried to taint Ella’s legacy’

Aldermen furious with mayor, COPA chief By Tim Hadac The three aldermen representing Clearing and Garfield Ridge are among 20 City Council members opposing the appointment of Andrea Kersten as the next Chief Administrator of Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Kersten, the current interim chief of COPA, came under fire recently for releasing a report…

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Roadrunners are state volleyball champs

Snack With Santa is an event founded by longtime Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ann Dybala near 40 years ago. It offers a bit of Christmas cheer for children and underscores the local business community’s commitment to the neighborhood. --File photo

Holiday warmth is straight ahead

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday of the year. I look forward to it because it’s all about family, whether it’s family of blood or heart or both. People actually slow down and catch up with each other. It’s not about…

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Pushback over ‘conscience’ law change

Measure would close vax loophole By Peter Hancock Capitol News Illinois and Tim Hadac A number of Southwest Siders are pushing back against a new state law designed to clear the way for employers to enforce vaccination, testing and other mitigation measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure, Senate Bill 1169, amends the Illinois…

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Back in their dancing shoes

  After the pandemic forced them off the stage for more than 20 months, the boys and girls of Ballet Folklórico Estrella del Mar donned their costumes and dancing shoes last week and performed for Big Shoulders Fund representatives visiting St. Mary Star of the Sea School in West Lawn. Founded in 2015 at the…

Chicago Police Department

Warn of business heists in Wrightwood, Chicago Lawn

From staff reports A cluster of early-morning burglaries of businesses in Wrightwood and Chicago Lawn has prompted police to issue a warning. Crime scene include: 7800 block of South Oakley on Oct. 19. 3000 block of West 63rd Street on Oct. 21. 8200 block of South Kedzie on Nov. 7. 7800 block of South Kedzie…

Ms. Xheraj's fifth-grade class at Wharton School. (Supplied photo)

Wharton fifth-graders take first place in math competition

By Carol McGowan A class at District 104’s Wharton 5th Grade Center in Summit recently celebrated a big win. Ms. Xheraj’s class took first place in the Region 7 Math Online Sumdog Competition. Sumdog’s free online math contests tout being a fun way to motivate students as they compete against other classes and schools, either…

Cory Kavanagh, 11, of Chicago Ridge, pretends to drive a fire truck at the Chicago Ridge Fire Department's Open House at the firehouse, 10063 Virginia Ave., Chicago Ridge. (Photos by Kelly White)

Chicago Ridge Fire Department Open House

The Chicago Ridge Fire Department hosted an Open House on October 29 at the firehouse, 10063 Virginia Ave., Chicago Ridge. At the free event, attendees were able to take photos on a fire truck, watch demonstrations, hear fire safety talks and participate in a trunk-or-treat.    

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Evergreen Park programs accelerate despite pandemic

By Joe Boyle Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke praised department leaders and local organizations that offered services and activities the past year despite the presence of COVID-19. She referred to the Evergreen Park Recreation Department, which offers a variety of programs for seniors, adults, teens and children. “They have been able to do this during…

PETA graciously donated a 3-foot-tall fiberglass duck to the Oak Lawn Children's Museum, 5100 Museum Dr., Oak Lawn. (Supplied photos)

PETA donates duck to Oak Lawn Children’s Museum

By Kelly White A staple in community, the Oak Lawn Children’s Museum recently received a donation to make them stand out even more. Thanks to PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the museum, 5100 Museum Dr., Oak Lawn, now has a 3-foot-tall fiberglass duck that displays plenty of duck facts. “Whenever we have…

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School students, Edward Walsh, 12, of Oak Lawn; and Lola Cruz, 12, of Oak Lawn, were proud to celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, on Thursday, November 4 at the school, 5345 99th St., Oak Lawn. (Supplied photos)

Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School celebrates Diwali Festival of Lights

By Kelly White Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School takes pride in its diversified education. Students within the school, 5345 99th St, Oak Lawn, celebrated Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, on November 4. “The thing I loved most about this lesson was learning about a different culture and learning about how amazing this festival…

Rats can and do squeeze through holes as small as a quarter. --Photo source: cdc.gov

Rat gripes surging

Infestation ‘out of control’ in Clearing, Garfield Ridge By Tim Hadac Fall is the time when pest-control companies see a surge in calls from homeowners who see mice and sometimes rats trying to get inside sheds, garages and even homes to find shelter for the winter. But this year is far worse. “Rats are out…

Stephanie Esposito, winner of the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge. --Supplied photo

Thousands tried, but she’s Top Dog

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] this second year of the pandemic, Stephanie Esposito found a fun way to safely beat solitary confinement and use her love of a challenge. The Garfield Ridge woman told me when saw a tweet about the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand Challenge,…

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St. Dan’s girls drive St. Laurence success

The St. Laurence High School varsity girls volleyball team recently captured an IHSA regionals championship at a tournament they hosted. First, the Vikings first defeated Solorio Academy 25-8, 25-7 on Oct. 26, and then advanced to the finals, where they defeated the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences 25-6, 25-15. The Vikes then moved on…

Celebrating 50 years of successfully serving the area are (from left) Kristen Bagnall, Bill Wantuck Sr., Patricia Wantuck, Bill Wantuck III and Bill Wantuck Jr. --Photo by Cosmo Hadac

Wantuck Comfort Solutions celebrates 50 years of service

Thousands served in Clearing, Garfield Ridge By Tim Hadac Some small businesses in Clearing and Garfield Ridge have served so many people for so long, you just have to say the family name and folks will know exactly what kind of business you’re talking about. For example, Soukal is one. Pticek is another. And of…

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Illinois News

Democrats deny racial gerrymandering in legislative maps

Democrats deny racial gerrymandering in legislative maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders filed documents in federal court Wednesday denying that newly drawn state legislative district maps amount to racial gerrymandering, instead accusing the plaintiffs in the three lawsuits of trying to use race to redraw districts for their own purposes. Wednesday’s…

House Democratic Leader Greg Harris announces retirement plans

House Democratic Leader Greg Harris announces retirement plans

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Democratic Leader Greg Harris said Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022 and will step down from the General Assembly after eight terms in office. Harris, 66, of Chicago, is the first openly LGBTQ legislative leader in Illinois history who spent much of…

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

By ANDREW ADAMS For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Republican state Rep. Adam Niemerg grew up in a family that cared about politics, so it felt like a natural step for him when he ran his first campaign to get a seat in the House of Representatives in 2020. “There’s a lot of things that…

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

Niemerg says he wants to ‘speak up’ for downstate Illinois

By ANDREW ADAMS For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Republican state Rep. Adam Niemerg grew up in a family that cared about politics, so it felt like a natural step for him when he ran his first campaign to get a seat in the House of Representatives in 2020. “There’s a lot of things that…

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

By MARIA GARDNER For Capitol News Illinois State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas’ friends tease her for changing the meaning of words. “Solution” becomes a verb when she says “I’m about solutioning.” Pacione-Zayas, 43, D-Chicago, has been actively “solutioning” since she took office in December when then-state Sen. Iris Martinez stepped down to become Clerk of the…

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

Freshman legislator Pacione-Zayas focuses on ‘solutioning’

By MARIA GARDNER For Capitol News Illinois State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas’ friends tease her for changing the meaning of words. “Solution” becomes a verb when she says “I’m about solutioning.” Pacione-Zayas, 43, D-Chicago, has been actively “solutioning” since she took office in December when then-state Sen. Iris Martinez stepped down to become Clerk of the…

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

By TAYLOR AVERY For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Behind a window with a “Save the Byron Nuclear Plant” sign taped to the glass, Ricardo Montoya Picazo listened to a father of three wonder aloud if he would still be able to support his children in a few weeks. “If I lose this, the only…

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

State Rep. Dave Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps

By TAYLOR AVERY For Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD – Behind a window with a “Save the Byron Nuclear Plant” sign taped to the glass, Ricardo Montoya Picazo listened to a father of three wonder aloud if he would still be able to support his children in a few weeks. “If I lose this, the only…

CAPITOL RECAP: In court documents, Democrats deny racial gerrymandering claims

CAPITOL RECAP: In court documents, Democrats deny racial gerrymandering claims

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders filed documents in federal court Wednesday, Nov. 24, denying that newly drawn state legislative district maps amount to racial gerrymandering, instead accusing the plaintiffs in the three lawsuits of trying to use race to redraw districts for their own purposes. Among other…

Democrats deny racial gerrymandering in legislative maps

Democrats deny racial gerrymandering in legislative maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Lawyers for the General Assembly’s Democratic leaders filed documents in federal court Wednesday denying that newly drawn state legislative district maps amount to racial gerrymandering, instead accusing the plaintiffs in the three lawsuits of trying to use race to redraw districts for their own purposes. Wednesday’s…

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