Local News

Richards High School Bands Director Jordan Fransler will be running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9, raising money for Miracle Network Dance Marathon. (Supplied photos)

Richards teacher to tackle the Chicago Marathon

By Kelly White As bands director at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Jordan Fransler’s days are filled with education and music, but that’s not all. In his free time, the talented teacher likes to put on his running shoes. “Running became one of my favorite hobbies several years ago. It started out as a…

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Halloween’s dark side

Carnevil on 64th promises grisly, gory, ghoulish frights By Cosmo Hadac Those passing the home at 5716 W. 64th St. this month may see the grave of Pennywise the Clown or Freddy Krueger dancing to the Monster Mash. What started out as a way to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic’s social distancing mandates has expanded…

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Don’t take senior center for granted

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] I’m back. Thank you, Patti Tyznik, for filling in and giving me a week off. I hope this becomes a regular thing! Nominations are now open for officers to serve on the board of directors of the Southwest Side Senior Service Organization,…

Orland firefighters show how they extinguish a burning building. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Community turns out to salute Orland firefighters at open house

Nearly 500 people attended an open house hosted by the Orland Fire Protection District on Saturday that featured an up-close look at the techniques firefighters use to respond to emergencies. Demonstrations by firefighters included a rope rescue showing how individuals can be rescued from apartment buildings; the dive team demonstrated how they can rescue individuals from…

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Palos Township hosts recycling event Saturday

Palos Township and the Cook County Sheriff’s Recycling Program are holding a paper, electronics and drug recycling event on Saturday, October 1, at Township Hall, 10802 S. Roberts Road in Palos Hills. Township residents only are eligible to bring paper for shredding, electronics for recycling and unwanted or expired drugs for proper disposal from 9…

Livia Mitre, 9, of Beverly, was happy to be a part of Lake Katherine's Monarch Celebration.

Butterflies are king at Lake Katherine Monarch Celebration

By Kelly White Kicking off the fall season with a festival dedicated to the beautiful Monarch butterfly was Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Garden. The nature center, located at 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, held its 29th annual Monarch Celebration, on Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25. Originally called a Monarch Butterfly…

Three aldermen (from left)--Raymond Lopez, Silvana Tabares and Anthony Napolitano—stand alone in City Council last week, as their resolution to hold a hearing on the SAFE-T Act failed to muster any votes other than their own. --Supplied photo

Lopez, Tabares threaten ‘no cash bail’ hearing

Claim law may release ‘violent, repeat offenders’ By Tim Hadac Two Southwest Side aldermen are threatening to defy their City Council colleagues and hold hearings on the impact of the state’s controversial SAFE-T Act on criminal justice. Fifteenth Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez and 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares joined 41st Ward Ald. Anthony Napolitano last…

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They’ll never walk alone

Southwest Side native Robert Swiderski was mobbed by well-wishers at the entrance to the Chicago Lawn (8th) District police station last week, as he delivered a penny to each officer. The gesture was meant as a kind of conver- sation starter (“A penny for your thoughts?”) with police officers regarding job stress and mental health.…

Jerome Fears and his distinctive deformed hand. (Supplied photo)

Warrant issued for man wanted in attempted Oak Lawn carjacking

An arrest warrant has been issued for one of four men suspected of being involved in an armed carjacking in Oak Lawn that took place April 18 near the intersection of 99th Place and Minnick Avenue. Jerome D. Fears Jr., 20, of Chicago, is wanted for the attempted vehicular hijacking that happened in the early…

Orland Park Trustee Cynthis Katsenes voted "yes" to recreation fee hikes but said fees for non-resident using the aquatic center should be higher. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Recreation fees going up in Orland Park

By Jeff Vorva Prices for sports and activities will be going up in Orland Park. The village’s board of trustees voted Sept. 19 to increase fees for Sportplex’s open gyms, athletic fields and Centennial Park Aquatic Center membership and daily fees. Village officials cite rising costs of labor, materials, supplies, services and improvements for the…

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Welcome to Rocktober

Classic cars, Elvis tribute artist headline a busy month By Tim Hadac The Southwest Side will start—and end–October with some classic fun designed to jog recollections of good times and create new moments to remember. A classic car show featuring dozens of sweet rides from decades gone by is set for 1 to 4 p.m.…

A Spirit Halloween store is now open at 11185 W. Lincoln Highway in Frankfort. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Halloween stores are in full swing

By Bob Bong Frost is in the air, pumpkin spice is everywhere and spooky decorations have exploded in front yards across the Southland, which means it’s time for the seasonal Halloween stores to start popping up like zombies from the boneyard. Spirit Halloween, a seasonal retailer that operates in empty storefronts in the weeks leading up…

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Worth Fall Fest set for Sunday at Gale Moore Park

The Worth Park District will hold its annual Fall Fest from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Gale Moore Park. The festival will include a hayride through the park, a pumpkin launcher and find the penny in the haystack. Pony rides, jugglers, a face painter, a petting zoo, pizza, concessions and food trucks…

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi (from left), Senior Data Scientist William Ridgeway, Director of Data Science Daniel Snow, Director of Data Analytics Nicole Jardine, Chief Data Officer Samantha Simpson and IAAO President L. Wade Patterson. --Supplied photo

Assessor’s Office wins national awards

‘Testament to successful efforts.’ Kaegi says From staff reports The Cook County Assessor’s Office has received awards from two national organizations for creating a new residential model that contributes to fairly and accurately assessing homes in Cook County. The International Association of Assessing Officers gave the Assessor’s Office its Distinguished Research and Development Award, and The Center…

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Forest Preserves stocking thousands of trout

From staff reports The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s 2022 fall inland trout fishing season will open at sunrise on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Axehead Lake in Park Ridge, Belleau Lake in Des Plaines, Busse Reservoir-North Pool in Elk Grove Village, Sag Quarry-East in Lemont, Horsetail Lake in Palos Park and Green Lake in Calumet…

Glendora Banquets closed last month in Chicago Ridge. (Supplied photo)

Glendora Banquet Hall closes as owners retire

By Bob Bong The Glendora Banquet Hall closed August 17 in Chicago Ridge after longtime owners Stanley and Mary Bielanski decided to retire. “They want to enjoy life,” said their son, Stan Jr., explaining why the couple decided to close the restaurant at 10225 S. Harlem Ave. after operating it for 31 years. He and…

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Cook County Board unanimously repeals county wheel tax

Cook County commissioners last week unanimously voted to eliminate the so-called wheel tax for residents in unincorporated areas. The vote on September 22 will permanently end the county’s vehicle registration fines and fees. “Anytime we have an opportunity to cut or eliminate taxes it’s always the right thing to do for Cook County taxpayers,” said…

Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz (left) with newly promoted Sgt. Raymond Gonzales. (Supplied photo)

Summit Police Department launches new crime website

By Carol McGowan The Summit Police Department has launched a digital crime fighting tool. The department is the second in Illinois to join the CrimeWatch Network. It’s a new website that offers direct access to crime and public safety-related information. Interim Police Chief Mel Ortiz announced the launch of the site, saying it gives people…

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Comings & Goings: Butera closing Frankfort supermarket

By Bob Bong Elgin-based Butera Finer Foods, which reacquired its former supermarket at 20825 S. LaGrange Road in Frankfort in 2018, announced the store would be closing sometime in October. The family-owned Butera chain took over the former Walt’s Food Center on Nov. 11, 2018, and christened the store a Butera Fruit Market. Walt’s had…

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Soccer match triggers call for help in Bridgeview

By Bob Bong A soccer match on one of the practice fields at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview got heated Sunday evening, which led to mutual aid calls by the Bridgeview police. “Two teams got into it,” said Bridgeview Police Chief Ricardo Mancha. “Then some of their fans got into it.” To keep it from getting…

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Illinois News

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

Illinois takes Equal Rights Amendment to appeals court

Illinois takes Equal Rights Amendment to appeals court

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Attorneys for the state of Illinois joined their colleagues in Nevada and Virginia Wednesday in asking a federal appellate court to declare that the Equal Rights Amendment has been legally ratified as the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “I have a daughter who intends to…

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

CAPITOL RECAP: State announces further unemployment debt repayment

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday, Sept. 27, to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed individuals. The employer’s insurance premiums…

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

State to reduce $1.8 billion federal unemployment debt by $450 million

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced a plan Tuesday to reduce a $1.8 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit by $450 million through an infusion of unemployment-related revenues. The trust fund is the pool of money paid into by employers to provide a social safety net for unemployed…

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

Capitol News Illinois to expand operations with $2 million McCormick Foundation grant

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Capitol News Illinois will significantly expand its operations as it enters the fifth year of operations in 2023 because of a significant grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The McCormick Foundation has announced a three-year, $2 million investment in Capitol News Illinois, a nonprofit news organization that provides…

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

State Sen. Emil Jones III pleads not guilty in bribery case

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in federal court Friday to three felony counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme involving a red light camera company. Jones, 44, is a Chicago Democrat who has served in the Senate since 2009. He is also the…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

Pritzker urges two lawmakers to resign

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker called on two Democratic state senators Thursday to resign their seats amid allegations of misconduct. Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, was charged in federal court earlier this week with soliciting a $5,000 bribe from a red light camera company. And Sen. Michael Hastings,…

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

Illinois Supreme Court denies former lawmakers’ claim for back pay

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit filed by two former state legislators who sued for back pay they believed they were due for raises that they voted against while in office. Former Sen. Michael Noland, D-Elgin, and former Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, argued…

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

CAPITOL RECAP: Another Democratic senator charged in bribery scheme

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Emil Jones III has been charged in federal court with three criminal counts tied to his dealings with a red light camera company. Jones, a Chicago Democrat, is the son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. The younger Jones has served in the Senate since 2009…

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