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Local News

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

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…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs new congressional maps into law

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs new congressional maps into law

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday, Nov. 23, signed legislation redrawing the state’s congressional district maps, saying they reflect Illinois’ diversity and preserve minority representation. Due to the state’s declining population, Illinois will have only 17 congressional seats after the 2022 elections, one fewer than it currently has. Because most…

New congressional maps signed into law

New congressional maps signed into law

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday signed legislation redrawing the state’s congressional district maps, saying they reflect Illinois’ diversity and preserve minority representation. “These maps align with the landmark Voting Rights Act and will ensure all communities are equitably represented in our congressional delegation,” Pritzker said in…

1 million EVs: Inside the state’s plan for electrifying the transportation sector

1 million EVs: Inside the state’s plan for electrifying the transportation sector

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – With a pair of major policy victories in hand, Gov. JB Pritzker traveled to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, at the beginning of the month and shared a vision for his home state: “Illinois intends to become the best place in North…

Capitol Cast: A discussion on redistricting controversies

Capitol Cast: A discussion on redistricting controversies

The Better Government Association’s Bryan Zarou and University of Illinois political science professor Brian Gaines talk with Peter Hancock about the redistricting process in Illinois and the upcoming oral arguments in three federal lawsuits challenging the new legislative maps. See congressional maps here:www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer…3130960460293&z=6 See IL House maps here:www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/viewer…8881118842843&z=5 See IL Senate maps here:www.google.com/maps/d/u/2/viewer…4259714843751&z=6 Capitol News…

State Supreme Court rules on pair of gun cases

State Supreme Court rules on pair of gun cases

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – In its latest round of opinions Thursday, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a Village of Deerfield assault weapons ban and restored a Putnam County man’s right to a Firearm Owners Identification card over the objections of the Illinois State Police. The decision in the Deerfield case…

Illinois unemployment falls to 6%

Illinois unemployment falls to 6%

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point in October to 6 percent as employers added 40,900 jobs during the month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. According to the preliminary data, the industry sectors…

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs electric vehicle manufacturing incentives into law

CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker signs electric vehicle manufacturing incentives into law

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a tax incentives package Tuesday, Nov. 16, that state lawmakers hope will help Illinois become a manufacturing hub for the budding electric vehicle industry. The Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois, or REV, Act, passed the General Assembly with near-unanimous bipartisan support during the…

New state law bans ‘dark money’ in judicial races

New state law bans ‘dark money’ in judicial races

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new law in Illinois aims to ban out-of-state contributions and so-called “dark money” in judicial campaigns by requiring all candidates to disclose the sources of their contributions. Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday signed Senate Bill 536 into law, an omnibus elections bill that makes a…

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