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Local News

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After 40 years of teaching, Larocca will ‘miss the kids’

By Steve Metsch / May 16, 2022 /

By Steve Metsch For the past 40 years, Mary Pat Larocca has come to work to the same building and worked in the same room. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Larocca, 61, of Oak Park, has taught 40 years of kindergarten students at Ideal Elementary School in Countryside. June 3 will be her…

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East Avenue, 55th Street, Joliet Road intersection project to begin Monday

By Bob Bong / March 4, 2022 / Comments Off on East Avenue, 55th Street, Joliet Road intersection project to begin Monday

From staff reports The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Friday that intersection improvements on East Avenue at 55th Street and at Joliet Road, in McCook, Hodgkins and Countryside, will require lane closures beginning, weather permitting, Monday, March 7. The $16.8 million improvement project involves reconstructing and realigning the existing intersections, installing modernized traffic signals, ADA-compliant sidewalk…

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Countryside crowns queen for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

By Steve Metsch / February 26, 2022 /

By Steve Metsch Catherine Ramicone fondly recalls watching the Countryside St. Patrick’s Day Parade each March and seeing the queen waving from a convertible. “I never imagined being queen, but I am now,” Ramicone said. “I’m so proud to be queen because I’ve lived in Countryside my whole life,” The Lyons Township High School senior,…

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Lyons Township to co-sponsor St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Countryside

By Steve Metsch / February 14, 2022 / Comments Off on Lyons Township to co-sponsor St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Countryside

By Steve Metsch The annual Countryside St. Patrick’s Day Parade is getting a boost from the Township of Lyons. The township board unanimously approved a $1,000 sponsorship for the city’s popular event. “We have traditionally sponsored this event,” Township Supervisor Christopher Getty said at the board’s Feb. 8 meeting. “Although we have not participated in…

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Former GOP allies to battle for county board race

By Bob Bong / January 25, 2022 / Comments Off on Former GOP allies to battle for county board race

Gorman wants to reclaim seat from Morrison By Bob Bong A battle royale is brewing in the race for the Republican nomination for Cook County Board’s 17th District. The 17th District is one of only two county board seats held by Republicans and it has only ever had a Republican commissioner dating back to Herb…

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Pandemic takes toll on area grade schools

By Bob Bong / December 23, 2021 / Comments Off on Pandemic takes toll on area grade schools

By Bob Bong and Peter Hancock One year after COVID-19 scrambled the state’s public school system with schools alternating between in-person and remote learning because of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the Illinois State Board of Education has released its school report card for public schools. The report card, issued every fall, gives parents a…

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Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch / November 28, 2021 / Comments Off on 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…

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Trick-or-treat hours for Halloween

By Bob Bong / October 29, 2021 /

Here are the designated trick-or-treat hours for Sunday, October 31. Happy Halloween! Bedford Park from 3-6 p.m. Bridgeview from 2-6 p.m. Brookfield from 3-7 p.m. Burbank from 2-6 p.m. Countryside from 3-8 p.m. Forest View from 1-7:30 p.m. Hickory Hills from 3-7 p.m. Hodgkins from 3-6 p.m. Indian Head Park from 3-7 p.m. Justice from…

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Countryside remembers 20 years after 9-11

By Steve Metsch / September 18, 2021 / Comments Off on Countryside remembers 20 years after 9-11

By Steve Metsch Countryside resident Christina Bader made sure to bring her three children to the city’s Patriot Day Remembrance last Saturday, marking two decades since the terrorist attacks of September 11. Bader wants to teach her children about what happened that day “to keep the memory alive.” “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,”…

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Township of Lyons trustee scores hole in one

By Steve Metsch / September 17, 2021 /

By Steve Metsch Township of Lyons trustee Mark Anderson figured it wasn’t his day after he scored a nine on the par-three first hole at Zigfield Troy in Woodridge. Boy, was he wrong. On the 111-yard fifth hole Sept. 14, after struggling with his pitching wedge, Anderson pulled out his trusty 7-iron. He proceeded to…

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Grand reopening Friday for Bedford Park Walmart

Bedford Park residents can get a first look at the newly remodeled Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave., on Friday, May 20. The store will celebrate its ReGrand Opening with activities for the community beginning at 9 a.m. Along with a disc jockey who will play hit tunes, community residents are invited to enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks…

Patti Sullivan, widow of Skip Sullivan, holds a proclamation honoring her husband while her daughter, Dana Annel, holds a plaque commemorating the renaming of the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball park, Skip Sullivan Field. They were joined by family and grandchildren for the dedication ceremonies on Tuesday. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn community honors late beloved coach

Varsity baseball park renamed Skip Sullivan Field By Joe Boyle Friends and associates of Skip Sullivan said that he was always a ray of sunshine even on the dreariest of days. The sky was actually overcast over the Oak Lawn Community High School varsity baseball field on Tuesday afternoon. But those who knew Sullivan said…

Lyons Mayor Chris Getty (left) and McCook Mayor Terry Carr shake hands in front of some of the 172 trees being planted along 47th Street between their communities. (Supplied photo)

Lyons, McCook mayors go green together

From staff reports Lyons Mayor Chris Getty and McCook Mayor Terry Carr have organized the planting of 172 trees along 47th Street, which is the border of the two towns. After successfully lobbying the State of Illinois to renovate a two-mile section of 47th Street from Harlem Avenue to Custer Avenue through their villages in 2021,…

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Justice veterans eligible for county discount card

By Carol McGowan Veterans and military personnel in Cook County are now eligible for a military and veterans discount card sponsored by the Cook County Clerk’s Office and the county’s Department of Veterans Affairs. Village Clerk Dave Kroll said the cards are being offered to veterans, active-duty personnel and other members of the military. The…

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez and Summit Village Clerk Colleen Lambert. (file photo)

Summit to sell vacant lots for new homes

By Carol McGowan Summit trustees have decided to sell off four parcels of property that were acquired when the village tore down abandoned homes. The homes were torn down after the village acquired the lots and obtained grant money from Cook County. The village intends for whomever buys the lots to build single-family homes on…

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Toy Con Toy Show celebrates 30 years

By Kelly White Celebrating 30 years of toy shows this weekend was the Toy Con Toy Show. The event, also known as Kaiju Days Special, was hosted by Terry Mannix and ChicagoLand Joes (’82 – ’94) at the Bridgeview Community Center, 7902 S. Oketo Ave., Bridgeview, on Sunday, May 15. “I have been collecting for…

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Willow Springs to host Chicago Blues Challenge July 30

By Steve Metsch The village of Willow Springs will have the blues this summer. The village and the Windy City Blues Society will host the Chicago Blues Challenge, scheduled from noon to 10 p.m. July 30. It’s a good fit with the Windy City Blues Society, Willow Springs Village Administrator Ryan Grace said on May…

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Illinois News

Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’

Longtime lawmaker reflects on time in General Assembly, calls it ‘honor of lifetime’

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the number two Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, never imagined landing the role of state representative – or that he would leave office feeling that he has been successful at it. The first openly LGTBQ leader in Illinois History,…

11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director

11th contempt citation filed against DCFS director

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday afternoon, a Cook County judge found Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Director Marc Smith in contempt of court for the 11th time for violating court orders to move children to proper placements. The 11-year-old girl at the center of the case has…

Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed

Criminal case against senior staff at state-run hospital dismissed

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The official misconduct case against a Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center senior staff member was dismissed on Thursday. Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Tripp dropped the charges, related to a cover-up of abuse at the state-run facility, against Choate’s quality assurance manager Gary Goins. The…

ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

ANALYSIS: Fuel retailers sue over ‘compelled speech’ at the gas pump

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] “As of July 1, 2022, the State of Illinois has suspended the inflation adjustment to the motor fuel tax through December 31, 2022. The price on this pump should reflect the suspension of the tax increase.” Those two sentences may be coming to a gas pump near you…

CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census

CAPITOL RECAP: Survey: Illinois undercounted in 2020 census

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday, May 19, suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial census…

Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census

Census Bureau: Illinois may have been undercounted in 2020 census

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Census Bureau released new survey data Thursday suggesting the population of Illinois may have been undercounted by nearly 2 percent in the 2020 headcount. That was one of the findings of the Census Bureau’s Post-Enumeration Survey, or PES, something the bureau does after each decennial…

Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program

Illinois rejoins federal Title X family planning program

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has resumed participation in the federal Title X family planning program after refusing to take part for the past three years in protest over a Trump administration policy regarding abortion services. Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week that the state has been awarded $5.4 million…

Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’

Pritzker signs bill requiring serialization of unfinished ‘ghost guns’

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFILED – Owners of firearms that do not have serial numbers – referred to as ghost guns – will have 180 days to take them to a federal firearm dealer to have them serialized or they will risk being charged with a misdemeanor. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the…

What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved

What’s in the SAFE-T Act? A look at the 2021 criminal justice reform and how it has evolved

By GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Amid a campaign season in which every constitutional office and seat in the Illinois General Assembly will be up for vote, rising crime and a landmark criminal justice reform passed in 2021 have become dominant topics for Republicans trying to loosen Democrats’ hold on state government.…

Cost of Statehouse renovation higher than estimated but within state’s budget

Cost of Statehouse renovation higher than estimated but within state’s budget

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The cost of renovating the north wing of the Illinois Statehouse will be more expensive than officials initially estimated. Only one bid came in for the project, which is about to get underway. CORE Construction Services of Illinois Inc. priced the job at $243.5 million, well…

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