Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Newly installed Orland Park Area Chamber president Ramzi Hassan addresses members during last week’s installation dinner. (Photos by Steve Neuhaus)

Comings & Goings: Orland Area Chamber installs new officers

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biz pekau orland installation 2023

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau installs new officers for the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ramzi Hassan of Edwards Realty Company was installed last week as president of the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce.

The 2023 board of directors was also installed and annual membership awards were handed out during ceremonies last Thursday at the Crystal Tree Country Club.

Installation duties were performed by Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.

Northwestern Palos Hospital breast health program earns national accreditation

The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a quality program administered by the American College of Surgeons, has granted accredited status to Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital and the Northwestern Medicine Breast Health Program in Orland Park. To achieve NAPBC accreditation, a breast center demonstrates compliance with the NAPBC standards addressing leadership, clinical services, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement for patients. Breast centers seeking NAPBC accreditation undergo a site visit every three years.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the NAPBC with this accreditation,” said Miraj Shah-Khan, MD, medical director of the breast cancer program at Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital. “At Palos Hospital, we strive to provide patients with exceptional comprehensive breast cancer care from the moment they walk through the door.”

As a NAPBC-accredited center, Palos Hospital and the Breast Health Program are committed to maintaining levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive, patient-centered care for patients with breast disease. Patients can be confident their breast care team includes health care professionals from a variety of disciplines who are committed to working together to provide the highest quality care available through their entire course of treatment.

The NAPBC provides the structure and resources to develop and operate a high-quality breast center and accredited program. Patients receiving care through the Palos Hospital and the Breast Health Program have access to:

Comprehensive breast cancer screening, including three-dimensional mammography, breast magnetic resonance imaging, and automated breast ultrasound.

A multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts who provide a full range of state-of-the-art services and leading-edge treatments.

Access to clinical trials, patient navigation support, supportive oncology services, genetic counseling, and novel treatment options.

High-risk breast clinic, providing comprehensive risk assessment and surveillance strategies for patients at elevated breast cancer risk.

Savor the Southland rewards program

The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched Savor The Southland, a new program that aims to reward users for visiting local restaurants.

The passport is a free program that any user can sign up for. With over 67 local restaurants included within the passport, it showcases the best of the Chicago Southland in an easy, mobile-friendly way.

“What a great way to encourage both visitors and locals alike to frequent some of the best Chicago Southland restaurants,” said CSCVB President/CEO Jim Garrett.

Among the restaurants participating are Mama Luigi’s in Bridgeview, Jenny’s Steak House in Chicago Ridge, Chuck’s Southern Comfort Café in Burbank, Papa Joe’s in Orland Park and The Patio in Bridgeview and Orland Park.

Guests can visit a dedicated mobile passport landing page ( where they can sign-up for Savor The Southland by providing their name, e-mail address and mobile phone number. A link is then sent to their mobile phone, which opens the passport and directs the user to add the button icon to their home screen, where they can access it any time. There is never anything to download and no bulky apps take up space on a user’s phone.

Guests earn points when they check in at participating restaurants and can redeem coupons (when applicable) by sharing that coupon with their server.

Non-CSCVB restaurants or breweries interested in joining the Savor The Southland passport can call the CVB at 708-895-8200.

The Savor The Southland mobile passport ends March 31 at which time users that have checked in at five or more participating restaurants will be entered into a sweepstakes to win restaurant gift cards.

If you see a new business in town or wonder what happened to an old favorite, drop me a line at [email protected]

Local News

Sammy Malcolm

Pro Report | Sammy Malcolm leads Toronto to win over Hounds

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Sammy Malcolm. Chicago Hounds fans may remember that name for a long time. And not for a good reason. Malcolm was not just in the middle of things, he was the whole scoring show for Toronto as he tallied all Arrows points in a 27-26 victory over the…

Palos Park native Steve Desmond in front of a marquee banner advertising the movie "A Knock at the Cabin," which he co-wrote. (Supplied photos)

Palos Park native helps write screenplay for ‘Knock at the Cabin’

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Spread the loveBy Dermot Connolly Palos Park native Steve Desmond, 40, has been thinking about making movies for most of his life, and now one he co-wrote can be found in a theater near you. Desmond and his screenwriting partner, Michael Sherman, share writing credits with director M. Night Shyamalan for the screenplay for “Knock…

Mayor Keith Pekau presents an award to 100-year-old Lea Luchini at the Feb. 20 board meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Village honors 100-year-old who has lived in Orland Park for 50 years

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park honored resident Lea Luchini, who is enjoying a couple of milestone celebrations. She turned 100 on Feb. 15 and this is the 50th year she has lived in Orland Park. Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau read a proclamation recognizing Luchini at the Feb. 20 village…

Assistant Supt. John Lavelle gives an update on the Stagg High School expansion project at the Feb. 23 District 230 meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Price tag for Stagg expansion grows to $15 million

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The Stagg High School expansion project has a heftier price tag than originally thought. Consolidated High School District 230 officials were bracing for the project to cost roughly $12.5 million. At the Feb. 23 board meeting at Andrew High School, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services John Lavelle told the board…

Shepard's Assistant Principal Marie Cerwin dives into chilly waters at Shepard's Polar Plunge on March 2 at the school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

Shepard students have taken the plunge.

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Spread the loveBy Kelly White The high school, 13049 S. Ridgeland Ave., Palos Heights, honored Special Olympics Illinois with a unique school-based Polar Plunge on Thursday, March 2. “This year was our biggest group plunging yet,” Ashley Lythberg, Special Education Teacher (POWER PE teacher) and Special Olympics Coordinator at Shepard, said. “Every year is special,…

Justice village officials stand behind the junior officials who filled in for them at the February 27 village board meeting. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Justice junior officials run board meeting

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Spread the love By Carol McGowan Village officials in Justice took a step back at their last board meeting and handed the reins over to students from Indian Springs School District 109. The February 27 village board meeting observed the yearly tradition of Honorary Junior Official Day, as students had the honor of sitting in…

It’s not a parade without politics. Mayor Sean McDermott and elected officials marched in the parade. So did their challengers. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Wearing o’ the green: Countryside St. Paddy Parade colored a success

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Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch St. Patrick’s Day arrived 13 days early in Countryside, but nobody was complaining. The city’s seventh St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held on March 4 beneath cloudy and cool skies. Many attending wore green. That included Zeva, a Boston terrier owned by Melanie Blando, 33, of Burr Ridge. Zeva was…


McCook hopes study stops loss of 5 million gallons of water monthly

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Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The village of McCook hopes a study will determine where it is losing 5 million gallons of water monthly. The leak was determined when the village, which buys water from Chicago, didn’t sell as many gallons as were coming in, Mayor Terrance Carr said. “We sell roughly 170 million gallons…

The Class 3A girls basketball state champs celebrated on Monday at Nazareth Academy. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Nazareth girls ‘seal the deal,’ share state title glow at rally

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Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch The girls’ basketball team at Nazareth Academy did indeed live up to its slogan. Head Coach Eddie Stritzel said that after finishing second to Carmel in Class 3A one year ago, the team’s slogan for the 2022-23 season was “seal the deal.” “That’s great,” he said. “But with it comes…

St. Germaine School, 9735 S. Kolin Ave., Oak Lawn, has a brand new Innovation Lab thanks to the Germazing Ducks, a small, volunteer-based fundraising committee. (Supplied photos)

Germazing Ducks lend a hand at St. Germaine

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Spread the loveLatest project is a new Innovation Lab By Kelly White St. Germaine School has a new Innovation Lab thanks to the Germazing Ducks, a small, volunteer-based fundraising committee shaped and formed by parents, teachers, and staff members. The Innovation Lab at the school, 9735 S. Kolin Ave., Oak Lawn, is a remarkable feat…


Alex Knight, a Marist graduate now playing at Lake Forest College, was named to the All-Midwest Conference First Team. Knight’s average of 18.1 points per conference game led all players and he finished third in the conference in field goal percentage (52.6). Photo courtesy of Lake Forest College Athletics

College Notebook | Marist grad Alex Knight slaying buckets for Lake Forest

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Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Lake Forest College’s Alex Knight has been named to the All-Midwest Conference First Team in men’s basketball for the 2022-23 season. Knight, a 6-foot-1 sophomore guard who prepped at Marist, was the league’s leading scorer this season, averaging 18.1 points per conference game. He finished third in the MWC…

The Chicago Hounds' Julian Dominguez (11) battles for the ball against Utah earlier this season. Dominguez scored two tries in a 24-22 victory over Dallas on March 18. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Sports Report | SeatGeek to host Major League Rugby championship; Hounds sniff out first win

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer SeatGeek Stadium, host of the expansion Chicago Hounds, will host this season’s Major League Rugby championship game. The game is scheduled to be played July 8 in Bridgeview. It will air nationally on FOX. “Moving the championship match to a predetermined venue has long been a goal of…

Morton College's women's basketball team is playing in the NJCAA national tournament this week after celebrating its regional championship. Photo courtesy of Morton College

Area Sports Roundup | Nazareth grads Martinucci, Evans have unfinished business at NJCAA National Tourney

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Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff writer The Martinucci family carries a lot of weight in the Berwyn-Cicero area. Tony Martinucci has coached boys basketball at Morton High School for 24 years, racking up five regional titles and a trio of conference crowns during his tenure. His daughter, Jovanna, is hoping to do something even…


‘He’s our brother’

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Spread the love. Clearing, Garfield Ridge mourn Officer Vásquez Lasso By Tim Hadac Chicago Police Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso didn’t live in Clearing or Garfield Ridge—he lived east of the airport, in West Lawn—but he and his family were essentially adopted by as many as 700 men, women and children here earlier this month.…

An artist's rendering of the rooftop green space.

$15 million expansion for Stagg approved

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Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Consolidated High School District 230 Board of Education last week approved a $15 million expansion at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Palos Hills. The expansion will include much-needed classroom space, several science labs, offices and teacher workspace, as well as a rooftop environmental learning space. The project is…

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Gardens, 7402 W. Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights, created a little Irish magic as volunteers and staff dyed its waterfall emerald green. (Photos by Kelly White)

Lake Katherine goes green again for St. Patrick’s Day

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Spread the love By Kelly White One of Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Gardens’ most popular features is its large waterfall, which tumbles over four separate falls, travels a distance of over 300 feet and descends approximately 30 feet before joining the lake itself on the east side. With Irish festivities in full swing…

Orland Township Supervisor and Scholarship Foundation President Paul O'Grady with 2022 scholarship recipient Elisa Shaheen. (Photo by Alexandria Shipyor)

Orland Township offers scholarships to high school seniors

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Spread the loveLocal students graduating high school in 2023 and heading to college are encouraged to apply for an Orland Township Scholarship Foundation award. This program, launched in 1998, has since awarded over 340 scholarships to township students totaling more than $280,000. The Orland Township Scholarship Foundation award scholarships based on a combination of the…

Shepard High School teacher Joe Lerner receives a pie-in-the-face at the Respect Week assembly. Lerner and other staff members volunteered to get hit with pastry to raise money for Special Olympics. (Supplied photo)

Shepard breaks record for Special Olympics fund raising

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Spread the loveMostly through the traditional Polar Plunge, this year Shepard High School broke its record for fund raising for Special Olympics. More students and staff — including nearly all administrators, band director Chris Pitlik, and choir director Roland Hatcher — participated than ever. This year also featured a new fundraising vehicle: A pie-in-the-face contest. …

Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso and Milena in happier times. --Supplied photo

He died protecting others

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Spread the love. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] Like most in Clearing and Garfield Ridge, I was stunned and saddened by news of the death of Officer Andrés Mauricio Vásquez Lasso. Perhaps it’s because I have relatives who are CPD. Perhaps it’s because as a wife,…


Hale students fight hunger with food drive

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Spread the loveBy Dermot Connolly Students at Hale Elementary School in Clearing collected thousands of items in a food drive that became a community event when the United Business Association of Midway coordinated the delivery of the goods to local food pantries. Seventh and eighth graders in the student leadership team organized the food drive…