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Local News

Countryside Police Chief Paul Klimek said two new squad cars are needed. The city council agreed. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside buys two new police cars

By Steve Metsch The Countryside Police Department is getting two new squad cars. At the Jan. 24 city council meeting, Police Chief Paul Klimek received unanimous approval to purchase two Ford Interceptor utility squad cars from Westfield Ford, a dealership in Countryside. The amount will not exceed $105,000 and anticipated delivery of the cars is…

A new-look Panda Express will open next week at 4801 W. 87th St. in Oak Lawn. (Supplied photo)

Panda Express opening new concept location next week in Oak Lawn

By Bob Bong Panda Express will be celebrating the grand opening of its newest location at 4801 W. 87th St. in Oak Lawn with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with members of the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 15, beginning at 9 a.m. The first lucky 88 guests to receive a free Panda Express branded T-shirt.…

The Marist competitive cheerleading team won the IHSA state title in the large-team division. Photo courtesy of Marist High School

Postseason Roundup | Marist breaks through with first state cheerleading title

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent For years, Marist’s competitive cheerleading team was knocking on the door of a state championship. On Feb. 3, the RedHawks were like cops on television busting down the door. Marist won the IHSA state championship in the large-team division at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington with a score of 96.32, ahead…

Marist senior guard Darshan Thomas makes a move toward the basket during the RedHawks’ 65-64 win over Benet on Feb. 2. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball | Darshan Thomas scores late to lift Marist over Benet

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent A life lesson can be learned anywhere and at any time. “Sometimes it is hard and it does not work out, but you have to keep fighting and he did,” Marist coach Brian Hynes said after the RedHawks defeated Benet on Feb. 2. The “he” Hynes was referring to was Marist…

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Area Sports Roundup | Larry Rothschild joins Windy City ThunderBolts

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent First Bobby Jenks. Now Larry Rothschild. The Windy City ThunderBolts are stacking their staff with some familiar names from the Chicago baseball scene. They hired Jenks, a former White Sox closer and member of the 2005 World Series-winning team, as manager earlier in the offseason and recently hired Rothschild to be…

Shepard is having its best season in 20 years. Photo courtesy of Shepard High School

Girls Hoops Wrap | Nazareth gets top seed at Class 4A Mother McAuley sectional

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent How about a dream Nazareth vs. Homewood-Flossmoor matchup, with the winner going to state and the loser staying home? If the girls basketball coaches’ seedings come true, that’s exactly what will happen in Class 4A. But there is a lot of basketball to be played — and a lot of upsets…

Khalil Jones of St. Laurence lines up a shot against St. Rita in a CCL battle on Jan. 30. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Boys Hoops Wrap | Riverside-Brookfield’s Stefan Cicic hits 1,000 career points

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Riverside-Brookfield senior Stefan Cicic had a memorable week, scoring 28 points — surpassing 1,000 career points in the process — while leading the Bulldogs to a 55-47 conference win over Westmont on Feb. 2. Cicic also grabbed 15 rebounds and had five blocks in the win, one of R-B’s (22-4, 5-0…

Southern Belle's in Bedford Park closed last weekend. (Supplied photo)

Bedford Park buys Southern Belle restaurant

By Bob Bong Southern Belle’s restaurant in Bedford Park closed for the last time last Sunday after more than two decades at 6737 S. Archer Ave. The village has a contract to purchase the site for $2.5 million. Closing is expected in the first quarter. Bedford Park Mayor Dave Brady said a plan to move…

Carol Trzcinski (left), of Palos Park, is the new Executive Director of McCord Gallery & Cultural Center, taking over for former director, Linda Buchanan. (Supplied photos)

McCord Gallery welcomes new executive director

By Kelly White With a passion for the arts and a sparking personality, Linda Buchanan found her second home at McCord Gallery & Cultural Center. Buchanan, of Palos Park, served on the Board of Directors at the gallery, 9602 W. Creek Road, Palos Park, before becoming the Executive Director of the gallery in 2021. She…

reporter 1-30-24 stagg Whoomp! (There Goes Gravity)

Stagg literary magazine earns national award of excellence

The 2022-23 edition of Stagg High School’s Labyrinth Literary Magazine, entitled Whoomp! (There Goes Gravity), earned an award of Excellent in the Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines Contest, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English. This year, schools in 46 states and five countries nominated 375 student magazines. Magazines from middle school,…

Servers from Irish Times at last year's fundraiser. (File photos)

BEDS Plus hopes to raise $100,000 with annual Soup and Bread

By Steve Metsch Tickets are selling fast for the annual Soup and Bread Event fundraiser for BEDS Plus. BEDS Plus helps vulnerable clients in the southwest suburbs with shelter, housing and supportive services. The goal is to raise $100,000, Development Director Erin Molek said. That’s a lot of soup, but she is confident some changes…

Stagg senior Connor Williams attempts a shot over Sandburg’s Paulius Mizeras during the Eagles’ 82-78 win over the Chargers on Jan. 23. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball | Hot shooting fuels comeback as Sandburg tops Stagg in thriller

By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Sandburg spends 45 minutes of every practice just shooting the ball, so with the team trailing Stagg by double-digits late in the rival programs’ latest matchup, Eagles coach John Daniels had no worries. He told his shooters to “Just fire it.” Ryan Tomczak sank a deep 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left…

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Boys Hoops Wrap | Marist, Oak Lawn have unbeaten weeks; Curie’s win streak snapped by Lindblom

Games played between Jan. 22-27 By Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After a week off, Marist got back on track with a week of wins. The RedHawks (19-4, 7-2 East Suburban Catholic) opened the week with a 70-54 conference win at St. Viator. Darshan Thomas led the charge with 23 points. Thomas continued his strong play with…

Brother Rice graduate Ahmad Henderson has been named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week four times this season, including three consecutive weeks in January. Photo courtesy of Niagara University Athletics

College Notebook | Niagara guard Henderson looks like lock for MAAC freshman of year

By Mike Walsh Correspondent Ahmad Henderson’s collegiate basketball career has gotten off to a promising start. The Niagara freshman guard was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Week for the period ending Jan. 24. Henderson, a Brother Rice graduate, paced the Purple Eagles to a 2-1 record that week as he averaged…

Red Stars defender Tatumn Milazzo, an Orland Park native, takes part in drills in the Bridgeview Sports Dome as the team held preseason workouts last week. Photo courtesy of Chicago Red Stars

Red Stars’s schedule and roster set for 2024

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The schedule is set. The roster is set. The Red Stars are ready to roll. Once they get the preseason stuff out of the way, the Red Stars will open the NWSL slate at 6:30 p.m. March 16 with a road game against the expansion Utah Royals. Their home opener at…

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Illinois News

With budget proposal and fiery address, Pritzker paints himself as progressive pragmatist

With budget proposal and fiery address, Pritzker paints himself as progressive pragmatist

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In delivering his annual State of the State and budget address on Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker cast his administration as both progressive and pragmatic – a balance he’s worked to strike as his national profile has grown. Some elements of the governor’s proposed spending plan, like…

Budget reaction: Retailers, municipalities critical of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes

Budget reaction: Retailers, municipalities critical of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes

By ALEX ABBEDUTO, COLE LONGCOR  & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The annual process of negotiating the state budget kicked off Wednesday with Gov. JB Pritzker proposing a $52.7 billion spending plan that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending and tax increases, particularly for businesses.  The governor’s proposal to…

Pritzker proposes over $2B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

Pritzker proposes over $2B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information on the budget and reaction from lawmakers.  SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by over $2 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax…

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information on the budget and reaction from lawmakers.  SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by about $1.8 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax…

Customers pay for utilities' lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

Customers pay for utilities’ lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinoisans pay tens of millions of dollars each year to utilities to cover costs they accrue for lawyers, belonging to trade groups, making charitable contributions and purchasing advertisements meant to boost utilities’ public image.  Consumer advocates are pushing for a change to state law that would bar utilities…

Pritzker to call for health insurance reforms in State of the State address

Pritzker to call for health insurance reforms in State of the State address

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker plans to take on the state’s health insurance industry this year by calling for legislation to curb many of the standard practices they use to hold down costs and boost profits. He plans to outline those reforms in his State of the State…

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After suddenly pleading guilty as his federal corruption trial was wrapping up this week, former state Sen. Sam McCann won’t be released to await sentencing, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless ruled Friday. McCann has been held at Macon County Jail since last Friday, when Lawless ordered…