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Boys Basketball | Depth the difference for Marist in win over Marian Catholic

By Steve Millar Correspondent Keshaun Vaval got off to a slow start, scoring just two points over the first three quarters in Marist’s game last week against Marian Catholic. To add to his underwhelming performance, the sophomore guard committed a potentially costly turnover in the fourth quarter. He knew at that point he had to…

Penelope Hocking of Penn State was taken in the draft in the first round by the Chicago Red Stars. Penn State photo

Red Stars hire new GM, draft four players amid flurry of moves

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer For the past couple of months, the Chicago Red Stars watched player after player leave without replenishing the roster, which was down to 17 players. That changed last week, with the team drafting four players (who must still be signed) and adding two waiver-wire pickups. The Stars last week also…

Dr. Jenna Podjasek's novel on bioterrorism has just been released.

Palos Park doctor pens bioterror novel

By Kyle Garmes Dr. Jenna Podjasek is an allergist/immunologist who trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and now works in Oak Forest, but the Palos Park resident also has a passion for writing. Now, she has combined those two interests to publish her first novel. “Particles in the Air,” a bioterrorism-themed book that…

Chris Toth was a two-year starter at Aurora University, where this season he earned Associated Press Division III All-American honors, among other accolades. Photo provided by Aurora University

Paving a path to the pros?

Sandburg grad Chris Toth optimistic about following his father’s footsteps to the NFL By Mike Walsh Correspondent When your father is able to list blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino on his resume, chances are pretty good that football is a strong component of your family’s lineage. Such is the case for Aurora…

St. Rita junior James Brown opened the year verbally committing to North Carolina. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Local Hoops Wrap: Scuffling St. Rita eyes big March

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer They have never had a nickname, such as the Fab Four. But that title could have applied. The foursome of James Brown, Morez Johnson, Josh Pickett and Jaedin Reyna came to St. Rita High with high expectations, with all four receiving scholarship offers from Northern Illinois before playing a single…

Mother McAuley's Ellie White, a Michigan recruit, earned a national player of the year award in volleyball. Photo courtesy of Mother McAuley

Area Sports Roundup: Mother McAuley has another national POY; Red Stars’ scorer has new last name

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer How many national players of the year can one team have? If you are the Mother McAuley volleyball team, you can have more than one. The Class 4A state champions are cornering the market in that regard. Less than a month after senior Gigi Navarrete won a national player of…

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College Notebook | Stagg alum on fire in pool for Illinois-Chicago

By Mike Walsh Correspondent One of the top performers at the recent three-day House of Champions Invitational held at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis natatorium was UIC women’s swimmer Taira Juronis. Juronis, a Stagg graduate, won the 200-breaststroke with a time of 2:16.49, nearly two seconds faster than the second-place swimmer. Juronis also bested her…

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Boys Basketball | St. Laurence looks to keep good times rolling in 2023

By Steve Millar Correspondent A young St. Laurence team is hitting its stride and starting to believe. The Vikings took momentum into the New Year by winning four straight games at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic to capture the tournament’s consolation championship. “It was a pretty big boost getting those four wins,” sophomore guard Zerrick…

Shepard celebrates coach Tony Chiuccariello's (front row, second from left) 300th career victory on Dec. 27 and two days later celebrated winning the Elgin tournament. Shepard High School photo

Local Hoops Wrap | Four area teams win holiday titles; Shepard coach Chiucciarello notches 300th victory

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer With the odds of 8-to-1, 16-to-1 or even 32-to-1 of winning a holiday basketball tournament, championships are not easy to come by. But the area produced four champions — two boys teams and two girls teams — at the end of December as Mount Carmel won the 16-team Pekin Tournament,…

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Boys Hoops: St. Rita finishes fourth at Proviso West Holiday Tourney

By Steve Millar Correspondent St. Rita went into the Proviso West Holiday Tournament as one of the event’s “big three” teams, along with Chicago Public League powers Whitney Young and Kenwood. The perception was those three teams were far above the rest of the field. In the end, however, the Mustangs finished fourth. St. Rita…

Lenoir-Rhyne's Andre Jefferson (32) chases Tusculum's Tre Simmons (2) out of the pocket during Saturday afternoons game at Moretz Stadium in Hickory. Ernie Masche/Record

College Notebook: Richards alum Andre Jefferson earns college gridiron accolades

By Mike Walsh Correspondent The accolades are adding up for Lenoir-Rhyne University football player Andre Jefferson. Jefferson, who prepped at Richards, was one of three Bears named to the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Super Region Two Second Team for the 2022 season. Lenoir-Rhyne is in Hickory, N.C. The sophomore defensive tackle finished the season…

St. Rita's Todd Kuska, who retired after the 2022 season, will be inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2023. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: St. Rita’s Kuska to be inducted into Hall of Fame

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer The plaudits keep coming for retired St. Rita football coach Todd Kuska. Kuska, a former player with the Mustangs and head coach for 25 years, has been named to the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame class of 2023. Kuska racked up a 215-93 career mark, which…

Mary Stanek

It only gets brighter from here

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Happy 2023 to us all! Time to bring out the pickled herring to eat at midnight, symbolizing a prosperous New Year. We made it to the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year within the Northern…

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Welcome to Chicago Lawn, Claudia Brand

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Today let’s welcome Claudia Brand, our new Teen Librarian at the Chicago Lawn Branch Library. A native of the South Chicago neighborhood, Claudia began her library career at the Jeffery Manor Branch. She has 15 years’ experience with…

Peggy Zabicki

Dancing barefoot into 2023

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 At this point we are all playing with our new Christmas toys, eating the last of the Christmas cookies and making New Year’s Eve plans. I plan on dancing at a fancy club called my living room and wearing my best…

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Illinois News

‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A law recently signed by Gov. JB Pritzker will extend the deadline for the state to transfer criminal defendants deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial from jail to a mental hospital. That same bill, House Bill 240, also gives nursing homes in Illinois two more years…

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS [email protected] Longtime Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel has joined the Capitol News Illinois team as a full-time state government and politics reporter. She’s had a number of assignments covering the Statehouse and Illinois government since the 2014 legislative session, most recently serving as Statehouse editor for NPR Illinois from 2020 until after…

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For newly sworn-in Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, customer service is the central mission as he assumes the state’s second-largest constitutional office, replacing the man who had held it for nearly a quarter century. “Modernization and bringing new technology is going to be at the forefront…

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday filed a petition asking an appellate court to vacate a temporary restraining order that was issued late Friday afternoon blocking enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Raoul’s office filed the petition in the 5th District Appellate Court in…

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and legislative leaders said they were disappointed but not surprised by a judge’s decision late Friday putting a temporary and limited halt to enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison issued the temporary restraining order late Friday…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday was named in a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of children in state care who have been held in juvenile detention centers after a judge ordered their release. Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert is a…

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