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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…

Mary Pat Larocca, retiring after 40 years of teaching at Ideal School, chats with Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

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

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…

Governor JB Pritzker stands with other pro-choice Democrats at a press conference to denounce the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and turning the issue of abortion access back to the states. --Screenshot of a live-streamed event

Abortion protected in Illinois

Lawmakers react to draft Supreme Court opinion By Grace Kinnicutt Capitol News Illinois and Tim Hadac Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Democrats have warned of an “end to the constitutional right to privacy” if a leaked U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade becomes finalized as precedent. “It means…

Vinnie Quinn, a genuine Clearing original and a true White Sox fan. --Supplied photo

The mayor needs your help

By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] No, not that mayor. I’m talking about Vinnie Quinn, described by some as the Mayor of 63rd Street. If ever you’ve eaten at Café 63 (and if not, for heaven’s sake, why not?), you have tasted Vinnie’s culinary creations. Vinnie has worked…

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Giddyup! Pony ride business trots along

Garfield Ridge teens’ venture a success By Tim Hadac While the pandemic has contributed to the demise of a number of businesses in Clearing and Garfield Ridge—like Dallas Restaurant, Lindy’s/Gertie’s and Angel Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream—one has proven pandemic-proof. Two years after they launched their head-turning, smile-generating pony ride business, Garfield Ridge residents Matthew…

OLCHS to name varsity baseball field in honor of Skip Sullivan. (Supplied photo)

OLCHS to honor ‘Sully’ with baseball field dedication May 17

By Brian Frangella Any Oak Lawn Community High School student who participated in athletics anywhere from 1973-2014, odds are Skip Sullivan coached or taught them in one way or another. He spent an entire lifetime going to school, excelling in sports, and coaching as a Spartan. He was truly one of a kind. So, when…

Art Boer, of Dotson-Farms from Beecher, Ill., was happy to be a part of the Evergreen Park Farmer’s Market on May 5 at Yukich Field, 89th Street and Kedzie Avenue. (Photos by Kelly White)

Evergreen Park kicks off farmer’s market

The Evergreen Park Farmers Market kicked off on Thursday, May 5, at Yukich Field, 89th Street and Kedzie Avenue. The market is back again for the 18th season, happening every Thursday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. until Oct. 24.    

Palos Heights Public Library Director Jesse Blazek gives the city council an update on in-person programs on May 3. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Director tells city council in-person programs are back at Palos Heights Library

By Jeff Vorva In-person programs started back at the Palos Heights Public Library this month. Library director Jesse Blazek spoke at the May 3 city council meeting to give an update after Alderman Don Bylut questioned the lack of in-person programs at a council meeting in April. “Our plan was to have in-person programming in…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau discusses the next steps in the Downtown Triangle project at the May 2 board meeting. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau says Orland Park is trying to fix Triangle ‘disaster’

By Jeff Vorva It’s almost like Oliver Hardy turning to Stan Laurel and saying, “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,” in the old movie comedies. Whenever progress on the Orland Park Main Street Triangle is made, Mayor Keith Pekau can’t resist taking shots at previous village boards for what he says is…

Orland Township kicked off Older Americans Month with its annual Salute to the Troops Dinner Dance on May 5 at the Orland Township building, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Supplied photos)

Orland Township celebrates seniors for Older Americans Month

By Kelly White Orland Township cares about its residents and looks for ways to recognize them and their commitments. For the month of May, the township is honoring its senior citizen residents by inviting them take part in the celebration of Older Americans Month. Older Americans Month is a month-long observance in the U.S. devoted…

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Son charged in murder of Chicago Ridge man

By Bob Bong The son of a man found stabbed to death in his Chicago Ridge home early Monday morning has been charged with second-degree murder. Francisco Duran, 21, was charged Tuesday in the death of his father, Salvador Duran, 47, Chicago Ridge Police Chief Jim Jarolimek said in a release Wednesday. Jarolimek said police…

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Palos Park police to hold Coffee with a Cop on Thursday

From staff reports Palos Park Police Commissioner Dan Polk is inviting the community to visit with the police as part of a Coffee with a Cop event today at noon at the Plush Horse, 123rd Street and 86th Avenue. Polk said residents can sit down with police officers over a cup of coffee and have…

Patti Sullivan, the widow of Eugene "Skip" Sullivan, who was a teacher and coached varsity baseball and other sports at Oak Lawn Community High School, thanked the Oak Lawn Village Board Tuesday night for proclaiming Tuesday, May 17, as "Skip Sullivan Day" in the village. She was accompanied by her son, Mike Sullivan, and daughter, Dana Annel. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Road rage shooting upsets Oak Lawn officials

Village proclaims Skip Sullivan Day By Joe Boyle Rising crime has Oak Lawn officials concerned, especially after reports of a road rage shooting that took place in the village Tuesday night just before the village board meeting. According to Oak Lawn Police Chief Dan Vittorio, two men began shouting at each other from their vehicles while driving…

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Man shot in apparent road rage incident in Oak Lawn

By Bob Bong A man was badly injured after he was shot Tuesday night in the 10700 block of Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn in what police say appears to be a road rage incident. Gerald Vetter, Division Chief Investigations, said in a release that a police sergeant heard two gunshots in the area of…

Nazareth Academy English teacher Amelia Garcia is one of 10 Golden Apple excellence in teaching winners this year. (Golden Apple photo)

Naz’s Amelia Garcia wins Golden Apple teaching award

By Bob Bong Amelia Garcia, a teacher at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, was one of 10 teachers in Illinois to receive the 2022 Golden Apple award for Excellence in Teaching last week. Garcia, who teaches 10th- and 11th-grade English, was surprised with the award at a school assembly on May 4. “This is really…

Kenneth Keyser shakes hands with Mayor Steve Landek after he is sworn in as Bridgeview’s newest police sergeant. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Keyser promoted to police sergeant in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch After 24 years working on the Bridgeview Police Department, Kenneth Keyser finally has the job he’s been waiting for. Keyser, 49, was promoted to sergeant at the May 4 meeting of the village board. He’ll be in charge of the midnight shift, starting at 10 p.m. and working until 6 a.m. But…

Former Orland Park police chief Tom McCarthy, shown at a May 2 village board meeting, has an Illinois football scholarship named in his honor. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Report: Illini football names scholarship after former Orland top cop Tim McCarthy

By Jeff Vorva Staff writer Many area residents know Tim McCarthy as the former longtime police chief of Orland Park. Those who know history know McCarthy was a U.S. Secret Service agent who took a bullet for President Ronald Reagan during John Hinckley Jr.’s assassination attempt in 1981. Not as well known is that McCarthy…

Two police officers and an Orland firefighter were injured in a house fire in the 8200 block of Legend Lane. (Photo courtesy of Orland Fire Protection District)

2 police officers, firefighter treated after Orland Park fire

From staff reports Two Orland Park police officers and one Orland Fire Protection District firefighter were injured last week night while responding to a house fire in the 8200 block of Legend Lane in Orland Park. The police officers were treated for smoke inhalation and the firefighter suffered minor burns on April 26, Orland Fire…

Roberts Road road closures and detours. (Maps supplied by Illinois Tollway)

More road closures this week for Roberts Road, 87th Street

From staff reports Road closures with detours are scheduled for this week on Roberts Road and 87th Street to accommodate bridge beam removal for the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project. In addition to overnight closures, this work will require a weekend-long closure of both local roads at their intersection under I-294. Delays are expected. On Roberts Road under I-294, up to two…

Steve Landek

Landek to retire from Illinois Senate

Porfirio will take his place on the ballot By Bob Bong In a move that had apparently been in the works for at least a month, Democratic state Sen. Steve Landek will not run for re-election in November. Lyons Township Trustee Mike Porfirio, a close ally of Landek since his days as his chief of staff in Springfield, is…

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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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