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Local News

The Mariano’s store in Frankfort would be among the stores transferred to a new owner if the Kroger-Albertson’s merger is approved. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: Palos Jewel, Oak Lawn Mariano’s to be sold in merger deal

By Bob Bong Kroger and Albertson’s this week released the list of stores the companies plan to sell, should a merger between the grocery giants be approved by regulators. Jewel Food Stores in Alsip and Palos Heights are among the stores listed for sale as well as Mariano’s locations in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and Frankfort. The…

Palos Heights native Patrick Bertotelli won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest July 4 in New York. (Photo courtesy of Major League Eating)

Palos Heights native is top dog in famous eating contest

By Jeff Vorva At one time, it may have seemed impossible for Palos Heights native Patrick Bertoletti to win the Nathan’s Hog Dog Eating contest. After all, Joey Chestnut was roasting opponents year after year by winning 16 titles since 2007 and had a streak of gobbling up championships eight years in a row heading…

Palos Park Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters is hoping a mobile DMV will return to the village after the July 15 visit was sold out. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

DMV sellout could mean a return visit in Palos Park

By Jeff Vorva Palos Park Clerk Marie Arrigoni announced that appointments for the one-day mobile Department of Motor Vehicles visit to Village Hall are sold out. That’s bad news for those residents who were looking forward to taking care of DMV business right there in town. But it was good news to Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters.…

The retiring owners left this message on the sign at the Saunoris Garden Center in Frankfort. (Photos by Bob Bong)

Comings & Goings: U-Haul buys Saunoris Frankfort location

By Bob Bong Two years after closing its Chicago Ridge location, Saunoris has closed its garden center in Frankfort. U-Haul has acquired the former garden center at 19600 S. Harlem Avenue. No price was announced, but the property had been listed for $2.5 million on real estate websites. The 6.88-acre property, now called U-Haul Moving…

Houston's Natalie Jacobs (left) and Red Star Ally Schlegel jostle to get to the ball on June 6 at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Swanson scores again, Naeher has clean sheet as Fire edge Dash

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Mallory Swanson is Olympics-ready after scoring her fourth goal in four games. Swanson’s left-footed shot in extra time in the first half was the difference in the Chicago Red Stars’ 1-0 win over Houston on July 6 in an NWSL battle before an announced crowd of 5,566 at SeatGeek Stadium in…

Orland Park's Krysta Stanko (in sunglasses) has won the women's division of the Veterans Liberty run three straight years. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Orland Park woman wins third straight Veterans Liberty Run

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent She did it again. Three for three. Orland Park resident Krysta Stanko won her third straight women’s division championship at the Veterans Liberty Run, held July 3 at Centennial Park in Orland Park. Stanko, an Andrew graduate who will be a sophomore at Governors State, ran the 2-mile course in 12:40.2,…

Worth resident Calista Stefaniak won the Tinley Park Stars and Stripes 5K run for the second year in a row. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Worth resident Calista Stefaniak wins Stars and Stripes 5K

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Calista Stefaniak won her second straight women’s title in the Tinley Park Stars and Stripes 5K, held June 29 at the village’s McCarthy Park. Stefaniak, 25, of Worth, ran the course in 20:22.6. She also won the event in 2023 and was runner-up in 2022. “I love how it makes me…

Sandburg junior Jackson Canellis has made hundreds of sandwiches for BEDS Plus. He plans to run 12 miles from Wrigley Field to Guaranteed Rate Field to raise money for the organization. Photo supplied

Sandburg junior to run from Wrigley Field to Sox Park

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Sandburg junior Jackson Canellis isn’t sure if he will be wearing a Cubs or White Sox jersey on Aug. 10 during a 12-mile run. That decision will be up to those who donate to his cause. Canellis, a volunteer at BEDS Plus, is organizing a unique 12-mile run from Wrigley Field…

Ray Hanania

Orland Park once had a great mayor

How do you assess the failures of Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau? Compare him to his predecessor when it comes to helping people. In July 1996, when Dan McLaughlin was mayor, a dozen areas of Orland Park had been slammed by heavy rainstorms and extensive flooding that caused massive property damage. The Village of Orland…

Pete Fejzuloski, president of the Paisans Pizzeria restaurant chain, cuts the ribbon during the official grand opening ceremonies on June 25 at the Oak Lawn location in the Stony Creek Promenade. He is surrounded by family, employees, and members of the community. To the left of Fejzuloski is Mike Sutko, a member of the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce, Trustee William "Bud" Stalker (5th), Mayor Terry Vorderer, Natasha Miller Williams, president of the chamber; and Steve Loulousis, president of the Oak Lawn Parks Foundation. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizzeria has impressive grand opening in Oak Lawn

Local officials ecstatic about new restaurant By Joe Boyle The origins of Paisans Pizzeria were humble as immigrant Luigi Fejzuloski created the business in a small corner store in Cicero. He was making pizzas in 1985 out of a household kitchen. Soon after that, Luigi was joined by his son, Pete. They both responded to…

Janae Banks

Woman charged in Palos Heights robbery

From staff reports A Chicago woman was charged last month with robbery in connection with an incident in May in the parking lot of the Jewel-Osco at 12803 S. Harlem Ave. Police said Janae Banks, 26, was taken into custody on June 22 at a home in the 8800 block of South Indiana Avenue in…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said at the July 1 board meeting that those who have issues with the board should show up at meetings or identify themselves. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park’s Pekau blasts anonymous critics

By Jeff Vorva Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau used a little Independence Day history to hammer home a point about anonymous critics on social media who are hammering him and the board of trustees. At the July 1 board meeting, Pekau said attacks were unproductive. “We used to have anonymous robocalls and anonymous letters and…

Through an educational collaboration with Moraine Valley Community College, Community High School District 218’s STEAM camp, students entering grades second through eighth have been learning more about science, technology, engineering, art and math over the summer break. (Supplied photos)

MVCC, SD218 offer STEAM classes

By Kelly White Kids have been rushing back to the classroom this summer. Through an educational collaboration with Moraine Valley Community College, Community High School District 218’s STEAM camp, students entering grades second through eighth have been learning more about science, technology, engineering, art and math over the break. These fields are providing students with…

Violinist, Mariah Saban Rice, of Palos Park, has been selected to perform at the Ravinia Festival on Wednesday, July 10. (Supplied photo)

Palos Park teen violinist invited to perform at Ravinia Festival

By Kelly White A Palos Park teenager who is a member of the Suburban Youth Symphony Orchestra has been invited to perform at next week’s prestigious Ravinia Festival. Violinist, Mariah Saban Rice, 13, of Palos Park, is one of three south suburban musicians invited to attend and perform at the National Seminario Ravinia at Ravinia…

The Chicago Red Stars' Mallory Swanson was selected for her second Olympics. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Swanson, Naeher headed to Paris seeking gold

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Two Chicago Red Stars standouts are going to Paris to represent the U.S. in the Summer Olympics. Goalie Alyssa Naeher and forward Mallory Swanson have been named to the United States Women’s National Team. Naeher was on U.S. Olympic teams that played in Rio de Janeiro and 2016 and Tokyo in…

Neighbors

Comings & Goings

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UPDATED: Ex-Speaker Madigan indicted on 22 public corruption counts

UPDATED: Ex-Speaker Madigan indicted on 22 public corruption counts

By JERRY NOWICKI PETER HANCOCK BETH HUNDSDORFER & GRACE KINNICUTT Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on 22 counts for allegedly using his position as the top House Democrat to solicit “personal financial rewards” for himself and his associates, according to…

Feds: Ex-Speaker Madigan indicted on 22 counts

Feds: Ex-Speaker Madigan indicted on 22 counts

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 22 counts for allegedly using his position as the top House Democrat to solicit “personal financial rewards” for himself and others, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District…

IDOC director makes $1.6 billion budget request at state Senate committee

IDOC director makes $1.6 billion budget request at state Senate committee

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Corrections Director Rob Jeffreys appeared before the Senate Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday to ask for approval of the department’s $1.6 billion budget, a 6 percent increase from the current fiscal year. Although the prison population is the lowest it has been…

House passes paid leave for vaccinated teachers

House passes paid leave for vaccinated teachers

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House passed a bill Tuesday that would give teachers, professors and other educational employees paid leave if they miss work for COVID-19-related issues, but only if they’ve been fully vaccinated. The House voted 70-28, with only Democrats voting in favor, to advance House Bill…

CAPITOL RECAP: IDPH Director Ezike plans to leave state government

CAPITOL RECAP: IDPH Director Ezike plans to leave state government

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike will resign on March 14 after three years leading the agency and two years navigating a deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 32,000 Illinoisans.  Ezike, a mother of four, was appointed IDPH director in 2019, became…

Farm Bureau opposes nutrient loss bill as negotiations continue

Farm Bureau opposes nutrient loss bill as negotiations continue

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois bhundsdorfer@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A bill meant to stem nutrient pollution resulting from farm runoff has met opposition from a formidable foe – the Illinois Farm Bureau – as negotiations on a final package continue. Nutrient loss is one of the most serious pollution threats in the country, creating a…

UPDATED: IDPH Director Ezike to step down March 14

UPDATED: IDPH Director Ezike to step down March 14

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike will resign on March 14 after three years leading the agency and two years navigating a deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 32,000 Illinoisans.  Ezike, who was appointed IDPH director in 2019, became a widely recognized public figure in the…

IDPH Director Ezike to step down March 14

IDPH Director Ezike to step down March 14

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike will resign on March 14 after three years leading the agency and two years navigating a deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 32,000 Illinoisans.  Ezike, who was appointed IDPH director in 2019, became…

Backlog of 3,759 criminal appeals cases has been resolved, state appellate defender says

Backlog of 3,759 criminal appeals cases has been resolved, state appellate defender says

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A backlog of cases before the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender that the agency’s leader once described as a “crisis in the criminal justice system” has largely been resolved, State Appellate Defender James Chadd told a state Senate committee Tuesday. Chadd told a Senate…

CAPITOL RECAP: State issues new mask guidelines after Supreme Court denies appeal

CAPITOL RECAP: State issues new mask guidelines after Supreme Court denies appeal

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Facial coverings are now optional in most public places in Illinois, including schools, after Gov. JB Pritzker issued new guidance Monday to comply with new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Under a new executive order issued by Pritzker on Monday, masks are no longer required in…